"Is there a thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been long ago, in the ages which were before us."
"When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer." Hans Gruber... Die Hard.
— Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock
But before and before, and ever so long before
And such contrivances were used,
The whole Confucian sea-board had standardized the lee-board.
And hauled it up or dropped it as they choosed
— Rudyard Kipling, The Junk and the Dhow
A "new thinker," when studied closely, is merely a man who does not know what other people have thought.
— Frank Moore Colby
I have a scoop for you. I stole his act. I camouflaged it with punchlines, and to really throw people off, I did it before he did.
— Bill Hicks, commenting on similarities between his stand-up comedy routine and Denis Leary's.
"Jack Kirby" did it first and did it better.
Old comic creator's proverb.
"Nothing is created, everything is copiated."
— Chacrinha, Brazilian TV host and humourist. The grammar was sacrified to maintain the rhyme.
Abby: It's like Bill Nye.
Abby: TV scientist? Had a kids show?
Gibbs: Ah, like Mister Wizard.
That's right: The Bourne Identity was first a TV movie in 1988. Everything's a remake these days.
— Peter Paltridge, Platypus Comix's "Lost Art of TV Guide Advertising Vol. 6"note
Animals engage in a struggle for existence; for resources, to avoid being eaten and to breed. Environmental factors influence organisms to develop new characteristics to ensure survival, thus transforming into new species. Animals that survive to breed can pass on their successful characteristics to offspring.
— Arabic scholar Al-Jahiz, discussing the theory of evolution in the ninth century.
Percival: ...and, egad! What's this? A magical ball emiting light?
Onlooker: Uh, Percival... you had the electric light bulb in 1909!
Percival: Ah, but I am an idiot!