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Could you have been Parent Trapped?

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You can’t know for sure if you have a secret twin out there. But you can get a better sense of the odds!

Photo by LMPC via Getty Images. Banner Society Illustration.

Alex’s argument is completely right. In fact, it may not go far enough. If you discovered you had a secret twin that your single mother/father hid from you (you’ve never met or heard from the other parent, remember), would your first instinct be to get two people who’ve perpetrated a fairly massive lie back together?

Well, it’s not something I really have to worry about, you’re thinking.


You’re probably right. Of course, it’s hard to say with absolute certainty; one gets Parent Trapped as an infant, not in seventh grade.

Absent stumbling upon your own secret twin out in the world, you need some way to get a sense of whether or not you yourself have been Parent Trapped. So I created the following questionnaire to help you calculate the likelihood that you were separated from a twin at birth and never told about their existence. I call it the Parent Trap Probability.


If you are an only child, add ten points to your Parent Trap Probability.

If you are not an only child but you are the oldest child, add three points.

If you have an older sibling who is less than five years older than you, add two points. (Look, it’s harder to pull this off with a big brother/sister around, but if they were little, it’s not impossible.)

If you have an identical twin, subtract three points from your final Parent Trap Probability. (Do not adjust your score if you have a fraternal twin, as they could be a paid actor meant to throw you off the scent.)


If your birth parents did not live together when you were a child, add five points to your Parent Trap Probability. Add five more if you had no knowledge whatsoever about the birth parent you didn’t live with and never thought to ask any questions about them.

If you lived with one of your birth parents, and they dated/married a horrible child-hating person, who was just in the relationship for the money and planned to send you to boarding school in the Alps even though you didn’t even know how to ski, add nine points.

If your birth parents lived together but one of them traveled a lot, add two points.

If you were raised by someone other than one or both of your birth parents, stop this quiz and rest assured that you were not Parent Trapped. There’s simply too much paperwork involved to pull it off.


If you were born after 1961 (when the original The Parent Trap film was released) and never attended summer camp, add seven points to your Parent Trap Probability.

If you were born after 1998 (when the remake of The Parent Trap was released) and never attended summer camp, add fourteen points to your Parent Trap Probability.

Please add the following points based on where you were raised:

  • In the same city where you were born: zero points
  • In a different city but within an hour’s drive of where you were born: one point
  • In a different city farther than an hour’s drive from your birthplace but in the same country: four points
  • Bouncing around multiple cities in multiple states: six points
  • In a country different than the one where you were born: nine points


Please place your childhood self (not the person you are now) into one of the following buckets.

  1. I was a very organized and tidy perfectionist, who did well in school but was sometimes seen as stuck up or stuffy. (Ten points)
  2. I was a messy goofball, who had lots of friends because I was fun to be around though I didn’t take things like school very seriously. (Ten points)
  3. I did not fit neatly into Category 1 or 2. (Two points)


If one of the birth parents who raised you is still alive, text them and ask if you have a secret twin they never told you about. (If you were raised by both your birth parents and both are alive, pick the one you think is easier to crack.)

Find the category below that best fits their initial response.

  • Outright denial (“No” “Of course not”) - two points
  • No response given within two hours - nine points
  • Disbelief (“Are you kidding me?” “You cannot be serious with this”) - four points
  • Attempts to call you - seventeen points
  • Confession (“You got me” “How did you find out?”) - subtract five points, as you are being messed with. No true Parent Trap perpetrator would confess over text when they could do so at a restaurant where they are “accidentally” seated with their former partner.

I took this quiz myself and wound up with a 20% chance that I have a secret twin out there. That feels accurate; I doubt I do, but I wouldn’t be shocked if that twin exists. If so, I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to embarrass you by proxy.