The 16 movie and TV roles below can be grouped into 4 groups of 4, with each group related by a common theme. In addition, the 4 themes are themselves related to each other by a common theme: one particular entertainment related aspect.

Can you identify the 4 groups and their themes, and then identify the overall theme?

Alex Murphy Austin Powers Bruce Banner Data
Dory Elena Gilbert Elliot Alderson Gandalf
Jack Sparrow Jason Bourne Jon Snow Norman Bates
Phil Phoebe Buffay Spock Tyler Durden

For reference, these are the movies and TV series these characters are from ("movies" means "movie series"):

Robocop (movie) Austin Powers (movies) The Incredible Hulk / Avengers (movies) Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV)
Finding Nemo / Finding Dory (movies) The Vampire Diaries (TV) Mr. Robot (TV) Lord of the Rings (movies)
Pirates of the Caribbean (movies) The Bourne Identity (movies) Game of Thrones (TV) Psycho (movie)
The Hangover (movies) Friends (TV) Star Trek (movies) Fight Club (movie)

Note: you will need some knowledge about the characters and plots of these movies/shows to solve this puzzle, but once you start guessing the themes it should be possible to quickly classify the unknowns with some minor research.


Try recapping or paring each show: down to its main premise that makes it different from other shows. Two of the groups can be found this way: the groups with Dory and Tyler Durden. What are Dory's and Tyler Durden's unique characteristics?

There are also 3 hidden clues in this puzzle.

New Hint:

The overall theme is 3 words which are the 3 hidden clues in the puzzle. You could add "Overused" in front of those three words as well. If you aren't familiar with "overused ____ _____ ______", look it up online and you will understand the 4 themes a bit better.

  • $\begingroup$ is movie/TV important? eg. Spock was in the original Star Trek tv series, and Bruce banner in "The Imcredible Hulk" TV series? $\endgroup$
    – Jasen
    Oct 23, 2021 at 3:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Jasen Importance: Spock: yes, Bruce Banner: no $\endgroup$
    – JS1
    Oct 23, 2021 at 4:21

2 Answers 2


Set 1 :

Dory: Vague Memories (of Parents)
Jason Bourne: Vague Memories (of Past life)
Alex Murphy: Vague Memories (of Past Incarnation)
Phil: Vague Memories (of Bachelor Party)

Theme :

Amnesia / Memory loss

Set 2 :

Elliot Alderson: Split Personality + suffers from social anxiety disorder, clinical depression, delusions and paranoia
Norman Bates: Split Personality + suffers from schizophrenia and narcissistic personality disorder
Tyler Durden: Split Personality + suffers from delusions
Bruce Banner: Split Personality (of HULK)

Theme :

Split Personality / Psychological Disorders

Set 3 :

Jack Sparrow: Resurrected after escaping the locker
Spock: Spock was resurrected through a dangerous procedure
Gandalf: Gandalf the Grey resurrected as Gandalf the White
Jon Snow: Resurrected by Melisandre

[[thanks to contribution by @ Morris]]

Theme :

Resurrection / Return from the Dead

Set 4 :

Austin Powers: Nigel Powers reveals Austin Powers & Dr Evil Douglas Powers are twins
Data: Data has Evil twin Lore
Elena Gilbert: Elena Gilbert has Evil twin Katherine Pierce
Phoebe Buffay: Phoebe Buffay has Evil twin Ursula Buffay

[[thanks to contribution by @ racraman & @ Morris]]

Theme :

Doppelganger / Evil Twin Role

Overall Theme Analysis :

Amnesia / Memory loss
Split Personality / Psychological Disorders
Resurrection / Return from the Dead
Doppelganger / Evil Twin Role


Try recapping or paring each show == TROPES


Some of All Parts == SOAP

[[thanks to contribution by @ Stiv]]


one particular entertainment related aspect == OPERA

[[thanks to contribution by @ Stiv]]

Overall Theme :


  • $\begingroup$ @JS1 , thanks , I have incorporated your comment into my updated answer .... I hope I am making Progress .... $\endgroup$
    – Prem
    Oct 24, 2021 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ JS1 said that in my set 3 2/4 is correct, and you changed only one. $\endgroup$
    – Morris
    Oct 25, 2021 at 6:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Morris , thanks , I have corrected that ! Scrolling Up and Down the Web-Page & the Text Box, & shuffling 16 items is a bit Difficult ! $\endgroup$
    – Prem
    Oct 25, 2021 at 6:39
  • $\begingroup$ 4 themes are nearly correct, although I was going for something a little more specific with the 4th one. Elena Gilbert, Alex Murphy, Jon Snow are not in the right groups. As for the final theme, try to find the 3 hidden clues, hint rot13 (Npebfgvp). That will lead you to what the actual 4 themes are (search for it online if you don't know what they are). $\endgroup$
    – JS1
    Oct 25, 2021 at 7:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ FYI, the hidden hints spell rot13(FBNC BCREN - F B N C sebz gur gvgyr, B C R E N sebz 'bar cnegvphyne ragregnvazrag eryngrq nfcrpg') - this should maybe help you focus a search for a character who satisfies all 4 groups... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Oct 25, 2021 at 11:09

Set 1 [contribution by Prem]

Memory loss:
Jason Bourne
Alex Murphy

Set 2 [contribution by Prem]

Split Personality:
Elliot Alderson
Norman Bates
Tyler Durden
Bruce Banner

Set 3

Back from the dead:
Jack Sparrow
Jon Snow

Set 4

Evil Twin:
Austin Powers
Elena Gilbert
Phoebe Buffay

Overall theme:

One actor/actress plays different characters

  • $\begingroup$ Theme is correct, 2/4 roles correct: there may be more than 4 that fit the theme. $\endgroup$
    – JS1
    Oct 24, 2021 at 18:12
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Rot13: Qngn nyfb unq n gjva yber $\endgroup$
    – racraman
    Oct 24, 2021 at 22:49
  • $\begingroup$ 4th theme essentially correct (2/3 roles correct). If you guess the overall theme, you can figure out what I was going for instead. $\endgroup$
    – JS1
    Oct 24, 2021 at 23:12
  • $\begingroup$ See my hint for the other answer, you are close as well. $\endgroup$
    – JS1
    Oct 25, 2021 at 7:46
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ FYI, the hidden hints spell rot13(FBNC BCREN - F B N C sebz gur gvgyr, B C R E N sebz 'bar cnegvphyne ragregnvazrag eryngrq nfcrpg') - this should maybe help you focus a search for a character who satisfies all 4 groups... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Oct 25, 2021 at 11:10

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