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Identical Twin ID Tag

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An eyepatch? No way to do a Twin Switch here!

"I'm Tamera, and I'm the one with the mole."
"And I'm Tia, and I'm the one
without the mole."
Tia and Tamera Mowry, Twitches promo
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Being identical twins is awesome! You have an identical best friend and worst enemy. (...wait, there's a difference?) Best of all? No one can tell you apart! ...except you are not one person, and having everyone constantly confuse the two of you can get grating very quickly. So the twins will develop different clothing styles, hair styles, and mannerisms to help differentiate themselves. They now have two identities rather than one... though they may ensure the superficial changes are small/impermanent enough to allow for future Twin Switches just to keep messing with people.

If one twin is absolutely sick of the prospect of their twin and them being confused, or has a falling out with their sibling and no longer trusts them with casual impersonation, they might make permanent alterations such as tattoos, scars, piercings, very deep tans, or even cosmetic surgery to really avoid confusion.

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This also works as a visual aide in TV and film. If the twins were exactly alike, it could grow confusing for the audience to constantly keep track of which twin is doing what.

This is almost always Truth in Television — usually either because there's a biological distinction (e.g., a mole on one's cheek that the other doesn't have, a widow's peak in one's hairline, etc.) or because they like to do something to differentiate themselves (like a different hair style — even a different hair colour, sometimes). This usually happens naturally over time as the twins reach adolescence and older, and grow out of the cute dressing-alike phase and seek something to differentiate themselves from each other. Yet more Truth in Television: even identical twins can be told apart by their fingerprints. One thing which is normally ignored (even in online guides for telling twins apart) is that the navel is a scar, and as such, can be as different for twins as for anyone.

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See also/compare Twin Desynch and Uniformity Exception. Tareme Eyes and Tsurime Eyes are a common way to tell twins apart.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Armored Trooper VOTOMS, Arron Schmittel wears a brown uniform while his brother Gurran is dressed in blue.
  • In Aruosumente, the twins Lante and Dante have adopted light and dark clothing colours respectively to allow others to tell them apart more easily. Lante also wears flowers in his hair in contrast to Dante's spikier hair ornaments.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, America and Canada are almost completely identical, except that America has a short, straight Idiot Hair in the middle of his part and Canada has a long, curly Idiot Hair on the left side of his head and has slightly longer hair. Everyone else just resolves the issue by pretending Canada doesn't exist.
  • Blood+: Saya and Diva are physically identical barring their eye colors, Saya's being red and Diva's being blue. Aside from that, Saya has Boyish Short Hair while Diva has Rapunzel Hair.
  • In the first Cardcaptor Sakura movie, we are introduced to a set of enthusiastic teenage quadruplets, Syaoran's sisters. It's not mentioned in the movie, but according to some related promo material, each of the girls wears a different color dress, and two of them have different hairstyles. (Fuutie = yellow, Fanren = green, Feimei = blue, Xiefa = red)
  • Invoked in Castle Town Dandelion. Haruka stated he wears Purely Aesthetic Glasses to distinguish him with his Half Identical Twin Misaki and her clones.
  • Manami Mitama's younger triplet sisters from A Centaur's Life can be told apart by their hairstyles; Chigusa has braids, Chinami has a ponytail and Chiho has a shoulder-length bob.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Touma distinguishes Mikoto from her clones by the fact that most of the time, the clones are wearing goggles to help them see electrical fields, something Mikoto can do naturally. Mikoto also wears Modesty Shorts under her skirt, while her clones don't. After a while he realizes that waiting for a strong breeze and looking up a girl's skirt is going to get him into trouble eventually, so he decides to buy a ring for Misaka 10032 to help identify her from Mikoto and the other clones. He quickly realizes that a ring might be too small to be easily spotted, so he decides to get her a necklace instead. But Misaka has been told that a ring is a gift from a boy who likes you, so she insists on it.
  • Date A Live: The Yamai Twins' Astral Dresses are not identical. In civilian clothes, they tend to wear opposite colors or mirror each other. Yuzuru has a ponytail and Kaguya doesn't. And much to Kaguya's chagrin, Yuzuru has larger breasts than her.
  • Eyeshield 21: Unsui is bald and Agon wears his hair in dreads.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi, Amiboshi wears blue and carries a flute. Suboshi wears orange and wields a Killer Yo Yo. Remember that now.
  • Takuma and Kazuma Mamizuka from Gakuen Babysitters can usually be told apart by their expressions; Takuma is always smiling while Kazuma is always teary-eyed. They also tend to wear matching but differently-colored outfits, with Takuma usually wearing cool colors and Kazuma usually wearing warm colors, as well as shirts with the first letters of their names on them when they're at home.
  • Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle: Haruo can tell the twins Miana and Maina apart because Miana almost always has a gentle expression while Maina almost always frowns.
  • A particular set of identical twins in Haikyuu!! can be easily differentiated by their hair styles. Atsumu Miya parts his hair to the right and dyes it blonde, while his twin brother and teammate Osamu parts his hair to the left and dyes it gray. Additionally, when they're in an official match together, Atsumu wears the No. 7 jersey while Osamu wears the No. 11 jersey, and the two play different positions (setter and wing spiker, respectively).
  • In Innocents Shounen Juujigun, Laurent and Lillian can be told apart by slightly different hairstyles (although this is never acknowledged in-universe), and a birthmark on Lillian's neck that Laurent doesn't share.
  • Despite not being twins since they're really a year apart in age, most characters in K-On! can only physically tell the Hirasawa sisters Yui and Ui apart by hairstyle, with Yui wearing her hair down and Ui having a ponytail. When Ui pulls a Twin Switch, though, Sawako-sensei can still tell who she really is by her bust size being slightly bigger than Yui.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
  • While the sextuplets of Osomatsu-kun were identical in terms of both appearance and personality (though they were color-coded on the covers in the tankoubon rereleases), the 2015 revival series, Osomatsu-san, tosses in color-coded outfits and a few unique characteristics to let the viewers separate each brother from the primary Osomatsu — Karamatsu has thick eyebrows, Ichimatsu has messy hair, half-closed eyes, and a tendency to wear surgical masks, Jyuushimatsu is always smiling and has large pupils, Todomatsu has a Cat Smile and shinier eyes, and Choromatsu has smaller pupils and doesn't have an Idiot Hair like the others do. In the movie, their 18 year old selves are similarly distinguished: Karamatsu has freckle-like acne, Choromatsu wears glasses, Ichimatsu's hair is less neat, Jyushimatsu is an angry Perpetual Frowner, and Todomatsu wears clothes that are too big for him.
  • Ouran High School Host Club, where the twins can be told apart from how they comb their hair. This is later taken to its expected conclusion when the twins finally do change enough emotionally that they want to look different and be individuals; they achieve this by one dying his hair black. Subverted in the anime, when Hikaru and Kaoru get fed up with being identical and dye their hair pink and blue. It ended up being another game to mess with everyone. In the anime they also have different voice actors.
  • In Pandora Hearts, Alice and her twin sister the Will of the Abyss are identical aside of their hair colors and clothing colors; Alice has dark hair and likes to wear dark dresses, while the Will of the Abyss has white hair and wears a white dress.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets: Since the quintuplets facially look the same (along with their voices and bust size), the mangaka gives the girls various hairstyles, shades of pink hair in the color pages, and accessories to better help identify them. The anime adaptation further distinguishes thrm by giving them different voice actresses.
    • Ichika has the shortest hair of the girls, and she has a piercing in her right ear.
    • Nino wears butterflily-shaped ribbons on both sides of her hair.
    • Miku has headphones she usually wears.
    • Yotsuba wears a ribbon atop her head.
    • Itsuki wears star-shaped hairclips and has a prominent Idiot Hair.
  • In RDG: Red Data Girl, Masumi and Manatsu (who technically have a triplet sister) are pretty much identical except for their skin tones. Manatsu is darker, presumably because of all the time that he spends outside with horses, while Masumi's gets relatively little sun, what with being a ghost and all. Also, Masumi likes to wear women's clothing.
  • In Tamagotchi, Miraitchi has a pink flower ornament in her hair, while her twin Clulutchi wears a little purple crown. Miraitchi's hair points to the right, and Clulutchi's points to the left.
  • In Horitsuba Gakuen (the official omake of Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-), Fai-sensei and Yuui-sensei have different hair lengths; the former has relatively short hair, while the latter's hair is long enough to tie in a ponytail (other than his bangs). Their voices are slightly different, too; Yuui-sensei's is slightly lower and calmer, though in the fourth voice drama they mention that their voices were the same when they were kids.
  • The Nishigori triplets from Yuri!!! on Ice can be told apart by their hairstyles and color-coded outfits; Axel has Girlish Pigtails and wears purple, Lutz has a bun and wears light blue, and Loop has a ponytail and wears pink.

