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It's the Same, Now It Sucks!

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"The most dramatic difference [is] the addition of a masturbation scene. That's appropriate, since this new Psycho evokes the real thing in an attempt to re-create remembered passion."Roger Ebert, who rated the remake 1.5/4.
"The attitude of Halo 5 seems to be that if you keep chewing the bubblegum maybe the flavour will eventually somehow come back."
Yahtzee, Zero Punctuation

Fans have a tendency to want to be surprised. They don't just want another rehash of the same things that they had last year, they want something new and different, yet the same basic characters/story/gameplay/etc. Often they claim that they want a perfect, line by line recreation of their favorite comic book, but there are also the inherent problems with transferring any form of media into another. Obviously the balance between keeping things similar while still making it work is difficult to maintain, which often results in an Unpleasable Fanbase.

More often this is a video game trope, due to the nature of the industry. Sports games in particular are targeted because they are based on a game that already exists with set rules; there are only so many ways to change or improve the gameplay, user interface, and physics. The situation isn't very compatible with the companies' insistence on releasing new versions every year.

With video games, if it warrants a sequel obviously people enjoyed playing it in the first place. So you really do not want to mess around with the general set-up, but you can always tweak it around to give a new experience. But with fans being the way they are, you'll usually get one side praising the changes with another side wanting the old game back. An Updated Re-release is sometimes unfairly judged according to this, but it is also justified.

Video Game Long-Runners will be all over the spectrum, with some games remaining faithful to the core design while others will use an entirely different style. Some gaming mainstays get this from fans claiming the formulas are growing stale. Of course, they'll then complain about attempts to change said formula just as vociferously as they complained about stagnation, to the point where it's obvious the games can't win. A game series typically gets this reputation when they release one too many Mission-Pack Sequels.

Just like They Changed It, Now It Sucks!, sometimes the complaints of the fans are legitimate, in that trying to hold onto the past gameplay can become a fundamental flaw. It's also important to note that this will happen to people who are usually not fans of the work in the first place, yet expect it to be radically different sometimes to the point of when they lose the original fans. People who aren't fans of the work will typically pull this argument specifically because they do not notice the differences in between individual works and have a very minimalistic view of genres or series as a whole. It can and often is also a major source of Seasonal Rot, as continually repeating a formula usually leads to diminishing returns that usually culminate in something that is widely disliked.

This trope must be distinguished from They Copied It, So It Sucks!, where different material is considered to be too similar. With It's the Same, Now It Sucks, the problem is that different installments of the same thing (such as remakes, adaptations, parodies, sequels etc.) are considered to be too slavishly imitative of their original material.

See also Sequelitis, Status Quo Is God, Capcom Sequel Stagnation. On the opposite end of the spectrum is They Changed It, Now It Sucks!. It is mostly impossible to balance It's the Same, Now It Sucks and They Changed It, Now It Sucks, due to a general trend of Unpleasable Fanbase between the two.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Gundam franchise gets criticized because fans feel that certain Homages have been thoroughly beaten to death by over-use. Prime examples include Falling into the Cockpit, the Doomed Psychic Girlfriend, and more recently "UNDERSTANDING."note 
  • Mainly the reason Slayers Revolution/Evolution-R didn't go over too well with the fans. But it's true that they did bring back a series 10+ years later just to retread the first season and bring back a villain who's already been killed twice, and not bother to advance the rating of the series but air it at night during the adult crowd...
  • If you've only seen Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) and haven't read the manga, you might feel this way about the remake Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Sadly, some who feel this way haven't watched past the first 13 episodes, which is when it gets to the part where the 2003 anime started being different from the manga. Those who read the manga, on the other hand, might find adaptations like Brotherhood pointless for this reason - they don't add anything to the manga you've already read. See also the Sailor Moon Crystal example.
  • Pokémon: The Series has been criticized by many fans to follow a formulaic plot where Ash goes to a new region with only Pikachu, builds a regional team mostly composed of starter Pokémon (and the regional bird), fights 8 Gym Leaders, and partake in the regional Pokémon League only to fall short of being the actual winner, with the process being repeated in the next region. This is not helped by the fact that many individual episodes reuse same plot lines and character arcs (albeit with different characters) because of the anime's long and formulaic run, as well as the fact that the anime adapts a lot of the storylines from the games which is also felt to be formulaic and tiresome. Later series like Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon and Pokémon Journeys: The Series would stop using the Gym Quest altogether and make Ash's journey a lot more unpredictable (such as him actually winning a Pokémon League) just to avoid repeating the same story beats, but it only highlighted the limitations of Ash as the main protagonist of the anime since many fans felt they can't see Ash doing any Gym Quest again after becoming the World Champion despite the anime's main purpose being advertising the games and their features. Unsurprisingly, the anime retired Ash and Pikachu, and Pokémon Horizons: The Series featured a completely original plot unrelated to Pokémon Scarlet and Violet's storyline to critical acclaim from fans and critics.
  • Berserk:
    • A major criticism of Berserk: The Golden Age Arc is that it adapts the Golden Age Arc, the same one covered by Berserk (1997), but in roughly half the running time, meaning that several subplots and minor characters had to be cut or massively condensed. So It's the Same, But Less of It, Now It Sucks, and fans who have been waiting for decades to see post-Eclipse content animated get to keep on waiting. It doesn't help that the animation isn't much better than it was fifteen years ago, just uneven in a different way, with stiff, low-poly CG models replacing Limited Animation and Pastel Chalked Freeze Frames.
    • Berserk (2016) was hit by a combination of They Changed It, Now It Sucks! and It's the Same, Now It Sucks. On one hand it was ridiculed as a particularly ugly-looking example of an All-CGI Cartoon, making the much-maligned CG in the Golden Age movies look good just by comparison, so it was seen as a step down from the visual styles of the previous adaptations and unable to hold a candle to the quality of the manga's artwork. It also skipped most of the Black Swordsman Arc and cut out the Chapter of Lost Children, the latter of which fans were especially hoping to see animated, and was full of Narm moments caused by poor models and sound effects as well as camera movements that were completely bizarre. From about episode four onwards, however, the show stuck painfully close to what was presented in the manga, and the exact sequence of shots was copied panel-by-panel from the pages of the manga. Many panel sequences that worked well as manga pages did not work well when translated directly into 3D anime, and despite the shots corresponding with the manga images, there was a large amount of unecessary camera movement. On the whole, many fans felt like they were watching an inferior imitation of the manga instead of something new and interesting, and since the hurried conclusion of the second season introduced some new plot holes by skipping the rescue of Princess Charlotte and failing to introduce the Moonlight Boy, it did not even succeed as a literal adaptation of the story.
  • Continuity Reboot anime Sailor Moon Crystal is as subject to this as it is They Changed It, So It Sucks.
    • There's a fair number of people who feel that a Shot-for-Shot Remake of a manga they'd already read, covering the same territory as the live-action series and the first season of the old anime, wasn't what they got excited for when they first heard Sailor Moon was coming back.
    • Similarly, several main poses from the old Transformation Sequences and In the Name of the Moon speeches were recycled in Crystal. While many fans feel this is a nice nod to the original, others were expecting more creative, entirely new transformations.note 
  • This was the reaction of many watchers of Love Live! Sunshine!!. For the first half of its first season, at minimum, the plot was arguably beat-for-beat the same as the original series, with lampshading thrown in. The plot direction in later episodes implies that this was a deliberate writing choice.
  • One of the biggest criticisms of Eromanga Sensei even among fans is that the story is basically a re-hash of the author's previous work Oreimo. Boy finds out his sister is a closeted otaku/Covert Pervert, he bonds over her secret which eventually leads to Brother–Sister Incest, an Elegant Gothic Lolita is involved with the Harem, etc. Just add more controversy by making said sister even younger than Kirino.
  • While "sucks" is a bit too harsh of a word in this case, one common criticism of Mary and The Witch's Flower is that it's fairly by-the-book, following the beats of a stereotypical Studio Ghibli film with little to no deviation from the expected norm.
  • One Piece: In general, most One Piece arcs tend to follow the same formula and, while some argue that each arc manages to have its own identity and different feel, other fans have gotten sick of the formula and the series has gotten too repetitive. It doesn't help that its length means there have been many arcs and therefore it's very easy to find the plot-formula. Many fans compare Dressrosa to Alabasta. In both arcs, the Straw Hats seek to defeat one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, who is trying to/has taken over a country, although both main villains are completely different aside of their Warlord status, and they gain help of that country's princess and an honorable Marine. Several members of Doflamingo's crew have similar powers to the members of Baroque Works, but are otherwise polar opposite when it comes to the characterization of the crews (this similarity is pointed out in the story itself, as Dressrosa is suggested to be what Alabasta would've become had Crocodile's scheme not been nipped in the bud).
  • In Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, Squad Jam 3 ends up being functionally very similar to the first two. Since there's less at stake, (namely no one's betting their lives this time), and Karen/LLENN was rather apathetic about participating, some readers found little reason to care.
  • People who were dissatisfied with Digimon Adventure tri. and Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna because of Meiko and Menoa taking away focus and screentime from the old characters, are tired of Lui from Digimon Adventure 02: The Beginning being yet another character of that kind. Some think it's even worse, since Lui is the sole focus of the movie, unlike Meiko and Menoa, although his character writing and development mitigates the problem for some.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf:
    • Some people don't like Joys of Seasons, Smart Dodging, and the other seasons that share the plot of season 1 because they would prefer if each season had its own unique plot.
    • Some people think Everyday Pleasant Goat is boring because it's literally just clips from older episodes. They prefer to watch the actual full episodes that the clips originally came from.

    Comic Books 
  • In general, the heavy reliance on Status Quo Is God and Sliding Timescale among DC and Marvel creates a sizable rift in the fanbase between this trope and They Changed It, Now It Sucks!. Those who decry the sameness particularly point to the recycling of plots (see the entry for X-Men below) and the fact that characters are never allowed to grow or change in the long term as indicative that the industry has stagnated. Stories like One More Day have become especially divisive for smashing the reset button with a vengeance, while the static nature of the universe means that it's incredibly difficult for new characters to establish themselves, since they will inevitably be sidelined in favor of the "iconic" characters reclaiming their old prominence.
  • Strikeforce failed mainly because most of the people who might have otherwise read it were already reading Savage Avengers.

    Films — Animated 
  • Disney fans and outside observers share this viewpoint from time to time, particularly about Disney's 1990s Renaissance films. The formulaic princess stories, the wisecracking sidekicks, the musical numbers, and the happy endings embody both what we love about the Disney Animated Canon when they do it right, and what we roll our eyes at when they do it for too long in one stretch (and what rival studios have since attempted to imitate). Expect all fairy tale animated movies to be met with this trope, with certain fans and non-fans agreeing that things have a tendency to get too predictable, and yet Lord help Disney when they try to change things up. The public goes batty every time.
  • The Lion King (2019) was deeply criticized for just being the original animated movie remade with photorealistic graphics (which downright didn't qualify it as Live-Action Adaptation, unlike The Jungle Book (2016), made by the same director, which at least had a human) and padded to two hours with scenes barely expanded on certain side characters.
  • In April of 2016, Ratchet & Clank (2016) came out for the PlayStation 4. Two weeks later, Ratchet & Clank (2016) came out in theaters. A lot of the cutscenes from the game are included wholesale in the film, and a lot of fans just felt there was no point seeing the movie when they already had a superior and playable experience right at home.
  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation sticks to mostly the same formula as its two predecessors, though whether or not this does it favors seems to be a point of contention.
    • Also applies In-Universe: Drac, at least initially, thinks the idea of a cruise ship is inherently pointless, telling Mavis (and, later on, Murray and Frank) that it's just "...a hotel on the water!"
  • Incredibles 2 got some criticism for the fact the the plot is nearly a beat-for-beat retread of the first film (a supervillain fight in the beginning causes collateral damage that results in the public hating Supers again, the villain is another tech genius muggle who hates Supers due to a personal grudge, the parents not wanting the kids to fight crime again, another member of the Parr family gets emotionally divided from the others due to superhero antics, another False Friend villain twist, film climaxes with Frozone and the Incredibles having to stop a giant machine from destroying the city, and then ends on an "And the Adventure Continues"), including pressing the Reset Button on Violet's relationship with Tony and the public opinion of Supers being down the drain again.
  • The Jungle Book 2: This sequel is nigh universally considered a vastly inferior followup to The Jungle Book (1967) due to the fact the story and jokes are virtually identical, except the setup is flimsy and the animation is worse. Consider the original film's 88% Rotten Tomatoes score compared to the sequel's abysmal 18%.
  • Turning Red:
    • For fans who disliked the art direction change Pixar took with Luca, the fact that this change continued with this film led to further complaints.
    • The film continuing Disney Animation and Pixar's The New '20s trend of not having an explicit villain, particularly just months after Encanto similarly featured Generational Trauma as the primary antagonistic force, led to some criticism of the trend, with many comparing it to Disney's The New '10s trend of twist villains and mourning the loss of traditionally memorable Disney villains. Though some compared it more favorably with Encanto as Ming doesn't veer as sharply into What the Hell, Hero? territory compared with Alma and the Madrigals' abandonment of Bruno.
  • Wish (2023):
    • One of the most common criticisms of the film is that it largely follows the basic Disney animated film formula without much variation and comes off as very bland and safe. While the film is deliberately made to be a throwback to the classic Disney films to commemorate the company's 100th anniversary, many fans and critics were hoping that Disney would be a little more creative on the film and feel that in the film's attempts to evoke Disney's classic fare instead of doing new things, it lacks a strong voice and identity of its own, leading to a tepid reception from critics.
    • Many fans and critics ended up rolling their eyes when it was revealed that Asha is portrayed as another upbeat and Adorkable female protagonist in the same vein as Rapunzel, Anna, Moana, and Mirabel. While critics and fans were already becoming tired of the "quirky and dorky female protagonist" archetype due to how prevalent it has become in Disney's modern animated films since the The New '10s, Asha is considered to be the breaking point for their tolerance to the archetype since she lacked the Hidden Depths that made her predecessors loved, with fans and critics calling on Disney to break away from the archetype and create more-varied female protagonists.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The page image compares the 1960 and 1998 versions of the film Psycho. Gus Van Sant basically made a shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's film, only it was in color and had stereo sound. The film was thrashed by critics and audiences for that reason.
  • James Bond:
    • Complaints had been lodged over older installments of the series for "sticking too much to the James Bond formula" with gadgets and one-liners, especially towards the end of the Brosnan era. In fact, much of the praise for Casino Royale came from dodging this trope like the plague.
    • Quantum of Solace: After the mindblowing awesome of Casino Royale, critics were admittedly disappointed with the sequel when compared to the first, since it was more of the same but with less of the bite that goes with being fresh.
    • One of the major criticisms of Spectre is that thanks to all the Mythology Gags, it sometimes feels more like a "greatest hits" compilation of the past Bond movies rather than its own film.
  • The movie version of Watchmen has been criticized for following the comic too closely. Many professional critics felt that by cramming the structure and pacing of a 12 issue comic into a single film, the adaptation becomes incomprehensible to anyone unfamiliar with the original source material, especially in the theatrical release. It was also criticized for changing too much. Lose-lose situation either way.
  • Guy Ritchie falls victim this trope as well as its inversion. His first film Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels was an indie success and critical darling for its fresh, vibrant style. When Snatch. came out, Ritchie got heat for rehashing his first film. So he did Swept Away, in a completely different genre, and everyone hated it. When he returned to the crime thriller genre with Revolver (2005), he decided to add an Evil Plan and an Anvilicious Aesop, causing everyone to hate it so much that it didn't even see wide release in America. Ritchie then released Rock N Rolla, an obvious attempt to recapture the violent underworld hijinks of his first two films. By this point, people seemed to have lost interest in his original style and the film tanked. While his adaptation of Sherlock Holmes received mixed reviews, one of the points of criticism was that Ritchie's style isn't appropriate for the Great Detective... it seems the guy can't win either way.
  • The Live-Action Adaptation of Speed Racer was lambasted by critics because of this. Since it was directed by The Wachowski siblings, they went into a live-action film based off a well-renowned anime and expected to see The Matrix with cars... and were legitimately surprised that they got a live-action film based off a well-renowned anime that fully captures the campiness of the original.
  • One of the key points of criticism raised about Casino on its release was that it treads a lot of the same ground as Goodfellas, also made by Martin Scorsese. The fact that it was longer and slower-paced didn't do it any favors either.
  • Some of the most ridiculous Hype Backlash for Titanic (1997) will enumerate the characters and scenes that are too similar to previous Titanic movies without realizing that all of them are depicting the same, real event. As if there was not enough Romantic Plot Tumor to bash...
  • The first sequel to The Gods Must Be Crazy is often accused of suffering from this. Same slapstick with a vehicle, same revolutionary villains, same prim and proper lady losing her clothes, etc. The only two things that were really different were more exotic animals and more action.
  • When The Grudge 2 came out, most critics admitted to liking the scenes set in Chicago; similarly, the plot of the three schoolgirls was seen as typical horror fare, but mostly avoiding any true detriment. The plot of Aubrey, however, came under fire for rehashing her sister Karen's investigation into the curse from the first film.
  • The Hangover Part II has been critiqued for falling prey to this. The wedding backdrop, the missing character, even Alan being entirely responsible for the events of the previous night. Some full scenes are taken shot-for-shot from the original.
  • The Home Alone movies follow this formula. The second movie tried to change the setting to New York City, the third had different characters (who still had striking similarities to the previous characters), and the fourth introduced a third robber but otherwise, they were almost identical movies.
  • The remake of Let the Right One In, Let Me In, was criticized for being too similar to the original film. Especially since director Matt Reeves had actually hyped up his film as being an adaptation of the (very different) novel but instead just copied the Swedish adaptation verbatim, right down to concepts and scenes that were exclusive to the first film. It got positive reviews, but the critics' general attitude was "It's good because the original was."
  • Men in Black II was criticized for recycling most of the first movie without much improvement to the original story. Men in Black 3 got much the same. After fifteen years in the MIB, Agent J still somehow plays the part of the newcomer who faces something from the organization's past which he was ignorant of.
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (a Tough Act to Follow to boot) are so similar as far as the plot goes that it's easy to identify the similarities of both movies. Some key moments and characters are transplanted almost directly. A thorough analysis can be read here.
  • A common complaint against The Lone Ranger is just that it's simply Pirates of the Caribbean in The Wild West. Tonto is Jack, The Lone Ranger is Will Turner, The Royal Navy replaced by the U.S. Cavalry etc.
  • The most common criticism reviewers have had about Avengers: Age of Ultron, even many of the positive reviews: they've increasingly noted that it's done very little to break any new ground after the first Avengers film. To a lesser extent, this has started applying to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, with many stating that the movies have begun to feel increasingly formulaic. Ant-Man and Doctor Strange (2016) in particular received criticism that they were too similar to the first Iron Man film. Thor: Love and Thunder also earned negative remarks on being too alike to Thor: Ragnarok, with a common complaint being that repeating the Denser and Wackier tone did not go well with the film trying to enhance the drama.
  • A criticism made by detractors of Cinderella (2015) is that the film is mostly a straight-up remake of the original animated movie. However, some fans prefer this to the film being too different. It's really more a case of personal preference. Similar criticisms have been made about The Little Mermaid (2023)
  • Star Wars:
    • The Force Awakens received the bulk of its criticism for being too similar to the original Star Wars film, aka A New Hope. From the perspective of some film critics, this is considered "playing it safe" in order to pander to both hardcore Original Trilogy fans for nostalgia as well as non-fans whose main exposure to the franchise is the Original Trilogy. For the rest of the Star Wars fandom, copying A New Hope is considered to be the biggest in the list of things the film copied among which are elements of the very Expanded Universe that it ignored. And for many of these fans, the copying is only symptomatic of the wider problem that the first two trilogies now feel pointless with far lesser characters and situations retreading now-iconic ones, all hinging on the previous protagonists grabbing the Idiot Ball for allowing the same things to continue or happen again. (George Lucas himself thought that as much as he liked the movie, it was too derivative of what he had done in the original trilogy, and said something that many fans concurred, that in the prequels, as divisive as they were, he always attempted to do new things).
    • Most criticism of The Last Jedi falls under They Changed It, Now It Sucks!, but it gets this too. Put simply, it follows all the major plot points of The Empire Strikes Back (heroes flee as the bad guys attack their base, Jedi protagonist off learning with an old master, side characters on a subplot and get betrayed, revelation about the protagonist's family, Downer Ending) but executes them in ways that, to many fans, ruins the characterization, themes and even logistics of the franchise.
    • The Rise of Skywalker actually tries to do its own thing for a while, even if that mostly means adapting Dark Empire... Only for its climax ending up being that of Return of the Jedi, only without the Ewoks (although they still have a cameo).
  • The 2011 remake of Footloose suffered this criticism for changing little aside from technology updates (iPods for cassette players, etc.) and minor character revisions. Many critics argued that the premise of a small town banning rock music and dancing, which already strained credibility in 1984, was impossible to buy in 2011.
  • Ghostbusters:
    • One of the most common criticisms of Ghostbusters II is that its plot is a pale imitation of the original.
    • The Ghostbusters (2016) movie draws a lot of inspiration from the first two films. While it does its own thing in different parts of the movie, you can see similar aspects throughout the whole thing. Even the Sequel Hook is connected to the first movie.
    Patty: What's "Zuul"?
    • Though this trope hit harder with Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The movie ran on Pandering to the Base, bringing back just about everything from the original movie, including a Suspiciously Similar Substitute to Slimer and downright having the ending be the same, with Gozer again being the villain and a reunion of the original team. While fan reaction was overall positive, those unimpressed among reviewers and audiences complained about that overreliance on nostalgia that led to repetitiveness.
  • Bigger Fatter Liar is essentially a rehash of the original Big Fat Liar from 2002, right down to having a hero named "Shepherd" and a villain named "Wolf". The only difference is that it's a video game idea stolen rather than a movie.
  • The first movie in the Transformers Film Series was generally well received by critics and fans alike. With each subsequent sequel however, a common major complaint was that they basically repeat the first film from the plot-points to use of Macguffins to the character types, with critical scores reflecting that. By the fifth film people were able to accurately recap the entire movie without watching it just by assuming it will remain Strictly Formula.
  • DC Extended Universe
    • Although director Zack Snyder intended his Superman movies to be completely distinct, many people are still peeved that he used General Zod and Lex Luthor from the Richard Donner movies as the main villains. Several fans feel that had Snyder used other Superman villains like Parasite, Brainiac, and Mister Mxyzptlk, he would've been able to further distance his films from the Donner movies while also avoiding any unfavorable comparisons to them.
    • Justice League (2017) was criticized for recycling too many concepts and ideas from the previous DCEU movies. The plot of an evil alien terraforming the earth is nearly identical to that of Man of Steel and Steppenwolf's design was too similar to Ares's from Wonder Woman (2017) right down to the horned helmet and basalt armor. Zack Snyder's Justice League actually fixes those issues, by giving Steppenwolf a unique design and with the effect of the Mother Boxes's Unity being a different kind of catastrophe.
  • Neill Blomkamp is being criticized by some on the fact that, after his promising and much-praised film debut District 9, he's essentially recycling the same story and themes but with increasingly worse results. Namely, anvilicious films set in squalid South African suburbs in the near future, having the actors paired with aliens/robots and other special effects, and lots of stylized violence; all things that come from his earlier short films, which were then expanded into his feature films.
  • This is quite a frustrating issue with the Final Destination films: someone is in the midst of an enjoyable event when they die in a prolonged, horrific massacre... only for that person to be fantasizing it all (and while using the exact same zoom-out-of-the-pupil shot every time), they survive (for now), but then even more people die than they initially thought and things just get worse from there. The only things that alter from sequel to sequel are the elevated number of fatalities and the level of gruesomeness involved in the deaths.
  • Jurassic World was seen as too similar to Jurassic Park by some, because the plots are very similar. The main difference is that only a few guests were previewing the park in the original film whereas the sequel had the park open to the public when the dinosaurs escaped.
    • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom gets a common gripe that the first act of the film is basically a soft rehash of The Lost World: Jurassic Park: a group of environmentalists make an excursion to a fallen dinosaur theme park to save the dinosaurs from a smug and greedy businessman who takes them to the mainland where they predictably escape and cause havoc. This one is particularly arguable because the scenes on the island make up only a small part of the film's runtime and the film goes in a very different, untrodden path for the climax, becoming something like a Gothic Horror.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set in the same universe as Harry Potter, but was billed as simply being about a wizard naturalist going around and finding magical animals. It turns out that along the way he gets caught up in the battle against Grindelwald, HP's Predecessor Villain who, like Voldemort, is also driven by Fantastic Racism against Muggles, has lots of Nazi subtext applied to him and will wind up getting the Elder Wand. Some fans are excited, others would have preferred if it just stuck to cool animals, specially as the sequels focused on the rise of Grindelwald and brought back Dumbledore to further put the spin-off in the same ground thread by the original.
  • Gamera: The sequels of the Showa series following Gamera vs. Gyaos are often criticized for adhering too strongly on repetitive stories, on top of lower production qualities with each installment. From Gamera vs. Gyaos up until Gamera: Super Monster, the story was always about a revolving cast of little boys who befriend Gamera as he fights a new Monster of the Week (often the vanguard of an ineffectual Alien Invasion), where he fails the first time but beats them during the rematch after the clueless adults try to kill the monster but completely fail. Ultimately, this helped to kill the franchise, twice over, until the Heisei series revived it in the 90s.
  • While The Batman (2022) was well-received overall, a number of both critics and fans of the character bemoaned that it was yet another Batman film that leaned hard on the cynical side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism after The Dark Knight Trilogy and his appearances in the DC Extended Universe, wishing that he could star in a film that was at least tonally balanced again.
  • Japanese meta-horror-comedy film One Cut of the Dead, about real zombies popping up during the filming of a zombie movie, was remade shot-for-shot five years later as Coupez! by Michel Hazanavicius. Several reviewers were unimpressed by it, since it has a much bigger budget but rehashes the exact same beats and scenes, while the original's main joke was about its extremely low-budget production (both in- and out of universe) and how everyone tried to deal with it.
    • The same can be said about One Cut of the Dead itself, or better its unsuccessful sequel/spin-off One Cut of the Dead in Hollywood, that basically recycles the whole film, only in a fake "Hollywood" setting, with the Japanese actors wearing cheap blond wigs and gaudy colorful shirts.
  • Barbra Streisand starred in the 1976 remake of A Star Is Born (1937), and while she initially paid lipservice to the 2018 version, she has since admitted that she didn't like it because she thought it was too similar to her version. When the movie was first proposed, Beyoncé and Will Smith were supposed to star in it and Streisand loved the idea of giving the classic film an R&B/hip-hop update. But it languished in Development Hell for years and by the time it finally reached production, it starred Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga as country singers, which Streisand criticized for not being that much different from the 1976 movie.

  • When other playwrights adapted Agatha Christie's murder mysteries for the stage, Christie herself felt that these adaptations were hampered by following the original books too closely. This prompted her to start adapting the stories herself, and she was ruthless in making changes that she felt were necessary.
  • Crescent City: A criticism from some readers is that this series recycles a lot of tropes, plotlines and character types from Sarah J. Maas' other books. To wit, the main heroine is a sassy and beautiful young woman who is connected to fairy royalty and has rare, super-powerful magical abilities. Her love interest is a handsome, brooding man centuries older than her, who angsts about being forced to do bad things for a villain and has been enslaved by an evil queen. The two are forced to work together and trade insults while growing increasingly attracted to one another, and the plot largely concerns a quest for a magical item the villain wants. All of this was present in both Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses, with some readers joking the only thing missing is the heroine's love interest being replaced midway through.
  • Ernest Cline gained a lot of acclaim and recognition for his first book Ready Player One, about a clever teen who competes in a gigantic easter egg hunt inside a worldwide MMORPG played by everyone to escape the misery of the Crapsack World they live in. The book was packed with references to every facet of The '80s' popular culture, but they were integral to the story since the programmer that created the MMORPG was a young man in the Eighties and this led everyone to become familiar with these cultural artifacts to win the game. Cline tried to repeat himself with his second book Armada, about a teen video gaming champion who uses his ability to lead a battle against real alien invaders. It was a flop, however: the number of references increased even more, this time with no real reason to them other than to hide a plot ripped from The Last Starfighter and the shallowness of the characters. In general Armada was viewed as nerd pandering of the worst kind even by those who generally liked the first one.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld series features a constantly rotating cast of familiar characters and, after a run of some twenty-plus books, unsurprisingly they started receiving criticism from some fans and critics for trotting out the same jokes, character observations and traits. Whether in response to such criticisms or not, the series picked up again by introducing a new wave of regular characters and gradually retiring some of the older ones.
  • Expeditionary Force: The books have a habit of consisting of "existential threat to humanity, Skippy says stopping it is impossible, Bishop comes up with wild plan, and Skippy says he never would have thought of it because it was so crazy but it works."
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (both book and film) have met criticism for following the structure of the first installment rather too closely. The formula did decay rather quickly after that, though. Executive Meddling figured into that with the book. Rowling originally put a lot more into Chamber of Secrets but had to take it out to appease the publisher. She had to play catch-up in Half-Blood Prince because of this.
  • One of the biggest criticisms of Midnight Sun (2020) is that it heavily overlaps with the plot of Twilight, with the only major difference being that the story is now told from Edward's perspective rather than Bella's. Many readers have found that unlike other examples of Perspective Flips, having Edward as the narrator doesn't really change the story or the way we view the characters significantly, nor does it expand upon the lore much; hence, it largely comes off as the exact same story as Twilight, only about 200 pages longer. It doesn't help that we've already had two other retellings of the first novel: the 2008 movie adaptation (which incorporated some of the draft chapters of this novel into its script) and the gender-flipped Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined.
  • The Savior's Series: Lots of reviews for The Savior's Sister tend to be critical of the sections that go over the plot points of The Savior's Champion, as they tend to cover the exact same sequence of events and have identical dialogue, with Leila's POV contributing little. Considering these sections take up a large chunk of the novel - which is longer than Champion - it comes off as tedious at times. Some have opined Sister might've worked better if it was trimmed down to a novella covering only the stuff we didn't see in Champion, or that the first two books could've been combined into one novel, giving the reader access to both Leila's and Tobias' perspectives while not retreading the same content over and over.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One of the biggest complaints directed at later seasons of Heroes is that they either changed the characters or failed to move them forward. Claire and Noah still had the same argument every year; Peter was still aiming for Incorruptible Pure Pureness and getting the Idiot Ball; and Hiro and Ando were still having their Wrong Genre Savvy hijinks.
  • The first few episodes of The Office (US) suffered from this. In an arguable subversion, after they began making the show completely different from the original British version, it actually got a lot better.
  • On the other end, the first season of Parks and Recreation is criticized because it's clear the people who remade The Office were simply applying the same formula and character types to a different setting. And again, the following season the show found its own voice, and the result was a vast improvement.
  • House is often criticised for its formulaic nature, which includes never changing its protagonist's unlikeable personality.
    • Another problem is that the show is quite predictable on most occasions. Patient comes in -> House thinks he's figured it out -> House is wrong -> Patient has another symptom -> House has a crazy theory after an epiphany from an argument with his staff -> Nobody believes him -> House is right -> Everyone is surprised! This happens nearly every episode.
    • Season 5 focused on changing House through a series of harrowing personal experiences before delivering a sadistic "Gotcha!" to both the fans and the doctor.
  • Generally speaking, the more a season of Power Rangers copies from its Super Sentai counterpart, the less popular it will be with the fandom (and vice versa). The most prominent recent example is Power Rangers Samurai, which at times used scripts copied almost word-for-word from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, with the only appreciable change being the names involved (Jaden instead of Takeru, Zords instead of Origami, etc). A subversion would be Power Rangers Time Force, which does copy quite a lot from Mirai Sentai Timeranger, it has enough to stand on its own and is regarded as one of the best seasons.
    • Even then Power Rangers itself isn't exactly stranger to later entrees being incredibly similar to previous ones in certain aspects. Like say a Make My Monster Grow method being yet again a laser shot from a spaceship, an overabundance of Kalishplosions or the theme song being another remix of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers theme (The Neo-Saban era was guilty of this last one).
    • Speaking of Sentai, Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger got hit with this - while it's not the first series to reuse a theme (both the particular theme - dinosaurs - and in general), it does bear a lot of similarities to the previous Dino sentai, Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger (the core 5 in Ryusoulger are the same as the core 5 of Kyoryuger - Red, Blue, Pink, Black, and Green - with only 1 female, the mech configurations are almost the same, both having their Sixth Ranger be a gold who has Shock and Awe powers from their main collectible item, and the Ryusouls acting very similar to the Zyudenchi, only being used in swords instead of guns)note  - even when the trademarks were filed, it got hit with this, since the use of "Ryu" in Ryusoulger led fans to think it would be a Dragon Knight Sentai (which had never been done for a full-team), but then it was later revealed that "Ryu" was short for "Kyoryu". One possible reason is that in the past, there was usually a gap roughly around a decade in between Dino sentainote , so the fact that Kyoryuger is still relatively fresh in the minds of fans likely makes the similarities stand out more than they would if more time had passed.
  • The American version of Top Gear is suffering from this horribly. Fans were expecting a familiar setting with loads of new content. Instead, they got a setting that only pays lip service to the original's style while completely ripping off the challenges almost shot-for-shot. The producers didn't seem to realize that anyone familiar with the original show wasn't going to bother turning in to see the exact same shows with much lower production values.
    • The presenters even seem to try to fit Clarkson, Hammond, and May's positions (one said to be slow, etc.), and it's so forced it's almost painful.
  • MTV's adaptation of the British show Skins, which originally aired on Channel 4. MTV attempts to use the same aesthetic and similar scripting in their adaptation, but much of the show depended upon aspects of British culture that don't translate effectively to the US. The result is a show that's overly conscious of its being "indie".
  • The American version of The Inbetweeners did exactly the same thing, only much worse, changing the word "wankers" to "turds" and essentially working word-for-word from the original - which heavily relied on British humour, experiences, and cultural references, something that can't be recreated IN AMERICA! simply by making the script different.
  • This seems to be the main issue had with The Middle. It's pointed out that its plot and characters are fairly similar to Malcolm in the Middle. To be fair, the former is something of a Spiritual Successor; however, it's a little inaccurate to say that the two are exactly the same.
  • Some TV viewers felt this way about GSN's 2012 revival of Pyramid, which was mostly a back-to-basics version that paid homage to the 1980s $25,000 Pyramid and $100,000 Pyramid franchises. It probably didn't help that GSN airs reruns of said versions.
  • Star Trek
    • You can fairly say that Star Trek: The Original Series is often cheesy and Anvilicious, and the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation was nearly always cheesy and anvilicious.
    • Star Trek: Voyager got a lot of criticism for trying to be "TNG Lite" at the behest of the network execs. Particularly as the series premise seemed like it was designed to not be like TNG and create a lot of character conflict, what with a crew half made up of anti-Federation rebels.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise probably gets the most criticism for this, at least in the first two seasons. Although it was set in an era where a lot of technology staples were supposedly undeveloped (or very new, like the transporter), the crew frequently encountered them from other species, so there didn't seem to be a lot of difference. The plots also seemed like fairly generic Star Trek thing-of-the-week for the first two seasons.
    • Oddly, though most of the complaints about Star Trek: Discovery concerned all the changes it made, a vocal section of the fandom thinks that Discovery being another prequel is another example of the creators being afraid to take risks, and that they will make all the same mistakes regarding canon that Enterprise did. Many cries of "they didn't learn from Enterprise!" flooded the web.
    • In-universe, this was the core of a Logic Bomb that Spock used in "I, Mudd." He tells Alice 27 that he loves her, but hates Alice 210 precisely because 210 is identical to 27.
  • Supernatural: After Eric Kripke left the show after what was supposed to be the series finale, the show rebooted itself. Seasons 6 and 7 unraveled many of the narratives that had driven the previous few seasons and moved the show back to the Walk the Earth format of early seasons, refocusing on just the brothers. Unfortunately, this meant undoing many of the sacrifices from Seasons 4 and 5, killing off popular supporting characters like Castiel and Bobby and having Dean leave his girlfriend and surrogate son. While the show produced many excellent on-off episodes, many fans complained that the brothers were often still behaving like they did when they were twenty-somethings. Eventually, the writers added more myth arcs and fans complained that those weren't as good as the Seasons 4 and 5 arc.
  • It was noted with American Horror Story: Coven that the creators were using many themes, features and character arcs that were used in the the first season, Murder House, which the audience found boring.
  • The pilot of Gracepoint stayed very close to the first episode of Broadchurch; the general critical consensus was "good, but redundant."
  • When Only Fools and Horses was revived, many fans were worried that it would spoil the popular original ending, which saw Del and Rodney finally become millionaires. There was hope among such fans, however, that the revival might offer some amusing insights into the Trotters' fish-out-of-water lifestyle among the global jet-set. Instead, the first thing the revival did was to bankrupt them and put them back in their old Peckham flat. The return to business-as-usual did indeed spoil the original ending, badly.
  • Good Omens stayed extremely close to the book. A lot of fans loved that, but others - not to mention the critics - were more mixed in their response, feeling the series missed an opportunity to make the material come to life in a new way, or update details that lost their resonance outside the book's 1990 context. The most criticised aspect was the inclusion/reliance of a narrator that allowed the show to include chunks of the book's text and could feel quite stifling of the series doing anything interesting of its own.
  • Control Z: The second season entirely followed the previous dynamic of its predecessor when it came to the whodunnit stuff. The ending was even quite predictable.
  • A common criticism of the Obi-Wan Kenobi is that it recycles too much from previous Star Wars works.
    • Some fans weren't too keen on the show being another interquel set between between the movies Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope given how extensively this era was already covered by installments like Jedi: Fallen Order, Rebels and Rogue One. Many want the show to explore new time periods besides the original trilogy era if only to see new settings and characters instead of leaning on familiar locales and iconography.
    • Likewise the personalities and characters arcs drew unfavorable comparison to those of past characters. Kenobi's characterization, that of a washed-up Jedi cut off from the Force, was seen as a rehash of Luke Skywalker's and Cal Kestis's from The Last Jedi and Jedi: Fallen Order, respectively. On a more specific note, the antagonistic Reva was unfavorably compared to Second Sister/Trilla from Fallen Order as she is also former Jedi who survived Order 66, became an Inquisitor holds a grudge against a Jedi who she blames for abandoning her and is played by a Black Woman.
    • The premise of Obi-Wan protecting young Leia has drawn unfavorable comparisons to both The Mandalorian and Star Wars: The Bad Batch as it yet again involves an adult male protagonist watching over a child.
  • While overall critically acclaimed and still enjoyed, The Sopranos gets some criticism for reiterating the same plot threads of "a previously unmentioned character enters the scene (usually released after a lengthy jail sentence), causes trouble for Tony, and is disposed of" almost every season, to the point it got rather predictable by the the tail end of the show (Matthew and Sean, Richie, Ralph, Jackie Jr., Feech, Tony B, and Phil all follow this basic formula).

  • Evanescence fans tend to give this treatment to We Are The Fallen, made up of former Evanescence members Ben Moody, Rocky Gray and John LeCompt and singer Carly Smithson. Carly is often accused of sounding too much like Amy Lee, and the band of being an Evanescence ripoff.
  • Live recordings have a tendency to be subject to this. People who enjoy live recordings generally don't want the live versions to sound too much like the studio versions. On the flip side, though, other people don't like live recordings because they feel that it tends to "ruin" the songs that they love so much.
    • The David Bowie live albums David Live and Stage are particularly egregious cases of this. In the case of David Live, the excessive rearrangements of the songs present combined with David's incredibly strained vocals (thought to be a side effect of his constant cocaine abuse at the time) earned heavy amounts of derision from fans and critics alike, with the album-exclusive cover of "Knock on Wood" generally being agreed upon as the only real highlight (to the point where it was released as a moderately successful single). For Stage, meanwhile, not only are the arrangements of the songs on the album extremely close to the original studio recordings, but the original version of Stage features fade-outs at the end of each song and cuts out audience reactions, leading it to feel more like a Greatest Hits Album with a different coat of paint than an actual live recording.
  • Also expect this reaction whenever an artist covers a song but remains very faithful to the original recording. An example of this is the 1994 Eagles tribute album Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles, which had various contemporary Country Music artists covering Eagles songs; while the album was instrumental in renewing interest in the Eagles and even in causing their highly-publicized Hell Freezes Over tour that year, most critics felt that the album's cover versions were overly faithful to the originals. Despite this perception, Travis Tritt's cover of "Take It Easy" and Clint Black's cover of "Desperado" became staples of '90s country playlists (even though neither was heavily promoted to radio at the time, leading to some pretty severe Chart Displacement).
  • Franco-British avant-garde post-rock band Stereolab began their career in the early 1990s, performing dangerously modern Krautrock-influenced lounge pop songs with lilting, Marxist-themed lyrics. And that is how they ended their career, nineteen years later, by which time the critics had given up on them.
  • Averted by Australian hard rock legends AC/DC. Reviewers constantly point out that each of their new albums sound exactly like every single one of the band's previous releases of the last thirty years. They also always mention that this is a good thing. Angus Young has declared: "I'm sick to death of people saying we've made 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we've made 12 albums that sound exactly the same."note 
  • This is one of the reasons why Hair Metal experienced such a backlash in the early-90s. By the late 80s, the rock music scene was oversaturated by Hair Metal groups, who largely sprung up from the over-commercialization in the music industry for the past decade. While this in-of-itself would already be a problem, it was exasperated by the fact that practically every Hair Metal group sounded practically the same as one another. Quiet Riot sounded a lot like Ratt, who sounded a lot like Mötley Crüe, who sounded a lot like Poison, who sounded a lot like Warrant, etc. There was hardly any major differences with the sound of these various groups, which became a sign that the music industry had become incredibly stagnant. Even the aesthetics of these various groups was practically the same, with every group relying on 80s Hair, tight-fitting clothing, makeup, bright in-your-face color schemes, over-the-top presentation, just to name a few. After all this oversaturation, it's really no wonder why Nirvana's big debut in 1991 was seen as a necessary genre shift for the music industry.
  • When Michael Jackson released Bad in 1987, many reviewers complained that it was too much like Thriller. The title songs were fairly similar, and other songs just barely avoided being analogues for others from the previous album. The 1991 followup, Dangerous didn't have quite the same problem until after Jackson died, where polls and iTunes charts showed that certain songs from Bad seemed to be making a comeback and Dangerous seemed to signal the beginning of the end. Because Jackson clearly moved in a different direction with Dangerous and it's the first album of his adult solo career not to be produced by Quincy Jones, it could be a retroactive case of They Changed It, Now It Sucks!.
    • The funny thing is, Quincy Jones (and at least two generations of fans, apparently) seem to think that Bad is a superior album to Thriller, since his remastered "Essentials" greatest hits album from several years back contains almost every track from Bad (almost every one of them chart-toppers) but only choice cuts from Thriller (which does contain a fair amount of Album Filler despite its "every song a single" philosophy). And it's hard to say that Bad is just a retread of Thriller, since it's clearly Darker and Edgier and has a more consistent sound throughout.
  • Musicians that don't change their sound tend to get this as well. That's a reason for the huge Hatedom for Nickelback: their songs sound exactly the same.
  • Detractors of Metallica can say this as well. The fact they play almost all of their songs in the same key live doesn't help matters.
  • When Nine Inch Nails released the 2005 album With Teeth, one reviewer complained that making music for angsty teenage girls worked for Trent Reznor back in the 90s, but that there's something sad about a man in his 40s making the same kind of music as if he still doesn't have his shit together. Then we got the political message-filled Year Zero two years later.
  • Lady Antebellum's Own the Night album got mixed critical reviews for overall sounding way too similar to Need You Now (particularly the "epic" production and heavy use of string sections).
  • A similar complaint is given of labelmate Luke Bryan, whose 2013 single "Crash My Party" has been criticized as being a big, melancholy midtempo song just like his last three singles ("I Don't Want This Night to End", "Drunk on You", and "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye").
  • Psy's Gentleman has been criticized as being the same thing as Gangnam Style.
  • Suffocation's second album Breeding the Spawn got some flak for this. Then they started re-recording the songs on other albums and people realized that it was actually far more technical than Effigy of the Forgotten. That's not to say people love it now - after all, there's a reason people mistook it for an Effigy clone in the first place.
  • The Knack's second album ...But The Little Girls Understand was criticized for sounding too much like their debut, Get the Knack; particularly, lead single "Baby Talks Dirty" was panned by critics for sounding like their breakout hit "My Sharona", especially after being released only six months after "Sharona".
  • Iron Maiden's No Prayer For The Dying is often regarded as writing to a formula without having the catchy tunes to back it up. It's commonly regarded as breaking their string of classic albums.
  • Pearl Jam's 21st century output has been accused of rehashing the sounds that made them cultural icons with Vs., Vitalogy and Yield. That one of said albums is called Backspacer is one helluva coincidence.
  • Linkin Park's Meteora was criticized for being a rehash of Hybrid Theory. However, since Minutes to Midnight, the complaints have been the exact opposite.
  • When Lou Bega released "Mambo Number Five" in 1999, it became a huge smash hit. His follow up single, "I Got A Girl", however, was hugely criticised for sounding almost exactly the same. Several detractors even nicknamed it "Mambo Number Six". A third song, which only got any airplay on the end credits of Stuart Little, sounded suspiciously similar as well.
  • This is part of the reason for Iggy Azalea's fast decline from the spotlight (among other things). She scored a huge megahit in 2014 with "Fancy", and since then she's tried to remake the same song hoping for similar success, only to see diminishing returns. Namely, the two songs that rehash "Fancy" are "Beg for It" and "Pretty Girls" (with Britney Spears). Both songs only barely made the Top 40 before quickly dropping out.
  • Omi became a star overnight when "Cheerleader" became the song of summer 2015. However, when follow-up single "Hula Hoop" arrived, it was criticised for being almost the exact kind of Silly Love Song the earlier song was, and he went straight into One-Hit Wonderland.
  • Critics tended to complain about how much Eagles live shows sounded just like the band's albums.
  • Jason Aldean is commonly met with this criticism, particularly with how most of his material since around 2014 has been rehashes of existing songs: "Gonna Know We Were Here" and "Just Gettin' Started" rehash "Tattoos on This Town", "They Don't Know" rehashes "Fly Over States", etc.
  • This trope is the general British music fan's reaction to Post-Punk Revivalism these days, as it simply tries to emulate the likes of Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen rather than actually fulfilling the "progressive punk" ethos of the movement it tries to call back to.
  • Richard Strauss was nervous about this while writing Elektra because he believed it to be very similar to Salomé.
  • This was the main complaint critics had with Coldplay's X&Y: that the songs were too similar to those on the preceding A Rush of Blood to the Head. Of course, when the band decided to change up their style on the following album...
  • Cledus T. Judd's Boogity, Boogity, a 2005 tribute album to Ray Stevens, got this treatment from critics due to Judd's covers of Stevens' songs sounding almost exactly like the originals.
  • One of the more common criticisms among heavy music fans (see: people who have actually listened to them) of Cannibal Corpse is that they are Strictly Formula, with many of their albums sounding very similar to each other. The fans are a lot more charitable, often saying the band frequently getting lobbed as Death Metal's closest counterpart to the above mentioned AC/DC is a testament to how consistent the band is.
  • Eminem's Breakout Hit being a novelty song ("My Name Is") typecast him into launching each of his new albums with a novelty song mocking celebrity gossip, which resulted in — at first — bigger hits ("The Real Slim Shady" and "Without Me") but — eventually — backlash for the percieved formulaic rollout ("Just Lose It", "We Made You"). After "We Made You" underperformed, Eminem abandoned the format (and expressed sincere Creator Backlash to it).

    Newspaper Comics 
  • FoxTrot had a strip years ago that played with this trope. Jason was tired of waiting for the sequel to Myst to come out, so he created his own sequel. He showed his brother his game, "Here's the observatory and here's the library..." and Peter said, "Wait, these are all the same levels of the first game. What makes this different?" The computer then beeped and said, "Warning, velociraptor approaching." Jason replied, "You have to solve the puzzles a little faster now."

  • Open GL 3 got this and They Changed It, Now It Sucks!; the original idea was to completely overhaul the API, making it more like what Direct3D 10 ended up being. This made it quite far into the process, before Kronos declared the standard needed a few tweaks, entered a media black out and released a glorified OpenGL 2.2; people following the standard were not amused.
  • The proliferation of 1.5-mile ovals in NASCAR over the last twenty years has brought a lot of this reaction from the fanbase, especially among older fans, due to the perception that they all race the same. Not helping is that their basic design relies heavily on two track types - tri-ovalnote  and quad-ovalnote  (the only exception is Homestead-Miami, a more traditional oval with a completely straight frontstetch). Also not helping is that many of these tracks proliferated at the expense of older, more "interesting" tracks like North Wilkesboro, Rockingham and Darlingtonnote , which also plays into the They Changed It, Now It Sucks! mentality that is prevalent among many NASCAR fans.
  • A number of viewers and critics deride the Filipino television station ABS-CBN (and by extension, rival network GMA-7) for churning out Telenovelas with a similar premise (e.g. extramarital affairs, peasants going after hacienda clans, sibling rivalries involving a snob sister and an Extreme Doormat sibling...) or in the case of their motion picture arm Star Cinema, romcom after romcom after romcom, ad nauseam. Part of the reason for the latter was, according to this article, due to piracy leaving less revenue for the studio to gamble on a higher-budget production (save for Metro Manila Film Festival entries where they can throw wads of money at and have a surefire box office hit regardless of artistic value). Still, it isn't surprising for one to get annoyed at the rather tiring and formulaic cookie-cutter output ABS' film arm is doing.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Professional wrestling fans express this sentiment by chanting "Same Old Shit! Same Old Shit!"
  • A consistent complaint about the "World Entertainment Wrestling" era of Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling. Most obviously the garbage was toned down but in the long run, so was everything else, as FMW ran all kinds of different bouts in different styles and weight classes, as well as having a formidable women's division. "Sports entertainment" came to mean "samey shows" in the minds of fans.
  • This is one of the reasons WCW failed during the second half of the Monday Night Wars. Every week and every pay per view was the same thing: WCW loses to some version of the nWo. An Ass Pull is much less shocking when one side never comes out on top.
  • One of Jerry Jarrett's complaints about pro wrestling when he was starting up TNA was that there used to be a variety of different looks on shows but at the time every wrestler in Ring of Honor looked the same.note  Hilarious in Hindsight since a good deal of ROH's roster ended up being TNA's.
  • In the WWE, in the latter part of 2010, the continual swath of matches featuring Randy Orton vs. John Cena week-in week-out became this trope to some fans. Example? To quote internet reviewer The Spoony One (Noah Antwiler) on the subject of an early September episode of RAW:
    Spoony: Randy Orton versus John Cena in a tables match. Or as I like to call it AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!
  • The general complaints from those who don't like TNA are that the company is either trying to mimic off of WWE or that it's basically WCW during the former company's later years.
  • Detractors of booker Gabe Sapolsky proclaimed his ego was the reason EVOLVE existed, especially after Dragon Gate USA lost almost the entirety of the Dragon Gate roster, making EVOLVE hardly distinct from it in function. In 2015, Drew Galloway defended both the Evolve and Open The Freedom Gate at once, sort of giving the "fans" who wanted one absorbed into the other what they wanted and a little more than midway into the year, Johnny Gargano proclaimed DGUSA the past and expressed a desire to see EVOLVE replace it completely before abandoning The Open The United Gate he held with Rich Swann.
  • The most consistent complaint about 2015 CMLL was that Atlantis was still in the main event. The previous year CMLL gave into fan demand and put him and Ultimo Guerrero in the main event of Aniversario to the largest at the gate draw in company history and one of the largest in the entire history of the American continents. Turnout turned to be a lot less spectacular afterwards, though there were other factors such as poor marketing and firings in addition to the belief it was time to give the spotlight back to the young guys.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons (and its spinoffs, such as Pathfinder) is one of the Long-Runners out there with plenty of, er, "healthy debate" on which edition / version is the best. Some of the incidents of They Changed It, Now It Sucks! are very famous (e.g. the split between D&D 4th Edition and Pathfinder's 3.75-ish edition that led to a Broken Base , or the wacky landscape of products of the 1980s). But don't be fooled, there are plenty of fans out there who complain that D&D doesn't change enough and is too loyal to various quirks or design choices from decades ago. Good luck getting a consensus on what precisely it is that should change and what should stay the same, though...
  • Everdell Farshore got backlash for amounting to a tweaked rehash of the original Everdell, which was especially problematic considering the $100 price tag.
  • The Star of Africa sequel Inkan aarre got some criticism for being a pointless rehash of the original game, as it's almost the same except for the different map.

  • The uproar over the story material not being "up to par" aside, when LEGO discontinued its BIONICLE setline and launched Hero Factory in its place, some complained that the new toys could easily have passed for BIONICLE sets, as they used the exact same building formulas, only with new parts. The villains especially looked no different than any generic BIONICLE bad guy. Turns out this was just an "introductory" line, and the following wave drastically redesigned the entire construction of the toys, nearly from scratch. When BIONICLE was brought back, it faced double complaints: average fans thought it was too much like a Hero Factory rehash, whereas older fans returning to the franchise hated that it was different from the original line.
  • Due to the cost of making new steel molds for toy parts, especially with the state of the economy in The New '10s and rising production costs, a common cost saving measure seen in toylines like Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, and Transformers is to reuse parts from previous figures when creating new ones. This can mean anything from reusing arms and legs to flat out re-releasing old figures with new paint jobs or head sculpts. While it's not such a big deal to kids, some adult collectors get rather pissed about this, as they feel they're essentially being asked to pay for figures they already own.

  • Ethan claims this in one Shortpacked! strip, which opened by showing the evolution of Bugs Bunny between 1938 and 1957, and then repeated panels of an identical Bugs in the decades since, before ending with this conversation:
    Robin: I just saw they're going to change Bugs Bunny!
    Ethan: When was the last time Bugs Bunny was funny?
    Robin: 1957?
    Ethan: Bingo.

    Web Original 
  • Zero Punctuation is starting to come under fire for making "nothing but" poop and dick jokes.
  • Some people complain this way about Survival of the Fittest V1, V2, and V3, despite the fact that they all have radically different characters and storylines, just because they start from the same basic set up (a bunch of kids get put on an island and forced to kill each other).
  • The DEATH BATTLE! episode "She-Ra VS Wonder Woman" has been criticized for being the third episode to feature Wonder Woman, and for her portion of the analysis being very similar to the one in her previous appearance, "Thor VS Wonder Woman". Even the ending analysis was similar, with both episodes giving the win to Wonder Woman in large part due to her feat of blocking the Shattered God's fragments proving that she's massively faster than her opponents. Some people questioned what the point of the episode was, if it ended up giving Wonder Woman yet another victory with pretty much the same reasoning as her previous showing.
  • This is a major criticism of the "analog horror" genre started by LOCAL58. Almost every "analog horror" video seems to involve "haunted" Emergency Broadcasts, creepy visuals, ARG elements, and implied eldritch abominations.
  • Discussed in Up From The Depths Kaiju film reviews. Reviews note when particular entries of the Godzilla and especially Gamera franchises get too formulaic, derivative, and repetitive of what came before. Special mention to the King Kong franchise here: with the exception of The Son of Kong and King Kong Lives (and possibly King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes, both of which still retread plot points from the original, but add Godzilla, Mechanikong, and other elements that may keep them fresh and not "just a remake"), every Kong film is just a remake of the original, which gets boring fast, no matter how good those remakes themselves are. It wasn't until Kong: Skull Island that Kong got a new film, wholly original, yet paying respect to the life of the franchise. That said, these formulaic and derivative films are not necessarily bad: some take their well-trodden path and run it with charm and enthusiasm. Others just cover the same ground over again because it's expected of them.

    Western Animation 
  • Many modern-day cartoons, most notably those that air on Cartoon Network, have been widely criticized by older, more jaded cartoon enthusiasts for featuring an extremely similar Thin-Line Animation art style (derisively referred to as "Cal Arts Style" style by them) for each show, including Adventure Time, Regular Show, Steven Universe, Clarence, The Powerpuff Girls (2016), Ben 10 (2016), and Craig of the Creek.
  • Disenchantment: A lot of criticism towards Elfo's crush to Bean is relegated to the fact that it seems to be a rehash of Groening's Futurama main romance where the lovable Naïve Newcomer Fry fell for Leela.
  • South Park episode 201, DVD release. Same as the TV version, so the episode was preceded by an apology from Trey Parker and Matt Stone they issued to disgruntled fans following the censorship Comedy Central inflicted on the episode to make it nigh unwatchable.
    "In the 14 years we've been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn't stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn't some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle's customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn't mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too."
  • This trope, coupled with Status Quo Is God, is why most long-running series like The Simpsons or Family Guy are losing popularity. Repetitiously rehashing or recycling events, without actually letting the characters change long-term.
  • There's an in-universe example in the "Mom and Pop Art" episode of The Simpsons, where Homer is recognized as an outsider artist after his disastrous attempt for a barbecue pit is misinterpreted as an artistic masterpiece, but this turns out to be just one of his 15 Minutes of Fame when his follow-up works are deemed to be nothing but tediously repetitive.
  • While Phineas and Ferb was at one point considered to be the best example of modern animation and brought in huge ratings for the Disney Channel from 2008 to 2012, the show had eventually suffered through Hype Backlash as a result of this being the main reason. The Status Quo Is God trope being used at the end of the TV movie, and with the show being a Strictly Formula (in spite of this being the joke) cartoon airing for 6 years (counting when this trope started to kick in, and when it first premiered as a sneak peak in 2007) has cost the show a large portion of its fanbase.
  • While the Total Drama Spin-Off series Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race is usually well-regarded among a majority of the franchise's fanbase, there is a vocal minority of people who didn't like it, with this trope being the main reason by inheriting a lot of the problems from the later seasons of the original series. Said problems include characters behaving inconsistently from episode to episode, certain plots being dragged out too long (usually of the romantic kind), a good number of the cast either being underdeveloped or unlikable, and episodes randomly being a non-elimination round depending on the team that happens to come in last place.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has a few minor examples:
    • In the Season 6 finale "To Where and Back Again", Queen Chrysalis is offered a chance at redemption only to rebuke the offer and swear vengeance. Chrysalis was the third major villain to be offered a free shot at forgiveness, the sixth or seventh antagonist overall to be offered it, and the third or so to refuse. Instead of being a touching moment turned tragic, it basically had some fans rolling their eyes at a resolution they feel has been overdone, even for a show where the premise is friendship is magic. Many others, however, are just happy that Chrysalis has stayed a villain after the past few antagonists made a Heel–Face Turn.
    • In the season 9 finale "The Ending of the End", Grogar's Bewitching Bell does little except stealing magic from living creatures. Some fans were disappointed by this, because the bell's Mana Drain ability is already shared by Lord Tirek (who happens to be one of the three villains who ends up using the bell) and by the Storm King's Staff of Sacanas, making the bell feel somewhat underwhelming for the villains' final weapon.
  • This reaction frequently happens with shows aimed at preschoolers that are Strictly Formula, such as Dora the Explorer, since people older than the target audience despise them simply for repeating the same plot in every episode.
  • Looney Tunes: The short Rabbit Rampage has earned its fair share of criticism for being an inferior rehash of Duck Amuck (with the same plot of being tormented by a rogue animator), but with Bugs taking Daffy’s place. It actually goes both ways; those who saw Rabbit Rampage first were often disappointed by Duck Amuck.
  • Some of the shorts featured in Rugrats (2021) are line-for-line recreations of scenes from episodes from the original 1991 series, which many fans of the original series have seen as looking worse than the original, as the original series used hand-drawn animation, while the reboot used CGi animation.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The episode "Ephemeral" caught some flak from fans for being near-identical to "Cat Blanc"; both of them have plots where the heroes finally learn each other's identities and hook up, only for Hawk/Shadow Moth to learn said identities as well, leading to a chain reaction which involves Adrien getting akumatized and an apocalypse nearly happening until an ally uses a time travel-related Miraculous to hit the Reset Button. While "Cat Blanc" is one of the best-received episodes of the series by fans, "Ephemeral" is generally seen as just a weaker rehash of it.

Alternative Title(s): It Is The Same Now It Sucks, Its The Same So It Sucks