Where's Nephew? Amy:
He was standing right where you materialized. The Doctor:
Ah. Well... He must have been redistributed. Rory:
Meaning what? The Doctor: You're breathing him
can be very dangerous if you don't look where you're going. If you teleport into someone else, or someone else teleports into you... splat.
The term comes from early First-Person Shooter Video Games
, where both materializing when spawning and proper teleportation can "frag" a player standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is because two nested hitboxes would have meant that the 2 players were going to be stuck in place. The developers then came up with a clever fix.
This is also known as interpenetration, especially when there is no exploding involved.
In the cases where this is harmful to the teleporter, the dangers of teleporting into a space currently occupied by air and dust are usually ignored
. This can be handwaved
by stating that the teleporter is capable of displacing gases, liquids, and minuscule solids therein, or by the fact that compared to about every other substance humans normally deal with, air is very thin stuff.
The usual aversion
is swap-porting. Then, if you appear inside a mountain, a statue appears at the starting position, but you're still Buried Alive
unless you can teleport again immediately (bearing in mind that being entombed this way tends to impair
one's ability to speak
, or indeed think clearly
.) In this case, any living being who is teleported into
will be horribly eviscerated, while the one doing the teleporting may be merely psychologically traumatized
The opposite of a Portal Cut
(a perfect guillotine made by disconnection of the gate's surfaces while someone or something is passing through, or otherwise using partial teleportation to cut something apart). If the teleporter isn't fine tuned, expect a Teleporter Accident
See also Portal Slam
(when there's something in the way when you try to enter
a teleportal). Can be used to defy Inertia Is a Cruel Mistress
by destroying the offending obstacle, or as Weaponized Teleportation
. The supertrope is teleporting things to anyplace that's inherently extremely dangerous even if it's not actually inside a solid object, such as into deep space, over lava, or 100 feet straight up.
Not to be confused with Telefang
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Anime & Manga
- Mahou Sensei Negima!: the cast had just traveled a ten-day leap backwards in time to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, unfortunately without enough time to give any idea as to where they would appear. They nearly fell several thousand feet, but afterward one character remarked about their luck of not appearing inside a rock.
- In Darker Than Black one of Contractors has swap-teleport power, so even arriving mostly inside a stone wall◊ wasn't any trouble for him. It was more dangerous for people whose vitals he tried to swap with some part of said wall.
- Hashigen Uchida from Bleach uses this to take out Barragan by making his own powers work against himself.
- A Certain Magical Index:
- Awaki is a Level 4 Teleporter like Kuroko, and was on her way to becoming Level 5, but she had an incident where she miscalculated her teleportation and ended up getting her leg telefragged into a wall, panicked, and ended up tearing a large amount of skin and muscle off. Her leg has since been healed, but the trauma was so terrible that she is paranoid about teleporting herself and takes an extra 3 seconds to recalculate, and anything that reminds her of the incident terrifies her. The stress when she actually does manage to teleport makes her unable to do it consecutively more than 3 or 4 times and makes her vomit.
- Telefragging is one method fans have thought up to get around Accelerator's "I'm invincible" powers, but the author accounted for this as well: teleporting involves 11th dimensional movement, so there is still a vector of movement with teleportation, meaning Accelerator would just reverse the teleportation like he does everything else.
- A Certain Scientific Railgun: Kuroko explicitly states her teleporting one object into another displaces the material occupying the old space, regardless of what either object was. At one point, she tears down a building by teleporting sheets of glass into its support pillars. She also threatens to teleport her needles into people. She only tries this once, however, and it misses (the target was an illusion that she fell for).
- Steins;Gate: Some of the experiments of SERN got stuck in various places due to the Earth moving, meaning time-travel is pseudo-teleportation if no coordinates are set.
- The Dimension Sword technique in Rosario + Vampire is a combination of Telefrag and Vibroweapon. By shifting dimensions, a user can pass through objects unchallenged - and by shifting back, they will promptly destroy whatever they are currently within - from a block of wood to a suit of armour to human flesh. The most efficient form is doing this 'shift away, shift back' action one hundred times per secondnote .
- Watchmen took this to the logical extreme with teleporting into air being deadly.
- Marvel's most famous teleporter, Nightcrawler, in the Age of Apocalypse is shown once teleporting away from an enemy — taking several of the foe's fingers with him. He does it again later, with Dead Man Wade's head.
- The Regular continuity Nightcrawler has threatened this on several occasions, scaring opponents into submission by telling them he'll teleport their arms off. In practice all he really ever goes is grab someone and 'port them a few times until they pass out, as teleporting is depicted as extremely uncomfortable for those not used to it.
- Rogue, using Nightcrawler's power, teleported Nimrod's arm off the first time the X-Men encountered him. (Nimrod being a robot gets around the heroes-don't-kill thing.) Nightcrawler tried to do the same thing later on, and Nimrod demonstrates why using the same tactic against him twice is a bad idea.
- Nightcrawler gives his fear of telefragging as reasoning not to teleport into a place that he hasn't seen, and in some versions that isn't within sight of his location.
- Nightcrawler willingly telefrags himself by teleporting in the way of Bastion's blow against Hope and gets an arm stuck in his chest for his efforts. He teleports Hope away, taking Bastion's arm with him, and clings to life just long enough to make sure that Hope is safe with Cyclops before dying.
- In Kevin Smith's Spider-Man & Black Cat: The Evil that Men Do, Nightcrawler remarks on the effects of killing someone by teleporting into their body. He avoids the act based on the squick factor, and because he doesn't kill people. The villain of the piece, Francis Klum, performs this on his brother to prevent him from raping Black Cat.
- In Exiles, team teleporter Blink has done this, both intentionally and while under someone else's control. While fighting Hyperion, Blink fakes a redirect portal to distract him, then uses her power to fill him with sand. Due to one of his abilities, it didn't last very long. Fortunately, in the end Hyperion is sent back to his own reality. The reality where he had caused the deaths of everyone else on the planet, leaving him the only person left on Earth.
- This happened to Cable & Deadpool in their eponymous comic, Cable accidentally teleporting into Deadpool and fusing the two of them together.
- Top 10
- Travelers are killed when two vehicles fuse together like this. It's treated like a traffic accident.
- Wolfspider lost his legs in such an accident. He takes a personal interest when some jerk causes such a crash. Very personal.
- In Alan Moore's seminal Miracleman, one of the first moves in the climactic fight against Kid Miracleman is to teleport him into a wall. It doesn't work at all; he breaks out instantly. It does, however, work when the Warpsmith tries it the other way around — teleporting a chunk of asphalt and rebar into Kid Miracleman's head, and an I-beam through his chest. Even this isn't immediately fatal.
- Don Rosa points out that it can also happen with time travel: what if, in the age you're travelling to, there's a tree right where you stand? It's what sets in motion the plot of The Once and Future Duck.
- In The Savage Dragon, the time-travelling villain Darklord was originally dispatched this way. After beating several heroes near to death, he leapt through a teleporter in order to get to Earth. What he did not count on was that the teleporter had previously been given a virus and was in the process of shutting down. Half of him arrived on Earth but the other didn't. Keep in mind, since Darklord was a time-traveler, this didn't really stop him from showing up again.
- In the Terror Titans miniseries, Dreadbolt induces this in his father, Bolt, by interfacing with his suit and forcing him to teleport halfway into a brick wall, killing him.
- In the 2014 relaunch of Paperinik New Adventures, the Raider, after showing the ability to use his chronosail for teleportation, moves a gigantic planet-moving engine inside a slightly smaller Evronian space station, blowing up both.
- In a Virgin Comics Dan Dare issue, a team of commandos is poised to rescue Dare from the Mekon's battleship via jumping by dead reckoning directly into the landing bay. It's a risky move no matter how confident they are in the maths. When they arrive, they have the top halves of some very surprised enemy troopers sticking out of the deck into their ship. Their intrepid pilot was less lucky; the nose of the ship, and part of his head, were embedded into a parked shuttle.
- In a Sunday strip of Dilbert, a future version of Wally, conducting some highly unethical time travel, accidentally telefrags a past co-worker when attempting to get a fresh cup of coffee from the past.
Films — Live-Action
- In the end of the remake The Fly (1986), this seems to be the result of teleporting someone with an inanimate object: Brundle is fused with pieces of the telepod itself, and the pieces semi-randomly fill up his body.
- In the Terminator canon, time travel destroys everything in its path, leaving a spherical hole around the point where the time traveler arrives. In the original script, however, Reese was sent back with another soldier, who was killed on arrival when he materialized halfway through some of the scenery.
- In Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God (the infinitely better sequel to the original Dungeons & Dragons movie), teleportation requires being able to accurately visualize the target location, lest this trope occur. The heroes thus search out a scrying mirror that shows images of places the user has never been. The inventor, however, as a cruel joke didn't make it perfect, so the images have a chance of being slightly off. The mortal he gave it to ended up in a wall. The mage on the team gets it somewhat better: her team is fine, but her arm is in a wall, which they then must lop off to teleport again.
- The Philadelphia Experiment has sailors fused into the deck of the ship during the title experiment.
- The original Stargate film: There's a deleted scene where it is shown two Horus Guards apparently tried to come through the gate while it was buried. This left them flash-fossilised in solid rock.
- Defied by Doc in the third Back to the Future film. He explains the reason they're out in the middle of the desert is because the De Lorean will have plenty of run-off space in a wide-open area. Sending Marty back to a place that is populated or geographically unknown would be very dangerous idea; there's a risk he could easily crash into someone or something that once existed there. Doc doesn't clarify if this also extends to materialising inside something that once existed as well, but the implication is that it would be just as much of a danger.
- In fact, this actually becomes a plot device later on.
- Terry Pratchett also references the idea in Johnny and the Bomb, where Kirsty points out that trying to occupy the exact same space as another object is likely to cause the atomic nuclei to fuse, with interesting and deadly consequences.
- Averted in The Long Earth; if you attempt to step to an alternate Earth, and the spot where you'd arrive is occupied by solid matter, you are just gently stopped from travelling.
- The Wheel of Time:
- Traveling portals Portal Cut away anything that happens to be where they open, living or inanimate. Later in the series, vertical spinning portals opening and closing rapidly are employed as weapons to slice apart enemy troops.
- Likewise, Shadowspawn can't survive a trip through the gates, so opening random portals under them is a combat technique.
- In one of the earlier Dragonriders of Pern books, a party exploring some of the abandoned corridors of Benden Weyr came across a Weyrling pair (a young dragon and his equally young rider) encased in rock after a bad jump between. They had no idea who they were or how long they'd been there. (We do find out who it is in Dragon's Blood). A more frequent danger for the Dragonriders is simply not coming out the other side of a jump.
- In the Harry Potter universe, the Floo Network (basically magical teleport conduits) and use of Portkeys (charmed objects designed to transport the user to a designated spot) are monitored and regulated to avoid such collisions. Apparating is also restricted to adult wizards and witches for this reason, as there's a good chance that parts of the wizard or witch could fail to appear in the right places (a phenomenon known as "splinching"). This happens to Ron in Deathly Hallows, and it's not pretty. Fortunately, wizarding medical science can treat pretty much everything other than death, curse injuries and (for some reason) eye maladies, so while messy, injuries resulting from failed apparition can generally be rectified with a minimum of fuss, assuming of course that you're not currently on the run from the Big Bad.
- The Belgariad:
- Relg the Ulgo once used his power of phasing through rock to kill an attacker by phasing both of them into a boulder, then phasing just himself back out, leaving two hands gruesomely protruding from the boulder.
- He also used a more conventional telefrag to create handholds in a rock wall, allowing the rest of the party to easily scale it, by phasing his hand in and out, instantly powdering the rock in fist-shaped holes.
- In Belgarath's Crowning Moment of Awesome, he repeats this trick on The Dragon, Belzedar, burying him in rock far underground. He's not dead, though.
- May have happened in Piers Anthony's [MODE] series. Darius can teleport himself and others safely to any location he's familiar with. (He names a general area, visualizes it, and the magic presumably does the rest.) When the group is attacked by two soldiers, he teleports them to their castle, which can just be seen on the horizon. When another character asks if he's ever been there, he says, "No. So their arrival may be unpleasant."
