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I saw this in an interview (about Good Omens) that Neil Gaiman posted on his tumblr.

TP: “In fact, people that have read a lot of the ‘Discworld’ books and a lot of the ‘Sandman’ comics will actually find, for example, Neil put into one of the ‘Sandman’ comics a phrase lifted out of a ‘Discworld’ book. I spotted it in a shop and said, ‘You bastard! You pinched my sentence. Everyone liked that line, and you pinched it.’”

I have read some Sandman, and pretty much most of the Discworld books. Short of going back and rereading everything (not an arduous task, but time-consuming!), does anyone know how I would find the line referred to?

Or does anyone know the line? I realise it's a bit lazy to just straight out ask, and there is a kind of pleasure in finding these things yourself, but if someone could narrow it down to the two books, that would be lovely.

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    I found a forum posting that claims it is "I'll be the last one left, I'll turn out all the lights, put all the chairs on the tables and lock the door behind me when I leave.", spoken by Death in both cases. Since that's the only reference I can find I don't want to make this an answer. – DJClayworth Feb 5 '13 at 16:12
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    Thank you for pointing me to that forum. It seems to suggest the books might be Mort or Reaper Man, and "that comic with Death and the Element Girl", which narrows it down a tiny bit. I will report back after doing a bit of reading! – NiceOrc Feb 5 '13 at 20:41
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    This blog post says the original line, in Pratchett's Mort, is "He remembered being summoned into reluctant existence at the moment the first creature lived, in the certain knowledge he would outlive life until the last being in the universe passed to its reward, when it would then be his job, figuratively speaking, to put the chairs on the tables and turn all the lights off." ... – sjl Feb 17 '13 at 8:50
  • ... That post also says Gaiman's version (from "Façade," collected in The Sandman: Dream Country) is, "When the last living thing dies, my job is finished. I’ll put the chairs on tables, turn out the lights and lock the universe behind me when I leave." – sjl Feb 17 '13 at 8:57
  • Thank you! I hadn't got much further than re-reading Mort, tbh! Make your comments an answer? – NiceOrc Feb 17 '13 at 21:43
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This blog post says the original line, in Pratchett's Mort, is

He remembered being summoned into reluctant existence at the moment the first creature lived, in the certain knowledge he would outlive life until the last being in the universe passed to its reward, when it would then be his job, figuratively speaking, to put the chairs on the tables and turn all the lights off.

Gaiman's version (from "Façade," collected in The Sandman: Dream Country) is

"When the first living thing existed, I was there, waiting. When the last living thing dies, my job will be finished. I’ll put the chairs on the tables, turn out the lights and lock the universe behind me when I leave."

My bookses are in boxes, so I can't verify the quotes myself. :(

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    Marginally related, but was anyone else really hoping the very last line of Discworld would be "Death put the chairs on the table, turn out the lights and locked the universe behind him"? – Mac Cooper May 14 '15 at 19:35
  • @MacCooper, the end of the Discworld universe is in the middle of Eric, Death is waiting for it all to come round again. – Separatrix Nov 4 at 8:12

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