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Roger: Your smile reminded me of...
Mimi: I always remind people of. Who is she?
— "Light My Candle," Rent
Old and often used stock phrase with several different variations.
Variant 1: "You remind me of myself"
The first and most commonly used variant is someone telling another person that the other person reminds them of themselves, especially if they add "When I was younger" onto the end of it. In particular The Hero
may say it to a character like a sidekick
, a Hero Worshipper
or a Non-Action Guy
who just showed some pluck and Got Dangerous
, an Innocent Bystander
who actually helped out, etc. Most commonly used to show that even if a character is outside the Competence Zone
currently, they have potential they may yet fulfill, or that they may grow up to be just like the hero and take up the call
If said by an Anti-Villain
, Worthy Opponent
, Fallen Hero
or Noble Demon
, it may be a sign of respect, or wistfulness, since the character saying it may find themselves longing to be that way again. A great way of setting up a Not So Different
moment or the possibility for redemption.
It's worth noting that this variant often tends to be parodied or subverted. For example an Anti-Hero
or Deadpan Snarker
may wind up telling someone that it's the bad parts of themselves or the bits about themselves that they loathe that the person is bringing to mind. There are also times when it's said with the implication that the person they're saying it to is a Naïve Newcomer
who is overly idealistic just like they were at that age, but will have to learn cynicism, just like the person speaking. Many a Broken Pedestal
has said it this way.
Variant 2: "You remind me of him"
The other variant is the speaker saying that someone reminds them of X, with X possibly being anything from their father or mother, their mentor, a legendary hero, etc. A frequently response to Tell Me About My Father
, which is practically guaranteed to provoke a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming
. A nastier, more villainish version may include pushing the Relative Button
with this, or to turn it into a way to Reminisce About Your Victims
or ask the ever popular question "Would You Like to Know How They Died?
Variant 3: "You remind me of her"
A character with a deceased Love Interest
runs into someone who causes a Flashback Echo
of his/her former love. The character will often look startled, then say "Sorry, for a moment you reminded me of someone I once knew". The two easily form a connection, foreshadowing a possible future relationship
, though one haunted by the tragic end of the previous romance
In the last two variants, you get extra points if you do a Wrong Name Outburst
Examples (You remind me of me)
- Miranda Priestly tells this to Andy at the end of The Devil Wears Prada, which only reinforces Andy's decision to quit.
- Michael implies this to a teenage client he helped on an episode of Burn Notice, complete with the show ending with the two of them leaning against his car in the exact same pose.
- Both Evan Edrok and Ha Jinsung from Tower Of God are reminded of themselves when they first meet protagonist Baam. Evan sees the innocent, naive hopeful child he used to be who knew exactly what he wanted; Jinsung sees someone who lost everything he wished for.
- Doc Holiday did the Anti-Hero version in Tombstone, saying that Johnny Ringo reminds me him of him, which just means that now Doc really hates Ringo.
- Parodied/subverted in an episode of I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC, when Wolverine tells the Comedian how the Comedian reminds him of himself, then immediately remembers all the things that are different about them.
Maybe you ain't so bad after all, Blake. In fact, you kinda remind me of myself at your age. Except, y'know, I'm a mutant. And I've got ethics. And I'm not a psychopath... (or a rapist...) You know what, maybe you remind me of someone else...
- Sarevok in Baldur's Gate:
Sarevok: You remind me of myself...before I was slaughtered and cast into the Abyss.
- When Green Lantern, Black Canary and Arsenal teamed up in the events leading to the post-Infinite Crisis. pre-New 52 JLA, Green Lantern thinks how Black Canary thinks it's because Arsenal reminds him of a younger Green Arrow — and that, the reality of it is, that Arsenal reminds him of his own younger self.
- Real Genius:
Chris: You see, Mitch, I used to be you. And lately I've been missing me, so I asked Dr. Hathaway if I could room with me again and he said sure.
- An inversion of the trope shows up in Road to Perdition, when Sullivan admits to one of his sons that it was the son that didn't remind him of himself that he loved more.
- In Chris Roberson's Warhammer 40000 Blood Ravens novel Dawn of War II, the two boys they find in the hive remind Thaddeus of himself at that age — partly because he came from the same sort of hive, and partly because they fit the aspirant profile. (When he suggests that they might become Blood Ravens and kill xenos such as killed their mother, they are quite eager to be like him.)
- In the Ciaphas Cain novel Cain's Last Stand, one of Cain's students reminds him of himself. Amusingly (and not at all surprisingly, given his own character), this leads him to view absolutely everything Donal says and does with considerable suspicion.
- Interestingly enough, said student turns out to be quite the model commissar, offering to stay behind (and certainly die) in order to buy time for the others to escape. When he does survive, (but is brain washed) he prefers to commit suicide after being temporarily freed rather than lose his free will again. Should Cain's assessment be on the mark, it would seem to shine a light on Cain's own character.
- The G-Man to Adrian Shepard at the end of Half-Life: Opposing Force.
I admit I have a fascination with those who adapt and survive against all odds—they rather remind me of myself.
- In Futurama, Zapp Brannigan, king of Metaphorgotten, says this of Fry: "You remind me of a younger me. Not much younger, mind you. Perhaps even a little older."
- The Three Musketeers (1993). "You, boy, are arrogant, hot-tempered, and entirely too bold. I like that, you remind me of me."
- In the first episode of Community, Pierce means it as a compliment when he tells Jeff that Jeff reminds him of younger version of himself, but since Pierce is, putting it gently, a complete tool, Jeff doesn't take it as one.
- Subverted on The Simpsons when Homer gets a job writing fortune cookie fortunes and presents his work to the other writers, one of whom is (for some reason) Woody Allen
Woody Allen: My god, he's like a young me!
Fortune Cookie Writer: Are you crazy? Yung Mi was a hack compared to this guy.
- In Next To Normal, Natalie tells Henry "you remind me of me...and how fucked up I can be" to explain why their relationship is struggling.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation ("Tapestry")
Picard: [about his time as an ensign] I was a different person in those days - arrogant, undisciplined; with far too much ego, but too little wisdom. [pause] I was more like you.
Q: Then you must have been far more interesting. Pity you had to change.
- Wall Street
Gordon Gekko: You could've been one of the great ones Buddy. I looked at you and saw myself. Why?
Bud Fox: [getting up] I don't know. I guess I realized that I'm just Bud Fox.
- In Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising, Flak of Black Hole says to Max of Orange Star:
Flak: You remind me of me. Except…I'm me.
- In Pearl Harbor, Alec Baldwin's character (Col. James Doolittle) tells Ben Affleck's character (Rafe Mc Cawley) that Mc Cawley reminded him of a younger version of himself (Doolittle). Crosses over to Actor Allusion, since Affleck played a younger version of the same character as Baldwin (Jack Ryan).
- In Final Fantasy X, Auron states indirectly to Tidus that he reminds him of himself. "I was just a boy. A boy about your age actually. I wanted to change the world too, but I changed nothing." See also below ("You remind me of him").
Examples (You remind me of him)
- Harry Potter has been told multiple times how much he reminds everyone of his father.
- And has his mother's eyes.
- Disturbingly, Harry also notes the similarities between himself and Tom Riddle.
- In Scrubs, JD is told by Jordan (the ex-wife of his reluctant mentor Dr. Cox) how he kind of reminds her of Dr. Cox when Cox was that young.
- Auron from Final Fantasy X tells Tidus that he reminds him of Jecht. The latter isn't happy about the comparison.
- Wakka also initially goes out of his way to help Tidus and act as something of a big brother to him because Tidus reminds him of his dead little brother.
- In the Stephen King novella Low Men in Yellow Coats (part of the Hearts in Atlantis book), Bobby gets told by a waitress how much he reminds her of his long-dead and barely remembered father. Sure enough, at one point when she's totally petrified she calls Bobby by his father's name.
- House: In the first-season episode "Poison", an 82-year-old woman goes to the clinic because she's acting unexpectedly "frisky". She flirts with House while he examines her, saying, "You remind me of [Ashton Kutcher]. Same bedroom eyes."
- Slappy Squirrel does this Once an Episode in Animaniacs, whenever another character reminds her of <insert obscure pop culture figure (or cartoon character) from more than 20 years ago here>. It is difficult to tell at times whether she is being complimentary or insulting with these comparisons.
- Negi of Mahou Sensei Negima! constantly reminds people of his father. During the end of his tournament bout with Jack Rakan, Jack reminisces that it's almost like fighting with Nagi again.
- In City of Glass, Luke tells Jace that he reminds him of someone. Jace assumes he means his father, the antagonist Valentine. However, Luke actually meant another shadowhunter, Stephen Herondale, Jace's biological father.
- "You know, you remind me of my father... I HATED my father!"
- In one episode of Stargate SG-1, Teal'c informs informs the New Guy Cameron Mitchell that he reminds him of Jack O'Neill, SG-1's former team leader who Mitchell replaced. Mitchell thinks this is a compliment. Teal'c doesn't seem so sure.
- "You remind me of the babe..."
- What babe?
- The babe with the power...
- What power?
- The power of Voodoo...
- Who do?
- You do.
- Do what?
- You remind me of the babe...
- From Percy Jackson, his mother points out how much Percy is like his father.
- In Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Asteroids, the hermit Hansen recognizes Lucky when they first meet because when Lucky gets angry, he reminds Hansen of his father, Lawrence Starr. Lawrence Starr was generally a cheerful man, and the fact that Hansen vividly remembers him being angry is one clue that he is actually the pirate who murdered Lucky's parents.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mido meets Link after his seven-year absence. He doesn't exactly recognize Link, but does say that for some reason, seeing Link makes him remember.
- In episode 4.08 of Sons Of Anarchy, Piney says to Jax "I'm not going to tell you how much you just sounded like your old man."
- Tales Of Symphonia draws on this trope in a slightly unexpected way, where Kratos, Lloyd's father, remarks about how Lloyd reminds him of Mithos. Not that this breaks with the trope in any way, but considering the father's more commonly the one the comparison's drawn TO, it's a neat twist for the father to be the one drawing the comparison.
- In Radiant Historia Eruca claims that Stocke reminds her of her brother. Turns out, that's because he is her brother.
- In Eternal Sonata, Frederic tells Polka she reminds him of his deceased younger sister. There may be a very good reason for that, or it could just be a coincidence.
- In the Jonathan Winters episode of The New Scooby Doo Movies, Maude Frickert tells Fred that he reminds her of her favorite country singer—Glen Campbell.
- Elemental Gelade has Ren helping a young boy named Eugene, who looks and acts almost exactly like her partner, Coud. Different from most examples on this page in that Coud is just fine, and was only apart from her for an episode or two.
- In Noein, Atori is pissed off by Yuu, who has the same defiant eyes as Karasu, who he despises. Which makes sense, considering Karasu is an older, post-apocalyptic Yuu.
- Dante in the Devil May Cry series reminds about half the bosses he fights of his father, Sparda. Oddly, Nero reminds Berial of Dante in the fourth game's novelization.
- CSI NY Mac tells Reed that Reed reminds him (Mac) of his mother, Mac's late wife Claire. It's *mostly* two, but also has elements of 3, the only difference being he already knew who Reed was at the time, likely making it a 2.
- Miranda Hillard tells Mrs. Doubtfire that she reminds her of her ex-husband Daniel; ironically enough, Mrs. Doubtfire of course happens to be one of Daniel's fictional impersonations.
- In Death Note Naomi Misora tells Light "You remind me of L. There's something about you that's just like him."
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, Antimony anticipiates being told she resembles one of her parents. Mr. Donlan surprises her by saying that would be what to say, except that she's her own person.
- In the third Back to the Future movie there is a somber one. Marty Mc Fly encounters his ancestors Seamus and Maggie Mc Fly, under the pseudonym "Clint Eastwood." After "Clint" accepts a challenge to a gun fight for being called chicken, Seamus and Maggie tell "Clint" he reminds them of Seamus' brother Martin who let people talk him into fights and ended up dying from one such encounter.
- In One Piece, Luffy frequently reminds others of Gold Roger, especially when he almost gets executed by Buggy in Loguetown and smiles even when he thinks all hope is lost, just like Roger had in his execution.
- In Bleach, there appear to be some comparisons between Ichigo and Kaien Shiba, particularly in their appearance and determination to do what's right even if it's against the rules. Byakuya in particular makes note of the similarity between the two, and Rukia remembers that Ichigo's fight with Grand Fisher is quite similar to Kaien's fight with Metastacia in that it's personal to them, although Ichigo, unlike Kaien, made it out of his fight alive.
- A subversion in Arthur 2: On the Rocks. Arthur, referring to Hobson, says to his new valet "you know, you remind me of him...in absolutely no way whatsoever".
- Naruto reminds other characters of certain people quite often. The most commonly mentioned are his father, the fourth Hokage, as well as his mentor, Jiraiya (with Sakura and Sasuke bearing similarities to Tsunade and Orochimaru, respectively). He also reminds Tsunade of her dead little brother and boyfriend in his goal of becoming Hokage, and while she initially shrugs it off as something that will get him killed, she comes to see him as someone who inherited both their hopes, and gives him the necklace she gave to the two of them shortly before their deaths, with the hope that he will succeed where they failed.
- In Persona 4 Arena Yu has that effect on the persona 3 characters who note his similarity with the the main character from persona 3
Examples (You remind me of her)
- Gunslinger Girl. Victor Hilshire has an immediate flashback to his former Love Interest Rachelle Belleut (the doctor who died saving Triela's life) when he meets Roberta Guellfi, a prosecutor his fratello has been assigned to bodyguard. Triela too feels a compunction to protect her, because she subconsciously reminds her of the woman in her dreams that she mistakenly assumes is her mother.
- Buckaroo Banzai. Buckaroo Banzai goes to see Penny Priddy while she's in jail.
Penny Priddy: What do you want from me?
Buckaroo: Oh, you remind me of someone I once knew long ago (his wife, who died before the movie started).
- Abarat. Candy reminds Carion of Princess Boa. A lot.
- Happens in JAG when the main character gets a new female partner after the last one gets killed.
- Arkraptor from Tower Of God says this about Miseng, who reminded him of his daughter.
- Rent, as per the page quote.
- Witch Hunter Robin reminds several characters of her mother.
- Feiling's Day In The Limelight has her helping out a Jerk with a Heart of Gold old man. You later learn that he has a granddaughter who looks
similar exactly like her.
- Several characters suspect that Nagi's initial attraction to Hayate is that he reminds her of her mother, who died when she was still young.
- Konata's dad makes an, ah, disturbing comment regarding how similar she is to her mother.
Soujirou: "But you know, you feel more and more like Kanata when I hold you. It makes my heart race!"
Kanata and Konata: "Don't just blurt out risque statements!"
- Vertigo: (Of course, as it happens she is.)
- The only reason Oskar's grandparents got together in Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close is because his grandmother reminded his grandfather of Anna, her sister and his first love.