Glad You Thought of It

Maladict: I don't want to, you know, spoil the spirit of the moment, but that is a really awful idea. The el-tee won't agree to something as wild as that.
Polly: No, he won't. But he'll suggest it.

You know how the Glad I Thought of It trope is when a character suggests something, only to have another scoff at the idea, but then claim it to have been their own idea when it succeeds? Well, maybe there's a trope involving a character who has a plan, but wants someone else to think it's their idea and thus drops subtle hints about carrying out the plan under the idea that it was their idea to begin with. But it'd need someone to make such a page, and I can't think who...

You could have it contrasted with Hint Dropping, as that's when somebody tries something, but the second person fails to come up with the idea.

Unfortunately, I don't see quite how such a page could be written, much less what sort of examples could be added. If only a Troper could come along and start such a page, perhaps they could better define the concept. If anyone could write such a page, perhaps they should give it a go?

You could perhaps put examples here maybe?:

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  • The King and I: Anna has to do this because she can't directly give advice to the King. See the entry under Theater.
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding: Getting the father to allow Toula to work at her aunt's place.
  • Inception the meaning behind the name, and the entire point of the film.
  • In Singin' in the Rain, after Cosmo comes up with the idea of having Kathy's voice dubbed over Lina's:
    Kathy: Don, you're a genius!
    Cosmo: (sarcastically) I'm glad you thought of it.


  • Over Sea, Under Stone, the first novel in Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series. While the protagonists are trying to figure out a riddle, their Great Uncle Merry (Merriman Lyon) repeats one part of it ("the signs that wax and wane but do not die") to help them figure out that it's talking about the phases of the moon.
  • Codex Alera: In the last book, Ehren uses this to get Attis to get himself killed trying to fight Invidia. Considering the effectiveness and the sheer audacity of his choice of victim, it winds up as not just an example Ehren's Crowning Moment of Awesome, but also might be listable as an example of Glad You Thought of It.
  • In The Snow Queen, Aleksia's job is to arrange happy endings in her fairy tale kingdom, and it's often easier if her clients don't realize what she's doing. To do this, she's providing yet another instance where ideas are being given and created as someone else's idea. This could be useful in demonstrating the trope.
    Between the two of them, she and Kaari had managed to put it into Essa's thick skull that this would be a grand betrothal token for Suvi, and even more cleverly, had managed to make him believe that he had thought of it.
  • Polly tries to get Blouse to do this in Monstrous Regiment. It doesn't go quite how she planned.
    • Lord Vetinari is a master of this (presumably just to amuse himself, given that he's an absolute dictator whose word is law). You could use this example from The Last Hero:
    Vetinari: No, I agree with Archchancellor Ridcully that sending Captain Carrot would be an excellent idea.
    Ridcully: Eh? Did I say something?
    Vetinari: Do you think that sending Captain Carrot would be an excellent idea?
    Ridcully: What? Oh. Yes. Good lad. Keen. Got a sword.
    Vetinari: Then I agree with you.
  • Shogun's Lord Toranaga is notorious among both his allies and enemies for his skill at this. During the massive Gambit Pileup that makes up the book, his enemies are constantly trying to figure out whether such-and-such a player is working with Toranaga, acting independently, or simply believes himself to be the latter when he's actually the former. Yabu and Omi also rid themselves of an enemy by manipulating an unaffiliated character into deciding to kill him, but the person who fell for it is well-known to be stupid and impulsive, and any intelligent characters see through it immediately.

     Live Action TV  

  • Hogan's Heroes: Colonel Hogan did this to Colonel Klink all the time.
  • Psych had an episode where Shawn realized that Carlton Lassiter really needed a jolt of confidence, so he and Gus spend the episode solving the week's case, and then relaying the information to Carlton in such a way that he solves it on his own, much like how you're coming up with all these examples now.
  • Monk did this when Disher lost his confidence, planting the idea in his head with a tape while he slept. As such it's technically an example.
  • On The Office (US), Dwight invented a scheme to get Jim fired, which is easily another useful example we could list, but convinced a clueless Andy that it was his idea so that it couldn't get traced back to Dwight.
  • Yes, Minister: This is one of Sir Humphrey's standard tricks.
  • On Only Fools and Horses Del used this to get Denzil to accompany him on his booze cruise to France. Denzil tried to back out but Trigger reminded him "It was your Idea!", as this page is too.
  • In The Borgias, Machiavelli does this to make it look like the king of France is passing through Florence peacefully and that it was the king's idea. The French army's lances at point (that is pointing forward) would indicate Florence had been conquered, a possibility that had gotten the city threatened with excommunication. Their lances at rest (pointing straight up) would not, but they can't fit under the gates that way.
    King Charles: Monsieur Machiavelli! Our lance at rest prevents us from entering your fair city!
    Machiavelli: Then perhaps angled backwards?
    King Charles: And of what will that be a symbol?
    Machiavelli: Of Your Majesty's infinite resourcefulness.

     Newspaper Comics  

  • In Luann, Crystal manipulates her friend Tiffany into flirting with Gunther in order to attract hunky exchange student Quill's interest. When the plan backfires, the following exchange occurs:
    Tiffany: Your dumb plan tanked, Crystal!
    Crystal: I didn't plan anything, you ditz. You decided to pursue Gunther.
    • Crystal then goes on to suggest, at first mockingly ("Gunthany!"), then seriously, that Gunther would in fact be a better match for her friend. This time, however, Tiffany doesn't take the bait. This could be an example of a subversion, such a thing might add some variance to the page, no?

     Tabletop Games 
  • In the Discworld Roleplaying Game, the Sultan of Al-Ybi's extremely intelligent first wife makes very stupid suggestions that contain the basis of an idea he could develop himself.

  • Invoked in The King and I - it's a minor plot point that Anna has to do this because she cannot be seen as offering advice to the King. So she pretends to be guessing what he's going to do - and quite naturally he says that she's guessed right, and then proceeds to do just what she "guessed" that he would do.
  • Xanadu On Broadway:
    Kira: If only there were a book, a magic book, that listed all the locations in Los Angeles, and had their phones numbers next to it.
    Sonny: Yeah...
    Kira: ...and if the book had pages the color of amber.
    Sonny: I know! I'll look it up in the phone book!
    Kira: My god, you're brilliant!

     Video Games 
  • Mass Effect 3 - During the quest to get the various merc bands on your side, Shepard learns that the leader of Eclipse is in police custody due to being borderline Ax-Crazy. If you don't want to release her, you can convince her right-hand man to leave her in there and take over - or get him to "suggest" having her released and assassinated.
    "Uh...yeah. You see right through me."

     Web Comics  

     Western Animation  
  • Jaga from ThunderCats (2011) pulls one of these, carefully cloaking references to "Sight Beyond Sight" in aphorisms about Kingly behavior, to coax Lion-O into admitting he's had a vision. Unfortunately, he decides that having won Lion-O's trust, the details can wait... Unfortunatly for both of them things go downhill from there.