Why Didnt I Think Of That

Oh great, Alice is making one of her "suggestions" again, and Bob is just getting ready to deploy the mandatory response when Alice suddenly begins to make sense. "Hang on!" Bob says. "Thats a brilliant idea... why didn't I think of that?"

This is when a character suggests something to another character that they wish they'd thought up, or are even surprised they didn't think up first. Despite the opening this doesn't have to be a previously dim or spacey character surprising a smart one (though that version may overlap with Dumbass Has a Point); simply suggesting something that in hindsight seems obvious can catch any character off guard. Compare Glad I Thought of It, where the character not only wishes they'd come up with the idea but tries to pretend they did come up with the idea.

There's a tonne of examples on this IMDb search result... unfortunately most aren't in context, so if anyone is familiar with any of the films and series here, please add them to the examples with context.


  • Oscar Wilde
    Oscar Wilde: I wish I'd said that.
    James Abbott McNeill Whistler: You will, Oscar, you will.
  • Milton Berle, who was memetically known for stealing other people's jokes, would often use this on himself (and obviously, the bit itself was stolen from Whistler, above).
    Berle: [quoting back a punchline that was just said]. I wish I'd said that.
    Other person: You will!

Comic Books

  • In RoboCop (2014), this is the response of the OmniCorp PR man to the news that Robocop is investigating his own murder.

Live-Action TV
  • Friends:
    That was an easy joke. I could've thought of it... Why didn't I think of it?
  • Played for tearjerker effect in the Dollhouse episode "Epitaph One". The Neural Implanting technology has been weaponized and the United States has collapsed into anarchy after an attack from China. Topher, the scientist who helped develop the technology, is in his Room Full of Crazy and works out how it was done.
    Topher: An entire army in a single instant; that's all it takes. That's brilliant! Why didn't I think of that? (sees Adele's expression) Did I think of that? Did I? Oh god... Oh my god... Oh my god...
  • In Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Giles is sacked from his position as Watcher and replaced by Wesley, who impresses no one. When Faith meets him for the first time...
    Faith: New Watcher?
    Buffy and Giles: New Watcher.
    Faith: Screw that. (walks out)
    Buffy: Now, why didn't I just say that?

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • From Wacky Races, after the Mean Machine is crushed by a hillbilly's boulder trap:
    Dick Dastardly: Wow! What a keen booby trap! I wish I'd thought of it!
  • Futurama, "A Biclops Built For Two"; Fry is in a dungeon:
    Fry: Leela, you have to get me out of here. It's horrible! Eating scraps, letting my waste drop where I stand like an animal in the zoo.
    Leela: Animals go on the corner.
    Fry: The corner! Why didn't I think of that?
  • Shaggy says this in the Scooby-Doo episode "Scooby's Night With A Frozen Fright," when Scooby shows him how he hooked a link of hot dogs from the gang's picnic basket.
  • In an episode of Aladdin, Genie temporarily gives his powers to Iago, who (contrary to the Jerkass he acts as when an ordinary parrot) goes out of his way to try to improve everyone's lives. After Iago redirects a river, Genie wonders aloud why he never thought of that; Iago uses his newfound genie powers to make a big show opening his head to show off his brain in response. Then all of Iago's benevolence backfires dramatically, showing that maybe it's for the better that Genie didn't ever think of that.

Real Life