Role Reversal

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tropes and genres
Synonym(s)Roleswap, Role Swap
Related tropes/genresMirror Universe
See alsoRole Reversal (Merlin)

Related articles on Fanlore.

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.

This article or section needs expansion.

Define subtropes and add examples.


Role Swap

In a role swap AU story, two characters switch character roles - this can include swapping jobs, superhero alter-egos or supernatural/superhuman abilities. For example, if Clark Kent changes roles with Lois Lane, Clark would be a human reporter and Lois would be Superwoman.

In some cases, roleswap AUs address what if scenarios. What if one event happened differently? How would that then effect the characters and their stories? For example, a Winter Soldier AU story may begin with Steve Rogers falling into the hands of Hydra, and Bucky surviving to take the mantle of Captain America.

Characters swapping roles, can in some cases result in characters also change their alignment. For example, an AU where a criminal swaps roles with the detective trying to capture them.


In some role reversal stories, a character's alignment with good, evil, or a certain side of a conflict is changed. A subgenre of this is the Villain AU, where a heroic character is recast as a villain. These stories may sometimes be called Evil AU or Dark AU. A story can swap the alignments of multiple characters, or only one character. One example of this could be an AU where Harry Potter is working with Voldemort, and it's up to Hermione and Ron to save Hogwarts. Villain AU stories can allow characters to have antagonistic interactions with their canon allies, but also allows for more positive interactions between characters that may be enemies in canon.

Mirror Universe is a well known example of this trope. In canon, the Star Trek crew visits an alternate universe in which the peaceful Federation never existed, replaced by the brutal, conquering Terran Empire, with evil doppelgangers. In fandom, the term Mirror Universe is a term used to describe an alternate universe in which familiar characters are given reversed alignments or characteristics. In this subtrope, "evil" characters from the mirrorverse may interact with their canonverse doppelgangers.

Age & Experience

This may be known as the Age Swap trope. It usually involves the De-Aging and Aged Up tropes.

Popular Fandom Examples

Example fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.







Example Art Gallery

External Links