->'''Spider-Man:''' Oh, I'm the real one, Gwen. Believe me.\\
'''Gwen Stacy Clone:''' But… how can you tell?\\
'''Spider-Man:''' Simple. I… uh… Far out.
-->-- ''[[ComicBook/SpiderMan Amazing Spider-Man]]''

At some point in the story, the hero was [[CloningBlues cloned.]] At the climax of the story, the hero fights their clone and one lives while the other dies. However, whether the survivor is the clone or the original is left uncertain. This usually leaves a lot of uncertainty and angst because the survivor fears seeing a TomatoInTheMirror, and may grapple with the guilt of essentially [[ExpendableClone having murdered him or herself]].

SubTrope of AmbiguousEnding. Compare SchrodingersButterfly, where whether the heroes escaped the LotusEaterMachine is left in doubt. ShellGame is a prerequisite.

'''As an ending trope, be prepared for SPOILERS.'''



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Happens to Paz in an episode of ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex 2nd Gig''. It's implied that the real Pazu wins. If one looks closely, Pazu gets cut and bleeds while his PsychoExGirlfriend, who got a robot copy of his body and downloaded his memories, gets stabbed through the last part of her that is human, her brain. The psycho-ex's robot body has a huge cut through her robot body with no internal blood or organs when the fight ends. Interestingly, both the Major and Batou don't know who won... when the Major asks Batou, Batou responds Pazu "probably" won.
* Hime from ''Manga/PrincessResurrection'' was cloned along with almost everyone else in one chapter reminiscent to the pod aliens. While everyone else had multiple clones, Hime only had one and the two of them act and think so alike that the two of them bar themselves in the dining room while everyone else fights off the army of clones. In the end, they both agree on who is the clone and who is the original with the clone making a heroic sacrifice. It isn't really clear if the "clone" really was the clone and we only have the agreement between the two on who is who.
* {{Invoked}} in the ''Manga/TigerMask'' manga: when Tiger Mask faces his EvilTwin he shows up wearing a band on his arm and fighting clean while the imposter had no band and committed fouls, but at one point Tiger Mask loses the band and gets ''pissed'' enough to fight back in kind, and nobody can't tell which one won. [[spoiler:Then {{Subverted}} when the match's promoter quickly points out that the winner is the real one, as his mask has plastic fangs and the loser's has steel ones.]]
* In ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'', we learn in Chapter 115 that this is part of [[spoiler:{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Twice's backstory, and the reason why he acts so strange. He's mentally broken. The worst part is that it was ''entirely self-inflicted'' through abusing his copying Quirk to make multiple copies of himself to be able to laze around and not do work; there was no outside bad guy that caused this. And now he's not sure that he's the original, and suffers from having a split personality.]]
* In ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' [[spoiler:when the "good" Nancy fights the "evil" Nancy it's nearly impossible to keep track of which is which during the fight. This creates an extra layer of drama when the surviving Nancy shows up and pretends to shoot the heroine so she can get close enough to the BigBad to kill him. To make the ending more complicated, the one who wins the fight elects to join the villain in death afterwards, leaving Yomiko a note that she didn't kill the other one after all.]] If you pay really close attention, [[spoiler:[[FridgeBrilliance they have different dominant hands.]], something Yomiko picks up on in one scene since she figures out which Nancy to stand next to when they're facing off.]]
* ''Anime/LupinIII''
** The first movie, ''Anime/TheMysteryOfMamo'' seems to be heading for this until the climax, in which [[spoiler:[[TheAntagonist Mamo]] reveals that the Lupin that died at the beginning was the clone.]] When [[SympatheticInspectorAntagonist Inspector Zenigata]] shows up afterwards to arrest Lupin, [[spoiler:he tries to invoke this trope with Zenigata,]] but the inspector doesn't care.
** [[MythologyGag Referenced]] in the later Lupin movie ''Anime/GreenVsRed'', where it isn't clear if the Lupin at the end is the real one, Yasuo dressed as Lupin, or another impersonator entirely. [[MindScrew No-one seems to care.]]

