WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic
115-350px 7018
I think I know what you are all trying to say. I, um... I think we have to build a space helicopter.
Nathan Explosion, Metalocalypse

Comedy, it has been noted several times, ain't pretty.

A character is facing a problem. He describes the problem and the reason that it is an impediment in such a way as to make the solution exceptionally obvious. And, of course, this is when a solution is conceived. Only the solution isn't the one to which the explanation was obviously leading. It's either patently ridiculous or a total non-sequitur. Most of the time, it's both.

Comes in single-character and two-character flavors. In the single-character version, the character who has explained the problem suddenly realizes the "solution" in a flash of inspiration that parodies a Eureka Moment:

 What we need is some way to stay in contact over long distances. Some sort of communication or "telephonic" device which is "mobile"... Of course! That's it! We'll train messenger pigeons!

Often, but not always, some other character will helpfully point out a more useful solution.

In the two character version, one character gives the explanation, often with the specific goal of leading the other character to make the obvious connection, then prompts the other character for the answer. The other character, who is usually holding the Idiot Ball, totally fails to make the connection.

Named for the exchange which takes place in every episode of Pinky and The Brain. After explaining the problem, and being shown an ideal solution to that problem, an exchange like this would occur:

 Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Pinky: I think so Brain, but how are we going to fit ten elephants into a pickle jar?

(It should be noted that one of the few times Pinky is pondering what Brain is pondering, he decides that it's too stupid and doesn't say.)

A subtrope of Non Sequitur. See also: Comically Missing the Point

Examples of Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering? include:


  • In an cinema advert: two Orange executives are trying to decide a name for their campaign which gives two tickets for one on a Wednesday. "We need a movie title. It's every Wednesday. Like Clockwork. And we're Orange. So we'll call it... Orange Wednesday."

Anime & Manga

  • In the dub of the episode Jump for Joy! (AG 037) of the Pokémon anime, after an unfamiliar Pokemon (a Shiftry) knocks Team Rocket out of a tree, the following exchange occurs:

 Jessie: "James, is that what I think it is?"

James: "Could be. But I don't know what you're thinking, and I don't know what it is!"


 Helena: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Valentine: Absolutely, if we put little wheels on our feet we could just rooooooll everywhere...

 Max: (After crashing the car into a sign for a fish shop) Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Chief: I don't know. Were you thinking holy shit holy shit, a swordfish almost went through my head? If so, yes.

  • Would you like to hear an example from the movie Airplane!!?
    • From Airplane!!? What is it?
      • It's this film the Zucker Brothers made in the early 80s, but that's not important right now.
      • Surely you're not serious!
      • I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.
  • Young Frankenstein: "Give him a said-a-give!"
    • "SED-A-GIVE?!"
    • Happens a lot with charades, in various programs and films.
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead question and question tennis. "No non-sequiturs!!!"

 Rosencrantz: To sum up: your father, whom you love, dies. You are his heir. You come back to find that hardly was the corpse cold before his young brother pops onto his throne and into his sheets, thereby offending both legal and natural practice. Now... why exactly are you behaving in this extraordinary manner?

Guildenstern: I can't imagine.

 Coraline: It used to look like girl! Then, Huck Finn Junior! Then it was this Little Rascals girl, with all these ribbons and braids and... (She stops, and makes an unmistakable Eureka Moment face.) ...your grandma's black, right?

Wybie: Uh...yeah...?

  • I.Q. (with Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, Walter Matthau) plays with it a bit:

 Albert Einstein: Are you thinking what I am thinking?

Ed Walters: Well what would be the odds of that happening?

  • In Robots, during the big fight sequence, Rodney and Big Weld see the other characters in danger, and Big Weld says, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Rodney replies, "I sure am!" He then releases a gigantic sawblade, sending both of them flying with it, causing Big Weld to cry out, "This isn't what I was thinking at all!"
  • This exchange from The Dark Knight:

 Lucius Fox: It emits a high-frequency pulse for mapping an environment and records a response time.

Bruce Wayne: Sonar. Just like a...

