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Bob and Alice have a problem. Bob has a brilliant solution and tells Alice. Alice reacts as if she had thought of it herself.

Bonus points if Alice first criticizes the idea before stealing it. Further bonus points if Bob and Alice are members of a Quirky Miniboss Squad and Alice returns ownership of the idea to Bob after the plan goes Wahoonie-shaped.

A common variation has Alice acting as though she has not heard Bob's suggestion at all, and then repeating it word-for-word as though she had just thought of it. If she honestly hadn't heard the plan before independently suggesting it, it's a case of Strange Minds Think Alike.

People prone to this are also prone to Never My Fault.

Examples of Glad I Thought of It include:


Advertising

  • Used in a Dominoes' commercial. Donald Trump receives a cheeseburger pizza from a delivery guy...and then acts like the cheeseburger pizza--its invention, not ordering it, which was probably his secretary's idea from his reaction--was his idea. And his yes-men compliment him on it. The delivery guy is the Only Sane Man, of course.
  • A commercial for FedEx featured a boss repeating an underling's suggestion verbatim but making a hand signal while saying it, which is apparently enough to make it uniquely the boss's idea.


Comics

  • In one Mad Magazine "The Lighter Side" feature, one editor at a magazine (apparently Mad itself) pitches an idea his coworker thought up while noting that he has reservations about it. The head editor approves it, and the editor who mentioned it claimed that he had supported it all along.


Fan Fic


Film

  • Used in Hook, when Smee convinces the good Captain to try to get Peter's kids to love him.
  • Occurs in Miss Congeniality when Gracie suggests to Eric how he should run his op. Eric immediately orders his team to follow those exact steps and follows it up with "Yeah, now I'm thinking!"
  • Used in Ocean's Eleven, when Danny and Rusty are discussing whether Saul will join their team.

 Danny: You could ask him.

Rusty: Hey, I could ask him.

  • Inverted in Singin in The Rain, after Cosmo comes up with the idea of having Kathy's voice dubbed over Lina's.

 Kathy: Don, you're a genius!

Cosmo: (sarcastically) I'm glad you thought of it.

  • Spider-Man 2: Jameson seamlessly believes he has come up with the name Dr. Octopus himself moments after Hoffman suggests it to him.
  • The King and I, where the king asks for Anna's advice by asking her what she thinks he'll do next.
  • The Lion King: "But he'll get bigger." "Maybe he'll be on our side."
    • From the same film:

 Nala: All right, it worked.

Simba: We lost him. I am a genius.

Nala: Hey, genius, it was my idea.

Simba: Yeah, but I pulled it off.

 Character 1: "Character 2, shouldn't I do X?"

Character 2: (to first character) "No, why don't you take care of it?"

  • Variation from the 1984 Dune adaptation:

 De Vries: Now, as instructed, I have enlightened your nephews concerning my plan--

Baron Harkonnen: MY plan!

De Vries: ...the plan to crush the Atreides.

  • From "The Reign of Megamind," (a video comic extra):

 Minion: Sir! You- You listened to me?

Megamind: No... Something you said just happened to make me take action on a plan of my own. Which bore a similarity to your suggestion, but was entirely of my own making.

  • In Inception the plan centers on invoking this in the mind of the mark. While in the mark's dream you present him with an idea that he will suborn as his own upon waking up. The key is to make the mark truly believe that he came up with the idea on his own.


Literature

  • Used dramatically in Animal Farm. Napoleon criticizes Snowball's plan to build a windmill, then claims he thought of it himself after he runs Snowball off the farm.
  • Used intentionally by Ehren ex Cursori in the sixth Codex Alera book First Lord's Fury. He manages to convince the current (usurping) First Lord to expose himself to a dangerous (and eventually fatal) situation and think it was his own idea.
  • Mentioned in Lady Knight. A very green female knight running a refugee camp, Keladry of Mindelan can't always just give orders and have all of them obeyed immediately, and one of the things she figures out is how to phrase suggestions in ways that let her people think they came up with ideas. It might not be satisfying, but Kel's always been less interested in ego-stroking, more in results.
  • Used by Cao Cao numerous times in Romance of the Three Kingdoms.


Live Action TV

  • Jim from the US version of The Office uses this trope sarcastically a couple of times, usually to point out the ridiculousness of said plan. For instance, during a meeting in the episode "Did I Stutter", Andy proposes to add a bit more zing and pep to their answering machine message in order to energize the company. Jim responds by saying they should add a newer message with even more zing and pep.
  • Colonel Klink does this all the time on Hogan's Heroes. Colonel Hogan regularly takes advantage of it to manipulate him, often complimenting Klink on the brilliance of his plan.
  • Schemer does this in an episode of Shining Time Station.
  • Moe of The Three Stooges did this all the time.
  • Friends, Rachel is looking for a roommate and Phoebe's roommate just moved out. "Well maybe I could be your roommate, Pheebs." "...Hey, maybe you could be my roommate!"
  • In Get Smart, Agent 99 will often suggest a plan, after which, Max will re-quote the plan in the same exact words as if it were his own idea... Agent 99 will usually pause for a bit before deciding to humor Max.
  • Blackadder Edmund often does this to Baldrick throughout the series, most notably in the first season where Baldrick is portrayed as smarter than Edmund.

    An example occurs in the very first episode. Edmund, having become a Prince of the Realm after the death of the previous king, decides to adopt a new nickname. His initial idea is The Black Vegetable. Baldrick suggests that something like The Black Adder might be more awe-inspiring. Edmund then proclaims that he has an even better idea: The Black Adder.
  • In the Are You Being Served episode "The Think Tank", the Ladies and Gents' staff are trying to think up ways of boosting sales in the department. Captain Peacock suggests an in-store fashion show, which Mr. Rumbold summarily rejects and then appropriates as his own idea.
  • Happened Once an Episode in Wonder Bug. Usually involving disguises.
  • A running gag in the MASH episode Rally Round the Flagg, Boys.
  • In the Doctor Who serial The Stones of Blood, Romana tells the Doctor to get on with finding the next segment of Key to Time. The Doctor starts to leave, turns back, and tells her that he's decided to go find the location of the next segment of the Key to Time.
    • The Fourth Doctor seems particularly prone to this, as he does the same to Leela in The Invisible Enemy. She spends the episode telling him to blow up the enemy, only to become indignant when he congratulates himself on his brilliant idea of...blowing up the enemy.
  • Paul does this to Barry a lot in Chucklevision.
  • In the Swedish children's show Dr Mugg, this is a running gag. Captain Filling, the hero, will ask out loud what he can do to stop Dr. Mugg's latest plan. His love interest will propose an idea. He will hijack the idea. She, fawning all over him, will ask how he comes up with such brilliant plans. He will announce "Simple! I just use my brain!" and point to some completely random part of his body.
  • Subverted in The IT Crowd when Moss has a good idea but decides its stupid until Jen repeats it and he congratulates her on having a good idea, while Jen confusedly thanks him.
  • Used alot on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The gang likes to pull this trope on Butt Monkey Sweet Dee.
  • Invoked in an episode of Blackadder the Third. The Prince refuses to sponsor Dr. Samuel Johnson's Dictionary and insults the man on the way out, but Edmund promises Johnson he can change the Prince's mind in a few minutes. He does so by telling the Prince that pretending to hate the Dictionary while actually loving it was a brilliant joke, which causes him to instantly adopt this attitude (the entire episode is predicated on the Prince's desire to convince people that he was witty and sophisticated).
  • Also a Running Gag in Dad's Army. Sgt Wilson would suggest a good idea, then Captain Mainwaring would say, "Yes, I was waiting for you to say that, Wilson."


Newspaper Comics

  • Dilbert
    • Dilbert and his co-workers have taken advantage of the Pointy-Haired Boss' habit of doing this several times -- suggest something ridiculous, wait for him to steal the idea, try not to laugh in PHB's face.
    • In one strip, Dogbert was helping a guy who wanted a career belittling other people. Dogbert suggested that he pursue a career in management and decided to give him the management aptitude test. The guy instantly declared, "Hey, I have an idea! I should pursue a career in management!" Dogbert, of course, replied, "Congratulation, you just passed the management aptitude test."
  • A months-long plotline in For Better or For Worse revolved around Elly trying to save the local theatre. Eventually, she gave up and took her young son Michael along to pack everything away. Michael, amazed by all the costumes, proclaims they could throw the biggest Halloween party ever. Elly immediately hijacks the idea and helps organize a big celebration, inviting the local officials for a big shin-dig... only for adults, no children allowed. When one of those officials then declares the theatre a local icon and saves it, he proclaims "I've been lobbying for this for months!", leaving Elly gobsmacked and shocked that somebody would take credit for her idea.
  • In an early Thimble Theatre comic, Castor Oyle (Olive Oyle's father) is annoyed that the political cartoonist for the newspaper he owns hasn't actually thought up a cartoon in several days. Castor suggests a cartoon showing the mayor as a vulture (a scandal was brewing during this) carrying off sheep, representations of the townspeople. The cartoonist derides this as stupid, before coming up with a comic portraying the mayor as a vulture carrying off sheep. Castor is not amused.


Video Games

  • A non-malicious example arises in Persona 4 as the heroes are all discussing the latest developments in their murder investigation, what they signify and what they should do about it. Chie's only been half-listening to the discussion while thinking it over, and then, as the conversation concludes, she suddenly announces that she's got it all figured out - and proceeds to recite almost exactly what everyone else had just said. It doesn't seem to have been intentional, though she's still immediately called out for it.


Web Comics

  • An unusual variant occurs in this Schlock Mercenary strip where time travel allows a character to steal an idea from a future version of himself prompting him to say "I'm glad I will have thought of it"
  • 8-Bit Theater:

 Mob Boss: Good idea. Glad I Thought of It.

Mob Underling: That's why you're the boss. You're not afraid to go vaudeville on a guy.

  • In RPG World, Evil Soldier #347 suggests that Galgarion join the heroes in disguise. Galgarion promptly fires him... and then brings up the brilliant idea of joining the heroes in disguise!
  • In Erfworld, one of Wanda's methods of getting Stanley to do what she wants is to make him think it was his idea.


Web Original

  • A repeated gag in Kickassia By episode 3, this has become a habit, to the point where Phelous can count down the seconds until the Critic repeats his idea. By the end of the series, they've done tons of different variations on that gag including the Critic preemptively stealing an idea and having to wait for Phelous to finish his sentence, the Critic hypocritically blaming Phelous for coming up with a bad idea, and Phelous tricking the Critic into suggesting his own beating.

 Phelous: Hey guys, uh, I got a idea. This might seem like a shot in the dark, but what if we'd just used weapons?

The Nostalgia Critic: Na na, it's a terrible idea. [[[Beat]]] Wait! I have an idea!

Phelous, sarcastically: Gee, does it involve using weapo-?

Critic, very hammy: It involves using weapons!


Western Animation

  • The Super Mario World episode "Gopher Bash" has Cheatsy Koopa suggest to Koopa that they steal the cave people's crops, forcing them to get food from Koopa. Slight subversion in that Koopa considers it a brilliant suggestion, but he still remarks "Glad I thought of it".
  • Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines: In "A Plain Shortage of Planes", Klunk suggests to Dick Dastardly that the squadron buy an airplane to replace the planes that crashed. This is also probably the only time Dastardly did not ask Zilly to translate.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century", Porky (the eager, young space cadet) decides that the best way to find the elusive Planet X is to follow a row of planets marked A, B, C, etc. Daffy (Duck Dodgers) first laughs at the idea, and then immediately claims it as his own.
  • Darkwing Duck: Darkwing does this all the time. He will dismiss his daughter or sidekick's plan. Then he has a great idea that, word for word, repeats the plan he just heard. His daughter will often call him on this.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • "Welcome To The Chum Bucket" with Plankton and Karen.

 Karen: To get to the Spongebob, you must show him compassion and understanding. Then he'll give you what you want.

Plankton: Will you be quiet, Karen? I'm trying to think. I've got it! To get to the Spongebob, I'll show him compassion and understanding. Then he'll give me what I want.

      • This becomes a Running Gag in the series. Anytime Karen suggests something, Plankton will act like he doesn't understand or it's not important, then say the exact same idea.
    • In another episode:

 SpongeBob: How about we help you?

Mermaid Man: No, no, that would never work. But how about you help me?

  • In the Disney version of The Prince and the Pauper, this is one of the two things the prince tells Mickey to say in order to pass himself off as a ruler. (The other one is "Guards, seize him!")
  • Timon does this to Pumbaa in The Lion King, the sequel, the Interquel and Timon & Pumbaa. Pumbaa never notices. Well, sometimes he does, but he promptly shrugs it off

 Pumbaa: Maybe he'll be on our side.

Timon: That's the stupidest thing I ever heard! Maybe he'll... wait, I've got an idea! What if he's on our side?

  • Care Bears
    • Shreeky does this to Beastly as a Running Gag.
    • Grizzle does this in an episode of Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-lot. UR-2 suggests that he get the Care Bears to like him, and Grizzle falls on the floor laughing. UR-2, unfazed, continues explaining that if the bears like him, they'll trust him, and Grizzle puts the rest of the pieces together. He claims the plan as his own, ignoring UR-2's objections.
  • In the Tale Spin episode "Captains Outrageous", Don Karnage sends Mad Dog and Dumptruck into Cape Suzette to kidnap a rich kid and hold him for ransom. When Mad Dog hears about a "super secret anti-pirate weapon"...

 Mad Dog: We can get the kid * and* the weapon. Ooh, wait till Don Karnage gets a load of this...

  • Mad Dog gets on the radio to explain to Karnage*

Don Karnage: Two for one...I like it! I like it so much, I must have thought of it myself.

  • The Spectacular Spider-Man does this as well, with J. Jonah Jameson both criticizing and selectively hearing Peter Parker's suggestion that photos of Spider-Man would sell papers.
  • In the story "Dare Duck" from PB and J Otter, Peanut, Jelly and Flick are lost in the woods and Jelly gets the idea to follow a stream downhill in order to return to Lake Hoohaw. Peanut says it's a great idea and Flick agrees, "Great?! It's perfect! Glad I thought of it!"
  • In an episode of Batman the Brave And The Bold, Robin deduces that Crazy Quilt is going to break into STAR Labs. Batman replies "Of course! He must be going to break into STAR Labs!" The implication here isn't that Batman is stealing Robin's idea, it's that he simply isn't listening because he still thinks of Dick as the sidekick.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: Whenever Heloise comes up with a good idea, Lucius begins taking credit for it usually before the pitch is finished.
  • In Aladdin, often happens to Beleaguered Assistant Haroud. Abis Mal will often dismiss his ideas then come up with the same idea himself, although sometimes he'll rephrase it.
  • The joke goes full circle with the wizard Bufo in Adventure Time.

 Finn: You don't have to quit your job. Just don't take credit for ideas that aren't yours.

Bufo: Uh, good idea. Glad I thought of it.

 Minty: I didn't understand Kimono at first of course, I mean, who understands her at first? "Unity often makes tasks easier to conquer," who understands that?

Wysteria: We give Kimono one charm bracelet instead of eight?

Minty: See, I didn't get it either. But then I did! We give Kimono one charm bracelet instead of eight!

    • The Friendship is Magic episode "Over A Barrel" could also be a variation, Pinkie Pie's suggestion of sharing and caring is insulted by the warring factions' leaders early on, but after this proves to be the right solution to the problem, Twilight Sparkle paraphrases her idea as the day's Aesop.

 Pinkie: In the name of the earth ponies, I think I'm gonna name this new place...uh...DIRTVILLE!

Applejack: How 'bout "Earth"?

Pinkie: EARTH! Congratulations to me for thinking of it!

  • Happens several times in The Simpsons, often with Bart and Lisa or Homer and Lisa.
  • American Dad episode when Stan is hosting a telethon to raise the money to pay for the terrorist torturing devices. Roger actually came up of the idea of a telethon, but Stan thought it was stupid until it's a great idea and takes it as his own. Roger plots revenge by sabotaging the stage as the Phantom Of The Telethon.
  • Halvar, the father of Vicky the Viking incurs in this trope in every episode after his son's brilliant plan saves the day. Played somewhat for laughs since Halvar is a rather rustic chieftain.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends had an episode where Frankie had to buy groceries and her suggestion that they ordered pizza was rejected. When she came back, Mr. Herriman, who rejected her idea, told her it took her so long for her to come back the imaginary friend who moved in at the beginning of that episode suggested ordering a pizza.
  • In Phineas and Ferb Across The Second Dimension Candace decides that as an adult, she's too mature to beg her mom to bust her brothers, leading to this exchange;

 Stacy: The irony is that as an adult, you don't need to tell your mom. You can just bust them yourself.

Candace: That's it, Stacy! I'm old enough to bust them myself!

Stacy: That's what I just said.


Real Life

  • Thomas Edison is reputed to have done this several times, mostly notoriously to Nikola Tesla. Of course he had to be a bit more forceful, seeing as people don't like seeing potentially incredibly profitable inventions stolen. This really bit Edison on the butt because Tesla managed to beat Edison in the worlds fair bid and the Alternating Current/Direct Current War. But was later awarded the Edison Medal for his accomplishments.
  • It's not unusual for some people with Asperger's or autism to do this without realizing it, because in memory the storage of information is more likely to be disconnected from the source of the information.
  • Josef Stalin, when this was politically expedient, brought up in a slightly changed form ideas condemned when they belonged to the rivals or formulated proposals as products of his "counseling with comrades". According to his once-secretary Bazhanov, few minutes after reading the draft of new Party Charter the first time he introduced it to Lenin as a result of development by "we here in the Central Comittee" -- of course, this does sound better than "comrades here found one young man with a good project".
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