A the end of the third installment of the Men In Black movies:

We learn that Agent J's father was the Major who assisted them in getting the Arch Net onto the Apollo 11 Saturn 5 rocket. Agent J's father is ultimately killed by Boris the Animal before being captured / killed (depending on the timeline) by Agent K. We then see a young Agent J come out of a vehicle looking for his father.

Why doesn't Agent J remember his father?

  • perhaps because of the neuralyzer?
    – vsz
    Nov 7, 2012 at 15:08

3 Answers 3


In the end of the movie, Agent K used Neuralizer on the kid J to erase something from his mind. Erased information might be the murder, but the kid could have worried about his father he once knew. So, Agent K would have erased the memory of his father entirely.

  • Can you selectively erase specific memories with a neuralizer? Jul 31, 2014 at 16:43
  • @Jack No, but erasing several years from a kids mind (say, Age 3 to today) won't be a big thing when Agent K took a big step to erase his full MIB career in previous movie.
    – user931
    Jul 31, 2014 at 16:52
  • @SachinShekhar - even if K only erased that single day, a child of that age would only know that their father was there one day, gone the next. The logical conclusion that any other adults would make (and therefore tell the child) is that the dad skipped out.
    – Omegacron
    Jan 27, 2015 at 19:58
  • @Omegacron I am talking about erasing several years. See my previous comment.
    – user931
    Jan 27, 2015 at 22:55

According to Agent J Wikipedia article

James was left with no clear understanding of why his father wasn't around when he grew up, with nothing but his father's pocket watch to remember him by.

nothing but his father's pocket watch...

So he got no photo to rely on, just the pocket watch. He just don't remember how his father was looking.


Actually, it's incorrect to assume that Jay didn't remember his father at all. In fact, he distinctly has memories of his father from when he was a boy. As we find out later in the film,

Agent J's father, Major James Edwards Jr., was killed by Boris the Animal during the launch of the Apollo 11 rocket. Young James Edwards III (Jay) witnessed this, and the young version of Agent K then used a neutralizer on him to erase the memory.

Given the nature of the situation, it's extremely like that either the MiB or the Air Force would have covered up the event. So, from the perspective of J's mother, her husband simply disappeared. She most likely assumed (incorrectly) that he left them. A young Agent J would have then grown up hearing how his father abandoned the family. Without any memories to tell him differently, J would consider that the truth.

You can see, then, how an adult J would resent his father. It also explains why the revelation of later events is so shocking to him. Not only does he discover

that his father did NOT abandon his family, he learns that the man was a hero who died to save Agent K from Boris the Animal.

THAT is the secret that Agent K wanted so badly to tell J but couldn't (as alluded to throughout the film) and why it was "an honor" to recruit and train Agent J.

  • There was also a question in the first film, asked by J if K had ever "flashied" him before. K responded in some uncommital way and changed the subject.
    – Ihor Sypko
    Mar 19, 2015 at 18:04
  • @IhorSypko: Yes, when that is asked in the first film, J had already used it on him once or twice.
    – PiousVenom
    Mar 19, 2015 at 18:24

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