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Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born

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"You will be having both a boy and a girl."
Dr. David Shaw, Life's Little Joy

Twin characters in a work of modern fiction come in all sorts (though they have a disproportionate tendency to be identical). However, when twins are born over the course of the story (as part of a Babies Ever After or otherwise), they are almost always male and female fraternal twins. Fraternal twins are more common in Real Life. (Identical twins are, of course, always the same sex; applying this trope to a pair of identical twins is usually a mistake.Exceptions )

Why does this happen? The birth of a boy and a girl instantly creates a fully formed family of father, mother, son, and daughter, putting all of the family relationship tropes into play, without any perceived bias by making the boy or girl older and in an authority position over the other. These twins are frequently the first and only children of their parents. Compared to other twins in fiction, it's more rare for these twin pairs to include an Evil Twin or be Separated at Birth. While they are occasionally Half-Identical Twins, more frequently one resembles the mother and the other the father. Bonus points if one of the parents is also a twin, bringing it full circle.

This trope is less prominent in mythology due to the blurred lines between story and backstory. In ancient myths or works like the The Silmarillion that are deliberately mythological, the birth of twin brothers is much more common. The birth of twin sisters is generally rare in all media.

Especially common for firstborn twins in a small Nuclear Family. If twins are born into a large family that already has more than one child of the other sex, this trope is more likely to be averted. When this trope is averted for other reasons it's a very bad sign, as one or both of the resulting children will usually be supernatural or evil. Mythological aversions tend to have different fathers or be destined to depose or kill each other. Aversions are usually still fraternal, though. It's rare to see infant identical twins in fiction, as they tend to appear fully formed at ages six to thirty.

A frequent trope in Soap Opera, although due to the sheer volume of twins in decades-long soaps this is also occasionally averted.

If the parents are the main characters and the twins are infants, it's this trope. If the twins are the main characters and the parents gave birth to them offscreen in the past, it's not. Childbirth scenes are usual but not absolutely required as long as the pregnancy and the twins as small infants are both shown.

Frequently combined with Spin-Offspring. Contrast Separated at Birth, which is a backstory trope for older twin characters.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Basara: Tatara and Sarasa.
  • In the (non-canon) manga adaptation of mothy's The Servant of Evil, the first chapter opens with the birth of the king's opposite-sex twins. This turns out to be a curse rather than a blessing, as before he was killed by the king, the fortune teller makes one last prophecy that the king's child will be born with a birthmark, a sign that he or she will bring the country to ruin. The queen ends up having twins, and it's the boy who gets the birthmark. The king orders that the prince be locked in a tower and kept there.
  • Coppelion: In the final episode, it's revealed that Ibuki was carrying twins, which turn out to be one male and one female.
  • Samurai High School: Kou and Tsukiko were newborns at the beginning of the manga.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: Archie Gets Married has Archie and Veronica having twins — Little Archie and Little Veronica. In the "Betty" version, the same thing happens, with Little Betty instead. Both are a case of Generation Xerox as well.
  • ElfQuest: Suntop and Ember. However, in early draft pages they were both boys.
  • The Flash:
    • The Tornado Twins, Don and Dawn Allen.
    • And then Wally's kids, Iris and Jai West.
  • Spawn: Wanda's twins.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) has been shown having children with Princess Sally in a few alternate futures, and those children are always twins; a girl that resembles her mother, and a son resembling his father.
  • Spider-Man: In the fandomly-reviled Sins Past storyline (2004), it is revealed that Norman Osborn slept with Gwen Stacy and fathered twins Sarah and Gabriel. After they rapidly age due to the Norman's Goblin Formula, they seek Peter Parker, thinking he is their birth father.

    Fan Fiction 

    Fairy Tales 
  • The first edition of The Brothers Grimm version of Rapunzel sees the title character get pregnant with opposite-sex twins conceived during the Prince's visits to her tower.
  • In some retellings of Sleeping Beauty (generally based on Charles Perrault's version, where it's not clarified if they're actually twins), the prince and princess have a pair of mixed-sex twins once they're married.
  • Sun, Moon, and Talia has Talia give birth to a boy and a girl after an encounter with a king.

