Created By: MarqFJA on September 13, 2011 Last Edited By: jormis29 on January 15, 2015

Merged At Birth

Two siblings merge into a single body at/before birth.

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Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples, How Did We Miss This One?

The inverse of Split at Birth - that is, a variant of Two Siblings In One in which the siblings in question fused together, body and soul, at/before birth, usually with one maintaining a semi-distinct "existence" as a Split Personality of the other.

The technical term for this in Real Life (minus the Split Personality part, of course) is "chimerism". It has led to some... interesting situations. This list may help.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In Basilisk, Tenzwn can heal injuries and is immortal because of this slug that lives in his body that "devours" any injuries. In the anime, this is because he was ripped out of his mother's body as she was dying, and he absorbed her spirit. In the manga version, his abilities come from devouring his twin in the womb.
  • SHUFFLE! characters Lisianthus (the absorber) and Kikyou (the absorbed), with the latter surviving as a Split Personality within the former's mind.
  • The villain of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Berg Katse, is a fraternal twin brother/sister who share one body and alternate gender from year to year.
  • Osamu Tezuka's used this trope a few times:
    • In Black Jack, Pinoko was her sister's parasitic twin before Black Jack gave her a synthetic body and a life of her own.
    • In a story called Fukuro (Sack), a man meets a woman named Rika and wants to marry her. But upon visiting her house, he discovers that the mother has no idea who Rika is and only has one daughter, Mari, who turns out to be identical to Rika. Rika has disappeared, so he continues to meet Mari. And of course, in accordance with this trope, Rika turns out to be Mari's parasitic twin, who was using her body without her knowing.

Film

Literature
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, one of the pretenders to the throne was known as Maelys "the Monstrous" because he was believed to have devoured his twin in the womb, marking him as a kinslayer. He had a disproportionately large upper body, and a miniature nonfunctional head growing out of his neck.
  • In Stephen King's The Dark Half, it's strongly implied that George Stark is Thad Beaumont's twin, who was absorbed into him before birth.
  • In (george), by E.L. Konigsberg, the main character, in 6th grade, has this, but thinks the voice in his head is an Imaginary Friend.

Live-Action TV
  • Becomes very important in an episode of House. A kid thinks he's being abducted by aliens, but his parents dismiss this, until he somehow (it is never explained how) ends up lying on his lawn. He is then taken to House, who, after the typically long process, manages to figure out he's the product of identical twins who fused together before birth, and removes a part of his brain to end the seizures and "alien abductions."
  • A rapist on CSI was seemingly exonerated by a DNA test, until it was discovered that the man was a product of chimerism. His semen's genotype hadn't matched an initial blood test, as his testes derived from one twin and his blood from another; a subsequent semen test got him convicted.
  • The X-Files: An absorbed twin was a Monster of the Week in "Humbug".

Western Animation
  • On The Venture Bros., Dr. Venture absorbed his twin in utero, didn't realize, and finally expelled him around 40 years later.


Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • September 13, 2011
    wanderlustwarrior
    I don't think you'll get a ton of examples if you limit it to body and soul.

    In terms of absorbed twin, on The Venture Bros, Dr. Venture absorbed his twin in utero, didn't realize, and finally expelled him around 40 years later.
  • September 13, 2011
    Stratadrake
    On the other hand, if it's just about the body then it's basically a Conjoined Twin.
  • September 14, 2011
    MarqFJA
    And technically, it's supposed to be the inverse of Split At Birth, which involves splitting in body and soul (unless you can somehow explain how a single soul can inhabit two completely separate bodies while remaining intact even over vast distances).
  • September 15, 2011
    PapercutChainsaw
    The technical term for this is "chimerism". It has led to some... interesting situations in Real Life.

    This list may help.
  • September 16, 2011
    Zsuzsa
    In Stephen King's The Dark Half, it's strongly implied that George Stark is Thad Beaumont's twin, who was absorbed into him before birth.
  • September 16, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • The villain of Gatchaman, Berg Katse, is a fraternal twin brother/sister who share one body and alternate gender from year to year.
  • September 17, 2011
    Acebrock
    Becomes very important in an episode of House. A kid thinks he's being abducted by aliens, but his parents dismiss this, until he somehow (it is never explained how) ends up lying on his lawn. He is then taken to House, who, after the typically long process, manages to figure out he's the product of identical twins who fused together before birth, and removes a part of his brain to end the seizures and "alien abductions."
  • October 18, 2011
    nman
  • October 19, 2011
    bulmabriefs144
    There's a real life example of this. It's gross (the thing that happened on Venture Bros where the other became a parasite). Look up Twins in wikipedia.
  • November 19, 2011
    Tambov333
    Bump.
  • November 19, 2011
    Katana
    Too Rare To Trope in all likelihood.
  • November 22, 2011
    MarqFJA
    I believe it's a bit too early to call that.
  • November 22, 2011
    Duncan
    In (george), by E.L. Konigsberg, the main character, in 6th grade, has this, but thinks the voice in his head is an Imaginary Friend.
  • November 22, 2011
    Lysythe
    Osamu Tezuka's used this trope a few times.

    In Black Jack, Pinoko was her sister's parasitic twin before Black Jack gave her a synthetic body and a life of her own.

    In a story called Sack (Fukuro), a man meets a woman named Rika and wants to marry her. But upon visiting her house, he discovers that the mother has no idea who Rika is and only has one daughter, Mari, who turns out to be identical to Rika. Rika has disappeared, so he continues to meet Mari. And of course, in accordance with this trope, Rika turns out to be Mari's parasitic twin, who was using her body without her knowing.
  • November 22, 2011
    KZN02
    See also Fusion Dance
  • November 22, 2011
    fulltimeD
    An absorbed twin was a Monster Of The Week on The X Files
  • February 11, 2012
    Catbert
    Considering the lengthy Wikipedia list that got linked, I would not call this Too Rare To Trope.
  • February 11, 2012
    SharleeD
    • A rapist on CSI was seemingly exonerated by a DNA test, until it was discovered that the man was a product of chimerism. His semen's genotype hadn't matched an initial blood test, as his testes derived from one twin and his blood from another; a subsequent semen test got him convicted.
  • February 11, 2012
    Jordan
    • In A Song Of Ice And Fire, one of the pretenders to the throne was known as Maelys "the Monstrous" because he was believed to have devoured his twin in the womb, marking him as a kinslayer. He had a disproportionately large upper body, and a miniature nonfunctional head growing out of his neck.

    • In Basilisk, Tenzwn can heal injuries and is immortal because of this slug that lives in his body that "devours" any injuries. In the anime, this is because he was ripped out of his mother's body as she was dying, and he absorbed her spirit. In the manga version, his abilities come from devouring his twin in the womb.

    Edit- Tenzen might be a better example for Two Siblings In One.

  • February 12, 2012
    MarqFJA
    ^ This trope is not mutually exclusive with Two Siblings In One, though not every example of that trope qualifies for this one.
  • June 7, 2014
    jormis29
    • Family Guy "Vestigial Peter" Peter finds a lump on his neck and when the doctor examines it, the lump turns out to be a tiny twin that grew inside Peter.
  • June 7, 2014
    MrRuano
    Thrill Kill has the sub-boss Judas play this straight in a Body Horror fashion. He is technically two twins conjoined at the torso in such a manner that both of them only have an upper body, meaning that one of them must stand on his hands.
  • June 7, 2014
    DAN004
    Related to Conjoined Twins.
  • June 7, 2014
    SharleeD
    Some of the suggested examples fit Conjoined Twins rather than what this trope seems to be aiming for.
  • June 8, 2014
    paycheckgurl
    In Pitch Perfect one of the Non Sequitur comments Lilly says too quietly for the others to pay attention to is "I ate my sister in the womb".
  • June 8, 2014
    paycheckgurl
    The list linked in the description is of examples in fiction. I believe the person that posted it meant for examples to be mined from it, not for it to be posted along with the real life link.
  • June 8, 2014
    surgoshan
    • Charles De Lint's Someplace to be Flying features twins Kerry and Katy. Katy was the twin who was never born (the ultimate in conjoined twins; her fetus was absorbed by her sister's bod and never made it past an inch long), but thanks to their mother's and father's mystical heritage, her soul was able to share Kerry's body/experiences until her body was removed. Then she somehow got her own body and went her own way.
  • June 8, 2014
    MetaFour
    • In the Philip K Dick novel Dr Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb, Edie Keller absorbed the body of her twin brother Bill in the womb—a doctor finds that his fetus is inside her brain. Bill is still alive, and can communicate telepathically with Edie and with dead spirits. Everyone besides Edie thinks Bill is just an Imaginary Friend.
  • July 10, 2014
    SharleeD
    The description ought to mention that there are different forms of this condition in Real Life:

    - Parasitic twins, which are when one of a set of Conjoined Twins is so severely underdeveloped as to be entirely dependent on their larger sibling for survival.

    - Fetus in fetu, when an embryo is physically engulfed by its larger sibling, quits growing, and essentially becomes an internal organ of the twin.

    - Fetiform teratoma, believed to occur when an early stem cell turns cancerous and differentiates into a tumor with distinguishable tissues and proto-organs (skin, hair, teeth).

    Only the parasitic twin is ever likely to display rudimentary reflexes or body functions of its own. If individual souls are considered in the work, a fetiform teratoma presumably wouldn't have one, but the other two could.
  • October 16, 2014
    jormis29
    Bump
  • January 15, 2015
    jormis29
    • Criminal Minds: Jeremy Sayer, the Enfant Terrible UnSub from the "Safe Haven" episode, was despised by his mother since the day he was born because he absorbed his twin while they were still in the fetal stage.
      Kendra Sayer: I was pregnant with twins. And then one day I wasn't. Is that what you want to hear? The doctor said one fetus consumed the other.
      Jeremy Sayer: I wasn't even born yet and you blamed me?
      Kendra Sayer: You are rotten to the core! You always have been!
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