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Strange Minds Think Alike

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Bob makes a totally random, out-of-the-blue statement. Later on, Alice, who never heard him make the original statement, repeats it or makes reference to it. How did she know it? Apparently, they somehow managed to follow the same, bizarre line of "logic".

Compare: Ironic Echo, Ironic Echo Cut, Brick Joke, Phrase-Catcher and Gag Echo. When the reality itself agrees with the dumbass, it's Achievements in Ignorance or The Cuckoolander Was Right.

Not quite related to Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?.


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  • Microsoft's ads for Windows 7 had people talking about how it was "their idea," showing them coming up with an idea Microsoft had incorporated (the same idea which Microsoft had independently come up with). When the people have an Imagine Spot coming up with "their idea", they're played by supermodels and are impeccably handsome.
  • In a This is SportsCenter commercial, Tim Lincecum tries to record his voicemail greeting, starting by calling himself several nicknames, including "Big Time Timmy Jim"... which he immediately rejects, saying "Who even calls me that?" His last try just has him saying his own name... and then Karl Ravech ruins it by calling him "Big Time Timmy Jim."

     Anime and Manga  
  • A Certain Magical Index: When Touma returns home with MISAKA in tow, carrying a slew of cans, Index gets more than a bit jealous. Aisa Himegami suggests, "Perhaps that is his fate. He raises flags with other people and goes down their story routes." Later, after saving MISAKA from the insane psychic known as Accelerator, Touma wakes up with his hand on her chest:
    Touma: Why am I experiencing such a happy event? I don't remember raising any flags like this at all.
  • Azumanga Daioh:
    • Yukari-sensei's 2nd-year students are discussing what to do for the Culture Fest, and Osaka suggests that they do a haunted house that's like a café, inverting an idea expressed earlier. Shortly, Kagura arrives and suggests the same thing, thinking it would be a "killer idea".
      Osaka: Ooh, the same wavelength!
      Kagura: Errr, same as what?
    • Also, Sakaki and Osaka manage to independently imagine Chiyo's father in the exact same way. (As a giant, floating orange cat thing.) Well, we hope it's their imagination.
    • At one point in the manga, Yukari stops in the middle of a lesson to muse about a tongue twister (in the English version, it's "She sells seashells"). Everyone looks confused... except Osaka, who nods knowingly.
    • The is also implied to be the reason why Osaka is so good at word puzzles and brain-twisters — the sideways logic patterns one usually has to take up to think of and solve them is just how she normally is.
  • Death Note:
    • During their tennis match, Light and L have almost identical internal monologues, without communicating. Of course the point of this is to illustrate that the two are Not So Different.
    • Light constantly pats himself on the back for choosing the morally uptight Teru Mikami to act on his behalf: anything Light can't do on his own or say aloud, Mikami does, and without even asking. Naturally, being the egotist he is, Light never considered the possibility that someone that acts so much like him could be a problem. Oops.
  • In one episode of Widget Series Ippatsu Kiki Musume, Kunyan wakes up with her hair caught in the drain of a bathtub filled with water, unable to free herself and facing imminent drowning. She "realizes" that since people take in air through their mouths and release it through their butts, she should be able to reverse the process (of course it doesn't work). Her friend Linda enters, realizes what's happening and...attempts CPR on Kunyan's butt, having come to the same conclusion. Soon after, their friend Naja enters and, you guessed it, comes to the exact same conclusion, running off to get an enema in order to help save Kunyan.
  • Toradora! has, at the start of an episode, Ryuji having a Catapult Nightmare in which Taiga agrees to marry him. However, because Taiga refers to him as "her dog" much of the time, the dream features him getting a dog house, while his mother (dressed as a dog) shows off all of Taiga's puppies. Taiga, also dressed as a dog, tells Ryuji they're his, which is when he wakes up. Moments later, Taiga tells Ryuji "I had an unpleasant dream. You were a dog, and the dog was my husband. Anyway, it was the worst dream ever."
  • In one chapter of Medaka Box, Nabeshima is fighting Myouga Unzen, a character who can only speak and understand a numbers-based language. At one point, Nabeshima comments that Myouga is going to "pull a Dragon Ball" and get a speed boost by dropping her weights. Myouga picks out the word "dragonball" and guesses that Nabeshima thinks she's going to get a speed boost.
  • In all of Full Metal Panic!, the only person who actually seems to think alike and see eye-to-eye with Sousuke seems to be Atsunobu Hayashimizu, the president of the Student Council. The guy agrees with Sousuke's weird, outlandish conclusions, and supports his violent, destructive ways.
  • During the climax of the fourth Detective Conan movie, "Captured In Her Eyes", when a (currently amnesiac) Ran asks Conan why he's protecting her, he proclaims that he "loves her, more than any other person on this Earth." Once her memory returns, Ran came to the conclusion that Conan was intentionally mimicking how they'd been told Ran's father proposed to her mother. Conan is just a little disgusted with himself to realize it was, in fact, this trope.
    • In the series proper, the fact that Kogoro and Eri actually are more alike then they're willing to admit (both preferring the same food, liking the same color, remembering their first date by dressing up in the clothes they wore etc) is used to show Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other.
  • At the beginning of one episode of Di Gi Charat, Dejiko is plotting to make a naughty doujinshi using two of the store's customers (both named Takuro. Gema, seeing the look on her face, tells her that if she's thinking of making a naughty doujinshi featuring those two, she'd better not. Dejiko is thoroughly pissed that he was able to read her thoughts so exactly.
  • One Piece:
    • During Fishman Island, when Luffy manages to smuggle Princess Shirahoshi out of the castle, having hid her in her pet shark's mouth. Brook argues that since he only saw Luffy and Megalo leave the castle, Luffy couldn't have kidnapped her. King Nepture immediately suggests that he might have hid Shirahoshi in Megalo's mouth. Everyone in his court bursts out laughing at the incredulity of the thought.
    • From the same story arc, Luffy explains why he doesn't want to be a Hero by claiming that, if there was a huge piece of meat, a hero would share it and a pirate would eat it, and Luffy wants to eat meat! Near the end of the arc, Zoro applies the exact same logic, only substituting booze instead of meat without hearing Luffy say it before.
    • In Skypiea, when the Straw Hats are forcibly split up, Zoro's group swings across vines several times to explore the nearby jungle. Every time they do so, Zoro gives a "Tarzan yell", to Nami's disbelief. Meanwhile, Luffy's group is fighting Satori in the jungle, and Luffy ends up swinging from a vine once or twice. What does he do? Give a Tarzan yell. Possibly Usopp as well, since he named his new grappling-hook-swing-rope invention the "Usopp AaahAhAaahh", but it's unknown if he planned that name from the beginning or was inspired by Luffy's Tarzan call.
    • An example that occurred near the beginning of the series: Luffy and Zoro both meet Gaimon, a man who's stuck in a treasure chest. Both of them independently arrive at the question "Are you a boxed son?". This is a pun on the Japanese concept of 'boxed daughters', referring to the practice of sheltering girls, but considering it's associated with social criticism and most definitely doesn't refer to a literal box, it's a really stupid pun. Luffy and Zoro were completely serious.
    • In Little Garden, when Zoro is about to be turned into a human candle by Mr. 3, he suggests to Brogy that they chop their legs off in order to escape. Much, much later, on Whole Cake Island, Luffy is imprisoned and nailed to a wall by Big Mom's subordinates. He tries to escape by tearing his hands off, and suggests that Nami do the same.
  • In the Proverbs episode of Strawberry Marshmallow, in anticipation of Miu's arrival through the window, the other girls guess what she's going to scream as she comes in. Chika just about nails it.
  • At the beginning of one episode of Tamako Market, Dela sees a Jizo statue and wonders aloud if if can be used as a bludgeoning weapon. At the end of the episode, another character from the same island as Dela sees the statue and wonders the exact same thing.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: When asked to think of a test for new Brigade members, Kyon comes up with catching 101 hamsters. When it turns out that's exactly the test Haruhi wanted to use, down to the number of hamsters, Kyon worries that his brainwashing must be almost complete.
  • In Fate/Zero, Caster's "Mental Pollution" trait means he literally cannot understand or be understood by someone who is not as reprehensible and depraved as he is. Ryuunosuke, his Master for the Fourth Grail War, relates so well that they can hold (strangely meta) philosophical debates on the nature of God in between committing atrocities to small children and summoning eldritch horrors. Justified since Ryuunosuke performed the summoning ritual without a catalyst. Thus the ritual summoned a Servant whose mind-set best matched Ryuunosuke's.
  • In Hayate the Combat Butler, Hayate and Hinagiku independently decide to nickname Athena "A-tan," which is actually longer when written out in kanji than Athena. In a twist, this is Played for Drama as hearing Hinagiku call her A-tan stirs up Athena's latent emotions regarding Hayate.
  • In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Nozaki, Sakura and Mikoshiba exhibit varying skill in their drawing abilities, yet when it comes to drawing buildings, all three of them draw the exact same crude figure of a house. It is later revealed in Chapter 36 that even Wakamatsu has the same idea when it comes to drawing a house!
  • In Classi 9, when Liszt revealed Wagner laughed when he was drunk, Mozart and Bach's automatic reaction is to dismiss the thought as they considered it as Nightmare Fuel. Beethoven and Tchaikovsky's reaction was to come up with a plan on the spot to get him drunk, namely dousing him in alcohol, without exchanging a word.

    Comic Books 
  • At the start of Grant Morrison's run on Batman, Commissioner Gordon was hit with a dose of The Joker's laughing gas. It wasn't fatal, but he had to spend some time in a hospital. One morning has him reading in the paper about a fat guy who got beheaded in Iraq, laughing about how they could have found his neck. Batman later pays him a visit, and makes the same comment. That actually scares Gordon.
  • In the first issue of the second volume of Runaways, with supervillains starting to appear in Los Angeles after the death of the Pride, a friend of Victor Mancha's comments on how there are usually never any superhumans around there, adding, "Except Wonder Man, but he don't count." Later, supervillain team The Wrecking Crew are robbing a bank. Their leader, Piledriver, tells the rest of the crew that with the Pride gone, the city is ripe for the taking, since there had never previously been any superheroes with the Pride driving supervillains away — "Except Wonder Man, but he don't count."
  • In Cable & Deadpool, everyone who meets suave superthief the Cat immediately asks if they can see the tattoo on his stomach. How, exactly, any of them even knows that he has one is never really explained.
    • Also, in the finale, Deadpool decides it should be symbiont instead of symbiote. Bob, on the other end of the city, decides the same thing.
  • In the first arc of Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol, an imaginary world has taken over this dimension. Professor Caulder persuades the philosopher who created it to tell him the way to shut the world down: By confronting its leaders with a paradox that will prove they don't exist. Meanwhile, Rebis, who is trapped in the imaginary world with no outside contact, looks around and decides the only way to stop it from existing is to confront its leaders with that paradox.
  • In Marvel Adventures: The Avengers A.I.M.'s secret base were in the sewer, because that was the most secret place that existed. And the Leader also had a secret base, in the sewer, right next to A.I.M. Thank you Karl!
  • In She-Hulk, She-Hulk and four other female superheroines suddenly find themselves trapped in an alternate dimension by a mysterious entity:
    She-Hulk: Too bad her name isn't "Fundra", because that would have sounded cool.
    Sue Richards: I was just thinking that... which scares me a little bit.
  • Everyone who meets Batman comments on his height, it seems, usually to the effect of "I thought you'd be taller." (For the record, he's 6'2".) This even extends to other members of the Bat-family. At this point, it's gone far beyond merely this trope to full-blown Running Gag territory.
  • Depending on the Writer, this applies to Batman and Superman. In an issue of No Man's Land they have a short talk, before they see something they have to deal with, saying that they will come back soon, going to opposite sides at the same time and coming back at the same time apologizing for making the other wait.
  • In All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder, both Dick Grayson, Age 12 and Black Canary comment that the term "Bat-mobile" is "kind of queer."
  • In Astérix in Corsica, a young Roman soldier eager for his career prospects volunteers for duty in Corsica — which has "good chances for promotion" due to most of the Romans there being hopeless cases sent to Corsica as punishment, is compared to Salamix, a Corsican who hit his head and was never quite right again by some old Corsicans discussing things. Later, when trying to capture the heroes, he orders his men to "search the Maquis", leading one of them to say "He's as crazy as that nut Salamix!"
  • In My Little Pony Micro Series Issue#1 when Twilight reveals she had lied about Celestia threatening to replace her if she turned Twilight away from assisting her. Jade actually laughs and reveals that's how she got the job of looking over the library in the first place.
  • Mark Waid and Grant Morrison: According to their collaborators on 52, they would often come up with story ideas simultaneously and started Finishing Each Other's Sentences, and not the kinds of sentences you'd expect:
  • Italian stories for the Disney Ducks Comic Universe tend to use this to explain why exactly Donald and Daisy are still together:
    • In a Paperinik (Donald's superhero/antihero alter ego) story Donald had Gyro invent a device that brings someone a hour forward in time, so Daisy would understand how he felt every time he got late to their dates due him having to arrest criminals as Paperinik. After finding out of the device (that he had used as a crime-fighting weapon as Paperinik) Daisy is initially outraged... But when Donald comes to apologize she thanks him for helping her understanding, even saying it was very romantic.
    • Donald and Daisy have independently come up with the same excuse to justify their apparent closeness to their respective superhero alter egos, namely that they're very good friends.
    • In Double Duck, Donald at one point disguised himself as the villain and lied in ambush until the right moment to unmask himself. Kay K, Donald's partner in the series, was really upset and took a while to get over it... But Daisy shrugged it off after a moment of anger because she does the same all the time when working for Scrooge's Private Intelligence Agency.
  • Iznogoud: When Iznogoud decides to learn to draw, Wa'at Alahf says "it's a difficult art for beginners to master. Many try, but few succeed, and the standards required of young people these days are...". Later on, Iznogoud's art instructor Tahbari al-Tardi says the same thing word by word. The narrator later says the same thing.
  • Scooby-Doo! Team-Up: Subverted. In Issue #59, two government agents agree there's only one team to call to deal with a mysterious supernatural menace. One of them called Mystery Inc. and the other called the Challengers of the Unknown.

    Fan Works 
  • Turnabout Storm has a trans-dimensional example. When Twilight and Apple Bloom get into Ace Attorney's eternal ladder vs. stepladder debate, their conversation almost perfectly mirrors the first one Phoenix and Maya had.
    Apple Bloom: Hey Twi, look! A ladder!
    Twilight: That's a stepladder...
    Apple Bloom: So? What's the difference? You need to stop judging things based on narrow-minded cultural assumptions.
  • Ruki and Rika in the Tamers Forever Series. Which makes sense considering that Ruki was based on Rika's personality. Still doesn't make it any less hilarious though.
  • When Orihime, Uryu, and Ichigo are trying to think of a way to fight a Menos in Getting it Right, Orihime comes up with the idea of slicing the Menos down in sections until she can reach the mask, which Uryu calls ridiculous. Ichigo, who'd had the same idea the first time he went through this scenario, mumbles that he sees how it could have worked.
  • In Ice and Darkness, this is Itachi's thoughts on Sasuke building a private army of Academy Students and the fact that Obito had made the same plan a generation earlier. And given what we know about Obito's sanity, this doesn't speak well for Sasuke's mental stability. Not that this is anything new to anyone, as is mentioned a sentence later.
  • Meta-example in the Shadowchasers Series. The cards that Bruno uses are based on characters from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with a much Darker and Edgier theme, including an older version of Alice using a Vorpal Blade as a weapon. The author first introduced these cards in a fic called Legacy Of The Duelist, which appeared years before a certain video game with similar themes was released.
  • In Robb Returns, both Oberyn Martell and Tywin Lannister think the exact same thing about magic returning: that some fool will attempt to bring dragons back, and thus risk another Summerhallnote . Then, in the same chapter as Tywin, Viserys tells Daenerys he intends to find a way to awaken a dragon.
  • Upon meeting Slughorn in For Love of Magic both Luna and Etal wonder how far he'd roll if pushed down a hill. Harry has to fight down his laughter that Luna says the exact same thing as Etal despite not speaking Parseltongue.

    Films - Animated 
  • Disney Animated Canon
    • Mulan
      • Both Fa Zhou and The Emperor compare Mulan to "the rarest and most beautiful flower of all." (Though Mulan does translate to wood-flower or Magnolia).
      • On a more comedic note: Mushu tells Mulan to punch someone as it's the man's version of saying hello. After she reluctantly punches Yao, Chien-Po says "Look, Yao, you've made a friend!"
    • In The Emperor's New Groove, when Pacha tries to tell Kuzco that Yzma is in the diner with them, Kuzco describes her as "scary beyond all reason". Later, when the two go back to Pacha's hut to get supplies, the two old men playing checkers tell that that Yzma had gone there too, using that same description.
    • Bolt: At Hollywood, two pigeons pitch Bolt the idea of putting aliens on his show. At the end of the movie, Penny and Bolt are abducted by aliens in the show. Bear in mind that, as a dog, Bolt has no say on how his show is run; besides, this was after both Penny and Bolt quit and were replaced.
    • In Frozen, this is part of what makes Anna convinced she and Hans are perfect for each other. This turns out to just be Hans being an amazingly good actor.
      Hans: I mean, it's crazy!
      Anna: What?
      Hans: We finish each other's—
      Anna: —sandwiches!
      Hans: [stunned] That's what I was gonna say!
  • In Finding Nemo, the fish eagerly watch the dentist drilling a patient's tooth and try to figure out what drill is being used. When they finally determine the brand, they note that he's been favoring that kind recently. Later, when a pelican shows up to tell Nemo his dad is coming to save him, he is momentarily distracted by hearing what sort of drill is being used and comments that the dentist has been favoring it as of late.
  • In South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, the Mole says that if anything goes wrong while trying to break Terrence and Phillip out, imitate a dying giraffe. Later, when the alarm goes off, Stan and Kyle make the sound and one of the guards says "You hear that? Sounds like a giraffe is dying over there!".
  • In Hotel Transylvania 2, Dracula refers to himself as Dennis's "vampa". Later, Vlad calls himself Dennis's "great-vampa".
    "Vampire grampa. Come on, that was obvious!"

    Films - Live-Action 
  • Grosse Pointe Blank:
    "I'm in love with your daughter and I have a newfound respect for life."
    [cut to other car]
    "That punk is either in love with that guy's daughter, or he has a newfound respect for life."
  • Spaceballs: Upon discovering that the combination to the air shield is "1, 2, 3, 4, 5", Dark Helmet says "That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!" President Skroob enters and, after he is told the combination, he says "That's amazing! I've got the same combination on my luggage!" (Shortly afterwards, he gives an order for someone to change the combination)
  • Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai does this (not always for comedy) with Ghost Dog and Remy — neither speak the other's language, but they are always talking about the same thing.
  • Used in Love Actually to show that Jamie (who only speaks English) and Aurelia (who only speaks Portuguese) are well matched. After a book manuscript flies into the lake they are both swimming to collect the paper and he says "I hope there aren't any eels, I hate eels," and she says, "Don't splash too much, you'll disturb the eels". When they get out, she suggests he should name a character after her and give her 50% of the profits, while he suggests that he should name a character after her and give her 5% of the profits.
    Jamie: It's the happiest part of my day, driving you.
    Aurelia: It's the saddest part of my day, leaving you.
  • Juno: When Paulie first is told about Juno's pregnancy, he at one point awkwardly sputters out a description of having a baby as something that happens "to our moms and teachers when they get pregnant". Later on, when a fellow jogger comes up to Paulie to talk to him about Juno's pregnancy, the other jogger also refers to her pregnant status as "like our moms and teachers".
    • In the same film, there's the reiterated comment that having sex certainly wasn't Paulie's idea.
  • In Mallrats, Shannon remarks to Brodie while beating him up that he only acts like a nice guy to girls so that they'll let their guard down and allow him to "screw [them] in a very uncomfortable place" (meaning he wants to have anal sex with them). Brodie, not getting the euphemism, remarks "What, like the back of a Volkswagen?" Apparently, no one else gets it either, with T.S. and Gill Hicks reaching the same conclusion as Brodie. (When Gill says that, Brodie does a little Double Take, as if wondering "How did you know..?")
    • In Clerks II, Jason Lee has a cameo as a character Randal refers to as "Picklefucker" due to an unfortunate incident in high school. Lee's character claims Randal "must be the only one who still remembers that". Lee's character then gives his food to Jay, who responds with, "Thanks, Picklefucker!" The audience thinks this is a subversion, until Jay then runs outside screaming, "Yo! Some picklefucker just gave us free eats!" indicating that he had absolutely no idea who the character was. A trimmed portion has Randal asking "How did you know we called him Picklefucker?"; Jay responds, "You do?"
  • Perhaps the best known film example is "You'll shoot your eye out" from A Christmas Story. First said by Ralphie's mother; then written on his school report (convincing Ralphie that mom and the teacher were in cahoots); and, to add insult to injury, spoken by Santa himself! "Was there no end to the conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker?" And then Ralphie says it himself, at the end of the film.
    Ralphie: Oh my god, I shot my eye out!
  • In The Ipcress File, secret agent Harry Palmer is being sent away on attachment to Major Dalby's unit by his dour boss Colonel Ross. Before he goes Ross warns "Be careful with Major Dalby. He doesn't have my sense of humour". When he arrives, Major Dalby warns "Be careful with me. I don't have Colonel Ross's sense of humour".
  • In Heathers, the psychotic J.D. plants a bottle of mineral water next to the two Jerk Jocks he just murdered to suggest that they died in a gay suicide pact. Veronica thinks the idea is completely stupid. Three guesses what the cops say when they find the bottle.
    • Made even funnier in that they also planted a bag full of gay porn and sex toys next to the corpses, but the mineral water is the first thing the cops pick up.
  • In Back to the Future, during Marty's visit to 1955 his down-filled orange vest from the 1980s is mistaken for a life preserver (which means he must be a sailor) by Doc, one of Biff's lackeys, the soda parlour guy, and Lorraine's mom.
  • Invoked rather violently in The Departed: Billy's in a bar trying to get in with the mob. He orders a cranberry juice, whereupon the guy sitting next to him says its a diuretic and asks if he's on his period. Billy smashes his mug against the guy's head and is about to beat the crap out of him before mob lieutenant Mr. French separates them. He asks what's he's drinking: "What, is it your period?" Later on, the head of mob Costello is sitting with Billy and orders a drink. His beverage of choice? Cranberry juice. Ha!
  • Die Hard With a Vengeance has McClane and Samuel L. Jackson successfully disarm a puzzle-bomb, after which they elect to hand it over to the authorities, to prevent some kid from picking it up. Unfortunately the Big Bad has fake cops stationed all over the place, and our heroes unknowingly hand the bomb over to them. Then the fake cops switch to their native German and agree to hold on to the bomb... because some kid might pick it up.
  • In The Santa Clause, Tim Allen's character reads his son "A Visit from St. Nicholas" and the boy mishears "arose such a clatter" as "a Rose Suchak ladder". Shortly thereafter they hear a noise and run outside to find a ladder leaning against the house, a sign hanging off one rung that reads "Rose Suchak Ladder Co."
  • In Babe, the narrator highlights this conversation between Fly and the sheep.
    Narrator: Fly decided to speak very slowly for it was a cold fact of nature that sheep were stupid and no one would ever persuade her otherwise.
    A few seconds later
    Narrator: The sheep spoke very slowly for it was a cold fact of nature that wolves were ignorant and nothing would convince them otherwise.
  • During one of the linking segments of The Ten, Gretchen is incredulous when Jeff refers to weightlifting as "juicing my pecs". Much later, there's a scene that involves one prisoner asking another to spot him as he lifts weights, which he also calls juicing his pecs. Of course, Jeff is supposed to be the one telling the stories that make up most of the movie...
  • About 90% of the jokes in Hot Fuzz are this.
  • There's a Brick Joke in Easy A that uses this trope. Early in the film, Olive describes Huckleberry Finn as being about "a teenage boy who runs off with a big hulking black guy". Right near the end, a girl tells Olive that her gay friend Brandon...well, guess. It's made funnier by the fact that the black guy in question is of average build.
  • In Benny & Joon, Sam makes grilled cheese using an iron. Benny observes that "For grilled cheese, I would have used the wool setting", to which Joon replies "That's what I told him!"
  • When the bus breaks down in Paterson, three different people independently express fear of it "exploding into a fireball", nearly word-for-word.
  • In The Martian, Mark Whatney at one explains that Mars is under maritime laws and he is about to take a space craft without explicit permission, thus committing an act of piracy. Making him a Space Pirate. Running with this, he demands that NASA call him "Captain Blondebeard". Upon hearing this, Kapoor immediately thinks of the same laws.

