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[[quoteright:350:[[Series/{{Sherlock}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sherlock1_0877_888.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[-"But Holmes! How could you possibly have figured all that out just from glancing at the lady's hand?"-] [[note]]"Elementary: her wedding band hasn't been polished in years (except for the inside, indicating it is removed often), and the other ring is a common type of 10th anniversary gift."[[/note]]]]

-> ''"I knew you came from Afghanistan. From long habit the train of thoughts ran so swiftly through my mind that I arrived at the conclusion without being conscious of intermediate steps. There were such steps, however. The train of reasoning ran, 'Here is a gentleman of the medical type, but with the air of a military man. Clearly an army doctor, then. He has just come from the tropics, for his face is dark, and that is not the natural tint of his skin, for his wrists are fair. He has undergone hardship and sickness, as his haggard face says clearly. His left arm has been injured: He holds it in a stiff and unnatural manner. Where in the tropics could an English army doctor have seen much hardship and got his arm wounded? Clearly in Afghanistan.' The whole train of thought did not occupy a second. I then remarked that you came from Afghanistan, and you were astonished."''
--> -- The [[TropeNamers Trope Namer]], '''Franchise/SherlockHolmes'''

A device used to introduce a [[{{Seekers}} detective character]] and his skills. The detective mentions some fact about the person he's just met, something that is not immediately obvious and he has no way of knowing ("Quitting cigarettes appears to have been good for you", "How's the wedding planning going?", "You've holidayed in Italy recently"). The other character looks skeptical or surprised, then the detective [[HyperAwareness describes his reasoning from a set of minor clues]] (state and style of clothes, marks on skin, tan, etc.) and consequent assumptions. May be involved in a HannibalLecture, especially if delivered by TheChessmaster or the MagnificentBastard.

This is often not connected directly to the main plotline, but just to show "This is how the detective's mind works, and yes, the detective is That Good." The obvious subversion is to play this out, then have the detective admit that he was told the fact, or else for the other person to insist the detective is utterly wrong.

This is often cited as a demonstration of deductive reasoning (reaching a conclusion that is true by definition based on its premises) but is actually an example of inductive reasoning (reaching a conclusion that has some probability of being true based on its premises). In general, deductive arguments produce only trivial truths in a field like detective work, so induction is all you can use. Due to the laws of probability this means that a detailed scan should be extremely likely to err on a few details, but this almost never happens in fiction.

A common parody of this is to have the detective note these details before [[ClueEvidenceAndASmokingGun drawing attention to the blindingly obvious clue.]]

Compare the ScarilyCompetentTracker, who is like a Sherlock Scan done on [[FluorescentFootprints footprints]], and the BatmanColdOpen. See also HyperAwareness and AwesomeByAnalysis. When this kind of reasoning [[InsaneTrollLogic makes no sense]] but still works, it's a BatDeduction. When the above subversion of performing one of these before noting an obvious hint occurs, it's ClueEvidenceAndASmokingGun. If there's a "psychic" bent to the scan, it's ColdReading.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Occasionally done in ''DetectiveConan'', notably the first episode, where Conan comes up with a different justification.
* Sherlock Holmes of ''Meitantei Holmes'' (released in the US as ''Anime/SherlockHound'') is able to ascertain where a client came from because he recognizes the mud on her shoes and where it comes from.
* ''VinlandSaga'': Askeladd can read a man, can tell if a man is brave, cunning or a coward at a single glance, after living forty years of a wicked life.
* ''JoJosBizarreAdventure'' has this in part two. The protagonist, Joseph Joestar uses this on and off by hiding it behind his [[ObfuscatingStupidity goofy personality]] When it comes to fighting he becomes a tactical genius and can gain an advantage from just scanning his surroundings and his enemies. He then takes it a step further by predicting what his enemies will say, throwing them off even further than before.
* Fuyuki of ''KeroroGunsou'', [[OmnidisciplinaryScientist expert on the occult and brilliant detective]], can somehow factor in ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX87GwRhT9U an unidentified woman standing in the rain somewhere]]'' when investigating ''[[MundaneMadeAwesome misplaced concert tickets]].''
* Victorique, one of the protagonists of ''LightNovel/{{Gosick}}'', is about as close to actually being Sherlock Holmes as a teenaged girl in a frilly dress can be, and as such is naturally prone to Sherlock Scanning. Perhaps more impressively, she's also capable of making these kinds of deductions based on details reported to her secondhand by her [[TheWatson Watson]], Kujo (since she rarely leaves the library in which she lives). And she's ''right'', despite all the potential for error in such a setup.
* Houtarou Oreki from ''{{Hyouka}}'' has a knack for the Sherlock Scan. For example, in Ep. 3, he deduced that an upperclassman was illegally smoking in a club room, and used that information to blackmail him into giving them the materials they needed.
* L from ''Manga/DeathNote'' is a master of this. He managed to deduce Kira's identity and nationality by just studying the psychology of the crime and the order of victims.
* Detective Ryo [=Mac=]Lean from ''{{Manga/FAKE}}'' has demonstrated this a few times. He just looks around a crime scene and can tell what happened by just a few clues lying around.
* Reiji in the ''KaraNoShoujo'' adaptation immediately deduces much about Touko's character on first meeting. Probably for the sake of [[CompressedAdaptation compression]], as the trope was averted in the VN.
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'': ScienceHero Hange Zoe manages to solve a murder within moments of happening upon the scene, picking up on several details all while acting the part of a hysterical, grieving friend. After being chased off by the [[CorruptCop Military Police]] already handling the investigation, Hange reveals the act was a ruse to check the murderer's hands for bruised knuckles -- confirming his guilt and the robbery-gone-bad being a cover for ColdBloodedTorture to silence the victim because HeKnowsTooMuch. Furthermore, that ''all'' the victim's [[{{Fingore}} fingernails were removed]] prior to death proves he didn't break and his killers likely didn't get a single thing out of him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* CaptainAmerica is a SuperSoldier, not a detective, but this trope is used to establish his experience. He can "sum up a soldier in an instant", and he proceeds to do this to SpiderMan, and although the details aren't all right, he gets Spidey. Spidey then tries it, and doesn't do so well. Although technically he should, given his combination of 'thinking superhumanly fast', enhanced situational awareness (spider-sense), and 'being incredibly intelligent'. One supposes Spidey just doesn't have a knack for what he should be looking for.
--> '''Cap''': Late teens. The mask doesn't alter your voice ''that'' much. Probably someone who can't fit in with the regular crowd at school. [...] That mask allows you to express yourself and say the things you normally can't. You use humor as a weapon, to keep your opponents off-guard. That's a [[YouFightLikeACow sound strategy]]. You live at home and you're close to your parents... you protect your identity out of respect for them. Preserve the family name. So you're a man of honor. [...]\\
'''Spidey''': ''Anyone'' can make assumptions. You were probably [[Franchise/{{Batman}} a rich kid whose parents were shot in a dark alley]], and you...\\
'''Cap''': Not likely, kid.
** And yes, it really doesn't disguise his voice that well. Whenever Spidey phones someone who knows him as Peter Parker, they recognize his voice, but usually think he's come down with a cold.
** Given the fact that Spidey and Bats had met years before in the "Disordered Minds" crossover, the wall-crawler was probably using his aforementioned sense of humor to stop the scan and give a not-so-veiled ShoutOut.
* Speaking of Franchise/{{Batman}}, when a detective in one storyline hired to (and long since defeated by) the task of finding the killer of the Waynes told Batman that after enough years on the force he can just look at a guy's face and immediately know that he's guilty, Batman said he can identify.
** Years of experience, Commissioner Gordon is an expert of this trope. And so is his hard-as-nails lieutenant Harvey Bullock.
* A minor enemy/[[WildCard sometimes ally]] of Comicbook/MoonKnight called The Profile specializes in this, literally to the point of it being a superpower. He is eventually defeated due to Moon Knight being an agent of a god. While the Knight himself could be analyzed, the god could not due to not being present.
* Spoofed in ''{{Tintin}} in America''. Tintin hires a private detective after his beloved dog Snowy goes missing. The detective examines the scene and quickly produces a detailed scenario of the dog-napping. Tintin wonders if this man is a Sherlock or a charlatan -- it's unfortunately the latter as he repeatedly turns up with every kind of dog except Snowy.
* Jamie Madrox does this to Rahne/Wolfsbane in the first issue of his miniseries (the prelude to ''XFactor''), lampshading in the narration that this Holmes schtick should quiet her doubts about his detective skills. Subverted in the fact that he didn't deduce anything, he just had duplicates of himself follow her all day.
* As an {{occult detective}}, John Constantine the ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'' is a master of this, albeit deducing supernatural happenings is his profession.
* ComicBook/{{X-23}} possesses a very disturbing form of this. As in the ''Film/SherlockHolmes'' example below, whenever Laura walks into a room, her brain ''immediately'' begins to analyze the situation and everyone in it, performing threat analysis, formulating multiple attack plans, and calculating the best method with which to kill ''everyone in the room''. Her thoughts in ''AvengersArena'' reveal that ''she can't turn it off'', so she even does this to her friends!
* Befitting his nature as a dual Creator/HumphreyBogart and Literature/SherlockHolmes homage, Nightbeat does a cold Sherlock Scan in the fifth chapter of ''Comicbook/TransformersDarkCybertron''... to [[ReligiousBruiser Cyclonus]]. He accurately picks out a dozen fine details calling back to Cyclonus' own history, up to and including his own complicated relationship with [[{{Adorkable}} Tailgate]], such as accurately calling out that the only reason Cyclonus replaced his damaged horn was because Tailgate made the replacement, and that he had donated innermost Energon in a vigil for a dying Tailgate, then scratched his own face to hold back from telling Tailgate that he was concerned about the Minibot's impending death by cybercrosis, ''then'' patched up those same scratches once Tailgate managed to recover from the cybercrosis. This pisses Cyclonus right off, and he responds in his own special way.
--> ''"You're lucky I don't kill you! '''You're lucky I don't kill all of you!'''"''
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* Silver Spoon tries this in Fanfic/TheCadanceverse in order to impress her father. She meets with moderate success.
* Neville Papperman from ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8532906/1/iFightCrimeWithVictorious iFight Crime With Victorious]]'':
-->'''Neville: '''"I know that you're afraid of Carly and Freddie getting together after they graduate from junior high. And I know that you developed a phobia of electronic appliances and an even greater fear of flat-screen television sets after your faulty wiring made your show's projector screen fall on you. You had your parents reorganize your room so that your bed is farther away from your television just in case it happens to fall. You don't sleep under your wall-mounted bed lamp anymore. You hate standing underneath suspended chandeliers and similar lights, and every time you see Freddie you reminisce about your first date!"
* In ''Fanfic/TheDetectiveAndTheDiplomat'', Holmes pulls a Sherlock Scan on [[Literature/{{Discworld}} Commander Vimes]] -- but far from being impressed and awed, Vimes just resents him with the burning intensity of a thousand desert suns for the rest of the story ("Between you, me, and the cot, Mr. Holmes, I get enough of that crap from the Patrician"). After that, Holmes' entire first day in Ankh-Morpork is a comedy of missed deductions; he pegs Carrot as the son of a farmer, Angua as a dog-lover (basically true, but...), Nobby as a Watch mascot, and Detritus as part of the statuary -- this last nearly gets him killed. Holmes gets along a lot better with Ponder -- once they iron out a compromise on the "no such thing as magic" issue.
* In ''FanFic/ACureForLove'' [[Manga/DeathNote Near]] deduces the following about Kira from just talking with Light on the phone:
-->'''Near:''' Kira, if it was Kira, sounded like a Japanese male in his late teens to early twenties... Slim build. He was probably wearing a suit since he was definitely wearing a tie. Irritable.
* In ''Fanfic/AllYouNeedIsLove'', a Sherlock Scan is performed by [[EnfantTerrible 4-year old]] Duck Sherlock Penber, deducing Kira's identity as Light Yagami via stuff like the way he writes and how he seems to be constantly protecting something.
* In [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8154590/1/The-Handwriting-on-the-Wall "The Handwriting On the Wall"]], a ''Series/{{Bones}}/Series/{{Sherlock}}'' crossover, Sherlock (feigning his death after "The Reichenbach Fall") pulls a Sherlock Scan on Dr. Brennan, identifying her as a fugitive for a murder she didn't commit, a forensic scientist, a mother involved in a long-term relationship with her daughter's father but not married, and a vegetarian:
* ''WebAnimation/TurnaboutStorm'' has Sonata, who pulls these off occasionally thanks for her talent of having a keen eye for detail. For example, she's able to tell quite of bit of both Phoenix's personality and his current situation by looking at him, and figures out Twilight is from Canterlot because she still carries over some of the smugness present in its inhabitants. [[spoiler:She made use of this ability to pull a productive blackmailing scheme with the case's victim.]]
* In ''Webcomic/HowIBecameYours'', [[OriginalCharacter Hana]] is able to tell that an amnesiac Azula is from the Fire Nation because she has amber eyes and an undergarment typically worn by women from the Fire Nation.
* {{Discussed}} and PlayedWith in ''FanFic/HopeOnADistantMountain''. After [[VisualNovel/DanganRonpa Naegi]] seemingly guesses something about Asahina, Kuwata asks if he has "some kind of Sherlock Holmes super detective powers" and demands he try them out on him next. Naegi states that Leon's piercings suggest that he doesn't really care that much about baseball, since they're not really appropriate for the game. Of course, Naegi knows all of this because he got to know AI copies of his classmates very well in an UnwinnableTrainingSimulation, but none of his classmates know about that. On the other hand, he also picked up some detective skills from that same simulation, without which he wouldn't have been able to make his fake scan look convincing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Guy Ritchie's ''Film/SherlockHolmes'':
** Sherlock weaponizes it, using it to [[SuperDetailedFightNarration meticulously plan]] out how he will [[CurbStompBattle thoroughly beat the crap out of someone]], done in BulletTime as he plans, and then realtime when he follows through. Guy Ritchie calls this "Holmes-O-Vision".
** He also uses it on Mary Morstan (at her eager request). His observations are bang-on, down to the tan-line on her finger speaking of a prior betrothal, but when he [[HoYay rather cattily]] speculates that she broke off the engagement to find better prospects (i.e., Watson), she tosses her drink in his face. [[spoiler:Turns out, the guy died before they could marry.]] Earlier in the scene, when Holmes is alone at the table, it's implied that he suffers from hyper-awareness, [[NightmareFuel and can't turn it ''off''.]]
** In the sequel, [[spoiler: Moriarty shows this and the ability to keep up with Sherlock's own deductions.]]
** Once, when Holmes is put on a BlindfoldedTrip, he delivers a turn-by-turn account of the entire route his carriage took just based on various smells and jolts in the ride.
** There is a scene in the sequel where Sherlock and Mycroft banter by making astute observations about each other. Watson interrupts them by making a deduction of his own.
* Played with in ''The Return of Sherlock Holmes'': when revived-from-HumanPopsicle Holmes first attempts this technique in the 1980s, he fails terribly because his expertise on details like paper quality are woefully out of date. Once he finds his bearings, his success rate improves.
* Subversion: ''Film/AceVentura'', at the beginning of the second film, makes some assumptions about his client based on some details such as a white substance on his shoe and an abrasion on his palm. He is accurate on all but one of his guesses; at the end of the film, he returns to the erroneous guess and explains what that detail should have showed him.
* ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'': [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkDLI43iiTs Joseph Gillis says that Rudy can tell the state of a person's financial problems by the quality of their shoes.]]
* In ''Film/CasinoRoyale'', [[Film/JamesBond Bond]] pulls this off after dining with Vesper Lynd: he deduces that she's aggressive, probably an orphan, overcompensates for her attractiveness by wearing masculine clothing, and as a result doesn't get much respect from her male superiors. Unusually, Lynd does it back, realizing that Bond himself is likely an orphan, and went to Oxford on someone else's charity, "hence the chip on your shoulder".
* In the SteveMartin ''PinkPanther'', Inspector Clouseau attempts this as someone enters a room, and gets it completely wrong. [[spoiler:It actually has some significance, since the guy he tries it on is the murderer]].
** Parodied in the sequel, where Clouseau and Inspector Pepperidge try to out-sherlockscan each other.
* ''Film/{{Hellboy}}'': Done by Abe Sapien to Agent Myers during the former's introduction to the audience. Of course, the twist is that Abe is psychic and can gather information about objects simply by touching or being near them.
* ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective'', being an AffectionateParody of Literature/SherlockHolmes, also does this. Basil is able, for example, to deduce that Dawson is not just a doctor, but a surgeon that just came from military service in Afghanistan, all from merely glancing at the way he mended a rip on his coat.
** Basil also constantly mentions that Fidget has a crippled wing when trying to describe the bat, much to everyone's confusion. It plays no part until Fidget ends up tossed off a blimp shouting "I can't fly! I can't fly!"
* A similar scene is done in ''Film/YoungSherlockHolmes'', when a school-aged Watson transfers to a new boarding school and meets Holmes for the first time. Holmes deduces Watson's name, home county, father's occupation, and Watson's love of writing and pastries. He only gets Watson's name wrong (he guesses James instead of John) because he only saw "J. Watson" on Watson's luggage and decided to go with a common name starting with J (John would have been his second guess).
** This is actually a reference to the fact that Doyle himself got Watson's first name wrong in some of the later stories, using James.
* Parodied in the 1975 GeneWilder film ''Film/TheAdventureOfSherlockHolmesSmarterBrother'', in which the main character makes a deduction about who is about to walk through his door based on the sound of their footsteps on the stairs outside the door. He's completely wrong, and someone else entirely walks in.
* [[GeniusBruiser Xander Cage]] (played by VinDiesel) in ''Film/XXx'' pulls one of these in a cafe, effortlessly pointing out all the plainclothes agents by noticing all the things that are wrong with the situation (like a waitress in high-heeled shoes).
** VinDiesel seems to enjoy these roles. Riddick starts off ''Film/PitchBlack'' with a five minute Sherlock monologue, correctly deducing the types of passengers onboard the ship and (almost) the route that the ship is taking. He gets something similar in ''Film/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'', but then reveals that it was his plan.
* Both homaged and spoofed in the Literature/BulldogDrummond parody ''Film/{{Bullshot}}'' (1983). The hero comes up with incredible deductions from small clues, yet always fails to notice when the MasterOfDisguise villain is right under his nose.
* Played straight and lampshaded in ''NationalLampoonsLoadedWeapon1.'' When the detectives are talking to Dr. Leecher, he does a brief Sherlock Scan on Colt and appears to do it to Luger too... until he admits he saw a family photo in Luger's wallet.
