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Swap Teleportation

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Rincewind: Supposing I end up crushed in the middle of a mountain?
Ponder Stibbons: Can't. The rock'll be brought back here when we do the spell.
Rincewind: So I'll still be in the middle of a mountain but in a me-shaped hole. Oh, good. Instant fossil.

A Teleportation Sub-Trope which removes the possibility of Tele-Frag by making it impossible to be merged with an object.

The way the teleport works, is that two volumes are selected, and then the contents of those areas are swapped. Hence the name, Swap Teleportation.

It also avoids creating a vacuum when the teleportation happens in atmosphere, also avoiding any issues with The Air Not There.

This has been used a few times as a Switch-Out Move.

Supertrope to Ninja Log, often called a "substitution technique".


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Brynhildr in the Darkness: Kotori has the ability to swap places with another person in her field of view and is able to cancel kinetic energy with the teleportation as well. She can only uses it once per day before her Harness immediately hanging up. Despite the limitation of the ability, it proves to be vital when used strategically.
  • A Contractor in the first episode of Darker than Black switches places of two volumes nearby of his choosing, one of which could be himself. Arriving mostly inside a stone wall wasn't any trouble for him. He can even Portal Cut people's vital organs out.
  • Captain Mithrun from Delicious in Dungeon is an expert in weaponizing this form of teleportation. The first time we see him fight, he's able to turn a group of thugs into partial statues with just a touch, making it look like he's using a petrification spell until we see the victims sticking out of the walls and ceiling of the room and realise he's teleporting them into the stonework. Later chapters show he can use it in a much more gruesome way when he doesn't have to worry about keeping his opponent alive, that being to swap smaller objects with parts of their body in order to dismember them.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, this is the basis of Goreinu's abilities. He can summon two gorillas, a black one and a white one, both of whom can move about on their own. Goreinu can instantly switch locations with the black gorilla; he can cause someone else to switch locations with the white one.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: Aoi Todo's signature move Boogie-Woogie can swap the locations of two things that have enough cursed energy in them (Humans, curses and some objects) any time he claps his hands.
  • Naruto: The power Amenotejikara swaps the positions of any two objects in the user's field of vision.
  • One Piece: Among the many things Trafalgar Law can do with his Op-Op Fruit ability is to swap two objects' positions as long as they're both inside his "Room". He can also swap himself with another object or person.

    Comic Books 
  • Captain Marvel:
    • For a time, Captain Mar-Vell was trapped in the Negative Zone, and could only leave when Rick Jones struck together a pair of "Nega-Bands" he wore on his wrists, causing the two to switch places.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy (2020) has a call-back to this, with the two Quasars swapping places when they put their Quantum Bands together. Whoever's swapped out is left floating in a dark void, leaving Wendell to mention he should've brought a book. It's also shown Noh-Varr can do similar, which is used to leave a Corrupt Corporate Executive in an exploding machine that belongs to him.
  • Mortadelo y Filemón: The titular machine from "La máquina del cambiazo" and its sequel "¡La maldita maquinita!" works this way: an object or person is placed inside the machine, coordinates are introduced, and whatever object or person was in those coordinates is swapped with the one in the machine.
  • New Mutants: Lethal Legion: Escapade's power allows her to temporarily swap positions with another person - sometimes she can warp perceptions so that everyone else treats her as the person she's replaced, but the simplest version of this is purely a physical teleport switch. During the first issue's Batman Cold Open she uses this to rapidly swap positions with several U-Men, sometimes acquiring their armour and weapons when she swaps.
  • The preferred form of transportation in Spanners Galaxy — but it can only be performed by swapping the position of sapient beings. This is known as castling, and it's considered polite to ask permission first.
  • Mr Mxyzptlk once banished Superman and Shazam! to another universe but had to replace them with two locals. Unluckily for Mxy, one of them turned out to be Hoppy The Marvel Bunny.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bridge: Gigan has the ability to teleport via a "warp drive", where he swaps position with an equal amount of volume at point B, resulting in a Gigan-sized and -shaped hunk of matter left behind.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Marvels (2023): The powers of Carol Danvers, Monica Rambeau, and Kamala Khan become entangled so that when they use their abilities they swap places with each other, accompanied by enough kinetic energy to knock them flying.
  • Stargate: The ring device that transports people from Ra's ship to the inside of the pyramid works this way, swapping whatever is inside the shipboard device for whatever is inside the remote device. If only part of you is inside the rings when it activates, well...
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: An ancient scepter sends April back in time to 1603 feudal Japan, with a Japanese prince named Kenshin taking her place in the present as he is holding the same scepter in his timeline. The Turtles use the scepter to travel back to Kenshin's time to rescue April, switching places with Lord Norinaga's Honor Guards. The scepter also causes those being swapped across time to switch clothes, which is very convenient for the Turtles as it provides them easy disguises.

