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Film / The Parent Trap (1998)

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"His and Hers kids. No offense, Mom, but this arrangement really sucks."
Hallie Parker

The Parent Trap is a 1998 Disney live-action film starring Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson, and a young Lindsay Lohan in her feature film debut.

Twin sisters Hallie and Annie have been separated nearly at birth when their parents, Nick and Elizabeth, divorced. The year their father is considering remarrying, the sisters meet each other at summer camp. On meeting, they plot to get their parents back together, a plot that involves each pretending to be the other. Hilarity Ensues.

It is a remake of the 1961 Disney film The Parent Trap, which is based on a 1949 book, Das doppelte Lottchen.


The Parent Trap provides examples of:

  • '80s Hair: The wedding photo from 1986 shows Elizabeth sporting a thick fringe in the style of the decade.
  • Abbey Road Crossing: A second-long freeze frame as "Here Comes The Sun" plays in the background.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: The parents are more civil towards each other in this adaptation, even bordering on Amicable Exes.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the original book, the father's fiancée is clearly an unsympathetic antagonist, but hardly a villain — she seemed to genuinely like the girls' father (even if attracted to his fame as well), wanted to have her own children with him and only planned to get rid of his daughter (by sending her to boarding school) after the latter came to her house to openly object to their marriage. The fiancée didn't actually get to do anything villainous. In the movie she's portrayed as Child Hater and Gold Digger (in the original, she's in fact much richer than her would-be husband) who Would Hurt a Child.
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  • Adaptation Expansion: The original movie ended with the parents falling back in love immediately after the evil fiancée is seen off. In the remake, it takes a little longer, with the deal not being sealed until Nick and Hallie follow Elizabeth and Annie home.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Making one of the twins British throws a huge wrench into the main plot. American summer holidays usually last about three months. British students, on the other hand, don't get theirs until July, and only for six weeks. So unless Annie is home-schooled with a very lenient tutor, it's unlikely she'd even be able to go to Camp Walden in the first place (it's mentioned that the girls were at camp for eight weeks). In the original both twins were Americans, so it was no big deal.
  • Adaptational Nationality: The original film had both twins as Americans (though ironically played by a British girl), while the remake makes one twin British.
  • Adults Are Useless: The Marvas are strangely absent for a lot of scenes where their discipline would be required — especially with the stunt where Hallie and friends had their beds put on the cabin roof. There's also a rather suspicious lack of other counsellors around.
  • Always Identical Twins: The girls being identical twins is what allows them to pull the switch off.
  • And Starring: "Introducing Lindsay Lohan".
  • Author Appeal: As in many Nancy Meyers movies, the setting is California. It's notable because in the original film, the story alternated between Boston and California — and Boston is replaced with London in the remake. It also deals with middle-aged people falling in love, as a lot of her films do.
  • Author Avatar: Annie and Hallie were named after the daughters of director Nancy Meyers and producer Chuck Shyer.
  • Bad to the Bone: When one of the girls challenges the other at cards
  • Beta Couple: Martin and Chessy meet and fall in love while helping Hallie and Annie to reunite Nick and Elizabeth.
  • Big Eater: Hallie, but not Annie. This, (along with Sammy the dog barking and growling at "Hallie") makes Chessy realize the truth.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Annie takes news of her father remarrying so harshly, she rants in French. Elizabeth is also seen speaking French in a phone call just before Hallie reveals her identity to her.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The soon-to-be-step-mom for Hallie.
  • Blatant Lies: The twins convince Meredith that there are mountain lions in the area where they are camping (there aren't) and that the best way to keep them away is to loudly tap two sticks together.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Elizabeth and Meredith act as the blondes, depending on the scene. Chessy is the brunette, while the twins are the redheads.
  • Bonding Over Missing Parents: Leads to Annie and Hallie realizing that each is living with the other's missing parent and they're sisters.
  • Book-Ends: As part of Alan Silvestri's score, short, dramatic instrumentals of "Let's get together, yeah, yeah, yeah," the song from the original movie, accompany both the opening Walt Disney Pictures logo and the last few seconds of the end credits.
