- "Lord of the Seven Seas. Wow. My man, I'm such an incredible fan."
"Jesus, Tommy. Slather his balls in peanut butter, why don't you?"
"Sorry. My sister's a goddamn bitch."
- —Tommy and Tessa meeting The Deep[src]
The Boys series
The TNT Twins were members of Payback, a premier superhero team during their time in the 1980s. They fought alongside Crimson Countess, Gunpowder, Swatto, Mindstorm, Black Noir, and their leader, Soldier Boy. The Twins witnessed Soldier Boy’s beating of Black Noir during training, when the former interpreted his audition for Beverly Hills Cop as a challenge to his dominance. Both pleaded for Soldier Boy to stop, but feared him too much to intervene physically.
They were involved in a mission to Nicaragua in 1984. There, like Crimson Countess, they were convinced to help subdue Soldier Boy by Black Noir on the command of Vought, before turning him over to the Russians due to their immense disdain towards his violence and arrogance. They upheld the story that he had been killed by a Russian secret weapon.
In the late 80s and early 90s, Vought Studios produced a kids' show called "The TNT Smile-Time Hour," which aired on VBS and starred the TNT Twins. Each week, the Twins would sing and dance, play fun games, tell jokes, and teach kids important life lessons.
The TNT Twins host the 70th annual Herogasm party, a sex party for Supes and sex workers to let loose. Soldier Boy wants to track down the TNT Twins, in addition to the other members of the Payback superhero group, so The Boys help him track them down. Soldier Boy confronts them and asks them who let him down and they admit it was Noir. Soldier Boy hears a Russian song and gets angry, sending out a blast and killing them both.
Both of the TNT Twins were hedonistic, uncouth and sexually depraved, hosting the annual "Herogasm," an orgy among supes (though non-supe guests are also permitted). Tommy, for instance, installed hidden cameras in the toilets at Herogasm to video record exposed buttocks and genitalia while the unsuspecting victims were relieving themselves. Tessa was disgusted by this, as Tommy was not obtaining consent.
Paradoxically, considering their mutual dependence in order to use their powers, the Twins share a mutual contempt. They can be cordial and polite to someone they're conversing with, but their conversation is peppered with crude insults directed at each other. Tommy, in particular, tends to adopt a rather obsequious demeanor when addressing fellow supes. But despite their mutual loathing, they still choose to live together. And when faced with a threat, they will forget their animosity and cooperate.
- Trinitrotoluene Generation: When the TNT Twins make physical contact with each other (i.e. hand holding) their ability to generate lightning bolts of explosive energy will activate. Their ability to produce this energy is often accompanied with the catchphrase "TNT! Detonate!" However it remains unknown as to whether this saying is a necessary aspect to trigger their superpower, or if this is merely a creative catchphrase invented by the Vought PR Team that after years of practice, the twins continue to recite as a mental reflex.
- Mutual Contact: In order to activate their abilities, the TNT Twins must be in physical contact with one another. It was implied that without each other's help, the twins are either completely powerless or perhaps the energy that they could produce on their own was significantly weaker and nonfatal to their opponents.
- Negligence: It appears that after years of neglecting their superpowers, their ability to produce explosive beams of electrical energy fell into a state of atrophy. Even with the full power of their combined energies, the twins could only exert a few sparks of non-explosive particles.
- Human Physiology: Much like Mesmer, the TNT Twins are apparently among the very few Supes to have manifested superpowers without the accompaniment of physical enhancements such as durability, strength and recuperation.
- TNT Twins are likely a parody of the Wonder Twins, a pair of extraterrestrials created for the Super Friends cartoon, eventually integrated into the DC Universe. Like the TNT Twins and the members of Payback in general, the Wonder Twins are notoriously inept. Also similar to the Wonder Twins, their powers are activated by physical contact and the use of a catchphrase.
- They are also similar to the characters of Northstar and Aurora in Marvel comics, who can generate bright light by interlocking hands.
- They most closely resemble Marvel Comics' Fenris, Andrea and Andreas von Strucker, twins who were bioengineered in utero by Arnim Zola, and are enemies of the X-Men. Like the TNT Twins, the Strucker twins must join hands to activate their powers. In the case of Fenris, Andreas fires a beam of concussive force, while Andrea fires a disintegration beam. And like the TNT Twins, the Strucker Twins enjoyed a rather hedonistic and indulgent lifestyle.