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"Maybe you ain't so bad after all, Blake. In fact, you kinda remind me of myself at your age. Except, y'know, I'm a mutant. And I've got ethics. And I'm not a psychopath... (or a rapist...) You know what, maybe you remind me of someone else..."

Two characters or groups initially appear to be quite similar, possibly so similar as to be practically interchangeable. But as the work develops, it becomes clear that the similarity is only superficial. Their deeper characteristics, such as motives, morals, or methods, are quite dissimilar. They may fill roughly the same role in the story, but they are far from interchangeable. If another character comments on the similarities, one or both of those being compared may respond along the lines of "What? I'm nothing like him!" before listing the differences. In terms of Logical Fallacies, this is often considered a false equivalence.

This is not always a bad thing, however, as this can make two seemingly similar characters distinct enough that both can have their fans.

Common cases include Clone Angst, Shadow Archetype, and Legacy Character.

Compare Mirror Character and contrast Mirroring Factions. See also Our Monsters Are Different; and Divergent Character Evolution, if the subjects really were interchangeable at one point. Foil is when the differences are blatant, even with some similarities.

Cast Speciation is a subtrope that applies only when the characters are part of a small cast of characters.


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  • In general, if the ad is claiming the product in question is a more affordable version of the competition then they are using this trope, such as when Verizon Wireless, and AT&T, two American phone companies who used to have a friendly relationship, broke away from each other. They both quickly dedicated much of their budgets to letting everyone know why they should never be mistaken for the other. Product Switcheroo Ad or Parity Product Paradox might be in effect.
  • Between the 1910s and '20s Coca Cola became well known in several countries and also became frequently imitated. The most humorous duplicates being Sola Cola and Coc Ola. Naturally, many commercials were put out explaining to the consumer why these knockoffs were inferior to the real thing.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In the first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Isaac McDougal attempts to recruit Solf Kimblee, another State Alchemist who killed his superiors and apparently defected. However, while both are defectors from the military and use their alchemy to attack opponents from within (freezing and exploding, respectively), McDougal is a Defector from Decadence who wants to save Amestris from the Ancient Conspiracy, while Kimblee is an Ax-Crazy Straw Nihilist.
    • In the manga, Brotherhood and the live-action film, Shou Tucker tries to pull the "Not So Different" Remark card on Ed in regards to how he used his own family to transmute chimeras, stating they both toyed with alchemy out of scientific curiosity and "messed around with someone's life." In reality, this is what they are; Ed and Al performed human transmutation in a misguided attempt to bring their beloved mother Back from the Dead, whereas Tucker turned his family into chimeras purely because he couldn't bear to lose a steady paycheck. Furthermore, while Tucker sacrificed his wife and daughter, the brothers were the ones who paid the price for their own mistake, and at the end of the series, Ed chooses not to restore his leg, keeping his automail leg as a reminder of what happened.
  • In the manga version of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Rei II and Kaworu have an exchange that amounts exactly to him discussing "Not So Different" Remark and she invoking this.
  • The Transformers: Armada Starscream takes offense when the Autobots try to compare his treachery to Sideways.
  • Arch-Enemies Trafalgar Law and Donquixote Doflamingo from One Piece. Charismatic, strong, and a penchant for cruelty and misanthropy, at the surface, they're almost a distorted mirror. However, Doflamingo's attempts to mold his prodigy into his own image failed, because Law still has his compassion, and as the Dressrosa arc continued, it proves to be the defining difference. What it comes down to is that Law is driven by revenge for the sake of another, while Doflamingo is driven by revenge for the sake of himself. Hence, Law cares about other people and shows a willingness to die for the sake of his goal, while Doflamingo only cares about himself and fears death to the point of obsession.
  • In Danganronpa 3, Monaca thought she could replace Junko Enoshima, the Big Bad of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. However the anime gradually reveals she actually doesn't have much in common with her. While Enoshima loves causing suffering, there tends to be an element of fairness to her challenges (arming high school kids with the chance to attack Ikusaba and her instead of themselves, blackmailing Sakakura instead of brainwashing him, letting Naegi live in spite of being a threat) mostly because the war is more exciting if she can lose. She actually presses the button to her own execution in the original game. In contrast, Monaca hates losing. Once her plans fall apart, instead of feeling elation she feels despair the way a normal person does, becoming apathetic to her current actions. Whereas Enoshima was a Killer Game Master, Monaca is little more than a sadistic thug that just likes copying the methods of her idol.
  • In Bloom Into You, Yuu Koito and Seiji Maki briefly talk about themselves, and how neither of them has ever fallen in love with anyone. Yuu had turned down a former schoolmate's Love Confession because it didn't make her feel anything special, while Maki likens observing other people's relationships to watching a movie or reading a novel. After Yuu parts ways with Maki, feeling relieved that there are other people like her, Maki thinks, "I don't think we're as alike as she thinks. That face she made before... it's not a face that someone who isn't lonely would make," since it's implied that Yuu is falling in love with Touko. In Chapter 39, Maki bluntly tells Yuu that she's different from him, saying that she knows what it's like to love, and is simply trying to fool herself because she's afraid that her love won't be reciprocated.
  • Frieren: Beyond Journey's End: Sein believes to be similar to his brother, in the sense that both of them sacrificed their opportunities and goals for each other: Much like his brother sacrificed a higher position in the church to let his brother stay on his home village, Sein sacrificed his dream of becoming an adventurer to not let his brother be alone. His brother is furious at this comparison, because unlike Sein, who unnecessarily resigned himself to unfulfillment and regret in a sacrifice he was never asked to do, his brother never regretted his lot in life and did what he did out of a selfless desire to raise his brother in the best environment for him.
  • In Goblin Slayer, the titular character has acknowledged that, due to his willingness to fight dirty and kill goblin children, he's not really that different from a goblin... except while the goblins are ultimately shown to be a thoroughly unrepentant race of Always Chaotic Evil monsters who commit Rape, Pillage, and Burn For the Evulz, Goblin Slayer is undeniably heroic and compassionate.
  • At first glance, Kaguya and Shirogane from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War appear to be Birds of a Feather as prideful, intelligent teenagers with the same views on love. It quickly becomes apparent that this couldn't be any further from the truth, as the two differ in just about every other aspect. It's even a major plot point since the reason they fell in love is that they admired attributes in the other that they lacked.
  • While it was originally a joke that one was a xerox copy of the other, as a result of Divergent Character Evolution, Kirishima and Tetsutetsu from My Hero Academia have become more and more different as the school year progresses. Whereas Kirishima is now more cautious and defensive in combat, Tetsutetsu is more a Leeroy Jenkins. Kirishima's training focused on increasing the defensive capabilities of his Quirk by making his body harder, while Tetsutetsu's training has focused on making his Quirk more resistant so he can charge without worry. Kirishima's insecurities have become more prevalent as time goes on, while Tetsutetsu is more focused on hero work than self-doubt.
  • This is a key part of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. Full Frontal looks like Char, talks like Char, sounds like Char, replaced Char's role as leader of Zeon, espouses the same ideas as Char, and some (maybe even Full Frontal himself) believe him to BE Char. However, as Mineva points out, Char's dead. Char was a semi-insane idealist who hated being a political figure, who'd rather drop an entire friggin' asteroid onto earth than deal with petty politics. Contrast with Full Frontal, a cold, passionless clone who barely sees himself as a person, instead rather a gestalt of the will of all spacenoids, whose grand plan is cold reactionary realpolitik.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury: Elan is initially drawn to Suletta believing she is, like him, a Disposable Vagrant surgically rebuilt into a cybernetic doppelgänger of another person for the sole purpose of piloting a Gundam, a forbidden technology which harms their pilots through the neural feedback of linking their minds to such huge machines. When he discovers that Suletta is her own person, and that her Gundam is a perfected form of such technology that doesn't hurt her to pilot, the knowledge fills Elan with bitterness and envy. Suletta has everything he doesn't, and has never known suffering like his — in fact, his suffering has been completely unnecessary this whole time. Knowing this, he summarily challenges Suletta to a duel so he can take her Gundam for himself.
    • Ironically, later revelations make clear that Suletta does actually share a lot with him: she's the latest and most advanced in a line of clones, created for the sole purpose of piloting her Gundam (an Evolving Weapon that needs her to guide its development), and when her purpose comes to an end, she is coldly discarded. Sadly, Elan is long dead by the time this fact comes to light (disposable vagrant, remember).
  • In the That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime spin-off Slime Diaries, Rimuru tells the orc Geld in the first episode that he shouldn't overwork himself. In the second episode, Rimuru manages to get a day off from his duties as leader of Tempest, though finds himself restless without any works, which leads him to admitting to Geld that they are both workaholics and that he shouldn't have lectured Geld about overworking. Geld responds that while Rimuru takes joy in the work he does, he himself lets himself gets lost in work and feels like an outsider to the other monsters if he doesn't have any work. Though later in the series, Geld finds ways of connecting to his fellow citizens in ways outside of labor, just like Rimuru does.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets: Zigzagged between Ichika and Nino during the Sisters' War arc. When Ichika gets caught trying to disguise as Miku to sabotage her attempt to confess to Fuutarou, Nino angrily calls her out on it. Ichika tries to defend her actions by reminding Nino that she said she wouldn't let anybody get in her way to hook up with Fuutarou. Nino however replies that, in the case that Ichika would have been the chosen one, she (Nino) would have wholeheartedly supported her, because as much as she loves Fuutarou, her bond with her sisters is just as important to her, if not moreso. Once they finally calm down and talk things out, Nino shows more sympathy for Ichika and admits that she might have taken a similar course of action had their positions been reversed.

    Comic Books 
  • Anya's Ghost: After Anya leaves the party upon learning Sean is a creep, Emily tries to convince her to stay. At one point during the heated discussion, Emily tries to argue that she's just trying to keep Anya from ever being alone, as it was previously mentioned she lost her fiancé decades ago (even though this turns out to be false). To this, Anya has to spell it out to Emily that Sean is hardly comparable to her war-hero fiancé. One is only unreachable by sleeping six feet under, and the other is unattainable by sleeping with his best friend's girlfriend.
  • Blade:
    • Blade felt he had a lot of similarities with The Punisher but had to question why Frank Castle pursued a seemingly impossible goal while Blade felt his own was much more reasonable (he even succeeded once already). In Frank's answer Blade (and the readers) start to understand just how different they really are.
    • In a meta sense, Marvel gave Blade to a popular Wolverine writer, hoping he could duplicate that success. It was made clear that they weren't really that alike.
  • In the various DC-Marvel crossovers, although both universes have a planet Earth which is inhabited by a human species with broadly similar histories up to about the 1960s, it's been shown that they're fundamentally different down to even the background cosmic principles each is based on.
  • X-Factor: Multiple Man has the power to create body doubles of himself and they usually work together, as they always embody a part of his personality. Sometimes an isolated part of himself can end up behaving very differently from the whole, however. Many of his body doubles have caused trouble he really doesn't approve of.
  • Judge Dredd has the law enforcement collecting the genetic material of their best judges to ensure they can always create great judges to replace them. Though they often get exact genetic copies of outstanding judges, the clones rarely end up like their predecessors. Just because they have the same talent doesn't mean they want to apply it the same way.
  • This is why Blink ends up as leader of the Exiles because she is the first on the multiverse crossing team to realize the "familiar faces" they encounter may be anything but.
  • The supervillainess "Knockout" specifically targeted Superboy because she felt they were a lot alike. Both got a charge from adventure, both really like to let their libidos take control, and both are excited to flirt with someone on the opposite side of the law. Except not really. Knockout is a complete sociopath that targeted the teenage Superboy because he was impressionable enough to mold into her ideal sexual playtoy. Having grown up on Apokolips, she is a total Combat Sadomasochist, cares nothing about other life and planned to discard Superboy when she was done with him.
  • At the beginning of Deadpool vs. Carnage, the former makes several comparisons between himself and the latter. He changes his mind after finding the remains of a family (which included two young children) that Carnage had taken hostage, terrorized, and butchered.
    Deadpool: Carnage and me... not... not on the same wavelength... at all! Not like him. Would never do anything like that...
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10: Angel and Spike are noted to be similar, with the best difference Spike can come up with on short notice being that he's English and Angel's Irish. However, Willow notes that Spike is far more open to change than Angel is, doing things like willingly going out and earning his soul.
  • Knights of the Old Republic Haazen is this to Zayne Carrick, both of them having been inept Padawans and best friends with the most talented one in the group. However, it is implied that Zayne's being inept is due to his master having no interest in training a Padawan at all, and using Zayne's Force disability as an excuse to ignore and not seriously train him. Haazen's ineptness is due to being undisciplined and predictable in his actions, being unfocused and haphazard in his pursuits, and allowing his emotions to constantly get the better of him. Haazen took it for granted that he would succeed, expected Barrison's money and influence would get him into the Jedi Order. When it didn't, Haazen festered in bitterness for decades. While Zayne accepted his likely failure and did not resent his friends or hold it against them. Both become more skilled and powerful, but the difference is that Zayne refuses to turn to the Dark Side and let the tragedy that happened affect him, remaining true to himself, while Haazen embraces the Dark Side and lets his anger, bitterness, and ambition corrupt and twist him.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In this Godzilla MonsterVerse fanfiction, Vivienne Graham thinks she and Ghidorah (specifically Ichi/Eldest Brother) are not as similar as the latter is claiming they are, during an exchange in Chapter 14:
    Vivienne: No, no, no, no, no... I am like you, but I am not like you, in all the ways that matter. You will NEVER have me. I will NOT become like YOU!
  • A positive example in Shatterheart that serves as a turning point from acquaintances to friends when Kurogane tells Syaoran while he and his clone act similarly, Syaoran is more mature and acts more cautiously. Kurogane also notes to himself that Syaoran is more of a bookworm and has a slower reaction time than his clone.
  • The Ultimate Evil: When Valmont starts commenting he can see why Shendu lusts after Valerie, it prompts the enraged woman to slap him and chastise him for daring to compare himself to Shendu, who she feels at least has some semblance of honor, as evil as he is.
    She didn't know what had possessed her to say those words in her current company […] but she couldn't stand the thought of Valmont comparing himself to Shendu. In her eyes – she didn't know whether it had always been so, or if this was something new – Valmont was a scumbag criminal who would stoop to any means and do anything and everything just for a little money. But Shendu, despite being a lying, murderous and evil demon, had at times shown some form of honour, and he was more sophisticated and regal than Valmont. Valmont hid what he was behind an air of aristocracy and superiority that made her blood boil, but Shendu let you know up-front what you were dealing with. That little shred of honesty, no matter how vile in its using, still made Shendu more worthy to Valerie than Valmont could ever hope to be.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has Sabrina and the Bloodline King. Both are Social Darwinists and responsible for the deaths of innocent people, but their ideal views on life are radically different. Sabrina's ideal world is a meritocracy where the people who are above average in something can live and the average masses are non-existent or at least not a 'threat' to the talented, with this category being regardless of exact species. The Bloodline King, on the other hand, follows a Master Race mentality where the winner is simply being a Bloodliner, with him as the biggest winner of all and misery for all who aren't like him or stand in his way.
  • In Megamorphs: The Wizarding World, when the Animorphs offer some Hogwarts students the power to morph, they take the time to confirm that wizards can’t do something similar; since the animagus transformation only lets a person turn into a specific animal, and external transfigurations can be risky, all parties decide that morphing will be a useful asset.
  • In one of the I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC sketches, Wolverine and The Comedian appear together. After a lot of arguing, Wolverine becomes impressed by the Determinator streak that Comedian has, and begins to say that Comedian reminds him of himself. He then promptly remembers all the bad things about Comedian that makes them different, and it turns into this instead.
    Wolverine: Maybe you ain't so bad after all, Blake. In fact, you kinda remind me of myself at your age. Except, y'know, I'm a mutant. And I've got ethics. And I'm not a psychopath... (or a rapist...) You know what, maybe you remind me of someone else...
  • In CRME, Watts notes that Cinder and Mercury are quite similar. They both have had similar abusive upbringings and it warped them into arrogant, sadistic sociopaths who resent the world because of it. They differ in how they deal with it. While Mercury decides to move away from the past, Cinder maintains a vicelike grip on it. Mercury is laid-back and goes with the flow while acknowledging the world sucks and he can't change the path he is on. Cinder becomes obsessed with getting back at the world and attaining power to rise above the world that allowed her to be in pain. After realizing this, Watts even says that Mercury has learned something that she fails to grasp.
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters: As Will and Jade slowly evolve into cooly calculating Combat Pragmatists, Yan Lin very uncomfortably starts comparing them to how Nerissa turned out. However, she eventually realizes that despite her worries, the two of them are still holding onto their compassion, something that Nerissa threw away.
  • Avengers: Infinite Wars:
    • While the Avengers are uncomfortable learning about the Jedi habit of taking young children for training, Steve still rejects the idea that the Jedi and the Sith are that alike when a Sith acolyte taunts him about it during a confrontation.
    • After Asajj comes to Dathomir, Wanda's Sith teachers suggest that she try and get along with Asajj by observing that she and Pietro started out as the Avengers' enemies as well, but Wanda rejects the analogy as she and Pietro were tricked into working with Ultron where Asajj has regularly tried to kill her teammates.
  • Avenging the Ultimate:
    • The Steve Rogers of the Ultimate and Mainstream universes. Besides Ultimate!Steve being a massive jerk compared to 616!Steve, how they would have approached the Civil War even also differs. The mainstream Steve rebelled against the government and fought for heroes to serve the people of their own volition, while the Ultimate universe Steve states that he would have supported the Registration acts all the way, especially with how the world turned out in the aftermath of Ultimatum. 616!Steve even states that his Ultimate version is hardly anything like him.
    • Speaking of, 616!Iron Man supported the government and pretty much ran the Registration Act, but Ultimate!Iron Man is completely baffled by this, as this is something he'd never do and would have done what 616!Steve Rogers did.
  • In The Confectionary Chronicles, Gabriel muses at one point that he isn’t that different from Lucifer in the sense that neither of them would probably know how to be angels any more even if offered the chance, but concludes that he differs from his brother in that he still cares about humans where Lucifer never did.
  • A Courier For Kivotos: Parodied in a conversation between Six and Arona about 'couriers' being the same as 'mailmen'. Six (rather correctly) spells it out for her that mailmen work public addresses and routes determined by government entities while couriers work as private contractors. Arona stubbornly clings to the fact that couriers can still (but not exclusively) handle mail, therefore courier = mailman. Six, tired of arguing with her just shrugs and goes, "Sure, Let's Go with That".
  • In The Cutting Edge, when Oliver uses his Bratva contacts to call off their forces in the mob war, Helena Bertinelli initially compares it to police commissioner Nudocerdo's deal with the mob, but Batman affirms that there's a difference between Oliver making a deal to save lives and minimize casualties and Nudocerdo's deal to just keep those casualities limited to areas he doesn't care about.
  • Frozen Turtles:
    • While Hans compares himself and Shredder on their first meeting as people who seek power despite the opposition of others, Shredder makes it clear later that he disagrees with that assessment, as Hans was born a prince with all the accompanying status where Shredder had to fight for everything and has earned his reputation.
    • In Frozen Turtles in Space, Raphael feels as though Mona has betrayed him just like Hans betrayed Anna, but Anna assures him that the difference is that Hans betrayed her on his own whereas Mona's actions were based on an attempt to save her world.
  • In Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past, Dumbledore expresses concern that Harry is very like Tom Riddle, considering that both of them were unusually talented muggle-raised students who quickly formed a 'gang' of loyal followers and are skilled at defending themselves. However, Mc Gonagall counters that there are two key differences between Harry and Riddle; firstly, Harry never attacks first but has only acted in self-defence, and where Voldemort never shows any concern for the Death Eaters Harry makes it clear more than once that he is as loyal to his friends as they are to him.
  • In the Infinity Crisis spin-off Counterpart Conferences, the Batman of Earth-99 correctly guesses that his counterpart from Earth-1992 (the DC Animated Universe) has also devised plans to stop the other heroes of his world. However, the other Batman affirms that his plans are all non-lethal methods of defeating his allies that are only to be used if they cross the line first, as opposed to the Earth-99 Batman who apparently killed Superman because of what he might do.
  • In The Land of What Might-Have-Been, during the final battle, as the dying Empress (Elphaba’s counterpart) proclaims that Elphaba would have done the same as her, Elphaba concedes that she crossed various lines such as killing her enemies, but is satisfied that she never resorted to brainwashing or indiscriminate destruction on the same scale as her counterpart.
  • In The Man with No Name, when Mal confronts the former Independent Generals who have been using the Reavers to attack Alliance forces, the generals briefly compare their methods to Mal's own plan to use the Reavers against the Alliance fleet before making the Miranda broadcast. However, Mal reminds himself that it's not the same as the generals are using the Reavers against civilian targets, whereas Mal's plan only turned the Reavers on soldiers who could legitimately defend themselves.
  • In Once Upon a Supernatural Time, when talking with Dean about how they both dedicated themselves to revenge, Hook observes that the difference between them is that Dean found a purpose beyond revenge in protecting others from the supernatural even after he killed his mother's killer, but Hook realised that he never had any idea what he would do with himself if he managed to kill Rumpel.
  • In The Parts We Play, when Prim volunteers as Tribute to protect the pregnant Katniss, Madge assures Katniss that her sympathy for Peeta and Rue during the Games might be awkward as Katniss recognises that they have to die for Prim to come home, but it also represents what makes Katniss better than the Capitol as she recognises that the other Tributes are people and not pieces in a game for her amusement.
  • In Pokemon: Shadow of Time, while Ash worries if he's a pervert when he finds himself washing Misty and Anabel's clothes, when he catches Dario watching them he is assured by Natu that it's not the same as he's actively trying not to be a pervert.
  • In The Secret Keeper sequel The Wisdom Seeker, after Jacob sees Bella transform into her lioness form (Bella has become an animagus while studying at Hogwarts), he briefly considers her similar to the Quilettes, but Rosalie ends that train of thought by listing some of the magical feats Bella can do that Jacob can’t, such as apparition or transfiguration.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton: Sam Manson and Vlad Masters. Both of them are jealous when their love interests, Danny and Maddie respectively, found another significant other. Both of them have a problem taking responsibility for their actions and feel entitled and possessive to the object of their desire. However, the difference is that Sam genuinely loves Danny and cares about his feelings, while Vlad's love for Maddie is more of loving the idea of having her and is an unhealthy obsession. Also, when Sam damaged her friendship with Danny because she spied on his date with Kara, she genuinely felt bad. When Vlad damaged his relationship with Maddie because he confessed his love to her, he could not understand that she was disgusted with him for thinking that she just left Jack for him, and how he truly feels for Jack. Sam, even at her worst, refuses to hurt Kara to get Danny and was disgusted when Vlad offered her a deal to get rid of Kara, while Vlad throughout the series tries to kill Jack so he can have Maddie for himself. Finally, Sam was able to accept Danny's relationship with Kara, repair her friendship with both of them and become happy for both of them. Vlad does not accept that Maddie's love for Jack and eventually destroys his friendship with both of them.
  • The Flower Princess and the Alchemist: Edward and Ichigo. They are both very short tempered, brash, and prideful Jerks with Hearts of Gold, who are more than often prone to bouts of heroism, both have comparable tragic pasts, and younger siblings they are protective of. They even have characteristics that other characters pick on them for (Ed's short height and Ichigo's orange hair). But that's where the similarities end. Ed is a skilled, alchemic genius; while Ichigo, not exactly Book Dumb but not as smart as Ed, is Unskilled yet Strong. Not to mention, their fighting styles are different. Ed's a Combat Pragmatist with a Thou Shall Not Kill policy. Ichigo, on the other hand, has a principle of Honor Before Reason when it comes to fights, and, although he doesn't kill, he has no quarrels doing so.
  • In Danganronpa: Last Hurrah, after it turns out that Reyes, the Ultimate Fencer, is Sparkling Justice 2.0, Samuru, the Ultimate Executioner, attacks that person. Sparkling Justice claims that they're the same, as people who kill criminals, but Samuru insists that he only executes people who have been convicted and sentenced to death through due process.
  • In Collapse from Misunderstandings, Nightwing and Batman. Both create countermeasures in case their teammates ever turn evil; however, Batman only does so either at the request of said teammates or if they've turned evil for some reason before. Nightwing does so to make himself feel more in control. Furthermore, his growing paranoia and Control Freak tendencies cause him to Jump Off The Slippery Slope and plan on using the countermeasure he designed for Raven against the revived Terra simply because she objected to him bugging her personal computer for literally no reason other than his own paranoia. After Cyborg gives Nightwing both a verbal and physical thrashing, Nightwing is contacted by Batman who calls him out on his actions.
  • Code Prime: When Lelouch expresses his fear to Optimus that he might become like Megatron some day after realizing how alike he and Megatron are, such as how they both decided to bring about change through violence and force, Optimus assures Lelouch that although he shares parallels with Megatron he is also very different from him. While Megatron never cared about the destruction and death he caused, even when it destroyed his own planet, as long as he gained more power for himself, Lelouch was always motivated for the safety of his sister Nunnally, he has learned from his mistakes to better himself, and he has slowly opened himself up to his friends and allies to help him grow into a better person.
  • The Bones fic "Not the Marrying Kind" reveals that Hannah Burley was in an open marriage when she was in a relationship with Booth. When Brennan and Hannah confront each other after Brennan has learnt about Hannah's marriage, Hannah tries to point out that Brennan hurt Booth by rejecting him just like Hannah did, but Brennan counters that the difference between their actions is that she always tried not to hurt Booth and would have never done anything to cause him distress, whereas Hannah should have known that her actions would cause Booth pain from the beginning.
  • Ginny Weasley and the Half-Blood Prince: Just like how Harry is often compared to his father James (only for Harry to actually be more like his mother Lily), several people note that Ginny is quite similar to Lily, but it soon becomes apparent that she is more similar to James. Professor Slughorn says that Ginny looks a lot like Lily before admitting that their magical talents are pretty much complete opposites (Lily was a genius at Potions while Ginny's skills are more in Charms and in particular jinxes), and Snape accidentally calls her Lily at a time when she's breaking the rules just like James used to do.
  • In Time for a Change, Yukino's actions to become stronger and kill Zeref are motivated by her sister's capture by cultist that worshipped Zeref, while the young Zeref she and Lucy meet revealed that he originally devised the Gate of Time to bring back his dead brother. When Yukino argues that their motives aren't so different, Lucy points out that they are different. Zeref might have a goal in bringing back his brother, but his experiments are also motivated by his curiosity and pride, something he would have done regardless of his brother's death. Meanwhile, Yukino is obsessed with avenging her sister, whether it be wagering her life against Kagura to prove her ruthlessness or agreeing to kill Zeref in desperation to bring her sister back.
  • Kabbalah: The Passive Conqueror: Ritsuka Fujimaru initially compares Miku Izayoi to Elizabeth Bathory since they are both idols obsessed with singing. She realizes the big difference is that Elizabeth sings because she genuinely wants to entertain people and make them happy, while Miku sings to get attention and does not care about the audience's feelings.
  • All Mixed Up!: Although Mariana Mag and Odd Todd have a couple similarities, the differences outweigh them, something that Mariana herself points out when Otto tells her that she's similar to Odd Todd.
    Mariana Mag: No, not like Odd Todd did. He's pathetic, I tell you. A hot-tempered, selfish, impatient, smart-aleck brat. Thinks the villains might actually trust and accept him, but to real villains, once an agent means always an agent. He was certainly smart enough, he'd have done better staying with you.
  • OrangeLemon's Sannin Swap: Before leaving the Hidden Leaf, Naruto remarks to Sasuke that he'd originally thought they had a lot in common. Unlike him, however, Sasuke was treated kindly by the village, offered support and admiration while Naruto was shunned and shunted aside.
  • True Potential: When Anko calls out Suien for killing one of his own henchmen, Suien points out that Anko was also trying to kill him and that, like him, she didn't care about the henchman's life. Anko's rebuttal is that he was her enemy and his goals opposed hers, but he was Suien's subordinate who shared the same goals, and Suien only killed him out of pure sadism.
  • Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron: Mao accuses Lelouch of being no different from Zarkon and Charles. However, we later see that several factors separate Lelouch from the pair.
    • Zarkon: Unlike his predecessor as the Black Paladin, Lelouch has his fellow Paladins and Nunnally acting as a Morality Chain. Additionally, Lelouch views the Black Knights as True Companions, where Zarkon would have only relied on them for as long as they could fight for him, then abandoned them. Princess Allura later says that the only common traits the two share are the noble qualities Zarkon had before he betrayed his comrades.
    • Charles: Unlike his father, Lelouch has the emotional maturity to accept when a plan will not work, and can swallow his pride and do something he dislikes for the sake of others. Even try to ally with his detested father against the Galra. Sadly, this doesn't work out, as Charles allies with Zarkon, allowing Galra to conquer Earth just so Charles doesn't have to abandon the Ragnarok Connection.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dog Soldiers: Cooper says as much to Ryan when Ryan insists the squad are no different from him the Special Ops man.
    Ryan: If I could tell you [why I'm here], I would. but I'm just a soldier, like you.
    Cooper: No stripes. No insignia. A suit in a uniform does not make a soldier.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): In the novelization, Madison thinks Alan Jonah is more different from the former's parents (specifically her mother) than Jonah claims he is. She observes that while her parents also reacted badly to losing a child and her mother especially has done terrible things, Emma is at least willing to try and fix what she's done whereas Jonah is too far gone.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Both Sonic and Dr. Robotnik grew up orphans, with no friends, and a burdensome power (Sonic his Super-Speed, Robotnik his Super-Intelligence). That's where the similarities end; whereas Sonic is a Nice Guy who Hates Being Alone and just wants to have friends, Robotnik is a Jerkass and Misanthrope Supreme who embraces his loneliness and makes a point of having no friends at all.
  • In Star Trek: Nemesis, Data has to explain why Captain Picard shouldn't expect his clone to be much like him. As a robot, he is just one of many of his line, but he knows just because the rest have the potential to be just like him doesn't mean they are or ever will be.
  • All Through the Night criminal Gloves Donahue describes just how wrong Nazi Franz Ebbing is when the latter thinks they have enough in common to work together.
  • In Inception, one of Dom's nightmares takes the form of his deceased wife Mal in order to guilt-trip over his past mistakes. It works at first (and has for many years) but Dom eventually overcomes it by realizing and pointing just how much its imitation failed to compare to the real thing.

  • One book in The Chronicles of Narnia introduces us to Tash, who one figure stubbornly insists is another culture's take on Aslan, no matter how many times the fact it isn't is explained to him.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry starts to find the similarities between him and Voldemort fairly early on; both are dark-haired, relatively popular guys who started out their years without parents and found Hogwarts to be their home. However, each circumstance is marred with differences; Voldemort was conceived through a loveless union. His mother, while sympathetic, still gave her son to an orphanage. Voldemort instigates much of the antagonism against people in his youth. Harry, on the other hand, had parents who loved each other, and his mother was brave enough to sacrifice herself against Voldemort to protect him. Dumbledore explains to him at the end of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets how even though they have similar abilities, they've made very different choices that have shown them to be very different people. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows establishes that the biggest difference of all is the fact that Voldemort fears death and Harry does not. Hence, while Voldemort fruitlessly searches for a way to escape the inevitable, Harry is not afraid to die and willingly goes to his death to ensure that Voldemort can die as well.
    • This also applies to Harry and his deceased father, James. On the surface, they're somewhat alike — many adults who meet Harry comment that he looks like his father, and he seems to have inherited James' flying and Quidditch skills, as well as his loathing of Slytherin. Deep down, however, Harry is actually more like his (also deceased) mother, Lily. He inherited her compassion and forgiving nature, and (unlike James) he never acts like a bully. (It's worth noting that those same adults who say that Harry looks like his father then add that he has his mother's eyes, symbolizing that he has a similar heart as her.)
  • The Jungle has a passage dedicated to how some view political parties as autonomous machines full of same thinking people and how naïve this belief is. It is demonstrated in a heated debate between a mildly anarchist man who views all establishments as oppressive and wasteful, saying organized religion is the worst offender, and a fiercely religious man who believes socialism owes its very existence to the teachings of Jesus Christ, who aimed to disrupt the wealthy and raise up the oppressed, so therefore Socialists should be using The Bible to promote themselves.
  • In Going Postal semi-reformed Con Man protagonist Moist von Lipwig worries that he is no different from his vile enemy, Reacher Gilt. In an epilogue that Moist doesn't get to see, we see that Gilt rejected the offer of reform from the Patrician that Moist accepted. As a result, the biggest difference between them afterwards is that Moist is still alive.
  • In Halo: Silentium, the Ur-Didact (the villainous one that appears in Halo 4) and the Iso-Didact (the clone version created when the original gave his imprint to Bornstellar-Makes-Eternal-Lasting) ultimately come to this conclusion about each other. The latter is the one that believes Halo and the Ark the only way to stop The Flood, while the former rejects this and intends to create an army of Promethean warriors using Human Resources. The nearby Catalog sums it up thusly:
    The two Didacts stand opposite each other, barely moving, barely breathing, as if sizing each other up. Their armor is evenly matched. Their weapons are identical, their defenses, identical.
    But the Didacts themselves—no longer identical.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Sandor Clegane presses the Brotherhood Without Banners' Berserk Button when he compares them to the Brave Companions because they put him through "trial" and nearly executed him without allowing him proper defense. Given that the Companions are a psychotic band of rapists, killers and monsters that can't even be counted to stay loyal to one side, while the Brotherhood (for all their flaws) try to dispense justice in the war-torn region and they actually let Sandor go despite the unfair trial, this is an extremely unfair comparison. At least at that particular point in time. Later on events will twist the Brotherhood and make the comparison much more apt.
  • Survivor Dogs: Mickey and Moon are both black-and-white "Farm Dogs", but they don't look alike. The cover of the fifth book reveals that Moon is a predominantly white Border Collie with black ears and a black spot on her face. Mickey, on the other hand, is a more traditional-looking Border Collie.
  • Mr. Suit in Wax and Wayne compares the Set to the thieving crew that overthrew the Lord Ruler three hundred years ago in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, the lawman Wax would toss the lot of them in jail. Both the Set and the crew are made of wealthy criminals, many from noble backgrounds, who work to overthrow a corrupt government by raising armies, inciting chaos in the upper classes, and rallying the working class. Mr. Suit thinks that history glossed over their less savory deeds and will erase the Set's in turn but misses some key points.
    • Wax points out that while the Elendel government is corrupt and exploits the working class, it's still a lot better than the Final Empire when bribes were expected and nobles could legally kill commoners. It's clear that Mr. Suit just wants power.
    • Mr. Suit assumes that like him, the crew was in it for money and power when the truth is that while the crew was initially motivated by money, Kelsier handpicked each of them because he knew they'd stay to make a stable government instead of running.
    • Kelsier did channel the dissatisfaction of commoners to overthrow the government, but unlike the Set, he wasn't the one who made things worse for them. The Set put tens of thousands of people out of work and attacked their religion, to make them angry at the establishment.
    • The crew was made of True Companions, and Vin joined not because she believed in their cause, but because she wanted to see how thieves could trust each other. The Set killed one of its lower-ranking members are part of a Frame-Up.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The A-Team, "The Battle of Bel Air". Mr. Carson tries to bribe Hannibal to stop attacking his operation, saying that as they both provide what a person needs for money, they're not that different. Hannibal collars him and growls that they are nothing alike and that his money is no good.
  • Teal'c and Ronon Dex filled the same role on two different Stargate-verse shows, the alien ally who had a long, personal history with the enemy and beat people up. A character who was on both shows noticed this and decided they'd work well together. When they met she immediately began to think otherwise. Teal'c is an experienced, stoic warrior much older than he looks who fights to atone for his past crimes as a servant of the Goa'uld. Ronon is a younger, violent and Hot-Blooded warrior who fights the Wraith because they destroyed his homeworld. However, when the Wraith show up to use the station they're on as a gateway to Earth, they cooperate incredibly well, albeit with gritted teeth.
  • When Angelus from Angel gets "I'm not like you" shouted at him by Faith he admits it to be true but then adds "You will be."
  • In Battlestar Galactica (2003), all of the Cylons got backup bodies they could jump into when their current one broke down and a few went as far as to use multiple bodies at once. Some like Boomer though unexpectedly developed their own, very different personalities which created some friction between them.
  • Baron von Richthoven of Black Adder believed that since his and Lord Flasheart's careers neatly parallel each other that their values would as well. Since you're on this page, you know he was sadly mistaken.
  • The Boys (2019): A-Train is distraught after he murders his girlfriend Popclaw on Vought's orders, and tries to compare his situation with how Hughie lost Robin due to A-Train recklessly running her over in the street to guilt Hughie. Hughie notes how what they went through is vastly different.
  • The regeneration gimmick of Doctor Who is mainly used to keep the show going when the actor playing the Doctor is no longer available, but different actors leaving a different impression on the character was inevitable. Rather than try to hide it, the show embraces it.
  • Q expects playing with Commander Sisko of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to be like playing with Captain Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation — but he learns the difference pretty quickly when Sisko punches him in the face.
    Q: You hit me! Picard never hit me!
    Sisko: I'm not Picard.
  • In the Arrow episode "Vigilante", several characters note that Vigilante, a new vigilante killing criminals in Star City, isn't that different to Oliver, who has quite the body count himself and, particularly in his early days, had no problem killing criminals. However, Vigilante dismisses the deaths of innocents caught in the crossfire of his crusade as "collateral damage", whereas Oliver makes sure he doesn't kill innocents, and blames himself if he can't save innocent people from being hurt or killed, even if saving them was impossible.
  • In an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, the Russo kids discover they have an aunt named Meghan from whom Jerry and Kelbo are estranged. Initially, it seems like Meghan is another Alex, Kelbo is another Max, and Jerry another Justin with Justin routinely bringing up the similarities between Alex and Meghan whenever they appear. But at the end of the episode, Justin tells Alex “I was wrong, you’re nothing like Aunt Meghan” because “you apologized and that’s one thing Aunt Meghan never learned how to do”.
  • Breaking Bad initially introduces Gustavo Fring as being "a little like" Walter White. At first, the resemblance seems obvious; they're both clever, incredibly driven men who manipulate those around them, lead a double life, and have little-to-no qualms. But Gus, as it turns out, is much more cautious than Walt, and much better at considering the long-term consequences of his actions; he managed to create a meth empire and keep it going while maintaining success as both a crimelord and the owner of a restaurant chain, with many loyal workers and few-if-any leads on him. Walt is far more daring and impulsive, and also incredibly egocentric, meaning that he may have what it takes to get things done, but he doesn't have what it takes to run an empire. Both Gus himself and his key hitman Mike Ehrmantraut spell this out to Walter on different occasions.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In The Bible, the kings of Assyria told the people of Judah not to be fooled when Hezekiah said God could save them because they had destroyed the gods of everyone else they conquered. Hezekiah told them that they only did that because those gods were only idols made by human hands

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Low Ki and Yoshihiro Tajiri, during their first Impact Championship Wrestling meeting, were noted to have very similar styles, though at the time, Tajiri displayed a much more playful attitude and tricky approach than super serious Low Ki.
  • CZW and Ring of Honor, two attempts to replace ECW, both get this reaction in comparison to their predecessor and to each other. CZW gets accused of lacking the technical wrestling and athleticism showcased in ECW, though has been making strides toward correcting the latter with its "Best Of The Best" tournament, while Tyler Black has acknowledged ROH ended up going in the opposite direction of ECW in approach to matches and presentation, being very strict about disqualifications, interference and the like (to the point it more heavily resembles KOI than ECW). The two even differ in origins, as CZW was a copycat operating while ECW still operated while ROH was started by ECW's distributor after it went under, and CZW didn't want to become their new source of income. Comparing CZW to ROH often gets mixed responses of cheers and disapproval from the live crowds and the two promotions have even gone to "war".
  • Tazz went to TNA on the belief that Samoa Joe was his second coming since he was no longer medically cleared to wrestle. Once arriving in TNA though, he noted Joe had a serious flaw: the ability to feel remorse.
  • To the uninformed, CM Punk and Jeff Hardy could have been thought to be much alike. Tattooed, skinny (by wrestling standards) weirdos who both wrestled in ECWWE. Before their rivalry became serious (before Punk cashed Money in the Bank on Hardy), the two had a civil argument on Raw which ended in Jeff in saying "You know Punk, we're pretty different." As their rivalry became more bitter, these differences became more and more apparent to everyone.
  • Another relating to CM Punk are his protests against WWE management. R-Truth, Christian and The Miz all seemed to have similar issues, but as it turned out, the first two's bigger issue was with the fans and the fact the general managers were ruling on things they wanted, Punk was upset about management not doing enough for fans. Meanwhile Miz was complaining about being overlooked and declaring himself awesome, similar to CM Punk claiming to be underappreciated and the best wrestler in the world. The difference here was that Miz had always been pandered to until his recent losing streak, CM Punk did not have nearly the amount of exposure even when he became a triple crown champion.
  • When Alberto Del Rio debuted, everyone assumed he was an expy of JBL. Christian called him Juan Bradshaw Layfield. They both came to the ring in cars, both were kind of racist and they both hated Rey Mysterio. The first clear difference was that Alberto was a Mexican aristocrat to JBL's "self-made man" stockbroker. Then we learned that while JBL had a signature bull horn car, Del Rio had a different one every week, but what really put them apart was that JBL was much more of a dirty coward than Del Rio, who by contrast is more willing to get his own hands dirty as he believes he is destined to win. Their wrestling styles are very different and Del Rio's now known for his Hammy Herald. Nobody's calling him an expy anymore.
  • Kevin Steen claimed he and Eddie Kingston were one and the same; their differences became pretty clear when Kingston balked at Steen's plans to destroy the entire pro wrestling industry and Steen went on to call Chikara "A Bullshit Mickey Mouse Promotion". The same Chikara Kingston calls "Home".
  • Jay Briscoe said that he and Kevin Steen were a lot alike, in that they both like to eat a lot and neither one of them goes to the gym. The reason why Jay isn't fat like Steen is that he spends twelve hours a day working, with his hands, like a man.
  • When people cited Victor Quiñones's failure to bring Lucha Libre to an English audience in the run-up to the debut of Lucha Underground, Konnan stated Quiñones had experience promoting Puerto Rican style wrestling but did not understand Lucha. While that might sound pretentious from a linguistical standpoint, there are noticeable differences between Puerto Rican and Mexican wrestling. (And to be fair to Quiñones, he did successfully introduce Puerto Rican wrestling to a Japanese audience, IWA Japan turning out to be more successful than the Puerto Rican product as far as drawing.)
  • The basis for Bobby Fish's feud with Roderick Strong in Ring Of Honor. The two were compared for having somewhat similar styles and very similar attitudes. Fish insists that he has self-confidence, while Strong acted out to hide his insecurities, and then vowed to prove it by making Strong realize Fish was the better man.
  • The Shield and Evolution. On the surface, the Shield are reflections of their older counterparts (Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton as the unstable ones (though Randy didn't fulfill this role until Evolution's second run), Seth Rollins and Triple H as the scheming masterminds and treacherous ones, and Roman Reigns and Batista as the powerhouses who are much smarter than others gave them credit for), which is why Hunter was able to manipulate Rollins into initiating their breakup. However, when it came down to it, they weren't that similar, as unlike Evolution, the Shield truly cared for each other.

    While Ambrose was enraged by Rollins' betrayal, the sequence of events that followed actually made him more collected rather than driving him further into insanity like Orton was after Evolution ousted him from the group. It also took a much shorter amount of time for Ambrose to move on from Rollins' betrayal (after getting his revenge) and even forgive him for it — something Orton has never fully managed to do with his own betrayal, even today, and even after he got his revenge on Hunter for it. As for Reigns and Batista, Reigns also took Rollins' betrayal badly, but never managed to completely hate him for it, and at his core was an honorable man who loved his "brothers" with all his heart. The main reason he decided to pursue a singles career was that Rollins forcibly broke up the stable. Batista, however, basically ended Evolution himself because he realized that as long as he stayed, he would never get a chance at the spotlight. At his core, he was a selfish person who only ever really cared about himself. As for Rollins and Hunter, the reactions to the betrayals showed it — Hunter has never regretted any of his treachery, and while on some level he may care, in the end he's only ever seen his partners/stablemates as means to an end. Rollins tried to play himself off as the same way, but there were several tells that he was lying and that he still cared for his former stablemates. When Hunter inevitably betrayed him, Rollins started showing his true colors and it was clear to everyone watching that he was actually a Regretful Traitor who considered breaking up the Shield to be the biggest mistake of his life.

    Video Games 
  • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, the two hateful jerks you employ sort of stick out for bringing down their more optimistic teammates, but at least when they're on a mission together, they'll finally have someone agreeable to talk to, right? Nope, one of them likes the company but not the job, the other loves the job but barely tolerates who he works with.
  • In order to get Link's trust in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Nabooru states "she's completely different from Ganondorf" even though they are both thieves and she's technically his subject.
  • X's copy in Mega Man Zero claims to be a perfect copy. Zero retorts saying the copy's strength and wisdom are both lacking in response. Whether or not the player takes his word for it, they can compare the two X's personalities for themselves and in that area, they definitely are not alike.
  • From the Sonic the Hedgehog series, Knuckles and Shadow are often compared to each other due to their supposed similarities. Both are major foils to Sonic who started off as his enemy before eventually becoming his ally. However, Knuckles maintains a rather Friendly Rival relationship with Sonic while Shadow plays the distant, dissenting rival. Their temperaments are pretty at odds too despite both being serious-minded individuals, Knuckles is rather Hot-Blooded and easily angered while Shadow is far more composed. Also, both are loners, but different types - Knuckles is more of a straight-up loner who has gotten used to being alone due to being isolated but makes friends easily while Shadow prefers to be alone because of his Dark and Troubled Past and has made very few friends.
    • Blaze is often similar to Knuckles due to both being both guardians of powerful artifacts (Knuckles with the Master Emerald and Blaze with the Sol Emeralds) and both have served as Foils to Sonic where they started off as opponents before becoming friends of his. One key difference in that regard is that Knuckles antagonizes Sonic due to Eggman's manipulations while Blaze fought Sonic due to her stubbornness in accepting his help. Also, Blaze started off as an anti-social loner much like Knuckles, with the difference is Blaze's development from loner to friend was more expressed while Knuckles' development was rather subtle. As for temperaments, while the two are serious, Knuckles is hot-tempered while Blaze is calmer, but can get riled up on occasions.
  • In Three the Hard Way, The Protagonist Vance, and several other characters, would frequently describe his two companions, Kanna and Anderson, as two weirdoes who may or may not be human, rarely distinguishing between the two. However, as the story progresses, Kanna becomes more open and straightforward about her true goals motives, while Anderson is revealed to be hiding more and more secrets, becoming an even more cryptic and mysterious character than he was when he started.
  • In Asura's Wrath, Augus is convinced that Asura is a Blood Knight like him. Asura responds to these claims with violence. It's only at the very end of their fight when Asura's desire to save his daughter gives him the strength to break Augus' sword and use what's left of it to defeat Augus that Augus admits he was wrong.
  • In I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, Nimdok's scenario takes him back to a concentration camp near the World War II, where you learn some very unpleasant truths about him. However, depending on your choices, especially if you choose to let the golem kill him after turning over control of it to the prisoners, AM will decide that he and Nimdok aren't as alike he as initially thought.
    AM: A spark of humanity somewhere. Always that wretched little spark.
  • A major theme of Tales of Symphonia. The Hero Lloyd and Big Bad Yggdrasil are often said to be similar, both are Determinators stubbornly committed to their methods for saving the world, both through methods that seemed like good ideas at the time but ended up having unforeseen consequences. But later in the story, many characters, especially Kratos, point out how there is one thing that separates them: Lloyd undergoes Character Development and is able to admit when he's wrong and find a new path. Yggdrasil stubbornly refuses to change even when it becomes obvious his actions are causing more harm than good.
  • Persona 4: Arena Ultimax: Sho Minazuki thinks that he and Tohru Adachi are the same, since they're both Misanthrope Supremes who want to destroy the world (or wanted to, in Adachi's case). During the final boss battle, Adachi declares that they're not the same; he genuinely hates the world and everything in it, while he views Sho as nothing more than a brat throwing a temper tantrum.
    Adachi: Don't think we're the same, you little brat. You think the whole world hates you just because the world didn't treat you right... you're nothing but a little kid throwing a tantrum. You know, I seriously hate this world. Don't put me in the same shoes as a half-ass brat like you... please?
  • The Suspicious Beggar in Bloodborne tries to pull a "Not So Different" Remark on the player character should the latter attack him. Thing is, he's a Darkbeast that kills to feed himself while the player, along with various other hunters, are trying to bring an end to the Nightmare.
  • In Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, Komaru is this to her older brother, Makoto. Both of them are relatively ordinary people forced into desperate situations, but while Makoto manages to lift his classmates' spirits and become a symbol of hope, Komaru nearly crosses the Despair Event Horizon in the climax and is only saved by Toko's intervention. As much as Komaru loves her brother, she also knows that she can't be like him, and doesn't want to. Later, there's Monaca Towa. For all her desire to be Junko's successor, she ultimately doesn't share Junko's core motivation: her despair fetish. Unlike Junko, who purely desired to spread despair and delighted in suffering it herself, Monaca discovers that she hates feeling despair and doesn't like to lose.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: At one point, angaran squadmate Jaal compares his people's plight to the quarians, and vice-versa. Ryder can respond that the quarians lost their homeworld through their panicked attempt to kill the geth, as opposed to the angara, who lost most of their society to a mix of Negative Space Wedgie and an invasion, but still have planets they can call home.
  • The Black Heart: Upon Peketo confronting him for the titular artifact, Final points out how undeserving he is of its power by comparing Peketo to the previous contender Noroko; another ghost who seeked the power of the Black Heart, but who had a far more pitiable motive for doing what she did.
    Final: I faced another like you, living dead. But her strength was born from anger and sadness. Yours has no reason. It stems from your plain malevolence.
  • In Far Cry 6, Juan constantly says he and Dani are two of a kind and are purely in it for the bloodshed. Dani repeatedly shows compassion, love, and regret that Juan has long since discarded. This is shown when they disagree over how to handle Castillo's son Diego with Juan wanting to kill him and Dani wanting to protect them. Juan even assumes they're protecting Diego because they want the war to continue. It even shows up in their final conversation. Juan believing there will never be free elections in Yara because he's a misanthrope while Dani assumes he means because Castillo's men will try to stop them and must be defeated.
  • In World of Warcraft, Varian Wrynn, who's king of the humans and de facto head of the Alliance, appears similar to Garrosh Hellscream, who becomes Warchief of the Horde in Cataclysm, since both are hotheaded and warlike. However, Varian gradually takes control of his temper and becomes a better leader over the course of Mists of Pandaria, while Garrosh becomes even more tyrannical, alienates the rest of the Horde and causes a civil war, making him the Final Boss of Mists of Pandaria.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the first route of Fate/stay night Saber realizes that despite their similarities, Shirou is also different from her current self. When Shirou is offered the chance to rewrite history to prevent the disaster that destroyed his old life Saber assumes he will accept because that's what she wanted. His rejecting the offer leaves her stunned and somewhat humbled by his resolve. This convinces her to accept the past as well.
  • In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, after Celeste is revealed to have manipulated Hifumi into killing Taka before killing Hifumi herself, Hiro angrily says that she's just like Byakuya. Celeste disagrees, pointing out that Byakuya simply "derives his pleasure from the thrill of the hunt," and claims that she committed the murder because she needs the money to live in a European-style castle with handsome butlers, a claim that may or may not be true. By comparison, Byakuya not only survives the killing game, but gradually becomes a somewhat better person, even if he isn't necessarily a nice one.
  • In Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair, after someone dies at the Halloween party, Raiko and Taiko are the first two to suspect that the death was a murder. The two are relatively rational and willing to seek the truth, but their actions at the climax of the game are very different. After the killer burns Taiko's best friend Kotoba to death(or leaves him in critical condition if the right choices are made), a furious Taiko will become adamant that Kamen is the culprit. Raiko, however, believes in Kamen's innocence despite disliking Kamen. This is lampshaded in the bad ending, in which if Raiko admits that Kamen is the killer, Taiko will be angry with her for defending a criminal and bitterly remark that he thought they were the same.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Ruby and Ozpin. Discussed Trope. The heroes strongly disapprove of Ozpin not telling them the full truth about the Relic of Knowledge and Salem, leading to a falling out in Volume 6. In Volume 7, the heroes aren't sure if they can trust General Ironwood, so Ruby repeats the lies and obfuscation Ozpin used on them. When she admits to Qrow she doesn't know if she's done the right thing or if she's no better than Ozpin, he confidently tells her that Ozpin trusted no one while she's just waiting for Ironwood to earn her trust. Ruby is not convinced by this argument. Several of her companions express increasing levels of concern about her making decisions they disapproved of Ozpin making, and when they finally decide Ironwood has earned their trust, it ends up making things worse in the long run. In Volume 8, Yang turns on Ruby's leadership the way she turned on Ozpin's.
    • Ruby and Harriet. They're both high-speed combatants who are often the first to charge into battle. But while Ruby is sweet, bubbly, and values teamwork with her closest friends, Harriet is aloof, brutally honest, and fiercely competitive even with her teammates. Ruby heavily prefers to use Crescent Rose over hand-to-hand, while Harriet specializes in overwhelming her foes with her Power Fist. When Team RWBY and Ace-Ops fight at the end of Volume 7, Harriet and Ruby are pitted against each other; while Ruby is willing to interrupt her fight to help Weiss, Harriet won't do the same for Marrow and just chastises him for holding back. While Ruby is adamant about doing things with her team to bond, even when they don't feel like it, Harriet is the member of her team who is most aggressive in adhering to the Atlesian rule of teams being professional instead of family.
    • Weiss and May. When May and Weiss argue about whether they should help Atlas or Mantle, Weiss finds herself wanting to help Atlas because of her blood ties. She is surprised that May doesn't seem to feel the same torn dilemma as her, given that they both come from elite Atlesian families from whom they're estranged. May explains that her desire to fight for Mantle's rights created bad blood between her and her family. When her family disowned her, they did so without acknowledging her trans identity, so she disowned them in turn. May therefore made her choice years ago and there is no dilemma for her. She's surprised Weiss has any dilemma given that Weiss's brother Whitley reminds her of her cousin Henry. However, shortly after this, Whitley proves May's comparison wrong much to Weiss's surprise and delight. The implication is that there is hope for Weiss to mend her family relationships whereas no such hope exists for May.
    • Yang and Raven. Discussed Trope. Taiyang tells Yang that, while he's proud to see something of Raven in Yang, he's relieved that he doesn't see all of Raven in her. He implies that he sees her strength of will as something she's inherited from Raven, but also suggests she needs to avoid her mother's mistake of bulldozing through problems instead of learning how to work around them. Taiyang doesn't actually detail most of Raven's flaws beyond admitting that they tore Team STRQ apart and caused a lot of emotional fall-out for their family; when Yang confronts Raven in Volume 5, she learns that her mother's biggest flaw is cowardice and that she has much greater courage than Raven does.
    • Yang and Adam. They have both been Blake's mission partners, been permanently scarred by others, and share a Semblance that allows them to power up by converting attack energy. However, Yang is a thrill-seeker who learned to become a Huntress who protects the people, who has to tank physical damage to convert energy into strength, and who learned to rise above her scars. Adam absorbs energy through his sword and is a manipulative abuser who descended from being a Faunus rights activist into a monster obsessed with punishing humanity as a whole because some humans hurt him. When Blake compares the two after Team RWBY is disqualified from the Vytal tournament, she concludes Adam's "accidental" harming of others was a pattern while Yang's was a genuine, one-off accident. When the trio fight in Volume 6, Adam seeks to blame Blake for everything bad that's ever happened to him, while Yang refuses to let her take the blame for any of it and accuses Adam of lying to Blake about the kind of person he truly was, something Yang has never done. And all of this is the reason why in Volume 9 Blake and Yang enter a relationship.
    • Nora and Elm. Like Nora, Elm favors a Drop the Hammer weapon that doubles as an explosive ranged weapon and is a Genki Girl. Unlike Nora, Elm's Genki Girl behavior appears to be genuine and she obeys Ironwood regardless of personal feelings, compared to Nora who uses her behavior as a mask to hide her insecurities and isn't afraid to call Ironwood out on his behavior.
    • Gods of Light and Darkness. In the Remnant fairy tale, the Gods of Light and Darkness have a fundamental disagreement about how similar or different they truly are. Dark believes that he and Light are essentially the same because they both have creations and have challenged each other at different times to destroy each other's creations. Light disagrees, believing they only share similar powers and forms. Beyond that, they have nothing in common.

    Web Original 
  • In A Voice from the Dark, it's revealed that Linkara orchestrated the entire plot, and got them stuck in an Eldritch Abomination-infested mansion. The older contributors, especially the ones who took part in the site’s anniversary specials (Which, in a Broad Strokes sort of way, now seem to have also incorporated some of the behind-the-scenes Real Life abuse) compare Linkara’s actions to that of the people in charge of Channel Awesome, with Marzgurl saying they're no better. Considering they lied to their friends to get them all to Scarsdale Manor, which got them into yet another bizarre and life-threatening adventure in the first place, it’s initially hard to argue. Bargain Boy, however, points out the biggest difference between them though: Linkara was legitimately trying to do something nice for everyone — getting old friends to meet up for the first time in years and meet new people, albeit going about it the wrong way thanks to Diamanda — while the anniversary specials were because of someone else's selfish reasons. And, as pointed out, he gave an actual apology.
  • Thought Slime criticizes The Horseshoe Effect (or at least how it's sometimes applied) in his Conservative Comedy Sucks Too video, where he deconstructs Ryan Long's When Wokes and Racists Agree on Everything video. In the latter video, Long's "Woke" and "Racist" character "agree" on things like "I believe everything should be examined through the lens of race," while Thought Slime counters that this is dishonest as it ignores why a real racist and antiracist would think those are important.
    Thought Slime: Indeed, good observation, Ryan. People who are racist and people who dislike racism both view things through the lens of race, and when you phrase it like that, it sure sounds like they're the same thing! Until you think about it even just the slightest bit and realize "Hey wait a minute, racists view things through the lens of race to oppress and subjugate minorities, while antiracists look at things through the lens of race to understand oppression and subjugation so they can fight it better." That's not the same thing Ryan, that's the opposite...thing. (...) People who like Star Wars and people who hate Star Wars have strong feelings about Star Wars! They're the same!
  • The "we are not the same" meme, in which somebody compares themself to somebody else doing the same thing and asserts that they are superior because they have better reasons for doing it. The original version, which compared masturbating to pornography to masturbating to "abstract ideas like success and money and power", was a parody of "sigma male" culture, and it took off from there, often paired with pictures of Giancarlo Esposito or Mads Mikkelsen as a Sharp-Dressed Man to better illustrate the point and superiority of the person making the meme.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman Beyond: "Big Time": Terry McGinnis believes he and Charlie "Big Time" Bigelow are cut from the same cloth, a couple of dumb kids who got into trouble, and the only difference is that Terry got off for being underage. But what he doesn't seem to realize is, their choices are what ultimately set them apart. Charlie was given a second chance to turn his life around to make up for being in jail, but he squanders it and misuses it to help his criminal bosses. Terry, on the other hand, went above and beyond to change his life when he chose to become Batman. And he's made the most of it in order to provide for his mother and brother.
  • Invader Zim: Despite their similarities, there are a few key differences between Dib and Zim. Zim is an outcast because of the destruction he causes to the Irken Empire, but he is too insane to see that, thinking that he is beloved by his peers. Dib is an outcast because of his belief in the paranormal and is viewed as crazy for the trouble he causes, but the truth is that Dib is sane, while his peers are too dumb to see he's trying to save them; also, Dib knows he's an outcast. Also, despite Zim's loyalty to the Irken Empire, he is truly selfish with a big ego and does not care about the destruction he causes to win. In contrast, despite how selfish Dib can be at times and his big ego, he's actually genuinely good, seeing as he is willing to put his ego aside in order to save people he hates.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "The General", when the clone troopers are arguing about Krell's reckless and often outright suicidal plans, Rex tries to convince them that Anakin's plans are often successful despite seeming reckless. Fives rejects this comparison and counters that Anakin leads his men in the front, so he's with them when they take those risks, while Krell chooses not to fight alongside his clone troopers.
  • A few Transformers knew that the original Megatron isn't afraid to tell his Beast Wars counterpart that he isn't worthy of the same respect, regardless of sharing the name.
  • Moral Orel: Orel's grandfather Arthur features a number of similarities to his dad Clay. Both are cynical, short-tempered, and both physically and emotionally abusive. The difference is that Arthur came to regret his abusive behavior and admitted he was wrong whilst Clay never would and continued to abuse Orel. Arthur in his later years managed to live a happier life, regrets notwithstanding, while in the Distant Finale Clay is shown to still be miserable.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust share a lot in common—they're both star athletes, have an insatiable need for speed, and break academy records on a daily basis—and so they get along quite fast. But as time goes on, Lightning Dust proves to be far more reckless and unconcerned with whoever gets hurt in the process, while Rainbow Dash stands firmly by others when they're in trouble and (thanks to a fair bit of Character Development) is far more sensible.
  • Family Guy: In "Trump Guy", after catching Donald Trump attempting to molest Meg, Peter tries to call him out but Trump reminds Peter that he's no saint either due to how he treats his own family and the amount of trouble he got himself into in the past. After trying and failing to be a better person, Peter berates Trump by saying that, as president, he should set the example of being responsible and sensible. While Peter and his family are horrible people, Peter admits they are just a cartoon at the end of the day and shouldn't be relied on for moral guidance, they can be ignored.
  • Wander over Yonder: In his debut episode The Boy Wander, minor villain Dr. Screwball Jones tries to sway Wander to his side by saying that they both want to spread happiness across the universe. Wander points out that Screwball wants people to be happy against their will.
  • The Owl House: In the series finale "Watching and Dreaming", Luz Noceda has a Heroic BSoD when she ponders whether she's not that different from the Big Bad Emperor Belos, since they're both willing to hurt others and go to extremes to save others and do what they think is right. The Titan himself assures Luz that's ridiculous, and comes from the patently false assumption that Belos ever actually had good intentions, and wasn't totally driven by completely selfish delusions of wanting to be a hero.


Video Example(s):


Felicity Dumas

Cate recounts the tragic background of the suspected mastermind behind H.A.R.M, noting how similar they are, and how they are not.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / FreudianExcuseIsNoExcuse

Media sources: