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Obligatory Large Family Twins

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In a family with many children, there will inevitably be one set of twins

This trope has been Nuked
Proposed By:
Pichu-kun on Aug 2nd 2017 at 4:15:58 PM
Last Edited By:
Monolaf317 on Sep 26th 2017 at 8:56:56 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

In fiction, a family that has many children will most likely have at least one set of twins (or possibly even triplets).

This trope can be used to increase the size of the family while not having huge age gaps between siblings. It also helps make make siblings in a large family more distinguishable. By having two be twins, the writer makes it easier for themself by grouping two into a set who can either share a personality or stand out via contrast.


Examples:

Anime & Manga

  • Brock from Pokmon is the oldest of ten siblings. The youngest two, a boy and a girl, are twins.
  • Moko, best friend to Skip Beat! protagonist Kyoko, is part of huge, multi-generational family. note  Of her 7 younger siblings, there is one confirmed set of twins. Her three older siblings (aged 24, 22, and 19) all have children as well and live at home with Moko's parents. Though not confirmed by the author, the style in which some of Moko's nephews are drawn makes it possible that her older sister has a set of twins and that her eldest brother's two children are twins.

Films — Animation

Films — Live Action

  • Of the Tom and Kate Barker's twelve children in the film Cheaper by the Dozen, there are two sets of twins - seven year old fraternal twins Jessica and Kim, and five year old identical twins Kyle and Nigel. note 

Literature

  • The Weasley's from Harry Potter consists of seven children. Fred and George are the twins.
  • In Ten Kids No Pets and the sequel Eleven Kids One Summer, the family has the number of kids indicated in the titles. Among the kids, Faustine and Gardenia are twins.
  • The Silmarillion: Feanor and Nerdanel have seven sons, two of which are the twins Amrod and Amras.

Live-Action TV

  • The Bluth family from Arrested Development has two sets of twins: brother and sister Michael and Lindsey and brothers George and Oscar. (George is Michael's and Lindsey's father.) However, the third season finale reveals that Lindsey is actually adopted and three years older than she thinks.
  • 7th Heaven: Eric and Annie Camden start the series with five kids; they gain the twins Sam and David in the third season.

Toys

  • Barbie: Out of Barbie's several siblings, she has a set of twins: Todd and either his sister Tutti (who has been Exiled From Canon) or Stacie (who has replaced Tutti).

Video Games

  • In Dream Daddy, almost every family has only one child. Both exceptions to the rule have both a set of twins and other kids besides: Joseph's family has a set of Half-Identical Twins and two other sons, and Craig's family has twin girls and a baby.

Webcomics

  • In Precocious Tiffany is the oldest of five siblings, the two youngest are identical twins whom nobody but (allegedly) their mother can tell apart.

Western Animation


Feedback: 28 replies

Aug 2nd 2017 at 5:02:35 PM

Real Life: Probability and biology makes this sorta likely after a certain point?

From Wikipedia:

The most common kind of multiple birth among humans, occur in about 1 out of every 80 pregnancies.

And, a large family may be due to a frequency of twins+...

This is a subtrope of Massively Numbered Siblings right? 'Cause that means at least 5 children, And so Pinkie Pie doesn't count...

Aug 2nd 2017 at 5:45:48 PM

^ She has a large family for the series though. Most ponies only have one sibling, if at that.

Aug 2nd 2017 at 7:06:36 PM

  • In Dream Daddy, almost every family has only one child. Both exceptions to the rule have both a set of twins and other kids besides: Joseph's family has a set of Half Identical Twins and two other sons, and Craig's family has twin girls and a baby.

Aug 2nd 2017 at 7:16:42 PM

Live Action Television

  • The Bluth family from Arrested Development has two sets of twins: brother and sister Michael and Lindsey and brothers George and Oscar. (George is Michael's and Lindsey's father.) However, the third season finale reveals that Lindsey is actually adopted and three years older than she thinks.

Aug 3rd 2017 at 9:27:50 AM

It's been a while since I took a probability/ statistics course, but I'm not so sure that "with each pregnancy the chances of having multiple births increases." Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the chances of having a multiple birth remain the same for each successive pregnancy unless there's some intervening factor (like the use of fertility drugs? or else a predisposition towards twins, or a large span of time between pregnancies). Maybe that sentence should be changed in the description?

Anime and Manga

  • Moko, best friend to Skip Beat protagonist Kyoko, is part of huge, multi-generational family. note  Of her 7 younger siblings, there is one confirmed set of twins. Her three older siblings (aged 24, 22, and 19) all have children as well and live at home with Moko's parents. Though not confirmed by the author, the style in which some of Moko's nephews are drawn makes it possible that her older sister has a set of twins and that her eldest brother's two children are twins.

Aug 3rd 2017 at 10:09:31 AM

^ How about age in general? ... Perhaps he means "With every birth, the chance that a family will have an occurrence of multiple births increases, as each birth has a chance to be a multiple birth, and those chances stack up."

Or something.

Aug 3rd 2017 at 10:24:39 AM

Literature example:

Aug 3rd 2017 at 11:54:01 AM

On the Classic Disney Short "Casey Strikes Again", a sequel to Casey At The Bat, Casey has nine daughters, enough for a woman's baseball team. They include not just twins but a set of triplets as well.

Aug 3rd 2017 at 2:05:20 PM

I'd avoid using "always" in trope names; better to let the examples show how common the trope is.

Sep 12th 2017 at 2:26:29 PM

The Loud House: Lana and Lola are twins out of the 11 child family.

Storks: Tulip discovers her birth family at the end of the film and there's at least one set of twins in the family as they all rush to give her a group hug.

Aug 3rd 2017 at 2:26:09 PM

Wait... What is the Narrative Meaning or whatever, that makes this a trope, instead of just a pattern?

Aug 4th 2017 at 6:59:02 AM

^ That's what I wonder myself.

Aug 4th 2017 at 2:30:18 PM

Anime and Manga:

  • The youngest of Brock's siblings in the Pokemon anime are twins, one a boy and the other a girl.

Aug 5th 2017 at 9:07:46 AM

I'm confused as to why you didn't add my Dream Daddy entry, when it uses the exact same logic as your My Little Pony entry.

Aug 8th 2017 at 9:25:28 AM

Webcomics

  • In Precocious Tiffany is the oldest of five siblings, the two youngest are identical twins whom nobody but (allegedly) their mother can tell apart.

Aug 8th 2017 at 9:31:00 AM

Wish the title changed a bit. Linking to tropes that have too much words is always a chore.

Something like Obligatory Large Family Twins

Sep 11th 2017 at 8:31:36 AM

AC: Film - Live Action

  • Of the Tom and Kate Barker's twelve children in the film "Cheaper By The Dozen", there are two sets of twins - seven year old fraternal twins Jessica and Kim, and five year old identical twins Kyle and Nigel. note 

Sep 11th 2017 at 10:27:05 AM

It needs a narrative purpose (To...make the family bigger? To make the twins/triplets/whatever-ets "stand out" in a large family because of the circumstance of their multiple pregnancy? To easily lend characterization to the twins when introducing the family because of all the Twin Tropes we have?), otherwise it's just Massive Numbered Siblings with twins and thus, not really worth troping. At best it's a Trope In Aggregate.

Also, including families of three kids might be pushing it — standards of the work or no, by the standards of the very human creators, it's not really that large of a family. See the description on Outnumbered Sibling: "a family of three doesn't make this trope particularly interesting."

Re: "chances of having a multiple birth stack up": Genetics doesn't work that way; each pregnancy is independent from the others. However, there is a link between the age of the woman and her chances of having multiple births — specifically, older women are more likely to have multiple births, probably because of hormonal changes brought on by age.

Literature

  • The Silmarillion: Fëanor and Nerdanel have seven sons, two of which are the twins Amrod and Amras.

Series

  • Seventh Heaven: Eric and Annie Camden start the series with five kids; they gain the twins Sam and David in the third season.
Western Animation
  • The Legend Of Korra: Suyin Beifong has five kids, the youngest of which are the twins Wei and Wing.
  • Kim Possible: Shego has four brothers; the youngest ones are twins.

Sep 11th 2017 at 2:13:33 PM

... Yeah... I'm really unclear. I mean, like, if you have a woman with 9 births, she's more likely than some woman with 3 births, to have multiples, 'cause there's more chances for any of their births to be a multiple.

Sep 11th 2017 at 3:16:40 PM

As far as narrative significance goes, usually when a family has Massive Numbered Siblings it's hard to make all of them distinct and important. By having two be twins, the writer makes it easier for themself by grouping two into a set who can either share a personality or stand out via contrast.

As the OP mentions, it's also a way to have a family with lots of siblings who are all plausibly close in age.

Sep 12th 2017 at 2:25:56 AM

I don't think this is a trope.

Sep 12th 2017 at 5:43:36 PM

I'm liking this trope, since not only will a large family more likely include a set of multiples, but it's also a 'cheap' way to have many children in a family, not just to create the contrast, but potentially to in itself create drama, since they will naturally attract attention, while also taking it from The Hero, who gets ignored because Babies Need Care/Mom is Exhausted.

Sep 12th 2017 at 7:59:31 PM

If each pregnancy has a 1 in 80 chance of being twins, then there's a 6% chance of at least one set of twins in 5 pregnancies, and a 12% chance in 10 pregnancies. Or to put it another way, if Mom gets pregnant 10 times, there's an 88% chance that none of the resulting children will be twins.

That's a long way from expecting large families to include a set of twins just based on the odds.

Sep 13th 2017 at 1:40:03 PM

In The Broons, the family of eleven includes Maw, Paw, Granpaw, Hen, Joe, Maggie, Daphne, Horace, "The Bairn" (Scots for "The Baby") and "The Twins". One is called Eck (short for Alexander) but the other is unnamed and they are referred to In Universe as "The Twins" too.

Sep 25th 2017 at 9:32:50 AM

Yeah, still not seeing the significance.

Sep 25th 2017 at 12:13:23 PM

Pretty sure the Silmarillon does not have a character called Fëanor.

Sep 26th 2017 at 8:17:42 AM

It's kind of a gray area whether this is a trope or not, but I can think of another example:

The Seeker: The seventh son of a seventh son has magical capabilities in this world, and there is a twin in his family. It's his twin brother, no less, though said twin brother was mistakenly kidnapped at birth.

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