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.
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.
- 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.
- The albino ghost twins in 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.
- Fred and George the Weasley twins in Harry Potter. 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.
- "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.
- Warhammer 40000 gives us Alpharius and Omegron, the twin Primarchs who look exactly the same and are described as "two bodies but one soul". They were known for constantly switching places. For added points, the entire Alpha Legion ALSO looks like them.
- 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.
- 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 the play by Tom Stoppard, 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 him (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 Bio Shock 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sam & Max.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.