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File:All drow are drizzt 1654.jpg

Basically, when a character has been copied enough times, that works start making jokes about how often the character is copied.

Let's say Bob The Slayer is the Breakout Character in a hit film. Then just about every similar movie uses characters like Bob The Slayer, and then all the comics, and all video games, and even original characters made by gamers playing games with Character Customization. This trope comes into play when a work mocks about how Bob The Slayer always shows up.

It could be that a work has a joke about how every hero in the realm is now a copy of Bob The Slayer. Or it could be that everyone is going as Bob The Slayer for Halloween. Or there could be a Counterpart Comparison between Bob and his copies. Or Alice is writing a show, and when strapped for characters, she gets lazy and writes a copy of Bob The Slayer.

Now of course this isn't saying the original character is bad. It's merely mocking when other people are really unoriginal with their characters.

A Sub-Trope of Fountain of Expies.

Compare Captain Ersatz, Expy, Copy Cat Sue, Follow the Leader, Serial Numbers Filed Off.

Contrast Public Domain Character, Historical Domain Character.

Examples of Overused Copycat Character include:


Anime & Manga


Comics -- Books

  • Wolverine got enough imitators in Image Comics, when it first started, for magazines such as Wizard Magazine to joke about it.
    • Wolverine has been copied so many times in Marvel comics themselves (though since they own the character, they can make them different versions of Wolverine instead of expies) that they've parodied it at least twice:
      • In an issue of Excalibur, the team travels to a dimension that's basically the Marvel Universe with the craziness turned up to 11, and at one point see a line of different versions of Wolverine practicing his catch phrase while waiting to audition to be the "real" Wolverine.
      • Later, in an issue of Exiles, a book about a rotating cast of characters from different dimensions being assembled to Set Right What Once Went Wrong throughout The Multiverse, the only information available about a particular "what went wrong" is that only Wolverine could solve it, so an entire team is assembled consisting of different versions of Wolverine. During the mission, they discover that they are not even the first such team, and encounter the remains of dozens of other versions of Wolverine from teams that failed.
  • Phil Foglio mocks the Trenchcoat Brigade in Stanley and his Monster, by having the latest John Constantine expy claim it's like an assembly line.


Films -- Live-Action

  • Godzilla, to the point you can say "Godzilla-sized" and everyone will know what you're talking about.


Literature

  • In the blog post Adventuring Party Politics: The Campaign is Getting Ugly, apparently McCain rips off Aragorn:

 Obama: Well, maybe some people got tired of the grim and squinty "Matterhorn, son of Marathon" shtick you keep doing. Dude, could you be any less original?

  • Conan the Barbarian (less the original version than the Marvel Comics and sequels by other writers) has had many imitators.
    • The barbarian class in Dungeons and Dragons was created more or less entirely for the benefit of people who wanted to play as Conan.
  • In one of the Thursday Next books it's revealed that a large group of "generics" (fictional characters that haven't developed any character yet) were being stored in The Once and Future King, and they all imprinted on T.H. White's version of Merlin. Eventually, they were relocated to every fantasy novel ever.


Tabletop Games


Video Games

  • Characters in the mold of Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII (derisively called "Sephiroth Clones") are becoming increasingly common, especially in later Final Fantasy games. On any given Final Fantasy XI server, you will find dozens. All of them Elvaan males, all with long silver hair, almost always Samurai.
  • Devil May Cry's Dante and his "stylish" swordsmen ilk: cool, confident badass swordsmen who cuts down shit while keeping the laundry bill small doing it.
  • Suda51 of No More Heroes has a particular hatred of them.
  • City of Heroes had (has?) a problem with this. It's very easy to make an obvious Captain Ersatz with it, and Marvel Comics sued them over it once.
  • When the first expansion for WoW hit, giving the Horde blond elves, in the first hours there were literally thousands of variations of Legolas, most of them hunters with bows, as well as hundreds of Sephiroths.
  • The Mortal Kombat series had, by the point of Trilogy, seven "ninjas" using the same sprite, four female "ninjas" using the same sprite, three robot "ninjas" using the same sprite (each differently colored). This depends on the version of the game, of course, but people made fun of it so much that when the series made a jump to 3D for Mortal Kombat 4, the programmers made sure that each character would have their own unique appearance.
  • Rather humorously lampshaded in Baldur's Gate II, where your party will eventually run into Drizzt himself. Generally, you can use the opportunity to either ask for his aid on your assault on a vampire compound or just murder him and his party for their awesome gear. If you're playing an elf named Drizzt and have a low enough reputation, however, you never get the chance -- he'll simply challenge you to a duel for the honor of his name.


Web Comics

  • A Drizzt Expy, aptly named Zz'dtri, shows up in Order of the Stick as a member of the Linear Guild. Vaarsuvius points this out during a battle, and lawyers drag the copycat off screen. Nale earlier claims that now all Drow became Chaotic Good rebels, "yearning to throw off the reputation of their evil kin". It gets lampshaded when one of the characters asks how the Drow can throw off their 'evil' kin if 'all' of them are Chaotic Good. It's also subverted, since he actually does turn out to be a normal drow. Of course, Zz'dtri later got off scot-free by declaring himself a parody of Drizz't and went back to secretly work for Nale.
  • Goblins also skewers the idea. Gleefully.
  • Eight Bit Theater also has an evil dual-wielding drow ranger called Drizz'l, though he moved away from this after his first appearance.
  • Cale'anon, The Hero of Looking for Group is an accidental example of this trope, though an outright parody regardless, as the creators, Ryan Sohmer (the writer) and Lar De Souza (the artist), claim that they had never heard of Drizzt before creating the comic. It should be noted, though, that Sohmer fully acknowledged the Snafu after finally reading a Forgotten Realms book by R.A. Salvatore, and thought it incredibly humorous that he'd written such a perfect parody of the character. This accidental parody probably also stems from the fact that Sohmer has commented several times about having played Dungeons and Dragons since childhood, and is well known as a player of World of Warcraft. Cale was originally a parody of the quintessential Ranger/Hunter, which Drizz't himself just happens to be; this led to an accidental parody being done on purpose, as it were.


Web Original

  • This phenomenon became so prevalent in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe that the various game masters would issue a moratorium on certain character concepts. Almost always, the sudden rush of copycat characters would be in result to outside stimuli. For example, when X-Men 2 came out, there was a sudden rush of teleporting martial artist characters. When The Incredibles was released, there was a sudden flood of stretchable characters, and so on.
  • Yahtzee ridicules the overuse of the humorless, hard-ass Space Marine archetype for First-Person Shooter protagonists. While Master Chief of Halo isn't the direct source from which the character type is derived, he is held out as the most obvious and recognizable example of the archetype.
  • Parodied in one chapter of the Kingdom Hearts Fanfic Those Lacking Spines, where the "Heroes" fight a guy named "Jeffiroth", with the implication that he to be the first of many similar Copycat Sues.
  • "Clichequest", the MMORPG in The Noob, has several dozen players named various variations of the different members of the fellowship. At one point, we see Elfboro, where almost everyone is named Legolas one way or the other ("Oh, you're looking for Leg0las"). Even the Idiot Hero tried to name his character "Aragorn" in the first strip.
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