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Playing With / Backup Twin

Basic Trope: A character is killed but the actor returns as his hitherto unseen (usually twin) sibling.
  • Straight: Alex is Killed Off for Real. In the next episode, Alex's long-lost twin brother Bob is introduced and continues to play pretty much the same role. Bob was not shown or mentioned in any previous episodes.
  • Exaggerated:
    • After a Kill 'em All, all killed characters are revealed to have long-lost twin siblings. The cast remains exactly the same.
    • The twin dies, and it turns out there were triplets. Then the triplet dies and it turns out there are a whole ton of backup siblings.
    • Flashbacks in earlier episodes explicitly show that Alex grew up with only his parents. Despite this, Alex's brother Bob is abruptly introduced.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified: Alex and Bob were long estranged, but the other characters already knew about Bob. When Alex died, they specifically sought Bob out and convinced him to take over Alex's duties.
  • Inverted:
    • Alex resurrects his dead twin brother Bob, then takes a Long Bus Trip. More so if Alex returns a few seasons later and rekills Bob.
    • Alex died before the events of the show, and is only seen in flashbacks.
  • Gender-Inverted: Alex dies and is replaced by his twin sister, as a favor to the actress playing his part.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob is actually an impostor who took on Alex's appearance to infiltrate the circle of his friends.
    • It turns out that Alex has faked his death, and that Bob is actually him.
    • Bob shows up... And, aside from looks, is nothing like Alex.
    • Alex seemingly dies but returns after Bob jumps in, kicking off a heated argument on who is the real Alex now.
    • Alex is resurrected from the dead; it turns out that his "death" was nothing more than a publicity stunt.
  • Double Subverted:
    • After getting to know Alex's friends, the impostor Bob decides to become the mask.
    • It turns out that Alex was Bob all along, got tired of acting like his twin, faked his death, and reappeared as himself.
    • Bob is hypnotized to act like Alex.
    • "Alex" was Emperor Evulz in disguise.
    • Claire later dies and is replaced by her sister Diane.
  • Parodied: Alex has vats of clones ready to replace him in case he dies, and they are all individually named in order to resemble siblings.
  • Zig Zagged: ????
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: "But he signed a contract with us for the entire season! You can't just kill him off like that! Find a way to put him back in!"
  • Lampshaded: "Ah, you must be Alex's twin brother. Nice to meet you. I guess there's no need to tell you that He Didn't Make It."
  • Invoked: Bob decides to replace Alex as part of The Team.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Hearing about Alex's death, Bob blows town to avoid associating with whatever business Alex was in. He is never seen or mentioned again.
  • Discussed:
    • "He's Dead, Jim." "Check his family records for any unaccounted-for twin siblings."
    • "Sir, I know what you are thinking but if Alex did have a twin, don't you think he'd tell us?"
  • Conversed: "Why did they bother killing Alex if they were just going to bring Bob in to replace him?" "Alex was a main character. Duh! At least they didn't pull out a Disney Death."
  • Implied: Alex dies, and a character resembling him starts appearing in his place. The others simply refer to him as "Not Alex".
  • Deconstructed:
    • Alex's friends find Bob whose personality is nothing like Alex's, and an attempt to substitute him with Bob ends badly.
    • Alex died in a way that was noble and deeply affecting, so the audience views the attempt to "bring him back" in the form of Bob as a cheap trick which sullies their memory of the character.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Alex's friends find Bob whose personality is nothing like Alex's but he learns to do what Alex did in the group and they learn to like him for what he is.
    • Alex was a popular character, so most fans think it was a mistake to kill him off. As a result, they are thankful that Bob was introduced to fill Alex's role.
  • Played For Laughs: Though physically identical, Bob is nothing like Alex, forcing the main cast to go to ridiculous lengths to cover for his mistakes and/or explain his changed personality to those who knew Alex well.
  • Played For Drama: Alex's girlfriend cannot accept Bob but is forced to appear together with him to maintain the secret of Alex's death.

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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PlayingWith/BackUpTwin