Yes, we know that Lamarck Was Right...but this is getting silly.
You see, not only has our hero discovered his Secret Legacy and realized that, due to his Superpowerful Genetics, he has inherited all of Mom and Dad's abilities (including the ones courtesy ofCharles Atlas)... he's found out that he's destined/doomed to live out a replay of their lives.
This trope takes "following in your parent's footsteps" to a whole new level. The character hasn't just inherited their parents' character traits and superpowers — they've inherited their entire life story.
They will meet the same people their parents met, or, if this isn't possible, they will have an equivalent. If Mandy's best friend when she was a child was Polly the Soap Box Sadie, her daughter Mindy will befriend Paula the Soap Box Sadie on her first day of school. Sometimes it's just a coincidence, where the child seems to gravitate towards the same type of people as their mom and dad were drawn to, but often the new associate will have some direct tie to the parent's past (e.g. is the daughter of someone that knew the character's mom).
Often, certain key events will happenexactlyas they did in the past.Turn Out Like His Father is most likely to fail when crossed with this trope. In many plotlines, however, the outcome will change at the last moment since the hero(ine) has heard the story from their parents and has had the time to work out what went wrong and worked up the guts to change it. For example, if the hero's dad fell out with his best friend because neither would apologize to the other, the hero will figure out that saying sorry is the best way to keep his own friendship going.
To a certain point, this trope can be a Justified Trope. If the parents send the kid to the same school as they themselves went to, then it's not such a stretch to believe that the son or daughter will encounter the same people. If the parents kept in touch with their old friends, it's not unlikely that the child will befriend the children of those friends. However, if the parents moved to a different country, assumed secret identities and tried to forget the past, only to have Junior come home from his first day of school announcing that his dad's right hand man is his English teacher... that's a bit more of a stretch.
Mentors who become parental figures will also tend to pass on their life story, although karma rather than genetics will be held responsible for the resulting deja vu.
Love Interests and relationships tend to get copied whole cloth as well. Whether it's the descendants of two Star-Crossed Lovers or the child of the Official Couple from a Love Dodecahedron finding out they have their parent's stable's children gunning for them with cupid's arrows.
And heaven help you if your parents/mentors made a mess of their lives, because guess what? Yup, that Fatal Flaw was hereditary too. Better get to work figuring out just how they screwed things up, because if you don't, chances are the same tragedy's going to happen again. And it'll be your fault this time around, in which case you'll have no choice but to pass the entire scenario on to your son or daughter and hope that they can Set Right What Once Went Wrong — a sort of generational "Groundhog Day" Loop.
See also In the Blood, Secret Legacy, Superpowerful Genetics, Legacy Character. Often this leads to Parental Hypocrisy. Opposed Mentors will have opposed students who will become mentors themselves etc.
Very often, the exact same actors will be used to portray the ancestors. The more distant they are, the more likely this is.
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Anime and Manga
In Pet Shop of Horrors, Count D's dad is portrayed throughout the series as a nasty piece of work, a Manipulative Bastard supreme. It's surprising then, when a short story reveals that D's dad was much like his son when he was younger, to the point he even had a "Leon" of his own in the form of Vesca Howell — a loud mouthed and brash best friend who he was exceedingly fond of but whom he ultimately abandoned, just as D abandoned Leon at the end of Petshop. The elder D's later "madness", and the fact that he and Howell were eventually responsible for each other's deaths, doesn't bode well for his son, especially given the "Count D" family's odd connection to karma.
The final twist of Akisora: Their parents were incestuous as well.
As much as Tomoya Okazaki of CLANNAD hates his father for neglecting him to dull the pain of his mother's death he has become exactly the same to his own little girl Ushio to forget that her birth killed Nagisa. Thankfully, both cases get better. And worse.And better, again.
Initial D: In the Third Stage movie, Takumi races the son of his father's former rival. And wins, just like his dad did.
One of the themes of Naruto is the recurrence of certain characters, traits, and patterns across the generations. Team 7's relations and characteristics, for example, are a dead ringer for those of the Legendary Sannin. This was one of the reason many fans were able to pick up on a Luke, I Am Your Father revelation long before it was revealed in canon.
As a matter of fact, the relationship between Naruto and his friend/rival Sasuke works as a Generation Xerox across multiple generations, dating all the way back to the very invention of ninjutsu.
There's also Team Minato in regards to Team 7 (pre-Time Skip, anyway), with Minato/Kakashi as the mentor, Obito/Naruto as the brash, hot-headed one with a crush on The Chick, Rin/Sakura as The Medic with a crush on the genius Lancer, and finally young Kakashi/Sasuke who are The Stoic.
Team Ame might count too. Yahiko/Naruto as the brash, hot-headed one and underdog, Konan/Sakura as the "smart" one of the three, Nagato/Sasuke as the Genius and most talented of the three. There's also hints of a love triangle going on but was resolved peacefully. Unlike the current one......
Part of the drama/storyline is that Generation Xerox is present, but also a curse of types. Sasuke is the biggest example/offender that he seems like silly putty. Is he going to be a copy of Kakashi, Orochimaru, Itachi or Madara?
The Ino-Shika-Cho formation and its relationship with the Sarutobi clan goes back 16 generations.
Flame of Recca: The Hero and title character Recca finds out he is exactly like his birth father, Oka when they finally meet. And coincidentally, he is exactly like his adopted father as well!
One episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! features a duel between Yugi and a girl named Rebecca, who accuses Yugi's grandfather of stealing his Blue-Eyes White Dragon card from her grandfather. The duel ends up mirroring exactly a duel between the two grandfathers held in a caved-in archaeological site, with the last bit of water on the line. Both Yugi and his grandfather ended up surrendering their duels even though they would have won with their last card draw.
Subverted in One Piece. The exploits of Luffy are implied to very closely mirror those of Gold Roger, the previous Pirate King; he also meets quite a few people who personally knew the guy (either that, or the successor of said person), and his actions are consistently described by these people as being exactly what Roger would do. However, it's pretty clear right from the start that Roger isn't Luffy's father, and it's outright confirmed later on. But the real kicker came in fairly recently: Roger actually did have a son: Ace, Luffy's older "brother," who absolutely despises the guy and wants nothing to do with him. And is now dead. Also subverted in that, according to Whitebeard (who was Roger's rival), Ace wasn't much like his father in terms of personality.
Luffy is looking to be this way with Shanks, sharing the Obfuscating Stupidity and later in a bar scene with Bellamy, he refuses to fight until his friends are harmed much like his idol.
In another chapter, it is revealed a young Gold Roger looked exactly like Luffy, right down to the trademark hat. Which was passed down from Roger to Shanks to Luffy.
Roger and Rayleigh's first meeting (particularly in the anime) has parallels to Luffy and Zoro's first meeting. Roger wanted Rayleigh to join him with Rayleigh refusing. And the boat they started with was a small one.
Franky and Iceburg's adoptive father built the Oro Jackson, the ship that Gold Roger used to conquer the Grand Line. After Going Merry's death, Franky and Iceburg would be the ones to build the Thousand Sunny for the Straw Hats.
Robin is an archaeologist like her mother, can read Poneglyphs like her mother, and even looks just like her mother.
Most of the Straw Hats can easily be compared to one or more of an older generation, either ability-wise or personality-wise. Some to relatives and mentors, others are completely by chance:
Luffy to Roger and Shanks - his personality to both, his journey to Roger.
Zoro to Mihawk and Rayleigh - they are all devil fruit-less swordsmen, Zoro shares Mihawk's attitude towards weak opponents, and Rayleig's relationship with Roger mirrors Zoro's with Luffy.
Usopp to Yasopp - he looks identical to his father with exception of his nose and hair, Yasopp haven't been given enough screen time to say anything for personality. Yasopp has the same role in Shank's crew as Usopp has in Luffy's.
Sanji to Zeff - his mentor, also a master chef who dreamed of All Blue and fought by kicking.
Chopper to Hiluluk - his "father," a doctor with faith in miracles, who wanted to cure all diseases.
Robin to her mother, Oliva, as stated above.
Franky's relationship to Luffy can be compared to his mentor Tom's relationship to Roger. Lines can also be drawn to the set of Vegapunk and Kuma - Vegapunk is a genius inventor of whom Franky adopted the designs of during the timeskip, and Kuma is a cyborg built by Vegapunk - much like Franky is a cyborg built by himself.
Rapidly subverted in Mahou Sensei Negima! manga, which has the earnest, 10-year-old genius mage Negi following in the footsteps of his hugely-famous Disappeared Dad, the "Thousand Master" Nagi... Only later Nagi is shown to be a laidback magic school dropout who, although quite powerful, had to read spells off of a card and resorted to cheap tricks whenever possible (like, say, luring a certain vampire into a covered hole in the ground). In power and personality, they're completely different, and Negi increases the divide even further by choosing the powers of darkness.
That all said MANY comparisons can be made between generations, and grow with each revelation: Negi=Nagi, Kotarou=Jack Rakan, Setsuna=Eishun, and of course Ala Alba=Ala Rubra. For that matter Albrieo Imma is rather mischevious and the team healer, like Konoka. And with the Nagi calling the Zect his "master" recalls Eva.
In Chapter 258 Rakan's flashback confirms above, and also shows that there is a sticking resemblance between the relationship that Negi's parents had and the one he shares with his partner, Asuna. Of course, this is only in reference to their relationships, as the personalities of the parties involved are sometimes totally opposite.
Also it seems that for all their differences Negi and Nagi have the same goals and priorities (namely saving Asuna and world while they are at it) the difference being their approach to this (Nagi "beat the guys who threaten them" vs Negi's "eliminate villains reason for threatening them")
Possible application in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Due to time travel and reincarnation, The Syaoran and Sakura that we start the manga with turn out to be the parents of one of the people they are cloned from and virtually identical to. Whether the clones are imitating their originals, or the younger male is imitating his father (who just happens to also be his clone) is a matter best left to illegal substances. Or at least alcohol.
Then Rolo is a Xerox of V.V. Think of it: they're the younger brother to the Emperor/Emperor candidate (even if just adopted, in Rolo's case), are obsessively attached to said brother, and ultimately murder someone whom said Emperor deeply cared for due to utter jealousy (Marianne in V.V.'s case, Shirley in Rolo's.) Pretty much the biggest difference is that Charles kills V.V upon finding out, while Lelouch doesn't kill Rolo to further his plans — which leads to Rolo pulling an Heroic Sacrifice for him.
Geass contains another, more layered example: Lelouch tells Suzaku that despite the difference in their social status, they can still be friends, citing the example of the first Britannian Emperor and the original Knight of One, who were also lifelong friends (as detailed in the history lessons in the DVD inserts). This is also true of Emperor Charles and his Knight of One, Bismarck Waldstein and again when Lelouch usurps the throne and Suzaku, having patched up their differences, serves as his Knight of Zero.
