A group of characters is in some sort of fix or trouble. One character steps up and:

* contrives a plan just CrazyEnoughToWork
* or manages a bit of out of character or unexpected {{Bad Ass}}ery
* or pulls off a clever [[BondOneLiner bit of dialogue]] that stops everyone in their tracks
* pulls off some manner of complicated stunt like an old pro

The other people in the scenario, Mooks, DistressedDamsel, and even the villain are impressed by this display of incredible competence and showmanship.

The character who just amazed the crowd shrugs it off modestly, [[StockPhrases saying simply]], "Saw it in a movie once."

Variations include:
* Saw it on a TV show
* Read it in a book
* My dad/mentor/grandfather once told me a story about it
* Dreamed I did it

Sister trope to both TaughtByTelevision and IKnowMortalKombat. See also CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime]]
* ''Lightnovel/FullMetalPanic'': Kaname says this in the first season when she, Sousuke, and Kurz are trapped by an army of soldiers in a small trench. The movie she remembers? ''ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid''. [[BolivianArmyEnding Yeah, not too encouraging]]. They come out alright, though.
* ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows'': This is DatingSim {{Otaku}} Keima Katsuragi's schtick. Whenever someone asks him how he could make a [[InsaneTrollLogic bizarre leap of logic]] or [[AwesomeByAnalysis figure out something in an instant]], he replies, "It often goes like this. [[IKnowMortalKombat In games]]."
* Subverted in ''Manga/NoMatterHowILookAtItItsYouGuysFaultImNotPopular'' where Tomoko Kuroki (Supposedly a [[GenderFlip gender flipped]] {{Expy}} of the above example) tries to apply almost everything she sees in the internet or in ''[[DatingSim Otome]]'' games in order to gain popularity and get laid. ''[[CringeComedy Horrible]]'' HilarityEnsues.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* Examples from Fanfic/{{the Calvinverse}}:
** From ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesIIIDoubleTrouble'':
--> "I saw this on that WesternAnimation/{{Jimmy Neutron|Boy Genius}} movie!"
** ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' has a young Frank Brainstorm attempting to be a pioneer for this reason. It doesn't end well for him.
*** Later, Socrates claims to have gotten the idea to go into a tree from ''WesternAnimation/TheMagicSchoolBus''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/DemolitionMan'': Lenina (Sandra Bullock) explained away [[IKnowKarate her martial arts prowess]] as being from watching JackieChan movies.
* In ''TheRedGreenShow'' [[TheMovie movie]], ''Duct Tape Forever'', Harold tries to stop the men after him and Red by dumping gasoline on the road to slip up the limo behind them. The reasoning? He saw it in a James Bond movie once. It works...kind of...just not the way you'd expect.
* Subverted in ''{{Dumb and Dumber}}'' when Lloyd (Jim Carrey) tricks a group of tough guys they encountered in a restaurant to pay for a meal for himself and Harry (Jeff Daniels), claiming he saw it in a movie. However, it turns out the plan wasn't as foolproof as they thought.
-->'''Harry Dunn:''' That was genius, Lloyd ... sheer genius. Where did you come up with a scam like that?\\
'''Lloyd Christmas:''' I saw it in a movie once.\\
'''Harry Dunn:''' Ha ha! That was incredible! So what happened? So the guy tricked some sucker into picking up his tab and gets away with it scot free?\\
'''Lloyd Christmas:''' No, in the movie they catch up to him a half a mile down the road and slit his throat. It was a good one.
* ''Film/TheGoonies'': Mikey suggests a plan to escape from the pursuing villains in based on a ''HardyBoys'' story.
-->'''Mikey:''' I saw this on the Hardy Boys once. We lead a trail of jewels into one cave, and then hide out in another, and when the Fratelli's go into that cave, then we can make a run for it.
* ''Film/TheATeam'':
-->'''Murdock:''' (''While flying a helicopter'') Hold on, guys, I'm gonna try something I saw in a cartoon once!
* Hilariously played with in ''Film/TropicThunder'' by one of the protagnoists, an actor, slowly going insane from withdrawal symptoms (due to being a junkie)
--> "I know this is gonna sound crazy, but in this one film I starred in we had to infiltrate the girl's bathroom of a highschool. So we built a catapult out of women's underwear and launched ourselves over the fence!"\\
(Everyone stares at him for a moment before trying to find a more reasonable plan)
* In ''Film/TheReturnOfTheLivingDead'', the GenreSavvy characters who have seen ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead'' try to put a zombie down by RemovingTheHeadOrDestroyingTheBrain, with [[NiceJobBreakingItHero less than satisfactory results]].
-->'''Frank:''' It worked in the movie!
-->'''Burt:'''Well, it ain't working now, Frank!
-->'''Freddy:''' You mean the movie ''lied?''
* ''Film/PainAndGain'' :
-->''I've watched a lot of movies Paul, I know what I'm doing...''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Parodied in ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfHuckleberryFinn''. When Tom shows up to help Huck break Jim out of captivity, Huck's pragmatic plans are always dismissed by Tom, because they 'ain't got enough style' and Tom likes to do things that he got out of books, like trying to dig a tunnel with case knives or giving Jim a bunch of pet snakes and rats.
* ''The Golden Rendezvous'' by Alistair [=MacLean=]. The protagonist disarms the BigBad, who has a concealed shoulder holster, simply by yanking his jacket down over his shoulders, immobilising his arms. When the BigBad calmly asks if the protagonist is a professional like himself, he replies "American movies."
* In ''Literature/InfinityBeach'', Solly gets the idea of blowing the alien Shroud out of ''Hammersmith'''s airlock from a movie (implied to be ''{{Film/Alien}}''). Unlike in ''Alien'', it doesn't work.
* In the ''Literature/{{Hoka}}'' stories, by Creator/PoulAnderson and GordonRDickson, the Hokas--a race of teddy-bear-like aliens--operate entirely on this principle. They absorb fictive universes (essentially, the race is a sponge for tropes), and ''[[BecomingTheMask become]]'' [[BecomingTheMask them]]. Cowboys, spacemen, SherlockHolmes, ''Literature/TheJungleBook''--they cover a lot of ground.
* Repeatedly used in ''Literature/SonicTheHedgehogInRobotniksLaboratory'' with the key difference being that they saw it on "video". Whether video is just the book showing it's age and referring to Video Tapes or that the Mobius equivalent of TV is called Video, is never made clear.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{House}}'' parodies this in a third season episode "Lines in the Sand" when he conducts a differential in the lobby:
-->'''Cuddy:''' Is this your master plan? Disrupt hospital business until I replace your carpet?\\
'''House:''' Devious. Saw it in a ''Film/JamesBond'' movie.
* Abed, in ''Series/{{Community}}'', occasionally bursts out with this trope.
* ''{{Psych}}'' episode "Romeo and Juliet and Juliet" has Shawn mention "I saw this in a JackieChan movie..."
* ''Series/TheATeam'' Season 3 episode "Breakout" has a couple of robbers coercing Murdock at gun point to drive [[CoolCar the van]] to get away. Murdock, normally an AcePilot, breaks out some BadassDriver skills:
-->'''Robber:''' Where'd you learn to drive like ''that''?\\
'''Murdock (deadpan):''' I saw ''CannonballRun'' five times.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': Used very literally with Monica, whose superpower is being able to copy anything she's seen in person or on TV - carve a tomato into a rose, play the piano, kick a robber's ass with a flashy wrestling move, CeilingCling...
* Garak on ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' often uses variations of this phrase to handwave his impressive abilities or intimate knowledge of things like classified military codes. Since almost everyone knows he used to be an actual spy (and a fairly important one at that), none of the main cast believe his explanations for a second.
* Quoth Series/{{Castle}}, as he's about to do something stupid while being held hostage at a bank robbery: "don't worry mother, I saw this work on Die Hard."
* Tony in ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' is an inveterate film buff. When he comes up with a scheme to override a video feed in order to end a hostage situation, his colleagues automatically assume he saw it in a movie, and in spite of his protests they ultimately pinpoint ''which'' movie (it was ''Film/{{Speed}}'').
* ''{{Blossom}}'': Blossom blinds an intruder (who turns out to actually be her brother) by blowing talcum powder in face. When Six asks her where she learned that trick, Blossom replies "MacGyver". (Also counts as an ActorAllusion as as Blossom's actress Mayim Bialik had played a recurring character on ''MacGyver''.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': After getting Harm out of a minefield in Afghanistan (season 7, episode 23 "In Country"), Mac acknowledges that she only learned how to do it by watching movies.
* Doubles as a MythologyGag in the first episode of ''Series/WeirdScience'', where Gary and Wyatt are discussing the creation of Lisa.
-->'''Gary:''' We could do it! I saw it in a Creator/JohnHughes movie once!
* In one episode of ''Dracula: The Series'', the heroes escape from a [[TheWallsAreClosingIn death-trap]] the Count has in his castle because one of them saw how to in a movie. It later turns out the Count only had the trap installed in the first place because he saw the same movie.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'': After Jason and Paige spill cola into Andy's computer, Piage urges Jason to fix it. He says he remembers seeing {{MacGyver}} do something similar. They need to prise the computer open, clean it out... and then hook it up to bicycle. Or maybe it was a minivan.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Stand Up Comedy]]
* Creator/StevenWright, to a hitchhiker he'd picked up: "Put your seatbelt on, I want to try something. I saw it in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* In ''Theatre/TheBat'', Cornelia notices a fresh trail of candle grease, and tries to follow it, saying, "Do you remember how Mr. Gillette, in ''Theatre/SherlockHolmes'', when he--" This is later subverted:
-->'''Brooks''': Is this something else you saw Mr. Gillette do?\\
'''Cornelia''': I'm using my wits! I never saw any man do that.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Subverted in ''CrossChannel''. In two different scenes, Taichi insists he can drive cars because he's seen how it works in manga. Naturally, this leads to hilarious results.
