Cast of Expies

While the Fountain of Expies is a character who has been frequently copied in other works, this is a work that features many characters similar to those in other works, whether any individual one counts as an Expy or a Captain Ersatz. This is common in metafictional works that intend to parody, deconstruct, reconstruct, or just reference entire genres or mediums.

Please note: To qualify, at least half of the work's major characters must be recognisable as derived from earlier ones. A work which has multiple Expies or Ersatzen simply because it has Loads and Loads of Characters does not qualify..

Compare Monster Mash, which often features expies of classic horror movie monsters, and Alternate Company Equivalent.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Planetary. Almost every character except for the members of the central team is a Captain Ersatz of a character from superhero comics or wider pulp fiction.
  • Astro City has the Confessor, the Samaritan, the First Family, and numerous others. The work is a massive Genre Deconstruction, of course.
  • Wanted was originally an official Darker and Edgier Legion of Doom reboot. It's pretty apparant who everyone is: Fuckwit is Bizarro, Shithead is Clayface, the Fox is Catwoman, etc.
  • The central cast of Watchmen are all expies of Charlton Comics characters that had been recently acquired by DC at the time of writing. Nite-Owl is Blue Beetle, Rorschach is The Question, The Comedian is Peacemaker, Silk Spectre is Nightshade, Dr. Manhattan is Captain Atom, and Ozymandias is Thunderbolt. In fact, the story was originally conceived as being about the original Charlton characters and taking place in the Charlton Comics universe, but DC put the nix on this as they wanted to make those characters residents of the mainstream DC universe and Moore's intended plot would kill several of them and make others unsustainable as ongoing characters. As a result Watchmen was rewritten to be about Charlton expies and taking place as a stand-alone continuity.
    • Comes full circle with The Multiversity: Pax Americana, a story from one of DC's many alternate universes, which features alternate versions of Blue Beetle, The Question, Peacemaker (deceased), Nightshade, and Captain Atom, and also Tiger (another Charlton hero who has no analogue in Watchmen) whose appearances and backstories are much closer to those of their Watchmen equivalents, effectively making them expies of expies of themselves.
  • Another sector of the DC multiverse gives us the Retaliators, who are an expy of The Avengers. The roster includes Behemoth, Machinehead, Wundajin, Ladybug, Deadeye, Red Dragon, Kite, and Major Max, lead by American Crusader and opposed by the villainous Lord Havok.
  • Squadron Supreme began as a Marvel parody of the Justice League of America for a single two-part story in The Avengers, but remained an obvious team of Ersatzes when they got a mini-series to themselves, and when they were reimagined in Supreme Power.
  • Practically every character in The Pro except for the protagonist is a parody of a DC comics character. The protagonist has some visual similarities to Power Girl, but a very different personality and backstory.
  • Practically every character in Marshal Law is a parody of some superhero comics character or other. Of Marshal Law's major enemies, the Public Spirit is Superman, the Private Eye is Batman, and the Persecutor is The Punisher. In relation to groups of characters, the patients in the New York mental hospital are all parodies of the big name Silver Age Marvel Universe heroes, the zombies in "The Hateful Dead" are the Justice Society of America (plus Captain America), the Secret Tribunal are Dark Age Marvel heroes, and the "League of Heroes" group of "heroes" in training are the Legion Of Superheroes. Marshal Law himself is based on Judge Dredd.
  • The title character of Dr. Blink: Superhero Shrink and his colleagues and family are originals, but virtually all of the superheroes and villains appearing are parody expies, because that's the point.
  • Top 10, about cops in a city where everybody is a superhero or supervillain, is an odd example. Many of the minor characters are copies or parodies of well-known superhero comic characters, but for some reason most of the regular characters are easily recognisable expies of characters from Hill Street Blues reimagined as superheroes.
  • In PS238, many of the important adult heroes (including some parents and teachers) are Captain Ersatzes, most obviously Ron's dad Atlas for Superman and Tyler's mentor the Revenant for Batman. Many of the kids are, too. Because of the large cast this goes beyond the more obvious examples—for example, we have a M.O.D.O.K. (bratty kid Zodon), Genesis (friendly Malphast) and Morpheus (loopy Murphy).
  • The Powerpuff Girls story "Steal A Meal" (DC Comics, Cartoon Network Block Party #26) has Him bringing three cereal mascots to life to steal all the cereal in Townsville. The mascots are expies of the Trix rabbit, Lucky the Leprechaun (Lucky Charms) and Twinkles the Elephant (Twinkles cereal, an obscure 1960s entry).

     Film - Animation 

    Film - Live Action 

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Benny Hill Show longform sketch "Murder on the Oregon Express" features parody versions of several TV detectives including McCloud, Ironside, Cannon, Kojak and his supporting cast, Hercule Poirot (all played by Hill), Police Woman, Columbo, and Barnaby Jones.
  • The cast of the 1979 television movie Murder Can Hurt You! was based on television detectives, such as Kojak and Columbo.
  • Glee: The new kids joining the glee club in season 4 are all espies of the original kids (Marley = Rachel, Ryder = Finn and Sam, Jake = Puck, Kitty = Quinn and Santana, and Unique = Mercedes and Kurt).

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Broforce's playable cast consists entirely of Lawyer Friendly versions of famous action heroes from the '80s and '90s, such as Rambo or Snake Plissken to name a couple.
  • City of Heroes, as part of its homage to superhero comics.
  • Champions Online, both as a homage to to superhero comics and a Spiritual Successor to City of Heroes. The choosable character classes are even parallels to numerous heroes: the Fist, the Grimoire, the Disciple, and the Unleashed are just a few.
  • Freedom Force, yet another homage to superhero comics.
  • King of the Monsters' roster is basically every kaiju Japanese cinema ever made, plus King Kong.
  • Tech Romancer: The game is a love letter to many old Super Robot anime and as such it contains a lot of expies to them, such as the G-Kaiser to Mazinger Z or Rafaga to Mac Ross. It also has an Ultraman expy named Pulsion.
  • Rosen Kreuzstilette: as a Mega Man clone, this game features many expies from said game, such as main heroine Spiritia being one to Mega Man or Iris being one to Dr. Wily. There are also some Castlevania expies such as Thanatos (Death) and Count Zeppelin (Dracula).
  • In Them's Fightin' Herds, this is intentionally invoked with the main cast. Originally, the game was being made as a fangame of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, but when Hasbro sent the creators a Cease & Desist order, they were forced to forfeit using the My Little Pony characters. However, Lauren Faust, the creator of Friendship Is Magic, decided to help them out. And thus, six characters resembling the cast of MLP:FiM were created, each one redesigned and renamed in a way that bypasses the copyright issues.
  • As Guilty Gear's Spiritual Successor BlazBlue features a lot of these, such as the main protagonists Ragna and Jin being expies of GG's Sol and Ky respectively, while Tager and Arakune are expies to Potemkin and Zato-1.
  • Star Gladiator is a Star Wars clone and as such its characters are references to SW''s ones, like Hayato for Luke, or Bilstein for Darth Vader.
  • Harvest Moon games feature many expies of characters from previous titles. Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life features several from Harvest Moon: Mark is a Pete expy in terms of design and role (brunette farmers from out of town), Celia has both qualities of Nina and Ellen (the looks of Ellen but a love of plants and minor Cloud Cuckoolander traits similar to Nina), Muffy is an expy of Eve (troubled blonde bartenders in red dresses), and Vesta looks like Ellen's mother.
  • Mega Man 1 started out as a licensed game for Astro Boy. Naturally many expies exist in Mega Man (Classic):
    • Rock is a Robot Kid and Kid Hero similar to Astro (and looks similar to him out of gear).
    • Rock has a younger sister robot named "Roll", similar to how Astro has Uran.
    • Dr. Wily looks like an older version of Dr. Tenma and plays a similar antagonistic role.
    • Dr. Light is a large set, white haired father figure to Rock similar to how Professor Ochanomizu adopted Astro after Dr. Tenma abandoned him for not being a proper Replacement Goldfish to his son.
  • Super Fighter: As a bootleg game made by the Taiwanese company C&E based on Street Fighter II (even tracing the animations of various characters and using the unaltered sound effects and music scores), the entire cast (with one or two possible exceptions) are basically "Poor man's Ryu, Ken, Chun-li," etc. Though the developers try to hide their blatant infringement on Capcom's Intellectual Property rights by way of employing Composite Character (e.g. Phoenix (the Chun-li ersatz) does some of M. Bison's moves), Red Man (the Blanka ersatz) has Dhalsim's color scheme and M. Bison and Sagat's mannerisms) in an effort to make them seem unique.
  • Mortal Kombat: The series borrows heavily from popular martial arts fiction. Sonya Blade is Cynthia Rothrock, Johnny Cage is Jean Claude Van Damme (especially as he appears in Bloodsport), Liu Kang is Bruce Lee's character from Enter the Dragon, and Shang Tsung, Raiden, and Scorpion/Subzero/et all resemble characters from Big Trouble in Little China.
  • Being a Spiritual Successor to Banjo-Kazooie made by many of the original developers, most of the characters of Yooka-Laylee are functionally very similar to the characters of that game. The protagonists in particular are blatant copies of Banjo and Kazooie, sharing near-identical personalities and moves.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Batman Beyond episode "Heroes" had a team of three expies of the Fantastic Four. 2D Man was based off Mr. Fantastic, Freon was an ice-based Invisible Woman, and Magma was a combo of the Thing and the Human Torch (and was the most Blessed with Suck of all of them, not even being able to touch Freon without hurting her). Given that the episode in question was essentially a Deconstruction of the Fantastic Four, things do not end well for them, especially when their creator betrays them.
  • Drawn Together is an animated Reality Show parody with expies of cartoon characters living together, including a Superman, Disney Princess, Link, Pikachu, Betty Boop and Spongebob Squarepants expy.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures features expies of the cast of Looney Tunes where they are training to become like their idols, the original Looney Tunes cast.
  • Loonatics Unleashed has a cast that is based off of the original Looney Tunes characters, specifically Bugs, Lola, Daffy, Taz, Road Runner, and Wile E. Coyote.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The Mane Six are expies of G1 My Little Pony characters, with elements of Lauren Faust's headcanons added in. This is because she had intended for them to actually be the characters however had to use My Little Pony G3 characters instead due to Hasbro not holding the copyrights for most of the G1 cast at the time:
      • Twilight Sparkle is physically similar to (unicorn) Twilight.
      • Pinkie Pie is heavily based on Surprise, but is an Earth Pony instead of a pegasus. They're both energetic party-loving pranksters.
      • Rainbow Dash is Firefly with a paint job and a more brash nature. They're both heroic and headstrong speedsters.
      • Fluttershy is similar to Posey, however she's a pegasus instead of an Earth Pony. Fluttershy focuses on animals more than plants while Posey was a florist, and wasn't a Shrinking Violet.
      • Rarity is based on Sparkler (not Glory like many think) however her fur is a near-white shade of blue.They're both gem stone related, though Rarity uses it in her designs while Sparkler collected gems.
      • Applejack and Spike are the only two who aren't expies. Hasbro had their names due to reusing them in G3. Applejack's brother Big Mcintosh is likely a reference to Applejack's G3 design.
    • The Mane Six resemble characters from another Lauren Faust project, her Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls toy-line. This is likely in part due to Faust having attempted to pitch an Animated Adaptation of the toys when she was asked to create G4 of My Little Pony. Twilight is Uranus, Rainbow Dash is both Pluto and Mercury, Rarity is Venus, Fluttershy is both the Moon and Jupiter, and Pinkie is Mars. Spike has laid-back qualities similar to Neptune, with the added bonus of him being Twilight's little brother figure like Neptune is Uranus' little sister.
  • All five of the main characters in Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers are expies of an 80s movie or TV character:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CastOfExpies