Evelyn Evelyn (Music) - TV Tropes (2024)

Evelyn Evelyn (Music) - TV Tropes (1)

Evelyn, Evelyn,Why do we bother to stay? Why are you running away? Don't you feel like severing?

"Are you there, Evelyn?"

- "Yes, of course I'm there, Evelyn."

Discovered in 2007 by Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley, Evelyn Evelyn (Eva and Lynn Neville) are a pair of Conjoined Twins from Walla Walla, Washington. They perform vaudeville songs with jazzy melodies, telling the story of their lives to their newfound audience: stories about their childhood being locked inside a chicken coop, their abduction into a pedophile ring, their years in slavery at a travelling circus with their two-headed elephant friends Elephant Elephant, and their eventual rise to fame over Myspace.

The twins started out shyly performing encores for Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley's concerts. When the audience really took to them, the sisters released their debut Concept Album in 2010 and subsequently toured the world, always accompanied by Amanda and Jason wherever they went.

They currently reside in Walla Walla, Washington, they enjoy sushi and Twix, and their favorite colors are purple and yellow.

The twins have a Twitter accountEvelyn Evelyn (Music) - TV Tropes (2), a MySpace pageEvelyn Evelyn (Music) - TV Tropes (3) and a websiteEvelyn Evelyn (Music) - TV Tropes (4), where you can buy them a trip to the moon, if you like.

(Oh, and that debut album? It features Kim and Zoe Boekbinder, Margaret Cho, Corn Mo, Chantal Claret, Frances Cobain, Neil Gaiman, Ethan and Ari Gold, Eugene Mirman, Franz Nicolay, Reverend Peyton, Quin, Soko, Jimmy Urine, Kirsten Vangsness, Andrew W.K.., Gerard Way and "Weird Al" Yankovic on guest vocals.)

Examples Examples of tropes featured:

  • Armor-Piercing Question: In "Sandy Fishnets", far more to themselves than to Sandy as they lose faith in the inspiring pirate tales of freedom and adventure they'd been told.

    "What will they do with us when they are through with us!?

    Sandy, what are we sailing for?"

  • Audience Participation Song: "Elephant Elephant" would often have live performances consist of adding more words that kind of rhyme with elephant and the audience repeating the words back.
  • The Barnum: Featured in "A Campaign of Shock and Awe".

    "Behold, the eighth wonder of the natural world! Come one and come all, see the two-headed girl. Stupendous! Revolting! You’ll be shocked, you’ll be awed! A true freak of nature, a blunder of God! But possessing such talents, hear them sing, see them dance. As seen in the highest class parlors of France! Just ten bucks a photograph, get your seats while they last! We take Visa and MasterCard, debit or cash!"

    • Played by Sxip Shirey in the show as a circus director who exploits the girls and treats them poorly.
  • Broken Bird: The twins are clearly very distraught from the intense trauma they've been through.
  • The Burlesque of Venus: The two-volume graphic novel Evelyn Evelyn: A Tragic Tale in Two Tomes features an homage to The Birth of Venus, with a fully-clothed Sandy Fishnets standing in for Venus and the Hora of Spring represented by the conjoined sisters.
  • Cerebus Syndrome:
    • They describe their own birth as one of the many "tragic events of September". They were raised in a chicken coop and only escaped when their owner died, got abducted and prostituted in a pedophile ring, were then forced to perform as part of a freak show, and lived their whole life on the run. The only friends they ever had were taken from them.
    • "Chicken Man" starts off comically with its repeated song title being sung either as low or as high as possible, until the calls of "Chicken Man?" turn into panicked screams. In the following "Tragic Events Pt. 2", we find out that the Chicken Man was their caretaker that has passed away, and that the girls are looking for him because they've been stuck inside their coop without food for days while their chicken friends slowly starved to death around them.
  • Chainsaw Good: The doctor attending their birth attempted to separate them with one.
  • Circus of Fear. Dillard and Fullerton's elusive and illogical traveling show. The 12th largest touring circus in North America.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Dark Horse Comics published a two-volume graphic novel based on the characters titled Evelyn Evelyn: A Tragic Tale in Two Tomes.
  • Conjoined Twins: Evelyn and Evelyn are twin sisters born fused together, which unfortunately for them makes them a pair of poorly treated outcasts.
  • Crapsack World: As alienated orphan twins constantly being handed around from one sinister adult to another, they've really seen the worst of the world.
  • Creepy Twins: They're not evil, but they're definitely eerie. Who can blame them, they're traumatised.
  • Creepy Monotone: Both in "The Tragic Events of September". The sister voiced by Webley generally takes more of a liking to this, though.

    "Stop moving, they're taking a picture."

  • Cross-Cast Role: One of the twin sisters is played by Jason Weebly.
  • Death by Childbirth: Louisa Neville, the twins' mother, dies during labour.
  • Deus Angst Machina: The twins' backstory. Their mother dies in childbirth - fair enough, one would imagine the birth of conjoined twins could have complications. Then the doctor tries to separate the twins with a chainsaw. Then the sheriff arrives and shoots the doctor. Then the chainsaw hits their father and kills him. Then the sheriff decides to drive them to an orphanage, but his car is hit by a truck and he dies. Then they spend the first six years of their life being raised in a chicken coop. Then they were sold into a pedophile sex ring... and it keeps going on like this, to a ridiculous extent.
  • Disabled Means Helpless: Averted. The twins are completely self-taught musicians, eager to make it big, and were able to escape two of their four abusive home situations (the chicken coop and the circus) with no outside help. The reason they need Amanda and Jason (and Sxip) isn't because of their physical condition, but because their long isolation and emotional trauma has left them socially inept and unable to communicate well with media and fans.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: A very disgusting version is used with the French Canadian title character of "Sandy Fishnets" being a child prostitute.
  • Fille Fatale: Sandy Fishnets gets forced into being a sexually active young girl, as the orphanage where she and the sisters grew up was after all a front for a child prostitution ring.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Two groups come forward to impose their ideals on the twins during their tenure at the circus: F.A.S.T.E.N. (the Foundation for Always Separating Siamese Twins Everywhere Now) and S.P.L.I.T. (the Society for the Preservation of Linked Identical Twins), the respective acronyms ironically spelling the opposite of the groups' respective goals.
  • Happy Ending: If you visit the twins' website now, under the section "Current Events" you find the following:

    "The twins have been pretty quiet lately.

    We hear that they are happy but they don't like performing or going on the internet very much anymore."

    • In a somewhat meta sense, it doubles as a Bittersweet Ending, since this most likely means there will never be another Evelyn Evelyn album - but if the girls have finally found peace, then that's completely alright.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: "Tragic Events Pt.1" tells the story of the girls' birth, which amounts to a comically long chain reaction of one terrible thing happening after another, resulting in the death of four humans (their parents, the doctor who delivered the twins and tried to separate them and a sheriff who tries to drive the girls to an orphanage) and a truckload of chickens.
  • Improv: The "Ask Evelyn Evelyn" bit of the stage show. The sisters give their answers one word at a time, trying to form a full sentence by following up on each other's words... which mostly involves Amanda and Jason trying to think of words that the other could not possibly follow up on.
  • Kayfabe: Amanda and Jason keep it up most of the time. Volcanoes can occasionally interfere.
  • Large Ham: Since both Palmer and Webley are fans of theatricality in music, a lot of the acting and sound effects is pretty over the top, from the clichéd harp-flash back sound effect introducing every "Tragic Events" part, to the corny 80s rock opera that is "My Space", to the absurd things that happen during live shows. It works well though, because it only makes the serious parts seem much more serious in contrast.
  • Leitmotif: The Evelyn's leitmotif is introduced in "Evelyn Evelyn", used in the background of all the "Tragic Events" tracks, and, most impressively and tragically, in the climax of "Sandy Fishnets".
    • In "Tragic Events, Pt. 2", when Sandy and Bimba and Kimba are mentioned, the leading tune of their respective songs play for a moment.
  • Madness Mantra: "CHICKEN MAN. CHICKEN MAN! CHICKEN MAN! CHICKEN MAN!" Leads to a Heroic BSoD for the Evelyns on drums during the stage show.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Evelyn Evelyn (Music) - TV Tropes (5)Tear Jerker "Sandy Fishnets" is followed immediately by the cheerful ditty "Elephant Elephant". Same thing with "Tragic Events, Pt. 1" and "Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn?"
  • Multiple Head Case: Normally the sisters get along fine, but "Evelyn Evelyn" and "You Only Want Me 'Cause You Want My Sister" explore this.
  • Murder Ballad: "You Only Want Me 'Cause You Want My Sister" is more or less about the sisters fantasizing about murdering each other when a man comes between them and they get jealous of one another.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: Playing the sisters leitmotif "Evelyn Evelyn".
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: They were originally named Eva and Lyn by Mrs. Bouldger, but nobody ever bothered to remember which was which. Even now when they are more respected as their own person, they prefer to be known as "Evelyn", both together and individually.
  • Orphanage of Fear: It's a literal child brothel. The reason it's not described to be literal hell - living conditions seem to be at least alright, there's Christmas celebrations, communal dinners and private dorm rooms - is because previously the twins had only known a life inside a tiny chicken coop without any human contact, so compared to that it was actually a step up.
  • The Power of Friendship: The twins decided to become musicians when their last slave driver taught them how to use the internet (in order to make him rich). Accidentally finding MySpace, the girls realized that musicians can have "thousands of friends". They practiced their songs at night until they had built up the courage to contact Amanda and Jason via MySpace and ask her to listen to them. The rest is history.
  • Precision F-Strike: Only one in the girls' entire oeuvre. Censored with "Dang".

    "Have you seen my sister Evelyn? f*ck, she's gone and wandered off again!"

  • Rape as Drama: While the twin's entire backstory is a ridiculous chain of terrible events that keep outdoing themselves with how horrible they are, their time at the Underwood is, while presented in an uncannily neutral tone, easily the most gruesome chapter of their life. It's a child brothel and a child p*rn production site run by a middle-aged woman who introduces all her clients to the children as their "uncles", and the sexual acts they're forced to perform with them as "games". Some clients get especially violent with the girls. Whenever any of them object to this abuse, Mrs. Boulger tells them that "family is family" and "blood is thicker than water".
    • Just to add to the horror of the situation: It is briefly mentioned that Mrs. Boulger has her own three children living at the Underwood as well. Are they as well being forced into prostitution, by their own mother?
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: The twin sisters being made child prostitutes is treated as a serious atrocity, addressed particularly in "Sandy Fishnets", "Tragic Events - Part II" and "A Campaign of Shock and Awe".

    "I know you like twins, have I got a surprise! They’re identical sisters attached at the sides. Just imagine the fun you could have with these chicklets, and they’re so well-behaved, not a single complaint yet. Just look at these photographs, while I pour you a co*cktail, I don’t know whether I should charge double or triple!"

  • Retraux: "Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn?" is performed in the style of a jaunty 1930's song.
  • Repetitive Name: Both the band name and their song "Elephant Elephant."
  • Resentful Guardian: Not quite averted, but certainly not a straight example of this. Their different caretakers are not willfully abusive but, if anything, negligent. It's mentioned that their parents were most excited about the extra helping hands they would get on the farm once their twins would be born. The doctor that tried to seperate them with a chainsaw did so because he thought it would liberate them. The Chicken Man isn't keeping them locked up in a coop on a diet of egg booster out of cruelty, but because he simply doesn't know any other way of caring for someone. And while Mrs. Boulger exploits the children at her orphanage, lets them be brutalized by suitors and kicks children out with nowhere left to go once they turn too old, she herself isn't described as cruel or resentful towards the kids.
  • Softer and Slower Cover: "Love Will Tear Us Apart."
  • Stepford Smiler: "Smile for the camera, Evelyn ..."
    • Sandy counts too. She's described as a beautiful, gentle, big-sister type friend who comes up with creative and colorful stories, but also as "always tired" and gradually losing hope.
  • Trauma Conga Line: See Cerebus Syndrome.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: Played for maximum Evelyn Evelyn (Music) - TV Tropes (6)Squick with their backstory of growing up in an orphanage that's actually a cover for a child brothel, and dark humour in "You Only Want Me 'Cos You Want My Sister", where the twins fantasize about murdering each other due to being annoyed by a suitor wanting to court both of them when only one of them is in love with the man.

"Just think of all the friends we're going to have, Evelyn."

- "Thousands. Thousands and thousands of friends, Evelyn."

"I'm so excited, Evelyn."

- "Goodnight, Evelyn."

"Goodnight, Evelyn."

Evelyn Evelyn (Music) - TV Tropes (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Arline Emard IV

Last Updated:

Views: 5724

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Arline Emard IV

Birthday: 1996-07-10

Address: 8912 Hintz Shore, West Louie, AZ 69363-0747

Phone: +13454700762376

Job: Administration Technician

Hobby: Paintball, Horseback riding, Cycling, Running, Macrame, Playing musical instruments, Soapmaking

Introduction: My name is Arline Emard IV, I am a cheerful, gorgeous, colorful, joyous, excited, super, inquisitive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.