Body swap

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For the Red Dwarf episode, see Bodyswap.

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. The two people often keep their original voices in dramatizations, 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[1] Freaky Friday (1972),[2] 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.[citation needed]

Appearances in fiction and drama[edit]

Since the Vice Versa novel was published in 1882, body swaps have been a popular theme in various media:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jose, Michael JR. "Vice Versa by F. Anstey Detailed Book Review". Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  2. ^ King, Robert (February 4, 2001). "The mother versus the author". St. Petersburg Times (Hernando). Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Raymond, Adam K. (2013-09-05). "How to Swap Bodies With Anyone You Want, According to the Movies". Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  4. ^ Ebert, Roger (2011-08-03). "The Change-Up Movie Review & Film Summary (2011)". Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger (2002-12-13). "The Hot Chick Movie Review & Film Summary (2002)". Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  6. ^ The Identity Matrix – Chalker – Google Books. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  7. ^ "Identity Theft (2009) – By Duane L. Martin". Rogue Cinema. 2009-08-01. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  8. ^ a b "Yoshikawa Interview | Mahou-X". 2013-02-03. Retrieved 2013-10-02.  – translation of Natalie article.
  9. ^ a b "コミックナタリー – [Power Push] 「山田くんと7人の魔女」吉河美希インタビュー (1/4)" (in Japanese). 2013-02-03. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  10. ^ "Crunchyroll Adds Inside Mari, Silver Nina, Love Theory Manga – News". Anime News Network. 2014-01-06. Retrieved 2014-01-08. 
  11. ^ "Machine". Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  12. ^ "La Machine (1994). Moria – The Science-Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review". Moria. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  13. ^ "Julio Cortázar Essay – Cortázar, Julio". Retrieved 2013-10-02. 


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