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"Boxing is a lot like ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other."
Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

A Dissimile is like when you eat a banana, but instead of peeling it, you compare it to another thing that isn't entirely like it. And instead of eating it, you deconstruct the comparison. Also, it doesn't necessarily have to be a banana, or any other kind of fruit, or even anything edible. Actually, it is nothing like eating a banana. Forget the banana.

Let's try again. A Dissimile is when you attempt to make a comparison between two things that can't be usefully compared, realize your problem, and then throw more words at the argument in an attempt to salvage it. This just undermines your comparison even further, to the amusement of anyone listening.

This can take several different forms:

  • "This is just like X, only without (element{s} crucial to X, sometimes a Long List)."
    • Variation: may include at least one dissimilar addition alongside the subtractions (see Jack Handey quote above) or consist entirely of them.
    • Optional postscript: "Come to think of it, it's not like X at all."
    • Or, sometimes, the opposite: "But other than that it's just like X!"
  • "This is just like X! And by 'X', I mean, 'A'."
    • Occasionally followed up by "And by 'A' I mean 'B'." ...and so on.
    • May involve parallel replacements, as in "This is just like W X, and by 'W', I mean, 'A', and by 'X', I mean 'B'."
  • "You know what X is like? That's exactly what this isn't like."
    • Alternatively, "This is just like X, except not," or, "This is just like X, only different."
  • Inverted Trope: "Besides, Y is nothing like X", where X and Y are pretty much exactly the same.

Often used as a comedy trope, but it has been known to show up in dramatic situations as well. Usually, characters will use dissimiles to make themselves look like a smartass, or because they derive amusement from raising someone else's hopes and then quickly dashing them. It may also show up as part of a pattern of Buffy Speak.

Compare The Other Wiki's article on this. Except it's not always played for laughs. And the person doesn't have to realize they've made a Dissimile. But aside from that, exactly like The Other Wiki's article.

On the other hand, a Dissimile often has a lot of overlap with Metaphorgotten. Also compare with Analogy Backfire and Lies to Children. See also Talks Like a Simile and I Would Say If I Could Say.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Bount arc dub from Bleach, Rukia is offered a pudding-filled rice ball, and later says, "It's kinda like a cream-filled donut, only it's not cream-filled and it's not a donut." Also counts as a Take That! to dub edits.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya once commented in a Haruhi-chan short that playing tug of war with Kyon reminded her of the times when two women who claimed to have the same baby would tug on the child as a test. However, while the "winner" of that game would have to let go of the baby, instead of pulling it as hard as she can, Haruhi intended to win by holding onto Kyon. Kyon then commented that the difference Haruhi pointed out renders her speech pointless.
  • Used once in Negima! Magister Negi Magi, when Yue gives Negi "hot cola".
    "It's like hot chocolate, but not."

    Card Games 
  • From the flavor text on the Magic: The Gathering card Tin-Street Hooligan: "Rauck-Chauv's like a holiday! Only it isn't on the calendars, and instead of dancing you knock people flat, and instead of giving gifts you break stuff."
    • "Razorfoot Griffin's" flavor text reads: "Like a meteor, it strikes from above without warning. Unlike a meteor, it then carries you off and eats you."

    Comic Books 
  • A partial example in a 1994 Batman comic book, when three punks are confronting Batman. Their leader points his gun and brags that in just a few seconds, Batman will look "like a plate of spilled Spaghetti-O's!" And then, after an awkward pause: " - without the plate!"
  • The View Askewniverse comic Chasing Dogma features Jay describing Pittsburgh thus: "Except for the hockey arena, the zillion fucking bridges, all the buildings, and a couple of rivers, this looks exactly like the tri-town, doesn't it?"
  • The French comic series Leo Loden - whose Character Title is a detective from Marseille - opens often with a visited city of France depicted as "exactly like Marseille, except..." ...many differences.
  • Nextwave is like Shakespeare but with lots more punchin'. It's like Goethe but with lots more crushing. It's like Titanic but the boat's still floating. No it's not! The mother____ing boat is exploding!
  • In the first issue of Simpsons Comics, Burns contemplates becoming a giant and says, "I'll be like the Jolly Green Giant, only not green, and not jolly!”
  • In Tintin: Explorers on the Moon, when Captain Haddock is explained by Prof. Calculus how the Moon Rocket will turn around before landing, he ends up concluding that "It is exactly like during take off, except that it is the complete opposite".
  • Watchmen: "You know that kind of cancer you eventually get better from? That's not the type of cancer I have."

    Comic Strips 
  • In one strip of Dilbert, Dogbert describes time: "It's like a donut shot out of a cannon and spinning at the speed of light, only without the donut and the cannon."
  • During an arc in FoxTrot where Roger tries to write a spy novel, his main character is described as doing something with "the cat-like agility his name would imply, if foxes were cats"; the narrator then goes on a tangent about how said main character naturally knows the difference, given his Ph.D. in zoology (and six dozen other disciplines).
  • Garfield - "Life is like a bird bath. It's made of concrete and birds like to splash around in it. Boy, that was dumb. Life isn't anything like a bird bath. Life... is like a sock monkey..."
  • Zits:
    • Pierce says his family life "is like a symphony. But there aren't any musical instruments, and the musicians just yell at each other."
    • In another, he (white) compares his black girlfriend D'ijon's skin to brushed mahogany. "But not hard like mahogany. Like that skin that forms on caramel pudding when you leave it out for a week." She's not amused.

    Fan Works 
  • Lampshaded in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series:
    Hobbes: Calvin, let's put this into perspective. One book with about 50 pages is light. Fifteen thousand books, each with 50 pages, are impossible to pick up. It took a lot of snowflakes to build those four snowmen.
    Calvin: You're comparing my snowmen to books? You're crazy. Go get the wagon.
  • A Different Kind of Trio:
    Harry: What even is quidditch?
    Matthew: You know what football is, right? Well, it's just like that. Except there's only seven players on each team. And four balls to keep track of. You're obviously flying too, which is quite a bit different. Oh, and the goals are actually three large hoops at either end of the pitch.
  • This gem from Forbiden Fruit: The Tempation of Edward Cullen: "Jasper Cullen was tall with blond curly hair like straw only soft and nice and not dry."
  • Growing:
    • The protagonist describes her boyfriend as a "really smart, but stupid, jock".
    • In another example, Nyx tells her: "You do not know your mother because the woman whom [sic] gave birth to you is not your mother."
  • Half-Life: Full Life Consequences describes the evil Combines as "robot things that weren't robots."
  • Harry Potter and the Golden Ring:
    Barda: Who is this...Umbridge?
    Karen: A complete and total bitch. Think Talia Al Ghul without the looks, the money, the combat skills and the charisma.
  • Harry Potter and the Long Kiss Goodnight:
    Vernon, who had been changing colors, as first horror, then anger, then full-blown rage, then fear had wandered through his consciousness, suddenly found himself having a joyful cruciatus experience, which is kind of like a joyful cappuccino experience except for it being painful and not having any caffeinated goodness...well...I guess it really is nothing like it after all.
  • Is Your Great-Aunt an AI?:
    Soon, the bottle was refilled enough for Harry to risk drinking it (it felt like he had drunk liquid nitrogen, only without the vitrification and the damage to one's stomach from the liquid gas expanding and other horrid things that happened when one drank liquid nitrogen), and then he plunged through the flames.
  • In Magical Relations Harry asks Hermione about Azkaban and Quidditch.
    Hermione: Complete opposites. Azkaban is the wizard prison. The guards are really creepy, I'll show you a picture later. And Quidditch is a sport, kind of like football, only nothing like it.
  • In The Moment It Began, young Snape describes his flying ability (carried over from Deathly Hallows) as "quite like flying on a broom, only without a broom".
  • The crew of Rocketship Voyager have never seen a holodeck before; the closest thing they have being a three-dimensional theatre called an Illusionarium, so Nee'Lix tries to explain what it is.
    "It's just like your Illusionarium! Well, not like it actually... a bit more advanced. A lot more advanced. In fact, it's so advanced it's not like your Illusionarium at all. But the concept is the same."
  • Scars in the Moonlight:
    Five and a half minutes later, Kitty had decided that the Gringotts mining carts were probably very similar to roller coasters, sans the whole going upside-down part. And the part where it was probably much longer than the average roller coaster ride. And the part where they somehow controlled a system of railroad switches at speed. That last one was easily the most terrifying.
  • Shatterheart: When Syaoran looks at the mannequins in the clothing store.
    "Flowing dresses with sequined accessories hung from plastic dolls made to resemble the human figure, if that figure happened to be anorexic."
  • Summer:
    Sally: That motorbike... is practically a death trap. I know you had Arthur Weasley put in some extra features, don't think I hadn't noticed. DF stands for Dragon Fire, doesn't it?
    Sirius: It's actually Destination Finale.
    Sally: And I suppose G. O. is Game Over?
    Sirius: No, that's actually a board game, sort of like Chess but nothing like it at all.
  • Thirty Hs: "Harry slammed his book shut. It wasn't really a book, because the pages were made of lasers and the words were made of headless women making godless love to dragons made of motorcycles, but it was still reading."
  • Three Black Birds:
    Lindsey: Okay, riding a bike is pretty similar to flying, except you're not flying. Well, fine, it's not like flying in that respect. But otherwise they're totally the same! Except you have to pedal to go forward, and push the brakes to stop, and you can't do barrel rolls. And you'll fall over if you're not moving.
  • Thunderclap:
    Draco: Look. It doesn't drown you. It lets you drift. It's the most relaxing thing that I've ever heard of. Like being underwater, but you don't drown, and you're a lot warmer, and you can listen to the songs of the creatures here without fearing that anyone's going to attack you.
    Harry: So, not very much like being underwater, then.
  • From Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure: "The Mane Six – minus Twillight Sparkle who was with Doctor Whoowes and Rainbow Dash who was in a prison and Fluttershy who is useless – still fought against the guards."
  • A Voice Among the Strangers: In A Stranger Among the Voices, when Twilight looks at Jessica's x-ray, she briefly compares it to a diamond dog's before deciding it looks nothing like one.
    "On a quick glance Twilight could make out it was a skeletal structure, perhaps of a diamond dog, although the skull was lacking a muzzle and... Well, on second thought, it looked nothing like a diamond dog."
  • In Wizard's Law Harry tries to teach Fred and George to play basketball.
    George: So what's the point of this game?
    Harry: Same as Quidditch, you get the ball into the hoop. Only there's no flying, you don't have to dodge any other balls, and most of the players generally tend to be pretty tall. Like Madame Maxime-sized tall.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Cars, Mater talks about an old girlfriend called Doreen, who "looked just like a Jaguar, 'cept she was a truck." (A bit of Actor Allusion, as Larry the Cable Guy would make similar comparisons on his stand-up. See Stand-Up Comedy below.)
  • Mars Needs Moms: "Relax, it's just like a waterslide. Without the water! Or the slide."
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, General W.R. Monger tries to calm Ginormica by comparing her cell with a hotel... that she can't leave because the doors are locked. So... not a hotel then.
  • In Rugrats Go Wild! when a wave of water crashes onto the boat, Phil says "This is just like bath time..except there's no duckie, and I'm not nakie." Then an actual duck shows up and the babies proceed to "get nakie" by removing their diapers.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Deadpool (2016), Wade's explanation of his relationship with Al.
    Deadpool: Al's like the Robin to my Batman... Except she's old. And black. And blind.
  • From Down Periscope:
    Nitro: Radio's working like a Swiss ... car.
  • Elf:
    Jovie: Thanks, but I don't sing.
    Buddy: Oh, well, it's just like talking, except longer and louder, and you move your voice up and down!
    • Another example:
      Buddy: (describing the mail room at his dad's office) It's just like Santa's workshop! Except it smells like mushrooms... ...and everyone looks like they want to hurt me.
  • In Face/Off, Sean Archer while wearing Castor Troy's face is in a prison when in comes Castor Troy wearing Archer's face and suit, and he quips "It's like looking in a mirror, only... not."
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle:
    Kumar: How were Katie Holmes's tits? note 
    Goldstein: You know The Holocaust?
    Kumar: Yeah.
    Goldstein: Picture the exact opposite of that.
  • In The Jerk, Navin describes his girlfriend in a letter to his mom. "She looks just like you, Mom, only she's thin and white."
  • The Last Starfighter After the alien Grig describes his home as a cave, Alex tries to describe his home.
    Alex: We live in a mobile home. It's like a cave...that's above ground...with wheels. You can go places. Only, we never went anywhere.
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan:
    Bill the Frog: How about this? Ocean Breeze Soap: It's just like taking an ocean cruise, only there's no boat and you don't actually go anywhere.
  • In The Other Guys, Allen tells Terry how he met his wife and adds that it's like that Meg Ryan movie. Terry can't think of any movies where Meg Ryan met a guy with poison ivy on his rectum. Later, Allen and his wife remember the movie: You've Got Mail, and both are certain that Tom Hanks had poison ivy in it.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: "This is just like what the Greeks done at Troy,... only they was in a horse instead of dresses."
  • The commentary tracks for some of the Saw movies' home video releases involve a Running Gag among the crew, wherein when someone describes something that isn't true or foolishly naive, they'll remark "That's a great idea. If by 'great', you mean 'the stupidest fucking thing ever', then yeah, it's 'great'.", or some variation thereof.
  • In Scary Movie 2, Cindy and Buddy find a painting of the wife who had lived in the house.
    Buddy: Whoa, check this out. She looks like you.
    Cindy: Wow, she's beautiful. You really think she looks like me?
    Buddy: Her hair doesn't have as many split ends at yours. Her skin isn't as oily as yours, either. Also, sometimes your eyes get kinda squinty and they look like you might have Down's Syndrome or something. Otherwise the resemblance is uncanny. Oh yeah... another difference is she looks more sophisticated and classy. More feminine. And her tits are perfect. Not pointy and funny looking, or spaced too far apart...
    Cindy: Alright!
    • When Cindy later shows a picture of her, Strange Minds Think Alike.
      Theo: Wow! She looks just like you... except she doesn't have as many split ends as you and her skin isn't as oily.
      Ray: Yeah, and sometimes your eyes get all squinty and it looks like you got Down's Syndrome.
      Brenda: Yeah, girl, damn near twins... except she's more sophisticated and classy. You got that cute, trailer park look.
      Shorty: No doubt... and her tits are perfect, not at all pointy or funny looking. You got them National Geographic orangutan titties.
      Cindy: Okay, I get the point.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic's mentor Longclaw is described as being like Obi-Wan Kenobi, "if Obi-Wan had a beak and ate mice."
  • Stuart Little 2:
    Snowbell: (after Stuart's car overheats) I'm telling you, Stuart, it's a sign. This is just like the Burning Bush — except it's a carburetor, and I'm not Moses.
  • ¡Three Amigos! has Lucky's speech to the villagers of Santo Poco:
    Lucky Day: In a way, each of us has an El Guapo to face. For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us, El Guapo is a big, dangerous guy who wants to kill us. But as sure as my name is Lucky Day, the people of Santa Poco can conquer their own personal El Guapo, who also happens to be the actual El Guapo!
  • In UHF, George tries to convince his friend Bob to help him run the UHF station he recently became manager of.
    George: It's just like working in the fish market, except you don't have to clean and gut fish all day.

  • Many Radio Yerevan jokes, like this one:
    Q: "Is it true that the famous cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin won a trip to the USA when he was in Leningrad?"
    A: "It is true, except that it wasn't in Leningrad but Moscow, and not Gagarin but Gagarov, and not Yuri but Oleg, and he wasn't a cosmonaut but a retiree, and it wasn't a trip to the US but a bicycle, and he didn't win it, but it was stolen from him."
  • Some Anti-Humor jokes are along the lines of a Dissimile:
    Q: "What do an eagle and a gopher have in common?"
    A: "They both live underground, except the eagle."
    • There is also another joke that goes: "How is a duck like a bicycle? They both have handlebars. Except for the duck."
    • What's the difference between a duck? One of his feet is both the same size.
  • There's an old joke where a wise rabbi says, "Life is like a fountain." When asked why, he thinks for a long time, and finally says, "Fine, so it's not a fountain."
  • There's a really long joke in Spanish that answers the question "What do a cow and an elevator have in common?". After a string of plays on words and relating objects to other ideas (gold mines, from gold you make rings, rings go in fingers, fingers have nails...) only for the punchline taking you to the word "eye". An organ used to see that a cow and an elevator have nothing in common.
  • Deadpan comedian Steven Wright: "I have a pair of pants just like these at home…except they're red with green stripes and they're shorts."
  • Comedian Tim Hawkins, on what he thinks of Jeopardy contestants: "Can I have a L? It's my favorite letter! 'Cause it's like a seven - but it's not!"
  • An old Jewish joke:
    "What's green, hangs on the wall, and whistles?"
    "A herring!"
    "But a herring isn't green!"
    "So paint it green."
    "It doesn't hang on the wall."
    "So hang it on the wall."
    "What about the whistling?"
    "Oh, I just threw that in to make it hard."

  • Peter Wilson's 40 Games for Frivolous People:
    The idea of charades is very simple. You must convey a message without speaking or using any props. You therefore become a mime artist, except that you're not wearing black leotards or white face makeup, and you're not being paid.
  • In Jon Stewart's America (The Book) chapter on the American Revolution, the section of "Would You Mind If I Told You How We Do It In Canada?" by Samantha Bee describes how Canada has also earned its independence similar to the US, then proceeds to list all the differences and finishes off with "All in all, a small price to pay for an independence achieved without bloodshed, violence, glory or independence."
  • Quoth Mack, in The Automatic Detective, it was just like the scene in the movies: "some dumb mug finds himself sitting in a tiny room with a cop standing over him, reading him the riot act. That's pretty much what happened to me." Except, he clarifies, he was standing, the room was quite large, and the cop was sitting and smoking a cigarette. But other than that, exactly like the scene in the movies.
  • Randall Garrett describing the Council of the Meich in his Affectionate Parody Backstage Lensman.
    Though they had no spines, they were something like porcupines; though they had no tentacles, they reminded one of octopuses; though they had no wings or beaks, they seemed similar to vultures; and though they had neither scales nor fins, there was definitely something fishy about them.
  • Humor columnist Dave Barry used this often.
    • From his home repair book The Taming of the Screw:
      "A plumbing system is very much like your electrical system, except that instead of electricity, it has water, and instead of wires, it has pipes, and instead of radios and waffle irons, it has faucets and toilets. So the truth is that your plumbing system is nothing at all like your electrical system, which is good, because electricity can kill you."
    • From Claw Your Way to the Top:
      "It might be useful to compare a business meeting to a football huddle. Everybody is a 'player' who is trying to get the 'ball' so they can 'carry' it to the 'endzone' in order to score a 'touchdown' and give the other players a 'pat' on the 'butt'. So you can see it is in fact not useful at all to compare a business meeting to a football huddle. It was a stupid idea, and I apologize for suggesting it."
    • Other examples: Writing "giving a new meaning to the word fun" with a footnote that reads "not fun". Or saying that a car has the same maneuverability and handling as a municipal parking garage, only "without as much pickup". In fact, the latter is one of his favorite jokes: insulting A by saying it has as much B as C, where C doesn't have any B at all, and then *further* insulting A by saying that C has more D, where C doesn't have any D either.
    • His blog recently advertised his new book thusly: "It's kind of like Moby Dick, but instead of a whale or a plot there are essays by members of the band in which we reveal intimate secrets about each other, such as who has, and who does not have, a spleen."
  • Book of Imaginary Beings: The goofang is described as being about the size of a sunfish, only much bigger.
  • Common in Discworld.
    • In Thief of Time, Lobsang describes repairing history after the Glass Clock is activated as "Imagine a thousand invisible puzzle pieces scattered all throughout time and none of them fit together right. Got that? Okay, it's nothing like that, that was just a vague analogy that might give you an inkling."
    • "No, but it's a lie you can understand," gets used occasionally.
      • Ponder Stibbons' version is when he describes an analogy as being very helpful in getting people to understand complicated magic while being, in every meaningful sense, wrong.
    • This quote from The Light Fantastic:
      "Sunlight poured like molten gold across the sleeping landscape.Footnote "
    • Also in The Light Fantastic, it's noted that an ancient ruler outlawed simile and metaphors, and any writer or casual speaker not careful with his phrasing would rapidly find himself a good deal shorter. About a head's worth, really (so someone describing a woman as having a face that launched a thousand ships had better have empirical evidence that the object of desire did indeed resemble a wine bottle, or appropriate documentation from shipyards).
    • Sourcery:
      "Have you ever been bitten by a snake?"
      "Then you know exactly what it felt like, it wasn't like a snake bite at all."
    • In the Discworld spin-off books The Science of Discworld, the phrase "Lies to Children" is used to refer to analogies or descriptions that are completely wrong, but prepare the listener for the real truth.
    • Soul Music takes the (real) simile that a guitar is shaped like a woman, and adds that this is a woman with a very long neck, no arms or legs, and six ears.
    • In Guards! Guards!, the description of Where the Dragons Went is "It would put you in mind of a can of sardines, if you thought sardines were huge and scaly and proud and arrogant."
      • There's another one in Guards! Guards! where the metaphor of the city being like a woman is shot down with 'You mean that she's big and dirty and got a river running through her?'
    • In Thud! one of the minor characters is Tawnee (real name Betty), a staggeringly beautiful but rather dim exotic dancer "on whom the name Betty stuck like rocks to a ceiling".
  • H. P. Lovecraft played this for horror in "The Festival".
    "They were not altogether crows, nor moles, nor buzzards, nor ants, nor vampire bats, nor decomposed human beings; but something I cannot and must not recall."
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has quite a few of these.
    • Perhaps the most famous is: "The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't."
    • Another contender is the description of the Nutri-Matic Drinks Synthesizer's output as "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea". This might be one of the few rare cases where the dissimile is understandable, since Arthur had asked for tea.
    • Another example would be Ford Prefect's explanation of the origin of the universe, describing a situation where one would fill a conical ebony bathtub with sand, pull the plug and film the sand falling down the drain, then watching this film in reverse... which, he then states, has nothing at all to do with the origin of the universe, but is really fun to watch. Of course, he was blind-drunk during the telling of this.
  • There's a smeerp-y creature in the Honor Harrington universe called a "Sphinxian Chipmunk." Being from Sphinx we can infer that it has six legs like all of the other native fauna, but other than that the only description given for it is that it doesn't resemble a terrestrial chipmunk.
  • Peg Bracken, The I Hate to Housekeep Book:
    "Electricity is like flower-arranging. Either you have a feeling for it or you don't. The main difference is that if you make a major mistake with your flower-arranging, you'll just have a mess on your hands. But with electricity, you can end up French fried."
  • InCryptid: Discussed by Sarah when she's describing Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables from Another Dimension:
    "You try explaining what a turnip tastes like to someone who's never tasted one. If you can manage anything better than "like a potato, but maybe sort of sweet," you're a culinary genius. Now imagine the person you're talking to has never had a potato either. You have no common points of reference. I could tell I was eating something close to root vegetables, and some kind of herbs, and some kind of fungus, maybe, along with the large chunks of what could almost have been shrimp, and a piece of what was almost but not entirely like bread."
  • Into The Thickening Fog: Filippov's seatmate "looked like a forty-year-old Britney Spears who'd gone to bookkeeping school, put on a chunk of weight, and never been in show business".
  • Jeeves and Wooster:
    "I've found, as a general rule in life, that the things that you think are going to be the scariest nearly always turn out to be not so bad after all; but it wasn't that way with Bingo's tea party."
    • Elsewhere in P. G. Wodehouse:
      "It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine."
  • The Killing Star by Charles Pellegrino and George Zebrowski points out that "There are, of course, a few obvious differences between Central Park and the universe..."
  • A trope Ephraim Kishon was very fond of. Like here:
    "'Ephraim, please, leave me alone!' my wife murmured. Except that she wasn't murmuring, but talking quite loudly. In fact, she was shouting."
  • Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography is riddled with them.
    "Today was a very cold and bitter day, as cold and bitter as a cup of hot chocolate, if the cup of hot chocolate had vinegar added to it and were placed in a refrigerator for several hours."
  • In Stephen Fry's first novel, The Liar, one character remarks that a good bottle of wine is like a good woman 'apart from the fact it doesn't have arms, legs or breasts. Or can't bear children. In fact a good bottle of wine is nothing like a woman come to think of it'.
    • Stephen regularly uses variations on this trope. See below under Live Action Television.
  • On the first page of Men are Better than Women:
    "Women are like Febreze Fabric Refresher, except instead of getting out your toughest odors, they accidentally call their ex-boyfriend drunk and then won't stop crying for the rest of the night."
  • Literally note  everywhere throughout More Information Than You Require.
  • Pratchett is very fond of this one. Nation has one man describing a horse thusly:
    "Well, you know hogs? ...well, they are not like hogs. But if you took a hog and made it bigger and longer, with a longer nose and a tail, that's a horse. Oh, and much more handsome. And much longer legs."
    "So a horse is not really like a pig at all?"
    "Well yes, I suppose so. But it's got the same number of legs."
  • Paradise Lost uses this a lot as a way to emphasize how utterly beyond human comprehension the events are.
  • In The Reckoners Trilogy David has a tendency to come up with his own unique comparisons, both in conversation and internal narrative. When he says them out loud people sometimes demand he explain what on earth he's going on about, and they generally have a kind of weird logic to them (he's a "brick made of porridge" because he's putting up a front of being strong, but he's worried that when it comes to it he'll fail, like a brick that looks useable but collapses when place with other bricks, and then the porridge mixes in with the mortar), but ones he mentions internally are left to stand there as a mystery, such as "laser through a pile of sheep".
  • In Skulduggery Pleasant, Skulduggery uses one when he first meets Stephanie.
    "You know, I met your uncle under similar circumstances. Well, kind of similar. But he was drunk. And we were in a bar. And he had vomited on my shoes. So I suppose the actual circumstances aren't overly similar, but both events include a meeting, so..."
  • In A Dance with Dragons, the 5th book of A Song of Ice and Fire, Tyron Lannister describes his much-despised sister Queen Cersei Lannister to her enemies as being "as gentle as King Maegor" (known justifiably as "The Cruel"), "as selfless as Aegon the Unworthy" (a foolish, cruel, greedy, gluttonous, and lecherous king who was once theorised to be actively trying to be the worst ruler he possibly could), and "as wise as Mad Aerys" (the insane pyromaniac who brought about the fall of his entire dynasty).
  • In New Moon:
    Bella: His voice was like velvet, if velvet can be rough.
  • Words of Radiance (second book of The Stormlight Archive): Shallan's attempts to describe Pattern often fall flat.
    She turned back to Pattern, who had shifted into his hovering form. He looked something like the pattern of splintered light thrown on the wall by a crystal chandelier—except he was made of something black instead of light, and he was three-dimensional. So... Maybe not much like that at all.
  • In Wraith Squadron, Former Child Star Face Lorran talks about how, after acting in a very successful propagandist holodrama, he was taken to meet the Emperor, but the Emperor wasn't available, so he was instead taken to meet Madame Director Ysanne Isard, who sat him in her lap and told him what a good boy he was. He said it was
    "Something like being stroked by a poisonous reptile wearing a human suit, only not quite so comforting."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Australia You're Standing In It: Two Aussie outback-types struggle to complete a simile for "dry as a...". One suggests "glass of water". He gets a look of disbelief from his mate, and amends it to "an empty glass".
  • Band of Brothers does this in second to last episode, "Why we fight", while the men are on patrol in the woods.
    Frank Perconte: Hey, George.
    George Luz: Yeah?
    Frank Perconte: This kind of remind you of Bastogne?
    [comedic pause, including bemused look]
    George Luz: Yeah... now that you mention it. Except, of course, there's no snow, we got warm grub in our bellies, and the trees aren't fucking exploding from Kraut artillery, but yeah... Frank... other than that, it's a lot like Bastogne.
    Frank Perconte: Right?
    George Luz: Bull, smack him for me please?
    George Luz: Thank you.
  • On the premiere of Beat Bobby Flay: Holiday Throwdown, Bobby Flay sums up Tiffani Faison and Jet Tila's round (and by proxy the event as a whole) thusly:
    Bobby Flay: This is kind of like a holiday family gathering, except you have to compete for your dinner.
  • In Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Xander talks tacks about selling chocolate to support for the school's band, but loses focus as Willow's foot creeps up his shin.
    Xander: The band. Yeah. They're great. They march.
    Willow: Like an army. [beat] Except with music instead of bullets, and... usually no one dies.
  • Nathan Fillion describes Castle:
    "I often say that Castle is Moonlighting meets Murder, She Wrote having not really remembered Moonlighting and never having actually seen Murder She Wrote."
  • Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe describes Sonic the Hedgehog as "rolling at high speed through a jolly cartoon world just like real hedgehogs don't".
  • Cheers: Sam's extended metaphor on how Carla sleeping with Hill hurts him works relatively fine up until the last hurdle.
    Sam: Well, the way I see it, uh... you let down the whole team. It's like, you know, the bottom of the ninth. One out, runner on first, you're up at bat. The coach tells you to bunt. The team expects you to bunt, the runner on first expects you to bunt, fans expect you to bunt. But instead of bunting... YOU SLEEP WITH JOHN! ALLEN! HILL!
  • This conversation from Le cœur a ses raisons :
    Crystale: I once had a terrible experience when saying "Allô". I once said "allô" and spend the subsequent ten years in a brothel in Calcutta.
    Brad: Oooh, the same thing happened to me.
    Crystale: Oh?
    Brad: Yes. Except it wasn't in a brothel but in a supermarket, it wasn't in Calcutta but on the other side of the street and it wasn't me it was another person. But the rest was the same.
  • On The Colbert Report, curling is described to be like horseshoes, but your horse died and you're trying to get over your sorrow by playing curling.
  • Corner Gas: When Wanda is rejected for a credit card after being told she was pre-approved, Hank attempts to console her.
    Hank: It's okay, Wanda. I got one of those "pre-approved" letters in the mail too.
    Wanda: And they rejected you too?
    Hank: No, they gave me a credit card. But other than that, same sad story.
  • In Criminal Minds episode "Neon Terror", the team looks into a suspect and Garcia confirms he isn't their UnSub:
    Garcia: Aside from being slightly morally repugnant, he's clean as a whistle. If that whistle was slightly morally repugnant.
  • The Daily Show:
    • When news companies were discussing the BP oil spill, one newscaster described the plan to fix it something like "it's like conducting open-heart surgery, but underwater, in the dark, with submarines".
    • Senior British Correspondent John Oliver became quite upset with grassroots movements comparing their struggle against the government to that of the Colonial Revolutionaries against the British Empire. After all, the British had been real bastards at the time; by comparison, the modern American government were a bunch of pansies.
    • Lewis Black compared Glenn Beck's constant comparisons of people/things he doesn't like to Hitler and Nazi Germany to the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon". Except there's only one degree and Kevin Bacon is Hitler.
    • Jon Stewart, by way of explaining the Jimmy Savile/BBC scandal to American viewers, noted that he hosted Jim'll Fix It, a show where he granted children's wishes. Savile was "like Santa Claus, only real, and a pedophile. So basically, nothing like Santa Claus."
  • Dexter - After having spent the evening planning a murder with his new sidekick:
    [Narrating] "I feel like I am dropping off my prom date. Except this is my house and my wife is dead and I have no idea where Lumen fits into my world. And this is all so weird... exactly like my prom."
  • Doctor Who: This happens to the Doctor a lot, usually when trying to convey concepts far beyond their companions' understanding.
    • The BBC's original introduction to "The Next Doctor" asked viewers to think of the perfect Victorian Christmas... but with Cybermen.
    • "The End of Time": When the Doctor attempts to explain the nature of a Time Lock:
      The Doctor: They're sealed inside of a bubble. It's not a bubble, but just think of a bubble.
    • The Eleventh Doctor, in particular, is prone to this, along with sister trope Metaphorgotten:
      • "The Time of Angels":
        River: A needle in a haystack.
        The Doctor: A needle that looks like hay. A hay-like needle of death. A hay-like needle of death in a haystack of, ah, statues. No, yours was fine.
      • "The Vampires of Venice":
        "You're like Houdini, only five slightly scary girls. And he was shorter. Will be shorter. I'm rambling."
      • In "The Pandorica Opens" while explaining what the Cybermen do to people. "It's just like being an organ donor, except you're alive and sort of...screaming."
      • In "A Christmas Carol", when trying to convince Young Kazran that he's an appropriate "babysitter":
        The Doctor: Have you ever seen Mary Poppins?
        Young Kazran: No...
        The Doctor: Good. Because that comparison would have been rubbish.
      • And again in the 2011 Comic Relief short "Space".
        The Doctor: Yeah, it's fine, we're just entering conceptual space. Imagine a banana, or anything curved; actually don't, because it's not curved or like a banana. Forget the banana!
      • Twice in "The Curse of the Black Spot": While trying to describe the monster of the week, and explaining how the spaceship and the pirate ship can be in the same place.
        Pirate: Like a shark, a shark can smell blood.
        The Doctor: Okay, just like a shark. In a dress. Singing. In green! A green, singing shark in a evening gown!

        The Doctor: A space ship, trapped in a temporal rift.
        Amy: How can two ships be in the same place?
        The Doctor: Not the same. Two planes; two worlds. Two cars parked in the same space. There are a lot of different universes, nested inside each other. Now and again they collide, and you can step through from one to the other.
        Amy: Okay, I think I can understand.
        The Doctor: Good, because it isn't like that at all — but if it helps...
      • By "The Doctor's Wife", he's stopped even feeling bad about it.
        Rory: How can we be outside the universe? The universe is everything.
        The Doctor: Imagine a great big soap bubble, with one of those tiny little bubbles on the outside.
        Rory: Okay.
        The Doctor: Well, it's nothing like that.
      • He actually manages to exploit the trope in "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS".
        The Doctor: Picture the biggest ship you've ever seen. Are you picturing it? Good. Now forget it because this ship is infinite.
      • Let's face it, it's Eleven's new catchphrase.
      • In the Eleventh Doctor novel Touched by an Angel, the Doctor says the Weeping Angels are attracted to Mark like a moth to a flame, and is then shocked to realise that this makes sense. "My analogies never make sense! I must write it down. Rory, write it down for me!"
    • "The Woman Who Fell to Earth": The Doctor describes the sonic screwdriver:
      "It's a Swiss Army knife... only without the knife. Only idiots carry knives."
  • Alexei Sayle's Drive, a series made by a comedian to promote safe driving, includes an explanation of how it's often hard to realise how fast you're driving because cars are so comfortable these days, more like your lounge than a car, except smaller and without a television and you can't get up to make a drink and the decor's not as nice and can I stop now this is a shit comparison.
  • From Firefly:
    Simon: [to Jayne] You're like a trained ape. Without the training.
  • In Friends:
    • Chandler describes Joey's latest date:
      Chandler: You remember Kathy Bates in Misery?
      Monica and Rachel: Yeah...
      Chandler: Well, she looks the exact opposite of that.
    • When Ross is talking about how messy his date's apartment was: "You know how at the end of the day, you throw your jacket on a chair? Well, instead of a chair, it's a pile of garbage. And instead of a jacket, it's a pile of garbage. And instead of the end of the day, it's the end of time itself and garbage is all that has survived."
  • In a Sammy J and Randy skit from Good News World, in which the duo have just discovered gold down their home-made mine shaft, we get this exchange:
    Sammy J: I always dreamed of this moment!
    Randy: Really? This exact moment?
    Sammy J: Yeah! Except, in my dream, you're Livinia Nixon, and we're making love, and we're not down a mine.
  • In the first episode of How I Met Your Mother, Ted chickens out of dating a local news reporter. Then, when he sees her reporting on a guy who was about to jump off a building, but also chickened out, Ted gets his courage back and says:
    Ted: I'm going to do what that guy was too scared to do and take the plunge! Okay, it's not a perfect metaphor, because for me taking the plunge means getting married and having kids, while for him it's ... death.
    Barney: Actually, it's a perfect metaphor.
  • On I Love Lucy, the way Ethel described poker to Lucy: "It's a lot like hearts, only you bet, and there isn't any old maid."
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 is also fond of these, usually something to the effect of: "Many people compare this scene to the chariot race in Ben-Hur. They'll say, 'Ben Hur was a great film. This film totally sucks.'"
    • In Track of the Moon Beast, we get the following delightful example while watching the local law enforcement:
      Tom Servo: [in '70s TV promo voice] He's a cop. He's a rabbi. They're cops! Except for the rabbi.
    • When one movie shows the hero being tailed by a private helicopter.
      Crow: It's one of those UN black helicopters, except... white and orange.
  • MythBusters has a couple quotes, usually done for humor:
    Grant Imahara: It's like sewing on a button, except this button is tongue-shaped and made out of meat.
    Jamie Hyneman: It's kind of like watching the grass grow, except there's an explosion at the end of it.
  • A minor running gag in QI: sometimes when Stephen Fry goes off on a tangent, he'll end the tangent by using a word to describe something.
    Stephen: Welcome to QI, the closest modern equivalent to lions versus Christians.
    Stephen: I love the way your mind works, Alan Davies ... and I use the word "works" quite wrongly.
    Stephen: (in response to Rory McGrath's Pun) When I said "eye", I meant E-Y-E, and you thought...possibly for comic effect, but if so, disastrously, er, that I was saying "I"...It was one of these laughable misunderstandings, and I use the word "laughable" quite wrongly.
  • Philomena Cunk delivers on in Cunk On Britain which actually comes full circle back to the original item:
    Cunk: In 1953, millions of people watched the Queen being coronationed, on their new televisions. It must have been like watching The Crown on Netflix, but live and actually happenin', like Britain's Got Talent, but more serious, like Game of Thrones, but set in the real world, and starring Queen Elizabeth, like The Crown again.
  • Van, in Reba is excited about he and his now-wife Cheyenne getting to go out with their old high school gang on Friday night.
    Van: And all the old gang will be there! It'll be just like Friday nights back in sophomore year! Except that we're're pregnant...and everything's different.
  • Seinfeld broke up with his girlfriend of the week:
    Jerry: I tell you... the sex. I was like an animal. I was just completely uninhibited.
    George: It's like going to the bathroom in front of a lot of people and not caring!
    Jerry: (Beat) ...It's not like that at all!
  • On Skithouse, when Scod tried to explain Charades to Yon.
    Yon: It's basically Celebrity Head, right?
    Scod: Yeah, except you know the thing and everyone else doesn't.
    Yon: Rock Paper Scissors?
    Scod: Okay, Yon. Like Rock Paper Scissors except there's no rock, no paper and instead of scissors there's this whole new game called Charades.
  • Space Cases: In the Personality Swap episode, android!Suzee says, "Don't worry. Inside, I am still the same Suzee... except, extremely different."
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, explaining darts to Worf (who would commonly play poker during his time on the Enterprise). "It's like poker, with pointed tips."
  • On That '70s Show, Eric accidentally ran over Donna's cat and didn't tell her right away, on the same episode Jackie found out Kelso was cheating on her with Laurie. Donna thought Eric's deception was as bad as Kelso's, Jackie was quick to point out that it wasn't.
    Jackie: Until goody goody Eric cheats on you with your stupid dead cat, I suggest you shut up.
  • From The Thick of It:
    Malcolm Tucker: I'm going to need you to make like a tree and go fuck yourselves.
  • Jeremy Clarkson has been known to use them on Top Gear.
    Clarkson: Unfortunately, James May couldn't be here today, so we've found someone who looks exactly like him... except in every single detail.
  • Half-used, half-subverted on The West Wing when Donna opines that "a dry wit, like a fine martini, is best enjoyed..." and then realizes she's got nothing.
    • Another time Josh asked therapist Stanley Keyworth why his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder worked the way it did (music, inexplicably, made him relive getting shot).
      Stanley: Well, I'll tell you, but it's gonna sound like I'm saying two plus two equals a bushel of potatoes...
    • In one episode Josh claims the scene he, Sam and Toby are currently in is similar to the one in The Godfather when Michael first proposes that he kill Sollozzo and McCluskey: "It's a lot like that scene, only not really." Then a minute later he decides it is like that scene after all. Nobody else really cares.

  • Mitch Benn is the 37th Beatle opens with Mitch explaining to younger members of the audience who The Beatles actually were:
    There was a band once called the Beatles,
    In the nineteen-sixties, long ago.
    They were a bit like One Direction,
    Except they played instruments and they wrote their own songs,
    And had amazing ideas, and weren't just vacuous gonks,
    With immaculate teeth and ridiculous hair,
    And were immeasurably better on every conceivable level.
  • Musician-comedian Bill Bailey's jokes often turn out this way. For example, in "Tinselworm", he mentions his meteoric rise to fame over the past 22 years, "... if that meteor was being dragged by an elderly arthritic donkey across the Mojave Desert."
  • Comedian Bo Burnham's song "Men & Women" contains gems like "Women are like puzzles, because prior to 1920 neither had the right to vote. Puzzles still don't." He also had this line in "Love Is...":
    Love is real-life porn, minus all the stuff that makes porn cool.
  • "Factually Accurate Love Song" by Flat 29 has many examples of this, starting with "Girl your eyes shine like the moon. Well like two moons specifically, positioned unnaturally close together, but without the gravitational and tidal problems that would occur if this was not a simile."
  • The Flight of the Conchords song, "Pencils in the Wind" is about how love is like a roll of tape, which actually starts out sensically, then gets... less so.
  • Menomena's song "Tithe": "Spending the best years of a childhood/Horizontal on the floor/Like a bobsled minus the teamwork/And the televised support."
  • The Midnight Beast's song "Ninjas": "And my hands are like samurai swords, except not metal, so nothing like swords- they're just hands!"
  • The comedy a cappella group Moosebutter has said about themselves: "Moosebutter is just like a cutting-edge, hard-core hip-hop group, except moosebutter is from Utah, all white, not interested in controversy, and also doesn't perform hip-hop."
  • U2's "Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World" contains the line, "A woman needs a man / Like a fish needs a bicycle".

    New Media 
  • The Cinema Snob counters the description of Lady Terminator, which says the movie is 'like Kill Bill, but with oodles of sex' with this:
    "'Yeah, it's just like Kill Bill. If Kill Bill was a 1984 James Cameron film called The Terminator. And who uses the word oodles?'"
  • From
    • This article offers, as a possible empirically derived scientific definition of "love", "[the exact opposite of] that feeling you get when you've been locked in a tiny dark space alone for a year."
    • Also, from this article: "Holmes was the Ron Jeremy of his time, only not as fat, hairy and horrifying. So not really like Ron Jeremy at all."
    • 5 Mind-Blowing Ways People Mastered Famous Video Games describes Beatmania as "kind of like playing the piano, if your piano hated you and was actively trying to give you a seizure".
  • On his LiveJournal, obscure author Gideon Defoe (The Pirates! series) came up with this one:
    "Kennington can seem vaguely post-apocalyptic at the best of times, but with all the lights out it's like a proper 1980's BBC2 dystopia. But with hoodies instead of triffids. Hoodies don't make that sinister 'tap tap tap' noise, and they have mace instead of the poison stinger thing, so the analogy breaks down there, but otherwise it's exactly the same."
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • In his Top 11 Nostalgic Shows countdown, he says the Ghostbusters were like firefighters, "except instead of putting out fires, you were chasing ghosts."
    • Or in his review of Drop Dead Fred concerning the titular character's performance:
      "You know, there is a thin line between funny and god-awfully horrendous. Luckily, he comes nowhere near that line, he is just god-awfully horrendous."
  • This notice from Tlf Travel Alerts:
    "Minor delays on the Jubilee line due to track failure at Southwark. And by 'track failure' we mean 'wolves'."
  • The most popular definition Play-Doh on Urban Dictionary. "The second coolest thing in the world. Just like fire except it's not hot. And you can squeeze it in your hands. And it comes in multiple colors. And it smells like shit. And unlike fire it can't burn down houses and forests. Come to think of it, its not really like fire at all....Shit." There used to be a corresponding entry for "fire", but it seems to have vanished into the ether.

  • In one Interview Sketch on John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme, Patsy Straightwoman is interviewing Professor Craven, a scientist who has no idea how to simplify his ideas for a lay audience. When she prompts him that sometimes scientists use analogies, we get this:
    Craven: The universe is like ... an orange.
    Straightwoman: Is it?
    Craven: ...Yes?
    Straightwoman: In what way?
    Craven: They both ... exist? No, hang on, we're talking about a notional orange, aren't we? So, um, no, there's no point of similarity at all.
    Straightwoman: Right. So, the universe is utterly unlike an imaginary orange?
    Craven: So far as we know.
    • One end-of-episode tag has Margaret Caborn-Smith close it off by saying "John Finnemore will return, like James Bond... except in every possible way."
  • Inverted by David Quantick on The Now Show, when he has to admit the simile is closer than he initially indicated:
    David Quantick: If you haven't seen Game of Thrones, it's like The Lord of the Rings without dragons. Except they have dragons.note 

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • Larry the Cable Guy gives us this one: "I met this gal a while back, looked like Shania Twain. Only a little shorter, and, uh, the face was different. I was drunk, it looked like Shania Twain. Next morning, Mark Twain!"
    • As he's about to play something on his guitar: "You know that song 'Amarillo by Morning' by George Strait? Well this here don't sound anywhere close to that song!"
  • The Pete and Brian sketch "Knock Knock" combines this trope with Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick in a classic "Priest, Rabbi and Shaman walk into a bar" joke that somehow turns it into being about how someone's Dad molested them within the space of a few sentences.
    "A priest, a rabbi, and a shaman walk into a bar!
    But there's no rabbi and no shaman *laughs* and it's actually my eighth birthday and the priest is molesting me.
    And the priest is my dad and he's not a priest.
    My dad molested me...a lot."

    Video Games 
  • Early on in Cassette Beasts, Kayleigh says transforming for the first time is like learning to ride a bike, except instead of a bike there's a monster, and you're the bike.
  • From a section of Cortex's monologue to Crash in Crash Twinsanity:
    Cortex: Three years I spent alone in the frozen Antarctic wastes! And I missed you! And so, I've organized a little gathering; like a birthday party, except... the exact opposite!
  • The instructions for Crystal Crazy describe black holes as: "Rifts in the space-time continuum that instantly transport you from one place to another. Actually the time bit isn't really correct. Neither is the continuum bit. Or the rift. But it sounded good."
  • Dwarf Fortress: "Like chess, only with short people that can catch on fire like rags soaked in tar, and lots of booze."
  • The following conversation in Dragon Age II:
    Merrill: You remind me of Hahren Paival, Varric. Only younger. And shorter. And not as serious.
    Varric: So it's a close resemblance, then.
    • Merrill's good at these. She comments that Anders's coat (with its odd fur pauldron) is "cheerful, like a crow in anting." He replies "Thank you...?" and the player is just as puzzled as he is about whether she meant it sarcastically or as a genuine compliment.
  • Gex 3: "This city's a jungle, but a square one with no plants!"
  • In Kerbal Space Program, the description for Eve (a planet similar to Venus) goes like this:
    "It is considered by some to be almost a sister planet to Kerbin. Well, despite the purple, and the toxic atmosphere, and the extreme pressures and temperatures. Actually, it’s not very similar at all is it? Who are those people?"
  • Kingdom of Loathing:
    • In the description for the Queen Filthworm:
      "Have you ever been out in a rose garden on a nice spring day, wearing clothes fresh from the dryer and really expensive cologne, and then you walk under a window ledge with a freshly baked apple pie cooling on it? Well, her smell is the exact opposite of that."
    • And from the description of sangria:
      "This is sangria. It's like blood, except instead of plasma it has wine, and instead of blood cells it has bits of cherry. But other than that, it's exactly like blood."
    • And the description for a ring setting combines this with Waxing Lyrical:
      "This is a ring without a jewel. It's like eyes without a face, but instead of eyes, it's a ring, and instead of a face, it's a jewel."
    • And this, from the effect soul freeze:
      "You've got a frozen soul. This is like when you get a headache from eating too much ice cream, only instead of a headache, your soul is frozen, and there isn't really any ice cream involved, either, now that I think about it."
    • And when you consume Crystal skeleton vodka, you get this:
      "You hang the skeleton from the ceiling and kiss it like it's Spider-Man, you're Mary Jane, and instead of kissing her, Spider-Man vomited an entire skeleton's worth of vodka into Mary Jane's mouth."
    • One of the Slime's attacks is described thusly:
      "The Slime oozes across your face. It's like being licked by a puppy, only painful and disgusting."
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, HK-47 tries to elucidate his consternation at the existence of his evil(er) knock-offs by comparing his situation to that of the Exile. The result is a cross between this and Metaphorgotten, and, as might be expected, it's hilarious. He draws a number of other comparisons between his vocation of assassination and the practices of various factions in the game; whether you find these similarities convincing will depend largely on whether you share the game's own cynicism about the Star Wars universe and its heroes.
  • In Lost Pig, Grunk the orc describes an underground chamber lit by "mossfuressence":
    It bright, just like day time. Except that instead of sun, it wall that glow. And instead of grass and tree, it square room with four wall. And instead of outside, it all under ground. But beside those thing, it just like it!
  • Mass Effect 3: in the Citadel DLC, Wrex informs us that krogan dancing involves more headbutts. And blood. And no actual dancing. So basically, it's just like every other krogan hobby.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: At one point when Ryder reactivates some technology, which naturally also reactivates the local trigger-happy security drones, they're informed by Suvi that everything's "lit up like Mardi Gras". Teammate Peebee angrily retorts thus:
    Peebee: Yeah, just like Mardi Gras, except with no jazz and more death!
  • Misha from Mercenaries 2 has this to say about dropping guided bombs:
    Misha: Is like putting thread through hole in needle, except thread is BOMB.
  • In Midtown Madness 3, each loading screen shows the race map and a caption. One caption says "It's like a square, only it's not."
  • Eggman's P.A messages in Sonic Colors are full of these whenever he tells visitors to enjoy something that's complimentary.
    "...And by complimentary, I mean very expensive."
  • Anebriate's answer to people who ask him what it's like being the "greatest warrior in the universe" in Tales of the Drunken Paladin:
    Anebriate: Well, it's kinda like being the juiciest red apple in a trash can full of flies. Except instead of flies, it's hot babes. And instead of being an apple, I'm a ripped warrior.
  • According to the official website, the roguelike First-Person Shooter Tower of Guns is "like The Binding of Isaac, only less dead babies. Also, it's an FPS... maybe it's not like Binding of Isaac."
  • Sans explains Undertale's blue attacks, which are dodged by remaining motionless, by telling you that when you see a stop sign you stop, and since stop signs are red, you should imagine a blue stop sign.
  • Whiplash, a game featuring you playing as a weasel chained to a rabbit whom you use as a mace despite his pained protests occasionally has the rabbit moan "Hey, this is just like water skiing. Except it's on concrete, I'm flat on my back and it's REALLY PAINFUL".

    Web Animation 
  • Bubs from Homestar Runner email virus, after shooting Strong Bad's computer with a shotgun: "It's in a better place, Strong Bad. Or rather, it's in the same place, but now it's got a big hole through it."
  • Zero Punctuation: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw likes to litter these around every once in a while, such as in his opening phrase for his review on The Witcher:
    "What would you get if you took the corpse of J. R. R. Tolkien, ground it into a fine powder and snorted it off the doughy breasts of a prostitute suffering from Tourette's syndrome? Well, first you'd get a throatful of dead writer, then the police will probably want to talk to you, and you'll no doubt make an enemy of Mrs. Tolkien. What you probably won't get is The Witcher, because it's a video game and more easily acquired from your local electronics retailer, you idiot."
    • His review of Rise of the Triad actually had a dissimile which, in a bit of a Mind Screw fashion, still managed to serve as a perfectly cogent simile: "Like a man with both hands trapped in a gumball machine, (the game) was absolutely fuck-all to do with triads".
    • From his review of Army of Two: "you get to wear funky skull masks like it's Halloween every day, except that it's you giving out the candy, and the candy is bullets."
    • His review of Batman: Arkham City when describing Catwoman's abilities: "Mainly she plays like Batman making use of a few pole dancing lessons in her own combat and stealth sections, although she can cling to ceilings as well, just like real cat (that's been bitten by a radioactive spider)."

  • 8-Bit Theater:
    • Sarda gives us this nugget: "I sent him to a place like the beach. Only it was the moon."
    • King Steve invented a kind of holiday, "like Halloween but with only one costume, the cornerian soldier and instead of trick and tricks, it's rape and murder".
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja. This page.
    Frans Rayner: Why are you looking at me like that?
    Gordito: You killed a lot of ninjas in the 80's, so now you've made a bunch more to kill. Your maniacal laughing is like a fat man who's just restocked his freezer with Hot Pockets.
    Frans Rayner: Ooh, no no. I'm laughing like a fat man who is nearing the final steps of his lifelong journey to power. And he's actually in really good shape and not fat at all.
  • In Basic Instructions: "So it's like American Chopper except that it's different in every way."
  • In the prequel of The Order of the Stick, Elan explains that the paladin he follows is about to clean a city of its villainy and scum like a huge handbrush. He then goes on explaining why a paladin isn't exactly like a handbrush.
  • Dominic Deegan: "It's like the Bikta sanctuary, only smaller and without the killing."
  • Dumbing of Age here:
    Dorothy: You've seen season four of Dexter & Monkey Master, right? The Ultra Car crossover episode, where she and monkey master get their brains merged?
    Joyce: Sex is like that?
    Dorothy: ...not even remotely.
  • Flaky Pastry: In the Alt Text for this page, after Mona cuts off Zintiel's hair, which, being animate, then turns on her:
    Sister Mona is reminded of the biblical story of Samson and Delilah, except... y'know... totally different.
  • Freefall, on this page: "Why, we're like Batman and Robin. Well, if Batman and Robin were poor and engaged in petty crime."
  • Fruit Incest gave us the following:
    "I once played chess with a dog. Okay, it wasn’t chess, it was just checkers. And it wasn’t a dog it was me playing both sides of a single checkers board because I had no one to play with, but I had a plush dog there with me. Okay, it was actually a cat. And it wasn’t checkers, it was my breakfast... I had pancakes."
  • Gunnerkrigg Court. After introducing a large artificial habitat room, containing a grassy field with a large cherry tree, the author notes below the page:
    Tom Siddell: My school had one of these. No wait, they had a bike rack.
  • In Homestuck, Karkat, being an alien, has very little idea of human units of time:
    Rose: Yes, two.
    Rose: And then fifty more.
  • The Rant for Irregular Webcomic! points out that dissimiles are common in scientific analogies.
  • In 1/0, Barnacle describes war as "Sort of like being friends. Only, it's completely different, and with more suffering."
  • Tycho gets one in a Penny Arcade strip where Gabe goes catatonic.
    Kara: He went crazy in the woods after he found an animal in the bushes. That's when he started mumbling about Raccoon Dot Com.
    Tycho: Something like that happened to me once - except I wasn't in the woods and there were no raccoons anywhere.
    • Two in the same strip, in fact.
      "I'm making wheatloaf. It's like meatloaf, only with wheat."note 
  • In Misfile, Heaven is like Southern California, only without the traffic… or the smog… Or the sprawl…
    • Another one:
      Emily: What's a "catch thirty-three"?
      Rumisiel: It's like a catch twenty-two, only the universe may explode at the end.
  • As Pokey the Penguin once said, chess "IS LIKE BALLET ONLY WITH MORE EXPLOSIONS!"
  • Rumors of War example from Chapter 3: "The simplest explanation is often the most correct, maybe she is simply the twins' sister? Her mother could be different. And her father."
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    Reverend Theo Fobius: What a coincidence. That's almost exactly what I didn't have in mind.
    • As well as:
      Schlock: If by 'hair' you mean 'plasma', and 'dryer' you mean 'cannon', then yes. Yes, it is.
    • And for the hat trick (amidst many, many others):
      Morokweng: Ah. Will it be falling to me to sweep this under the rug, Ma'am?
      Admiral Emm: Word choice, 'Kweng. Replace "sweep" with "compress," "under" with "into," and give me "neutronium" in place of that ratty old "rug."
    • Running Gag, essentially.
      Kevyn: We're practically home free, everybody.
      Brad: Ummm... Yeah. If by "home" you mean "out of." And by "free" you mean "fuel."
    • Even the Lemony Narrator gets in on it in this strip.
      "In order to follow what Petey is doing, it's useful to employ a metaphor.
      Imagine the smartest person you know...
      Now imagine that person in a real-time voice, video, and hypertext conference with over a thousand other people who are very nearly as smart.
      The absolute dearth of productivity that you are now imagining springing from this kind of meeting is not what Petey gets. Tomorrow: The cartoonist comes up with a better metaphor."
  • Monette's Thanksgiving grace in Something*Positive: "Please watch over us the next year and let us form long-lasting friendships like the one shared between the pilgrims and the Indians. But without the smallpox and eventual betrayal."
  • From String Theory (2009), a talking cat compares his new owner to his prior one:
    Marcus: Plus, you sorta remind me of the doc! You know, if he was a girl and didn't have a bunch of bad habits. Also, you're like, way more mentally stable. I bet your mom never pushed you down the stairs on purpose, huh?
  • According to Toothpaste For Dinner, Kids are like dogs. "A dog that says it hates macaroni four minutes after asking for macaroni."
  • VG Cats: "It's like a free sub! Only it's buttsex!"

    Web Original 
  • Stuart Ashen uses one in his Optical Media Laceration Extravaganza.
    "Now the thing about video games is that they have a very short shelf life. Like milk, only completely different."
  • Bum Reviews: Chester A. Bum has a few.
    • He describes "WALL•E and EVE having to fight the big, bad ship" as "kind of like Titanic, except it has nothing to do with it."
    • Also done in his review on Twilight
      Chester: I would make a good vampire bum! Except I wouldn't drink blood, I would drink alcohol. And I wouldn't fly, I would just do drugs. And I wouldn't be interesting, I would just be incredibly repulsive.
  • From The Comics Curmudgeon, here:
    "I'm overjoyed to see Billy's comically overwrought expression of crushing despair as his mother drapes that suit jacket over his shoulders. It's as if he's won the Masters, only instead of a green jacket he's getting a blue jacket, and instead of winning the Masters he's going to be executed wearing a blue jacket."
  • From Cracked's "The 6 Most Horrifying Ways Anyone Ever Got Rich":
    "Well, it wasn't really a 'hotel,' except in the sense the Hotel California was a hotel. You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave. Except you can't check out. Because you're dead. Or slowly suffocating in an airtight vault, or being stretched on a rack in the basement that Holmes used to see how far the human body could stretch (Answer: not that far)."
    • And another in their "5 Scientific Advances That Should Have Changed Everything"
      "Think of how ridiculously one-sided the Space Race would have been if America had actually tapped into its 20-year advantage properly? It would be like the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, only the hare is jacked up to his eyeballs with amphetamines, and the tortoise is a garden gnome."
  • From Crash Course, "Progressive Presidents":
    "It would be kind of like a Jefferson vs Hamilton for the twentieth century, except not like that at all."
  • In Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged, Reeve unsuccessfully tries to talk President Shinra out of dropping the Sector 7 plate in an attempt to kill AVALANCHE.
    Reeve: Okay, okay, I'll use a metaphor: it's like you're trying to make an omelette, by DROPPING AN ENTIRE SECTION OF THE CITY ON TOP OF ANOTHER SECTION OF THE CITY!
  • From the Freelance Astronauts' SimCity LP.
    pipes!: Let's have a planned community with lots of shopping centers easily accessed via public transportation.
    Maxwell: If by that, you mean "place things randomly until I go bankrupt", I agree completely.
  • Half-Life: Full Life Consequences: "Combines were robot things that weren't robots..."
  • From I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC, "Wolverine & The Comedian":
    Wolverine: Maybe you ain't so bad after all, Blake. In fact, you kind of remind me of myself at your age. Except, you know, I'm a mutant. And I've got ethics. And I'm not a psychopath. Or a rapist. You know, maybe you remind me of someone else.note 
  • In 'Let's Drown Out Hexen: Beyond Heretic', Yahtzee and Gabriel noticed that the teleporter was different from their previous playthrough, which they were slightly amazed on that.
    Yahtzee: It's like a roguelike, except not really.
  • From the Let's Play of UFO Aftermath:
    Booya: It's like shooting fish in a barrel. Except instead of a gun you're using dynamite. And the fish aren't particularly smart either. With a bad sense of pattern recognition. And the dynamite has some sort of fish seeking technology.
    Others Present: ...
  • Red vs. Blue: Everyone other than Caboose does this.
  • From Adam Schwartze's Mega Man 8 playthrough, with guest star warriorxero:
    Xero: (on the subject of the opening cinematic) This is like a bad episode of Gundam.
    Adam: Except even cheesier.
  • SF Debris: "You can't out-Technobabble Voyager! That's like trying to wrestle a greased pig, only without the dignity."
  • Lore Sjöberg, in his review of Dungeons & Dragons character classes, describes your typical D&D ranger as "Real Jack Palance types, if you could have gotten Jack Palance to wear a little cap with a feather in it."
  • In his Let's Play of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Slowbeef attempts to compare Admiral Dane and Adam before guest Baldurk points out he's not like Adam at all.
    Slowbeef: [He is] basically like the Adam of Corruption, I suppose.
    Baldurk: That bad?
    Vicas: He's less intrusive.
    Slowbeef: Oh, yeah, much less. This is like the second time I've seen him the whole game.
    Baldurk: So he's not really like Adam at all then.
    Slowbeef: (Laughing) Yeah, actually you're right.
  • Tales of MU narrator Mackenzie Blaise has strayed into these.
    Slow-dancing in the water with Steff was just like a dream... only, instead of having people walking on my face and calling me filth, I was slow-dancing in the water with Steff.
    You ever play one of those fighting games where there's always the one guy who's like seventeen tons of walking muscle, and if he manages to hit you it does massive damage but it's laughably easy to avoid his attacks because they move so slowly? That's almost exactly what getting suckerpunched by a fucking ogre isn't like.
  • wordie, a website later merged into wordnik, had the tagline "Like Flickr, but without the photos".
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series episode 4:
    Joey: Wow, an entire island all to ourselves! It's sorta like that book Lord of the Flies only with a lot less subtext and a lot more card games!
    • And also, "Ever since your voice changed, you've been like a totally different person! Well, actually, you've been like the same person, just with a totally different voice, but you know what I mean!"
    • "That's Kaiba's Duel Dome! You know, in my day, we didn't have Duel Domes. We had to play our card games out on the street. And our cards weren't even real cards! They were just rocks that we picked up off the ground. And then we threw them at each other! Come to think of it, it wasn't really card games at all. We just liked to throw rocks at each other—mostly at me. That's probably why I have so much self-loathing. (beat) Anyway, we should probably go over there."
    • "Just remember: you treat a Duel Disk just like a woman. You fasten it to your arm, and place trading cards inside it at regular intervals."
    • In the Cr@psule Monsters spinoff, when the gang is exploring some ruins and has to do some climbing Joey says "It's just like playing Tomb Raider, except it's actually fun!"
  • From Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged The Movie:
    Hinageshi: There are five elemental sites in the human world that seals the nether world's power. And they represent earth, fire, wind, water, and heart. It's a lot like summoning Captain Planet. Only instead of Captain Planet, it's the nether world. And instead of fighting pollution, it kills people!

    Western Animation 
  • In American Dad!, Roger describes a run-down bar as something to the effect of "filled with the most pathetic, miserable people on the Earth. It's like Applebee's, but with a bar. Oh, wait, Applebee's has a bar. It's like Applebee's.".
  • The Boondocks does this when Riley is attempting to cheer up Thugnificent by complimenting his music.
    Riley: It's like you're Beethoven, only without the ability to write or compose music!
  • Clerks: The Animated Series: Jay agrees with Dante asking him if Caitlyn is running a kissing booth for charity, "only it don't cost nothin' and it's not for charity. And there's no booth. And it's more than just kissing. And you don't have to be a guy. Dude, she's cheating on you."
  • On Clone High JFK talked using these all the time.
    JFK: Why don't you come to my house and we'll go swimming in my pool. And by "pool" I mean "bathtub" and by "swimming" I mean "SEX"!
  • Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist:
    Tung: It's like staring into my soul. Only with more birds. And fewer voices.
  • Family Guy:
    • When Peter was thought to be lost at sea, Lois married Brian. After coming home and discovering the change, Chris remarked "This is like that sitcom where there's two dads, except no one's laughing. No, wait, it's the same."
    • "It's kind of like Bang the Drum Slowly, except the drum's a chick."
    • In the episode where Peter and Brian win a tour of the Pawtucket Brewery, Peter says, "It's like I died and went to Heaven. But then they realized that it wasn't my time, and so they sent me back to a brewery."
    • This exchange from "Believe It or Not, Joe's Walking On Air":
      Peter: It's like giving a monkey the keys to an amusement park.
      Lois: How is that?
      Peter: How is what?
      Lois: How is it anything like a monkey having the keys to an amusement park?
      Peter: I don't know, the hours would be erratic; maintenance would probably suffer to some degree; the prizes for games of chance would all be bananas.
  • Inverted in the Futurama episode "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings":
    Bender: You may metaphorically have to make a Deal with the Devil. And by Devil, I mean Robot Devil. And by metaphorically, I mean get your coat.
  • Kim Possible:
    • When a pair of movie stars hang out with Kim and Ron, Kim's parents have this classic exchange:
      Dr. James Possible Hon, you know how I feel about show folk.
      Dr. Ann Possible: Oh, they're just like you and me... except they're wealthy, beautiful, and live by no recognizable moral code.
The fact that the Possibles are themselves wealthy and beautiful is apparently not relevant here.
  • In Phineas and Ferb:
    • Dr. Doofenshmirtz occasionally says something along the lines of, "Ah, Perry the Platypus. How un-X/not X it is to see you. And by un-X/not-X, I mean completely X!"
    • Candace does this quite a bit in the Christmas Episode.
    • In "That Sinking Feeling", Candace expresses a wish that Jeremy was more romantic: "Like Romeo and Juliet romantic, but without all the dying."
    • In "Cheer Up, Candace", Doofenshmirtz introduces his army of evil robot duplicates of Perry with the following:
      Doofenshmirtz: I realized what I should really be doing is fighting fire with fire. And by 'fire' I mean 'Perry the Platypus'. And by 'fire' I also mean 'Perry the Platypus'. It occurred to me while I was on fire.
  • In a Robot Chicken parody of Care Bears "Bedtime Bear" delivers the line, "You all know what time it is, it's bed-time; and by bed, I mean 'ethnic', and by time, I mean 'cleansing'."
  • One episode of TaleSpin has Molly asking Wildcat to describe snow. He picks up a bowling ball and says "You see this? Well, it's nothing like that."
  • On The Simpsons:
    • Attorney Lionel Hutz has:
      Lionel Hutz: He's had it in for me ever since I kinda ran over his dog... Well, replace the word "kinda" with "repeatedly" and the word "dog" with "son."
    • Coupled with Not Helping Your Case, in "Cape Feare", while trying to figure out who has been sending threatening letters to Bart, Grandpa suggests to call in Matlock and let him find the culprit.
      Bart: Grandpa, Matlock's not real!
      Grandpa: Neither are my teeth, but I can still eat corn on the cob if someone cuts it off and smushes it into a fine paste. Now that's good eatin'.
    • In the episode "Bye Bye Nerdie", when Marge drag races with Otto's school bus:
      Milhouse: It's just like Speed 2! Only with a bus instead of a boat!
    • When Principal Skinner presents Lisa with a key to the study hall that she can use anytime he says, "it's like you're Harry Potter without the magic and wonder."
    • Ned Flanders has a film to show the world without any way to get it out. He says that he is just like Michael Moore, except he's skinny, his jeans are washed, and God loves him.
    • Marge encourages Bart to have fun with his history report noting that history is like an amusement park, except instead of rides, you have dates to memorize.
  • Space Ghost does one on Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
    Space Ghost: Dames are like mustard. They taste great on a sandwich, but when you're not eating a sandwich, they just sit there in your refrigerator... on a shelf... in a jar... labeled... mustard.
  • In the Strawberry Shortcake Berryfest Princess Movie, Orange Blossom's campaign speech includes, "And if you vote for me for Berryfest Princess, you'll be voting for yourself! Well, actually not yourself, but me. But you know what I mean."
  • In one episode of Yam Roll, the main character starts off a story with, "It was on a day just like today...except, snowing. And...night. And a Tuesday."

    TV Tropes Wiki 

    Real Life 
  • From the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2011 list:
    "Dawn crept up like the panther on the gazelle, except it was light, not dark like a panther, and a panther, though quiet, could never be as silent as the light of dawn, so really the analogy doesn't hold up well, as cool as it sounds, but it still is a great way to begin a story; just not necessarily this particular one."
  • In a video game review by Liam R Productions:
    Hotel Mario sort of looks like Donkey Kong, without the princess, the monkey... the barrels and the...eight-bit graphics... so nothing like it then.
  • The BBC came out with this little gem, regarding kangaroo meat:
    He said: "It tastes excellent, not unlike venison - only a different flavour."
  • Do you know those things that are like books but not books? Or what's a dictionary, but not a dictionary and a box? Not Always Right knows.
  • Entry Pimps on This Very Wiki may do this to shoehorn their favorite work into an example of a trope. Typically accompanied by enough Weasel Words to be its own Lampshade Hanging.
  • One textbook about Chinese culture contains a passage explaining that, to Chinese people, life is like a hotel: one only stays there temporarily, one has to stay at the hotel forever, the hotel's interior is actually countless smaller, separate hotels that operate independently of each other, and those who break a given hotel's arbitrary rules are killed. In other words, nothing like any hotel that has ever existed.
  • This YouTube video features a collision between two large container ships. As one commenter put it, "Like ships passing in the night...except they didn't pass and it was day."
  • A quote by German player Lukas Podolski "Soccer is like chess, only without the dice". (Actually, it was made up by a comedian about him, but he embraced it for the fun of it).
  • From the caption of a (2010) photo of the world's tallest and shortest men:
    When Sultan Met He. It’s like When Harry Met Sally..., except they’re both men and there’s a huge height difference.

Alternative Title(s): The Same But More Different, The Same But Completely Different