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I just saw the film yesterday and it seems like they have a very half baked theory to the entire time travel plot.

Why can only Agent J remember K correctly?

As in - why can only he remember him and all episodes until the previous day when K gets killed in the past? Agent O says something to the effect of that you knew him before (which also gets revealed in the last scene) - but so did Agent O and I am sure many other people.

So why does only J remember him so distinctly?

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together they form the slang abbreviation for 'joke'. :p –  poepje Jun 11 '12 at 12:00

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

He remembers agent k because he (agent J) was there--as a child. The pawn shop guy that helped him time travel forshadows this when agent J asks why he remembers.

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Thank you for your answer! Though I am not thoroughly convinced of this, I think this is the most plausible reason that we can fathom for this film (which is full of half baked plots anyways). –  saurabhj Jun 23 '12 at 16:28
    
@saurabhj: The Men In Black series has always been a genre parody. (The second movie lost a lot of its funniness because it took things too far and crossed the line into self-parody, but that's another matter.) In a work of parody, half-baked plots and silliness are expected; they're part of the narrative structure. –  Mason Wheeler May 21 '13 at 19:11

It is because right as the time fracture happened he had just been in contact with K and K was heavily on his mind. If he had been doing just about anything else besides having just gotten off of the phone with K then he probably wouldn't have remembered him.

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Check @Mary s answer. The guy in the shop told the reason. –  Mistu4u Dec 30 '12 at 17:12

I have been wondering that same thing, I can't quite figure it out. I have two theories though. Either it had something to do with the fact that he time-traveled while in the past, when he jumped down from the rocket launch thingy with Boris. Maybe that somehow made him resistant to time fracture, because he wasn't really present while the change happened. Or maybe it has to do with agent K neurolizing young James. It somehow made him forget about the changes in the past.

I realize it's not very helpful, but that's the best I have been able to come up with.

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