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Voices Are Not Mental

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Sometimes, characters swap bodies. When this happens, these characters will often swap voices as well. This is especially common in animation, due to Rule of Perception.

Well, This Is Not That Trope. This is when voices do not switch with characters' minds, which results in their actors having to approximate each others' vocal range and mannerisms instead. Can double as The Cast Show Off, as they essentially get to do impressions of each other's characters, in character.


Contrast Voices Are Mental for when voices stay with the original mind. Aversions and inversions go there.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • During Cardcaptor Sakura's "Freaky Friday" Flip episode, Kero and Syaoran's voices remain the same, but their speech patterns and mannerisms are noticeably swapped which does not go unnoticed by Meiling and Tomoyo. Kero as Syaoran claims that Kero's Osaka dialect must have rubbed off on him due to them hanging out together so much.
  • This was true in a Hentai OVA, fittingly called Body Transfer. Plausibly enough the voices of Internal Monologues remain the same from one body to another.
  • In Naruto, when Ino uses her Mind-Body Transfer jutsu, she always speaks with her host's voice.
  • In original Japanese dub of Murder Princess Alita and Falis switch voices when they switch bodies. However, their voices do not swap in the English dub.
  • Used very creepily in Black Lagoon with Hansel and Gretel. Each takes turns being Hansel or Gretel, and when they switch identities, their voices switch too. When there is only one "twin" left, the voice switching is creeeeepy.
  • In the first OVA for the To Love-Ru first anime, Rito is turned into a girl, but has the same voice. However, in future appearance (in Motto and the Darkness anime) "Riko" instead has a female voice (but the same voice actor) for speaking while his Inner Monologue remains in his male voice.
  • Happens in Kokoro Connect, where no indication is given of two characters switching bodies.
  • Used in the "Freaky Friday" Flip episode of Fairy Tail, primarily because it's funnier that way. A less funny and much more unsettling variation occurs when Irene temporarily switches bodies with Wendy.
  • Occurs in Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! when Mahiro and Nyarko suffer a "Freaky Friday" Flip.
  • In Dragon Ball Super, when Zamasu switches bodies with Goku, his voice is also switched along with him. Goku Black therefore speaks with Goku's voice, but his speech pattern and dialect are very different, meaning it's generally easy to tell the difference.
  • In Little Witch Academia (2017), Akko finds herself turned into a duplicate of Diana, complete with Diana's voice.
  • In Gregory Horror Show, when Gregory and his grandson James have their souls put into one another's bodies, they both speak with the voice of the body they're inhabiting.
  • In the "Freaky Friday" Flip episode of Galaxy Angel, the characters talk with the voice of whatever body they're in. The way they speak is still affected, as each VA's imitate the speech pattern of whoever is curently in their character's body, with for exemple Forte in Millefeuile body being voiced by Millefeuille's Seiyuu, but talking in a lower voice than usual and rolling the Rs like Forte. Seiyuus, swap several times in the episode, and it's still easy to keep track of who occupy which body.
  • In Gintama's Soul Switch arc, where Gintoki and Hijikata switched bodies, they use their respective bodies' voices (Tomokazu Sugita voices Hijikata-in-Gintoki's-body and Kazuya Nakai voices Gintoki-in-Hijikata's-body).
  • Used in Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches whenever the characters switch bodies with each other (which is often), though their inner monologues are still in their normal voices.
  • In the anime adaptation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo, used when Chariot Requiem is created and swaps the bodies of the gang, the respective voice actors for the characters are kept for their bodies but their mannerisms and delivery change to represent the spirit now inhabiting the body .
  • When Tilarna and Chloe the cat get swapped in Cop Craft, Tilarna can't speak with Chloe's body. Chloe can speak in Tilarna's body, but since she's a cat, she only knows how to say "Kei," her master's name, and calls Cecilia "Ce."
  • In GO-GO Tamagotchi! episode 35, Himespetchi and Neenetchi experience a "Freaky Friday" Flip when they collide into each other, but their voices do not swap to match, unlike in episode 7a of the original installment which goes the opposite direction with Mametchi and Chamametchi.

    Audio Plays 
  • Frequently used in Big Finish Doctor Who:
    • The Curse of Davros: Colin Baker plays Davros in the Sixth Doctor's body, and Terry Molloy plays the Doctor in Davros's body. This is necessary for a couple of reasons, firstly to spring the Tomato Surprise that the Doctor isn't the Doctor, and secondly because if you hear Colin Baker's voice without visual cues, you visualise Colin Baker. Played with by the other mind-swaps: Humans who have the minds of Daleks swapped into them are played by their original actors, but the Daleks-with-human-minds are played by the same actors, given the ring-modulation Dalek voice treatment. Arguably, a Dalek voice, being generated by electronics within the casing, is more mental than a human one.
    • The Widow’s Assassin sees the Sixth Doctor and Peri subjected to a "Freaky Friday" Flip. The result is Colin Baker voicing Peri and Nicola Bryant voicing the Doctor.

    Comic Books 
  • In an early issue of Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom switches bodies with Reed Richards. When Reed escapes the prison Doom had him in, he visits Alicia Masters to ask for help. She immediately realizes that it's not the voice of Mr. Fantastic.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Get Out (2017), Logan King and the the Armitage grandparents take on the voices of their hosts, though they still use their old-timey slang and vocal mannerisms.
  • In Freaky Friday (2003), the body-swap is completely conveyed via word choice and Jamie-Lee Curtis' and Lindsay Lohan's acting.
    • Ditto for its 2017 remake.
  • Zigzagged with Ellie and Jack in The Swap. When their bodies change due to using magical phone totems to make a text message, their body-swap does not switch the voices, but it does switch their thoughts.
  • In Face/Off, when Sean Archer undergoes plastic surgery to assume the physical appearance of Castor Troy, his voice doesn't automatically change. So Dr. Walsh puts an inhibitor into his larynx to modify Archer's voice to sound exactly like Castor's. The reverse is implied to happen when Castor wakes up and forces Dr. Walsh to give him Archer's face.

  • Star Wars Legends: In Galaxy of Fear, if someone's brain has been removed and replaced with another brain, they keep the body's voice, but speak differently.
    • This is probably consistent with what would happen in real life, due to the fact that everyone knows how they speak, so when they try and speak in someone else's body they would try to speak like they would in their own, so they would end up speaking different to the original owner of the voice speaks in the same body.
  • Harry Potter: When one takes Polyjuice Potion to assume the appearance of another person, you assume all of the other person's physical traits including their voice, but your thoughts and memories are still your own. This means that Polyjuice impersonations can be easily spotted by having a Legilimens check the person's memories and thoughts to see if they match up with what's expected of the real person (unless the person doing the impersonating is an Occlumens). In Goblet of Fire, where Barty Crouch Jr. spends the entire school year impersonating Mad-Eye Moody, he spends lengthy amounts of time using the Imperius Curse to glean information out of the real Moody so that he can play the part convincingly enough to fool Dumbledore, a skilled Legilimens.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Used in an episode of The Avengers (1960s) when two enemy agents switch bodies with Steed and Mrs. Peel. Sort of unavoidable, since the bad guys were supposed to be infiltrating British intelligence.
  • Dans une galaxie près de chez vous has a body swap episode between the Captain and Brad, the actors keep their voice but read their line like the other character would.
  • While not a body swap, this happens in Dollhouse when an Active is imprinted with the personality of someone else in the cast, such as when Victor is imprinted with Topher.
  • Done in a majority of the Disney Channel shows that feature a body swap, such as Wizards of Waverly Place, Jessie, Shake it Up and Raven's Home. The only exception to this is Austin & Ally.
  • The Farscape episode "Out of Their Minds" begins with this, just so the viewers get what's going on immediately, by blending the voices of the two people involved. Later in the episode, though, the characters have all reverted to the body's voice, with each actor just using the other's body language and vocal patterns (or trying to).
  • In Stargate SG-1, this trope was used in the first body-swapping episode. The various actors did a hilariously good job of adopting each others' mannerisms, so it was still obvious who was in whose body, though the character with the body swapping technology that instigates the plot shared an actor with the main cast member he swapped bodies with. But in later cases, like the intergalactic communication device that exchanges two people's bodies, they averted the trope and swapped out the actors, so the audience would see the person whose mind was in control, even though the characters were seeing the person whose body was being controlled.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series, this trope is used in Turnabout Intruder".
  • In an episode of Warehouse 13, Pete and Myka switched bodies (thanks to an artifact), but their voices remained the same. To emphasize the switch, the actors (rather impressively) mimicked the other character's mannerisms.

    Video Games 
  • Both played straight and averted in Nicktoons: Globs of Doom whenever Big Bad Globulous Maximus speaks through SpongeBob SquarePants. First, it's merely SpongeBob acting evil; the second time, we start with evil SpongeBob who switches to Globulous' voice mid-sentence (which is the cue needed for Jimmy Neutron to note that he's speaking through him and for Invader Zim to complain about Globulous being a larger ham than him. Yep.) and after that, it's a hammy Dee Bradley Baker "voicing" the yellow guy.
  • Used in Relius' joke ending in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend, which is all about body switching. The voices actors of the characters don't change when they switch bodies, though their tone of voice does change accordingly.
  • Used in the video game adaptation of Jojos Bizarre Adventure part five. Near the end of the game, everyone switches bodies, but they retain the voice of the bodies owner. Their Stands swap with them, though.
  • In response to the ninth Pokémon movie, this trope is used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl with Manaphy's Heart Swap attack when it comes out of a Poke Ball. Making Zelda sound like Donkey Kong and vice versa would be a little weird, in retrospect.
  • Used in Saints Row: The Third when the boss gets plastic surgery to look exactly like Cyrus Temple. The sound of the voice changes appropriately, but the mannerisms remain the same.
  • In Diablo III, when Diablo is reborn in Leah's body at the end of Act III, Leah retains their voice, but it gains a quite menacing contralto to signify that Diablo is in control.
  • In Super Mario Odyssey, anything Captured by Mario keeps its voice. This includes Bowser and Yoshi's iconic voices. Hearing both those voices going "woo-hoo" like Mario is pretty amusing.
  • Happens in Tales of Berseria during a Hot Springs Episode that results in a "Freaky Friday" Flip. Cristina Valenzuela and Amber Connor are convincing as Laphicet and Velvet and Taliesin Jaffe and Erica Mendez are passable as Magilou and Rokurou, but Ben Diskin as Eleanor has a hilariously awful falsetto and Erica Lindbeck as Eizen has just as bad of a baritone.

    Web Original 
  • Used in Dragon Ball Z Abridged: When Goku and Ginyu swap bodies, they speak in their new bodies' voices, but keep their old accents. Goku and Ginyu still think in their normal voices, however.
  • In RWBY when Oscar Pine (Aaron Dismuke) switches control of his body over to Ozpin (Shannon McCormick), he remains voiced by Dismuke, just switching up his performance to match McCormick's cadences. Since Ozpin's death, McCormick's voice has only been heard inside Oscar's head, but Dismuke-as-Ozpin sounds so close to McCormick-as-Ozpin that it's very easy to see why other characters fully believe they're speaking to Ozpin. Voices Are Mental comes into play to a certain extent later on — in a flashback episode in which three previous incarnations of Oz have dialogue, two are voiced by Dismuke and one by McCormick, and sound very much like Ozpin and Oscar.

    Western Animation 
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "She Talks to Angel", Fluttershy and Angel Bunny swap bodies thanks to a potion from Zecora. Angel can't talk to anyone except Fluttershy, because she Speaks Fluent Animal and understands Angel's gestures and body language. When the body swap occurs, Angel gains the ability to talk normally by using Fluttershy's voice. Meanwhile, Fluttershy loses the ability to speak in Angel's body.
  • Used in the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Great Brain Robbery", when Lex Luthor and The Flash exchange bodies, they use the voices belonging to the bodies. The writing staff wrote the episode solely as an Actor Allusion for Smallville fans, since live-action Lex and animated Flash are both played by Michael Rosenbaum. A significant portion of the episode's comedy also comes from the usually sinister vocal stylings of Lex's voice actor, Clancy Brown, playing the goofball Flash for an episode. Among the jokes that saved the episode:
    Luthor (in Flash's body): If nothing else, I can at least learn the Flash's secret identity. (removes mask, looks in mirror. Beat) I have no idea who this is.
    • It gets better, as Lex's regular voice actor performs a hilarious Flash in Lex's body trying very hard to sound evil but coming off as Poke the Poodle instead.
      ["Luthor" tries to leave the men's room]
      Dr. Polaris: Aren't you going to wash your hands?
      Flash (in Luthor's body): No, because I'm evil.
    • Also used in the episode "Dead Reckoning", where characters don't change voices when possessed by Deadman. They do, however, gain his accent and mannerisms.
  • Used in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Criss Cross Conspiracy" when Batwoman (Katrina Moldoff) switched bodies with Batman to take revenge on the Riddler, who had previously unmasked and disgraced her. The voices stay with the bodies, and hearing Diedrich Bader voice Katrina is pretty entertaining (from calling Nightwing 'Darling' to ranting about how much he hates the Riddler), though the writers might have gone a bit overboard in reminding us that we were watching a woman in Batman's body, right down to a Does This Make Me Look Fat? moment.
  • Notably used in Gargoyles; Coldstone has three different personalities, all of which use Coldstone's voice with minor inflections when they're in control of the body. The female personality, the first time she controlled the body, even said "My voice. It's different!"
    • In a later episode, Puck switches the minds of various members of the cast (including all three of Coldstone's alternate personalities) and everyone's voice matches the body, rather than the mind, of the speaker. This is worked into the plots of said episode, as it allows them to conceal which personality is in control of a body until The Reveal. The only subtle change is that Brooklyn and Broadway, who developed American accents early in the series, revert back to their subtly mid-Atlantic gargoyle accents when possessed.
    • Between those two it was sort of used when Wolf was possessed by the Viking Hakon, his ancestor. Both characters are voiced by Clancy Brown, and the ep was written to highlight his ability to talk to himself in the voice of either character; not only do Wolf and Hakon sound very distinct from one another, but Wolf possessed by Hakon has Wolf's voice but Hakon's mannerisms.
  • Used similarly in Transformers Animated with Blitzwing, who also has three personalities and, bizarrely, associated faces; they use the same voice and accent (mostly, since Hothead actually has an Austrian rather than German accent), but have remarkably different inflection.
    • Used again, later in "Where Is Thy Sting?": Wasp tries to switch places with Bumblebee and one of the things he does is switch their voice processors. So after the switch Wasp has speaks with Bumblebee's voice while still maintaining his weird speech patterns and Bumblebee has Wasp's buzzing voice but still talks normally.
    • Used in the Rescue Bots episode "Switcheroo" as well, where the characters retain the original voices of their bodies, yet change mannerisms and personalities of the ones they swapped with. The entire episode idea itself came from the cast goofing off and imitating each others' characters.
  • Also used in the "Freaky Friday" Flip episode of Pirates of Dark Water. Probably for the sake of hearing the monkey-bird's voice do Hulk Speak.
  • Used in the I Am Weasel short "I Architect". Owing to a surgical mishap, Weasel and Baboon's brains are switched. Michael Dorn (Baboon-in-Weasel) imitates Charlie Adler's goofy way of speaking, while Adler (Weasel-in-Baboon) speaks with Dorn's dry precision. The effect is pretty hilarious.
  • Used in a "Freaky Friday" Flip episode of the 1980s version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Splinter and Shredder were swapped, but the voices stayed with the bodies.
  • Used in another "Freaky Friday" Flip episode of Pepper Ann where Pepper Ann and her mother switch but their respective voices stay with their bodies.
  • Used in an episode of 2 Stupid Dogs: the dogs switch minds, but they still have the same voices. It's their mannerisms and the way they talked that switched.
  • Happens in a Lloyd in Space episode where Lloyd and Francine switched minds. The voices stayed with their respective bodies and only their personalities and mannerisms switched. Possibly done because Lloyd's genius friend Douglas would have noticed the obvious change in voice.
  • Used in the sound recording of the incomplete Invader Zim episode "Ten Minutes to Doom". Which is to say, when Dib gets "possessed" by Zim he still sounds like Dib. Just... more evil.
  • Used in the '90s Mega Man cartoon, when Mega Man and Snake Man were switched, but Mega Man even spoke Sssssnake Talk (Snake Man's Verbal Tic) rather than just getting his voice. Snake Man might have been chosen for the plot since he and Mega Man shared the same voice actor, though.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man does this when Spider-man and Wolverine switch bodies. Steve Blum does the panicked and snarky Spider-Man in his Wolverine's voice. It happens again later: Imagine Fred Tatasciore doing it in his Hulk voice! Also, in both these episodes, Drake Bell (Peter/Spidey, gets to show his range a bit.
  • Another instance occurs in Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys. When Captain Simian and Shao Lin do their "Freaky Friday" Flip, each body keeps its own voice, but the voice actors imitate each others' distinctive cadences.
  • Used in The Replacements episode "A Buzzwork Orange", where K and Dick switch bodies. As a result, Dick speaks with a British accent, while K sounds like Betty DeVille.
  • Used in the "The Meteor" episode of Sonic Boom. Sonic and Eggman's bodies retain their voices after the Green Rocks swap them around. Morpho the shapeshifter also uses the voice of whichever character he has transformed into.
  • Done in Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness when Shifu and his ex-girlfriend switch bodies. The voices stay the same which is what makes it hard for Shifu to convince Po and the Furious Five of his identity.
  • This is weirdly zig-zagged in Jackie Chan Adventures. The spirit of the demon dragon Shendu is able to possess humans, and when he possesses Jade, he speaks with her voice. However, Shendu's own voice is heard when he later takes control of Valmont and Jackie.
    • Characters drained of their chi by the chi vampire receive chi transfusions from others and gain their personality and mannerisms but not voice (or knowledge as Jade with Uncle's chi explains).
  • While Voices Are Mental for regular gems in Steven Universe, the eponymous Half-Human Hybrid is the exception in various ways:
    • Unlike other gems, shapeshifting can change Steven's voice. He's changed his age several times, which made him sound older or younger. (Note that regular gems don't age.) When he starts taking larger forms in Steven Universe: Future, they make his voice deeper.
    • In the "The New Lars," Steven accidentally astral projects into Lars' body and controls it for a day. Lars' voice actor, Matthew Moy, combines Lars' usually-sardonic tone with Steven's goofy, upbeat delivery. The premise for the episode may have been inspired by when Moy auditioned for Steven in addition to Lars. This is contrast to White Diamond's power to control gems, which makes them speak in her voice.
  • In the Harvey Beaks episode "Princess Harvey", Harvey and Princess swap bodies after an accident with a magical crystal. When it happens, Harvey's voice actor, Max Charles, and Princess', Andres Salaff, do their best impressions of each other's characters. The result is some pretty hilarious voices, especially from Max Charles as Princess.
  • In the Hero: 108 episode "About Faces", there occurs a mix between "Freaky Friday" Flip and Grand Theft Me where HighRoller uses a magical artifact to swap bodies with Lin Chung so that he could infiltrate Big Green. Aside from their minds, the only thing that changes among them are their manners (e.g. "Lin Chung" having a bad temper instead of remaining calm when the bad guys get away and eating lollipops like HighRoller), and thus "Lin Chung" and "HighRoller" don't retain their physical voices when they swap.
  • In The Legend of Tarzan episode "Tarzan and the Return of La", Queen La appears as a bodyjacking spirit who adopts the voice of whoever she's possessing at the time.
  • Played with in DuckTales (2017), when Magica possesses Lena: The possessor speaks to herself in her own voice, but speaks to others in the voice of the host. It's later shown she can sound like anyone she wants to.
  • In an early episode of Fairly Oddparents, Timmy changed bodies with Vicky's dog Doidle. When in Timmy's body Doidle sounded like Timmy and when in Doidle's body Timmy could only bark/"speak dog" and there's what's obviously a voiceover to let us know what he's really trying to say. This also prevents him from changing back, as he can't speak to make the wish, until Doidle in Timmy's body does it for him.
  • During the Superior Spider-Man arc of Marvel's Spider-Man, Doc Ock in Peter's body has Peter's voice doing such a dead-on impression of Ock's inflections that it's easy to forget after an episode or two. However, his internal dialogue keeps his true voice. (Interestingly, the reverse is not true; Peter is trapped in the Living Brain's computer and eventually transfers to Horizon's; he is somehow able to make himself heard in his usual voice when transmitting through speakers, which would actually be quite a feat of programming.)
  • Used in the Rugrats episode "Regarding Stuie," where Stu Pickles falls from the roof of his house, hits himself in the head, and believes himself to be a baby. As a result, he can talk to and understand his infant son Tommy.
  • Also used in the Recess episode "The Hypnotist." In it, Principal Prickly is hypnotized into believing he's a six-year-old.


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