  • Bowdlerise: Certain scenes in the film have been known to get removed in television airings and even some countries' cinema releases. In particular, the scene where Hallie gives Annie an amateur ear-piercing with improvised tools (risky behavior that children might imitate) and the scene where Hallie demonstrates her knowledge of wine (young child drinking alcohol) are often judged inappropriate for a children's film.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: When Chessy welcomes Annie!Hallie home, Chessy asks her if she'd like to eat lunch after upacking, before unpacking, or — to Annie's surprise — while unpacking.
  • Britain is Only London: Justified since Elizabeth is a successful fashion designer and would naturally be based in London.
  • British Stuffiness: One of the twins is American and the other is British. Guess which is the proper one and which is the spunky one. On the other hand, Annie is an outdoorsy girl too who has no problem camping — in stark contrast to Meredith.
  • Bucket Booby-Trap: As part of the prank war at camp.
  • Camp Straight: Martin, Elizabeth's butler, gives fashion advice, dons an all-leather biker ensemble, wears a Speedo to the pool, and gets together with Chessie mid-film.
  • Casting Gag: Vicki, Meredith's mother, is played by Joanna Barnes, who played Meredith's counterpart in the 1961 film.
  • Celeb Crush: Hallie laments that a gust of wind and splash of rainwater damage her photo of "the beautiful Leonardo DiCaprio."
  • Chekhov's Skill: During the poker game, Hallie mimics Annie's voice. This also acts as Foreshadowing that she's got a knack for imitating voices.
  • Child Hater: Meredith.
  • City Mouse: Meredith, who's really out of her element on the family camping trip.
  • Comedy of Remarriage: To a large extent, due to Disneyfication.
  • Cool Old Guy: The grandfather. To the characters who need it the most, he's supportive and easy to talk to. He ensures others get the support and space they need, and it's partly because of this that things turn out all right in the end, particularly because Grandfather takes it upon himself to get to the bottom of things.
  • Coordinated Clothes: The twins wear matching outfits several times, sometimes to confuse the others about which twin is which. When the girls refuse to be separated and tell their parents which of them is which, they wear matching outfits in different colors, reflecting a combination of both their tastes.
  • Costume-Test Montage: The wedding dress shoot that Hallie (as Annie) gets to watch.
  • Country Mouse, City Mouse: Hallie is the Country Mouse coming from a vast vineyard in Northern California while Annie is the City Mouse coming from downtown London. Played with, though, in that Annie adjusts very well to camping in the forest. Meredith however is much more of a City Mouse, coming directly from San Francisco.
  • Disappeared Dad: Annie has been growing up without a father.
  • Disneyfication: The story in the original book was far more serious — the father was distant, the mother was a wreck, and one twin falls ill.
  • Disposable Fiancée: Meredith is, unusually for the female version of this trope, the kind who can be discarded without regret after being revealed to have been Evil All Along.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Hallie manages to very much overreact and initiate all the fights.
  • The Ditz: Both Marvas are quite bubble brained.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: The twins actively invoke this. A line of dialogue notes that neither parent has ever come close to remarrying.
  • Don't Split Us Up: The twins' plan is to get their parents back together so they can be together as well.
  • Double Vision: Used in places to have the twins appear simultaneously and interact.
  • Escalating War: The twins start off hostile to each other, and a prank war ensues. This results in them getting put in the Isolation Cabin and being forced to spend time together.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Meredith is established as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing when Annie overhears her lying to a pastor, preventing Nick from taking part in a charity event.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog:
    • Hallie's dog barks at Meredith in the hotel.
    • Annie isn't exactly evil, but Hallie's dog still figured out that she's an impostor much earlier than the father and the maid do.
  • Excuse Me While I Multitask: During the fencing match at camp, one of the sisters leans against a tree and yawns while she parries the attacks.
  • Fake Static: Hallie does this to Annie when she is unwilling to quickly bring their mother to America so the twins can be switched back.
  • Feet-First Introduction: Done with Annie, to delay the revelation that she looks exactly like Hallie.
  • Fiery Redhead: Both Annie and Hallie, especially at camp.
  • First Father Wins: Gender Flipped. Liz gets back the guy, while the Gold Digger runs off in defeat.
  • Foreign-Language Tirade: Annie rants in French when she discovers Nick and Meredith are engaged. As she's pretending to be Hallie at this point, she has to claim she learned it at camp.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Elizabeth and Nick met while on an ocean cruise, and married while they were still on it. Judging by the end of the film, they don't spend too much time waiting the second time either.
  • From the Mouths of Babes:
    Annie as Hallie: I don't mean to be jerky when you're trying to be all mushy and everything, but I know what mystery my dad sees in you.
    Meredith: You do?
    Annie as Hallie: You're young and beautiful and sexy and, hey, the guy's only human. But if you ask me, marriage is supposed to be based on something more than just sex, right?
    • For that matter, both the twins are quite eloquent for eleven-year-olds throughout the movie; it's just that this is the only time adult subject matter gets this treatment.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: After Elizabeth finds out Nick didn't know she was coming to the hotel, she storms down the corridor and yells out "Hallie Parker!" — and both twins answer.
  • Gilligan Cut: After Elizabeth learns she has to get involved in switching Hallie and Annie back.
    Elizabeth: (to Hallie) You're not to worry, okay?
    Elizabeth: (to Martin) I'm sorry! I can't handle this!
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: The blurb describes Annie as a "fair rose from London" and she is the more proper of the twins. She's still an avid fencer and is happy to go hiking in the mountains on a camping trip.
  • Gold Digger: Nick's young, opportunistic fiancée Meredith, who is only interested in Nick's money.
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: When Annie loses the poker game, she has to strip off and jump into the lake. Naturally, Hallie and her cabinmates steal her clothes afterwards.
  • "Good Luck" Gesture: They cross fingers (for luck) on both hands, with arms crossed (symbolizing the girls' Twin Switch).
  • Good-Times Montage: Hallie partakes in this when exploring London with either Martin or Elizabeth.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: By the time it looks like the plan has failed and the family parts, it's pouring down rain, both in California when Elizabeth and Annie leave and in London when they arrive. The rain lets up when they arrive home in London, where Nick and Hallie are waiting for them, having beat them by taking the Concorde.
  • Grounded Forever: "We've been grounded till the end of the century." Which would have been much more threatening if the movie wasn't released in the Summer of 1998, but then again, "grounded till the end of the century" was most likely an exaggeration.
  • Guess Who I'm Marrying?: The twins discover their father about to marry a new woman who's nasty.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Elizabeth has short hair in the present but long hair in the wedding photo from eleven years ago.
  • Hard-Work Montage: The twins use this to give each other information and mannerisms they'll need to remember when visiting the other parent.
  • Hate at First Sight: Hallie and Annie develop a rivalry from the moment they first see each other and see they look exactly alike. Said rivalry goes away when they're isolated, and even before they find out they're twins, they quickly become friends.
  • Heavy Sleeper:
    • Annie and her bunkmates. The girls from Hallie's cabin booby trap Annie's cabin while Annie and her cabinmates are asleep. This includes pouring honey on one girl and shaving cream on another, stringing the entire cabin, placing water balloons to fall on the girls, and placing feathers on the top of the ceiling fan so that they would float down when the fan was turned on. The fan was also booby trapped to pull on a certain string. That had to take hours and involve ladders moving around the cabin.
    • Justified with Meredith on the camping trip. She stated she was going to take a sleeping pill.
  • Hideous Hangover Cure: Elizabeth panicked during her flight to California and drank everything in sight, so this was necessary.
  • His and Hers: Discussed trope. Once they discover each other, neither twin is happy that in the original divorce, the twins were treated as "his and hers", as if they were a set of matched towels.
    Hallie: His and Hers kids. No offense, mom, but this arrangement totally sucks.
  • Hooked Up Afterwards: In the final act, Martin (the mother's butler) and Chessy (the father's nanny/maid) disappear for a picnic together. Then, during the parents' wedding, Martin proposes to Chessy, as shown via snapshots during the end credits.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: The father toward his gold digger fiancée. She is extremely rude — to not only the girls, but also his housekeeper.
  • How's Your British Accent?: When the British-raised Annie is faking Hallie's American accent, it's Lindsay Lohan dropping back into her natural accent.
  • Humiliating Wager: The loser of Annie and Hallie's poker game is required to jump naked into the lake at night. Annie emerges only to find that Hallie and her friends have taken her clothes with them.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: The twins start off easily identifiable by their hairstyles, clothing and accents. Throughout the course of their time at camp, they alter their appearances so that they are identical. The only way to tell them apart in the third act is by the accents, and they're able to fake those convincingly enough that not even the girls' father can be completely sure he knows which is which.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: Nick Parker. Annie lampshades this.
  • Important Haircut: Hallie gives one to Annie.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Martin when Hallie reveals herself to Elizabeth.
  • Info Dump: For everyone who is involved in the main plot.
  • Intimate Open Shirt: Meredith suggests Nick wear his shirt with three buttons undone.
    Meredith: I like it when I can see a little chest hair. (cue Sexophone)
  • Intoxication Ensues: Elizabeth may not drink much, but she's a total lightweight.
    Annie: She's never had more than one glass of wine in her entire life, and she chooses today to show up totally zonked!
  • It's a Small World After All: Twin sisters, separated and living on different continents, end up at the same camp one summer. This gets lampshaded more than once.
  • It Tastes Like Feet: The bartender's Hideous Hangover Cure tastes and looks like tar.
  • The Jeeves: Martin.
  • Keep It Foreign: In the French dub, Annie's French-language tirade is changed to Spanish.
  • Kids Play Matchmaker: The sisters initially just want to get to know their respective other parent. Then they decide to try getting them back together.
  • Kindly Housekeeper: Chessy, when she discovers the switch, wants to coddle Annie and tries to cook everything in the kitchen for her.
  • Now You Tell Me: A lot of characters find things out the hard way.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The last line of dialogue in the film is Hallie exclaiming, "We actually did it!"
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Elizabeth is the softer and nurturing Light Feminine, while Meredith is the harsher and brasher Dark Feminine. Notably, Elizabeth only wears dark colours once in the film (when she's at dinner with Nick) and likewise Meredith with white (when she first meets Annie).
  • Little Black Dress:
    • Martin, Elizabeth's butler and friend, suggests she take one on the trip to see Nick and switch the girls back. She's actually wearing it when they all go out to dinner.
    • Meredith is also wearing one when Nick meets her parents at the hotel, though she covers it with a coat later in the day.
  • Logo Joke: The Walt Disney Pictures logo is accompanied by an orchestral version of an excerpt from "Let's Get Together" from the original movie.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: The tomboyish twin has shorter hair than the girly girl.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Hallie and Annie.
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: Done subtly. Elizabeth — the wholesome mother — is given a more earthy look, with soft makeup and modest clothes. Meredith — the vampy evil girlfriend — is done up in sexier clothes, with more fashionable hair and makeup. Further underlining things is the colours they wear in the first scene they appear in together — Elizabeth in white and Meredith in black.
  • The Magic Poker Equation: When Annie and Hallie play poker, Annie gets straight in diamonds while Hallie gets a royal flush.
  • Man in a Bikini: Elizabeth and the girls are appalled to see Martin dressed in his tiny, tight swim trunks. Chessy, on the other hand...
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Tomboyish nanny Chessie and sensitive butler Martin.
  • Meal Ticket: Nick for Meredith.
  • Missing Mom: Hallie has been growing up without a mother.
  • Mood Whiplash: Meredith's attempts to be nice go out the window as soon as Annie insinuates she wants to marry Nick for his money. She actually snaps "Okay, puss!" — establishing herself as a villain.
  • Musical Nod: A few sentences from "Let's Get Together" song (made famous in the Hayley Mills version) are hummed/spoken by Hallie as she walks to the elevators in the hotel.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Meredith's mother is not only named Vicki, the name of Meredith's equivalent in the original movie, but played by the same actress, Joanna Barnes.
    • Mildred, Annie's pretend friend who is a cover for Hallie, is a possible reference to Hayley Mills.
    • Meredith talks on the phone to a Reverend Moseby, a character from the original film.
    • The camp counselors have the last name Kulp, as a tribute to Nancy Kulp, who played the younger counselor in the 1961 version.
    • When caught on the phone, Annie claims she is speaking with "Mildred Plotka". This is a double-barrelled reference, to both the 1961 movie and to Carole Lombard's character in the 1934 film Twentieth Century.
    • The hotel where everyone meets up, The Stafford, is named for a boy Susan spoke to during the camp dance in the original.
  • Nice to the Waiter:
    • Chessy and Martin are like family to their respective employers, which shows that they are good people.
    • Meredith treats Chessy like a dog who should be summoned with a bell, which is a sign of her poor character.
    • Chessy is even treated nicely by Elizabeth, despite being intoxicated at the time of their meeting again after years apart.
      Chessy: [upon seeing Elizabeth after so many years] Hi, you probably don't remember me. I...
      Elizabeth: [gives her a kiss on the cheek] Chessy!
      Chessy: I knew I always liked her.
  • Nom de Mom: Annie James and Hallie Parker have different surnames because Annie was raised with their mom's surname and Hallie with their dad's.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Hallie, an energetic eleven-year-old, is shown running several minutes' distance through the streets of London in a series of Jump Cuts to reach a phone booth away from the house to make her phone call. Her elderly grandfather shows up outside the phone booth less than a minute later, and he's not even breathing hard.
  • Off to Boarding School: What would have happened if Elizabeth married Nick.
  • Old Man Marrying a Child: Used as an indirect accusation, delivered with Sugary Malice. When Nick tells his daughter that Meredith is about to become part of the family, she surely understands right away that he's talking about marriage. However, she pretends to innocently misunderstand him and get all ecstatic about how he's getting one more daughter by adopting her. Annie (pretending to be Hallie) immediately asks Meredith her age and points out that she's only fifteen years older.
  • One-Note Cook: Pasta is the only thing Nick knows how to make.
  • One True Pairing: Established in-universe, between Elizabeth James and Nick Parker — the daughters' reason for the trap.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Happens to both Hallie and Annie, more often to whoever has a British accent at the moment. Often it's the In-Character version of the trope. Lindsay Lohan had to play four accents — American, British, American pretending to be British, and British pretending to be American. The latter two had accents slipping. Lohan does a remarkable job in the scene at the hotel where she's basically playing four characters at once — Hallie, Annie, Hallie pretending to be Annie and Annie pretending to be Hallie. She switches up the accents just enough to do exactly what Hallie and Annie were after (confuse the heck out of Mom and Dad). Annie's accent slipping into American would probably be justified by spending eight weeks at an American camp with mostly American girls.
  • Parent Service: Meredith's outfits are usually tight, flattering and showing plenty of leg.
  • Parental Substitute: Chessy acted like a second mother to Hallie and Martin was a male figure to Annie. It makes sense, seeing as how they were certain that the girls would never meet their other parent (and kept each girl from knowing about her other parent).
  • Parents as People: Nick and Elizabeth are shown as complicated people who admit they didn't make the best decision in splitting the girls up during their divorce.
  • Parents Know Their Children: Sort of — the father looks each twin in the eye and declares which one is Hallie; however, it's not made clear if he's right, since the twins keep playing up the charade and make him question his own judgement.
  • Parent with New Paramour: The father has just started dating a new girlfriend who happens to be a Gold Digger.
  • Pet Homosexual: Meredith's sassy gay assistant: "Ooh, ice woman!"
  • Photo Montage: The end credits show Nick and Elizabeth's second wedding, with Martin proposing to Chessy.
  • Picky Eater: Meredith refuses to eat the freshly caught trout that Nick and the girls enjoy on the camping trip.
  • Plot Allergy: We know Annie and Hallie have more in common than their appearances when they separately reveal to Marva Sr. that they are allergic to strawberries.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Annie is calm, reserved, and rather uptight while Hallie is relaxed, loud, outgoing, and a Big Eater.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure: Nick tells the twins to go easy on Meredith since she isn't accustomed to camping and hiking; he tells them she's not Annie Oakley. Annie responds with "Who's Annie Oakley?"
  • The Remake: Of the 1961 film.
  • Remake Cameo: Joanna Barnes played Vicki Robinson (the fiancée) in the 1961 version and Vicki Blake (the fiancée's mother) in the 1998 version.
  • The Reveal: In-universe, several times: first Hallie and Annie to each other (twice), then Annie to Chessy, then Hallie to her grandfather, then Hallie to her mother. And then Elizabeth dealing with the additional reveal of Nick's engagement to Meredith.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Elizabeth is getting emotional about the thought of meeting Nick for the first time after so many years, she spouts off several of these to Martin—as well as insisting he not to answer any of them.
  • Rich Bitch: Meredith. It may be more accurate to call her an aspiring Rich Bitch, as her Gold Digger plot falls through and so she never actually qualifies for the rich part.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Nick falls in love with another woman and fails to notice that the target of his affections is a Gold Digger who doesn't care about him or his daughters.
  • Riddle for the Ages:
    • How did Annie get three sets of beds and dressers out of a cabin and onto the roof without any counselors noticing?
  • Rule of Pool: A pool serves as an aid to dramatic emphasis. The father falls into a nearby pool when he sees his ex-wife from afar.
  • Sand In My Eyes: Elizabeth is pleased that Nick still remembers the wine from their first wedding.
  • Scatter Brained Senior: Marva Sr, though with a bit of lampshade hanging. She believes she's been talking to the same girl when she first meets both Annie and Hallie.
    "First day of camp, you'll have to excuse the old girl."
  • Scenery Porn:
    • Hallie arriving in London is, of course, an opportunity for plenty of shots of the various landmarks.
    • To a lesser degree, Annie arriving in California.
  • Scream Discretion Shot:
    • When Hallie pierces Annie's ears.
    • When the girls drag Meredith's mattress into a lake.
  • Screw Your Ultimatum!: Meredith throws an ultimatum at Nick, demanding that he chooses between his daughters and herself. Nick chooses the twins in a heartbeat.
  • Secret Handshake: Annie and Martin have a ridiculously complex secret handshake, which Hallie has to learn.
  • Separated at Birth: The twins were separated at some point when they were both babies.
  • Servile Snarker: Nick's housekeeper, Chessy, and Elizabeth's butler, Martin. They also become attracted to each other at first sight and end up being the Beta Couple.
  • Setting Update: Both films move the setting to contemporary America (from 1940s Germany in the book, and 1960s (then-contemporary) America in the earlier film).
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Nick has a reaction like this when Elizabeth gets dressed up for the dinner on the ship, because he's only seen her half hungover. Of course, the audience has seen her looking flawless before.
  • She's Got Legs: Discussed about both Elizabeth and Meredith:
    • Martin suggests a Little Black Dress for Elizabeth in light of her having good legs.
    • A very drunk ("totally zonked!") Elizabeth attempts to get out of the cab by trying to put her foot in Martin's hand, showing some serious leg.
      Martin: Other end, Madam.
    • After seeing Nick in the elevator, his arms wrapped around a young lady, Elizabeth refers to her as "leggy".
  • Shipper on Deck: Chessy and Martin are on board with the twins' plan and help them try to get the parents back together.
  • Shout-Out:
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Nick to Elizabeth as they get back together at the end.
  • Sibling Team: Once the girls discover they're sisters.
  • Skinny Dipping: Hallie and Annie play a hand of Five Card Poker at summer camp, with the loser to skinny dip while the whole cabin watches. Hallie's Royal Flush beats Annie's Straight Flush. They steal Annie's clothes.
  • Solomon Divorce: The parents of a pair of infant twin girls each take one with them after they divorce, and the children only find out about it after meeting each other by chance when they're adolescents.
  • Sore Loser: When Annie defeats Hallie in fencing and accidentally pushes her in some water, Hallie pulls Annie into the water when Annie tries to help her up.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike:
    • One of the first signs that the girls' similarities run deeper than usual is the fact that both of them like to eat Oreos topped with peanut butter, which everybody else seems to find disgusting.
    • More so because both Oreos and peanut butter are far less commonly sold in Britain than they are in America. So the fact that the English-raised Annie likes that particular combination would be rather unusual.
  • Sword Fight: Hallie and Annie's first meeting is through an absurdly over-the-top "fencing match" at camp. The girls have fencing masks on as a way to save on special effects, to cover the faces of the stunt people, and for the big reveal that they both look alike when they take the masks off and face each other.
  • Symbolically Broken Object: The girls each have half of a torn photo of their parents.
  • The Talk: Meredith tries to give it to Annie!Hallie, but she's more knowledgeable about it than she realises.
  • Tar and Feathers: The last event in the Escalating War between the twins involves this being done with chocolate syrup.
  • Tell Me About My Father: Played with. It's actually Hallie-posing-as-Annie who asks, so she already knows all about her father, and she's really interested what her mother is willing to say about him. The twins actually split the job, deciding that one should find out how their parents met while the other learns why they broke up.
  • Tempting Fate: Annie waking up at the cabin disaster dodges several water balloons. "Gosh, she didn't get me1" and smiles with satisfaction. Then a HUGE water balloon falls on her, soaking her.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The determined American, Hallie Parker, and the proper Brit, Annie James.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Hallie is sporty, outdoorsy and sassy, but also really likes her funky nail polish and accessories.
  • True Blue Femininity: Annie, the more graceful and feminine of the twins, wears a blue dress for the dinner with the parents.
  • Twin Switch: The girls swap places to get to know their parents. Later they do the same just to fool them.
  • Two Halves Make a Plot: Annie and Hallie each have half of the same picture, and it's the only picture they have of their respective long-lost parents. This is what makes them realize they are twins.
  • T-Word Euphemism: Played with.
    Hallie: Doesn't designing all of these wedding gowns ever make you think about the f-word?
    Elizabeth: The f-word?!
    Hallie: My father.
    Elizabeth: Oh, that f-word...
  • The Vamp: Meredith.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Meredith has one after she's pranked by the twins and dumped by Nick in quick succession.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Cheesy asked herself why Nick is dating Meredith. It's not like Nick is ugly, but he's an average Joe and isn't very witty or a "suave, debonair Bachelor of-the-Month type."
  • Wicked Stepmother: Thankfully averted with Meredith. She makes it clear that she has no intention of being a maternal figure to Annie and Hallie. She gets annoyed with Annie/"Hallie" for figuring out that she wants to marry Nick for his money and plans to ship her away after they get married. She finally snaps during the camping trip after the girls' numerous pranks and demands that Nick choose between her and his daughters.
  • Wine Is Classy: Subverted in that Nick is more of a Good Ol' Boy with some decidedly slobby habits.
  • Wise Beyond Her Years: Annie is definitely more savvy than her eleven years would lead one to believe. She guesses right away that Meredith is a Gold Digger. To be fair, Chessy suggests it while she and Annie are unpacking, before Annie actually meets Meredith.
  • Wolf Whistle: After losing a bet to Hallie, Annie has to go skinny-dipping while the other girls watch and heckle. One of the spectators wolf-whistles at her.
  • Women Are Wiser: Chessy figures out very quickly that something is different with "Hallie". Her appetite has changed significantly, Sammy barks threateningly at her, and her language is more proper. She almost tells "Hallie" about Annie, leading to Annie confiding in Chessy that she is Annie.
  • You Are Grounded: After the girls scare Meredith off.
  • You Talkin' to Me?: Parodied. When Hallie is addressed by Meredith (who she had never seen yet), she responds "You talkin' to me?" and gets an answer: "What are you, Robert De Niro? Yes, I'm talking to you."
  • Youthful Freckles: Annie and Hallie have these, Lindsay Lohan's own.
  • Zany Scheme: The entire Twin Switch scheme is intended to lure the twins' parents into getting back together in both the physical and marital sense.


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