[[quoteright:330:[[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/evilkinsmall_3191.gif]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:[-[[ForgottenRealms Drizzt]]: Just admit that's who you're actually playing.-] ]]

->''"I am the result of Creator/HideakiAnno failing to make my character unsettling, and instead my very archetype was copied repeatedly."''
-->-- '''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Rei Ayanami]]''', ''WebVideo/EvangelionAbridged''

Basically, when a character has been [[CaptainErsatz copied]] enough times, that works start making jokes about how often the character is copied.

Let's say Bob the Slayer is the BreakoutCharacter in a hit film. Then just about every similar movie uses characters like Bob The Slayer, and then all the comics, and all video games, and even original characters made by gamers playing games with CharacterCustomization. '''This trope comes into play when a work mocks about how Bob the Slayer always shows up.'''

It could be that a work has a joke about how every hero in the realm is now a copy of Bob the Slayer. Or it could be that everyone is going as Bob the Slayer for Halloween. Or there could be a CounterpartComparison between Bob and his copies. Or Alice is writing a show, and when strapped for characters, she gets lazy and writes a copy of Bob The Slayer.

Now of course this isn't saying the original character is bad. It's merely mocking when other people are really unoriginal with their characters.

A SubTrope of FountainOfExpies.

Compare CaptainErsatz, {{Expy}}, CopyCatSue, FollowTheLeader, SerialNumbersFiledOff.

Contrast PublicDomainCharacter, HistoricalDomainCharacter.



[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/{{Wolverine}}
** He got enough imitators in Creator/ImageComics, when it first started, for magazines such as WizardMagazine to joke about it.
** Wolverine has been copied so many times in Marvel Comics themselves (though since they own the character, they can make them different versions of Wolverine instead of [[{{Expy}} expies]]) that they've parodied it at least twice:
*** In an issue of ''ComicBook/{{Excalibur}}'', the team travels to a dimension that's basically the Marvel Universe with the craziness turned up to 11, and at one point see a line of different versions of Wolverine practicing his catch phrase while waiting to audition to be the "real" Wolverine.
*** Later, in an issue of ''ComicBook/{{Exiles}}'', a book about a rotating cast of characters from different dimensions being assembled to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong throughout TheMultiverse, the only information available about a particular "what went wrong" is that only Wolverine could solve it, so an entire team is assembled consisting of different versions of Wolverine. During the mission, they discover that they are not even the first such team, and encounter the remains of dozens of other versions of Wolverine from teams that failed.
* Creator/PhilFoglio mocks the TrenchcoatBrigade in ''ComicBook/StanleyAndHisMonster'', by having the latest [[ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}} John Constantine]] expy claim it's like an assembly line.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Parodied in one chapter of the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' fanfic ''Fanfic/ThoseLackingSpines'', where the "heroes" fight a guy named "Jeffiroth", with the implication that he is to be the first of many similar {{Copycat Sue}}s.

* In the [[http://somehedgehog.livejournal.com/245807.html blog post]] ''Adventuring Party Politics: The Campaign is Getting Ugly,'' apparently [=McCain=] rips off [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings Aragorn]]:
-->'''Obama:''' Well, maybe some people got tired of the grim and squinty "Matterhorn, son of Marathon" shtick you keep doing. Dude, could you be any less original?
* In one of the ''Literature/ThursdayNext'' books it's revealed that a large group of "generics" (fictional characters that haven't developed any character yet) were being stored in ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing'', and they all imprinted on T.H. White's version of Merlin. Eventually, they were relocated to [[EccentricMentor every fantasy novel ever]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* [[Literature/TheDarkElfTrilogy Drizzt Do'Urden]], the ChaoticGood [[DualWielding dual-scimitar-wielding]] [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Drow elf]] ranger of the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' setting of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. This trope used to be called DrizztSyndrome because it's a long joke for fans that some players like to play thinly veiled copies of him.
** Icing on the cake? Even ''Salvatore himself'' reacted on this trend by saying he "[[http://ww2.wizards.com/books/mirrorstone/Article.aspx?doc=fr_delveintothedrow fears for the integrity of the evil drow race as antagonist]]". Talk about FanDumb... Wizards does a brilliant lampshading of this in an advertisement of his book series -- the ad is set out like a 4th Edition power card, and the "additional effects" bar says, "You'll probably want to make a character named Drizz't."
** Paizo, creators of ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'', actually has stated that one of the goals of the Second Darkness adventure path and their portrayal of the drow in general was to redeem the drow in the eyes of players. And by redeem, they meant recast them as a menacing, terrifying, demon-worshiping race willing to exterminate the surface dwellers for their own benefit.
** An additional source of FanDumb comes from players who react to Driz'zt's overwhelming popularity by hating the character and by extension the drow or Salvatore.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry''[='=]s Dante and his "stylish" swordsmen ilk: cool, confident badass swordsmen who cuts down shit while keeping the laundry bill small doing it.
* Rather humorously [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in ''[[VideoGame/BaldursGate Baldur's Gate II]]'', where your party will eventually run into Drizzt himself. Generally, you can use the opportunity to either ask for his aid on your assault on a vampire compound or just murder him and his party for their awesome gear. If you're playing an elf named Drizzt and have a low enough [[KarmaMeter reputation]], however, you never get the chance -- [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything he'll simply challenge you to a duel for the honor of his name]]. If you use a Cheat Code to give yourself Drizzt's equipment at the start of the game (or if you obtained it in the prequel and imported the character), when you finally meet he eventually says, "Wait... I recognize that sword..." and attacks you as a thief.
* In ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'', Zangief complains about the overabundance of [[{{Shotoclone}} Fireballs.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* A Drizzt {{Expy}}, aptly named Zz'dtri, shows up in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' as a member of the Linear Guild. Vaarsuvius points this out during a battle, and lawyers drag the copycat off screen. Nale earlier [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0044.html claims]] that now ''all'' Drow became ChaoticGood rebels, "[[MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch yearning to throw off the reputation of their evil kin]]". ("Wait, evil kin? Didn't you just say they were [[FlockOfWolves all Chaotic Good]]?" "Details.") Zz'dtri also claims that [[DualWielding dual-wielded]] scimitars are a racial trait of all drow. It's also subverted, since he actually ''does'' turn out to be a [[AlwaysChaoticEvil normal drow]]. [[spoiler:Of course, Zz'dtri later got off scot-free by [[ParodyRetcon declaring himself a parody of Drizz't]] and went back to secretly work for Nale.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' [[http://www.goblinscomic.com/07102005 also skewers]] [[http://www.goblinscomic.com/07112005/ the idea]] of every drow character being a Drizzt clone, gleefully, with three joining the PC party at the very beginning, including [[YouWannaGetSued Drasst Don'tsue]], Drizzt's half-brother.
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' also has an evil dual-wielding drow ranger called Drizz'l, though he moved away from this after his first appearance.
* In ''Webcomic/KnightsOfBuenaVista'', Dick is told to tweak his PlayerCharacter when Walter catches on that he's trying to play [[Franchise/StarWars Han Solo]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* This phenomenon became so prevalent in the ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' that the various game masters would issue a moratorium on certain character concepts. Almost always, the sudden rush of copycat characters would be in result to outside stimuli. For example, when ''[[Film/X2XMenUnited X-Men 2]]'' came out, there was a sudden rush of teleporting martial artist characters. When ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' was released, there was a sudden flood of [[RubberMan stretchable characters]], and so on.
* [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]] ridicules the overuse of the humorless, hard-ass SpaceMarine archetype for FirstPersonShooter protagonists. While Master Chief of ''VideoGame/{{Halo}}'' isn't the ''direct'' source from which the character type is derived, he is held out as the most obvious and recognizable example of the archetype. Seems like ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' is the earliest example of the SpaceMarine variety, while ''VideoGame/{{Wolfenstein3D}}'' is the earliest example of the hurmorless hardass marine archetype.
* "Clichequest", the MMORPG in ''Franchise/TheNoob'', has several dozen players named various variations of the different members of the fellowship. At one point, we see Elfboro, where almost everyone is named Legolas one way or the other ("Oh, you're looking for Leg0las"). Even the IdiotHero tried to name his character "Aragorn" in the first strip.