Let's Talk with Nancy J. Cohen

Twins In Fiction

July 28, 2022

An unusual phenomenon happened to me recently. I cracked open an egg and a double set of yolks stared back at me. Were these meant to be twins? How cruel were we to take these potential chicks from their poor mother? What right do we have to harvest eggs anyway?

The old chicken and egg joke comes to mind. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or the saying, “The Yoke’s on You”, a play on The Joke’s on You. How many chicken jokes can you tell us?

Many of these are lurking in our cultural subconscious, much like the association of twins with fiction. In The King’s Affection, a captivating K-Drama on Netflix, twins born by the Queen are an ominous sign. It’s worse because one of them is a girl. Born after her brother, she could grow up to become a threat to the crown. She has to die, but someone saves her and hides her away until … You’ll have to watch it to see the rest.

Twins are a popular archetype in fiction. Remember The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills? The romance novel I’m reading right now deals with twins. When the heroine’s sister was unable to fulfill an arranged marriage to a Duke, the twin took her place. She falls in love with him, afraid of being exposed as a fraud. Or how about the black sheep twin brother who shocks everyone when he arrives at his titled brother’s doorstep? A similar theme is look-alikes, as in The Prince and The Pauper. These tropes provide all sorts of possibilities for stories.

How many movies or books can you name that feature twins? Are you a fan of this feature?

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Posted in Let's Talk, with Nancy J. Cohen • Tags: , , , |  17 Comments


17 thoughts on “Twins In Fiction

  1. Nancy–just to ease your mind about the double yolk–when I was a little girl we often visited a farm in Shapleigh, Maine. I was there when some chickens hatched and two chicks came from one egg, attached at the wing. Mrs..Meader took a pair of shears and snipped them apart and they each ran away in different directions

  2. Great post, Nancy. Twins, for me, have always been an interesting trope in fiction (and for examples, on TV we have Missy and Sheldon Cooper from Young Sheldon/The Big Bang Theory, and Phoebe and Ursula in Friends). Actually, I’ve been kicking around the idea of using identical twins in a book. Not sure if I want to go with twins who pretend to be one person, or one person who pretends to be twins. 🙂

  3. I love the complexity that twins can add to a story. I have a set of octogenarian twin ladies in my Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series. Fans claim them as favorites.

  4. LOL! It’s too early in the morning to think of any twin stories not already mentioned, but I absolutely loved the Hayley Mills version of The Parent Trap back in the day.

    As for the double yokes, I get them every so often. Keep in mind, these are unfertilized eggs, no different from the ones that are discarded monthly during a woman’s menstrual cycle. No potential chicks because there’s no rooster in the picture. So enjoy that double egg omelet without any guilt!

    1. I didn’t think of it that way, Lois, but I suppose you’re right! Now I can enjoy my eggs guilt-free again. Oh wait, there are organic and cage-free and brown eggs and…. I really am ignorant about all this. It might make an egg-cellent topic for another time.

  5. Bobsey Twins and The Parent Trap.
    My younger sisters are Fraternal Twins just minutes apart. Mom had me the oldest one then my younger sisters who are Fraternal Twins within 14 months.

  6. Hey Nancy,

    Rest easy that your breakfast eggs were not intended to be baby chicks, not unless there’s a rooster strutting around. Most of the twins I can think of have already been mentioned, though I was always intrigued by Doublemint commercials as a kid because twins were pictured. My new series is about twins, though they are fraternal and not identical twins. My great grandfather was a twin, but far as I know, we’ve had no other instances of twins in my family since then.

  7. I think all the twin stories I’m familiar with have been mentioned. I love Diane’s idea of one person who pretends to be twins! So many possibilities!

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