->''"We don't need'' two ''stretchy guys down there!"''
-->-- '''John Stewart''', ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited''

A looser adaptation of the FiveManBand. Generally speaking, it's bad form to have two major crew members on the show who essentially perform the same job (unless you have a multi-team HeroesUnlimited situation). That would lead to inevitable comparisons between the two, and probably lots of flame wars.

So any character who starts mirroring another too closely will have a different personality which affects the outcome of their work, or will be given a noticeably different job. One way to do this is to make the two [[TheRival rivals]], competing to be the best at what they do. In this case, usually one is more friendly and laid-back and the other is more serious and stoic.

Does not apply to EvilMinions who sometimes come in faceless dozens, but ''does'' for, say, {{Battle Butler}}s or [[TheDragon Dragons]].

Occasionally, [[ExecutiveMeddling executive pressure]] or plain bad writing will force a character to not ever evolve past their original role, or instead force a new character into it. In the latter case, the original's days are numbered.

Can be avoided from the get-go by an EconomyCast or lampshaded by an EvasiveFightThreadEpisode. This trope falls purely within the RuleOfDrama. In real life, some degree of redundancy is generally considered a ''good'' thing, so that a group isn't crippled if one member with a specialized skill is taken out the picture.

NotSoSimilar is the super trope. Compare DivergentCharacterEvolution, which happens gradually and isn't as deliberate. See also {{Chickification}}, a common cause of which is this trope.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/SailorMoon'''s Minako Aino originally starred in her own manga, ''Manga/CodenameSailorV'', before being absorbed into the series, creating the odd situation where the derived character (Usagi) ended up being the lead. Minako has since undergone DivergentCharacterEvolution: a more outwardly capable but loopy character for the first anime, a straight serious character for the LiveActionAdaptation, and a mostly similar to the manga girl for ''Anime/SailorMoonCrystal''. Pretty much all her incarnations treat her as a veteran, and occasionally showcase her greater experience at being a MagicalGirl than the rest of the Senshi, except for the first anime. The manga, live-action show and later ''Crystal'' show her being serious and knowledgeable, though the manga and ''Crystal'' also give some silly moments; the first anime suggests that ''not being alone'' has loosened her up from the more serious personality she had in earlier seasons, but [[BewareTheSillyOnes shows her being able]] to pull magical girl stunts (like leaping onto second-floor balconies ''from the street outside the house'') while in civilian form.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' tends to use this within the main characters' groups of Pokemon, despite the preponderance of PoorPredictableRock elsewhere in the series. Occasionally, though, Ash will have two different Pokemon with similar powers and movesets; these are usually distinguished by personality.
** The series also had no other main characters with electric Pokemon until Dawn got a Pachirisu.
*** May and Jessie briefly owned a Wurmple each at the same time, though this was likely intentional, as it provided an opportunity to showcase its multiple evolutions.
*** And May eventually ended up getting both a Bulbasaur and a Squirtle--though unlike Ash's, hers eventually evolved.
** Dawn captured an annoyingly powerful Buizel, despite already having the water type Piplup and not even being a battler, while Ash didn't have any on his team. [[IKnewIt Cue rumors that she would eventually trade it to him]].
* Usopp in ''Manga/OnePiece'' was the crew's general inventor and mechanic up until the introduction and joining of Franky, a shipwright who [[WeCanRebuildHim rebuilt himself as a cyborg]]. This was largely resolved (after Sogeking joined the crew) by emphasizing Usopp's role as a sharpshooter and also by having him focus on personal tools and inventions where Franky is more heavy duty with arming the ship and keeping it in condition. They're also drastically different in personality, Usopp being a LovableCoward while Franky is more HotBlooded.
** This is also built into the setting. Two people can't have the same Devil Fruit power at the same time - the fruit won't regrow until the last person who ate it dies.
* Happened a lot in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''. Even though for the exception of ElementalPowers and inherited bloodline techniques anyone can learn anything, each character has between 1-5 special moves that no one outside of their clan or direct MasterApprenticeChain is ever seen using. The biggest example is how at the Ninja Academy, all graduates are required to learn illusory clones and shapeshifting jutsu, but only a handful of ninjas are ever shown using either jutsu even though they all should know both of them.
** The Sharingan gives the user the ability to learn any jutsu after seing it once[[note]]So long as the character is physically capable of using the jutsu, that is.[[/note]] and Kakashi has a reputation of having learned over a thousand jutsus. However, the Sharingan users who appear on screen including Kakashi almost always just use the unique jutsus available exclusively to the Sharingan and almost never use any copied jutsus.
** The most notable example is Sakura/Ino. Both had similar personalities (if anything, Ino was a more extreme version of Sakura), but by being each other's rivals, they became characters in their own respective rights. Character development further separated them. And while Ino has her clan's mind control jutsus, Sakura ends up learning Tsunade's strength enhancement and rapid healing techniques.
** Naruto and Kiba also get this treatment; they have similar personalities (again, Kiba is described as being "even wilder than Naruto" by way of introduction), but have very different power sets in order to differentiate between the two. Later on, they become more separated.
* Completely Averted in ''Manga/DragonBall''. Every character has the same powers, with only one or two special moves differentiating them. But by the end of the series, everyone has either taught each other their unique moves, or developed something that essentially does the same thing. Whoever has the highest PowerLevel is the best in speed, power, endurance and Ki attacks. There are some fighters who are particularly fast/strong/durable ''for a being with their power level'' (i.e. Burter's exceptional travel speed,Frieza's ungodly endurance) but even so rule of thumb is that this can be rendered irrelevant by having sufficiently stronger Ki.
** In ''Z'', there are still some deviations, such as Dabura having magical abilities, Guldo having Time-stopping powers, Majin Buu's unique body texture, and Ginyu's body switch, but generaly these are secondary tools to assist them in their flight-and blast based fighting style.
** In short, besides color and hand motions, there's virtually no difference between a Kamehameha, Gallick Gun, Final Flash, or Masenko. The damage they inflict has little to do with the technique itself, instead it's all about how much Ki the user can pour into it. This is averted somewhat with Krillin's signature move, Destructo Disk, which can slice virtually anything in half, even things that Krillin should generally be too weak to destroy, like parts of Frieza's body. However, it's pretty slow and unwieldy and generally misses unless its target is distracted, thus making it a bit of a MightyGlacier in that world.
** An exception to this rule was when USSJ Trunks was stated to be more powerful than Perfect Cell but too slow to hit him.
** ''Dragon Ball Super'' plays the trope straight, however, by introducing many characters with unique, more esoteric abilities. For instance, during the Universe 6 VS 7 tournament, only ''two'' of the Universe 6 figters fit the "profile" of a traditional fighter, while the three others have unique impact absorbtion, Time- Skipping, and mecha-fueled powersets.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* As noted above, there's been a running gag in Franchise/TheDCU over the years about the Franchise/{{Justice League|of America}}'s two "stretchy guys," Plastic Man and Ralph "Elongated Man" Dibny, who have the same powers and similarly light-hearted personalities. (The Elongated Man was created as a CaptainErsatz of Plastic Man, whose creator was unaware that DC had acquired the rights to Plas) DC separated the characters by emphasizing that Elongated Man was also a brilliant detective, and exaggerating Plastic Man's fun-loving side to the point of outright lunacy (at one point Plas says about Ralph, "Nice guy, but someone left the door open and his personality just bolted"). DC seemed to be doing away with the confusion by making Ralph darker and moodier, arguably to the character's detriment, before concluding this character arc by having him die in a HeroicSacrifice. And more recently, [[spoiler:Ralph and his wife have returned as crime-fighting ghosts]]. Which is ... quite different indeed.
** The JLA used the rule of "no two people can have the same power" to keep Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman out of the League for over a decade. Her husband eventually put his foot down about it. Of course, under that rule (as Scott Tipton once put it), the entire League should consist of [[FlyingBrick Superman]], [[GreenLanternRing Green Lantern]], [[GadgeteerGenius the Atom]], Wonder Woman (only for the whip of truth) and ''possibly'' [[TheChessmaster Batman]] (the Atom's already pretty damn smart, [[BatmanGambit but not in the same way]]).
*** Diana has an unbreakable lasso, which in some versions can be used to compel truth-telling; a bit more than a "whip of truth." (There are also versions in which she is highly fire-resistant, is possibly immortal, has access to perfect regeneration technology, can travel to realms of myth and story, and/or can communicate with birds.)
** The whole Plastic Man/Elongated Man thing is lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'', where the two are fighting baddies together while arguing which one of them Batman likes more. In the end, Batman shows up and says that he doesn't really like either of them.
** Thing is, EM/Plastic Man don't have the same abilities. Elongated Man is a "stretchy guy who happens to be a genius detective-type". Plastic Man basically IS plastic, and can control/reshape every molecule in his body. Plus being nigh-invulnerable and seemingly immortal (3000ish years old and still going strong). Of course, this is deliberate DivergentCharacterEvolution specifically created in ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightStrikesAgain''.
** This also happened a fair bit with Superman and ComicBook/MartianManhunter. During the early Silver Age ''Justice League'' issues, Martian Manhunter was given very similar powers to Superman (a FlyingBrick with heat vision), and mostly got used as a stand-in. Later runs and alternate takes tend to make his FlyingBrick powers more incidental (though still fairly impressive) in favor of focusing on his shapeshifting, density control, and telepathy.
* Back during UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}}, Superman and the Flash were almost equally fast, with the Flash only winning a race with Superman after two draws. Modern comics have made the Flash much faster than Superman to balance out Superman having a lots of other superpowers besides just running fast. Flash [[http://i49.tinypic.com/2cg0kgl.jpg makes it clear that he wasn't even close to going all-out at the time]].
-->'''Flash:''' Those races were for charity, Clark.
* ''ComicBook/NewSuperMan'' acknowledges this in-universe when Kenan Kong and [[Franchise/TheFlash Avery Ho]] have a race. Avery notes that while Kenan has a whole range of powers, he's not going to beat her at [[SuperSpeed her one and only thing.]]
* ''ComicBook/LegionOfSuperHeroes'' used to have an explicit rule that every member had to have an unique power; they've loosened up on this, although they still mostly abide by it in practice.
** It's a particularly artificial limitation in the Legion's case, as many of their members have powers shared by ''everyone on their planet''.
** And Karate Kid, who [[BadassNormal doesn't even have any powers of his own]]. When the Legion was going to veto on him, he showed them that while he doesn't have any ''super'' powers, he can literally kick ass in about a thousand different ways. The Legion then decided to change their minds and induct him. Fans have since joked that his power is being able to make Superboy tap out.
* In the ''ComicBook/XMen'' verse, it has become formulaic for every team to have a telepath, powerhouse, energy blaster, and/or one member who won the SuperpowerLottery. And if not a telepath, then an animalistic mutant... at least before WolverinePublicity [[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/219810 flew out of control.]]
* In the ComicBook/FantasticFour both Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) and Ben Grimm (The Thing) are highly intelligent and honored scholars and scientists, but everyone likes to focus on Ben's physical strength rather than his brain and the result is that the Thing very often comes off as BookDumb.

* Done in the ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'' (the comics... not so much). According to the features, some characters were never used for precisely this reason. At least before the character flood in ''Film/XMenTheLastStand''.
* Curiously averted in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'': Tony Stark describes said team to [[BigBad Loki]] as "your brother the demi-god; a super soldier, a living legend who kind of lives up to the legend; a man with breath-taking anger management issues [and] a couple of master assassins" (Black Widow and Hawkeye). In the comics, Hawkeye is slightly more 'wacky' and wisecracking, but with Iron Man having taken over as the movieverse's brash rascal, Hawkeye has lost that quality, putting him in the same category as "dour government hitman" Black Widow. To compensate, Hawkeye is more of [[TheQuietOne a quiet]] sniper type, although once he's out of Loki's mind control, he's [[DeadpanSnarker making casual jokes]]. ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' gives Hawkeye the role of being the everyman the team needs to stay grounded. [[spoiler: He's revealed to have a wife and children.]]
* According to the writers, this is one of the reasons Comicbook/TheWasp had her role cut from ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'' (in addition to other factors like [[Creator/EvangelineLilly her actress]] being pregnant and Marvel not wanting her debut to be overshadowed by Comicbook/BlackPanther and Comicbook/SpiderMan). It was felt that she'd make Comicbook/AntMan seem kind of redundant, since she can do practically everything Ant-Man does ''and'' fly and fire {{Hand Blast}}s.
* The live-action ''{{Film/Tekken}}'' adaptation featured both Eddie Gordo and Christie Monteiro. In the games, they are palette-swaps of each other with identical capoeira-based styles. In the film, Eddie remains a capoeira technician while Christie is now trained in Mixed Martial Arts.

* Downplayed in the ''Drizzt Do'Urden'' novels. Of the five main characters (six counting the mascot), four are skilled melee fighters. It's broken up by having one of them being far and away the best technical fighter; one of them being monstrously strong; another being a tough, tactical group-fighter; and [[TheChick the fourth]] usually doing ranged support. Later, one leaves, and another shows an interest in magic, while a third gets older and starts attending as much to his political duties as his military ones.
* The Weasley twins of ''Literature/HarryPotter'' are wisecracking pranksters with TwinBanter, but Fred is a bit crueler and George is a bit more sensitive.
* In the introduction to ''Literature/SpeakerForTheDead'', Creator/OrsonScottCard discusses how he accomplished this:
-->My immediate task was to differentiate clearly between Novinha's children when the reader first encounters them. I sat there in the room I shared with Gregg, assigning some immediate and obvious trait to each of the children that would help the reader keep track of them. Oh, yes, Olhado is the one with the metal eyes; Quara is the one who says outrageous things after long silences; Grego is the violent one; Quim is the religious fanatic; Ela is the weary mother-figure; Miro is the eldest son, the hero in the others' eyes. These "hooks" could only serve to introduce the children--I'd have to develop them far beyond that point--but having found those hooks, I had a plan that would let me proceed with confidence.
* In the ''Literature/StarDarlings'' book series, every Star Darling has their own unique power to help with wish-granting, such as Cassie being able to turn invisible or Gemma being able to rewind time.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The last season of ''Series/{{Angel}}'' put a second ensouled vampire champion on the same show; they went the [[TheRival rivals]] direction with it and gave Angel, who previously thought of himself as unique, a bit of an identity crisis. This one is justified by a pre-existing rivalry between them dating back to ''Buffy'''s second season.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** The split between Buffy and Faith can fit this trope. Buffy essentially has what Faith envies - a loving family and close friendships, which prompts the latter to seek out those with the season's villain.
** Same with Kendra and Buffy, with Kendra being a very by-the-books Slayer and using more gymnastics in her fighting style. Also between any two Watchers.
** While Giles is made fun of because of his BritishStuffiness, he's a lot more laid back compared to Wesley (at least before his character development), as well as having a dark past. Gwendolyn Post, a rogue Watcher, is also seen as incredibly stuffy even compared to Giles and Wesley. {{Lampshaded}} when Ms. Post first shows up.
--->'''Ms. Post''': The council feels you've become a bit too. . . ''American.''
--->'''Giles''': Me?
--->'''Buffy''': ''Him?!''
** Willow and Tara, both witches in the Scooby Gang, were set apart by their usage of magic. As Willow grew in power as a witch, she used her powers more often, whereas Tara would only use her magic for support or in dire situations. Willow also had the benefit of being a skilled computer hacker, but she used those skills less as the show went on. Tara was also a natural witch, while Willow had picked it up along the way.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' does a lot of this, and follows the trope by making the pair have very different personalities. Peter good, Sylar evil. Claire good, Adam evil. HRG good[ish], Bob evil. Matt good, his father evil. Oddly enough though, Nathan and West are very similar people, the only differences being their ages, Nathan does his domineering sneakily whereas West does it to Claire's face, and West isn't meant to be seen as domineering.
* {{Lampshaded}} in the 4th-season ''Series/DesperateHousewives'' episode "In Buddy's Eyes":
-->'''Bree''': (to Katherine) Here's the thing you need to understand about me and my friends. We each have our niche. Gabrielle's the glamorous one, Susan's the adorable one, Lynette's smart, Edie's ... Edie, and I'm the domestic one, the organizer, the one who knows that there are three tines on a dessert fork, and the one who gets teased for that. That's who I am. And that's also who you are.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Two characters can contact the dead, but in different ways and with much different personalities. One is a dour DeadpanSnarker who can hear a person's final thoughts if he's near the body. The other is a lovable goof who encounters and talks to ghosts.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' runs into this problem whenever scientific companions are created:
** The show gave this as reason for writing out Liz Shaw, a ScienceHero companion who was almost as clever as the Doctor and who he treated like an equal. The argument was that she was necessarily not as good at science as the Doctor (seeing as he was an alien ImpossibleGenius) but also too strong and intelligent to have her catching the DistressBall without it eroding her personality, meaning her gimmick was that she could do everything the Doctor could but not quite as well. The team replaced her with an [[TwistedAnkle ankle-twisting]] DumbBlonde who was a more physical heroine than Liz was and tended to get more good scenes of sneaking around, doing 'escapology' and [[TapOnTheHead breaking vases over people's heads]] (and fewer good scenes of her doing chemistry and outwitting enemies, naturally).
** Later (and earlier) companions who had being scientific geniuses as their hat tended to be contrasted to the Doctor by terms of having a major personality quirk that modifies how they use their knowledge - Susan was fearful and childish unlike the reckless and grandpaternalistic Doctor; Vicki tended to be foolhardy and emotional; Zoe was naive and while she was more knowledgeable than the Doctor she wasn't as good as him at applying the knowledge. K-9 is a LiteralMinded RobotDog with none of the Doctor's social skills, wit or planning ability; Romana is convinced of her own superiority to everyone else and has no experience of life outside of her privilege; Adric is impulsive, [[FailureHero ineffectual]] and gullible; Nyssa is sheltered; Turlough is devious; Ace was undereducated at everything except explosive chemistry and River is a mysterious ActionGirl.
** In the Classic series where companions were [[WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants subbed in and out spontaneously]] depending on [[RealLifeWritesThePlot real life circumstances]], you would occasionally run into companions encroaching on each other's plot territory:
*** Ben and Polly are a complimentary young handsome ActionHero/young beautiful insightful heroine pair, and the spontaneous addition of Jamie (another young handsome ActionHero) watered down the dynamic a tad. Most of the scripts while Ben and Jamie share companionship focus on Jamie's Scottishness and relative youth to differentiate them, but the writers clearly were struggling to use them both. "The Macra Terror" goes so far as to use them as rivals, a dynamic that probably would have continued had Ben and Polly stayed longer.
*** Harry Sullivan was added to compliment Sarah Jane by being an ActionHero as they were going to swap out the Doctor from an experienced martial artist to a distant and calculating character played by an elderly actor. When some fool decided instead to cast a 6'4 former brickie younger than any Doctor cast thus far, Harry was (by the admission of the producers) left with nothing to do. The answer was to give the action scenes to the Doctor, capitalise mostly on Harry's medical background and [[WhatDoesThisButtonDo slight stupidity]], and give Sarah Jane the DistressBall.
*** K-9 was added to justify the expense in building a robot dog prop for a small role in a one-shot story. This was generally awkward as his main gimmicks (SuperSenses, being LiteralMinded, carrying a weapon) were shared by Leela, and his others (maths and science knowledge, computer literacy, superior resilience, alien perspective) were shared with the Doctor. It is not uncommon, even after Leela's substitution with Romana, for K-9 to be left out of stories due to having [[AbsenteeActor nothing to do that the other characters can't do better]].
*** Adric was intended to serve as a counterpoint to the Fourth Doctor, who by that point had developed into an imposing, hyper-competent, quasi-mystical force of nature, and so he was made emotionally impulsive and vulnerable to ground the Doctor somewhat. When Nyssa, an alien scientist, was added, his super-genius skills became redundant (especially since Nyssa was good at other things than just maths) and when the Doctor regenerated into the more vulnerable and flawed Fifth Doctor his flawed-hero side became redundant as well. Again, this led to him being left out of plots due to having nothing to do.
** This was a major problem for the Daleks and the Cybermen - keeping the two AlwaysChaoticEvil {{Cyborg}} monsters clearly delineated has been hard work for most eras. The Cybermen are interested in [[AssimilationPlot assimilation]] and the Daleks in genocide? Fine, except the Daleks assimilate humans in "Revelation of the Daleks" and the new series, and early Cybermen are quite into genocide. The Daleks are emotional beings while the Cybermen are completely emotionless? Except the Daleks' lack of emotion is central to "Destiny of the Daleks" and the new series explicitly says they have every emotion removed except hate, while Cybermen become extremely emotional (bordering on LargeHam) in the 1980s to the point where the explanation was that they have every emotion removed except rage. You can defeat Cybermen with ThePowerOfLove while Daleks laugh in the face of it? Daleks get defeated with love too, in "Evil of the Daleks" and "Victory of the Daleks". Cybermen can masquerade as humans while Daleks pretend to be good? Daleks have made humans into Dalek agents, or humanoid Dalek robots, in both the Moffat era and the Verity Lambert era, and Cybermen have pretended to be good in stories like "Army of Ghosts" and "Dark Water". Ultimately, there have been enough Cybermen stories using Daleks and enough Dalek stories using Cybermen that, taken as a whole, the two races are mostly aesthetically different. [[EraSpecificPersonality Each era has its own idea of how to differentiate them]], and each of those eras is contradicted in some other one.
* Something that became a problem from Season Three of ''Series/TheFlash2014'' onwards as the writers starting introducing the iconic speedsters from the comics besides Barry: Jay Garrick, Jesse Quick, and of course Wally West; that's four heroes with the same powers in total. But Jay and Jesse are from parallel Earths so they are often CommutingOnABus, while Wally isn't. The way they resolved this was to put Wally on a bus in Season 4, so he could transfer over to ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'' and make Ralph Dibney, Barry's sidekick for the new season.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* In The Kingdom's [[Wrestling/RingOfHonor home promotion]], Mike Bennett and Matt Taven were {{heel}}s who drew heat by imitating past ROH acts such as Wrestling/CMPunk and the [[Wrestling/MattHardy Hardy]] [[Wrestling/JeffHardy Boyz]]. While the latter was halfway justified in Wrestling/MattHardy being a former member of the group, Wrestling/{{New Japan|ProWrestling}} already had heel PowerStable called Wrestling/BulletClub that not only represented "[[Wrestling/EagleLand American]]" style wrestling but frequently imitated older acts such as the Wrestling/{{n|ewWorldorder}}Wo and Wrestling/DGenerationX. Furthermore, Bullet Club had soared in popularity in the United States to the point of being booked as faces in their Ring of Honor appearances at the time and said appearances including a feud with The Kingdom. So when New Japan took in The Kingdom, it presented them as baby {{face}}s to continue the feud between the two stables, and despite being among the most reviled groups of ROH, ''[[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff it worked]]''.
* {{Wrestling/Carmella}} and Liv Morgan are both girls with {{Joisey}} gimmicks. Carmella is from Staten Island, favours BrooklynRage and upon her FaceHeelTurn on the main roster, is an AlphaBitch obsessed with being fabulous. Liv Morgan is more of a {{Tomboy}} and PluckyGirl.

* From the [[TheBible Book Of Revelations]], the Four Horsemen were Conquest, War, Famine and Death, in that word. None were explicitly named, however, except Death. In part because Conquest and War overlapped, but also because of the Black Plague, Conquest was replaced with Pestilence.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Traditional parties of player characters in any tabletop RPG will tend to have three to five people filling specialized roles going on adventures; this tends to overlap with AnAdventurerIsYou with everyone being a different class.
