Uncanny Family Resemblance
Family members tend to look like each other. Normally, this follows bloodline - you tend to look a lot more like your parents than you do your second cousin, for example. Generally, only identical twins can pass for each other, and even then developmental influences can make noticeable differences.
Television, on the other hand, is a little loose with the rules. Especially when it gives the chance to put an actor into a totally new role.
While the Identical Grandson can marginally argue that it is not unknown for direct descendants to bear uncanny resemblance to a forebear, the idea gets very shaky for other relations. When a show tries to pass off a male actor in drag as their visiting aunt, or when somehow a character resembles the man who adopted their great-great-grandfather, it gets flat out weird (and hence is usually played up for comedic value).
The trope is pushed further if the actor is put into playing nearly all members of his family, by blood or marriage.
See also: Acting for Two, Inexplicably Identical Individuals. Not to be confused with Strong Family Resemblance, where an animated character looks like one of their parents. Or with You All Look Familiar, which is more of an Enforced trope.
Anime & Manga
- In Vampire Knight Yuuki is nearly identical to her mother Juuri to the point that Rido wants to use her as a replacement for Juuri, his sister who he was in psychotic love with and Kaname looks almost exactly like Haruka, their father. But then again, This is actually more a case of Haruka being an Identical Grandson, because Kaname is really The Ancestor and Haruka his great-grandson. This is somewhat justified in the fact that their parents were siblings as well, and given that their family tree doesn't fork for many generations, genetic traits would be passed down far more obviously.
- In Bleach, Rukia is nearly identical to her older sister Hisana Kuchiki, to the extent where they have extremely similar hair-styles. This stands out because Hisana abandoned Rukia as an infant and then died before the pair could ever be reunited. The uncany resemblance is lampshaded in the manga itself when it's revealed Byakuya's original lie for adopting Rukia was her resemblance to his dead wife.
- In Katekyo Hitman Reborn, there's an example that gets into the flat out weird category (and isn't played for laughs). Xanxus, who isn't actually supposed to be blood related to the Ninth is almost a clone of the Second Vongola Boss. Lampshaded by other characters here. As they say, his temperament, abilities, and even looks are the same. Makes you wonder if he really isn't the Ninth's love child...
- Mizuho from Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru looks exactly like his mother, in spite of being her son.
- Joey Jones from Heroman has pretty much the same thing going for him, except it's not lampshaded.
- In Asatte no Houkou, Adult!Karada looks just like her mother Youko.
- Eyeshield 21 plays with this. Munakata looks nearly identical to his parents but his parents also look nearly identical to each other.
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S, Subaru and Ginga both greatly resemble their deceased mother, Quint. All the more notable because they were adopted. It is later revealed that they were produced through cloning based on Quint's genetic information.
- The Tomokane siblings in GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class do not only look alike-- Nodamiki one said the older Tomokane as a "bleached Tomokane-kun" in episode 12—but both were voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro, hence upgrading from Strong Family Resemblance to this. Even so, they are also quite different...
- In A Certain Magical Index, Mikoto Misaka not only already has her sisters, but she's also a splitting image of her Hot Mom Misuzu.
- All of the Nurse Joys and Officer Jennys resemble each other in Pokémon. The only way you can distinguish them is by the symbol on their hats.
- The two Nitori siblings from Wandering Son look almost exactly like each other, especially when Shuuichi grew his hair into a Bob Haircut like his sister. At several points once Shu grows his hair out, you can mistake him for his sister (or the other way around). Shu's body has started to look different from his sister's due to puberty though, he's taller than her and more square.
- Usopp and Nico Robin of One Piece look very much like their parents when they got older. Usopp a combination of his mother and father's traits (long nose, tan skin, hair) and Robin a spitting image of her mother save for the black hair (her mother's is white).
- Due to having Only Six Faces, Goku's sons Gohan and Goten look exactly the same as he did at their respective ages. This is even Lampshaded in the first episode of Dragonball Z. When the characters first meet Gohan, Bulma comments that he looks just like Goku.
