Celebrity Resemblance

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Your face is familiar...
Arsenic and Old Lace (repeatedly said to the villain, originally played by Boris Karloff)

Whenever a resemblance is noted In-Universe between a celebrity and someone else.

It's a relatively common phenomenon. Some people do look alike, but since celebrities have such well known faces, people tend to see their resemblances in other people.

In magazines, this is often poked fun at with side by side photos of celebrities with people who resemble them, often with the caption "Switched At Birth?", and often with the labels swapped.

In a brilliant (of course) bit of Refuge in Audacity, Albert Einstein would invoke this to anyone who approached him in the street, asking him to explain his theories. He would reply "Pardon me, sorry! Always I am mistaken for Professor Einstein."

It can be helpful for actors trying to break into Hollywood to already have this aspect. Some casting agencies will be asked by studios to look for someone who looks like [whatever] celebrity. Similarly, some writers and artists intentionally design fictional characters off of real life celebrities.

In-Universe examples only. Although the audience can definitely feel that a certain character, actor or actress resembles a celebrity, this trope only applies if this resemblance is mentioned or purposely exploited in a work.

Compare Textual Celebrity Resemblance, Separated At Birth Casting. Not to be confused with Identical Stranger. Might overlap with Celebrity Paradox. In-Universe such a person may be a Celebrity Impersonator.

Examples of Celebrity Resemblance include:

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • A Yuki-fangirl in Fruits Basket tells him that she looks like a famous Japanese actress. One of her friends, also squealing over Yuki, immediately says she doesn't.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • This is unfortunately a handy short-cut for poor fan writers, who often find it easier to say an original character looks like a celebrity than come up with their own description.


Film[edit | hide]


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Community has mentioned several
    • As noted by both Abed and Jeff, Britta looks like Elizabeth Shue.
    • Troy notes that the Dean looks like Moby.
    • An unseen biracial character is alternately described as a black Michael Chiklis and a white George Foreman.

Britta: HEY! His name is David, and he's a person!

    • In the same exchange Jeff calls Abed "brown Jamie Lee Curtis."
    • The many "Jeff looks like Ryan Seacrest" jokes.
  • The resemblance between Omar Epps who plays Foreman in House and Pittsburg Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was referenced in the episode "Ignorance Is Bliss":

House: Got all of my starters back plus a couple of free agents. I feel like Mike Tomlin. (looks at Foreman) Probably not as much as you do, but you get the idea.

  • Auction Hunters featured one episode in northern Texas where a competitor bore an uncanny resemblance to George W. Bush, a resemblance that did not go unnoticed by the two Hunters, who quickly nicknamed him "W". He turned out to be their main competition at that auction.


Music[edit | hide]

  • A key element in the song "Moe" by Modern Man: When he was a boy the singer's father looked just like Moe Howard of The Three Stooges, causing his son much grief at school. Sympathetic to his son's distress, dad agrees to change his hairstyle -- after which he looks like Shemp.

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