Some shows have mega-brilliant original plots. Some take a lot of cues. Some are nearly the same as other works - Whole Plot Reference
, Affectionate Parody
are three reasons for this.
Some, however, are accidentally almost the same as other works. When this happens, you get this trope - when two works are so similar, but in reality unrelated, you could fit the same description to them both.
See also Whole Plot Reference
- if it's just one episode that's a Shout-Out
to well-known pop culture. Compare the Spiritual Licensee
and Spiritual Successor
- Pokémon Colosseum, The World Ends with You, Persona 2: Innocent Sin - A Five-Man Band defeat a Five-Bad Band out of revenge, before facing the real villain. The ending is not good, and requires another plotline to clear up completely, set in a more optimistic world.
- Tensou Sentai Goseiger and Wingin It - A Five-Man Band have antics involving angels and a mentor. It takes about half an hour to resolve this due to malfunctions in said magic.
- Farscape and Guardians of the Galaxy (based on the 2008 comics reboot - a crew of escaped alien prisoners featuring a snarky stranded human with a taste for '70s/'80s pop culture references, an Action Girl who used to be on the side of their enemies, a Plant Person with the strongest morals of the group, a tattoo-covered warrior wanting to avenge his family, and a self-centered diminutive Funny Animal get caught up in a war for superweapons between a galactic law enforcement agency and their much worse foes.
- Digital Devil Saga and Power Rangers RPM - A Darker and Edgier story to the rest of it's franchise, and dead and, where five transforming teenagers fight for control of a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
- The Dark Parables (video game) and Once Upon a Time (television show) - All fairy tales are true, and the characters in them all exist in the same reality; some characters from different stories are in fact the same person.
- Dragon Ball GT and the third season of Sonic X. One of the main characters is turned into a child, 7 objects of immense power are scattered across the universe and the main characters must go on a space adventure to collect them before a mysterious villain (who is a Well-Intentioned Extremist) can cause major havoc.
- Mass Effect and the Doctor Who episode "Death in Heaven". An aeons long conspiracy spanning the course of civilization to use ancient alien technology far beyond human understanding in order to convert humans and other sentient beings across the universe into techno-organic zombies.