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Doppelgänger Crossover

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Kenji Ohba, Kenji Ohba, and Kenji Ohba.

"So," Chekov clapped his hands in eagerness, "who's the problem?" When Riker pointed down at the deck, he blinked and said, "Oh, there he is." He knelt down and rolled the still-senseless Bester over, checking him for weapons. "Rather a handsome devil, isn't he?"
"We hadn't noticed," Worf growled.
Pavel Chekov taking Alfred Bester into custody, during the Undocumented Features story "A Day of Infamy."

Let's say you're a fanfic writer. Let's make another assumption and say that you like a particular actor and everything they've ever been in, because they were in it.

It's entirely possible that you may write a Doppelgänger Crossover, a story in which two characters played/voiced by the same actor meet each other. Or that they are each other. In other words, a crossover which is only happening because the two sources share an actor.

You may desperately want Riker to meet Xanatos, or Ranma Saotome to be a reincarnation of Inuyasha, or you might just want to see what happens when John Crichton takes the place of Cameron Mitchell, and don't even start on what would happen if Han Solo bumped into Indiana Jones. The end result, however is the same. A Doppelgänger Crossover.

It's seen as "fun" by writers, despite the fact that one side of the Doppelganger Crossover sometimes *will* fare badly when facing the character on the other half. For example, Grasshopper would certainly suffer painfully if she was to fall into Esther's hands.

On occasion, this can be one part of a Massive Multiplayer Crossover. See also Fanon Welding where fans speculate that two unrelated works are part of the same universe especially if the actor/actress plays similar characters. Compare I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine. May be the cause of a Celebrity Paradox.


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    Canon or Semi-Canon Examples 
Works with multiple examples:

    Fandom Examples 
  • In the Adam Adamant Lives! fanfic "A Romantic Or A Rogue?" the villain is a thinly-disguised Nelson Gabriel from The Archers — who, like Adam's valet Simms, was played by Jack May.
  • Andromeda all but canonized the notion that Dylan Hunt is the reincarnation of Hercules of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Portrayed by Kevin Sorbo.
  • Angel crossovers:
    • There are fics where cast members from Angel mistake Zoe from Firefly for their very own Jasmine. Jasmine and Zoe are played by Gina Torres.
    • Fics where cast members from Angel mistake Jayne from Firefly for Marcus Hamilton. Both played by Adam Baldwin.
    • Apart from the natural "Booth is a shanshued Angel" fics, there have been a couple of Bones/Angel fics where vampire Angel somehow meets FBI agent Booth. Fans of David Boreanaz write these stories.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003) crossovers:
    • Fic "From Prometheus to 12" plays with the concept that Felix Gaeta (Battlestar Galactica) and L (Death Note) are the same person. Gaeta is played by Alessandro Juliani and L is voiced by him in the English dub.
    • Firefly & Battlestar Galactica (2003): One can only speculate at just what the hell happened to Badger (Firefly) who goes from kinda-Cockney crime boss to President of the Colonies in Battlestar Galactica (2003). Pretty impressive feat. (Both are played by Mark Sheppard.)
    • "Astra Major" features naval officer Archie Kennedy from Horatio Hornblower and ace pilot "Apollo" Lee Adama from Battlestar Galactica, both played by Jamie Bamber.
  • In Lost Ones, a Ben 10: Ultimate Alien crossover with the DC Universe, Gwen fights Slade, who remarks that "You remind me of someone I knew a long time ago, she was a lot like you. You even sound like her too...let's just say that someone with the power of Geokinesis used to work for me." Considering the fact that Ashley Johnson plays both Gwen and Terra, it's pretty fun, though they haven't met each other yet.
  • Crossing Bill & Ted with The Matrix due to Keanu Reeves being in both isn't unheard of. In particular is An Alternate Ending to Matrix Revolutions, with a side of Mind Screw.
  • In "Rebel Quartet," a Blake's 7 story, Orac meddles with the teleport and fetches back not one Blake, but four (all played by Gareth Thomas). There's Blake, the Rev. Griffiths (How Green Was My Valley), resistance leader Owen Edwards (The Knights of God), and magician Blaze (Merlin: the Quest Begins), who promptly sets Orac on fire. All four are rebels against oppression, none of them can agree on anything, and Avon, who hasn't been bothered in weeks, has never been so content in all his life.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossovers:
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars share enough actors to make an arsenal of this, albeit most of them in minor roles in the latter.
    • The relationships between Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Captain John Hart (Torchwood) who are both portrayed by James Marsters really run the gamut from being the same person to being enemies, friends, lovers or basically anything else you can imagine.
    • At least one Anthony Head doppelgänger Merlin / Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic exists with Uther and Giles meeting. Both roles are courtesy of Anthony Head.
    • The first "Echo is Faith" fics started showing up less than 24 hours after Dollhouse was announced — i.e., more than a year before the first episode aired. Eliza Dushku is an actress portraying Faith Lehane on Buffy and Angel and Echo on Dollhouse. Amy Acker getting cast helped, too, as she appeared on Angel as well.
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Firefly crossovers where Xander initially panics upon meeting Mal Reynolds because of the latter's resemblance to Caleb. (Caleb and Mal are both portrayed by Nathan Fillion.)
    • There are fics where the characters from Buffy mistake the friendly and decent Richard Castle of Castle for the psychotic Caleb. Both Caleb and Castle are played by Nathan Fillion. Unlike nice guy Castle, Caleb is a sadistic sociopath.
  • Castle crossovers:
    • It's popular in fan-works to suggest that Richard Castle from Castle is either a distant ancestor of or is in some Timey-Wimey Ball-way connected to Firefly's Malcolm Reynolds. Both Richard Castle and Mal Reynolds are creations of Nathan Fillion.
    • There are fics where the characters from Buffy mistake the friendly Castle for the psychotic Caleb. Hilarity Ensues. Both Caleb and Castle are played by Nathan Fillion. Castle is a lovable, teasing nice guy, while Caleb is a sadistic sociopath with a pathological hatred of women.
  • Chuck and White Collar often crossover in fan fics. The premise is usually Neal was an alias of Bryce's he started using again after faking his death for the second season. Or they're twins. Both Caffrey (White Collar) and Bryce Larkin (Chuck) are played by Matthew Bomer.
  • Community fics that fancy bringing the angst and Hurt/Comfort on, one option is to imagine that Britta, played by Gillian Jacobs, is the same character that Jacobs plays in the movie Gardens of the Night, a dark drama about a young woman who is kidnapped as a child and forced into prostitution. It helps that Britta is implied at times to have had a rough childhood with possible molestation involved, albeit usually played for Black Comedy instead of drama.
  • Criminal Minds crossovers:
    • Ever wonder why there's a Criminal Minds/Dharma & Greg crossover section over at Because Thomas Gibson was in both shows, inspiring fics where Agent Hotchner (a.k.a. "Hotch") of Criminal Minds is actually Greg from Dharma&Greg in disguise and vice versa.
    • 'Being each other in disguise plot' has happened with Reid's mother (Criminal Minds), Sue Sylvester (Glee) and Sam's mother (iCarly ) due to Jane Lynch playing all three characters.
  • There is a significant number of crossovers between Dark Angel and NCIS (because of shared actor Michael Weatherly) where Tony DiNozzo becomes Logan Cale or vice versa. Science magic is usually invoked to explain the timeline and/or the character aging in reverse.
  • Doctor Who crossovers:
  • ** There are umpteen Life On Mars fics that reveal that Sam Tyler is in fact... the Master from Doctor Who. Both played by John Simm.
  • Drake & Josh / iCarly crossover:
    • In fic iFight Crime With Victorious when two of Miranda Cosgrove's characters, Carly Shay (iCarly) and Megan Parker (Drake & Josh), meet thanks to Megan's precognitive power. This serves as a plot point since Megan thinks that she is seeing herself in her visions of the future, but the person in them is actually Carly. Megan When they meet, Megan comments on how much their personalities contrast despite their similar appearance.
    • Crossover Ship: There are fics that ship Carly (iCarly) and Megan (Drake & Josh). A few people go so far as to add Summer Hathaway from School of Rock, into a Miranda Cosgrove Doppelganger OT3. Triplet Doppelganger Screw Yourself-like ship is even better than Twin Threesome Fantasy.
  • There is a Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog/How I Met Your Mother crossfic where Barney Stinson seduces Dr. Horrible. There are also countless Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog/How I Met Your Mother crossovers where Barney secretly is Dr Horrible... The fact the gang were looking for Doppelgängers was a subplot for a season of HIMYM or so helps.
  • Elementary & Kill Bill: There are a few Elementary and Kill Bill crossover fanworks because Joan of Elementary and O-Ren of Kill Bill share the same actress Lucy Liu.
  • EUReKA & Warehouse 13: It's not uncommon for fans of EUReKA and Warehouse 13 to say that Carl Carlson and Artie Nielsen are the same person. Both are played by Saul Rubinek. It helps that both shows are canonically in the same Shared Universe.
  • Firefly:
    • Firefly & Battlestar Galactica (2003): One can only speculate at just what the hell happened to Badger (Firefly) once the crew left him to make him straighten up, learn the law and start ste— no, wait, that one's already covered. Still, going from kinda-Cockney crime boss to President of the Colonies (Battlestar Galactica), pretty impressive feat. Both are Mark Sheppard's roles.
    • There are a number of Firefly/Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles crossovers that usually feature Cameron being mistaken for River, often with Alliance soldiers getting curb stomped. Both portrayed by Summer Glau.
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Firefly crossovers where Xander initially panics upon meeting Mal Reynolds because of the latter's resemblance to psychotic Caleb. Mal and Caleb are Nathan Fillion's roles.
    • It's popular in fan-works to suggest that Richard Castle from Castle is either a distant ancestor of or is in some Timey-Wimey Ball-way connected to Firefly's Malcolm Reynolds. Both played by Nathan Fillion.
    • There are fics where Zoe from Firefly is mistaken for Jasmine by characters from Angel. Jasmine and Zoe are played by Gina Torres.
    • Fics where cast members from Angel mistake Jayne from Firefly for Marcus Hamilton. Both played by Adam Baldwin.
  • Prior to Frozen (2013)'s Elsa, Idina Menzel's most popular role was Elphaba in Wicked. Naturally fans of both have made many crossovers, especially considering how similar Elsa and Elphaba are.
  • There is at least one Fullmetal Alchemist/Ouran High School Host Club crossover fan fic which exists purely because the English dubs of both animes have the same voice cast.
  • Game of Thrones & A Song of Ice and Fire & real life: In Sean Bean Saves Westeros, "real life" Sean Bean gets transported to Westeros soon after Season 1 of Game of Thrones wraps up filming, and takes the place of Ned Stark.
  • Aside from Xanatos and Riker, Gargoyles and Star Trek: The Next Generation shared Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, Le Var Burton, and Colm Meaney. Cameos from other Star Trek series included Kate Mulgrew as fairy queen Titania (often disguised as a human scientist) and Nichelle Nichols as the female lead's mother. Crossovers milked this for all it was worth.
  • The Harry Potter and Twilight series both feature actor Robert Pattinson in their respective film adaptations, although it would take some rather violent Hand Waving to make Cedric Diggory and Edward Cullen the same person. This has mostly been fodder for the MuggleNet caption contest. Cedric seems to have become a much more popular character in Harry Potter fanfiction since the first Twilight movie.
  • Heroes crossovers:
    • Heroes & Scrubs crossover: Masi Oka portrays lab-guy Franklin on Scrubs and also portrays Hiro Nakamura on Heroes, a fact picked up on in one or two fanworks.
    • Claude Rains from Heroes being secretly the Ninth Doctor of Doctor Who was a very popular idea for a time because of Christopher Eccleston who played both characters.
  • Highlander crossovers:
    • Methos, the legendary oldest Immortal, gets around a lot in general. Played by Peter Wingfield.
    • Highlander & The Sentinel:
      • Captain Simon Banks of The Sentinel has been mistaken for the Immortal Carl Robinson. Both are the creations of actor Bruce A. Young.
      • A certain Really Old Guy of Highlander either gets mistaken for or actually is a certain serial killer of The Sentinel.
    • Philip Akin appeared as a regular in the first season of War of the Worlds (1988), Adrian Paul in the second. Since both actors also appeared in Highlander: The Series, crossovers make up a sizable proportion of War of the Worlds fanfic, either with Kincaid as a cover identity for Macleod or one being mistaken for the other.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry and Lyrical Nanoha? Since Rika and Nanoha share a voice actress Yukari Tamura, there have been fan videos that involve the two.
  • Inverted in the Hogan's Heroes story Return of the Informer: the author takes one recurring actor playing seven different characters, and has these characters being one and only hapless guy (the aforementioned informer, now defected to the Allies and turned spy against his will). It's frequently hilarious (especially the "Oh no - him again!?" reactions of the main cast) and often quite touching.
  • Horatio Hornblower:
    • "Astra Major" is a short story written by FlirtyFroggy, an avid Bamber Bunnny. The fic features Archie Kennedy from Horatio Hornblower and "Apollo" Lee Adama from Battlestar Galactica (2003), both played by Jamie Bamber. His fans told him at one convention that they liked to live in a world where Archie didn't die and asked him about his theory on how Archie had survived. Mr Bamber replied: "When they carried his corpse away, aliens came down and resuscitated him, and now he's living on Astra Major in some other galaxy. And maybe Lee Adama will come across him, and asks: 'What the hell is going on with you, Arch?'" This answer inspired the author to write her story.
    • There are quite a few fan fics featuring Midshipman (Lieutenant) Archie Kennedy from Horatio Hornblower and Lord Tony Dewhurst from The Scarlet Pimpernel, both portrayed by then-25-year-old Jamie Bamber. It seems to be a particularly good fit because both series (first episodes) are set in 1793. Several stories make those two Cuties cousins and their identical looks are explained as uncanny family resemblance. Word of God has it that Archie is the third son of a Scottish Lord and Tony is a British aristocrat as well, so it all fits together. The stories tend to be Fix Fic because the pattern of Chronically Killed Actor started to appear. Here is a list of cousin stories from Archieology 101. note 
    • "Declassified" is a fic that uses concept of Immortals from Highlander and takes characters from Horatio Hornblower and Law & Order: UK. Matt Devlin of Law and Order UK inexplicably recovers from the fatal bullet wounds he received at the end of the episode "Deal" and is forced to admit to his best friend/partner Ronnie and his crush Alesha Phillips that he's Immortal, thus revealing that he IS Archie Kennedy. So there is only one person, but they are two characters played by Jamie Bamber.
  • House/Jeeves and Wooster crossovers: Interestingly subverted in a few House fanfics that somehow add Jeeves to the mix instead of Bertie. Hugh Laurie plays both dr. House and Bertie; Stephen Fry portrays Jeeves. Fans apparently believe these two belong together.
  • A fanfic that crossed over JAG with The Pretender had Lt. Cmdr. Rabb mistake Miss Parker for his former partner Lt. Caitlin Pike. Both Miss Parker and Lt. Pike were played by Andrea Parker.
  • In "Jeeves and the Evil Twin", a Jeeves and Wooster fanfic in which Jeeves comes home from vacation to find that Jack Dalliard (one of Stephen Fry's recurring characters in A Bit of Fry and Laurie) has been not only impersonating him but abusing and raping Bertie.
  • A popular crossover is Leverage and The Librarians 2014, since both have Christian Kane in the main cast. Some have Jacob Stone be Eliot Spencer's brother.
  • There are umptynine Life On Mars fics that reveal that Sam Tyler is in fact... the Master from Doctor Who. John Simm's fans are responsible for those.
  • The Official Fanfiction University Of Middle-earth contains a chapter where the "teachers" (read: cast of The Lord of the Rings) were all replaced by other characters played by the same actors. Wasn't that the fault of the original two Protectors of the Plot Continuum, who were visiting? Or was that a different event?
  • Marvel and DC universe crossovers: Ryan Reynolds and Ben Affleck played characters in both the Marvel and DC universes. Reynolds plays Hal Jordan/Green Lantern in the DC universe with Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne/Batman. In Marvel, Reynolds plays Wade Wilson/Deadpool with Ben Affleck's Matt Murdock/Daredevil. Many Marvel/DC fan-created crossovers play off this.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Martian have gotten their fair share of crossovers likely partially due to there being multiple actors who appear in both the MCU and The Martian. The means of crossing over has varied, from Steve Rogers waking up a few decades late to Dr. Beck being one of Bucky Barnes's descendants to Dr. Beck being suspected of being the Winter Soldier.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the Season 2 villain Discord is inspired by the Reality Warper Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation, even being played by the same actor, John de Lancie. There have since been numerous works of fan art and fan fiction that show that Discord is Q, usually by way of the TNG Enterprise crew visiting Equestria.
  • One short fanfic had NCIS's medical examiner Dr. Donald Mallard, better known as Ducky, mistake Rizzoli & Isles' medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles for his friend Kate (he was involved in a small accident). It can be assumed to be Kate Todd from the first two seasons because Kate just happens to be played by the same actress who plays one of the title characters from Rizzoli & Isles. The actress's name is Sasha Alexander. Any guesses? Not the only thing involving Ducky Mallard, played by David McCallum; there are fics out there of him either being related to or being Illya Kuryakin from The Man from U.N.C.L.E., McCallum's breakout role. Which is kinda weird since an Actor Allusion line early in the seris made reference to Ducky's resemblance to Illya.
  • Ranma ½ crossovers:
    • Ranma One Half crosses over with Ah! My Goddess, it is inevitable that Belldandy and Kasumi (both sweet, innocent, domestic characters voiced by Kikuko Inoue) sit down to trade recipes, or better yet, collaborate on a meal.
    • In Chris Davies' Mega Crossover Together Again 1996 Chapter, it's revealed that Kasumi is a reincarnated inhabitant of the Silver Millennium with some very strong, very negative opinions about "the monsters who call themselves gods" (to use her words from the story), and who is outright hostile to Belldandy. However, they seem to get along much better in another story in that series, Together Again 2937 Chapter.
    • There is at least one Ranma fanfic crossing over with Magic Knight Rayearth, on the basis that Hikaru Shidou looks like Girl-type Ranma.
    • Plenty of fanfics involve Lina Inverse from Slayers meeting up with female Ranma. Or the latter and Rei Ayanami of Neon Genesis Evangelion. There was even one with Ai Amano from Video Girl Ai. Blame Megumi Hayashibara and her amazingly prolific career.
    • The some-odd Ranma/Inuyasha crossovers where Ranma invariably turns out to be Inuyasha's reincarnation. They're up in the article itself for a reason. In addition, the two actually encountered each other semi-officially in an animated promotion for It's A Rumic World,note  which once provided the page illustration. Inuyasha even lampshades this trope by demanding to know why Ranma has his voice.
  • Sherlock crossovers:
    • It can be rather difficult to watch My Life In Film and not see Jones as Sherlock's Jim Moriarty. Especially when he starts talking about burying people in back gardens. Both Jones and Moriarty are played by Andrew Scott.
    • This trend has grown incredibly popular in the Sherlock fandom, with actors Martin Freeman being in The Hobbit and Benedict Cumberbatch acting in Star Trek Into Darkness.
    • There are a ton of Sherlock crossovers with Cabin Pressure, also starring Cumberbatch; his character Martin Crieff is often revealed to be a third Holmes brother.
    • Cumberbatch has voiced Smaug in the second Hobbit film. Now there's a proposal for an imagination exercise: Holmes meets Smaug.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Stargate SG-1 and MacGyver. There are too many of these fics, far too many JackGuyvers. Richard Dean Anderson portrays both MacGyver and Colonel Jack O'Neil. Even the cast got in on it once, with the famous "Trapped on a glacier with McGuyver!" outtake.
    • "What if Crichton met Mitchell" has been done many times. There are way too many Starscape fics, also (but not so often) called Fargate. Robert Benedict Browder is an actor known for his roles as John Crichton in Farscape and Cameron Mitchell in Stargate SG-1. Even the SG-1 series itself did a Farscape parody (interestingly, Mitchell and Vala do not take the roles their actors did in the actual Farscape).
  • There now exists an entire genre of Star Trek (2009) fiction where Bones is actually John "Reaper" Grimm from Doom, or at the very least, his something-great grandson. Karl Urban's fans are responsible.
  • Supernatural crossovers:
    • There are several Supernatural and Dark Angel crossover fics. Their ubiquity isn't surprising, as Jensen Ackles's characters in Dark Angel, the twins Ben and Alec, were genetically engineered, and thus could conceivably be clones of Dean from Supernatural as an Obvious Crossover Method. In light of that, and the Twin Threesome Fantasy trope, it was probably inevitable. However, Dark Angel is set 20 Minutes into the Future. So, if Dean isn't going to be in his forties, either time travel or alteration to the canonical timeframe is necessary in order for the characters to interact at their onscreen ages (at the end of Dark Angel it's 2021 and Ben and Alec are roughly 21 or 22 - Project Manticore wasn't big on birthdays - and at the beginning of Supernatural it's 2005 and Dean is 26). Or heck, they could be parallel universes. One form of fic which is surprisingly common despite messing heavily with the timeline is the story in which Alec left Seattle after "Freak Nation" and became Dean.
      • With Supernatural turning out to be such a Long Runner, the age thing is no longer such an issue. As of 2019-2021, Dean now is in his forties on the show and we're in the timeframe that Dark Angel was set (albeit slightly less dystopian despite that we got Covid instead of the Pulse).
    • There is a small niche of fan fics devoted to crossovers between Supernatural and Gilmore Girls which writers find doubly fun to play with because Gilmore Girls character Dean Forester is also played by Supernatural's Jared Padalecki and happens to share a name with Padalecki's current character's brother, Dean Winchester. Dean Forester lives the "apple pie" life Sam Winchester always wanted so theories abound that during the period of pre-series where Sam ran away from home, he actually went to Stars Hollow and lived with a family while using his brother's name as an alias.
    • There are Smallville/Supernatural crossovers in which the focus is on Jason Teague / Dean Winchester interactions, as the characters share a single actor, one Jensen Ackles. It also makes sense as the Winchester brothers are from Kansas and might be drawn to a town in their home state that is rumored to be filled with superpowered beings and strange occurrences.

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