[[quoteright:350:[[LadyPlayYourMandolin http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Foxy_Mickey_Mouse_Clone_9037.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial Totally]] '''[[BlatantLies NOT]]''' MickeyMouse.]]

->''"Run! It's Franchise/{{Godzilla}}!"''
->''"It looks like Godzilla, but [[YouWannaGetSued due to international copyright laws,]] [[{{Notzilla}} it's not.]]"''
->''"Still, we should run like it ''is'' Godzilla!"''
->''"...though it isn't."''
-->-- '''[[Film/AustinPowers Goldmember]]'''

The character equivalent of a BlandNameProduct.

This character's design is a mix of legal issues and homage. Just as someone who wants to incorporate a UsefulNotes/{{Walmart}} into a story but can't manage the ProductPlacement might use "[[BrandX Box Mart]]," a person who wants to write [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Captain Original]], but can't because a rival comic company owns the trademark, will create Captain Ersatz. Sometimes, these characters are used as affectionate {{Shout Out}}s to a series or creator that may have inspired them. At other times, they are used as {{parod|y}}ies or {{Take That}}s against the original characters they're based on (and [[BitingTheHandHumor possibly the company who owns them]]).

Done when an artist or writer wants to use a character but for whatever reason [[ExiledFromContinuity isn't allowed to]] at the present time, especially due to uncertainty of ownership, or else certainty that that character is trademarked into someone else's continuity and isn't going to be loaned out.

This character tends to evolve into their own direction if they make later appearances.

Captain Ersatzes are somewhat rare in American parody, as their copyright law allows use of the original characters in parody. They also (usually) aren't found in FanFic: that SailorEarth is a CopyCatSue (and they can just outright use a {{crossover}}). Sometimes multiple characters will be distilled into one, creating a CompositeCharacter. The same doesn't hold true for Anime & Manga parodies though, which often resort to {{Captain Ersatz}}es when the parody character is more than a background cameo.

Contrast WritingAroundTrademarks, where the similarity was unplanned and unwanted; {{Expy}}, where a character is very similar to but not obviously supposed to be another character, and SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute, who replaces an existing original in the same continuity.

May be a result of having someone ExiledFromContinuity, though it has to be a formal exile. If this happens enough, it can result in an extremely obvious variation of a FountainOfExpies.

The {{trope}} name comes from the [[TropeNamers German word]] [[BilingualBonus for "replacement"]].

Compare AlternateCompanyEquivalent, LawyerFriendlyCameo, and BrandX. The {{Shotoclone}} is a particular application in VideoGames. See also CounterpartComparison and {{Expy}}, for characters who are similar to earlier characters, but aren't actually intended to be carbon copies, and the musical version, SuspiciouslySimilarSong. If the character represents a RealLife celebrity, see NoCelebritiesWereHarmed. Also compare to AdamWesting when an actor plays an expy of themselves.

No relation to CaptainObvious, [[{{Pun}} obviously]].
----
!!Example subpages:
[[index]]
* CaptainErsatz/AnimeAndManga
* CaptainErsatz/ComicBooks
* CaptainErsatz/{{Literature}}
* CaptainErsatz/VideoGames
* CaptainErsatz/WesternAnimation
[[/index]]
----
!!Examples:
[[foldercontrol]]
[[folder:Advertising]]
* Ronald UsefulNotes/{{McDonald|s}}: The Washington D.C. version of Bozo The Clown, played by Willard Scott, was so popular public appearances would require police to direct traffic. After the show was cancelled, local franchise owners asked Scott to create a similar character to continue the promotion. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML263lBEVRE Ronald [=McDonald=] was born.]]
** The original incarnation of [=McDonaldLand=] was a blatant copy of the cast and setting of SidAndMartyKrofftProductions' 70s-era children's show ''HRPufnstuf''. The Kroffts (who had turned down an earlier request from [=McDonald's=] to license the ''Pufnstuf'' characters for advertising) [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald%27s_legal_cases#H.R._Pufnstuf_.2F_McDonaldland sued and won]], forcing [=McDonald's=] to not only pay damages, but to dramatically retool [=McDonaldLand=].
* The Bombardier, a LargeHam NapoleonicWars soldier played by Rik Mayall in adverts for Bombardier Real Ale, is what Lord Flashheart would have been if he'd appeared in ''Series/{{Blackadder}} the Third'', except he says "Bang on!" rather than "Woof!" Mayall even uses the same voice.
* The need for an off-brand version of Golden Crisp Cereal gives us Golden Puffs. Mascot? "Lil Oatey." a blue Kangaroo. Lampshaded by the words on the package "Betcha can't taste the difference between Golden Crisp." and they're right. You can't.
** The need for an off-brand version of several other cereals you could lie to your children about and convince them that they were the advertised stuff is what I assume brought us the "Toons" brand of breakfast cereal.
* Burger King also did this in an advertisement for a breakfast sandwich. Lampshaded when they said something to the effect of "Maybe it's not original."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:FanWorks]]
* [[Fanfic/MassFoundations Mass Foundations: Redemption in the Stars]] has turian Hando Due and [[ExtraEyes batarian]] Greedro as stand-ins for [[Franchise/StarWars Han Solo and Greedo]]. They're are encountered due to the [[VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas Courier's]] [[WeirdnessMagnet Wild Wasteland trait]].
* Duncan [=McSmurf=] in ''FanFic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'' is an obvious CaptainErsatz of Gutsy from ''Film/TheSmurfs'' film series who [[MaliciousMisnaming does not like to be called Gutsy]], particularly from Hefty who just simply doesn't like Duncan. His only noticeable differences are that [[AdaptationDyeJob Duncan has brown hair whereas Gutsy has ginger hair]], and that he wears green plaid instead of blue.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* When director F. W. Murnau sought to make a movie out of Bram Stoker's book ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'', but was unable to secure the rights, he made the movie anyway as ''Film/{{Nosferatu}}'', changing the names of the characters. (Dracula, for example, became Count Orlok.) In this case, though, the attempt was unsuccessful: Stoker's widow sued for copyright infringement and won, bankrupting the production company... and getting an order that all copies of the film be destroyed. The movie survived through piracy.
* A few in ''Film/SkyHigh'', but the most obvious is Layla, being similar to Franchise/{{Batman}}'s villainess Poison Ivy. She's a redhead, she controls plants, she always wears green, she's very environment friendly, etc. — except she's a good gal.
* Detective Anna Ramirez in ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' was originally supposed to be Renée Montoya, but her name was changed at the last minute because her behavior in the film didn't match that of the animated and comic book character. [[spoiler: Montoya is an honest cop, while Ramirez is corrupt and works with the mob.]]
** By the same token, Det. Wuertz was supposed to be another Batman staple, Harvey Bullock. Bullock is at worst, a JerkWithAHeartOfGold, whereas Wuertz [[spoiler: is also on the take, and is subsequently killed by Two-Face]].
* The ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' trilogy is sometimes accused of this by ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' fans, who cite similarities between Tia Dalma and the Voodoo Lady as evidence of their claim. Though given how both draw inspiration from ''Literature/OnStrangerTides'' (and indeed, from the [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks original Pirates of the Caribbean ride]]), this might be a case where [[OlderThanTheyThink both are the Ersatzes]].
* In the 1976 MysteryFiction spoof, ''Film/MurderByDeath'', various famous detectives are represented by these characters:
** Sidney Wang (Creator/PeterSellers): Franchise/CharlieChan
** Dick and Dora Charleston (David Niven and Maggie Smith): [[Film/TheThinMan Nick and Nora Charles]]
** Sam Diamond (Peter Falk): [[Film/TheMalteseFalcon Sam Spade]]
** Miss Jessica Marbles (Elsa Lanchester): Literature/MissMarple
** Milo Perrier (James Coco): Literature/HerculePoirot
* The 1980 TV Movie ''Murder Can Hurt You'' itself seems to have been inspired by ''Film/MurderByDeath'', but with these versions of '70s TV CopShow characters like Series/{{Columbo}}, Series/StarskyAndHutch, Series/{{Kojak}}, etc.
* ''Film/{{GalaxyQuest}}'' is for the most part an ''Main/AffectionateParody'' on ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' including its actors and fans. In the film, where it reads "Galaxy Quest", this is almost entirely Captain Ersatz for ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''.
** The character of Doctor Lazarus is Spock, the alien on the team, whose actor is haunted by the success of his character and its fictional culture.
** Commander Taggart is captain Kirk, the hammy star of the show and a ''Main/LargeHam''.
** Tech Sgt. Chen, although not Scottish, is the equivalebt of Scotty, (badly) operating their transpo... sorry, "digital conveyor".
** Exceptions are Lt. Laredo, the prodigy child crew member (there was no such role in Star Trek, although The Next Generation had Wesley Crusher), and Lt. Madison who repeats everything the computer says (Lt. Uhura in TOS was in the front line of black, and female, emancipation).
* The action film ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'':
** The family is very nearly the Comicbook/FantasticFour: Mr. Incredible is the Thing, Elastigirl is Mr. Fantastic, and Violet is the Invisible Woman. Only Dash lacks a direct parallel, though he's certainly HotBlooded enough to be a match for the Human Torch. The ending shows Jack-Jack has highly variable superpowers (among these, setting himself on fire like the Human Torch), and Franklin Richards, the child of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman had very ill-defined but vast superpowers. Even their costumes and name (Fantastic/Incredible) are similar. Their villain, Syndrome, is a somewhat more rotund SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom, a villain whose primary superpowers are simply being so good at super-technology that his super-suit is more powerful than the family combined. Syndrome also has Doctor Doom's 'petty grudge blown WAY out of proportion' motivation for his enmity as well.
** Dash is basically TheFlash and even calls himself "The Dash" when he gets his suit.
** Frozone is basically Iceman from the ''X-Men'' comics as played by Samuel L. Jackson. They even have the same way of getting from place to place: creating ramps of ice to skate everywhere.
** In a more extreme example, Gazerbeam and The Underminer basically ''are'' Comicbook/{{Cyclops}} and the MoleMen in all but name. The DVD special features on the minor heroes in the movie even parodies Cyclops' infamously bland personality by having Gazerbeam be an incredibly dull person.
** It even extends to the comic, which has featured among the expanded rogues gallery a Gorilla Grodd expy and aliens resembling the tentacles.
** And the HumongousMecha piloted by the Underminer in an effort to frame the Incredibles resembles WesternAnimation/TheIronGiant with a red paint job.
* The HammerHorror film ''X the Unknown'' was originally intended to be a sequel to ''[[Franchise/{{Quatermass}} The Quatermass Xperiment]]''. However, they couldn't get the rights to the character of Bernard Quatermass at the time, so they made up a new character called Adam Royston. He is a ScienceHero with the same general mannerisms as Quatermass, the only major difference being that his specialty is nuclear physics, not rocketry.
* ''Film/TheBuddyHollyStory'' had a fictionalized version of the Crickets (two members instead of three, names changed) because the real-life Crickets had already signed onto a different Buddy Holly project.
** The conspiracy-laden 1980s stinker, Down on Us aka Beyond the Doors about how the CIA killed Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison, you notice that [[Music/TheDoors Morrison's band]] is never mentioned by name and have no resemblance to Manzarek, Kreiger, or Densmore (not to mention, all of the songs in the film are original songs, which sound nothing like the songs made famous by said artists.)
