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So you're reading a review of the latest game to come down the pike, and you find a line that states said game is just like another title. And it is. Sorta. It may have been "inspired" by a more successful franchise, or it may be that the more successful franchise so changed the face of its medium that all future works in that medium demand a response.

One thing's for sure, though: The reviewer will act as though the similarity is all you need to know. It was Better by a Different Name.

There's a high demand for innovation and new ideas, so if a new work has similarities to an older or more popular one, expect those similarities to be the dominant subject in discussion about the work, even if they're entirely superficial. Some people go on to say "if you can't come up with an original idea, don't even bother trying to make the game." Despite the fact that most original works get ignored because of lack of advertising or that it's just not something publishers recognize and they're afraid to give it a chance. You can see the obvious Catch-22 situation, here, when genuine attempts to shake up the market or are ignored, whereas Strictly Formula works that copy much more than you did fly off the shelves merely because of the familiarity.

Of course, many times creators do borrow ideas from another work as inspiration to create new stories and concepts. Considering that just about everything has been done, it's difficult to properly think of something new and fresh. This is not always the case, however, as sometimes creators deliberately try to copy off a particular franchise as soon as its success becomes evident. They will immediately try to make something to compete -- and most of the time it will fail miserably, because it was rushed or just implemented poorly. Other times it might come up with a really cool and ingenious new spin on the idea, and still never reach the same kind of popularity as its competition because somehow being too much like the original is deplorable.

The error here is the automatic assumption that just because something is similar, it can't have any value on its own merits. If everything that was derivative was that bad, it wouldn't be done so much. Some can actually be quite good on their own. And enough followers can even make From Clones to Genre.

This assumption can be infuriating to creators of products that are similar to products being designed simultaneously. Your options are to either reduce the quality of your work in order to get it out first, or be written off as a cheap imitation of your competitor's product (which they probably watered down to beat you out of the gate). Many "ripoffs" were in fact in development at the same time, but due to the development window for most modern media, could be released months or even years apart. This can also make the fans of the more "popular" feature look really hypocritical if the alleged victim of ripoffs wasn't all that original to begin with.

The absurd extreme of this is when old-timers show off their long memories by dismissing new shows as rehashes of older productions which don't just fall outside Small Reference Pools but at least have been out of public release for many years, and possibly don't even survive except within the old-timers' recollections.

There are some things that don't typically get called out on it despite using it merely because it just works. Such as say, several RPG Elements and control schemes in general.

You'll notice that sometimes this trope is invoked not only by rival fans and trolly haters, but people who actually aren't fans of the genre, even so much as hating it in its entirety. You'll notice that when people are typically not fans of a genre or series, similar to its cousin Its the Same So It Sucks. The two almost go hand-in-hand, this way, since a non-fan would not really notice how many subtle differences since, after all, they see it and aren't looking for that stuff, that is, if they actually see the work they're invoking this trope, on. Sometimes people are actually calling out things based upon meta-concepts of the genre.

This is the justification behind Sequelphobia. Compare Older Than They Think. Compare and sometimes contrast with Seinfeld Is Unfunny when the original suffers due to amount (and sometimes the quality) of similar works released later. Not to be confused with They Changed It, Now It Sucks, where a sequel or an official adaptation changes an aspect of an original work for better or worse. Also not to be confused with It's the Same, Now It Sucks, the polar opposite.

See also It's Been Done.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • S-Cry-ed is compared to X-Men a lot. Sometimes considered a rip-off entirely and dismissed because of that and more.
    • There was also that TV show called Mutant X, where Mutant X was the name of a team of young adult mutant with superpowers (such as cat-like agility, Super Strength, telepathy, density shifting, the ability to throw lightning), formed by a scientist to defend the mutants and work for their integration in human society while an evil government conspiracy tried to capture or eliminate them and study them. Sound familiar?
      • It should. The show was created by Marvel Studios, and the suing and counter suing between Marvel, Fox and Tribune is epic.
    • Push gets similar treatment, despite having far fewer similarities. Most people seem to ignore the fact that Stock Super Powers were around before X-Men.
  • Duel Masters had this issue in being compared to Yu-Gi-Oh!! for a good while, and Yu-Gi-Oh!! itself is scoffed at by fans of Magic: The Gathering.
    • Which is interesting, because the author of Yu-Gi-Oh!! stated on a website that he based the card game in his series on Magic: The Gathering.
    • And the Duel Masters card game (yes, there really is such a thing) is in turn produced by Wizards of the Coast, the makers of Magic: The Gathering...which makes a kind of sense, since the game really does have more in common with Magic than with Yu-Gi-Oh!!.
      • ...And, of course, the Duel Masters manga is actually about Magic...which is what got Wizards interested in the property in the first place.
    • Oddly, Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters arguably copied the American-produced second season of Duel Masters.
      • Sounds unlikely. "Capsule Monsters" was there in the original Yu-Gi-Og Manga, apearing even before the Card Games took protagonism (so far, only one card game had been played).
  • Strike Witches is generally seen as a copy of Sky Girls, but with Fan Service turned up a few notches, leading to its Fan Nickname of "Sky Girls no pantsu". This is a moot point, given that both are the brainchild of Shimada Humikane. By the way, have you seen those funky girl-machine hybrids dubbed Mecha Musume floating around imageboards before SG and/or SW premiered? Yeah, those were Humikane's original creation too, and they appeared first, and trademarked. Not to mention the Busou Shinki line of toys he premiered.
    • And Mecha Musume is just Humikane's brand. Mecha Shoujo was around quite a while before that.
  • Initial D Arcade Stage fans like to do this to Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune. Which is particularly ludicrous, given that Initial D's type of racing (mountain pass) and Wangan Midnight's type of racing (highway) aren't even remotely comparable. Wangan Midnight has more in common with Out Run or Super Bikes than Initial D.
  • Watching the first few episodes of Gun X Sword get it called Trigun but with mechs and compared to many works like it. One review even said that it was ripping off every major show it could, and how it obviously was made to pander to an American audience. Of course true fans of the show will know that it stands very strongly on its own.
    • Not only is it not Trigun with mechs, but the cast come across their first large body of water as early as episode 2, and a few episodes later leave the desert entirely. Needless to say, any similarities to Trigun stop right there.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de constantly gets bashed by reviewers for being Fushigi Yuugi with Serial Numbers Filed Off, on the grounds of having exactly the same combination of plot devices[1] as the basis. Note that Haruka is originally a female-oriented Dating Sim, for which a premise of a girl getting stuck in a fantasy world with loads of pretty guys as her guardians wouldn't exactly be a bad idea.
  • Outlaw Star got flack as a supposed rip-off of Cowboy Bebop, mostly due to both being Sunrise-produced Space Westerns with a relatively similar naming convention. Of course, not only do the similarities stop there, but Outlaw Star technically predates Bebop as a manga series, to say nothing of the fact that Outlaw Star the anime began production several months before Cowboy Bebop.
  • While not as extreme as other examples of "Anything within the same genre as this is a rip-off" but for a while in the US a known complaint in Shounen anime is that "if you've seen Dragonball Z you have pretty much seen any given Shounen anime nowadays".
  • It's hard to think of a post-1992 Magical Girl anime that hasn't been condemned as a Sailor Moon rip-off, with Wedding Peach being the most frequent target (and, in fairness, with the most justification). The fact that it and Sailor Moon had the same character designer doesn't help.
  • Sei Juushi Bismarck suspiciously has several elements in common with Video Senshi Laserion, which came out seven months before and by competing studios (Pierrot and Toei, respectively):
    • Mecha (obviously)
    • Protagonists are teenage interracial couple (Japanese guy and white girl with flowing blonde hair and a red hairband). The difference is that, while Olivia Lawrence in Laserion is American and a Distressed Damsel, Marianne Louvre is French, part of the Bismarck team, and can fight and shoot guns.
    • Initial villain premise is Earthling colonizers of other planets rebelling against the central government on Earth
    • Soon, however, they are replaced by a Big Bad/Anime and Manga alien race which become the ultimate enemies to beat.

