[[quoteright:330:[[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/evilkinsmall_3191.gif]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:[-[[TabletopGame/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 [[ReiAyanamiExpy 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. In fact, often the reason for this happening in the first place is that the original character is [[EnsembleDarkhorse just that popular]].

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 ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' fanfic ''Remake'', one of [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Cloud]]'s personality problems is that (due to the FollowTheLeader ''VII'' ripoffs of the 90s) he assumes other video game protagonists are ripoffs of him, even when they're pretty different. He makes a withering comment about [[VideoGame/FireEmblem Ike]], followed by an argument with him, about this; and then accuses VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}} of it, which causes her to point out that it's not like he's completely original himself.

* 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'' has Drizzt Do'Urden, the ChaoticGood [[DualWielding dual-scimitar-wielding]] [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Drow elf]] ranger of the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' setting of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. This trope [[Administrivia/RenamedTropes used to be called]] Drizzt Syndrome because it's a long joke for fans that some players like to play thinly veiled copies of him.
* This is explicitly lampshaded on page 12 of the 3.5 Edition supplemental rulebook Dungeon Master's Guide II:
--> Often a player’s favorite role is [[CaptainErsatz a version of a classic character from fiction, comics, TV, or the movies]]. If you’ve been playing for long, you have doubtless already run into your share of [[{{Expy}} suspiciously familiar]] [[{{Literature/TheLordOfTheRings}} white wizards]], [[{{Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian}} sinewy]] [[{{Film/ConanTheBarbarian1982}} barbarians]], or [[{{Literature/TheElricSaga}} pale-complexioned fighter-sorcerers]][....] Drizzt Do’Urden [...] has spawned a legion of PC drow characters over the years.
** 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 Drizzt."
** 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.
** A RunningGag among players of D&D is that the Drow are an AlwaysChaoticEvil race populated by nothing but ChaoticGood individuals, due to the absurd number of players who make Drizzt Clones.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Rather humorously [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in ''VideoGame/BaldursGate 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 -- [[DevelopersForesight 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 original game and imported the character), when you finally meet he eventually says, "Wait... I recognize that sword..." and attacks you.
* ''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.
* Referenced in ''VideoGame/FateGrandOrder'' with the large number of clones of [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight Saber]]/Artoria Pendragon, who besides having variants of the original (and one ''literal'' clone in Mordred) also has several unrelated characters who have the same face. Said characters have a hidden attribute called "Saberface" that causes some enemies to react differently to them. Then there's Mysterious Heroine X, who is [[ImplausibleDeniability definitely not Artoria hunting down her clones]].
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' has Kefka complain that Sephiroth, one of many later ''FF'' villains heavily inspired by him, is "just another sadist with a god complex... Like that's something special!"
** ''VideoGame/MobiusFinalFantasy'' has several jokes pointing out Wol's clear inspiration from Creator/KazushigeNojima's previous ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' protagonists:
*** Gilgamesh rattles off details of the "Warriors of Light" from several other worlds ("not to mention side-stories"), before pointing out that Wol reminds him of several of them already. Wol, a moody, DeadpanSnarker amnesiac swordsman who secretly has a kind heart and has to slowly learn to show it, [[IResembleThatRemark suggests]] Gilgamesh should [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII go and talk to a wall or something]] because he's [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII not interested]].
*** Wol eventually gets to meet Cloud and they end up getting on pretty well. Later, Echo suggests that Cloud and Wol are so spookily alike, it's like they're brothers or something. By their next encounter, they're so in sync that they're able to finish off each others' sentences.
* VideoGame/GemsOfWar has dark elves, and several of them have descriptions which lampshade their resemblance to Drizzt.
* Intentionally [[AvertedTrope averted]] in ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' games; player tags of "I17", "117", "S117", and the like are not allowed to be used.
* In ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'', Zangief complains about the overabundance of [[{{Shotoclone}} Fireballs.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** A Drizzt {{Expy}}, aptly named Zz'dtri, shows up 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 "standard issue", presumably meaning for 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 Drizzt]] and went back to secretly work for Nale.]]
** In ''Invaders From the Fourth Dimension'', a bonus story appearing in ''Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales'', Belkar makes the rather bold claim that the 4th Edition ranger is based on Overused Copycat Characters of ''himself''.
* ''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]].
* An ''accidental'' case of this occurs in ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup''. Cale, full name [[FantasticNamingConvention Cale'anon Vatay]], is an Elf, has a black panther named Sooba who seems to magically appear out of nowhere when called, is obviously a dual-wielding Ranger, and is Good (albeit StupidGood) while the rest of his race is (ostensibly) AlwaysChaoticEvil. Sohmer, the comic's writer, had ''never'' read even one ''Forgotten Realms'' book in his life (instead basing Cale on the Hunter class and Blood Elf race from ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''), and wondered who the hell this "Drizz't Do'urden" guy was that everyone kept saying Cale was a brilliant parody of. Since learning about Drizz't, he's happily accepted the similarities and doesn't mind at all if people see Cale as a deconstruction or parody of Drizz't in the slightest, even actually playing it up from time to time.


[[folder:Web Original]]
* This phenomenon became so prevalent in the ''Roleplay/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 ''Franchise/{{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.
* ''[[Website/GOGDotCom GOG.com]]'' pokes fun at the phenomenon. In one screenshot for ''[[Videogame/EyeOfTheBeholder Eye Of The Beholder 2]]'' ([[https://www.gog.com/game/forgotten_realms_the_archives_collection_one 7th from the left]]) an elven magician is named "NOT DRIZZT".