Mary-Kate and Ashley were everything to millenials growing up. This is because we lived our lives through the twins. When they were young and adorable, so were we. When they went through their teen years on-screen, we saw it from the comfort of our parents' living room. The pair starred in copious movies and television shows that used their identical twin status to their advantage. In short, the pair was (and somewhat still remain) Hollywood royalty.
But a lot of people forget that Mary-Kate and Ashley actually had a younger sister, Elizabeth Olsen. Growing up, everyone completely forgot about Elizabeth, and yet, nowadays, Elizabeth is arguably an even bigger star than her twin sisters. This is thanks to her roles in acclaimed indie films such as Martha Marcy May Marlene and Wind River, not to mention a little thing called The Marvel Cinematic Universe, where she plays Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch alongside the rest of The Avengers. Still, it's the older Olsen twins who most of us grew up with. They were the ones in the spotlight. Which is why we all should go back in time and look at some of their photos from their past. Without further ado, here are 20 Pics Of The Olsen Twins Growing Up (And 5 Of The Forgotten Sister).
25 On The Way To See Grandma
This adorable picture of the twins is taken from one of their very first direct-to-videos, To Grandmother's House We Go. This was the first film that really capitalized on the mischievous energy that the pair always had about them, even in their earliest years on Full House, the show that gave them their start. Just look at the two of them here, they appear like they want to get into trouble. Perhaps this is why we like them so much; they were just so hilariously playful.
24 Just Babies On Full House
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen got their start at just 9-months-old. They switched off roles as the youngest member of the Full House family, Michelle. At the time, the babies would constantly cry, leading to a number of cast members getting quite annoyed with them. But, to be fair, they were babies. They weren't natural show business types. They probably wanted to be home with their parents instead of out there earning them money. Nonetheless, the twins stayed on Full House for many years.
23 Autographs And Chocolate Milk
The clash of lifestyles here is notable. On one hand, you have one of the twins acting their age. She's relaxing and sipping on delicious chocolate milk. But she's only taking a break as she waits to sign the promotional image that her sister is taking time with. This is the sort of lifestyle that the Olsen twins had to deal with when they were young. They got to be kids in some ways, but in others, they had work obligations and money to make.
22 Christmas Time For The Twins
Of course, the Olsen twins had to occasionally get into the holiday spirit. Here we see them at the 1992 Hollywood Christmas Parade in Los Angeles, California. They are clearly two of the more popular celebrities at this event. At the time, they were everybody's favorite character on Full House.
It's unreal how match-y these two are. It's challenging to tell them apart. Imagine what the press had to deal with when speaking to them. They have no clue which one was Mary-Kate and which one was Ashley.
21 Their First Video
In this photo, Mary-Kate and Ashley appear very fresh-faced as they promote Our First Video, which featured their iconic song "Brother For Sale"... Where they actually tried to sell their biological brother, Trent. Unfortunately for them, the twins were still living in a time where their parents wanted them to dress identically. This made it almost impossible for people to tell them apart, hence the name tag that Mary-Kate is wearing. It must have been challenging to be seen as one entity when they were, in fact, two distinct individuals.
20 Twins In The Spotlight
As the two headed into their preteen years, as pictured here, it became more and more apparent that they were living their entire lives in the spotlight. When you think about it, it must have been pretty challenging for Mary-Kate and Ashley to do typical kid things. They had the world looking down at them and expecting them to either be the best or to make mistakes for our entertainment, Still, the pair held themselves with grace. And, at this point, they started to distinguish themselves from one another, as we can see here from their slightly different outfits.
19 There's So Little Time
It's amazing to see a photo like this in comparison to some of the shots that the Olsen twins were in when they were younger. Not only do they look more adult here, but their styles and personalities have evolved. And still, the photographer and designer wanted to sell them as identical twins. Their outfits mirror one another and yet simultaneously show off the pair's individuality. This was important to get across as this image would help sell the story of the Olsen twins show, So Little Time.
18 Promotion For Full House
One of the best things about the Olsen twins was the fact that they were so willing to take cute photos like this one. They didn't mind dancing together, dressing in hilarious matching outfits, or getting one another into trouble for the sake of a laugh. That's what the photographer here was clearly betting on as they shot these press photos for the fourth season of Full House. Here the girls are four-years-old but have the charisma of a 45-year-old Hollywood legend.
17 Living The Dream
This photo, taken for Vogue, showed how grown-up the twins had become. It was also taken around the time that the pair wanted to make their switch from TV and film into the fashion industry, where they still play around today.
But, above all, this photo just reminds us what a beautiful life they had. Or, at least, a portion of their lives were fantastic. There's something so charming about how happy these two look on this inner-tube. Then again, they are with a golden retriever so how could they not be thrilled?
16 Pajama Party
There's nothing like a pajama party. This image shows the pair in yet another promotional image for their direct-to-video movies. Frankly, it could be used for just about anything they did. Although the image does appear very staged, the twins genuinely appear to enjoy each other's company. This is probably one of the reasons why we adored them so much. We gravitate towards siblings who are close like this. Besides, every kid their age wanted to have a pajama party with the Olsen twins.
15 Uncle Jesse Wasn't All That Thrilled
Full House fans might be taken back by the fact that Uncle Jesse (AKA John Stamos) actually wanted to get the Olsen twins off the show at the very beginning. This is because he couldn't deal with how the two nine-month-olds were able to cry so much. The fact that they were babies meant that they came with all the issues that babies have, including hygiene issues. Eventually, Stamos got used to this and became very close with the twins, as we can see from this wonderful set photo. This pic is basically every kid's dream; you know how many times they had to make her eat that sundae to get this image?
14 The Olsens With Another Icon
In this picture, we see the Olsen twins at the height of their childhood stardom alongside another celebrity from that era, Barney the Dinosaur. Barney was everywhere. Kids absolutely loved this giant, friendly, purple dinosaur. It's only natural that someone would want to combine these two highly marketable products. And that's precisely what the Olsen twins were, they were a highly consumable product that audiences loved. This image just proves that. Pairing the Olsens with Barney gives both of them a big boost. Everyone who loves Barney will now love the Olsens. And everyone who loves the Olsens will want to go out and buy their own Barney toy.
13 Everything About 1991
Here are Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen in the hay-day of their time in the spotlight, 1991. This was also the time that their parents constantly dressed them in identical outfits. It was cute and all, but it was a lot. The outfits they are wearing here are also very 1991. The floral numbers, the frilly socks, and the hair bows are all of the era. Perhaps most 1991 of all is the wood-paneled vehicle which is waiting behind them. In fact, it looks like it was taken straight out of Full House.
12 There Are Children At The Emmys
Believe it or not, they let children go to the Emmys. Well, at least, they let Mary-Kate and Ashley go to the Emmys because they were about as big of a television star as you could get at the time. This was in 1991 when the twins were most famous for taking the spotlight away from Bob Saget and John Stamos on Full House.
The twins also dressed for the occasion. They were mostly matching, of course, in a couple of pastel numbers that appear pretty dated.
11 Living In The Old West
There's nothing cuter than Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen dressed up as cowgirls. Perhaps this was the start of their lives in the fashion industry. At the very least, this appears to be an image from one of their straight-to-VHS movies from the early 1990s or one of their photoshoots. Their parents were clearly very interested in putting these two adorable twins in front of the camera for the world to see. Luckily for us, we sure got to see a lot of their hilarious antics.
10 Teen Years In The Spotlight
This promotional image was taken around the time that So Little Time was wrapping up. Here they are in their late teenage years. Clearly, they spent most of their adolescence in front of the camera, which is an incredibly hard place to be. Everything that we all went through as teenagers were, for them, something that the world could see, judge, and make fun of. Of course, they got paid for it, but it still must have been quite challenging for them.
9 A Different Sort Of Graduation
Believe it or not, but both Mary-Kate and Ashley still managed to attend a normal high-school during the times that they weren't filming their TV shows and movies. But they didn't have a normal high school experience. In fact, the pair even skipped their own prom in order to host Saturday Night Live. But they did manage to make their graduation in 2004, as we can see here. They joined the class from Campbell Hall in North Hollywood, California, to celebrate their achievement.
8 Double Trouble
Here is a wonderful picture of the twins from 1992. This is when they were at the height of their successful direct-to-video films. This included To Grandmother's House We Go, Double, Double, Toil and Trouble, How the West Was Fun, Billboard Dad, Passport to Paris, Winning London, Holiday in the Sun, and When in Rome. You can see the success in their eyes. These are two very confident young women. How could they not be? In their young lives, they had accomplished more than many of us three or four times their age.
7 The Walk Of Fame
The same year that the pair graduated from high school, they finally received their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a very prestigious honor in the industry. This photo of the glamorous and beautiful twins was taken at the event that solidified their success in stone (literally) after more than 17 years in show business. We can also see here that Mary-Kate looks a tad unhealthy. Luckily, later this same year she entered treatment for her issues. Clearly, 2004 was a very big year for both of them.
6 Constant Family Portraits
One thing that the parents of the Olsen twins had a lot of were portraits of their girls. The twins were constantly put in front of the camera. A lot of the time it was promotional images such as this one. These were used for their direct-to-video movies as well as for headshots, and Full House. But they also did a lot of child-modeling in their day. Most of the time, the pair were photographed together. After all, everyone loved the gimmick of them being identical twins. It was just so darn cute.
5 The Twins, Elizabeth, And Brother Trent
Here's a photo of a young Elizabeth Olsen on the top right-hand side. You can see that she looks noticeably younger than her sisters while still retaining a few family traits such as the eyes. Alongside Elizabeth and the twins is their brother, Trent. The Olsen has done everything he can to remain out of the spotlight. While his sisters were acting, modeling, and planning out their future jobs in the fashion industry, he was being a normal kid. He even went to a normal high school. Elizabeth, on the other hand, didn't care for the quiet life as much as her brother did.
4 Lizzy: Wide-Eyed And Hopeful
Here is the beautiful Elizabeth Olsen in high school. It's clear she has a pretty different air about her than her sisters. Of course, Elizabeth had the opportunity to stand out on her own as she was younger than her twin sisters and wasn't associated with them as much. She was also taken as a serious dramatic actor far more than her adorable sisters. Perhaps one of the reasons for that is just how soulful she appears even in this yearbook pic.
3 Dissed By The Older Twins
Most Olsen fans totally forget that the younger Elizabeth Olsen actually starred in a couple of the Olsen twins videos. Elizabeth actually appeared in The Case of Thorn Manor, the first installment of The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley. In the video, the twins totally diss their younger sister by not wanting to let her come along on the journey. This causes Elizabeth to adorably say, "What am I, chopped liver?"
This line is uttered in the image on the left-hand side. The one on the right is of Elizabeth as a teenager. Here we can see that she is looking more and more like the Scarlet Witch we know today and less like her twin sisters.
2 Elizabeth In High School
Although this Lacoste wearing teenager would one day grow up to be an Avenger, there's no way she would have known that at the time. Here, Elizabeth Olsen (AKA the forgotten Olsen sister) appears just like any other teenager would in their high school yearbook photos. Even though her sisters were taking the world by storm at the time of this photo, Elizabeth looks like she is having a pretty normal adolescence. Maybe it's a good thing that she wouldn't find fame until after her teenage years.
1 Lizzy On The Sidelines
Mary-Kate and Ashley's family were all out in support of the twins' Walk of Fame star ceremony in 2004. As we can see, both their brother and their sister, Elizabeth are in attendance. Here we see Elizabeth way before she started to become a mainstay in the industry. This is even before she began making an assortment of amazing independent movies. She just looks to be waiting on the sidelines for her opportunity in the sun, and boy did she get it.