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The ability to make several copies of oneself and then recombine said copies, normally maintaining control over all copies.

This power can be very potent. One can be effectively immortal if at least one of you survives, one gets the ability to distract, surround and hinder your opponent and if all the duplicates work from a single mind it all occurs with perfect coordination. This power is an opportunity for writers to show off the creative combat techniques and imaginative Mundane Utilities.

There may or may not be some idea of a central self, one copy who is the "proper" version for whatever reason: you have to kill that one to all them all; one gives all of the commands etc. The other copies, conversely, rarely count as persons in and of themselves; see also Cloning Blues. If they are counted as actual people, expect Which Me?.

Possible side-effects include Literal Split Personality. May be used in a Doppelganger Attack, a Breather Episode might go for Me's a Crowd. Not to be confused with I Am Legion. Power Perversion Potential means this naturally leads to Screw Yourself.

Examples of Self-Duplication include:


Comics


Film


Live-action TV


Manga and Anime

  • Naruto: There are various Ninjutsu that can do this, each using a different way, but the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique) is the first to be introduced and arguably the most iconic one among them, not the least due to the protagonist tending to utterly spam it (first ever use resulted in around 2000 clones!) as part of his pre-Time Skip combat strategy.
  • Piccolo in Dragonball Z had the power to split himself into several copies, which he used as a training technique. His attempt to use it in combat didn't pan out nearly as well.
  • Nico Robin has acquired to do the ability to do this during the Time Skip in One Piece.


Myth and Legend

  • Korean folk hero Hong Gildong could do this by transforming straw dolls into doppelgangers of himself.


Tabeltop RPG


Video Games


Web Original

  • Troika of the Whateley Universe can split into three identical people, while OMAG can split into at least six people but the duplicates don't seem to have the autonomy that Troika's dupes do.


Western Animation

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