|Trope · Genre|
|See Also:||Role Reversal (Merlin)|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
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Role Reversal is an Alternate Universe trope in which one or more characters switch character roles. There are a number of common subtropes involving different roles.
A character's alignment with good, evil, or a certain side of a conflict is changed. For example, an AU where Harry Potter is working with Voldemort, and it's up to Hermione and Ron to save Hogwarts.
Mirror Universe falls under this category - the Star Trek crew visits and alternate universe in which the peaceful Federation never existed, replaced by the brutal, conquering Terran Empire, with evil doppelgangers.
Age & Experience
Common with mentor/mentee dynamics. This may be known as the Age Swap trope. It can have crossover with the De-Aging trope. For example, in Yuri on Ice AUs where Yuuri Katsuki is the more successful (and perhaps older) professional skater whom Victor Nikiforov idolizes, flipping their canon relationship dynamic. Character traits such as Yuuri's insecurity and anxiety may be given to Victor due to his inexperience.
Popular Fandom Examples
- For the Merlin (BBC) fandom, see Role Reversal (Merlin), a trope where Merlin and Arthur switch roles, either because they are undercover, because of magic changing their circumstances, or a Canon AU.
- Arrow fandom often has Oliver Queen and another character - usually Felicity Smoak or Sara Lance switch roles. For example: Oliver would be an IT tech while Felicity would be the billionaire/vigilante. Other types of AU are usually merged with this one, such as No Island AU.
- Once Upon A Time fandom - quite popular in Captain Hook works where Emma Swan is the pirate while Killian Jones is the Prince.
- Supernatural fandom - quite popular in Destiel works, where Dean Winchester is an angel and Castiel is a Hunter.
- Batman fandom - often uses an Age Reversal on the Robins, switching their order usually.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe often uses a Winter Soldier AU or Captain America AU: in which Bucky Barnes is Cap, Steve Rogers is Winter Soldier or it's often played with Natasha Romanoff or Peggy Carter as Winter Soldier/Captain America roles reversed.
- The 100 fandom - Grounder AU, where Skaikru characters are Grounders, or vice versa
- The Sacred and the Profane (Good Omens, Aziraphale/Crowley) by afrai – In which Crowley is an Angel and Aziraphale is a demon.
- no man is an island (oh this i know) by confidentialityspice (Arrow) – "My name is Felicity Smoak. For five years, I was stranded on a desert island with only one goal: survive. Now I will fulfill Robert Queen's dying wish to use the list of names he left me and bring down those who are poisoning my city. To do this, I must become someone else. I must become something else."'
- the werewolf and the banshee by wolfwithpanthereyes (Teen Wolf, Scott/Lydia) – Lydia is a werewolf and Scott is a banshee.
- Constellations (Things You Left Unsaid) by DasWarSchonKaputt (Yuri on Ice, Victuuri) – AKA a role reversal au, wherein Yuuri is a figure skating legend in the making - mostly made, or so they say - who decides to take a season off at the peak of his career, and Victor is the runaway-cum-international student from Russia who joins his university and cons Yuuri into becoming his coach. Featuring Phichit Chulanont as the worst (best) friend ever, and Yuri Plisetsky as Yuuri's self-proclaimed Arch Rival.
- Fanboy by arkhamcycle, Victuuri, In which Viktor is 15 and writes Wattpad self-insert RPF about himself and Yuuri, and all hell breaks loose. WIP
- Capriccio by Archaeopteryx (Mob Psycho 100) – Kageyama "Mob" Shigeo vanished at the age of ten, never to be seen again. Ten years later, Kageyama Ritsu meets another ten-year-old, this one with an irresistible urge to mess with supernatural forces he really, really shouldn't. As annoying as he might find Reigen Arataka, he can't let history repeat itself.
- Paint It Black by Sheepnamedpig (One Punch Man) – "Saitama's just a guy who's a villain for a hobby. What the hell kind of lame-ass backstory is that?"
- AU: Sara Lance was found by fishermen in the North China Sea, after being presumed dead for five years. Once home, Sara becomes the Black Canary, taking up the role of Starling City’s only and most lethal vigilante, in order to fulfill Robert Queen’s dying wish; “save our city”., a gif-picspam of Sara Lance becoming the city's vigilante instead of Oliver.
- Oliver Smoak and Felicity Queen, an Oliver/Felicity manip
Example Art Gallery
Stuckony, Role Reversal AU by nixie-deangel, with Steve as Iron Man, Tony as Winter Solider, and Bucky as Captain America, MCU