  • In To Say Nothing of the Dog, one character, prone to malapropisms, writes about a "firugeal urn". At another point, Ned makes reference to the same object, also calling it a "firugeal urn". All well and good, except that Ned thought the phrase instead of saying it, and he said it first. Casual readers assume that he was referring back to the letter, but that's impossible unless he were actually a time-traveling agent from further in the future, with deliberately implanted false memories.
  • In Dead Beat, Harry hears about how the Merlin used one ward to hold off the entire Red Court, and thinks to himself 'I guess you don't become the Merlin by collecting bottle caps'. Ramirez, a fellow Warden, hears about the same event later. He verbally makes the same comparison as Harry. This amuses Harry.
  • In The Science of Discworld 2: The Globe, Hex instructs Rincewind and Ponder Stibbons to disguise the Librarian (an ape) with a dress while standing on the Luggage (a chest) when going to Elizabethan England, because the English will think that he is a Spanish lady. When they find the wizards that had gotten stuck in England, the first question they ask is "Who is the Spanish lady?".
  • Terry Pratchett uses this trope again in Johnny and the Dead. When asked who invented the telephone, Bigmac replies "Sir Humphrey Telephone?" Completely unrelated, the Dead discuss the telephone, and one of them mentions thinking it was invented by Sir Humphrey Telephone.
  • In Unseen Academicals, the non-too-bright Trev wants to ask Juliet out, and he plans to do so by sending her a letter saying, "I think you're really fit. I really fancy you. How about a date? No hanky-panky, I promise." His more literate friend Nutt suggests that something more might be needed, and helpfully composes a long love poem for Trev to give to Juliet. However, Juliet - who isn't all too clever either - can't understand a word of Nutt's overly articulate poem, and so asks her more literate friend, Glenda, to explain it to her. Glenda reads the poem, thinks for a bit, and then translates it as, "he thinks you're really fit, he really fancies you, how about a date, no hanky-panky, he promises." note 
  • In Starclimber, the first time James Sanderson is mentioned, Matt says "Let me guess: the heir to the Sanderson fortune." Throughout the book, nearly every time Sanderson is mentioned, a different character will refer to him as "the heir to the Sanderson fortune".
  • At several points in the Jason X novelization characters think something along the lines of "And then I won't be the only one not getting laid".
  • In The Little Prince, the narrator recalls that when he was a child he tried to draw a giant boa constrictor that had swallowed an elephant, and all the adults mistook it for a hat. When he reproduces the drawing for the titular Little Prince, the Prince manages to recognize what it's supposed to be without being told.
  • In the Amelia Peabody mystery book The Deeds of the Disturber, Emerson examines a threatening note and proclaims (in a very Sherlock Holmes-esque way) that he can tell from the handwriting it was written 'by a man of education with a pen that needed mending'. Amelia understandably writes this off as complete nonsense. Enter their son Ramses...who then proceeds to make exactly the same comment, much to Amelia's annoyance.
  • In The Red Pyramid, Sadie finds a book on her shelf that teaches you to summon the five basic elements-earth, fire, air, water, and cheese. Later, one of Thoth's shabti tries to cast elemental magic, and shouts "Fire! Wind! Water! Cheese!"
  • In 1Q84, Aomame mentally compares herself to Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Later, a taxi driver makes the exact some comparison.
  • In Life, the Universe and Everything, Arthur Dent is stranded on prehistoric Earth, and an immortal alien approaches him just to tell him: "You're a jerk, Dent, a complete kneebiter." Dent then time-travels to modern-day England, where a little boy says the same thing to him.
  • In Shaman Blues, Witkacy and Konstancja both get the idea to enter and search Tadeusz's home at almost the same moment, despite not contacting each other until Konstancja enters the apartment while Witakcy's already rummaging through it.
  • In Star Wars: Kenobi, Ben and Annileen both separately joke that his beat-up cooling unit must be thousands of years old, by referencing events and people from that era of the Star Wars Legends timeline.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Stark Raving Mad, Ian has an unusual connection with his stalker that enables him to say completely random things knowing that said stalker will translate them for Henry.
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun was also quite fond of this. In one example, Tommy's PE teacher told him to climb a rope and Tommy asked what was at the top of the rope. When the coach tells him the alternative is sitting with the girls, Tommy fails to see how this is punishment and wonders if the teacher is gay. Later on, the teacher complained about this to Tommy's "father" Dick, who replied by asking the same question.
    • Tommy, Sally, and Harry's plans to rob a bank involved distracting a teller by bringing one of the bank's pens up to her and telling her it's out of ink. They fail when they discover the pens are chained down. When they later tell Dick they tried to rob a bank, he says, "You can't do that- their pens are chained down."
    • A Halloween episode has Tommy and Sally flamboyantly dressed as Sonny and Cher. They claim to be dressed as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Mrs. Dubcek later comes upstairs and recognises Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
  • In an episode of ALF, ALF thinks the Tanners' neighbor, Mr Ochmonek, killed his wife. Naturally, the Tanners don't believe him, and say, "Remember the time you thought Mr. Litvak down the street was building an atomic bomb in his basement?" (It was actually a pool heater.) After a series of misunderstandings, the episode culminates with a police officer arriving and Mrs. Ochmonek being alive and well. A few clarifications later, as the policeman leaves, Mr. Ochmonek says, "By the way, as long as you're here, officer, there's something I want to report. There's this guy down the street called Litvak... I think he's building an A-bomb in his basement."
    • Yet another ALF example: in one episode, ALF develops chronic ennui and, inspired by the Tanner's psychiatrist friend Larry praising the advice he gave regarding some of the family's issues, decides to study psychiatry as well. This ends up greatly annoying the Tanners, due to ALF suddenly spouting psycho babble at random intervals and at one point, bursting into Willie and Kate's bedroom shouting "Carl Jung was a big weenie head!" and claiming he has proved that Jung's theories are bogus. Eventually, the Tanners with the help of Larry manage to make him realize what he's been doing, and ALF shows this by claiming to now understand a Carl Jung quote relevant to the situation at hand. At which point, Larry says, "Huh. And I always thought Carl Jung was a big weenie head."
  • In the 38th season finale of Sesame Street, when Oscar visits María's bathroom as a reporter for Grouch News Network, he remarks that the only way to get the elephant out of her bathtub is to offer him peanuts. Seconds later, Bob shows up (in his only new appearance that season) with a sack of peanuts.
  • Arrested Development lives and breathes this trope. Sometimes it even stretches out the connected references several episodes or even seasons apart. Often you have to go back and re-watch old episodes to even realize that this trope is being used; Characters often say the exact same thing independently ("I've made a huge mistake", referring to sex as "pop-pop") or say things that are absurdly prophetic ("You won't be hand-fed any more!").
  • Happens all the time in The Middleman, and we do mean all the time. Lacey calling Wendy "Dub-Dub" and the Middleman giving her the nickname "Dubbie," "My plan is sheer elegance in its simplicity", "the icy waters of the North Atlantic", and of course:
    "The pirate-themed sports bar with the scantily clad waitresses?"
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Crossing with Unspoken Plan Guarantee, Emu comes up with a plan to defeat the current Big Bad Chronus by circumventing his Pause power. He manages to communicate this plan to Kuroto just by pointing at him with a ridiculously gleeful expression; Kuroto figures out the plan after just a moment's thought. Since Kuroto has become a living computer virus, the plan is to secretly inject him into Chronus' Transformation Trinket so he can disable it from the inside.
  • In the Swedish show Kvarteret Skatan, two guys accidentally killed another guy. When they're trying to conceal the body, one of them comments: "Nobody's gonna believe this," to which the other responds, "Perhaps they'll think it's a dead badger." Later on, the guys and their girlfriends passes the body in a car, and one of the women says: "Oh, look there! It looks like a dead badger."
  • In an episode of Angel, Fred has made an ominous-looking machine that Wesley says looks "like a spring-loaded decapitation device," which Cordelia counters with, "Or it makes toast." When Wesley later speculates about the contraption to Fred's parents, Fred's father adds, "Or it makes toast." By the way... it is a spring-loaded decapitation device.
    • Also: the device does seem to have a spatula attached to it, and several other bits and pieces that do at least suggest the idea of toast.
  • In a season two episode of NewsRadio, Beth tries to invent and popularize the phrase "bitchcakes". Later, when walking into a chaotic situation, Jimmy James claims, "Everyone's going totally bitchcakes today!"
    • Another Beth/Jimmy example has Jimmy offering "Swiss cheese" as an example of an oxymoron, which completely baffles Dave. Later, Beth says that something is ironic, "like rain on your wedding day." Jimmy: "No, no, that's an oxymoron." Beth: "Oh, like Swiss cheese?" Jimmy: "Exactly."
  • In Seinfeld, resident Wacky Guy Kramer justifies his "reverse peep hole" with the fear of someone ambushing him from inside his apartment with a sock full of pennies. Cue the end of the episode, when Jerry discovers his and Kramer's Italian landlord has ambushed Joe Mayo in his apartment with... a sock full of pennies.
    • In "The Yada Yada", Kramer calls Jerry an "anti-Dentite" in response to his animosity of dentist Tim Whatley. Later, Whatley's old teacher tells Jerry "I'd punch your teeth out, you anti-Dentite bastard!".
  • One episode of The Young Ones has multiple clones of Neil popping out of the ground, one of them says "Wow, anyone who saw that must have thought it was a multiple reality inversion". Cut to two random bystanders: "Wow, that looked just like a multiple reality inversion."
  • Occurs frequently on How I Met Your Mother. One of the best examples is how all of the main characters seem to be buddies with a Korean Elvis impersonator, aptly named "Korean Elvis".
    • The best example has to be the episode where a goat takes a dump on Ted's floor. Later, both Robin and Marshall are able to identify the droppings as coming from a goat. "How does everyone know it's a goat turd!?"
  • Occurs half a dozen times per episode on The West Wing. In one notable example, Sam spends an entire episode going around asking if people have heard about an Alabama town which just voted to replace all its laws with the Ten Commandments. Everybody he talks to wants to know how they're going to tell if you're coveting your neighbor's wife.
    • Another episode has Donna compare economic theory to the problems of deciding which diet plan to follow by saying you should take a bit from each theory, much to the amusement of Josh. Only a short while later, the President makes the exact same point to Josh (minus the diet analogy).
  • On Will & Grace, in the episode "It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, World", Grace's coffee has "Patrice" written on it- she claims it's her Coffee Name. Then Will says "Tyler" is his "my getting-out-of-going-to-your-parent's-house name". A few minutes later Jack enters, saying "Hey, Tyler. Hey, Patrice."
  • Men Behaving Badly: While Gary is having a one night stand and Tony is trying (as ever) to get laid, Dorothy phones them to ask how things are while she's gone. Tony panickedly tries to think up something that isn't the truth. After the phone call, Debbie asks her if something's wrong.
    Dorothy: Well, either he's passed out on the sofa, or he's sleeping with another woman.
    • Later in the episode, Dorothy finally comes back after the other girl has left. Dorothy asks him how the night went.
    Gary: Oh, Tony was sleeping with a girl he picked up and I was passed out on the sofa.
  • In an episode of Home Improvement, Wilson's house is broken into. The thing he's most upset about losing is his African mucus cup, much to Tim's bewilderment. When Tim later tells Al about the break-in, Al's first response is "Oh, no. Did they take his mucus cup?"
    • That's more a case of Al knowing that Wilson prized the mucus cup, so it would be the worst thing for him to lose. Then again, Wilson said it was one of a small number of items stolen, so the thief apparently knew what it was and that it was valuable.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • Episode "Back to Reality". Kryten discovers that he's actually Cybernautics Division cop Jake Bullet.
      Kryten: "Jake Bullet: Cybernautic Detective." I like that! That sounds like the kind of hard-living flatfoot who gets the job done by cutting corners and bucking authority, and if those pen pushers up at City Hall don't like it, well, they can park their overpaid fat asses on this mid digit and swivel—swivel 'til they squeal like pigs on a honeymoon!
      Rimmer: On the other hand, 'Mr. Bullet', perhaps the Cybernautics division is in charge of traffic control, and you just happen to have a rather silly macho name.
      [later, when they encounter a murderous secret policeman]
      Kryten: [whips out his badge] Bullet, Cybernautics!
      Secret Policeman: That's traffic control.
    • However, the whole "Back to Reality" scenario is a collective hallucination of the Dwarfers caused by the despair squid, so it's really Kryten who's calling himself a traffic warden rather than a cowboy cop.
    • In "Back To Earth", the sci-fi shop owner is unfazed to have fictional characters walk into his shop, because reality incursions are very common this time of year (Rimmer: "Oh good, he's a nutter"). He phones the head of the Red Dwarf Fan Club for them and says "Yeah, reality incursion... Yeah, that's what I said..."
  • 30 Rock does this continually.
    • In the episode "SeinfeldVision", Liz defends wearing a wedding dress saying "I don't need society's permission to buy a white dress. Who says this is a wedding dress anyway? In Korea they wear white to funerals." Later on, Tracy sees her in the dress and says "Oh, no! Did a Korean person die?"
    • Justified in one episode, after Kenneth and Liz both independently mention The Pelican Brief as an example of dirty dealing:
      Jack: Why is everyone talking about that movie?
      Liz: It's been playing on Showtime.
    • And used as an episode-spanning Brick Joke effect with "mind grapes."
    • Apparently all celebrities are familiar with the rule of threes, and recognise the same obscure people as celebrities.
    • In "Christmas Attack Zone", while sharing their couple's costume idea for the New Queers' Eve party:
      Paul/Jenna: [in unison]I/you [referring to Paul] dress as Natalie Portman from the movie Black Swan. And I/you [referring to Jenna] dress as former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and Pennsylvania gubernatorial nominee Lynn Swann. We're Two Black Swans!
    • And in the season 4 premiere. Jenna finds out that TGS is auditioning new cast members, and with typical self-centered rage she cries "If it's a blonde woman I will kill myself!" Later, when Tracy hears the same news he immediately has the same response.
    • And twice in another fourth season episode: When Jack and Danny need a name for their prank crew, they both simultaneously pick the "most handsome animal on Earth: The Silver Panthers." Jenna and Tracy simultaneously decide to deal with their Kenneth nightmares: "We have to Elm Street this. We have to go to sleep and kill Kenneth in our dreams!"
  • In the Police Squad! episode "Rendezvous at Big Gulch (Terror in the Neighborhood)", Detective Drebin asks Dr. Olsen if he can trace a rock that was thrown through a window, and Dr. Olsen proceeds to give a geology lesson. Drebin later confronts the criminals who threw the rock, asking them, "Oh yeah, where did this come from?" They start to give exactly the same geology spiel.
  • In an episode of Scrubs, Dr. Cox is irritated by Molly's relentlessly optimistic worldview. After she expresses it with an increasingly strained metaphor comparing people to chocolates, he responds that people are actually "bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling." Later, Dr. Cox mentions Molly's attitudes to Dr. Kelso; he doesn't bring up the chocolate metaphor, but Kelso still responds that "people are bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling."
  • This happened frequently on Green Acres, with Lisa spouting some nonsense early on in the episode (often involving a Perfectly Cromulent Word), and another character referencing it again later on, to Oliver's alarm. Just another typical day in Cloudcuckooland, but even Mr. Drucker, the only sane native, was known to get in on this one.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "The Zeppo", Xander makes a sarcastic remark about feeling like Jimmy Olsen to Giles. Later, Cordelia mocks him by saying that, with everyone he knows having superpowers, he must feel like...Jimmy Olsen. Xander starts lampshading this, but then cuts himself off with "Mind your own business!"
    • It's also how Drusilla seduces Spike when they first meet - by referring to him as "effulgent", just minutes after he's laughed out of a social gathering for using it in a poem. Of course, she is psychic...
  • In the Amazing Stories episode "The Family Dog", Ms. Lestrange promises to turn the dog into "a quivering, snarling, white-hot ball of canine terror." Later, when the dog attacks burglars, one exclaims, "He's turned into a quivering, snarling, white-hot ball of canine terror!"
  • From Bottom, when Richie and Eddie attempt to rub together their one brain cell each by solving a crossword puzzle.
    Eddie: Erm... all right, two down... "Fish", four letters, now begins with "X".
    Richie: "X"? —Xylophone, xylophone fish. [beat]
    Both simultaneously: Nah, it'd sink, wouldn't it.
  • Blackadder,
    • In the first season, a messenger arrives with dire news:
      KING RICHARD: What?! Have the Swiss and French made sudden peace with each other at the mountain pass rendezvous, then forged a clandestine alliance with Spain, thus leaving us without friends in Europe unless, by chance, we make an immediate pact with Hungary?
      Messenger: [checks the message] Yes.
      KING RICHARD: As I thought!
    • In Blackadder Goes Forth, Captain Blackadder, General Melchet and Field Marshall Haig all have the same idea to feign insanity: Put your underpants on your head and stick a pencil up each nostril. Justified in that each one of them picked it up first hand after seeing people try it in Sudan. However, Haig and Edmund only saw their attempts—General Melchet knew that each man who tried it was shot for attempting desertion.
  • In the sixth season finale of Family Matters, Steve tells Laura that his parents are moving to Russia to teach at a university. Laura cruelly and hopefully asks Steve if he is going with them. When Laura passes this news on to Carl and Harriette, they react the same way in unison.
  • On Gossip Girl:
    • When Blair realises that the liquor license she managed to get her boyfriend for his big club opening was a fake, she decides that the best way of getting back into his good graces would be to... call the cops and have them raid the place. Which, it turns out, he had already done already, prompting Blair to conclude that they belong together. I'm inclined to agree...
    • In another episode when they're not dating, during a sting, Blair remarks "I have a plan." Chuck says he's already had it and they go straight away to enact, without even discussing it or checking it's the same idea. And it is.
  • Psych.
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody:
    • Zack and Cody are trying to catch some jewel thieves, and Zack has set up a net in London's suite and covered it with leaves:
      Cody: Why would there be leaves in a hotel suite?
      Zack: ... I'll open up the window so they'll think it blew in from the park across the street!
      Cody: That'll never work!
      [Later, when the jewel thieves enter the suite]
      Thief 1: ... Why are there leaves on the floor?
      Thief 2: [looks at window] It must've blown in from the park across the street.
      Zack: [to Cody] Told you!
    • In another episode, Zack and Cody try to catch a father-daughter con duo and Cody does much of the work to catch them, with Zack being the one who comes up with the name of the plan, which is pretty lame. Near the end, when they're caught, the father reveals the daughter is the brains of the operation and that he's the one who comes up with the lame plan names.
  • On CSI:
    • Grissom gave Catherine a present for her daughter for her birthday, a chemistry kit. A few minutes later, Nick showed up with another present and it was the exact same kit. Grissom comments he got one of those when he was nine, and that he "nearly blew up the house." Nick comes in, saying as he did that he'd gotten one of them when he was nine and "nearly blew up the house."
    • In one episode, a victim had built a volcano for his child's science fair. It turns out both Nick and Catherine have reason to resent Grissom...
      Catherine: I built one of these when I was in fourth grade. First place should've been mine. Ended up losing to a kid with some lame red ant farm. ... [looks at Grissom] That was you!
      Grissom: Something I learned, insects always win.
      [A couple of scenes later]
      Nick: I built one of those once. First place should've been mine...
      Grissom: Gotta let it go, Nick.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia uses this a few times.
    • In the episode "The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover Edition," Charlie, in his quest to make a girl a taco-themed bed for which he already has all the supplies for, asks Dennis "What does a little Mexican girl love more than anything in the world?" Dennis immediately responds, "Tacos."
    • In "Mac and Charlie Write a Movie," it is common knowledge that the most underrated actor is Dolph Lundgren.
    • In "The Gang Gets Trapped," Dennis and Dee both respond the same way to Mac and Charlie's idea of starting a leather goods store in Arizona. Dee thinks that the market is too saturated and concludes, "They'll be out of business in a week's time!" Dennis lampshades: "That's exactly what I said!"
    • In "The Gang Dines Out," several different people spontaneously refer to a single soldier as "a troop."
    • In "Thundergun Express", both the gang and a random cop cite the scene where the star of the eponymous film "hangs dong", as one of it's biggest selling points.
  • This seems to have become a trend on Family Feud ever since Steve Harvey became host in 2010. A contestant gives a slightly off-kilter answer to a question (e.g. "Name something that gets passed around." "A joint."), Steve lays into the contestant with a "What the Hell, Player?" attitude, then is taken aback when said answer is on the board.
    • This happens throughout the show's run. Richard Dawson responded to one by saying "If that answer's up there, I'm quitting." When it was, he threw up his hands and started off the stage.
    • From the British version, Family Fortunes: the question was to name a way of toasting someone. One woman said "over a fire", to which the host replied he'd give her the money himself if it was up there. It turned out twelve people said "grill".
    • This has even happened between contestants of the show, during the "Fast Money" segment note . In one episode, Steve Harvey asks the survey question: "We asked 100 men, name a place on your body that a doctor might look in with a little flashlight?" The first woman answers: "Butt.". When the next family member comes up, Steve Harvey claims that there is no way that she could have the same answer. She did.
  • From Community
    • Both Abed and Jeff independently tell Britta she looks like Elisabeth Shue (which she totally does).
    • In "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux", Abed justifies his documentary by claiming that the documentary Hearts Of Darkness was way better than the source material Apocalypse Now. When Special Guest Luis Guzman shows up later, he also says "Hearts Of Darkness was way better than Apocalypse Now".
    • In "The Politics of Human Sexuality", a security guard catches the girls peeping into Dean Pelton's office to get a look at a naked male prop dummy. Both the security guard and the Dean refer to the incident as a "reverse Porky's".
  • In one episode of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, two of the heroes infiltrate an enemy ship by dressing up in really terrible Mook costumes. When they get caught and everything looks bad, the other three come to the rescue in the exact same kind of outfits.
  • On Burn Notice, Mike and Fiona are in the garage working on Mike's car when Maddie comes in and mentions that Barry's brother is there to see Mike for a job. Fiona looks startled at Mike; "There's two of them?". Later, when Fiona tells Sam about Barry's brother, he says the same thing.
  • Corner Gas does this all the time. Blame it on a lifetime of living in a small town. For example, in the episode where Lacey's ex-fiancé comes to visit, Hank is suspicious of him and tries thinking of ways to get rid of him.
    Hank: Look, I was just gonna suggest a good old-fashioned beating. Or we put on cloaks and pretend to sacrifice him for the crops. You know, scare him off.
    [later, when Oscar and Emma stop by Corner Gas]
    Hank: I just wanted to beat this Steven guy up.
    Oscar: See? Now that's a plan! ...Or maybe get cloaks, and sacrifice him for the crops.
    Wanda: You mean pretend to sacrifice him for the crops.
    Oscar: That's right... pretend...
  • In the Boy Meets World episode "Train of Fools", Cory sends away the last cab in the city because he thinks the driver was an imposter and says, "For all I know, he was gonna take us to some warehouse, and cut out our livers!". At the end of the episode, Mr. Feeny returns from vacation in that same cab and also becomes suspicious of the driver and doesn't want to stay in the cab and "risk his liver".
  • If you really think about it, the only explanation for why the 1960's TV version of Batman was so reliably able to decipher The Riddler's riddles.
  • In the Dinosaurs episode 'What Sexual Harris Meant', Fran suggests Earl recommend Monica for the treepusher opening at Wesayso. Earl responds, "A female treepusher? That's ludicrous! I'd be a laughingstock!" One Gilligan Cut later, Earl recommends Monica to Mr. Richfield, who exclaims, "A female treepusher!? That's ludicrous! You're a laughingstock!"
  • In The Big Bang Theory episode "The Zazzy Substitution", the similarity of their strange minds allows Sheldon and Amy to play an Alternate History game called Counterfactuals, as they both think it obvious that, among other things, humanity being ruled by intelligent beavers would prevent the invention of the cheese danish.
  • Done in The Aquabats! Super Show! episode "Cobraman!":
    MC Bat Commander: Ah, there's nothing like being a band on the road! The truck stop food, the public restrooms, the lack of showers, it's so awesome!
    • Later, when Carl steals the Battletram:
    Carl: Yeah! We got it! Finally we can go out on tour! Out on the open road! The truck stop food! The public restrooms! The complete lack of showers! It's like heaven on wheels!
  • In the Teen Wolf episode "Abomination", Scott and Allison independently assert that the proper term for the principal's old book about supernatural creatures is "bestiality".
  • On Saved by the Bell the gang decides to host a radio station. Everybody is good at it except for Slater. When they discuss how to tell Slater he stinks without hurting his feelings, Screech suggests they wave a skunk in front of him. When they listen to what the people think, they overhear this conversation.
    First Student: Boy, that guy stinks.
    Second Student: Yeah, somebody should wave a skunk in front of him.
  • In an episode of Apartment 2F, Zach is tasked with being a plant at a focus group testing a product called "Ass Clock Pants" and swaying the rest of the group in favor of the product. Not only does another, genuinely unbiased group member enthusiastically praise the absurd product (which is exactly what it sounds like) and nearly get the others on board, she actually uses the blatantly canned-sounding line Zach was coached to contribute to the discussion - calling it "the greatest invention since the cotton gin".
  • In an episode of Who's the Boss?, Angela becomes very depressed when Tony tells her that Peterson called her a "two-bit tramp" who "slept her way to the top" behind her back. When her mother comes in to cheer her up, she correctly guesses what he said, saying that's what every man says when he's jealous of a woman in a higher position.
  • In the Kenny vs. Spenny episode "Who Can Produce The Best Commercial?", one of Kenny's crewmembers laughingly guesses that this will end up with Kenny fucking a pizza or sticking a frozen pizza up his butt or something. Absurdly, this occurs as a natural enfoldment of events halfway through the episode.
  • A meta-example in Doctor Who, with this Twitter exchange between a viewer, Steven Moffat, and Neil Gaiman (neilhimself) a few days after the episode which revealed River Song is the child of Amy Pond & Rory Williams:
    whitniverse: @steven_moffat @neilhimself #Doctor Who SPOILERS! Does this mean that River was conceived on a bunk bed?
    steven_moffat: @whitniverse @neilhimself Or a ladder.
    neilhimself: [at about the same time] @whitniverse @steven_moffat or on the ladder…
    neilhimself: @steven_moffat @whitniverse That was spooky.
    steven_moffat: @neilhimself @whitniverse I think we accidentally made that canonical.
  • Kickin' It: In the first episode, when Ty tried to convince Jack to join the Black Dragons Dojo, he gave Jack a bo staff, claiming it was the kind astronauts would use, if they used bo staffs. Later, when he entered Rudy's dojo with the staff, Rudy asked Jack where he got the astronaut-style bo staff.
    • In another episode where Ty tried to convince Jack to join the Black Dragons, one of the arguments was the fact the Black Dragon uniform highlighted Jack's eyes. Later, when the Wasabi Warriors saw him as a Black Dragon, Jerry guessed it was for that reason Jack agreed.
  • In Kamen Rider Ex-Aid Emu finds a way to defeat Kamen Rider Cronos and points at Kuroto gleefully. Kuroto immediately realizes the plan he is a vital part of and congratulates Emu on figuring it out.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000's presentation of Last of the Wild Horses has a good version of TV's Frank read a sign in the film as "DOUBLE CRANCH," instead of "DOUBLE C RANCH." In the main universe, Crow reads the sign the exact same way.
  • In an episode of The George Lopez Show, George refuses to put Max into a remedial class so it would save him the embarrassment of having a dyslexic son. Later, when George discovers that he too has dyslexia, he asks Benny why she never told him and she gives him the exact same reason.
  • In the Mr Young episode "Mr. Mummy", Adam shows up to a Halloween party with no costume, and when Tater asks why, he lies and says he's dress as Dr. Frankenstein, but he didn't have to dress up in anything because "it's Casual Friday at the lab." Later, Derby sees him and tells him "Nice Dr. Frankenstein on Casual Friday!"
    • In "Mr. Candidate", Adam asks how Derby would like to have "newfound power", which Derby misinterprets as becoming a superhero after getting bitten by a radioactive snake. Later, when Tater ponders how to get Derby to behave, he says "I'd call Snake-Man, but I don't know who he is".
  • In The Worst Year of My Life, Again, Maddy and Howe seem to operate on the same wavelength, which is not the same as anyone else's. They both go to Nicola's halloween party as the Screaming Schoolgirl/boy (complete with old-fashioned wooden ruler), and later Howe is able to tell - with no prompting - that Maddy's 'scary' costume is her dentist dressed to go to a party.
  • Friends:
    • In "TOW the Blackout", Chandler gets trapped in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre, and attempts to communicate this fact over the phone to Ross, obfuscating the content of the call by eliminating consonants and front-of-mouth vowels. After Ross fails to make sense of this, Chandler asks him to put Joey on the phone, who instantly deciphers the unintelligible message.
    • Phoebe and Joey are shown to be like this often as part of their role as Platonic Life-Partners. One such case is in the Vegas episode, where Joey is amazed at finding a man whose hands look like his. While the others are understandably confused about him making a big deal over his "identical hand twin", Phoebe seems to know what he's talking about and even gets a little jealous that she hasn't found hers yet.
  • In the Frasier episode "Roz's Krantz and Goldenstein Are Dead" both Bulldog and Niles - despite being polar opposite character types - have too-revealing "happens to all guys" responses when they hear Roz talk about her elderly friends dying and they interpret it as something else.
  • Tattletales: July 5, 1974: The question to the ladies was "You're the editor of Playgirl magazine for a day. Who's going to be next month's centerfold?" Dick Gautier was stumped as his wife, Barbara Stuart, was never really turned on by anyone — he figured Barbara would come up with someone goofy, so he said President Nixon. The audience rose in derisive laughter at such a thought (Convy: "What I want to see is her face when she finds out what you said.") and then Barbara was brought onscreen. Her last-gasp response? "How about President Nixon?" Everybody in Studio 41 — especially Barbara — was stunned as the audience absolutely brought the house down laughing and cheering.
  • Early on in the Married... with Children episode "Blond and Blonder", in anticipation for her fifth-year high school anniversary, Kelly mentions to her pals that she had written letters to a gal pal over the years, before showing said letters, all bundled together and unsent. When said gal pal shows up, she shows Kelly a bundle of letters she herself wrote without sending, and the two of them exchange their bundles of letters, much to Bud's bemusement.
  • In Yes, Dear, After Christine gets mad at Jimmy for only writing "Love, Jimmy" on his Valentine's Day card to her, Kim and Greg try to fix things by saying that everyone must sit down and write something they love about their spouse. Jimmy accidentally writes down lyrics from "Livin' On a Prayer" without realizing it, which Greg berates him for. Then Christine reveals that she wrote the same thing, and the two sing the next part of the song together.
  • Jonathan Creek: In "Daemon's Roost", Jonathan makes a scarecrow of Alfred Hitchcock for a village competition. Everyone else who sees it assumes it is Phill Jupitus, despite it not looking anything like Phill Jupitus.

