It's Hayley Mills... and Hayley Mills!
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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- Always Identical Twins
- Butt Monkey: The fiancée in both versions.
- 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.
- Don't Split Us Up
- Disproportionate Retribution: Hallie/Susan manages to very much overreact and initiate all the fights in both films.
- Divorce Is Temporary: The twins actively invoke this.
- Escalating War: The prank war between the twins.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Susan isn't exactly evil, but Sharon's dog still figured out that she's an impostor much earlier than the father and the maid do. The same happens in the remake.
- First Father Wins
- "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.
- Guess Who I'm Marrying?
- Hard Work Montage: The twins use this to give each other information and mannerisms they'll need to remember when visiting the other parent.
- Hilarity Ensues
- Identical Twin ID Tags
- Important Haircut: Susan gives one to Sharon in the 1961 version and Hallie does the same to Annie in the 1998 version.
- Infodump: For everyone who is involved in the main plot.
- It's a Small World After All: Lampshaded.
- 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.
- Now You Tell Me: A lot of characters find things out the hard way.
- Off to Boarding School: What would have happened if the fiancee married the father.
- One True Pairing: established in-universe, between Maggie McKendrick and Mitch Evers in the original, and Elizabeth James and Nick Parker in the remake-the daughters' reason for the trap.
- Parent Trap Plot: The Trope Namer.
- Parent with New Paramour
- Remake Cameo: Joanna Barnes played Vicki Robinson (the fiancee) in the Hayley Mills version and Vicki Blake (the fiancee's mother) in the Lindsay Lohan version.
- Rich Bitch: The fiance in both versions. She serves the role as Gold Digger and Child Hater.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: The father in both versions.
- Rule of Pool: The father
- Separated at Birth
- Setting Update: Both films move the setting to contemporary America.
- Sibling Team: Once the girls discover they're sisters.
- Solomon Divorce: One of the best-known examples.
- 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.
- Twin Switch
- Zany Scheme
The Original Version
- Animated Credits Opening: With stop-motion.
- 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.
- Doomed New Clothes: Susan's new dress is ruined by Sharon as part of their prank war.
- Double Standard: Abuse, 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."
- Foregone Conclusion: The opening credits tell us the story in clay animation.
- Friendship Song: "Let's Get Together" is this for the original film.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Hayley Mills, despite being an English girl playing two Americans from vastly different regions of the United States... pretty much just talks like Hayley Mills.
- Panty Shot: From one of the pranks during the dance, when Sharon surreptitiously cuts the back off the skirt of Susan's party dress.
- The Remake: The third adaptation of the same book, Erich Kästner's Das doppelte Lottchen, and thus can itself legitimately be described as a Foreign Remake.
- Vinyl Shatters
The Lindsay Lohan Version