Main Expy Discussion

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03:27:30 PM Aug 23rd 2017
I'm interested in creating a new trope involving expies of Dio Brando of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. I've been noticing more and more absurdly strong, intelligent, gold colored, occasionally sexually hedonistic villains with a prolonged grudge against an older generation of the protagonist's family (i.e. Gilgamesh to Emiyas, Yellow Diamond to the Rose Quartz line, Bill Cipher to the Pines family, etc.)

What would it take to create this new trope? If it can be made, personally I think it should be called "Dio Off-Brando".
11:32:55 AM Sep 1st 2017
I don't think you have a good understanding what an Expy is.

Anyway, new tropes are proposed in Trope Launch Pad. You need to write a draft description and gather several examples, three is a good start. Then you wait for input from other tropers.
11:38:00 AM Sep 1st 2017
FYI, he did take it to TLP and it's since been nuked.
11:47:27 AM Sep 1st 2017
Thanks :)
01:58:59 PM Sep 13th 2016
Forgive me if this sounds stupid but, how is Mickey Mouse an Expy of Felix the Cat?
04:05:20 AM May 2nd 2014
So how should someone pronounce this if they wanted to discuss it in real life? (oh god, that's another sign that TV Tropes Has Ruined My Life.) Would it be 'ex-pie' or 'ex-pee'?
11:46:54 AM Sep 1st 2017
To me it's ex-pie. :-)
02:59:58 PM Apr 26th 2014
edited by
Recently, was created a clean-up thread in "Projects: Long-Time/Perpetual". Link:
03:22:16 PM Apr 7th 2014
edited by
Just how similar must a character be to another to qualify for this trope? It seems to me you could say one character is clearly based on another when they're very similar, but it may just be a coincidence.
11:19:12 PM Apr 7th 2014
edited by
To be blunt, we don't have a method, much less rule, on how to quantify that. Which is kind of the reason why this trope keeps being misused.
07:51:36 AM Apr 8th 2014
Perhaps we should change the trope description and say that these characters appear to be based on a previous one, giving special mention to Word of God confirmation or denial. This could, however, lead to unnecessary Natter, since it'd encourage Discussion In The Main Page. Perhaps it's best to leave it for now.
01:06:11 PM Nov 5th 2016
I would probably have posted this as a new topic, but there was not a way to do so. There are, as I understand, different ways in which expys are used. Is there a trope in which an expy of a character is used in a new story, because their original character died, or suffered an awful fate?
05:33:32 PM Nov 5th 2016
11:56:11 PM Nov 5th 2016
Sort of, but I'm thinking of a character in an entirely different story than the one in which the original character appeared. But the character himself is intentionally a facsimile, a near-duplicate in other words, an expy. He avoids the same fate as his original, though otherwise the stories themselves are different. I hope I'm making sense.
03:22:08 PM Apr 7th 2014
edited by
09:43:33 AM Feb 6th 2014
Are expires considered plagiarism or could they just be a clever based off of another character if they share some traits but have different personalities?
09:48:37 AM Feb 6th 2014
Captain Ersatz and the like can be plagiarism, but Expy proper usually is too different.
01:38:03 PM Feb 6th 2014
edited by
Also an Expy is supposed to be an author referencing his own work, or at least often is.
01:48:19 PM Feb 6th 2014
Nah, it's for any character unambiguously based upon another character from an earlier series. That def is the old one.
05:27:15 PM Sep 7th 2013
Here's my question: If two characters who are both expies from two different works are Heterosexual Life-Partners in their story, wouldn't that be considered a Crossover Ship?
09:12:10 PM Sep 7th 2013
No, I don't think so.
04:14:52 PM Aug 6th 2013
What is it when a person or institution appears to be an Expy or would be, except that it appeared thirty years before the work it appears to be an Expy from? As in, this isn't just a casual mention — this is something that if you didn't know better, you'd think it was an Expy?

07:22:14 PM Aug 6th 2013
The description mentions the word "intentional". About as note this without Word of God... good question. Beyond "examples" created before of the character in question, i already read about cases of the author not knowing about the character that the character in question is "expy" of.
05:23:57 PM Sep 7th 2013
If it wasn't intended by the original creator of the work, it could be more like a Counterpart Comparison. Two characters from completely different works (sometimes not even the same medium) who manage to be quite similar to each other.
11:34:06 PM Aug 9th 2012
edited by Goatmon
edit: Didn't realize when I wrote this that someone else already addressed my exact issue and was met with agreement. Nothing to see here.
01:04:17 AM May 22nd 2012
"The key difference between this and Captain Ersatz is that an Expy is not clearly supposed to be the character, but is rather very similar, while Captain Ersatz is obviously the same character but with the Serial Numbers Filed Off."

Okay, that's not enough an explanation, for in many cases there's difficult to distinguish whether a character is supposed to be a very similar character, or the same character in a "generic" version. For example the Watchmen characters are both listed as Expys and Captains Ersatz, and you can make a strong case for both sides. And many others as well.
01:51:18 AM Jan 6th 2012
edited by Zelenal
Exactly how is "expy" short "exported character"? "Exported" I get but not "character". This is made even worse since the split is between the "x" and the "p". I don't know about you guys but I see neither a "p" nor a "y" in "character".
03:58:08 PM Sep 4th 2012
You're thinking of a portmanteau, where two words are combined to make another. You can have a short version of a phrase without making it a portmanteau. The words aren't split anywhere, they've just lopped off the latter 80% of the phrase. The 'y' is added because the word needs a vowel and short versions of words are most often fitted with a 'y'. Portmanteaus aren't always a good idea, otherwise we'd have ended up with 'exter', or 'chexport'. Kind of unwieldy.
02:03:18 AM Oct 30th 2011
The picture of the Family Guy, American Dad, and Cleveland Show characters is cute, but it's really not a good example of expies. The characters fit the same general niche, but are otherwise very dissimilar and clearly aren't "unambiguously and deliberately based on" each other.

Peter, Stan, and Cleveland may all be "lovable idiots" but saying that makes Stan and Cleveland expies of Peter is like saying the Avengers are expies of the Justice League because both teams have "a square-jawed leader (Superman/Captain America); a billionaire who considers himself the real brains of the group (Batman/Iron Man); an archer who's romantically linked to a woman with a bird in her codename (Green Arrow and Black Canary/Hawkeye and Mockingbird); a woman with ill-defined magical powers (Zatanna/Scarlet Witch); a non-human from a long-dead culture with incredible power (Martian Manhunter/Thor); a king of Atlantis (Aquaman/Sub-Mariner); a speedster (Flash/Quicksilver); a scientist who can change size (Atom/Hank Pym); and an android (Red Tornado/Vision)."

It's an amusing picture and I get the desire to find a place for it, but it's pretty misleading to use as an illustration of the concept of "expy."
05:47:17 PM Dec 5th 2011
Agreed. We need a better picture.
12:22:57 PM Dec 15th 2010
What is the opposite trope of Expy?

Battlestar Galactica, Merlin and 2010 Star Trek all use name from the Original story, but tell a different story altogether.
12:47:43 PM Dec 15th 2010
In-Name-Only, probably.
11:51:57 AM Dec 18th 2010
Thanks. That's it.
07:36:58 AM Nov 17th 2010
edited by Kitsoru
Similar to the Star System question above- should there be any distinction (or separate trope to be made) for when a creator uses Expies of their characters consistently, like the Seth MacFarlane image on the page shows? In my mind it's always been a totally different matter for a writer/artist to make references to their own past characters than to make references to others'.
06:37:52 PM Sep 7th 2010
What exactly distinguishes this from AlternateCompanyEquivalent? It doesn't really appear to be made very clear on either of the pages, although Captain Ersatz does get a slightly more clear distinction on this one...
03:26:02 PM Jul 16th 2010
Shiro. Red-eyed superpowered girl with mysterious forgotten past relation to the main character, as well as traumatic past, imprisoned for several years, and a dual personality: one murderous and menacing, and the other braindamaged and childlike. What say we give her hair a little more pink and substitute her vocabulary with "nyu"?
Expy, or Captain Ersatz?
09:00:52 PM Jun 21st 2010
What about when a gender change is involved? Is that still this trope? e.g. Tasuki from Fushigi Yuugi and Rei Hino/Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon. Both have fiery personalities, are best friends to a main character (Tamahome & Usagi respectively), use fire/ofuda scrolls in battle, and even their fictional birthdays are just a day apart. Naoko Takeuchi and Watase Yuu must've had more than a few meals together planning/giggling about these two back in the day.
02:18:49 PM Jul 1st 2010
Hmm... this is Distaff Counterpart, but in either case Tasuki is sufficiently different from Sailor Mars to be possible guess this is only coincidence- and fiery characters with fire powers are not uncommom, and the heroes follow a fire god.
08:32:11 PM Jun 8th 2010
So here's something I'm wondering, because I've seen it around: do Star System characters count as Expies? There's a couple of them listed, like Miyazaki's works, that are obviously cases of a Star System. Should we clean those out and put an explination of the difference in the two entries?
06:56:33 PM Jun 7th 2010
  • One Piece recently saw the protagonist of one of its creator's earlier stories(Monsters) appear as a zombie swordsman. In fact, the country that Monsters takes place in is mentioned in so many plot points that it is pretty much a part of One Piece canon.
    • There's also the character of Monkey D. Garp who is Luffy's Grandfather. Originally, Garp was a character who appeared in one version of the pilot Romance Dawn. In this version, he was the one who gave Luffy the Gomu Gomu Fruit and he also was the one who inspired Luffy to become a pirate. Ironically, his current self frowns upon Luffy's pirate lifestyle.

This sounds more as Canon Immigrant.

  • An ironic expy: Dawn's Mamoswine, of Ash's Charizard. Both are final stages of a Pokémon that evolves twice, both were caught in their first forms, both started to disobey their trainers after evolving to their intermediate form, and both went from their base forms to their final forms ridiculously quickly (Ash's Charmeleon evolved to Charizard just three episodes after evolving from Charmander; Dawn's Piloswine broke that record by evolving to Mamoswine just two episodes after evolving from Swinub). This is ironic because Charizard is a Fire-and-Flying type, and Mamoswine is an Ice-and-Ground type. However, while Charizard didn't start obeying Ash until 61 episodes after it first started disobeying him, Mamoswine comes around in just 13. The reason for changing their tune was the same, though

Outside be desobedient the two have something in common? Piplup sounds closer to a Pikachu Expy than Mamoswine to Charizard.

  • Hell, arguably Grobyc can be considered an expy of Robo.

The two have something in commom outside the "species"?

This is only Canon Immigrant.
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