"Was he the real Aoi or just a clone?"Clones have often gotten the short end of the stick in Sci-Fi. When they're not soulless abominations or evil dopplegangers, they tend to be seen as just back-up copies of the original and nothing more. Except when this trope kicks in. After all, Nature creates genetic copies of people all the time. They're called identical twins; and as people in Real Life can easily tell you, they are very much individuals. This trope is when a Clone is permitted to be their own person and live their own life, essentially becoming a character independent from the original. They may grapple with Cloning Blues now and then, or they may recognize that their personality is sufficiently unique for them to think of themselves as— well, themselves. This is more difficult if they started life with the copied memories of the original. Often, they become a recurring or supporting character. If the original is dead, it's likely the clone takes over the original's role. Expect any Zombie Advocate to take this viewpoint, but expressing this view does not automatically make a person a Zombie Advocate. See also Androids Are People, Too. Contrast Expendable Clone.
"He was a man."
"He was a man."
— Phoenix: Life
open/close all folders
- In Afterschool Charisma, clones may be treated as backup copies, but Shiro (and Mr. Kuroe) sees them as this.
- Phoenix 'Life' deals strongly with this idea when the main character, a selfish TV executive, is cloned and sent to be slaughtered for sport with his many copies.
- In Lyrical Nanoha, this is generally the prevalent attitude regarding all the clone characters. Precia Testarossa is about the only character who doesn't share this perspective, and the reason she hated Fate is because she wasn't the same person as the girl she was cloned from, and Precia wanted a Replacement Goldfish. The movie backpedaled on this slightly, with Precia realizing much too late that Fate was effectively the little sister Alicia had always wanted.
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, it's revealed that while Vivio very closely resembles the woman she was cloned from, there are physical as well as personality differences between them (most notably, the fact that Olivie had no arms, though Vivio's "adult mode" also shows that she's bigger than her predecessor).
- A major plot point in A Certain Magical Index involves the main characters convincing Mikoto's clones of this. Originally, they were perfectly content with dying for the sake of the experiment. Afterward, while they still often act in unison and seem interchangeable, there's evidence as time goes on that they're starting to develop slight differences in their individual personalities.
Misaka 10032: Misaka cannot comprehend your actions...if the right materials and drugs are available, Misaka can be automatically created with the push of a button...an artificial body...an artificial mind...each unit is 180,000 yen, with as many as 9,968 left in storage. Yet, for something like that...
Touma: That doesn't matter. That your body's artificial...that your mind's artificial...that you can be made with the push of a button...small things like that aren't even interesting. There's only one you in this world, and I'm here to help you. So don't go dying by yourself.
- The Bioroids in Appleseed are genetically enhanced clones, and the fact that they have the same rights as any other people is a major plot point. Furthermore, thanks to their emotional restrictions they play a vital part in ensuring the world peace after two destructive world wars.
- Gundam SEED Destiny: Kira Yamato goes out of his way to convince Rey Za Burrel, the clone of the previous Big Bad, that he does not have to repeat his "brother's" mistakes. It eventually gets through to him.
- Said Big Bad was also a clone who was treated as nothing more than an extension of his donor. It didn't end well for anyone involved.
- Also, this trope is specifically why the current Big Bad's plan - which hinged on every person's being, belief, and therefore role in life would be determined their genes - falls apart with its logic. Rey, in terms of character and belief, is NOTHING like said previous Big Bad. And then there's the other side-story-exclusive clone, who is pretty much non-villainous, and their deceased genetic donor, who was easily the biggest douchebag in all the land.
- Glemmy Toto of Gundam ZZ may have Gihren Zabi's DNA, and is almost as manipulative and evil as his donor, but the similarities end there. While Gihren was a humourless, ugly cold-blooded Adolf Hitler stand-in, Glemmy is a smooth talking pretty boy charmer, with a quirky sense of humour and a Stepford Smile.
- Elpeo Ple also has approximately 11 or so clones, meant to serve as brainwashed Newtype super soldiers for Glemmy. Most of them only appear long enough to die in the final battle, but Ple-2 and Ple-12 are both fleshed out as characters and are quite different from their original. In fact, you can often tell who is a good guy or a bad guy based on how they treat them: the evil characters (or at least on the darker side of grey) tend to see them as expendable living equipment, and heroic characters tend to treat them as actual people.
- Knights of Sidonia has the Honokas. They are a group of clones who are all trainee pilots, but each have their own name (Honoka En, Honoka Hou, and so on) and are treated as individuals.
- "Kinos Journey", the light novel, has a chapter dedicated to this. Kino enters a country where the inhabitants are all clones of one male and one female, who are pretty much equal to twins, with differing personalities and traits. It gets blown up by people who believe otherwise. Nobody dies.
- Zig-Zagged in Gantz. When a transporter accident creates a duplicate Kishimoto, she is treated as just as human as the original. Ditto much later when a duplicate Kurono is created.
- Fridge Horror: "Teleportation" is actually accomplished by creating an exact duplicate of you and then disassembling you molecule by molecule. Deconstructed, analyzed, and shoddily reconstructed (unintentionally) by The Sponsors (The aliens that supplied Gantz technology): They treat humans and giants as a video game player would to an NPC: as THINGS. To summarize, they don't see the people fighting for their lives as human, and are as willing to resurrect the dead and brutally kill them as they are willing to strike up meaningful philosophical discussions in an attempt to teach them how to stop being stupid. Seeing how everyone was teleported into the room that they hold a discussion in, it's possible they see EVERYONE IN THE ROOM as NPCs. However, they're also dense to the point that they obliviously explain the physics and semantics of modern-theory afterlife and reincarnation as an actual means to closure (mostly because they don't really know WHY twenty-one grams of matter in the human brain teleports to an alternate dimension when people die, nor why the re-distribution of said mass forms a very obvious but illogically unnatural pattern).
- Used as a theme on Naruto Gaiden, of all people, the villain Orochimaru explains this trope to Naruto, Sasuke and Sarada regarding Shin's clones, saying that unlike Naruto's shadow clones, each Shin clone is a human being with a mind and personality of its own. By the end of the story all of "Shin Jrs" are taken to be raised in an Orphanage of Love led by Kabuto.
- Superboy (Conner Kent) in the comics and the animated series Young Justice. In both versions he turns out to be cloned from Superman and Lex Luthor, who provided some of his DNA to stabilize the sample, so he's not an exact copy of anyone.
- The Young Justice Superboy was created to replace Superman if he died or kill him if he turned evil (at least, according to the people of dubious ethics at Cadmus who grew him in the first place) and doesn't have his memories, but the teen really looks up to him at first, which makes Superman's rejection of "parental responsibilities" a big disappointment. They get over it eventually, with Superman ultimately considering Superboy a little brother.
- This was the reason for the Black Zero terrorist attacks in Krypton's past. The group were railing against Kryptonian society's edict of using clones as "spare parts", arguing this very trope.
- The comic book Machine qui rêve (The Machine that Dreams), sort of a Bizarro Episode to the comical Belgian comic series Spirou et Fantasio (Spiroo and Fantasio) because drawn and written in a realistic style instead of cartoony, is a long reflection on this. Some ethicless scientists create a clone of the title character, a clone created adult, and with all the memories from the real Spiroo. Clone!Spiroo escapes, and doesn't know he's a clone of the real one. After being chased in the whole town by minions of the scientists, he eventually comes back to the laboratory to find out why he's being chased. There he meets the real Spiroo, who doesn't really treat him like a machine like everybody else did, but more like another himself. Since well he's the hero, real!Spiroo has the scientists arrested, and lets Clone!Spiroo escape. The story closes on Clone!Spiroo leaving Europa on a boat, with Seccotine (usually a comic relief in the other stories, but here treated as a character who always wanted to date with Real!Spiroo and eventually has a romantically relationship with Clone!Spiroo), who asks him in the last panel what is his name, personally, indicating that at last, Clone!Spiroo is beginning to be someone else that Real!Spiroo. Fun fact: due to the editor finding that the authors betrayed the series's spirit with this too serious story, they were fired and replaced with a new team. Not sure the editor were wise, since the new team did a similar album, this time on the just as serious theme of: Living Forever Is Awesome versus Who Wants to Live Forever?, called L'Homme qui ne voulait pas mourir (The Man that did not want to die).
- In PS238, Tyler is eventually cloned: The clone is an Empty Shell, however, with a remote control in place of a brain to let the original control it. The clone eventually, through some odd set of coincidences, gains a mind and sentience of its own, takes on the name "Toby", is legally accepted into the original's family as his brother, and becomes a character in his own right. Furthermore, Toby is revealed to have superpowers — something Tyler still hasn't got (and probably never will), leading to a brief stint of Tyler becoming afraid that his parents will accept Toby as their "real son" and disown Tyler (which ends up not only happening but his parents actually forgetting all about their actual son existing).
- Metamorpho's clone Shift tries to live his own life as a member of the Outsiders, with the original Metamorpho's blessing. But when his android girlfriend gets corrupted by pre-existing evil programming, betrays the team, and dies, Shift says he can't bear to live any more and begs Metamorpho to reabsorb him, which he reluctantly does.
- The Vision is a mental clone of Wonder Man (even though, in practice, the two have never actually behaved very much alike), and his entire character arc has revolved around his attempts to live his own life. His lot in life has varied a lot over the years Depending on the Writer. Some writers give him a fair shake, but others seem to just inexplicably hate the poor guy.
- At the end of the Spider-Man Clone Saga, Peter and Ben have pretty well reconciled themselves to their situation and decided to consider each other brothers. Then Ben melts.
- Peter's other clone, Kaine, seems to have taken this route, becoming an Anti-Hero, with Peter even calling him his brother.
- The Ultimate Marvel Clone Saga makes Spider-Woman an Opposite-Sex Clone of Spider-Man, with all his memories. She is treated as her own character in and out of universe, though with perhaps not enough attention paid to the fact that from her point of view, life was normal (well, Peter normal) for 17 years and then one morning she was, well, a she, and someone else owned her life. Then again, if you lived Peter Parker's life and were given a new one, you just might take it too.
- When she opens up about her situation to Miles Morales, Peter's successor, she admits she found it difficult to deal with or talk about, and she feels she's not a real person - she's not Peter, but she's not her own person, either. When they go up against the bad guy who funded the Clone Saga, he calls Spider-Woman not real, too, and that's about when Miles finally has enough of him.
- Every Spidey must deal with it eventually! Spider-Girl gets one too, and while they teased her possibly going evil, she hasn't. She is, however, an Anti-Hero and something of a wild card. After a decent run, "April Parker" does die for her 'sister' May in the Grand Finale.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series never treated clones as anything but real people, making the death of Tomato in the Mirror Mary Jane very sad. Also, the cross-dimensional team of Spider-Men in the two-part finale included a Ben Reilly whose nemesis was his world's Peter Parker. They'd been through something like the Clone Saga, but neither we nor they ever learned who the original was.
- The X-Men had Madelyne Pryor, the clone of Jean Grey, who unfortunately became evil due to psycho-emotional baggage involving this trope: she was created by Evilutionary Biologist Mr. Sinister to replace Jean Grey in order to continue the propagation of the Summers-Grey mixed bloodline), and felt abandoned by her husband, Scott Summers, when Jean returned from the dead and he went to check if this was true. There's also Joseph, the Raise Him Right This Time clone of Well-Intentioned Extremist Magneto, who was secretly created as part of an Evil Plan to Take Over the World by a former Fangirl of Magneto (and who was thought by everyone to be a de-aged and amnesiac Magnetonote until the original was revealed to be alive), who made a Heroic Sacrifice Saving the World the world from Magneto.