- In Baccano!, both Elmer and Aging note that Luchino, while not quite the clone of Huey that Chane, Liza, and Charon are, still has a noticeable resemblance to him. This would not seem so ridiculous were Luchino not three hundred years removed from the man in question (an absurdity lampshaded by Luchino himself), proving once and for all that Huey has the most stubborn genes in the world.
- In Stitch!, Lilo's daughter looks exactly like her as a little girl, including the exact same clothes.
- Inverted: Spider-Man and his clone Ben Reilly pretended to be cousins with an uncanny resemblance. Peter's wife Mary Jane came up with the explanation for their resemblance, specifically referring to The Patty Duke Show.
- Played with in The Sandman: Robert Gadling covers up his immortality by exploiting this. Since he doesn't age, he can pretend to be his own grandson or nephew and leave his property to himself.
- He actually mentions that this has gotten more difficult since the invention of photography. He has to conceal old family photographs to make sure nobody notices that he looks EXACTLY like his uncle or grandfather did fifty years ago.
- Tweedledum and Tweedledee of Batman lore are identical cousins.
- Zippy the Pinhead, his wife Zerbina, kids, Evil Twin Lippy, and other members of his extended family are all microcephalics who wear muu-muus.
- Denise the Menace and Dennis the Menace in the Britsh Anthology Comic The Beano
- There was a Superman-related mini-series in the 90s called The Kents, which examined the lives of the ancestors of the Kent family. One story showed how one of Jonathan Kent's ancestors, Abraham Kent, was a pioneer who was largely responsible for turning the state of Kansas into the breadbasket it is today. A fine story, but the artist bizarrely chose to make Abraham Kent be a dead ringer for Superman, even though Superman has no blood relation to the Kent family (or any human being) whatsoever. Being, you know, an alien and all.
- Goofy has a huge extended family. Just about every single family member, male and female, looks almost exactly like him, only with one or two minor visual details to set them apart.
- One of the greatest and most successful examples of this trope is the black and white comedy film Kind Hearts and Coronets Alec Guiness plays all 8 members of the D'Ascoyne family.
- The Eddie Murphy remake of The Nutty Professor, where Murphy plays every member of the title character's family. Though at least in this case he's wearing fat suits to disguise pretty much all his features for the different roles.
- In the Back to The Future Movies, Michael J. Fox played not only hero Marty McFly, but Marty's two future children (Marty Jr. and Marlene), and his great-great-grandfather Seamus from Ireland. He also posed as Marty's great-grandfather William in a photograph. And Lea Thompson played both his mother and his paternal great-great-grandmother. The producers have since joked that McFly men are just genetically predisposed to be attracted to women who look like Lea Thompson.
- Biff Tannen's ancestor from the 1885 portion of the third film, Buford Tannen, was played by the same actor as he. This is taken Up to Eleven in the animated series, where every time they visit has an identical ancestor or descendant of Biff, always voiced by the same guy (who also played Biff and Buford in the movies.)
- Strange Brew briefly does this half-way through the movie. Dave Thomas didn't just play Doug, but his father (with Mel Blanc dubbing over his voice), and Rick Moranis didn't just play Bob, but his mother (with a woman dubbing over his voice)!
- A variation appears in The Mouse That Roared. In the opening sequence, we're introduced to the Grand Duchess, Prime Minister, and Tully Bascombe, all played by Peter Sellers. The narration explains that these disparate residents of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick look like each other because they are all descendants of the country's founder, who was literally the father of his country (the statue we see of him is clearly a likeness of Sellers).
- The Prisoner of Zenda.[context?]
- In the sex comedy Live Nude Shakespeare, the same actress plays two identical sisters, one a sophisticated socialite, the other a backwoods bumpkin.
- After playing Dante Hicks in Clerks, Brian O'Halloran also played characters with the surname Hicks in Mallrats and Dogma. It's not explicitly stated that they're related, though, so the Continuity Nod might just be a way to Hand Wave the uncanny resemblance.
- Word of God says they're cousins.
- In most of Tyler Perry's movies, Perry dresses in drag to play Madea, Madea's brother (not in drag but with a lot of makeup and a wig) and another character (no makeup), who is usually related to Madea.
- Rupert Everett as Carnaby Fritton and his sister Camilla, in the recent reboot of the St Trinian's movie series.
