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20 best body swap movies

10. 17 Again (2009)

Whos Swapping? 37-year-old Mike (Matthew Perry) swaps bodies with his 17-year-old self (Zac Efron). And no, maybe that doesnt quite count as a body swap, but its closer to that than time travel, since Mike doesnt get to go back in time in his own life he just gets to be young again in the present day.

How They Swapped: By meeting a mysterious janitor (Brian Doyle-Murray) while reminiscing about his school days.

Read more: The Innocents review: "A considered, entertaining, and ultimately positive slice of TV"

Consequences: Mike gains a better understanding of his daughter and also realises that hes wasting his life by being miserable, so he takes the opportunity to get his shit together and change career.

9. Turnabout (1940)

Whos Swapping? Rich but ungrateful couple Tim (John Hubbard) and Sally (Carole Landis).

How They Swapped: By making a wish in front of Mr Ram, an Indian idol they were given by a friend (or possibly a frenemy, considering).

Consequences: Tim upsets Sallys friends by not knowing the social niceties theyre used to, while Sally makes a hash of his business deals. Oh, and Tim ends up pregnant. Whoops.

8. It's A Boy Girl Thing (2006)

Whos Swapping? Next door neighbours Woody (Kevin Zegers) and Nell (Samaire Armstrong).

How They Swapped: By having an argument in front of a statue of Tezcatlipoca at their local museum.

Consequences: Nerdy Nell wreaks havoc on Woodys social life, while he nearly jeopardizes her academic career. As is usually the case, the two cant swap back until theyve learned to respect one another, in this case by training one another to get through important life events for each other. Also, they fall in love, which is just weird.

7. Prelude To A Kiss (1992)

Whos Swapping? Julius, a lonely, ill old man (Sydney Walker) and young newlywed Rita (Meg Ryan).

How They Swapped: Via a kiss on Ritas wedding day.

Consequences: Less wacky comedy and more sentimental meditation on the nature of love, the film focuses on how Ritas husband, Peter (Alec Baldwin), copes with the bizarre situation hes found himself in. Theres lots of hand-wavey stuff about soulmates, and ultimately everyone learns that love transcends physical appearances though they swap back again at the end, so maybe love has its limits.

6. All Of Me (1984)

Whos Swapping? The plan was for dying millionaire Edwina (Lily Tomlin) to switch bodies with a young woman (Victoria Tennant), but due to a slip up, Edwinas soul ends up getting dropped into the body of her attorney, Roger (Steve Martin).

How They Swapped: Via magic, and a botched soul-transfer.

Consequences: Bit of an unusual one, this, with two people occupying one body at the same time: Edwina on the right, Roger on the left. Wacky hijinks ensue, but theres a darker side to the comedy, especially where Edwinas intended new body, Terry, is concerned. It all ends up sort of okay. Ish.

5. Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)

Whos Swapping? Boxer Joe Pendleton (Robert Montgomery) and cruel investment banker Bruce Farnsworth (also played by Robert Montgomery, post-switch).

How They Swapped: After an overly keen angel nabbed Pendletons soul out of a plane crash he was meant to survive, he insists on being sent back to Earth and takes the body of a recently deceased rotter. So its not strictly a swap, because Farnsworths soul has departed the mortal coil.

Consequences: Pendleton undoes some of Farnsworths misdeeds, but he gets shot and Farnsworths body dies again. Doh. It sort of ends up okay, though, as head angel Mr Jordan (Claude Rains) finds Pendleton a new boxers body to keep instead.

D4. etention (2011)

Whos Swapping? Cheerleader Ione (Spencer Locke) and her mother, Sloan (Erica Shaffer).

How They Swapped: Its a minor plot element in a trope-stuffed movie, but this might be one of the weirdest body swaps in the movies because thanks to some interfering aliens, Ione ends up time-travelling as well as body-swapping. She ends up in her mums body back in 1992 while her mum nabs her body in the present day.

Consequences: Ione saves the world by going to prom with the boy her mother rejected, and learns to love the 90s. For once, too, the body swap is permanent.

3. Big (1988)

Whos Swapping? Josh Baskin (David Moscow) swaps his 12-year-old body for that of his 30-year-old self (Tom Hanks).

How They Swapped: Josh makes a wish using an antique fortune telling machine at a carnival, and the eerie Zoltar grants his wish to be made big.

Consequences: Silliness, mostly. Josh is woefully unequipped to handle the adult world, but somehow manages to find a home and a job anyway, while his parents search in vain for their missing child. Maybe the weirdest part of his early adulthood is that he begins a romance with an adult woman, which is actually really creepy. Luckily, Josh tracks down Zoltar and puts everything right again.

2. 13 Going On 30 (2004)

Whos Swapping? 13-year-old Jenna Rink (Christa B. Allen) and her 30-year-old self (Jennifer Garner), seventeen years down the line.

How They Swapped: Via a wish made in front of a doll house covered in magic wishing dust. Where the dust came from remains a mystery.

Consequences: Jenna learns a series of valuable life lessons that boil down to dont be a bitch. But in her 30-year-old body, she has to watch her best friend Matty (Mark Ruffalo) marry someone else. Sob. Its okay, though, she manages to drum up some dust and reset her life, creating her own happy ending.

1. Freaky Friday (2003)

Whos Swapping? Typical teenager Anna (Lindsay Lohan) and her long suffering mother, Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis).

How They Swapped: Via magic fortune cookies at their local Chinese restaurant.

Consequences: Anna and Tess have to live one anothers lives until they can demonstrate selfless love for one another. Which means Anna has to learn to accept her new stepdad (luckily, not in any creepy way) and Tess has to learn to trust Anna and support her hobbies. Mother and daughter ultimately learn to love and respect one another and everything ends happily. Hurrah!