Alternate Company Equivalent

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Occasionally, when two creators are striving to fill the same niche or appeal to the same demographic, one will end up creating characters and stories that bear a more-than-passing resemblance to the other's.

For instance, Marvel and DC, being the most prominent producers of comics, have led a sizable rivalry, sometimes friendly, sometimes not. This is sometimes reflected in the creation of characters. You could argue that, given the sheer number of characters in comic books, certain superpowers will overlap. Occasionally a new character, even one who appears for a short time, seems suspiciously similar to another.

Usually, this is done as overt parody or homage. If not, it can be seen as one ripping off the other; however, occasionally it happens by pure coincidence, and the characters become fondly remembered equivalents. When the rival creators both fully embrace this trope, it may be hard to sort out the original characters from the Captain Ersatzes.

See also Expy, when a character is probably based on another character but not obviously supposed to be that character. When this happens to TV shows, video games or movies, you have Dueling Shows, Dueling Games and Dueling Movies, or a case of Follow the Leader.

Compare Counterpart Comparison, Serial Numbers Filed Off.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Film 

    Literature 
  • The Yuuzhan Vong have a striking similarity to the Borg (i.e. seemingly overwhelming scary dogmatic alien invaders with radically different technology), albeit somewhat inverted at the same time (biotech-using religious zealots who condemn all mechanical technology as "abominations," as opposed to coldly logical all-assimilating cyborgs).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek and Doctor Who have a similar relationship with their monsters, most notably with the Cybermen and The Borg. Star Trek fans sometimes complain that Doctor Who ripped off their ideas for an evil race of cybernetic humans. Doctor Who fans just laugh at this and then ignore them.
  • When NBC attempted to run a TV series based on the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Fox countered with the much more successful Parker Lewis Can't Lose.
  • When ABC aired a TV series based off of Animal House, NBC countered with Brothers and Sisters and CBS countered with Co-Ed Fever.
  • Parodied on The Daily Show. When Jim Cramer went on various NBC shows to defend himself against attacks from Jon Stewart, Stewart countered by inserting himself onto various Viacom shows. This included Dora the Explorer and MTV's Real Life.
  • The Tonight Show has a CBS equivalent in The Late Show. Similarly, CBS's The Late Late Show can be seen as equivalent to NBC's Late Night.
  • Fridays, an early 1980s sketch show, was specifically made to be ABC's answer to Saturday Night Live, complete with popular music guests of the day, celebrity hosts (though they were called "special guests"), a Weekend Update-style fake news segment, wacky recurring characters and sketches, a cast of unknown comedy stars (some of which became famous years later, like Larry David, Michael Richards, Melanie Chartoff, Bruce Mahler, and Rich Hall), and humorous sketches that skewered everything from pop culture to the (at the time) current political climate.
  • DC vs. Marvel: TV Edition. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons (aka Fitzsimmons) while Arrow and The Flash have Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow. Both are male/female pairs of quirky scientists in which the man specializes in mechanical engineering while the woman specializes in biochemistry. The key difference is: Fitz and Simmons are original charactersnote  while Cisco and Caitlin are based on established characters in the comics.note 

    Music 

    Myths and Religion 
  • The ancients found equivalent deities in every nation's religions, using the interpretatio graeca, in which any given foreign deity was equated to a Greek one, or the interpretatio romana, in which a foreign deity was equated to a Roman one. For example, the Semitic Astarte was taken as the equivalent of Greek Aphrodite; the Egyptian Amon was taken as the equivalent of Roman Jupiter. Sometimes syncretic temples were consecrated to the fusion of both gods into a single cult; for example, during the Roman period in Egypt, temples were built to Jupiter-Ammon.
  • Most Indo-European mythologies have very similar gods, either as the result of them having their origins in a single ancient religion or because both are personifications of the same concept. Examples include Hades and Tuoni, Apollo and Freyr, and Zeus and Indra.
  • Thanks to cultural syncretism, and on rare occasions, complete coincidence, Christianity shares many similarities with various other (older) religions.

    Pinball 

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Jerry Lawler has been described as the Ric Flair of Memphis. Similarly, Ray González has been called the Ric Flair of Puerto Rico.
  • All Japan Pro Wrestling's Giant Baba to New Japan Pro Wrestling's Antonio Inoki, that latter outright encouraging this method of thinking. There is also a Captain New Japan for Marvel's Captain America.
  • Demolition were an Alternate Company Equivalent version of The Road Warriors. Amusingly both teams ended up in the WWF in 1990 resulting in Demolition matches with the Legion of Doom. The Powers of Pain, initially created as Evil Counterparts of the Road Warriors in 1987 for Jim Crockett Promotions, were quietly split up in the meantime.
  • Sting in WCW and Ultimate Warrior in WWF. Both were frequent main event players who often played second bananas to the top guy of their promotion (Ric Flair in WCW and Hulk Hogan in WWF) but held the torch for a period of time. Ultimate Warrior and Sting started off as a tag team before they got into the major leagues, and were well-known for their face paint and overly toned and tanned physiques. Both men kept these traits in their major companies. Sting's initial WCW gimmick was that of a surfer while Ultimate Warrior's orange skin, long hair, and frequent use of the word "dude" implied he was some sort of surfer type. Their early theme songs are even both take offs of "Seek and Destroy" by Metallica. Sting eventually became known more as an agile technical wrestler after being mentored and groomed by Flair while Ultimate Warrior was a power wrestler who would allegedly get tired after doing his trademark entrance of sprinting to the ring. Ultimate Warrior would come to WCW for a short stint and inherited Sting's penchant for gaudy trench coats. They would reunite for a tag team match against Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart making for a great contrast of their styles, such as Sting's more simple red and black clothes and Ultimate Warrior's vaguely military tie-dye attire.
  • More so alternate region equivalent, since they were both tied to the National Wrestling Alliance but the original plan for the promotion that came to be known as Ring Warriors was to be an Americanized version of New Japan, though it ended up as something much different. The World Wrestling League has a straighter example in New Boriquén Pro Wrestling.
  • When Goldberg made his WCW debut, he was denounced as an Expy of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin due to the fact that he had a bald head, goatee and wore black trunks and boots like Austin.
  • Buff Bagwell was WCW's equivalent of Shawn Michaels. His gimmick was his attractiveness to ladies (as expressed in his theme song "Buff Daddy", which like Michaels' "Sexy Boy" is partly sung by him and a female vocalist) and his muscles, and his propensity for red tights. Like Michaels, he'd also experienced Breakup Breakout from his tag team "American Males", where his partner Scotty Riggs faded to obscurity after the team split (like Marty Jannetty). Furthermore, he remained in the higher end of the roster due to his own propensity for backstage meddling and ego. Also like Michaels, he took a few years out from wrestling before returning. Bagwell's ego, however, did get him fired from the WWF as soon as the Invasion happened. Bagwell was a omnipresent feature of mid to late 90s WCW, but is not as well remembered today due to his inability to follow up his career in that company.
  • Taka Michinoku's success in WWF in 1997 caused WCW to hire Kaz Hayashi in 1998. Both of them had been part of the stable Kai En Tai in Japan, and both wore very similar blue tights. Likely feeling the need for a Japanese Wrestler themselves, ECW hired Yoshihiro Tajiri. Whilst Taka and Tajiri both enjoyed popularity in their respective companies, Kaz was the victim of poor booking in squash matches (as with many in WCW at the time) and only appeared with the WWF once during the invasion era before asking for his release and returning to Japan.
  • Originally AAA's La Parka Jr. was the Alternate Company Equivalent of WCW's La Parka (though the latter started in AAA, and thus they owned the mask). When WCW's La Parka joined CMLL, he was forced to become L.A. ParK, Alternate Company Equivalent to the now Jr-lacking La Parka.
  • La Super Muerte is the Bolivian equivalent of La Parka.
  • WWF's D-Generation X were created to rival WCW's New World Order. The popularity of the nWo meant that WCW was beating WWF in the ratings, and Vince McMahon couldn't let that happen. The main creative players behind the nWo, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, are best friends with the main guys who came up with DX, Triple H and Shawn Michaels. They were all originally in WWF together as a backstage group known as The Kliq. As a result, both groups had some similar mannerisms such as the crotch chops, the wolf hand signal, and leaning on the 4th wall, referencing their counterparts.
  • Abyss can be considered the NWA-TNA version of Kane and Mankind.
  • Initially known as "Nise Onita" in the year 2000, Rocky Santana eventually became known as the Mexican Onita. That Onita being Atsushi, who founded Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling, the trope namer for Garbage Wrestler)
  • Unintentionally, AJ Styles and John Cena. Both made their national television debut in 2002, were the faces of their company, wore colourful attire and had a career degeneration in 2012 and a revival in 2013.
  • AJ and Michelle McCool are sort of Distaff Counterparts. Both wear hooded robes to the ring and Michelle began using the Styles Clash as her finisher (renaming it the Faith Breaker), after her heel turn at the end of 2008. Both are also devout Christians in Real Life.
  • As far as wrestling style goes, AJ has also been compared to another WWE contracted wrestler, John Morrison. After AJ left TNA and Morrison left WWE, the two would meet in Family Wrestling Entertainment.
  • Jeff Hardy had been frequently compared to Teddy Hart (talented, but weird and with Spot Monkey tendencies) even by wrestlers themselves. This became oddly prophetic, as Hardy would later make appearances in former Teddy Hart venues ROH and TNA.
  • The Lost stable in 3CW, led by Sean David and The Age Of The Fall in Ring of Honor, led by Jimmy Jacobs, were purposefully set up to be alternate company equivalents of each other, with The Lost looking to spread across Europe and Age Of The Fall looking to spread across the Americas, or at least the USA to fight its health care system.
  • Austin Aries and Bryan Danielson use many of the same moves, both have bridging submissions in the Last Chancery and Cattle Mutilation, are both vegans and were both lauded as Ring of Honor World Champions before being scooped up by WWE and TNA, where they are both overwhelming popular to the point they basically owe their careers in both companies to fans demanding they show up(Aries) or be rehired(Danielson).
  • Jaider Lee is has been called the Bolivian Shawn Michaels. He's also similar to Hard Gay, except that he's not an exotico, nor a Gorgeous George.
  • By being inept wrestlers and shown to be good lawyers, Joseph Parknote  and David Otunganote  have become this in TNA and WWE.
  • A blonde bombshell who was formerly a member of a stable consisting of Ms. Fanservices, better known for her looks than her talent, first target of any heel, and divides the wrestling community on whether or not she's a competent wrestler. Are we talking about Kelly Kelly or Velvet Sky?
  • TNA's Jeff Jarrett has been compared to Triple H due to both of them carrying their respective world titles for a long period of time, and have major influence over their bookings (Jarrett with Vince Russo, Triple H with Stephanie McMahon). As a result, fans sometime refer to Jarrett as "Triple J" (short for "Jackass Jeff Jarret").
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling 's Hiroshi Tanahashi has been called the "John Cena of NJPW" by fans. Both are ace babyfaces at the top of card that are booked to be strong, rarely ever putting an opponent over clean.

    Toys 
  • Bandai's Machine Robo line of Transforming Mecha (later licensed to Tonka as the Gobots) to Hasbro/Takara's Transformers. Made even more confusing by the fact that Hasbro later acquired the Gobots license, but not the one for the original Machine Robo.
    • To make matters more confusing, since Hasbro's acquisition of Tonka, Go-Bots occasionally show up in Transformers: Cy-Kill and Scooter were both killed by Jhiaxus, Cop-Tur and Leader-1 are Minicons (possibly homages rather than ACES), and Crasher (under the name Fracture, sometimes) has officially crossed over and leads a squad of Decepticons, and even has a toy out.
  • A number of companies tried to make their own equivalents to Mattel's Barbie:
    • One notable example is Hasbro's Maxie. Although Jem predated her, she was primarily music themed, with Jem mainly shown as a singer (although Hasbro had planned to have Jem "branch out" at one point before the toyline was discontinued). Maxie is a much closer equivalent as a girl featured in many different roles (although she is mainly a high school student), though not as many as Barbie.
    • Bratz sort of counts, but their main feature is removable feet, so they can wear different shoes. There's also the Moxie Girlz from the same company.
