In the movie Memento, is there any mention about how Lenny narrowed the second attacker's name to be John G? In short, how does Lenny know that he's looking for someone with the name John G?

  • Are you asking how he knows the name "John G" during the events of the film, or how did he originally get that name in the first place? For the former question, I'm pretty sure he had it tattooed on his body somewhere, and I don't think the movie shows us the latter case. He had already gotten the tattoo and subsequently forgotten that information within the scope of the film.
    – Steve-O
    Sep 29, 2017 at 13:42
  • Ah yes, the latter @Steve-O.
    – John
    Oct 3, 2017 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


My understanding is that there was no second attacker. Having already killed the man who attacked his wife, with Teddy's help, Leonard invented a second attacker so that he could continue his hunt, as it was the only thing giving his life meaning.

The implication is that Leonard chose the name "John G" to be deliberately vague, to make it easier to find potential targets. IIRC, Teddy specifically calls him out on this during the big reveal, saying something like, "There's a thousand 'John G's out there! Hell, I'm 'John G'!" This ends up being a factor in Leonard choosing Teddy as his next target.

  • 1
    I thought that's what the cops thought. If there was no second attacker, how would Lenny have gotten attacked with a sap in the back of head in the first place? Lenny had a gun, so either he used the gun first on the attacker or the attacker hit him first. We already know that Lenny shot the attacker. No second attacker wouldn't explain how Lenny got attacked and hence developed his short-term memory problem. No? @F1Krazy
    – John
    Sep 29, 2017 at 11:06

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