A character has something they do as an aid to thinking. Crosses into BunnyEarsLawyer territory if it's something really bizarre.

See also CongruentMemory and ThinkingTic. Can be a specific {{character tic|s}}.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* L in ''Manga/DeathNote'' claims that if he doesn't sit in the odd way he does, his reasoning ability drops by forty percent.
* Inspector Lunge from ''{{Anime/Monster}}'' often twitches his fingers as though typing. When asked about it, he likens his brain to a computer - by 'hitting the keys', as he puts it, he can file away new information, then he hits them again to recall it.
* ''Anime/{{Naruto}}'': Shikamaru's hand movements and sitting position.
* Yue in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' seems to have the most going on in her head when she's calmly sipping an odd drink of some kind with a slightly blank look in her eyes. Although in dangerous situations where she has to think on her feet, she doesn't do anything in particular.
* Parodied in ''Manga/KamikazeKaitouJeanne''
* ''Manga/{{Saki}}'':
** While Nodoka is already a pretty good {{Mahjong}} player, she becomes absolutely phenomenal when she's hugging her penguin plushie, capable of figuring out plays that would bring about the highest efficiency at once. Almost, she's great when she's playing at home online, so hugging her plushy puts her in the same mindset.
** Saki finds this in taking off her shoes.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In older Disney comics, Gyro Gearloose had a thinking cap he'd put on when he needed an idea for an invention. The cap looked like a roof of a house, complete with a little chimney, and there was a bird's nest with three crows on top of the said chimney. The hat seems to have disappeared from the comics at some point, probably because its role as a source of inspiration was replaced by Little Helper, Gyro's robot buddy.\\
It was revived in a later comic, where he explained that he had indeed put it into storage, the reason for it was that the ideas that it gave were too random to be of much use. It's also shown that it works just as well on anyone else, and naturally WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck "borrowed" it while Gyro wasn't present to try to solve his usual money problems by coming up with some sort of a revolutionary new idea he could sell and patent. Naturally, this being [[BornUnlucky Donald]], there's only one possible outcome...[[spoiler:which results in Gyro having to save him by using the cap himself, causing him to come up with a mathematical formula that can be used to predict any future event with 100% accuracy. While he did write it down, the cleaner lady that he had hired in the beginning of the story [[StatusQuoIsGod ended up wiping the board he had written it on clean while he was away]].]]
** He really should have seen that coming.
** In other comics, Gyro's thinking aid is ''hitting himself on the head with a hammer!''
* ''ComicBook/LeonardLeGenie'' has a number of gadgets to help him concentrate. They usually involve strong coffee, or holding him upside down to improve the blood flow to his brain.
* [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Reed Richards]] has been known to stretch into a ball inside a gravity-free sensory deprivation tank when he needs to solve a particularly difficult problem. Like human nature or entropy.
* Golden Age Creator/DCComics supervillain the Thinker had a "thinking cap" that not only boosted his intelligence, but allowed him to perform other effects such as minor mind control and telekinesis, DependingOnTheWriter. Post-Crisis, he died and his malevolent personality moved into the helmet, magnifying the negative personality traits of anyone else who wore it.

* ''Film/AFewGoodMen'': Tom Cruise's character -- "Where's my bat? I think better with my bat." And later that scene, "He does think better with his bat."
* In [[TheMovie the movie adaptation]] of ''Film/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', Zaphod Beeblebrox has a literal thinking cap, that keeps his brain powered by lemons once his second head is removed.
--> '''Ford''': This should give him [[{{Pun}} some zest]] for a couple minutes.

* ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'' had a number of these, including smoking (in "The Red-Headed League", he explicitly rates the difficulty of a problem by how many pipefuls of tobacco he expects to get through before reaching a solution) and playing the violin.
* Likewise, Literature/ErastFandorin has his jade rosary beads to help his deductions along. They are so prominent, they even got their own origin story in a short story collection (that was named after them).
* Violet from ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'' will tie her hair up in a ribbon when she is concentrating on something.
* ''Literature/WinnieThePooh'': Pooh Bear thumps his head while saying "think think think". He also had a Thoughtful Spot, where he went specifically to do this.
* In the Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/MenAtArms'', Detritus the troll gets a literal thinking cap, in the form of a clockwork fan attached to his helmet that lets him cool his brain off (trolls think better in cold weather).
* In ''Tom Sawyer, Detective,'' the lesser-known second sequel to ''The Adventures of Tom Sawyer'', narrator Huckleberry Finn observes that the 17-year-old Tom has a tendency to trace a V-shape on his cheek or chin while he thinks.
* In ''The Mad Scientists Club'' stories, you know Henry is working on a brilliant scheme whenever he tilts his chair backward. He says that sends more blood to the rear of his brain, which is where he keeps his best ideas.
* In C.S. Forester's HoratioHornblower novels, when the title character needs to think he starts pacing back and forth.
* The sentient dinosaurs of ''Literature/{{Dinotopia}}'' can think best when they move their feet, due to their original technique of writing via leaving footprints in the sand. Because of this, reading machines for dinosaurs are treadmills which move the scroll the user wants to read.
* Lyle of ''Literature/SimpleComplications'' finds that writing on a white board helps him think.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/TheXFiles'', when Mulder needs to think really hard about a problem he watches ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace'' on the reasoning that the film is so bad it shuts down his logic and allows him to make his standard huge leaps of deduction.
* A number of the Doctors in ''Series/DoctorWho'' - the second played music on the flute or recorder, the tenth puts his glasses on, etc. The [[Series/DoctorWho Eleventh Doctor]] seemingly has dozens of these, particularly quick (1-2 step) back and forth pacings, slapping his own forehead, and shutting people up.
* ''Blue's Clues'' had the thinking chair.
* Sen-chan, [=DekaGreen=] in ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger'' has his "thinking pose" where he stands on his hands. This quirk was retained for his American counterpart Bridge Carson in ''Series/PowerRangersSPD''.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'': Dr. Cox holds his hands behind his head or on top of his head when thinking or frustrated.
* ''Series/{{House}}'': House has several such methods, including bouncing his ball in his office as he stares at his whiteboard. He does these things with such frequency that when he is unavailable other people try them out to force an epiphany. It doesn't work. Cuddy once tried bouncing his ball for inspiration and it hit her foot and rolled off.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'': Rodney sometimes resorts to fingersnapping and head bobbing.
* BBC's ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'', like his literary counterpart plays the violin and uses [[SettingUpdate nicotine patches]] instead of smoking, and also stops eating when he's figuring out a case. This can go on for days.
* ''Literature/WorzelGummidge'' didn't have a thinking cap, he had a literal ''thinking head''. Being a living scarecrow, he was able to remove his own head and replace it with a more intelligent one when he needed to concentrate on something.

* Whenever [[Myth/CelticMythology Fionn MacCumhaill]] sucked his thumb, he got access to great wisdom (though this was the result of him attempting to soothe a burn on his thumb from the Salmon of Wisdom as a child).

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'': Calvin once built a {{literal|Metaphor}} thinking cap out of one of his ubiquitous cardboard boxes, some thread, and a colander.
* ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'': Jason wore an "external brain" (a cap resembling the surface of a brain) while helping Paige with her homework. However, it's pretty clear that he was just doing it to jerk her chain.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has the Headband of Intellect.

* William Barfée from the ''Theatre/TheTwentyFifthAnnualPutnamCountySpellingBee'' is noted for spelling out the words on the floor with his foot before saying them aloud. He sings a song about it.
* Lucky in Theatre/WaitingForGodot.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'': All playable characters in the series have their own thinking pose.
* ''VideoGame/TheSims2'' has an actual Thinking Cap, a baseball hat with a light bulb. Wearing it will make you learn skills and complete intellectual activities ''very fast''. [[SideEffectsInclude Side effects may include falling unconscious, losing previously obtained skill points, ending up with the cap welded to your head, and fulfilling one or more Fears. Consult your aspiration meter before use.]]
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series, most hats give a bonus to Perception. Perception governs skills like Energy Weapons, Explosives and Lockpicking. So if there's a puzzle involving lasers, bombs and tumblers, you might well need a thinking cap. [[BoozeBasedBuff Or Absinthe.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia'': [[BadassGrandpa Rowen]] starts to StrokeTheBeard while [[CombatMedic Jude]] tilts his head while a finger hovers over his temple.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Agatha from ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' hums or plays a tune she invented when she wants to think. Judging by Von Mekkan's reaction, it's possible that ''[[InTheBlood every single member of her family]]'' did that. Judging by her uncle's reaction, it's an instinctive act linked to being a MadScientist. Which makes sense, considering [[spoiler:the family name is from heterodyning, the generation of new frequencies by mixing, or multiplying, two oscillating waveforms. Which is what she's doing]].
* Hannah from ''[[http://www.jaydenandcrusader.com Jayden and Crusader]]'' has a [[http://www.jaydenandcrusader.com/2010/02/08/page-147/ thinking cap]] that her boyfriend [[http://www.jaydenandcrusader.com/2009/07/04/page-124/ stole for her from Uncle Sam!]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The Noodle Dance from ''PB&J Otter''.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': Peter Griffin has his Thinking Grenades.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'': When Towelie wants to think, he gets high (unfortunately, the ideas he comes up when he's high only inevitably get him into trouble).
* In Fleischer Studios' ''Betty Boop'' shorts, Grampy has a literal thinking cap, essentially a mortarboard with a blinking IdeaBulb.
* Ed of ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' once tried to think whilst putting the tips of his thumb and forefinger together as though he was trying to literally grasp an idea. Another time when Eddy tells Ed to think (about a matches problem) Ed stands absolutely motionless for a whole day and night, his pose so unbreakable his pals resort to sleeping in the crook of his arm till the following morning. These aren't so much habits as they are humorous.
** And the one time he actually has an idea "of his own"?
--> '''Ed''': *holds a tree root over his head, the root is still lodged in a clod of earth* BOING! [[IdeaBulb It's a light bulb!]]
--> '''Eddy''': Well I'm stumped.
--> '''Edd''': I believe Ed has an idea.
* In his silent cartoons, ''Westernanimation/FelixTheCat'' paced back and forth with his hands clasped behind his back.
** In a related ritual, Scrooge [=McDuck=] in ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'' would retreat to a private room to pace around a stylized statue of "The Thinker"; he's done it so many times that the ground around the statue has recessed into a deep pit.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', where Sokka is desperately looking for something to replace his missing boomerang as his icon and begins insisting on wearing his detective hat and using his bubble pipe while sleuthing.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'': "I'd better put on my patented Stuponetron helmet."
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Cyberchase}}'': Jackie's catchphrase is "Make room! I gotta pace!" She gets annoyed if anyone else steals it. The other characters have their own habits; Inez stands on her head, and Matt plays with his yo-yo. Overlapping with CharacterTics in Digit's case is the eyeball on his cap which [[IdeaBulb sometimes flashes red]].
* In ''Westernanimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutron'', Jimmy has his "Think, think, think!" bit. Then it shows us his brain and a few tidbits from earlier (in case you forgot them) that usually help him solve...whatever.\\
In a Jimmy Neutron[=/=]WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents crossover, Timmy Turner attempts to do this, only to give up half-way with a tired "[[AttentionDeficitOohShiny Okay, bored now]]".
* WesternAnimation/BugsBunny puts on his thinking cap to get an idea to rid the island of Japanese Soldiers in the wartime Merrie Melodie cartoon, 'Bugs Bunny [[YellowPeril Nips the Nips]]'.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': Professor Farnsworth has the Chamber of Understanding.
* WesternAnimation/TomTerrific uses an oversized funnel as a thinking cap. After he goes through some weird motions thinking, a plume of smoke emerges from the funnel's spout when he gets an idea.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Swedish movie and theatrical producer Felix Alvo - http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Alvo - used to work as an acrobat, which might explain why he liked to stand on his head while pondering something (at least according to some colleagues).
* According to research linked from [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19971_5-things-you-didnE28099t-know-could-make-you-smarter.html this]] Website/{{Cracked}} article, wearing a white lab coat can help people think better, as long as they believe that it's a lab coat and not a painter's coat.