In the movie Memento, Teddy claims to have known Lenny for over a year. But if they were supposed to be acquainted for that long, why didn't Lenny have a photo of Teddy?

It seems like Lenny should have had some information about Teddy that could have helped him in his revenge quest. Can you explain why this is the case?

  • 1
    What do you consider to be "the beginning of the story"? [This is quite important for many Nolan movies & this one is no exception]. He has 2 different photos of Lenny in the opening two scenes… you could consider those 'beginning' & 'end' perhaps.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 11:58
  • @Tetsujin When I say 'the beginning of the story' I mean the earliest point in the timeline of the film as opposed to the beginning of the film, which is the first thing you see when you watch the film. Teddy claims to have known Lenny for over a year yet Lenny only takes a photo of Teddy close to the beginning of the story. This makes it seem like Teddy is lying about having known Lenny this whole time. Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 3:35
  • It still depends on what you define as 'the beginning of the story'. The very first time [from the chronologic edit] we see them meet, he already knows Teddy's name. He addresses him directly as 'Officer Gammel'… which would indicate he knew him from before his amnesia. [I'm going to make no claim on whether that's true or false, but that's where it would point us.] He takes a photo within a minute of that, is persuaded to write 'Teddy' instead of 'Gammel' & a phone number...
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 8:37

1 Answer 1


Teddy claims to have known Lenny for over a year, but Lenny doesn't have a photo of him because he suffers from a condition called anterograde amnesia. This condition prevents him from creating new memories after a certain event, which in Lenny's case is the night his wife was murdered.

He takes advantage of Lenny's condition by manipulating him to do his bidding. Teddy tells Lenny that he's a cop and that he's helping him find the man who killed his wife. In reality, Teddy is a corrupt former cop who is using Lenny to carry out his own agenda.

And he intentionally withholds information from Lenny and gives him false leads to keep him on the hunt, all the while profiting from Lenny's misguided attempts at revenge. Teddy is aware of Lenny's condition and uses it to his advantage to further his own interests.

IMO, the reason Lenny doesn't have a photo of Teddy or any other helpful information is due to his condition, and Teddy's manipulation and deceitful tactics only further exacerbate Lenny's struggle to find the truth.

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