Twin Edit

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Tropes and genres
Synonym(s)fanon twin
Related tropes/genresSibling, Doppelganger, Evil Twin
See alsoTwincest
Related articles on Fanlore.

Fans sometimes give characters a non-canonical twin in fanworks. This twin can be good or evil and may or may not be shipped with the canon character. Technically a subset of the sibling fic trope wherein fans write in a non-canon sibling, the twin trope is especially popular in Tumblr fan edits because fans can combine photographs of the same celebrity (mostly actors and musicians) to create an image of twins.

Twin edits have proliferated in several fandoms active on Tumblr, especially One Direction and Teen Wolf. One-off twin edits of other celebrities also show up on Tumblr. Where twin edits are concentrated enough, fans often develop the fanon twin's characterization and agree on a name, usually the middle name of the canon character or real-life celebrity. Examples include Edward Styles (Harry Styles's twin) and Jerry Jonas (Nick Jonas's twin).


In 1D fandom, Harry Styles twin gifs and manips were posted as early as May 20, 2012[1], but the meme began in earnest in early July 2012[2]. The first few posts in the 1d twins tag are comments on the meme already having started. See also styles twins, which predates all the other individual 1D members' twin meme tags. Every 1D member was given a twin. Very quickly, fans added triplets, and in one case sextuplets[3], to the meme.

Twin edits later appeared in RPF fandoms related to 1D, such as 5SOS[4] and Little Mix.

In Teen Wolf fandom, the Stilinski Twins meme generated a lot of activity in October 2013, though twin gifs and fanfic existed previously. This meme differed slightly in that the twin's name was not the actor or the canon character's middle name (which are unknown), but taken from a film role by the same actor. However, it is not a true example of Same-Actor Crossover because the fanon twin is not meant to be the character from the film.

One of the ways that fans used to identify the fanon twin in both Teen Wolf and 1D memes was to give him glasses. Many manips relied on the existence of photographs of them actually wearing glasses, so it is unclear whether this trend happened in other fandoms.



  1. ^ See this Harry gif by likesboys[1], which was posted May 21, 2012, and was an instant hit. It has 39,676 notes as of 21 May 2015. See also this manip[2] by -harrystyles, posted May 20, which has 25,498 notes as of June 6, 2015.
  2. ^ July 12 is the earliest date for some of the most popular twin edits; it is also the founding date of the popular blog thestylestwins as well as the earliest date to show up in the related tumblr tags. However, this Harry Styles edit[3] by zaynnm (account deleted) was reblogged on July 7.
  3. ^ The Styles Sextuplets[4] by ziyns (then directionize) was posted July 12, 2012. As of 7 June 2015, the post has 8,104 notes.
  4. ^ See charminglittlefellows's collection of edits, dated 29 December 2013: Imagine what the world would be like if 5sos had twins, Archived version