The most famous show to feature a set of twins not named Mary-Kate and Ashley (at least, until The Suite Life of Zack and Cody came along), Sister Sister features Tia and Tamera Mowry as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell, identical twins separated at birth and reunited 14 years later in a Detroit shopping mall. Their adoptive parents, Lisa (Jackee Harry of 227 fame) and Ray (Tim Reid, Venus Flytrap from WKRP), decide that for the good of the kids they should move in together. Since Ray is a successful limousine entrepreneur and Lisa is a down-on-her-luck fashion designer, they naturally move into Ray's place for the sake of keeping the two girls together.The girls themselves are, of course, two sides of the same coin: Tia is a studious girl, somewhat shy and bookish. Tamera is a wild and crazy girl, prone to wild displays of emotion. Each one is quite the opposite of her adoptive parent: Tia under wacky Lisa, and Tamera under prudish Ray.A frequent Drop-In Character was Ray's next-door neighbor Roger Evans (actor/R&B singer Marques Houston), who of course had a mad crush on both girls, and wasn't afraid to show it. He was frequently told, "Go home, Roger!" whenever someone was annoyed with him (which was practically all the time).For the first four seasons, the girls experienced wacky hijinks and twin switches galore. Starting in the fifth season, the show was re-tooled to separate the girls more: Each got her own style, Tia stopped wearing a fake mole to look exactly identical to Tamera, etc. The girls also got boyfriends that season: Tia had Tyreke (RonReaco Lee), while Tamera took Jordan (Deon Richmond).The show ran for six seasons, the first two on ABC, the rest on The WB. The show lives on in perpetual reruns on ABC Family and BET, and will be having it's 3rd rerun home on The Hub in March 2014.
This show provides examples of:
Actor Allusion: Alexis Fields' character making light of the fact that she is Kim "Tootie" Fields' younger sister.
In one episode Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell guest star: Kenan plays a schemer who schmoozes a lot, while Kel plays his partner in crime who's an enormous ham. They're basically reprising their roles from Kenan & Kel, with the exception that their characters here are antagonists.
Actually That's My Assistant: "Child's Play": The girls hire an SAT tutor, and the man who knocks on their door is much older than they expected. He says he's just the district coordinator, and introduces them to T.J. Henderson...who's much younger than thay expected.
All Work vs. All Play: Tia is all work; Tamera is all play. Their adoptive parents are reversed: Ray is all work, Lisa is all play.
Alpha Bitch: Cruelly snobbish rich-girl Rhonda all throughout in season three, who was always around any time the plot called for the girls to have a rival. Her last appearance early season four reveals she had a freak growth spurt and now looks like a man in a wig (as skillfully played by a man in a wig).
Bowdlerise: Reruns of the show seem to get put on networks that edit it as if it were The Sopranos or Jerry Springer. During its run on the Disney Channel, even if you'd never seen the original show, the edits were extremely obvious, often times stepping on lines (besides suggestive material, Disney's airings of Sister, Sister – which were also the versions seen on ABC Family, an odd situation considering that the Disney Channel sister network aired Boy Meets World reruns free of content edits, something that did not occur on Disney – even removed certain product plugs such as a season three episode that included a reference to rival Nickelodeon as well as a reference to a terrorist group accused of stealing a love statue Roger accidentally stole in "Field Trip" and a joke in which Tamera informs Tia how bad an idea saying "this is the bomb" on an airplane is in "It's My Party"). Up (which began carrying the show when it was still the Gospel Music Channel) also mutes quite a bit of what the channel considers "inappropriate" dialogue, as if it was ClusterFBombs, including small-time insults. "Shut up" is an oft-muted phrase for example, and Roger's innuendo-laden comeons are silenced.
Averted with the show's airings in broadcast syndication, on BET/Centric and on the now-defunct Style Network.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: The girls often speak directly to the viewers providing recaps and describing events that take place off screen in the early seasons. It gets dropped in the later seasons.
Demoted to Extra: Roger was seen far less often in Season 5. Marques Houston was part of development for a new show (which never got picked up), but he also took time off because of his mother being diagnosed with cancer.
Mistaken For An Impostor: Roger claims to know the lead singer of Immature and can get them to play a school party. When he can't get the band, he impersonates Batman (the lead singer)...badly. Then the real Batman shows up (played by Marques HoustonAs Himself)...and everyone naturally thinks he's Roger.
Opinion Changing Dream: The episode "I Had A Dream" (1998) features one of the sisters ridiculing the deeds of her African-American ancestors and is reluctant to carry on with her own miserable life. In her dream she is visited by several historical Afro-American characters who all claim they want to give up and do something else. She convinces them to do otherwise and do the historical deed that they are famous for. When she wakes up she respects her ancestors.
Platonic Life Partners: Lisa and Ray. They clash A LOT, but they're (usually) good at working together to raise their daughters and eventually form a friendship.
Polar Opposite Twins: Of course, it's even highlighted in the theme song. Tia is the smart one; Tamera's the party girl. Each girl is the opposite of the parent that raised her: Tia by Lisa, Tamera by Ray.
Put on a Bus: Roger at the end of Season 5 following The Twins Graduation.
Right Through the Wall: Lisa's mother doesn't approve of her living with Ray while they're not married, so she lies and says they are - then fakes sex noises at the wall when she stays with them, so she believes they really are newlyweds.
Separated at Birth: In the series premiere we get a small bit of dialogue from Ray and Lisa that the girls were purposely separated by their orphanage. It was only pure luck that they managed to find each other.
Technology Marches On: One episode featured the twins getting excited over getting their own separate phone line for their room, as it meant they could call whoever they wanted and have their own answering machine message. Try explaining the importance of that to the generation that has cell phones.
Similarly, cell phones would've made the problem in "Mo' Credit, Mo' Problems" a heck of a lot easier...and safer.