Sincerest Form of Flattery

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
Attributed to Charles Caleb Colton (although he probably stole it from someone else)

The above quote is an axiom that holds especially true with Follow the Leader. After all, why follow something that you don't think has enough merit to follow?

So this is a Sub-Trope, where the creator of a Follow the Leader work has explicitly stated they are taking something as inspiration for their work.

Just the inspiration being obvious is not enough. There has to be a direct admission that this is so. Admitting in the form of a Take That! might still count, as it's just denying that they are following this trope, even when we know better. For this kind of thing in fiction, see Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery.

Note: We don't require citations like The Other Wiki does, however, since this trope is about comments made by a creator about a work of media, it is highly recommended that citations be provided.


  • Fluttershy's Night Out: Word of God in the comments states that the fic was inspired by John Steinbeck's The Crysanthemums.
  • It is often said that there are two kinds of guitarists in the world: those who say they have been influenced by Jimi Hendrix, and those who lie. Note that many famous rock and metal guitarists of The '70s and The '80s fall into the former category.
  • Hideki Kamiya, the director of Ōkami, said The Legend of Zelda franchise influenced his game. Although he thought The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess could have looked better, he admitted that "it's no overstatement to say that I created Okami because of Zelda."
  • Comics that have the format of DM of the Rings usually state that is what inspired them, like Darths & Droids.
  • The makers of the Wii game The Conduit have stated they are taking tips from Halo, and trying to make the Wii's Halo.
    • They also said they would be glad if other Wii game developers did this to them; specifically their customizable FPS controls with the Wiimote.
  • Ben Mattes, producer of Prince of Persia (2008), told about the influences they used.
    "We've always been very open about the huge influences that ICO, SoTC and Ōkami had on us during our development."
  • David Jaffe has gone on record saying both that God of War was heavily inspired by Devil May Cry and later on that he thinks Devil May Cry's fighting system is better. See for yourself.
  • In an interview, the director of Xenogears was asked "You're a fan of Mobile Fighter G Gundam, aren't you?" His response was simply to smile.
  • Many Ambrosia Software games are modernized remakes of classics. For instance, Maelstrom is Asteroids, Apeiron is Centipede, and Swoop is Galaxian.
  • Dorf Quest has stated from the beginning that it was inspired by Ruby Quest and was an attempt at another sort of "quest".
  • Supposedly, when the Wachowskis were peddling the script for The Matrix, they brought with them a comic book and told prospective buyers that, basically they wanted to do something like that as a movie. The comic in question? Ghost in the Shell.
    • Not just the comic, too. Watch the GITS movie's scene of Kusanagi going invisible. Then watch the Trinity scene. They specifically showed the movie to Joel Silver to give him an idea how they wanted The Matrix to look.
    • Also The Invisibles.
  • Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski frequently cited the game Kill.Switch as the inspiration for Gears of War's cover system. He also cited both Halo and Resident Evil 4 as gameplay inspirations, particularly their focus on creating "memorable moments".
  • Around the late '90s a low-budget CD-ROM called "Pac Pack" could be found in many computer stores. While the cover has a decidedly more Pac-Man-ish design than the games contained, the blurb on the back touts plainly that "Pac Guy" is "a Pac-Man ripoff - but a ripoff with style." The various sequels were less audacious, recoloring the main character green and giving him the more lawyer-friendly moniker of "Pea Guy".
  • The producers of Tallafornia openly stated that they were trying to make Jersey Shore in Tallaght.
  • The developers of Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion have admitted to being heavily influenced by Super Smash Bros.. They even had testers play both games one after another to make their own game feel like SSB as much as possible.
  • Beenox, when making The Amazing Spider-Man, stated that they took inspiration from Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City when creating the game's combat.
  • SuperBot confirmed that PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is (in part) inspired by Super Smash Bros..
  • The Long Lost Prologue of Our Little Adventure shows the Palm Tree Ghost saying the comic was inspired by The Order of the Stick.
  • When Halo was first announced, many people were quick to point out the similarities between the eponymous celestial super-structure and Larry Niven's Ringworld. Bungie's public liaison actually went on record as saying that the fortress worlds in Halo have more in common with the orbitals in The Culture than they do with the Ringworld of Niven's Known Space. Granted, this statement may have been done to deliberately distance Bungie's creation from Niven's for legal reasons (a Ringworld game already exists under copyright) but the depiction of The Covenant in Halo partially mirroring the Idirans in Consider Phlebas seems to lend further credence to this particular inspiration.
  • AirMech's developer Carbon Games have never been shy about their game being a tribute to Herzog Zwei. In addition, the Steam description of the game describes the gameplay as "DotA-style", acknowledging the game's other main influence.
  • The writers of MAD admitted that their movie Up the Academy was heavily inspired by Animal House, another movie based on a comedy magazine (National Lampoon). They ended up disowning the film.
  • The creator of Batman admitted the main character to be based on Zorro. This is the reason Batman watches a Zorro movie the night his parents are killed.
  • Masaki Tsuzuk, the creator and main writer of the Lyrical Nanoha franchise, confirms in an interview included in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Gears of Destiny strategy guide that the Wild ARMs elements in the plot of the game weren't coincidental, mentioning that they were done as a show of respect to Akifumi Kaneko and the franchise he made.
  • Super Mario World ROM hack Super Mario Kollision actually says in the ending credits 'Level design inspired by Brutal Mario and VIP series', in case you didn't already figure out that much of it was ripping them off. Considering that the final level was literally an abridged carbon copy of Brutal Mario's Bowser's Castle level, this wasn't exactly hard to work out without the official statement.
  • In the first episode of Sze U Tonight, Johnson mentions that he is inspired by American talk shows, and that he wants to re-create it for Hong Kong audiences. That said, the show has since developed its own quirks and style.
  • Ring of Honor and Chikara are completely open about the ideas they lifted from Mexican and Japanese promotions like Lucha Libre Internacional, All Japan and New Japan.
  • SHIMMER was setup to increase the respect for women's pro wrestling on an international level. In 2011, a promotion calling itself GLAMOUR started up in Australia using the same style of font in their logo as SHIMMERnote 
  • Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt admits "Ending Credits" is "totally a Camel ripoff". He's also acknowledged that "Slither" is his attempt to rewrite Rainbow's "Kill the King", which is fitting for a song intended as a Ronnie James Dio tribute.
  • Nobuo Uematsu acknowledged lifting the intro riff of Jimi Hendrix' "Purple Haze" for "One-Winged Angel".
  • David Bowie admitted that the chorus of "Starman" is basically a rip-off of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".
  • Tony Banks has described playing back a recording of Genesis' "Afterglow" and realising to his horror that he had just rewritten "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". From the same band, Phil Collins admitted to stealing the Evil Laugh in "Mama" from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
  • Tears for Fears have done this a lot:
    • Word of God admits that "Sowing the Seeds of Love" and "Schrödinger's Cat" are both pastiches of "I Am the Walrus" (main songwriter Roland Orzabal also notes that the piano break on "Schrödinger" is "reminiscent of [Thunderclap Newman's] 'Something in the Air'"). These were far from the only Beatles pastiches the group recorded; large parts of The Seeds of Love and Everybody Loves a Happy Ending bear clear Beatles influence (although maybe not quite this clear). "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending" and "Who Killed Tangerine?" could almost be lost Beatles tracks, for example.
    • "Brian Wilson Said", as might be expected from the title, is a The Beach Boys pastiche (it also alludes to Van Morrison's track "Jackie Wilson Said", which appears on Saint Dominic's Preview, though if there is any other Morrison influence on the track, it's oblique at most).
    • With "Lord of Karma", Orzabal says the group were "trying to get somewhere between the Happy Mondays and Jimi Hendrix's 'Crosstown Traffic'".
    • "I Believe" is such a clear Robert Wyatt homage that the band covered his track "Sea Song" for the B-side. The album's liner notes further lampshaded it by stating "Dedicated to Robert Wyatt (if he's listening)", referencing the song "Dedicated to You But You Weren't Listening" by Soft Machine, which Wyatt was previously a member of.
    • Orzabal admitted that he was listening to "too much Art of Noise" when "Empire Building" was recorded.
  • Radio comedian Fred Allen paraphrased the above quote as "Imitation is the sincerest form of television." Mighty Mouse invokes it in the Bakshi-produced episode "Don't Touch That Dial."
  • La La Land was marketed as a "love letter" to The Golden Age of Hollywood, particularly musicals.