Twins on Soaps: When your evil doppelgänger turns up

The chances of having one’s life usurped by an evil twin probably lie somewhere between slim and none for most of us, but those odds increase dramatically if you happen to be a character on a daytime soap opera. Twins are practically a staple of the genre, and more often than not they’re up to no good and willing to do whatever it takes to reap the benefits associated with replacing their look-alikes. We’ve compiled our picks of the 10 most memorable twin scenarios in soap history. Check out the list and see how many of these dopey doppelgängers you remember.

One Life to Live’s Bo & Patrick (Robert S. Woods)
In 1988 an escaped mental patient named Patrick underwent plastic surgery to look exactly like Bo and infiltrate Bo’s family’s company, Buchanan Enterprises. Meanwhile, the real Bo, his wife Didi (Barbara Treutelaar) and his ex-wife Delilah (Shelly Burch) were remanded to a dreary dungeon while Patrick bedded Tina (Andrea Evans), drugged Asa (Phil Carey) and went full steam ahead with his diabolical plan. Patrick eventually met his demise, with Didi, via an accidental electrocution.

As the World Turns’ Frannie & Sabrina (Julianne Moore)
Imagine Frannie’s surprise when in 1986 she spotted a woman at London’s Heathrow Airport who could have passed as her double. As the mystery unfolded she learned that the woman’s name was Sabrina. Their mothers were sisters and the girls shared the same father, making them both half-sisters and first cousins. Unfortunately, Sabrina developed feelings for Frannie’s fiancé, Seth, (Steve Basset) and slept with him while masquerading as her sister.

Days of Our Lives’ Hope & Gina (Kristian Alfonso)
This one is really complicated, even by soap standards. Brainwashing made Hope believe she was a European princess named Gina. The women were the spitting image of each other even though they did not descend from the same family tree. Once Gina discovered brainwashed Hope’s chicanery she locked her up in a castle turret and then decided to try Hope’s life on for size. Gina tricked everyone in Salem into believing she was Hope. She enjoyed several bedroom romps with Bo (Peter Reckell), the love of Hope’s life, and even tried to kill Hope’s teenage son (Jason Cook) before she was stopped.

The Young and the Restless’ Katherine & Marge (Jeanne Cooper)
Katherine was the dowager empress of Genoa City and as a result was often the target of scam artists who wanted to share in her immense wealth. Such was the case with a gum-chewing, tough-talking waitress named Marge who was schooled in Katherine’s mannerisms and sought to extort millions from her company, Chancellor Industries. Katherine’s husband, Rex (Quinn Redeker), fell for the switch but her son Brock (Beau Kayser) uncovered the plot and later found his mother at the cabin in the woods where she was held prisoner.

Days of Our Lives Kristen & Susan (Eileen Davidson)
What a tangled web Kristen wove in her efforts to convince John (Drake Hogestyn) that she was pregnant. She used Susan, who looked just like her and happened to be pregnant, to stand in for her at doctor appointments and planned to pass the child off as her own once Susan delivered. However, things went horribly awry when Susan imprisoned Kristen and Marlena (Deidre Hall) in a secret room while she took over Kristen’s life. This tale later spun completely out of control with the introduction of Susan’s strange siblings, Sister Mary Moira, Thomas and Penelope — who were each portrayed by Davidson.

As the World Turns: Lily & Rose (Martha Byrne)
A decades-old photo of a woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Lily sent Oakdale’s adopted heiress on a mission to uncover the truth about her lineage. Her search for the truth led her to Atlantic City, where she met up with a glitzy showgirl who turned out to be her long-lost twin sister, Rose. The family reunion was short-lived, and the sisters, on the run from a jewel thief (it’s a long story), were forced to trade places to save their own lives. Things got more complicated when Rose, posing as Lily, bedded and fell in love with her sister’s hubby, Holden (Jon Hensley). This trio is still trying to recover from the sordid triangle.

General Hospital’s Mac & James (John J. York)
Mac was Port Charles’ resident sleuth, but he was taken completely by surprise when a doppelgänger named James kidnapped him and took over his life in 1997 as a means to kill entrepreneur Jasper Jax (Ingo Rademacher). As Mac, James flirted shamelessly with Felicia (Kristina Wagner) and then proposed to her. Ironically, James’ preoccupation with romance is what did him in. Felicia knew that the real Mac was a little more commitment-phobic than his imposter and thus put an end to the charade.

All My Children’s Natalie & Janet (Kate Collins)
Overweight Janet grew up in her glamorous older sister Natalie’s shadow and set out to even the score in 1991. She moved to Pine Valley, learned as much about Nat’s life as she could, lost weight, dyed her hair and threw Natalie down a well to get her out of the way. She then cozied up to Trevor (James Kiberd), her sister’s beau, and basically left Natalie to rot in a damp and dingy prison. Janet was eventually caught, but by then she’d also kidnapped Hayley (Kelly Ripa), shot Brian (Matt Borlenghi) and had become pregnant with Trevor’s baby.

All My Children’s Tad & Ted (Michael E. Knight)
Tad was presumed dead in 1988 after falling off a bridge. However, unbeknownst to the residents of Pine Valley, he actually survived but with a case of amnesia. Four years later he returned to his hometown thinking he was someone named Ted. When the dust settled it was revealed that there was actually a real Ted whose life the memory-challenged Tad had stepped into. Naturally, Ted fell in love with Tad’s ex-wife, Dixie (Cady McClain). He later tried to kill Tad while on a hunting trip in Canada.

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