Whenever a resemblance is noted In-Universe
between a celebrity and someone else.
It's a relatively common phenomenon. Some people do look alike, but since celebrities have such well known faces, people tend to see their resemblances in other people.
In magazines, this is often poked fun at with side by side photos of celebrities with people who resemble them, often with the caption "Switched at Birth
?", and often with the labels swapped.
In a brilliant bit of Refuge in Audacity
, Albert Einstein
would invoke this to anyone who approached him in the street, asking him to explain his theories. He would reply "Pardon me, sorry! Always I am mistaken for Professor Einstein."
It can be helpful for actors trying to break into Hollywood to already have this aspect. Some casting agencies will be asked by studios to look for someone who looks like [whatever] celebrity. Similarly, some writers and artists intentionally design fictional characters off of real life celebrities.
Although the audience can definitely feel that a certain character, actor or actress resembles a celebrity, this trope only applies if this resemblance is mentioned or purposely exploited in a work.
Compare Textual Celebrity Resemblance
, Separated-at-Birth Casting
, Comic Book Fantasy Casting
. Not to be confused with Identical Stranger
. Might overlap with Celebrity Paradox
Anime and Manga
- A Yuki-fangirl in Fruits Basket tells him that she looks like a famous Japanese actress. One of her friends, also squealing over Yuki, immediately says she doesn't.
- In Saint Young Men, a passing group of teenage girls remark on Jesus's resemblance to Johnny Depp.
- In Ocean's Twelve, Tess, played by Julia Roberts, pretends to be Julia Roberts.
- In Dawn of the Dead (2004), Kenneth bonds with a Gun-Shop owner across the street by communicating via board and playing games on the rooftop. One of said games is "Shoot the Celebrity", which apparently consists of sniping a zombie that resembles a celebrity. So far, he's got to shoot "Jay Leno", "Freddy Mercury" and "Rosie O'Donnel".
- In Saturday Night Fever, a drunken girl at the disco mistakes Tony (the protagonist, played by John Travolta) for Al Pacino and urges him to kiss her. Lampshaded when Tony wakes up in the morning and asks himself "Do I really look like Al Pacino?"
- In Russian war drama Eugene, Little Eugene and Katyusha Colonel Karavayev is played by famous Soviet actor and singer Mark Bernes. At one point, main character tells that girls like Colonel Karavayev, because he look like Mark Bernes.
- In Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Brendan Fraser plays a stuntman who was the In-Universe Fraser's stunt double for The Mummy (1999). Then later the "real" Fraser appears for the protagonist to set things straight.
- In His Girl Friday, Walter Burns (Cary Grant) describes rival in love Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy) as "looking like, uh, that guy from the movies, you know... Ralph Bellamy."
- Eleanor from Eleanor And Park says that Park's father looks like Tom Selleck.
- Count Fosco in The Woman in White looks like a taller and fatter Napoleon Bonaparte, at least according to Marian Halcombe.
- William Gibson's Bridge Trilogy (specifically, "Virtual Light"'') mentions of the exploitation of this trope with an In-Universe computer application that scans a person's features and links them to that of a celebrity that resembles him/her the most, used mostly for laughs and the occasional search for missing persons (the reasoning that telling someone that the person looks like so-and-so celebrity will help them remember him better). The application is used on protagonist Berry Rydell, and it says back that Rydell has a resemblance to Tommy Lee Jones.
- Madonna has done this often in her career. Her music videos from the 1980s have her dressed in glamorous shout-outs to famous movie actresses of the past, most notably Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe.
- In South Park, Word of God says that Cartman is heavily inspired in Archie Bunker, and the funny thing is that both are very similar physical and psychological in Jerk Ass tendencies.
- In American Dad!, many claim that the Principal Lewis has an uncanny resemblance to the rapper Rick Ross.