Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

From YKTTW: Chrome Newfie: It seems to me that there's a "twin trope" that's not quite addressed by any of the existing ones I can find like Doppelgänger and Identical Grandson. The trope is when the actor in question is playing a contemporary relative, often a half-sibling or cousin, who nevertheless looks exactly or almost exactly like the main character. It would otherwise apply to a direct-line ancestor who has another reason for not resembling the character, e.g. different gender or adoption.

At the very least, it seems in between the two listed above, and they occur along a spectrum: non related (Doppelganger) -> "indirectly" related (this trope, let's call it Unlikely Family Resemblance -> directly related (Identical Grandson). The Evil Twin trope can be applied to any of these, of course.

There are certainly several examples of this specific trope: Higgins half-brother from Texas in Magnum, P.I., Larry "Grandma-ma" Johnson playing his own grandmother in Family Matters, the Patty Duke show, even Viola and Sebastian from Twelth Night. Any thoughts?

Ununnilium: Moving this up to the top. And I know what you mean! It's definitely there; the question is, should this be a separate trope from Identical Grandson, or should that trope be changed to fit this one in too?

Chrome Newfie: I think that, stylistically, there's enough reason to keep them separate, as they tend to get used in slightly different ways. Perhaps under a supertrope of "Unlikely Twins"? This would cover Doppelgänger, Identical Grandson, Unlikely Family Resemblance, perhaps a nod to Magic Plastic Surgery as applied to duplicating the main character, and any others that might come down the pike.

Ununnilium: I agree. The supertrope's name, however... hmmmmmm.

Chrome Newfie: If the link goes under Characters and Casting like Identical Grandson, perhaps Acting for Two? The entry would give the overview of how the same actor might end up playing simultaneous parts. Of course this drifts a little further into generalization, but it seems a natural supertrope.

Tabby: Seeing Double?

Chrome Newfie: OK, I've taken it on myself to make the entry, under Acting for Two. Tabby's was good but there's a related trope about how to get an actor on screen more than once called Double Vision, and it's probably best to avoid confusion.
Kilyle: Seems to me this super-trope could use a couple examples of actors who have shown a particular penchant for doubling up on roles - not just once, but many times, or else in a very big way. The two that come to might right off the bat are Brent Spiner and Eddie Murphy. Are there others of this calibre that I'm not calling to mind right now?