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Similar Squad

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Like looking into a mirror.

Hamilton: We're Hamilton's Hamster Helpers! We help those in trouble!
Monterey Jack: How original!

The cast runs into another group that is functionally identical to them. The same number of people, the same roles represented, maybe even the same tastes in clothes or food but expect a Palette Swap. Usually creeps out the original group a lot, although a common humor variant is that no one notices the similarities. Or only notices the similarities to everyone else's parallel but not their own. If the characters find their counterparts' habits annoying, without noticing any similarities, this can lead to Hypocritical Humor. Sometimes it is Self-Parody.

There are examples of a couple meeting another couple who are a timeshifted version of themselves. If younger, they reminisce about the start of their courtship, sometimes fighting about "what happened to us?" If older, they'll fight about how to avoid an unpleasant fate.

Compare The Psycho Rangers, where the other squad are the evil versions. Those baddies are often recruited or created specifically to oppose our heroes, the standard Similar Squad just happens to resemble the main cast. Often related or contributes to Geodesic Cast if the new group sticks around.

See also Expy Coexistence.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Pokémon: The Series
    • Near the end of the first season of Pokémon: The Original Series, Ash befriends a rival Trainer named Ritchie, who is pretty much identical to Ash (he looks like a mixture between Ash and 'Red', the trainer from the original game). Ritchie's Pokemon team are a Similar Squad to Ash's - he even uses a Pikachu (nicknamed "Sparky") as his main Mon. Jessie even calls them the "twerp twins".
    • In the first few episodes of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, Paul (Ash's main rival), had a similar team lineup. His main Pokemon is an electric-type (Elekid), a primate (Chimchar, to contrast Ash's Aipom) and a flying-type (he had three Starly to Ash's one, but he eventually released all of them). This is lampshaded in the series' first opening with the two groups facing off in a Mirrored Confrontation Shot.
  • The foursome cast of Saiyuki meet spoof groups of themselves. Usually these are impostors trying to cash in on their fame. In one instance the impostors get back together for a Day in the Limelight to exact revenge by making Sanzo's party look bad. In the end, they are discovered and are beaten up; by Sanzo's group, angry villagers, and Kougaiji's group, who just happened to be passing through.
  • In the latter half of Jazz, Narusawa starts working at a hospital with two doctors who mirror his and Naoki's relationship, but who seem to have dealt with their issues better.
  • The third Case Closed video, Conan is on a visit to Osaka and runs into a group of three children similar in appearance and name to the Detective Boys.
  • When Mikado Durarara!! is walking alone and is lost in thought, he passes a trio of characters who resemble him and his friends Masaomi and Anri.
  • CLAT is this to the Special Vehicles 2nd Division of Patlabor. Based in New York instead of Tokyo, they are essentially the same characters, but all blonde (barring some exceptions like the resident Gentle Giant being a native american) and headquartered in a fancy hi-tech underwater secret base instead of the original's dinghy place in the middle of nowhere. It was All Just a Dream, however.
  • Sgt. Frog: When digging for a spa, Keroro finds a superweapon left by a team of invaders not unlike his own. The dub takes this further, making them lizardmen from the planet Lizardono come to invade the planet they know as Ponopek but saddled with an incompetant leader who spends all his time building models. They even have similar insignias. The first movie reveals that the ancient invaders who used those statues were actually Keronians, and they also left other weapons on Earth...
  • Getter Robo Āḥ: After travelling to the Dinosaur Empire to assist them against the Andromeda Stellaration, the main trio has a run in with an as yet unmentioned counterpart to their group comprised entirely of Saurians and piloting a reptile themed mech called the Gettersaurus. They later form something of a Geodesic Cast with the main group and travel through time with them to stop the invasion of Earth.

    Comic Books 
  • Adam Warren's run on Genął had the "Mongolian Barbeque Horde", with each member a counterpart to Gen 13 itself. (DV8/The Deviants were a classic Psycho Ranger team.)
  • In DC Comics, the Knight and Squire are the British counterparts to Batman and Robin. Paul Cornell takes this further, adding Hank, the Knight's American butler, and Harmless Villain Jarvis Poker, the British Joker.
  • Issue 5 of the Adventure Time comic features Finn and Jake meeting Adventure Tim, a guy who looks like a mashup between Finn and Jake who often fights against the Mice King. Counterparts of Princess Bubblegum, B-MO, Marceline, Tree Trunks, Lumpy Space Princess, Lady Rainicorn, Lemongrab and the Lich are also mentioned.
  • The 2013 Annual for IDW publishing's My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic comic had five unicorns who seemed to be expies of five of the Mane Six: Moondancer (Fluttershy), Lemon Hearts (Applejack), Minuette (Rainbow Dash), Twinkleshine (Rarity) and Lyra Heartstrings (Pinkie Pie).
    • This was likely done intentionally to further show the parallels between Twilight Sparkle and Celestia's previous student Sunset Shimmer. Seeing the five interact with Sunset if briefly, hints at what could've been had Sunset understood friendship like Twilight would. While the other ponies would make further appearances in-series intact, Moondancer (who was said to be Spike's crush before Rarity) would end up appearing in the show as an expy of Twilight, or rather how Twilight could be if she just focused on her studies.
  • In The Muppet Show Comic Book: Seasons #2 "Summer", Fozzie is invited to play at the Whatnot Theater, to replace their previous comedian, Ozzie Bear. All the Whatnot troupe turn out to be counterparts to the Muppets, with the compiere being Dermot the Dog, and other Whatnots including Miss Tiggy (a tiger), Bonzo the Great (a monkey), Dr. Tongue (as opposed to Dr. Teeth), and Vegetable (a giant carrot who plays the spoons).
  • In the final storyline of Shadowpact, the Shadowpacts of 1908 and 2108 have roughly similar memberships to the present day version, although neither is a full set. The roles appear to be: magician (Adept, Enchantress, Magus Excelsis), swordsman (none, Nightmaster, Revenant), otherworlder (Faerie Queen, Zauriel, Sardonyxx), big guy (Mister Meteor, Blue Devil, Brazen Man), energy blaster (none, Nightshade, Miss Poltergeist), medium (Mrs Prescott, Ragman, none), talking animal (Civet, Detective Chimp, Apalala). The Shadowpacts of other time periods appear to have similar compositions.
  • The titular Rat Queens are matched by Violet's twin brother Barrie and his assembled team of fighter, wizard, druid, and a useless fungus person (to Betty's chagrin).
  • In Asterix and the Griffin, the Sarmatian villagers Asterix and Obelix are introduced to include Dodderiestov, a village elder who looks like Geriatrix, Wottastinkov, a cheesemaker who looks like Unhygenix (with equally smelly wares), Oldblocktchipov, a carpenter who looks like Fulliautomatix (and is wielding an axe the same way Fulliautomatix wields his blacksmith's hammer), and Kordov, a firewood deliveryman who looks like Obelix (and is carrying a tree-stump the same way Obelix carries his menhirs). After talking to the latter, Obelix is left with the strangest feeling that Kordov's shorter, blond-moustached friend looks vaguely familiar...
  • What If?: When Iron Man uses a machine to look at a (possibly) hypothetical team of Avengers from the 50s, who would later become the Agents of Atlas, the Avengers present comment on the similarities between them.

    Comic Strips 
  • Done once in Boner's Ark, when they meet a whole ship that's a duplicate of theirs, only there's two of every animal...

    Fan Works 
  • Shinobi of the High Seas: This exists (with some twists) between the Foxhound and Straw Hat Pirates.
    • Naruto and Luffy being Shonen protagonists, it would probably be easier to count their differences. Naruto also acts as something of a Gadgeteer Genius in the vein of Usopp or Franky, at least as far as supplying weapons for his crew and design ideas for his ship are concerned.
    • Nojiko, besides being Nami's sister, shares her skills at navigation and her position as the de facto voice of reason in most circumstances. In her combat style, she's closer to Usopp with her marksmanship and variety of weapons.
    • Soren, like Zoro, started as a pirate hunter (although not for the bounties), remains the undisputed second strongest on the crew, gains an incredibly high bounty placing him among the Supernovas, desires to defeat a specific member of the Shichibukai who defeated him in the past, and even shares his alcoholic and layabout tendencies.
    • Positionally, Miss Valentine, like Sanji, is both the crew chef and the third strongest by a good margin. Story-wise, she has more in common with Robin, both having served as Baroque Works officers, and both possessing a good knowledge of the underworld politics of the Grand Line, as well as sharing a fairly pragmatic, even ruthless, view of the world. Despite the shared backgrounds...
    • Vivi is much closer to Robin. Both are fugitives from the world government, hunted by great powers due to circumstances beyond their control. Both tend towards calm reserve and level-headedness, with occasional displays of child-like humor and wonder contrasted with a strong sense of dignity, all overshadowed by an unshakable trust in the captain that rescued them.
    • Paulie, like Franky, is a shipwright from water 7, with an ambition to build a ship that can sail the length of the grand line, and a strong perverted streak (although Paulie tries to mask it be complaining about shameless women).
    • Byron, as with Brook, is a musician and former captain rescued from enslavement to one of the Shichibukai, and the last member to join the crew before the New World. Both also have Unfinished Business relating to their former crew.
  • In the parodic Doctor Who / Sailor Moon fusion "No Restaurant for the Wicked", the Sailor Scouts (Susan, Leela, Zoe and Nyssa) find themselves tricked into battling the Elemental Scouts (Peri, Ace, Liz and Tegan).
  • The Pico fangame Pico's Cousin 2 has a new version of the Goth-Punks exact revenge on Pico and family. The opponents you get are pretty much a one-for-one copy of the main Goth-Punks from the original Pico's School— Ozmose stands in for Alucard, the nameless Skinhead for Cyclops, and Damien stands in for Cassandra. Hanzo is the same in both versions, but that's because they've been revived as a Cyborg.
  • Under the Northern Lights: King Ukko and his five companions are very similar to the Six Bearers of the Elements of Harmony, although Ukko and his companions are male, reindeer and old enough to be grandparents, of course. Several characters comment on these similarities in the story. The equivalents are King Ukko the Piercer => Applejack (honest, stubborn, family stag/mare), Mustikka the Tracker => Twilight Sparkle (sharp-minded, No Social Skills, master organizer), Skiold the Bold => Rainbow Dash (brave, loyal, impulsive), Kol the Singer => Rarity (artistic, Large Ham), Galderhorn the Sorcerer => Fluttershy (shy, soft-spoken, cares for spirits/animals) and Heikko the Humongous => Pinkie Pie (constantly happy, hedonistic, Cloudcuckoolander).

    Films — Animation 
  • In Top Cat: The Movie, when T.C. is thrown in dog jail (because cat jail is full) and thinks the gang has abandoned him he forms a new gang of dogs, comprising Spectrum, Dandy, Chattanooga, Einstein and Vinny.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The gang in Shaun of the Dead meets a mirror-image group of survivors, played by similarly-typecast comic actors, as they head for the Winchester. The production team imagined them as another film with smarter characters played by more expensive actors, and when Jessica Stevenson returns at the end it's obvious they've been involved in a much more dramatic story.
  • In the sci-fi thriller Coherence, an eerie moment arises when the group of four bump into their counterparts from another reality in the street.
  • In The Muppets (2011), years of decline have led Fozzie Bear to headline for The Moopets, a sort of dark-and-dirty version of The Muppets. Thankfully Kermit, Rowlf and the others rescue him from the clutches of bad lounge music (and Miss Poogy).
  • In Zombieland: Double Tap, the undead-fighting male duo of Columbus and Tallahassee in this post-apocalyptic action comedy run into a doppelgänger duo named Albuquerque and Flagstaff.

  • Discworld:
    • In Jingo, Colon is horrified to realize that he and Nobby, in disguise, are being threatened by a couple of Klatchian market guards who have nothing better to do with their time than look for street entertainment, and one of whom is "a know-all".
    • Similarly, the two Uberwaldian guards that Vimes refers to as Nobbski and Colonesque from The Fifth Elephant, and Knopf and Doppelpunkt note  from The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents.
    • There are also versions of CMOT Dibbler all over the place. This trope (like many others) is a fundamental law of the Discworld's universe.
    • Implied to be the case between the wizards of Unseen University and the various priests of Ankh-Morpork in Reaper Man. Their respective heads are even brothers (and regard the endless feuding between the two groups as rather embarrassing).
  • There's a young adult Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles novel by Dave Morris called Buried Treasure, in which a minor plot point involves the Turtles encountering a team of four humanoid mutant squirrels who were trained as secret agents and named after famous musical composers ("Beethoven", "Mozart", "Wagner" and "Bach") by their mentor. Yes, really.
  • And Another Thing...: Hillman Hunter, head of a Scam Religion for rich idiots whom Zaphod sold a pleasure planet to, is pretty much identical to Aseed Preflux, who has a similar scam-religion-resort-colony just next door. To rub salt in the wound, Aseed is in better shape and still has his natural hair color. It's eventually revealed that they're alternate universe counterparts of the same person (Zaphod figured if his scam worked once, why not try it again?)

    Live-Action TV 
  • Taken to the logical extreme in Westworld: in season 2, some of the robot hosts travel to Shogun World, one of the company's other parks, and find out that, as the head writer plagiarized his own narratives under a time crunch, they and their plotlines have exact counterparts there. The saloon heist is replayed shot-for-shot, with swords and arrows replacing guns and with a koto version of the music from the first season. Needless to say, the Westworld hosts are a bit weirded out.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Played with when the team meets their Wormhole Extreme! counterparts.
    • Played more seriously in an episode where SG-1 went on a mission with a Russian SG team. Each team member had an obvious counterpart with a similar job and personalities. The Teal'c counterpart died trying to hold open a door, and was crushed to death, the Daniel counterpart was taken over by a Goa'uld, and was killed in a Heroic Sacrifice by the Jack counterpart. Which meant that only the Sam counterpart survived.
  • Friends:
  • Cheers:
    • When John Allen Hill takes over Melville's, and the yuppie crowd starts overflowing into Cheers, there's a brief gag of a yuppie version of Norm entering the bar.
    • When Sam takes a job in a Cancun bar, there's an equivalent to Norm there as well, called Pepe, who has his own version of the "Norm enters bar, makes dry joke about his life" Running Gag.
    • At the beginning of season 11, Carla takes a job at a theme restaurant which, despite the horrible uniform and requirement she be cheerful on the job, pays much better than Sam ever did, and she chooses to stay... until her boss tells her she's going to have a trainee for two weeks: Enter Ellen, a pretentious pseudo-intellectual university student who is a dead ringer for Diane Chambers. Carla runs away in terror, and makes an oblivious Sam vow never to visit that bar again.
  • Frasier:
    • When Frasier went to see Diane's play, he wasn't expecting a carbon copy of Cheers. He sure as hell wasn't expecting the Diane-lite to be loved by the Frasier-lite even after she dumped him at the altar.
    • Much to Niles's annoyance, after he declined to move in on Daphne while she was on the rebound, she was picked up by a Niles-lookalike instead. Martin and Frasier suspect they've entered The Twilight Zone. Daphne never notices.
  • The Bizarro Jerry that Elaine dates and his clique on Seinfeld. The main cast is known for their cynicism, bad luck, and often-outright antisocial behavior, Bizarro Jerry's crew is supportive, genial, and generally happy with their lives. (As an example, Bizarro Kramer knocks on the door before entering.) Of course, Elaine chooses to be with the latter, but her tendency to give playful but painful punches undoes the happy little tryst, and soon enough she's back with the poor schlubs she usually hangs out with.
  • On The Drew Carey Show when Drew accidentally hosted the worlds biggest kegger, an opposite-sex version of the Drew Crew showed up. Oswald and Lewis found themeselves attracted to Lois and Olivia, until they all realized why they found each other "so familiar." All four were Squicked and went their separate ways.
  • Bones, in the episode where the cast went to England.
  • The Norwegians on Pushing Daisies were supposed to be this, but it seems like a lot of viewers didn't catch on.
  • Pistvakt: The protagonists, three brothers with the last name Marklund, get visited by a more dickish and successful trio of brothers in episode 2 of season 2 (with the last name Näslund). They are played by the same actors in similar roles, they have similar nicknaming conventions, the same father worship and similar relationships to each other — although the Näslund brothers are more likely to punch or pinch the nose of the youngest, in contrast to the Marklund brothers who generally just snark at Olle when he is being childish.
  • In an episode of Corner Gas, the town decides to employ professional firefighters. The two they hire are named Carol and David and are almost exact copies of the two cops Karen and Davis—except the firefighters are significantly more friendly and competent, leading the townsfolk to warm up to them quickly. Needless to say, Karen and Davis fail to notice this similarity and are overcome with jealousy regarding the firefighters.
  • NCIS. In "Doppelganger", Team Gibbs is dumbfounded to find a Metro PD squad whose members are identical in personality to their own. A Perp Sweating leader who Dope Slaps and drinks Starbucks coffee, a probie geek who fetches said coffee, a Handsome Lech Italian-American whose attempts to flirt with Kate are crushed with sarcasm and a Deadpan Snarker female cop who does the same thing to DiNozzo.
  • Father Ted had the counterpart priests from Rugged Island: Dick Byrne, Cyril MacDuff and Jim Johnson. Ted and Byrne are Sitcom Arch-Nemeses, who never realise how alike they are, and Cloudcuckoolander Dougal thinks Cyril is "an awful eejit".
  • Super Sentai:
  • "The 2 Live Crew Job" episode of Leverage features this. Marcus Starke plays Mastermind and Grifter (essentially doing both Nate and Sophie's jobs), Mikel Dayan is The Hitter and opposes Eliot, Hardison's Evil Counterpart Chaos is their Hacker, and infiltrator Apollo counters Parker, the Leverage crew's Thief. This is likely justified by the skills that the job in question requires—you need a team with that sort of structure to pull it off.
  • In the first episode of the final season of Laverne & Shirley, Laverne was shopping around for a new roommate after Shirley's abrupt departure from the show; she encountered a double of herself, then a double of Shirley. The doubles promptly paired up and abandoned her.
  • Farscape: "Fractures" features a similar group of escaped prisoners. Interestingly, it's also the episode where the two Cast Herds finally came back together; the choice to feature a symmetrical crew is also darkly appropriate given that the "twinned" John had just died.
  • An episode of The X-Files starts with what appears to be Mulder and Scully questioning a suspect; when the suspect says something to the effect of "everyone has a doppleganger," we see the faces of the Similar Squad for the first time. The malevolent force of the episode then seriously injures the two, leading to the real Mulder and Scully investigating days later. They never notice the resemblance, but Mulder suspects the other two agents were in a relationship.
    • During the revival, Mulder and Scully are approached by younger agents, a man who believes in the paranormal and his redheaded skeptic female partner. Tellingly, each ends up pairing with the other's "younger version" to keep the dynamics intact.
  • Community has several examples, recurring most often is the set of actors who portray the study group in Abed's student films.
  • In the "Girl Group" episode of Big Time Rush, the boys seek help from an old, washed up boy band called Boyz in the Attic. There are four members of this band, and each one clearly a deadbeat future parody of the BTR boys.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: Moze befriends a girl named Jennifer Tu who she has everything in common with. Jennifer Tu's best friends are Ted and Mookie, and yes, it seems like they act just like Ned and Cookie.
  • Being Human gives us a similar group of roommates at the beginning of series four. It's a somewhat curious example in that by this point George and Mitchell are already dead, and Hal takes a step up from squad to outright substitute. Part of their purpose is to show the natural ramifications of the arrangement, namely that while vampires and ghosts are immortal, werewolves are not.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Ice Warriors", freedom-loving renegade scientist Penley and his younger, blunter Scottish sidekick Storr click instantly with the Doctor and Jamie.
    • In "The Dominators" the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe encounter two-hearted thrill-seeking Manchild explorer Cully, his protective but a little bit thick young male student and his young female student with perfect fact recall.
    • "Carnival of Monsters" opens with the arrival of Vorg, an eccentrically-dressed bowtie-wearing older gentleman who possesses a small, seemingly innocuous machine that is bigger on the inside than out and can manipulate time, and his glamorous young blonde travelling companion Shirna, who complains about Vorg's choice of destination and isn't sure he knows how to use his machine. Unlike the Doctor and Jo, though, they are more interested in getting loads of money with their machine than in seeing the wonders of the universe with it. (The whole story contains elements of self-parody of Doctor Who's Monster of the Week nature in this manner.)
    • In "The Greatest Show In The Galaxy", the Doctor and his Mad Bomber sidekick Ace encounter the "eminent intergalactic explorer" Captain Cook and his werewolf sidekick Mags.
  • Person of Interest
    • The episode "Relevance" follows the government hit team that works the Relevant List. They share a similar dynamic to John Reese and Harold Finch; in fact one of them later ends up joining Team Machine.
    • In "Synecdoche", John Reese finds himself the Number being protected by a Washington D.C.-based Team Machine made up of previous "Numbers" that they've saved, and built on the same dynamic (the soldier, the billionaire hacker, the reformed criminal). Justified due to them being recruited by the Machine that witnessed how a team composed of similar individuals has worked for the past few years.
  • Happens more similarly than usual in Roswell when the four aliens meet a genetically identical team of hybrids that grew up on the streets of the big city...except one of the four is mysteriously missing. The other team tells the Roswell kids that they're the real hybrids, and the Roswell kids are the disposable backups. Though the storyline plays up the benefits that Max and Izzy got from being adopted into comfortable suburbia, what's interesting is that Michael is the outsider and independent thinker on both teams.
  • In the "Les Hiques" episode of Letterkenny, Wayne, Daryl, Squirrely Dan, and Katy meet up with their French counterparts whiles fishing in Quebec.
  • The Mighty Boosh episode "The Power of the Crimp" has the Mighty Boosh (consisting of Howard Moon, Vince Noir, Naboo the shaman and his gorilla familiar Bollo) forming a rivalry with the Flighty Zeus, consisting of Harold Boon, Lance Dior, Kanoo and Umbrollo.
  • I'm in the Band had an episode where Iron Weasel meets a girl band who are female versions of them.
  • Workaholics: In one episode, the trio compete in a trivia contest against three guys who look just like them, except Asian instead of white. They have a tall guy (like Anders), short guy (like Adam) and guy with long hair (like Blake).
  • The Still Game episode "Dial-a-Bus" features a countryside pub called the Huntsman, which is almost exactly like the Clansman only much, much nicer, and with counterparts of Boaby the Barman, Jack and Victor. Boaby is so embarrassed by the contrast, he tells his Huntsman counterpart that he's a lawyer.
  • Living Single episode "Come Back, Little Diva" has the group of friends meeting people at Regine's housewarming party similar to themselves, including Orville, the building's handyman not too different from Overton, and Carl, an even more vain version of Kyle.
  • Chousei Kantai Sazer X: The three members of Sazer-X each have equivalents in the Descal's Three Shoguns. Takuto and Blaird are both fiery and impulsive, Ad and Aqual are both bossy and aloof, and Kane and Cyclead both being soft-spoken technological geniuses. Later, when the Neo Descal arrive, each of them acts as a Shadow Archetype to one of the Shoguns. Garade is pompous like Aqual but also ruthless and cares little about his teammates, Grouza is an Evil Genius like Cyclead except much more cold-hearted and faux affable instead of affable, and Jackall is Blaird if he let his temper and thirst for revenge get the better of him.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim:
    • Each of the Armored Riders is mirrored in one of the New Generation Riders. Zangetsu Shin, like Gaim, is a samurai-themed Rider with noble intentions. Duke, like Baron, is a ruthless Social Darwinist hoping to use the Helheim Crisis to seize power. Marika, like Ryugen, is themed after a foreign Asian culture and has an excessive devotion to one of their teammates that wanes as time goes on. And Sigurd, like Gridon, is manipulative and treacherous, and has an inflated opinion of himself.
    • The Overlord Inves that appear later also mirror three of the four main Riders and serve as their dark equivalents. Rosyuo is a powerful and honorable authority figure with noble goals similar to Takatora but unlike him went down a much more cynical path, Demushu is Kaito if he was much more violent and lacked any of his principles, and Redyue is what Mitsuzane would be if he gave up any pretense of doing the right thing and embraced being a sociopath.


  • The second-season crew of Mission to Zyxx includes Ambassador Pleck Decksetter, protocol droid C-53, security officer Dar, Missions Operations Manager Nermut, sidekick Beano, and sentient spaceship Bargie. One episode late in the season follows Ambassador Turk Manaked, protocol droid D-20, security officer Parka/Anorak, Missions Operations Manager Merle, sidekick Squeegee, and sentient spaceship Tiny Toots.

    Puppet Shows 


    Video Games 
  • In Tales of Symphonia, the party, on several occasions, encounters a group of con artists who are claiming to be the heroes. While they only do so in a general sense and don't actually use the heroes' names, the real party members can't help speculating about which of the con artists is the counterpart to which member.
  • In Dragon Quest IV, the King tells the hero that he's not needed as there's already a four-member party heading off to fight the Big Bad. Later in the game your four-member party runs into that four-member party.
  • Team Fortress 2 has this as a central gameplay element.
  • Little Gigant in Inazuma Eleven 3, though it's subtle enough that it's easy to miss. Their starting members are Expies of the original Raimon Eleven from the first game, while their bench members are Expies of Megane (the perpetual benchwarmer from the first game) plus four of the story characters introduced in the second game (namely Tachimukai, Kogure, Fubuki, and Tsunami)
  • Mass Effect:
    • In Mass Effect 2, after being a member of Shepard's squad in the first game, Garrus was inspired to form his own team of vigilantes. Unfortunately they were betrayed from within by Sidonis, leading to everyone but Garrus getting killed when the three largest criminal gangs on Omega teamed up and lay siege to their hideout.
    • In Mass Effect 3, being essentially the Prothean version of Shepard, it's no surprise that Javik had a similar squad in his own time. Part of the reason behind his grim outlook comes from the fact that he was forced to mercy-kill his entire team, after they were captured and indoctrinated by the Reapers.
  • In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, the crew runs into and then joins the party from the first game, giving the player a party of eight members with two adepts representing each element.
  • Disco Elysium:
    • There's another pair of Noble Male, Roguish Male Buddy Cops in the game - the muscled but dim Mack "The Torso" Torson and the slight but smart Chester McClane. They were intended to be the protagonists of the game in very early days, when it was going to be a much more pastichey buddy-cop game called Torson & McClane.
    • Fuck The World and Pissf***t, two ineffectual wannabe gangsters who attempt to vandalise Kim's car without getting in trouble with the police, appear to be parallels of Harry and Kim. Like with Harry and Kim, Fuck The World is a bit more id-driven and silly, and Pissf***t is more officerial and restrained. Both of their names seem to reflect the philosophical sentiment of the police officers, as well. Fuck The World claims his name is a response to 'meaningless' true love by embracing reckless sex with all things ("Because when one fucks everything, he fucks nothing... sticking your dick into the void"), which fits how Harry's response to his heartbreak was to pursue a life of Death Seeker disco hedonism and nihilistic work overload. Pissf***t claims that, while he does like piss, his name is an artistic statement about reclaiming the contempt other people subject him to regardless of his actual nature ("things being defined as they seem, not as they are"); this parallels well with Kim's stoic endurance of the bigotry he experiences as a mixed race man who is a born, patriotic Vacholiere, and a gay man in a world where homosexuality is seen as a subversive underground movement. (Kim, if asked, will say he relates more to the "Pissf***t" sentiment, and that Harry is more of a "Fuck The World" kind of guy.) The player can have Harry ask them for their jackets so he and Kim can wear them, but Kim, a notorious spoilsport, will not play along unless you successfully convince him to do so in the Jamais Vu update by telling him how awesome the sight of two cops wearing those jackets would be, causing him to relent, but he only agrees to do so for as long as you wear one of the jackets yourself and after you take it off, he'll take his off and won't put it back on again.
    • In the Communist Vision Quest in The Final Cut, Stefan and Ulixes might suggest that Harry and Kim are this to them, as they both are examples of the infra-materialist concept of "décomptage" (a principle of heirarchical organisation based on twos - invented by the revolutionary Communists who went on to found Revachol's police force). Of course, Harry and Kim don't really have a lot in common with Stefan and Ulixes. Harry and Kim are a décomptage because they are two police officers acting as partners, and Stefan and Ulixes are a décomptage because they chased away any members from their infra-materialist reading group who diverged from their (rather kooky) views until it was only the two of them left.

  • A couple of sets occur in 8-Bit Theater, most notably the Other Warriors, but also the Real Light Warriors who are an inverted Psycho Rangers.
  • The Linear Guild seems initially to be one for The Order of the Stick. Turns out, they're The Psycho Rangers, deliberately assembled that way by their Genre Savvy leader.
  • qxlkbh uses this for humor in 27: lookalikes: two of the authors, Andrew and Musi, meet people who look identical to them, and it's unclear which duo are the "original".
  • Across the street from Shortpacked! is McAwesome's, which is staffed entirely by people amazingly similar to the main cast who are opposite in some way (Galasso's counterpart is black and isn't a megalomaniac). It's later revealed that Mike, who switches to his friendly alter-ego when he gets drunk, works there, making his intoxicated self his counterpart.
    • It's also implied that Zaph and Rose are related, mirroring the relationship of their Shortpacked counterparts, Faz and Amber (and may actually be related TO their counterparts).
    • A guest-strip featured Leslie's rebound relationship, who was a British Robin complete with foiled invasion backstory and position in Parliament.
  • In this Questionable Content strip, Marten, seeking a new coffee house, finds one with its own versions of himself, Faye, Dora and Steve.
    • Then Faye learns from Alt!Dora that Angus used to go to the Secret Bakery to get insulted by Alt!Faye, because he was not-so-secretly attracted to her. Awkward...
    • And then Marten, having broken up with Dora, was briefly in a relationship with Padma (Alt!Dora). Surprisingly, he hasn't been called on this, possibly because by this point Divergent Character Evolution had developed.
    • "QC En Francais" is set at a coffee shop somewhere in France called Café de la Mort, where the staff include Francelore and Doralsace-Lorraine.
  • Nodwick:
    • In a strip from Dragon Magazine, the party meets a group of Japanese-style adventurers who are pretty much the same as them except for over-the-top attack names. Except for their henchman, who is exactly the same as Nodwick.
      Nodwick: Is there anything you teach me?
      Japanese Henchman: How about "The Way of the Sacrificial Pack-Mule"?
    • In a web-published strip, they meet another party who are less similar but still have all the same classes (fighter, wizard, cleric, and henchman). They develop a friendly rivalry.
  • In Li'l Gotham #8, The Joker and Harley Quinn are captured by the pirate Captain Greenbeard and his "hench wench" Helena Queenie. On seeing them, Batman's reaction is:
    Batman: "Green", "HQ"... Don't I know you?
  • In the Skin Horse storyline "Swiftly I Glide", the team attempt to infiltrate an A-Sig facilty, and find it surprisingly easy since they're assumed to be an inspection team. Even when they're told the real inspection team has arrived at the gate, they're still able to maintain some uncertainty. Dr Lee speculates that either the facility had literally no idea what to expect from the inspection team, or... and cut to the gate, where Moustached Tip, African-American Nick and Dr Lee With A Purple Streak are waiting. The next strip adds Trenchcoated Unity With Even More Skin Tones.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: The "proto-Planeteers" from Gaia's tale in the episode "Hog Tide" are shown on screen as the present-time team - Wally is Kwame's counterpart, Niko is Wheeler's, and so on. Gaia justifies it by saying that the Planeteers remind her of those people from the 1940s.
  • South Park: The kids in Afghanistan in "Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants," which, like the main four kids, has a fat boy with a caustic attitude and a mostly-cloaked boy who's always getting killed.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In an episode, Bart and Lisa figure out how to bring back Itchy and Scratchy but are beaten to the punch by "Lester and Eliza".note 
    • An early episode family goes for counseling and encounters a happier family that looks a lot like them in the waiting room.note 
    • If the "Lemon of Troy" episode is anything to go on, Shelbyville is a full-on copy of Springfield, with counterparts to many of its major citizens and points of interest. The only difference is that they are slightly more deranged — and they're fine with Kissing Cousins.
    • Also subverted in "You Only Move Twice"; when Bart first goes to school in Cypress Creek, he briefly meets a Milhouse-like boy ("Hey, Bart, do you have a best friend yet? 'Cause I've been looking for someone to boss me around"). However, Bart is moved to remedial class before more interactions between the two could take place.
    • A gag of this sort made it into The Movie, Bart scribbled a Paper-Thin Disguise onto a wanted poster depicting his family. Moments later, a family who looks exactly like the newly tampered photo are arrested on the spot.
    • "Homer? Who is Homer? My name is Guy Incognito!"
    • In "The Crepes of Wrath," Bart goes to France in a student exchange program while foreign student Aldi stays with the Simpsons. The scene of Bart's family saying goodbye to him at the airport is immediately followed up by Aldi's family—parents, a sister, and a baby—saying goodbye to him in Albania. Though all the dialogue is in Albanian, they go through the same motions the Simpsons went through in a way that makes it clear they're having the same conversation.
    • One of the Tracey Ullman shorts, "Zoo Story," has the family going to the zoo and watching a similar family of monkeys. Bart bonds with the Bart-like monkey and winds up staying with the monkeys while the Bart-monkey rides home with the Simpsons in their car.
    • In "The Italian Bob," the Simpsons find a dead Similar Squad when they visit Pompeii and stumble on plaster casts of a family consisting of a heavyset father strangling a slingshot-wielding brat in one hand and drinking from a bottle with the other, while looking on are a horrified daughter and a big-haired, baby-holding matriarch wagging a finger.
      Homer: Savages!
    • In "Smoke on the Daughter," Homer and Bart attempt to trap two raccoons who are stealing homemade jerky from their basement. The two raccoons, an adult and a juvenile, humorously resemble Homer and Bart themselves. Homer has a change of heart and decides to befriend the raccoons when he hunts them to their burrow and realizes they're just feeding their family, a second pair of raccoons resembling Marge and Lisa.
  • Vega’s gang in My Life as a Teenage Robot is basically Jenny’s friends if they were robots, and with Vega being a counterpart to Jenny herself.
  • Futurama: An episode has Professor Farnsworth recruiting three new employees who look suspiciously like Fry, Leela, and Bender, believing that they're dead, only for the originals to walk into the room. It's implied that Fry, Leela, and Bender are this in turn to the previous crew of the Planet Express who died attempting to harvest space honey.
    "You'll be the captain, you'll be the delivery boy, and you'll be the alcoholic, foul-mouthed—Oh god, you're alive!"
    • "Möbius Dick" shows that Farnsworth's first crew likewise followed the man/woman/robot configuration, although the man, obsessively dedicated captain Lando Tucker, is explicitly depicted as analogous to Leela while the woman, Candy, has a throwback style vaguely reminiscent of Fry.
  • Recess: The kids once competed against a school run by their principal's brother - basically every kid had their own double with variations in gender/race, and similar names (Regalli—Spinelli, Vance—Vince, Greta Grobler—Gretchen Grundler, Russ Rimple—Gus Griswald, Mickey—Mikey, C.J. Rottweiler—T.J. Detweiler). The other school even had a jungle gym called Big Crusty which looked identical to Old Rusty and Gus noticed many similarities between the two Prickly's schools
    • And then it happened again, albeit with less direct similarity, when Lawson rounded up his own band of recurring minor characters. The shortened version of the opening sequence that normally occurs midway through the show is even replaced with an alternate version starring those kids (it was a double-length episode).
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Thaddeus and Thor", Phineas and Ferb run into two equally-inventive but much less likable kids named, well, Thaddeus and Thor. They also have an older sister named Mandy who's driven crazy by their inventions, and who returns in "Perry the Actorpus" as leader of a group dedicated to helping Candace types resist their urge to bust their brothers.
  • In an episode of the 2010 Pound Puppies ("Catcalls"), the main team runs into a similar team of cats for the first time. The "Kennel Kittens" not only look like their dog counterparts and have similar roles and names, they share voice actors as well.
    • And in "Quintuplets", Lucky and the gang meet a litter of five puppies, with each sibling has a personality corresponding to a dog in the main group (which is repeatedly lampshaded).
  • One episode of King of the Hill showed that the residents of a nearby parallel street had counterparts to all of the main (and secondary) characters. The desire to best them is the only known thing the familiar characters all have in common.
    • Another episode had Hal, an almost exact copy of Hank.
  • In an episode of Rated "A" for Awesome, the Awesome-izers are stuck in the country on a field trip and meet a group of country kids (and their pet dog) who are their exact counterparts.
  • In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, the history of Crystal Cove is littered with teams of mystery solving teenagers. Most of them had a square-jawed Leader, a Smart Girl, a Girly Girl and a tall gangly guy. All of them had a Non-Human Sidekick. Even with the single-gender teams (one of monks and one of cowgirls) you can still see who the counterparts are.
  • Used for a brief sight gag in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003). While hiding in the sewers of an alien world, Mikey sees a group of headband-wearing mutant rats led by a terrapin. "Whoa."
  • The "Cool Kids" in Steven Universe, Jenny, Sour Cream, and Buck, have notable similarities in design, personality traits and tastes in clothing to Amethyst, Pearl, and Garnet, respectively. This is made especially obvious at the end of "Joy Ride", where both groups pose for a photo together.
  • In the Garfield and Friends episode "The Genuine Article", there's a cat named Gabriel who idolizes Garfield and emulates him in every way, including an unnamed Jon-like owner and Ollie the dog. After a Nightmare Sequence where Gabriel ends up taking over Garfield's life (up to and including being Merchandise-Driven), Gabriel realises he has lost what made him an individual.
  • An episode of Arthur when Arthur's third grade class from Lakewood Elementary, taught by Mr. Ratburn, goes to a Renaissance Faire and meets the third grade class from Glenbrook Academy, taught by Mr. Pryce-Jones, Mr. Ratburn's favorite teacher from his school days. Mr. Pryce-Jones is basically is a really snooty, much meaner version of Mr. Ratburn, who is just a goofy, nerdy, but well-meaning guy who has an affinity for giving a lot of homework to challenge his students' minds; Mr. Pryce-Jones seems intent on producing a bunch of snobby learning-machines, and his students behave as such, with an evil Big Eater opposed to Buster, an evil The Smart Guy for the Brain (his counterpart is called "I. Q."), an evil Rich Bitch for Muffy, and an evil Unlucky Everydude for Arthur (named "Chester"). Arthur and Buster even Lampshade the trope's use:
    Arthur: They look familiar. Did we play soccer against those guys?
    Buster: No way! I'd remember a bunch of goofy-looking kids like that.
  • In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Waste of Time", Wander and Sylvia accidentally travel through time and space through "Time Orbbles" and end up in Wander's past, where in the next galaxy over he was in a situation much like the episode "The Picnic". Except instead of Lord Hater and Emperor Awesome fighting to get a wish during a planetary alignment, it's Major Threat (from "The Good Bad Guy") and his squid-like minions facing off against Admiral Admirable and his Foot Soldiers.
  • PAW Patrol has the Kitastrophe Crew, a group of kittens led by Mayor Humdinger from Foggy Bottom. The cats are almost identical to our canine heroes and even have the same gear. (Right down to Cat!Zuma having a bone-shaped scuba mouthpiece)
  • Milo Murphy's Law has a Similar Squad show up in "The Note", with a scene that pays homage to the one from Shaun of the Dead.
  • Family Guy had an episode where Joe, regaining the use of his legs, becomes a jerk and dumps his old friends in favor of more active friends, which includes two white guys and a black guy; to Cleveland's dismay, the black guy is also named for a city (with 'land' in it's name).
    • There's also an episode where Peter finds his real father, who is exactly like him, even owning an anthropomorphic sheep named O'Brien.
  • Dinotrux: One episode has Ty and his friends run into a group of Dinotrux that look exactly like them but behave very differently. Ty's counterpart (a female) is always scoffing and rebellious, Skya's counterpart is the leader of her group (not unlike Ty), Ton-Ton's counterpart is always cautious and doesn't speak in a Totally Radical accent, and Dozer's counterpart really likes being a daredevil (like Ton-Ton). Ty's gang has to teach Rocksie's group how to behave like them to trick D-Structs and D-Stroy, and when their counterparts are thrown into the D-Brothers' prison, Ty and his friends act like Rocksie's gang to "accidentally" break them out. The episode is even called "Opposites".
  • When the titular character of Hey Arnold! went to visit his lookalike country cousin Arnie, he's surprised to find the rural community has oddly similar copies of the people in his neighborhood, albeit with flipped personalities (ie. Anti-Rhonda's a slob, Anti-Harold is polite and well spoken). This is unsettling for Arnold until he lays eyes on Hilda, Helga's demure and wall-flowerish lookalike and falls in love with her, only to find she's pining for Arni. To make matters worse, Arnold has managed to attract the unwanted attention of Lyla's counterpart Lulu, much to the besmitten Arnie's ire. This is actually a funny callback to the situation that arose in the previous episode where Arnie visited Arnold in the city.
  • In Legend Quest: Masters of Myth, Marcella has acquired her own monster-hunting team which is a counterpart to Leo's: Tor is a warrior spirit (albeit a Boisterous Bruiser viking rather than a Cowardly Lion conquistador); Drummer Boy is a snarky but knowledgable spirit (in place of Teodora and her smartphone); Cinnamon Bling is a fantasy animal (a unicorn instead of an alabreje); and even the two imp-like creatures previously established as the rivals of the sugar skulls.
  • American Dad!:
    • The episode "A Ward Show" has Principal Lewis and Steve riding through a desert to hop the Grand Canyon, where they come across another duo, consisting of an older Caucasian man and an African-American boy with glasses, who are scolded by the former duo. Hilariously, they also try to hop the Grand Canyon at the same time as Principal Lewis and Steve, and end up crashing into each other.
    • The episode "Every Which Way But Lose" has Steve recruit three "equally-important friends" to his pee wee football team: Cheese, Hubert, and Li-Fung, who are identical to Snot, Barry and Toshi. Cheese may or may not be Jewish, Hubert is a fat kid, and Li-Fung is Asian (but Chinese, instead of Japanese).
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout has him take a surface tour with Patrick. The tour bus eventually arrives at a burger diner called "The Trusty Slab", which is pretty much a "Plankton tries to steal the formula" episode played by humans, specifically, the voice actors.
  • The Cabbage Patch Kids Christmas special had the kids escaping the evil Lavender McDade, Cabbage Jack, and Beau Weasel on their way to the big city, where they run into a trio of gangsters that fill the same basic roles and share the other villains' voice actors. It's lampshaded when one of the kids comments how much they remind them of their usual villains.
  • In the DuckTales (2017) episode "Terror of the Terra-Firmians", the five Terra-Firmians the kids encounter are red, green, blue, pink and grey, reflecting the color-coding of the triplets, Webby, and Lena. Red and Pink even seem to have been having a similar agument to Huey and Webby about the existence of surface-dwellers.
  • Get Ace: The rival band in "Bandemonium" are identical strangers to the five kids from Funpark High who happen to be attending, only being differently-colored, wearing different clothes and being polar opposites in personality. Their names are also just slight alterations of the Funpark High kids.
  • Ready Jet Go!: Jet, Sean, Sydney, and Mindy are reflections of Dr. Bergs, Dr. Rafferty, Dr. Skelley, and Mr. Peterson.
    • Both Jet and Dr. Bergs are jovial and comedic. They both love pastries and tend to be the most overdramatic of their respective groups. We eventually learn that Dr. Bergs is the descendant of astronomer pioneer Lone Star, who Jet always portrays when Sydney tells tales about Lone Star. However, unlike Jet, Dr. Bergs is not the leader of the DSA scientists.
    • Sean and Dr. Rafferty have Shared Family Quirks, namely them being the most nervous of their respective teams. Like his mother, Sean is fairly intelligent and level-headed.
    • Sydney is the peacekeeper and pretty much the 'parent' of the team whenever they do foolish things. Dr. Skelley is easily the most level-headed of the DSA scientists, as she always offers a clear plan of what to do next, as does Sydney. What's more, they have a shared love of engineering and Commander Cressida comics.
    • Mindy is a direct reflection of Mr. Peterson. Both have brown hair and outfits with warm colors. They both are very self-centered and proud, but are also the oddballs in their respective groups: Mr. Peterson does not have a doctorate (hence why he's called Mr. and not Dr.), and Mindy is the youngest of the kids. Coincidentally, Mindy has a crush on Mr. Peterson's son Mitchell.
  • Let's Go Luna!: "Blanket Decision" has a dream sequence showing Andy's old friends from America — Kimmy and Billy, who look just like Andy's current friends Carmen and Leo. Carmen and Kimmy even have the same voice actress. This is significant because the dream shows Andy that he can have old and new friends.
  • We Bare Bears: The episode "Panda's Friend" centers around Panda making friends with a guy named Tom who is basically a human version of himself. At the end of the episode, he ends up meeting two human equivalents to Grizzly and Ice Bear, named Griff and Isaac. They would appear in further episodes.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks:
    • The four main characters have counterparts in the delta shifters, who seem more jerky than our heroes (the beta shifters) are; they consist of Asif (Boimler), Moxy (Tendi), Karavitus (Mariner), and a currently unnamed man with an eyepatch (Rutherford).
    • "Veritas" has a gag with Dr. T'Ana running onto what she thinks is the bridge of the Cerritos, only it's another vessel, with strange counterparts to the usual main characters (ie. Boimler's counterpart is some sort of mosquito man). As Dr. T'Ana runs off, cursing why all Starfleet vessels look alike, she passes by her own counterpart, a male human doctor with orange facial hair and a similar hairdo, asking "who the hell was that?".
    • Said counterparts show up in a huge Brick Joke in the season 3 finale, as part of the entire fleet of California-class ships arriving to save the Cerritos from certain doom.


Video Example(s):


Yvonne of the Dead

Whilst leading his group to the Winchester, Shaun bumps into his friend Yvonne, whose own group of survivors bears a strikingly resemblance to Shaun's.

How well does it match the trope?

4.94 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / SimilarSquad

Media sources: