Created By: Yrf on September 25, 2009

Unto Us A Son And Daughter Are Born

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Twin characters in a work of modern fiction come in all sorts. However, when twins are born over the course of the story (as part of a Babies Ever After or otherwise), they are almost always male and female fraternal twins.

Less prominent in mythology due to the blurred lines between story and backstory. In ancient myths or works like the Silmarillion that are deliberately mythological the birth of twin brothers is much more common. The birth of twin girls is generally rare in all media.

Especially common for firstborn twins in a small Nuclear Family. If twins are born into a large family that already has more than one child of the other gender this trope is more likely to be averted. When this trope is averted for other reasons it's a very bad sign, as one or both of the resulting children is usually supernatural or evil. Mythological aversions tend to have different fathers or be destined to depose or kill each other.

Frequently combined with Spin-Offspring. Contrast Separated at Birth, which is a backstory trope for preexisting older characters.


Anime and Manga

Comic Books



  • Animorphs: Darwin and Madra.
  • Somewhat averted in the later Anne of Green Gables books, where Anne and Gilbert have fraternal female twins. Not quite an aversion because their conception and birth is skipped over completely and they're introduced as children.
  • Possibly averted in the Belgariad with Polgara's twins, although since they're deliberately nameless and genderless it's really hard to say.
  • Dune: Leto II and Ghanima.
  • Flowers in the Attic: Cory and Carrie
  • O-Lan's twins in The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.
  • Honor Harrington: Honor's siblings Faith and James.
  • Little Women: Meg's twins.
  • Petaybee: Ronan and Murel
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Aral and Helen. Perhaps not technically twins, but the same parents and born at the same time.

Live-Action TV

  • Brothers and Sisters: Tommy and Julia's twins.
  • Coronation Street: Kenneth Barlow's twins, Judy Mallett's twins, Sunita Alahan's twins.
  • Days of Our Lives: Sami and Eric Brady. Sami later gave birth to another set. And that's not even counting her twin siblings who were found in a meteor shower.
  • EastEnders: Peter and Lucy Beale.
  • Friends: Chandler and Monica's adopted twins (a Babies Ever After).
  • Averted in Full House, as Jessie & Becky's twins were both boys. Presumably the Olsens had the girl twin side covered.
  • Get Smart: Max and 99's twins.
  • Averted in 7th Heaven with Sam and David, the youngest of a large family.
  • The West Wing: Toby's twins.


  • Classical Mythology: Apollo and Artemis. In a weird variant, the foursome of Castor, Polydeuces, Clytemnestra, and Helen.
  • Norse Mythology: Freyr and Freyja. Borgny gives birth to a set in the Elder Edda.

Western Animation

Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • September 23, 2009
    random surfer
    • Get Smart - Max and 99's twins. (Only the son was seen or talked about in the 1990s Sequel Series.)
    • Averted in Full House - Jessie & Becky's twins were both boys.
  • September 23, 2009
    Averted in the later Anne of Green Gables books; when Anne and Gilbert have twins, they are girls, though they are fraternal rather than identical.
  • September 24, 2009
    A variation is where the twins are identical apart from their gender, eg Viola and Sebastian in Twelfth Night
  • September 24, 2009
  • September 24, 2009
    The Scarlet Wicth's children at Marvel Comics (before all the retconning and unretconning) were two boys specifically because the writer was tired of this trope.
  • September 24, 2009
    the grene kni3t
  • September 24, 2009
    Lee M
  • September 24, 2009
    This trope only applies to babies born over the course of the story to vaguely main characters, not to the backstory of existing child or adult characters. So Viola and Sebastian (or Fred and George Weasley, or any twins that start out as adults) aren't examples or aversions. Admittedly, a couple of the examples listed above have been covered in the story retroactively.

    If anyone has suggestions on a better name, I'd be open.
  • September 24, 2009
    Would Polgara and Beldaran from the Belgariad count here? Or does the fact that their birth takes place in the prequels knock them out of the running? (Originally identical female twins, according to Polgara, but the alterations Aldur has to make in Polgara to prep her for her role means they're fraternal at birth.)

    David Eddings never said whether Polgara's twins were identical or fraternal, or what gender(s) they were.
  • September 24, 2009
    It's hard to say... it's kind of halfway between backstory and story. The Silmarillion is definitely in the 'mythology' category for the purpose of this trope, but I have to admit I'm not familiar enough with Eddings to really say. Polgara's unnamed twins are worth a mention though, just because of the hilarious lengths Eddings went to to avoid divulging any details whatsoever about them.

    Your example does key into the fact that when twins that aren't male-female fraternal are born, there's usually something very weird going on with one or both of them. *just looked up the Scarlet Witch's twins... yeesh*