A character has one or more bodies that can be operated remotely. Likely with equal or greater performance than if said character was physically present. Distinct from Fighting a Shadow in that the character is not an Eldritch Abomination with only a small piece sticking out in our time and space, but a person (human, alien, whatever) that operates a separate device or number of devices. Although, this distinction can get a little messy if, for example, a Brain in a Jar was given remote control of one or more machine bodies. Perhaps they are robots, cloned cyborgs, hard light, zombies, whatever. For story purposes what matters most is whether or not Your Mind Makes It Real, to what degree they are synchronized, and if the connection can be sabotaged. Compare and Contrast: Actually a Doombot, Astral Projection, Body Surf, Decoy Getaway, Demonic Possession, Enemy Without, Hive Drone, Little Green Man in a Can, Mobile-Suit Human, Myself My Avatar, People Puppets, Powered Armor, Robot Me, Self-Duplication and Soul Jar. Puppet Fighter is when this becomes a gameplay mechanic.
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Anime and Manga
- The Meta-Coolers in the sixth Dragon Ball Z movie. They're all extensions of the planet-sized spaceship that saved what was left of Cooler's body (a little less than half his head).
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Major Kusanagi (and presumably other characters) can remotely control robot bodies. At the end of the first season she uses this ability to avoid being killed.
- In Battle Angel Alita, Disty Nova cures his son's split personality by building a remotely controlled robot body to channel the other mind.
- In Bleach Guile Hero and Gadgeteer Genius Urahara reveals he has a gigai (an artificial body that spiritual beings can use to interact with the real world) that he can control remotely.
- In Busou Renkin, one of the power's of Captain baravo's Silver skin is that he can move it and use it as a second body (which he often does while wearing another one with his second kakugane). However, it can't be too remote, as he has to have line-of-sight to the action to make it work.
- This is Nagato's primary ability in Naruto. He has six bodies that he can control from a pretty long distance that do all the fighting for him under the alias "Pain," as he is himself too physically weak to fight. He also tries to hide his existence as best he can, controlling the bodies while he conceals himself far away.
- Donquixote Doflamingo in One Piece can generate puppet clones of himself to fight other people without having to move from his palace. He also uses this technique in close proximity to himself to confuse opponents on which one is real and which one is fake. Gekko Moriah can do this too to an extent, combining it with Fighting a Shadow in that the shadow can manifest itself as a full physical copy of himself with all of his fighting skill and powers.
- In early Alpha Flight Handicapped Gadgeteer Genius Roger Bochs had a robot called Box that he control with a neural interface helmet.
- Iron Man could remote control his suits at a distance, even used a remote controlled armor while he was crippled.
- NoMan of the THUNDER Agents can transfer his consciousness into and out of several (disposable, if necessary) android bodies because of a Emergency Transformation.
- The Surrogates: Portrays a society where practically everyone save for a small religious group uses remotely controlled androids called "surrogates". As a result murder is practically unknown.
- In Dark Empire, Luke Skywalker could create a remote body and even use the Force with it, though apparently it could only go so far from him. This power is never used again by anyone, and his sister refers to it as a Sith trick.
- In PS238 when Tyler was infected with an alien virus and put in stasis Victor von Fogg cloned him and replaced most of the clone's brain with a remote control device linked to Tyler's virtual interface. However, thanks to a meddling angel and demon the clone developed independent consciousness and superpowers, now he's known as "Toby".
- In one Zot! story, cyborg supervillain Dekko seems to accidentally kill himself while foolishly playing with Zot's raygun. Zot doesn't buy it for a second — he knew that gun was out of juice. He theorizes that Dekko used a remote-controlled robot to fake his death for some reason, and is proven right when they meet again later on.
- Multiple Man was presumed this before Jamie Madrox got any Character Development. Depending on the Writer and plot, his dupes may function as Remote Bodies or he may have to explain why any of them may operate independent of his will.
- Ethan Shields, a Marvel 2099 scientist who was sort of the 2099 equivalent of Iron Man under the name Galahad, operated entirely like this, because he suffered immunodeficiency and couldn't leave his protective force field.
- Surrogates: Have become ubiquitous in society.
- Avatar: The hero spends most of the movie as the controller of a synthetic alien.
- Gamer: The hero spends most of the movie being controlled like a video game Space Marine then at the end puppeteers the Big Bad, kind of.
- Real Steel: Atom's shadow function allows it to mimic Charlie's boxing to a exacting degree.
- Iron Man 3: Due to some new gadgets, Tony can remotely operate some of his suits.
- In Dragon Bones, Oreg, who is castle Hurog is this, in a way. He can feel damage done to the castle, and see into every single room. The body with which the protagonist interacts seems to be made of flesh and blood, but is immortal unless killed by Oreg's owner (ownership is determined by a ring that is passed on in the Hurog family). It is mentioned that killing Oreg would also damage the castle, which is why previous owners had Oreg punished by someone else, in order to not kill him. Oreg's body can be away either from the castle or from his owner, but not from both. Being forced into it makes him extremely uncomfortable, longer distances cause him pain, maybe because it causes the remote control to not function properly anymore; it is never explained in detail.
- Robert A. Heinlein's Waldo is about the inventor of remote manipulation devices, mostly hands and arms of various sizes but Waldo also uses complete bodies some times. It's become a real life term for remotes too.
- New Kashubia Series: The hero spends most of the second book as the controller for a telepresence human-ish robot.
- Aristide, the protagonist of Implied Spaces, makes use of this trope just like every other being in his verse.
- The title character of The Ship Who Searched puts a lot of money into building herself a remote body because she's a space ship and wants to have legs.
- This is the entire premise of David Brin's Kiln People. One can make duplicate bodies out of a special clay, and send them off to do things.
- Culture Minds control avatar bodies to interact with the people they watch over.
- In the Dresden Files demons use those to manifest in the regular world. Sufficiently strong beings also can make and use those if they want, as the Summer Lady Aurora demonstrated.
Live Action TV
- Played with in Mystery Science Theater 3000 with the Observers. They claim that their bodies are operated remotely (as their brains are located in bowls), but if their brains are more than a few feet away from their bodies they become completely helpless.
- In the episode "I, Robot, You, Jane" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a demon creates a mechanical robot self he operates via the internet. Eventually he gets stuck in that body.
- An episode of Crusade had Galen generate a sort of remote hologram of himself to discover who had been kidnapping and vivisecting crewmembers who got seperated from the others while on the planet. His Bad Bad Acting as the Homonculus makes this scene a Crowning Moment of Funny.
- This is the premise of the Doctor Who episode "The Rebel Flesh". At least, until a storm hits and what are supposed to be remote-operated bodies develop an independent consciousness...
- In Robot Combat League contestants from many walks of life are given a chance to win a boxing match consisting of 8 plus foot tall Motion Capture Mechas.
- This is a central component of GURPS: Transhuman Space. People, especially AIs, rent (rarely purchase) cybershells designed for their environment or the job they're doing at the moment.
- Occasionally used in Eclipse Phase, though full Brain Uploading is just as common.
- Exalted gives us the Alchemicals, whose bodies become too small for them as their Essence score increases and must make the leap to first Colossi and then Metropoli/Patropoli. As there are times when they need to interact with the populace, however, they have access to Charms that allow them to produce a human-sized version of themselves.
- Riggers in Shadowrun can "jump" into drones or modified vehicles and take direct control. If the proxy is destroyed before the rigger can jump out, he suffers painful biofeedback called dumpshock.
- Cait Sith of Final Fantasy VII was really a high ranking member of Shinra operating a false body apparently operating another false body. Very Celtic.
- Xenosaga has a couple of these too, particularly Doctus and Wilhem. Doctus employs multiple android replicas of herself that are all tied into her consciousness (she's also hinted to be a cyborg herself) so she can be multiple places at once and operate in public without leaving her secret base. Series Big Bad Wilhelm, meanwhile, has a giant mecha named Joshua; unlike the other mechs in the series, Joshua is actually an extension of Wilhelm's physical body.
- The Fallout: New Vegas DLC Old World Blues has the player character become this trope for most of the DLC. The Courier's brain (along with heart and spine) are surgically removed and replaced with a remote receiver. The trouble is, the geniuses of the Think Tank then immediately lose track of said organs; the Courier's main motivation in the DLC's main questline is to locate and retrieve the missing pieces.
- This is the premise of Cortex Command, where humans, being Brains In Jars, operate robotic bodies.
- In Mass Effect 3, EDI gains control over a Cerberus-built robotic body. She's still physically located within the Normandy and any damage to the body will have no effect on her, but she can control it as long as it's within range of the Normandy's communications array, which can reach anywhere in the galaxy.