Created By: BuckRivera on March 2, 2011 Last Edited By: BuckRivera on March 10, 2011
Troped

The Dividual

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Page Type:
Trope
Two (or more) characters who, for all intents and purposes, act as one character, always appear together and are never introduced individually. Even if there are frequent disagreements between the members of The Dividual, they will act as one entity as soon as the plot moves on.

Typically, The Dividual is a background character or part of an Ensemble Cast but another frequent setup is something similar to an Adventure Couple where the two main characters form a dividual. This setup heavily restricts the available plots as the two main characters must always act as one in relation to other characters. In those cases, the work's name will often be simply the characters' names, "Alice and Bob"-fashion.

Might overlap with Heterosexual Life-Partners, Those Two Guys and Single-Minded Twins. Compare Literal Split Personality. If the members of The Dividual are twins, expect any number of Twin Tropes to be in place. Sometimes, The Dividual will exhibit Twin Tropes despite the fact that its members are not twins.

There are two types:

The Twindividual: The individuals making up The Dividual are near-identical or very similar in at least one but usually several aspects (appearance, character traits, way of talking, job etc.). Sometimes, the twindividuals' members differ in some conspicuous way (for example: one fat, one skinny) but are still uniform in all other ways. Finishing Each Other's Sentences is not uncommon among twindividuals.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Literature
  • The Weasely Twins in Harry Potter. until Deathly Hollows, that is.
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are treated as this. Their interchangeability and uniformity is hinted at by Shakespeare in the very choice of their names, which exhibit the same metric properties and ethnic background. Their dividuality is further played with by Tom Stoppard.
  • "Samneric" from Lord of the Flies.

Live-Action TV

Video Games

Western Animation


The Syndividual: The individuals of which The Dividual consists have different looks and character traits but form a symbiotic relationship. Often their character types complement each other in some (comedic) way. They might have a division of labor thing going on, for example with one character being the spokesperson of the dividual.

The defining characteristic that sets a syndividual apart from a twindividual is the symbiotic aspect: a twindividual is just a homogenous crowd while a syndividual has a specific shtick with distinct roles. Typically, twindividuals are based on the principle of Birds of a Feather while Opposites Attract in syndividuals.

Examples:

Film

Video Games
  • Sam & Max.
  • Game units will sometimes be syndividuals, for example the Goblin Alchemist Hero Unit of Warcraft 3, a goblin carried around by an ogre. The ogre hits things and the goblin throws potions, and both get speaking lines.
  • Reno and Rude from Final Fantasy VII.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • Carl and Lenny from The Simpsons span the whole range of this trope. Early on the show they form a borderline twindividual (different looks but identical nondescript characterization), later on, they sometimes were treated as a bickering syndividual (and Heterosexual Life-Partners), and at some point, the writers decided to deconstruct their dividual to facetiously emphasize the characters' (non-existent) individuality - only to reconstruct it for a throw-away gag in the next episode.
  • In Ratatouille, invoked by Remy and Linguini, who deliberately become this.
  • Exaggerated in the title character(s) of CatDog.

Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • March 2, 2011
    SakurazakiSetsuna
    Elle and Ille from Rio Rainbow Gate, twin girls in Playboy Bunny outfits who work at a Casino. Ille always repeats the last word/phrase Elle says.
  • March 2, 2011
    Chabal2
    No mention of Those Two Guys?
  • March 2, 2011
    Josech
    Do Sam and Eric from Lord Of The Flies count? (They even become Samneric by the end, as I recall.)
  • March 2, 2011
    BuckRivera
    I don't know as I haven't read it. You decide.
  • March 2, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Would these count?

    The Twindividual

    Literature
    • The Weasely Twins in Harry Potter. until Deathly Hollows, that is.

    The Syndividual

    Film
    • In Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, "Master Blaster" is literally treated as one person, until the title character unmasks the pair for what they are.

    Western Animation

  • March 2, 2011
    BuckRivera
    I don't know all the examples. I'll add them if you think they fit. Or does my definition need clarification?

    I don't know about Cat Dog. That's a special case. Exaggerated Trope? And are they a twindividual or a syndividual?
  • March 2, 2011
    Micah
    The name is clever, but you'll definitely want something like Two Bodied Character as a searchable redirect.
  • March 2, 2011
    Bisected8
    See Literal Split Personality for when this is actually the case, although the characters in question might be different enough not to be the same as this trope.
  • March 2, 2011
    Grandy
  • March 2, 2011
    thegrenekni3t
    The Twindividual is very similar to Single Minded Twins.
  • March 2, 2011
    Taeraresh
    The Octopus from The City Of Lost Children might count.
  • March 2, 2011
    BuckRivera
    Please specify if your example is a twindividual or a syndividual! I can't decide that myself if I don't know the work of fiction.
  • March 3, 2011
    AerithOne
    Nana and Popo of the Ice Climbers would probably qualify as a Twindividual.
  • March 3, 2011
    Chabal2
    Do video game units count? For example, the Goblin Alchemist Hero Unit of Warcraft 3, a goblin carried around by an ogre. The ogre hits things and the goblin throws potions, and both get speaking lines.
  • March 3, 2011
    HandsomeRob
    I keep bringing these two up, but Nai and Mea from Mahou Sentai Magi Ranger sound like this. Especially since they are actually a single being spilt in two
  • March 3, 2011
    BuckRivera
    Please specify if your example is a twindividual or a syndividual (preferably in past-and-copy-ready format). I can't decide that myself if I don't know the work of fiction.
  • March 3, 2011
    BraveHoratio
    Do the Binars of Star Trek: The Next Generation count? Or are they rather Single Minded Twins?

    I'm also thinking Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, although more from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead than from Hamlet. Also noteworthy that in "Hamlet: A Game in Five Acts" they comprise a single character.

    I'm going to second Sameneric from Lord of the Flies
  • March 3, 2011
    BuckRivera
    Please specify if your example is a twindividual or a syndividual (preferably in past-and-copy-ready format). I can't decide that myself if I don't know the work of fiction. Plus, you make me blush for not being educated.
  • March 4, 2011
    Grandy
    All examples I posted are syDividuals, except for Zorn and Thorn.

    Another Twinvidual that ocurred to me are the Elite Beat Agents' background dancers, Morris and Derek.
  • March 4, 2011
    Thebes
  • March 4, 2011
    JoeG
    RichardAndAmy from Zits are a teenage couple so close that their friends consider them to be practically one person.
  • March 5, 2011
    reub2000
    Invoked in Scrubs episode My Fairy Tale, where Carla and Turk merge into one annoying 2 headed monster.
  • March 5, 2011
    ced1106
    I proposed These Two Guys as the next step in the sequence.

    In fact, I think it might be useful to make some sort of "sliding scale" trope entry to combine these "dividual" tropes, with Those Two Guys on one end, and These Two Guys on the other.
  • March 5, 2011
    MetaFour
  • March 6, 2011
    BuckRivera
    Feel free to protest if I stick an example in the wrong category.
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