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"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.

This page is not a collection for them. Here, we should experiment with finding some less obvious, and probably nonexistent connections, through wordplay, and selective examples of plot points. Please sign your entriesnote  in the appropriate folder.

This page is where the plots or settings between two stories are similar. If all that is similar are the characters, that belongs in Surprisingly Similar Characters instead.

Because the article has become too long, all entries have been separated into multiple pages.

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


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  • This movie is set just before Christmas in a big city. A wise-cracking protagonist has family problems. There's a humorous airport scene in the first act. Our erstwhile hero has to take on a bunch of criminals who use a disguise to get into the hero's sanctum. In defeating them, the hero employs the glass-from-below variant of Agony of the Feet, utters bad catchphrases from an even older movie, and performs at least one Building Swing. Although Police Are Useless, the hero gets a last-minute assist from an Ineffectual Loner with his own problems. Although we don't know about the sidekick, at least the hero's family problems are solved at the end. This movie goes on to produce three sequels, none of which are as popular as the original.
    Die Hard or Home Alone. Cited at the start of this article about the latter.


  • This unanswered post draws parallels to Adventure Time and the Shannara series regarding the post-apocalyptic fantasy setting.
    They seem to have similar overall themes. A large, varied world of magic that contains remnants of a purely technological society, that for some reason was destroyed and years later magic came back into the world.
  • This post discussing the fall of Lusamine (original version) drew a response that likened said fall to that of Queen Samele Zeal.
    1. [They both] Lost their husbands
    2. Something happens and [both] find Nihilego/Lavos and personality changes
    3. [Both have] two children, one girl and one boy. The boy gets pretty edgy after seeing how his mother changes.
    4. Both live on an artificial, floating island
    • One of the things that the respondent forgot was that, in both cases, the edgy son later aligned with a Goldfish Poop Gang to gain the power to stop his mother's mechaniations. It didn't work in either case.
    • Another is that, presuming that you go through the Black Omen for CT, you have to fight a Superpowered Evil Form of the aforementioned mother near the end.
    • You could even liken Faba to Dalton... in both the original and the Remakes... which makes Wicke an honorary Guru.
  • This post shows a Venn diagram with such a comparison between Warrior Cats and Don Carlo.
    In a time full of tension emerges a leader's son, who is kind but not very bright - and unlike his father. He's overly caring for those in his life and hopelessly naive - which makes sense when one considers his lack of a mother and who he has as a father. Our hero's father is a stern, embittered man, not so much a villain but rather an antagonist. He is often depicted as blue-eyed and gray-haired, and he is constantly paranoid of everyone around him - and will become deeply regretful when he realizes the extent to which his plans have hurt and even killed others. Anyway, our hero has found who he thinks is the love of his life - unfortunately, the hero's father takes the girl as his own wife. Our hero is heartbroken, but luckily for him he has his childhood best friend there for him, who is always faithful but also scarily passionate at times - especially in his political beliefs and in his disdain for our hero's father. Meanwhile, the hero's father is locked in a struggle for control against a half-blind man even worse than he, who is more of a concept than he is a true character - and is never referred to by his actual name. As the hero finds out more and more about his father, any trace of a bond they had at all disappears, and soon the hero is actively supporting rebellions against his father. Unfortunately, however, the childhood best friend dies in the hero's arms while saving him. What exactly happens at the end of the story is rather unclear, but this is known: The hero and his former love interest part ways, the hero fights the lackeys of the half-blind man, and the father finds that the heavens - including his own parent - have taken the son's side against him.
Warrior Cats: Dawn of the Clans or Don Carlo?


  • This is the central conceit of the Couch Tomato. He makes videos that give 24 surprisingly similar points between two seemingly disparate movies.
  • As Diva put it: "A relentlessly cheerful and optimistic protagonist runs afoul of an evil queen and is chucked into New York under the assumption that they'll be miserable there, and after some Fish out of Water stumbling, makes friends with a couple of locals, wins them over with their sunny philosophy and a few musical numbers, and must eventually confront the queen responsible for their plight when she pursues them to The Big Apple."
    Is she talking about Enchanted or A Troll in Central Park?
  • In 2017, one of the Honest Trailers covered a video featuring a Disney movie full of strong female characters, no forced romantic subplots, and a celebration of Polynesian culture. Lilo & Stitch or Moana?note 
  • As Tim Rogers put it: "You're a mercenary with a best friend whose chief personality traits are loyalty, stability in their affections and an unassuming matter. You accept mercenary missions on the orders of a black man with sunglasses and a strikingly gaudy cybernetic arm. The game's first act climaxes with a dangerous heist in a skyscraper owned by a company with a Japanese name. During said heist, the owner of the world's largest corporation dies and his son takes over. Someone precious to you dies at a climactic moment, leaving you to inherit their burden. For the last two-thirds of the story, the threat of imminent death lurks, though you can still do side quests and sleep in your bed as long as you want and the cataclysm won't conclude. Following the climax of the first act of the story, for the rest of the story, the ghost of a dead man who committed a terrible blazing fire crime killing many innocent people several years ago haunts your brain and governs your every move. During a terrorist mission to bomb-destroy a building owned by the largest Japanese-named corporation in the world, a plucky cute-named assistant voiced by Erica Lindbeck helps you open a door while bantering with her co-worker about your mental wellbeing."
    Is he talking about Final Fantasy VII or Cyberpunk 2077?


  • A collection of these comparing various horror movies to the Nancy Drew games can be found here.
  • This Tumblr post: "So let me tell you about a cartoon. It has a chubby kid as a main character. His father doesn’t really fully understand him but usually has his best interests at heart. The dad plays guitar and relishes the glory days of his past a lot and sometimes washes cars. The kid is into video games and snacks and music. You know, normal kid stuff. But he also wants to prove himself and really unlock his potential. Also featured is a strong stoic type who a lot of the other characters rely on. A strange, sloppy character with gross habits and a tragic past. A very paranoid character who is very into conspiracy theories and gets in the way a couple times throughout the series. Eventually a family moves to town, and our main character meets Connie, a smart and capable girl whose family moves around a lot. They quickly become best friends and maybe even romantic interests, despite Connie’s strict parents who while tolerating the main character’s family and associated parties, kind of distrust them for a while."
    Steven Universe or King of the Hill?
  • David J. Prokopetz, in a discussion on stock plots in anime vs. stock plots in American cartoons, brings us this example: "Protagonist creates duplicates of themselves for a Zany Scheme, all of whom end up turning against the original before dying in a horrible but bloodless fashion. The last one standing ends up giving the protagonist some valuable life advice before expiring."
    Is it the Gravity Falls episode "Double Dipper", or the Steven Universe episode "Steven and the Stevens"?
  • Another from David Prokopetz: "A bunch of meddling teenagers and a minor eldritch abomination who takes the form of a funny talking animal investigate a murderous occult conspiracy beneath the surface of a small town, and also they fight God at the end."
    Is it Persona 4, or Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated?
  • "So we've got a small but powerful token originally belonging to a powerful being, but taken by a flawed hero who didn’t know what he was getting in for, and who is defeated, losing the item into the water. This token comes into the keeping of an eccentric mortal for many years, giving them long life and vitality, until they pass it on to a younger relative, and their health immediately begins to deteriorate. The adorable, dark-haired, doe-eyed new bearer, carrying the token on a necklace, sets out to find someone else to take it, but ultimately must take ownership of the quest themselves. Along the way, they encounter endless dangers and obstacles, finally facing their greatest challenge yet at a volcano, and return the token to its source. Featuring super idyllic, completely culturally stagnated hometowns, raptors of unusual size, dramatic towers, and tiny boats sailing into the sunset."
    The Lord of the Rings or Moana?
  • "Multiple-birth siblings move in with their estranged and mysterious money-obsessed great uncle, going on adventures, uncovering mysteries, and battling the strange and abnormal. Also, there's a clumsy but lovable Genius Ditz who sometimes joins them on their adventures."
    Gravity Falls or DuckTales (2017)?
  • "A famous sports star is forcibly dragged from his comfortable home into another world that couldn’t be more different from his own. There, he has to join a rag-tag team of characters to protect this new world and defeat a menacing evil that threatens the lives of all of its inhabitants. The story starts off with a somewhat out of place musical number."
    Final Fantasy X or Space Jam?
  • "A blonde guy with a magic hammer goes after his colleague, a big dude with giant fists and an anger management problem. He teams up with a fierce female fighter with a tragic past, all while trying to navigate a strange, colorful world forever locked in a sensationalized competition and run by an old man with a flamboyant demeanor. Along the way, he runs into a disgraced royal heir with a penchant for green and mischief.
    Thor: Ragnarok or Wreck-It Ralph?
  • An RPG starring an introverted young man with blonde hair, who has a special power that could potentially bring about the apocalypse. The game takes place on the body of a dormant organism, and begins with robots invading the protagonist's hometown and killing a female character he's close to. He is accompanied on his travels by, among others, an older male with one non-functioning limb and a princess with elemental powers, and he encounters an androgynous character with a strong connection to his world-ending power. At some point, someone close to him is unwillingly roboticised by the enemy in order to harness a certain power. One in-game location is a village occupied by an adorable, broken English-speaking mascot species. The final boss is a character named Klaus (or a derivative thereof) who bears a resemblance to the protagonist, and the game ends with the destruction of the world at the protagonist's hand.
    Mother 3 or Xenoblade Chronicles 1?
  • A creature of another species with a love for good food meets a mess of a human down on his luck living in a shitty apartment. The creature can control the guy’s actions, and he’s unwilling at first, but they learn to cooperate and together they can stop the evil rich man trying to take them down
    Ratatouille or Venom (2018)?
  • The main characters travel into a terrifying afterlife realm to fight evil ghosts, with the help of some ghosts on their side. Sometimes the main characters fight with their physical body and sometimes they project their souls into this realm to fight. One of the evil ghost antagonists wants to steal and possess the protagonist's body. Any character who dies in the "hell world" will die in real life despite not being physically there, and will also be killed so thoroughly that they will not go to any afterlife and just cease to exist. The ghosts can also die, and will cease to exist in that case. At some point a protagonist has their body taken over by the soul of the now-dead protagonist of a previous book in the series so that soul can use the body to kill minor villains, and the possessor is annoyed that the new body is inconveniently smaller and not as strong or good as fighting as their original body, in addition to having some injuries that make the job harder, but they try their best to win the fight anyway. The main villain has to be defeated by shoving them to the bottom of a body of water in the afterlife realm, which is an Eldritch Location that is not like normal water and is almost impossible to swim out of. The protagonist falls into the water as well and apparently gets killed Deader than Dead.
    The Warrior Cats book A Light In the Mist or Harrow the Ninth?

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  • To quote an article by Chris Sims: "Years after a nuclear war obliterates society as we know it and gives rise to a strange world with stranger creatures, the last human boy on Earth, with flowing blonde hair and blue shorts, wanders the land with his pal, an older, wiser talking dog, fighting for good and trying to do the right thing and live up to the heroes of the past."
    Is he talking about Adventure Time or Kamandi?
  • This article by Jerry Beck comparing Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) with the animated short Show Biz Bugs
    Daffy Duck and Riggan Thompson both gained motion picture fame playing feathered lunatics. They both stage their profession comeback on a stage performance, but are both thwarted by a clever, more appealing rival. Both make their way around without any clothes on, and in the end, they commit suicide on stage...Or do they?
    The Haunting of Castle MalloyThe Orphanage: A male character goes missing, female character remains convinced that they can be found although other characters are doubtful; both take place in rundown buildings kind of in the middle of nowhere—said female characters own them because the properties have history and sentimental values to them; also they both involve hauntings perpetrated by orphans.
  • ( Does this sound familiar? A handsome young Brit has an affair with a red-hot Hollywood actress as she films a movie in London. Despite being young in years, he's somehow able to give the sex symbol the love and attention she isn't receiving from her husband... Sypnosis for Notting Hill or for My Week with Marilyn?
  • The blogger David compares "Cupid And Psyche" to Beauty and the Beast: A beautiful and kind girl (who is envied by her two greedy sisters) is forced to marry a "monster", whose true nature is kept secret from her. However, the monster is a good person who genuinely loves the girl- love that she eventually reciprocates. The two are separated through the machinations of minor characters, but ultimately reunite through the girl's loyalty and diligence. Cue happy ending.
  • A comedy-heavy action Space Opera about a group of fugitives in a stolen ship trying to stop various genocidal galactic empires from getting a super weapon: A sarcastic human whose outdated pop culture references brand him as insane, a small but imposing artificial character, a Proud Warrior Race Guy who really just misses his family, an assassin who's defected from the alien tyrants who she once worked for, and a plant-creature.
    Is it Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) or Farscape?
  • Straight from Mother's Basement:
    Geoff Thew: This is the tale of a young orphan whose parents lost their lives defeating a great evil and who was branded with a mark that permanently connects him to that evil entity in the process while also giving him some of that evil entity's powers. This orphan leads a hard life with few friends until a special piece of paper allows him to enter a High School-level training program for kids with supernatural abilities. After that, he's paired up with anbother boy and a girl who will eventually hook up with that boy. And despite some differences, the three quickly become inseparable. The orphan is a bit of a troublemaker, but it's okay because the old bearded guy who's in charge of everything likes him. The trio goes on a few adventures, one of which involves magical mirrors that can hide things from the real world, and then during a tournament to determine which kids are best at supernatural bullshit, they're confronted by an evil snake man who used to be part of their supernatural school, but dropped out when he realized that being a goody two-shoes wouldn't make him immortal. As the plot goes on, we learn that the snake man has kept himself in a state of pseudo-undeath by putting his soul inside of things that his soul really shouldn't be inside, including one of the kids who has been given a cursed mark that makes him a soul receptacle. Eventually, after the snake guy is killed way more times than anyone should reasonably be expected to have to kill anyone, he stays defeated and everyone lives happily ever after until an epilogue where a bunch of the protagonists' kids who are basically clones of them fuck everything up.
    Is this story about Naruto or Harry Potter?
  • From 4Chan: A game in which a specially-engineered Super-Soldier must stop a rebellion staged by old members of his unit, who are all named after an animal (octopus, et al) and possess different weapons. His fight will take him to a secret enemy base where his sword-wielding friend will sacrifice himself to stall for time against an enemy using a bipedal battle robot.
    Is this game Mega Man X or Metal Gear Solid?
  • Dana Schwartz on Twitter: "A 2018 sequel to a beloved family film where Ben Whishaw's character lives with his family in a beautiful London house in a fancy neighborhood where the kitchen is filled with marmalade and Julie Walters plays a grumpy, beloved housekeeper. There are elaborate musical numbers and a central plot about embracing an outsider who teaches everyone about what's really important and also Ben Whishaw's dad had been uptight and focused entirely on finances and risk management until the outsider arrived."
    Paddington 2 or Mary Poppins Returns?
  • Courtesy of this Letterboxd list: "The protagonists are left alone in a nice house for the weekend and they trash it, but then the homeowners have to come home early because of unforseen circumstances involving their youngest kid, so the the protagonists have to hurry to clean it all up, and at first it looks like they got away with it but later in the movie the homeowners find out about everything due to a small error the protagonists didn't take into account, and now the protagonists are in big trouble."
    Parasite (2019) or Diary of a Wimpy Kid?
  • Courtesy of Something Awful: You're given a player avatar who's barely even acknowledged as a part of the main story, who takes a back seat to the group of morons that are more or less the de facto protagonists. Any degree of progression is hampered at every turn by equally moronic plot contrivances that takes you one step forward, and then two steps back. The story itself is just FULL of banal melodrama and extremely poorly thought out beats to the point that it can get a little hard to stomach at times due to how goddamn stupid they are. Even the actual mechanics have strangely similar failures, in how they tend to keep things that might actually be useful juuuuust out of reach and replace anything that one might enjoy out of the game with relentless tedium of some kind. Both games actively seem to try to prevent the player from having fun.
    Is this about the official game White Knight Chronicles, or the fan game Pokémon Reborn?
  • Courtesy of this Letterboxd list: in this film, our main character visits his partner's parents house for the first time, only to realise they are racists who have hatched a plan to have a white guy steal their identity.
    Is this Get Out (2017), or Shrek 2?

Alternative Title(s): Cited Entries