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Send in the Clones
The best thing about being me, there's so many of me!
Jay: Oh my God, if there's, like, ten Milla Jovoviches in the next movie, that would be amazing.
Mike: I can't wait!
Half in the Bag, reviews Resident Evil film series

When a character is popular, he might reappear in the sequel. When a character is very popular, a whole army of him might show in the sequel. Like the Distaff Counterpart, but without the sex requirement and in large scale. Commonly used to give the character an ensemble cast if they're to star in their own series.

They don't actually need to be clones. Perhaps a group of characters that is functionally exactly, or at least very much like the original shows up. If they were the Last of His Kind, well, There Is Another (in this case, many others). Or maybe they just gain duplication powers. Or hey, maybe they did simply get cloned. In some cases they might simply be similar to the original. In other cases the only difference may be color, if the artists are really, really lazy.

The Evil Twin is not an example of this per se, but it often leads to this just like the Distaff Counterpart might, because the writers may wish to kick things up another notch and make a whole army of evil twins.

A note: The name of this trope is a pun on "Send in the Clowns", a song by Stephen Sondheim from the 1973 musical A Little Night Music. Appropriately, the pun has been used so often in various contexts that it's more popular than the song itself. Compare with The Chosen Many.

Not to be confused with Follow the Leader, which is when the industry Sends in Clones of a popular work. Does not necessarily have to do with Cloning Blues or its subtropes.

