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Those Two Guys

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Sam: Ed, Larry—this is Lisa Sherborne from Vanity Fair.
Lisa: Which one's Ed, which one's Larry?
Ed and Larry (simultaneously): Doesn't matter.

Two minor side characters who act as a mundane Greek Chorus, providing in-universe commentary on the events of the show. They may or may not be snarky and unlike the Greek Chorus, they don't break the fourth wall very often (if at all).

Some pairs become involved in the plot less and less as the series progresses, especially if the plot becomes more serious. Given what usually happens to people involved in the plot, it's probably for the best. However, it's not uncommon for Those Two Guys to also become popular and even iconic characters in the series.

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Their personalities usually sharply contrast, e.g. calm/hyper, jock/geek, etc., or their appearances contrast, e.g. short/tall, thin/fat... When they don't, they will be exactly the same. They might even wear Coordinated Clothes. Their names are often esoteric (either too complex or too simple to stand out), plus their non-involvement with the plot usually results in them being called "Those Two Guys". Occasionally, we get a Lower-Deck Episode from their point of view. Expect to ask someone who they are after a few episodes.

May overlap with Mister X and Mister Y and Catch-Phrase Spouting Duo. Contrast Bumbling Henchmen Duo, a pair of hilariously incompetent baddies.


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Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In FLCL, we have Gaku (a.k.a. Mr. SMOOOOOOOCH~!) and Masaki, two Odd Couple/ Red Oni, Blue Oni classmates of Naota who, when they show up, also serve the unique dual-role purpose of being the Greek Chorus, as they comment on the truly bizarre events of the series.
  • Full Metal Panic! has Shinji and Kyoko, best friends of Sousuke and Kaname respectively and often pair them up as a Greek Chorus. Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu expands the roster using (the pre-existing but very minor characters) Mizuki and Onodera to give Kaname (Kyoko and Mizuki) and Sousuke (Shinji and Onodera) each a pair of their own Those Two Guys.
  • The shadow players in Revolutionary Girl Utena. Two girls who are only ever seen together while performing shadow plays that metaphorically describe the theme or lesson of the day's episode. At first they are presented as a out of universe Greek Chorus, but then the Black Rose Arc has Utena making snarky retorts to their story, and later on in the series the main characters attend one of their plays.
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Comics

  • Jonathan Hickman's Avengers has the mutants Cannonball and Sunspot. The two best friends spent a lot of time on the sidelines making funny banter, were rarely seen without the other, and were shown in side-stories to deal with wackier missions while the rest of the Avengers handled the serious threats. This changed after the events of Time Runs Out, when Sunspot stepped up as a leader of one of the splintered Avengers factions, with Cannonball leaving for space with his wife and child (though also still serving as Sunspot's right-hand man).

Film:Animated

  • Lumiere and Cogsworth (the candlestick and the clock) from Beauty and the Beast are the contrasting type: Lumiere is the tall romantic, and Cogsworth the short grumpy one. Both are servants in the Beast's household providing commentary on Belle and the Beast's developing relationship.
  • The rats Nick and Fetcher from Chicken Run provide commentary on the chickens' wild and far-fetched attempts to escape in addition to their more plot-relevant role in sourcing useful items for said attempts.
  • The Lion King (1994): Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog are inseparable, contrast each other visually and personality-wise, and act as comic relief in an otherwise fairly serious story. They generally provide funny comments, such as singing about how they are aghast that Simba and Nala have reconciled in "Can You Feel the Love Tonight".

Film:Live-Action

  • Jay and Silent Bob in Clerks and other Kevin Smith films. Two friends, one skinny, one fat, who hang around together making mundane observations and occasionally dispensing wisdom to the protagonists. Despite their minimal plot importance, they were popular enough to eventually received spinoff works.
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and its sequels have the two Jewish guys, Rosenberg and Goldstein, direct Expys of the titular characters from Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead. They're minor characters who get only a few scenes but provide humorous reactions and half-baked advice to the main characters.
  • The Tournament has Eddie and Rob, the two techs charged with keeping track of the players and monitoring their progress. They provide a running commentary and act as Greek Chorus on the action.

Literature

  • Whateley Universe: In the first year of the "first generation" stories, we have inseparable freshman roommates Peeper (loud, abusive, lazy) and Greasy (quiet, polite, talented photographer and inventor). As shock jocks on student-run radio WARS, their schtick ranges from topical and current events to raunch. Retribution is often swift and well-deserved, as when their commentary on Fall Combat Finals is interrupted by a velociraptor with heavy-duty duct tape. Early in their sophomore year, Greasy realizes he doesn't have to play minion to a Jerkass like Peeper and walks out on-air.

Puppet Shows

  • The Muppet Show has Statler and Waldorf, two identically-dressed grumpy old men known for their back and forth exchanges where they heckle the other performers and criticize the sketches they just watched. They are best known for providing The Stinger at the end of episodes. They perform a similar service here on TV Tropes as well.

Theater

  • Tanya and Rosie in Mamma Mia!. While they have their own subplots, their main purpose is to be Donna's funny longtime friends to whom she confides her troubles. They back her up (often dramatically and for comic relief) throughout the show.

Western Animation

  • Rocky and Bullwinkle has Chauncey and Edgar, two men who for some reason are always reading newspapers right next to whatever antics the main characters are getting up to. They provide understated commentary on the fantastic events they're witnessing and then disappear, never to be seen until the next thing happens.
    Edgar: "Now there's something you don't see everyday, Chauncey."
    Chauncey: "What's that, Edgar?"
    Edgar: "[something ridiculous involving Moose and Squirrel]"
    Chauncey: "Oh, I don't know, Edgar. [Incredibly Lame Pun]"


Statler: I can't believe we haven't watched this show before!
Waldorf: I don't want to believe we have!
Both: Do-ho-ho-ho-hoh!

 
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Alternative Title(s): Those Two Girls

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Caleb and Jonathan

Caleb Hyles and Jonathan Young have collaborated on multiple occasions, in this case a cover for "The Final Countdown".

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