* Played straight but justified in ''UminekoNoNakuKoroNi''. Trying to interpret the game board's story as a mystery rather than a fantasy story, various characters use knowledge gained from reading mystery novels.
* Chuck Greene from ''VideoGame/DeadRising'' can learn new combo weapons by, among other things, looking at movie posters. Namely movies by [[Creator/ClintEastwood Clint]] [[Wrestling/TheRock Rockfoot]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/LeastICouldDo'' has Rayne bust out a BigNo at goofing a chance with a girl. She calls him on being [[{{Narm}} a bit dramatic]] and he says he SawItInAMovieOnce.
* ''Webcomic/CyanideAndHappiness'' got that guy with a cat, and he [[http://www.explosm.net/comics/1812/ did read]] this [[ComicStrip/{{Garfield}} comic]]...
* In ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' many of [[GadgeteerGenius Molly's]] engineering feats are inspired by pop culture. [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20111101.html When she activated her]] [[TransformingMecha transforming]] [[{{Snowlems}} snow]] [[SiegeEngines ballista,]] she managed to include [[ShoutOut shout outs]] to ''Tom Corbett: Space Cadet'', ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'', ''Anime/BattleOfThePlanets'', ''Manga/SailorMoon'', and ''Series/{{Ultraman}}''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'', when Pegasus drops Bandit Keith through a TrapDoor, he says, "I learned this trick from watching ''Manga/ExcelSaga''!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TaleSpin'' episode "Citizen Khan", Clementine Clevenger attempts to escape a locked room with a BedsheetLadder while saying "This always works in the movies." Unfortunately, the knots get undone and she falls with her noting, "So much for the movies!" Luckily, she has a soft landing in a horse trough.
** Another ''Tale Spin'' example: Baloo uses this line almost verbatim in "The Road to Macadamia".
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987'' has Donatello attempt to save an alien in a crashed vessel thus:
--> "Quick, boil some water!"
--> "We're not delivering a baby, dumbo!"
--> "...I heard it in a movie once..."
** From the same series: Michelangelo and Donatello were tied up back to-back in chairs with a bomb next to them. Mikey revealed that he had seen a scene like this before on TV and, following his direction, the two rocked back and forth to tip over onto the floor. However, when Donatello asked what to do next, Mikey realized that he didn't know--at the time, he'd gone to get popcorn before the scene had finished.
* A less modest version happens in ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce''. Julie does the IKnowYouAreInThereSomewhereFight with [[spoiler: her pet, Ship]] and when Ben is surprised she pulled it off, she says, "You're not the only one who's seen 'Brain Stealers from Outer Space'."
* "[[WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} It came to me in a dream. And I forgot it in another dream]]." - [[MadScientist Professor]] Hubert [[CloudCuckooLander Farnsworth]]''
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}'', Cosgrove [[NoFourthWall tells the audience]] to ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve (and throw in some [[InherentlyFunnyWords Hugbees]]) to save Freakazoid's life after having seen it work in [[PeterPan a movie]] once.
* In the pilot episode of ''WesternAnimation/StormHawks'', Aerrow briefly breaks the fourth wall when he tells a rightfully worried Radarr that "it's okay, I saw this before in a cartoon" right before jumping off his Skimmer to perform a [[FinalFantasy Final Fantasy]]-esque stunt.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'':
-->'''Shrek''': The princess will be up the stairs in the highest room in the tallest tower.
-->'''Donkey''': How do you know she's gonn be there?
-->'''Shrek''': I read it in a book once.
** Justified in that Shrek's world is literally a land of fairy tales, and that the book he mentioned was specifically the tale about the very princess they were trying to rescue. Not only that, but said book was the one he was reading (and used as toilet paper) at the very beginning of the movie.
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', Jimmy [[GloveSlap slaps Lucius with a glove]] in order to accept a challenge because he saw it in a movie.
* ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' cartoon "Fit to be Tied" featured Spike, while beating Tom, doing something he claimed to have seen on tv.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' featured Homer trying to stop an animal stampede by yelling "{{Jumanji}}". After it failed, Homer wondered if there was anything from movies worth learning.
** Another episode has Homer trying the camera trick mentioned in the ''NCIS'' example, "citing" the film ''The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down''.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'':
-->'''Pinky:''' Zounds, you're a good driver, Brain.
-->'''Brain:''' I've watched a lot of ''Series/DukesOfHazzard''.
* On ''WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle'', Bullwinkle describes a situation with a lot of $50 words. When Rocky asks what it's supposed to mean, Bullwinkle says "I dunno...I heard it on ''Meet The Press.''"
[[/folder]]
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