Also, a very subtle version but... a young revolutionary eventually talks his relunctant best friend to join the cause against Britannia, dies fighting the Empire, and said best friend finds himself inheriting his position and becoming the protector of the dead friend's younger sister. Are we talking about Naoto Kouzuki, Kaname Ohgi and Kallen Kouzuki — or Lelouch, Suzaku, and Nunally?
A flat chested sorceress from Zephilia meets a mercenary swordsman and they fall in love while fighting to make a buck. Lina Inverse and Gourry Gabriev from Slayers, or Lina's parents?
It is indicated that some of the problems between Shinji and his father are a result of the fact that both of them are very socially awkward. Furthermore, they share a depression induced by not being accepted by their peers, which is especially present when seeing the flashbacks of Gendo. Indeed, it has led some fans to speculate that if Shinji actually grew up, he could have ended up like Gendo.
The new film series more deeply explores the theme of "children walking in parents' footsteps", with both Shinji/Gendo and Rei/Yui.
Though as a bit of a twist, the other girls don't actually like Kousagi, which is a far cry from Usagi's close friendships with the original Inner Senshi.
Seiichirou Kitano from Angel Densetsu not only is as scary as his father. He gets in the same exact problems at school because of that, and knows his girlfriend only when she understands he's The Messiah. Exactly the same as his father's. The only, marginal, difference between the two is that Seiichirou trades in being The Juggernaut (on top of being a Lightning Bruiser) for a metric ton of Selective Obliviousness.
In Chapter 6, Vivio spars with Einhart and loses easily, disappointing her, as she thinks Vivio cannot possibly be the Sankt Kaiser. Vivio proposes a rematch in a week and hope to get strong enough to satisfy her. Since Vivio heard about Nanoha fighting Fate in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers Sound Stage 02, it seems she's inherited Nanoha's ideas about making friends.
Vivio vs Miura is the ViVid version of Nanoha vs Vita (who is one of Miura's instructors). What does that mean? Vivio loses. In a tournament.
Taken to extremes by Katekyo Hitman Reborn! where Tsuna, the tenth boss of the Vongola Mafia Family, looks almost identical to the first boss, despite the fact that ten generations separate the two (and the fact that none of the other bosses look very much like him, despite it supposedly being a direct line). On top of that, every member of Tsuna's inner circle is said to bear a strong resemblance to a member of the First Vongola's circle, despite the fact that none of them are blood related.
Not only do they each resemble their first-generation counterpart physically, they also use the same weapons, have the same general personalities, and in some cases even seem to have the same life stories. All of which seems to have happened completely by coincidence.
However, during the Future arc, Yuni specifically mentions that this is a special trait of the Vongola Family, and in a recent chapter it is at least heavily suggested (if not outright stated) by Daemon Spade that the tenth generation Vongola are in fact reincarnations of the first generation.
In Bleach, Ichigo Kurosaki and Uryuu Ishida's cordially vitriolic interactions are almost carbon copies of the interactions between their fathers, Isshin Kurosaki and Ryuuken Ishida. Same Shinigami vs. Quincy rivalry, same gut instinct vs. analysis divergence, same trickster mentor relationship with Urahara. Isshin and Ichigo even share their ultimate sword technique, Final Getsuga Tensho and Uryuu's post time-skip bow now looks very similar to Ryuuken's small bow.
As well in Dragon Ball Z with Bardock, Goku and Chibi Goten.
Subverted somewhat with Gohan, who seems to start off as something of daddy's boy, even surpassing Goku in potential, but whose gentle, pacifistic nature ultimately drives him to abandon his father's fighting legacy.
In Princess Knight sequel "Twin Knight", her son Daisy is kidnapped, and Sapphire has to dress his twin sister Violetta like a boy and present her as "prince Daisy" every two days. Crossdressed like her mom before, Violetta will also have a long wandering far from her kingdom, before find her brother and become a girl again.
Edward's son even has the same style as him as a child. The 2003 anime version is even more obvious where in an OVAeveryone is shown to have a relative that looks exactly like them, 100 years later. Ed's great-grandchildren look like him, Alphonse, and.. Winry. Epileptic Trees commence, especially since that one was canon.
Gundam Wing gets hit with this quite badly in the official sequel novel Frozen Teardrop, with most of the original cast members having a younger counterpart who looks and acts just like they did in the original anime; this includes Duo Maxwell II (Duo's son), Kathy Po (Sally's daughter), Trowa Phobos (Trowa Barton's protégé), Katerina Winner (Quatre's younger sister), and possibly Zechs Merquise II, whose relation to Milliardo Peacecraft remains unknown and who has yet to do anything other than show up at the latter's funeral. Zechs and Noin's children Milou and Naina also apply, though they're Gender Flipped versions (Naina looks like a female Zechs while Milou looks like a male Noin).
It goes backwards in time as well: later chapters show the history of the real Heero Yuy, including his Love Triangle with sisters Katrina and Sabrina Peacecraft. They, of course, look exactly like Heero Yuy and Relena Peacecraft, the show's protagonists (in the case of the Heero it's even worse because, as with Trowa, the two are not related in any form or fashion).
Part of why Asagi Ayase and her mother don't get along in Yotsuba&! is because they're almost exactly alike. When Asagi's father points this out, both turn and shout "How rude!" at the same time.
Reina of Queen's Blade with her mother Maria Vance, all the more so because Reina took up her mother's armor.
Arakawa Under the Bridge inverts the situation: when Ric's dad shows up on the bridge, his trousers are stolen. To avoid owing Nino a debt, he refuses her help — abandoning his trousers and getting taken away by a police officer for indecency. For Want of a Nail (Nino retrieving the trousers), this is exactly what happened to Ric in the first chapter.
Hanasaku Iroha shows that Ohana's mother Satsuki was a lot like her daughter when she was younger (complete with the same voice actress). The situations were reversed (other work vs the inn), but played out exactly the same.
In Mai-Otome, both Arika and her mother Lena Sayers have a blonde friend who is apparently a lesbian and turns out to be secretly working against them; Erstin for Schwarz, Elliot for a Five Columns conspiracy to kill Sifr (although she decides to oppose the Columns and rescue Sifr with Lena). Arika and Nina's personalities are similar to Lena and Sifr's, although the roles are reversed; Arika's mother Lena is like a somewhat more relaxed but still consistently serious Nina, and Nina's mother Sifr is like Arika.
Gurren Lagann gave us the worthwhile Parallel Works 8 which covers at least seven years of time. It shows a boy finding a Gurren After the End, creating and leading La Résistance, then rebuilding a civilization capable of challenging the Anti-Spirals. The stories diverge when Simon is reminded he has someone worth fighting for.
In Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest, the protagonist Akira Inugami falls in love with his teacher Akiko Aoshika. The same thing happened around 20 years before: when Inugami's dad Tetsuya was teaching at Stanford, he and his student Lois (who was a werewolf woman) fell in love and got married.
A Cruel God Reigns: The main character Jeremy looks EXACTLY like his Deceased Parents Are the Best father. And they share the same name. And it is creepily hinted at in just a couple of panels that Jeremy's mother Sandra asked him to call her by her first name when he was a child to replace her husband. It doesn't help that she then appears to kiss him on the lips.
Oz Vessalius from Pandora Hearts looks exactly like a younger version of Jack, his ancestor. This becomes completely justified when it's revealed that Oz is not a true Vessalius but rather the soul of the B-Rabbit who is inhabiting Jack's backwards-aging body.
Criminal is all over this trope. Particularly in the case of Tracy Lawless, who like his father Teeg, is a war veteran who robbed the wrong person and ended up in service to Sebastian Hyde.
Both played straight and subverted for all it's worth in Runaways.
Hellblazer's John Constantine's 19th century ancestor, Lady Johanna Constantine, is a suave, dashing sorceress with a tendency to doom her loved ones to horrible fates. The immortal Hob Gadling also met an Elizabethan warlock called Jack Constantine, who came to a nasty end in a graveyard.
In Spider-Girl, and related series like A-Next, most of the characters are awfully similar to their parents, mentors, or inspirations. The next generation of superheroes has different demographics, however, as a disproportionate number of daughters fill their fathers' shoes, with there being some more racial diversity as well. In their favour, they often have different personalities and motives, just similar career and fashion choices.
Spider-Man —> Spider-Girl; Spider-Woman —> Spider-Man; Captain America —> American Dream; Ant Man —> Stinger; Black Cat —> Scarlet Spider; Daredevil, Ghost Rider, and Ben Reilly —> Darkdevil; Quicksilver —> Blue Streak; The Falcon —> Ladyhawk; Juggernaut —> J2; Wolverine and Elektra —> Wild Thing; etc, etc...
An early Legion of Super-Heroes story had Supergirl join a Legion who said they were the children of the Legion Superboy joined. This was never referenced again, and Superboy and Supergirl were members of the same Legion from then on.
L.E.G.I.O.N. sometimes plays with this, with ancestors of the LOSH characters having similar stories.
The basic theme of Peter David's The Atlantis Chronicles; Aquaman and Ocean Master are just the latest generation of feuding royal brothers, dating back to the founding of Atlantis.
During the 50's and 60's, DC Comics experimented with the Superman of the 30th Century (which blatantly contradicted the Legion of Super-Heroes continuity) and the Batman of the Future (which starred Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne, Jr. as Batman and Robin). Both features were unpopular and are widely considered lame because they were such thorough Generation Xeroxes that they lack individuality.
Currently, Grant Morrison's Batman has Dick Grayson as Batman and Bruce's son as Robin, with Flash Forward stories revealing that Damian Wayne will eventually be Batman himself. It seems to have gone down a bit better this time.
The X-Men are experiencing a bit of this with some of their newest team members.
Emma Frost has the Stepford Cuckoos, a group of quintuplets (later brought down to triplets) with powers similar to her. Turns out that they're genetically her daughters as well.
Likewise, one could argue that Prodigy is the current-gen counterpart of Synch from Generation X.
Kent V. Nelson, great-nephew of Kent Nelson, the original Doctor Fate, also became Doctor Fate. And he also has a sort-of-relationship with a woman called Inza, which isn't exactly a common name.
Played with in Young Avengers. Stature plays it straight (size-changing powers, daughter of Ant-Man); Speed plays it pretty much straight (speed powers, nephew of Quicksilver); Hawkeye and Vision avert it (Hawkeye uses equipment from the original Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and Swordsman, but has no relation to any of them; Vision is the operating system of the original in a new body, making them separate entities); Iron Lad, Hulkling, and Wiccan subvert it (Iron Lad is a young Kang with no connection to Iron Man, Hulkling is the half-Skrull son of Captain Marvel with no connection to the Hulk, and Wiccan - who patterns himself after Thor - is the son of Scarlet Witch); and Patriot is just all over the place (he's the grandson of *a* Captain America, but not *the* Captain America, he gets his powers from a mutant drug instead of his heritage, and his costume is based on Bucky anyway). Furthermore, nobody except Stature had met the people they're following in the footsteps of before they became superheroes.
A possible future shows Hulkling becoming the new Captain Marvel. Patriot and Speed also take on their predecessors' identities, Stature takes the identity of Stinger, and Wiccan ... is apparently the new Sorcerer Supreme, with a costume modeled after Doctor Strange. There's also a new character named Samantha, who has taken over the identity of The Falcon, and a young boy named Steve, who has become the new Bucky.
The new recruits from the Marvel NOW! relaunch also avert this. Miss America is not connected to Captain America or Patriot in any meaningful way, and fills their role in a purely thematic manner (she even has completely different abilities). Marvel Boy has nothing in common with Captain Marvel or Ms. Marvel outside of a shared Kree heritage, and like Miss America, has completely different abilities from his adult counterparts. Then Prodigy bucks the entire trend by being the first Young Avenger to not have any adult analogue. And Loki, while arguably a Thor analogue, is well...Loki.
Hulkling's older half-brother Genis-Vell also took after dear old dad. Not only did he inherit Mar-Vell's costume and Nega-Bands, but also his "Cosmic Awareness" and connection to Rick Jones. And like his father, he ended up dying a rather tragic death.
In Paul Cornell's Judge Dredd Megazine strip "Deathwatch" one of the members of Psi-Judge Dee's Elizabethan Judge squad is Celibacy Steel, ancestress of Judge Treasure Steel from Dave Stone's Armitage and Judge Becky Steel from Pan-African Judges
There's one Pilote one-shot in which Goscinny and Uderzo's Author Avatar characters visit the Undefeatable Little Village from Astérix in the present day and meet the distant descendent of Obelix, who retains Obelix's basic appearance, his personality - even his very 50BC-specific fondness for menhirs and wild boar - and his artificially-acquiredSuper Strength. He shows the authors his family tree, which is full of similar identical descendants who were all great warriors in different eras of French history, including a knight who fought the English at the Battle of Hastings, a Crusader, a privateer, a Napoleonic ship captain, and so on. Several of the bits of history about these descendants include cameos from the descendants of the pirate characters who routinely appear.
It's not just those two series, it's everywhere. Most "Next Gen" fic will feature kids who are either 1.) Exact carbon copies of their parents or 2.) Have a blend of traits that the writer thought were the coolest aspects of said parents. This applies to personality, fighting styles, what the kids want to be when they grow up, etc.. Occasionally the kids will have certain aspects of their grandparents if they showed up in the series and they were likable enough. When you get right down to it, many of these "original characters" are the same damn people and the only difference will depend on what the writer's favorite name is.
And while we're on the subject, this leaches into the shipping as well. For example, if the writer is a Harry/Draco fan, this will come across/feature in an Al/Scorpius fic. Same goes for Rose/Scorpius = Hermione/Draco, among others.
Hell, the Sailor Moon fanseries "Sailor Moon Z(odiac)" does this with by giving almost every named character a Silver Millenium counterpart, up to and including (Insert Name Here)'s family status and relationships!
Shiratamama's series of K-On! fancomics about the daughters of Mio and Ritsu.
In the fanfiction by Cori Falls, it's revealed that Jessie's parents met under similar circumstances to her and James, and had similar adventures together. They even met Ash's dad, who has almost the exact same name as Ash himself (and Ash later goes on to act like him as an adult). In fact, the implications are that the Generation Xerox affects not only Jessie's and James's immediate families but every single one of their family members from before or after them.
In White Rain, Sakura uses something similar to Kakashi's bell test on her own genin team... with her own twist.
An even more critical part of the plot is Uchiha Itachi's two children. The older son (also named Itachi) takes more after Sasuke - but the younger daughter (Rina) is the one who takes after her father.
In Mirrors Image Twilight and her mother Chrysallis have pretty similar backstories: Both were students of Celestia, both had used the Element of Magic, and both were Switched at Birth.
The Elements Of Harmony And The Savior Of Worlds: Megan is stunned at the similarities between the Applejack and Spike she knew and the present ones. And then we find out that AJ is in fact descended from the original Applejack and Spike is G1 Spike's (now King Spykoran) grandson.
In the Back to the Future trilogy, George McFly is bullied by Biff Tannen; his grandson Marty McFly, Jr is goaded into crime by Griff Tannen. Both characters' escape from their respective tormentor was catalyzed by Marty McFly, Sr, who is himself (initially) goaded into crime by Douglas Needles (not a Tannen, but he fills the same Jerk Jock/Corrupt Corporate Executive role as Biff).
Marty Sr is reluctant to send his demo tape to a record producer because he "couldn't handle that kind of rejection". George (in the original history) won't send his manuscript to a publisher for the same reason.
Don't forget about great grandfather Seamus McFly, who was one of the many people harassed by Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen in 1885, echoing Biff's line with:
Mad Dog: McFly, I thought I done told you never to come in here
Star Wars: Young Skywalker is whisked away from his home on Tattooine by a Jedi Master. He then saves the day by flying a starfighter into battle and improbably blowing up the enemy space station, befriending R2-D2 in the process. He then receives training in the Force against Yoda's protests, leading him to overconfidently attack Palpatine's Dragon, losing an appendage for his troubles. Now, are we talking about Luke or Anakin?
Arguably taken a step further in the Expanded Universe, in which Luke decides there's no such thing as a 'light side' and 'dark side', only the Force, henceforth using the force entirely as he sees fit. Later, after a certain incident, he comes to the rapid conclusion that he's made a terrible mistake, and cuts himself of from the unsavory elements of the Force. In some ways, reflecting how Anakin came to embrace the Dark Side, only to repent and slay the Emperor. Anakin's grandson follows almost exactly the same path as Vader, all the while ironically looking back at history so he did not make the same mistakes, which he did. The conclusion was arguably inverted as he ended up not repenting before his death.
It depends on what you qualify as "repenting". Moments before his sister Jaina kills him, he seems to realize that he was as much of an idiot as his grandfather was. Unfortunately, he only realizes this at about the same time he's stabbed through the chest.
In the Young Jedi Knights series, Jaina is described as looking a lot like Leia, but her personality more resembles Han. Leia, meanwhile, shares her mother's affection for interesting hair arrangements.
The Skywalker twins are an interesting study. While in looks and career choice, they resemble the same sex parent, in personality, Leia is much more like Anakin and Luke like Padme. Indeed, Luke and Padme have almost identical lines at times (usually about Anakin/Vader).
Luke Skywalker's eventual wife Mara Jade was once one of his greatest enemies (she once served as Emperor Palpatine's Hand) until they fell in love and got married. In Fate of the Jedi, Luke's son Ben Skywalker fights Sith Lady Vestara Khai several times and then a mutual attraction begins. Luke lampshades the parallel.
In Forrest Gump, both Bubba's mother and Lieutenant Dan are depicted as coming from long lines of service (the Blue clan comes from a long line of servants, and Lieutenant Dan's ancestors had died in each of America's wars.) In both cases, it's Forrest's intervention that breaks their cycles: He saves Lieutenant Dan from death (but not from losing his legs) in Vietnam, and he gives Bubba's mother a cut of his shrimping money (the last scene she's in has someone serving her.)
Mamma Mia!! has a mild version: Sophie's relationship with her best friends Ali and Lisa is identical to that of her mother Donna and her best friends Tanya and Rosie - both groups have their own friendship chants and the similarity is Lampshaded in a later scene when both groups unwittingly have a near identical conversation.
The film The Duchess seems to be a determined attempt to present the life of Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire, as a foreshadowing of her collateral descendant Diana, Princess of Wales.
In Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, Burt's 19th century ancestor encounters the Graboids.
Surprisingly this is inverted in the film Big Bully where the main character returns to work at his old high school with his Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up. Both of them now have sons the same age but the victim's son is a violent and mean child and picks on the bully kid who is a nice and kind boy. The main character is actually seen bonding with his former tormentor's son over their shared experience with bullies.
Big Bully is pretty much a deconstruction of the "schoolyard bully" stereotype. In keeping with this, the inversion continues with the kids realizing the benefit in one another's company and becoming friends. When the dads realize this at the end of the film, they decide to put their own past behind them and follow their kids' example.
In Korean film The Classic, the parallels between the daughter and her mother (whose story is told in flashbacks) are very similar. Both of them meet a boy and when it began to rain, the two couples happen to run under the same tree for shelter. And both couples meet hardships in the form of a Love Triangle and an annoying friend who interferes with their relationships. In the end, the mother wasn't able to get together with the boy and married someone else. Said boy also married someone else. But for the daughter, her crush returned her feelings and they then found out that the boy was the son of her mother's old crush.
The eventual fates of Hatsumomo and Mameha of Memoirs of a Geisha were similar to their apprentices, Pumpkin and Sayuri. Pumpkin became bitter and hateful like Hatsumomo, degrading herself, holding a grudge against Sayuri for ruining her future. Sayuri on the other hand became like Mameha, successful and was able to survive the worst of World War II and still maintain the gracefulness that they once had when they were prosperous.
In The Avengers, Steve Rogers' initial dislike and butting heads with Tony Stark mirrors the relationship he had with Tony's father, Howard.
Not quite. Rogers and Howard Stark never disliked each other. In fact, Howard risks being shot down in order to help Rogers on his first mission as Captain America and after Rogers crashes in the Arctic, Howard keeps looking for him even after all reasonable hope of finding him is lost.
Indeed, if the movies' relationships end up mirroring those in the comics, Tony will probably end up doing the same thing as his father: risking his life to help Steve (in fact, he does this in The Avengers) and looking out for him.
After Earth: After the death of his Ranger sister, Kitai wants to become a Ranger (and possibly a Ghost too) so that his father has someone to be proud of.
In Harry Potter, this cuts both ways. Harry's father and his cohorts from their days at Hogwarts, the Marauders, map well onto Harry and his friends — and he meets every single one of them before the end of the third book. And the "first day at Hogwarts" at the end of Deathly Hallows is a dead ringer for Harry's own "first day" way back in Philosopher's Stone. This is emphasised when Harry's daughter Lily whines that she wants to go to Hogwarts now to her mother, Ginny... whose own mother said the same thing six books earlier.
This is also subverted to an extent with Harry's father — Harry unthinkingly assumes that their characters were xeroxed until Harry's father James turns out to have been a pampered little idiot in his teenage years, properly maturing only in the last year or two of school. It's implied that Harry's unhappy upbringing has made him a better person in some respects. Dumbledore also comments to Snape he finds Harry's personality a lot like his mother's, rather than his father's.
