Body Switch Movie: The brain of one character somehow finds itself in the body of another. Requires actors to confront an actor's nightmare, i.e., acting as if they were another actor.
The most benign subtrope of Body Snatcher
: two or more characters swap bodies (or, equally, swap minds) by some form of magic or Applied Phlebotinum
. Typically, a deeper appreciation of the other's life is attained. Named for a novel and movie
about a body swap between a mother and her daughter.
When this plot is done in animation, usually the voices also switch
as narrative cheat to help younger viewers keep track of who's who, though more serious/action-oriented shows might not do this. The Flip often involves characters of different ages, genders, races, or social classes. Another variation is a protagonist and antagonist switching, which usually involves each trying to undermine the other's organization while simultaneously trying to switch back. If one or both of the characters have superpowers or other special abilities
, they'll have a lot of trouble figuring their new powers out
A similar idea, with less learning and more evil, is Grand Theft Me
. Compare Personality Swap
, when the characters' personalities are swapped but their minds stay where they are meant to be. It will often involve similar tropes to transformation stories (such as Gender Bender
) as this is essentially two of these in one, with the addition of confusion resulting from the transformations being into other known characters.note
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Films — Animation
- Happens to Donkey and Puss-n-Boots in Shrek the Third.
- Dungeons & Dragons has the Mind Switch and True Mind Switch spells. While Mind Switch is only semi-permanent, True Mind Switch is completely permanent and can only be undone by another True Mind Switch.
- Before this, 2nd edition had the "Switch Personality" telepathic science from The Complete Psionic Handbook. It allows the psionicist to switch mind with another creature, but any prolonged use is dangerous, as both bodies tend to degrade when inhabited by the wrong mind.
- The Complete Book of Necromancers also introduced the "Life Force Exchange" spell, which is permanent and can be used on any two creatures (including or not the caster). It is one of two powerful spells allowing aged necromancers to abandon their old body for a new, younger and stronger one.
- Magic: The Gathering: In Agents Of Artifice, Jace Beleren accidentally induces a flip between himself and his friend Kallist. The swap is so thorough that neither party even realizes anything has changed—each goes about his own business as usual, believing himself to be the other.
- Scientists have found that by syncing a pair of VR goggles on one person's head with a set of cameras on a mannequin or another person's head, the brain is fooled into believing that they are in the body of the mannequin or the other person. Again, no, seriously.