* Jason Bourne, in ''Film/TheBourneSeries'', has this as part of his abilities, demonstrated in a diner when he was talking with Marie Kreutz.
-->'''Bourne:''' I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred and fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab of the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not know who I am?
* In ''PoolhallJunkies'', Johnny deduces that Mike is a pool player by the crease in his pants, citing that it's at the height of a pool table so is likely caused by either pool or bad dry cleaning, and sensing that Mike is rich, Johnny doesn't suspect he gets bad dry cleaning. He then admits to noticing blue chalk.
* This is how Flynn Carsen gets his job in ''TheLibrarian'' -- he scans his boss, determining that she was recently divorced from the depth of the ring-line on her finger and noting that she had three cats by being able to tell their hairs apart on her jacket. He occasionally does this to other characters as well.
* In Jackie Chan's ''ShanghaiKnights'', our heroes meet police constable Artie Doyle, who claims to have developed this method of deduction. At the end of the movie, [[ReedRichardsIsUseless he decides to leave the service and apply it to writing novels instead.]] [[spoiler:Did we mention his full name is Arthur Conan Doyle?]]
* Played straight in (surprisingly) ''BigMommasHouse 2'', where Martin Lawrence's character has to dress up as Big Momma again, this time to be employed by the Fullers (whose patriarch is a prime suspect in a case) as a housekeeper. From a glance at the teenage daughter's room, he figures out that she was chatting online to dubious guys and not doing her homework like she just told her mom.
* Spoofed in ''MurderByDeath'', where several of the world's greatest detectives are invited together. Two of them get into a Scanning contest, but one quickly loses and accidentally reveals in front of the man's wife that he's cheating on her.
* Crosses into ChekhovsSkill in ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon''. The resident nerd, Fishlegs, has studied dragon stats so well that he can pull a scan on [[spoiler:the Green Death, a monstrous dragon that serves as the film's primary antagonist]].
* In ''Film/WildWildWest'', Jim West immediately recognizes that Artemis Gordon is not the real President Grant (he was basically practicing his decoy costume). When Gordon asks what the tipoff was, West points out his class ring -- it identifies him as a Harvard graduate, and the President attended West Point. Of course, there's a very good reason why the make-up was so good - Grant and Gordon are played by the same actor.
* In ''MurderOnTheOrientExpress'' Poirot is somehow able to tell who [[spoiler: the cook]] is because he [[spoiler: "has, perhaps, a nose for fine dining"]]. Perhaps it should be counted simply as a HandWave instead?
* In ''WithoutAClue'', Dr. Watson has this ability, because he's the real detective and "Holmes" is just an actor he hired to perpetuate the illusion that the detective he has been writing about in the third person is real. However, when he tries to give a scan of a prospective client to prove himself capable of tackling the case alone, he's met with the response that it's no time for games. When "Holmes" appears and is given the same details to reveal, or indeed when he even says something quite inane, he's hailed as a genius every time. He also tries to learn the method himself, but the best he can ever do is "deduce" that someone reads the ''Times''.
* Hannibal Lecter's guesses about Clarice's background and personality the first time he meets her in ''SilenceOfTheLambs'' fits this trope, though he is a psychiatrist rather than detective.
* In ''Film/MenInBlack'', when J and other potential [=MIB=]s are being tested, the other recruits unhesitatingly shoot the model aliens in the shooting gallery, whereas J plugs a harmless-looking little girl's model. Questioned, he explains the various subtle clues he'd noticed that the "monsters" were just innocent bystanders, despite their weird looks; the "little girl", on the other hand, is carrying an advanced physics text and is unfazed by the aliens surrounding her, suggesting ''she's'' yet another alien, concealing her nature for nefarious purposes.
* In ''Film/{{Rounders}}'', when Mike is reading the poker table at his law school professor's round, impressing everyone.
* In ''Film/MrPeabodyAndSherman'', Mr. Peabody does this at times.
* The title character in ''[[Film/DrKildare Young Dr. Kildare]]'' by Max Brand does this. Though he usually sticks to medical diagnosis from observation, at one point Dr. Kildare is called upon to treat a suicide attempt survivor. He's able to deduce from his examination and a few words she mutters her age, social standing, wealth level, education, the fact that she's been in France recently and that she is not, in fact, insane (though actually proving that last one takes most of the rest of the book.) After that, [[TheObiWan Dr. Gillespie]] points out what everyone else in the room noticed at first glance -- the woman is physically attractive.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Jokes]]
The trope is played with in this joke:
* [[Franchise/SherlockHolmes Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson]] go on a camping trip. After a good dinner, they retire for the night, and go to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see." "I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes" replies Watson. "And what do you deduce from that?" Watson ponders for a minute. "Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe. What does it tell you, Holmes?" Holmes is silent for a moment. "Watson, you idiot!" he says. "Someone has stolen our bloody tent!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* OlderThanRadio TropeNamer: Literature/SherlockHolmes does this. All. The fricking. Time. This trope became the abused rattle to Doyle's sugar high kindergartener. According to Holmes himself in ''The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier'', it's his personal marketing schtick which is great for impressing potential clients as to his skills. Arthur Conan Doyle himself subverted this in a short story (''How Watson Learned the Trick'') where Watson attempts one of these, and all the details he used had a completely different explanation. Doyle picks it apart a little in Holmes' own words as well. While his powers of observation and deduction seemed superhuman to onlookers -- especially the ever-astonished Watson -- he explains more than once that he can't deduce squat if there's no evidence, and that often there's a good deal of evidence that's simply too vague for him to deduce anything... not until he learns more, anyway. A glance at someone may glean three or four obscure facts, but he still remains ignorant of everything else without proper investigation.
** [[AloofBigBrother Mycroft Holmes]] can also do this, and as one might expect, he is better at it, correcting or expanding some of Sherlock's points. For example where Sherlock said a man had a child based on the fact he has clearly just bought toys Mycroft says ''children'' as no child is of the correct age to be given both a rattle and a picture book.
*** This was given a ShoutOut in ArchieComics, of all things, when Jughead determines that a nearby man has two children--using the same rattle and picture book trick--and that the man is in the military, based on his polished shoes and haircut. Reggie points out that he could be buying the books for someone else's kids, or likes coloring himself. And he could just be a shoe-polish freak. Cut to the man talking about his military service and two kids. Jughead pulls this several times throughout the segment. Then it's subverted at the end, after Reggie makes [[BigEater the mistake]] of betting Juggie lunch that he can't tell the professions of the next three people who enter. The three people are a clown, painter (with overalls and ladder), and a cop.
** This trope was deconstructed (making it an UnbuiltTrope) in ''The Sign of Four'' when Sherlock deduces Watson's brother was a scoundrel only by studying his pocketwatch. This is Watson's BerserkButton and acusses Holmes of knowing beforehand the sad story of his brother's destiny, and of using PhonyPsychic techniques to claim he deduced it from a simple watch. In a rare moment of humility, Holmes recognizes he is a InsufferableGenius and has hurt his friend's feelings doing the Sherlock Scan ForScience without thinking into the consequences.
* Fittingly enough, in Mark Frost's ''The List of 7'', a young Arthur Conan Doyle himself gets into a friendly scanning contest with Jack Sparks, an agent of the crown who rescues Doyle from a group of conspirators called The Dark Brotherhood and recruits him to help prevent a plot to assassinate Queen Victoria(and would later inspire Doyle to create Sherlock Holmes).
* In a ''Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse'' novel (based on the Literary Agent Hypothesis), Holmes tries this on the Seventh Doctor. He finds he cannot make sense of the clues.
* In Laurie King's ''[[Literature/MaryRussell The Beekeeper's Apprentice]]'', Holmes' female apprentice demonstrates her credibility to Inspector Lestrade by doing this to one of his officers. She and Holmes do it to each other when they first meet. She's at a disadvantage, though, because she's read all Dr. Watson's books -- which leaves her with nothing to deduce.
* Holmes appears in a Jeffery Deaver short story in the collection ''More Twisted''. He examines the clothing worn by a well-known mobster in a jeweller's office to which he had tracked the culprit of a burglary. His Sherlock Scan proves the mobster to have been the thief, and said mobster is arrested. [[spoiler:This is actually a massive subversion, though, as the whole thing was set up by the jewellery shop's owner -- actually a career cat burglar -- to frame the mobster. He finishes the story incredibly smug because he got one over on the famous Mr Holmes.]]
* Colin Dexter, the author of the acclaimed ''InspectorMorse'' detective series, rewrote Conan Doyle's story [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Case_of_Identity A Case of Identity]] and gave it a different ending: all Holmes's deductions follow from the evidence, but Watson has some extra information and provides the real answer. One would suspect that Dexter thought the ending of the original story was a bit far-fetched.
* In ''The Return of Sherlock Holmes'' (and the nearly identical ''Sherlock Holmes Returns''), the titular character, brought to the modern age via {{steampunk}} cryogenics, routinely attempts to use this ability, but constantly arrives to the wrong conclusion due to lack of modern references.
** Rendered as a PatterSong, "It's So Simple," in the musical ''Baker Street''.
* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series, Vimes complains about those a lot.
