I've had twice the adventure I've cried double the tears. I've had two times the bad times, In only half the years...
— "Twice the Love," the "Siamese Twins Song" from Big Fish
The chance of having conjoined twins is as much as 1 in 100,000; the chance of those twins surviving infancy is 25%. As of 2008, there are under 2,000 conjoined twins in the world, and about a dozen are living in the United States. You're more likely to get struck by lightning — twice
! — than to meet a conjoined twin. But don't tell that to Hollywood — according to them, the chance of our heroes meeting two people who share one body is higher. Much higher.
Conjoined Twins combine Creepy Twins
with Body Horror
: Imagine being attached to another person, the same one person, for your entire life. Freaky stuff.note
As such, they are a staple of horror and any show that wants to unsettle its viewers. They are a must at carnival freak shows.
If the twins aren't just background characters, most other Twin Tropes
will apply. Twin Threesome Fantasy
is a notable exception; if the idea comes up at all, expect other characters to be squicked out. If anything, it seems to be more common for someone to fall in love with one twin only to find it very awkward having their sibling around all the time.
Some cases may literally
have been Separated at Birth
. Multiple Head Case
is a subtrope, about the tendency of beings with two heads to have opposite personalities.
For our purposes, people who aren't born twins, let alone conjoined ones, but somehow still get fused together apply. With the exception of such artificial fusions, depictions of this trope which connect in places other than the body's axis (head, neck, or torso) are artistic license. Conjoined twins are also Always Identical Twins
; those that aren't are likely running on Rule of Funny
. May manifest as A Head at Each End
in drastic cases.
Conjoined Twins are a real phenomenon, and have been around pretty well forever. They became prominent in the 1800s, with the rise of carnival freak shows; the most famous pair was Chang and Eng Bunker, the original "Siamese twins," who were connected at the sternum. Most of the examples below are taken from The Other Wiki's page
. For the most part they are complete enough to be easily separated, making them regular twins, or the parents decide to sacrifice one for a simpler or better life for the other which results in a single person, and there also exists the parasitic conjoined twin, which has additional limbs or organs, but doesn't have a brain of its own and is usually removed early in life.
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- Advertisements for the 2008 Howl-O-Scream in Tampa, Florida, featured the Raven Twins: twin sisters conjoined at the face who performed crude surgery to separate themselves. They date men in order to steal their face tissue and repair the damage done to the once-conjoined sides of their faces.
- One Apple Jacks commercial had Apple and CinnaMon get stuck together after they crashed into each other. They remained like this for a few of the commercials until they came unstuck via a special machine.
Anime and Manga
- The creepy twins Sakon and Ukon from Naruto are conjoined... most of the time. Thanks to their special power they can meld their bodies into Multiple Head Case,turning Multiarmed And Dangerous or separating for tag team attacks whenever needed.
- One of the "sealed chapters" of Black Jack, "The Two Jans", had Black Jack operate on a little boy with two brains and two faces, but only one body.
- Also, this is Pinoco's origin... sorta. She was supposed to be the twin sister of a young girl but her body was absorbed into her in the womb, thus becoming a sort-of parasitic twin - basically, a sentient tumor in her body. Black Jack removes the "tumor" but senses Pinoco's wish to live, thus he builds her a small body an adopts her after her "sister" rejects her.
- Yudy and Yucy in the short story Henshin: Half God.
- The sisters Raphaela and Luciella end up turning themselves into this in Claymore. Until they wake up.
- In InuYasha there was a tribe of harpy-like bird demons whose leaders were two twin brothers sharing the same bird-like lower body. Much later in the story, the group meets two conjoined demon brothers who are at war with each other.
- Thomas Kuebler's sculptures of Cletus and Shorty, a two-headed pair of old men joined at the neck, not too bright but jolly.
- 1950s comic stories published by EC Comics often featured conjoined twins, usually revealed in a surprise twist ending.
- There's a Nightwing villain(s?) that is two men who were fused together by some sort of toxic goo.
- Castle Waiting: A pair of conjoined twins are billed as a two-headed girl at a circus (as the owner thinks that's more interesting than two girls joined at the waist).
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Origin comic, Buffy fought a set of opposite sex conjoined twins who were running a casino-cum-vampire factory in Las Vegas. The brother was a vampire, and the sister was a good shot with her guns, making them a potent enemy. At the end, Buffy put holy water in the sprinkler system, then activating it, killing every vampire in the casino - including the brother. The human sister was left alive.
- Charles Rodrigues had "The Aesop Brothers", a regular strip in the National Lampoon, starring siamese twins George and Alex (who curiously don't look alike), and their constant travails.
- Divangelic from Empowered: A pair of twins - the left one, Charity, is an angel, the right one, Vanity, a devil. Literally speaking.
- In The Metabarons, there are Janus-Jana, the Sacred Androgyne and Emperoress of the Galaxy.
- The Batman story "And The Executioner Wore Stiletto Heels" features Two-Tone, a pair of brothers (one white, one black) who essentially form a single, two-headed mob hitman. Their condition has no bearing on the plot though, and most likely the writer made them this way just to add something memorable to an otherwise bland story.
- In Transformers, two of the Wreckers are Rack'n'Ruin, two Autobots who were fused to save their lives.
- Moe and Joe Dubelz, in Garth Ennis's Hitman are a pair of conjoined twins who head the Dubelz crime family. After Tommy shoots Joe in the head, Moe attempts to have Tommy died before their shared body eventually dies.
- From an Animaniacs fan series called Zany To The Max:
- Zak and Ko Warner; they are not biologically conjoined, however. Back when they were 3 years old, they crashed into each other and have been conjoined ever since.
- In one episode, it is mentioned that all members of their species have this ability, but it's hard for them to separate.
- Wakko has been conjoined a few times as well. In the episode "WakDot", Brain uses his new invention, a conjoining device, on Wakko and Dot. In the episode "Conjoin the Warner Brothers," Slappy gave seven of the eight Warners a part in a play, with Yakko being left out. During the night, Yakko took a wishing stone from his bedside table and said, "I wish I could join with Wakko." Because wishing stones are Literal Genies, Yakko and Wakko wake up the next morning conjoined! At the end of the episode, it's revealed that Wakko got two parts in the play, one being the narrator, so Slappy let Yakko be the narrator instead.
- The Yarner twins are also a pair of conjoined twins (biologically, this time).
- Wacka and Wakka are conjoined twins (not actually twins, Wakka is older) who are parodies of Terri and Terry (see Films below). One episode reveals that their being conjoined is the result of a gene-splicing experiment.
- A Homestar Runner fan series with the same author has Coach C and her brother, Coach D, who became conjoined in the fan sbemail "virus 2" as a result of The Virus. There was one twist, however. When the Zappy XT6 (Strong Bad's computer at the time) exploded, the affects of The Virus were gone, except for one: Coach C and Coach D were still conjoined, and they remain conjoined to this day.
- Also there's the Twins, who used to be conjoined twins before arriving in Free Country USA.
- The same author has created the following conjoined Mr. Men characters: Mr. Two-in-One and Little Miss Conjoined, both of which are biologically conjoined.
- In the Ranma ˝ fanfic Two for the Price Of One, Ranma arrives at the Tendo Dojo and discovers that Nabiki and Akane are dicephelic (two heads, one body) conjoined twins. Nabiki wants the engagement, Akane doesn't, and both of them are convinced Ramma agrees with their position.
- The 2000 Nickelodeon original movie Cry Baby Lane is centered around the legend of a pair of Siamese Twins:One good and one evil.
- Big Fish stars twin sisters Ada and Arlene Tai as conjoined twins/Korean Glamorous Wartime Singers, Ping and Jing (pictured above). Hero Edward tells his son a tall tale about meeting them when he was on a mission during the war. It turns out Edward was lying that they were conjoined; he was just making the story more interesting. They really are twins, though.
- The independent film Sisters, an early Brian De Palma effort, features conjoined twins who were previously separated.
- The 1983 splatter film Basket Case and the two sequels center on conjoined twins Duane and Belial Bradley, who were separated by back-alley doctors against their will at a young age.
- Twin Falls Idaho centers on reclusive conjoined twin brothers.
- Stuck On You stars Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear as non-identical conjoined twins, a medical impossibility.
- The 2005 mockumentary Brothers of the Head follows conjoined twin brothers who form a rock band.
- Alone is a 2007 Thai horror film about two conjoined twins.
- Flora and Fauna from The Addams Family movie.
- There was a pair of conjoined twins as periphery characters in Not Another Teen Movie.
- The podrace announcers in The Phantom Menace, although their heads are different for some reason.
- The Hong-Kong film The Bride With White Hair has opposite sex conjoined twins.
- The Octopus, villainess(es) from The City of Lost Children.
- In Freaked, two of the main characters are melded together with a mutative toxin into non-related conjoined people, sharing the girl's right side and the boy's left side and both torsos, melded at the shoulders.
- In Hellraiser: Bloodline, a pair of twins are joined at the face with their flesh twisted around a bolt of some sort as they are turned into cenobites. They can separate at will, doing so to horribly kill a third party between them.
- Monsters University has Terri and Terry.
- The Girls by Lori Lansens, which is a fictional autobiography of craniopagus twins
- Unsurprisingly, the Mark Twain story "The Siamese Twins" was based on the Bunkers.
- In Clan Of The Cave Bear, Ayla's adoptive sister's first birth is a stillbirth of conjoined male twins.
- Flora and Fauna (again) from Love Will Tear Us Apart. The idea of the novel is "What if the Hilton sisters were in the modern era, and kinda like Britney?"
- Amongst the various medical miracles in John Varley's Eight Worlds future history is a brief mention of a passing fad for voluntary conjoinment amongst jaded thrill seekers
- In The Stone Dance of the Chameleon, the Masters believe conjoined twins, which they call "syblings" to be representative of their twin gods in some way. The twins share the same name ("Left-name" and "Right-name" are used to distinguish them if neccesary) and one of them is blinded at birth. Sometimes pregnant women are given a poison to induce the developing of syblings.
- Two of the Binewski siblings in Katherine Dunn's Geek Love are a set of beautiful conjoined twins named Electra and Iphigenia.
- One (bad) Dungeons & Dragons novel featured conjoined twin goblins, attached at the hip, as leaders of a goblin tribe. The book pre-dated 3E's introduction of class levels for monsters, so making them conjoined twins may have been the author's way to justify them having more attacks/round than a standard goblin chieftain.
- Joe-Jim, the mutant leaders from Heinlein's Orphans Of The Sky, are two heads that share the same body.
- Flint Murtaugh, a bounty hunter from Robert McCammon's Gone South, has a parasitic twin (Clint) embedded in his torso.
- Not biologically conjoined, but close enough; the "three-headed dragon" in the Redwall book Triss is actually three large adder siblings (two males and a female) joined by a mace and chain which looped around their bodies and was embedded in their flesh during an attack in their childhood. Since they lack hands, they couldn't untie it, and they were forced to grow up bound together, learning to co-ordinate their movements.
- In Jane Lindskold's Wolf Hunting, fraternal twins (boy and girl) Tiniel and Isende were conjoined twins born at the hand, indicating the author didn't do her research properly.
- In the short story "My Sister and I", the narrator is one of a pair of conjoined twins, a fact which is only revealed in the last paragraph.
- Ellery Queen's mystery novel The Siamese Twin Mystery features a pair of male conjoined twins.
- Margaret Lea in The Thirteenth Tale was born a conjoined twin, which draws her to write about twins. Her sister didn't survive the operation to separate them.
- Due to extensive nuclear testing in the Alternate History of Shelley Jackson's Half-Life, conjoined twins are a thriving subculture. One that narrator Nora wants no part of, despite her sleeping twin Blanche.
Live Action TV
- The Hindi serial Amber Dhara, which aired on Sony Entertainment Television India from September 24, 2007 to April 24, 2008, was about two conjoined sisters named Amber and Dhara.
- The 2009 TLC episode Conjoined Twins after Separation about the Iesha and Teisha Turner after separation
- The Bones episode "Double Trouble in the Panhandle" had a pair of conjoined twins as the Victim(s) Of The Week. The statistics on conjoined twins are mentioned by Mr. Vincent Nigel-Murray, a compulsive trivia-mentioner.
Vincent: Conjoined twin births occur once every 85,000 births, the same frequency as hermaphroditic births.
Angela: Guys, hello! IDing them is not going to be a problem. How many sets of conjoined twins can there be?
Vincent: Um, over the last 500 years approximately 600 sets, over 70% women.
Cam: I did not expect him to know that.
Vincent: Well, all facts are useful. It's just the context that shifts.
- The The X-Files episode "Humbug" features a circus performer whose under-developed conjoined twin separates from him and commits murder.
- Tales from the Crypt, like the horror comics that inspired it, did a couple of Conjoined Twins stories. In one, two (non-identical) brothers have a falling-out when the Jerk Ass twin murders his twin's love interest. In another, two sisters seem to be separate individuals, until the Twist Ending reveals that they're two faces on opposite sides of the same head.
- Teen Angel episode 10 Steve & Marty & Jordan & Uncle Lou Marty feels left out so he conjoins himself to Steve for a little bit, after Steve comments how "It's not like we're joined at the hip or anything."
- The CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode "Pirates of the Third Reich" had a villain doing Nazi style experiments where he surgically created conjoined twins from a set of identical twins. One was dead when the CSIs arrived and the other died at the hospital.
- Carnivŕle has a female pair in Samson's travelling carnie show.
- In the Supernatural episode "Devil May Care" (S09, Ep02), we find out that Bobby and Irv hunted werewolf Siamese twins.
- In 2007, Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley formed a music group called Evelyn Evelyn, the premise being 2 conjoined twins, both named Evelyn, performing music.
- The music video for the Vocaloid song "Dark Woods Circus" features Rin and Len, conjoined at the waist, as the show's 'two-headed person.' (Actually a pair of fraternal twins that were cut up and sewed together by an insane surgeon.)
- A supernatural version in the Vermillion Lies song "Long Red Hair", about two sisters joined only at their eponymous long red hair. When it's cut, they bleed out through it, and their corpses are left with white hair.
- The Arrogant Worms deal with this problem in their song Twins, where a pair of unhappy conjoined twins sing about their upcoming surgery:
You want no parts of me and I want no parts of you,
You need both the kidneys, but one'll have to do,
Separation anxiety sounds pretty good to me,
This three-legged race is over!
- Once, the Weekly World News had a cover "photo" of a set of conjoined septuplets. Who weren't all the same sex. (They also did a story about conjoined sextuplets, who were the same sex. Maybe it's the same story?)
- The Broadway musical Side Show featured real life conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton. Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner started as Violet and Daisy, respectively.
- The 1997 Blade Runner video game features Luther and Lance, conjoined twins who may or may not be replicants.
- House of the Dead: Overkill features conjoined twins Nigel and Sebastian as the boss of the 'Carny' level.
- Kingdom of Loathing has a Conjoined Zombie, which the game itself notes 1) Conjoined Twins are rare, 2) Conjoined Twins living to adulthood is even rarer, 3) the odds of them zombifying is even rarer than that, so this is probably the rarest thing in the world. As such, this is a Mini-Boss and not a regular Random Encounter.
- The Marcel-Moreso Brothers in Freaky Flyers, are not just conjoined twins (skinny twin growing out of pudgy twin's back), but they're also mimes. They toy with the idea of being surgically seperated (Which is shot down when the Narrator points out that they only have one pair of legs), and in the end, marry a woman with a split personality.
- The carnival sideshow in Bully features a pair of conjoined twin girls.
- BloodRayne features a pair of formerly conjoined identical twins as a boss. Althought they were seperated as children, they are still psychically joined and share each others' pain, so it is only necessary to attack one of them in order to kill them both.
- Batman: Arkham City features the Abramovici twins, who have recently surgically separated themselves due to political differences (one being a Communist and one being a Capitalist) and went to work as Elite Mooks for Joker and Penguin respectively.
- In the circus chapter of Sanitarium, the freakshow has two opposite-sex cojoined twins.
- Sam & Max Hit the Road has the Kuzzer brothers, carnival managers who are joined at the hip and facing away from each other. While talking to the protagonists, they sometimes have to twist around so that both brothers can have their say.
- In Baroque, the protagonist was once a conjoined twin, and the ghost he occasionally encounters in the Neuro Tower is that of his brother, who did not survive their separation.
- In Xenosaga: Episode II, it's revealed that Jr. and Albedo were once joined at the spine.
- Danny and Demi from The Outfoxies were conjoined before they were separated due to being hit by a train. They still do everything together - one holds the weapon and the other pulls the trigger.
- In Dishonored, according to the Heart, Custis and Morgan Pendleton were conjoined at the hand at birth (but were successfully separated).
- Terraria has a boss literally named "The Twins" that takes the form of two giant eyeballs. A band of flesh runs between them when they're close together, but this is purely cosmetic and they still have free movement.
- Zeke Sr and Zeke Jr from Dead Ends.
- The short film Separation is a rather disturbing take on conjoined twins.
- This unofficial music video for Parov Stelar's song "The Mojo Radio Gang". In the video, the eponymous band includes a pair of conjoined twins (joined at torso), one of whom is a trumpeter, the other—a clarinetist.
- There was an episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog featuring Eliza and Liza Stitch, conjoined twin sisters with one body but two heads.
- CatDog starred conjoined twins of a cat and a dog.
- The Oblongs features Biff Oblong and Chip Oblong as conjoined twin brothers with a particularly odd variant of sharing a leg and butt cheek (giving them a grand total of 3 legs and 3 butt cheeks)
- To make things even more awkward than usual, Biff is gay and Chip is straight.
- One episode of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror featured Bart's Evil Twin, Hugo, who had been separated from Bart at birth and kept in the attic. Hugo, having gone insane after being locked up in the attic his entire life, plans sew the two of them together again.
- Another Simpsons example: In the Monorail episode, Homer fashioned a makeshift anchor out of the M on the train. He tosses it outside, and it drags on the road. At the same time, Dr. Hibbert is advising a pair of conjoined twins about the "very tricky procedure" that might allow him to separate them — and then Homer goes by with the anchor, chopping them apart easily.
- The Ren & Stimpy Show featured one episode where the two of them suffer a terrible bus accident and have to undergo a drastic plan to survive: being sewn together into one body. Hilarity Ensues.
- One episode of The Powerpuff Girls had the three of them getting conjoined into one, all facing outward, with control of their limbs randomly shuffled. This was a plot by Mojo Jojo to ruin their ability to thwart him. This backfired when they discovered a super attack because of it and Mojo Jojo decided to seperate them than deal with even stronger PPG.
- Sponge Bob Square Pants features several examples of this.
- In The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie, we meet a pair of conjoined fish in a bar.
- SpongeBob and Squidward have also been conjoined repeatedly:
- The particularly squicktastic episode "Squid Bob Tentacle Pants." Spongebob uses Sandy's teleportation device, then gets involuntarily teleported while Squidward has his arm in Spongebob's mouth. Squidward gets dragged through the teleportation device too, and when they arrive back at Sandy's Treedome, their bodies are joined together◊. Later, at the end of this episode, Spongebob, Squidward, and a bunch of other characters end up in one conjoined blob.
- The episode "Can You Spare A Dime?" features a brief moment of horror in which Spongebob tells Squidward, "We're like brothers...only closer." (This, incidentally, is also one of the page quotes.) Cut to Spongebob and Squidward fused together by a band of flesh◊. (WARNING! Not for the faint of heart.) Fortunately, Negative Continuity makes things better after the next cut.
- Zak and Wheezie from Dragon Tales.
- Generator Rex has the breather episode Without A Paddle where Rex is convinced by Noah to join a Serious Business Ping-Pong tournament. The antagonists of that episode are their opponents from a rival school, an E.V.O that was a pair of twins, completely fused together but with two heads. The main problem was their overbearing father who pushed them (and juiced them) to win, which resulted in an Unstoppable Rage and Multiple arms
- Mighty Mac from Thomasthe Tank Engine, who is a double-ended Fairlie locomotive that has two faces on each side.
- The Camp Lazlo episode "Valentine's Day" features a pair of pigs joined by an eyeball, with 3 eyes between. They claim it's because they're made of magic. They fly away and leave a beautiful rainbow. Yeah.
- The school nurse on South Park has her dead conjoined twin still attached to her head.
- An episode of I Am Weasel took place in a "correctional facility". Several of the inmates were outfitted with massive iron devices that were meant to correct certain deformities. One of them had a "Fred" device on his backside that when removed, revealed a full twin somehow forced under it. Pretty morbid.
- In one Beavis And Butthead cartoon, our intrepid heroes wind up in the freak show of a traveling carnival as Siamese chicken-head-biting geeks by unspecified means, after their inexpert attempts to chat up a female contortionist draws the ire of their Ape Man. Stitches are mentioned.
- Kin and Kon Kujira of Grojband were born as Siamese twins, and they have the scars to prove it.
- Taken a step further considering that Kon has Kin's nipples on his back.
- As mentioned above, Chang and Eng Bunker, the original "Siamese twins". They actually were from Siam (actual Thailand), and were connected at the sternum. In truth, Chang and Eng couldn't be separated; their autopsy revealed that they shared a liver, and they would have bled to death if the connection was cut. These guys toured around America and helped shape the popular notion about what a conjoined twin is, before settling down, marrying a set of sisters, and becoming slave owners. Seriously. Their sons fought in the The American Civil War. When Chang died in his sleep, Eng chose not to be separated from him, and followed him within three hours.
- George Schappell (born Dori) is a country music singer; he is also a conjoined twin, attached to his sister, Lori, at the head.
- Daisy and Violet Hilton who tried to make a living in films, and starred in the movie Freaks. Their life was one big tearjerker.
- Abigail and Brittany Hensel are conjoined twins, currently in college. Each woman has a separate head and heart, and controls one arm and leg on her side of their body. A segment on the Discovery Channel related the interesting level of cooperation required; growing up, the twins learned to walk, ride a bicycle, play sports, etc., and cooperate to drive a car—though they had to take the driving test twice, once for each of them.
- This video of conjoined triplet frogs found near a children's day nursery in Britain. It had three heads, three pairs of legs, and (they could easily guess) multiple other organs.
- Turtles seem to have an unusually high rate of conjoined twins.
- There was a news article about Indonesian twins who had one body and two heads. They died shortly after, however.
- A pair of twins in Brazil were similar to this and the Hensel twins. However, they died at age 16 when one had a fatal lung infection; like with Eng Bunker, the healthy twin refused separation, even once it was clear that that was effectively a decision to die with her sister.