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Forgotten Friend, New Foe
aka: Forgotten Childhood Friend

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"Every murderer is probably somebody's old friend."

The shining gem of the Non-Serial Movie, an antagonist who is inevitably related (especially romantically) in some way to one of the characters. The trouble occurs when they revisit, and the current situation (say, a character's new Love Interest) is one that doesn't suit them at all. For maximum effect, The Reveal pulled off near the very end gives a little twist to the "villain" as well as some surprising insight to a relevant character. These work well for such a movie because it is much easier to add Backstory without affecting things later, and is often never mentioned again in the television series proper.

Subtrope of Childhood Friends. Compare Beleaguered Childhood Friend. Contrast Forgotten First Meeting. A specific sub-type of this trope is the Vengeful Abandoned Toy, who has become bitter after being abandoned or forgotten by the child who owns them.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Fiore in the first Sailor Moon movie. He befriended Mamoru when he was amnesiac and hospitalized, and years later he returned to Earth to meet him again...
  • Forms the basis of one of the Urusei Yatsura movies: Ataru made a Childhood Marriage Promise to a girl he frequently saw on the playground. Fast-forward ten years, and we discover that not only was she an alien princess (with an entire army at her disposal), she's never realized that the proposal was meant as a joke. Understandably, Lum isn't appreciative of this state of affairs; neither is Ataru, but that's because he isn't getting any tail out of it.
  • Ukyou was introduced to Ranma ½ in this role. Specifically, she was Ranma's former childhood friend who wanted to get revenge on Ranma and Genma for stealing her father's okonomiyaki stall many years ago. However, she quickly pulled a Heel–Face Turn and become one of Ranma's suitors.
  • Sara's long-lost brother Ralph in Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry is revealed near the end of the first episode, after the Union has been praising him and Sara herself chasing after him for years, to be the most fearsome villain the series had to offer.
  • The demonic Duel Monsters card Yubel in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX was revealed to have been owned by Juudai back in the day. He didn't forget them on purpose, though, having his memory suppressed due to the nightmares he suffered when they were in pain up in space.
  • In Code Geass's Backstory, they were best friends, but eight years later, Suzaku Kururugi and Lelouch Lamperouge are on opposite sides. Neither is an outright villain... nor are they full-blooded heroes. This isn't even a completely straight example either, as they manage to remain friends at school thanks to Secret Identity antics throughout the first season...until the Wham Episode breaks things.
  • Very similar situation in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, which has Athrun Zala and Kira Yamato fighting each other despite having been the best of friends earlier in life (something which causes both massive amounts of Angst).
  • Koujirou Saeki from The Prince of Tennis, in regards to the Fuji brothers.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple has Odin, the leader of Ragnarok, aka Ryuuto Amamiya, who was one of Kenichi's childhood friends.
  • Mendou in White Album has aspects of this, only she is a benevolent, and not a hostile figure (as far as these things can be counted).
  • In Revolutionary Girl Utena, we find out pretty early on in the series that Utena met Touga and Saionji when she was young. Shortly after that, she met Dios. Shortly after that... she met Anthy.
    • Justified in that she only saw the boys once before the series and probably wasn't even paying attention because she very depressed and traumatised after her parents's deaths. In the case of Anthy, she was given Laser-Guided Amnesia.
  • In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Hideo Kuze is this to the Major.
    • In the 2015 Ghost in the Shell: Arise movie, turns out that Lt. Col. Kurutsu is actually a young girl whose body failed badly upon receiving cyberization and she's been stuck in a special facility for years. The adult body we see of her is a remote drone. And she was friends with Motoko Kusanagi when she was also a patient at that facility.
  • A variation in Pokémon Adventures. Ruby and Sapphire both remember having a childhood friend, but they don't remember what the other looks like. As such, they don't recognize each other when they reunite five years later and get off the wrong foot. Justified by the fact that they both had their personalities completely flipped since they were kids.
  • Makarov, the Big Good of Fairy Tail and master of the titular guild, recognizes Grimoire Heart's master Hades as Precht, his predecessor as the master of Fairy Tail.
  • Shiroemon in Dorabase, who befriended Kuro during their days in school. They broke off the friendship after Shiro refuses to stay as he is (being good at nothing). From what is known from the flashbacks, he believes that nobody can be counted on to succeed by one's self after what he's been through. He is initially presented as a Jerkass, selfish character who openly shows disrespect towards his teammates. However Character Development kicks in soon enough and he gets better, and his relationship with Kuro being more rivalry than dislike, but he is still in the Whiters, Dora's Worthy Opponent Arch-Enemy.
  • In Naruto, the masked man Tobi's identity is revealed as Uchiha Obito, the childhood friend of one of the main characters (who was fighting him at the time): Kakashi Hatake. Naturally, the person is so shocked that he completely loses his will to fight and it takes quite some effort from the others to bring him back on track.
  • In Tokyo Revengers, The Reveal is that the Big Bad Kisaki knew Takemichi and Hinata for years and had been lusting for Hinata ever since, with everything he did being for the purpose of one-upping Takemichi for her affection. The reason she keeps getting killed over and over is because Kisaki was pulling an If I Can't Have You… every single time after being rejected by her, as he believed he was Entitled to Have You.
  • In Cheeky Brat, Sho and Shizuka were basketball teammates in their elementary school years, though they separated not long after that. Come high school, they meet again on opposing teams but the former doesn't recognize the latter. With a bit of a nudge, he does remember and is amazed at how different he's become.
  • In Monster, Wolfgang Grimmer remembers virtually nothing about his childhood in the orphanage except for one friend he made, Adolf Reinhart. Roberto, the secondary antagonist of the story, is revealed to be Reinhart during the climax. The two never meet as adults but are on opposite sides of the story and both die during the final chapters.

    Comic Books 
  • The Death of Clark Kent: 90s Superman villain Conduit may have started this as a trend in comic books. An old schoolmate who always felt overshadowed by Clark growing up (with an emotionally abusive father not helping matters), his grudge turns murderous when he figures out the truth and assumes Clark was only better because of his powers.
  • Tommy Elliot / Hush from Batman - a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne's who turns out to be the villain behind the arc introducing him. His jealousy of Bruce stemmed from him hating his parents and envying the "freedom" Bruce received. And, blaming Bruce's father for saving the life of one of his parents, preventing him from being free.
    • Another Batman example is Dan Kingdom / "The Enforcer" from the early 70s "Manhunter" arc. Bats finally figures it out (due to an idiosyncratic fighting style) and delivers a pretty savage beatdown while noting that his opponent was completely the Enforcer now and no longer his old friend Dan Kingdom: "The Council may have planted a clone's body to throw us off the trail, but it was still you who died."
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Eddie Brock was Peter Parker's childhood best friend, but moved away after both his and Peter's parents were killed in a plane crash. A home movie causes Peter to remember Eddie and seek him out, which eventually leads to Eddie's transformation into Venom.
  • In Spider-Man 515-518, readers were introduced to Charlie Weiderman, the only kid at Midtown High who was a bigger nerd than Peter Parker, but whose abusive background drives him insane after he unintentionally grafts a skintight vibranium suit to his body.
  • In Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars Legends series Empire and Rebellion, Imperial Lieutenant Janek "Tank" Sunber was Luke Skywalker's Childhood Friend. While Luke and their mutual friend Biggs defected to the Rebellion, Tank remained loyal and became an Anti-Villain who sought to capture Luke for Darth Vader while being torn between his loyalties to his friends and to his men.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 
  • Steven Universe: The Movie: Spinel, the movie's villain, turns out to be a former "playmate" of Pink Diamond's who went mad with jealousy after realizing Pink Diamond had purposefully left her behind in her garden and promptly forgot about her for thousands of years. Steven sadly admits that, considering the type of person his mother was, this revelation isn't shocking.

    Live Action TV 
  • In the season 2 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer "Lie To Me", Billy Fordham—"Ford"—an old friend of Buffy's from LA, shows up in Sunnydale. He has figured out she's a Slayer... and that's just for starters. He makes a deal with vampires to bring them Buffy and some vampire wannabes to feed on, so that they will turn him in exchange. He's trying to avoid dying of cancer.
    • "Conversations With Dead People" had Holden Webster, an old classmate of Buffy's, recently being turned into a vampire. They have a long friendly conversation before fighting to the death.
  • Doctor Who has Mels, who grew up with Amy and Rory as their best friend, but whom the Doctor (and audience) have never met before. After she explains she skipped appearing at their wedding, she pulls a gun on the Doctor in order to "Let's Kill Hitler!" but gets fatally shot during the escapade. This is where it gets complicated... as Mels begins to regenerate.
    • We then get The Reveal that Mels is actually Amy and Rory's daughter, Melody (named after herself), who was kidnapped by the Silence and raised to kill the Doctor. After an unforseen event caused her to regenerate from a little girl at the end of "Day of the Moon", she decided to spend her second incarnation growing up alongside her parents. Which brings us to her newly regenerated third incarnation... River Song, whose future-self both Amy and Rory have met many times beforehand, and whose name comes from a garbled translation of "Melody Pond".

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has Gerrard, hero of the Weatherlight saga, pitted against Volrath, evil evincar of Rath and Gerrard's jealous adoptive brother from his youth.

    Video Games 
  • Misha of the first Ar tonelico game spends a good half the game trying to convince Lyner that she and he grew up together. It takes most of the game before he remembers - and it's up to the player's choice eight hours ago whether or not she's the Unlucky Childhood Friend or Victorious Childhood Friend (barring going for the secret Love Interest...).
  • Rule of Rose, with Wendy, where she wasn't even forgotten; her best friend had merely got a new dog. Wendy was so afraid of losing Jennifer that this gave her reason to resort to blackmail, bullying and eventually murder to bring them back together.
    • More literally, everyone, especially Brown. When Jennifer was found after the massacre, she had amnesia, and only remembered years later.
  • In Epic Mickey, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is Mickey Mouse's older half-brother who was lost to Walt Disney over a legal dispute and replaced by Mickey himself. It’s not pretty when he and Mickey first meet, but Mickey eventually gains his trust.
  • Persona 2: Innocent Sin: While everyone else in the "Masked Circle" group suffers from Forgotten First Meeting, the last member, Jun, still does remember that they nearly killed Team Mom Maya and built up a grudge after forgetting the "nearly" part... and became the enemy known as the Joker for the first 3/4ths of the game.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Used in Final Fantasy VIII when it's revealed that all of the See D members in the main party had grown up together in the same orphanage and that the sorceress they were up against was their former matron, but most of them had forgotten. A Justified Trope, as amnesia is an established side effect of letting Guardian Forces take up space in the user's brain.
    • In Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers, the villain Emet-Selch knows from the beginning that the player character is the reincarnation of his dearest friend. Since he doesn't have much hope that the Warrior of Light could remember anything Emet-Selch is shocked to see an image of his friend superimposed over the player, and goes into denial. During the events of Patch 5.3, the player (and by extension Ardbert) are revealed to be the reincarnation of the forgotten member of Amaurot's Convocation of Fourteen, Azem, who refused to participate in both Zodiark and Hydaelyn's summonings. However, they still don't have any memory of their life as Emet's friend.
  • Soul Nomad & the World Eaters state that Lobo, one of the villains was this to Christophe, with this being a big part of the former's Start of Darkness. This plays a part in The Demon Path, where if Revya states that s/he trusts him, he bursts into maniacal laughter and states that only fools trust.
  • In Fire Emblem Fates, one of the characters that joins the group no matter what path is taken is the Avatar's childhood friend, Silas. In the Birthright and Revelations paths, however, the group has to fight him before he joins. Either way, the Avatar initially doesn't remember him, since he was banished from the Nohr castle several years ago for taking him/her outside. Reaching A-Support with him reveals that the servants and retainers did their best to make the Avatar forget Silas so they wouldn't cry about missing him.

    Visual Novels 
  • CLANNAD features a non-villainous example. Kotomi Ichinose was Tomoya's childhood friend, yet after Kotomi's parents died in the plane crash, Tomoya stopped coming over to her house because Kotomi would not come out. The next time they would meet was when Tomoya wandered into the library in his senior year. (This happens the same way in both the Visual Novel and the anime).
  • Shiki doesn't remember SHIKI, his childhood friend and one-half of the Big Bad Duumvirate in Tsukihime, due to some Laser-Guided Amnesia. This is because SHIKI succumbed to his familial curse and stabbed Shiki to death when they were children, but SHIKI's sister Akiha managed to bring Shiki Back From The Death at the cost of his memories and half of her own life force. Following this, SHIKI has been disowned and Unpersoned by his father.
  • In Dengeki Stryker, Real!Haruna shows up as a foe as she had given her memories of Yuuki to the memory collector to become a stryker and is hired to kill them.
  • Lowe from Tokyo Chronos claims that he's one of Sakurai's childhood friends. Not only do Sakurai and his other childhood friends not remember him at all, but he's such a nasty delinquent that they can't believe they'd ever have someone like him in their group. But it turns out that Lowe was friends with everyone in the group... because he's technically Sakurai, being the worst parts of him given form by the Chronos World.

    Western Animation 
  • The Venture Bros.: In the Season 5 episode "SPHINX Rising", The Monarch finds a picture of himself and Dr. Venture as young boys playing together. The Monarch is extremely visibly distressed by this. It gets even worse with the revelation that the two are half-brothers.
    "I don't remember any of this!"

Alternative Title(s): Forgotten Childhood Friend