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Freaky Friday Sabotage

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Sometimes in a work, one character will intentionally trade bodies with another or invade someone's body. Naturally in these situations, the second party is not going to go down without a fight. That's where Freaky Friday Sabotage comes in.

One scenario is when the perpetrator intentionally inhibits themselves in some way for the purpose of inhibiting another party by performing a "Freaky Friday" Flip with them and leaving them to deal with the fallout. The actual methods can vary; from as minor as locking themselves in a jail cell, racking up significant debt, or committing multiple crimes, to as extreme as maiming their own body (after all, it's not going to be theirs for much longer, is it?).

Another scenario is when the Evil Plan depends on the perpetrator swapping bodies, but the would-be victim surprises the planner by sabotaging their own body just before the swap, thus derailing the plan when the perpetrator swaps into a no-longer-as-useful body.

Or neither the planner nor the victim does any sabotage, but the body swap still backfires through a third party or outside forces.

Note that the main component of this trope is that they are doing it specifically to force a negative situation on another character. If the character is in a negative situation and swaps to get out of it, then that's not this trope, that's just a standard Grand Theft Me.

Subtropes, naturally, of "Freaky Friday" Flip and Grand Theft Me. Often involves Self-Harm in some way. Compare Assimilation Backfire, for when The Assimilator is defeated by inheriting a trait or weakness from one they have assimilated. Extreme examples can be considered a form of Psychic-Assisted Suicide.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Darker than Black, a body surfer is seen disposing of their current host by jumping off a roof right as they switch to a new body.
  • In Dragon Ball Z Captain Ginyu prefaces his Body Change by stabbing himself in the chest with his hand, resulting in the protagonist Goku having a gaping hole in his chest and unable to give chase. And in the end, when he tries to switch body with Vegeta, Goku interrupts that by throwing a Namekian frog to intercept Ginyu's body swap beam. We get to see his face when he realizes what's coming, before Ginyu's forced to live as a frog.
  • Naruto's Yamanaka clan specialize in using a variant of this; they use chakra to transfer their mind to an opponent, place the opponent in a dangerous position, then swap back.
  • In the climax of Eternal Sabbath, Isaac attempts to steal the body of protagonist Shuro, and in the process psycho-kinetically lights his body on fire in an attempt to kill Shuro. While it looks like it's just a side-effect of the mind swap, his comments afterwards imply it is this trope.
  • Wendy does this unintentionally after Irene tries to steal her body in the final arc of Fairy Tail. The latter stabs her new body to try to intimidate the former from switching them back, but that fails and Wendy takes her body back.

    Comic Books 
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Oliver Haddo waits until he's on his deathbed to Body Surf into his most trusted disciple's body. He also makes no attempt at blending in: the first thing the "disciple" does on leaving the room is grope his wife while announcing the master's last-minute revelations that include the disciple being in charge.
  • In Vertigo Pop: London, an aging rock star fakes senility and claims to be a younger musician in preparation to steal said musician's body, so that the younger musician's explanations will fall on deaf ears and he'll be committed to an asylum.
  • In New X-Men, Cassandra Nova somehow manages to give herself a modified version of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease before switching minds with her twin brother Charles Xavier, causing him to become trapped in a rapidly-degenerating body.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Sailor Moon/Ranma ½ crossover fanfic, The Dark Lords Ascendant, the wizard Ekim possesses Ranma's body in order to further the conflict between the Sailor Senshi and the Nerima Wrecking Crew. Just as the wizard is about to attack Naru for being a close friend to Sailor Moon's civilian identity, Ranma manages to regain control of his body, thanks to a grazing hit of Sailor Moon's healing magic he received earlier. Knowing that the wizard would possess him again shortly, Ranma deliberately breaks his own left leg, all to buy Naru time to warn the Senshi. So when Ekim takes over Ranma's body again, the first thing he feels is incredible pain.
  • In A Scotsman in Egypt, Scotland cedes the just-conquered city of Baghdad to the Papacy in exchange for a number of favors. At first it seems the Pope got the better end of the deal (even if the city is a lot less willing to convert to Christianity than was advertised), but it very quickly becomes apparent that Scotland came out the winner because they knew about the approaching Mongols, making the impossible defense of the city Somebody Else's Problem.
  • FlygonHG and PaPaSe did a "sabotage Nuzlocke" of Pokémon Black 2 where they played a single game, alternating who was at the controls every gym. When a player was about to hand it over to the other, they got to sabotage the game to make the other player lose, with the sabotage winning if they could succeed in that and then play that part of the game themselves without losing.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • At the end of Fallen, Hobbes attempts this to Azazel by poisoning himself then tricking the demon into taking his body. It fails.

  • The Anubis Gates has Dogface Joe, a Body Surfer who always poisons his previous body before the trade.
  • The Dresden Files: Dead Beat: Body Surfing villain Corpsetaker deliberately takes a mortal wound before silently using her powers on Anastasia Luccio, trapping Luccio in a dying body. Though Harry notices the swap and kills Corpsetaker so they can treat Luccio, later books show that Luccio is having trouble adjusting to a younger and less powerful body.
  • John Wyndham's story Pillar To Post is all about this, with two people repeatedly swapping bodies and attempting to destroy the less-desirable body in the process.
  • Old Man's War: At the climax of The Ghost Brigades, Charles Boutin pulls a Grand Theft Me on Jared Dirac, a Colonial Special Forces soldier cloned from him. He then hears a message from Jared explaining that, shortly before being taken over, he programmed his body's nanites to self-immolate.
  • Inverted in Bob Shaw's story Waltz of the Bodysnatchers, in which murderers are punished by allowing their bodies to be possessed by their victims. Thus, the cast try to frame their potential victims.
  • In the Cleric Quintet, the MO of the assassin Ghost was to body swap with his target, murder his weak body with the victim's stronger one, then magically heal the body and swap back, leaving the victim's original body a soulless husk.
  • Szczególnie trudny teren by Janusz Zajdel is about a guy's efforts to get rid of a Body Snatcher alien. He gets the opportunity upon meeting someone else with a different Body Snatcher alien in his head and setting the aliens against each other.
  • Happens to several Jumpers (individuals with the ability to switch bodies with anyone in their line of sight and even force two different people to undergo the "Jump") in Wild Cards.
    • A Jumper tried to switch bodies with a bear proxy of Lazy Dragon, a powerful ace that can possess animal depictions such as carved pieces of soap or origamis. Apparently, their powers do not mix well, Lazy Dragon is forcefully thrown back into his real body and the Jumper's mind is destroyed, leaving her catatonic.
    • Another Jumper tries to possess the Oddity, a joker with three different personalities who share a single body. The Jumper replaces only one of those personalities and the other two prevent him from taking control and eventually kill him.
    • Some Jumpers accepted a pardon offer from the government, which came with the condition to perform one last triple-Jump switch for selected VIP senior citizens. The scheme (as already used by the Jumpers' freelancers) would have granted the VIPs new young bodies, those bodies' original inhabitants would have been dumped into old decrepit bodies, and the Jumpers would keep their bodies. Unknown to the Jumpers, the Card Sharks' conspiracy members within the military changed the plan to stiff the Jumpers. The VIPs set up wills with the Jumpers' bodies as beneficiaries and were locked in cells with one-way mirrors for windows. This rendered the Jumpers unable to leave the decrepit bodies. After the Jumps were made, the decrepit bodies were killed, disposing of the Jumpers and granting the Card Sharks a crop of young-again and suddenly very rich members.
  • The short story "Subterraneans" by William Shunn and Laura Chavoennote  revolves around pills called "subs" (though in-story it's short for "substitute", not "subterranean") that allow the user to pull a temporary Grand Theft Me. If two people take them at the same time and make eye contact, they can do a "Freaky Friday" Flip. At the end of the story, protagonist Shirley tricks the club owner into doing a "swap" with her, swallowing a Cyanide Pill at the same time as the sub to kill her old body.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Crusade, the crew has to deal with an alien consciousness that can take over other beings through physical contact and spread itself to as many people as it pleases. However, it can't survive without a host, so it removes itself from anyone about to die. This fact is used to trick it into abandoning all its hosts and hijacking someone that, in an accident earlier in the episode, was rendered brain-dead. The alien realizes too late it's trapped itself in a body that is completely paralyzed. Gideon then chucks the body out an airlock and has the body blown up for good measure.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu supplement Curse of the Chthonians, adventure "The Curse of Chaugnar Faugn". Just before Professor Staunton changes bodies with the investigator for the last time, he sedates the body he's in. After he changes, he locks his old body in a room so that it will take longer for the other investigators to find the body and figure out what's going on.

    Video Games 
  • In The Witch's House, the titular witch is revealed to have cut off her own legs and gouged out her eyes before convincing Viola to trade bodies with her, leaving her blind and crippled.
  • A variation in Don't Escape: The player character is a werewolf, and only has a limited time to make it as difficult for themselves to escape as possible before the transformation happens and they kill again, the goal being to stay inside all night.

    Western Animation 
  • During the "Trading Spaces" episode of Bounty Hamster, Cassie deliberately initiates a swap with the body surfing villain of the week not long after getting her body back, resulting in the following dialogue.
    Hella: Why would you want me to be you again?
    Cassie: Because I just handcuffed myself to a pipe.
    [camera draws back to reveal she's done exactly that]
  • Wander over Yonder: Happens accidentally to the host of The Fancy Party. Turns out the host is a Body Snatcher who needs to get a new body every 1,000 years (it's never made clear if it can only do this every 1,000 years). As it tries to possess Hater, Wander thinks he's choking and performs a Heimlich maneuver on him, purging it out of Hater's body and it lands on Sylvia's sandwich. Thus born Sourdough, The Evil Sandwich, and it's understandably pissed about it.
  • Gravity Falls: In "Carpet Diem", Dipper and Mabel try to curry Stan's favor so he'll let one of them have the recently-discovered spare room in the Mystery Shack to themselves. After Dipper and Mabel accidentally swap minds due to a mysterious static-powered carpet, they try to sabotage one another. This backfires when Mabel (in Dipper's body) insulting Stan actually impresses him, because he thinks Dipper is finally standing up for himself.
  • In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius episode "Trading Faces", Jimmy and Cindy swap minds by accident. Since the two of them hate each other's guts, and this happened at the beginning of the school day, much of the episode consists of the both of them spending the entire day trying to be as annoying and repulsive as possible (one such act resulted in both of them getting their first "F's"), so when they swap back, everyone will hate them.