Lucius Fox: Like a submarine, Mr. Wayne. Like a submarine.

 Lt. Frank Drebin: Have you noticed anything different about him?

Jane Spencer: Well, only that he's a foot taller, and he seems to be left handed now... Frank, what are you trying to tell me? That Quentin has somehow found an exact double for Dr. Mainheimer and that tomorrow that double will give a fraudulent report to the president?

Lt. Frank Drebin: Why that's brilliant, that's a lot better than what I came up with.

 Are you hearing what I'm thinking?

  • Averted in Showtime in this exchange between the showy cop played by Eddie Murphy, who wants to look good on camera, and the serious cop played by Robert De Niro, who refuses to play along.

 Trey Sellars: (dramatically) Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Mitch Preston: I doubt it.

    • They do end up thinking the same thing at the end, though.
  • In Freddy Got Fingered: "You want me to get inside my animals???" Semi-subverted in that the other guy thought they were on the same page because he didn't know how literally a Cloudcuckoolander would take the statement.
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight, with Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson (in what might be his funniest role to date) contains this exchange:

 Charlie Baltimore: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Mitch: I hope not, because I'm thinking how much my balls hurt!


  • A version of this is seen in one of Robert Asprin's Myth books. Don Bruce, a Mob boss, comes to see Skeeve, who has been quietly sabotaging Mob operations, and starts off by saying he knows Skeeve is the reason the Mob hasn't succeeded in moving into the dimension of Deva. He lists the evidence: Skeeve knows the territory, has connections on Deva, etc. His conclusion? They should have hired Skeeve to work for them in the first place. Don Bruce actually has no idea that Skeeve has been sabotaging him. (This echoes an earlier scene in which the Devan Merchants' Association hires Skeeve to defend them from the Mob, not knowing he was the one who originally brought the Mob to Deva.)
  • This happens when Leonard of Quirm from Discworld tries to name things.

 Leonard: Well, because it is submersed in a marine environment I've always called it the Going-Under-The-Water-Safely-Device.

  • The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe, in which the titular pirates and Charles Darwin are trying to work out a way to get to the top of Big Ben very quickly. After much pondering, they remember the airship moored nearby:

 Pirate Captain: We could steal the airship, pop it with my cutlass, and fashion a big rope from all the silk!

Charles Darwin: Or we could float up there in the airship. Because it's an airship.

  • Waylander 2 by David Gemmell. The assassin Waylander and the gladiator Angel talk about Waylander's would-be-killers

 Angel: Are you aware that you're outnumbered by at least 10 to 1 here?

Waylander: Yes.... It will take time to kill them all

Live Action TV

 Al: Son, are you thinking about what I'm thinking about?

Bud: Luscious hooters?

Al: No. It's what I should have been thinking about.

  • On The Daily Show, one of the correspondents creates, as he puts it, "a radar that detects levels of gayness" and then promptly names it the "homometer".
    • With "GAY" and "RADAR" pasted on the bottom of the screen, moving ever so slowly together.
    • When Colbert discussed Burger King advertising Windows 7, he said that Apple had to get in on this and they would need something "McDonalds Big... for Mac...". He decides on Carl Jr's.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Rose", the Doctor speculates as to where the Nestene Consciousness could have concealed a huge, metal, wheel-shaped transmitter in the middle of London. As he talks, his head is framed by the London Eye (a massive Ferris wheel). Rose notices it and smiles, and he says "What?" She gestures, and he turns round, then turns back "What??" He gets it eventually.

 The Doctor: Valley of half-eaten TARDISs. You thinking what I'm thinking?

Idris: I'm thinking all of my sisters are dead. That they were devoured. And that we are looking at their corpses.

The Doctor: Ah. Sorry, no. I wasn't thinking that.

  • In the Stargate Atlantis episode "Vengeance", the team is stuck on a planet with the bad guy and no way to leave. Two of them come across the bad guy's ship and the following exchange takes place:

 Ronon: You thinking what I'm thinking?

Sheppard: (nods) Fly it, pick you, Rodney and Teyla up and use the dart's DHD to dial the gate.

Ronon: I was thinking "blow it up", but your idea's better.

  • Stargate SG-1 has Teal'c getting the idiom wrong by asking O'Neill "Are you considering the tactic I am considering?"
  • There is a beautiful example of this trope in an episode of Red Dwarf. The Cat and Lister are piloting Starbug away from a something and the following conversation ensues:

 Lister: Cat, are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Cat: I'm thinking leather underwear with silver studs is a major mistake if you put them on inside-out. What are you thinking?

Lister: I'm thinking about you, a mallet and ice cubes again.

  • In an episode of Father Ted, the main characters need to quickly earn some money to repair a leaking roof. One, the titular Ted, comes up with the idea of holding a raffle, and asks fellow priest Dougal if he's thinking what he's thinking. Although Dougal claims at first that he is, it soon becomes apparent that he isn't when his first question is "Where will we get the guns?"
    • It's common in Father Ted to have his exchange where every idea Dougal has is stupid. The one time he has a good idea and Ted agrees, Dougal is quite insistent that it is a bad idea and that "you just haven't thought it through."
  • In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody:

 Cody: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Zack: Chihuahuas have freakishly large ears? I mean, compared to their tiny bodies they're just, like, MASSIVE...

 Hacker: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Bernard: I don't think so, Minister. I'm not thinking anything really.

  • Early nineties Dom Com Blossom had an episode which reenacted a World War II-era scenario, don't remember the context. Blossom's two elder brothers portrayed a buffoonish detective and a bartender with a massive Hitler-stache who called everyone "Herr" and "Fraulein". The detective eventually concluded that they have a spy in their midst -- a Japanese spy.
  • In just about every episode of Bananas in Pajamas:

 B2: Are you thinking what I'm thinking B1?

B1: I think I am, B2.

Together: It's (insert something related here)-time!

  • Happens a lot with J.D. on Scrubs, though we usually see his pondering from his perspective. On the few occasions when we don't, this trope results.

 J.D.: We're gonna need a whole lotta gnomes...

    • When deciding what to do about Kim's pregnancy, Kim mentions an option they haven't yet discussed, "the A Word":

 JD: Appletinis.

 Karadoc: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Perceval: No, but you're staring at me, so I'm staring back.

  • From an interview of Ricky Gervais on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross -- they were talking about Ross's appearance on Extras, which had involved a scene of them wrestling:

 Ricky: You're going to say, did I get an erection.

Jonathan: No!

Ricky: Shit, weren't you?!

 Rigsby: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Cho: No.

Rigsby: How do you know?

Cho: Because I was thinking about what it would be like to date my 6th Grade English teacher.

  • One time on Beakman's World, Beakman smashed a watermelon as part of a demonstration.

 Beakman: So what does this prove?

Lester: That you were too cheap to pop for a seedless watermelon?

  • Night Court once had a plotline where four pregnant women were stranded in the courthouse during a black-out and ended up in labor simultaneously. Judge Harry gave instructions to everyone else to calm the situation, and then said, "Any questions?"

 Random extra: Why is the sky blue?

Harry(exasperated): 'Cause if it was green we wouldn't know when to stop mowing!

 Jamie: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Adam: I think so, Jamie, but it's gonna be hard to find four oak doors and 30 feet of greased chain!

 Bret: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Jemaine: No, I'm thinking what I'm thinking.

Bret: So you're not thinking what I'm thinking?

Jemaine: No, 'cos you're thinking I'm thinking what you're thinking!

  • In Get Smart we find the following lovely exchange:

 Chief: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Max: No. I'm thinking what I'M thinking.

    • Maxwell Smart said "Are you thinking what I'm thinking" so many times that it amounted to a Catch Phrase.
  • In a courtroom sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus, the judge is responding to charade clues from the foreman of the jury. The last clue is that foreman miming drinking tea in an exaggerated manner, and pointing to the contents of the cup, and results in the judge finding the defendant Not Guil-Cup.
  • Parodied on Star Trek Deep Space Nine in the episode "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" between O'Brien and Bashir:

 Bashir: Miles... You thinking what I'm thinking?

O'Brien: That depends on what you're thinking.

  • On How I Met Your Mother Ted thinks this with Barny, Robin, Lily, and Marshall. He assumes they're all wanting nacho's, when the rest are all thinking about how ridiculous his hair looks.
  • Done very often between contestants on QI, to avoid the dreaded klaxon.
  • In "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" there is this exchange:

 Fry: You know what I'd like to know?

Laurie: Have you told me before?

Fry: No.

Laurie: Then how could I possibly?

  • On an episode of Malcolm in the Middle, when Reese is playing with some food coloring as Malcolm and Stevie are working on a science project:

 Reese: When you mix blue and yellow together, you get a totally new color! I shall call it... Blellow!

Professional Wrestling

  • From the WWF debut of Cactus Jack:

 Dude Love: Are you thinking what I think you're thinking?

Mankind: I think I am thinking what you think I think you're thinking.

    • If you don't get it, Cactus Jack, Dude Love and Mandkind are all personalities of one guy.


 Dougal: Hamish, are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Hamish: No.

Video Games

  • In the "Milkman Conspiracy" level of Psychonauts, the main character Raz ponders how he can get a birds-eye view of the neighborhood (while a rather obvious helicopter repeatedly flies by in the background, through the window), and briefly contemplates using a pair of stilts (well, he is a Circus Brat).
  • In World of Warcraft, one of the joke quotes for the Draenei female is "Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Good. Bring ample supply of butter and goblin jumper cables."
    • NOTE: Goblin Jumper Cables are used to bring people BACK TO LIFE, and the Draenei Jokes were mostly cut since they were TOO sexual.
    • Also worth noting-To put the saddle part of the joke into further context, Draenei have hooves and are referred to as 'space goats' often.
  • In the Megazeux game "Funky Chunky Monkey", the protagonist, Melvin Garfunkel (AKA "Funky Chunky Monkey") has an Evil Twin who was banished to the Arctic after his last evil scheme fell flat. Near the end of the game, Funky learns that the Big Bad who kidnapped his sidekick is a character known as THEM (The Hideously Evil Monkey), looks just like Funky, and is currently living in an alternate dimension in Funky's refrigerator. He connects the dots like so...

 Funky: Let's see... looks just like me... lives in a very cold place... hideously evil... I've got it! THEM must be... Robert DeNiro! Wait, that can't be right... I've got it! THEM must be... my evil twin brother Marvin!

  • In Dawn of War: Winter Assault, the evil chaos lord Crull has spent most of the shared ork/chaos campaign desiring a powerful Humongous Mecha he plans to reclaim and use to Take Over the World (of course). If you decide to side with the orks for the final level, Warboss Gorgutz is in the process of outlining his plan to force Crull into open battle so Gorgutz can kill him (namely, threaten to destroy the mecha) when he decides to phrase the how of it as a rhetorical question.

 Gorgutz: And you know how I'm gettin' him ta come after me?

Number Two: ...Yer gonna call 'im a grot?

Gorgutz: We'll call dat "Plan: Stupid"! I named it after ya!

Web Comics

  • In 8-bit Theater, Fighter is told by Swordopolis to go to the Castle of Ordeals. However, Fighter then immediately forgets what tower he's supposed to go to. He wanders around the airship hearing all sorts of homophones for "Ordeal" before finally "realizing" that it's supposed to be... Radio Castle!
  • Early Goblins joke. Just see it for yourself.
  • Adventures In Ninja Cookery had this exchange:

 Larry: How is the road, Mr. Ninja?

Iron Ninja:: Well, it's brown, and surrounded by trees of some sort.

 Alex's Narration: I'd finally broken out of the endless battle loop and though I'd been victorious, I was still badly shaken. It was like being trapped in that Bill Murray movie where the same thing happened over again... god how I hated Ghostbusters II.

