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Recycled Set

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"I love Drew Carey, but I have a hard time watching his show because they used our set and they have all our furniture. I'll be watching the show and suddenly I'm like, 'That's my fucking lamp!'"
Margaret Cho, on her sitcom's replacement with The Drew Carey Show

Since all of television and film works around a budget, there often isn't enough money to pay for all those expensive sets to be designed, constructed, and decorated and then be used for only one scene. When this is the case, the producers and/or director may opt for a Recycled Set.

A Recycled Set is pretty much what you would expect: a set that is either entirely or in large part composed of the main sets of the project. Since walls, windows, and door tend to be fairly simple and unremarkable, it's typically easy for set designers to rearrange specific pieces of furniture or strategically cover wall segments to create an entirely unique look.

Except in very rare circumstances, i.e. unless Played for Laughs, this set similarity is never noticed or remarked upon by any of the show's characters on-camera. They simply go on their merry way, unconcerned that Bob's front door looks strikingly similar to Officer John's office door.


In the Arcade Game industry, this takes the form of "conversion kits", which are designed to take an existing dedicated cabinet and repurpose it for a new game, saving a lot of money that would otherwise be spent getting a brand new cabinet. Aside from the obvious change in software, the decorations and sometimes the controls on the cab are changed out to fit the new game, but the shape of the cabinet is still clearly the same one used for the previous game.

Compare Hey, It's That Place! and Three-Wall Set. For the video game equivalent, see Copy-and-Paste Environments.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Yes, there are animated examples of this too. GaoGaiGar does this when the heroes reach the site of their ultimate battle, only to find an exact replica of their command satellite.
  • The battle background of episodes 7 and 8 from Super Dragon Ball Heroes is claimed to be Planet Sadala from Universe 6, but is recycled from the future timeline version of Earth from Dragon Ball Super.
  • SSSS.DYNɅZENON reuses many of the backgrounds from its predecessor, SSSS.GRIDMAN. The set recycling is here used for deliberate effect, with many scenes that take place in the same location as one from GRIDMAN having thematic parallels to its counterpart, sometimes as a straight match and other times with an inversion.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 


  • Recent David DeCoteau films, including his soft-core erotic 1313 series and talking animal films like A Talking Cat!?!, all use the same house, which is DeCoteau's summer house in Los Angeles. Things like the half-car couch, the backyard pool, the spiral staircase, the upstairs bedroom, and the side table made out of a boot make appearances in all of these movies. The place is often referred to as "THAT HOUSE" by DeCoteau fans.



  • Tim Burton's Batman (1989): The set for the Axis Chemicals facility was originally the alien nest and colony from Aliens.
  • Carry On Cleo used abandoned sets from Cleopatra, which had moved its production base from London to Rome. This at least ensured that the construction costs on the original sets were not completely wasted.
  • With the exception of Rick's café, which was a purpose-built set, most of Casablanca was filmed on sets recycled from earlier Warner Bros. productions. Also, for the Paris flashback, the set used as a Casablanca street was redressed to become a Parisian street.
  • The Climax uses the same opera house sets as Phantom of the Opera (1943) which was left over from The Phantom of the Opera (1925).
    • The Phantom Set on Stage 28 was still being used in 2011 when it was used in The Muppets before the Stage was torn down in 2014, but the set was persevered.
  • In the Harry Potter series:
    • In a weird example, the hospital wing was represented in the first film by the interior of Oxford Divinity School. In the fourth film, by which time the hospital wing had been redesigned and built as a permanent set in Leavesden Studios, the interior of Oxford Divinity School was used again, but as a different room in Hogwarts.
    • A straight example occurs in the third film. The room in which Lupin teaches Harry to defend against dementors is a rather obvious redress of Dumbledore's office. Some fans were even confused as to whether it was meant to be Dumbledore's office.
    • Ollivander's in the first film, Flourish and Blotts in the second film, and Honeydukes in the third film are all the same set. Note the same bay windows out front and the same staircase leading up to the same balcony. (Honeydukes hides the balcony by lowering the ceiling.) They just kept repainting the set and changing the set dressing.
    • Moaning Myrtle's bathroom from the second film, the prefects' bath from the fourth film, and the "Sectumsempra" bathroom from the sixth film are all obviously the same set. Apparently, the girls' bathroom from the first film has different architecture than every other bathroom in Hogwarts.
    • The spiral staircase at St. Paul's Cathedral has been used as a location more than once. Since the room it leads to is always different (the Divination classroom in the third film, the Defense classroom in the fourth film, and the Ravenclaw common room in the eighth film), they're presumably three separate, similar-looking staircases in-universe. Either that or the staircases moved, as they tend to do at Hogwarts.
    • For Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the New York backlot from the first Fantastic Beasts film was converted into a Parisian backlot.
  • Holiday Inn: In universe. The set used to make the movie "Holiday Inn" is the same set used to make the "real" Holiday Inn.
  • In The Italian Job (2003), the first half of the final heistnote  is filmed entirely on a one-block stretch of Hollywood Boulevard (between Highland Ave. and Orange Drive), even though the truck travels several miles in the sequence. The distinctive architecture of Grauman's Chinese Theater makes it easy to identify the reused shots.
  • One of the sets used in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger the Movie: The Flying Ghost Ship is obviously the same one seen at the beginning of Engine Sentai Go Onger Vs Gekiranger. Since in both movies, the heroes are trapped in an Alternate Universe, this is probably not a coincidence.
  • The dream sequences from The Little Rascals short Mama's Little Pirate utilized sets previously used the previous year in the feature Babes in Toyland, which was also produced by Hal Roach.
  • To create expansive ruins in The Lord of the Rings, especially the city of Osgiliath, the set team would often reuse pieces left over from previously filmed scenes.
    • The full-scale sets for Minas Tirith were a rebuild of the full-scale set for Helm's Deep. The second gates of Minas Tirith are little more than a redressing of the gates of the Hornburg.
    • There were both location shoots and set shoots for Emyn Muil. The set was designed to look very different when shot from different angles, allowing one set to take the place of a large number of locations within Emyn Muil.
    • The Dead Marshes and the Gates of Moria were built on the same parking lot as wet sets when the marshes originally found for the Dead Marshes turned out to be as hard to operate in as the real thing would have been.
  • The Matrix (1999) recycled a lot of exterior sets from 1998's Dark City. The rooftops that Trinity runs across at the beginning of the film are the same ones that John Murdoch runs across in Dark City.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian reused the sets from Franco Zefferelli's Jesus of Nazareth.
  • The exterior of "Pete's Luncheonette" from The Muppets Take Manhattan is used as the locale for the restaurant where Jerry and his friends meet in the original Seinfeld pilot.
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood used the same set for Spahn Ranch (the Manson Family's lair) that was used in Charlie Says just a year before.
  • The Conn-Pods of all the Jaegers in Pacific Rim are the same set. While they built two sets for the production, the sets were intended for different stunts, meaning both had to be redressed and relit to portray the four Jaeger Conn-Pods shown in the film.
  • Planet of the Apes: Beneath the Planet of the Apes reused at least two sets from Hello, Dolly.
  • The bathroom from the Saw parody in Scary Movie 4 was later used by the producers of Saw III to save money.
  • The wrecked plane set from Scary Movie 4 is actually from the movie they were parodying, The War of the Worlds. It has also been used in at least two music videos. First by Ayumi Hamasaki for "do it again", then by Nicki Minaj and Rihanna for "Fly".
  • Star Trek:
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens makes use of an angular wall twice in the same film. First it appears as part of the hangar of Kylo Ren's Star Destroyer, during Finn and Poe's escape. Later, it is redressed and used as a wall of the oscillator room aboard the Starkiller Base when Kylo confronts Han.
  • The entire town in Thor was orignally built for 3:10 to Yuma (2007).
  • Silent film serial Les Vampires constantly reuses the same sets for every single room in Paris, with absolutely no attempts to hide it.
  • Done deliberately in Young Frankenstein. The set and most of the props are from Frankenstein (1931). The crew obtained them at great expense to keep true to Frankenstein.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Town Square at the Warner Bros. studio in Burbank has been used in multiple shows, as it can easily pass for the center of Everytown, America. It usually prominently displays a small gazebo in the center, with a number of houses and stores surrounding it.
  • Done for a laugh in the Angel episode "The Girl in Question": Angel and Spike visit the Rome branch of Wolfram and Hart, and it's entirely identical to the Los Angeles branch.
  • As Time Goes By: This is kind of a TV/movie crossover — but the BBC appears to have recycled the set of an earlier adaptation of Noel Streatfeild's Ballet Shoes for the show. If you've watched ATGB before you watch Ballet Shoes, you can't help but say, "Hey, they live in Jean and Lionel's house!", or vice versa.
  • When Batman (1966) moved to "Londinium" for a three-part episode, Superintendent Watson's office at "Ireland Yard" is an obvious redress of Commissioner Gordon's office set. So obvious that Gordon lampshades the similarity, noting that due to the similar demands of police work worldwide, all police commissioners' offices are essentially the same!
  • In Battlestar Galactica (2003), the Pegasus interior sets were originally made for the abandoned Lost in Space reboot, and were later recycled within the Galactica series for the interiors of the basestars. This is what ultimately led to the decision to have the Pegasus destroyed.
  • In Boston Legal, when Denny and Alan go to the LA Branch of Crane, Poole and Schmidt, the offices look exactly the same as the Boston offices. This is lampshaded as Alan and Denny do discuss it (Denny wanted the offices to all look the same so no matter where someone was in trouble they could walk into the offices and feel at home).
  • Boy Meets World had several instances. For example, the senior hallway from season 5 is almost exactly the same as the school hallway from seasons 2-4 but shot from a different angle. Also, for a little while Mr. Turner and Mr. Feeny had the same classroom, just flipped around with a few different props. (This one is Truth in Television — many schools have near-identical classrooms and hallways for ease of design and construction, though many will have ones that don't match from years of expansions and renovations.)
    • Mr. Turner's apartment was lightly renovated into Jack and Eric's apartment.
    • The 'Chubby's' set (with a bit of new furniture and a fresh coat of paint) was used for pretty much every hang out location from Seasons 2-5. Lampshaded in "Things Change", where the set is transformed from the Chubby's set-up into a pirate-themed restaurant set-up during the course of a conversation.
    • The Matthews' house (specifically the living room set) would go on to be re-used (though with some layout renovations) as the living room on According to Jim.
  • In the pilot episode of Living Single, the girls' apartment is the entire downstairs of the Winslow's house from Family Matters.
  • Full House would reuse the set for Steve's apartment a season later as Gia's apartment. The same set was also being used at the exact same time on Family Matters as Eddie and Waldo's (and eventually Steve's) apartment.
  • Believe it or not, The kitchen set from The Golden Girls isn't original to that show. It was first used on a short lived sitcom called It Takes Two.
  • Happens all the time in The Champions (1968). The worst example was in the episodes "Twelve Hours" and "The Search" (which were episodes 13 and 14 so they were shown on successive weeks) and "The Silent Enemy", all of which used the exact same submarine interior sets and exterior Stock Footage shots, of supposedly three entirely different class submarines from at least two different navies.
  • In Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Estevez and Zimmerfield's police station seems to be Vancouver PD HQ from Continuum. Specifically, the office which belongs to Estevez and Zimmerfield in Dirk Gently appears to be Betty's office from Continuum. This is unsurprising, as both shows were filmed in Vancouver.
  • Doctor Who:
  • A unique hall tree seen in the Winslow home of Family Matters is seen again in the near-same position of the Biggs home in Mike & Molly, which also seems to share the same first floor layout of the Family Matters home. They also used part of a set from ''Roseanne, and many people believe that elements of the set from Everybody Loves Raymond were also used.
  • Done for major creepiness in an episode of Farscape set on a relative of the Living Ship that's been infested by all manner of nastiness.
  • Frasier Crane lives at 1901 Elliot Bay Towers. We have seen 2001 (Cam Winston's apartment, directly above Frasier's) and 1801 (directly below Frasier's). Naturally all 3 have the same layout due to the way the building is built, but whereas 2001 has different furniture, 1801 is a direct copy. The only difference is the lack of Martin's ugly chair.
  • The different floors of House's hospital is the same set with a different colour palette.
  • iCarly/Victorious: As both shows are exclusively filmed on the same set (as opposed to Zoey 101 which was filmed on location), they have reused locations, many of which first appeared in Drake & Josh.
    • The sidewalk where Josh ran around in "Dinner With Bobo" is the same sidewalk Carly rode her electric-powered scooter in "iGo Nuclear." It also showed up on an episode of Victorious where Jade and Tori sing in Spanish.
    • The dirt roadway in The Wedding where Drake and Josh got stranded in their car is also the spot "Somewhere Outside Tokyo" where Carly, Sam, and Freddie were ditched by Kyoko and Yuki in iGo To Japan.
    • Pretty much any big room ends up being made via a redress of the main iCarly studio sets. Spencer, Carly and Freddie's bedroom were all done in this way. It's also the reason why unlike Drake & Josh where their room was a major location, on iCarly they are only shown in one-off special episodes and never show up again.
  • Henry Danger/Danger Force:
    • The exterior for Club Soda is reused as the exterior for the eponymous Game Shakers.
    • The interior of Duke E. Dawg's is also the interior for Funk E. Festers in the iCarly episode "iBust a Thief".
  • Lost: The scenes in the third season finale showing Jack at a hospital were shot on sets borrowed from Grey's Anatomy. This marks one of the few times the show filmed scenes outside of Hawaii.
  • The pilot episode of MacGyver featured a run through a damaged gas laboratory. Said laboratory was a heavily redressed Torpedo Bay from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (and much more, as said in the Film section). The cast even climb out the torpedo hatch to escape.
  • In an episode of Married... with Children, Kelly gives to some producers an idea for a Show Within a Show based on Married With Children itself.
  • Parodied in the famous Monty Python's Flying Circus: Parrot Sketch, in which the customer walks into the second pet shop and finds it identical to the first pet shop... right down to the bird cage he left on the floor earlier in the sketch.
  • An eagle-eyed viewer can see that the harbour scenes for Murder, She Wrote were from Jaws, and can see them in Universal Studios Hollywood's studio tour.
  • On NCIS: Several bedrooms of witnesses/family members/otherwise involved characters—when shown—are repeated several times.
    • When they needed an NSA office, it was a slight redress of the set from Boston Legal.
  • The Nutt House was created at least in part explicitly to recycle a set. The hotel sets were originally created for Big Business (1988). The film's producers couldn't get permission to film at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, so they recreated it on sound stages; The Nutt House was a failed attempt to recoup the construction costs.
  • The German science-fiction series Raumpatrouille also reused a lot of sets, for example:
    • The bridge set was not only used for Orion 7 (destroyed in episode 2) and its successor Orion 8, but also for the Hydra (e. g. in episode 2) and the Tau (episode 7).
    • The smaller Lancet was reused with some additions as a similar craft from the planet Chroma (episode 5) on the rationale that this was a lost colony using technology based on earlier Earth designs.
    • The same former lignite mine was used for exterior shots on different small planets visited in episode 5 and 6.
  • Though they did a good job of dirtying it up, the virtual reality game center where the Red Dwarf crew wake up in "Back to Reality" is clearly a repainted version of the hologrammatic ship bridge from the earlier episode "Holoship".
    • Series X repurposed the same set for the titular ship from Trojan, the market from Lemons and the simulant ship from The Beginning.
    • The Science Room set for Series XI and XII was repeatedly redressed for various episodes where it wasn't needed. Sometimes this would be noticeable (it appears as a similar room on another ship in "Siliconia"), sometimes not (the Lady Be Good club in "Twentica" is such a total overhaul you wouldn't guess it was the same set).
  • After Saved by the Bell finished, the main school hallway set was not destroyed when the show finished and went on to be redressed and reused on multiple school based shows. It was used in That's So Raven for approximately 5 years before being used on iCarly. The only functional difference between That's So Raven and iCarly is that iCarly doesn't use an entire extra hallway off to the right of where the new double door entrance is on iCarly. After iCarly ended, the set was repainted for use on sister show Victorious.
  • In Seinfeld, bizarro Jerry's apartment was similar to Jerry's, but with some opposites (eg, the little statue of Superman is now a statue of bizarro Superman, the bicycle on the wall is now a unicycle). The layout was also, and unsettlingly, a mirror image.
  • Smallville:
    • The Kent barn, obviously. It has been used for so many different purposes we have lost count. Including as a prison camp. The Talon also counts before it slowly slips out of continuity.
    • In an episode, a possibly-psychic woman sees Lex Luthor in the Oval Office. Rather than build an oval office set for only a few seconds of screen time, they flew Michael Rosenbaum (the actor playing Lex) from Vancouver to LA in order to use the standing set from The West Wing.
  • Stargate-verse:
    • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Out of Mind/Into the Fire", the Recycled Set was a replica of the SGC, complete with a fake Stargate, built by Hathor in a Faked Rip Van Winkle ploy.
    • In the episode Threads, the "Celestial diner" that Daniel Jackson ends up in while talking with his fellow ascended is the prominent diner set from Dead Like Me. They even sit at the same booth the characters on Dead Like Me use, and in a small nod to the other show, Jackson orders waffles.
    • Stargate Atlantis also uses a Recycled Set in the episode "The Tower", where it is an Ancient city-ship identical to Atlantis.
  • Star Trek: The franchise has had a long tradition of redressing pre-existing sets. Many of the sets built for Star Trek: The Motion Picture went through various modifications until the end of Star Trek: Enterprise. It was also good for reusing various sets of buildings on one planet for buildings on another from episode to episode.
    • From TNG onward, the same set was used for almost every cave. This got ridiculous in DS9, since a dozen different conspiracies were clearly using the same hideout which hosted at least one major firefight a season.
    • Star Trek: The Original Series:
      • The show used the same hallways to represent interiors on industrialized planets.
      • Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show appears in two separate episodes of the original series. In "The City On the Edge of Forever", Mayberry portrays an amazingly skyscraper-less version of 1930s New York. Also, Floyd's Barber Shop appears unaltered.
      • The episode "The Mark of Gideon". Apparently a world that is overpopulated with wall-to-wall people has the space and resources to build an entire fake Enterprise just to teach Kirk a lesson. To reduce overpopulation by introducing disease into their society again, actually, so there was a logical reason for getting Kirk down there, although there was a simpler way to do it.
      • Starting in the second season, the Enterprise sets doubled as various other ships: the Constellation ("The Doomsday Machine"); the mirror-Enterprise ("Mirror, Mirror"); the Lexington ("The Ultimate Computer"); the Exeter ("The Omega Glory"); and the Defiant ("The Tholian Web").
      • The ship's chapel in the TOS episode "Balance of Terror" was a redress of the transporter room.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • The ceiling of the transporter pads is the floor of the transporter pads from TOS.
      • In the episode "Where Silence Has Lease", an Away Team beams to a replica of the USS Yamato, the Enterprise's sister ship, allowing the show to reuse the Enterprise bridge set. Interestingly, the next time we see the Yamato, the bridge is noticeably different, with some sort of large display board visible behind the captain's chair. It's never seen again; presumably, in-universe it was some sort of experimental feature added to later models of Galaxy-class starship that didn't work out.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • Empok Nor is identical to the titular space station, except abandoned and therefore sideways (even though it's in space...).
      • Encounters with the Prophets tended to involve visions of them appearing as other characters, in an area that is just like a recurring set, only red-lit.
      • The USS Valiant was a Defiant-class ship, allowing them to reuse the sets for the USS Defiant.
      • A few Voyager sets found their way onto DS9. In an episode where Bashir was subjected to experiments by Section 31, the Voyager holodeck set was reused. In another episode, Bashir traveled to Romulus aboard an Intrepid-class ship (same as Voyager) called the USS Bellerophon. Voyager's bridge, mess hall, and Janeway's ready room underwent some cosmetic changes to differentiate the two ships; they kept the CGI model, however, right down to the serial number. Apparently they also made some mistakes due to continuity errors where the Voyager crew had converted an area of the ship. The mess hall being changed by Neelix, but appearing the same as the Bellerophon is one of them.
    • Star Trek: Voyager: Lampshaded in "The Adventures of Captain Proton", a Show Within the Show homage to sci-fi Film Serials of the 1930's. Harry Kim points out that "Planet X" looks identical to "The Mines of Mercury" that they visited in the last adventure. Tom Paris points out that sets were expensive in the days when you couldn't just create them on the holodeck, so they were frequently reused.
    • Star Trek: Discovery reused some sets as well. For example, the bridge of the USS Shenzhou in Season 1 was reused in Season 2 as the upper section of the bridge of the Section 31 starship, and the usual USS Discovery canteen set was reused as the main medical room of the USS Hiawatha in "Brother". The corridors of the USS Enterprise were simply the corridors of the Discovery redressed. And the sets for Discovery's sister ship were the regular Discovery sets lit differently.
    • Star Trek: Picard: The bridge set for the USS Zheng He is a redress of the Discovery bridge.
  • The same diner set was used in Stargate SG-1 (the Ascension Diner), Dead Like Me (Der Wafflehaus), and Warehouse 13 (the diner where Artie meets the Regents).
  • Howard's house in The Big Bang Theory is the same as Buzz Aldrin's and Wil Wheaton's houses.
    • The Big Bang Theory is famous for its Walk and Talk scenes in which the characters climb four flights of stairs because their apartment's elevator is perpetually broken. Of course, every level except the lobby is the same set.
    • The scenes of Howard on the International Space Station were filmed on the same set that was used to represent the ISS in The Day After Tomorrow.
  • Lampshade Hanging on 30 Rock here.
  • In Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, every single time the Monster of the Week had a Womb Level, it used the exact same set.
  • Does the alley where everyone skates on Zeke and Luther look familiar? That's because it first showed up in Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) liked to reuse a lot of props and sets but most notable would be the space ship interior which is always the same; including stock sound effects which later appeared in Star Trek.
  • The garage in Chico and the Man is the same garage as in Taxi.
  • If the house from Mike & Molly isn't the same house from The King of Queens, then it's a pretty close approximation.
  • Every Kamen Rider and Super Sentai (and by extension, Power Rangers) series shot since around 2000 will use the same set of about 15 locations from around Tokyo: a path high on a hill, part of a street next to a train track, the carpark, stairs and occasionally interior of a stadium, a curving road around a hill, and so on. Some of the more iconic locations include Ajinomoto Stadium, Chichibu Muse Park, Harumi Wharf, and Mt. Iwafune. Most fights in all three shows take place outside for safety and budget reasons, and to the shows' credit, they never use the same location two episodes in a row.
    • Especially gratuitous is the use of an Edo-era Japanese village set, which is part of a theme park owned by Toei. When it shows up, it usually requires some excuse to get the characters there; whether it's a dream sequence, time travel, or whatever.
  • One Coach Kreeton sketch on All That utilized the front yard set from Gullah Gullah Island. Lampshaded when Coach kicked a tree and moaned "Stupid Gullah Gullah tree!"
  • Babylon 5 was notorious for this. Almost every large room was a redress of the council chamber, and of course all of the corridors on different levels were the same few corridors with different coloring. There's a particular type of grille partition that's seen on both B5 itself and several Minbari ships (presumably justified in-story by assuming the Minbari supplied some of the station's interior decor).
  • In one episode of Roseanne, Roseanne and Dan visit their neighbors' house and Roseanne becomes green with envy at how much better it looks. Needless to say it's a redress of their own house, as lampshaded at the end of the episode with wipes from one dressing to the other.
  • Mannix: "Hardball," the last episode of the series, uses a barely redressed The Brady Bunch house set.
  • The pilot for Cristela had No Budget, so they used the set for the Baxter house in Last Man Standing with minimal changes made.
  • Three of The Family Channel's interactive games from 1994 — Boggle, Jumble and Shuffle — shared the exact same set pieces. They were just moved around on the stage so it looked like they were different.
  • Whammy recycled much of its set from the 2001 revival of Card Sharks. Both shows also had Gary Kroeger as The Announcer.
  • The Ray Combs-hosted version of Family Feud (1988-94) recycled most of its set from the original Richard Dawson-hosted version (1976-85), including the giant board. Also, when Dawson returned for the 1994-95 season, they used pieces from a set that was originally constructed for when the Combs version taped at Opryland in 1993.
  • The set for the 1994-95 syndicated nighttime version of The Price Is Right (hosted by Doug Davidson, as opposed to the daytime CBS version begun in 1972) had its set recycled for a proof-of-concept game show pilot called Cash Tornado (it was a demo to US state lotteries to base their own game shows off of).
  • The German channel RTLplus commissioned revivals of several game shows, including the local versions of Family Feud, Hot Streak, Jeopardy!, and Wheel of Fortune — which all use reconfigurations of the same studio in different ways.
  • Half of Longitude takes place in 18th-century England and at sea. Granada and A&E, which were producing the Hornblower miniseries at the same time, used many of the same sets (including the shipboard ones on the replica frigate Grand Turk). A number of the same actors also turn up in both productions. (They did not share costumes, however, since Longitude takes place in the 18th century and Hornblower the 19th.)
  • The loft exterior for New Girl was reused for Jeff Trail's apartment in The Assassination of Gianni Versace. The A.V. Club took note of this and were a little unsettled by the vast different tones of both series.
  • The Paramount Ranch was a very popular shooting location for TV westerns, having Gunsmoke, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Westworld and numerous others filmed at the set. It was sadly destroyed by a wildfire in late 2018.
  • The sister shows in the Arrowverse get to trade sets from time to time to save on their budgets. For example, the restaurant Paul and Curtis meet at in the fifth season episode of Arrow, "Fighting Fire with Fire" is the Jitters set that shows up in nearly every episode of The Flash (2014).
  • Semi-scripted court show The Verdict With Judge Hatchett got a new set in 2019...or rather, it took the set from We The People with Gloria Allred, a short-lived completely scripted court show that came and went in 2011-2012. Both shows are made by Entertainment Studios.
  • Mandated cost-cutting on Sliders resulted in each universe somehow having a version of the same hotel they always stayed in (different each season, at least nominally). The team usually stayed in the same room.
  • The great hall of Kattegat from Vikings was recycled into the temple of Uppsala in Vikings: Valhalla.

  • The unreleased Golden Cue reused the layout from its spiritual predecessor, Eight Ball Deluxe, but with the addition of a ramp that diverts to two sets of rails.
  • Williams Electronics' Jack*Bot uses a redecorated version of the playfield from its predecessor, Pin Bot.
  • The Gamatron conversion kit reuses the playfield from Flight 2000 with only minor modifications (and a new theme).
  • The Simpsons Pinball Party was re-themed as The Brain, a promotional pinball for a science museum.
  • Family Guy was re-themed as Shrek, as well as a one-off Good Morning America pinball. The only changes were to the graphics and sounds; the layout and rules remained the same.
  • Game Plan, a smaller pinball manufacturer from The '70s, did this frequently to save costs. Family Fun! and Star Ship shared the same layout, while Sharpshooter, Old Coney Island, and Sharpshooter II all used the same layout or a mirrored copy. The games were often released together, which highlighted how recycled they were.
  • Stern Pinball took the soccer-based Striker Xtreme and re-released it a year later as the American Football-based NFL.
  • NASCAR was re-themed and re-released as both Grand Prix and Dale Jr. While the audio/visual aspects were changed, the table layout and rules were the same,
  • The playfield for Stern Pinball's NBA is an updated version of the one used for Sega Pinball's Space Jam.
  • Both Hyperball and its competitor Rapid Fire had their backboxes recycled for use on other games, mostly re-releases of other Williams and Bally games.
  • The Beatles (2018) is primarily a re-themed and updated version of Seawitch (1980), with a few physical differences (most notably a spinning disc made to look like a vinyl record).

  • In Holiday Inn, the Recycled Set was an actual set for a movie within a movie based on Bing's hotel.
  • In On the Town, Diamond Eddie's Nightclub, the Congacabana and the Slam-Bang Club are obviously the same set with minimal changes to the scenery. All three are playing some variation on "I Wish I Was Dead."
  • University theatre departments do this all the time. New sets are constantly being built out of pieces of old sets.
  • In-universe, for the Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hedwig stages her show on the abandoned stage of the stage musical adaptation of The Hurt Locker.
  • In-universe for Nunsense. The nuns' benefit show is staged in a school auditorium that's set up for a student production of Grease.

    Video Games 
  • Bishi Bashi Channel reuses the MÚSECA cabinet, due to the latter's online service (and use of online-requiring DRM) being terminated, although operators could order an offline kit to keep MÚSECA. Bishi Bashi makes several modifications to the base cabinet: the screen is oriented horizontally instead of vertically, the control panel now has four sets of buttons, one for each player, the spinners from MÚSECA are reused as the players' buttons, and the pedal is removed. Looking under the control panel, you can still see the funnel symbol that's used in MÚSECA.
  • One of the biggest criticisms against Dragon Age II was the massive reuse of floor plans for interiors, caves and dungeons.
  • Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas recycle scenery props from previous Bethesda games, mostly The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. This is most notable in the caves, which reuse the textures, rocks, and various other bits of set dressing practically unchanged from Oblivion. Consider how the interior of the caves are often shades of green, but that New Vegas's predominant color is brown....
    • FNV not only reuses building interior layouts from FO3, but some of its own as well.
  • The barbershops in Leisure Suit Larry 2 look the same everywhere that Larry goes.
  • One of the places you can stop a speeding car in Police Quest is the disco from the first Leisure Suit Larry, and the cafe is a redeco of Lefty's Bar from said game.
  • Mass Effect is quite notorious for having all your fights on planets take place on the same 3 or so pre-fab building floorplans — the "mine with one large room full of enemies and two deeper chambers", "specialist base with one large room full of enemies and two deeper chambers connected by a corridor", and "identical exterior buildings that closely resemble a tissue box with a door". It also made frequent use of a Kowloon-class freighter, which broke up the monotony by having three chambers that could have stuff once you got through the large room, not just two. Lampshaded in the second game, with a volus and an asari on Illium playing the market regarding stocks in prefabs after the attacks on Freedom's Progress and Horizon.
  • Nostalgia (BEMANI) reuses the BeatStream cabinet, due to the latter's online service (and the game having online-requiring DRM) being terminated around the time the former was introduced. The key difference is the addition of a piano controller just below the touchscreen. However, an original cabinet designed specifically for Nostalgia is also available.
  • World of Warcraft reuses the same layout for most of their caves. Several cave designs have been introduced, but essentially all caves with ogres in them use a single layout, and a second layout with multiple levels accounts for most of the rest of the caves.
  • All the hosptials you can enter in Grand Theft Auto IV use the same interior.
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 recycles four maps from Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield, namely the Refinery, Airport (now a junkyard), Island Estate, and Import/Export Warehouse, as well as a few areas from R6 Vegas 1.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse reuses several maps from Shin Megami Tensei IV. Justified since it's a direct sequel that takes place in the same region.
  • Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap: A lot of rooms, especially in dungeons, have the exact same layout with different props and enemies.
  • The Talos Principle reuses models from Croteam's previous game, Serious Sam 3: BFE. For example, the Egyptian set is mostly the same.
  • Mirror's Edge: Catalyst reuses many scenery assets from the original Mirror's Edge.
  • Super Mario Bros. used many of its level designs twice, with tougher enemies and obstacles the second time around, due to the limited cartridge space of the time. The arcade version replaced the duplicates with all-new levels, whose designs were in turn reused for Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.
  • The original Darius comes in a dedicated cabinet with three screens side by side, and Darius II was initially released in another dedicated cabinet, but with two screens. Taito later released conversion kits to allow operators to reuse Darius cabinets for Darius II, with the latter game modified for three screens.
  • Attack of the Zolgear was released as a conversion kit for existing Galaxian^3 cabinets.
  • Silent Hill 3 recycles the West Southvale neighborhood and Brookhaven Hospital from Silent Hill 2, which used the same engine, along with the models of Angela and James, for the corpse being eaten by a Closer (itself reusing the model of the Mandarin enemies) in the mall boutique and the deceased Harry, respectively.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • Both of the flashbacks in Sonic Adventure use recycled sets:
      • Tails has a dream reminiscing his first meeting with Sonic, in which Tails is shown wandering a jungle. Even though the flashback is supposed to take place in Westside Island going by Sonic lore, it uses the jungle area from the game's Hub World Mystic Ruins, and it's really noticeable.
      • Amy's flashback of Sonic's previous adventure on Little Planet uses a still of the beta Windy Valley as a background. Even though this one looks noticeably different from the final Windy Valley to pass off as a wholly different area, eagle-eyed players should notice that other parts of the game use stills of it, such as Big's background in the opening FMV.
    • The first cutscene with Knuckles and Rouge Sonic Adventure 2 is likely meant to be set in Angel Island, but it clearly uses the geometry of Hidden Base, one of the game's stages. At least this time they gave it a different skybox.

    Web Animation 
  • Inevitable in the Pimp Lando series due to 3D Movie Maker (which was used to create the series) having only about nine sets to choose from without mods. Lampshaded by Lando when he remarks that Boston (and later Orbisonia) look just like Wall Street, due to them all being the same "city" set. A title comes up once declaring a scene to be on "A Different Street" despite said street looking identical to the one in the previous scene.

    Web Videos 
  • James Rolfe used the same set for Monster Madness 2019 and the Angry Video Game Nerd episode for Halloween of that year.

    Western Animation 
  • A take on this trope appears in the The Simpsons episode "Trilogy of Error". Lisa is mistakenly dropped at West Springfield Elementary, which looks exactly identical to Springfield Elementary. One of the students notes that all schools in the area were drawn from the same floorplan. This is Truth in Television in some areas, especially areas with a lot of schools built at the same time. In some areas of California, you're likely to find that all the elementary schools look exactly the same, minus the color they use on the outside trim of the buildings.
  • In-universe, in Code Lyoko, the Season 3 episode "Temporary Insanity" has Kadic's production of Cyrano de Bergerac reuses the sets from the previous year's play Romeo and Juliet because of a lack of money.
  • Young Justice reuses a few different set layouts from Batman: Under the Red Hood. Specifically, the establishing shot of Gotham City and the warehouse in Downtime and Roy's apartment in Auld Acquaintance and Salvage. Freely admitted by the showrunners if asked — one of them, Brandon Vietti, was the director of Under the Red Hood.
  • In Animaniacs and Freakazoid!, the exterior for Amblin Entertainment is a redecorated version of Acme Looniversity from Tiny Toon Adventures.


Video Example(s):


"New Castle"

Apparently Caroline made sure that the house she stole had the same looking basement as Andy's set because she's "as big a fan of continuity" as him.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / RecycledSet

Media sources: