Trans-Dimensional Hopping occurs when an OC suddenly travels to another world. There is usually no logical explanation for this behavior, except the wish of the author to have his/her OC interact with his/her favorite canon characters. This plot device is a favorite of Mary Sues; in fact, the "Girl Falls into Middle-earth" plot is one of the most commonly-used on the Pit. Said Mary Sue will most likely end up interrupting the Council of Elrond, which will allow her to become a member of the Fellowship (see Tenth Walker).
There are many problems with this plot device:
- The canon characters in these stories are wont to react to the meddling OC without any sort of surprise, caution, or anger that would normally accompany such an intrusion.
- The universe in which the OC finds herself is usually fraught with danger, or at the very least has poorer standards of hygiene than our world—yet she never catches a strange disease and is usually capable of meeting all kinds of threats head-on. (It doesn't help that she is often a young teenager.) Somehow, the OC never gets dirty, either. Her hair never loses its salon-fresh gleam, her teeth never yellow, and she never has to shave her legs (any woman who has ever been on a weekend hike will immediately realize the improbability of this).
- There is usually no way that an OC should be able to understand the canon language(s), such as Westron for Middle-earth, and yet she is always able to converse fluently with the canon characters.
- The introduction of such an OC frequently goes hand-in-hand with anachronistic cultural contaminations, such as Rivendell Elves gaining the ability to make pizza. Yes, such an event has actually occurred.
Occasionally, a responsible author will write a fanfic involving Trans-Dimensional Hopping that does not result in the creation of a Mary Sue; however, this is extremely rare.
Trans-Dimensional Hopping should not be confused with its partner in crime, Trans-Dimensional Snatching.