Always Identical Twins
aka: Fraternal Twins
Think of your favorite pair of fictional twins. Got them? Now, be honest: Are they identical
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.
Welcome back! So why are fictional twins always identical? Well, for starters, identical twins are visually striking. They allow for comic plots
, and they add symmetry
to a story. An Evil Twin
is almost always an Identical Twin; how else could they impersonate the "good" twin
? Fraternal twins, for all intents and purposes, are just regular siblings, and regular doesn't cut it in fictionland
. Oh yes, and if it's an animated film or series, that makes it one less character for the artists to design and learn to draw.
This trope is so pervasive that it even manifests when the twins are different genders
— Half-Identical Twins
shouldn't even be
identical! Though it is certainly possible for fraternal twins to bear a Strong Family Resemblance
, particularly in early childhood.
There are sometimes aversions, almost exclusively in live action productions where twin actors or Double Vision
are not available. The main subversion
of this trope is Non-Identical Twins
, when twins are said to be
identical but are obviously not.
Identical twins are highly prone to Speaking In Unison
or Finishing Each Other's Sentences
In reality, fraternal twins are significantly more common than identical twins— only 8% of twin births are identical.
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Anime & Manga
- In a recent series of commercials for State Farm insurance, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul plays both himself and his (fictional) Separated at Birth twin Cliff, an insurance agent who was likewise born to assist.
- Fujio Akatsuka's Osomatsu Kun is about identical sextuplets. Yes, SIX characters that look exactly alike. The running gag in the early episodes was that other characters couldn't tell which is which.
- Ouran High School Host Club has the Hitachiin twins, who are so alike that no one had ever been able to tell them apart until they met Haruhi. Of course they use that similarity for their own amusement, but it's also implied that it's also the reason they can be a bit bitter and cynical.
- Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle has Fai and Yuui , the "twins of misfortune" who are practically the same child made twice.
- Horitsuba Gakuen has the above mentioned twins as well as Syaoran and Syaoron.
- It is fairly common in most harem-type series to have a pair of identical twins as part of the cast.
- Played with in Eyeshield 21. Agon and Unsui dress and act very different from each other and whether they were fraternal or identical was left somewhat ambiguous for most of the series. However after Agon gets a haircut, everyone is amazed to see he and his brother are very much identical.
- Air Gear has identical octuplets, complete with identical outfits.
- Shion Sonozaki from Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni uses this to her advantage, as she assumes her sister's identity to manipulate as well as to cover up murder in the Watanagashi and Meakashi arcs.
- Naruto features two sets of identical twins (Hiashi and Hizashi and Sakon and Ukon). Coupled with Shadow-Clones and Generation Xerox, Masashi Kishimoto seems fond of twins; he himself is one.
- Yoh, the protagonist of Shaman King, is revealed to be the identical twin of Hao, the Big Bad of the series.
- Played with in Maomarimo: Mao and Ako remain fraternal twins even after Mao's Gender Bender, but the issue is raised by a background character who wonders why this trope wasn't invoked when Mao became a girl.
- Takuma and Kazuma from Gakuen Babysitters look exactly alike, though they are easy to tell apart once one looks at their faces and judge their temperament; Takuma is perpetually cheerful and Kazuma is perpetually tearful.
- One episode of SherlockHound has Sherlock and Watson dealing with a pair of twins, one is a navy commander and the other is an insane treasure hunter.
- Gunnm has Elf and Zwölf, AKA AR/GR-11 and AR/GR-12 respectively, android clones of Gally, who inexplicably behaves as if they were identical twins, and often fill the role of Gally's Annoying Younger Siblings.
- Armored Trooper Votoms features the Schmittel twins, who are (at first) only differentiated by their uniform color and voices. Even so, the animators were incredibly prone to slip up at remembering which one was which.
- Wendy and Goldie, twin prostitutes from Frank Miller's Sin City. According to Marv, they even smell identical. Granted, he is insane and at one point, even mistakes one twin for the other despite knowing full well she was dead.
- Mandrake The Magician and his Evil Twin Derek.
- The Fix-it Twins who appeared in The Beano in the late 70s .
- Ethan and Evan Brightman from the Glee fanfic Dalton, who are heavily based on Fred and George Weasley.
- The Pony POV Series has Bonbon and her sister Moth. Justified because Moth isn't really her twin sister, she's a benign Changeling (unknown to Bonbon), though she still loves Bonbon like a sister.
- In the Dark World, Apple Pie had an identical twin named Poison Apple, though they had different Cutie Marks. Unfortunately, Poison Apple was killed by Fluttercruel.
- Little Miss Conjoined, two conjoined Mr Men fan characters, are completely identical except for the color of their noses (one has a yellow nose and one has a green nose).
- Dyno and Mite from My Little Unicorn.
- There are identical twin brother cops in Hot Fuzz— the Sergeants Turner (Bill Bailey's characters).
- Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen in everything they've done (except Full House, where the twins both played the same one character to stretch limits on how long very young child actors are allowed to work). They're actually fraternal twins, but look alike enough for identical-twin plots to work. However, as is often the case they started growing out of their Strong Family Resemblance as they approached adulthood.
- The Twins from The Matrix Reloaded.
- Both versions of The Parent Trap.
- The Prestige: Borden and Fallon.
- The Stabbington Brothers in Tangled.
- A pair of elderly women twins appear in the French film Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain, buying food at the local fruit stand. They also Finish Each Other's Sentences.
- Seconds Apart: Seth and Jonah are identical twins who use their telepathic abilities to commit murders.
- Eli and Paul Sunday of There Will Be Blood.
- This was the main driving force behind the plot of Cronenberg's Dead Ringers.
- Harry Potter: Fred and George Weasley and the Patil sisters
- The main character and his brother from The Spiderwick Chronicles
- The main characters of the T Witches series.
- Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield of Sweet Valley High. Not to mention the identical evil twins Nora and Margo, who other than hair color are so like Elizabeth and Jessica that they're even able to fool the twins' parents.
- Subverted in Honor Harrington: while Detweiler brothers look like identical sextuplets, they are, in fact, clones of their father.
- Elladan and Elrohir of The Lord of the Rings are not outwardly stated as being twins or even identical, but because their birth year is the same and elves wait at ten years between children, they are assumed to be twins. They are also said to be "So much alike were they, the sons of Elrond, that few could tell them apart: dark-haired, grey-eyed, and their faces elven-fair, clad alike in bright mail beneath cloaks of silver-grey." This implies that they are identical twins (ignoring the fact that more elves are described like that than not, and quite a few humans!)
- Lampshaded in Chronicles of the Kencyrath, where the Edirr produce so many twins they usually do everything in twos.
- "The twins" (No Names Given) in Peter Pan, "who cannot be described because we should be sure to be describing the wrong one." Note that Peter doesn't really know what "twins" are, and the animated series Peter Pan & the Pirates subverted this trope by making the twins different colors and heights, the implication being that they're merely good buddies who were labelled "twins" because they are always together and finish each other's sentences.
- Jory and Nia from Cold Fire.
- Little Miss Twins from Mr Men.
- Lottie and Lisa in Erich Kästner's novel Das doppelte Lottchen who are so identical-looking that when they switch places, their own parents don't realise they've gone home with the wrong child, even though they don't even like the same food, aren't good at the same things at school, and Lisa doesn't know how to cook.
- Enid Blyton's St Clares series has twins Pat and Isabel O'Sullivan. They do look alike, but their classmates can recognize them.
- Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell on Sister Sister are long-lost identical twins, played by real life twins Tia and Tamera Mowry.
- Zack and Cody on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, also played by Real Life twins. Puberty made them not so identical.
- Nearly every set of twins in The Pretender, from regular character Sydney and his brother Jacob down to the briefest one-off appearance. Particularly notable was the episode where Sydney visits a Twins Convention, which is populated entirely by identical twins sticking together and wearing co-ordinated outfits.
- The Bold And The Beautiful had a rather interesting example. Twins Stephanie and Phoebe Forrester were identical twins until they graduated high school. From that point on they've been fraternal.
- Friends: Phoebe and Ursula.
- Outrageous Fortune. Van and Jethro West. Both with wildly contrasting personalities.
- The Ravenloft setting has Laurie and Gennifer Weathermay-Foxgrove, identical twin monster-hunting heiresses, as well as Jacqueline and Louise Renier, identical wererat littermates.
- The mix-up in The Comedy Of Errors is caused by two sets of identical twins confusing themselves for each other.
- Dante and Vergil from Devil May Cry, of the symbolism-heavy, Cain and Abel, Polar Opposite Twins variety. You can tell them apart because Vergil slicks his hair back, but they're also Color-Coded Characters: Vergil wears blue, Dante red. Two other pairs are Agni and Rudra from 3, and Bael and Dagon, a pair of frog demons in 4, the latter of whose in-game information even points out that, aside from their color, they are identical in terms of abilities and weaknesses.
- Redmond and Blutarch from Team Fortress 2, you can only tell them apart because Redmond wears a red suit and Blutarch wears a blue suit
- Ami and Mami Futami of The Idolmaster.
- Enter and Return in LEGO Island
- Patty and Selma and Sherri and Terri from The Simpsons
- The DeeDees (real names Delia & Deidre Dennis) from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
- 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.
- Kim Possible's little brothers are identical twins who can only be told apart by the colour of their shirts.
- The Scottish Twins from Thomas the Tank Engine zigzag with this trope. In their backstory the twins intentionally removed their number plates so as to appear completely identical and pull a Twin Switch and escape from a railroad that threatened to have them scrapped. After being employed at Sodor, though, they were given number and name plates, specifically so they could be told apart.
- Ingrid and Latoyah from Slacker Cats.
- The Twins in Superjail!, whose character models are literally copy and pasted most of the time.
- The village of Kodhini, India has 6 times as many twins as the global average. On top of that, the majority of the twins are identical.
NOTE: This section is reserved for twins who do not look alike at all; brother-sister twins who still look alike go to Half-Identical Twins.
- Kirio and Kirika from Kamichama Karin.
- In Corsair, fraternal twins Aura and Leti are clearly related yet distinct, with Leti taking much more after their father's side and Aura taking more after their mother's side.
- "Syaoran Li" and "Watanuki Kimihiro" aka "Tsubasa Li 1" and, presumably, "Tsubasa Li 2 of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and xxxHoLic are a particularly notable example, being that they're not identical despite one of them being a time travel duplicate of the other.
- Gundam SEED's Kira and Cagalli, being largely based on Luke and Leia. In addition to being non-identical, one is a genetically engineered superman and the other is completely unaltered.
- Kagami and Tsukasa Hiiragi from Lucky Star are fraternal twins who are drawn to have very different eye shapes (Tsukasa has Tareme Eyes and Kagami has Tsurime Eyes) and they also have different hairstyles. However, they do look more similar to each other than to any of their other family members, at least as far as their hair and eye colors are concerned.
- Karin and Yuzu Kurosaki of Bleach''.
- Mairu and Kururi Orihara from Durarara, though they are sufficiently similar to possibly be just identical twins who decided to look different.
- Rin and Yukio Okamura from Ao No Exorcist are fraternal twins who - despite looking somewhat alike when you take away Yukio's glasses - are opposites in pretty much everything, up and including Rin being (half-)demon and Yukio being human. This didn't stop the fandom from going nuts with Twincest.
- Princess Fine and Princess Rein of Fushigiboshi no Futago Hime (Twin Princesses of the Mysterious Star).
- Kyou and Ryou Fujibayashi of Clannad are similar to Kagami and Tsukasa Hiiragi in that Ryou has Tareme Eyes and Kyou has Tsurime Eyes. Though they're more alike than most fraternal twins with similar colored hair and eyes in the OVA for Kyou's route it takes Tomoya several minutes to realize that he's talking to Kyou and not Ryou after she cut her hair.
- Momiji and Kaede Fujimiya of Blue Seed are not only fraternal, they don't even resemble each other all that much. But their twinship is very important, because by being twins they split the power of the Kushinada,
- Bossun and Tsubaki from Sket Dance are eventually revealed to be twins who were Separated at Birth. Nobody noticed this before the revelation. Especially since Tsubaki is characterized by his long eyelashes, which Bossun don't have, and he also wears contacts, making them look less similar than they should be. However, with proper modifications, they're apparently similar enough to perform a convincing Twin Switch.
- To Love RU has two sets of twins, but neither set is identical. Ren and Run are the result of a Literal Split Personaility and look nothing alike.