- Tia and Tamera Mowry as Sydney Donovan and Sydney's grandmother de-aged to seventeen in the Disney Channel movie 17 Again.
- Jim Dale as Eli, Wild Billy, and Jasper Bloodshy in Hot Lead and Cold Feet.
- Adam Sandler plays both Jack and his twin sister Jill in Jack And Jill.
- In the fifth book in L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series, Anne's House of Dreams, a woman who hates her husband is left caring for him for years after he suffers brain damage. Later he has an operation and recovers his memory--and turns out not to be her husband at all but her husband's cousin. The book explains that the cousins were double cousins, and one set of parents (either their mothers or fathers) were actually identical twins. The cousins looked very much alike, but were easy to tell apart if they were seen together. The wife had never met the cousin, however, and had only heard her husband mention him once. The book also admits that he had changed a lot after his accident and didn't look much like either he or his cousin used to.
- In The Prisoner of Zenda, one of the kings of Ruritania has an affair with an English noblewoman, who bears his child. Several generations later, one of that child's descendants bears an uncanny resemblance to the current King of Ruritania, leading to an Emergency Impersonation.
- In the 1979 comic film version with Peter Sellers, he plays King Rudolf IV in the opening sequence; once that character dies, he plays both Rudolf V and Syd, the working-class chap who bears the uncanny resemblance. It is implied that Syd was the result of an affair Rudolf IV had.
- In The Secret History, narrator Richard Papen is in love with Camilla, one half of a fraternal pair of twins. She and her twin, Charles, look virtually identical ... and when Richard finds out they're a little too close, he's titillated by the thought. Eew.
- The post-finale Star Trek Deep Space Nine Relaunch novels reveal that Gul Macet, played by Marc Alaimo in Star Trek: The Next Generation, is a cousin of Alaimo's Deep Space Nine character Gul Dukat.
- In Mort, Princess Keli closely resembles her great-great-grandfather, despite being a pampered princess rather than a yurt-dwelling horse barbarian.
- In The Last Hero, Paul Kidby's painting of High Priest Hughnon Ridcully is basically Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully with a better-trimmed beard and a bishop's hat.
- Possibly justified, as their mannerisms and attitudes are so clearly parallel that there's a good chance they really are identical twins.
- In The Last Hero, Paul Kidby's painting of High Priest Hughnon Ridcully is basically Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully with a better-trimmed beard and a bishop's hat.
- In Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth, John Taylor resembles his older male relatives, so much so that John's late father, resurrected to meet his grown son for the first time, points out John's resemblence to his father.
- In The Hound of the Baskervilles, the late Sir Charles' wayward brother is said to have resembled a family portrait of Lord Hugo, a distant ancestor, to an uncanny degree. Could be considered a Chekhov's Gun, as the brother's secret son is the villain of the story, and both shared Lord Hugo's inclination toward evil.
- Harry and James Potter of the Harry Potter series.
- And Harry is rather disturbed when he learns that the resemblance was purely physical, as James was a Jerk Jock, more like Malfoy than Harry, despite being on the good side.
- In the Honor Harrington books, Michael Oversteegen greatly resembles his relative, the infamous Baron High Ridge. Their personalities could not be more different, though.
- Emmanuel from Malevil describes his Uncle Samuel, noting that in doing so he also describes himself.
- In the Ghosts of Fear Street book Horror Hotel Part 1, the protagonist discovers that he looks almost identical to a distant relative who's been dead for years. This is bad news, because it turns out that relative was a murderer and his victim's ghost is out for revenge.
- An Uncanny Semi-Family Resemblence: The ancient Greek story Aethiopica, King Hydaspes and Queen Persinna of Ethiopia cast out their infant daughter Chariclea because she is white. After many adventures, it is revealed that she is, in fact, the perfect image of a picture of Andromeda that her mother had looked at while she conceived, and so Chariclea really is their daughter with "maternal impression" explaining her looks.
- In Jeeves and Wooster, Honoria Glossop's cousin Heloise Pringle not only looks exactly like her but has the same exact personality, to the point where Bertie is severely creeped out.
- In Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles, he and his uncle resemble each other strongly.
The likeness settled any doubt. It was Freckles over again, only older and well dressed.
- In The Woman in White, Laura and Anne, who resemble each other strongly, turn out to be half-sisters.
- The Patty Duke Show: Patty Duke has an identical cousin.
- Frequently spoofed. Full House occasionally subverted this by having one of the Olsen twins play Michelle and the other play a cousin from Greece.
- Similarly, during the mid-1980s, Kids Incorporated had Renee Sands play her character of the same name as well as British cousin Samantha on a couple of episodes.
- Larry "Grand-Ma-Ma" Johnson, in commercials and in Family Matters.
- Also in Family Matters, Jaleel White playing Steve Urkel, and his cousin Myrtle.
- On M*A*S*H, Gary Burghoff once played Radar's mother in a home movie.
- Ally Larter on Heroes played Nikki Sanders, a hero with super strength and multiple personalities. After Nikki was killed in season two, Larter went on to play Tracy Strauss, who had the ability to freeze objects and who was apparently Nikki's twin sister. There was supposedly a third "twin", Barbara, but she has not been seen and it is unsure whether she has powers.
- Blackadder: Each of the four series featured a member of the Blackadder family in a different historical era, all played by Rowan Atkinson. Baldrick, Melchett and George were given the same treatment. Specifically, Edmund Blackadder's Scottish cousin MacAdder appeared in the episode "Duel and Duality".
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: The half-Romulan Sela is the daughter of Tasha Yar, and an excuse to give Denise Crosby another role in the show.
- Also Brent Spiner playing Data, Lore, B4, and Dr. Soong. Justified in that the first three are androids, and Soong was their creator.
- Spiner came back on Enterprise and played, yes, Dr. Soong's grandfather.
- Picard's nephew is identical to him as a child, obviously because they're both played by the same actor. This gets funnier when Picard says that his nephew looks exactly like his brother as a child, which would seem to indicate that Jean-Luc and Robert were identical non-twin brothers.
- A more cynical viewer might start wondering just how close Jean-Luc and his sister-in-law were around the crucial time.
- Also Brent Spiner playing Data, Lore, B4, and Dr. Soong. Justified in that the first three are androids, and Soong was their creator.
- In The Beverly Hillbillies, cast regular Max Baer Jr. would occasionally show up as Jethro Bodine's female cousin Jethrine (voiced by Linda Henning).
- Dietrich Bader did the same as Jethro and Jethrene in the 1993 movie.
- In the Diagnosis: Murder episode "Inheritance of Death", Dick Van Dyke played most (if not all) of the elderly members of the Nash family.
- Freema Agyeman had a minor role as Adeola in the series 2 finale of Doctor Who; when she was subsequently cast as the Doctor's new companion, Martha, a line of dialogue referenced her cousin Adeola.
- Elizabeth Montgomery as witchy cousins Samantha and Serena on Bewitched.
- Actress Andrea Parker on The Pretender played both Miss Parker in real-time and her mother Catherine Parker in flashbacks.
- In The Man from U.N.C.L.E. first season episode "The Bow-Wow Affair", series regular Leo G. Carroll played both his regular role as U.N.C.L.E. chief Alexander Waverly, and a one-time role as Waverly's cousin, Quentin Lester Baldwin.
- Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant comment upon this trope in behind-the-scenes material for Extras, musing on introducing a sister for Gervais' character in the show's sitcom-within-the-sitcom—played by Gervais, with the only difference being an alternate pair of glasses. Indeed, the sister appeared in this manner in the Extras Christmas Special.
- Jeannie and Sister Jeannie on I Dream of Jeannie in what was essentially a straight-up lift of Samantha and Serena in Bewitched.
- Since they are sisters and probably twins, the resemblance is not so uncanny.
- In The Persuaders episode "A Death in the Family", Roger Moore plays three members of his usual characters family including a woman. This is Lampshaded at the end when his co-star Tony Curtis' aunt arrives played by...Tony Curtis.
- The short-lived 1960s sitcome The Second Hundred Years featured Monte Markham as both a modern day urbanite and his crotchety old grandfather, an Alaskan gold miner who had been trapped in the ice for 67 years, and recently thawed.
- All My Children's Lily and Ava, identical half-sisters.
- In 'Allo 'Allo!, Rene is supposed to be shot dead by the Germans but manages to wrangle his way out of it. The explanation? He spends the rest of the series posing as his identical twin brother, also called Rene. Of course half the cast know the truth but they never let slip to the other half.
- In Blake's 7 Tarrant is revealed to have a brother who looked exactly like him for no apparently reason and is killed off in the episode he is introduced in without even meeting Tarrant despite having been separated for years.
- In Twin Peaks Laura Palmer and her dark-haired cousin Madeline (a nod to Vertigo) are both played by Sheryl Lee.
- On an episode of Sesame Street, in a flashback, Gordon's father recalls how when he was young he was a singer who greatly resembled his grandson, Miles, despite the fact that Miles is ADOPTED.
- In a few live-action segments of The Super Mario Bros Super Show, Mario and Luigi were visited by many relatives who all looked like them (for example, their mother was obviously Mario's actor in drag).
- On Kyle XY, Kyle is identical to his father Adam and Jessi is identical to her mother Sara, and well-cast adult actors were given to justify this. Both characters could have easily been clones, given the circumstances of their gestations, but each was later given the other biological parent.
- The Mayor from Buffy the Vampire Slayer exploits this trope the same way as Robert Gadling above. Oddly it seems that he's pretty much always been Mayor and no one ever caught on.
- Well, demon sacrifices aside he 'is a really good Mayor...
- In Quantum Leap, Scott Bakula plays his character's own father (albeit in makeup) in the episode "The Leap Home".
- In the pilot episode, another actor played his father at a younger age, while a different young actor played Sam, with Scott Bakula's voice dubbed in whenever he spoke.
- Bakula also played his father in one scene in the episode "Promised Land" when Sam Leaped into someone else in his hometown.
- Married... with Children: Marcy
RhoadesD'Arcy's cousin, Mandy. Ed O'Neill also played Al Bundy's father in a couple of dream sequences.
- The villain in "Reign of Terror", an episode of The Time Tunnel set in the French Revolution, is played by Whit Bissel, a series regular as General Kirk, the military head of the Time Tunnel project. Kirk is confused as his family is from Scotland, but eventually discovers there was a previously unknown French branch.
- A Different World: Jasmine Guy playing Whitley Gilbert and Whitley's cousin Lisa.
- In the Dad's Army episode "My Brother And I", Captain Mainwaring's degenerate drunken brother Barry, also played by Arthur Lowe, makes an appearance.
- In The Brady Bunch episode "Sergeant Emma", Alice goes out of town for a week and has her identical cousin Emma come to fill in for her. Emma is a retired Womens Army Corp sergeant who proceeds to run the Brady household like an Army barracks. Hilarity Ensues.
- The episode "You're Never Too Old" has Robert Reed and Florence Henderson as Mike and Carol's respective grandparents.
- In one episode of That's So Raven, Raven-Symone played about 3 or 4 roles(including her uncle, her grandma, and her baby cousin.)
- Thrice on Hannah Montana. Miley Cyrus plays Miley Stewart and her visiting cousin Luann Stewart. At the same time, Billy Ray Cyrus plays both girls' fathers, Robbie Ray and Bobby Ray. In another episode, Moises Arias plays both Rico and Rico's rival Australian cousin, Angus.
- Good Luck Charlie: A video of Bob from his high school basketball days shows that he looked exactly like his son P.J. does today, only with longer hair.
- The Steve Harvey Show: Cedric the Entertainer plays Coach Cedric Robinson and Grandma Pudding
- On Haven, Audrey looks eerily like her mom Lucy who was in the town in the 80s. Given recent revelations, there may be a reason for that. Audrey is Lucy. She is apparently immortal and has amnesia.
- When Earl's sister, Pearl, visited on Dinosaurs, it was played by the same full sized puppet only dressed as a girl. No one really saw the resemblance.
- Martin Lawrence in Martin playing his mother. And although not related, Martin looked a lot like his neighbor Shenaenae, Gina's brat neighbor Roscoe, Gina's coworker Bob from Accounting, Otis, Dragonfly Jones, Jerome, and Elroy.
- In Are You Being Served, John Inman, who regularly played Mr. Humphries, also portrayed his mother in a film.
- Played straight on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, where Iolaus had a look-alike cousin in two episodes. Inverted, however, with Kevin Todd Smith playing both Iphicles and Ares. Both are half-brothers to Hercules, but they aren't related to each other.
- Invoked in Community episode Basic Genealogy:
Annie: [about Abed's female cousin] "Does she look like you but with a wig and lipstick?"
Abed: "No that's Halle Berry."
- On The X-Files, the younger CGB Spender is played by the same actor who plays his son, Jeffery Spender. CDB Spender is also Mulder's biological father, and oddly, the two could plausibly pass for father and son.
- Crash McLarson and his mother from The Aquabats! Super Show! are played by the same actor.
- Lisa Kudrow played Phoebe Buffay in Friends and her twin sister Ursula in Mad About You.
- In the Japanese tokusatsu series Sazer X, a flashback scene depicts the main character's grandfather as a young man. In flashback, the younger version of grandpa is played by the same actor who plays the main character.
- In the comic strip Blondie, Dagwood and his son Alexander look very much alike, as do Blondie and daughter Cookie.
- In Peanuts Linus and his little brother Rerun look almost exactly the same. The only way they can be told apart is height, hair (Rerun's is a bit flatter) or outfit (Linus wears red and black stripes while Rerun wears overalls).
- Elmo from Sesame Street has various cousins who've appeared on occasion, who are all based on the Elmo puppet with different accessories.
- Similarly Emily "Ma" Bear in The Muppet Show, A Muppet Family Christmas and (as Mrs Fozziewig) A Muppet Christmas Carol is identical to her son Fozzie except for a dress, grey hair and glasses.
- Older Than Steam: Viola passing for her twin brother Sebastian in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
- There have been productions of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in which the same person who plays Johanna also plays her mother Lucy in the flashbacks.
- In the stage version of The Rocky Horror Show, Eddie and Dr. Scott (who are nephew and uncle, respectively) are usually played by the same actor.
- In Book-It Repertory Theatre's play of Sense and Sensibility, (non-twin) brothers Edward and Robert Ferrars were played by the same actor.
- In the play I Hate Shakespeare!, the skit based on Hamlet contains these lines (along with a suggestion that the characters in question be played by the same actor):
Hamlet: Ophelia! You're not dead!
Laertes: It is I, Laertes, son of Polonius and brother of Ophelia, so I can see where you would make that mistake.
- In the video game Day of the Tentacle, you travel into the future and meet people who look suspiciously like Nurse Edna, Doctor Fred and Weird Ed, but they call themselves "Nurse Zedna," "Doctor Zed" and "Weird Zed." They're the descendants of the original Maniac Mansion characters.
- In what is part this trope and part Strong Family Resemblance, in Back to the Future: The Game, Marty runs into his grandfather, Artie McFly, who looks and sounds just like George McFly (both being based on Crispin Glover's performance in the film). Artie's father, William, is once again played by Michael J. Fox, who had previously portrayed him in a photo shown in the third film (even though Marty himself is actually voiced by AJ LoCascio). This leads one to believe that if the pattern continues, since Marty's son will end up looking like Michael J. Fox, his grandson and great-grandson will look like Crispin Glover, and so on. Also, Kid Tannen is basically just Biff with a moustache and zoot suit.
- In Suikoden V, Dragon Cavalry commander Rahal and his Cloudcuckoolander sister Rania look virtually identical, to the point that they'd fall under Half-Identical Twins if not for Rania being a year older. Not immediately obvious for most of the game, due to Rahal wearing battle armor and Rania being in civilian dress, but when the plot calls for Rahal to dress as a woman the only visible difference from his sister is that she wears glasses and he doesn't. Apparently they have a history of exploiting this for pranks.
- In Endstone, Jon comments on how uncanny it is, the way his daughter resembles his mother.
- In the sprite comic 194X, Kalinka and Ran strongly resemble their WWII-era ancestors. It's hard to decide whether the fact that Ran is a robot makes this better or worse.
- Subverted in Le Visiteur Du Futur: Raph tries to prevent the ancestor of the Visitor from meeting the mother of his future child. After revealing that he is the Visitor posing as his ancestor, he tells Raph: "You thought my ancestor had the same face as me? That's completely dumb."
- Played for Drama with Ty Lee from Avatar: The Last Airbender. She has six sisters who look identical to her, and she ran away from home to avoid becoming part of a "matching set".
- Played with on The Simpsons. As noted in the DVD commentaries, many children characters wound up greatly resembling their parents. The most noteworthy example is Milhouse, who looks very much like both parents, who in turn look very much like each other. On the other hand, Ralph Wiggum differs in appearance from Chief Wiggum (oweing to the fact that their relationship came years after they were created). The main family characters (Lisa and Maggie aside) also greatly difference in appearance from each other, but Marge's mother looks like an older version of her. Grampa could also be taken as an older version of Homer, though flashbacks show he wasn't a look-alike.
- An Alternate Timeline of Ben 10 had the main character fully grown in a now futurized Earth having a son named Kenny, who looks like a carbon copy of his 10 year old self. In addition, Ben's Evil Counterpart also has a son named Devlin Levin who looks like his younger self before the mutations with no mention as to whom he conceived him from.
- On All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series, we're introduced to Annabelle's evil cousin Belladonna, who may as well be Annabelle's Evil Twin—they look exactly alike, with the only real difference being the color of their fur (and the fact that Belladonna has bat wings, due to being a devil).
- Back to the Future: The Animated Series took this to ridiculous levels by having a Tannen in every timeline they go to, no matter what country. Taken Up to Eleven when they even encounter a T-rex Tannen in a timeline where the dinosaurs weren't wiped out.
- In South Park, most of Cartman's relatives look a lot like him. The one slim person in his extended family is a young girl who resembles Liane.
- Chum Chum's cousin Muhc Muhc in Fanboy and Chum Chum.
- In Scooby Doo and the Loch Ness Monster, Daphne's Scottish cousin Shannon looks just like her, only with short hair and a tartan skirt, and is voiced by the same actress doing a Scottish accent.
- A common Fanfic trope in crossovers is to have a two different characters in different continuities played by the same actors "turn out" to be related to each other. There is one where James Bond (Connery version) is the illegitimate son of Henry Jones Jr. and thus the grandson of Henry Jones Sr... who was played by Sean Connery.
- Although they were only cousin, King George V of England and the Czar Nicolas II looked like twins. See for yourself. George has blue eyes but that probably won't be much help.
- And George's grandson Prince Michael of Kent, who's still around today, has the same uncanny resemblance to the Tsar, to the extent that he's very popular among royalists in Russia. It helps that he grew the Russian-style beard to hide a scar.
- In Big Finish's Doctor Who audio dramas, India Fisher plays Eighth and Sixth Doctor companion Charley Pollard. Fisher also voiced Charley's sister Cissy in the Gallifrey spin-off series.
- Outside of their trademark costumes, Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo Marx bore an incredible resemblance to each other. They would even occasionally play each other's parts in their stage shows with no one the wiser.
- Actors Alan Hale (Senior) and Alan Hale (Junior). One played Little John in The Adventures of Robin Hood, the other is famed as the Skipper on Gilligan's Island. Without looking at the date of their films there is no way to tell them apart.
- Back in The Nineties, a running joke was that the public appearances of Michael Jackson were actually his sister LaToya Jackson.
- In the Bouguereau painting "Charity", it is not possible to tell which baby is Yeshua and which one is Yochanan, since he painted them to look identical, even though they are cousins and 6 months apart. In most other paintings of them, he not only makes the age difference apparent, but has them wear different colored clothing and have different colored hair.
- An old story goes that when a Roman emperor was touring their conquered area in Jerusalem his guards noticed a local man who bore a striking resemblance to the emperor. As a joke they brought them together. The emperor thought this was funny and asked the man "Has your mother ever been to Rome?" The man replied "No, but my father has." The story ends there, sparing us a likely gruesome ending.