-->[Vimes] distrusted the kind of person who'd take one look at another man and say in a lordly voice to his companion, "Ah, my dear sir, I can tell you nothing except that he is a left-handed stonemason who has spent some years in the merchant navy and has recently fell on hard times," and then unroll a lot of supercilious commentary about calluses and stance and the state of a man's boots, when ''exactly the same comments'' could apply to a man who was wearing his old clothes because he'd been doing a spot of home bricklaying for a new barbecue pit, and had been tattooed once when he was drunk and seventeen and in fact got seasick on a wet pavement. What arrogance! What an insult to the rich and chaotic variety of the human experience!
** Nonetheless he occasionally does it himself, and he only notes that said evidence is out of place, withholding judgement until he knows more -- for example, in ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'' he finds a smear of white clay on the floor, which he notes is odd because Ankh-Morpork is on black loam.
** He does a subversion in ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'' when he takes a look at a ''single clove'' and gives an impossibly precise description of the man who last touched it. Of course, he knows who it is because there's only one man in Ankh-Morpork who chews on cloves.
--->'''Vimes''': Detectoring is like gambling: The secret is to know the winner in advance.
* Very near the beginning of ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'', TeenGenius Artemis does one of these to their waiter -- whom, he effortlessly deduces, is their informant.
* Parodied in the ''{{Flashman}}'' novella ''Flashman and the Tiger'' where Flashman is observed disguised as a bum in an alley by a pair who are [[LawyerFriendlyCameo obviously Holmes and Watson]]. While Holmes makes fairly astute conclusions, they are completely wrong, demonstrating the limits of this technique.
* Voltaire's ''Zadig'' has the main character doing this. And also its subversion, since the sultan thinks Zadig is pulling his royal leg, that probably he robbed his horse and puts him in jail.
** ''Zadig'' inspired Poe's Dupin, who inspired Holmes, inspiring all the subsequent detectives. So we have a genealogy tree.
* Averted in ''The Wisdom of Literature/FatherBrown'' by Creator/GKChesterton. In ''The Absence of Mr Glass'', some characters involve a brilliant criminologist in a domestic case, where he concludes with a sinister and dramatical interpretation of some facts. [[spoiler: Dramatic and totally false. The apparent killer is only a magician, so that the cards, the knives, the swords and the mysteriously large top hat have a very simple explanation]]. At the end of the tale, everyone (also the criminologist) is laughing.
* In Creator/AgathaChristie's ''Literature/TommyAndTuppence'' short story collection ''Partners In Crime'', which pastiches various detective stories and their tropes, Tommy Beresford makes a couple of attempts at this. In "The Affair of the Pink Pearl" he says to the client "You must find travelling by bus very tiring at this time of day", only to be told she came by taxi, and picked up a discarded bus ticket for a neighbour who collects them. In "The Case of the Missing Lady" he is able to "deduce" that the client has spent some time in the Arctic or Antarctic, by virtue of his distinctive tan. In fact, he was listening in when the man gave his name in the outer office, and recognised him as a famous polar explorer. (He also deduces that the man arrived in a taxi, adding to Tuppence afterwards "after all, it's the only reliable way of getting to this place.")
* Jim Qwilleran in Lillian Jackson Braun's ''Literature/TheCatWho...'' mysteries does this on occasion, most notably in ''The Cat Who Moved a Mountain''; after hearing a single sentence from Dolly Lessmore on the telephone, he conceives a notion of her as "rather short and stocky, with a towering hair-do, a taste for bright colors, a three-pack-a-day habit, and a pocketful of breath mints." Upon seeing the sign in her office that reads "THANKS FOR NOT SMOKING" -- the only deviation from this conception -- he asks her when she stopped smoking and floors her.
* Subverted in NeilGaiman's "AStudyInEmerald", in which the detective recognises that the murder victim is a member of the German royal family... by details such as the number of his limbs and the green shade of his blood. Played straight, however, in the rest of the story. This ''is'' a Holmes pastiche, after all.
* Horatio Lyle lists a string of observations which would lead to the conclusion that the man he's speaking to is Lord Lincoln. However, he comes up with these ''after'' concluding that the man is Lord Lincoln, to avoid the true-but-unimpressive explanation of "inspired guesswork."
* Subverted in ''Dr. Hyde, Detective, and the White Pillars Murder''. A Sherlock pastiche performs the usual impossibly accurate predictions about the new client -- and then refuses to explain how he arrived at them. The Watson pastiche later realizes [[spoiler: that the deductions really were impossible; the Sherlock had met the client before and was actually the killer in the murder he was charged with investigating.]]
* In Creator/UmbertoEco's ''Literature/TheNameOfTheRose'', the protagonist William of Baskerville is able to guess the name of the horse the monks he meets are looking for. And its features. And the fact that they're looking for the horse in the first place, since they didn't tell him. And he's correct...well, sort of. He's right that they're looking for a horse, and he's right about the name, but:
-->'''William''': I am not sure [the horse] has those features, but no doubt the monks firmly believe that he does.
** (They were simply the features the relevant authority said a handsome horse ''should'' have. The same applied to the horse's name.)
* Grand Admiral Thrawn, the titular character of ''TheThrawnTrilogy'', is able to look at a piece of artwork and gauge not only a lot about species' physical makeup (number of fingers, joints in the arm, etc.), but about their culture -- and he can formulate strategies and tactics that take advantage of flaws in their psyches based on those. Very occasionally he drops hints about how he figured some of these things out. He can also make very good guesses about someone based on their tastes in art or how they regard it.
** His Dragon, Pelleaon, speculates that this may be done just to impress people, and he does his actual tactical analysis privately. Either way, it's still impressive.
* The Bene Gesserit of ''{{Dune}}'' are capable of doing this due to their extensive training in minute observation (occasionally enhanced through psychoactive drugs) and, in the case of the higher ranking ones, assisted by access to their [[GeneticMemory ancestral memory]] (which will often include other Bene Gesserit). They are also capable of variations, such as being able to observe architecture and determine the intentions behind its design. Those who are unfamiliar with the Bene Gesserit techniques often assume their abilities derive from magic or trickery (a notion the Bene Gesserit do little to assuage). Their observational techniques are also less effective when employed against another who has been trained in them and knows how to conceal or mislead the observed factors.
* This ability is genetically engineered into the ''envoys'', UN {{super soldier}}s in the ''Literature/TakeshiKovacs'' series of Creator/RichardKMorgan, who might find themselves downloaded into a war zone on a completely different planet whose culture, politics and rules of survival are unknown -- thus the ability to note minor facts and quickly extrapolate from them is a basic necessity. Although a mercenary and criminal, it's no surprise that Takeshi Kovacs is often called upon to solve various mysteries because of these skills.
* In ''[[Literature/PaladinOfShadows Unto the Breach]]'', Jay does this to Katya when he's first introduced to her. He doesn't, however, reveal how he deduced the assessment, which the reader only knows to be true from previous info given about her.
* Literature/NeroWolfe does this in his very first case, ''Fer de Lance'', deducing things about a prospective (but still unseen) client just from the way his manservant answered the door.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', wizard detective Harry Dresden pulls these off, though they tend to be more subtle than most examples. For example, he's able to determine that a particular faerie queen was not responsible for a particular murder by simply analyzing her behavior and comparing it to details of the murder. At one point in ''Turn Coat'', however, the scan is used to disturbing effect by Thomas, a [[HornyDevils White Court vampire]], who has Harry do a few scans of some nearby human bystanders to see what he sees when he looks at them. Harry does so, providing detailed information on each group of people, at which point Thomas just points each group and says, "Food," one after the other, to demonstrate how different they are.
* Used briefly in Franchise/TheDarkTower novel, ''Literature/TheDrawingOfTheThree''. Upon being released from Airport Security for suspected drug smuggling, Eddy Dean knows that they will have people observing him and manages to spot one. Roland, riding along in his mind, takes one "glance" and spots another five, despite the fact that Roland comes from a completely different world. Later, we learn that part of Roland's training was to pick up on tiny details as as quickly as possible, although he mainly uses it to kill people.
* Done by OscarWilde '''constantly''' in Gyles Brandreth's murder mystery series. It makes sense, though, since the point of the stories is that Oscar is a kind of real life Sherlock Holmes, which is why people go to him to solve mysteries. Bonus points for traveling with Arthur Conan Doyle during most of his investigations, and, while Conan Doyle does provide plenty of insight on the cases, he does not possess Sherlock Scan abilities himself.
* In PoulAnderson's "Queen of Air And Darkness", the detective Eric Sherrinford opens his first meeting with his client with this, though drawing on the details of what she had told him when making the appointment. Later, he explains that he actively drew on the psychological archetype of a detective with such tricks. (Sherrinford is implied to be a descendant of Sherlock Holmes himself.)
* In ''[[{{Dragaera}} Five Hundred Years After]]'', Khaarven and Aerich take turns pointing out Sherlock Scan details of Chaler's corpse, to the bafflement of Tazendra (who's slower on the uptake).
* In one of the ''TheWitcher'' novellas, Geralt and the apparent MonsterOfTheWeek do this to each other. Geralt deduces that the monster is in fact a curse victim, because his evil-detecting amulet didn't go "ping", and the monster can serve him food off a silver platter with no ill effects. The monster deduces that Geralt is far more than a simple traveller, because he carries two swords, when it's rare enough for someone to afford one, is much stronger than his build suggests, and managed to see the features of a portrait at the far end of a dimly lit corridor, meaning he has superhuman vision.
* In [[EdgarAllanPoe Poe's]] ''The Murders in the Rue Morgue'' (which [[OlderThanTheyThink predates the Holmes stories]]), we're first introduced to the detective skills of C. Auguste Dupin when he discerns exactly what the narrator had just been thinking about (the career of a particular actor) after walking down the street with him for a few minutes, breaking down the chain of events that subconciously lead him to that subject.
* [[MegCabot Meg Cabot's]] "Queen of Babble" has the fashion-loving protagonist do one of these to a man she's just met based entirely on the clothes he's wearing, down to his watch.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''[[Series/{{House}} House MD]]'' -- then again, ''House'' is pretty much "Cranky(-er) Sherlock Holmes in a hospital, with drug addiction switched from cocaine to prescription Vicodin and name changes (Holmes-> House; Dr. Watson-> Dr. Wilson)".
** House is also more prone to being wrong, usually letting his misanthropy cause him to misinterpret clues.
** The mystery writer in the episode "Unwritten" pulls this on Chase, figuring out his recent divorce among other things.
* The ''modus operandi'' of ''TheMentalist'''s Patrick Jane, which he used to use to pretend to be psychic.
* In one ''LawAndOrder'' episode, a woman is able to tell twins apart -- then reveals that it's because she is a nurse, and was able to tell things about their health (the one who was actually suspected was a drinker).
* In a ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode, Data solves three Holodeck mysteries in seconds while imitating a Sherlock Scan, but in reality he is simply recalling Sherlock Holmes plotlines that he has read. This prompts Geordi to ask the Holodeck to create a new Sherlockian mystery that will [[ExactWords challenge Data,]] with [[PhlebotinumBreakdown disastrous results]].
** Though it does turn out that Data is quite good at this even with original mysteries [[spoiler:to the point that he works his way out of Moriarty's PlatonicCave trap in ''Ship In a Bottle.'' Though it's probably more amazing that the Holodeck was sophisticated enough that neither Data nor Picard noticed anything amiss until Data saw Geordi favoring the wrong hand.]]
** Data does this again in "Cause and Effect." The single clue he has time to send his future self to avoid catastrophe is the number 3 implanted in his subconscious--which the future Data is able to surmise (correctly) means that they should listen to Riker because he has three rank pip/pins on his uniform. As Data does as well--and Data is the other one making suggestions--he's making a pretty big leap of deduction based on a single number.
*** Although Data does have the advantage that he would know "Yes, that's how I would think if I had to send a message back to the past from X future scenario." He's much more self-aware (in that sense) than any biological being.
*** One of Data's is a hollow circle instead of a solid one, which could be counted as half-a-pip. Still a leap, but Data could also decide "yes, past-me would think like that".
* Shawn Spencer of ''{{Psych}}'' does this, but since he's feigning psychic powers he usually doesn't tell the subject how he knew. Though we do see what objects/spots he focuses on to make his deductions, we don't always get an explanation.
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'' does this, but since he's incredibly socially inept, he doesn't always know which details not to bring up. Just a tip: If you know that a woman is lying about her age, don't call her out on it. Or if you know that the judge at the probate hearing is sleeping with his secretary. Or that a widow is having sex if her daughter is also standing there.)
** The judge version hangs a lampshade, as the judge had been skeptical of Monk's ability to Sherlock Scan a person. The judge made the mistake of having Monk turn around and being asked to describe his shirt. Monk proceeded to ask which one; the one he was wearing, or the one his court reporter was wearing. He proceeded to talk about his Sherlock scan, including the blouse of the court reporter being in her bag with a button missing, the cushion on the couch the wrong way in, etc. Plus, the judge ruled in his favor, having been completely satisfied of Monk's ability.
** Parodied when a rival detective, played by Jason Alexander, is able to tell more details than Monk can as soon as he walks into a scene. [[spoiler:Averted as this detective's mother overheard the criminals bragging about what they'd done while they were on hold (since she was a quality control operator) and told him what she'd heard. He was faking the whole thing.]]
* In ''PushingDaisies'', the series' resident PrivateDetective doesn't generally do this, but two other characters can Sherlock Scan by ''smell''.
* Parodied on ''{{Scrubs}}'' when JD deduces that Turk is naked over a watchie-talkie (a watch with a built in walkie-talkie) because his voice is always higher when he's naked. This immediately prompts Dr. Cox to remark on how disturbing it is that he knows that.
** Again on ''{{Scrubs}}'': in one episode, JD considers himself stronger in diagnosing than Elliot and tries to coach her on how to put clues together in this manner by using a nearby example on display. The example being an odd, precise stack of sugar packets on the floor, which JD deduced was a ploy by The Todd to get a nurse in search for sugar for her coffee to bend down and reveal her thong.
** Played straight on yet another episode. Turk (a surgeon) and Dr. Molly Clock (a psychiatric doctor) challenge each other on instant diagnosis of a succession of people walking into the hospital. We never really know if either of them are right, but Dr. Clock's diagnosis of alcoholism for a man who walks in wearing a ''beer hat'' is probably on the money (and, to her credit, she concedes that that one was a gimme).
*** And let's not forget that Clock became a psychiatrist because of her innate ability to immediately discern the one thing a person most hates about themselves.
* Subverted and parodied when Sheldon tries this on Leonard in an episode of ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', and fails miserably (and hilariously):
--> ''[Leonard is on the phone with an unknown person]''
--> '''Sheldon''': This should be fairly easy to deduce. He's holding the phone to his left ear--ears do not cross hemispheres, so he's using the analytical rather than the emotional side of the brain, suggesting that he has no personal relationship with the caller.
--> '''Leonard''': ''[to phone]'' No, I didn't realize it had been so long. Sure, I guess there's no other choice but to just go ahead and do it....
--> '''Sheldon''': He's referring to an activity he has done before; it's unpleasant and needs to be repeated. This suggests some sort of invasive medical test... like perhaps a colonoscopy.
--> '''Leonard''': ''[to phone]'' Aren't there any other options? There's not a lot of room, it's gonna be uncomfortable.
--> '''Sheldon''': Yes, yes. I'm definitely going with colonoscopy.
--> '''Leonard''': ''[to phone]'' Okay, bye. ''*to the others*'' My mother's coming to visit.
--> '''Howard''': ''[to Sheldon]'' How 'bout that, you were right.
** Incidentally, this conversation [[{{Foreshadowing}} foreshadows the cold nature of Leonard's mum.]] Sheldon doesn't fail ''that'' badly. His first piece of analysis is bang on: Leonard feels little emotional attachment to his iceberg of a mother. So is his second--Leonard does find her visits uncomfortable and unpleasant, which is why they are so infrequent. Sheldon only fails because he loves his own mother but hates invasive medical procedures. The final "not a lot of room" is just a confirmation bias.
* [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Daryl]] from ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' is revealed to be able to do this in Season 2, to the surprise of many in-universe and out. He doesn't talk much and prefers to distance himself from the group on top of hunting for his own food, making him a ScarilyCompetentTracker. But his distance from the others also means he can read into situations without being biased. He's able to tell within minutes of [[spoiler:Shane's return that Shane has shot Otis in the leg and left him behind to be eaten by Walkers because Shane comes back with an extra gun.]] He stays quiet about this for most of the season, and only reveals he knew this when Dale talks to him. [[spoiler:Later on he is able to tell from tracks in the woods that Shane killed their prisoner via neck snap]].
* Spoofed in the ''[[Series/TheXFiles X-Files]]'' episode "Humbug". A ''little person'', in a town full of circus performers, gets offended when Mulder asks if he's done any circus work. He performs a Sherlock Scan on Mulder, to make a point about stereotyping, but he accidentally stereotypes Mulder as an FBI agent.
* Special Agent Dale Cooper of ''Series/TwinPeaks'' fame. He can deduce upon first meeting that one character is in love with and/or dating another, and figured out a home movie had been shot by a biker by ''seeing the reflection of the motorcycle in Laura Palmer's eye''.
* Bobby Goren of ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' is quite well-known for this, although this makes sense as he is based on Sherlock Holmes.
** A suspect does it to him in "Badge." He asks Terry Randolph (Creator/ViolaDavis) how she can afford an expensive private school for her two daughters; she responds that she's frugal. He says that ''he's'' frugal and still could not afford to send children to the school; she says that he wears pricey clothing (because nothing in his size is ever on sale), goes on a lot of dates (because he wears no wedding ring), and is intelligent (and therefore he has expensive hobbies). He looks impressed and congratulates her on her perceptiveness. Then he says that she never answered his question.
* [[Series/{{Castle}} Richard Castle]] regularly uses this on suspects, sometimes to gloat, sometimes to lure a confession, and sometimes to BreakThemByTalking since he doesn't carry a weapon. Against serial killer 3xk, this is almost, but not quite, a HannibalLecture; while Castle ''is'' tied up and at the killer's mercy, he is not being interrogated.
** Averted several times when Castle's theories turn out to be plausible but wrong.
** He even pulls this on Beckett in the pilot, as a sort of attempted LetsGetDangerous moment to prove that he can actually help. It's played with in that Castle realizes as he's doing it that he's hurting her and digging up painful memories, and so apologetically stops, without taking any satisfaction in being correct.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'': There's a scene where Hotch is on the witness stand being grilled by the defense attorney, who scornfully derides forensic profiling in order to discredit the profiler's testimony, concluding that Hotch "couldn't even tell what colour socks I'm wearing with any degree of accuracy." Hotch, using a combination of profiling and this technique, then goes on to reveal not only what colour his socks are (charcoal grey, incidentally), but completely deconstructs the attorney and reveals that he's a gambling addict who's in deep debt. However, this was completely irrelevant to the challenge that the profilers weren't as good as usually presented (which included several real-life failures of the technique) or the challenge that they were faking it using techniques a carnival psychic would (this is a common trick for phony psychics). It ''does'', however, both completely undercut the lawyer's argument that Hotch couldn't accurately profile ''him'' ''and'' place him in the position of either dropping that line of questioning or being forced to publicly admit to everyone in the court that he ''was'' a gambling addict.
** In another episode, Gideon tells a college student that the student's girlfriend (who isn't even present at the time) thinks he is about to break up with her, based on a necklace the guy is wearing. Later, it turns out that the girlfriend had very good reason to think so, as the student tells Gideon he has left her for another guy.
** In "Lo-Fi", Prentiss does a (we assume) very accurate analysis of a detective based on subtle clues, although she had been working with him for a little while before she came out with it.
* Parodied in an episode of ''Series/JonathanCreek'', in which a police inspector comes across two bodies who have been decapitated in a motorcycle accident:
-->'''Inspector Fell''': The heads are on the wrong bodies.
-->'''Orderly''': ''[Impressed]'' How do you know?
-->'''Inspector Fell''': ''[Scornfully]'' You've got a black guy and a white guy. You tell me.
** Considering that the titular hero of this series frequently uses observation of minutia as a modus operandi, this only comes up infrequently with him.
** Parodied further in "The Letters Of Septimus Noone", in which a college-age Jonathan fanboy does this a lot -- complete with camera angles parodying ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' -- and is completely wrong about everything.
* ''{{NCIS}}''. Ziva David appears to do this to Tony [=DiNozzo=] on their first meeting; subverted in that it turns out later she's done profiles on the NCIS team.
** Abby does it to a somewhat snotty grad student who questions whether she's qualified to teach them about forensics [[PerkyGoth based solely on her manner of dress.]]
* Will Zimmerman of ''{{Sanctuary}}'' is able to do this continually. It's hinted that the ability is intensified by his training in psychology, but the show seems to go back and forth about if its base is an abnormal trait or not.
** Watson (whom Sherlock Holmes was supposedly based on) hints that he also has this ability, and it was the abnormal awakening which allows it.
* On ''SaturdayNightLive'', Watson (Phil Hartman) throws a surprise birthday bash, which Holmes (Creator/JeremyIrons) proceeds to completely spoil by anticipating the "surprise," announcing the locations of everyone in the room, and correctly guessing the contents of their gift boxes.
* A sketch on ''TheTwoRonnies'' has one of them explaining to the other how he can tell that a 5 pound note is counterfeit. The first two clues are to do with the placement of the lettering and the colouration. Then he turns it over and says "Besides, it says 'Bank of Toyland', on the back."
* ''Series/GetSmart, Again!'' has a similiar scene where Max deduces the identity of the man who escaped over the fence leaving his pants behind. He rattles off three or four obscure clues before pointing out Major Waterhouse's name on the label.
* In ''Series/LieToMe'', Cal Lightman will do this pretty much every episode, though usually to the ends of letting whoever he's questioning know that he'll know if they're not telling the truth, and is almost always right.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'', unsurprisingly, uses this at least once an episode.
** "A Study In Pink" contains 3 different types of scans to [[EstablishingCharacterMoment establish]] just how CrazyAwesome the titular detective is. Though in a bit of a departure from the usual trope, he's not always ''quite'' right -- when he first meets Watson, he deduces that Watson has an estranged alcoholic brother named Harry who has recently left his wife. He's right about the troubled sibling relationship, the alcohol, and the break-up... but [[TomboyishName Harry]] [[spoiler:is Watson's ''sister'']].
** A DoubleSubversion in "The Blind Banker." Sherlock tells a college acquaintance familiar with his deductive scans that he's been around the world twice in the last month. When asked how he knew, Sherlock says the secretary mentioned it, which John knows to be untrue. Sherlock later explains to John that he deduced it from looking at the man's watch and seeing the date changes, but felt like messing with the guy's head.
** Subverted in "The Great Game" when Sherlock, having pronounced Molly's new boyfriend Jim gay, follows up a long list of subtle, ambiguous clues about Jim's personal grooming habits with the fact that he has just given Sherlock his phone number. And after all that, he still misses the fact that [[spoiler:Jim's last name is Moriarty.]]
** Subverted to the point of parody in "A Scandal in Belgravia", when Irene Adler flummoxes Sherlock by [[NakedFirstImpression giving him nothing to scan]]. To add to the humor, Sherlock immediately looks over at John and confirms he's not going insane by scanning him effortlessly ([[FunWithSubtitles the subtitles point out "new toothbrush" and "going out on date tonight"]]), then he glances right back at Irene's mischievous smile... and all he can get is [[DistractedByTheSexy "??????"]]
*** In the same episode, because he wants to show off and impress Irene, we see his Sherlock Scan enter BulletTime, breaking the combination of a safe in under ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome 8 seconds!]]'' She later references the act as proof of his abilities, so he succeeded in impressing her. And he realizes the combination is her measurements--so he ''[[NotDistractedByTheSexy did]]'' pick up relevant information on her after all, he just didn't know what it was relevant ''to'' until he was told to open the safe.
*** At another point in the episode, the scan is used to highlight Sherlock's [[TranquilFury hidden anger]], as it becomes a litany of ways to inflict pain and injury on the operative who had [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique worked over]] Mrs. Hudson.
** [[AloofBigBrother Mycroft's]] Scanning abilities are shown to be superior in "The Great Game". Sherlock asks John (who has just spent a night at his girlfriend's house but ''not'' in her bed) "How was the lilo?", only for Mycroft to immediately correct him: "Sofa, Sherlock, it was the sofa."
*** In "The Empty Hearse" Sherlock and Mycroft have a Scan-off with a hat left behind by one of Sherlock's clients, volleying deductions back and forth until [[spoiler:Sherlock]] runs out of fresh details to analyse. [[spoiler:However, Sherlock offers an insight into the subject's social isolation overlooked by Mycroft, who cannot perceive loneliness in himself or in others. Non-verifiable deduction so Sherlock loses the battle... but he wins the broader war by completely flummoxing Mycroft.]]
** Hilariously subverted in "The Sign Of Three", when Sherlock is [[spoiler: [[InterfaceScrew called out on a case while messily drunk]]. When he tries to Scan the crime scene, all of the deduction subtitles are blurry, inaccurate, and slurred, like [[BuffySpeak "egg chair sitty thing"]], "???", and "sleep".]]
* The American ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' features this as well. It's subverted in the first episode when he explains the intricate basis for several inductions in a row, ending with one that he simply knew beforehand [[CuttingTheKnot thanks to]] Website/{{Google}}.
** And again in season two.
-->"So you're a dog owner, correct? A Boston terrier."
-->"How did you know that?"
-->"You registered him with the city when you procured a pet licence."
* In ''Series/MurderSheWrote'' [[LittleOldLadyInvestigates Jessica Fletcher]] uses this method when she begins teaching a criminology course to convince a skeptical cop that she has something to teach him.
* ''Series/DueSouth'' has this as almost being a mountie-superpower.
** At least for Frasiers Sr. and Jr. and [[LeslieNielsen Buck Frobisher]]. It's more of an ''arctic'' superpower that lead people to become Mounties.
* Ever since Creator/StevenMoffat (also head writer of ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'') became head writer of ''Series/DoctorWho'', the Doctor has been fond of those:
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E1TheEleventhHour "The Eleventh Hour"]] he does one of these on a park full of [[ItMakesSenseInContext people with camera phones]].
** He goes very ''Sherlock'' on the Scrooge of the 2010 Christmas Special, [[Recap/DoctorWho2010CSAChristmasCarol "A Christmas Carol"]].
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E2TheBeastBelow "The Beast Below"]], the Doctor's able to work out the intimate details of an entire society this way.
** He tries to do this while pretending to be Sherlock Holmes in [[Recap/DoctorWho2012CSTheSnowmen "The Snowmen"]]... and fails miserably at it. However, he was probably deliberately being foolish to annoy Simeon and put him off guard, or stalling for time while he figures out what's afoot in the room.
--->'''The Doctor:''' I see from your collar stub that you have an apple tree and a wife with a limp. Am I right?\\
'''Simeon:''' No.\\
'''The Doctor:''' Do you have a wife?\\
'''Simeon:''' No.\\
'''The Doctor:''' Bit of a tree? Bit of a wife? Some apples? C'mon, work with me here.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor "The Day of the Doctor"]], the Tenth Doctor attempts one of these to explain to the person in front of him, who looks like Queen Elizabeth, why he knows she's a shape-shifting imposter. Then he finds out it's the real Queen Elizabeth. This happens at least twice.
* In ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode [[Recap/CommunityS1E10EnvironmentalScience Environmental Science]] Jeff uses one to deduce Chang's wife left him (Chang wore the same shirt twice in a week, taught the Spanish word for "wife" meant "liar" in class, and has a post-it note saying "enjoy it while it lasts" on his office's framed photo of him and his wife). Jeff explains he used to read juries like this as an attorney, to figure out the best angles to use in court.
* ''{{Hustle}}''. Albert, the most experienced con artist on the team, does this to a potential mark on several occasions. Explained in full detail in "Gold Mine" when Albert gives Danny a lesson in the art of the 'cold read'.
* Used to introduce Dani in ''Series/NecessaryRoughness''. Based on her husband taking a shower, misaligned pillows, and ''the corners of the guest room bed linens'', she determined he was having an affair. The pictures on his phone were just icing on the cake.
* Fitz displays an emotion-based version on this trope in ''{{Cracker}}'', able to break down somebody's deepest neuroses very quickly. He occasionally displays a more traditional version of this too.
** Though Fitz's greatest fear is that [[spoiler:he was once wrong in his summation, possibly destroying a man's life and letting the murderer of a schoolchild get away.]]
* ''Series/OverMyDeadBody'' was a Mystery show where this trope is deconstructed: The IntrepidReporter is impressed by a Detective that manages to do a Sherlock Scan to a picture of a suspect. When she narrates the deed to the AmateurSleuth, he, by being a MysteryWriterDetective, says ThisIsReality and nobody could do something like that, so the detective is really a DetectiveMole.
* Creator/DerrenBrown is capable of doing these- as seen in this segment where he uses it to guess the professions of people he meets in the street- http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=Ikk2DlEKQCw&feature=endscreen
* The specialty of former detective Carl Hickman in ''CrossingLines''. In a subversion of the detective explaining, Tommy [=McConnel=] demonstrates he's not particularly impressed when he points out the clues and reasoning Hickman used to determine [=McConnel=] was a successful bare-knuckle fighter.
* This a talent of Ichabod Crane in ''Series/SleepyHollow''. In "The Sin Eater", from a quick study his able to determine the surname of his captor, his lineage, his occupation, and that he is a Freemason.
* ''Series/{{Alias}}'': This happens frequently, done by almost all protagonists and villains alike, given that everyone is an agent or terrorist. In ''Detente'', an op is almost aborted when they realise the mark they have very little intel on is staying in to watch his football team on the telly. Nadia and Sydney come up with an infiltration plan from a single glance at his hotel room through a surveillance camera, which gives them all the clues they need to immediately conclude the man has a long-term girlfriend who lives off his money, likes to party, is bored and angry with him, and is currently in the hotel bar looking for some fun at her boyfriend's expense.
* ''Series/NewTricks'': Brian turns the tables on a fake psychic in "Dead Man Talking"; using cold reading techniques to reveal all kinds of incriminating information about him.
* In Granada TV's ''Series/SherlockHolmes'' adaptation, one of the key ways that the producers attempted to perform a CharacterRerailment on Dr. Watson and demonstrate that he wasn't the dunce that popular belief had {{Flanderized}} him into was to give Holmes the breathtakingly sudden moments of Sherlock Scan insight -- however, it would then be ''Watson'' who would explain the clues to the astonished recipient, suggesting that he was intelligent enough to gradually take on board Holmes' methods but wasn't quite as quick or insightful about them.
** Subverted/Inverted in another one of Creator/JeremyBrett's attempts to counteract the Flanderization of Watson. Watson is given the opportunity to perform a Sherlock Scan on Holmes himself, to explain Holmes's apparent bad mood and unexpected presence. Sherlock responds with a list of plausible alternate explanations for the clues that Watson picked up on, but finally he grudgingly admits that Watson was, in fact, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny right all along]].
** In the adaptation of "The Devil's Foot", Holmes plays with this schtick a bit. He meets a country pastor and does his usual observation and deduction of the man which is of course amazingly accurate, including the subject of his last sermon. When the impressed pastor asks how he could possibly have known, Holmes explains what he observed. As for the sermon, he playfully revealed that he had read a copy of the local church's last Sunday service program beforehand.
* Though ''Series/TheWire'' typically avoids this trope in the name of realism, an early episode has a memorable instance where Sydnor prepares to go undercover as a homeless junkie, and Kima asks Bubbles (the ''actual'' homeless junkie) to evaluate his disguise. Though the disguise seems flawless, Bubbles points out that he would instantly be able to spot him as an undercover cop because the soles of his shoes are clean, and he's wearing a wedding ring; as he points out, a real junkie would have broken glass on his shoes from walking over discarded heroin vials, and he would have long since pawned off his wedding ring to pay for drugs.
* In ''Series/{{Zoey 101}}'' one-off character Miles Brody does this when Zoey comes to ask him for help in the episode ''Robot Wars''. It's used to establish his cred as "the guy who knows everything".
* The main character of ''Series/{{Forever}}'', Dr. Henry Morgan, uses this and his position as an NYPD medical examiner to assist a detective in solving unusual murders. He developed this ability from observing human behavior for over 200 years (he's immortal). Morgan's coworker notes to Jo (the detective) that Morgan can sometimes tell what happened to a body before even cutting it open. But, as Morgan notes in his voiceover, he's had plenty of time to practice. In the second episode alone he uses it to rule an apparent [[AxCrazy ax murder]] as accidental death and two apparent suicides as murders.
** Aside from having a long time to observe he's also had first-hand experience in dying. He can often tell at a glance what caused a death because he's probably been killed that way at least once.
* ''Series/{{Stalker}}''. In the pilot Detective Jack Larsen, after making a poor first impression to his new boss, makes up for it by using this to great effect in noting a victim's anti-stalker measures in her home.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* Parodied in a sketch from ''ThatMitchellAndWebbSound'': Sherlock attempts to teach Watson to do this, giving him ludicrously easy deductions to make ("here is a man wearing a beret and a string of onions around his neck. He is reading Le Monde and riding a bicycle, and the tune he is whistling to himself would appear to be "La Marseillaise". Now, Watson, where do you think he is from?") which he fails at ("Shoreditch?").
* In ''The Last Laugh Murders'', an episode of the NeroWolfe radio series (not an adaptation of any of the books), Archie challenges Wolfe to perform this on a random person passing by their front door, and Wolf grudgingly obliges. Subverted in that the person immediately declares him wrong in every respect. Archie is very amused and Wolfe is furious. [[spoiler:Double-subverted in that Wolfe was actually completely correct, and the person in question was lying and pretending to be someone else. Wolfe immediately starts investigating just to soothe his bruised ego.]]
* On ''Radio/{{Loveline}}'', Dr. Drew (through years of experience) has become almost frighteningly good at detecting trauma in people who call into the show - going off of nothing but their tone of voice. It's not at all uncommon to hear him ask a caller, "So who molested you between the age of 7 and 10 years old?" and have the caller describe how they were abused when they were eight years old.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''{{TabletopGame/Exalted}}'', Solars with the charm "Evidence-Discerning Method" can do something like this. It allows a character to gather up to twenty minutes worth of evidence (and the conclusions drawn therein) to be condensed into an action that takes five or six seconds.
* In ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'', there is a group of mages called "the Eleventh Question" who are able to do this (among other things, including being able to take evidence, make a guess at what it means, and then magically confirm if they are correct). They are generally considered among the fandom to be ''awesome''.
** In the original ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'', a simple application of the lowest levels of Mind and Entropy magic would allow a primitive version of this, and switching to a higher level of Entropy would also allow confirmation, generally through an act of random chance. 'The killer was 6 foot tall, weighed 160 pounds and was.. *flips coin* left-handed'
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[GreatDetective Luke Atmey]] from ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney: Trials and Tribulations'' insists on doing this to everyone he meets, although the clues he uses are rather less than hidden, meaning his conclusions are [[CaptainObvious not particularly spectacular]]. It's suggested that Atmey's deductions are based on obvious clues (like Phoenix's Attorney's Badge and Maya's distinctive Kurain clan uniform) and then he invents preposterous 'clues' to use as the supposed basis of his findings.
--> "[[CatchPhrase Zvarri!]] The truth has once again been elegantly revealed to me!"
** Similarly parodied with Richard Wellington in the second game, when asked how he knew how the victim was a police officer.
-->'''Wellington''': With one glance, I could tell just what kind of occupation he held. That shoddy, do-it-yourself hairstyle practically screamed "I'm a police officer". It was also the way he tied his tie and those cheap, low-quality shoes. Ugh. [[CaptainObvious Oh, and I suppose it was also because he was wearing an officer's uniform]].
--> '''Phoenix''': [[FirstPersonSmartass (Shouldn't that statement have come first!?)]]
* Occurs in an early radio conversation with The Boss in ''MetalGearSolid3,'' where she is able to tell that Naked Snake has lost weight by his voice. As one may expect, The Boss is both an [[TheAce Ace]] and [[strike:almost]] absurdly BadAss.
* Karst, from the second ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' game. She claims that she can gauge a man's strength at a single glance -- then proceeds to say that Felix wouldn't be able to [[spoiler: kill Saturos and Mernardi]] even if he doubled his strength
** This is, however, laughed at when one plays through on easy -- and is therefore a higher level than is necessary to defeat Karst and Agatio. GenreBlindness mayhaps?
** In normal circumstances though (that means no level-grinding...), she's ''right'' -- at that point in the game, you're probably under half the level [[spoiler:Isaac's party]] will have when you meet them.
* Mordin does this when you first meet him in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', figuring out both why you're talking to him and who you're working for very quickly, even if you don't interrupt him to explain yourself.
--> "Equipment suggests military origin. Not Alliance standard. Spectres not human. Terra Firma too unstable. Only one option. Cerberus sent you."
** While he seems like he's off on one point, he technically isn't - Shepard is the only human Spectre, and as far as anyone knew was dead at the time (and in fact may not have had Spectre status reinstated at the time -- and even if you ''did'' get reinstated, word of it probably didn't get from the Citadel to Omega by then).
** He also does this soon afterwards, when faced with the ''Normandy's'' AI. While these are the most obvious instances of this, he does it several other times, most of them optional.
** He immediately spots and disables the various bugs Cerberus put in his lab. He's not even bothered by them. Possibly owing to his intelligence background.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'': While he's never given much chance to demonstrate it in-game, the prequel novel ''Literature/TheStolenThrone'' establishes Loghain's ability to do this in the first chapter when he correctly deduces Maric (who hasn't introduced himself yet) as having come from a well-off upbringing based on his clothes and how he carries himself, and when Maric introduces himself with a false name Loghain immediately spots it as a lie, but goes along with it anyway.
* Parodied in ''PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' by the penguin-like detective Pennington. Despite the red clothes, the short stature and the red hat with a clear M upon it...he STILL mistakes Mario for Luigi.
* Senator Troche believes that Ezio has done this when he mentions the Senator's whoring on their first meeting in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood''. The truth is much simpler - Ezio owns the Senator's favorite brothel, which is run by his sister.
* Weaponised in ''UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'' by [[SmugSnake Furudo]] [[DefectiveDetective Erika]]'s (ab)use of the concept of The Detective [of a mystery story] and Knox's Laws. Knox's 9th (All evidence must be presented to the reader [by the detective]) combined with her 'role' in the story allows her the ability to look over any crime scene and instantly note all important details. And then use these details to turn everyone on the island against a completely innocent woman [[ForTheEvulz just for her and her master's enjoyment]].
* Malachi Rector, the PlayerCharacter of ''[[VideoGame/{{Moebius}} Moebius: Empire Rising]]'', is capable of quickly identifying the materials any object is made of, which time period and country it is from, and finally what its estimated value is, leading him to have become one of the world's leading expert in antiquities. He shows off his skills by finding out in a matter of second that an supposedly antique chest to an asking price of 2 million euros, is actually a well-crafted forgery only worth about 5000 dollars. The seller angrily confronts him, saying that there is no possible way he could know all of that from just one look. In response, Rector smugly reveals that he has also been looking at the supposedly expensive gold-necklace adorned with emerald and diamonds that the seller's girlfriend wears, and reveals that it is made from cubic-zirconium, green glass and gilded aluminium and is with about 150 dollars. The seller's shocked reaction says everything he and the girlfriend needs to know, and Rector walks away very satisfied with himself, as the seller is being treated to a verbal trashing by his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend.
* Subverted in ''VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines''. When chasing down a group of vampire hunters, Beckett comments that they must be in a monastery outside Santa Monica, because he found beach sand and smelled a very specific type of incense at the scene of their latest operation. When asked, he shrugs and admits that he actually find any clues, he found a hunter waiting for a vampire representative to investigate and dangled him over the side of the roof by his leg until he talked.
* Elevated to gameplay mechanic in ''VideoGame/SherlockHolmesCrimesAndPunishments'': whenever you meet an NPC, time stops and you can look around his/her model and highlight certain hotspots assigned to one of his/her characteristics (age, status of his/her clothes, build, etc). In certain conversations, you're asked to pick out among these characteristics to challenge the NPC (for example, negating a stationmaster's assertion that he is the sole responsible of his train station by pointing out that he looks young enough to be barely out of school).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' shows a {{lampshaded}} [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2007-06-19 instance]] by Diane, who previously [[HiddenDepths was introduced as]] the AlphaBitch.
** Also, in a later [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2008-08-08 strip,]] Susan uses one to come to a slightly unusual, but completely correct conclusion. Her explanation is finished [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2008-08-21 here]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Vaarsuvius [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0596.html assumed]] that Kubota was a major villain because otherwise Elan would not have him tied up. Elan's reaction lampshades the shakiness of the Sherlock Scan.
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' had the eponymous ComedicSociopath amorph [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2009-06-04 here]] - but not thanks to any incredible intelligence or powers of observation. Rather, he's got a REALLY good sense of smell - earlier stated by Kevyn to be superior to a Bloodhound's - and combines this with some basic reasoning and experience dealing with humans.
** Karl Tagon while exchanging tales with Kathryn held his "big" story [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2012-05-02 here]]. After she ''told'' him she was an analyst in military intelligence. So it ends [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2012-09-30 here]] with "General, I got tired of waiting for your story, so I cheated..."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', the character of Tattletale, whose superpower is basically enhanced intuition, is ''very'' good at using this along with the HannibalLecture to blackmail her enemies by revealing all their secrets and weaknesses. It goes a bit farther than normal since her power lets her make impossible deductions such as determining someone's PIN number from the way they dress.
* In ''Podcast/EdictZeroFis'', Nick Garrett does this with peoples' behavior. It is to do this that he often behaves in a manner that others find irritating.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SherlockHolmesInTheTwentySecondCentury'', of course.
* The two-part ''WesternAnimation/{{Bravestarr}}'' episode, where Sherlock ends up in Bravestarr's time.
* WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck tries to do this to impress the police or the victim, but he almost always arrives at the completely wrong conclusion. He usually replies with a "I knew that!" or "I was just testing your honesty."
* Mocked on ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', when Stan tries to explain how John Edwards ("The Biggest Douche in the Universe") uses cold reading to fake the ability to talk to the dead. Stan explains how he's doing it ''as he's doing it'' but, being ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', the adults think he's psychic anyway.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'', Batman met Sherlock Holmes, who deduced just about everything about Batman's identity/history, just from a quick once over. He even knew the occupations of Bruce's parents.
** Batman himself has a tendency to figure out a lot about someone just by looking at them, his main conceit being a detective.
* In ''SuperMarioBrosSuperShow'' episode "The Adventures of Sherlock Mario", there's a parody of the famous detective named Herlock Solmes, with King Koopa playing the role of his nemesis, Kooparity. While Kooparity's scheme is underway, he asks for Solmes's reaction, with the result doubling as TheReasonYouSuckSpeech:
--> '''Herlock Solmes:''' Elementary, my dear Kooparity. You're a cross between a lizard and an inferior species of toad. Your brain is smaller than a peanut. You got the lowest grades in your school and hold the world record for flunking kindergarten the most times. When you were little, the other Koopas nicknamed you "Lizard Lips" and never let you play with them. You were a naughty lily-livered bully boy and wet the bed until you were twelve.
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E22TestingTesting123 Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3...]]" shows that Rainbow Dash trained herself to do this unconsciously when she's flying. This proves vital in the episode itself, which has focused on Rainbow's complete inability to retain information she needs for a test with conventional study methods.
* All Master Builders in ''WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie'' are instantly able to recognize what parts they need to build whatever they need at the moment and construct the item in question in a matter of seconds. They actually see the LEGO part number. [[spoiler:Emmet becomes one as well at the end of the film]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The character of Sherlock Holmes was partly based on Dr. Joseph Bell, a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh who was often able to deduce a patient's occupation and recent activities in this way. The example most prominently cited for Doyle's inspiration was when Bell was able to deduce a patient was a left-handed stonemason, based on the wear on the thighs of his breeches and the calluses on his hand. It's even said that Bell lent his hand in the search for JackTheRipper. Bell sent a letter to Scotland Yard with his opinion on the case. It is unknown who named, if he named anyone, but it coincided with last agreed upon murder.
* Detectives often utilize this idea to get suspects to think that the police know more than they actually do.
* This is a skill not uncommon to high-functioning autistics, but has its downside in that the person is constantly bombarded with huge amounts of information and often becomes anxious and exhausted under the load because it's extremely hard to stop. The BlessedWithSuck RL page has some good examples.
* This is also the core of the [[ColdReading "cold reading" techniques]] used by some "psychics." Being able to pick up on small details in appearance, wording, and mannerisms gives them an, apparently supernatural, ability to know things about people.
** OrsonWelles, a trained magician, was very skilled at this, and he discusses [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjPsnfysrp8 here]] the technique behind it and the danger of a cold reader beginning to believe he truly has psychic powers.
** A good doctor will make very quick observations about a patient's attire, habitus, hygiene, and other clues which will help raise suspicions about particular problems. However, a good physician will also not bet the farm on it. For example, if a relatively young female patient comes into the emergency department in a major city wearing provocative clothing that is not seasonable, and she has pain on multiple joints with small bleeds on the skin, a physician's first hypothesis might be [[spoiler: gonococcal septic arthritis]].
*** Learning to do this is essential to success on US medical boards almost to the point of stereotyping the patients. Homeless, for example, nearly always translates into malnourished, alcoholic, or mental illness.
* James Brussel, a psychologist called in to help in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_Bomber Mad Bomber]] of New York case in 1956 developed one of the first criminal profiles ever used to try and apprehend a suspect. In some ways, he was eerily correct. Based ''solely on his handwriting'', he was able to correctly determine that the Mad Bomber was a Slavic man living on his own who would be wearing a buttoned double-breasted suit when caught. Displaying how it can also fail spectacularly, Brussel missed the fact that Metesky was unemployed, sent the NYPD on a Wild Goose chase through White Plains and claimed that Metesky was an “expert in civil or military ordnance”, the closest he came was a stint in a machine shop. He also got the age wrong, Metesky was over 50 when caught, Brussel predicted he'd be between 40 and 50 years of age.
** It is notable that this shows a considerable selection bias with this trope. People are more likely to remember hits than misses and therefore the person that is making the observations is generally more likely to be considered correct even if they miss important things.
[[/folder]]

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