What’s With All These Internet-Famous Twins?

The Dolan Twins / Image via

If the Internet were the hotel from The Shining, you
would find teenaged twin YouTubers haunting every single

Lately when I manage to brush up on the expansive universe of
Internet Famous teenagers and young adults, I feel as if I’m
seeing double. Because there are literally doubles,
everywhere, particularly of stubbly young men, recording
themselves Googling their names or setting up elaborate pranks
on Youtube, Instagram, or Vine.

There are the
Dolan Brothers
, who started out on Vine and now have over
four million subscribers on Youtube and a spot hosting on MTV’s
TRL reboot. Then there are the 18-year old Martinez
Twins, with 3,720,331 subscribers on Youtube, who “live all
over the world” but are from Barcelona. A video from this
summer called
in which the two brothers try to eat
things like lipstick and sunscreen got over 999,000 views.

Have I mentioned how I fear for our children?

The Dobre Twins, Lucas and Marcus, have over five million and
seven hundred thousand followers and make the same sort of
mind-numbing Youtube content that the Dolan and Martinez
brothers do, with titles like “WE SURPRISED OUR MOM WITH A
with far more
videos. That’s because
their mother
was an Olympic gymnast in the 1980s and their
family now runs a
gymnastics facility

There are also identical Austin and Aaron Rhodes, Youtubers who
ended up on The Ellen Show after they came out,
together, to their dad in a
2015 video
, and the pre-tween musical duo
Max and Harvey Mills
, who have 670,000 followers on
Instagram. And probably dozens of others who are just starting
their accounts and will soon be smiling from a poster in your
12-year-old niece’s bedroom.

But the twin phenomenon doesn’t just include men and boys.
Lisa and Lena
, the wildly popular German twins who gained a
following lip-syncing songs on the app Musical.ly, and the
Merrell Twins
, who, like so many of these vlogging twins,
make music
. And there are


of twins performing and lip-syncing on
Musical.ly, where twins seem to
really thrive
for some reason. It might be that because the
most popular account on Musical.ly is Lisa and Lena, other
twins might be running to the app to cash in on the trend.

So, what’s the deal? Is it because we (or just me) secretly
suspect any of these twins might share some case of
folie à deux
and will eventually murder their parents in a
fit of intense passion? Do YouTube and Musical.ly algorithms
somehow make identical duos get more views? Or is it really
just as simple as two cute people are better than one?

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