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Role Reprise

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There is an unwritten expectation that actors can only play the same character for so long. Maybe they got sick of the role, contract negotiations fell through, scheduling didn't work out, or they simply died. We tend to view things like The Other Darrin and Suspiciously Similar Substitute as normal and common. But there is something to be said for when an actor sticks with or comes back to a role. This tends to come as a surprise, just because of the length of time involved and scheduling issues.

This tends to happen one of four ways:

  • Single Continuity — Time has continued from the last time we saw the character.
  • Alternate Continuity — A reboot of some sort is created, and instead of recasting the role they keep the same actor despite that.
  • Marathon Run — Every few years there is a new appearance that reminds us that they are still around, and have no intention on leaving the character alone.
  • A Historical Domain Character or Public Domain Character's portrayal has been so memorable that the actor is recast in an unrelated production.

There is a minimum time gap for most examples. To qualify for the trope, the gap between appearances (based on release date) should be 5 years or more. There's no such waiting period for actors who return to a Historical Domain Character or Public Domain Character in a new, unrelated production — even if it's based on the same work.

  • For the purpose of this trope, variants such as Alternate Universe and Alternate Continuity versions are treated as the same character.
  • For previous live-action roles, voice acting during the gap (e.g. for games or animation) does not disqualify a subsequent return to live action. Returning to voice a live action character in another medium, after 5 years away, would be an example in its own right.

Compare Regular Character, The Original Darrin, Recurring Character, Remake Cameo and Back for the Finale.

Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

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    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 


    Kiddie Rides 
  • The LazyTown Flypod kiddie ride has three role reprisals - Magnus Scheving as Sportacus, Julianna Rose Mauriello as Stephanie, and Stefan Karl as Robbie Rotten. They recorded their respective characters' dialogues for the speech buttons.
  • The original Budgie the Little Helicopter kiddie ride by R.G. Mitchell has Richard Pearce reprising his role of the titular character for the ride start and stop messages.

In general, it's not uncommon for Licensed Pinball Tables to have at least one person from their source material provide voiceover work.


  • In the 1999 radio adaptation of Agatha Christie's A Murder Is Announced, Inspector Craddock is voiced by John Castle, who had played the same role 1985-1992 in the television series Miss Marple.
  • Twenty years after the original TV version of Neverwhere, Paterson Joseph reprised the role of the Marquis de Carabas for the radio adaptation of "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back", with a brief explanation about why he sounds like "his younger self", rather than David Harewood from the radio version of Neverwhere.
  • The original radio cast of The HitchHikers Guide To The Galaxy (1978-80) reprised their roles in the Tertiary to Quintessential Phases (2004-05). Sandra Dickinson, Trillian in the TV version (1981) sort of reprised the role in the Quintessential Phase as an AU Tricia Macmillan. For the 40th anniversary in 2018, there was an adaptation of And Another Thing..., with most of the original radio cast, but Dickinson as the "regular" Trillian. Also returning from the later Phases are Samantha Bèart as Random Dent, Jane Horrocks as Fenchurch and Toby Longworth as Prosthetic Vogon Jeltz and Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged. Mitch Benn, who played Zaphod Beeblebrox on some dates of the 2012 stage play, takes the role of Left Brain, Zaphod's former second head.
  • BBC's radio adaptation of Knightfall saw the late Michael Gough reprise his Batman film series role as Alfred.
  • The BBC radio play 80 Not Out: The Saving of Albert Parks has Bernard Cribbins reprising the role of the eponymous porter, fifty years after The Railway Children in real life, and around 35 years in universe.
  • SiriusXM's Squirrel Girl: The Unbeatable Radio Show! brought back Milana Vayntrub as the title character after she previously voiced her in Marvel Rising and portrayed her in the live-action New Warriors TV pilot.
  • Brace Beemer temporarily played the Lone Ranger in the WXYZ radio series prior to Earle Graser winning the part. Beemer would return to the role eight years later when Graser died in an auto accident, and play the Ranger until the series ended.

  • Usually Takarazuka Revue actresses only play a role once, but there have been exceptions.
    • From Elisabeth: Nao Ayaki played Death in 1997 and 2005, while Rio Asumi played Death in 2009 and 2014.
    • Shou Ayanagi played Goethe in two different musicals: Spring Thunder (2013) and Fortississimo (2021).
  • On the subject of Elisabeth:
    • Pia Douwes was Elisabeth in both the 1992 Vienna production and the 1999 Dutch production.
    • Máté Kamarás played Death in a Hungarian production before reprising the role in the 2005 Vienna revival. He later played Death again in both Hungary and Japan.
    • Several former Takarazuka actresses (Mari Hanafusa, Jun Sena, Hana Ranno and Reika Manaki) who played Elisabeth while part of the Revue have gone on to play Elisabeth in Toho productions.
  • In an odd form of this trope, Jonathan Freeman, who voiced Jafar in Disney's Aladdin in 1992, returned to the role for the live-action Broadway production of the film in 2014.
  • The Wiz had a short-lived 2009 Off-Broadway production starring Ashanti as Dorothy Gale, a role she played another interpretation of in The Muppets' 2005 take on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
  • Annie Get Your Gun: Ethel Merman reprised her starring role in the 1966 Lincoln Center revival (for which Irving Berlin wrote a new Counterpoint Duet for her) and in NBC's televised version the following year.
  • Pal Joey: Vivienne Segal appeared in both the original 1940 production and the 1952 revival, though neither she nor the new Joey, Harold Lang, were on the revival cast album due to Columbia Records having recorded Pal Joey with them in 1950.
  • In the 1952 revival of the 1934 play The Children's Hour, Katherine Emmet reprised her role as Amelia Tilford.
  • Harvey Fierstein, who played Edna in the original cast of Hairspray, reprised the role for the 2016 NBC live production of the same show.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote and starred in Hamilton as, well, Hamilton, reprised the role for a charity run in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Irma.
  • The 2012 stage tour of The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show Live!, had Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern, Susan Sheridan and Stephen Moore reprise Arthur, Ford, Trillian and Marvin, with Mark Wing-Davey returning as Zaphod on some dates. In addition, Samantha Bèart reprises the role of Random Dent from the Quintessential Phase and Toby Longworth and Andy Secombe reprise — among other characters — Prosthetic Vogon Jeltz and Colin the Robot.
  • Thomas Borchert originated the role of Leopold Mozart in the 1999 Vienna premiere of Mozart! and returned to it in the 2015 Vienna revival.
  • The stage show version of Spirited Away has Yubaba portrayed by Mari Natsuki, who previously voiced the character in the original film.
  • The Broadway run of The SpongeBob Musical has Tom Kenny reprise his role as the French Narrator. The televised version has him reprise his role as Patchy the Pirate as well.
  • The 2004 Los Angeles premiere of The Ten Commandments: The Musical starred Val Kilmer as Moses, whom he had previously voiced in The Prince of Egypt.
  • In the second Italian edition of We Will Rock You produced in 2018, half of the cast of the 2009 edition returned to their original roles: Salvo Vinci as Galileo, Valentina Ferrari as Killer Queen, Massimiliano Colonna as Pop and Loredana Fadda as Oz. Paolo Barillari, who played Brit in the 2009 edition, now plays Khashoggi.

    Theme Parks 

    Web Video 
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd is no stranger to having celebrity guests appear on his show as themselves (or at least as Adam Wested versions of themselves... though in Lloyd Kaufman's case it's hard to tell), but as of 2019 the one and only time he has had somebody reprising a character they previously played is, of all people, Mike Butters as the "Pepsi for TV-Game" guy from Pepsiman.
  • The main cast members of Critical Role all reprised their roles for The Legend of Vox Machina (bar Orion Acaba, who left the show early in the Briarwood arc — which the show adapts for its first season — and whose character Tiberius was Adapted Out), with Game Master Matthew Mercer as Sylas Briarwood.
  • DEATH BATTLE!: It's actively rare for this to happen, but so far, 4 non-Rooster Teeth characters on the show(plus one downplayed example and one non-combatant example) have had their roles reprised.
    • The first of them is Johnny Young Bosch, who reprised his role as Ichigo during his fight with Naruto. Although in order to avoid legal problems, he went under the pseudonym "Adam Park" and was linked to an article about frogs in reference to his role as the second Black Power Ranger.
    • The second is Chris Tergilafera, reprising Sigma in in his fight with Ultron reusing Sigma's voice as heard in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. Much like Bosch, Chris also used a pseudonym, this one being "SupremeOverlordOfIce" in reference to Gundham Tanaka.
    • The third is Dante Basco, who reprised Prince Zuko when he went up against Todoroki. Unlike Bosch or Chris however, Dante didn't need to use a psuedonym.
    • The fourth would be Silver, while unconfirmed, the mysterious "Esu Onsti" is heavily implied to be reprised by Bryce Papenbrook, Silvers latest voice actor.
    • While The Doctor isn't played by David Tennant, impressionist Elliot Crossley would step up to play The Doctor after previously voicing the tenth in Lockdown.
    • Jay Britton, the voice for Iron Mans old AI, J.A.R.V.I.S in the interactive comic, The Avengers: Iron Man Mark VII, would reprise his role when Iron Man went onto the show to fight Lex Luthor. Much like Dante above, he also didn't need to utilize a pseudonym.
  • Played for comedy in Home Movie: The Princess Bride, where Fred Savage reprises his role as the Grandson at one point. At 43 years old he certainly doesn't look like a young child requesting a bedtime story any more, but it's not any more ridiculous than some of the other castings.
  • Search for Sandvich:
  • Aficionados Chris's video review of the Akira 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray begins with an sketch featuring Tetsuo reprised by Jan Rabson who previously voiced Tetsuo in the 1989 English dub of AKIRA


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Role Reprisal



Phelous discusses the return of the 87 voice actors to the 87/2012 crossover.

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