* The gameplay [[PlanetOfHats Hat]] of the [[OurElvesAreBetter Eldar]] army list in ''[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Warhammer 40k]]'', and to a lesser extent the High Elves in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}''. Each unit will have a specific situation or a specific foe they are very good at dealing with, winning relies on [[MisfitMobilizationMoment getting very varied elements of the army working together perfectly to handle any foe]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{Monster of the Week}}'', a game about monster hunting in the vein of ''[[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]]'' or ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' using the basic ''TabletopGame/ApocalypseWorld'' engine, explicitly enforces this: by the rules, each player has to pick a different Hunter archetype, so there can be at most one e.g. Chosen, Expert, Professional, or Wronged, bringing not only their own specialized moves but also built-in different perspectives to the hunt. (This does have the practical benefit of making it easier to print out a full set of archetype-specific "playbooks" -- basically pre-customized character sheets -- because one copy of each should be sufficient.)
* ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' enforces the trope in universe. While it's absolutely possible to play several Garou of the same Auspice (class) together without the roles overlapping and even get some synergy out of it, packs with all five Auspices are regarded as more balanced and only a pack with all five can gain Phoenix' favor and become the legendary Silver Pack.

* ''{{Transformers}}'':
** The franchise has this in spades in order to [[MerchandiseDriven sell more toys]]. No {{omnidisciplinary scientist}}s here - the original series' Autobots had a theoretician (Skids), a metallurgist (Swerve), an engineer (Wheeljack), and more. Sadly, the fiction often treats this as an InformedAbility.
** It also [[PlayingWithATrope flip-flops]] on body designs, which are often reused to reduce the cost of introducing LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters. Some characters in one series will share a mold, but later have different designs entirely. One example is with twins Sunstreaker and Sideswipe, whose 2008 ''Universe'' figures are the same mold, but with slightly different transformations; the chest of one is the back of the other. Meanwhile, Bumblebee and Cliffjumper were originally entirely different molds but more often than not now are simple recolors, occasionally with different heads.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Some players of the superhero MMORPG ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' may avoid having more than one person on the team with the same powers or even the same class to avoid redundancy, especially as a team can only have up to eight members. On the other hand, there are cases when such redundancy may be desired if the superpowers have effects that can easily be stacked on a foe, such as with [[StandardStatusEffects status effects]] when used against highly resistant foes.
* In other [=MMOs=], this is where hybrid classes truly shine, especially in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' where players can now take two specializations. For example, if an offensive-casting or melee Druid joins a party that already has strong DPS, she can be the healer or Tank instead, depending on what's needed more.
* In ''VideoGame/MegaMan9'', Mega Man lost his slide and charged shots so that he could play more like he did in the first two games. His lost abilities were instead given to Proto Man, who has the additional ability to block enemy fire while jumping. These differences were retained for the next game, which also included Bass, who can dash and has no DenialOfDiagonalAttack. Mega Man, however, does have an advantage over them by being the only character capable of using the {{Bonus Boss}}es' weapons.
* Slightly different, but fits here: The original ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' featured multiple PaletteSwap PlayerCharacter units, including the identical-portrait Saji and Maji (Bord and Cord in English). Remakes of that game and sequels with the same cast thankfully changed all of that (Bord and Cord have different tunic styles and are looking different directions now).
** The sixth, seventh and tenth games do this with their Dancer-style party members. They all serve the same gameplay function, to give an ally an extra turn, and for obvious reasons only one can be on the battlefield at a time. In the sixth, you have Elphin the quiet, reserved Bard [[spoiler: who turns out to be [[KingIncognito the prince of Etruria in hiding]]]] and Lalum the cheerful flirty dancer, who are MutuallyExclusivePartyMembers. In the seventh, the similarities bewtween Nils and Ninian are justified by them being siblings, but Nils is a bard who uses MagicMusic while Ninian is a softspoken Dancer. The tenth game, Radiant Dawn, has ''three'' Herons, and this time the differences make their way into the gameplay: Raphael's chants ''always'' refresh 4 allies, [[MightyGlacier the tradeoff being that he moves slowly and can't fly]], Leanne can refresh two allies at once (either left and right or up and down), while Reyson can only refresh one ally normally but 4 while transformed.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' has always featured Reimu, a [[{{Miko}} shrine maiden]], who is tasked with hunting youkai and preventing them from causing trouble. Terminally selfish and lazy, Reimu sees these duties as an annoying chore, and puts little effort into her training, instead relying entirely on her [[TheGift ridiculously powerful talents]] and family tools (and she originally hadn't even bothered to learn how to use either of those). Further, she's a staunch NayTheist; as a shrine maiden, she ''should'' be establishing good relations with the gods so that they'll loan her their power, ''should'' be encouraging the people's faith in the gods so they have more power to give her... but Reimu simply can't be bothered, no matter how many youkai mock her about it. [[GrumpyBear Reimu outright believes]] [[HardWorkHardlyWorks that effort is not rewarded]]. This trope came into play when a second miko was introduced to the setting, and she was almost completely different. Sanae is dearly devoted to (and [[PalsWithJesus very friendly with]]) the two {{Physical God}}s of her shrine and glad to work for them, whether in personal service, promoting faith among the people, or hunting youkai. Sanae was born with incredible power like Reimu, but instead of random human talent, her talents are divine in origin, as one of her goddesses is also her ancestor (though Sanae was left in the dark about this until a later game); her own diligence in training her powers actually earned her the status of "deified human" from people praying to ''her'' as well as her goddesses. Finally, Sanae was born and raised in the normal, modern world outside of Gensokyo, and so brings a very different perspective to the crazy inhabitants and events of that land.
* Zelos Wilder and Kratos Aurion in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' have nearly indistinguishable battle skills, but the former is a laid-back and good-humored ClassicalAntiHero while the latter is a prudent and easily frustrated NinetiesAntiHero. [[spoiler: They're also mutually exclusive to use at the end of the game.]]
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' usually will have well-balanced parties with one character of each Job, and plenty of variation of characters' personalities to keep everything interesting. There are sometimes problems, though.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasy'' expects you to play with a mixed party of four different Jobs, so a very common SelfImposedChallenge is to get through the game with all four Heroes of Light of the same Job. The game's already difficult, but doing this will make it ridiculously hard.
** Rydia in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' learns both White and Black magic at the beginning of the game, but when she rejoins your party (which by now contains Rosa, a dedicated White Mage), she states she can't use White Magic any more.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', Lenna's special thing is that she loves animals and will do anything to help wind drakes. When Krile, who can ''talk'' to animals, joins the party, Lenna comes off as a lot less impressive in comparison. Possibly lampshaded when ''both'' she and Krile end up romantically passing out wading through poisoned grass to help a dragon (which should be a job for one of them at most), and Bartz complains that everyone here seems really highly strung.
** Terra and Celes in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' are functionally equivalent in gameplay, with the same equipment sets, extremely similar stats (Celes is slightly more physical and Terra slightly more magical, but only by a couple of points), nearly identical Desperation attacks and equal-but-opposite [[ElementalRockPaperScissors element]] skill learning trees. Their only significant difference is that Terra's special ability is the power-boosting Morph and Celes' is the magic-draining Runic. Since Terra is the protagonist of the game's first half and Celes the protagonist of its second (with Terra even being an OptionalPartyMember by that point), their interchangeability means you always have a versatile JackOfAllStats around.
** An attempt to subvert this in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' was the reason Aerith ended up dead. The scenario team had decided that the big emotional moment should be a PlotlineDeath that leaves a sense of [[AnyoneCanDie powerlessness]] and [[KilledOffForReal loss]], rather than the more conventional DyingMomentOfAwesome approach most games use, and the party was (at that time) a trio with two physically-orientated male characters (Cloud and Barret) and a magic-specialising female character (Aerith). The only candidate who could be killed off without destroying the game was Barret (Cloud, a HeroProtagonist, [[PlotArmor couldn't be killed]]), so they decided to kill off Aeris instead, hoping the unbalanced party that resulted would lead players to feel uncomfortable without her. The party size and Job mechanics were changed later in development to minimise this aspect, but it is still a shock to lose the game's only dedicated spellcaster.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' has two Summoners in the party who are both {{White Mage}}s. While they're distinct enough in personality (Garnet is a sheltered princess with a love of knowledge, while Eiko is a spirited BrattyHalfPint) their abilities are similar. But to distinguish them in battle, Garnet favours summon magic and Eiko white magic. Eiko can learn many spells Garnet can't, and vice-versa. This also helps them to distinguish from Vivi, a ''black'' mage, who uses more traditional offence magic to deal damage, like fireballs and giant asteroids of death.
** One of the reasons why Kimahri ends up being a forgettable MasterOfNone in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' is that the game's battle mechanic is based around giving you highly specialised characters, and allowing you to switch between them freely to suit whatever situation has come up. Kimahri has a very short Sphere Grid path, and then must go along someone else's stat tree to continue growing, so his stats end up being the exact same as someone else's but noticeably worse. This makes him superfluous except for the part where you're forced to use him solo for plot reasons.
** ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' is a MascotFighter featuring the main heroes and main villains of ''Final Fantasy'' titles, which results in it dealing with a lot of these problems, since those roles tend to fit similar templates (pretty young men with [[HeroesPreferSwords big swords]] on the hero side, LargeHam mages on the villains'). However, the game does an admirable job keeping the characters' personalities and play styles distinct, with or without some DependingOnTheWriter AlternateCharacterInterpretation to reinforce this. For just one example, Kefka, Sephiroth and Kuja all have remarkably similar backstories and a lot in common in personality; ''Dissidia'' makes them different by focusing on Sephiroth's FallenHero aspect, Kuja's more NobleDemon characteristics, and Kefka's MonsterClown demeanor.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''WebComic/{{Homestuck}}'', your [[CharacterClassSystem Title]] is determined by a Class and Aspect. In a [=SBURBan=] session, no two players will ever share a Class or an Aspect in order to guarantee variation in what the players are capable of.
* In ''WebComic/EightBitTheater'', Drizz'l was originally characterized as being TheDitz on par with Fighter. Not long after, he joined the Dark Warriors, who already had a comedy moron character in Bikke. As a result, he became the OnlySaneMan.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'' has built up a number of secondary characters over the sequels, one of the most popular being Ali, a girl who is the same species of dinosaur as Littlefoot. However, despite her popularity, she has not shown up more than twice and when a guest character was elevated to main character for the TV show, Chomper was picked instead. Admittedly he was popular in his own right, but the likelihood that the writers did not want two characters of the same species in the main group was probably a factor.
* [[TropesAreTools Unfortunately]] averted in the old ''{{WesternAnimation/Superfriends}}'' series, [[http://www.seanbaby.com/superfriends/hawkman.htm as Seanbaby notes]]. Hawkman and Hawkgirl could fly, but so could most of the other heroes on the show (even Flash when the animators were forgetful).
-->"If you're a Super Friend, being able to fly is like being able to break a graham cracker along the line... All the Super Friends who can't fly can just hop in a little supercar or something invisible that flies... Regular people can't fly, but they can kick Hawkman's pigeon ass as soon as he lands."
** Played straight as well, with Aquaman, and with just as unfortunate results. While Aquaman is strongest around open water he still has super strength and resilience out of water. Apparently worried that he would make Superman obsolete (yeah, right) the writers downplayed his non-aquatic powers to the point that he became basically helpless. Spending most of his time as a [[DistressedDude male version of the Damsel In Distress]] quickly dropped him to [[TheScrappy Scrappy status]].
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' has both ComicBook/PlasticMan and ComicBook/ElongatedMan, who are rivals and accuse each other of being the other's PoorMansSubstitute who Batman only asks for help when the other is busy. Plastic Man even refers to Elongated Man as his "D-list doppelganger".
* ''WesternAnimation/AllGrownUp'' had to deal with Phil and Lil of ''{{WesternAnimation/Rugrats}}'' growing into teenagers when they had previously both been interchangeable twin babies who loved gross things. In the spin-off, Phil still openly loves the gross and bizarre, while Lil is desperate to fit in and hides that part of her personality.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' eventually featured two villains who were {{Shadow Archetype}}s to Twilight Sparkle before ultimately make a HeelFaceTurn: [[ThemeNaming Sunset Shimmer and Starlight Glimmer]]. The difference between them is that Sunset Shimmer is a more direct counterpart (also being a previous student to the show's PhysicalGoddess) and TheAtoner who must constantly prove to everyone, including her friends and allies, that she's not slipping back into her old ways. Meanwhile, Starlight Glimmer is a variation of EvilCannotComprehendGood, hardly knowing anything about friendship and having to be taught how to be a good person...er, pony. Additionally, Sunset Shimmer is relegated to the [[HighSchoolAU alternate dimension]] ''WesternAnimation/EquestriaGirls'' [[{{Spinoff}} spin-off]] films and specials, where she has the benefit of being the main protagonist from the second movie onwards. In contrast, Starlight Glimmer is one character out of many in the EnsembleCast of the show's main universe and is under the tutelage of Twilight Sparkle.
* PlayedForLaughs in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/PenguinsOfMadagascar'', where Private, after over indulges in brined herring, starts turning into what Kowalski calls "a fish-crazy psychopath". Rico protests "Hey! That's ''my'' thing!", to which Skipper agrees they don't need ''two'' of those.
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' started off with a team of three, Aqualad the [[MakingASplash hydrokinetic]], Kid Flash with SuperSpeed and Robin the BadassNormal PlayfulHacker. This also seems to be the cause of AdaptionalWimp for Superboy and Miss Martian, to keep either from making the other redundant, as his major focus is SuperStrength (lacking in flight, eyebeams, and telekinetic abilities common to the character) while she keeps her flight, shapeshifting, and psychic powers at the cost of her own strength. When Artemis is introduced it's mentioned that after Speedy refused membership in the team that they could use an archer to fill a gap in the teams skillset, though they also mention that they don't have a quota on archers and will happily accept Speedy/Red Arrow back into the group if he ever wants to join them. It's later shown that Aqualad's limited magic leaves another skill gap, which is later filled with Zatanna.
* The concept is discussed in ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers''. When forming the Revenge Society, Phantom Limb brings up S.P.A.W.M., "an acronym for the classic panoply of powers every professional villain team needs." It stands for [[Main/SuperSpeed Speed]], [[Main/SuperStrength Power]], [[Main/BlowYouAway Air]], [[Main/MakingASplash Water]], (or Wind or Weather--the point is there needs to be an elemental) and [[Main/WizardsAndWitches Magic]].