What do the Alice in Wonderland’s Tweedles, Harry Potter’s Weasley twins, and Disney’s chipmunk brothers Chip ‘n’ Dale have in common? They “solemnly swear that they are up to no good.” From the incessant need to recite poems and songs to brewing mischievous potions and hoarding acorns, these famous duos have made a name for themselves in the fictional world. If you’re looking for a straight answer, steer clear of the babbling Tweedles, the dim-witted wizards, and the scheming chipmunks.
So what is the common trait these well-known twins share? Mischief.
Tweedledee and Tweedledum from Alice in Wonderland are two plump brothers dressed in schoolboy uniforms and wearing childish propeller caps. They take delight in dramatizing stories and arguing back and forth about irrelevant facts. Although they are jolly and playful, their personalities are often viewed as annoying. No matter… Alice does not seem to mind their, er, bewildering company.
Check out Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s Tweedles’ Night on the Town:
Next up we have Harry Potter characters Fred and George Weasley. These wizard twins are fiery with their glowing red hair, sly demeanor, and constant need to bend the rules as far back as they can go. The Weasley twins create a constantly flowing stream of laughter and smiles for fans of the fictional book series. If you think being scolded for misbehaving in the muggle world is bad, imagine throwing magic into punishment.
In order to approach the subject of Disney’s Chip ‘n’ Dale, we first have to catch up with the speedball Chipmunk brothers. While Chip is the brains of the duo and Dale the carefree one, the two are nearly inseparable and count each other as their closest friends. To distinguish the two, some slight differences were introduced (Chip has a small black nose and two centered protruding teeth, whereas Dale has a big red nose and his two prominent buck teeth exposed. Chip also has smooth, short fur atop his head while Dale’s tends to be ruffled.) When it comes to capturing their beloved acorns, the chipmunks put their spirited personalities together to conquer their big problems…and I do mean BIG. Let’s face it; everything looks big to a chipmunk.
Regardless of their incarnations, the theme of mischievous twins is a recurrent theme in literature and popular culture and often serve to provide comic relief. Despite their antics, they also tend to illuminate a protagonist’s dilemma, albeit in an typically odd ball manner. The idea of twins, then, is perhaps most at home in Wonderland, where things are often not what they seem and one is left to question whether two is better than one.