Hey, It's That Voice!

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Tim: "There were so many different voices that I recognized, from other shows."
Eric: "Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. It was that, y'know, 'Is that Kelsey Grammar?' And he said 'yeah.'"
Tim: "'Is that Kelsey Grammar in this movie? 'Cus I only remember him from Cheers and also Frasier.'"

Tim and Eric promoting Shrek the ThirdTim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

So, you're sitting down, watching an animated superhero beat the snot out of a villain. The villain reels back and snarls "Is that all you've got?" at the hero. Hey... wait a second! You know that voice! It's [that character] from [that show] you love so much! And the hero, he's sounding a little familiar too...

This is the voice-actor version of Role Association. While most of this trope is composed of animated examples, a few live-action versions exist.

This can be a little harder to spot than the guy on the live action show. You lose all the visual cues, and people don't always use the same "voice" when voice acting. It can also depend on the individual actor, their range, the number of things you've heard them in, and last but not least how much attention you're paying to recognizing them. If you watch enough animation, you will find your ear becoming better attuned to picking people out, even when they change their voice.

Often results in fun in the form of a voice-actor version of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon", connecting disparate characters via a chain of common voice actors. In the case of anime, this get even more complicated when playing with both Japanese and American actors.

Possible result of Pigeonholed Voice Actor. If it happens within the show itself, it might result in a character Talking to Himself. Taken to an extreme with Actor Allusion. Reasonably common in physically smaller markets (generally countries)- while Hollywood actors are hardly queuing up to dub videogames in the US, it's not unusual to hear major players in British television in those dubbed in the UK- Fable II is a prime example.

Compare You Look Familiar, You Might Remember Me From. Inverse of The Other Darrin. If you want to make jokes about it, come to Role Association. Contrast Man of a Thousand Voices, in which the actor has the range to avert instant recognition.

In an effort to avoid redundancies and give this trope some semblance of order, all voice actors have been alphabetized by their last names. If you know a voice that is not on here please add it in the appropriate place. Check IMDB or The Other Wiki if you don't know the name of the voice. If you want to mention a program that has multiple recognizable voices, mention it on that program or game's page. Also, some of the really big common examples of this have their own pages, to wit Megumi Hayashibara, Takehito Koyasu, Kotono Mitsuishi, Kikuko Inoue, Tomokazu Seki, Megumi Ogata, and so on. And please remember that this is for instances where a voice actor's voice is recognizable, not their resumes.


Examples Besides Ones That Speak English and Japanese

Anime dubbed in countries besides ones that speak English and Japanese

  • Almost the entirety of the grid of Animax Latin America in its Spanish language branch gives you this effect, due to the fact that a good chunk of its series were dubbed by Venezuelan Dubbing Houses, who share a common pool of voice actors.
  • In Spain, this is kinda zigzaged. Since the cast majorly depends on the city the show is dubbed in, and in Spain there are four that take care of anime (Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastian and Seville), this can vary from a cast where every single character has a Pigeonholed Voice Actor (for example "Monster") to an actor that you only have in that show and don't recognize anywhere else (for example, Shin-chan's Spanish voice actress). The former case is way more common if the show has been dubbed in Madrid or Barcelona.
  • Three Brazilian dubs were prolific in well-known voice actors:
  • And it's not only the English and LA Spanish language where those things happen. The whole main cast of Ghost In The Shell Stand Alone Complex, in it's German dub, is made up with the voice actors who also did Stargate SG-1. So we have:
    • Christin Marquitan as Kusanagi and Samantha Carter
    • Tilo Schmitz as Bato and Teal'c
    • Klaus-Peter Grap as Togusa and Daniel Jackson
    • Erich Räuker as Ishikawa and Jack O'Neil.
  • Speaking of Brock, the Dutch VA for Brock did a commercial playing a drop of 'Dreft' (a cleaning product).
    • The Swedish voice for Brock have also done voices for several commercials. He was also the voice of Batman.
      • When watching Dutch television in general, no one should be surprised at hearing the same voices over and over again.
  • The first voice actor of Vegeta in the German dub is also the voice actor of SpongeBob SquarePants, Ren Hoek and Dr. Crowler!
    • He also voiced Eric Cartman in Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. Now imagine Spongebob singing the "Kyle's Mom" song...
  • German fans of Yu-Gi-Oh! and X 1999 will also recognise a few voices:
    • Rubina Kuraoka as Téa Gardner and Yuzuriha Nekoi
    • Giuliana Jakobeit as Dark Magician Girl/Mana and Princess Hinoto
    • Robin Kahnmeyer as Joey Wheeler and Sorata Arisugawa (which is kinda hilarious because they're so alike)
    • Probably the best are Sebastian Schulz and Gerrit Schmidt-Foss as Yami Yugi and Seto Kaiba, or Kamui Shiro and Fuuma Monou
  • The Philippines is actually a country that had English as an official language besides Tagalog, the national language, but Filipino voice actors are notorious for avoiding being pigeonholed as much as possible. However, pigeonholes are unavoidable, and Talking to Himself cases are the norm.
    • Speaking of which, since Filipino voice actors speak good English, they sometimes even dub the English versions of anime broadcasted in Animax Southeast Asia network that people thought the voice actors are Americans.
    • If you want an idea...
  • In terms of German voice acting, Julia Kaufmann must be the queen of this trope, seeing as she barely changes her voice when she subs anything. It was quite irritating at first to have Yukari-sensei as Misato Kasugari, and it would be worse to go the other way around.
  • Ankama has recently picked up the license for the French release of Gurren Lagann, and nearly every character has a voice actor in common with Ankama's other baby, Wakfu. Most obviously, Yoko and Evangelyne share Genevi ève Doang, and Kamina is absolutely impossible to take seriously because he's voiced by Cédric Dumond, who did the obnoxious announcer's voice during the "Boufbowl Hell" arc. Other notable ones are Nia/Amalia, Kittan/Nox, Viral/Xav, and Tylimph/Rubilax.
  • Many Malaysian anime dubs into Malay also suffers from this. Like Venezuelan dubbing houses, the dubbing houses in Malaysia shares a common pool of voice actors. The most prolific voice actress seems to be the one doing Doraemon's voice in the dub (also a Cross Dressing Voice moment).

Film dubbed in countries besides ones that speak English

  • In Spain this happens A LOT. As explained in the anime section, in this country casts majorly depend on the city the film is dubbed in. You can perfectly know which city it is just by recognizing the voice actors. In the case of films they are usually (but not always) dubbed in Barcelona, specially blockbusters, so there are a lot of voice actors that are recognizable in most movies. So much, that it would need it's own page, and it would be HUGE.
    • Arguably the most famous case is Constantino Romero, since he is one of the few voice actors in Spain people know by his name. But just because he's also a pretty popular TV host. He's the usual European Spanish-dub voice for James Earl Jones, Clint Eastwood, William Shatner and Roger Moore, as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator. So, Darth Vader, Captain Kirk, the T-800, James Bond and, well, Clint Eastwood, sound the same for Spanish people. And it is badass. He also does the voiceover of some ads, and, well, you'd buy a matress if Clint Eastwood told you to do so.
  • The Argentinian Spanish dubbing of Cars has racers Juan Mar ía Traverso and Marcos Di Palma as the voices of Doc Hudson and Chick Hicks.
    • The UK version of Cars has Harv voiced by Jeremy Clarkson.
    • Also, in Argentinian dubbage for Bolt, the three pigeons that appear are voiced by Daniel Rabinovich, Marcos Mundstock and Carlos Nuñez Cortés from Les Luthiers
  • Already mentioned on the anime section, but Mario Castañeda also voiced people in movies such as Jim Carrey and Bruce Willis (being he's their official voice). The kicker comes when you see the Latin American dub of Kickass (which has extreme use of foul language). Hilarity Ensues for people who associate him with Goku.
  • Enzo Fortuni voiced Bebe in Una Película de Huevos, Inuyasha, dubbed James and Oliver Phelps since Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and is the official voice of Elijah Wood and Drake Bell.
  • When a German dub for an animated movie needs a sonorous middle-aged male, Thomas Fritsch is the prime (or only?) choice. Scar, Diego, Aslan, Tai Lung, and Mr. Bonejangles are just the tip of this particular iceberg...
    • For the deeper voiced, taller, bigger guys they usually go to Thilo Schmitz. He's the German voice for Michael Clarke Duncan and Ron Perlman. He's also supplied the German voice for Christopher Judge (Teal'C mostly), along with the anime example above and being the station voice for the German TV Stations Sat1 and N24. Oh and Tychus Findlay in StarCraft II.
  • One of Snape's Mexican Spanish-dubbed voices also supplies the dubbed voice of Rorschach and Scooby Doo.
  • Tangled has Flynn Rider voiced by major singing star (and actor) Chayanne, who actually has several things in common with the character, from his charm to an embarrassing real name (Elmer).
    • It also has Rapunzel voiced by Dana Paola, another well-known Latin singer with a background in soap operas.
  • Ricky Martin voiced Hercules himself in the Latin American dub. Disney often tries to get well-known Latin American singers whenever it can, sometimes to dub, but mostly to sing the award-bait songs. Ricky Martin also sang the Spanish version of 'I Will Go the Distance', Chayanne had previously sung 'Where The Dream Takes You' for Atlantis the Lost Empire, Ricardo Montaner sang 'A Whole New World' for Aladdin back in the day, and Luis Miguel did 'Someday' for The Hunchback of Notre Dame. For Tarzan, Phil Collins sang all the songs in both English and Spanish (...unfortunately).
    • Tatiana, a popular Mexican singer from The Eighties dubbed and sang all of Megara's lines (and even reprised her role live in a parade for children's day)
    • Also, while not Disney, Mexican popstar Thalia dubbed Anastasia and sang all the songs.
  • In Brazilian dubbing of Michael Bay's Transformers trilogy, Megatron and Starscream were dubbed by the same actors who dubbed them in G1 and Transformers Armada: José Santa Cruz and José Santanna, respectively. Santa Cruz also dubbed another well known villain, Magneto from X-Men franchise, in the 90's Fox Animated series, in all live-acation movies and animation X-Men Evolution.
    • Guilherme Briggs, who voiced Optimus Prime in the movies, also voiced the versions of Prime in Transformers: Robots in Disguise and Transformers Armada, as well as Optimus Primal from Beast Machines. Outside the Transformers universe, he dubbed Freakazoid, Superman in Justice League, Mewtwo in Pokémon, among others.
    • In tha last movie, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Patrick Dempsey's character was dubbed by Nizo Neto, the same actor who dubbed Spike in G1. He also dubbed Dempsey in some 80's movies. Ironically, this time he dubs an Evil Counterpart of a Spike-equivalent (Sam) for the movie.

Live Action TV dubbed in countries besides ones that speak English

  • Happens a lot in live-action series dubbed in non-English languages.
  • In Spain this happens, again, A LOT. If films are usually dubbed in Barcelona, TV shows (both live action and animated) are usually dubbed in Madrid (but again, not always). Once more, the number of recognizable voice actors is so big it would need its own page.
  • This also happens quite often in German dubs. One particularly Egregious example: Gudo Hoegel, German voice of Captain Jonathan Archer (Star Trek: Enterprise), is also the German voice of Darkwing Duck. Let's Get Dangerous, indeed.
    • They probably did this because German viewers associated his voice with Scott Bakula´s face since Quantum Leap.
    • Regina Lemnitz voices Roseanne Barr, Whoopi Goldberg, the alpha-hen Ransome in Foxbusters, and the leader of the Zhang in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
    • And then there was Kabel1 showing M*A*S*H and Hogan's Heroes back to back, with Hawkeye and Hogan having the same voice (Thomas Wolff, who later voiced Shredder in in 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series)
  • A German TV-movie version of Hamlet was dubbed into English and later featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. The actor voicing Claudius is quite clearly Ricardo Montalban, unless there is or was another actor with exactly the same voice.
  • Brazilian Soap Operas are usually dubbed in Chile. So, you can hear an actor with a voice in one soap opera, and in another, the same actor with a different voice, or vice versa.
  • During the production of the mid-nineties Finnish video game show Game Over, the host, a puppet named Vito, was referred to exclusively as being voiced by himself in the credits. It wasn't until his voice actor, Arttu Harkki, was spotted on Who Dares Wins that viewers started recognizing his voice, and Arttu eventually admitted that he was the voice of Vito.
  • In the German dub of the US version of Queer as Folk, Ted Schmidt and Emmett Honeycutt are none other that Ren and Stimpy! Not surprising, as these two often work together.

Western Animation dubbed in countries besides ones that speak English

  1. Velma