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Quotes / Follow the Leader

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"It's not that original, but it's super affordable."
The Burger King on the BK Breakfast Muffin Sandwitch, a blatant rip-off of the McDonald's Sausage Egg McMuffin

    Anime and Manga 

That's how culture spreads. When someone has a new idea, it's immediately copied. It's only natural for this to happen. Your job as the original is to publish magazines that are of a higher quality.
U.N. Mediator, Humanity Has Declined



See, this is the problem when you have an original idea. Five seconds later you've got a million copycats.
Greg Heffley, Diary of a Wimpy Kid (complaining about a kid copying his lemonade stand even though it was his father's idea in the first place)

    Live-Action TV 

TSA Agent: NCIS? That anything like CSI?
Tony DiNozzo: Only if you're dyslexic.
NCIS, "Yankee White"

I remember feeling really pissed off with Australia, because not only the industry itself but the audience needed America or England to tell them what was good music, and we'd been basically playing the same kind of stuff.
Nick Cave, Long Way to the Top: Stories of Australian Rock & Roll


"Word of mouth,
this is what everyone is talking about.
So you can tell somebody
to tell somebody
that the next big thing
is the same old thing."
John Reuben, "Word of Mouth"

Don't send in the clones
already here!

Yeah, I got a deal and so did John Prine
Steve Forbert and Springsteen, all in a line
They were lookin' for you, signin' up others
We were "New Bob Dylans!" ...Your dumbass kid brothers
Loudon Wainwright III, "Talking New Bob Dylan"

    Video Games 

I invented the First-Person Shooter, you know. Wish I hadn't bothered now. Have you seen how many of the things there are? I expect there's even a Space Marine in this game somewhere.
The Lord of Games, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

    Web Animation 

Want to make a fantasy world? Great! [...] Yet who will live in this marvelous fantasy world? Why, we need to make some fantasy races! But there's so many wonderful fantasy races in numerous stories in many different mediums. How do we stand out from the crowd? By ripping off J. R. R. Tolkien of course!

Now, some of you may think that the genre of fantasy is an excuse to free one's imagination to create truly alien and bizarre races. But that is utterly wrong! Fantasy is all about being derivative and not getting out of your comfort zone! It is very important that the genre of fantasy remains sternly under the shadow of Tolkien, and make no attempts to push the boundaries in any way!



I know they copy WoW, and I know they do it because they hope THIS time they will take a slice of WoW market and maybe make everybody there rich... I also know with so many MMORPGs doing the same thing, they will be luck[y] if instead of a slice, they get even some crumbles.

    Web Original 

The success of Marvels showed the Big Two that there was a market for stories set in the past starring characters that the audience had grown up with. That (Kurt) Busiek is a fantastic writer who can push characters into the future even while tying everything into older continuity (as he did in Avengers Forever) was largely ignored. All the Big Two saw were dollar signs in stories about the past. Naturally, they went too far in one direction, and now we're inundated with these kinds of comics. It's not Busiek's fault (hence the "unwittingly" in the title), but he definitely pointed the way.

"Sure, they had the misfortune of their commercial and artistic apex coming at a peak for mainstream rock music at its most blunt and least imaginative, and the double misfortune of being directly influential on a lot of the bands responsible for making it so. But that was never Linkin Park themselves. Their best music was electric, boundary-pushing and undeniably vital."

    Web Video 

In super happy video game land some things are about as sure as the sun coming up. One is, if a game is successful there will be a sequel, the other is if a game is successful, it will be copied.
Bajo, Good Game 23rd November 2009 Episode



So when Toy Story first appeared with its bright colors and child-friendly images, an innocent story about a little boy’s playthings and they’re competing for the most attention, yeah, we thought this was gonna crash and burn.

But, like any kind of great creative product, this film wasn’t changed by the industry, the industry was changed by this film.

Now everybody wants to be like Toy Story, everybody goes for the same formula, a CG animated film with bright colors, a lot of creativity, dialogue that’s very modern, almost like stuff you’d hear on The Simpsons, a simple story that actually manages to rope in some comedy and, surprisingly, even a little drama, and focusing more on the writing than the actual effects themselves.

You'll never be as popular as Five Nights at Freddy's, so stop copying it, you bellends!

But it was this distinction that led Fist of the North Star to dominate 80s Shonen Jump, constantly outselling its rivals and being treated as Jumps premier series, which led to a host of other manga trying to replicate North Stars success, with some even completely changing direction to become more like it, such as Sakigake Otokojuku, which started off life as an oddball tough-guy gag manga, but by 1987 had transformed into a full-blown North Star clone, complete with martial arts, pressure points, and the intellectial-property-shattering line, "You're late in realizing it. From the moment our fists met, you were already enchanted by the death god." Sakigake was not alone in this regard: Kirara was basically ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' in high school, Sekiryo was Samurai North Star, and Jojos Bizarre Adventure was Fist of the North Star'' if written by a crazy person."
Super Eyepatch Wolf, "What Shonen Jump Was Like 30 Years Ago"

    Real Life 

Imitation is the sincerest form of television.
Fred Allen

In the wake of its outsized success, seemingly every sitcom on television was a Friends knockoff. There was working-class Friends (The Drew Carey Show), gay Friends (Will & Grace), guy Friends (Men Behaving Badly), girl Friends (Caroline in the City), black Friends (Living Single), nerdy Friends (The Big Bang Theory), and rebooted Friends (How I Met Your Mother). Everywhere you turned on TV, there was a posse of pals sitting around a living room or a bar or a coffee shop or a science lab, trading quips and exchanging furtive glances.
Saul Austerlitz in Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes, on Friends' impact on the American sitcomnote 

Find a fish tougher and more terrible than the great white.
Dino De Laurentiis to Orca: The Killer Whale's future producer Luciano Vincenzoni after seeing Jaws

The creators of the 'grim and gritty' comics that followed in Watchmen's wake are like 1960s musicians who declared, 'The Beatles have revolutionized popular music! We must copy their haircuts!'

I have all these people trying to hop aboard the Arpa express hoping that they become cool like me or earn my approval which will magically make their M.U.G.E.N video career somehow. That contest I originally held for the lulz might become the mental death of me...

Fox Publications was the poverty row of comics, their characters all completely and utterly derivative. I once asked the creator of the Blue Beetle, their most important character, what on earth possessed him to create this character named after a bug. He told me, in two words: Green Hornet. [Laughs] Well, there you go.
Jim Steranko, Superheroes: A Never Ending Battle

Something that jumps up from the crowd — only to hit its head on the ceiling — is always better in my eyes than''
the games that keep their heads down and risk nothing.

"They were so impressed with the success of the "Age of Apocalypse" event done with the X-Men books that they thought it could easily be replicated with the Spider-Man line. The biggest difference between the two stunts was that "Age of Apocalypse" was a well planned, conceptually strong, story-driven project that was generated by the X-Men editorial staff and writers. The "Scarlet Spider" stunt, on the other hand, was something that the Spider-Man editors and writers were pressured into doing, and was agreed to with absolutely no story concept or overall theme in place."
— Editor/Writer Glenn Greenberg on The Clone Saga


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