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Thinking Up Portals

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In science fiction, fantasy, and superhero stories, many times a character will need to get somewhere else in a hurry. And obviously, there are few ways faster than Teleportation. But simply appearing can lack a certain... pizzazz that stepping out of a hole in the air can certainly grant, all the more so if you generated it yourself.

This trope involves characters who can create a portal using their superpowers or magical powers, or by having personal portal-generating equipment added as part of a Cyborg Upgrade. Note that if the portal isn't the sort that requires you to step or jump into it, it probably isn't this trope, and if it requires any external equipment, it's likely part of a Portal Network instead.

If the character creates portals by physically cutting them open, that's a Dimensional Cutter.


People with portal powers can sometimes weaponize them via a Portal Cut. The name is derived from the "Thinking With Portals" tagline of the Portal video games. note 


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    Anime & Manga 
  • One of Doraemon's gadgets is the Short-Cutter which, as its name suggests, is a cutter that cuts spacetime, creating a portal linking two locations together.
  • In Digimon, the extremely powerful but rarely-appearing MagnaAngemon has "Gate of Destiny" as his primary attack. It can send enemies through a portal into Another Dimension, and trap them there permanently.
  • Janemba, villain of Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn, has this as part of his overall Reality Warper package. He uses it to send one of Goku's ki attacks right back at him, and to fire one of his own point-blank. His "Illusion Smash" is him thinking up a portal and punching the poor sap from a distance. He sometimes combines it with an even weirder trick called "Bunkai Teleport" - turning into jigsaw pieces that blink out of existence and reappear elsewhere.
    • Super Buu and Gotenks' Vice Shout, where they scream so loud it tears holes in dimensions. He uses it to escape the Hyperbolic Time Chamber after the door was destroyed. Buy says if left unchecked, this ability could destroy the universe.
    • God Zamas in Dragon Ball Super can open small portals near his opponents then kicks and punches through them. He later opens several and knocks Goku through most of them.
  • Tohru from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid can make portals that lead anywhere, even between worlds, without any apparent limit. It doesn't seem to be a power that all dragons have, since Elma can't make them (she gets stranded on Earth as a result).
  • World Trigger has Mira, a Neighbor whose Trigger can create portals, which she uses to rescue allies, but can also be used as spikes to stab enemies.
  • Blueno from One Piece ate the Door Door Fruit, which allows him to open doors in anything, including air and people. One of his attacks involves turning someone's face into a revolving door and sending it spinning.
  • In the universe of FLCL, people with certain kinds of brains are capable of channeling something called N.O. to generate portals inside their heads. The series starts with Haruko activating one such portal in Naota's head (linked to the mysterious Medical Mechanica building in the center of town,) out of which comes havoc-wreaking Killer Robots and the occasional electric guitar and eventually the all-powerful, imprisoned pirate king Atomsk, whom Haruko was looking for in the first place.

    Comic Books 

DC Comics

  • Gates from Legion of Super-Heroes was a bug-like alien with the mutant power to create, well, gates—small portals that he and his teammates could use to travel long distances. His portals also have sharp edges that can destroy anything they open inside of (like Ra's al-Ghul's arm). Because his power could often break the story, Gates was often a victim of The Worf Effect.
  • The New Gods, the ones from Apokolips and New Genesis alike, can use Boom Tubes to teleport across interstellar distances.
  • Nightshade can teleport using existing shadows or cast disks of darkness as Extradimensional Shortcut portals through her realm.
  • Sideways: Derek has the ability to open rifts in the fabric of spacetime at his fingertips and swipe them across the air to make them large enough to walk through to any person or place he can think of.
  • The Shade's shadow powers allow him to create portals.
  • Tempest from Atari Force series can create portals through which he can travel through different planes of the Multiverse, although he can only carry inanimate objects safely through the portals; living creatures end up destroyed.

Marvel Comics

  • Heroes Doorman and Spot have portal-based teleportation as their powers, while villain Black Hole, a "living singularity", could suck objects through a portal in his body to another dimension.
  • Magik from X-Men can create portals as her mutant power. It kind of blurs the line between scientific and mystical since her power is connected to a Hell dimension of which she is Domain Holder and Depending on the Artist her portals are drawn as fiery pentacles.
  • Shatterstar from X-Factor can create portals by channeling his powers through his swords.
  • In The New Universe Psi-Force series, Sedara Bakut can create door-like portals in space.
  • Miss America Chavez from Young Avengers can kick star-shaped portals between universes.
  • Another portal creating mutant is Blink:
    • The first Blink is the one from Earth-616 who most mutants thought died during an alien invasion by using her "blink wave" but end getting stuck in another dimension until Selene freed her. It wasn't known what her true power was at first; she shredded things apart by 'blinking' them to pieces with a visual effect that would only work in a comic book. Eventually revealed that she'd basically done a Portal Cut without knowing it. Eventually we'd meet a version of her that had mastered it, specifically:
    • The second Blink is the one from the famous X-Men story, Age of Apocalypse, who become the leader of Exiles. In addition to portals to anywhere, she can create solid-looking javelin-like energy projections that when thrown, will teleport the target to a place of Blink's choosing. She can Portal Cut you if need be, but is The Cape enough to not actually do it.



    Fan Works 
  • Constants and Variables, a BioShock/Harry Potter Crossover fanfic. When Voldemort detaches from Quirrell and goes after Harry, Elizabeth opens a tear in front of him, stranding it in the middle of the ocean.
  • In Of Quirks And Magic, Izuku learns how to open portals at will from Dr. Strange and makes extensive use of them to disorient his foes, warp out of danger, and redirect allied attacks to hit from unexpected angles. By the time he gets to U.A., he can casually open a portal from Japan to New York.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live Action 

  • In The Mortal Instruments, warlocks can do this, although the spell is fairly advanced. The Clave often hires them to provide portals as necessary. Clary can also do it, thanks to a rune revealed to her by the angel Ithuriel. However, it is not one of the runes from the Gray Book, and other Shadowhunters do not seem to be able to learn it, or at least are unwilling to try.
  • Night Watch: This is how powerful Others teleport. They create portals to anywhere in the world. In one book, a villain needed to get to the ISS, so he created a portal into orbit... but probably forgot to carry the 2 in calculating the destination, and ended up floating in space, helpless (the Others need humans nearby in order to use magic), until he burned up on re-entry.
  • In the Nightrunner series, the Translocation spell works by creating a portal through which people and objects can pass. It was an evolution of an older spell that created a "window" between remote locations for viewing and communication.
  • Oscar Britton from the Shadow Ops books specializes in this.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • The main characters rediscover the lost talent of Traveling, which creates square, razor-sharp portals between two locations. It only works in areas the user knows well, but a related talent, Skimming, gets the same effect a little more slowly with a shortcut through the Void Between the Worlds.
    • Androl, an otherwise talentless Asha'man, has such an incredible talent for creating Traveling portals that he can redirect offensive spells at will, throw the heart of a volcano at an oncoming army, and give his teacup endless refills.
  • In The Demonata series of books, Kernel Fleck has this ability to create portals with the lights he can see from birth to all different universes and locations.
  • Journey to Chaos: Creating a portal is one of the most difficult forms of magic. The first person shown to be capable of it was Nulso Xialin, a greater mage and a veteran ordercrafter and even then he needed a Background Magic Field created by his patron god through a monument. With this boost he created a perfectly symmetrical hole between Roalt castle and Southern Ataidar so he could drag Annala through it and towards eternal slavery. For the second portal he tried to drain the required energy from her Seed of Chaos.
  • Door in Neverwhere has the power to turn any mundane doorway into a portal to a location of her choice just by opening it. Her entire family has this rare power, but by the time the story begins she's the Last of Her Kind, and being hunted.
  • A lot of mages in the Alex Verus series can do it. A lot of elemental mages have it as one of their Combo Platter Powers that isn't one of their Elemental Powers.
    • Alex himself has stones that open portals when he pours Mana into them (each stone opens a portal to a different location) that risk portal cutting him if he loses concentration halfway through.
  • Some supers in and have varying forms of this instead of teleportation.
  • How teleportation actually work in Jumper. Millie videos David teleporting and after examining the stills, they notice a "David shaped doorway" appear in the air and move around him.
  • In the Whateley Universe, Gateway has found out she has this power. She has been able to summon beings from other dimensions, like Rythax, and also things like fire elementals. And she's learned it's a really fun power to abuse.
  • Worm
    • Phir Sē can create portals that send things forwards or backwards in time.
    • Doormaker can also create portals anywhere in the world or between alternate realities.
    • Taylor/Khepri takes this trope quite literally when she starts thinking in portals.
  • In Pact, Faysal Anwar can do this, as befitting a Gatekeeper of the First Ring. In a variation, he can also choose what doors are available to others, although he cannot explicitly bar any paths.
  • In Saga of Soul, Eriko uses them in impressive ways, such as weaponizing seawater through pressure and the Earth's rotation.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Valkyries from Charmed can create portals to travel to and from Valhalla.
  • Moya, the living starship in Farscape, has a FTL drive called "Starburst". It essentially consists of the ship generating a large portal, slinging it into its path, and then diving through it.
  • In S2E1 of Torchwood, renegade Time Agent John Hart arrives in 21st Century Cardiff this way, perhaps taking advantage of the existing space-time rift that invisibly runs through the city to supplement his usual time travel technology. A glowing portal opens and he just saunters out onto the roof of a carpark.
  • Kamen Rider Drive has an odd variation on this with the Dimension Cab Shift Car. Since Drive wears his Shift Cars' tires like a sash across his chest, he can only send his head, part of his chest, and right arm through the portal (he can pull objects through the portal, but only if they fit the fixed radius, which is about the size of a standard automobile tire).
    • Dimension Cab itself can generate portals even when it's not in use, but they're only about an inch and a half wide, big enough to transport tiny objects like Cab itself or a bullet aimed at Drive....
  • On The Flash (2014), Cisco can do this, although on the show they call them "breaches" rather than portals. Other breachers are introduced later, such as his Earth-2 Evil Doppelgänger, calling himself Reverb (Cisco normally prefers Vibe). Cisco then meets an interdimensional Bounty Hunter code-named Gypsy, with whom they have a Slap-Slap-Kiss relationship, followed by him meeting her scary Hispanic father Breacher. At least one unnamed breacher is also said to exist on Earth-1, ferrying people between worlds for a price. Earth-X also has a Cisco/Vibe, who is a member of La Résistance. It's shown that, occasionally, other metahumans can use already-open breaches. Speedsters can run fast enough to stabilize an existing (but unstable) breach, and one is kept perpetually open in S.T.A.R. Labs for Jesse and Jay to use. Siren-X (Nazi Laurel Lance from Earth-X) was able to keep one of Cisco's breaches from closing with her Canary Cry, allowing her to step through.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Marko's superpower is the ability to create portals that can teleport objects from one location to another, directly inspire by Voyd.
    • Harriet has a variation in that she can create miniature portals for her spear to teleport through.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Scion, characters who learn Boons from the Psychopomp purview can do this: Rainbow Bridge (Psychopomp 7) lets a character teleport anywhere in the World, and Otherworldly Portal (Psychopomp 9) allows a character to teleport between planes of existence.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 2nd Edition psions could manifest "Wormholes," creating a large portal for a short time
    • In later years, the short-range teleport spell Dimension Door spell was reflavored to fit this trope. (In some D&D-inspired video games, a wizard casting this spell literally steps through a portal.)
    • The top-level spell Gate creates a temporary portal between two planes of existence — and, if the caster wants, summons something in from the other side.
  • Teleportation in Mage: The Awakening starts off like this, before the mage learns to dispense with the portals and just be elsewhere.

    Video Games 
  • In Absorption, though you can't create portals, you need to replace existing ones to solve puzzles.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Corridors of Darkness can be opened by anybody who gets too close to the Darkness.
  • The Shifters in The Longest Journey can open portals to Arcadia at will.
  • Prey (2006)'s Hunters and Harvesters travel around the Sphere via portals that the Mother creates for them; it's very usual for you hear the familiar hissing sound their gates make, and seconds later find yourself ambushed from all sides. The Keepers, being higher up in the hierarchy, can use their cybernetics or Psychic Powers to jump around you mid-battle.
  • Touhou: Yukari Yakumo is known for her "gaps", and actually sits on one in her portrait.
  • Teleportation spells in The Witcher appear to work in this fashion.
  • Amidatelion of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers has the power of Summon Magic, which manifests this way.
  • Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup has the Passage of Golubria spell, which creates two temporary portals, one at a targeted point and one near the caster. Stepping into one warps you to the other, though each portal collapses as you walk through it. While blinking is a more convenient way to jump to a different spot, this spell is still usable by characters wearing an amulet of stasis.
  • Peacock in Skullgirls uses her Synthetic Parasite, the Avery Unit, to make portable holes appear. This is how she summons her cornucopia of cartoonish weaponry to use in battle, and how she's able to teleport. The portals are shaped like her eyes—look closely enough at some of her animations, and you'll see that her eyeholes are portals, too. On top of this, she somehow she managed to figure out how to use the Avery Unit to bend reality itself as well as space, too.
  • Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite has the power to open "tears" into other realities. Initially her control over them is haphazard, but as the game progresses and she gets further from the siphon in her tower, she's able to conjure supplies, cover and allies for the player, or even enter Alternate Universes. By the end of the game this has extended to the point where she's basically a god, moving herself and whatever she wants freely through universes, space, and time.
  • The boss "Dimension Diver" from G-Darius uses this, allowing him to attack from the background and the foreground.
  • After reaching a certain level, mages in World of Warcraft are able to conjure portals to transport themselves and party members to the major cities in their respective factions.
  • In the first Black & White game, the player-controlled deity can learn to create stable portals for their villagers to use. This can be expanded into a full Portal Network, as long as they have the Mana flow to keep them all open.
  • In Injustice 2 Darkseid conjures up a Boom Tube without a Mother Box and uses one in his Limit Break, throwing his full sized hand to crush the minuscule opponent before tossing them back onto the stage.
  • The boss Dominion from Sundered can create portals with his eldritch magic, which he uses to attack the player by either summoning crawler minions or throwing punches with giant fists made of tentacles.
  • Pokémon:
    • Hoopa is a Pokemon that is capable of using its rings as portals. They apparently link to other dimensions. At least one of these holds a pocket dimension that can fit entire islands. It is even implied to be the one who moves the mirage islands around in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
    • Solgaleo and Lunala and their pre-evolved forms Cosmog and Cosmoem are capable of opening Ultra Wormholes, which lead to Ultra Space. This ability is actually dangerous for Cosmog.
  • Zander's portal is one of his most important abilities in Battlerite. Any teammate who enters it can choose where to teleport to, and are removed from the fight, making them invincible. With the right Battlerites, they also might gain extra effects when exiting the portal, such as a shield or speed boost.

    Web Animation 
  • Raven Branwen from RWBY can create portals to people she has a bond with. As of the end of Volume 5, three people have been confirmed to share such a bond with her.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Killer's Dimension Claw move, which he can use to emerge out of anything, including other people.
    • Killer Monster can create a fiery wall that leads to his realm.
    • Psycho Man can create a pink and orange portal.
  • Dreamscape: Vladmare can create dark-red portals, and he specializes in weaponizing them.
    • Drake can create portals to alternate locations, and even alternate universes!

  • Desdemona in Evil, Inc. can manifest portals for traveling through - completely or partly, or simply for slipping other things through (and even holding them open while ropes pushed through are manipulated on the other side).
  • Drake in Gold Coin Comics has the power to conjure a teleportation portal.
  • In The Order of the Stick:
    • Some Fiends can conjure portals to travel between the Planes.
    • Tarquin's psion associate Laurin can conjure up Wormholes large enough to march an army through.
  • Beam from The New Guard.
  • Anpu of Godslave can teleport himself and Edith over short distances when need arises.
  • Mysterious Monocle Man from The Free Willies is able to create portals from his realm to the human realm (usually, with a snap of his fingers or a clap). The Jamnitor can also do this, but he does it with less pizzazz.

    Western Animation 
  • In Adventure Time, the Door Lords can throw magical keys at any spot they choose, and it will create a door between that spot and wherever they choose to go. The doors can apparently be in any position or angle they want.
  • In Danny Phantom, Wulf can create portals to the Ghost Zone at will. Danny's evil alternate-future self can do the same.
  • Breach from Generator Rex can create portals to and from anywhere she wants as long as she can move her giant second set of arms. Though, she can apparently do it by instinct without them.
  • As an Eliatrope, Yugo from Wakfu can create teleportation portals. Shushu king Rushu is particularly interested in acquiring Yugo since Eliatrope portals are the only means of travel off the Shushu world. Adult Eliatropes such as Qilby are even better at this, being able to generate multiple pairs of portals at once, and Anathar uses his Power Copying abilities for outright Portal Spam.
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), sparkling, round portals were popular for traveling to distant locations and other dimensions. Individual characters like Skeletor were shown to be able teleport normally. But portals were favored, especially when bringing multiple people from place to place.
  • The Hollow: The Weird Guy can generate portals to any location he pleases, which he does upon request. Players only get three, though, and he refuses to teleport them to the exit.
  • This is a favorite technique of the Enchantress from The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!. Using her magic, she can create portals that transport herself and her allies out of the way of attacks, from place to place, or even between the realms. She is the only Asgardian shown in the series who can create portals using her own innate abilities. Thor and the Executioner use their hammer and axe, respectively, if they need to move between the realms.
  • Soundwave of Transformers Prime is directly connected to the Decepticon systems, which enables him to open space bridge portals anywhere he wants. Summoning a portal to remove threats rapidly becomes his Signature Move as the series goes on. And eventually proves his undoing when the heros anticipate this tactic and open their own portal next to it, the interaction sending Soundwave to the Shadowzone.
  • Steven Universe's magical pet Lion can create portals with his roars.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Chancellor Neighsay is capable of creating glowing blue-and-black portals to appear where he wants at a moment's notice, instead of employing the direct teleportation that other unicorns use.
  • In Teen Titans Go!, Raven can generate portals to any feasible location. This becomes a running gag in the movie where Raven uses her portals to solve nearly every obstacle.


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