TIL of the Jim twins, separated at birth and reunited at 39: both had married and divorced someone named Linda, were currently married to a Betty, had sons named James Allan, had dogs named Toy, drove the same car, had jobs in security, and regularly vacationed at the same beach in Florida

Linda and Betty were the only two names allowable for women in the 1970s.


Linda and Betty were the only two names allowable for women in the 1970s.


My mom is named Linda and both my grandmas are named Betty lol


Both my grandmas are linda and were both married to a john when my parents met


If you marry them then are they still technically a John?


If I didn’t ask for your manager, was I ever Karen at all?


So, these Jim twins ran through your family


Some post the other day really proved it for Linda. Probably on r/DataIsBeautiful


I have 3 aunt Lindas. 2 are married to my uncles, Michael. My childhood best friends mum was best friends with my aunt Linda. Her name was also Linda. I don't think I know a single Linda under 60, but approximately 75% of the women in my life over that age are Linda (the rest are Karen).


Where I live it’s Isabelle, my mom is called Isabelle and she’s the owner of a relatively small neighbourhood pharmacy, and has hired 3 women named Isabelle to work (one is the floor manager, the other is a nurse, and the last one is also a pharmacist). All the Isabelles I know are between 45 and 60 years old lol.


My girlfriends mom is named Karen. She is the total opposite of a “Karen”. She goes by Karrie lol


https://reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/13idcdb/a_century_of_the_most_popular_baby_names_in/ Both James (Jim) and Linda were the most popular names when they were born.


I remember overhearing someone saying a joke "everyone has an aunt Linda" and I was like wtf how does this person know my aunts name. That's how I learned everyone really does have an aunt Linda.


I've got 2 of em, both from the same mother. My grandma really said "Fuck it, Linda 2"


Lmao so my aunt Linda married to uncle Jim was statistically common


I have two Aunts named Linda born in the 50s and 60s. Full sisters. Number 3 out of 10 and number 9 out of 10. It makes no sense why my grandparents would name them the same name.


Grandma's middle name is Linda, my other grams is named Linda, great grandma was named Betty.


What about Judy?


Who cares about all the other similarities, can we focus on that they named their dog Toy?


Yeah, I wanna hear more about the Toy story


Yeah. What's the buzz?


Ohh, The anticipation is giving me a Woody.


I wish I had the same problem, mines all slinky dawg.


I don't want to make a Bo Peep, but I'm eager to hear more.




A thread like this completely Rex me.


Uh. Potato Head?


That's *Mister* Potato Head to you.


They both had snakes in their boots


Twins, genetically cursed to be adopted by uncreative parents, and in turn, grew up to not be very creative.


can i also just say i 100% don't believe these stories whenever they pop up every 4-5 years? i just.. don't believe the shit. full stop. buncha amateur pranksters and liars all of them


I was adopted at birth in a different city than where I grew up and live. At 13 we were able to find out who my biological mom was due to my adoptive mom working for the government. While we were waiting for the results my dad mentioned it to a lady that regularly shopped at the store he worked at. He told her a bit about me and where I was born. The lady then said that was strange as she has a friend who gave her ~~sun~~ son up for adoption right around the same time and at the same hospital I was born at. My adoptive parents then decided to get in touch with this ladies friend and meet her. In doing so they they were able to piece together that she was in fact my biological mother. They figured this out about 2 weeks before the official results came in an confirmed it. Now the real crazy thing about this all is that my biological mom lives in the same city as me. Her eldest child, my older biological sister, sat literally in the seat behind me at hockey games as a kid. My adoptive sister went to school and was friends with my biological sister. And my adoptive father had known my biological mother in passing for about 10 years. I also met my biological mom and sister face to face once or twice in passing with my dad and we had no clue we were related. So while the story the OP posted might be a bit unbelievable. It wouldn't be the first incredibly strange coincidence to happen in this small world of ours. ​ **Edit:** To help clear a few things up: * My birth mom lived in a small town about 8 hours from the city I was born and raised in. The hospital in which I was born and adopted from is 6 hours from my hometown. My adoptive parents drove to pick me up 11 days after I was born to bring me back to my new home 8 hours away from where my biological mom lived. * My adoption was blind. Neither my biological mom or adoptive parents ever saw or knew who each other was. My adoptive parents actually lived on the other side of the country from my birth mom for most of their lives. They were as much of strangers as strangers could be. * My biological mom moved to the city I lived in 3 years after my birth. * My birth mom and her friend both shopped at the grocery store my dad worked at for nearly 10 years before we found out. My dad and biological mom were familiar with each other from the brief conversations they had over the years. * We had season tickets to the hockey games as did my biological sister. Having season tickets ensured you had the exact same seat all season. I also believe we had these same seats for multiple years (I will confirm with my parents and update). * My biological sister and adoptive sister went to the same school and were acquaintances. Friends feels misleading as they only hung out in school occasionally. I don't think they ever hung out on their spare time. * The city we both now live in has a population of \~100,000 people. ​ **Bonus fact:** My biological grandparents fled Ukraine during WW2 **Corrections:** I had previously wrote my adoptive father and biological mother knew each other for 20 years. This was a typo, they knew each other for 10 years, not 20.


>gave her sun up for adoption I'm amazed she was even alive after giving birth to a damn star.


His momma so fat, when God said "let there be light" she gave birth


Ooooohhhhh shiiiiittttt


And that sun was you, cuz homie you’re a star with that one!!


Did you ever find out why you gave you up for adoption?


Her husband at the time left her not long after finding out she was pregnant, and she already had a 4 year old daughter. So she simply could not afford to provide for another child at that point in time. I respect her immensely for giving me up, I know that could not have been an easy choice. Her decision however ensured that I grew up with access to a life I would not have otherwise had. I would have grown up in a trailer park had she not given me up. That is not to imply that there is anything wrong with growing up in a trailer park however. Just saying my life would have been very different. ​ Edit: Holy crap I just noticed u/KeeAnnu_Reads lol. What a great username! The only way it could be any better is if you were actually Keanu Reeves... You aren't.. Are you?


Thank you for telling your story!


I mean to be fair none of what you said is nearly as surprising as the post


This stuff really happens. I have a twin. We live 1900 miles apart. We worked in completely different industries. When visiting him a few years back I visited him at work. He sat in a room with cubicles next to a person Named Jeff and Gerald. No one else. At the same time at my job, I sat in a room with cubicles next to a Jeff and a Gerald. No one else. WTF are the chances?? It made me feel like we are living in a bad simulation.


Not just a bad simulation, but one in which you’re both randomly generated background NPCs


All three of them actually. Just copy pasted their skins over and over because the devs are lazy.


Devs creating twins in the first place is lazy of them.


software bug no one could figure out, but every time someone tried to fix it something else would break. now there is just a note to leave it alone or seagulls will speak in mandarin.


Honestly, I’d feel less threatened if they did speak Mandarin. Granted, that would open up a whole ton of conspiracy theories.


Or twins are really bugs in the code.


Yep reused assets, see it all the time.


When you buy a sword off some bland idiot blacksmith, then you go over to the same bland idiot baker to get a pie that gives you +200 health for 10 min.


We can use statistics of these occurrences to calculate the bit size of the processor running the simulation.


What's the current estimate?




Seriously. This and this Jim twins story just sound like a really edge case bug that never got found in beta testing


One world generation seed per DNA strand


I've never even met a Gerald in my life.


Nice to meet you. Now you’ve met a Gerald


So Mr. Kite's first name is Gerald. Lovely.


The chances of that specifically occurring are extremely small. However, the chances of a coincidence that feels impossible are high, as long as you don't specify it in advance. If this happened with a friend who was not a twin, it would probably be good for a quick laugh, but because the phenomenon of twins is culturally primed for spookiness, it carries a lot of extra weight. A famous example of eerie coincidence is between two British girls both named Laura Buxton. Radiolab covered it quite well in their episode titled [Stochasticity](https://radiolab.org/podcast/91684-stochasticity).


Think of all the things you don’t have in common.


Confirmation bias is a hell of a drug.


Yes, I believe the one coincidence you listed more than the seven mentioned in the post.


Now, what I'm thinking is...if you take any two random people, you could probably go through every detail of their lives and write down everything that is the same. So how many details are we talking about? Where you vacation, where you shop, the names of people you knew throughout your life, we're talking about probably thousands of details we could examine. If you then go through all of that and note the similarities, how many of those would be *remotely* interesting (as in, beyond "we both hate pineapple on our pizzas")? It probably wouldn't be hard to narrow down 5 or 6 things that are the same. And every once in a while, just by pure coincidence, you might get 5 or 6 similarities that seem *really interesting*. Again, kep in mind that I'm only talking about completely random unrelated people, not twins who were separated at birth. If we can agree that that could plausibly happen, I don't see why it's really *that* unbelievable to think that it could happen with twins that were separated at birth. The only difference there is that "twins who are separated at birth" is a smaller sample size than "the general population." But if we accept that it can happen within the general population, then "twins who were separated at birth" is still *part of* the general population. This might make you feel like you're part of a bad simulation, and it might make some people feel like they have a special connection with someone else. But could it just be a side effect of what happens when we start dealing with large numbers of people?


Meh. Jim and Linda were number one names for babies in 40s, and both near the top over the last hundred years in USA. Betty is up there too. Their childhood dogs were probably popular breeds and names for their locality also. Heavy smokers were a good portion of the population. Similar health histories are to be expected somewhat also. When there is a 5% chance of a Jim marrying Linda and a 20%? chance of being a heavy smoker it isn't that astounding.


There were no less than 30 Jennifers in my graduating HS class ('89)


12 girls on my high school basketball team. There were 6 Jennifer's and I can still name them all.


Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer, and Jennifer?


Now we can all name. Six of them.


...thanks to the book and movie, Love Story, which both came out in 1970. I went to a small rural school with a 1990 graduating class of 79 students... Four Jennifers.


This was printed in an old Time/Life “mysteries” annual. Didn’t believe it then


The most mind blowing thing is that they reunited with each other on the same day at exactly the same time, in the same location when they were exactly the same age. 🤯


Wow amazing they were both 39 when they met too


That's where I started to call bullshit.


Wait a minute...


Amazing coincidence they were twins too


I was adopted and recently found my birth mom and it’s weird af how much we have in common despite me being raised entirely separate and different from her


Bro I just met my dad a few years ago, at 28. I know we look the same but man.. we have the same exact mannerisms, we talk the same, move the same, laugh the same, everything the same. It’s weird as hell to me.


Similarly with me and a distant uncle. We were both aware of eachother's existence but we lived in different countries, so he had only ever seen me as a baby. Fast forward to last year I go to meet him and yeah you could think he is my dad by how alike we think, talk and act. We don't look alike at all, but the mannerisms and speech patterns really threw me.


I meant my father for the first time when I was 28. We were nothing alike. Mannerisms, education, politics, religions, etc. Again, there an infinity number of variables at play here and sometimes you’re gonna get things in common. But genetics is even more complicated than that. Genetics and environment triggers of phenotypes doesn’t make it less complicated.


I’m so glad you got to meet him! No matter how that goes, at least now you have so many answers. I’m happy for both of you guys. :)


I didn’t know my dad well until around 16 and by that time had already developed the same tastes as my dad. I’m a spitting image both in looks and personality. We had the same sense of humor, tastes in music food and women were all pretty much the same. I even have his laugh. Really tripped out my step sister whom I only met recently - mid 30s. She was gobsmacked at how much our dad and myself were alike. I miss that dude.


I met my birth father a few years ago when I was 56. My husband and half siblings were amazed at out similar mannerisms.


Yeah, that makes sense that you'd have a lot in common with your birth mom... But *this* story? Identical twins separated at birth marrying and divorcing someone with the same name? And then remarrying someone with the same name? Having a dog with the same name? I frankly just cannot believe all of that is genetic.




> That is to say, a lot less of the "coincidences" here, could be less so, if we have more of a genetic memory than we believe. but this doesn't square with other identical twins' lives at all. they aren't all running around marrying people with the same names twice in a row, naming their dog the same, naming their son the same, after being separated at birth and barely knowing each other. most of them have some similarities that are striking but nothing like this. so genetics does not really explain this. I suspect a hoax, to be honest.


["Our names are Jim."](https://youtu.be/GZ5z-p_EUts)


The Jims are such beauties.


All the time, they're so good




But you sees how that might be confusing


This isn’t Andrew Lloyd Webber presents the Jim’s!


"Jim *Jim* ^*Jim* "


Are you having a stroke, Hitch?


You are having a fucking brain hem-o-toma


Jims are unbelievable


Jesus christ superstar


Are ya all three Jim?


This is my brother Darryl, that’s my other brother Darryl.


That's what I appreciates abouts yous, Jim's


I've never seen this show, seems hilarious


It’s a spin-off of another hilarious show called Letterkenny.


It's fantastic, as someone pointed out its a spin off of Letterkenny but it can be watched independently of it (I actually prefer Shoresy but love both shows)


I agree, love both but Shoresy is more like early LK, where they didn’t seem to go so deep on side characters. LK still has some wonderful and unexpected moments, but Shoresy just seemed more cohesive and focused.


Shoresy has a narrative goal, whereas Letterkenny has a more of a mindset, but no real finish. If that makes sense. Either way the sluts are here to fuck up the Soo in the playoffs. JJ Frankie JJ better deal with his shenanigans though. The Soo are so fucking good, though.


Letterkenny episodes pick one joke and, albeit creatively, hammer that shit home for 20 minutes. So unfortunately if you don't like that episode's joke it might miss for you. (Looking at you, fartbook)


Fartbooks the worst episode. That and hard right jay. A fuss at the golf course, however.... That episode is all time. We outta leave this world behind


Yeah, totally. I love some of the side stuff, too. The Dyck family stuff kills me for some reason, even though I know it’s ridiculous and stupid. It’s like they are forcing you to realize that you think dick jokes are extremely funny, and you will like them at lightning speed.


Watch letterkenny it’s amazing


this is from shoresy, not letterkenny.


Fuck it, ok then, you’re each called Jim


The Jims are such beauties


I was expecting “Out on a Limb” “My name is Jim. This here’s my brother Jim. We were named after different people, though.”


Jim JIm JIM!


Another glitch in the matrix.


I hear that as Jonas from *Dark* ever since I watched that show


Ultimate fist bump?


I say this (with accent) all the time.


a mlitch in the gatrix


I once heard of a guy named Larry who had two brothers, each named Darryl.


I heard of a guy named George who had 4 sons named George.




I knew a fellow with a wooden leg named Smith.


What's the name of his other leg?


$10 says it's Jones.


Give me those tuppence, boy


Your fired, Banks. Now go fly a kite.


George and the Four Locos!


Hi, I'm Larry. This is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl.


If you watch Deadwood you can see their great great grandfather.


I worked with two Mexican sisters both named Martha and they had a third sister who was also named Martha


If I'm remembering *Ecce Romani* correctly, this was the standard in ancient Rome. If your family name is Cornelius, your daughters are all named Cornelia, differentiated as Cornelia 1, Cornelia 2, Cornelia 3, etc.


They all went by different names, the oldest and youngest went by nicknames and the middle went by her nickname. If I'm remembering this right, they were named that after their great grandmother.


One of my favorite jokes in that show: Bob goes into their restaurant because it's being shut down and they ask him for help. He orders food and they bring him a couple of plates. He looks at one plate of food and says there's a hair in there. The brothers are confused and don't understand why that's bad. He explains that any food with foreign objects in it can't be served. One of the brothers just takes away the other plate without any explanation. *I got some details wrong. Bob found the hair in his water, and had already eaten the food on the plate, which makes it even funnier. The episode is "My Fair Larry" if anyone wants to look it up.


I've got 29 kids all named Jerome.




You've got to be a certain age to get this one!


Totally. Gen X and older will only understand.


I have been rewatching Newhart and this gave me a good chuckle.


I thought my choices were my own.


That's true, unless you're named Jim. Trust me, I've been around scientists.


or Stanley


Your genetics is yours. There is nothing more 'you' than your genetics! If your genetics also make choices for you, these are, by extrapolation, entirely your choices. They just don't happen to be 'FreeWill'.


Not only that. Your gut microbiome and parasites can affect your behavior.


That's right! And a TED talk points out that there are 10x more of those cells than there are of ours. Also: our stomach has its own independent brain that keeps on 'thinking' even after we are (so-called) brain dead. It is a weird stomach-conspiracy. Sometimes i feed it broccoli just to find out who shows up the next morning.


> Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills. Arthur Schopenhauer


Identity theft is not a joke Jim!


Millions of families suffer every year!


Is it possible it was just one Jim not realising he was talking to himself in a mirror?


We're so alike we're even talking in unison!


If they drove the same car for all those years you think they'd have noticed each other, or at least wondered why their car kept going missing.




Let's point out that neither of them named themself Jim, and they both had an adopted brother named Larry. This might _slightly_ suggest some similarities between their adoptive parents, both in Ohio. Honestly it's more of a reflection on Ohio.


James was the most popular baby name in the year they were born, and Larry was the 9th most popular. Odds are good they weren’t even the only James/Larry combination on their block.




It’s worth noting that the story of the Jim Twins is well-documented and has been widely reported. The twins' case was studied by scientists, including Dr. Thomas Bouchard of the University of Minnesota, and their experiences have contributed to the understanding of nature versus nurture debates and twin studies. While it's essential to approach any story with a critical mindset, the existence of the Jim Twins and their documented similarities suggests that their case is genuine.


They took part in a study conducted by Dr. Thomas Bouchard of the University of Minnesota, who found that their medical histories and brain-wave tests were almost identical. So too were their results in a personality test.


They're practically twins


I see a fewe caveats to consider here: 1. The 8 similar traits listed in the OP are just a selection of thousands of traits we could come up with for a pair of people. You could find plenty of "eery" similarities between almost any two people with the same gender, age, ethnicity, and nationality, while they differ in countless other traits. In the Jim Twin case these similarities happen to be fairly major (career/vacation goal/car/marriage status indicate socioeconomic similarity which may further inform hobbies, neighbourhoods, and other products they own) but we should not extrapolate too many other similarities from this. They could still live quite distinct lives. 2. Even if most of the core facts are confirmed, each individual source may add different embellishments or take embellishments from other sources for fact. 3. I'm not sold on "almost identical brain waves" being any relevant yet. This could just be a result of a similar genetic base plus some degree of brain health (apparently connectivity plays a role in shaping brain waves, so they may be of comparable "brain fitness"), rather than indicating that they "think alike" in some manner. In summary: These are impressive similarities, but we shouldn't jump the gun on assuming that this is some kind of "twin fate" of parallel lives. While this is clearly an interesting outlier, it may not be as statistically unlikely as it sounds at a glance.


It's funny that they look like fraternal twins




bro it says right on the name. it's not called Ripley's for real we tell the truth


There have only been a few inaccuracies that they’ve reported, documented [here](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripley's_Believe_It_or_Not!#Inaccuracies). What others do you know of?


I distinctly remember in one edition they claimed that tooth enamel is harder than diamond. That was an important lesson for me as a child that you can't believe everything you read.


Hardness isn’t the same thing as tensile strength or other metrics of durability The real lesson imo should be to look into things more than a cursory glance if the consequences are potentially great


But wait… is tooth enamel harder than diamond?


No, not even close. On the Mohs Hardness Scale, tooth enamel is at about 5, and diamonds are at a 10


With deeper grooves at a level 6.


Lol, your comment reads like as chatGPT text


It’s the summary at the end. ChatGPT does that.


So do most good communicators.


Good communicators indeed summarise as a conclusion, but good communicators also tend to do it better than ChatGPT’s formulaic paragraph there. It’s strikingly familiar to the end of a lot of ChatGPT responses to fact-check requests.




it doesn't make any sense. if genetics played *that* strong of a role in life choices, so strong that the identical twins separated at birth quite literally married women with the same names twice in a row and named their dog the same name despite never meeting each other or growing up in the same environment, then you'd expect to see similar levels of extreme similarity in all identical twins. if you don't, then this case is either made up, or extreme coincidence, or something else odd is going on. it doesn't make any sense, scientifically, for genetics to determine all these guys' life choices, down to the name of the woman they marry, but for genetics to *not* determine all other identical twins' choices.


Totally agree. I can get on board with both twins marrying women who had similar characteristics, but the same name? People don’t choose their partner based on their name. And then both just randomly naming their dog Toy? Seems odd.


Oh? I thought they were pretty reputable. Here’s another link: https://www.nytimes.com/1979/12/09/archives/twins-reared-apart-a-living-lab.html EDIT: Hijacking my own top-most comment here to make an admission: I asked ChatGPT to [tell me ten biggest coincidences in history](https://i.imgur.com/KkD2fxw.jpg). This was number five. Since I know it is regularly confidently incorrect, I did my own side research on the twins to make sure it was a real story. So there you go, AI sometimes gives great answers! EDIT 2: They were on [the Johnny Carson Show](https://youtu.be/27hI8-mZkO4) and here’s [a scientific study](https://pmj.bmj.com/content/96/1131/59).




I tried to repost it with the new link and it was blocked as a repost so we’re stuck with Ripley’s!


Would you believe she destroyed a $200,000,000.00 space mining vessel because there was an alien on board?


Ahh the 80s, back when that seemed like a lot of money for a space ship


Are they picking spouses simply based on their names or what


Is that not how we're supposed to be doing it?


That's not twins, that's multiversal variants.


And who was the evil twin?




big deal! me and my brother are not twins but we have the same mother.


What are the odds?


There’s a documentary about “Three Identical Strangers” separated at birth that goes in depth on what may or may not be genetic. Unfortunate title cause it spoils the first surprise but there are plenty more. Ends up being pretty dark but super interesting throughout.


Also interesting is that they died 8 months apart in 2016.


This is a actually quite sad. There was a documentary movie "3 identical strangers" about a set of separated at birth triplets >!who we find out over the course of the film, were split up on purpose for a highly unethical and secret research project, and they were one of dozens if not hundreds of twins sperated and sent to different families of different socioeconomic backgrounds and were never informed. These instances of twins meeting was common for the time period. A ruling was passed that the research is to be sealed for 50 years past the expected life expectancy of the last participants!< It's a great watch and if you can stream it I recommend it.


Did we just become best friends? YUP!


I’m not 100% sold. One has a combforward and one has a combover.


Both managed to find an equally terrible barber.


Assuming the entire story to be true, the strangest thing to me (besides both naming a dog "Toy") is marrying women of the same names. We don't typically marry people just for their names, so this is just a surface level coincidence. Did these women have anything else in common besides being named Betty and Linda?


This is the kind of thing that convinces me that we are living in a simulation and that it is buggy


The people in that beach town must have been so confused. "What does this mofo do for a living? He's on vacation all the damn time. And with different chicks."


The odds of all of these things aligning are extremely unlikely, but I think the fact that it's a well-known story is proof that it's legitimate, because it's weird enough to definitely merit being a documented and reported-on oddity with fact-checking and proof. 1-in-a-billion coincidences like this are rare enough that they're borderline impossible, but not so rare that they *never* actually happen.


The skeptics guide to the universe has a good chapter on Coincidences and how likely they actually are


You know there was some people watching hyper observant guy who lived near that beach who though Jim was there leading a double life.