Also, both Harry and James end up with a red-haired wife, making both couples very alike in looks.
Though this is subverted with Harry ending up with Ginny (pureblood) rather than Hermione (muggle born) as Lily was muggle born.
Also the situation of an orphaned godson is repeated. The books start out with Harry, an orphan, living with his relatives. He grows very close to his godfather, Sirius. The books end with Teddy Lupin, an orphan, living with his relatvies. Jo tells us he becomes very close to his godfather, Harry.
A non heroic example is present in Gabriel García Márquez's novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. The names and the personality traits associated with those names emerges in each generation of the Buendía family, leading to a cycle of repeating mishaps and tragedies which only ends with the death of the last member of the family and the destruction of the town the family founded.
The exception being the twins Aureliano Segundo and José Arcadio Segundo. The former is sociable, jolly and likes to party, which are traits associated with the José Arcadios; Aureliano Segundo is reserved and gloomy, and has military interests, like the other Aurelianos.
It's implied that this is because the twins swapped names so often that eventually they lost track of their own identities - it's quite possible that Aureliano Segundo was José Arcadio Segundo and vice-versa.
It is rather subtle but the similarities between the younger generation of (especially, but definitely not just them) Stark children in A Song of Ice and Fire and the previous generation has been pointed out.
Every generation of the Ohmsford family in Terry Brooks Shannara series includes one member who Jumps At The Call of the druid Allanon (or his successors). This family member stands a good chance of being friends with the impulsive Prince of Leah, and will almost certainly encounter the King of the Silver River and be accompanied by a group of Men, Dwarves and Elves (probably including Elven royalty) against the Big Bad. They may also have a more sensible sibling who accompanies them to stop them getting into trouble, encounter a Loveable Rogue named Creel, and befriend a Moor Cat.
Although there's usually an element or two from this list missing in each generation.
The characters of Lawrence Waterhouse and his ancestor Daniel are both descended from nonconformist preachers (Lawrence's grandfather, Bunyan, and Daniel's father, Drake). Despite an unconventional childhood, they attend a prestigious university (Princeton/Cambridge) where they form a strong but uneasy friendship with an obsessive, gay ubergenius (Alan Turing/Isaac Newton). They subsequently come onto the radar of the mysterious immortal Enoch Root, and become involved in a complex secret war involving hidden gold and cryptography, with the assistance of Sergeant Bob Shaftoe (of the US Marines/the King's Own Black Torrent Guards), while also becoming involved with the political machinations of the Comstock family (Earl Comstock, first head of the NSA/Roger Comstock, Marquis of Ravenscar) and working on early computers (very early in Daniel's case). Oh, and amongst the genuine historic figures Waterhouse meets is the famous military leader, Churchill (Winston Churchill/John Churchill, Duke of Marlbrough).
Laurence's grandson, Randy, in Cryptonomicon's 1990s sections, also fits the pattern to some extent; he's a computer geek, he becomes involved in Root's conspiracy, works with Bobby Shaftoe's son (and has a relationship with his granddaughter), and deals with the political machinations of Earl Comstock's descendant. Admittedly, he starts out with an interest in his grandfather's work, but that doesn't explain all of it, and certainly not why his capitalist venture partner just happens to be descended from a member of the original Bob Shaftoe's brother's pirate crew (as, incidentally, is Goto Dengo, one of a handful of characters to appear in the 1940s and 1990s sequences of Cryptonomicon. He's a Japanese soldier who converts to Christianity; his ancestor was one of the "Kirishitan" Jesuits persecuted by Toyotomi Hideyoshi).
Aly of the Trickster books is completely different from Alanna—she's flippant and unambitious at the start of the book, with no interest in being a knight. However, she does take after her dad George the spymaster. Her twin brother Alan is a knight-in-training, and her other brother Thom follows after his namesake in studying magic.
Beka Cooper, hero of the Provosts Dog books, is George Cooper's great-something grandmother... a legendary police officer. Also in her books is Lord Lionel of Trebond, a sexist who thinks that women are weak and delicate and who is far too cowardly to stand up to the Big Bad of the book.
In Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff and Isabella's son Linton Heathcliff has the worst traits of both of his parents, being a nasty, cowardly snob. On the positive side, Hareton Earnshaw and Catherine Linton have a lot in common with young Heathcliff and young Catherine Earnshaw (in fact, Heathcliff deliberately keeps Hareton uneducated to mold him into a new version of himself), but turn out to be better than the older generation.
There is something like this is seen in Vanity Fair- Amelia, who is something of a Wide-Eyed IdealistProper Lady has a son George who she terribly spoils, leading him on a path to become like his father, George, who was a snobbish Jerk Jock wannabe aristocrat, but whereas Dogged Nice Guy Dobbin wasn't successful in reforming the earlier George, he is able to mould the younger one his step-son into a better person. The other "heroine", Becky Sharpe, has a Freudian Excuse for some of her behavior. She neglects her son Rawdon, who is named after his father who was better than most of his family who were a long line of evil aristocrats. While less of a character than young George, the younger Rawdon also seems to grow up to be a better person than his parents- he gives his mother a settlement not to come near him ever again which contrasts with how his grandfather, Sir Pitt Crawley tried to cheat his children out of inheritance owed to them.
Happened in Welkin Weasels - even their names are very similar: the descendants of Mawk and Scirf are named Maudlin and Scruff, respectively.
In Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series, the Ashkevrons are shown to be very much like this generation after generation. Queen Selenay jokes, not inaccurately, that members of the family who don't inherit the usual resemblance generally find excuses to run off to the capital city.
The Sweet Valley Saga books rely on the idea that the present inhabitants of Sweet Valley largely are Xeroxed from the ancestors who are the subjects of the books. Patmans and Fowlers are of course in some way derived from nobility, for example.
To give one of the more egregious examples: the main characters of the books are identical twin girls with an older brother. Of the past five generations of their mother's family, three have consisted of identical twin girls with an older brother.
In Discworld novels, "Old Stoneface" Vimes is the Knight Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, and is well known for his belief that nobody is above the law, to the extent that he famously arrested the ruler of the city. While this obviously refers to Sam, during the time period of the novels, it's also a description of Suffer-Not-Injustice, some 300 years earlier. (The difference: Suffer-Not-Injustice executed the king; Lord Vetinari was let off on a technicality, and it all turned out to be part of his Plan).
A bizarre variant, in which there's no blood relationship, is the "Jack and Susan" mysteries by Michael McDowell. Whether it's 1913, 1933, or 1953 (and McDowell originally intended to write stories for the "_3" year of each decade), Jack Beaumont and Susan Bright are always 27 years old, meeting and falling in love for the first time. No explanation is ever even attempted — this is just the way it happens.
The Kane Chronicles has a variation on this in that most of the people that the gods posses tend to live variations of the tales of the gods e.g. Julius Kane (possessed by Osiris) is kidnapped by Set while his children Carter and Sadie Kane are forced to escape (Horas and Isis respectively). Justified with that the gods don't have imagination and can only repeat stories humans can change these however.
In Robert Rankin's fifth Brentford Trilogy novel, The Brentford Chainstore Massacre, we're told that Omalley's ancestor was sent to Brentford by the Pope to kill Pooley's ancestor, and that Pooleys and Omalleys have been killing each other over the Brentford Scrolls ever since. However, the current Pooley and Omalley are best friends.
In The Hunger Games, Katniss looks like her father, Mr. Everdeen, has inherited his hunting abilities, singing voice and, like him, will marry someone from the town. Her sister, Prim, looks like Mrs. Everdeen and has inherited her passion for healing. Also Mrs. Everdeen was close friends with Katniss' friend, Madge's mother, as a teenager and the father of Katniss' love interest Peeta had a crush on Mrs. Everdeen.
As revealed in the Thomas the Tank Engine spin-offs The Island of Sodor and Sodor: Reading Between the Lines, there have been three Fat Controllers: Sir Topham Hatt, his son Sir Charles Topham Hatt and his son Sir Stephen Topham Hatt. Within the books, the Fat Controllers appear identical.
Live Action TV
Although the various generations of the Blackadder family are accompanied by Baldrick and an Upper-Class Twit, it's not until Blackadder Goes Forth that we get a real sense of history repeating, with more recurring characters from previous series than before, including one-off characters who take their own plotlines from the earlier series with them (Bob the Sweet Polly Oliver, for instance, or Nurse Mary, who's a WWI version of Amy Hardwood from Third). The fact the basic set-up is similar to Blackadder II (Edmund, Balders and the twit are all based in location 1. Blackadder is frequently summoned to location 2 where an obsequious hanger-on with equal status tries to get him in trouble with a psychotic loon who has power of life and death over everyone involved) is just the icing on the cake.
In the Star Trek universe Dr. Soong was an eccentric scientist, whose work on creating artificial humanoids made him distrusted. One of his more powerful creations turned out to be a conscienceless monster who had to be stopped by the crew of the Enterprise. Another, however, was a good person who aided the Enterprise crew in this. Arik (and Malik and Udar) from Star Trek: Enterprise or Noonien (and Lore and Data) from Star Trek: The Next Generation?
They might have got better (kind of) but in Supernatural's "Mystery Spot", Dean died and Sam became a ruthless hunter, bent on revenge against Dean's killer. As you would recall, their mother died (she didn't get better) and their father became a ruthless hunter, bent on revenge against her killer. And yes, it's as slashy as it sounds.
Sam is John 2.0 Period. (He did a less extreme version of this back in season one after Azazel killed his fiancee, but between having Dean to help him through it and it already being his father's quest, it just wasn't as all-consuming. John appears to have been orphaned even before he married.)
It explains why they didn't get on most of the time, they were just too damn similar.
Sammy's I Just Want to Be Normal also goes back to his mom. The demon deals thing is just a family tradition at this point. They even spread it to the adopted members, and back to people who died before they were born.
Season five also plays a weird version of it with generation one being God and two of his archangels, and the Xerox being the original Winchester triad. Dean being the 'good son' Michael the soldier, and Sam being Lucifer, the rebellious one. Gabriel makes this explicit. While at the same time Castiel's quest for an unanswering God is clearly meant to parallel the original series premise of 'two brothers on a road trip, looking for their father and killing evil things,' with a smidgen more subtlety.
In all cases God is, if not evil, definitely a dick. This is a show that prefers lateral relationships in all cases to vertical ones. Equality fuck yeah.
In season seven, after Castiel dies, Dean mourns the same way his father mourned his mother: by burying himself in work, drowning himself in alcohol, and becoming obsessed with taking revenge on those he holds responsible for his loss. And Castiel's death echoes Mary's: both made an impulsive deal with a powerful demon in order to protect the man they loved the most (although Cas had other reasons, too), and both paid the price for it.
In Wizards of Waverly Place, the three main siblings, Justin, Alex and Max, have personalities similar to those of their father and his brother and sister - Jerry, Megan and Kelbo-, with Alex pretty much being the same as her aunt, an antisocial Deadpan Snarker, Max being a Ditz just like Kelbo and Justin, the mature and the oldest one, just like his father, Jerry. Not to mention the conflict between Jerry and Megan, which resembles a lot the antagonism Justin and Alex have most of the time.
To cap it all off, Justin won the Wizard competition, but gave up his powers, just like Jerry, though both the reason he did it and the sibling he gave his powers to are different.
Played with in the first episode of the final season of Buffy, when Dawn is joined by two outcast classmates - a mousy shy girl and a loudmouthed guy - and fights monsters on their first day at the newly rebuilt Sunnydale High. Those characters were subsequently forgotten.
Dawn talks to mousy shy girl on the phone in "Conversations With Dead People," but other than that, these two are never mentioned again
Pretty much the whole concept of the new series of Minder. Archie Daley, the nephew of Arthur Daley? Who picked up a taxi driver as an assistant? Okay.
In the Robin Hood episode "Bad Blood" Flashbacks reveal that the enmity between the Gisbournes and the Locksleys started due to a love triangle between Guy and Robin's fathers, which ended with the woman involved being killed by one of them (Malcom of Locksley, and unlike Guy's murder of Marian, it was an accident). Ghislane of Gisbourne also shows flashes of her daughter's political ambition, and gets shouted down by a sexist community leader in a similar manner to the arrival of Isabella's husband.
In the Smallville episode Relic, Clark sees flashes of his father's brief time in Smallville as a young man. Jor-El, Clark dad, falls in love with Lana Lang's great aunt, Jonathan Kent's father is seen as noble farmer who helps Jor-El, and the bad guy is a Luthor, Lex's grandfather. And a corrupt Sheriff. The first Sheriff in Smallville is also found out to be corrupt
Lorelai and Rory from Gilmore Girls. It's mentioned several times in the series how they alike their personalities are. Rory's first boyfriend reminded Lorelai of Rory's father for example.
Also with Luke and his nephew Jess, who are both snarky, cynical and totally in love with their respective Gilmore girl. Luke eventually hooking up with Lorelai, and Jess with Rory only makes the whole parallel funnier.
But also subverted in that the focus of Lorelai's life (to the extentshe has focus is to keep Rory from making the same mistakes she did.
This is being replayed with Lauren Graham's Parenthood character Sarah and her daughter Amber.
In Press Gang, it is revealed in a flashback that Spike's mom and Spike's dad were carbon copies of Spike and Linda when in High School.
MTV's The State was a sketch comedy that featured a character named "Doug" who was a whiney emo teen who believed no one understood him, his parents least of all. Turns out his father was just the same, only where Doug's Catch Phrase was "I'm outta here!" his father's was "I'm splittin'!" One sketch had Doug in an Imagine Spot where he was now an adult with a kid just like him.
Taken to a ridiculous point in polish sitcom/soap opera hybrid 39 i pół (translation: 39 and half). The story's protagonist, Darek, got his girlfriend pregnant, married her, dumped her for another, realized his mistake and tried to come back to her. It took him 19 years. His son did all of those things in 2 months.
It's implied in the last episode of Charmed that Chris and Wyatt are going to follow in the footsteps of their parents and aunts.
Played with in the Stargate SG-1 episode Crystal Skull; turns out both Daniel and his uncle are right about their pet archaeological notions that were laughed at and dismissed by everyone else in the business, including each other.
The premise of Will and Grace was that years before the show's premiere episode, Will and Grace had met in college and dated until Will came out of the closet, and then had stayed close friends. In the series finale, the pair end up growing apart — until years later, when their kids meet in college and date (although their kids then go on to get married).
In an episode of Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Parker's father gets back together with his high school buddies at a reunion and they all behave in the same manner as Parker's crew.
The Scottish sitcom City Lights was about a Glaswegian bank-teller called Willie Melvin, whose attempts to publish his autobiographical novel My Childhood Up A Close were forever being derailed by his dodgy best friend, Chancer. In one episode he researches his family tree, and discovers the medieval Lord William Melvin, who was killed by Chancer the Bruce just after completing My Childhood Up A Castle.
In Power Rangers Samurai, Skull's son Spike is exactly like his father. Spike even laughs like his father.
A variation involving a future generation; in the Xena: Warrior PrincessClip Show episode "The Xena Scrolls", Adventurer Archaeologist Janice Covington(played by Renee O'Connor) and linguistics expert Melinda Pappas(Lucy Lawless) learn that they are descendants of Gabrielle and Xena respectively, and end up kicking Ares' butt all over again(complete with a possible descendant of Joxer).
An in-universe example in a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, where Garak asks Bashir what he thought of a Cardassian best-selling novel. Bashir claims it was too repetitive, showing the same thing happening to seven generations of Cardassians. Garak simply replies that "repetitive epic is the most elegant form of Cardassian literature."
As much as neither of them will admit it, Shawn and Henry from Psych. At least Lassiter seems to think so.
Lassiter: Working with [Henry] is exactly like working with Shawn.
In Chinese Paladin, Ling'er, like her mother, is destined to die after saving the world, leaving behind a daughter to continue the cycle.
JAG, Harm’s dad just so happened to look in his prime exactly like his son latter does in his prime (save for the moustache).
Once Upon a Time has Henry and Mary Margaret aka Snow White. Both had Regina as a mother figure. Both knowingly ate (the same) poisoned apple created by Regina to save someone they love (Charming and Emma, respectively). Both of them received True Love's Kiss from those specific loved ones to awake from their sleeping curses. Like grandmother, like grandson.
In Season 2, this is sometimes Played for Laughs when Henry demonstrates traits of his biological parents.
Emma: [after Henry has ditched his father] He's YOUR son!
Neal: [after Henry demonstrates a signal Emma taught him] Oh hell no, I taught her that!
In the Friends episode "The One Where Nana Dies Twice", Monica and Ross's mother reflects on how critical Nana was of everything she did, unaware that this is exactly how she treats Monica. Also, a photo at the end reveals that when Nana was in her twenties she looked exactly like Monica, and hung out with her friends at a coffee house.
In Princess Returning Pearl, Zi Wei and her mother Yu He is played by the same actress. This is a common trope in Chinese series in general.
The Offspring's "Way Down the Line" is entirely about this trope.
The They Might Be Giants song "I Palindrome I" is about a guy waiting for his mother to die so he can inherit her fortune; the last verse of the song implies his own kids end up giving him the same treatment.
Someday Mother will die and I'll get the money Mom leans down and says "My sentiments exactly"
See the spring of the grandfather clock unwinding See the hands of my offspring making windmills
Level 42's "Running in the Family" is all about kids making the same mistakes and getting into the same trouble as their dad, despite his best efforts.
We ran / Though we knew it couldn’t last
Running from the past / From things that we were born to be
Looking back it’s so bizarre
It runs in the family
All the things we are
On the back seat of the car
With joseph and emily
We only see so far
and we all have our daddy’s eyes
Dream Theater's song Someone Like Him plays around with this. It's part of a bigger, 24-minute long song (yes, really!) about being trapped in patterns, and Someone Like Him discusses a character who's trying very hard to beat this trope and carve a different niche to his father's cushy lifestyle. He changes his mind.
As far as I could tell there's nothing more I need
But still I ask myself could this be everything?
And all I swore that I would never be was now...
The only thing
I wanted to become
To become someone like him
Subverted in the Stanley Baxter's Playhouse episode "The King's Kilt", when Miss MacEvoy, descendent of the kindly landlady from Walter Scott's The Chronicles of Canongate, turns out to be a nasty, bad-tempered woman, who is insanely suspicious of the guests at her B&B. However, it's double subverted when it's revealed the original Janet MacEvoy was just as bad, but was blackmailing Sir Walter into his portrayal.
Prior Walter, the protagonist of Angels In America has an extensive family history; the Walters go back for centuries, and Prior is an old family name. Not too long after discovering he is suffering from AIDS, Prior is visited by the ghosts of two of his ancestors, both of whom were also named Prior, and both of whom also suffered from fatal diseases and (as is implied might happen to Prior) died alone.
An interesting example happens in Deus Ex: Invisible War, where the lead character turns out to be the descendent of the character from the first game, kind of, and he/she faces some similar obstacles and decisions as JC Denton did the first time around.
Subverted, deconstructed and generally hashed into pieces by Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. The new player character seems to experience a sequence of events extremely similar to ones experienced by the previous player character in the previous game, with note-for-note character analogues and extremely similar level design. The character noticed this, too, and began to get pretty existentialist about it, wondering if he was somehow insane and imagining the whole thing. It turned out it was all deliberately orchestrated to have precisely that effect on him. The game was a satire of reiterated sequels, hence the dark use of this trope.
An agent, codenamed Snake goes on a solo mission to rescue somebody. There he finds out plans to build a nuclear-armed tank. Eventually, he discovers that his mentor is part of the plot, and after a battle, kills the mentor in combat. Now, are we talking about Big Boss or Solid Snake (or even Raiden)?
Of course the point of 4 was that Snake isn't exactly like Big Boss after all. At the end he's the only one to be able to live his own life. Big Boss even acknowledges this saying "If you were in my place back then, perhaps you wouldn't have made the same mistakes I dd..."
He was a child soldier in a 3rd world country, he was taken under the wing of a skilled soldier who wears a eyepatch, and later on his body was destroyed which led to him becoming a cyborg Now am I talking about Frank Jaeger aka Gray Fox or Jack more commonly known as Raiden?
One is a person who is surrounded by and exemplifies the savage joy of battle. One is a person who is surrounded by and exemplifies loss and regret. They're life partners and end up giving the world a prodigious child who saves humanity. Now is this referring to the Boss and the Sorrow (and Ocelot) or Snake and Otacon (and Sunny)?
The Belmont family from Castlevania. For hundreds of years, each generation's males (and many of the females) had to fight Dracula (or his offspring) at least once. This is due to some vague "curse" in the family (which also carried over to other family lines).
The Sorrow games go even further. The six main protagonists are Soma (the reincarnation of Dracula), his "friend" Mina, vampire hunter Julius Belmont, witch Yoko Belnades, Genya Arikado (aka Alucard), and Hammer (who was originally going to be playable in Julius Mode in Dawn of Sorrow, and fanon suggests would have played like Grant DaNasty). Everyone is essentially a counterpart to someone from the story behind Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, except that Mina (the Lisa counterpart) isn't dead.
Played rather more literally with Cloud and Zack in Final Fantasy VII. after Zack's death, Cloud has a Heroic BSOD and reconstructs his own personality based on the memories of his dead friend, turning himself into Zack's Expy. However, there are other, more random, events that just so happen to play out the same way in both of their stories - especially those relating to Aerith, like falling down from a great height and landing on her flowerbed in a church.
In Final Fantasy VIII, Laguna Loire had a long-time crush on Julia Heartilly. When the two got to know each other more, Julia fell for him. However, he is given a mission and never returned leaving Julia waiting to meet him again. When Julia became an Idol Singer, she married General Caraway and had a daughter named Rinoa. Laguna on the other hand was injured and nursed back to health in Winhill Village. He fell in-love with the woman who took care of him and they had a child named Squall. Seventeen years later, Squall and Rinoa meet and as the story progresses, they fell for each other.
In Final Fantasy X, Tidus travels with Yuna and several guardians including Auron on a pilgrimage to defeat Sin. Tidus, having come from an alternate world, hopes to find a way home as well. Ten years before, Tidus' father Jecht traveled with Yuna's father Braska and a younger Auron on a pilgrimage to defeat Sin, Jecht hoping to find a way home along the way. Turns out this is on purpose—Jecht as Sin arranged for Tidus to be called to Spira with Auron helping, and Auron later made sure Tidus stuck around with Yuna. Furthermore, Auron is attempting to subvert this trope because he's seen first-hand that the traditional way of fighting Sin that Braska opted for solves absolutely nothing, and thus he influences Tidus and Yuna to realize that and try to find another way.
Played with in Valkyria Chronicles. Everyone thinks Welkin is following in his war-hero father's footsteps, while what he really wants is to become a teacher.
In Harvest Moon DS (or Cute), all the characters are descendants of the characters from A Wonderful Life and Friends of Mineral Town. They look the same (and most of them even have the same names, but only in the English version... although their original names were just small variations upon the ancestors' name, such as Sepiria [AWL!Celia] -> Serena [DS!Celia]), except for a few minor details in some of the characters (like eye color), act the same and fall in love with the same people.
Tree of Tranquility takes this to an absurd point. If you start a New Game+,you get to play as your son, or daughter, who looks exactly like you,or your opposite gender counterpart. Also, the villagers revert back to their original statuses.
What about Elli in HM: 64/Back To Nature/Friends of Mineral Town, who is very similar to her grandmother, Ellen (yes, the old lady!) who was an eligible bachelorette in the original game for the Super Nintendo? To an even greater extent (especially in HM:64, though it's never been confirmed she's Nina's granddaughter), there's Popuri.
It's quite loose whether Ellen is the Ellen from SNES. She could be Ellen and Pete's daughter who shares her mom's name, for all we know. They have different jobs, for example.
Even worse in the case of DS/Cute and AWL is their wedding clothing. They wear similar clothing to their (great-?) grandparents. For example, Celia. DS◊ and AWL◊. Not that we see either on screen, but still..
Despite not being related by blood, in Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations case 4, when a young Edgeworth appears in a flashback, he looks disturbingly similar to his mentor, Manfred Von Karma, even copying a few of his trademark gestures (like the finger wave).
Franziska, Manfred's daughter by blood, takes this to greater levels. Not only does she dress in a similar style, when she gets annoyed she folds her arms and bunches her fingers in her sleeve exactly like her father does in his frustrated animation. In the final case of Justice for All, she even gets shot in the shoulder like her father, although one presumes she didn't carry the bullet around for fifteen years.
The Yakras in Chrono Trigger. The original posed as the chancellor of Guardia to get closer to the Queen so that he could kill her and sever the royal bloodline (which includes Marle, a.k.a. the present-day Princess Nadia). All of his descendants followed a similar pattern, but you only get to kick the butts of Yakra I (600 A.D.) and Yakra XIII (1000 A.D., much later in the game).
Marle herself is the spitting image of Queen Leene, to the point that Yakra I (600 A.D.), his army of monsters, and the entire staff and residence of Guardia Castle mistook her for Leene, allowing what would have happened to Leene to happen to Marle instead. In the Imagine Spot where Lucca explains why Marle seems to have disappeared into the ether, the entire Guardia line seems more or less identical.
Sort of used in Mega Man Star Force, where Geo and all of his friends directly parallel Lan and company from Mega Man Battle Network. In fact, Echo Ridge looks almost exactly like AC/DC. Though in this case there's no biological connection, but it's still one hell of a coincidence that many of the same events played out between two very similar groups of people two hundred years apart.
Specifically, it's Lan and Geo, Bud and Dex, Sonia and Mayl, Luna and Yai, and Zack and Eugene. Though it should be noted that the boys have far more in common with their counterparts than the girls do.
Although there are points where characters mix, such as Sonia being Geo's main backup, while Zack never gets a chance to help. But there are still parallels even then, as characteristics are still taken from the ordinal just being given to other characters, with Harpnote replacing protoman as the reliable fighter aside from megaman.
In the World of Mana games, the Vandole family suffers from this. It's vaguely established that the original Vandole was a young adventurer who stumbled upon and absorbed the power of the Mana Tree, which drove him insane and altered his body composition so that he was no longer quite human. His descendants (or at least the notable ones) are all addicted to Mana and eventually fall prey to their bloodline's need to seek it, which leads them to duplicate their infamous ancestor's empire and/or gambit for the Mana Tree. At this point they all usually choose to go by their surname or start being referred to as it by those opposing them. Every one of them also seems to have bright red hair and very dark green eyes, and they may or may not be the reincarnations of the original.
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn fell into this trope hard and subverted it at the same time. Of the first three known characters, two are virtually identical to previous protagonists. The third protagonist, a green haired girl, drove the fandom insane from trying to figure out who she is.
She turned out to be the violet-eyed Wind Adept daughter of the original violet-eyed Wind Adept. Gasp, shock. At least she differs by having a series of healing spells and a more volatile personality.
And then along came our fourth party member who, aside from being a boy whose utility spell is Douse instead of Frost, is a perfect clone of the first-gen Water Adept (a point hammered home by his older sister, who differs from Mia only in attitude and hairstyle).
Technically though, we only know certain Zeldas are related; few if any of the Links are explicitly related by blood, and generally they just seem to be random coincidences contrived by fate The truth is that each Link and Zelda is a reincarnation of the Link and Zelda in Skyward Sword in which Zelda is the Goddess Hylia in human form and Link is her childhood friend and chosen champion to finally vanquish the Demon Lord Demise (who she had fought when she was the goddess and was only able to seal away and having used most of her power doing that came up with the plan of reincarnating in a human form and at a time when she could grow up with the champion she chose and enlist in vanquishing Demise for good) by using the Triforce (incidentally Demise's desire for the Triforce was the leading or at least one of the leading reasons for their conflict and war on each other in the first place) as it turns out the Divines cannot use although it seems since she is now a mortal she could use the Triforce herself but perhaps her divine spirit still prevents that or maybe she forsaw the need to keep the seal intact herself and knew she could not get the triforce given the time she had. When they succede in vanquising Demise in the present using the triforce and then Link defeats him in the past he curses their decendents to have an incarnation of his hatred (usually Ganon or Ganondorf) follow those with "The blood of the Goddess and the spirit of the Hero" throughout time before his conciousness is sealed away in the master sword (it should be noted he could be refering to Link as he is from the Goddesses people and has the spirit of the hero or he could be refering to both of them Zelda's decendents with the blood of the Goddess Hylia (who she is in mortal form) and the spirit of the hero which once again belongs to Link though it seems to be bound to them both regardless of who its target really is or perhaps only happens when both are present if it is indeed aimed at both of them
And it ain't just Link and Zelda. Many Zeldas were raised by an Impa. There's also more than one Anju who needs you to get her chickens back, and more than one Guru-Guru playing the Song of Storms in a windmill. (Interestingly, in both cases, you get the characters unnamed in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, named but with different roles in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, then they return in other games with their OOT roles but their MM names.) There are also a lot of identical mailmen - even the bird guy who's a mailman looks less like the other Rito and more like the usual mailman with wings and a funky 'do. That's just a taste; a full list would be endless. And then there are the slight name changes, like Marin and Tarin becoming Malon and Talon but essentially being the same. Other partial examples like the four carpenters (look alike, names change completely) exist.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is this trope personified. You've got the Link and Zelda as Legacy Characters. You've got the same world map as in A Link to the Past. The same music (for the most part). The same items (for the most part) used. Link ends up helped by the Identical Grandson of Sahasrahla. He explores Lorule, a location Expy of the Dark World complete with most dungeons having the same names and themes, fights bosses which are the Lorulean counterparts of the ones fought in the Dark World (like Arrghus, Stalblind and Grinexx), goes up against a villain with a similar plan to Agahnim and a design suspiciously like Ghirahim, Chancellor Cole and Ganondorf... Everything that occurs is basically a repeat of the Link to the Past storyline.
Justified, however, in the case of Tingle. His game reveals that, rather than a lineage as one might think, Tingle is actually a curse placed on anyone foolish enough to make a deal with Uncle Rupee.
The Bubble Bobble series always features a green bubble dragon and a blue bubble dragon, regardless of setting.
In Mass Effect 2, Thane attempts to avert this in his personal mission, where he stops his son from carrying out an assassination and follow in his footsteps. It ends with father and son forced to confront each other after years of estrangement.
The fourth Fire Emblem game manages to distill this into a single game. All of the characters in the second half are the children of the characters in the first half, and the female characters all have the same classes as their mothers (well, most of them, anyway—gender inheritance is reversed for Brigid's children and there were extenuating circumstances for Altenna kidnapped at a young age, brought up in a foreign land and Nanna her mother's class was "Princess", and, well, she kind of abdicated that when she joined Sigurd's army); likewise, Aless and Seliph, whose fathers are not up for interpretation, share a class with said fathers. (You can pair up the other members of your army such that the male children—and Brigid's daughter, Patty—have the same classes as their fathers, though you may get some slightly odd results.) Furthermore, it is quite possible to pair up Seliph and Julia, mirroring the romance between Sigurd and Diadora, and the fifth game strongly hints that Leaf and Nanna is more or less canon. As mentioned before, Nanna does not share a class with her own mother; she does have the same class as Leif's mother, so this would qualify as mirroring the relationship between Leif's parents. ( Actually, the same thing sort of applies the other way around, as Leif's class is Prince, which plays out only slightly different than Lachesis's Princess class in that Leif cannot use staves before promoting.)
