- Snow White and the Huntsman: Ravenna says this to Snow White during their final fight. Snow responds in a befittingly badass way:
- Manhunter. Hannibal Lecter informs Will Graham of this.
Lecter: You want the scent? Smell yourself.
- Luke Skywalker of Star Wars gets his Not So Different moment when he cuts off his father's artificial hand. Luke sees that he has just repaid Vader's violence in kind, but also sees his own prosthetic hand as symbolizing the possibility that he's becoming like his father. This was foreshadowed earlier in The Empire Strikes Back, when Yoda sends Luke into a cave to be attacked by a masked warrior brandishing a lightsaber, looking much like Darth Vader. Luke quickly defeats the warrior, decapitating it. The warrior's mask falls off, and its face is exactly like Luke's. Yoda pointed out before Luke went in that the cave only contains what you take into it (i.e. it shows you yourself, and your weaknesses) in fact telling Luke he won't need his weapons. Luke completely ignored him, leading to that sequence.
- Occurs twice in the Austin Powers trilogy, between Doctor Evil and Austin (who, amusingly enough, are both played by Mike Myers); first in the first film near the end, and later in the third film:
Doctor Evil: Remember when I said 'We're not so different, you and I'?
Cuts back to the first film, with Austin aiming his gun at Doctor Evil.
Doctor Evil: We're not so different, you and I.
Doctor Evil: See? I did say that.
Austin: Yes, very nice. Now where's my father?
- The third film also reveals that Doctor Evil and Austin are twins proving that they are Not So Different in more ways than either believed.
- Indiana Jones
- Raiders of the Lost Ark: Rival archaeologist Rene Belloq provides a definitive example of this trope when he taunts the protagonist, Indiana Jones.
Belloq: You and I are very much alike. Archeology is our religion, yet we have both fallen from the pure faith. Our methods have not differed as much as you pretend. I am but a shadowy reflection of you. It would take only a nudge to make you like me. To push you out of the light.
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Dr. Elsa Schneider serves as the ambitious, female foil to Indiana. After she reveals her allegiance with the Nazis, she says to Indiana, "We both wanted the Grail. I would have done anything to get it. You would have done the same" to which he replies, "I'm sorry you think so." At the end of the film, their actions mirror each other. Elsa finds herself suspended over an abyss, with Indiana having caught her before she fell in. Rather than let him save her, she tries to reach for the grail underneath her. Indiana can't maintain his grip on her gloved hand, and she ultimately plummets to her death. Moments later, Indiana also tries reaching for the grail, despite what he had just witnessed. It took a You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious moment to break him free of the grail's allure.
- Coalition: Has both Labour and the Conservatives trying to convince the Liberal Democrats of their similarities. On a personal level, Dave reckons he can work with Nick because "...Westminster School's not too different from Eton.". Many political commentators have highlighted this fact.
- It's a Wonderful Life: Corrupt Corporate Executive Mr. Potter takes the opportune moment to throw George Bailey's words back in his face when the hero is facing bankruptcy and jail. Notably, the comparison insults both of them.
Mr. Potter: Look at you. You used to be so cocky. You were going to go out and conquer the world. You once called me "a warped, frustrated, old man!" What are you but a warped, frustrated young man? A miserable little clerk crawling in here on your hands and knees and begging for help.
- Inverted in Galaxy Quest, where the villain forces the main character to explain how he's Not So Different from the villain... to an ally who hero-worships the main character. Once shown the "historical documents" Sarris is the only nonhuman character who actually realizes that he is dealing with actors who have been mistaken for real explorers. This implies that unlike the Thermians, his own race produces entertainment. This creates a bit of Fridge Horror when you realize the Big Bad can empathize with humans more than the kind, gentle Thermians.
- James Bond
Bond:There's a useful four letter word. And you're full of it. When I kill, it's on the direct orders of my government. And the men I kill are themselves killers.
- Also in the series, but much more overt, is the subtle comparisons of Skyfall villain Silva to both Bond and M. Silva is shown to be well-spoken, manipulative, and charming. He's also shown to be quick to dispose of things like Severine that are no longer of use to him. M herself said that he was "a brilliant agent."
- The Kingdom is an interesting version, having a Not So Different ending. At the very end of the movie, it is revealed what the hero said in the beginning when whispering a reassurance to another member of his team "We're going to kill them all", referring the Diabolical Mastermind terrorists who executed an attack that killed at least one of their coworkers. Just after this revelation the film cuts to that terrorist's grandson, who heard his last words after the terrorist was fatally shot. Asked by his mother what his grandfather's last words were, the young boy replies that they were "Do not worry, my child. For the day shall come when we kill them all".
- Spoofed in a deleted scene from Small Soldiers when the protagonist's slightly obnoxious neighbor and his family is being held hostage by sentient toys:
Phil: You know, we're not so different you and I. I have been accused of being plastic all my life!
Major Chip Hazard: "You've got a lot of guts. Let's see what they look like!" (attacks Archer)
Archer: "They're wires and metal, the same as yours."
Major Chip Hazard: "We're nothing alike. You are programmed to lose."
- In Falling Down, an odious Neo-Nazi shopkeeper tries to use a Not So Different speech with the insane vigilante protagonist.
Nick: I'm with you. We're the same, you and me. We're the same, don't you see?
- Reverend Mother in The Trouble with Angels says it's one of the reasons she decided at the last minute not to expel troublemaker Mary: both are strong willed, and Reverend Mother says she can't be less tolerant of Mary than the Church has been of her.
- An exchange from the 2007 Transformers movie:
Ironhide: Why are we fighting to save the humans? They are a primitive and violent race.
Optimus Prime: Were we so different?
- Especially considering that Ironhide's personality summed-up in two words is "primitive and violent".
- The prequel comic reveals that Ironhide was originally a Decepticon before he got disillusioned with Megatron's megalomania and joined the renegade Autobots.
- And the Transformers have been in a non-stop war for millions of years. I really don't think they've got room to talk.
- This is a major theme in Heat, where despite Pacino being a cop and De Niro being a professional thief, the two realize that they're very similar people.
- In Scanners, Cameron tells Revok that he's not so different from the now-dead mentor Paul Ruth, specifically to piss him off. Neither of them have much respect for Dr. Ruth, by this point.
Revok: No. Not like him. Like REVOK! DARRYL REVOK!
Cameron: You sound exactly like him. It's as though he's been reincarnated in you.
- In The Elephant Man, Bytes does this to Treves ("You think you're better than me? You wanted the freak to show to those doctor chums of yours!"), which really shakes him up later on.
"I think Mr. Bytes and I are very much alike."
- In David Lynch's Blue Velvet, insane drug-addicted rapist Frank hisses "you're like me" at the story's young hero Jeffrey Beaument.
- In District 9, we have this scene when the main character, already in his alien form, is hiding in the nice alien's house. The nice alien kid likes the main character, because they're the same.
- Batman uses a not-so-different Speech to try to reason with Catwoman near the end of Batman Returns in hopes of demonstrating that he understands her struggle with an alter ego that deliberately rejects hope for a happy life. Awareness that he is not so different from the Penguin as Batman and from Max Shreck as Bruce Wayne is also hinted at being his reason for taking his battles against them so personally.
- Star Trek
- Shinzon hits Picard with this repeatedly in Star Trek: Nemesis. Seeing as he genetically is Picard, but with a vastly different life, it's understandable that the idea unsettles him something fierce. However, the movie is notable for how once he gets a handle it, Picard makes a game attempt to turn it around on Shinzon: Rather than stressing how far removed he is from villainy, he tries to show how Shinzon could cross the "not so different" gap for the better. It doesn't work. Shinzon's nuts.
- John Harrison in Star Trek Into Darkness noticed Kirk's love for his crew and presented his own love for his crew as a point of similarity between them. Not to mention how both of them are willing to go great lengths to protect and save their crew. Also, throughout the movie, Kirk and Harrison have the desire to avenge their loved ones, Harrison against Admiral Marcus for supposedly killing his crew and Kirk against Harrison for killing his mentor Pike. But whereas Kirk, with the influence of his crew, learned that he shouldn't let revenge cloud his judgement and refused to kill or even stun Admiral Marcus since his daughter was watching, Harrison let his hatred for Starfleet fester and didn't care if innocents got caught in the crossfire.
