"It's funny. Every crook I meet wants to tell me how much I'm just like them."
Two characters who seem radically different turn out to have more in common than they would like to believe.
This is usually the resolution of an Enemy Mine
or Locked in a Freezer
plot: two enemies learn that there is more that unites them
than divides them. The punch line to about 50% of plots in an Odd Couple
or Odd Friendship
On the darker side, this can lead to the realization that our hero is really just a hair's breadth away from villainy. In these cases, it's almost always the villain
who is the first to notice: our hero has him cornered and even seems to relish
the prospect of finally ridding himself of his nemesis, and the villain deftly points out, "We're not so different after all." The hero realizes how close he is to crossing the line, and spares the villain
(though every once in a great while, he'll decide that it's worth crossing the line, off the villain anyway, and then have several episodes of moral anguish over the darkness in his soul: see Shoot the Dog
). Especially common when the villain is the hero's Evil Counterpart
Also a bad thing when the bad guy points it out after the hero has bested him through questionable tactics. Often followed by the hero's hysterical protests along the lines of, "I'm not like you! I'll never be like you!" Occasionally followed by the hero's observation that they are different, because of some other aspect that the opponent overlooked or intentionally ignored. However, the hero sometimes has some snappier comeback, like "You noticed?" or "That's why I can beat you," and worries about the differences later - or a comment that the dog that protects the flock is a very close relative of the wolf that ravages it. Then again, a simple "shut up
" can work wonders. Another common rebuttal is for the hero to acknowledge that they share some similarities, but are sufficiently different where it counts
; not all similarities are equal.
When the villain who believes this also believes that the hero denies it because he is a Slave to PR
, he often sets up What You Are in the Dark
to get the hero to act like it. The failure rate for this approach is...high.
Heroes sometimes use this to confront a Well-Intentioned Extremist
or a Knight Templar
as to call them out.
Being compared to their enemy will often trigger their Berserk Button
. For the trope's opposite, see Not So Similar
- Jimmy Jacobs has repeatedly tried to pull this on Jon Moxley. This once lead to the two being chained together in Insanity Pro Wrestling, for a dog collar match after Jacobs cost Moxley the promotion's top championship and said that when he looked at Moxley he stared at himself in a mirror.
- Raven, after deciding that he was insane while in TNA and could not be cured, decided that Abyss was the same way and to make Abyss admit it.
- Bray Wyatt said this to Dean Ambrose on the 10/27/14 episode of WWE Raw. Wyatt said that looking at Ambrose was like seeing "a deranged reflection" of himself.