In the series, a Doppelganger is someone's perfect clone. In reality, they are the work of Dragons: they can project their chi energy into a perfect copy of themselves, which are called Doppelgangers. These chi-powered clones appear in three episodes: The Doppelganger Gang, "Haley Gone Wild" and "Nobody's Fu" (Season 2).
Because Doppelgangers are made out of a person's very essence, they will look exactly like the one who created them, Dragon form as well as human form. The only difference is that Doppelgangers will always have a paler skin color than the original user.
Characteristics and UsesDoppelgangers mostly serve as decoys during battles: they perfectly mimic everything about the original user (language, habits, personality, etc.), so even magical creatures can be fooled by them. They can also be used for other things, like chores, homework and babysitting, as demonstrated by Jake in "The Doppelganger Gang". Doppegangers obey their creator to the letter and will rarely rebel. Once a Doppelganger has fulfilled its duty, it can be reabsorbed by the original. When a Dragon assigns a specific task to a clone, it will become attached to its activity and will most likely panic if it is taken away from it.
Also, when a Dragon uses a chi amplifier potion, it will be able to create many Doppelgangers at once without the need of training. However, this causes the original Dragon to grow weaker since its chi energy is divided into its clones.
It is possible that keeping a Doppelganger active for too long will weaken it. In "Nobody's Fu", Councilor Chang leaves a clone of herself in her prison cell for ten days. It immediately disolves into thin air once Bananas B walks through it, clearly without Chang's intervention.
Evil DoppelgangerThe only case in which a Doppelganger might go rogue is if the original Dragon uses a negative chi amplifier potion. Jake accidently does so in "The Doppelganger Gang", which makes one of his clones 100% pure evil. This clone constantly rebels against Jake and goes to reabsorb all of his Doppelgangers, as well as Jake himself. He is thwarted by having the good clones he absorbed literally knocked right out of him.
It is interesting to note that, instead of having paler colors, this evil clone actually has a darker skin tone.
- In old folklore, Doppelgangers are often harbringers of illness and misfortune, sometimes even death;
- When Jake first attempts to create a Doppelganger, he accidently creates one wearing only blue boxers shorts with purple hearts;
- Jake gives each of his Doppelgangers a specific assignement: one does chores, another attends school, a third jumps rope with Trixie and Spud, a fourth babysits Haley, and the last takes Cougar Scouts classes;
- Throughout the series, only three characters have shown their ability to create Doppelgangers: Lao Shi and Jake in "The Doppelganger Gang", and Chang in "Nobody's Fu";
- Because Doppelgangers are chi energy projections and not actual people, they do not feel the need to eat;
- The Doppelganger technique is a skill recreated in many works of fiction, most notably the Naruto manga series (written by Masashi Kishimoto) in which the main character, Naruto, can create numerous physical copies of himself.