Related Videos

Top 10 TV Episodes Where Someone Has Amnesia

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script Written by Nick Spake. Remember any of these episodes? If not, allow us to jog your memory. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 TV episodes where someone has amnesia. For this list, we’re taking a look at television episodes where one or more characters suffer a partial or total loss of their memory. Special thanks to our users Muppet_Face and Leo Lazar Jakšić for submitting the idea on our Suggestion Tool at http:///www.WatchMojo.comsuggest
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript

Top 10 TV Episodes Where Someone Has Amnesia


Remember any of these episodes? If not, allow us to jog your memory. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 TV episodes where someone has amnesia.

For this list, we’re taking a look at television episodes where one or more characters suffer a partial or total loss of their memory.

#10: “I’ll Never Forget What’s Her Name”
“I Dream of Jeannie” (1965-70)

In TV land, one minor blow to the head automatically results in amnesia. After a vase hits Tony in “I Dream of Jeannie,” he immediately forgets about the mystical lady he unleashed from a bottle. Rather than telling Tony who she really is or restoring his memories with magic, Jeannie uses this opportunity to get closer to her master. As Roger attempts to open his friend’s eyes, Jeannie causes him a world of trouble. It’s a memorable screwball farce that almost amounts to Tony putting a ring on the genie.

#9: “The Scotsman Saves Jack: Parts 1 & 2”
“Samurai Jack” (2001-04)

“Samurai Jack” didn’t have a ton of recurring characters outside of its main hero, its main villain, and, on a rare occasion, a roughhousing Scotsman. This one-legged brute naturally steps up when his samurai buddy starts going by the name Brent Worthington and adopts a Keanu Reeves-surfer-like accent. The epic quest for Jack’s memories comes complete with stunning animation, strong voiceover work, and alluring music. What makes this two-part episode especially fun is seeing Jack play against type for a change while a fan favorite takes center stage in a driven pursuit.

#8: “D.O.A.: MacGyver”
“MacGyver” (1985-92)

When most people get shot and go through a glass window, they die. Since MacGyver lives by action hero logic, he just gets amnesia. The resourceful secret agent doesn’t remember who he is, but his instincts remain intact. In a story full of explosive twists and turns, MacGyver uses his best judgment to deduce who can be trusted and who’s manipulating his jumbled mind. Can MacGyver trigger his memory before the baddies trigger an explosive? Does a Swiss army knife solve all MacGyver’s problems? The answer to both is a resounding “yes.”

#7: “Thanks for the Memory”
“Red Dwarf” (1988-99; 2009; 2012-)

As the Red Dwarf crew wakes up to find a jigsaw puzzle completed, several new puzzles land in their laps. Lister and Cat have broken legs, a Godzilla-sized footprint has been left on a nearby moon, and nobody has any recollection of the past four days. Is it the worst hangover ever or has a supernatural being tampered with their heads? Full of witty interplay and creativity, their mission to unearth those lost memories further amounts to a surprisingly deep story regarding regret, missed opportunities, and second chances after death.

#6: “Spin the Bottle”
“Angel” (1999-2004)

Essentially Joss Whedon’s interpretation of “The Twilight Zone”’s “Five Characters in Search of An Exit,” this bottle episode mentally reverts “Angel”’s principal cast to the age of 17. Angel’s an irresponsible Irishman from the 1700s, Cordelia’s the spoiled brat we love to hate, Wesley’s head boy at the Watcher’s Academy, Gunn’s a rebel without a cause, and Fred turns out to be a paranoid stoner. “Spin the Bottle” demonstrates that the Buffyverse/Angelverse is about great character interactions above all else. Whether these people are developing or regressing, they’re always fun to listen to.

#5: “Homecoming”
“Lost” (2004-2010)

After Ethan kidnapped the very pregnant Claire, viewers eagerly awaited her return and answers. Shehas her homecoming in this episode, but, since this is “Lost,” we had to wait longer for answers. As the absentminded Claire tries to refresh her memory, Charlie tries to forget his past life. Having broken a woman’s heart once before, the recovering junkie strives to prove to Claire and himself that he can take care of her. Charlie does exactly this and regains Claire’s trust in an ending that’s as sweet as peanut butter.

#4: “Fugue and Riffs”
“Archer” (2010-)

Amnesia plots are always more interesting when a character doesn’t just forget their old identity, but assumes a new one too. In Sterling Archer’s case, he becomes Bob Belcher from “Bob’s Burgers” and ingenious meta humor ensues. It’s hard to believe Archer could forget his life as a spy or Lana’s breasts, but he’s prompted to take a trip down memory lane after the KGB attacks. Archer’s history of violence doesn’t naturally come back, but it’s nothing a good bop on the head can’t fix. Frying pans, who knew?

#3: “Human Nature”/ “The Family of Blood”
“Doctor Who” (1963-89; 2005-)

This two-part “Doctor Who” episode thrusts the Doctor and the audience into confusion as our hero wakes up in 1913. Now under the illusion that he’s a bumbling scholar, the doctor still dreams of his actual life as a time-traveling adventurer. It makes for a touching story in which the Time Lord is given the chance to fall in love and be human. As an invasion of the body snatchers and the scarecrow snatchers commences, however, Martha reminds the Doctor that the needs of the universe outweigh his own.

#2: “Big Man on Hippocampus”
“Family Guy” (1999-2003; 2005-)

A character getting amnesia isn’t exactly an original premise and “Family Guy” knows it. That doesn’t stop this episode from tackling the subject matter anyway and making fun of itself in the process. Having lost his memory on the set of “Family Feud,” Peter needs to learn how to drive again, make love again, and distinguish his catchphrases from Homer Simpson’s. At least he doesn’t remember the Giant Chicken. The episode brings inspired new jokes to a familiar concept as Peter and Lois must remember why they love each other.

Before we recall our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “The Man Who Knew Too Much”
“Supernatural” (2005-)
- “4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.”
“24” (2001-10)
- The Entire Show
“Samantha Who?” (2007-09)
- “The Ticket”
“Seinfeld” (1989-98)
- “Proud Dick”
“3rd Rock From the Sun” (1996-2001)

#1: “Tabula Rasa”
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)

This “Buffy” episode earns our number one spot for being the most well-written amnesia episode, as well as the most inventive and ambitious. When the whole Scooby gang forgets who they are due to a spell cast by Willow, they attempt to paste their identities together. This leads to shocking discoveries and even more shocking misunderstandings as they cross paths with a loan shark. “Tabula Rasa” is a testament to what a funny show “Buffy” could be, but these events ultimately leave several characters broken hearted once the truth is realized.

Do you agree with our list? What amnesia episode will you remember forever? For more unforgettable Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs