We have two characters. They are similar to each other, but one was created after another. Whether one of them is the other's Expy
, Captain Ersatz
, Alternate Company Equivalent
or even Distaff Counterpart
, or it's a complete coincidence, fans will quickly realize the similarity.
From this point they are going to look at the new character through the old character's prism.
They can like the new character because he resembles the old character, or hate them as a rip-off. Anti-fans can treat the new guy like a pointless, unnecessary character created only to attract the old one's fans, or turn them into a model of "This is how the original one should be written to be a good character." They will argue and compare the two, and only a few people who know both of them will be able to see the new guy as himself, not some other version of someone else.
Sometimes, the new character will never get free from the older one, no matter what he does.
Sometimes, especially in the case of a Legacy Character
this can work as part of a Re-Ditto
and establish a difference between the two. A Legacy Character
can win fan love by his desire to become better, or at last to equal his mentor. If an Expy exists in the same universe as that older character, this can be easily lampshaded with common people confusing them, which could lead to funny situations, and be good for character development. If they are not sharing a universe, then most of the time the new character is screwed. However, sometimes they can take revenge, proving that he is better than the old one and becoming more popular.
This is the first step to turning one of them into The Scrappy
, or Replacement Scrappy
in the case of Legacy Characters
and the Suspiciously Similar Substitute
. Often happens to Anti-Hero Substitute
This page is for documenting instances where a Vocal Minority
in at least one fandom has noted the (alleged) similarities between two characters and commented on them, for better
or for worse
. If you've
come up with an independent or humorous comparision, send it to Surprisingly Similar Characters
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Anime and Manga
- Many characters from Code Geass suffer from this. Suzaku and Euphemia are often compared to Kira and Lacus. Lelouch has the same problem with Light from Death Note.
- There are those who would compare Lelouch, C.C. and Kallen to Shinji, Rei and Asuka.
- Or for cross medium comparisons, Lelouch, Kallen, and Suzaku to V, Evey Hammond, and Eric Finch respectively.
- Suzaku is often referred to as 'The third/fourth/fifth Syaoran' on CLAMP boards, because of their similar fighting techniques and the fact that Suzaku, well, seems to share an awful lot of character design with Syaoran.
- Speaking of EVA, there's also a large number of people that end up comparing Emperor Charles zi Britannia's plan to Instrumentality.
- Kallen is compared to Domon Kasshu because she's his daughter. No, seriously. Mrs. Kozuki and Rain Mikamura share the same seiyuu.
- Kallen again, she is also compared to Aki due to their very similar designs and roles in their respective series.
- And Shirley has this with Inoue Orihime. Not only they look a little similar and have similar characteristics, but also what Shirley says to Lelouch before death sounds similar to what Orihime says to unconscious Ichigo before leaving to Hueco Mundo. Orihime-bashers hate Shirley as her clone, while her fans love Shirley for that same reason. The dub made this worse when they gave Lelouch the same voice actor as Ichigo. The Japanese voice for Shirley is the same as Rukia.
- Suffice to say, Code Geass makes a point of Lampshade Hanging, subverting, and playing with the expectations of the viewers when it comes to the shows it resembles. They outright deconstruct Lacus/Euphie, and make Lelouch much more sympathetic than Light, and make the Emperor a bit more justified than Gendo was (although your Mileage will definitely vary on one or all of those points). The ambiguity is what makes the show fun!
- While it doesn't seem as prevalent in the main fandom the series's Wild Mass Guessing page spends a lot of time comparing Lelouch and Shneizel to V and Adrian Veidt. Lynching ITP plays with this by making Shneizel Adrian's Identical Great Grandson.
- Rolo is a subversion, he's drawn very similar to Shinji from evangelion and he has the same VA in the english dub... Then he gets out of the Knightmare Frame that just finished pwning a whole rebel strikeforce, and calmly declares: I'm here to kill... zero."
- Lelouch and Suzaku are also frequently compared to Char and Amuro from the original Mobile Suit Gundam. The show has often been described as a retelling of Gundam from Char's viewpoint.
- Many people compare Naruto to Son Goku, because both of them started as funny kids wearing orange with inhuman abilities, and get character evolution through many adventures, Trainings From Hell, Heel Face Turns, Face Heel Turns, many other things and mostly battles with repeatedly the strongest enemies to become more serious and ridiculously strong persons, but still keeping their friendly personalities.
- Goku himself is often compared to Superman, because of their similar origins and powers. This resulted in a never-ending flame war. This is probably why they where the most requested fight in Death Battle. Lo and behold they are episode 25.
- There' also the link between the girls from Magic Knight Rayearth and the heroines from Sailor Moon. Hikaru is compared with Usagi's for their spunky and energetic personality, Umi with Rei's for being both a snakry ojou and Fuu with Ami for being a smart Meganekko. Their powers are also compared, Umi with Sailor Mercury, Hikaru with Sailor Mars and Fuu with Sailor Jupiter for their control over Air Elements (Wind and Thunder respectively).
- Gundam uses this In-Universe with Johnny Ridden, the Crimson Lightning, who is constantly mistaken for Char.
- In Char's case, this has gained Memetic Mutation thanks to Zeta. Each series' obligatory masked character is referred to as "A CHAR" (all caps).
- Zechs Merquise is probably the single biggest victim of this from the Gundam franchise; after all, one Fan Nickname is "Low-Rent Char". All of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing gets this to some extent, mostly from detractors who insist it's nothing but a half-assed copy of First Gundam. This also extends to comparing Relena to Sayla (only common points: masked man's sister and relationship with protagonist) or Heero to Amuro (only common point: being the protagonist).
- Near from Death Note is constantly compared to the other main antagonist of the series, L. He even looks like L (excepting the clothes and the hair color) and has habits like him. Justified that he was raised to be L's successor and therefore emulate some of L's traits.
- As an inter-medium example, the protagonists of The Big O, Code Geass, and Darker Than Black have all elicited comparison to Batman. The Big O has an animation style very similar to that of Batman: The Animated Series, and protagonist Roger is a Bruce Wayne Captain Ersatz. Lelouch/Zero of Code Geass has been described as a "flamboyant Batman" and Hei of Darker Than Black has the Fan Nickname of "Chinese Electric Batman". Lelouch has a sort of Batman-esque costume, both characters use Evil Sounds Deep in costume, and Hei uses a Grappling-Hook Pistol. Finally, Lelouch also elicits comparisons with the title character of V for Vendetta, mainly for his Large Ham style and morally ambiguous characterization also, a scene where Japanese dress en masse as Zero recalls the V-masks donned by English citizens.
- There's a reason for this - the same studio that did Big O also worked on Batman: The Animated Series. Roger was at least partly inspired by Bruce Wayne, while the art-style was similar enough to smooth over the differences.
- In North America, the Big O/Batman comparisons were further compounded with a popular Toonami bump during the program block's golden age: "Good guys (still) wear black".
- In Pretty Cure All-Stars DX, Nagisa and Honoka of Futari wa Pretty Cure visit the shop run by the family of Saki, Nagisa's Futari Wa Pretty Cure Splash Star counterpart, and the family notes the similarity. Odd in that the original is compared to the Expy, not the other way around.
- More than a few people unfamiliar with Detonator Orgun and with only passing knowledge of Tekkaman Blade thought that the two were in the same canon in Super Robot Wars W (the fact that the game made them directly related story-wise did not help). Tekkaman Blade, although the more popular and well-known of the two, actually owes a lot of its style and mood to Orgun. This is primarily because both are remakes of the same show, Space Knight Tekkaman. However, Orgun was passed over at the last second, and just like Warcraft, it was forced to rework itself to be just different enough. So you could say that Orgun is ''Tekkaman Blade' v.5.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! (especially early in its run) provoked a lot of comments about similarities between Negi Springfield and Harry Potter: They're both 10 year old British Wizards with famous fathers. Most of the similarities end there, not that it stops people from thinking that the series is just Harry Potter IN JAPAN. The reason Mahou Sensei Negima! is similar to Harry Potter is pretty simple: Akamatsu got the inspiration for Negima from Harry Potter, and he explained that in the first manga volume's foreword.
- Yuuichi Aizawa can't help but be compared to "Kyon", since the 2006 Kyo Ani anime uses very similar character designs and the same voice actor as their ultra-successful Haruhi Suzumiya TV run from a few months prior. However, that doesn't change the fact that Kanon came out several years before the first of the Haruhi Suzumiya novels, and much of the snarkiness of the character was in the original source material.
- Early in its life, the title character of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha was derided as a Cardcaptor Sakura rip-off. This slowly tapered when the show revealed its intent of cribbing notes from a completely different genre. For some reason, viewers were more receptive to a Magical Girl whose closest comparison wasn't another Magical Girl, but a Gundam.
- Most fans of Xam'd take it as a given that Nakiami is some sort of clone of Nausicaa.
- Many characters in Fairy Tail have been compared to/confused with a character from One Piece and/or Rave Master. Only one of these comparisons is intentional though.
- Similiarly, Buster Keel!, a completely unrelated manga by a different author, has a cast that can be interchangeable with the core characters of Fairy Tail, bar minor differences like breast size and state of undress.
- One of the biggest problems that many fans have with Digimon Savers is that the main character has an Agumon for a partner, which is a pretty obvious ploy to get fans of Adventure back after the critical train wreck that was Frontier.
- Between the second and third Tenchi Muyo! OVA, two TV series and three movies set in alternate continuities were created and featured a new character, Kiyone. The third OVA introduces Noike, who is also Mihoshi's teal-haired, no-nonsense former partner; but in OVA style is hot for Tenchi and related to him.
- Early in its life, the title character of Puella Magi Madoka Magica was derided as a Cardcaptor Sakura rip-off (the pink costume doesn't help). And then things go to Hell in her life, followed by the rest of the world.
- More specifically, Homura Akemi has drawn numerous comparisons to Rika Furude from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni; to detail how exactly would reveal major spoilers for both series and also Umineko: When They Cry by proxy. The fact that Rika created a witch doesn't help.
- Because she goes through some quite unpleasant experiences, is a character made by Fate/Zero writer Gen Urobuchi, and wields a polearm, Kyoko is often regarded as an honorary Lancer, usually when fans lament how being Lancer is suffering.
- Kyubey is often compared to Dung Beetle from Bokurano. They're both little white things from Distaff Counterpart genres (mecha and magical girl) that trick kids into contracts that will kill them in the end, but are seen as vital to preserving the world. Kyubey is much more detached from the children than Dung Beetle though, who gets a kick out of their troubles. There's also the fact that Kyubey is a Starfish Alien while Dung Beetle was once a human kid himself.
- Itsuki, a Magical Girl in Houkago No Pleiades, strongly resembles Homura. More precisely, she resembles end-of-series Homura, wearing Madoka's red ribbon. Madoka started before Pleiades and ended after it, so the resemblance is both coincidental and prophetic.
- Spin-Off Puella Magi Oriko Magica has its various Canon Foreigners, who tend to bear an odd resemblance to characters from Touhou - Yuma to Kisume and Daiyousei, Kirika to Renko Usami, and Oriko to Maribel Hearn. Since the writer has drawn Touhou fanart, most readers consider it to be more trivia than anything.
- By design and color assignments but not personality: Homura, Sayaka, Kyoko and Mami are compared to Blake, Weiss, Pyrrha and Yang respectively. Some of them even have similar weapons.
- The Tiger & Bunny fandom has concluded that Barnaby Brooks Jr. is Batman.
- Shiro from Deadman Wonderland can be compared to Lucy from Elfen Lied. Like Lucy, she is a Forgotten Childhood Friend to the male lead who has a Split Personality. The first being an Ax-Crazy killer, acting much like Lucy, and a Moe Moe personality acting much like Nyu. The third personality, Wretched Egg, acts more like Kaede.
- Medaka is constantly compared with Haruhi; both are highly ambitious, super-talented but inhuman girls who drag around their beleaguered male partners (Zenkichi and Kyon).
- Yurippe of Angel Beats! is often claimed to be a rip-off of Haruhi, since they have similar hairstyles, Hair Decorations, and obnoxious personalities, plus they're both in charge of questionable high-school organizations with three-letter-acronym names. The main difference is that Yurippe fights God, while Haruhi is God.
- Girls und Panzer: Nishizumi Miho is comparable to Miyanaga Saki. Both come from a respected family of a certain field, both were initially reluctant to take up adventure in that field, both are hated by their respective big sister due to a tragedy in the past... Add in the fact that both are bland compared to the other (absolutely crazy) characters in their own series. With Miho's sister Maho, however, it gets somewhat more complicated when it is revealed in the Little Army prequel manga that a significant portion of Maho's aloof behavior is a Jerkass Façade for the purpose of playing the role of the Nishizumi heir in order to allow Miho to live and do tankery as she wishes, as well as small indications that she respects and cares for Miho more than she lets on, which indicates that she does not hate Miho.
- Maho also has some similarities to Elsa from Frozen. Both are girls who are the inheritors of prestigious positions, and are often forced to keep distant from their younger sisters in order to protect them (Maho as part of being Nishizumi heiress so that Miho won't have to, Elsa to avoid harming Anna with her magic), which causes said sisters a great deal of pain. Both reach a point where it seems as though all is lost and the sisters they hoped to protect, but ultimately a happy ending is achieved due to the efforts of both sisters.
- Fumu (or Tiff if you watch the dub) from Kirby of the Stars is an anime version of Lisa Simpson. Both are little girls who happen to be Soap Box Sadies and are usually smarter/have more common sense than most of the people in their towns.
- Marco Bott from Attack on Titan and Mark from Part 2 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Both have similar sounding names, similar appearances, share the same voice actor, similar backstories as fresh young soldiers-to-be in the German army or its equivalent, and are close friends of a more prominent character who is first introduced as a rival to the protagonist. They even die in a hilariouly similar manner from getting the same half of their body eaten by uncaring Humanoid Abominations and leaving behind an identical-looking Censor Shadow, which provides their best friend to vow vengeance against these Humanoid Abominations.
- Fans of Kill la Kill have decided, due to her color scheme, "edginess" and status as a Mad Scientist's experimental creation, that Ryuko Matoi is actually Shadow the Hedgehog. The Red and Golden Super Mode in the finale only served to cement this conclusion.
- Vegeta and Hiei. Both were initially villains who pulled a Heel-Face Turn and they both have upright black hair.
- Marvel Comics' Daredevil (not to be confused with that other guy) from Earth X was a funny, immortal character that was very similar to Deadpool. Most of the fans, and characters as well, suspected he was in fact Deadpool. Which at some point started to piss him off. And the relatively short-lived Agent X, who made his debut right after the end of Deadpool's original run, had the same humor and powers, was heavily scarred all over, and had supporting cast cross-pollination. Oh, and his speech bubbles had a different color from everyone else's, too. Even the characters thought he really was an amnesiac Deadpool until the latter made his comeback in the last three issues of Agent X.
- Deadpool has actually escaped this situation. Rob Liefeld originally created him as a Captain Ersatz of the Teen Titans' enemy Deathstroke, but he later had some Character Development and turned into so different a character that you'd have to be nuts to compare them.
- Joe Kelly (the writer who cemented his status as a Crazy Awesome sex god) spoofed this in Superman/Batman Annual #1, where Earth-Three Deathstroke is an unnamed man who happens to look, fight, and snark exactly like a certain Crazy Awesome sex god. Turns out this character is an alternate Deathstroke.
Alternate Deathstroke: Hold the phone and the mayo! You're me, just without the lacerations and foreign objects!
Deathstroke: Will you please just die?
Alternate Deathstroke: Why do you hate yourself so much?
- Deadpool is also quite often confused with Spider-Man, simply because their costumes look similar. The fact that Ed McGuinness PURPOSELY drew him like Spidey probably contributed considerably, as did the change in tone to give him an awesome sense of humor that carried a similarity to Spider-Man's in order to appeal to disgruntled Spider-Man fans who were pissed off at the never-ending angst-fueled Spider-Clone Saga. This was taken to its logical extreme in a story arc where Deadpool is accidentally sent back in time and forced to replace Spider-Man...
- As revealed in one flashback, Deadpool's original costume actually was made for Spider-Man (but the webhead sent it back with a note attached saying "thanks but no thanks").
- As a nod to this, one of the scripts for the proposed Deadpool movie has a scene where it's shown that Deadpool's mask is actually just a Spider-Man mask Wade bought from a store and turned inside-out.
- Deadpool does, however, escape being compared to the similarly-powered Madcap, to whom 'Pool's current characterization owes a great deal. Evidently the fact that Madcap is a total loony toon who doesn't mean any harm is difference enough.
- Hilariously lampshaded in an issue of White Tiger that takes place during the Marvel Civil War, with Deadpool himself mistaking the current White Tiger, Angela Del Toro, for the Black Cat, whom the government has hired him to arrest.
- Most of DC's Legacy Characters have these kind of issues, which is also often lampshaded. One of the biggest examples is Batman and all the people who have tried to replace him in all his long history. No matter what they do, fans possibly will never admit that anyone of them would be ever even close to Bruce Wayne.
- Inverted with Man-Thing, who appeared two months before Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing is more popular, thanks to Alan Moore's run, and Man-Thing is seen as his substitute. And many people even don't know that's two different monsters.
- Although the jokes about a cover's unfortunate description of a "Giant-Size Man-Thing" will probably continue until the Earth smacks into the sun (even Marvel, Man-Thing's owners, have gotten in on it, with an actual giant-size Man-Thing showing up in Thunderbolts).
- People who make those jokes will not shy away from pointing out that Kang is a purple-headed invader either.
- And both characters were straight lifts of a Golden Age swamp monster called The Heap, anyway.
- Similar to Man-Thing, Darkseid and Thanos have occasionally been accused (and accused each other) of being knock-offs. This largely boils down to faintly similar appearances (dark 'skin', blue in the wardrobe, red eyes) and power levels. Rumour has it that Jim Starlin made Thanos as an homage to Darkseid...by giving him the same skin condition apparently. The fact that they're constantly paired up in crossovers doesn't help either.
- Jim Starlin claims that his initial designs of Thanos made him look like Metron, but his editor suggested making him more muscular and gave him appearance much closer to Darkseid, joking that if they're going to rip off one of New Gods, they should pick up the coolest one.
- Don't ever call Huntress Batgirl.
- The popularity of Watchmen has led to this happening to some degree for all the characters its characters are Expies of, but especially Captain Atom and The Question. (For those who haven't heard the story: Alan Moore originally wrote Watchmen with Charlton Comics characters DC had just purchased. DC liked the story but because of the way the story altered the status quo of the new expensive characters they had just bought, they asked him to replace the characters with original characters.) Solar: Man of the Atom also gets compared to Doctor Manhattan.
- Peter David highlighted the similarities◊ between Snapper Carr and Rick Jones after their times in Hourman and Captain Marvel in an issue of Young Justice.
- The MAX version of the Foolkiller lampshaded the title character's similarities to The Punisher by having the Punisher guest star in the second mini series. The two of them spent a lot of time teasing each other over their respective MOs. The differences are as follows: The Foolkiller's preferred weapon is a Sword Cane. He has a Non-Human Sidekick in the form of his large dog, Jester. He's independently wealthy due to the large inheritance he received upon his mother's tragic death. He puts the bodies of those he kills in elaborate poses for the police to find, and leaves a tarot card (the Fool) somewhere on or near the body as a Calling Card.
Film - Animated
- Charlie from All Dogs Go to Heaven and Dodger from Oliver & Company are both morally ambiguous canines who manipulate their naive friends. Eventually, they grow to care for their friends and try to find them a new home despite the threat of death bearing on them. Their movies are also quite dark, though in different ways, as well as released around the same time.
- Disney did this with Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Jane from Tarzan They're both intelligent rather than pretty. Their mothers are dead, but they are very close to their fathers. And while they might not be action girls, they can still be tough in their own way. And yeah, they both are brunettes too! Heck, their fathers are rather similar too. Belle's father is a nutty inventor, Jane's father is a nutty professor.
- Cruella DeVil from 101 Dalmatians and Yzma from The Emperor's New Groove. Of course, they both are the villain of their respective movies. But they also both have that ugly skeleton-looking appearance.
- Some cross-media examples regarding Elsa from Frozen:
- She has often been compared to Rosalina from Super Mario Bros.. Both are platinum blonde and princess-like (they're strongly associated with princesses, but they aren't technically princesses themselves). Both are often depicted wearing simple yet elegant blue dresses and both have powers related to some kind of "sparkling motif" (ice and stars respectively). Both of them have tragic pasts punctuated by loneliness, neither of them have an official love interest of any sort, and both of them happen to be incredibly popular.
- A few Sailor Moon fans have compared Elsa to Berthier, An Ice Person who has a platinum blonde braid and a light blue dress. The first anime adaptation even had an episode in which Berthier creates a blizzard (intentionally, unlike Elsa), but her younger sister, Koan, redeems her through The Power of Familial Love.
- Elsa and Violet. Both are introverted, superpowered young women told to conceal their abilities, have difficulty utilizing them and are finally accepted for them.
- The Book of Life:
- A lot of Xibalba's design choices (his general body shape and beard in particular) and his general personality reminds some people of Discord. Cue fanart of Xibalba/Discord fusions. Sometimes they are paired up with La Muerte/Celestia fusions.
- Not as common but still extant, a few people have noted Xibalba's appearance might take some cues from Aku.
- Quite a few people have drawn Aradia as La Muerte.
- The three fairies from Sleeping Beauty and The Powerpuff Girls. We have the leader and decision maker (Flora/Blossom), the sweet, sensitive one (Fauna/Bubbles) and the tough, feisty one (Merryweather/Buttercup).
- Big Hero 6:
- GoGo Tomago has been compared to several people.
- People noticed several similarities between her and Nikki Wong from Sixteen. Both of them being Asian, sarcastic, purple haired, tomboys with brown eyes.
- Shortly before the movie's release, the TV show Scorpion premiered, which has Happy Quinn, an intelligent dour East Asian vehicle enthusiast tomboy who also tends to wear shiny black jackets.
- She's also been compared to Ryuko Matoi.
- GoGo is also the latest in the "Asian girl with colored hair" trope.
- A non-Asian example is Captain America, as they both have high morals, natural superhero skills, and a good heart. Oh, and they use large metal discs as their main weapons against their enemies.
- Cora from Astro Boy. Both of them have dark hair with purple highlights.
- Wyldstyle from The LEGO Movie, as both have black hair with highlights and both have cool bikes.
- Comparisons have been made between Hiro and Hiccup, in that they're both Adorkable genius inventors with alliterative names, a Badass Adorable companion by their side (Baymax and Toothless respectively), and having the same tooth gap.
- A few people had compared Honey to Princess Uni-Kitty. Both female characters are openly feminine with big eyes and Hidden Depths. Plus their voices sound somewhat similar and they bounce when they walk.
- Within the Disney Animated Canon; the fact that one of the core elements of this film is the relationship between two brothers hasn't escaped critics notice, considering that its immediate predecessor, Frozen was entirely centered around two sisters. Not necessarily compared in a bad sense, however.
- Another within Disney Animated Canon: how about that really cool and likable older family member who rescues our mischievous and young hero early on, gives them a lecture on being a better person, then dies and spurs on the hero's character development for the rest of the film, even beyond the grave. Mufasa, or Tadashi?
- And then from its step-parent Marvel, a goofy big budget blockbuster film starring a mixed ethnic cast superhero team based on a relatively obscure comic series with a non-human sidekick that completely steals the show?: "Hello, I AM GROOT/BAYMAX!"
- To some people, Baymax either looks like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, or the Michelin Man (whose real name is Bibendum).
- Baymax can also be compared to Mr. Pump from Going Postal. Both are autonomous Gentle Giant s whose concerns are the safety of the people they are obliged to protect (Hiro and Moist von Lipwig, respectively).
- Due to Hiro being a combination of Peter Parker and Tony Stark, the film's plot sounds like a combination of the Spider-Man Trilogy, the Iron Man films, and the first two Amazing Spider-Man films.
- With an older A Boy and his Giant Robot film, starring a child prodigy with no friends his own age, raised by a single woman (with a very similar look and hairstyle) who works in a cafe, and a Gentle Giant of a robot who, at one point, is forced to submit against his will to programming that makes him kill people, despite his desire not to be used as a gun. There's not enough room to list all the parallels in the films' climaxes alone.
Film - Live Action
- In True Lies, Charlton Heston plays an grizzled old Eyepatch of Power-wearing veteran who heads up a super-secret spy organization, who may or may not be a Shout-Out to Nick Fury.
- Shortly after Thor was adapted to the big screen, Lion King fans began comparing the relationship between Thor and Loki to that of Mufasa and Scar. While their actual relationships in the movies weren't very similar, the relationship between the former pair really parallels many popular The Lion King fanfic theories.
- Mary Poppins and Maria from The Sound of Music inevitably get compared with each other. Both are played by Julie Andrews, and fill the role of a more upbeat nanny who teaches rambunctious children new things in opposition to an uptight father.
- The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad from Kill Bill seem a lot like evil, sword-wielding versions of Charlie's Angels.
- The Host has been receiving a lot of backlash from the Animorphs fandom due to this. The fact that most of them seem to think that Applegate invented the concept of body-snatching aliens probably doesn't help (the idea goes at least as far back as HP Lovecraft's The Shadow Out of Time). Perhaps it has something to do with the age of the target audience: For many of the teens and young adults at whom Meyer's works are aimed, Animorphs was probably their first introduction to the subject.
- Almost every single adaptation of the books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass so far have made the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts (two different characters from completely separate books) into an overtly threatening antagonist (which neither of the Queens were).
- The Elric Saga fans consider Geralt, main character of The Witcher books and games, an expy of Elric.
- This image humorously compares Harry Potter to Batman.
- Considering Nancy Drew was created at all simply because publisher Edward Stratemeyer noticed how many girls were reading The Hardy Boys and realized there was an untapped market, it's not impossible to draw lines between the series. There's the intelligent, bookish one (Nancy/Frank), the extremely athletic one with slight temper issues (George/Joe), the slightly overweight character whose always the most reluctant and afraid (Bess/Chet.) Both had fathers in the legal field (Carson Drew was a lawyer/Fenton Hardy was a cop turned detective,) a very vague maternal figure (Kate Drew is dead/Laura Hardy is alive but was little more than scenery), and a secondary maternal figure (Hannah Gruen/Aunt Gertrude.)
Live Action TV
- In Dino Attack RPG, because they were both Anti-Hero primary characters, comparisons inevitably arose between Dust and Trigger. The fact that many saw Trigger as failing to live up to Dust's legacy was one reason that led to his status as a Replacement Scrappy.
- In Kingdom Hearts, Roxas, from Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, looks identical to Ventus—save for their clothes—from the prequel, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Because Sora's heart is protecting Ventus's heart while he sleeps, and perhaps because Ven's heart was transferred to Roxas when he was born.
- Jun and Asuka Kazama from the second and fifth Tekken games are examples when the younger character is better than the older one. Asuka has the same fighting style as Jun, but more moves and a better designed personality. After she made Jun's son fly, fans started to describe Jun as "Asuka's demo." Forest Law from Tekken 3 wasn't so lucky, because his fighting style was completely identical with one used by his old man, Marshal Law, in previous games. Marshal returned in the next game, and stayed, but Forest has been absent since Tekken 3, except for Tekken Tag Tournament and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (both of which were Dream Match Games). However, both Marshal and Forest are often compared with Bruce Lee. Not without a reason.
- The Asuka example is an odd example in that it depends on who you're asking. Because Jun was (and still is) a major Ensemble Darkhorse and one of the few T2 vets to not return by the time of T5, her niece, who ended up assimilating Jun's expanded move list from Tag, didn't get the warmest of receptions from in certain corners of the fandom, particularly thanks to how different the two Kazama ladies were personality (even though Asuka was deliberately designed to be a foil to her aunt). With Jun's return in Tag Tournament 2 (where Jun received a revamped moveset of her own to make her distinct from Asuka while still retaining her signature moves) alongside Asuka, it turns out that—among Asuka's detractors—there's room for the whole family. And speaking of Asuka, her rivalry with Lili and their contrasting dynamics can be seen as the second coming of Sakura and Karin.
- No sooner did the Touhou game Undefined Fantastic Object come out and reveal the existence of tiger-girl Shou Toramaru, fans immediately began hailing her and her mouse-girl servant Nazrin as the next Ran Yakumo and Chen (fox-girl master and cat-girl servant, respectively). They're both animal-girl master/servant pairs where the servant has her own stage before reoccurring in her master's stage as a mid-boss, and... don't really share much similarity beyond that. The debate over the similarities between Flandre Scarlet and Nue Houjuu may also be a case of this.
- The Tyranids and the Zerg. Truth be told, while Tyranids came first, they've both taken visual influence from each other, and from H. R. Giger's Alien, but the fans don't care to hear that. There's also the Flood. And then there's the Protoss-Elite-Predator. Really, if you keep digging through these connections we find their common links go back decades.
- The Final Fantasy series gets some flak for this. There's always the romantic girl, the tough girl, and the cheerful girl.
- It all started with Rinoa, whose hairstyle (but not personality) resembled Tifa's. Final Fantasy IX included a main girl (Garnet) with once again the same hairstyle (parted on the other side, though!) and a personality that fell somewhere in between the previous two. Yuna from Final Fantasy X had a radically different personality but looked similar enough to Rinoa for fans to complain, and Final Fantasy XII's Ashelia acts nothing like modern Final Fantasy main girls (instead being more of a Final Fantasy VI Celes type) but looks almost exactly like Yuna. Ironically, both Rinoa and Garnet were initially planned to be blondes (Nomura wanting a European-looking lead female and Amano just expressing his blonde fetish), but these ideas were dropped when it came time to create in-game art and character models. Though Amano's promotional art still depicted Rinoa as a blonde (again, Author Appeal).
- A simpler example is the Krile -> Relm -> Yuffie -> Selphie -> Eiko -> Rikku -> Penelo -> Vanille line. Locke -> Zidane -> Tidus -> Vaan also counts.
- As does Exdeath, who is often seen as a sillier version of Golbez, despite the fact that they are completely different in personality and goals, and despite both being Tin Tyrants, don't even look that similar.
- Interestingly, the only character who seems to be an actual reference is Seymour from Final Fantasy X, who has the same goals, personality, role and hair color as Bahamut Lagoon's Sauzer. No one on the internet ever mentions this, most likely because no one's ever played Bahamut Lagoon.
- Aside from the Tekkaman Blade/Detonator Orgun comparison mentioned above, Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 had a case with two of its original characters, Brooklyn "Bullet" Luckfield and Touma Kanou. They both look similar AND sound similar (especially during attacks), despite having two different voice actors. Naturally, their respective love interests notice this similarity as well and proceed to lampshade the situation.
- Semi-rare cross-medium example: The Black Cauldron and The Legend of Zelda — especially Zelda II The Adventure Of Link and the 80s cartoon.
- As many Umineko: When They Cry fans like pointing◊ out, Battler Ushiromiya has quite a bit in common with another video game protagonist prone to epic finger-pointing and melodramatic logic debates. It's even more apparent when they appeared in Fighting Games. Battler in Ougon Musou Kyoku fires blue projectiles and has an attack with two giant blue hands. Phoenix in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 also fires blue projectiles and has an attack where he uses a giant blue pointer finger.
- Zelos Wilder and Zevran of all people have quite a bit in common...
- Names start with "Ze-"
- Are Bishōnen (ESPECIALLY Zelos).
- Are very flirtatious with their peers (though Zevran is bisexual, Zelos is straight).
- Are ostensibly very chipper, yet secretly harbor a suicidal self-loathing.
- Are much smarter and more observant and cunning than they appear.
- Part of their self-loathing stems from their mothers' deaths. Zevran's mother died giving birth to him. Zelos' mother was killed in front of him, and used her last breaths to tell him it would have been better if he had never been born.
- Depending on the respective games' main protagonists' actions, they will either side with you against the people they were originally working for, or stab you in the back after feeling sleighted by you, and you'll have to kill them if it comes to that.
- Sonic the Hedgehog is a hero with a blue color scheme, fighting to save his world from a mad scientist and his army of evil robots. He has a sidekick that can help him fly, a hotheaded rival who is red, and a powerful counterpart who is grayish black. Does this sound familiar at all?
- Raziel from Legacy of Kain was resurrected by a powerful supernatural entity following a betrayal during which he was very badly burned. As a wraith bent on revenge, he can't be killed, and only temporarily returns to the underworld when drained of energy. He wears a mask to cover his hideous face, and he's capable of slaughtering his enemies with a glowing energy weapon emitted from his hand. Does this sound familiar?
- SHODAN from System Shock:
- Baldur's Gate introduced Minsc, who comes from a tribe of proud warriors, bears distinct facial tattoos, has a unique tribal accent, and never goes anywhere without his imaginary advisor/companion. Fans of another Black Isle game Fallout 2 may notice the similarities with this guy
- The Avatar, the protagonist of the Ultima series by Origin, is a hero from another world, the paragon of moral virtues who fights to protect the innocent. Like this guy. Furthermore the hero's archenemy is a godlike otherworldly being who seeks to rule the universe, has many worlds under his grasp, psychically manipulates others to do his bidding, and feeds off suffering and torment. Yes, you guessed it.
- Disgaea 4's Vegetarian Vampire protagonist, Valvatorez, has luckily managed to escape associations with a particular sparkly vampire... Because his appearance and demeanor have instead convinced everyone that he's actually Vampire Lelouch.
- Lampshaded in the Dynasty/Samurai Warriors crossover Warriors Orochi with Nobunaga Oda and Cao Cao, both being ambitious and ruthless Anti Villains.
- Parallels are drawn between the Persona 4 and the Scooby-Doo main cast. Both crews consists of two guys, two girls and a Team Pet for starters.
- Kratos and Asura are compared to each other due to their rage issues and vengeance against their fellow gods (though for many, the major similarities end there).
- Albert Wesker and Caleb Goldman really are similar. Wearing sunglasses even at night, looking calm, dressed in all black, tone of voice, and similar goal of replacing humans with a race of their own.
- One of the few genuinely entertaining things about Revelations 2012, an otherwise mediocre and extremely flawed Left 4 Dead clone, is that it features a character◊ that looks suspiciously similar to The Angry Video Game Nerd. He even uses a weaponized Power Glove™! Whether the similitude was intentional or not, it is rather amusing to see a Nerd look-alike running around in what would be a surprisingly appropriate Ironic Hell to him.note
- Handsome Jack of Borderlands 2 shows himself to be an extremely smug and petty Troll that he gains a lot of comparisons with BlazBlue's Terumi Yuuki. Terumi is from an Eastern game, Handsome Jack is from a Western game, making the comparison more valid. They also share the same bizarre and completely arbitrary hang-up on using direct lies when manipulating and emotionally tormenting people.
- Red from Pokémon has often been compared to Ness from MOTHER. Both EarthBound and Pokemon Red And Blue are commonly compared and both protagonists are black haired boys with baseball caps on; though Red has been redesigned since the original games and currently has brown hair.
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is about Cyborg Raiden and his robotic canine companion, Bladewolf. The Mega Man (Classic) series also includes a cyborg protagonist and a robot canine. Curiously, both fanbases never seem to argue.
- Word of God says Bladewolf was inspired by Friender from Neo Human Casshern, which invites a three-way comparison, as Mega Man and Rush were likewise based on Casshern and Friender.
- Fire Emblem fans like to call Gerome "Batman" since they both dress in black and have similar demeanors. Comparisons to Nightwing are also common, given the design of Gerome's mask.
- Shadar from Ni no Kuni is very much like Pain/Nagato from Naruto. The details of how would be major spoilers to both works.
- The Protagonist of Spec Ops: The Line, Captain Martin Walker, comes off like a darker take on on Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII. Both characters desperately want to be heroes, but after committing and experiencing horrific acts, both lose their minds and make up a fantasy in their heads where they are heroes, as that is the only way they can cope with the trauma they received. He can also been seen as a comparison to Sayaka Miki as characters who want desperately to be heroes, but find that they can't reconcile their fantasies with reality. Both resort to increasingly disturbing violence against what they perceive to be "evil", become consumed in madness, realise it far too late to undo what they'd done, and become warped, monstrous versions of the good people they used to be.
- Master Chief is often compared with Samus Aran. Both are incredibly badass genetically enhanced warriors that wear state of the art Powered Armor to fight off a legion of deadly alien super soldiers. Of course, being members of the opposite sex leads to many, many instances of Crossover Shipping.
- Hard-boiled, one-eyed, badass mercenary with an adopted daughter who also happens to be a merc and heavily takes after their father in moveset and demeanor. Who are we talking about? Heidern or Gado? Best illustrated here.
- As of late, 9-Volt from the WarioWare series has been oft-compared to the player character of Five Nights at Freddy's due to the "Gamer" mini-game from Game & Wario (although Game & Wario preceded Five Nights at Freddy's), as 9-Volt stays stationary in a darkened room under constant threat by invaders watching a portable screen, his only defense being to hide in a way that depletes a meter.
- Even though Palutena came first, her characterization in Kid Icarus: Uprising has drawn comparisons to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's Princess Celestia. Both are powerful goddesses of light who have a tendency to mess with their most faithful subject. It would be more accurate, however, to say that Palutena is similar to Celestia's fandom characterization than her official one, though, as Celestia's official trolling is kept rather minimal while Palutena does it constantly.
- It didn't take long after the reveal of Splatoon to start comparisons between it and Shinryaku! Ika Musume, another work that features a squid person as the main protagonist. It also helped that the creator of Ika Musume became a huge fan of the game himself and started posting fanart for it soon after the game's reveal.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Mario (or at least his earlier incarnations) can be compared to Popeye. Their stories are centered around a (rather chaste) love triangle between two male characters fighting over a love interest (Mario, Donkey Kong and Pauline/Mario, Bowser and Peach compared to Popeye, Bluto and Olive Oyl). The antagonist is a muscle-bound lout who usually gets what he wants by acting as a bully. The protagonist is an average joe who can power up once obtaining a Trademark Favorite Food and almost always wins and gets the girl, who is little more then a Distressed Damsel in most of these stories.
- In later Mario games, especially the Spin-off titles, Mario's cast is more like Mickey Mouse's cast, with Mario himself being similar to Mickey. The cast includes a tall Adorkable klutz who is the main character's best friend (Luigi and Goofy), the main character's love interest (Peach and Minnie), his almost sapient pet (Yoshi and Pluto) and they both even have a friend named "Daisy"!
- Coming from an episode of Justice League Unlimited, it became a fan meme to confuse Booster Gold (Uniform colors: Blue and golden-yellow) and Green Lantern (Uniform colors: GREEN and black, thank you). Additional, unsaid humor comes from the fact that the Green Lantern in question was African-American, bald at the time, with a goatee, and no robot buddy. None of that could be said for Booster Gold.
- Characters from the Fire Nation in Avatar: The Last Airbender are sometimes compared to characters from Neon Genesis Evangelion: Zuko is Shinji, Azula is Asuka, Mai is Rei, Ozai is Gendo, Ursa is Yui, Ty Lee is Misato, Iroh is Kaji and Zhao is Ritsuko.
- Some fans refer to the trio of Azula, Ty Lee, and Mai as Ozai's Angels.
- Characters from The Legend of Korra are often compared to those from its predecessor. Mako is often compared to Zuko, for example, and Korra gets it worst of all, because she's compared to both Katara and Aang. And then there's those who say Makorra is the new Zutara... That didn't work out, either.
- Korra is sometimes thought of by fans as Katara and Toph blended together.
- It's been noted that Amon is quite similar to the Nolanverse version of Bane. Both are masked masterminds of Knight Templar organizations that attack a city filled with crime, and much of their quotes are similar. Compare Amon's "I am the solution" to Bane's "I'm Gotham's reckoning". Also, both characters invade a sports stadium and give an intimidating speech.
- He has also been compared to Doctor Doom. That is, before it was revealed that he was lying about his facial scars.
- And at one point cripple the hero in some way with Korra losing her bending temporarily and Batman having his back broken.
- Mako has been compared to Batman, as both saw their parents killed in front of them at a young age.
- Lin Beifong has been compared to Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Iron Man. There's also a theory that Toph created her via earthbending, a la Wonder Woman.
- Iroh II flies using firebending, prompting many to refer to him as "Iroh Man".
- Asami Sato's character design is often compared to Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Also, the characters from Avatar can be compared to Naruto. Aang is Naruto, Zuko is Sasuke, Katara is Sakura, Iroh is Kakashi, Lin Beifong is Hinata...
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's Rainbow Dash: A blue cartoon animal who can break the sound barrier, has spiky hair, is very laid-back, loyal to her friends, and is admired by an orange-furred kid (Scootaloo). Sonic the Hedgehog... A blue cartoon animal who can break the sound barrier, has spiky hair, is very laid-back, loyal to his friends, and is admired by an orange-furred kid (Tails). And many other ponies can easily be compared with Sonic characters: Applejack and Knuckles (strongest and most stubborn), Pinkie Pie and Amy Rose (being pink, and, for what it's worth, both often act as stalkers toward their fast, blue friends), Rarity and Rouge (white-furred, wear eyeshadow, have an affinity for gems), Gilda and Shadow ("rivals", respectively with Rainbow and Sonic), and so on. Twilight Sparkle also has noticeable comparisons to the spin off media character Sally Acorn (neurotic bookworm and more lucid and meticulous opposite), only punctuated when she ascended to princess.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and the U.S. Acres characters seem to have some similarities in personalities. Both Orson and Twilight Sparkle Bookworms leader types who makes mistakes now and then. Both Bo and Pinkie Pie are very friendly and want people to be happy (Pinkie Pie is also like Bo's comic strip counterpart as well). Lanolin is a mix of Apple Jack and Rarity. Both she and Apple Jack are both tough, hard working farm girls and Rarity seems to have more in common with the "imaginary Lanolin" in Orson's fantasies.
The clincher is Roy and Wade versus Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. Roy and Rainbow Dash are both AntiHeros who are full of themselves but help their friends in anyway they can., while Wade and Fluttershy are both good-hearted cowards who helps save their friends when they need to. They also seem to have some similarities with their friendships. Both duos seem implied to have knew each other in their younger years before they joined the main cast. And, over time in both series, both duo's friendships developed and each pair became closer friends.
- My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic have been compared to the characters from Hetalia. Both Twilight and England are bookworms who aren't interested in making friends (at least, that used to be the case for Twilight). Pinkie Pie has been compared to both Italy due to both being extremely energetic and having a love for food (pasta for Italy, sweets for Pinkie Pie). Fluttershy and Canada are compared to each other since both are Shrinking Violets who have a white animal as a companion (Angel Bunny for Fluttershy, Kumajirou for Canada). France and Rarity are both Fashionistas. Both Rainbow Dash and America are Boisterous Bruisers who have somewhat of an ego.
- Dipper and Dib since both are paranormal-obsessed geeks.
- Donald Duck and Daffy Duck: Besides being ducks, both are the Ensemble Dark Horse of their respective companies, both embody the opposite (and usually negative) qualities of the protagonist characters (Mickey and Bugs respectively), both are unlucky Butt Monkeys, prone to anger and jerkassery, yet prove to be more popular.
- Gaz and Mandy. Both are creepy little girls who commonly beat the crap out of the Butt Monkey of the show, and deal with a lot of supernatural stuff on a regular basis.
- Squidward and Benson: Both are bald with a big rounded head, large nose as well as having a Grumpy Bear attitude, Hair-Trigger Temper and yelling at the main protagonists a lot.
- Rigby has developed a personality much more different than Patrick's, but in early episodes he was an irresponsible, obnoxious Millstone, like what Patrick became in the span of ten years.
- Nu, Pogodi! has been compared a lot to Tom and Jerry, even though the creators of the former had never seen the latter.
- Mumbly, a Hanna-Barbera detective dog (later Face-Heel Turn bad guy for the Really Rottens) is thought to be an expy of Dick Dastardly's sidekick Muttley in that their facial features are similar and they each have a wheezing snicker as a signature laugh. They are distinguished by fur color (Muttley, light green; Mumbly, light blue), ears (Muttley's are black, Mumbly's the same as his fur), and apparel (Muttley, an orange collar then later a scarf and flying helmet; Mumbly, an orange trenchcoat).
- Deadpool and Spider-Man are at this trope again in Ultimate Spider-Man the cartoon series, but with trope inverted. Deadpool came first in this universe, and his cutaways and gags are like Spider-Man's so he obviously blames Spidey for being the ripoff.
- Ice King from Adventure Time is often compared to Mr Freeze, Lee, and Doctor Two Brains. The similarities are, in order: that both are ice-themed TragicVillains who have lost love interests; that both survive the apocalypse, become a Parental Substitute to a little girl in the aftermath of said apocalypse, and are infected with (and eventually succumb to) some form of The Corruption; and that both are Laughably Evil villains voiced by Tom Kenny who have similar backstories.
- Due to The Reveal that the monsters the Crystal Gems are fighting their own, yet corrupted kind, Steven Universe has been compared to Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
- Clam and Wakko Warner. Both are quiet, eccentric little individuals who have immense skills, talents and strengths, yet prefer not to show it.