    Films — Animated 
  • Bambi: The film ends with Bambi and Faline having twin fawns, Geno and Gurri (according to the original book and a comic book sequel).
  • Rock-A-Doodle: Chanticleer and Goldie's son and daughter.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Henry and Samantha Focker in Little Fockers, although their actual birth is never depicted.
  • Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, the leads of the Star Wars Original Trilogy, are revealed to be this in Return of the Jedi, courtesy of Obi-Wan's spirit after Yoda passes away. The prequel Revenge of the Sith shows their birth, with mother Padmé dying shortly after naming them.
  • A major plot point in Whale Rider. The boy was supposed to be the chief of his tribe, but he died soon after being born, leaving the sister with the weight of her grandfather's expectations.

  • Ramses and Nefret eventually have a son and daughter in the Amelia Peabody Mysteries.
  • Animorphs: Darwin and Madra, the children (sort of) of Visser One.
  • In the Dollanganger Series, this happens twice. First, Chris and Corinne have twins Cory and Carrie; many years later, Cathy's son Jory and his wife Melodie have twins Darren and Deirdre. Jory's twins are born after he's paralyzed in a stage accident, so Cathy describes it as "a special gift, sent straight from heaven" that he still gets to have the son and daughter that he always wanted.
  • In Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Beauty's older sister Hope marries Gervain, the blacksmith, and ten months later gives birth to twins. The babies are a combination of this trope and Dead Guy Junior; the daughter is named Mercy, after Beauty's younger sister who died, and the son is named Richard, after his paternal grandfather.
  • The Bobbsey Twins: two sets — Bert and Nan are the older pair, Freddie and Flossie the younger. They're even Color-Coded Characters: Bert and Nan are both dark-haired, Freddie and Flossie are both blond.
  • Varencienne gives birth to twins Rav and Elly in The Chronicles of Magravandias. The boy looks very like her and the girl like the father. Played with in that Varencienne hated being pregnant and giving birth and had no intention of having more children unless she didn't have a boy.
  • Dune Messiah: Leto II and Ghanima. This one also subverts the usually-unplayed Twincest angle: Leto marries Ghanima, but it's for political purposes. It's not like he could have sex with her or anyone else for that matter anyway; his blending with the sandtrout made that impossible. Ghanima's children are actually and not-so-secretly fathered by Prince Farad'n Corrino, grandson of former Emperor Shaddam IV.
  • Earth's Children: Shortly after liberating the Three Sisters Camp from Attaroa in the fourth book, Ayla helps deliver fraternal twins, a boy and a girl, who are the first babies born to the Camp for some time. Ayla and S'Armuna take this as a good omen that better times are ahead.
  • O-Lan's twins in The Good Earth.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, after Queen Selenay and Prince Daren marry, they have twins, Kris and Lyra.
  • Honor Harrington: Honor's siblings Faith and James.
  • Little Women: Meg is the first of the sisters to marry and have babies, and not only does she have male and female twins, she names them after herself and her husband. To adhere to the One-Steve Limit, they go by nicknames: Demi (for demijohn, a type of jug but also literally "small John" in French) and Daisy (Margaret = Marguerite = "daisy" in French).
  • Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn: Deornoth and Derra, Josua and Vorzheva's children.
  • Pegasus in Flight: Tirla's twins, Mischa and Miriam.
  • Petaybee: Ronan and Murel.
  • Occurs at the end of A Pirate's Pleasure by Heather Graham.
  • In Sarum, a Neolithic chieftain's decades-long efforts to produce an heir eventually result in this trope. The "instant Nuclear Family" aspect is subverted, as a prophecy dictates that the daughter immediately be sacrificed at Stonehenge.
  • The Newman twins Josh and Sophie from The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series. One has the rare gold aura while the other has the equally rare silver aura. Of course they are the twins of legend. This gets shot to hell in the final book with The Reveal that not only are they not really twins, they're not even related. Their parents found Josh during prehistoric times while Sophie was found on the Steppes of Russia. They were raised as brother and sister.
  • Seer of Sevenwaters: Cathal and Clodagh's twins.
  • The pregnancy that gives Lanen so much trouble in Tales of Kolmar is a set of twins like this.
  • Alianne and Alan, Alanna's twins in the Tortall Universe, although they do have a brother who came first and alone (and is named Thom after Alanna's own Half Identical Twin). Alianne grows up to have triplets, two girls and a boy.
  • An interesting version in Sheri Tepper's Sideshow involves identical, conjoined twins who are hermaphrodites, but dressed as male and female in order to fulfil their parents' desire for this trope.
  • In The Thrawn Trilogy, Leia gives birth to Jacen and Jaina; in Dark Empire she had another boy, Anakin. During the New Jedi Order, it was found that the Scary Dogmatic Aliens have superstitions about twins, so Shmi Skywalker's surviving descendants were able to take advantage of that. Tellingly, Anakin, the only single birth in the clan, was the only one who died there.
  • At the conclusion of the Colleen McCullough novel The Touch, Eleanor "Nell" Kinross is introduced to her new baby brother and sister.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Miles and Ekaterin's first children, Aral and Helen. Perhaps not technically twins, but the same parents and born at the same time. (See Uterine Replicator for the It Makes Sense in Context on that distinction.)
  • Naturally this happens from time to time in the Warrior Cats series, since having more than one kitten in a litter isn't out of the ordinary for cats.
  • In The Wheel of Time series, one of Min's viewings says Elayne's pregnancy will result in twins, a daughter and a son. As of The Towers of Midnight Min's viewings have never yet been wrong, so this trope will almost certainly come to pass. In an interesting mythological twist, one theory is that they will be the reincarnation of the twin Heroes of the Horn Shivan and Calian, whose coming heralds the end of an Age.
    • The same viewing, and a vision of the future in Rhuidean, also show that Aviendha will get a double dose of this trope: fraternal quadruplets, two sons and two daughters.
  • In the Women of the Otherworld series, the only female werewolf eventually gets pregnant, though this doesn't stop her from battling bad guys. When she finally gives birth, her children turn out to be a boy and a girl, and they're both werewolves (usually only sons inherit the trait).
  • In The Wonder Spot, Sophie's brother's twins are a boy and a girl.

