To get some science discussion going, I thought I'd throw this out there. There are many candidates, but based purely on citations alone, one could make a credible argument that the most powerful idea in condensed matter physics is the (first) Hohenberg-Kohn theorem: the external potential V(r) of an electronic system can be determined exactly (to within a trivial additive constant) by the ground state electronic density rho(r). This means that, in principle anyway, if you know the ground state rho(r), you know everything - you've exactly specified the Hamiltonian, which means you've specified all the many-body wavefunctions for the ground and excited states of the system, all just by knowing the ground state density. Pretty impressive. It's the basis for all of density functional theory. The original paper's been cited 5059 times (as of this morning), and the followup paper that proposed a practical approximation method to make this useful for calculating electronic structure has been cited 11963 times (as of this morning).
On the other hand, I suspect that if you asked a modern CM theorist, they'd list other choices before getting to that one.