- X-23, an Opposite-Sex Clone of Wolverine, has a completely different personality from Wolverine's. However, because of her Dark and Troubled Past, it was a while before she even realized she had a personality. It's also played with quite substantially, as the lead scientist on the project which created her did not differentiate her from Wolverine, and much of the torture and abuse she suffered as a child was the result of him exacting Revenge by Proxy, while the Facility as a whole tends not to view her as a human being with her own wants and desires. Additionally, even after joining the X-Men Laura was at times subjected to bullying over her nature, with Hellion in particular using "clone" as a slur (though they did eventually come to accept her). Perhaps even worse was Hellverine's attempts to seduce her into his service by implying that as a clone she doesn't have a soul, which sufficiently rattles Laura that she asks Claudine Renko about it while the latter is the process of trying to steal her body, and later making the same inquiry with the demon Blackheart. For the record, Blackheart claims she does have a soul, pointing out that she's currently in Hell, and you need a soul to get into Hell in the first place.
- In All-New Wolverine she is very insistent that her own clones are and should be treated as people.
- Namorita of the New Warriors is the clone of Namora, Sub-Mariner's seldom-seen cousin, a Distaff Counterpart who failed to catch on. Namorita, "Nita" to her friends, is not just a character in her own right, but much more of a major character, appearing continually whereas Namora sometimes goes decades without having her existence acknowledged. Namora couldn't have children, so she had her science folks implant her with an embryo made from herself. The plot has always treated her like more of a daughter, though her clone status has been discovered and caused trouble at times. Namorita's death at the beginning of Civil War meant more appearances for Namora, but Death Is Cheap and Namorita's back. Her "mom" is still around, though.
- Gold Digger has a few examples:
- Brianna as a composite clone of Gina and Britanny who was produced in a lab accident. She was quickly adopted into the family, and although she suffered a (perfectly understandable) lengthy identity crisis, she is now very much her own person.
- The genie Madrid, an old enemy of Gina's, once shapeshifted into Gina's form and got stuck that way. Unable to change back, she found Gina's copied personality slowly encroaching on her own. Later, after another scheme failed spectacularly, she suffered a terrible Villainous Breakdown and raped by she-dragons and her evil half effectively lost the will to live, so the duplicate Gina personality (with Madrid's memories) has been dominant ever since. After some initial misgivings, Gina has decided she can trust her, and the two have become friends.
- Another example, though not a clone, per se, is Raphael, the male Were-Cheetah Golem created to disrupt Brittany and Stripe's wedding. Once the situation was peacefully resolved, the priestess who created him destroyed him for failing, but Brianna snatched the piece containing his soul/memories, as she empathized with him for also being an artificially-created being. Which bring us to...
- ...Array, a villainess who can created doubles of herself with different skills, abilities, and even species'. She can discorporate them, but their personalities remain inside of her (thus her name), and she can re-call them at any time rather than making a new "self". When Brianna runs afoul of her while looking for a way to help Raphael, Array also sympathizes with her, and helps her create a new form and life for Raphael.
- This trope is the whole point of Heart Breakers by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett. Most of the cast are clones of Theresa Sorenson, who died midway through the series. The two main characters, Delta and Queenie, have radically different personalities. They live in a world where clones have to struggle for legal rights.
- In Iron Man: Fatal Frontier, Tony Stark's ruining of a clone's life in issue 10 is seen as completely disgusting, and a sign that phlogistone is poisoning his mind.
- Y: The Last Man: The series has this likelihood at the end of the series, where cloning is used to preserve the human race.
- My Little Pony actually has this. In the original '80s incarnation, there were "baby" versions of several ponies; Baby Shady, Baby Heartthrob, etc. The comic even adds a Baby Applejack and Baby Firefly. They looked and acted just like the originals but smaller and with simplified cutie marks. The show never questions this but the UK comic has a story about a magic mirror that creates them (well, two of them, but the others can be presumed to have the same origin) in response to their mothers' wish. They get their own storylines and are generally characters unto themselves, and nobody finds cloning yourself with a magic mirror to be a bad thing. (Compare to when Pinkie Pie tried something similar.)
- In the Marvel Comics Transformers series, there were a group of Autobots whose origins were "Some Autobots back on Cybertron made full copies of their data to be put into new bodies if needed; guess what, now we need 'em." By Fridge Logic, that makes the Earth versions of them just the same as many a tragic clone; suddenly someone else is living your life and you're an Expendable Clone. The fact that there are other versions of these four wandering around on Cybertron never comes up. Presumably the Earth versions of them never complain because they did volunteer for it; they probably thought "Hey, I'm on that weird "Earth" planet now; let me take care of the crisis that's bad enough to activate this plan, and worry about which "me" gets my room back home later, assuming there's a later." Sadly, we never do get to see any member of this group meet up with his Alternate Self. In general, as befitting alien robots, their views on creating life and what makes you "alive" isn't quite the same as a human.
- The 3rd Loki owes their existence to a misfired Cloning Gambit by the original Loki. Misfired because whatever was past Loki's true essence it got destroyed or lost in the process so the resulting clone body had a new soul and the personality copy originally intended to restore his memories and powers ended up killing an innocent child when it took over... And feeling very guilty about it. They spent most of Young Avengers and Loki: Agent of Asgard trying to figure out how to be their own person and if it's even possible (at this point they mucked with the original Norse myths and broke the timeline, if they fail it won't be because of lack of trying).
- This causes some friction in W.I.T.C.H. between the Guardians and their Astral Drops, that, differently from the animated adaptation, are always sentient... And don't like being treated as mere substitutes. While Hay Lin's copy Pao Chai (the only one who choose her own name) gets along with her original because Hay Lin actually treats her as her own person (even aknowledging she prefers being called Pao Chai), the others resent their originals and cause quite some trouble, at least until the Oracle intervenes while calling the Guardians out on their actions.
- In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover Athena is a fusion of her highly-trained predecessors, relying on Genetic Memory to take only the best from each. However, she is her own character and the fact that she is a clone never really comes up. Her sisters created by Atlas (later taken by Jakobs) were made for an entirely different purpose.
- The Pony POV Series, has Fluttercruel, who was the being Discord created when he couldn't break Fluttershy and considers herself Fluttershy's clone, even though the two are Sharing a Body. Despite looking identical to Fluttershy except for darker fur and lacking a Cutie Mark (though she eventually earns a different Cutie Mark), she has a completely different personality (the audio adaptation's illustrations added Cute Little Fangs and slightly Hellish Pupils as well). Despite this, she personally believes she's just a copy and has an identity crisis due to that fact. However, Fluttershy believes Fluttercruel is no less a pony than herself, and both refer to Fluttershy as her mother. Fluttercruel eventually comes to accept it and it's revealed she has her own soul separate from Fluttershy's. It's also stated there's a possibility that Fluttershy is the clone created by Twilight's memory spell and Fluttercruel is simply the original Mind Raped so completely that she's changed completely, or that the real Fluttershy was killed by Discord and both are clones. Despite this, neither really cares, as they're still separate beings altogether.
- 3 Slytherin Marauders has the young Tom Riddle preserved in the Horcrux diary as one of the main characters and he grows to become a very different person from his other self.
- The Clone That Got Away involves one of the clones from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S3 E3 "Too Many Pinkie Pies" arriving too late to the clone roundup, sees her sisters getting banished/executed, and promptly decides to GTFO lest the same fate befall her.
- "The Two Sides Of Daring Do" has an ancient artifact called the Chisel of Pygmalion ends up making a clone of AK Yearling/Daring Do from her books. While Mana Clones are mentioned, Yearling takes the clone's pulse to make sure that this trope is in effect and the clone isn't depicted by the story as anything but a living thing. At the climax when a beatdown from Ahuizotl results in the clone realizing she's fictional and questioning her existence to the point of losing her Cutie Mark, Yearling has to reassure her she's her own being, realizing herself she needs to treat the clone more like a person. In fact, at the end, it's revealed Equestrian law makes a distinction between nonsapient clones and things like the Daring Do clone who Yearling adopts as her daughter.
- Arguably the point of the Naruto fanfic In the Blood, which revolves around the discovery of a handful of clones assumed to be made by Orochimaru. A lot of them turn out to be very, very different from their originals, and have their own lives and identities.
- The Facing The Future Series reveals that the rest of the Fentons feel as strongly about this with Danielle as much as Danny to the point that they adopt her into the family.
- Xenilla note in The Bridge is a heavily modified clone of Godzilla Senior. He sees himself as his own individual, considering himself the late Senior's son rather than his clone.
- The clones in Multiplicity are created to be work horses and take on the burdens the hero doesn't want. In the end, they leave to have their own lives (the three clones decide to stay together, but all have VERY distinct personalities).
- Both this and Expendable Clone are explored in The 6th Day .
- The Star Wars prequels establish Boba Fett (yes, THAT Boba Fett) as one of many clones of his predecessor, the great Bounty Hunter Jango Fett (although Boba is the only one who's not an enhanced Super Soldier). He's treated as Jango's beloved son, not as an unnatural duplicate — and his artificial origins in no way detract from his badassery.
- A major theme of Jurassic World is that the dinosaurs created by the scientists at the park are real, living animals, not just "assets", as the park officials tend to call them. The I. Rex is so vicious partly because it was raised in total isolation, and the military man who wants to use the raptors as weapons (and had the I. Rex designed as one) is repeatedly told that trying to control nature like that is a bad idea, and gets eaten when he doesn't listen.
- Explored in the H.I.V.E. Series with Otto, who finds out he is a clone and worries briefly about whether he could be considered human. However, he(and the rest of the cast) accept his situation. However, when Zero, Otto's own clone shows up, Otto and HIVEmind kill him without too much guilt. Justified in that he had psychologically tortured Laura, but still.
- Most clones in the Vorkosigan Saga world, where a clone is considered to be the child or sibling of person whose DNA it was made from, or the child of the person who commissioned the clone, depending on the planet and its laws. Mark Vorkosigan (Miles's clone) is an example of this, as he is considered Miles's brother and is treated as a completely different person. Clones as expendable property still exist on the lawless Jackson's Whole, though.
- Star Wars Legends:
- This is the whole point of the Republic Commando Series by Karen Traviss.
- Earlier, it was a subplot in the Hand of Thrawn duology. A group of Imperial agents are all clones of Baron Soontir Fel, ace pilot, but they simply want to live out a normal life as farmers.
- There are other examples in Legends, the most notable being Ion Team, who explicitly defy Order 66 and fight off their compatriots in order to save their Jedi Masters.
- The House Of The Scorpion is big on this trope, although most characters in it aren't. It helps that the main character himself is a clone, with a noticeably different personality from his creator.
- The sequel hints that he may not be too different from his original.
- This is taken Up to Eleven in Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief: the Founder copyclans rule over most of the inner Solar System. Anyone who isn't a Founder copy is a second class citizen at best, and a sentient missile guidance system at worst.
- Cloning is commonplace in Genome, and clones have all the same rights as normal people. In fact, highly-skilled people are often cloned multiple times in order to preserve their genetics. Clones often take the name of the original but add a middle name that consists of "C" (for "clone") and an ordinal number. For example, Peter C-the-forty-fourth Valk is the 44th clone of Peter Valk. While not outright mentioned, it can be assumed that the problems of Clone Degeneration have been solved, given that the main theme of the novel is that Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke. This doesn't stop some people from hating clones.
- In Courtship Rite, most clans are busy with their super breeding programs, and don't bother with cloning, since identical genes are, by definition, not improved genes. The Liethe are the exception. Every Liethe secretly has a number of clone-sisters of varying ages, and no outsider ever learns the true identity of a Liethe. The outside world only meets fake personas which can be played by different clone-sisters in turn. The clones are very much different individuals with different skills. Some members of a clone group like the se-Tufi are always trained as assassins; the se-Tufi Who Walks In Humility is one such.
- In C. J. Cherryh's Alliance/Union universe the Union uses cloning extensively to build up their population. These are divided into "Parental Replicants" commissioned specifically by certain people (or to replace the deceased) who are treated as human beings, and "azi" (artificial zygote insemination) who are genetically engineered and copied for use as indentured servants, though the children of azi have the same rights as naturally born humans. In 40,000 in Gehenna a bunch of mostly azi colonists are dumped on a planet in order to create a Lost Colony (denying the planet to the Alliance).
- Edenborn: Halloween clones himself and sends the clone through the same virtual reality child-rearing he experienced, expecting another copy of himself. He is surprised when Deuce exhibits unique personality choices, but recognizes his individuality and takes him as a son.
- In the Ukiah Oregon series, Ukiah immediately considers Kitanning (A genetic duplicate of him grown from a mouse made from his blood; It Makes Sense in Context)) a new person immediately and thereafter Kit is treated by everyone as his son. Likewise, Atticus and Ukiah are different people, and neither is entirely the same person as Magic Boy, their deceased progenitor)
- Played with in Neuromancer The Tessier-Ashpools made multiple clones of their children, of whom only 3Jane (the second clone of Jane Tessier-Ashpool) is a significant character, but old man Ashpool raped and killed multiple clones of his daughter.
- The Pride Of Parahumans: Parahumans are sterile, so they reproduce by cloning. On Vesta Guild leaders buy so many clone progeny that they form "Cloneclans", most of whom go into the family business. But a few, such as Olga of Clan Wolf and Maximus Griggs have a few differences of opinion from their progenitors.
- Heroics: Part of the way to tell who the worst characters are is to see which ones treat Alix Tolvaj as an actual person instead of a thing. Resident Jerkass Justin explicitly refers to her as an 'it'; Big Bad Alice- who Alix was cloned from -treats her (and others like her) as a completely expendable tool; Big Bad John Wechsler doesn't interact with her much but clearly sees her as nothing more than a wayward experiment; and Evil All Along Stephanie wants her to be executed mostly just for existing. The rest of the main cast is much, much more welcoming.
Live Action TV
- Stargate SG-1:
- O'Neill's 16 year-old clone (who disturbingly does have his memories) is given the right to live his own life (paid for by the US Air Force no less). The (commented-on) difference between them as individuals comes at the end of the episode, when Young O'Neill chooses to go "back" to high school and do better this time, which Colonel O'Neill doesn't see the appeal of. Before that, they are exactly alike (which makes sense, as he (and the audience) was initially led to believe he was the colonel de-aged).
- Somewhat zigzagged with SG-1's robot clones, who are given the right to live and all... so long as they remain on their planet. The real SG-1 gets annoyed when their copies don't do this. Robot!O'Neill points out that they should have known they themselves would never have accepted such conditions. However, the duplicates get killed in action in their second appearance despite proving themselves "real" to the team.
- Stargate Atlantis:
- The robots of the Atlantis team (via different means) are proven to be equals and real people to the team but still treated as redshirts by the plot. It's kinda glaring whenever this happens - they've got all the skills that let the 'real' team survive hundreds of these scrapes and worse - plus they're made of much sturdier stuff than human flesh (the Atlantis versions even have a Healing Factor!). Though one possibility (with both the Atlantis team clones and the above) would be that the clones really don't want to live deep down and find ways to end their lives heroically.
- Dr Beckett's clone is welcomed by the team and treated immediately as an equal. It helps that the real Carson is dead so the clone is just filling the old one's position. This is the first to get the same Plot Armor the original enjoyed as well - apparently, so long as one is left, it doesn't matter which one. Rodney goes out of his way to make sure it's the case. When the clone suggests he joins a rescue mission, Rodney is the only one that refused, concerned that the others accepted "because he's a clone and they see him as expendable."
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation, it's revealed that during a Teleporter Accident on a planet where it's only safe to beam down every 4 years, a clone of Will Riker was left behind for the next 8 years. He's eventually rescued and welcomed as a full member of Starfleet under the name "Thomas Riker", though he later leaves to join the Maquis. Interestingly, since the Will Riker who came back from the planet was the result of a secondary transporter beam to shore up the failing pattern lock, it's debatable whether or not he should technically be considered the clone and Thomas the original.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In the episode where someone tried to frame Odo for murder, he did so by cloning himself, then disguising himself and killing the clone. When he's eventually found out, he is told "killing your own clone is still murder." The heroes accidentally create another clone and he is said to be welcomed into Bajoran society as a regular member (and hopefully will lead a better life than the original).
- Both times in Star Trek: Voyager when the ship and crew were copied, they treated them with respect and allowed them to be their own beings. The copies from the Y/Demon class planet parted on good terms with the originals and were allowed to live their own life and when they eventually forgot that they were clones, they went on the same journey as the originals. This ended badly as both crew and ship deteriorated without their original atmosphere, and at the end when they all die within a stone's throw of the crew (the only ones who could have saved them), it's played for all the drama it deserves. The second time was when a Negative Space Wedgie created two Voyagers in overlapping space with crew included; the only mistreatment brought out was an accident out of ignorance to the situation. When the ships come under attack, one of the ships is sacrificed to save the other, and a couple of the crew come to the other whose counterparts had died in the accident; now and for the rest of the series, Harry Kim and Naomi Wildman are the ones from the ship that didn't survive, and thus would be considered the 'cloned' or 'alternate' versions. The real kicker, though, is that no one figures out which ship is the copy.
- Alexander Luthor is considered his own person in Smallville, and not just a clone of Lex. Tess even raises him as her own son in an attempt to keep him from turning out like his progenitor. Eventually we find out that half of his DNA comes from Clark and he changes his name to Conner Kent, becoming like Clark's little brother. As per the "no tights, no flights" rule, we never hear the name "Superboy."
"I hope he's having a good time— No, wait, I hope he's having a TERRIBLE time. I just hope he treats her well."
- One episode has several characters "doubled" for the nefarious purposes of a villain of weird tastes, who repeatedly states that this is not cloning, but perfect duplication- or as he liked to call it, "twinning". Both copies of the protagonist, John Crichton, survive the episode, remaining as crew members and participating in a Love Triangle with "himself" over their Love Interest, Aeryn. When she made a choice (somewhat forced by the situation at hand), Cloning Blues set in for the other guy.
- There's a reason for the villain's Insistent Terminology. The twinning process appears to distill some of the original's essence into each double - and neither is the original. People the villain had done it to over and over again, producing a horde of duplicates, had been reduced to (a horde of) savages.
- Eventually one Crichton gets killed, but not before conceiving a child with Aeryn, who will go on to raise the baby with the other Crichton.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: At the end of the late season 2 two-parter "Return Of The Green Ranger", Tom (the formerly evil clone of Tommy) stays in colonial Angel Grove to live out his life. And possibly becomes Tommy's ancestor.
- Sliders: An episode late in the series revolves around this trope, on an alternate Earth where clones of wealthy individuals are grown and kept like animals for the purpose of organ transplants and blood transfusions. Naturally, one of the protagonists gets mistaken for his alternate's clone.
- The Blakes Seven episode "The Children of Auron", which features a society that practices large-scale cloning, is probably the most casual and realistic treatment of it in any Space Opera. Cally and her sister Zelda are depicted just like real-world natural twins, as independent individuals with their own personalities and motivations who just happen to look identical.
- The episode does, however, depict one hard-SF big disadvantage of large-scale cloning: lack of genetic variation leading to lack of disease resistance and vulnerability to epidemics.
- The X5 clones in Dark Angel are never treated as anything other than identical twins who shared a test-tube instead of a womb. It helps that they do not share memories and the age difference between them is the same as normal "older" and "younger" twins. The examples we see are Jessica Alba as the main protagonist Max/X5-452 and Sam/X5-453 (a Season 2 one-shot character), and Jensen Ackles as Ben/X5-493 (a Season 1 one-shot character) and Alec/X5-494 (a regular cast member in Season 2). At least some of the X-7 series are clones of the X-5s (we see Max's and Zack/599's mini-mes) and are certainly different from their grown-up originals, but in the sense of being 10 year-old hive-minded soulless killers.
- The humanoid-model Cylons in Battlestar Galactica (2003) vary on this. Numbers One, Two, Three, Four and Five don't get distinguishing characteristics from others of their own model, but Numbers Six and Eight (Seven is extinct) have unique individuals like Caprica-Six, Shelly Godfrey, Tough Six, Gina Inviere, Natalie Faust, Lida and Sonja (Sixes) and Boomer, Athena, "Fakeathena" and Sweet Eight (Eights) in addition to the generic Sixes and Eights. They also vary on the memory-sharing factor. Athena downloaded Boomer's up to the point of the Miniseries and "Fakeathena" downloaded Athena's up to the point of "Rapture", but they don't do this automatically and (according to the producers) models vary on how often they do it. Even sharing a good chuck of memories didn't stop Boomer and Athena from developing in radically different directions.
- The whole point of Orphan Black. The main character and several others are all from a batch of clones, but they have completely different personalities, in an absolute tour de force by the actress, Tatiana Maslany.
- In fact, the clones having independent lives is part of the experiment, since most of them were put into fairly normal households and are allowed to live "normal" lives, while being observed by "monitors" who report back to the Dyad.
- In The Outer Limits (1995) episode "Replica", the clone in question, complete with the memories of the original, was created to replace the wife of a bioengineer who was wrongly thought to be irreversibly comatose. When the original awakens, a discussion begins of how to handle the copy, but murder is clearly off the table and instead their plan would allow the clone to have her own independent life.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy's sister Dawn is technically a clone of Buffy, having been "made from the Slayer" by the Monks of Dagon. Initially, after this is discovered, some of the Scooby Gang want to treat Dawn as a made thing, but Buffy insists that she be treated as her sister.
- Doctor Who occasionally explores this trope:
- In "The Doctor's Daughter," the Doctor's Opposite-Sex Clone is a true badass who eventually earns her "father's" respect.
- In "Journey's End", the Doctor's duplicate is a very different individual from his progenitor and is given a happy ending as Rose Tyler's Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest.
- Explored thoroughly in "The Almost People"/"The Rebel Flesh." The clones in this case are doppelgängers controlled by humans used to mine acid. During a solar storm, the doppelgängers gain consciousness. Since they retain all the memories of the humans, a conflict over whether or not both versions can exist ensues. Ultimately, only one version of each person survives, but some of the survivors are doppelgängers.
- And then you have the twofold question of the original Osgood and her Zygon duplicate. Which one did Missy kill, and which one survived? And of the current Osgoods, which one is from the original pair and which one is the dead Osgood's Zygon replacement? Only the Osgoods now, and in the name of peace between humans and Zygons, they're not telling. As far as the show is concerned, it doesn't matter which is the original and which is the duplicate, because they're both people.
- Played with in BlazBlue where the Murakumo Units are artificial robot clones of Saya (making this trope double over with Androids Are People, Too). On one hand, both Lambda-11 and Nu-13 have Machine Monotone voices and are clearly primarily driven by the directive of their programming. On the other hand, Noel Vermillion/Mu-12 speaks with a perfectly human voice and is driven almost entirely by her emotions, and when Nu-13 comes close to Ragna, she, too, switches to a human voice. A really, really disturbing one, sure, but a human voice none the less... On the recieving end, both Ragna and Jin are very clearly upset over the fact that their sister has become a clone template, but they still treat Noel as a separate individual. Ragna, in particular, who has set out on a mission to destroy the Murakumo Units, makes clear that though he feels he has to fight and destroy Nu-13 in the first game, it's not something he wants to do. While Makoto was friendly to Noel (though not at first) without knowing she's a Prime Field Device, all the truth of the affair does is shock her momentarily; learning Noel's true nature amidst a graveyard of her "predecessors" does nothing to how she sees the girl.
- Dissidia: Final Fantasy has Chaos, Cosmos and the Warrior of Light whom all started life as Manikins, clones made of crystal ore that acts similar to organic life and grows as living creatures do. All three are treated normally as sentient beings. Though in the case of the warrior, neither he nor any of his fellow warriors know the truth. Whether or not they can do all the things normal lifeforms do. Eat, dream, reproduce, ect. isn't really delved into very deeply.
- It's later confirmed in Dissidia 012 that perfect Manikins are in fact capable of doing all the things mentioned above, and are real people. Chaos started out as a small child that needed to eat and sleep in order to grow, he even commented on a dream he had once.
- In Parasite Eve 2, Aya Brea finds out that an evil cult has made a clone of her in order to take advantage of her powers. After rescuing the girl, she adopts her as a daughter/sister.
- This is a major plot point in the Metal Gear series, especially in Metal Gear Solid 4. At the very end Big Boss himself tells Snake that he respects him as a soldier, and it's sure that Snake would've make very different decisions if placed in the same situations as him. This neatly summarizes the whole Aesop of the series: Your genes don't determine who you are. Your actions do.
- In Tales of the Abyss, this trope is a major part of the character arc of Luke once he realizes and accepts he's a replica of Asch. Eventually, this leads up to the climax where it's implied Luke either gave his own life to resurrect Asch, Asch did vice versa, or in some other way the two fused. The Stinger is tight-lipped as to which one can be seen at the end.
- Final Fantasy IX has the Genomes, a group of people from another world that have virtually no personality or unique traits and they all act very similar to each other. After their homeworld gets destroyed, Zidane decides to take the Genomes with the party and leave them in the Black Mage Village for shelter since he's a Genome too and they are like siblings to him in a sense. The people in the village are the Black Mages, who are constructs/androids that are similar to the Genomes, but have slightly more personality. The Genomes and the Black Mages quickly, if awkwardly, get along and learn the many aspects of life itself.
- Mass Effect 3: If you play the Paragon path when you find out the villain in the Citadel DLC is an Evil Knockoff Clone of Shepard, Shepard takes this approach. Unfortunately it doesn't work, since Cloning Blues, a severe Inferiority Superiority Complex and a case of I Just Want to Be Special causes the clone to be Driven to Suicide when abandoned by his/her one ally.
- The now-defunct mobile game Tekken Arena uses this in its story mode as the entire aesop. The player character has been a clone of an existing Tekken character all along, and was to be sold as a soldier alongside other clones. (S)he frees a large number of clones from Dr. Bosconovitch to prove his/her point that clones are people, not products.
- Ellen, Elliot's Opposite-Sex Clone in El Goonish Shive, is quickly accepted by Elliot and his family and now lives as Elliot's twin sister. Due to her brief case of Cloning Blues, she has also developed a distinct personality from the original.
Tedd: Yeah, I screwed up a lot, and maybe I could apologize for that, but if I hadn't, you wouldn't exist! I am not sorry that you exist! If you're the result of my mistakes, then they were the best mistakes I ever made!
- Taken a step further when while having an argument with him, Ellen demands to know why Tedd, who started the series of events that led to her creation, never apologized for it. Tedds answer is epically heartwarming:
- Molly the Peanut Butter Monster in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! has two clones with very different personalities who are both off living their own lives: megalomaniacal woobie Galatea (or "Golly") and the mountain-sized giantess, Djaliana ("Djali" or "Jolly").
- In Bomango by Rob Ten Pas, Gogo can reproduce by budding, having sprouted Didi out of her side (which she did on a caprice because she was bored one day). Didi is as sweet, gentle, and intellectual as Gogo is loud, brash, and dangerous. It's notable that, since they split, Didi's physique has become noticeably more slender than Gogo's muscular frame, because Gogo gets a lot more exercise. Didi also has no navel. Strong hints have been dropped that Gogo has other clones running around, and that they are not nice people at all. The names Gogo and Didi, btw, are a Shout-Out to "Waiting for Godot."
- In Melonpool, Ralph's opposite-personality nice clone Ralphie has been a series regular since his introduction many years ago. Ralph also (until recently) had an evil clone named Fauntleroy.
- Averted when Roberta was cloned, as the machine had been fixed by then, so the two were completely indistinguishable (much to their own frustration). They were eventually fused back together.
- Homestuck gives us Davesprite, a biological combination of an alternate Dave from the future and a game sprite (and a crow). At first the characters, most notably John, treat him just as an alternate version of Dave, but as time goes on he grows to have more of his own say in the plot and ultimately separates from Dave to travel with John and Jade on the ship. In that time, the three grow close enough that after a year, John has just started calling him 'Dave'.
- Davesprite's situation is echoed in Act 6 with the autoresponder, a computer of humanoid intelligence who is a clone of Dirk's brain at the time he was made. Dirk, however, is very aware of this trope and always fully intended to let him live his own life apart from him.
TT: You don't just make a clone of yourself to live in a dead end existence where it has no chance to thrive as an individual or surpass its limitations.TT: That'd be sick.
- Davesprite's situation is echoed in Act 6 with the autoresponder, a computer of humanoid intelligence who is a clone of Dirk's brain at the time he was made. Dirk, however, is very aware of this trope and always fully intended to let him live his own life apart from him.
- Schlock Mercenary: Kevyn's time-clone is fully established as a separate person, the company even going on a rescue mission to retrieve him in one arc.
- Same applies to every other clone in the comic, including one case of a man cloned 950 million times, which basically turned him into his own ethnic group.
- Harbourmaster: In the Pulp story arc, a deceased 20th-century mountaineer is brought back to life. Or more accurately, a clone with almost all of the original's memories intact is created. While the Verans who requested the cloning just wanted the closest thing imaginable to an eyewitness of 20th-century Earth history, interplanetary law dictates that clones must be treated as distinct individuals in their own right. This came about from fears that artists would be cloned specifically to "continue" producing a oeuvre, or deceased loved ones in general cloned for Replacement Goldfish. In other words, the one who requested the cloning doesn't get to forcibly mould the clone's further life.
- In Narbonic, Helen B. Narbon is a clone of Helen Narbon, her mother. (The "B" stands for "Beta".) Helen B. keeps insisting that she is her own person, not like her genetic progenitor at all. The lab staff disagrees.
- The central premise behind the sci-fi noir web series Aidan 5. People are cloned to make expendable copies, but their clones are in fact people too.
- The Batman has the episode "The Everywhere Man" exploring this. The villain of the show is the clone of an inventor who created a duplication device. Each clone starts as an identical copy of its original, until it gains self-awareness (and, for some reason, becomes increasingly worse than its original), and sometimes grows disgruntled with its creator. Clone n°1 deals with this by basically killing his clones once they're no longer useful to him or if they start rebelling. Some of the clones are okay with this, some of them... aren't.
- In Danny Phantom, Danny treats his Opposite-Sex Clone Danielle (or Dani for short) as a family member of sorts, since she was the only clone that wasn't mindless, and she does a Heel–Face Turn when she realizes Vlad, her "father", only viewed her as a tool, and helps Danny escape. In her second appearance, not only is she saved from her instability and kept from from melting into nothing, Danny was willing to WILLINGLY become the prisoner of a GHOST HUNTER to save her, though said hunter decides to let him go instead.
- In the pilot of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, despite the fact that the clones were created as Expendable Clones, Yoda takes this attitude, telling the clones with him, "Smaller in number are we, but larger in mind." The Clonetroopers themselves naturally take this attitude, seeing each other as brothers, and over any period of time tend to start differentiating themselves with varying hairstyles, facial hair, and tattoos in addition to customizing and marking their armor.
- Other episodes have looked into this as well - Captain Rex and Commander Cody are treated as unique characters with different personalities, one deserter has a life outside the war, yet another betrayed the Republic out of resentment towards the clones' status, and so on.
- One time saw Rex telling off General Krell about treating his men as expendable and that not only did he have a duty to follow orders, but also to see them through.
- "The Hidden Enemy": The Mole is a clone who realized the Clone Army was slavery.
- Season six has a scene where Fives has a variation of this discussion with a droid, someone who is actually less of a person.
- By the time we see the three clones again in the Sequel Series Star Wars Rebels, Rex, Gregor, and Wolffe are even more individuated both in temperament and appearance. See the three old wardogs in the trope image.
- In ReBoot the copy of Enzo is encouraged to be a different person than the original Enzo. Given what happened to the original, this is a good idea.
- Bob's friends (including the copy of Enzo) attempt to cheer him up by citing this trope when he's led to believe that he's a copy of another Bob that shows up in Mainframe. Subverted when they find out that the other Bob is actually a trojan horse with stolen bits of Bob's code.
- In Gargoyles, Thailog is a clone of Goliath, and is treated as Goliath's son, rather than a copy. Unfortunately he was programmed with the personality of Xanatos, and was raised by Sevarius (which pretty well eliminated any positive aspects of Xanatos' personality from Thailog), and ended up becoming a villain.
- In Adventure Time, Lemongrab's clone was specifically made to be a friend (or boyfriend) to the original Lemongrab. He and Lemongrab get along exceedingly well and clearly love each other. (They even start a family together. However, they do still bicker every once in a while.) Other people treat the second Lemongrab in the same manner that they treat the original. Princess Bubblegum treats both of them like her two annoying children- with clear impatience, but compassion.
- In "Another Five More Short Graybles," Lemongrab 2 ends up rebelling against the original and getting partially eaten for his trouble. From here on out, he becomes more independent, showing mercy toward their Lemon-children and encouraging Lemonhope to flee with Bubblegum before being devoured whole.
- In the Gravity Falls episode "Double Dipper", Dipper clones himself in order to enact a plan to get close to Wendy. Him and the clones are quite friendly towards each other at first, even Paper Jam Dipper, with at least some of the clones still obviously acting like people even after turning against the original, and Dipper gets quite upset when Tyrone is killed, even turning out to still miss him over a season later. Oddly, the episode uses both this and Expendable Clone, since Dipper doesn't seem to have problems with destroying the clones besides Tyrone.
- Red Arrow of Young Justice, who even after finding out he's a clone eventually goes on to get married and have a kid. The original (when he finally turns up) has no problem with the clone (mainly because said clone didn't ask to be created and eventually ended up being the one to find him), but is furious that his mentor failed to notice the switch.
- Superboy counts here too, who while still incorporating elements of Superman, Lex Luthor, and his initial Cloning Blues, has gone on to develop his own personality and live his own life.
- Cubert of Futurama is a clone of Professor Farnsworth. He's treated like his son and is good friends with Hermes' son Dwight. The only time being a clone seemed to affect his personal life was when it became apparent that he didn't technically have a birthday but this was remedied by celebrating the day the professor scraped the growth off his back he used to create him instead.
- This is explored in an episode of the second seaon of W.I.T.C.H. when Will creates a copy who are normally little more than mindless drones, but the Big Bad gives the copy sentience. Unfortunately Clone!Will ends up preforming a Heroic Sacrifice, though her and Will combine.