    Asian Animation 
  • Dholu and Bholu of Chhota Bheem have closely-matching clothes that can be told apart. One has a gray shirt and green pants while the other has a green shirt and gray pants.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons episodes 37 to 40 (a Multi-Part Episode), the lucky and unlucky dolls are twin brothers who look exactly the same except for their color schemes. The lucky doll wears a red apron-shirt, while the unlucky doll wears a black one and has a slightly different shade of pink skin than the lucky doll.

    Audio Plays 
  • The Saionji brothers from Yandere Heaven have distinctive hair styles and outfits. Ran has short hair and wears a vest over a green shirt while Wakasa has long hair and wears a green jacket over a dark top.
  • The twins from Yandere no Onna no Ko volume 2 are identified by their hair length, outfit and weapons. Nana has long hair, wears a dress and carries an axe while Nono has short hair, wears shorts and carries a knife.

    Comic Books 
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
    • Huey, Dewey, and Louie from the Classic Disney Shorts and Disney Ducks Comic Universe dress in a Chromatic Arrangement of hats and shirts (Huey being red, Dewey being blue, and Louie being green — usually). In the Disney Ducks Comic Universe they wear black shirts and frequently go hatless — and when they do wear hats it's not a given that the colorist will follow the "official" colors, leaving it impossible at times to tell who's who. In one comic story from Don Rosa, Huey, Dewey, and Louie are shown to actually differences... It's just that they're subtle enough that only themselves and Donald (who is revealed to be able to see details as subtle as flea prints on a donut) can tell them apart without the hats. That doesn't prevent the triplets from taking offense by anyone else's inability to tell them apart. By Quack Pack, Divergent Character Evolution has given them different hairstyles and fashion choices (as well as more unique personality traits) while still keeping the color scheme. DuckTales (2017) goes a similar route by giving them different fashion choices and hairstyles while still keeping the color scheme; Huey wears a red polo shirt and is the only one to still wear a hat, Dewey wears a blue T-shirt over a long-sleeved shirt and has a hairstyle that sticks up, and Louie wears a green hoodie.
    • Their Distaff Counterparts April, May and June vary wildly whether they wear different colors or not — or which colors they wear. Sometimes they follow the red/blue/green Chromatic Arrangement of Huey, Dewey and Louie, sometimes they'll go for a yellow/magenta/cyan theme instead. However, in later years Dutch comics featuring the girls gives them more individual clothes and different hairstyles (yes, hair on ducks, just go with it): April has a ponytail, May has short hair and generally wears a headband, and June has twin pigtails.
  • The Mauler Twins of Invincible are a mutated mad scientist and his clone — they don't remember and can't agree on which is which. One of them has a nose ring and a tattoo on his face. Both of them cite this as evidence that they're the original and the other is the clone.
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Two of the Holiday Girls are identical twins. Milly Heyday wears glasses and Tilly Heyday does not, they can also be told apart by their character since Milly is more reserved and Tilly is impulsive.
  • More like identical triplet id tag, but in the Marvel 100th Anniversary Special, the adult Stepford Cuckoos all have different hair colors and hairstyles, although we're never told which one is which.
    • In regular continuity, Irma dyes her hair black, which inspires Phoebe to dye hers red. Celeste is upset by this because she liked them all being the same.
  • In Silver Surfer, Dawn Greenwood always wears red with black polka dots. Her sister Eve always wears yellow with black stripes.
  • Star Wars: Kanan: While the clone troopers often wear different hair styles to express their individuality Billaba's Battalion Commander Grey is quite easy to tell from the rest due to the scar across his face and the fact that he's managed to hold onto a more baby fat in his face than his similarly aged brothers, making his face a bit more smooth where theirs are angular.
  • Although not twins (they aren't even related), Thompson and Thomson from Tintin have slightly different mustache styles. To be precise, Thompson's mustache curls in while Thomson's flares out. In the licensed game based on the Jackson/Spielberg film, one also wears a white suit in co-op, while the other keeps his black one.
  • Zipi y Zape: The twins' hair colours.

    Fan Works 
  • In Codex Equus, the trope is either played straight or averted, due to the prevalence of fraternal twins and the chances of them being born than identical twins.
    • Played straight with Blue Suede Heartstrings and his older brother, Bossa Nova Heartstrings. Due to being identical twins, they look almost exactly the same in both their mortal and divine forms, save for a few differences - Blue has a dark blue mane and tail, and his Cutie Mark depicts a red, heart-shaped guitar. His true form as an Alicorn god has wings with a dark blue gradient, and his hair is made of dark blue energy soundwaves with light blue musical bars and notes running through them. His Cutie Mark has the same halo of notes as Bossa Nova's does, except the guitar part of his Cutie Mark is flanked with white wings. Meanwhile, Bossa Nova has a dark red mane and tail, and his Cutie Mark depicts a skull-shaped guitar. His true form as an Alicorn god has wings with a dark red gradient, and his hair is made of dark red energy soundwaves with bright orange musical bars and notes running through them. His Cutie Mark has the same halo of notes as Blue's does, except the guitar part of his Cutie Mark is flanked with black wings.
    • Averted with Eiríni and Dikastís. Despite them being twin brothers, they are fraternal as they're significantly different from each other in appearance - Dikastís is a muscular Aload divine with a red pelt and a black mane and tail, while Eiríni is a white-furred and white-haired divine Cyclops whose pelt and hair changes colors whenever he accesses his two Super Modes. While unconfirmed due to the brothers' secrecy on the matter, it's heavily implied that they're actually the split halves of the ancient Giant god Thrýlos.
    • Played straight with Changeling Queens Mara and Bunta. Mara and Bunta are considered rather unusual among Royal Changelings in that they're born identical twins. Because of this, they look exactly the same, except for the colors of their magic - Mara's is red, while Bunta's is blue.
    • Averted with junior Equestrian Princesses Gold Lily and Sterling, who are fraternal twins, with Gold Lily being marginally older. Gold Lily has a gold pelt, a multi-colored blue, pink, and purple mane and tail, and a blue Cutie Mark depicting a pair of hearts intertwined within two circles. After Ascending to demi-godhood, she gained pink wings that is noted to be part of a hereditary birthmark common in her family line. Meanwhile, Sterling has a light purple coat, a rainbow-colored mane and tail, and a Cutie Mark depicting a white diamond with light radiating off of it. After Ascending to demi-godhood, she gained dark blue wings that is noted to be part of a hereditary birthmark common in her family line.
    • Averted with Queen Aoide and her younger sister Princess Mese, who are fraternal twins. Mese has a light purple pelt with a mane made of orange, pink, and silver emotional energy, and her Cutie Mark is a pink pan flute. Because she never managed to Ascend to true godhood like her sister did, Mese remained a demi-goddess and is rather short because of this, though other benevolent deities like her mentor, Blue Suede Heartstrings, are interested in training her so she could Ascend to true godhood and catch up with her twin sister. Meanwhile, Aoide has a pink pelt and a blue mane and tail made of magical sound energy with purple and silver streaks running through them, and her Cutie Mark is a saxophone. Her Ascension to true godhood during the end of the Third Age, combined with absorbing wild magic trying to contain the magical meltdown caused by the Castle of Music's deteriorating state, rapidly accelerated her physical and magical growth to the point where she's slightly taller than Celestia despite her young "age" as a goddess.
    • Averted with Trench Bull and her deceased sister, Sweet Dove, who are fraternal twins and thus look nothing alike. Trench Bull's entry notes that for one, she was physically larger than Sweet Dove even as a filly.
    • Played straight with Belyolen and Temnobog, co-rulers of the Bogolenya Deer Pantheon. They look almost the same due to being two halves of the god they should've been, except while Temnobog is a dark-furred, red-eyed stag with sharp, jagged antlers and iron armor, Belyolen is a white-furred stag with slender antlers and golden armor.
  • In the Modern AU How to Train Your Dragon fic Confusion, Astrid and her OC twin sister Lillian can generally be told apart with relative ease, with Astrid being the more physical of the two while Lillian is more intellectually focused, but they pretend to be each other at least once without changing clothes when only Hiccup is able to distinguish the two.
  • In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, Vanity and his Mirror Self Century wear their single flower in their hats on the opposite sides.
  • In The Little Cherub series Raven and Beast Boy have identical twins as their third and fourth child. One of them does have a birthmark, but they are still mixed up by their dad so often that Raven says at one point "I swear, I'm going to get them monogrammed clothes.". BB's response if an enthusiastic "Can we"?
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Harrison Wells runs S.T.A.R. Labs with his Alternate Selves, Harry Wells and H.R. Wells. They can be distinguished from each other by Wells' wheelchair, Harry's baseball cap, and H.R.'s fedora. In conversation, they refer to each other as Wells, Harry, and H.R. respectively.
  • Not A Monster: Bowser's parents made him wear spikes in order to differentiate him from his identical twin Bone. Even after Bone died, Bowser still kept wearing spikes.
  • In When It Rains, Chroma splits herself into three bodies. While her original form had all the colors of the rainbow in her mane, her clones each have only two (red and orange, yellow and green, and blue and purple).
  • In Reflections, a Tales of the Abyss fanfic where Asch returns and grows up alongside Luke, the only way to tell those two apart is with their clothing choices, which makes their favourite trick of switching ridiculously easy to pull of (if you aren't Jade). Later it turns out Asch has a scar hidden by his hair from when he tried to escape his captors when Luke was made/born, which lets the villains tell them apart which is truer to the trope.
  • In the WWE fanfic, The Return - Remixed, the Bella Twins got one from DEAR after nearly beating them in a tag team match via Twin Magic. To make sure it didn't happen again, the other members of DEAR held them still while Victoria punched them in the face with a set of brass knuckles, giving them mismatching black eyes. Brie got it in the left eye, Nikki in the right.

    Films — Animation 
  • Scardelita of The Adelita Twins from The Book of Life wears an Eyepatch of Power.
  • The Little Mermaid: Flotsam and Jetsam may or may not be twins, but they look exactly alike except for one thing which isn't that noticeable; both have one yellow eye and one white eye. For Flotsam, his left eye is yellow while his right eye is white. For Jetsam, it's the other way around.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls:
    • Twilight Sparkle crosses from Equestria into the human world and assumes a human form. Later a Twilight who actually is native to the human world surfaces. We tell the difference between the two because human Twilight has glasses and wears her hair tied back in a bun. The two later interact in Equestria during Spring Breakdown, where they can be differentiated because human Twilight still has glasses while pony Twilight has wings.
    • At the end of Spring Breakdown, all of the Humane Seven plus Bulk Biceps, Derpy, Lyra Heartstrings, and Flash Sentry are shown in Equestria in pony forms. Of the 11, only Flash Sentry plays this straight, lacking his pony self's Royal Guard armor. The others are indistinguishable from their pony counterparts.
  • At the end of Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, it turns out that the Sheriff Buzby our heroes were dealing with is actually his evil brother T.J. impersonating him. The real Sheriff Buzby differs from his brother by having a mustache.
  • Tangled: The Stabbington brothers (pictured above) are only differentiated by: sideburns, the Eyepatch of Power one of them wears, clothes, and weapons.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Constantine differentiates Isabelle from Angela by giving Isabelle Rapunzel Hair.
  • Dead Ringers: Elliot and Beverly Mantle are identical twins who begin the film as nearly inseparable partners in a gynecological practice. As the story progresses, Beverly and Elliot personalities diverge due to one of the twin's advancing mental instability. This is reflected in their appearance, with Elliot maintaining a healthy, well-tanned look while Beverly develops bags under his eyes, a sickly pallor, and a nervous twitch. Guess which one's losing his marbles?
  • Parodied & Inverted in The Great Muppet Caper where Kermit (a frog) and Fozzie (a bear) play identical twins.
    Editor: You two guys don't look anything alike!
    Kermit: That's 'cause Fozzie's not wearing his hat. Fozzie, put your hat back on.
    Fozzie: Yes sir. *puts hat on* See?
    Editor: Oh, yeah, I can see it now.
  • Played with in It Takes Two, in that Amanda and Alyssa (played by real-life twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) are Identical Strangers. They are wearing very similar outfits when they first meet. Later, after their Twin Switch plan causes Alyssa to be taken by the family that was trying to adopt Amanda, Amanda uses the various scars she's gotten over the years to convince the butler Vincenzo that she isn't Alyssa so he'll help get her back.
  • Played With in A Monsterous Holiday twins April and May have a single pigtail, sometimes highlighted in different colors, which oddly enough made them seem more like Single-Minded Twins that happened to have divided Girlish Pigtails given their tendency for Twin Banter.
  • Clone example, in Oblivion (2013) Jack Harper 49 acquires a cut across the bridge of his nose, while 52 wears a gray bandanna.
  • This trope is inverted in both The Parent Trap (1961) and The Parent Trap (1998), with the identical twins starting out easily identifiable by hairstyle, choice of clothing, and accents. When they decide to do the swap to try to get their parents back together, they make adjustments so that they are indistinguishable.
  • In The Pretty One, everyone knows that Laurel was the one who died, because Audrey is the one with short hair...
  • In Scott Pilgrim Vs The World Kyle & Ken Katayanagi, Evil Exes 5 and 6 respectively, have very different outfits and Ken has bleached his hair. In the movie at least they lack individual characterizations as a result of their actors not speaking English.
  • In Serenity the Rample twins are always impressed that Mal can tell who's who. When they question him, he simply says "Fanty's prettier" than Mingo. Explained in the novelization by Mal knowing Mingo's voice is slightly higher than Fanty's.
  • Although not twins, the principle is used in ''Sliding Doors, to make it easy to tell which dimension we are in. First one version of Helen Quilley has a head injury, and once that heals, the other version has changed her hair style.
  • In some of the scenes of The Social Network the Winklevoss twins are differentiated through hairstyle: Cameron wears his nomrally and Tyler has his slicked back. Other features, such as differing ties, are sometimes used as well.
  • The movie Twin Dragons had Jackie Chan portraying the titular twins, which are identical although one of them is a musician while the other is a fighter. The fighter has a ponytail to help audience tell them apart.

    Literature 
  • In most versions of Alice in Wonderland, Tweedledum and Tweedledee have their names embroidered in their collars. In Tenniel's illustrations, they are mirror images of each other, which was probably Carroll's intention.
  • The All For The Game series plays with this with the Minyard twins. Most of the Foxes can tell them apart based on interactions, but visually they are distinguished by the black arm bands Andrew always wears. The twins even jokingly claim that he wears them specifically so that people can tell them apart. In reality they are knife sheaths and he wears them to hide his scars. They do make a world of difference, though. If Andrew is sober and they both wear long sleeves, few people can tell them apart.
  • Although canonically, Beyond Birthday dresses exactly the same as L in Another Note, Fanon will usually either depict him as splattered with blood and/or wearing a black shirt, particularly in Cosplay, or works where he and L will appear together. Also, BB is usually (though not always) depicted with neater hair than L, for the same reason.
  • In the Aunt Dimity series:
    • Identical twins Ruth and Louise Pym are difficult to tell apart and always dress alike. Eventually, Lori realizes that Ruth (the elder) always speaks first, and that Louise is slightly more soft-spoken than her sister.
    • Lori doesn't explicitly state how she can tell her sons apart, but in Aunt Dimity Digs In young Rainey Dawson claims to be able to see the difference in their souls by looking in their eyes, even citing a difference in colour.
  • From the The Baby-Sitters Club: Initially, Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold can only be told apart when wearing their name bracelets, though later, the sitters wise up and notice that the girls both have moles under different eyes. Later still, Carolyn gets a haircut and a more stylish wardrobe, while Marilyn wears her hair long and prefers more conservative clothes. Abby and Anna Stevenson are shown in Abby's Book to be impossible to tell apart and are initially afraid of developing separate, non-identical interests, even if they're afraid of growing up to be completely identical. After they get frustrated by their teacher asking their parents to color-code them for school and their classmates' habit of referring to them collectively as "Abby-Anna," their father suggests one of them cut their hair. So Anna does.
  • Farideh and Havilar, protagonists of Brimstone Angels, are twins who are completely identical save for their eyes - both of Havilar's are gold, but Farideh has heterochromia giving her one gold eye and one silver eye. People who don't know them well and haven't bothered to learn which twin has the weird eye still mix them up sometimes.
  • The Calendar Mysteries features twins Bradley and Brian Pinto. Brian is the twin missing a tooth.
  • The City Without Memory features twins who were told by their great-aunt, a seer, to always wear only one boot each - one on them on the left foot, the other on the right.
  • In Ngaio Marsh's Death of a Peer (UK title A Surfeit of Lampreys), A pair of near-identical twins both claimed to have taken the elevator with their uncle just before he was found dead in it. Only one of them did, and Alleyn points out that the twins can't cover for each other since he can tell which twin is which.
  • In the Garrett, P.I. novels, Garrett makes the groll brothers, Doris and Marsha, wear different hats so he can tell which is which. (He needs nothing to tell them apart from their third triplet, Dojango, who looks nothing like either, explained as all three of them having different mothers. However that works for grolls.)
  • Harry Potter:
    • Fred and George Weasley are identical enough that they're seen pulling a Twin Switch on their own mother. Mrs. Weasley will routinely make them jumpers with F and G on them ("For Gred and Forge" the twins joke). In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, George loses his ear getting Harry to safety. One of the first things the twins tell their mother is now she can tell them apart. ...And then Fred dies in the final battle at Hogwarts which, while tragic, probably makes telling the difference even easier. In the film adaptations, they can be told apart by their voices, as James Phelps (Fred) has a slightly deeper voice than Oliver Phelps (George).
    • There're also Padma and Parvati Patil. In the books, Padma is in Ravenclaw and Parvati in Gryffindor. Goblet of Fire states the two could usually only be told apart by their uniforms; both are in Gryffindor in the films and are played by two non-sibling actresses and made fraternal.
  • The second Hercule Poirot novel, Murder In The Links feature a pair of identical twins, Bella and Dulcie Duveen, who usually wear different coloured wigs when they are performing on stage. But even without their wigs, people never seem to confuse the two, even though the narrative never mentions if they have any other distinguishing marks.
  • In Lottie and Lisa, Luise's hair is curly, Lotte's is braided. Since this is the only difference in looks between them, it's very easy for them to switch roles for much of the book. By the end, they have gone back to their preferred hairstyles.
  • The Midnight Twins is a book about seer twins, one who can see into the future and one into the past. Meredith, aka Merry, is cheerful and girly. Her hair is parted on the right, she's right-handed, and she has two piercings in her right ear. Mallory, aka Mally, is a tomboyish loner with all of the aforementioned characteristics on her left side.
  • Invoked in Nine Goblins. When the twins Mishkin and Mushkin tell Nessilka even their mother can't tell them apart, she decides to fix that and has The Big Guy punch one in the face, giving him a black eye.
  • In Michael Connelly novel The Poet, Jack and Sean McEvoy "had always gone to great lengths to forge separate identities".
  • The St John twins from David Weber and John Ringo's Prince Roger series have opposite sides of their heads shaved, due to one of their old COs being unable to differentiate them.
  • In Regina's Song, Regina and Renata Greenleaf are given different color hair ribbon by their mother to tell them apart. The girls switch ribbons when their parents aren't watching on a regular basis. Their tendency to swap any identifying marks back and forth ultimately results in nobody being able to tell them apart, and when one of them gets raped and murdered, nobody is able to conclusively tell which girl is the dead one and which is the traumatized and insane survivor.
  • In The Stainless Steel Rat books, Jim's sons James and Bolivar are distinguished only by a small scar behind James's ear, from when Bolivar bit him when they were four.
  • Survivor Dogs:
    • Lucky can tell that Spring and Twitch are litter-siblings even before asking. They both look alike, with the main difference being their genders and Twitch having a lame foot.
    • Wiggle is distinguished from his similar looking (but slightly larger) brother Grunt by having a tufty neck.
  • In an early Sweet Valley High novel, Jessica gets fed up with people mistaking her for Elizabeth and gets herself a makeover, including dying her hair black. She rapidly switches back when it turns her original look is what a modeling agent is looking for.
    • Also, when describing the girls, the mole on Elizabeth's shoulder (which Jessica doesn't have) is always mentioned. And it's repeatedly established that Elizabeth dresses and styles her hair more conservatively than Jessica, making it easy to tell them apart this way.
  • In The Truth-Teller's Tale by Sharon Shinn, Eleda and Adele are "mirror" twins, able to be told apart by which of their mismatched eyes is on which side, their handedness, and the way they part their hair. However, since Eleda is a Truth-Teller and Adele is a Safe-Keeper and the consequences of them pulling a twin-switch on you are very serious, the townspeople have worked out a question to tell them apart: "Is it safe to tell you a secret?" Eleda will always say "no" and Adele will always say "yes."
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga, Mark deliberately gains huge amounts of weight so that "not even a one-eyed sniper in a rainstorm at midnight a kilometer away" could mistake him for his clone-brother Miles. This is also a subversion in that being a clone of Miles means Mark already should look nothing like him, as a great deal of Miles's appearance stems from an irreproducable congenital condition (caused by chemical weapon exposure in the womb). A great deal of Mark's childhood was spent undergoing surgeries to systematically cripple him to make him look identical; he cultivated eating disorders as one coping mechanism and finds them still convenient.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Arrested Development, the Bluth twins can be told apart easily because George is bald and Oscar has hair. Oh, that hair.
  • On Bananas in Pyjamas, the titular bananas, B1 and B2, are identical twins, and are distinguished by text on the collars of their pyjama shirts labeling them as B1 and B2.
  • On Baskets, protagonist Chip has long hair in a ponytail in season one and curly hair from two onward, while his brother Dale keeps his straight. Chip also has a grey streak in his beard, while Dale's is all brown.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Almost People", when a clone of the Eleventh Doctor is created, the only difference between them is their shoes, as the Doctor changed his shoes after he was "scanned" to create the clone but before it was created. To make a point that the "gangers" aren't that different from the original people, the Doctor and his ganger switch shoes to make it clear that the two Doctors are basically the same person.
  • In the 80s sitcom Double Trouble, the main characters were twins Kate and Alison Foster. Alison (the studious one) regularly wore her hair in a ponytail while Kate (the outgoing one) wore hers loose.
  • In The Flash (2014), when Savitar is revealed to be Barry's future time remnant, half of his face is disfigured by something even his Healing Factor couldn't fix. This, plus the general evil and A God Am I demeanor, serves to distinguish the two. At one point, Savitar even manages to impersonate Barry by wearing the Flash suit and turning his head to hide the facial scars.
  • Kamen Rider: Though they're not related, this appears with the first two Riders. Takeshi Hongo (Kamen Rider #1) and Hayato Ichimonji (Kamen Rider #2) have nigh-identical suits, with few distinguishing factors. Originally, Rider #1's suit was more blue-ish, but in modern times both their base suits are the same color; the main differences are their gloves and boots and the stripes that run down their sides (Hongo has silvery-white boots and gloves and two stripes, Ichimonji has red boots and gloves and one thick stripe). Rider #2 is occasionally given a dark green (bordering on black) helmet to further distinguish him, but this doesn't even remain consistent between movies.
    • The reboot movie Kamen Rider: The First gets around this, by making Hongo's suit have dark blue parts compared to Ichimonji's green parts. Then the sequel undoes this by having Hongo's suit change to dark green for no given reason, while Ichimonji's is more yellowish-green (and both are faded due to three years' worth of wear and tear).
  • In the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Double Strands", a serial rapist tries to pin his crimes on his twin brother. The twin, not knowing that he had any siblings, protests his innocence, even against DNA evidence. The real culprit is eventually identified by his chipped tooth and a scar on his stomach.
    • One episode featured a pair of opposite-sex fraternal-twin teenagers who look similar enough to pull this off. Near the end of the episode, one of them sneaks out of a movie theater (while the other claimed to have fallen asleep) and commits a revenge murder for which they both had motive. The police realize the twins are using this trope deliberately (having dressed to match each other on that day) to create reasonable doubt, but can't prove that they conspired together or which one actually committed the murder, so they have to let them go.
  • This was also used in the original series, when an ex-con was the prime suspect in a murder until they found out he had a twin brother. A witness, who happened to be a nurse, was able to determine the difference between the two, however, noticing the ex-con had several signs of being a long time hard drinker, which the other brother did not.
  • Once Upon a Time has twins James and David. James was raised as royalty and so has short hair and wears armour. David was raised as a farm boy, so has long hair and wears peasant clothes. Oh and James is dead, which makes telling them apart really easy. Until Season 5's trip to the underworld, by which time David looks exactly like James, having been his Backup Twin for years.
  • Played with on Orphan Black, though with clones and not twins. Even though they're all genetically identical, they all are easily distinguishable. Beth looks the closest to the clones' actor Tatiana Maslany, with long dark hair, and no other distinguishable features. Sarah wears really heavy makeup, messy dark hair with blond streaks, dresses punk, and has a British accent. Allison wears preppy clothes and lots of pink and has hair with bangs. Cosima wears glasses, a nose ring, tattoos, and has dreadlocks and wears boho hipster clothes (or a lab coat). Helena has bleach blond fizzy curly hair, red around the eyes, and a Ukrainian accent and is usually wearing whatever she could find. Katja has pinkish red hair and is German. Rachel has short blond hair and a British accent and is usually wearing a business suit. M.K. has shoulder-length brown hair and a Finnish accent. Tony is a transman and has a beard and long hair. The differences between the Castor clones are less pronounces. For example, Mark has a curl on his forehead and is the most subdued; Ira is the most cultured, has a typical haircut parted on the right, and wears white button-down shirts; Rudy is the most crazed and has a mid fade haircut; Styles is the most soldier-like, has a close-shaven hair, and wears military fatigues; Seth has a mustache and tends to wear hoodies.
  • In Re-Animated, the Pilot Movie for Out of Jimmy's Head, Crocco says that he can tell Golly and Dolly apart because Dolly wears a bow. This received a Call-Back in a later episode, where Dolly loses her bow and Crocco mistakes her for Golly.
  • Siobhan on Ringer has a burn scar on her wrist, which her twin sister Bridget finds handy when she has to convince someone she's not her sister.
  • Identical twins Katie and Emily in Skins have fringes cut to opposite sides when they're introduced, as well as fake moles by opposite eyes (Emily switches hers while pretending to be Katie). They also develop different styles of dress, with Katie preferring leopard print and Katie leaning to plaid. By season four, Katie dyes her hair a dark shade of almost maroon, while Emily keeps her hair cherry red. In Real Life, they're actually played by fraternal twins, and Megan Prescott (Katie) has a rounder face than Kathryn (Emily) and a bit of a lisp.
  • In later seasons of Sister, Sister, the twins played up the fact that Tamera has a mole on her cheek where Tia doesn't. Interestingly, in earlier seasons, producers put a mole on Tia's cheek to make them "exactly" identical. This was actually one of the aims from the fifth season onwards as producers wished to properly distinguish the sisters' personalities.
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody:
    • Invoked in an episode. Cody decides to dye his hair "Honey Mist Auburn" so that people would be able to tell him from Zack. To quote the episode: "Honey, you missed auburn big-time." He ended up with fire engine red hair, and ironically was forced to do a Twin Switch for an interview. In Real Life, you could tell Dylan Sprouse from his brother because Cole (Cody) has a more gaunt face than Dylan. This also meant that as time progressed, it got much less difficult to tell the two apart.
    • When Zack and Cody play basketball for their school, Cody wears a sash on his head.
    • Most of the time (for the audience at least) it was easy to tell them apart from how they dressed. Zack the care-free jock tended to dress in loud t-shirts and athletic shorts while the nerdy neat-freak Cody usually wore buttoned shirts or sweater-vests.
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • The only way to tell the twins apart is that Astra has a Skunk Stripe in her hair while Allura didn't. This one is semi justified by Astra explaining that twins were rare on their planet, so they looked alike to deliberately Troll everyone. Even so, Kara immediately recognises the woman she's confronted with as her aunt rather than her mother.
    • Also, J'onn almost always appears as Hank Henshaw. When the real Henshaw returns, there's an easy way to tell them apart: the real Henshaw is now a cyborg with a glowing red eye, and half of his face is made of metal.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Kodama and Obariyon of The Batiri in CHIKARA aren't twins, and aren't even related, but look close to identical due to having the same height, build, skin tone, hair, gear, etc., along with similar facepaint and tattoos. Commentary tends to have trouble distinguishing between them, but there are differences: their facepaint designs are distinct, Kodama has some tattoos in places Obariyon doesn't, Obariyon has a slightly softer physique, and in late 2015 Obariyon got a shorter haircut.
  • The Bella Twins initially avoided this and usually the only way to reliably tell them apart was when they spoke - Brie has a much deeper voice than Nikki - or if their hemline was low enough to reveal Brie's tattoo. Otherwise the Twins never looked exactly alike, as there are subtle differences between their facial structures that a very good eye could spot such as Nikki having a square jawline, a thinner, more pronounced chin and thinner lips with Brie having smaller eyes, a slightly larger nose, a warmer smile and a higher brow but this is mostly only noticeable in stills, not on TV. But then in 2012 Nikki got breast implants and has developed a much curvier figure while Brie is noticeably skinnier. They've played it straight since turning face in 2013. Nikki wrestles wearing a t-shirt and baseball cap and has lightened her hair. Brie wears ruffled boot covers and typically wears her hair back with an Alice band. When they made their video game debut in Smackdown vs Raw 2010 one twin wore red and the other wore blue.
  • The Blossom Twins can only be told apart by slightly differing hairstyles. Holly usually has a fringe while Hannah doesn't.
  • Bruiser Brody once had a match against The Mexican Twin Devils, who were pulling the Twin Switch routine through the match. Then Don Diamond ran out and poured flour in the hair of one of the Devils, with Brody pinning that one for the win.
  • Don Harris is an inch taller than his twin brother, Ron.
  • The Killer Bees: Early example of this trope in wrestling. B. Brian Blair and "Jumping" Jim Brunzell were nearly identical height and similar build, making their ability to don their masks at the end of the match and swap places without using a tag behind the referee's back – it created "Mask Confusion" – a big success. It was a twist on similar tactics heels used (albeit the bad guys were never smart enough to realize they could pull it off with masks), although it never won them the Tag Team Championship.
  • The Owens Twins can be distinguished by the different tattoos - Kasey has them on her left shoulder and down her left hip while Leah has one on her right shoulder. Kasey also often favours additional colours such as red and blue in her hair.
  • While The Usos in WWE are not identical, they look similar enough that it can be difficult to tell them apart. Initially, they could only be told apart by a tattoo on Jey's left pec. note  Then Jimmy started wearing long tights and Jey wore shorts. Despite both wearing the same attire now, they're a lot easier to tell apart thanks to the face paint (Jey paints the left half of his face, Jimmy paints the right half of his face), Jimmy's weight gain, and Jey growing a thicker beard.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The module EX2, The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror, which was inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland stories. T. Deeous and T. Diumm (a Shout Out to Tweedledee and Tweedledum) look exactly alike, except for the ties that secure their jackets: one is russet-red, one is plum colored.
    • Ravenloft's wererat darklord, Jacqueline Renier, got so sick of people confusing her with her sister Louise that she went in for the body-alteration version of this trope. Not by changing herself, but by tearing off her sister's earlobe in a fight.

    Video Games 
  • In Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse, the djinn sisters, Khanah Satarah and Khanah Bubishah, always talk with you together, but they fly around too much for you to keep track of which is which. Instead, you have to remember that Satarah wears red and Bubishah wears blue. They frequently test you to see if you know which sister you're addressing.
  • The Banner Saga has Mogun and Hogun, identical twin warriors of whom the former has a scar over his eye. This serves to demonstrate their Red Oni, Blue Oni tendencies.
  • Dr. Ned, the twin brother of Dr. Zed from Borderlands, has a mustache, while his brother lacks facial hair.
  • Custom Robo for the Gamecube has Eliza and Isabella, twins in the employ of the villainous Z Syndicate. They are completely identical in all respects except for the fact that they are literally mirror images of the other: Eliza's ponytail is styled to the right while she holds her fan in her left hand, while Isabella styles her hair to the left and holds her fan in her right hand.
    • This is further referenced with their Custom Robos, who have side oriented gun and bomb parts matching the hand they hold their fans in. Eliza using Waxing parts, and Isabella using Waning parts.
  • In The Darkside Detective, Barry and Larry look identical except for the colors of their shirts and one of them has slightly more hair.
  • Dante and Vergil of the Devil May Cry series. Dante has a relatively simple red longcoat in all his appearances and wears his hair loose. Vergil wears a far more elaborate blue coat and keeps his hair slicked back, though occasionally (such as toward the end of their first fight in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening) it falls out of place, making it look identical to Dante's.
  • Norbert and Dorbert from Diner Dash Adventures has different coloured hair/eyebrows and different style of clothing. Somehow, Flo still confused the latter for the former when they meet for the first time.
  • Hinata and Yuta Aoi of Ensemble Stars! can be rarely told apart, not even by their own parents. For sake of convenience, their markers are their colors and hairpins; one wears pink, the other wears blue, and the hairpins are on opposite sides of their face.
  • In Gloria Union, twin brothers Ishut and Ashley are very easy to tell apart—they have different hairstyles (Shonen Hair versus a ponytail), different taste in clothing, and diametrically opposite personalities. Having lived completely separate lives for about ten years tends to do that.
  • This was an important factor in the HITMAN (2016) Elusive Target contract "The Twin". The target was one of a pair of identical twin brothers who look, dress and act exactly the same, the only difference being that the target twin wore an expensive, one-of-a-kind wristwatch. Since harming the wrong twin in any way would fail the mission, keen observation skills were a necessity here.
  • Alex and Ash from Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number are not actually identical twins, being brother and sister, but they dress identically and wear masks, so the only way to tell them apart is that they have "1" and "2" painted on their masks, respectively.
  • Ami and Mami Futami in The Idol Master. One has a side ponytail on the right (Ami) the other on the left (Mami). Becomes even more pronounced when Mami grows her hair out for the second game and anime.
    • In brother game THE iDOLM@STER: SideM, we have the Aoi twins Kyosuke and Yusuke. Their Idiot Hairs point in opposite directions, and Kyosuke often wears blue-framed glasses in his idol persona.
  • The Neptunia games have the twins Rom and Ram, Rom has short hair and a mostly blue outfit while Ram has longer hair and a mostly pink outfit.
  • Kasumi Yoshizawa in Persona 5 Royal is actually not Kasumi Yoshizawa; It's her twin sister Sumire Yoshizawa who took her personality and identity courtesy of Maruki's cognitive therapy. The real Kasumi Yoshizawa has brown hair and a beauty mark, while Sumire has red hair and doesn't have the mark.
  • Having trouble with the Half-Identical Twins Liza and Tate in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire? Liza has sidetails. She's also a girl while Tate is a boy, though that can be missed.
  • The DeWynter Sisters in Saints Row: The Third are identical twins that look alike and dress alike but can be told apart from the colors of their sunglasses. Kiki wears pink glasses and Viola wears white glasses. After Kiki is killed, Voila will start wearing Kiki's pink glasses in memory of her sister. Their voices are another clue, as Kiki's voice is deeper than Viola's, though Kiki has a different voice actress in Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, making it very difficult to tell their voices apart.
  • Scooby-Doo video games:
    • The second level of Scooby-Doo: Mystery Mayhem has the Milton Brothers, twin brothers who work as movie directors. Earl Milton has a goatee, wears an orange jacket, his beret and scarf are colored yellow-green, and he is voiced by Tom Kenny. Doug Milton has a moustache, wears a dark green jacket, his beret and scarf are colored blue, and he is voiced by Frank Welker.
    • The first mission of Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky Swamp features a pair of twins named Esteban and Emilio. The twins can be distinguished by how their clothes mirror each other, Esteban wears a blue belt, and Emilio wears an orange belt and has facial hair.
  • Angela and Lilith Pleasant in the The Sims 2. To distinguish themselves from one another in their mutual antipathy, Angela is a stereotypical preppy-looking girl in a light summer dress and sparse, natural-toned make-up, while Lilith is a full-on goth girl complete with spiked leather collar, entirely black clothing, black lipstick and white face powder. Despite this, they wear their hair in identical fashion and have remarkably similar personalities and life goals.
  • Two of the "new art" characters in SpyParty are a pair of Asian twins wearing identical suits with blue blazers, except one of them also wears some small pieces of jewelry (ear studs, a tie clip and a ring) and the other doesn't. Fans have dubbed them "Bling Twin" and "Plain Twin", respectively.
  • Gauche and Droite from Tales of Vesperia. They look the same for the most part, but are easy to distinguish due to the color of their hair and eyes, as well as having distinct voices. Furthermore, Gauche uses her left hand, while Droite is right-handed.
    • Tales of Vesperia also has Hisca and Chastel from the OVA The First Strike. They are distinguishable by the fact that Chastel is "more developed" than her sister.
  • Redmond and Blutarch Mann, founders of RED and BLU respectively, in Team Fortress 2. They both wear identical suits with bowler hats, dressed completely in their respective colors. Although they look identical, the family portraits hanging in each of their respective mansions portray the respective brother as tall and handsome, with the other as a short, weasel-y gremlin. Gray Mann, their long-lost triplet, doesn't follow suit, instead looking almost nothing like them. He also considers both of them morons not worth of recognizing in any form, let alone demeaning them in paintings. The person he really has a beef with is Saxton Hale.
  • Though not actually twins, Undertale's Frisk and Chara are only differentiated by facial features (Frisk has a neutral expression with Eyes Always Closed, while Chara has a smile and rosy cheeks), outfit (Frisk has a blue shirt with two purple stripes, Chara has a green shirt with one yellow stripe), and talkativeness (Frisk doesn't speak unless spoken to, Chara literally monologues the entire narration). Whenever facial features aren't different in a fan-comic, especially if there is a camera angle in a greyscale comic that won't show stripes, Frisk is typically shown with curly hair that manifests in clumps, while Chara is usually shown having straight, messy hair.
  • Luciana and Aegina in Yggdra Union are distinguishable because of their different hairstyles, different clothing colors, and the fact that Luciana is a lefty. Unfortunately, they still have to dress similarly because the Imperial Army would lose a huge tactical advantage if their enemies actually wised up, not to mention that there's still people in Fantasinia who are trying to kill the two of them—and this means that even most of their allies have trouble telling them apart at times. This is a plot point in the Yggdra Unison drama CD, where Luciana tries to establish her individuality much more clearly. Out of the whole cast, only Gulcasa and Emilia can reliably tell the twins apart.
    • Aforementioned tactical advantage is used to great effect against player, even. It's possible to confuse the second "Aegina's" distinguishing marks for dodgy spritework at first.

    Visual Novels 
  • In CLANNAD, Kyou and Ryou Fujibayashi are fraternal twins rather than identical, and they're normally very easy to tell apart; Kyou has long hair, Tsurime Eyes and wears a white, lacy ribbon on the right side of her head, while Ryou has short hair, Tareme Eyes and wears the same ribbon on the left side of her head. However, towards the end of Kyou's route in the visual novel, Kyou cuts her hair short and pulls a Twin Switch on Tomoya, making her look more similar to Ryou and briefly confusing Tomoya when he sees her.
  • Used to the Sonozaki sisters' advantage in Higurashi: When They Cry. From an early age, Mion wore a Tomboyish Ponytail and dressed more boyishly, while Shion tied only half her hair back and wore more feminine attire. They frequently pulled twin switches when they were younger with one permanent switch and a full back tattoo thrown in, and can often only be told apart by the way that each styles her hair.
  • Minami and Yukari from Liar Liar are not twins however they look very similar. Yukari wears her hair in Girlish Pigtails and has purple eyes while Minami wears her hair down in a bob haircut and has golden-brown eyes. Minami is also a Perpetual Frowner and is somewhat taller than Yukari.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations: Dahlia Hawthorne has red hair and her twin sister Iris has black. It's likely Dahlia dyes her hair, since her mother, Morgan, has jetblack hair as well. If someone with black hairs try to channel Dahlia it will give the appearance of Iris.
  • Sunrider:
    • In the Dating Sim spin-off Sunrider Academy, Chigara wears a hair ribbon to distinguish herself from her physically identical twin sister Lynn. Apart from that, their personalities are very different: Chigara is shy, nervous and friendly, while Lynn is sullen, moody, and quick to anger. Then they pull a Twin Switch in her route, and pull it off so well that Kayto ends up losing his virginity to Lynn while thinking that she’s Chigara, leaving him confused and angry for the rest of the route.
    • In Sunrider: Liberation Day, the various narratively-important Prototypes can be distinguished from the rank-and-file ones this way. Chigara still has her hair ribbon; Alpha has her hair done up in a wavier hairstyle than the rest; and Alice has darker hair, keeps it slicked back and has prominent facial scars.
  • About midway through the second year in Tokimeki Memorial 2 Maho Shirayuki's breasts grow significantly more than her twin sister Miho's. Thereafter it becomes very easy to distinguish which one just showed up for your date.
  • In Tsukihime, the twins Kohaku and Hisui are (physically) identical apart from their different outfits and their eye color, which also matches their names (kohaku and hisui translate to "amber" and "jade" respectively). This is also a major plot point in the twins' respectively routes of the story, since the flashback is deliberately shown in monochrome to hide which twin Shiki met and when. Personality wise it's a whole 'nother matter, a Kohaku is a Genki Girl and Hisui is a stoic and withdrawn Shrinking Violet. At least at first, and then Kohaku puts in colored contacts and starts pretending to be her sister.
  • Super Danganronpa Another 2: The twins Hibiki and Kanade are physically identical and wear the same clothes with slight differences. Hibiki has Tsurime Eyes, curlier hair, pockets on her coat, and individual eighth note hairclips; Kanade has Tareme Eyes, more compressed hair, a larger bust, and combined eighth note hairclips. Personality-wise, the two are also Polar Opposite Twins. In the third chapter, their minor differences prove to be critical in undermining their alibi and pegging them as the killers. The students also learn just how different Kanade really is from her sister...

    Web Animation 
  • In a Cheat Commandos short, the Blue Laser Commander gets fed up with the fact that the two minions he's spending Thanksgiving with look identical. So he stabs one in the face with a fork. There, now they're much easier to tell apart!
  • Lifty and Shifty in Happy Tree Friends. Shifty wears a hat.
  • Red vs. Blue: The Dakota Twins of Project Freelancer. An interesting example in that they are fraternal male/female twins. It's when they're suited up that they need the distinction. Like all Freelancers, they're given a codename based on a US state, both named Dakota but one is given the North prefix while the other is given South. Both twins also wear purple armour with green accents, although they use different shades so they can be told apart while fully suited.

    Webcomics 
  • In Alice and the Nightmare, the Vena twins are mirror reflections of each other - all that Dee has on the right side (purple streaks, Traumen mark, open eye), Dum has on the left side. In addition, Dee has a scar on their cheek while Dum has it across their mouth.
  • In Arthur, King of Time and Space Fasha/the False Guenevere wears her hair in bunches, rather then Real Guenevere's ponytail. (Or, in the baseline arc, wears a divided hennin, rather than a conical one). Since the whole point of the False Guenevere story in the baseline and space arcs is that no-one can tell them apart, there's a No Fourth Wall strip where Lancelot explains that this is for reader convenience, and is invisible in-universe. This may or may not be the case in the contemporary arc; Arthur initially says the problem with adding Fasha to his own webcomic would be distinguishing her from Guenevere, but later Thing of Shapes to Come strips suggest he figured it out eventually.
  • While not technically twins, Bob and George's Author Avatar put name tags on the alternate future and alternate far-future Megaman and Bass to differentiate themselves from each other, because he knew things would become confusing shortly. Not long after, the far-far-future versions of the alternates appeared with the appropriate tags... And then they took them off, revealing themselves to be the present day alternate Mega Man and Bass.
  • Ennui GO!
    • Izzy and her twin sister Adelie can be told apart by the fact that Izzy dyes her hair pink, and when Izzy ends up getting cloned, the clone dyes the tips. The distinction is taken further when Izzy gets what is either a bullet scar or a star-shaped tattoo to cover the bullet scar.
    • Hashim and Xoltan can also be told apart by hair color and scars, with Hashim having black hair and three slashes over his right eye, and Xoltan having white hair and one slash over his left eye.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! furry creatures Molly and Golly are distinguishable mostly by the fact that Golly likes to wear clothes, while Molly relies on her furriness to let her run around in the buff.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Nale is distinguishable from his twin brother Elan by his goatee and (initially) by his tendency to wear a similar outfit with the color scheme inverted. When Nale pulls a Twin Switch by shaving off the goatee and stealing Elan's clothes, readers can still tell the difference by a darker spot on his face where the goatee once was. The other characters don't notice, except for Belkar who can identify Nale by scent (and only after he ditches the clothes).
  • Sleepless Domain: Technically Self-Duplication rather than twins, but when Cassidy splits herself in half with her powers, each clone has only half a pair of scissors on their skirt and in their hand, and each of them has a different side of her Signature Hair Decs bigger than the other.
  • In Stand Still, Stay Silent, The author drew a picture of main character Mikkel with his twin brother Michael. Michael doesn't wear Mikkel's sideburns, is much better at the whole smiling thing (the corners of Mikkel's mouth tend to come across as physically unable to bend upwards in th comic proper) and is technically the oldest according to the picture's description.
  • In Transmission identical twins Russell and Reggie wear green and orange tops respectively to tell them apart.

    Web Original 
  • This poster demonstrates the reliability of such things when applied to twin teenage girls (specifically, the Von Helson sisters). It's even less reliable when one knows the characters shown in that image are both Affably Evil vampires. Though after certain events involving a Disney Villain Death, they reappeared, this time with one sporting an eyepatch and a nifty new facial feature.
  • From Killerbunnies, we have Duranta and Belladonna Reaping who look the same and there isn't much difference between them, aside from the moles under their eyes being on different sides (Right for Duranta and left for Belladonna), different weapon, accessories, and sidetail, along with length in dresses. Aside from those things, they can be confused for one another.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Puss in Boots' magical clone does not have his trademark Nice Hat. Rather than find an identical hat, Puss Dos instead wears a paper hat so he isn't confused with Puss in Boots.
  • The Oracle Twins in American Dragon: Jake Long plays this straight at first, but then subverts it. In the first season, before the animation style changes, they have the same hair color and general design but can still be told apart by their fashion sense; Kara dresses in a "punk" fashion while Sara has a green dress and Flower in Her Hair. In the second season, their entire appearances, hair color included, are altered so Kara is a stereotypical goth with black hair and paler skin while Sara is a blonde, blue-eyed prep.
  • In Season 5 of Archer, Dr. Krieger meets three clones working for a Central American dictator. The clones wear neckties, while the original Krieger wears a bowtie. Towards the end of the season, they get in a fight and three Kriegers die. The one who survives is seen adjusting a necktie as he gets up, but the evidence for and against him being a clone is never conclusive.
  • Arthur has the Tibble Twins. Timmy wears a blue scarf, while Tommy wears a red one, but otherwise they look identical. Timmy even took advantage of this in one episode by swapping kerchiefs with Tommy while their preschool teacher wasn't looking, leading Tommy to actually have two time-outs in a row.
  • The Bump in the Night episode "Made in Japan II" had Little Robot flee to America because the factory in Osaka that made her and the other Turbo Totrenoid robots were issuing a factory recall with the intent of destroying all the Turbo Totrenoids. One Turbo Totrenoid is sent to hunt down Little Robot, who can be told apart from her sister because the red parts are instead colored purple, she has a black marking on her face, and her chest has an emblem of a skull instead of a heart. After Little Robot's sister is reprogrammed to forget her mission to destroy Little Robot, the purple coloring is the only difference.
  • Chip and Skip, the Dung Beetle twins from Camp Lazlo, can be distinguished because Skip wears a sash with badges over his shirt, while Chip does not. Another difference is that Chip's voice is slightly lower than Skip's.
  • Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop featured a pair of identical vampire twins called the Exorsisters. To tell them apart, Sinista had purple streaks in her hair while Bimbella had white streaks in her hair. The later episodes also depicted Sinista as having messier hair.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Wanda and her "identical-yet-somewhat-hotter" twin sister Blonda. Wanda has pink hair while Blonda, obviously, is a blonde.
  • Futurama:
    • Played with Bender and Flexo. As both are bending units, they were designed with identical looks... except for Flexo having a detachable metal goatee.
    • In "The Farnsworth Paradox" the Planet Express crew visit a an alternate universe; each of their alternate twins has some differentiating feature, usually differently-colored hair, although the bald Professor has a "stylish" ring of stitches around his head.
  • In Gargoyles, the Weird Sisters take on many forms, but in all of them, they are identical but for hair colors (black, white, blond.)
  • Tomax and Xamot, the twin COBRA agents from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, can be distinguished because Xamot has a facial scar and Tomax does not. They also wear costumes that mirror each other.
  • In Gravity Falls, Ford has a cleft in his chin that his (actually fraternal, but similar-looking enough to pull a Twin Switch) twin brother Stan does not have, they have different voices (but can imitate each other pretty well), and most significantly of all, Ford has an extra finger on each hand.
  • Susan and Mary Test, from Johnny Test, have different hairstyles, different hair clips (a star or moon) different shirt colors and designs, different shoes, and differently-shaped glasses (square for Susan, half-moon for Mary). The clincher though is that one has green eyes and the other blue, a Twin Switch would probably require them to wear contacts.
  • Jim and Tim Possible from Kim Possible look and act completely identical, aside from the colors of their shirts; Jim wears red and Tim wears green.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Korra's cousins Desna and Eska, who are Half-Identical Twins so identical that the only major visual clues are their clothes (Eska has a different hemline on her coat, slimmer leggings, eye makeup, and small hair decs). Otherwise, unless you see them together and look really closely at their faces, you have to wait for them to start talking. And Desna is a boy.
    • In the third season, there are twins Wei and Wing, both metalbending prodigies. Both of them have few visual cues (Wei parts his hair to the left, wears a bracelet on his left arm, and wears a rounded necklace and round belt buckle. Wing parts his hair to the right, wears a bracelet on his right arm, and wears a necklace that has a tapered point and a hexagonal belt buckle)
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012): The show's resident alpha bitches Whittany and Brittany Biskit are indestiguishable physically (and personality wise for that matter), except for the fact Whittany has black hair and Brittany has white hair.
    • They later adopt a pair of twin chinchillas, Cashmere and Velvet, who are uncannily similar to their owners, including being interchangeable, except for that fact that one has patch of black fur on her head while the other has pink fur on her head.
  • The second season of M.A.S.K. gave V.E.N.O.M. leader Miles Mayhem a twin brother named Maximus, who could be told apart from his brother because his hair was a lighter shade of gray, he wore a monocle, and the stone on his mask was colored green instead of red.
  • Psyko Ferret: Jackie wears overalls and has a slightly goth aesthetic while her twin sister Jill wears a dress. Their hair is also styled slightly differently from one another and they have different earrings.
  • The Trishas from Rated "A" for Awesome are nearly identical, except they're mirror images of each other. Trisha #1 has an earring on her left ear and her hair parts to the right, while Trisha #2 has an earring on her right ear and her hair parts to the left. Also, whenever they wear different clothes, Trisha #1 is usually wearing a darker shade of pink than Trisha #2. Their cousin, also named Trisha, is identical to Trisha #2 except her hair is strawberry blonde instead of regular blonde.
  • Subverted with Sam and Dave, the Diggers, on Recess, as they were identical best friends (though in the Japanese dub, they are twins). The way you could tell them apart was that Sam wore a red bandana around his neck, and Dave wears a white mouth cover around his neck.
  • Rugrats:
    • Phil and Lil De Vil are identical fraternal twins. They can be distinguished in several ways: Lil wears a bow in her hair while Phil does not, Lil's shoes are pink and Phil's are blue, Phil's sleeves are tight, while Lil's are flared, Lil's overalls are flared like a skirt, and Phil wears blue shorts under his while Lil wears only her diaper. Also, in the pre-uncancelation episodes, Lil had earlobes and Phil did not (they both have them in the subsequent episodes). However, the bow is all that their oblivious parents ever notice; on several occasions they're able to confuse the grown-ups by putting Lil's bow on Phil. One episode has Lil give herself pigtails and Phil mess up his hair so they can be told apart.
    • Angelica invoked this trope when she pretended to have a twin sister named "Ballina". To portray Ballina, she tied up her Girlish Pigtails and rolled up the sleeves of her shirt. She also spoke in a higher pitched voice.
  • The Simpsons;
    • Patty and Selma Bouvier. Selma's hair is parted, Patty's is not. Patty parted hers in one episode as part of a plan to break Selma and Abe apart. It failed when the real Selma showed up while Patty was tricking Abe.
    • With the completely identical Sherri and Terri, Word of God says that Sherri always stands on the left.
  • While it's not official that they are twins but, regardless, look alike, Ingrid and Latoyah from Slacker Cats have different colour eyeshadow - purple and green - and one has slightly darker colored hair, though which one is which is another matter. According to this pic, Ingrid is the one with green eyeshadow, but that hasn't stayed consistent in the series.
  • The Smurfs:
    • While actually magical clones instead of twins, the two Papa Smurfs in the episode "Papa Smurf, Papa Smurf" are each given a different colored feather in their cap to distinguish between the two Papa Smurfs. When the two Papa Smurfs finally merge back into one near the end of the episode, the single Papa Smurf ends up wearing both feathers in his cap.
    • The same episode also has Gargamel gaining a magical clone. They are distinguishable by different injuries and bandaged areas (one has bandages around his head and the other bandaged his nose). When the two merge, the single Gargamel has both bandages on his head and nose.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The clone troopers, being genetically identical, use different hairstyles, facial hair, tattoos and scars to differentiate themselves, and often customize their armor with designs of their choice. In addition, while they all have the same voice actor, their voices often vary slightly in tone or even accent.
  • Street Football: One of the Tekno Twins (Tek and No) played with this trope in "Alter Ego" until he learned the four boys in the Scottish team are brothers of the one girl of their team.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987): In the 1987 series, the turtles were physically identical, the only visual differences between any of them being the color of their bandannas and the initials on their belt buckles.
  • In Teen Titans Mas and Menos respectively wear a plus and minus on their clothes. The only other difference is that Menos has a gap between his front teeth.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine:
    • Bert has stubble, while his twin brother 'Arry does not.
    • The Brendham Bay Twins and Scottish Twins both wear actual name tags. In the case of the Scottish Twins, the names are painted on because they pulled one too many twin switches in in their backstory.
    • Bill and Ben looking nearly identical to each other was played with in the Season 2 episode, "The Diseasel", in which their drivers removed their name tags so they could play a trick on BoCo, who had mistakenly taken their freight cars. In the Season 17 episode, "Bill or Ben?", Sir Topham Hatt sent Bill to the Steamworks to get a blue coat of paint so Connor would be able to tell him and Ben apart after they played a trick on him. This plan didn't work because Ben tricked Kevin into thinking he was Bill and giving him a blue coat of paint as well.
  • Total Drama:
    • Amy of Pahkitew Island has a beauty mark under her left eye; Samey...er, Sammy, does not.
    • In the spin-off Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race Mickey wears a helmet but Jay does not. The two also have slightly different hairdos (possibly because of the helmet) and jackets that are different shades of blue.
  • Totally Spies!: Terry underwent surgery so he'd no longer look or sound like Jerry. That said, he is also capable of Latex Perfection.
  • Transformers: Rescue Bots featured a pair of twin brothers named Evan and Myles, who often committed crimes only to be thwarted by the Rescue Bots and the Burns family. The brothers were completely identical except Evan wore glasses, had neater hair and never spoke.
  • This is actually commented on in The Venture Bros. episode "Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman", where Dr. Quymn's daughters Nancy and Drew explain that they're technically semiidentical. Which is to say that Drew has freckles on her nose and Nancy doesn't. Hank can't tell them apart even after he hears about this.
  • Woody Woodpecker's twin nephew and niece Knothead and Splinter can be told apart by Splinter wearing a bow and a skirt.

    Real Life 
  • Mary Kate Olsen tried this when she dyed her hair. Ironically the Olsen twins are actually fraternal. You'd never be able to guess it.
    • During their time as "Michelle" you couldn't tell them apart. Now it's a lot easier, even without the dye job, and while both of the twins continue to collaborate on their fashion and business ventures, only Mary Kate has continued acting as well, making her more visible as a solo presence than Ashley.
    • In their films Mary Kate typically played the Tomboy while Ashley played the Girly Girl - so the sisters were easily distinguished by what clothing they wore. The exception is Winning London where their roles were inverted.
  • Bill and Tom Kaulitz's... everything. From a young age, Bill cut his hair short and spiked it, Tom got dreads, then Bill got an eyebrow piercing, Tom got a lip piercing, Bill got a tongue piercing, Tom starting dressing 'gangsta', Bill started wearing make-up...
  • Twin comedians Randy and Jason Sklar of Cheap Seats fame: Jason wears glasses (and has a more receding hairline).
  • Canadian singers Tegan and Sara Quin typically have differing hairstyles and have different tattoos, and only make an effort to look alike for artistic reasons (such as the video they did with Tiesto "Feel It In My Bones").
  • The Turnley twins are award winning photojournalists, and identical twins who HATE being confused for one another. One decided to grow a goatee while the other remains clean-shaven, which helps.
  • For stage actors Shouta and Kenta Yamanaka, Shouta bleaches his hair while Kenta does not.
  • Some schools actually require this for identical twins placed in the same class. The easiest way to do this is to designate colors for each child for some article of clothing—shoes, a bracelet, etc.
  • The Dahm Triplets (models and actresses) had tiny, barely noticeable dots tattooed so their parents could tell them apart when they were babies: Jacklyn has none, Nicole has one, and Ericka has two.
  • Cesar and Constantin Faucher were two French generals from the Revolutionary Wars who wore differently coloured flowers on their coats so that others may tell them apart. (To make the resemblance worse, they fought in the same units, were always promoted on the same day and were even wounded on the same battlefields. Also, they were executed together.)
  • Advice columnist Ann Landers had a nose job done so she would look less like her twin sister, Abigail Van Buren, aka Dear Abby.
  • One way to tell miniature figure sculptors Alan and Michael Perry apart is the fact that Michael is missing his right arm, having lost the limb in an accident while loading a reproduction cannon.
  • Henrik and Daniel Sedin, captain and alternate captain of the Vancouver Canucks, respectively. Apart from both twins having diifferent jersey numbers, while most players' jerseys have just their last names on the back, but the Sedin brothers' feature their first initials as well. And of course, Henrik's jersey has a 'C' on the shoulder in the front to denote him as captain, while Daniel has an 'A'. Despite all this, there still has been the occasion where the wrong Sedin got sent to the penalty box.
  • Apart from having different tattoos on their arms, American football players Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin of the Seattle Seahawks are also distinguished by the fact that Shaquem is missing his left hand, which was amputated when he was four, as the limb was entangled in amniotic bands before birth and never properly developed.
  • The family and friends of identical twins—especially the parents—are usually able to tell the two apart by subtle cues that casual observers might miss, such as different laughs, speech patterns, hair patterns, or clothing preferences.
  • An architectural example: the original Twin Towers from the World Trade Center in New York City. 1 WTC (or North Tower) had its tall spire that housed communication antennae while 2 WTC (South Tower) had the rooftop observation deck.
  • Parents to newborn identical twins learn to differentciate between them by the shape of their belly-button, which is a scar and thus unique to everyone.

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