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Harry Potter: "I...I just disapparated, didn't I?"

Dumbledore: "Indeed. Quite successfully too, if I might add. Most people vomit the first time."

Harry Potter: "Can't imagine why."

Teleporter Accident is when Teleportation goes awry and something nasty happens. But teleportation isn't always nice even when it works. Often, it's traumatic for the characters teleported. After all, you're perhaps being disassembled into your component particles and reassembled elsewhere, sent through scary hyperspace, or blasted with some serious magic. In any case, you are at least instantly moved to a completely different location in a way that is never part of the normal course of things for most physical beings. This trope is when teleportation works the normal way, but it still causes some kind of negative effects on those transported. An inversion of motion sickness, as it were.

Typical symptoms include nausea, disorientation and weakness. The few extreme cases are much worse and tend to have permanent effects. Sometimes only affects some individuals or members of some groups and not others, and it can be just a matter of being accustomed to it. If one character has the ability to effect the teleportation, others tend to cope with it worse than that character.

This is usually much milder than the effects of a teleporter accident, because if things like that happened when things go right, teleportation would be kind of useless. Then again, some works take that concept and run with it -- teleportation really isn't that handy, because it's dangerous.

There is a hazy transition to and an overlap with Teleporter Accident in some cases, for example if a teleporter's normal functioning is so rough on the passenger that they must shield themselves against it, and they suffer an accident because they don't. But if the unpleasant effect is caused by an outright malfunctioning of the teleportation method, it is a Teleporter Accident but is not this.

Compare Temporal Sickness, Resurrection Sickness.

Examples of Teleportation Sickness include:

Anime and Manga

  • Awaki Musujime in To Aru Majutsu no Index has a trauma involving a Teleporter Accident in her childhood. As a result, her powerful teleportation abilities are offset by three seconds, and she has great difficulty in teleporting herself, becoming heavily nauseous and fatigued afterwards. Later on, to balance this out, GROUP provides her with a massage device to relieve her trauma whenever she uses her abilities.

Card Games

  • Magic: The Gathering: Planeswalkers can take other beings along with them when moving across dimensions. However, it causes a strong nausea to said beings. Acts as a limiting game mechanic, preventing creatures from attacking, or using abilities that have tapping them as a cost, on the same turn they are summoned. Creatures with the "Haste" ability are immune to summoning sickness.

Comic Books

  • In Watchmen, other people teleported by Dr. Manhattan don't always take to it so well. Laurie (Silk Spectre) always has to vomit afterwards, and some of the rioters he sent to their homes suffered heart attacks from the sudden change of surroundings. Averted with Rorshach for whatever reason, since he doesn't even notice having been teleported until looking around.
  • Nightcrawler from X-Men has the ability to teleport, which leaves people he takes with him who are not used to it disoriented. He's been known to use this offensively by grabbing someone and teleporting around a few times to disorient them (some other teleporters prefer to use Tele Frag instead).
    • The actual reason for this is that whenever he teleports, he goes through a dimension that is actively hostile to human life (that's where the smoke comes from). He's built up an endurance to it, while people he teleports offensively usually haven't.
  • In Avengers: The Children's Crusade, Speed uses his super-speed to vibrate his teammates out of a building through the wall. The experience is apparently... unpleasant.


  • In The One, inter-dimensional teleportation looks very uncomfortable and causes everyone teleported to become incapacitated for a time. Even Yulaw becomes helpless, which seems to be the main purpose of this feature, as it allows him to be arrested without any further fuss.
  • In the movie Jumper, the protagonist has the power to teleport at will. At some point, he "Jumps" while holding his girlfriend, taking her with him. Afterwards, she experiences heavy dizziness and disorientation.


  • In the Dragaera books set after the Interregnum, magical teleportation is easy, safe, and relatively cheap. However, almost all Easterners suffer motion sickness when teleported, whereas Dragaerans don't.
    • Some of the other forms of magical transportation used in the series also have side effects, such as dizziness.
  • In Stephen King's short story "The Jaunt", a kid neglects to take his sedative before transport, and experiences a hugely long period of time while in transit, driving him insane.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Ford tells Arthur Dent to take alcohol and peanuts to help shield his system against the shock of getting teleported out. In the video game, failing to do so results in a long spiel about how you died in transit. Teleportation is also described as "unpleasantly like being drunk."

 Arthur: What's so bad about that?

Ford: You ask a glass of water.