- Asimov's Pebble In The Sky features an accidental time traveller from the 20th century whose had the toe of his shoe Portal Cut off by the "time travel beam". The same beam also brought half of a doll lying on the ground with him.
- In The Tomorrow War, jumping ship absorbs anything in targetted space. So it's wise to chose destination without atmosphere or excessive dust. Or too strong solar wind. And they have lots of redundant systems to survive this constant contamination. Exclusion: ships able to hang in transition state (submarine-like) exit into the normal space more slowly and somehow displace thin dust or gas. Also, volume carried by single jump drive is limited, so big ships have several, and when one of drives or their synchronisation fails, ship is Portal Cut by jump.
- In the short story 'Via Vortex' of the Sideways in Crime alternate history anthology, the victorious Nazis use Pseudo-Science to teleport around the world. When you are teleported somewhere you need an equal amount of human flesh to recreate yourself. Convicted criminals supply said mass. The teleport booth has a built in shower to clean out either the original disassembled 'you', or any leftover mass from the victim you reappear within.
- The Warlock's kids from the Warlock of Gramarye series like to play by 'porting rocks inside of trees. Boom! Try it yourself, it's great fun, if you can surround yourself with impenetrable forcefields to avoid splinters. And be sure to telepathically scan the area first so no innocent bystanders get hurt. 'Kay?
- Bhelliom in David Eddings' The Shining Ones mentions how unusual it is for two objects to share the same space. When asked about it:
"I beg of thee, ask him not to continue this line of enquiry. The answers will greatly disturb him."
- Doctor Who Expanded Universe
- The Doctor Who New Adventures novel Transit has a teleport network spanning the Solar System, where trains are sent through the gates. There are occasional references to the Bad Accident, which is eventually explained as what happened when two trains tried to materialise in almost the same place at the same time. They ended up merged together. And so did everyone on board.
- Also referenced in the Doctor Who Missing Adventures novel The Dark Path, as a semi-standard military tactic used to cripple starships (e.g., by teleporting someone or something into the location where a ship's pilot is sitting) without actually damaging the ship itself - and yes, the technique was actually referred to as "telefragging".
- In the Young Wizards sidestories, the Feline Wizards, Arhu is arguing about the dangers inherent in the place they're going. His older partners warn against cave ins, at which points he mentions teleporting out or simply phasing through it. Irritated at him being right, they pull out an unlikely and convoluted scenario involving the Gates warping the reality of the rocks he's working on, getting him stuck inside and destroyed because the rocks are "older". His elders have been working with the Gates for years; they know that this kind of thing can happen. In fact, they've probably seen it. It was a scare tactic. It's possible, but they just wanted him to shut up and listen since the arrogant attitude would cause dangers in itself.
- The Stephen King short story The Jaunt has an interesting take on this. (And yes, the title's a Shout-Out to Bester's novel.) If you're conscious while you teleport, your mind experiences an astronomical amount of time as pure consciousness, while your body is instantly transported. We're talking millions of years seeing the unseeable. Everyone who has emerged while conscious has either died instantly from shock, or gone utterly insane, and so travelers are given mandatory sedation. It's mentioned that the system has been used by the Mafia and others as a dumping ground for victims both dead and alive, implying that there may be people existing eternally as pure consciousness. And I Must Scream, indeed.
- John Birmingham's story Weapons of Choice sees a time-travelling naval flotilla from 2021 shoot back in time to 1942. It telefrags the US Carrier Strike Force en-route to do battle with the Japanese at Midway. One ship from the future "intersects" with a ship in the past. The book even mentions two fused crewmembers going into a frenzy caused by pain and shock (as well as their mismatched blood types poisoning one another) and kill one another. They end up scuttling both ships. Another ship gets Portal Cut (it was too close to the edge of the Transition), and its reactor promptly blows up.
- James H Schmitz's Telzey Amberdon story "Sleep No More". Telzey is being pursued by a teleporting monster that homes in on its target's mind. She mentally projects an image of herself being inside a nearby mountain, and when the monster teleports to that location and merges with solid rock there's an explosion.
- Dean Koontz novel The Bad Place. Frank Pollard has a problem: when he teleports, small pieces of nearby objects end up being permanently embedded in his body. As the porting is somewhat uncontrollable and resulting in more and more outside mass being incorporated, the book ends with him forcibly teleporting his villainous brother again and again until their bodies have merged and enough outside mass has been worked in to make the final configuration unable to survive.
- In Michael Grant's Gone, a cat teleports into a book, and the results are not pretty.
- In the novel Mindbridge by Joe Haldeman, there is a mention of the Los Alamos disaster. "Two human bodies trying to occupy the same place at the same time turned a mountain into a deep valley and spread heavy fallout from Albuquerque to Mexico City"
- This little ditty from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe:
I teleported home one night, with Ron and Sid and Meg,
Ron stole Meggy's heart away, and I got Sidney's leg.
- Star Trek Expanded Universe
- In the Star Trek: Voyager novel Pathways, Harry Kim manages to telefrag his own foot because he stepped off the transporter pad just as it was dematerializing him. He rematerialized with his foot inside a rock wall. Justified in that the transporter they were using had been hacked together out of spare parts, with none of the normal safety features of a regulation one.
- Used intentionally by Mackenzie Calhoun in a novel using a portable transporter that can send anything a short distance away using voice commands. Mac needs to destroy a generator, but he is in the process of being pummelled by an enemy near the generator. He slips the transporter (which is the size of a coin) into the enemy's pocket and tells it to transport 5 meters to the right, which happens to be the generator. Unlike normal transporters, the portable version doesn't check first to make sure there's space available, resulting in the bad guy fusing with the generator, killing the former and destroying the latter.
- Avoided in "Inferno" book 3 of the Millennium trilogy. Due to being in a different pocket of time than DS9 (don't ask it's complicated and a tad confusing) a transporter lock couldn't be achieved. So O'Brien manually set the coordinates to a room he knew would be empty and to a couple feet off the floor to avoid transporting into anything/anyone or even the floor... the landing was a little rough.
- In Fredric Brown's What Mad Universe, it is stated that a starship's teleporting drive should only be used to travel into outer space. If you try to emerge in a place which already contains air, it's not pretty.
- This is a concern for Travelers in The Grimnoir Chronicles. One of the heroes has a bug embedded in her foot when she teleports without looking.
- In the World of Tiers series by Philip Jose Farmer, swap-porting and Portal Cut are introduced right from the start and stay important throughout the series.
- In Russian humorous SF short story Monument by Yevgeniy and Lubov' Lukins the First-Person Peripheral Narrator "proves" that teleportation is impossible because of telefragging. Then his friend aquires the power of swap-porting, that cuts the shape of his body and clothes out of any material. And covers the township with monuments to himself.
- The Displacers used by The Culture manifest as a "caisson" field that appear around the target and shrink to a point to remove it, and it its destination expand from a point to the full size of the displaced object, then vanish. Careful Minds expand or contract the field carefully so as to push the air in the target area out of the way or allow it to diffuse in... rapid displacements are effectively explosions. Displacement into sealed areas is done carefully to prevent the container from bursting (or the pressure from crushing the displacee).
- Farslayer the Sword of Vengeance in the Book of Swords series kills its targets this way. Once Farslayer is swung with a target in mind, it becomes a ghostly blade that relentlessly seeks out its target no matter where they are hiding and only becomes solid again after it has imbedded itself in the target's heart. The catch is that the sword remains stuck in its victim, so anyone seeking vengeance for the victim (hence the title "Sword of Vengeance") who has a good idea of who is responsible can throw Farslayer right back. Two feuding families were wiped out this way as they kept launching Farslayer at each other.
- Star Trek:
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Pegasus", the title USS Pegasus had a Tele-Frag-like encounter with an asteroid, thanks to a cloaking device that made the ship intangible. It broke while the ship was drifting through an asteroid field, and the ship ended up embedded halfway inside solid rock.
- An early episode of Star Trek: Voyager had a malfunctioning food replicator (which works by a variation of the transporter technology) fuse an alien halfway into the floor.
- A similar thing happens in Next Generation episode "In Theory", when a nebula has strange effects on matter: some poor crew member ends up falling partway through a floor before it becomes solid again. Not actually teleportation, but the end result is remarkably similar.
- In episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, a Red Shirt (uh, Red Stripe?) who gets beamed up during a windstorm in a forest appears with leaves and sticks stuck in him, while another who gets beamed out in a sandstorm gets a dermis full of sand. They live, though. Justified because the transporter's still in beta and doesn't have filters to prevent that yet. All things considered, by far not the worst thing to happen to anybody because of the Transporters. Though it is understandable why nobody wants to actually use that thing on the show.
- Battlestar Galactica:
- During a rescue mission, one of the raptors in a squad miscalculates its jump, and arrives inside a mountain.
- In "Someone to Watch Over Me", when Boomer jumps while fleeing Galactica, she tears out a section of the hull because she's too close.
- And then in the finale, "Daybreak", an entire squadron of Raptors jumps out in to space from Galatica's sealed-off flightpod. It happens ridiculously quickly, but Freeze-Frame Bonus watching reveals the maneuver absolutely ruins the flightpod with the damage it causes.
- Doctor Who:
- "Nightmare of Eden" begins with a hyperspace traffic accident that results in two spaceships interpenetrating.
- In "Remembrance of the Daleks", the Doctor sabotages a Dalek teleporter so it telefrags itself, with the Dalek's insides and outsides trying to occupy the same space.
- In "The Doctor's Wife", Nephew is "redistributed" when he happens to be standing right where the Doctor's makeshift TARDIS materializes.
- Averted by the the TARDIS herself, who seems to have safeguards in place that prevent this. It's been shown that when she does decide to materialise around someone, they get deposited safely inside the main control room.
- The timer has safeguards to ensure that our heroes always slide into open air over solid ground. When malfunctioning, it's been known to send them into a broom closet or in the middle of the ocean.
- Or, in a memorable incident, half of them high in the air, landing on a window washer's rig, and the other half safely on the ground.
- Another example had the portal open halfway in a building with two of the heroes ending up inside and two outside.
- Used in Blake's 7 when BRIAN BLESSED's character, while explaining his thirst for power in his usual manner, accidentally steps onto the teleporter. The crew of the Liberator tries to send him back to his planet... but unfortunately for him, it's out of range.
- Babylon 5:
- Jump points destroy everything around them. This is used by Minbari as weapon in the Movie "In the Beginning" and attempted by Scary Dogmatic Aliens in episode "A View from the Gallery".
- Not to mention what happens when you open a jumppoint inside an active jumpgate. It's called the "Bonehead Maneuver". If you don't have a very very fast ship you won't get out of the blast radius, and not even warships built by the First Ones will survive it. Also worth noting that smaller, faster ships don't have the power output to generate their own jump points. The ships big enough to make their own jump points are too heavy and slow to make the getaway. It's not until they develop the White Star in the third season of the show that they are willing to even attempt this. It's a close enough call that they don't bother to attempt it again. Plus they don't want to go around destroying jumpgates, as those are vital to any race using them. The only reason they blew up that one was because that species has recently died out from a plague (a whole earlier episode was devoted to that), so the only people using it were smugglers.
- A case of accidental telefragging in the two-part "Freaky Friday" Flip episode "Dreamland" of The X-Files. During a test run with an experimental and top secret aircraft by the more secretive parts of the military, something went wrong that had space-time warping in the area. The results? One of the pilots is fused to a boulder and still breathing, a couple that were getting intimate is found fused together by their friend, and Mulder finds a pair of dimes intersecting each other at a right angle.
- In an episode of Fringe, a building from the other universe ends up in ours, resulting in a man being fused with parts of the building as well as his own duplicate.
- Earth: Final Conflict:
- An episode has a man build a teleportation device, which he uses to teleport bombs directly to the target to perform assassinations. When his hideout is discovered, he promptly teleports himself to a warehouse he owns, only to be half-embedded in some shelves, which have been moved when the feds raided the place earlier. Realizing he is pretty much dead, he chooses to destroy his creation to prevent it from falling into the Taelon hands. He does this by teleporting to the same exact location. According to Augur, this will create an anti-matter explosion.
- Another example in the final season, when an Atavus female uses a modified ID portal to go back to the distant past, when the Atavus ruled the Earth, and humans were still cavemen. Renee goes after her and then jumps back. The Atavus female enters the portal, but Renee has already turned it to face a wall. The Atavus ends up embedded in it.
- Eureka The season 4 episode "Crossing Over" had objects from 1947 being pulled into the present by an unstable wormhole. Red Woods through the rotunda, a fighter plane through the wall of Cafe Diem, a nuclear warhead through the infirmary, and worst of all an unfired 50 caliber bullet in the chest of Joe Lupo (luckily missing her heart and lungs by a cm).
- The Stargate Verse has the aptly-named "iris", a Dilating Door that covers the wormhole of the eponymous Stargate. Anyone trying to enter unannounced ends up obliterated against it.
- In the Starfire series, ships travelling via wormhole reappear in a random position. Normally a fleet will pass through one by one to avoid accidents, but if the race involved doesn't care about losses the ships can pass through simultaneously. They risk reappearing in the same space and blowing up. The novelizations also use this one, especially The Shiva Option.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- The Orks of use a heavy weapon called a Shokk Attack gun, that fires a small orkoid called a snotling through the Warp (40k's version of hyperspace and hell) to emerge inside its target. A snotling can play hell with the crew, or organs, inside an enemy unit.
- In earlier editions they also had a support gun that could teleport enemies randomly. This had predictable results if they were teleported down.
- Most forms of personal teleportation in Warhammer 40000 present an inverted risk: teleporting into an enemy makes YOU roll on the "Deep Strike Mishap Table" - this has a chance of making your personal teleporter explode - but does nothing to your foe (the same mechanic is used for paratroopers getting shot down and tunneling units suffering a cave-in).
- Also, daemon summmoning usually results in the major daemon appearing "in" the caster or sacrificial victim.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Averted in most games: teleportation spells tend to feature a failsafe that, in the event of a spellcaster accidentally attempting to teleport himself into a wall or some other invalid location, will shunt the spellcaster to the nearest valid (read: empty) square. However, if said square is too far away from the initial target location, the spellcaster starts taking damage with every square he is shunted through. Some of the more safe variants shunts you into the Astral Plane if you can't be shunted to a nearby square. That may or may not be a bad thing, depending.
- In the 1st and 2nd editions there was no failsafe: if you teleported into a solid object, you died. That's one of two reasons why wizards who weren't feebleminded too frequently tend to scry on poorly-known locations before jumping there, when possible. From AD&D 2 on, there's also a variant of teleport that's two spell levels higher and which simply fails rather than depositing the caster off-target (even if that arrival point would also be safe).
- The Blood Magus prestige class in 3rd edition has this as an ability. You can teleport by simply entering one living being, and coming out of another one you know, wherever they are. It's normally harmless for everybody involved, but if you wish, you can make what the game charmingly calls a "catastrophic exit", literally exploding your way out of the destination point.
- Paranoia, on the other hand, does not have this kind of pleasant upgrade to the Teleportation power. One bad roll and you can wind up as mincemeat.
- In GURPS you simply can't teleport in this way. Even a Critical Failure lands you in an open location.
- In both Hero System 5th and 6th editions, you can't teleport into something solid. A teleporter's "natural safety system" will automatically shift him to the nearest clear area big enough for him. However, this is a severe shock to that teleporter's system, and you don't get any defenses against that damage, so better hope the GM rolls low.
- In Battletech, the odds of telefragging when a Jump Ship jumps are astronomically slim due to the vastness of space. However, the annihilation of whatever interplanetary medium matter was in the destination point when a ship jumps in-system emits an electromagnetic pulse which is easily detectable.
- Averted in Continuum: The rules specifically state that "spanning" (instantaneous travel through space and/or time) carries no risk of materializing the spanner in a wall or solid object. Air and liquids part to make space for the spanner. When trying to span into a solid object, you will be placed near the object instead. Of course, that does not mean that spanning there is safe, just that you will not occupy the same space as another object. You're still pretty much screwed if you span into the bottom of the ocean or into a furnace. The reason for this protection from materializing inside another object becomes clear when you learn about the mechanics of spanning: Basically, your body is broken down at one end and rebuilt at the other by nano machines. Much of the details of this process is handled by the nano machines rather than the user, including the exact location. As such, the programming automatically avoids solid objects.
- Averted in Marathon, if one stands on a teleporter exit point when another goes through the teleporter, the player on the exit point will be launched at high speeds in a random direction. If the teleporter is in a narrow hallway and it sends the launched player into the wall next to the exit point, expect Ludicrous Gibs, because they'll probably both have rocket launchers out.
- In the X-Universe series of games, ships travel between different sectors of space through jumpgates. Jumpgates are two way, meaning that ships both enter and leave sectors from them. Meaning, you can use your jumpdrive to jump to a distant sector for a mission... right as a 5 kilometer long vessel is entering the jumpgate's event horizon (where you are). The Terran sectors in X3: Terran Conflict were notorious for this, as they have very active military patrols which fly between the smaller Terran gates very often. The issue became so annoying in X 3 TC that the developers changed how smaller ships enter the gate in an update — they now fly towards it from slightly above or below, and enter the gate at its very edge, rather than the direct center, which capital ships use, in order to avoid any chance of being rammed to death by an inbound or outbound capital ship.
In fairness, the devs did consider this trope. The gates and trans-orbital accelerators have a sort of traffic light system, and only the player flying on manual can run a red, so to speak. When time is not of the essence (i.e. any time you're not in danger of being shot to pieces), use the autopilot to go through the gate and you won't have any problems — most of the time.
- Averted in Dishonored: you can't blink anywhere outside of your visual range and even "blinking" itself is less like teleportation and more like "moving lightning-fast in a certain direction". If someone happens to step be in the way of your blink trajectory, sometimes they'll experience some very intense momentary sickness and pain.
- Telefragging got its name from the Doom series, where if someone teleported in and you were standing at that exact spot, you'd get reduced to Ludicrous Gibs and the teleporting player would be awarded a frag.
- The initial release of Doom did not have telefragging. If you tried to use a teleporter and an object or enemy was standing on the destination point, the teleporter would simply not work. This counted as a Game-Breaking Bug, as many levels can no longer be completed when an enemy gets "stuck" over the destination point and makes the teleporter unusable. This was fixed in a later release by making the incoming entity frag whatever is standing on the exit point, and this evolved into a gameplay mechanism.
- Doom II's final boss shot cubes that caused monsters to teleport in when they hit the ground. If you were standing there, you'd die instantly, even if god mode was on (this is because god mode only protects against attacks less than 1,000 damage, and telefragging does 10,000). Interestingly, monsters aren't allowed to telefrag outside of the final level. This can clearly be seen on many maps, where a huge horde of monsters teleports in — one monster at a time, shortly after the previous one is killed.
- TNT/Evilution uses this in the final map, the player had to navigate a series of platforms and if they took the wrong path, they would be teleported into their own voodoo doll, effectively telefragging themselves.
- Heretic and Hexen, being Doom-engine-based games, naturally have telefragging, though they may or may not have the restriction mentioned above of non-boss monsters not being allowed to telefrag. There are probably few Hexen players who haven't been telefragged by Korax at least once. And careful when playing co-op! If two people enter a teleporter in quick succession or even simultaneously, a double telefrag is the usual result.
- Homeworld in multiplayer opening a hyperspace portal on top of another ship would result in both ships being destroyed. With super bad luck this could result in a destroyer opening a portal on top of a fighter and being destroyed, or with super good luck a frigate opening a portal on top of a carrier or even an enemy mothership instantly destroying it.
- Used in Team Fortress 2 where, if an enemy is standing on top of a Teleporter and a player uses the Teleporter, they are awarded a kill (if both players are on the same team nothing happens). A common strategy for Spies is to sap a Teleporter entrance and stand on top of it so that when the Engineer breaks the sapper, the Spy teleports through, kills the Engineer in doing so, and can sap his buildings with impunity.
- A staple of the Unreal Tournament series, through use of both teleporter gates or the Translocator Beacon. Also, a damaged Translocator beacon would always Tele-Frag the user and credit the kill to whoever damaged the beacon, making it a good idea to leave the beacon in an out-of-the-way area when not using it as a rapid approach device. (Damaged beacons cannot be automatically recalled, either; they must be manually recovered.) If you have Improbable Aiming Skills, you could shoot the translocator beacon of anyone trying to rapidly approach with it while it's still flying through the air. Amusingly, the Translocator could be used to self-Telefrag if done properly (usually by throwing it straight up, teleporting, throwing another before falling, etc. until you reach terminal velocity). The personal teleporter refuses to activate when the beacon is under the foot of an ally, but a teleporter gate allows a player to kill allies, even when friendly fire is turned off.
- Discussed in World of Warcraft in the "Schools of Arcane Magic" books:
Make absolutely certain you know your destination before attempting to teleport... attempts to cast a teleportation "on the fly" often result in one very dead mage inside a wall, chair, or another mage. And I don't mean in a fun way.
- Shub-Niggurath (named after one of HP Lovecraft's Eldritch Abominations), the final boss, is only killable by this method. There's a weird looking pod that flies around the boss room and deposits the player wherever it happens to be when you go into the teleporter, and at one point, the pod goes into Shub's body. If you go into the teleporter at that point, the result is a VERY messy demise for the Hell-Mother.
- In Multiplayer Quake, for those lucky enough to have played over LAN and not Dial-up, nested telefrags were quite common. Player A respawns and Telefrags Player B, who respawns and Telefrags Player A who Telefrags Player B who Telefrags Player A ad infitum. Naturally, this problem decreases rapidly with the size of a map and quantity of respawn points on it. This actually happened in the Let's Play of Daikatana (about 10 minutes into Lair of Medusa) due to a glitch, resulting in much hilarity.
- Likewise, teleporting enemies can also telefrag the player.
- In an instance of "reverse telefrag", attempting a telefrag on a player with the Pentagram of Protection causes the inbound player to explode instead. The explanation is that the inbound player "feels Satan's power".
- The teleport pads in Tribes (which either came with the base game or one of the most popular mods ironically played more than the real game itself) killed you if you stood on them when someone was coming through. It also would kill you if you were too heavy.
- In Tribes 2, vehicle pads will instantly kill any player standing in the way of the vehicle it's about to start building. Usually it accidentally telefrags an ally, but some players bait enemies into flying at them over the vehicle pad, then immediately build a flying vehicle as the enemy passes over, instantly gibbing the enemy player.
- Though you can't teleport into anyone else, telepad mishaps can kill — once, even to advance the plot!
- And then in the second game, one gets a weapon to sabotage telepads, killing anyone incoming on them.
- You can telefrag yourself that way if the pad was supposed to be your escape route later on. Time to start the level over again...
- Ill-designed maps in old FPS games (or ones subjected to abuse beyond all reason) have been known to reach a state where each character returns into play before the previous one has had time to get out of the way, causing the creation of the gib fountain.
- It's a lot worse when you don't get telefragged by bad spawns. Spending the first five minutes of a round of Counter-Strike trying to get separated from the person who spawned into your head is not a good way to relax.
- In multiplayer, if you try to go through a one-way teleporter, and somebody else is in the receiving end, you'll be blocked out for quite some time. The guy blocking will have his screen go white and his controller vibrate, and then finally he'll die and the teleporter will be sent through, receiving a telefrag for his effeorts. However, since this takes time to do, the guy trying to teleport may end up screwed if he's relying on the teleporter to escape from death, and the guy blocking will be completely unharmed.
- This can also be a tactic: sit on the exit, and wait for someone to try to use it. When your screen starts going white, step back. The traveller generally won't have time to react to that "Teleporter is blocked" message on their screen, and will appear right in front of you, facing the other way. Free kill.
- Dropped in the Mac/PC port, where corking the exit is a major part of strategy. Unfortunately, there is still one very embarrassing type of telefrag: If unattended vehicles are set to respawn and you're standing at the wrong spawn point, it will literally pounce on top of you for an instant kill.
- In Halo 4, the UNSC Infinity comes charging out of a slipspace portal and crushes a Covenant Remnant cruiser with its bow in Spartan Ops ep 1.
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past as well as The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages, avoid this with travel between their two worlds/time periods. If you try to transport yourself into a solid object you'll flash for a bit and then be kicked back to your original position, able to adjust your position and try again.
- A boss in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia uses a glyph to pass through walls to avoid the explosions of the bombs he fills the room with and carries an infinite amount of Super Potions, making it impossible to kill him the normal way. Absorb the glyph while he's inside the wall and he dies instantly.
- In Castlevania I, Dracula has a nasty habit of teleporting on top of Simon, regularly enough it may even be deliberate. It doesn't kill the player instantly, but does take a quarter of his life meter off, and is just one part of what makes the first phase of the boss fight such a challenge. Fortunately, the player gets a bit of warning as Dracula is initially intangible when he ports in, but the player has to be fast to move out of the way before the Count materializes fully.
- Komato Assassins carry a device that allows them to teleport around at will. They mentally map out the area prior to the fight, and are trained to stop pursuit if the prey leaves that area to avoid teleporting into a wall. As part of the backstory, Assassin Asha got too wrapped up in the pursuit of an enemy, ignored his training, and lost his arm in precisely this fashion.
- Also, Sector 8 has a Trapmine — an item you can set on a teleport pad that goes off when anyone teleports through it, instagibbing the sucker that uses it (except in version 1.6) and rendering the teleporter unusable. Do NOT use it when Dan tells you to: save it for a later teleporter in the same sector, where it is much more needed.
- The Malor spell in Wizardry involves teleportation via punching in grid references for the desired area. The catch? Punch it in wrong and you could appear inside a rock or some other undesirable place, killing the entire party.
- In Roblox, the CFrame system actively tries to keep players (and other objects) from sticking into each other, even if they have disabled collision. (Sidestepped by scripting and simultaniously anchoring the bricks, preventing flying stuff from going everywhere. For non-CanCollideable objects, the physics object "BodyPosition" also works.) Sometimes it also leads to players stacked up on a SpawnLocation. Telefragging must be deliberately scripted into a place (and even then it's hard.) The trope is also played straight with Regeneration Buttons: If a player stand where an object is created when the button is pushed, they are trapped inside until either they reset themselves (many in-game items have been created to do this in the most humorous way possible) or a benevolent player triggers the regen again, which normally has a delay timer. Sometimes, a place creator may actually put the regen button right below where the seat of a vehicle appears, causing the player to instantly get control of the vehicle. Kid-friendly Ludicrous Gibs result if a player dies in any way (being a Lego-like game, they literally fall apart, no blood involved, though a player's head may roll away to who-knows-where, taking the camera with it since the camera only watches the head, not the player as a whole), and if they were the driver of a vehicle, it also falls apart.
- Achron features a time specific version of this called "chronofragging". When a unit travels through time, if the location at the arrival time is occupied, the unit will chronofrag whatever unit it runs into, dealing significant damage to both units. This can most easily happen if you set a unit near a chronoporter. If the unit is standing idly for a while and gets sent back in time, it will still be standing in that spot in the past (since it hasn't moved) and will frag itself. Traditional Telefragging, however, is prevented. They just teleport slightly to the side.
- In Star Control and Star Control 2, the special power of the Arilou spaceship is random teleport through the battlefield (a Colombus-effect bubble of space around planet). There is a small non-cumulative chance every time you teleport to end up inside the planet. This doesn't end well for you.
- In Mighty Flip Champs!, teleporting into a wall would kill you.
- In its Spiritual Successor Mighty Switch Force!, you can (and are occasionally required to) telefrag enemies by switching while an enemy is standing in front of a background block. You can quite easily do the same thing to yourself if you aren't paying attention or your timing is off, and in fact this becomes one of the biggest hazards in some later stages.
- Before Legend Entertainment got awarded with the job of making Unreal II: The Awakening, they made a FPS based on The Wheel of Time universe with a magic system that used Ter'Angreal as the weapons.
- One of the Ter'Angreal available in multiplayer was "Swap Places", which experienced players could use to set up a Tele-Frag on their opponents. For example, sic Swap Places on your opponent, don a Fire Shield and jump into the lava. Or use it to drop the player into the ring of Explosive Wards you set up beforehand; if they're running, momentum should do the rest. Or fire it at the guy who trapped you in ice with Freeze.
- There's also Shift, which shifts you ahead about 5 feet and breaks the lock of any tracking weapons on you. It's good for escapes, but it's possible to telefrag yourself into, say, an incoming fireball.
- In Star Trek: Elite Force multiplayer, if two or more players (or bots) try to enter a teleporter simultaneously, both will be killed in the ensuing "transporter accident."
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert:
- The original game let the Allied chronosphere perform this on when used on an APC, always disintegrating the passengers. You could only chronoshift into an empty space, though, avoiding the most common kind of telefrag.
- Red Alert 2 enabled it as a viable tactic. One could even transport enemy units, meaning you could force a friendly-fire telefrag. By RA 3 you can destroy a construction vehicle using a Chronosphere and a dog.
- Red Alert 2 also features accidental teleportation: if you chronoshift units onto uneven ground, units that end up on higher elevation may end up inside the ground and explode.
- For a more interesting variant, you could also chronoshift enemy land units into water and watch them die. Sadly, the expansion made this less useful, as more amphibious units got introduced in Red Alert 3. Fortunately, this tactic also works with impassable pieces of terrain, so even an amphibious unit can be telefraged if you have cliff or even a building handy.
- There's also teleporting sea units onto land. Nothing quite like bombing an opponent's war factory...with a pair of aircraft carriers.
- In City of Heroes, you can only teleport (or teleport other people) to places you can see, but this is mainly due to game mechanics. Additionally, the game mechanics actively prevent this from happening; if someone is standing at another character's teleport destination, one of the two characters will be pushed aside.
- Mentioned in BioShock in some Mooks random dialogue when examining a corpse, "The subject... appears to have been ripped apart from the inside... probably a failed teleport."
- You can pull this off in Spelunky if you're incredibly careful about it. The main use is to kill shopkeepers without it being counted against you.
- In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion's "Shivering Isles" expansion, the Daedric prince Sheogorath (the ruler of the dimension the game takes place in) executes those who break his laws by teleporting the condemned to a point well above the execution grounds, and letting them fall the rest of the way there.
- In Eternal Darkness' Trapper Dimension, the player character uses teleporters to move throughout the area. If a Mook happens to be standing where the exit is, they'll be reduced to little chunks. There's usually a Horror standing on at least one of the exits.
- Gauntlet has teleport squares; beaming in from (not on) one of these could Tele-Frag just about anything. Even Death.
- EYE Divine Cybermancy features "The Dragon" psychic ability. When it is used while targeting an organic enemy, it'll instantly teleport the player inside the enemy, and cause the enemy to explode in a shower of blood.
- In Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, characters enter and respawn in a versus match through a beam of energy. Getting hit by one of these beams results in getting "crushed into another dimension by x". A more amusing example is setting the number of bots to 10 and starting up a match in the Imperial Labs: Raven map. Because of how incredibly small the map is compared to other areas, spawn points are cluttered up, if not, overlap with one another. No matter what you do, you will ALWAYS start up the game automatically telefragging an enemy or an ally, or several people at once.
- In PlanetSide 2, vehicles are constructed instantly on the vehicle pads when a player requests one at a vehicle terminal. Any player or object standing on the pad when the vehicle is built will instantly die, with no exceptions. Pity the poor tank pilot who accidentally backs up onto a pad when another player on his empire builds a Flash ATV
- In Star Fox Adventures, it is rare but possilble for the bat enemies in certain locations to respawn inside a cave wall. This causes them to be eternally stuck in the spawning animation, and never be replaced.
- In Dragon Age: Inquisition, the Fade Cloak spell, which allows the user to briefly phase through foes and their attacks unharmed, can be upgraded with "Decloaking Blast", which deals massive damage and knockback when the user rematerializes within an enemy.
- Happens in an episode of Voltz with Sips and Sjin, who were inside their base when it ended up being restored to the way it was — that is, pure mountain — by a World-Healing Wave, courtesy of "rejuvenation missiles" fired by Ridgedog and Duncan Jones. As a result, they suffocated to death.
- The Awkward Zombie comic in the illustration for this trope.
- A variation: Big Ears has an axe which is enchanted so it will pass harmlessly through paladins rather than harming them. When the party fight Kore, Thaco has him throw the axe at Kore with a rope attached to it. The axe pulls the rope through Kore, but Thaco cuts the rope before it passes through completely, removing the enchantment and leaving part of the rope trapped painfully in Kore's body.
- A true Tele-Frag is narrowly averted when Onyx tries to teleport Minmax to the psionic engine room. Ruby thankfully stops her in time to explain that "position 0" is the one she's occupying right now.
- Exploited in Crowley by the character of the same name to kill a demon, the spell has mass displacement so only the demon is hurt when Crowley teleports inside him and rips his way out.
- A villain in Use Sword On Monster conjured a nice big slab of stone inside a rival wizard's teleportation circle. When the wizard teleported home, well ....
- Wormholes in the Orion's Arm universe would be rather dangerous to use without the safety precautions they have in place. Each wormhole's event horizon is coated by a layer of exotic matter; if anything comes in contact with this layer during transportation, everything inside is annihilated. Also, nothing larger than the wormhole itself can come within 427 AU of the wormhole (standard safety distance), or it will collapse and explode.
- Deconstructed thoroughly in Fine Structure, when Anne Poole disappears during a teleporter experiment. They find her inside a mountain. Alive. And functionally invulnerable. After being encased in a coal seam for a year and a half. Alone.
- SCP Foundation:
- SCP-84, an area which "center" is a radio tower, can cause objects to randomly "jump" their positions, causing "overlaps", which have been described as "markedly detrimental effect on living tissue."
- SCP-595 was an experimental US ship, in attempt to create either a teleporting ship or ship that can bend light around itself. Problem, many of the crew could be teleported into the walls and fused with the bulkheads, still alive.
- Phir Sē from Worm has a teleporter working for him that can do this.
- The telefragging was present in X-Men: Evolution — but not for the party you'd think. Scarlet Witch messed up Nightcrawler's powers and caused him to teleport into a sign. The sign was pushed apart by Nightcrawler appearing in the middle of it. What would happen if it had been a person is left to the imagination.
- Nightcrawler pulls the "teleport your arm off" schtick with Spiral in Wolverine and the X-Men. Although in this continuity, she visibly has four robotic arms, and after he yanks the fourth one off he drops them at her feet, smirks, and states she should surrender because he's "run out of fake ones" to take. (Spiral, in every continuity but this one, has six natural arms, some of which are part mechanical due to injuries received over the course of a long career as The Dragon.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob visits Sandy and sees that she made a teleporter. Because he's getting late for work, he asks her to send him to the front of the Krusty Krab... just as Squidward was opening the door. They fuse together. Sandy tries hard to separate them but fails. Squidward has to perform, so he tries to hide the SpongeBob parts under a cape, but they are revealed. However, the audience seems to be impressed by this "freak" and they applaud. Sandy charges in with a "separator" she just invented, and not hearing Squidward's screams to leave them (he loves the applause), separates them. As most people get bored by the "normal" Squidward and SpongeBob and leave, Squidward freaks out and starts hitting random buttons on the separator to try to fuse back together. It explodes, making Squidward, SpongeBob, Sandy, Mr. Krab and Mrs. Puff all fuse together into a disgusting blob.
- Young Justice:
- Amazo can use powers copied from superheroes, but only one at a time. After it used Martian Manhunter's power to phase through an attack, Superboy stuck his fist inside its head as it switched to Superman's power to counterattack. It didn't end well for Amazo.
- In "Before the Dawn", M'gann (who also has phasing powers) suffers this when she attempts to phase through a door and a villain shifts the density of the door to match hers. Doesn't slice and dice, but it does knock her out until someone drags her out of the wall.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic::
- In the episode "Lesson Zero", Twilight Sparkle deliberately teleports into a beach ball, causing the ball to expand and pop (with seemingly no harm to herself).
- In "Baby Cakes", Pinkie Pie pulls off an Offscreen Teleportation inside a small cake she made to celebrate the twins becoming one month old, making it — in essence — explode.