  • Red vs. Blue:
    • In Episode 2, the Red Team receives a new Jeep from Command that Grif likens to a puma to contest the name and comparison that Sarge gave it (the Warthog). Blue Team members Church and Tucker are spying on the Reds during the exchange without being able to hear what's being said, but come to the same conclusion as Grif about the Jeep.
    • Sarge makes fun of Grif for giving him mouth-to-mouth to cure a shot to the head, sarcastically quipping, "What would you do if I got shot in the foot, rub Aloe Vera on my neck?" In a later episode, Doc treats Caboose's gunshot-wounded foot by rubbing Aloe Vera on his neck.
    • In the final episodes of Reconstruction, Washington explains that he's going to activate an EMP device to kill the Meta, but the Reds correct him, calling it an "emp," much to Washington's annoyance. When he does activate it, the machine says something to the effect of "Activating emp." Washington's last words are pure indignation.
    • In the prequel episode "Fifty Shades of Red", we see that Sarge competed against other potential C Os for the Blood Gulch position. Every other sergeant candidate had the exact same mindset as him, to the point where they all started saying the same thing in unison.
    • In on of the gaiden episodes of Season 14, one of the FUNHAUS Reds makes the suggestion of doing a "desert dance" to distract the Blood Gulch Blues, before demonstrating. A minute later, Caboose appears, summoned by the desert dance as it turns out.

    Newspaper Comics 

  • Dice Funk:
    Danion the Priest: What do you know about vampires?
    Rinaldo: Oh, I love pie!
    [A short time later]
    Rinaldo: We got vampires.
    Anne: You brought pie?
  • In their review of the Doctor Who episode "The Enemy of the World", Who Back When hosts Ponken and Nikulele realize via their notes that they both gave Salamander, the episode's Big Bad, the nickname "Scaramanga."

  • Used, and severely abused, in You'll Have Had Your Tea?: The Doings Of Hamish and Dougal. In "The Shooting Party" Dougal tells Hamish (in a whisper) what the strange buzzing thing he mistook for a novelty thermos was, and Hamish mishears it as "pie-grater". Shortly thereafter the Laird appears.
    Laird: What are you doing with my Christmas present to Mrs Naughtie?
    Dougal: No, it's a novelty thermos.
    Laird: Pity. I've a pie here that badly needs grating.
    • Later still, Mrs Naughtie herself serves up grated pie at a picnic.
    • In "Inverurie Jones and the Thimble of Doom", Hamish sarcastically says "Brad bloody Pitt!" when Dougal asks who's at the door. For the rest of the episode, everyone mistakes Hamish for Brad Pitt, for no reason at all.
  • Lampshaded in a famous episode of the old Abbott and Costello show, vis-a-vis "the Feller that pitches for the Cleveland Indians."

  • Taken Up to Eleven in Andrew Bovell's Speaking in Tongues. The first scene depicts Leon and Jane having an affair, at the same time as Leon's wife Sonja and Jane's husband Pete almost hook up, backing out at the last moment. 90% of the dialogue overlaps. This is continued into the second scene, in which Sonja/Pete confesses her/his near-affair only to find out about Leon/Jane's affair. Toned down in the second and third acts.

    Video Games 
  • Guild Wars Nightfall has to do this a couple of times are mission splits, to bring the plot back together.
    • After the player completes Rihlon Refuge, the Master of Whispers reveals a secret passage to Vabbi behind the waterworks. Its complementary mission if Poghan Passage, after which Margrid reveals the Corsairs also know about the passage.
    • After both the Nundu Bay and Jennur's horde missions, which take place in two regions of the world, the player character gets a suggestion from one of two different people to find a way to cross the Desolation.
  • In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, both Eoleo and Obaba, in their respective intro scenes, are immediately distracted when they notice that Kraden hasn't aged a day in the last thirty years (Eoleo was a toddler the last time they met... albeit a precocious one). Once Kraden's immortality is explained, both immediately follow up by saying how much it must suck that he'll be seventy-plus forever. Apparently Eoleo learned a lot from his great-grandma.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, Jade is able to spot a small stone that the group needs being carried by a monster. When one character remarks on Jade's luck in spotting it, Jade responds, "Heaven smiles upon me because of my good deeds." The other five members of the team immediately have the exact same thought.
    Luke, Tear, Guy, Anise, and Natalia: That can't possibly be true...
  • A variation occurs in one of the Telltale Sam & Max: Freelance Police games. (Season 2, episode 4 in fact.) Sam, Max, and Flint are looking for the missing Bosco and theorize he may have hidden in his bunker. Sam finds the keypad to open the bunker and Max says "Ooh, let's make it say 'BOOBIES'!" Shortly, Sam finds the code and it turns out to be 5318008...or 'BOOBIES' upside-down. Sam even comments on the similarity.
  • This is an almost-constant part of the humor in the Mother series (MOTHER, EarthBound, and MOTHER 3). For example, an item will be described by every character in the game by the same highly-specific description ("Here's a jar of Yummy Pickles, be careful, it's easy to drop and easy to roll". "We dropped the jar of Yummy Pickles! Well, I guess that's what happens with something that's easy to drop and easy to roll." "What's that? It looks easy to drop and easy to roll.") or puzzles will be solved via a highly specific item someone has lying around that another character happens to desperately want (like a machine that makes trout-flavored yogurt.). All played for laughs, of course; this is the Mother series, after all.
  • In Psychonauts when Raz first tells Lili that Dogen's brain has been stolen, she replies "No, he's just like that." Later Raz tells Milla and gets the same response. Though really, this is more a case of normal minds thinking alike about someone strange...
  • In Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Kung Lao made fun of Liu Kang's relationship with Kitana, deeming her as his girlfriend. In the Shaolin missions, Liu Kang dismisses this. Come to Mortal Kombat X, and Mileena makes fun of Liu's relationship.
  • Team Fortress 2's supplemental comics gives us well-known Cloud Cuckoolander Soldier and Heavy's slightly crazed sister Zhanna. Considering that Soldier is a jingoistic nutjob and Zhanna has basically been socially atrophied in Siberia for twenty years, the two of them operate on a disturbing shared mental wavelength. They're both more than a little bit off, perhaps best exemplified by this exchange that could only happen between them and no one else.
    Soldier: Expect heavy enemy resistance along the eastern perimeter. I want you to treat these men with extreme prejudice.
    Zhanna: You... want me to be racist at them.
    Soldier: I've made that same mistake, but no. "Extreme prejudice" just means killing everybody as violently as possible. I will leave the amount of actual prejudice to your discretion.
  • In Ninja Pizza Girl, Gemma's dad is skeptical of Marcus' plan of confessing his feelings to Giselle by sending her an extremely hot and spicy pizza, but Gemma insists on following his instructions anyway. Once Giselle gets the pizza, she takes one bite out of it and immediately makes the obvious connection - Marcus is telling her that his love for her burns as hot as the pizza! She happily runs off to tell him she feels the same way.
  • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth puts the protagonists of Persona 3 and Persona 4 together in the same adventure. The two get along swimmingly, sharing a mental wavelength full of in-jokes on what being a Persona protagonist entails. All of their party members are completely nonplussed by their interactions.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night: In the prologue, when Rin reveals that she doesn't want have a wish for the Holy Grail (all she wants to do is win the war), Archer, shocked, fills in possibilities that she could try, like taking over the world. Later, in the Fate Route, when Shirou finds out what Saber's wish is, he's relieved that it's not something like what he expects Rin to try, like taking over the world. This is justifiable, as Archer is a Future Badass version of Shirou, so this arguably counts as Foreshadowing.
  • In A Profile when confronted with the declaration that there's no way Masayuki is ever going to marry his little sister Rizu, Rizu and her mother Riko both react with the exact same sequence of nonsense syllables. For Masayuki's sake, let us pray that Rizu does not grow up to be like Riko in her endings.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • In the third Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game, Gumshoe makes a comment likening the witness' seeing the murder to him (hypothetically) watching Edgeworth stab Phoenix in the middle of the courtroom. The Judge later uses a near-identical comparison involving Franziska killing Edgeworth with her whip, and Edgeworth notes the similarity.
    • In a part of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, Edgeworth examines a specific item and thinks about it in his inner monologue. Each time he finishes a thought, Gumshoe will say the same thing aloud, only in simpler words. Eventually Edgeworth is creeped out.
      Edgeworth: Detective Gumshoe, please be quiet for a moment. You're frightening me.
    • Also, the ladder/step-ladder argument shows up in I-5, between Miles and Kay, and again in I2-3 between Gregory Edgeworth and Tyrell Badd. And then Phoenix and Maya. The same conversation appears in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney between Apollo and Trucy, but it's justified here because Trucy is Phoenix's adopted daughter and he's apparently taught her the difference.
    • In the last case of the second Ace Attorney game, when Maia Fey figured out something other than the red guitar must've been in the guitar case, Phoenix's internal monologue has him Comically Missing the Point by him initially thinking that a bright WHITE guitar was in the case. When Phoenix came to present it, the Judge followed suit on Comically Missing the Point by asking if there was a bright BLACK guitar in the case, only to get interrupted by Miles Edgeworth.
  • This is a bit of a running gag in CLANNAD. Tomoya continues to insist that there is no way a normal person could look at Fuuko's carvings and believe they are anything but a star. Unfortunately, he doesn't know any normal people so everyone apparently recognizes that the carvings are actually starfish. Except Sunohara, who think that they're shurikens.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner lives and breathes this trope across the entire series of cartoons.
    • One specific example:
      Homestar: [wearing a pair of shades covered in yellow paint] Oh, hello, Dripping Yellow Madness!
      Strong Sad: What? I'm Strong Sad! Dripping Yellow Madness moved away after fifth grade!
      Homestar:The sales representative I dealt with gave them to me... free of charge. I believe... his name was Stan.
      Bubs: Stan?! I fired that guy after the fifth grade!
      [yet later]
      Strong Bad: Hey, The Cheat. We catch anything in the Death Hole today?
      The Cheat: *The Cheat noises*
      Strong Bad:What? There's no way he could've been in there. He moved away after fifth grade!
    • The usage of "DNA Evidence" started out like this, but eventually became Arc Words.
    • "Car Trip" and Homestar's usage of the phrase "jumbo/LARGE".
    • "Strong Bad is a Bad Guy" has this relatively ordinary example:
      Homestar: [walks up to Strong Bad, Strong Mad, and The Cheat, who were previously talking about tattoos] Hey guys! H'whatcha teekenbot?
      Strong Bad: We're talking about something cool and interesting. You wouldn't understand.
      Homestar: Oh, tattoos, huh?
    That same cartoon starts with Strong Mad saying his tattoo of choice would be "a glowy box". This is also one of Homestar's ideas once he joins in.

    Web Comics 
  • 8-Bit Theater. Used straight frequently, and played with in the case of the "Cold Fusion Reactor". Set up here and here, with the punchline occurring here
    • And then it's continued here and here
    • Then, the gross misuse of geometry, starting with the hypercube (a sphere of some sort), moving on to summoning circles (squares), and to the datasphere (a cube)... finally reaches its conclusion with the Stube.
  • Penny Arcade teaches us about Claw Shrimp.
  • Least I Could Do has Rayne attempting to popularize the word "vagoo" as a more casual synonym for the vagina. When a co-worker uses it in a later storyline, he says "I knew that term would catch on."
    • Note that the term originated in a Fate/stay night doujin that censored "penis" to "ponos" and "vagina" to "vagooo". Image Boards latched onto it.
  • In A Modest Destiny, Gustav and Lucille agree that the same-sex marriage between Maureen and Lucille (which exists only to avoid a curse on Lucille; Maureen does not, at this point, identify as a lesbian) lacks mayonnaise, to Maureen's bewilderment. Maureen is frustrated when Fluffy repeats the same line later independently.
    • There's also a Running Gag in which various characters suggest brightening up dismal rooms (such as prison cells) with throw pillows.
  • In WIGU, some church folk accuse Wigu of being a wizard, after which a policeman shows up to arrest him and have him buried up to the neck in the town square, due to a law that's been on the books since 1695. When Wigu's mother finds out her son has been arrested, her response is, "Charged with being a wizard? What is this, 1695?".
  • In El Goonish Shive, Tedd wonders why he's creeped out thinking about Grace becoming a guy at her Gender Bender-themed birthday party when he was fine with seeing her in his form before. He concludes that it's because he's either a narcissist or just that girly. Later, at the birthday party after everyone has changed gender, Grace asks Susan and Sarah why Tedd seems uncomfortable with her in male form when he's already seen her as himself. Susan theorizes that Tedd's a narcissist, and Sarah adds the "Or he's just that girly" comment.
    • Later Grace reassures Tedd that it's okay for him to be more weirded out by a male version of her than by her transforming into him because "It feels different to be with one's own self ... and couples switching bodies is number thirty-seven on your list of weird things you like. It's also possible that you're just that girly, but I don't think you're a narcissist."
    • Also, toward the beginning of the "Night Out" arc, Nanase uses her fairy doll spell to talk to Ellen. When she first uses it, Elliot says to Justin, "Do you want to be the one to make a wise-crack about them inventing telephones when she snaps out of this, or shall I?" A few comics later, while Nanase is hanging out of Ellen's bra, Ellen informs Nanase that there is a lovely new invention called the telephone.
      • Also, both Ellen and Elliot have had a scene where they told Nanase in her fairy form that normally they would hug her but don't want to crush her.
    • Elliot realizes he's attracted to Susan after dreaming of her dressed up as Counselor Troi. Take a guess at what shows up on Susan's list of ways to avoid accidentally seducing Elliot.
    • Nanase and Ellen respond to Diane's "You asked if I wanted to help you solve a mystery" with "Or rewrite history?! DUCKTALES! WOO-OOH!. When they arrive at Charlotte's, Diane tries to head off a repeat of this joke with "Let's solve a mystery. And no rewriting history!", and Charlotte asks, "Magic power or Ducktales?" (Time travel has been confirmed impossible in the EGS universe, but the characters don't know that.)
  • In User Friendly, a guy with what appears to be punk hair applies for a job here and says the hair was due to an accident with a soldering iron and a ceiling fan. Later, two of the techs say that this was their first assumption.
  • In The Wotch: Cheer!, there are the recurring set of Noodle Implements: Two geese, a roll of duct tape, 23 toothpicks, and some sodium benzoate. First used by Tamara, then later by Jo and Agent 32.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, when Queen Valerie asks Torg his name, thinking he's a random peasant, he goes for the really lame Line-of-Sight Name Pheasant the Peasant. A short while later Zoe is about to be eaten by the demon K'Z'K, and in wild desperation she claims she's not Zoe but "her twin".
  • A Dominic Deegan comic has Donovan, whose Orkcsh translations are all of My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels quality, say something about doing taxes in autumn, followed by the orc he's talking to saying "Close enough. Let's get moving." Meanwhile, an orc who's not too good with the Callanian language translates Dominic's rant as being something about taxes in autumn... prompting the same response. It turns out that Donovan and the orc had the same phrasebook.
    • Also, near the beginning of the comic's run, Sigfried meets both Lady Tavoria and Dominic. Both are hung up on his name, and ask him if they can just call him "Siggy."
  • In Yahtzee Takes on the World, multiple characters independently base their decisions on consulting magic 8-balls. When one asks about Yahtzee's odd behaviour, the ball answers "He's the Anti-Yahtzee, dumbass," so maybe they know something we don't.
  • "Randall, get out of my head!" is a frequently posted statement on the xkcd forums.
  • This may be a Real Life example, but once The Order of the Stick and Erfworld (which then shared the same website) both included a joke about the restaurant Subway on the same day (which seems even odder since both comics take place in medieval fantasy worlds, albeit ones with Anachronism Stew and little or No Fourth Wall). The Order of the Stick author Rich Burlew insisted it wasn't intentional, though he took it as a sign about what he should have for lunch that day.
    • Another The Order of the Stick example: Haley says that Thanh has been "dominated" by Tsukiko, and both Belkar and a random cleric assume she is referring to consensual bondage rather than a Mind Control spell.
    • One example was inadvertently created by making a reference to a Running Gag: in one of the Dragon magazine strips, when Belkar accidentally dispels Elan's clothes, Phil Rodriguez says, "He's invisible!" Since these strips don't take place in the same continuity, Phil must have in this continuity somehow reached the same "naked=low AC penalty" logic that Elan did in the main comic.
  • This strip of Blip. K, just before acting out her role as a pre-arranged third wheel, thinks to herself, "All right... Time to bust out my Cate Blanchett skills..." When K proceeds to over-act the part, Hester thinks to herself, "Fail, Ms. Blanchett... Fail."
  • Holy Bibble used to have a bit of this. Anyone baking anything tended to add "a few pastries for variety", despite being centuries and often miles apart. It's unknown if this will show up in the current reboot, though.
  • This strip of Wondermark.
  • The Schlock Mercenary arc "Massively Parallel" is full of moments like this, since it's an extended storyline with several separated groups of characters and various repeated jokes cropping up. Of note are at least four characters asking What Would Schlock Do? in unrelated circumstances, and one group of characters saying It's not rocket science while performing impromptu brain surgery, and later another group saying "It's not brain surgery" while performing rocket science.
  • Bad Machinery: This page.
    Shauna's interior monologue: Oh my God, nuff cutlery. Do I just use the ones I like the look of best?
    Mr. Corky: Oh, just use the ones you like the look of best, Shauna.
  • In Ozy and Millie, after music classes are cancelled to make way for standardized test, Mr. Larnblatt, the music teacher, starts shouting about how important music is using increasingly crazier metaphors, eventually getting to "Music is the nucleus of the cell! The avocado of death!" Later, after the music class has been restored, Millie expresses her joy to Mr. Larnblatt using the exact same phrasing. He answers "Yes, well, I did tell them that."
  • In Girl Genius, Agatha demonstrates at which point the Spark runs in the family, when she discovers a highly dangerous train engine that she doesn't know yet was built by the old Heterodynes:
    Agatha: Oh wow! Why don't you have engines like that on all your trains? What a great idea!
    Brother Ulm: Well, of course you'd think so.