- In L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series, Anne and Gilbert's twins, Nan and Di, are fraternal. They are opposite in looks, with Nan taking after Gilbert and Di taking after Anne. They also differ in personality. Di is mentioned as being "very much her father's child", while Nan inherits her mother's wild imagination. The fact that they are not identical forms a minor plot point in Anne of Ingleside, in which a mischievous friend convinces the young Nan that all twins are identical, and the reason Nan doesn't look like her twin is that she was Switched at Birth.
- In Anne of Avonlea, Anne's foster mother Marilla adopts the twins Dora and Davy.
- House of Leaves: Will Navidson, the main character of his piece of the story, has a fraternal twin brother, Tom.
- Faith*]] and James* Harrington, Honor Harrington's younger siblings.
- The Bobbsey Twins.
- Caramon and Raistlin Majere of Dragonlance. Caramon's a strapping warrior, Raistlin's a sickly wizard, and this difference drives 90% of their character development and plots.
- Leto and Ghanima Atreides, twin children of Muad'dib in Children of Dune.
- Kit and Holly Fielding in Break In and Bolt
Religion And Mythology
- 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 is safe to assume they are fraternal because it is impossible for them to be genetically identical.
- Buffy and Jody from Family Affair were fraternal twins.
- Emily and Katie Fitch from Skins are fraternal twins.
- Miss Parker and Mr Lyle in The Pretender.
- Brenda and Brandon Walsh Beverly Hills 90210 are fraternal twins.
- The Bold And The Beautiful had a rather interesting example. Ridge and Taylor's daughters Stephanie and Phoebe were identical twins and played by identical twins up until the point where the characters left for London. Phoebe is the first to return, now played by a new actress. When Stephanie returns a while later she is played by a different actress than Phoebe and the twins are now fraternal.
- One episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, called "Twins at the Tipton" had Dirk and Kirk, fraternal twins Maddie and London dated.
- The Big Bang Theory has Sheldon and his twin sister, Missy, who look nothing alike except for hair color.
- The Bible has Jacob and Esau. Esau is described as red and hairy, and Jacob, as plain and smooth-skinned. Since Esau was born first (by a minute or so), he was treated as the firstborn and was supposed to receive the birthright, until Jacob bought it from him.
- Alexander and Rosella from Kings Quest. Alexander is dark-haired, dark-eyed, and medium-skinned, while Rosella is fair-skinned and blonde and blue-eyed.
- Kid and Sara from Ever17 are fraternal twins.
- For a series that's so out of touch with reality, you wouldn't expect Super Mario Bros to feature realistic fraternal twins, but the heroes are, in fact, same-sex twins that look similar enough that they're clearly related, but different enough that they're easy to tell apart.
- The Sims 2 has a mechanic resetting how the parents' genetics and features are mixed after every birth, including between twins. Identical twins are thus impossible unless that mechanic is glitching (which is not uncommon).
- However, you can create identical twins in Create-A-Sim and Angela and Lillth Pleasant are existing identical twins.
- Lucas and Claus from Mother 3.
- While they are half identical in Final Fantasy IV, by The After Years, twins Palom and Porom have grown to look very different.
- North and South Dakota from Red vs. Blue are a quirky example. They don't look that much alike out of their armor aside from both having white-blond hair, but when suited up their armor is near-identical compared to the other Freelancers.
- Alex and Dan in The Dreamland Chronicles are a rare case of fraternal twins of the same gender. This is likely inspired by the creator's fraternal twin sons.
- The Venture Brothers has two sets of fraternal twins. Jonas Junior & Thadeus and Hank & Dean, the latter two being the title characters.
- Jackal and Hyena of Gargoyles both have brown hair and are completely Ax Crazy, but that's where the similarities end.
- In Transformers several characters are twins, and there's usually at least one pair in each continuity. However they are never identical - at the very least they have strikingly different colours like Jetfire and Jetstorm in Transformers Animated and other times they look different in many other ways, like Sideswipe and Sunstreaker in G1 - who even had radically different personalities. This is obviously for the purpose of making and selling more toys.
- Hurricanes: Helmut and Yorg Beethoven. Helmut is taller and Yorg is more muscular.