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Identity Amnesia

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Nina: You got it wrong. My name is not Anna, I'm Nina.
Dr. Tenma: For now, but that wasn't your name back when you were brought into my hospital.

Amnesia comes easy in fiction. It is also conveniently specific. A taste of Applied Phlebotinum, a particularly shocking traumatic event, or even a simple Tap on the Head will be sufficient to make your character forget all about who or what they are.

In most cases, the character has simply lost their memories, no longer remembering their name, loved ones or where they came from. This is often the cause for a Quest for Identity.

Sometimes, however, it is their personality that has changed. Not only do they not remember who they were, they are convinced that they are someone else entirely. In essence, Bob doesn't just forget that he's Bob, but he thinks he's Alice instead...

The affected character may have additional amnesia on top of their personality change, but it's not a guarantee. It's possible they may still know everything they did prior to the switch, except that they've never before acted the way they're acting now. Attempts to get them to remember previous life-defining events that may snap them out of it are likely to be met with a stern dismissal: "Why do you keep talking about this "Bob" guy?! I haven't time for this! I'm a world-famous opera singer and must be on stage in one hour!"

Just like other forms of TV amnesia, this variety is often rectified by just smacking the character in the head a second time; they are usually very resistant to seeking out help on their own. As far as they're concerned, nothing is wrong.

Once restored, they'll probably have no recollection of their amnesia-induced alter ego, and will probably be puzzled as to why time has moved forward by several hours/days.

Once their Jekyll & Hyde nature has been demonstrated, it's a foregone conclusion that should the character in question get tapped on the head at a later date, the alternate persona will be right back in the saddle again.

A vast exaggeration of a Truth in Television mental disorder, known as a "Fugue State". This is when someone believes themselves to be someone completely different. They may move to a different town and assume a different identity, without being aware the new identity is false. It is a very, very rare result of a psychotic break. Dissociative amnesia can also parallel this trope, but also under very rare and extreme circumstances.

Clinical identity amnesia is the inability to identify with things you have done or said. You still remember who you are, but have no memory of having done certain things. You're just as likely (or more) to disown good deeds as bad ones.

See also Brainwashed, Easy Amnesia, Fake Memories, We Want Our Jerk Back!, Wistful Amnesia, Amnesiac Hero, and Amnesiac Lover. Not to be confused with I Am Who?


  • Alternate Identity Amnesia — A character who shapeshifts or has a case of Jekyll & Hyde has no memory of their actions while in their other form.
  • Amnesiacs are Innocent — The new character is child-like and innocent.
  • Amnesiac Costume Identity — The character thinks the clothes they're wearing are their own.
  • Amnesiac Liar — The character lies and then forgets that it's a lie.
  • Criminal Amnesiac — The character goes from their heroic or noble life to an evil or self-serving one, often because a villain lied to them about who they're supposed to be.
  • Forgot the Call — The character in question goes from a heroic life to a mundane one.
  • Napoleon Delusion — The new "character" is a famous historical figure (insanity is a bigger factor here).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Tsukasa, the lead character of .hack//SIGN, begins the show with this, with the added bonus of being stuck inside an MMO where he can feel everything. The adult friends he (eventually) makes do what they can outside the game to learn his identity. Parts of his memory comes back in pieces as the show goes on such as his mother's love for black and white era western films to a shopping mall he used to go to. But the final revelation (that Bear actually figures out relatively early in the show but Tsukasa initially rejects as impossible) is that Tsukasa was actually a girl in real life and her father abused her for the crime of not being a boy.
  • Bokura no Kiseki has a Reincarnation variation. Among all the reincarnated characters in the series, Zeze can remember some vague details about his past life, but isn't quite sure who he was. (He seems to think he's better off not knowing, though.)
    • The protagonist Harusumi pretends to have this, in order to throw off potential enemies of his past life, Veronica.
  • Tooya from Ceres, Celestial Legend is the victim of this trope. A plot point, as he is later revealed to be the personification of the highly-coveted hagoromo.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Kamijou Touma forgot a lot about who he was when he took a feather of St. George's Sanctuary to the face, and it is irrecoverable. He forgot a lot of people he knew; he forgot why he said people were indebted to him; school; he even forgot what his parents looked like, which is a plot point. While a thank you letter had allowed him to obfuscate competence and convince everyone that he's fine, at least twice he had to gamble that he should have known someone because they dressed weirdly. Eventually, he fesses up to someone about it.
  • In Code Geass, after C.C. loses her memory and goes back to her mental state as a slave girl.
    • Debatably, this also applies to Lelouch at the start of R2. Since he's forcibly forgotten about his mother, sister, and being Zero, he becomes his civilian-identity mask, a Brilliant, but Lazy student who cuts class to gamble on chess games. He's still dissatisfied with the world as it is, but since he no longer has an outlet, he's got a lot of bottled-up rage.
  • Death Note has Light, upon losing his memories, becoming to the way he was before getting the Death Note where he is not evil and sympathetic to the people of the world. When he regains his memories, Light reverts back to his evil self.
    • Even without his memories he notes that Kira thinks a lot like him, and acts the same way he would act. The evil Light is not so much a different person, as the same person under a different set of circumstances.
  • Dragon Ball has this in the protagonist's backstory. When he first landed on Earth, Goku was a typical, Always Chaotic Evil Saiyan, causing his adopted grandfather no end of trouble. One quick tumble down a cliff and landing on his head later, he's the happy-go-lucky protagonist all minions of evil will come to know and fear.
  • Elfen Lied uses this as its central plot device: ruthless killer Lucy is hit in the head with a .50 caliber bulletnote  and becomes a very child-like girl that can only say "Nyu." However, another blow to the head reverts her back to Lucy, often resulting in at least one person getting themselves killed before the effect returns.
  • In the Eureka Seven movie ending, it is widely believed that when Eureka offered up her memories to Image, she lost all her memories and even basic fundamental knowledge like language (she became unable to speak any language, only making noises). Thus for her case, it is 100% memory wipe, and poor Renton has to live with this fact.
  • Golgo 13: In the anime series, Duke Togo has a loss of memory after a bomb explosion, and is aided by the requisite beautiful female bystander. Being The Determinator, even without knowing he's a Professional Killer at first, Togo gathers enough information and fragments of memory to make it to the kill zone he's selected, but the question remains: who was he meant to kill among the people assembled in the kill zone? Togo fires his gun in the air, and the hail of bullets from the bodyguards somehow restore his memories. Then he's faced with killing the woman who helped him, as he must Leave No Witnesses. A stray bullet however takes care of that problem.
  • In Granblue Fantasy The Animation, Ferry has no memories of her past whatsoever. It's later revealed that she used to be a fairly ordinary Erune girl who inadvertently became immortal and had her memories stolen when she got mixed up in an evil scientist's scheme to gain immortality. When she finally remembers, her memories merely confirm what she had already pieced together through various clues. What she didn't expect however was the painful memory of saying goodbye to her beloved little sister, who is long gone by the time of the story.
  • In Jin, the title character uses this as a cover story for the samurai family he lives with to avoid explaining that he's actually from the future. Unfortunately for him, they are eager to help him search for his identity and after a few weeks he ends up confessing the truth.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: The protagonist of Part 8, Josuke, is discovered half-buried in the dirt without any memories. Troubled by the fact that he doesn't know who he is, he is driven to uncover his past with the help of Yasuho Hirose, the woman who found him. In the process, he is quickly caught up in a life-threatening conspiracy involving rock humans and a miraculous fruit. Turns out he's an entirely new being, the result of a Fusion Dance between Yoshikage Kira and Josefumi Kujo.
  • In K, at first Shiro seems like he really is an Ordinary High-School Student, not the Colorless King who was caught on video murdering a Red Clansman, inciting the Red Clan to seek revenge. But half way through season 1, things start to indicate that Shiro's memories are actually false. He is without any knowledge of who he is from them until episode 11, when he regains his memory - he is another king, forcibly body-swapped with the Colorless King.
  • This happens before the series starts in Loveless. Ritsuka has amnesia and a different personality when it starts. The question of who he was hangs over the series, but lessens as he gains friends.
  • In Magical Project S, Misao Amano's alter ego Pixy Misa likes to torment the main cast with her magical powers. When Misao reverts to her normal self she doesn't remember any of what she did while transformed.
  • Maze suffers from this at the start of Maze Megaburst Space; the only thing about her identity she remembers is the name Maze.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Soma Peries experienced a rather complicated version of this. She was originally Marie Parfacy, a kind-hearted girl who was a friend of Allelujah Haptism during their childhood until she was implanted with the Soma Peries personality. After the persona was implanted, she lost her memories as Marie and became a ruthless and fearless antagonist of the Human Reform League in Season 1 and then later, A-LAWS in Season 2. Thanks to Allelujah, she regained her memories and returned to her former self and switched allegiances to Celestial Being later in Season 2. Both personalities coexisted until Sergei Smirnov (her commander who she views as a father figure throughout Season 1) was killed which led to Marie reverting back to Soma. After the final battle, Marie's personality returned and has remained dominate ever-since. The Soma persona only resurfaces for combat as Marie doesn't have the stomach for war.
  • Monster has Johan's good-hearted twin sister, Nina Fortner, can't remember she's Anna Liebert after he forced her to shoot him in the head.
  • Averted in Negima! Magister Negi Magi. Although Asuna Kagurazaka is shown to have a drastic shift in personality between her self-induced amnesia at the conclusion of the backstory and the kicking off of the plot (she went from Emotionless Girl to a Hot-Blooded Tsundere), it is shown to have happened over the course of several years, implied to be the consequence of frequent interactions with a Rich Bitch Ojou.
  • Noein's resident Ax-Crazy psychopath Atori gets amnesia after nearly dying in combat, and becomes a gentle, if somewhat out of it, young man who enjoys spending time with Miho, since she reminds him of his dead little sister Sarah. He does regain his memories later on, but by that point, spending time with Miho and the rest of the group has softened him and reawakened his sense of morality.
  • Kirika Yumura of Noir starts out with this. She only knows what her name is due to it being printed on her student ID, and a comment from Chloe towards the end of the series implies that not only is 'Kirika Yumura' not her real name, it was entirely possible that nobody remembered what her real name was.
  • Invoked by Usopp in One Piece's filler G8 arc to pull one over the Marines. He pretends that Inspector Shepard, who Robin was impersonating at the time and the Marines mistaken him for a Straw Hat, had suffered an identity amnesia, couldn't recognize him and thus "believes" he is Shepard and not really their friend "Condoriano".
  • Patlabor has one of these with Ota, who doesn't remember anything after a big party and wakes up with a terrible hangover not knowing who he is. Worse, looking at the mayhem around him and his unconscious teammate, he believes himself to be a murderer and runs away from every person who could have explained the jokes his friend played on him (in an attempt to make him avoid unnecessary violence). As you can expect, after a really deep introspection, he completely forgets any lesson he could have learned during his amnesia when he wakes up at the hospital.
  • Senri from +Anima gets this. TWICE. Once while he was young and went berserk,(This prompted Crystala to give him his pressed flower book to remember people.) the other time he goes berserk with Husky, Nana, and Cooro there. He can't remember them and tries to attack. He is eventually stopped when Cooro slaps his Eyepatch of Power on.
  • Ranma ˝:
    • A blow to the head during a weird training method involving watermelons changed Kuno from an ineffectual, harmless buffoon with weird (but funny) romantic notions, to a nigh-unbeatable stalker who might have succeeded in forcing himself on female Ranma if she hadn't knocked him back to his senses first.
    • In an anime Filler episode, Ranma Saotome gets struck with something that's one part this, one part Loss of Identity after Akane knocks him into the koi pond with a frying pan, causing him to smack his head hard against one of the rocks on the edges. When Ranma regains consciousness, "she" remembers that she is Ranma Saotome and who everyone is... but "her" personality has done a complete 180, turning the gender-bending boy into a parody of an ultra girly girl.
  • Elie, one of the main characters in Rave Master is actually Resha Valentine, who faked her death and put herself into a deep magic induced sleep to defeat an enemy predicted to appear 50 years in the future. Not that she remembers this thanks to either possibly erasing her own memories as a side effect of her deep sleep or Sieg Hart blowing up the building she was in. When she's introduced she tells Haru that she's actually looking for someone who knows her.
  • This is what happened to Seiya's older sister Seika in Saint Seiya.
  • In episode 16 of Scrapped Princess, Pacifica gets amnesia after being blasted out of the mobile fortress she was in, and spends most of that episode in town under the assumed name of "Pamela". She spends two more episodes like this, even insisting that her name is "Pamela" when her friends recognize her. She later regains her memory after being captured by Chris and later rescued again by Shannon, at which point she has no memories of her time as "Pamela".
    • It's implied that her memories are trying to surface from the time she meets up with her siblings and that she unconsciously suppresses them, as her current life is quite peaceful and idyllic compared to, well, the rest of the show. After the first meeting, Raquel advises that they let her be content for at least a little while.
  • This Ugly Yet Beautiful World: Hikari and Akari know nothing about themselves when Takeru and Ryo find them. Justified. They aren't even human, and didn't even have identities to forget.
  • In the sequel to Tokyo Ghoul, Haise Sasaki is revealed to be suffering from dissociative amnesia and has a full-blown Freak Out when confronted about his past. He's actually Ken Kaneki, captured by CCG at the finale of the original series and given a new identity after suffering both a complete mental breakdown and massive head trauma.
  • Sakura has this in Zombie Land Saga, even though none of the other zombies do. It is likely justified, though, by the means of her death; massive head trauma from being hit head-on by a speeding truck.

    Asian Animation 
  • The entire Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf season Love You Babe is built around Wolnie being hit with a gene gun and forgetting who she really is. The amnesiac Wolnie thinks she's Paddi's mother.

  • Christopher Titus joked about how if anyone saw his kids running around crazy in a store and he wasn't doing anything to keep them in line, they had permission to thwack them on the top of the head cause "It's still soft there and it's like a reset button."

    Comic Books 
  • One Archie Comics story had Veronica bump her head in an airplane due to turbulence, and wake up believing herself to be the heroine of a novel she was reading.
  • Happens with Getafix in one of the Asterix books.
  • Batman:
    • An Elseworlds comic, Batman Hollywood Knight, has an actor who plays Batman (here a fictional character) in film serials barely surviving getting shot in the head by mobsters, only to start thinking he really is Batman and proceed to run around fighting crime.
    • In the DC Infinite Frontier series, members of the Unsanity Collective do this voluntarily. The idea is that everyone is being driven mad by what society expects of them, so why not simply wipe all those expectations from your mind. This is most clearly shown in the Miracle Molly oneshot, when Molly encounters Mary Kowalski's family. Despite their insistance that they recognise her, all Molly knows about these people is that Mary decided to become her rather than deal with them.
  • The Chimp With The Brown Hat: This is the titular character's motivation for traveling from town to town.
  • In Drowntown, Alexandra Bastet woke up in Alexandria (hence her name, presumably) with no memory whatsoever of who she used to be, and although she has achieved a huge amount since then, she still wants to know where she came from. Her accent marked her as British, so she hires a London investigator to dig up clues.
  • The Flash (Wally West) once made everyone forget that he was The Flash, to protect his Secret Identity, without telling anyone about it. Unfortunately, "everyone" included himself. Depending on the character, such a move was found either awesome or manipulative and unfair.
  • Green Lantern has Carol Ferris when she becomes Star Sapphire, where upon turning back to normal, she doesn't remember what she did while transformed.
  • Happened in Justice League International. Green Lantern Guy Gardner takes off his ring to fight Batman. One punch knocks him out. When he recovers, he bangs his head looking for his ring, and wakes no longer an abrasive chauvinist. He was instead Sensitive Guy, who cared what women think, and was generally respectful and agreeable in every way that the true Guy wasn't. Random head bops (his powers protected him from real damage) switch him around for the Rule of Funny. Years later, in his own book, this was retconned as tied in to his earliest appearances, where he'd been neither Chauvinist Guy nor Sensitive Guy before entering a coma. His Evil Counterpart, Dementor, had apparently been taking advantage of these states of unconsciousness to alter Guy's personality for his own amusement.
  • Downplayed in Nightwing (Rebirth) "Knight Terrors": Ric Grayson is prepared to believe what others tell him about the man he was before. He just doesn't recognise that guy and doesn't care what he'd do.
  • This is a major plot point in the first arc of Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW), as Doctor Eggman has been suffering total amnesia ever since his defeat in Sonic Forces, reducing him to a kind-hearted engineer called Mr. Tinker. This lasts until being reunited with Metal Sonic in Issue #12 triggers his memories and restores him.
  • Superman:
    • Superman developed a trauma after executing 3 Kryptonian criminals in The Supergirl Saga, and had another identity known as "Gangbuster" who would tackle the underworld.
    • In Action Comics #600, Lex Luthor has his mind infected by nanites and loses his memory, developing a new identity as "Alex Luthor" - still a villain, and still hating Superman, but based on anarchy and chaos rather then power and control.
    • In Supermans Girlfriend Lois Lane #11, Lois Lane had the misfortune of being left amnesiac after a plane she was on crash-landed into the jungle and immediately became a Jungle Princess.
    • The Leper from Krypton has criminal boss Ventor brainwash Clark Kent into forgetting his real identity and believing he is one of Ventor's henchmen.
  • From the early era of Supreme: one issue after the title character apparently died, a younger-looking superhero with powers and costume very much like Supreme's suddenly appears with no memory of his past. For a long time it is ambiguous if this is the real Supreme or not: given Supreme's power set, it's entirely plausible that he could have come back to life in a younger body. Eventually it is revealed that this is Supreme's future daughter Probe, body-switched with her brother – she regains her memories when a large swathe of male superheroes across the Image line are transformed into women. After this, she takes on the new codename of Lady Supreme.
  • In Swordquest: Waterworld, this happens to the protagonists after the evil sorcerer Konjuro casts a spell of forgetfulness on them.
  • A Taskmaster mini reveals that Tasky suffers from this because of his photographic reflex ability. When he finally does remember who he was (A SHIELD agent named Tony Masters, oddly enough a name he used as an alias in the Agent X days) and that he has a wife named Mercedes Merced, he loses his memories again when he's forced to copy the abilities of another fighter to save Mercedes' life.
  • In Violine, the fumes in the diamond mine cause anyone who stays inside too long to lose their memory, and their identity. This leads to several important Heel Face Turns.
  • X-Men:
    • For a long while, Magneto seemed to have fallen into this trope, when he was discovered as a mysteriously de-aged amnesiac calling himself Joseph. The X-Men took him in and began trying to help acclimate him to his new life, while worrying about what would happen if he regained his memories and his former personality returned. All of this ended up being averted when he turned out to be a clone.
    • The Ultimate X-Men Magneto was deliberately given this by Professor X, turned into a mild-mannered social worker until Charles could figure out how to permanently de-evil his main personality. He never got the chance.
    • Jimmy Hudson jumped from the Ultimate Marvel to the prime earth, but forgot everything when he did so. He was rescued by the time-displaced X-Men, who already knew him because they had a crossover before this. His memories returned in time.
  • In an issue of Young Justice, Impulse takes a pretty severe blow to the head and comes to believing himself to be Batman. He's quickly cured when...
    Impulse: "Great Scott! I'm moving at superspeed! Oh, yeah; I'm Impulse."