    Web Originals 
  • In the blog novel Fartago, Farta's wife Balchane tells him to stop looking at Tago's "porn" because it is "demeaning to females." Later, when Tago shows his porn to Artiste, Artiste says, "Eet ees poop. ... And eet demeaning to females."
  • Cass Cult has a number of mentions of Thor's severe hatred of trees. The authors swear they've never read Order of the Stick.
    • This one might actually be subconscious Fridge Brilliance at work: Thor is the god of, among other things, lightning. So he must be aiming for all those trees.
  • In A Very Potter Musical, when Dumbledore is totally outed, he states that he would suck the snake-poison out of Snape, even if it was in his wiener. Later, after Dumbledore dies, Bellatrix casts an "attach-snake-to-wiener" spell on Snape, who comments that he wishes that Dumbledore was there.
  • In an episode of Eddsworld, Tom comments that Matt's lawn portrait of himself "really captured his grassiness". Matt comments the same thing a minute later.
  • Used in Avatar: The Abridged Series to explain the Human Popsicle.
    Sokka: In ancient times, people would put giant pieces of chocolate shaped like people in giant blocks of ice. And then, you'd take a funny stick and break it open, and eat the chocolate people like chocolate cannibals.
    Aang: That's strange, how'd I end up in an iceberg pinata?
    Zuko: That light! It can only be... someone opening an iceberg pinata, and not sharing it with me!
  • Hellsing Ultimate Abridged has this:
    Alucard: [referring to leprechauns] D'you think if I shot one in the head, Lucky Charms would explode everywhere?
    Anderson: [later, also referring to leprechauns] I've never actually caught one, but do you think if I cut one open with my knife it'd spew out Lucky Charms?
    • In episode 6, Anderson explains to Hellsing that he defies his master Maxwell's orders on a whim, prompting Hellsing to remark that it's strange to see her relationship with Alucard from the outside. The same episode also has these exchanges:
      Heinkel: That was the last one. Good thing, too: I was afraid you'd run out of bayonets.
      Anderson: Care to correct yourself?
      Heinkel: S-sorry sir! You have bayonets for days!
      Anderson: Bayonets for days.
      (And a bit later)
      Alucard: Sweetheart, I've got so many eyes. Eyes for days.
      Seras: Eyes for days?
      Alucard: Eyes for days.
  • Shows up in Gantz Abridged; upon seeing Kishimoto's bloody wrists, Kurono quickly brushes away the idea of her committing suicide and comes to the conclusion that she must've choked on a piece of hamburger while in the bathtub. Much later on, when Hojo asks Kishimoto how she died, she responds by saying that she did actually choke on a hamburger in the bathtub.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged does this as well. When Krillin calls Nail "Big Green", Nail threatens to break his neck if he says it again... only for Guru to start calling him that.
    • "I was gonna say, "Come and get me, Freeza," but that works too!"
      Freeza: You see, I recently acquired what you people refer to as Dragon Balls, but I've been having trouble getting them to do what I want.
      Nail: Did you try working the shaft?
      Freeza: Classy.
      Super Kami Guru: Nail! What does he want?
      Nail: He's asking how to use the Dragon Balls.
      Super Kami Guru: Did you tell him to work the shaft?
      Nail: Yes, Lord Guru.
      Super Kami Guru: Good work, Nail.
    • When Goku is told that Bulma named her baby Trunks, he laughs about it being a "girl's name". Later, when Vegeta hears that the time traveler (his son from the future) is named Trunks, he says the exact same thing.
  • Subverted in Pokémon The Abridged Series. When Brock takes too long to find Ash and Misty when they are trapped in a net, Ash concludes that Brock must've been kidnapped by pirates. When Brock rescues them, he starts to tell them he was abducted by pirates, then says he was just kidding.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series has a few examples. In episode 53, Noah challenges Kaiba to really prove that he loves Mokuba by daring him to sing the theme song to Mokuba's favorite cartoon. Kaiba improvises wildly with, "Spongepants... Squarebob... He's a friendly little guy..." ("Is that it, am I close?" "No." "Dammit."). Later, Joey tries to cheer up his friends with a singalong, opening up with the lyrics "Spongepants Squarebob, he's a friendly little guy!"
  • Damn You Autocorrect has examples thanks to autocorrect dictionaries and sheer numbers. The slutpies, though, are probably a typo, since R and T are so close together.
  • In To Boldly Flee both Paw Dugan and The Nostalgia Critic seem to be under the impression that Linkara reviews lamps. (He actually reviews comic books.)
    • When designing their house/spaceship, Turrell and Zod add a plant which "really ties the [living] room together." Later, when Angry Joe and MarzGurl are infiltrating the ship they're both really impressed by it.
  • When The Nostalgia Chick meets former child star Mara Wilson she comments that she's "got boobs now," and that that's really weird to see. Mara replies that she gets that a lot. Later, when Nella comes in she suddenly exclaims that "Matilda, you've got a great rack!" Then tries to touch them.
  • In Demo Reel, Donnie DuPre and Rebecca Stone both confuse Batman with Dracula.
  • Achievement Hunter consistently prove that, as they say, they've been working together too long.
    • Let's Play Fibbage; the game asks what a culinary guru used to pioneer an unusual technique of cooking duck. Ray ends up writing "Smegma" (DON'T look that up with Safesearch off). When the results are shown, it's revealed that Michael wrote the exact same thing! The latter cracks up upon seeing this.
    • Their joint Let's Play of Fibbage 2 with Funhaus had a question about an unusual turf war. Jeremy and Gavin both wrote "Blades of Grass", while the real answer was "Ice Cream Men".
    • The WWE Let's Plays tend to have this with the character-created characters, but the second session (2K14) is the standout example. The six created characters are Yarrgarita (Geoff), wearing a towel around his waist, Mr Diddlez (Ray), a champion of diddling ashamed of himself also in a towel, Gavin and Michael's...abominations, whose names of "Blue Anus" and "Dick Demolisher" both got censored, and Beardo V2 and An Inconvenience (Jack and Ryan) are fat and buff at the same time with weirdly coloured faces. The group regret that they didn't do a tag-team match.
    • Let's Play Quiplash, both parts.
      • The first game has the first round devolve into racism; including "Hitler" as the answer in separate questions. The second round devolves into insulting Gavin. There's also the gem of "The worst secret to come out over Thanksgiving." The answers? "Dad fucks turkeys" from Michael, and from actual dad Ryan, "I fucked the turkey. And the cranberry sauce." The gang are well aware of this trope.
      • The RouLetsPlay of the second has two primary examples; "A weird thing for a baseball umpire to lean down and say to catcher." Jack and Michael put down, "I want to lick your butthole," and "I want to lick your taint", sending them and Lindsay into gales of laughter, while the others curse them. The second example comes from Happily Married parents Lindsay and Michael (Gavin is quite particular at expressing his displeasure that they wrote those after having "made a baby"); "The worst part about dating a magician", with "Pulling a rabbit out of their twat", and "Rabbits keep coming out of my vagina".
    Michael: (Upon seeing the answers) Fucking what?!
    • In a stream run independently of Achievement Hunter, former member Ray played Fibbage with seven other people. The game posed the question of what Kevin Spacey's older brother is an impersonator of. Ray wound up entering "Kevin Spacey" and two people went for it. The game goes on to reveal that five other people entered the same answer. This amounts to six out of eight, three quarters of the participants.
  • YouTube user TheJimmyJ57 has a series of videos where he modifies the cars from Grand Theft Auto V. In some of them, he goes online and has a contest with other users. One of those involved the Vapid Stanier where he gave the car a pearlescent paint job. (In GTAV, this involves painting it one of 75 metallic colors, then overlaying it with one of 75 pearlescent colors for a total of 5625 combinations.) When he finishes and his opponent gets out of the garage, he discovers his opponent chose the exact same pearlescent color.
  • Linus Tech Tips: When Linus and co. visit FreeGeek Vancouver he is digging through some old cables and comes across a bunch of PSU couplers to run two power supplies off the same motherboard, and mentions that Austin could have used them during Scrapyard Wars where he was running a PC with two power supplies. Linus calls over a FG staffer to show them to him, and the staffer says unprompted that Austin could have used them during Scrapyard Wars.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers pilot, Monty takes them to meet with Gadget (actually to meet with Gadget's father) and they encounter a series of deadly booby traps. Monty assures them (rather weakly) that they're not intended for him ("He couldn't still be holding a grudge, could he?") and are probably for something else. "Maybe he has a thing about door-to-door salesmen." When they actually meet with Gadget her first response (with pencil crossbow to their heads), "You're not door-to-door salesmen, are you? That's why I set up all these traps in the first place."
  • When trying to shoo away a gaggle of tiny nuns following him, Grim of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy describes himself as "The exact opposite of a nun." Later, once he's decided to live with the nuns, and Billy and Mandy come looking for him, Billy says that Grim's "The exact opposite of a nun."
  • South Park
    • The CIA makes an unpleasant discovery:
      Agent Thompson: We have reason to believe that Mrs. Clinton may have a nuclear device up her snatch. ...A snatch. It's the technical term for vagina.
      Agent Waters: It's a suitcase nuke, designed to fit in a woman's snizz. It's called a snuke.
    • Later, Cartman is contacted.
      Mr. Thompson: Well, we've just arrived in your town.
      Cartman: Why? Did you find something?
      Mr. Thompson: Yes. There's a suitcase nuke in Ms. Clinton's snizz.
      Cartman: [beat] A snuke?
    • In "It Hits the Fan", Cartman gets upset that the word "shit" is no longer offensive, and starts using "meekrob" as a swear word. Later on, Cartman sees a list of all of the "cursed words", and one of them actually is "meekrob".
    • And then there's "Pinkeye", where Stan and Wendy planned to come to school on Halloween both dressed as Raggedy Anne and Andy (which was apparently supposed to be romantic somehow), but Wendy decided it was lame and changed her costume to Chewbacca without telling him (she assumed he'd decide the same). When Stan gets to school, he is disgusted to find that everyone else in the class except two of his friends and Mr. Garrison came dressed as Chewbacca (everyone even included Garrison's hand puppet, Mr. Hat).
    • Or the episode where the town is set upon by rich people (who just so happen to be black), and the rank-and-file residents try to get rid of them. Mr. Garrison proposes two plans that look terribly racist: burning "lower-case Ts", for "Time to leave", on their lawns, and dressing up like ghosts (that look like Klansmen). In both cases, the rich people see these displays as exactly what Garrison intended them to be.
      • Truth in Television: The original Ku Klux Klan was based in Pulaski, Tennessee and organized by Civil War veterans, who sometimes dressed up as Bedsheet Ghosts in a jokey attempt to scare blacks.
    • When Stan and Kyle figured out a man at the rodeo was conning them, they called "shenanigans". In reaction, several people got their brooms and started chasing the conman away. Later on, the Mayoress showed up and asked what was going on, a passerby told her someone called "shenanigans" and she hurried for her broom.
    • When the main characters asked Doctor Mephisto to create a genetic combination of an elephant and a pig, Mephisto claimed it to be impossible and mentioned a "Loverboy" song stating it to justify his claim. Later on, when they told Chef about their desire to make a pig-elephant, Chef also brought up the song.
    • In the second episode Wendy writes an environmental report on dolphins, and Cartman comments that if dolphins were so smart, they wouldn't live in igloos. When Wendy gets her paper back, she's annoyed to see the grader left the same comment.
    • In "Insecurity" Kyle thinks that his mom is having an affair with the UPS man, a rumor which spreads to his friends and the town's adults. Both Cartman and Mr. Stotch suggest that the UPS man must be some sort of weird pervert, since apparently no normal man would want to sleep with Mrs. Broflovski.
    • In "Crack Baby Athletic Association", Cartman dresses and talks like a Southern slave owner as part of a satirization of the NCAA controversies of them not paying their players. Later, the president of Electronic Arts, who yanks the rights for crack baby basketball away from the boys, is also depicted as a slave owner.
    • In "Major Boobage," apparently everyone sees the same hallucination after huffing cat urine. Kenny and Gerald end up getting in a fight over the mysterious woman from the Heavy Metal pastiche, and when Gerald gives a speech at the end about how she isn't real, Randy remarks that "You never get a good look at her naked boobs anyway."
  • In the Chowder episode "Brain Grub", Chowder stops paying attention at one point while Mung is lecturing him and has a daydream about filling the kitchen with chocolate pudding and swimming around in it. After Mung snaps him out of his fantasy and asks him to repeat what he was telling him about, Chowder pitches the idea to Mung, who responds with "...lucky guess."
  • In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Dueling Eds", Eddy accidentally offends Rolf, and while Edd tries to convince Eddy to apologize, Ed randomly suggests "Why don't you bake cupcakes?" Later, Eddy further provokes Rolf, to the point that Rolf challenges him to a fish-slapping duel, and after getting slapped around a bit Eddy finally admits he's sorry, to which Rolf responds "If this is true, have you brought the Cupcakes of Sorriness?"
    • Rolf is apparently ripe for these kinds of moments. In "Cry Ed", Ed fabricates an impromptu account of Eddy's fake injuries to back up his Wounded Gazelle Gambit, wherein Eddy is attacked by "a giant Swedish meatball with a bloodcurdling scream". Rolf then states he has seen this meatball, as it apparently stalks his pig Wilfred in the dead of night.
  • In The Simpsons
    • In "The Cartridge Family", this happens with references to the King of England:
      Homer: But I have to have a gun. It's in the Constitution.
      Lisa: Dad, the 2nd Amendment is just a remnant from revolutionary days. It has no meaning today.
      Homer: You couldn't be more wrong, Lisa. If I didn't have this gun, the King of England could just walk in here any time he wants and start shoving you around. [shoving her repeatedly] Do you want that? Huh? Do ya!?
      [later on, at the NRA meeting]
      Krusty: Guns aren't toys! They're for family protection, hunting dangerous or delicious animals, and keeping the King of England out of your face!
    • In "Deep Space Homer", when a military general searching for 'normal Joes' to become astronauts, he asks perpetual drunk Barney Gumble if he'd like be higher than he's ever been before. Barney replies, "Become an astronaut? You bet!"
    • And of course, this little gem:
      Homer: [after being questioned about liking ballet] Please. I enjoy all the meats of our cultural stew.
      Homer's Mind: [pictures a scene at the circus, where a bear is driving a tiny car]
      [at the nuclear plant...]
      Homer: [angrily] Can't, guys. Marge is taking me to the ballet.
      Carl: Ah, going to see the bear in the car, huh?
    • In the episode parodying The Beatles, Barney gets a weird Japanese girlfriend. This exchange occurs:
      Moe: Hey, Barney! What'll it be?
      Barney: I'd like a beer, Moe!
      Yoko: I'd like a single plum floating in perfume served in a man's hat.
      Moe: [immediately pulling both out from under the counter] Here you go.
    • When Homer asks Professor Frink for invention ideas, Frink explains that he can find a new use for an existing item. Homer suggests hamburger earmuffs with Frink humoring the idea. After Homer leaves, Frink then pulls that invention out and says he will have it in stores first.
    • In "Simpson and Delilah", Lenny convinces Homer to use his medical insurance to pay for hair tonic, sarcastically saying that Mr. Burns wouldn't miss the money since for him it would just mean "one less ivory backscratcher". When Mr. Burns later finds out about the charges, he's furious because he was planning on buying an ivory backscratcher.
      • When Homer first saw the effects of the hair tonic on him, he went out of house wearing his pajamas and ran through several parts of town. At some point, he met a man doing the same. Each one pointed at the other and mentioned the hair tonic's name.
    • In the episode where Homer gets a new assistant who turns on him and takes his job, he uses a secret Flanders told him to turn the tables. When asked where he learnt the secret, he declines to say, but states the initials are S.F. She immediately recognizes this as Stupid Flanders.
    • While Halloween episodes aren't canon, there's this exchange from when the school cafeteria suddenly starts serving delicious food:
      Principal Skinner: Mmm, well perhaps I ought to let you folks in on a secret! Do you remember me telling Jimbo Jones that I would "make something of him" one day?
      Mrs. Krabappel: [gasps] Are you saying you killed Jimbo, processed his carcass and served him for lunch?!
      [Skinner points at his nose]
      Mrs. Krabappel: Ha!
      [Everyone continues eating]
    • When Homer teaches a class on building a successful marriage, he tries to bluff that him eating an orange and not paying attention to the class was really a metaphor for a successful marriage. No one buys it. Groundskeeper Willie says if he'd wanted to watch someone eat an orange, he'd have taken the orange-eating class. Cue Gilligan Cut to Moleman teaching an orange-eating class, stating that eating an orange is a lot like a good marriage.
  • In Clerks: The Animated Series, Randal is afraid a monkey is going to spread a fatal disease, and threatens it. The monkey's response is to start masturbating, which Randal claims is out of fear. Shortly after, someone walks in and says "Oh dear, something scared that monkey!"
    • In that same episode, Dante tries to convince two different people that the Motaba virus was just a figment of Randal's imagination. He says the rumors are the result of "an overactive imagination of a pop culture junkie loudmouth." Both people he says this to respond with "You mean Quentin Tarantino?"
  • In an episode of The Boondocks, Granddad has gotten inadvertently beaten by a blind man. Riley jokingly comments that he could rent Granddad out for Mexican birthday parties, under the name "Señor Pinata". Later, when Granddad is watching the news, shocked to find out that the blind man (Cl. Stinkmeaner) beating him has managed to become a news story, a Spanish-language news station covering the story dubs him "Señor Pinata".
  • In the Halloween episode of Invader Zim, Zim can only watch in frustration as the nightmare version of Membrane hauls Dib back to headquarters. "Oh, come on! I break free and now I have to go back to rescue that little rat that left Zim to rot? Why must it be?" Later after doing just that, Dib remarks at the angry expression on Zim's face: "Oh, come on! You're not mad about the whole 'leaving you to rot' thing, are you?"
  • Happens occasionally in Kim Possible with Kim with Ron and Shego with Drakken:
    Shego: I don't get it. If you're such an evil genius, shouldn't you invent your own stuff? I mean, what's up with the stealing?
    Drakken: It's called outsourcing, Shego. Besides, why reinvent the wheel? Or in this case... The electron magneto accelerator! With this, I can increase the power of any electrical device to evil proportions!
    [enter Kim and Ron]
    Kim: Stealing again, Drakken?
    Ron: Whatever happened to inventing your own stuff?
    Drakken: It's called outsour... Oh, just get on with it.
    • In another episode:
      Kim: Wait... You have cable? Your dad finally gave in?
      Ron: He thought it was just a fad.
      Shego: Dr. D, I can't believe you're just now getting cable.
      Drakken: I thought it was just a fad.
    • Also in the Christmas episode, where it turns out that both Ron and Drakken are obsessed with the cartoon "Snowman Hank" and know the text by heart.
    • The Internet Search for "really valuable" and "heavily guarded". The discussion of outsourcing.
  • Spongebob Squarepants:
    • In the episode "Dying for Pie", this exchange takes place concerning the fact that Spongebob has eaten an immensely powerful bomb (shaped like a pie).
      Squidward: We've got to do something!
      Mr. Krabs: It won't do any good; I've seen this before. When that bomb goes out— I mean, hits his lower intestine, BOOM.
      Squidward: You've seen this before!?
      Mr. Krabs: Eleven times as a matter of fact.
      [Squidward rushes off screen to a telephone]
      Squidward: Yes, hello? Doctor? Hospital? ...Won't do any good!? ...Eleven times!?
    • From the same episode, Squidward asks the pirates what flavor pie it is, and three different pirates say "cherry" "apple" and "raspberry". Later, when the "pie" reaches Spongebob's lower intestine, Spongebob says "Something just hit my lower intestine. Tastes like... cherry... no, maybe grape... blueberry?". Though possibly subverted in that he never ate the pie bomb at all.
    • Also done in the episode where Spongebob runs rampant with Mermaid Man's shrink ray.
      Patrick: You had it set to M for Mini, [turns the M upside-down] when it should be set to W for Wumbo!
      Spongebob: Patrick, I don't think Wumbo is a real word...
      Patrick: Come on... you know! I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have the wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology: the study of Wumbo. It's first grade, Spongebob!
      Squidward: [in between Patrick's rant] I wonder if a fall from this height will be enough to kill me.
      Spongebob: Patrick, I'm sorry I doubted you.
      [later, Spongebob asks Mermaidman]
      Mermaid Man: Did you try setting it to wumbo?
  • Done constantly in The Fairly OddParents!, especially by Timmy's Dad.
    Timmy: Mom, don't ask why, but I have to stick this butterfly net up Dad's leg!
    Timmy's Mom: Oh! Is it Father's Day already?
    Timmy's Dad: Let's go celebrate Father's Day at home, son! [notices net] Ooh, goody! You've got the net!
    • The show pretty much relies on this trope as one of the ways to hit its jokes on the head with a hammer over and over. In one episode when Timmy is writing a love letter to Trixie, Cosmo advises Timmy to write if Trixie wants to see her parents again.... Shortly after that Timmy's parents arrive and fondly remember using that line to have their first date together.
    • In that same episode the parents of the kids have a certain way of entering their kids' rooms ("<Name>, I'm respecting your privacy by knocking but asserting my authority as parent by coming in anyway!"), and Timmy and Veronica each separately says his/her love "burns with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns".
  • There was an episode of Animaniacs where Dr. Scratchansnif is on a date at the movies when Yakko, Wakko, and Dot end up tagging along. Scratchansnif is sent to buy popcorn, and the guy at the counter asks "Would you like fries with that?" The doctor's response is to boggle at this question because no one orders french fries with popcorn. Of course, the Warners and Scratchansnif's date all ask if he got fries with the popcorn.
  • Many times on Phineas and Ferb, where everyone seems in on the Running Gag.
  • In Darkstalkers several characters see Rikuo the merman and say "You're strangely attractive for a fishman" or some permutation thereof.
  • In an episode of Total Drama Action, Duncan, who didn't get any sleep, wishes that this week's theme was "Guy in a Coma" movies. Later on in the confessional, Chris said that it was either Animal Buddy movies or "Guy in a Coma" movies (Chris picked the first one.)
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar in a Christmas Caper, after Private runs off, Skipper tells his men to think about the Penguin Credo. Kowalski thinks that he is referring to "Never bathe in hot oil and bisquick." Later, when the penguins find Private again, Skipper tells him to remember the Penguin Credo, and he replies "What does swimming in bisquick have to do with anything?"
  • Two examples in Codename: Kids Next Door. The first one, which plays it straight, starts when Numbuh 1 and Numbuh 2 suspect bras to be deadly weapons named Battle Ready Armor, which Cree and Numbuh 5 deny. Later in the episode, it turns out to be exactly what Numbuh 1 and Numbuh 2 thought it would be. Now, the second example is a LITERAL example - the DCFDTL literally think alike.
  • Archer:
    • In the pilot, Malory is lecturing Sterling on his irresponsible use of company expense accounts:
      Malory: ISIS isn't your personal travel agency! It doesn't exist just so you can jet off to... Whore Island!
      Archer: That's... not really a place.
      [In "Job Offer", eight episodes later]
      Malory: Did you freeze all his accounts?
      Cheryl: Yes, including the one in the Isle of Man. Ohmygod, is that like Whore Island but for women?
      Pam: No.
    • Further proving how much Archer loves its Call-Back and Brick Joke humor, later in the pilot, Malory hits Archer over the head with her purse, and he exclaims "What do you keep in there, buckles?" In Season 2, Episode 11 Gilette disguises himself as Malory as part of a plan. He ends up knocking someone unconscious with her purse and says, "What does she keep in here, buckles?"
    • Also in "Jeu Monegasque," Gilette and Archer are talking about how Archer doesn't generally gamble. Archer mentions he had a bad experience...cut to Archer at about eight years old, playing blackjack with Malory for Halloween candy and losing. He's dressed as Charlie Chaplin, but when it cuts back to the present Archer mutters, "...why was I dressed as Hitler?" Later, Lana and Malory show up and Lana mentions that she's never seen Archer "drunk drunk," to which Malory replies that she has and remembers the same Halloween (Archer is throwing up because he, as an eight year old child, obviously couldn't hold his liquor). Malory then wonders "...why was he dressed as Hitler?"
    • Everyone on the show is equally concerned with the danger of getting ants in the office.
    • In one mission, Archer's cell phone (complete with obnoxious ringtone) goes off in the middle of a mission, risking alerting the guards. But it turns out it's ok because one of the guards has the exact same ringtone and just answers his own phone without realizing anything is amiss.
    • "Lo Scandalo" has the running gag of characters thinking that Italy "uses" a king.
    • In "Space Race," one of the mutineers is trying to break into the shuttle but can't, remarking that the door is "apparently some kind of alloy between adamantium and mithril" and when asked what's taking so long, replies "dwarven technology." Later, Barry tries to break through the same door, but can't because "Who built this? Space dwarves?"
    • From "Live and Let Dine": Lana: "What is this, Spain?" Cheryl: "What is this, Spain? I mean, the 1930s?" Malory: "What is this, Spain in the 1930s?"
  • In an episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes, when a ghost wakes Beezy up, he mutters "I've got to stop falling asleep to Ghoul FM." Later, his father is woken up the same manner, and he mutters the same line.
    • In another, when Beezy dresses up in a chicken suit, Lucius complains that he's not causing misery like he told him. Beezy replies "Misery? You told me to cause anguish." "Anguish? That's barely worse than worry". Later, when Grandpa Heinous is unfrozen, he complains about how his son isn't causing any real misery. Lucius points out the anguish on his worker's faces, but Grandpa replies with "Anguish? That's barely worse than worry!".
  • American Dad!: In one episode, Stan is offered a helicopter as a reward for completing a mission. Bullock mentions offhandedly that Leonardo Da Vinci, in his early diagrams referred to his hypothetical device as an "aerial screw". Later, Stan is talking to Roger and shows him a picture of his helicopter, to which Roger says, "An aerial screw?"
    • In another episode, Stan gets past the security checkpoint on the Fox studio lot by claiming to be Kristen Johnson. Later, when he breaks into the set of Francine's sitcom, the director asks who he is and Roger responds "I dunno, Kristen Johnson."
    • In "A Smith in the Hand," Francine goes to get plastic surgery done. The surgeon offers a number of weird procedures, including one where he would combine both of her breasts into a single huge one. When she refuses, he sighs and says no one goes for "The Superboob." Later when she goes home with Botox injections, Klaus says "Why didn't you tell me you were getting work done? I'd gladly have gone halfsies on the Superboob!"
    • In "Camp Refoogee", Francine is growing a garden. Klaus says she should plant some... whatever they're called in English... Hitlermelons? Later, Stan is in a refugee camp (which he is trying to treat as a summer camp)
      Villager: Is it food?
      Stan: Better.
      Villager: Malaria pills?
      Stan: Better. [opens a box of tetherballs]
      Villager: They look like fruit.
      Woman: Are they Hitlermelons?
    • In "Black Mystery Month", Stan tells Steve that when little boys don't get enough sleep, their groins emit a sweet berry scent that attracts pedophiles. Later, Steve runs into a security guard who sniffs the air and says "Mmm, sweet berries... hey champ, did you get enough sleep last night?"
  • Used frequently in Squirrel Boy, including Rodney and Andy coming up with the analogy regarding three people having fun:
    "When 'three' sees 'fun' walking down the street, three grabs fun's face and—"
  • Subverted in Family Guy:
    Peter: Well, Richard, my family seems to think "money" is the way to go, so I'm going to go with "The flute Captain Picard played first in his imagination and then in real life in the episode "The Inner Light" from Star Trek: The Next Generation."
    Lois: What?!? You idiot!
    Richard: Show me Picard's flute!
    ["Picard's Flute" appears on the board]
    Lois: Peter, how did you...
    Peter: I was in the survey.
    • Though, in the actual Family Feud, a response won't show up on the board unless at least two people in the survey had given it, so unless Peter stuffed the ballot box, this might be a Double Subversion.
    • Invoked in another episode: Peter has taken over his father-in-law's company and refuses to give it back. When Lois and her father plot to oust him, she says "To beat an idiot, you have to think like an idiot!" They both conclude that they need to scare him with a swamp monster costume. Not only does it work perfectly, but Dr. House had the exact same idea.
    • There's also the episode where Lois drags the family into spring cleaning, which brings simultaneous remarks of annoyance from Peter, Brian, Chris, and Meg where they repeatedly say the exact same thing. Up to and including "Ruth Bader Ginsberg!"
    • In "Burning Down the Bayit", Peter gets the idea to have a camel wearing his clothes fill in for him at home while he, Quagmire and Mort burn down Mort's pharmacy to collect on his insurance. As it turns out Lois had the same idea and had a donkey fill in for her while she went out clubbing.
  • In Dan Vs. "Elise's Parents," Dan tries to get Elise's parents arrested by editing a conversation with them to make it sound like they're in the mafia, ending with Don threatening to "cupcake" the local crime syndicate. Dan explains to the cops that "cupcake" is mafia slang for "kill." Later in the episode, Dan overhears the actual mafia boss use the term in exactly that way.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), in the episode "The Shredder Strikes Back, Part 2", Michelangelo says to the Foot Elite ninjas "Nice hats!". Seconds later, Donatello says the same thing. Then another minute later, Raphael shows up and says the same thing.
    Raph: [to the ninjas] Nice hats.
    Mikey: Yeah. We thought so too.
  • In an episode of Futurama, Fry inadvertently brings back the common cold, which, due to people losing their immunity, creates a plague throughout New New York. At a meeting with President Nixon, Zapp Brannigan suggests Protocol 62, which Nixon shoots down, saying "Impossible, we don't have nearly enough piranhas!". Brannigan then decides on Protocol 63 instead. Later all of Manhattan is sealed in a dome, pulled it off the planet, and launched towards the sun. When he realises what's happening, Zoidberg remarks "They must have been out of piranhas!"
    • From "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings:"
      Hedonismbot: Ah Fry, congratulations. Your latest performance was as delectable as dipping my bottom over and over into a bath of the silkiest oils and creams!
      Fry: Thank you, sir. That's exactly what I was going for!
  • In the Arthur episode "The Chips are Down", after DW ate a green potato chip which Arthur and Buster were sorting out, the two trick her out by saying the green chip is poisonous hoping she will confess. Later, DW asks Timmy and Tommy what they know about green potato chips, they respond, "you mean the poison ones?" She faints before knowing Binky ate one too.
    • This is based in truth, however. The green spots on a potato contain solanine and chaconine, both glycoalkaloid toxins. Deep frying tends to leach these toxins out of the potato, and it would take a fairly excessive number of green chips to make one ill.
  • In an episode of The Critic, during a Scrabble Babble moment, Duke invents the word "Quzybuk" (meaning, "a big problem") which he pays Webster to add that word in the dictionary. Later, a research scientist uses that newly invented word.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode "Party of One", Pinkie invites the others to Gummy's after-Birthday party that afternoon. Twilight, Applejack and Rarity all have the same response: "This afternoon? As in, 'This afternoon' this afternoon?" Pinkie lampshades it for Applejack and Rarity ("It's so strange. Everypony keep saying that.") and interrupts Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash, saying "Yes! As in 'This afternoon,' this afternoon!"
    • Also the case in the episode "Applebuck Season", when the first warning sign that Applejack needs to get some sleep comes when AJ and Pinkie are both looking at their reflections in AJ's trophy and making "Woo! Woo! Woo!" noises.
  • In an early episode of King of the Hill, Bobby accidentally hits Willie Nelson in the head with a golf club. When Hank asks if he's okay, Nelson says "Am I bleeding from the ears?"; when Hank says no, he responds "Then I'm probably alright". In the next scene, Hank is telling Peggy about the incident and the first thing she says is "Was he bleeding from the ears? Well he must be okay then."
    • Actually, bleeding from the ears, mixed with a clear fluid, following a head trauma is a severe warning sign that the injury is far more severe than a simple knock on the head, as it indicates the leakage of cerebrospinal fluid. Therefore, it could actually just be a case of both of them knowing that, with no ear-bleeding, there's a good chance he would be "fine".
  • In The Looney Tunes Show episode "Eligible Bachelor", Daffy and Lola both think "literacy" has something to do with litter.
    • This trope has actually been used as a Running Gag several times.
  • In an episode of Spliced, when Peri and Entree are sent flying in the air and are about to fall. Peri points out that Entree has wings, to which Entree objects "But these are chicken wings! Chickens live underwater!" Then, at the end of the episode:
    Peri: He'll be fine. He's got chicken wings.
    Mr. Smarty Smarts: But don't chickens live underwater?
  • This is used a lot in Hey Arnold!. For example, in the episode "Downtown as Fruits", Arnold and Gerald say "Boy, people downtown sure are friendly" when they receive a bag full of cash. They later give the rest to a family stranded with a broken-down car, who then say the same thing.
    • And of course, the fact that the bank robbers the heisted money was actually meant for had also dressed as a banana and strawberry.
    • In another episode, Harold fears that someone will call him a "fruitcup" and a "sissy-boned fatboy." Arnold thinks this is ridiculous, but later in the episode, Wolfgang calls Harold those same two incredibly specific insults.
  • At the beginning of the House of Mouse short "Mickey's Remedy", Donald's nephews play "space probe" on their uncle with an egg beater. When Donald goes to Mickey about the incident, Donald takes out the egg beater and Mickey says "Oh, space probe."
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Irrational Treasure", Mabel works with her brother Dipper to solve a conspiracy, only for her repeated goofiness to reveal each clue's meaning. It ultimately turns out that this is because the person who set the clues is just as much of a Cloud Cuckoolander as she is.
  • On an episode of Rugrats, Stu and Drew (in a flashback) are grounded by their dad, and are not allowed to watch Blocky and Oxwinkle. When Stu plans to break out, he boasts that not even President Weisenheimer can stop him. When they accidentally turn on the TV's built-in radio trying to find the TV function, the news announcer on the other end is doing a report on Eisenhower, but slips up with "Weisenheimer" at first.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Shake tries to get the rights to re-make The Granite Family and, through a long series of barely-related events, ends up starting a nuclear war with Russia. As Ignignokt watches the missiles detonate from the moon, he says:
    Ignignokt: Look, Err, they're re-making the Granite Family.
  • In Big Top Scooby-Doo!, Shaggy has an Eskimos Aren't Real moment where he denies the existence of Sweden and Australia, and laughs at the idea that kangaroos could exist. Later, Shaggy's idol Wolfric also laughs at the idea that his manager believes in kangaroos.
  • The first meeting in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs between Flint and Sam consists almost entirely of Sam immediately understanding all of his absurd inventions.
    Sam: Oh my god, is that a monkey thought translator?
  • At the beginning of Shrek the Halls, Donkey tells Shrek that sweet potatoes are nothing without marshmallows. Later, Shrek sees some frantic last-minute Christmas shoppers, one of whom says the same thing.
  • In an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball, Richard and Mr. Robinson get each other placed under house arrest. This leads to them both seeming like they're doing a Two Scenes, One Dialogue explanation of what happened, but it was then shown that they were both too busy plotting their revenge to use full sentences.
  • Time Squad: In "Orphan Substitute", Otto and Tuddrussell have an argument and Tuddrussell decides to get another orphan under the expressed belief that "one orphan genius is as good as another". At the end of the episode, Larry and Tuddrussell take Otto back and leave the last applicant in his place. Upon seeing the new orphan, Sister Thornly just shrugs and says "one orphan genius is as good as another".
  • In the first episode of Xiaolin Showdown, Dojo tells the ghostly hag Wuya, whom he knew back when she was a Hot Witch, "Whoa, Wuya! The years have not been kind." In the second season episode "Citadel of Doom", Grandmaster Dashi's ghost tells her the exact same thing.
  • In the Drawn Together episode "A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special", Xandir's first attempt to roleplay his coming-out to his parents goes wrong when Captain Hero and Toot, roleplaying as his parents, respond to his confession with a sarcastic "Duh!" At the end of the episode, when he confesses to his real parents that he's gay, they respond with the same sarcastic "Duh!" that Captain Hero and Toot made.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) episode "Secret Origins Part 1", the Turtles and Splinter are put in a virtual reality history of the Utroms. When he hears the Utrom villain Ch'rell making threats, Raph says, "Big talk, little slime ball!" Later, the virtual Mortu says the same thing to Ch'rell.
  • Darkwing Duck: In "Time and Punishment", Future!Launchpad says to Gosalyn upon meeting her again, "D.W. always said junk food would stunt your growth, but I thought you'd be a little taller". Later, when Gosalyn tells Darkwarrior Duck that he never asked why she hasn't grown, he replies "I assumed it was the junk food".
  • Ducktales 2017: As a Take That! to the way their previous incarnations were portrayed as Single-Minded Triplets, Lena sarcastically asks if Huey, Dewie, and Louie Speak in Unison. They deny saying exactly the same thing. They then remark about how weird that saying exactly the same thing. Frustrated, they try to break it. Even when the result being as expected is already strange (and funny) enough, what really hits the nail on the head is the fact the word all three choose happens to literally be one of the longest and most complicated in the English language!
    Huey, Dewie, and Louie, simultaneously: Antidisestablishmentarianism! Seriously?! GAH!

    Real Life 
  • The Cinderella fairy tale also seems pretty widespread.
  • A myth about an otherworldly shapeshifter woman who transforms from her natural form to that of a beautiful maiden through the use of her garment exists. A young male passerby spies her bathing and (eventually or immediately) steals her garment, hiding it away and forcing her to marry him and bear his children. After many years, she discovers her garment (sometimes herself, sometimes because her husband permits her to see it, and sometimes because of her unknowing child finding it) and, taking it, departs forever, leaving husband and children. This rather specific tale is that of the Orkney and Shetland selkie, the Japanese Tennyo, the Swedish Swan Maiden, the German Three Swans, or one of several other similar stories together classified as "AaTh 400".
  • An apparent real-life example is documented here at Overheard.
  • The authors of both The Adventures of Dr. McNinja and Captain Britain and MI13 deciding, apparently independently, that Dracula should have a moon base. On the moon.
  • Newton and Leibniz both independently came up with modern calculus (and, in fact, other mathematicians were toying with the idea as well), resulting in Newton accusing Leibniz of plagiarizing his work. Though they did arrive on the theory from opposite directions (Newton started with derivatives and Leibniz started with integrals), so today we give them both credit.
  • Directors Alex Proyas and Darren Aronofsky both independently thought up the almost identical striking image of Jennifer Connelly standing at the edge of a pier for their respective movies Dark City (1998) and Requiem for a Dream (2000). House of Sand and Fog (2003) did it too only a few years later, by which time you might start to suspect that Connelly puts a "pier clause" in her movie contracts.
  • inFAMOUS and [PROTOTYPE] came out around the same time and were both Wide Open Sandbox games with a super-powered individual as the main character. Both games came out so close together that, although they couldn't have possibly been ripping each other off, the premise and mechanics of each were startlingly similar.
    Yahtzee: Okay. Radical. Sucker Punch. I'm not angry. Just own up. Which one of you copied the other's homework? ...But then again, these are the same teams who both independently created sandbox games about superpowered assholes, so I guess it's not just GREAT minds that think alike.
    • Compounding that is when Yahtzee couldn't decide which was the better game, he challenged both developers to draw the rival game's main character "wearing women's lingerie;" the win would go to the better picture. The artists responsible for each company's entry both individually decided, for some reason, that their nominated picture should also include a rainbow, a unicorn, and creative applications of the character's powers, so the studios behind the games managed to pull this off twice.
  • Pyramids. Unless you believe the Ancient Astronauts theory.(same principle as an arch: inward pressure holds them up.)
  • Malekith the Witch King, cursed ruler of the Dark Elves and Malekith the Accursed, witch and king of the Dark Elves. At least, there's no acknowledged connection between the two, and they debuted about a decade apart in different countries.
  • The letters section of Car And Driver's December 2010 features two letters about the demise of Ford's Mercury division. Both letters lament that there will never be a trim level of the Marquis called the de Sade.
  • Might fit better under mythology, but a lot of the Creation myths involve the world getting flooded at some point, with very few people left to repopulate. Take that as you will. One theory is that the flood myth comes from the Hudson Bay finally emptying after the last ice age retreated far enough north. The resulting surge of water swelled the banks of the Mediterranean and Black Seas - moving the coastline possibly several hundred meters in the latter case. Thus, flood over a large area.
    • However, the much likelier (albeit considerably more boring) theory is simply that early agrarian civilizations, and indeed many early settlements in general, lived near rivers due to their fertile land and the ready available water. Thus floods are universal because everyone collectively learned why they are called floodplains.
  • Tom and Jerry and Nu, Pogodi! are often compared; the latter’s creator said he’d never heard of the former before the end of the Cold War.
  • Bows and arrows were invented in ancient times in numerous parts of the world completely independently of each other.
  • The Hero's Journey is perhaps the ultimate example: If storytelling has ever caught on in a culture, the people have at least one story that fits The Hero's Journey.
  • This is actually a fairly commonly encountered trope in many different retail positions. This Not Always Right entry aside, how many times have you run into a sales associate who just happened to share a wavelength with you when you while you were shopping, or had a friend describe just such an employee?
  • Convergent Evolution, where similar features evolve in different creatures independent of each other.
  • On July 4, 2014, the Independence Day themed Blondie and Drabble comic strips had essentially the same punchline: dogs are afraid of fireworks. Furthermore, the Blondie strip had Daisy on the couch hiding under a pillow while the Drabble strip had Wally hiding under the couch.
  • Chinese mythology, and by extension Japenese and Korean as well has a legend about a Moon Rabbit, but in a very distant civilization, the Aztecs developed a similar story.
  • False Cognates are examples of words in different languages that independently mean the same thing and sound the same. They appear to be cognates, which are words with a related heritage, but they are actually completely coincidental. An example would be how many languages have the same word for mother, "ma" (probably as a result of that being a sound babies can make easily).
    • An interesting example is the (now-extinct) Mbabaram language of Australia, in which a domestic canine companion was referred to as "dog"
  • Every single culture in the world has some variant on the pancake.
  • In The Rant for this Casey and Andy strip, Andy Weir notes that a reader linked him to a TV series that, like his webcomic, had a villain named Dr. X. While the name itself isn't exactly unusual for a villainous name, the coincidence is made even odder by the fact that the writer for the TV series (and inventor of the other Dr. X) is also named Andy Weir.
  • A scene from the movie Furious 7 has Dominic's team perform an attack on an enemy convoy using vehicles modified for off-road use. They look like they might have been inspired by Dirt or Raid spec vehicles from the video game The Crew except that the scene was shot while The Crew was still in development.
  • Axe Cop and Battle Princess Madelyn both happen to be stories conceived by the vivid imagination of two separate kids, filtered through their professionally-talented fathers. The main big difference is that one's a webcomic and the other's a video game.

Alternative Title(s): Convergent Non Sequitur