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Decomposite Character

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In adaptations there is always a concern about character management, trying to find the right number of characters and corresponding subplots to follow. While there is the Composite Character, which combines multiple roles into one, this trope is the opposite where there might be a benefit to divide a character to serve different roles. It is a logistical issue, perhaps events are split into different locations in the adaptation and forcing a second character to step up. Maybe there is an attempt to avoid an Omnidisciplinary Scientist by including a full staff working a problem. It can also be a need for Cast Speciation, passing around specific traits to other characters to give them more to do.

Not to be confused with Literal Split Personality, which is when one character is split into two or more separate people by some magical or super-scientific means within the fictional work itself.

This is an example. That is also that example.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan: Junior High, characters who are Titan Shifters in the original series are split up into respective human and Titan characters.
  • In the Berserk Prototype, a more upbeat incarnation of Guts faces off against an evil aristocrat named Vlad Tepes, who is a demon that devours people. His major concept would get used for two early characters in the Berserk manga proper: the sociopathically evil Baron of Koka Castle (who Vlad's personality steered more towards), and the more nuanced and sympathetic Count. In addition, elements from his Apostle form would make it into the designs of other demons from the series.
  • When the Birdy the Mighty remake manga started, it imported the character of Hikawa from the OVA series — albeit the name "Seichiro Hikawa" going to a character in the backstory and his grandson Shogo Hikawa being the one to fight the eponymous Birdy. Or that's how it seemed initially, as it's ultimately revealed Hikawa was really pulling a My Grandson, Myself and "Shogo" Hikawa, much like in the OVA, was really a de-aged Seichiro.
  • In Death Note, after killing off the character, L, two characters were introduced, Mello and Near. Both of them, by design, hold different aspects of L, and challenge Kira after L's death.
  • Broly the antagonist of the eighth Non-Serial Movie was given a canon Distaff Counterpart named Kale in Dragon Ball Super who fulfills a similar role as The Berserker. However, later Broly and his father Paragus would become canon in Dragon Ball Super: Broly, yet if the video game interactions are to be believed canon Broly and original Broly are essentially two different characters (one is chaotic and evil, the other is Not Evil, Just Misunderstood) and are treated as such by the cast.
  • In Free!, Rei's prototype Kaede was this. According to this interview, when creating the anime, High☆Speed! (2013) author Kouji Ouji wanted an original character to interact with the cast during their time in high school. His appreciation for beauty (as well as his being on the track team and general lack of swimming knowledge) went to Rei, while his easygoing attitude went over to Nagisa. His physical appearance, it would seem, went to Seijuurou (and his sibling Momotaro, as of Eternal Summer). Other characters who inherited his atmosphere include Nitori and Sasabe.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) has this with regards to the homuncuuli Pride and Wrath. In the original manga and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Pride is Selim Bradley and Wrath is King Bradley. In the 2003 series, King is Pride and Selim is an ordinary human boy. Wrath appears as a new character that was created from Izumi's failed attempt to resurrect her son.
  • In the chapter Live Alive in Haruhi Suzumiya, Haruhi and Yuki fill in for the lead vocalist/guitarist of an unnamed band during the school festival. In the anime adaptation of that chapter, the band is called Enoz and the lead vocalist/guitarist becomes two members: Miyuki Enomoto (vocalist) and Takako Nakanishi (guitarist).
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run splits Erina Pendleton into Lucy Steel (nee Pendleton), who takes her ethnicity, last name, and major presence throughout the part, and Rina Higashikata, who takes her first name and role as Johnny's bride.
  • The game Kimikiss featured a main protagonist named Kouichi Aihara; this was split into two distinct protagonists for the anime: Kouichi Sanada (he gained his appearance) and Kazuki Aihara (he gained his soccer skills).
  • The Legend of Zelda (Akira Himekawa)
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1999), Sheik and Zelda are two different characters. Zelda asked Impa to brainwash her, so her mind was inactive while a "Sheik" persona took over. In the game, Sheik is just Zelda in disguise.
    • The adaptation for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has a couple of examples.
      • Agahnim is presented as a Hylian sorcerer who entered Ganon's services. In the game, Agahnim is Ganon's alter-ego.
      • Blind the Thief is a trio of quarreling brothers who were combined into a monster instead of a single person. His storyline of being a bandit who fell into the Dark World is given to Ghanti, although she's portrayed more sympathetically than Blind.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016):
      • In the game, Rusl was said to be the one who forged the Ordon Sword. While he is still a swordsman in the manga, the work for the blade was done by an unseen character named Gine.
      • In the game, the Goron chief Darbus was turned into Fyrus when he touched the Fused Shadow. In the manga, Luda's friend Darb becomes Fyrus, and he assimilates the chief when he tries to fight him.
  • Lupin III:
    • Chapter 78 of the original Lupin III manga saw Lupin get captured and auctioned off by the Wanted Club, a group of elite female Bounty Hunters led by Fujiko. In the anime adaptation, the Wanted Club is instead led by a new character named Miss Killer, while Fujiko is actually another of the group's victims.
    • The fourth episode of Lupin III Part 6 is a Whole-Plot Reference to Ernest Hemingway’s The Killers, but with a few major twists. One of the key deviations is that the role of George, the diner employee who spends the story chatting with the would-be hitmen, is split into two separate characters: an unnamed waitress who is Bound and Gagged in the back of the diner, and Fujiko, a third prospective assassin who has impersonated the real waitress in order to find Anderson.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT, Precia's familiar Linith was turned into Linith Lanster (human form) and Linith II (cat).
    • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Detonation, Granz Florian had most of the things that made him a Jail Expy instead given to Phil Maxwell. Although Maxwell plays the whole "Jail Expy" role much straighter than Game!Granz ever did.
    • In the original prototype, Chrono would have been Nanoha's initial enemy, as well as her eventual Love Interest. In the actual story, Chrono ends up having his name and design, while Fate ends up getting his role in the story.
  • My Hero (2008): When the series was being reworked into My Hero Academia, several characters were split up:
    • Jack's appearance and personality was retooled into Deku, while his Hero Support background went to Melissa Shield. The homemade costume and vigilante aspects would carry over to Kouichi Himawari, and the salaryman would become Sir Nighteye (who in and of himself is Deku all grown up), though none of them are anemic.
    • Snipe was basically split into his pre- and post-Positive selves: All Might's status as a beloved hero and his Game-Breaking Injury at the hands of a villain were originally traits of Positive, while Snipe's own design was added in as a U.A. staff member and retained his aloof nature.
  • In the original Neon Genesis Evangelion anime, the test pilot of Evangelion Unit-03 ( who wound up being maimed when it was destroyed) was Toji. Toji still exists in the Rebuild of Evangelion movies, but his role as 03's test pilot is given to Asuka.
  • The pirate-focused series One Piece splits the real-life Edward "Blackbeard" Teach into Edward "Whitebeard" Newgate and Marshall D. "Blackbeard" Teach.
    • Due to the popularity of Mr 2 Bon Clay’s Seiyū Kazuki Yao, Oda created Franky who shares similar quirks (goofy faces, dancing and crying) with Bon Clay allowing for Kazuki Yao to become part of the main cast as a different character. This only applies for the Japanese version though as Bon Clay and Franky have different voice actors in other dubs.
    • The ninth Non-Serial Movie Episode of Chopper Plus: Bloom in Winter, Miracle Sakura being a remake of Drum Island arc (somehow set after the Water 7 arc despite Chopper being introduced long before) decomposites Wapol, the Arc Villain who is split into two, one side being he’s goofy Laughably Evil original self and other being his Canon Foreigner brother Musshuru who’s more serious and a better fighter allowing for Luffy (who had Second Gear at this point) to have more of a challenge, he’s even sent flying by Luffy in the same way Wapol was.
  • Pokémon Adventures:
    • In the X & Y saga, the attributes of the Player Character are split between X (The Hero who moved from unknown lands) and Y (Grace's daughter).
    • In the Gold and Silver saga, the male and female Executive designs are used for Carl and Sham. In the Heart Gold and Soul Silver saga, the remakes' Executives make an appearance, including Arianna and Archer, who use updated versions of the original designs.
    • Similarly, the Ruby and Sapphire saga uses the same Admins as the games (with the addition of one Canon Foreigner for each team). The OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire saga introduces the remakes' Admins... with the same names as the old ones (They're codenames).
    • The Diamond and Pearl saga has Diamond (the male player character) as Pearl's (the rival) childhood friend however Platinum (the female playable character) is the one fighting gyms.
    • The Sun and Moon saga does something similar with Sun (the male player character) and Moon (the female player character). Sun takes on the Island Challenge while Moon is the one who befriends Lillie and Gladion.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
  • In Saiyuki, via the source material being Journey to the West, Goku (Wukong) and Gojyo (Wujing) possess traits from the original Hakkai (Bajie). The former takes on his gluttony (and possibly to nod to the other Goku/Wukong of anime and manga fame), while the latter possesses his lust for women and his tendency to argue with Goku/Wukong.
  • In Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Berg Katse was revealed to be a mutant who could switch genders at will. His female form appeared unmasked as the Dark Action Girl long before The Reveal. In both edited dubs, Battle of the Planets and G-Force: Guardians of Space, that female form either identified herself as a sister or a "loyal follower". BOTP adapted her into at least four separate characters (Zoltar's sister "Mala", a spy named "S-9", another spy named "Hannah", and a reporter named "Ms. Ostric"), due to the writers not knowing they were all intended to be the same person.
    • BOTP also had the habit of taking some Galactor commanders that had more than one episode appearance and adapting them into two separate characters, due to the episodes being translated out-of-order.
  • Gintama does this with Okita Souji. Okita's role as the young but stubborn captain of the Shinsengumi goes to Okita Sougo, but his illness and premature death from it went to Sougo's sister Mitsuba.
  • In Speed Racer, the characters of Skull Duggery and Zoomer Slick were actually the same person in the original Japanese show (Mach Go Go Go): an early rival of Go Mifune named Genzo Sakai who only appeared for a few episodes.
  • The Splatoon manga has both Goggles and Rider fill the role of the first game's protagonist, Agent 3. During the Octo Expansion arc, Agent 8 gets split into the Octoling Boy Hachi as Agent 8 and the Octoling Girl Nana as Agent 7.
  • Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation has Canon Foreigner Shun who is the proclaimed younger brother of Ryu which is later revealed to be false who plays a role similar to Sakura hero worshipping Ryu which is strange since Sakura is already in the movie acting the same as usual but doesn’t interact with Ryu at all.
  • In adaptations of Tenchi Muyo! not written by the original author, Mihoshi was given a Galactic Police partner named Kiyone Makibi. When the OVA series was given a sequel in 2005, elements of her character were split among two new ones, Tenchi's fiance Noike Kamiki Jurai, and Mihoshi's sister-in-law, Mashisu Makibi.
  • In most of Transformers continuities Hot Rod takes up the name Rodimus or Rodimus Prime as he matures. In the Unicron Trilogy, they're separate characters (with Hot Rod being renamed "Hot Shot" in the American dubs as well as in the original Japanese version of Energon,the only part of the trilogy in which Rodimus appears). They even develop an Intergenerational Friendship and learn to combine into one bot.
  • Transformers: Super-God Masterforce turns the Powermaster Optimus Prime toy into (the transtector of) a new character named Ginrai (a human). Though later fiction would retcon Ginrai's body as having originally been made for Optimus (who had died again in the prior series), Ginrai would remain his own character, and even when the transtector was given sentience at the end of the series he was still treated as separate from Optimus. He would later undergo a sizeable case of Divergent Character Evolution when he was reformatted into Victory Leo. Though it is worth noting that current Transformers brand manager John Warden has stated that he does not really see a distinction between Optimus and Ginrai.
    • To an extent, this applies to any character shared between the Hasbro and Takara toylines released around the time of Masterforce (as a good portion of them were not Cybertronians but instead humans using transtectors) to the point that on there will be separate articles for characters from both toylines (e.g., Cloudburst and Phoenix have different entries despire them being the same toy).
  • The Twelve Kingdoms: The anime adaptation adds the new characters Yuka Sugimoto and Ikuya Asano, so that Youko Nakajima csan express her thoughts with them rather than through narration.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! (first anime series): This is common.
    • In the manga, there was an unnamed escaped convict who took Anzu hostage and was defeated by Yami Yugi in a Shadow Game. The anime has two characters; Tatsu the Hedgehog, who has spiky hair and escapes prison, and Jiro the Yellow Spider, who takes Anzu hostage and is defeated by Yami Yugi in a Shadow Game.
    • In one manga story, Honda tried to confess his love for Miho in his first real introduction. Because Honda was already an established character in the anime, Canon Foreigner Mayumi tries to confess to Jonouchi.
    • Mokuba was still a Capumon player in the anime, his role as Yugi's first Capumon opponent who was locked in in a toy capsule was given to a new character named Warashibe.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: In prerevisionist lore, consisting of early novels published before Wizards of the Coast took a more direct hand in overseeing the game's storyline, Lord Ith's name was Barl and the former name was a formal title; thus, Barl's Cage was intended as "the cage that holds Barl". In modern lore, Ith is his name, and Barl was instead the artificer who built the cage.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 



  • Where Talent Goes on Vacation: Both Himeno Himemiya and Tatsuki Tachibana adopt traits of Fuyuhiko Kuzuryuu. Himemiya has a close relationship with her Childhood Friend and servant Kanae Tsukimura, not unlike Fuyuhiko's relationship with Peko. As for Tatsuki, both she and Fuyuhiko commit a murder for the sake of their sister, which eventually results in them losing the person they care about most.

Danny Phantom

  • Weirdly common in this fandom's fics, where "Danny" and "Phantom" will inexplicably be presented as two separate characters. To be fair, there was an episode where this happened, but in fanfic it's just presented as a permanent fact, and the two sides generally don't have the personalities from that episode. Also, in fanfic, these two are usually paired together.

Disney Animated Canon

Five Nights at Freddy's

Fusion Fic


The Legend of Zelda

  • The Legend of Zelda: The Sage of Darkness: Impa is split into three different characters. Her role as the Sage of Shadow/Darkness associated with Zelda is given to Link, while her role as Zelda's bodyguard and signature kodachi are given to Canon Foreigner Aaron. Finally, her role as a Sheikah warrior connected to the Royal Family is given to Link's uncle Davik.

Mandela Catalogue

  • The Mandela Magazine:
    • In Mandela Catalogue, the hooded Intruder and the one in the TV are the same character, just with a different appearance. Mandela Magazine depicts them as two separate Intruders, with the one in the TV implied to actually be stuck inside of it since the others carry it around.
    • Cesar's Alternate is the same one that rushes at the camera after Mark tries to shoot him in Mandela Catalogue. Mandela Magazine depicts them as separate entities, with the rushing one gaining a tendency to loudly sniff at things.

Marvel Universe

  • Sixes and Sevens: A much more literal example. Agent Axis from the comics was a villain literally fused together from a German (Berthold Volker), an Italian (Aldo Malvagio), and a Japanese man (Hiroyuki Kanegawa). Here the first two are individual characters, and their deaths would make Agent Axis' creation seem unlikely. Kanegawa hasn't made an appearance, though that's understandable since the fic focuses on the European front.

Mass Effect

  • A Trail a Mile Wide: Spock's role in "Banned from Argo" is split between two characters — Thane is the one who almost (but not quite) gets slipped an aphrodisiac, while Joker is the one who teaches the ship's AI how to swear.

Meet the Robinsons

  • The Future Child, Today: has the premise that Wilbur isn't actually from the future, though he's mentally unwell enough to believe that he is. Removing the Time Travel element means that Bowler Hat Guy is no longer the future version of Goob, while he takes on Lewis' role as Wilbur's father.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • Lady Fairy: Because the villain of the story possesses the Peacock Miraculous while Marinette uses the Butterfly Miraculous for good, the various Akumatized villains are instead sentimonsters while their canon-selves are selected to be the Champions meant to stop them. While Stone Heart is the first sentimonster to wreak havoc in Paris, Lady Fairy turns Ivan into Stone Warrior to fight him. Riposte is a sentimonster while Ryuko (being a product of the Butterfly Miraculous instead of the Dragon Miraculous) is the champion meant to stop her.
  • The Miraculous Tales of Consistent Narrative and Characterization: Two of Ladybug's canon roles are handed to different characters. Her ability to purify the akumas is handed to Chat Noir (described as an extension of his Destruction powers) while her role as the Guardian goes to Viperion.

My Little Pony

  • A Diplomatic Visit:
    • In show canon, Queen Novo is queen of the hippogriffs of Mount Aris, who later had to transform into seaponies and move underwater to hide from the Storm King. In this fic's chapter 18, Celestia mentions Queen Novo and the queen of the hippogriffs as separate beings. Chapter 21 cements this when Luna identifies them both by name to Twilight — Queen Novo is still queen of the seaponies of Seaquestria, while Queen Skydancer is ruler of the hippogriffs of Mount Aris (the first sequel would reveal that they still had to transform into seaponies and move underwater, becoming a part of Queen Novo's kingdom, with Queen Skydancer giving her life to hold off their attackers).
    • In chapter 5 of the third sequel, The Diplomat's Life, when talking about Starswirl's allies, Celestia mentions that their Mage Meadowbrook, an Earth Pony and herbalist, is a different individual from the Mage Meadowbrook who was an Eastern unicorn known for her eight enchanted artifacts.


  • Ash and Serena's Atomic Odyssey: In Pokémon Uranium, the character Kellyn is supposed to be an adult version of the player character from Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, who also appears in the main anime series. In this story, Anime!Kellyn is the eldest son of Uranium!Kellyn, making him the older brother of Vitor and Natalie (the player characters in Uranium).
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: Ash's "Ashley" disguise from canon is turned into a real person, a waitress who looks a lot like it except older. And given the hints so far, they might be half-siblings.
  • Too Many Ashes: Different clones of Ash own the various teams of Pokemon he uses in each region.


  • The Unseen Hunt: Ruby Rose is actually split into two characters in this fic's AU: the human Ruby, and the Grimm possessing her body. It's revealed that the human Ruby's eyes were actually baby blue, and the trademark silver eyes in this continuity belong to the Grimm Ruby.

The Smurfs

  • Empath: The Luckiest Smurf:
    • Clumsy and Dimwitty appear as separate characters, whereas in the comic books Dimwitty and Clumsy are assumed to be one and the same.
    • Tracker and Tapper have characteristics from the adult Nat Smurf divvied up between the two of them since Nat Smurf in the series does not appear as anything but a Smurfling from Smurfling Island.

Star vs. the Forces of Evil

  • Queens of Mewni: The character design for who in canon is Crescenta the Eager was given to an original character named Solena the Smitten, while Crescenta has a different character design altogher. To be fair, this was before canon established the bunny-cheeked ballerina queen was Crescenta, so blame Outdated by Canon for this one.

Steven Universe

  • Some human AU fanfics make Garnet into Ruby and Sapphire's daughter instead of their fusion.
  • Connieswap: In this AU; Jasper, Lapis Lazuli, Peridot and Connie are the Crystal Gems, Steven's mom is obviously not Rose Quartz, but Mary Universe. Despite this, Mary still has some aspects of Rose in her design, name (Rosemary) and personality. Rose Quartz meanwhile, though she has yet to make a full appearance, was a member of the Gems and apparently a traitor.


  • Avatar: The Last Alicorn: The roles of Jet, Mai and Katara are all split up, sometimes even among the same character.
    • Prince Blueblood represents Jet pre-season 2 in being antagonistic to team avatar despite sharing similar goals at first. However, he then takes on the role of Mai, in being the "prince zuko" of the fic's Love Interest.
    • "Flowerbloom" represents Mai's combat skills, and being one of the Azula's best friends.
    • Suri takes on Jet's obsessive pursuit of water benders when in Ba Sing Se.
    • Rainbow Dash has Katara's combat prowess and fierce temper.
    • Fluttershy meanwhile has Katara's healing abilities, and motherly personality.
  • Alternate Tail Series: Mira's role as a barmaid and model was passed to her sister Lisanna while she maintained her Satan Soul magic.
  • BlazBlue Alternative: Remnant: Ragna in the main series was the same person as Bloodedge due to being sent back to the events of the Dark War via time travel. Here, he was never Bloodedge. Instead, Ozpin was Bloodedge.
  • A Devil's Diamond: Koichi Hirose is Adapted Out. As such, his role in Diamond is Unbreakable is split among different characters.
    • Issei takes the role of Josuke's close friend, the two being Childhood Friends rather than newly introduced when the story begins like Koichi was.
    • Asia takes the role of Rohan's disciple, Rohan being Asia's contract.
    • Gasper takes the role of being both the softer counterpart to Jotaro and Yukako's target of affections.
  • Tangled In Time: Tetra and Sheik are alternate identities used by Zelda in canon, but they are now three separate characters and are each other's siblings.
  • Harry Potter fanfic My Immortal:
    • Voldemort and Tom Riddle (sometimes spelled Tom Ridd) are separate characters. Voldemort is still the Big Bad, but his secret identity is now apparently Satan. Tom Riddle is a heroic goth who runs a shop in Hogsmeade and has nothing to do with the Dark Lord.
    • Snape in Chapter 30. Apparently his name is just "Snape" (when it's spelled right) and there's a completely different guy named "Serverus", although he was probably supposed to be Sirius.
  • The Golds: Baelfire and Neal Cassidy are established as being two separate characters.
  • Rise of a New Moon has Lelouch pull a Peggy Sue and is dropped in the Britannian invasion of Japan as Princess Luna, so it's a bit surprising to see Julius Kingsley appear later as an agent of Empress Marianne who helps her steal Princess Guinevere's body.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows: Ch'rell and the Shredder are two separate entities, unlike the 2003 cartoon.
  • Dusk to Dawn and Our Own League shared universe
    • There is a Hawkman and a Hawkgirl in both the modern Justice League and Cold War era Justice Society of America. The JSA Hawks were original characters Howard and Cleo Thole, who died in the line of duty and reincarnated as the JL Hawks, Carter Hall and Sierra Sanders.
    • Since the first Black Canary, Dinah Drake, is changed from Dinah Lance's mother to her grandmother, the latter's mother is named as Laurel Lance.
  • Mary Phillips Story splits Jem and Jerrica into separate characters. In canon Jem is Jerrica's alter ego, but in this fic she's her twin sister.
  • In Yokai Watch Re!, Nate takes the main role of Lucas from the first Yokai Watch game. He's Lord Enma's first son and his heir. Lucas still exists but he's the second son.
  • In The Bridge: Monster X and Kaizer Ghidorah are this. In most Godzilla media, they are treated as the same character in two different forms. Here, they are different personalities sharing a body that have completely different memories and behaviors in a Jerkyll-Hyde relationship down to being able to talk to each other mentally. It's actually somewhat of a subversion as it is later shown the two personalities were born from a fractured mind of their old life as an Xilian soldier. X has their old personality and mannerisms but got amnesia, Kaizer got their memories but went insane. But even after they come to terms with this, they are still treated as two different characters.
  • In The Superheroics of Haruhi Suzumiya, Izuku Midoriya takes on Kyon's place narrative-wise for the most part. However, the first chapter implies that Kyon's aspect of being Haruhi's personal Butt-Monkey is given to Bakugou instead.
  • Yo-kai Watch: The Rewrite Series: The player role is given to both the male and female protagonists, Nate and Katie.
  • A 2018 fanmade reboot of Princess Natasha decomposes Lubek. While he retains his name and his desire to take over the Kingdom of Zoravia, his status as King Carl's older brother and predecessor is given to another character. Lubek was his advisor and killed him as part of a failed coup.
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Doomsday was the resurrected corpse of Zod. In the DCEU fanfic, Daughter of Fire and Steel, Doomsday is a failed Kryptonian Super Soldier project and an entirely separate character from Zod.
  • Combined with Literal Split Personality in One step backwards and Three forwards: When Hawkmoth and his supporters made their reality-altering Wishes, Lila wanted to become the center of Adrien's universe. In order to grant his former holder a chance at freedom, Plagg splits him into two: the cheerfully oblivious Adrien Agreste, and Felix Agreste, who retains all of Adrien's memories of the original timeline.
  • In Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, Plutia is the Ultradimension CPU of Planeptune, Iris Heart. In Nepverse X Rebirth 1 - No to Console War, Plutia is a member of the staff at the Hyperdimension Basilicom while General Iris is in charge of the military.
  • While in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) Oroku Karai was Hamato Miwa after being raised by the Shredder, Word of God claims that in Underneath the Sakura Tree, Miwa died at infancy and Karai is somebody else.
  • In A.A. Pessimal's Discworld, when Hergen (which he writes as the Disc's Ireland) was under the yoke of the First Ankh-Morpork Republic, it was "pacified" by a member of the Rust family of military idiots, although the natives wrongly believed this to be Suffer-Not-Injustice Vimes himself. This neatly gives the Disc a version of Cromwell-in-Ireland seperate from the more positive portrayal of Suffer-Not-Injustice as Cromwell-in-England.
  • The Lion, The Witch, and The Fairy's Tail: In this fusion fic between The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Fairy Tail, the different Christmas Gifts the Pevensie children got in the book are split among the protagonists.
    • Peter's sword is given to Erza while his shield goes to Gray.
    • Susan's bow is for Lucy while her horn is for Erza.
    • Lucy Pevensie's Healing Cordial goes to Lucy Heartfilia while her dagger is given to Happy.
  • Team variant in Say Darling, Hey Maybe. In Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, the SEES all accompanied the male protagonist to the world of movies, while the female protagonist meets the Phantom Thieves first on her own. In this story, Minako is accompanied by her world's version of Shinjiro, Yukari, and Ken. Minato will be joined by his world's versions of Junpei, Akihiko, Mitsuru, Aigis, and Koromaru.
  • Remnant's Bizarre Adventure: Yukako's role is split between Neo and Nora, with Neo being Koichi's Stalker with a Crush while Nora is the one who visits Cinderella Boutique to make her Love Interest notice her.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the 1960 film 13 Ghosts, the character Elaine is a medium, the dead uncle's female assistant, and the housekeeper. The 2001 remake Thir13en Ghosts has the 3 separate characters of a (male) medium, the uncle's female assistant, and the housekeeper.
  • Similarly to some of the other Marvel Comics adaptation examples, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 does this to Norman Osborn, with his role as the original Green Goblin and Gwen Stacy's killer taken by his son, Harry (who took up the mantle after his father in the comics).
  • Annie (2014):
    • The closest thing we get to Rooster Hannigan is both Guy and Annie's unnamed fake father. Guy is the one who plots to send Annie away with phony parents for his own gain, and "Easy Street" is now sung by him and Hannigan. The latter is the one who poses as Annie's father (alongside her "mother"), and nearly succeeds in kidnapping her, as Rooster and Lily did.
    • The film has two Annies. One looks like the canon Annie and just appears at the beginning to bait the viewers into thinking there's no Race Lift, and the other is the protagonist.
  • Apollo 13: The team of engineers who figured how to make the Command Module's air filters fit the (incompatible) slots of the Lunar Module were a decomposition of a single engineer who devised the solution while driving to work.
  • The Apple Dumpling Gang: In the book, the tough poker-playing sheriff and the in-over-his-head man who gets tricked into taking responsibility for the kids are the same person.
  • In the novel Beastly, a twist at the ends reveals that Kendra the witch and Kyle's housekeeper were actually the same person. The Film of the Book leaves this out, making them separate people.
  • Color Out of Space (2020) gives most of Ammi Pierce's role from the original story to Ward Phillips, but a minor character named Sheriff Pierce still appears.
  • Despite being present in The Dark Knight, Sal Maroni's role of attacking Harvey Dent in court (though with a gun instead of acid) is given to an unnamed henchman. The Joker takes up Maroni's role of actually turning Dent into Two-Face later in the movie.
  • Death Note (2017) does this for Light Yagami. While the character Light Turner is ostensibly the counterpart for the manga's protagonist, he quickly partners up with Mia Sutton, the supposed counterpart to Misa Amane. As it turns out, Mia in fact has a lot more in common with the original Light Yagami than Misa, as she's the one who develops many of Light's more ruthless and evil tendencies, such as his burgeoning God complex and willingness to murder innocents and law-enforcement officials. Light Turner, on the other hand is a strong case of Adaptational Heroism, inheriting Light Yagami's sense of justice and desire to create a better world, but otherwise being firmly opposed to adopting more ruthless measures, to the point that it leads to a conflict with Mia that becomes a key plot point.
  • Doom splits the role of Doomguy from the games into two different characters Sarge and Reaper. Sarge has the physique and general attitude and wields the BFG, while Reaper has the Bruiser with a Soft Center qualities along with superhuman powers (while maintaining his humanity) and gets the First-Person Shooter action sequence during the finale.
  • In The Ghost Breakers, Bob Hope plays a cowardly funny guy with the same first and last name who gets the girl. In The Remake, "Scared Stiff", Jerry Lewis plays a cowardly funny guy with the same first and last name, and Dean Martin gets the girl.
  • Godzilla:
  • Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers introduced Jamie Lloyd, the daughter of Laurie Strode, who, in an infamous Aborted Arc, was meant to become the series' new killer after being supernaturally corrupted by Michael Myers. Halloween (2018) (set in a new continuity that ignored all of the movies after the original) would instead introduce new character Karen Nelson as Laurie's daughter, while Halloween Ends would revisit the idea of someone becoming Michael's successor after seemingly being corrupted by him with the new antagonist Corey Cunningham.
  • The James Bond franchise has examples of this. Often times aspects of characters being split apart into new ones in different movies.
    • The character Graf Hugo von der Drache, better known by the name Hugo Drax, from Fleming's novel Moonraker has been split up quite a bit.
      • Naturally there is the adaptation of Drax in the film version of Moonraker portrayed by Michael Lonsdale whose similarities include sharing a name, though it appears to be his real name rather than an alias, and position as a wealthy industrialist with confused national roots who for one reason or another tries acting English and produces rockets of some kind.
      • Subsequently there was Alec Trevelyan of GoldenEye played by Sean Bean whose similarities including having very similar scarring to the right half of his face that was also caused by an explosion, both manage to infiltrate British society by feigning a lack of memory about his past association with enemies of theirs when picked up by English forces, each is thought of as a British patriot who fought for his country at the start, and both plan to get revenge on England by hitting London with a super weapon. Both also managing to arrange the attack in such a way that it could make a hefty financial profit as well.
      • There is also Col. Tan-Sun Moon aka Gustav Graves from Die Another Day played by Toby Stephens and Will Yun Lee. In that both characters were members of a hostile force that winds up changing his name and faking his nationality to be English, subsequently becomes a wealthy businessman, manages to get knighted, and instigates a project that he sells as being beneficial for the world but actually plans to use as a weapon to help vindicate his people/party. Each also has some form of competition with Bond at an establishment called the Blades Club.
    • In the novel Live and Let Die, Bond has an ally named Quarrel, who is later killed in Dr. No. Because Dr. No was the first 007 book to be made into a film, the later Live and Let Die movie gave Quarrel's role in the plot to Quarrel Jr., the Suspiciously Similar Son of the original.
    • The character Francisco Scaramanga from the novel The Man with the Golden Gun was also split up into multiple characters in the series.
      • For starters there is the adaptation of Scaramanga from the film version of The Man with the Golden Gun played by Christopher Lee. Beyond sharing the name both have the iconic golden gun weapon as well as the nickname that comes with it, both early in their lives serves as a trick shot at a circus, both killing a man who killed a circus elephant he had befriended which led to them running away and finding themselves taken into a powerful group (the Spangled Mob and the KGB), eventually becoming the world's most notorious assassin.
      • Other elements of his character can be found in Franz Sanchez from Licence to Kill portrayed by Robert Davi. Including elements such as his more thug-like nature, both are associated with a drug-running scheme/organization, and Bond manages to get into his inner circle by getting a job under him with his cover eventually being blown by one of the villain's associates.
      • Then there is Tiago Rodriguez, better known as Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem from Skyfall who takes some cues as well. With regard to how he is a Hispanic criminal/agent of some kind portrayed as Bond's equal/dark counterpart who he must track down and defeat, because he has been causing the deaths of several agents, after returning from a leave of absence that led to everyone believing he was dead and in need of redeeming himself to MI6. Both could also be described as being sexually ambiguous to some degree. They also each have a "William Tell" scene with Bond.
    • In both the novel and the movie Thunderball, SPECTRE hires a pilot to steal a pair of nuclear warheads. However, the movie changes their agent from Giuseppe Petacchi, a single pilot from World War II who is willing to sell out for a high enough price, and splits him into François Derval, NATO pilot, and the thoroughly-evil Angelo, a SPECTRE agent trained to kill him and take his place.
    • In For Your Eyes Only, Emile Locque and Eric Krieger divide the qualities of Donald "Red" Grant from From Russia with Love. Locque is the psychotic murderer that escaped from prison, Krieger is the muscular blond henchman.
  • King Kong (2005). The original movie had the character Jack Driscoll; he was the love interest, the ship's first mate, and a swashbuckling square-jawed he-man. In the 2005 remake, these three character traits were given to three separate characters: Jack Driscoll, Mr. Hayes, and Bruce Baxter, respectively.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service: Some character traits are transferred from Rupert Greaves, the chief training officer, to Sir Giles, head of the secret service, forming Merlin and Arthur, respectively.
  • Lantana, based on Speaking in Tongues, does this to Sarah Phelan: in the play, she is a patient of therapist Valerie Somers who is having an affair with a married man and talks about this in their sessions. Only at the end of the play is Sarah's lover confirmed to be Valerie's husband John. In the film, Valerie has a gay male patient named Patrick Phelan, who tells her that he's having an affair with a married man. While Valerie clearly has suspicions about Patrick, and John does admit to having cheated on her, Patrick's lover is seen elsewhere and he has no relevance to the rest of the mystery. John's lover is never named or seen in the film, though curiously Valerie's secretary is named Sarah.
  • From Disney's Maleficent: The title character remains mostly intact throughout the film; however, during the final battle, she retains her humanoid form, and her iconic dragon form is instead given to her raven/servant, Diaval (who Maleficent has a tendency to transform into various creatures throughout the film, such as a human).
  • In the original stage version of A Man for All Seasons, a character called the Common Man acts as a Greek Chorus and plays several different roles, including Thomas More's servant Matthew and More's executioner. In the film, all of those roles are now separate characters, with some of the Common Man's more critical comments going to Matthew.
  • The Mask of Zorro famously splits Zorro up into two characters. There’s the original Zorro from the novel, classic movies and comics Diego de la Vega (played by Anthony Hopkins) and Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas) whom Diego trains to be his successor as Zorro. Funnily enough there’s a further decomposite as Alejandro Murrieta is based upon the Real Life outlaw Joaquin Murrieta who is not only Alejandro‘s brother in the film but actually inspired the original author Johnston McCulley when creating Zorro.
  • Mortdecai is based on several of the Charlie Mortdecai novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli, with the plot being sort of a composite of the first novel, Don't Point That Thing With Me as well as the unfinished final novel The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery. In the first book, Mortdecai meets Johanna Krampf, the nymphomaniac wife of a wealthy American businessman, and is married to her in later installments. Johanna is characterized as pretending to be a Brainless Beauty, and beneath the surface having ruthless and cunning traits. Here, Mortdecai is married to Johanna, who is cunning, but a rather different character, belonging to British high society. There is also a separate character, Georgina Krampf, the nymphomaniac daughter of a wealthy American businessman, who gets Book!Johanna's Brainless Beauty façade and hidden untrustworthiness.
  • Mortal Kombat (2021):
  • Mulan (2020) splits the Shang character (who was her superior officer and Love Interest) from the animated film into two different characters, Commander Tung and Chen Honghui. Tung is her superior officer and Chen her love interest. This was done to avert the Questionable Consent of a regular Joe soldier dating her boss.
  • In The Muppet Christmas Carol, Jacob Marley is split into the brothers Jacob and Robert Marley to accommodate being played by Those Two Guys, Statler and Waldorf.
  • Early drafts of Muppet Treasure Island had Jim Hawkins split into two characters, named Jim and Hawkins, who would be played by Gonzo and Rizzo. Averted in the final version, though; in it, Jim Hawkins was left intact as one of the few human characters, while Gonzo and Rizzo were plugged in as his best friends.
  • In Pan, Hook appears as Peter's companion, while his villainous pirate persona, his Neverland-based ship and his rivalry with Peter are given to Blackbeard. This trope is cemented when the viewers learn that Hook will not turn against Peter.
  • In Rambo: Last Blood, Gabriela and Carmen's younger sister were the same character in earlier drafts of the script. Carmen was an investigative reporter just like in the final cut, and Gabriela had been kidnapped while traveling to visit her sister to deter Carmen from reporting on the cartels.
  • The Reef: Matt and Luke are respectively based on the Real Life shipwreck victim who lost a leg to a shark and swam away from his companions as he bled out to draw it away from them.
  • The Resident Evil Film Series splits Big Bad Albert Wesker’s role from the games up, while Wesker himself keeps his Smug Super qualities all the actual Evil Genius attributes are given to Dr Alexander Isaacs the real antagonist while Wesker is Demoted to Dragon. Also while Canon Foreigner Alice was a Composite Character character of Jill and Claire originally, the latter two appear in later films, making them examples of this. Jill and Claire’s story importance and Action Girl moments are given to Alice (who even gets superpowers like Jill) while they become Adaptational Wimps and are Demoted to Extra.
  • RoboCop:
    • Frank Miller's original script for RoboCop 2, which was later adapted into Frank Miller's RoboCop, had a character named Kong, a drug addled merc working as one of OCP's Rehab who'd later become the subject for the RoboCop 2 project. While naturally, Cain would retain the drug addict and RoboCop 2 subject aspects for RoboCop 2, among the many elements recycled for RoboCop 3 were the Rehabs, with Paul McDaggett taking over the Rehab officer/merc aspect from Kong.
    • Clarence Boddicker is split into two characters in RoboCop (2014). Antoine Vallon takes Boddicker's role in Murphy's origin, while Rick Mattox absorbs his sick sense of humor, making him a composite of Boddicker and the aforementioned Paul McDaggett.
  • In Speed, Harry Temple was originally scripted as the Big Bad. When screenwriter Graham Yost found it difficult to make the twist believable, he rewrote Temple into a good guy and introduced Howard Payne as the new Big Bad.
  • Star Wars:
    • According to Word of God, each of Darth Sidious' primary lieutenants in the prequel trilogy is meant to foreshadow some aspect of Darth Vader's personality before Anakin finally becomes Darth Vader at the conclusion of the trilogy. Darth Maul is an unquestioningly loyal Sith warrior who serves Sidious as an enforcer and assassin, Count Dooku is a fallen Jedi Knight who serves the Separatists as a political and military leader, and General Grievous is a grotesque Cyborg who requires cybernetic implants to survive, has a breathing-related problem and eventually gets set on fire.
    • The situation concerning evolution of the characters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn during the writing process is also something to consider. Obi-Wan was originally written to go to Naboo alone, corroborated by released concept art, and thus taking up the role of being in charge of saving the queen and discovering Anakin on Tatooine, naturally going on to take the role of his primary mentor in the subsequent chapters. Qui-Gon was the name of a Jedi friend of his that Obi-Wan meets up with on Coruscant that joins with him during the mission to liberate Naboo. Obi-Wan's original role in the film/trilogy was split up among the existing Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, Qui-Gon being made Obi-Wan's Jedi Master, the duo being on the mission to Naboo, and having Jinn be the one to find and take Anakin to the Jedi. Obi-Wan pursues taking Anakin as his apprentice after Qui-Gon's death, and acts in that role in the following film.
    • Bria Tharen from the Legends novels The Han Solo Trilogy appears to have her traits and role in the story divided between two Anthology characters in the new Canon: Rogue One's Jyn Erso and Qi'ra from Solo. Like Bria, Qi'ra is an Old Flame to Han Solo before he met Leia, who is involved in the criminal underworld and whose eventual betrayal of Han contributes to his Cynicism Catalyst. Unlike Bria, though, Qi'ra has no involvement with the Rebel Alliance unless one counts her letting Han sell the coaxium to the Cloud Riders, with that aspect of Bria's character being taken up by Jyn; namely that they're both Action Girls who are heavily involved in the mission to steal and transmit the Death Star plans and both die in the process of completing their mission. Unlike Bria, Jyn is never romantically involved with Han (they apparently never even met).
  • In another of the numerous Robin Hood examples, Disney's The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men has Scarlet, Scathlocke, and Stutley as separate characters, despite the first two definitely being, and the third probably being, variations on the same character's name in the legends.
  • In Street Fighter, due to Balrog's Adaptational Heroism, both Zangief and Dee Jay take over his roles in the Shadaloo hierarchy; Zangief as the simple-minded brutish member and Dee Jay as the Token Minority who is Only in It for the Money.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), the traditional Shredder roles are split between Oroku Saki/The Shredder, and his pupil, Eric Sacks. Sacks leads the Foot Clan openly and is the mastermind of the plans, while Saki largely functions as a bruiser who keeps threats like the Turtles at bay. This is largely due to the fact that the film originally intended Eric Sacks to actually be The Shredder, with reshoots and edits used to insert Saki back into the story after the backlash the film received over making the Shredder into a white guy.
  • In The Thief of Bagdad (1924), the main character is a street thief who falls in love with the princess and tries to win her over while disguised as "Prince Ahmed". In The Thief of Bagdad (1940), he gets split into two characters: Ahmad, the sultan of Bagdad who falls in love with the princess of Basra, and Abu, a young streetwise thief.
  • This is basically the reason why Soundwave wasn't in Transformers (2007). His role was originally going to be tracking down the Witwicky glasses through the use of deployers like Frenzy and Ravage. But there came a moment when he would change his alt-mode from a helicopter to a Humvee, as per Transformers tradition of Size Shifting. When Michael Bay came on board, he made a verdict of no size changing for the robots, insisting they fit inside their vehicles. So to fit the story together they had to split up the role among different characters, with the reduced screentime they chose to leave him out rather than do it sub-par. The helicopter Blackout was the closest approximation (with extreme loyalty to Megatron and a dislike of Starscream) and the cop car Barricade filling part of his role.

  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Rogue is a composite character of Rogue and Kitty Pryde. However, Kitty herself also appears, making her an example of this trope. Movie Rogue also takes influence from Jubilee having the teen angst and role as Wolverine’s Morality Pet from the comics, though again much like Kitty, Jubilee herself appears albeit much later on.
    • Moira MacTaggert was changed to an American CIA agent in her late twenties/early thirties during the Cuban Missile Crisis in X-Men: First Class, so Olivia Williams' Scottish doctor in X-Men: The Last Stand (who is in her late thirties in 2006) becomes a separate person in the movie-verse who happens to share the same name.
    • Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class is a grown woman, despite the film being set decades before a much younger girl with a different background, but similar powers (minus telepathy) appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. She was only called "Emma" in the credits, but one of the DVD featurettes confirms that she is indeed Emma Frost.
    • The Wolverine: Silver Samurai is split into two separate characters. Harada (Samurai's civilian ID in the comics) is depicted as a ninja and Mariko's former lover, while the ACTUAL Silver Samurai is Mariko's grandfather, Ichirō, who uses a silver suit of samurai-themed Powered Armor. Also, Ichirō takes his son Shingen's role as the main antagonist from the orignal story, even though Shingen still appears in a supporting role.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: In the comics, Magda was the mother of both Nina (the Adaptation Name Change for Anya) and Quicksilver, but in the movie-verse, Magda and Ms. Maximoff are two distinct characters; the former is Erik Lehnsherr's wife, and the latter is a woman he once had a fling with in the mid-1950s. Nina and Peter Maximoff are therefore half-siblings.
    • Logan:
      • Dr. Sarah Kinney was Adapted Out of the film, but three characters share parts her personality and actions in the comics. Zander Rice has her brilliant geneticist mind and made Laura, while Gabriella has her compassion and freed Laura. Finally, Logan is the one who is killed in the climax attempting to free her from her pursuers, with whom she spends a heartbreaking final moment, and whose death most profoundly affects her. Four if you want to count the unnamed, unseen woman who birthed Laura.
      • One of the film's influences is Old Man Logan, but Wolverine's role as the unknowing killer of the X-Men is taken by Professor Xavier.

  • Transformers: The Covenant of Primus, set in the Transformers Aligned Universe, takes a page from IDW Publishing's Transformers comics and has Galvatron as a separate entity from Megatron.
  • The Discworld novel Maskerade which pastiches The Phantom of the Opera has two Opera Ghosts, carefully splitting the "dashing romantic" elements of the Phantom from the "psychotic murderer" elements.
  • Cacus is a fire-breathing giant from Greek mythology, which the author of The Divine Comedy seems to have found just too ludicrous. To provide a more sensible character, Cacus is here a damned centaur who doesn't breathe fire, because the little dragon who sits on his shoulder takes the role of fire-breather for him.
  • The Golden Key, or the Adventures of Buratino, a retelling of The Adventures of Pinocchio, has two characters in place of Geppetto: Giuseppe the woodcarver who discovers the strangely-acting wood log, and Carlo the barrel organ player who actually makes the puppet out of it.
  • The Doctor Who Expanded Universe New Series Adventures novel The Resurrection Casket is Treasure Island Recycled IN SPACE!. There's a character called Jimm, who has all the characteristics of Jim Hawkins, but most of the key plot points go to Rose Tyler.
  • In the Robin Hood ballads, the character Much the Miller's Son is occasionally called Midge instead. In The Gallows in the Greenwood, they become two separate characters: Much, one of the more important outlaws, and his younger brother Midge who turns out to be a girl wearing men's clothing for safety and convenience; the outlaws all know, but the POV character who meets her takes a while to catch on.
  • In The History of Middle-earth, this process is apparent in the development of what became The Silmarillion.
    • In the Lost Tales Finrod Felagund and his nasty, treacherous cousin Celegorm were originally the same elf. He'd sworn an oath to seize the Silmaril jewels from anyone who found them, by any means necessary, then swore an oath to aid the family of Barahir in anything they wanted, then met Beren who wanted help getting a Silmaril for King Thingol. The conflict of interest was so bad it split him apart into two characters!
    • Finrod was also the father of Galadriel and her brothers; this is why, at the beginning of Fellowship Of The Ring, Gildor refers to himself as part of the "house of Finrod," and this name is used in the appendices as well. Later on, Tolkien merged Finrod with his son Inglor, and renamed the father of the house to Finarfin.
    • Finwë Nolemë, the original king of the Noldoli (Noldor), was Turgon's father but not Fëanor's, and led the Noldoli at the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. When Tolkien merged Finwë Nolemë with Fëanor's father Bruithwir who died in Valinor, he then split the Composite Character into Finwë, his son Fingolfin, and his grandson Fingon — hence why their names are so similar.
    • In The Lost Road Elendil has one son, Herendil. In The Lord of the Rings Herendil has been split into two sons, Isildur and Anárion; Herendil resembles Isildur more, with a fiery and somewhat rebellious spirit and a fascination with Sur (Sauron).
  • Les Misérables has Reformed Criminal Jean Valjean who is on the run from his past, being chased by the original Inspector Javert, a police officer born in jail by a gypsy mother and a convicted criminal father who nevertheless rose to the rank of Inspector and him being a insanely Lawful Neutral By-the-Book Cop. Both of these characters are based on Eugine Francois Vidocq, an 18th-century French businessman running from his criminal past, only for him to eventually reach an arrangement with the authorities that allowed him to use his experience as a criminal to catch other criminals, becoming a law enforcer that served as the acknowledged inspiration of Edgar Allan Poe's Detective C. Auguste Dupin.
  • In The Mists of Avalon, "the Merlin" is a title, and we see two over the course of the story.
    • The Lady Of The Lake is also a title. Furthermore, there are different characters named Vivian, Niniane and Nimue, which are just variants of the same character's name in Arthurian Legend.
  • Oscar Wilde said about The Picture of Dorian Gray that the artist, Basil is who he actually is; Lord Henry is who the world sees him as; and Dorian is who he would like to be. So, it is this effect via Author Avatar.
  • Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner, being an adaptation/alternate continuity of Digital Devil Saga, plays a fair bit with the characters.
    • Lupa from Digital Devil Saga is broken down to three characters. First is the in-book Lupa, who has a similar personality to the game one, as well as appearance and powers, but a completely different background. Second is Canis Volk, who takes game Lupa's position as the leader of the Wolves tribe. And third is Gregory Woyzeck; in the games "Greg" was Lupa's past life incarnation, but in the books Gregory is still alive and they are separate people. The book actually Lampshades this trope as Cielo remarks that Gregory reminds him of Lupa.
    • The Angel in the book shares all physical characteristics with the game version, but has none of the Kick the Dog moments (those instead go to Madam Cuvier or Shin Minase), and a different backstory (no previous acquaintance - much less romantic relationship - with Gale).
  • In a supplemental book to the Rev. W. Awdry's The Railway Series, Henry the green engine is implied to be two separate engines before and after his crash and subsequent rebuild at Crewe, owing to technical discrepancies over the feasability of this rebuild.
  • Reign of the Seven Spellblades draws heavy inspiration from the Harry Potter franchise but puts its own twists on it, in particular breaking up the traits of that series' Power Trio among its six main characters, the Sword Roses.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Sun Jian has two wives, the older Lady Wu (mother of Sun Ce, Sun Quan, and several other children) and her fictional younger sister who is nicknamed as "Wu Guotai" (mother of Sun Lang and Princess Sun a.k.a. Sun Shangxiang). Historically, Lady Wu has no sister and Sun Shangxiang is Lady Wu's biological daughter while Sun Lang's mother's identity is unknown.
  • Scavenge the Stars: This work is a retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo, but the role of the Count, Edmond Dantes, is split. The role of abused prisoner who takes on the identity of a new rich count (countess here) for revenge against those who've wronged her goes to main character Amaya Chandra. However, the ruthless but affable chessmaster who is prepared to destroy even the families of his aggressors goes to Amaya's father and mentor, Boon. In fact, it's Boon who sets up Amaya to take the Countess identity.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire is part high-fantasy and part Historical Fiction by other means. George R. R. Martin modelled Westeros and the main cast on the Wars of the Roses and The Hundred Years War, and generally works by taking certain traits, events, characters from history and then divide and multiply it several times.
    • The most interesting case is that of Richard of Gloucester, King Richard III. At least four characters — Ned Stark, Stannis Baratheon, Tyrion Lannister and Theon Greyjoy have aspects dealing with his life and legend. Ned Stark shares Gloucester's popularity in Northern England. Stannis has his No Social Skills among the English nobility, stemming from his rigid sense of duty and justice, as well as his gifts as a military commander. Tyrion Lannister is essentially a tribute to the rhetorical splendor of Shakespeare's Richard III, complete with disability and Deadpan Snarker Angst, he's eventually framed for the death of his nephew (like some historians believe of Richard himself) and becomes so notorious that a play is made of his life in Braavos which does for him what Shakespeare did for his counterpart. Theon Greyjoy's reputation as the killer of the young Stark Princes directly echoes the "Princes of the Tower" legend, with Theon subsequently tortured into becoming a disabled freak with a limp called, "Reek"note 
    • Likewise, King Edward IV of the House of York is bifurcated into King Robert Baratheon (a former womanizing warrior grown fat and lazy in age) and King Robb Stark (for his unpopular marriage that alienates a key supporter). Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick is converted into Tywin Lannister (who also has bits of King Edward Longshanks and King Philip le Bel) and Walder Frey. While Henry Tudor (who landed in England under the Welsh Dragon) could be Aegon VI or Daenerys Targaryen (who also has aspects of Tudor's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth).
  • In-Universe example in Warbreaker: Vasher is revealed to be Kalad the Usurper, the tyrant acredited with starting the now infamous Manywar, as well as Peacegiver the Blessed, the legendary figure who is said to have ended it with diplomacy. According to Vasher, people couldn't understand why he'd had a Heel Realization, and worked to end the war he'd started, so history just assumed he was two different people, and he never bothered setting the historical records straight. For added bonus, he's also one of the Five Scholars, who discovered the methods of making Lifeless that allowed the war to begin in the first place.
  • J.F. Sebastian from Blade Runner was named John R. Isidore in the original Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? novel. In the Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human Tie-In Novel, Sebastian survives his death in the movie and John Isidore shows up as a separate character.

    Myths & Religion 
  • This often happens in mythology, where there might be many different versions of and names for the same character depending on the version you are hearing. In the Finnish national epic Kalevala, based on a large number of collected legends and songs, the author Elias Lönnroth chose to make the villain Louhi into a distinct person from the character Loviatar, while old folk poems often used their names interchangeably.
  • It tended to happen when the pre-writing religions and mythologies in a region started to drift apart and the characters became quite different. For example, the Greek Ares and Roman Mars were seen as versions of each other even when both faiths were still active, but in the actual myths they have completely different personalities.
  • Scholars of mythology often come up with plausible theories that deities were split up into different ones over time. For instance, the Earth-goddesses Rhea (mother of Zeus and his siblings) and Demeter (one of Zeus' sisters) are often seen as offshoots of Gaia (Zeus' and Demeter's grandmother, according to Hesiod), and Eleithyia (one of Zeus' and Hera's four daughters) is often interpreted as a personification of one of Hera's functions, being the protector of childbirth.
  • Classical Mythology:
    • Aphrodite has two different origins—Homer says that she's the daughter of Zeus and Dione, while Hesiod has the more famous "Uranus' testicles fall in the sea" story. These sources were about equally old and esteemed. Meanwhile, over time some people felt weird about how the stories about Aphrodite focused less on "love" and more on just sex. This resulted in Plato claiming that they are actually two Aphrodites—Aphrodite Urania ("the Heavenly"), child of Uranus and representative of divine, spiritual love, and Aphrodite Pandemos ("of the people"), who shows up in myths getting people to boink.
    • Speaking of Aphrodite, her fellow Love God Eros (better known in the modern day as Cupid) has two different origins as well—older sources say that he's a Protogenos, one of the most ancient of the Gods and created by Khaos alongside Gaia and Tartarus. Later sources cited him as the son of Aphrodite, often born alongside her due to her being Born as an Adult. Sources that came even later split the Eroses into two. Eros the Protogenos was seen as an older God who represented procreation rather than love while the younger Eros was seen as a new God who represented love and was given the older Eros' name.
    • Cicero claims that one story about Heracles, where he and Apollo fought about a sacred tripod, was actually done by a different Heracles who was also a son of Jupiter/Zeus (but with a woman named Lysithoe, not Alcmene).
    • King Minos, the king who sacrificed Athenian youth to the Minotaur, is often split into two different characters due to a mix of timeline issues (namely the problem of one "King Minos" apparently ruling Crete for multiple generations) and character inconsistencies (being depicted as a tyrannical Jerkass but ultimately becoming an esteemed judge in the Underworld). The first King Minos is portrayed as The Good King and the brother of fellow Underworld judge Rhadamanthys, while the second is portrayed as his grandson and The Caligula who sacrificed people to the Minotaur.
    • Lycian King Sarpedon is introduced in the Iliad as the son of Zeus and Laodamia. Later and more popular traditions make him the son of Zeus and Europa as well as the brother of Minos and Rhadamanthys. He was so great that Zeus allowed him to live for three generations which explains his presence during the Trojan war. However according to later accounts, the Sarpedon who fought in Troy was the grandson of Minos' brother.
    • What fragments of the early Mycenaean era versions of the myths, at one point Poseidon had elements of both Zeus and Hades. At some point the latter two split off into separate gods. Hades also taking on elements of Persephone, who became his wife after he emerged as a separate character.
  • Norse Mythology:
    • Frigga/Freya, Njord and Frey. The fact that Odin seems to have mutual relationships with both Frigga and Freya (married to one of them and sharing the Einherjar with the other), as well as obvious etymological similarities, lead to some speculations on this possibility — that Freya and Frigga were the same mother goddess, split into two entities. As for Njord, it is speculated that he was the mother goddess Nerthus, in time split into a celestial couple: Frey and Freya (literally "master and mistress").
    • Odin and Loki may also have been the same trickster god.
    • This can even be applied to whole races. Many scholars think that dwarves and dark elves were originally the same, which is further confused by sources splitting the dark elves up into "black elves," "dusky elves," etc. Likewise, some suspect that alfar (elves) were originally just another name for the Vanir, since elves were often mentioned alongside the Aesir and they're ruled by Frey.
  • Mesopotamian Mythology: The goddess of love and war, Inanna, has this both ways. Inanna's Descent to the Netherworld revolves around the rivalry between her and her sister, Ereshkigal, the ruler of the underworld. However, there are so many parallels between their stories that scholars have long speculated that they were a single goddess split in two — that is, there was originally just one Sumerian goddess that presided over love, war, and the underworld. Later on, when the Ancient Greeks came into contact with the Mesopotamians, aspects of Inanna would further be split again and given to two separate goddesses: Aphrodite (love, sex, fertility) and Athena (war, justice, political power).
  • Arthurian Legend: For an object example, this explains the Excalibur in the Stone issue. Over time, two legends about King Arthur's sword developed: one version said that he pulled it from a stone, while another claimed that he got it from the The Lady Of The Lake. In Le Morte D Arthur, Malory decided to include both legends, claiming that he pulled an unnamed sword from the stone and then got Excalibur from the Lady. Modern retellings will sometimes call the Sword in the Stone "Caliburn," which is the same name as "Excalibur," but in Latin instead of French.
    • The Lady Of The Lake wound up having enough contradictory characterizations that Malory included two: an unnamed one who gave Excalibur to Arthur and was killed by Sir Balin, and then Nimue, described as "the chief lady of the lake." The idea of the Lady being some sort of legacy title is fairly common in modern depictions; often the first is named Vivien and the latter Nimue, which, as with Caliburn/Excalibur, are variants of the same name.
    • Morgan(a)/Morgause and Gareth/Gaheris are both pairs of siblings whose names are similar enough that many scholars believe that they started as one character.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Not a "character" but an entire promotion had this done to it in the 1990s through 2010s, when the NWA was running a revival of Championship Wrestling from Florida and WWE was running a revival of Florida Championship Wrestling, which were really two different but interchangeable names for the same company.note  Both relied on footage and wrestlers from that company, just to make it more obvious.

    Stand up Comedy 
  • The prototype of the Jeff Dunham character "Achmed the Dead Terrorist" was a dead Osama bin Laden. Later, when Achmed appeared on Spark of Insanity, he was rewritten into a former minion of Osama instead of Osama himself.

  • From the video production of Cats; on stage, the character of Gus is usually depicted as a young cat but becomes an older cat for his big number. This number usually segues into another number with the younger version, "Growltiger's Last Stand". The older version was played by Sir John Mills, who was far too old, and blind, to do the required singing and dancing. So, they split both versions into two characters, with the younger Gus now named Asparagus.
  • Jean Racine's Iphigenie pulls a twist on Iphigenia's sacrifice. In Greek Mythology, Iphigenia is usually King Agamemnon and Clytemnestra's daughter but in some accounts, she's Helen's Child by Rape after her abduction by Theseus. In the play, Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon, eventually consents to her sacrifice only to be revealed that her romantic rival Eriphile is the lost long daughter of Theseus and Helen and the one the gods had required to be sacrificed.

    Theme Parks 
  • The character of Lil' Boo from Halloween Horror Nights is an interesting case of this. The pumpkin was carved as set dressing for 2017's Trick 'r Treat scare zone. The prop was reused a few times before going viral in 2021, after which it became a massive fan-favourite design with plenty of demand for merchandise. The original sculptor of the pumpkin is a freelance illustrator going by Emory Arts, who after seeing the popularity of the design wanted to use it for their own creative projects, and so a deal was quickly worked out where both Universal and Emory could get exclusive creative and merchandising rights for their own versions of the characters. This has given fans two versions of the character with subtle design differences and name spellings: Universal's Lil' Boo and Emory's Li'l Boo.

  • In Shortpacked!, Ultra Car was originally an Automated Automobile, but later became a Robot Girl. In Dumbing of Age, Ultra-Car (car form) is a comic book character and there's also Carla, an ordinary human who looks like SP!UC's humanoid chassis, has some aspects of her personality, and is a fan of the UC cartoon. (Carla's unseen parents, tech billionaires who created an app called Zoomer, are likewise based on aspects of Ultra-Car's "parents", Joe and Rachel Rosenthal, that don't apply to the Dumbiverse Joe and Rachel.)
  • Arthur, King of Time and Space:
    • While the strip mostly uses the same characters in every arc, the baseline and space arcs have different Maimed Kings. The baseline has Le Morte D Arthur's King Pellam, father of Pelles and Pellinore, and the space arc has King Amfortas from Eschenbach's earlier Parzival, who is not related to the Pellinores at all and, in AKOTAS, is a computer.
    • To an extent, the space arc characters are based on the crew of Star Trek: The Original Series, with Arthur as Kirk, Lancelot as Spock and Guenevere as a Gender Flipped McCoy. But a The Hero of Three Faces strip revealed that a space arc riff on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan would have seen the death of Merlin — who in the Star Trek analogy is generally a permanent Doctor Who crossover — in Spock's role, with Nimue as McCoy. (The other difference is that the death would have been permanent, because AKOTAS had already done a looser riff on Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, with the resurrected character being Guenevere).
  • Dan Shive of El Goonish Shive has said that the original version of Grace was a very different character with a much snarkier attitude, who was eventually written out in favor of the current Grace (then known as "Shade Tail" and eventually given the same name). The old Grace returned in a fashion, however, with many of her personality traits instead applying to pre-Character Development Susan. Oddly enough, the original version of Shade Tail was blonde, while Susan is a natural blonde who dyes her hair.
  • Learning with Manga! FGO splits the difference on protagonist duties by having Gudako get the plot importance, while Olga Marie and Mash go through the actual plots (off-panel) because Gudako's too lazy to do it herself.

    Web Original 
  • Hamster's Paradise: The baywulves from the original sketches were split into two species, the northhounds and the southhounds, with the group as a whole being referred to as the calliducyons. The baywulf name is still in use as a subspecies of the southhounds.

    Web Video 
  • Happy Tree Friends's pilot features a blue dinosaur that snaps and bludgeons other animals to death with a banjo. This initial dinosaur was split into two characters for the series proper: Lumpy the Lethal Klutz moose, and Flippy, a bear with a Hair-Trigger Temper.
  • James Rolfe originally featured The Angry Video Game Nerd in the "You Know What's Bullshit?!?" videos, in images likely drawn by Mike Matai. Later coming up with the Bullshit Man persona, a man with literal bull shit for a face. Who, in turn, made a cameo on an episode of AVGN as a separate character.
  • Real-Time Fandubs did a dub of Shadow the Hedgehog wherein the cast divided Black Doom and Devil Doom from being the same character (the latter is his final form) to two separate characters: The Devil (from the Bible) and his "hyper-intelligent-verbose dog" respectively. This also has the unintended effect of changing canon as Black Doom is killed by Shadow in the original, but The Devil is just emotionally distraught over Shadow killing his giant murder-dog and retreats to Hell physically unharmed.

    Western Animation 
  • Around the World with Willy Fog: Rigodon and Tico (a cat and a hamster replacing Passepartout from the novel), and Dix and Bully (two dogs replacing Fix from the novel). Both pairs rarely split.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In-universe example in the episode where the Gaang sees a play detailing their adventures. In one scene, a mysterious masked warrior named the Blue Spirit rescues Aang from Prince Zuko which is weird because in reality the Blue Spirit was actually Zuko in disguise. It's likely that the writer of the play didn't know that.
    • Played for Laughs in the non-canon, chibi short "School Time Shipping", where all the boys (except obviously Sokka) want to go out with Katara; she ultimately winds up with the Blue Spirit, despite the fact that the Blue Spirit's secret identity is one of the romantic losers.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes:
  • Ethan Bennett is given Basil Karlo's role as the original Clayface in The Batman. Season Four shows that Karlo does indeed exist and he steals a sample of Ethan's tissue to become Clayface himself.
  • Bibleman: Luxor Spawndroth and some of his identities from the old live episodes appear as different characters, which just messes up the Continuity Nod attempts with the original series.
  • Big Hero 6: The Series: Wasabi in the Big Hero 6 comics is a chef who is also a samurai whose blades look like sushi knives. The movie-and-cartoon version of Wasabi is a college student specializing in applied physics, and fights using huge energy blades that are much bigger than a sushi knife. However, Momokaze, a villain, happens to be a chef and and master swordswoman who fights with sushi knives made out of graphene. Not only that, but she has a blue color scheme like Comic!Wasabi, whereas Animated!Wasabi has a green color scheme.
  • An in-universe example ended up being a major plot twist in The Boondocks episode "The Story of Catcher Freeman". Both Granddad and Ruckus tell wildly different, questionably accurate versions of the same story of a slave revolt involving Catcher Freeman/Catch-a-Freeman, a female slave named Thelma, a slave master named Master Colonel, and a cowardly house slave named Tobias. After a few minutes on the internet, Huey finds Tobias and Catcher were actually the same person: a cowardly house slave who joined the revolt after he killed his master accidentally.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • Summer Gleeson and Veronica Vreeland of Batman: The Animated Series were made as two separate halves of Vicki Vale, with Summer filling the role of the news reporter and Veronica being the rich socialite.
    • Aquaman's role as a founding member of the Justice League was given to Hawkgirl. Hawkgirl's arc in the first two seasons also incorporated elements of the story Justice League of America: Tower of Babel, namely Batman's role as the "traitor" who went behind the others' back to devise ways to take their teammates out and whose plans wound up in enemy hands.
    • Hal Jordan is confirmed to exist in the DCAU, but his appearances were limited to an allusion in Superman: The Animated Series and cameos in an episode of Unlimited and the Justice League vs. The Fatal Five film. As such, his origin story was given to Kyle Rayner, while his roles as the Green Lantern who helped found the Justice League and (thanks to Static Shock) the GL responsible for getting Sinestro booted out of the GLC were given to John Stewart.
    • The DCAU version of the Rudy Jones Parasite died in the penultimate episode of JLU. However, "Epilogue" sees a version of the Parasite that resembles how Ed McGuinness drew Jonesnote  appears in the era of Batman Beyond and the late Dwayne McDuffie confirmed this was a separate person from Jones.
    • For the sake of Adaptational Modesty, Tim Drake's classic Robin costume was given to Dick Grayson's time as Robin with Tim getting a modified red and black suit when he debuts.
  • In Dragons: Riders of Berk, the book's main villain influences two characters. The first is the similarly named Alvin the Treacherous who rules over the Outcast Tribe. The second is Viggo Grimborn who has a similar physical description and personality.
  • In DuckTales (1987), Donald Duck was Demoted to Extra. The reasons were both executive and creative. Everyone felt that Donald was too iconic and he would overshadow the (at the time) relatively underexposed Uncle Scrooge. Nevertheless, aspects of his traditional role in the Comics were distributed to other characters, who eventually evolved aspects of their own personality:
    • Launchpad McQuack ends up being The Ditz and Butt-Monkey accompanying Scrooge and the nephews on the adventures, sometimes complicating their adventures by being incompetent, impulsive and short-sighted.
    • Fenton Crackshell is more or less just like Donald. Poor white-collar scrapper, a suitor to Gandra Dee (a Daisy Expy), butting heads with Scrooge while also being irreplaceable to him, and finally a civilian alter-ego to the Superhero Gizmoduck (much like Donald and Paperinik).
    • The Spin-Off series has Darkwing Duck whose civilian alter-ego Drake Mallard is caretaker to a highly active and energetic young charge like Donald. Darkwing Duck also has Donald's distinct hot-head Small Name, Big Ego personality from the comics and likewise resembles Paperinik.
      • DuckTales (2017) also does this with DW himself. The actor who portrayed him in the Show Within a Show turns out to be very egotistical (which was Drake's big flaw), enough to turn him into Negaduck. Jim Starling's replacement for the potential rebooted movie retains his noble qualities, being modest and never giving up on protecting others. No wonder this universe's Drake Mallard ends up deciding to join the hero business for real.
    • Donald does appear in these episodes but as a minor supporting character but never in a big role and he didn't have much of his original personality and characteristics. The Donald of the classic cartoons and the Carl Barks comics had an occasionally belligerent and backbiting relationships with his nephews and was famously cantankerous. The Donald of the original DuckTales cartoons is mild, beloved by his nephews and very kind and affable.
  • In the original comic and video-game versions of Earthworm Jim, Professor Monkey-For-A-Head was an Evilutionary Biologist focused Mad Scientist and Bob the Killer Goldfish was a more generic would-be tyrant. In the cartoon version, the Professor loses his evilutionary schtick and is a generic Mad Scientist, whilst Bob gains a fairly heavy Hollywood Evolution motif (despite, ironically, talking like a bombastic fundamentalist Dixie preacher).
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2021) takes a few character traits from the originals in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) and shuffles them around, creating new characters or Composite Characters.
    • In 1983, Duncan is the Man-At-Arms of Eternos, the adoptive father of Teela, and a Team Dad for her, Adam, Cringer and Orko. Due to an Age Lift making the 2021 Duncan the same age as Adam and Teela, much of his character was shifted around. His Team Dad role went to Cringer, his position as Man-At-Arms went to his Evil Mentor Kronis before he took the name when he got the Power of Grayskull, and Man-E-Faces became Teela's Parental Substitute.
    • 1983 Cringer was a Cowardly Lion when not transformed into Battle Cat. In 2021, Cringer is Older and Wiser compared to his original self, his cowardice now given to his nephew Kitty.
  • In the book Ivanhoe, the Black Knight was the disguise of King Richard I. In Ivanhoe: The King's Knight, it is the disguise of Brian de Bois-Guilbert and later Prince John.
  • Looney Tunes: Elmer Fudd himself is one of those from Porky Pig's role and appearance from the cartoon "Porky's Hare Hunt". The debut of Happy Rabbit, who evolved into Bugs Bunny.
  • My Knight and Me: The knight from the original 850 Meters short is divided in two characters in this series. Henri of Orange got the looks and the mandolin while Wilfried of White got the glory hound tendencies.
  • In the original Muppet Babies, Gonzo's girlfriend Camilla the chicken was portrayed as a small inanimate stuffed chick for Baby Gonzo. In the CGI reboot, Camilla is now a live chicken, and a potato named Potato essentially serves the same role as her stuffed counterpart.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: G3's Rainbow Dash was split between G4's version of Rainbow Dash who has her name and look and Rarity who has her fashion-conscious personality and accent (albeit an Atlantic accent instead of a wholly British Accent). The three are the trope image. This example however was mostly coincidental as both Rarity and Rainbow Dash started out as Sparkler and Firefly from G1 before having their colours and names changed due to copyright issues.
    • The personality angle is actually a little more complicated than that. See, the G3 Rainbow Dash was presented as, variously, "Oneesama with an eye for fashion who is womanly but still knows how to have fun", "A bubblier, more immature fashionista who loves to dress up", and, in the toys & comics, a Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak. G4 Rainbow Dash is a straight-up tomboy, whilst Rarity is also a Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak.
  • The Prince and the Pauper starring Mickey Mouse gives both Mickey's both personalities associated with the character. Pauper Mickey is the cheerful Nice Guy that Mickey is known as today, while the Prince is more like the mischievous and adventurous hero that he was known as in his earlier years.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The episode "Das Bus" parodies Lord of the Flies, and Lisa and Milhouse divide Piggy's role. Lisa is the voice of reason who tries to keep everyone civilized, while Milhouse is the physically-incapable Load and Scapegoat whose glasses are used to start a fire.
    • Krusty the Klown was originally planned to be Homer's alter ego (hence the similar appearance), however this idea was scrapped as they thought it was too complicated.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: In The Golden Age of Comic Books, the superhero Black Marvel was secretly a wealthy socialite named Daniel Lyons. In the show, Black Marvel was actually Omar Mosely, Lyons' black chauffeur. Due to the racial attitudes of the 1940s, Daniel agreed to act as a decoy for Omar to prevent anyone from knowing the real Black Marvel was African American.
  • The Star Fairies TV special has Sparkle wish for her new helper to have "a touch of spice, a whisper of joy, the beauty of night, lots of true love, and a pinch of jazz." Instead of one fairy meeting five requirements, she gets five fairies that meet a single requirement.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) Shredder a.k.a. Oruku Saki is revealed to be an utrom, making him a Composite Character of Shredder and Kraang. Then it's revealed that the utrom only appropriated the persona of Shredder. The original Shredder was a demonic entity that terrorized Japan centuries earlier. Then it's revealed that Shredder and Oruku Saki, started as two separate beings, the Shredder was a demon and Oruku Saki was an ambitious Badass Normal who merged with the demon after making a Deal with the Devil.
  • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Foot Recruit takes her Dark Action Girl traits and her willingness to both help out and screw over the Turtles from Karai, and her use of sports equipment and given name from Casey Jones. The thing is, both Karai and Casey are established to exist, albeit in vastly different roles and time periods.
  • ThunderCats Roar: In the original series, the Nether-Witch was one of Mumm-Ra's many disguises he takes via shape-shifting. Here, she shows up as her own character.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures has a Cast of Expies, but Bugs Bunny gets two successors: Buster Bunny and Babs Bunnynote . Babs has more of his "wacky" traits, such as the ability to impersonate others, while Buster inherits the suave personality of a Straight Man/Deadpan Snarker. Since the original Bugs was a Wholesome Crossdresser, it made a lot of sense to divide him into a male and female character For the record... .
  • Transformers:
    • In Transformers: Animated, we're not quite sure what happened with Skywarp and Cyclonus. In Transformers: Generation 1, Cyclonus may or may not be an upgraded Skywarp (blame error-prone animation for a confusing Transformation Sequence when multiple characters are upgraded at once.) The Animated version, however? Skywarp is one of several clones of Starscream, each with one trait of the original taken Up to Eleven. Skywarp represents his cowardice. As for Cyclonus, he's a brief (but cool) cameo, but All There in the Manual tells us that his "internal chronometer" is way off, he is seeking someone named Galvatron (that's Megatron's upgraded form in G1 and several other series), and he has some circuitry in common with Starscream, particularly his (now disabled) self-preservation instinct. This hints without saying that Cyclonus is from the future and used to be Skywarp.
    • In the G1, Transformers Galvatron is best remembered as being super Ax-Crazy. In Transformers: Armada, when Megatron became Galvatron he retains much of his sanity, but his ax craziness handed over to Cyclonus who was already like that in his first appearance. Which is ironic since in G1 he was the sanest of the Decepticons.
    • In addition to changing the events of happening on present-day Earth to a time-travel adventure that took place in its past, Beast Wars did this to Optimus Primal and Beast-era Megatron by making them legacy characters to their Generation 1 namesakes, as the toyline originally had them as not legacy characters, but as the G1 characters themselves with new forms.
    • Transformers: Rescue Bots split the original toyline and its storybooks' incarnation of Cody Burns into two characters for the animated series, with Cody made a child and the youngest of the Burns family and his original counterpart's concept as a young adult firefighter being recycled into his older brother Kade (who was created for the animated series alongside Cody's other older siblings Dani and Graham, though all three of them would get their own figurines when the toyline was retooled to be more consistent with the cartoon).
  • Ultimate Spider-Man:
    • In the comics and most media, Peter Parker became the Black Suit Spider-Man. In the show the role of Black Suit Spider-Man is given to Harry Osborn. Likewise, his desire of wanting to work for the Daily Bugle was taken by Mary Jane Watson.
    • Peter Parker briefly uses the Iron Spider identity before ditching the armor and returning to the classic Spider-Man ID. The Iron Spider armor and name end up in the hands of Amadeus Cho in Season 3.
    • While a Composite Character of Ben Reilly and Kaine, the Scarlet Spider is only this universe's version of Ben, as despite his personality and costume being based on Kaine post-Heel–Face Turn, he himself isn't this universe's Kaine, who's a separate clone.
  • Wacky Races (2017) puts forth that the Dick Dastardly of this show is the son of the Dastardly from the 1968 show and the grandson of the one from Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines.
  • In Wild C.A.T.s (WildStorm), Voodoo was introduced as the newly recruited rookie of the team; in Wild C.A.T.s (1994) that role is given to Warblade, with Voodoo already a member of the team before the start of the series.
  • X-Men: The Animated Series:
    • In the comics, the Reavers were composed of several of the Hellfire Club guards Wolverine mutilated in The Dark Phoenix Saga. While their debut in the cartoon does help set-up the show's version of the arc, it's well before the actual Dark Phoenix arc and hence before the Inner Circle (as the Hellfire Club was called on the show) make their debut, meaning that they aren't the guards Wolverine fought in this version.
    • Minor one, but in the show's adaptation of Days of Future Past, the appearance Mystique assumed to lure Senator Kelly into her trap was taken from an aide that she had Bound and Gagged. Mystique employed that exact same disguise in the original comic, but there it was a unique identity she'd created from scratch (even using her real name, "Raven Darkholme") rather than an impersonation of an actual person.
  • Young Justice
    • The series splits the comic's version of Roy Harper into two characters: Roy Harper, whom we meet in the first episode, and the original Roy Harper whom the other was cloned from. The former takes the name "Red Arrow" and has a relationship and child with Cheshire, while the latter loses his arm and takes the name "Arsenal." As of Season 3, clone!Roy has changed his name to Will Harper.
    • In the original comics, a teenage Clark Kent served as the eventual inspiration for the formation of the Legion Of Superheroes centuries in the future. In the series, it's instead Clark's teenage clone, Conner, that inspired the formation of the Legion.
    • While Supergirl does eventually appear in the show as a Furie of Granny Goodness during Season 4, pretty much all her character traits (especially her trouble fitting into human society and her bright loving personality) were already given to/carried out by M'gann aka Miss Martian.
    • During Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Green Lantern Corps member Tomar-Re perished in battle, with his power ring passing to John Stewart. In the series, John has already been a Green Lantern and a member of the Justice League for years by the time Tomar-Re is killed, so the ring instead passes to the female Forager that the heroes had encountered on New Genesis.

    Multiple Media and Meta 

    Real Life 
  • In dreams, the dreamer may often see someone they know split into two people. Alternatively, they may simultaneously see the original real person along with another character who looks and behaves similarly or identically to them while still being recognized by the brain as a different person than the original.
  • This crops up often in automotive industries for various reasons, but two notable ones are significant enough to make it to this list:
    • Toyota Harrier and Lexus RX were same-model vehicles for first two generations, even when Lexus was brought into Japanese market and Toyota discontinued most of their existing equivalent models there. While the RX first branched out and received third-generation upgrade in 2008 for international markets including Japan, the Harrier branched out much later in 2013, becoming a different vehicle altogether.
    • Nissan decided to reboot the GT-R nameplate after separating it from their Skyline luxury car range, with their intention of the latter being a series of luxury sedans it was originally meant to be. Meanwhile, the GT-R has become a different beast of a performance-focused grand-tourer after being Saved from Development Hell in 2007.