[[folder:Audio Drama]]
* One of the BBC radio adaptations of ''Series/BlakesSeven'' had a TeleporterAccident near the end that created two copies of Avon, one of whom ended up pulling a HeroicSacrifice at the climax. The last two lines of dialogue are this exchange:
--> '''Vila''': "Hey, which one are you, anyway?"
--> '''Avon''': "Does it really matter?"

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Doing this ultimately led to the ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'' [[ComicBook/TheCloneSaga Clone Saga]]. And, by extension, to the somewhat shorter ''Brand New May'' saga in the ''ComicBook/SpiderGirl'' comics.
* It happens in ''Lobo''.
** For a while there, even one drop of Lobo's blood would grow into a clone. Whenever this happens, the Lobos would team up to kill all of their enemies and then turn on each other. The lone surviving Lobo would be declared the "real" Lobo. Since it didn't matter to Lobo--or any of his clones--who survived as long as one of them did, and everyone else in the Franchise/DCUniverse tries to avoid Lobo anyway, readers didn't really care either.
*** Except for Slo'bo. See, at one point Lobo was de-aged to about fifteen and hanging out with ComicBook/YoungJustice, and he died… and when all the blood-clones grew up and started killing each other (while everyone else, thinking he was dead, was very far away), one of them ''ran and hid.'' After the others were done, he came out and ran back to Earth while the new Lobo was off doing whatever, but he was too ashamed to be called Lobo anymore, so he took a new name.
* In ''LightNovel/DirtyPair: Fatal But Not Serious'', both Yuri (Girly Girl of the LovelyAngels) and her LaserGuidedTykebomb [[EvilTwin clone]] are seriously wounded while escaping a supernova. In the epilogue, one Yuri is bedridden as her partner Kei tells her about the funeral for the other Yuri she just came back from. [[spoiler:Subverted in the last panel, where it's revealed that the clone's the one who survived.]]
* An odd case occurs in a ''ComicBook/IncredibleHulk'' story arc where the Hulk is cloned. The final confrontation follows all the conventions of the AmbiguousCloneEnding: Banner and the Clone face each other alone, the fight itself isn't shown, and the scene skips to Banner returning to his friends telling them the clone is dead. It seems like we're meant to be unsure that the real Hulk won... except that the clone was heavily modified, and in Hulk form looks unmistakably different from the real Hulk. Since we see the Hulk looking perfectly normal the very next storyline, he's clearly the original... so why does the narrative go through all the plot points associated with this trope?
* Back in the early 90s, DC Comics revisited the famous ''Sand Franchise/{{Superman}}'' storyline, in which a being of pure sand was created after Superman eradicated Kryptonite from the Earth. In the end, the two fight and a massive explosion took place within the Fortress of Solitude, the story ending with Superman talking to Luthor with the hinting that the surviving Superman was actually the sand creature. At one point, the prevalent rumor was that this story was supposed to have been DC's escape route if the marriage between Clark and Lois didn't pan out had the incident that lead to ''ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman'' not occur, but it's been proven to be not true.

* ''Film/AnotherEarth'' ends with TheReveal of Rhoda coming home and seeing another Rhoda. Which Rhoda is which, who visited who, what their differences are is never revealed as the movie ends.

* After several assassination attempts by the CIA, UsefulNotes/FidelCastro decided to look for a body double to serve as a decoy. After several days of search they found the perfect candidate: an inmate from an insane asylum who, like Fidel, smoked cigars, walked with long strides, constantly ranted against American imperialism, and even refused to take baths too. So they took him out, tried (unsuccessfully) to bathe him, dressed him in an olive green military suit, and presented him to Fidel, who was so impressed by his likeness that not even he could tell who was the real one! So he took his double for a ride on a Soviet jeep, with such bad luck that they crashed. When their comrades arrived to the crash site, they saw with horror that one of them had been killed!