    Fan Works 
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs: "What if they were in Anastasia (1997)?" is about a woman called Rae who lost her memories due to stress. It turns out that she's Rachel, since she subconsciously remembers things that no-one else should know.
  • In the Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Crossover Amnesia it is revealed that Mikaela Banes is actually April O'Neil, who had been accidentally teleported to an alternate dimension by one of Donatello's experiments. April had suffered severe head injury that caused her to believe she was Mikaela, which was her counterpart in that reality.
  • In the Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name fanfiction Dead of Night, both the Detective and Hanna suffer this to different extents. Hanna can remember his name and a few bits and pieces of his former life, but most of his memories were magically blocked by whoever murdered him. The Detective, meanwhile, remembers absolutely nothing before he was found unconscious in some woods, not even his own name. The only reason he knows he used to be a detective was that when he first met Hanna, Hanna had his old business card (which, naturally, had the Detective's old name scratched off).
  • In the Pacific Rim fic, Echoes in the Dark, the Sentinels are all hit with them. It was deliberately induced against their will.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic novel Fragments, this is the state of "Sky" at the start of the tale.
  • In the Avatar: The Last Airbender fan sequel comic How I Became Yours, Azula is hit by total amnesia caused by poison, and it causes a complete personality wipe, turning her into a giggly, innocent Princess Classic who falls in love with Sokka. Then she gets more of her memory back...
  • Interventions: Willow defeats Sylar by stripping his memory of his crimes and reducing him to Gabriel Grey, too scared to connect to anyone and condemned to never be anything special to anyone.
  • Occurs in Lost, Found. Much due to how young she was at the time of kidnapping, Ryuuko doesn't remember her name and her life before she was kidnapped and this is also the case for Nui, however, the latter does remember some things, while Ryuuko doesn't, at least, not initially.
  • Krysta from My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic. Krysta isn't even her full name, just the partial fragment she remembers. She's Queen Krystalline of the world of Luminous.
  • In the Pegasus Device sequel to Rainbow Factory, Scootaloo has survived the events of the first story, but has lost all memory of herself and her past, and is renamed Absentia. She still remembers Rainbow Dash, but that's all.
  • The entire plot of Harry Potter fanfiction primum mobile, or ten forgotten things.
  • The Queen's Consort: After Anna tells the amnesiac Elsa that they were married, Elsa then spends all of her time seducing and flirting with Anna, something she is not used to considering how introverted pre-amnesia Elsa was.
  • In Digimon Tamers and Jackie Chan Adventures crossover, Renamon Who, Valmont ended up giving Renamon this by spraying her with an amnesia potion and make her think he's a loyal Dark Hand employee to him.
  • In The Royal Reunion, a shipwreck accident caused King Gaspar and Queen Malin to become amnesiacs for three years. They didn't even remember they were married. They began working at a restaurant together. Gaspar regained his memories when he saw a colour picture of Elsa and remembered his daughter's eyes. Malin regains hers a few moments later when Gaspar hums a tune she knows.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic novel The Stranger And Her Friend, Celestia has no memory of who she is, what she is, or where she came from. She seems to have the voice of Daylight in her head, whether she realises it or not. It's likely that she used to BE Daylight.
  • Glitched Miko AU: Miko has no memories of being a Glitch, or anything prior to being with her family.
  • The protagonist of Stuck in a World of Fiction wakes up without remembering anything about who he is, save that he knows he's from the real world, where Mass Effect is just a video game. He ends up taking the name Jason Bourne due to said amnesia. Eventually, he admits that he doesn't want his memories back, because he no longer feels like he's that person. This becomes a plot point in the sequel.
    • The Shepard of the same story, Raptor suffers from amnesia as well, due to heavy trauma from the batarian attack on her colony as a child. Her name is due to a toy dinosaur they gave her in therapy; since she couldn't remember her real name, she had that put down as her new legal name.
  • In Another Brother, Zuko has this, in an apparent case of Trauma-Induced Amnesia. He does remember his name, and that he's from the Fire Nation, but can't recall anything else that's personal. For example, one of the Water Tribesmen starts talking about Fire Nation food, which Zuko can remember the taste of, but he draws a blank once the man asks what his favorite food is.
  • The Truth Behind The Lie: The Empress' wish causes the Auryn to remove her memories and she is referred to as the Child from that point on.

    Film — Animated 
  • Steven Universe: The Movie introduces a weapon called a "Rejuvenator" that, as Bismuth explains, was used to punish Gems that went out of line by reverting them back to the way they were when they were first formed. Spinel uses it on all of the main Crystal Gems, although on Steven it instead serves as a Power Nullifier, before he manages to get it and use it on her. Fortunately, it's possible to jog the Gems' memories to restore them.
  • One Stormy Night: When Gabu gets caught up in an avalanche, he forgets all about his experiences with Mei. When they meet, he knocks him out and drags him away to eat him, just like any other wolf would. He only remembers when Mei repeats the phrase 'one stormy night' to him.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In The Addams Family film, "Gordon", the son of the film's Big Bad, who was posing as Fester, is revealed to actually be an amnesiac Fester.
  • In American Dreamer, after an accident the main character thinks that she is the heroine from the book series she writes - a sort of female James Bond.
  • Happens to the shell-shocked hero of Angel Heart.
  • In Blackout, Keith Carradine's character is in a car accident that leaves him an amnesiac and the other man who was in the car dead. As only one of the men's identities is known, Keith takes on that one, and becomes a sweet guy who marries his nurse, adopts her kids, and has a baby with her. Everything is going swimmingly until everyone, including Keith, suddenly realizes he's actually the other guy - a crazed serial killer. Oops.
  • The whole plot of The Bourne Identity revolves around Jason Bourne who lost all memory of his previous life (although he has some flashbacks).
  • In The Brighton Strangler an actor playing the title role suffered a head injury when the theater was bombed and believed that was his real identity as a result.
  • In the 2022 South Korean action movie Carter, the title character wakes up in a bloodstained apartment, confronted by gun-toting CIA agents, with no idea who he is. He's suggested to be either a North Korean or CIA agent, but it takes him a while (and much asskicking) to find out which.
  • In the Laurel and Hardy film A Chump at Oxford, it is revealed that Stan' regular foolish self is the product of amnesia - originally he was one "Lord Paddington", a prestigious Oxford University scholar who had lost his memory and wandered off after getting hit on the head by a closing window. Eventually Stan gets hit on the head in the same manner and regains this original intelligent, snobby personality, while accordingly losing all memory of his life as "Stan Laurel", essentially making this trope apply both ways. Naturally he later gets hit on the head again and returns to the "Stan" persona in the film's conclusion.
  • In Crime Doctor, Morgan comes out of his coma with no memory of who he is. Over the next ten years, he forges a completely new identity as 'Robert Ordway'.
  • Dark City opens with the protagonist, John Murdoch, waking up in a hotel bathtub with a bleeding puncture wound in his forehead and no memories whatsoever. He spends the rest of the film trying to piece together his past and identity while trying to evade strange pale men in trenchcoats and the police simultaneously, believing he is a serial killer.
  • Double Trouble: Gentle, virginal, mild-mannered wimp Florian gets conked on the head by muggers in 1910, and wakes up in 1915. He finds out that in the intervening five years he's been Eugene, an oil magnate and politician, and also an aggressive alpha-male and The Casanova. Thereafter the film becomes a split personality story with Florian's two sides fighting each other for control.
  • Christina's first question after being resurrected in Frankenstein Created Woman is "Who am I?". Initially, she has no memory of her prior existence as either Christina or Hans.
  • Hancock was attacked when he was with his wife and had his skull fractured, which erased any memory of who he was.
  • The premise of Hook is that Peter Pan chose to finally leave Neverland and grow up, and eventually loses his memory...until Captain Hook shows up and kidnaps his children.
  • In The Majestic: Blacklisted screenwriter Peter Appleton gets drunk and crashes his car and wakes up with amnesia. He wanders into a nearby town and adopts the identity of Luke Trimble when he is mistaken for a local boy who died in WWII. He later regains his memory after watching one of his own movies. note 
  • The hero of Mirage (1965) suffers from amnesia brought on by a traumatic event which he cannot remember and hence tries to uncover. He even hires a Private Detective to help him find out who he is really is.
  • A key plot point in The Muppets Take Manhattan; just as Kermit has succeeded in getting someone to produce his musical on Broadway, he gets hit by a taxi and loses his memory. He comes to believe he's an advertising executive named Phil until opening night when he laughs a little too loudly at the thought of being in love with Miss Piggy and gets karate-chopped by her, recovering his true identity and memory moments later.
  • In Overboard (1987), Joanna is a spoiled rich heiress who hires a local carpenter, Dean, a single, working-class dad, to do some remodeling on her yacht. When she doesn't like the job, she throws him off the yacht along with his tools, ruining them, and stiffing him on the bill. Joanna later falls overboard at night and washes up on shore with no idea who she is. After Dean sees her on TV, he goes down to the hospital and claims she is his wife and the mother of his three sons. He takes this opportunity to get revenge by making her do all of the chores around the house.
  • In Primal Fear, Richard Gere plays a lawyer investigating Edward Norton and the Father at his church, Norton has killed someone in response to the Father at his church taping Norton being forced to rape some girl he knew. At Norton's criminal hearing, Gere calls out Norton's psychotic side with belittling taunts, to prove that Norton had no memory of the attack.
    • Subverted because Norton's character didn't have amnesia/split personality at all.
  • In RoboCop (1987), Alex Murphy forgets everything about his past life when he's killed, including his real name. Over the course of the film he regains his identity and gets his revenge on the people who wronged him.
  • In the laughably bad Santa with Muscles, Hulk Hogan plays a greedy health guru who suffers a blow to the head while disguised as a department-store Santa, and starts thinking he really is Santa Claus.
  • In Shredder Orpheus, souls processed through the Styx are subject to having their memories erased, leaving them without any knowledge of who they are. Orpheus's memories of his parents are selectively erased, and when it's done he has no idea who they are, and they have no idea who he is.
  • The protagonist of Somewhere In The Night (1946) lost his memory after being hit by a grenade in WWII.
  • In Trap For Cinderella, Micky has amnesia, and is told that she was the sole survivor in a fire that killed her friend Domenica and disfigured Micky. Except, memories and evidence suggests she might actually be Domenica...
  • In Unknown (2006), the entire cast awaken in a warehouse with no memory after they were exposed to a toxic gas. Figuring out who's who becomes a pressing matter when they discover that A) they're all locked inside, B) some of them are kidnappers who'd abducted the others, and C) the kidnappers' armed and ruthless accomplices will be arriving in a few hours.
  • In Unknown (2011), Liam Neeson's character awakens from a coma after a car accident only to find that no one, not even his wife, recognizes him. He then starts to question his true identity, yet as it turns out, he's actually an assassin, and the person that he thinks he is is actually only the cover identity given to him for this particular mission.

  • Isaac Asimov's Pebble in the Sky: When Joseph Schwartz realizes he's in a strange land, his first conclusion is that he forgot who he is and several years. He even questions if his memories of wife and children are accurate. However, it isn't memory loss; he's been flung into the far future.
  • In Allegiant, Peter willingly rids himself of all his memories of who he was and what he's done, because he doesn't want to be that person anymore, but he knows he won't do the work to become a better person on his own. Tobias notes that Peter even needs to be reminded of his own name after he wipes his mind clean.
  • Margery Allingham's Albert Campion: During Traitor's Purse, Albert comes round from concussion not knowing who he is, dares not admit that he can't recognise his associates, but knows he must continue an investigation of which he remembers only odd details. In the course of this he gets another bang on the head, comes round remembering everything that happened before the first one, and eventually manages to merge the two sets of memories.
  • Robert Arthur's "Obstinate Uncle Otis": The title character got amnesia not once but twice, and both times believed himself to be a farm machinery salesman named Eustace Lingham.
  • In Astral Cafe, Brandy has amnesia when she first appears in the Cafe and then has some side stories about her Quest for Identity.
  • Awoken starts with Andi waking up in an Eldritch Abomination's Fisher Kingdom, having no idea of who she is and what she is doing there. It goes downhill from there...
  • Desmond Bagley's The Tightrope Men: The protagonist wakes up in a strange hotel room in Norway, remembering only his name, which isn't the one on his passport. Even more horrifying, he looks in the mirror and finds he has a completely different face. Turns out he's been abducted, brainwashed and altered through plastic surgery, then put in the place of a Kidnapped Scientist in order to create a few days confusion so the kidnappers can get away with their prize.
  • The Bourne Series: In The Bourne Identity, Bourne loses his memory and becomes convinced he was a freelance assassin. The book revolves around his search for the truth, which is much more complicated.
  • The Brotherhood of the Conch: When Anand, Abhaydatta, Raj-bhanu, and Nisha time travel to the Moghul era in The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming, the spells around the palace cause all of them to take on a different role - Anand is a servant boy, Abhaydatta is a mahout, Raj-bhanu is an assistant mahout, and Nisha is the vizier's niece, Paribanou. Anand and Abhaydatta still remember who they are, but Nisha and Raj-bhanu's memories are entirely replaced by Fake Memories of their lives in the palace.
  • In Dhalgren, the protagonist is a strange man who has forgotten his own name, people call him by the nicknames "kid", "Kid" or "Kidd"..
  • The Devil's Arithmetic: When she's first transported into 1942, the protagonist retains her memories of being Hannah, a late-20th century girl from New Rochelle, even though she's living the life of Chaya from Lublin. But as time goes on, she begins to forget Hannah's memories, until she can only remember small, out-of-context flashes that she can't place. It's not until she's facing death that she remembers Hannah again.
  • In The Dinosaur Lords, mercenary lord Karyl loses all memory of who he is as a result of being whacked over the head with an axe and then spending several hours being carried downstream by cold waters. He's quickly brought up to speed by others, but doesn't regain his own memories.
  • The Dire Saga: Dire apparently erased her identity prior to the events of the book. She left a tape explaining more, but it was destroyed in a raid shortly after she woke up.
  • Doctor Who]] Doctor Who Expanded Universe Expanded Universe]]: In the novel Father Time'', it seems that the Eighth Doctor, of whom it was once said that "he lives in hope" of a communist revolution, and reacts worse to accusations of being bourgeoisienote  than threats against his life, but now has amnesia, has become "Thatcherism personified", and has a proper 9-to-5 job eliminating redundancies from companies, which is to say, getting people laid off. However, it is in short order revealed that he's doing it because he has adopted a young girl and, Ditzy Genius that he is, doesn't see the full implications of what he's doing, merely seeing it as a fun challenge. As in the rest of the novels in which he has amnesia, his personality remains fundamentally the same as before.
  • The Frugal Wizards Handbook For Surviving Medieval England: Johnny West wakes up in the middle of a field, with no knowledge who he is, where he is and what has led him to this point.
  • The Kingdom's Disdain: The main character, Cardinal, is Isekaied from our world into a land of magic and monsters. He can't remember his own name or much about his life, but he remembers details about 2019 America.
  • The Light Jar: Kitty is an Imaginary Friend whose human, a six-year-old girl named Charlotte, died of hypothermia fifty years ago. Kitty has been wandering the grounds of Charlotte's now-abandoned home for so long, she's forgotten she's an imaginary friend. She tells Nate she's the Impoverished Patrician daughter of Charlotte's brother James, and that she lives in the few usable rooms in the crumbling mansion.
  • The Lost Years of Merlin opens with the main character waking up on a beach with no memory. A woman has also washed up on shore, and claims that his name is Emrys and that she's his mother, though he spends years unsure if he should believe her. He never actually gets his memory back, though he does gradually learn more about his past.
  • Mahabharata: In this Sanskrit epic, The Recognition of Shakuntala is probably the oldest example. It's a Girl Meets Boy story about a woman named Shakuntala who meets Dushyanta and marries him, only for him to get cursed with amnesia and completely forget her. The only way to lift the curse is to show him the ring that he gave her, but she loses the ring in a river. She eventually finds the ring by the end of the story, makes him remember, and then they live Happily Ever After.
  • In The Merman's Children, this seems to be a common result of faerie beings becoming mortal and vice versa.
    • When the half-mermaid girl Yria is baptized as Margrete, God grants her a new soul, causing her to forget everything about her life in the sea, including her old name. She only remembers things she learned on land - her new name, the tenets of the Catholic faith, and the Danish language. The next time her siblings visit, she doesn't recognize them and shrinks from them in fear.
    • Nada was a young woman who committed suicide by drowning herself in a lake. Afterwards she became a vilja, haunting the lake and remembering nothing of her former life. When she sees her former lover Mihajlo, she regains some memories of him, but Mihajlo flees in a panic, and she calls after him before forgetting him again and running away laughing.
  • In More Than Human, Janie rescues Hip from a prison cell, where he has been slowly wasting away with no memory of anything. Under Janie's care, he gradually recovers his memories, starting with the most recent. His condition was caused by Gerry tampering with his mind on two occasions. The first incident occurred seven years ago, when Gerry placed mental blocks to prevent Hip from finding the inventors of the antigravity device. He managed to investigate despite the blocks and found Gerry seven years later, so Gerry compelled him to smash himself into a plate glass window, then curl up and die. The second incident resulted in the amnesia, but with Janie's help, he is able to recover from both that and the earlier mental blocks.
  • Piranesi: The eponymous protagonist doesn't remember anything except living in the gigantic and mysterious House. He's pretty sure "Piranesi" isn't his actual name, but can't recall what it is, while the reader soon becomes aware of connections to our world that Piranesi cannot comprehend. It turns out that living in the House for very long erodes a person's memories.
  • The Place Inside the Storm: Loki has a brain implant that was supposed to cure his autism, but instead gave him seizures and brain damage. He remembers very little of his pre-implant life, including his real name.
  • In The Real Boy, one of the sick kids from Asteri has lost all his memories and can no longer recognize his mother. He later loses the ability to form new memories, too.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Ramsay Bolton has torture and Mind Rape techniques so horrific and thorough that they can cause one to completely accept a whole new identity, loyal to him out of absolute fear.
  • Theta starts the novel with no memory whatsoever, and not even able to feed or "clean" himself. After a few chapters Theta starts to remember how to speak, and pick locks, as well as some other things like his death and being a Sex Slave, and the beginning of a message his former master sent tells him his name was "Myshel", but it takes most of the novel and a few triggers for him to regain all his memory.
  • The Thinking Machine: In "The Man who Was Lost", Van Dusen is consulted by a man who woke up in a hotel room in Boston with no idea of who he was or where he was, and no possessions besides the clothes he was wearing and $10,000 in $100 bills.
  • In Undercover Alien, Jason Lennox lost his memory while traveling across space in a hibernation tank. He is made aware early on that he was a sociopathic child-killer, but refuses to acknowledge that he is the same person and instead believes that he must be a walk-in spirit. Despite some bewilderment at being named "Soap", he accepts the name and his role in the Komao tribe easily enough since it will further distance him from the monster he can't remember ever being. At one point he therogizes that he might be the Original Soap, returning once more into his body, while at another point he wonders if he might be one of Jason Lennox's victims, who took over the man's body as an act of vengeance. His former persona never resurfaces.
  • Wild Cards: Nobody, neither the reader nor anyone in universe, ever knows why the Astronomer is such a horrible and evil person. But it is revealed to the reader shortly before his death that he himself has no memory of who or what he was before becoming the Astronomer.
  • The Wild Way Home: Charlie finds Hartboy unconscious and face down in a stream, having hit his head on a rock. Charlie pulls him out of the water, but when he regains consciousness, he remembers nothing except the need to find and protect his baby sister, Mothgirl. He gradually recovers his memories, including his name, over the course of the story. It turns out he fled his family's camp after his ma's Death by Childbirth, and slipped and fell while crossing a stream.
  • In Within Ruin Descarta doesn't remember anything from two years before the start of the novel. Virgil attempts to restore her memories each night through extensive casting except he is actually casting to bind her artificial soul with real souls so she can go on living. In truth he wiped her memories to keep her from realizing she is the Galatea to his Pygmalion Plot. Despite her memory loss she still hates Virgil. She doesn't know why, and assumes she loved him before her amnesia.
  • In Worm, the Case 53s are superpowered individuals with no memories and a brand in the shape of a stylized U. One later discovers that they are part of Cauldron's "Nemesis" program.
  • Sparky Lyle's The Year I Owned The Yankees had a player named Felipe Suarez who, after breaking a bat over his head, began to think he was Don Mattingly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One episode of The Addams Family involved Gomez becoming an ordinary '50s-style breadwinner whenever he took a blow to the head.
  • A blow to the head in an All That sketch makes Josh think he's "Lord Swaynesboro".
  • In Babylon 5 this is the Earth Alliance's version of the death penalty for civilians, the "Death of Personality". A machine suppresses all knowledge of one's past life, and the resulting blank shell is programmed to love serving others, so no one feels conflicted about keeping them in a minimum security prison for life and making them do community service. In contrast to many fictional cases of Easy Amnesia, it can't be instantly, completely reversed, but it's relatively easy for a telepath to unblock some of the memories.
  • One of the foes from the Batman (1966) TV show was King Tut, a meek and mild-mannered Egyptology professor who became a criminally inclined Pharaoh whenever he got hit on the head.
  • Big Sky: Legarsky suffers this after being shot in the head and losing his recent memories. He discovers to his shock that he's facing charges of murder and sex trafficking, not recalling any of it. After being told this, and identified by Grace as a murderer, he just protests "I'm a Montana state trooper", apparently with no recall of his criminal actions. It's a partial example, because he remembers his name etc. just not that he was ever a criminal (since he forgot his dad died three years ago, it's possible all his memories since then are gone).
  • Blindspot: The show's central concept. Drugs were used to try and completely wipe out the narrative memory of a woman (temporarily named Jane Doe), leaving her with no idea who she is and where she comes from. Her procedural memory, on the other hand, is fully intact, meaning that she can function like most other adults while demonstrating new skills (including marksmanship, martial arts, and fluent Chinese) as the plot requires.
  • Charles in Charge. In one episode a tap turns Charles into Chaz, a slimy-smooth ladies man with a personality nothing like Charles's. Chaz gets married before he reverts to Charles. Everyone is worried that he won't be able to get an annulment, but it turns out the marriage isn't valid: Chaz didn't fill in his last name on the certificate.
  • In an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, Rob Petrie was demonstrating a breakaway violin to Buddy and Sally, but accidentally smashed a real violin on his head. Later we discover that he was missing the whole evening, because he was hanging out at some party with a girl under the name "Stradivarius".
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor himself is prone to this as a side effect of regeneration, and will often spend large amounts of the post-regeneration story wandering around not knowing who he is. Particularly guilty of this are the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th and 13th Doctors.
    • "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood": Some Applied Phlebotinum causes the Doctor to forget that he is a Time Lord and for his DNA to be rewritten as human so as to hide from the Family.
      • This is the exact same reason why kindly old Professor Yana in "Utopia" has no idea he's the Master.
    • "The Next Doctor": The man thought to be a future reincarnation of the Doctor actually turns out to be an example of this. His wife was killed and his son was abducted by the Cybermen, and his mind blocked out memory of them, at the same time being fed information on the Doctor by a piece of technology holding all information on said Time Lord. He ended up adopting the identity of the Doctor to kill the pain, until the true Doctor explained exactly what had happened to him.
  • Dr. Shrinker: In the episode "Slowly I Turn" (one of the features of the Krofft Supershow, 1976-77), the fat loser character Gordie hits his head and is convinced by the bad guys that he is the mad scientist, Dr. Shrinker. Even numbered blows to the head revert him back to normal; additional odd-numbered blows turn him back into the Dr. Shrinker persona.
  • On Family Matters, several episodes revolved around Steve Urkel's cool, sophisticated alter-ego, Stefan Urquelle. He was created via Applied Phlebotinum, not accident, but the plot is the same. Eventually, a clone of Urkel was transformed into a permanent Stefan.
  • The F.B.I.: In "An Elephant is Like a Rope", a young man staggers into F.B.I. headquarters suffering from a head would and clutching almost half a million dollars in bloodstained notes. He collapses unconscious. After an operation to relieve pressure on his brain, and when he wakes up he has no memory of who he is. Erskine and Jim have to investigate to discover who he is, where he came from, and ow he came to be in possession of all that cash.
  • On the series finale of Full House, Michelle falls while riding a horse and forgets who she is. This amnesia plot climaxes with both Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen appearing on screen together in a Michelle's psyche.
  • Ghost Whisperer: "Step-ins", ghosts who take over newly dead bodies for a second chance at life, usually go insane because A) the ghosts lose their memory of everything except for whatever they were obsessing with when they died (generally a loved one) as soon as they wake up and B) all the information they're given by the people around them about "themselves" (if any) is really for someone else's life. Interestingly the two step-ins we meet weren't fixed by a smack to the head; one could only get help after he talked to the title ghost whisperer, who only learned about all this an episode earlier, the other had to have a near-death experience to recover the memories from his original life.
    • The generally accepted term for this experience is "walk-ins", and it's accepted in Spiritualism and some aspects of Hinduism. Most real walk-ins don't go insane; they may be confused for a while, but manage to work things out.
  • On Gilligan's Island, a bump on the head made Mary Ann think she was Ginger, meaning Ginger must be Mary Ann. This resulted in Mary Ann shortening all of Ginger's dresses and trying to put on a show.
  • Green Acres plays with this; when Lisa gets the fateful bonk she's still rather scatterbrained, but with an interesting twist. Whereas before her cooking was at best biohazardous, now she's become a kitchen angel, cooking cakes so light they float across the kitchen. Alas, it doesn't last.
  • Guardian: The Lonely and Great God: Every grim reaper was a sinner when they were alive, thus they were made reapers and lost their memories. Wang Yeo was the king who killed Kim Shin.
  • House of Anubis: Happens to Fabian as the result of a curse. In addition to forgetting the names of his friends as well as any important information he didn't write down for himself, he eventually forgets who he is and what his name is.
  • In the Hustle episode "A Bollywood Dream", the mark, a sweatshop owner and all around jerk, has an accident, loses his memory temporarily, and realizes he doesn't like the person he used to be. When he decides to give all his money to charity and go follow his childhood dreams of being an actor, the team has no choice but to call the con off.
  • An I Dream of Jeannie episode has Jeannie getting a bump on the head and forgetting she's a genie.
    • Other episodes had Major Nelson getting the bump on the head and forgetting who Jeannie was.
  • This was used in a skit on In Living Color!, with one of the Camp Gay "Men on Film" taking a blow to the head, and becoming outrageously heterosexual.
  • Kamen Rider Build has it happen twice to the central protagonist, though in both cases memory-erasing alien magic was used instead of a bump on the head. The first time happened before the show began, and one of the show's early plotlines is Sento's attempts to figure out who he is. The second time brings Sento's former identity back, and nobody's happy to see him. Eventually he chooses to discard his old identity in favor of regaining the more heroic personality he gained after the first case of amnesia, with his old self becoming a Spirit Advisor.
  • Parodied/subverted in a sketch from The Kids in the Hall, where a rural rube (Dave Foley) is kicked in the head by a cow as he reaches for a penny. He becomes a bit "off" from the experience, so his brothers try to re-create the accident. Unfortunately, the second blow to the head kills him.
    Mark McKinney: I don't know what went wrong. Always seemed to work on The Flintstones.
  • The Magician: In "The Man Who Lost Himself", Tony helps a man who loses his memory following an accident on Tony's stage, and cannot remember anything about himself: including why he is being chased by two men.
  • On Married... with Children, Peg gets amnesia after being hit on the head, and Al molds her into his vision of the perfect housewife. In a subversion, Peg recovers her memory not from another blow to the head, but when Al starts liking the new Peg "too much" and has sex with her.
  • Happened twice in M*A*S*H:
    • In "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler?", a wounded bomber pilot that arrives at the 4077th believes he's Jesus Christ.
    • In "The Billfold Syndrome", a shell-shocked medic that failed to save his little brother, who died in combat loses all sense of who he is. Both cases required Sydney Freeman's assistance to perform "meatball psychiatry".
  • In the Monk episode, Mr Monk Bumps His Head, Monk gets amnesia from a blow to the head and ends up in a small town in Wyoming. A local woman claims he is her newlywed husband and a roofer. However, Monk's innate detective skills are still intact and he quickly notices, based on the bizarre behavior of a local man, that a murder has occurred and he solves the mystery just as his friends from San Francisco arrive to jog his memory.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: Season 3 première "Murdoch Identity" finds Canadian Detective Murdoch in England without knowing who he is and why he is being pursued by agents.
  • At the start of the Werewolf episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Mike hits his head and thinks he's James Lipton from Inside the Actor's Studio, and tries to interview Crow (whom he has mistaken for Ray Liotta). Crow and Tom eventually hit him with a "clown hammer" to get him back to normal.
  • The entire town of Storybrooke in Once Upon a Time is under a curse that made them forget that they are characters from fairy tales. The Evil Queen / Mayor Regina Mills remembers, as does Rumplestiltskin / Mr. Gold and Jefferson the Mad Hatter. Prince Charming / David Nolan gets a double whammy as he initially can't recall either his fairy tale identity or his Storybrooke one, due to having been in a coma in the Storybrooke Hospital for years.
  • There was an interesting twist in Padre Coraje, a telenovela about a Non-Powered Costumed Hero who moved into the village of La Cruz posing as the new priest Fr. Juan. He was not, the real priest was killed in the countryside and Coraje could not save him, and replaced him instead to have a Secret Identity in the village. The problem was when he was shot and forgot everything. The people told him that he was the priest (because that was what they thought), and he believed that. The whereabouts of Coraje were unknown for everyone: he must have died, or left, or gave up, or whatever. And one day, after a conflict with the mayor, a union leader told him:
    Man: The people need a leader, a hero. They need Coraje.
    Juan: But Coraje is gone. Nobody knows what has happened to him, or heard about him in months.
    Man: That is not important. The people do not know who is behind the cloak. If Coraje is gone, he won't mind for someone else to put on a similar cloak and be the new Coraje.
    And so, the priest became a Legacy Character... of himself.
  • In one episode of Power Rangers Turbo, alien Space Pirate Divatox got hit on the head, and completely forgot that she wasn't from Earth, as well as forgetting all of her criminal tendencies.
  • In the Saturday Night Live Season 48 sketch "Waking Up," Charlie (Pedro Pascal) experiences a comical version of this after getting hit by a Party City truck. He awakens from a coma as basically a delirious Valley Boy, mumbling such phrases as "Oh my gah!" and "Let's put a pin in that" with what his friend describes as an "LA Mushmouth thing." Charlie can't even recognize his wife or sister, and when the former plays a video of him before the accident, he simply swoons that the man in the video is the hottest guy he ever saw.
  • Sergeant Dori Doreau in Sledge Hammer! gets one of these. When the formerly liberal and gentle-minded policewoman wakes up, she has become a carbon copy of Sledge. Her impeccable dress sense goes and she starts to affect ill-fitting garish jackets and sunglasses and carrying an unfeasibly large gun. Captain Trunk is delighted.
  • Tin Man: Glitch was formerly a highly competent inventor and royal advisor, but after having half of his brain removed can rarely remember specifics of his former life and skills, and is prone to repeating himself, hence the nickname. DG herself can remember nothing of her life before being killed and revived at around age 8, and grows up believing her Muggle Foster Parents are her biological parents, though her name remains the same. She pieces together memories of her early life after finding out the truth.
  • Wild Bill: In "Piano Man" Si has forgotten entirely who he is. He's soon accused of being the Boston Bandit, a notorious robber and murderer. It's revealed he's innocent and was framed.

  • "Veronica" by Elvis Costello has the title character suffering from Alzheimer's, and fully aware that she may have forgotten her own name.
  • The song Día cero ("Zero Day") by the Chilean group La Ley is from the point of view of a person afflicted with this.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • WWE wrestler Perry Saturn, via a series of blows to the head, went from a hard-nosed brawler/submission expert to a ditz who was in love with a mop with a crudely drawn face on it. It's actually crossed with Real Life Writes the Plot. Saturn had faced Jobber Mike Bell on the May 12 (taped May 7), 2001 episode of Jakked, in a match where Bell had dropped Saturn on his head and Saturn had retaliated by stiffing Bell. He apologized afterwards, but was Put on a Bus for a few weeks. The Bus Came Back on the May 21st episode of Raw. Terri Runnels, manager of the Radicals (Saturn and Dean Malenko), had walked into the APA (Faarooq and Bradshaw)'s office and had attempted to distract them by pouring their beer on her white shirt. Later, the APA faced the Radicals in a match, where, as Saturn's punishment for the incident with Bell, the APA beat the hell out of him, complete with Bradshaw no-selling Terri flashing him. This was what led to the "Moppy" gimmick.
  • CHIKARA wrestler Tim Donst received a double underhook piledriver from UltraMantis Black, leader of The Order of the Neo-Solar Temple - then woke up, and was convinced by UltraMantis that he had been a member of the Temple all along. Tim was faking it, after the initial few days after the bump on the head.
  • WCW World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) defeated Barry Darsow and Bobby Eaton on the August 21, 1999 WCW Saturday Night. After the match, Eaton tried to hit them with one of the belts, but they took him out and hit Darsow with one of the belts instead. This led to Darsow reverting to his previous gimmicks of Krusher Krushchev and Blacktop Bully.

    Tabletop Games 
  • All player characters in Anathema start with almost no memories of what their life or identity. The ones they do have are fractured and scrambled.
  • The Necromunda special character Brakar the Avenger was found alone and near death in an isolated Underhive tunnel with no memory of who he was or how he got there. The Ratskin natives who rescued Brakar adopted him into their tribe but, although his physical wounds healed, he never regained the memories of his previous life.
  • Happens to anyone who enters the Ravenloft domain of Darkon and stays there longer than a month or so. Someone "claimed by Darkon" remains essentially the same person, but forgets having ever lived anywhere else, believing that they are native-born Darkonians.
  • As far as we can tell no roboman in Rocket Age, be it Ancient Martian or otherwise, can remember their original job or time period. Justified, as robomen are usually millennia old.

    Video Games 
  • After Armageddon Gaiden: All five main characters turn out to suffer from this. They believe they're just regular demons, but as they regain memories of their past lives they eventurally learn they were a group of human heroes who tried to stop the demons thousands of years ago, but failed and were captured. The main villain turned them into demons and had their memories rewritten in the hopes of making them work for him. It doesn't work though, as even without their original memories they instantly take a dislike to the villain and refuse to do as he says.
  • Ysuran, an elven necromancer in Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2, forgets that he's a member of the Eldreth Veluuthra, an elven supremacy group that wants genocide against humans, after a magical accident. When his past becomes apparent to him, he swears it off and becomes The Atoner.
  • BioForge: The protagonist, who managed to avoid going crazy after his Unwilling Roboticization, goes on a Quest for Identity (and blasting everyone trying to stop him.) His actual revealed identity is one of the random ones, depending on his actions throughout the game.
  • Cute Bite: Buttercup has no memory of her past or even that she is a vampire, and has to be filled in on everything and trained by Saule.
  • Dark Souls II: a side effect of the Undead Curse is gradually losing one's memories, starting with the oldest. A group of retired Firekeepers are mildly surprised that the protagonist actually remembers his/her own name. As the game goes on, other Undead that you meet will slowly go through this, some more quickly than others, and even at the start, almost none can remember why exactly they came to Drangleic in the first place.
  • Dark Souls III: In the Ringed City DLC, the player can come across another Undead by the name of Lapp, who has lost nearly all his memories and has no recollection of who he is (even the name "Lapp" is just an assumed one, he can't remember his real name). Ordinarily, a Purging Stone would offer some restoration, but Lapp claims that even those do nothing for him anymore. If you lead him to the Purging Monument, he'll recover his memories... he is in fact Patches, having survived uncountable ages and lived all the way to the end of time.
  • Dead or Alive: The second game features a character named Ein. He is a master of karate but he doesn't remember his true identity. At the end of the second game, he is revealed to be Hayate.
  • The player character of Disco Elysium awakens in a trashed hostel room with no memories of who he is (name included). The game itself is two mysteries for the price of one — a murder investigation that also lets you piece together your life and identity prior to the game's events.
  • Drek in Diver Down has this. He doesn't remember his name, his purpose, or why he's being chased, which drives most of the plot.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: Justified with Sebille, who is missing large chunks of who she was before she was enslaved with a magical Restraining Bolt, made into an assassin, and stored in a box between missions. If she's in the party, she rediscovers that she's the Prime Scion, who will become a ruler over all elvendom.
  • Dragon Age II has a cruel variant of this with Fenris, a bitter fugitive slave who hates the former master who used him as a bodyguard and personal warrior. His earliest memory is of the horribly painful ritual that gave him the ability to phase through objects and erased his previous memories. As it turns out, he was raised in slavery as Leto... and "won" the privilege of being the subject of the ritual in a competition with other slaves. It's implied that he didn't know about the ritual beforehand (he was competing for a boon which he used to free his mother and sister from slavery) but he's still horrified by the revelation.
  • In Escape from Monkey Island, you have to bonk Herman Toothrot on the head not once, but three times to unravel his convoluted amnesia. Not only that, but you have to track down the specific items he was hit by in the first place if you want to cure him.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • In Fire Emblem: Awakening, Robin wakes up in a field, absent any memories save their name.
  • Rion, the protagonist of Galerians, has no memories of his life before waking up Strapped to an Operating Table. He wouldn't know his own name if other people hadn't told him. This ends up being a subversion - he's not really an amnesiac, but rather a Blank Slate who spends the game "becoming Rion."
  • In Gems of War, Ferit doesn't know his own background, but hears "whispers" which are probably remnants of his lost memories. It turns out he was a warlock whose memory was wiped by the horror of a thing he summoned, which is why his fragmentary "whispers" know that the planned re-summoning is a Bad Thing.
  • A core plot point in Ghost Trick. Spirits often lose their memories due to the shock of death and need details to remember themselves.. The main character, Sissel, manages to figure out what he looks like pretty easily upon spotting his corpse, but has forgotten his entire past. Detective Lynne even manages to mistake herself for a very much alive Inspector Cabanela at one point. It's also one of the first hints that Sissel isn't the corpse he saw, but a deceased pet cat hidden from his eyesight.
  • In the "bad" ending of Shadow Hearts: Covenant, Yuri loses his memories due to the curse and lives with Roger thereafter.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: This is pretty much the premise of the player character, if intentionally invoked on the part of the Jedi Council.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, your childhood friend/possible love interest Ilia loses her memory from getting hit with an arrow.
  • Manhunt 2 has Daniel Lamb, a scientist in prison with no memories of his life. He's been given help by Leo Kasper, an inmate. In the end, it is revealed that the latter is a Split Personality implanted by Danny himself. By the time Danny woke up in his battle with Leo, he has no memories again of who he is, so Dr. Whyte gave him a new name and address so that no one would come after him again.
  • This happened to Zero before the Mega Man X series — we learn in Mega Man X4 that he was an evil and Ax-Crazy Maverick when Sigma first found him, and he lost his memory in the fight, waking up sane and sober. The Bad End of Mega Man X5 shows us what would happen if his Maverick self ever resurfaced, and it ain't pretty (though ironically, he's still pretty calm, just fully committed to evil now). There's been much debate over the years as to which one is the "real" Zero; Word of God has been less than conclusive and the revelations in his own series just muddy the waters more. (He actually gets amnesia again in that series, but keeps the heroic personality. It might have helped that his body was actually a duplicate while his original was occupied by another Ax-Crazy personality.)
  • The internet video game database MobyGames has an entire group devoted to this kind of games, listing a hundred games as of 2014.
  • Overlord: The Overlord himself is one of the heroes who defeated the previous Overlord, but lost his memory after taking a nosedive of the nobody-could-survive-that variety. In a subversion on par with the theme of the series, the Overlord makes no efforts to redeem himself or return to his old self after the reveal.
    • However, you can play as a nice Overlord by being nice to others, making good moral choices, etc., which ends up with a popular, merciful Overlord that's evil in name and appearance only, so going that route makes him almost like a good guy again.
  • The Nameless One in Planescape: Torment has gone through this literally thousands of times, such is the nature of his existence — he never ages, and every time he dies (which is surprisingly often), he comes back to life with no memories of his prior existences and with a completely new and random personality. However, the Paranoid Incarnation managed to seek out an expert who was able to diagnose his condition and develop a temporary remedy for it. Unfortunately for the Paranoid Incarnation, the remedy would only kick in three deaths later, long after the Paranoid Incarnation had himself "died"... so the Paranoid Incarnation reacted the way he always does, and in your current incarnation there's no one left in the planes who knows anything about how your head works.
  • The fairy-like Riftwalkers in Otherspace are actually the crystallized intelligences of rift-destroyed sapient beings, stripped of their physicality, and thus while they can speak and have unique frames of reference, all memories before that event are permanently gone.
  • The protagonist in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. In the first games, the protagonist wakes up one day as a Pokemon with no memories besides their name and that they were once a human. They were chosen to restore balance to the Pokémon world, but they asked to have their memories removed because they weren't sure they were up to the task.
  • The video game Raw Danger features a playable character named Ivan Kozlov, who does not remember who he is. Unlocking his identity and memory then becomes a game mechanic to drive his story forward.
  • A Running Gag in the Reality-On-The-Norm is an old bum living in the alley, who switches to a different identity with every game.
  • In Riviera: The Promised Land, the protagonist Ein is a grim angel with the duty of activating the Retribution and, through it, destroying Riviera and the demon threat. At the end of the first chapter, his memories of being a grim angel are taken away to show him an unbiased view of the people living in Riviera and what he was trying to accomplish. At the end of the second chapter, his memories are granted back, but Ein now has a changed mindset and is willing to rebel against his duty to protect Riviera.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: the protagonist is found in the Zone with no knowledge of anything about himself. The only clue about his past is a PDA he's carrying which contains the instruction to "Kill Strelok". He decides to pursue Strelok in order to find out who he is and why he would want to kill Strelok.
  • Sophie in Tales of Graces. She loses her memories twice during the story, and regains them gradually.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World: Because he gets prematurely revived by Marta, Ratatosk wakes up as a blank slate and creates a new identity (Emil) by filling in the blanks as he goes along. His original personality is a ruthless Blood Knight; his new personality is a wussy but strong-hearted Idiot Hero.
  • Averted by Luke fon Fabre in Tales of the Abyss. At first it seems like the most played-straight and hardcore example in the series, as Luke loses his memory at age 10 and has to relearn everything about himself from scratch. It turns out he has no memories of himself before age 10 because he didn't even exist. He's a clone of the real Luke fon Fabre.

  • In ‘’Virtual Villagers’’, specifically in the second game, a random event can occur where a villager is hit on the head by a coconut and loses all their memories. The villager’s name permanently becomes “?” unless changed, and what happens next depends on the player’s input: the villager could even be hit on the head again and either become a genius or lose all their common sense.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Blades are reverted to their Core Crystal state when their Driver dies, and, upon resonance with a new Driver, are born again with no memory of the events of their prior lives. They do retain their knowledge of their names and personal interests, however, and the fact Fan la Norne, known to Mythra from five hundred years prior as Haze, did not for her current instance is a plot point.
  • A controlled form of this process is used as an alternative to capital punishment in the world of Xenosaga, erasing a killer's memories & personality & replacing it with a new one that will hopefully be less murderous. Needless to say, this doesn't always work.
  • Yummy Breakfast has a variant. Susan remembered her own name, but forgot the fact that she is a flesh-eating monster.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Case 2-1 begins with Phoenix getting cracked over the head with a fire extinguisher and totally forgetting who he is, who his client is, and what he's supposed to be defending her for. This is done as a convenient way to have the case be a tutorial level for new players, as the defendant has to remind Phoenix how to do various things (check the Court Record, make objections, etc.). Of course, Nick gets his memories back by the end of the case. He even forgets his own name, and when he learns it, he thinks that it's weird.
    • In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, the singer Lamiroir can't remember her past at all. It's revealed that this is because she's actually Thalassa Gramarye and lost her memories after an accident during practice for a performance.
    • In Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, Phoenix and Maya lose all memories of themselves upon being brought to Labyrinthia, instead believing themselves to be lifelong citizens of the city who worked at a bakery for five years. Their personalities stay the same, though (there's a Running Gag that even with amnesia, Phoenix feels the need to dramatically shout and pound the bread dough) and, interestingly enough, don't believe that magic is real (despite everyone around them asserting that it's an everyday part of life). They get their memories back as they go through their first trial in Labyrinthia. Oddly enough, unlike the Case 2-1 example, this isn't used as a tutorial opportunity, since the player would already have had a starter trial by this point. The game later reveals that everyone in the town has undergone identity amnesia, save for the Storyteller, Newton Bellduke, High Inquisitor Darklaw, and Espella (who has a different kind of amnesia altogether going on. Labyrinthia is an elaborate experiment in testing hypnosis and everyone there volunteered to have their memories altered and live there like they've been there their whole lives.
  • Famicom Detective Club: The protagonist suffers this in the beginning of The Missing Heir while he was investigating the case regarding Ayashiro matriarch Kiku's death, only to get thrown off a cliff and by chance landed on the grass instead of in the ocean. For the players' convenience, this is done so that they can get a full understanding of what the case is about and who the key players are. It's later revealed that the protagonist was actually attacked by Akira, who was attempting to kill you because you were getting too close to finding out that he was responsible for killing Kiku.
  • Fate/stay night: Tohsaka messed up in her summoning preparations and got an Archer who can't remember which legendary hero he's supposed to be. Or so he says. He eventually reveals that he remembers everything; he was most likely just hiding as much information as possible so that Rin wouldn't realize he was actually a Future Badass version of her partner Shirou. Archer came to hate himself so much that he found a way to come back in time to kill his younger self. Word of God is that he did initially have real amnesia, but he recovered in a few moments when Rin first spoke to him.
  • In The House in Fata Morgana, the viewpoint character starts off in the titular house not knowing who they are or how they got there. This acts as a Framing Device for the first half of the story as the maid of the house shows them various stories from the house's history hoping to jog their memory.
  • Infinity series:
    • Ever17: The Kid. In an interesting use of this trope, the amnesia is used to hide the fact that there are two Kids. Both of them, Kaburaki and Hokuto, lose their memory due to being briefly possessed by a fourth-dimensional being.
    • Remember11: Satoru suffers partial identity amnesia. His past self was responsible for the "Freaky Friday" Flip that he is undergoing during the story.
  • Seven of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors seems to suffer from this as a result of an incapacitating gas.
  • Tsukihime has, in one of its many endings, Kohaku get her memories completely blanked as a result of a Near-Death Experience. She doesn't even remember her real name, and takes the name "Nanaya" because it's written on the knife (Shiki's, which he used to save her life) that she feels holds some significance for her. Considering the horrific things she went through growing up, this might be for the best, as it allows her a chance to start over, surrounded by people who love her.
  • Umineko: When They Cry has a rather interesting case of this. At the end of ep 8 it is revealed that Battler actually survived the Rokkenjima incident but lost his memory. He was then found by Ikuko Hachijo with whom he stayed with and adopted the name Toya Hachijo. He slowly regained his memory but interestingly even when his memory was fully back he still couldn't think about himself as Battler and so kept his new name.

    Web Animation 
  • In the unfinished Homestar Runner cartoon "Tis True, Pom Pom, Tis True", Homestar believes himself to be a Wandering Minstrel in medieval times after taking a blow to the head. Possibly justified because the first character he saw after being hit on the head was the King of Town.
  • After the Alpha AI from Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction severed its memories of torture from itself, it completely forgot what it was. Using the few memories it retained, it adopted the identity of a younger version of its creator: Dr. Leonard Church.

  • Nevy in Ava's Demon has forgotten everything about herself from before she died. As of chapter 21 she's started to gain some of her memories back.
  • Odette in City Of Somnus remembers nothing that happened before she was taken by The Fair Folk, including who her parents were. She's quite curious about what it's like to talk with your parents.
  • Elf & Warrior: People trapped in the demonoid realm start with all their memories gone, and it only gets worse from there. The entire world seems designed from the ground up to force people to do the worst in order to survive, giving up more of themselves in the process.
  • The inhabitants of The Ends are reborn without memories in an endless cycle. The protagonist, Jason, has managed to recover a portion of his identity and is now questing for the remainder.
  • In Falconhyrste Mira wakes up in the island's mysterious forest not knowing who or what she is.''.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: At one point, Zimmy forgets who she is and takes on the identity of someone else she knows. (And for extra Mind Screw, the comic portrays this from Zimmy's perspective, so when Gamma tries to help Zimmy remember who she is, the audience is more likely to interpret it as someone else being brainwashed into believing they're Zimmy.) Gamma's response implies that this is not a rare occurrence for a Reality Warper for Power Incontinence.
  • {...} of Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name is unable to remember any of his past, including his name. This is probably because he's dead and all. Not even a flashback of his murder rings any bells, and he tells Hanna at one point that he suspects he was a different person when he was alive than he is now.
  • I'm the Grim Reaper: The Myth Arc for the series so far is Scarlet tying to find out who she was when she was alive and what she did to make the Devil himself claim she was one of the worst sinners ever to live.
  • In Melonpool, severe bonks to the head cause Mayberry to believe he is any number of characters from the original Star Trek.
  • Used for a throwaway joke in Precocious, when it's mentioned that Tiffany once hit her head and briefly thought she was a woman named Matilda.
  • Neither Nick nor Josie of Shinka The Last Eevee can remember much about their previous lives, so when they hear about an artifact that can restore memories, they jump at the chance to get it. Too bad it was a trap.
  • In Sinfest:
    • Lil Evil drinks from the Lethe. Reaction? Agh! Who's that weirdo in the river?
    • Tangerine, the orange devil girl, was originally a farm girl. Bamph'ed by The Devil, she became a feral and violent creature. Baptized by Seymour, she became an innocent dangerous mainly through ignorance and capable of great friendship (when she thinks).
  • Strange School: As of the second post, the protagonist has forgotten her name.
  • Siren's Lament: To have the siren's curse placed on you is to completely forget everything about your life, though Lyra has something protecting her from loosing her memories all at once and when Shon takes the curse from her to save her he starts having painful indistinct flashes of memories of his old life indicating she passed an incomplete version of her protection on to him.
  • In The Splat Crew comic "Rise of Darkness", Darkness, an Inkling who is the Sole Survivor of a beach raid caused by Octolings, completely forgets who she is after the event and decides to call herself Darkness after another Inkling says he likes how she has a kind of "darkness" to her.
  • The first story in the Unity 'verse follows Officer Juni Melrose, who remembers quite a lot of its technical knowledge ... but not its name or how it ended up in the hospital room it woke in.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, the barrier around Betel's Forest, among other things, gives those who enter it Easy Amnesia. They forget who they were before, and think the other inhabitants are their family. Some characters also gain Name Amnesia as part of this note .
  • Anastasia in Binary Stars has lost all her memory before the destruction of a colony, and at first believes it to just be bad dreams until the literal man of her dreams shows up in the flesh and recognizes her... as he's in the process of kidnapping her. It's still unknown why she has amnesia, whether it is because she was shot in the head, as first implied, or if the Enemy Within that shows up now and again when she starts remembering too much is somehow involved, or if her post-amnesia mother is the culprit.

