When you want a badass
for your series, who better to use than the Dragon
himself? Members of this trope love flashy, unrealistic moves
and may have a penchant for high-pitched screams like "A-CHOOOO!"
and other sounds
while fighting. One-inch punches, bowl-cuts, yellow jumpsuits
are also common, despite Lee himself devoting his life to stripping away such extravagances, mysticism, and inefficient techniques in martial arts.
Members of this trope may have honed their bodies to superhuman levels through relentless training, Charles Atlas style
. May have a penchant for not wearing a shirt
and stretching out their ribs to flaunt their well-deserved muscles. They'll also have a similar name, either with Lee, Li, and/or a reference to the word for dragon, Long.
Character is often a Badass Normal
, while providing the same kind of humor as an Elvis
In film, the use of Bruce Lee lookalikes was common after the man's untimely death when, naturally, the real Lee was no longer available
, and films with Bruce Lee lookalikes are often bundled under the subgenre of "Brucesploitation."
Lesser seen but a still common sub-trope is the Jackie Chan
clone; a mop-haired, laid-back fighter who tends to incorporate either drunken boxing or the environment in his fighting style. These are almost always based on Chan's performance in the film Drunken Master
In a Japanese work, this trope may occur because All Chinese People Know Kung-Fu
. A Sub-Trope
of Fountain of Expies
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- The Trope Codifier (in anime, anyways) would be Kenshiro of Fist of the North Star, although his fighting style is very different from Lee's. However, his high pitched shrieks are spot on. Those are an invention of the anime, and almost certainly a deliberate invocation of this trope. He also has a lot more "ATATATATATATA!!" moments in the anime than the manga. He also looks a lot more like Lee in the original anime.
- Might Gai and Rock Lee (who shares Bruce Lee's birthday) of Naruto come complete with bowl-cuts and ugly jumpsuits. Both even use nunchaku, and both do the "ACHOOOOO" sound at least once. Also, in the English dub at least, Gai sounds a little like Elvis Presley sometimes, being one of a couple characters to take influences from both.
- In One Piece, Bepo the talking, kickboxing Polar Bear has the kicks and the shouts, moreso in the Anime, but of course being a Bear, he doesn't look too much like Lee. The jumpsuit is also shared between him and the other members of Trafalgar Law's crew.
- Lee Pai-Long from Shaman King is what would happen if Bruce Lee was killed by a Triad society, chopped up into little pieces, refitted with rockets and ballistic weapons, and brought back to life as a jiangshi.
- Spike from Cowboy Bebop has a love for the 20th century icon, and bases his style on Jeet Kune Do. He states that he is a follower of Bruce's brand of philosophy. He apparently has a knowledge of nunchaku, but never used them in actual fights.
- A nunchaku-wielding martial artist malcontent from Medabots, rather transparently. He had cropped black hair and the tracksuit and everything.
- Abyo from Pucca is fairly obviously based on Bruce Lee. In the original Flash shorts he even does the Bruce Lee sound effects.
- Inosanto Dan from Tenjho Tenge is an incredibly blatant Bruce Lee copy: he looks like him, he screams like him, he dresses in "Game Of Death"-style jumpsuits, he uses nunchaku, he's the president of the "Jun Fan Kung Fu Club", and so forth. His name is taken from Dan Inosanto, one of Bruce Lee's top students.
- Shin of Eyeshield 21 is a football player version of Bruce Lee, though he doesn't make any high pitched noises. None the less, his signature "Trident Tackle" looks more like a martial arts move than anything legal in a real football game.
- One appeared in the manga and "Season Zero" of Yu Gi Oh, an extremely Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy and bully who idolized Bruce Lee. He angrily beat up Yugi for beating him in a video game, but was taken down by Jounouchi.
- Tiger & Bunny has Pao-lin Huang/Dragon Kid, a pint-sized Chinese martial artist superhero that even goes around wearing the "Game Of Death" jumpsuit in her spare time.
- Lord Petora from Wedding Peach, who loves his "Achoo!" screams. He also gets beaten in a fight by Hinagiku. Without transforming.
- Power Joe from Brave Police J-Decker qualifies, with his stances, cries and preference towards using nunchaku (his toy even included one!). From a Japanese syllabic standpoint, his name is even based on Bruce's.
- Kefong from The Intimates, who even wears a Game of Death style jumpsuit in his first year (and one with the colors reversed in the second). He's also immune to psychic assault because he is that zen. He's also a bit of a subversion in that he's literally always relaxed and calm - and identifies his role model as Dean Martin.
- The above example aside, comic books have pretty much averted this trope... by putting Bruce in comics years after he died. The last attempt was Malibu's six-issue miniseries titled, appropriately, Bruce Lee.
- Depending on the Writer And Artist, Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu is sometimes a Bruce Lee Clone. (Ultimate Shang-Chi, by contrast, is a Jackie Chan Clone — his Ultimate Marvel Teamup appearance even featured Uncle from Jackie Chan Adventures.)
- Dashiell "Dash" Bad Horse from Scalped trained in Jeet Kune Do and even uses nunchaku to beat up criminals. His childhood room has a Bruce Lee poster.
- Prime-8s features Chimp Chan Z, an intelligent chimpanzee who was altered to roughly human size. He's an expert martial artist who wields nunchaku and has a black stripe down the sides of his yellow uniform. He becomes a movie star when the Prime-8s disband, and he even has the hair.
- In Men, Yolo is an actual clone of Bruce Lee, which is ironic since his name is an abbreviation for "You only live once."
- Especially in the wake of Lee's death, exploitation kung fu filmmakers would market any martial artist who vaguely resembled him as a "Bruce Lee clone" (e.g. "Dragon Lee", Bruce Li). Lampshaded in the B-Movie "The Clones of Bruce Lee", which starred three of the "clones" as literal clones.
- And there was also another figurative clone who didn't play a clone in the film.
- It was also lampshaded in the mockumentary Finishing the Game about producers trying to get a replacement for Bruce in Game of Death. One of the actors going for the role is named Breeze Loo and he stars in some familiar-sounding kung fu movies like Fists of Fuhrer.
- Sometimes people would become Bruce Lee Clones without their knowledge, as their films would be repackaged in non-asian markets to cash in on Bruce. The most notable example is the South Korean martial arts film The Stranger, which was repackaged as Bruce Lee Fights Back From The Grave, and its star, Taekwondo grandmaster Jun Chong, was rechristened "Bruce K.L. Lea".
- Jackie Chan was intended to become a Bruce Lee clone. Fortunately, he wasn't able to perform well in Lee's style. His Chinese stage name Cheng Long means "becoming the dragon".
- Still Chan is often considered to be Lee's successor, before he moved into slapstick comedy, at which time Jet Li succeeded him. It's not surprising that Chan and Li made a movie together (abandoning Chan's comical fighting for more straight combat style) called The Forbidden Kingdom (also starting a white guy who learned all the wrong lessons from Lee-type films).
- In Chan's autobiography, he relates the story of his stunt work on one of Lee's films, where Lee accidentally kicked him square in the face. As soon as the director called "cut", Lee ran back to check on Chan, and was very apologetic whenever he ran into Chan for the rest of the shoot.
- Chan actually gets his neck snapped on-camera by Lee in Enter the Dragon. It happens during the underground fight scene: Lee wraps up Chan's arm, kicks a random mook in the face, then the camera zooms in on Lee's face as he delivers the coup de grace.
- At one point, Chan explained why he could never have been a good Bruce Lee clone thusly: "Bruce kicks high, I kick low. Bruce breaks boards with his fist, I go 'ow.'"
- In a similar vein, Sonny Chiba was at first considered just a tasteless clone of the recently deceased Lee before he came into his own.
- Alexander Fu Sheng was probably more a successor to Bruce Lee than Jackie Chan. Fu Sheng possessed Lee's leading man good looks, charisma, and was Hong Kong's biggest star after Lee's death and before the rise of Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung. Unfortunately, his life seemed to mirror Lee's. Like Lee, he died young and in the prime of his career. He was killed in a car accident at age 28. Ironically, after Bruce's death, Fu Sheng had moved into his old house in Hong Kong which some say was cursed.
- Empty Hand from Shaolin Soccer, right down to the bowl cut and black-striped yellow jumpsuit.
- Leroy Green a.k.a. Bruce Leroy from The Last Dragon. It should be noted that only the fighting style and name was taken from Bruce Lee. The character was an African American.
- Enter the Fat Dragon stars Sammo Hung as a Bruce Lee fan who, in one scene, is cast as a mook in one of Lee's films. Unfortunately, "Bruce Lee" is really just a lookalike cashing in on Lee's name, and when Hung points that out, "Bruce" strikes him, then jokes about how slow Sammo is. Sammo then proceeds to deliberately mess up the fight scene by kicking the fake's ass, along with everyone else in the room, proving that he's a far superior Bruce Lee clone than that guy will ever be. The film itself is a parody of Enter the Dragon, so Sammo Hung is himself a clone in that respect too.
Live Action TV
- Three episodes of Family Matters had Steve Urkel becoming Bruce Lee Urkel.
- Kamen Rider Meteor from Kamen Rider Fourze mimics Bruce Lee's cries, stances, occasional moves and even the "thumb across the nose" taunt. He's even capable of using the one-inch punch which he used both for the regular Zodiarts, and to also kill Kamen Rider Fourze to get his friend back.
- Ultimo Dragon, when he was first starting out in Mexico, was billed as the last student trained by Bruce Lee before he died (hence the name Último Dragón, which translates as "Last Dragon"). Basically, he was a luchador Bruce clone, though he has broadened his style since then.
- Quick Kick from G.I. Joe qualified with his shirtlessness, baggy kung fu pants and nunchaku (although this was largely ignored by the cartoon, and slightly less so by the comic), but more recent Joe media and toys really pushed it even further, with more recent comics having him ape Bruce's moves and stances, and his newest action figure sporting the Onitsuka Tigers and yellow nunchaku from Game of Death and the claw wounds on the chest from Enter the Dragon.
- Pictured above: Fei Long from Street Fighter comes complete with high-pitched shrieks. Shirt not included.
- Fei Long's alternate costume in Street Fighter IV is Bruce Lee's outfit in Enter the Dragon. More than a few people who don't get the reference however, and just wonder why he's wearing shorts. His newer alternate costume in Super Street Fighter IV is basically a sleeveless Kato costume.
- Fei Long's status as a Bruce Lee clone is lampshaded in his English ending of Super Street Fighter II, where he acknowledges that he'll never be able to match up to "The Great One" if he simply imitates him, and leaves film to find his own path (the Japanese version makes no reference to Lee). Then again, by the time Street Fighter IV rolls around, he's making movies again.
- Vulcano Rosso subverts this as, while he directly copies the signature Bruce Lee-style flying kick, he shares nothing else in common with the trope's source inspiration (similar to how K' and Kula use Jeet Kune Do techniques like the one-inch punch despite distinctly not drawing from Bruce Lee in design). However, since he greatly resembles Maxi from Soulcalibur (who, as seen below, is a Bruce Lee Clone), he's technically one by proxy.
- Tekken has 2 of these, Marshall Law and his son Forrest.
- Also has a Jackie Chan clone, Lei Wulong.
- And to top it off, what's Lei's nickname? Super Cop.
- It's actually safe to say any drunken master style fighter, including but not limited to Brad Wong from Dead or Alive, is based wholesale off Chan's performance in the movie Drunken Master.
- Tekken seems to have a Wesley Snipes clone too: Raven. Really, Tekken often bases its Loads and Loads of Characters on existing culture. And who can blame 'em?
- Jann Lee of Dead or Alive. His backstory says he invoked this trope: tired of growing up weak and being pushed around, he idolized Bruce Lee and decided to model himself after him in order to become stronger.
- Liu Kang from Mortal Kombat was a fighter of this type until midway through the first continuity, when he was killed by Shang Tsung in Deadly Alliance and then brought back as a zombie. He still uses Jun Fan and Nunchaku, though. The physical resemblance also decreased later in the series.
- Fighting style and weapon which had both been used by Johnny Cage before in Deadly Alliance, despite him being a Jean-Claude Van Damme clone instead.
- Kim Dragon from World Heroes is a transparent ripoff of Lee complete without a shirt, as per the game's No Celebrities Were Harmed casting rules. Oddly enough, despite the rest of the game stealing heavily from Street Fighter and Fatal Fury, he predated the aforementioned Fei Long.
- Maxi in Soulcalibur, combines Bruce Lee's yells, fighting style... and an Elvis haircut. Now if only we could hear him sing. He's also a student/substitute to Li Long, who has a more obvious name shout out.
- Soulcalibur V allows you to edit and create costumes for playable characters. Some creative sticker editing and placement as well as the right outfit and hair selections can actually make him look like a dead ringer for Lee's Game of Death appearance.
- Daigo from the doujin game Big Bang Beat: 1st Impression. He wears a (blue and white) tracksuit and has nearly the same hair (barring the two devil-horn style cowlicks, and the fact that his hair's red). One of his alternate color schemes has more... appropriate colors for both. And his fighting style, down to the yelling, is a 1:1 match, as well.
- Hon Fu from the Fatal Fury series is partially based on Lee (with the nunchaku and all), but mostly on Jackie Chan, to whom he bears an uncanny likeness for a reason (also due to him being more of a Lethal Joke Character). His very fat brother Cheng might be partially based on Sammo Hung.
- Dragon Chan of Super Punch-Out is Bruce Lee with boxing gloves.
- Jon Talbain busts out nunchaku and similar Lee-ish poses for his taunt and winposes, shares a few flying kicks with Lee, and has howls that sound an awful lot like Lee's famous yells, although he bears no physical resemblance to him in either form.
- Although in human form, Talbain rocks a Kung Fu outfit complete with pajamas and slippers, and in both forms has a relatively lean-but-skinny body. He's definitely one of the less obvious Bruce Lee references and perhaps the most unique.
- Chie of Persona 4 has the haircut, fights using kicks, and says things like "Don't think, feel." and "WAAAAHTAAAH!". Her persona, Tomoe, wears the famous yellow tracksuit from Game of Death. Being an outspoken fan of kung-fu flicks, it makes sense in-story and in-universe.
- In the Updated Re-release, Persona4 Golden, you can acquire costume that is direct shout out to Lee, the previously-mentioned tracksuit, sneakers and all. It even changers her victory pose to a stereotypical Kung-Fu kick flip.
- In Frank Bruno's Boxing for the ZX Spectrum, there is a clearly Bruce-Lee-inspired character named Fling Long Chop. And, since the game was a rip-off of Super Punch-Out!!!! (see above), that made Fling Long Chop a rip-off of a rip-off.
- Billy and Jimmy Lee from the Double Dragon series are a more subtle example. They don't look much Bruce at first, but they share his surname and their fighting style is called "Sou-Setsu-Ken" or the Fist of Twin Interception, a nod to Bruce's style, the "Way of the Intercepting Fist". Also, Billy's name comes from Billy Lo, Bruce Lee's character in Game of Death and on the cover artwork of Double Dragon Advance, Billy and Jimmy mimick Bruce Lee's promotional still with Chuck Norris from Return of the Dragon.
- The arcade version of Double Dragon 3 has a more blatant clone named "Li Cheng-Long", whose name is a reference to both, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.
- Billy and Jimmy's fighting stance in the SNES and GBA versions is actually the JKD stance.
- Kim Kaphwan from Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters performs a Bruce Lee-esque Kiai when performing any variation of his Hou'ou Kyaku ("Hou'ou Kyaku! ATATATATATATA!! WATAAAAA!!!").
- Bayonetta is a female example once you give her the Gun-chucks, Sai-Fung. When doing the five punch combo, she even does the high pitched shrieks and ACHOOOO for extra measure. The point is driven home when you realize that Sai-Fung is actually one of Bruce Lee's old nicknames and buy Sai-Fung's costume set.
- Dante exhibited similar quirks in Devil May Cry 3 when wielding tripartite ice nunchaku Cerberus. One of his attacks (Satellite) even has Dante produce a high-pitched "WOOOOO-AAAAAAAA!" kiai. The Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, however, were included as part of his moveset with Beowulf.
- "Bruce Meow" in Shadow Hearts: From The New World is a blatant parody; then again, they also include Cat Morita, among others...
- Ready 2 Rumble Boxing's Jet "Iron" Chin has the look, physique, and mannerisms down pat. His even has a Bruce Lee-esque rapid-fire punch barrage for his Rumble Flurry, although it was toned down a lot in the sequel.
- Jet Chan from Evil Genius is clearly Bruce Lee by appearance, though obviously his name is a reference to Jet Li and Jackie Chan. He is also That One Boss.
- Li in Front Mission 3.
- Thomas in Kung Fu Master is supposed to be Jackie Chan's character from Wheels on Meals, but plays more like a Bruce Lee clone. The game's story is practically lifted from Game of Death.
- Dragon Wang, a Kung Fu Master-like game for the Sega SG-1000, had no shirt on its protagonist. The Taiwanese distributors gave the game the same title as the Bruce Lee movie Fist of Fury.
- The Fire Pro Wrestling game series is rather notorious for using very blatant Captain Ersatzes of existing professional wrestlers and mixed martial artists, however the second Game Boy Advance game, Final Fire Pro Wrestling (aka "Fire Pro Wrestling 2") went one step further and included more famous martial artists and film characters including Rocky, Chuck Norris and of course Bruce Lee himself, under the name "Kung-Fu Liu".
- China Warrior, a Kung Fu Master clone for the TurboGrafx-16, starred another shirtless Bruce Lee clone named Wang, and had a recurring boss clearly modeled on Jackie Chan.
- Lee Sin from League of Legends, especially his Dragon Fist skin.
- The shirtless Stage 2 boss from the Sega Beat 'em Up D.D. Crew.
- Long from the Chinese online fighting game Xuan Dou Zhi Wang. Literally.
- The Amstrad CPC version of Dragon Ninja had a Bruce Lee clone posing in front of a Chinese dragon on the title screen, for no better reason than the title.