* Possibly Rufus from ''[[Film/BillAndTed Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure]]'', [[Series/DoctorWho a quirky, sophisticated fellow in a time-travelling phone box]]...
* So many Creator/SparkPlugEntertainment characters.
* Officially, ''Film/TheGodfather'' isn't about the Mafia at all. The story goes that when the real Mafia began making complaints and threats, the filmmakers compromised, removing all references to "the Mafia" and "Cosa Nostra". So the film is actually about a fictitious crime organisation that just happens to be based around five fictitious Italian-American families – it’s usually referred to as "the Five Families" when mentioned on screen.
** Averted in ''Part II'', where during the senator hearings, the words Mafia and Cosa Nostra are mentioned multiple times (here by an outsider).
* A series of ''El Látigo'' ("The Whip") films were produced in Mexico. El Latigo is a ''very'' close imitation of the famous ''gringo''-created hero of Old California, Franchise/{{Zorro}}.
* BBV seemed to specialise in ''Series/DoctorWho'' Ersatzes (see also under Radio):
** ''The Stranger'' was a direct-to-video series starring Colin Baker (who played the Sixth Doctor on the show) and Nicola Bryant (Peri Brown) as "The Stranger" and "Miss Brown", respectively.
** While BBV eventually did get licensing rights to various ''Doctor Who'' monsters, the Big Two remained exceptions. They never attempted fake-Daleks, but the Cyberons are, well, Cybermen.
** BBV eventually self-parodied this, with a video called "Do You Have A Licence To Save This Planet?" in which a swarm of ''Doctor Who'' monsters (and the Cyberons) are fought by Sylvester [=McCoy=] as ... the Chiropodist.
* In the original books, the characters in ''Film/TheSnapper'' and ''The Van'' were the same family as in ''TheCommitments''. Due to Fox owning the rights to the Rabitte name, they were different characters. Especially glaring is the fact that Colm Meaney plays the father in both ''The Snapper'' and ''The Van'', but is ostensibly playing different characters.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheCareBearsAdventureInWonderland'', Dim and Dum are blatant copies of Beastly (from the ''[[WesternAnimation/CareBears1980s Care Bears]]'' TV series). Dim even has the same voice. In ''WesternAnimation/CareBearsNutcrackerSuite'', the Rat King shares Beastly's voice and general characterization.
* General Hager from ''[[Film/FantasticFour Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer]]'' was originally supposed to be NickFury, but was changed to an original character when the director found out TwentiethCenturyFox didn't have his film rights. Not only does Hager have Fury's personality and ([[UltimateMarvel Ultimate]]) ethnicity, but some of his lines are taken word-for-word from Fury's dialogue in WarrenEllis' ''Ultimate {{Galactus}} Trilogy''.
* Chapel was replaced by a similar character named Jessica Priest in the live-action ''Film/{{Spawn}}'' movie. This is due to Chapel being owned by RobLiefeld, since he originated in ''{{Youngblood}}''.
* In the 2000-2005 ''Literature/LeftBehind'' film series, Ivy Goldberg of Global Network News is one for Global Weekly secretary Alice Nelson from the books, who also gets confused for being Buck Williams' secret fiancee.
* ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'': A kindly old couple on a farm who take in a super-powered individual? [[{{Superman}} That sounds kinda familiar.]]
** The first shot of them smiling while driving their pickup seems like a deliberate homage to ''Superman: The Movie''. Richard Donner ''is'' a producer on this film.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheTick'' replaced Die Fledermaus and American Maid, who were in [[WesternAnimation/TheTick the animated cartoon]] but not the original comic book, with Bat Manuel and Captain Liberty.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' had a demon character named Kira who could see the future, [[ActorAllusion played by]] Creator/CharismaCarpenter. Carpenter played Cordelia on ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' and ''Series/{{Angel}}'', who gained the ability to see when people were or would be in trouble.
* Whistler, who appeared in a few Season Two episodes of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', was supposed to be a main character on the spinoff ''Series/{{Angel}}''. Since the actor who played Whistler was unavailable at the time, the very similar character Allen Francis Doyle was created instead.
* Comparisons between Al Swearengen of ''Series/{{Deadwood}}'' and Silas Benjamin of ''Series/{{Kings}}'' are pretty inevitable: Both are played in the same highflown style by Ian [=MacShane=]; both are amoral and ruthless in attempting to maintain their grip on power but affectionate to those close to them, and both have a tendency to slip into lofty monologues. Except for their different wardrobes and Silas' network-mandated inability to curse like Swearengen, they're essentially the same character portrayed by the same actor.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' was created with the intent to include Michelle Forbes' recurring character from ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', Ro Laren, but the actress declined to star as a regular in the series. So the character of Kira Nerys was created as a near-identical substitute (abrasive personality, lack of trust in Starfleet).
* And ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' went as far as to cast the actor who had played Nicholas Locarno in TNG's "The First Duty" before changing the character's name to Tom Paris and altering his backstory to be more sympathetic.
** Though WordOfGod has [[FlipFlopOfGod flip-flopped]] on whether this was done because Locarno was unrepentant and therefore unsympathetic, or because they didn't want to have to pay royalties to the writer of "The First Duty".
* Parodied on ''Series/ThirtyRock'' when Jenna intends to star in a biopic about Janis Joplin, but because of legal issues, the pic will be about a Janis Joplin facsimile called Jackie Jormp-Jomp.
* The BBC has an example combined with ''[[TheDanza Danza]]'' in the case of ''Happy Ever After''. When its creator decided that it had run for long enough, he declined to write any more episodes and eventually jumped ship, retaining the rights to the show's format as he did. So the BBC took the central couple from ''Happy Ever After'', changed their surname and character bios, put them in another suburban house, and carried on from there. Terry Fletcher (played by Terry Scott) and his wife June (June Whitfield) became Terry and June Medford in the imaginatively-named {{Britcom}} ''Terry and June''. If that wasn't enough, the characters Terry and June are near-identical {{exp|y}}ies of Ron and Vera Baines, the couple that Terry Scott and June Whitfield played in the feature film version of earlier suburban {{Britcom}} ''Bless This House''.