- Blithely dismissed in Red Dawn (1984):
Matt: What's the difference, Jed? Tell me, what's the difference between us and them?
- In Zulu the Men of Harlech scene where the Welsh and the Zulus are singing their tribal Proud Warrior Race songs to each other before killing each other.
- Inverted in Dogma, when Bethany, the Last Scion, unknowingly has a conversation with fallen angel Bartleby, whom she's been recruited by Heaven to fight against. They talk about each other's problems, the frustrations of life and how much they have in common, and it's only near the end of the conversation that Bartleby realizes who she is. The stage seems set for Bartleby (who, so far, has been a reasonable and sympathetic foil to his more villainous partner Loki) to learn that we're all in this together and everyone has the same problems. Instead, he's infuriated that humans are oblivious to being favored by God over the angels, and their conversation leads him to try to Put Them All Out of My Misery.
- In the climax for Time Cop, when McComb, the corrupt politician, mentions that Max Walker's attempts at stopping McComb (who in the process of going back in time to ensure he won the Presidential elections, also arranged for the murder of Walker's wife) made him as bad as himself. Walker contradicts him, however, stating that he was actually attempting to set the timeline right.
- The protagonist of the first Mad Max has a minor Heroic B.S.O.D. over the thought that he might be sliding into this trope, and/or its close relative He Who Fights Monsters. Then said monsters murder his wife and child, after which he's past caring about either trope.
- Turned on its head in Under Siege, when hero-protagonist Ryback gives this speech to villain-antagonist Strannix:
Ryback: All of your ridiculous, pitiful antics aren't going to change a thing. You and I? We're puppets in the same sick play. We serve the same master, and he's a lunatic, and he's ungrateful, and there's nothing we can do about it. You and I? We're the same.
- In The Truman Show, after a heated and bitter on-air callback confrontation, both Sylvia and Cristof stroke Truman's image on the monitor, suggesting that for all their differences, they genuinely love and care about Truman in their separate ways.
- In Mean Girls, Janis wants revenge on Regina and is as manipulative and spiteful as Regina. It brings an interesting interpretation as Janis used to be the queen bee in her old school and Regina was the innocent friend (like Cady) who was slowly evolving.
- Magneto from the very people he hates (the Nazis, Shaw, etc).
- Later when Xavier is shot and Erik/Magneto is speaking to him, the following conversation takes place:
Erik Lehnsherr: Us turning on each other, it's what they want. I tried to warn you, Charles. I want you by my side. We're brothers, you and I. All of us together, protecting each other. We want the same thing.
Charles Xavier: Oh, my friend, I'm sorry, but we do not.
- And in X2: X-Men United, the first thing he does when he gets inside the second Cerebro? Instructs Jason Stryker to simply reverse the polarity on Professor X's mental attack to target humans instead of mutants rather than free Charles from Jason's mind control.
- In a good way, the American and Soviet sailors in X-Men: First Class. Every scene with the American navy is almost immediately mirrored by the Soviet navy (or vice versa), showing that they had the same reaction or feelings. Both have a strong sense of honour and discipline and both are reluctant to shoot first and provoke World War III. The most obvious may be their It Has Been an Honor moment where Magneto fires their missiles back at them.
- Possibly the sole saving grace(if any) in Irish Jam is the love interest's father giving such a speech to his fellow Irishmen over their racism toward the Black main character (they expected an Irish-American to own their bar) given how their countrymen were treated in America up to JFK.
- Averted in Circuitry Man where androids are genetically and biologically engineered lifeforms. The villain "Plughead" and the hero Danner are both androids. Plughead spends every moment trying to kill Danner and get back his Maguffin. In a virtual reality world it comes to a head when Danner is going to kill Plughead. Plughead realizes he's outmatched and tries to save himself with a "you're just like me". Danner looks like he's going to turn away when he responds with "Yeah, maybe just a little" and stabs Plughead through the heart
- Zen Noir contains a non-villainous example. The story concerns a private detective investigating a death at a Buddhist temple. At one point the detective insists to the oldest monk that he is completely different from the monks and doesn't understand them at all. The monk interrupts to ask for the detective's fedora. Eventually the detective gives it to him, revealing that the detective is almost entirely bald under the hat. "Not so different" says the old monk with the shaved head... who then puts on the fedora and sets it at a stylish angle.
- In the Apocalypse film series movie Tribulation, Franco Maccalusso's Digital Avatar tells Helen Hannah that, as Lucifer, he used to be God's chief angel until he realized he was just like God. Helen Hannah refutes it by saying God loved the world and died for His world while Lucifer (by extension of Maccalusso) wants people to die for him.
- The Avengers shows similarities between Tony Stark and Loki. Both are clever but have little idea how to fight beyond Attack! Attack! Attack!. Both are narcissistic, Deadpan Snarkers, prone to self-destructive behavior and bitterly jealous of the blond nobler teammate who their father liked better. The only real difference is that Tony learned the hard way to care for and rely upon others, while Loki did not. Tony himself says it best. (A dual realization: That he was this trope to Loki and that Loki will use his Stark tower to summon the Chitauri.)
And Loki, he's a full-tilt diva, he wants flowers, he wants parades, he wants a monument built to the sky with his name plastered—
) Stark: Son of a bitch.
- There was an interesting scene in the film version of The Hunger Games where Foxface and Katniss bump into each other while running away from the slaughter at the Cornucopia. They stare at each other in terror for a second before silently bolting off in different directions.
- In Safe House Tobin Frost sees himself in the CIA Agent Matt Weston, back when he was a naive CIA Agent himself.
- In The Quick and the Dead, Herod reveals to Lady that Cort use to be just as much of a coldblooded murderer as himself. So much so, that there was a time the two were looked at as the same. When Lady asked him if it was true, Cort said: "Yes."
- Something of a recurring theme in Battle: Los Angeles: Some Marines spot an alien commander spotting for two alien snipers on top of a roof. Lenihan surmises they may be just like them — grunts with families and a home, with no idea what's really happening and just get told to go fight.
- Displayed as well — several scenes show downed enemy aliens being dragged away back into cover by their squadmates, with the others providing covering fire. Just like what human soldiers do. The directors made it a big deal that the aliens used human tactics.
- A subtle case of this pops up when the scientist discusses how the aliens are using "colonization" tactics on humanity. Though not outright stated, there's an implication that we know the aliens are using colonization tactics because mankind used them too.
- In Mulholland Falls, the general draws a that connection between himself and Max during their first encounter on the military base.
- In Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, Pinhead gives Monroe a speech about how the way he derived pleasure from devouring the girl is no different from Monroe wooing her to have his way with her sexually and then throwing her out while mocking her. Monroe denies it violently.
- The first appearance of the three-headed alien dragon King Ghidorah was in a 1964 flick called Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. In one scene in the movie, Mothra starts pleading with Godzilla and Rodan (who seem more occupied with fighting each other to be concerned about Ghidorah) to help her fight the larger threat, while Mothra's tiny handmaidens translate the conversation to the humans viewing. And it would almost seem funny if not for the crisis. Both Godzilla and Rodan blame each other for starting the fight and neither is willing to consider an alliance until the other apologizes. Eventually, one onlooker comments that "These monsters are as bad as humans."
- The Heat Mullins and Ashburn are both law enforcement officers that are extremely good at their jobs, but are despised by their peers due to their grating personalities.
- They also both have family issues.
- In The Lone Ranger Cavendish pretty much says this word for word when He discovers the Ranger is actually John. He says they're both men that have to wear masks, implying that he's had to maintain the secrecy of things he's done.
- At the end of The Crossing, Washington initially refuses to accept the dying Colonel Rall's surrender personally (a "courtesy of war") because the Hessians are mercenaries who fight for profit and have committed atrocities against his men. General Greene changes his mind by pointing out that their cause was founded in part to resist English taxation—so really, everyone is fighting for profit.
- A silent one at the end of The German: The titular character offers his foe, Red Leader, a cigarette as a peace gesture after both have been taken into internment by the neutral Irish authorities.
- Tracy, Penny and Amber from Hairspray may all have radically different personalities but they are all the same when it comes down to their mother issues, as seen in the song "Mama, I'm A Big Girl Now".
- In Outlander, Kainan sought revenge against the Moorwen for killing his family, but he acknowledges the creature is intelligent and wants revenge on him for helping commit genocide on its race. When he finally kills it, he looks into its eyes with pity. He also points out at one point that his people are no different from the Vikings: everybody is greedy for territory.
- In the opening scene of Superman, Jor-El must cast the deciding vote on whether or not to send General Zod and his cohorts to the Phantom Zone for their crimes. Zod tries to convince Jor-El to join him by pointing out that Jor-El, like Zod, has also come into conflict with the rest of Krypton's council many times in the past. Jor-El responds by silently casting his vote in favor of banishment.
- This exchange in The Godfather:
Michael Corleone: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.
Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don't have men killed.
Michael Corleone: Oh. Who's being naive, Kay?
- In Anaconda, Sarone gives Denise some friendly advice on murder. Then he promptly breaks her neck. His method of execution parallels the other villain of the film. Moreso, they're both vicious, relentless predators who seem willing to pursue their prey to the ends of the Earth.
- In Spider-Man, the Green Goblin's exchange to the title hero on a rooftop.
Green Goblin: You're an amazing creature, Spider-Man. You and I are not so different.
Spider-Man: I'm not like you. You're a murderer.
Green Goblin: Well, to each his own. I chose my path, and you chose the path of the hero.
- This is what ultimately leads Cypher to betray La Résistance in The Matrix. As he explains at length, while Zion and the rebels have freed him from the tyranny of the Machines' simulated world, the Zion military themselves are not above using lies of omission and forced conscription in order to draft more soldiers, and all he is able to do as a member of the military is what he is ordered to do; he is ultimately no more free under the rebellion than he was under the machines.
- For much of Godzilla (2014) humans are shown caring about their offspring, Joe and Sandra for Ford, Ford and Al for Sam, Akio's parents for him and Ford being his guardian. Then the MUTO show complete alarm and terror when there is an explosion where their nest is. The sounds of anguish made by the mother border on a Tear Jerker.
- Thor: The Dark World: After Frigga's death, Odin becomes determined to destroy the Dark Elves, no matter how many Asgardians have to be sacrificed, making him no better than Malekith and his We Have Reserves mentality, something Thor is quick to call him out on. And as a bonus, the rush to throw one's self headlong into battle, plus absolute confidence (however misplaced) that they will win no matter what, shows exactly how Not So Different father and son..
- American History X:
- The Neo-Nazis and the black gangbangers. In particular, Danny and Henry. Both are raised in a gang subculture and both worship their brothers and try to emulate them.
- Derek realizes this about himself and Lamont in prison, which helps to deprogram him.
- Sweeney also says this is why he understands Derek so well. Sweeney actually successively hated white people, then all of society and finally God for all the bad things he saw happen to black people by a racist system. He eventually realized that hatred from whatever direction didn't solve anything, only contributed to the problem.
- In Back to the Future, Marty learns from time-traveling to 1955 that his father George was much like him when he was his age. Marty had a demo tape for his band, but didn't let others listen to it, while his father George wrote sci-fi stories, but never let others read them, both due to a crippling fear of rejection.
Marty: (to Jennifer in 1985) What if I send in the tape in and they don't like it? What if they say I'm no good? What if they say, "Get out of here kid. You've got no future."?
George: (to Marty in 1955) What if they didn't like them, what if they told me I was no good?
- In Hansel and Gretel (2013), Lillith claims that she chose Gretel to take over The Gingerbread House because Gretel is just like her. The end of the movie suggests that she's right.
- A major theme in Bound (1996). In fact it's spelled out in the last line in the movie.
Corky: You know what the difference is between you and me, Violet?
Corky: Me neither.
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has this dynamic between the apes and the humans. Practically every human character has an ape counterpart: Caesar and Malcolm, Ellie and Bright Eyes, Alexander and Blue Eyes, Foster and Maurice, and Carver and Koba. Lampshaded by Caesar, after he sees Koba's actions:
I chose to trust him, because he is ape. I always think ape better than human, I see now how much like them we are.
