Junior Counterpart

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"...You and I have so much in common, Uncle Pete. The Super Speed, the brooding bad-boy thing, the weird white-headedness... though, I suppose it must be a blow to the old ego, knowing there's a version of you out there that's younger, better-looking, and faster."
Speed to Quicksilver, The Children's Crusade

The Junior Counterpart is a character that serves as a younger, less experienced Foil to an older, wiser character. A character of this sort is often present to have similar origins, appearance, or character to the older character, but is either more idealistic, naive, or reckless than the older character, and always less experienced. It's far more likely that the junior is the protagonist as he is most often shown to be the underdog, with the senior functioning as a Decoy Protagonist.

The junior is most often presented as being a student or younger relative of the senior, but not always. Sometimes, the junior becomes the sidekick of the senior, other times it may be showing how History Repeats.

If a work follows the junior's Character Development, he most likely develops the same characterization as the senior if he doesn't already have it from the beginning.

Often generates a "You remind me of me" statement and might even carry a Weapon Jr.. If the junior is a descendant of the senior, overlaps with Generation Xerox. Compare Spin-Off Babies and Legacy Character.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Usopp in One Piece is the son of Yasopp, a crewmember of a famous pirate crew, the Red Hair Pirates. Both of them are avid sharpshooters, with Usopp using a slingshot in similar effectiveness to his father's gun. Luffy recruits him for that reason.
  • Nanoha is this to Gil Graham. Both of them came from Earth (Gil from England and Nanoha from Japan), were introduced to magic after finding an injured mage in the woods, and eventually moved off world to join the TSAB.

    Comic Books 
  • Many of the Robins are this in some capacity to Batman, but Dick Grayson is perhaps the closest to Bruce in origin, as his own parents were murdered and Dick was motivated to get revenge on the ones responsible. Unlike most sidekicks of his era or the rest of the Bat Family, he doesn't have a bat or darkness motif at all since he was designed to be Plucky Comic Relief. Later the third Robin, Tim Drake would grow to be the most like Bruce in personality and the way he approaches tactics.
  • Spider-Man has a few.
    • Alpha is Peter Parker post-Spider bite but pre-Uncle Ben's death, right down to getting his powers while on a field trip. He's full of himself, irresponsible, and obsessed with fame. Making him not just a Junior Counter Part, but a foil in that he's what Peter would have been if he had never decided to try and grow up some.
    • Spidey's daughter and Distaff Counterpart Spider-Girl counts. Like her dad she's bright in science, a chronic Determinator...and really unlucky when comes to love.
  • Superboy is this to Superman in continuities where he's not literally a younger version of Supes. Typically like his mentor he's a young person trying to help people (but without the cape). Supergirl also counts in continuities where she's physically younger than her cousin.
  • Roy Harper, back when he was Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy, was a young version of Ollie, not only due to his archery abilities, but also because he turned out to be as much of a ladies' man as his mentor.
  • Invoked in Young Avengers wherein the team intentionally patterns themselves of their role models, The Avengers, in hopes of becoming Promoted Fanboys. Some members of the team are even blood related to their counterparts, such as Scott Lang's daughter Cassie and Scarlet Witch's kids Billy and Tommy (Billy got her with powers whereas Tommy got Quicksilver's Super Speed).
  • Young Justice's core four and founding members are junior counterparts to four of the founding members of the Justice League of America with Superboy (Kon-el), Robin (Tim), Wondergirl (Cassie) and Impulse (Bart).
  • X23 is this to Wolverine. As his Opposite-Sex Clone she has the same powers, but even more of a problem controlling her Berserker Rage do to being raised as weapon since birth. Over time, she eventually learns to control her anger much better than Logan ever did.
    • Once she takes on the mantle of Wolverine, she eventually gets her own in the form of her younger clone, Gabby.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: In certain respects, Jean Grey is a younger female version of her father figure Charles. She's a Nice Girl with a Friendless Background who is tormented by her telepathy because she has difficulty blocking out the thoughts of others, and she suffers from Bad Dreams, which makes the two of them Birds of a Feather. Jean becomes a source of emotional support to Scott after his brother dies, which mirrors how Xavier comforts her when she's distressed. Jean is compassionate towards a dehumanized Wolverine even after she had witnessed him butcher all of Stryker's soldiers, just as Charles is forgiving of Magneto's mass murder because he can still sense the goodness in his old friend. Jean adopts the Pstandard Psychic Pstance that her mentor no longer uses, which reinforces the idea that she's a surrogate variant of Daddy's Girl.note  Their sameness is also displayed visually because Jean wears a 3/4-sleeve blazer which is similar to the Professor's (albeit in a different colour), and conveniently, they're both beautiful in a feminine way (Xavier is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy).
  • In Carlito's Way, the main character is frequently told by others that young gangster Benny Blanco who comes to Carlito's club is a younger version of Carlito. Reformed Criminal Carlito, who thinks Benny is a cheap punk, doesn't take kindly to the comparison.
    Sasso: What happened to you? What are you acting like this for? It doesn't make sense you should hate this guy, because this guy is you 20 years ago!
  • In Beneath the Planet of the Apes, the character Brent is a smaller, younger version of Taylor from the first film.
  • Godzilla Junior (and Minya) count towards the trope, being younger and more naive (or, in Junior's case, tolerant of mankind) than Godzilla himself is.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Loki is in many aspects a younger male version of Frigga. Although they aren't related by blood, she has nonetheless influenced him to a tremendous degree. In addition to a couple of Shared Family Quirksnote , as her adoptive son, Loki has in a sense "inherited" her magic abilities (Frigga was his tutor, after all), her talent for deception, her elegant comportment, and he even fights like she does (i.e. relying on speed and agility). Loki is In Touch with His Feminine Side, which makes it much easier for him to relate to his mother and to emulate her. Before his Face–Heel Turn, it's inferred that Loki usually tried to rein in Thor's violent, impulsive side, and Frigga does the same with Odin. Loki's "always so perceptive about everyone but [him]self," which mirrors how his mother is the sole person who can see through all of his lies. Like Frigga, he's also gorgeous in a feminine manner. In Thor: The Dark World, they both disobey Odin, successfully trick Malekith, protect Jane, and are stabbed in the torso by Kurse. Frigga has a 100% Adoration Rating among Asgard's subjects because she's a heroic Queen who's willing to risk her life to defend the realm, and Loki genuinely wins the love of his people in Thor: Ragnarok as the heroic Prince who rescues them from Hela's mass slaughter. Frigga and Loki even die similarly to illustrate how powerful their opponents are, and to motivate a family member to seek vengeance for their murder. Both stand up for someone else (Jane, Thor), both briefly use illusions (to conceal Jane, to hide a dagger), both attempt to take on a much stronger foe (Kurse, Thanos) with a short sword/dagger, both have their quick attack repulsed, and both are Defiant to the End: "I'll never tell you" / "You will never be a god."

    Literature 
  • Crops up a several times in A Song of Ice and Fire, by blood relation or not.
    • In A Game of Thrones, Ned notes that his daughter Arya is pretty much his late sister Lyanna reborn; sharing her personality, appearance, and interests.
    • In A Storm of Swords, Jaime Lannister notes that Loras Tyrell is pretty much himself as a youth: a gifted, reckless, impulsive knight who is very close to his lookalike sister.
    • Margaery Tyrell is presented a younger Cersei Lannister, both being daughters of a great noble house having, both having great ambitions, both marrying kings, and having a great dependence on an older relative (Cersei's father Tywin; Margaery's grandmother Olenna).
    • Renly Baratheon is presented as this to his older brother King Robert. Not only does Renly have nearly the same appearance as Robert did in his youth, but Renly has a charismatic, gregarious personality, something which Robert lost in the years since his rebellion.
    • At several times in the story, Littlefinger compares Sansa to her mother Catelyn Stark, claiming that Sansa is starting to resemble her physically.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Common with mini estrellas seen in Mexican promotions such as CMLL, with miniature versions of Mascara Sagrada, Ultimo Dragon and Shocker, among others. AAA had a mascot division, which was largely made up of teams of these.

    Video Games 
  • Axl of Mega Man X7 is one for X - in fact he replaces X for a while until all the 8 Mavericks of the game are defeated. He plays similarly to X, but without access to chqrged attacks that X is popular for. Axl undergoes Divergent Character Evolution in the next game, though.
  • Super Mario Bros. has Bowser Junior, Bowser's son, and Donkey Kong Junior, the son of the first Donkey Kong who would grow up to be the Donkey Kong we know today. The series also ran with the concept after Baby Mario appeared in Mario Tennis. Since then they've introduced Baby versions of Luigi, Peach, Daisy, and Rosalina existing simultaneously with their adult counterparts. The latter two haven't even appeared in any official non-spinoff titles yet.
  • The Super Smash Bros. series has Young Link and Toon Link, who are younger, faster versions of the full-grown Link. Melee also has Pichu, a younger relative of Pikachu who is weaker and downright reckless.
  • Nowi from Fire Emblem Awakening is a younger counterpart of Tiki from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, since both of them are young-looking dragon girls who use Dragon Stones to morph into massive dragons. And considering that a now Older and Wiser Tiki can be recruited in Awakening....
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Riju and Yunobo are younger counterparts to the Champions Urbosa and Daruk respectively. The former are much less confidant in themselves compared to the latter but still perform heroic deeds with Link's help.

    Western Animation 
  • Scootaloo of the Cutie Mark Crusaders from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a younger Rainbow Dash, sharing the same athletic tomboy personality and love of speed. Scootaloo eventually becomes Rainbow Dash's surrogate little sister/protege.
  • The main and recurring characters of Tiny Toon Adventures are teenage (barring certain characters like Sweetie and Sneezer) counterparts of the characters from the classic Looney Tunes cartoons, often even sharing the Looney Tunes characters' personality traits. While still considered the junior counterpart of Elmer Fudd, Elmyra's personality contrasts that of her mentor, in the sense that she means no true harm to animals she sees, yet is considered a dangerous threat to them.
  • The Legend of Tarzan has Jabari, the baby elephant, as a younger counterpart for Tantor. Jabari not only looks identical to Tantor as a child, but has the same cowardly personality.
  • At the end of ReBoot's third season, after Mainframe gets backed up and restored in the midst of a system crash, Enzo's icon is left in Game Sprite mode, and is therefore recognized as a foreign entity instead of inhabitant, leaving his leftover data from when he lived there as a child to get copied into what becomes known as Little Enzo. Given how much darker his personality had become, "Big" Enzo doesn't like the kid at all for reminding him of how he used to be.
  • From Xiaolin Chronicles, there is Ping Pong who is basically a younger smaller version of Omi with green glasses and a french accent.

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