In the TV show Quantum Leap Sam Beckett would travel history and "right" wrongs, temporarily displacing someone native to that timeline in the process. Would the memories of what Sam did transfer to the person he displaced upon his leaping out, or would they wind up with amnesia for the time Sam was there?


3 Answers 3


It appears that there is only one episode where a Leapee (Frankie) is ever shown after returning to their time post-leap: "Double Identity". He appears to have amnesia, not having any memory of what happened over the previous day or his time in the Waiting Room while Sam was in his place.

You can actually watch the episode on Hulu.

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    It would be nice to know what the source is for this information - quantumleap.wikia.com. As far as I know the last two sentences are pure unsourced conjectures. Apr 3, 2012 at 18:09
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    @Donald.McLean: Yeah, I agree. Some statements in the wiki article were iffy. That's why I kept looking to find some better summaries of the episode. It was so long ago, I can't remember the episode details myself... or maybe someone leapt into me... ;)
    – gnovice
    Apr 3, 2012 at 18:18
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    The episode on hulu is only watchable from the united states
    – user19598
    Mar 1, 2013 at 20:01

Sam would switch with the "leapee" and attempt to fix whatever they'd done to muck up their timeline. Generally this would be to affect a single bad decision rather than to make any large-scale lifestyle choices on their behalf. This means that once they'd returned, they would no longer be in a position to make that 'bad' choice and simply carry on with their lives as before.

Per the Quantum Leap FAQ

Q. What does the leapee remember about his experience after he returns?

This is also not known. The only time we've seen this occur was in the episode "Double Identity," where Sam leaped to replace another body and the original host returned. He APPEARED to have no memory of anything after he was leaped into. It has been stated that the leapee, while in Sam's body back in the Waiting Room, has a 'swiss-cheesed' memory, much like Sam received upon his initial leap. Because of the ultramodern hospital-like atmosphere of the waiting room, many of the leapees believe they have been abducted by aliens. Deborah Pratt says that as the leapees return, they pick up some of Sam's memories of what happened, but they believe the events happened to them.

  • Two (really three) episodes come to mind that might give credence to that last statement: "Shock Theater", in which Sam receives shock "therapy" and starts taking on the personalities (and presumably the memories) of people he's leaped into, and "Lee Harvey Oswald", where Sam leaps into Oswald at various points in his life and at times thinks he is Oswald. These would indicate that memories can be transferred through leaping. Jul 12, 2016 at 14:34

It seems unlikely that memories would transfer in that way. Either the displaced person would have amnesia or it may be that there was some way for them to observe what was taking place, which be just as effective.

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