  • 1632: When the town of Grantville is sent back in time, what is actually transported is a sphere about seven miles across. That includes the town, some of the outlying farms, and part of the coal mine below the town.
  • In Fine Structure, teleportation works by swapping two areas of space. The very first teleportation experiment results in Anne Poole being sealed in a coal seam. The consequences only get worse from there — later, four scientists are simultaneously killed. Finally, an entire building is teleported underground, and teleportation is excised from the fabric of the universe.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: The massive waves of magical force that make up the Mage Storms have two centers, so the waves often intersect. At certain times and places (there's a pattern but it's never made entirely clear) these intersecting waves of force swap spherical areas - a sphere at one intersection for a sphere at another. It appears that the stronger the waves are, the larger the swapped spheres are, and the farther they travel. In at least one case, the swapped sphere were eight or ten feet across and traveled at least a thousand miles.
  • Interesting Times: Teleportation is an experimental and very dangerous spell. Since the Disc, and everyone on it, is constantly revolving around its axis, teleportation needs to account for the spin or otherwise the target ends up splattered on a wall or spread across the countryside. Therefore, it requires that the subject be swapped with a counterweight of similar weight to balance out the momentum of the trip. Exploited when Rincewind gets teleported away from the Big Bad, leaving in his place a small cannon with a lit fuse... Rincewind has questions concerning whether this entirely solves the Tele-Frag problem:
    Rincewind: Supposing I end up crushed in the middle of a mountain?
    Ponder: Can't. The rock'll be brought back here when we do the spell.
    Rincewind: So I'll still be in the middle of a mountain but in a me-shaped hole. Oh, good. Instant fossil.
  • Island in the Sea of Time (Series): When the Event transports the island of Nantucket back in time, it includes the entire island, a couple of small nearby islands, and a substantial volume of surrounding ocean. An aerial survey right after the Event finds that the past-ocean and transported-ocean are different colors, allowing them to figure that the Event swapped out an elliptical area roughly 23 miles long and 5 miles wide. They never know how high or how deep underground/underwater it went.
  • In Larry Niven's "transfer booth" stories, it is mentioned that the contents of the sending and receiving transfer booths are swapped, part of the generally rigorous exploration of transfer booth physics. However, this swapping behavior never becomes a plot point.
  • The Witling: Doing this to both themselves and other objects and people is one of the main Psychic Powers of the Azhiri, referred to as "renging". They exchange the material to be teleported with an equal volume of matter from the destination. The distance and direction in which things can be renged is apparently unlimited, but in practice, it's limited by the relative velocity of the departure and destination locations due to the rotation of the planet. Additionally, an Azhiri can only reng themselves to locations that they have either been to or seen. Most Azhiri can't seng (another of their powers, basically farsight) over very long distances, but the extremely Talented Guildsmen can seng almost anything and anywhere, which means they can effectively teleport themselves wherever they want. The ability to kill at a distance, "kenging", is Weaponized Teleportation of this trope: The attacker scrambles an enemy's guts or brains by swapping two equivalent volumes of organs or brain matter within the body, killing instantly but leaving no outward injuries.
  • World of Tiers: Swapping teleporters co-exist with portals, and the swapping is explained early on. Usually, the swapped volume is a cylinder wide and high enough to fit a single human, or several.
  • Worm: Trickster can swap-teleport himself or anything within the range of his senses with any other person or object within the range of his senses. The closer the two people/objects are in shape/size/volume, the easier and faster he can do it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "The Poison Sky", The Dragon Luke Rattigan pulls a Redemption Equals Death by switching places with the Doctor using one of these, taking his place in the Suicide Mission to stop the Sontarans. This is how he chooses to interpret the Doctor's parting instruction to "Do something clever with your life."
  • Ohsama Sentai King-Ohger:
    • One of Goma Rosalia's techniques allows him to swap locations with any person or object he chooses. This ability comes in handy for dodging attacks and putting his opponent in the path of danger at the same time. However, this ability leads to his doom in episode 39 when Hilbil plants a hypnotic suggestion in his mind that causes him to swap with her as she is about to be killed by the King-Ohgers.
    • In #46, Grodie attacks Dagded for preventing him from dying. Dagded teleports away and leaves Kamejim to take the hit for him in his place.
  • Stargate-verse: All based off Ancient technology:
    • Stargate SG-1: The Goa'uld ring devices, which turn out to be appropriated Ancient tech like most of their stuff. They appear to be a set of five miniature stargates that descend or ascend around the objects to be transported and they swap place with whatever's at the other end. They're ubiquitous in Goa'uld ships and bases, and are compatible with similar ring devices found in Ancient ruins (such as Avalon and Antarctica) and Ori ships as well.
    • Stargate Atlantis: The city of Atlantis (and, presumably, all the other Ancient mobile cities of the same design) has its own internal teleportation system which lacks any kind of special effect except a descending light through stained-glass doors (which seems to imply that they are merely a redesigned ring platform), that seems to function like this. If both platforms being used are occupied, anything on them simply swap places. Presumably, if a platform is empty, it works the same way, just unnoticeably.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Displaced", the crew of Voyager are being swapped with aliens one by one. The aliens pretend they don't know what's going on, but this is actually their method of taking over a ship.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 3.5 Edition: The benign transposition spell swaps two nearby targets in the vicinity, who must be willing to be teleported, while the higher-level baleful transposition also affects unwilling targets. In exchange for those restrictions, they're available very early in the Class and Level System.
    • 5th Edition: Wizards who specialize in Conjuration gain a short-range teleport ability that can optionally be used to swap places with a willing target.
    • 1st Edition AD&D module I6 Ravenloft. In the area under Castle Ravenloft, there are a set of crypts holding undead monsters known as wights. Each time a Player Character passes through a teleport trap, they are transported into one of the crypts and a wight is teleported out of the crypt to take the Player Character's place. To anyone watching, it appears that the Player Character has turned into a wight.
  • Legend System: The Tactician's spell "Dimensional Swap" teleports two willing creatures into each other's squares.
  • Pathfinder has the Paladin spell king's castle, which swaps the caster with a nearby ally

    Video Games 
  • In Archon, the Exchange spell swaps the position of one of the player's units with one of the opponent's units. It can't be used to wrest control of Power Points from the opponent due to their inherent Anti-Magic properties, though.
  • The Binding of Isaac: The "Stitches" active item from the Repentance expansion gives you a doll that can be moved with the fire buttons. Activating Stitches will make Isaac instantly swap places with the doll, which also damages nearby enemies and briefly makes Isaac invulnerable. Stitches recharges after a few seconds, letting it be used multiple times per room.
  • Divinity: Original Sin and Divinity: Original Sin II:
    • The spell Nether Swap exchanges two nearby characters, who may be allies, enemies, or the spellcaster. This can be extremely valuable in a combat system that emphasizes crowd control, Geo Effects, and tactical movement.
    • In the second game, the Cat Familiar has a unique skill that it can use to swap places with its summoner.
  • Dota 2: The Vengeful Spirit's ultimate ability, Nether Swap, exchanges her position with another hero within a certain range.
  • Get Amped: The accessory called "Teleport Ball" is a Teleport Gun slash Arm Cannon that shoots a ball of teleportation. If it hits an enemy, you will switch places with said enemy.
  • Ghost Trick: Missile's ghost trick allows them to swap any two objects regardless of size if their silhouettes have the same shape from the perspective of the game's static camera angle. This also swaps any momentum they may have had at the time of the swap, as demonstrated when they replace a bullet mid-flight with a yarn hat.
  • Heat Signature: "Swapper" is one of the three available portable teleporter types. Its basic function is to swap the current Player Character's position with that of another living character (usually a guard) on the current map and can be used to access otherwise inaccessible locations.
  • Heroes of the Storm:
    • Artanis' Phase Prism ability lets him switch positions with the first enemy hero it contacts.
    • Samuro can use Image Transmission to swap places with one of his Mirror Images, combining this with a Ninja Log.
  • Into the Breach: Multiple:
    • The Flame Behemoths team's science mech is Swap Mech, a small, fast flying unit that starts with the ability to swap places with any other unit within range but no direct damage of its own. It's one of the most versatile positioning abilities in the game, whether extending the movement of allies or dropping enemy Vek into open water.
    • Teleport pads on Detritus's company island will swap two targets occupying connected pads.
  • League of Legends: Urgot's original ultimate, Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser, would let him do this with an enemy Champion after a brief channel time, also briefly slowing the target down, terrifying any other enemies near his arrival point, and reducing damage he receives. It was a very awkward ability that didn't synergise with the rest of his kit or his intended role, so when he was relaunched it was dropped completely.
  • The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages: The Switch Hook (and its upgraded version, the Long Hook) use this principle for a Teleport Gun with a Grappling-Hook Pistol aesthetic, allowing Link to fire it at loose objects like enemies or clay pots and instantly swap positions with them.
  • Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe: The Flash and Scorpion switch places as the convergence begins. While Batman understood that it was a teleportation event, Liu Kang mistook Flash for Shang Tsung in disguise.
  • The main puzzle-mechanic of Obduction is the use of "swappers": devices that can switch spherical chunks of landscape, occupants and all, between one location and another. As your character is far from the first to have used this mechanic, the landscape of the four settings you can swap between is already a Patchwork Map of round bits from the other three, as well as swapped chunks of the settings' respective worlds of origin.
  • Outer Wilds: The quantum rocks can do this with any sort of object under their influence like trees and monuments, but only when you look away from them. They can even take the place of another object temporarily, teleporting it to another location.
  • Pokémon: The move Ally Switch, introduced in Generation 5, allows the user to swap places with its partner in a Double Battle. It being a Psychic-type move implies teleportation is involved. The move Trick from Generation 3 is also a psychic type move that switches held items between the user and the target.
  • Red Alert 3: The Chrono Swap power switches two units' positions instantly. However, it only works for vehicles, and both units end up stunned after using it.
  • Rocket League: One of the power-ups in Rumble Mode will swap your car with an opponent's car. You two will also swap position, direction, velocity, and orientation. Have fun.
  • Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate: Castle, a rare (and dangerous) white card, allows the White King to swap places with a Rook whenever he would take damage, with the Rook taking damage instead. If you're vertically/horizontally lined up with the King when that happens, and the Rook survives the attack, you will be checkmated on the spot, ending your run unless you have Black Mist to save you, but an update made it such that the Rook can no longer checkmate you instantly after a swap.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, one of the items in the monitors in the 2-Player mode is a teleportation power-up. When hit, Sonic and Tails switch places. There's an option in the Options menu that lets you decide whether or not you want every monitor in this mode to have teleportation power-ups inside them.
  • Warframe: Loki's Switch Teleport lets him switch places with a target, be it an ally or an enemy.
  • XCOM 2: War of the Chosen: The Templar is a Psionic Magic Knight with two abilities that can do this; Invert allows them to switch places with an enemy, and Exchange lets them switch places with one of their squadmates.

    Web Comics 
  • Starslip: The titular drive system works by swapping the ship and its contents with a counterpart in another universe that's already at the destination. The issues become quickly apparent.

    Web Original 
  • Afterlife SMP: Players with the Vampire origin are able to swap places with other entities. While it initially seems like a fun gimmick, but by combining that with another ability of the origin, the high jump, Scott sets a couple of his fellow players up to fall to their deaths.
  • WitchCraft SMP: An acquired ability of Illusionary Witches is to switch places with another player within a certain radius, even when in the air.

    Western Animation 
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • One of Doofenshmirtz's inventions is the Chicken-Replace-Inator, which replaces anything with the nearest chicken. It comes in handy during Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe, where it's used to save the heroes from a dragon-like creature, then to teleport them back to Earth (by setting it to furthest chicken), and finally, to defeat the Big Bad by sending it back to its planet.
    • Another one of his inventions is the Switch-Place-Inator, which switches the places of whatever two things it hits.