* ''Series/GetSmart'' had a few examples:
** Comedian Joey Forman played a Franchise/CharlieChan-based one called "Harry Hoo" on more than one occasion.
** Several one-off villains were also ersatzen; Wheelchair-bound mastermind Leadside was based on ''Series/{{Ironside}}'', YellowPeril caricature Dr. Yes was based on ''Film/DrNo'', etc.
** And Smart got his own, B. Wise, in an episode of ''Series/FTroop''.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNt8vplcx5Y This]] music video is not only a cover of Music/BritneySpears' song ''Lucky'', but the video is also a pastiche of Franchise/SuperSentai - and the HumongousMecha is [[SarcasmMode most definitely NOT]] Anime/MazingerZ.
* In ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSuperboy'', a super strong alien woman named Neila, who pursued Superboy romantically, appeared to be an ersatz version of the comics' Maxima.
* Parodied in ''{{Psychoville}}'' when in a {{pantomime}} production of Snow White, the director has to remind his cast that they changed the names of the dwarves (to "Prof", "Blusher", "Sniffy", "Smiler", "Snoozer", "Grumbly" and "Loopy") so as to avoid being sued by Disney.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' had Captain Ersatzes for a shockingly-large number of DC characters. Adam Knight was Bruce Wayne, Gloria was Poison Ivy, Vordigan the Dark Archer was Merlyn, Pete Ross ended up becoming a Captain Ersatz of ComicBook/PlasticMan (or Comicbook/JimmyOlsen as Elastic Lad)...the list goes on and on. One episode even had Lois cosplaying [[ShowWithinAShow as an in-universe]] Captain Ersatz of Franchise/WonderWoman!
** That same episode had a boy transformed by a magic comic book into [[ShowWithinAShow Warrior Angel]]. Whereas Warrior Angel was always an {{Expy}} of Superman (with his nemesis Devilicus as an {{Expy}} for Lex), this "Warrior Angel" was a clear one of [[Comicbook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]].
* ''TenItemsOrLess'' has a parody of this trope where the characters create a "Star Trok" Convention with "Blingons and Blomulans" (and SpecialGuest Jolene Blalock) so they don't get sued by Paramount.
* In ''Series/TheEvent,'' the President and his right-hand man are pretty much [[Series/TwentyFour Palmer and Novick.]]
* ''Series/TomorrowsPioneers'' has the really-not-a-MickeyMouse-rip-off Farfur. However, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi-c6lbFGC4 the extremely controversial subject matter]] did draw Disney's attention to Farfur's ersatzen nature.
* ''Series/BirdsOfPrey'' had Darkstrike, a thinly-veiled Comicbook/{{Nightwing}} wannabe.
* ''Series/TheMentalist'' has done this with the entire ''premise'' of ''Series/{{Psych}}''.
** Gleefully {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in many episodes of ''Psych'':
--->'''Shawn''': You've seen ''The Mentalist'', right?
--->'''Canadian Cop''': Yes.
--->'''Shawn''': It's like that.
--->'''Gus''': Except that guy's a fake.
--->'''Shawn''': Right, if I was a fake psychic it would be eerily similar.
--->'''Gus''': Exactly the same.
--->'''Shawn''': A virtual carbon copy.
* ''Series/{{Casualty}}'' and ''HolbyCity'' get away with having a Music/LadyGaga one - who, unlike the real thing, dresses fairly plain-Jane, so to speak.
* ''RhymeAndReason'', an ABC game show from 1975, was a Captain Ersatz of CBS's ''Series/MatchGame'' in that it had two contestants trying to match words (the rhyming word of a poem) with a panel of six celebrities.
* In 1961, Goodson-Todman created a Captain Ersatz of its own show ''Series/ThePriceIsRight'' with ''Say When!!'', which had two contestants selecting items from a pool of merchandise and trying to not go over a target value. In turn, 1975's ''Give-N-Take'' was an ersatz ''Say When!!'' with a spinning arrow. When G-T revived ''The Price Is Right'' in 1972 for CBS and nighttime syndication, they turned it into an ersatz ''Series/LetsMakeADeal''.
* In ''Series/{{Community}}'', Britta introduces Abed to long running British series ''InspectorSpacetime'' who is Captain Ersatz to ''Series/DoctorWho'' with a constable instead of a companion, red telephone booth instead of a blue police call box and Blorgons instead of Daleks.
** WordOfGod says that in-universe, Dr. Who is a ripoff of Inspector Spacetime.
* One of the recurring characters of ''LazyCompany'' is an ersatz Captain America -- "I'm the Patriot, but call me 'Captain'." He's a SuperSoldier NiceGuy whom even the resident grouch can't help but find likable.
* The tenth episode of the original 1966 ''Series/{{Ultraman}}'' gave us [[http://ultra.wikia.com/wiki/Jirass "Jirass"]], a giant reptilian {{Kaiju}} who was essentially Franchise/{{Godzilla}} in all but name--right down to being played by Creator/HaruoNakajima himself. To their credit, Tsubaraya Productions at least gave Jirass a neck frill to obscure the fact that his rubber suit actually ''was'' an old Godzilla costume borrowed from Toho Studios. Then they proceeded to [[RefugeInAudacity have Ultraman rip off said neck frill in the course of the fight]]. Essentially, if you've ever wanted to see an unofficial Godzilla/Ultraman crossover, watch this episode.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/TheYardbirds ' 1966 song "Stroll On", is this of their version of "The Train Kept A Rollin'". The maker of the movie Blow Up wanted to use "The Train Kept A Rollin'" for the soundtrack, but there were legal issues preventing it from being released outside the US. As a result they recorded the blatant copy "Stroll On" for the soundtrack, under the guise of it being an original song. The song became quite popular and appeared on a number of compilations.
