The objective of this study is to investigate the clinical significance of a specific behavior of misplacing items in a refrigerator (i.e., placing extremely unusual things such as remote control and/or cellular phone in a refrigerator) as a symptom of cognitive dysfunction. Patients with memory complaints were asked whether they ever experienced misplacing items in a refrigerator, such as placing a remote control, a cellular phone, or other extremely unusual things inside a refrigerator (referred to as the ‘fridge sign’). Among the 2172 individuals with memory complaints, 55 (2.5%) experienced symptoms of the ‘fridge sign’. We investigated the cognitive profiles of ‘fridge sign’-positive patients and performed follow-up evaluations with neuropsychological tests or telephone interviews. The ‘fridge sign’ was mostly found in individuals diagnosed as subjective cognitive decline (n = 33, 60%) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI, n = 20, 36.4%) with depressive mood and was relatively rare in dementia states (n = 2, 3.5%). Moreover, none of the ‘fridge sign’-positive patients showed significant cognitive decline over the follow-up period. We compared the cognitive profiles and the clinical progression of 20 ‘fridge sign’-positive MCI patients and 40 ‘fridge sign’-negative MCI patients. ‘Fridge sign’-positive MCI patients had worse scores on the Stroop test color reading and had higher scores on the geriatric depression scale than ‘fridge sign’-negative MCI patients, which indicates that the ‘fridge sign’ could be indicative of selective attention deficit in patients with depression rather than indicative of cognitive decline related to dementia.