An expy is an unambiguous and deliberate copy of another, older character."
Note the word "another" and the words "unambiguous", "deliberate", and "copy". Those are the important words.
Here's your checklist:
- "Unambiguous": There is no doubt, there is no room for arguing that they aren't.
- "Deliberate": Done with intent.
- The resemblance is not accidental or coincidental. (For instance, being played by the same voice actor/actress is not sufficient to make an expy. Neither is a similar art style when they're both drawn by the same artist.)
- Word of God helps a lot with this point, but if the other points are present strongly enough, Word of God is not absolutely required.
- "Copy": A duplicate, an item made in imitation of another one.
- The expy came after the character they're an expy of. If they both were created at about the same time, it probably isn't an expy.
- The older character is never the expy, even if the other, later character is better known.
- Superficial traits (like a hairstyle, choice in clothing, preferred fighting method) are not sufficient to make an expy; the copy needs to also fill the same role in the work and serve the same purpose within the story.
- Major traits or characteristics being very different between the two characters is enough to make a character not an expy (for instance, the original is a demure Girl Next Door, the proposed Expy is a FemmeFatale — not an expy)
- "Another": One other. Note the singular. It doesn't say "several". If the proposed expy combines traits, characteristics, or features of two or more other characters, they are not an expy of any of them.
If an entry fails to meet even one of those criteria, it is not an expy and should be removed.. Actual expies are nowhere near as common as many editors think.
If you want to link to this post in your edit reason, please do.
Here's the link to copy and paste: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=13983140170A37263400&page=1#5
edited 27th Mar '15 6:53:01 AM by Madrugada