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His Quirk Lives On

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This is a trope where one character will adopt one or more traits of another character to remember the latter.

Sometimes, the original character who had that habit, phrase or trait is forgotten, and people mistakenly think that the habit/trait/phrase started with the second character. An example could be James Bond's catchphrase: "Bond, James Bond." In the first James Bond novel, it started with the Bond Girl Sylvia Trench, who introduced herself with "Trench, Sylvia Trench"; but only if Bond had adopted the catch phrase as a nod to her.

Note that the person being remembered doesn't have to be dead.

See also Dead Person Impersonation and My Sibling Will Live Through Me. Also, because it's a Death Trope, there will be spoilers.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk: After The Eclipse, Guts adds throwing knives to his arsenal, modeled after Judeau. Justified for more than sentimental reasons; as part of the Band of the Hawk, Guts could afford to specialize in melee combat because he was typically backed up on the battlefield by dedicated archers. Once he set out to become a true One-Man Army, he needed a more varied arsenal.
  • After Undine, a Dual Wielding Claymore dies in Claymore, Deneve takes up one of the two swords to be a Dual-Wielder herself in her honor. It's hinted (though not confirmed) that this is what Undine herself had done after another friend's death.
    • Clare and Helen do the same by mastering respectively Flora's Windcutter and Jean's Drill Sword after their death
  • At the end of Death Note, Near is seen munching a bar of chocolate in imitation of Mello.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, much of Shinobu Kocho's seemingly positive demeanor is really her taking on aspects of her deceased older sister Kanae's personality; flashbacks show that Shinobu used to be more serious and impatient than she is now. Shinobu wants to emulate Kanae as much as she can, since Kanae's positivity was always a big inspiration for her.
  • In Fruits Basket, one of Tohru's reasons for constantly using polite speech patterns since she was very young is due to her insecurities of not looking anything like her deceased father, Katsuya, who used similarly overly-polite speech and manners. The other reason is she has some trauma from her mother Kyoko neglecting her and almost committing suicide after Katsuya died, so she adopted Katsuya's speech patterns since she thought it would keep Kyoko from leaving her.
  • Hikaru no Go: After Sai disappears, Hikaru buys a fan which looks like the one he used to carry and keeps it with him for go games.
  • In Martian Successor Nadesico, Akito picks up Gai's habit of naming his attacks after those from Gekigangar III.
  • Naruto:
    • After Asuma dies, Shikamaru takes up smoking.
    • Most of Kakashi's bad habits (including his extreme lateness) are actually in memory of his teammate Obito, as shown in the Kakashi Gaiden storyline.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, later in the series, we have Simon adopting the cockiness, quirks and fashion sense of his big brother mentor, Kamina.
  • In Vandread, when it looks like Gascogne dies by Heroic Sacrifice, Barnette volunteers to take over her job, and adopts her signature clothing style and some mannerisms.
  • In ×××HOLiC, Watanuki takes up wearing a kimono after Yuuko dies.

    Comic Books 
  • Dragon Age: Dark Fortress: After Ser Aaron, known far and wide for his outlandish (but mostly true) Tall Tales, dies fighting the Red Wraith, his loyal squire Vaea, who had previously been rather annoyed by this habit of his, finds herself starting to retell his stories to her own friends.

    Fan Works 
  • Replica, a Wild Adapter/Stigmata crossover, is pretty much entirely about this trope.
  • Winter War has Ikkaku nicknaming his group as Yachiru would have done. Leads to the amusing reveal in the opening chapters that the 'young boy' called 'Peaches' in the rowdy, drunk group causing trouble at an inn is actually Hinamori.

  • At the end of Mister Roberts, Pulver seems determined to pick up where Roberts left off.
    "It is I, sir, Ensign Pulver, and I've just thrown your stinking palm tree overboard!"
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Alice starts to take on personality traits of her friends as they're picked off by Freddy.
  • The final scene of Serenity shows Wash's toy dinosaurs displayed across the cockpit dashboard.
  • In Shaun of the Dead, Shaun adopts Ed's catch phrase of "two seconds" during the epilogue after Ed's zombiefication.

  • In The Bartimaeus Trilogy the title character takes the form of his old master Ptolemy to remember him. It's noted that the form is more realistic (small scars and so on) than most of the human forms demons take.
  • In the final book of the Darth Bane trilogy, Bane and his apprentice Zannah fight a duel to the death (as is natural for Sith). Through the rest of the book, Bane had 1. been experiencing some twitching in the fingers of his hand and 2. researched a Dark Side technique for transferring one's consciousness into another's body. He attempts to use the technique during their duel, and after the duel is over the book lets the readers wonder a bit by mentioning that Zannah's fingers are twitching... It's just a tease, though; the trope is averted and Zannah is in full control of her body.
  • In the second book of The Saga of Darren Shan, the titular character befriends a human boy called Sam. Sam is shown to have a fondness for pickled onions. Near the end of the book Sam is brutally mauled by the Wolfman, and is fatally wounded. Darren is convinced to drink his blood, partly because he has been refusing to drink human blood throughout the book and is now at a point where he will die in a few hours if he doesn't, partly because Sam is going to die regardless of what anyone does, and partly because he is told that part of Sam's spirit will live on in him. At the very end of the book, Darren finds himself craving some pickled onions.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Walter White of Breaking Bad does this a lot, adopting subtle quirks of the people who he's killed or have died because of him. For instance, he starts cutting the crusts off his sandwiches like Krazy-8 used to. Others include taking on Gus Fring's method of using his public persona to blow off people he doesn't want to talk to, or ordering his whiskey on the rocks, the way Hank used to. He also somehow adopts quirks that he had no way of knowing about, as he puts a towel down in front of the toilet to kneel on when vomiting the same way Gus did once, when Walter wasn't even remotely in the vicinity to witness it.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy takes to referring to her stake as Mr. Pointy some time after the death of Kendra, another slayer who had named her favorite stake Mr. Pointy.
  • On the Doctor Who Children in Need special "Time Crash", the Tenth Doctor tells the Fifth that he got a number of his stylistic quirks (sneakers, "brainy specs", etc.) from his past self, making this a rare instance of a character invoking this trope with himself. Possibly a reference to the fact that many actors that have played the Doctor have taken inspiration from their predecessors, especially Davison and Patrick Troughton.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Saki Momose’s Sweet Tooth lives on in two characters; Hiiro Kagami aka Kamen Rider Brave, her boyfriend who began eating cakes to honor her memory, and the Graphite Bugster, who inherited the trait from her “save data” after she succumbed to Drago Knight Hunter Z game disease and died, leading to his completion.

    Video Games 
  • In Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, Ray becomes a pacifist priest to honor the memory of his late youngest brother, William, who always dreamed about it.
  • In Dragon Age II, the future companion Aveline's Establishing Character Moment has her wielding two-handed weapons like her fellow warrior companions Fenris and Carver. But when her Templar husband loses his capacity to fight due of succumbing to the Blight, she takes his weapons (one-handed weapon and shield) and starts using them ever since once she joins Hawke.
  • Rosie picks up Pastor Al's I Was Just Joking sense of humor for the final third of the Furrowfield chapter of Dragon Quest Builders 2.
  • Anjean from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks mentions that she had been close friends with Tetra when the latter first came to New Hyrule and appears to have picked up her habit of keeping one eye closed when she talks (in addition to her hairstyle).
  • In Metal Gear, Revolver Ocelot adapted Naked Snake's praise "You're pretty good" into a catchphrase to honor his Worthy Opponent and says it to Solid Snake in their first and last encounters.

  • Inverted in Girl Genius if a person who rides with the Jägermonsterss dies without a hat (something that is an important status symbol for them) a Jäger will give up their hat for their funeral.
  • Rah in the webcomic Institute of Metaphysics is a polymorph (which in the comic is distinct from a shapeshifter as he has no default form) who took on an unspecified acquaintance's appearance when he [Rah] saw him die.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Simpsons episode "Burns's Heir", weeks after Bart left the family to live with Burns, Lisa starts vandalizing the wallpaper.
    Marge: Lisa, what are you doing?
    Lisa: Just trying to fill the void of random, meaningless destruction Bart's absence has left in our hearts. (trips Homer)
    Marge: Oh, that's sweet, honey.