- Showdown in Seattle documented a pivotal moment of labor and environmental activists united against the WTO. As one protester noted, "Teamsters and turtles unite."
- Lucy McClane from Live Free or Die Hard, despite wanting nothing to do with her father at first, is essentially a younger female John. It's pointed out twice in the film:
Lucy: Let's step outside just you and me; we'll see who hurts who.
Gabriel: You really are his daughter.
Lucy: Listen, will you just take a minute and dig deep for a bigger set of balls, 'cause you're gonna need 'em before we're through.
Matt: I know that tone. I'm just not used to hearing it from someone with... hair.
- The villain in Captain America: The Winter Soldier claims that HYDRA is this to S.H.I.E.L.D., even insisting that he was initially convinced to join due to Nick Fury's actions in resolving a hostage crisis. The argument has a little bit more weight than normal, since HYDRA infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. at its very beginning and a large percentage of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s staff are actually HYDRA moles; the infiltration is heavy that many people in-universe believe that there literally is no difference the two. Their evil plan in the movie was even Fury's idea.
- In Kingsman: The Secret Service, as Arthur is dying after ingesting his own poison, his accent switches from Posh to Cockney, revealing that he came from humble beginnings like Eggsy.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron:
- Early in Ex Machina, Nathan forces Caleb to sign a morally questionable non-disclosure agreement (without letting him consult with a lawyer first) in order to protect the secrets in his lab, and he repeatedly prevents Caleb from having any contact with the outside world. At the end, Ava refuses to let Caleb escape Nathan's lab with her, instead leaving him behind to die of starvation. Just like Nathan, Ava proves that she's willing to go to extreme measures to keep her secrets from the outside world, and she'll screw people over if she has to.
- Tales from the Hood: Crazy K is shown a montage of pictures showing members of The Klan torturing or killing black men or standing over their corpses and dramatized shots of black gang members killing each other. He's then essentially asked "How are you any better than them?"
- In Cinderella (2015), the narration points out that, like Ella, Lady Tremaine has gone through emotional trauma; unlike Ella, however, she let the experiences change her, eradicating any redeeming qualities that she had. It's implied that part of her desire to make Ella's life a living hell stems from how she can't stand Ella's ability to be kind in spite of all the latter has been through.
- The Night Flier: The vampire, Dwight Renfield, says that Dees's interest in blood is not so different from his own. He then goes out of his way not to kill Dees.
- Bridge of Spies: Despite being archenemies, both the Communists and Americans are willing to compromise their idealistic beliefs to persecute those they view as spies and traitors.
- In Transporter 2, Gianni Chellini claims he and Frank are the same.
Frank Martin: You really think killing all these politicians is gonna make things easier for them?
Gianni: That's not my problem. I was hired to do a job. I did the job, like you. Just... my pay is better. My hair and my suit, too.
- The Grey Zone: The Jews who are being forced to escort people into the gas chambers and then burn them in the ovens struggle with how similar they are to the Nazis.
- A disturbing example is when Hoffman brutally beats an old man to death over a watch and a Nazi guard smugly hands it over to him afterwards.
- In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Clark confronts Bruce, having just learned he's Batman, and, under the guise of an interview, condemns Batman's violent vigilantism and that "he believes he's above the law". Bruce snarks back the similarity of how he sees Superman.
Bruce Wayne: The Daily Planet criticizing those who think they're above the law is a little hypocritical, wouldn't you say? Considering every time your hero saves a cat out of a tree, you write a puff piece editorial about an alien who, if he wanted to, could burn the whole place down. There wouldn't be a damn thing we can do to stop it.
- The second not so different moment is at the end of their fight, where Clark, about to be killed by Batman, begs Batman to save Martha Kent, who's being held hostage by Lex Luthor. While Clark calling out to save "Martha", makes Bruce stop, since it's the same name as his mother, the not so different moment comes when Lois Lane reveals that Clark's talking about his own mother. This strikes a chord with Bruce, still badly affected by the death of Martha Wayne, allowing him to empathise with Clark, snapping the Dark Knight out of his Unstoppable Rage and realise just how far he's fallen.