||This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (December 2008)|
A body swap is a storytelling device seen in a variety of fiction, most often in television shows and movies, in which two people (or beings) exchange minds and end up in each other's bodies. Alternatively, their minds may stay where they are as their bodies adjust. The two people usually keep their voices in cartoons, for purposes of knowing who is who.
There are three distinct types of body swapping. Switches can be caused by magic items such as amulets, heartfelt wishes, or just strange quirks of the universe. The switches typically reverse after the subjects have expanded their world views, gained a new appreciation for each other's troubles by literally "walking in another's shoes" and/or caused sufficient amounts of farce. Notable examples include the books Vice Versa (1882) and Freaky Friday (1972), as well as the film versions of both.
Switches accomplished by technology, exempting gadgets advanced sufficiently to appear as magic, are the fare of mad scientists. Body-swapping devices are characterized by highly experimental status, straps, helmets with complicated cables that run to a central system and a tendency to direly malfunction before their effects can be reversed. Those without such means may resort to brain transplants. Such experiments can have overtones of horror; evil mad scientists seldom use willing test subjects.
On the internet, many amateur authors write and share body swap stories with one another. Fictionmania is a website publishing and archiving transgender fiction, some of it focusing on male-to-female body swaps.[dubious ]
In 1973 a group of scientists from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland Ohio, led by Dr. Robert White, a neurosurgeon inspired by the work of Vladimir Demikhov, transplanted the head of one monkey onto another monkey's body. The animal was still able to smell, taste, hear, and see. The animal survived for eight days after the operation, even at times attempting to bite some of the staff. Dr. White successfully repeated the operation on a monkey in 2001.
In 2002, other head transplants were also conducted in Japan involving rats. Unlike the head transplants performed by Dr. White, however, these head transplants involved grafting one rat's head onto the body of another rat that kept its head. Thus the rat ended up with two heads.
Appearances in fiction and drama 
- " Fairy tail " (2010) (TV)– Changeling
- A Saintly Switch (1999) (TV) – NFL Quarterback and his wife.
- Talespin (1990) (TV) – In the pilot.
- Freaky Friday (1976, 1995 and 2003) - Mother and daughter. Disney has produced several different versions.
- It's a Boy Girl Thing (2006) - Male teen and neighbor girl.
- Prelude to a Kiss (1992) - Bride (Meg Ryan) and mysterious old man.
- Shrek the Third (2007) - Donkey and Puss in Boots
- The Change-Up (2011) - Best friends played by Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman.
- The Hot Chick (2002) - Clive (Rob Schneider) and Jessica (Rachel McAdams).
- Boy Meets Girl — Two strangers swap bodies when struck by lightning.
- American Dad: "Don't Look a Smith Horse in the Mouth"
- Angel: "Carpe Noctem"
- Ben 10: "A Change of Face"
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Witch" and "This Year's Girl"/"Who Are You"
- Charmed: "Enter the Demon", "Freaky Phoebe" and "The Lost Picture Show" — Piper and Leo.
- Dragon Ball Z — Ginyu has the power to switch bodies with people at will.
- The Fairly OddParents: "Dog Daze Afternoon", "Presto Change-o", and "Manic Mom-Day"
- Face/Off — A law enforcer and Criminal swap faces.
- Farscape: "Out of Their Minds"
- Fullmetal Alchemist — Dante has lived for hundreds of years by continually switching bodies with others.
- Futurama: "The Prisoner of Benda"
- Identity Theft (2009) — A lottery winner ends up in the body of a beautiful model when his body is stolen.
- Johnny Test: "Papa Johnny" and "Johnny Susan Susan Johnny"
- Kim Possible: "Mind Games"
- La machine: A psychiatrist and his psychopathic patient swap consciousnesses.
- Lost Girl (TV series) - "Original Skin" (Season 2, Episode 9)
- Lloyd in Space: "Lloyd Changes his Mind" (season 2 Episode 4)
- One Piece - In manga chapter 661 Trafalgar Law uses his devil's fruit power to swap the bodies of Nami, Sanji, Chopper, and Franky. Smoker and Tashigi are also swapped respectively.
- Naruto - Orochimaru switches bodies every three years.
- The Outer Limits: "The Human Factor"
- The Powerpuff Girls: "Criss Cross Crisis"
- Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place: "Halloween 2: Mind over Body"
- Quantum Leap: Doctor Sam Beckett leaps from life to life on various dates.
- Red Dwarf: "Body Swap"
- Smallville: "Transference"
- Star Trek: "Turnabout Intruder"
- Star Trek: Voyager: "Vis à Vis"
- Stargate SG-1 — At least four episodes to date have dealt with body swapping.
- Teen Titans: "Switched"
- Avenging Spirit - The entire game focuses around switching bodies to fight your way through the levels.
- Tales of Rebirth - The character Agarte has the Force of Moon, which forces her to switch bodies with other characters, including Claire, multiple times.
- Under the Skin - You have to change body in body with disguise, to Completed goals.
- Angel Sanctuary - Setsuna and Alexiel in volumes 8-11.
- Castle Roogna in Piers Anthony's Xanth series
- Gender Blender by Blake Nelson
- The Help! I'm Trapped... series by Todd Strasser
- Laughing Gas by P. G. Wodehouse
- The Barking Ghost, Why I'm Afraid of Bees and Switched by R. L. Stine
- The Identity Matrix by Jack L. Chalker
- The Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice - Lestat de Lioncourt and Raglan James 
- Transmigration by J. T. McIntosh
- The Great Keinplatz Experiment by Arthur Conan Doyle. 
- "The Thing on the Doorstep" by H. P. Lovecraft
- "Wild Wood" by Mildred Clingerman
- "The Distances" by Julio Cortázar
- "The Story of the Late Mr Elvesham" by H. G. Wells
- "Ichchhepuron(Fulfilling the wish)" by Rabindranath Tagore
- "Mefisto In Onyx" by Harlan Ellison
- "Reawakening" by BlackBox TV
- Yamada and the Seven Witches, a manga series by Miki Yoshikawa, where the main characters can switch bodies with a kiss.
- The Prisoner (1967), episode "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling"
See also 
- Jose, Michael JR. "Vice Versa by F. Anstey Detailed Book Review". Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- King, Robert (February 4, 2001). "The mother versus the author". St. Petersburg Times (Hernando). Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- Browne, Malcolm W. (1998-05-05). "ESSAY; From Science Fiction to Science: 'The Whole Body Transplant'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- "Frankenstein fears after head transplant". BBC News. 2001-04-06. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- Young, Emma (3 December 2002). "Infant rat heads grafted onto adults' thighs". New Scientist. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- IMDB list of movies with the 'Body Swap' keyword
- The Numbers: Box Office figures for films in the Body Swap genre
- New York Times article on monkey head transplant
- BBC article on monkey head transplant
- New Scientist article on rat head transplant