aka: Freaky Thursday
Use my chi for the transfusion. Jade: (gives Jackie an "Uncle smack")
I do not know such spells! Jade has Uncle's chi
, not his brains!
— Jackie Chan Adventures
, "Chi of the Vampire"
A variation on the traditional "Freaky Friday" Flip
plot, wherein two characters don't
swap bodies, but they do swap personalities and temperament. The key difference being that things such as intellect, skills, and abilities don't alter.
As it isn't a mind swap you don't get to play with the Gender Bender
or Black Like Me
and similar tropes; also unlike in a "Freaky Friday" Flip
the voices (even in animation) don't switch
. However, you can draw humor from making one character act like his exact opposite. This can lead to things like 50-year-old men acting like teenage girls, or the usually bookish teacher's pet suddenly becoming a rebel.
The reason for this change can be Green Rocks
, Applied Phlebotinum
but frequently even some naturally occurring non-fantastic explanation such as Acquired Situational Narcissism
, a changing of clothes
, habits, jobs or maybe The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body
See also: "Freaky Friday" Flip
, In Another Man's Shoes
, Soul Fragment
, and Not Himself
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Anime & Manga
- One confusing episode of Martian Successor Nadesico centered around several of the characters' minds being linked together by the enemy robots (or something like that). While they were connected, they were unable to consciously control their own bodies, which were then taken over by their suppressed personality traits. It led to Action Girl Ryoko cowering in fear, Ms. Exposition Inez refusing to explain things, and eternal sadsack Jun grabbing a machine gun and running around in search of things to shoot.
- Parodied in the Fourth Wall Mail Slot in one volume of Eyeshield 21 - A reader asks what would happen if Hiruma and Mamori switched personalities. They come to the conclusion it's best the way it is.
- Axis Powers Hetalia has Germany and Italy try and act like each other in one comic.
- Maria†Holic has Matsurika use Sleep Learning to change Kanako from a giddy, rambling idiot into someone closer to a Class Representative. To Mariya's surprise, while Kanako's personality is much more stubborn, her perversions haven't changed a bit.
- The third episode of Makai Senki Disgaea has Etna and Flonne exchanging everything but their actual identity. This includes their clothes.
- This actually is involved with a "Freaky Friday" Flip in The World God Only Knows. Yui and Keima switch bodies but otherwise act like their normal selves...until later in the arc when they begin assuming the personality of the other person when Keima gets flustered by close physical contact with his own body like Yui did not long before and Yui starts picking up on masculine pronouns and things. Things go back to normal before the situation can degenerate any further, however. The implication is that the runaway spirit over time would have basically modeled them into the bodies they possessed in an attempt to gain its resurrection.
- One chapter of Pokémon Special had Red and Green accidentally trading their teams. Because of the contrasting personalities of the trainers, the Pokémon had to adjust: Red teaches Green's Pokémon to be more laid-back and relaxed, while Green trains Red's team into battle-hardened warriors. By the time they switched back at the end of the chapter, neither trainer is amused at the results (Red had to run for his life from his Pokémon, and Green is weirded out by his team having mellowed out). It's also plot-relevant, since the trading sequence allowed Green to evolve his Machoke into Machamp, and a previously recalcitrant Porygon now snuggling up to him.
- An episode of Pecola has Coco, Rudy, and Bongo switch personalities with one another after Chewy's cleaning vacuum malfunctions.
- The rather goofy Shermy's Revenge features Shermy of Peanuts using a personality-swapping device called the "Personalitifier" (which, by the way, was invented by Calvin) in a rather misguided effort to shed his Generic Guy status.
- The foundational trope upon which Divided Rainbow is based. Played for very serious, often tearjerking drama... though it still has many moments of awesomeness and humor.
- The 2nd part of the Star Trek audio book Spock VS Q has this befall the titular characters after a casual handshake. Utter hilarity ensues.
- Happened in one Labyrinths of Echo flashback-sequel when Max needed to get some self-control very quick and Shurf Lonli-Lokli with his current Lawful Stupid personality keeping his old Chaotic Stupid personality down wanted some rest. So when Max said that "it would be cool to get into your skin", Shurf, as the biggest Badass Bookworm around, knew an old spell doing this. The Exchange of Ulviar, or Candle of Fittekh exchanges "Shadows" — no one yet managed to articulately explain what these are, but they can be contacted and manipulated and this spell effectively swaps the participants' personalities and talents. It got two names after the inventors and first known users, an ancient elven king and his court healer. The legend said that Ulviar got Healer's call and Fittekh got ambitions and enough of political talents to halfway organize a coup before the spell's duration ended, leaving the king with new respect to his healer's altruism and the healer impressed by self-restraint of his king who normally didn't act as Hot-Blooded as was inclined.
Live Action TV
- Happens in an episode of Seinfeld to Jerry and Kramer when they switch apartments.
- Also happens in another episode where, by withholding from sex, George becomes smart and successful and Elaine suffers a severe drop in intelligence.
- An episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch has this happen to Zelda and Hilda who willingly purchase some pairs of magical 'Walk in my Moccasins' to get a better perspective on each other.
- Also happened, thanks to sunspots, with Sabrina and Libby. However, they did not act exactly like each other — Libby went from being the Alpha Bitch to a Friend to All Living Things, and Sabrina went from being her normal self to militaristic would be Evil Overlord with plans to Take Over the World (with a little prodding from Salem).
- Done again during Sabrina's time at Scorch magazine, when she tries to make notoriously unpleasant rapper Baby B 2 K "like her" as in, enjoy her company, and Baby ends up "like her" as in, personality-wise. Baby ends up baking the paparazzi pecan sandies, and Sabrina takes on a jerk neighbor in small claims court.
- On NewsRadio, meek man-child Matthew becomes the office jerk after he asserts himself to Bill (by punching his lights out), who in turn takes Matthew's place as the meek one. The status quo is restored when Bill, trying to defend Matthew, accidentally slaps him in the face, causing Matthew to snap out of his power trip.
- In a later episode of Sesame Street, Oscar and Telly get three wishes between them. Telly wishes Oscar would be a nice person, and Oscar wishes Telly would be a grouch... and this briefly happens. Then the person who gave out the wishes reverses those two.
- Also on Sesame Street, in episode 720, Ernie imagines switching personalities with Bert.
- Space Cases: An "experiment" by Miss Davenport causes the kids to "change identities"; they don't swap bodies but species, along with the accompanying abilities and powers. Since The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body, turning human turns the normally quiet Radu into a take-charge leader (but unable to handle leadership), Bova turns into a Mercurian and becomes "cheery, bright, and sunny," and Rosie turns into a Uranus-ian(?) and becomes the Grumpy Bear.
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Transfigurations" Dr. Crusher finds that to save a shuttle crash victim she needed someone to volunteer a neural link to help regulate their brain functions. Geordi volunteers and because the individual was undergoing a type of Ascending to a Higher Plane of Existence transformation the leftover impression gave Geordi an amazing boost in confidence especially with romantic pursuits.
- Similarly, in "Sarek" Picard mind-melds with Sarek, giving the aging Vulcan his emotional strength, while receiving the consequences of Sarek's Vulcan Alzheimer's, so that Sarek can complete a diplomatic negotiation.
- In Quantum Leap, a freak accident switches Sam and Al's roles, with Al now trapped in time and Sam as a computer projection finding advice and information. The switch also makes Al more virtuous and Sam more lecherous, confounding them both.
- On 30 Rock, when Liz gets a job hosting her own talk show, it gives her Acquired Situational Narcissism and she starts acting like a delusional diva... in other words, like Jenna. Meanwhile, Frank is promoted to show runner on TGS and starts acting (and looking!) like Liz.
- Happened a few times on Home Improvement. Every so often Tim would shift character positions with someone else as they act more impulsive like Tim would normally. When Wilson was thinking of moving back to where he use to live with his (now deceased) wife because her memory was fading, they actually swapped sides of the fence as Tim gives him advice on how to remember departed loved ones. When Al took on as a guest host for a cooking show and Tim took up as a dedicated assistant, Al ended up being arrogant and refused the practical advice Tim would give.
- Apparently, one of the plans in Crash Twinsanity was to make it so that when they go to the Tenth Dimension, Crash and Cortex switch personalities, unfortunately, this was removed from the game.
- Todd in the Shadows jokingly speculated, in his review of "Counting Stars" and "Demons", that OneRepublic and Imagine Dragons had undergone one of these, only with musical talent instead of personality. This was one of the few explanations he could come up with as to why Imagine Dragons, a band that he normally likes, disappointed him with "Demons", which he felt sounded like a bad OneRepublic song, while OneRepublic, a band that he finds to be crushingly mediocre on the best of days, pleasantly surprised him with "Counting Stars", which he felt sounded like it could've been one of Imagine Dragons' best songs.