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Spinning Out of Here

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[Merlyn] stood on his toes ... began to spin on them slowly like a top—spun faster and faster till he was only a blur of greyish light—and in a few seconds there was no one there at all.

In fantasy and science fiction works, teleportation (in some sort of form) frequently appears as a common form of travel. Often, the person teleporting will trigger the teleportation by spinning in place. Alternatively, the entry into teleportation may not involve rotation, but the actual travel spins the traveler.

While a reason may sometimes be given for the spinning, it often occurs primarily because it looks (or sounds) cool or because spinning signals to the viewer that something is going to happen, thus avoiding catching the viewer off guard.

This is a sub-trope of Spectacular Spinning.

If the teleportation device itself spins (as opposed to the people spinning within the device), it's When Things Spin, Science Happens. The tropes are similar in that in both cases, the spinning occurs either to invoke Rule of Cool or to avoid confusing the audience.

Note that this trope can apply to all forms of magical transportation; teleportation is just its most common form.


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    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In Harry Potter:
    • Apparition is triggered by spinning in place. Travel by Floo sends the traveler spinning to their destination. In the movie, transit by Portkey is depicted with the passengers whirling around the Portkey.
    • The Floo powder example is parodied in A Very Potter Musical: using Floo powder involves the characters spinning in place and shouting "Floo powder power! Floo powder power!" while all lights go dark except random flashing colors.
  • Merlyn in The Once and Future King always spins around before he disappears in a cloud of smoke.
  • In Robert Sheckley's Prospector's Special, portals look like tiny whirlwinds.
  • In the German pulp series Professor Zamorra, the demon lord Asmodis traditionally teleports by invoking the spell and spinning in place, pulling any 'passengers' he may have along with him. This seems to be mainly a personal quirk since other teleportation techniques and technologies in the series generally don't require this (though movement in general is a necessary component for at least some, making being tied up tightly enough still an issue for the would-be teleporter).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: The TARDIS spins as it flies through the Time Vortex.

    Video Games 

    Web Video 
  • Stampy's Lovely World: A variation. How Stampy's teleporter works involve him pressing a button to reappear in a different teleporter, i.e. a bit like a lift/elevator. The teleportation motion involves the user spinning in a circle.

    Western Animation 
  • In Code Lyoko, the teens rotate in the scanners before being transported to Lyoko.
  • In the Regular Show episode "Dizzy", when the characters spin around until they fall over, they are sent to a bizarre otherworld.
  • The Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes is probably the Trope Codifier for non-teleportation methods, spinning itself into a whirlwind to travel.
  • Peter of Family Guy tried to travel back in time by spinning on the spot. He ended up getting dizzy and breaking his father-in-law's glass table.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, the Toiletnator spins when he makes an exit... but that's because he's "flushing himself" down a toilet.