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"I actually recognize this wall. It's been redressed a number of times, most recently for a scene in the Enterprise series finale "These are the Voyages...", but it's also been used as a backdrop on a Son'a ship in Insurrection... This wall, I think, deserves an Emmy for withstanding so much crap."

The Hollywood version of "Waste Not, Want Not". When elaborate sets, costumes or props are made for one production, they may turn up again and again in other productions that may need elaborate props but don't have the budget to design and build their own.

The prop may be altered by repainting it or adding or removing widgets but it remains recognizable, especially if the original production was well known. While this may be a cost saving measure, there's something about the practice that just screams "low budget".

Can overlap with Whole Costume Reference if the costume is recycled from an earlier work.

If it's a real item, then it's Off-the-Shelf FX. For when video games reuse "models" of the polygonal kind in the same work, see You All Look Familiar.

Compare Stock Footage, Palette Swap and California Doubling.

This is utterly ubiquitous in live theatre, so a section for this would be hopelessly long, and utterly pointless. Just take it as a given that live theatre companies save and re-use everything.

Examples of Prop Recycling include:


Films -- Animation

  • The folks at Pixar are fond of resusing props, sets, even whole characters from their previous movies (and even from their upcoming ones), usually as a Shout-Out, as well as for practical measures. The most famous example is the Pizza Planet delivery truck from Toy Story, which has found its way into almost every film. Other popular props include the yellow ball with the blue stripe and red star from "Luxo Jr.", as well as both Luxo lamps from the same short.
  • Two vehicles from One Hundred and One Dalmatians actually made a reappearance in The Aristocats: The Baduns' truck (as a milk truck the cats ride in at one point while heading back to Paris) and the moving van (as the truck that comes to pick up Edgar and take him to Timbuktu at the end of the film). These were actual physical props, painted white with "outlines" drawn on the edges, that were filmed in front of white backgrounds and photocopied onto the cels in a manner similar to Rotoscoping.
    • Cruella de Vil's car also made a brief cameo near the beginning of The Rescuers as the car Madame Medusa used to drive to the airport.


Films -- Live-Action

  • Robby the Robot. Originally created for the 1956 film Forbidden Planet, Robby continued to be reused in many movie and TV productions up to the present day (although since the 1960s a lightweight replica has been used). Its two appearances in Lost in Space are particularly ironic in that Robby and Robot B-9 were both designed by Robert Kinoshita. Robby is so memorable that it is less a prop and more of an actual character. Along with all the sci-fi shows he turns up in, Robby also appears in of all things one of the NBC era Columbo episodes as a robot built by a child genius at a think tank. He's even listed on IMDB as an actual actor.
  • The uniforms from Forbidden Planet were used in the sci-fi B-Movie Queen of Outer Space.
  • The Matrix used several sets from Dark City (filmed at the same Sydney studio a few months before, and exploring some similar themes), most notably the roof-case from the teaser chase scene and the spiral staircase in the Lafayette Hotel.
  • Airplane 2 had the thing with lights that go back and forth. Seen in the background in some Sci-Fi series. Was also in an episode of Star Trek Enterprise. There is a site detailing its numerous appearances.
  • Star Wars
    • The Homestead set from A New Hope was unearthed (as in, literally disinterred from the sands of Tunisia) for Attack of the Clones.
    • Another Tatooine prop, the krayt dragon skeleton, while not re-used in filming was left there; the winds periodically bury and uncover the thing. Rumor has it that a scientist at one point mistakenly reported the thing as a newly discovered dinosaur. One can only imagine his reaction when he learned what it actually was.
    • IG-88's head was originally used as a drink dispenser in Ep. IV.
    • Darth Vader's lightsaber in Return of the Jedi is a repainted prop of Luke's saber from the previous two movies (the two props were similar, but not identical, in shape). Apparently the original prop of Vader's lightsaber was stolen.
    • A CGI example. The ronto in The phantom menace was created by heavily morphing the Brachiosaurus model from Jurassic Park
  • The wrecked plane set from Scary Movie 4 is actually from the movie they were parodying, The War of the Worlds.
  • Likewise, the bathroom from the Saw parody was later used by the producers of Saw III to save money.
  • Mel Brooks reused Kenneth Strickfaden's original electrical equipment from the 1931 version of Frankenstein in his Affectionate Parody, Young Frankenstein. This was done not to save money but as an homage to the original film.
  • Carry On Cleo used abandoned sets from Cleopatra, which had moved its production base from London to Rome. This at least ensured that the construction costs on the original sets were not completely wasted.
  • The multiwheeled Landmaster vehicle from Damnation Alley reappeared in various movies and TV episodes. (It almost had a better career than the human star Jan-Michael Vincent.)
  • The gate featured in the original King Kong saw multiple uses in other movies, ultimately being used as kindling in burning of Atlanta scene in Gone with the Wind.
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes reused at least two sets from Hello, Dolly.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian reused the sets from Franco Zefferelli's Jesus of Nazareth.
  • Alien
  • Old Tucson Studios. Built initially for the movie Arizona in 1939, its buildings were used as the sets of countless Western television shows and movies, including episodes of Gunsmoke, Little House On the Prairie, Bonanza, and Have Gun Will Travel. It is also a tourist attraction, though most of the original sets were lost in a fire.
  • Defied by 2001: A Space Odyssey: all the original props were unavailable for the sequel Two Thousand Ten the Year We Make Contact because Stanley Kubrick deliberately destroyed them all, along with any design notes, after filming was completed, specifically to avert this trope. The prop department for 2010 had no choice but to make replicas of everything from scratch based on examining what was visible in the film.
    • In spite of which, the audio commentary for The Phantom Menace claims that one of the original Discovery EVA pods can be seen in Watto's scrapyard on Tatooine. More likely it's the EVA pod built for 2010.
  • Roger Corman's The St. Valentine's Day Massacre re-used sets from Hello Dolly and The Sound of Music. Corman actually had the resources of a studio behind him, and probably could have built new sets, but stuck to cost-saving measures out of habit.
  • The Minigun in Predator was reused in Terminator 2.
  • Back to The Future Part II reused several cars from other "futuristic" movies in its 2015 set.
  • The chase scene at the end of the silent film version of The Phantom of the Opera uses sets from Lon Chaney's previous film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (most notably the cathedral facade). The opera stage set built for the film was reused in several pictures, including the 1943 Phantom film and the Chaney biopic Man of a Thousand Faces.
  • Just Imagine, a sci-fi musical from the 1930s, had a lavish set costing a quarter million Depression-era dollars, but flopped in the theaters. Producers recouped some of their money by reusing Stock Footage of the cityscape in the Universal film serials Flash Gordon Serial and Buck Rogers, while Z-4's Rocket Plane was recycled as Zarkov's rocketship.
  • The colored "Michelin Man" spacesuits from Destination Moon were later used in cheaper sci-fi efforts like Flight to Mars, the TV series Space Patrol, and the spoof Amazon Women on the Moon.
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy. A Marvin the Paranoid Android prop from the TV series was reused in a crowd scene in the 2006 movie as a Mythology Gag. Movie!Arthur notices and does a clearly visible double-take.
  • Miho's swords from Sin City were the Crazy 88's from Kill Bill.
  • The PKE meters from Ghostbusters...
    • ... are used as walkie-talkies by the alien security guards in They Live .
    • And Suburban Commando uses it as a tracking device.
    • And so does an episode of Family Guy. Yes, an animated series used Prop Recycling.
  • In Mulholland Drive, when Betty Elms arrives at the movie studio for her audition, the car from Sunset Boulevard is parked at the entrance.
  • Steve Martin's dentist instruments from Little Shop of Horrors were reused as surgical instruments for the Joker in Tim Burton's Batman.
  • The monster penis from Tromeo and Juliet is reused in Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV.
  • The armors from Starship Troopers gets around a lot...
    • Worn by the soldiers in Imposter.
    • The Gundam movie G-Saviour also recycled the uniforms from Starship Troopers.
    • A few other examples below in TV series.
  • The Room of Requirement in the last Harry Potter recycles basically every set and prop from the previous movies (for instance, the giant chess pieces from the first, Snape's storage from the fourth, and the wedding decorations from part 1 of the seventh). CGI example: Buckbeak's wings are re-used as the wings of the flying horses pulling the Beauxbatons carriage.
  • The teddy bear Jack Ryan gets for his daughter at the end of The Hunt for Red October is the same teddy bear John McClane was bringing for his kids in the first Die Hard film. Both films were directed by John McTiernan.
  • The replica vehicles from Red Dawn got reused in a couple of movies and TV shows from the 80s and 90s, such as the first two Rambo sequels, Short Circuit, Bulletproof, Airwolf, and Three Kings.
  • The male T-rex animatronic from The Lost World: Jurassic Park was repainted for the third film... and literally beheaded by the Spinosaurus animatronic during the filming of the notorious fight scene.
  • The producers of Bug (base off the novel The Hephaestus plague) reused the living room and kitchen sets from The Brady Bunch.


Literature

  • Frank Herbert has been known to reuse elements in his works. Chairdogs, which orignally appears in Whipping Star, are seen in Heretics of Dune. Inversely, the Galach language from Dune is reused in the Con Sentiency stories.
  • Keith Laumer reused his Bolos in his Retief tales.


Live-Action TV

  • The Ford Futura concept car was originally used in the 1959 film It Started with a Kiss. The car was subsequently transformed into the Batmobile for the 1966 Batman TV series.
  • Parodied by Conan O'Brien; some time after doing a sketch that involved the use of a large animatronic whale, Conan informed his viewers that NBC had instructed him to re-use the whale in order to make up their investment on it, and thus launched "Whale Week", wherein the whale was used repeatedly in several gags each night. There was also a running joke where they kept using a costume over and over again over one season. It started out as a Giant Grub costume, then turned into a Surrendering Croissant, a Victorious Connoli, a Liposuctioned Jabba the Hutt, a pissed off kreplach, and a Beach Rock. Conan kept asking for suggestions, and even gave out a button as a prize for it.
  • Firefly
    • The Alliance armour in the episode "The Train Job" came from Starship Troopers.
    • There were three spacesuits in Serenity's inventory on Firefly. Two were recycled from a previous space series, but the big yellow one worn by Jayne was originally Dolph Lundgren's flight suit.
    • Jayne's gun Vera originally appeared in the 2002 movie Showtime.
    • Zoe's sawn-off Winchester rifle, known as a "Mare's leg", is the same one used by Sheena Easton's character, Crystal Hawks in The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. This was a direct copy of the rifle carried by Steve McQueen in the classic Western TV show Wanted Dead or Alive.
  • Power Rangers tends to use costumes from other Saban works to fit the need of the story.
    • The soldiers' armor in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy also came from Starship Troopers.
    • Power Rangers SPD had several of these leading many fans to form Epileptic Trees.
    • The A-Squad suits were repaints of the Power Rangers in Space helmets.
    • The Spiral Saber and Andros's cloack were used in a scene were a Mysterious Protector saves Z leading many fans to believe it was Andros at first, it wasn't. It was Doggie.
    • The Time Force Red Ranger suit was used in a flashback as the suit worn by Sky's father, leading many fans to think he was Wes's son. Nothing in the series ever contradict this, but it is still just WMG.
    • The Machine Generals in "Forever Red" were gutted from various outfits from Beetleborgs.
    • One of the Beetleborgs blasters used in "Forever Red" recently returned in Power Rangers RPM, getting used several times.
    • The Red Rangers helmet from Operation Overdrive was used in one episode of RPM.
    • A futuristic car (based on a Dodge Stealth, but styled after the Pontiac "Banshee" concept car) originally built for the Knight Rider revival Knight Rider 2000 was later painted in police car colors and given police lights to appear in the TV series Time Cop. In this form, it would appear years later as Alex's futuristic police car in the first episode of Power Rangers Time Force.
    • Ecliptor's second sword turns up a few times. Darkonda's becomes Villamax's the very next season, completely unaltered, and retaining it's dagger-to-sword transformation ability (not directly witnessed, but it's a small dagger except when he needs it to be a sword).
    • In Power Rangers SPD, the gold Krybots trade in their snowflake-shaped swords for what looks a lot like the Chrono Sabers from Power Rangers Time Force.
    • In Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, the Sixth Ranger's Transformation Trinket was actually the Trinket from Gosei Sentai Dairanger, a series that didn't get a Power Rangers equivalent (though its Humongous Mecha and Sixth Ranger were used in the second season of Mighty Morphin).
    • The Saban produced TV movie Men in white (a parody of Men In Black) reused several monster costumes from Power Rangers.
  • Series/The Twilight Zone is famous for recycling pieces of the set. Some examples:
    • The staircase can be seen in "Elegy", "The 16 Millimeter Shrine", and "The Purple Testament".
    • The fireplace, and big wooden doors are seen in numerous episodes.
    • The soda fountain seen in the pilot episode ("Where is Everybody?") is also seen in "Walking Distance".
    • The series made also multiple use of props from Forbidden Planet (see above) including the uniforms, the spaceship and Robby the Robot. One of the VFX models of the ship even turned up in the episode "The Invaders" as a miniature spaceship that threatens a woman (well, actually a full-size spaceship from Earth that a giant woman mistakes for a threat, but that's the Twist Ending).
  • Doctor Who has several examples of this. The BBC has large amounts of props and costumes in storage, so the original series has quite a few examples of prop recycling, both in show, and across other BBC series.
    • Not all of them were BBC originals in the first place; for example the BBC bought a load of ex-Gerry Anderson props in the early '70s, so one sonic screwdriver prop was from the movie Thunderbirds Are Go, and various control panels from UFO turn up occasionally up to the mid '80s.
    • This is most prominent in the late 70s and early 80s between Doctor Who and Blakes Seven, where the shows shared an excessive amount of props and costumes. Romana I and Servalan wore the same white feather cloak, the guards in Frontios wore the Federation guards' helmets from B7 and certain idiosyncratic wall panels show up all the time. Of course, the series shared writers and producers as well and Terry Nation even planned a real crossover at one point.
    • Several sets constructed in Italy for HBO's Rome were reused for the episode "The Fires of Pompeii" in the new series.
    • Also, the Sontaran cloning table on which Martha was held in "The Sontaran Stratagem" is obviously made from a Cyber Conversion Unit.
    • The spaceship set used in "The Lodger" showed up again, slightly modified, in "Day of the Moon". This is Lampshaded by the Doctor who says he's seen one before, and EU material clarifies the one in The Lodger had lost its Silence pilots.
    • The robots in "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" and the head of one of the Civilians seen in "The Rings of Akhaten" are props from the Gameshow series "Mission:2110" (both were slightly modified)
  • The duck lamp seen in Newman's appartment in some episodes of Seinfeld comes from the little-known 1980s sitcom The Duck Factory.
  • In the Mythbusters Jaws special the busters actually managed to use the buoys used in the movie for one of their builds.
    • It was quite common for the Mythbusters to recycle pieces or entire props from a previous build to use in another.
  • The Vogon spaceship interiors in the TV version of The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy are from Alien.
  • A phone from the failed Global Frequency pilot was recycled in Smallville.
  • Babylon 5 re-used spacesuits from 2010. They didn't realize where the costumes were from at first, and did what they could to disguise them, but ultimately, they were what they were. Ironically, the second time Babylon 5 needed the 2010 spacesuits they weren't available, so they had to make new replicas anyway.
  • Stargate Verse
    • An episode of Stargate SG-1 reused the cockpit from the execrable live-action Gundam movie G-Saviour.
    • Stargate Atlantis got most of the set from Blade: Trinity. The most prominent example is a curved bridge that shows up several times, such as in the hurricane episode.
    • The long, thin energy weapons with the ridged undersides on their grips, that taper to a point instead of having a barrel and look vaguely like emaciated vacuum cleaners, initially appeared in an early episode where SG-1 encounter a planet where two religious factions are at war over beliefs concerning their planet's Stargate. Since then, these weapons have become "that one prop", appearing in different, totally unrelated episodes over, and over, and over... until finally from mid-season 3 onwards they completely replaced the Wraith stunner rifles in Stargate Atlantis, which to begin with had original, completely different looking props.
    • The Ancient space suits from Stargate Universe originally appeared as power armor used by the rogue Asgard in one episode of Stargate Atlantis.
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Star Trek
    • The Federation transporter pads in the various series all use parts of the original one from Star Trek the Original Series, usually flipping it or swapping out decals. This sort of thing was done fairly often, using parts of one show's sets for the ones that follow.
    • The propmasters of all incarnations of Trek were rather quite, well, masterful at prop recycling; most props were recycled either from other shows or movies or even recycled from other episodes of any given preceding Trek incarnation including itself. Starship models, even in the CGI era, were particularly prone to this, the end result being several different alien races, separated by the entire length of the galaxy or even by centuries in some cases (or even both) used variations of the same ship design in various scales (or their medical scanner or communications relay would bear an odd resemblance to a certain race's ship).
    • Most of the sets from the Star Trek the Next Generation era of Trek owe their existence to Star Trek the Motion Picture. Almost every single subsequent starship interior, including those of Picard's USS Enterprise, USS Voyager and so on, and even Klingon ship interiors, were redresses of the Enterprise interior from that film (namely, all eponymous ships [but not stations] shared the same hallway interiors, and Klingon bridges were actually the redress of the engineering room from the film). These 30+ year old sets survived until shortly after Star Trek Voyager wrapped up, in which they were destroyed by having accidentally been left out in the rain; some were painstakingly recreated for the final episode of Star Trek Enterprise.
    • This site has a massive list of re-used Trek props, sets, make-up, etc. Just scroll down and click on anything that starts with "Re-Used". These bad boys (a.k.a. the Blinky double tube that serve no purpose) have to be the patron saint of recycled props.
    • This also occurs with special effects and models. A Retcon was made to justify why both Klingons and Romulans had the same D-7 Battle Cruiser, just so they could reuse the model. The Voyager episode "Dragon's Teeth" has a series of subspace corridors that was simply a different color and miscellaneous debris thrown into the quantum slipstream drive effect. In the Voyager episode "Warlord", they reused a ship model from the Next Generation episode "Unification". And especially as the series tilted towards CG ships, many different ships were recolored, resized and/or slightly modified from prior CG models to save time and money.
    • In Star Trek TOS they sent out some people to go get unusual salt and pepper shakers for the mess hall scenes, so to look "futuristic". The ones they got were rejected because it was decided this would just confuse the viewers and they wound up using normal looking ones. The weird ones were moved to the sick bay and became advanced tech medical instruments.
    • The bombardier-like window of a spacecraft in one episode of Star Trek Enterprise was reused as a portal to the Xindi aquarians the following season.
    • An example that has gone unnoticed for decades: Paramount altered Col. Philip Green's jumpsuit from the Star Trek the Original Series episode "The Savage Curtain" into Mork's spacesuit. Ya rly. And that's not the only thing they recycled... This is also a bit of hilarious irony to Star Trek fans, since Col. Philip Green is, in the Star Trek universe, the 21st century answer to Hitler, who organized the extermination of 30 million radiation-mutated people and was a symbol of xenophobic sentiment for centuries.
    • Another bit from Star Trek the Original Series to show up on Mork and Mindy was the spacesuit from "The Tholian Web". Mindy's dad showed up wearing it in one episode.
  • Eureka uses props from Stargate and Stargate Atlantis, especially in the realm of "futuristic" weaponry. Most noticable is a triple-barreled assault rifle first used by the Genii and Satedan against the Wraith, shows up in Eureka with Jo the police woman holding it.
  • The Outer Limits, an anthology series, does this with their own props so much you can practically make a drinking game of it.
  • Kamen Rider
    • The franchise has recycled settings several times the last couple of series. That river under the bridge? The construction site full of concrete pipes? That building with all the windows? Tokusatsu in general is kind of bad about this. Despite every Kamen Rider and Super Sentai series supposedly using a distinct set of enemies and for the most part being distinct some costumes have clearly been used in at least a dozen series over the years. There's one in particular (yellowy brown with lots of spiky appendages sticking out) that seems to have been used at least once every couple of years since the early nineties.
    • Kamen Rider Decade has this built right in naturally. Decade can turn into past Riders, Diend can summon copies of them, and visiting Alternate Universe versions of past series allowed the re-use of Rider and Monster of the Week costumes and props. In a smaller example, Diend's card holder originally belonged to Kamen Rider Zeronos, the only change being a small disc with Diend's logo being put on the front.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki borrows the masks of the Kinclons/Skugs.
  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon is another Toku example in that one set of Mooks is togged out in long robes and hoods over some very familiar masks: the Golem Hei/Putty Patrollers from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger/Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
  • Moonlight and Heroes shared a set involving a large sign and associated metalwork on top of a building.
  • Remote Control used game stage props from earlier seasons as decorations in the Studio Audience section in later seasons; the show also used props from Finders Keepers on the set.
  • The Munsters episode "If It's a Martian, Hang Up" features a gag at the end of the episode in which one of the alien suits from the original The Outer Limits makes a cameo appearance.
  • The producers of UHF struck a deal with KOED to build a news set in their studio. The Tulsa network used the set for their own broadcasts for a couple years afterward.
  • The Cold War Day of the Jackboot mini-series Amerika has the Dirty Communists flying over the United States in helicopters reused from Blue Thunder. Except they're no longer blue.
  • Most of the set from the failed 2001 revival of Card Sharks was reused for Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck, as was announcer Gary Kroeger.
  • One of Ultraman's earliest monster battles was against Jirass, a monster that was very clearly a old Godzilla costume painted green and a neck frill added. Said frill is ripped off very early in the fight, presumably because the scriptwriters knew they wouldn't be fooling anybody.
    • Godzilla wasn't the only Toho kaiju that was recycled in the Ultra series. Perhaps the most notable was Baragon, which was used for at least four separate monsters. In fact by the time Toho needed the suit back for use in Destroy all monsters it was in such bad shape they had to rebuild it.
  • In season 25, Wheel of Fortune introduced a special electronic wedge called the Big Money Wedge, which featured neon and a video screen that alternated among dollar amounts. When it was retired at the end of the season, the wedge was recycled for a redesign of the Jackpot Wedge.
  • The Love Boat literally will not "be taking another run". It was scrapped (recycled!) in March of 2012.
  • At the end of the Charmed pilot episode "Something Wicca This Way Comes", Prue is seen holding the same newspaper from Mrs. Doubtfire, where Daniel Hillard gets his eponymous alias from.
  • As detalied in the live-action film section above, a replica T-72 from Red Dawn was reused in the third season of Airwolf.
  • The Tiger tanks in Band of Brothers were the same mocked-up T-34s from Saving Private Ryan.
  • Many of the CGI prehistoric animals used on Primeval were originally made for the BBC's Walking with documentaries. The models would also be used in A&E's adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The lost world.

Puppet Shows

  • On Sesame Street, the train prop used in "The Ballad of Casey McPhee" would be re-used in the "Beat the Time" skit with Cookie Monster.


Theme Parks

  • Universal Studios Hollywood was built on this trope -- the Theme Park was originally created to allow visitors to see the actual sets and filming used by the studio. Nowadays, the rides get more attention, and the tram tours avoid areas with actual filming, but the sets themselves are still frequently used. People familiar with the Tram Tour are able to recognize Courthouse Square, Wisteria Lane, and other parts of the studio when they appear in movies and TV shows.
  • Disney Theme Parks

In the Disneyland version of The Haunted Mansion, the organ in the dining room is the same one used in Disney's version of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

    • Also, several animatronics from the now-closed America Sings show were reused in Splash Mountain.
    • Sometimes props are recycled as a nod to the attraction before it. For instance, one of the aliens in the pre-show at Stitch's Great Escape was Skippy, who was in the pre-show of Alien Encounter.


Toys

Very often toy companies will reuse existing molds as a cost-cutting measure. After all, it's way cheaper to retool an existing toy rather than make an entirely new one. The most prominent example is in the Transformers line but others exist:

  • The Sherwood forest play set from the Robin Hood: Prince of thieves toy line was originally the Endor set from Return of the Jedi. For that matter the Robin Hood figure was really a Green Arrow figure with Kevin Costner's head.
  • The vehicles in Hasbro's Street fighter line were all reused from G.I. Joe.

Video Games

  • Sam & Max
    • Played with in the second episode of Season One. One of the props in a prop warehouse is a sign from the developer's previous game, Bone. So it's a recycled prop being used as a recycled prop.
    • Used more straight, the cow from that same episode can be briefly seen in the third episode of Wallace and Gromit Grand Adventures. Although it's hidden behind a door, you can see it and it's extremely obvious it's the same cow since it doesn't fit the art style at all.
  • There are obviously re-used props in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, like American police cars from the Virginia levels appearing on the tarmac at a Moscow airport. Or American taxicabs appearing in Afghanistan.
  • Valve Software
    • Valve in general reuses props, textures, and sound effects across franchises whenever they can; this is due in a large part to the fact that nearly all of their games started out as mods of the others. Since every game except Team Fortress 2 has essentially the same visual style, and the engine itself does not support significantly higher-detail graphics than it did when it was first created, it still looks natural. Open up Hammer's prop browser for either of the Left 4 Dead games or Portal 2 if you're so inclined; many of the props that were lifted from Counter-Strike Source are still in folders named for their respective maps.
    • The "Aperture Science High-Energy Pellet" in Portal uses the same sprite and sounds as the Combine orbs in Half-Life 2. The orbs used to fuel the security systems, at least, appear to be completely harmless, so they can't be the same as the One-Hit Kill High-Energy Pellet, not that that stopped this editor (who had played Portal first) from panicking when he hit it with the Gravity Gun and it started bouncing all over the place...
    • Portal 2 seems to even have an in-universe example: In the informative looping videos that display in the elevator areas, the "animal king" the voiceover describes is a turret made giant-size and painted over with a leopard skin.
    • Incidentally inverted whenever a Valve Game crosses over into Team Fortress 2. When they included Bill's Hat, the Frying pan and Ellis's cap, you'd expect them to just cut the relevant parts off of the character in question and recycle them into the game. Nope, the Bill hat, cap and frying pan are all unique models to fit with the theme of the story.
  • When it comes to Bethesda, some props are the gift that keeps on giving. Props from The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion were later used in Fallout 3, and props from Fallout 3 (including ones from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion) appear in Fallout: New Vegas.
  • Super Robot Wars
  • In the Mass Effect 2: Arrival DLC, the animation and prop seen when Dr. Amanda Kenson breaks out of her restraints after being rescued by Shepard uses the same motions (she uses both hands to rip the neck collar off, and grimaces while doing so, before staggering to her feet) as Jack does during her recruitment mission in the same game.
  • Some of the objects and scenery in the game Super Mario 3D Land were actually taken from the games Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2.
  • Serious Sam 3 BFE uses many props and models from a cancelled generic military shooter which the developer Croteam failed to find a publisher to.
  • The Darkstalkers series is notorious for not redrawing a character unless they have to. This was especially notable in the Capcom vs. Series, where Morrigan's sprite always stood out against the newer sprites of other characters. Tatsunokovs Capcom greatly amused many gamers as, due to the game being in 3D, Capcom finally had to re-animate her. How much model and motion data was retained for Morrigan, Zero, and FrankWest (Not to mention Ryu and Chun Li) from Tatsunoko to Marvel vs. Capcom 3 varies.
  • The galaxy seen in World 4's map screen in Super Mario Galaxy 2 is actually taken from the Final Destination stage from Super Smash Bros. Brawl.


Web Animation

  • Homestar Runner is a Flash series mainly animated through the use of flat "objects" that are manipulated much like paper cutouts, so this crops up fairly often. The Gremlin, for example, started out as part of a story Bubs was telling on Halloween, but later became part of the actual Homestar Runner universe when the script called for a car. Their sister Karen joked about it in the commentary for one cartoon: "These guys are so lazy, they're pulling stuff out of the hat that they used five years ago."


Web Original


Western Animation

  • Batman Beyond
    • The commentary for the episode "Splicers" of noted that the gun design was reused for some Justice League Unlimited episodes.
    • And the other way around: robot drones from Justice League Unlimited had the same design as the "V-headed" Zeta model that first appeared in Batman Beyond.
    • Batman Beyond also reused the Batmobile from Batman the Animated Series as the elder Bruce Wayne's limousine, but they flipped it upside-down.
  • The Prop Room from House of Mouse, which consists of props from every single animated Disney film up to 2001's Atlantis the Lost Empire.
  • Utilized to rather impressive extent in Ed, Edd n Eddy. For Example, the "Ed's Hive Bee Gone" jumpsuits as seen in "Pop Goes the Ed" later make a reapearance in "To Sir with Ed" this time with the aformentioned inscription scribbled out in Favor of "Snake be Gone". The "En-O-Gee Drinks" stand from "Over Your Ed" was reused similarly as 'Ed Mart' in "A Glass of Warm Ed".
  • Transformers:
    • It's common for animators to use the same character model to represent different characters. Most notable are the seekers, which are all recolored from Starscream. This is shown most prominently in the pilot mini-series which depicted multiple generic seekers. Not only them but also multiple copies of Reflector and the casseticons were added for the sake of padding out the Decepticon's ranks because they were grossly outnumbered by the Autobots at first.
    • An in-universe example occurred with the Insecticons, who were often seen leading swarms of Insecticon clones.
    • The Sweeps from season 3, all of whom are identical to their leader, Scourge.
    • The character model for Noble from Beast machines was later used in Casper's haunted Christmas.
    • Averted in a Beast machines episode where Optimus Primal communes with a hologram of Optimus Prime. the animators wanted to use the Prime model used in the Beast wars episode "The agenda" but it somehow got lost, which forced the animators to make a whole new model.
    • The model for Ultra Magnus on Transformers: Prime was made by reworking the original Optimus model.
    • In the same series orbital shots of Cybertron used the same model used for Transformers: War for Cybertron.
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