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Literature / Professors Zwillinge

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Aren’t they adorable?

Professors Zwillinge (1925-1929) is a series of German children's books by Else Ury.The titular characters, Herbert and Suse (called Bubi and Mädi respectively in the first book) are the children of a professor at the local astronomical observatory. They're Polar Opposite Twins and the books describe their adventures as of age four to their teenage years.Interestingly, they remind one of the Pine twins.


Contains examples of:

  • Aesop Amnesia: Suse has learned multiple times that you're not supposed to take everything to heart and not to be upset at harmless jokes and Herbert's teasing but she always slips back into her old habit of crying over it.
  • All Just a Dream: The chapter "Bubi reist ins Sternenland"
  • An Aesop: Multiple. The first book features a rather questionable one: Girls belong to girlish toys (dolls) and Boys belong to boyish ones.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Suse is the beauty to Inge's brains and Helga's brawn.
  • Big Brother Bully: Herbert,especially in the later books. He makes fun of Suse, pressures her into smoking and treats her worse as they grow up. Partly understandable due to puberty and the twins developing different interests.
    • Big Brother Instinct: In the earlier books, Herbert is shown to have this strongly. Even as Little Bubi he often comforts Mädi and would fight anyone who is mean to his sister, such as Alma.
  • Big Brother Worship: Suse in earlier books. She eventually grows out of it and finds her own identity instead of blindly following him.
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  • Big Eater: Tinchen Grimm. Takes a rather dramatic turn...
  • Bowdlerise: The slang was modernized and references to the first World War have been edited out.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Herbert is the Brooding Boy to Suse‘s Gentle Girl.
  • The Bully: Alma from the second book is this to Suse. It's stated that she doesn't pick on Herbert because she's afraid of him and only picks on the "weaker" ones like Suse.
  • Cheerful Child: Bubi and Mädi
  • Coming-of-Age Story
  • Corporal Punishment: Happens once in "Bubi und Mädi" where it's mentioned that Bubi (Herbert) gets spanked with a switch.
  • The Cutie: Mädi (Suse in the first book) is a naive and sweet little girl who always sticks to her twin brother. Her dolls on the other hand see her as an neglecting "mother" because she prefers to play with Bubi's rocking horse and doesn't care about them.
  • Cute Kitten: Suse can't help it but gush over the cuteness of the kitten in Italy. And she even get's to keep one!
  • Divergent Character Evolution: When Inge and Helga are introduced in "... im Sternenhaus" they are pretty similar: both generally friendly girls who are more mature than Suse and both do well in school. Not to mention that they look identically to the point that Suse thought she'd suffer from double vision when she first sees them. In the following book, "von der Schulbank ins Leben" they've developed completely different personalities: Helga is an arrogant, over-confident jock while Inge is a responsible and mature bookworm. While Inge is still one of the best students in their class, Helga looks down at her sister (and "nerds" in general) and considers tennis to be more important than school and studying, resulting into lower grades.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first book features talking (and lecturing) dolls.
  • Fatal Flaw: Being a know-it-all for Herbert, being overly sensitive for Suse.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Fränzl/Mutti: sanguine
    • Paul/Vati: choleric
    • Bubi/Herbert: melancholic
    • Mädi/Suse: phlegmatic
  • Half-Identical Twins: In "Bubi und Mädi" the twins look identical except for their eye color: Bubi has blue eyes and Mädi's are brown. Taken Up to Eleven after Mädi's ponytail was cut of. In this book the trope is the most prominent and they often get mistaken for each other.
  • Happily Married: The twins' parents
  • Hypocrisy: When Bubi and Mädi play "Merry-go round", Mädi is a pony and Bubi hits her with a "horsewhip". The adults get really mad at him physically hurting his sister although Corporal Punishment has been implied before.
    • Furthermore Herbert is advised whenever he makes fun of Suse saying something ditzy. Their parents on the other hand have are allowed to laugh heartily at their own daughter. They justify it because Herbert is not that much smarter than Suse, so he shouldn't laugh. Mh-hmm...
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Suse‘s ponytail in the first book.
  • In-Series Nickname: Bubi and Mädi for Herbert and Suse. Also, Herbert gets called "Besserwisser" (know-it-all) frequently while Suse's other nicknames are "Fräulein Schüchtern" (Mrs. Shy) and "Marzipanpüppchen" ( sissy).
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sure, Herbert may tease his sister all day and make fun of her (especially during the last two books)and is a bragging, arrogant know-it-all but it's showed more than once that he actually cares for her and loves her more than he'd show.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Played with. In Bubi und Mädi, Bubi enjoys playing with his sister's dolls while Mädi loves her brother's rocking horse (yes, it was considered a boys toy) and don't care for the other, "gender-appropriate" toy respectively. Downplayed tho because aside from this, they are textbook examples for a feminine Girl and a masculine boy.
  • Meaningful Name: "Heulsuse" is the german word for "crybaby" and Suse is extremely prone to tears.
  • Morality Pet: Herbert stops being a condescending, full-mouthed know-it-all when their grandmother is around. She's the only one he's always geniunely nice to.
  • Naïve Everygirl: Suse
  • Nice Guy: Suse is well-meaning and kind most of the time. Same goes for Inge which makes them stand out from their respective twin. Paul qualifies too, he's a pleasant person and hard to upset when Herbert teases him.
  • One-Gender School: Except for the "Waldschule" they go to in the second book when the titular characters are nine, their secondary schools are one gender schools.
  • Outgrowing the Childish Name: In the first book, the twins are referred to as Bubi and Mädi. They later consider these nicknames embarassing.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Suse and Herbert. After their Divergent Character Evolution, Inge and Helga too.
  • Prone to Tears: Suse. She even cries after reading a ballad where someone dies in class out of compassion for a fictional character. She's always tearing up when she's the target of rude comments and remarks which happens all the time because her twin brother loves teasing her.
  • Put on a Bus: Minna, the housekeeper leaves the family because she's getting married in the last book.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Paul's the sensitive guy to Herberts manly man. Paul is sensitive, calm, studious, humble, sensitive and a hopeless case when it comes to sport. Herbert on the other hand is a boastful guy who is extremely confident and condescending, likes to scuffle and has been obsessed with male stereotypes from a young age. Even as a four year old, he thinks that real man don't cry and he constantly feels the need to prove how manly he is.
  • Sticky Fingers: Tinchen Grimm's habit.
  • Teen Genius: Paul
  • Town Girls: Suse, Helga and Inge. Suse is naive and prone to tears (femme) Helga is the confident jock (butch) and Inge is a responsible and mature bookworm (neither).
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Played with. Herbert once behaved like this towards his sister and pressures her into smoking, including a guilt trip: he claims that that everyone will think she's a because 14 year olds have to smoke to be taken seriously.