  • Darths and Droids, a webcomic about a group of roleplayers going through a Star Wars campaign, provides a few examples through the player Jim. In one strip, Jim (playing Padme) announces that he'll put a hairpin in his mouth while he's being marched to a pillar he'll be chained up to. When another player compliments him on his idea to pick the lock, his response is "Oh! That's an even better idea! I was going to fake a medical emergency."
    • Also, Yoda's name for the Clone Wars in strip 407.
  • Questionable Content has possibly the greatest non sequitur in history.
  • An Xkcd bonus comic has another example of this.
  • When Knuckles asks this in Final Fantasy Sonic:

 Sonic: I think so, Knuckles, but shouldn't dancing always be fun?

 Roger: Well, it's a rock and it's my fella, so...

Mike: Say no more. You named it "Rockefeller", right?

Roger: No, "Fluffy". Why?

Web Original

 Rex: This fog reminds me of that John Carpenter movie with all the fog. I think it was called... Halloween.

Weevil: Heh heh, yeah, she's looking for Michael Myers!

Rex: Mike Myers wasn't in that movie, dumbass.

 Space Tree: Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Commander?

Commander: I hope not, because that would burn my nipples right off!

 Cheerleader: You hear that, girls?

What's Her Face: Pizza belongs in a triangle.

So and So: That Tompkins is such a renegade!

Cheerleader: No, yous guys! The Battle of the Bands!

Western Animation

 Chip: This flying saucer is made out of rubber! Do you know what that means?

Dale: Er, it's dishwasher-safe?

Chip: No, stupid! *BONK!* It means it's not a real spaceship.

 Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Pinky: I think so, Brain, but where are we going to find a duck and a hose at this hour?

    • This trope appeared outside of the usual exchange in another episode:

 Brain: Pinky, what rhymes with June?

Pinky: I'm busy, Brain!

Brain: Well, what are you doing?

Pinky: Oh, just hitting a balloon with a spoon while I croon a tune to this baboon by the light of the moon.

Brain: Well, will you be done soon?

Pinky: Oh, about noon. Why?

Brain: What rhymes with June?

Pinky: ... No it doesn't.

Brain: Gah, I'll make it April.

    • And in another episode, it happened within the usual exchange, but with Brain providing the final example. After Pinky suggests that they package their trading cards with something pink and chewy that everyone likes so that people will buy them, Brain sees the obvious answer -- include sausages.
      • Well, they were in Germany, and the episode took place just after the printing press was created.
    • In one instance, they even lampshade the whole bit.

 Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Pinky: Whoof, oh, I'd have to say the odds of that are terribly slim Brain.

Brain: True.

Pinky: I mean, really, when have I ever been pondering what you've been pondering?

Brain: To my knowledge, never.

Pinky: Exactly. So, what are the chances that this time, I'm pondering what you're pondering?

Brain: Next to nil.

Pinky: Well, that's exactly what I'm thinking, too.

Brain: Therefore, you are pondering what I'm pondering.

Pinky: Poit, I guess I am!

    • It was played around with once on the show - as it gave us a look inside Pinky's thought processes. The Brain was explaining his latest plan, and quickly devolved into Blah Blah Blah, blahblah blah blahblah as Pinky pondered how Brain's head looked like a hippo's. This started a chain of thought, ending with the hippo on a beach, and wondering what the hippo WOULD wear on a beach. At this point Brain interrupted with the Trope name. Pinky's reply?

 I think so, Brain, but what if the hippo doesn't want to wear the beach thong?

      • Inverted at least once.

 Pinky: Well, I think so, Brain, but... no, it's too stupid.

Brain: We shall disguise ourselves as a cow!

Pinky: Narf, Brain! That was it exactly!

        • On one occasion, Pinky took the Brain role with his own reflection.

 Pinky: (talking to his reflection in the mirror) Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Pinky's Reflection: Why, yes, Pinky! Yes, I am! But where would you get a chicken, 20 yards of spandex and smelling salts at this hour?

 Fan: Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Paulsen: I think so, Brain, but why would anyone want to pierce Brosnan?

    • The other variation on the gag would be a non-sequitur from Pinky, which actually distracts Brain because he ends up agreeing with it.

 Brain: Are you pondering what I'm pondering, Sancho Pinky?

Pinky: I think so, Don Cerebro, but why would Sophia Loren do a musical?

Brain: (nearly hits Pinky, stops at the last moment as it sinks in) A worthy enigma, Sancho Pinky.

    • Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain featured a variation on this running gag in the form of Brain asking if Pinky has "Any questions?", with Pinky responding by asking a completely irrelevant question. Then, at the end of the episode, Brain gives Pinky the answer to his question. Example:

 Brain: Any questions?

Pinky: Just one. If Fred Flintstone knew the giant order of ribs was going to tip over his car, why did he order them every week?


Brain: It was an end title.

Pinky: What?

Brain: Fred Flintstone doesn't order ribs every week. That was only animated once, then music and voice tracks were added. The footage is run at the end of the show in the same spot every time. It's called an end title.

      • And lest we forget, the marvellous moment from the episode where Brain manages to boost Pinky's intelligence to unprecedented levels...

 Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Pinky: (slight pause, then with mildly-surprised pride)...Yes, I AM!

  • The one-character version often came up in Futurama.
  • Family Guy also had a good example in the episode where Peter found out he was mentally retarded. The judge says:

 Judge: If it were up to me, I would send you to a place far away. A place where you were locked up with other dangerous people for a time determined by the degree of your crime. Unfortunately, as far as I know, no such place exists, so I have to let you go free.

    • This is actually a two-person version, as after the judge bangs his gavel, Peter jumps in.

 Peter: Oh and it was prison you were thinking of.

Judge: Oh, I already banged my hammer!

 Lois: You should spend some time with our kids Peter, and with me.

Peter: Well what can you and me do together?

Lois: [Giggles]

Peter: Lois! You've got a sick mind!

Lois: Peter, I'm talking about making love.

Peter: Oh, I thought you wanted to murder the children and harvest their organs for beer money.

 (the Hamburger Hippo disappears after Launchpad returns to retrieve his "lucky" scarf)

Darkwing: Do you realize what this means?

Launchpad: I need to get a new scarf?

  • In The Simpsons Movie, Homer needs to get on top of the dome over Springfield. He looks in a military bunker and races excitedly towards a jet pack... whereupon he takes the tube of superglue next to it.

 Kent Brockman: Another local peasant has been found dead - drained of his blood with two teeth marks on his throat. This black cape was found on the scene. Police are baffled.

Police Chief Wiggum: We think we're dealing with a supernatural being, most likely a mummy. As a precaution, I've ordered the Egyptian wing of the Springfield museum destroyed.

    • And another one:

  Homer: I learned this from a movie I saw about a bus that has to speed around the city, keeping its speed above 50, and if its speed dropped, it would explode. I think it was called The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down.

    • A similar example happened when Bart and Milhouse were on a bus that couldn't slow down.

 Milhouse: This is just like Speed 2, except with a bus instead of a boat!

    • In the Stampy the elephant episode, kids keep knocking at Homer's door, and as he turns them back, Milhouse offers him money to see it. Homer goes "That gives me an idea!" and he proceeds to plant a sign on his front lawn that reads "Go away"
      • In a similar scene in another episode, he's offered a dollar to see the "angel skeleton" in his garage. He responds "A buck, eh?". Cut to Homer greeting a queue of people, charging them fifty cents each.
    • Chief Wiggum again, in a Treehouse of Horror sketch where dolphins attempt to take over:

 Police Chief Wiggum: Hmm. Bottlenose bruises, blowhole burns, flipper prints...this looks like the work of rowdy teens. Lou, cancel the prom.

    • Again Homer, who has to find Lisa in a busy street. He runs up to a balloon merchant, buys all his balloons, exclaims "I hope this works!", and offers a crane operator said balloons if he can borrow the crane for a while. It works.
    • Another example: Homer and Marge are worried about something, when Marge has an idea.

 Marge: Homer, are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Homer: Yep...

(Dissolve to Homer's dream sequence, where he terrorizes a city with a hang-glider and a laser gun. "You can run... but you cannot GLIDE!")

    • Principal Skinner and the idea for his great American novel.
      • Apu tears him apart for this though.
    • The Simpsons is full of these. In another episode, Homer is trying to think of a way to sneak him and his buddies past the security guard at the back entrance into the Superbowl. Bart points out a rack of Halftime Show Costumes. He uses the rack to knock over the security guard and they all run in!
    • After Kent Brockman reports on Burns' missing bear Maggie holds up the bear infront of the TV (which happens to be showing a picture of the bear) leading Homer to yell:

 Homer: Maggie get that moldy old bear out of the way! Moldly?! Old?! I'm gonna get something to eat!

    • Then there's the time Homer is in jail for stealing Moe's car. Hans Moleman comes by with a book cart, offering him some reading material. Homer picks up "How to Tunnel Out of Prison", thinks that it might be useful - then knocks Moleman out with it and escapes.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants, episode "New Student Starfish": SpongeBob asks Patrick to get get a lightbulb from the closet, and Patrick runs in to find a huge mountain of lightbulbs on the floor. He exclaims "Lightbulb!" then races up to the mountain. "But why does it have to be so far away?" (glancing up past the mountain to the lightbulb hanging from the ceiling) He then proceeds to climb the mountain of lightbulbs to reach the one on the ceiling.
    • Also in 'The Great Snail Race':

 Spongebob: (to Patrick) Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Patrick: Yeah! I should get a snail and enter it in that race and beat Squidward! (runs out)

Spongebob: (to Gary) Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

(Gary thinks of watching TV)

Spongebob: No no no! I'm thinking about entering you in that race and beating Squidward's snail!

  • Kim Possible has a scene like this in "Emotion Sickness" when Drakken and Shego are on a "date".

 Shego: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Drakken: Uh... this ice cream's gonna go straight to my hips and I'll never fit into a size 6?

  • An episode of Justice League, where four of Flash's enemies, Mirror Master, Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, and the Trickster are discussing teaming up against their common foe.

 Mirror Master: Here we are, the hardest men in town and we all have something in common.

Trickster: Bilateral symmetry.

  • A running gag on Bromwell High, where Natella asks Keisha this.
  • In American Dad, Stan brainwashes Haylee. Her mom notices something's wrong and says something like(can't remember): "Something's wrong with Haylee. It's like she's not herself. It's as if...her mind has been put through a cleaning, scrubbed or rubbed vigorously with soap and water...brainpolished...mindscoured..." She looks at Stan, who just shrugs.
  • JFK on Clone High has the 1-person variant as one of his trademark shticks:

  "What if we take a sample of a song that already exists, and you rap over that sample? I call it... 'song-taking.'"

  • In a Robot Chicken sketch parodying G-Force two of the other team members help Tiny lose weight and get in shape. As he buffs up, he single-handedly saves the day, getting the glory and the girls. The two helpful team members are not too happy about this and glance at each other saying, 'Are you thinking what I'm thinking?' When one comes into the room with a huge banana sundae to find the other has slaughtered their friend with a chainsaw he realizes they weren't thinking the same thing at all.
  • In one episode of Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, this exchange occurs.

 Mac (to Bloo): Are you thinking what I'm thinking?



Bloo: (simultaneously) TAKE A SANDWICH BREAK!

  Phineas: Ferb! Are you thinking what I'm thinking? (Ferb hands over some blueprints) As usual we're- (looks at blueprints and is immediately disgusted) Oh ugh! Man! No! That's not at all what I was thinking! OH, DUDE! (Ferb flips blueprints upside) Oh, yeah. That's it!

    • "Don't Even Blink" has Doofenshmirtz build an invisibility Ray, explaining that he plans to use it to deal with Fireside Girls who knock on his door and spot him through the window, preventing him from pretending that he isn't home. His plan? Fire the gun at the Fireside Girls so he won't have to look at them. The irony of this situation is that the buildup to this statement implies that he will use the ray on himself to become invisible to the Fireside Girls, i.e. the more sensible approach. Obviously, this thought somehow never dawns on him.
    • In "Make Play", Candace commiserates with her doppelganger Princess Baldegrunde:

 Baldegrunde: I never get to do anything for myself.

Candace: And I have to do everything for myself!

Both: I've got it!

Candace: Let's go to the laundromat and fill the dryers with cheese!

Baldegrunde: What? No, let us trade lives! I thought for sure on same page we were.

 Stan: Dude, are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Cartman: That they should bring back Chicago Hope for another season? Totally!

Stan: No! That we could use the brown noise to get back at those asshole New Yorker kids.

    • In another episode, Kyle declares they have to do something about the homeless problem. Cartman agrees, and says he knows exactly what Kyle is thinking. He then sets up a ramp and skateboards over a homeless guy Evel Knievel-style. Later, everyone keeps crediting Kyle with the idea to build ramps over the homeless people.
  • In one episode of Chowder after finding vermin who like to eat his food...

 Chowder: It's almost like I need to start my own catering company... THAT'S IT! I'll open a store for plus-size ladies' fashion! No, wait...

  • In the episode of The Penguins of Madagascar "Tagged," the penguins get fit with electronic tracking devices. An exchange follows:

 Skipper: Rico! Hacksaw!

Private: Skipper? How long will it take to saw through the bracelet?

Skipper: Bracelet? I was just going to saw off my foot. But maybe you're on to something there, Private.

 Fred: I know what you're gonna ask - where are we gonna get ten times that much [money]?

Barney: No, I was gonna ask what's in the coconut juice.

  • In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "If It Smells Like an Ed", the Eds try to track down whoever it was that framed them for sabotage, and eventually stumble across a Bound and Gagged Johnny, with gummy candies stuck all over him.

 Edd: This can only point to one thing!

Ed: Rotten teeth?

Edd: No, Ed. Well, yes...

  • In the Care Bears To The Rescue Movie, Cheer's pet gobblebug has just eaten most of Share's garden, and is likely to eat most of the foliage in Care-a-Lot.

 Share: Too bad he can't have his own garden somewhere.

Cheer: Hey! Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Oopsy: We should all just move away and let Nibbley take over Care-A-Lot?

Cheer: What? No!

 Spike: Look, unless an Ursa Major comes waltzing up the street for Trixie to vanquish, I am not going to believe a word she says, and neither should you!

Snips: An Ursa walkin' up the street, eh? Snails, you thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?

Snails: Why is it they call it a flea market when they don't really sell fleas?

Snips: Yeah! Uh... oh, come on!

    • In The Teaser for "Ponyville Confidential", Apple Bloom suggests that the school newspaper may help the Cutie Mark Crusaders in their cutie-mark hunt. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle proceed to use copies of the newspaper in every way they can think of (packing fragile items, lining birds' nests, and making paper boats and paper hats) before finding out that Apple Bloom meant they should try writing for the school newspaper.
  • Squirrel Boy:

 Andy: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Rodney: Maybe. Are you thinking there's an untapped market for edible socks?

  • Invoked in Aqua Teen Hunger Force, when Master Shake declares that Frylock's time machine is the key to curing Frylock's cancer. Because they can set fire to the time machine, and smoke the cancer out. Bonus points for actually trying to follow through on the idea.
  • Happens in The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack episode "Low Tidings", although K'nuckles response to the question ("That Scoops Pennington is a hack?") does at least follow logically from what had gone before. Flapjack was actually suggesting that they take the place of the two sick actors in the Low Tide Day pageant.
  • The Pinky And Perky Show: After hearing the title characters discussing a haunted television studio:

 Vera: Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Eric?

Eric: Yes, Vera. Why don't they make vases out of rubber?

 Broseph: So Johnny has the keys to the whale bus. And Johnny totally has the hots for Emma. Are you thinking what I'm thinking, bro?

Finn: Yeah. I should get some smaller cut-outs made. You know, for the babes.

Real Life

  • Charlie Rose is a great interviewer in many ways, but take a drink every time he asks his guest an elaborate yes-or-no question that fully incorporates the answer he'd like them to give, and they reply, "...Not really."

You know, we should put something at the bottom of this page, a little sting of humor to get the reader when they're not expecting it. And we can call it The Last Little Unexpected Joke!

    • Go on then.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.