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Twin Switch

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A popular plot where a set of twins or identical acquaintances trades places or pretends to be each other. This can be to fulfill the other's responsibilities, such as a test or a date, or to experience their life in a Grass Is Greener moment.

The advantage in having a twin — or a Doppelgänger — is that one can pretend to be the other because of their similar or identical appearance. The disadvantage to all this, however, is that the twins in question are usually Polar Opposite Twins — the wild one must pose as the book learner to successfully fool a boyfriend on a date, or the book learner has to be a party animal to fool their friends for example.

When this situation occurs, especially in a series, An Aesop almost invariably follows. It's almost always the same Aesop every time: the twins learn that each others' lives both have their ups and downs.


One should note that in real life it is much harder for twins to pull this off. They don't always have the same hairstyle, body weight, or voice. And unless the two are very young and haven't yet developed secondary sexual characteristics the odds of twins of differing genders successfully fooling others is extremely low.

See also Tag Team Twins for a different type of Twin Switch and Twin Test, which may involve a Twin Switch if you're dealing with some Trickster Twins. Compare with Prince and Pauper. Contrast Fake Twin Gambit. Subtrope to Identical Twin Mistake.



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  • A toothpaste ad had a pair of identical twins on a double date, who decide to go to the toilets and swap dresses to see if their boyfriends notice. The one who uses the toothpaste being advertised naturally has better teeth than the one who doesn't, and her boyfriend immediately recognises her.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Taken to an incredibly cruel length with Ayato Naoi and his twin brother in Angel Beats!. His father made him switch with his twin after the twin died because his brother was more successful. This is part of the reason Naoi's so screwed up.
  • This is basically what kick-starts the plot of Arisa, in which Tsubasa and Arisa decide to switch places for a day and Tsubasa learns that her sister has been keeping some very dark secrets...
  • Played for Drama and possibly deconstructed in Ashita no Nadja. When Francis Harcourt is mistaken as Black Rose, he refuses to discard his identity and fully intends to pay for his older twin Keith's acts as a Gentleman Thief. This is seen as a sign of Francis's current mental/emotional instability, however, and not to mention Keith himself is extremely disturbed and distressed by the prospect, as it prolongs a behavior pattern that Francis has been showing ever since childhood (blame himself for any screw up Keith commited and telling others he had done it instead).
  • Hideyoshi from Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts. The guy is so girly all he needs to do is swap into a school girl uniform, take off a hairpin, and change his voice a bit and he'll look/act the same way as his twin sister Yuuko. He's so good he was able to make Class C believe "Yuuko" was degrading them and got Class C to attack Class A in episode 12!
    • Later in episode 3 of season 2, both Hideyoshi and Yuuko switch places, this time on purpose, and end up making things worse for each other.
  • Done tragically in Black Butler. Because the real Ciel died at the hands of the cult, his twin brother, who summoned Sebastian Michaelis, took his name.
  • Taken to a an incredibly creepy level with Hansel and Gretel in Black Lagoon. They flawlessly transition into the other twin's place by switching clothes, changing their voices, and even swapping their personalities. It gets to the point where it is impossible to tell which twin is which and what gender they are at all (it is implied that parts of their body covered by their clothes have been deformed, and that wouldn't be a good indicator).
  • This happens several times with Mikoto and her numerous clones in A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun, both deliberately and by accident:
    • Touma mistakes Misaka 10032 for 10031 at first, before he learns of the cloning. This includes briefly thinking that 10032 is dead when he sees the corpse of 10031.
    • The actions of the clones are attributed to Mikoto, for example Mikoto's teacher thinks that her student has been shooting a gun in public (Mikoto never uses guns but her clones do).
    • During the School Festival, 10032 is mistaken for Mikoto, and dragged into a game of tag that Mikoto herself was late for. Mikoto lets 10032 play around, since the clone hasn't had anything resembling a normal life until then. She also does surprisingly well; her opponents use tactics designed to fight one of the most powerful espers in Academy City, not a clone with high-level military training and experience from over ten thousand battles.
  • The classic 80s shoujo Cipher does this with the main character twins Siva and Cipher (real names Jake and Roy Rang). They used to be actors and models together until Siva got a scar on his forehead, and now Cipher does all the modeling and acting work under the name of Siva while Cipher is said to have quit the business.
  • An episode of D.N.Angel has twin sisters Risa and Riku Harada pulling this off, and almost being found out.
    • Happened in a manga chapter: Risa forces Rokuto's replacement—Riku—to do a twin switch with her for the dance. They get found out by Daisuke realizing the one in front of him wasn't Risa (by personality) and by Rokuto because "Riku" revealed herself to be Risa.
  • Di[e]ce: Like all the other counterparts, Yuki and Ruka aren't related, but they do look exactly alike. Ruka impersonates Yuki for several chapters, with the intent of murdering his friends. Sion can tell what's happened, but does nothing; by the time Kazuki figures it out, he's already befriended Ruka. So that didn't work out as planned.
  • In the second Digimon Tamers movie, Henry accidentally grabs his sister's partner Lopmon instead of his own, Terriermon. The latter was not pleased.
    Terriermon: Man, how could he think I was Lopmon?! When I get my hands on him, I'll—
    Suzie: Terriermon, momentai!
  • Identical characters switching places are a major plot point in two Gundam series:
    • ∀ Gundam had Dianna Soriel and Kihel Heim periodically switching places. Dianna originally seemed to do it as a practical joke on her attendants (being Queen doesn't give you too many chances to have fun), but it ends up going a bit far when they are separated by a war. At the end of the series, they switch again, with Kihel ruling the Moonrace while Dianna settles down in peace with Loran.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin has a much darker take, with Casval Rem Deikun and the real Char Aznable, who look identical except for their eye color. Casval, knowing the Zabi family is planning to assassinate him and correctly guessing they'll plant a bomb on the commercial space flight the boys are taking to military school, plants a gun on Char so spaceport security will detain him, then "generously" offers to switch places, thus becoming the Char we all know and love while the real one's remains are scattered through outer space.
  • Though they aren't actually twins, Ui from K-On! pulls this in the last episode of the first season. Yui caught a cold and with mere days left before their performance, everyone was getting nervous. Ui poses as Yui and steps in for Yui in their last rehearsal before the live show, but has her cover blown away when she turns out to be more in time than her sister and doesn't use the usual nicknames like Ricchan and Azu-nyan. Don't worry though — Yui gets better in time for the show.
  • Kekko Kamen has the twins Chigusa and Yuka, who enrolled at Sparta Academy pretending to be a single person, Chigusa Yuka, due being unable to afford two tuitions. As Chigusa Yuka was the first person suspected of being Kekko Kamen, when they find out the teachers obviously deduce the real reason is that Kekko Kamen is both of them and the real reason they enrolled as a single person is to cover for each other... Only for Kekko Kamen to show up with both of them. The teachers were actually right: the twins are Kekko Kamen... Alongside their other four sisters, all of whom look so similar they can easily cover for each other in spite of Kekko Kamen's costume consisting of boots, gloves, mask and nothing else.
  • In Living for the Day After Tomorrow, Adult!Karada looks just like her mother Youko.
  • Subverted with Kagami and Tsukasa in Lucky Star. On Konata's advice, Kagami temporarily unbinds her hair, while Tsukasa dons her sister's ribbons for her own Girlish Pigtails. Kagami (whose hair is longer to begin with) looks even more mature and...rather pretty. Tsukasa (whose hair is short) just looks even more childish.
  • In the Seinen series Monster, this is played interestingly: we know that a pair of opposite sex twins were taken where one of them (accidentally) sees a killing spree, and it's thought that the kid would grow up to be a cold-blooded murderer. Later, we know that Johan, the twin who becomes a cold, malevolent serial killer was the one who hadn't witnessed the murder scenery and only heard about the massacre from the history of the other twin, Nina. To make things worse, it's implied that their mother confused and gave them the "wrong" twin, which may be or may be not an honest mistake since she dressed both the same way, complete with wigs to conceal their real gender and to hide that she had two children and not one.
  • Michio Yuki and his older brother in MW. After the death of Michio, his brother makes an evil grin to the viewers, concluding that it is none other than Michio himself, and that his brother was the one who got shot by Minch, not him.
  • Tragic example in Naruto: After Hiashi Hyuuga killed a ninja (who was a visiting delegate for another hidden village) for trying to kidnap his daughter, Hinata, the ninja's village demanded Hiashi's head in compensation. The clan elders suggested sending Hiashi's twin brother and Neji's father, Hizashi, in his place (They wanted to do this because the kidnapping was an attempted Xanatos Gambit in order to get a Byakugan via either Hinata or Hiashi. Hizashi, as a member of the cadet branch, had the Caged Bird Seal, which would seal his Byakugan away upon his death, thus preventing the other village from getting it). Though Hiashi objected, Hizashi agreed as a way to save his brother, prevent a war and choose his own destiny.
  • Ouran High School Host Club:
    • The Hitachiin twins. The fact that Haruhi could tell them apart (rather easily, so it would seem) is what causes their attraction and respect for her.
    • The Hitachiins pull this particular move quite cruelly in a flashback, proving that they were way bigger jerkasses before Tamaki befriended them; they switch places to mess with a girl who has a crush on one of them, prove that she can't actually tell them apart, give her an absolutely crushing "The Reason You Suck" Speech for accidentally treating them as interchangeable (which brings her to tears), then rip up her love letter and brush her off. Of course, this is more lashing out in frustration about their isolation and identity issues than because they're actually mean.
    • Tamaki finally managed to befriend the twins when he played their "guess which is which" game and got it right. They realize that he just got lucky, but the fact that he actually cared which was which proved that he wouldn't treat them as interchangeable, which was all they ever wanted.
    • Early in the manga and anime, the twins dye their hair different colors so they won't be mistaken for each other... Then switch whose hair is which color the next day. However, after a Character Development late to the manga, they decide to differentiate themselves for good; Hikaru dyes his hair black, whereas Kaoru keeps the natural brown color of his hair but grows it to shoulder length.
  • In Pokémon, May and Jesse would wind up accidentally getting their Wurmple swapped, and the twerps have to track down Team Rocket to return the Wurmple to their rightful trainers.
  • The Kisarazu twins accidentally pull one in The Prince of Tennis. Mizuki came to recruit Ryou, but took Atsushi instead with him for mistake. When he found out, he gave Atsushi an Important Haircut.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets has numerous examples, being about a group of identical quintuplet sisters who are identical save for their hairstyles and hair decorations. It's taken to an extreme when all but one of them is late for school. Yotsuba, the only one who made it on time, makes up an excuse to leave and the other four sisters disguise themselves as her to get in under the watchful eye of the student counselor. Said counselor is left confused as to why the same girl is leaving and returning so many times.
  • Samurai High School: Kou and Tsukiko entered Samurai High School by posing as each other. They occasionally switched back whenever Tsukiko wanted to go on a date with her crush or watch her idol.
  • Exaggerated in the oneshot Sayonara Oruta. Ruriko and Hariko's parents got them mixed up when they were newborns, so nobody actually knows which of them is the older one, and they continue to switch almost daily up through high school. In fact, the story opens on the funeral for one of them, and the surviving one isn't even sure if it's her sister in the memorial photo.
  • In Touch, Tatsuya impersonates his brother a few times, once taking his place on the baseball team when Kazuya is injured (as Kazuya is a star pitcher and Tatsuya is not yet, the idea was never for him to actually play; just to keep their players' morale up and the opposing team intimidated). At least one other time he pretends to be Kazuya to try and pick up girls, only to be scolded by Minami.
    • Tatsuya even manages to successfully pull this once after Kazuya dies. Koutarou was not amused.
  • The manga series Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, which is RIFE with Tomato in the Mirror moments, involves at least one classic Twin Switch...of the distinctly unfunny, taking-my-dead-brother's-place type with Fai and Yuui.
    • The omake-verse includes a lighter variant: during a treasure hunt featuring one of the twins in question and a "friend" of his, there is a black out, and when the lights go back on the twins are swapped. The second twin is later revealed to be the actual prize of the treasure hunt, having gone off to Italy years prior and just now returning in secret to his brother.
  • Mixed with Identical Stranger in Weiß Kreuz. Sakura Tomoe, a Naïve Everygirl who looks a lot like her crush Ran's comatose younger sister, stashes Aya in a closet when some people come to kidnap her and takes her place. Her kidnapper, Schuldig, was not amused.
  • Why the Hell Are You Here, Teacher!?: Tadashi and Kokoro are Half-Identical Twins, but Kokoro looks boyish enough and Tadashi looks feminine enough that nobody realizes that he's taken her place at an all-girls school, and months later only a few of the teachers have realized. One time, when Tadashi is dragged along to a lingerie store, Kokoro is also there, but the other girls assume she's a boy and kick her out.
  • You and Me has Yuuki, who made his identical twin brother Yuuta switch with him at his part-time job. They didn't manage to fool the manager because of their considerably different personalities, though.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Leo takes the place of his twin sister Luna for the first duel of the Fortune Cup. He does a terrible impression of his sister, and his opponent is not fooled.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • In Detective Comics #374, Robin gets assaulted and Batman deduces that the man responsible is boxer Jim Condors. However, upon attempting to turn him in to the police, Batman is informed that Condors was in the middle of a boxing match when the assault took place. Batman later figures out that Condors had a twin brother and was able to pull a twin switch in order to get revenge on Robin for sending his brother to jail.
    • Batman: Black and White features a heartbreaking example. Marilyn Crane, a brilliant plastic surgeon, is able to repair Two-Face's scarred visage, which restores his sanity and allows him to be Harvey Dent again. The two fall in love and start planning a wedding, but trouble begins when Marilyn's twin sister Madeline shows up (Marilyn kept her a secret to prevent Harvey's duality obsession from triggering). Madeline, who is clearly mentally ill, decides she wants Harvey for herself. The two start an affair, but Harvey ultimately chooses Marilyn and breaks things off—at which point Madeline kills her own sister and claims that now she can be Marilyn. In a Downer Ending, Harvey resorts to reawakening Two-Face by mutilating himself with hot coals and killing Madeline.
    • In the Blackgate one-shot, part of Cluemaster's Great Escape plan involves one of the Trigger Twins answering to both names during a emergency roll-call while the other sneaks away.
    • Kate Kane and her twin sister Beth pulled this on their teachers when they were kids.
  • Girls' comic Bunty ran a story in which a vain, arrogant teenage model became disfigured and had her shy twin sister pose as her for modelling jobs until the first twin's face healed.
    • The Comp, a soap opera style strip in the same comic once featured a story line in which two characters, Laura and Becky were grounded for attending a pop concert against the wishes of their respective mothers. When Becky was asked out on a date (by a boy she couldn't stand anyway) her twin sister, Hayley, decided to go in her place. However, this backfired when Becky, who was still allowed out to go to school and run errands, appeared with the girls' younger brothers.
  • Dennis the Menace (UK) where he discovers he has an Identical Stranger. He uses this to his advantage: have the double talk to Sergeant Slipper whilst he is catapulting everyone with tomatoes (thus getting him out of trouble because Slipper claims "Dennis" was talking to him), making others around Beanotown think they've gone potty, and at the end the double ends up doing Dennis's washing up after he sneaks out after tea (he had told his double to wait outside whilst he went to check the coast was clear).
  • While Diabolik favors Latex Perfection, this trope has been used at times:
    • In one occasion the police found a man that looked like Diabolik with bleached hair, and brought him in. Thankfully, the accidental switch was discovered before he could suffer Diabolik's pending capital punishment... But then he met the title character, and as they had reasons to help each other they freely took advantage of the trope.
    • Before being exposed in the third issue Diabolik used the identity of Walter Dorian, who was later revealed being a man that just looks like him that Diabolik had assaulted and pushed into a river before stealing his identity believing he had killed him, even confessing his murder on his first arrest. Years later Walter Dorian, who in the meantime had been captured by rogue soldiers and imprisoned as a spy, managed to come back to Clerville, and was not amused at finding out who the man who nearly killed him was... Or that the government, believing him dead without relatives, had seized all his assets.
  • In the Dutch Donald Duck magazine, Huey, Dewey and Louie once swapped hats to confuse the hell out of everyone, since you can usually identify who's who by their coloured caps.
  • Vivian and Constance D'Aramis actually faked Constance's death so that one could appear as Justice League Europe member The Crimson Fox, while the other acted as CEO of their family corporation. Since they had identical superpowers, they switched between the roles.
  • A variant on this happens in the French comic, Les Passagers du Vent (The Passengers of the Wind), though it's played for drama and not comedy. The two girls, Agnes and Isabeau, aren't related (Isabeau, nicknamed "Isa", is an orphan brought in as Agnes's playmate), and while they resemble one another, they aren't completely identical. In order to play a prank on Agnes's father, who hasn't seen either of them for years, they swap clothes and pretend to be one another — and the prank works so well that he, to take care of their further education, sends "Isa" (really Agnes) off to a convent while keeping "Agnes" (really Isa) with him in the belief that she's his real daughter. Scared of being sent to the convent herself, "Agnes" keeps the bluff going, and hence nobody listens to "Isa's" attempt at telling the truth. The girls end up permanently living each other's lives, leading to a very complicated love/hate relationship between them as adults.
  • Roderick Kingsley, AKA the Hobgoblin and enemy of Spider-Man, frequently used his twin brother Daniel Kingsley in his criminal schemes. Since Daniel was a whiny, sniveling Dirty Coward, Roderick exploited this to make people think that he too was a pathetic weakling rather than the Magnificent Bastard he really was.
    • Spider Man has done this himself with his clone Kaine. During the Grim Hunt arc, Kaine pretends to be Peter to trick the Kravinoff family into hunting him for their ritual to resurrect the original Kraven, which resulted in Kraven coming back unable to be killed except by a Spider. He's not happy.
  • The Tintin story "King Ottokar's Sceptre" has a man's twin brother switch places with him as part of the plot to usurp King Muskar.
    • Played more realistically than most instances of this trope in that the twins weren't much alike; the evil twin had to wear glasses, didn't smoke, and was a lot less absent-minded than his brother, who was near-sighted, smoked like a chimney and kept dropping his butts when he was done with them without noticing.
  • In X-Men Noir, Thomas and Robert Halloway made a game of making people think there was only one of them when they were kids. After their father died, they were adopted by different families — but when they met up as adults, Robert insisted on keeping up the game. If anything you could probably consider this an inversion; they used this trick so their singular identity could be in two places at once.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Hypnota used to switch with her sister Serva as part of her magic act. After Serva shot her and her powers were awakened she used her hypnotic powers to make Serva forget they were twins to further conceal herself whenever they switch places.
    • Sensation Comics: The Heyday triplets are all identical, which comes in handy when their criminal older brother kidnaps them and tries to force them to sign legal documents signing over their inheritances, so they pretend to be each other. They also do this at Holliday College for fun, which frustrates their professors and has caused the other Holliday Girls to make them wear nametags.
  • Zipi y Zape: The twins do this a few times, but end up getting caught.

    Fan Works 
  • In Boy Scouts ½, When twins Kirstin and Nicole Porter are involved in a production of Romeo and Juliet, half way through Nicole foists her role of Juliet upon Kirstin, so that Kirstin might get to kiss Aaron, the boy she likes, who is playing Romeo.
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Vanity's Double", Vanity and his Mirror Self Century switch places during the Smurfs' production of Robin Hood, with Vanity doing the more dramatic non-action scenes and Century doing the action scenes with swordfighting, since Vanity is afraid of swords. Before that, though, Vanity secretly switches places with Century at the auditions to make it appear that Vanity is a better actor than Century (the only difference being that Century's flower is on the left side of his hat while Vanity's is on the right side).
  • In the Ranma ½ fanfic Equal Halves, note  Ranma and Ranko do this so that Ranma can practice talking to Akane without it becoming a shouting match. They even get the idea from seeing The Parent Trap on TV.
  • In the Tales of the Abyss fanfic. Reflections, Asch, who never joined Van, and Luke, who never cut his hair tend to do this a lot. It's also a major plot point in parts of the story. At the end both return and do it one last time... and for the very first time fool no one.
  • The premise of The Rigel Black Chronicles, with Harriett and Archie swapping places so that they can go to their preferred schools in defiance of restrictive blood status laws — except that they aren't actually twins. However, with enough magic, determination, and daring, there are workarounds for that, from Polyjuice potion to voice-altering charms to "specialised equipment" for making Harriett look masculine in a wetsuit. The fact that their deception is so long-term helps, in a way; when the "Rigel" people see is the same one they've known for years, they're less likely to look for signs of an impostor. The Aesop is absent, though; each is quite aware that their cousin has their own challenges, but they're both pursuing their dreams, and only the prospect of being caught and punished puts a dampener on it.
  • In the Hetalia: Axis Powers fic Seven Little Killers, America and Canada switch places repeatedly in the story. For example, in the hostage scene, "America" kills Vietnam and Finland, while "Canada" protests. Their intention? Both of them are framing the other for the murders... but they're working together to do it.
  • In Where Talent Goes on Vacation, the Tachibana sisters, Tatsuki and Taiga, are set apart by a birthmark on Taiga's neck, which is hidden whenever she wears a collared shirt (such as her school uniform), so the two once pulled this trick on their mother when she was their teacher in middle school. In the second trial, Taiga switches places with Tatsuki, intending to be executed in her sister's place. Tatsuki, having intended to graduate, goes along with it at first, but tries to reveal the trick when it becomes clear that she won't get away with it, but to no avail. In the end, Taiga is executed, while Tatsuki survives.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction, it's common for the Pinkie Pie from the pony world to swap places with the Pinkie Pie from the human world. In Portrait of a Pinkie they had been switching regularly for a while until they just stayed in their opposite worlds, in Terms of Forgiveness "human" Pinkie seems suspiciously knowledgeable about Princess Celestia, and in The MLP Loops it's noted several times that the Pinkies often switch, despite the fact that only the pony Pinkie is looping, meaning it should be easy to tell them apart.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Despicable Me 3, Gru and Dru do this during the family dinner by swapping each other's clothes, Gru putting on a blonde wig, and Dru wearing a bald cap. Unlike most examples, it fools no one.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Another Me: In a creepy example, Fay's twin Lila starts taking her place, with no one except her aware of it until later (they don't believe this either, as she's not known to have an identical sister).
  • Big Business is premised by the idea that two mothers each give birth to identical twin girls, and one twin from each set is unknowingly replaced with the other, so instead of two sets of twins, there is the same pair of sisters in two different families. One pair is raised in a small town, and the other by a rich family in New York City. The conflict comes when the rich sisters try to destroy the small town whether the other sisters live, causing the pairs to finally meet. They're frequently mistaken for and impersonate each other, aided by the fact they even have the same first names (thanks to the father of the poor twins, who has a huge family already and thus is desperate for ideas, overhearing the names the rich father gives his daughters).
  • A dark version occurs in The Black Room. Gregor abdicates the barony in favour of his twin brother Anton, then murders Anton assumes his identity to continue being baron while enjoying Anton's greater popularity.
  • The 1985 Made-for-TV Movie Deceptions has this as the catalyst for the main plot, revolving around twin sisters Sabrina Longworth, a jet-setting single woman living in Europe and housewife Stephanie Roberts (both played by Stefanie Powers) who pull the switch off until disaster strikes, with Sabrina (posing as Stephanie) being injured in a car accident and then Stephanie (posing as Sabrina) killed when a bomb went off on the cruise ship she was on.
  • Done a couple times in The Double with Simon and his Doppelgänger James, like when Simon takes an aptitude test for James or when they switch multiple times on a date with Hannah. It turns out James is an Evil Twin and is only using Simon for his own ends, which leaves Simon severely regretting agreeing to any of that.
  • For that matter, every Olsen Twins Movie involved at least one twin switch:
    • It Takes Two has two identical strangers from very different social backgrounds meet and switch places in an attempt to set up the wealthy widowed father of one of the girls with the social worker overseeing the other's adoption, so the orphaned doppelgänger can be adopted by the social worker and the wealthy doppelgänger can get rid of her father's Child Hater fiancé.
    • New York Minute:
      • Played with in the Olsen Twins vehicle where both twins are on a train and one gets thrown off for not having a ticket. The conductor then finds the other twin and assumes she has snuck back on, refusing to believe they are twins.
      • Played straight later on in the movie where one twin is meant to give a speech but is lost in New York and the other twin decides to take her place and improvise. Thankfully her sister arrives before she can truly mess up.
  • In Kagemusha, Shingen Takeda's younger brother Nobukado is often used as the daimyo's Body Double to fool his enemies and even his own army about Shingen's whereabouts. Thus at the beginning of the movie Nobukado has taken Shingen's place at the head of the army besieging a fortress. When the job becomes too much for him, Nobukado happens to come across a condemned criminal who resembles his older brother even more than he himself does...
  • The Laurel and Hardy film Our Relations.
  • Most of the plot of The Parent Trap (1961) and The Parent Trap (1998). Twin girls were separated as little kids, accidentally meet at summer camp and switch their respective parent with the plan to reunite the family.
  • Angier and his double, Root in The Prestige. And the Bordens, identical twins who swap roles, and the Fallon disguise, without anyone knowing. It works better since with the Borden twins, and with Angier and Root, Jackman and Bale are Acting for Two.
  • In The Pretty One, Laurel attempts this after her sister, Audrey, dies in an accident and a mixup ensures that everyone thinks Laurel was the one who died.
  • Natasha in Room in Rome pretends to be her sibling at first before confessing that she was telling her sister's story. Or maybe her sister's story was the real story, who knows (she is an Unreliable Expositor).
  • Serenity: Smugglers Fanty and Mingo do this when meeting people, probably to throw them off guard. Mal isn't fooled. According to him "Fanty's prettier".
  • In She's the Man (based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night below), the entire plot is about this, albeit in a Sweet Polly Oliver twist due to the twins in question being of opposite genders. Viola poses as her twin brother, Sebastian, in order to play on a private school's soccer team after budget cuts cause the disbandment of her school's girls' soccer team. Hilarity Ensues with her efforts to pose as Sebastian (who's not even aware of Viola assuming his identity) without blowing her cover, a love triangle, and Sebastian arriving at the same school in the climax after skipping town for a band gig as Viola is playing as him in a soccer match against her school.
  • Start the Revolution Without Me involves two different mismatched sets of twins getting mixed up with one another.
  • The Jackie Chan movie Twin Dragons, featuring twin boys who had been Separated at Birth. One is a formal, polite pianist and the other is a rough, street thief who knows how to fight. At one point, they accidentally switched places and another time, they did it on purpose to fool the enemy.
  • In Us, it is revealed at the end that Red, Adelaide's doppelganger, switched places with her when they were children, against Adelaide's will. Adelaide, being the only "normal" human among the doppelgangers (and the only one able to speak coherently), became a Dark Messiah figure to them as she sought to find a way to get back the life she once had on the surface.
  • In the Softcore film Video Vixens (about an Adult Film awards show) one of the films is about a Serial Rapist who turns out to be twins — one twin would go out raping while the other is his alibi, having been seen doing some mundane activity at the same time.

  • Cynthia Blair has a young adult series with food-themed titles where twins Susan and Christine Pratt switch places for various reasons.
  • In the fifth book of the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne's House of Dreams, the titular Anne meets a woman named Leslie, whose past is a tragic one. To make it worse, her once cruel husband, Dick, is now a helpless, brain-damaged man after coming home from a sea voyage, forcing her to have to take care of him for 11 years. You learn later in the book that he has a cousin named George that he looks exactly the same as, because their parents had been two sets of twins who married one another...
  • Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold from The Baby-Sitters Club did this once while Mallory was babysitting.
    • In the Little Sister book "Karen's Twin", Terri and Tammy, the twins in Karen's class, start doing this. Unlike the Arnold twins, who are implied to do this on a fairly regular basis, Karen mentions that they don't normally even dress alike, though they start doing so in order to pull this off.
  • The Cat Who... Series: In book #8 (The Cat Who Sniffed Glue), this is central to the resolution. A couple has adult twin sons, David and Harley. One night, Harley and his wife Belle are murdered when someone breaks into their home. It's eventually revealed that it was actually David and Belle who were murdered; Harley and David's wife Jill, who were having an affair, had planned the whole thing so they could be together without anyone realizing. The twins' parents figured it out and were utterly destroyed — the mother had a stroke over it and the father shot himself because he was unable to choose between informing the police what had happened or becoming an accessory after the fact by hiding the truth.
  • One of the CHERUB Series bonus stories, aptly named "The Switch", has nearly identical twins Connor and Callum switch places as part of a mission. The fact that Real Life twins are rarely perfectly identical is acknowledged, and a makeup artist is used to make the two boys look even more alike.
  • In Courtship Rite the Liethe clan is composed of clones, and the personas they show outsiders are just roles that they can teach their sisters so they can switch when needed. I.e. if the clan decides that a particular priest needs to die one of his consorts can be switched for an assassin from the same clone-line.
  • In Dido And Pa by Joan Aiken, aristocratic siblings Simon and Sophie swap places so the latter can politely attend a meeting with an advisor while the former hunts wolves. It's never made quite clear whether the two are twins, and even if they were they couldn't be identical. The ruse only works in any case so long as the person they're fooling isn't really paying attention, and Sophie gets into hot water when her disguise is rumbled.
  • Dont Care High: Or rather triplet switch, the LaPaz's sometimes switch classes with each other to do better on tests in subjects where one of them is stronger than the others. They are impressed when Mike (or rather Paul pretending that Mike told him) figures this out.
  • The book series Double Trouble is all about this trope with twin sisters Sandi and Randi, usually with the switch being imperfect and them being found out. It gets cranked up a notch with the Triple Trouble books that feature their identical cousin Mandi.
  • In Dragon Bones the outgoing ladies' man Beckram frequently gets his bookish, rather shy twin brother Erdrick to pretend to be him at boring formal occasions so that he can go partying elsewhere. Much to Erdrick's embarassment, Beckram's lady love tends to get very familiar with him in public.
  • In False Colours by Georgette Heyer, protagonist Kit Fancot is persuaded by his mother to take the place of his missing twin, Lord Denville, at a very important social engagement. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Downplayed in Harry Potter, but Fred and George did a quick one for their Establishing Character Moment.
    Mrs. Weasley: Fred, you next.
    Twin #1: I'm not Fred, I'm George. Honestly, woman, you call yourself our mother? Can't you tell I'm George?
    Mrs. Weasley: Sorry, George, dear.
    Twin #1: Only joking, I am Fred.
  • The Twin Switch plot was used in one of the Hercule Poirot novels, more exactly Elephants Can Remember: the mentally broken Dorothea/Dolly fatally wounds her twin sister Margaret/Molly, and in her last words Molly convinces her husband to keep the secret of her death and make Dolly (who loved him) pass as her. He does, but some time later, he goes the Murder-Suicide way on Dolly and himself.
  • Howl's Moving Castle has a subplot about two sisters, Martha and Lettie, who are apprenticed by their mother to a sorceress and a bakery respectively, but switch places because each would prefer what the other's been given. They're not identical, but Martha concentrates on learning enough magic to disguise herself as Lettie and vice versa, and then they switch. (After the deception is revealed, the sorceress admits that the disguise never fooled her since it was based on one of her own spells, but she let it pass because she figured a girl that determined to learn should be given the chance.)
  • In Identical, the leads are identical twins that share a wardrobe, making it easy enough for one of them to take the other's place. Eventually subverted; the twins are actually the same girl with multiple personality disorder, which she developed after her twin died in a car accident and her father began sexually abusing her.
  • James Bond
    • In Never Send Flowers, David Dragonpol has an identical brother, whom he switches places with when his insanity takes hold on him. He uses this switch to delude authorities to think that he's dead.
    • The Taunt twins from DoubleShot share the identity of the CIA agent Hillary Taunt, going out one at the time to keep their status as twins a secret.
  • Lottie and Lisa is a novel by Erich Kästner. The twins in it don't switch for fun or mischief but out of a serious fear that they will never get to know their mother and father, respectively, since they were Separated at Birth and only met by coincidence. The switch going unnoticed is facilitated by the parents being distant in case of the father and constantly working in case of the mother.
  • The Miss Nelson series of picture books, written by Harry Allard and illustrated by James Marshall, is about a schoolteacher named Miss Nelson who has to take time off from class and when she finds out that the kids of her class are acting up in her absence returns dressed up as a mean substitute named Viola Swamp, a black-haired, no-nonsense teacher who is known for "getting results." The book Miss Nelson Has a Field Day has a new twist. In this one, the school's football team, the Smedley Tornadoes, is rubbish and acting out, and Miss Nelson overhears a kid suggesting that Viola Swamp ought to coach the team because she "gets results." However, she still has her class to teach this time. How does she do it? Well, given the trope page you're at, you probably already guessed. The ending of the book shows her at home, thanking her identical twin sister Barbara for filling in for her classes.
  • The 'one twin dies and the other takes up their life' variant is actually fairly common in mystery novels. A brilliant usage appears for example in Agatha Christie's A Murder Is Announced. There were twins involved, but the Dead Person Impersonation plot was done by a lady who was a younger sister of the deceased.
  • In one case in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Mma Ramotswe investigates a doctor who sometimes seems to be very competent, and sometimes seems to have no idea what he's doing. She discovers the doctor is routinely switching places with his twin brother (who definitely isn't a qualified doctor), so they can run two offices in separate cities at the same time, and make twice as much money.
  • In One Hundred Years of Solitude, the twins Aureliano Segundo and Jose Arcadio Segundo swap themselves around constantly during childhood, resisting all attempts to distinguish them, because they find others' dismayed reactions to be amusing. Their family has two traditional male names which are used repeatedly down through generations, each of which comes to imply a different set of personality traits; of course, Jose Arcadio becomes more like an Aureliano (silent, disconnected from reality, embittered, a fighter for lost causes) and vice versa (Aureliano is cheerful, charismatic, generous, an epically Big Eater), until both the audience and the members of their family are led to believe that they swapped permanently at some point. They both seduce the same woman; one ends up keeping her as a concubine. During adulthood, they grow VERY dissimilar, but slowly return to their former state until they die at the exact same time, upon which the bodies are mixed up and accidentally buried in the wrong graves.
  • Pretty Little Liars had a very plot important twin switch. Local Alpha Bitch Alison disappears and when a body is later found everyone assumes that it's her. Later books reveal that Alison had/has a twin named Courtney who was institutionalized. The end of the second arc reveals that the Alison the liars knew was actually Courtney (whom Ali claims was violent and malicious), who pulled off a twin switch by herself and ended up getting Ali sent back to the mental hospital in her place (it should be noted that Ali is strongly implied to have purposely set her sister up to look crazy in the first place). Ali attempted to switch back by killing Courtney (it failed)so Courtney is buried under her sister's name.
  • The Prince and the Pauper, by Mark Twain. It's essentially what happens, although it's combined with an Identical Stranger. Those who switch places are Street Urchin named Tom Canty and Prince Edward VI of England.
  • The Prisoner of Zenda uses a variant with a distant cousin of the Crown Prince of Ruritania, a descendant of said Crown Prince's illegitimate son.
  • Halt from Ranger's Apprentice switches places with his twin in book eight of the series.
  • The Railway Series:
    • In "The Missing Coach", Donald and Douglas swap tenders (Donald is No. 9 and Douglas No. 10) to avoid getting discovered by the Fat Controller after Douglas misplaced Thomas' Special Coach. Unfortunately for the twins, the Fat Controller isn't fooled and rounds up on Douglas for masquerading Donald's tender.
    • In "The Diseasal", Bill and Ben do this to play a trick on BoCo by pretending to be the same engine, after removing their nameplates and numbers.
  • Castor and Pollux from Robert A. Heinlein's The Rolling Stones took each other's places in one semester of high school. Instead of each being burdened with two time-consuming classes, they split it up to each take one class twice. An Aesop occurred in deep space, when the twin who'd taken history instead of advanced math had to spend all his leisure time playing catch-up in that essential spaceman's discipline.
  • In The Roman Mysteries, Gaius poses as his twin brother Marcus (who has been shipwrecked), in order to convince the bankers who want to foreclose on Marcus's home that Marcus is in good health and should get more time to pay off his loan.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Cersei Lannister recalls how she used to switch places with her twin brother Jaime when they were children, often for a whole day. This basically was just Crossdressing—they're Half-Identical Twins, and they were prepubescent at the time. Living in a world of strict gender roles, taking on the trappings of gender was enough; people saw that they expected to see. And now you may imagine Jaime Lannister in skirts.
    • The Back Story/Worldbuilding book Fire & Blood has an Ambiguous Situation example. After the coronation of King Jaehaerys in Oldtown, it was noted that the twins Aerea and Rhaella had suddenly switched personalities, leading some to believe that the twins had been switched during the wedding by either their mother Rhaena or their grandmother Alyssa. It's never confirmed, however.
  • Variation in the Song of the Lioness books: Alanna is to be sent to the convent to receive instruction in the proper behavior of a noblewoman and wants to be a knight; her twin Thom is supposed to go to the palace to be a page, but wants to learn magic (taught at the convent). Instead of switching identities, Alanna dresses as a boy and the two switch destinations.
  • Split Heirs: Arbol and Wulfrith are switched multiple times once they meet, usually without them meaning to (they're half identical).
  • This was done an insane number of times in the Sweet Valley High series and its various spin-offs. In one book, an Identical Stranger tries to pose as Elizabeth, but Elizabeth's best friend doesn't believe it for a second and thinks that Jessica, Elizabeth's twin sister, is the one pretending to be her.
  • Invoked in A Tale of Two Cities to get Charles Darnay out of prison. Sydney Carton (not actually his twin but a look-alike) forces Charles' accusors to admit they can't identify him since he looks identical to Sydney. Sydney later exploits this resemblance to take his place and die on the guillotine so Darnay can escape France.
  • The Thinking Machine: In "Convict #97", a convict escapes by forcing his twin brother to take his place on the cell. Van Dusen works out what has happened because the brother's have different shoe sizes.
  • The David Eddings story "Regina's Song" has, as part of the backstory, a pair of twins who pull this so regularly that they themselves have no real sense of "I", only "We". When one of the twins is murdered and the other left incoherent from witnessing it, nobody, including their parents, is able to tell whether the dead girl is Regina or Renata.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All My Children's Adam Chandler would often do this with his brother Stuart (usually with Stuart being very reluctant to do so or unaware in the first place) to get the goods on people in either his or Stuart's life that he was suspicious of.
  • An episode of Barney & Friends where the kids discover the girl they've been playing with is in fact two girls. And a season later, Ashley and Alyssa became part of the cast. Interestingly, not all of their episode appearances were together.
  • The Bananas in Pyjamas episode "Switcheroo" has the Bananas trade pyjamas as a joke on the Teddies to see if they could tell which is which. It backfires when they slip up and answer to their own names rather than the other's.
  • A set of twins from the 2002 UK Big Brother actually did that to their boyfriends. They took the other's boyfriend to the bedroom and indulged in foreplay and fondling and then swapped back and scolded them. So hot yet so wrong.
    • The Australian Big Brother had a set of twins pretend to be one person. One twin would spend some time in the house while the other would be in his own room with books and TV and such. At any time Big Brother felt like, they would swap over, with only a couple of minutes to update each other on what was happening in the house. They managed to keep it up for two or three weeks until one of the twins cut himself in an accident.
    • The American edition did this too with Adria and Natalie. In season 5, Project Do Not Assume, it was assumed that Cowboy and Nakomis were the twist because they turned out to be half-siblings. However; it was then revealed that someone else had a sibling in the house and they were pulling one of these. It was then revealed that to be Adria and Natalie, who switched places in the diary room until the reveal. There was also some brilliance from the crew, because it could have also been Diane or Drew, since they both had a twin sibling outside the house.
      • This was repeated in season 17 with Liz and Julia as part of the BB Takeover. However, the cast was well aware of the Twin Twist.
  • In Broad City, Trey's younger twin sisters are middle school teachers who pretend to be each other.
  • On the 'Burke's Law episode "Who Killed the Movie Mogul?" loathsome movie producer Leo is murdered on set. At his funeral, everyone is shocked when his kindly brother Max shows up. He passes a lie detector test on not killing Leo but Burke notes how the near-sighted Max's glasses are clear, not actually corrective. It turns out Leo was angry Max wanted to push him out of the studio so tricked him into swapping places "like when we were kids." He then killed Max and decided to pose as him to continue running the studio.
  • Castle pulls this off with two women that aren't even related in "Dance with Death", thanks to Magic Plastic Surgery and an untimely death on a train (the dead woman was a wealthy heiress who had various minor criminal convictions and hired a dancer with a strong resemblance to her to pose as the heiress and deal with the obligations she didn't want to deal with, the dancer taking the opportunity when the heiress died in a train accident).
  • Chicago Med has an episode where teenager Jemma needs ovarian surgery. Her identical twin sister Emma is with her and it's clear the girls are far too obsessed with matching on everything from clothing to hair and Emma even wanting to also be on an IV. Emma openly asks she receive the same surgery just so she and Jemma can have matching scars. Dr. Charles appears to get through to them so they agree. As Jemma goes in for the surgery, Charles talks to Emma...who starts crying "I'm sorry, she talked me into it..." A horrified Charles bursts into the operating room to warn the doctors that it's Emma they're about to operate on. Thankfully, the surgeon hasn't gone too far and the proper twin is operated on, although the girls get their wish as Emma now has a scar just like Jemma.
  • There's an episode of Coupling in which Patrick relates a story in which he'd been unknowingly dating twins for some time, to the point of near-complete exhaustion.
    Patrick: Yeah, it would have been worse if they'd been identical...
  • One of the many things the original CSI makes extremely creepy. In the episode "Pirates of the Third Reich", the Neo-Nazi killer responsible for the murder of Lady Heather's daughter killed his twin for deciding to remain an adherent to the Jewish faith, then took his place at a sleep study clinic so he could gain access to victims for concentration camp-style experimentation.
  • The plot of Deception is based on the premise that Cameron and Johnny Black were the identical twin sons of a stage magician who decided to use them in his act. He hid the existence of Johnny from the public and had the twins switch places as needed. After his death, the brothers continued the deception with Cameron being the face of the act and Johnny continuing as the twin no one knew about. The public learns the truth when Johnny is framed for causing a fatal car accident and goes to prison. We later learn that the Mysterious Woman behind the frameup knew about the twin scheme and was planning on framing Cameron but got it wrong due to not knowing which brother was really which. In the season one finale Johnny knocks out Cameron and impersonates him in order to escape from prison.
  • On Desperate Housewives, Porter is late for a hearing when accused of a crime. When he finally shows up, his attorney ready to go...only for Tom and Lynette to berates Preston for being stupid enough to take his twin brother's place while Porter fled town. Preston briefly claims to be Porter only to be cut off by his parents asking if their sons actually think the two can't tell the difference between their own children.
  • Another non-comedic example: A man murders his twin, then takes over his twin's life on Diagnosis: Murder.
  • Parodied in Degrassi Junior High. A girl has to leave her date early, so she has her twin sister take her place half-way through. It's all for nothing, because the boyfriend is too busy hitting on another girl to notice.
  • This is the main premise of the Polish series Dziewczyna i chłopak ("The girl and the boy"): a twin brother and sister switch places before going on summer vacation.
  • The plot of the Chilean Soap Opera "Esa no soy yo" ("That one is not me") is triggered by the protagonist Judith, a hard-working woman with a Dark and Troubled Past, finding her twin sister Anahí dead in weird circumstances. Thinking that Anahí was killed because of her and fearing for her own life, Judith decides to pass herself as Anahí to protect herself and find out what happened; however, she soon finds out that Anahí had a Dark and Troubled Past of her own...
  • Early in Friends, Joey was dating Phoebe's Evil Twin Ursula. When Ursula stands Joey up on their date and wants nothing to do with him anymore, Phoebe poses as Ursula to break up with Joey on her sister's behalf and lets him down gently. He eventually recognizes Phoebe after kissing her, but is thankful for the gesture.
  • Fringe: One episode had characters played by Shawn and Aaron Ashmore pull this one off — one twin presumed dead actually frozen in amber while the other assumes his identity for years. This is a variation in that one twin had developed into The Atoner because of his twin's status, and was developing a procedure to wake him up. He eventually gets Fringe division to freeze him in amber so that the formerly frozen twin could step back into his life without a hitch.
  • Himmelsdalen: Siri does with her twin Helena in the first episode, switching places to leave the sanitorium without Helena knowing (she's been drugged).
  • In one episode of Home and Away, Kirsty got Laura to take her place during an exam. Unfortunately for them, Dan had seen everything.
  • House of Anubis: Patricia attempts to do this when she's scheduled for a dinner with Eddie and his father, who happens to be the school's dorky principal, Mr. Sweet. Her Polar Opposite Twin Piper just so happens to be staying at Anubis House in secret during this time, so the plan is for Piper to take her place on the date and impress Eddie's dad. Hilarity Ensues when she and Joy tag along to see how the date's going, with Patricia having to pretend to be Piper pretending to be Patricia when she's caught trying to eavesdrop. Eventually, they get caught in the act by a very unhappy Mr. Sweet.
  • The InBESTigators: "The Case of the Soccer Saga" is driven by this; unlike most examples, the twins in question are mirror twins rather than perfectly identical.
  • Jeremiah: This is played with by Erin (Ingrid Kavelaars) and Lauren (Monique Kavelaars) during the episode Moon in Gemini, where one of them sleeps with Jeremiah. He thinks it's Erin at the time, but then becomes uncertain, though neither will say which it was (in the scene we see it's Lauren, who pulls down her hair (it was in ponytails) to appear like Erin, but he doesn't). Interestingly, this was the only time Monique Kavelaars ever acted, while Ingrid does so full-time.
  • Played a part in the Jonathan Creek special "Black Canary"; years ago one of a pair of twins died when a trick they were practising went wrong, but it is revealed in the course of the special that the twin everyone believes died was actually the one that survived, the surviving twin taking her sister's place to spare her sister's family from the truth of her death.
  • Kitchen Nightmares had an episode where twins owned the failing restaurant and the first action upon meeting Gordon Ramsay was for the one up front to shake his hand then go back, get his brother and pretend they were or weren't the same person.
  • A grisly and totally non-comedic Twin Switch was the basis for an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: A woman finds the body of her twin sister and knows that the hit was meant for her, so she decides to make them think they succeeded by posing as her dead sister, fooling everyone, including the murdered twin's husband and daughter. It's not until the murdered sister's bones are found and autopsied (the supposed victim had some extensive dental work that was missing from the body) that the truth begins to come out.
    • In another episode, one man is wrongly accused of rapes his twin brother committed (they were Separated at Birth). His twin had discovered and framed him.
    • In yet another variation one half of a set of identical male twins is raised female because of a botched genital surgery. He asserts his maleness and either he or his twin kill their therapist. No way to know which what with the identical DNA.
  • Notable is how on Liv and Maddie, the titular twins pull this but it almost never works as it turns out each is terrible trying to replicate the other. Maddie can never get Liv's higher voice and fashion right and Liv is totally out of her depth trying to replicate Maddie's smarts or basketball playing.
    • Notable is the one time they tried it on their parents, it didn't fool them for a second.
    • Bigger is when the girls' grandmother (played by none other than Patty Duke) came for a visit. Feeling something is off, Maddie soon finds it's not their grandmother but her own twin sister as the real grandma couldn't make it so sent her twin instead. Maddie actually calls out her mother on this with "you hate switches!" She agrees to keep quiet so as not to mess up Liv being honored at school. During the ceremony, guess who enters fresh off her flight from Africa...
  • In the fourth episode of the fifth series of Misfits, Rudy One impersonates Rudy Two, the other aspect of his Literal Split Personality, in order to investigate who is responsible for Rudy Two's mysterious rapid aging. Due to the difference in their personalities, this is very difficult.
  • Matthew pulls this on NewsRadio when his twin brother Andrew came to visit. Trouble is, they didn't look alike, because they really weren't twins. In fact, they weren't even blood brothers; Matthew was adopted but never caught on.
    • In a subversion of Matthew's normal stupidity, at the end of the episode it is revealed Matthew has known all along they weren't twins, but went with it because it is Andrew who was adopted.
  • One episode of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency had a case involving identical twins trying to share one dentist's degree. One was considerably less talented than the other.
  • In an episode of Northern Exposure Joel's streetwise never-before-metnioned twin brother Jules comes to town and wants to pull the twin switch for old times sake. Joel agrees on the condition that Jules not actual conduct any of Joel's business as a doctor. Then Joel gets arrested for a three-card monte scam and Jules has to fill in.
  • Orphan Black features several clones all played by the same actress. Naturally, there are several instances where one clone impersonates another. There's even one scene where one clone impersonates another clone's impersonation of a third clone. These scenes are played for both drama and comedy.
  • Most episodes of The Patty Duke Show, albeit the same actress played both twins with the help of Nerd Glasses and a Scottish Accent.
  • One episode of Property Brothers: Buying and Selling started off with Drew and Jonathan dressed as each other as a prank (the clients were big fans of the show). It failed, because there's just enough difference between the brothers' voices and hairstyles that the clients (big fans, remember?) caught on immediately.
  • In the very first episode of Quantico, we learn that new recruit Nimah is actually a set of Always Identical Twins sharing the same post. One of the recruits saw her sister, Raina, pinning her hijab on differently than Nimah, to which she passes it off as ambidextrous.
  • Saturday Night Live
    • The sketch "Mirror Image" had two sisters, played by Amy Adams and Kristen Wiig, try this to divide schoolwork. The plan falls through, though, due to Wiig's character looking fatter, acting dumber, and behaving more crudely than Adams's.
    • A similar sketch ran as a parody of Disney Channel sitcoms, featuring Chris Hemsworth and Taran Killam as "identical" twins who decide to switch places so Taran's twin can help Chris's pass a math test. Unfortunately, all of the girls in the class—including the teacher—immediately realize the truth and start pointing out how much hotter Chris's twin is by meanly comparing Taran to the muscular Chris.
  • Scoundrels (2010): When Cal gets stuck with having to do two jobs at the same time, he asks Logan to take his place and pretends to be Cal to do Mr. Hong's job. Logan reluctantly agrees and wears a wig to pass as Cal. Things get complicated when he meets Patty Hong at the end of the job and they end up hitting off and sleeping together... while she still thinks he's Cal. Cal is only somehwat jealous (mostly because Patty brags she's a Sex Goddess) but Patty gets pissed when she finds out, and it takes some groveling from Logan to get her to forgive him.
  • Sister, Sister far too many times to mention. In the first few seasons, Tia wore a mole to make her look identical to Tamera, but the mole was off by senior year, and was even talked about.
    • Funnily enough, the girls have mentioned that this doesn't work for them in real life. They once tried it for laughs (faking the mole with mascara) and all their friends immediately recognized them.
    • Actually Inverted in one episode—both sisters make plans to go out with a boy, who accidentally asked both out thinking that they were the same person. The three-person date was naturally a bit awkward.
    • Subverted in another episode where one of their friends asks Tia why she's coming out of Tamera's classroom, blowing their cover. They switched so that Tia (the smart one) could take a test for Tamera.
  • Katie and Emily switched in one episode of Skins, so that Emily could sit Katie's exam while she was sat at home moping. All of the teachers were fooled, but none of their fellow students.
  • Stuck in the Middle: Harley Diaz and her friend Ellie Peters pull one in "Stuck in the School Photo".
  • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, many times in the earlier episodes. However, they haven't used it as much now that the one twin is clearly thinner and slightly taller than the other one.
    • Lampshaded in one episode, when Zack suggested that one of them should take the place of their middle-eastern friend Sanjay at a ceremony that Sanjay didn't want to attend.
      Cody: Great! Except he looks nothing like us! *to Sanjay* His plans only work for twins.
  • Sunset Beach's Ben's Evil Twin Derek did this in order to take over his life.
  • Supergirl (2015): Astra comments that when she and her twin sister Alura were kids, they liked to prank people by switching.
  • An episode of Tales from the Crypt has a fake Twin Switch. A man (played by Joe Pesci) falls in love with a pair of beautiful twins, but they tell him that they promised each other that they'd only marry another set of twins. So he replies "But I do have a twin!", and makes up a story that he and his "twin brother" switch places every month, with one of them staying home and the other going on a business trip. So in this way he can date both twins, by doing a fake Twin Switch with himself at the end of the month. Of course, this being Tales from the Crypt, the twins find out eventually, and solve the problem with a chainsaw.
  • Two of a Kind, starring the Olsen twins.
    • At one point they switch because Mary Kate doesn’t want to go to tutoring lessons while Ashley has a crush on the tutor and wants to get closer to him. The gig is up once the original girl assigned fails a makeup test yet the girl he tutors shows drastic academic improvement.
    • Mary-Kate invokes this after Ashley's new friend Nicole initially mixes them up, so she later pretends to be Ashley to break up their friendship because Ashley had been ditching her to spend time with Nicole.
  • Twin, a 2019 Nordic Noir drama where a mother accidentally causes her husband's death and persuades his surviving twin to stand in for him to cover it up.
  • Wonder Woman (1975): "The Deadly Toys" features Frank Gorshin as a toymaker who creates robots to duplicate real people - including Wonder Woman. After an epic Wonder Woman vs. robot Wonder Woman fight, the real Wonder Woman pretends to be the robot Wonder Woman to foil the evil plot!
  • A sinister version of this occurs in the season one finale of The Worst Witch television series, where Miss Cackle's evil twin "Agatha" locks her sister in a cupboard and proceeds to masquerade as her to launch her revenge against Cackle's Academy.
  • Korean drama series You Are Beautiful (and its Japanese remake Ikemen desu ne) is based around a girl taking her twin brother's place as a member of a rock group while he is having surgery abroad.

  • Vocaloid does this a lot:
    • In the Story of Evil arc of the Evillious Chronicles, Allen offers to swap clothes with Riliane to save her from execution, which reveals that they are twins after all.
    • In the PV for Yugami-P's "Monochrome Ward", Len was a failed experiment and the doctors wanted to get rid of him. Rin, who was the successful part of the experiment, chooses to switch places with him and died in his place, so that Len could live.
    • "Not a Dream, Not A Lie, a Happy Scene Before My Eyes" has twin princesses (both represented by Hatsune Miku) swap places from time. When a civil war overthrows their family, the younger, stronger twin is chosen for an Arranged Marriage to their enemy, so the older twin switches with her, so her strength can stay in their family. She later returns, possessed by Oda Nobunaga and defeats their enemy, saving the family and restoring it to power.

     Newspaper Comics 
  • Baby Blues: Bunny named her identical twin boys Wendell John and Wendell Jon, and dresses them identically. She claims she has a system for telling them apart: one twin is always placed on her left and the other on her right. However, Zoe tells Wanda that she switched them when Bunny wasn't looking and Bunny never noticed.

  • Dice Funk: It turns out that Emma and Tamzin are identical twins and the whole adventure began because Tamzin hired the party while disguised as Emma.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • WWE's Brie Bella debuted by winning matches by disappearing under the ring after she's been beaten up for a while and then "mysteriously reappearing" completely unfatigued to pick up the win. This was revealed to be a ruse with her twin sister Nikki.
    • They frequently won matches this way even after the ruse was revealed. In one match Eve Torres was feeling Genre Savvy and had the referee draw an X on Nikki so she couldn't switch. Ironically Brie won the match anyway.
    • This backfired spectacularly when Nikki defended her Divas' title against Layla. Towards the end of the match, Nikki switched with Brie but Layla managed to pin her. Meaning Nikki lost her title without even getting pinned.
    • They tried this again against the Funkadactyls, but after they won with this, a sharp-eyed referee sees through this and reverses his decision. They were not happy.
  • Long before the Bella Twins, referee twin brothers Earl and Dave Hebner were part of one. At The Main Event match between Hulk Hogan and André the Giant in 1988, "Dave" counted a pin on Hogan, even though his shoulders weren't on the mat. After the match, Dave and Earl (the imposter) were shown arguing with each other. The whole idea was that it was all arranged by 'The Million Dollar Man', Ted DiBiase (Andre's manager for the match) as part of his scheme to become WWF Champion.
  • During his WWE tenure, Kurt Angle was also apt to pull this with his brother Eric. This would often play out with Eric coming out first dressed as Kurt (but not removing the hood from Kurt's entrance warm-up jacket), and when his opponent would go up to approach Eric thinking it to be Kurt, it would cue an ambush from the correct Angle brother.
    • In TNA, Kurt would do this trick with Mixed Martial Arts fighter Frank Trigg, who looks similar to him.
  • The Dudley Boyz did a complete parody of this with Bubba Ray and Devon doing the switch in the middle of matches while the then commissioner Paul Heyman claimed he couldn't tell the difference. Aside from at least a 50 pound difference, one is black and the other is white.
  • The Basham Brothers did this all the time too. Like many of the entries here, they weren't even related...they just looked similar.
  • Parodied in a tag match involving The Bella Twins mentioned above against Jillian Hall and Maryse. Jillian tried to pull the switch swapping places with Maryse...only to have the ref order her out of the ring. Not only do they not look like twins, they weren't even wearing the same outfits.
  • Irish indie wrestlers Kasey and Leah Owens do this occasionally though Leah has shorter hair and they have different tattoos. If Leah ever shows up wearing hair extensions then you can bet they'll try it. Once it even worked when the two of them were wearing different outfits.
  • The New Day members Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are not twins, but they were able to switch with each other at Payback 2015 since they had identical outfits and hairstyles and the referee only saw the back of Xavier's head when he turned around.
  • WCW played this straight in at least one singles match between Mike Enos and Chavo Guerrero Jr.. Enos's tag partner, Dick Slater, switched with Enos despite having different hair and a significant size and age difference between the two. The referee did not notice.

    Tabletop Games 


    Video Games 
  • Custom Robo for the Gamecube has this with Eliza and Isabella. You fight Eliza once, and then in the second encounter she seems to have lost her memories. The second encounter is in fact with her sister, Isabella; the only difference between the two is their handedness.
  • In Final Fantasy XII, Basch's twin brother Noah, A.K.A. Judge Magister Gabranth, impersonated him and killed King Raminas in order to set the stage for the Archadean take over of Dalmasca. In the end, Basch impersonates Noah as Judge Magister after he dies in order to keep the peace between Archades and the newly freed Dalmasca.
  • Ami and Mami Futami in The Idolmaster do this as part of their idol career. The only people that know they're actually a pair of twins is the staff of 765 production. Subverted in the second game when Mami grows her hair out and goes solo.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel games, the prankster Vivi loves pulling this, and usually without the consent of her much more straight-arrow twin sister Linde.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty has a very unusual blend of both this and Dead Person Impersonation, when Solid Snake is framed for the destruction of the tanker in the prologue, but 'died' in the accident. The reality is that the body in Solid Snake's coffin is actually Liquid Snake minus the arm that was salvaged to replace Ocelot's own severed limb. Since they are twins, the DNA match done after they exhumed 'his body' in the Plant chapter matched, thus they believed Solid Snake to be dead.
  • Pulled off nicely in Nancy Drew Warnings At Waverly Academy with Kim and Rachel Hubbard. When Nancy finds out, they explain that mother was dead and their father was clueless about taking care of them, so they applied at various schools to avoid being separated. Waverly Academy was the only school that accepted, but for only one of them, so they pulled this on the faculty. And they actually did a very good job at this, since even some of the players were fooled when The Reveal came. Side by side, it's pretty easy to tell Rachel from Kim — Kim tucks a lock of hair behind her ear while Rachel doesn’t — you actually do see and interact with Kim during the game, and if one looks closely when she doesn't seem to recognize you, you can see that you're talking to Kim. Also when they stand side-by-side, you can see that one of the twins is taller than the other It also turned out well for them because despite that they were expelled, the alumnae said that their scheme was so they could get a good education and should be rewarded, so the faculty paid for their tuition and room and board.
  • Not for Broadcast: Sam's sibling Chris tries to do this with you by asking for your passport so they can flee the country. You can accept their request and give them your passport while the game gives you a lot of choices to decline at every opportunity, or you can keep refusing which royally pisses both them and Sam, starting a rift in the family and subsequently having Chris getting evicted soon enough.
  • Kaesii, your tiefling party member in Pathfinder: Kingmaker is actually two sisters who play at being the same person. This trope is taken to a literal extreme, as a curse placed on them years ago cause only one of them to be in the normal world at a time; they switch places at semi-random times, with one going to a pocket dimension and the other to the Prime Material plane.
  • Siren: Late in the game, Shiro kills his twin Kei, and takes his place, though the cutscene in which it happens is deliverately ambiguous, making it look like Shiro has killed himself. You can still play as 'Kei', but he has Shiro's items and voice actor.
  • Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns has Iluka and Siluka. They look the same, except Iluka is feisty, while Siluka is calm and they wear pink and blue, respectively. In both of their Love Events, they perform this on the farmer.
    • In Iluka's Light Green love event, Iluka dresses up as her sister to ask why the farmer forgave her so easily for dropping him into a traphole because she doesn't feel comfortable asking as herself. The farmer doesn't realize this switch.
    • In both of their Yellow love events, the other sister performs this on the farmer. The reason for the switch being Iluka doubting the farmer being able to tell the difference between them, with Iluka's version also being influenced by the farmer not realizing the switch in her previous event. He can in both events, which makes Iluka decide that he is an alright option for her sister to date or she stops having doubts if she's the one being dated.
  • Tokimeki Memorial 2 and 4 has examples of Twin Switch with Miho and Maho Shirayuki, and Tadashi and Rui Nanakawa. The first set are identical twin sisters who are Polar Opposites, with Maho as the shadow sister, and you'll need to spot the differences in order to know who is who during dates, if you want to score Maho. The second set are brother and sister twins, and the only way to formally get to know Rui and be able to date her is to spot her a few times during her Twin Switch sessions.
  • In Total Overdose, the Good Son is injured in an undercover investigation and in order to salvage the operation, gets the Bad Son sprung from jail to take his place. Different as night and day works in this case, as Ram is far more capable of acting the psychopathic criminal for underworld rep.
  • Yu and Rei from Puyo Puyo, in two instances.
    • In 15th Anniversary, they wish to switch places for a day. Unfortunately, since the wishing medal picks up on both making their wish at the same time, they cancel each other out.
    • In Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, during matches, Yu has the most voice clips, while Rei doesn't say much. Their alternate voice pack swaps who says what, and causes Rei to emulate his sister's energy while Yu mimics her brother's quietness.

    Visual Novels 
  • In 428: Shibuya Scramble Maria Osawa lets herself be kidnapped in place of her twin sister Hitomi, who the kidnappers were really after.
  • Ace Attorney
    • The end of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations contains a rather complicated example of a Twin Switch. After discovering that innocent nun Iris, who looks identical to Phoenix's murderous ex-girlfriend Dahlia, is actually Dahlia's twin sister you assume that they were pulling off a Twin Switch as part of their plan to murder the victim, Elise Deauxnim. By the end of the case, it turns out that Iris had really been part of the plan to foil Dahlia's murder plot, which had actually been directed at Maya Fey. At the end though, the story drops one more bomb — the real Twin Switch had taken place 5 years earlier, when Phoenix had supposedly been going out with Dahlia. Iris had switched with Dahlia during almost her entire relationship with Phoenix, to keep Dahlia from killing him and had subsequently fallen in love with Phoenix — meaning that she was the one that Phoenix had really loved all along. Which provides a much better reason for why Phoenix — who is not normally portrayed as being quite that stupid — had been so stubborn in refusing to believe that "Dahlia" never really loved him during the trial 5 years earlier. But wait, that's not all! Midway through the case, Dahlia (whose spirit was channeled by Maya for reasons that really take too long to explain) swaps places with Iris as she locks Dahlia in a cell, which was convenient considering Iris was the one everyone was relying on to open the cell, meaning if she hadn't been called to the witness stand, the real Iris would have died while her sister used her position to seal her case.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice:
      • Queen Ga'ran occasionally has her sister Queen Amara, whom the public thinks is dead, impersonate her when needed.
      • The teleporting magician, Bonny de Famme, turns out to be half of a pair of identical twins: Bonny de Famme and Betty de Famme. They have identical looks, but very different personalities.
  • Done in CLANNAD with Ryou and Kyou at the end of Kyou's route. Interestingly enough, they're not identical twins and you can tell them apart by looking. Tomoya was pretty stressed by that point, though, so it's hardly surprising.
  • In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, the mastermind, Junko Enoshima, switched places with her twin sister Mukuro Ikusaba before the game even started. She then had Ikusaba killed to create the illusion that "she" was dead. Late in the game, once the protagonists learn the identity of the missing "sixteenth student", she uses the corpse to fake her death (under Mukuro’s original identity) and frame them for it. In this case, though, they were fraternal twins, and part of the deception depended on the other students not knowing what Enoshima really looked like outside of airbrushed magazine covers.

    And, in further examination... Ikusaba and Enoshima come from such radically different backgrounds that, even with the family resemblance, there's absolutely no way for Ikusaba to convincingly impersonate the real mastermind aka Enoshima, which is part of why she was killed off — that wasn't part of the original plan. If the player actually takes the time to have Naegi befriend the impostor through multiple playthroughs of the section before she dies or the Vita version's School Mode, there are incredibly unsubtle hints that she's not who she claims to be, and isn't even very good at faking it. Had she not been killed, her cover would've been eventually been blown.
  • The Sonozaki sisters on Higurashi: When They Cry, Mion and Shion. The idea is first shown as playful, but as the plot furthers, it slowly becomes more horrific, to the point that Shion uses it to fool everyone into thinking she's Mion so that she can continue her bloody rampage without her or Mion being suspected. When Keichi eventually figures part of it out, she gets him to believe that it had been Mion impersonating Shion, then murders Mion, hides her body, and locks herself in Mion's cell so the police won't realize she's the culprit until after she finishes her plans. The twins even loved pulling this off in their childhood. Just to make it more complicated, the switch became permanent when they (unwittingly) switched on the day Mion was marked with the demon on her back. As a result, the real Shion became Mion, and vice-versa. The anime left out that last part.
  • Done by Asa and Yoru in Asa's route in If My Heart Had Wings. The two do a painfully bad job and constantly fail at their attempts to impersonate the other, yet the person they're trying to trick is the only person who doesn't realize they're doing it. He's also Asa's boyfriend in that route, so he really should know better.
  • In Little Busters! this is an important plot point in Haruka's route.
  • In Symphonic Rain Torta pretends to be her twin sister Arietta to stop Chris from remembering that Arietta was actually comatose due to an accident.
  • The maid Kohaku pretends to be her twin younger sister Hisui (in a manner which is not at all comedic) a number of times in Tsukihime. She even switched places for a sex scene! As it turns out, they've also pulled off one gigantic Twin Switch (of sorts) while the protagonist Shiki was away, causing him to mistake who was his Forgotten Childhood Friend. Contact lenses help with this, as they have different color eyes—blue for Hisui, gold for Kohaku. Interestingly enough, Kohaku herself doesn't seem to have realized that she's swapped roles with Hisui since they were children. This makes her think that Shiki has forgotten who gave her the ribbon whereas he was simply confused about which twin was which.

  • In Drowtales, Kel'Noz says that he and his sister Mel'arnach used to do this all the time with a nostalgic smile.
  • In Keychain of Creation, Secret suggests Karen and Marena do the Twin Switch to get Karen with Ten Winds, because Karen is interested in Ten but very poor at romantic interaction, while Marena is awesome at that sort of thing. Marena smacks her upside the head for such a stupid suggestion, since those plotlines never work.
  • Izzy from Ennui GO! occasionally goes out in public disguised as her idental twin sister Adeline to avoid the press or have sex with anyone who catches her fancy (much to the latter's annoyance).
  • Kevin & Kell has Kell and Sheila swapping for kicks when they were kids and later when Sheila covers for Kell while her leg heals. Subverted in that they're cousins.
  • This happens in Transmission at least once, where one of the twins steals the other's date for the night and the lady doesn't even notice.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Elan's twin brother Nale shaves his goatee and takes Elan's place in the party.
  • The plot of Tiger, Tiger kicks off when noblewoman Ludovica takes the identity of her twin brother Remy in order to seek adventure and pursue her dream of studying sea sponges.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • A nasty example on Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. Jackie Subtract, a Diabolical Mastermind in the show's Rogues Gallery, had a twin named Aiden. Aiden was a harmless Gadgeteer Genius who wanted nothing to do with his brother's criminal life. Unfortunately, Jackie decides he's going to fake his death by killing his twin and stealing Aiden's identity.
  • Particularly egregious on All Grown Up!, where Lil forces her brother to impersonate her for a date she doesn't want to keep. This happened quite often on Rugrats, where the only way anyone could tell the two apart was Lil's hairbow.
  • In Arthur, preschool Trickster Twins Timmy and Tommy Tibble pull this in "My Fair Tommy." When their teacher Ms. Morgan gives them both time-outs, after Tommy has his time in the quiet corner, Timmy shouts "Look Behind You!" to Ms. Morgan and switches their colored scarves so Tommy has to take a time-out twice. Apparently, Timmy always makes Tommy do both time-outs because "you're better at it than me."
  • In the Centurions episode "Return of Cassandra", Hot Witch Cassandra Cross' Evil Twin Lilith imprisons her sister and impersonates her as part of one of Doctor Terror's schemes. It's not a perfect impersonation — viewers who saw "That Old Black Magic" will immediately notice that "Cassandra" is acting a bit different and that her magic is red instead of blue.
  • Dora the Explorer: Dora and Sabrina the Snow Princess pull this in the special "Dora Saves the Snow Princess".
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • In "GlomTales!" Louie attempts to disguise himself as Huey in order to get past a guard robot after he has been grounded. It might have worked if Huey had not chosen that exact moment to call him.
    • Webby (who isn't actually the triplets' sister, but is treated as such for all intents and purposes) impersonates Dewey in "Escape from the ImpossiBin!" with such perfect accuracy that Huey didn't realize it was her until the actual Dewey shows up. She later follows this up in "The Last Adventure!" by taking the place of her clone June to find out about her origins. The ruse goes completely undiscovered until F.O.W.L. finds June tied up.
  • On Ella the Elephant, the twins Ida and Ada do this as their Halloween costumes in "Frankie's Perfect Pumpkin."
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • In "Blondas Have More Fun", Wanda switches places with her twin sister Blonda to see what each other's life is like.
    • In "Fairy Idol" after Norm tricks Cosmo and Wanda into quitting their jobs by using an Evil Knockoff clone of Timmy, Jorgan arrives to erase Timmy's memory. Both Timmy and the clone head to the closet to hide, but Timmy pushes the clone out so his memory is erased instead, allowing the real Timmy to retain his memory of Cosmo and Wanda so he can go find them.
  • The subject of a Freaky Stories story is a pair of Polar Opposite Twins who go to such extreme lengths with this that they essentially live their lives as one person, using their combined different interests and abilities to add up to one seemingly perfect person.
  • Bender attempts this in one episode of Futurama. He falls in love with a fem-bot named Anglene, and later finds out that she was once married to Flexo, another robot nearly identical to himself. He suspects that Anglene is still secretly in love with Flexo, so he poses as Flexo and invites her out on a date. Bender (as Flexo) tries very hard to seduce her, and she finally comes around after believing that her ex has truly changed. Then Bender reveals himself, calling her a cheater (despite her loving Bender even through his disguise), and she winds up back together with the real Flexo.
  • In Gravity Falls, after Stanley Pines accidentally pushed his brother Stanford into an interdimensional portal, he took Ford's identity for 30 years in order to repair the broken portal and bring his brother back. Stan got away with it since nobody in Gravity Falls, except his senile former assistant, knew Ford very well thanks to his reclusive lifestyle.
    • In the final episode, when Bill Cipher threatens to kill Dipper and Mabel unless Ford divulges the equation needed for Bill's forces to escape Gravity Falls, Stan suggests that he and Ford switch places in order to trick Bill and (possibly) get rid of the demon for good. It works, but at the cost of Stan's memories when they were erased to destroy Bill inside his mind.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Tortoise Beats Hare", Cecil Turtle and nine identical relatives pull this on Bugs Bunny "all through the picture".
  • The Loud House:
    • In "Toads and Tiaras", Lola breaks her leg and arm right before a beauty pageant, and Lincoln coaches Lana to fill in for her (behind Lola's back) because the grand prize for winning that pageant is two free passes to Dairyland. Given that Lana and Lola are Polar Opposite Twins, this proves difficult.
    • In "Sister Act", Lana and Lola start pretending to be the other in instances where one twin wants to get out of something she wouldn't like but the other one enjoys (such as Lana not wanting to take a bath and Lola not wanting to climb a rope for gym class). They manage to pull it off for a few days until they switch places so Lola can get out of a doctor's appointment and Lana can get out of a dentist appointment, which backfires on both of them the next day; Lola gets sick with a bad case of the flu, and Lana gets an abscessed tooth. The twins are forced to confess what they did to their parents so their doctor and their dentist don't lose their medical licenses for negligence, which not only got them scolded for not being responsible, but they end up having to do the appointments they were trying to avoid in the first place so both of their aliments can be treated.
  • In the Muppet Babies (2018) episode, "A Tale of Two Twins", the boys invite Scooter to join them in a tricycle race, while the girls invite Skeeter to join them for a relaxing day at the spa. Scooter would much rather relax than race, and Skeeter would much rather race than relax, so they dress in each other's clothes and pretend to be each other to do each other's activity. However, their personalities compromise the situation. Scooter is an expert at mechanical engineering but is scared to jump over a puddle, let alone a canyon, while Skeeter is very athletic but doesn't know much about technology, and these come into play when the wheel of Scooter's tricycle breaks off and Skeeter doesn't know how to use the hairdresser that Scooter made.
  • Droopy the dog has been known to do this a few times in his shorts.
    • This turned out to be the explanation for Droopy's Offscreen Teleportation in Northwest Hounded Police.
      Wolf: Say, I wonder if there could've been more than one of that guy...
      (pan to the hall outside the cell, where a small army of Droopies is standing)
      Droopies: What do you think, brother?
    • In "Droopy's Double Trouble", Droopy gets his super-strong twin brother Drippy to help him take care of the house while the master is away. Spike takes advantage of Droopy's generosity and invites himself in, but whenever Droopy leaves, Drippy just happens to enter the room and beats up the intruder. Droopy then re-enters just as Drippy leaves, and a confused Spike wonders why Droopy is nice one minute and beating him up the next.
  • Polly Pocket and her cousin Pia pulled this in "2 Cool at Pocket Plaza".
  • Four times the fun with the titular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the 2003 cartoon, where they all stood in for the same turtle while trying to teach a one-time character named Arnold how to be a ninja. The twist is that the character was actually a child-Casey Jones — his real first name is Arnold. Arnold Casey Jones.
    • Which doesn't work out as well as you'd think, since in the 2003 series each turtle had a unique skintone and facial features. Arnold even comments that there's something different about them each time.
  • Both Donald and Douglas, and Bill and Ben from Thomas & Friends have impersonated each other at times.
    • Except Donald and Douglas only did it in their debut book. The TV adaptation of the story "The Missing Coach", in which this trope is a major plot point, was filmed, but Britt Allcroft ultimately cancelled the episode because younger audiences would find the plot "too complicated", and replaced it with "Thomas, Percy, and the Coal". Pictures of the episode have surfaced on the internet over the past decade.
  • On Total Drama Pahkitew Island, two of them contestants, Amy and Sammy/"Samey", are a pair of identical twins. Amy is a Manipulative Bitch and a bully to Sammy, and eventually arranges for their team to vote her off. Sammy decides to strike back by tricking Amy into eating a poisonous fruit, giving her a rash that renders her unable to speak. When the elimination is announced, Sammy simply pretends to be Amy and Amy gets kicked off the island instead. Sammy is able to keep this up for a few more episodes with only her friend Jasmine (and apparently Scarlett) aware.
  • The T.U.F.F. Puppy episode "A Tale of Two Kitties" has Kitty Katswell's villainous twin sister Katty try to impersonate her sister to steal a golden fishbowl by switching outfits while using black spray paint to hide the streak in her hair and white spray paint to give Kitty's hair a white streak. Her scheme is ultimately thwarted due to underestimating the extent of Dudley's loyalty to his partner (i.e. being willing to take the blame for stealing the fishbowl when Katty tricks him into holding it once the police show up rather than rat out "Kitty" for stealing it).

    Real Life 
  • Films and television shows have been known to hire twins to play a single child character (like the Olsen Twins on Full House) to get around child labor restrictions and have a backup if one is cranky or sick.
  • The Manchester United defensive pairing, Fabio and Rafael Da Silva, are pretty much made for this. The only way the team staff and management can tell them apart is the fact that one of them is married, and thus wears a ring — and they have been known to swap it. Presumably with the wife's consent...
  • There was a story where a pair of twins had trouble passing their driving exam when they were teenagers. So, one took the written exam for both of them while the other took the driving test.
  • NHL, the Sedin twins. Read here.
    • Once during the twins' second season, when Henrik was kicked out of a face-off circle, he skated around and went back to take the draw without the linesman being the wiser.
    • Crawford recalls once airing out Henrik between periods for blowing coverage on a face-off. Then the coach stormed into the dressing room, where Daniel stopped him and said he was the one who had erred. Henrik had never said a word.
  • Meet Mr. Raj, a Malaysian man caught smuggling marijuana. The penalty for this in Malaysia is hanging, and they even had DNA evidence to prove Raj did it. Then came in Raj's identical twin brother, and all the pair had to do was accuse the other twin of smuggling the drugs. With no way to distinguish between the two, the police were forced to let them both go.
  • Baseball-player-turned-MMA-fighter/boxer Jose Canseco once tried to get out of a fight by having his identical twin brother Ozzie pretend to be him. It didn't work out because people noticed Ozzie has different body tattoos than his brother. As noted in the article, Ozzie has also stood in for his brother at autograph signings.
  • Astronauts Mark Kelly and Scott Kelly are the only twins (and only siblings) to have flown in space, both as commanders of Space Shuttle missions. Scott Kelly also commanded the International Space Station from November 2010 to March 2011. At one point, a space shuttle flight to the ISS commanded by Mark Kelly was scheduled to launch within this window. Aside from being the Twin Commanders In SPACE, the two astronauts had hinted during interviews that they were considering invoking this trope. Unfortunately, the shuttle launch ended up being postponed to May 2011 and the opportunity was lost.
  • Former major league player Tom Brookens has a twin brother, Tim, who was also a ballplayer (but never made the majors). In spring training, Tim and Tom would sometimes switch identities, even suiting up in each other's uniforms. (Tim is believed to have played at least one exhibition game disguised as Tom.)
  • During practice for the 1969 Indianapolis 500, Mario Andretti suffered burns to his face, so his twin brother Aldo (himself a former racer, like several of their respective descendents, so perhaps this was an attempt at wish fulfilment) filled in for the official front row picture session. Allegedly some of the drivers were fooled.
  • James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter films) have confessed to switching roles on set without telling the crew, which fits their characters perfectly, as Fred and George Weasley would routinely do this to the irritation of their mother Molly.
  • On August 24, 2015, Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane, facing trial on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, evaded photographers wanting to get a picture of her entering court by using her twin sister Ellen Granahan as a decoy.
  • June and Jennifer Gibbons, the notorious arsonist-novelist "Silent Twins" of Haverfordwest, Wales, worked very hard on being identical and interchangeable. They did this so often that school and prison authorities thought they were doing it when they weren't.
  • In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, actor Rami Malek admitted to having recited a Greek monologue to help his twin brother Sami score extra points for an exam.
  • In Brazil, there are twin brothers "Fernando" and "Fabrico", their true identies are sealed as part of a court order, regularly from the time of their childhood would switch identies for fun. This developed into using the other's identity and sleeping with women. Eventually, their shenanigans ended up impregnanting a woman. The mother doesn't know which was is the actual father. The mother sought finaincial assistance from the father, but a court-compelled DNA test can only confirm their DNA is the male parent, not which particular man is the actual father. Rather than let them off, Judge Filipe Luis Peruca chided the men for their "bad faith" actions. Judge Peruca then ordered that both men be named on the birth certificate as the child's father, both must pay 30% of Brazil's minimum wage as child assistance, roughly $60 a month, and collectively cover 50% of the child's medical and school expenses.
    Judge Peruca: It’s evident that the defendants, from adolescence, took advantage — and continue to take advantage! — of the fact that they are identical twins. It became clear that they used each other’s name to attract as many women as possible and to hide instances of betrayal in their relationships.
  • Though they weren't actually twins, Harpo and Chico Marx resembled each other so closely that they pulled this off on occasion. In the most memorable instance, "Harpo" appeared on the TV show I've Got a Secret, with the secret being that it was actually Chico in Harpo's trademark costume (the real Harpo made an appearance following The Reveal). Not one person could tell the difference. Chico's daughter also stated at one point that during a run of their live stage show, Chico and Harpo switched roles for one performance as a kind of Easter egg for her to see if she could tell (she ended up missing the show altogether).
  • Giant pandas commonly birth twins, although the mother generally abandons the weaker one because she only produces enough milk for one. Captive breeding programs for pandas became much more successful once their keepers started making use of this trope, removing one cub from each pair of newborns to an incubator and then swapping them back and forth up to ten times a day, so both baby pandas could receive an equal share of the none-the-wiser mother's attention and natural milk.
  • The twin Argentine brothers Guillermo and Gustavo Barros Schelotto, after retiring from their football playing careers, have since worked together as manager and assistant manager, respectively. There have been some ocassions in which Guillermo has been sent off by a referee, only for Gustavo to leave and Guillermo to stay instead. Were it not for their voices and mannerisms, it can prove difficult to tell them apart.


Video Example(s):


Twinning Isn't Everything

Faced with her own elimination, Sammy tricks her Evil Twin Amy into eating a poisonous fruit that renders her unable to speak, and then poses as her, getting Amy eliminated in her place.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / TwinSwitch

Media sources: