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Western Animation / The Twins (2000)

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The girls and their animal companions, playing cards. note 

Right from the start
We were worlds apart
And even though we are the twins
We're absolutely different
We're stuck to each other
Stuck to one another
You're stuck with me like sticking glue!
We have to stick it through
Cuz what's a twin to do?
Lil and Nelly, in the show's opening theme

The Twins is a Canadian animated children's series based on the 1998 book of the same name by John Wallace and produced by CINAR. The show centers around a pair of 5-year-old twin sisters: Lil, who is well-mannered and prefers to keep things clean, and Nelly, who loves nothing more than getting messy. Naturally, their night-and-day personalities tend to get them into quite a bit of trouble, but they're always able to put their heads together and work their way out of it. Other characters include the girls' parents; Fluffy, Lil's talking stuffed rabbit; Snaily, Nelly's pet snail; and Amy, the girls' spoiled next door neighbor.

The series originally aired from September 2000 to January 2001 on YTV in Canada and CITV in the UK. While it did see a small home release, it is mostly considered lost media. However, recordings of a handful of different episodes have been uploaded to Youtube.

Not to be confused with the mobile game of the same name.

This series provides examples of:

  • A Dog Named "Dog": Nelly's pet snail is named Snaily.
  • Adaptation Species Change: A minor example, but in the original book, Fluffy is depicted as an actual rabbit as opposed to a stuffed one.
  • Adaptational Name Change: In the original book, Snaily is instead called Slimey.
  • Alpha Bitch: Amy, the girls' spoiled rotten brat of a neighbor.
  • Animated Adaptation: Of the book from 1998 by John Wallace.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Lil and Nelly, being polar opposites, argue with each other quite a bit. However, it is shown that they do care for one another in spite of this.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • In "Swimming", Lil and Nelly's father spends much of the episode talking to the fourth wall about how much he's looking forward to taking the girls to the pool. After dealing with a ridiculously strict lifeguard and giving him his comeuppance, he decides he's had enough and takes the girls out to eat instead. The episode ends with him addressing the camera one last time: "What did you expect? That lifeguard was a pain!"
    • In "Where's Snaily?", Amy asks her father to buy her a toy barbecue set. He's hesitant at first, but Amy manages to convince her by crying and begging him to do so. After he leaves, she immediately stops crying, turns to the camera and says: "Works every time." This is repeated by Lil, and also said while facing the camera, when she manages to sweet-talk Amy into letting her play with her barbecue set, so she can search her backyard for Snaily.
  • Brick Joke: At the start of "Holiday", when Amy brags to the girls about her upcoming trip to the Caribbean, Nelly lies and says that they're going somewhere even better. Amy responds by saying: "I'll believe it when I get your postcard." Fast-forward to the end of the episode, when the girls win a game show and get an island vacation as their prize. They send a postcard to Amy, who takes it about as well as you'd expect.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: Fluffy the stuffed rabbit.
  • Camping Episode: "Happy Campers", in which the girls see Amy's father putting up a fancy tent in her backyard, and he invites them and their friend Mikey to come camping later that night. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Can't Live with Them, Can't Live Without Them: A good description of Lil and Nelly's relationship, as demonstrated by the theme song in the page quote. Their polar opposite natures make it difficult for them to put up with each other, but as twins, it's not like they have a choice.
  • Captain Obvious: In "Trampoline", Mikey comes over to show the girls a balloon he has. One of the things he says about it is that "You can blow it up!" Lil and Nelly respond thusly:
    Lil: We know that, Mikey. It's a balloon.
    Nelly: That's what you do with them. Blow them up.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In "Holiday", Nelly asks the garbage man to ask her some trivia questions to help her practice for the game show. When she can't answer any of them, she insists that he only ask her questions she knows the answer to - specifically, questions pertaining to snails. The question he asks her is whether a snail is a mammal or a mollusk. Fast-forward to the game show, and with the scores tied, the last question is to name a mollusk. Nelly is able to answer it, thus letting she and Lil win.
    • "Trampoline" starts with Lil and Nelly playing with jump ropes in the backyard, where Lil eventually discovers Nelly's bucket of a nasty concoction called "compost soup". Near the end of the episode, the girls get the idea to prank Amy by tying the bucket to a tree in Amy's yard using both ropes. Pulling on the rope sends the bucket bouncing on the trampoline alongside Amy, eventually landing right on top of her head and covering her in the stuff.
  • Expressive Hair: In the original book, after discovering Nelly's additions to the school project the book is framed around, Lil's normally smooth hair stands on end to reflect her anger. However, her fear turns out to be unfounded, as their project ends up being the best one in the class.
  • Fake-Hair Drama: "Swimming" features a lifeguard with long blond hair, which causes Lil to fall head over heels for him. However, when Lil drops Fluffy into the pool and the lifeguard jumps in to save him, it's revealed he was wearing a wig the whole time. This after he made fun of both Lil and Nelly's hairstyles.
  • The Fashionista: Lil takes great pride in her appearance, especially where fashion is concerned.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: One of the many ways in which Lil and Nelly differ, with Nelly being the foolish sibling and Lil the responsible one. For example, in "Holiday", Lil decides to immediately hit the books and study up for the game show, while Nelly slacks off and decides to play cards with Snaily instead.
  • Game Show Appearance: In "Holiday", Lil and Nelly convince their parents to sign them up for a trivia game show in the hopes that they might win an island vacation.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Aside from her sister Nelly, Lil's best friend is her talking stuffed rabbit Fluffy.
  • Green Is Gross: Nelly's parts of the original book are represented by the color green, representing her love for all things gross. This carries over to the show to a degree: In the opening sequence, she's seen with a green blanket as a baby, and one half of the title card's background is green to oppose Lil's pink.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Fluffy only wears a blue shirt and bowtie with no pants.
  • Idiot Hair: Lil wakes up with a small section of her hair sticking out at the beginning of "Where's Snaily?". She doesn't take to kindly to this realization.
  • Imagine Spot: Shows up throughout the series.
    • In "Holiday", when Lil and Nellie imagine how they'll spend their island vacation if they win it.
    • In "Swimming", when the girls' father imagines what their trip to the pool will be like.
    • In "Sand Castles", Lil pictures herself as a princess living in a majestic sand castle, only to be interrupted by Nelly getting dust everywhere.
    • In "Happy Campers", the girls' mother has a disastrous premonition of how the camping trip in Amy's backyard will turn out, which involves Lil and Nellie dressed up as Native Americans and having Bound and Gagged Amy.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Snaily speaks in nonsensical noises, but Nelly and Fluffy still manage to understand him.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Nelly likes messy food, and eats it just as messily.
  • Jump Rope Blunders: "Trampoline" opens with Lil practicing jumping rope with Fluffy's help, without much success. Meanwhile, Nelly is using her own jump rope as a lasso to try and catch Snaily, only to tie Lil up instead.
  • Kids Hate Vegetables: In the book, Nelly lists vegetables - carrots in particular - as one of the things she dislikes.
  • Living Toys: Fluffy is one of these.
  • Neat Freak: Lil, naturally. In the book, she says that she likes vacuuming and dusting, and even owns a cleaning kit.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Lil, fashionista that she is, absolutely hates it when her hair gets messed up, to the point where waking up with an extremely small section of it sticking out is enough to horrify her.
    Fluffy: Oh no!
    Lil: What?
    Fluffy: Lil, it's awful!
    Lil: What is it?
    Fluffy: I can't say! It's too horrible for words!
    Lil: What's happened?
    Fluffy: Here, see for yourself! (hands Lil a mirror) What has happened to your hair? It's sticking up!
    Lil: screams
  • Odd Couple: Lil and Nelly, naturally.
  • Pink Means Feminine: While Lil mainly wears a blue dress like Nelly, she is also shown wearing a lot of pink clothes, and almost always wears a pink hairclip.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Yes indeed.
  • Princess Phase: Lil sometimes imagines herself as one, such as in Sand Castles. In the book, she says she wants to be one when she grows up.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: We have Nelly, who likes getting messy and playing around roughly (red), and Lil, the prim and proper one who is annoyed by Nelly's antics (blue). Their colors are switched around, though, as Nelly likes wearing blue clothes and Lil likes wearing pink.
  • Rich Bitch: Amy and her family have quite a bit of money, which plays into her being a spoiled brat, as seen below.
  • Spoiled Brat: Amy. Her parents (mainly her father) feed into it, buying her just about everything she wants. For example, in "Sand Castles", when Amy shows the girls her fancy talking wristwatch, she says her father bought it for her because she's "worth it".
  • Stripping the Scarecrow: When Lil and Nelly end up trashing their tent in "Happy Campers", Amy's mother lets Nelly sleep in Amy's bedroom and gives her a nightgown to wear. Nelly, not caring one bit for the nightgown, steals some torn up clothes from a scarecrow in the backyard, letting it wear the nightgown instead.
  • The Pig-Pen: Nelly. She absolutely loves getting messy: Playing in the mud, keeping a pet snail, etc.
  • Toilet Humor: When Mikey comes over in "Trampoline", he shows off his balloon by blowing it up, letting it go, and sending it flying around the room making fart-like noises - as one might do with a balloon. Then comes Nelly (of course) with this gem:
    Nelly: I can make much better noises than that! Listen! (spreads legs)
    Lil: Nelly!
    Nelly: What?
    Lil: STOP it!
    Nelly: sits back down normally
  • Tomboy: Nelly's love of getting down and dirty makes her seem somewhat boyish, especially compared to the more ladylike Lil.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Nelly's liking of hamburgers is shown multiple times in both the book and the show.
  • Trash of the Titans: Nelly's bedroom, as you might expect, is extremely messy - toys and clothes all over the floor and what appears to be soot all over the walls, to name a few.
  • Tropey, Come Home: In "Where's Snaily?", Lil accidentally flings Snaily into Amy's backyard along with the stick he was resting on. She doesn't realize that Snaily was there until the following day, when she and Nelly go into their own backyard to look for him. Long story short, Lil ventures into Amy's backyard and is able to bring Snaily back home safe and sound.
  • True Blue Femininity: Nelly, in addition to the blue dresses both she and Lil usually wear, has an affinity for blue clothes in general.
  • Wild Hair: Nelly's hair is perpetually unkempt, with strands sticking out all over the place. In the original book, she says that she doesn't like to have it combed, and that her mother says it "looks like a haystack".


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Twins


Studying for the Game Show

When Lil and Nelly are invited to be contestants on a trivia game show, Lil immediately hits the books while Nelly decides to play cards instead.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / FoolishSiblingResponsibleSibling

Media sources: