A Disney live-action film that has been filmed twice. The original starred Hayley Mills and yielded three sequels which are hard to fit into one continuity (and are pretty much forgotten about). The remake starred a (surprisingly brilliant) young Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quaid, and the late, marvelous Natasha Richardson.Twin sisters have been separated nearly at birth when their parents divorced. The year their father is considering remarrying, the sisters meet each other at summer camp. On meeting, they plot to get their parents back together, a plot that involves each pretending to be the other. Hilarity Ensues.The movie is based on a 1949 book, Das doppelte Lottchen, which has also been filmed as Das doppelte Lottchen (a version that retains author Erich Kästner as narrator and uses actual twins), Twice Upon a Time and Hibari’s Lullaby (a Japanese telling).
The Parent Trap provides examples of:
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Acting for Two: Every single movie use this method. Of these movies, the only one that doesn't use Double Vision is Hibari's Lullaby (which avoids any shot in which the girls are both visible).
Coordinated Clothes: The twins wear matching outfits several times, sometimes to confuse the others about which twin is which. When the mother sees both her daughters for the first time since their separation, each is dressed in yellow and white. She tells them not to do this to her because she's already seeing double and asks who is who.
Disneyfication: The original story was far more serious than the Disney movies—the father was distant, the mother was a wreck, and one twin falls ill.
"Good Luck" Gesture: Both versions of have a special gesture. They cross fingers (for luck) on both hands, with arms crossed (symbolizing the girls' Twin Switch). It was used much more in the original Haley Mills film.
Karma Houdini: The parents in both versions, who pay for willingly denying their children the chance to know about one another and having multiple family members and friends lie to them for years by being reunited as a couple and a family.
No Sympathy: In the 1961 version, Susan and her bunkmates slip into Sharon's cabin and trash the place while Sharon and her bunkmates are asleep. Even though the damage is clearly the work of saboteurs, Sharon and her bunkmates are punished for having a messy cabin. The 1998 version makes more sense, with the cabin sabotage being the climax of the prank war that gets them both in trouble.
Tomboy and Girly Girl: Sharon is a girly girl, having been raised as a child of Boston high society; Susan is the tomboy. In the remake, there's the determined American, Hallie Parker, and the proper Brit, Annie James.
Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female on Male: Mom punches Dad in the eye. What he says after being punched suggests she'd done stuff like that to him when they were married: "Why do you have to get so physical? Can't even talk to you about anything, you're always trying to belt me with something."
Artistic License - Music: Hayley Mills is not moving her fingers when playing guitar Beethoven's 5th Symphony. Then on "Let's Get Together" her strumming does not match the music (in addition to not moving her fingers).
Colonel Bogey March: The other girls at the camp whistle this as the twins are escorted to the Isolation Cabin.
Book Ends: As part of Alan Silvestri's score, short, dramatic instrumentals of "Let's get together, yeah, yeah, yeah," accompany both the opening Walt Disney Pictures logo and the last few seconds of the end credits.
British Stuffiness: One of the twins is American and the other is British. Guess which is the proper one and which is the spunky one.
Country Mouse, City Mouse: Hallie is the Country Mouse coming from a vast vineyard in Northern California while Annie is the City Mouse coming from downtown London. Played with, though, in that Annie adjusts very well to camping in the forest.
Chessy and Martin are like family to their respective employers. Averted with Meredith who treats Chessy like a talking dog who would be summoned with a bell.
Chessy is even treated nicely by Elizabeth who was intoxicated at the time of their meeting again after years apart.
Chessy:[upon seeing Elizabeth after so many years] Hi, you probably don't remember me. I... Elizabeth:[gives her a kiss on the cheek] Chessy! Chessy: I knew I always liked her.
Old Man Marrying A Child: Used as an indirect accusation, delivered with Sugary Malice. When Nick tells his daughter that Meredith is about to become part of the family, she surely understands right away that he's talking about marriage. However, she pretends to innocently misunderstand him and get all ecstatic about how he's finally getting one more daughter by adopting her.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Happens to both Hallie and Annie, more often to whoever has a British accent at the moment. Often it's the In-Character version of the trope. Lohan had to play four accents — American, British, American pretending to be British, and British pretending to be American. The latter two had accents slipping. Lohan does a remarkable job in the scene at the hotel where she's basically playing four characters at once - Hallie, Annie, Hallie pretending to be Annie and Annie pretending to be Hallie. She switches up the accents just enough to do exactly what Hallie and Annie were after (confuse the heck out of Mom and Dad).
Parents Know Their Children: Sort of—the father looks each twin in the eye and declares which one is Hallie; however, it's not made clear if he's right, since the twins keep playing up the charade and make him question his own judgment.
The Reveal: In-universe, several times: first Hallie and Annie to each other (twice), then Annie to Chessy, then Hallie to her grandfather, then Hallie to her mother. And then Elizabeth dealing with the additional reveal of Nick's engagement to Meredith.
Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Elizabeth is getting emotional about the thought of meeting Nick for the first time after so many years, she spouts off several of these to Martin.
Sand in My Eyes: Elizabeth is pleased that Nick still remembers the wine from their first wedding.
Scenery Porn: Hallie arriving in London is of course an excuse for plenty of shots of the various landmarks. To a lesser degree, Annie arriving in California.
Scream Discretion Shot: When Hallie pierces Annie's ears, and when the girls drag Meredith's mattress into a lake.
She Cleans Up Nicely: Nick has a reaction like this when Elizabeth gets dressed up for the dinner on the ship because he's only seen her half hungover though of course the audience has seen her looking flawless before.
Sword Fight: Hallie and Annie's first meeting is through an absurdly over-the-top "fencing match" at camp. The girls have fencing masks on as a way to save on special effects, to cover the faces of the stunt people, and for the big reveal that they both look alike when they take the masks off and face each other.
Take a Third Option: When Chessy welcomes Annie!Hallie home, Chessy asks her if she'd like to eat lunch after upacking, before unpacking, or-to Annie's surprise-while unpacking.