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Dr. Danerly Scullcrusher presents two most famous cases of a rare condition known as Red-headed-Sci-Fi-Badass-Doctoritis: Drs. Beverly Crusher and Dana Scully
Concept by Maggie aka BeekillerPhile
"Because it is always plagiarism, especially when it isn't."

Sometimes, two works are obviously inspired by each other, or the younger one contains minor Shout Outs to the older one, or they are coincidentally considered Dueling Movies. Or sometimes, the plots just sound familiar for some reason.

And sometimes, it's only the characters who seem like clones from another work. If you're clone hunting, you've come to the right place.

If one character is an obvious Expy or a Captain Ersatz then they don't belong here. Here, we should experiment with finding some less obvious, and probably nonexistent connections, through wordplay, and selective examples of plot points or character traits.

Also, if the similarities have been noticed by a Vocal Minority of at least one fandom, then it counts as a Counterpart Comparison. Here, we're looking for non-judgemental comparisons by enterprising Tropers who see things that are not so obvious.

This page deals where just the characters are similar; the plots do not have to be similar. For cases where the plot is similar, go to Surprisingly Similar Stories.

Compare Paint the Hero Black and the Villain Whitewashing Service. As with both of those pages, please sign your entries.note  Bonus Points if you find out that a hero in one story would be a villain in another, or vice versa.

Spoilers ahead! Mostly unmarked, so read at your own risk.


Examples:

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  • These two leaders live in a world of moral absolutes and racist undertones and will lead their chosen nations against a veritable tyrant. But first, they need to get their swords fixed.
    Aragorn and Martin; as expressed by XKCD here.
  • She's a character from an ultra-successful sci-fi show that reached mainstream recognition. She's a hot red-headed medical doctor who has bucketloads of UST with her colleague. She's wears a badge, a weapon, and is prone to get seriously injured in her line of work. She's a single mother and her child displays prodigious tendencies. Her boss is bald and awesome, she has a posse of geeky and brilliant males at her disposal, and her close female friend is a brunette psychic. Both she and her love interest have been abducted by aliens.
    Beverly Crusher of Star Trek: The Next Generation or Dana Scully of The X-Files? The picture on this page lists part of it; more similarities are to be found in this video.
  • This male character is small, cute, non-human sidekick in a beloved Disney animated feature. Unlike some other Disney sidekicks, he not only provides comic relief, but gives good advice to the naive protagonist and serves as his/her conscience. The protagonist tends to ignore him, but though this upsets him, he (usually) stays loyal to him/her anyway. He is an excellent singer/musician and sings possibly the most famous song from the movie. The protagonist he tries to help is also non-human (though a different species than he is), but wants to become human, and finally does in the end; (s)he also has big blue eyes, and is the child of a single father, whom (s)he leaves behind for a while, but eventually reunites with. An important part of their adventures takes place under the sea.
    Jiminy Cricket or Sebastian? (inspired by this link)
  • A powerful man who once was a morally superior good guy gets seduced by a greater evil power. He becomes very evil himself, even though some doubt it has happened. He leads part of a huge army and is the public face for the larger evil that is widely feared but stays hidden for most of the time. In the end he inevitably meets his downfall by betrayal. Also, the man is played by Christopher Lee.
    Is this man Count Dooku or Saruman the White? (Darths & Droids breaks it down.)
  • This character is an alien from a militaristic culture who is (or is commonly thought as) short for his species. He has No indoor voice and thinks of himself as the leader of everything. He views a nerdy human boy with glasses and a blue shirt as his rival, though the feeling may or may not be mutual. The ruler of the alien's species are taller than the rest of their kind and is mostly seen in silhouette. This alien could be Karkat Vantas if the rivalry with the human boy is not mutual, or Zim if it is, according to this blog: [1]
  • The partner to the main protagonist (and the one most often paired with them in fan ships) this character favors water/ice themed attacks and is remarkably skilled. Having had a difficult childhood due to constant attacks from family enemies, she can be bossy at times, and has to come to terms with her grudge against the loner of the main group of heroes.
    Weiss or Katara? (Detailed in this picture)
    • Also, said main protagonist is strongly optimistic and is the possessor of an incredible power that is spoken of in legend. (Aang's Avatar State and Ruby's Silver Eyes).
  • They both are Hot-Blooded loners, prone to angst, yelling a lot, acting like jerks to their friends and taking enemies head on without thinking, who fight against their own brothers. As Super Robot Wars Judgment pointed out, Domon Kasshu and Tekkaman Blade have surprisingly lot in common.
  • The drabble series Runts portrays Rinoa Heartilly as Dark Phoenix. Given that both are fiercely passionate activists with incredible magic talent, it's not hard to see why.
  • The Nostalgia Chick, on Demona and Mystique (in her Top 11 Villainesses list): "Here we have yet another blue-skinned ginger who's motivated by Revenge and bigotry against humans. Seems to be a thing." Ursula, the Wicked Witch of the West and Maleficent are also on the list, leading her to note "skins hued of cool colors seem to be optimal for evil ladies."
  • Teenage girl from a popular animation with strong flower symbolism, who lives in an Asian country, cuts her hair short, becomes a crossdresser and pretends to be a guy to join all-male group with handsome male leader, who serves as her Love Interest and does't realize the truth until she is seen partially nude. This blog notes that this describtion fits both Haruhi and Mulan.
  • Two daughters of evil magicians, that also have a sinister witch for a grandmother. Both are intelligent, good strategists, leaders of their groups, goths and witches who use magic staffs and their sexuality is ambiguous, with strong implications they might be into girls. One blogger accidentially realized that Nico Minoru and Master Cyclonis have a lot in common.
  • A sapient monkey who was given physical form by the wind and possesses godlike powers- including shapeshifting, Not Quite Flight, and Super Strength- which he uses to assist the heroes. The scholar Hera Walker wrote an essay comparing Sun Wukong with Hanuman.
  • A fearful yet determined Survival Horror heroine who journeys through an incredibly elaborate house while coming to terms with past trauma (most notably, the crash that killed her parents). Though not very combat-capable, she fends off her gun-wielding Stalker with a Crush with the help of a pet dog- a pale-furred stray she befriends after saving him from danger. Becca Jones drew a series of fanart (titled "The Tragic Female Protagonists With Dogs Club") that compared Fiona with Jennifer.
  • A solar-themed god of fire (and their Determinator Chosen One) jointly rule a country of magic wielders who, centuries ago, declared war on adjoining lands in the name of "righteousness". Now this god works to erase the bigotry and government corruption rampant in his country. The fic Kindred Fires compares Agni with Vkandis.
  • A cynical loner who wears all black, always carries a weapon on his person, and is prone to severe mood swings (often expressed through crying while punching a wall). As a result of feeling hurt and abandoned by a parental figure, he hates established institutions and wants to create a "new world order". To accomplish this, he goes on a killing spree, including murdering several of his classmates and attempting to burn down his school, all the while thinking he's benefiting the greater societal good. Along the way he becomes creepily obsessed with the female protagonist, asking her to join him in his killing spree; she at first tries to turn him back to the side of good before realizing that he cannot be saved, then tries to kill him. As compared by Entertainment Weekly, is this man Kylo Ren or Jason "JD" Dean?
  • An extraordinarily gifted and decidedly blue character lives among friends and family but struggles to control their powers, then, as the public turns against them after becoming terrified of the danger they pose, they flee into a desolate wasteland and magic up an elegant, transparent fairytale castle. Afterwards, the person closest to them risks their life to convince them back to the world. That's how [2] describes both Elsa and Doctor Manhattan.
  • In a Crowning Moment of Awesome, Michael Uslan, the first professor to teach a college course on comics, got his course accredited by making one of these comparisons:
    "The dean let me speak for about two minutes before he cut me off and said, Mr. Uslan, stop. I read comic books when I was a kid. I read every issue of Superman I could get my hands on. All comic books are are cheap entertainment for children. Nothing more, nothing less, and I reject your theory.
    I said to the dean, dean, may I ask you two questions?
    He said, ask me anything you want.
    I said, so could you just very, very briefly give me a synopsis of the story of Moses?
    Well, he folded his arms, sat back in his chairand said to me, Mr. Uslan, I don't know what game you're playing here, but I'll play this with you. The Hebrew people were being persecuted, their firstborn were being slain. A Hebrew couple placed their infant son in a little wicker basket and sent him down the River Nile. There he was discovered by an Egyptian family who raised him as their own son. When he grew up and learned of his true heritage, he became a great hero to his people by—
    I said, Dean, thank you. Stop. That was great. By any chance, do you remember the origin of Superman?
    He said, of course. The planet Krypton was about to blow up. A scientist and his wife placed their infant son in a little rocket ship and sent him to Earth. There he was discovered by the Kents, who raised him as their own son. When he grew up—And with that he stopped, stared at me for what I swear to you was an eternity, and said, Mr. Uslan, your course is accredited. And that was how this whole thing started."
  • Team Four Star made a comparison is this video: He's an aimless hero that always has a ferocious appetite, and when he actually does get committed to something he fucks it up a million-fold. Also, he's reliant on abilities he copied from other people. They were comparing Kirby to Goku.

    Unattributed Examples 
  • A man's plans go horribly wrong and he wakes up after surgery to a robotically altered body and a dead wife. After screaming and smashing up the surgery room, he sinks into despair and becomes the slave of an evil power. Eventually he is redeemed by a good-hearted young hero and dies saving the boy's life.
    Darth Vader or Doctor Octopus?
  • A idealistic young man with a strong moral compass obtains god-like abilities, and decides to use them to make the world a better place by stopping criminals. He is quickly given a nickname by the press, and there is much speculation about the true identity of this great crusader for justice. Eventually, he comes to the attention of a calculating man whose first and last initials are both 'L', and the two of them become archnemeses, with a good bit of Foe Yay.
    Clark Kent or Light Yagami?
  • Love at First Sight Mayfly–December Romance story between an ageless supernatural creature and an emotionally disturbed human who claims to have never felt attraction to another individual before. Despite suffering a great deal of physical or emotional abuse at the hands of the immortal, the human continues to maintain that their romance is based on True Love, and is eager to consummate their relationship, which the Immortal is hesitant to do.
    Edward and Bella or Celty and Shinra?
  • Despite being a principal character in the story, this teenage boy takes the Emo Teen stereotype and moves it Up to Eleven — he seems to perpetually shift between angsty brooding and social awkwardness. To his credit, he can also be a Determinator, and his When He Smiles moments are quite heartwarming. His personality to a large extent originated because of his father, a Manipulative Bastard who sent him away from the family as a young child for not being good enough — and only later took him back when it seemed his son had something to offer him. (His mother loved him, but she disappeared from her son's life at an early age.) Luckily, he has an older adult in his life who serves as a cross between a guardian and a Trickster Mentor, trying to get him to lighten up and relax while also take his duties seriously. His peer group includes two girls of about his age, one who is contemptuous, bitchy, and often mean to him (although this behavior is a front to hide her own insecurities, which later bring her to the point of insanity), and another one who is unemotional and stoic. The character in question has romantic tension with one of these females (including an awkward kiss scene), and is related to the other one (which hasn't prevented some fans from shipping them anyway). In the end, the boy is forced to face up to the expectations others have placed on him, and realize that maturity means choosing his own path.
    Prince Zuko? Or Shinji Ikari?
  • A man and his wife become the emperor and empress of The Empire, they have a son and a daughter, and the wife disappears. Years later the man and his son have a fight and the son decides to leave home. Fast forward a few years later, and the son has joined a rebellion against his dad, while his little sister is still in favor. Towards the end of the series, the son finally confronts said dad and becomes emperor himself despite the expectations of every politically-savvy person in the country.
    The Fire Nation or the Britannian Empire?
  • This is about Bishōnen hero of a quite cynical story who somehow gets bad publicity. Voiced by Johnny Young Bosch on at least one occasion. He has a pacifistic girl companion who wants world peace. While a girl of the La Résistance he belongs in had a case of Bodyguard Crush with him, too bad he's a Celibate Hero. To achieve world peace, he do things most people see as "questionable". His enemies include a Hero Antagonist who later helps him at the end, and a horrifyingly evil Emperor. In the end of the story, he pulls out a Heroic Sacrifice, and while other people cheered at it, his companion girl cries in sorrow. Earn Your Bittersweet Ending. And many fans who truly loves him says that He's Just Hiding!.
    And for the last point, his name is Zero. Hey, wait a minute — this Zero or that Zero?
  • This is about a bad guy who is shown as a good guy at first. He's a great Magnificent Bastard whose schemes are very convoluted. He doesn't mind killing his own underlings to further these plans. With a great power on hand, he believes that he's a god and tries to bring out his "divine plan" which involve killing many people.
    Light Yagami or Master Albert? Maybe even Sosuke Aizen? How about Joshua Kiryu? (minus the spoiler) Albert Wesker?
  • This is about a red-clad sword-wielding Chaotic Good badass hero. Somewhat of a Marty Stu. He's an atoner who hunts his own kind, and interestingly enough, he's the original of his kind. He's also The Mentor to his naive blue-clad partner. While he is certainly good-hearted, he acts cold and doesn't hesitate to Shoot the Dog. He also has lived for about a hundred years or so.
    Sol Badguy or Zero?
  • A red-clad sword-wielding Chaotic Good badass hero. A Glass Cannon fighter (Possibly) with a Swiss Army Weapon. He's affiliated with a La Résistance who goes against an Utopia-like, but actually corrupted Empire. He's also a One-Man Army who successfully makes The Empire having headaches, and thus, is hunted by them. Like the above, while he is certainly good-hearted, he acts cold, perpetually frowns and doesn't hesitate to Shoot the Dog. It's hinted that he's destined to bring out world destruction, but he ultimately choosess to be the one who bring world peace. Considered a Woobie, but that will never slow him down. His enemies include an ice-powered Hero Antagonist who is too interested to take him down, and a Big Bad who is somewhat Ax-Crazy. His ending isn't very good, to say the least.
    Ragna The Bloodedge or Zero?
  • This cast consists of an Adorkable, studious female protagonist, and her snarky, yet fiercely loyal sidekick. 2 of the other members are a Hot-Blooded character with traces of light-blue on them, and their longtime yellow friend, who is kind, loving and soft-spoken. Rounding out the group is a high maintenance OCD character, a stetson-toting southern belle, and a happy-go-lucky Cloud Cuckoolander. All of them are generally nice people, but know when to get serious when the chips are down, and fight with a power reinforced by bonds. Is this the cast of Soul Eater, or the Mane 6?
  • A man from a BBC One series of the mid-Noughties, with a brown coat and a massive female fan base, payed by an actor whose voice is completely different to his character's. He has various companions in different series, including one named Tyler, but he is in all of them. He is the rival and occasional friend of a time-traveller played by John Simm and is eventually saved by the character sacrificing himself at the end of the series. He's technically died at least once.
    The Tenth Doctor or Gene Hunt?
  • After his parent's death, a now outcast Feudal Future noble fakes his death and lives far away from his home, years later becomes the Magnificent Bastard Dark Messiah leader of the inhabitants oppressed by The Empire, forms them into a La Résistance, and eventually overthrows and replaces The Emperor, but becomes as bad as the previous one. He has an older female mentor who is the source of his power, a female bodyguard who's his main Love Interest, a younger sister, and his right-hand man is a Proud Warrior Race Guy and former leader of the oppressed inhabitants before the noble replaced him.