    • Takara's Licca-chan has often been called "the Japanese Barbie". She's just as famous in Japan as Barbie is in the U.S.. Another doll made by Takara, Jenny, actually started out as Barbie before she got renamed sometime in the 1980s.
    • Pedigree Toys' Sindy is the UK equivalent, especially in The '80s. When she was first launched in The '60s, she had a design that suggested she was the same age as the child playing, rather than the 17-year-old Barbie, but was later aged into a teenager. The 2000's Sindy doll from New Moon has returned to that.
  • Plastic-bricks-that-click-into-each-other construction toys other than LEGO:
    • Mega Brand's Mega Bloks.
    • Kre-O from Hasbro, including Kre-O versions of other Hasbro properties like Transformers and Dungeons & Dragons, and the license for Star Trek.
    • Character Building, from the UK company Character Options, with licensed sets for Doctor Who, Ben 10, and the British armed forces.
    • Tyco Super Blocks. Not only that, but they could also work with Lego blocks.
    • Back when Nintendo still made toys, they made of line of Lego-like blocks called "N&B Block"note . They are even referenced in a Mario Zone stage in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.
  • Mattel's DC Multiverse line was launched as their answer to Hasbro's Marvel Legends line, just with DC Universe characters instead of Marvel Universe ones.
  • Barbie and the Rockers was Mattel's answer to Hasbro's Jem and the Holograms. Both star hit 80s pop-stars and had animated adaptations. While Jem had a full-length 65-Episode Cartoon, Barbie only received two direct-to-vhs specials. Despite this, it seems like the job worked because Jem was Cut Short due to poor merchandise sales.

    Video Games 
  • This also shows up in Fighting Games. For example, we have Mai, Yuri, Chun-Li and Sakura, the first two from SNK's The King of Fighters series and the latter two from Capcom's Street Fighter series. A great deal of lampshading is done in the pre-fight conversations of SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, as the characters who resemble each other comment on the similarities.
    • Dan Hibiki of the Street Fighter series was created as a parody of Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia, with some of Yuri's mannerisms thrown in. Similar to the above example, Dan is frequently mistaken for Robert in the crossover games due to a pronounced (and intentional) resemblance, and is also considered a counterpart of fellow goofball Joe Higashi.
    • Of course, Dan was a response to Ryo and Robert, who were originally made as A.C.E.s of SF's Ryu and Ken. This isn't particularly surprising, considering that the men behind Art of Fighting (Hiroshi Matsumoto, Takashi Nishiyama) were also responsible for Street Fighter in the first place. (Furthermore, Ken's wealth and kick-happy style was established long after Art of Fighting came out, whereas Robert was always like this.)
    • SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium goes one step further; picking one character (ex. Ryu) will result in you fighting your Alternate Company Equivalent (ex. Kyo) just before the final match. At least one of them is even a case of Distaff Counterpart (Guile and Leona).
    • Many of the equivalent characters (Ryu and Ryo, Chun-Li and Mai, Sakura and Yuri, Zangief and Raiden, Sagat and King, etc.) have special pre-fight intros when facing each other in Capcom vs. SNK 2.
    • The similarities between Sakura Kasugano and Shingo Yabuki, both being headband-wearing high schoolers who idolize the main hero and emulate their fighting style, are so pronounced, that with the year and a half gap between their respective debuts, it wouldn't be surprising if Shingo was deliberately designed to be Sakura's Spear Counterpart.
    • All these years later, and Capcom and SNK are still doing this. Back in 2000, SNK introduced Vanessa, a single Fiery Redhead mom with noticeable... assets who works as an Action Girl secret agent. Fast forward nine years later, and Capcom introduces Crimson Viper... A single Fiery Redhead mom with noticeable assets who works as an Action Girl secret agent.
    • The recursive example of Iori-Remy-Ash Crimson. Remy, from Street Fighter III, was plainly designed to resemble SNK characters, Iori Yagami in particular, but given charge-based moves to differentiate him/establish him as III's Guile counterpart. Then KOF 2003 debuts Ash Crimson, an effeminate bishonen with charge-based moves who is clearly designed to resemble Remy. Both characters are from France as well, adding another parallel.
    • A video game example: SNK's Garou: Mark of the Wolves (1999) to Capcom's Street Fighter III (1997-1999). Both are critically praised, well-balanced, highly technical fighters known for pushing the technological capabilities of 2D fighters at the time and their soundtracks. In addition, many of the mainstays from previous games were Put on a Bus (but still made cameos) to emphasize the new roster (III only had Ryu and Ken at first, followed by Akuma in 2nd Impact and Chun-Li in 3rd Strike, while Terry Bogard was the only returning character in Garou; both games, however, featured analogues to previous fighters). The two games even featured similar defensive concepts: Parrying (Blocking in Japanese) and Just Defending.
      • Few know that Art of Fighting 3 had done it before either of them (although it lacks the Time Skip factor present in both Garou and SFIII, as well as the aforementioned defensive maneuvers).
    • Arcana Heart has a few blatant ones, as far as movesets go. The most blatant is lead Heart Aino, who has half of Ryu's moveset herself, and the other half on her default Arcana. As of Arcana Heart 3, her moveset (sans arcana) mirrors Ragna the Bloodedge closely enough that the pair has been spotted on a date in an official April Fools crossover.
    • The King of Fighters roster welcomed squeaky, half-insane Muay Thai asshole Hwa Jai, right after the Super Street Fighter IV roster welcomed squeaky, half-insane Muay Thai asshole Adon. Although Adon was introduced before Hwa, Hwa was already pretty unhinged in his Fatal Fury debut in 1991 whereas Adon became so by way of his Street Fighter Alpha redesign in 1995.
  • TGL's (Technical Group Laboratory) Advanced V.G. series has several characters, who drew clear inspiration from Street Fighter and The King of Fighters:
    • Yuka Takeuchi is their tomboy equivalent of Ryu, sharing the same basic moveset and mentality in that she lives to test herself against worthy opponents and strives to learn more about herself as a martial artist. Likewise, she's the series' protagonist.
    • Her best friend, Satomi Yajima, is similar to Ken, being her old sparring partner/rival. In terms of fighting style, however, she's V.G's tomboy equivalent of Kyo Kusanagi instead. She borrows several of his attacks, along with his "ore no..!" attack phrase, and her moves are even themed named similarly to hisnote .
    • Tamao Mitsurugi is their version of Sakura, complete with the same backstory: both first saw their heroes on television, are primarily self-taught by emulating their role models' fighting style, and seek to be trained by them. Her moves are also the same as Sakura's, right down to having a short-ranged projectile.
    • While Saki Shinjo is a mashup of Rugal Bernstein, Iori Yagami, and Vice, in terms of character design, personality, and her moveset consists of moves borrowed from each of them Including: Rugal's "Genocide Cutter", Irori's claw swipes and "Dark Plume" finisher, and Vice's "Negative Gain".
  • Ryoko Kanno from Fighter's History and Ryoko Izumo from World Heroes are both cute, teenage female judo practitioners from Japan, and even share the same first name. This is because they were both inspired by Ryoko Tamura (later Ryoko Tani), a young female judoka who was popular in Japan during the early 90's.
  • Midway gave us Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, an Intercontinuity Crossover which features the alternate major comic book publisher and major fighting game franchise of The '90s to the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
    • Later happened when they made Injustice: Gods Among Us, which, while not a crossover as it features DC characters (and one Mortal Kombat character), can be seen as an answer to Marvel vs. Capcom 3, being released as the latter is played in tournaments and was made with the competitive scene in mind, which Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a big part of. They're both seen as superhero fighting games and the cover of Injustice features Batman fighting Superman over Green Arrow's dead body. However, Green Arrow's hood is up and the metallic hue of his skin make him resemble Doctor Doom, a commonly played Marvel vs. Capcom character in the competitive scene, giving the illusion that they're fighting over the dead body of the franchise they're rivaling.
    • Tekken's Asuka Kazama and her rival Emilie "Lili" de Rochefort draw frequent comparisons to the above Sakura and her rival from Street Fighter Alpha 3, Karin Kanzuki. Because both rivalries involve two aspirant street fighters who happen to be high school students, with the second party being a wealthy heiress who loses to the first and obsesses over settling the score, only to come to value the other girl's friendship (although Asuka and Lili are currently at the Vitriolic Best Buds stage, with some additional subtext on Lili's part), several fans feel it's more than a coincidence. If Sakura defeats Lili in Street Fighter X Tekken, her win quote even lampshades the similarities between Lili and Karin.
    Sakura: You remind me of one of my friends. She also rides around in limousines and stuff. Same laugh, too.
  • Dark Reign is a near equivalent of Command & Conquer, even if both games are very different in several ways. Company of Heroes is analogous to Command & Conquer: Generals at first, though now people are comparing it to Men of War.
  • Despite being years apart in their release history, and being made by companies with little-to-no tangible connection to each other, the Story Arcs of The Protagonist in BioWare's Knights of the Old Republic and Spike Chunsoft's Super Danganronpa 2 have a lot of similarities. Both games star Amnesiac Heroes who appear to be average Joes at first, but their backstories reveal them to have been very evil people who played a major role in driving the conflict of their own stories. The similarities are even more apparent if you play the Light-Sided route in KOTOR as Revan (the KOTOR protagonist) and Hajime Hinata (the Danganronpa 2 protagonist) turn out to be really benevolent Nice Guys who are a far cry from their former evil personalities, and in the end they reject their former identities and decide to start with a clean slate as the heroic people they've become.
  • FromSoftware unfortunately didn't have the rights to their own game, Demon's Souls, so they made their own cross-platform spiritual sequel, Dark Souls which was quite popular and successful.
  • Though their gameplay styles are very different (almost polar opposites, in fact), the BioShock and Fallout series could be said to be counterparts of each other. Both have a similar style, playing off the culture and sci-fi visions of the future of early to mid-20th century "Golden Age" America while at the same time depicting what a hateful, nasty, paranoid mess it really was, one taking place in the past, the other in a future where said culture reached its logical conclusion; both are sequels or Spiritual Successors to hit computer games from The '90s; both have soundtracks full of classic period music and their Aesops, reflected by their gameplay and story, are mirror opposites of each other, the former being a linear narrative about slavery and the inevitability of fate while the latter is an open world with various different options and Multiple Endings, showing how one person can change history. On a smaller scale, while Fallout: New Vegas's Robert House is mostly based on Real Life industrialist Howard Hughes, Bethesda makes no secret of the fact that he's partially inspired by Andrew Ryan, even giving you an achievement if you kill him with a golf club. Amusingly, they're even both played by actors whose most famous roles were opposite each other on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  • Sega had Congo Bongo as their answer to Nintendo's Donkey Kong. The game was even programmed by Ikegami Tsushinki, the contractor Nintendo had hired to program the arcade version of Donkey Kong.
  • The Battlefield franchise has been around since the early 2000s, but more recently has been aggressively marketed as EA's answer to the Call of Duty franchise, with Medal of Honor presumably there to pick up the slack in odd-numbered years. Likewise, Titanfall was funded by EA as a counterpart to Activision and its Call of Duty franchise.
  • Dark Cloud was seen as Sony's answer to The Legend of Zelda series when it first came out, as with Killzone and Halo.
  • PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale was Sony's crossover fighter equivalent of Nintendo's Super Smash Bros., even acknowledging their inspirations and using the latter game's name as YouTube tags in pre-release videos. Jump Super Stars is another answer to Super Smash Bros., except with manga/anime characters from Shonen Jump.
  • The Kingdom Hearts series introduced Yen Sid as the Big Good and revealed he was a Keyblade Master. They then introduced another Keyblade Master, Master Eraqus, as Square's counterpart to Yen Sid, his name being a corruption of Square backwards (as Yen Sid is Disney backwards) and had him resemble an eastern samurai-archetype as opposed to Yen Sid's western wizard-archetype, and had him resemble Final Fantasy series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi.
  • After the smashing success of the Wii's motion-based controls, Nintendo's competitors set out to make motion-based games for their systems as well. While the PlayStation Move bombed, the Kinect is a relative success with games that follow the mold of the Wii series: Wii Sports has Kinect Sports, Wii Fit has Nike + Kinect Training and so on.
  • Gameloft has every game from their parent company Ubisoft copied.
  • In a case where the company is just the developer, Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games frequently are matching each other in their current developments (it helps both companies even shared the same building for a while).
  • You could definitely make the argument that Lucky Chloe, one of Tekken 7's new fighters, is this to Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate Arcade's Marie Rose (who came first). Their behavior and general aesthetic both seem to swing for the same Moe archetype. Conversely, Street Fighter V's new fighter, Rashid, has a distinct tinge of Tekken 7 newcomer Shaheen in him, being a Saudi Arabian fighter with a traditional Middle Eastern outfit. Likewise, Laura Matsuda, another SFV newcomer, can be likened to T7's Katarina Alves: both are sassy, provocative loudmouths who hail from Brazil and favor rather revealing clothing styles. To a lesser extent, Laura also invites a few comparisons to Josie Rizal, though Josie is Filipino and something of a crybaby.
  • Lightseekersnote , a Kickstarter success from a company called Play Fusion, has been compared to Activision's Skylanders franchise due to it's similar "toys-to-life" mechanics.note  Play Fusion insists however, that Lightseekers is not "toys-to-life", but rather "connected play".
    • Disney Infinity wasnote  a more direct answer to Skylanders with similar gameplay and a similar NFC device for scanning the figures into the game.
    • LEGO Dimensions is another "toys-to-life" game, although unlike the Skylanders and Disney Infinity, you actually have to build the portal yourself, though it still uses NFCnote  technology.
  • Most characters from Freedom Force and Freedom Force vs 3rd Reich are analogues of famous Marvel/DC characters. We have Minuteman (Captain America), the Ant (Spider-Man), Quetzalcoatl (Thor with little Captain Marvel), Law and Order (Cloak & Dagger), Bullet (The Flash), Tombstone (Ghost Rider + The Punisher + Deadman) and many others. Villains also fill in this trope with Time Master (Galactus), Pan (Loki), and Blitzkrieg (Leader/Red Skull).
    • Although Time Master is probably closer in look and deed to Kang the Conqueror.
    • Word of God says that Tombstone is their Batman, but his biggest influence seems to be The Spectre.
  • Early in the life cycle of the NES, two of the games released by Square were fairly derivative of popular Sega arcade games. For Sega's Space Harrier, Square made the similar The 3-D Battles of WorldRunner, and for OutRun, there exists Rad Racer. They even have touted 3D modes, just like the Master System ports of those two Sega games.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Common in Real Life armed forces. Happens with guns, tanks, jets, even nukes. If it isn't at least based on another country's stuff, it's the original to be copied for some other country's stuff.
    • The success of the M16's smaller 5.56mm round was copied by the Soviets for the 5.45mm AK-74 (not to be confused with the earlier AK-47, which it is derived from), and eventually the Chinese 5.8mm round.
    • The American F-86 Sabre is the counterpart of the Soviet MiG-15.
    • The Imperial German A7V was made to counter the British Mark I tank in World War I.
    • The equally iconic (and long-lived) Messerschmitt Bf.109 and Supermarine Spitfire fighters of World War II.
    • Perhaps the most flagrant example in military aviation history is the Soviet Union's first nuclear-capable bomber, the Tupolev Tu-4, NATO Code Name "Bull", which was directly reverse-engineered from American Boeing B-29 Superfortresses that made forced landings in (ostensibly "friendly" at the time) Soviet territory during the closing phases of World War II. Although slightly heavier on account of everything being respecified in metric with a duly conservative margin for error, and armed with Soviet cannons instead of the U.S. originals as defensive armament (mounted in exact copies of the original American remote-controlled turrets), the Tu-4 is externally -and for the most part internally- virtually indistinguishable from the B-29.
  • Happens a lot in the soft drink industry, since everyone wants to be able to round out the standard set of varieties carried in vending machines and affiliated restaurants: cola, lemon-lime, orange, root beer, and whatever the heck Dr Pepper is. (Contrary to popular belief, there are three major companies in the US: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and the guys who make 7-Up and Dr Pepper, whose name has changed at least five times since we were in seventh grade but is currently known as Dr Pepper Snapple Group.)
    • Cola: Coca-Cola and Pepsi (natch), and also Royal Crown (DPSGnote )
    • Lemon-lime: 7-Upnote , Sprite (Coca-Cola), and Sierra Mist (PepsiCo)
    • Dr Pepper-flavored: Dr Pepper (DPSG, natch), Mr. Pibb (Coca-Cola), Mr. Green (PepsiCo)
    • Orange and usually other fruit flavors: Fanta (Coca-Cola) and Crush/Sunkist (both DPSG); PepsiCo affiliates and vending machines in the US usually carry Sunkist, but outside the US, PepsiCo makes Mirinda in this category. Also Tango (Britvic), but as the company name implies, only really in the UK.
    • Root beer: A&W (DPSG, though they also own Hires and IBC), Barq's (Coca-Cola), and Mug (PepsiCo)
    • Citrus (actually grapefruit): Squirt (DPSG), Fresca (Coca-Cola)
    • The other citrus, which tends to be caffeinated: Mountain Dew (Pepsi), Sun Drop (DPSG), and Mello Yello (Coca-Cola).
    • Outside the realm of sodas, PepsiCo has Gatorade and Coca-Cola has Powerade; and PepsiCo's AMP energy drink competes with Coca-Cola's Rockstar.
    • Third party knock-offs will usually have names that make their origin blatant; for example, Walmart's answer to Dr Pepper is Dr Thunder. (In fact, just about any company or supermarket will have a drink of some sort called "Dr ___________" or "________ Pepper")
  • A large number of casual-dining chains in the US are owned by four major companies: Darden Restaurants, Bloomin' Brands, Brinker International, and Landry's Restaurants. They all have a good number of chains that are basically equivalent to each other, each reflecting a different restaurant style (or, as their critics would have it, The Theme Park Version of a restaurant style). These are:
    • Italian-American: Olive Garden (Darden), Carabba's Italian Grill (Bloomin'), and Maggiano's Little Italy (Brinker). Brinker also used to own Romano's Macaroni Grill, also in this style, but has since sold control to an outside group of investors (albeit retaining a minority share).
    • Themed steakhouse: LongHorn Steakhouse (Darden, Texas-themed), Outback Steakhouse (Bloomin', "Australian"-themed), Chili's (Brinker, "Southwestern"-themed), and Saltgrass Steak House (Landry's, Texas-themed again).
    • Seafood: This one's a bit odd. The major player here is Red Lobster, which Darden used to own but has since been sold to outside investors.note  Also operating in this space is the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, owned by Landry's. Darden also has Eddie V's Prime Seafood, which tries to be more upscale, putting it in direct competition with McCormick & Schmick's, another Landry's property. Bloomin's Bonefish Grill situates itself between the Red Lobster market and the higher-end one.
    • High-end steakhouse: The Capital Grille (Darden), Fleming's Prime Steakhouse Wine Bar (Bloomin'), and Morton's The Steakhouse (Landry's). Unlike the other offerings from these companies, these and the high-end seafood places are generally seen as being good-quality, if not as good or interesting as more traditional restaurants in their markets.
  • When you get right down to it, even the staffs at both DC and Marvel are pretty similar to each other.
  • Offbeatr is a fundraising website specialising in pornographic projects, created because pornography is not allowed on Kickstarter.
  • Similarly, Gunbroker is an auction site devoted to firearms and related accessories, created because eBay prohibits the sale of such.
  • Done by pharmacy companies all the time. Whichever company develops the new drug gets the trademark and the patent for a certain number of years; when that expires, generics are available and other companies can market their variant of the same base drug. (This is why first-run brand-name drugs are so much more expensive, especially before the patent expires; the company that develops the drug has to pay an arm, a leg, and possibly several organs to get government approval, and they have to recoup it somehow.) See, for instance, the OTC painkiller ibuprofen, trademarked under several dozen names all over the world, most notably Advil, Motrin, and Nurofen.
  • A number of jokes have been made about how various (usually store-brand) companies try to copy the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" margarine. Some examples include "Butter It's Not!" (Kroger), "Wow! I totally thought it was butter" (Great Value/Wal-Mart), and "You'd Butter Believe It!" (Asda).


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