I keep coming across examples of stories/situations that everyone is familiar with and associate with one story or book, but which has been used before. My favorite example is when I descrive Heinlein’s book The Puppet Masters to people as “James Bond meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers” – only Heinlein’s book predates both James Bond and Jack Finney’s “The Body Snatchers” and the movie they based on it.
Try these examples:
A group of people wake up from their long trip and find themselves on a world that is mostly wild and untamed. They find that the dominant intelligent creatures are apes, and that the apes are stratified by species – gorilla warriors, chimp thinkers, etc. It turns out they’re on Earth in the far future. It’s not Pierre Boulle’s Planet of the Apes, but a novel almost a decade older.
The future of the galaxy-wide human expansion seems destined for a highly capable human boy who ends up in control of a desert planet that is populated by people from a traditional desert Earth culture who control giant creatures that produce a spice that is essential for certain purposes and is highly sought-after. People fight for control of the planet. This novel is not Frank Herbert’s Dune, but predates it.