mnemonic [n.] - a device, such as a formula or rhyme, used as an aid in remembering
One of the things I love most about White Collar is their continuity on the smallest possible levels. And I mean smallest. Tiny character quirks established in the first season persist to this day; I remember squealing with happiness when Peter’s deviled ham sandwiches, first mentioned in “The Portrait” (1x05), made a return appearance in “As You Were” (3x08). It’s a rare show that remembers the little things, things a viewer might not necessarily notice the first time around. As it is, I didn’t notice this particular quirk of Peter’s until a full rewatch I did last summer.
Peter’s very knowledgeable about a lot of things—he does crosswords; he has to have an extensive knowledge of all sorts of historical things like artifacts and paintings and spy societies and astronomers—but he’s got a terrible memory for names! But he can remember with the help of a mnemonic—a small association that will trigger his memory. In “Flip of the Coin” (1x04), he might not remember Dana’s husband’s name, but he does remember he made hot wings at a barbeque he went to with El. The thing I found the most adorable was that Elizabeth and Neal seem to recognize and accept this habit; El helps him out by reminding him Patty and Sam Walker have matching bicycles in “Neighborhood Watch” (3x13), and Neal explains to Mozzie in “Most Wanted” (4x02) that Peter is not, in fact, trying to drive him crazy with his warped version of “London Bridge is Falling Down.”
It’s a small quirk, one of the smallest ones there is, but that the writers have kept it consistent over four seasons amazes me, and as silly as it sounds, this sort of internal continuity is a big part of why I love the show. The characters are well-thought out and consistently in character, and there aren’t many shows that can say that these days!