In the beginning of the movie when Leonard is talking on the phone to the mysterious caller (who we find out is Teddy [John gamble {not thee John G}]). He says he is different from Sammy Jenkins because he faked his condition. So could you say that Leonard was Sammy Jenkins up until the part where Sammy's wife has given him the shots over and over. This is where it becomes Leonard's memory but he cant make new memories according to Anterograde amnesia. If Leonard had Anterograde these memories wouldn't exist. So how is it that he is able to formulate these memories after the incident and remember them as though they were before?

I am not trying to find holes in the story, I just found this interesting.

  • 2
    I tried to fix your body and title of question but your title and body is not matching. The title asking something else and body something else. Try to fix it.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Dec 1, 2013 at 6:59

2 Answers 2


Sammy Jenkins's incident happened before Leonard's Anterograde amnesia. In Anterograde amnesia, as you stated, old memories remains same. That's why he made “Remember Sammy Jenkins” tattoo, to remind himself of his condition.

  • But I think the question refers to the fact that the Sammy Jenkins' 'incident' was actually Lenny's incident. Where does his consistent 'memory' of an insulin overdose come from? Sammy had no wife. Only Lenny did.
    – user8323
    Mar 2, 2014 at 18:33

My theory is that Leonard killing his beloved wife was a memory so strong, horrible and traumatic that even in his condition it somehow stuck in his mind, but he transferred it in his memory to the Sammy Jenkis story. Otherwise he wouldn't have been able to live with himself anymore. It is survival instinct to see past events as positive and surpress / condition those memories which are too unconfortable.

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