Created By: MarqFJA on July 16, 2011 Last Edited By: MarqFJA on September 12, 2011
Troped

Self-Duplication

The power to make tangible clones of oneself.

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Trope
As a result of this TRS thread, it's been decided to split "Self-Duplication as a superpower" from Me's a Crowd (which is more of a plot regarding a particular way to use this power).

Tags: Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples, No Launching Please


If her name is Penny, does that make them Dimes?

A superhero with the ability to make several copies of themselves and then recombine themselves, maintaining control over all copies.

This power can be very potent. One can be effectively immortal if at least one of you survives, one gets the ability to distract, surround and hinder your opponent and if all the duplicates work from a single mind it all occurs with perfect coordination. This power is an opportunity for writers to show off the creative combat techniques and imaginative Mundane Utilities.

There may or may not be some idea of a central self, one copy who is the "proper" version for whatever reason: you have to kill that one to all them all; one gives all of the commands etc. The other copies, conversely, rarely count as persons in and of themselves; see also Cloning Blues. If they are counted as actual people, expect Which Me?.

Possible side-effects include Literal Split Personality. May be used in a Doppelgänger Attack. Not to be confused with I Am Legion. Power Perversion Potential means this naturally leads to Screw Yourself.


Examples:

Comics

Film

Live-action TV

Manga and Anime
  • Naruto: There are various Ninjutsu that can do this, each using a different way, but the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique) is the first to be introduced and arguably the most iconic one among them, not the least due to the protagonist tending to utterly spam it (first ever use resulted in around 2000 clones!) as part of his pre-Time Skip combat strategy.
  • Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z had the power to split himself into several copies, which he used as a training technique. His attempt to use it in combat didn't pan out nearly as well.
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • July 16, 2011
    EmbracingShadows
  • July 16, 2011
    MarqFJA
    Fast Eddie says otherwise.
  • July 17, 2011
    Stratadrake
    And usage claims say the opposite of Eddie.
  • July 17, 2011
    MarqFJA
    ^ Discuss that in the thread linked at the top of the OP.
  • July 22, 2011
    Bushranger
    Danny's ability to duplicate himself in Danny Phantom probably counts.
  • July 23, 2011
    KamenZero
    A weapon in Xiaolin Showdown allowed the user to duplicate himself, but cut his power into equal portions and leads to Literal Split Personality.
  • July 23, 2011
    Kharonthe
    I see no difference from Mes A Crowd
  • July 23, 2011
    Loyal2NES
    To avoid confusion and disputes, should we perhaps wait until the TRS thread above has been resolved before doing this thing here?

    • Piccolo in Dragonball Z had the power to split himself into several copies, which he used as a training technique. His attempt to use it in combat didn't pan out nearly as well.
  • July 30, 2011
    madelinemary
    Calvin's duplicating machine in Calvin And Hobbes.
  • July 31, 2011
    Angewomon
    Lady Redundant Woman in Word Girl.
  • August 2, 2011
    DarkConfidant
    Video Games
  • August 2, 2011
    sgamer82
    • Nico Robin has acquired to do the ability to do this during the timeskip in One Piece.
  • August 12, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
  • August 12, 2011
    SalFishFin
    "It's been decided to split "Self-Duplication as a superpower" from Mes A Crowd (which is more of a plot regarding a particular way to use this power). "

    That's the first line you read.
  • August 12, 2011
    BraveHoratio
    Is Kiln People by David Brin an example? The copies are made of clay (and therefore aren't clones) and it's not so much a superpower as a society-wide technological advancement, but it seems at least related.
  • August 13, 2011
    stupac85
    There was a Freak Of The Week on Smallville whose meteor power was this.

    In Ben10, one of Ben's alien forms is the aptly named Ditto who can create an unlimited number of clones of himself. In the sequel series, Ben 10 Alien Force, one of Ben's new alien forms is Echo Echo, who can also do this.
  • August 13, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In the Verse of Who Censored Roger Rabbit? Toons can create "doppelgangers" to use for stunts, which only exist for a few minutes or hours at a time. The Roger Rabbit in the book is actually the real Roger's doppelganger, made very sturdily and lives all of 72 hours.
  • August 13, 2011
    DracMonster
  • August 13, 2011
    MiinU

    Manga and Anime

    • Bleach, I'm surprised no one's mentioned Soi Fon yet, given what she did here. She produced better than fifteen speed clones, while on the brink of exhaustion; completely outclassing Zommari Leroux who, by his own admission, could create five at best.
  • August 13, 2011
    jheen
    • In Kim Possible, the Wego twins of the Go Team have this ability.
    • Dimentio of Super Paper Mario makes duplicates of himself during his boss fights.
  • August 13, 2011
    SomeSortOfTroper
    Oh stupid me, I thought to myself "Oh wait, we need to make the ykttw" and I forgot you made the ykttw, so I made the ykttw...

    anywho, I did write stuff up for this:

    If her name is Penny, does that make this a Dime?

    A superhero with the ability to make several copies of themselves and then recombine themselves, maintaining control over all copies.

    This power can be very potent. One can be effectively immortal if at least one of you survives, one gets the ability to distract, surround and hinder your opponent and if all the duplicates work from a single mind it all occurs with perfect coordination. This power is an opportunity for writers to show off the creative combat techniques and imaginative Mundane Utilities.

    There may or may not be some idea of a central self, one copy who is the "proper" version for whatever reason: you have to kill that one to all them all; one gives all of the commands etc.

    Examples:

    • Jamie Madrox aka Multiple Man in the Marvel Universe. If he leaves his duplicates separated for too long, they start to become more independent and develope their own personalities. Sadly making a Mes A Crowd plot difficult for too long but an Evil Twin incredibly easy.
    • From The DCU, there is Multiplex who gets this power as well as superstrength.
    • Penny from Sky High, a film about a highschool for superheroes, uses her power to make herself into hero own Cheerleading team and Girl Posse.
    • I recall someone like this on Heroes.


  • August 13, 2011
    MarqFJA
    ^ Thanks man. And I found that Heroes character you mentioned after looking through the Other Wiki.
  • August 13, 2011
    JohnDiFool
    Western Animation:

    Happened to Homer on The Simpsons (Treehouse of Horror ep.) when he acquired a magic hammock which allowed him to clone himself virtually endlessly.

    Futurama: Bender got the power to continue to subdivide himself into smaller and smaller clones, until he became a "grey goo".
  • August 14, 2011
    MarqFJA
    This reminds me: What to do with cases of duplication that don't actually involve an innate superpower/ability, but rather an external cause like magic spells, supertech machines, or abnormal phenomena?
  • August 16, 2011
    SomeSortOfTroper
    That's a different trope.
  • August 16, 2011
    MarqFJA
    Right. So we need a Super Trope to this trope that covers all cases/tropes involving paranormal/supernatural duplication of objects/people.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=j5bczrrv1midx82kxac7390m