* ''Literature/AlexRider''
** ''Point Blanc'', although it's not technically ''his'' clone. Alex has thwarted the villain's plot to replace the children of influential people with surgically-altered teenage clones of himself, only to find a clone that looks like ''Alex'' waiting at his school (Alex had posed as a businessman's son to get close to the villain). The ensuing fight causes a fire, and only one Alex walks out...until the sequel came along, of course.
** Several books later, it turns out that [[spoiler:''both'' survived. The clone has been in prison for the intervening books and is now even more obsessed with revenge. Alex ends up personally killing him.]]
* In ''Literature/AndroidAtArms'' by Creator/AndreNorton, the protagonist is the subject of a plot to replace him with an artificial duplicate -- or is he the duplicate, with implanted memories making him think he's the original?
* Subverted in ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings''. During the original Clan War story arc, Bayushi Kachiko uses an ArtifactOfDoom to create an evil duplicate of Doji Hoturi as part of her revenge against him for killing her son. [[spoiler:Unknown to Hoturi, he was actually ''their'' son.]] Hoturi finally faces the False Hoturi in a duel alone and away from any witnesses. But since the loser melted into goo and maggots upon death, it's quite clear that the real Hoturi won.
* Comes up in ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear: Clones''. Tash, fleeing a horde of malicious clones of herself, sheds her clothes and slips into one of the jumpsuits her clones are wearing, stacked neatly up near the cloning vats. She then ends up falling and hitting her head, so the past hour or so is a blurry mess, and runs into another Tash wearing something other than a jumpsuit, who rather than being evil is defeated and terrified and insists that ''she'' is Tash; the other clones arrive and kill the terrified one. Tash [[TomatoInTheMirror doubts herself]] for a bit, but ultimately resolves that she is not a clone - for one, she still has her mother's necklace, which none of the others have - because these clones don't act the same ways she's been acting all along. She's been intrigued and repulsed for some time by the Dark Side of the Force, while her evil clones are outright fascinated; she's pretty much become used to danger and the threat of death, but they rejoice in killing. She's afraid, but not cowering and terrified like the one nonviolent clone.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/RedDwarf'':
** The episode "Out of Time". ''Starbug'' is confronted by [[spoiler:an upgraded (but identical looking) ''Starbug'', crewed by evil future versions of the Starbug crew. It ends with the "good" vessel losing most of its crew, and a laser blowing up one of the combatants.]] Which ship won isn't revealed until the next series.
** It's also unclear which Rimmer is the Rimmer we see in series X (the one from Series I-VII who [[spoiler: became Ace Rimmer]] or the one from Series VIII who [[spoiler: may or may not have died during the series cliffhanger]]) as Series X presents evidence for both scenarios.[[note]]Series X!Rimmer talks about remembering being killed by the radiation leak, which only happened to the first Rimmer, but also mentions dealing with the chameleonic microbes, which happened with the second Rimmer.[[/note]]
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Sliders}}'' ("Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome"), the characters find themselves on a world that's just like their own Earth, but with only a few differences. One of those differences is that that world's Professor Arturo missed the opportunity to go sliding through other dimensions with Quinn Mallory and the others, and has regretted it ever since. This world's Arturo gets in a fight with the regular Arturo just as it's time to slide. Before the portal closes, one of the Arturos leaps through and joins the other Sliders while the other is left behind. It's never made clear whether the Arturo who joins them at the end is the same one they started with.
** [[WordOfGod The writers later confirmed]] that [[spoiler:the regular Arturo was the one left behind.]]
* In an episode of ''Series/PsiFactor'', a main character thinks his resurrected wife is actually possessed by an "Ancient", so he banishes her and resurrects her again. The ending heavily implies that it's still the same Ancient.
* Played with in the third season of ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': after John gets "twinned", both characters are essentially seen as equally real and valid. [[spoiler:Making it a huge TearJerker when one of them makes a HeroicSacrifice; at first, Aeryn ''refuses to speak'' to the other when they're reunited]].
** D'Argo and Chiana are also "twinned", but their doubles are killed during the same episode. They are both seen to be grappling with questions of "What if that was the real me and I'm just a copy?"
* In the DownerEnding of the ''Series/AreYouAfraidOfTheDark'' episode "The Tale of the Chameleons", the Chameleon turns into a clone of Janice, and Sharon must decide which one to spray with water. She picks the real Janice, who is turned into a chameleon and drowned in a well, while the clone has plans to turn Sharon and her family into chameleons as well.
* The TV Movie ''Echo'' had Jack Wagner playing the main character, and the EvilTwin who kidnaps his brother and takes over his life. Near the end, his girlfriend finds out about the twin, and goes to confront him only to find that the EvilTwin has mimicked his brother so well that, when she shoots the gun, the audience is left to wonder which of the twins survived.
* The Mexican soap opera ''Lazos de Amor'', which dealt with a group of identical triplets, ended like this: The evil triplet kidnaps one of her triplet sisters and ends up [[IfICantHaveYou killing her own love interest]] and then supposedly committing suicide, the kidnapped triplet is freed and goes on to marry her own love interest with the final scenes showing her wedding, but after the credits roll, [[TheStinger a scene during her honeymoon is shown]] where she briefly makes the same distinctive tic of her evil sister while her ominous leitmotif plays...
* ''Series/ScarecrowAndMrsKing'' in the second season episode Odds on a Dead Pigeon the bad guys get a hired killer to have plastic surgery to transform herself into Amanda. At the climax they are both hanging off a building and Lee has to save the right Amanda.
* ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'': {{Subverted|Trope}} in the episode "[[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS4E103InHisImage In His Image]]." Near the end of the episode, RidiculouslyHumanRobot Alan and his creator Walter get into a fight. A few minutes later, Alan's fiancee comes in and one of them escorts her out of the room, reassuring her that everything is okay. Then we see Alan's body lying on the floor.
* Osgood and her Zygon duplicate on ''Series/DoctorWho'' invoke and enforce this trope to keep the peace between humans and Zygons. Even after one of them dies in the Series 8 finale, the survivor refuses to confirm which one she is, and eventually ''another'' Zygon takes the dead Osgood's place. Which one of them is the surviving Osgood (who could be either human or Zygon), and which one is the Zygon who replaced the dead Osgood? Only they know--[[RiddleForTheAges and they're not telling]].
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' plays this for laughs.
** Tom Servo accumulates numerous clones over the course of the series, and in ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S10E13Diabolik Diabolik]]'', he prepares for his return to Earth by killing all those clones. But Mike Nelson and Crow can't tell the difference between the clones and the original, and the Servos themselves decide who's the "real" Servo mainly through attrition. So there's no clue whether the last Servo standing is the original or not.
** In ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S11E01Reptilicus Reptilicus]]'', Crow casually creates another gaggle of Tom Servo clones, then melts them all down to scrap when he's done. The original Servo gets melted down as well, somehow, and a clone left in his place. The clone immediately comes clean about the mix-up, but no one cares--and for the rest of the season, everyone treats him like he's the original Servo.

* The stage comedy ''Et ta sœur?'' ("And your sister?"), which deals with a couple of HalfIdenticalTwins ([[ActingForTwo played by the same actor]]), who throughout the play cross-dress as each other causing all sort of gags, by the end of the play they both have mimicked each other so perfectly that the character has to [[BreakingTheFourthWall break the fourth wall]] to [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] the fact that the audience cannot tell if the character on the stage is the sister acting like her brother, or the brother dressed up as his sister, or the brother dressed up as his sister ''and pretending to be her brother''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''[[VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}} Kagetsu Tohya]]'', if you decide to search for the killer, sometimes you do battle with him. The killer is you, ''somehow''. During some of the battles, it gets so confusing the fighters themselves begin mixing which is which, and the winner himself doesn't know who he is anymore. [[GroundhogDayLoop Try Again!]]
* The ending of ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' is ambiguous on whether the person who appears at the end is Luke, Asch, or an amalgamation of the two. The only piece of evidence is an optional sidequest reveals that creatures who undergo fomicry suffer a "big crunch" effect after a certain amount of time, in which the fonons of the original disperse and are absorbed into the clone. However, the sidequest does not reveal how much of the original persists after this process, leaving the answer vague.
* ''Franchise/StarWars: VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed 2'' lives on this. The protagonist dies in the canonical ending of the first game and is then cloned by the beginning of the second. The clone was imprinted with memories of the original up until to some point, essentially making him the same person. Midway through the game confusion arises when another character states that it is impossible to clone a Jedi (although Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse has it ''possible'', they just wind up crazy and evil). Then more clones of the original are revealed, going mad from their conflicting personalities, which you have to fight. And while the Light Side ending is pretty straightforward, the Dark Side ending is a guaranteed MindScrew on the first playthrough: the main character is killed by another clone of the original, who succumbed to the DarkSide. It is implied that he exists in the Light Side version of the game as well but does not attack you because of your actions. And then the bonus cinematics hint that you already played as a clone in the first game...
** The protagonist (of the second game) himself believes himself to be a clone, and at one point (at least in the novelization) refutes Rahm Kota's claims that Jedi cannot be cloned (at least not without physically degenerating) by pointing out that is as far as he knows. While the game and the novelization are deliberately vague, the supplementary material tend to state that he is a clone. The unlockable ''Distant Thunder'', which detail the Dark Apprentice's training, feature Darth Vader displaying Galen Marek's corpse to the Dark Apprentice. Since the cinematics occur before the game's ending, and have no impact on the game's events themselves, and due to the fact that Databanks and a Force vision (in the novelization) confirm the existence of the Dark Apprentice, it is probable that ''Distant Thunder'' is canon, which means that the second game's protagonist is, in fact, a clone.
** Complicating things is the existence of [[BodySurf Essence Transfer]], which means he could be the original Galen Marek ''and'' a clone.
* Not precisely a clone ([[spoiler:the clone acts ''way'' different]]), but towards the end of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', Shepard has to grapple with the ontological confusion of their being brought back from a really-most-sincerely-dead state by Cerberus. To whit, is s/he the actual Shepard, with a bunch of cybernetics that helped restore brain function… or is s/he a bunch of cybernetics programmed to believe it's Shepard? Shepard's companions and/or love interest are emphatic in their defense that s/he's the real deal, but none of them can offer any concrete proof, except for a romanced Liara (because of the "merging of consciousness" that comes with asari mating) -- and even she can't be 100% certain the difference would be noticeable.
* The Double Cherry powerup in ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DWorld'' can cause this. The clones disappear on getting hit, and once they're all gone the last one remaining is treated as the "original" Mario/Luigi/Peach/Toad. Also, the moment any clone touches the end of level flagpole, all the others disappear. Was that the real Mario, or…?

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* Occurs in ''Webcomic/PlanetZebeth'' between Samus and her backup.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'', Intern Dana is the only intern to have ever graduated from RedShirt status at Night Vale Community Radio. Only problem is, it might not have been the original Dana who survived the death match with her doppelganger in "The Sandstorm". Due to this, from then on she's referred to as "Intern Dana, or her double".
-->'''Dana''': I remember, I am Dana. Or, I am Dana’s double. One of us killed the other with the stapler. Even I don’t know which one. [[FakeMemories I have these memories, but memories prove nothing]]. Experiences also prove nothing.
* Taken UpToEleven in [[http://star-wars.suvudu.com/2012/04/post-star-wars-fate-of-the-jedi-news-and-exclusive-epilogue-by-timothy-zahn.html this]] fake ''Literature/FateOfTheJedi'' epilogue which reveals that not only did Luuke Skywalker from ''Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy'' survive in place of Luke, but Thrawn himself has been creating clones of everyone in the entire galaxy. The proposed unending series, ''Star Wars: The Clone Wars 2'', plays up the ambiguity of the cast being clones.
* The ending of season 2 of LetsPlay/FluxBuddies. After fighting [[LetsPlay/DuncanJones Duncan's]] evil clone Lalnable Hector for over a season, Lalnable reveals that ''he'' is the original and ''our'' Duncan is (one of) the clones. Of course he's not exactly a reliable source...

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad'' had Larry make a double of himself, with each double making another until there were hordes of them. Otto and Tuddrussel decided to shove all but one who claims to be the original into space. Despite the final Larry booted out being especially insistent he's the original and the one left behind giving an evil laugh, status quo is restored when he's shunted back to a subservient role.
* Part of a throwaway gag in an ImagineSpot on ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', but with a robot replicant instead of a clone.
** Played straight when Stewie creates an evil clone of himself. [[spoiler:It is implied that Brian shot the wrong one with an ending in the style of Music/MichaelJackson's "Thriller" video.]]
** Then subverted again when Chris thinks he has to either shoot Peter or an old man. [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} This being Chris]], he's completely ignoring how neither of them look anything alike!
** In "Roads to Vegas" two perfect copies of Brian and Stewie are created. By the end of the episode, one Brian and one Stewie are both dead...but the show never specifies which pair is the original and which is the copy (Did the machine teleport them to Vegas and leave clones behind, or teleport the clones to Vegas?). Since there's one death in each pair, either the original Brian or original Stewie is definitely dead.
* One Halloween short on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' involving a magical hammock that made multiple Homer Simpson clones ends with all the Homer clones being lured off a cliff to their doom using giant donuts pulled by helicopters. [[spoiler:However, it turns out that ''the real Homer'' was amongst the clones who fell to their doom (according to the surviving clone he was the first one over the cliff). Marge is understandably distraught at first but is mollified when the clone offers her a backrub. The fact that the song "Love the one You're With" by Stephen Stills is playing in the background also helps.]]
* Played with in "Too Many Pinkie Pies" episode of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' after Twilight zaps away all the clones in the room and only the original Pinkie remains. At first she shouts joyfully "I'm me! I'm me! I'm me!", but then she suddenly stops and asks herself "Or am I?", nervously examines her own face and concludes: "Yeah, I'm pretty sure I am".
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'': Near the end of season 5, Krieger meets three clones of himself. Though initially friendly to him, it's eventually revealed that the clones are planning to launch a missile filled with nerve gas. Our Krieger attempts to stop them, and in the ensuing fight three of the four Kriegers are killed. The survivor disarms the missile and returns to the United States with the rest of the heroes, but it's intentionally left vague whether he's our Krieger or one of the clones taking his identity, with the episode containing hints towards both:
** He's the real Krieger: He did disarm the missile, which the clones would have no reason to do, and he also knew about Cherlene's brain implant (and the fact [[spoiler:it was just a sticker]]), which the clones wouldn't (unless the real one told them about it offscreen).
** He's a clone: After the fight, Krieger has a concussion. Our Krieger was never shown to get hit on the head, but one of the clones did. He also calls his co-workers by the wrong names, which he attributes to the head wound, but could have been a result of him not knowing them.
*** He's real and has [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosopagnosia prosopagnosia]]: He's present for [[spoiler:the birth of Lana's daughter, Abbiejean, which occurs ''after'' the four Kriegers' struggle, but doesn't recognise her the following season, despite seeing her extensively since her birth.]]. He did suffer a long fall.
* ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'': In "The [=ABCs=] of Beth" Rick offers to make a perfect clone of Beth that will possess her memories and take over her role in the family while the real Beth can go on vacation. It's not revealed how she answered. In the following episode "The Rickchurian Mortydate" however, Beth remembers this conversation and becomes convinced that she a clone created to replace the original Beth after she agreed to Rick's offer. She never gets hard proof either way[[note]]For what it's worth, Rick vehemently insists she is NOT a clone, but offers no evidence other than his word which, given his history of lying and manipulating his family, cannot be trusted -Both Beth and Morty point out he'd probably say the same thing if she ''is'' a clone[[/note]], but ultimately decides that clone or not, she is happy with her current life.