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Literature / Freaky Friday

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A popular 1972 novel by Mary Rodgers. A teenage girl called Annabel Andrews argues with her mother over whose life is easier and subsequently wakes up in her mother's body. Annabel quickly finds out that being an adult isn't as easy as it looks.

It has been made into three Disney movies in 1976, 1995, and 2003, a stage musical in 2016, and a film adaptation of the musical (also by Disney) in 2018, and was followed by three more novels, A Billion For Boris, Summer Switch, and Freaky Monday.


  • Alliterative Name: "Annabel Andrews"
  • An Aesop: Never judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes, including your own family's.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Annabel doesn't like her brother, thinking that he's trying to show her up. But after talking to him (as her mother), she discovers that he actually does like her, which in turn softens her feelings for him.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Annabel wishes she could be her own boss. She soon is, but finds that there are a lot of things to be considered.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Annabel's English teacher explains to Annabel/Mrs. Andrews that part of their hostile relationship is because of her frustration with her very bright student's unwillingness to apply herself.
  • Congestion Speak: Boris has serious congestion issues, which ends up surprising Annabel when he delivers a beet loaf rather than the meatloaf she thought he promised. Also, only at the end of the book does Annabel, who has known Boris for several years, learn his name is actually Morris. The reader does not learn this until the end either, as the words are written as Annabel interprets them.
  • Domestic Appliance Disaster: Annabel, while stuck in her mother's body, has to do the laundry and has no idea how to do it. She ends up overloading the machine and using way too much soap, resulting in a wave of bubbles emerging from the machine.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: The Trope Namer. Annabel somehow gets body-swapped with her mother. Unlike the 1976 film adapted from this book, or the 1995 and 2003 films more loosely adapted from this book, or almost any other work more loosely inspired by or ripped off from this story, the book sticks with the POV of the daughter only. In fact, the ending reveals that the mom somehow engineered this body swap in order to teach her daughter a lesson.
  • Freudian Slip: Played With. When the school psychologist asks "Mrs. Andrews" about her relationship with her husband, Annabel says that "it's none of your business about my relationship with my father!" The reader knows why she said it, but the psychologist takes it as a "revealing" slip.
  • I Want My Mommy!: After spending a day in her mother's body, Anabelle has no idea where her own body has gone to, where her little brother is, or what happened to her mother's personality (she doesn't know for sure if her mom is in her own body). After trying very hard to stay calm and figure it all out, she finally breaks down and calls out "Mom? Mom? MOMMY!" Fortunately Anabelle's mother, who was in her daughter's body and had been out with her little brother the whole time, came home just in time. Hearing an adult scream "Mommy!" clued her in that Anabelle learned the intended lesson of some of the less pleasant things that come with an adult life.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Annabel calls her brother "Ape Face" to annoy him. It turns out that he likes it, and doesn't tell her because then she'd stop calling him it.
  • Mistaken for Name: At the end it's revealed that the man whom Annabel had thought was named Boris all the book is actually named Morris, but she got it wrong due to his Congestion Speak.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Annabel's mother needs her coffee, and gets grouchy when, while in Annabel's body, she's told she can't have it because it will stunt her growth.
  • Skipping School: Annabel's mother plays hooky and spends the day going to the dentist to get Annabel's braces taken off and buying clothes for her daughter.
  • Trash of the Titans: Annabel's room is so messy the cleaning lady refuses to touch it.
  • The Unreveal: Neither the reader nor Annabel ever find out how her mother accomplished the body-swap.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Annabel starts, well, freaking out for a variety of reasons, one of which being that while she is inhabiting her mother's body, her mother has presumably gone joyriding in hers, and is now nowhere to be found. She decides to call the police. Instead of saying, "I'm deeply concerned that my daughter has vanished", she decides to blurt out the whole body-swapping story. The cops, unsurprisingly, think she's nuts.