In the Silver Age of Comics, Superman editor Mort Weisinger had a rule about a recycled plot: He was actually fine with it happening every couple of years, since it was his belief that the kids the comics were written for aged out of comics within five years.  This is why more than half of Lois Lane stories seem to involve her getting her own super-powers, why Wonder Woman met Robin Hood two different times, why Archie stories sometimes seemed to be vintage tales redrawn with modern clothing.  South Park made a pretty strong joke of it when they redid the pilot episode several seasons later, only to have the characters realize what was going on and undermine the plot, leading to today’s deja vu-infused query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is always reminded of Stephen’s anger at ‘Cars’ being ‘Doc Hollywood’ and ‘Cars 2’ being ‘A Man Called Flintstone’, asking: What’s your favorite example of a recycled plot in fiction?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Shakespeare’s King Lear has been retold countless times in different settings: Old king retires and leaves his kingdom in hands of three sons/daughters. Infighting, treachery and madness ensues. My favorite exapmle of this is Akira Kurosawa’s Ran.

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