    Web Original 
  • Entirely Presenting You: After surviving a shot to the head, Alexis loses certain memories and emotional connections to her old friends and family. A new personality, V, and then Wendy, are born out of this mental scramble.
  • Justifed in Save The Earth. The protagonists are reincarnated from their original canons on a new world. Their original home towns, countries, planets, universes ceased to exist a long time ago. Once aliens start a slow invasion, their memories start to return whenever they run into something similar to their original experiences.
  • More or less done in the SuperMarioLogan episode "Bowser Junior Gets Rabies!". After getting rabies from being bit by a squirrel, Bowser Junior starts hallucinating and saying Non Sequiturs, until Wham. Junior becomes a rabid foaming creature with no presence of his former identity who tries to bite anyone near him. That served, the rest of the episode has Chef Pee Pee and the Brooklyn Guy trying to cure Junior and restore his memory.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog had Scratch losing his memory and thinking he was TV superhero Edgar Eagle.
  • In the American Dad! episode "The Boring Identity", Stan gets amnesia, and Francine, who had become sick of his self-centered and psychotic behavior, convinces him that he's a caring and sensitive husband who works at a futon shop.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long has this example when after being saved by Jake's wish, Rose has no memories of what has happened in her entire life of meeting him.
  • The Archer fourth season premiere had the titular character suffering from one of these, believing himself to be a man named Bob. One character even mentions he's in a fugue state as they try to figure out a plan to recover his memories.
  • An episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold centers around Batman losing his memory while disguised as Matches Malone. Believing that he really is Matches, he starts a massive crime spree.
  • The Bonkers episode "Toon for a Day" had Sergeant Grating get hit on the head and think he was the cartoon character Bucky Buzzsaw.
  • The Bump in the Night episode "Destructo's Flipside" has a variation. After Destructo has his batteries knocked out and mistakenly put in backwards, he still remembers who he is, but thinks that he is a kind and gentle soul rather than a Knight Templar Hero Antagonist.
  • A CatDog episode has Dog getting amnesia while chasing a garbage truck. Cat takes advantage of the situation and convinces Dog that he's like him. Dog later takes a second blow to the head and Winslow does the same thing to make Dog act like him. A third blow to the head makes Dog thinks he's Lube, though only after hearing him talk. The end has Cat, Dog, and a bunch of other characters getting hit on the head and thinking they're Mr. Sunshine, much to his dismay.
  • In an episode of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, the rangers are in Paris and trying to foil Fat Cat's French cousin who is attempting to drive all dogs out of the city with a sonic weapon. Dale gets amnesia from a blow to the head and the Big Bad uses the opportunity to convince him that he is a Rambo expy named "Ramdale", a ruthless mercenary hired to stop the rangers. Dale regains his memory after another blow to the head in the middle of fighting Chip.
  • In the Danger Mouse episode "Lord of the Bungle", during a mission in Africa Penfold takes a blow to the head and briefly believes himself to be a Tarzan-style "king of the jungle".
  • The beginning of season 2 of Danny Phantom has Danny losing his memories of his entire ghostly life thanks to Sam wishing they never meet since she's involved with him becoming half-ghost in the first place.
  • In the Donald Duck cartoon Donald's Dilemma (1947), Donald is hit on the head by a flowerpot knocked off a high windowsill and instantly becomes a 50's-era crooner, and goes on to become famous. But he forgets about and ignores poor Daisy, who eventually goes to a psychologist and explains the whole thing in flashback. He tells her to choose between the two Donalds, and she chooses to drop another flowerpot - complete with the flower from the original blow - on his head while he's onstage singing to cure him.
  • Related to the above: An episode of DuckTales (1987) involved Uncle Scrooge coming down with Identity Amnesia after tripping over a skateboard and believing himself to be an unemployed blue-collar worker (even going so far as to lose his accent); he goes on to get a low-paying job at his own factory and begins a crusade to improve working conditions.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: "I Dream of Cosmo" has Cosmo getting knocked on the ground after hiding in a genie lamp, and Timmy's dad makes him think that he is a "magic weenie" (which the latter says is "part-witch, part-genie") named Grant who is supposed to grant wishes for him. Hilarity Ensues, with Cosmo and Mr. Turner's wishes causing shenanigans such as Timmy, Wanda and Poof being shrunken to the size of ants, the Turner's house becoming the city dump, the Sun becoming closer to the Earth, and to top it all off, Mr. Turner getting fired.
  • The Flintstones often had Fred switch to an alternate persona as a result of a bowling ball to the head. Years later, an episode of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law ("The Dabba Don") would reference this, as Harvey uses the Bowling Ball To The Head defense to explain Fred's apparent Mob connections.
  • Happens to Bender in an episode of Futurama. He's hiding out in a flock of penguins and gets knocked out. When he reboots, his initialization routines apparently set his personality according to his surroundings, so he starts acting like a penguin. Later on, he gets knocked out again and reboots with Fry and Leela standing over him, which switches him back to the Bender we all know and love.
  • Gasp!: In "Amnesia", the pets must teach Gasp how to be himself again when a bump on the head gives him a case of amnesia.
  • Generator Rex: Rex himself. Not much is known about the circumstances surrounding his amnesia, but one thing we do know is that his personality has changed between blackouts. For example, when he led a small gang of EVOs in Hong Kong, he was a backstabbing traitor, a far cry from the hero he currently is. It is unknown right now whether the Rex we see in the present is at all like the Rex from before his blackouts.
  • Handy Manny: One episode has Pat hitting his head and thinking he's a screwdriver instead of a hammer. This, of course, gets resolved at the end.
  • An episode of the Mr. Men and Little Miss cartoon has Mr. Nonsense get hit on the head by a tennis ball, causing him to deny that he is Mr. Nonsense and act like a normal person instead of the Cloudcuckoolander he usually is. Another bump on the head later fixes this.
  • The 1960 Popeye cartoon "I Yam Wot I Yamnesia" takes this to absurd psycho-semantic extremes. Popeye, Olive, Wimpy and Swee'Pea are enjoying a day in each's company, and while Popeye is playing "bullfight" with Swee'Pea, he conks his head and in the process conks Swee'Pea in the head. The two suddenly exchange personalities and voices with each other. In attempting to cure them with a mallet, Wimpy hits himself and Olive in the head, causing them to switch personalities and voices.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls (1998) episode "Los Dos Mojos", Bubbles gets knocked on the head and thinks she is Mojo Jojo.
  • One episode of Samurai Jack featured a trio of sirens hypnotizing Jack into thinking he was a waiter named Brent Worthington and spoke with a Keanu Reeves accent.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show episode "Super Teen Shaggy" had Shaggy get a blow to the head that caused him to think he was the comic book superhero Super Teen whenever he heard a bell ring.
    • A similar incident to the above occured in the A Pup Named Scooby-Doo episode "The Return of Commander Cool", where Shaggy loses his memory and believes that he's Commander Cool.
  • A Pith Possum segment of The Shnookums & Meat Funny Cartoon Show was based around this.
  • Skunk Fu!: In one episode, Pig accidentally hits his head when he falls into the Ninja Monkeys' territory during a game with Skunk. He then starts to think he is a ninja monkey himself and causes problems for the real Ninja Monkeys when he tries to hang out with them.
  • In the South Park episode "Cow Days", Cartman hits his head after being thrown from a bull, and believes himself to be a Vietnamese prostitute.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants has a handful:
    • "Squid Baby" has Squidward getting hit on the head (causing it to swell really big) and thinking he's a baby, who SpongeBob and Patrick need to take care of.
    • SpongeBob himself gets a similar bonk in "Whatever Happened to SpongeBob?" and somehow ends up as the mayor of New Kelp City (the undersea Expy of New York City). This is not necessarily a good thing.
    • "Mimic Madness" features SpongeBob doing imitations of everyone in Bikini Bottom so much that he develops "Mocking Mimicry Madness" and forgets who he really is.
    • This happens in "Squilliam Returns" where, while going along with Squidward's charade of owning a restaurant, SpongeBob forgets his name. Because he can't remember his name, he has a Freak Out, making the whole charade collapse.
  • An episode of Taz-Mania has Bull Gator using hypnosis on his partner Axel so that he will think he's a Tasmanian devil and gain Taz's trust, unfortunately for him it doesn't work on Axel and Bull ends up hypnotizing himself, he then teams up with Taz and Axel spends the rest of the episode trying to restore Bull's memory.
  • An episode of Tom and Jerry had a blow to the head cause Tom to think he was really a mouse.
  • In Transformers: Prime, this trope is the basis of a story arc stretching from the last minutes of Season 1 to the first 3 episodes of Season 2. Optimus loses his memories when he depleted the Matrix of Leadership's energy upon Unicron and forgets his entire life as when he was Optimus, only remembering of when he was Orion Pax and before he became enemies with Megatron. Megatron takes advantage of the amnesia by making Optimus do computer-coding work for the Decepticons.
  • In the We Bare Bears episode "I Am Ice Bear", a blow to the head causes Ice Bear to go from from his usual personality of a Third-Person Person and Terse Talker who loves his brothers to that of a chatty, egotistical hipster who thinks Grizzly and Panda are losers.
  • One episode of Zig & Sharko had Zig the hyena get struck by lightning causing him to think he was a baby and Sharko who always beats him up was his mother.

    Real Life 
  • Meet Saheem Bateman, who can't remember what happened to her between 2007 and 2011. In her own words: "Right now I'm trying to be who everybody wants me to be, or who everyone remembers me as."
  • Reverend Ansel Bourne is a famous case study in psychology because he had this happen to him during a dissociative fugue.
  • Agatha Christie (September 15, 1890 - January 12, 1976) disappeared for eleven days in 1926 and was widely believed to have been killed by her husband (who had asked her for a divorce). She was found in a health spa under another name and later diagnosed with amnesia. To all appearances, a classic psychotic break, caused by an emotionally trying year including her mother's death and her husband's infidelity.
    • There's considerable evidence that Mrs. Christie planned and executed the entire affair quite consciously in order to embarrass her husband. No one, of course, can know for certain, but the setup strongly resembled those in her books. To top things off, she registered at the Swan Hotel using the surname of her husband's paramour.
  • In 2004, a man was found naked and injured outside a Burger King in Richmond Hill, Georgia. The man remembered absolutely nothing about himself, not even his own name, and police's attempts at trying to help him recover his memories have consistently turned up fruitless. Taking on the name "Benjaman Kyle," he went on to become a notable case of dissociative amnesia that seemed to directly parallel this trope, and even though his social security number was rediscovered and his real name, William Burgess Powell, was recovered by genetic tracing, both in 2015, to this day he still has not been able to recover any memories from before 2004.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Forgot My Identity


Lockhart's Memory Charm

Trying to cast a Memory Charm with Ron's broken wand, Gilderoy Lockhart accidentally erases his own memory.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / IdentityAmnesia

Media sources: