Created By: WaxingNameNovember 9, 2012 Last Edited By: WaxingNameNovember 10, 2012
Nuked

Same Creator Expy

When a creator recycles characterization from an old work into a new work

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

See this thread for more info

Creators have the tendency to borrow characters from each other all the time. The reasons range from wanting to capitalize on the success of each other, or because one creator liked another creator's character. But then there's the tendency for creators to borrow characterizations from themselves.

For many creators, both individuals and entire teams, patterns can be noticeable between works by the same creator. There are many reasons for this. First, if a creator noticed that a certain type of character worked once, they could incorporate that same characterization under a different name in hopes that it will work again. Second, even though the creator is trying to make a new work, they may subconsciously incorporate an old characterization into the new work like it's a developed habit.

Creators are generally given much less criticism for "stealing" their own characters than for stealing another creator's characters, because they're seen as having the right to recycle characters that were theirs in the first place.

Sister Trope to Reused Character Design and Only Six Faces (this trope's visual conterpart) and Author Catchphrase.

Examples

Literature
  • Rob Grant's novel Colony is about an ineffectual everyman who dies on board a spaceship, then is revived in a robot body centuries later and forced to better himself as a leader. This is a slightly more sympathetic version of Arnold Rimmer from Red Dwarf, which Grant previously co-wrote with Doug Naylor.
  • Lord Rowcester in PG Wodehouse's Ring For Jeeves is almost identical to Bertie Wooster, Jeeves's master in all the other Jeeves stories. The only reason it isn't Bertie Wooster, and Jeeves is on loan to Lord Rowcester, is that Wodehouse wanted the main character to get married at the end, and didn't want to marry off Bertie.

Video Games
  • Bio Ware is noted to have been doing this throughout their catalog to the point that we have a list of archetypes commonly found in their works.

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • November 9, 2012
    Surenity
    • Mickey Mouse was originally an expy of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, created because Walt Disney lost the rights to Oswald.
  • November 10, 2012
    CarrieVS
    Is 'a no work' in the laconic a typo? An old work, maybe?
  • November 10, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^Oops, thanks for the point out.
  • November 10, 2012
    robinjohnson
  • November 10, 2012
    robinjohnson
    Also, I suggest Recycled Character for the title - it's shorter and doesn't depend on already knowing another trope name (Expy).
  • November 10, 2012
    robinjohnson
  • November 10, 2012
    robinjohnson
    • Rob Grant's novel Colony is about an ineffectual everyman who dies on board a spaceship, then is revived in a robot body centuries later and forced to better himself as a leader. This is a slightly more sympathetic version of Arnold Rimmer from Red Dwarf, which Grant previously co-wrote with Doug Naylor.
    • Lord Rowcester in PG Wodehouse's Ring For Jeeves is almost identical to Bertie Wooster, Jeeves's master in all the other Jeeves stories. The only reason it isn't Bertie Wooster, and Jeeves is on loan to Lord Rowcester, is that Wodehouse wanted the main character to get married at the end, and didn't want to marry off Bertie.
  • November 10, 2012
    WaxingName
    @robinjohnson: We're currently working out what to do with Expy on the Repair Shop thread at the top of my draft. Recycled Character is not as clear as I would like the title to be since it can easily be confused with Expy, and we're trying to get rid of that confusion. Also, Suspiciously Similar Substitute is when a character is an Expy of one another in the same universe. Your input on the thread would be highly appreciated, too.
  • November 10, 2012
    Bisected8
    Sister trope to Author Catchphrase.
  • November 10, 2012
    shimaspawn
    <Mod Hat>

    This is redundant and will lead to confusion and trope decay. You're attempting to split a trope based on trivia. This creates problems where none have existed before for no reason. Knock it off.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable