Follow TV Tropes


Forgot Their Own Birthday

Go To

Timmy: Don't worry about forgetting that my birthday was today, Mom and Dad. It's OK.
Dad: What?! Forgot your birthday?
Mom: We'd never forget your birthday, Tommy!
Dad: Your birthday isn't 'til tomorrow!
Timmy: WHAT?!
Mom and Dad: Happy almost-birthday, Timmy!

A scenario when a character completely forgets when their own birthday is. They do remember having a birthday and celebrating it. It's just that they make a mistake involving when that day falls upon. This trope can come in two forms:

  • The character thinks today is their birthday, but to them it looks like no one remembers. But in the end, the others tell this character their birthday isn't actually today, but another day.
  • A more rarer example involves the side characters throwing a surprise birthday party for this character. And when it happens we all find out that the birthday person didn't even know it was their birthday until now.

Compare Doesn't Know Their Own Birthday, where the character never knew when their birthday was in the first place and never celebrated it before. One-Person Birthday Party could be mixed in. Contrast Birthday Hater for someone who would rather forget about it.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In the Asterix comic Obelix and Co., the story starts with Obelix's birthday, but he forgot about it and is confused on why everyone is chuckling. It's because the villagers are preparing him a surprise.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: In one Donald Duck comic, Daisy Duck forgot her own birthday.
  • Robin (1993): Tim Drake gets a last minute surprise party when his girlfriend Stephanie realize he's forgotten it's his own sixteenth birthday. Tim's bad at remembering birthdays in general, and doesn't place much importance on celebrating his nor expect others to, which is implied to be because his parents were never around much.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island: Fred organizes a Mystery Inc. reunion as a birthday surprise for Daphne. After the gang greets her, she admits that she got so caught up in her work, that she didn't realize her birthday had arrived.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Godzilla (2014): At the beginning of the film, Joe Brody has to be reminded by his wife that it is his birthday.
  • Spider-Man 2: In an early scene, Aunt May, Mary Jane and Harry throw a birthday party for Peter, who didn't even remember that it was his birthday.

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Baudelaire siblings are put through so much misery they forget their own birthdays.
    • In "The Vile Village", Klaus turns thirteen after the trio has been imprisoned and condemned to death. When he finally realizes what day it is, he sadly wishes for a Deus ex Machina as his gift.
    • In "The Grim Grotto", Violet is desperately looking for something she can use to nurse Sunny back to health. When she opens the fridge, she finds a cake her sister had baked for her and realizes it's her birthday.
  • In The Great Gatsby, we have the big scene where all the secrets between Gatsby, Daisy and Tom are revealed. Afterwords, First-Person Peripheral Narrator Nick suddenly realizes that it's his thirtieth birthday, which, combined with the aforementioned drama, spurs on a low-key midlife crisis.
  • Harry Potter: Several times while living among the Dursleys, Harry Potter forgot his own birthday due to his foster parents not caring about it.
  • A Hole in the Fence: Subverted. On returning home, Gris髇 notices eight extra plates set at the table, and asks who is coming to dinner. His adoptive mother asks whether he has forgotten today is an important day. Since Gris髇 does not seem to have a clue, Flamm鑓he reminds him that it is his birthday. However, it is revealed that Gris髇 was just playing dumb and knew what day it was.

    Live-Action TV 
  • During the beginning events of Kamen Rider Kuuga, both Yuusuke and his police partner Ichijo wind up forgetting their own birthdays in their fight against the Grongi, both birthdays happening in different episodes. This isn't to highlight just how tragic things are, but rather show that they have a lot in common.
  • The World According to Jeff Goldblum episode "Birthdays" opens with Goldblum explaining that he underwent a real life version of this trope at 13, when everyoneincluding him — forgot his birthday, and the resultant awkwardness resulted in him becoming neutral on the idea of birthday celebrations. Helping celebrate other peoples' birthdays helps him come around on the idea.
  • Lamb Chop's Play-Along: In "I'm Back," Lamb Chop apparently runs away and comes back without anyone else noticing. Near the end of the story, she claims that the reason she ran off was because it was her birthday and everyone forgot. Shari points out that her birthday is tomorrow.
  • In the final episode of Mimpi Metropolitan, Melani gives Bambang a birthday gift on the day he returns to Jakarta. Bambang tells her that he doesn't realize it is his birthday, since he has been busy in the last few days.
    Bambang: Today is my birthday, Mel?! [Melani nods] I guess I've been so busy that I forgot that I was ever born.
  • The Suite Life on Deck: In a throwaway joke, London reveals that she suffers from this. Given her status as The Ditz, it's unsurprising. Bailey sums it up perfectly.
    Bailey: (exasperated) Really, London?

