Doppelganger Gets Same Sentiment
A person reacts to an Identical Stranger (clone, temporal duplicate, zombie, shapeshifter) that "is" or used to be someone they know in the same way they react to the person.
Was Borrowed Emotional Reaction. When you're meeting an alternate universe version/clone/zombie/etc of someone, you're essentially dealing with a stranger. But because of your experience with your version, you may not feel that way. For better or for worse, some people trigger very powerful emotional reactions in others. What specifically is being triggered varies — affection, protection, disgust, mistrust. However, it's very possible for the person triggering the response to be someone other than the person who originally provoked it. Maybe the hero is meeting his Dead Little Sister's alternate-universe counterpart. Maybe he's reluctantly making himself team up with a good-aligned clone of his arch-nemesis. Maybe he's having to shoot one of his True Companions who has succumbed to The Virus and effectively stopped being the person he knew. The point is that he's still having an emotional reaction to the person because of who they "are" — even though they aren't. In some cases, this may not have any negative effects; the recipient is similar enough to the original target that it's still the correct reaction. However, sometimes (such as if the morality of the counterpart is inverted) things may not work out so well. Replacement Goldfish is similar, but in those cases the individual getting the benefit of the character's previous relationship are not in any way the original themselves, though they may resemble them in some fashion. Also, this trope may last a shorter amount of time (for instance, if the hero meets the Alternate Universe version of his dead sister but then has to go back to his universe). Related to Unbalanced by Rival's Kid, Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest, and Reincarnation Romance. It's also the reason why the Shapeshifter Guilt Trip is sometimes effective.
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- In the Darkwing Duck arc Crisis on Infinite Darkwings, Quiverwing Darkwing acts as an affectionate and somewhat mentorly figure to Gosalyn Prime. He used to have his own version of Gosalyn, who was his sidekick, but she died at some point prior to the arc (hence why he goes by her superhero identity).
- Subverted in The Multiversity: Pax Americana; after Captain Atom impulsively kills his dog in an effort to comprehend how it works, he then creates an exact replica, but can't bring himself to love it because he knows it's not the same dog.
- In the Stardoc novel Plague of Memory, Cherijo encounters what appears to be the reincarnation of her long-dead first husband Kao Torin, which understandably complicates her mission. It turns out to be a Hsktskt that was put through Magic Plastic Surgery using a DNA sample from Kao's corpse.
- Shota the witch woman from the Sword of Truth series first meets the protagonist while shapeshifted into his long dead mother. Though he isn't fooled, it's difficult for him to remain angry at her in that form.
Live Action TV
- Still grieving over the death of Laurel Lance, Oliver is greatly affected by the appearance of her Evil Doppelgänger Black Siren. Despite his continual denial, it's apparent he sees her as the original Laurel and a second chance to save her.
- Detective Lance, Laurel's father, has a much stronger emotional reaction. In fact, he has an arc where he kidnaps her to try to convince her that she can be his daughter if they both believe hard enough.
- Crisis on Earth-X:
- The Earth-X Version of Prometheus is the doppelganger of Oliver's dead best friend, Tommy, who died while the two were still having a fallout over Oliver being a secret vigilante. Oliver deeply wants to believe in the capacity for someone with his friend's face to change, but Prometheus, who was raised an unrepentant Nazi, uses Oliver's nostalgia and love for his friend to mock and manipulate him before deploying a cyanide capsule that forces Oliver to helplessly watch his best friend die a second time.
- When the Earth-1 heroes get captured and sent to Earth-X for execution, Earth-X Quentin Lance expresses difficulty killing Oliver, the man with the face of the fuhrer. So he opts to have a bag put over Oliver's head to make the act easier for him.
- In Doctor Who this is explored in the two-parter "The Rebel Flesh" and "The Almost People". The Doctor comes upon a factory where employers use "flesh avatars" for dangerous work. But trouble starts when the avatars or "gangers" become sentient and start protesting their individuality to their originals. The episodes explores if the gangers should be considered real or not, with the Doctor insisting they are while the factory workers believe they are not. The Doctor experiments this using his ganger, by switching his Identical Twin ID Tag and seeing if Amy (who knows the Doctor better than anyone else) could notice the change. Turns out she couldn't, proving the ganger and the Doctor were one and the same person.
- The Flash:
- Earth-3 Jay Garrick is the doppelganger of Barry Allen's father, Henry. Barry Allen is visibly emotionally overcome trying to deal with someone who looks just like his recently murdered father. Jay feels bad for Barry, but reminds him that he is not Henry and wouldn't make a very good Replacement Goldfish.
- This is how Team Flash reacted when Harry Wells from Earth-2 first made his presence known. Being the Alternate Self version of the man who the Reverse-Flash was impersonating made it very difficult for Team Flash to trust him, despite Harry's constant reminders that he was not Thawne.
- This also occurs with HR Wells from Earth-19, the third Wells to be a member of Team Flash. Despite the fact that he was incompetent and unintelligent compared to his predecessors, Team Flash still accepts him as a team member. As Cisco explains, the other Wells were geniuses who they depended on, while with HR it was the inverse. So after everything that Harrison Wells had done for them, Cisco wanted "to be there for Harrison Wells".
- In Legends of Tomorrow, the Earth-X version of Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold is an unrelenting do-gooder hero which is stomach turning for his Earth-1 partner in crime Mick. Mick keeps trying to regale Earth-X Leonard with tales of their criminal adventures and Leonard finally has to forcefully remind Mick that he's not Earth-1 Leonard and he's not interested in being a criminal.
- The Outer Limits (1995), "Second Soul": A man's wife becomes a donor for an alien race that needs to possess dead humans to live. The alien is not happy about his persistent interest in her.
- Star Trek:
- Star Trek: The Original Series: Implied in "Mirror, Mirror". Kirk shows more softness than one would expect toward the Mirror Spock, who (despite being better than Mirror Kirk) is as ruthless as one would expect from the Mirrorverse. This probably has something to do with his close relationship to his own Spock.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: In the episode "Parallels" (where Worf encounters many alternate universes) the Primeverse Enterprise briefly receives a transmission from an alternate-universe version of Riker, now in command after Picard died during the events of "The Best of Both Worlds". He expresses his happiness to see Picard, saying that it's been a while.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Enforced in "Rejoined" as an allegory to closeted homosexuality. The episode has Jadzia Dax work with Lenara Kahn, another joined Trill. The Dax and Kahn symbionts were married in previous lifetimes, and the two women find that they're still strongly attracted to one another despite "reassociation" being a taboo in Trill culture. They ultimately do not stay together due to societal pressure.
- Stargate SG-1: After hosting the Tok'ra symbiont Jolinar in "In the Line of Duty", Samantha Carter inherits some of Jolinar's memories, which includes a romantic attraction to the Tok'ra operative Martouf, lover of Jolinar's previous host Rosha. Also inverted: Jolinar's memories complicate Sam's preexisting Unresolved Sexual Tension with the Tollan diplomat Narim, with Sam telling him she's holding off on dating until she's more sure whether she's feeling things herself or because of Jolinar.
- Sam and Dean find themselves sucked into an Apocalyptic Earth-2. While there, they meet that Earth's version of Bobby. Earth-1 Bobby was their father figure and died suddenly and tragically so it shakes the brothers to see him alive on this Earth. However, because of choices made by their parents, Sam and Dean were never born on Earth-2, so he has no such attachment to them.
- **Jack's mother dies giving birth to him, so he's always felt something was missing, having been able to communicate telepathically with his mother in utero but never getting to meet her face to face. While working a case, he and the brothers encounter a shapeshifter who works as a bereavement counselor. She is able to use the brothers' memories of Kelly to take her form and give Jack a chance to "speak" to the mother he was never able to meet. Jack is thrilled to finally be able to hug her and thank her for protecting him.
- In Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, the video game adaptation of the series, Kirito encounters a Hollow Data version of Sachi, his deceased first love who he failed to save. Although suspecting she's not real, Kirito is hellbent on protecting her at all costs so she won't die again. Eventually Sachi does reveal she is indeed not the real Sachi. She also remembers the words the real Sachi never got to say to Kirito, which leaves him distraught and shaken, but also giving him closure.
- In Homestuck, Dave spend much of the Intermission being very anxious/nervous about meeting Dirk, an alternate universe version of his "older brother" who raised him. His nervousness reflects his insecurity and fear towards his enigmatic and abusive "older brother", and Dave harbors similar feelings towards the alternate universe version, even though he is the same age as Dave and has none of the same history. When they ultimately meet, Dave uses Dirk to work out his issues with the older version, specifically his use of irony to pretend that he wasn't in a deeply unhealthy relationship.
- In the Darkwing Duck episode "Life, the Negaverse, and Everything", Darkwing finds himself in an alternate universe. He immediately becomes as fiercely protective of Nega-Gosalyn as he is of his own.
- In Justice League, the Justice Lord version of Batman panics when Flash fakes flatlining by speeding up his heart rate, because the Justice Lord universe's version of Flash was killed by Lex Luthor.
- In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, the Phineas and Ferb from the second dimension get really excited to see the first dimension's Perry, hugging him for a few more seconds even after finding out he's not their Perry, who'd disappeared ages ago.
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