Three experiments examined the hypothesis that stress-induced arousal enhances long-term memory for experiences associated with arousing events. Contrary to expectations, in each experiment exposure to a stressor (arm immersion in ice water) interfered with, rather than enhanced, long-term memory for associated material. Despite varying the stimuli (words, pictures), their emotional value (positive, negative, neutral), the time between learning and stress inductions (0 to 1 minute), and opportunities for post-learning rehearsal, each experiment produced a significant reversal of the hypothesised effect. That is, in each experiment, exposure to a stressor interfered with, rather than enhanced, long-term memory for associated material. We conclude that the relationship between stress and memory consolidation is more bounded than previously believed.