We have two characters. They are similar to each other, but one was created after another. Whether one of them is the other's Expy, Captain Ersatz, Alternate Company Equivalent or even Distaff Counterpart, or it's a complete coincidence, fans will quickly realize the similarity.
From this point they are going to look at the new character through the old character's prism.
They can like the new character because he resembles the old character, or hate them as a rip-off. Anti-fans can treat the new guy like a pointless, unnecessary character created only to attract the old one's fans, or turn them into a model of "This is how the original one should be written to be a good character." They will argue and compare the two, and only a few people who know both of them will be able to see the new guy as himself, not some other version of someone else.
Sometimes, the new character will never get free from the older one, no matter what he does.
Sometimes, especially in the case of a Legacy Character or Expy this can work as part of a Re-Ditto and establish a difference between the two. A Legacy Character can win fan love by his desire to become better, or at last to equal his mentor. If an Expy exists in the same universe as that older character, this can be easily lampshaded with common people confusing them, which could lead to funny situations, and be good for character development. If they are not sharing a universe, then most of the time the new character is screwed. However, sometimes they can take revenge, proving that he is better than the old one and becoming more popular.
Editor's Note: This page is for documenting instances where a Vocal Minority in at least one fandom has noted the (alleged) similarities between two characters and commented on them, for better or for worse. If you've come up with an independent or humorous comparison, send it to Surprisingly Similar Characters.
- Anime and Manga
- Comic Books
- Films — Animated
- Films — Live-Action
- Live-Action TV
- Video Games
- Visual Novels
- Western Animation
- In Dino Attack RPG, because they were both Anti-Hero primary characters, comparisons inevitably arose between Dust and Trigger. The fact that many saw Trigger as failing to live up to Dust's legacy was one reason that led to his status as a Replacement Scrappy.
- A great many 17776 fans have compared Juice to Dave Strider, as both of them are snarky quipsters with a penchant for nostalgia-tinged Surreal Humor. (The fact that both of their works are similar as well only fuels the fire.)