In InuYasha, Byakuya comes in after Kagura's death and not only looks and acts like her, but has similar powers and plays the same role that she played.
In Naruto, Sai, the quiet, serious and emotionally distant ninja replaced Sasuke, the quiet, serious and emotionally distant ninja. It doesn't help that they look so similar, either. This fact is repeatedly lampshaded within the series. It is also somewhat ironic that the two resemble each other so, given that Sai quickly begins the Character Development that would start to bring him away from the stoicness he was known for originally, and Sasuke quickly begins to descend into complete insanity.
Vincent Volaju is one for Vicious in the Cowboy Bebop movie.
The female coordinator character May (who replaced the significantly different Misty) was replaced by the female coordinator character Dawn.
Dawn was then replaced by Iris, who in a roundabout way, is actually closer to Misty in terms of personality.
Brock was replaced with Cilan, who is the same with more food focus and less lechery.
For the X and Y saga, we are introduced to Clemont and Bonnie, who are a lot like May and Max but with their birth order reversed, also Serena, who appears to be a bit like May or Dawn.
Jessie and James release their Victreebel (a carnivorous plant Pokémon) and Arbok (a poisonous snake Pokémon). Later on, James acquires a Cacnea (a cactus Pokémon) and Carnivine (a carnivorous plant Pokémon), which both retain Victreebel's tendency to accidentally injure its owner in displays of affection, and Jessie gets a Seviper, which is...a poisonous snake Pokémon.
Ash gets a new bird Pokémon in every region which eventually is fully evolved (Pidgeot, Noctowl, Swellow, Staraptor, and Unfezant respectively).
The Mewtwo that appears in the 16th Pokémon movie is a different one from the one in 1st one and its direct sequel. Made even more apparent considering the prologue dedicated to it gives it almost the exact same past as the old one, but with all things Team Rocket related removed.
The character Priss from Bubblegum Crisis was originally going to be killed off and replaced by Vision, who was suspiciously similar (brown hair, kind of feisty, was a singer) but ultimately fans liked the character, so she wasn't killed off after all, thus avoiding the trope entirely.
Tenchi Muyo! is unique in that the third OVA did something of an alternate continuity substitution. Mihoshi's partner in the Galaxy Police had long been Kiyone Makibi in the Universe and Tokyo continuities, but supplemental materials Kiyone was the name of Tenchi's Mother (The first movie, based off the first TV series, named her Achika). OVA 3 introduces us to Noike, who happens to be Mihoshi's previously not known to exist GXP partner, while Tenchi's mother is finally officially named as Kiyone (and (re)introduced, in a way, by Tenchi's older sister who is strangely identical to her).
Near from Death Note. This is intentional — Near tries to imitate L and eventually admits that he failed to imitate L, but succeeded through Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.
There's also the renegade Gento successors, Boltz and Taiga, who appear only in the anime to replace Jakoh's sons, Sheeno and Jask, from the manga.
Shikabane Hime's Keisei dies, allowing Ouri to come closer to Makina and to also be brought into the story as a major player instead of a male damsel in distress and hapless bystander. About 2 episodes later Keisei's mentor is introduced. He has a very similar hairstyle and replaces the former as the even more perverted comic relief and Ouri's new mentor.
In Mobile Suit Gundam 00Neil Dilandy, killed late in the 1st series, is replaced by his twin brother Lyle Dilandy.
One of the supporting characters in D.Gray-Man was killed. He was replaced by his equally chubby and androgynous sister.
In Patlabor, Takeo Kumagami replaces Kanuka Clancy after Clancy returns to America. They have very similar skills and fulfill the same police positions, although Kumagami is given a few quirks to distinguish her.
In Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector, we are introduced to the EXBein and Guarbein, substitutes for the Huckebein Mk-III and Huckebein Mk-III Trombe. This is because the Huckies look too much like Gundams.
Played for laughs in Munchkin, where whenever a player 'dies', everybody else at the table gets a chance to loot the 'body'...and then the same player simply carries on with a notionally new character of the exact same level, race, and class as the old one.
Jean Grey, during periods when she has been rendered temporarily dead or otherwise unusable, has been substituted numerous times, most notably by her Alterniverse daughter, Rachel. Now we currently have Hope Summers, the first mutant born after the Decimation events. She looks like a teenaged Jean, wears the same colors as she had, and displays similar Phoenix-like powers.
As a long-running tradition, the team roster always has to include one plucky, Badass Adorable teenage girl who adopts Wolverine as a Big Brother Mentor. When the character grows out of the role, she's always replaced by another one. Kitty Pryde started the tradition, and her replacements have included Rogue, Jubilee, Marrow, Armor, Pixie, X-23, and most recently Oya. Marrow shook up the tradition a bit by having Gambit as her mentor instead, but the writers cut out the middleman with X-23 by making her Wolverine's female clone (the closest thing to an actual little sister Wolvie's ever going to get).
Parodied in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier, where we're told the British Government, in assembling the 1950s League, tried to find substitutes of the entire 1890s League. It didn't work.
W.E. John's Worrals for Mina; Hotspur's Wolf of Kabul for Alan; Peter Brady (TV's first Invisible Man) for Griffin; Professor Grey (from The Beano strip The Iron Fish) for Nemo; and a giant robot called the Iron Warrior (from Thrill Comics) for Hyde.
This went as far as to have Wolf hit on Worrals, when Worrals was openly gay.
The Pre-Crisis version of Jason Todd, who took over the role of Batman's sidekick Robin after Dick Grayson became Nightwing, was a carbon copy of Dick Grayson right down to having a similar origin story (his parents were acrobats murdered by Killer Croc). This was averted with the Post-Crisis version, which revised Jason's origin as a street hoodlum who was picked up by Batman.
When Grant Morrison was writing JLA, he was unable to use Hawkman because the character's Continuity Snarl had become such a problem. Instead, he created the replacement character Zauriel. He even hangs a lampshade on it by having Aquaman briefly mistake Zauriel for Hawkman in his first appearance.
Lampshaded in New Avengers. Daredevil was unable to join the team due to his legal problems at the time, so he suggested to Captain America that Echo join in his place. He pointed out that since she has virtually the same skill set and all his knowledge of the Japanese underworld, it'd be the next best thing to actually having him on the team.
In JLA comics, Vibe was a member of the poorly received Detroit League who, like the other newcomers to the team introduced in that run, had a stroke of misfortune or two when the roster needed to be cleared up for a new team. In his case, he died. Later, the Conglomorate, a rival team to the Justice League, is formed, featuring Vibe's identically-powered brother Reverb (as well as Vibe's JL teammate Gypsy). This was written by the same writer who killed off Vibe in the first place; Reverb lacks Vibe's out-there personality and is generally unlikable for the opposite reason.
John Byrne's run on Wonder Woman dumped the supporting cast established by the previous creative team, most notably archaeologist Julia Kapatelis and her daughter Vanessa, in favor of his own creations, most notably archaeologist Helena Sandsmark and her daughter Cassandra.
Lana Lang started her existence blatantly filling the role of Lois Lane when they started telling stories about Superman's childhood as Superboy. Unlike her modern incarnation, she was both the love interest and the nosy inquisitive girl always trying to prove Clark was Superboy.
The early 1960s Doctor Who comics had the Trods, who were a suspiciously similar substitute for the Daleks, who were unusable at the time due to the rights to publish Dalek comics being in the hands of a different company.
Following Ultimatum, the X-Men were disbanded and replaced by the new comic 'Ultimate X', featuring James Hudson, the son of Wolverine. He's now sporting a new costume that greatly resembles the Mainstream version of Wolverine's classic Yellow and Blue suit. Subverted to some extent, in that Hudson is a teenaged boy with healing and the ability to consciously grow metal coating to his bones, while his father was...Wolverine.
Later, when Peter Parker died fighting Norman Osborn, he was replaced by Miles Morales, a young teen with almost identical powers who became the new Spider-Man. To those who were/are critical of him, one of the biggest critiques is that Miles is too similar to Peter, being a science nerd Nice Guy motivated by guilt from not helping when he could (ironically, being that he could have saved Peter, but didn't). However it's established he isn't nearly as smart as Peter, and thus struggles to decipher his webbing formula, and he's since had Divergent Character Evolution to differentiate him from Peter. Really it's only their origins that are similar.
Apparently due to legal issues with former writer Ken Penders, a large cast of characters in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog have suddenly up and vanished without seemingly even being allowed to name-drop them. Rob o' the Hedge, missing king of Mercia and Robin Hood expy, has been replaced by the exceedingly similar Bow Sparrow. Time will tell if other Penders characters get similar treatment.
Lucky Luke: In their first appearance The Daltons were actually shot dead by Lucky Luke! Since the characters proved to be very popular Morris brought them back, or rather their nephews, who looked and acted exactly the same and were also four brothers of differing height! So the Daltons we know today are actually copies of the original.
In the second wave, GI Combat replaced Men of War as the military book, though the substitution ends at genre since the books are very different. Men of War is a fairly realistic modern war story, whereas GI Combat splits time between super-commando counter-terrorism (the "Unknown Soldier" segments) and soldiers who get sent back in time and battle dinosaurs.
Marvel is headed this route with The Inhumans, effectively making them replacements for mutants. When the Inhumans were first introduced, they were an elite society of superhumans who segregated themselves away from the rest of humanity, and walled themselves off in a hidden city. Then Infinity came along and established a Secret Legacy which revealed that numerous humans around the globe are actually dormant Inhumans, and a release of Terrigen Mists activated their latent powers. Now Marvel is pushing these new hybrid Inhumans by using the same themes of prejudice and Fantastic Racism associated with the X-Men, to the point that fans have pointed out the redundancy.
The speculation is that Marvel is doing this in order to position the Inhumans as their replacements for the mutants in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, since Fox, not Marvel, owns the film rights to the X-Men. It's been strongly rumored that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver will be Inhumans rather than mutants in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and that Marvel will use this to explain any non-X-related mutants they still own.
The Godfather: Part II: Frank Pentangeli was a replacement character for Peter Clemenza.
The Godfather: Part III: Tom Hagen is written out (died in between sequels) and is replaced by the much less charismatic and interesting George Hamilton character, B.J. Harrison. This was done thanks to a paycheck dispute with Robert Duvall, forcing Francis Ford Coppola to create this new replacement from scratch.
Lt. Mauser replaced Capt. Harris in the 2nd & 3rd Police Academy, acting as that film's villain and having more or less the same traits has Harris had, filling the same role. They were so similar that when Harris returned in the 4th movie, he was paired of with Mauser's assistant, Proctor, and the two had the same relationship Mauser and Proctor had.
This is changed in the Animated Adaptation, where Mauser becomes a good guy, whereas Harris remains an antagonist.
Also, when Steve Guttenberg refused to reprise his role as Sgt. Mahoney for the 5th and 6th movies, Commandant Lassard's nephew Nick was brought in to fill Mahoney's shoes, while the 7th movie had a cadet named Kyle Connors also fill the very same spot.
When the Wachowski siblings wrote the second and thirdMatrix films, they originally intended to bring back the character of Tank from the first one. But after they had a falling-out with his actor, they created Link as a replacement.
Roman in 2 Fast 2 Furious replaced Dominic from The Fast and the Furious as the Anti-Hero with a criminal past. Though it's worth noting that Brian is now the main character with Roman as his sidekick, instead of co-lead with Dom. Both Roman and Dom are back in Fast Five.
Beerfest plays this one for gags, when Landfill dies and the character is promptly replaced by his twin brother, portrayed by the same actor, who asks the rest of the characters to refer to him by his dead brother's name and never speak of the death again. He then promptly sleeps with his dead brother's widow and "feels that he's already known them all his life."
A rather bizarre set of examples occurred regarding the monster Baragon. First, Destroy All Monsters was going to have Baragon be the monster seen destroying France. Unfortunately, the suit was too badly damaged and instead Gorosaurus was used (Ironically, the dub version still calls Gorosaurus "Baragon")...And Baragon himself was reduced to a mere 10 second cameo. Later, Baragon was going to appear in Godzilla VS Mecha Godzilla but the suit was still too damaged to function and Anguirus was used instead. In both cases, Anguirus and Gorosaurus were given traits that were originally attributed to Baragon (IE: Jumping and burrowing).
The spinoff Rebirth Of Mothra trilogy apparently knew it wanted to save KingGhidorah for the role of the final film's antagonist, but also wanted to draw audiences into the series with a villain of comparable menace. The first film's solution? The totally original, terrifying, powerful, destructive, evil new monster... Death Ghidorah. ...Hmm.
Los Superagentes: Nueva Generación. Unlike the sequels to Bańeros and Brigada Explosiva, the new characters were clearly meant to replace the originals, as per the original Tiburon and Delfin show up in insultingly short cameos as opposing to joining in the action. Worse, the original Mojarrita and Chief of Acuario don't even show up.
Jason replacing his own mother as the slasher in the sequels with the same M.O. and a related motive.
Roy Burns from Part V (Following Jason being "Killed Off for Real"... for one film) would be a more "traditional" example. When disguised as Jason, Roy not only used his M.O. but also acted like Jason; silently determined instead of deceptive, crazy-violent and motive-hissing.
When Crazy Ralph was killed in Part 2, audiences were introduced to very similar doomsayers in Part III and VIII.
Subverted like no tomorrow in Scream 4. Characters are thrown at us as being replacements for the characters of the original film, but most of the new characters die, the apparent Sidney replacementturns out to be the killer, and we even get a subverted Billy replacement who is almost successfully framed for all the murders.
Every Cenobite that follows Pinhead that is NOT Butterball, Chatterer or the Female Cenobite in the Hellraiser sequels.
Due to not having a high enough budget to render the characters' powers onscreen, Husk and Chamber were excluded from the Generation X TV movie and replaced with Buff and Refrax, two new heroes who had similar, but cheaper abilities.
"Nigel" appears to be a replacement Composite Character for Colin and Dennis Creevey. (Colin appeared in the second film, but the actor decided not to do any more after that. Dennis never appears in the films full stop, but he's a very minor character in the books anyway.)
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace had Captain Panaka (Hugh Quarshie), Queen Amidala's bodyguard. After Quarshie was unable to make it to the location shooting for Attack of the Clones, he was replaced with Gregar Typho (Jay Laga'aia). Aside from the eyepatch, they're the same, both in appearance and personality, to the point that some viewers wondered why Captain Panaka was suddenly sporting an eyepatch.
Rock Star depicts such a replacement when the main character Chris, lead singer of a tribute band, is hired to replace his idol due to his intentionally similar appearance and slightly better vocals. The film culminates in Chris picking a fan out of the audience at a concert to replace himself. This is based on actual events: Judas Priest replacing their original lead singer by picking the front man of a Priest tribute band.
In The Room, the actor who plays Peter (essentially the voice of reason or the man who "is always playing psychiatrist") quit at some point during the shooting. Another actor replaced him and took the lines he would have had in a later scene. However the new character never has any formal introduction. It is just implied he is another friend.
Duke is a suspiciously similar substitute for his deceased identical twin Curly. Granted, his personality is different enough (less of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, more Machiavellian) not to be cause for viewers to truly cry foul (there are shades of the Evil Twin trope here), but he's a suspiciously similar substitute all the same.
Bruno Kirby did not return from the first movie, so his spot was filled by Jon Lovitz, playing Billy Crystal's annoying brother.
Quarrel Jr., in Live and Let Die is a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for his father, Quarrel, who was killed in Dr. No. This is because the films were made in a different order from the books, where Quarrel gets introduced in Live and Let Die, before being killed in Dr. No.
Also, Megan Fox's Mikaela being replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's Carly.
In the second Rescuers film (which takes place in Australia), the role of Orville Albatross is replaced by that of his brother, Wilbur.
The Third Stooge. While Shemp was not Suspiciously Similar, Joe Besser and "Curly" Joe DeRita were. All three of them had their own unique method of delivery, however, distinct from Curly.
When George Sanders grew tired of appearing in The Falcon movie series, it was decided that his Gay Lawrence character would be killed off. The series continued with Gay's brother Tom stepping into the role of the Falcon. Tom Lawrence was played by Tom Conway ... who just happened to be George Sanders' brother.
Averted in the remake of Shaft. Samuel L. Jackson didn't want to step into the iconic character's shoes, so the character was written as John Shaft's nephew who also happened to be named John Shaft. This seems to hang on one line of dialogue until Roundtree shows up in a cameo as the elder Shaft. Jackson's character is therefore not a Suspiciously Similar Substitute, but he does invite Counterpart Comparison.
In The Mighty Ducks, Coach Bombay's mentor is his late father's old friend, a kindly Norwegian sporting goods vendor named Hans. In the sequel, he is replaced by his brother Jan, who makes an offhand comment that Hans is visiting their mother in Norway. Then, in the third movie, Hans has returned, and Jan is nowhere to be seen—he doesn't even show up at Hans's funeral.
The Death Race prequels star Luke Goss as Carl Lucas, rather than Jason Statham as Jensen Ames. Like Statham, Goss is a white British man with a shaved head and Perma Stubble. The characters aren't hugely similar, but appearance-wise they're very much alike.
Most of the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 follow-ups introduce new family members who are similar to Drayton and Nubbins, Leatherface's brothers in the first film.
The 1996 Star Wars spin-off, Shadows of the Empire (novel, comic book, video game, and breakfast cereal), being set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, found a replacement character for Han Solo in the lovable scamp Dash Rendar. Dash not only sported Han's in-your-face attitude, he flew a nearly identical ship to the Millennium Falcon and had a wacky robot sidekick. Though hastily offed when he no longer served a purpose, Dash apparently still exists in the hazier reaches of the "Expanded Universe."
Gavin Darklighter, who is the cousin of Biggs Darklighter.
With the repeated "new Dark Lords" and "new superweapons," the WHOLE Expanded Universe should be called Shadows of the Empire!
After Ned Stark's death at the end of A Game of Thrones, Davos Seaworth shows up to serve the function of The Stoic, family and honor oriented, speaker-of-truth-to-power to a Baratheon king. They even mirror each other in interesting ways, particularly their fates ( Ned is killed in a last minute whim of Joffrey's, Davos miraculously survives his ship's sinking) compared to their children's ( Ned's children find ways to thrive in adversity, while four of Davos' sons are killed in battle).
Oberyn "The Red Viper" Martel was Too Cool to Live, and fans have suspected that The Scrappy Gerold "Darkstar" Dayne was created as one of these. Both men are the black sheep of their families and have badass reputations and are known by cool nicknames. More to the point, both men are from the some place and Dayne interacts with Oberyn's family members.
A meta-example in Neal Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle: Daniel Waterhouse notes that some people can be replaced in their positions with only the most superficial elements changing, but other people are more crucial to the story, and their loss will forever change the status quo no matter who replaces them.
In Death series: Eternity In Death has Eve and Peabody questioning the housekeeper who worked for the murder victim. Then they go to see the murder victim's friend, whose housekeeper might have been a clone of the previous one. The story states that the two housekeepers are sisters.
Laura McCall for Taffy Sinclair in The Fabulous Five series. Even though Taffy is still present, she and the group have called a truce in the final book of the previous series and she has become somewhat nicer. Laura is the new Alpha Bitch and apparently doesn't have any of the Freudian Excuse that Taffy did (overbearing stage mother, etc.)
In James Ellroy's novel The Big Nowhere, one of the protagonists is Buzz Meeks, a disgraced ex-Dirty Cop who has since gone on to become a crooked Private Detective, Hollywood fixer, and enforcer for Eccentric Millionaire Howard Hughes. Since Meeks was killed off early in L.A. Confidential, his role in Ellroy's Underworld USA trilogy was filled by Pete Bondurant, a character with a virtually identical backstory.
In Elmore Leonard's novel Split Images, Detroit homicide detective Bryan Hurd is an obvious stand-in for Detroit homicide detective Raymond Cruz. Cruz appeared in some of Leonard's prior work, which was being optioned at the time.
Jonas Quinn was sort of like Daniel Jackson... but from another planet! However, after Michael Shanks decided to return as a regular, Jonas Quinn was abruptly and permanently written out of the series at the beginning of the seventh season.
Despite being the Trope Namer for a while, Jonas Quinn wasn't even the best example of this trope on this show. Cam Mitchell, an Air Force colonel with a snarky sense of humor and a tendency to make pop culture references (like the actor Browder's character in Farscape) replaced Richard Dean Anderson's character, Jack O'Neill, when he started Commuting on a Bus to spend more time with his family. This somewhat falls under the "military role" exception, but is more likely due to a desire to have a new leading man, particularly one with a built-in audience. In addition, the "military role" exception doesn't explain their sufficiently similar personalities; Mitchell hadn't Seen It All like O'Neill, had a lower rank and lacks the Ancient gene, but other than that they could have delivered the same lines.
This trope received its Lampshade Hanging (along with about a hundred others) in "200," when an actor backs out from playing the lead in the Show Within a Show based on the SG team's adventures, leading to the page quote above. And at the end, we find out the "Colonel Danning" character from Wormhole X-Treme! was substituted. "Dr. Levant" is not indicated to have had a Suspiciously Similar Substitute when he left the show, but much like the realStargate SG-1, they may have resolved to never speak of it.
Not to mention the humorous scene where other characters suggested that Cam was O'Neill's son from the time travel episode in Season 1.
Jewel Staite's Dr. Keller also replaced Dr. Beckett on Stargate Atlantis as the caring and sometimes out of his/her element doctor, despite having appeared on the series previously as a different character.
Supernatural has Balthazar, who's very, very similar to the now-dead Gabriel (except taller, blonder, and with a hot British accent).
Later in the series, fans commented that the character "Frank" was just an unnecessary replacement for Bobby, who was taken away from the leads to supposedly "strip the show back down to just the brothers."
Arguably, this fate has now befallen the character "Kevin" (with a dose of flanderization to boot), who, since the Men of Letters bunker was introduced, is little more than a walking-talking Junior Woodchucks Guidebook.
When he was first introduced, many fans feared that Benny would replace Castiel as Dean's gravel-voiced, coat-wearing, non-human BFF.
On Cheers, the sweet-natured, dimwitted old bartender Coach was replaced by the sweet-natured, dimwitted young bartender Woody Boyd. Rebecca Howe (a ruthless and hot corporate exec) was more distinct from her predecessor Diane (a bookish and pretty in a girl-next-door-way barmaid), but Rebecca gradually became more and more like Diane.
Al, the elderly man who sat at the opposite corner of the bar from Norm and occasionally made sarcastic comments, was replaced by Phil, the elderly man who sat at the opposite corner of the bar from Norm and occasionally made sarcastic comments. In the Reunion Show episode of Frasier, Frasier says how good it is to see Al again, only to be told "I'm Phil, you jackass! Al died!"
Speaking of Frasier, this trope was neatly deconstructed/lampshaded with Mel Karnofski, Niles' Romantic False Lead between divorcing Maris and getting together with Daphne. Mel was a blatantly obvious slightly-milder carbon-copy of Maris (or rather, Maris's actions and descriptions given a more subtle form and voice), paralleling her in everything from being a manipulative and domineering Jerk Ass to her hysterical, unstable, mood-swinging, and obsessively fussy and neurotic behavior — and Niles is unable to see it. Frasier outright tells Niles that he's repeating a horrible pattern (Maris was quite emotionally abusive and generally had an adverse effect on Niles' mental state), and speculates that he's just jumping at the chance for someone comfortingly familiar because Daphne is getting engaged and he (apparently) no longer has a chance with her.
Also the various informants, starting with Deep Throat, coming into X, and finishing with Marita Covarrubias.
One case was forced: "Travelers" and "Agua Mala" featured Arthur Dales, the first FBI agent to deal with X-Files. Dales' actor Darren McGavin suffered a stroke filming "The Unnatural", leading him to be replaced with M. Emmet Walsh playing his brother Arthur Dales, a former police officer (who lampshades his parents didn't have much creativity with names). To make it worse, both Dales were played in flashbacks by the same actor.
M*A*S*H replaced half its original cast during its run with new characters slotted into their roles in the ensemble, but partially subverted the trope by giving the new characters key differences. Womanizer Trapper John was replaced by happily married B.J. Hunnicutt, oblivious draftee Col. Blake was replaced by regular-Army taskmaster Col. Potter, incompetent Jerkass Frank Burns was replaced by Jerk with a Heart of Gold surgical diva Charles Winchester. Clerical savant Radar wasn't given a replacement character but instead his duties were handed off to slacker first-class Klinger.
This is lampshaded depressingly in the episode "Depressing News", when Hawkeye is lamenting to B.J. how the war rolls on even as the people fighting it are killed or replaced (using the surplus tongue depressors that have been shipped to the 4077th as a visual aid):
Hawkeye: Tongue depressors, doctors, soldiers, we're all the same...(holds up one tongue depressor) Trapper John goes. No problem, there's plenty more where he came from. (tosses it aside and picks up another) B.J. Hunnicutt. Same size, same shape. (picks up another) Frank Burns out... (picks up another) Winchester in. Just a hair's difference. (picks up another) Henry Blake. (snaps it in two) Rest in peace, Henry. (picks up another) Incoming Sherman Potter. (to B.J.) My God, hasn't this elimination tournament gone on long enough?
Sgt. Luther Rizzo is arguably a substitute for Sgt. Zelmo Zale.
Jeffrey Sinclair and John Sheridan (both J.S.'s, like J. Michael Straczynski), and, later, Susan Ivanova and Elizabeth Lochley, on Babylon 5. The difference between the two changes and their effect on the show is marked, as was general reaction.
Ivanova was herself a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Laurel Takashima from the Pilot MovieBabylon 5: The Gathering.
That's how it ended up, but according to JMS that wasn't the original intention. The two characters were originally supposed to coexist until the end of the second season when Laurel would turn out to be The Mole and leave the show (written in because JMS knew Tamlyn Tomita wouldn't want to commit to five years) and Ivanova would become the executive officer... but then Tamlyn Tomita decided not to come back for the series at all.
Likewise, Talia Winters replaced Lyta Alexander when the series began; in a recursive twist, though, when Andrea Thompson decided to leave the show, they brought back Lyta in a double-un-Suspiciously Similar Substitute maneuver.
Word of God admits this was a blatant Bridge Drop. Talia's actress was clamoring for more screen time and generally being a pain to work with, so JMS unceremoniously fired her. Additionally served as a standing notice to other cast that Anyone Can Die, in addition to the flexibility mentioned below.
Stephen Franklin replaced Benjamin Kyle. Noticing a pattern yet? Face it — if this wiki had been around ten years ago, the page you're reading would be called "John Sheridan."
Straczynski has stated that every major character on the show had an "escape hatch" for each season, to allow the actor to be replaced if necessary without affecting the overall story arc.
Babylon 5 did this with alien species too. After the Shadows left the galaxy, a suspiciously similar race called the Drakh appeared, handwaved as the "dark servants" of the Shadows.
Flo replacing the deceased Selma on Night Court. Flo then also died a year later, leading to the younger Roz. (Also on this show, Lana was replaced by Mac, and Liz was replaced by Billie, then Christine).
Mystery Science Theater 3000 is an interesting case. All characters other than the robots had been replaced by the show's end, yet the writers took care to make the replacement (and their interaction with the rest of the cast) different from the departing character. Consequently, there's no real consensus among the fans whether any given replacement was better or worse than the original. It also helps that each replacement actor was either behind the scenes since the start, or with the team for ages before they got in front of the camera, so none of them were really "new."
Joel was sort of a father figure to the 'bots. His replacement, Mike, interacted with the 'bots as their equal (at best) and tended to be more overtly sarcastic. The flame wars over which of the two was better are notorious.
TV's Frank was Dr. Clayton Forrester's minion and punching-bag; when he departed, he was replaced by Pearl Forrester, Clayton's mom and one of the few people capable of cowing her son into submission. After Clayton departed, Pearl took over as the head Mad, and gained her own minions, Bobo and Observer.
TV's Frank himself being a replacement for Dr Erhardt, who "went missing" after the first season. Prompting Joel to remark during "Earth vs. The Spider" when a character who looked alot like Dr Erhardt was eaten "So THATS what happened to him!"
The actor playing Dr. Erhardt also provided the voice of Tom Servo during the show's first Comedy Channel season. When he left, and Kevin took over for Tom Servo in season 2, a fan mailed in an 11-page long banner screaming "I HATE SERVO'S NEW VOICE". ("Does he realize," Kevin later commented, "That he just sent hate mail to a puppet?")
Sikozu replacing Jool, who initially replaced Zhaan on Farscape.
Noranti somehow replaces Zhaan, as "cleric/spiritual leader/healer" on the ship too.
This was more of Zhaan being replaced by two characters: her science side by Jool and her spiritual side by Stark. Then Jool is replaced by Sikozu and Stark by Noranti.
Crichton lampshades this series of changes by simply calling Sikozu "the new girl" in the Season 4 opener. By this time even he's blasé about the Combo Platter Powers of the various new additions.
Sergeant Baker replaced Sergeant Kinchloe as 'radio operator who happens to be black' on Hogan's Heroes in the final season. Unfortunately, unlike Kinchloe, Baker didn't have much characterization outside 'radio operator who happens to be black' and wasn't the most satisfying of replacements.
An interesting exception can be found on A Different World. Originally it was a star vehicle created for Lisa Bonet by Bill Cosby's production house, but after Bonet's 1988 pregnancy forced her from the program after the first season, no substitute for her was cast. Instead, it became an ensemble show, and eventually two minor characters — Dwayne Wayne and Whitley Gilbert — evolved into its real stars and carried the show for five more years.
They also had the character of Flash, nicknamed because he was an adult with the hyperactivity of a 4 year old. Essentially another Cody given a justification.
In Heroes, West's relationship with Claire leaves him as little more than a straight version of Zach. The writers tried to cover this up by giving him the power of flight/levitation but his lines and role as a foil character made it obvious.
Star Trek eventually fell into this trap — particularly with Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise — though for different reasons. ENT was intentionally a merging of the holy trinity of Kirk, Spock and Bones with the "new generation" Trek tropes. Conversely, VOY germinated as an unaired eighth season of TNG before being retooled into a spinoff.
Actually this trope has been in Star Trek from the start, where Captain Pike is replaced after the Pilot with Captain Kirk. Both are square jawed, two fisted adventurers with a close friendship with the ship's physician and a mild romantic interest in a female yeoman.
Pike was not exactly an established character, though, since the pilot was not shown in the series' regular run. Yes, it was chopped up to become the story-within-a-story of "Menagerie" but that was run well after Kirk was established as Captain. The Abrams films later canonized Pike as a vital character in his own right. Unfortunately for Pike, his death has become a series staple, as well!
The characters of TOS were based on the characters originally conceived for the rejected pilot, with Pike becoming Kirk, Boyce becoming Bones, Smith becoming Rand, etc.. This practice is extremely commonplace when a Pilot turns into a green-lighted series. Similarly, the characters of TNG were based on the characters of the abandoned "Star Trek: Phase II" series: Will Decker became the similarly-named Will Riker; Decker's old flame, the empathic Deltan Ilia, became Riker's old flame, the empathic Betazed Troi; and Xon, the Vulcan struggling to understand humanity, became Data, the android struggling to understand humanity. A writer's strike proved to be nothing more than a minor inconvenience for TNG: they just dusted off some old "Phase II" scripts and went to work (though only one script ended up being used for the strike-shortened second season; another was pushed back to season four).
Xon was created to replace Spock when Leonard Nimoy decided he didn't want to do the "Phase II" series.
Following the success of TNG, a pattern began to emerge in the crew's makeup. There will always be an overeager, wet behind the ears kid for the young audience to relate to (see Wesley Crusher, Jake Sisko, Naomi Wildman); an inexperienced recruit (Dr. Bashir, Harry Kim, Travis Mayweather); a comic relief hustler with gross alien habits (see Quark, Neelix, and Dr. Phlox). Sometimes the characters were just obvious stand-ins for a more famous predecessor: Tuvok, the gruff, socially-awkward Vulcan security officer, was substituted for Worf, the gruff, socially awkward Klingon security officer for instance.
For one season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Dr. Kate Pulaski (played by Diana Muldaur, who'd appeared twice as different characters in the Original Series) replaced Dr. Beverly Crusher as ship's doctor. Pulaski was doubly a Suspiciously Similar Substitute, since her abrasive tics were explicitly based on Bones McCoy.
In a case falling halfway between Suspiciously Similar Substitute and The Nth Doctor, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine replaced Jadzia Dax with Ezri Dax in the final season: different hosts, same symbiote, and a Trill's personality is a blend of the host and symbiote.
The exact same thing happened in the early production of Star Trek: Voyager: B'Elanna Torres was also a replacement character for Ro Laren, because Michelle Forbes again refused to commit to a seven-year show.
Tom Paris was a suspiciously similar substitute for a character the same actor played on Next Gen for various legal reasons.
Taurik, a Vulcan Ensign who appeared in a single episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, became a recurring crew member in Voyager, where he was called Vorik, for the same reason that Locarno became Paris and T'Pau became T'Pol. Jeri Taylor, a producer on Voyager and the mother of the actor (Alexander Enberg) who played Taurik and Vorik, once quipped that the rhymedly named Vulcan Ensigns were identical twin brothers.
To complete a common pattern, T'Pol was originally written to be T'Pau, a Vulcan priestess who appeared in the Original Series and in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. But since it was thought at the time that reusing a character would force them to pay royalties to the writer who created the original T'Pau (see Tom above), the character was changed. T'Pau did appear in the fourth season during a story arc on Vulcan. It was some years later that a judge in California ruled that such a reuse would not force a producer to pay royalties to the original writer. (This, incidentally, is one of the reasons why Nicholas Locarno in TNG became Tom Paris in Voyager).
One of the world's few substitute anticipations happened in the kids' series Space Cases. With Jewel Staite having Flash Forward hanging in the balance, her character, Catalina, was given an "imaginary friend" named Suzee, who was really a person living in Another Dimension that Catalina could communicate with. When the other series required Ms. Staite's services, a little Applied Phlebotinum switched Suzee to the real world (as played by Rebecca Herbst) and Catalina to the "imaginary" world.
Beakman's World substituted its lovely young female assistant not once, but twice. Both were a result of the show's fate: The first switch happened as the show moved to CBS from syndication (and Alanna Ubach deciding to do movies instead), and the second happened after an Un-cancellation (and Eliza Schneider deciding to do stage shows instead).
Many older kids shows, like You Can't Do That on Television and Kids Incorporated, substituted the entire cast, and Kids Incorporated did so repeatedly. Their reasoning is likely similar to why the Vienna Boys' Choir and Menudo boot their kids out at 13.
Similarly, the late 80s-early 90s incarnation of The Mickey Mouse Club turned over its cast a few times. Notables in the mix include Keri Russell (as part of the first rotation of new blood) and Britney Spears (as part of one of the last rotations).
The UK kids' show Why Dont You... is another example, but is had one notable exception in its later years: Ben, the Welsh Mad Scientist, was evidently considered un-substitutable, so he continued past the typical age, eventually playing a Holly-style computer program based on the original Ben, so that the disparity between his age and the rest of the cast wasn't an issue.
They did manage a successful change in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, where actress Valerie Vernon had to leave due to being diagnosed with leukemia. Originally they were going to take the previous pink ranger and bring her in as a replacement, but when that deal fell through, they took the previous season's reformed Big Bad, Karone, and made her the replacement. In this case, the character was vastly different because she had aspects of The Atoner.
Another successful change was Adam Park, the second Black Ranger. While Zack was fun-loving and energetic, Adam was fairly quiet and thoughtful. Early on, this was all his character had to him, but an ad-lib in The Movie (his dejected "I'm a frog..." when finding out what his spirit animal is) gave him some Woobie points and being the second-longest serving ranger gave him fairly decent character development. He's one of the most popular characters in the series now and the only pre-Disney buyout ranger to appear in the 15th anniversary Reunion Show.
The original Kamen Rider was forced to do this with Takeshi Hongo/Kamen Rider 1 after Hiroshi Fujioka broke his leg while attempting a stunt. Unlike many examples of this trope, however, the replacement character (Hayato Ichimonji/Kamen Rider 2) is remembered fondly by the fanbase and has become just as much a fixture of the franchise as his predecessor, and when the former returned to the show, the two are often paired under the nickname "Double Riders."
Kamen Rider Decade has done this to most of the cast of the shows they visited, using the conceit of Alternate Universes. Sometimes these changes are justified (for instance Kamen Rider Kuuga's actor considers the series an Old Shame). However, a good number of actors have returned to play their original characters as well, even if they're also AU incarnations.
The old-school Riders had a recurring, cross-seasonal ally named Tobei Tachibana. He started out as Hongo's friend who ran the motorbike racing club, but got more and more involved with things Rider-related just due to being close to the guys trouble followed most, becoming something of a Badass Normal. When Powers That Be decided to bring the character back in Kamen Rider Skyrider but the actor declined, the Tachibana role in that and the following series went to the nigh-identical Genjiro Tani. His personality and role were exactly Tachibana's, and sometimes past Riders talked to Tani as if they knew him much better than they did, as if scripts with Tachibana in mind had already been written. They really shoulda gone the Magic Plastic Surgery route.
The Metal Heroes series Space Sheriff Gavan has Gavan's Bridge Bunny Mimi leave to see to her ill mother for the last 3rd or so of the series, and replaced with a character called Marin who was the exact same character minus the Love Interest part (since Mimi was only leaving for a short while so her and Gavan were still technically in a relationship). Unlike most examples, though, Marin was already an established character on the show as a Bridge Bunny to Gavan's Mission Control and was specifically called in to fill in for Mimi.
Will Bailey seems to have begun as one for Sam Seaborn (right down to several "passing the torch" incidents in which Sam encouraged Toby to accept Will's help with the Inauguration speech, Will was semi-formally inducted into Sam's old position, etc.), but the writing of the show shifted after Aaron Sorkin's departure, and within a year Will's character had shifted jobs into the Vice-President's office and was portrayed more as a cynical political operative than as an idealist. Joshua Malina (Will) has even described himself as a worse-looking, less-expensive Rob Lowe (Sam). Which you have to admit has a grain of truth to it.
Joe Quincy (Matthew Perry), who was hired to fill a position opened by Ainsley Hayes (Emily Procter), a "blonde, leggy Republican." Yeah, he was a Republican too. Josh doesn't like that the similarities end there.
Josh: If you're a Republican, you damn well better look like Ainsley Hayes! Donna: He does! [Joe and Josh stare] Donna: I mean... he will to other people!
The show seems to be unable to hang on to the actor playing the White House Counsel, and so the feeling of similarity is probably due to the fact that the dialogue the new guy is sprouting was actually written for the previous guy. The scene that introduces Counsel Oliver Babish (the one with the oversized gavel and dictaphone) was pretty obviously written with Lionel Tribbey (his predecessor) in mind.
Maverick introduced a Suspiciously Similar Substitute before the star left, in the form of Bret Maverick's brother, Bart. This was principally done in order to accelerate the show's shooting schedule, since they could shoot a Bret episode and a Bart episode at the same time. Reportedly, the show's writers had no idea whether a given episode would be a Bret episode or a Bart episode when they wrote it. By the show's end there were two other Mavericks in rotation, one of them played by Roger Moore. The most suspiciously similar of them all was Brent Maverick, who was introduced shortly after James Garner (who played Bret Maverick) left the show. Not only was Brent's name just one letter off from Bret's, but he was played by Robert Colbert, who bears a remarkable likeness to Garner. When Colbert discovered the producers' plan for him, he rebelled against them, reportedly begging them to, "Put me in a dress and call me Brenda! ANYTHING but this!"
To an extent, Hugh Laurie in the third and fourth series of Blackadder seems to have filled this role (aristocratic fop) in replacement of Tim McInnerny from the first two series, after McInnerny left because he didn't want to be typecast. When McInnerny rejoined the regular cast in the fourth series, his character resembled that played by Stephen Fry (brown-nosing rival) in the second series, with Fry in turn now playing a character more akin to that of BRIAN BLESSED and Miranda Richardson respectively (insane tyrant) in the first two series. This slightly convoluted game of "musical chairs" in regards to actors and characters appears however to have been of little detriment to the series.
Nancy Oleson on Little House on the Prairie is a replacement for long-time nemesis, Nellie Oleson. This is lampshaded in the episode where the Olesons adopt her, as Harriet mentions how she looks "just like Nellie" while Nels later ruefully acknowledges that she acts just like Nellie, too.
Nancy was Nellie on steroids; actually vicious enough to unthinkingly put people's lives in danger, much like their mother. When Nell returns for a visit, even she is struck by the resemblance—and put off as well, fearing her mother is making the same mistakes—which was an understatement.
The BBC version of Robin Hood appeared to be about to do this too. Season 3, episode 10 invented a backstory for Robin Hood and Guy of Gisbourne that created a mutual half-brother for the characters. Both Jonas Armstrong (Robin) and Richard Armitage (Guy) were expected to leave the show at the end of the third season, presumably to be replaced by their brother Archer. Then the show was cancelled.
Likewise, on the BBC version, the character of Marian was replaced with Kate...who had the same personality as her predecessor, only blonde and poor (and shrill). The result was cringe-inducing considering that Kate was written as arrogant, impetuous, and initially antagonistic toward Robin, just as Marian was. What the writers failed to realize was that such traits are understandable and endearing in a privileged noblewoman who had been jilted by Robin, but completely nonsensical in a peasant girl who had no reason to be any of these things.
Law & Order has always had six main characters: two detectives, their chief, the DA, the executive assistant DA, and a regular assistant DA. Given that the series lasted for 20 seasons, all six roles have been substituted as actors move on, some of them several times over. It also helps that the show is heavily story-based, and not too dependent on characterizations.
The earliest example occurred in the first episode of Season 2. No sooner was Season 1's Max Greevey (George Dzundza) gunned down that the credits start and we see Paul Sorvino's name in the credits. Sorvino's character, Phil Cerreta was a similarly overweight, older detective whose sense of values conflicted with Logan's more reckless tendencies, especially in this episode.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has seen this a few times; while actress Mariska Hargitay was away due to pregnancy, her character Olivia Benson was briefly replaced by arguable Canon Sue Dani Beck, who spoke fluent French, physically assaulted perps without consequence, was famous for her effectiveness in fighting crime, had a cool personal PDA/GPS system that she flashed around a few times, and had the romantic affair with Elliot that fans wanted him to have with Olivia. In general, the fandom doesn't miss her.
Similarly, the ADA's in SVU get replaced. Most people didn't mind the Alex Cabot replacement by Casey Novak (they have very different personalities), but the ADA who replaced Novak for Season 10 was a mediocre blend of both of them, with a dash of Informed Ability to boot. "They used to call me the Crusader." Fan backlash led to them bringing back Alex.
Coy and Vance replaced Bo and Luke Duke. They were such substitutes, they even had the same hair color. The following season Bo and Luke were brought back, and Coy and Vance were never heard of again.
Deputy Cletus Hogg, although his initial appearance on the show preceded Enos' departure for his own series, and he was allowed to stay on even after Enos returned.
Roscoe was also replaced briefly by two different sheriffs — including The Other Darrin himself.
In the Australian teen series Wicked Science, the girl in Toby's group, Dina, was replaced by Toby's cousin Sasha in Season 2.
Mr. Harmon, Old Mr. Grace, and Mr. Spooner replacing Mr. Mash, Young Mr. Grace and Mr. Lucas on Are You Being Served?.
Also Mr Grainger, the head of menswear, was replaced by Tebbs, Goldberg, Klein, and Grossman before they eliminated role and made Mr Humphries head of the department.
Charlie Crawford replaced Mike Flaherty as the Deputy Mayor on Spin City. The key difference was that Charlie was a Handsome Lech and Mike wasn't.
Charlie Crawford was played by Charlie Sheen, who also played Charlie Harper in Two and a Half Men. Sheen ended up getting fired from the show due to his drug problems and for making derogatory remarks about the show's creator and executive producer. Harper was killed off and replaced by Walden Schmidt, played by Ashton Kutcher. Both characters are immature womanizers.
When Gomer Pyle left The Andy Griffith Show in 1964 for his own spin-off, Gomer Pyle USMC (of "'PYYYYLE!'...'Shazam!'" fame), he was replaced by equally hayseed cousin Goober Pyle.
Up to that point, Goober was only referred to by Gomer as a running gag; his materializing as Gomer's replacement would be something like Seinfeld's Kramer being replaced by the infamous "Bob Sacamano." Weird.
Well, technically, Goober did appear in one episode ("Fun Girls") prior to Gomer's departure from Mayberry.
Warren Ferguson and (arguably) Howard Sprague, for Barney Fife.
Andy's steady girlfriend in the first season was pharmacist Ellie Walker; after she was written out of the show (apparently due to lack of chemistry between Andy Griffith and Elinor Donahue), Andy was given a couple more temporary love interests before Helen Crump was finally introduced in season 3.
When the show was retooled as Mayberry, R.F.D., Sam Jones and his son Mike essentially became the substitutes for Andy and Opie Taylor.
Uncle Albert for Grandad on Only Fools And Horses. More blatant in his first few appearances, in which he was just filling the role that Grandad would have filled if not for Lennard Pearce dying, but he soon started to be portrayed as being more physically capable and less of a Cloud Cuckoolander than Grandad, along with his navy background playing a more important part in episodes.
The long-running Australian sitcom Hey Dad..! continued for a 13th and 14th season after the titular character left, with a family friend serving as an unofficial father figure. Over its long lifespan, the show had a nearly complete changeover of cast, with replacements alternating between thinly-disguised substitutes and unexplained Other Darrins.
My Three Sons did this a lot. They replaced grandpa Bub with Uncle Charlie. Later the oldest son left so the dad adopted the youngest son's friend.
Howard Attfield, who played Donna Noble's father in "The Runaway Bride," died during the filming of Series 4. They filled his role with Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins), who had been created as a one-off guest character in "Voyage of the Damned" and was promptly retconned as her maternal grandfather.
This is not the first time Cribbins has been a Doctor Who Suspiciously Similar Substitute; in the second of the 1960s non-canon movies, Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., he plays Special Constable Tom Campbell, who replaces the character of Ian Chesterton who appeared in the corresponding episode from the TV show and who appeared in the earlier movie Dr. Who And The Daleks. Louise, also replaces Barbara.
The Doctor's regeneration was designed specifically to avoid this. Originally there was no plans for him to regenerate he wasn't even designated an alien, it only came about when William Hartnell had to leave the show due to health issues. A producer thought it would be a novel idea and thus the doctor as we know him was born.
The real offenders are the early companions. Once Barbara and Ian left, Steven replaced them. Before that, Vicki replaced Susan, and was later replaced herself by Dodo, with Sara and Katarina briefly holding the role. The companion model of a young heroic male and attractive young female was used as a counterpart to the older Hartnell, and the slightly old Troughton, at which point it was changed for a sidekick-type model. There were several exceptions —
Polly and Ben were a pair, and separately didn't fit the ideas of a female and male companion. They were seen with Jamie, the new version of the young heroic male.
The original plans for Season 7 had Zoe as the Third Doctor's companion; when her actress declined to stay on, they created Liz, a similar Hot Scientist, to replace her.
Stephen Fry had to pull out of writing a script because he couldn't find the time to rewrite his episode to accommodate Martha Jones instead of Rose Tyler as the companion.
Early plans for Series 4 had a character called Penny Carter stepping in as the new companion, 'as much like Donna Noble as I can get away with' according to writer Russell T. Davies. Then Catherine Tate agreed to do the show after all and Donna became the full-time companion. Penny Carter did appear as a minor character.
Torchwood did this in Children of Earth with Lois, who fills the role Martha was joining to play had Freema Agyeman been available.
Subverted in the same miniseries when a character who seems like he's being built up to be a substitute for Owen suddenly shoots Jack in the back, and then gets shot himself. RTD says this was intentional, because he thinks it's a disservice to characters to outright replace them with a Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
In "Goodbye Sarah Jane Smith", Ruby villainously attempts to become this for Sarah Jane.
Due South did this surprisingly well, mixing in a bit of Sister Becky. One character is sent away "under cover" while the main character is out of town. The replacement is introduced as someone pretending to be that character, in order to maintain his cover.
For bonus points, the replacement is almost nothing like his predecessor, with almost everybody except Fraser seeming to be unaware of this
A few years earlier, Stephen Fry was supposed to be the second regular on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, but backed out at the last minute (he didn't actually like doing improv that much). He was replaced by...Tony Slattery.
Stephen Fry and Tony Slattery were both members of the Cambridge Footlights at the same time, by the way. And Slattery took up the position of Footlights president after Fry's good friend and frequent collaborator Hugh Laurie served in that position for a year.
At the end of Season 2, NCIS agent Kate Todd is shot and killed by Ari Haswari, a Hamas terrorist working undercover within Mossad. Then at the beginning of Season 3, Mossad agent Ziva David, Ari's sister, joins the NCIS team as a Liaison Officer. Ziva resembles Kate physically- both are slim, brown eyed brunettes. And Ziva quickly picks up Kate's habit of engaging in rivalry, banter and Unresolved Sexual Tension with NCIS agent Tony DiNozzo. Otherwise, Kate and Ziva are quite different characters, but this is not a case of The Other Darrin.
The fifth season ends on a cliffhanger which implies that Tony, Ziva, and McGee will all be substituted, and, indeed, the sixth season premiere shows Gibbs leading a new team, with establishing shots helpfully indicating which of the previous characters' niches the new agents fit into. Interestingly, the new team has most of the worst qualities of the characters they're replacing—Langer is a meaner Tony, Keating is a wimpier McGee, etc. The trope is then fairly quickly subverted and by the end of the second episode of the season, the team is reunited and back in business.
Subverted in the 7th season opener when the team interviews replacements for Ziva. Two don't live up to their hype, and one came in at the wrong time. Ziva returns at the end, at least physically.
Sliders was rife with substituting toward the end, though most weren't very similar to those they replaced. However, Quinn got substituted when actor Jerry O Connell left, by way of The Nth Doctor by being "fused" with 'Mallory' (his non-identical counterpart from a parallel universe), at the same time Colin wasPut on a Bus. But with a different personality and face, Quinn Mallory's substitute isn't the other Quinn Mallory. Hot Scientist Diana Davis takes his role as the scientific brains on the team.
To be fair, the episode that this happens in allows for that interpretation as Arturo's villainous duplicate tries to replace him so he can escape his own world and just before they slide they are having a classic "which is the real one?" battle, and after the slide the Arturo who was left behind gives a quiet, "Oh, my God."
Series creator Tracy Torme has tormented fans by saying that he knows which Arturo made the jump, but will never reveal it.
Done by necessity quite a lot on gentle old dears' British comedy Last of the Summer Wine, as elderly cast members die off with inconvenient regularity. (Currently only one member of the original central trio is still alive).
Done on 'Allo 'Allo! when Mimi and Captain Bertorelli appeared as substitutes for Maria and the German Captain Hans respectively — in particular, Mimi was at least as short as Maria and both had fiery tempers. It allowed them to continue the gag of Mimi/Maria having to get a stool to stand on in order to hug René. Later, Monsieur Leclerc was replaced by his twin brother after the original actor died. Captain Bertorelli and the second Leclerc were then replaced in a The Other Darrin manner.
Also parodied in the series, when René's death was faked and he was forced to pose as his own Suspiciously Similar Substitute twin brother for the rest of the show.
René: "I am also named René."
The German police drama Siska did this when they replaced the eponymous lead character with his never-before-mentioned brother after he was killed off.
Luka Kovacs for Doug Ross. Dave Malucci also, as he took on the brash, reckless, rebellious character traits of Doug.
Similarly, Abby Lockhart for Carol Hathaway. She was introduced as Carol's OB nurse during her labour, but promptly replaced her in the ER after she left. Not only did she immediately start dating Luka, Carol's ex (and aforementioned Doug Ross replacement), but she was even given the aborted nurse-to-doctor storyline (admittedly with some differences; Carol had always been an RN but decided to study for and take her MCA Ts just to see if she could pass them. Although scenes were filmed with Carol starting medical school, actress Julianna Margulies was unhappy with the storyline as Carol had always been passionate about nursing and she felt it was out of character for her to switch careers. By contrast, Abby was introduced as a wannabe doc who took nursing shifts to pay for med school. She dropped out not long after her introduction due to lack of funds, but always intended to go back and finish, which she eventually did, becoming a fully-fledged doctor).
Many new characters were like this, being introduced in the plucky Naďve Newcomer mold of Carter (Lucy, Gallant, Neela, even Dr. Wise in the series finale), or the "tough & abrasive go-getter" type (Kerry, Morretti, Brenner, Banfield)
Married... with Children: Straitlaced banker Steve Rhoades (David Garrison) was Marcy's husband for four seasons, and then was replaced by pretty-boy Jefferson D'Arcy (Ted Mc Ginley) when Garrison wanted to leave the show to avoid being typecast. This was rather a subversion because Jefferson was a completely different character than Steve.
Everwood, for some extent at least: Linda and Amanda are both facing a tragedy of sorts, both feel uneasy around Nina (foreshadowing, much?) and both have a similar relationship with Andy: the rocky start, people against the affair, having a hard time fitting in Andy's family life, and finally breaking up over something directly related to the aforementioned tragedy. Amy's best friends, Laynie and Hannah (who never appeared simultaneously, although they'd be best friends themselves in Grey's Anatomy, same actresses, different characters), also share some traits: tragedy again (the common denominator for everybody in the show), introverted, both have an older brother (one of them dies and the other has a strong chance of inheriting Huntington's), both are somewhat "dark" and both girls click with Ephram instantly (Laynie actually dates him, Hannah is more a best friend / neighbour / like sibling type). Last but not least, Stephanie is in many ways a short-lived Madison II (college-girl, very different from Ephram, great with Deliah, kind with Amy in spite of her (Amy's) jealousy).
Teachers initially both justified and averted it. It justified it because, in a school, teachers genuinely do come and go and get replaced, so it never seemed odd to have cast changes between series. They averted it by not replacing characters with direct clones, particularly after main character Simon left and the show became an ensemble piece. Unfortunately, after the third series, ensemble darkhorses Kurt and Brian left, along with Simon's arbitrary replacement Matt, to be replaced by Damien and Ben, substitutes for Kurt and Brian, and Ewan, a substitute for Simon. Cue Seasonal Rot and no fifth series.
Dr. Peele of American Gothic was this, replacing Dr. Crower—only to then be sent veering off in a different direction by being paired up with the Femme Fatale, then relegated to backburner status for the rest of the series.
Sandy Duncan's character on The Hogan Family, which was Valerie before Valerie Harper quit.
Neil Morrissey as Tony Smart from series 2 of Men Behaving Badly, replacing Harry Enfield as Dermot Povey. Since this happened on ITV, and the show only became popular after the third series was taken up by The BBC, most viewers have only the vaguest idea there ever was a Dermot Povey. (In one Clip Show, a single scene from series 1 is shown, prompting Tony to ask "Who was that?")
That '70s Show replaced Eric and Kelso with Randy, who had similar personality traits of both other characters.
In Blake's 7, substitutes are always the same gender as the outgoing character, for no particular reason but to make up the numbers. Jenna is replaced by Dayna, Blake is replaced by Tarrant, and Cally is replaced by Soolin. Slightly subverted in the episode 'Rescue', though, where the tough guy and the female pilot are replaced by a male pilot and a tough chick, respectively.
In Frontline, each season features a new Executive Producer, all of whom are equally amoral but manipulate people in slightly different ways.
In Gilmore Girls, when Chad Michael Murray (Tristan DuGray) left for a slew of other WB projects (including Dawson's Creek, a failed Lone Ranger pilot and then eventually One Tree Hill). This left a void in the Rory/Dean/Other love/hate triangle. The void was soon filled by Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia).
Although Jess's character was VASTLY different from Tristan's, and the dynamics of the relationship between him and Rory were much more even.
Logan Huntzberger, however, was just Tristan 2.0.
Monk did this when Traylor Howard was introduced as Natalie Teeger, replacing Bitty Schram's character Sharona Fleming as Monk's assistant midway through season 3. The next few episodes were very obviously written for Sharona, with the only real difference in the characters being Natalie calls him "Mr. Monk" instead of "Adrian." (Well, almost all of the time) This gets especially weird when she states that she's never seen Monk's feet like that's a big deal, despite having only taken the job in the previous episode. The point at which the writers ran out of their previous scripts and were able to start creating material specifically for Natalie (mostly involving her dead husband at first) is very, very clear, and happens some time around "Mr. Monk and the Election" or "Mr. Monk and the Kid".
Due to the death of Stanley Kamel (Dr. Kroger), Hector Elizondo has taken on the role of a new psychiatrist for Adrian Monk.
Get Smart (the original show) did this for the episode "Ice Station Siegfried." Don Adams had a root canal and couldn't be there for the shooting of one episode, so the writers created Agent Quigley, who acted exactly like Maxwell Smart and was also attracted to Agent 99, to replace him for one episode. He was never seen nor mentioned again. Incidentally, the script for "Ice Station Siegfried" was so bad that Adams purposely scheduled his dentist appointment so that he would miss the filming of it and not another Season 5 episode.
Dad's Army introduced Private Cheeseman as a substitute after the sudden death of James Beck, who played Walker. The character fast became a Scrappy and was written out after only one season.
Although not as obvious as some other examples, the producers wrestled with who they could get to replace Cordelia's snarky truth-telling character (who had left for Angel, where she'd undergo a whack of Character Development and change personalities anyway). At first, when getting wind of the popularity of Spike and deciding to keep him on, they'd thought to have him do it, but they later decided to use Anya, a previously one-episode appearance, to become a regular and take over Cordelia's role in the group.
While we're at it, Spike, the Vampire-fighting-for-good, is curiously similar to Angel. Eventually even the slightly-different motivation, the behaviour-dampening hardware placed in his brain, is written out and he is given a soul just like his counterpart. And yeah, they both date Buffy. Their personalities are not remotely similar, though.
The trope was inverted with Kennedy, who was deliberately made very different from Willow's previous love interest Tara. Perhaps not the best idea, as Kennedy was pushy, arrogant, and abrasive where Tara was shy, gentle and empathetic. She was not received well.
There's a textbook subversion in season 1, after Angel loses Doyle. He complains that his link to the Powers That Be is gone, only to be told that "whenever a door closes, another opens." Enter a very Doyle-like character...who turns out, after a series of misdirections, to be the Monster of the Week, not the new sidekick. Cordelia gains Doyle's powers and role.
Doyle himself was a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Whistler, a character who appeared briefly in flashbacks in Buffy's second season finale and recruited Angel to the side of good. Both are sarcastic demons (half-demon, in Doyle's case) who work for the Powers That Be. Doyle was originally intended to be Whistler, but the actor was unavailable when the show was greenlit, so they reworked him as newcomer Doyle.
Joss Whedon admits that after Cordelia went insane, fell into a coma, and was absent in the show's final season, the writers felt that the show had lost an important puzzle piece. Enter Harmony. Dim-witted, blonde, and completely peculiar vampire who seems to carry the personality of Cordelia circa Season 1. They even went as far as adding her as a main character in the opening credits for the final six episodes. Though since Harmony had been there since the very first episode of Buffy (and being one of the Cordettes) her character was already known and accepted. Word of God is that Harmony was supposed to be a recurring character once she arrived on Angel...but they forgot about her until the final season. Then, they ended up having her in every episode, so it was somewhat necessary to make her part of the main cast.
For Season Five, Eve served the part of Cordelia that was to play Angel's foil. Spike as in Buffy Season Four came on to give the much-needed sarcastic remarks. Illyria, later, became the one who provided conflict by always saying it like it is.
Eve also effectively replaced Lilah Morgan as the untrustworthy senior female at Wolfram & Hart, as she herself commented on in her first scene.
In Judging Amy, Dan Futterman played Vincent Gray, Amy's highly intelligent younger brother, in episodes 1 through 51, when he left the show. He was soon substituted by Kevin Rahm in the role of Kyle McCarty, Amy and Vincent's highly intelligent second cousin who had much of the same intelligence and mannerisms as Vincent. With Kyle's introduction, it was explained that Vincent and Kyle had been roommates and spent much of their younger years together. Vincent returned to the show in episode 100, and effectively reverse-substituted for Kyle who left the show in episode 118. Vincent remained for the rest of the show's run.
Jeffrey Coho from Boston Legal is an interesting example, in that he was the substitute for a character who was still on the show. Over the first two seasons, the main character Alan Shore transformed from being a rather-slimy-lawyer-with-a-deeply-buried-heart-of-gold type to a civil rights crusader. Jeffrey Coho was brought onto the show at the beginning of Season 3, and was identical in personality to Season 1 Alan, even down to his politics and his feuding with Brad Chase (except, mercifully, for the friendship with Denny Crane, which was only ever Alan's).
Benson — Rene Auberjonois' Clayton Endicott III was a clone of his predecessor, Taylor (albeit with a more impressively pretentious name).
Hill Street Blues — When Michael Conrad died after Season 3, his Sgt. Esterhaus was replaced with Robert Prosky's Sgt. Jablonski (who was even given a similar catchphrase to close out the briefing at the top of each episode).
Jolene didn't actually replace Flo per se. When Polly Holiday left to star in the short-lived spinoff Flo, she was replaced by Diane Ladd (who played Flo in the movie), although on the TV show, she played an original character named "Belle Dupree", another sassy, sarcastic middle aged southern gal. Eventually Diane left, and SHE was replaced by Jolene.
The Streets of San Francisco — Dan Robbins, for Steve Keller.
Inverted, somewhat, on All in the Family: The character of George Jefferson was expressly written for Sherman Helmsley, who was unavailable at the time the show's early seasons were shot due to his appearance in a Broadway musical; the character of George's brother, Henry Jefferson, was devised as a placeholder until Helmsley became available in Season 4 (although George was "on" the show as an offscreen character in the earlier seasons).
Phil in Corner Gas replacing Paul as the Cree with long hair and the four letter name that starts with P and ends with L who works as the head bartender. The only difference apart from name is that Phil looks older and has a deeper, less enthusiastic voice.
When Mickey left Hustle after season 3, Billy was introduced as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Danny, with Danny taking up Mickey's role. In season 5, Mickey's back and the Danny/Billy role is taken by Sean, with his sister Emma as the new Stacie.
This was because Mark Frankel's character Julian Luna had quickly taken over as star of the show after proving far more popular than the original lead — C. Thomas Howell's Frank Kohanek — who was intensely disliked by fans and critics alike. Frank was supposed to be written out in Season 2, and Julian made the lead. Without the fan favorite, the producers believed that the show was too weak to continue.
Tiffani Thiessen's Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills 90210. Valerie was introduced after Shannen Doherty was fired from the show and was a brunette of similar temperament to Doherty's Brenda who lived in her room and slept with her ex-boyfriend. Her twist was that she was a pot-smoking 'naughty girl', as the characters in the show would constantly remind us.
After Howard Hesseman left Head of the Class in 1990, Billy Connolly's character substituted him for the show's final season.
Diff'rent Strokes: After Edna Garrett's departure for her own spinoff (The Facts of Life), she was replaced as the Drummonds' housekeeper with Adelaide Brubaker...who was substituted, in turn, by Pearl Gallagher.
Mrs. Garrett was eventually substituted herself on The Facts of Life by her sister, Beverly Ann Stickle.
The Love Boat replaced Julie McCoy with her sister Judy as "Your Cruise Director," following actress Lauren Tewes' departure from the show due to cocaine addiction.
Sophie's cousin Barney in the fifth series of Peep Show is a fairly obvious replacement for her brother Jamie from series four; they look similar, are both musicians, both obsessed with Jeremy, and Barney even hangs around with Sophie's father for no explained reason.
Season three of MI High replaced Daisy, Blaine, and their boss. A number of minor characters are also gone as well. In fact the only characters who have been carried over from the last season are Rose, The Grand Master and the school headmaster.
The third series replaced Lenny Bicknall with Frank London, both retired superspies posing as a high school caretaker.
Knight Rider replaced Wrench Wench Bonnie Barstow with April Curtis for the second season, then brought back Bonnie the next year.
Happy Days, upon the leaving of Ron Howard, brought in a family friend named Roger who replaced the 'straight-man' tendencies of Richie.
There have been seven Iron Chefs: Chen Kenichi (Chinese), Hiroyuki Sakai (French), Masaharu Morimoto (Japanese), and Masahiko Kobe (Italian) are the ones American viewers are most familiar with. The dubbed version tried to push the idea that Morimoto was the direct successor to Rokusaburo Michiba, the original IC Japanese. In truth, Morimoto was a substitute to a substitute: Michiba's replacement was Koumei Nakamura (Who can be spotted behind Chairman Kaga in the opening credits, where Kaga is standing behind the pile of strawberries). There's also the original IC French, Yutaka Ishinabe (whose portrait can be spotted in the opening panorama).
Season 7 introduces Janis Gold, a frumpy bespectacled computer technician, who is the FBI's version of Chloe. They bring Chloe back for a few episodes, and they don't get along.
The character of Mandy is another example. If the producers couldn't get Mia Kirshner the actress who played her they created another sexy terrorist. Season 4's Nicole is a prime example, because she behaves in EXACTLY the same way as Mandy would, she has sex with a character to get him on side, then reveals her true colours. Mandy did more or less the same thing in the first episode. Which is amusing in itself considering Mandy actually did return at the very end of the fourth season.
Olivia Taylor's only real existence on the show was to essentially play Sherri Palmer to her mother Allison's David: The former is a corrupt, manipulative bitch family to the latter who is the President and very much a strong moral force for the country.
The show replaced two characters in the ninth season, with Ray Langston, and Riley Adams, though they seem to be the latter type, each having their own character traits.
DB Russell is said to be a straighter version of this, because he has some similarities to Grissom, though not so close that it screams "Grissom Light".
By comparison, CSI: NY replaced Aiden Burn with another occasionally-sarcastic female character, who was even suggested to be in a relationship with the same character, at least until she was Killed Off for Real. Her other traits were added to a previously-existing background character, who occasionally takes Don Flack's place. Later, a new recurring female detective was brought into the series, and appears to be a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for the original Suspiciously Similar Substitute. She's even becoming Flack's new love interest.
While the original ducklings still appear on House, their roles as, well, ducklings have been replaced. By Taub, Kutner and Thirteen, who are superficially similar to the original three characters. Their exact personalities don't line up but House admitted that he hired them based on the same dynamic he had with the earlier team. Interestingly enough for the trope, the previous actors didn't leave the show, they just added more cast members and reorganized the dynamic. For most of seasons 4 and 5 the new characters and Foreman were the team while Chase and Cameron went on to other departments in the hospital.
Completely averted, character wise. While the dynamic of "Older Guy", "Younger Guy", and "Younger Girl" still existed, the characters filling each slot were completely different. Thirteen, the character suffering most from accusations of the like was actually as completely different from her predecessor as was possible.
Played weird with Thirteen and Martha Masters. When Thirteen left Masters was brought in, and the trope was deliberately averted in both appearance and personality. When House goes and collects Thirteen on her release from prison, the trope is still averted because she keeps her old appearance and personality. Buy in the first episode after Masters leaves (and Thirteen is re0hired), she shows up with the exact same hair Master had.
NYPD Blue is the master of this trope, having replaced Andy Sipowicz's partner three times. Jimmy Smits replaced David Caruso when the latter decided he was too big to do the show. Rick Schroeder replaced Smits. Mark-Paul Gosselaar replaced Schroeder. Gosselaar and Schroeder are the best examples here, both having similar physical make-ups and similar character personalities.
Battlestar Galactica replaced Billy Keikeya with Tory Foster. This is actually the only Battlestar example. Given the improvisational nature of the series' writing it's unclear if Billy would have followed a similar arc to Tory, had Paul Campbell remained on the show.
Well, at the very least, he probably wouldn't have slept with Anders and Baltar.
This trope is played straight or averted, as the lack of similarity between the two characters is noted by Roslin and Adama in Tory's very first appearance.
In The George Lopez Show, Carmen is replaced with Angie's niece Veronica Palmero because of creative differences between Carmen's actress, Masiela Lusha, and George Lopez. Veronica is the same as Carmen, only more shallow and with a sadder story.
The character of Laverne was killed off, due to the writers being under the impression the 6th season would be the last. It wasn't. Cue Nurse Shirley, who is played by the same actress that played Laverne! This is lampshaded when JD nicknames her "Laverneagain." The hospital's fake website uses the exact same picture for both nurses' profiles. It's actually a subversion, since what little personality the writers had a chance to give to her dialogue, and a good deal of the acting Aloma Wright did, was meant to create the impression of an anti-Laverne. Laverne and Shirley?
For the last season, the main character is JD and Elliot combined (narrator, daydreaming delusions, blonde, crazy, likes horses, bullied by Dr. Cox...) and Denise is also given some more obvious JD traits after he leaves. Denise and Drew sort of become the new Jordan and Dr. Cox.
According to some, Kochanski was this for Rimmer on Red Dwarf. Others thought Kochanski replaced Kryten, while the latter became Rimmer's replacement.
Also inverted — Rimmer is killed off in the first episode and replaced by a hologram, portrayed by the same actor. Hologram Rimmer was written out of the story in Series VII after Chris Barrie chose to leave the show. He returned in Series VIII to play the revived original Rimmer.
After the death of Bea Benederet, the mother and hotel manager from Petticoat Junction, June Lockhart was cast as a new town doctor who took up residence in the hotel. Although she was clearly not the girls' mother, and the girls were all well into adulthood by that point, she carried on Benederet's function as motherly advisor, and the town's most sensible resident.
After season 1 of Mission: Impossible, team leader Dan Briggs was replaced by Jim Phelps. After season 3, Rollin Hand was replaced by "The Great Paris." Replacements were seamless, since the characters were constantly playing roles within the show, and were purposely written to show a minimum of personality outside their jobs.
Jim was actually rather different in personality from Dan, a more friendly and avuncular sort whereas Dan was a hardass with a ruthless streak. Also, Dan sometimes supervised the missions remotely rather than joining them, whereas Jim was always part of the mission team. Jim was also more suited for romantic roles than Dan. However, Paris was an exact replacement for Rollin, with the exact same skill set (disguise, magic, cheating at cards, pickpocketing). In his first season (year 4), he was Rollin by another name, but in season 5, when the show got more character-driven for a time, he developed a distinct, more casual and "hip" personality.
In addition, The Chick in the Five-Man Band started out as Cinnamon, who was replaced by a parade of guest stars in Season 4, Dana in Season 5, and Casey in Seasons 6-7 (with Mimi briefly serving as a Temporary Substitute). Averted somewhat with Casey, who was not just the femme fatale but also replaced Rollin and Paris as the team's makeup master, since budget cuts required reducing the cast size. The show also attempted to replace Willy with a doctor named Doug, but Willy was Saved by the Fans.
Averted, kind of, in Bones. At the start of season 3 we were given recurring character Sweets, a young, clever psychologist. He became a regular with his name added to the opening credits at the end of the season when Zack, the young, clever anthropologist, left the show. Averted in that the characters don't have much more in common and that Sweets is very well-liked. Also averted in that Zach's in-universe role (anthropology student in the lab) is now pointedly rotated between five different guest characters, because everyone agrees that Zach is irreplaceable anyway.
Sully could be seen as a variation of this trope. Booth had not left the series, but Agent Tim Sullivan was brought in as a replacement boyfriend for Brennan-but he was so much like Booth that the fans dubbed him "Booth Light".
Seen repeatedly in Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict, due to the show's unusually high cast turnover rate. In fact, the only character to last through all 5 seasons was series villain Agent Sandoval.
The character of Tyr, a Nietzschean who could not be trusted was replaced by Rhade, a Nietzchean who could not be trusted. Tyr went on to become a complete wuss when the actor guest-starred in later episodes.
The character of Doyle in the final season is also somewhat of a replacement for Lexa Doig's Andromeda when her role needed to be reduced due to the actress's pregnancy. Doyle provided a love target and protector for Harper, among other regular Rommie duties.
Doig similarly played a replacement doctor in Stargate SG-1, though her character was less-developed than the one she replaced, Dr. Frasier, and the replacement was not immediate.
Doig's husband is also Michael Shanks, whose Daniel was SG-1's original character substituted for with Jonas Quinn.
Lexx couldn't get the actress who played Wist back, so they created a second gorgeous blonde predator with a childlike demeanor in Lyekka.
The Tick suffered from a number of poor copies meant to be substitutes when Fox failed to get the rights for any characters besides The Tick and Arthur. But given that it was Fox, no one was really surprised as the show's days were numbered from day one. Though, to give credit where credit is due, Bat Manuel is one of the funniest television characters ever. Even better the actor who played Bat Manuel in the live action version of The Tick played the Mayor in the Batman movie The Dark Knight.
Ashley's ultimate demise in Sanctuary was particularly predictable because in the two episodes preceding it, they were already gearing up her replacement.
In The Thick of It series three has a new Minister For Social Affairs — Nicola Murray replacing Hugh Abbot. Her only points of difference with her predecessor are that she's a woman, and that she's not best friends with her main ministerial advisor. This is entirely justified, as the premise of the show is that all politicians are the same.
On Leverage, Gina Bellman's pregnancy required a hasty write-off of Sophie before she started showing, so she was replaced for half a season by Tara Cole (played by Jeri Ryan).
Carried out with style by British fantasy show Hex, where new girl Ella, an experienced witch, shows up at the start of the second season and by the end of the second episode has stabbed original lead witch Cassie and taken her place as the show's main character. She goes on to have an almost identical doomed relationship with demon spawn Malachi that Cassie had with demon Azazeal in the first season. To round things off, Malachi is Cassie and Azazeal's magically-aged son.
Drop the Dead Donkey replaced Alex, the one sensible person in the Globelink office, with Helen, a virtually identical character, at the end of the second series. Both of them even had one-night stands with Dave (despite Helen being a lesbian).
Averted in Mutant X, which saw Lexa replace Emma at the start of the final season after Emma's death in the previous finale. Counts as an aversion because, rather than the new character being designed to fill the superpowered gap in the team the old one had left, telempathic Emma was replaced with light-manipulating Lexa, whose personality, loyalties, and storyline were radically different to Emma's.
To quote Wyatt Cenac on The Daily Show: "WHY WOULD YOU THROW RUDY UNDER THE BUS?! SHE'S STILL THE SAME RUDY!!"
Really head-spinning example from THE PAPER CHASE: When the study group is formed during the pilot episode, one woman is included. In the very second episode, that character's place in the study group, with no explanation, has been taken by another woman, Logan, who remains a major character throughout the series.
On MythBusters, Kari Byron went on maternity leave, and was replaced by Jessi Combs for a few months. The original Build Team was Kari, Tori, and Scotty (Wrench Wench) who left the show under "personal reasons" and was replaced by the now better known Grant. And there is also Christine, a "Mythtern" before the Build Team came into play, who directly assisted Jamie and Adam and had a certain resemblance to Scotty.
Emily Prentiss and David Rossi were replacements for Elle Greenaway and Jason Gideon respectively. Both characters were initially hated by many fans, but gained pretty good fanbases the longer they remained on the show.
The trope is played straight with Prentiss, but not Rossi. Word of God from creator Ed Bernero on the "About Face" commentary says they wanted to make him as least like Gideon as possible, so they made him an egotistical wannabe rock star of a profiler who doesn't really "do" teams, and the first thing he does is shoot a bird. Jason Gideon was part ornithologist and part birdwatcher. Many times throughout Mandy Patinkin's run you would hear and see references to his characters' love for birds. A Take That indeed!
And now, since JJ's departure, there will be another new character joining the team—meet Ashley Seaver , FBI cadet and based on previews, the daughter of a serial killer. Yes, she does look like JJ superficially, but whether is she a good, distinct, well-drawn out character in her own right (despite the physical similarities) or a Scrappy Mary Sue copycat replacement will be determined soon when her first episode airs. Subverted by the fact that the majority of the fanbase disliked Seaver prompting the return of JJ (and Prentiss who left at the end of last season).
Tough, dark haired multilingual Elle Greenaway leaves after season 2, to be replaced with tough, dark haired, multilingual Emily Prentiss. Emily Prentiss leaves the team at the end of season 7, and is replaced in season 8 with tough, dark-haired, at-least-bilingual (knows ASL) Alex Blake. There seems to be a trend here...
Speaking of Profiler, for that show's final season, exit Ally Walker, enter Jamie Luner.
Exit off-screen nemesis Jack, enter off-screen nemesis Damian Kennasas.
A few from Neighbours, though the straightest examples may be Tom Ramsay replacing his brother Max, and Oliver Barnes being hastily written in to replace his brother Will/Sebastian, even taking over his whole character arc.
Besides The Other Darrin, Roger Davis, Alias Smith and Jones replaced the character Clementine "Clem" Hale with Georgette "George" Sinclair. Probably a case of the writers recycling scripts already written for the other character.
The German soap opera Alles Was Zahlt originally dealt with Diana Sommer, who was a plucky blonde delivery girl turned up-and-coming figure skater. In the first episode Diana was sort of hit by a car... which led to the Meet Cute introduction to her boyfriend Julian. After Julian died and the actress playing Diana decided to leave the show, a new character was introduced: the plucky blonde circus performer turn up-and-coming figure skater, Stella. Upon arriving in town her car broke down, which meant she almost got rear-ended by her immediate love interest, Lars. It wouldn't be so bad if Stella and Lars were bearable, but unfortunately, they're not.
Carla Borrego for Maddie Magellan in Jonathan Creek. And then Joey Ross for Carla. All female investigative journalists (of a sort; Carla presents a Crimewatch-style TV show and Joey runs a paranormal website) who march into situations and take charge, leaving Jonathan to fade into the background, and are eternally exasperated with him. The main difference with Joey is that her relationship with Jonathan isn't based on UST.
Agent Shaw on Chuck seems pretty similar to Bryce from Seasons 1 and 2. They're both romantic rivals to the lead character, they both mentor him on how to be a spy, and they both are super spies.
When Nickelodeon's variety show All That began, Katrina Johnson was easily the youngest-looking cast member and was mostly used to play a variety of little girl characters. In Season 3, with Katrina looking too old to pull off these roles, Amanda Bynes was added to the cast to fill the void. Katrina left the show entirely later in that season.
Designing Women: Charlene was replaced by her sister Carlene, who was about as similar as you can get.
Oddly played on Saved by the Bell. After losing Jesse and Kelly the producers introduced biker chick Tori who picked up Kelly's role as Zach's love interest. That still left a gap though, so rather than introduce new characters they transferred Jesse's brains and Kelly's popularity to Lisa who overnight leapt from average intelligence and popularity to straight A-student and homecoming queen.
More so on Saved By The Bell: The New Class, most blatantly in their first season. The new youngsters were virtual carbon copies of their old-class counterparts: Scott for Zack (even breaking the Fourth Wall in the same way), Weasel for Screech, Tommy D for Slater, Linday for Kelly, and Megan for Lisa and Jessie (due to her being Weasel's unrequited crush, as well as the smart one in the group).
White Collar introduced FBI agent Diana Barrigan in the pilot, but when the actress had other commitments, she was replaced without explanation by the character Lauren Cruz. (Who was subsequently re-replaced without explanation by Barrigan in season 2).
Diana took a job in Washington, DC because it's where her girlfriend was from, and decided to come back to New York. Lauren left with no explanation.
Charlie's Angels. At the end of Season 1 Farrah Fawcett left the series and her character, Jill Munroe was replaced by her kid sister Kris. The show's ratings soared after that.
Subverted in NCIS: Los Angeles. Originally the team was to be headed by agent Lara Macy, played by Louise Lombard, but after apparently she didn't test well with audiences in the pilot, she was replaced by Hetty Lange, played by Linda Hunt. They are nothing alike.
In Midsomer Murders, DCI Barnaby was replaced by... DCI Barnaby (his cousin, who had the same rank and personality, but was played by a different actor). Also, he had already changed his sidekick twice.
In the second season of In Treatment Luke and Bess, a couple whose divorce was harming their son, were clearly substitutes for Jake and Amy in the first season. This is because, in the Israeli series the show is based on, the corresponding couple's arc continued into the second season.
The Season 2-4 recasting of 3-2-1 Contact: Miguel=Marc, Robin=Trini, Kathy=Lisa.
Played with on Tremors: The Series when Michael Gross was unavailable for shooting. The female scientist who appeared in the episode was given a personality Suspiciously Similar to Gross's Burt Gummer, a similarity which was Lampshaded by the other characters, although she didn't perform his usual in-universe functions of shooting or blowing up monsters.
Annie replaced Fi as the protagonist in the final season of So Weird. Like Fi, Annie had paranormal encounters which she posted on a website. The "twist" was that she was a singer.
Averted and played straight by The Red Green Show. The marina owner changed from the reasonably-built but lazy Glen Brachston to the overweight and lazier Dwight Cardiff. However, they averted this with the role of animal control officer: the original one, Garth Harble, loved animals, while replacement Ed Frid was terrified of them.
Primeval had Sarah Page, who was killed because her actress couldn't continue acting for the show, and was replaced by Jess Parker. However, their roles are very different; Sarah was an expert in mythology and ancient cultures, while Jess is a techie and team coordinator.
Sarah in turn replaced Jenny Lewis, who was an alternate-timeline duplicate of Claudia Brown, played by the same actress but with a completely different personality and role, an inversion of the typical Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
The series has also been through three different leading men and two different tough-guy supporting men. Only three cast members have stayed with the show through its entire run.
The leading men are a particularly interesting example of this. With the first switch the authors went for a genuine attempt to not make the substitute suspiciously similar, and in fact the character changed the entire tone of the series. When this second leader was in turn switched out they brought in a replacement that was suspiciously similar to leading man number one, up to and including his accent. The tone of the series also switched back, becoming particularly obvious when number two reappeared for one more episode.
I hope you just mean they both have accents. Matt's Northern Ireland is not anything like Cutter's Scotland.
Reviews of The X Factor's new judges Kelly Rowland, Tulisa, and Gary Barlow recall up their respective predecessors, Dannii Minogue, Cheryl Cole, and Simon Cowell. Some reviewers even noted that Tulisa even physically resembled Cheryl in terms of looks and personality.
Upstairs Downstairs replaced Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard and Lady Marjorie Bellamy, with Georgina, the daughter of a couple killed in the Titanic disaster alongside Lady Marjorie. The changeover wasn't immediate, and demure, idealistic Elizabeth had a very different character to the louche Georgina, but Georgina filled the same role, so it may count. Lady Marjorie's role went through two changes as well, with Hazel and then Virginia Bellamy taking over the position of mistress of the house. Downstairs, after Emily's suicide, the show also went through a handful of identikit kitchenmaids before settling on the hapless Ruby.
On Fox's New Girl, the character of "Coach" (Damon Wayans, Jr.) appears only in the pilot. By the time the second episode rolls around, we instead have "Bishop," (Lamorne Morris) another young, handsome, goateed, athletic African-American roommate. The switch is given something of a Hand Wave, with the explanation that Bishop is the "real" roommate, and that Coach was just subletting while Bishop was off playing pro basketball in a Latvian league. The actual reason for the switch is that Wayans shot the pilot while his ABC show Happy Endings was on the cancellation bubble, and between the pilot being shot and the show being picked up as a full series, ABC decided to renew Happy Endings...Which did the same for Wayans' contract.
Leonard Rossiter's final role on UK television was as a supermarket manager in the dreadful sitcom Tripper's Day. After his death, he was replaced by Bruce Forsyth and the show was renamed Slinger's Day. This was even worse than the original but was somehow renewed for a second (six-episode) season and crossed the Atlantic to become Check It Out.
Averted in Twin Peaks, when Kyle Mac Lachlan talked the producers out of turning teenage sexpot Audrey Horne into the love interest for his character, Agent Dale Cooper. Instead, they introduced Heather Graham as Annie ... a formerly suicidal former nun. Definitely not a teenage sexpot.
Amy Amanda Allen was put on a bus and replaced for ten episodes by Tawnia Baker on The A-Team.
One episode of El Chavo del ocho featured Don Ramón's cousin Don Román. Román practically did and suffered like his cousin did in a similar episode.
Mitchell, a reformed vampire with a troubled past who's sworn off blood and lives alongside a werewolf and a ghost, was killed off at the end of Series 3. Series 4 replaces him with Hal... a reformed vampire with a troubled past who's sworn off blood and lives alongside a werewolf and a ghost.
At the same time, George, the resident werewolf, also left. His role in the house was replaced by another werewolf who had almost nothing in common with George. The reason? Tom, his replacement, had been a recurring character since the start of the third series. Zero new characterization was required.
In Misfits when Nathan left, due to actor Robert Sheehan not wanting to continue to Series 3, he is replaced by Rudy, and equally mouthy character who like Nathan has the habit of saying outrageous things for shock value (or perhaps because he just doesn't think before he speaks). Subverted slightly in that Rudy has a literal dual personality; he splits into two different Rudys. The 'other' Rudy is more tactful and caring.
When unlikely lovers Simon and Alisha left the following year, Finn and Jess stepped in to maintain the sexual tension in Series 4. Tune in to Series 5 to see if Curtis receives an analogue.
A rather tragic example occurred in the final season of NewsRadio (and the only example in the whole series- the other character who left was simply Put on a Bus and never replaced). Max was brought in to take over the role that had been filled by Phil Hartman as the over-egotistical Bill Mc Neil. Unfortunately shortly after the completion of season 4, Hartman was the victim of a Murder Suicide by his own wife, and for the final season Jon Lovitz joined the cast in a similar role as Max. Incidentally Lovitz had been a close to Hartman and joined the cast because he wanted to pay homage to his friend.
The final season of Ballykissangel introduced the elderly farmer and pub regular Louis Dargan (Mick Lally) after the death of Birdy Sweeney, who played elderly farmer and pub regular Eamon Byrne. Unlike Eamon, however, Louis was never important to the plot and never spoke an intelligible sentence.
In season 3, many of the original cast (and the one's with the largest, most vocal sub-fandoms) graduated and became recurring characters. In their place is a league of hip, young freshman replacements which suspiciously resemble the first generation of glee clubbers;
Mary Rose is just like the original Rachel Berry; Heterosexual, caucasian, skinny, pale brunette with a wailing Broadway voice is made the captain and lead singer of the New Directions. She also has a crush on a member of the football team who seems to be completely out of her league and is dating a nasty blonde cheerleader who hates her, which causes ominous wangst . Not to mention how despite her being unpopular the football player has a strange affinity for her, and how Rachel is the main protagonist season 1-3, whilst Marley is the main protagonist in season 4.
Kitty Wylde and Quinn Fabray's similarities are even lampshaded in the series; They're both (for at least a brief time) head cheerleaders, both caucasian, heterosexual and blonde with a strange, inconceivable hatred for the main heroine (see above) who has never done anything to them. They are both popular but implied that their "friends" don't really like them (Quinn's falling out with Santana/Kitty saying she really just wants friends). They're also dating the football player as a obvious Romantic False Lead, but seem to be using them for popularity at the best of times and get jealous and possessive over them even talking to other females in a purely platonic sense. It isn't helped by the fact that Kitty worships Quinn and constantly gushes about how she wants to be just like her. Or the fact that Sue dubs Kitty "A young Quinn Fabray, except not pregnant, manically depressed and in/out of a wheelchair", which crossed the Dude, Not Funny! territory for some viewers with experiences of that nature. They both have high, wispy voices too.
They don't even try and hide the similarities between Puck and Jake; Both from a broken home in which they didn't know their father, they both play/ed for the football team and have a big reputation as trouble makers and womanizers (To the point where Unique feels it necessary to break into a improv Britney Spears number to prove it). They both have strong, baritone voices and start off dissing the glee club and disputing it, before slowing warming up to the idea of singing and dancing on stage. They both are implied to see themselves as losers and both have a below average IQ and are popular. Oh yeah, and They're half brother. This is later deconstructed when Jake says he doesn't just want to be seen as a failure because his brother was, and that there's more to him than his genes. He's having a tough time it proving, though.
Unique/Wade is a big fan of both Kurt and Mercedes, so it's a good job the fandom refers to her as their lovechild from the future. When it comes to Unique being like Mercedes, they share body-shape and race, as well as having "Big belter" Whitney-esque voices and their main superlative being "Sassy diva". And being The Lancer to the main heroine of the series (Rachel/Marley). They both campaign for more solos throughout their airtime too, often claiming that their voices are neglected. When it comes to Unique being like Kurt, they have both suffered prejudice and bullying over their sexual orientations (Kurt is gay and Unique is transgendered), as well as auditioning for a big role in the annual Mckinley musical and for some reason or another not getting to do it. They also act as a Pet Homosexual to Rachel/Marley. They both show explicit interest in fashion and style, and are quite eloquently spoken for teenagers.
In House of Anubis KT came in after Nina had left (as Nathalia quit to focus on school work.) Many fans had this reaction at first, considering both of them are from the United States, were raised by a grandparent, and have a destiny to do with Ancient Egyptian Mythology. Some of the characters even seemed to believe this at first.
Loren's sister Olive disappears between seasons without any explanation. In her place, his sister-in-law Dorothy (whom he was courting before she ran off with another man, leaving him to marry her sister) came to town, fleeing the abusive husband she had ditched Lauren for, and taking Olive's place as Dr. Quinn's friend and confidant.
The third season of Community introduced an annoying gang of German foosball players led by a man named Juergen. When the group reappeared in Season 4, Juergen was replaced by his previously-unseen brother Reinhold, presumably because the creators couldn't get Nick Kroll to reprise his role.
Originally Pauline for Elaine, though since Pauline has run for three seasons now she has a rather well developed, unique character.
Morwena is very much one for Pauline though.
Averted with the replacement for Aunt Joan, Martin's Aunt Ruth is a very different person.
When the anonymous black sheepdog disappears, Joan gets a dog that takes just as much an unwelcome liking to Martin.
Brian Johnson was brought into the band AC/DC after Bon Scott's death primarily because he had a voice very similar to Scott, making him a substitute of a sort. Notable for the fact that, unlike most established bands, their popularity increased with the singer change.
Well, not surprising, considering the album they wrote about Bon Scott's death Back In Black, has been considered one of the greatest albums in rock history.
Averted when Vince Neil had a falling out with the rest of Mötley Crüe, John Corabi came in to replace him. He was picked largely because his voice had an extremely different tone to Vince's, and Nikki Sixx, the primary songwriter, wanted to try a different direction. The album they recorded together didn't sell very well, and Vince returned to the band not long afterwards. Nikki has stated that they briefly toyed with the idea of having two singers, as John became a close friend during recording.
Randy Meisner was the bass-player and high-voiced backing vocalist in the band Poco. He left to join what would become Eagles (filling the same role) and was replaced by Timothy B. Schmitt, whose distinctive features were also the high vocals, long hair and slight metrosexual vibe. When Randy left Eagles, guess who replaced him? The fact they're both introverted serious family men (as opposed to other band members who were party animals in their time) helps a lot too.
Deep Purple's career is characterised by many line-up changes, but avoided any Suspiciously Similar Substitutions. Instead, they recruited new members with their own distinctive sound, resulting in significant changes in the style of the band's music from one line-up to the next.
Judas Priest's Rob Halford left the band in 1992, and was replaced with Tim "Ripper" Owens in 1996, who had ironically sung in a Judas Priest tribute band, who sounded nearly identical to Halford in some songs. Owens parted amicably with the band, and Rob Halford re-joined them. This story was the inspiration behind the movie Rock Star.
Also, when Tim went to join Iced Earth, a few casual fans thought that Rob had joined the band.
Averted when American Idol contestant Chris Daughtry declined band Fuel's offer to replace their lead singer in favor of having his own band, Daughtry. Daughtry has recorded several huge hits since.
Phil Collins got to replace Peter Gabriel in Genesis mostly because their voices were so similar. Maybe subverted since they quickly turned away from prog rock in favor of pop.
Not that quickly; they spent the next half-decade recording prog albums with the occasional hit single, and didn't transition fully to pop until Phil Collins launched his solo career.
Subverted with The New Pornographers. Kathryn Calder serves as the female lead vocals on tour, but only when Neko Case (also a member, but a major solo singer in her own right) isn't available to tour.
After The Fall's frontman Mark E. Smith and keyboardist/girlfriend Julia Nagle had a major falling out in the late 1990s, tensions between the two intensified, with the two first breaking up and then Nagle leaving The Fall ca. 2001. Suspiciously Similar Substitute — and Smith's eventual third wife — Elena Poulou became The Fall's keyboardist in late 2002.
David Gilmour started out as this during his first weeks with Pink Floyd in order to cover for the increasingly unstable Syd Barrett. After Barrett's departure, Gilmour was originally supposed to continue playing guitar the way Syd used to; this lasted until about late 1968 when the band started shifting its musical direction.
Guns N' Roses has had many members come and go over the years since the dissolution of the "classic" lineup, but many of the replacements were very different from their predecessors. For example, Buckethead is very, very different from his predecessor Slash. However, 2009 rolls around and their newest guitar player wears a top hat, smokes while playing, plays a Les Paul, and is known for his bluesy style.
Sublime singer Bradley Nowell died of a drug overdose shortly after their breakthrough hit. The band tried to reform over a decade later with sound-alike Rome Ramirez, causing a major argument and eventual legal battle with Nowell's family: The family thought no one should tour under the Sublime name, and the band wanted to finally get to play for all the fans they gained since 40oz to Freedom was released. Eventually the settled on calling the band "Sublime with Rome."
Arena-rock über-group Journey is enjoying something of a career resurgence, largely in part to having hired Philippines-born singer Arnel Pineda to handle lead vocal duties. And while Pineda looks not-a-lot like their former powerhouse tenor Steve Perry, their similarity in vocal tone is undeniable.
After blonde bassist/vocalist Peter Cetera left brass-drenched band Chicago in 1985 to embark on a solo career, Chicago responded by hiring sandy-haired singer/bass player Jason Scheff to replace him. Didn't hurt that Scheff's vocal tone was a near cut-and-paste of Cetera's, either. And when Chicago's next few singles included the pseudo-Cetera-sounding "Will You Still Love Me?" and "What Kind Of Man Would I Be?" many casual fans didn't even notice the switch.
Current Yes vocalist Benoďt David sounds quite a lot like erstwhile Yes vocalist Jon Anderson. This probably isn't surprising since they plucked him out of a Yes tribute band. Trevor Horn, who handled lead vocals on the band's 1980 album Drama, also sounds rather similar to Anderson.
Country music group Shenandoah had a hard time holding a lead singer after Marty Raybon left. However, one of the replacements was Jimmy Yeary, who sounded uncannily like Raybon.
Though there were guitarists between them, Zakk Wylde appeared to be this for Randy Rhoads when he started playing with Ozzy: both having long blonde hair, white Les Pauls, and great technical prowess. Wylde's distinct Bullseye guitar design came about as an attempt to visually distinguish himself from Rhoads.
When rotund lead guitarist/songwriter Randy Bachman left The Guess Who, he was replaced by rotund lead guitarist/songwriter Kurt Winter.
When Jermaine Jackson quit the Jackson5 in the mid-'70s, the youngest brother Randy (who'd been touring with them as a percussionist) replaced him, having a similar voice (compare Jermaine's "Daddy's Home" with Randy's vocals in "Can You Feel It"). In 1983, Jermaine rejoined for the famed Motown TV special, and they released their final album in 1989, wherein the lineup consisted of both brothers as well as the two oldest Michael Jackson had become the biggest solo artist in music, while middle brother Marlon released an unsuccessful solo album and appeared in a film produced by Troma).
Monty was once called Robotman, but the syndicate wanted the creator Jim Meddick to remove the Robotman characternote The syndicate was tired of receiving complaints that this Robotman was far from the friendly cartoon character of Robotman And Friends, of which the comic was technically a Spin-Off. That done, fast-forward several years, and Monty is befriended by the mysterious eccentric scientist Doc-and his robot sidekick E. B. So far there's no sign that the syndicate wants to dump this new robotic character.
Originally in For Better or for Worse, Lynn Johnston had intended to pair off Elizabeth with Christopher Nichols, but when that family was placed under embargo for reasons she took his design, slapped freckles and glasses on him, and created Anthony Caine, her Wesley.
Mr. Saito to Professor Tanaka as Mr. Fuji's tag team partner.
Epiphany debuted as a suspiciously similar substitute to Beth Phoenix.
Muhammad Hassan and Davari were suspiciously similar substitutes to Rodney Mack and Theodore Long.
In The Secret Life Of Toys, Apple, the plastic doll from The Christmas Toy was replaced by a more Muppety rag doll called Raisin. The male rocking horse Belmont is replaced by a female rocking horse called Hortenz, presumably because Belmont was voiced by Jerry Nelson.
Comedian Artie Lange replacing Comedian Jackie "The Jokeman" Martling on The Howard Stern Show. Somewhat averted in that while the two did have similar hobbies and character traits, Lange was specifically hired as an on air personality, whereas Jackie was only sometimes on air, with his main job as writer.
Jack Allen from Adventures in Odyssey. After addressing the Replacement Scrappy issue head-on by openly admitting that he could never replace Whit... he replaced Whit. He was generally well-received, though, and after resolving some storylines that hinged on "Whit's" presence, he developed into his own character.
In The Navy Lark, Troutbridge's Number One in the first season, Dennis Price, was replaced by Stephen Murray in all the following seasons. They were different characters, but shared some of the same knowledge and responses.
In The Jack Benny Program, there were several cast changes over the years: Bob Crosby for Phil Harris; Dennis Day for Kenny Baker.
Very common in roleplaying games when a Player Characterdies(and isn't brought back). In the mildest case, the character will be replaced by one of about same level as the deceased (and even this can strain Willing Suspension of Disbelief if the characters are peerless world-saving heroes). Often, there is pressure on the player to create a character who can fill the same party role that's been vacated. (And then there are players who will just rub out the name on their old character sheet and reuse everything else...)
Not exactly an apt trope for plays, but there's a very similar feeling in Othello: Brabantio, father of Desdemona, has a role in the first act, then does not follow when the action moves to Cyprus; then in the last act Gratiano, his brother, shows up to announce Brabantio is dead and generally stand in for him as a Venetian authority figure. Heightened in some small productions where the two characters are played by the same actor.
In Modern Warfare 2, Ghost takes up Gaz's position from the first game, right down to sharing a voice actor.
People originally even suspected they were one and the same character. This was later disproven in canon.
Modern Warfare 3 has Sgt. Wallcroft, who was a minor NPC in MW1 but is now yet another Gaz clone.
Colt in Monster Rancher 2 can be resumed as one 12 year old Holly with a tomboy hairstyle.
Also from 2 is the Zuum, who is similar to the Dino from the first game. If you were to use the Slate command to import your Dino, it will be converted into a Zuum.
Tekken series: Roger Jr. replaces Roger. Hwoarang replaces Baek (who then returns). Jin Kazama replaces his father Kazuya (who then returns, Jin getting a different fighting style). Combot replacing Mokujin for Tekken 4. Devil Jin replacing Devil Kazuya (debatable). Asuka replacing Jun Kazama. Christie replacing Eddy (who returned in Tekken 6). Julia Chang replacing her foster mother Michelle Chang. Forrest Law replacing his father Marshall Law (who then re-replaces his son in the next game). Each Jack-bot is the newest model (though apparently with the same mind transferred over). King dies before Tekken 3, and Armor King is killed before Tekken 4. Both Kings are replaced by their younger followers, and even the names remain unchanged. Even Kuma that appears in Tekken 1 and 2 dies of old age and is replaced by its pretty much identical child in Tekken 3. In general, many Tekken character replacements are so similar that if you are not familiar with storyline details, you won't even know someone is not the same as the original.
This is mostly justified on the basis that Tekken 3 takes place 19 years after the previous game and that some of the characters were attacked by Ogre.
In Suikoden II we have Boris Wizen, who shares the Tengou Star with his father Ridley Wizen and will take his place if he dies in the Dunan Unification War. The player can indirectly decide who (s)he wants to keep: When Nanami asks you to run away in Tinto you can decide whether or not you want to do it. If you do, Ridley will be killed as a result and you will also see a few additional cutscenes, including the introduction of the new Kobold General. The only differences here are the looks and personalities.
At the end of the GBA version of the first Ace Attorney game, Phoenix's assistant Maya leaves to undergo spiritual medium training; she returns in the next game. When a DS remake of the first game was released, they added an extra case to it — but they couldn't bring Maya back, as one of the cases in the second game revolved around her reunion with Phoenix. So a new character, Ema Skye, became Phoenix's assistant for that one case. When the fourth game substituted the entire cast (including Phoenix), Ema replaced Dick Gumshoe as the police detective who is routinely run into and switches between the main character's foil and friend.
In the second Ace Attorney Investigations game, you meet a reporter called Mikiko Hayami in the first case who seems to be this for Lotta Hart. However, Lotta herself later shows up, and it turns out the two reporters know each other.
Sonic Adventure introduced us to Gamma, a well-armed red and white humanoid "E-Series" Greek-letter-named robot created by Eggman, who over the course of the game decided to turn against Eggman. At the end of the game, Gamma died. A few years later, Sonic Heroes brought back a whole bunch of characters, adding no new ones... except Omega, a well-armed red and white humanoid E-Series Greek-letter-named robot created by Eggman who had decided to turn against Eggman. Hmm...
On the other hand, they are radically different in terms of personality: while Gamma was a conflicted and ultimately tragic character, Omega is a borderline mechanical psychopath that wants to obliterate his former master (and everything he built) and then ultimately take over. And he talks like aDalek.
Sonic Battle has a different Gamma substitute, "Chaos Gamma" — a mass-produced model based on Gamma without enough intelligence to rebel against its master.
The main reason is that Raidou has the Pierce skill, an absolute necessity if you want to face the True Final Boss (and honestly, at the point you recruit Raidou/Dante, that's the only thing left for you to do). Dante was cool, but his lack of Pierce, inability to get Pierce (because you couldn't fuse him with anything) and permanent consumption of one of your party slots reduced him to Awesome but Impractical.
The first print versions of the NES entry starred Mike Tyson as its final opponent. Eventually Nintendo's license to use Tyson's likeness in a game expired (and since he was no longer the undefeated world heavyweight champion, renewing the license was less desirable...and would become even less so when Tyson was convicted of rape a year later), so the 1990 reissue substituted Tyson with the fictional Mr. Dream, a white boxer with similar stats.
The Wii installment has a boxer named Disco Kid. This was originally supposed to be a character named Kid Quick from the first arcade game, but as the staff updated his design, he changed so radically that they decided it would be easier to make a different character out of him. His files on the disc are still labeled "kid_quick."
Piston Honda from the NES version was essentially a substitute for Piston Hurricane from the first arcade game. The SNES game brought back Piston Hurricane (along with other previously arcade-exclusive opponents), only to bring back Piston Honda (under the guise of Piston Hondo) in the Wii installment.
Kratos and Zelos in Tales of Symphonia, with the latter replacing the former. They are almost identical in regards to combat: Zelos has lower stats and lacks a single spell that Kratos shares with Colette, but the two have slightly different attack animations that make Zelos better at using certain combos. However, this is averted with their personalities: Kratos is a no-nonsense Nineties Anti-Hero who spends much of the game even while absent trying to protect Lloyd and Zelos is a comical on the outsideClassical Anti-Hero and The Casanova, who seems to need babysitting a lot.
When Pey'j gets in trouble in Beyond Good & Evil, his place in the party is taken by Double H, the soldier. Again, they have completely different characters, but effectively the same function, and only show up together for a brief time in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
In the original Snatcher, the engineer Harry Benson dies. When it was reinvented as an RPG in SD Snatcher, Harry provides all the weapons and ammunition to Gillian. To make sure the player could still buy weapons and bullets after Harry's death, a new character, Geoff, was added as Harry's apprentice. After Harry dies, Geoff takes over the weapons store.
In Pikmin 2, when your main Sidekick Louie goes missing after you complete the game's main mission, he gets replaced with the President of the Hocotate Shipping Company, who remains with you even after you rescue Louie.
The jump from Nintendo GameCube to Wii caused a few problems with the Naruto games, so some characters were left out of Clash of Ninja Revolution. Zabuza's replacement was the shark-swordsman Kisame Hoshigaki. This was probably for the better. In Japan, meanwhile, Sasuke was replaced by his brother Itachi.
In the Soul Calibur games, Maxi replaces Li Long (from the prequel, Soul Edge) as the game's nunchaku user, after Li's defeat at the hands of Cervantes. Li has only returned as a bonus character in Soul Calibur III.
Cassandra replaces Sophitia in Soul Calibur II (though Sophitia can be unlocked in the home versions), and Yunsung/Yun-seong replaces Hwang in spirit and general appearance, although doesn't have exactly the same moves. It's also notable that in this game the unlockable character Assassin DOES have the same moves as Hwang, and his fellow unlockable Berserker has those of Rock, however neither of these characters are canon to the story and so were probably included due to fan service (and their use in Story mode). Kilik replaces Seung Mina officially although both characters are still available, and his moves have become more unique by III.
In the Korean versions, Misturugi was replaced by Arthur, a Caucasian samurai with the same moveset. He was then available in Soul Calibur III as a bonus character.
Olcadan in Soul Calibur III, as a replacement for Charade who was a replacement for Edge Master. Bonus points: each one is a Ditto Fighter, so they already act like other characters.
They were also hinted to be the only characters ever able to fight the other to a draw, neither having ever lost a fight.
It's worth mentioning that when Soul Calibur was in development, Namco wished to completely overhaul the roster and only include a couple of characters from Soul Edge/Blade. Eventually, however, all the characters barring Li Long and Han Myong returned for the home version (Soul Edge was renamed Inferno). Li Long returned later anyway. As a result some of the characters in Soul Calibur start off closer to clone characters than they are originally (Kilik, Astaroth, etc) but end up becoming different later on.
Soul Calibur V takes place about 17 years after IV, and has some of the main cast replaced by new characters, though each is given a sufficient explanation. Natsu replaces Taki, though she is Taki's apprentice. Yin Leixia is Xianghua's daughter. Even though she has sufficient reason to be a fighter in the game, there's no explanation given as to why Xianghua herself isn't playable. Xiba has Kilik's moveset, and the backstory reveals that he is the estranged son of Kilik and Xianghua, and half-brother of Yan. Patroklos and Pyrrha Alexander are the children of Sophitia, who sacrificed her life to save Pyrrha's when she was a child. Both characters have similar fighting styles to both Sophitia and Cassandra, and Pyrrha later becomes a direct copy of Sophitia's moveset later in the storyline. Cassandra herself isn't in the game because she was sucked into the Astral Chaos after defeating the Soul Edge in IV. Edge Master comes back from the original Soul Calibur, and Olcadan and Charade are nowhere to be found. He still uses every character's moveset. Kilik himself is still around, but he's an SNK Boss turned Unlockable Character who mimics all the male character's movesets, much like Edge Master.
Vice Project Doom: Your character's informant that they talk to at the end of each stage will leave partially through the game. A stand-in will fill in for her. You find out where your original informant went as the game progresses.
Each major entry in the Ape Escape series replaces the previous Kid Hero with a new one. In Ape Escape 2, Spike gets replaced by his cousin Jimmy (though he can be unlocked as a secret character). Jimmy gets replaced by Kei and Yumi in Ape Escape 3. Meanwhile, their aunt Aki replaces both the professor and Natalie in their roles. Dr. Tomoki takes over Jake's role as Specter's dragon. However, all of them have distinct personalities.
Due to him being an obvious ripoff of Tetsuo Shima from the AKIRA manga (or because SNK just don't plain like him), K9999 from The King of Fighters 2001 was kicked out in the Updated Re-release of KOF 2002 (Unlimited Match) and replaced by "Nameless," whose fighting style is fundamentally identical to K9999's as well as his backstory, being cloned from Kyo and K Dash. While K9999 is a complete jerk, Nameless' story makes him rather sympathetic (thanks to his Morality Pet Isolde).
Vice and Mature's original role as Rugal's secretaries was taken over by Aya and Hermoine in The King of Fighters '98.
In Street Fighter Alpha, Guile, the Air Force lieutenant searching for his missing friend, is replaced with Charlie, another member of the Air Force. Though in-universe, it's the other way around; Alpha is a prequel to Street Fighter II, so it would thus make Guile a replacement for Charlie (and, in fact, Charlie is the "missing friend" Guile is searching for in SF2).
Remy from Street Fighter III is a much less confusing example, using Guile/Charlie's moves but coming after them both in and out of universe.
In Marvel vs. Capcom, the developers couldn't use Iron Man due to licensing issues, despite being previously featured in Marvel Super Heroes, so they simply recolored his sprite from that game to make War Machine. When Capcom was able to use Iron Man again for Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes, they gave War Machine the moveset of his "Hyper War Machine" counterpart from the previous game in order to distinguish him from Iron Man, who used War Machine's regular moveset from the previous game (which in turn, was based on Iron Man's move set from Marvel Super Heroes).
The heroes of Golden Axe III, Kain Grinder and Sarah Barn, look and fight similarly to Ax Battler and Tyris Flare, respectively (though the U.S. version still mistakenly refers to them as Ax and Tyris). Sarah even gets Tyris' repertoire of fire magic. Gilius Thunderhead is the only character from the previous installments to return in that game, though not as a playable character.
Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword — full circle, actually. Nils is the not so Spoony Bard in the introductory campaign, then he's replaced by Ninian, his sister. But then Ninian kicks the bucket, so Nils replaces her in the final battle.
Pewee Piranha and Digga Legg from Super Mario Galaxy 2 are suspiciously similar substitutes to Dino Piranha and Megaleg from the original Super Mario Galaxy. The former is even found in the same general point in the game as the latter, and defeated in nearly the same way. Also, the Topmen from Galaxy are the same thing as the Bullies from Super Mario 64, both being enemies defeated by being pushed off the edge of the platform. They even both have nearly the same boss battles in the Mario Kart series!
The first two partners in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Goombella and Koops, are similar at first to the first two in the original Paper Mario, Goombario and Kooper, having the same attacks and abilities- except upgraded. Also, unlike Kooper, Koops actually has a personality. After that though, the partners are all new, although Admiral Bobbery has the same abilities as Bombette (who is also a Bob-Omb) and Vivian's field ability is functionally identical to Bow's.
Peach is a substitute for Pauline, the damsel in Donkey Kong, and she's one of the few examples to overshadow her predecessor. When they brought back Pauline in the Game Boy version, they had to dye her hair color to brown to distinguish her. Pauline's revival in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis. Some Japanese fans actually consider the DK94 version of Pauline to be a different character from the Pauline in the original 1981 arcade game, since the original Pauline was actually named "Lady" in Japan.
Foreman Spike from Wrecking Crew was Mario's original rival, an irritable tough guy with crazy facial hair and a grudge. He was essentially a prototype version of Wario and Waluigi; Mario Kart DS even lampshades this by having Waluigi's default kart, the Gold Mantis, be Spike's steamshovel.
In Yoshi's Island DS, about half the bosses and a good few of the levels are nearly the same thing as their equivalents from the first game. The Big Burt Bros are the most obvious; they're just two smaller versions of Burt the Bashful, killed the exact same way and found in a level with roughly the same layout. Others include Bungee Piranha (which is very much like Naval Piranha, complete with a castle designed like a sewer system) and Bowser himself, who acts as a near identical replacement to both Hookbill the Koopa and the giant version of his baby self.
From Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire onward, Pokémon games feature Pokémon that are somewhat similar (or substitutes) of already existing Mons. Example: Instead of Caterpie, Metapod, Butterfree, Weedle, Kakuna, and Beedrill as Bug-type Mons that evolve from worm-like creatures with a cocoon stage in the middle, we get Wurmple (essentially Weedle, with same stats and attacks) which can evolve into Silcoon, then Beautifly (similar to Butterfree) or Cascoon, then Dustox (a Poison-type like Beedrill, but a moth).
Also, Seviper replaces Ekans and Arbok in Hoenn games, due to the latter two not being native to Hoenn.
All the playable trainers of the main series, are, of one gameplay point of view, near identical between themselves. And more male trainers have the appearance reminiscent of Red, the original Player Character.
Lampshaded in the Generation II games and their remakes: The final battle between the player character and Red, despite being the final epic battle of the game, features no dialogue, as the player characters rarely speak.
And more obviously, each game features different monsters filling certain gameplay 'slots'; the Fire/Water/Grass starter trio, rodenty Normal-type and bird Flying-type Com Mons, and so on.
And every new generation introduces a new cute electric species with colored cheeks.
Also there's Team Magma/Aqua stealing Team Rocket's spot as the antagonistic gang... then Galactic in gen IV and Plasma in V. The fact they always carry the "Team" prefix (or the "Dan" suffix in Japanese) doesn't help to hide this trope's invocation.
While Final Fight 2, the straight-to-SNES sequel to Final Fight, kept Haggar from the original game, it also replaced Guy and Cody with Guy's sister-in-law Maki and South American swordsman Carlos respectively. While their techniques have many aesthetic differences from their predecessors (i.e.: Carlos uses his sword for his special attack instead of a spinning jump kick), they're the same and they even have the same abilities (Maki can do an off-the-wall jump kick, while Carlos can stab enemies with a knife).
Lampshaded in the intro of MegaRace 2. Lance tells his assistant, "You're fired," then turns to the camera and says, "Just kidding, folks. You'll be seeing Charlene, or somebody surprisingly similar, throughout the show. Believe me, you won't tell the difference. I won't, and I should know."
In Dead or Alive 2, Bayman from the original game was replaced by another character named Leon, who had the same moveset. When Bayman was brought back in later versions, he and Leon were given different movesets.
Dead Or Alive 4 had a Spartan, Nicole-458 as a guest character. While she doesn't appear in later games, Dead Or Alive 5 Ultimate has Rachel from Ninja Gaiden who has more than a few of Nicole's moves.
Contra: Hard Corps for the Sega Genesis substituted the traditional Contra heroes of Bill Rizer and Lance Bean with four new characters. Among the cast includes Sheena Etranzi (a female commando), Brad Fang (a cyborg werewolf), Browny (a tiny robot), and Ray Poward (a standard male commando). Guess which of these characters is most like Bill Rizer (hint: it's not the woman, the werewolf, nor the robot)...
According to Word of God, Roxas from Kingdom Hearts was made one of these on purpose in 358/2 days, due to worries that people might be uncomfortable playing through the whole game with a character who plays too differently from Sora. So his stats, abilities, and magical capabilities were Sora-fied. This, however, is justified, since Roxas and Sora are essentially the same person anyway.
Everytime Link gets an Exposition Fairy who actually is a fairy, she will be this to the original Exposition Fairy herself, Navi. Although Tatl is considerably less helpful ("It's a bombchu! you don't know how to defeat them?")
There's also Malladus, the main villain of Spirit Tracks, who greatly resembles the normal main villain of the series, Ganon. Similarly, Bigger Bad Demise from Skyward Sword shares many visual and psychological traits with Ganon, particularly the face and the colors (brown body, fiery-red hair, crimson cloak). Both Malladus and Demise also share the title of Demon King, which is usually attributed to Ganon, further helping the similarities.
Nu-13 was killed off at the end of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger by falling into a dead time-stream. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift introduced Lambda-11, who re-uses Nu's sprites and rebalanced versions of Nu's moves. Justified because both characters are mass-produced robot clones.
Continuum Shift later reveals that Lambda-11 actually has Nu's soul. Expect this trope to happen again if a sequel to Continuum Shift is announced, because Lambda also dies in the end of Continuum Shift.
To our surprise, Blaz Blue Chrono Phantasma subverted this trope by bringing back Nu-13 exactly the way she was in Calamity Trigger. Unfortunately for those who liked Lambda-11's character development, thanks to Continuum Shift's True End, is null and void. Because you can hardly carry that kind of stuff onwards when you're a cyborg and your brain gets reset to factory settings thanks to being destroyed... And then self-regenerated. This later bit of information is yet to be explained properly...
In Project Justice, Large and in Charge school principal Raizo doesn't make a playable appearance, the storyline explanation being that he was hospitalized thanks to an assassination attempt on his life. When that assassin (Kurow) becomes playable, his movelist is Raizo's own, with a few completely new moves thrown in to differentiate the two.
You'd think a white-haired and feral man-mountain and a gray-haired 15-year old with Freddy Krueger's gloves wouldn't be too similar. You'd be not-right.
The Legend of Dragoon replaces Lavitz with Albert after the former's death and also replaces Shana with Miranda later on. Functionally, they're almost identical, having the same additions and spells with a few minor traits. Although to some, Miranda is a Replacement Scrappy.
That would be because Miranda has nothing really unique about her compared to Shana sans her personality, which is rarely expressed or see after the conclusion of the Mille Saseau arc in the game. Albert, on the other hand, is a significant supporting character with a distinct personality. Lavitz's Additions have of the speed of a Mighty Glacier while Albert's Additions are more of a Lightning Bruiser type.
In Baldur's Gate 2, Imoen, a red haired human thief/mage is captured early in the game. Luckily, Nalia, a red haired human thief/mage is one of the first NPCs encountered afterwards.
Pash, it's not just appearance and class. The latter has the same cheerful personality and similar alignment as the former, allowing Imoen to become a much darker character.
In terms of party utility, Yoshimo also counts as Imoen's substitute. He is also a thief-type class, becomes available shortly before the need for replacement appears and right after he becomes unavailable, the original character returns.
Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening features a snarky, bitchy, forest-dwelling, human-hating mage as a party member. No, Morrigan doesn't make a comeback; it's only Velanna.
EarthBound has Ness, who is Ninten from the first game with a backpack; Paula, who is Ana with a different hair style; and Jeff, who is Lloyd with a school uniform. Somewhat done in MOTHER 3 with Lucas taking over Ninten and Ness's roles, except he looks completely different, but completely averted with Kumatora, who is completely unlike Paula and Ana, except for somewhat similar PSI.
In Mortal Kombat 4, Reiko replaced Noob Saibot early in development, although Noob could be found partially Dummied Out in the console versions. Kano was replaced by Jarek in the same game, who had mostly the same moves and fatalities, then Kano returned in Deadly Alliance, only to be killed off and replaced by Kobra in Deception.
Similarly, Robo from Chrono Trigger => Grobyc from Chrono Cross — they don't look nor sound anything alike, but fill the same character archetype (read "Grobyc" backward), complete with lack of magical ability — Robo is completely magic-inert (though lasers and tech-generated electricity count as Shadow attacks), while Grobyc can cast magic but sucks at it and has one of the weakest Element grids.
Between Resident Evil 1.5 and Resident Evil 2, Elza Walker, John, and Linda were redesigned into/replaced by Claire Redfield, Robert Kendo, and Ada Wong, respectively. The "Hooked Man" prototype of Resident Evil 4 had paranormally animated suits of armor, while the final version had Plagas-controlled armor suits, and Ashley replaced Sherry as the Damsel in Distress.
Mass Effect 2 can have this depending on the player's actions in Mass Effect 1. If Wrex survived the first game, he will appear on Tuchanka leading his clan. If he was killed, it will be his brother Wreav, offering the same quests and exposition (although his personality is notably different). Likewise, if you saved the colony of Zhu's Hope but let Shiala die, an unnamed human colonist will appear in her place on Illium to offer the same quest.
In Mass Effect 3 the third game, there are quite a few of these, since any or all of your squad can die in 2 if you're not careful. Mordin is replaced by another salarian named Padok Wiks (who appears regardless, but quickly vanishes if Mordin is still alive), Grunt is replaced by a generic krogan soldier, Miranda is replaced by her sister Oriana, Tali is replaced by Admiral Xen on the Dreadnought and Admiral Raan on Rannoch, and Legion is replaced by...a backup copy of itself (who doesn't have memory of Shepard). Garrus, Jacob, Jack, Zaeed, Kasumi, Samara, and Thane simply have their parts skipped if they died. Joker will even insist on referring to Padok as "Not-Mordin". In some of those cases, the outcomes of various situations will be different with the substitutes than with the originals, often to the player's detriment.
The most extreme example is the original Citadel Council. If left to die in Mass Effect 1, they are replaced in Mass Effect 3 by a "new" Council that uses slightly different models but mostly the same dialogue. Although, notably, the replacement salarian councilor is female, and the one time Udina calls them by their personal names — the only instance they're named in all three games — the names are different for the old and new Council. Their personalities are also identical despite Udina's claim to the contrary, with the exception that the replacements despise you even more than their predecessors did, whereas the originals owe you their lives.
Anarchy Reigns gives us the Black Baron, former grand champion of the Varrigan City DeathWatch. Oh wait, no, that's actually the Blacker Baron, a cyborg pimp who acts and fights just like the blackface battler.
Professor Layton and the Specter's Flute is a Prequel, and therefore set before Layton meets Inspector Chelmey or Don Paolo. So there's a different Scotland Yard inspector and deranged supervillain.
Rena Hayami, the protagonist of R: Racing Evolution, a simulation spinoff of the Ridge Racer series, bears a resemblance to Reiko Nagase from the main series.
Galuf from Final Fantasy V is replaced mid-game by his granddaughter Krile, who inherits all his experience, items and job mastery. Averted in all other Final Fantasy games.
In World of Warcraft, when the Zul'Aman instance was retooled from a 10-man Level 70 raid to a 5-man Level 85 Heroic dungeon, the final boss, Zul'Jin, being canonically dead as of Cataclysm, was replaced by Daakara the Invincible. While Zul'jin started as a troll, then turned into a bear, eagle, lynx and dragonhawk in turn each time players took off 20% health, Daakara started as a troll, then switched to either a bear then an eagle, or a lynx then a dragonhawk, with mostly similar mechanics to Zul'jin's versions of the forms.
In the Blackrock Depths instance, if players completed the quest to rescue Princess Moira from Dagran Thaurissan, she would be replaced by a Priestess of Thaurissan on subsequent encounters, who would also heal Dagran.
In the updated version of Scarlet Monastery for Mists of Pandaria, Renault Mograine, having been killed by the spirit of his father in the Ashbringer event is replaced by Scarlet Commander Durand as Whitemane's partner in the Dual Boss battle.
When Gat dies in the second mission of the third game, Shaundi, previously the Fun PersonifiedOne of the Boys character from the second game, becomes the boss's borderline psychotic ally while Pierce, formerly the Ambiguously GayButt Monkey, takes on Gat's role as the Boss's right hand man. While Pierce got to keep his personality, Shaundi had little to nothing of her former self left. Does it count as SSS if the replacement was an already existing character?
A recent trailer for Saints Row IV reveals Shaundi from Saints Row 2 and Shaundi from Saints Row the Third as being character in the game, so Shaundi from Saints Row the Third is actually a SSS for Gat personality wise, and a SSS for Shaundi from Saints Row 2 name wise.
In Rhythm Heaven, the Choir Boys from Glee Club were Ensemble Darkhorses, so for Rhythm Heaven Fever, the mascot Marshal was based on their design, with Cam and Miss Ribbon added to make the use of this trope less obvious.
In racing games developers typically substitute Porsche for RUF, due to Electronic Arts holding exclusive rights to the Porsche brand in videogames. RUF cars are tuned Porsches (like what Shelby is to Ford), with more power and a slightly different bodykit, but effectively identical to a standard Porsche visually. If you see a RUF listed in a game's car lineup, it basically means there will be no Porsches in the game. The Forza Motorsport series featured Porsche in Forza 3, but when Forza 4 came around, Porsche was totally absent due to meddling from Electronic Arts, with only a trio of RUF 911s replacing the 20+ Porsches missing. An expansion pack was later released which re-added Porsche, though Porsches were not featured in any other DLC. When Forza Horizon came out, Porsche was, yet again, absent.
L.D., the ruthless wolf CEO of HerdThinners in Kevin & Kell, only seen as a pair of slavering jaws, died in the first year and was immediately replaced by R.L., a ruthless wolf only seen as a pair of slavering jaws.
In Sonichu, the character of Sandy is introduced almost immediately after the death of her mother Simonla. She had all of the same abilities as her, too.
Discussed in The Order of the Stick when Tarquin claims that after he kills Roy Greenhilt and Durkon Thundershield, Elan will have a Terrible Interviewees Montage and end up hiring Rob Redblade and Murkon Lightninghammer. This references the tendency in Dungeon & Dragons campaigns where a lost party member will be quickly replaced by another character with the same class and level (to maintain party balance), and because they're played by the same person, often the same personality too.
Awkward.: The departure of Ernie and Henry resulted in new characters turning up to fill their shoes: Henry (the therapist) is replaced with Dexter (the sage), and Ernie (the douche) with Jermaine (the mega-douche).
There's a Muppet Web TV show, The Muppets Kitchen With Cat Cora that has Cora working with a new muppet, Angelo, an Italian chef. His role as a cook and his heavy Italian accent inevitably invite comparisons to the Swedish Chef (although Angelo speaks intelligibly and is actually competent), and viewer comments indicate that at least some see him as a Replacement Scrappy.
Capt. Murphy on Sealab 2021, replaced by Capt. Shanks after the death of Murphy's voice actor Harry Goz. Lampshade Hanging occurs when Shanks (who is actually voiced by Goz's son Michael) tells the crew (and, indirectly, the audience) that he's a replacement, and if they don't like it, they can "go watch 'annie-may'."
The episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before," having united almost all the Star Trek original cast, gave us a Suspiciously Similar Substitute named "Welshy" who apparently replaced James Doohan for a musical reunion in the 22nd century. This was almost certainly a pointed comment on Doohan's refusal to participate, since the late DeForrest Kelley was just The Voiceless and Welshy was quickly killed off. This was lampshaded in the episode's working title — "We Got Everybody But Scotty."
Lampshaded in the episode "Godfellas" with Helper, a Bender replacement that makes wacky noises.
In "When Aliens Attack", Professor Farnsworth assumes Fry, Leela and Bender have died in the latest mission, prompting him to hire a nigh-identical trio.
Farnsworth:[to the near-Leela, -Fry and -Bender duplicates respectively] You'll be the captain, you'll be the delivery boy, and you'll be the alcoholic, foul-mouthed... [notices regular crew standing in the doorway] Oh God, you're alive! [to the near-duplicates] Sorry about this. Check back in two weeks... a month, tops.
Darby replacing Christopher Robin in My Friends Tigger and Pooh.
Lady Jaye and Scarlett are interchangeable, despite being written as very different characters in the Marvel comic.
Duke from the Sunbow series was essentially a carbon copy of Hawk from the Marvel comics, who was the originally established blond-haired leader of G.I. Joe. This change was done since at the time the animated series started, Hasbro was phasing out the original 1982 lineup and wanted to promote the newer figures being released in 1983, from which Duke was part of. Duke's character design even resembled the way Hawk was depicted in Sunbow's original TV ads for the G.I. Joe toys and comics (see here). When a second Hawk action figure was released in 1986, he was introduced to the animated series during the year's season as Duke's heretofore unseen commanding officer, getting an Adaptation Dye-Job in the process from blond to black hair.
When Hasbro relaunched the G.I. Joe toyline in 2001, they wanted to bring back Roadblock into the lineup, but couldn't due to trademark issues with the character's name. So Heavy Duty, an already-existing separate character, was made into a virtual Roadblock clone. The Spy Troops CG animated series tried to explain away their similarities by claiming they were cousins.
The octopus replacing the crocodile in Return to Neverland. It inexplicably starts ticking after it decides to eat Captain Hook.
King Larry replacing King Louie in House of Mouse. This was due to legal action when Gia Maione, the wife of original actor and now deceased entertainer Louis Prima, sued Disney for unauthorized use of her husband's persona because voice actor Jim Cummings' impression (as heard in TaleSpin) was too dead on. Part of the out of court settlement is that Disney could no longer use King Louie.
Though the character existed before, Gil took Lionel Hutz's job as the family's lawyer after Phil Hartman died.
This trope is parodied in "Donnie Fatso", in which Fat Tony is replaced by his nearly identical cousin Fit Tony, who gains weight and is eventually called Fat Tony.
In the DVD commentary to "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily", some of the writers joke that since they miss Maude Flanders, they should write an episode in which Ned gets remarried to a woman that looks and sounds just like Maude. In the 22nd-season finale, Ned begins dating and by the next season has married Edna Krabappel.
In "A Star Is Burns", C. Montgomery Burns hires Steven Spielberg's "nonunion Mexican equivalent", Seńor Spielbergo, to direct the fictionalized biopic A Burns for All Seasons.
After Kenny died "for reals this time", his spot as the fourth friend was filled by former minor character Butters. This is lampshaded as the other boys attempt to manipulate him by telling him that "Kenny would do" whatever crazy scheme they have in mind that week, going so far as to call him "Not-Kenny" when he resists. Butters is eventually "fired" as the fourth friend and the boys actually hold try-outs to fill the position. It is briefly filled by Tweek until Kenny eventually shows up (sans explanation) to reclaim his old spot. Indeed, he merely walks up to the boys from just offscreen, and announces that he was "hanging out", just after the boys have returned from Iraq after trying to give it Christmas.
Unlike most other un-substituted SSS's, Butters also managed to maintain an increased presence on the show, becoming somewhat of a Mauve Shirt.
The ever-Genre Savvy show also lampshaded this with Chef's temporary replacement Mr. Derp in the episode "Succubus."
This could easily be considered a reverse example, as Chromastone was something of this or an expy for Diamondhead in the first place.
A recent episode brought back Chromastone and revealed his connection to the alien race Diamondhead comes from.
Ultimate Alien introduces Fasttrack, who shares the exact same coloration and powers as XLR8, which is rather peculiar, as his existence could be considered redundant and unnecessary, considering Ben likely has XLR8 in his Ultimatrix, as almost every alien he's had in the previous two series is unlocked. Though he seems to be somewhat stronger and Matt Wayne did say that Fasttrack is stronger. XLR8, however, sees use in the Man of Action Studios-helmed Heroes United Crossover with Generator Rex.
Though the mentality behind making another very fast character (and similar substitutes in general) could be accepted if one were to consider the idea that of the million aliens connected to the Ultimatrix, it's highly likely that several of them naturally have the same powers. This circles back to why sets of 10 were created. Variety without redundancy.
In Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, Max's girlfriend Mona is a semi-Jonas Quinn of Roxanne from A Goofy Movie; she's actually voiced by the same VA, Kellie Martin. The plot at hand is that he's bringing his girlfriend from college home for Christmas to meet his dad. Roxanne obviously met Goofy before, so they came up with a new, suspiciously similar girlfriend character. (And, to be realistic, how many of you were still with your high school crush/sweetheart in college?)
Dawn is one to Bridgette, as both are pacifist, nature lovers.
Jo is one to Eva, as both are jock-ettes; however, Jo is far less angry than Eva.
Scott is one to Alejandro and Heather, as the three are arrogant, manipulative antagonists. Scott even has a suspiciously similar end-of-season fate to Alejandro.
Zoey is one to Beth, as both are nice but socially awkward girls.
Mike is one to Cody, as both are nice, very awkward, and rather pursue a girl than winning the competition. They both also have gaps in their teeth.
Staci is one to Ezekiel, as both were voted off very early in the show.
In the 80's, there was an animated Public Service Announcement featuring the Teen Titans. Since the producers didn't have the animation rights to Robin, they swapped him out for an extremely similar teen hero named the Protector.
In DuckTales Launchpad McQuack and later Fenton Crackshell both acted in the role Donald Duck had from the original Uncle Scrooge comics, namely being the other adult character working with Scrooge and the nephews who was also generally a little less intelligent. The writers of the show were worried that Donald's presence would outshine Scrooge and the nephews, which was why the two other characters were created and so they would serve as the fifth member of the Five-Man Band in the first and second seasons. However, Donald did notably have a minor recurring role in the first season where he would properly retake his position from the comics in the few episodes he appeared in.
A lot of the characters from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic were meant to be characters from previous incarnations of the franchise, but had to be changed due to said characters still being under copyright.