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Dresses the Same

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Should be the most well-dressed Cat Fight ever.
Scully: [about a female corpse] Mulder, she's wearing my outfit.
Mulder: How embarrassing!
The X-Files, "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas"

A woman buys an outfit to wear to some event, and is humiliated when she sees another woman wearing the same thing. Cue death glares and scoffing at each other.

Truth in Television, at least for some women. It doesn't matter if she bought her dress at the snooty boutique or the local Walmart (though if it is from Walmart, then both suffer the humiliation of knowing that another woman knows she got her dress from the bargain bin), wearing the same dress is undeniable proof that she's bought a mass-produced consumer item, breaking any illusion of the dance taking place in a Jane Austen novel where all the dresses have to be hand-made. She might also be self-conscious because the other woman upstages her, having a body type (taller, thinner, curvier, etc.) that better fits it or whose complexion/accessories/hairstyle/makeup better complements it and is generally able to look better in it.

When someone is conscious about their appearance, buying clothes that look and fit juuuuust right can be a long and painstaking process. Seeing someone else in the same outfit is akin to an artist having their style copied. See Mars and Venus Gender Contrast, since two men in the same outfit are far more likely to laugh over it and move on (probably aided by the fact that men's fashion isn't nearly as varied; in most formal events, men will be wearing near-identical suits anyway) Contrast Whole Costume Reference (in that wearing the same outfit is considered a good thing). Contrast also with Coordinated Clothes where characters intentionally wear matching clothes to show that they belong together.

Compare They Stole Our Act.


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  • Kate Spade New York has produced a series of online-video ads called Miss Adventures. Miss Piggy guest-stars in the episode "To the Top," quarreling with Zosia Mamet in an elevator on the way to a party they're attending at the top of the Empire State Building. The reason for the quarrel? They've both bought the same outfit for the party. During the fight, Leandra Medine boards the elevator, wearing the exact same coat.
    Leandra: Oh, hi! Look at that, we're wearing the same coat!
    [Miss Piggy and Zosia, oblivious to Leandra's presence, continue their quarrel.]
    Leandra: [after a few seconds of listening to the fight] I'm gonna take the stairs, then. [She exits the elevator.]
  • Parodied in a recruitment ad for women to join the RAF, which juxtaposes female aircrew with ironic stereotyped voiceovers. One scene shows a parade in dress uniform, with the voiceover being “I can’t believe we wore the same outfit.”

    Anime & Manga 
  • During the class trip in Azumanga Daioh, Kaorin shows up at one point in a souvenir T-shirt... only to see Mr. Kimura wearing it, at which point she runs off to go change. Though this was more because he's an admitted ephebophile than for social reasons.
  • In Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, the Imperial court plans to mock Shogun Iemochi's choice of clothing: if she shows up in Edo-style clothing, they'll make fun of her provincial style, if she dresses up in the Heian-style clothing of the ladies of the court, well, she's just imitating the ladies. The courtiers are flummoxed when she shows up wearing the same outfits they're wearing: she says if she plans on being the emperor's protector, she can't be wearing women's clothing that would get in the way. This ends up impressing Emperor Komei.

    Card Games 
  • One of Hoyle's Rules of Dragon Poker rule changes makes players wearing the same clothes duel against each other.
    99. If two players arrive wearing the same clothes, the next hand will be played just between them. They will have to share the same cards up cards, but their hole cards will be their own.

    Comic Books 
  • Subverted in the sixth of the Adventure Time Graphic Novels, Masqued Mayhem. The usually bad-tempered and bitchy Lumpy Space Princess and her frenemy Melissa both wear Seashell Bra mermaid costumes to LSP's fancy dress party, but they end up complimenting each other with apparent sincerity instead of fighting.
  • Often happens to Veronica in Archie Comics.
    • In one story, Betty and Veronica appear at a party in the same dress, and they both act as if it must be a dream, because the thought of them wearing identical dresses is so outrageous, so terrible, that they refuse to believe it can be true. When they finally realize that it isn't a dream, not only do they destroy each other's dresses, but they wreck the entire place. Can you say Serious Business?
    • In another story, Veronica asks Betty to make her a one-of-a-kind swimsuit, even asking if she's made any other girl a swimsuit out of a particular bolt of fabric. Turns out Betty used that fabric to make swimsuits for a bunch of guys.
    • In another swimsuit story, Betty and Veronica agree to meet up with Archie at the beach, and they tell each other they'll be wearing one of their old bathing suits. Actually, they both plan on buying a new bikini to get Archie's attention. Naturally, they end up buying the exact same bikini, but discovers this just in time, and begrudgingly change into some more modest-looking spare bathing suits.
    • In yet another story, Veronica is so mortified when she sees Midge wearing the same "original" designer dress as hers that she asks Chuck to make her an "original original" dress, only for other girls to see Chuck's signature on her dress and ask him to make similar dresses for them.
  • Classic John Callahan comic panel: A woman at a funeral is leaning over the coffin and thinking, "That BITCH!" The deceased is wearing an identical dress.
  • In the New 52, Catwoman once worked for the mayor. One of her duties: at any formal event, she was to pick out any guests wearing the same outfit as the mayor's wife. To avoid this faux pas, said guest would then be brought to a special closet filled with expensive clothes, and was allowed to pick out anything that she wanted as a replacement outfit.
  • Katy Keene has done this with Katy and Gloria.
  • In one Legion of Super-Heroes story Monstress, who has recently become self-conscious that her altered skin colour makes her look like a Khund, discovers she's wearing the same dress as Leland McCauley's Khundian assistant, Ms Crugg.
  • In "Stitch Pitch" in Mad House Comic Digest #5 Super Sally and Dynamic Doll slap their tailor because he made them the exact same superhero costume, then walk out arm-in-arm to find a super-tailor who can understand them.

    Comic Strips 
  • A political cartoon example from the 2008 US presidential election which depicts all of the then-Republican Party primary candidates dressing up as Ronald Reagan for a Halloween party. The cartoon parodied both the influence that Reagan's legacy continues to have on the GOP as well as the general popularity of wearing president masks as Halloween costumes.
  • The Far Side:
    • Parodied in a cartoon, where a cowboy wearing a flowery, decorated hat balks at entering a saloon where another cowboy is wearing an identical hat. All the other cowboys, of course, are wearing the usual style of cowboy hat, all alike. Although if you look closely, none of them are identical other than the decorated hats.
    • One cartoon has two chameleons in the same color at a party.
    • In a psychic convention, they not only wear the same dress but the exact same hair and makeup. The punchline is that it was completely unforeseen.
  • In a series of FoxTrot comics, Andy forces Peter to wear a dorky shirt on the first day of school: "I'm asking you to dress nicely for one day. How bad can that be?" When he gets to school, he discovers, to his horror, that super geek Morton Goldthwait is wearing the same shirt. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Pondus strip: Pondus' wife demands that they leave the party because someone else is wearing the same dress as her. Pondus tries to convince her that it's no big deal, until he sees that the person wearing the same dress is a transvestite. Then he cries out for a taxi.
  • In this Retail strip a customer finds an adorable dress at Big Box Mart and decides to get it for her daughter for the Easter egg hunt. Cut to her looking sad and upset that all the girls hunting for eggs are wearing that dress. (The girls themselves don't care, too busy hunting for eggs and the candy inside.)
  • In one early Tank McNamara strip, tennis player Barb was going to play Chris Evert, and wanted an edge. Her boyfriend suggested she wear a tennis dress identical to Chris's. Barb said angrily that "even in jest that's an asinine, sexist, stupid, dumb, male idea ... and it really disgusts me that I'm going to try it." The last panel of the next strip showed Evert missing a shot while wondering frantically, "Where'd she get it? Where'd she get it?"
  • Hägar the Horrible: At a party, one of Hägar's buddies complain that he's bored, and wonders if something exciting is going to happen. Hägar notices that a woman who wears the same dress as his wife just entered the party, and tells him that he thinks it will, very soon.

  • In The Guile of the Traveller Ophelia mentions that Lady Selwyn and Lady Greengrass got into a fight at the Malfoy Yule Ball because they were wearing identical dresses.
  • Ryk E. Spoor wrote "Doc Smith Fashion", a Lensman pastiche in which Clio Marsden encounters a challenger for her fiance's affections — who has the brass neck to show up wearing an exact copy of Clio's dress.
  • In the Gunslinger Girl series Hunters in the Dolomites, one of the cyborg girls accuses the other of borrowing her clothes without permission, to the latter's puzzlement. They then realise that both their handlers fobbed off the task of buying their Christmas gifts to Ferro, who just bought two identical shirts.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Accidental in 1988 Big Business (1988). Separated at Birth/Switched at Birth twins* (played by Bette Midler) behave the same way and end up buying identical dresses and wearing them for the climactic shareholders meeting. Their paths cross in a restroom shortly before the meeting, resulting in this Mirror Routine. Their sisters, another pair of separated/misplaced twins (played by Lily Tomlin) also dress similarly to each other.
  • Male version in The Firm. Dom shows up at the pub wearing the same outfit as the Boss, who is not amused.
  • Happens in Freaky Friday (2003); Lindsay Lohan's character and another girl wear the same shirt to school. Lindsay turns her shirt inside-out to avoid looking the same and looks...well, actually, stupider than if she had just left the shirt as it was.
  • Alluded in the "A Night to Remember" song in High School Musical 3 where the girls are trying out dresses in the changing room, and Taylor sings, "No one better wear the same as me." Kelsie, who is holding a similar dress as the one Taylor is holding, quickly hides the dress with a panicked look.
  • In My Fair Lady at Ascot, there are two women with the same outfit (including hats). Cue frosty looks and consequent ignoring of each other.
  • In Mystery Men, two women at the superhero audition get in a fight over their matching costumes; both are dressed like Wonder Woman.
  • Parodied in Not Another Teen Movie, where two girls separately appear at a party naked and one complains that the other has worn the same outfit.
  • Used as a Batman Gambit in The Transporter Refueled. The women involved in The Caper all dress the same to create confusion about their numbers and who they are.
  • In Unfaithfully Yours, Daphne avoids this by asking her sister what fur she will be wearing so that she wouldn't wear the same one.

  • Those tongue-in-cheek internet lists on "Why it's Great to be a Guy" usually include this subversive chestnut: If another guy shows up at a party wearing the same outfit as you, the two of you just might become best friends for life. As one comedian put it, if a guy sees someone else wearing the same as him, he just figures "hey, I got it right!"
    • Demonstrated by the story accompanying this image.
  • Les Dawson used to complain of having to wear hand-me-downs from his older sisters. One day he went to school in the same dress as the teacher.
    I couldn't tell who was more embarrassed - him or me.
  • There is a joke that a woman is only afraid of two things; identical ones.
  • A wedding joke concerns a Bride who discovers her divorced mother and her younger, prettier step-mother are planning to wear the same dress to the wedding. The Bride warns her mother, who says she will buy a new dress to wear for the event. "But mother, aren't you going to return the dress you bought first? You don't really have anything else to wear it for..." "Yes I do, sweetheart," the mother replies. "I'm wearing it to the rehearsal dinner the night before."

  • A male variant: in Dodger; when Dodger gets invited to a posh dinner party, Solomon insists he spends some of his reward money at a top Saville Row tailor. Since the reward isn't that much, they get a relatively cheap suit, which Solomon's friend Izzy explains was a bespoke suit for a top client, but the tailor got the measurements wrong. Naturally, said client is at the dinner, wearing the correctly measured version of the same suit, and turns out to be Sir Robert Peel. Dodger is embarrassed about this, partly because it draws attention to the fact he got the suit cheap, and partly because it's never a good idea to attract a Peeler's attention, and Sir Robert is King of the Peelers.
  • In one Elemental Assassin novel, Gin goes to a party at the local museum in a dress her foster brother got for her, only to find that her ex is there on the arm of a girl wearing the same dress. Oddly, it's the men in the story who get worked up over it, as it means that the store had sold two of an allegedly one of a kind designer dress. This inadvertently saves Gin's life - when thieves raid the museum, they make a point of assassinating Gin first so she can't go Die Hard on them, only they accidentally kill the other girl, who bore a superficial resemblance to Gin and was wearing an identical dress.
  • In the children's book Ruby the Copycat, Ruby wants to be friends with classmate Angela so she keeps dressing up in the same clothes and eventually copies every single thing the other girl does. Angela gets annoyed and doesn't want anything to do with her, and when the teacher tries to talk to Ruby about her behavior, she does the same thing to the teacher instead. She finally learns that she should just be herself

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the 30 Rock episode "Goodbye, My Friend," Jenna gives Kenneth a picture of her dress for her birthday party, telling him to make sure that no one else wears it...Only to have Cerie show up wearing it.
  • In an opening of The Amanda Show, Amanda and Nancy Sullivan were embarrassed to find out they were wearing the same dress to the show, as were Drake, Josh, the Camera men and the Dancing Lobsters.
  • During The Tag at the end of an episode of Community. Abed and Troy both spoke in unison with and dressed the same as Jeff. Annie apparently wanted in on the gag too, but got stuck in traffic and arrived just after the joke had ended. The joke had apparently taken months to prepare.
    • Season 3 opened with a big song-and-dance number - Shirley makes a grand entrance in a sparkly purple gown - then the Dean enters wearing the exact same thing. Shirley is creeped out.
  • In the second All Star edition of The Amazing Race (Unfinished Business), this was deliberately invoked as a joke by Zev & Justin, when they showed up to the starting line wearing the same Globetrotter gear worn by Harlem Globetrotters Flight Time & Big Easy when they originally raced together on a previous season.
  • A cycle 11 episode of America's Next Top Model had this as one the examples of an "Award Show Disasters" photo shoot. Other disasters included a snobby interviewer, reacting badly to losing an coveted award, being too emotional during an acceptance speech and falling up the stairs on the way to accepting an award
  • Angel:
    • Played With when Cordelia complains when she sees a woman at a homeless shelter wearing her one-of-a-kind blouse — unaware that Angel gave away her blouse to the shelter.
    • In "Couplet" Angel thinks that Groo is taking over his life. Wesley assures him they are two completely different people — only to bump into Groo with Angel's Spiky Hair and Badass Longcoat.
  • The prom episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 has Andrea ashamed about what her friends would think about her "poor" prom dress (due to its simplicity). Her fears were unfounded as the gang liked her dress (as well Brenda and Kelly being more concerned with their own matching dresses and fighting over Dylan and Donna being too uncomfortable in her Gone With the Wind esque dress).
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • The geeky friends Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj initially show up all dressed as the Flash for a Halloween party. Sheldon comments "See? This is why I wanted to have a costume meeting."
    • Judging by their disappointed reactions to Leonard "calling" Frodo, it almost happens a second time. Implied they all had Frodo as their second choice.
    • One episode features the gang dressed up as superheroes from the Justice League for a New Year's Eve party in a comic book store. Too bad there were several gangs with the same idea, but Leonard and co's costumes are the coolest and they win the competition.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • One of the office highlights that happened while Jake had the assignment infiltrating the mafia is that detectives Amy Santiago and Charles Boyle wore the same outfit to work one day. It was a grey pantsuit and a salmon shirt.
      Amy: [angry] How does it look better on you?
    • In one episode detective Jake Peralta goes undercover wearing a ski mask to try and find out who hired the hitman he's posing as. He's slightly taken aback to find that when he meets the employer, they're both wearing the exact same ski mask.
      Employer: Don't worry about it. Happens all the time.
    • Another episode has Boyle and Terry wearing the same outfit. Boyle proceeds to do a "who wore it best" between the two. Everyone says Terry and Jake tells Boyle to change. Boyle starts changing right in front of everyone.
  • Buffy:
    • In the episode "Angel", Cordelia spots a girl wearing a dress identical to her own, and accuses her of wearing a cheap knockoff of her designer original. "This is exactly what happens when you sign these free trade agreements!"
    • In "Lie to Me" Angel bitches about Vampire Vannabes thinking they know how vamps think, act and dress. Cue one of the said vannabes walking by wearing the exact same outfit as Angel.
  • Played for Drama in Dollhouse when Sierra sits down next to a woman on a train dressed exactly the same as her, including hairstyle. Her eyes widen in surprise until Sierra jabs a knockout hypo into her thigh. Turns out she works for the National Security Agency and Sierra is stealing the woman's identity to infiltrate them.
  • Frasier in one episode Frasier and Niles meet for coffee and realise to their horror that they're wearing the same suit. Frasier blames the personal shopper he'd introduced Niles to for not keeping track of what they were buying. Niles claims he bought the suit on his own, without the shopper, because it went with his shoes. Cue the brothers looking down and realising that they're also wearing the same shoes.
  • Male example: In the beginning of an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will shows up in a nice suit. Ashley comments that it "has way too many buttons and the color is very '95". Will boasts that he knows what good fashion is, until Carlton walks into the room, wearing the exact same suit and giving a thumbs up to Will for their shared taste.
    • In the episode "Twas the Night Before Christening" Hilary, Vy, and Helen all wear the same outfit by accident. When Helen arrives at the house her and Vy go to greet each other but they stop when they see that they are wearing the exact same clothes. Then Hilary comes down the stairs wearing an identical outfit. She stops and then goes back upstairs to change.
    • Another episode had Will and Carlton going to a much-anticipated school dance with the latter dealing with a comedy of errors from a dog carrying off his shoes for the dance, him getting a big zit (which was also the reason why his date broke it off for the night) and lastly the cleaners shrinking his initial tuxedo. After arriving in a tacky powder-blue 70s tux, three nerdy classmates join him wearing identical outfits, with one remarking how "great minds think alike".
  • Friends:
    • Rachel and Phoebe take Ross shopping for new clothes to wear on his date. Later Rachel tells him that she'll just buy something nice but their bags get mixed up. Not only does Ross wear a pink flowery shirt on his date, but his date is wearing it as well. They are both very uncomfortable and leave abruptly. Earlier in the episode Joey makes fun of the blue shirt Ross is wearing, only for Ross to point out that Joey's wearing the exact same shirt.
      Joey: Stupid Gap on every corner!
    • Ross and Rachel's ex-boyfriend Tag own the very same red sweater and they meet on a street wearing it. Being men, they are not embarrassed and cheerfully compliment each other. The real purpose was to throw the other friends off about who the father of Rachel's baby was.
  • General Hospital. Lucy Coe shows up at the annual Nurses Ball wearing a gorgeous red dress. When her archenemy Bobbie Jones shows up in the same dress, Lucy has to scramble to change. Luckily, she's the emcee and has a slew of dresses available.
  • In Glee's Prom episode, a girl walks past Santana wearing the same dress as her. She rolls her eyes and carries on enjoying the night, the implication being character development in that she didn't start a fight over it.
  • The Golden Girls:
    • Dorothy and Blanche buy the same dress for an occasion. Each takes her dress back without telling the other, trying to be the nice one. After a brief scare that they've bought the same dress again, they reveal two totally different dresses, only to have Sophia emerge wearing the same dress as Blanche.
    • When Rose and Sophia are competing against Dorothy and Blanche in a bowling tournament, Rose and Sophia invoke this trope by buying the same bowling shirt as Blanche, in order to throw her off her game.
  • In an episode of Home Improvement (S 7 E 14, “Tim ‘The Landlord’ Taylor”), Brad comes home from the mall wearing a new (and very loud) shirt that he’s very proud of. When he leaves the scene after showing the shirt to Jill, Randy immediately walks in wearing the same shirt. When they see each other wearing identical shirts, they get in an argument and spend the rest of the episode bickering with each other over who gets to wear the shirt when so that they are not both wearing it to school on the same day. While Brad is wearing the shirt at the end of the episode, Al comes by the house to talk to Tim...and takes off his winter jacket to reveal that he is also wearing the same shirt.
  • In The Honeymooners episode "The Safety Award", Alice and Trixie end up buying the same dress to wear to Ralph's award ceremony.
  • In the second season of House of Anubis, the students threw a Masquerade Ball to celebrate the opening of a special Egypt exhibition on their school-grounds. Jerome had to sell dresses to help pay off a debt, and sold ones to Joy and Nina...but never told them that they'd be getting the same dresses, causing them to show up at the dance and discover on their own. This lead to Nina and Joy chasing him around to get a refund, them both competing over who looks best, and Joy taking advantage of the opportunity by stealing Nina's mask and tricking Fabian into kissing her. Additionally, he also sold Ms. Andrews the same dress too, as an extra little gag before things got serious.
  • There's an I Love Lucy episode about this happening to Lucy and Ethel. After ignoring Fred and Ricky's (actually pretty logical) argument that, since they're performing in a talent show, dressing the same as a kind of sister act would be cute, decide that neither would wear the dress and they both promise to take the dress back. Of course they don't, and it climaxes with them tearing decorations off each other's (highly) overdone dresses, while singing a song called "Friendship."
  • An episode of the 90s sitcom Living Single features the ladies going out to the club. Regine sees other women wearing her dress, and proceeds to go up to them and "accidentally" spill her drink on them so they'll leave to go change.
  • In the Leonardo episode "The Betrothal Ball", Lisa and Angelica, daughter of the Duke of Pisa, are wearing identical dresses to the titular ball. Lisa tries to make a joke about it, but gets icily told "Yours is a copy. And a cheap one at that."
  • Lizzie McGuire: Kate and Miranda wear the same outfit on Picture Day.
  • In the Look Around You episode "Maths", one of the problems is to compute the probability that Queen Elizabeth III, Queen Elizabeth IV, and Queen Elizabeth V all show up at a party wearing the same dress. The answer: the party is canceled.
  • A variation appears in the Mama's Family episode "There's No Place Like...No Place." When Thelma is mistaken for being a vagrant and arrested, she asks the cop, "Do I look like a homeless person?" Just then, an actual bum is brought in behind Thelma, wearing the same housedress as her. The newcomer comments, "Cute dress. You get yours at the mission too?"
  • Monk: In "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa," Randy shows up to a Christmas party with a sweater he claims his aunt made for him by hand... until he sees a Japanese-American detective wearing the exact same sweater. The other detective says he got his at Wal-Mart for 15 bucks. Randy is convinced his aunt copied that design, until Natalie points out the tag on Randy's sweater.
  • On an early episode of Murphy Brown, Murphy is shown getting ready for work as "Devil With A Blue Dress" plays. When she gets to work, she discovers Corky is wearing the same blue dress she has on.
  • A small gag Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide has Moze and Suzy showing up to their double date with the exact same dress and hairstyle. Neither of them mind and just compliment the other's great taste, though this causes problems later when their dates can't tell them apart from the back.
  • Gus from Psych shows up at a department store wearing the same outfit as a mannequin. He insists the mannequin stole his look.
  • Played with on a Halloween episode of Roseanne. Jackie is dressed as Morticia Addams and Crystal is dressed as Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark - but their costumes are identical. Even better, later on, another friend of theirs comments that she can't believe they both came dressed as Cher.
  • RuPaul's Drag Race:
    • In the first episode of the Season 3, as all the drag queens make their grand entrances and get to know one another, the room goes silent when India Ferrah walks in and notices that fellow contestant Phoenix has a very similar punk-inspired look. Both queens proceed to stare daggers at each other.
    • Taken to the extreme in Season 8 during the Madonna-themed runway, when FOUR queens out of eight decided to wear the kimono from "Nothing Really Matters" in what has since been dubbed "Kimonogate" by fans. Even better, three previously-eliminated queens had also planned on wearing a red kimono for that challenge had they gotten that far, as did Chi Chi DeVayne, who realized her mistake and put together an acceptable substitute based on the cone bra from the Blonde Ambition Tour (the only "Classic Madonna" look; the other non-kimono queens went with more obscure choices). So yes, had the eliminations gone differently, we could have very well had eight kimonos on the runway that episode. The psychology behind this is interesting; you could tell that the queens were trying to avoid this trope. With the exception of Chi Chi, no one else did Madonna's iconic outfits such as the wedding dress from "Like a Virgin" or the French ballgown from her MTV performance of "Vogue" because they thought someone else would. Meanwhile, the kimono is one of Madonna's more obscure looks but also one of her most elegant, so the queens who picked it each thought they were being unique, and that backfired so hard.
    • In Season 10, this fuels the rivalry between contestants Miz Cracker and Aquaria. As they are both thin, white, twinkish queens from New York City with a similar aesthetic, they're often mistaken for each other, and Aquaria has long accused Cracker of copying her style.
    • Downplayed in UK Season 1 during the Bond Girl-themed runway. The Vivienne and Sum Ting Wong both wore a hooded ensemble inspired by May Day from A View to a Kill, but the outfits were different enough that they didn't draw instant comparisons with each other, and it was only the two of them and not half the cast, thus preventing what might have been painfully dubbed "Maydaygate."
    • Discussed in UK Season 2 when the queens had to pay tribute to a British queer icon on the runway. The two black queens of the season, Asttina Mandella and Tayce, both planned on dressing as supermodel Naomi Campbell. When they realized this, they admitted there weren't many black queer icons in the UK to choose from, so they both gave each other their blessing to do Naomi. That being said, Tayce later admitted on Twitter that Shirley Bassey would have been perfect as she is both Welsh and biracial like herself, but it never occurred to her.
    • In season 13 both Tina Burner and Elliott wind up wearing Taxi inspired looks for the Yellow runway.
  • A Season 1 episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch opens with Sabrina walking down the hallway at school, only to discover she's wearing exactly the same outfit as Libby. She hurries to the bathroom and zaps on a different outfit, only to run into Jenny who is, you guessed it, wearing exactly the same thing. Jenny however takes it all in good fun.
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch involved a group of geeks attending a screening of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith in full cosplay. Two of them, both dressed as Anakin Skywalker, spend the whole skit glaring daggers at each other. It turns out they did try to coordinate beforehand to prevent this from happening, but one of them said he'd be going as "Darth Vader" and failed to specify that he meant Darth Vader from the brief period before he started wearing the iconic mask and armor.
  • A similar gag was used during a Saved by the Bell: The New Class episode with Katie fearing her "plain" dress, only to be complimented by Maria, whose own dress was ridiculously restricting and Rachel, who wore a dress at least three other girls wore.
  • In season 8 of Scrubs, Elliot gets annoyed when fellow doctor Veronica shows up to work every day in the same dress she does. When Elliot gets her dress dirty and has to change clothes, Veronica also changes into the same clothes Elliot has on.
  • There's a Sister, Sister episode about their senior prom. The girls had bought a dress they liked each but Lisa had made them some too, in order to not hurt her feelings the girls planned to change in the back of the Limousine. When they did, and went to the prom, all the girls there were wearing either Tia's dress or Tamera's dress. They go back to the Limo but they're locked out, when Ray and Lisa show up Lisa's miffed initially but in the end it all works out.
  • Used in the Wings episode "The Waxman Cometh." When Casey goes to the grand opening of Lowell's new wax museum, she is mortified to see that the museum's wax figure of Eva Gabor is not only wearing the same dress as her, but also has better jewelry.
  • The X-Files played with this trope in the episode "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas". Agents Mulder and Scully go ghost-busting to a Haunted House and a couple of ghosts play tricks on them to get Mulder and Scully re-enact their suicide pact. The agents discover two decomposed corpses under the floor who have the same clothes as the agents. They are supposed to represent them which means that the pair of ghosts Invoked it.
    Scully: Mulder, she's wearing my outfit.
    Mulder:: How embarrassing!
    Scully: Yeah, well, you know what? He's wearing yours.
  • A male example in the Zorro TV series: during a costumed party, both Sergeant García and the governor ends up dressed identically as Emperor Nero, to the sergeant's embarrassment and the governor's annoyance.

  • The trope appears in the music video for the Reel Big Fish song "She Has a Girlfriend Now," in which the identically-bedressed girls get into a knock-down-drag-out chick fight.
  • "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore:
    having the same [shirt] as six other people in this club is a hella don't!

  • In Sequinox, this joke is made when Spring and Antares both show up wielding whips.

  • "Paris Original" from the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying takes this to its logical extreme, as each secretary enters in succession, and reacts in horror as she sees every other one wearing the same dress: "Some irresponsible dress manufacturer just didn't play fair!"

    Video Games 
  • Hidden City: Discussed and defied in the "Identical Outfit" collection side-quest. Fabien Delamode had received two identical dress orders from the famous singer Sophia, and another regular customer of his. Knowing that having two influential women appear in the same dress during an important event will cause a scandal, Fabien asks the player's help to find modifications for Sophia's dress to make it look different from the other customer's.

    Visual Novels 
  • Episode 9 of Being A ΔΙΚ has Becky, Kylie and Christine all dress up in in the same Naughty Nurse Outfit for the Halloween party, leading to them cattily complaining about each other.

  • In Dumbing of Age Jennifer criticizes the outfit Walky wears for their breakfast with Raidah, saying that her friend group tries harder to look presentable. She's shocked and horrified when her boyfriend Asher shows up wearing the exact same outfit. Walky and Asher are unbothered.
    Asher: Hey, Walky, lookin' sharp!
    Walky: Broclones, m'man! C'mon, Jennifer, tell Asher he looks nice.
    • A later comic reveals Asher is wearing a 'butt taco' shirt under his jacket and hoodie, a shirt Walky also owns (though it's unknown if he wore that shirt the same day).
  • Tedd and Elliot both showing up in girl's school uniform for a gender-swapping birthday party in El Goonish Shive. Tedd invokes it for his (her?) own reasons; Elliot calls it as he (she?) sees it.
  • Happened between Ki and Trudy at a party on General Protection Fault. Nick doesn't see what the fuss is, as all of the guys are wearing the same outfit. Then he realizes that he's talking to Fooker, who is the only person present whose tuxedo is plaid.
  • Cute variant in Girls with Slingshots, where Thea worries that her top is too old-fashioned; cue her girlfriend's mother in the same outfit.
    • At one point early on, Jamie and Darren show up to a party wearing identical underwear.
  • A running gag in Heroine Chic consists of famous fashion designer rivals/ Vitriolic Best Buds Dyna Cuff and Umbra Langoustine wearing identical outfits (plus or minus a few accessories). The matching doesn't appear to be intentional on their part, but it does extend to all their "onscreen" appearances together: even when Dyna ends up in the hospital following an assassination attempt, Umbra comes to visit her in an open-backed hospital gown (with a pair of Louboutins throw on, of course).
  • Shows up in Johnny Wander based on a real life incident. And happens again but inverted after an attempt to avert it.
  • In this The Non-Adventures of Wonderella strip, Dana and Petri show up in the same dress. Then, because they were weaved with evil incarnate, the two dresses begin to merge.
    Dana: Do you still have your receipt? I think this counts as one item now.
  • Parodied in Rhapsodies here where this makes a run in with a high ranking society lady, Kate had accidentally insulted in the past, worse.
  • Parodied in a Skin Horse guest story in which multiple temporal duplicates of Tip are created by a malfunctioning time machine, and are horrified that they're wearing the same dress.
  • Parodied in this Sluggy Freelance strip where Zoe dresses as a sexy French maid for a Halloween party, forcing Torg to change out of his sexy French maid costume.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Mask of Matches Malone!", Black Canary, Catwoman, and the Huntress pretend to be Bodyguard Babes for Batman's "Matches Malone" gangster persona. Catwoman arrives wearing the same dress as Black Canary, and the two snipe at each other until "Malone" arrives.
  • Parodied in Beverly Hills Teens, where Bianca and Larke wore the same outfit to a costume party (save for some color differences), and then both got changed into new outfits, that are still the same.
  • Done in an episode of Kappa Mikey. Lilly and Mitsuki see each other and gasp... Then pan out to Mikey, Gonard, and Guano, all three also wearing the same dress.
  • In the Ed Eddn Eddy Picture Day episode:
    Johnny: (holding out Plank) Hey, Jimmy! You and Plank ordered clothes from the same catalog! (Jimmy is horrified)
  • Family Guy:
    • One gag had Peter and Lois wearing the same dress, and Peter expected Lois to change.
    • During a costume party, Stewie and Brian both come as Snoopy.
  • In an episode of Harriet the Spy, Harriet buys a new coat, but discovers that resident Alpha Bitch, Marion Hawthorne, has the exact same coat, with the latter demanding that she remove it. It gets to the point where a "coat vote" is called to determine who keeps/loses the coat.
  • The Hey Arnold! episode "Miss Perfect" has Rhonda wanting to impress the sixth grade girls with her new outfit. But Lila shows up wearing the exact same outfit that the sixth grade girls are instantly impressed by since they think Lila pulls it off better than Rhonda.
    • A small gag in the Halloween Episode shows Ernie and Mr. Hyunh arguing during a Halloween party because both are dressed as Frankenstein's monster.note 
  • The Jetsons: In "Instant Replay", Jane and a snobbish socialite enter a party wearing identical dresses, leading to a conflict.
  • Happens once in Jimmy Two-Shoes, where Heloise actually gets Jimmy's attention by wearing a fancy dress at a premier.
    Jimmy: Oh, Heloise, nice outfit.
    Heloise: (coy) It's an original. (sees a girl wearing the same thing and tears it to shreds)
  • In The Loud House episode "Brawl in the Family", a fight breaks out when Lori and Leni buy the same dress.
  • In Phineas and Ferb episode "De Plane! De Plane!", Candace finds a girl who wears the same swimsuit as her, only hotter.
    • In the beginning of "Hip Hip Parade," Buford gets angry that he and Baljeet both dressed as vegetable samosas for the parade, abandoning Baljeet for the episode.
    • A Halloween Episode variation: In "Druselsteinoween", both Candace and Stacy come to Vanessa Doofenshmirz' party dressed as a vampire queen. On top of it, Vanessa is wearing the same costume. Candace decides to keep hers, but Stacy leaves the party to change into a Scarlet Pimpernel costume instead. When she comes back, she discovers that five other people are dressed as the Scarlet Pimpernel, including Vanessa's date.
  • Pixel Pinkie: Among the first wishes Nina asks Pixel Pinkie for is to look as cool as Suzi. Of course, Literal Genie Pinkie dresses Nina in Suzi's exact outfit.
  • In the episode of "Make War Not Warcraft" in South Park, Butters showed up with an avatar identical to Cartman's. Cartman ordered him to change right away.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "Something Borrowed, Something Green", Ensigns Boimler and Rutherford who are in the middle of a fight over watering their bonsai tree show up in the holodeck wearing identical Mark Twain outfits. After arguing about who was supposed to dress as Twain, the two come to find common ground and use that experience to resolve the bonsai dispute. Their efforts, however to use the Twin Twain method to resolve a territorial dispute over observing a nebula between Captain Freeman and Chalnoth Captain Coqqor fail, and results in Freeman forbidding them both from dressing up as Twain again. They however find a workaround, dressing up as identical Amadeus Mozarts while discussing whether to hang an oil painting or a watercolor painting of the Enterprise D in their quarters, instead compromising on an acrylic.
    • This is later repeated in "Old Friends, New Planets" when Rutherford and his Sitcom Archnemisis Livik are arguing about what to do with an old outdated Orion battle cruiser they've acquired to aid in rescuing Mariner from Nick Locarno Both dress up as Twain and come to a compromise to use it as a battering ram. Later, they resume their hostilities, to Tendi's confusion. Rutherford clarifies they only like each other when they're "Twaining".
  • In a Totally Spies! episode, Clover is humiliated when she sees Mandy wearing the same outfit as her. She keeps on trying to switch to different oufits she thinks Mandy will never think to wear throughout the episode, but it backfires every time.

    Real Life 
  • Anne Hathaway defied this during the 2013 Oscars: Just hours before the ceremony, she found out her dress looked too similar to the one worn by her co-star, Amanda Seyfried, and thus dropped it for another dress that ended up getting her criticized left and right.
  • Played for laughs during the MTV Video Music Awards one year. Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey (who were believed to have disliked each other) emerged from opposite sides of the stage to present an award together, in identical brown silk gowns. There was an awkward silence as a cat fight was anticipated, until Mariah and Whitney revealed it was all a gag, and each ripped their gowns (actually just removed the extra fabric) to make them different by altering the hemlines.
  • An ice hockey game in Illinois multiplied this problem by twenty. The women's team from Lake Forest College met the high school girl's team from Lake Forest Academy, and both teams showed up wearing similar uniforms. The end result? A bench-clearing brawl.
    • Of course, sports is one situation where not wanting everyone to dress alike makes sense - if you can't tell who's on your team with a glance (or worse, the audience can't), things can get complicated. This is why most sports leagues (from youth-level to professional) have every team design two sets of uniforms—one with the team's official color scheme, and an alternate that's primarily white—and agree in advance as to which team wears what color to a given game.
  • The source of the "Who Wore it Better" articles in several tabloid magazines.
  • Empress Elizabeth of Russia, a big Fashionista, always had first dibs on any fabric imported into the Russian Empire. In case of particularly good stuff, she would sometimes buy it to the last thread specifically to avoid the trope. When one noble family fell into extreme disfavor and was accused of plotting against her, rumors started that it was because a member of the family, Natalia Lopukhina, came to a ball wearing a rose in her hair identical to the one the Empress had.
  • There is an Urban Legend that the Soviet actress Lyubov Orlova once learned her husband is getting interested in another woman (either actress or a clapperboard girl). So once she heard he is inviting the mistress to some party in their house (alternately, after inviting her personally), Orlova learned where she is making the party dress, obtained some twenty meters of the same fabric, and covered all the chairs and sofas in it. The remains were used to make a "Welcome" mat.


Video Example(s):


The Flash times Four

When getting ready for Penny's Halloween party, the guys end up all dressing as the Flash. Sheldon blames it on the fact they vetoed his suggestion to have a costume meeting.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / DressesTheSame

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