Also, while this trope name is used in Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me (Frau Farbissina yells "Send in the CLOOOOONE!" when Mini-Me is revealed), that is not an example of this trope, since it only covers one copy.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime 
  • Seto Kaiba has 3 counterparts in Kaiser Ryo, Manjyome and Edo Phoenix on Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Looks like the Powers That Be agreed with LittleKuriboh, at least on the point that Kaiba is the only reason people watch Yu-Gi-Oh!.
  • The manga GUNNM (Battle Angel Alita) has its titular character's current chassis duplicated (complete with more 'reliable' Artificial Intelligences) by the shady agency that supervises her around the end of the comic. In the sequel Battle Angel Alita: Last Order three 'clones' survive to be regular characters. One of them, Sechs, rebuilt herself into a Spear Counterpart of Alita; while the other two (Elf and Zwölf) went for the Elegant Gothic Lolita Genki Girl Creepy Twins thing.
    • The series iconic Mad Scientistnote  Desty Nova explodes in number in the Last Order, with all flavors and variations imaginable. It goes from the portable virtual reality Nova Pod through somewhat more mundane Nova X and Nova the Flan-Cook to the uber-evil Funny Afro Super Nova, who are definitely NOT adverse to duking it out between them too.
  • The last (unaired) episode of Excel♥Saga features Nabeshin fighting the remaining ACROSS Five, all of whom look exactly like That Man, except for tie colors.
  • After GOTT Headquarters gets blown up and Eclipse is supposedly killed at the end of episode 15 of Kiddy Grade, the organization is reborn as an army, with a host of mask-wearing Eclair and Lumiere lookalikes. Eclair and Lumiere themselves also appear to be the leaders of the new GOTT but those two are really Alv and Dvergr in disguise, who managed to copy their physical appearance, but not their voices. The real, new-look "Clairie" and "Lumie" (as Viola calls them) show up to spoil their press conference.
  • The Alternate Universe CLAMP character counterparts in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle fit the trope, featuring popular characters from their past series. It's more prevalent in the anime which features six different versions of Toya and Yukito and almost as many of Sorata and Arashi. Fei Wang Reed's clones aren't an example but he does send a lot of them out.
  • In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, the Tachikomas are reproduced along with their loveable AI, rounding out the status quo to wrap up the season.
    • Justified, since they can simply be backed up at any time, and reuploaded to new bodies.
  • It's implied in the anime version of Dance in the Vampire Bund that Mina is this, being the only breedable True Blood female vampire in existence.
  • Misaka Mikoto takes this Up to Eleven. Actual army of clones, another loli-clone, yet another clone who is the first, original clone and an upgraded clone army., plus a similar-looking mom, if that counts. Because getting her own Spin-Off manga wasn't enough for her fans, it seems.
  • Dragon Ball Z: After Cooler's defeat in Movie 5, the last remaining scrap of him is found and assimilated by the "Big Gete Star" in Movie 6. He builds a remote-controlled, self-repairing new body that Goku and Vegeta have to work together to defeat...and a few hundred or so more for when they think they've won.
  • In a Slayers Book Of Spells episode concerning chimeras and copies (magical clones), Naga the White Serpent was cloned ten times. Cue eleven Nagas performing her signature Noblewoman's Laugh.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel's Exiles featured a storyline where an entire group of alternate reality Wolverines has to battle an army of alternate reality Wolverines led by a near omnipotent alternate reality Wolverine. The group we see get recruited is the sixth or so assembled team, though; so far, the evil Wolverine has been enslaving the Wolvies sent after him.
    • The Crowning Moment of Funny for that comic has to be the latest group of Wolverines in a building, when suddenly they hear an approaching sound - a chorus of hundreds of "Bub!"s.
    • Nightcrawler also had a limited series where he visited a dimension ruled by a species with a Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism — all the females were his Opposite Sex Clones and all the males were diminutive Chibis.
  • Similarly, a 1990's Superboy story involved an evil alternate universe Superboy trying to conquer parallel worlds with an army of Doomsdays he had gathered from across the multiverse. (This was when DC first tried to bring back the multiverse with a concept called Hypertime. Hypertime proved unpopular and the writers abandoned it, so this story may now be a Canon Discontinuity.)
  • Calvin and Hobbes had a storyline where Calvin builds a duplicator with the intention of having his clone do his chores for him. He is surprised to find out that his clone, and the subsequent clones he makes, are each as much of a jerk as he is.
    • A similar ploy to travel back in time and get earlier versions of himself to do his homework also ends in failure.
      • In a later storyline, Calvin modified the duplicator so the clone would only be of his good side (in Calvin's words, "a total sap" who lives to make everyone's life easier). Unfortunately, the clone liked Susie far too much for the original Calvin's liking, and spontaneously disappears in the ensuing fight due to the "moral compromise spectral release phantasmatron" reverting the good clone back to an abstraction. According to Hobbes, Calvin might be the only person whose good side is prone to acting bad. On the other hand, being incorporeal also made it easier for the real Calvin to ignore him.
  • Valerian: Valerian was cloned into dozens of short-lived copies in preparation for a particularly dangerous mission. Most of them were expended in one go when the mission manager dressed them up as German soldiers, and sent them to battle in a live-action reenactment of a WW1 trench charge.
  • Marvel's new poster boy, Deadpool, has recently been joined by Headpool, Lady Deadpool, Kid Deadpool and Deadpool Dog in the series Deadpool Corps. Thing is, it's meant to be funny, so that's okay.
  • The Authority opens with the evil mastermind mass producing thousands of Superman clones for terrorist attacks.
  • Done in the absolutely most idiotic way possible throughout Spider-Man's infamous Clone Saga. Ben Reilly was one good clone. Other than that, the Jackal spent the entire Saga siccing Peter Parker clones on Spider-Man to dick with him and make his life hell for moronic reasons that were immediately retconned into nonsensicality. Hit the peak of absurdity in the breakneck, Four Lines, All Waiting Maximum Clonage, which involved a multi-sided battle involving just about every clone of Peter Parker in existence, plus a Gwen Stacy clone, plus the Jackal, who was a clone. There's no surprise why a reviewer once dubbed Maximum Clonage "Night Of A Million Jillion Spider-Clones.
  • Ever since Captain Marvel established the precedent back in the Golden Age, truly iconic superheroes have tended to accrue "families" of similarly-themed heroes. The Marvel family had Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel Junior, Uncle Marvel, the Lieutenant Marvels, and Mr. Tawky Tawny. Superman has Supergirl, Superboy, and Krypto (and Beppo and Comet, back in the Silver Age). Batman has all the Robins and Batgirls, as well as Alfred. Thor at one point commanded a team of expies called the Godpack, as well as having expies in Beta Ray Bill, Thunderstrike, Thor Girl, and Red Norvell. The Hulk has recently accrued a large family, with She-Hulk, A-Bomb, Red Hulk, Red She-Hulk, Skaar, and Lyra. Spider-Man is odd in having had about a half dozen unrelated distaff counterparts, but they've never formed an actual team, except briefly.

    Fanfic 
  • In the StarCraft / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic crossover The Koprulu Sector the Dominion uses cloning to fuel their rapid population growth. Since the DNA has to be taken from foals it's not uncommon for parents to sell their kids' genomes. Jet Stream for instance is a clone of Scootaloo, and the side story Born of Sin reveals that Scoots is actually a clone herself, the original Scootaloo was a stillborn colt and she was part of the parents' compensation for allowing a Super Soldier project to use their child's genes to produce an army.

    Film 
  • Boba/Jango/Everyone Fett from Star Wars. Indeed, the Clones and by extension the early Stormtroopers are all clones of Jango Fett. Considering Boba's reputation amongst fans, this is pretty much the defining example of non-sexual Fanservice.
  • Agent Smith from The Matrix. Blown up by Neo at the end of the first movie, then comes back as The Virus and spends the next two turning the entire population of the Matrix into copies of himself.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End features a scene worthy of Herman's Head where dozens of Jack Sparrows face off for control in the real Jack's mind.
  • The whole plot of the The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie.
  • Alice in Resident Evil: Extinction.
  • Averted/Subverted in Judge Dredd in that Armand Assante is a clone of Sylvester Stallone, but doesn't actually look that much like him. He further delivers the trope name as a line, and said clones look nothing like either of them, to the point that probably the only reason they're referred to as 'clones' is so that this line can be shoehorned into the script. The comics averted it in a better way, all the Eustace Fargo clones (Dredd, Rico, etc.) look the same but all wear different mast and outfit, or are badly disfigured, as in Rico's case who was heavy cyberized.
  • Comedically done with Rufus (the naked mole rat) in the first Kim Possible movie, A Sitch in Time.
  • Toy Story 2 introduced a second Buzz Lightyear action figure, to recreate the "toy who doesn't realize he's a toy" humor of the first movie and highlight how much the first Buzz has grown.
  • The ending to the first Futurama movie, "Bender's Big Score" features an army of time-duplicated Benders (with collected loot), who promptly explode out of sheer Temporal Paradox.

    Literature 
  • Frank Herbert's Dune books: Duncan Idaho. In a series that spans ten thousand years, Duncan Idaho is the only character to survive all six books, even though he dies in the first.
  • Nicholas, Edward, and Alec in The Company Novels are clones that got individually dumped in different time periods. Their individual upbringings are what cause the differences in their personalities.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Baron Fel was introduced as the Empire's best pilot since Vader died. He compared himself to Luke Skywalker, and not entirely without cause - both of them were farmboys who loved to fly, both of them found unexpected familiar ties to the other side. When the Rogue Squadron comics ended, Timothy Zahn took the character in the Hand of Thrawn duology and had clones of Fel stationed on various Imperial-held worlds. They turned out to be good guys.
  • In Pyramids, a Discworld tomb-designer's two sons (Ptaclusp IIa and Ptaclusp IIb, which could be foreshadowing) take advantage of the time-loops that form around the Great Pyramid when it's under construction. Before the week is out, both the brothers and the hired laborers have looped themselves so many times that a painter claims he's owed two years' pay for Tuesday, and a mason beats himself up for sleeping with his wife.
  • In the "Clone series" (Clone Republic, Rouge Clone, Clone Alliance, Clone Elite, and Clone Betrayal) all the enlisted men in every branch of the military are clones, and very disposable ones at that. The only strategy that the military (namely the marines, seeing as that is the perspective) really have is (you guessed it) sending in the clones.