  • In the second season of Wooden Overcoats, Mayor Desmond is so overworked that he doesn't remember he and Wavering had plans, even though the plans were to celebrate his own birthday.

    Video Games 
  • Balan Wonderworld: The reason Emma ends up in the Balan Theater was because she was worried about what her friends and the caretakers of her home are whispering about; thinking they're talking about her behind her back. At the end of the game, it turns out they were actually planning a surprise birthday party for her. Which, judging by the look on her face, apparently she didn't know that today was her birthday.

    Visual Novels 
  • Amnesia: Memories' fandisc Amnesia LATER: Ikki points out that Kent doesn't care much for his birthday and often forgets the importance of the date. When the heroine asks Kent to come over to her place on the 23rd under the pretense of just having a relaxing date watching movies, she's surprised to learn that he really doesn't associate that date with his birthday.

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur: In "D.W. Tricks the Tooth Fairy", D.W. is trying to find a way to get an additional accessory for her unicorn toy, we get this:
    D.W.: My birthday!
    Mrs. Read: ..was last month.
    D.W.: Awwwww!
  • In the first episode of Bob's Burgers, after Bob realizes that he forgot his and Linda's anniversary, he says that he's not good with dates. A montage of him forgetting important dates shows that he even forgot his own birthday once.
  • Classic Disney Shorts: In the Donald Duck cartoon, "Donald's Happy Birthday", Huey, Dewey, and Louie decide to buy Donald a box of cigars for his birthday, so they do some chores to earn some money. However, after Donald pays them, he stores their money in their bank and holds onto it to prevent them from spending the money. When his nephews finally get the bank back and buy the cigars, Donald finds out, thinks they bought the cigars for themselves, and makes them smoke every last one as punishment. When he checks the box for more cigars, he finds the birthday card from his nephews, suddenly realizes it's his birthday, and feels emotional guilt over making his nephews smoke.
  • One episode of Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines has the Vulture Squadron under the impression of it being the general's birthday due to a message from him to not do any birthday celebrations until the pigeon is stopped. At the end, after failing to stop the pigeon, they decide to at least wish him a happy birthday over the phone, only for the general to state that it wasn't his birthday, but in fact, Dick Dastardly's, much to the latter's shock.
  • In an episode of The Fairly OddParents!, Timmy is upset that everyone is more excited about the upcoming Chip Skylark concert than his birthday, leading to him kidnapping Chip for revenge. After Timmy learns his lesson and gets Chip back in time for the concert, he finds out his birthday is the next day and no one actually forgot it.
    Mom: We never forget your birthday, Tommy!
    • Though this may have been retconned by a later episode wherein Timmy claims his parents forget his birthday every year.
  • Garfield and Friends: Near the end of the episode "Peace and Quiet" after Garfield finally tries to sleep after getting rid of Binky the clown, John and Odie come home and surprise him for his birthday; which apparently Garfield was so just busy trying to sleep that he didn't remember. However the joy for him is short-lived when John showed him who he hired for the celebration...
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Fiesta Fiasco", Daffy notices Speedy and his amigos preparing a party. Angry at seemingly being left out of it, he makes several blundered attempts to ruin it. After constantly bludgeoning himself trying to gatecrash the party, he finally gets in....only to be greeted with the surprise party for him (the cartoon was in fact a milestone to celebrate the 30th anniversary since Daffy's first appearance). Daffy realizes he got so caught up in his scheme he rather uncharacteristically forgot it was his birthday.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the entire plot of "Party of One" is caused by Pinkie forgetting about her own birthday (which was coincidentally one day after the birthday of her pet alligator Gummy). When her friends try to secretly prepare a birthday party for her, Pinkie mistakes their odd behavior as them not wanting to be friends with her anymore.
  • Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island: Daphne has been working so hard on her new show Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake that she forgets it's her birthday until Velma, Shaggy and Scooby - whom she hasn't seen in some time - burst out of the Mystery Machine to wish her a happy birthday; Fred had arranged for them to travel with him and Daphne on their trip to surprise her. Daphne, who had been missing her friends greatly, declares it's the best birthday ever.
  • Total Drama: In Season 3's "Awwwwww, Drumheller," Sierra is the only one who remembers Cody's birthday, which even Cody himself forgot. When Cody realizes this, he warms up to Sierra and votes for her to win the challenge.


Video Example(s):


Care-a-Lot's Birthday

Brave Heart and Tenderheart explain the tradition of Care-a-Lot's birthday to Hugs and Tugs.

How well does it match the trope?

4.2 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / BirthdayEpisode

Media sources: