Storm, you guys. Is there anyone cooler, more bad ass? (Well, maybe there is if you only know the Halle Berry version.) Storm was the first superhero I looked up to and absolutely loved, and she’s the one X-men I’d ever want to trade places with. Telepathy sounds like a headache (pun intended), and Rogue can’t touch people without potentially killing them. So, first of all, Storm is royalty, which is so cool and right up my alley. And I would love to have a silvery white mohawk; I just don’t have the bone structure to pull it off, right now. Depending on which timeline we’re in, Storm was once married to Black Panther, who is a total hottie. Not to mention she can control the weather, which would be super convenient. [Hera]
Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl
I would trade lives with Blair Waldof, simply because as someone who used to watch ‘Gossip Girl’ (okay, maybe I watched a season and a half, before it became the trainwreck car crash that everyone who watches the finale knows it to be), Blair always seemed more of the main character than Serena did, and she had way more going for. Blair was smart, talented, witty/bitchy to a fault, had one of the coolest wardrobes ever seen, had a huge Audrey Hepburn obsession (which I can 100% get behind), and seemed to have the easiest life ever. I’m not sure whether or not, I’d go Full Blair during my one day (i.e. minions and schemes and such) or if I’d just sit in bed, eating rich and expensive stuff and calling my many beaus to join me. Plus I’d get to hang out with Dorota whom scientific research has shown to be the best. [Chris]
Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
I would trade with Akane Tsunemori from the anime Psycho-Pass. For those of you who haven’t seen it before, it takes place in a dystopian universe in the future, where people’s mental health is quantified and used to determine how likely they are to commit a crime. Akane is a female officer who “polices” the city and takes down people whom the computers determine are likely to commit a crime. Those who are deemed too depressed or neurotic to function in society are forcibly committed to mental facilities, or killed on the spot. The show explores themes of choice, and modern stigmas about mental health and how it is handled. It also explores our reliance on (sometimes faulty) computers and technology to try and discover the root of our problems, when technology itself might be the causation. I’d definitely only want to live in that world for 24 hours though—anything over that, and I would probably be deemed “too stressed for society.” [Michelle]
The President, Saints Row IV
Because who doesn’t want to be a maniacal, sociopathic, power-hungry, narcissistic gang leader turned President of the United States? I mean, sure, there’s the whole “planet Earth and 99% of its denizens got blown up because of you” thing, and the “evil alien overlords with ginormous heads taking over” thing, and also that thing where you’re trapped inside a computer simulation specifically designed to emulate your personal hell, but you know what trumps all of that? Superpowers. Also shiny guns, a fancy spaceship, and all the colorful companions you can shake a stick at and/or bang (Johnny Gat, here I come). And thanks to deep character customization, readily available and very cheap plastic surgeons, and a ton of clothing stores, I can try on a million different looks before the 24 hours are up. I’m thinking bubblegum pink mohawk tucked inside a hotdog suit and the voice of Troy Baker to start with. Besides, I’ve always thought I would do well in Mind Over Murder. “It’s murder time, fun time!” [Christine]
Richard Tyler, Pagemaster
Harry Potter immediately came to mind, but how could I choose Rowling’s HP universe over any others that I grew up with and have dreamed of being a part of? So instead, I’m going to cheat: I’d like to be Macaulay Culkin’s Richard Tyler from the indelible 90’s childhood classic Pagemaster. In 24 hours, I could dip my toes into ANY book in the library. Not only could I jump into Harry Potter and learn a spell or try to flirt with Hermione Granger, but I could see if I could last 1 minute in Westeros, journey 20,000 leagues under the sea, travel around the world in 80 days and try my hand at not dying as a Redshirt in John Scalzi’s hilarious Redshirts universe. Most libraries have comics, so I could try Batman or Superman or Spider-Man; the possibilities are limitless, and I figure I could at least get a taste for a couple worlds in that 24 hour span. Hell, there’s probably a Back to the Future novelization I could stumble into, and drive that DeLorean. And maybe time traveling inside a book novelization of a movie could somehow give me leeway on that 24 hour front. [Andy]
Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty
After much thought (moving between Regina from Once Upon a Time and Olivia Pope from Scandal – both of which have more negatives than positives to their characters) I have chosen Maleficent. Although I can’t be sure if I’m picking her because of her story or because I absolutely adore Angelina Jolie’s version of the character. But regardless, being an all-powerful faerie protector of nature’s inhabitants from elitist power-hungry men with amazing cheekbones with the ability to soar anywhere I wish? Sign me up! [Kiesha]
Any Hogwarts Student, Harry Potter Series
This is a no-brainer: I would want to be a Hogwarts student for 24 hours. Literally, any Hogwarts student. I don’t care whether I trade lives with Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom or even Tom Riddle (I’m serious, I’m sure even he had a blast at Hogwarts). I’m positive that I would learn so much more in one day at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry than any university in this “Muggle” world. I’m sure just one Charms class would be benefit me more than a Bachelor’s degree (hello, no more chores)! The Harry Potter books have also meant a lot to me, as they were the first books that really got me into reading.
I was about 9 or 10 when I first discovered the Wizarding World, and it all began when I decided to read a book over my friend’s shoulder in class (I had neglected to bring a book of my own), which happened to be one of the Harry Potter books. I had always hated school as a kid, but when my friend began telling me all about the Wizarding World and Hogwarts, I instantly knew that was where I belonged. I begged my parents to buy me all the books, but they disapproved of them because they contained “witchcraft” and “conflicted with our faith.” That statement had absolutely no impact on me and definitely didn’t stop me from checking the books out from the library. Before reading Harry Potter, I had been convinced I was a witch for one reason or another (I was always an oddball and thought since I sucked at everything in the “Muggle” world, I was sure to be awesome in the Wizarding World). Around my 11th birthday I remember anxiously awaiting my acceptance letter to Hogwarts. I also had a theory that every owl I saw was actually from the Wizarding World. It became so much a part of my life that my friends and I would take plenty of “sorting” tests to find out which houses we would be in (I was Ravenclaw), as though we were preparing for our first year at Hogwarts.
Eventually, I came to the realization that my obsession was ridiculous and that I never was or ever will be a witch, but reading those books allowed me to get lost in a world that held much more meaning to me than the one I had to live in at the time. Now I’m a grown-up and I’ve been able to live a pretty awesome Muggle life. My obsession with all things Harry Potter has subsided into Anglophilia and the occasional impulse buy (I have HP-themed socks and a Deathly Hallows necklace that has made those unfamiliar with the series, including family members, believe I am a satanist or part of a cult). I’ll also admit that I still take those dumb Sorting Hat tests (I’m still a Ravenclaw), and if I was offered the chance to attend Hogwarts for a day, I would totally be down. [Marie]
Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project
I think the question here really is why wouldn’t you want to be Mindy Lahiri for a day? First and foremost, any world in which Danny Castellano is my boyfriend is the world I want to be living in. Second, Mindy lives a very stylish life in New York City, whilst kicking ass at guiding “babies down the original runway: the human birth canal.” She’s well regarded in her profession, wanted by other OBGYN practices and is currently studying at Stanford to further her career. Maybe I just want to live a seemingly safer life as Mindy rather than in some post-apocalyptic world because, let’s be real, I’d be the first to die in any of those situations. Or maybe I just want her confidence. She’s incredibly self-actualized (“It is so weird being my own role model”) and she’s not afraid to call someone out if they’re not putting enough cheese on her pizza. [Isabella]
Zenon, Zenon: The Zequel
Right now I’m digging the life I’m living, but I’m 100% sure younger me would have loved to be Zenon for a day, specifically Zenon from Zenon: The Zequel. Zenon has a pretty stellar life because she seems to be the only competent person on her space station so she must have been more or less revered for her ability to disarm all the major space problems that befall her community. Zenon does not have the pleasure of being young Raven-Symone’s friend, but still new Nebula and I would be tight.
If I could choose a specific 24 hours, I think I would choose the end of the second movie when the aliens she can telepathically communicate with send her a message through the concert of her favorite artist Proto Zoa who plays at her Aunt Judy’s wedding — and then if that’s not enough Zenon meets the early 2000s teen hunk Orion, all of which would make my 13-year-old self feel cooler than rocking my favorite Limited Too outfit. Not only do I enjoy wedding receptions, but I also think such a wonderful experience would have really impacted me as a tween because I saved a spaceship from crashing into the moon. Maybe it would have led me to pursue space science (astronomy?) instead of just being a deadbeat film and art history major. [Sarah]
The Doctor, Doctor Who
Maybe this is cheating, but if I had 24 hours I’d want to spend them being the Doctor from Doctor Who. It doesn’t matter what reincarnation I would be (hopefully in the future there’s a woman that I could trade places with), because with the TARDIS, I could go anywhere in any time. And, if it isn’t against the rules, I could technically stretch those 24 hours into more than that, with the help of the Doctor’s time and space machine. But like I said, picking Doctor Who might just count as cheating, because if I were to be the Doctor for 24 hours, really, I could be anyone. I guess I just really hate making decisions. [Laura]
Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter Series
Luna Lovegood, hands down. When I first read the staff question, I knew I had to go back to my roots to the very first piece of pop culture – book and movie – that had a huge impact on me. I don’t think words can encapsulate how much Harry Potter changed my life. All I know is that being in Hogwarts, casting disarming charms, and learning about Potions over Chem and Defense Against the Dark Arts over, I don’t know, Nuclear Engineering, would have been my life’s ambition. I haven’t really ever moved on from or forgotten the stories we all know and cherish.
That being said, I definitely wouldn’t want to be one of the main trio as they ran into bad situations way too often for my unprepared and incompetent self to be comfortable with. Luna and her eccentric yet lovable ways always struck a chord with me. I immediately fell in love with how loyal, truthful, brave she was, and especially how she never lost sight of how weird and quirky she was. And the fact that she was a silent warrior, not one to show off her skills and brag explicitly, was extremely admirable. In very subtle ways, it helped me embrace being a very strange child growing up, and it was totally fine. On a side note, I also identify very closely with her dancing style (refer to Bill and Fleur’s wedding). And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to be the only person to wear a giant lion headdress that actually roared at a Quidditch match? [Sirisha]
Louise Belcher, Bob’s Burgers
If I could trade lives with a fictional character for 24 hours, I would trade with Louise Belcher. When considering my options, I combed through extremely wealthy characters (hi, Mary Crawley), adventurous types (hi, Ms. Frizzle), the objects of heartthrobs’ affections (hi, Karen from Californication), but in the end Louise Belcher won my heart.
I can relate to Louise because I too am the youngest of three. But because Louise is a fictional cartoon, she gets away with antics that I in my real life could not. As the youngest of three, Louise is wise beyond her years and she uses her wisdom to manipulate people who are less savvy. Also, Louise is a cartoon so she’s entirely justified in wearing her pink bunny ears every damn day. [Hillary]
Captain Will Laurence, Temeraire Series
If I have only 24 hours to switch lives with a fictional character, I’m gonna go all in: sign me up for Capt. Will Laurence of his Majesty’s Dragon Aerial Corps, from the Temeraire novels by Naomi Novik.
First off, I think I’d like to see what all the fuss is about peeing while standing up. Once I’ve got that handled (so to speak), I’ll practice my best hoighty-toighty British accent and leaning over people with my masculine height and military bearing. I’ll have money, a good family name, and respect of my fellow officers.
Oh, and a dragon.
Yep, that’s the real draw: give me a character who interacts with dragons. The beautiful, genius creature at the center of Novik’s adventure fantasy series is a black Chinese Celestial dragon named Temeraire. He’s massive, brave, and can emit a sonic boom that sinks warships. Captain Laurence raised him from the egg to serve in the war against Napoleon. Can you imagine talking to a dragon? Of all the fictional dragons, Temeraire is one of the most fascinating and simultaneously approachable. He’s a self-taught scholar with an endlessly curious mind and a kind, playful nature. He also cares passionately for civil rights and by book 5 becomes quite the political insurrectionist. Laurence and Temeraire spend their days together either in combat, in training, or in travel, and I think that’d be a wonderful adventure to step ever so briefly into. [Sara]
What fictional character would you want to be for a day? Hit the comments and let us know!