* Music/IcedEarth's Cast In Stone is Written On The Walls with new lyrics and reduced instrumentation, as Gene Adam (who wrote these parts) did not allow the band to use them. However apart from this, the backing track is identical to the original version. It is debated amongst fans if this constitutes a new song or not.
* The music videos for Cassius' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDr-UcPg91k "1999"]] and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Deo8TP0cB1w "Feeling For You"]] feature an ersatz of ComicBook/{{Deadman}}.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* During the late 1920s and early 1930s, the King Features Syndicate did several copycats of the Chicago Tribune strips, with ''Little Annie Rooney'' being an ersatz of ''Comicstrip/LittleOrphanAnnie'' and ''Dan Dunn'' being Hearst's answer to ''ComicStrip/DickTracy''.
** Another was ''The Nebbs'' (a copy of the Tribune's ''Gumps''), created by Sol Hess, who assisted Sidney Smith (creator of ''The Gumps'') during the early 1920s.
* ''Comicstrip/{{Doonesbury}}'': Uncle Duke was Garry S. Trudeau's tribute/homage to Raoul Duke, Hunter S. Thompson's alias. Thompson for two decades was so upset he refused to read the comic.
* ''The Adventures of Aaron'' once ran a strip with "The Ghost of Comicstrip/{{Calvin|AndHobbes}}". A couple footnotes make it clear: "Any similarities between Ghost of Calvin and ''Calvin and Hobbes'' is purely coincidental." See it [[http://www.kerzap.com/calvin/aaron.tribute.html here]].
* In the comic strip ''Comicstrip/ForBetterOrForWorse'', it originally seemed as if the artist had intended to pair Liz of with her next door neighbor, Christopher; when he and his family were dropped from the strip, Mrs Johnston altered his serial number and created [[CreatorsPet Anthony Caine.]]
* In ''ComicStrip/{{Frazz}}'' by JefMallett, the title character, Frazz is a grown up expy of Calvin from ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'', both in personality and in artistic design; Mallett says that BillWatterson is a great influence, but that the similarities are unintentional.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* Creator/{{Bally}}'s ''Pinball/EightBall'' featured two teens clearly modeled after "The Fonz" and "Pinky Tuscadaro" from ''Series/HappyDays''. Paramount Television and CBS were not amused.
* One of the passengers in Williams' ''Pinball/{{Taxi}}'' is "Lola", a dark-haired copy of Creator/MarilynMonroe. She was originally blonde and named "Marilyn" until management requested a last-minute art change to avoid a potential lawsuit.
* The customers in ''Pinball/{{Diner}}'' include Babs and Boris, obvious caricatures of MargaretThatcher and Boris Yelsin.
* The protagonist of the "Space Sister" table of ''VideoGame/SuperPinballIITheAmazingOdyssey'' is a blatant copy of [[Franchise/{{Metroid}} Samus Aran.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/{{WCW}} had several examples:
** [[http://www.thewrestlinglegendsforum.com/wrestlecrap/arachniman.html Arachniman]], who is not like Franchise/SpiderMan at all.
** Ray Lloyd was dressed up as the not-quite-[[Franchise/MortalKombat Sub-Zero]] wrestler Wrestling/{{Glacier}} (a character who has since popped up in Wrestling/{{CHIKARA}}, making for a better fit.)
** For awhile WCW had a lot of expies of celebrities wrestling, which created a bunch of strange dream fights. For instance it is unlikely that Music/{{Prince}} would ever have fought Liberace, but now you can see what it would have looked like with The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea and The Maestro.
** Johnny B. Badd baby, whooo!
* The ''Franchise/FridayThe13th'' movie character Jason Voorhees got into the act as well.
** The first was Jason the Terrible (Karl "Butch" Moffatt), a creation of Bruce Hart in the dying days of the old Stampede Wrestling promotion in Calgary in the late 1980s, with his manager the Zodiac (Barry Orton- Wrestling/{{Randy|Orton}}'s uncle) under a mask, and who can be seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1mCmwgzudc here]]. There have been several other wrestlers who have done the Jason gimmick since.
** He's not the only one. Memphis gave us Tommy Gilbert as [[Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet "Nightmare Freddy"]]. His son Doug later wrestled as Freddy Krueger in the [[GarbageWrestler hardcore]] Japanese promotion W*ING, with his brother [[Wrestling/EddieGilbert Eddie]] as [[Franchise/{{Halloween}} Michael Myers]].
** '''The''' Japanese hardcore wrestling promotion Wrestling/{{FMW}}, among others, had [[Franchise/TheTexasChainsawMassacre "Leatherface"]], sometimes [[WritingAroundTrademarks changed to]] Super Leather.
* The Aces & 8s stable in Wrestling/{{TNA}} is pretty much a wrestling version of ''Series/SonsOfAnarchy'', right down to their attires, logos, and music being inspired by said series.
* ''TheRoadWarrior'''s Humungus gave birth to wrestling's various "Lord Humongous"es, and more famous wrestlers like SidEudy and Barry "Bull" Buchanan have spent time behind the hockey mask. The gimmick endures on in the indies today with many small-time wrestlers using it, although the more out-of-shape incarnations (of which there are many) tend to wear full jumpsuits that make them look more like Jason Voorhees, rather than the leather straps of the original.