    Live Action TV 
  • On 30 Rock, when Liz and Criss adopt twins, they're a boy and a girl. It turns out that the boy is a miniature Tracy and the girl is a miniature Jenna, meaning that Liz's job has actually been perfect for practicing being a parent.
  • As the World Turns had a double version of this with Jeff and Carol Ward's quadruplets.
  • The Brittas Empire:
    • There’s an odd subversion with Carole, who initially gave birth to a boy and girl (Tom and Emily Parkinson) at the end of Series 2. Tom was then retconned to a girl (now known as Jessica) in Series 5, now making them single-sex twins.
  • Brothers & Sisters: Tommy and Julia's twins, though one died.
  • Coronation Street: Kenneth Barlow's twins, Judy Mallett's twins, Sunita Alahan's twins.
  • The Cosby Show: Nelson and Winnie (Sondra and Elvin's children)
  • Days of Our Lives: Sami and Eric Brady. Sami later gave birth to another set. And that's not even counting her twin siblings who were found in a meteor shower.
  • A Country Practice: Simon and Vicky had twins, Tom and Charlotte
  • EastEnders: Peter and Lucy Beale, Pete Beale and Pauline Fowler.
  • Emmerdale: Cathy and Heath Hope.
  • Subverted on ER with Doug and Carol's twins, which were both girls. Interesting, since the previous season, the audience had gotten a pretty strong hint that this trope would have been played straight. (A psychic patient who claimed to be able to see inside people was trying to decipher if Carol was having a boy or a girl. Her expression seemed to indicate that it was both.)
  • Fated to Love You: In the final episode of the Korean version, Gun and Mi-Young have fraternal twins in the one-month Time Skip, and we see them playing with their children in the epilogue.
  • Friends: Monica and Chandler's adopted twins are born in the final episode. They named them Erica (after the birth mother) and Jack (after Monica's dad, plus it goes well with the surname Bing).
    Chandler: Well, now we have one of each!
  • Get Smart: Max and 99's twins.
  • Played straight on Little House on the Prairie when Nellie gives birth to twins. It's especially contrived since she and her Jewish husband had agreed beforehand that if the baby was a boy, he'd be raised Jewish; if a girl, Christian. Both sets of grandparents have therefore been very anxious about the whole matter.
  • Magnificent Century: In season 2, Hatice Sultan gives birth to twins Osman and Huricihan. Both stick for a while as kids, but only Huricihan returns for season 4 as an adult.
  • Magnificent Century: Kösem Akile, wife of sultan Osman II., gives birth to a son and a daughter shortly before her husband loses his throne and life. The children themselves meet grisly ends too, despite Akile's attempts to save them.
  • Modern Family: Haley and Dylan's twins Poppy and George.
  • During the second season of The Mothers In Law, there was a pregnancy storyline where the titular mothers would bicker over whether the baby would be a boy or girl depending on the sex of their child. Naturally, they had one of each to keep the family peace.
  • The Nanny: Fran and Maxwell's son and daughter at the end of the series.
  • NCIS: During Season 15's Thanksgiving Episode "Ready or Not", McGee and Delilah's twins, Johnny and Morgan, are born. Abby excitedly declares it the best Thanksgiving ever.
  • One Life to Live
    • They had this happen in the seventies with Larry Wolek and Meredith Lord's twins, though one was stillborn.
    • It later happened in the 90's with Max and Luna's twins.
  • Discussed on an episode of Super Password. Host Bert Convy claimed he could predict the sex of an unborn baby by placing his hands on a pregnant woman's stomach. The one time he didn't know, the woman eventually give birth to twins: one boy and one girl.
  • In The Vampire Diaries, most of the Gemini Coven twins are male/female fraternal pairs, i.e. Luke and Liv and Jo and Kai, but this is averted with Jo and Alaric's twin daughters.
  • The West Wing: Toby's twins, Huck and Molly.

  • At the end of Collin Raye's "One Boy, One Girl" the couple find out that the woman is pregnant with twins. The twins being one boy and one girl makes the Dual-Meaning Chorus work— the first two times the chorus is about the couple's love for each other (and they are the titular boy and girl), and the last time it's about their love for their children and excitement to be parents.
  • There are probably many PVs for "Servant of Evil" that show the twins as infants, but this version for the classical remix is arguably the best known.
    • Years later, a canonical example of came in the form of That King Was Born From Mud, which tells the origin story of the twins' father. The PV covers the miracle of an animated mud doll fathering children, complete with a shot of the infant Alexiel and Riliane.
    • In the same universe, Escape of Salmhofer the Witch features the titular Meta Salmhofer and the conception of her twins, Hänsel and Gretel. Having a pair of boy and girl twins was the intended result of the medical impregnation, in an attempt to reincarnate twin gods.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Though not in The Bible, some Jewish sources say that each of Jacob's twelve sons was born with a twin sister. The same with Cain and Abel.
  • Classical Mythology: Apollo and Artemis, the twin children of Zeus and Leto.
    • A weird variant is Leda's quadruplets: Castor, Polydeuces, Clytemnestra, and Helen. According to the most popular version, Helen and Polydeuces were fathered by Zeus, and Castor and Clytemnestra by Leda's husband Tyndareus. From eggs, one for the brothers and one for the sisters. You see, Zeus had mated with Leda in the form of a swan and... you know what, this is Greek Mythology. Things aren't supposed to make sense.
  • In Deirdre of the Sorrows, Deirdre has just about reached marriageable age in Iron-Age Ireland (15 for women, 18 for men) when she falls in love with Naoise, and they flee Ulster to Scotland with Naoise's brothers to escape the wrath of King Conchobhar of Ulster, who wants Deirdre all to himself; in some versions of the tale, Deirdre and Naoise have a son, Gaiar, and a daughter, Aebgreine, during their self-imposed exile.
  • Egyptian Mythology: In some myth variants Osiris and Isis are twins.
  • Norse Mythology: Freyr and Freyja. Borgny gives birth to a set in the Elder Edda.

  • The Archers: Lily and Freddie Pargetter, Shula and Kenton Archer.

