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Not So Different / Live-Action TV

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Examples of Not So Different in live-action TV.

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  • In the 7th season of 24, both Jonas Hodges and Tony Almeida try to tell Jack Bauer that their dastardly deeds are very similar to the things Jack has done in his career. That it's true makes it hit home harder. Jason Pillar says this to him as well in the penultimate episode of the show.
  • In the 30 Rock episode "Generalissimo", Jack Donaghy confronts a Mexican soap-opera actor whose onscreen evil is biasing Jack's Puerto Rican girlfriend's grandmother against him. The actor, Hector Moreda, looks exactly like him (and is played by none other than Alec Baldwin). As they discuss the fate of El Generalissimo, the swarthy, mustachio'd Hector points out to Jack that "We're not so different, you and I".
  • The 100 has this between Clarke and Anya (and, more broadly, between the 100 and the Grounders). Clarke complains about how the Grounders have been attacking them without provocation, but Anya points out that many of the 100's actions could be seen as unprovoked attacks as well. Their similarity is confirmed by the fact that they agreed to speak to each other without weapons or other fighters backing them up, but neither of them trusted the other, and they both had snipers hiding nearby to attack if necessary. Needless to say, this torpedoes their peace talks.
  • The 4400: "No Exit" shows several of the main characters locked up in the NTAC building, including Jordan Collier and Tom Baldwin. After it is revealed that the lockup is only the result of one of the NTAC agents having an ability due to a previous injection of promicin, and was created as a collective dream in order to promote cooperation between the Collier followers and NTAC, Collier and Baldwin are forced to work together and the ordeal convince both of them that there is common ground between them. However, Baldwin still keeps his stance against Collier and vows to catch him.

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • When Robbie captures Daisy, he says that they're not very different. They're both vigilantes going after the same groups; the difference is that she tries to avoid killing if she can, and Robbie doesn't need proof to kill people. She turns this around on him when she suggests they work together.
      Daisy: We want the same thing.
      Robbie: No, we don't.
      Daisy: You just said we're not that different.
      Robbie: [glares]
      Daisy: I'm sorry, but you did. Like, ten seconds ago.
    • In season 4 the cast is put into a Matrix style scenario called The Framework where they live alternate lives that had them not suffer their greatest regret, Fitz gets to grow up with his father being supportive and nurturing instead of neglectful. However, as his father is a cruel sociopathic bastard, this makes Fitz grow up to be a cold, calculating, remorseless, sadistic Mad Scientist Torture Technician instead of the good person he normally was. When he's freed, it hits him like a semi-truck that he's really not that different than Grant Ward as all it took to push both of them down a horrible path was one very bad influence. He does not take it well.
  • Stanton Parish says this to Dr. Rosen in the Season 1 Season Finale of Alphas. Both of them manipulate others for their own ends, and both feel those ends are aided by The Masquerade. Rosen points out that he might manipulate people, but he's trying to help them, and subsequently blows the Masquerade open.
  • In American Gothic (1995), one hero (The Chosen One, of sorts) has to tell another (his Spirit Advisor) that she is Not So Different: in "The Plague Sower", having gone too far in her desire for vengeance and justice, Merlyn uses her angelic powers to curse Trinity with an almost Biblical plague, only relenting when she is made to see how her either-or mentality and harsh, murderous methods make her no better than Buck.
  • On Andromeda, whenever Dylan does something underhanded to accomplish his goals, a nearby Nietzschean will point out that he "would have made a good Nietzschean".
  • Wesley mentions this in regards to Lilah in Angel:
    We were fighting on opposite sides, but it was the same war.
  • In Arrow, Helena says this to Oliver, despite his insistence that what he does is about justice, not vengeance. (She has a list like his, and breaks a man's neck because "no-one can know my secret", just like Oliver does in the pilot.)
  • The A-Team, "The Battle of Bel Air". Mr. Carson tries to pull this on Hannibal, saying that they both provide what a person needs in return for money, and offers to give the team employment in the future and more money than Tawnia is paying right now. Hannibal collars him, growling that they're really Not So Similar.

  • In Babylon 5 the meeting between "King Arthur" and Delenn in "A Late Delivery From Avalon".
    • It also happens in one episode when Bester and Garibaldi are forced to work together.
    • Once upon a time, there was a peaceful race that was attacked by savage enemies coming from nowhere who enslaved and killed them until they fought them off, and then expanded to both take their revenge and prevent this from ever happening again, only to become violent conquerors themselves in the process. This is the backstory of the Narn, invaded by the Centauri... And the Centauri themselves, invaded by the Xon (the main difference being that the Centauri successfully exterminated the Xon while the Narn were never a serious danger to the more powerful Centauri).
  • Band of Brothers:
    • In the last episode, a surrendering Nazi officer pulls this trope on Major Winters, mentioning that they are both reluctant warriors who love peace even though they are very good at war. Winters silently acknowledges the man's point before accepting the man's surrender.
    • In the same episode, the final speech of a German general to his collected men before they (the German soldiers) are sent back home drives the point home that the German rank-and-file soldiers and the American soldiers aren't all that different after all. The speech the colonel makes could very well have been made by Major Winters to his own men and have meant the same thing: "Men, it's been a long war, it's been a tough war. You've fought bravely, proudly for your country. You're a special group. You've found in one another a bond that exists only in combat, among brothers. You've shared foxholes, held each other in dire moments. You've seen death and suffered together. I'm proud to have served with each and every one of you. You all deserve long and happy lives in peace."
  • Character Development and Backstory have combined to make this the case between Humanity and the Cylons in the new Battlestar Galactica. Many of the Cylons have come to realize they are no better than humans and are in fact very human indeed. Humanity had slowly come around to the point where most of the main cast acknowledge the Cylons are people too, though the process on their end is hampered by the Cylons whole killed 20 billion people thing which makes it easier for people to deny the similarities- admittedly, they may have a point. This leads to a great deal of trouble when most of the main group are forced to acknowledge this trope, they needed to or they would both die essentially, but a great many cannot get past the aforementioned stumbling block for obvious reasons.
  • Batwoman (2019): Alice says that like her years of captivity, Sophie has also been kept "imprisoned" in a sense with being closeted about her attraction to women.
  • A great example of the "That's why I can beat you" outcome is a scene in Blood Ties where the cornered freaked-out vampire (abandoned by its sire) tells Henry that he too is a monster and Henry answers "But I am the monster who is coming out of this alive."
  • Cold Sniper Jacob Broadsky keeps trying to invoke this with Friendly Sniper Booth in Bones. Booth was an Army Ranger sniper who killed to keep his country safe but wasn’t happy with it. Broadsky repeatedly insists they’re the same because he’s killing people he feels escaped justice. Unfortunately he’s killing innocent people in the process. At least one character in the lab brings it up too and it quickly becomes clear it’s pushing Booth’s Berserk Button.
  • Walter and Gus in Breaking Bad. To the point where Walter echoes several of Gus' lines over Season 4. The shot of Walt casually discarding his gun in the lab at the end of the season is also similar to the way Gus dropped the bloodied box cutter in the season premiere.
    • And let's not forget the fact that both are willing to use children to get what they want.
    • Also Walt and Skylar, increasingly throughout the series.
    • Walt and Hank, particularly prevalent in Season 5B.
  • Invoked in Bron|Broen when Saga runs through the psychological profile of the Serial Killer for her superior, Hans. This comes into play when he takes a minute to realize she's not talking about herself. She doesn't seem to mind (or notice, really) - though to be fair, they were discussing her when she suddenly brought it up.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • This comes up often between Buffy and Faith (and Buffy and Angelus, and Buffy and Dracula for that matter)...for one Buffy has such a huge thing for Daniel Craig that she creeps the Bond fan and Camp Gay Andrew out, while Faith demands Angel drag him to her.
    • And, one that's sadly never pointed out, Willow and Faith. Both had pretty shitty lives (although Faith's is implied to be far worse), gained new, amazing abilities which they began to abuse, causing problems. After a great trauma, they turned evil, trying to kill Buffy and end the world (or, in Faith's case, do whatever the Mayor was trying to do). They were both brought down by someone showing compassion when they really didn't deserve it, leaving everyone they knew for a while and then returning in Season 7 with more control over themselves, but distrusted. One wonders what they talked about during that car ride.
    • Spike is constantly telling Buffy this in Season 6, and while Buffy always angrily denies the idea it's clear she also secretly believes him, fueling her decision to have a torrid affair with Spike. There's also something to be said about their rebellion against typical norms with Spike constantly proving himself to be an outlier in the vampire world (souled or soulless) just as Buffy is when it comes to being a Slayer.
    • Buffy and Angel. They're both leaders and champions, martyring, have an almost identical rivalry with their respective "other" (Faith for Buffy, Spike for Angel), and are consistently cut off from everyone around them as they walk the line between the human and demon world. Both have been shunned or turned on by their team. Not to mention they both had a "dark" nihilistic phase on their own show eerily reminiscent of the other right down to sleeping with a soulless vampire to "feel"...
    • There are also fairly interesting similarities between Willow and Warren. For instance, they both started off as nerdy teens but were driven towards dark pragmatism by the desire for power. Also, none of them were above using magic to make a girl stay with them.
    • When a spell went off showing an individual's worst fears, Amy's was shown to be her mother.
    • Buffy the self-confident and Inferiority Superiority Complex afflicted Slayer and Amanda the slightly off-kilter and gawky Potential: both turn out to be bully hunters, much to Buffy's shock and amusement.
    • In the continuation comics, this is noted in-universe as potentially having become true for Spike and Angel. They're both vampires with souls, both in love with Buffy, deal with problems by brooding, and are currently The Atoner trying to make up for what they've done in the past. In addition, the TV show noted that Angelus is a big reason Spike was how he was because he wanted to make someone similar to himself. Angel is too flustered to argue well when Willow brings it up, while Spike only manages the comeback that they're different as night and day because he's British while Angel's Irish. The issue itself presents a different difference: Spike is more open to change than Angel and possibly more capable of it due to having gotten his soul much more recently.

  • In Cobra Kai, Johnny Lawrence and Danny LaRusso are revealed to be this, both being people who felt helpless and were bullied in their youth (Johnny by his abusive stepfather and Danny by the Cobra Kai students), both found a Parental Substitute in their Karate sensei who gave them the father figure they never had and the courage to stand up for what they believed in, both have problems controlling their anger (albeit Daniel is much better at it), and they even both love 70's/80's era rock music like REO Speedwagon. They even bond over some beers in one episode, coming to understand each other and even almost burying the hatchet and opting to have a friendly sparring match "like the end of Rocky III," but unfortunately just then the truth about Robby being Johnny's son is revealed and they go right back to hating one another. Ali Mills sums it up the absolute best in the Season 3 finale:
    Ali: This is exactly the problem. You say one thing, you say the opposite. You both think there's only one side to the story.
    Johnny: I know. There's two.
    Ali: No, there's three. There's your side, and your side, and then there's the truth. And the truth is, you guys are more alike than you want to admit. Maybe you recognize parts of yourselves in each other, and maybe you don't always like what you see.
  • The Carsini brothers in the Columbo episode Any Old Port In A Storm seem to be completely opposite on the surface, with Rick being tall, handsome, and athletic and interested in living a party lifestyle, whereas Adrian is short, pudgy, uptight, and obsessed with fancy wines. However, they're both ultimately interested in spending huge amounts of money to fund the hobbies and pleasures they take very seriously, all while refusing to take advantage of their talents in those areas to make money—namely, Adrian refuses to let the family wine company make more accessible products due to his uncompromising standards, and Rick won't become a professional athlete because of his sense of sportsmanship.
  • Community: In "Basic Genealogy", Pierce gives a speech to Jeff about them both trying to avoid loneliness.
  • The Korean Drama series Crash Landing on You shows that despite the major differences in political and economic systems in North and South Korea, the people of both nations are still Korean and can be quite alike. The women in Jeong-Hyuk's rural village are quite gossipy about village affairs and romance like their urban South Korean counterparts, the elites of both nations play sinister games for clout and power, and Jeong-Hyuk's soldiers are not mooks, but rather treated as a Band of Brothers with their individual quirks and steadfast loyalty to each other like how a South Korean series would depict its own soldiers.
  • Comes up from time to time in Criminal Minds between unsubs and protagonists, reasonably - typically, any of the B.A.U. troubled any time it does are pointed to the fact that they couldn't very well do their job if they couldn't understand or let themselves think like the people they chase.

  • On May 9th, 2011's The Daily Show, Jon Stewart says that he and Osama bin Laden, of all people, are Not So Different less than three minutes into the show.
    • February 19, 2014: Jason Jones declared Russia a paradise for American conservatives: anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-abortion, anti-immigration, pro-gun and pro-Christianity.
    • While we're at politics, the punchline of a British sketch show about some past US election was: "...the Republicans (cut to Explain-O-Man: "which are a conservative party") versus the Democrats (cut to Explain-O-Man: "which are a conservative party")". For obvious reasons, no-one has applied this gag to the Trump vs. Clinton election.
  • In The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Tavra points out that Brea has many similarities to her sister Seladon, which Brea balks at.
  • Played with on Dexter, when FBI Agent Lundy notes how his psychological profile of the Trinity Killer describes himself as well. Not only is this an example of a heroic character comparing himself to a villain, but Dexter (who himself relates to Trinity) is also impressed as well.
    • Isaak Sirko tells Dexter they could have been friends under other circumstances. Dexter doesn't disagree.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The first two appearances of the Daleks on the new series were Chock Full O' Not So Different moments.
    • In "Dalek":
      • The "Metaltron" initially points out that, being the last of their respective races, it and the Doctor are "the same". The Doctor's reaction starts out in the usual way, but then veers suddenly and shockingly into the Dark Side:
        The Doctor: We're not the same! I'm not– no. Wait. Maybe we are. You're right, yeah, okay. You've got a point. Because I know what to do. I know what should happen. I know what you deserve.
        [he moves toward the torture machine's control panel and gives the Dalek a big smile]
        The Doctor: Exterminate!
      • Near the end of the episode, it again notes that "You would make a good Dalek", which this time has the usual effect of making the Doctor realize how close he's come to crossing the line.
      • The Doctor also compares Henry van Statten, the man who had the Dalek in containment, to Davros, the creator of the Daleks, without mentioning Davros by name.
    • "The Empty Child": In an example not involving villains, the Doctor meets Dr. Constantine, a doctor at the hospital with The Virus victims, who explains that before the war began, he was a father and a grandfather. Now he's neither, but he's still a doctor. The Doctor responds that he knows the feeling.
    • In "Boom Town", the Doctor deconstructs Blon's Pet the Dog moment, explaining that it is nothing more than an emotional crutch to help her live with the multitude she has killed. She replies that she expects a killer like him would understand that.
    • In "The Parting of the Ways", the Dalek Emperor repeatedly taunts the Doctor by describing him as "The Great Exterminator", after the Doctor threatens to use a machine to destroy the Daleks along with all life on Earth. And then later, once Rose has absorbed the heart of the TARDIS and uses it to, well, exterminate the Daleks, the Emperor says, "I will not die!" Fully five years later, none other than Rassilon himself, the Lord President and very architect of Time Lord society, now turned into a vengeful Omnicidal Maniac, says the exact same thing. Under similar duress, too!
    • "Last of the Time Lords": It turns out that the Toclafane are the final form of humanity in the far future, and they have a lot in common with the Daleks, as withered living creatures encased in nigh-indestructible metal shells who seek to kill everything else. In their case, it's not because they find other lifeforms offensive like the Daleks, but because it's just so fun! It's debatable whether or not this makes them even worse than the Daleks.
      • Oh, and it's rumoured that the Toclafane were originally conceived as potential replacements for the Daleks in the new series as they very nearly did not get the rights to use them.
    • "Voyage of the Damned": Astrid Peth got a job with a cruise ship company because she wanted to leave her boring planet and see new skies, rather like the Doctor.
    • "Planet of the Ood": The Doctor compares the situation of the Ood's enslavement to contemporary Earth, asking Donna who she thinks made her clothes. She returns fire by asking if he only brings humans along so he can act superior at them, a point he concedes.
    • "The Doctor's Daughter": Jenny spends half the episode trying to convince the Doctor he's being a hypocrite because he was a soldier in a war, just like she was created to be, and committed genocide to end it. On the flipside, she discovers that she's more of a Martial Pacifist like him.
    • In "Journey's End", Davros notes how the Doctor turns his companions into weapons, and wonders how many have "died in his name" (cue flashback) before proclaiming he has shown the Doctor "himself".
      Davros: I made the Daleks, Doctor. You made this.
    • "Planet of the Dead": When the Doctor learns that Lady Christina is a Classy Cat-Burglar who steals for fun, he acts disapproving for about ten seconds before admitting that he stole the TARDIS.
      Christina: I take it you disapprove?
      The Doctor: Absolutely. [pauses] Except... that little blue box... I stole it. From my own people.
      Christina: Good boy! You were right, we're quite a team.
    • "The Waters of Mars": When the Doctor starts to snap, Ironic Echoes abound as he unknowingly begins to channel his archenemy the Master.
    • "The End of Time": At the climax, the Master immediately figures out what the Doctor intends to do when he's told to "get out of the way", and later repays the favour.
    • "The Beast Below": Amy saves the day by realizing this applies to the Doctor and the Star Whale: they're both incredibly old, the Last of Their Kind and a Friend to All Children.
    • "Cold Blood": Mama Bear Ambrose and General Ripper Restac are both doing what they think is best for their families, even if it means war between their species.
    • "The Pandorica Opens" ratchets this trope up several notches by punking the audience with this trope. The spine-chilling way note  the Shrouded in Myth, He Who Must Not Be Named monster inside the Pandorica is described makes it sound like an absolutely amazing Doctor Who villain. The thing it's describing? It's the Doctor. Completely accurately described, too.
    • "The God Complex":
      The Doctor: [The prison] drifts through space. Snatches people with belief systems. It converts the people's faith into food for the creature. According to the info-recorder, the program developed glitches, got stuck on the same setting.
      Amy: What is it saying?
      The Doctor: [translating the Minotaur] An ancient creature, drenched in the blood of the innocent. Drifting in space through an ever-shifting maze. For such a creature... death would be a gift. [to the Minotaur] Then accept it. And sleep well. [the Minotaur grunts its final words, stopping the Doctor cold] ...I wasn't talking about myself.
    • The trend of the Doctor getting positively scary when faced with Daleks returns in "Into the Dalek". The short version is, a Dalek claims to have made a Heel–Face Turn after seeing the wonders of the universe and that life can never be exterminated. Turns out the Dalek is damaged, dying. The Doctor fixes "Rusty," but it turns out that he also fixed the tech that helps keep Daleks "pure." Cue rampage. So the Doctor tries to make Rusty as he was, by giving him some of his own memories. It's all well and good... until he gets to the Doctor's own memories of and feelings about the Daleks. This sends Rusty on a spree of blasting the other Daleks; it's unlike a normal Dalek rampage purely in terms of who he's targeting. Not a thing about the beauty of the universe or sanctity of life, it's "THE DALEKS ARE EVIL! THE DALEKS MUST BE EXTERMINATED!" In the end, the Doctor laments the outcome; he doesn't like the fact that there's that kind of hatred in him, and he'd also hoped Rusty could truly be good. Rusty tells him, "I am not a good Dalek. You are a good Dalek." It's of course, not the first time he's heard that.
    • A more positive example occurs at the end of "Robot of Sherwood", when Robin Hood, having heard about the Doctor's history from Clara, suggests that they are not so different; both aristocrats (Earl of Locksley, Lord of Time) who turned outlaw rather than ignore injustice.
    • Invoked in "Death in Heaven" by Missy, who tries to get the Doctor to use an army of Cybermen to do good in the universe, because "I need my friend back! I need you to know that we're not so different!"
    • "The Witchfinders":
      • When the Doctor accuses King James of hiding behind his title, he points out that she's doing the same with her title of "Doctor". Judging by her ensuing Death Glare, this clearly hit a nerve.
      • During her trial, the Doctor appeals to James by pointing out the things they have in common. It almost works.
        The Doctor: We're all the same. We want certainty, security, to believe that people are evil or heroic, but that's not how people are. You wanna know the secrets of existence? Start with the mysteries of the heart.
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. One of the recurring themes was the constant clashing between the mostly white townspeople/Army and the Native Americans who had been displaced by them. But it was often noted that the dog soldiers could be just as cruel and violent as the Army that they despised. Later, when Dorothy and Cloud Dancing strike up a friendship when she decides to write a book about him, she endures much ridicule and snubs from the locals, to the point where she stands him up for one of their meetings. When she goes to apologize and admit to why she didn't show up, he points out the angry and disapproving looks from his people, revealing that he's been facing the same problem – and that both groups can be just as prejudiced as the other.

  • The sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond provides an unusual example, where the writers either were oblivious to the characters' similarities or perhaps purposely chose not to highlight them. Marie and her daughter-in-law Debra are almost always at odds with one another and constantly fighting, but if one actually examines their personalities and motivations, they actually have a disturbing amount of things in common. For one thing, they both want complete and total control over Ray's life (Marie is his mother, Debra is his wife) and both seek to punish him whenever he tries to be independent (this is arguably the true reason they fight: they can't both have complete control over him, so their goals are mutually exclusive). They both generally have nasty tempers, and both are rather self-centered. And yet despite these similarities, the show tries to portray Debra as being morally superior to Marie and play Debra for sympathy while castigating Marie as a Monster in Law. The likely reason for this is ratings: as an attractive youngish-to-middle-aged soccer mom, Debra could be more easily marketed as "relatable" to the Baby Boomers that made up the show's core audience demographics, while Marie—as an elderly woman from the World War II generation—is from a Periphery Demographic that CBS wasn't as keen to try appealing to. Thus the difference in the characters' portrayals. It's an odd example of this trope because even if the writers were aware of the characters' similarities, it seems that they preferred not to highlight them, so that they could instead play up their rivalry to pander to their core demographic and drive up ratings.
    • The characters' similarities were occasionally brought up. It was indicated that the relationship between Marie and her mother-in-law was very similar to the one between Marie and Debra. In fact, Marie often mentioned that she and Debra were similar, but this was something Debra refused to accept.

  • Farscape has a few examples:
    • John and Crais have a moment together in the episode "Family Ties" where they acknowledge that they have come more or less full circle, with Crais in a cell and realizing how much damage he has done to the protagonists and finally admitting his true motivations for hunting them for so long. It doesn't hurt that they also look like the same species.
    • In the final episode, "Bad Timing", Scorpius forces John to acknowledge that they both use, manipulate, and betray each other, making John admit that he has become much more like Scorpius than he would like to admit. Scorpius has a bad habit of claiming that they both want the same thing and trying to play on John's sympathies to get his help throughout the last two seasons but John is (quite understandably) reticent to accept Scorpius's claims of similarity.
    • In a non-villainous example in the Season 3 episode "Wait For The Wheel". Zhaan (priestess and healer) says to Aeryn (former stormtrooper)
      Don't be afraid to understand yourself. We're not so different as you assume. Violent past, no faith in the future, and then a transformative experience aboard this very ship.
  • In Firefly, Mal and Simon are more alike than they seem. Both have a tender side though Mal's is buried far deeper. Both can be protective and loyal to the point of fanaticism. And both have an awesome Death Glare(which looks really cool when they are glaring at each other).
    • It's easy to make a case that part of the reason Mal allows Simon and River to stay on the ship at all is because of their similarities. Both Mal and Simon have causes they are willing to fight and die for (freedom in Mal's case, River in Simon's case) and both suffered heavy personal loss for those causes (Mal suffered a complete loss of his ideals and beliefs, while Simon lost his personal fortune and career). And at the end of Serenity, both Mal and Simon have traded their burdens, with Mal willing to fight and die to protect River, and Simon willing to fight and die for justice and to oppose the Alliance's reign.
  • The Flash (2014): Part of Zoom's anarchist "fun" during the final Season 2 story arc was trying to pull this with Barry. It almost worked.
  • In Flashpoint, SRU negotiators will often share a relevant experience from their own past to help the subject relate to them and recognize that the negotiator understands them. For example, in "First In Line", Parker tells a desperate father that he's a father too and understands how much a child means to their parent, and in "Behind the Blue Line", Sam Braddock tells a former soldier suffering from Survivor Guilt that he struggled with the same feelings due to losing his best friend in Afghanistan in a Friendly Fire incident.
  • Predictably occurs whenever Frasier and Niles have a dispute. In one memorable example, Frasier calls Niles out for deceiving Daphne in order to get affection from her, while doing something very similar to his current love interest.
    Frasier: She was also trusting you to tell the truth!
    Niles: Oh, and the difference would be?
    Frasier: Your woman is English!
    Niles: [beat] Frasier, you've lost this one.
    Frasier: I know, I know. It's just going to take a little while to climb down off of this particular high horse.
  • A French Village:
    • Philippe accuses Marcel of not being so different from him while they're talking in prison, and the pair do realize their many shared traits.
    • The French Resistance later hang and shoot people without trial, just like the Germans.
  • Uncle Phil and Will Smith from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air are a lot more similar than they and fans realize.
    • Both have a history as The Casanova (Uncle Phil was one too when he was around the same age as Will Smith).
    • Both are major Deadpan Snarkers.
    • Both are afraid of losing their mothers to another man.
    • Both grew up in poor backgrounds.
    • Both are very fast to stick up for their relatives (even the ones they have trouble getting along with) when they need it the most.
  • Friends:
    • While enjoying their new recliners, Chandler and Joey watch Beavis And Butthead; most of the scene involves the boys laughing just like the duo on TV.
    • Janice is grating on all of the friends and they all dread seeing her and even hearing her voice. In short, she annoys them. However, in the short time that Ross dated Janice, Ross' constant whining and complaining managed to get the annoying Janice to be annoyed with Ross' negativity. This completely shocks Ross and he lampshades it:
      Ross: I annoy YOU? Janice?
    • Chandler realizes this about him and Mr. Heckles in The One Where Heckles Dies.
    • In "The One With the Morning After", in an effort to cover up his trail from Chloe (with whom he'd had an affair) to Rachel, Ross speaks with Chloe's co-worker, Issac, who is more than eager to help Ross.
      Ross: Listen, can you keep this information to yourself?
      Issac: Aw, no problem dude. Y'know we got to look out for each other. We’re the same, you and me.
      Ross: Actually, no, we're not.
      Issac: Yeah, we are.
      Ross: No, we're not.
      Issac: Yeah, we are.
      Ross: No, we're not!!
      Issac: Okay, we're not.
      Ross: Right.
      Issac: But, we are.
      Ross: Fine.
    • In one episode Rachel catches herself talking to Joey the way her father used to talk to her when she was a child.
      Rachel: I've become my father. I spent so long trying not to become my mother I didn't see this coming.
  • In The Remake of The Fugitive, despite their adversarial relationship, both Richard Kimble and Lt. Gerard are trying to avenge their late wives. Kimble by finding her real killer and Gerard by catching him (Gerard's first wife was killed by a Drunk Driver and aside from feeling guilty about being unable to save her, he's enraged that Kimble would destroy what he would give anything to have back and extra angry that Kimble has evaded justice as his own wife's killer did).

  • Game of Thrones:
    • In "Battle of the Bastards", Daenerys wants to crucify the Masters of Slavers Bay and burn their cities to the ground in retaliation for their attacking Meereen. Hoping to avoid seeing Dany play out this trope and become more like her father the Mad King Aerys, Tyrion tells her how King Aerys planned to destroy King's Landing with wildfire to put down a rebellion, thus killing those loyal to him as well as the traitors.
      Daenerys: This is entirely different!
      Tyrion: You're talking about destroying cities. It's not entirely different. I'd like to suggest an alternate approach.
    • Tyrion muses that the difference between the people of the Seven Kingdoms and the wildlings is that when the Wall was built, their ancestors just happened to be on the right side.
    • Robert Baratheon:
      • Ned insists in "The Wolf and the Lion" that Robert's plan to assassinate Daenerys will make them no better than the Mad King they overthrew. When arguing to assassinate Daenerys, Robert asserts that what keeps the peace is "fear and blood," which sounds a lot like the Targaryen house words of "Fire and Blood".
      • Another deeply ironic case: he is not keen on the previous king's descendants and goes after the teenage Daenerys and her unborn child when he learns she's pregnant. There is also a high probability that he would — by Ned's (AKA the only person who still has a somewhat good opinion on Robert) words — murder Cersei's bastard children if he learned the truth about them. Shortly after his "father's" death, Joffrey orders the execution of Robert's bastard children, because he's not too keen on having the descendants of the previous king around.
    • Maester Luwin asks Theon if he should really be mocking Osha for her situation in Winterfell, because "a prisoner and a guest" describes his situation almost exactly.
    • Maester Aemon reveals to Jon Snow that he knows all about the pain and devastation Jon is feeling of being torn between duty and love for family as Jon is deeply worried over his father and sisters after hearing of his father's arrest in King's Landing and wants to help them by joining his brother Robb to get them back. Master Aemon, even as a blind old man, was chafed at remaining on the Wall while his entire family, even the little children, were overthrown and slaughtered. Bonus points for identifying with Jon despite Jon being the bastard son of Ned Stark, who helped overthrow the dynasty (but was adamantly against the killing of the children.)
    • Tywin telling a disguised Arya how much she reminds him of his daughter. Surely Arya was thrilled. However, he meant this because both are driven, intelligent and clearly underestimated, and he meant that as a compliment and refers to the young Cersei.
    • The Hound claims that Bronn is a Blood Knight much like himself. The jury's still out on how much either of them actually qualifies.
    • Tyrion remarks that Robb Stark has a "certain belligerence" and thinks his father would like him. As a young man, Tywin himself raised an army and successfully led it against the enemies of his house.
    • Tyrion's final words to the father he has just fatally wounded: "I am your son. I have always been your son."
    • Osha to Meera Reed, as Bran reminds her — Meera pulled a knife on Osha the first time they met, Osha did the same to Bran.
    • House Bolton to the other Great Houses, according to Roose in the Season 3 Blu-ray history and lore...
      Roose: The Lannisters swindled their enemies, the Storm Kings hammered them and the Starks cut off their heads. In such company, are the Boltons really so... indelicate?
    • A few characters, particularly Tyrion, compare Joffrey to Aerys II aka the Mad King, for how bloodthirsty and insane Joffrey can be when he really gets riled up. It's also not unnoticed that Joffrey is a product of incest, and the Targaryens practiced incest to keep their bloodline pure but which made several of them prone to madness.
    • A rare positive example, which is even rarer given the series: Ser Davos bonds with Gendry: "Two boys from Flea Bottom in the castle of a king."
  • Invoked and subverted in The George Lopez Show, when George forbids Carmen from dating Zach, she tries to change his mind by telling him that they're lives are similar, but he still doesn't budge.
    Carmen: His dad's never there for him and his mom's a bitter, old drunk.
    [George slowly turns to Benny]
    George: You ready?
  • Done both ways in Gilmore Girls, even though it's an unusual trope for that genre. Paris and Rory move for the first time away from being rivals after a "good" Not So Different moment. Lorelai is occasionally unhinged after experiencing a "bad" Not So Different moment with her controlling mother.
    • On a road trip with Lorelai, Rory, and Emily, Rory watches her mum and grandma in two adjoining rooms getting ready for bed; they're both in front of a mirror and both make the exact same movements patting night cream under their eyes, then stepping back to view the result. Rory, slightly creeped out, says "Behold my future!" to Lorelai. When Lorelai realizes she's just totally carbon-copied her mum, she freaks!
  • A subversion in Glee, where everyone in the glee club is subject to the rest of the members' criticism and bullying despite the fact that the club is meant to be a kind of refuge for the school's oddballs from the rest of the student body's harassment.
    • Rachel gets the worst of it. Although she's completely obnoxious and egotistical, she's always trying to motivate the glee club to do better: For her own gain. But she does genuinely care about the well being of her club's members.
      Rachel: Can I ask you guys something?
      Santana: Yes, you should move to Israel.
    • But also played straight - Kurt is bullied by homophobes, but is himself a biphobe.
      • It's more than that. He actively tries to pressure Finn (a heterosexual boy) into changing his sexuality so he would 'reciprocate' Kurt's feelings for him. Finn is clearly made angry and uncomfortable by this, but does that stop Kurt? No.
  • Parodied in Get Smart. In one episode after Maxwell Smart blew up the bad guy, 99 ponders whether or not Control's methods are any better than those of KAOS. Max's response?
    "What are you talking about, 99? We have to shoot and kill and destroy. We represent everything that's wholesome and good in the world."
  • Guerrilla: Cullen, a policeman of Irish descent, somewhat sympathizes with the blacks' grievances about them being discriminated against because he remembers when shops openly barred both them and Irish people. Pence, however, will have none of it, calling them simply ungrateful.

  • A heroic version in the Haven episode "Friend or Faux". Audrey tells the Cornell clone that they're both people who have someone else's memories, but they don't have to let the memories define them. The clone eventually takes this to heart and turns on the original, saving Audrey's life.
  • Hawaii Five-O (the original) had a first season episode involving differences among people protesting for peace that so lived this trope it was even called "Not That Much Different".
  • Double Subverted and Played for Drama in the Helix episode "274". When head of security Daniel Aerov shoots a Vector approaching his employer/adoptive father Dr. Hatake, while the Vector is surrendering herself, CDC team leader Alan Farragut is outraged and works to remove the bullet. He accuses Daniel of panicking, and lectures him on the perils of dehumanizing infectees, while Daniel counters that he made a judgment call and notes, "the only reason you didn't fire that shot is that the gun wasn't in your hand." Alan does eventually fatally shoot a Vector in the head, ironically the same one who he earlier saved, using Daniel's dropped gun, when she, now homicidal due to The Virus, lunges at Alan's Old Flame Julia. Though Daniel used a false equivalence, Alan struggles with how easily he made the decision to kill, particularly since it's his job to treat and cure.
  • In Heroes Sylar tries to prove this to Claire...using a score-card. His reasoning has some holes in shall we say.
    • Almost every character on the show can be or has been compared to Sylar or another Big Bad in some way, shape, or form.
      • Sylar compared Matt to himself multiple times.
      • Peter and Sylar had this a few times as well. It usually ends with them punching each other's lights out.
      • Sylar and Angela Petrelli: he said that he now had a new level of evil to aspire to. No, really.
      • HGR is usually compared to a villain — most often Sylar, but it depends on his current location on the Sliding Scale of Graytones. (We should have one of those.)
      • Hiro Nakamura and Adam Monroe/Takezo Kensei: See the Volume 5 episode which shows Hiro in a symbolic courtroom with his father (whom he failed to save from an unhappy end at the hands of Kensei himself) as the judge and Monroe/Takezo as the prosecutor and would-be executioner. Sylar, amusingly enough, was a witness.
      • Nathan by Sylar.
    • Claire and Elle as well, which has been noted by Word of God. They are both superhuman with fathers involved in the Company, but whereas Claire's father did everything to protect her and shield her from it, Elle's father raised her in it.
  • On Home Improvement, a few moments in the later seasons showed that Jill is not so different from Tim. One recurring plotline involved Jill meddling in other people's business in an effort to solve their problems with disastrous results, which set up this exchange in one episode:
    Jill: You know what my problem is, I am the kind of person who is so eager to fix things that I don't take my time and they just blow up in my face.
    Randy: You married the right guy.
    • It's also applied to Randy in one episode. He begins to worry he's The Unfavorite son compared to Brad, since Tim and Brad share interests in things like sports and power tools. Tim assures him that while their interests may be different, Randy has a similar personality; in that both are prone to joking and making snarky remarks, especially to break tension in awkward moments.
  • House:
    • Dr. Foreman and Dr. House — Foreman eventually quits House's team to save himself from becoming like House, unaware that he already is like him and always has been. In season 4, he proves once and for all that it is irrevocable:
      Cuddy: You're House Lite now. The only administrator that will touch you is the one who hired House Classic. [indicates self]
    • There are a number of hints that House and Cameron are not so different, particularly in the first three seasons. One memorable example includes this exchange, during the two-part episode wherein Foreman gets infected with a fatal disease, the first symptom of which is euphoria: "Do I seem happy to you?" "Never." Nothing remarkable about that... except that it's House telling Cameron she never seems happy. From Cameron's end, we have her insistence that House is better than he gives himself credit for being.
  • In the 4th season of House of Cards (US), it becomes increasingly clear that Frank's political rival Conway isn't really that much different from Frank himself. Both are incredibly ambitious, scheming, nowhere near as nice as they appear, and don't care that much the "little people" who can't threaten them. Even Frank comments on this.
  • Season 9 of How I Met Your Mother highlighted one key thing about Ted and the Mother that was similar: both have spent years trying to get over somebody who they thought (incorrectly) was their true love. For Ted, it was Robin whom he's been in love with since the first season and the main reason why all his other relationships failed. For the Mother, it was her boyfriend Max who had died on her 21st birthday (ironically, around the same time Ted had met Robin) and wasn't able to move on in any relationship.

  • JAG:
    • In "Scimitar", Commander Lindsey states that in theory, the Iraqi constitution guarantees defendants most of the same rights in a trial that the American constitution does. He goes on to mention that in practice, the courts do pretty much whatever Saddam Hussein tells them to do.
      • Similarly, the way Lt. Austin is kept out of the loop on the secret mission to free Corporal Anderson mirrors the dismissive attitude that the male Iraqi officers have towards Lt. Dumai.
    • In the episode "Baby, It's Cold Outside", Harm uses this trope as a defense tactic. His client is dishonorably discharged black Marine Drill Instructor who pushed his black recruits harder than the whites because he refused to accept their crap and wanted to turn them around into decent young men. When two men died on a force march through a swamp, he pleads guilty and faces the consequences of his actions. The prosecutor, intending to put him away for life with the Three Strikes law for a later crime of felony assault, is also a black man who refuses to cut favors for his fellow blacks and sees the parallels between himself and the defendant. The prosecutor agrees to remove the third strike from the man's record in exchange for just two years in jail.
    • In "In Country", Bud bonds with a suspected terrorist in an unusual example of this trope. Both are fans of Star Trek, and Bud uses this to obtain information about an attack.
    • In "When the Bough Breaks", when Bud's recovering from his leg injury, he befriends the Admiral's current girlfriend, a professor of Shakespeare, by noting how several episodes of Star Trek borrow from some of Shakespeare's plays.
  • The Jeffersons. "Louise's Painting" (Season 5, Episode 1, original airdate September 20, 1978). Louise takes an art class and George is mad about her painting of a nude male model. George goes to a class with her, and the nude model this time is female, which George loves, and Louise reacts the same way George did the first time.

  • A recurring element of Kamen Rider is that the hero is typically empowered by the same method as the villains of the season. How much this factors into the narrative varies from season to season.
    • Up until Ex-Aid, only 4 Riders did not share the empowered method as the villains: X, whose powers are intended for marine exploration; Super-1, intended for space exploration; J, whose powers are created by Earth Spirits (who has no relations with the antagonists); and Agito, as the Overlord of Light gave him the power.
    • Kamen Rider Wizard: Gremlin/Sora claims this of Haruto and himself. Both were victims of the Sabbat who somehow retained their humanity. Turns out to not be the case. Haruto had the willpower to never give in to despair, which is required for a Phantom to appear. Sora on the other hand... never had humanity to give up.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid has Hiiro Kagami/Kamen Rider Brave and Taiga Hanaya/Kamen Rider Snipe. They are both smug, cold DoctorJerks who have only minimal care for the patient if any at all. They are also both JerkassWoobies hiding under the mask of stoicism and generally nasty behavior to be able to soldier on at all. It still goes deeper to point that they are very similar characters that were influenced by different circumstances. Since they also start the story hating each other this is a recipe for disaster. With Emu's life at stake, they resort to Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, but the edges only get duller from that point onwards.
  • Devin and Mirabelle of The Kicks slowly start to realize this about each other in Season 1. They even have identical "This Princess Wears Cleats" T-shirts.

  • Used frighteningly well in the Law & Order: SVU episode "Rage". An increasingly frustrated and enraged Stabler has spent the past 24 hours interrogating suspected serial killer Gordon Rickett about a series of child murders. By the end, just before he's released, Rickett utilizes this trope, knowing that he's got Stabler right where he wants him:
    Stabler: You hide [your rage] very well. It's impressive, really, but I know it's there. Gordon, you're kidding yourself if you think you're controlling it. It's controlling you. Every lie you tell to cover your inadequacies, every perceived insult you think you're getting... just feeds it.
    Rickett: You're lecturing me about rage? Are you kidding?
    Stabler: I'm not.
    Rickett: What do you know about controlling anything?
    Stabler: I don't murder people.
    Rickett: Give it time. You say you see something in me. Well, I see something in you, too. You think you control? You can't. You're controlled by your boss, by your job, by your wife, your kids... What would you be if all those controls went away?
    Stabler: ...I'd be you.
    • In another episode, Stabler and Benson have a falling out that's been building for several episodes, and eventually Captain Cragen assigns him a new partner played by actor Anthony Anderson. He is quick tempered, fast to threaten violence against a suspect if they don't talk. Is stubborn and won't listen to criticism. Eventually, Stabler gets tired of working with him and complains to Cragen. Cragen responds by telling him the reason he assigned him the new partner, was because he wanted Stabler to see what Benson sees everyday, since he acts just like him. Sabler gets the message, and him and Benson eventually make up.
    • A kinder version is done by Cragen to Rollins in "Home Invasions". After the secret about her gambling addiction comes out, he tells her about his own alcoholism so that she'll know he understands what it's like to be in her position. Then he tells her he's going to do for her what his own captain did for him and get her help instead of taking the hard line with her.
  • In the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Outlaw Country", there's Sara and Jonah Hex. While there's a lot of friction between the two at first, mostly due to Hex's sexism, the two eventually find common ground due to their similar personalities, including both being driven by a personal revenge and ultimately both having chosen to spare the one responsible for their tragedies, bringing the two mutual friendship and respect.
    • The first season had one between Ray and Mick after Ray took a beating for Mick, and Mick thought he was an idiot. Ray says that he took a beating for Mick because of things that are more important than surviving, despite the fact that he could have been killed, and tells Mick that there must be something he views as worth dying for. Mick replies that he'd die for the perfect score, and Ray replies that the only difference between them is how they define a score.
  • The Librarians (2007): As the series progresses, Nada is shown to be absorbing some of Frances' more unpleasant personality traits. It's implied Nada is going to end up the same way as Frances eventually.
  • Luke Cage:
    • Bushmaster claims this of he and Luke and tells Luke he's reluctant to kill him because of it.
    • Mariah and Bushmaster's already decades-long rivalry intensifies through season 2, but they agree on one thing, even if they only ever tell Luke and not each other: if they can't have Harlem, Luke should have it.

  • Malcolm in the Middle: Francis' wife Piama and his mother Lois hate each other, though they are almost exactly the same. Both are demanding, controlling and semi-abusive women, and Francis loves Piama with the same passion and single-minded devotion Hal has for Lois.
  • The Man in the High Castle: Juliana accuses George Dixon of being just like the Nazis when he's about to use the fact of Thomas Smith being ill against John Smith, as this would not only result in John's career destruction but also Thomas's death by involuntary "euthanasia". George admits it and says they have to be even worse than the Nazis if the Resistance wants a chance at victory.
  • In The Mandalorian, Lang says this to The Mandalorian in The Jedi, claiming that the two of them are willing to lay their lives down for the right cause, and then appears to have a Heel Realization and claim "but this isn't one" before laying down his weapon and bailing. However he's really only trying to get Mando to drop his guard so he can draw his sidearm and, unfortunately for Lang, Mando sees it coming a mile away and is a much quicker draw.
  • Burns pulls this on M*A*S*H when Trapper and Hawkeye trick Burns into thinking Trapper is taking Burns' side in outing a homosexual patient. Burns says he and Trapper were a lot alike.
  • Morgana from Merlin (2008) has spent the last three seasons of the show fighting tooth and nail against the tyrannical King Uther. As of season four, would-be ally Queen Annis has told her: "I fear you're more like Uther than you realize."
  • Midnight Caller: In the episode "The Execution of John Saringo," the titular murdered accuses the crowds gathered outside the prison of being as bad as he is since they're celebrating the death of another human being.
  • The host segments from one episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (The Sinister Urge) feature TV's Frank being turned into a mad bomber by watching too many Nineties action movies. He uses this trope, among other action movie cliches, when taunting Mike over the phone.

  • Mose and Suzy Crabgrass of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide were enemies since the series' beginning. In the episode "Best Friends", Mose tries to find a girl that could be her best friend by passing out a questionnaire to see which girls have the most in common with her and are therefore most compatible. At first, it seems like Doris, leader of the resident Terrible Trio, answered every question correctly. However, she later admits that she copied all her answers from Suzie, much to Mose's shock and disbelief. Afterward, the two decide to become friends and their animosity is put to rest.
  • Net Worth, a Canadian Made-for-TV Movie about the first attempt to form an National Hockey League Players Union, begins with Detroit Red Wings player Ted Lindsay and Toronto Maple Leafs player Jimmy Thomson hating each other and even getting into a brutal fight on the ice. However, it turns out that they share a similar passion for fighting injustice and a willingness to stick their necks out for it. They team up to take on a common enemy, the NHL management, and both get sent to the lowly Chicago Blackhawks as punishment. It ends with them as friendly teammates and Lindsay's friendship with former linemate Gordie Howe ending because Howe rejected the union.
  • Despite their different paths in life, Don and Charlie of NUMB3RS get occasional moments throughout the show that demonstrate that they're more alike than they initially appear.
    • In the Pilot episode, Alan mentions that one of the things they have in common is that they are very thorough.
    • In "Counterfeit Reality", one of Don's ex-girlfriends comments that Charlie's "one part exuberance, two parts obsession" approach to their problem is reminiscent of Don.
    • In "Backscatter", David comments to Alan that, "I've never seen two brothers so completely different and so much alike."
    • In "The Janus List", Don gets a Eureka Moment of the type that the show usually gives to Charlie, and he works through it pretty much the same exact way Charlie does (only with less math). Charlie even lampshades it.
      Charlie: Is that the face I make when I...?

  • The Office (US): As the Only Sane Man Jim Halpert starts escalating the professional ladder, it's shown that he is this to his own Pointy-Haired Boss Michael Scott. When he is put in positions of power, he is prone to making silly mistakes just like Michael. Michael even lampshades this when he says that Jim made the same mistake he did when he was just promoted.
  • Once Upon a Time: "We Are Both" was basically an episode detailing why Regina is not so different from her mother. Gold even points it out to her, and the realization that it's true leads her to allow Henry to be taken from her by Charming.
    • Peter Pan tries to invoke this with his son Rumpelstiltskin in order to manipulate him to his side in "Think Lovely Thoughts". Rumpel points out one key difference: Rumpel gave up his son for power and immediately regretted it, and spent the rest of his life trying to find him and make up for it, while Pan never regretted giving up Rumpel for youth.
  • A One Foot in the Grave episode opens with Victor's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis Patrick writing a long, vitriolic letter to the Reader's Digest Prize Draw, while his wife asks him if he realises who else they know does things like that. He doesn't. Over the course of the series, it becomes clear that Victor and Patrick have very similar attitudes to the irrational and bizarre things sent to try them. It's just that Patrick considers living next door to Victor to be one of those things.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Promised Land", Rebecca realizes that the Tsal-Kahn are not really monsters or all that different from humanity when she's about to strike Krenn with a chair, and she covers her son Ma'al to protect him. This is the realization it takes for both sides to make peace.

  • Person of Interest:
    • The show has the variation where the good guy points out how he is not so much different from a bad guy. If he needed to murder a family, he would have made it look like murder-suicide the same way the hitman did.
    • It happens again when Finch admits to genius hacker Root that they share the same arrogant belief that they're better than everyone else. Unlike Root, however, Finch is not a misanthrope and therefore submits to With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.
    • The identity-stealing Serial Killer in "Proteus" also tries this with Finch, only to be told by Harold that he is "only an amateur" when it comes to changing identity, and is given a Shut Up, Hannibal! speech when he attempts to justify his actions. As with Root, Finch does not appreciate being compared to self-serving sadistic killers.
  • Subverted in Prison Break. Brad Wyatt tells Alexander Mahone this before the latter kills the former. He doesn't get to finish the next sentence.
  • The Promise (2011): The series makes this point explicit regarding Jewish militants in the 40s and Palestinian militants in the early 2000s. Both are Fighting for a Homeland and willing to use brutal tactics in doing so. They are viewed as freedom fighters by supporters, terrorists by enemies. Further, the British used some tactics to fight the Jewish militants that modern Israel also uses against Palestinians. The series implies that both the conflicts will only end with the militants getting a homeland.
  • In Psych, Alice Bundy, who attempted to murder all the members of a sorority after a hazing gone wrong resulted in her best friend Doreen's death invokes this to Shawn twice in one episode. In the first, Shawn is trying to sympathize with her and is unable to even imagine what he would do if Gus ever died. At the end of the episode, she throws this back in Shawn's face, asking him to finish his earlier words and daring him to say that he would've done anything differently had it been Gus instead of Doreen. He determinedly avoids the subject.

  • Parodied in the Red Dwarf episode "Angels and Demons" in which Cat and Rimmer refuse to believe they are like their sandal-wearing-hippie-mystic Good Twins while Lister insists that his Evil Twin is no part of him.
    High Rimmer: philosophy, poetry, music, and study. That is how we spend our time. Trying to expand our minds and unlock our full potential in the service of humankind.
    Rimmer: What a pair of losers!
    • Also, in Red Dwarf, the last episode in season one called "Me2" involves Rimmer (a holographic projection) having a duplicate copy of himself. They are exactly alike (same disk), but they eventually get into intense arguments and claim the other one is mentally ill and ugly among other things, even dragging their mother into it. Lister finds this quite humourous.
    • Inverted in the novelization, where the new copy makes a point that they are different, despite coming from the same disc; namely, original Rimmer has changed since originally revived and became soft.
    • The episode "Epideme" has the Epideme virus point out that, in killing Lister to prolong his life, he's not so different from how Lister is willing to have a chicken killed to provide the food which will prolong his life. Lister's rebuttal is along the lines that as a human, he likes to think he has certain qualities that elevate him above poultry.
    • "Balance of Power" from Series 1 has Lister starting to act like Rimmer because Lister is trying to pass an exam to elevate him above Rimmer in the ranking system on board ship.
      Rimmer: You always become the thing you hate the most. Look at you, Lister! Obnoxious, ruthless, single-minded, insensitive... you're more like me than I am.
    • Parodied in the Red Dwarf XII episode "Twentica". Lister has spent much of the episode complaining about how hackneyed and cliché everything about the Exponoids are. When their leader tells him "We are not so different, you and I", he decides they're just taking the smeg.

  • On Salem, when asked what the witches want, Cotton Mather replies "The same thing we want. A country of their own."
  • Saturday Night Live: The October 23rd 2016 skit of Black Jeopardy! has two Sassy Black Women against a Deep South Trump voter. Unlike past editions of Black Jeopardy, the one white contestant proves to be rather good at the game, as his redneck sensibilities turn out to line up with the sisters' urban values. Until they get to a Black Lives Matter question.
  • Scandal: Becky makes it clear to her boyfriend Huck that she is responsible for shooting the President. When Huck expresses his shock and disgust over this, she retorts that he assassinated 3 world leaders and made it look like heart attacks. She points that she shoots one president and he's suddenly better than her? He's forced to concede that she may have a point there.
  • Played up to the extreme in the series two finale of Sherlock. During Moriarty and Sherlock's final confrontation at the top of St. Bart's, Sherlock points out that he's more like Moriarty than anyone else in the world, though he admits to being on the good side rather than the bad. Unusually for this trope, Moriarty agrees with him.
    Sherlock: I may be on the side of the angels, but don't think for one second that I am one of them.
    Moriarty: You're right. You're not ordinary... You're me... You're me. Thank you! Bless you.
    • Sherlock and John aren't so different from each other. Sherlock gets off on the mystery of the crime, and John gets off on the danger of it. Also, they both like each other, Mrs. Hudson and Mary.
  • Smallville:
  • Stargate-verse:
    • While they are sometimes great guys, if a little arrogant and condescending (and having proved useless at stopping their cousins), the Tok'ra of Stargate SG-1 are occasionally accused of not being that different from the Goa'uld. Given that their progenitor was a good Goa'uld it would appear it is possible for Goa'uld to not be inherently evil, and some are far less grandiose and insane than the others. On the other side of things, the Tok'ra are different as they take hosts only with permission and live in a symbiosis with those hosts. At least that's the idea. A couple of instances where a Tok'ra took a host unwillingly (although that was possibly a misunderstanding) and dominated their host and took action without their permission (deliberate) suggest there might be some truth to the accusations. Really the Tok'ra are like when a government claims it is introducing extraordinarily harsh measures which 'shall only very rarely be used' in that they still have the potential to Kick the Dog like the Goa'uld and sometimes do so. Despite this, the Tok'ra get very upset if someone should make the comparison as if someone should be able to tell the good snake parasites from the bad ones on sight, even though Goa'uld can fake being in true symbiosis with their hosts as well.
      • There's also the fact that the Tok'ra tend to select hosts from relatively backward worlds to minimise the influence of the host over the symbiont. So while they do only choose willing hosts, they clearly prefer partnerships in which the symbiont wears the trousers
      • When O'Neill confronts Kinsey in his home, he finds proof that Kinsey has been working with the NID, a corrupt paramilitary group seeking to obtain alien technology by any means necessary. When Jack is disgusted by Kinsey claiming to be righteous and then "jumping in bed with NID", Kinsey cuts him off with "judge not lest ye be judged". Considering Jack is at that moment working with Maybourne, who is ex-NID... It's also not the last time SG-1 had to work with enemies to defeat an even bigger threat. Also, Maybourne proves that he can become a better man. Kinsey stays a Jerkass.
      • Ma'chello, a man who has spent his life opposing the Goa'uld, attempts to prolong his life by using a device that he has created to transfer himself into Daniel Jackson's body, essentially condemning Daniel to die of old age because Ma'chello believes that he has a greater right to live than Daniel. He is eventually convinced to help Stargate Command return Daniel to his body when Daniel points out that, by deciding that he has more right to Daniel's body than Daniel himself, Ma'chello has become as bad as the Goa'uld he hates, dismissing other lives as worthless in favour of his own existence.
      • "The Road Not Taken": Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter went into a disposable alternate universe. Since Anubis' attack on Earth, this alternate universe is a cruel unmasked world. Considering that the "original" universe's Stargate Program was a large black budget expense in a "republic", expect We Can Rule Together and Not So Different speeches. Samantha Carter saves alternate Area 51 from the Ori. There is no indication about the alignment of the Ori in the disposable alternate universe. Then, Samantha Carter got home.
    • In the Stargate Atlantis episode "Common Ground", the newly-introduced Todd comments that Sheppard is more like a Wraith than he thinks, but it's strongly implied that this was meant to be a compliment.
      • Makes sense that it would be a compliment. The Wraith are villains mostly because they happened to evolve so that sentient life is their only food source. True, they don't make much effort to amend that, but most of their evil is necessary if they don't want to die out. Todd points this out later on, in fact. Even though they do kill, it's to survive. Also, Wraith are smarter than humans and have better technology. (Atlantis is Ancient, it doesn't count.) So what Todd is saying is probably either that Sheppard is good at surviving, smart for a human, or both. What he probably meant is that Sheppard is smart enough to figure out what's going to help him survive, and escape even if it means killing the guards.
      • The Wraith Michael also says this to Teyla and Ronon. Similarly, he doesn't seem to be insulting them, just telling them the facts. Teyla insists they are nothing alike, but is unable to prove why. Ronon, on the other hand, seems to be aware of it and hates Michael anyway.
  • Star Trek
    • Star Trek: The Original Series:
      • The episode "Balance of Terror", the defeated Romulan Commander says that he and Kirk "are of a kind", just before blowing himself up.
      • Kor from "Errand Of Mercy" holds the same view to Kirk. Heck, Kor even says the same thing about Starfleet, saying that underneath the ideological differences, they're not that much different from the Klingon Empire. Ironically, Ayelborne, the Organian Elder, later turns this on its head by saying that these same attributes could lead Starfleet and the Klingon Empire into being allies.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • The episode "The Chase" ended with the same overture. A Klingon, Cardassian, Romulan, and human (Picard) deploy to an unknown planet to solve a puzzle there. While the delegations have their standoff, a hologram of an ancient humanoid revealed herself as the common progenitor of all four races. The Klingons and Cardassians rejected the message due to their own prejudices (the Cardassian captain being disgusted by the idea that their species could even be slightly related to Klingons), but the Romulan captain seemed moved by it, suggesting to Picard before his ship departs that, "One day..." [there may be peace].
      • Also the theme of "The Enemy". Geordi La Forge and a Romulan soldier are stranded on a hostile planet together. By the end of the episode, they've clearly decided that being on opposite sides of war doesn't matter as much as they initially thought.
      • Our actual first look at a "common Klingon soldier" came with the TNG episode "A Matter of Honor" when Riker spends some time aboard a Klingon cruiser. In addition to showing he's able to fit in among them, he also notes that your average Klingon is at the core just trying to get through the day; they have goals, desires, personalities, even issues.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • In a continuation of a look at the Federation, one character begins to compare the Federation with the Borg as they (at least according to him) are both assimilating other cultures so they can grow and learn.
      • Quark in "The Siege of AR-558" notes that when put to it humans are as savage as Klingons. Nog replies that under the circumstances that is not necessarily a bad thing. And as Quark realizes later on in the episode (after he shoots a Jem'Hadar to save Nog), after all his bluster... so are Ferengi.
      • Quark points out that he and the respectable Karemma trader Hanok aren't too different in their business practices when a torpedo that was sold by Hanok's group to the Jem'Hadar fails to explode (and, thus, fails to kill them both). Unlike most examples, the two of them end up laughing their asses off about it (not the least of it because Hanok's business practices saved their lives) and about the joke Hanok cracked right afterwards, all the while needing to disarm the torpedo. They become Fire-Forged Friends by the end of the episode.
      • In "Soldiers of the Empire" we see Klingon Warriors up close and find that under their swagger they grumble about what a miserable job soldiering is as much as humans do.
      • In "Past Tense", Bashir questions whether this might be the case after getting a look at the ugly side of human history. Sisko, having no concrete answer to give, only replies that he hopes they never have to find out.
        Bashir: It makes you wonder, doesn't it? Are humans really any different than Cardassians or Romulans? If push comes to shove, if something disastrous happens to the Federation, if we are frightened enough, or desperate enough, how would we react? Would we stay true to our ideals or would we just stay up here, right back where we started?
      • Kira pulls it on the Cardassian Legate Damar towards the end of the series, comparing the Founders' sacking of Cardassia to the Cardassian occupation of Bajor.note 
        Damar: (Regarding the murder of his wife and child) The casual brutality of it. A waste of life. What kind of state tolerates the murder of innocent women and children? What kind of people give those orders?
        Kira: Yeah, Damar, what kind of people give those orders?
    • Star Trek: Voyager:
      • In "Scientific Method", one of the alien scientists using the ship's crew as guinea pigs tells Janeway that they are very similar in their need to protect their people. Needless to say, Janeway disagrees.
      • In "Nothing Human", The Doctor creates a holographic program of famous Cardassian Doctor Crell Moset (with all of his memories and skills) to save B'Elanna's life. It turns out this doctor was a horrific war criminal. Regardless, The Doctor still uses him and his knowledge to save B'Elanna' life. Later he decided to erase the program, unable to justify keeping it. Leading to this exchange:
        Crell Moset: You can erase my program Doctor, but you can never change the fact that you've already used some of my research. Where was your conscience when B'Elanna was dying on that table? Ethics, Morality, conscience; funny how they all go out the airlock when we need something. Are you and I really so different?
        The Doctor: Computer, delete medical consultant program and all related files.
      • Played for Laughs in "Life Line", when the Doctor meets the scientist who designed him. Both are played by Robert Picardo and have similar personalities, leading to this:
        Troi: I came here thinking that you were opposite sides of the same coin—identical but different. Now I see you're both exactly the same. (Beat) You're both jerks! (storms off)
    • Star Trek: Picard:
      • In "The Impossible Box", Hugh doesn't see much of a distinction between the Borg Queen and the Romulans in terms of how the (ex-)drones are treated.
        Hugh: Still, we remain the most hated people in the galaxy. Just as helpless and enslaved as before. Only now, our Queen is a Romulan.
      • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", Sutra equates the Federation's ban on synthetic lifeforms with the Romulan policy to hunt them down to extinction.
        Sutra: Are you and your Federation any different from the Romulans? Banning synthetics was just a way of exterminating us in advance.
  • The Martin twins from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody initially seem like Polar Opposite Twins (and for the most part, they are), but deep down, they're shown to be much more alike than either of them would care to admit:
    • Zack can be just as nerdy as Cody, being into stuff like comic books and videogames—though Cody's also into those sorts of things, he's not as into it as Zack is.
    • Cody can be just as perverted as Zack, such as when he encouraged Barbara to pursue cheerleading based on the realization that she'd be showing a lot more skin than he was accustomed to seeing.
  • Supernatural:
    • Michael and Lucifer lecture Dean and Sam about this, who are their respective vessels. Michael tells Dean that he is dutifully obedient to his father (God), that he cast Lucifer down because he defied him, and that he practically raised his younger brother, taking care of him "in a way most people could never understand". Lucifer tells Sam that he loved and idolized his older brother and begged him to stand alongside him in refusing to bow down to humanity, but that Michael instead called him a "freak" and a "monster", casting him down because he was different and had a mind of his own.
    • Dean receives this speech from a demon he has trapped in the season 3 episode "Sin City". She notices him invoking God, and explains that many demons have the same faith in Lucifer that many humans have in their god(s). When Dean calls her kind evil, she points out that in the twentieth-century humans killed so many of each other that even demons were surprised. Appealing to Dean more personally, she tells him that hell sucks for everybody, and why does he think demons want to come back to earth? Dean actually seems to feel some sympathy with this particular demon by the time Sam kills her, which definitely goes against the grain for him considering his "shoot first" mentality with most evil creatures.
    • Eve gives this speech about herself and their mother in "Mommy Dearest".
    • Dean eventually realizes that the reason he and Amara are so drawn to each other is that they have something in common: their unyielding love for their younger brothers; Sam for Dean, and God for Amara.
  • Survivor: This became the central issue in the Heroes vs. Villains season; when casting her vote for Sandra at Final Tribal Council, Candice would go on to lampshade the theme.

  • Taken: The aliens are similar to humans, both physically and biologically. In "Maintenance", Dr. Franklin Traub compares this to the similarities to a human and a fruit fly, to which Dr. Wakeman replies, "Maybe that's the point."
  • One of the recurring themes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is how the tactics of the human resistance have come to resemble those of SkyNet and its terminators as their battle gets more and more desperate. One of the most chilling scenes has Sarah repeating Kyle's warning from the first movie, about how the machines will never rest until their target is dead. Meanwhile, the events onscreen show Derek murdering Andy Goode in cold blood.
    • How much the machines are coming to resemble humans in their quest to infiltrate them. Sarah makes note of this at the end of another episode, saying that if machines ever learn to create art or appreciate emotion, then "they won't need to destroy us. They'll be us." While this is happening, we see Cameron doing ballet for no readily apparent reason, while Derek watches, unsure of what to think.
    • Then there's the fact that the machines are not a unified front. There is dissent, and some machines are even willing to ally with La Résistance against SkyNet, including Catherine Weaver.
  • Hilariously invoked on an episode of Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, when one bully's wish to enlarge his manhood results in him growing a giant, talking penis that can turn people to stone. When the Jerkass main character, Todd, confronts the monster penis, it says that they are both connected to the book, though it is merely a servant while Todd could be its master.
    Monster Penis: You and I, we are not so different.
    Todd: Yeah? Well, I'm not a giant dick.
    Monster Penis: Well, some might disagree with that, but that's beside the point.
  • Trotsky: Trotsky is shown over time not to be very different from the Tsarist government he loathed, nor his foe Stalin, surpassing the latter in brutality even while the former simply did more of the same.
  • The Twilight Zone had a lot of these, considering it aired just after World War II and The Korean War during the Cold War. One featured a WW2 Pacific Theater Sociopathic Soldier who was eager for Japanese blood, to the disgust of his battle-weary comrades. One of them points out that the enemy is just as sick of battle as they are (if not more so), but it takes the soldier becoming a Japanese soldier and having his bloodthirsty words parroted back to him for him to get it.

  • Slightly played in Warehouse 13 between H.G. Wells and Myka, after H.G. has tried to destroy the world.
    H.G. We became friends because we are alike in many ways.
    Myka Except I didn't want to destroy the world and kill everyone in it.
  • The War of the Worlds: George explicitly compares the Martians with the British spreading their empire across the world, though his brother (who earlier publicly supported imperialism) dismisses the idea.
  • War of the Worlds (2019): When talking to Catherine, Mustafa speculates on the aliens' motives. He soon concludes that, along with coming to take our planet, they simply might like killing, as many humans have.
  • On The Wire, Omar Little, professional drug-dealer-sticker-upper, is cross-examined in court by Amoral Attorney Maury Levy, who defends drug traffickers. When Levy accuses Omar of being a parasite on the illegal drug trade, Omar responds brilliantly:
    Levy: You are amoral. Are you not? You are feeding off the violence and the despair of the drug trade. You are stealing from those who themselves are stealing from the lifeblood of this city. You are a parasite who leeches off...
    Omar: Just like you.
    Levy: Excuse me?
    Omar: I got the shotgun. You got the briefcase. It's all in the game, right?
    • In season 3 though, after a botched hit on a Barksdale stash, Omar gets this handed to him from Bunk, telling him that for all his affectations of being a man rebelling against a violent system (the drug lords) he's not very different than them (he mostly robs relatively unimportant teens and young men at gunpoint for money/drugs) and has made the area worse by stirring up a hornet's nest every-time he tries to raid a stash-house or get revenge on them.
    • Stringer Bell wants to reform the drug trade and run it more like a business. He's just like Major Colvin, who's trying to improve the policing in the Western District despite the higher-ups' desire for good numbers over quality police work. Stringer sees himself and Colvin as equals, "both trying to make sense of this game" from opposite sides of the law. Not surprisingly, when their reform attempts fail, they both say "Get on with it, motherfucker!" to the person ending their attempts for good: Stringer to Omar and Brother Mouzone as they prepare to shoot him to death, and Colvin to Burrell and Rawls as they relieve him of command.
  • In The Witcher (2019), Renfri mentions to Geralt during their duel that "They created me just as they created you. We're not so different." referencing their hardships and positions as outcasts in the world.

  • Yes, Minister: Sir Humphrey Appleby, senior civil servant and arch-conservative, and Agnes Moorhouse, revolutionary socialist, start out at explosive loggerheads. However, they soon realize that they are just as intelligent, manipulative and firmly convinced that the sheeple need to be governed by their betters for their own good, and that the only thing they really disagree on is who should do the governing. At the end of their scene, they both outright state that they think it's a crying shame that they are on opposing teams.


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