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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.
    • If a plausible or convincing argument can be made that they aren't an expy, they aren't.
    • If the reasons for saying they are one are not convincing, they also aren't.
    • A character is not an expy only sometimes but not other times. They either are, completely, or they aren't, completely.

  • "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

WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Sep 1st 2019 at 3:36:41 PM

Yeah, I'll give the draft a chance, and see how it goes.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Pichu-kun ...
...
Sep 18th 2019 at 9:49:07 AM

Luna from Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility was brought up and declined in Sailor Senshi Send-Up TLP. So, is she considered an expy?

  • Expy: She bears a striking resemblance to Chibi Usa/Mini Moon from Sailor Moon. This might have lead to a possible Shout-Out to Sailor Moon in the English versions of the games, where her name is Luna, which means "moon" in Spanish.

sgamer82 from Meridian, ID
Sep 18th 2019 at 11:19:54 AM

I would say no. Nothing in her section in Characters.Harvest Moon Tree Of Tranquility suggests anything more than a superficial resemblance. To qualify, Luna would have to start in a similar role as a Kid from the Future trying to find her parents' past selves or training to use her abilities properly for the future's benefit. Or at least have a similar personality, which I'm less sure of but willing to bet no on.

The key difference between this and Captain Ersatz is that an Expy uses the other character as a starting point before going in their own direction, while Captain Ersatz is obviously the same character but with the Serial Numbers Filed Off. Please keep this distinction in mind before adding an example here.

The fact that the character's Japanese name, Ruumi, isn't a reference that I can see also goes towards a no, IMO. It sounds like any resemblance is incidental, if not accidental.

Edited by sgamer82 on Sep 18th 2019 at 12:27:49 PM

Plus, remember how in Eragon everyone cries "a single tear"? Yeah, just try that with One Piece and see if it works
sgamer82 from Meridian, ID
Sep 28th 2019 at 11:54:19 AM

Double posting for a separate matter. I think I brought this one up here once before, but I neglected to act on it, don't remember what the result was, and it's far enough back I'm not sure I could find it again if I tried, so I'm just gonna start from scratch, especially since there's an addition to it that wasn't there the first time:

I have a couple of characters that I initially entered as/considered Expies, but I remember being told they might be closer to Captain Ersatz, and on recent consideration I realize probably don't fit the "serve the same role" rule I noted [up], since both are rookie superheroes that the title character takes under his wing.

If not Expies, are they Captain Ersatz or something else I'm not thinking of?


  • Red Panda Adventures:
    • Mr. Amazing is a Flying Brick the Red Panda describes as "an ubermensch that draws power from the sun", which makes him very deliberate reference to Superman. He starts out a hotheaded rookie, initially attacking other young heroes because he isn't being utilized on the front lines of World War II and wants to prove he's the best. Despite the Red Panda's description, Mr. Amazing doesn't draw power from the sun, but instead has a reserve of power from experiments with an ex-supervillain's creation. Once he mellows, Mr. Amazing realizes that Good Feels Good and resolves to remain a superhero, preferring to live a short life helping people until his power gives out than do nothing and live to be a hundred.
    • The Black Eagle is introduced towards the end of the series as another young hero the Red Panda mentors, hoping to find a successor. He derives his powers from the same experiments that gave Mr. Amazing his power, giving him the same Flying Brick abilities, but the Black Eagle's powers are more stable. His civilian identity started out a Tagalong Kid and is, by the time he gets his powers, an up and coming reporter for the Toronto Chronicle with a female rival, Roxy Rivka, and his first solo supervillain battle pits him against Elise Bond, a technical genius who preaches Beware the Superman while attacking the Black Eagle in a Humongous Mecha. At the end of the series, the Black Eagle truly becomes the Big Good for Toronto and a name that will be recorded in history books while the Red Panda and the Flying Squirrel peacefully retire.

I'm less convinced than I was that Mr. Amazing is an expy, but not sure where, if anywhere, he fits. The Black Eagle I think becomes an Expy, but doesn't start out as one.

Edited by sgamer82 on Sep 28th 2019 at 12:56:16 PM

Plus, remember how in Eragon everyone cries "a single tear"? Yeah, just try that with One Piece and see if it works
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