%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1306513838092280100
%% Please do not change or replace without starting a new thread.
%%
[[quoteright:350:[[FinalFantasy http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chocoboes2_5446.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:Chocobos. Notice how it started with "II"? When they remade the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI first game]], they discreetly put these birds in, too.[[note]]From the games ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII III]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV IV]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyMysticQuest Mystic Quest]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyV V]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI VI]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII VII]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics Tactics]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII VIII]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX IX]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX X]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI XI]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII XII]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIIRevenantWings Revenant Wings]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII XIII]]''.]][[/note]]-]

For many {{Series}}, especially VideoGame ones, [[NonLinearSequel the various incarnations are only vaguely related to each other]]. The works may take place on different worlds, feature entirely different characters and have very different stories. In fact, it's only the name of the work that connects it with the previous ones at all...

Only usually it isn't. Most {{Non Linear Sequel}}s or ThematicSeries will have a character, [[RecurringRiff theme]], monster, or item that is emblematic of the series and remains constant. Note that this is often ''not'' the ''same'' character, theme, etc. Sometimes only the name will remain the same. Sometimes there will be a character "inspired by" the original much like a SpiritualSuccessor. In all cases the recurring element is not tied to a particular world, but simply shows up in each installment of the series.

These elements aren't explicit [[{{Expy}} Expies]], but they serve the same purpose in aesthetics, narrative, or function, or gameplay in the case of video games. Some are officially acknowledged, some are so evident they are given {{Fanon}} names, and others are just there.

This does not cover gameplay similarities, as those go without saying.

See RecurringRiff for music examples, and MascotMook for the enemy monster version of this. Also see MythologyGag, which is where a single work has a reference to another, but there is no example that covers an entire series.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* The Franchise/{{Gundam}} franchise always has a Haro and a CharClone.
* Creator/{{CLAMP}} works and Mokona.
* A ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' anime run will always involve a [[GogglesDoNothing goggle-wearing]] hero with ShonenHair[[note]]with the exception of [[Anime/DigimonSavers Masaru]][[/note]] partnered with a lizard {{mon}}, a [[TransformationTrinket Digivice]] of some description, and some form of temporary evolution of the partnered mons [[SuperEmpowering invoked by]] their humans, also usually wearing blue.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Pretty much everything about ''Franchise/TheCrow'' and its sequels. The basic plot is always the same (Protagonist is killed by bad guys, along with someone else close to him, revenge ensues) and all the protagonists' names reference crow or raven ([[Film/TheCrow Draven]], [[Film/TheCrowCityOfAngels Corven]], [[Film/TheCrowSalvation Corvis]], [[TheCrowWickedPrayer Cuervo]]). Note that the first two are (very) loosely connected, with one recurring character, although played by a different actress.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* Douglas Coupland's books recycle small elements in different ways:
** The name of a minor character may become the name of a major/main character in a later book. Lisa is a recurring name for minor characters.
** Backpacking across Europe (and making fun of it) has come up in multiple books.
* The various ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels take place in wildly different parts of the eponymous world, with different casts, in different time periods -- but they all have the same [[/folder]]

[[folder: [[The Grim Reaper Death ]]
]]. (Well, except during ''[[DeathTakesAHoliday Reaper Man]]''.)

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* All ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' and ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' seasons involve a FiveManBand (or occasionally a PowerTrio) ColorCodedForYourConvenience, {{Transformation Trinket}}s activated ByThePowerOfGreyskull, CallingYourAttacks, {{Ass Kicking Pose}}s, attacks by {{Mooks}} and the MonsterOfTheWeek, the AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever fought with [[HumongousMecha Humongous]] CombiningMecha, and (except for most of ''Sentai'''s early years) a SixthRanger. Add the RookieRedRanger for ''Rangers'' and the SuperMode for both shows in recent years (for the whole team in general in both and Red Ranger-specific ones in ''Rangers'').
* ''Franchise/KamenRider'''s omnipresent elements are a [[UtilityBelt belt]] as the TransformationTrinket, a DivingKick as the SignatureMove, a CoolBike, and some form of {{Phlebotinum Rebel}}lion. Other common-but-not-universal bits include a ScarfOfAsskicking, insect-themed armor (both mostly in the early years), a [[SixthRanger Second Rider]], and a SwissArmyHero with multiple forms (both mainly in the later years).
* Television writer/producer Creator/RussellTDavies tends to assign the same surnames to main characters in his series. For example, there are characters named "Tyler" in ''Revelations'', ''Series/QueerAsFolk'', ''Series/BobAndRose'' and ''Series/DoctorWho''. See also Smith, Cooper, Jones and Harkness.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''FinalFantasy'' has several:
** Someone named Cid, often involved with airships or technology;
** Summon monsters (Ifrit, Shiva, and Bahamut are the only ones who are in every single game);
** Common monsters like Bombs, Behemoths, and Cactuars, and recurring bosses like Omega and Tiamat;
** Crystals, often which have some great importance to the world the game takes place in.
*** Not to mention Square Enix are making a whole mini-series where they play an important role: Fabula Nova Crystallis
*** Also important in Bravely Default, which if not for the fact it isn't labeled as Final Fantasy, and having PG instead of Gil as currency, one would never guess it wasn't a Final Fantasy game.
** Chocobos and moogles.
** Gilgamesh shows up in many games, and save for a handful of appearances, is implied to be the same person in every one.
** In an odd case, a character named Gogo, who is a mimic and dresses colorfully, is in both ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''; they're different characters though.
** The money is always called Gil (at least once the translations got consistent).
** Starting with Richard from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' you can expect someone to have the surname "Highwind". There's a good chance that said character will be a Dragoon (or at least have abilities evocative of the class). And if not, still expect [[MythologyGag some kind of nod to the name]].
** Starting with ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', there's a recurring weapon (usually a InfinityPlusOneSword) that goes by the name of Ultima Weapon. Other notable equipment that tends to resurface are the Genji and Onion sets of armor, Excalibur, Gungnir, Longinus, Muramasa, Masamune, Godhand, and [[JokeItem Excalipoor/Excalipur]], among others.
** The English-based spell naming convention, as well as the [Element], [Element]ra, [Element]ga, [Element]ja nomenclature system for tiers of elemental and curative magic, like Fire, Fira, Firaga, or Cure, Cura, Curaga, Curaja. (Once again, the translations didn't quite get this at first.) Reinforcing the point, sometimes status-effect magic will use the "-ga" suffix do denote spells that affect all members of a group. Likewise, the ultimate white and black magic spells are often Holy and Flare, with Meteor and Ultima sometimes superseding the latter in rare occasions.
*** This magic naming convention appears in a lot of Square Enix games, actually: ''Final Fantasy'', ''Chrono Trigger'', and ''Bravely Default'' all make use of it.
** Inventory nomenclature. You will always heal with Potions, always recover MP with Ethers, always revive fallen comrades with Phoenix Down, and always hoard Elixirs, Megalixirs, and X-Potions till the final boss.
* SquareEnix's other series, ''KingdomHearts'', ''VideoGame/SaGa'', [[GaidenGame early]] ''VideoGame/WorldOfMana'', etc. have elements from ''FinalFantasy'' spilling into them. Usually in the form of items, spells, naming convention, and/or Moogles. The translation doesn't always let them [[LostInTranslation keep them]], however. [[note]]In ''KingdomHearts'' the spell suffix Ja can be replaced by Gun or Za. Others change the names entirely like Firaga to Flame.[[/note]]
* The ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' series and some of its spinoff series will have seven generals and one BigBad to be the bosses of its 8 worlds in the 2d platformers. The Koopalings, [[VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns The Tikis]]
** In 3d platformers instead of goalposts the player will have to collect 120 {{MacGuffin}}s. Stars, [[VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine Shine Sprites,]] [[DonkeyKong64 Golden Bananas]]
** Usually the Mario series also introduces new flight item, or at least one for air mobility, that's heavily promoted as a new feature in each game instead of reusing previous ones. In order, [[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3 The Racoon/Tanooki suit,]] [[VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld The Cape,]] [[VideoGame/SuperMario64 The Wing Cap,]] [[VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine FLUDD,]] [[VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy Bee Suit (and the secret Red Star),]] [[VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii The Propeller Suit,]] [[VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2 The Cloud Suit,]] the unprecedented return of the [[VideoGame/SuperMario3DLand Tanooki]]/[[VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros2 Raccoon]] suits, [[VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosU the Flying Squirrel Suit]], and [[VideoGame/SuperMario3DWorld the Cat Suit]].
* {{Wild ARMs}}:
** Take place on a world called Filgaia.
** Generally star a blue-haired hero.
** The victory music, though ''different'' in every game, is always ''called'' "Condition Green!".
** The money is always called "gella".
* Many games that YasunoriMitsuda worked on have a track called "Kokoro", which is a soft, simple tune, often played as a music box. The tune itself is different in each game.
* The two ''Franchise/WhenTheyCry'' have a supporting character, some themes, and being a GroundhogDayLoop MurderMystery in common.
* ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'': Although the vast majority of the Demon Compendium is always transplanted from game to game wholesale, the only demons that always appear in all games, and always with the exact same appearance, are Atlus' mascot [[MascotMook Jack Frost]] and its close relatives.
** The Demon Summoning Program, the very basis of the ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' franchise itself, appears in ''MegamiTenseiI'', ''MegamiTenseiII'', ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiI'', ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiII'', ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'', ''DevilSummoner'', ''SoulHackers'', and ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor''.
** The Sanskrit and Japanese-based spell naming convention as well as the tiered scale system: [[FireIceLightning Agi, Bufu, Zio]] (weak,) Agilao, Bufula, Zionga (medium,) Agidyne, Bufudyne, Ziodyne (severe) for the three indispensable elementals; [[HolyHandGrenade Hama]] and [[{{Curse}} Mudo]] for Expel and Curse (or Light and Dark) {{One Hit Kill}}s; [=Raku/Taru/Suku=]-[=nda/kaja=] for buffs and debuffs, and the prefix "Ma" for multi-target vs. single-target spells (Mazionga, Masukukaja.)
** Demon (or Persona) fusion to improve your forces has been the core and purpose of every single game in the franchise since the very first one.
** Shiva is created by fusing Rangda and Barong.
* ''BreathOfFire'' has several elements that repeat in subsequent games (though most of these were ignored in the fifth game, ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireDragonQuarter''):
** The main character is always a blue-haired hero named Ryu, who has some kind of power involving dragons (usually transforming into them). He's also always [[HeroesPreferSwords a swordsman]] and has a passion for [[FishingMinigame fishing]] (save for ''DQ'', but not for [[WhatCouldHaveBeen lack of interest]])
** There's always a winged humanoid girl named Nina accompanying him. She's also very adept at magic casting as well as the princess of the Wyndia Kingdom.
** A very helpful and powerful naga sorceress named Deis (Bleu early on), who's the same character in the first three games thanks to {{Immortality}}.
** Always a town named Dragnier (Drogen/Dologany) and a kingom named Wyndia (Winlan/Windia), related to the respective clans of Ryu and Nina.
** Starting in ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireII'', a member of the Woren/Furen CatFolk clan always ends up joining the party.
** [[TheGoomba Usually the starting enemy]] is from the "Goo" (Slime/Sludge) type family, often a blue blob (save in ''II'', where it's green). There's also always a gold PaletteSwap "Goo King" enemy near the end of the game who's [[BossInMookClothing extremelly powerful]].
** Dragon-named equipment for Ryu (Dragon Sword, Helmet, Armor, etc.), which is always high-level but not the best equipment available.
** All games use Zennies as currency, though it was translated differently in early games.
** In the Japanese version, pretty much every magic spell use the exact same names in each of the five games (for example, fire spells are Pamu, Padamu and Padoraamu). English started using consistent naming for (most) spells since ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIII''.
* The ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER}}'' series
** A [[CombatMedic male]] [[MightyGlacier protagonist]] with a striped shirt who uses [[BatterUp bats/sticks]], [[KillerYoYo yo-yos]], and [[WhiteMagic support PSI (Lifeup, Healing, Offense/Defense up)]]
** A [[BlackMagicianGirl female PSI]] user who uses [[FryingPanofDoom frying Pans]] or [[BareFistedMonk their hands]] and also uses [[BlackMagic combative PSI (PK Fire, Freeze, Thunder)]]. She also tends to be on the [[SquishyWizard squishy side]]
** A [[MugglePower non PSI user]] who uses either [[GunsAkimbo guns]] or their [[BareFistedMonk hands]]
** An [[UrbanFantasy urban/modern setting]]
** An unique way of fighting the final boss
** [[MoodWhiplash Mood Whiplash]], [[WackyLand Magi]][[CloudCuckooLand cant]] and Magypsys
** The [[DeflectorShield Franklin Badge]]
** The [[WaddlingHead Mr. Saturns race]].
** Pop-culture comedy and references with weird humor around.

* ''VideoGame/MegaMan'':
** The protagonists are colored blue, armed with [[ChargeAttack chargeable]] ArmCannon, able to do MegaManning and are called Mega Man in some way (Zero from [[VideoGame/MegaManZero his series]] is an exception).
** For the Classic Timeline: There's Mettaurs (or some variation thereof), as well as the infamous SpikesOfDoom.
** The {{Expy}}s of [[VideoGame/MegaMan Roll]]: [[VideoGame/MegaManX Alia]], [[VideoGame/MegaManZero Ciel]], [[VideoGame/MegaManZX Prairie]], [[MegaManLegends Roll Caskett]], [[VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork Mayl and Roll.EXE]] and [[VideoGame/MegaManStarForce Sonia/Harp Note]].
** There's almost always 8 copiable bosses to beat.
** [[MemeticMutation It's Dr. Wily yet again??!]] - Sigma later would follow his trend.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'': The "Link" and "Zelda" characters are, excepting for the direct sequels, different people in each game (they just happen to look exactly alike and wear the same clothes and have the same name).
** And Ganon tends to be, but isn't always, the final villain (including in games [[HijackedByGanon you weren't expecting him to be in]]).
** Rupees are always the main Hylian currency, and in some cases the GlobalCurrency.
** Since ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'', birds have been a large part of Hyrule's overall motif.
** Some connection between Link and the Royal Knights tends to show up a lot (mostly in backstory, though ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'' actually had him pretend to join).
** In the console games, Link always has a [[RedOnesGoFaster red (or reddish) mode of transportation.]]
** And, most obviously, Zelda will almost' be kidnapped at one point or another. The only two exceptions to date are ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'', which took place entirely in a dreamworld with Link being the only recurring character, and ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'', where Zelda is placed under an enchanted sleep but not technically kidnapped.
** There have been [[MagicMusic magical music-based tools]] in most every Zelda game. Beginning with ''Link's Awakening'', these tools have been important to the plot.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' and Harold.
** Though Harold was obviously absent from VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas and seeing how his fate has multiple endings in Fallout3 which all of them except for one, end up as AndIMustScream since [[spoiler: he turned into an immobile tree]] coupled with the fact it's doubtful the writers will revisit the Capital Wasteland anytime soon. It's almost inevitable he will be PutOnABus.
** No protagonist has ever been without their Pip-boy.
* The ''{{Pokemon}}'' RPG series has numerous. Some of them deviated from over the course of the series, some are subverted (Black and White in particular plays on those elements a lot)
** You start in a small town, where you live with your mom. You meet your rival, a Pokemon Professor (named after a tree) gives you one of three starters - Grass, Fire and Water, and your rival gets the superior type. Then you get five pokeballs, a Pokedex, and a mission to catch 'em all (with a tutorial on how to do so).
** A rival, usually male and friendly, whom you face multiple times across the region. (Two in V, one boy and one girl, and four in VI, two boys and two girls if male or three boys and one girl if female.)
** You can get a Potion somewhere early. You get obligatory Running Shoes in III and later (ou have them from the start in VI). You also get a Bicycle later on, which is essential because it gives you access to Cycling Road.
** Pokemon School.
** Old, Good and Super Fishing Rods, except in V where only the Super Rod is given.
** Some company that sells pokemon merchandise.
*** Exp. Share is often given to you by such company.
*** Alternatives to such merchandise (such as items that decrease friendship and heal, soft drinks that increase it and heal, a local speciality...)
** Some sort of a communication device.
** A Town Map, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a map of the towns]].
** Recurring items list is way too long to be listed here, really.
** Over the course of the game you defeat eight gym leaders. Each leader [[PoorPredictableRock specializes in a type]]. Once defeated, they grant you a TM containing their most powerful Pokemon's best move, as well as a badge granting the ability to control traded 'mon up to a certain level and/or the ability to use an HM move outside of battle. (HM Surf is midgame, HM Fly usually too)
** Oh, hey, the road here is closed. Get a badge first.
*** You are too weak to pass. Get a badge first.
** Once you defeated all gym leaders, you deal with the iconic legendary mon of this version, then proceed to beat the Elite Four. There's four trainers [[PoorPredictableRock with type affinities]] [[BossRush fought in succession]], followed finally by the champion who does ''not'' have a full type affinity. Then tadaa, Hall of Fame and postgame. Champion time == expect subverted expectations.
*** In V, this is altered significantly. You fight the Elite Four, then the version mascot, then the villain team leaders, and then you have to fight the Elite Four again to reach the champion.
** You get access to new locations when you hit postgame.
** There's a villainous team which you stop in their tracks. They usually use poison-types, and their leader is a man (however there's often a woman amongst high command)
** People will offer you to trade mon over the course of the game.
** There's often an area similar to the Battle Tower from Crystal.
** And now for the long, long list of recurring pokemon locations and categories (Insert Black and White Expies where appropriate)
*** Starters as previously mentioned.
*** Bugs, Flying-type birds and Normal-type mammals in the starting areas.
*** Cave full of Zubats. Geodudes, too.
*** A Pikachu expy, if not Pikachu itself; as fans call them, the [[FanNickname Pika-clones]].
*** Pseudo legendaries - avaliable lategame, Dragon-type, evolve really really late, stat sum of 600 in their final form.
*** MagikarpPower pokemon. Not necessarily Magikarp itself.
*** A legendary trio. Two since III - mascot trio and normal trio. Three in V, one of which is actually a quartet.
*** A legendary duo, except in V as there are three trios.
*** Legendary Mew expy - 100 in each stat. Possibly more of them, cutesy and small in design.
*** Fossils. You get one of two fossils, you can revive them later. All fossils are part-Rock type.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' will always star a [[HeroesPreferSwords sword-wielding hero]] attached to a [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething noble or royal house]][[note]]with the exception of Ike, for the most part[[/note]] who has [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair blue or otherwise unnaturally-coloured hair]][[note]]with the exception of [[FireEmblemJugdral Leif]][[/note]]. In the hero's service will be [[RedOniBlueOni a pair of cavaliers, one red and one green]], and they will normally be assisted and advised by [[CrutchCharacter a veteran knight of questionable use]].
** Said knight is usually either [[CrutchCharacter a high-level character that has average or subpar stats for their level and tends to get ignored so they don't take experience away from low-level characters]], or [[SubvertedTrope a low-level promoted character that takes a lot of experience to level (especially at the start), but has good growths and remains useful throughout the game]].
* The ''PaperMario'' series has Parakarry: he is a partner in [[VideoGame/PaperMario64 the first game]], makes a cameo in [[VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor the second game]], is a Catch Card in [[VideoGame/SuperPaperMario the third game]] and leaves a note in [[VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar the fourth game]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles:'' Shredder will typically have two lieutenants that he admonishes and punishes every time they fail to get the turtles: [[TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987 Bebop and Rocksteady,]] [[Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles Tokka and Rahzar,]] [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 Hun and Baxter Stockman (Later Hun and Karai, and even later Karai and Chapman),]] [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012 Dogpound and Fishface]]
** ''WesternAnimation/TurtlesForever'' plays on this. He has both Hun and Karai, AND Bebop and Rocksteady. Who did a HazyFeelTurn on their own Shredder.

----