In You Only Live Twice (1967) M hands a note to 007 containing the address and name of the target Bond's supposed to meet in Tokyo. Instead of telling him these details, they are written in a piece of paper and when 007 receives it, he immediately uses his lighter to burn it after taking a glimpse at it. Why? Is he following protocol or is this an exaggeration to secrecy for something that seems unnecessary here? I don't remember seeing this ever again in a Bond movie.

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    The information may also be written instead of spoken because it's perhaps easier to remember a visual image (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_learning)
    – Longshanks
    Dec 22, 2019 at 10:18
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    @Longshanks It also could be done as an extra layer of precaution if there is a concern that the room is bugged. Jan 17, 2020 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


Seems like a security protocol. He works for secret services, all the information he leaves behind can be a risk.

Self destruct messages, removing signs and burning paper message is a common trope in spy films.

Refer This Page Will Self-Destruct trope for details.

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