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Mirror Character

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"It is funny how different mirrors reveal different aspects, it must be like people you meet, you get to prefer the ones who show an image of you that you like."
Alain Bremond-Torrent

Much like a Foil character mimics tinfoil used by jewelers to emphasize the shine of a gemstone with their differences, a Mirror Character reflects a character's traits to highlight the similarities.

Mirror Characters, also known as Parallel Characters in some literary circles, almost certainly share personality traits, values, similar skill sets, and possibly even goals. They may have the same or similar background, whether they're from the Wrong Side of the Tracks or born a Royal Brat. They might have have shared the same mentor in the past (or even the present). If they have none of the same backstory at all, their similarities will be significant for coming about regardless of their environment.

Think of them like the character versions of Bookends: the similarities serve to highlight something important about the characters and their story.


Typically, Mirrors will be antagonists of some sort, especially an Arch-Enemy. They are almost certainly The Rival, as two characters reflecting each other so strongly on the same side is often jarring. They can be a Sidekick, but as these characters are generally equals, a successor is more likely.

While a Mirror is seen as the literary opposite of a Foil, in truth the tropes often overlap and a character's Foil and Mirror can be the same character. Call them Mirror Foils, and both the Evil Counterpart and Shadow Archetype are often used to create one.

See "Not So Different" Remark for examples where the Mirror relationship is lampshaded in-universe. Contrast Expy for suspiciously similar characters existing in different works in a way that's clearly intended to be a homage—Mirrors have to be in the same narrative. For plot lines that reflect each other, see Plot Parallel.


Please note that Mirror Characters have to be characters. Characters who are very similar to a group they don't belong to is not this trope. For two groups that mirror each other, see Mirroring Factions.

Not to be confused with Mirror Match, Left-Handed Mirror, or Mirror Self.

    Tropes common in Mirror Characters 

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Bizarrogirl: Supergirl and Bizarrogirl are not really opposites as much as reflections. Supergirl realizes the fact as soon as she meets her.
    Supergirl: But then you happened. Everything I was thinking... Every emotion in my body... Every doubt I had inside... I saw all of them in your cracked face. You were like me.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): Anti-Sonic/Scourge, Sonic's Evil Twin counterpart, is Sonic with all of his negative qualities ramped up, and very few, if any, of his positive ones, and is living, breathing proof of what our hero would become if he went down a dark path. Scourge is fully aware of this, and gloats in issue 172 that this is why Sonic hates him so much, remarking that all it would take is "one bad day" to make Sonic just like him.
  • Spider-Man: Doctor Octopus is the archenemy of Spider-Man in a very classic sense. Otto and Peter have a lot in common, both being scientists, who were bullied in school, and later got caught up in freak accidents that dramatically changed them forever. Both received a lot of power and both decided to channel that power by adopting an alter-ego based on eight-legged animal. The difference is that Peter chose to be a superhero and use his powers for good, while Otto chose to become a criminal, who tries to get back at the world. Doctor Octopus is the most recurring villain of the franchise, challenging the very idea of Spider-Man and being responsible for some of the most dramatic incidents in Peter’s career as a superhero: his first defeat, near death, death of Captain Stacey, establishment of Sinister Six and outright identity theft. At the same time, Otto never really cared about the man behind the mask and kept his rivalry with Spider-Man on sort of "gentlemanly" level, actually making a point of trying not to hurt Peter's loved ones.
  • Wonder Woman: Since the George Pérez run of Wonder Woman, Circe has been positioned as this to Diana. Both are magical and mythological superwomen empowered by higher beings who strive to change the world with their beliefs and powers. However, Wonder Woman wants a peaceful world of kindness and virtue, whereas Circe desires a world of cruelty and depravity. Even their behavior marks the contrast of a Madonna–Whore Complex perception seen against women. Wonder Woman: Black and Gold: "The Acquaintance" directly comments on the similarities Diana and Circe share; both being demigoddess offspring of gods associated with the sky (Zeus and Helios), their immortality meaning they'll outlive most everyone they know, and have been in relationships with headstrong muscle-bound types (Superman and Odysseus).

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • The Harry Potter fic A Bitter Goodbye posits Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin to both be so stubborn, prideful, and unwilling to compromise on their beliefs that they can no longer get along.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Ami and Tiger express their shared memories by having the same gestures:
    "Hmm, they kind of do look like sisters when they stand next to each other like that," Sailor Moon said when the ensuing silence threatened to turn awkward.
    This prompted Ami and Tiger to look at each other. Sure enough, they both stood with their backs straight and their hands in front of themselves, fidgeting slightly.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail: Chloe Cerise to three Infinity Train characters.
    • Tulip Olsen: Both of them are Fiery Redheads who run away from home for different reasons — Chloe because she doesn't want to be in a city where no one cares for her and everyone expects her to like Pokémon and Tulip runs away to Coding Camp when her parents can't take her (and to get far away from the fact her parents are divorced) — and their family lives are the opposite. Chloe has a good relationship with her mom and little brother but is closed off from her dad, while Tulip has problems with both her parents due to the divorce. They both blame someone else for their problems — Tulip blamed her parents for the divorce, Chloe blames Ash and Goh for her horrible friendship problems (even though Goh points out that Chloe refused every offer to join them) and her father for being absolutely ignorant of her troubles.
      • Tulip has an efficiency for coding and gaming while Chloe is a reader and is skilled in writing macabre stories. Tulip has one good friend in Mikayla while Chloe's Childhood Friend Goh is distant and doesn't really notice her in favor of Pokémon. Tulip was embarrassed in having to sing (since she found the song she had to sing "embarrassing"), whereas Chloe gains the courage to sing and quote lyrics and literary passages without hesitation. Tuip only used the donut holer against the Conductor (and only bought it in exchange for Randall helping her retrieve One-One), whereas Chloe is gifted her donut holer, names it and uses it as her go-to weapon.
      • Also, Chloe was 10 when she entered the train with '151' as her starting number while Tulip was 13 with '115'. Tulip is an only child, while Chloe has a little brother. Tulip constantly questioned the Train's logic, Chloe goes along with it. Last, Tulip is Famed in Story by Atticus who helped end Amelia's reign, while Chloe is a newcomer on the Train itself and later tasked by One-One to end The Apex.
      • Tulip was analytical and usually wrote notes about the Train as a means of keeping her alive, while Chloe sees the Train as a journey and keeps a diary of her experiences with each car. Tulip was initially afraid of her number going down — because One-One stated she'd be "gone forever", which she mistook for dying — while Chloe is indifferent about it (since she arrived after One-One became Conductor again) mostly because since she knows that she'll leave if it drops to 0, it means that she'll have to go back home to face her crappy hometown.
    • Jesse Cosay: He's a 14-year-old swimmer, Chloe is a 10-year-old writer. His flaw was being indecisive and a doormat in regards to being pushed around by his "friends" while Chloe's main flaw is also being pushed around by her classmates and peers and feeling inadequate to her friend and family. Jesse was into sports, whereas Chloe feels ignored in the subject (except for softball, which is her favorite). His starting number was 31; Chloe's was five times larger. He liked to nickname animals he came across with "Dracula", while Chloe names anything she uses as weapons (her softball bat at home, her donut holer and umbrella. Both of them have little brothers who idolize them, but Nate was injured because of Jesse's passivity while Parker only got injured because of his attempts to protect his sister. Jesse was happy to sing along without a care, while it took some time for Chloe to feel comfortable again.
    • MT:
      • She was a reflection of Tulip and had to do everything Tulip did much to her annoyance, while Chloe is essentially looked at as the successor to her father's research. MT wanted to leave the train, Chloe wants to stay on it. The new look she gives herself is a black sleeveless top and completely shaving all her hair in order to make her harder to find by the Mirror Cops, while Chloe gains a white flowing dress and lets her hair down to symbolize the freedom of being herself. MT was being pursued by the Mirror Cops who wanted to essentially kill her, Chloe isn't being chased by anyone on the Train, but back in her hometown, her friends and family are wondering where the heck she's gone.
      • MT was bullied and looked down because she wasn't a human, Chloe was mocked because of her interests and that she wasn't into Pokémon or following in her father's footsteps. They were also called insulting names: MT was called "Sliver" by the Mirror Cops and "Null" by Simon while Chloe is monikered "Klutzy Chloe" and "Monster Lover" by her classmates. Both of them also have different temperaments: MT has a Hair-Trigger Temper while Chloe is known to be a slow burn until she hits her Rage Breaking Point.
      • ( They also had a moment where they attacked one of their assailants and were covered in blood: MT grinded Mace into one of the Train wheels, while Chloe beat her bully with a paint can with red paint drenching head to toe.
  • The Heart Trilogy: Freyja and Kathryn both had an oppressive and abusive mother and Kathryn herself inwardly identifies with Freyja about this when they first meet. Kathryn's mother tried to repress her magic through misguided methods out of fear for her safety, whereas Andraya demands her magicless daughter to sire a magical child with Smaug in Heart of Ashes. Kathryn openly screamed at her parents before fleeing them once she'd had enough of the abuse, whereas Freyja is meek and completely submissive to her mother's demands despite her obvious wish to the contrary. Kathryn has outlived her mother by more than a century, while Freyja's mother outlives her by a short time. Kathryn avoids people due to how she's been treated in the past, whilst Freyja is like a wary rabbit when interacting with men on her own due to her mother's control.

    Films — Animated 
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2: The Hero Hiccup and Big Bad Drago Bludvist are both master dragon tamers who grew up fearing dragons, both capable of even taming a Nightfury, and warring over who can influence Toothless is a major part of the final battle.
  • Over the Moon: Fei Fei and Chang'e. One is but an ordinary Earth girl, the other is a moon goddess, but they are alike in many ways. They are both struggling with the loss of a loved one, and because of their grief, they exile their still-living loved ones and refuse to accept anything new. They both learn how to deal with their grief and move on in life.
  • Rango: Rattlesnake Jake and Rango. Both are larger-than-life "legends" who derive a fair bit of their influence from their fearsome reputations which they themselves have bought into, to a degree. The key difference being that unlike Rango, Jake can actually back his boasting up at least until the end, when Rango gets serious. Jake even acknowledges this by tipping his hat to Rango after the final fight, one "legend" to another.
  • Teen Titans: The Judas Contract: Damian effortlessly deduces how Slade psychologically controls Terra through isolation and indoctrination. As a child groomed to be the successor as leader to the League of Assassins, he of all people would know.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Aliens: Ripley and the Alien Queen are both viciously protective Mama Bear types, and Ripley burns the Queen's nest to save Newt, followed by the Queen immediately attacking her, and when the Queen attempts to kill Newt, Ripley responds just the same.
  • Avengers: Infinity War: Iron Man and Doctor Strange share a strong mutual dislike of the other, primarily because they're both Insufferable Genius Deadpan Snarkers who are evenly matched in both capacities.
  • Demolition Man: Spartan and Phoenix both fall foul of the verbal morality code soon after getting out of the cryoprison. Moreover, they're both men with an exceptional talent for violence (though Phoenix enjoys it a lot more), and the only reason for one to exist is because the other is still around. (As soon as Spartan has finally collared Phoenix, his superiors don't regret at all that he seems he played a role in the hostages' deaths and send him to the same cryo-prison Phoenix has been sentenced to; with Phoenix out of the way, there's no need for someone like John Spartan. And soon as Phoenix is revived and returns to his old ways, the obvious answer is to thaw out John Spartan to stop him once more.) Lampshaded by Spartan's echoed lines at the start and the end.
    Spartan: Send a maniac to catch a maniac.
  • In Raiders of the Lost Ark, archaeologist Rene Belloq has this speech emphasizing the similarities between himself and his former classmate and friend, The Hero Indiana Jones.
    Belloq: You and I are very much alike. Archeology is our religion, yet we have both fallen from the pure faith. Our methods have not differed as much as you pretend. I am but a shadowy reflection of you. It would take only a nudge to make you like me. To push you out of the light.
  • Star Wars:
    • In the Prequel and Original Trilogies, Anakin Skywalker to his son, Luke. Both grew up on the same desolate desert planet before being taken away to train as Jedi Knights under Obi-Wan Kenobi. Both are tempted by the Dark Side to protect their loved ones, but Luke's horror at the realization he is becoming like this father, down to their mechanical right hands, narrowly saves him from falling as Anakin did. Luke's faith in his father manages to save Anakin as well.
    • In The Last Jedi: As a Deconstruction of the Lovable Rogue, D.J. is very similar to a pre-Character Development Han Solo. He teams up with the heroes for the money, while constantly reminding them that he's Not in This for Your Revolution and telling the younger, naive heroes the rebellion/resistance is a lost cause and they be better off abandoning it. The similarities emphasize the difference that Han decides to help the rebels out and save Luke when the chips are down, while D.J. happily sells the Resistance out to the First Order when they make him a better offer.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Antichrist is the Evil Counterpart of Christ, Jesus the son of God and the Antichrist the son of Satan, with the apparent ability to creator wonders and miracles as Jesus himself did.
  • According to Christian theory, the Archangel Michael is the leader of Heaven's angels and armies against the forces of evil and is destined to meet the fallen angel Lucifer, formally the most high in Heaven below God Himself, leading his fallen angels in combat during the War of Heaven as mentioned in the book of Revelation.
  • In Jewish and some Christian theories, Lilith is Eve's counterpart and predecessor as Adam's wife. While Lilith is seen as the mother of demons, Eve is the mother of all humans.
  • In Classical Mythology, Zeus overthrew his father Chronos as Chronos overthrew his own father, using the same scythe, to reign over all Olympus.

  • Creon's story in Antigone very closely mirrors that of the title character of prequel work Oedipus Rex. Both start out as kings on top of the world, but their stubborn pursuit of their goals despite the advice of those around them causes their entire lives to come apart.
  • Hamilton: Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton are both Child Prodigy orphans who graduated early from Kings College, and are ambitious, career-driven men. They both try to make themselves of value to Washington during the Revolutionary War and afterwards, practice law right next door to each other. They both even suffer complicated romantic personal lives, but are dedicated to leaving behind a legacy their children can be proud of. All of this serves to highlight the big dramatic differences between Hamilton and Burr: whereas Hamilton comes from absolutely nothing and is desperate to prove himself, Burr comes from a respected family and is concerned about protecting his legacy. Moreover, Hamilton seems equal parts driven by his ideological vision for the United States as well as his personal strive for glory, while Burr on the other hand is willing to be and say whatever he needs to in order to grasp power. This ultimately leads to Hamilton and Burr becoming rivals, with Burr changing parties and colluding with Hamilton's political opposition to keep Hamilton from gaining more power and Hamilton later supporting Thomas Jefferson, his most vocal critique, over Burr in the presidential election because Jefferson has clear beliefs about the country while Burr has none.
  • Hamlet: Fortinbras and Hamlet are both young princes motivated to avenge the deaths of their fathers who were their namesakes. Fortinbras eventually takes the Danish throne in Hamlet's place.
  • Henry IV: Hal and Hotspur are shown to be equal in ability, but while Hal has the royal lineage, he wastes the opportunity. Hotspur, who would be a brilliant choice, has no blood claim to the throne whatsoever, and they both must defeat their equal in each other to prove their claim to it.
  • The Importance of Being Earnest: The Reveal that Jack and Algernon are brothers after all is hardly surprising given how similar they are. Both use fake names to indulge in somewhat scandalous double lives, both are single men looking to marry the loves of their lives. They even repeat each other's lines on a few occasions, underscoring not only their similarities, but the matching motivations.
  • Les Misérables: Valjean and Javert, from the consonants in their names onward. In "The Confrontation" they both sneer at each other for "knowing nothing of" one another's lives, and Javert reveals he also grew up in poverty; later, Javert's final song echoes the tune and several lines of Valjean's That Man Is Dead declaration in "What Have I Done."
  • The Merchant of Venice: There's a lot of literary theory on Antonio and Shylock as this. The play presents them as twin outsiders—Shylock as a Jew to Venetian society, Antonio as a "tainted wether of the flock" to the world of love and marriage.
  • Titus Andronicus: Titus and Tamora. Both "love" their kids. Both power-hungry. Both willing to kill other people's children in revenge. Both sick nut-jobs. Titus kills his own children bear in mind, whereas Tamora doesn't.

    Video Games 
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Morgan and Altria Alter are both tyrannical but surprisingly agreeable rulers of Britain. They are both dedicated to the task of being King, and both wield dark variants of holy weapons.
    • Altria Alter and Vertigern are noted to be similar as tyrannical kings. Vertigern is the personification of the White Dragon, the Saxons while Altria Alter is the personification of the Red Dragon, and the Anglo-British people. Jeanne Alter herself even lampshades it to Altria Alter pointing out that Altria Alter is just like her uncle Vertigern.
  • Library Of Ruina: Roland and Angela. Like her, he's actually a very bitter and angry individual who has refused to confront his past trauma while being completely controlled by it, which in turn incurs his Floor Realizations. The direct source of his rage has long since died just like Ayin to Angela, but he feels no catharsis and ends up going after numerous other people for the sake of fulfillment regardless of how innocent they actually turn out to be. The only reason his body count isn't as high as Angela's is that he's a mortal man who can be killed.
    Roland: A dimwitted egoist whose sight is limited by their own selfishness...A proper fool chasing after immediate results...That's what you are. And who I am...
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, Dark Pit is a clone of Pit and represents not only his darker, repressed traits, but some of the positive ones, such as his resentment at being a tool of the gods. While they're opponents when Dark Pit first appears, they reconcile and Dark Pit assists Pit later. He was even created by the Mirror of Truth.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Master Xehanort, the Big Bad, and Sora, The Hero, both grew up on Destiny Islands and became Keyblade wielders. Both became a sort of composite being (Xehanort steals the bodies and hearts of others to extend his life, while Sora lets others share his body and heart to extend their lives), and both became a Heartless and a Nobody.
    • Xehanort is also Riku's Evil Counterpart, as they share very similar backgrounds being dissatisfied with life on their tiny world and wanting to see the outside, even if it means delving into darkness. Both lose themselves in darkness in pursuit of his ambitions. Riku however pulled himself back and reformed, while Xehanort kept going deeper into the darkness and was lost for it.
    • Additionally, pairs of characters with their Nobodies, are also mirrors, as Nobodies inhabit the same body and memories as the original, but lack their heart, emotions, and passions.
  • Sherlock Holmes Versus Arsène Lupin: Parallels are drawn between Holmes and Lupin—both are well off, highly skilled gentlemen who do what they do mainly as a way to stave off boredom.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Galeem and Dharkon, the light and dark counterpart bosses in the main story line. They have different goals (and of course different color schemes), but their powers are pretty much the same in every respect and their methods identical.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Colette and Zelos. Both are The Chosen One for their respective worlds, and while their personalities are extremely different, with Colette being a sweet, selfless girl who tries to befriend even her enemies and Zelos being a crass, selfish, cynical womanizer, the game shows more than that. Paying close attention to their scenes and backstories show that they are both extreme Stepford Smiler's, hiding their troubles from others to their personal detriment, as a result of their status. Additionally, there is implication that Colette could have potentially ended up with a personality more closer in line with Zelos's had it not been for Lloyd and Genis: A side event in the game has Zelos revealing that he's bitter because of how many people act fake around him and try to suck up to him because he's the Chosen. In the manga, there's a side story showing that when Colette was young she also had negative feelings about how she was treated 'just because she was the Chosen'. The big difference was Colette had friends who she knew truly cared about her, and Zelos had basically no one.

    Visual Novels 
  • Minotaur Hotel: Storm has several similarities with Asterion beyond both being minotaurs. Both are physically in their 20s, both have tragic pasts, both have been discriminated for their non-human looks, both have extremely limited knowledge of the outside world, both are stranded alone when they meet someone that will help them out, and both can potentially fall in love with that same someone who helped them out because of their kindness.

  • Beyond the Western Deep:
    • Ashtor and Kenosh are old men who serve as voices of reason to those they encounter, complete with hidden passions for justice and morality.
    • Bevan and Dakkan are boisterous young warriors hiding inner turmoil.
    • Quinlan and Hardin are young men in command with plenty to prove and plenty of doubters and doubts.
  • Dominic Deegan: Not only is Celesto Morgan Dominic's Evil Counterpart (and opposing Champion during the Storm of Souls arc), but Celesto's tendency to believe I Did What I Had to Do, that Utopia Justifies the Means, to act as if he has an Omniscient Morality License and is Above Good and Evil, and his Well-Intentioned Extremist thinking are all mirrored in Dominic being The Chessmaster who often gets accused of Protagonist-Centered Morality, What the Hell, Hero?, and Moral Dissonance. Dominic, recognizing this, keeps trying to offer Celesto a way back to the light on numerous occasions (which he of course sneers at and rejects) while Celesto, when he isn't offering Dominic the chance to join him and make the world a better place, the way they think it "should" be, is usually calling Dominic on his manipulative actions and nastily underscoring their similarities. In a twisted way, even his stint as The Atoner could be said to be Celesto attempting to make amends by turning himself into what he thinks Dominic actually is.
  • Miss Guillotine: In many ways, Ara, the former magical girl of justice is a lot like Sarah, the current magical girl of justice. They have similar appearances and share similar misgivings about being magical girls and their personal inaction resulted in tragedy for people they cared about.
  • Monster Pulse: There are huge parallels between Roger's treatment of an Arma ghost regarding Lulenski and Abel's sister and Abel. It also serves as Foreshadowing that just as Abel later received another Arma ghost, Lulenski may yet receive one, too.
  • Nimona: In the end, Nimona and Ballister. Both were abused by organizations that study magic scientifically and emotionally manipulate others to their own ends. Both were taken in by said organizations as children and told that these organizations were the good guys for doing so. Both define themselves by how these organizations defined them. The difference is that while growing up Ballister thought he was being groomed as a hero and continues to behave heroically, while Nimona was told she was "sick" and "dangerous" and as such decided Then Let Me Be Evil.
  • A Redtail's Dream: Hannu and Puppy Fox are explicitly shown to have similar personalities during Moose's explanation of how the gods view people; they're both selfish, immature, and would do anything to get out of their responsibilities. The one key difference is that Hannu makes an exception for Ville, whereas Puppy Fox doesn't give a rip about anything but himself.


Video Example(s):


Marinette and Rolland

Rolland is a man obsessed with the way things used to be and Marinette is a young teen of the modern age. How do they handle bread tasting? "That's not how you taste bread!"

How well does it match the trope?

4.33 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / MirrorCharacter

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Main / MirrorCharacter