Created By: Glucharina on October 10, 2011


Uncanny tendency for everyone to have an alternate version of self, no matter how much sense does it make.

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Do We Have This One??

Say, you traveled to Alternate Universe. John Kennedy is alive there and Martin Luther King replaced Andrew Jackson on twenty dollar bill. Some things don't exist, and other non-existent in your world do. And USA is ruled by communists who is in cold war with capitalist Russia. And everyone has two heads.

What's your chances that you were also born in this world? Answer is: almost 100% if you happen to be main character. Against all odds, you were born. You have the same name, appearance and often - biography.

This can not be applied to situation where it does make perfect sense. Creating a divergence point after certain person was born, for example. Or dreams, hallucination, any other constructed realities, that were based on "real world"


Live-Action TV
  • Fringe: Universes are different in technology, history ect, but still - fringe team is lead by colonel Broyles and Olivia, Charlie and Astrid are employed. There's also two identical Bishop families.
  • Star Trek: Most famous - mirror universe where everyone are evil sociopaths, but still has the same names and positions.
  • Stargate-verse: Plenty of alternate universes. Almost everywhere there are Goa'ulds, SG-1 with the same members.

Western Animation
  • Family Guy: episode "Road to Multiverse" - every universes had Quahog and Griffin families, even if there are reversed roles between humans and dogs - there is even a human Brian.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • October 10, 2011
    • Sluggy Freelance has a huge multiverse consisting of alternative dimensions that vary in terms of similarity. Their histories tend to develop in parallel even when they're very different otherwise, leading to this trope. Then again, some very exotic dimensions avert this (at least one because it's an alternative future rather than present). But not all of those do either, and thus the perhaps most alien dimension had a from-the-waist-upwards-lookalike counterpart to Torg, the central character, from a species of tentacled creatures other members of which didn't even look remotely human.
  • October 10, 2011
    This is a subtrope of In Spite Of A Nail.

    In most of the Stargate Verse examples, the point of divergence is unspecified and could easily be pretty recent, so it's not too hard to justify this trope. "Mobius", on the other hand, explicitly puts the divergence point five thousand years in the past, and there are still alternate versions of all the major characters.
  • October 10, 2011
    In a non Alternate Universe example, in How I Met Your Mother Everyone Has A Doppelganger, and they all also happen to live in New York.
  • October 10, 2011
    Do they have to meet their doppelgangers to count?
  • October 10, 2011
    ^ I don't know, but that's usually how they and we find out about said doppleganger.
  • October 10, 2011
  • October 10, 2011
    ^^Well, I have an example where they don't meet.
    • Third Rock From The Sun: when the Solomons go on a trip to a parallel Earth, the parallel Earth also has a group of four aliens named Tom, Dick, Harry, and Sally Solomon - but they live in New York City where they have lives very different than the ones the "regular" Solomons lead. Our Solomons just assume the others' identities; they other Solomons never show up. Presumably they're on another parallel Earth. There are also doppelgangers for Mary, who works as a lounge singer instead of being a professor of anthropology, and Don, who is mayor of New York instead of a small town beat cop.
  • October 10, 2011
    Don't know if this applies here
    • In one Seinfeld episode, Elaine makes friends with 3 guys who are doppelgangers of the 3 main characters, except that instead of being evil doppelgangers, the 3 guys are nice guys, and the main characters end up looking like the bad ones.
  • October 10, 2011
    In CSA: Confederate States of America, the "documentary" is set in an Alternate Universe where the South and slavery dominated the US - and yet people like Elvis, Nixon, and Kennedy still being born and the latter two running for President (albeit Elvis living in Canada and Nixon and Kennedy swapping parties). Kennedy even gets assassinated again (though for different reasons)!

    Also seconding the fact that this is a more specific sense of In Spite Of A Nail, and may not warrant a new trope.
  • October 11, 2011
    • Taken Up To Eleven in some Marvel Universe alternate universes. In fact, this was the entire plot for the world of Marvel 1602, in which Captain America being sent back in time to the 16th/17th century results in the entire pantheon of Marvel heroes coming to exist four centuries too early. Many of them have have slightly different names (Charles Xavier is Carlos Javier and Victor Von Doom is instead Otto Von Doom, for example) but are otherwise suspiciously similar to their counterparts.
  • October 11, 2011
    • Every major character of TV Tropes The Webcomic has a counterpart in the Mirror and Bizzaro Universes, except Ecivres (who is the Guardian of the Multiverse) and Retrope (who is supposed to be dead in all universes but was revived in the Prime).