    Paul Atreides AKA Muad'Dib or Lelouch vi Britannia AKA Zero?
  • A charismatic former revolutionary who was captured by the regime he tried to defeat. Said regime commits Mind Rape and a mindwipe on him. The revolutionary breaks free of the programming, steals a very Cool Ship, and proceeds to raise hell. May have been trying to fight a greater evil coming from outside known space with said revolution. Before we get any real answers, however, he vanishes into the unknown and dies ignobly. Said cause was taken up by one of his followers who previously refused to go along with the revolution, gets a couple former crew members and two AI units from his/her predecessor, and the cool ship...only to die ignobly with the man whose influence s/he could never escape.
    Are we talking Roj Blake and Kerr Avon or Revan and the Exile?
  • One day, a young boy without a mother or father is recruited by a teacher from a school of magic. He quickly gets acquainted with other students, including an intelligent girl he becomes fast friends with, and a blonde male that views the boy as a rival that's getting undeserved fame. Using a strange power he had since the day he was born, the boy overcomes all odds and finds success. However, it is because of this power that his friends are constantly put into near-death scenarios. In the end, the young boy uses everything he's learned at the school to try and save it, and accepts that he might have to die for the danger to go away for good. The black-haired teacher that poses a threat to the boy near the end of his adventures had a really close relationship with one of the boy's parents.
    Was the boy named Harry, or Vayne?
  • He's a humanoid alien with special powers, who outlives the rest of his species. Except when he doesn't. He relies heavily on Obfuscating Stupidity, sometimes wears glasses even though his vision doesn't need correcting, famously travels in time and space, and frequently saves the Earth even though it's not actually his homeworld, which was destroyed. Depending on which version of canon you prefer, it's possible that his species has eschewed sexual reproduction in favor of more artificial means. He has cheated death through a technobabble-ish process that's described using the word "regeneration", and has a half-human clone. He almost never tells anyone his true name, instead going by a simple English descriptor; when he poses as a human, he has a standard name he uses, consisting of a first and last name that are both one syllable long and fairly generic. One of his most famous human companions is an intrepid young female reporter. He used to own a dog-like pet with amazing abilities, but gave it to one of his friends. His enemies include a genocidal alien cyborg with a network of wires running across his bald head and a megalomaniacal survivor of his own species, who often, but not always, has a Beard of Evil. He's spawned a long-running franchise.
    Superman? Or the Doctor?
  • He's a Chinese badass who likes to put on a front of Obfuscating Stupidity, during which he's generally Eyes Always Shut and his Big Eater status is played for humor. He started out as a Badass Normal, but became an Empowered Badass Normal and managed to avoid the sociopathy typically associated with those powers. He has a possible love interest voiced by Nana Mizuki.
    Hei of Darker Than Black or Ling of Fullmetal Alchemist?
  • An genetic experiment is undertaken by a group of scientists to create, from the genes of the strongest and brightest man/men on the planet, a superhuman. After two infants are born from this experiment, they're separated, with one being raised and taught by the best of the best to be an ubermensch, and the other is put through hardship for his life. In the end, we find out that one was deliberately made with the superior genes, while the other got the bad genes.
    Liquid and Solid Snake of Metal Gear Solid, or Jules and Vincent from Twins?
  • A girl with supernatural abilities travels through alternate universes, trying to find one that doesn't conclude in a Bad End. In every world, she relives mostly the same period of time, and meets the same people. In the end, she is able to make a "good" world with the help of her True Companions and The Power of Friendship, and settle down. And somewhere around exists a "dark" version of said girl, which may be a fusion of the girl's alternate-reality selves.
    Michikyuu Kanae or Furude Rika?
  • A nerd with few friends is consistently baffled by someone in pink who has many friends, and finds a rival prone to boasting and gloating who knows magic.
    Dexter or Twilight Sparkle?
  • A sociopathic scientist from a background of poverty, who's last name ends with "er" Worked under a corrupt government/organization. This creep swallows his morals to perform horrible bio-experiments that threaten human lives. Eventually, he's confronted for his evil and presumed dead. In truth, he's become a victim of his own experiments, reborn as a bizarre hybrid creature. This new entity soon becomes obsessed with undoing his human self's crimes, even if he has to commit many more to do so.
    Alex Mercer or Shou Tucker?
  • This is a really famous cartoon duo from the 90's; two Fat and Skinny mammals. The skinny one is a Jerkass who bosses the fat one around, but has had Jerk with a Heart of Gold moments. The fat guy is stupid, red and farts a lot. Expect a lot of Toilet Humor when you see these two.
    Ren and Stimpy or Timon and Pumbaa?
  • The booksmart son of the most legendary hero of them all who just happens to be a tad thick when it comes to scholastics. Was separated from his friends and family at a very young age and is fighting to save them. He's got a timid personality which covers a very deep rage which gives him great power in exchange for giving him poor judgement. It was only once he started training under his father's old enemy, a monster out of legend (who really isn't all that bad anymore) that terrifies everyone in the world and is simultaneously centuries old and only a little older than himself, that he started truly coming into his own strength. Eventually, after training under a blonde of legendary power in an area that had much more time and space on the inside than it did on the outside, he mastered a form that made him a blonde as well, and during a tournament championship battle against a completely broken monster that seems to be able to do anything, he managed to make himself even blonder and more powerful than before. At various points in his story, he meets a brainy and powerful time traveler that claims to be something of an alien and related to someone he knows, who is trying to change the future.
    Son Gohan or Negi Springfield?
  • A Loony Fan of a particular style of heroic fiction who attempts to live out his fantasies for real, complete with its simplistic views of morality, dragging along his somewhat more sensible best friend and making things much worse for himself in the process.
    Don Quixote or Gai Daigoji?
  • This young black-haired beauty has values that clash with those of her incredibly wealthy father. She falls in love with a young man (despite the bitter enmity between their peoples) whom she meets while he's trying to win a tournament to turn his desperate financial situation around. She saves his life, and there is mutual attraction between them for awhile, but he ultimately ends up with the girl he met before her (who is not a princess but is considered the incredibly important last hope for a victory, and was thus raised/sheltered/smothered like a princess all her life... a life she hates and thus rebels against her guardians' plans for her). She laments her loss but instead of turning into a raging Clingy Jealous Girl or Woman Scorned, she doesn't even get the least bit mad at or jealous of the other girl, and bears it all maturely through to the end. The Love Triangle launched one of the most absurdly unjust Shipping fandoms in history.
    Is she Rebecca of York of Ivanhoe, or Asami Sato of The Legend of Korra?
  • Several years ago, a mysterious corporation (actually a subsidiary of another corporation, which have a small role in the plot, but are more important in other entries into the series) conducted experiments on a supernatural being, and accidentally caused a disaster. In the present day, they try to make up for their mistake by getting teenagers to fight the protege of the supernatural being. These teenagers have powers which are a combination of personal trauma and the supernatural being, along with parts of it's body. These teenagers are - a robot girl who wants to become human, the heir to the mysterious corporation, a young man with a strong connection to his little sister, a girl who lost one parent to the mysterious corporation and doesn't have a good relationship with the other (mostly because of said surviving parent trying to remarry too soon), and a young man who is very enthusiastic about being involved in the battle, but is kept out due to his enthusiasm (however, when it comes to the corporation's deadliest secrets, he manages to get a few victories). The protagonist is a dark-haired young man who tries to get emotional support in this confusing new world from his friends, only to discover that he is trapped in Dysfunction Junction. Add to all of this the religious symbolism and a Class Trip. Eventually they meet a new boy, who turns out to be the final one of the supernatural being's protege, and is also what is left of said being after the experiments. His death causes the cast to mope around until the end of the world, leaving an unresolved ending full of Fridge Horror, or there is another version where they try to fight. One character ends up dying, but can survive due to the fact that they Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Eventually, it falls to our protagonist to save humanity from it's own self-destructive wishes.
    Is this young man's name Minato or Shinji? There, now that you can't unthink it, go and watch this.
  • A young, idealistic protagonist befriends a much-imitated pirate with a very memorable method of speech and occasional trouble walking, who makes a point of insisting that he be addressed as a captain despite the questionable legitimacy of his claims to commanding. The pirate becomes The Mentor, before betraying the protagonist's side for the sake of power and financial gain. However, he turns out to be not so bad after all and puts himself in great danger to save the protagonist from being killed by the other pirates. In exchange for this, the protagonist helps the pirate escape execution by the British crown. The pirate's initials are JS.
    Does that stand for Jack Sparrow or John Silver?
  • She is the dominant power over her domain, she maintains a nuclear reaction, she has a thing for "testing" in some form or another, and she has made herself infamous for trolling. She is mostly white with yellow/gold accents, and she has a thing for cake that she will never live down. She's also appeared suspended from the ceiling.
    Princess Celestia, or GLaDOS?
  • Once upon a time, there were two siblings, one responsible for a major component of the day, the other of night. The night sibling felt unappreciated, and so decided to remove the day sibling's work. As a result, the day sibling sealed the night sibling away with a rock orbiting in space. However, the seal has begun to come undone...
    Nightmare Moon or He-Who-Made-Dark? (look up SCP-435)
  • A bestselling Urban Fantasy book series about the (often unpleasantly exciting) life of a wizard named Harry. He's Famed In-Story for beating down bad guys completely out of his league, but isn't very popular with the hidebound and old-fashioned wizarding authorities, who sometimes go out of their way to try to get rid of him; this isn't totally surprising, since a few agents of the Big Bad have infiltrated their ranks and made their way into important positions. His parents both died when he was very young, and he was raised by an abusive guardian before a Cool Old Guy wizard took him in and taught him about the right way to use magic and avoid The Dark Side. He's sometimes suspected of Black Magic anyway, whether this is justified or not. He uses Canis Latinicus spell incantations. He is an orphan whose life is strongly influenced by the legacy of his mother. She was killed when he was an infant by an evil lord using a supposedly undefeatable magic, but by sacrificing her life she greatly weakened the evil lord through a spell that is tied to her son's blood. Now the evil lord wants to regain his full power by killing Harry and undoing the effects of his mother's spell, but is Hoist by His Own Petard, in part due to the betrayal of a lieutenant he believed to be loyal.
    Potter or Dresden
  • This is a video game from the first half of the Noughties. A man, who is the shorter of two brothers, arrives in an exotic town. His plane has barely touched down when he is framed for a crime. The authorities let him go, with the provisos that he doesn't leave the location and that he does what they tell him. The man sets off on a quest which takes him all around the town and its surrounding areas, and spends much of the game trying to track down a portly individual who likes to pretend he's a good guy. The protagonist can use a jetpack.
    Is this man Carl Johnson or Mario?
  • An angsty orphan discovers he has rare mystical powers. He leaves home at the behest of a stranger to study them, gaining a new weapon along the way. He later discovers it is his destiny to confront the evil Dark Lord, his mentor dies (twice!) and the villain's right-hand man was not such an awful person after all.
    Harry Potter or the Luke Skywalker?
  • A blue hero regularly defeats an evil robot-building scientist, picking up lots of new friends over the course of many games, including a red Friendly Rival. Later in the series, they meet an amnesiac character who turns out to have been created for evil purposes but who ends up catching morals and performing a Heroic Sacrifice. However, they prove popular enough to appear in the next game anyway with little explanation.
    Mega Man or Sonic the Hedgehog?
  • A black-haired, green-eyed boy with a miserable home life is approached by a mythological being and informed that he himself is no mere human, which explains the strange things that have happened to him up until that point. He is sent to an institution created especially for the purpose of teaching children like him how to use their supernatural powers. Features of the institution include magical beings as servants and competition between different factions among the students. In time the protagonist learns that even among his peers, he is special—he is the subject of a prophecy concerning a Dark Lord who is gradually regaining strength and followers after a crippling defeat some time ago. Our hero and his two best friends—a wisecracking Big Eater and a brainy girl with whom the protagonist shares UST—have several encounters with said Dark Lord and/or his minions over the course of the series, culminating in an all-out war between the forces of supernatural good and supernatural evil.
    Harry Potter, right? Are you sure it's not Percy Jackson?
  • A man is inspired by an encounter with a supernatural entity to attempt to assassinate a king. Meanwhile, his wife/girlfriend goes insane and ultimately dies off stage, possibly by suicide. The man also contemplates suicide, but is instead slain in combat. these two characters have the same creator.
    Hamlet or Macbeth?
  • A Rich Idiot with No Day Job becomes a vigilante Super Hero, comes up with a gimmick and emblem designed to strike fear in his enemies whom he believes are "superstitious" and easily scared, and falls in love with a woman who is initially part of the enemy force he has made it his duty to fight against, forcing him to subdue his feelings and hide behind a mask of indifference.
    The Scarlet Pimpernel or Batman?
  • A blond Idiot Hero is born shortly after his father dies protecting his comrades from an event machinated by a man that later opposes the hero again, as well as the hero's hyper-intelligent dark-haired loner rival/"best friend" who loses his family. The hero also has grey-haired mentor and a tsundere lady friend.
    Is the Hero Naruto Uzumaki or James Kirk?
  • These stunningly-beautiful, black-skinned nonhumans live underground and come to the surface only to raid for captives. They are considered to be some of the fiercest fighters in a World of Badass and as a race are Shrouded in Myth. They worship a power-mad goddess, follow a religion which teaches that they are the Master Race, and their aristocracy is noted both for its decadence and bloodthirstiness.
    Are they the drow of Dungeons & Dragons or the First Born of John Carter of Mars?
  • Boy gets famous for defeating a God-like villains. His two best friends get together in the end, and the boy gets an extremely powerful weapon. One of the bad guys turns out not to be quite as bad as he seems. His mentor is somewhat eccentric.
    Harry Potter or Ben Tennyson?
  • A young hero who defies their community's strict leader and leaves their underground home to wander the post-apocalyptic wasteland in search of their father.
    Kamina or The Lone Wanderer.
  • She's the female protagonist in a Disney movie. But unlike many other Disney heroines, she's smart rather than pretty. Her mother is dead, but she's very close to her father. Her father is excentric, by the way, even more than she is While she might not be a real action girl, she can still be tough in her own way.
    Belle or Jane?
  • This character is a princess from a fairytale story. She has a small floating being as an ally that guides her. At some point of the tale, the villainess who wields dark powers puts the princess into a deep sleep. In the finale, said villain transforms into a huge purple dragon and is killed by the good guys.
    By the way, the princess' name is Aurora. Is she from Sleeping Beauty or Child of Light?
  • A group of people become True Companions after weird circumstances bring them together. Among them, a headstrong blonde girl, a girl who looks sweet and innocent but actually can snap easily, a person who does not understand social conventions well, a sweet somewhat oblivious guy who had a brief attraction to the blonde girl who now is more familiar with the person with No Social Skills, a former amoral Jerkass who the blonde girl previously disliked but then had a sexual relationship with, and an older gentlemen who likes to be known as an authority figure, despite having a checkered past. Together, this group have adventures in and around a Weirdness Magnet location.
    Are they a study group or the Scoobies?
  • This character is an eccentric genius who knows a lot about everything. He has a fondness for tweed jackets and bowties and is Married to the Job. He is a Guile Hero who ends up getting romantically involved with an Action Girl who also serves as his Cloudcookoolanders Minder. His speech patterns often involve a lot of technobabble being relayed very fast with some alliteration and metaphorgotten in there too. He is fascinated with seemingly random words. He's a Large Ham normally, but he was once turned evil, and he certainly got hammier.
    Is he Flynn Carsen or The Eleventh Doctor?
  • This character is a pink, fleshy amoral alien monster and the Villain Protagonist of a video game. It starts out small, entering a planet via a meteorite, and then begins messily devouring the wildlife, assimilating their abilities and growing larger in the process. Near the end of the story, it encounters humans and begins to eat them too. In the final encounter, the alien either succeeds in killing his final opponent, or dies out.
    Now, what is the alien's species? Is it an Eater or an Alien Death Slug?
  • A man who works for an organization of futuristic do-gooders in a signature set of armor, has a distinct catch phrase, and gets a severe case of Tomato in the Mirror by finding out he's actually artificially created. Are we talking about Buzz Lightyear or Paladin Danse?
  • A snarky orphan with an older mentor/father figure and a long lost older brother, who lost his mother young but carries on the research she left behind, has a blond action girl love interest/reporter love interest, and a daughter named after his mother. He's often in way over his head, manages to scrape by by the skin of his teeth (usually blowing up or burning down something in the process) and will always do the right thing in the end, even as he moans and berates himself for it. Harry Dresden or Nathan Drake.
  • Brother/Sister Twins in a new environment operating out of a curio shop. One is ditzy, obsessed with a grappling hook gun, and generally comes off as the irresponsible sibling. The other is bookish, committed to uncovering the secrets of the town but comes off as aloof and overly serious to their sibling, and has a romance with an employee at the shop. Both clash over their differing personalities and contemplate splitting up, but in the end stick together and save the world from Lovecraftian power. Dipper and Mabel Pines or Jacob and Evie Frye.
  • This character is a teenager who is the second youngest in their main family of five, comes from a Scandinavian-influenced place and is a blond, stoic Bishōnen. While he gets annoyed at their antics and has some issues with his biological brother, he's still pretty close to them. He is smart, quite adept at using magic and is often shipped with someone much more Hot-Blooded than he is. Prince Leo of Nohr, or Norway?
  • A bastard descending from a noble family with dogs/wolves for a sigil, who joins an ancient military order dedicated to fighting monsters including the undead and is supposed to remain politically neutral, ends up having to become politically involved and (at least potentially in the second case) unexpectedly becomes king, which they don't want. Oh, and they're misinformed on who one of their parents is. Jon Snow or Warden Alistair?
  • A non-human entity goads the Heroic Mime human (?) protagonist into killing everyone, especially the supporting cast, in a bid to gain immense amounts of power together, with the Big Good(s) serving as the final line of defense for their respective civilizations, before finally moving on to a new world. Said entity also has the power to manipulate the host's body and the human side of the pair can be brought back to life via an in-universe mechanism should they suffer defeat. The player will most likely feel like a horrible bastard for going along with their goals. Are we talking about Dagda and Nanashi or Chara and Frisk?
  • Making his formal debut in the sequel installment to a certain series, this Well-Intentioned Extremist strongly believes that a certain segment of the setting's populace (those who'd more-or-less be regular, everyday people, by our real-life standards) are getting pushed to the sidelines where instead they should be ruling the roost. Taking a new name to hide his old identity, he gathers an army of ruthless extremists, outfitting them with an arsenal of devices from electrified melee-weapons to fighter-aircraft and armored mech-suits. The vanguard of his forces are an elite cadre of gas-masked ninjas who specialize in the one-hit takedown, headed by his Dragon- a stern martial-arts expert probably identifiable by his distinctive eyewear. One member of the team of protagonists opposing our villain's plans is an intelligent, combat-capable brunette who happens to be the estranged daughter of one of his key allies. Jack Harper / the Illusive Man, or Noatok / Amon?
  • Serving as their setting's resident Abusive Precursors, these alien beings take the form of massive, heavily-armored spacefaring cyborgs with an appearance reminiscent of Earth sea-monsters. With a lifespan of millennia and egos to match, these beings are not entirely born so much as created, in a process that can involve the suffering of an entire planet's worth of innocents. While their arsenal includes massive, ship-crushing limbs, cruiser-blasting death rays, and an army of soldiers from an artificially-created servant race that worships them as gods, perhaps their most sinister weapon is their ability to Mind Rape into submission anybody they don't immediately destroy. The Reapers, or the Suul'ka?
  • A friendly, somewhat effeminate boy with fluffy hair is introduced fairly late into a shounen series and immediately forms a close bond with the male protagonist. Said boy takes on the role of love interest to said protagonist, and his being taken out of the picture helps trigger a darker, more surreal tone to the show as well as a Heroic B.S.O.D. (with huge plot consequences) on the part of the protagonist. This character is also an Ensemble Darkhorse with a fan adorement rating disproportionate to his screentime. Kaworu Nagisa or Johan Andersen?
  • This creature is a small bipedal critter with a yellow body. Its black "hair" has teeth like structures on it. It appears cute and even acts cute, but really uses this cuteness to lure potential prey nearby before chomping down on them with a huge mouth on its head. Is this a Mawile, or a Poptop?
  • This character is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy with a knack for gambling and flirting. Despite having terrible luck most of the time, he is carefree and spirited. Years of fending for himself on the streets have also turned him into a very smart, analytical person, though it isn't obvious at first. He is also one of the most kind and caring characters in his series, and strikes up several Odd Friendships with characters whose personalities are considered unorthodox or eccentric. Is this Uno, or Joshua?
  • Because of an eccentric elderly figure he was supposed to trust, a male teenager is affected by a fantastic event, which causes him to be put through various unsettling situations, including being forcibly kissed by someone he's absolutely revulsed of being kissed by. He also has to face a school bully that harasses someone he has to protect, is pursued by a female character he wants to ged rid of, is involved in matchmaking, and has to disguise himself and to take an alias at least once. For a bit of trivia, he has the same French voice actor as Roger Rabbit. Marty McFly or Ranma Saotome?
  • A comicbook character that lost his parents at a young age, is known as a tactical genius, has several children with whom he's not always on good terms while still being a Papa Wolf, is prepared for every contingency, is very attractive to women, and is so good at what he does that even his enemies respect him. Cyclops or Batman?
  • A Twincest couple, who look extraordinarily similar. In the beginning of the story at least, their mother’s dead and their father’s alive. The woman is married to an abusive boor who is later killed with the aid of a member of her family, the man is single and believes the woman to be the one and only love of his life (although he later meets a warrior lady whose name starts with “Br” and ends with “e” and who has some romantic tension with him). The twins have a jerkass son who mistreats an embittered dwarf. The dwarf feels entitled to a large fortune.
    Jaime, Cersei, Robert, Brienne, Joffrey and Tyrion, or Siegmund, Sieglinde, Hunding, Brünnhilde, Siegfried and Mime?
  • Two very tall brothers with alliterative names who are viewed as villains. One of them has some redeeming qualities and is the Abel to the other. He’s also infatuated with a beautiful highborn girl with lovely eyes and a two-syllable name that alliterates with his. The girl, at least in the beginning, is only frightened of him. She lives in a castle which name begins with a W and ends with “ll” and has s sister and two brothers: a wild and fierce one with a two-syllable name and a more philosophical one who is generally known by a one-syllable name.
    The Cain and Abel are called either Gregor and Sandor or Fafner and Fasolt. And the girl in question is either Sansa Stark of Winterfell or Freia from Valhalla (Walhall in Wagner’s original German text).
  • A red-haired Happily Married mother of many. Among her children, there’s a daughter who has the same hair color. The woman can make some mistakes in her judgment, but she will do everything for the sake of her children. And if you threaten them, she might not shy away from killing someone, even though she’s gentle and loving in times of peace. Her family is looked down upon by The Beautiful Elite with blond hair, and one of her children makes friends with an orphaned boy with black and messy hair who extremely resembles his father.
    Am I talking of Catelyn Stark, the Lannisters and Gendry or Molly Weasley, the Malfoys and Harry Potter?
  • This massive and incredibly powerful creature, treated as an Eldritch Abomination, acts as the Big Bad and Final Boss of its game. Very little is known about it prior to the battle against it. It originated from outer space incubating within a comet. It is fought within this comet, which is filled with a substance containing a powerful unknown energy. Its skin glows translucent blue and its internal organs glow orange. It drives most of the plot by affecting the behavior of wildlife in the regions around its nest. Its introduction cutscene has it emerge from a cocoon. It is known for its powerful beams of energy. It is weakened by using the energy substance against it.
    Metroid Prime or Xeno'jiiva?
  • A powerful human who delivers multiple curbstomp battles to enemies, some of which are Kaiju, monsters, machines, and different kind of creatures all together, but is always depressed and bored because they always win battles, and want a strong opponent that can make them go at their best, but when finding someone that does so, they have to break some seals and even when they do, it's revealed that they were still casual the entire time, revealing only some of their full power to knock them out which ends up being revealed that they could have given the monster a One-Hit Kill the entire time. The opposing monster even possesses an incredibly strong Healing Factor.
    Are we talking about Saitama or Zenobia?
  • A high school idol with purple hair, a tendency for Purple Prose, and a reputation amongst the fandom for being gay as hell, but is ultimately a Nice Girl who thoroughly supports her group's endeavors from the start.
    Is this Nozomi Toujou or Kaoru Seta?
  • A black-haired man with thick eyebrows, a hooked nose and a highly unsociable character. He’s very good at his work, though, has an inventive mind, and can show will strength when he feels like it. When he first appears, he seems an irredeemable jerk, but some time later, he is shown helping the heroes and opposing the Big Bad. He is associated with the color green, and can do magic, at least occasionally, but not the wand-waving kind. Oh, and with many fans, he’s more popular than the actual heroes. Urfin Jus or Severus Snape?
  • A Nice Guy comes to the capital city after being away for a long while. He fully relies on the man who openly claims to have vied for his beloved. He ends up getting betrayed by said man, arrested for high treason and executed. Eddard Stark or Ivan Lykov?


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