Two (or more) characters who, for all intents and purposes, act as one character, always appear together and are never introduced individually. Even if there are frequent disagreements between the members of The Dividual, they will act as one entity as soon as the Plot moves on.
There are two types:
- The Twindividual: The individuals making up The Dividual are near-identical or very similar in at least one but usually several aspects (appearance, character traits, way of talking, job etc.). Sometimes, the twindividuals' members differ in some conspicuous way (for example: one fat, one skinny) but are still uniform in all other ways. Finishing Each Other's Sentences is not uncommon among twindividuals.
- The Syndividual: The individuals of which The Dividual consists have different looks and character traits but form a symbiotic relationship. Often their character types complement each other in some (comedic) way. They might have a division of labor thing going on, for example with one character being the spokesperson of the dividual.
The defining characteristic that sets a syndividual apart from a twindividual is the symbiotic aspect: a twindividual is just a homogenous crowd while a syndividual has a specific shtick with distinct roles. As a rule of thumb, twindividuals are based on the principle of Birds of a Feather while Opposites Attract in syndividuals.
Typically, The Dividual is a background character or part of an Ensemble Cast but another frequent setup is something similar to an Adventure Duo where the two main characters form a dividual. This setup heavily restricts the available plots as the two main characters must always act as one in relation to other characters. In those cases, the work's name will often be simply the characters' names, "Alice and Bob"-fashion.
Might overlap with Heterosexual Life Partners and Those Two Guys. Single-Minded Twins is a subtrope. Compare Literal Split Personality. If the members of The Dividual are twins, expect any number of Twin Tropes (especially Single-Minded Twins) to be in place. Sometimes, The Dividual will exhibit Twin Tropes despite the fact that its members are not twins.
- 1 Twindividual Examples
- 2 Syndividual Examples
- Issac and Miria from Baccano! They share an entry on the cast page. People within the series get the same impression as well, so much so that the mere fact that Miria shows up to the Genoard mansion alone in Alice in Jails alerts Jacuzzi's gang that something has gone very wrong (namely, that Isaac was arrested and sent to Alcatraz).
- Mairu and Kururi from Durarara!! (from the same author as Baccano!) are twins who don't even consider themselves as individuals. They too share an entry on the cast page.
- Emi and Yumi from Irresponsible Captain Tylor.
- SI Prefix Name
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- Dupont and Dupond from Tintin (Thomson and Thompson for you English-speakers.)
- Huey, Dewie and Louie. Subverted in a DuckTales (1987) episode, when one of them decides to leave The Dividual.
- Richandamy from Zits.
- The albino ghost twins in Matrix Reloaded. They're identical twins that dress alike, fight in concert and can't seem to say an entire sentence without the other's help. As they're constructs of the Matrix, they're probably copies of each other. The trios of Agents do a lot of this, too.
Literature[edit | hide]
- The Weasley Twins in Harry Potter. Until Deathly Hallows, that is.
- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are treated as this. Their interchangeability and uniformity is hinted at by Shakespeare in the very choice of their names, which exhibit the same metric properties and ethnic background. Their dividuality is further played with by Tom Stoppard.
- "Samneric" from Lord of the Flies. That's right, the two are referred to by one name.
- The Bynars of Star Trek: The Next Generation are a species of twindividuals.
- The different Cylon models are a Deconstruction.
- Invoked in the Scrubs episode My Fairy Tale, where Carla and Turk merge into one annoying two-headed monster.
- The trio of jocks from Student Bodies. The cartoon shots even depict them as a single person with three heads.
- Warhammer 40,000 gives us Alpharius and Omegron, the twin Primarchs who look exactly the same and are described as "two bodies but one soul". They were known for constantly switching places. For added points, the entire Alpha Legion also looks like them.
- The River City School Board in The Music Man: Ewart Dunlop, Oliver Hix, Jacey Squires and Olin Britt. As Harold Hill says, "you'll never see one of those men without the other three."
- The two Nieces in Peter Grimes.
- Exaggerated in The Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan, where Marco and Giuseppe become the King of Barataria until it can be settled which one of them it really is, and they make comical attempts to act "as one individual."
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Terri and Sherri from The Simpsons, the Creepy Twins in Bart's class. It's never made clear which is which. They even go to the model UN as Trinidad and Tobago (a single country). However, they do insist that they're individuals, and Bart apparently has a crush on one of them.
Both: I'm Sherri, she's Terri.
- The Kanker Sisters from Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy. The only noticeable difference is which Ed they respectively have a crush on.
- Seinfeld Jerry and George try to pull this off for one episode to be a woman's boyfriend. Jerry does the actual dating while George manages schedules and anniversaries. Their theory is that between the two of them they might be able to accomplish the tasks of one mature adult male.
- Penn & Teller, on TV, in film, on stage, etc. They're so closely associated in all media that it's almost a subversion to see them separate, for example, Penn on his personal video blog or Teller lecturing at conventions.
- Better Off Ted: Phil and Lem, the lab workers. Often used explicitly as a gag.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Sam and Max.
- Game units will sometimes be syndividuals, for example the Goblin Alchemist Hero Unit of Warcraft 3, a goblin carried around by an ogre. The ogre hits things and the goblin throws potions, and both get speaking lines.
- Same with Dwarf mortar teams from the Alliance.
- Reno and Rude from Final Fantasy VII.
- Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice's Kyoko Needleworker and Asuka Cranekick, Raspberyl's Girl Posse.
- Carl and Lenny from The Simpsons span the whole range of this trope. Early on the show they form a borderline twindividual (different looks but identical nondescript characterization), later on, they sometimes were treated as a bickering syndividual (and Heterosexual Life Partners), and at some point, the writers decided to deconstruct their dividual to facetiously emphasize the characters' (non-existent) individuality - only to reconstruct it for a throw-away gag in the next episode.
- In Ratatouille, Invoked by Remy and Linguini, who deliberately become this.
- Exaggerated in the title character(s) of CatDog.
- The title characters of Phineas and Ferb are almost always together and, while both technical and creative geniuses, have nearly opposite personalities (Phineas being active and talkative, Ferb being passive and mostly silent).
- In Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy, the other kids seem to think of the Eds like this. When one of the protagonists does something to anger the other kids, they'll punish the three uniformly despite their lack of involvement. Additionally, when they attempted to join the Urban Rangers, they were given one chance for each badge for the three of them.
- Walter and Perry in Home Movies almost always dress alike, have very similar high-pitched voices, and are always seen together, usually holding hands.
- Mr. Wink and Mr. Fibb in Codename: Kids Next Door are never seen apart, even when they're not doing villainy, like watching TV. Of course, they're based on Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd from Diamonds Are Forever.
- Taken Up to Eleven, however, are the five Delightful Children from Down the Lane. They are five kids from different families, but they function as an individual. They stick close enough together that they're in physical contact with each other, never separate (except on two occasions, which become major plot points for those episodes), occupy the same seat at school, and even speak in unison. The only reason why they aren't a Hive Mind is that their actions and reactions become different from each other when panicked—otherwise, they're on identical mental wavelengths.