"They are a unit; they even share the same name."
Two (or more) characters who, for all intents and purposes, act as one character, always appear together and are never introduced individually. Even if there are frequent disagreements between the members of The Dividual
, they will act as one entity as soon as the Plot
There are two types:
- The Twindividual: The individuals making up The Dividual are near-identical or very similar in at least one but usually several aspects (appearance, character traits, way of talking, job etc.). Sometimes, the twindividuals' members differ in some conspicuous way (for example: one fat, one skinny) but are still uniform in all other ways. Finishing Each Other's Sentences is not uncommon among twindividuals.
- The Syndividual: The individuals of which The Dividual consists have different looks and character traits but form a symbiotic relationship. Often their character types complement each other in some (comedic) way. They might have a division of labor thing going on, for example with one character being the spokesperson of the dividual.
The defining characteristic that sets a syndividual apart from a twindividual is the symbiotic aspect: a twindividual is just a homogenous crowd while a syndividual has a specific shtick with distinct roles. As a rule of thumb, twindividuals are based on the principle of Birds of a Feather
while Opposites Attract
Typically, The Dividual
is a background character or part of an Ensemble Cast
but another frequent setup is something similar to an Adventure Duo
where the two main characters form a dividual. This setup heavily restricts the available plots as the two main characters must always act as one in relation to other characters. In those cases, the work's name will often be simply the characters' names, "Alice and Bob"-fashion.
Might overlap with Heterosexual Life-Partners
and Those Two Guys
. Single-Minded Twins
is a subtrope. Compare Literal Split Personality
, Hive Mind
and I Am Legion
. If the members of The Dividual
are twins, expect any number of Twin Tropes
(especially Single-Minded Twins
) to be in place. Sometimes, The Dividual
will exhibit Twin Tropes
despite the fact that its members are not twins. For a romantic couple that is often referred to by a single name, see Portmanteau Couple Name
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Anime And Manga
- Isaac and Miria from Baccano! share an entry on the cast page. People within the series get the same impression as well, so much so that the mere fact that Miria shows up to the Genoard mansion alone in Alice in Jails alerts Jacuzzi's gang that something has gone very wrong (namely, that Isaac was arrested and sent to Alcatraz).
- Mairu and Kururi from Durarara!! (from the same author as Baccano!) are twins who don't even consider themselves as individuals. They too share an entry on the cast page.
- Emi and Yumi from Irresponsible Captain Tylor.
- Ouran High School Host Club's Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin appear to be interchangeable, and in fact it later becomes a minor plot point that no one can tell them apart except Haruhi. They occasionally exhibit signs of being annoyed by this, but mostly seem to accept that to everyone else, they are a collective.
- Later in the series, however, the two begin to diverge from each other, and even start to hit notes of Sibling Yin-Yang - once Kaoru starts to realize how dangerously codependent they've become and how limited they've allowed their world to be. Once they start to act individually it becomes apparent that Kaoru is much more reasonable and calm, if somewhat self-deprecating, and Hikaru is more aggressive and selfish, mostly because of his Tsundere personality; in other words, their Trickster Twins act was some compromise between them, making Kaoru less pleasant and Hikaru more.
- Usagi and Minako in the Sailor Moon anime aren't quite this because they're not together all the time and are more or less just ordinary friends, but that doesn't keep them from doing the Single-Minded Twins routine many times. They also look quite similar (namely because Minako was meant to be Usagi's decoy).
- Sora and Shiro take this to an extreme in No Game No Life. They're nearly invincible together, but if they get separated even briefly they'll instantly have nervous breakdowns.
- Dupont and Dupond from Tintin (Thomson and Thompson for the English-speakers.)
- Huey, Dewie and Louie. The fact that they have all the exact same personality, and are impossible to tell apart without their hats, means that they're basically one boy with three bodies. Subverted in a DuckTales episode, when one of them decides to leave The Dividual.
- Non Player Characters Bartémulius and Nostariat from Noob.
- In Legion of Super Heroes, Triplicate Girl's alien race the Carggites have the natural ability to split into three identical bodies. In most continuities, each group of three is treated as a Dividual. But the Post Zero Hour version of Triplicate Girl, named Triad, was persecuted by Carggite society because her three selves had distinct personalities (one aggressive, one submissive, and one balanced between the two). Her aunt secretly had the same condition and claimed that this was actually the natural state for Carggites, and that their culture's insistence on making each person's parts act like a Dividual was cruel and harmful.
- The albino ghost twins in The Matrix Reloaded. They're identical twins that dress alike, fight in concert and can't seem to say an entire sentence without the other's help. As they're constructs of the Matrix, they're probably either one partially corrupt program or copies of each other. The trios of Agents do a lot of this, too.
- Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd from the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. They hang out together, they work together, they are always together.
- The Bimbettes (Gaston's fangirls) trio in "Beauty and the Beast" are, for all intents and purposes, a single entity.
- Fred and George, the Weasley twins in Harry Potter. Fred is the more outgoing one and George is slightly more reserved, but it's easy to miss considering they share a love of colourful pranks and are almost always together. Until Deathly Hallows, that is, when George is nearly killed and Fred has to deal with his brother's potential death. Then George gets his taste of this when Fred is actually killed.
- Example of characters who are not literal twins: Crabbe and Goyle until book 7.
- "Samneric" from Lord of the Flies. That's right, the two are referred to by one name.
- The At Dawn twins from Gives Light.
- The clone society in Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm likes to view its various clone "families" this way. Their society starts to fall apart when a few members start to rediscover individuality.
- In the sci-fi detective novel Emissaries of the Dead, the cylinked twins Oscin and Skye Porrinyard are this. They're very similar in appearance, except that one is male and one is female, and through cybernetic modification, they essentially have one merged consciousness.
- Word of God notes that the three Ravers of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant are like this; Donaldson envisioned them as "perfect minions" and so never bothered giving them distinct personalities or motivations, so they'd be completely interchangeable; as far as the plot is concerned, they might as well be one creature that can be in three places at once. To add another layer, they're also all pretty much lesser copies of their boss, Lord Foul.
- Uncle Prudent and Phil Evans are a syndividual in Jules Verne's Robur the Conqueror.
- Caramon and Raistlin in Dragonlance, at least at the start. Sure, their personalities are different, and sure there's a lot of one-way arguing going on, but the moment there is danger, they take action like a single person.
- This trope's Older Than Print: Sir Gareth and Sir Gaheris from Le Morte D Arthur and various other Arthurian legends are the two youngest Orkney brothers. Aside from Gareth's brief stint as hero of his own tale in Malory's version, the two are so closely associated that it's not always clear which one is speaking, which barely matters as they're never shown to hold a separate opinion and even ultimately die in the same way for the same cause. In some versions they even marry near-identical sisters, though their wives' personalities very much reflect Sibling Yin-Yang, in contrast to their own closeness in temperament. Some scholars now believe that this might be due to Gareth and Gaheris starting out as a single character who got divided in two due to a transmission error.
Live Action TV
- Invoked in the Scrubs episode "My Fairy Tale", where Carla and Turk merge into one annoying two-headed monster.
- The trio of jocks from Student Bodies. The cartoon shots even depict them as a single person with three heads.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Bulk and Skull could appear separately, but it would fall flat as they feed off each other so much that neither alone functions as a character. To be fair, there were two other punks (a chick with messy hair and a black guy) that hung out with them early on, but they vanished without explanation after appearing in two episodes and had no lines at all.
- Power Rangers RPM has Gem and Gemma, a pair of half identical single minded twins who can't even talk without the other around. Well, until she gets a boyfriend, after which the Hive Mind breaks whenever he's involved.
- Ed and Larry from The West Wing. It was occasionally lampshaded that the main characters couldn't remember which of them was which.
- Warhammer 40,000 gives us Alpharius Omegon, the Primarch of the Alpha Legion. In reality they were Alpharius and Omegon, who were identical twins and are described as "two bodies, but one soul". As their combat doctrine focused on espionage, deception, and covert ops, force they frequently switched places for their own ends; and to complicate matters, the entire Alpha Legion also looks like them, and one of their calling cards was that each one identified themselves as "Alpharius". When they interacted with other members of the Imperium formally, Alpharius was the public face, while Omegon's existence was one of the best kept secrets in the galaxy. This is so extreme that one, both, or neither of them may have died shortly after the Heresy, and no one knows which.
- Vampire: The Masquerade had a Sabbat only artificial bloodline created by Tzimisce, the Blood Brothers. They actually straddle the line between Twindividual and Syndividual, since Blood Brother groups tended to have more than two members, who would look identical, have similar personalities and generally act as one organism, to the point of lending each other blood, limbs and other body parts.
- The River City School Board in The Music Man: Ewart Dunlop, Oliver Hix, Jacey Squires and Olin Britt. As Harold Hill says, "you'll never see one of those men without the other three."
- The two "Nieces" in Peter Grimes almost never do anything separately, and sing mostly in unison, harmony or canon with each other.
- Exaggerated in The Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan, where Marco and Giuseppe become the King of Barataria until it can be settled which one of them it really is, and they make comical attempts to act "as one individual."
- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from Shakespeare's Hamlet are treated as this. Their interchangeability and uniformity is hinted at by Shakespeare in the very choice of their names, which exhibit the same metric properties and ethnic background. Their dividuality is further played with in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, to the point that two characters can't agree on which one is which.
- Elle and Ille from Rio -Rainbow Gate!- , twin girls in Playboy Bunny outfits who work at a Casino. Ille always repeats the last word/phrase Elle says.
- Thorn and Zorn from Final Fantasy IX. In fact, they're literally one person, as shown when they rejoin into Meltagemini for their boss fight.
- Morris and Derek, background dancers from Elite Beat Agents.
- Popo and Nana in their appearance in Super Smash Bros., though they weren't like this in their original game.
- The Twins in The Cave control and act exactly the same as any single other character.
- The Luteces, brother-and-sister inventors of Columbia's floating city technology in BioShock Infinite always appear side by side, snarking at each other and at Dewitt. They are identical in almost every way, same clothes, same mode of speech, same age, same builds - except one is male (Robert) and one is female (Rosalind). It's later revealed that they're not brother and sister. They're the same person but from different dimensions - one born male, one born female.
- The De Winter Sisters in Saints Row: The Third seem to have this relationship - never being seen without one another and operating as co-right hands to Loren. At least until Kiki's death, that is
- Sisters Rosalie and Marie in Sister Claire.
- The Cotyorites (Proxenus, Nicarchus, and Clearchus) from The Lydian Option are highly similar looking members of a philosopher race that appear together (and complete dialogue together).
- Bartémulius and Nostariat from Noob, the pair of Insufferable Genius alchemists that are a recurring Quest Giver and Escort Mission charge in the franchise. The only time Bartémulius was seen alone was in the webseries version, when Nostariat's actress couldn't show up for filming. While they are Fat and Skinny in addition to being different sexes, their lines of dialogue tend to be quite similar.
- Andrew Andrew
- Much to their annoyance, many Real Life twins are viewed this way by people who haven't gotten to know them as individuals.
Anime And Manga
- The Light Card and the Dark Card in Cardcaptor Sakura. You can probably guess what they do. They wear white and black, respectively. Cardcaptors must engage them as a unit. They ask to be sealed together, and Sakura does so.
- Muto Ashirogi in Bakuman。 is a two man team consisting of Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi, who have been nigh inseparable since middle school. Mashiro is an artist and Takagi is a writer, and most of the other authors in Shonen Jump (Or Shonen Jack in the anime) treat them similar to a single entity.
- The protagonists of No Game No Life, Blank, cannot be apart or they'll suffer something similar to withdrawal symptoms. However, the pair is basically unstoppable when together. To emphasize this, the two are dissimilar to each other in terms of everything, such as age, gender, colour scheme, specializations, etc.
- Gold Digger: One issue in the Tournament Arc featured a "duo individual", which basically means that a punch-specialist and a kick-specialist can literally band together and compliment each other's strengths, in a duel no less. The only drawback is that separating the two is an automatic win condition, something that one of the specialists has to be yelled at about before she stops the gluttonous "overtime".
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Neverwhere has Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar, Those Two Bad Guys. They take their partnership seriously enough that when Mr. Croup is sucked through a gateway into what is likely hell, Mr. Vandemar voluntarily follows him.
- Bone and Chair, the stand-ins for The Mad Hatter and the March Hare in Patrick Senecal's Aliss. Bone, the more intelligent of the two, is in charge, while Chair provides the muscle. They're very much Those Two Bad Guys, and their arrival on any scene generates a guaranteed Oh, Crap, given the usual result.
- Gestalt from The Chequy Files: The Rook is actually one person in multiple bodies.
Live Action TV
- Seinfeld Jerry and George try to pull this off for one episode to be a woman's boyfriend. Jerry does the actual dating while George manages schedules and anniversaries. Their theory is that between the two of them they might be able to accomplish the tasks of one mature adult male.
- Penn & Teller, on TV, in film, on stage, etc. They're so closely associated in all media that it's almost a subversion to see them separate, for example, Penn on his personal video blog or Teller lecturing at conventions.
- Better Off Ted: Phil and Lem, the lab workers. Often used explicitly as a gag.
- In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agents Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons spend enough time together that they are referred to by pretty much everybody (up to and including Director Fury) as "Fitzsimmons" (And occasionally it's "Fitzsimmons is..." rather than "Fitzsimmons are..."). They even sort of refer to themselves this way, using "we" a lot and automatically operating under the assumption that they feel the same way about everything (e.g. "He was our favorite professor"). Although they are both scientists, they fulfill separate roles, specializing in engineering and biochem, respectively. Their personalities are also shown to be opposing but complementary in many respects.
- Richandamy from Zits are an extreme example: they're only physically separated when they HAVE to be (such as separate classes), and have been seen literally contorting and stretching superhumanly to be together even then. During a temporary breakup the others were literally unable to call them by their separate names, as in it caused Jeremy physical pain to do so.
- Sam & Max have this dynamic in the Sam & Max: Freelance Police game series. Sam is generally the character controlled by the player (until the third season of the Telltale games, when the player takes control of Max when his newly-discovered psychic abilities are called for), but both Sam & Max Hit the Road and various episodes of the Telltale games require Max to solve a puzzle (in Hit the Road, he can actually be used as an item).
- Game units will sometimes be syndividuals, for example the Goblin Alchemist Hero Unit of Warcraft 3, a goblin carried around by an ogre. The ogre hits things and the goblin throws potions, and both get speaking lines. Same with Dwarf mortar teams from the Alliance.
- Reno and Rude from Final Fantasy VII.
- Disgaea 3's Kyoko Needleworker and Asuka Cranekick, Raspberyl's Girl Posse.
- Gomar and Shioh from the F-Zero games.
- Mr. Right and Mr. Left in I Miss the Sunrise. Even their names imply they are never seen apart.
- Dual Boss Gorc and Pic from ''Dark Forces Saga.
- MapleStory has Zero, a pair of twins who make up a single playable class. Their individual names are Alpha and Beta, although you'd never know it given how rarely they're referred to as separate entities outside of their story quest.
- This is the case with Zen and Rei in Persona Q: Shadow Of The Labyrinth - they function as a single unit, and only take up a single spot in the party roster. Zen casts offensive magic, while Rei casts curative magic. Late game spoilers reveal that Rei could only use her curative magic when she's near Zen, as said magic was originally Zen's to begin with. Also, after the player completes the fourth labrynth, Rei is kidnapped and Zen becomes a standalone party member.
- Many of the characters in Namco X Capcom belong to this trope.
- In its sequel, Project X Zone, every independent unit is a Dividual. Solo units do exist, but must be "equipped" to a dual unit in order to take part in battle.
- In the Super Smash Bros. series, the character of Duck Hunt (or Duck Hunt Duo in Europe) consists of the duck, the dog and the hunter, all playable as a single unit.
- Zimmy and Gamma from Gunnerkrigg Court. Given a deconstruction, to an extent. Zimmy goes to lengths to make Gamma subservient to her.
- Carl and Lenny from The Simpsons span the whole range of this trope. Early on the show they form a borderline twindividual (different looks but identical nondescript characterization), later on, they sometimes were treated as a bickering syndividual (and Heterosexual Life-Partners), and at some point, the writers decided to deconstruct their dividual to facetiously emphasize the characters' (non-existent) individuality - only to reconstruct it for a throw-away gag in the next episode.
- In Ratatouille, invoked by Remy and Linguini, who deliberately become this.
- Exaggerated in the title character(s) of CatDog.
- The title characters of Phineas and Ferb are almost always together and, while both technical and creative geniuses, have nearly opposite personalities (Phineas being active and talkative, Ferb being passive and mostly silent).
- In Ed, Edd n Eddy, the other kids seem to think of the Eds like this. When one of the protagonists does something to anger the other kids, they'll punish the three uniformly despite their lack of involvement. Additionally, when they attempted to join the Urban Rangers, they were given one chance for each badge for the three of them.
- The Kanker Sisters look different enough from each other to raise questions about whether they're biologically related... and sure enough, one episode makes it clear that they all have different fathers. It still doesn't stop them from being nearly identical (other than their individual preference within the titular trio) in the early episodes. The youngest one, May, starts to break the mold a bit later on.
- Walter and Perry in Home Movies almost always dress alike, have very similar high-pitched voices, and are always seen together, usually holding hands.
- Mr. Wink and Mr. Fibb in Codename: Kids Next Door are never seen apart, even when they're not doing villainy, like watching TV. Of course, they're based on Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd from Diamonds Are Forever.
- Taken Up to Eleven, however, are the five Delightful Children from Down the Lane. They are five kids from different families, but they function as an individual. They stick close enough together that they're in physical contact with each other, never separate (except on two occasions, which become major plot points for those episodes), occupy the same seat at school, and even speak in unison. The only reason why they aren't a Hive Mind is that their actions and reactions become different from each other when panicked—otherwise, they're on identical mental wavelengths.
- Frix and Frax in Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars. They almost never appear separately.
- The Weird Sisters on Gargoyles always show up, act, and are treated as a single unit. Each of them, however, is somewhat specialized- Phoebe symbolizes grace, Luna symbolizes fate, and Selene symbolizes vengeance. Which of the three is directing the Sisters' actions varies.