Doppelganger (trope)

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Tropes and genres
Synonym(s)Mirror self
Related tropes/genresSame-actor crossover, cloneset, twincest, evil twin, clones, changelings
See alsoAlternate universe, mirror universe, time travel, robots
Related articles on Fanlore.

Doppelganger is a term and media trope for when a character encounters that is a look-alike or double of themselves. This includes tropes such as clones, alternate universe versions of a character, same-actor crossovers, supernatural beings, and evil twins. The latter term is sometimes used synonymously with the term doppelganger.

In fanworks, doppelgangers may be used in variety of genres and themes, including romance, crackfic, smut, and issues of identity, self-image, and destiny versus free will. Fanworks utilizing doppelgangers in a sexual/romantic manner are known by a variety of terms, including doppelganger porn, doppelganger love, clonecest, doppelcest, selfcest, selfslash, self/self, reflexive slash, selfucking, and OT1. [1][2][3]


Some common doppelganger premises for fanworks include, but are not limited to:

  • A Same-Actor Crossover, utilizing two characters played by the same actor.
  • An alternate universe, with a character encountering an alternate version of themselves.
  • Time travel, with the same character encountering themselves at two different points in their personal timeline.
  • Clones, either canon or non-canon
  • Secret twins or twins separated at birth
  • Artificial doppelgangers, such as shapeshifters and robots.

Example Fanworks

My Chemical Romance

Stargate Atlantis


Canon examples

Doppelgangers are a common trope in science fiction, fantasy, and supernatural works.

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the episode "The Replacement", when Xander Harris is split into two Xanders, his girlfriend Anya suggests a threesome before they are recombined. In the episode "Doppelgangland", when Willow meets her alternate universe evil twin, her twin licks her.
  • Doctor Who: In the mini-episodes "Space" and "Time", Amy Pond encounters herself due to a time loop. The two Amys start flirting with each other, and Amy's husband Rory Williams alludes to participating in a threesome in response.
  • Evil Dead: In Evil Dead 2, Ash's mirror reflection is possessed by Deadites, becoming Evil Ash, and briefly attacks Ash before disappearing. In Army of Darkness, Evil Ash becomes the leader of the Deadite army.
  • The Magicians: In the episode "Homecoming", Margo finds out an ex made a golem in her image, inspiring Eliot to make a golem in his own image. When Margo remarks Eliot is definitely thinking about "banging himself," he replies that it would be "more like AP-level masturbation."
  • Pizza Tower: The character Fake Peppino is a doppelganger of the game's protagonist Peppino Spaghetti, and serves as the game's fourth boss fight.
  • Red Dwarf: In the episode "Parallel Universe", when the main cast travels to a genderswapped alternate universe, the character Lister gets drunk and has sex with the female version of himself, resulting in him becoming pregnant.
  • Sliders: In the episode "Double Cross", Quinn meets and makes out with the character Logan, who is later revealed to be a female version of himself from an alternate universe.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: The character Metal Sonic is a robotic duplicate of Sonic, made to defeat Sonic. Metal Sonic is a recurring side character and antagonist throughout the franchise.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In the Mirror Universe episodes ("Crossover", "Through the Looking Glass", "Shattered Mirror", "Resurrection", and "The Emperor's New Cloak"), the Mirror Universe version of Kira Nerys hits on regular Kira Nerys.

Archives & Fannish Links


  1. ^ mctabby, Happy Birthday to pinkfinity!!! Posted January 15, 2004. Last accessed November 27, 2010
  2. ^ our_extinction, Rare Selfcest Pictures Posted July 8, 2010. Last accessed November 27, 2010.
  3. ^ Reborn: Selfcest Hibari by kurui on deviantart