Created By: Ronka87 on January 5, 2011 Last Edited By: Ronka87 on January 26, 2011
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Always Identical Twins

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Quick, think of your favourite pair of fictional twins. Got them? Now, be honest: Are they identical twins?

If you answered "yes," there's a reason for that. Identical twins show up far more frequently in fiction than fraternal (non-identical) twins. If you don't believe us, take a Wiki Walk through Twin Tropes. We'll wait.

So why are twins always identical? Well, for starters, identical twins are visually striking. They allow for comic plots, and they add symmetry and symbolism to a story. Fraternal twins, for all intents and purposes, are just regular siblings, and regular doesn't cut it in fictionland.

This trope is so pervasive that it even manifests when the twins are different genders-- Half-Identical Twins shouldn't even be identical!

Although there are sometimes aversions, the main subversion of this trope is Non-Identical Twins, when twins are said to be identical but are obviously not.

In reality, fraternal twins are significantly more common than identical twins-- only 8% of twin births are identical.

Examples

[[folder:Identical Twins]]

Film
  • There are identical twin brother cops in Hot Fuzz

Literature

Western Animation
  • Patty and Selma and Sherri and Terri from The Simpsons
  • Dee Dee and Di Di from Batman Beyond
  • Lo and Li, Azula's ancient caretakers, from Avatar: The Last Airbender. ATLA also had a set of twins in the episode "The Fortuneteller," who were identical except one was an Earthbender and one wasn't.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fraternal Twins]]

  • Luke and Leia from Star Wars
  • Alexander and Rosella from King's Quest
  • Live-Action TV: Subverted for laughs by Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques in the Brit Com Sykes, who played identical twin brother and sister despite bearing no resemblance to each other.
  • On The Hogan Family the twins were explicitly fraternal.
  • On Get Smart 99 gave birth to twins in the final season; it never came up whether or not they were identical, but given that they were boy & girl it seems pretty unlikely.
  • Weekly World News once ran a Cover Story on a set of conjoined septuplets: 5 male, 2 female.
  • Buffy and Jody from Family Affair were fraternal twins.
  • High School Musical: Sharpay and Ryan are twins but look nothing alike, and are never described to be identical.
  • Kid and Sara from Ever17 are fraternal twins...

[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 8
  • January 5, 2011
    Robotrekkie
    Both can be listed actually, fraternal twins would be an aversion to this trope, though.
  • January 5, 2011
    LeeM
    Live Action TV: Subverted for laughs by Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques in the Brit Com Sykes, who played identical twin brother and sister despite bearing no resemblance to each other.
  • January 5, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • January 6, 2011
    Cybishop
    Luke and Leia seem like the most obvious non-identical twins I can think of. I agree the trope might be worth creating.
  • January 6, 2011
    Worldmaker
    Buffy and Jody from Family Affair were fraternal twins.
  • January 6, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    • High School Musical: Sharpay and Ryan are twins but look nothing alike, and are never described to be identical.
  • January 6, 2011
    AlexTrusk
    • Kid and Sara from Ever17 are fraternal twins...
  • January 26, 2011
    Duckay
    Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell on Sister Sister are long-lost identical twins, played by real life twins Tia and Tamera Mowry.
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