The Twilight Zone

Season 5 Episode 17

Number Twelve Looks Just Like You

Aired Unknown Jan 24, 1964 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
158 votes

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Episode Summary

In a future where everyone must undergo an operation at the age of 19 to make them identical to everyone else, one woman desperately tries to hang onto her own identity.

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  • Life is Plastic...It's Fantastic!

    How interesting that Rod Serling claims that the date of this episode taking place is around the year 2000! Eerily familiar in our present culture, this Bradbury-esque episode is a fifty year-old prophecy already coming true of a society apathetic to everything except physical beauty and platonic happiness, both of which can be obtained instantly.

    It is heartbreaking to watch the futile fight of the young girl, Marilyn, as she persists in trying to break free of the suffocating and shallow culture in which she lives and retain her identity. With her own mother pressuring her to undergo the "Transformation," her claim that "I am beautiful to the people who love me" is perhaps not as true as she once thought.

    I found it very interesting in the scene between Marilyn and the other young girl who'd already undergone the Transformation that multiple marriages, as in eleven or twelve, were commonplace in this society as well. Nothing means anything unless it is instant gratification.moreless
  • An amazingly premonition of our present!!!

    I saw this episode as a child and it has stuck with me for over 20 years because it's ending was so shocking. I never knew the title but I researched it on the internet and found it. I wish I could send it to all the Dr. 90210's out there as well as the patients who believe that their self-esteem must be wrapped up in their beauty because of how highly society values it. Sadly, it is true. And even more sadly, many who have stridently been anti-plastic surgery find themselves as hypocrites when they give in to youth obsessed culture and discover they really are happier when prettier. Plastic surgery was once reserved for those who were disfigured, but today those who have normal faces and bodies often feel that they are not normal, as a manufactured form is becoming the standard of normalcy. This episode nailed it on the head.moreless
  • I love this episode. It's a wonderful episode.

    I really like this episode. The funny thing about this episode is that it is true. It seems like everyone is getting plastic surgery, just to make themselves look more young and beautiful. And that is what this episode it about. Everyone has to get a transformation to make them beautiful and look like everyone else. The world would not be a perfect place, if everyone was the same. What makes up the world is the differences in people. I think this is a wonderful episode, because one young woman dares to be different from everyone else. I wonder if the writer's ever expected this story to be somewhat true.moreless
  • Uglyness in a Beautiful World

    This episode was rather prolific on today excessive Nip/Tuck plastic surgery or drug culture and need of treatments to stay young and beautiful. The question in this episode is what is real beauty. We see a dytopian society which is obsessed with beauty, where everyone can get it in an instant, or when depressed they can pop in a pill to feel better again (like anyone taking Zaniac). Seems almost like a good place but this beautiful flower has some rot setting in.

    One single young girl Marilyn Caberle is thinking of changing her physical appearance to look as beautiful as everybody else but she is having second thoughts. We see though her eyes the dytopia she lives in and emphise with her opinons and obervations. She is under a lot of preasure and things she looks homely, but whether she knows it or not she really doesn't bad at all and her resistance make her more beautiful on the inside.

    The people in the dytopia all look like Barbie dolls phisically beautiful in every way, but on the inside their just as empty as the insides of the plastic dolls. They all are bankrupt emotionally not to mention intellectually. You litterally cringe at the people's ignorance not knowing any of the famous authors like Keets or anyone else that has brought beautiful literature works to the world, you get the feeling these people never cracked open one single book in their life so obviously an illiteracy problem. These people are all too focused on being beautiful and happy that they have lost their sense of identities as well as dosile and blind to the most imporatant things to make a person a person.

    And you feel a little pathos for the doomed protaginist Marilyn as she constantly fights to keep her identity but unfotunately she is only one voice of reason, and one voice isn't always enough to bring reason to a world gone mad. It wines down to a rather cruel ending that sends a sick feeling down your stomach.

    The story goes to show that true beauty is truely on the inside, what is outside doesn't always relect who we are inside. It's focusing on whats more important and what we do with our lives that make us beautiful.moreless
Rod Serling

Rod Serling


Collin Wilcox

Collin Wilcox

Marilyn Cuberle

Richard Long

Richard Long

Uncle Rick/Dr. Rex/Sigmund Friend/Dr. Tom/Attendant

Suzy Parker

Suzy Parker

Lana Cuberle/Simmons/Doe/Grace/Jane/Patient/#12

Guest Star

Pam Austin

Pam Austin

Valerie/Marilyn (after operation)/#8

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: Given the chance, what young girl wouldn't happily exchange a plain face for a lovely one? What girl could refuse the opportunity to be beautiful? For want of a better estimate, let's call it the year 2000. At any rate, imagine a time in the future when science has developed a means of giving everyone the face and body he dreams of. It may not happen tomorrow--but it happens now in the Twilight Zone.

    • Marilyn Cuberle: ...being like everybody is the same as being nobody.

    • Marilyn: I'm beautiful to the people who love me!

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: Portrait of a young lady in love--with herself. Improbable? Perhaps. But in an age of plastic surgery, body building and in infinity of cosmetics, let us hesitate to say impossible. These and other strange blessings may be waiting in the future--which after all, is the Twilight Zone.

  • NOTES (2)

    • The on screen writing credit goes to Charles Beaumont, even though he only wrote the short story. Johm Tomerlin, ghost writing for Beaumont, wrote the actual screenplay.

    • This episode is based on the short story "The Beautiful People" by Charles Beaumont. The story was first published in If (September, 1952).


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