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[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/{{Subnormality}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/subnormality_like_parent_like_spouse2.png]]]]

->''"It's trite but true that a lot of young women look for a man who reminds them of their dad. Your dad fights monsters. I fight monsters. Your dad rescued your mom from a dragon. I rescued you from Arctis Tor. Seeing the pattern here?"''
-->-- '''Harry Dresden''' to Molly Carpenter, ''Literature/ProvenGuilty''

Freudian Psychology has a theory that children who have a close relationship with their parents tend to look for those properties in a mate.

It happens that the first example of the male gender that a baby girl encounters is her father, and that forms her impression of maleness in general, up to and including the mate she connects with and, if she's anywhere near the Christian religion, her impression of God as "our Father in Heaven." If she has a negative father, she'll often grab up negative boyfriends as well, so it takes a certain amount of awareness to be able to break out of that tendency.

If [[DisappearedDad her father is absent]] and an older brother (or another male father figure) is present and actively involved in her life, she bonds with him the same way, and looks for men much like him.

Straight women look to their fathers as a template about what to expect and desire in a man. Sometimes if they have a really bad relationship with their father, they can go the exact other way and choose a husband opposite to their father. Either way, their father remains a very important influence in the choice of a spouse.

The same goes for straight men using their mother as a guide when choosing a wife. Lesbians and gay men are likewise influenced by their same-sex parents, and people who grew up without knowing their parents at all will likely find themselves subconsciously looking for other templates.

Some people find this {{squick}}y, but it's just as common in Real Life as in Fiction. See also FatherIWantToMarryMyBrother, DatingWhatDaddyHates.

SisterTrope to LikeFatherLikeSon.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'', Sakura has a crush on Yukito who looks like her father. She even {{lampshade|Hanging}}s it.
* In the ''VisualNovel/{{CLANNAD}}'' anime, Nagisa mentions that Tomoya is a lot like her father.
* Minor example in ''Manga/FutureDiary''--Yukiteru's first crush looks very similar to his mother.
* Nagi of ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'' has a crush on Hayate, who apparently looks very much like her mother ''and'' father. How much he looks like her mother is actually commented on by another character.
* ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'': Katherine Armstrong tells Havoc that she wants a man more like her brother Alex. Played for laughs because her brother is huge, musclebound, and can generate pink sparkles when he gets [[LargeHam hammy.]] Havoc's reaction is priceless.
* Gohan from ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' marries Videl, the strongest young woman on the planet. His mother was the strongest woman in the world when she was 18. They were both {{Tsundere}}s and the daughters of rich martial artists, too. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4p9t1DB76Y Witness their first interaction together]], you would swear Videl was her child, rather than Gohan and Goten.
* ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'': Tsuna develops a huge crush on Kyoko, whom he [[SatelliteLoveInterest hardly interacts with or knows much about]]. One thing is very noticeable about her, however, she looks ''exactly'' like his mother. Even their ''personalities'' are very much alike.
* In ''Manga/KotouraSan'', Haruka's grandfather takes care of her granddaughter after the latter suffered ParentalAbandonment, so he took the place of "parent." He is strikingly similar to Manabe, Haruka's boyfriend, for being honest guys--perversion included.
* The protagonist of ''Musume No Iede'' has a fat mother and father, along with the fact her step-father and father's boyfriend are fat. She's a ChubbyChaser who falls for big guys easily.
* In ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia,'' Izuku's crush, Ochako, is a [[BigBeautifulWoman cute, chubby]] NiceGirl who likes pink clothing, just like his mother. Even their [[DifferentlyPoweredIndividuals Quirks]] are similar--Izuku's mom can levitate small objects, while Ochako can levitate [[GravityMaster anything that she touches]].
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** Shikamaru Nara's mother Yoshino is [[{{Tsundere}} obstinate and rough but also has a sweet side]], similarly to Temari, his final opponent in the Chunin Exams and most frequent ally outside the Konoha 11 since. He and Temari [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend deny any relationship]] despite [[EveryoneCanSeeIt being seen together so much]]. [[spoiler:They're married with a son in the epilogue]].
** PlayedWith for Naruto. His father Minato is briefly shown thinking that Sakura reminds him of Naruto's mother Kushina, who earlier remarked that Naruto should marry a girl like herself. Kushina actually didn't make it clear on what exactly she meant, but presumably she meant a FieryRedhead with a HotBlooded personality, and the pink-haired HotBlooded {{Tsundere}} Sakura matches that. However, in the epilogue and ''Anime/TheLastNarutoTheMovie'', Naruto marries [[spoiler:Hinata, a quiet nice girl with dark blue hair]]. [[WordOfGod Masashi Kishimoto has repeatedly stated]] that he deliberately {{Invoked|Trope}} these comparisons as a RedHerring to [[TrollingCreator mess with the shippers]].\\\
In spite of all that, though, Kushina ''does'' bear similarities to Naruto's future wife [[spoiler:Hinata]], because they both went through a lot of the same life events and share certain hobbies: Both have unique hair colors that match their respective personalities. Both were bullied as children because of a physical feature of theirs. Both were kidnapped by Kumo ninja when they were younger because of the powers they possessed. Both were NotAfraidToDie to protect Naruto because of their love for him. [[TextileWorkIsFeminine Both enjoy knitting scarves]]. Both fell in love with their husbands in the same way: RescueRomance. The RedStringOfFate was utilized in both rescue scenarios. Both also fell in love with their husbands partly because [[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan they are good men]]. Both attracted the attentions of [[AmazonChaser their husbands]] because they are {{Action Girl}}s. Both are considered {{Supreme Chef}}s by their husbands. Finally, both are considered very beautiful by their husbands partly because of their [[RapunzelHair long flowing hair]].\\\
This trope is also {{Gender Inverted|Trope}}, because Naruto matches Kushina [[HotBlooded in personality]] while his future wife [[spoiler:Hinata]] matches ''Minato'' in personality: Both are [[NiceGuy quiet nice ninja]] who [[SingleTargetSexuality have always loved]] their boisterous counterpart [[ChildhoodFriendRomance since they were children]]. Given that all of the {{Official Couple}}s in the Narutoverse, including Kushina and Minato, epitomize OppositesAttract in terms of personality, [[FridgeBrilliance this actually explains]] why [[spoiler:Naruto and Hinata]] work as a couple.
** The sequel manga ''Manga/{{Boruto}}'' has a moment in which after [[spoiler:Naruto and Hinata's son]], Boruto, makes a DeclarationOfProtection to [[spoiler:Sasuke and Sakura's daughter]], Sarada, [[ShipTease which makes her blush]]. He then declares that he wants to become a ninja "like her father", which makes her blush ''even more'', and also makes her think how cool he looks.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'':
** Misato [[InVinoVeritas drunkenly lets out]] that she broke up with Kaji when she noticed how he reminded her of her father, while he’s carrying her home; they reconcile and hook up again, and she becomes his confidant.
** Shinji is initially attracted to Rei, at one point he even comments that she would be a good mother, turns out that Rei is Shinji's mother's clone.
* In ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' it's {{lampshade|Hanging}}d how Tamaki Suou and Haruhi's dad are very alike.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''--according to ancillary material, Madoka's idea of an ideal husband is someone cool like her ''mother''. In [[VideoGame/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaPortable the PSP game,]] Madoka's mom mentions that Homura reminds her of herself at that age.
* In ''Franchise/SailorMoon'', it's pointed out that while Usagi's father initially doesn't like Mamoru very much the two of them are strikingly similar.
* In ''Saint Dragon Girl Miracle'' it's noted several times that Ren looks exactly like Anju's father Ryuga, both by Anju herself and her mother Momoka (and Ren's best friend Ryuuji when they finally get to meet her father). [[spoiler: Anju doesn't end up with Ren however, instead ending up with Ryuuji]]
* A convoluted example occurs in ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle''. Syaoran [[spoiler:Jr.]]'s mother is [[spoiler:his girlfriend's clone, reincarnated ''backwards in time'' to get married to Syaoran Jr.'s clone, who becomes Syaoran Sr., meaning technically he and his dad are the same person and his mom is an {{Expy}} of his girlfriend rather than the other way around]]. [[MindScrew It's complicated, OK?]]
* In ''Manga/ViolinistOfHameln'', Hamel's love interest Flute is stated to resemble his mother, Pandora, as they're both kind, gentle and accepting. They interchange in Hamel's dream sequences, and his best friend Raiel outright states Flute would be good for Hamel because she's like Pandora.
* In ''Manga/YourLieInApril'', Kousei begins to realize that his crush Kaori and his mother are quite similar; they're both obsessed with music, they're constantly pushing him into becoming a better pianist and are prone to drastic mood swings. They are both also sick with unnamed diseases [[spoiler:that are fatal; Kousei's mother ended up dying from her illness and, despite the glimmer of hope, Kaori doesn't survive hers either.]] This is lampshaded in episode 16 when Kousei, Watari and Tsubaki visit Kaori [[spoiler:in the hospital]] and Kaori yells at him for not practicing for the upcoming competition in such a way that in Kousei's eyes, the room begins to glitch and Kaori turns into his mother.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/GothamCitySirens'', ComicBook/HarleyQuinn's father turns out to be an incorrigible con artist constantly in and out of prison. His modus operandi is making women feel young and appreciated before taking them for everything they have, and he's smiling in almost every panel. Parallels to ComicBook/TheJoker are quite obvious. He even ''looks'' a little like Joker (specifically the Creator/JackNicholson [[Film/{{Batman}} portrayal]]).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse''
** April once claimed that Elizabeth's boyfriend (and eventual husband), Anthony, was exactly like their dad.
** John himself compares Anthony to John.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/CodeGeassThePreparedRebellion'', Lelouch starts falling for Kallen, a girl very similar to his mother (or rather, her public face).
* ''WebVideo/NullmetalAlchemist'':
-->'''Al:''' She's [Psiren] amazing isn't she?\\
'''Ed:''' Well yeah. Of the women who've seen my naughty bits she ranks up there.\\
'''Al:''' But she's special.\\
'''Ed:''' Uh huh.\\
'''Al:''' You don't understand. She awakens a fire within me!\\
'''Ed:''' Lovely.\\
'''Al:''' I haven't been this enraptured by a woman since... ''[flashback to his mother smiling at him]'' Since...\\
'''Ed:''' Since... since... ''[beat]'' Wait a sec! You're attracted to her because she reminds you of mum!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AnExtremelyGoofyMovie'', PJ ends up with an auburn-haired, hourglass-figured woman who is normally snarky but sweet and sensitive to him, protects him from being mistreated in her presence, and is forceful enough with her voice that she doesn't need to resort to physical violence to make jerks fall in line. These traits are all shared by PJ's mother, as shown in ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop''.
* Meta-example in ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons:'' WordOfGod says that they used the same character model for both [[spoiler:Lewis' birth mother and adult!Franny]]. This is especially obvious if you notice their [[ImpossibleHourglassFigure ridiculously tiny waists]]. On a less meta note, [[spoiler:Lewis first comes to see adult!Franny as a mother figure before discovering that she's actually his future wife. The somewhat-icky implications are glossed over when he meets young!Franny in his own timeline and expresses more amused recognition than attraction.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/BackToTheFuture'', Marty [=McFly=] marries Jennifer Parker who is quiet, soft-spoken, and easygoing just like his father George [=McFly=]. WordOfGod used this trope to explain why Marty's mother Lorraine and his ''paternal'' great-great-grandmother Maggie [=McFly=] are both played by Lea Thompson, saying that all [=McFly=] men are genetically predisposed to be attracted to women who look like Lea Thompson.
* Pushed to the extreme in the French movie ''Itineraire d'un enfant gâté'': Not only does the daughter want someone like her dad and ends up having a son from a man her father's age, then marrying a guy trained by her dad to act like him, but it's implied that it's also the case of the son.
* In ''Film/AnOfficerAndAGentleman'', Paula confesses to Zack that she loves him because he reminds her of her father, a Navy aviator.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': This trope ''may'' be why some people were let down by Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy. Many were expecting Padme to fall in love with a LoveableRogue[=/=]JerkWithAHeartOfGold the way her daughter Leia fell for Han Solo. What we got was… well…
** On the other hand, the person that perpetrated the whole rebellion was Bail Organa, the man who actually raised Leia, so maybe that's how she gained her taste for "bad" boys.
** On the third, [[{{Metaphorgotten}} horrifying mutant hand]], [[NotSoDifferent Anakin was a gifted pilot who tended to get in trouble due to his brash, short-sighted decisions, relying on his skill to try getting himself out of situations]] his [[DidntThinkThisThrough lack of sense]] [[NotSoDifferent had gotten himself into]].
** On the fourth [[RunningGag cybernetic hand]], Anakin never had a father-daughter relationship with Leia. (It wasn't till the end of ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'' that he realized the truth). And so he was never the primary male role model that she could base her opinions of other men off of. Bail, however, was.
* ''Film/TheFlyII'': Martin's girlfriend Beth bears a rather striking resemblance to his late mother Veronica. Which is especially odd considering that Martin has only met his mother for a few seconds before her DeathByChildbirth, though the film does show Martin displaying superhuman memory skills even as a toddler.
* In ''Film/AddamsFamilyValues,'' Wednesday and her LoveInterest, Joel, do Gomez and Morticia's "''[[GratuitousForeignLanguage cara mia/mon cher]]''" lines right before they first kiss. Later, Joel attends Pubert's birthday party dressed up like Gomez, mustache included.
-->'''Joel:''' How do I look?
-->'''Wednesday:''' Disturbing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'': Tobias's mother Loren is a feisty, fearless, often reckless and smartmouthed blonde who falls for a guy outside her species. All of these traits hold equally true for his love interest, Rachel.
* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', Ren asks Captain Raven Tern for advice whether Jerin would make a good husband. Raven replies that Jerin is a bit like Ren's father (who was poisoned some years ago), but more strong-willed. She points out that this is a good thing, as Ren's father [[ExtremeDoormat did nothing]] to prevent the princesses' abusive husband (who also died in the meantime) from, well, abusing them. Jerin is more of a [[SpiritedYoungLady spirited young gentleman]] and would not give up so easily.
* Ayla from ''[[Literature/EarthsChildren Clan of the Cave Bear]]'' prefers the look of Neanderthals to the look of humans, having been raised by the former.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Molly Carpenter has a crush on Harry, which he attributes to this. People unfamiliar with the story of how Michael and Charity got together might not see the connection. Harry is a snarky SquishyWizard while Michael is a pious and buff swordsman. They do not look alike or act alike. The trope comes into play because both of them rescued a woman from terrible danger and almost certain death. [[spoiler:Michael rescued Charity from a dragon, Harry protected Molly from execution by the White Council. Molly wants a man that has the same virtues as her father, other more superficial similarities are apparently superfluous.]] They are also both warriors who are willing to lay down their lives to protect their loved ones, the innocent, and the different codes of ethics they subscribe to. Michael and Harry are pretty darn similar.
** It's also interesting that Molly was dating a guy who superficially ''looks'' like Harry. In ''Ghost Story'' it's still going on and is full scale love and devotion.
** It also overlaps slightly with DatingWhatDaddyHates since Molly's mother Charity does not like Harry at all in the earlier books (although she later warms up to him a bit).
* Several characters from ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Harry's main love interest [[spoiler:and later, wife]] Ginny is very similar, in appearance and personality, to his mother, whom he barely remembers.
** Ron's relationship with Hermione is very similar to the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. Lampshaded multiple times, when the narration (which is from Harry's perspective) describes Hermione as acting very much like Mrs. Weasley.
** Fleur Delacour, who marries Ron's brother Bill, is also sometimes described as acting like Mrs. Weasley in the last two books.
* Played with in the ''Literature/{{Hurog}}'' series with Ward. His mother is rather weak, having fled into drug-addiction when it became clear that her husband was abusive towards her, as well as towards the kids. However, his ''aunt'' on his mother's side, who is also rumoured to have had an affair with his father, is a mentally strong, muscular woman who serves as weaponmaster, in a largely patriarchal setting. Ward has a big crush on a young woman who his very much like his aunt.
* At the end of ''Literature/JacobHaveILoved'', by Creator/KatherinePaterson, the narrator starts to fall in love with a coal miner, who is several years older than her, when she realizes that he's the kind of man who would "sing to the oysters," a quirk of her fisherman father.
* Explicitly outlined in ''Literature/RaptorRed''; her father defined what Raptor Red looked for in a mate. Since she's, well, a Utahraptor, the text even brings up imprinting.
* Creator/StephenKing
** Two of the protagonists of ''Literature/{{IT}}'', upon growing up, marry people like their parents. Eddie Kaspbrak, the kid with asthma and a [[MyBelovedSmother Beloved Smother]], upon growing up, would marry Myra, a woman who is very much like her. Beverly Marsh, the only girl of the Loser's Club and whose father was abusive as hell, would marry Tom Rogan, a man just as abusive as her father.
** ''Literature/{{Misery}}''. When Paul finds Annie's scrapbook, he sees a photo of her husband, who is the spitting image of her father.
* In the Literature/TortallUniverse, the Yamani princess who has been engaged to Prince Roald was told that men whose mothers are strong and warlike want wives who [[NeutralFemale aren't]]. Roald's friends think [[AmazonChaser this is stupid]]. They're right.
* In the novel ''Vamped'', the girl's love interest and her adoptive father are getting a drink together. There's an awkward moment when they both look at their reflections and realize how similar they look…
* In ''Literature/WarriorCats'' Thunder tells Clear Sky that Star Flower is his mate only because he's like her father, One Eye.
* In Creator/JamesHSchmitz's ''Literature/TheWitchesOfKarres'', young heroine Goth announces that she is going to marry the (adult) hero when she grows up. It is noted by several characters that said hero very much resembles her father. ([[spoiler:They're distant cousins.]])
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/ThirtyRock'':
** There's an episode where Liz's much-younger boyfriend's mother turned out to be the spitting image of Liz, even ''wearing the same outfit''. Creeped out, Liz ended their relationship.
** In a later episode, Jack is demoralised when he realises that one of the women he is dating also has a circle of younger boyfriends, with Jack as her older man. However, Jenna encourages him to embrace it by pointing out all the exhausting things he doesn't have to do with her that the younger men do, and the final scene of the episode shows him watching a black and white movie while she brings him soup.
* ''Series/TheAffair'': Helen says that she married Noah because she didn't want to marry someone like her father, but that she didn't realize that she married someone like her mother instead.
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'':
** After psychoanalysing Penny, Leonard's mother [[DiscussedTrope tells him]] that if he wants to have sex with Penny he should use the same kind of cologne her father wears.
** Similarly, Howard thinks it's hot when his fiancée yells at him and sounds ''exactly'' like his mother. But then, Howard's relationship with his mother is rather abnormal.
* ''Series/{{Californication}}'': Becca has some serious father issues. Her season 5 boyfriend Tyler is basically a younger version of her father Hank Moody, which is acknowledged InUniverse. Hank is an acclaimed writer but has troubles dealing with life in general. Becca's boyfriend Tyler has a brilliant literary mind, but unfortunately he is also a jerk who cheats on her and lies to her. Becca follows [[LikeFatherLikeSon her mother Karen's pattern of constant forgiving him]].
* Series/{{Castle}}'s mom and first wife are both [[HeroesWantRedheads redheads]], and his first wife is a lot like his mom (though they're both too busy hating each other to notice it). Beckett also warns him that because of how much she adores him, his daughter is likely to end up dating someone like him. Castle is [[SelfDeprecation less than thrilled with the idea]].
* In ''The Class'', Holly Ellenbogen's husband and father are both extremely CampStraight.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the revived series we meet Rose's father, an amateur inventor and entrepreneur, who underneath his irresponsible façade is actually a heroic man. (Similar to [[spoiler:the Doctor]], whom she falls in love with over time.)
** River Song has been shown to have a thing for strong men dressed in Roman Centurion uniforms. We eventually find out that her father is [[spoiler:Rory Williams, who was resurrected as a centurion and then spent ''two thousand years'' guarding the tomb of his fiance (River's mother), which earned him a place in myth as the Last Centurion]]. When he shows up at [[CardboardPrison the Stormcage]], River initially mistakes him for a guard dressed as a centurion, and notes that they normally don't listen to her suggestions.
* In ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow'', Drew enters into a MayDecemberRomance with a woman who reminds everyone ''else'' of Drew's mother while Drew himself is oblivious. Drew is thoroughly {{squick}}ed soon after it is pointed out to him.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' dates a woman who is the spitting image of his mother--Niles and Martin see it, but Frasier can't or won't. An old home movie eventually tips him off. It gets better: Frasier is a Freudian psychiatrist.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'' parodies this, where Rachel's father is visiting at the same time as her mother, and as the two hate each other, Rachel has to set them in separate rooms. When Ross tries to get Rachel's father's glasses, drink, and cigarettes, Rachel's mother notices, and advises Rachel see a psychiatrist as "you've chosen a boyfriend who is exactly like your father."
-->'''Chandler:''' Rachel, what is the deal with you and doctors, anyway? Is, like, your father a doctor?\\
'''Rachel:''' Yeah, why?
* In ''Series/FromDuskTillDawn'' Scott accuses Katie of this: the [[PreachersKid preacher’s daughter]] dating a guy who texts her Bible quotes as a way of flirting.
* In one episode of ''Series/GilmoreGirls'' Lorelai notes that Rory's current boyfriend Dean vaguely resembles Rory's father, Chris, and wonders if this means something (Chris is basically an absentee dad at this point). Sookie suggests this might just mean that Rory inherited Lorelai's tastes.
** Ironically, Dean is almost nothing like Chris, but similar to Luke, Rory's ''surrogate'' father and Lorelai's eventual fiancee.
** Rory's next boyfriend Jess is actually Luke's nephew and shares even more similarities with him than Dean did. So, Rory ended up with a miniature of her surrogate father/her mother's partner, and Lorelai with an older version of her ''daughter's'' boyfriend. The writers must love this trope.
** Ultimately it's boyfriend number 3, Logan, who bears a resemblance to Chris. Made even funnier when Chris instantly takes a liking to him and tells Rory he approves. Lorelai takes a bit longer to warm up.
** The revival [[spoiler: makes this trope explicit, with Rory following directly in Lorelai's footsteps; Logan playing the Christopher to Jess' implied role as Luke in Rory's future.]]
* It's spelled out explicitly in ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' season 2, with Claire and her creepy stalker guy. Particularly interesting example in that West is considered by Sandra to be personality-wise like Claire's adoptive father Noah, but his more obvious likeness (i.e., they can both fly) is to her biological father Nathan.
* ''Series/{{House}}'': Pointed out by House as the reason why Chase is attracted to a doctor he was responsible for hiring as part of House's diagnostics team, demonstrating this with a side-by-side photo projection which shows an uncanny physical resemblance between the woman and Chase's late mother.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'':
** Barney {{exploit|ed Trope}}s this in order to seduce women. He even tries picking a girl up by just walking up to her and saying, "Daddy's home."
** An episode is dedicated to this trope when Barney's brother expresses a dislike of his girlfriend Nora because she, in his opinion, reminds him too much of their mother. Later on in the episode, Ted, Robin, Marshall and Lily all realize that their dates and partners remind each of them of one of their parents and get [[{{Squick}} squicked out]]. Eventually Barney notices the similarities as well, but is okay with it because, as he reasons, his mom is awesome so if his girlfriend is the tiniest bit like her, he's a lucky guy. This helps everyone else get over it.
* Francis in ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' absolutely hates his mother, and ends up marrying a woman who had a very similar demeanor to her.
* ''Series/MillionYenWomen'': While the pair is only dating at the end of the series, the character who's the daughter of a famous author ends up with one of the writer characters.
* ''Series/ModernFamily'' has Haley become interested in the goofy, bumbling, sweetheart Real Estate agent Andy, who gets along swimmingly with her dad, Phil, his mentor. Seeing them interact together makes Haley come to the realization that they are shockingly similar, and it puts her off of the whole thing for a little while.
** In the episode "Someone to Watch Over Lily", Claire worries that her son Luke (who is worryingly like Phil) is incapable of functioning on his own. Phil tells her not to worry, because Luke will find a girl like Claire to balance him out. Basically {{invoke|dTrope}}ing this trope.
-->'''Phil''': You know why he's gonna be ok? Because somewhere out there is a worried little girl out there who's making lists and labeling bins, and he's gonna find her.
* ''Series/NewGirl'' has Jess's parents visit, and their dynamic and behavior greatly mirrors Nick and Jess's. Jess's father is grumpy, stubborn, and refuses to take left turns to the point where he'll take three rights to avoid them; a quirk of Nick's. Jess's mother is quirky, perky, and a school teacher.
* Reversed in ''Series/MyFamily'', where Susan sets her son Michael up with a girlfriend that is exactly like her and no one notices until the father Ben points this out, at which point Michael is completely disgusted with himself.
* Kate's two potential love interests on ''Series/{{Lost}}'' each remind her of one of her fathers. Jack represents the stand-up guy she thought was her father. Sawyer represents the rogue "stepfather" who turned out to be her biological father (whom she also killed).
* ''Series/TheNanny'': Mr Sheffield's stepmother, the secretary his father left his mother for, bears a lot of similarities to Fran. When they appear together they're even dressed the same.
* ''Series/OneLifeToLive'''s Viki Buchanan became attracted to Sloan Carpenter because of his resemblance--both physically and personality-wise--to her late father. This became seriously disturbing when it was learned that her father sexually abused her from when she was 7 until she was a young adult.
* On ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'', Ron has two bitchy ex-wives, both of whom are named Tammy:
-->'''Ron''': Yes, my mother's name is Tammy. What's your point?
* ''Series/PressGang'': Spike's mom is a copy of Linda, Spike's girlfriend, down to her being played by the same actress in a flashback.
* ''Series/{{Roseanne}}''
** D. J. briefly had a bossy girlfriend eerily reminiscent of his mother. It forced Roseanne to wonder if the way she treated Dan was having a negative effect on him (though of course, [[StatusQuoIsGod not much comes from it]]).
** In a first season episode, Dan and Roseanne have just learned that Becky's crush will be working at the bowling alley that they're going to. Leading to this exchange:
--->'''Dan:''' So, little Becky's got her first boyfriend, huh?\\
'''Roseanne:''' ''[excitedly]'' Oh, I wonder what this guy's like!\\
'''Dan:'' Come on Rosie, you know girls always go for guys that remind them of their fathers.\\
'''Roseanne:''' Not if they listen to their mothers!
** In another episode, Roseanne {{invoke|dTrope}}s this trope, yelling at Dan because she doesn't like her daughter Becky's boyfriend. When Dan asks why that's his fault, she responds that "girls always marry their fathers." This is portrayed as irrational, though it seems Dan and Roseanne's early romance was at least somewhat similar (Dan is described as having once been rather cool, in a rock band, etc.)
** And much later, Mark (the boyfriend, and eventual husband, mentioned above) and Dan bond over the fact that they ARE so similar, with several characters commenting on how similar they are. (David, Darlene's eventual husband [[DoubleInLawMarriage and Mark's brother]], does NOT follow this rule, being meek, book-smart and artistic.)
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'':
** Carla realizes she's exactly like "Mama Turk" and has a mini FreakOut as a result.
** Justified by Turk, who actually admits this is ''why'' he likes Carla (who immediately gets up before he makes sure to explain), with him saying that their similarities ("smart, independent, always looking out for you") are actually rather attractive traits in a person, regardless of being shared with a parent.
** Lady is able to overlook the Janitor's many, ''many'' eccentricities because she's attracted to his cleanliness. ([[NoodleIncident "You also look like my father, but that's a whole other set of issues."]])
** When JD first met Jordan, he asked Dr. Cox why he and Jordan got divorced.
-->'''Dr. Cox:''' You know the story. You marry a girl because she reminds you of your mother. Then you remember you hate your mother.
* {{Discussed|Trope}} in ''Series/SexAndTheCity''. Carrie wonders if her father walking out on them when she was 5 is the reason she has such problems with men, until Miranda assures her that she has the same problems and her dad was home every day at 7. That sounds like the writers {{def|iedTrope}}ying the [[NeverHeardThatOneBefore inevitable comments]] that the girls must have "daddy issues."
* ''Series/SonsOfAnarchy'': Discussed between Jax and his actual mother Gemma no less. When she sees him hooking up with the [[MissKitty female brothel manager]] of Diosa International (who is slightly older than most of the girls working in the place), Gemma refers to her as "Miss Mommy Fetish". Jax replies that if he actually had any hang-ups about [[EvilMatriarch Gemma]], he'd be attracted to a psycho dominatrix instead. Besides, NO WAY does he ever want to hear the words "mommy fetish" coming out of the mouth of his own mother.
* Briefly {{Discussed}} and {{Defied}} in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''--after bonding with the Dax symbiote, Ezri mentions that she broke up with her boyfriend because he reminded her too much of her son. Well, not ''her'' son, but the son of [[TheNthDoctor a previous Dax host]] whose memories she now possessed. Still a bit too weird for her.
* ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'':
** In one episode Charlie dates a real estate agent who dresses, acts, and belittles everyone exactly like his mother. She even has two sons who act exactly like the titular two brothers as kids.
** The father of Charlie's semi-stalker, Rose, is [[CastingGag played by Martin Sheen]].
* In ''Series/TheXFiles'', Scully once admitted to being turned on by men who reminded her of her father.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/TheLonelyIsland: Played for laughs in ''Motherlovers'': Since they both forgot to get a gift for their mothers on Mother's Day, they come up with the brilliant plan to both have sex with their best friends mother. Since they are like brothers to each other. [[IncestIsRelative And they obviously couldn't do it themselves]].
* The {{Chromeo}} song "Momma's Boy" is about a man who likes a woman because she looks like his mother. The woman also likes him because he looks like her father.
* Music/ThePolice song ''Mother'' from 1983's ''Synchronicity''.
* ''I Want A Girl'' by Will Dillon and Harry Tilzer from 1911, mentioned in Western Animation below for ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales''.
** "I want a girl, just like the girl, that married dear old Dad"
* Music/LadyGaga: the character in her song, Alejandro is mentioned as having a boyfriend who's "like her dad".
* In Music/HoneyWorks' song "Mama", the daughter of the title character would eventually marry a man who looks a lot like her father.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* In Literature/TheBible, Isaac has a PerfectlyArrangedMarriage with Rebecca shortly after Sarah's death; he gives her Sarah's old tent and she comforts him from his grieving. One Jewish tradition holds that certain miracles had occurred during Sarah's lifetime and only resumed after Rebecca showed up.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* ''Theatre/{{Company}}'': When Larry is explaining why he loves Joanne despite her snarkiness and abrasive behaviour, he mentions that his mother was a "very difficult woman", suggesting that this trope is in play.
* ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'': Part of Christine's attraction to The Phantom is that he reminds her of her father.
** And in [[Series/ThePhantomOfTheOpera the miniseries]], part of the reason he loves ''her'' is because she resembles his mother.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'', Laharl's ImpliedLoveInterest, Flonne, is stated to be very much like his dead mother.
* Implied in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' with Dorian and his ArrangedMarriage. He mentions that his parents hated each other, but went along with their own betrothal for the sake of appearances and preserving their positions. The one time Dorian mentions his betrothed, he heavily implies that the two of them were TooMuchAlike, which, combined with their IncompatibleOrientation, would have made them as miserable together as Dorian's parents were if Dorian hadn't left Tevinter.
* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', [[TheAce Cordelia]]'s daughter [[{{Tsundere}} Severa]] strongly desires to be as different from her as possible. In the third route of ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', Severa's {{Expy}} Selena [[spoiler:(actually Severa under a fake name)]] can not only potentially marry [[ThePerfectionist Subaki]], who is essentially Cordelia's SpearCounterpart, but their daughter Caeldori is an even bigger {{Expy}} of Cordelia than her father.
** ''Fates'' also has Odin and Laslow potentially marrying women who are like their mothers. To specify, Odin [[spoiler:(actually Owain)]] can marry Elise, whose bubbly personality matches his mother Lissa's, while Laslow [[spoiler:(actually Inigo)]] can marry Azura who is a skilled singer very much like Olivia.
* It's pretty much all but stated in the Oosawa manga and side materials that one of the reasons why Lord Arvis of Velthomer from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar'' married Deirdre was because of how much she looked like his mother Cigyun. And for worse? [[spoiler:Deirdre was the baby whose birth killed Cigyun. So yup, BrotherSisterIncest here too.]]
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'': Ashley is a fourth-generation MilitaryBrat (father, grandfather, great-grandmother) whose shown romantic interests are all fellow space marines. If she and Male-Shep are together in the third game, she mentions how much her dad would have liked him.
* In the ''VideoGame/StarFox'' comic by Benimaru Itoh, Fara Phoenix puts on Fox's mother Vixy's dress and suddenly bears an uncanny resemblance to Vixy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Used during the infamous Melna/Stonewater storyline of ''Webcomic/DominicDeegan'' strip, where Melna realizes that she's fallen for a man who raped her when she was a teenager to try and save her life ([[ItMakesSenseInContext long story]]) because he reminds her of her dead father.
* Parodied in a ''Webcomic/{{Subnormality}}'' comic which featured various mutations on spousal archetypes. The "spouse who resembles your opposite sex parent" is depicted as being paired with a womanchild / manchild (the women want an affectionate sugar daddy, the men want someone who manages their lives for them).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick:
** The "Top 10 Hottest Animated Guys," which were chosen by the fanbase, mostly consisted of various types of "[[AllGirlsWantBadBoys bad boys]]." The Chick concludes that all her viewers are just like her in that they're the children of alcoholics [[ICanChangeMyBeloved looking for someone to change]].
** {{Inverted|Trope}} in her "Franchise/{{Disney Princess}}es" review, where she suggests that the number of [[BumblingDad bumbling, emasculated fathers]] indicates the princesses were looking for manlier replacements in their husbands.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'', Hayley dates her father's CIA body double. The same episode implies that her insane anger issues stem from feeling like Stan never accepts her.
* {{Invoked}} on ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy:'' Chris dates a girl, Lindsay, who basically looks like someone stuck Lois' head on a teenager's body. It turns out that he's dating her for this exact reason--he figures that a.) he's the kind of guy who "only his mother could love," and b.) he's hoping to replicate [[ParentingTheHusband the kind of dysfunctional dynamic]] that Lois has with Peter.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'', the Beagle Boys sing a song about how they want a girl "Just like the girl that married dear old Dad!"
* DiscussedTrope in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', after Mom slaps her sons around and plots world domination. "Someday I want to marry a girl like her."
* Discussed in ''WesternAnimation/HomeMovies''. Brendan starts putting on weight, so Coach [=McGuirk=] tells him to go for the girls whose fathers were fat during their "impressionable years." [=McGuirk=] later on goes on a disastrous date with the school nurse, and one of the first questions he asked was if her father was fat. In another episode, he drunkenly tells his date "Y'know, I think it was Charles Darwin who said that men want to marry their mothers. So maybe that's why I like you, cause you remind me of my mother. Which is funny, because I hate my mother..."
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Principal Skinner muses, "I always thought I'd marry a girl like Mom... and didn't really want to."
* In ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug,'' Marinette (as Ladybug) and Adrien (in his civilian form) are looking at a picture of Adrien's MissingMom and comment in unison that the other has her eyes, then act embarrassed about it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* A lot of baby birds will upon hatching imprint on one of the first things they see. As adults, sometimes they go for their own kind, sometimes... they don't.
** The (nonfiction) book "When Elephants Weep" details the case of Tex, a whooping crane who was hand-raised and, when mature, rejected male cranes for "Caucasian men of average height with dark hair." Whooping cranes are so endangered that it was thought vital to get her into "breeding condition," at which point she could be successfully artificially inseminated. So the director of the International Crane Foundation, who met the necessary criteria, spent many weeks courting her. It worked, making this a case of InterspeciesRomance with emphasis on "romance" in the non-euphemistic sense of the word.
--->"My duties involved endless hours of 'just being there,' several minutes of dancing early in the morning and again in the evening, long walks in quest of earthworms, nest building, and defending our territory against humans."
** On a related note, putting whooping crane eggs [[SwitchedAtBirth into the nests of related sandhill cranes]] and letting the sandhills raise them results in whooping cranes who are attracted to sandhills. The resulting hybrids are not viable, though.
* This is very much TruthInTelevision, as psychologists have discovered. The idea is that when you are a child you grow up in a safe, loving environment that sets a template for the future. You look for people similar to your parents because they remind you of the safety you had as a child. [[FridgeBrilliance Perfectly logical]], and only minimally {{squick}}y. Your very existence is proof that your parents are a successful template to follow!\\\
Mixed with FridgeHorror when you realize that this could apply to people who were raised by AbusiveParents. Contrary to common depictions of AbusiveParents who are not nice, many abusive parents have a nice side. Their children will love them for their nice qualities, but most likely won't be able to filter the abusive aspects out of their template of a perfect mate. While less than one-fifth of people abused as children abuse their kids, ending up with someone who would abuse your kids as a romantic partner is depressingly common for people abused as children. So these people are made vulnerable to DomesticAbuse later on in life.
** UsefulNotes/SigmundFreud took this trope to its natural conclusion by claiming that, essentially, people [[OedipusComplex want to have sex with their mother]]. While it's not completely on the mark, he wasn't ''too'' far off.
* When Prince William announced his engagement to Kate Middleton, the British newspapers, with almost disturbing eagerness, began drawing parallels between her and Diana.
[[/folder]]
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