    Live Action TV 
  • System Lord Ba'al in Stargate SG-1 builds a small army and virtually immunizes himself from being Killed Off for Real by creating several dozen clones of himself (technically) his host body, complete with cloned Goa'uld symbionts inside, who all carry the same Genetic Memory and skills as the original (they're therefore more like officers than standard mooks). Surprisingly, despite the Goa'uld species' inherently backstabbing nature, the Ba'als cooperate extremely well until the series finale, where Ba'al kills them all after upgrading himself by possessing superpowered Dark Messiah Adria. See Stargate Continuum for the final (?) chapter of the Ba'al story.
    • The clones kept referring to each other and to the original as "brothers", and had no problem with sacrificing themselves to allow a clone brother to carry out a task or escape, hinting that they saw each other as interchangeable because they were literally the same person with dozens of bodies.
  • From The Middleman:
    El Maestro de Ceremonies: Sensei Ping! You have selected your champion. Now meet your opponent. The one, the only, the dread Cien Mascaras!
    The Middleman: What's the matter? I can take him. Cien Mascaras means a hundred masks. It's just one guy with a hundred masks, right?
    Sensei Ping: He was. Until he was cursed by an Aztec mummy. Now he is one hundred identical men who must all wear the same mask.
    The Middleman: Oh, phooey.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The End of Time, Part 1", every human being in existence (except Wilf and Donna) becomes a clone of the Master, thanks to Imported Alien Phlebotinum. It's eventually revealed that this is part of a Gambit Roulette by the Gallifreyan government to bring the Time Lords back into existence.
    • An interesting variation was used on this back in 2005. The Daleks, being the most popular villain of the original series, had not been seen for almost 17 years due to the original series being cancelled. For their return to the screen (which would possibly be the first time some children had ever seen them) in "Dalek", there is only one Dalek which is believed to be the last one in existence. In the series finale, the Doctor encounters an army of half a million.
  • The Eureka episode "Primal" has an army of Nathan Starks, which is actually an army of nanobots.
  • A comical example occurs in an season five episode of The Muppet Show. Butt Monkey Assistant Beaker accidentally blinds himself on a "copy" machine and gets sucked inside it. When Dr. Bunsen Honeydew later turns it on, out pop at least eight "copies" of Beaker. After delivering the obvious pun of telling Beaker "you're beside yourself," he calls for help and runs off, with the Beakers chasing him. The gag runs on for the rest of the show, ending with a Crowning Moment of Funny in the closing credits. The Beaker clones take over the closing.
  • In the final episode of MST3K, when Mike and the bots are packing for their return to Earth, Tom Servo discovers that he's created 517 duplicates of himself over the years. Unfortunately, each one seems to think it is the original.
    Crow: That's far too much you. You should be limited to one, or less.
  • In Dark Angel many of the X-5s have several clones, in the first season finale Max destroyed the stockpile of embryos so more wouldn't be born. When she was recaptured they tried breeding her the old fashioned way.

    Radio 

    Video Games 
  • The rainbow ninjas of Mortal Kombat.
  • Champions Online has an entire instance dedicated to this trope: Teleios' Tower. Home of a mad scientist who fancies himself the ultimate human in the world, the tower is completely filled with clones of himself of various qualities and alterations. They've even formed a functioning society, and the clones get regular "patches" to their genetic code, for stuff like stronger knees and more taste buds.
  • Armored Core: Nine Breaker apparently ends with a swarm of Humongous Mecha modeled after 9-Ball, the original game's villain.
    • It fakes out the player with a fight with nine ball, then a fight with two nine balls at once, then a advanced nine ball in a Transforming Mecha. How did they send in so many Clones? A.I. Is a Crapshoot and Nine Ball was copyed off the most deadly raven up to that time (Implyed to be the player from the first game) to enforce the AI's will.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2 pits you against 12 upgrades of the original singular Metal Gear. At the same time. Inside another gigantic Metal Gear.
    • But not as awesome as when it all comes down to you with a rocket launcher against an army of Metal Gears.
    • Metal Gear Solid is also built on an in-universe example of sorts; both the protagonist and antagonist are clones of the legendary soldier Big Boss.
  • In the canonical ending of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed the protagonist dies at the end. The Sequel brings him back via cloning and flash-imprinting the memories of the original. Except he turns out mentally unstable and Darth Vader reveals that many more failed attempts have come before him only to meet their end. The clone escapes and later during return to the cloning factory finds hundreds more copies of himself, whom he is forced to slaughter.
  • Early on in Knights of the Old Republic II, the hero encounters a silver version of HK-47, the wise-cracking misanthropic robot hitman from the first game (and it is quickly revealed there are more). The genuine article shows up later, and once he's restored to full working condition, an investigation into where all the knock-offs (the HK-50s) came from ensues. A major mission cut from the final game involved going to the HK-50 factory to find out the truth behind the whole ordeal.
  • The various Kyo clones from the NESTS saga of The King of Fighters.
  • In Freedom Force, this is the superpower of the supervillain Deja Vu, as well as the Japanese general Rising Sun in the Freedom Force vs the Third Reich expansion pack.
  • The Soul Series loves its clones; most secret characters borrow almost all of their moves from another fighter. For instance, in his first appearance, Hwang played almost exactly like Mitsurugi, with some of Seung Mina's moves thrown in. In the second game, he no longer played like Mitsurugi. Divergent Character Evolution? No, now he played like Xianghua, again with some of Mina's moves. Other copycats (when used as secret characters) include Rock (Astaroth), Mina herself (Kilik), Lizardman (Sophitia) and Siegfried (Nightmare, although only in the first Soul Calibur).
    • Not really true. Hwang played like Mitsurugi in the Korean arcade version of Soul Edge, in which he was a replacement for him with the same moves (as later happened with Arthur). This was due to samurai being banned in Korea. However for the home version his moves are more unique. Now Yunsung is the real clone from SC 2 onwards, and Assassin who technically doesn't count. Maxi is an obvious replacement for Li Long but is somewhat different.
  • The secret characters in Resident Evil Outbreak draw their animations and voice samples from the eight "main" characters, although their various statistics don't always equally match up to their inspirations.
  • At the end of Hitman Codename 47, 47, who is a clone himself, has to kill a pack of other upgraded clones before taking out their creator.
  • Hope you like Genesis in Crisis Core. Because Zack will be fighting him A LOT. There is masked mook Genesis clones, normal Genesis clones, white haired Genesis clones, clown like Genesis clones... the list just goes on.
  • In Kingdom Hearts 3D, it turns out that Xehanort's plan revolves around this, his Nobody first assembling 12 other Nobodies to implant pieces of his Heart into them to create the 13 darknesses needed to recreate the X-Blade. Then, when in turns out that only two members were eligible for that (Saix and Xigbar), he instead had his Heartless counterpart Ansem go back in time to send his Younger self to assemble all versions of himself throughout time, effectively making most, if not almost all of the 13 darknesses being an incarnation of Xehanort, with his plot in the game being to turn Sora into one of them

    Web Comics 
  • This was probably planned well before the character first appeared in the strip, but Schlock Mercenary's Gav—a blue-haired physicist who cryogenically froze himself in the 21st Century to find out what the future would be like—saves his life (sort of) by cloning several million of himself just before the original gets killed. One of the major human demographics in the setting is now blue-haired physicists from the 21st Century.
  • In the Narbonic story "Professor Madblood and the Doppelganger Gambit", Madblood's moon base has biometric security which mean that the only way Dave can infiltrate it is to transform himself into a copy of Madblood. Naturally, when he reaches the base, he discovers that it's full of battle-robot duplicates of Madblood.
  • In the "Army of One" chapter, we find out that the eponymous Doctor of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja had himself cloned during college, so that each clone could go out and spend 8 years learning a different medical or scientific discipline. Then, they would get recombined so that the "real" Doctor would possess all the accumulated skills and knowledge. It actually works, but due to the intervention of a time traveller, at least one of the clones misses the appointment. Appropriately, this clone gets captured in the present by Sky Pirates and must be rescued. Knowing the author, this potential Chekhov's Gun is likely to be mined for endless hilarity in future chapters.
  • In Bomango, Gogo is able to spawn permanent clones at will, though their personalities differ significantly from hers. This is where her "sister" Didi came from. It has been strongly implied that there are more clones running around, and that most of them are Ax-Crazy and enslaved by mysterious bad people. It has not yet been revealed if her clones can make more clones themselves.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Molly has been cloned twice, producing Galatea and Djali the Giantess.

    Web Original 
  • Luakels, from AH.com: The Series. Started out as a forum gag whereby Luakel would claim that whenever he was apparently killed it would always turn out to be 'just another Luakel clone' (as with Dr Doom's Doombots). This was incorporated into the Series, with Luakel Clones being encountered long before a regular "prime" Luakel joined the ship's crew.
  • In Worm, Bonesaw makes clones of every member of the Slaughterhouse Nine except herself and Jack.
  • From the Pimp Lando series: The basic plot of "Multipimpcity", though none of the clones have the same personality as the original.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode Pinky and the Brain has the titular mice meeting hundreds of hundreds of themselves, but caused by time travel, not cloning.
    • There was also a time that Pinky and Brain duplicated themselves for the sake of having a dance group. It Was All A Dream.
  • In Transformers Animated, Starscream improves his fighting chances by building a small army of... himself. Considering his dominant character trait, this might not be wise.
    • It wasn't.
    • There were two sets of clones in this case. The first was basically just an army of robot duplicates. The other was the a small group that each took on a different trait of his personality (and had a different paint scheme that looked like other G1 Seekers). One of them was female.
  • Also, Transformers Energon made Ravage a mass-produced horde of numerous black "Battle Ravages" and fewer, blue Command Ravages.
  • This also happens in Transformers Prime. It is revealed that as the Earth formed around Unicron, he can form small(er)-scale copies of himself from the rocks. And he can make several of them- it's creepy at the very least.
  • An episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold ends with Batman visiting several Alternate Universes to gather a half-dozen counterparts of himself to defeat a large gang of villains (including his Evil Twin) and rescue the captured heroes. Cue Climactic Battle Resurrection. For added Awesome the other Bats were all Shout Outs to several Elseworlds comic versions of Batman.
  • One of the Tree House of Horror specials from The Simpsons had homer buy a magic hammock that cloned him whenever he sat in it. He starts off using clones for doing chores for him, but once one of them murders Ned Flanders, Homer has to get rid of it. He abandons the clones (numbering about 15) and the hammock in a back country road, and then the clones proceed to use it to make more and more clones. When this starts being a problem, they fly giant donuts from helicopters and all the clones fall into a canyon lemmings style. The short itself was called Send in the Clones.
  • In Futurama Bender does this with a machine that makes two smaller duplicates of himself. Those duplicates repeat the process ad infinitum creating uncountable Benders at increasingly smaller sizes. They eventually turn into a Grey Goo.
    • A classic episode of Futurama has an army of robo-Lucy Lius.
  • The Incredible Hulk: The Leader uses a strand of the Hulk's hair to create a batch of Cyborg clones known as the "Gamma Warriors."
  • In the Gravity Falls episode, "Double Dipper", Dipper finds that Grunkle Stan's copier can make human clones. Dipper uses it on himself in an overly complicated attempt to impress Wendy at a dance. The Dipper clones all have a slightly lighter hue, all have numbers drawn on their cap and can be destroyed with water. Other than that, there's absolutely no difference between the Dippers both mentally and physically (Expect for the one who got caught in a copy jam.)
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Too Many Pinkie Pies", Pinkie clones herself with a legendary Mirror Pool in order to spend maximum hanging out time with her friends. All the clones look identical to the original Pinkie, but behave like flat, exaggerated versions of the original.

    Real Life 


Self-DuplicationOur Clones Are IdenticalTwin Maker
Replacement ScrappyThis Index Is CopypastedFictional Counterpart
Self-FanserviceJust for PunSenseless Violins
Self-Fulfilling ProphecySpeculative Fiction TropesSexbot
Hood HoppingImageSource/Live-Action FilmsDevelop Character Personality

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