The Dividual YKTTW Discussion

The Dividual
(permanent link) added: 2011-03-02 03:10:51 sponsor: BuckRivera (last reply: 2011-03-10 08:46:42)

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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.

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