** The promos hyping the first Lord Humongous (in JerryLawler's Memphis territory) certainly [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLqOwhOxpSw didn't try to hide the fact that they were cashing in]] on TheRoadWarrior.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* BBV's ''Audio Adventures in Time & Space'', starring Sylvester [=McCoy=] as "The Dominie" (originally "the Professor") and Sophie Aldred as "Alice" (originally "Ace"), Ersatzes of ''Series/DoctorWho'''s Seventh Doctor and Ace (also played by [=McCoy=] and Aldred) actually attracted enough attention from the BBC that they had to hurriedly makes some characterization changes, including the new names. (Note that Ace [[TheNicknamer always called the Doctor "Professor"]]).
** Another line of BBV audios starred Nicholas Briggs (who had previously played the Doctor in non-commercial fanvids) as the Traveler.
* ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' isn't allowed to use any characters, monsters or Doctors who appear exclusively in the 2005 ReTool series, so resorts to this on occasion - Noel Clarke (who played Mickey, a companion of the Ninth and Tenth Doctor) shows up playing a very similar character to Mickey in some stories, and GenreShift BritCom episode "The Kingmaker" featured a character who used the Ninth Doctor's CatchPhrase, was described by the other characters as having "[[CharmPoint big ears]]", and played by an impressionist imitating his voice and mannerisms. David Tennant also had a prominent role in the "Dalek Empire" series, before getting cast as the actual Doctor.
** Similarly, the New Eighth Doctor Adventures had been leading slowly up to a big, cataclysmic event involving Daleks, which is very likely the Time War from the revival series, but never called as such due to license issues.
** Another technique used to sneak Nu-Who characters past the copyright radar is to use cast members from the new series in Big Finish's non-''Doctor Who'' ranges. For an example, their audio adaptation of ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}'' features Arthur Darvill (who played the Eleventh Doctor's companion Rory) as Frankenstein, Nicolas Briggs (who plays the voice of the Daleks) as the Monster, and Georgia Moffett (who played the Doctor's OppositeSexClone Jenny in "The Doctor's Daughter", the real-life daughter of Fifth Doctor Peter Davison and the wife of Tenth Doctor David Tennant) as Elizabeth.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The primary setting of ''TabletopGame/MutantsAndMasterminds'', Freedom City, is filled with Captain Ersatzes of the characters from ''ComicBook/AstroCity'', who in turn are mostly obvious equivalents for famous DC and Marvel superheroes. The Freedom City {{sourcebook}} even [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on this by ending with art of a road sign that reads, "You are now leaving Freedom City, please drive carefully", mimicking the ending tag from the ''Astro City'' comics.
** In a picture in the 3E Hero's Handbook, there's even a character wearing a shirt that says "Ersatz" on the front.
* Likewise ''TabletopGame/{{Champions}}'' has many far too many to list: Defender = Iron Man, Doctor Destroyer = Doctor Doom (or occasionally Apocalypse), Foxbat = the silver age Joker. It also has Ersatz cities: Hudson City = Gotham, Millennium City = Metropolis.
* Palladium Books' ''Heroes Unlimited'' states that one of the goals behind making the game was to allow players, if they wished, to make characters based on their favorite superheroes from the comics. While it doesn't flat out tell you how to, the names of various superpowers make it pretty obvious (and easy) to make, for example, a Wolverine[[note]] HealingFactor + Heightened Sense of Smell + Claws + Indestructible Bones[[/note]] or Spider-Man[[note]] Adhesion + Heightened Sense of Awareness + Swing Line[[/note]] clone.
* Looking for 1980s cartoon Captain Ersatzes, then you won't be surprise that ''TabletopGame/CartoonActionHour'' has more than its fair share. For I.E, the Black Widow from "Strikeforce Freedom" is a blonde version of TheBaroness from ''Franchise/GIJoe''.
* The Swedish superhero game ''Supergänget'' (published in English as ''Supercrew'') features some among their quick examples - The Weasel ({{Wolverine}}, but female), The Tomani (Comicbook/IncredibleHulk with a ShoutOut to children's author Christine Nöstlinger) and Tapir Man ([[Franchise/SpiderMan Rhino]], and being a caricature of a friend of the author), among others.
* The card game ''Sentinels of the Multiverse'' features homages to several well-known comic book characters, like Legacy (Superman), the Wraith (a female Batman), Tempest (Aquaman with hints of the Martian Manhunter) and Ra (Thor).
* Various members of the ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' pantheon are based on deities from fantasy fiction.
** Gruumsh, with his orcish followers and eye-shaped holy symbol, is clearly meant to invoke ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''' Sauron.
** Tharizduun, a NeutralEvil deity worshiped by [[EldritchAbomination aberrations]], is modeled on Creator/HPLovecraft's Azathoth, while many of the other aberrant deities resemble other figures in the Franchise/CthulhuMythos.
* Likewise, some ''D&D'' deities are based on deities from old mythologies. The game writers could easily have gotten the rights to these characters, but presumably felt that creating their own analogue deities would give them more freedom, and that any way to avoid making ''D&D'' look like a neopagan cult couldn't hurt.
** Kord, a ChaoticGood BoisterousBruiser deity, resembles Thor in many respects.
** Obad-hai, TrueNeutral nature god, right down to his holy symbol, is a dead ringer for the Anglo-Saxon "Green Man" figure.
** Ehlonna, ChaoticGood goddess of hunters and fey creatures, has a fair bit in common with Artemis.
** ChaoticNeutral Olidamarra is a classic [[TheTrickster Trickster Archetype]], in the vein of the Native North American Coyote spirit, or a pre-FaceHeelTurn Loki, while his NeutralEvil counterpart Mask resembles later versions of Loki.
** Averted by Thrym, ChaoticEvil god of frost giants, who is named for an actual frost giant from a Norse myth.
** Also averted by most of the fiendish overlords, who are named explicitly for the demonized deities that inspired them - Asmodeus, Moloch, Bel, Pazuzu, Dagon, Dispater, etc.
* Also from ''D&D'', the barbarian class basically exists so you can play a ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian'' stand-in. And then there's all the people playing [[Literature/TheLegendOfDrizzt Drizzt]] [[OverusedCopycatCharacter clones]].
* Count Mordrek the Damned from ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' is a Captain Ersatz of recurring villain Gaynor the Damned from various Creator/MichaelMoorcock works.
* Keeper cards in ''Star Fluxx'' include Cute Fuzzy Alien Creature (totally not a Tribble), Intergalactic Travel Guide ("Remain Calm" not "Don't Panic"), Expendable Crewman (whose shirt happens to be red), Energy Crystals (not dilithium). Curiously, the Goal cards are less coy: We're Lost In Space (Malfunction + Stars), Forty-Two, It's Full of Stars, I'm Depressed (Travel Guide + Robot), Seeking New Civilizations, Lasers on Stun!, "He's Dead, Captain", These Aren't the Droids... (Robot + Unseen Force), The Power of the Dark Side (Unseen Force + Evil), No Trouble At All (Cute Fuzzy Alien Creature + Teleport Chamber), Star Warriors (Unseen Force + Laser Sword).
* Victory Games's ''[[Franchise/{{JamesBond}} James Bond 007]]'' RPG used these in some places - [[NebulousEvilOrganization SPECTRE]] became TAROT, and [[DiabolicalMastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld]] became "Karl Ferenc Skorpios".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* James Comtois' play ''Colorful World'' in turn employs second generation Captain Ersatzes of the ''Watchmen'' characters: Overman, Ramses, Tigress, Johnny Patriot, Peacekeeper...
* DogSeesGodConfessionsOfATeenageBlockhead is, of course, not in any way connected to the ''Peanuts'' comic strip, though the characters are CB, CB's Sister, Van, Van's Sister, Beethoven...
* Many Chuckle Brothers live shows feature captain Ersatzes, parodying sagas such as Harry Potter and Indiana Jones. The most notable example though is 'Doctor What and the Return of the Garlics' which features daleks whose top halves have been replaced with giant garlic bulbs.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebComics]]
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' is home to the Sulk, Arachna-Dude, Alloyed-Guy, and the Mediocre Four.
* Done a number of times in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' when it decides to parody certain stories, such as ''Franchise/StarTrek'', ''Franchise/StarWars'', and ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' characters in "[[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=970929 The Sci-Fi Adventure]]" or ''Literature/HarryPotter'' characters [[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=020902 in the growing]] [[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=030915 number of]] [[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=050822 "Torg Potter"]] [[http://pics.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=080305 stories]].
** While on the topic of Sluggy, {{Fans}} brings us, [[http://www.faans.com/index.php?p=2065 Doctor Irving Riffington]].
* Cousin Dougal in ''Webcomic/PlatinumGrit'' is an eight hundred year old sword-wielding immortal Scotsman. And his last name is McWickening.
* ''Webcomic/QuentynQuinnSpaceRanger'' (itself a SpinOff from ''Webcomic/TalesOfTheQuestor'' IN SPACE!) has recently taken a rusty razor blade to the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' franchise. Quentyn meets the crew [[http://www.rhjunior.com/QQSR/00016.html in this strip]].
* The majority of the cast of ''Webcomic/{{Sonichu}}'' consists of ''Sonic'' [[PaletteSwap recolors]]. Firstly, Sonichu is an ersatz that the author made sometime in the 1990s when a teacher wouldn't allow him to use Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog or [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Pikachu]] in a class project due to copyright. There's also Simonla Rosechu, who was originally a (male) FanCharacter created by a troll who's a fan of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', but Chris decided to [[GenderFlip change his gender]] and turn him into a Rosechu before using her in the comic. Add in two characters based off Zelda (Zelina Rosechu, Clawdorf and Darkbind Sonichu), [[Franchise/SailorMoon Sailor Megtune]] and various others. The only characters who seem to be completely original are Kel, a generic Pokémon trainer, and Count Graduon, the AnthropomorphicPersonification of Chris's high school graduation.
* ''[[http://workhate.co.uk/?p=9 Captain Broadband]]'' has a clown pop up at one point to [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial specifically]] inform the audience that Captain Broadband was created long before another blue garbed, {{nigh invulnerab|ility}}le [[TheTick superhero]]
* Mr. Raven from ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' seems a heck of a lot like [[Literature/HarryPotter Snape]].
* ''Webcomic/AttackOfTheSuperWizards'' stars public domain characters, one of whom, Stardust, was created to be an ersatz Franchise/{{Superman}}. The comic also includes ersatz versions of Krypto, Lois Lane, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cthulhu, Alan Moore, and others.
* ''Webcomic/AntiHeroes'' makes no secret about being inspired by ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' and besides having characters in the same style has some fairly similar characters:
** Kaal is pretty much Belkar if he was a ghost,
** Aldran is a magic user like Vaarsuvius and has the DeadpanSnarker personality of Vaarsuvius and Roy and an EvilTwin (or possibly Good Twin), just like Elan.
** Kerris and Lana are both pretty much Haley, except the first is a [[HornyDevils Tiefling]] and the second is a vampire, and Kerris' species also makes her quite similar to the villain Nale's succubus girlfriend, Sabine.
* Batdragon of [[http://www.drunkduck.com/Dragon_City Dragon City]] and his daughter Batdragongirl both fit this trope as they're parodies of Batman and Batgirl (respectively).
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' gives us [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0253.html Larry Gardener]].
** And Zzdtri is a spoof of Drizzt, and his status as an OverusedCopycatCharacter. His first appearance has him dragged away by copyright lawyers, but he later returns having realized that parody is protected under Fair Use.
* ''{{Webcomic/Goblins}}'' has a similar joke, with ''three'' players using obvious copies of Drizzt, including both a {{Gender Flip}}ped version and [[YouWannaGetSued Drasst Don'tsue]], Drizzt's half-brother.
* Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}} is pretty much a female Spider-Man.
* ''Webcomic/SketchComedy'': Independent Music James, [[DieselSweeties obviously]].
* ''Webcomic/EverydayHeroes'' shows an old friend of Mr. Mighty, who is from Mexico, wears a red insect-themed costume, and can change his size. As stated in the author's comments, "Any similarity between this guy and any other [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial insect-themed size-changing Mexican superhero]] (with his own [[ElChapulinColorado TV show]]) is '''''purely''''' coincidental."
* ''Webcomic/{{Cloudscratcher}}'': Future character Valentine is confirmed to be one of "Smooth Criminal"-era Music/MichaelJackson.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Anyone who writes for TheEroticMindControlStoryArchive is [[EnforcedTrope forced to use this trope]] in their fiction. See, Warner Bros. slammed the site with legal threats in 1998 due to fan fiction on the site that used their characters. The site's webmaster deleted almost every single fanfic from the site and hasn't accepted any new fanfics since. Only four fanfics survive on the site to this day, but three of them are ''Franchise/StarTrek'', and the fourth one is ''Series/TheXFiles'', both franchises that are not owned by Warner. Also, all four fics are [[TheArtifact legacy]]; they date from before 1998. To that effect, in the stories labeled "CB: Comic Book Superhero" and "SF: Science Fiction", you'll probably see characters that look exactly like Wonder Woman and Captain Picard, but have completely different names. The EMCSA also overlaps this trope with FandomBerserkButton, as there are several other kinds of fiction banned from the site; however, on the official forums, there's a link to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine that you can use to get at the deleted stories.
* ''Roleplay/OpenBlue'' has "Kukulu", a SuperDeformed copy of Cthulhu, as one of its PowersThatBe. He also happens to be their SeriesMascot.
* ''{{Englishman}}'' uses blatant spoonerised names of any real life individuals who appear.
* ''WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd'' has spawned possibly enough imitators on ''Website/YouTube'' to start a list. Noteworthy mentions include ''WebVideo/TheIrateGamer'' and ''Game Dude''.
** Speaking of ''WebVideo/TheIrateGamer'', one of his recurring characters is Wilkins, who is Wilson from ''Series/HomeImprovement'' in all but (similar) name. He actually debuted as Wilson in the review of the [[SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem Super NES]] ''Series/HomeImprovement'' video game, appropriately enough.
** ''WebVideo/ThirdRateGamer'' has Billy, an obvious parody of ''Irate Gamer's'' side character Tony, complete with a dumb nonsensical catchphrase and being represented by a sprite taken from a browser-based MMORPG (''VideoGame/{{Runescape}}'' rather than ''VideoGame/MapleStory'' here). TRG also makes fun of the part where IG messes up Wilson's name.
* Musical example in popular Website/YouTube spoof series ''WebAnimation/HowItShouldHaveEnded''. Ever since the Franchise/{{Terminator}} episode, they have been using tunes which bear a rather obvious resemblance to the actual soundtrack, even the iconic ones like ''Franchise/StarWars''.
* Quite common in [[{{Slash}} Original Slash]]. [[http://community.livejournal.com/bb_shousetsu Shousetsu Bang* Bang]], an original yaoi magazine on Website/LiveJournal, even has this as one of its rules - "If you're hung up on characters that don't belong to you, change their names and details, AU them, and the Editor will be happy to think of you as one of those people who always draw their seme to look like [[Manga/YuYuHakusho Youko Kurama]]."
* Also, Celsan Automotive LLC on Website/NationStates, who appear to be a sort of copy or {{Homage}} to Nissan, Holden, Peugeot, Opel, Chevrolet in one. Possibly an {{Expy}} too.
* Ever since WebVideo/MarbleHornets came up with totheark, nearly every single [[Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos Slender Man]]-related blog/video series has had a similar character.
* In the ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', there are many. More than many, really. Too many to mention. A short listing includes: Ultra-Man (Franchise/{{Superman}}), Bungie (ComicBook/PlasticMan), Guardsman (Franchise/GreenLantern), Achilles (Franchise/{{Batman}}), Arachne (Franchise/SpiderMan), The Damocles Directive (Comicbook/SuicideSquad), Quantum (Comicbook/CaptainAtom), The Golden Marvel ([[TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] Franchise/{{Superman}}), Morningstar (PowerGirl), and Jock (The Taskmaster). The Neuman Family are pretty obviously a combination of the Comicbook/FantasticFour and Comicbook/PowerPack.
* Doctor Octogonapus, not [[Franchise/SpiderMan Doctor]] [[DoctorOctopus Octopus]], from WebAnimation/TheLazerCollection.
* ''LessThanThreeComics'' is practically made of this trope. From Uncle Sam (Captain America) to Thunderbolt (Thor) to The Shadow (Batman).
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' authors like doing this as spoofs. At [[SuperheroSchool Whateley Academy]] the team The Vindicators is definitely the classic [[ComicBook/TheAvengers Avengers]], with Kismet for the ScarletWitch, Donner as a dopey [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Thor]], Captain Canada! as ComicBook/CaptainAmerica, Donner as Thor, Dynamaxx as ComicBook/IronMan, Lemure as The Vision, and Sizemax as Giant-man. And Elite League are all ersatzes of the animated WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague seven. The Good Ol' Boyz are a parody too, but not of a superhero team.
* ''Literature/{{Curveball}}'' has several: [[CaptainPatriotic Liberty]] for ComicBook/CaptainAmerica, Gladiator for [[ComicBook/{{Watchmen}} Ozymandias]], and [[WretchedHive Farraday City]] for [[ComicBook/SinCity Basin City]].
* Princess Potato from ''WebAnimation/SonicForHire'' is a parody. She says she comes from the Mario knockoff game, "Super Italian Laborer Town".
[[/folder]]
----