Evil Twin

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: Doppelganger
Related: Secret Sibling, Doppelganger
See Also: Mirror Universe
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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While not necessarily related, an evil twin is a physical copy of the protagonist but with a radically inverted morality. The evil twin often functions to cause havoc in the protagonist's life, as most people are unable to tell them apart.

A typical plot resolution will involve another character having to choose between the two, often at gunpoint or at the end of some other weapon, with "twins" trying to convince others of their authenticity. The good twin is often revealed to be the one who is more self-sacrificing or is the one with a more intimate knowledge of the relationship.

The evil twin trope differs from Mirror Universe fiction in that only one character has a counterpart.

Physical Evil Twin Clues

  • Has a beard (see TV Tropes) - Spock's Goatee in the Mirror Universe episode of Star Trek: The Original Series is a famous example, despite the fact that he isn't evil
  • Other hair changes (see TV Tropes) - Teal'c is seen with an unfamiliar pony tail, denoting him the evil version in a Stargate SG-1 episode
  • Difference in speech - Data's evil brother Lore could use contractions whereas Data could not, but also just had a more dynamic intonation; Vampire Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a sultry, laconic voice and was so identified with one particular line of dialogue — "Bored now" — that it was later used to indicate when the "real" Willow had turned evil.
  • Psychological differences - The "evil" version of Xander Harris in the episode The Replacement seemed more confident and successful than the "real" Xander. It later emerged that both were much the same, except that the "evil" Xander had had better luck on the day they were split apart.