Teleporter Accident is when teleportation goes awry and something nasty happens. But teleportation isn't always nice even when it works. Often, it's traumatic for the characters teleported. After all, you're perhaps being disassembled into your component particles and reassembled elsewhere, sent through scary hyperspace, or blasted with some serious magic. In any case, you are at least instantly moved to a completely different location in a way that is never part of the normal course of things for most physical beings. This trope is when teleportation works the normal way, but it still causes some kind of negative effects on those transported. An inversion of motion sickness, as it were.
Typical symptoms include nausea, disorientation and weakness. The few extreme cases are much worse and tend to have permanent effects. Sometimes only affects some individuals or members of some groups and not others, and it can be just a matter of being accustomed to it. If one character has the ability to effect the teleportation, others tend to cope with it worse than that character.
This is usually much milder than the effects of a teleporter accident, because if things like that happened when things go right, teleportation would be kind of useless. Then again, some works take that concept and run with it — teleportation really isn't that handy, because it's dangerous.
There is a hazy transition to and an overlap with Teleporter Accident in some cases. For example if a teleporter's normal functioning is so rough on the passenger that they must shield themselves against it, and they suffer an accident because they don't. But if the unpleasant effect is caused by an outright malfunctioning of the teleportation method, it is a Teleporter Accident but not this.
Compare Temporal Sickness, Resurrection Sickness.
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Anime & Manga
Awaki Musujime in A Certain Magical Index has a trauma involving a Teleporter Accident in her childhood. As a result, her powerful teleportation abilities are offset by three seconds, and she has great difficulty in teleporting herself, becoming heavily nauseous and fatigued afterwards. Later on, to balance this out, GROUP provides her with a massage device to relieve her trauma whenever she uses her abilities.
In Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, The Hero can teleport. If he takes someone with him, they tend to get nauseous if they aren't used to it.
Magic: The Gathering: Planeswalkers can take other beings along with them when moving across dimensions. However, it causes a strong nausea to said beings. It's not too nice for the Planeswalker, either.
Acts as a limiting game mechanic, which was at one point referred to as Summoning Sickness. Creatures cannot attack or tap the turn they are played. The Haste ability prevents this, and noncreatures aren't affected.
In Watchmen, other people teleported by Dr. Manhattan don't always take to it so well. Laurie (Silk Spectre) always has to vomit afterwards, and some of the rioters he sent to their homes suffered heart attacks from the sudden change of surroundings. Averted with Rorschach for whatever reason, since he doesn't even notice having been teleported until looking around.
Nightcrawler from X-Men has the ability to teleport, which leaves people he takes with him who are not used to it disoriented. The reason for this is that whenever he teleports, he goes through a dimension that is actively hostile to human life (that's where the smoke comes from). He's built up an endurance to it, while people he teleports offensively usually haven't. He's been known to use this offensively by grabbing someone and teleporting around a few times to disorient them (some other teleporters prefer to use Tele-Frag instead).
In a Doctor Who Eighth Doctor comic, it's commented that the first time anyone transmats is quite nauseating. Unusual because it's explicitly stated it only happens on your first time.
Cloak teleports by moving through a "darkforce dimension" that preys on people's psyches. He can take people with him, but it's a very unpleasant trip if his partner Dagger isn't around to ameliorate the effects.
Detective Deena Pilgrim of Powers vomits every time that she's teleported. Unfortunately, that's not the worst of it: if someone even teleports in close proximity to her, she gets sick also.
Every time the Exiles teleport to a new reality, the process is shown to be taxing, even more so without a natural teleporter in the group. New members often end up vomiting on their first reality hop.
The Myst Journals, a fan-fic/walkthrough of the first Myst game has the main character black out whenever he uses a linking book. However, as he gets used to linking, this eventually lessens to mere nausea and disorientation and eventually goes away entirely.
In The One, inter-dimensional teleportation looks very uncomfortable and causes everyone teleported to become incapacitated for a time. Even Yulaw becomes helpless, which seems to be the main purpose of this feature, as it allows him to be arrested without any further fuss. However, it appears to require him only a few minutes to recover and return to full strength. At the end, when he is sent to a Penal Colony universe and has to fight off waves of other convicts, he appears to do so effortlessly only moments after coming to.
In Jumper, the protagonist has the power to teleport at will. At some point, he "Jumps" while holding his girlfriend, taking her with him. Afterwards, she experiences heavy dizziness and disorientation.
In the Dragaera books set after the Interregnum, magical teleportation is easy, safe, and relatively cheap. However, almost all Easterners suffer motion sickness when teleported, whereas Dragaerans don't. Some of the other forms of magical transportation used in the series also have side effects, such as dizziness.
In Stephen King's short story "The Jaunt", a kid neglects to take his sedative before transport, and experiences a hugely long period of time while in transit, driving him insane.
In Stephen King's The Dark Tower novel, when Roland and friends go through a barely-working high-tech teleporter, they feel dizzy and start vomiting on the other side.
Arthur: What's so bad about that? Ford: You ask a glass of water.
In the Deryni books, using Transfer Portals provokes this kind of disoriented feeling, often described as the floor tipping away in a blur from under the traveler's feet. It's usually highlighted when a character is introduced to using a Portal. Kelson experiences his first trip in Deryni Rising as " a sickening wrench in the pit of his stomach, a fleeting impression of falling, a slight dizzy sensation."
The Childe Cycle has a variant of this. In the stories, FTL travel is done using a "phase-shift drive", allowing for a ship to instantly travel from one point to another. However, there are side effects that cause people to feel physically ill. People need to take medication, and repeated multiple jumps can be lethal.
CoDominium: The use of Alderson Drive allows ships to instantly transverse from star to star. The downside is that after using the drive, people and computers suffer from "Jump Shock", in which they are greatly disoriented.
Isaac Asimov's robot short story "Escape!" A supercomputer creates a jump drive that causes the passengers to temporarily die during the jump — and experience the complete sensation of death while doing so.
In Harry Potter, Harry dislikes apparating and describes it as "Being forced through a very small tube". It makes him low on breath and sick to his stomach. It isn't portrayed as fun in the movies either. Using a Portkey (an object enchanted to give you a one-way teleport) is also a bumpy ride, though there's no risking of getting splinched.
Anyone with strong telekinesis (called "Fetching" in-universe) can move living things, including themselves. It apparently feels like a lurching sensation and is rather unpleasant for the passenger.
An Adept-class mage can create a Gate to any location he knows well. Even under ideal circumstances, the person being gated will be disoriented. The "Jumping" ability used by Firecats is shorter-range, and comes with cumulative nausea — after a series of speed-Jumps from eastern Hardorn to Haven, a Valdemaran healer thinks Karal has contracted a stomach bug because he's vomiting so much.
Because the time travel device in Michael Crichton's Timeline is slightly less than perfect at reassembling travelers' molecules, the tiny imperfections a traveler accumulates through repeated usage can eventually add up to serious medical problems; e.g. the character who suffers a fatal heart attack because segments of his veins no longer match up with one another.
Accumulated reassembly errors and the complications from same also happen to Frank Pollard in Dean Koontz' The Bad Place. He figures out a way to weaponize this against his brother "Candy", to save the Dakotas from being murdered, although this results in his death as well.
Teleportation in the Dragonriders of Pern series involves going Between, which apparently requires passing through a frigid inter-dimensional environment. Unusually, this is often played as a positive thing, as Thread is more vulnerable to cold than are dragons or humans, so Thread-fighters can teleport to destroy any bits of it that stick to their bodies or clothing. On the negative side, there's the possibility of not emerging at the destination, or the likelihood of miscarriage for a pregnant woman traveling Between.
In Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain novel The Emperor's finest, Cain and Jurgen are teleported over what is probably a few kilometers, and Cain spends a week in sickbay to recover from the warp exposure (which Jurgen shrugs off in less than a day). It is said that the Space Marines who own the teleporter employ shielding devices in their armor to prevent this effect. Cain and Jurgen were not expecting to teleport and had no such protection.
In Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Childermass suffers from teleportation sickness when Lady Pole is around, causing him (or his perceptions) to travel between this world and Faerie.
In The Ring of Solomon, a Bartimaeus book, it's mentioned that spontaneous matter transfer, which only extremely powerful spirits can effect, results in one's becoming nauseous. Bartimaeus notes that the fact that Queen Balkis is able to endure it without vomiting is a sign of good breeding.
Hypochondriac Lt. Barclay is very uncomfortable with the transporters. At one point he thinks he has Transporter Psychosis, which hasn't been around in half a century.
In the episode "The High Ground", terrorists are using a form of dimensional jump (not a standard transporter) that bypasses normal space and so cannot be blocked or shielded against. The problem is that nothing that makes the jump comes through 100% perfect — there's always a tiny bit of distortion that after more than a few jumps scrambles people's DNA enough to make them terminally ill.
One of the Expanded Universe books has Dr. McCoy stumble after rematerializing, and complaining that the transporter tech failed to beam him onto level ground. Spock replies that McCoy would have been fine if he didn't insist on rocking back and forth on his feet on the transporter pad.
On Fringe, the teleporter David Robert Jones uses to escape from prison causes severe damage to his body, due to the need to reassemble all his body's molecules on arrival. He takes precautions, like spending weeks in a hyperbaric chamber after the escape, yet by the end of the season he's still disfigured and dying. Interestingly, this grants him certain powers, such as being immune to bullets.
Initially, the Stargate in both Stargate the film and Stargate SG-1 causes extreme disorientation when used for travel. The TV show removed this element and explained that the effect was due to poorly calculated coordinates of older gate addresses. In addition, when first stepping through, Daniel actually was covered in frost and shivering, explained as a side effect of having your molecules being put back together. The soldiers helping Daniel up and reassuring him after he comes out of the gate is also one of the only times in the film's first half where they are nice to him. Probably because they just went through the same thing a few seconds ahead of him.
The pilot episode of Stargate Universe has a variation: due to the extremely long distance traveled, the travelers come out at a slightly higher velocity than they had when they entered. This results in a massive pileup as people and supplies and equipment are sent tumbling through the gate right behind the ones who just hit the ground, not having time to find out the conditions of the other side first.
In Sanctuary, John Druitt's teleportation power causes his brain chemistry to slightly alter each time he uses it, gradually turning him into a raving-mad homicidal lunatic. This is Ret Coned later as having picked up a "hitchhiker" during one teleportation, which affects his sanity.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy and Dawn are both strongly affected by Willow teleporting them from a cemetery to the Magic Box at the end of season six.
"The Sound of Drums": The Doctor, Martha and Jack are all nauseated after using Jack's vortex manipulator (though Jack himself has had worse nights, apparently). "Time travel without a capsule, that's a killer!"
In an Expanded Universe novel, the Ninth Doctor and Rose find a Neanderthal on the loose in modern-day London. When trying to send him back with the TARDIS, he doubles over in extreme pain, and the Doctor is forced to leave him in the 21st century for good, explaining that unshielded time machines destabilize molecules (or something like that), and a second trip on any time machine would be fatal. It turns out that the time machine used to send the Neanderthal boy to the future is ''steam''-powered (it came from a time in the future when a huge EMP wave from a space battle fried any advanced technology and lingered for a few centuries, requiring people to turn to alternative technology). The Big Bad of the novel doesn't know this effect of her time machine and tries to escape with it.
The psionic power of Teleportation in Classic Traveller. Long range teleports caused disorientation for 20-120 seconds. Changing altitude also had negative effects: each change in altitude of 1 kilometer up or down lowered or increased body temperature by 2.5 degrees Centigrade.
Warhammer 40,000 has this, in addition to the various Teleporter Accidents. This seems proportional to the distance, as short-ranged teleportation apparently has little to no health effects.
The 2nd edition's Complete Psionic Handbook has some teleportation powers causing severe disorientation on a low roll. Even the basic Dimension Door results in being dazed on arrival.
Edition 3.5 has almost any translocation leading to short disorientation during which travelers are unable to act. The tactical effect is that setting an ambush at a likely destination to catch or slaughter arrivals in "teleport afterdaze" is a no-brainer, which gives teleporting people one more reason to scry on the exit unless they're sure this can't happen in the place they chose.
BattleTech has Transit Disorientation Syndrome, where you are horribly ill for one to two days after a hyperspace jump.
The Corridors of Darkness in Kingdom Hearts are a sort-of Portal Network that allows transportation through the Realm Of Darkness to other worlds at the risk of the Darkness eating at the (metaphysical) hearts of the travelers, either turning them evil or into The Heartless. One way to avoid this effect is wear a certain type of black cloak that several characters sport while Keyblade Wielders have Instant Armor that serves a similar purpose when traveling between worlds. Certain individuals have an immunity to this effect either because they have no hearts (Nobodies like the members of Organization XIII, who sport the black cloaks mentioned despite not having hearts except they can grow hearts as revealed in Dream Drop Distance) or the Princesses of Heart because they possess no darkness in their hearts to begin with. Even with this immunity, it's hard to imagine traveling through a Swirly Energy Thingy made of Pure Darkness to be remotely pleasant.
Averted in Warcraft III, where no teleporting unit suffers any ill effects. However, units that were inside a zeppelin when it dies over land have their movement and attack speed severaly reduced, a condition called "dizziness".
Terraria 1.2 introduced the Rod of Discord that allowed you to teleport anywhere on screen. 220.127.116.11 nerfed this HARD. Every teleport gives you a Chaos State debuff that lasts for ten seconds and teleporting before it wears off results in massive, unblockable damage. It also removed the ability to teleport into the Lihzarhd temple.
In Minecraft, the player can throw an Enderpearl (dropped by the Teleport Spaming Endermen) in order to be teleported to where it lands - but it does 2 1/2 hearts worth of damage in the process.
Teleporting in Unreal Tournament is stated to be damaging in the long run. While teleportation is stated to be a safety measure for miner (who carry the device with them and put the beacon in a safe place) The translocator disassembles the entire organism and rebuilds it instantly where the beacon is placed. This induces paranoļa, bouts of rage, and violent behaviour. Repeated translocation induces "artifacts of synaptic disruption in the biological snapshot of the individual", and ultimately to Teleportation Related Dementia (TReD). Minor leagues have to limite the use of translocation to prevent such problems to become to prevalent among the participants. In-game, however, there is no consequence for using the teleporter many times, presumably you can't use it enough during a match to induce sensible damage.
Team Fortress 2: The plot of Expiration Date follows our mercenaries who, after watching the teleporters' effect on bread, have only a few days to live, due to being riddled with tumors. Ends up being subverted, however; it affects bread, but only bread. It does, however, turn it rather monstrous if teleported too often.
In Red vs. Blue there's a running gag where Tucker's always singed (turning his armour black) whenever he uses a teleport.
Karin-dou 4koma: Tamaryu's entire class collapses with nausea after Seren mass-teleports them, with the exception of Tamaryu and Elly, who are used to it.
Known in Our Little Adventure as "Dirty Warping". Due to Merla's fear of a powerful hostile closing in on them, she teleports Lenny, Julie, and herself not-so-nicely to a safer area. She is off target, causing herself and Lenny to get sickened, as well as some minor "scrambling" injuries to all three of them.
In part two of the pilot, Twilight Sparkle comes out slightly dizzy after teleporting herself a few feet to get close to the Elements of Harmony.
In "The Ticket Master", she does a kind of reverse of Dr. Manhattan's "Leave me alone!" moment and accidentally teleports herself and Spike back to their home to escape an overly-friendly mob. Twilight is momentarily disoriented, but Spike comes out dazed and singed. She seems to have mastered the ability to such a degree that she's no longer affected by it, and can teleport with such convenience she can use Teleport Spam just to hold a conversation.
In "Dragon Quest", Twilight teleports her entire group an undefined large distance (at least several dozen miles, and likely much farther) and none of her friends appear to have any ill effects from it. Twilight herself is visibly exhausted by the feat, but does not appear otherwise incapacitated.