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Bad idea.


""No! Think about it! You put something inside the cylinder of wormholes, turn them on for a fraction of a second, turn them off again... what have you got?"

"...The world's most ludicrously advanced bread-slicer?"

Ed grins the enthusiastic grin of the irretrievably insane."

Classically and simply, teleportation is done on an object basis. Distinct items are sent through in their entirety. However, it is more realistic, and easier to calculate, to just send through anything within a certain area, or use a portal through which anything on one side is in one place and anything through is in another.

However, these can lead to subversions of the classic teleportation concept: if only an area is teleported, it's possible for this area to not contain an object in its entirety. And if a portal that leads to one place suddenly collapses or deactivates, anything currently in the portal will need to be acted upon. One solution is to distinguish distinct objects and then handle where they stay or go on an individual basis. The most common result, however, is that only the portion of the object that was in the teleport area will teleport, while the rest stays put, resulting in a Portal Cut. If the edges of a portal are not guarded, a similar effect can be reached if only part of the object goes through the portal. A teleporting Sphere of Destruction can also have this effect.

The opposite of a Tele Frag (but no less deadly). See also Teleporter Accident, for more general mishaps.

Examples of Portal Cut include:


  • An oddly harmless example comes from the Disovery Channel's Know More Than You Should series of advertisements. It starts with several scenes of the bottom half of a woman running blindly through a city bumping into things. Then it cuts to the top half of the same woman stuck in a home-made teleporter while her husband tries in vain to fix it.

  Husband: I'm gonna have to run out to the hardware store.


Anime and Manga

  • In Super Dimension Fortress Macross, this is what happens to Macross Island and a good amount of environment around it. The Fold Engines on the Macross generate a spherical field around the ship, engulfing part of the island and neatly cutting it off the Earth. The other end of the Fold gate, on the orbit of Pluto, shows a perfect sphere of land, sea, air, clouds, and sunlight, instants before dissipating.... which flash-freezes the teleported mass.
  • In Bio-Booster Armor Guyver, the Zoalord Yentsui, who can cut holes in space and close them at will, uses this as his main offensive tactic.
    • Arguably happens every time Sho and Agito bioboost, as the Guyver armor crossing dimensions brings up a 'blast field' destroying everything within a certain radius of them. Whether this counts as Portal Cut or Tele Frag is under debate.
  • A man in 666 Satan has an O-Part that consists of two rings which can become portals between each other, and he can close the portal while something is going through to cut it apart (he does this to Jio's boomerang).
  • In Naruto, Hatake Kakashi's Mangekyou Sharingan puts up a barrier the contents of which are sucked into another dimension, and will just do this to whatever isn't all the way in. It's not as neat as most examples though, as it's more like whatever is ripped off by force.
    • Danzo's "Reverse Four Symbols Sealing Technique" forms a Sphere of Destruction sealing anything within range inside the user's body, Portal Cutting anything only partway in.
  • Gluttony's mouth does this to Envy's upper torso (accidentally) and Alphonse's hand while attempting to "eat" Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist. Since the upper torso contained the philosopher's stone, it was the part that regenerated inside Gluttony's stomach.
    • This also happens to Frank Archer in the original anime who just happens to be standing on the border of the philosopher's stone's transmutation circle when it activates. He has a large part of his body, including half of his face, become part of the stone and has it replaced with automail.
  • Two Contractors with different kinds of teleportation powers in Darker Than Black do this as an attack. The first could swap-teleport two objects, and would often switch an opponent's vital organs with some random object. The second could teleport things covered by his blood, so he would take a knife and fling bits of his blood all over people before teleporting the sections of their body the blood covers... somewhere else.
  • Coemushi does this when a character points a gun at him. He retaliates teleporting away the gun with the hand of the man still holding it.
  • Vanilla Ice's stand Cream is capable of doing this in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure--and indeed does wind up doing this to Avdol, leaving only his hands. He attempts this on Polnareff as well, managing to get his heels but ultimately failing to land the killshot.
  • Inuyasha's Meidou Zangetsu and, even more explicitly, his Cutting Meidou do this all the time. In the latter's case, even to things that are outright immune to the former.

Comic Books

  • This is the power of the Marvel Comics mutant Blink. She (well, an Alternate Universe version of her) later refines this into actual full-body teleportation. The AU version is quite capable of slicing up what she teleports too, but the mainstream Marvel Universe version could only do that because of her limited of control of her powers.
  • Another Marvel mutant, Locus (this one a villain) likes to do this, or at least threatens to do it a lot (not sure if she's ever done so "onscreen").
  • In Marvel's Age of Apocalypse storyline the alternate-reality version of Nightcrawler teleports a villain's head off.
  • The original scene for Booster Gold's death in Fifty Two was supposed to appear as if Booster tried to time travel to escape his fight with Supernova. Because of Supernova's interference with Booster's attempt to travel, Booster shows up a minute later... as a pair of legs. His torso shows up a bit later. In the end, they went with Booster's death in an explosion.
  • X-Men villain Fitzroy met his end this way, as he tried to head through one of his portals to merge with time itself. He got halfway in, but a shot from Bishop distracted him long enough that the other half didn't before it closed.
  • This is how Manhunter killed her supervillain father.
  • Stormwatch defeated superpowered Nietzsche Wannabe killing machine "Father" with this technique.
  • Superman kills Mr. Mxyzptlk with the Phantom Zone projector like this in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?. Normally the Phantom Zone projector can't do this, but it was a special case since at the same time, Mr. Mxyzptlk panics and tries to teleport away himself, so that half of him ends up in his own dimension and half in the Phantom Zone.
  • Doctor Finitevus references this in Sonic Universe series when a character jumps at him, only to be redirected by a portal created by Doctor Finitevus. While that character is going through, Doctor Finitevus "wonders" what would happen if the portal were closed while someone were in it.


  • The time travel machine in the Terminator franchise creates a perfectly spherical bubble for the traveler, cutting out any matter that happens to be in the way of the destination.
  • Time travel in the movie Timeline causes an odd variation. It's described as being, essentially, a fax machine in 3D. Send a person through enough times and the copy distorts. This results in one unfortunate traveler not only being dumped in the desert, but his organs/veins/bones/etc. being joined together about a 1/2 inch off, causing massive hemorrhages and most likely a painful death.
  • When they activate the magic key in Masters of the Universe, a good portion of earth gets teleported into the throne room. Along with a car and a part of the adjacent wall.
  • The Stargate film had this happen to Ra's Dragon when his head is inside the ring teleporter, but the rest of his body isn't.
  • This happens to the Tall Man in Phantasm III Lord of the Dead, but he's still able to lend a hand afterwards.


  • This is referred to as "splinching" in Harry Potter, and it is caused by a lack of concentration on the entire object to be teleported apparated (most often, oneself). Luckily, magic healing is easily available most of the time.
    • However, a particularly bad splinch could cause you to bleed to death.
  • Forgotten Realms novel Elfshadow shows a strike team trying to jump through opened portal while mage tries to move it into more defended location to prevent such attacks. By the end of the spell, one of attackers was about halfway through.
  • In Con Sentiency, temporary portals are main transportation method, so these accidents happen, especially in hasty action (Whipping Star).
  • In the Wheel of Time series, gateways cause Portal Cuts when they open as well as when they close. This comes into play as a weapon in the "Deathgate" weave, in which gateways are sent zooming through the battlefield, rapidly opening and closing. It should be noted, however, that the chief purpose of Deathgates is not portal cutting but rather just to send its targets to random locations, as shadowspawn can't survive traveling through gateways.
  • The Cross Time Engineer series employs Portal Cuts for many purposes, including embedding a super-thin layer of diamond in the center of a sword to make the edge.
  • In Terry Bisson's Numbers Don't Lie, a lunar rover is cut in half when it stays part-way through the portal too long.
  • One reason why Geralt dislikes using portals is his memory of the time he saw one half of a man fall out of one.
  • In the Robert Heinlein short story "By His Bootstraps", the time gate has an unusual form of this. The edge of the portal has no physical solidity, so if an object won't fit through the gate, the part that fits through the time gate does so, while the rest of it just keeps on moving in its original space-time and gets left behind. The result is something like being sheared with an infinitely sharp knife. Fortunately, nothing more important than a printing of Adolf Hitler's autobiography Mein Kampf is destroyed due to this.
  • In Philip Jose Farmer's World of Tiers novels, one kind of interdimensional teleport trap used this method to dismember intruders.
  • In Dan Simmons' The Fall of Hyperion, a Portal Network links hundreds of worlds. At the end of the book, the network was shut off without warning, and thousands of people simultaneously die in this manner.
  • In Isaac Asimov's story "It's Such A Beautiful Day", a child's reluctance to use the teleport portal is attributed to fear that this might happen if the portal failed when he was half-way through. The real reason is that, after being forced to walk to school when the portal was out of order, he prefers to go outside.
    • This happened to a few nearby objects in Pebble in the Sky when Joseph Schwartz was suddenly transported into the far-future, as well.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's Owl trilogy, the protagonist Darian loses his parents to Wild Magic. Years later, he tracks down their campsite and finds a nearly-perfect granite sphere, with the buried bones of a foot pressed against it. Using the bones, he finds that the magic swapped his parents' campsite with a mountainside to the far north, with his father's foot outside the area of effect.
  • In Aleksandr Zarevin's Lonely Gods of the Universe, the protagonist invents a device that allows him to open a portal to anywhere at any time. He uses it to go see his long-dead mentor and set off yet another in a series of Stable Time Loops. After spending several hours in the past, he starts climbing into the portal "window", only for the diesel-powered generator to fail, causing the portal to close and cut off the guy's legs. Luckily, his friend is nearby, and he survives the shock and massive blood loss. He gets better, though. They also use a more reliable power source in the future.
  • In The Tomorrow War setting by Alexander Zorich the volume moved by an FTL drive is effectively limited (the cost becomes prohibitive), so big ships have to use several. When some malfunction causes them to jump ever so slightly out of sync, this can't end well.
  • The climax of the novel The Prestige by Christopher Priest features a version of this: Borden turns off Tesla's copy/teleportation machine in the middle of its cycle while Angier's in it. This splits Angier's total body mass between the two locations. One ends up being a sort of ghost who can push through walls and the other simply deteriorates through a series of unnatural afflictions before dying some months later.
  • This happens to the landscape as a side effect of the Ring of Fire event in 1632.
  • In Vernor Vinge's The Peace War and Marooned in Real Time, the "bobbles", spherical fields that place anyone and anything within in temporal stasis, cut through anything intersecting the field's boundary when they activate. One scene in the latter book has a man in a bobble just long enough to be taken out of his house, which suffers quite a bit of damage - not from the bobble itself, but from the physical act of cutting it out of the house.
  • In Shadow Ops, protagonist Britton discovers that this is one of the deadlier applications of his inherent gate magic. The gates he can create instantly slice through any material when opening or closing, and Britton puts it to devastating use once he learns how to rapidly open and close them.

Live Action TV

  • One episode of Eureka has spheres of matter being transported through time.
  • The eponymous Stargates in the Stargate Verse usually avert this, thanks to some Techno Babble about the Cool Gates only transporting whole objects. However, there are a few instances where it happens. A person was partially decapitated after having their head stuck part-way through the gate while it was shutting down, but this was done purposefully. Another variation happens when the gate shuts down while an object is still in transit; without another stargate to reassemble the object properly, it comes out somewhere in space as a randomly assorted blob of molecules (which, as Carter points out, would be really bad for a person, but not so much for a pure element).

  O'Neil: "Give my regards to King Tut, asshole!"

    • Alluded to in the Stargate Atlantis episode "Thirty-Eight Minutes" wherein the team's jumper is stuck halfway through a Stargate, as their engine pods wouldn't retract. McKay shuts the hatch to the forward section, and explains why:

 McKAY: So that when the Stargate shuts down and the forward section is severed, we're not directly exposed to space.

Ford: Will it hold?

McKay: Like a screen door on a submarine. I just prefer hypoxia to explosive decompression. It's a, it's a personal thing.

    • Also alluded to in Stargate Universe when one of the main characters (Eli Wallace) sticks his hand in the portal to hold it open for just long enough for the rest of the group to get through. From the look on his face and his hesitance to perform the act, he's clearly aware of what might happen if the safety feature does not work as intended. Jack O'Neill did the same thing at least once in Stargate SG-1.
    • Narrowly averted in the SG11 episode "Bad Guys". Mitchell is helping Vala manually dial the gate, standing smack in the middle of it. Once they hit the final chevron, Vala yanks him out of the way moments before the wormhole forms right on top of him.
  • Primeval features this when an anomaly closes on the Monster of the Week and severs its head.
  • The season finale of Fringe has this in several instances as Mr. Jones tries to cut his way through to the parallel universe where William Bell is hiding. First time he takes the rear axle off a truck that's passing through the gate; second time, he cuts a soccer player in half as the gate collapses. He gets his comeuppance when Peter shuts down the portal as he's trying to pass through it.
    • This trope is also the real reason Nina lost her arm.
    • This happens again in season four when Olivia tries to follow a fugitive through a portal. She is fine but the car she is driving has a large chunk of its front cut off.
  • In The Twilight Zone episode "Little Girl Lost", after pulling everyone out of the other dimension, a guy goes, "Another few seconds, and half of you would've been here, and the other half..."
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Three Doctors", a green blob teleports the Doctor and part of the building he's in through a black hole, and later the rest of the building. The two parts of the building arrive in different locations. At the end, when everything is sent back to "where it came from", the two parts of the building are re-assembled, aparrently without any permanent damage.

Tabletop Games

  • An issue of Dungeon? Dragon? magazine with Shadow-powered artifacts relates how this happened to the thief who previously owned them. He'd crafted a bodysuit out of Shadow-matter, and used it to slip in and out of treasuries all over the various kingdoms. One King set up lots of lights, leaving only a single shadowed area large enough for him to step through, with several guards at the ready. When said Thief popped out, the guards cut off his hands and head, causing the rest of him to fall back into the Plane of Shadows. The artifacts were basically the hood and gloves of his suit.
  • In the Magic the Gathering novel of the "Invasion" set, the Weatherlight manages to cut an attacking Phyrexian warship in half using this tactic. Notably, rather than doing something as simple as cutting the juice, they blew up one of the Phyrexian ships maintaining the portal, taking out the whole mess with one volley. (And trapping them on the wrong side of the portal, but that's exactly where they need to be.)
  • A common tactic in earlier editions of Dungeons and Dragons was to use the Dimensional Door spell in this manner until it was nerfed in 3E. Essentially it allowed a relatively low level spell to cut almost anything in half vertically...
    • In 4e the Warlock gets an ability that causes physical damage to an enemy while it teleports them, presumably via this method.
  • In Traveller, the only means of traveling faster than light is with a jump drive, a device that surrounds a starship with a "jump bubble" 1-2 metres from the skin of the ship, and then sends it through an alternate dimension for a few parsecs. In addition to potentially driving a person mad if they look at it directly, any object which passes through the bubble is gone and the edge touching the event horizon is cut perfectly between atoms. The parts which passed through are presumably spread out in a thin mist stretching across a good portion of a light year of empty space.
  • Very specifically averted in Planescape with Sigil's numerous interdemensional portals, it's made explicit that if a portal closes when somebody is walking through it they just get shunted to one side or the other depending on how far through the portal they were when it closed.


  • In LEGO's Bionicle storyline, portals made by a Mask of Dimensional Gates close after a person enters them. An alternate "Empress" version of Toa Tuyet, attempting to escape her dimension where La Résistance was closing in on her, tried to be number two. She was sliced in half and died instantly.

Video Games

  • One possible ending for the Gallonigher levels in Colony Wars is for this to happen to a Navy Titan as you close the warp hole.
  • The space simulator Free Space essentially ends with this: the Lucifer's last reactor is destroyed just as it emerges out of hyperspace near Earth. As a result, only the first half of the ship passes the portal's event horizon before it collapses. This also provides for some unforeseen consequences in the sequel.
  • This is revealed to be what happened with the drydock around Aperture Science's ship (the Borealis) at some point before Half-Life 2: Episode Two.
  • This occurs to the part of the ship Master Chief and Cortana are escaping on at the end of Halo 3.
    • It's also done deliberately in Halo: Reach to a Covenant Supercarrier. Noble Team converts the slipspace drive from a UNSC Frigate into a "slipspace bomb" and sets it off inside the supercarrier. The circular portal leaves the severed nose and tail of the ship drifting dead in space while most of the ship - and Jorge - is portal'd out and presumably annihilated.
  • In one end of Eternal Darkness the Cosmic Horror Ulyaoth fights Chattur'gah using these.
  • Specifically averted in Portal. According to the developer commentary, they wanted players to feel safe when standing in portals, so they made sure that if a portal ever closed while the player, or an object, was inside of it, said player or object would be pushed or teleported out of the portal unharmed.
    • Actually, you CAN do this to yourself because of a glitch, it just requires a very specific situation: shortly after GLADoS tries to kill you in the incinerator, there's a large block-shaped piece of equipment with a small gap you can only get under by crouching. Crawl under it, make a portal on the bottom, make a second somewhere else, stand up while below the first portal, and move the first portal somewhere else. However, it doesn't kill you, as the game engine is not capable of slicing the player, your legs are transported inside the wall (or floor), and you're stuck until you load a new save.
    • This actually happens, on purpose, to objects attached to a surface you create a portal on, such as cameras ("vital testing apparatus destroyed") or steps on a bar ladder. Although game-engine wise it's more like the invisible glue that holds them on gets removed.
  • In Starlancer, destroying an enemy cruiser in this manner is a bonus objective in one mission. You have to watch your timing to accomplish it, though.
  • In RuneScape, This is the fate of one of the new boss creatures in the new skill. The boss, simply called Stomp, is a behemoth, much like the other ones... except for that it's too large to get through, so only its head sticks out of a portal... that calls down rocks in the fight. After the portal gets weakened several times, at the end of the fight the portal snaps shut, resulting in a suprisingly graphic death - The wall where the portal was gets rather bloodstained, and the monster flails then shudders to it's death. It would be almost sympathetic if the boss wasn't so irritating due to a huge amount of Fake Difficulty.
  • In the lore for World of Warcraft this happens every time you close a portal on something baring one exception; that being a titian can hold off the force of the portal closing.
    • Actually, Titans can't even survive this. The physical form of Sargeras was destroyed during The War of the Ancients, a whopping ten-thousand years before the setting of the series. He's been a spirit ever since, though on at least one occasion manifested an Avatar on Azeroth as part of his plans.
  • And though not directly confirmed as adhering to the trope, Starcraft has the Protoss Dark Templar's weapon of choice; the "Warp Blade".
  • In Mortal Kombat 9, Noob Saibot uses this as his second fatality.
  • In Another World, This happens to Lester's lab in the intro. The particle experiment goes awry, taking Lester and a sphere of space around him to a distant planet. This leaves exposed piping and missing wall and floor in his lab.

Web Comics

  • This is what happens if you unplug a window while halfway through it in Problem Sleuth. It is the method of attack used to slay Flthulu.
  • In Sluggy Freelance Riff tried to use this to pull off the Saw a Woman In Half trick. There were a couple complications.
  • In Hitmen for Destiny, an otherwise apparently invulnerable assassin is killed by portal-cutting his lower body off. His dead upper body shows up at several points later on, apparently still invulnerable as it shows no signs of decay.
  • Averted in Fite, where it's a slam rather than a cut.
  • Happens to a Golden Sand Dragon in this page of Looking For Group- specifically, the one Cale was riding, resulting in the Dragon being cleanly split in half, which was so gross that even one of the Portal Mages had to remark "Dude. Sick."
  • In Erfworld, Jack uses this to screw with a bunch of spellcasters; he's looking through the portal when suddenly it fizzles out, decapitating him instantly. Two panels later he drops the illusion spell to show both he and the portal are perfectly fine.
  • Mentioned in Schlock Mercenary here, where a new teleportation device is first tested on Schlock, who can survive dismemberment since he is an amorphous blob of carbosilicate.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Legion of Super Heroes has an odd example. In "Brain Drain," an unstable transmatter gate nicknamed "Old Chompy" apparently has a tendency to not only short out, but to randomly switch destinations, sending Brainiac 5's head to one planet and his body to another.
  • After hastily trying to get a teleporter to work, Dr. Venture in The Venture Bros ends up teleporting his body into various places, including an arm that appeared outside of a prison miles away. The body parts still function as if they were attached, as evident when Venture observes that when one of his nipples feels cold, they both shrivel (which Brock really didn't want to hear about).
  • This happens in Re Boot when one of Bob's time locked portals closed when a guardian ship was passing through it.
  • In an episode of Johnny Test, Bling Bling Boy's teleporter delivers him without one of his legs, causing him to fall over. This is only because that teleporter isn't quite perfected yet however; he explains to Johnny that the teleporter has done this before, and sure enough, the leg reappears a few seconds later.
  • In Spider-Man the Animated Series, the Hobgoblin acquires the portal-opening Time Dilation Accelerator and goes on a crime spree. Then he loses a part of his cape this way, making him realize that he really needs to find a battery for the device that's not about to go dead.
  • A Running Gag with the Picture Teleporter in the "Picture This!" episode of Phineas and Ferb. In their first demonstration of the device, Phineas and Ferb teleport an apple off of Buford's head, taking off a bit of his hair with it and giving him an impromptu buzzcut. When they teleport Ferb's skateboard back from their grandparents's place, they accidentally take their grandfather's feet with it. It's played for laughs, though, so there's no blood, and the boys immediately send the feet back... backwards.
  • Implied to have happened in a Robot Chicken clip, in which a magician pulls a rabbit's decapitated head out of a hat. To judge by his reaction, he'd been expecting a whole rabbit.
  • In Thundercats 2011, Grune is being sucked into Another Dimension and grabs onto Panthro's arms, telling him pulling him out is the only way either can survive. Panthro decides to take his chances, and Grune is sucked in, taking both of Panthro's arms with him. For the sake of Bloodless Carnage the ends of the arm stumps are glowing the same color as the portal, but were still bandaged up afterwards as if they were bleeding.
  • In an episode of Martin Mystery, the Sandman tried to get into to the waking world through a portal in a computer screen, managing to get an arm through before Martin turned off the power. Instead of acting like a guillotine though, the closed portal was more along the lines of a slammed window, pinning the Sandman's arm and trapping him.