The fourth Fire Emblem game is not the only one that has that - Fire Emblem 6 and 7 has this, albeit mixed with Distaff Counterparts. Many characters who appeared in Fire emblem 6 had parents who served in Fire Emblem 7. And sure enough...they look almost exactly like that one parent. The other parent is left rather open. For example, Roy looks exactly like Eliwood. His mother can be either Lyndis, Ninian The half-dragon girl or Fiora. None of which are shown or even mentioned in 6, as they were specially created for the seventh game. Hector meanwhile has a daughter named Lilina who is pretty much a Distaff Counterpart of him (He's a fighter, she's a mage) and likewise, her mother is not shown or named. It can be either Lyndis (once more), Florina, or Farina. (It is also important to note that Florina, Fiora, and Farina are the Pegasus Sisters in Fire Emblem 7). Lugh and Ray are likewise basically Nino if she was genderswapped. (Their fathers are either the Assassin Jaffar or the Mage Erk). Sue is also a Distaff Counterpart to Rath, and looks exactly like him if he were a girl; her mother is also not mentioned, but it's possible it was actually Lyndis due to one of her endings.
Meanwhile, several characters who have children in 6 do mention their parents. Fir the Myrmidon is a Generation Xerox of Lady of War Karla - and the resemblance between her and her uncle Karel (appears in both 6 and 7) are also obvious. But who's Fir's father? Well it's actually Boisterous Bruiser Bartre - who actually can join alongside her and is in both 6 and 7. (Amusingly if he dies in 7, Barte actually says "Uh oh, I'll be back when I heal this wound!") Canas in 7 also has a son named Hugh in 6, but he was mentioned as already being born in 7. (Canas's mother Niime also joins in 6)
Hugh is actually a massive subversion. Canas is softspoken, a bit of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and uses Dark Magic. (But don't call it Dark, please). Hugh is Only in It for the Money, can be pretty harsh, and uses Anima Magic instead. ( He inherited the magic talents of Canas's wife aka Hugh's mother, strongly hinted in 7 to be the sister of Nino's murdered biological mom and a member of a powerful mage clan.) Pretty much their only real similarity is their hair color. (Though Niime says that Canas might have been a scondrel when he was younger. Who knows.)
Fire Emblem Awakening brings back children and the pairing system a la Genealogy, albeit this time the kids are from a horrible future where the world is on the brink of collapse. All of the children are tied to their mothers, save for Lucina (tied to Chrom, the main Lord of the game) and a female Morgan (tied to your Player Character if he's male; a female Avatar brings a male Morgan instead), and all of them are similar to their parents in some fashion, either in personalitynote Nah, while mature most of the time, can be extremely immature like her childish mother Nowi, while Cynthia is as clumsy as her mother Sumia or in character class, albeit not to the same degree as Genealogy. The child who is most like his mother is Laurent, the son of the mage Miriel; both of them are mages, dress in the same black garb (his hat, he mentions, was actually Miriel's), speak with the same overly-complicated lexicon, and are highly intelligent; however, it's subverted to a degree - Laurent is nowhere near as stoic as his mother (whereas she is to an almost stupefying degree), and he prefers to pursue studies and experiment to serve others or find a practical need for them, whereas Miriel does most of her studies purely For Science!.
Played straight in Dragon Quest V, with Prince Harry's son Kendrick being the same selfish brat his father once was. He even does the same prank Harry first did to the Hero when he was a kid, this time to the Hero's children. Not to mention Kendrick shares the same sprite with the young Harry.
In another example, after the Hero's mother Queen Mada was captured by the Evil Order of Zugzwang, King Pankraz leaves his kingdom to go on a journey along with his son and Sancho in order to her, after she had given birth to their son the Hero. Later, the Hero pursues the same quest while searching for his wife who was also captured by the Order of Zugzwang, right after giving birth to their son and daughter.
Episode 302 of Sam & Max: Freelance Police stars Sameth and Maximus, the titular duo's great-grandfathers. They look and behave exactly like our heroes, only Sameth has a mustache and Maximus wears clothes.
Except for one thing: both Sameth and Maximus are killed at the end of their adventure, while only Max is killed at the end of the game (although, Sam is killed in an Alternate Universe, which could make this trope work fully).
The family of Fungalmancer Glop in World of Warcraft takes this trope to the most absurd extreme imaginable. Every generation of the Glop family line is identical to the one before, having the same name, same appearance, same occupation, and exact same response when attacked. Taking out the latest Fungalmancer Glop is a daily quest, and the trope is taken so far beyond eleven that you'd think you were killing the same stone trogg every day.
Tales of Phantasia reveals itself to be this in the opening cut scene. Playing the game through shows that the kids are apparently more competent.
Infinity Blade has this as a major element of the plot. In the prologue, a warrior ends up being killed by the God King, with the game then showing his son vowing to avenge his father and fighting his way to the God King. Unfortunately, due to inadequate equipment and level-grinding, the warrior ends up getting killed. Years later, his son (who somehow has the same level and equipment of his father when he died) vows to avenge him and fights his way up the tower. Rinse and repeat.
Devil May Cry does this with Dante performing similar actions to his father, Sparda, which In chronological order seems to be showing that Dante surpasses his father over time:
DMC3: Sparda sealed Temen-ni-gru, Dante fights demons there but the tower's fate is never gone into.
DMC1: Sparda defeated Mundus as does Dante.
DMC4: Sparda sealed the Hell Gates, Dante destroys them.
DMC2: Sparda defeated Argosax, Dante kills him.
There's also the fact that Dante wields his father's main sword in DMC1 and one he inherited from him in all the other games. He also uses the one his brother inherited in DMC4.
And Nero with his father Vergil as both use Yamato and Summoned Swords and come into conflict with Dante (and beat him the first time).
Pokémon Trainers, even though they're not related, seem to always have the same fate - to save the world from Team Whatever's evil plans. While Red just happened to be there, all the other ones were hinted to have it as a fate.
Romancing Sa Ga 2 is this trope Up to Eleven. The game runs on generations system, but except for Leon, Victor, Gellard, and the Final Emperor/Empress, there will always be the same lines of characters avaliable to provide you quests and similar recruitable characters with Palette Swap to fill your class rosters no matter how many hundred years have passed.
Tanaka Youbiseiakikana is specially raised by her mother Youbiseiharukana to be her perfect copy, including making her believe that her father has mysteriously disappeared. (You'aki doesn't really have a father, as she is You'haru's clone)
In wider sense of "generation", people in 2034's accident are brought together to resemble 2017's party: Tsugumi comes to LeMU again, Sora stays the same, You'aki is You'haru's clone, Kaburaki takes Takeshi's appearance and behaviour, and Hokuto loses his memory like Kaburaki did.
In an unfortunate example, Hokuto and Sara end up sharing the same fate as their mother, Tsugumi, being captured by Leiblich and experimented on for a good portion of their lives due to their Cure/Sapiens-Cure status.
Better Days actually has a chapter called "Father's Footsteps." Which reveals that the stories told to Fisk of his father's life were a lie. Instead of the honorable war hero he had believed his father to be, Jim was actually a hitman working for a secret underground operation who fought terrorists on a "more direct front" to defend the U.S., using Vietnam as his cover. One of the characters who explain this met Fisk in his adolescence ealier in the comic and was Jim's friend. Aside from one question accompanied by a frown, Fisk doesn't seem at all angered, dismayed, or even shocked by this ground breaking discovery. He of course hastily agrees to begin training for this new venture eventhough Beth was expecting him to come live with her and lead a more domestic life once his army contract expired.
Surma sends her daughter Antimony to the same school as she herself attended — Gunnerkrigg Court. It seems as if Annie's parents were the only members of that generation who moved away from the court, since Annie runs into most of her parents' social circle (who are now teachers), befriending the daughter (Kat) of Surma's friends. She also meets another acquaintance of Surma's — Reynardine. Instead of walking up to her and saying "Hello, I knew your mum," however, Reynardine comes crashing through Annie's ceiling — and she's the only student in the entire dorm to see him.
Given her Secret Legacy, it also appears that Annie is destined to acquire Surma's role in the Court, as well as her powers.
A recent flashback has shown that Surma, who looks exactly like an older Annie, appeared to have had an almost identical relationship to Kat's mother as Annie has to Kat.
As it turns out, in Antimony's case at least there's a very good reason for this.
In Girl Genius, Agatha's guardian had to give her an apparently magical (or at least sufficiently advanced beyond what the setting usually has—not that the series has stayed entirely away from magical effects) necklace specifically to prevent her from inheriting her hereditary position as the apparent center of the universe—within a week of losing it, she's escaped from the ruler of Europe's airship after his son fell in love with her, in tow with a talking cat and a legendary hero who then tries to kill her, after having defeated a hive of body horrors and having her foster parents ripped to shreds by a construct made by her mother. And it only picks up speed from there.
As one character puts it, "We're in a Heterodyne story now, these things happen."
The Love Triangle that is mirroring the one that took place two hundred years before involving the Storm King, a villainous Spark, and a Heterodyne princess. In fact she was the last girl to be born to the Heterodynes before Agatha,adding to the confusion is the fairytale/Prophecy, that peace can only come to Europa when the Storm King weds the Heterodyne Princess. Now which of her two suitors is which? Gilgamesh, heir to The Empire who demonstrated his eligibility to be the Storm King in his Crowning Moment of Awesome, vs Tarvek, the descendant of the Storm King who, while quite a capable Spark, is more known for his being a Magnificent Bastard.
Hell, it's mirroring the one that played out in the previous generation with Agatha's parents and Klaus. The latter even comments that history is repeating itself, when he realises his son has fallen in love with Lucrezia's daughter.
Agatha and her father, and uncle are a subversion, until them the Heterodyne family were a bunch of psychotic mass murdering mad scientists who were feared throughout Europe.
Riff of Sluggy Freelance seems to be following in his father's footsteps of reckless science, exploration and demonism. This is impressive because they last saw each other when he was in kindergarten. Meanwhile he's dating a woman as controlling and evil as his mother (slightly less cruel, but more interested in exterminating humanity).
Not anymore. Oasis killed her.
In Homestuck, this trope is built into Alternian society itself. Although thanks to Bizarre Alien Reproduction trolls don't have parents in any conventional sense, they have "ancestors" - trolls from the past with the same blood colour and symbol. Young trolls are then encouraged to seek out information about their ancestors and follow in their footsteps; even if they don't, their personalities and roles in society wind up being eerily similar.
A bizarre semi-example shows up in Act 6 with the Scratched universe. In this universe, the pre-Scratch ectobiological parents/guardians are now the players, and vice versa. The result is something like this trope. This appears to actually be a standard feature of Sburb.
The alternate versions of the ancestors introduced in Act 6 tend to be similar to their counterparts among the playable trolls...mainly because Andrew Hussie based most of them off fan stereotypes unless he had a better idea for what they should be like, so Cronus flanderizes Eridan's pathetic and sleazy traits, Meulin is Nepeta turned Up to Eleven, Mituna is basically Sollux with literal brain damage, and Horuss has Equius's sweat, super-strength and creepy horse fetish and not many other traits. Others are more like Foils; both Karkat and Kankri like the sound of their own voices but Karkat is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who rants and Kankri is a Holier Than ThouHypocrite who sermonises incessantly and will not shut up.
Karin-dou 4koma: The Heavenly trio are looking for successors and find a trio of friends of exactly the right types and even similar backgrounds: Shigure —> Ran (former vengeful ghosts), Rindou —> Tamaryu (blue dragons), and Sachi —> Shizuki (miko foxes).
In Precocious Autumn is fighting a losing battle not to become one.
A subversion of the "replay with last minute change" occurs in Hey Arnold!, where Helga is a finalist in the same spelling bee as her sister before her... and gets the same last word, "qualm". Like her sister Olga, Helga does know how to spell the word... but deliberately misspells it, in order to defy her father and step out of Olga's shadow.
Don't forget a different episode of the same show where Grandpa tells Arnold about his childhood and the girl that bullied him. Although it skips a generation, we learn that Pookie picked on Phil the same way Helga picks on Arnold.
Or the one where Arnold and Gerald get in a fight. Phil and his best friend had a similar argument in their youth..
And then there was the episode where it was revealed that every man from his granpa's line dies at midnight of his 81st birthday. Arnold's grandfather thought that he was going to die but then he realised that he did a miscalculation and he has 10 more years to live.
In one episode of Rugrats, Tommy's grand-aunt visits; at the end of the episode, we find out that, as a child, she had the same relationship with Grandpa that Angelica has with Tommy, and even mentions "those two kids from down the street, Bill and Jill".
A later episode revealed that Stu and Drew Pickles had a very similar relationship to their son and daughter when they were their age, making it a three generation xerox. Baby Stu even acts and sounds like his son.
Transformers: Optimus and his crew crash-land in the distant past on Earth, and must fend off attacks from Megatron and his band of miscreants while defending the planet and attempting to return to Cybertron. Now, are we talking about Prime or Primal? To further draw parallels, Cheetor takes up Bumblebee's mantle, and Terrorsaur makes a good StarscreamExpy.
Lampshaded when Jade insists that one character was her counterpart, and a sudden dustcloud hides the character's replacement by Old West!Jade.
Young Jackie was sent to San Francisco from Hong Kong to be with his uncle, just like Jade was sent to be with Jackie.
Subverted quite a bit in Batman Beyond. As the Distant Finale shows Terry was a Tyke Bomb that was designed to follow the path to becoming Batman almost exactly, but despite this he ends up being somewhat different. For instance Terry is notafraid to kill his enemies if he has to, and as he demonstrated to the Joker himself, he's not afraid of fighting dirty or turning someone's mind games around on them. By the time of Batman Beyond Bruce is just a reclusive old man, and Waller tells Terry that he doesn't have to be a loner to be Batman, and he's still seeing his high school girlfriend and was last seen planning to propose to her.
The tie-in comic revealed that the Wayne Powers enforcer who killed Warren McGinnis was Jake Chill, great-nephew of Joe.
In the What If?Flash Forward episode Ken 10, Ben's nearly-identical son Ken (he has darker skin, like his mother, and slightly darker brown hair, but is otherwise a Ben clone) is given an Omnitrix by his father on his tenth birthday because he got his when he was ten. It also has the same limitations as his original (time limit, limited number of aliens), and then Ken goes on to meet Devlin, the transforming, superpowered son of Ben's formal rival Kevin (Theme Naming, anyone? Oh yes). Ken also offers Devlin the opportunity to join the Tennyson family, the same offer Ben made Kevin as a child. However, Devlin actually accepts the offer, unlike his father.
Ken must have inherited his mother's brains, though, as he actually thinks to use Grey Matter to hack the Omnitrix's master control, something neither Ben, Gwen or Max ever considered.
Famous 5: On The Case, the Disney cartoon based loosely on The Famous Five, plays this straight with the children of the original Five. Both boys have sons, both girls have daughters. Julian and his son Max are both action leaders, Dick and Dylan are both smart guys, George and Jo are tomboys, Allie and Anne are girly girls. And, well, Timmy Jr is still a dog, but that one's justified.
George herself becomes a Gender Flipped version of her father Quentin, as the eccentric scientist whose discoveries sometimes lead to the Five's cases.
One episode of Totally Spies! features the team that came before Sam, Alex and Clover: Pam, Alice and Crimson.
Heh... Crimson and Clover, over and over...
A better example come from the girls' mothers Carmen, Gabriella, and Stella, who look like older versions of the girls. They even become WOOHP agents.
An episode of Kim Possible shows her 19th century ancestor as an adventurous reporter in the vein of Tintin, Ron's ancestor as her partner, and the ancestors of Shego and Drakken as her archenemies. (Of course that turns out to be All Just a Dream... Or Was It a Dream?)
Naturally, Ron spends half the episode Lampshading the trope.
Word of God says the Generation Xerox characters were real.
In The Powerpuff Girls episode "West In Pieces," the 19th century ancestor of Professor Utonium creates his own version of the Powerpuff Girls using steampunk technology.
An episode of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective shows Ace Ventura's medieval ancestor as a pet detective, Guado's ancestor as a corrupt sheriff and Woodstock's ancestor as the informer of Ace's ancestor (complete with a steampunk computer).
The French cartoon called Once Upon A Time... Mankind is about the history of humanity, and features the same five characters from prehistoric times until Twenty Minutes into the Future.
The Venture Bros. episode "ORB" shows a flashback of victorian era adventurers who all seem conspicuously similar to modern characters. (Granted, the modern equivalents aren't a team anymore.)
Inverted in Dexter's Laboratory: In one episode, Dexter ages himself into an old man with an aging machine by accident, and his family mistakes him with his grandpa. In a later episode, we actually get to see his grandfather.
At the beginning of another episode, Mom makes muffins, acting in Dexter's typical grandiose manner ("AT LAST! MY MUFFINS ARE COMPLETE!"), while Dad screws around the kitchen in a very Deedee-like fashion. It's here that viewers are clued into who takes after whom.
Hayley and Stan of American Dad! have exactly the same personality - both are controlling, obsessed with being right, and generally treat their partners like crap. The twist is that while Stan is a hardcore conservative, Hayley is a hardcore liberal.
Stan was a geek in his youth just like Steve...something he's spent most of his adulthood trying to cover up.
In The Zeta Project, Bennett's son is visually identical to him but, personality wise, is much more mellow, carefree and easy going. Oddly, despite being a confrontational person, Bennett gets along great with his kid despite the night and day difference. It's implied that, pre Sanity Slippage, this is what Bennett himself was like.
The unaired pilot for a Wacky Races revival, Wacky Races Forever, had the offsprings of the original racers.
Popeye And Son (Hanna-Barbera, 1987). Popeye Jr. hates spinach but will eat it when the chips are down.
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated had Scooby and the gang find that they've unknowingly been following in the footsteps of the original Mystery Inc, which also consisted of two guys, two girls, and an animal. In fact, the original group's counterparts to Fred and Daphne turn out to be Fred's biological parents.
Moral Orel plays with this. Clay's relationship with his father as a child was somewhat similar to his own relationship with his father. Although Clay was less of a Cheerful Child than Orel and more of a Spoiled Brat with a Freudian Excuse. This is averted in the Distant Finale, in which Orel grows up to be a happier, much better family man than Clay.
Enforced in Ever After High. The main characters are the children of fairy tale characters and are expected to pledge to completely follow their parents' stories and replace them so that the story continues to live on in a parallel Earth (implied to be the same Earth upon which Monster High is set, which gives the Scarily Ever After line a new meaning). This has been going on for centuries, with Apple White being from a very long line of princesses who graduated to live out the story of Snow White. The story begins when the other main character, Raven Queen, wonders that maybe she should Screw Destiny and not poison Apple when she becomes Snow.
Sofia The First: King Gideon IV once jumped to conclusions and thought trolls were attacking. (They were just banging the clubs on the floor because they like the sound) He ordered the guards to seize the trolls, who ran away to the cave under the palace and ever since forbidden from leaving. Upon learning the trolls' side of the story, Princess Sofia tried to set things right but King Roland II (King Gideon IV's grandson) had basically the same reaction his grandfather did. The misunderstanding was eventually cleared.
Both Bruce Lee and his son, Brandon Lee, died under mysterious circumstances, leaving half-finished films behind that would later be completed posthumously (Bruce Game of Death, and Brandon The Crow). The similarities between their deaths led to a number of conspiracy theories involving the Triads and other Asian organized crime associations.
Musician Tim Buckley died aged 28 of an accidental drug overdose. His son, Jeff bore a startling resemblance to his father (http://i39.tinypic.com/smelaf.jpg) and possessed a similar, albeit more wider-ranging singing voice. He died aged 30, when he got caught in the wake of a passing riverboat whilst swimming fully clothed in the Mississippi river.
In an interesting inversion, Abe Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was saved from nearly being killed by a train by the brother of John Wilkes Booth, Edwin Booth. Ironically, Robert would go on to be at the train station next to James Garfield when he was shot, as well as arriving in Buffalo right when McKinley was shot. Weird.
Robert himself was aware of this weirdness, and apparently didn't like it. When invited to a presidential function after the incident with McKinley, he refused, saying "No, I'm not going, and they'd better not ask me, because there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present."
A strangely endemic situation in the Philippines, owing to the existence of warlords and political dynasties. Many present-day figures tend to either be children of, or at least descended from, long-standing families like the Cojuangcos, Macapagals, and even the Aquinos. Or, in the case of current president Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, a child of two of these families (his late mother Corazon, also a president, was born a Cojuangco).
Patrick Swayze and his father Jesse both died at age 57. Patrick died from pancreatic cancer, and Jesse died from a heart attack.
Bill Bryson writes in I'm A Stranger Here Myself about his son reading Bryson's own The Lost Continent a book where the author recalls the various dull habits of his father (like reading out licence plates of other cars when on holiday) - and his son's reaction;
"But this is dad!", meaning of course me. I have to admit it, I have become my father. I even read license plates.
Lord Randolph Churchill was a rising star maverick in the Conservative Party who repeatedly switched factions, commanded the support of the public with his wit and charisma, suffered controversy, and eventually became Chancellor of the Exchequer before blowing it with a political misjudgement that ended his career. His son Winston Churchill had exactly the same career path...the only difference being that he lived long enough to make the awesome comeback that is the only part anyone now remembers.
Bill Cosby has called this "the curse," in that problematic children will have kids of their own that behave just like their parents in order for the problematic children to understand just what they put their parents through.
Peter Sellers and his son Michael, who was also an actor, both died from heart attacks at almost the same age exactly 26 years apart. Peter was 54 when he died, Michael was 52.
So far, there have been three U.S. Presidents that are direct descendants of previous presidents
John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams
William Henry Harrison and his grandson Benjamin Harrison