It’s not unusual for twins to be close with one another, but some have a special bond and form of communication, like Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.

By the time the Olsen twins were 9 months old, they were already household names. They shared the role of Michelle Tanner on famed 90s sitcom “Full House” and subsequently starred in their own television series and movies together.


Since their “Full House” days, the twins have matured to become respected style icons who have started their own couture line, “The Row.” On Monday, the twins hosted a fashion show during New York Fashion Week. On the Tumblr blog “Olsen Daily,” a user noted something odd the twins did with their hands at the end of their show.

When their audience clapped, the Olsen twins clapped too, but in a strange manner. Someone videoed Ashley standing behind Mary Kate with her hand on Mary Kate’s waist. Mary Kate then made a clapping motion against Ashley’s hand. As the twins broke apart, Ashley took hold of Mary Kate’s hand and the two proceeded to squeeze each other’s hands multiple times in succession.

An anonymous user on Tumblr noted the hand squeezing and wanted to understand what it meant.

The user wrote:

Do you know what that squeezing hand thing means? Look at their hands on the video from show, they must have been so awkward I think.

The moderator responded, and didn’t seem to think that they were being “awkward” as the user suggested.


The moderator wrote:

Awkward? Hmm, I just find it cute. It’s how they show affection, they touch each other a lot and do small gestures like that all the time. And it’s also a way of sort of thanking the other I think, as they did it when everyone was clapping for them and the show was over.

The moderator mentioned that some blog followers wrote that the Olsen twins squeeze each other’s hands as a secret form of communication.

The moderator wrote:

[S]ome of you followers reminded me they squeeze three and four times to say “I love you” and “I love you too” … And it kinda looks like MK squeezes four times in the video, so it could be that they still do that incredibly adorable gesture to one another!


An unofficial, self-proclaimed Olsen twin expert, who wished, for privacy reasons, to be referred to as EP, told Dearly that this “inter-twin communication” is typical of the Olsen twins.

Twenty-seven-year-old EP told Dearly that she read the moderator’s blog post answering the Tumblr user’s question, and that she disagrees with the moderator’s assessment of the hand gestures.

EP speculated:

“I think that the Olsen twins see themselves as two halves of the same body, because they’re so in communication and in sync with one another’s emotions and they’re probably able to communicate a lot more than I love you. So I would say they were probably in a stressful situation given that they were participating in Fashion Week and they probably were trying to communicate soothing gestures to each other.”


However, she noted that ultimately, the twins are pretty much a mystery to everyone so they could have been communicating about anything.

EP continued:

“The Olsen twins are so weird and so eccentric that this [hand signal] could be about Iran’s nuclear power plant — we just don’t know. That’s what makes the twins so great; they’re the dodgiest, shadiest celebrities ever — disguised as very respectable, successful entrepreneurs.”

EP said that growing up in the spotlight has likely influenced the Olsen twins’ strange behaviors.

She remarked:

“I think people see them as … people who are really uncomfortable in the spotlight but yet, have these public personas as the former beloved kids on this TV show. So it’s really interesting to watch these eccentric, private, unwilling celebrities be such a target of public fascination.”

EP believes that the twins have such a close bond, they’ve developed a secret language using hand signals to maintain their privacy and to offer each other support when needed.

EP said:

“When you’re thinking about these two people, they have probably supported each other through … a working life and public life that most people can only imagine, so it would make sense that they have rather complex methods of communicating with each other in the spotlight, in ways that are surreptitious and nuanced enough to avoid a lot of public scrutiny.”

It seems as though most people who religiously follow the Olsen twins believe that Mary Kate and Ashley’s hand squeezes were significant and endearing to one another — whether it is as simple as “I love you” or as complex as nuclear codes.

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