    Tabletop Game 

  • In the third act of Abie's Irish Rose, Solomon and Patrick, though still angry at each other, are eager to see Abie and Rose Mary's new baby. Solomon wants it to be a boy like his son Abie, and Patrick is eager for it to be a girl like his daughter Rose Mary. It conveniently turns out to be both, so the feud can easily be settled.
  • In Dream Girl, when Georgina hears about her sister Miriam's pregnancy, she dreams of switching places with her and giving birth to twins which she names Gerald and Geraldine.
  • In Of Thee I Sing, after the First Lady saves her husband from impeachment by announcing that he's about to be a father, the question on everyone's minds is: Will it be a boy or a girl? The answer, as decided by the Supreme Court: Both!
    Wintergreen: That makes me a father and a mother. Twins! That's a little more than I counted on!

    Video Games 
  • In the Dark Parables series, the fairy tale of Snow White and Rose Red has received a partial Gender Flip, and Snow White instead has a twin brother named Ross Red.
  • In Dragon Age II, Hawke's younger siblings are twins; Bethany and Carver also qualify as Polar Opposite Twins. Sadly, one of them always dies in the prologue.
  • Dragon Quest V: Parry (male) and Madchen (female), the Hero and his Heavenly Bride's twin children born in the second act of the game.
  • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War: The first-generation twin pair are Brigid and Edain, two identical twins, but the twins you play in the second generation are Scathach and Larcei, a boy and a girl.
  • In the final installment of Gardens Inc, Jill and Mike are expecting their first child. The game is very clever about concealing from the player exactly what they're having until about midway through the game, when the pregnant Jill stresses herself into the hospital, at which time the doctor reveals she's carrying twins. The excited Mike declares that "I'm gonna be a double dad!" Sure enough, it's this trope. The twins are seen at the end of the main campaign, although the game never reveals their names.
  • King's Quest: King Graham and Queen Valanice sire Prince Alexander and Princess Rosella.
  • In a case of Ascended Fanon, Mass Effect: Andromeda establishes on the character creation screen that the protagonist has an opposite sex twin, though you only play as one of the Ryder twins.
  • In My Cafe, Mary Ditt — the cafe's first customer — becomes pregnant, and ends up giving birth to a pair of twins named Theo and Luna.
  • Phantasy Star III has an example of this in one of the third generation scenarios, as the twins Adan and Gwyn are born if Nial choses Laya as his bride instead of Alair.
  • Possible, though not guaranteed and in fact somewhat rare, in The Sims and its sequels.
  • Story of Seasons (2014): For the first time in the series, the children of the main character are twins. Naturally, they're a boy and girl.
  • Village Life: Your first villagers give birth to twins at the very beginning of the game. Naturally, they're a boy and a girl.
  • In Zero Time Dilemma, one timeline leads to Diana giving birth to twins after she falls in love with the previous game's protagonist, Sigma. Thanks to the Timey-Wimey Ball, these twins end up being Phi, their absent friend, and Delta, the Big Bad of the game.

  • 21st Century Fox: Jack and Jenny's litter of two, Richard and Jane, though a mixup at the fertility clinic leads to them adopting a third pup, Thomas. Cecil, Barb, and Beth have calves Harry and Lilly around the same time the fox pups open their eyes, but they're not technically twins having two different biological mothers.
  • Coga Suro: Towards the end of the first run, twins John and Mary are born.
  • Ennui GO!: In Part 2 Darcy gives birth to fraternal twins: Morgan (a girl) and Nathan (a boy), with the implication that the former is Izzy's mother reincarnated.

    Western Animation 
  • The Flintstones: In the movie "Hollyrock-a-bye Baby", Pebbles gives birth at the end to her first child with her husband Bamm-Bamm, which turns out to be a set of boy/girl twins; son Chip and daughter Roxy. The daughter looks like her father (and has his Super-Strength) and the son looks like his mother; see the page pic.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Pound and Pumpkin to Mr. and Mrs. Cake. For added weirdness, Pound is a pegasus and Pumpkin is a unicorn, whilst both their parents are earth ponies.
  • Wakfu: Flopin and Elely to Evangelyne and Dally.
  • One installment of Dora the Explorer is about Dora hurrying home, as her mother is about to give birth. Dora becomes a big sister to a boy and girl who are known simply as "the twins."
  • On The Proud Family, Penny's younger siblings Bebe and Cece are opposite-sex twins. (Their real names are Benjamin and Celine.)