Celebrity Resemblance

"Your face is familiar..."

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.

In-Universe Examples Only:

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.

Comic Books

  • 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.
  • In The Widow Of Desire Natalie Stuart is told by her friends that she looks like a brunette Cybill Shepherd.

Live-Action TV
  • Jimmy Carr's resemblance to tennis star Roger Federer has been remarked upon a few times on Carr's Channel 4 series 8 Out of 10 Cats, and during his appearances on shows like A League of Their Own.
  • When David Tennant appeared as a Star in a Reasonably Priced Car on Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson noted that he "really [is] a good-looking version of Richard Hammond."
  • In Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman lampshades this trope when he says, "If you're committed enough, you can make any story work. I once told a woman I was Kevin Costner, and it worked because I believed it!" note . His actor Bob Odenkirk truly does have a striking resemblance to Kevin Costner.
  • In a flashback on All In The Family which showed when Mike and Gloria first met, Mike claimed that he grew his beard because he looked like Fred Astaire and it was easier to change his look than learn how to dance.
  • In "And the Hidden Stash," the second-season premiere of 2 Broke Girls, Caroline disguises herself with a brunette wig to attend the auction of her family's property. Max introduces her to people as Zooey Deschanel (whom she actually does resemble in the wig), Jennifer Love Hewitt (which a security guard actually believes) and Katie Holmes.
  • In an episode of Mad About You, Helen Hunt's character Jamie describes herself as resembling Jodie Foster. This references the fact that, throughout Hunt's career, she has been compared to Foster, due to the resemblance between them and the fact that Foster became an established performer a few years before Hunt.
  • In Whose Line Is It Anyway?, there have been a couple of comments on how Ryan Stiles looks like Doogie Howser.
  • In Castle, the title character, played by Nathan Fillion, is jokingly called Jason Bateman. This is a reference to a few real-life incidents where Fillion was mistaken for Bateman.
  • Community has mentioned several
    • As noted by both Abed and Jeff, Britta looks like Elizabeth Shue.
    • Troy notes that the Dean looks like Moby.
    • An unseen biracial character is alternately described as a black Michael Chiklis and a white George Foreman.
      Britta: HEY! His name is David, and he's a person!
    • In the same exchange Jeff calls Abed "brown Jamie Lee Curtis."
    • The many "Jeff looks like Ryan Seacrest" jokes.
    • Garret is noted to look like Mark David Chapman.
    • One episode features the entire gang working for a celebrity impersonator group to pay off Abed's debt to them (It Makes Sense in Context). Jeff plays Ryan Seacrest, Annie plays Judy Garland, Abed plays Jamie Lee Curtis, Shirley plays Oprah, Pierce plays a fat Marlon Brando (although he thinks he's playing Burt Reynolds), Troy plays a black Michael Jackson, and Britta plays a white Michael Jackson. This was also the episode where J.P. Manoux's character was introduced as a fake Moby who gets mistaken for the dean.
  • Similarly, on How I Met Your Mother, in the first season, J.P. Manoux plays a character whom the gang mistakenly believes to be Moby. It takes a while for them to realize that it's not him, then they start calling him "Not Moby" (which is the name they use for him in the credits).
  • The resemblance between Omar Epps, who plays Foreman in House, and Pittsburg Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was referenced in the episode "Ignorance Is Bliss":
    House: Got all of my starters back plus a couple of free agents. I feel like Mike Tomlin. (looks at Foreman) Probably not as much as you do, but you get the idea.
  • Auction Hunters featured one episode in northern Texas where a competitor bore an uncanny resemblance to George W. Bush, a resemblance that did not go unnoticed by the two Hunters, who quickly nicknamed him "W". He turned out to be their main competition at that auction.
  • Arrow lampshades how much Jessica De Gouw (aka Helena Bertinelli) looks like Carly Foulkes (aka the T-Mobile Girl). Further emphasized by how both are motorcycle riders.
  • A Running Gag in The Nanny. Maxwell Sheffield (actor Charles Shaughnessy): "I am NOT Pierce Brosnan!"
    • In "Val's Boyfriend", Maxwell's business partner C.C. Babcock temporarily quits her partnership, so Fran Fine helps them get back together by making her think Maxwell needs help signing Marvin Hamlisch onto a new production, but in reality, he's Fran's former high school music teacher, Alan Neider, played by Hamlisch.
  • The episode of iCarly "i Lookalike" makes it known that Malese Jow is Miranda Cosgrove's doppelganger
  • Iron Chef America took this an ran with it. When guest chefs Nicola and Fabrizio Carro (identical twins) came to compete, Iron Chef Michael Symon teamed up with Chef Michael Psilakis to compete. Due to identically cut facial hair, the Michaels actually looked more alike than the real twins they were competing against.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith had already once worn a shirt reading "I am not Will Ferrell". Then Jimmy Fallon arranged for both to attend The Tonight Show wearing identical outfits, making it impossible to tell them apart. The drum showoff later made it easier (without the jacket, Chad's tattoos are visible).
  • My Kitchen Rules: In the second round of Season 6, when the contestants first met each other, many were quick to point out how much contestant Rob looks like Thor's Chris Hemsworth. The two are apparently cousins, so this is justified.
  • On Seinfeld, it's implied that George met someone offscreen who resembled actor George Peppard. He thought it was the real deal, and brags about it to Jerry, who points out that George Peppard died years ago.
    George: Well, whoever he was, he knew a lot about The A-Team!
  • The Graham Norton Show received two "victims" of this at once. Samuel L. Jackson acknowledged he and Laurence Fishburne are often mistaken for each other, even during interviews or attending the same place. Meanwhile, Keira Knightley admitted sometimes people get pictures with her thinking they're meeting Natalie Portman (something that landed Knightley a role in The Phantom Menace).
  • In Young & Hungry, Gabi mentions people in China thought she was Carrie Underwood whom people note Emily Osment looks like.

  • 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.

Video Games

Web Original
  • "creator/folieadonteven Kax" is known for looking like pretty much EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD. As of now, theyve been told that they look like: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Andy Biersack, Ruby Rose, Pete Wentz, Gerard Way, Brendon Urie, William Beckett, Chloe Grace Mortez, Cara Delevaigne, Alex from Target, Korra, Katara, Sokka, Stevonnie, Mabel Pines, the list goes ON AND ON.
Western Animation
  • 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.