Comic Books

  • Captain Marvel from Marvel is somehow accused of ripping off Captain Marvel from DC because they have the same name.
    • Don't get anyone started on Namor and Aquaman.
    • The Captain Marvel thing has led to several lawsuits back and forth between DC and Marvel. This is part of the reason that DC's Captain Marvel's comic is called SHAZAM! with the well known unfortunate consequences.
      • Before DC owned the "Shazam!" Captain Marvel, they sucessfully sued Fawcett Publishing on the grounds that they invented the caped Flying Brick. That Cap was a very different character beyond that didn't occur to them until they owned him, and suddenly realised there was room for both Big Blue and Big Red in the same universe.
        • Back in the early 40s, the idea of a superhero in general was still quite new. It was only becoming a recognized genre, and so what are now genre tropes were seen as specific characteristics of Superman.
          • Perhaps, but it was in the 40s that DC introduced Aquaman, who was basically a prettier Submariner. They were lucky that Timely (later renamed Marvel) weren't as quick with the lawyers.
        • The Superman/Captain Marvel thing is complicated. Basically, the case ping-ponged through the appeals system, the appeals court found DC lost the copyright to Superman on a technicality, the Supreme Court reversed (and set a precedent; copyright abandonment has to be intentional), Fawcett wasn't making money with the character anymore, so they settled. DC had filed similar lawsuits against characters that were more obviously Superman rip-offs, but it's not known where the case would have went.
  • Many of Rob Liefeld's works were clearly "influenced by" similar Marvel and DC properties. This--among other things--gave Liefeld haters just that much more ammunition.
    • Youngblood is the remnant of a Teen Titans spin-off Liefeld had created. The character of Shaft is clearly a Captain Ersatz of Speedy. That said, Marvel properties found themselves duplicated in the pages of Youngblood and it doesn't take much that Cougar is essentially a repaint of Wolverine or that Sentinel is either Iron Man or War Machine without his helmet.
    • Then there's Glory: Wonder Woman with white hair.
  • The X-Men are sometimes called a rip-off of Doom Patrol, as both series feature a group of superpowered "freaks" put together by a man in a wheelchair. However, the X-Men debuted only three months after the Doom Patrol. Given the long publishing lead times comics had during that era, any similarities were coincidental.


Film

  • Cracked listed this among the 6 Common Movie Arguments That Are Always Wrong (#4).
  • For a time, anything that was in the Sci-fi genre was automatically considered to be a rip-off of Star Wars. (Regardless of whether if it was the least bit deserving or not.)
    • Amusingly, Star Wars itself is explicitly based on the The Hero Cycle, a pattern of story telling that has been observed occurring in independent cultures for thousands of years, so even Star Wars isn't all that original.
    • Not to mention the fact that Star Wars isn't really even sci-fi at all. It's fantasy with some sci-fi trappings.
  • Name a movie, and the odds are that someone has derided it for elements it shares with another film. For example, the train fight in Batman Begins is accused of being a rip-off of the one in Spider Man 2, and many Disney films are accused of plagiarizing from anime, the latter of which is ironic because Walt Disney's style inspired early anime and manga and that Disney has "plagiarized" from many other sources that hardly get fussed over.
    • Disney often receives criticism for its plagiarizing of fairy tales as well.
      • I'm pretty sure adapting Public Domain fairy tales into movies with the same name isn't plagiarism.
  • Do not ever start drawing comparisons between the new James Bond series (starting with Casino Royale) and the Jason Bourne films in front of a large group of Bond fans. Half will agree with you and the other half will unleash the fury.
    • Then there's Frank Martin, described by one reviewer as "a sort of third-party international man of mystery for those who think James Bond is too effete and Jason Bourne just doesn't have enough chest hair."
    • While on Bond, the unofficial Never Say Never Again, which as Agony Booth's Mr. Mendo put:

"If this looks like a ripoff of a better Bond film... it's because it is!"

  • Beowulf was wrongfully accused of trying to rip off ~300~ because of the main character's signature phrase "I AM BEOWULF!" is somehow similar to "THIS IS SPARTAA!!!". How that becomes ripoff material is beyond some people. Let's also recall that we have an entire page full of examples of people yelling that way, and that Beowulf was filmed first, anyway.
  • A lot of people figured The One was just a rip off of The Matrix, only with Jet Li and more bullet time sequences. Considering that it came out practically soon after the first Matrix film and uses many of the same conventions, it was bound to be met with a little negativity, regardless of the fact that the two movies could not be more different.
    • While we're on the subject, anything remotely resembling "Bullet Time" after The Matrix.
      • Even though Max Payne, which also used "bullet time", was in development before The Matrix came out.'
      • In the DVD commentary for Blade it's pointed out (tongue-in-cheek) that they used a Bullet Time scene first, so these should be regarded as Blade rip-offs.
  • In what is probably the crowning example of the trope, thousands of people wrote off the the 2009 horror film Orphan for ripping off The Good Son, acting as if a beloved, many decades-old classic had been violated. This hilariously overlooked the fact that The Good Son was an obscure film despised by most everyone(some would even call it underrated) except for those who made joking Home Alone references to it because Macauly Culkin played that film's villain. But when Orphan came out, suddenly people began acting as if The Good Son was one of the most popular and beloved films of all time, and that Orphan was some kind of abomination. What these people overlooked was that both films are predated by The Bad Seed, which came out literally decades prior, and that all subsequent "Evil Child" films are derivative of that film, and that Orphan, in fact, is probably the most original of them, and that the similarities between the films are completely undone by Orphan's twist-ending. The likely explanation is that the trolls responsible had little knowledge of cinema predating the late 80s-90s, and thus, remembering The Good Son, thought they were making a brilliant discovery and were eager to become "famous" for pointing it out.
  • Despite parody movies having been done back in the dawn of cinematic history, a lot of the newer ones are long forgotten for trying to cash in on Scary Movie. Then again, Scary Movie did repopularize parody movies...
  • Cool World by Ralph Bakshi, had been riddled with bad reviews for mainly trying to copy Who Framed Roger Rabbit? because it used the same real-world/cartoon integration special effects.
  • The Forrest Gump vs. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button debate. Both are written by the same screenwriter and detail the life of men with some sort of handicap that have similar story elements (chasing after the woman of their dreams, encountering various people, the possibility of having a child with a similar handicap and feature innovative Special Effects. Both have their individual merits.
  • Zathura had been scoffed at largely as a Jumanji ripoff. Presumably then, the people who think this didn't know both films were based on books written by the same person, and then in the Zathura novel the Zathura game was found in the same box as the Jumanji game. Of course, even if not a rip-off, it is still Recycled in Space.
  • George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead had the misfortune of being released a month after Cloverfield.
    • And even more on top of that was that it came out after [REC], the Spanish original version of Quarantine.
      • The latter movie having the same misfortune of this trope, considering it came out a year after [REC].
    • And all three had the misfortune of being released nine years after box-office hit The Blair Witch Project. Although Cannibal Holocaust did it first.
  • Thirteen Going On Thirty, has often been criticized for ripping off on Big - completely disregarding the fact that the former has Time Travel in it, while the latter didn't.
    • YMMV. While the method of how she becomes 30 is different, it's probably generous to say that means it's nothing like Big.
  • The Jude Law action vehicle Repo Men has drawn some rather unhappy comparisons to Repo! The Genetic Opera.
  • Avatar, so much so that they've got an entire section dedicated to this trope on the main page.
  • One of the most common criticisms regarding the American remake of Godzilla was that the plot was essentially a rip-off of The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (IE: Giant reptile goes to New York to breed.) with hints of King Kong, Jurassic Park and Aliens thrown in for good measure rather than, well, a Godzilla movie.
    • Which is ironic, considering that the original Japanese film Gojira itself took elements from The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms as well. Though, at least Ishiro Honda and Tomoyuki Tanaka had the common sense to keep their film from becoming a blatant rip-off.
    • Heck, many Kaiju films are often considered to be rip-offs of either Godzilla or King Kong. It doesn't help that the 60s-70s saw a huge wave of "(Insert giant animal here) destroying Japan/Korea/China" movies. One particularly (in)famous example would be the 1960s South Korean film Yongary, which was about a giant ancient dinosaur that could breathe fire.
  • The 2011 movie The Tall Man is about a tall, humanoid figure that kidnaps children. There's (perfectly plausible) rumors going around that this movie's concept actually came before Slenderman, but don't expect any of his fans from /x/ to hear a word of it.
  • The Island is frequently accused of ripping-off the extremely obscure TV movie Clonus, mostly known for being featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. After Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans compiled a list of a hundred similarities between the movie, Clonus producer Robert S. Fiveson would sue Dreamworks and a court would rule that he had a prima facie case of infringement. Before the case went to trial, Dreamworks would settle privately out of court.
  • Reservoir Dogs has been accused of being rather similar in terms of plot, dialogue and characters to the film City On Fire. However, this is rather debatable if you compare scenes from both movies back to back.
  • With the release of The Hunger Games movie comes the inevitable comparisons to Battle Royale.
  • Many Anime/Manga fans bashed the premise for Disney Pixar's Onward since the film shared a similar plot and elements to Fullmetal Alchemist.

Literature

  • Sadly, a lot of genres are accused of this, making it hard to find your way through when "classics" are hyped up (sometimes to the point of backlash). A lot of these accusers don't know the common characteristics and may have only read one example of the genre (often seemingly beyond criticism thanks to Nostalgia Filters and a huge rabid Fandom.)
  • This is a common critical reaction to large, 'experimental' novels. Most often it is said 'like Ulysses, but why bother?', though recently that's changing to 'like Infinite Jest, but why bother?' Older Than They Think, though---even the 'first' overtly experimental, digressive novel, Tristram Shandy, was panned for being derivative of earlier works.


Live Action TV

  • The Talk on CBS was immediately panned, because it's The View for moms. With six women instead of five. In the middle of the afternoon. In Los Angeles.
  • American Tokusatsu: Basically every Henshin Hero show in this genre to come out since Power Rangers (be they original American shows, American adaptations of Japanese tokusatsu or American dubbed Japanese tokusatsu).
    • Masked Rider, VR Troopers, Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad, Big Bad Beetleborgs and Kamen Rider Dragon Knight are just a few examples of adaptations.
    • The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog would be an original show example.
    • Ultraman Tiga would be a dub example.
    • It should be noted that Masked Rider, VR Troopers, Beetleborgs, and Mystic Knights were all produced by Saban, the creators of Power Rangers itself, trying to replicate their own success. And that's not even counting the whining that fans of the American adaptations get from the fans of the Japanese originals, some of whom don't seem to understand that American companies actually licensed the footage from Japan to make their shows and didn't just plagiarize it behind their backs.
    • There's an important thing to remember here, in many ways, Japan likes "Power Rangers." From a business standpoint, licensing fees bring a good stream of revenue to Toei (it's actually believed that the increasing prevalence of Gotta Catch Em All in Super Sentai was being caused by trying to replace the diminishing revenue from the Disney Era of They Just Didn't Care with more merchandising.) Furthermore, Power Rangers is dubbed and broadcast in Japan, and is still watched (In fact, when Lost Galaxy was brought to Japan, it outperformed its source material Gingaman.)
  • Friends was constantly being accused of being a Seinfeld ripoff. However, anyone who actually follows both shows realizes that they have very different styles of humor.
    • And in turn every new sitcom soon after Friends became popular was automatically accused on being a Friends ripoff, apparently just on general principles. Drew Carey has a whole section in his book Dirty Jokes and Beer about how this happened and even his own sitcom, which he said was much more like Roseanne, was not exempt from the accusation.
  • On a related note, Living Single is widely considered to be a Friends ripoff, despite the fact that the former premiered before the latter.
    • And so is Coupling, because it has six leads (and one girl is weird, and one guy is a Handsome Lech who is also dumb), divided perfectly by gender. And a Local Hangout where they sit on the only sofa. And the general humour comes from sexual situations and observations. So obviously there are some similarities, but the tone, style and types of jokes told are often completely different.
    • And The Drew Carey Show, mainly as the show focused on, well, a bunch of friends.
    • Inverted in E4 trailers for How I Met Your Mother, which uses this as a selling point: "It's basically new episodes of Friends without boring ruddy Ross."
  • There are people who watch Saturday Night Live who seem completely incapable of enjoying any sketch that has a premise that's even remotely similar to another sketch from a previous season. Since the show has been on for more than 30 years, this means there aren't very many sketches they can enjoy.
  • When Firefly first showed up, word among anime fans was that it was a Live Action Rip-Off of Outlaw Star, primarily due to the 'naked girl in the box in the first episode' and the Cool Ship. The two shows turned out to be very different, not in the least because Outlaw Star had 26 episodes and Firefly had 13 (and a movie). Then, as seen above, Outlaw Star got this too.
  • Little Britain is frequently accused of ripping off The League of Gentlemen and The Fast Show. In turn, The Catherine Tate Show gets flak for copying Little Britain.
  • Dinosaurs was thought by many to be a ripoff of The Simpsons (only with animatronic puppets on a live-action set rather than an animated series). Seeing as how the former takes place in prehistoric times, this could even be in the same vein as The Honeymooners and The Flintstones. One episode of The Simpsons was a not-so-subtle Take That featuring the characters watching the show with Bart saying, "It's like they saw our lives and put it up on screen". A Dinosaurs episode also had Earl complain that the reason there's no originality on TV is because once an original show becomes popular, every network decides to play Follow the Leader and create rip-offs of said original show, with Baby saying, "Don't have a cow, man".
  • Hyperdrive is a sitcom about a bunch of incompetents on a spaceship. Although that's as far as the similarities with Red Dwarf go, a few insist it's a blatant rip-off.
  • Fifth Gear is often accused of being a rip-off of Top Gear.
    • Fifth Gear is the continuation of the original Top Gear, done by some of the same people from Old Top Gear's cancellation in 2001, just under a new name. In fact, while Top Gear dates back to The Seventies, its highly successful Retool began several months after Fifth Gear.
  • Top Gear on the American History Channel is a direct spin-off from the successful British Top Gear, copying the latter series' use of three presenters, The Stig, silly themed segments, style of cinematography and auto reviews, and cramming celebrities into a small car.
  • In Psych, Shawn walks up to a police department desk and identifies himself as a psychic. "Like The Mentalist only not fake."
  • A newer example that will likely only get worse: there is a good deal of ire directed at Stargate Universe by people claiming it's a rip-off of Battlestar Galactica Reimagined.
  • A possible case is Robin of Sherwood and the later Robin Hood. The second series of Robin of Sherwood ended with Robin's death, and there is speculation that the second season finale of Robin Hood chose to kill off Maid Marian in the attempt to emulate what the creators' believed was the "shock value" of the predecessing series, except of course that they killed Marian instead of Robin. The key difference was that the former series had to write around Michael Praed's decision to leave the show, whereas Marian's death in the later series was a creative decision and had nothing to do with actress Lucy Griffith (despite later attempts to blame the decision on her). Although Robin of Sherwood brought in a "new" Robin Hood, neither series survived more than one more season without their leads.
  • Any pair of young, male presenters on British television will be compared to Ant and Dec and accused of trying to copy them. Ironically, many of the comparisons aren't by Ant and Dec fans, but by people who dislike them and therefore conclude that anyone remotely similar to them is exactly like them.
  • Star Trek: Voyager was released around the time when Red Dwarf was becoming very popular and received accusation of copying it... Being lost in space, a holographic character... (They even had "Blue Alert")
    • Inverted with Stargate Universe, which from the moment it was announced was mockingly referred to as Stargate: Voyager.
  • Unhappily Ever After was so strikingly similar to Married... with Children because both were co-created by Ron Leavitt. Word of God says it wasn't their intention to be so similar to Children, but it simply turned out that way.
  • This happens a great deal with Singaporean television, especially the childrens' programming. My Classmate Dad is a Body Swap Sitcom that basically is Freaky Friday with a lower standard of spoken English. Cosmo and George is about an alien who befriends a human who shows him the ropes of living on earth, which is a startlingly original concept. The Chinese-language drama serials are almost as bad in this respect. CID is CSI, The Time Machine is uh..., Baby Blues is uh..., Beach. Ball. Babes. is Dead or Alive (specifically volleyball tournament game, that is), and a really new one, Mrs P.I., is pretty much Scarecrow and Mrs. King. The best part is that even if the shows are tenuously original, the English translations of their names, as you can gather, ruin everything.
  • When Password became a hit on CBS, NBC countered with You Don't Say!, using names instead of regular words. It was identical to the set up which had host Tom Kennedy's lecturn in the middle of the panel. Threatened with a lawsuit from Goodson-Todman, the lecturn was moved to the viewer's left. Regardless, it had a nice six-year run.
  • Rhyme and Reason was ABC's answer to Match Game '75 on CBS.


Music

  • This is the response that most cover versions of famous songs get.
  • Extremely prevalent in music fandom/journalism. How many times have you heard "______ is just doing the same thing The Beatles did in the '60s"?
  • Especially in the early tot mid 1960s a lot of rock groups looked and sounded like Beatle clones: The Rolling Stones, The Monkees, Herman's Hermits, The Dave Clarke Five,... Some bands eventually created their own sound, but others have been forgotten as being nothing more than pathetic attempts to cash in on the Beatles' success.
    • Speaking of The Beatles, it would take no less than a miracle of God to get critics not to use this argument against Sean Lennon or any other musician related to a Beatle. (Paul's son James wants to gather the sons of the other Beatles and form a group. Sean, Dhani Harrison and Jason Starkey are interested.)
      • Jakob Dylan has the same problem.
      • Hilariously lampshaded in this video
      • The new British bubblegum group One Dimension has fans that claim the group is "bigger than the Beatles," in spite of the fact they only have one hit single under their belts.
  • If you are an aspiring female singer-songwriter, don't bother. You will be called a ripoff of Joni Mitchell / Kate Bush / Tori Amos / Regina Spektor / Alanis Morissette / Ani DiFranco, etc. Sometimes, all of them at once.
  • Post-Grunge receives a lot of flak from many people due to many bands' overexaggerated attempts to sound like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.
  • It is impossible to be a fan of both Sarah Brightman and Katherine Jenkins, at least if you read either singer's forums.
  • British band The Horrors are often accused of being a rip-off of Australian post-punk band The Birthday Party.
    • Ironic: Nick Cave himself, in concert, made fun of how much The Birthday Party ripped off The Stooges by saying things like "This is not Loose, this is not No Fun, it's (insert title of the next TBP song on the set-list)."
  • Early in their career Silverchair were referred to as a shitty knockoff of Nirvana.
  • The German band Rammstein is often (and probably justified) accused of copying being inspired by Slovenian band Laibach's style. Laibach's reaction? That's alright, because art is inherently unoriginal.
    • Along with a little bit of a Take That when they said "Rammstein is Laibach for kids, and Laibach is Rammstein for grown-ups."
  • Aerosmith got a lot of bad press for (allegedly) copying The Rolling Stones. They got over it, though.
  • The Deathcore genre often has this criticism leveled at it, possibly due to the almost copycat-like nature of most of the bands within the genre.
    • Usually whichever band is the oldest mocks whoever is newest, never mind that they all are more or less emulating The Birthday Party and there's nothing wrong with that.
  • Any new R&B female singer will get compared to Beyonce, and before she came out it was Janet Jackson.
  • Any gothic metal band with a female singer will be compared to Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation or Evanescence. If the vocalist occasionally screams they'll get compared to Arch Enemy.
  • Muse are frequently accused of copying Radiohead, despite having much more of a rock and classical mentality.
  • Mr Bungle fans will frequently tell you that Faith No More is a watered down version of Mr Bungle, despite the fact that Mike Patton is in both bands so they're mostly fans of both anyway. Mr Bungle fans will also try to tell you Red Hot Chili Peppers copied Mr Bungle, missing the point that Red Hot Chili Peppers released several records before Mr Bungle did (not counting demo tapes). Red Hot Chili Peppers had a long lasting rivalry with Mr Bungle/Faith No More's singer Mike Patton in which Patton did some things he later apologised for. Red Hot Chili Peppers Fan Dumb will often still proclaim their hatred for Mike Patton nonetheless.
  • Power Pop group Ozma have never quite shaken the Weezer comparisons. It's not always negative though - it seems that for every one person who dismisses them as too derivative, there's someone else who's a fan of both Weezer and Ozma. The fact that their debut came out a few months after Weezer's base-breaking third album may have even contributed to their popularity.
  • Even though Michael Jackson clearly learned a lot from James Brown's dancing style: many pop artists since the 1980s have been accused of copying Jackson's dancing moves.

Newspaper Comics


Professional Wrestling

  • TNA has been mocked as "WWE Lite" due to its occasional gimmicks and storylines similar to those used by "that promotion up north."
    • Not to mention that they also hire many former WWE talents (Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash, Mick Foley, Taz, Booker T, Scott Steiner, Tara (Victoria), Team 3D (The Dudley Boys), Bobby Lashley, Elijah Burke, Stevie Richards, Matt Morgan, Rhino, and Shiek Abdul Bashir (Daivari) are all currently on the active TNA roster).
    • Current Roster, add in what they've siphoned from the WWE development, previous refrees/commentators, copied gimmicks...if TNA even signs a guy who's been looked at by a WWE employee wrestling fans will complain.
    • From the wrestler's point of view, it makes sense to go to TNA after the WWE sent you walking. It's the next biggest wrestling promotion after all. Still, it seems that every time the WWE fires or releases a wrestler it takes less than month for them to resurface in TNA. It also doesn't help that some of the time TNA has the wrestlers do their same WWE gimmicks but under another name (Team 3D being the biggest).
      • "Less tham a month" is generally an exaggeration, given that the typical No-Compete clause (which prevents a released performer from appearing with another company) in a WWE contract has a 90 day window.
      • Additionally, Team 3D legally can't call themselves the Dudley Boyz anymore due WWE just as they own the rights/names/gimmicks to previous wrestlers (i.e. "Fake Diesel," "The Real Double-J.")


Video Games

  • Jim Sterling discusses this trope, as well as its prevalence amongst the Video Game format here.
  • Any sort of show or game with a monster-collecting or -raising element as a Sidequest or main premise will inevitably draw comparisions to the genre codifier, Pokémon.
    • Bomberman has seen the harshest of criticism thus far with their Charaboms.
    • Sometimes Digimon has the issue of being compared to Pokémon, though there aren't that many similarities.
      • Pick any Digimon game and you'll be able to come across people who believe it's a rip-off of something.
    • A strange example, the Rumble Arena series is almost invariably likened to Super Smash Bros. (although not necessarily seen as a negative) or, alternatively, attacked for not being like SSB. Amusingly, Digimon World is occasionally accused of ripping off Tamagotchi. [2]
    • The Shin Megami Tensei series gets hit by this very hard: despite having made its debut on the Famicom, Mega Ten is usually known as "Pokémon with demons".
    • This is true even for individual aspects of monster-collecting games. See Dragon Quest Monsters - with its in-depth breeding system - which released in Japan in 1998, more than a full year prior to Pokémon Gold and Silver... yet it still catches a lot of flak for copying breeding from Pokemon.
      • Not to mention that similar to the Mega Ten example above, the Dragon Quest series had already dabbled in the monster recruiting arts in its fifth and sixth installments, though the Nintendo DS remake of the latter replaced that feature with the ability to learn moves typically used by monsters (the remake of the former on the same system still has the monster recruitment feature, though).
  • A strange inversion with most Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games - it doesn't tend to be "You copied Defense of the Ancients, so you suck", it tends to be more "You didn't copy Defense of the Ancients, so you suck."
  • Magical Doropie aka The Krion Conquest, a departure from the original Mega Man series by Vic Tokai. Combined with ludicrously butchered and ludicrously off-line localization, this game became a complete critical disaster. In some instances, however, this wasn't even what the game deserved.
  • The original Dark Cloud game was compared to Zelda. Its sequel was, however, much more well-received - Although this actually wasn't thought of as a bad thing by some magazines.
    • That comparison is pretty funny if you've played Soul Blazer, a game that resembles Dark Cloud far more than any Zelda game or any other Action-Adventure game really.
    • In a reversal, Okami was released a couple of months before Twilight Princess, as Link turned into a wolf and the similarities between the games many said Nintendo had stolen the idea despite the fact that a Twilight Princess trailer that showed Link turning into a wolf was released in 2005, while Okami was released in 2006.
      • Released in 2006. The game first ever appeared in 2004 in-house as a concept video, with its first ever public appearance at Tokyo Game Show in the same year.
  • For that matter; any Action-Adventure game is always mentioned as being like The Legend of Zelda. In some games' cases, like the aforementioned Dark Cloud, it was compared favourably. (Dark Cloud was called a "Zelda-killer", as were the first World of Mana games.) In other cases, it's called a ripoff, like Alundra, Illusion of Gaia, and even Brave Fencer Musashi. Yes, even more RPG-like ones that borrow very little from Zelda.
  • Take a good look at any racing game and find one person who doesn't compare it to Mario Kart or Need for Speed, and belittle it for trying to cash in on it.
    • Likewise, any Party Game with a board element in it will inevitably be compared to Mario Party, unless it's a video game adaption of Monopoly or the like.
  • Some fans dislike the fact Dragon Age 2 copied Mass Effect's dialogue wheel wholesale. Yep, BioWare managed to pull Follow the Leader on themselves.
  • Several people note that Sony's peripheral devices are rip-offs of Nintendo's controllers. From the SNES-like design, to the rumble, the control sticks and, most recently, the motion sensor technology and connectivity between consoles and portables, Sony has been accused of being a copycat.
    • Sony's sixaxis was patented two weeks before Nintendo made their unveiling.
    • Reportedly, PS Move has actually been in development since before the Wii was even announced (cost being the main reason it didn't launch with the PlayStation 3 itself, as the system cost enough to manufacture as it was [1]). While this doesn't quite disprove the idea of Sony having Spies in Nintendo to steal from them, it does highlight the silliness of the issue.
    • Despite Rumble being an arcade feature at the time, the controller design coming from the Vectrex, the sticks coming from the Atari 5200 (historically, the first games system with analogue joysticks), and connectivity coming from the Dreamcast. Nintendo rips something off, Sony does it twice.
    • Even the first Playstation was originally meant to be an SNES peripheral, so it goes back quite a ways.
      • Specifically, it was originally Nintendo's attempt to rip off the Sega CD.
        • So going from start to finish. If it weren't for the Sega CD, Sony's Playstation would never exist because Nintendo wouldn't have a reason to make a CD add-on. In other words, Nintendo was responsible for their drop in sales during the 5th and 6th generation of games because of their "attempt" to copy off of Sega!
          • Add to that that Sony got most of its CD game production knowledge from creating Sega CD games, Sony pretty much played everyone and made off like a bandit.
  • Microsoft has likewise been getting a lot of this, such as with their version of Nintendo's Miis.
    • Microsoft has been fielding similar accusations from Apple's faithful for years, who seem to honestly believe that Apple invented the WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointers) interface paradigm. For the record, Apple stole it from the Xerox PARC laboratory.
      • Xerox is the user interface bicycle: Everyone's had a ride.
        • This is actually considered the Microsoft business model, where they wait for a market to flourish, then buy their way into it. From Internet Explorer, to X Box, to Zune to now Bing, Microsoft lives off this trope.
        • Almost every big tech company does this to a certain degree. They are big conservative organisations who really don't like taking risks. It's smaller companies that tend to actually do all the innovating and the big companies (particularly MS but by far most shamelessly apple) who claim that they were responsible for it. iPods, iPhones, iPads ? All concepts proved by smaller companies that apple band-wagoned onto. Only tech-illiterate followers of fashion think apple or microsoft or any big tech company genuine innovated anything. It's essentially the huge PR machine that the big companies have that makes thee world think they got their first.
    • The Kinect was called a "Wii Wannabe"...Which is ironic for two reasons. 1) The Motion-Capture and control in the Kinect is only similar to the Wii in that...it's motion-control. 2) It's more comparable to the Sony Eye Toy than the Nintendo Wii.
  • A new game in development, called Wiki, looks very similar to The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker. Nintendo was already on Sony's case about it.
    • Why on Sony's case? They had nothing to do with it.
    • Similarly, many people accused Starfox Adventures of trying to be too much like a Zelda game.
    • On the other hand, is anybody really surprised that a game called "Wiki" is building on other developers' work?
  • Final Fight: Streetwise was accused of trying to cash in on the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Then again, you can't blame them: the market has thousands of titles just about trying to be like San Andreas.
  • Any Beat-em-up that was similar to Final Fight was basically doomed to be called a "Final Fight clone". Even its 3D successors, Dynasty Warriors, suffers the same fate.
    • A couple times there actually have been ripoffs Dynasty Warrios even moreso than people assume fundamental gameplay tropes - such as blatantly copying the interface.
  • Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions was accused of being a shameless rip-off of Batman: Arkham Asylum due to some similarities in Noir's gameplay and his final boss segment.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog's spinoffs are frequently accused of copying from Mario's lineup of spinoffs. Then again, Mario has starred in nearly every genre imaginable.
  • "Like World of Warcraft but..." syndrome has begun to really invade MMORPGs, due to said game's amazing economic success. In particular, user interfaces and tutorial zones tend to be described as World of Warcraft in SPACE or transplanted to other fantasy series (occasionally even other games that came out first). This isn't always a bad thing - World of Warcraft wouldn't have been successful if it had a bad UI or especially boring early quests - but a lot of reviewers spend two or three days in a new game and advocate sticking with the precursor.
    • "It's like WOW" has become a common complaint about Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition, despite the fact that many of the alleged WOW elements started in D&D itself.
    • 'WOW Clone' is a frequent insult used against games that are deemed too similar to World of Warcraft or simly too mainstream or lacking a feature the speaker likes.
  • Speaking of World of Warcraft, let's not forget the "It's High Fantasy for the lowest common denominator" or "It's just a ripoff of Lord of the Rings". But you can bet 90% of these people are trolls who are just mindless anti-fans who don't know how they practically have nothing in common with each other beyond common High Fantasy traits and some nods to it. (Such as the human male joke about the "Ruler of the bracelet" due to the movies being released around the time WoW was, and icecrown having similar architecture) If you're saying World of Warcraft is a ripoff of Lord of the Rings, you also have to say Warhammer is to escape the fallacy, because by your logic, all High Fantasy is Lord of the Rings.
    • It was openly admitted that the Ice Crown was a Mordor rip-o... I mean, Shout-Out. The Lich King bears some visual similarities to Sauron too. Blizzard makes fun of it. Everyone laughs. Punch is served.
    • Speaking of which, practically the archetypal Fan Dumb related to this trope is Warhammer vs. Warcraft. Each side accuses the other of stealing... basically everything from the other. For instance, the endless debates about which came first, the Tyranids or the Zerg (Alien did it before either, for the record, and Starship Troopers did it before that). To put it bluntly, both Wars were ripping off their predecessors rather than each other.
    • On the technical side, you must admit that WoW has and will continue to borrow, copy, and abuse ideas that work in other games. Nothing in Warcraft is truly unique or innovative, except perhaps the attitude that it should be a game for every player instead of just the hardcore elitists. Some of the most recent useful changes have come from incorporating fan-Mods like Power Auras into the basic user interface. Because having a text message for "this ability has procced!" is just too complicated for some players.
      • And again...look at tech companies who shamelessly "Steal from each other". Games are no different.
  • Some may say that Fate Extra is just Persona 3 with Fate/stay night characters and concepts. The fact that bosses happen every full moon and two ex-ATLUS employees worked on the developing team doesn't help.
  • A meta-example. During the development of Quake II and Unreal, members of Id Software and Epic Games's teams would often sling mud at eachother in their public .plan files, which reached the point of one of Unreal's staff members openly accusing the team at id of stealing ideas from Unreal. His justification? "Unreal has a bald guy and a girl with a ponytail. Quake II has a bald guy and a girl with a ponytail."
  • Fans of Rhythm Games are divided over whether In The Groove is this and had it coming for being too Dance Dance Revolution-like or a quality Follow the Leader game that shouldn't have had its life cut short.
  • There have been accusations of Tiki Towers being a ripoff of World of Goo, despite using slightly different gameplay mechanics.
  • Xenogears: Red head heroine, Giant robots and religious tones: "This is an Neon Genesis Evangelion rip-off", said some uninformed fans of the anime. The usual answer they get is "Xenogears is very different: the story actually makes sense."
  • Fans of RPGs constantly say that FPSes are a ripoff of games like Doom and Wolfenstein 3D, and likewise fans of FPSes and "Sandbox games" say the same about RPGs. (It does not matter where.) Despite that obviously neither of them have played anymore than the actual ripoffs or games trying to be "Traditional".
    • Whenever a game with a few similarities to Grand Theft Auto is released, it is automatically compared to GTA or even considered a GTA rip off.
      • The First Mercenaries is probably one of the best examples of this. Despite the obvious differences that Mercenaries takes place in a warzone with little in the way of law enforcement to speak of, and with a heavier emphasis on blowing stuff up as opposed to car chases. It didn't help matters that the game was released roughly the same time as Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. So several reviewers dismissed Mercenaries while giving glowing reviews to San Andreas.
      • And yet GTA 3 is itself an aversion of this trope; the Leader it ripped off, Driver, is sadly forgotten, and doesn't even have a page here. In fact, GTA threw out everything unique to its franchise in order to emulate a game that is now as mired in obscurity as GTA 1&2.
        • Ironically, the later Driver games tried to be more like Grand Theft Auto, however they languished in the marketplace. Driver: San Fransico, the fifth entry in the series, ditched the GTA elements for a new framing device (you switch between cars by "possessing" their drivers - it's a long story) and has, as a result gotten at the very least critical acclaim for it.
    • Western RPGs and MMORPGs have somehow managed to escape being flagged as a ripoff of Dungeons and Dragons, even when they outright use the D20 rules.
      • And there are still old-time MUDders who consider graphic MMORPG's to be a rip-off of MUD, with a graphical front-end to excuse charging money for what they'd played for free for over a decade. Due to similarities, the conviction was so strong that Ever Quest was derived from DikuMUD codebase that they proved it wasn't to Diku's original developers so that they could publicly certify such.
        • Rip-off? More like "the same, with peddleable name". The only difference is that the old generation used "chessboard" space. But it was the same with single-player games and you could put a graphical client on the same DikuMUD looking like an old CRPG.
    • Most MMOFPSes have somehow managed to escape being widely compared to other games with similar goals or even Counter-Strike - If by using fundamental gameplay tropes is enough to constitute for a "Ripoff", it's amazing how there have probably been three or four original FPS-games made period.
      • And here you can see a rather arrant Double Standard at work; you'll notice more often than not people will throw "They Copied It, So It Sucks" at RPGs of all kind when they are not really a fan of RPGs and have a minimalistic view of the genre. (Many only seem to view the genre as all being clones of one representative of it.) You can pretty much copypaste "RPG" out with "Platformer", "Wide open sandbox", "FPS", "Shmup", the list goes on and on. Naturally they won't say that to their own genre unless it's actually a blatant ripoff because, once more, fans are able to tell apart say, Halo from Counter-Strike. Unfortunately; many reviewers fall into this Double Standard and throw this trope around a lot.
  • The music of video games gets this, sometimes. It's often intentional, as is the case with most licensed games (That don't flat out ignore the source's soundtrack) and even to try replicating the feel of some other famous soundtracks. Given that a lot of game composers are actually still alive and in practice; it remains yet unknown whether or not their successor(s) will get this fate thrown onto their music.
  • Some people are bashing TMNT: Smash Up, because it has the Super Smash Bros. engine, panning it because they think it will be Super Smash Bros. with Turtles, but the gameplay is showing that there are some differences, namely that there are health meters rather then stock damage, the enviroments change consistently, and guard breaks are different, and the people developing the game in question? The team who MADE Super Smash Bros., as well as Team Ninja, so they're really bashing themselves.
  • I'm not sure if there was any back then, but I'm pretty sure DuckTales or Darkwing Duck may have been labeled Mega Man ripoffs because of similar engines (Okay, Darkwing Duck used the 5 engine, but still), Ducktales had it's own original gameplay though, your weapon didn't shoot plasma at the opponent, you had to use Scrooge's cane as a weapon, pogo stick (not making that up), and to trigger things, Darkwing Duck works a little more similar to Mega Man, so it's slightly more justified, the only difference? You can grab a hold of something to get higher in the stage.
    • Of course, given that they were made by CAPCOM...Definitive research failures there.
  • Thrill Drive, a popular game that ran contrary to Burnout concept of taking out other cars in a violent matter had a 4th installation that ran contrary to everything that made Thrill Drive the game it was with Power-Up items, a system that encourage maximum carnage as well as Boost Pad, Japanese fans were not too amused
  • The trailers for the yet-to-be-released HAVE Online looked almost ridiculously similar to popular game Team Fortress 2. Not just similar, people were finding exact shots ripped off from TF2's trailers.
    • The Chinese FPS: Final Combat is receiving the same reception from Team Fortress 2 fans for having a very similar style, gameplay, maps, and trailers.
  • Killer Instinct was accused of this for trying to be like Mortal Kombat.
  • F-Zero fans occasionally consider Wipeout a rip-off.
  • Rock Band fans often claim Guitar Hero stole any number of ideas, the most notable one being full band play. The less-informed will argue the opposite, not realizing (or ignoring) that Guitar Hero 1 & 2 were made by Harmonix (Forbes gets it wrong in this article). Meanwhile, Guitar Hero is inspired from Guitar Freaks in Japan, but that game only had three frets, no hammer-ons, and Konami seemed pretty determined to deprive non-Japanese gamers of it.
  • Any Stealth-Action Game will inevitably get compared to and get accused of copying either Metal Gear Solid or Syphon Filter(...which is accused of being a Metal Gear Solid clone itself)
  • Because of the use of High Fantasy elements and Elijah Wood, many of the older Spyro Fan Dumb bashes the Legend series for being a Lord of the Rings rip off... Considering that the Legend series doesn't even have Five Races, has Steampunk elements, and no rings involved. And you play as a dragon...
  • Limbo of the Lost gets most of its flak for stealing copyrighted assets from games like Thief, The Elder Scrolls, Painkiller, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Unreal Tournament, among others.
    • Incredibly, this is largely averted by many reviews: despite the literal copying, this is often only one of many criticisms of the game's overall perceived quality.
  • When the Street Fighter series got popular with the second installment pretty much any 2-D fighter that anyone ever heard of during the early to mid 90s was automatically deemed a rip-off to Street Fighter II regardless of whether it was actually deserving or not. The only ones whom remotely escaped this were Mortal Kombat (due to digitized actors and the Graphic Violence, though not the first) and Samurai Shodown (Weapons based fighter, though not the first). While this attitude was starting to fade during the late 90's and the 2000's it was a rather popular sentiment for the genre back then.
    • The Data East fighting game "Fighter's History" plays with this trope a bit. Sure there might be someone thinking "Okay not all 2-D fighters were rip-offs of Street Fighter II but if anything deserved to be a called a rip-off then this game was it!" and Capcom agreed to that. While Capcom called Fighters History "overly inspired from Street Fighter II", one of the reasons why Capcom lost that case is because Data East called the original Street Fighter a rip-off of the original arcade version of their 1984 fighter Karate Champ. Even though, Kunio-kun and Double Dragon creator Technos Japan actually developed it while Data East only released it, Technos Japan was founded by three former Data East employees. A little-known Japanese website in English known as Jap-Sai considers it to actually be a tribute and not a 'direct copy'.
      • But this wasn't the first time a company sues another in fighting game history for "copying". Data East lost after they sued Epyx for releasing International Karate created by System 3, due to resembling Karate Champ.
        • Speaking of pre-SFII fighting games, many elements of SFII were already done in most fighters mentioned in this entry at Hardcore Gaming 101, as well as Konami's Yie Ar Kung-Fu arcade. The first Street Fighter's 1P mode is to Yie Ar Kung-Fu, while its 2P mode is to Karate Champ.
        • For characters, some are either considered ripoffs or tributes. This website and this Japanese website compares several characters from the SF series and others to who they were most likely modeled after.
          • And speaking of Konami's Yie Ar Kung-Fu arcade, some people consider Konami's other fighting game Martial Champion a SFII ripoff, despite the fact that its control scheme actually derived from Yie Ar Kung-Fu arcade, but with three buttons instead of one. In fact, some say it was originally planned to be titled as Yie Ar Kung-Fu 2, until they realized there was already one for home computers starting with the MSX.
    • Oddly enough, some people still believe to this day that Art of Fighting ripped off Street Fighter despite the fact that the gameplay is significantly different in every aspect. Of course, a main character named Ryo and a Guile-like army dude probably didn't remotely help.
      • Ryu is to Ozwald the Lucky Rabbit, and Ryo is to Mickey Mouse; same creators, but for different companies.
    • Ditto Fatal Fury, even though both it and SFII were in development at the same time.
      • Fatal Fury 2 is pretty much "Street Fighter 2 with some Fatal Fury 1 elements tossed in", as well as four-button layout instead of SFII's six-button layout, though.
    • And Time Killers is the Fatal Fury of Mortal Kombat; both it and MK were in development at the same time.
    • King of Fighters XII came out right after Street Fighter IV. Claims of Follow the Leader were made even though King of Fighters XII was in development as early as 2006, far before Street Fighter IV was revealed to the public.
  • The most common criticism leveled against Donkey Kong Country is that it is a Mario clone, though both were created for Nintendo.
    • In their defense, Mario's first appearance was in a game called... Donkey Kong. So both series started literally in the same game. It makes sense for both to share the same genre.
  • Some people would think that Roblox is a ripoff of Minecraft, but Roblox came before MC.
    • While on the subject of Minecraft, almost any game that involves mining blocks and moving them around is going to get slammed with this, the most blatant being Fortress Craft. Terraria also gets accused of being a Minecraft clone.
  • Any conversation amongst enthusiasts involving Angry Birds will include some offhand remark about the game being a Crush the Castle knockoff.
  • Let's not forget that Lightning, of FFXIII, is apparently as mopey and "emo" as Cloud from FFVII, and that the former game is a rip-off of the latter because, well, some fans are idiots.
    • This was actually intentional, according to Word of God, Lightning was conceived as a "female Cloud".
  • Does your Simulation Game feature real-life aircraft, trench run missions, a plot where two factions are at war with each other, and the ability to customize your aircraft? If so, then consider your game to be a rip-off of Ace Combat.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is declared God of War's ripoff due to their similarities in combat mechanisms. To the lesser extent, Castlevania games on Play Station 2 are compared with Devil May Cry because of their battle systems and White-Haired Pretty Boy protagonists.


Western Animation


Web Original

  • Don't ever do ranting reviews on YouTube, unless you want to be labeled an AVGN ripoff.
    • And there are videos on YouTube calling the AVGN a Seanbaby ripoff. This is because seanbaby predates AVGN, and made fun of NES games for pretty much the same reasons. Some of his lines are even almost exactly the same.
  • Many Abridged series are dismissed just for copying Little Kuriboh, regardless of whether they have different jokes or even parody the series differently. This can come off as a bit hypocrital, given Kuriboh's own heavy reliance on pop culture references.

 You're copying Little Kuriboh! He said the word "the", and you so said it in your last episode!

  • Many people on Deviant ART are just eager to pounce on people that copied (just short of actually taking the person's work) artwork off someone else or made a similar picture, whether by accident or on purpose. Even putting characters in similar poses will get many people flamed because "true art" is original. The mentality can get so bad that all it takes is one artist making a journal crying that someone ripped off his or her work and the people responding go and flame the hell out of the target.
    • Never EVER draw in anything that's even remniscent of anime. Period. You will immmediatly be told that you copied and now it sucks. Never ever draw fanart. You are copying.
    • One art thief actually tried to use this to her advantage. Jen "Spunkywulf" Seng is a very popular artist and animator, especially in the Furry Fandom. An artist named "Mochi" may have traced her art and that of others. After Jen and her friend tried to discuss it privately, Mochi wrote a journal entry making Jen out to be some sort of elitist who was begrudging Mochi being "inspired" by her work, presumably expecting Jen to be cowed by the flames of Mochi's few hundred fans. Unfortunately, Jen herself has thousands of fans, and she was perfectly willing to call Mochi out. Hilarity ensued.
    • One of the more hilarious aspects of DA is how the Whiteknighting sometimes backfires against the artists themselves. Lets say you want to draw things your parents/relations wouldn't agree with too much. Perhaps you're even a squeaky clean artist who wants to throw a couple boobies into your work to avoid people FROM work from finding out and getting you canned. So you make a new name, and upload new works to that, and gain fans. Eventually, one of your thousands of old fans finds the new account and starts watching...And then they notice minor similarities like how you draw hands and how the new account has no signature on pictures. Cue mass reporting spree for art theft. Even if they aren't trying to hide from anyone, if they make a second account on a whim, for example furry artist Inuki...yea...
    • Despite the fact that many people do not like copying of styles, some artists actually encourage other artists to mimic their style. One mention should go to Razzek, a woman who pressingly tells people to draw characters (whether original or Fan Art) in her style. Being how she is both on DA and on other sites, some people have actually given into her demands and it has resulted in a lot of various characters being nearly "rip offs" of the artist's style.
      • Really though, this is just one of the many "artistic-heads" that cause over half of the trends (and problems) in Deviant ART. If someone has been on DA long enough, has enough artistic talent to win over some fans, and possibly a big ego, you can bet your bottom dollar that those fans will mimic the artist's style because they think it's good. Sadly, this results in less variety of styles and more so the whole "tracing/copying wars" that are seen by those who think of the place as Deviant Tart, where as those who actually have their unique style and ideas never really get noticed.
    • Probably because deviantART was ear-deep in filter-processed copypasted pics "Tracing" for long. Which in itself isn't "horrible", of course -- as long as the works such remix is derived from are given proper credits.
  • Several people outside of Japan compare MAD Videos and other similar videos mostly found on Nico Nico Douga (NND) to YouTube Poop, though Know Your Meme researchers found that MA Ds were created as far back as 1978, 28 years before YouTube Poop was created.
    • Some people outside of Japan refer to MA Ds as YouTube Poop Music Videos (YTPM Vs), though MA Ds are usually made with talent and soul, while YT Ps and YTPM Vs are often less artistic.
  • Every gaming webcomic that isn't Penny Arcade has been accused of ripping off the same.
    • Penny Arcade itself summed the trope up: the difference between "derivative" and "Homage" is "Whether or not I liked it".


Real Life

  • Romans liked to copy Greek art, often making perfect replicas in marble. Among artistic communities, it's often thought that this copying made the Romans less worthy, artistically speaking. Of course, even today with complicated techniques and high-tech tools, it's very hard to make an exact copy.
    • Which says something about the pretentiousness of the art world.
      • Or that good talent shouldn't be wasted on rehashing old stuff.
      • It also should be noted that in many cases the originals did not survive (being made of bronze, they were melted down), so it is not easy to gauge how exact the copies are.
    • It's interesting to learn that early artists were not sure how to portray the Buddha. They started off using a symbol (a footprint with a wheel inside), and moved on from there. Many earlier sculptures of the Buddha feature flowing robes and other elements borrowed from Greco-Roman sculpture, and it took quite a while before the present-day image of Buddha became canon.
  • A very Averted Trope when it comes to military technology and techniques - the slower you are to copy, the frequently worse off you are. That doesn't mean you should come up with something new ever, of course.
    • Unlike the arts, any sort of applied sciences tend to dodge this, since the idea isn't to impress with one's originality, but rather to find something that works better than anything else currently out there.
  • Copying other people's ideas was the very essence of H.J. Heinz's business strategies. (Yes, that Heinz, whose company now controls the ketchup market.) Possibly averted, due to his insistence on always one-upping the competition when he imitated something. For instance, he added vinegar and thickened ketchup to extend its shelf life; ketchup was previously rather mild in flavor and quite runny.
  • Snowclones submitted as YKTTW on This Very Wiki elicit this complaint offhand. Never mind that it relies on a serviceably memorable formula without excessive cleverness or detracting from the original.
  • In their memoirs, Silent Films actresses Lillian Gish and Miriam Cooper both mentioned their distaste for Carol Dempster, who became D.W. Griffith's leading lady in the 1920s after Gish and Cooper had moved on. They both claimed that Dempster was not a true actress because -- according to them -- she imitated their acting styles and the acting styles of other actresses, including Gish's sister Dorothy. (They did not consider this to be the Sincerest Form of Flattery.) While Dempster was no shining light of the silent screen -- partly because Griffith's creativity seemed to run out of steam after his A-list stars left him -- her films were somewhat popular at the time.
  • Denis Leary obviously borrowed a lot of his style and jokes from Bill Hicks, to the point that many people call him a blatant rip-off.

Notes

  1. Trapped in Another World + Fantasy Counterpart Culture + Miko + The Four Gods + Cast Full of Pretty Boys + Gotta Catch Them All + Debut Queue + Elemental Powers + Personality Powers + Bodyguard Crush
  2. For those unaware, Digimon was conceived by Bandai, makers of Tamagotchi, as - you guessed it - a Tamagotchi for boys.
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