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Remember when, as a kid, you used to copy everything a friend said? Well, you're not alone. Everyone played it, including the creators of fiction. It gets old very fast and, in some circumstances, is not even a game: it's just a way to get on someone's nerves. Obviously, this is exploited in comedy, with the end result "stop copying me!"... "I mean it!" Sometimes the victim will turn the table and force the perpetrator to either quit the game or say embarrassing things. This may still mean that the joke is on the victim, if the purpose of the game was
to make them say embarrassing things:
Victim: I'm an idiot!
Perpretator: Well, at least you admit it!
That said, in horror, there is a niche for the game. The Doctor Who
went down that road rather spectacularly.
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- The second of these Amazon.com commercials. A Call And Response song.
Amazon dot com
Amazon dot com
Makes me feel like a kid
Makes me feel like a kid
Stop copying me
Stop copying me
- In the current ad campaign for Cheez-It, the narrator explains that they allow the cheese to mature before putting it in thier snacks, and then show a clip where a scientist is speaking to a wheel of cheese that hasn't quite matured yet, and then usually cut to the next day, where the cheese has matured. In one commercial the immature cheese copies everything the scientist says, including the sound effects to the scientist clicking his pen, checking the box labeled "NOT READY", and clicking the pen again.
- Le Petit Spirou had this on several occasions: once when Spirou does it to get his grandfather to buy him ice cream, only for the grandfather to start copying him. In another he does the "copy voice and movements" to one of his friends, until said friend punches himself in the jaw. Spirou declares that the curse that forced him to copy other people has been lifted thanks to his friend's sacrifice.
- Vice Principal Nero in The Austere Academy of A Series of Unfortunate Events, who always copied the Baudelaires.
- Brotherhood of the Rose by David Morrell. One of the protagonists is stuck in a retirement village for spies with the Big Bad and does this to Mind Screw him (any attempt to use physical violence would lead to his execution, so he's trying to drive the Big Bad out through continued harassment).
- Zuriaa played with this trope with The Fleur-de-mal in the second book of The Meq Trilogy.
- In Starfighters of Adumar, documentarian Hallis Saper uses a 3PO protocol droid's head (which she calls Whitecap) to house her recording gear. Partway through the novel, Whitecap is damaged, and begins repeating everything it hears within earshot.
- Played for Drama in the Doctor Who episode "Midnight". An unknown alien thing invades the body of a passenger on a Bus Full of Innocents. It copies people's words. After a while, it starts talking in sync with the people... and eventually, it talks before they talk, leaving the person they're copying paralyzed and unable to stop repeating what the monster says.
- Friends called it The Shadow Game.
- On Full House, Michelle annoyed Stephanie by shadowing her. Steph eventually got Michelle to shadow Kimmie instead.
- One episode of Roseanne had D.J. doing this to Darlene, much to her irritation. Eventually:
Rosanne: What's going on in here?
Dan: Darlene is repeating everything D.J. says a second before he says it.
Roseanne: (to Darlene) Don't be so childish!
- In one episode of Eureeka's Castle there was a skit where Bogge ended up copying everything Quagmire said, because she told him to copy her once while trying to teach him some dance moves. Eventually Eureeka had to settle their argument, only to get Bogge copying her.
- This happened in a Morecambe and Wise sketch where Eric played the echo for the song "I'm Wishing" but, while Ernie was still talking to him, he kept repeating his instructions in his "singing" voice.
- Jeff's reaction in The Tag at the end of an episode of Community when Abed and Troy both spoke in unison with and dressed the same as Jeff.
- Calvin did this to Hobbes in Calvin and Hobbes. Hobbes trumped him by quoting a long, complex passage from a philosophy book.
- Hobbes, like most victims of this game. learned the hard way. The first time Calvin tried this, Hobbes reacted by insulting himself, which was exactly what Calvin was trying to trick him into doing. Calvin's dad falls into the same trap by daring Calvin to repeat that "I forfeit all my desserts for a week." (Calvin then asks if he can have them instead). But unlike Hobbes, Calvin's dad is not clever enough to get Calvin his just desserts later.
- Common in Chess among woodpushers—this usually ends with the copier's queen captured or the like.
- Conkers Bad Fur Day, where the paintbucket tells the paintbrush to stop copying whatever he says. Repeated at the end, but the paintbrush says he's really copying someone else.
- Swisgaar and Toki get into this in Metalocalypse, made funnier by their imperfect English:
Stops copies me!
Stops copies me!
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Patrick does it to SpongeBob in the episode "Big Pink Loser".
- In a Rolie Polie Olie episode, the little Zowie begins to parrot Olie, much to his annoyance. He eventually exploits this to make her go to bed.
- In an early episode of Xiaolin Showdown an enemy mime does this to Clay (after trapping the rest of the dragons) to stop him from getting past. Eventually Clay punches himself hard in the face, knocking out the mime.
- Bugs Bunny does it to The Big Bad Wolf in Little Red Riding Rabbit, eventually tricking the wolf into imitating him.
- On Jimmy Two-Shoes, this is done by the robots built by Heloise, built for the sole porpuse of annoying people.
- Robin had to deal with his mirror-created clone copying his words in an episode of The Batman. He tries to trick his copy into saying "I like to smell my feet", but his copy ends up saying, "You like to smell your feet?"
- Daffy Duck does this to Porky Pig in The Looney Tunes Show after their argument over french fries. The look on Daffy's face can tell the audience that he's enjoying the trolling.
- If asked to "repeat after me", the Warner siblings will take this advice to heart immediately, including repeating "repeat after me", which quickly devolves into this. Oddly, the people they're imitating never get the idea to ignore this and move on to what they actually want the Warners repeating.
- One episode of Beavis And Butthead has Beavis deciding to copy Butt-head. Butt-head tries to get him to stop by doing various dangerous things, such as running out into traffic and harassing Todd. Of course, everything that happens to Beavis happens to Butt-head as well. At the end, Butt-head says that he's going to copy Beavis, and Beavis says he can't because he's already copying him. They just end up repeating "No you can't".