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Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment

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Captain Carter: We’re here from another universe...and you’re the woman I trust to have my six, including now. And there are three people you trust in the universe, and I count myself lucky enough to be one of them.
Natasha Romanoff: [lowering her gun] Well, we must be close.
Carter: I believe the term is "BFF."

When you're meeting an alternate universe version/clone/zombie/etc. of someone, you're essentially dealing with a stranger. But because of your experience with your version, you may not feel that way.


For better or for worse, some people trigger very powerful emotional reactions in others. What specifically is being triggered varies — affection, protection, disgust, mistrust. However, it's very possible for the person triggering the response to be someone other than the person who originally provoked it.

Maybe the hero is meeting an alternate-universe counterpart to his dead little sister, who became his Cynicism Catalyst. Maybe he's reluctantly making himself team up with a good-aligned clone of his arch-nemesis. Maybe he's having to shoot one of his True Companions who has succumbed to The Virus and effectively stopped being the person he knew. Depending on the case, they may say You Remind Me of X. The point is that he's still having an emotional reaction to the person because of who they "are" — even though they aren't.


In some cases, this may not have any negative effects; the recipient is similar enough to the original target that it's still the correct reaction. However, sometimes (such as if the morality of the counterpart is inverted) things may not work out so well. This may also be used as a message against Expendable Clone - for Clones Are People, Too.

Very much Truth in Television in the same manner as Replacement Goldfish, but in a more broad manner since it doesn't have to involve a deceased individual. In Real Life, the individual getting the benefit (or detriment) of your previous relationship obviously isn't a clone, but they resemble someone else you know well enough (be it in appearance, personality, behavior, etc.) that you subconsciously treat them or interpret their actions in the same way until you either realize that's what you're doing or get to know them better. And with that in mind, this trope may last a shorter amount of time (for instance, if the hero meets the Alternate Universe version of his dead sister but then has to go back to his universe).


Evil Me Scares Me is sometimes played as an inversion — a hero seeing a villainous alternate version of himself may fear that his duplicate is him in some fashion and that he's really more evil than he likes to admit.

A subtrope of Psychological Projection; the person is projecting his feelings about his own version onto the other version. Related to Unbalanced by Rival's Kid (a person being angry at the child of a rival, particularly one who looks similar), Close to Home (a set of events or a person similar to an event that happened in the past complicates the present), Loving a Shadow, That Thing Is Not My Child! (which may apply if a character doesn't still love someone after some drastic change has occurred) and Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest (a person falls in love with a duplicate of an old Love Interest), and Reincarnation Romance. It's also the reason why the Shapeshifter Guilt Trip is sometimes effective.

Compare Have We Met Yet? when you are meeting the same person, but they haven't met you from their perspective, so as far as they are concerned you're still a stranger.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Inuyasha, the titular Inu-Yasha had great difficulty differentiating Kikyo from her reincarnation Kagome, often referring to the latter by the name of the woman he knew. Inu-Yasha also became greatly discomforted when Kagome dressed in traditional feudal Japan clothes as it made her further remind him of Kikyo, leading Inu-Yasha to tell her to put her own weird, modern clothes back on.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, the "Millennium World" arc has Yami Yugi/The Pharaoh get whisked into a world resembling his past life of Ancient Egypt. There he sees that his royal subjects are all past reincarnations of many people he knows in the present, and initially has trouble seeing them any differently. For instance, his chief adviser is Shimon and the doppelganger of Yugi's grandfather, who the Pharaoh still sees as a father figure, while Priest Seto still ended up becoming a worthy rival to him of sorts.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku's reaction to fighting Copy-Vegeta seems to imply this. Even knowing this isn't really his rival, Goku just can't help enjoying the fight against this Vegeta. It helps that Copy-Vegeta completely absorbed the real Vegeta's power, personality, and memory, so Goku was pretty much fighting the real Vegeta colored purple.
    • Vegeta seems to treat fighting Goku Black as another chance to beat on Kakarot, always eagerly snatching the chance to pound his rival's doppelganger.
  • Case Closed has an extremely unusual example. In "Murderer, Shinichi Kudo", in an attempt to frame Shinichi Kudo, a criminal underwent plastic surgery to take on Shinichi's likeness and then put himself into a murder situation to get Shinichi convicted. However what gives away the culprit's identity; in his home a smashed mirror was found. The reason for it? He had taken on the face of a man he hated and seeing that same face in the mirror led him to smash it in anger. This guy treated the doppelganger the same way he would to the real person when said doppelganger was himself.
  • Battle Girls: Time Paradox: Ordinary school girl Yoshino "Hideyoshi" Hide finds herself in an alternate world that resembles Feudal Japan, except everybody is female. Akechi Mitsuhide and Tokugawa Ieyasu look and sound exactly like Hideyoshi's classmates Akerin and Tokunyan. Even though their personalities are completely different, Hideyoshi keeps calling them by her classmates' names and tries to treat them like her friends.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Despite Erza Knightwalker being an enemy in Edolas, Lucy can't help but feel calm around her due to the former's resemblance to Erza Scarlet, at least until Knightwalker tried to toss her off a balcony.
    • Pantherlily was best friends with the Edolas version of Coco. He becomes heartbroken when he meets her Earthland counterpart who is incredibly rude and refuses to be his friend.
  • Exaggerated in Ayakashi Triangle, where Garaku (at least claims) to serve Mei's Evil Doppelgänger purely because she's a version of his lost love, even knowing she's the original's moral opposite.
    Garaku: My love it blind when it comes to Mei Hirasaka.

    Comic Books 
  • Back to the Future: Discussed in the "Who is Marty McFly?" arc. After realizing the truth about the alternate Martys (that they're actually androids), Doc shoots them to protect his Marty. He reassures the teen that what he's doing is Not What It Looks Like, appealing to his trust that he wouldn't hurt him or any timeline's version of him. This accidentally helps clear up Marty's existential crisis.
  • In the Darkwing Duck arc Crisis on Infinite Darkwings, Quiverwing Darkwing acts as an affectionate and somewhat mentorly figure to Gosalyn Prime. He used to have his own version of Gosalyn, who was his sidekick, but she died at some point prior to the arc (hence why he goes by her superhero identity).
  • The Flash: Invoked to a degree regarding Inertia, a clone of Bart Allen, the original Impulse, second Kid Flash and the fourth Flash. While Inertia's status as Bart's clone doesn't completely get him the same sentiment as the original, after Inertia killed Bart prior to Wally West's return from the Speed Force after Infinite Crisis, when Wally captured Thad in revenge, Wally acknowledges that, even though Inertia is "an irredeemable sociopath", the fact that he was a piece of Bart was the only thing that stopped Wally crossing the line and killing him outright.
  • Green Lantern: During a cross-over in Hal Jordan: Green Lantern, Hal treats Bat-Lantern pretty much the way he would Batman. He soon runs into an alternate version of his long-term love interest Carol Ferris, and they have the same strained working relationship.
  • In Marvel Team-Up- Volume 3, a story arc throughout the series involved Iron Maniac, an alternate version of Tony Stark from a world where, according to him, Reed Richards basically took over the world; based on the actions of the Reed of his world, the moment this alternate Tony encountered the Fantastic Four of Earth-616 he immediately started attacking them because, by his reasoning, he had no reason to believe they wouldn't turn out the same way "his" Reed had done.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: At the end of Infinity Wars, an alternate version of Moondragon and Phyla-Vell wind up in the regular universe. This Moondragon is immediately treated by Drax exactly like he would regular Moondragon, his daughter, and vice versa. Come Guardians of the Galaxy (2020), the original Moondragon resurfaces, and is pretty unhappy that everyone's been treating this other, better, happier Moondragon like her. Even more so since everyone thinks she's dead, even though she isn't, and they never bothered checking.
  • Subverted in The Multiversity: Pax Americana; after Captain Atom impulsively kills his dog in an effort to comprehend how it works, he then creates an exact replica, but can't bring himself to love it because he knows it's not the same dog.
  • Secret Wars (2015): During the final incursion, which results in an Earth-Shattering Kaboom, Reed Richards watches as his family dies before they're able to get into the ark that can save them. The ark gets lost, with time standing still for everyone inside until it's later found eight years later. Upon emerging, Reed finds out that his archenemy Doctor Doom managed to save a small portion of reality with himself ruling as God-Emperor. As one of the many Take Thats Doom has orchestrated, in this new world, he is now married to Sue, with their children now also being Doom's. Though Reed is somewhat aware that this is a different Sue plucked from some random timeline/universe, it still hurts to watch her showing Doom her affection while having absolutely no idea who Reed is.
  • X-Men: X23 was abused by her creator because she was an Opposite-Sex Clone of Wolverine. He hated Wolverine because of his father's death related to the Weapon X project, and so X-23, grown from his DNA, made a good scapegoat for his frustrations with the other mutant.
  • Acknowledged to various degrees in Exiles, which features various alternate heroes travelling through the multiverse; in their first mission as a team, they nearly failed in their mission because they assumed that the 'teacher' they had to help was the local Charles Xavier, only learning after they released him from prison that this version of Xavier was a villain. This twist led to the team's decision to make Blink- who originated from the Age of Apocalypse reality- to be the team leader, as she would be less likely to fall victim to this as her reality was so distant from the realities of the other members that she would likely have less of an attachment to the counterparts of the heroes-turned-villains they might face.
    • The team's second mission, the one where Blink is made team leader, runs headfirst into this problem again, since they're at a version of the trial of the Phoenix. Only this time, the Phoenix really is Jean, and if they don't stop her, she will kill everyone everywhere. But they still have difficulty doing it because for all them, Blink included, Jean's their friend. Elsewhere, Nocturne treats that reality's version of Nightcrawler like a version of her dad.
    • Mimic has a harder time grasping this one, since his universe is one of the most positive universes out there. He eventually has a meltdown after one Crapsack World too many, where he tries to talk some sense into that universe's genocidal version of Namor.
    • Done the other way around during Chuck Austen's run. A version of Colossus refuses to attack the team's decidedly amoral version of Magik, even though she's trying to kill his friends and coworkers, because she's a version of his sister.
  • In What If? #19, What if The Vision of The Avengers Conquered the World?, in scenario where Vision conquered the world by allying with supervillains, eventually becoming a Galactic Conqueror leading an army of clones of the villains against the Shi'Ar Empire. As his forces are winning, clone of Doctor Doom promises Empress Lilandra to spare her people if she surrenders. She does, as she is aware that original Doom always kept his word. Once her army is disarmed, the clone says that was the first trait Vision had removed when he cloned Doom and kills her.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Averted by Vivienne Graham when she thinks about San's Alternate Self which regrew on Ghidorah's body and subsequently died in Bostonnote ; and initially also in regards to San's other Alternate Self San-2/Youngest Brother. Later in the story, however, Vivienne mournfully acknowledges San-2 as San-Who-Could-Have-Been and even extends a moment of Big Sister Instinct towards the doppelgänger.
  • Ace Lives:
    • Defied by Luffy, who refuses to acknowledge Mafia Ace as the same person as Pirate Ace.
    • Played straight by the Marines, who decide they need to kill Mafia Ace as well since he also bears the blood of Roger.
  • In the Alternate Tail Series, Mira becomes distrustful of Mystogan after seeing he looks exactly like Laxus, who beforehand tried to kill her.
  • Arrow: Rebirth: Zigzagged. The people Oliver is interacting with (with the exception of the Monitor and Felicity) are the same people he knew, just at the start of the timeline during his first return home, before all their Character Development set in. While Oliver is aware of this, he can't help but see them in light of the people they would come to be instead of the people they are now, and it causes him no end of problems.
    • He admits that one of the reasons why he made a job offer to Barry is because the latter was one of his closest friends and he wanted him back in any way he could have.
    • This isn't really much of an issue with Laurel, because when it comes down to it Laurel always had that strong, innate sense of justice and desire to help people. The problem she had was her (not unjustified) anger at Oliver and Sara. With Oliver being more open with her about what happened to him and to Sara on Lian Yu and beyond, and how that changed both of them, it doesn't take long for her to move past that anger and be more like the Laurel he knew her to be before her death in the previous timeline.
    • Nor is it much of a problem with Sara. Oliver recognizes that it will take time for Sara to really gain that drive for heroism because he had been in the same place as her at one point in his life. So he entrusts her with the tasks he knows she'll be comfortable with first and remains patient with her.
    • With Thea, Oliver keeps on expecting her to be more mature like she was in the future, instead of the Bratty Teenage Daughter she was in the beginning of Season One. This attitude is what drives Thea to run away to Metropolis after the deaths of Moira and Walter.
    • It backfires massively with Tommy. Oliver can't help but keep on seeing Tommy as the good man he became before his death, the man that Oliver mourned for almost a decade. This Tommy is nowhere close to that man because he never got together with Laurel or got cut off by Malcolm, the circumstances that forced him to change into that person. Thus, he is elitist, selfish, and incredibly naive — traits that ultimately lead him to exposing Oliver as the Green Arrow.
    • Oliver berates himself for having this attitude towards Emiko after learning that "Dinah Drake"/Tina Boland was an agent for the Ninth Circle. Originally he didn't want anything to do with Emiko after that, but then he realized that Emiko hadn't done any of those things yet and right now was just a girl who wanted to be a part of the family.
    • Malcolm Merlyn. Post-Undertaking Malcolm in the previous timeline was still a bastard, but Tommy's death humanized him, and he did love Thea, which meant he was more willing to work with Oliver and co. when deemed necessary. This Malcolm never lost Tommy, and ultimately his love for Thea does not outweigh his desire for revenge against Oliver, making him Beyond Redemption.
    • Oliver shoots Hank Henshaw in the leg for calling Earth-1 Kara a 'thing'. This is because he can't help but see her as a younger version of the friend who he gave his life to save.
  • Used to positive and negative effect in the Marvel/Ultimate Marvel crossover Avenging the Ultimate;
    • Bucky!Cap and 616!Spider-Man having to defend their Black Widow from Ultimate!Hawkeye's anger as he initially assumes she is her resurrected counterpart, while Natasha is shaken at the idea that any version of her could do that to Hawkeye.
    • The Ultimates- particularly Ultimate!Cap- are quick to treat 616!Hank Pym like he's just as bad as his deceased counterpart just because they're both Hank Pym, even with the Avengers speaking up in his defence.
    • 616!Spider-Man has no problem letting Ultimate!Black Cat depart based on his experience of her counterpart.
  • Exploited in the Loki (2021)fanfic Crossworlds by Loki who has found his way into an Alternate Timeline where his variant is an Avenger. Initially the Avengers are unaware he isn't their version. But even when the variant problem is revealed, the Avengers and Thor treat him with far more trust than his canon actions - which they know of - deserve. Avenger!Loki is quite aware of this problem.
    Avenger!Loki:You think I can’t guess how you are planning to play this? Planning to build up their sympathy?
  • Inverted in the Animorphs fanfic Back to the Future. Most of the extended Berenson family judge the real Tom by things Temrash 114 and/or Essa 412 did while controlling him.
  • Discussed in Captain Spike, when Torchwood meet a dimensionally-displaced Spike (Angel) and Jack initially mistakes Spike for John Hart. By the time he's accepted that Spike isn't just John with amnesia but a genuinely different person, Jack has already becoming intrigued by the vampire, to the extent that he kisses Spike before Spike has to leave that dimension, which prompts Spike in turn to concede that he might be willing to come back to this reality (in a hundred years when his current partner's dead).
  • In the Power Rangers fic Crossroads, a chain of events lead to canon!Tommy Oliver being transferred to an alternate reality where the original Power Rangers are the Knights of the Round Table (Tommy=Arthur, Kimberly=Guinevere, Jason=Lancelot, Trini=Nimue, Billy=Merlin, Zack=Galahad, Kat=Morgana and Justin=Mordred, aided by the ancient wizard Myrrdin as a variation of Zordon; Tommy glimpses four unnamed figures at the concluding banquet who are clearly intended to be the local versions of Rocky, Aisha, Adam and Tanya). At one point, Morgana attempts to convince Tommy to assist her in staging a coup of Camelot where he would take Arthur's place, asking if he can truly trust Myrrdin and his 'servants', but Tommy affirms that he believes in Zordon/Myrrdin regardless of what name he uses or what world he comes from.
  • In the Angel/Dark Angel crossover "Darkest Angel", when Max ends up in the Buffyverse in 2003 (and thus over a decade in her past), she recognises Giles because his counterpart in her world was her biological father, and Giles in turn observes that Max reminds him of Jenny Calendar, prompting speculation that Jenny's counterpart might have been Max's mother even if the names are different. While Giles and Max each recognise that Giles isn't exactly her father, he still swiftly becomes so fond of Max that he's the first person she tells that she's pregnant with Angel's child.
  • Distorted Reflections features this quite often as SG-1 (Stargate SG-1) find themselves in a parallel universe where Earth has been decimated by a virus fifteen years ago (Jeremiah). Among particular examples, Jack O'Neill swiftly re-establishes his bond with the alternate version of the long-deceased Charles Kawalsky, Sam easily settles into a working relationship with Jack's own counterpart, as well as dealing with her discomfort at meeting the living Martouf and Jolinar, and Daniel attempts to use his experience of Colonel Simmons in his world to manipulate the Simmons of this reality.
    • In an interesting inversion of this trope, when Teal'c spends time working with Erin Gant of this reality, he finds himself reflecting that he must get to know Major Erin Gant of his reality when he returns home, as Teal'c reflects how she, like Teal'c himself with Bra'tac and O'Neill, has put aside her own ambitions to serve a leader she respects in the form of Markus Alexander.
  • The Star Trek: Voyager fic "Eclipsed" explores the crew meeting their Silver Blood duplicates ("Course: Oblivion"), in a world where the Silver Blood Doctor was able to save the ship just in time for them to find a wormhole back to the Alpha Quadrant, with the result that the crew only learn they're not 'real' when the original Voyager returns via a transwarp hub two years later. Back on Earth after their duplicates have already essentially assumed their lives, the crew have to face various issues adapting to the fact that their doppelgangers have been living their lives for two years; as a particular example, some doppelgangers have been married to the original's spouses, but on the other hand characters like Joe Carey's wife are unsure how to feel upon learning that the 'original' is dead when his duplicate is playing with their children. As the fic ends, various individuals are shown trying to adapt to the situation, such as the Samantha Wildmans 'sharing custody' of the two Naomis while one or the other of them goes off on assignments while Tuvok and his duplicate are accepted by T'Pel as both being her husband.
  • An Extraordinary Journey acknowledges the SGC's usual philosophy of not worrying too much about alternate universes, but when circumstances send Willow to parallel universes she can't help but try and help her local counterparts, ranging from saving Dawn from a car accident to fighting her magic-corrupted alternate self, and everyone else in SG-1 feels her sorrow when she reveals that, in one reality she visited where there was never a Stargate Program, Jack O'Neill was Driven to Suicide by Charlie's death.
  • Defied in the Stargate SG-1/Battlestar Galactica crossover Finding Avalon, when the two groups learn that Fifth created the human-form Cylons, with one of his 'secret' creations being a duplicate of Zack Adama who is a loyal supporter of Fifth's agenda; Admiral Adama and Lee each reject the idea that the other Zack is anything but a twisted copy, with Kara even shooting Zack when she has the chance, informing him that the true Zack Adama is at peace while the duplicate can go to Hell as far as she's concerned. By contrast, Doctor Janet Frasier- who was copied by Fifth at some point before her death- is close enough to the original that the SGC all accept her as a new version of their old friend, even if Cassie has trouble adjusting to the 'return' of her adopted mother.
  • A good description of a key element in "From the Top", which sees Peter B. Parker (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) arrive in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by mistake; as well as the Kingpin's fixation on finding another version of his lost family, at one point Peter B. convinces the local version of Aaron Davies to help him by discussing how Aaron's nephew is Spider-Man in another universe and was motivated to become a hero after Aaron's counterpart died.
  • In Harry Potter and the Alien Reality, after Voldemort banishes Harry to the Stargate universe (deliberately sending him to a world without magic so he can't reverse the necessary ritual), the SGC soon establish that Harry's counterpart in this reality was killed along with his parents in a car crash with the 'local' Tom Riddle. However, it turns out that his parents were agents for MI6, and when the agency investigates the SGC's interest in the Potters, it leads to Harry being introduced to the local version of Sirius, who now goes by his codename 'Orion'. Despite his own godson having died as an infant, Orion and Harry soon become fond of each other, and the SGC's willingness to help Harry leads to the British Government volunteering to help provide the SGC with resources and financial support in the war against the Goa'uld.
  • Heart of Ashes: Kathryn feels this way towards the alternate Smaug of The Appetite for Souls universe, leading her to participate in the fight against the Dragon God. The alternate Smaug seemingly got a sense of déjà vu when he briefly saw Kathryn.
  • The Bridge/Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls crossover Hunters and Hollows:
    • Monster X and Irys are disturbed when they meet alternate versions of their friends Adagio Dazzle and Sunset Shimmer. Monster X quickly realizes they are different and don't know them, then manages to prevent Irys from making a scene when she sees Sunset.
    • When Adagio finds out Monster X is dating an alternate version of Aria Blaze, she tells him to take care of her. She may not be her Aria, but she is still family.
  • Imaginary Seas:
    • Percy Jackson hesitates when fighting Lostbelt Chiron, whose face reminds him so much of the Chiron who had taught Percy everything he knows. He gets over it with the knowledge that his beloved teacher from Pan-Human History is on his side. Even then, he's creeped out by the idea of Chiron more or less cannibalizing his Lostbelt counterpart and cringes when Lostbelt Chiron screams after being paralyzed.
    • When Percy learns that Zeus mind-wiped Poseidon into a mindless minion, he says he'll try to reason with him, believing their father-son bond plus Poseidon's three promises to Theseus will be able to reach him. Chiron points out that it won't work because they are in an alternate timeline where Percy never existed, so Poseidon wouldn't recognize him even if he wasn't mind-wiped. Percy says even so, Poseidon is his father and he has to try.
  • Although a few characters meet their counterparts in Infinity Crisis and its spin-offs, this idea is most explicitly evoked in Brothers of Thunder, when witnessing the death of Odin on Earth-8096 (and learning of his death on Earth-199999) prompts the Thor of Earth-12041 to visit his own Odin to spend some time catching up with him and prepare himself for the day when his father will no longer be there. Distant Cousins features two different negative versions of this as Steel/John Henry Irons has arrived on Earth-38 and is automatically preparing to treat the Superman of this world as a threat because of what he did on Irons' Earth of origin, and the displaced Avengers are upset by the discovery that the 'local' Peter Parker of Earth-38 was paralyzed in the battle against Doomsday.
  • An Interdimensional Meet: Featuring an original take on the The Flash/Supergirl crossover, this storyline includes Barry investigating the history of his counterpart on Kara's Earth and learning that, in this reality, he and his father were killed by Zoom while his mother survived. When Joe West comes to National City to investigate the apparent connection between the Allens' death and the city's new hero, Barry meets this world's version of his mother, with Nora immediately reacting to Barry as though he's still her son rather than an alternate version of him.
  • In the Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA/RWBY crossover Into the Night, the Miyuverse Shirou Emiya gets sent to the world of Remnant. Yang Xiao Long bares a resemblance to his enemy Angelica Ainsworth. Even though he objectively knows they are different people and Yang's personality is completely different from Angelica's, he can't help but feel slightly hostile to Yang.
  • In I Will Never Be Him, Luo Binghe falls into a dimensional rip that brings him into the world in which he became a tyrant, and is cared for and helped by a fox demoness named Yan Xiyan whom he identifies as his human husband's Shen Qingqiu by her facial traits and mannerisms. It makes him rather protective towards her, outright suggesting her to come back with him as he cannot bear to see how unhappy she obviously feels.
  • Basically deconstructed in "The Key to Marauding", when Dawn Summers finds herself in Hogwarts when she jumps into Glory's portal rather than Buffy, and soon learns that she's in a parallel universe to her own world. While she visits Buffy's counterpart, their brief talk is enough to confirm for Dawn that this isn't her Buffy, and although she learns that Spike's counterpart is alive in this world she never bothers looking for him as she recognises that it took a very specific set of circumstances to make Spike 'good' in her world. However, when a history lesson reveals that Angel's counterpart killed Darla and the Master after he was cursed before exposing himself to the sunlight shortly before World War One, Dawn is genuinely sorry at that news, mourning how all the good Angel could have done was cut short like that.
  • In the Wicked fic The Land of What Might-Have-Been, Elphaba coming to the alternate reality depicted in this fic is the reason that the mysterious Mistress of Mirrors- eventually identified as the still-living alternate version of Nessa- chooses to end her neutrality in the war between Elphaba and Glinda's counterparts, as Nessa would rather the monster that her sister has become be defeated by the woman she once was if anyone has to do it.
  • Defied in principle in Lost in Camelot; when Bo is explaining her status as resident fae in Camelot to a younger version of her future ally Dyson, she reminds herself that she doesn't know this Dyson well enough to be honest with him, and so claims that she rules Camelot discreetly while leaving Uther to deal with the administrative details in case Dyson attempts a coup of his own. After spending time getting to know this Dyson as his own person, Bo apologises for initially insisting he come back to Camelot because he reminds her of an old lover but now accepts him as his own person, but the younger Dyson assures Bo that he respects her relationship with Merlin and Morgana and has never allowed himself to think of her romantically.
  • Technically applies in "A mother's love", a Maleficent/Descendants crossover where Maleficent and Diaval accidentally travel to Auradon. While Maleficent is initially attacked because the people of Auradon assume she's just the 'local' Maleficent, when Mal follows after Maleficent to introduce herself properly, both are overcome as Maleficent meets her biological daughter and Mal finally receives actual affection from her mother. Even after the two Maleficents confront each other directly, Mal continues to refer to Maleficent as her mother, sympathising and horrified when Maleficent shares her story with the other residents of Auradon (although Maleficent then takes it 'personally' when she meets Audrey and learns her identity).
  • In the Supernatural fanfic Mirror World, after Sam is abducted by the hunters of a parallel world and Dean and Castiel re-open the portal to save him, while Dean expresses disgust at what his father and himself have become in this reality, he eagerly hugs the alternate Bobby Singer even if he's consciously aware that this Bobby doesn't know him.
  • In Multiversal Constants, when Jon Kent and Damian Wayne arrive in the universe of Young Justice (2010), while the two obviously form swift if awkward bonds with their fathers' counterparts, Damian in particular is swiftly protective of not only the alternate Tim Drake, but also the alternate versions of Cassandra Cain and Ravi (an old teacher of Damian's in his original world, Ravi sacrificed his sight to save Damian from a punishment due to a childhood mistake). As they continue to spend time in this world, not only does Jon help Superman open up to Conner/Superboy, but Damian is able to help Cassandra, Ravi and his infant counterpart leave the League of Shadows to live in Wayne Manor, and also introduces the 'local' Tim Drake to the rest of the Bat-Family.
  • In The Odyssey Resurgence, General Landry, SG-1 and the crew of the Odyssey are all grateful to meet the ‘local’ version of Thor when they find themselves in a parallel universe after the destruction of Orilla, although Thor needs to see the Asgard core’s holographic recreation of his other self to be assured that the Odyssey didn’t just steal the technology from his counterparts.
  • "Peter's Pan's Got Kids?", which adds a younger version of Peter Pan to the events of Hook, features an interesting reversal of this kind of dynamic. While the younger Peter Pan isn't entirely capable of consciously acknowledging who Jack and Maggie are to him, he still finds himself feeling unusually protective of them when Hook captures him while Banning is training with the Lost Boys.
  • The Queen's Sin is a Fate/Grand Order fanfic where the Lostbelt Morgan faces this after being summoned by Chaldea because of her Pan-Human History self. While Gareth happily sees her the same as her own mother, Gawain is outright distrustful, seeing Morgan as the same treacherous witch that their Morgan was. He tells Gareth not to get involved with Lostbelt Morgan or any out of fear of her being manipulated. The interactions are also complicated because Morgan has the memories of her other self.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: In Crisis on Two Equestrias, Lunaverse Twilight treats regular Spike like her universe's version of Spike, the closest thing she had to a friend. Likewise, she treats regular Trixie like the Lunaverse Trixie, even though regular Trixie had never done anything to her. Meanwhile, Lunaverse Luna uses regular Celestia as a substitute for her world's Celestia, who is a raving loon, even though both parties involved acknowledge how unhealthy this is.
  • Reacting to Heaven's Feel: Cast members from RWBY watch recordings of an alternate universe where their counterparts live lives replacing characters from the Fate Series.
    • They tend to cringe when they see counterparts suffering and dying. Jaune Arc is traumatized when he learns his counterpart sacrificed Nora Valkyrie to survive a battle and further breaks down when his counterpart kills Lie Ren. Jaune later cannot bear to look at his Nora, too ashamed of what his counterpart did. Glynda Goodwitch vows not to let Jaune turn into his counterpart.
    • James Ironwood's counterpart killed Jacques, married Willow Schnee, and had Winter for a daughter. Ironwood is so affected by seeing this that when he runs into Winter, he starts acting like a father-figure to her.
  • In the Digimon fic Second Chances for Sora, the Digidestined discover another version of Sora in the ruins of Datamon's pyramid, apparently created as a side-effect of Datamon's attempt to duplicate Sora; once Izzy has confirmed that the two Soras are biologically identical, speculating that the other was created due to an unexpected side-effect of Sora's exposure to Datamon's equipment, the team soon accept her as another member of the group. The 'new' Sora even starts dating Tai and reforms her old bond with Kari where the 'original' Sora has lost those old friendships after she started dating Matt.
  • In The Secret Return of Alex Mack, Alex spends time reminding herself not to fall victim to this when she initially meets her world's version of Jack O'Neill, even if he swiftly proves himself trustworthy. This trope also contributes to her establishing a friendship with the 'local' Willow and Hermione.
  • In the Angel fic "Splinter", when Angel Investigations arrive in an alternate reality where it appears as though Angel has killed Wesley and Buffy, literally torn out Cordelia's eyes, and is living with Darla with his soul intact, Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn each decide to go off on their own on the grounds that they feel they can't trust "their" Angel based on what his counterpart has become. However, they eventually learn that they had misjudged the moment of divergence from their original reality, and in fact Buffy's death was relative chance, Wesley was killed when their original office was blown up, and Cordelia tore out her eyes herself because she couldn't cope with being bombarded with visions, and Angel's counterpart is still basically trying to do the right thing and has just lost his ability to really relate to humans as he tries to focus on what he feels is the "big picture".
  • Applies to a degree in the Star Trek fic "To the Journey", where a still-living Tasha Yar of the present meets the Romulan that fathered Sela with her counterpart during the Dominion War. While the Romulan general recognizes that Tasha is not his deceased lover, his knowledge of her counterpart inspires him to help influence the Romulans to assist the Federation against the Dominion.
  • "Through the Looking Glass" features an interesting variation of this when the two Battlestar Galactica shows 'exchange' one individual each, with Athena Adama (The original series) and a Number Eight known as Callista (The reimagined series) ending up in the other's universe after travelling through a Negative Space Wedgie. Although Commander Adama and Lee Adama don't resemble their counterparts in her original universe, Athena soon bonds with her alternate father and brother, Lee freely introducing her to the rest of the pilots as Athena Adama, Athena in turn soon bonding with Starbuck (although surprised to learn her identity, as Kara Thrace in her original universe is still a young girl and obviously a separate person from Starbuck).
  • In To Hell and Back (Arrowverse), Black Siren is painfully aware that Earth-1's residents are not her loved ones, but at the same time they are and she just misses them so much. In spite of constantly reminding herself she's undercover, she can't help but slip up.
  • Goes back and forth in the Supernatural/Lucifer (2016) crossover "Tripping Down the Rabbit Hole"; after Gabriel arrives in Lux, he takes time to adjust to meeting a Lucifer who doesn't want to kill him and destroy the world, but even after the characters learn that the 'local' Gabriel (who looks exactly like Gabriel) is dead, Lucifer in particular continues to treat Gabriel as a brother he actually likes.
  • In the Twilight Storm fic "Time's Ashes", Bella and the First Doctor meet an alternate version of Marcus from the Volturi in an alternate timeline where the later Doctors were briefly erased from existence by the Monk ("Time's Ashes"), the alt-Marcus basically acting as their bodyguard when they have to retrieve the TARDIS. After reality is restored, Bella is initially happy to meet Marcus in the prime reality ("New Dawn") before the Tenth Doctor reminds her that this Marcus hasn't met them before.
  • Played with in the Star Trek: Voyager fic Where there's only one left, depicting an AU of "Course: Oblivion" where the Silver Blood Voyager met the originals before their situation became extreme; with the Silver Blood B'Elanna dead and no way to reconstitute her, B'Elanna talks with the Silver Blood Paris, but while she acknowledges that she has changed from her counterpart, she can be sure that neither B'Elanna would want 'their' Tom Paris to become lost in grief in this manner, with SB-Tom acknowledging her argument and promising her that he'll try to be better in memory of his wife.
  • Will the Real Dean Winchester Please Stand Up: Dean swaps places with his counterpart in another universe, while alt-Dean might at least partly agree to fight the current threat as it's the only way to get himself home rather than explicitly caring about his other self's associates, Dean clearly appreciates the chance to spend some time with his mother's living counterpart before he has to go home.

    Films — Animation 
  • The characters of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls are treated as the same as their Equestrian counterparts, the oddity of strangers inexplicably knowing about them quickly brushed aside. The exception to this is the human Twilight Sparkle in her first two appearances, with her being a Shrinking Violet that is reasonably unnerved by everyone acting as though they know her, with Sunset Shimmer blowing up on her for endangering her friends before later realizing she shouldn't have treated her as a copy of the other Twilight. This is continued in the next movie when Pony Twilight's Love Interest Flash Sentry starts crushing on her. She goes on to have a different love interest, while Sunset points out that this is a different Twilight and tells Flash that he should let go of his crush.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:
    • When Peter B. and Aunt May first meet, they are briefly taken aback by each other's presence due to their respective versions having recently died. Aunt May quickly notes that she's aware he isn't related to her Peter at all before Peter B. can explain the situation, much to his surprise, but notes it is still nice to see some version of her nephew alive.
    • Later on in the movie, Gwen tries to prevent this between Peter B. and the Mary Jane of Miles' dimension when the group are dressed as Spider-Man waiters. Peter B. ignores her and proceeds to profusely apologize for the circumstances that resulted in divorce back in his dimension, saying that she deserved a better man. Only to awkwardly claim that he was apologizing for his failure to restock the table with bread rolls when he realizes what he's doing.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Final Girls: Max Cartwright lost her mother Amanda to a car accident. One day, Max and her friends are sent into a slasher movie where Amanda had played Nancy, a girl who gets killed by the slasher. Although Nancy doesn't know Max, Max bonds with her and becomes obsessed with saving her, even trying to get Nancy to escape the movie with them, while some of her friends point out she isn't actually her mother. In the end, Nancy decides to sacrifice herself so Max can survive. Max begs her not to and reveals how she was played by her mother and how she wants Nancy to be her mother in the real world. Nancy tells Max to let her go and sacrifices herself, but she is able to give Max some closure.
  • The One: Funsch and Roedecker are dimension-hopping Cowboy Cop and By-the-Book Cop partners; always bickering, etc. Soon after Roedecker is killed, Funsch meets Roedecker's counterpart, a storekeeper who has no idea what's going on. Funsch, despite knowing that this fellow isn't "his" Roedecker, gives him a heartfelt speech, thanking him for pulling him out of his Crapsack World and being a great partner and friend. An awesome way of saying goodbye.
  • Terminator:
    • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: Sarah Connor is very wary of the T-800/"Uncle Bob" because he looks exactly like the T-800 who tried to kill her in The Terminator.
    • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines: John Connor clearly associates the T-850 with "Uncle Bob" and gets disturbed when he isn't able to get as close a bond as he did with "Uncle Bob". The T-850 tells him his emotional attachment was the reason why the T-850 was able to kill his future self.

  • In the Stardoc novel Plague of Memory, Cherijo encounters what appears to be the reincarnation of her long-dead first husband Kao Torin, which understandably complicates her mission. It turns out to be a Hsktskt that was put through Magic Plastic Surgery using a DNA sample from Kao's corpse.
  • Shota the witch woman from the Sword of Truth series first meets the protagonist while shapeshifted into his long dead mother. Though he isn't fooled, it's difficult for him to remain angry at her in that form.
  • Star Trek Expanded Universe:
    • In the novel Engines of Destiny, Scotty's attempt to save Kirk from his death creates an alternate timeline where the Borg assimilated Earth in Star Trek: First Contact, which results in Kirk and Scotty meeting the new timeline's version of Sarek. While Sarek is revealed to retain memories of the original timeline to facilitate his trust in the two humans, Kirk explicitly muses at one point that he trusts the Sarek of this world because he realizes that, if he can trust anyone in any reality, he can trust Sarek and Spock.
  • In Solaris, Kris thinks he's dreaming of Harey (who's been dead for ten years at this point), and even then is a bit reluctant to kiss her, musing on whether it's cheating if she's dead and he's doing it with a vision of her. Later, as he learns of Harey's nature as a replica of his Lost Lenore, he's seriously freaked out.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. plays this straight with two separate doppelgangers of Phil Coulson, who dies between Seasons 5 and 6.
    • Season 6 introduces Sarge, an alien who by a twisted series of coincidences became Coulson's lookalike without realizing it, along with a few of his memories. May spends part of the season desperately trying to bring out her lover's personality, but it isn't there. Sarge is NOT Coulson.
    • The end of Season 6 and into Season 7 introduces a new LMD in the image of Coulson, who shares all of the original's memories up through Season 4, with artificial ones filling in the blanks, and is a superpowered android. He thinks of himself as Coulson and acts that way. It takes a while, but eventually all of his friends and colleagues come around to viewing him as a resurrected Coulson, even May. However, notably, he and May do not resume the romantic relationship she shared with the flesh-and-blood Coulson.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Arrow:
      • Still grieving over the death of Laurel Lance, Oliver is greatly affected by the appearance of her Evil Doppelgänger Black Siren. Despite his continual denial, it's apparent he sees her as the original Laurel and a second chance to save her.
      • Detective Lance, Laurel's father, has a much stronger emotional reaction. In fact, he has an arc where he kidnaps her to try to convince her that she can be his daughter if they both believe hard enough.
      • When Oliver travels to Earth-2, he encounters doppelgängers of many of the people he knows, including his late mother, Malcolm Merlyn (who married his mother's doppelgänger and is not a villain here), Adrian Chase (the local version of the Green Arrow), and Tommy Merlyn (who is a villain). He ends up being forced to fight Tommy and tries to convince him to stop from destroying the Glades to avenge Thea's death from a drug overdose. Then Earth-2 is wiped out by an antimatter wave, and Oliver is forced to watch his mother and Tommy die again.
    • The Flash:
      • This is how Team Flash reacted when Harry Wells from Earth-2 first made his presence known. Being the Alternate Self version of the man whom Eobard Thawne was impersonating made it very difficult for Team Flash to trust him, despite Harry's constant reminders that he was not Thawne.
      • Earth-3 Jay Garrick is the doppelganger of Barry Allen's father, Henry. Barry is visibly emotionally overcome trying to deal with someone who looks just like his recently murdered father. Jay later learns Barry's situation. He feels bad for Barry, but also reminds him that he is not Henry and wouldn't make a very good Replacement Goldfish.
      • This also occurs with HR Wells from Earth-19, the third Wells to be a member of Team Flash. Despite the fact that he was incompetent and unintelligent compared to his predecessors, Team Flash still accepts him as a team member. As Cisco explains, the other Wells were geniuses who they depended on, while with HR it was the inverse. So after everything that Harrison Wells had done for them, Cisco wanted "to be there for Harrison Wells."
      • In the Season 2 finale, Zoom was Dragged Off to Hell where he was subjected to a Fate Worse than Death, becoming Black Flash, a zombie-like speedster with no traces of the mind of his former self. However when Barry and Killer Frost encounter Black Flash they still call him by his old name, and in Barry's case is evidently still terrified of his former nemesis.
    • In Legends of Tomorrow, the Earth-X version of Leonard Snart, Leo, is an unrelenting do-gooder hero, which is stomach turning for his Earth-1 partner in crime Mick. Leo sees Mick as a Replacement Goldfish to his late partner Mickey, trying to help him out of his alcoholism and make him a better person, but this only seeks to infuriate Mick (especially after he learns that Mick-X died while saving a cop).
    • Crisis on Earth-X:
      • The Earth-X Version of Prometheus is the doppelganger of Oliver's dead best friend, Tommy, who died while the two were still having a fallout over Oliver being a secret vigilante. Oliver deeply wants to believe in the capacity for someone with his friend's face to change, but Prometheus, who was raised an unrepentant Nazi, uses Oliver's nostalgia and love for his friend to mock and manipulate him before deploying a cyanide capsule that forces Oliver to helplessly watch his best friend die a second time.
      • When the Earth-1 heroes get captured and sent to Earth-X for execution, Earth-X Quentin Lance expresses difficulty killing Oliver, the man with the face of the fuhrer. So he opts to have a bag put over Oliver's head to make the act easier for him.
      • Earth-X Quentin Lance also appears to be sentimental when he sees Earth-1 Sara, the doppelganger of his late daughter. He asks why someone like her was being held captive, to which Sara explains she likes both men and women. Lance mentions how Sara was just like his daughter and adds that he expunged said filth from his bloodline, having shunned her for being bisexual.
    • Superman & Lois: "The Stranger" is from an alternate universe where Superman is evil, ruled the world with an iron fist, and murdered the Stranger's wife Lois Lane. When he arrives in our universe and observes our Superman, he believes our Superman is just as evil and his heroics are just a Villain with Good Publicity act, and vows to destroy him before he can take over the world like his Superman did.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003):
    • This proves problematic for Athena on the Galactica since she's a Cylon of the same model as Boomer, a Sleeper Agent that infiltrated the ship for over two years, committed acts of sabotage and tried at point-blank range to assassinate Commander Adama (who tries to strangle Athena as soon as he first lays eyes on her). It takes a long time for the crew to accept that she's a different individual from Boomer and has made a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Dr Baltar is particularly shocked and repulsed when he discovers how the crew of Pegasus have brutally tortured and gang-raped their Cylon prisoner Gina because she's the same model as the Cylon who seduced him on Caprica, Number Six. As he tries to help Gina recover from her ordeal, he also tries to use her as a Replacement Goldfish, with mixed success.
  • Caprica is almost entirely about this. Zoe Graystone discovered the means to generate an AI avatar of people, up to the point the avatars believe they are those people. She even creates one of herself as a beta version. She's then promptly killed in a suicide-bombing by her fanatical boyfriend. The rest of the cast then treat the avatar, Zoe-A, as if she is Zoe, resurrected, despite knowing intellectually that she isn't. Another victim of the same bombing, Tamara Adams, is later "resurrected" the same way. Her "father" treats her as if she is still the original, but her uncle and grandmother see her as a perversion of the original's legacy and actively seek to delete her.
  • Doctor Who
    • Series 2 (2006) discusses and ultimately zig-zags this trope.
      • After the TARDIS lands in a parallel universe in "Rise of the Cybermen Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel", Rose desires to see her father Pete's counterpart — who in the prime universe died when she was an infant, whereas his counterpart is still alive but never had any children. The Doctor pressingly insists, "That is not your Pete, that is a Pete" and tries to dissuade Rose (to little effect). Rose has to be dissuaded from going back to save "her mum" from death by the Doctor reminding her the doppelganger isn't her mother, and later she's horrified by her mother's counterpart's conversion into a Cyberman and afterwards needs to visit her real mother to get over it. Both the alternate versions of Rose's parents seem to subconsciously know of their relation when they interact with her, without having any conscious knowledge of who she is. Ultimately, Rose comes clean to the alternate Pete, but in contrast to his prime counterpart, he rejects her. To be fair, he was childless and had just lost his Jackie in a horrific way), leaving her shaken.
      • Mickey is likewise tempted to visit his grandmother's still-living counterpart (who in his universe died in an accident on the stairs partly due to his negligence), and he's on the verge of tears while conversing with her. This is a major factor in Mickey's decision to stay in the parallel universe at the end of the adventure.
      • In "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday", the Doctor seems to have changed his tune on this trope when he tries convincing the alternate Pete to enter the prime universe because there's a still-living version of Jackie there. Pete tries (and blissfully fails) to tell himself and the main Jackie that they're not each other's spouses, but maintains that he is not Rose's father. Then in the Darkest Hour for Rose, Pete saves her from falling permanently into the Blank White Void — whether he did this for Rose or for Jackie is up for debate.
    • This is explored in the two-parter "The Rebel Flesh" and "The Almost People". The Doctor comes upon a factory where employers use "flesh avatars" for dangerous work. But trouble starts when the avatars or "gangers" become sentient and start protesting their individuality to their originals. The episodes explores if the gangers should be considered real or not, with the Doctor insisting they are while the factory workers believe they are not. The Doctor exploits this using his own ganger, by switching his Identical Twin ID Tag and seeing if Amy (who knows the Doctor better than anyone else) could notice the change. Turns out she couldn't, proving the ganger and the Doctor were one and the same person.
    • In "The Zygon Invasion", the shape-shifting Zygons specifically use this against the humans. When a squad of soldiers surround a church full of Zygons, one Zygon comes out taking the form of one of the soldiers' mother, constantly pleading to him in a heartfelt way. The soldier cannot bring himself to kill what looks like his mother, despite the sheer unlikeliness of her story of having been held prisoner, and when other Zygons emerge as the loved ones of the other soldiers, they all pick up the Idiot Ball and agree to head into the church, where the Zygons promptly slaughter them. Furthermore, the Zygon commander, Bonnie, was impersonating Clara, which is implied to be one of the reasons why the Doctor was being very forgiving to her and wanted to help her pull a Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Outer Limits (1995), "Second Soul": A man's wife becomes a donor for an alien race that needs to possess dead humans to live. The alien is not happy about his persistent interest in her.
  • Outlander: Captain Jack Randall and his descendent Frank Randall. In season 1, Claire is almost raped after she mistakes the sadistic Jack Randall for her husband Frank, Jack's much kinder and gentler descendant. When Claire returns to her own time period, she is initially skittish around Frank who is the spitting image of a man who raped, tortured, or harassed Claire and her family and friends every chance he got for the past three years.
  • In a Deleted Scene in the Red Dwarf episode "Cassandra", when Rimmer wants Kryten to be killed in his place, Kryten appeals to all the adventures they've had together. Whether this would have worked on hologram Rimmer is debatable, but the resurrected version just points out "I've only known you a week. I don't give a stuff."
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series:
      • In "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", when the android Kirk calls him an interfering half-breed, Spock visibly withdraws into his Vulcan shell. Given that he soon afterwards leads a security team to look for Kirk and Chapel, he realized immediately or soon thereafter that this couldn't be his Captain, but it still hurt to have a duplicate of his best friend target one of his major insecurities.
      • In "Shore Leave", Kirk knows the "Ruth" and "Finnegan" he meets cannot be the real deals (for one thing, Finnegan hasn't aged since the Academy) but he still enjoys indulging his emotions with each of the duplicates (having a romantic time with Ruth and whaling on Finnegan).
      • Implied in "Mirror, Mirror". Kirk shows more softness than one would expect toward the Mirror Spock, who (despite being better than Mirror Kirk) is as ruthless as one would expect from the Mirrorverse. This probably has something to do with his close relationship to his own Spock. Kirk even comments on how alike they are.
      • Another example appeared in the script of "Mirror, Mirror" and the James Blish novelization but not the episode. In this version, Mirror Chekov hit on Uhura, not Mirror Sulu, and when Uhura got home, Chekov Prime suffered her displaced irritation, much to his confusion.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In the episode "Parallels" (where Worf encounters many alternate universes) the Primeverse Enterprise briefly receives a transmission from an alternate-universe version of Riker, now in command after Picard died during the events of "The Best of Both Worlds". He expresses his happiness to see Picard, saying that it's been a while.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • When Jake Sisko meets the Mirror Universe counterpart of his deceased mother, he treats her as if she really were his mother. In return, she starts to view him as the son she never had.
      • When Bareil's Mirror Universe counterpart comes to the main universe, people can't help but give him this treatment. Quark suggests exploiting this trope, which disgusts Mirror!Bareil because it makes him realize that he is so much more like Quark than his counterpart.
    • Star Trek: Voyager, episode "Deadlock". A Negative Space Wedgie splits the Voyager in two, which the two crews learn only much later. Until then, the actions aboard one Voyager create disastrous consequences on the other, resulting in the deaths of Harry Kim and the newborn Naomi Wildman. When Vidiians board the undamaged Voyager, its Janeway tells Kim to take baby Naomi and cross over to the other ship before ordering self-destruct. Thus, the Harry and Naomi from then on aren't quite the same as everyone else on the ship, but no one treats them any differently.
    • Star Trek: Discovery, episode "Terra Firma Part 1": Mirror Georgiou says that Michael isn't trying to save her, but a woman who's already dead. Michael responds that Georgiou keeps pushing her away because of what happened with Mirror-Michael. Defied in Part 2, when Michael says "What I feel for you belongs to you. No-one else." before Georgiou steps through the Guardian of Forever.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • After hosting the Tok'ra symbiote Jolinar in "In the Line of Duty", Samantha Carter inherits some of Jolinar's memories, which includes a romantic attraction to the Tok'ra operative Martouf, lover of Jolinar's previous host Rosha. Also inverted: Jolinar's memories complicate Sam's preexisting Unresolved Sexual Tension with the Tollan diplomat Narim, with Sam telling him she's holding off on dating until she's more sure whether she's feeling things herself or because of Jolinar.
    • The audiodrama Gift of the Gods has the Goa'uld using a device to split off an alternate reality that is connected to the main one by the stargate. If the connection isn't broken, the feedback from the conduit will result in an Earth-Shattering Kaboom. The POV characters view the other SGC being invaded by a Jaffa army. While trying to close the gate, the other Daniel is killed and vaporized. The POV Carter eventually realizes that their reality is the temporary one. In fact, nothing outside their SGC exists. They figure out a way to close the conduit, but it would also erase their reality. Just as they decide to do it anyway, someone suggests sending Daniel to the other side with the device, since his counterpart is dead and he wouldn't experience "entropic cascade failure" (a side effect of more than one version of the same person being in the same universe). Daniel is initially reluctant, unwilling to leave his friends to just vanish into nothingness, but the others convince him to carry on their memory. At the end of the audiodrama, Daniel contemplates that only 8 hours separates him from the other Daniel, but it seems to be enough. The others then invite him to watch a hockey game with them, indicating they don't see him as a different person, and he agrees. Also, he is given the other Daniel's dog tags.
  • Stargate Atlantis: After Dr. Carson Beckett is killed by an exploding tumor (It Makes Sense in Context), the others mourn him and move on. Some time later, another Carson is found in Michael's lab. He thinks he's the original but is quickly revealed to be a clone, created by Michael. Despite this, he is quickly accepted back into the fold and few mention him being a clone after that. In fact, in the Grand Finale he actually pilots Atlantis into battle, whereas in the pilot the original Carson could barely control a single drone using the Ancient chair.
  • Supernatural:
    • In Season 12, Sam and Dean meet the Apocalypse World version of Bobby — his counterpart in the main universe was their now-deceased father figure, so it shakes the brothers to see him alive on an alternate Earth. However, because of choices made by their parents, Sam and Dean were never born on Apocalypse World, so this Bobby has no attachment to them when they first meet. That changes with little explanation in subsequent seasons, where the alternate Bobby becomes a recurring character in the main universe; much to some fans' displeasure.
    • Jack's mother dies giving birth to him, so he's always felt something was missing, having been able to communicate telepathically with his mother in utero but never getting to meet her face to face. While working a case, he and the brothers encounter a shapeshifter who works as a bereavement counselor. She is able to use the brothers' memories of Kelly to take her form and give Jack a chance to "speak" to the mother he was never able to meet. Jack is thrilled to finally be able to hug her and thank her for protecting him.
  • The Umbrella Academy:
    • While in the 1960s, Diego meets a woman who looks eerily like and has the same name as the robot nanny who raised him as a child. Although he understands that she isn't his mother figure, he still reacts warmly to her, and gives her advice that Reginald isn't all that he seems.
    • Umbrella Ben was kind and was the only sibling the Umbrellas universally liked before their reunion. When they meet Sparrow Ben, they can't help but see their deceased brother in him, which rankles him. When Luther suggests that their Ben's personality might still be somewhere in him, Ben initially brushes him off.

    Video Games 
  • Sword Art Online:
    • In Hollow Fragment, the video game adaptation of the series, Kirito encounters a Hollow Data version of Sachi, his deceased first love who he failed to save. Although suspecting she's not real, Kirito is hellbent on protecting her at all costs so she won't die again. Eventually Sachi reveals she is indeed not the real Sachi. She also remembers the words the real Sachi never got to say to Kirito, which leaves him distraught and shaken, but also giving him closure.
    • In Hollow Realization, Kirito and Asuna encounter Kizmel, a Dark Elf NPC with unusually-developed Artificial Intelligence they befriended back in Aincrad, only to discover this version of her is just a copy created by Sword Art Origin (the game itself uses many of the assets and data of the original SAO as a basis). Despite this, neither of them can bring themselves to treat her as just another NPC, further compounded by how this Kizmel seems to share the old one's strangely-developed AI, and grow to befriend her all over again. When Kizmel eventually sacrifices herself to save them from a petrifying curse, they chose to use an item necessary for their current quest to revive her and eventually they recruit her into their group to have more adventures.
    • Accel World VS Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight, due to the time travel shenanigans of the game and the fact the game continuity is an Alternate Timeline to the canon continuity, Kirito ends up meeting a version of Eugeo from another timeline (who is implied to be the canon version). Upon seeing Kirito, Eugeo mistakes him for his Kirito and tries to get him to remember, only to be disappointed that this Kirito has no memories of their time togethernote . However after having a friendly duel with Kirito to test him, Eugeo realizes that while this is a different Kirito, it is still Kirito who fights the exact same way. He then takes up on Kirito's offer to hang out and party with him until he's able to return to his own timeline.
  • The Witcher 3 features the doppeler Du-Du who can take on the form of anyone he pleases. In a time where anything not 100% mundane can lead to being burned at the stake, Du-Du tends to mimic people who are either very esteemed or very feared. This nearly gets him killed when he chooses to shapeshift Whoreson jr, one of the city's underbosses. Ciri, a ridiculously overpowered half-elf, and her father-figure, protagonist and renowned witcher, Geralt, nearly murder him as Whoreson, Jr. tried to kill Ciri the last time the two crossed paths. Du-Du is forced to reveal his true form to avoid being murdered by his own friends.
  • In Life Is Strange, Max Caulfield creates an alternate universe when she prevents the father of her best friend, Chloe Price, from dying in a car accident. The Butterfly Effect leads to Alternate!Chloe getting into a car accident herself; it leaves her paralyzed and under constant supervision. Alt!Max hadn't seen Alt!Chloe in years due to a move to Seattle, but the original Max had the benefit of having begun to catch up with her Chloe—she was nearly unable to make a choice when Alt!Chloe, realizing that her parents had paid millions of dollars for her upkeep, requested that Max help her kill herself with a morphine overdose.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • It's difficult for the protagonist and anyone else from Chaldea to separate the alternate, singularity-summoned Servants from the ones they know from Chaldea or even previous singularities, as they are often identical except for the immediate circumstances of the singularity. The protagonist alone has to separate their feelings for Camelot's Mordred from London's, Agartha's Dahut from Chaldea's Drake, and Shimousa's corrupted Heroic Spirit Swordmasters Shuten and Raikou from Chaldea's counterparts, hesitating on how to treat these villainous incarnations and wondering if there's anything left of the person they knew. Shimousa, in particular, focuses on this trope, as before and after the pseudo-singularity Chaldea's Servants worry about the Master's health, and several of them apologize for their Alternate Self's behavior.
    • Mostly averted in Babylonia, though played with at the end, towards Kingu, who is essentially a reanimated Enkidu with a different soul. Though calling himself Enkidu, the citizens of Uruk quickly realize he's an imposter due to him killing people in masses as an ally of the Three Goddess Alliance. Gilgamesh himself however doesn't seem bothered by his old friend being an enemy and when confronted by Kingu, he treats him as his own, insisting to others to think of Kingu as Enkidu. At the end of Babylonia after Kingu is abandoned by Tiamat and has his core ripped out, he gives the Uruk Holy Grail to him to keep himself alive with Gilgamesh offering his friendship as Kingu is effectively Enkidu's successor. Kingu touched by Gilgamesh's words, sacrifices his life to hold Tiamat at bay. Gilgamesh is saddened, yet proud as he notes that unlike the last time his old friend was going out in a blaze of glory.
    • Assassin EMIYA is an alternate version of Kiritsugu Emiya who never had a family. Irisviel, Illyasviel, and Archer EMIYA still treat him as their husband and father, which annoys him as he doesn't know them, yet despite this he finds himself shadowing and oddly protective of them in spite of himself.
    • When Erice Utsumi from Fate/Requiem shows up, she has a lot of trouble understanding that the Voyager in Chaldea is different from her Voyager, and keeps treating him as her beloved Servant.
    • The Sir Percival summoned by Chaldea is a different person from the Percival encountered in the British Lostbelt, who was killed and erased from existence, but Fairy Knight Lancelot still treats him like her brother.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening uses this as one of its main emotional plot points. When Lucina and the other children, refugees from an alternate universe Bad Future, meet their "parents" in the game's home universe, many of the children can't help but treat them the same as their actual, now-dead parents. Some are more resistant, but because of the game's general adherence to The Power of Love, all of them end up accepting their newfound family.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us: In a parallel universe, Superman has become a tyrant leading a Regime and Batman leads a rebellion called the Insurgency against him. In desperation, Insurgency Batman uses a device to summon heroes from the Prime universe to bolster his ranks. The Prime heroes help as best as they can, but eventually suggest that they may need to summon Prime Superman to defeat Regime Superman. Insurgency Batman adamantly refuses, saying he cannot trust any version of Superman. Prime Batman eventually has to beat him in a fight to convince him. When they summon Prime Superman, Insurgency Batman admits it is nice to see a version of Superman who is a friend again.
    • In the sequel, we find out that Prime Green Arrow has decided to stay in the Regime/Insurgency universe (his double was killed by Regime Superman prior to the original game).
  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time has Crash and Coco meet an alternate universe version of Tawna, having more of an active life of adventure as a Lara Croft-esque hero (and whose versions of Crash and Coco are strongly implied to be deadnote ). They mutually treat each other like acquaintances that haven't seen each other in a while.
  • Legacy of the Void brings back Fenix (who was Killed Off for Real in Brood War) to the joy of Artanis, who fought alongside him then. Unfortunately, it turns out this is a robotic copy of Fenix from before the Brood War (taken via Brain Uploading between his injuries and his return as a Dragoon in the original Starcraft), meaning there's none of his Character Development or Odd Friendship with Raynor. Eventually the robot-Fenix takes on a new name to get out of his original's shadow and become his own character rather than what everyone expected of him.
  • Everspace: Adam Roslin created clones of himself to rescue himself from being held hostage as a Reluctant Mad Scientist infected with a cytovirus that's slowly killing him, hoping to use a clone to to find a way to cure himself while he waits for one to arrive while in cryo-sleep. When the first clone finally makes it him, he comes to a realization that the clone is a person just as much as he's one himself, and ultimately decides to give the clone instructions on how to fix his Clone Degeneration and lets the cytovirus kill him.

    Web Comics 
  • In Homestuck, Dave spend much of the Intermission being very anxious/nervous about meeting Dirk, an alternate universe version of his "older brother" who raised him. His nervousness reflects his insecurity and fear towards his enigmatic and abusive "older brother", and Dave harbors similar feelings towards the alternate universe version, even though he is the same age as Dave and has none of the same history. When they ultimately meet, Dave uses Dirk to work out his issues with the older version, specifically his use of irony to pretend that he wasn't in a deeply unhealthy relationship.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Tedd thinks of Ellen the same way he thinks of Elliot: as a friend he's known since childhood. Ellen makes it clear that while she does want to be friends, she doesn't at all share that sentiment.
  • Zigzagged in Kevin & Kell, initially George is the only person who knows human-world Danielle isn't Domain's Danielle inexplicably not dead, because he doesn't have the same (literal) spark with her. As he gets to know her, however, he sees more of the original Danielle in her, until they begin a relationship. Parodied with Danielle and her counterpart's mother: Dorothy doesn't believe the story and thinks this is "her" Danielle, while Danielle claims to see this as a fresh start following her difficult relationship with human-world Dorothy, but falls into the same patterns even while explaining this. Eventually things reach the point where basically everyone knows Danielle's origins (especially after Francis is born) and don't care. (Danielle herself thinks she was sent to Domain to "balance out" her counterpart's death.)

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • A large part of the shock value in Playing Against Type relies on the audience's familiarity with the other characters the actor has played.
  • This was specifically invoked by Sergio Leone to convince Henry Fonda to sign on to Once Upon a Time in the West as the vile murderer Frank after a career of playing straight heroes.
    Leone: Picture this: the camera shows a gunman from the waist down pulling his gun and shooting a running child. The camera tilts up to the gunman's face and... it's Henry Fonda.


Video Example(s):


Peter and Jackie Tyler

Two universes: one where Pete died, another where Jackie died. Both still deeply love one-another even though they are from separate realities.

How well does it match the trope?

4.88 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / DoppelgangerGetsSameSentiment

Media sources: