Gender Bender

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A character has undergone a complete physical sex change, usually through magic or Applied Phlebotinum. Depending on the medium, genre, and storyline, this may be a one-time temporary change, a recurring change (causing the character to jump the gender line often), or even permanent.

Sometimes it's the same person, sometimes it's a man and woman sharing one body. If a man and a woman swap bodies, it's a variant of Freaky Friday Flip. Male-to-female transformations tend to vastly outnumber the opposite when this trope is in play.

The trope can be played many different ways. It might be Played for Laughs, Played for Drama, or even played for horror if Loss of Identity or an unusual amount of Squick is involved.

For Laws related to this trope, see First Law of Gender Bending, Second Law of Gender Bending, Third Law of Gender Bending. Man, I Feel Like a Woman, Different for Girls, and Attractive Bent Gender are also common enough that they approach the level of Law.

Contrast with Rule 63 and Gender Flip, two tropes generally related to "alternate" versions of characters who, In-Universe, have always had the "opposite" gender from what the audience would expect. She's a Man In Japan is basically "Gender Flip via Localization," where Executive Meddling results in a character's sex being changed to meet the perceived needs of another market. But as with the aforementioned tropes, Gender Bender characters who previously wore a distinctive outfit may wear a Gendered Outfit, tailored to their new sex, after the change.

For this trope's impact on relationships, see Dropped a Bridget On Him, Jumping the Gender Barrier and Gender Bender Friendship.

Contrast with Transsexualism and Hermaphrodite, which are real-life phenomena (though on rare occasions, a Gender Bender character might turn into a hermaphrodite instead of, strictly speaking, the "opposite sex"; also, Gender Bender stories can intersect with transsexual characters, by having someone transition unexpectedly by magic, or have the experience of being gender-changed bring a transsexual character out of denial. Not to mention all the possibilities of using Gender Bender stories as metaphors for transsexuality...). Also contrast with Easy Sex Change, which deals with idealized but somewhat realistic takes on the Transsexualism experience. Not related to Was Once a Man.

Note that the definition of "gender" being used here (and in most trope names) refers to a character's physical sex, not gender identity.

Finally, in accordance with the aforementioned Laws, as well as certain demographic reasons, male-to-female changes are far more likely than female-to-male ones, and the rare female-to-male ones are usually less susceptible to the Three Laws of Gender Bending. Truth in Television to some degree, as the ratio of real life Transwomen to Transmen is roughly 3:1, but the ratio in fiction is still a much higher number.

Examples of Gender Bender include:

Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]

  • In one Mountain Dew commercial, a guy finds out his car remote can transform objects. Since he just broke up with his girlfriend, he conveniently uses it to turn his best friend into a hot girl.
  • A series of Italian "Coloured is better" laundry commercials play this as a joke. The first has a woman throwing her pencil-necked white partner into the washing machine after he fails to seduce her, and he emerges as a sexy, muscled black man. The second has her partner throw her in after comparing her to models in a gentleman's magazine -- and she emerges as a sexy, muscled black man.
  • There are this two commercials for Snickers, each featuring a rather cranky middle aged woman amongst a group of young men. Annoyed by her, they tell her that every time she gets hungry, she turns into a diva, and offer her a Snickers. After taking the first bite, it turns out that she is a young man too, who literally turned into a diva.


Anime & Manga[edit | hide]

  • Ranma ½ is wholly built around Involuntary Shapeshifting, with the main character being an example of this trope. Both of Ranma's forms have their own Love Dodecahedron, though most pairings are unrequited. Particularly for the female "Ranma-chan", who has no interest in guys (Because his mind stays that of a straight male).
  • Birdy the Mighty, in which the female title character has to share her body with a boy after she accidentally kills him. They are still discrete bodies, with Birdy able to switch them (and assume control over Tsutomu) at will.
    • There is a short-lived exception to this, when Birdy receives heavy physical and mental trauma after a battle, and Tsutomu becomes the default personality, while stuck in Birdy's body.
  • In Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl, space aliens reanimate a shy, diminutive and sensitive Ordinary High School Student as a girl after they 'accidentally' crush him under their crashing spaceship. Unlike some other examples of this trope no "cure" is even possible so Hazumu stays a girl, and seems quite a bit happier that way.
  • .hack//Sign does it a bit differently; one character is a Cross Player; trapped in a game which perfectly replicates sensation. More than that, this character thoroughly believes that they are male offline; and is offended at the idea that they aren't.
  • Maze Megaburst Space is a complicated example. The title character changes gender at sunrise/sunset but each form has a separate personality and could almost be considered distinct individuals. The straightest example is when an artifact meant to lock the transition results in Male Maze inhabiting female Maze's body and vice versa come the next morning.
  • The Sailor Starlights from the final season of Sailor Moon (in the Anime—the manga had them as simple crossdressers). Just to clarify, they aren't "men who turn into women to fight" but "men who revert to being women to fight", everything points to them having been born female. In the Sailor Moon manga, and it's parent manga Codename: Sailor V Usagi and Minako use their disguise devices to disguise themselves as men on a few occasions. It isn't clarified how far reaching this disguise magic is.
  • Naruto has a special technique called "Oiroke No Jutsu" (usually known in Western fandom as "Sexy No Jutsu" thanks to fan translations, officially translated by Viz as the "Sexy Jutsu"), used occasionally near the beginning of the series, where he temporarily turns into a cute, naked girl in order to give his opponents The Nose Bleed. It's stated that this is a "very easy technique" as the normal disguise technique is standard for any ninja (this one just transforms into a non-existent female); however, it's also a reference to the fact that Naruto has a kyuubi fox spirit within him. Traditionally, they had the power to shapeshift into beautiful human women.
    • In the anime and manga he teaches the technique to the Third Hokage's grandson, and we later see the fruits of the training during the first couple of episodes/chapters of Naruto Shippuden.
      • In the earlier editions of the Ultimate Ninja video game series, this is one of Naruto's special attacks. Users of the Sharingan technique can copy the special attacks of their opponents. The results are about as entertaining as you could imagine.
  • Prince of Tennis has special 'chibi' episodes, where Fuji, Oishi, and Momoshiro are all female. (And Eiji's a cat, to boot.)
  • Tenshi na Konamaiki—a mischievous spirit twists a young boy's wish to be a "man among men" and turns him into a beautiful girl instead. No one except she and her best friend remember she was ever male. It's eventually revealed that she'd been a girl all along and the spirit had hypnotized them into believing she'd once been male because he lacked the power to actually change her sex. Even if he did have the power he probably wouldn't do it anyways given his trickster nature.
  • Everyone in the world of Simoun is born female, and doesn't commit to a permanent sex until age 17.
  • Also not quite an example, Cinderella Boy is about two detectives (a man and a woman) who are badly injured in a car accident and put back together in the same body by an ambiguous doctor—they switch places with each other at the stroke of midnight, with the twist that neither one can remember what the other did while in control of the body.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: Berg Katse changes gender, at first at random, then on whim. In the heavily edited dub, s/he became two people.
  • Vision of Escaflowne: Allen Schezar's long-lost sister Celena isn't so much lost as "transformed by lunatic Emperor Donkirk into Ax Crazy antagonist Dilandau".
  • A case of a voluntary gender bender is Kuugen Tenkou in Wagaya no Oinari-sama.. Kuu can be either female or male and is comfortable in either form. This is because Kuu lived for so long s/he forgot what gender s/he was, and being a fox spirit, can change at will. Kuu seems to prefer female form, though.
  • One episode of The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk had the entire main party switch genders as a result of a magical trap. Ahmey and Kaaya in particular found the experience quite distressing, as they were unaccustomed to walking with the, er, alteration in body balance.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Yubel seems to self identify as female but is a hermaphrodite, with the Japanese version possessing a male voice about half the time. Further complicating issues are the fact that in the past lives of Yubel and Judai, they were apparently both male.
  • Futaba Kun Change has a rather unfortunate scenario. The title character's entire family changes sex whenever they get sexually aroused. which means his the person he always thought was his father is actually his mother.
  • Not quite an example, Pretty Face is about someone whose face was constructed to look like a girl's, but still remained physically male (except for some fake breasts that he occasionally uses).
  • Cute X Guy follows the life of Sumi Takaoko, a girl whose father promises her a serum he concocted will make her mature looking and sexy. She uses it because she hears that's the type of woman her crush likes; sadly, her eccentric dad neglected to tell her that it will make her a mature and sexy man. One she turns into whenever her heart rate increases, which happens all too often when she's near her crush. She goes on to make friends with several guys who turn into girls, all with different triggers.
  • Vampire Doll (with the added subtitle of Guilt-Na-Zan in the west) is a Gender Bender story about a vampire aristocrat called Guilt-Na-Zan who was vanquished many years ago and later brought back by the descendant of the man who offed him. Because the descendant is a perv with a Moe obsession, he brought Guilt-Na-Zan back in the form of a cute teenage girl by placing the vampire's soul into a wax doll, Guilt-Na-chan. Guilt-Na-chan can become Guilt-Na-Zan for brief periods when (s)he drinks the blood of the girl Guilt-Na-chan was modeled on (the resurrector's little sister, which implies he has a crush on his sister).
  • The second half of the manga Gacha Gacha, Gacha Gacha Secret (volume six and onward) has a malfunctioning virtual-reality pod turn a guy into the game's female instructor whenever he sneezes. Unlike most he never even tries to reverse it, and instead becomes friends with the girl he likes to get to know her better and get closer to her as a guy. Towards the end, the game's developers get him to try to cure it, as -per the manga's approach to science- each switch causes reversible (but fatal without treatment) brain damage.
  • In the Cute Witch series Ultra Maniac this is the first major spell we see Nina cast. Ayu needed to beat Hiroki in a tennis match as the girls' and boys' tennis clubs were feuding over the use of the school tennis courts and had bet on a match between the two. So when Ayu says she could use a spell to make her strong, Nina casts a Gender Bender spell without thinking much. While Ayu was able to pass herself of as her own cousin all the spell did was throw Ayu's balance and timing off because of the size and strength difference. Later Nina and Ayu both use the spell because of mildly convoluted reasons surrounding a triple date.
  • Several examples in To LOVE-Ru:
    • Ren/Run switches gender at a sneeze.
    • Lala designed a rocket to improve women's physical appearance, but Rito landed on it. When the rocket exploded, Rito changed into a girl.
    • Afterwards, Lala creates a Transformation Ray for the express purpose of doing this, except with that he'll eventually turn back on his own. She uses it at least 4 times, usually so that Rito/Riko can go on a date with his male best friend. He obliges once, but whenever she tries it again, he runs.
  • Akane-chan Overdrive is a short, humorous ecchi manga where the main character, Amamiya, gets knocked unconscious and then sucked into the body of an attractive high school girl (Akane). Later in the story Amamiya manages to return to his own body, but his best friend Murai is then sucked into Akane's body. Amamiya proceeds to propose marriage.
  • One Piece has "Miracle Worker" Emporio Ivankov, a man who ate the Horu-Horu Fruit, which allows him to affect the hormones in a person's body, to the point where a man can become a woman and a woman can become a man, with Ivankov refusing to say which of the Newkama were altered and which weren't.
    • An April Fools joke made by some people created a page in which Luffy was a girl because of Ivankov, mainly to disguise himself.
  • Yuuri in Tayutama has a magic charm that can turn him into a girl, mostly used for infiltrating Flawless Girls' School for purposes that are honestly good. As long as he doesn't make a habit out of it.
  • One reason why Chrome remains relatively popular in Katekyo Hitman Reborn, a series whose fandom is dominated by Yaoi Fangirl is probably because half the time she turns into local Draco in Leather Pants Mukuro.
  • In the first season of Ojamajo Doremi, the girls once use their magic to turn into boys, in order to investigate in their stolen Magic-Shop. Doremi, however, blew the cover by chanting her Catch Phrase ("I'm the unluckiest pretty Girl in the whole world!!") upon seeing magic charms who are claimed to be able to prevent said Catch Phrase.
  • Boku no Shotaiken is perhaps the Ur-example of Gender Bender Manga: After a partially successful suicide attempt the main character has his brain transplanted in the body of a young woman. He then goes back to school seeking vengeance on the girls who drove him to jump off the cliff in the first place, only to strike up a Gender Bender Friendship with his old crush instead.
  • In Kämpfer, Natsuru Senou, the (orignally) male lead character, transforms into a girl whenever he becomes a Kämpfer whether he wants to or not.
  • In the manga Otome no Iroha, twins Iroha (female) and Hifumi (male) are transformed into their opposite genders by their Dead grandmother because Iroha is so masculine and Hifumi so feminine that they would never get married and have children. The supposed cure is to act as closely to their original gender's stereotypes as possible, so either way, the grandmother wins.
  • The premise of Kedamono Damono revolves around this: the main character's boyfriend, Haruki, turns into a lascivious girl at night. Naturally, it involves some Bi the Way.
  • Homura in Sekirei had an unstable sex, and so started turning into a woman in response to the main character. It's not been revealed if the transformation was complete or not, but Homura now has a more feminine body and face as well as breasts.
  • In Sora no Otoshimono, through some Applied Phlebotinum, protagonist Tomoki transforms himself into "Tomoko", his female identity. After gaining the trust of the school by acting like the anime girls he's familiar with, his main objective becomes clear: to get into the baths with the girls and get intimate under the pretense of "we're all girls, aren't we?". His plan nearly succeeds, if he hadn't succumbed to the excitement of it all.
    • He uses the transformation again in the second season; since everybody knows what "Tomoko" looks like, she decides to use another Applied Phlebotinum to turn herself into swimming pool water (to grope the girls in it, of course). After she is found out and transforms back into her girl body, she runs into the girls bathroom, where she is trapped in one of the stalls. Rather than go out and get beaten up by the girls, she instead flushes herself down the toilet.
  • Kenzo in Blue Drop: Tenshi no Bokura has been turned into a girl by aliens intent on conducting sexual experiments on human beings. He/she is supposed to get impregnated, and chooses his/her best friend Shouta as a partner.
  • In the Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru game/manga, Wholesome Crossdresser Mizuho finds out that being possessed by Ichiko turns him into a real girl, just in time to solve his swim class predicament. This doesn't make it into the anime.
  • A recent chapter in Soul Eater features all of the main characters (as well as some other weapons and masters) being gender flipped. In context, they were experiencing the Seven Deadly Sins. In the Lust area, they became their own versions of lust. For example, Tsubaki is a tall Bishonen, Maka is a straightlaced male student, Soul is a very stylish and feminine woman (Soul admits that he makes up his usual slacker look to look cool), and Black☆Star has an impressive chest (What other size would a person that loves attention that much have?).
    • Its also worth noting that the twist of them being their own ideal sexualization has interesting ramifications for shippers. While Black Star is not quite the bishonen that Tsubaki is pinning for he is certainly working his way towards it and Tsubaki certainly has the one ahem.. aspect that Black Star seems obsessed with. However it is almost pathetically obvious with Soul Eater himself, whose ideal woman just happens to be the elegant small chested woman that his "excitement" transforms Maka into.
    • Recently Giriko has done this via Body Surf into an Opposite Gender Clone. Not entirely pleased about the fact but it was the only body available.
  • The two chapter manga Kanaete Aizen tells the story of a young man who desperately wants a girlfriend. However, with the exception of his childhood friend, who he sees more of as a friend than a girl, he can't even talk to a girl without going into a full-blown panic attack. One night, he wishes on a temple charm for a cute girl of his very own, only to wake up the next morning to find out the spirit of the charm granted his wish by turning him into a girl. Going to school as his 'cousin', he, well you should be able to figure out the rest.
  • Played for angst with Ranmaru of the manga series Kagerou Nostalgia. Formerly a woman, Ran was transformed into a man by the series' Big Bad before the story even began and now serves as one of his two Dragons. This sucks for her partner, Rikimaru who had a huge crush on her female form. And did we mention that they're now forced to serve together as Heterosexual Life Partners? And that once a month she changes back to a woman? And that fifteen years ago he told her how he felt and pretty much destroyed their relationship? As previously stated, it's played entirely for angst.
  • Kanata from Oto X Maho is a guy who becomes a Magical Girl as a result of his mother's Xanatos Roulette.
  • Arguably, Sechs in Gunnm Last Order is a female-to-male version of Gally, thereby becoming her Spear Counterpart. He (?) starts off looking like a very tough and 'masculine' woman and ends up opting for a male cyborg body. (Lampshaded when Elf and Zwolf ask him if he misses having breasts and he answers "What's the use of having them?").
  • In the manga Aragami Hime, the female protagonist Kazuki is the reincarnation of Akoumaru, who is a male in her past life. The reason behind this is because Akoumaru wanted to become the aragami hime, which led to the main plot of the story. Though this became a huge blessing for the male protagonist Shirou in the ending. The same goes for Kazuki's brother, Masaki, who was a female as well as Akoumaru's lover in his past life.
  • In the Steel Angel Kurumi manga Kurumi's accidental use of Applied Phlebotinum temporarily turns Nakahito into a girl.
  • Yona Rouma, the protagonist of Sekainohate De Aimashou, gets turned into a woman when Emillio slips him a potion while unconscious. Rouma gets turned into a female in order to be Emillio's wife, much to Rouma's dismay.
  • In the second season of Seikon no Qwaser, Alexander Nikolaevich Her infiltrates an all-girls school, having to crossdress to do so. Normal so far, until the girls enter a virtual reality program that causes their thoughts to manifest in the program. When Alexander enters the program, he quickly realizes that his perverted thoughts have given him some...extra parts of anatomy.
  • In the manga Ame Nochi Hare, there are not just one, but five protagonists who were transformed into girls after a freak thunderstorm. The effects are temporary but they will transform whenever there's rain.
  • Examples from Maken-ki!:
    • In chapter 37 of the manga, a magic spell briefly turns the male protagonist Takeru and his friend Kengo into girls. But they are drunk at the time and don't recall anything about the experience.
    • Syria has the power to reverse things. Such as being a guy.
  • In Sorcerer Stabber Orphen, we have a combination of Gender Bender and Transsexualism in the local Cool Big Sis and Orphen's first travel partner, Stephanie. Orphen explains to Majik and Cleao that she used to be a male magic user named Stephan until few years ago, when she was seriously injured and her male body was horribly torn apart. During her recovery, she asked the healers if they could turn said male body into a female one; they accepted, and now Stephanie has a female body that she's very comfortable with.
  • Ohiri from Gestalt. Not revealed in the OAV, but in the last volume of the manga, Ohiri is a false body & she's actually a male god.
  • In Asuka Hybrid, Asuka got magically turned from a boy into a girl by a mystery woman who interpret his wish wrongly.
  • The protagonist Eita Chinami from Idol Pretender gets turned into a girl overnight when he mistook the "female beauty" pills as cold medicine. The story centers around Chinami becoming an idol, trying to earn lots of money to purchase the same pills in order to change himself back.
  • Fairy Tail has Natsu turning into Lucy for a transformation test. His reaction to the change is a typical one.
  • Jitsu wa... combines Gender Bender and Our Werewolves Are Different, in that a girl transforms into a wolf-man.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Lucifer, in Joseph Michael Linsner's Dawn series, has been shown at least once to be able to take on a female form. Considering he is a former angel and the gay lover of Ahura Mazda (the series' God analogue), this has some interesting potential ramifications.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman, is the end result of the Ultimate Clone Saga. She is a clone of Peter Parker, implanted with his memories and genetically modified in vitro to be female and develop additional powers. During the Clone Saga she fills the same role as Ben Riley did in the 616 Clone Saga. Afterwards she assumed the CIA/FBI created identity of Jessica Drew and has only recently returned to active crime fighting as Spider-Woman. She confessed that along with inheriting Peter's memories, she is still in love with Mary Jane Watson.
  • In Shade the Changing Man, Shade's consciousness leaps into the body of a recently murdered woman. Unfortunately, he was unable to alter her body to resemble his old one until he solved her murder and put her soul at rest. This led to various comical scenes with Shade experiencing the Male Gaze, his first period and sex as a woman.
  • The second Infinity, Inc. series, from the writer of Shade, Peter Milligan, featured team member Fury, who involuntarily switches between genders.
  • In DC Comics' Resurrection Man, title character Mitch Shelley spends a couple of issues as a woman, after being tortured to death several times (with each time being more painful than the last). His persecutor has a theory (opinions differ as to the amount of Truth in Television therein):

Mr. Bland: Women have appreciably higher pain thresholds than men. If Shelley reconfigures from each termination in a form suited to "protect" him from that method of death, then a female version would make sense.

  • In one story, the Earth-2 version of Superman finds himself in the body of his cousin Power Girl, while the Earth-2 Batman is in the body of his daughter, the Huntress.[1]
  • In one issue of Guy Gardner: Warrior, the title character's demonic archenemy Dementor turns him into a woman ("Gal Gardner") for no clear reason. (It would be highly cynical to suggest that the real reason was that, at the time, Guy was a rare example of a male character in a Stripperiffic costume, so naturally they wanted to show what it looked like on a female character.)
  • X-Men examples:
    • Supporting character Courier has the power of complete control of his body's cells, allowing for shapeshifting as well as other abilities. While undercover as a woman, he was discovered by Mr. Sinister and injected with drugs that would cause his body to break down. Gambit made a deal with Sinister to have Courier stabilized, and Sinister kept up his end of the bargain—but didn't know Courier was originally male. The female form is now Courier's default form.
    • Due to a consciousness transfer to a cloned body gone horribly wrong, Sinister himself is now Miss Sinister.
  • In Legion of Super-Heroes stories, the trope has been used several times:
    • Played for Drama in an infamous retcon that long-time supporting character Shvaughn Erin had been taking the gender-changing drug "ProFem" the entire time we'd known her. After going off the drug, she becomes "Sean."
    • "Grandin Gender Reversal Disease" causes a temporary change of gender. It temporarily transforms Matter-Eater Lad into Matter-Eater Lass as part of an infiltration mission.
    • Played for Laughs in a very silly Legion of Substitute Heroes one-shot, when Color Kid becomes Color Queen.
  • Alpha Flight member Walter Langkowski spent several years as "Wanda," due to having possessed a dead female teammate's body.
  • Iron Man is even subjected to this; his armor (which, at this point, is partially fused with his body) gets hijacked by Ultron and reshaped into the image of Janet van Dyne, Ultron's "mother". After it's undone, the entire Mighty Avengers team teases him about it.
  • The Skrulls from the Marvel Universe are a race of shapeshifters. One obvious application of this inherent ability didn't come to light (at least, in canon) until the male Skrull Xavin turned up in Runaways and asked for Karolina's hand in marriage. Karolina, being a lesbian, refused... until Xavin transformed into a female human, because for a Skrull to change his/her physical sex is as easy as blinking. (Later, when Xavin and Karolina returned to Earth, Xavin turned out to be less comfortable with the transformation than s/he had first claimed...)
    • It seems that during Joss Whedon's run on the series Xavin finally accepted femininity. Although, being a Skrull, he/she did continue to shapeshift as occasion and whim permitted, Xavin referred to male forms as being "false". Interestingly, when Terry Moore took over the series we saw Xavin assume a female Skrull form for the first time, perhaps indicating his/her deeper level of comfort with the whole thing. The issue of whether Skrulls even have set gender identities and, if so, whether it's common to attempt to change like this, has been left ambiguous.
      • In any case, Skrulls changing into other genders have been seen from their very first appearence (the four Skrulls that attempted to replace the Fantastic Four were all male). It's just that nobody had noticed the detail or thought on it.
  • At the end of the XXXenophile story "Vici, Vidi, Veni", an invading army is turned into frogs by a god they have angered. The sole survivor (who was in the god's temple at the time) announces that he believes in the god and is promptly turned into a woman and made an acolyte of the god, being led off to the novice quarters (and, implicitly, hot lesbian sex).
  • In the comic book Mantra from Malibu Publishing, the main character is a warrior employed by a wizard. He's continually reborn by having the wizard transplant his soul into a new male host whenever he died. At the start of the series, the wizard is betrayed and has only enough strength to move his most loyal warrior's soul one more time. He tells the warrior that this time it will be different. The warrior awakes to find himself in the body of a single mother. The series deals with him coping with this and having to learn magic to cope with his lack of martial abilities.
  • In Camelot 3000 by Mike W. Barr and Brian Bolland, King Arthur is awakened from his sleep during an alien invasion. A number of Arthur's knights have been reincarnated, sometimes into distinctly different bodies (e.g., black, Asian, hideous mutant.) Sir Tristan, quite a womanizer in his former life, is reincarnated as a young woman. The appearance of Isolde (also reincarnated, but still female) complicates the matter further, although they end up in a surprisingly sweet lesbian relationship.
  • When IDW comics started their Transformers comic, it was decided that there would only be male Cybertronians. When they decided to include female transformer Arcee into the universe, they decided not to Retcon their decision, and so they made Arcee the victim of a forced alteration by a Mad Scientist specifically to introduce gender to the race. She's understandably pissed off about it.
  • In The Sandman, Desire can be either gender whenever it wants to be, and is frequently depicted with both male and female traits. In its first appearance, Desire greatly resembles another being who is "whatever it wants to be": Gozer from Ghostbusters.
  • Loki of The Mighty Thor spent some time in a female body (eventually revealed to be that of the goddess Sif); he eventually returned to his usual body, though as in the original Norse mythology, his sorcery also allows him to turn into a woman whenever he feels like it, which he has done on a few occasions.
  • In the comic Locke and Key, by Stephen King's son Joe Hill, one (of many) magic keys can open doors and allow whoever steps through them to swap genders.
  • In Alan Moore's Promethea, Roger, a member of the supporting character team "the Five Swell Guys". Roger used to be a man until an unseen incident at "Suffragette City" turned him into a woman. Roger's original form was never depicted in the comic.
  • Averted/Misdiagnosed once by Ambush Bug, who spends most of the story trying to cure Superman of the dastardly plot that transformed him into a young blonde woman. It's a case of Critical Research Failure for Ambush Bug, though. Despite his Genre Savviness, he somehow was completely unaware of the existence of Supergirl. He does, however, turn out to be Genre Savvy enough to figure out Supergirl's secret identity at the end.[2]
  • Zatanna's beautiful assistant Mikey is the result of an as-yet-unspecified magical Gender Bender. In a "three years ago" dream sequence, she's depicted as a burly male.[3] Word of God from writer Paul Dini says "Zatanna didn't do it & can't reverse it; Mikey brought it on him/herself. Now Mikey's in an interesting place where she has to sort out her feelings about this." While there's a lot more to Mikey's story, with the book's cancellation, it doesn't seem likely that the story will be told any time soon, if ever.
  • Invoked in a Captain America (comics) storyline, "The Superia Stratagem". Supervillain Superia plans to establish "Femizonia" - a female-ruled utopia from which she will Take Over the World. Captain America and his allies infiltrate her base to stop her, but Cap and Paladin are captured at one point, and subjected to Superia's feminization process. (She believes that, as women, the heroes will see the light and join her cause.) The two male heroes are rescued before the process does anything to them, however.[4]
  • Mighty Man of The Savage Dragon is an ancient entity passed from host to host at the point of death. The current host is female Ann Stevens (or New Ann...it's complicated) - the host, regardless of their sex, is able to transform into a tall blonde man with Flying Brick powers, by tapping their wrists together.
  • In a 1960 Superboy story, "Claire Kent: Super-Sister," Superboy is turned into a girl by an alien girl from a telepathic alien girl from a matriarchal planet who's insulted by Superboy's chauvinistic thoughts. Superboy has to adjust to being a girl in both his secret and super identities... but in the end, it turns out to be All Just a Dream.
  • Believe it or not, Superboy's dog, Krypto, had not one, but two Red Kryptonite Gender Bender adventures!
    • "The Handsome Hound of Steel" has a plot that wouldn't be at all out of place in modern TG fiction. Krypto wants to change into a handsome collie to impress a female collie, but a Red K cloud ends up turning Krypto into a duplicate of the bitch he fancies—and it turns out she's pregnant! Krypto actually delivers puppies in his altered form (though they vanish from existence when he changes back to normal.)[5]
    • In "Krypto's Three Amazing Transformations," a time-traveling Krypto gets turned into a cow (and definitely a female, because she gets milked!) And not just any cow, but the cow that started the great Chicago fire of 1871! (As it happens, the wrongly accused Mrs. O'Leary's cow was innocently grazing in a pasture at the time.)[6]
  • Given its premise (a dial that transforms its user into a random superheroic identity), you'd think this trope would have turned up in Dial H for Hero more often than this:
    • In the Chris King/Vicki Grant series, it showed up once in circuitous fashion. The dial turned Chris into a hero named "Any-Body"—a hero with shapeshifting powers that Chris used to take the form of Naiad, a villainess, in order to trick another bad guy.
    • One storyline in the 2003-2005 H.E.R.O. revival had a chauvinistic male character use the dial, after which he turned into a buxom blonde female hero. Unfortunately he had no means of changing himself back. The story was not played for laughs, and included such low points as the hero being date-raped by his male best friend.


Fairy Tales[edit | hide]

  • In the Albanian story The Girl Who Became A Boy, uh...well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Similar to Mulan, a girl pretends to be a boy to give her family honor. After adventures and even getting married, she gets cursed into changing gender.
    • This is surprisingly congruent with Albanian culture. The practice is dwindling now, but Albanian girls would swear themselves to celibacy and be considered men socially. This was often done to make sure there would be a 'male' head of the household.
  • Happens in a rare myth of Guanyin, the Chinese interpretation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who is recognized as almost exclusively female due to a mixture with his/her own Tara and some fertility goddesses (although Avalokiteshvara truly appears only in 4 of his 32 incarnations as female). It is connected with a school of Shaolin, there, Guanyin changes into a man for the sake of the group and later is "allowed" to stay that way.


Fan Works[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]

  • The 1940 Hal Roach feature Turnabout concerns a bickering husband and wife, each of whom wishes they could have the "easy" life of the other gender. Their wish is subsequently granted by an enchanted Indian sculpture sitting on their mantelpiece. By the end of the film things are seemingly back to normal... until the Indian god confesses that he screwed up and informs the husband that he's now pregnant. The film was an adaptation of Thorne Smith's 1931 novel, which was later adapted as a short-lived TV series in 1978.
  • Zerophilia, a live-action Futaba-kun Change-style genderbender, directed by Martin Curland. The story concernes a young man named Luke who obtains the rare Z chromosome after a sexual encounter with a mysterious woman which turns him into a zerophiliac, a person whose sex changes with the act of sex (either by your lonesome or with another person). For more information just go here.
  • Several movies have used the same basic plot, wherein a womanizing playboy dies and is reincarnated as a woman:
    • In Goodbye Charlie, Tony Curtis becomes Debbie Reynolds
    • Cleo/Leo wasn't a porn movie, but it was made by a cast and crew of adult film veterans, and explores the sexual aspects of the transformation more frankly than most movies of this type.
    • In Blake Edwards' Switch, Perry King becomes Ellen Barkin.
  • All of Me uses the "shared body" variation, as Lily Tomlin's character dies and partially inhabits Steve Martin's body.
  • The Hot Chick has a lowlife thief (played by Rob Schneider) accidentally swapping bodies with a snotty teenage girl.
  • There are several films which take the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and, while keeping Jekyll male have Hyde be a beautiful but evil woman:
  • In the sex comedy Sexual Chemistry, a chemist's attempt to create a sex-enhancing drug backfires, turning him into a woman. He keeps changing back and forth over the course of the movie. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Something Special (aka Willy/Milly) is a rare female-to-male example, where a tomboyish teenager wakes up to find herself magically transformed into a male after making a wish during a solar eclipse.
  • In Splice, Ginger, one of the two transgenic creatures created by Clive and Elsa, turns from female to male due to hormonal changes, and fights Fred (the other transgenic creature, who was male from the start) during a press conference that unleashes a shower of blood on the front row. This turns out to be Foreshadowing for similar changes in Dren.
  • In Jurassic Park, the all-female dinosaur population gradually has some of them turn male. This is due to the dino DNA that created them being mixed with the DNA of a frog species that can change gender.
  • Its a Boy Girl Thing gives bickering teenagers Nell and Woody a Freaky Friday Flip via a Mayincatec God.
  • The Hong Kong action comedy Holy Weapon features this towards the end. In the movie, Ghost Doctor creates "Feminine Wine" for an intersexed woman, warning that if a man drinks even just a drop, he'd become a woman. They then have the male Idiot Hero Ng Tung look after the brew without telling him what it is or what it does. Ng Tung unwittingly drinks the brew, thinking it's a nutritious soup. Then his penis tells him that from now on, whenever his body gets wet, he'll turn into a woman. He'll become a man again when he dries his body. This becomes useful during the final battle, when the Big Bad's Mooks throw Ng Tung into the river as a sacrifice, only for him to emerge fully female, complete with Gainaxing and Girlish Pigtails. Thus, he/she becomes the Seven Virgins' Eleventh-Hour Ranger (since one of them is trapped in a net throughout the battle).
  • In The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, Luster is constantly switching between female and male due to her player forgetting and being reminded of her true gender. It's lampshaded several times, both in-character and out-of-character.
  • In Frankenstein Created Woman, Doctor Frankenstein successfully transfers the soul of a man into the just-drowned body of a young woman. As with most of the Doctor's experiments, things start going downhill from there.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The premise of the Sex Gates trilogy by Darrell Bain & Jeanine Berry: Portals appear at random all over the world. If they don't make you vanish when you pass through them, they cause you to emerge as a flawlessly healthy 18-year-old...of the opposite gender. Hilarity Ensues. Well, not so much hilarity as extreme societal upheaval. The Middle Eastern response - namely, chucking various imams and abusive husbands through, was highly amusing. Other aspects, like the Trans Equals Gay implications of homosexuals lining up for their Gender Bender or women eager for the chance to be the "superior" sex, may be less amusing.
  • In Iain M Banks' Culture novels, citizens of the Culture are able to change their gender at will. The process is slow, taking several months, but is done entirely using consciously-released hormone, not requiring any external assistance. The change is so complete that they begin to produce the appropriate sex cells, and a newly-female person can get pregnant and give birth. Most people in the Culture will spend a year or two as the opposite sex at some point in their lives, just to see what it's like. A popular expression of love is for a couple to conceive a child, then change gender and conceive another, so both partners are pregnant with the other's child at the same time (they are also able to temporarily arrest the development of the embryo/foetus, so that they can time it so they come to term together—if the embryo is only just conceived, they can even keep it alive while they become male).
  • In Gael Baudino's Dragon trilogy, an enemy wizard does this to an entire troop of soldiers from an extremely sexist country. The transformation is permanent, and the characters' adaptation to their new state is dealt with at length; the new women's situations are dealt with with surprising sensitivity, given that at the time Baudino was a Dianic Wiccan.
  • Princess Ozma of L. Frank Baum's Oz series was magically changed into a boy as a baby, and grew up this way (under the name "Tip") until the spell was discovered and she was changed back.
    • The fact that their personalities are total opposites has led to at least a century of many fans trying to explain this away via either Fan Discontinuity or Retcon. Lampshaded when the Gump mentions he thought Ozma was nicer when she was a boy.
      • The Gump also mentions that Ozma didn't much like him talking since she changed her name.
  • Lois McMaster Bujold's A Civil Campaign has, as a significant character, Lord Dono Vorrutyer...formerly Lady Donna Vorrutyer.
    • Not to mention Bel Thorne the hermaphrodite, who, while technically both male and female, is quite fond of switching its perceived gender around just to mess with people's heads.
  • A common motif in Jack L. Chalker books. Usually it's a) to show just how indomitable the transformed character is, and b) to showcase the sheer evil of the individuals responsible...and make their eventual Karmic Deaths—or at least karmic comeuppance—all the more appropriate.
    • Appropriately enough given how deeply Chalker is associated with this trope, his immortal hero Nathan Brazil's last act in Chalker's final book is to "accidentally" inflict a Gender Bender on himself; it may have been a Freudian Slip on the character's part.
  • Neil Gaiman has played with this trope a few times:
    • In Stardust, Bernard the goat herder is first turned into a goat by the Big Bad, and later into a woman to pose as her daughter.
    • The short story "Changes" has Gender Bending as its premise, as a cancer cure called Reboot that works by altering the patients DNA has the side-effect of transforming the patient into a fully functional and fertile member of the opposite gender. The story takes place over several decades, analyzing how society would react to the effects introduced by such a drug. The middle eastern response is especially horrific, in contrast to the Sex Gates example above.
  • The entire basis of the plot of James Alan Gardner's novel Commitment Hour.
  • This is the ending twist of the Clive Barker short story The Madonna from The Books Of Blood. All men who enter The Madonna's lair become women. Though it can be Nightmare Fuel for some people, he/she ended up better than most other characters.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness is basically 'what if everyone were of negotiable sex'.
  • An important point in Charles Stross' Glasshouse is that the characters come from a society where Gender Benders are ridiculously easy. It's implied that most people tend to settle on a particular gender for the sake of convenience; the protagonist is usually male, but doesn't even remember what his original body's gender was.
  • This is pretty much the point of Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Biography.
  • The middle part of The Making of a Mage is basically "The Making of a Priestess". When Elminster agreed to serve the goddess of magic, he finds himself teleported without any warning to an unknown location and turned into a lass - "to see the world through the eyes of a woman",[7] having nothing on her save half of broken ancestral sword, and no magic abilities save innate magic vision. Later he learned the spell himself. In the next book, Mystra pushes a silent sex-inverting spell into his mind, to give him a way to circumvent controls built into his body. Which he used while embraced... er... restrained by his current Love Interest, no less. "Well met. Call me Elmara, please!"
  • Several Animorphs characters do cross-gender human morphs. Marco morphs the female governor in one book, and presumably, Cassie and Rachel morph male when they acquire sailors for a mission on an aircraft carrier.
  • In The Wheel of Time, after Balthamel dies, he is resurrected as the beautiful woman, Aran'gar. This is situational irony, because Balthamel had been known as a tremendous lecher.
  • In the 1952 French short story Héloïse by Marcel Aymé, the thirty-five-year old Martin turns into the titular female character on each evening, causing her to clash with his wife. Things get complicated when Martin falls in love with Héloïse, and when Héloïse gets out and sleeps with other men. At the end of the story, Martin's wife gives him out that Héloïse is pregnant; Martin/Héloïse will give birth to a boy who will soon turn into a girl. Ouch.
  • In the Chanur novels, the trigendered Stsho change gender when "phasing" (a personality breakdown and reformation caused by emotional or physical trauma).
  • In Walter Jon Williams' Cyberpunk novel Hardwired, the rich elite often transfer their consciousness to a younger body to extend their lives. The book introduces one who used to be an elderly man but got himself transferred to a young, female body to live his sexual fantasies of submission and vulnerability. S/He gets what s/he asked for and more when Sarah, one of the protagonists seduces, and then murders him/her.
  • In the novel Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin, the main character Jill changes into a boy, Jack, before (or during) her period.
  • In the Safehold series by David Weber, Nimue Alban (or, specifically, the robot with Nimue Alban's personality) crafts the persona of Merlin Athrawes. Her robotic body has the capability to shift genders, which she uses to complete the image.
  • The whole idea of a man being turned into his own fantasy woman is brutally deconstructed by Angela Carter in The Passion of New Eve.
  • Used by Piers Anthony in his Incarnations of Immortality series.
  • Pretty much the whole plot of Death's Master, the second novel in Tanith Lee's Flat Earth fantasy series. Lee also explores gender-switching in her Four BEE series, where changing bodies and genders is almost as easy as changing clothes. Officially you're only supposed to change once every thirty days, but nobody pays attention to that.
  • In Judith Tarr's Avaryan Rising series, a young nobleman from one nation is turned female—by way of a dangerous magic ritual—so that s/he can marry the prince of another nation for diplomatic reasons. Predictably, s/he's smokin' hawt in female form.
  • Malahide in the Havemercy series.
  • In the Vampire the Masquerade series, Sasch Vykos was once Myca Vykos, but changed genders via Vicissitude.
  • Polyjuice Potion in the Harry Potter series has been stated to do this, although we never actually learn how far the gender bending goes. Some examples in the series:
    • In Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, Crabbe and Goyle take the Polyjuice Potion many times to pose as first year girls, in order to allow Malfoy to repair the Vanishing Cabinet.
    • In Goblet of Fire, Barty Crouch, Jr. escaped Azkaban by swapping identities with his mother via Polyjuice Potion.
    • Deathly Hallows, in order to get Harry out of Privet Drive, five of his friends (and Mundungus Fletcher) disguise themselves as Harry using Polyjuice potion. Two of the decoy Harrys are Hermione and Fleur. Amusingly, Fleur isn't too happy about being Harry; after the transformation is complete, she tells Bill not to look at her because she's hideous.
  • In the Mercedes Lackey and Piers Anthony novel, If I Pay Thee Not In Gold, there be demons. They look ordinary, if beautiful, and with awesome eyes, but normal for normals where they come from. What distinguishes them is immortality... and gender bending when they have sex. Imagine losing your virginity and learning that. How can demons die? By being killed, or if a partner is unfaithful.
  • In Warrior Cats, the others often can't keep up with the massive cast, especially characters who were created just to flesh out the allegiances, so this has happened to several characters (most notably Sedgewhisker and Rowanclaw).
  • In Dread Brass Shadows, Garrett encounters a couple of characters who magically disguise themselves as other people, sometimes of the opposite sex. Finding the corpse of one of them, he's squicked out to discover that the dead man is reverting from his assumed female form to his natural one only gradually, from top to bottom.
  • In Sphere, the protagonist tests out his reality-warping abilities on some nearby mummified corpses, changing men to women and women to men. That's right: gender-bending corpses.
  • In Cordwainer Smith's Instrumentality short story, "The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal," the Arachosians made their women into man-like things (klopts) on purpose. It was a Fate Worse Than Death.
  • In Peter Pan In Scarlet, the former Lost Boys must wear their children's clothing in order to become children again and return to Neverland. Unfortunately for Tootles, he has no sons, so must wear his daughter's ballet dress, and turns into a girl.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Delenn from Babylon 5 was originally supposed to have been male or neuter in the first season, before entering the chrysalis and becoming female, but the idea was dropped. Sources differ as to whether the exact reason was one of these, or perhaps a combination:
    • They couldn't get Mira Furlan's (electronically altered) voice as "Male Delenn" quite right.
    • Furlan refused to play Delenn as a male.
      • They did use this idea in the original pilot as aired, but dropped it for the series and later rebroadcasts of the pilot have Mira Furlan's unaltered voice. Unfortunately, there's nothing that can reasonably be done about the Male Delenn makeup (which looks remarkably like the original G'Kar makeup, particularly noticeable in their scenes together).
  • Examples from Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Glory, a female goddess, goes around as her "brother" Ben most of the time. When Ben gets his body back, he generally finds himself in a glamorous dress somewhere.
    • Invoked by Willow, who suggested this as one of the possibilities after Buffy touched a demon and was set to take on a part of it.
    • In the episode "Him", a Jerk Jock uses a magic jacket to make any girl who sees him wearing it fall madly in love with him—including Willow, who (after being reminded she's a lesbian) decides to "prove" her love by magically changing him into a girl. Fortunately, Xander interrupts her before the ritual can be completed.
    • Later that same season, Willow was cursed with a Glamour that caused her to take on Warren's[8] appearance after she shared a kiss with her new girlfriend. The curse started as an illusion, but the longer Willow looked like Warren, the more his personality began to overtake her own—eventually causing her to try to recreate his attack on Buffy.
  • The 1998 version of Fantasy Island has the episode "Estrogen," in which a man asks Mr. Rourke to give him a better understanding of women. Guess what happens.
  • In Heroes, guess what's the first thing Sylar turns into after getting the ability to transform?
  • Monkey (also known as Monkey Magic, based off the Chinese epic Journey to the West) features this on occasion:
    • Buddha, in order to become more "compassionate" appears in his female incarnation.
    • The bodhisattva Quan-yin (Guanyin) the Compassionate is only seen in her "male incarnation", in pale blue robes and a lacey veil.
    • The priest Tripitaka is a man, played by a woman, who when entering the City of Nightmares is magically transformed into a woman as a disguise. (And is promptly hit on by Pigsy).
    • Monkey transforms into a woman in order to trick the Unicorn King.
  • Red Dwarf examples:
    • The hologram Arnold Rimmer changes his appearance to that of Lister's dead love interest, Kochanski. Even though he is a hologram he is quite able to...touch himself.
    • Holly redrew himself after an encounter with his Distaff Counterpart. And became male again.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch has an episode where Sabrina, Hilda and Zelda use a magical potion in the form of a soft drink called "Boy Brew" to become temporarily male. Though Zelda only briefly.
  • In a minor example, Dax from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine by way of The Nth Doctor. She's female through both incarnations in the main series, but Sisko (who knew her before the current incarnation) calls her "old man" (despite appearing to be a young woman). One of her male forms is seen in a flashback, and others are seen through a psychic-body-swap-thing, including one of her previous female forms in a male host.
    • In another episode, Quark (for reasons having to do with a Ferengi diplomat) has to have a temporary sex change. Not only does he pop out of Sickbay as a physiologically-complete Ferengi woman, his personality has suddenly altered to be completely feminine. Cue the parade of human female stereotype behaviors.
  • The Tonight Show With Jay Leno plays with the trope on occasion:
    • A fake ad for something called For Men Only (a parody of men's haircare products) showcases a liquid that turns men into women. There are several male to female morphs in it, including one of Jay himself using the product.
    • Another episode has Jay in drag (a supermodel with his voice).
    • On the episode where Pam Anderson is the guest, Jay asks several questions about implants and then asks her.."If you could be a man, who would it be?" Pam responds "I could be you!" Jay then exclaims "That's perfect. Why?" Pam's answer is "So I could sit there, torturing you, asking about your implants."
  • Season One of The X-Files gives us the aptly named episode "Gender Bender" , which revolves around a sect of humanoid aliens with the ability to change sexes at will. Said aliens also have a voracious sexual appetite...which is unfortunate, as mating with one them is inevitably fatal to humans.
  • Doctor Who has used this trope a couple times, at least in the context of the titular character's potential regeneration as a woman:
    • In "The Curse of Fatal Death," an Affectionate Parody created for the 1999 Comic Relief appeal night, the Doctor cycles through all of his remaining regenerations in quick succession, with the final one being Joanna Lumley. The Doctor's female companion (who was engaged to him) is understandably rather disturbed; his arch-nemesis, the Master, somewhat less so. The former enemies walk off arm in arm.
    • The episode The Doctor's Wife from the actual series revealed that it's indeed possible for a Time Lord to regenerate as the opposite sex (assuming the Doctor wasn't joking):

Doctor: See that snake? The mark of the Corsair. Fantastic bloke. He had that snake as a tattoo in every regeneration. Didn't feel like himself unless he had the tattoo...or herself a couple of times. Oh hoo, she was a bad girl!

      • Neil Gaiman (who wrote the episode) also mentions the Corsair having a couple of female regenerations in The Brilliant Book 2012.
    • Zig-zagged in the episode "New Earth", in which the villainous Cassandra[9] possesses the body of companion Rose Tyler. When the Doctor orders her to leave Rose's body, she complies...by transferring herself into his body. Cassandra is amused by her newfound maleness, reveling in her handsome figure and new "parts" ("And hardly used!"). However, circumstances force her to abandon the Doctor's body, and she spends the rest of the episode jumping between numerous other female hosts before settling on the body of her cloned male servant.
  • In the French TV series Vice Versa, due to a lab accident the main character Thomas turns into his female self Emmanuelle (then Julia, in season two) whenever he hits his elbow.
  • An episode of Tomica Hero Rescue Force has the Big Bad, inspired by the sex changing ability of clownfish (see the fish example under "Other"), create a virus to turn all men into women, thus robbing humanity of their ability to reproduce, and eventually causing our extinction. She's stopped, naturally, but not before she manages to transform the male heroes.
  • In one episode of Malcolm in the Middle, Lois, tired of her three boys constantly arguing, imagines them as girls instead, in a world where everything's better and they give her unconditional love. But she realizes by the end of the episode that girls would be bad in different ways—bitchy and keeping all their secrets from her—and that her boys love her in their own genuine way. (The episode is also funny to watch to see Hal in a fatsuit and Francis, the eldest son, as a girl—unlike the other three, Christopher Masterson actually played the female version of himself.)
  • Occasionally used on The Carol Burnett Show. It's played for laughs, of course.
  • Weird Science has several examples:
    • At the end of the pilot episode, after Wyatt (the cautious one) tells Lisa (hot computer-created genie) that he's happy and she disappears, Gary (slacker) is ticked and states he'd only be happy if Wyatt was a killer babe. At that point, Wyatt is turned into a hot blonde.
    • Later in the series, Gary is accidentally zapped into a phone sex worker.
    • In the episode "Feminine Mistake," Wyatt and Gary want to understand women better, but aren't satisfied with Lisa's help. So, of course, Lisa makes them look like girls. "Wynona" and "Garyette" get hit on by everyone including Wyatt's brother Chett. Played for laughs as Wyatt and Gary see themselves as girls only in mirrors and the audience sees them as girls when they flirt with their minor friends (or have a hissy fit.) But when boys try to pick them up....
  • Occurs in Charmed. Prue makes quite a handsome man.
  • The Gumbies on Monty Python's Flying Circus briefly turn into girl-Gumbies at the end of "The Buzz Aldrin Show" for no particular reason. Their only reaction upon turning back is "OOH! THAT WAS FUN!"
  • In the third season of Misfits Curtis gains the ability to change genders.


Mythology[edit | hide]

  • There are several instances of gender bending in Greek Mythology, all of which are Older Than Feudalism.
    • The prophet Tiresias was transformed into a woman by Hera as punishment for killing a mating female snake. Seven years later, he killed a male snake in the same location and was changed back into a man. In some versions of the story, he continued to change sex every seven years afterwards for the rest of his life. As a result of his unusual experience, Tiresias was later called upon to settle an argument between Zeus and Hera over which gender enjoyed sex more (as he alone had experienced it from both perspectives).[10]
    • The goddess Artemis turned the Cretan hunter Sipriotes into a woman for staring at her naked body while she was bathing.
    • In his Metamorphoses Ovid wrote of Iphis, a daughter of Telethusa and Ligdus, who Ligdus had said - when Telethusa was pregnant - he would kill if born a girl. The goddess Isis told Telethusa to bring Iphis up as a boy, and Iphis eventually fell in love with a woman - Ianthe. So Isis turned Iphis into a man. They lived Happily Ever After.
  • In the Mahabharata, Shikandin, the reincarnation of Amba, was born specifically in order to kill Bhishma. He was born as a girl but was brought up as a boy due to Prophecy Twist. He exchanged his female body with a Yaksha and was turned into a man.
    • The God Vishnu in Hindu Mythology turned temporarily into a beautiful woman called Mohini in order to seduce the demons away from eating nectarine that would lead to immortality. He coyly teased them about it, transformed back to his original self and gave the pot to the gods.
  • Norse Mythology is full of this trope:
    • The gods hired a contractor to build their heavenly city. They let him name his price after he did the work, he asked for the goddess of love's hand in marriage. He was a giant, with a giant horse, so they had to distract the horse and get him outa town. How'd they distract the horse? Why, by having the trickster god Loki, noted male, transform into a hot mare, of course! Loki actually got pregnant from this and bore the eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, who Odin nicked to be his warhorse. Loki didn't mind, presumably wanting to drown the memories in mead as quickly as possible and never see a reminder again.
      • Another version of the myth has the Giant getting Odin's wife if the work is completed by a certain date, and Loki distracts the Giant's horse as above to delay the work past the due date so she doesn't have to pay up.
    • In the myth where Loki invades the gods' banqueting hall to insult them all, he and Odin both charge the other with having turned into a woman—a real woman, who had borne a child and nursed it.
  • An odd bit of folklore claims that kissing one's own elbow will cause a person to change sexes. (Did you just try it? It works!)
  • According to Herodotus' Histories some Scythian raiders once made the mistake of sacking a temple of Venus Castina (the aspect of Venus who looks after the souls of women locked in male bodies.) The Goddess responded by turning the raiders into women.


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Dungeons & Dragons examples:
    • The "Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity" is a magic item dating back to AD&D. It changes the wearer's sex.
    • The Changeling race from Eberron can change appearance at will, this includes gender.
    • Most shapechanging magic (such as Alter Self) allows the caster to choose the gender of the assumed form, along with more typical alterations such as height and build.
    • Many "random" magic effects in D&D include involuntary sex change as one possible result. Wild Mages in particular tend to suffer from it.
    • The infamous Tomb of Horrors has this as a result of one of the many, many traps, with the added bonus of alignment reversal.
    • In the third-party supplement The Book of Erotic Fantasy, there is a sex-change spell with the memorable flavor text "I'm a girl! I'm a girl! I'm a...no, wait, let me check."
    • Forgotten Realms had a special spell for this, that was repeatedly used in the Elminster Saga novels, though didn't make it into sourcebooks.
      • Eilistraee allowed this as an option for her rare male priests (being a female is the only way to understand her divine dance). Mystra at least sometimes did this too, though her high-ranked servants are likely to shapeshift into lots of forms either way while going about their usual business.
    • Greyhawk got Zagig's Gender Shift spell introduced in Dragon #270. 3rd level, but unlike Alter Self remains until dispelled or negated.
  • In the Animesque Tabletop Game Teenagers From Outer Space, the Boy/Girl Gun is a standard item, and one alien power replicates the effect on the user. It's probably best to not speculate about the non-standard items.
  • Mekton Zeta cites this as a sample use of the "Special Effect Weapon" Stupid Mekton Trick.
  • In GURPS, "Hermaphromorph" is a cheap (5 point) Advantage that allows a character to change sex at will.
  • Similarly, Eclipse Phase has the "Sex switch" augmentation that allows one to change sex at will, but the transformation takes a week. For some reason it only takes a day in a healing vat to permanently switch sexes.
  • Exalted examples:
    • The Lunar Exalted have access to a charm which allows them to change sex at will. Their God/Patron Luna enjoys the same power and has no set gender.
    • If that wasn't weird enough, Luna is the lover of Gaia, who is very female. Make of this what you will.
    • Luna sometimes appears in the form of a Pregnant Boy.
    • Alchemical Exalted have a charm that allows them to shift their physical appearance, allowing them to be males, females, and even hermaphrodites or sexless. Since they are sterile in any case, the changes are purely cosmetic, though.
  • Scion has an Epic Appearance perk mentioned in the God rulebook, that allows the Scion to change everything about his/her body, including gender, and becoming a hermaphrodite. They're even fully fertile.
  • Unknown Armies provides players with at least three permanent ways to magically change their character's sex, a few more temporary methods, and several canonical one-off accidents. In addition, since the game is set in the Present Day, gender-reassignment surgery is also available - and explicitly necessary for correcting some magical accidents.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the Chaos God Slaanesh typically uses the pronoun 'He'. However, he in fact is neither male nor female yet both at the same time. He assumes whatever form the person viewing him would find most attractive, which means that he can either be a fully functioning male, female, hermaphrodite or whatever else a person finds attractive at any given time. His traditional form is a weird sort of hermaphrodite, being split down the middle vertically as a woman on the right side of the body and a man on the left. The same goes for his/her breeds of daemon, including the more animalistic ones.
  • Cthulhu Tech has a First Order (low level) spell of the Transmogrification style called "Beckon the Unexpressed". Its other names are Aphrodite's Touch and Gender Bender, which sums it up fairly well. By magically 'tweaking' the target on a chromosomal level, the target switches gender in a painless fashion over a period of three days. The ritual is legal (though it requires a permit), and implicitly a person "switched" in this manner is fully functional in their new role—the spell has replaced surgery for gender reassignment. Because the ritual only requires an effigy of the target and not the target's actual presence, it's noted that immature occultists like to use it for pranks. Especially in college. As well as merely switching men to women and vice versa (the change is permanent, but easily undone with a second spell), casters with sufficient occultic skill and knowledge of physical medicine can use this spell to create different varieties of fully functional gender ambiguities (people with the body of one sex and the reproductive organs of the other, or a "true" hermaphrodite with the body of one sex and the organs of both).
  • The Mage: The Awakening Legacy known as the Daksha become Hermaphrodites after a certain degree of initiation, but also have the ability to shift between a male and female form as they see fit (although they will generally consider the hermaphrodite form their true one). They do this because they believe it is the mark of their superiority.
  • Munchkin includes at least one Gender Bender card in each iteration, and sometimes two! (Might come in handy if you're a low level and poorly geared male facing a deadly Amazon!)
  • In Chess, pawns are generally promoted into queens when they reach the far end of the board. (On the other hand, how do you know the pawns are male?)


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Microprose's Rex Nebular And The Cosmic Gender Bender did indeed apply this trope to its titular hero, who becomes its heroine.
  • A series of ero Dating Sims known as X-Change is centered around this trope (with a boy becoming a girl).
    • Visual Novel Ying-Yang X-Change Alternative uses both this and Transsexualism, and despite its comedy tone plays both surprisingly seriously at times. With the Phlebotinum being a medicine designed to increase the feminine attributes of women, the scene where the doctor who made it has to explain quite why it worked on the 'male' main character is one of the funniest in the game... yet explains and adds considerable pathos to his late father's constant attempts to beat the slightest hint of femininity out of his son.
    • This is hammered in further by the refusal of several characters to buy the Phlebotinum excuse and proceed to refer to him as a post op transsexual. Even he eventually gives in to the description, at one point shouting it down the phone at his parents amid mad cackling.
  • Darkstalkers: Demitri Maximoff (or Maximov; it changes) has a move called Midnight Bliss, in which he turns an opponent into a woman before sucking the life out of her. (What happens when he uses it on female opponents varies wildly between victims.)
    • In regards to this, in SNK vs Capcom Chaos, Goenitz is one of the playable charcters. His Midnight Bliss form (called Goeniko) has become very popular as a result, ironically turning every gamer's worst nightmare into every hentai artist's dream.
    • It just gets weird in this fanvid made in MUGEN. For example, Miyako turns into Hatsune Miku when Blissed.
  • Zohar, The Rival in Silhouette Mirage, has two forms with opposite attributes and gender. As Zohar Metatron, he's a Silhouette-attribute who wields a sword; as Zohar Sandalphon, she's a Mirage-attribute with a gun.
  • Edwin in the Baldur's Gate series is transformed into a woman by a Netheril practical joke in Shadows of Amn (he believed it would transform him into a lich), and is unable to turn back. The game even gives him a second soundset for his female form (though it does nothing to his portrait). He is eventually turned back after many trials, tribulations and being snarked at by most of the other party members. However, by keeping Edwin in your party through Throne of Bhaal, his Where Are They Now? Epilogue reveals that he later tried to make his name by challenging Elminster to a magic duel, who had apparently heard of his previous mishap and made sure to apply the effect permanently this time...
    • Being based on D&D, the Wild Mage class has it as one of the random effects.
    • There's also a girdle from the first game that has no effect but to instantly and permanently change the gender of whomever puts it on.
  • NiGHTS Into Dreams has a rather interesting example. NiGHTS, the character of the games gender depends on what gender the person viewing NiGHTS sees NiGHTS as. Since NiGHTS combines with people to escape the Ideya Palace, you've got to wonder what happens when someone sees him as the opposite gender...
  • Disgaea allows you to transmigrate any non-story character into another class, with the option of changing gender in the process. If that's not enough, you can choose to turn him into a penguin instead.
    • Another Nippon Ichi example comes from Soul Nomad. The player character, Revya, was explicitly born as Median's firstborn son all of about 200-some years back. This trope comes into play if you choose to play as a female. And considering the Disgaea 3 DLC has Female Revya...
      • A stranger example comes from the Disgaea light novels. Lamington states that angels have no set gender to begin with, instead taking in traits from the environment and their own emotions having an effect. Apparently their choices in weaponry also affect the outcome as well, which gets weird when you figure that the angels in-game are all female.
  • In the Japanese version of Bonk's Revenge, your secondary form is not a scarred Bonk like in the overseas version, but rather a female Bonk! This occurs at around 1:30 of this video if you don't believe me.
  • Neo Mr. Do has a powerup that turns the titular character into a woman, as if Mr. Do wasn't creepy enough...
  • In Persona 4, Shadow Naoto tries to turn its creator into an adult male through body alteration. Luckily, you can stop it before that happens.
  • In Fable II, The Temple of Shadows has the "Wheel of Misfortune", which kills human sacrifices through random means. Among its possibilities are electrocution, impalement, beheading and "Gender Change."
    • The player has a chance to use a sex changing potion after buying Castle Fairfax. This potion is one-time use and irreversible (the game saves immediately after you use it), unless you play Co-Op online and use someone else's potion. The change is generally acknowledged by the NPCs, but your spouse couldn't care less and your child readily starts calling you 'mum' or 'dad'.
  • Toward the end of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Sheik, in a shocking twist everyone knows, turns into the princess herself. There's contradictory information on whether the change was just clothes and hair (and color contacts), but it certainly looks magical.
  • It is now possible to have different body types (and, therefore, change your sex when you change your costume) across different costume slots in City of Heroes.
  • Specific to Pokémon Crystal, if the player chooses the female avatar, they must be changed into the male avatar if they want to trade with any other game, as the sprite data for the female avatar doesn't exist in any other compatible version. However, in this game the player's gender choice was purely aesthetic, so nothing is made of it.
    • Azurill has a 1 male to 3 female gender ratio, while its evolution Marill has an even gender ratio, meaning 1/3 of female Azurill become male upon evolution. In other words, it grows a dick. (This is most likely unintended.)
  • World of Warcraft examples:
    • Chronormu, a bronze dragon who 1) had a name consistent with the naming standards of male bronze dragons, and 2) prefers to take the humanoid form of a female gnome named Chromie. This appears to have been an error, though, as her rare appearances in dragon form have since been changed to either just say Chromie, or Chronormi (the female suffix for bronze dragons).
    • Player characters gained access to character appearance resets for $25 in 2008. This includes the ability to change your character's gender. This was used as an explicit selling point for the resets.
    • In "Wrath of the Lich King", the player is led through quests to a village entirely inhabited by Hyldnir, female Giants. For purposes of disguise it the player must transform into a Hyldnir, regardless of original gender.
    • Using an Illusion Potion near a character of the opposite sex.
    • Certain items that transform you into traditionally male creatures do (or did) cause you to be considered male as far as gender specific titles are concerned, such as the Iron Boot Flask which turns you into a male Iron Dwarf. Strangely, while the Pygmy gnome transformation of Pygmy Oil turned the player into a female Pygmy gnome, it would also result in female characters' titles changing to the male equivalent.
  • Drag Queen's ending in Twisted Metal 4.
  • Actually a play mechanic in CAVE's Bullet Hell series Espgaluda - entering "awakening" mode causes your character's gender to flip, and for all the bullets to move in slow motion. It also makes it possible to cancel opposition bullets by killing the shooter to rack up huge scores. However, if the meter showing how long you can remain gender flipped runs out, you're immediately shunted back to your original gender, with bullets moving at double speed.
  • RuneScape: The Makeover Mage in Falador will change your gender for a fee of 3,000 coins.
    • There is a members quest where one of the tasks requires you do do this if you are male, as, in the words of the enemy in question, "No man can kill me!"
  • In Jade Empire you can encounter the Furnace of the Mad Science God Lord Lao. There are various recipies of combinations of working parts and fuel that can upgrade your character, and experimenting with other mixtures will usually just summon demons or light you on fire. However, there is one unmentioned combination that will briefly swap your character into the opposite gender (Complete with matching clothes!). This is temporary however and you shift back five seconds later.
  • In Geist, John Raimi, the ghost of a man, has to possess several women to progress through the game. This actually becomes important gameplay-wise when you possess towel-clothed Anna, who will not walk past a male-guard without proper clothes.
  • Gaia Online lets you change your avatar's gender three times for free, then begins charging on the fourth. A "Gender Bender" potion was also made available.
  • Civilization II, like most games in the series, has a "unit upgrade" mechanic - the "Leonardo's Workshop" wonder, in this case. When built, this wonder will turn all your Diplomat units into the more advanced Spy. The Diplomat is depicted as a stereotypical old-fashioned diplomat, a little man wearing tails, a top hat, and grey striped trousers. The Spy, however, is a busty female wearing a Little Black Dress. So your diplomatic corps not only gets better skills, but free sex changes!
  • The Amulet of Change from Nethack switches the player, then disintegrates, leaving him/her stuck. Since this has next to no consequences on gameplay (foocubi will seduce the opposite sex and attack the same, only females can lay eggs, and strange monsters' hatched eggs sometimes ignore male characters), the amulet is considered Vendor Trash except for stunts like making male Valkyries, and a possibility that it's what an unidentified amulet is isn't considered a good reason not to try it on.
  • Can be done in Kingdom of Loathing at a very dodgy street doctor's clinic in the sleazy back alley.
  • Although not necessarily a true case of Gender Bending, the 1996 game Pandemonium by Crystal Dynamics has a cheat labeled; BODYSWAP, which, when inputted shows the statement "Gender Bender!" The cheat itself, however, only enables in-level character swapping between Nikki and Fargus.
  • Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme is all about this, as well as a few other types of transformation.
  • Some monsters in the Violated Hero series will transform the hero into a woman after raping him.

Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • El Goonish Shive is notable for the sheer number of gender-bending gags and storylines; all of the major characters have their gender swapped at least once. As a birthday party theme. A Transformation Ray in the Chivalrous Pervert's hands, a character able to transform others without such a device, a Half-Human Hybrid Shape Shifter who can change forms, including both male and female at will, though seldom has an actual reason to do specifically this, and finally Elliot ends up with a suspiciously specific shapeshifting ability but tries not to use it.
    • So, of course, the phlebotinum behind Elliot's hijinks builds up, and either he uses it several times a day to keep it controllable or it activates spontaneously anyway. The author is on record about how much fun it is to torment Elliot.
    • EGS also gives us this wonderful line when Sarah and Susan are arguing over whether it's healthy or not when Elliot "fails at perversion":

Sarah: Don't you remember what it's like to be a teenage guy?
Susan: I try not to.

  • Similarly, The Wotch is pretty much based around the trope; whole groups of male students at Tandy Gardens HS (note the initials) have been permanently transformed into females (four of whom would later be featured in a Spin-Off series, Cheer!), and some of the other male characters seem to have become addicted to being temporarily in female form. (The authors of both comics readily admit to being a little too interested in Shapeshifting. Their readership is in the tens of thousands. We blame 1980s cartoons.)
    • In one particularly strange example, the Wotch herself has an older brother who likes to relax by taking on the form and personality of a four-year-old girl.
  • In Order of the Stick, Roy has to don the mystical "Belt of Femininity/Masculinity" to escape a pair of would-be assassins. This is an actual magical item in Dungeons & Dragons, though this one reacts to Remove Curse better. Breaking the trend slightly, Roy is NOT a beautiful woman, and is still bald.
    • Also a common theme is the fics written in the Crack Pairing thread on the forum. And a theme week for avatars every year.
    • The same object shows up in this Something Positive strip, as a way of shutting up an obnoxious player.
  • The basic premise of Misfile has Ash, the hero, getting accidentally "misfiled" in heaven by a stoner clerk. This not only changes him from a teenage boy to a teenage girl overnight, it changes the entire world to fit. Some aspects are convenient (no need to explain anything or shop for new underwear), some are comically disturbing (Bikini shots and prom pictures in the photo album,yaoi magazines under the bed), and some are not-so-comically disturbing ("girl-Ash" had reconnected with her estranged mother via a letter that "boy-Ash" had been too ashamed to send and had already lost "her" virginity to his oldest and best friend.)
  • Umlaut House has a gender-bending Transformation Ray, originally built by Mad Scientist Dr Hundecoph to help his Transsexualism friend Dr Pegasus become female, but later accidentally set off by Volair, who takes it in stride before changing back a few days later. For the second series, author Allen Ecker explains elsewhere that when Hundecoph reformed, he took the unusual step of releasing the design to the public (he'd already made a fortune selling his other inventions, but he wanted to make sure that this particular one was open-source).
  • A storyline near the end of It's Walky switches the genders of Walky, Joyce, Head Alien, Monkey Master, and the aliens' computer due to Unpredictable Results. Entropy nearly kept them that way, but The Wanderer intervened.
    • The trope is played with somewhat as well. Joyce points out to Walky that despite having changed genders, they're still straight, leading to humorous moments between them and their team mates. It's later revealed that male-Joyce's "equipment" was bigger than Walky's regular package. Walky is not happy to know this, to say the least.
  • In Gender Swapped, the main characters are hit by a ray gun that changes their sex and rewrites their lives while they sleep. The machine, known only as the 'GSM' has been built by scientists for a yet to be announced reason. Two of the three main characters were hit by a split beam setting the plot in motion, the third character Elise, whose name is now Elyps, due to an odd set of circumstances, has to live as a boy without the luxury of the people closest to her thinking she was always that way. This comic has followed both the First and Second Laws of Gender Bending.
  • Done briefly in The Last Days of Foxhound, in which Decoy Octopus (who, through drinking their blood, can take on another person's appearance) disguises himself as Sniper Wolf. It's a very complete transformation.
  • In Narbonic, Mad Scientist Helen Narbon invents an instant gender-change formula. She gleefully uses it in several storylines, not least to make her sex life more interesting[11] (along with the antigravity generator, and the nutrient vats, and the teleporter...)
  • The Insecticomics has several instances of characters spontaneously changing their gender, although being that they are mostly androgynous Transformers gender isn't much of an issue for them. The most notable was the time that Lazorbeak was voted female in an effort to make the comic less male-dominated.
    • In a later strip, the resident Moral Guardian Lady Jaye protested that the male Thrust was pursuing a relationship with Dreadmoon (also male), whereupon Thrust promptly declared himself female and went off to hit on Dreadmoon again. Since the characters and the author both refer to Thrust as "she" from this point on, apparently Thrust never bothered to change back.
  • DDG explains why, when you are a disembodied soul you shouldn't fool around with magic cloaks. Something recently deceased Zip wishes s/he had known to start with.
  • The misogynistic Stunt from Dominic Deegan gets briefly turned into a woman after defiantly taking a bite of an onion labeled "do not eat" in a land of chaos magic.
  • Exiern is about a mighty barbarian who went to save the Damsel in Distress princess from the evil wizard. Accidentally nullifying his own ability to cast dark magic, the wizard resorts to pouring all the power he can into a light magic spell, transforming the barbarian into a beautiful woman.
  • One of the many cameos in the Fan Web Comic Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha R'r by Entropy Max are the space aliens from Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl, making this trope inevitable for a feminine-looking male down on his luck in regards to the (ambiguously lesbian) girl he likes. Meet Yuuno Scrya (second image NSFW).
  • A major plot-point of The Dragon Doctors, affecting the aforementioned doctors, every (former) male in the first town the Doctors visit, and several minor characters.
  • MSF High: See especially Rainer. Though it frequntly happens to others as well.
  • Various Slipshine comics, but most prominently The Key to Her Heart.
  • She !s me (Oh no! I'm a girl!) [1] The story of a guy who one day wakes up as a gal. Don't think of this as a funny bodyswitch comedy, but as a serious evaluation about the question "What would you really do if ...?"
  • Ninmu Nanmu: Anarchy and Rad features this trope.
  • Jet Dream (the Remix Comic), along with its Spin-Off series It's Cookie! and My Jet Dream Romance, are built around this trope. These Affectionate Parodies of Silver Age comic books take as their premise the notion that the male members of the "Thunderbird Squadron" (Blackhawk Expy) have all been turned (permanently and irrevocably, natch) into girls via Applied Phlebotinum. As Joint Elite Team, Division of Raiding-Expert Aeronautical Maidens, they continue the good fight as T-Girls instead of T-Birds. In addition, the most talented teenage boy recruits in Junior Echelon, Teen T-Girls, Elle-Boys, and Esprit-Girls (Natural!) (J.E.T. T.E.E.N.) may themselves be voluntarily turned into girls after a period of training in Advanced Crossdressing and T-Girl combat specialties.
  • The Rise and Fall of Little Red Riding Hood: Pablo.
  • Keychain of Creation: Naturally, Marena is able to do this.
  • Axe Cop has two prominent examples of this trope, both revealed in "Ask Axe Cop" installments:
    • In a What If scenario, Axe Cop revealed that he'd only want to have kids "in a jillion years when I am done with my job" (i.e., the last bad guy in the world has been killed.) Axe Cop would then use unicorn magic to turn his best friend Sockarang into a girl, and they'd have a family together.
    • In another (canonical!) example, Axe Cop teamed up with Abraham Lincoln, who turned into Abraham Lincoln: Explosion God and "put a bomb inside every bad guy." With all the bad guys in the world destroyed, Axe Cop used his magic unicorn horn and wished for Abraham Lincoln to be a girl. They got married, and lived Happily Ever After... until Axe Cop got bored. Presumably, the bad guys were resurrected and Axe Cop went back to doing his job, but the final fate of Girl Abraham Lincoln is, as yet, unrevealed.
  • This is the main power of the Tiresias Orb (see the "Mythology" section) from Eerie Cuties, which Blair steals, uses irresponsibly, and accidentally breaks, leaving Ace stuck long-term; much, much later, kissing Kade after touching Blair causes Ace to transfer the curse to him for a while, until Chloe figures how how to use this effect to break the curse completely.
  • Magic and Physics has Shelly, who, oddly for this trope, doesn't seem to remember being a guy ever. However, her brother does, and seemingly the Author and the Writer do too.
  • In Jix, one of Remula's personalities, Lamerix creates a device that does this. She tests it out on Lauren, changing her into a guy. Lauren gets mad about being temporarily stuck and uses it on Lamerix, but with no noticeable change (due to no major sexual dimorphism in Ambis and the fact that fur covers their private parts). Lauren convinces Lamerix to temporarily change her husband Paul while she's trying to figure out how to reverse the change.
  • In Cherry, Kirsch repeatedly tries to sell the eponymous Steve on the idea of actually becoming a girl. (He's not keen.)
  • In Quantum Vibe, Nicole meets a female Sex Bot named Hitomi who starts coming onto her. When Nicole wants to back out ("I really don't, y'know, flop that way"), Hitomi simply swaps gender to suit Nicole's inclinations. This simply leaves Nicole aghast.
  • In Dragon Ball Multiverse, Syd from Universe 6 can switch genders with others upon eye contact. She tries this on U13's Prince Vegeta to even out their power differences, only to find out that Vegeta is still Vegeta, woman or not.
  • In Girl in My Dream, Ji-Hoon gradually becomes a female named Ji-Hyun as he dreams.
  • The Whiteboard: After pressing a button with a Shmuck Bait warning sign, in the May 22, 2012 strip, Roger is transformed into a woman.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • In Homestar Runner, Strong Bad explains what he would do if he ruled Free Country USA. Things start out plausible, like the King of Town being stuck in a box of peas, Coach Z getting a new jacket, and Homestar leaving, and then they get weirder (such as Pom Pom looking like an ABA basketball and Strong Sad being the devil). The weirdest of all? He plans to turn Homsar into a "modestly hot" girl. After realizing that this is Homsar he's talking about, Strong Bad proceeds to decide that his imagination is broken.
  • This is a major point of many of the Whateley Universe tales, due to them taking place in a LGBI dormitory at the titular Boarding School. Several of the main characters are gender bent by an "Exemplar" mutant power, which involves involuntary shapeshifting to a "BIT" (Body Image Template). A BIT is that person's mental image of a perfect body, which is occasionally the "wrong" gender—although Exemplar mutations tend to have a side effect of a certain level of acceptance. It should be noted that the First Law is in full effect in the Whateley 'verse—as a rule, it is not possible to undo or really change an Exemplar mutation.
    • Other than the Exemplar mutants, one main character is changed to a girl by being bonded with a powerful female elf spirit, another due to a poorly worded prank by her little brother, another by a magic sword, and yet another hasn't changed at all but is actually a Transsexualism trying to find a way to become a real girl. Oh, and then there's Hank, who's gender bending the other way.
  • In Take a Lemon, Marshall Steen wakes up one day as Marsha. S/he decides that it was caused by a scientific experiment gone awry and then decides not to change back for a few months, just to prove that s/he can cope with the situation.
  • The plot of Transplanted Life. In fact, in that story, the only way a mind-transfer works is between genders.
  • Most of the characters in The Trading Post, one of whose writers is also behind Transplanted Life.
  • FictionMania (NSFW) is a massive archive specializing in gender bending stories of all kinds. The site isn't limited to this trope, however, as it also accepts Real Life (or Very Loosely Based on a True Story) stories of sexual reassignment and transitioning, Crossdressing, and Easy Sex Change fiction.
  • The Satyri series (and possible future webcomic) by Deviant ART artist DP Ragan is about a series of virgin males who are cursed by a group of succubi, either by being pulled into hell and having their soul infected with a fragment of a succubus' soul, or by using a cursed item (usually bodywash) that causes their skin to melt off, revealing their new, permanent form. The face is the last part to melt off—if the victim doesn't give in to the horrible uncontrolable itching as their skin bubbles and melts at the edges the face will regenerate their human body over a few weeks of constant torture; the gender bending, however, is permanent.
    • If they don't manage to keep their hands away (and it's not common knowledge to do so, most people don't last more than a few seconds), or if they managed to get pulled into hell for the personal treatment by another succubus, they are now permanently stuck as a Satyri—a vaguely Satyr-like half-Succubus. Satyri traits include a tail, horns, elflike ears, Unguligrade hooves (think "Draenei"), inhuman (yellow iris on black) eyes, unnatrually colored latex skin and hair (red, blue, and "bubblegum" being the most common), and an enforced lack of nudity taboo. Wings are also common, especially with Satyri who have completely "went native" and turned into outright Succubi.
  • Deviant ART in general has entire communities surrounding this trope. Just put "TG" into the search engine and enjoy.
  • In the Paradise setting, human beings are randomly, permanently changed into Funny Animals (though the change is Invisible to Normals). A small percentage of Changed also change their gender. Given the Wish Fulfillment nature of the setting, the number of gender-Changed who appear within stories is somewhat disproportional to the amount that exist setting-wide.
  • Deconstructed rather viciously in Lola. Some random guy--who happens to read GenderBender porn—is turned into a hot chick by a Mysterious Website That Wasn't There Yesterday. He hates it, on account of the trouble being someone who doesn't, y'know, legally exist. And being objectified by men. The story ends with the implication that they're going to end up shipped off to some mysterious government facility for a nonspecified fate.
  • The Vulvoid Transformation is a story about evil panties that turn their hosts into girls and make them give birth to more evil panties.
  • AH Dot Com The Creepy Teen Years plays with this trope a lot. Ynnead tends to switch genders between episodes.
  • Okashina Futari is a story of two siblings, a boy named Ayumi and a girl named Satori, who have the ability to change each other's gender (which cannot be done onto themselves) merely by wishing it. As expected in most gender-bending, the boy-to-girl transformation is more frequent. They can also change the other's clothing, including undergarments, but they can't change the gender and not change the clothing, nor can they change the clothing into garments worn by the other's gender (e.g. Ayumi as a girl wearing a man's suit).
  • Benzaie of That Guy With The Glasses winds up being turned into a woman in this video as a side effect of watching Jem and The Holograms too much.
  • The premise of The Finite Life of a Dating Sim Heroine, which is a Web Serial Novel about a boy who gets sent into a Dating Sim and forced into the body of the game's heroine.
  • In Equestria Chronicles, transgender transformation pins exist. However, they've only been shown to last acouple weeks at the most; hourly transformations are more common.
  • In one entry of the blog "F*cking In Brooklyn", the writer imagines himself swapping bodies with a glamorous lady friend for a day.
  • In Chakona Space skunktaurs, which were a competing project to the chakats' development, can switch between male and female. They're born male then change to female for the first time at puberty and can trigger the change at will from then on.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Lloyd in Space hangs an entire episode on a one-shot who's "Neither Boy Or Girl" and of a species that chooses its own gender at the age of thirteen.
  • In The Emperors New School episode "Girls Behaving Oddly," Kuzco and Kronk use one of Yzma's potions to turn themselves into girls so that they can befriend Malina, whose "girlfriends" have abandoned her.
  • In one episode of Johnny Bravo, "Witch-ay Woman", a fortune teller tries to teach Johnny a lesson in showing women respect by turning him into one.
  • In an episode of OzzyAndDrix, when Ozzy accidentally ends up in the body of a girl instead of his usual (for the TV show) human host Hector, Ozzy's own sex starts changing. He very nearly becomes completely female, but never loses his beard.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door examples:
    • "Operation: F.U.T.U.R.E." has a young misandric lass who gets a "Girlifyier" gun from her alternate future self. Numbah 4 gets his hand zapped, and in the dystopian alternate future is the only adult male left. He becomes the leader of the Boys Next Door and with the help of Numbah 3's granddaughter develops an "Boyifyier", and a sex-swapping battle ensues. He manages to evade this future by going back in time and changing things.
    • In "Operation: C.A.R.A.M.E.L." where Numbuh Five's candy-hunting rival, Heinrich von Marzipan, turns out to have once been a girl, who was turned into a boy through some magic caramels. And, through some very weird logic, this is the reason he has such a big grudge against Abby.
  • The Fairly OddParents examples:
    • In "The Boy Who Would Be Queen," Timmy, Cosmo and Wanda all change sexes. (Wanda is not very attractive as a man.)
    • In "The Good Old Days!" Timmy wishes himself, his grandfather, Cosmo and Wanda into a 1930s style cartoon where Wouldn't Hit a Girl is a law of the universe. He therefore makes an additional wish that the Vicky analogue was a boy so he can defeat "him".
    • It's never been revealed how Timmy's parents, who dressed as each other for the Halloween Episode, were affected by Timmy's "Real and Scary" wish. Apparently, it wasn't traumatic for them, as they dressed as each other again in "Take and Fake".
  • Johnny Test examples:
    • In one episode, an invention turns Johnny into a hot girl for about 5 seconds, then overloads and turns him into a hulking female monster. She turns back to normal a few seconds later.
    • In a later episode, an invention turns Susan and Mary purple, then huge headed, then male. They revert after a while, but it was All Just a Dream anyway.
    • Another episode has Johnny and Dukey turn into female rollerbladers to win a roller derby.
  • The last episode of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog has Sonic and Tails transported into various fairy tales. In the first one they visit, they're Hansel and Nettle (Gretel). Sonic is Hansel...and Tails is Nettle. Disturbingly, four-year-old Tails gets boobs as a girl. He even lifts up his dress to verify it: "I'm a girl!"
  • Bender from Futurama blurs the line between the "already ill-defined robot sexes" more than once:
    • In "Raging Bender", he becomes a fighter for the Ultimate Robot Fighting league, and is first billed as "Bender The Offender"; as his popularity falls, however, he's forced to play the Gorgeous George Heel role of "The Gender Bender", dressed in a blonde wig and pink tutu.
    • In "Bend Her", Bender poses as a fembot from "Robonia" to compete in the Olympic games, wins several gold medals, then has to have a sex change in order to pass the gender check. As the fembot "Coilette," Bender begins a relationship with the robot actor Calculon—planning initially to marry and divorce him so she can take half his stuff. However, it turns out that Calculon is genuinely in love with Coilette, and prepared to give up acting to be with her. Bender and the gang have to hatch an elaborate scheme to fake Coilette's death at her wedding, soap opera-style, so Bender can undo the sex change without hurting Calculon.
    • And now, "Neutopia" brings the entire Planet Express crew to a planet where gender is unknown, and an alien swaps their sexes. Leela and Amy do not enjoy being male, while Fry, Bender, and the other men-turned-women find the experience fun.
      • And in a Call Back, Bender's female form is Coilette.
  • In the Batman Beyond episode "Out of the Past", it turns out Ra's Al Ghul has taken over his daughter's body... which is even more disturbing than it sounds. Ra's can speak with his Ra's voice, even though he has the body of a woman... the transition is outright creepy. Scratch that - everything he/she says is outright creepy. Furthermore, Ra's still acts in a very effeminate manner, despite the voice. Remarking on the situation:

Terry: Lady, that is the sickest thing I've ever seen. You're creeping me out!
Bruce: You? She kissed me.

  • In Thundercats the evil Mumm Ra has transformed into a female on at least four separate occasions:
    • In "The Garden of Delights," Mumm Ra assumes the form of a faerie queen to lure Tygra into a trap.
    • In "The Mask of the Gorgon," he turns into Nada of the Warrior Maidens.
    • In "The Queen of Eight Legs," Mumm Ra turns into a tiny female fairy called Diamondfly.
    • In "The Astral Prison," Mumm Ra transforms into the Nether Witch, which is implied to be an alternate identity he regularly assumes.
  • Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends: In "Seven Little Superheroes," the Chameleon, a male villain, displays his shapeshifting powers by assuming the forms of female heroes Shanna The Jungle Queen and Firestar (as well as several male characters.)
  • Hogatha in The Smurfs switches genders when she becomes a Smurf in "The Fake Smurf".
  • Tuff Puppy has The Chameleon, who wears an Applied Phlebotinum suit which allows him to transform into anything, including into a woman twice, once as Bunny the Real Estate Agent and again as FiFi Oui Oui.
  • In Wakfu, season 2, episode 10, Evangelyne and Amalia temporarily turn male to be able to play Gowbbowl.
  • The opening to an episode of Arthur had Arthur wondering how life would be easier if people had various special abilities, including being able to turn into other people should the need arise. The Imagine Spot shows Arthur about to be caught by his mother for making D.W. mad, so he transforms into his grandmother and confuses his mom.
  • Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable once swapped bodies. However, the only time the fact they don't have the same gender affected the episode was when Kim forgot which bathroom at school "Ron" was supposed to get in.
    • It's never been stated how far Camille Leon can go while shapeshifting into males.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • 5-alpha-reductase deficiency (5-ARD), known crudely as "Guevedoche" ("Balls at twelve") in the Dominican Republic and simply "Kwolu-aatmwol" ("female thing transforming into a male thing") in Papua New Guinea, in which a genetic male is born with what appears to be female genitalia under casual scrutiny, only to "turn" male when they hit puberty. This is a rare but inheritable genetic disorder, seldom seen outside the above-mentioned places. Allegedly, because it is comparatively common in small, highly insular communities, most of those affected adjust with surprising ease.
  • Meet Wolbachia, a bacteria that primarily affects arthropods (insects, arachnids, and other bugs). It can, very rarely, turn infected males into completely fertile females. (More commonly, it turns them into infertile pseudo-females, and even more commonly it just kills them).
  • Some fish start out as male then change gender to female if the female dies. Others do the opposite.
  • There have been cases of chickens changing sex.
  • There are also documented cases of peahens changing into peacocks.
  • One study shows that the popular herbicide atrazine can change male frogs to female.
    • Frogs and other amphibans are extremely susceptible to hormonal changes and can undergo severe physical changes that appear just weird for vetrebrates.
  1. Superman/Batman #27
  2. Supergirl (2nd Series) #16 (1984)
  3. Zatanna #13 (2011)
  4. Captain America (comics) #387-392 (1991)
  5. Superboy #101 (1962)
  6. Superman Family #165 (1974)
  7. and to hide him from Magelords out for his blood
  8. the man responsible for the death of her first girlfriend Tara
  9. (a Transsexualism woman from the future who has surgically altered her body so many times that only her eyes and a flap of skin remains)
  10. Tiresias said that women enjoyed it more. Hera's response to that is why he became known as "the blind prophet".
  11. When Dave and Helen briefly separate near the end of the comic, his reaction is "Good lord, I'll never have lesbian sex again!"