  • In the Deryni books, using Transfer Portals provokes this kind of disoriented feeling, often described as the floor tipping away in a blur from under the traveler's feet. It's usually highlighted when a character is introduced to using a Portal. Kelson experiences his first trip in Deryni Rising as " a sickening wrench in the pit of his stomach, a fleeting impression of falling, a slight dizzy sensation."
  • The Childe Cycle has a variant of this. In the stories, FTL travel is done using a "phase-shift drive", allowing for a ship to instantly travel from one point to another. However, there are side effects that cause people to feel physically ill. People need to take medication, and repeated multiple jumps can be lethal.
  • CoDominium: The use of Alderson Drive allows ships to instantly transverse from star to star. The downside is that after using the drive, people and computers suffer from "Jump Shock", in which they are greatly disoriented.
  • Isaac Asimov's robot short story "Escape!". A supercomputer creates a jump drive that causes the passengers to temporarily die during the jump -- and experience the complete sensation of death while doing so.
  • In Harry Potter, Harry dislikes apparating and describes it as "Being forced through a very small tube". It makes him low on breath and sick to his stomach. It isn't portrayed as fun in the movies either.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, anyone with strong telekinesis (called 'Fetching' in-universe) can move living things, including themselves. It apparently feels like a lurching sensation and is rather unpleasant for the passenger.
    • An Adept-class mage can create a Gate to any location he knows well. Even under ideal circumstances, the person being gated will be disoriented. The "Jumping" ability used by Firecats is shorter-range, and comes with cumulative nausea -- after a series of speed-Jumps from eastern Hardorn to Haven, a Valdemaran healer thinks Karal has contracted a stomach bug because he's vomiting so much.
  • Because the time travel device in Michael Crichton's Timeline is slightly less than perfect at reassembling travelers' molecules, the tiny imperfections a traveler accumulates through repeated usage can eventually add up to serious medical problems; e.g. the character who suffers a fatal heart attack because segments of his veins no longer match up with one another.
  • Teleportation in the Dragonriders of Pern series involves going Between, which apparently requires passing through a frigid inter-dimensional environment. Unusually, this is often played as a positive thing, as Thread is more vulnerable to cold than are dragons or humans, so Thread-fighters can teleport to destroy any bits of it that stick to their bodies or clothing.

Live Action TV

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
    • Hypochondriac Lt. Barclay is very uncomfortable with the transporters. At one point he thinks he has Transporter Psychosis, which hasn't been around in half a century.
    • In the episode "The High Ground", terrorists are using a form of dimensional jump (not a standard transporter) that bypasses normal space and so cannot be blocked or shielded against. The problem is that nothing that makes the jump comes through 100% perfect -- there's always a tiny bit of distortion that after more than a few jumps scrambles people's DNA enough to make them terminally ill.
  • On Fringe, the teleporter David Robert Jones uses to escape from prison causes severe damage to his body, due to the need to reassemble all his body's molecules on arrival. He takes precautions, like spending weeks in a hyperbaric chamber after the escape, yet by the end of the season he's still disfigured and dying.
  • Initially the Stargate in both Stargate the film and Stargate SG-1 causes extreme disorientation when used for travel. The TV show removed this element and explained that this effect is due to poorly calculated coordinates of older gate addresses.
  • In Supernatural, when an angel teleports someone there may be unintended consequences. Dean mentions at one point that after one such teleportation "he couldn't poop for a week".
  • In Sanctuary, John Druitt's teleportation power causes his brain chemistry to slightly alter each time he uses it, gradually turning him into a raving mad homicidal lunatic.
  • Buffy and Dawn are both strongly affected by Willow teleporting them from a cemetery to the Magic Box at the end of season six.

Tabletop RPG

  • The psionic power of Teleportation in Classic Traveller. Long range teleports caused disorientation for 20-120 seconds. Changing altitude also had negative effects: each change in altitude of 1 kilometer up or down lowered or increased body temperature by 2.5 degrees Centigrade.
  • Warhammer 40000 has this, in addition to the various Teleporter Accidents. This seems proportional to the distance, as short-ranged teleportation apparently has little to no health effects.
    • In Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain novel The Emperor's finest, Cain and Jurgen are teleported over what is probably a few kilometers, and Cain spends a week in sickbay to recover from the warp exposure (which Jurgen shrugs off in less than a day). It is said that the Space Marines who own the teleporter employ shielding devices in their armor to prevent this effect. Cain and Jurgen were not expecting to teleport and had no such protection.
  • Dungeons and Dragons has almost any translocation leading to short disorientation during which travelers are unable to act. The tactical effect is that setting an ambush at a likely destination to catch or slaughter arrivals in "teleport afterdaze" is a no-brainer, which gives teleporting people one more reason to scry on the exit unless they're sure this can't happen in the place they chose.

Web Comics

Web Original

Western Animation

  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: In part two of the pilot, Twilight Sparkle comes out slightly dizzy after teleporting herself a few feet to get close to the Elements of Harmony. In "The Ticket Master", she does a kind of reverse of Dr. Manhattan's "Leave me alone!" moment and accidentally teleports herself and Spike back to their home to escape a friendly mob. Twilight is momentarily disoriented, but Spike comes out dazed and singed. She seems to have mastered the ability to such a degree that she's no longer affected by it, and can teleport with such convenience she can use Teleport Spam just to hold a conversation.
    • In "Dragon Quest", Twilight teleports her entire group an undefined large distance (at least several dozen miles, and likely much farther) and none of her friends appear to have any ill effects from it. Twilight herself is visibly exhausted by the feat, but does not appear otherwise incapacitated.
  • In the episode "Hunting Grounds" from Wolverine and the X-Men, Nightcrawler and his sort-of-but-not-quite love interest Scarlet Witch find themselves trapped in one of Mojo's "games", pitting them against his foot soldiers and (later) a mind-controlled, feral Wolverine. Fearing Wanda's safety, Kurt performs a series of teleports to cover ground. After several, Wanda collapses to her knees and asks Kurt to stop for the time being, as her stomach was "two teleports back".
  • Batman has an aversion to boom tubes in Justice League because they make him sick whenever he uses them.
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