Follow TV Tropes


Mirror Match

Go To

Dark Pit: I just don't like the idea of someone copying my act.
Pit: What? But you're a copy of me!
Dark Pit: Come on, now, think about it. If I was a copy, why would I kick my own butt?

"Nice to meet you, another myself."

A term that originates from fighting games, a Mirror Match occurs when one character fights against themselves, usually as a result of two players choosing the same character (where, normally, each character on the roster is implicitly a unique individual). This can be a rather tricky experience as the two characters are, by definition, evenly matched, and victory will rest on which player is better at using the character's skills. Typically the two players will be distinguished by color with the second player as a Palette Swap of the character's original design or having a variant skin. Sometimes the "mirror" character in question isn't literally a clone or the same person, but through a Contrived Coincidence have identical powers of equal strength and technique. Expect quite a lot of Fearful Symmetry.

When these occur in the game's story mode, they're usually Hand Waved as a mysterious impostor and tend to have no impact on the story despite the interesting possibilities they present. Most characters fighting their mirror selves never seem to notice, nor is it explained how such a thing is possible, though it may be lampshaded if the game features pre- or post-match banter.

The Trope Namer is Mortal Kombat (1992); the last enemy you fought before the Endurance matches was yourself.

Character Tiers can force almost every single match to be a Mirror Match because everyone spams the top tier character(s). This trope is not limited to fighting games, any game with a competitive multiplayer and the ability for two or more players to choose the same character can have mirror matches. It can also happen in other media, though there it is more likely to have an explanation.

Collectible Card Games use the term as well, but with a different meaning. In a CCG, a "mirror match" is when two players with the same deck theme play against each other. While the decks likely differ in spots, the central strategy is the same.

Functionally identical is when a Ditto Fighter (most likely of the Mokujinner variety) imitates their opponent.

Compare Fearful Symmetry, Evil Knockoff, Mirror Boss and Civil Warcraft.

Not to be confused with Spot the Impostor or Mirror Character.


    open/close all folders 

  • A GEICO commercial that aired during the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs depicted a face-off between Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron in home uniform and Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron in away uniform, which the announcer described as a win-win situation. (Bergeron led the NHL in face-off percentage that season.)
  • A 2002 Gatorade commercial starring Michael Jordan, then 39 years old, and just shy of his final retirement, had him facing off against his 23-year-old self (played by then-Harlem Globetrotter Kevin "Special K" Daley, with special effects superimposing Jordan's face onto his) in a one on one game. 23!Jordan took it to his counterpart with his signature high-flying dunks, while 39!Jordan used his technical skills to outplay his younger self, with both talking trash the whole time. And just when they both thought they could relax at the end...
    Voice: (offscreen) Hey, Mike!
    Both MJs: What?
    (cut to 19-year-old Tar Heels era Jordan walking up)
    19!Jordan: Who's got next?
    39!Jordan: (to 23!Jordan) Get your young ass out there.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The final episode of Black★Rock Shooter has a battle between Mato in Black★Rock Shooter's form versus Insane Black★Rock Shooter. Mato started out with a severe disadvantage because her Healing Factor was slower, she lacked Insane Black Rock Shooter's immunity to pain, and she couldn't bear to hurt anyone. However, when Mato is finally motivated to fight back, she proves to be just as powerful as her counterpart and eventually defeats her with a Combined Energy Attack.
  • Bleach:
    • Subverted with Ichigo's inner Hollow, who looks like a photo-negative version of Ichigo and wields the same weapon, yet he uses moves Ichigo never even thought of, such as spinning Zangetsu by its wrapping/chain.
    • Ishida, Renji, Pesche and Dondochakka end up fighting clones of themselves while they face off against Szayelaporro.
    • Played straight in the Anime filler interquel Gotei 13 Invading Army arc, in which Kageroza Inaba creates Mod Souls that are enhanced clones of certain Soul Reapers.
    • During the Thousand Year Blood War arc, Kenpachi Zaraki fights Loyd Lloyd, who transforms into a copy of Kenpachi. Kenpachi kills Loyd off-panel, and claims that he won by becoming stronger than himself.
  • Digimon:
    • In Digimon Adventure, Etemon trapped the Chosen in an arena and set a captured Greymon on them; he also arranged a trap so as to trap all of the Chosen's partner Digimon except Taichi's Agumon, whose evolved form is Greymon. Needless to say, the two fight.
    • In Digimon Adventure 02, WarGreymon fights Black WarGreymon.
  • Dragon Ball: In a filler episode, Mr. Popo animates a life size doll made in Goku's image for Goku to spar with. Goku gets totally curb stomped, because while their power and skills are equal, the doll's mind is totally clear, allowing it to focus completely on the battle and move and utilize its power more efficiently. Goku only gets one good hit in, and that's because the doll ran out of energy and shut down.
  • Expelled from Paradise: In the virtual world of DEVA, Angela Balzac spars with a copy of herself and wins.
  • Erza Scarlet vs. Erza Knightwalker in Fairy Tail. Natsu was freaked out the moment he saw those two fighting, as Erza is the only person he was ever afraid of. Their fight at the climax of the arc has them so evenly matched that they destroy the floating island they were fighting on, their weapons, their clothes, and finally engage in a fist-fight that leaves them both collapsed on the ground. Scarlet still manages to "win" in the technical sense since she manages to convince her counterpart that her side is in the wrong in the conflict (and considering that Knightwalker's side is harvesting living beings for magical energy to fuel their failing dimension's way of life, she has a point).
  • Fushigi Yuugi has Miaka having to face an evil clone of herself, which turned out to be a Secret Test of Character.
  • A one-shot character in Hikaru no Go attempts to stalemate Akira Toya by mimicking every move Akira makes, starting by taking away the spot in the center board. Akira wins anyway by tricking him into a position where he manages to capture, breaking the guy's strategy. (Which is later revealed to be low-grade and easily countered).
  • Initial D: This is what Takumi's final race essentially boils down to. Takumi's opponent drives a stock Toyota AE86, and has been driving the particular mountain pass they are racing on every night for many years, to the point of mastery. Like Takumi, he didn't see the appeal in racing at first, and like Takumi, he had to be persuaded to participate by the local racers. In short, Takumi is racing against himself from the start of the series.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • One chapter of Magic Kaito had Kaito Kid facing an android double that could replicate his every move. Kid defeated the double by shooting himself in the head. Kid's gun was a toy that fired playing cards, resulting in a sore ear. The robot's gun was a weapon that fired bullets, resulting in a trashed robot.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth had this as a Secret Test of Character for Fuu.
  • Naruto:
    • In Naruto Shippuuden, a mirror match occurs simultaneously Gai's team, each having a copy of themselves. They eventually beat their copies by realizing that they can become better than their copies, because the copies don't improve but they do, because they've sworn to improve every day.
    • During his training with Killer Bee to control the Kyuubi, Naruto has a Battle in the Center of the Mind against a mirror copy of himself which embodied his repressed anger and hatred accumulated during his sad childhood. Since the copy, Dark Naruto, matched him evenly in terms of fighting skills, Naruto beats him by accepting his inner darkness, thus embracing him both literally and figuratively.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • In the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 movie, the Precures go into a mirror world and fight evil Cures.
    • Previously in the franchise, a Game Boy Advance game based on Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart featured a mirror-themed stage in which Hikari faced an off-color duplicate of herself.
    • HeartCatch Pretty Cure! does a combination of this and Enemy Without.
    • Smile Pretty Cure!, much like the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 movie, pits the Precures against the Bad End Pretty Cure, Evil Knockoffs of them created by Joker. As in the movie, each Cure gets trapped in a different pocket dimension with their Bad End counterpart to fight one-on-one.
  • In the first arc of Saint Seiya, the four main characters have to fight against the Black Four, which conveniently use dark-armored variants of their own respective clothes/armors. They even have slightly different variations on the heroes' signature techniques.
  • The villain in Saitama Chainsaw Shoujo shows some doppelganger abilities when she takes the physical shape of protagonist Fumio, complete with clothing, equipment, and muscle-memory of her fighting style.
  • Spoofed and deconstructed in one of the OVAs for Slayers. Lina and Naga are faced with a mirror capable of creating a clone of anyone looking through it, and it produced their clones with opposite personalities. Lina's opposite personality was a pacifist, and Naga's was a Shrinking Violet; both were useless in fight.
  • Those Who Hunt Elves has this near the end, with all the protagonists having to fight clones of themselves. Rather disappointingly enough, they were unable to find any way to defeat them.
  • Happens in the Tiger Mask manga when Tiger Mask fights his imposter, who was too trained by Tiger's Cave. At first it wasn't this, as Tiger Mask refused to resort to fouls and wore an armband while the imposter had a knuckle duster, but at one point the armband is torn away and Tiger Mask snaps and makes the imposter lose the knuckle duster, and nobody can tell who is who even after one of the two defeats the other with Tiger Mask's finisher, the Tiger V, as they couldn't be sure the imposter wouldn't know that move too. The match promoter, who could tell the difference, decides to have a laugh and declares the winner is the "Yellow Devil", Tiger Mask nickname in his early days when he only committed fouls, with the public believing the winner was the imposter until he points out that he has steel fangs on his mask and the winner has plastic ones.
  • The anime adaptation of Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina ends with Elaina meeting 15 other versions of herself from Alternate Timelines. One of them had turned into a violent, self-hating psychopath after the events of "Retroactive Grief", and engaged the main Elaina in a magical battle. They proved so evenly matched that eventually they both collapsed from exhaustion. They then made up.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, during the Orichalcos arc, Atem and Yugi end up facing each other. Yugi uses a copy of Atem's deck, except it has the Seal of Orichalcos in it.
      • Somewhat played with in the final duel of Atem vs Yugi for the finale. Although both of them have "Yugi's" deck consisting of monsters he'd used all throughout the show it's split between the two so that neither of them play the same monsters at the same time. Ie: Yugi has Buster Blader, the 3 Magnet Warriors, and Summoned Skull while Atem has Gaia, the King Queen and Jack knights, Big Shield Gardna etc. Atem also has all 3 God Cards, which gives him a massive edge.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Judai and Edo's second duel seemed to be a mirror match at first, but it turns out that Edo had splashed some Elemental HERO monsters into his deck to fool everyone, and his real archetype is Destiny HERO.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, one mini-arc featured Jack Atlas dueling against a robotic copy of himself who uses the exact same cards. The only difference is the copy uses three Red Daemon's Dragons instead of one and doesn't have Jack's Savior Dragon, Savior Daemon Dragon (gifts from the Crimson Dragon), or Trust Guardian (a gift from Crow). Jack gets curb-stomped the first time, but wins the rematch.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, Crow duels a dark copy of himself who uses the same deck and strategies as him. However the copy has monsters that Crow doesn't have in his deck.

    Board Games 
  • Chess and Draughts/Checkers are obviously Mirror Matches, although it could be claimed that the fixed move order makes White and Black rather different prospects to play despite being otherwise identical.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • Superman: Besides his countless fights with Bizarro over the years, Superman has also gotten into fights with his robot doubles when they've gone rogue, a successful non-Bizarro clone made by Lex Luthor in The Life Story of Superman, a Split at Birth Evil Twin called Supermenace, and even his time-displaced younger self who was possessed by an enraged Pete Ross at the time, as well as alternate universe selves such as Ultraman, Superboy-Prime, and Kal-L, Superman of Earth-Two.
  • Supergirl is often a victim of this. In Pre-Crisis days, she fought a Bizarro duplicate, a Red Kryptonite-produced evil twin in The Condemned Legionnaires, and a half dozen action figure-sized clones (who later merged into a single normal-sized person and tried to usurp her identity). In her Supergirl (2005) series, Supergirl fights her counterpart Power Girl and Dark Supergirl in Girl Power, and in Bizarrogirl she confronts her Bizarro clone.
  • Captain America:
    • Issue #350. Steve Rogers (as the Captain) vs. John Walker (as Captain America) at the behest of the Red Skull (who was Back from the Dead in a cloned body of Rogers). The Skull even took on the winner - Rogers - thus providing a truer Mirror Match (since Walker was actually taller, stronger, and more prone to rage than Rogers)... except that the Skull-Rogers "fight" was really an excuse for the Skull to use his Dust of Death on Rogers. Walker intervened, however, and the Skull got a taste of his own bad medicine.
    • An even earlier example of this came in Captain America #156, where Steve fought an insane 1950s impostor, complete with both wearing the Captain America outfit during their showdown. In addition, said impostor even looked like Stevenote , adding yet another layer to this all-American mirror match.
    • The finale of Secret Empire is a battle between Captain America and his HYDRA-affiliated Evil Doppelgänger.
  • In Captain Atom #56 and #57, Cap fights a battle with his own dark side, what he calls "the chaos I have inherited."
  • One of the earliest Stan Lee-scripted stories featuring Thor pitted our hero against an exact duplicate created by a Mad Scientist. Cut Lex Luthor a Check much?
  • Marvel's Voices: Identity: Subverted in Shang-Chi's story. The magic coin sets up a match between Shang-Chi vs. the version of him who became a villain, since the two of them are both expert martial artists. However, Shang-Chi beats him by utilizing moves learned from his Avenger allies.
  • Mortal Kombat (Malibu Comics) referenced the games' Mirror Matches with the queen of a warrior tribe who just happened to look and dress like Sonya, called Queen Aynos. And yes, Sonya gets to fight her.
  • Power Girl was once sent to the recreated version of Earth-2, only to find another Power Girl already there. The alternate Power Girl did not respond well to this "imposter". Later, Power Girl went up against "Divine", a black-haired evil clone of herself created by Maxwell Lord.
  • In Rat Queens, issue 3, Violet has a mirror match with her twin brother, Barrie (Barrie implies that they would look even more similar if Violet had not shaved her dwarven beard. She comes out on top of the fight and sends Barrie packing back to dwarven lands.
  • The original, very brief appearance of Spider-Man's clone was basically a one-issue, pretty cool Mirror Match fight that ended with the clone killed in an explosion. Twenty years later, the clone got brought back for a storyline that dominated the title for a couple of years.
  • Wonder Woman:
  • In the Scott Pilgrim comics, unlike the movie, Nega-Scott has a much larger purpose. He's a manifestation of Scott's screw-ups when it comes to relationships and himself in general. Instead of defeating Nega-Scott, our hero has to come to terms with his dickery and has to merge with Nega-Scott in order to become a better person.
  • Teen Titans: All the Titans except Raven (who was turned into a demon and on her father's side), Jericho (who was badly injured), and Lilith (a wild card) were forced into nightmare scenes by Trigon where they had to fight their evil clones (Cyborg's copy was fully human but just as strong, stole his girlfriend, and made the disabled kids Cyborg befriended turn against him). All of them, even Nightwing and Beast Boy, killed their copies and their souls were forfeit to Trigon as a result. Unfortunately for Trigon, this didn't convert them to his side as intended and simply made their methods more ruthless. They killed Raven, which turned out to be part of Lilith and the goddess Azar's plan to stop Trigon (Raven got better... eventually).

    Fan Works 
  • The Pony POV Series has had a couple of examples of this:
  • During the Sports Festival in Changing Gears, Izuku finds a way to use Gear Shift to create a jury-rigged version of Shoto's Quirk, freezing or heating the air by altering the vibration of its molecules, resulting in Shoto basically having to fight himself.
  • Ash vs. his canon self with eight badges in Common Sense (the behind-the-scenes sidestory). Though "match" might be stretching it a bit...
  • Lampshaded by Yuyuko in Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness. During the events of Immaterial and Missing Power, she and Yukari apparently had duels against "mirror images" of themselves. Looking back at those, Yuyuko stated that she enjoyed herself and that if she didn't know better, she'd say that her opponent was stealing her battle style.
  • In Fate/Starry Night, Ritsuka gets past Assassin by both appealing to his knowledge of Musashi and allowing him to fight a Shadow version of himself, which interests Assassin enough for him to simply let Ritsuka into Ryuudou Temple under the pretense of being occupied with his Shadow counterpart.
  • As shown above, Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has the Mewtwo Strikes back arc start out with this between Corey's Venusaur, Neesha's Blastoise, and Ash's Charizard. However, the climactic battle of Originals vs Clones mostly averts it, since the originals need to resort to fight different opponents and try and gang up on the clones to overpower them, as they'd lose if they tried to fight them one-on-one.
  • In Castlevania: Nocturne of Ruin, one of the defenses used by the Book of Binding is a doppelganger of Maria. Upon her defeat, she leaves behind her staff, which Mariabella uses as a subweapon.
  • Several times in Hellsister Trilogy, Supergirl faces off in battle with her black-clad evil duplicate Satan Girl.
  • Blood That Flows: The infamous Shadow Reflector, once destroyed by Lina Inverse, is repaired by the Mazoku conspiring in the Kingdom of Dils. This time, it does create an evil twin, and they use it on Zest.
  • In Slayers Trilogy, Lina Inverse gets constantly harassed by her crazy alternate counterpart from a post-apocalyptic timeline.
  • The climactic fight between Misty and Crasher Wake in A Sinnoh Reunion ends with this, Misty's Gyarados vs Wake's Gyarados, both with identical movesets.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Thousand Year Door: When Francesca duels Doopliss, he shapeshifts into a copy of her and uses a copy of her deck, with some variations. In the original, he copies her Amazoness deck, but with all the monsters changed to Dark Fiends and with cards that support them. In the remake, he copies her Beast deck but focuses on Voltic Bicorn and winning via deck out.

    Films — Animation 
  • The whole plot of Pokémon: The First Movie revolves around Mewtwo luring trainers to his island and making clones of their Pokémon, leading to a climax which sees each Pokémon fighting its clone.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Hyper Metal Sonic is programmed to be an exact copy of regular Sonic but with superior stats, and it is even implied that they share a mental link (see the part when Sara is kicking Metal Sonic in the head, and regular Sonic is writhing in pain). The two are constantly seen running into each other, until finally, Sonic says this quote:
    Sonic: You might know everything I'm going to do but that's not going to help you since I know everything you're going to do! Strange, isn't it!?

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The "evil robot usses" from Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.
  • In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker has to go into a cave as part of his training and faces off with a vision of Darth Vader. He beheads the apparition, only to discover it has the same face as him under its mask.
  • A rare live-action version in Oblivion (2013).When Jack Harper-49 encounters Jack Harper-52, it's the first time either of them discover they're clones. They fight because 49 has No Time to Explain the situation and he's trying to stop 52 from reactivating an attack drone that will kill him.
  • The One ends with a fight between two super-powered Jet Lis. While the villain Yulaw has more practice with his enhanced speed and strength, the hero Gabe is on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and has been practicing martial arts daily. In the end, their style (Yulaw uses the more aggressive, straight-line Xingyiquan style, while Gabe sticks with the subtle, circular Baguazhang style) and terrain (the start of the fight is on a tight catwalk, and the end is on an open factory floor) decide the outcome. And yes, this is the best part of the movie, especially when both of them go to Super-Speed, and we see the fight from their perspective (i.e. Time Stands Still).
  • The straight-to-video film Replicant has Jean-Claude Van Damme play a serial killer and a clone created by the government to track him down. The clone has some sort of connection with the killer but a much nicer personality. In the end, they face off in a fight. The viewers expect to see a cool fight between two Van Dammes. Instead, they got an attempt at one, as the doubles try to punch and kick one another, only to perform the same exact move (but mirrored, for some reason) and strike the other's first/leg instead.
  • Subverted in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, when Scott meets Nega-Scott. There was only the vaguest of foreshadowing and no real explanation, although several interpretations are possible. It looks like they're going to fight... but then they get to talking, and it turns out they have a lot in common. They decide to meet for brunch the next week.
  • In Superman III, Superman is exposed to some flawed synthetic kryptonite and turns "evil" (read: superpowered Jerkass). His inner conflict is played out onscreen when Clark Kent manifests in front of him and they fight until Clark wins, then tears open his shirt revealing the untarnished S-shield and flying off to undo the damage he did when he was "evil", ending the only enjoyable scene in an almost universally reviled movie.
  • Pops, an older T-800 model terminator, battles his much younger self in Terminator Genisys.
  • Rock Star: The members of Steel Dragon tribute bands Blood Pollution and Black Babylon are dressed identically during a parking lot. During a long shot, the fight looks like this.
  • The final battle of Sinbad of the Seven Seas is Sinbad wrestling with a magically created Evil Knockoff of himself.
  • Alien: Covenant features one between David and Walter, both androids played by Michael Fassbender.
  • Avengers: Endgame has two of these due to Time Travel shenanigans. First is 2023 Captain America vs. 2012 Captain America, who thinks the former is Loki in disguise because he's got Loki's staff. The second mirror match is 2023 Nebula vs. 2014 Nebula, who is disgusted by her future self's disloyalty to Thanos.
    2023!Cap: Oh, you've got to be shitting me!
    2012!Cap I have eyes on Loki, fourteenth floor.
    2023!Cap: I'm not Loki... and I don't wanna hurt you.
    [they fight]
    2012!Cap: I can do this all day!
    2023!Cap: [Resigned Sigh] Yeah, I know... I know...
  • Near the end of Galaxy of Terror the character Ranger fights a sinister-looking version of himself that seems impervious to any damage he throws at it. Eventually, Ranger figures out that by ignoring the double, the illusion disappears. This is where he realizes that the mysterious pyramid in the movie is making the characters' worst fears come to life.

  • A few of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks that allow the player to use magic typically include a "Creature Copy" spell. When cast, the spell creates a magical duplicate of whatever monster you're facing to fight it. This includes the Sorcery! series with the KIN spell.
  • In the third volume of GrailQuest, one of the enemies is a distorted version of yourself created by looking in a magic mirror (the only difference is that it has only half your current LIFE POINTS).
  • In Book 19 of Lone Wolf, the main antagonist is an Evil Knockoff called Wolf's Bane. The main plot involves Lone Wolf chasing his evil impostor to try to bring him to justice. When you finally face him in combat, he has the same stats and abilities as you, the only difference being your respective Endurance Points if he was wounded earlier.

  • The Shadow Toa in the semi-canon book BIONICLE Chronicles #1: Tale of the Toa are shadow copies of the Toa Mata that serve as the book's final challenge. The Toa Mata beat them by changing partners and attacking ones who were weak to their own Elemental Powers rather than trying to take on their direct opposite numbers. This ending was however later retconned in the Encyclopedia, which explained that the Toa absorbed their shadow duplicates, accepting that darkness is a natural part of themselves, not something they should waste time fighting. This book is also the only media where the clash with the Shadow Toa is the climax — in canon, they are only a temporary hindrance before the Toa face off with the Makuta.
  • In Draconian Symphony, the protagonists escape from a dungeon guarded by a child of Nemesis, who transforms into the main character's doppelganger to fight him.
  • Friday the 13th: Every Jason X continuation novel novel except Planet of the Beast has Jason battle a clone.
  • The Grimnoir Chronicles: In Hard Magic, Sullivan twice has to go up against his brother, both of whom have Gravity Master powers.
  • In one chapter of Oto × Maho, Kanata faces off against an Evil Doppelgänger born from his sense of self-doubt and unwillingness to accept his magical girl duties. In a neat bit of asymmetry, the doppelgänger uses ranged magical attacks, but Kanata wields his usual fighting style of physical attacks with his magic staff.
  • Pale Lights mentions "gray mirrors", a kind of lemure found in Peredur, which duplicate their intended victim and can gain their memories by devouring them. Pereduri mirror-dancers (like Angharad), considered some of the most dangerous swordfighters in all of Vesper, gain that status by finding and dueling a gray mirror every year for ten years, even providing the mirror's sword. During the Trial of Ruins, Angharad jumps at a chance to fight a divine champion who can mimic a challenger's skills, and wipes the floor with him until he sheds the conceit and starts using his own arts instead.
    Amrinder: There must be a trick. A contract. How else could you defeat me twice?
    Angharad: Is it not obvious? You are fighting as a rendition of me... and I am already the finest such rendition.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In the Force Heretic subseries of New Jedi Order, Jedi Tahiri Veila has a series of nightmares/hallucinations/Force-trance-somethings which pit her again various aspects of herself, including her Yuuzhan Vong implanted personality (looong story), which takes the form of — you guessed it — a mirror image of herself. Interestingly, they're actually mirror images: Tahiri is left-handed and Riina right-handed, and that's the only way to distinguish between them.
    • Even Luke Skywalker has to deal with an evil clone of himself at the end of The Last Command; the clone is imaginatively named "Luuke" Skywalker. In defense (as someone elsewhere noted), it was named by a Cloudcuckoolander villain...
  • Third Time Lucky: And Other Stories of the Most Powerful Wizard in the World: In "We Two May Meet", Magdelene one and two finally get into a fight after butting heads often, though it's soon interrupted so the pair stop.
  • In Tough Magic, Yil fights his doppelganger in a practice match; the doppelganger in question being a golem programmed to copy his skills and capabilities.
  • Villains by Necessity: The final Test of the group has this as an obstacle, forcing Sam to battle against a copy of himself in order to claim the final keystone.
  • Rand from The Wheel of Time series fights a more or less literal Mirror Match when a "bubble of evil" spontaneously causes his reflections to jump out of mirrors and fight him to the death. Eventually he starts wising up to the situation and extinguishes his Flaming Sword, causing his reflections to do the same (to their confusion) and making the fight slightly easier.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Face My Enemy", Agent May fights the Brainwashed and Crazy Agent 33, who's wearing a hi-tech face mask allowing her to look exactly like May. The fact that Agent 33 is an ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. agent means they have a lot of the same moves, as well.
  • Angel vs. Angelus in "Orpheus".
    Both: I've been waiting a long time for this.
  • Arrowverse:
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead:
    • In "Ashes to Ashes", Ash fights Evil Ash, a Deadite copy of himself grown from his possessed severed hand. Played pretty straight, as each uses their knowledge of Ash's physical weak points to try and gain the upper hand.
    • "Twist and Shout" sees Ash go up against Rash, a demonic clone of himself sired by Ruby.
  • Blake's 7: In "Games", Soolin participates in a Quick Draw Deadly Game against a computer, represented by an image of herself. The computer is programmed to match and then exceed her draw time, forcing the player to lift their own game or die.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Inevitably, Vampire Willow is this in "Doppelgangland". As Willow has not yet mastered magic at the time, it's also a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Played straight in Charmed (1998) when Paige and Phoebe and their evil Mirror Universe counterparts fight. Leo comments that they are too equally matched and neither side could win, so the fight went on and on until they realized this, called a truce, and formed an alliance instead.
  • Defied in Frasier when Daphne's newest boyfriend is an almost identical match for Niles, both in looks and personality. When Niles catches the doppelgänger dating another woman, he gets mad and goes to confront him, but first his brother Frasier advises him not to get physical, as the fight would be "too weird".
  • Olivia of Fringe fights her Alternate Universe counterpart in the season 2 finale, Over There, Part 2.
  • In Grimm, Juliette/Eve uses a Hexenbiest spell on Nick to temporarily turn him into Renard. Eventually, Renard and Nick-as-Renard end up fighting one another on a rooftop. The only difference between them is their ties (one is wearing red, the other blue). Both even Woge at one point, even though Nick isn't very experienced at that. They end up coming to a reluctant agreement.
  • One Highlander episode has Duncan go evil after killing a former friend of his and absorbing his dark essence during the Quickening. Eventually, Duncan goes into a cave and has a Battle in the Center of the Mind manifested as a swordfight between him and an evil double. Somehow, this also ends in a Quickening, although there's no body of the evil Duncan.
  • How I Met Your Mother: The episode "The Slutty Pumpkin Returns" ends with Barney hallucinating a Canadian version of himself whom he viciously attacks.
  • Kamen Rider tends to have the main Rider fight against an evil (and usually dark-colored) counterpart. For example: Ryuki vs. Ryuga, Kabuto vs. Dark Kabuto, Kiva vs. Dark Kiva.
    • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight inverts this by having the first example above flip sides. Ryuga is a good guy, and Ryuki is the bad guy.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost has a literal example through an Evil Twin of Makoto Fukami (Kamen Rider Specter), whom the real one would fight in a Random Encounter, which results the actual Makoto suffer a seizure-induced pain each time he defeats his doppelganger. The trope is taken very literally by the time the series' reaches the endgame episodes when the impostor Makoto obtains his own Deep Specter Eyecon, all while beginning to adopt the real Makoto's mannerisms, and sporting his leather jacket to fool even further his friends.
  • Knight Rider: KITT facing off against his Evil Twin prototype KARR. Averted in the sequel/remake, as this version of KARR is a Transforming Mecha (and yes, the fact that he's still voiced by Peter Cullen, known for voicing Optimus Prime, is a bonus), while KITT can only transform into other cars.
  • Lucifer (2016): Season 5 features several fights between Lucifer and his twin brother, Michael.
  • This is used quite a lot in Power Rangers, being a nearly once-seasonally tradition. Often they were led by a Monster of the Week. Zeo and RPM are the only seasons who haven't had it in some form — if not identical copies, then an Evil Counterpart team will be featured, like Space's Psycho Rangers, the Spirit Rangers and Five Fingers of Poison in Jungle Fury. Oddly, only once (the very first use of the gimmick waaay back in the original series) were they used to ruin the Rangers' good name, and never have they been used to pose as a friend and backstab a good Ranger. Oddly, the Sixth Ranger seldom gets a copy. But sometimes Tommy's subverted it, facing his past selves.
  • All four of the boys from Red Dwarf encounter this throughout the show. Rimmer and Kryten deliberately move to create it — Rimmer because he thinks the best person to live with is himself, Kryten to save the crew from an insane gestalt entity — while Lister and the Cat have it thrust upon them.
  • Disappointingly averted in The Secret World of Alex Mack. Alex gets an evil duplicate, but despite both of them having telekinesis and electric powers, they never actually try to fight — Alex winds up just chasing her evil twin around until they recombine.
  • Lord John Roxton gets an Evil Twin in one episode of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World after he is cursed for disturbing a graveyard's peace. The protector takes the ruthless and violent part — basically the hunter part — out of him and gives him a life of his own. The evil Roxton tries to kill the good one, using Marguerite as bait. It ends in a Mirror Match.
  • In Supernatural, towards the end of Season 6, Sam has a confrontation with Soulless Sam after Castiel brings down Death's Wall.
  • WandaVision has a spoileriffic example in the final episode: Westview Vision VS. White Vision. Westview Vision is a copy of Vision made from Wanda's love, memories, and Scarlet Witch magic. White Vision is a sentient weapon made by S.W.O.R.D. using Vision's corpse. Westview Vision ends the battle by discussing the Theseus' Ship Paradox with White Vision, and then unlocking White Vision's memories, resulting in White Vision flying away, free from S.W.O.R.D.'s control.
  • In the Warehouse 13 episode "Savage Seduction", Steve is duplicated by an artifact and the two of him fight briefly.
  • Occurs in the Reunion Show of Wizards of Waverly Place, "Alex vs Alex". Alex accidentally creates an evil clone of herself and is forced to fight her doppleganger in order to Save the World.
  • Wonder Woman (1975): In "The Deadly Toys", Wonder Woman fights an identical robot version of herself. The robot wins! ...Except not. Wonder Woman just faked that the robot won to fool the Toymaker.

    Music Videos 

  • Revenge of the 'Gator for the Game Boy has "Match Play" mode, where two players compete head-to-head to zero out the other's score to win.
  • Data East's The Simpsons features Lisa Simpson and "Bleeding Gums" Murphy playing dueling saxophones on the slingshot bumpers.
  • Interplay's otherwise forgettable Star Trek Pinball has a two-player table, "Nemesis", which is divided lengthwise with all playfield elements mirrored against the other side.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The WWF tried to pull off a Mirror Match in live-action at SummerSlam 1994, with a match pitting The Undertaker against... The Undertaker. Unfortunately, this proved impossible to pull off with any degree of realism, as the false Undertaker they got was quite a bit shorter and slimmer than the actual Undertaker. However, this didn't stop Vince McMahon from proclaiming, "It's like looking into a mirror!"
  • They did this again at Vengeance 2006, except this time it was Kane vs Kane.
  • WWE have tried it once again. This time, it's Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara, and surprisingly, it doesn't suck.
  • Sabu once faced off against a masked wrestler known as the Doppleganger, who was able to imitate Sabu's moves very well. Under the mask was Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse.

  • The players of Destroy the Godmodder have fought duplicates of themselves several times throughout the series - the Void clones of the Void Gate sidequest in DTG1, the literal mirror clones from Scratch's Manor in DTG2, and the Glitch copies from the Mirror of Ender in Chaos.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Changeling: The Lost, one of the central conflicts for changelings is how they deal with their fetch, the magical imposter that was left behind when they were abducted. Responses to coming back after the horrific ordeal that is service to the True Fey is hard enough without having to deal with something that wears your face and has been living (or ruining) your life while you were away. Depending on how the Storyteller wants to play things, the fetch could be a malicious sociopath out to ruin the changeling's good name, a dark reflection of the changeling (or even a light reflection—nothing stops the fetch from being a better person than the changeling it replaced), or an innocent bystander with no clue why this horrible creature it dreams about wants to kill it and take over it's life.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • A classic magic item is called the Mirror of Opposition, which creates a clone of anyone looking into it with all the character's items and abilities, but the exact opposite alignment (Lawful Good produces a Chaotic Evil clone, Chaotic Good produces a Lawful Evil clone, while True Neutral produces a clone of random alignment, and so on), resulting in a big fight after which the clone and its items vanish. It's also used in the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion of Baldur's Gate. In the sequel, Big Bad Jon Irenicus pulls a similar trick during the battle in Spellhold. On a similar note, high-level mages can use the Simulacrum spell to summon a (weaker) copy of themselves.
    • The Dungeons & Dragons module Quest for the Heartstone has the climactic battle a one-on-one fight between each Player Character and a duplicate created by the Heartstone. Victory meant you stay yourself, defeat meant you change to the opposite alignment. The Players have a slight advantage over their duplicate in that the duplicate had 10 hit points less than them.
    • The Aleax is a divine construct sent to punish a character who's strayed from his alignment, failed to make the proper sacrifices, or generally enraged a deity. It's identical to its intended victim save for Glowing Eyes of Doom and has all the same stats (except Hit Points) and equipment, plus several other powers and immunities making it a very difficult opponent. Worst, only the designated victim can harm it; all other party members are powerless to affect an Aleax.

  • Tamagotchi is a non-violent example; it's possible to connect two toys that have the same character, and have them compete with each other in a minigame.

    Web Animation 

  • 8-Bit Theater:
    • Black Mage encounters a copy of himself, representing his inner darkness and such, in the Castle of Ordeals. This was because the only thing evil enough to match Black Mage is Black Mage.
    • Parodied, somewhat, when Fighter splits up the Light Warriors, Dark Warriors, and Other Warriors into new teams. Fighter places himself on every team (in one case, three times). Thief convinces Fighter that he's picked a "random" representative from each team to have a fight to the death (naturally, he picked each team's Fighter), leaving a very confused Fighter fighting "himself"... but there's still really only one of him, so he stoically waits for an attack to counter, leaving him frozen in place for a while. But then again, you can't really trust Fighter to be realistic for long.
  • One story in Deviant Universe involves heroes and villains fighting themselves from another universe where they're the opposite alignment.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: One of the chapters has U16 and U18 Gotenks fighting each other, thus causing this trope to be in play — and boy, is it played to the hilt, as the two do the exact same things. So much that when they inevitably defuse, one of the halves has to ask which of the two other fighters is from his Universe. One of them just gives up.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • When Ellen is first created she fights Elliot to get past him. Since each knew each other's strengths and weaknesses and had the same abilities their fight was effectively this.
    • During the card game tournament story arc both Tedd and Luke both make basically the same deck (a very slow control deck) with the result that their match is a draw due to running out of time.
  • Goblins has a variation; the dungeon the Maze of Many forms a link between all the dimensions in the multiverse, and pits adventuring parties against versions of themselves from all possible realities. It's not a straight mirror match, though, since while they all share some core similarities, there are differences between each individual, depending on which reality they originated in and ranging from subtle to very glaring.
  • Homestuck: Jack Noir gets the Black Queen's Ring, which, after Becquerel's prototyping, literally gives him the powers of a Physical God, and he's the most dangerous threat throughout Acts Four and Five, killing multiple important characters across both the Beta Kid and Troll sessions. In [S] Cascade, at the End of Act Five, PM gets her hands on the White Queen's Ring, giving her an exact Mirror Match of Jack's powers, and proceeds to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for all the friends that Jack murdered, chasing him across Paradox Space for the entirety of Act Six, essentially removing him as a threat via Sealed Evil in a Duel.
  • Mulberry witnesses one when she watches the movie Batman vs. Batman. To her disappointment, the Batmen spend their confrontation boasting how Crazy-Prepared they are to face each other, and a "To Be Spread Out Over Six Movies" card appears before they actually start fighting.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Aladdin: The Series, Chaos makes an evil copy of Aladdin. The hero wins by using his evil counterpart's lamp to wish him away. The "evil" Aladdin didn't free his genie as the real Aladdin did.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes:
    • When Captain America finally gets to face off against his Skrull doppelganger, it goes down like this, though the Skrull Cap was already transformed and looks like an alien wearing the Captain America suit rather than a direct mirror image of the Star-Spangled Avenger. Cap is more than a match for his double and defeats him in a most satisfying manner.
    • The episode in which Skrull impersonators of the first eight Avengers try to invade Wakanda has Black Panther, Wasp, and Hawkeye each fight alien versions of themselves. The real Black Panther and Hawkeye each kill their alien counterparts, while Wasp's becomes defeated by Hawkeye. The other Skrulls have to settle for fighting Avengers that they aren't copying.
    • Another episode features the Avengers dealing with robotic copies created by Ultron. Two notable scenes in the episode include a direct example of this trope: One with Hawkeye and Cap dealing with their robot doubles at Avengers Mansion, and later at the climax when the assembled Avengers team take on the entire team of robot Avengers (save for the Captain America double, who had been destroyed in the former battle at the Mansion.).
  • The Batman: The Animated Series episode "His Silicon Soul" deals with Batman facing down his robotic counterpart created by H.A.R.D.A.C. prior to its original body being destroyed.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Batman faces his evil Mirror Universe counterpart, Owlman. He wins by turning off the lights, causing Owlman to don night-vision goggles, then quickly lighting a flare to blind him.
  • Megatron of Beast Wars was able to create a clone of Dinobot with the original's personality and memories, but an inability to transform. The real Dinobot and the clone battled with former opting to remain in beast mode to keep the match fair. The original ultimately defeats and eats the clone remarking that he was quite tasty.
  • In the Code Lyoko episode "Revelation", Ulrich has to fight a polymorphic clone on Lyoko, at first looking like Odd, but then taking his appearance, leading to a fierce katana duel.
  • In the Futurama episode "The Farnsworth Parabox", the gang enter an Alternate Universe and the two Leelas start fighting, but because their moves are identical, they both knock each other out after the first hit.
    Prof. Farnsworth: Now, now. Perfectly symmetrical violence never solved anything.
  • Pixar Short Geri's Game is about an old man who plays Chess against himself. He's very competitive, which is Played for Laughs.
  • The He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) episode "The Shaping Staff" has He-Man fighting his Evil Twin, Faker. Note that in the cartoon, Faker isn't blue. He-Man wins by sidestepping Faker's lunge, causing him to fall into a bottomless pit.
  • Justice League:
  • Kaeloo parodies this trope by having Stumpy play Rock–Paper–Scissors with... his reflection, in an actual mirror, who he thinks is a different person.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Brain Drain", Phineas and Ferb spend a sick-day playing a fighting game based on themselves with their friends. Phineas ends up matched against... himself.
    Phineas: I'm kicking my own butt!
  • In an episode of Recess, the main characters have to play a kickball match against a Similar Squad from another school. The similar tactics of both teams keep the game at a stalemate. It even extends to the Rousing Speech that the leaders give to their groups.
    T.J.: Look, these guys might be as athletic as we are. They might be as smart as we are. They might even have a principal that's as big a jerk as ours is. But I'll tell you one thing, they don't have the same heart. Right?
    3rd Street Crowd: Right!
    C.J.: But I'll bet you this — they don't have the same heart. Right?
    98th Street Crowd: Right!
  • Samurai Jack: Aku once creates a clone of Jack from his negative emotions. They're evenly matched until Jack cleanses himself of all negative emotions, destroying the clone.
  • The Secret Saturdays: The whole Saturday family has almost exact mirror matches from an alternate universe.
  • The Simpsons:
  • In Space Stars, Space Ghost ends up fighting his evil Mirror Universe counterpart Space Spectre. They wind up evenly matched, but then Jan, Jace, and Blip attack Space Spectre, the distraction allowing Space Ghost to defeat him. Space Ghost quips, "I have friends. You don't."
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "Crisis Point", Mariner-as-Vindicta ends up fighting the holographic Mariner in the holomovie, and the two perfectly mirror each other's blows for a while. Having an actual fight with herself allows Mariner the self-reflection that she needs to appreciate the whys of her behavior, leading to an epiphany that improves both that and her outlook.
  • Steven Universe:
    • In "Steven the Sword Fighter", Pearl summons a hologram of herself from her gem and spars with it to demonstrate sword fighting to Steven.
    • "Ocean Gem" has Steven and the Gems fighting water clones produced by the eponymous gem, Lapis Lazuli. They're almost evenly matched, but the copies eventually gain the upper hand. Steven ends the fight by summoning his shield (for the first time in the series since "Cookie Cat", the first episode), which causes the clones to disperse. Noticeably, the music track that plays during the fight is called Mirror Match.
    • In "Open Book", Connie ends up having a fistfight with a fake clone of herself in Rose's room. The fake Connie only disappears when Steven tells Connie the truth about what he thought about the ending of a certain book.
    • In-universe example in "Steven vs. Amethyst" with the video game featuring Lonely Blade. Steven and Amethyst both choose him as their fighter, and Amethyst wins (or rather, Steven lets her win).
  • In Teen Titans (2003), the Titans face off against evil versions of themselves whipped up by Trigon, who's starting to find their attacks against him annoying. Because their evil counterparts have the exact same abilities as the originals, the heroes are only able to win by switching opponents.
  • ThunderCats (1985):
    • In "Spitting Images", Panthro fights an evil clone of himself. They are evenly matched, but Lion-O ends the fight by blasting them both. The Sword of Omens wouldn't harm a fellow ThunderCat, but destroyed the clone.
    • In "Fond Memories", Mumm-Ra takes on Lion-O's form before fighting him. Lion-O wins because Mumm-Ra keeps his weakness to his own reflection no matter what form he is in.
  • In Transformers: Prime, human terrorist organization, MECH, ultimately succeeds in creating a robot drone with all of Optimus Prime's abilities and strengths that defeats all the other Autobots and manages to fight Optimus on equal footing. He is ultimately defeated when one of the Autobot's human allies distracts the drone's operator.
  • In the Ultimate Spider-Man (2012) episode "Game Over", Arcade pits Spidey, Captain America, and Wolverine against LMDs that turn into copies of them. Spidey even lampshades the origin of the trope, pointing out the entire situation is running on "gamer logic".

    Real Life 
  • The confusing and bloody Battle of Ceresole from the Italian Wars saw this happen in succession between the French and Habsburg imperial armies, down to a very specifical innovation prepared by the French (namely, intermingling soldiers with firearms among the pikemen) which the imperials turned out to have prepared themselves for the same battle. Ultimately, nothing but Geo Effects decided the battle, with the unequal terrain opening a chance for the superior French cavalry to disrupt the imperial center and seal the victory.
  • During World War I, the German commerce raider SMS Cap Trafalgar disguised itself as the British commerce raider HMS Carmania to deceive its prey. By sheer coincidence, the two vessels happened across one another and engaged in a naval battle that ended with the Cap Trafalgar's sinking. It is often claimed that the Carmania was also disguised as the Cap Trafalgar, when in truth they both simply had the same wartime paint job that caused initial confusion on both sides. It is just more amusing to say that they were disguised as each other.


League Batman vs. Lord Batman

Our Batman ultimately can't think of a response to his tyrannical counterpart, and neither could the writers.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArmorPiercingResponse

Media sources: