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Playing With / Amnesiac Dissonance

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Basic Trope: An amnesiac character suddenly remembers being of the opposite alignment.

  • Straight: Jason, a police officer, remembers that he was once a criminal and goes into a Heroic BSoD.
  • Exaggerated: Jason, All-Loving Hero, suddenly recalls gleefully plotting the most horrific genocide of human history.
  • Downplayed: Jason, a police officer, suddenly remembers being a vigilante and questions which of his crime fighting ways is better.
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  • Justified: Jason was subject to Heel–Face Brainwashing.
  • Inverted: Jason gets amnesia and decides he wants to keep being a criminal despite the fact that he forgot what he had been doing.
  • Subverted: It turns out that Jason's criminal ways were just his imaginings he used to get into the mind of criminals, and that persona was his default "bad guy".
  • Double Subverted: But he got the inspiration for the character from actual crimes he committed.
  • Parodied: Jason, a strident vegan, is suddenly confronted with his recollection of eating ribs.
  • Zig Zagged: Jason's mind has been manipulated so often that he doesn't even know if he was evil or not.
  • Averted: Jason's recalled past is consistent with his present personality.
  • Enforced: The book is an Author Tract about the interaction of personality and memory.
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  • Lampshaded: "I used to be evil? But... how?"
  • Invoked: Jason suspects he may have done bad things in the past and deliberately hits himself on the head to try and induce these memories.
  • Exploited: Jason's Arch-Enemy, Kyle, restores his memory at a key time to distract him.
  • Defied: Jason refuses opportunities to recover his memories on the grounds that it no longer matters who he was.
  • Discussed: "I'm starting to regret my, 'find out who I used to be,' journey."
  • Conversed: "Looks like Jason's amnesia was the best thing that ever happened to him."
  • Deconstructed: Laser-Guided Amnesia is very improbable. More likely, Jason's conflict with his past life is small potatoes and can safely be Played for Laughs compared to problems with learning to read and feed himself all over again. If Jason has anterograde amnesia (like in Memento, for example) he may experience Amnesiac Dissonance every day of his life as he maintains a job or pursues goals that conflict with his past self, and has to be constantly reminded of that.
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  • Reconstructed: Jason is able to use his memories of his previous behavior to spur himself to new heights and use them as a reminder of why he changed in the first in place.

Back to Amnesiac Dissonance.

Example of: