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Twin Switch

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"Samey's been pretending to be Amy the whole time. I thought we all knew that?"

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. A Sub-Trope to Identical Twin Mistake.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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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 & 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 Queen Dianna Soriel of the Moonrace and Kihel Heim of Inglessa switch places shortly into their first meeting with each other. Dianna originally did 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 too far when they are separated by a war, and Kihel ends up spending the bulk of the series making major political decisions as the leader of the Moonrace while Dianna is put in mortal peril numerous times traveling with Loran Cehack and his Gundam. At the end of the series, they switch for one final time, with Kihel ruling the Moonrace while Dianna settles down with Loran, realizing her dream of living out her remaining years peacefully on the beautiful Earth.
    • 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.
  • Inochi: After the twins Nobara and Kotori's father dies to save Nobara, she goes live with her grandmother while Kotori stays with their mentally-shattered mother Natsuko. The twins reach an agreement and start pulling the trope regularly so Nobara can check on Natsuko and spend some time with her without her finding out. But what was supposed to be their last switch ever (since the now more stable Natsuko is planning to ask Nobara if she wants to come back home) ends up in an horrible disaster — when Kotori, still acting as Nobara, is kidnapped, raped and murdered.
  • 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 Monster, this is played interestingly: we know that a pair of opposite-sex twins were taken with one of them (accidentally) seeing 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 their hands on the Hyuuga clan's Byakugan via either Hinata or Hiashi. Hizashi, as a member of the branch family, 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 by dying on his own terms (the branch family, which Hizashi and Neji were a part of, were essentially raised to see themselves as glorified servants/expendable meat shields for the sake of protecting the main family, which Hinata and Hiashi were a part of). Since Neji was not informed about this until about a decade later, he came to believe that the Hyuuga family had just thrown Hizashi to the wolves to protect the main family, and developed a serious complex about his belief that a person's destiny is predetermined from the moment they're born and cannot be changed.
  • 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 (1981), 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! 5Ds, 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.
  • An early issue of Deadman reveals the titular character has a twin brother who survived him and has taken up his name and role as an acrobat. This gets him into trouble quick, when the same people who killed Deadman come after the twin. He survives the first few attacks, but eventually, he ends up a dead man too.
  • 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.
  • Dark Horse's Comics' Greatest World has a superpower version with one twin taking over the Rebel identity with a touch.

    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.
  • Cheating Death: Those That Lived: Invoked by Spool, who pretends to be his identical twin Tag during the Hunger Games, because Tag started having an asthma attack on the Reaping stage and Spool missed the opportunity to volunteer. It took until after the Second Rebellion for the truth to finally come to light. In the side-fic 24 Tributes: The Acidic Forest, it is revealed that by a Contrived Coincidence, Spool's ally from Twelve, Orinoco, was also secretly replaced by his twin Ozzy throughout the Games, in the exact same way that Spool replaced Tag.
  • 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 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.
  • In The New Trio and the Philosopher's Stone, Fred and George each pick two electives the other twin isn't taking and then trade places regularly, doing the homework for all four electives as well as their one shared elective, Care of Magical Creatures.
  • 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 is a cousin swap, with Harriet and Archie taking each other's 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, they do have a family resemblance, and with enough magic, determination, and daring, there are workarounds, from Polyjuice potion to voice-altering charms to "specialised equipment" for making Harry look masculine in a wetsuit. The fact that their deception is so long-term helps, in a way; when the "Rigel" whom 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.

    Films — 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.

    Films — 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).
  • Assassination: Kang In-guk is an evil Korean collaborator working with the Japanese in 1933 Seoul. He has twin daughters. Mitsuko is his affectionate and faithful daughter who is engaged to marry an evil Japanese officer. His other daughter Ok-hyun, Separated at Birth, is a Cold Sniper and a warrior in the Korean La Résistance against Japan. Kang shoots and kills Ok-hyun when he finally finds her again in Seoul—except that he made an Identical Twin Mistake and accidentally killed Mitsuko. Ok-hyun then assumes her dead sister's identity, infiltrating her father's household so that she can get a second chance at murdering him.
  • 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.
  • One of the main characters in Glass Onion is Cassandra 'Andi' Brand, billionaire Miles Bron's former business partner who was recently cut out of the company. Midway through the film, it is revealed that Andi was killed before the film even began, and is being impersonated by her identical twin, Helen. The other protagonist (Benoit Blanc) is well aware of this, as the two are working together to uncover the identity of Andi's murderer.
  • 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...
  • 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".
    • Acording to the novelization, Mal is actually messing with them when he says this. The real tell is that one has a slightly higher voice, but Mal is keeping this bit of trivia to himself.
  • In Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking, the murderer turns out to be a pair of identical twins, which enables them to always have an alibi when they kill.
  • 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.
  • A Simple Favor: Emily did this by murdering her twin Faith and making it look like her to fake her death.
  • 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.

  • 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 revealednote . 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.
    • Parodied in a tag match involving the Bella Twins 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 worked even though 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.
  • The Renegade Twins, Charlette and Robyn. While not identical (they're fraternal twins), they initially looked similar enough, especially with hairsyle, gear, and makeup all helping, that they could make use of this trope during matches. This tactic has declined as their respective characters have evolved, and flat-out failed to work at all in the revived Ring of Honor when both the referee and Willow Nightingale were able to easily recognize that a switch had been attempted.

  • The Shadow: In episode "Ghosts Can Kill", a murderer, Ralph Gorman, swears vengeance on his enemies even as he's facing death by electric chair, promising to come back from the grave and kill them. Everyone thinks this is ridiculous, until his enemies start getting killed. How? It's his twin brother, Arthur, doing the killing. Earlier in the episode it was noted that Ralph beat several previous murder raps by producing alibis, but is going to the chair for his latest because he finally didn't have an alibi. The reason is that Arthur made sure to be seen somewhere while Ralph was off killing, but for Ralph's latest murder, they got the times mixed up.

    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.
  • Love & Pies: While Joe is off at a baking retreat, his identical twin brother Sam pretends to be him to go on a date with Amelia. He claims that he recently grew his facial hair and got ear piercings to throw her off, and Amelia was fooled because she didn't know much about him since he went to a different high school from Joe's and hadn't lived in town for years.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Siren: Late in the game, Shiro kills his twin Kei, and takes his place, though the cutscene in which it happens is deliberately 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.

    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:
      • The teleporting magician, Bonny de Famme, turns out to actually be a pair of twins, Bonny and Betty, who use this trope for their signature trick. Betty also impersonates Bonny at times during the case. The two look identical aside from preferred hairstyle, but Bonny is a Nice Girl while Betty (when she isn't pretending to be Bonny) is a bit of a Jerkass.
      • Queen Ga'ran occasionally has her sister Amara, the previous queen whom the public thinks is dead, impersonate her when needed as Ga'ran can't channel spirits, which is a requirement to hold the throne of Khura'in. They're not twins, being a year apart in age, but they look very similar.
  • 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 even with Mukuro wearing a wig and makeup the disguise is flimsy at best; the disguise relies on none of the others knowing enough about Junko to call Mukuro out on any inconsistencies (they'd only seen her before in her modeling photos, which Mukuro had to explain away as photoshop), and the impersonation only lasting a few days. If you spend enough time with the fake Junko (especially in School Mode, where there are no deaths and thus you can get more than 2 Free Time Events with her), Mukuro's act will clearly start to break down.
  • 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.
  • The Beast and The Prince pulling one of these is the main premise of Ladykiller in a Bind. If the Beast pretends to be her brother for the duration of his graduation cruise, he'll do something about her failing grades and get her motorcycle back. Even though they're eighteen, she's able to pull it off physically due to being very modestly endowed and the Prince favoring three-piece suits that help hide her chest.

  • In Drowtales, Kel'Noz says that he and his sister Mel'arnach used to do this all the time with a nostalgic smile.
  • Izzy from Ennui GO! occasionally goes out in public disguised as her identical twin sister Adelie 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.
  • 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.
  • A story arc of The Order of the Stick has Elan's twin brother Nale shave his goatee and take Elan's place in the party.
  • The Prince and the Princess: The story involves this, and currently provides the page image. However, Edmund and Emilia aren't actually related, they just look very much alike. The ruse is instantly seen through by their parents as well.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Web Original 
  • Manga Rabbit HoméNoba: Sohta was asked to go on a date by Chloe, however the girl who showed up to the date is actually Mashiro, Chloe's elder twin sister, who wants to confirm that Sohta is good enough for Chloe. Sohta knew about Mashiro taking Chloe's place so he decides to play along until she tells him the truth, additionally her date with him makes her fall in love with him as well.
  • Manga Soprano: Rui impersonated her twin sister Ram to steal Kairi from her. However, the guy she "stole" from Ram wasn't actually Kairi, but Masato, an unemployed young man who crushed on Ram.
  • The Onion: "Mischievous Koch Brothers Trick Beautiful Woman Into Thinking There's Only One Of Them"
  • Uta's RomCom Manga Dubs: Hiromu was kissed by a girl who he thought was Ami, but it's later revealed she was actually her twin sister named Mia. After Hiromu becomes engaged to Ami, she and Mia dye their hair green, though he's able to identify Ami easily.

    Real Life 

  • 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...
  • 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.
    • Once, Henrik got sent to the penalty box for an infraction Daniel had committed (hooking). The really embarrassing thing is the referee missed the obvious Identical Twin ID Tag: by then Henrik was captain, and therefore had a 'C' on his jersey, while Daniel only had an 'A' as alternate captain.
  • 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 descendants, so perhaps this was an attempt at wish fulfilment) filled in for the official front row picture session. Allegedly even Bobby Unser and A.J. Foyt (the other front row racers in the shoot) were fooled. While in later life this became impossible due to the reconstructive surgery Aldo needed making him look distinctive from Mario, apparently they still looked alike enough that Mario's pet pig Martini would attack the 'impostor' Aldo (and get sprayed with water in response).
  • 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 identities are sealed as part of a court order, regularly from the time of their childhood would switch identities for fun. This developed into using the other's identity and sleeping with women. Eventually, their shenanigans ended up impregnating a woman. The mother doesn't know which was is the actual father. The mother sought financial 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 occassions 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):


Martin's doubles' tasks

Martin gives the doubles he woke up with two different tasks: the mean one with the red hat must prevent the bully Benjamin from asking Martin's crush Roxanne to come to the movies with him, while the nice one with the blue one must ask Roxanne to come to the movies with Martin. Unfortunately, their hats were accidentally switched earlier...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / MesACrowd

Media sources: