I'm searching for an idiom to use to say briefly that two different outcomes may represent different sides of the same underlying phenomenon. I would use it in the topic of a chapter. These two outcomes are not necessarily good or bad, which is why I abandoned the idiom "two sides of the same coin" since I learned that it refers to something positive and negative.

For example, I could say something like "Threatening situations provoke different reactions - are flight and fight just different outcomes/reactions of/to the same thing?". The example here is maybe not the best, but I hope you get the point (because flight and fight are different reactions to the same thing, but I'm trying to theoretically draw together something that is not so obvious).

Looking forward to hearing your witty suggestions! :)

  • 2
    "Two sides of the same coin" doesn't necessarily mean that one aspect is positive and the other negative. It simply means that they are closely related even though they don't seem related. Jun 1, 2016 at 10:57

2 Answers 2


Flip sideTFD

2. Fig. another aspect of a situation.

"On the flip side, if we lower the taxes it may stimulate consumer spending"

For single words, consider angles, sides, etc.


dunno if you could use this, a story that goes:

A mean, alcoholic criminal had two sons. The first son was, like his dad, a bad, hard drinking thief who was sent to juvie at an early age with regular subsequent incarcerations. The other son was a pillar of society, loved his family and a very successful man. They were both asked how come they turned out the way they did. They both gave the same answer: 'With a father like that, what would you expect?'

  • 1
    That story is so far from being an idiom that it isn't of any use in answering the question.
    – AndyT
    Jul 26, 2017 at 15:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.