Whole Plot Reference

Sometimes rather than just a brief reference or homage to some other work of fiction, a work will actually be a full-blown recreation of something else's story. This is usually done in sitcoms, and likely a spoof to at least some degree.

Sub Tropes:

Some other plots commonly used for this purpose are:

See also Homage, Foreign Remake, Fountain of Expies, Characteristic Trope, and Recycled IN SPACE! ... sometimes with the Serial Numbers Filed Off.

Expect it to reference/parody the original's Signature Scenes.

Tropes Are Not Bad - a story can serve as a reference or re-mixed version of another one with just ripping it off. Clever parodies put a lot of their own creative thought in while still referencing the original.

Compare Parody Episode, Whole Costume Reference (the clothing version), Recycled Script (internal recycling). May be a Twice Told Tale. For when this is subverted, see Not His Sled.


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    Anime & Manga 

  • X-Men Fairy Tales is a series of these, casting the X-Men in the role of characters from various fables.
  • Sometimes in The Spirit Will Eisner would create new versions of fairy tales, set in the 1940s.
  • Gorsky and Butch do a brief Matrix parody in their first book. In the third one, they do a more extended parody: Butch makes a Face-Heel Turn, joining the agents of Comix, in hope of achieveing his goals and finally ending the sensless plot so he can star in a 'real comic'. In the meantime Gorsky leads the resistance under the guise of Morfinius, atempting to destroy the Comix by making Jerry ( the heroes Butt Monkey sidekick) the main character.
    • They also do Aliens at one point: the whole section of the comic is the movie but it turns out to be an illegal copy with borked subtitles: all sorts of whacky hijinks result from it, most importantly the aliens getting replaced with sheep because their name have been misspelled (makes sense in Polish) - the marines discover a nest with missing colonists hanging on the walls in oversized wool sweaters.
  • The comic book version of PvP did a homage/parody of The Matrix called "The Comix".
  • There's a Star Wars Expanded Universe comic featuring Luke's childhood friend Janek "Tank" Sunber, who'd joined the Empire, become a lieutenant, and ended up stationed on a planet of tribal aliens. The plot of that handful of comics is essentially Zulu, with Imperials desperately fighting wave after wave of aliens and being worn down.
  • Judge Dredd did this quite a bit in the late 80s and 90s, with parodies of such things as The Wizard of Oz, Twin Peaks, Edward Scissorhands, and many more.
  • The whole Hellfire Club section of the X-Men's The Dark Phoenix Saga is basically Chris Claremont's riff on The Avengers episode "A Touch of Brimstone", in which Mrs Peel gets brainwashed into being the Hellfire Club's Queen of Sin by John Cleverly Cartney. Claremont even gives Mastermind the real name Jason Wyngarde, after Peter Wyngarde, who played Cartney, and Jason King, Wyngarde's most famous role.
  • The story of Steve Rogers' return to the land of the living, Captain America: Reborn, is a extended reference to Slaughterhouse-Five.
  • The plot of the Marvel Comics villain miniseries Identity Disc is taken directly from The Usual Suspects.
  • The plot of Avengers Arena bears more than a passing resemblance to works like Battle Royale, The Hunger Games, and Lord of the Flies, which the writer gleefully owns up to in the first issue. Additionally, the covers of the first few issues are all homages to the movie posters and book covers of the above-mentioned stories.
  • Several DC Comics Elseworlds do this. Most of them are very obvious about it (JLA: Island of Dr Moreau is based on, well...), but one that plays it a bit more subtly is the Legion Of Superheroes Elseworld Castles in the Sky, which is a 30th century riff on the legend of King Arthur, with Cosmic Boy as Arthur, Saturn Girl as Guenevere, Lightning Lad as Lancelot, R. J. Brande as Merlin, Lightning Lord as Mordred, Mordru as the Fisher King, the flight rings as Excalibur (only Rokk can pull the Nth metal from the ruins of Thanagar), and the Miracle Machine as the Holy Grail.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live Action 

  • Several Discworld novels are referential parodies of famous works. For instance, Wyrd Sisters spoofs Macbeth, Lords and Ladies parodies A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Masquerade parodies The Phantom of the Opera.
    • Less of a parody, and more of a straight-up homage, Night Watch is Les Misérables with time-travel thrown in. Only in this case, the Jean Valjean character really is a dangerous criminal, and the Inspector Javert equivalent is the good guy.
  • Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story "A Scandal in Bohemia" can be read as a remake of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Purloined Letter".
  • The Star Wars: Medstar Duology is heavily referentially to the show M*A*S*H including the setting (a backwater jungle), the fact that one character can hear the medical transports before they come in, and even direct Cold War ideological debates.
  • The second book in the "Tennis Shoes" series of Mormon fiction is called Gadiantons and the Silver Sword. The heroes must take the titular sword to a land far to the southeast and cast it into a box in a mountain where it was forged, while being pursued by servants of Satan who want to recover it. The similarities with The Lord of the Rings could fill it's own page on this wiki, starting with the main character's sister remarking on the similarity of their situation.
  • This has been done a number of times with the classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo, resulting in the novel Revenge by Stephen Fry, SF classic The Stars My Destination and the Filipino classic El Filibusterismo, right down to the main character's arc.
  • The Laundry Series is full of Shout Outs, but the plot of The Jennifer Morgue is a whole plot reference to James Bond. An in-universe whole plot reference: the bad guy uses Post-Modern Magik to make himself untouchable by anyone but a person who resembles James Bond, and as a side effect develops a tendency to monologue.
  • The plot of the first Rivers of London book is a whole plot reference of Punch and Judy of all things.
  • The Man-Kzin War novel The Children's Hour by Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling does a whole-plot lift of the movie Casablanca, except at the end when "Ilsa" dumps "Lazlo" and runs off with "Rick".
  • The story "Honor in the Night" from the third Star Trek: Myriad Universes book applies the series' For Want of a Nail premise to the Original Series episode "The Trouble with Tribbles". The end result can be summed up as "Citizen Kane in the Star Trek universe".
  • Hyperion (the first novel of the Hyperion Cantos) is mostly a recreation of The Canterbury Tales...IN SPACE! Specifically, the device of having pilgrims tell each other stories en route to the site of pilgrimage to keep each other entertained. It also emulates Chaucer in having each tale copy a different style of story that was popular in the writer's time (making Hyperion a series of classic Science Fiction homages wrapped inside of a Chaucer homage). However, unlike Chaucer, Simmons finished Hyperion, and wove it into a four-book saga.
  • Trapped on Draconica: The "Eastern Alliance" arc bears a stunning likeness to 300 though the author throws in a number of twists and other elements.
  • Lowlands Of Scotland is a four book series by Liz Curtis Higgs, fairly faithfully retelling the biblical story of Jacob, Leah, Rachel, and Dinah, set in the late-1700s (and early-1800s, post timeskip) Scottish lowlands. It works amazingly well considering the disparity between biblical culture and eighteenth century Scottish lowland culture.
  • There and Back Again by Max Merriwell is The Hobbit IN SPACE.
  • A Whole Subplot Reference occurs in David Weber's Safehold novels. The on-screen confrontation between Gray Harbor and Duke Tirian in Off Armageddon Reef plays out almost exactly like the off-screen one that occurred in Honor of the Queen (also by Weber) between Howard Clinkscales and Jared Mayhew.
  • The Phoenix Guards is described by author Steven Brust as a blatant rip-off of The Three Musketeers. Its sequels follow the sequels to The Three Musketeers more loosely.
  • The Sundering is modeled very closely on The Lord of the Rings, except told from the villains' point of view.
  • Sweet Valley High: When Jessica lands the lead in the school play, her understudy constantly fawns and gushes over her, etc. Jessica is Genre Savvy enough to be suspicious. Sure enough, the girl is trying to undermine her in order to get the part for herself—All About Eve in high school.
  • Subverted in Ethan Banning novel Undertow, which, at first, appears to be a recreation of H.P. Lovecraft's A Shadow over Innsmouth. It then goes in its own direction.

    Live Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer did one with "The Monkey's Paw," where Dawn and Spike try to resurrect Joyce.
  • My Name Is Earl, the episode "Get a Real Job" features Earl's plotline being a reference to Rudy, featuring Charles S. Dutton and Sean Astin from the movie in supporting roles, with Earl trying to prove he can be a salesman and not just a stock worker, it features the same speech by Dutton and a scene at the end similar to the 'I believe I am' from Rudy.
  • Just Shoot Me! pulled a neat trick when it set an episode up so that it could suddenly turn completely into King Lear.
  • Charmed has an entire episode based on the movie Ladyhawke, down to the eclipse. It's lampshaded by Prue: "I swear I saw this in a movie once."
    • There was also the season one episode "Dead Man Dating", which was basically ''Ghost, with a young man killed by gangsters as part of a larger conspiracy and sorting out the mystery behind his death with Piper's help (who becomes a Composite Character of Oda Mae and Molly).
  • A number of people have noted quite a resemblance between The Fixer and Callan. Both are ITV shows, so copyright isn't an issue here.
  • Early Edition had an episode with a plot that strongly resembled the classic movie Roman Holiday. Princess gone missing, officials covering her while she meets a down to earth man and they enjoy the American city together; and they both end on much the same note.
    • As does the Baywatch episode "Princess Of Tides", with some extra drama thrown in—Mitch has to protect and rescue the titular princess from assassins.
  • The 3rd Rock from the Sun episode "Citizen Solomon" includes a plot based on a portion of Citizen Kane. Oddly, it's the "B" story which is based on Kane, not the "A" story. In the episode, Tommy is Kane, Alissa is Susan and August is Leland.
  • The original Battlestar Galactica and its sequel, Galactica 1980, succumbed to this several times. It wasn't so much homage or parody as... wholesale plot theft, usually in response to the Dreaded Deadline Doom. Example: "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero" came from The Guns of Navarone.
    • Even The Return of Starbuck, the one episode of Galactica 1980 that many fans will accept, bears a striking resemblance to Enemy Mine, which had first appeared in short story format in 1979.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation's "QPid", the Costumer part, anyway, is pretty much The Adventures of Robin Hood, down to a fight between Robin/Picard and Guy of Gisborne on a staircase. Which makes Vash's absolute refusal to play Marian a whole lot funnier. (Though someone somewhere seems to have gotten Guy of Gisbourne and the Sheriff confused, because Q is clearly playing Basil-Rathbone-Guy but calls himself the Sheriff, and Guy more resembles the dim-witted, rotund Sheriff of the movie.)
    • Eureka later used the TNG episode "Remember Me" as a Whole Plot Reference for the episode "Games People Play". Which was the point, since it was the 100th episode.
  • The MacGyver episode "Countdown" is either a rare example of a Whole Plot Reference played entirely straight, or a cynical attempt to rip off the plot of a film most of MacGyver's audience wouldn't have seen. The episode "Trumbo's World" went so far as to use footage from the movie it was ripping off. (Respectively, Juggernaut and The Naked Jungle.)
  • In the Smallville episode "Roulette", Olliver's storyline is blatant rip-off of the 1997 Michael Douglas film The Game, right up to the male lead having suicidal tendencies.
    • They also dished out "Fortune", a rip-off of The Hangover.
    • "Mercy" doesn't even try to pretend that it's not stealing the entire plot of Saw.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Remember WENN did this twice, with Casablanca and Sunset Boulevard.
  • House did this with the Season 6 opener, "Broken," wherein he is a patient in a mental hospital: did somebody say One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? Why, yes I did. Subverted in that while the references were played up, everything was the opposite of One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest: the nurses and psychiatrists were actually trying to help, and House's attempt to "liberate" one of the other patients ends badly. Really badly.
    • Lie to Me made a similar reference. The psychiatrist running the place clearly has it in for Cal (which makes perfect sense) but when he's shown the evidence that Cal's symptoms are coming from ergot rather than schizophrenia he lets him and the other victims out without hesitation.
  • The entire second season of Californication is a Whole Plot Reference to The Great Gatsby, with Hank as Nick and Ashby as Gatsby.
  • The underlying storyline of Heroes' fourth season is Carnivŕle with abilities.
  • Magnum, P.I. did this once with Raiders of the Lost Ark. Lampshaded by Magnum spending the whole episode racking his brains as to why it all seemed so familiar.
  • Good Eats has a send-up of Misery in the episode "This Spud's For You Too", and a sequel (featuring an amnesiac A.B.) "Ill-Gotten Grains". Of course, the first is about making potato dishes, while the second is about wheat-grain dishes; both are, by far, more family-friendly.
  • Whether unintentional or a deliberate reference, the Fringe episode "White Tulip" (2x18) borrows heavily from the plot of ''The Broken Bride'' by the band Ludo: A scientist creates a time travel device to go back in time to the day in May when his fiance/bride was killed in a car accident with the intention of saving her life. Minus about 14 years, pterodactyls, a dragon and a zombie apocalypse. It even ends with the time traveler realizing he cannot save his bride and getting in the car to die alongside her.
  • Spaced did this several times, with prominent examples being parodies of The Matrix and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
  • Red Dwarf: "Back to Earth" becomes a Whole Plot Reference to Blade Runner around halfway in, and most of Queeg is based on The Caine Mutiny. Also, "The Last Day" is based on the Jack Nicholson film The Last Detail.
  • On episode of 30 Rock was an extended reference to Amadeus with Frank as Salieri, Tracy as Mozart, and Tracy's porn video game as the masterpiece.
    Frank: I've devoted a lifetime to porn, and he masters it in one day?!
  • Big Wolf on Campus had an episode called "The Manchurian Werewolf." Can you guess?
  • 12 Angry Men is another stock plot that's been much copied. It's been done on The Odd Couple, Happy Days, and The Simpsons just to name a few. The former is interesting in that series star Jack Klugman was in the original film. While it might not be the original example, many examples of the Rogue Juror trope will probably call upon this in some way.
  • The Goodies had an episode called Punky Business. It seemed like it was going to be a spoof on punk, and then it turned into "Cinderella".
  • In its final season, The A-Team had an episode called "The Spy Who Mugged Me," which played out like a James Bond film (complete with an intense card game, killer sharks, etc.).
    • The episode "The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair" from the same season was essentially a Darker and Edgier episode from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with the Team being support for Napoleon Solo (or rather, General Stockwell-still, the episode milked the Actor Allusion for all its worth).
  • In Community has done a few of these. An easy one to spot is Abed's birthday dinner with Jeff which is a reference to My Dinner With Andre.
  • The Not Going Out episode Life on Mars Bars is a half-hour reference to Life On Mars.
  • When Cold Case wasn't basing it's episodes off of Real Life cold (and "hot") cases, it often did this. "Blood On The Tracks"= The Big Chill, "Disco Inferno"= Saturday Night Fever, "Detention"= The Breakfast Club, etc.
  • Shows recreating The Breakfast Club in an episode:
    • A whole episode of Degrassi The Next Generation was dedicated to parodying the movie, ending in the "bad boy" and "basketcase" ending up together in the end, with the "pretty girl" and "jock" ending up together. Toby didn't end up with anyone, though... like Brian.
    • Lizzie McGuire also did an entire episode based on that plot. Three kids (including Lizzie) were brought together because they were accused of starting a Food Fight.
    • Victorious also has an entire episode taken from it.
  • NewsRadio did at least two - "Sinking Ship" (S4) spoofed Titanic, and "Flowers for Matthew" spoofed Flowers for Algernon/Charley.
  • Stargate SG-1: The season 7 episode "Fallout" was basically The Core ON LANGARA! and MINUS HOLLYWOOD SCIENCE!
  • The third episode of the 1980s Degrassi Junior High is based on the story of the Emperor's New Clothes. The resident High School Hustler sells "hallucinogens" (actually vitamin pills) at five bucks a pop. Because nobody wants to admit they aren't "cool," his clients pretend to trip and even go through placebo highs.
  • The Degrassi: The Next Generation film called Degrassi: Las Vegas borrows heavily from the movie Indecent Proposal, with one character even lampshading it by mentioning it to wave off a character's suspicions, only to later offer an "indecent proposal". However, as this is a teen soap things play out differently and the boyfriend is not involved in agreeing to the deal.
  • The original The Outer Limits did "haircuts" (as the production team called them) of Beauty and the Beast ("The Man Who Was Never Born") and Macbeth ("The Bellero Shield"). Coincidentally, both episodes starred Martin Landau.
    • The remake series did "Star Crossed", which was basically Casablanca with aliens instead of Nazis.
  • The whole premise of Grimm; set in contemporary Portland, OR, the main character is a police detective who is also the last living descendant of Jakob & Wilhelm Grimm, who in turn were part of a group of people who had the power to see supernatural creatures that appeared human to those without such an ability. The creatures were the inspiration for several fairy tales and folk takes around the world, Grimm or otherwise. Most episodes at least partially reference the original story.
  • Like the MacGyver example mentioned above, the TJ Hooker episode "Blue Murder" - in which Hooker goes up against a group of uniformed cops under the direction of a superior officer executing criminals that got away - was what can be charitably called "inspired" by Magnum Force, even down to both having a scene with our hero on a practice range. Biggest difference: budgetary and time restrictions kept the vigilante cops down to two (in the movie it was four).
  • Frasier had an episode titled "My Coffee with Niles", which was essentially a love letter to My Dinner With Andre.
    • Also, in another episode, Frasier and Niles meet a writer who wrote one amazing book and not another word for 30 years, who was going to publish a new novel. They read the manuscript behind his back when he’s away and are amazed by it, noting the homage to The Divine Comedy in its structure; the writer thinks his book is actually a rip-off of Dante and throws the manuscript off the balcony, thanking them both for pointing out that he’s a hack, and leaves, frustrated and angry.
  • One Life to Live's famous gang rape storyline was lifted from the plot of The Accused, right down to the guilt-ridden bystander who failed to intervene. Although in the movie's case, he had the decency to run and call for help, whereas in the show, he was bullied into participating. A follow-up storyline in which the lead rapist stalked his lawyer was clearly lifted from Cape Fear—seeking vengeance for sabotaging the case when she realized he was guilty, and Wait Until Dark—she was blind following brain surgery.
  • General Hospital: In 1996, Carly came to town and rapidly insinuated herself into Bobbie's life—and into the bed of Bobbie's husband. No references to the movie All About Eve were ever made, but most critics cited the film as the likely inspiration for the storyline.
  • CSI: Miami had an episode called "Dude, Where's My Groom?" which was, essentially, The Hangover with a murder mystery thrown in.
  • The appropriately titled 100th episode of Psych, "100 Clues", abounds with references to Clue, even including three of the actors and multiple endings.
  • The Castle episode "The Lives of Others", like Rear Window, has Castle stuck at home with a broken leg. While watching his neighbors through binoculars, he sees something that looks like a murder. It was staged by Beckett as an elaborate way to get him to a surprise party.
  • The Endeavour episode "Rocket" has the dysfunctional Broom family, whose names, plotlines, and dialogue, reference the bickering Plantagenets of The Lion in Winter (as a Genius Bonus/ Bilingual Bonus, the name Plantagenet supposedly derived from the broom plant- Planta Genista in Latin- on their coat of arms).
  • Season 4 of Arrested Development sees George Michael seeing the software called Fakeblock that he developed in his college dorm become a runaway hit that strains his relationship with his friends, turns him into a bit of a Jerk Ass, and causes his former friend and peer to sue him, all because Michael Cera, when asked if he is generally recognized more for Arrested Development or Scott Pilgrim, replied that he's usually recognized for The Social Network, which he wasn't in.
  • The Father Ted episode "Speed 3" is a WPR to Speed, with a bomb on a milk float that is primed when it goes above 4mph and goes off if it dips below.
  • The Sam & Cat episode "SuperPsycho" is a parody of The Silence of the Lambs.
  • The Only Fools and Horses episode "Fatal Extraction" parodies Fatal Attraction with the twist that the woman isn't stalking Del; it's all in his head.
  • A Sisters storyline had oldest sister and talk show host Alex hiring a personal assistant who simply lived to wait on her hand and foot. She made herself so indispensable that when Alex was trapped in an elevator, she was able to take over her hosting duties and did such a good job that the producers decided to make them co-hosts. At this point, Alex wised up and realized that the girl was really a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who was out to get her job—driving the point home, her name was Evelyn, making it quite obvious what film this story was based on.
  • Arrow loves referencing The Dark Knight Saga. The first season ends with a a villain connected to the League of Shadows/Assassins trying to destroy the crime-ridden Gotham/Glades. The third season centers on a super-strong criminal warlord who takes over Gotham/Glades and forces all police and other government services out; it's even resolved in an all-out clash on the street.
  • Arrow's sister series The Flash (2014) redoes the origin of Gorilla Grodd. Due to the show's mythology, he isn't an intelligent gorilla from the technologically advanced Gorilla City. Instead, he is very much straight out of the new Planet of the Apes films, a gorilla who was experimented on and suffered abuse from humans save for one. The explosion that turned several people into Metahumans granted him his psychic powers which allow him to communicate telepathically.



    Video Games 
  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a remake of Journey to the West.
  • Chapter 3 of Bully is basically the plot of S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is very similar to the 1980s, Al Pacino-starring remake of Scarface. A criminal, exiled from his old stomping grounds in The Eighties, winds up in (a) Miami(-like city) and builds up a criminal empire, including an opulent mansion, but gets betrayed by a partner who ends up seeking his death, culminating in a Last Stand at said mansion. The way the protagonists end up is different, though.
  • The first third of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is basically Juice mashed together with Boyz n the Hood. The last two thirds of the game are basically the plot of The Countof Monte Cristo with a brief interlude to reenact Ocean's Eleven
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 pretty much lifts the entire plot of The Rock for one mission.
  • Red Dead Revolver, as a game where the Showdown at High Noon is a frequent occurance, has a quickdraw tournament in the vein of The Quick and the Dead.
    • Earlier in the game, there is a stage where the player must blow up a bridge on a battlefield by wading into the water and placing explosives on the pillars, much like in The Good The Bad And The Ugly.
  • Mass Effect:
  • World of Warcraft was always big ont the Shout Outs, from single NPCs to entire quest lines, but two zones in the Cataclysm expansion brings it to a new level. The Redrige Mountains are all about Rambo, while around half of Uldum consists of Harrison Jones fighting for an ancient relic against nazi goblins.
  • Devil Survivor 2 has a series of Eldritch Abominations, utterly immune to conventional weaponry, attacking Japan, which only a handful of special poeple have the potential to stop, is a Crapsack World, has major Break and Kill the Cutie, Order Versus Chaos themes, a white haired Bishōnen who loves humans (and happens to secretly be one of said abominations) and viciously deconstructs all tropes related to its genre. Where have I heard this before...?
    • Persona 3 also fits this nicely for very similar reasons, also by having 12 major enemies followed by a 13rd one who has a human appearance (and has an affinity towards humans).
  • The Binding of Isaac to The Bible story of the same name (Genesis chapter 22).
  • The Spore mission It Came From The Sky is this to The Thing (1982).
  • The Clan War missions of Borderlands 2, in which you instigate a clan war between the redneck Hodunks and the Irish Zafords and play both sides against one another are a reference to Yojimbo, A Fistful of Dollars and Last Man Standing. The only difference is that you are forced to side with one family in the final encounter rather than wiping all of them out.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: The quest "A Night to Remember" is this to The Hangover; the Dragonborn wakes up after a drunken stupor and has to find their missing drinking buddy, all while cleaning up the mess they left behind throughout Skyrim. They even got married in all the drunkenness - to a Hagraven, no less.
    • The whole Civil War plot borrows a lot from the main conflict of Fallout: New Vegas. The Empire is a well-intentioned but corrupt and ineffectual government that's hated by a good number of the locals, much like the NCR. Ulfric Stormcloak acts as a stand-in for Mr. House - an ambitious and cunning leader who wants to kick out the government and forge an independent nation under their own rule. On the horizon is the Aldmeri Dominion, a nation of barbaric Nazi elves who once warred with the Empire and plan to do so again, eradicating both sides and claiming the province as their own for a further conquest of the Imperial homeland, exactly the same as the Legion. In the middle of this huge mess is the player, who is in a position to play the sides off against each other for their own personal agenda, or join up with a faction and bring them a decisive victory.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni: The relationship between Battler and Beatrice is this towards The Divine Comedy with Beatrice waiting for Battler to find the truth referencing the eternal lady waiting for Dante at the top of Mount Purgatory. Several other names in the series also references this and fulfill the same roles.
    • First of all we have Virgilia, who guides Battler towards the truth, taking the role of Vergilius who guided Dante.
    • In Ep 7 we also have Clair vauxof Bernard, the reader of that Episode who reveals the truth to Will, Lion and the players. Clair takes the role of Bernard of Clairvaux as both are the final guides of the stories after Beatrice has gone to her eternal rest.
    • Then finally we have the name of the metaworld where Battler is trapped, Purgatorio. Here Beatrice wants Battler to remember his sin of six years ago just as Dante had to recognize and acknowledge his sins before ascending to Heaven.
    • The book and the similarities are references in Ep 5 just when Battler does reach the truth:
      ''Vergilius guided Dante to Mount Purgatory, ... and brought him below the feet of the eternal lady who waited at the top, Beatrice. Therefore, ... the innermost depths lay not at the bottom. ... but at the peak of Mount Purgatory. The eternal lady... had been waiting there for Dante... the whole time... And then...I...knew.
  • Soul Sacrifice revolves around horrific creatures that were once men (and animals) born from profane magic, which is spread by a shining, innocent-looking entity. The only way to kill said monsters is to use said magic, which will end up transforming YOU into a monster eventually for others to kill in an endless cycle. Souls, despair, and hope are all central to the story, as despair is what triggers the transformation from man to beast. The main storyline also involves a Ho Yay -filled relationship between two sorcerers, one of which locks himself into an endless loop in order to save his 'dear friend'. Yeah,it's that kind of game.
  • The Wonderful 101 features Platinum Robo, a Humongous Mecha that secretly contains the soul of the pilot's mother, a brilliant scientist thought to be long dead.
  • A mission in HAWX, "Operation Whitehorse" has the player defend a space shuttle launch pad and the shuttle itself, carrying a super weapon to even the playing field in the war against enemy attack. First, the enemy sends wave after wave of airborne-dropped tanks, dropped from cargo planes. Then they begin sending jets to try and kill it. When all else fails, they start firing cruise missiles at it. A near-identical mission appears in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, "The White Bird Part I".
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear Solid is a total retread of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake but with a dark conspiracy subplot as well. All of the setpieces are the same - finding a female soldier in the women's bathroom, Gray Fox warning you about mines using an anonymous radio frequency, a key that's a 'shape memory alloy' that changes with heat, punching the Evil Counterpart to death after losing your inventory, a cyborg ninja turns out to be a character from the previous game, a mysterious woman is revealed through dramatic irony to have a tragic part in Gray Fox's life, there's a battle with a helicopter using missiles, and many, many more. This differs from Metal Gear Solid 2, which also retread much of this territory but the similarity was frequently lampshaded, exploited by Genre Savvy main characters and eventually revealed as plot important, since in Metal Gear Solid no-one points out the similarities at all and Snake is completely Genre Blind to them.
    • Metal Gear Solid 2 is The Rock with the serial numbers filed off (New York instead of San Francisco, nukes rather than bioweapons) down to the occasional Homage Shot and Harry Gregson-Williams doing the music in the same style - but also incorporating bits of pomo novel The New York Trilogy.
  • Take the classic literary tale of Beowulf, and change the presentation of the story from an epic tale to Professional Wrestling. You just described the entire concept of the character Beowulf from Skullgirls.
  • The first level in Yuriko's campaign is about a severely traumatised Japanese schoolgirl who rips out of her restraints at a secret research facility and rampages around the place, messily killing the guards with her psychic powers.
  • DEFCON - Everybody Dies is based on the climax scenes of WarGames, where civilization is imploding in a global thermonuclear war. However, unlike the movie where it's just a computer simulation, it's actually happening in DEFCON and your goal is to ensure the communists/capitalists die in a nuclear fire. Introversion's previous game, Uplink, featured a Shout-Out to Wargames in an Easter Egg.
  • Resident Evil 3 has an Action Girl Badass fending off a unstoppable beast using a ATM Hardballer, grenade launcher, minigun and Western 1887, which she cocks one handed. Hmmm...where have we seen this before?

    Web Comics 
  • PvP did a series of strips echoing the plot of Watchmen when the movie came out, but due to the difference in mediums, Scott Kurtz used syndicated cartoon characters and called it "The Ombudsmen". They mapped onto the Watchmen superheroes (Dagwood for Dr. Manhattan, Dilbert for Ozymandias, etc.) surprisingly well.
  • Pibgorn did A Midsummer Night's Dream with Gender Flipped roles and actual fairies IN THE THIRTIES!
  • Jane's World's current arc is literally The Last Star Fighter with lesbians.
  • Just Peachy does this in one story arc with the movie "Singing in the Rain". They even reference the movie in this strip.
  • Many Sluggy Freelance parodies cobble together from different works in a genre, but the "Torg Potter" storylines were mostly whole plot.
  • Rhapsodies had an episode about the adventures of the house band in Casablanca.
  • Zortic before the reboot consisted almost exclusively in this.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s):

Fable Remake