History Main / ShapeShifterBaggage

12th Aug '17 3:33:46 AM SeptimusHeap
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* ''Film/{{Species}}'' starts out fairly well with this, with Sil having to eat huge amounts of food to maintain her bamboo-like growth rate. Then the realism level crashes and burns when she goes into her cocoon and comes out a mature woman who has to weigh about twice as much as the little girl that went in. There's an attempt to justify it by explaining her food consumption as "storing up calories for some big event" except if that was true she should have been visibly bloated from holding her own weight in food in her stomach, and she wasn't (at most, child Sil is slightly chubbier before the cocoon). The whole cocoon process was probably mostly just made up so Sil could go straight from asexual child to mature sexpot without a [[LoliCon logical but family-unfriendly intermediate stage]]. They repeat this with [[spoiler:[[EnfantTerrible her offspring]]]], whose rapid growth rate is fueled by gobbling up sewer rats, but who then becomes visibly larger without any proportionate mass intake when he assumes his OneWingedAngel form.

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* ''Film/{{Species}}'' starts out fairly well with this, with Sil having to eat huge amounts of food to maintain her bamboo-like growth rate. Then the realism level crashes and burns when she goes into her cocoon and comes out a mature woman who has to weigh about twice as much as the little girl that went in. There's an attempt to justify it by explaining her food consumption as "storing up calories for some big event" except if that was true she should have been visibly bloated from holding her own weight in food in her stomach, and she wasn't (at most, child Sil is slightly chubbier before the cocoon). The whole cocoon process was probably mostly just made up so Sil could go straight from asexual child to mature sexpot without a [[LoliCon logical but family-unfriendly intermediate stage]].stage. They repeat this with [[spoiler:[[EnfantTerrible her offspring]]]], whose rapid growth rate is fueled by gobbling up sewer rats, but who then becomes visibly larger without any proportionate mass intake when he assumes his OneWingedAngel form.
5th Aug '17 11:33:07 PM StrangeBro
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** Clawdites, the species of the female bounty hunter in ''Attack of the Clones''. For them to transform it requires great concentration, which was broken slightly during the speeder chase with Anakin, and they are incapable of changing mass significantly.

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** Clawdites, the species of the female bounty hunter in ''Attack of the Clones''. For them to transform it requires great concentration, which was broken slightly during the speeder chase with Anakin, and they are incapable of changing mass significantly. The [[TabletopGame/StarWarsRoleplayingGame RPG expansion]] that introduces Clawdites as a playable race notes that their shapeshifting ability is fluid-based, and that some individuals use a specially-built saline pump on their person to increase or decrease their mass. Even then, however, growing or shrinking beyond the size of an average humanoid is out of the question.
28th Jul '17 7:53:39 PM hellomoto
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* An ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}'' monster can't violate conservation of mass, but people aren't fooled by the 1.5 ton abandoned baby. [[http://oglaf.com/weepingwoods/ So it finds another way...]]

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* An ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}'' monster can't violate conservation of mass, but people aren't fooled by the 1.5 ton a giant abandoned baby. [[http://oglaf.com/weepingwoods/ baby that's the size of 300 babies. So it finds another way...[[spoiler:turns into a pile of 300 babies.]]
10th Jul '17 8:30:09 AM soren82002
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* In Brandon Mull's series "Beyonders", there is a shapeshifter with a limited amount of mass. To kill it, one must cut pieces off until it becomes small enough to be ignored. The shapeshifter mentions it uses copious amounts of internal body armor if it needs to disguise its mass.
1st Jul '17 7:29:12 AM fractured
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**Explanations have been given for the particularly grievous examples like the above mentioned case of Broadside, wherein he is made up of a large number of armored plates that decompress and fold out to recreate the large mass of an aircraft carrier.
13th May '17 7:04:33 PM DarkHunter
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* Defied in ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay''. John Connor asks the Arnie T-800 why the enemy T-1000 doesn't just turn into a handgun or a bomb to kill John, but the T-800 explains that the liquid metal terminator cannot change mass at will or imitate complex weapons.

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* Defied in ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay''. John Connor asks the Arnie T-800 why the enemy T-1000 doesn't just turn into a handgun or a bomb to kill John, but the T-800 explains that the liquid metal terminator cannot change mass at will or imitate alter its size, nor can it form complex weapons.machinery made up of many different chemicals. What it ''can'' do is form solid metal shapes, an ability it puts to good use throughout the film.
9th May '17 7:53:19 AM Derkhan
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* In ''Literature/LoyalEnemies'', there's no explanation given for where the dragon Gloom's mass goes when he changes forms between dragon and human, despite being horse-sized as a dragon and an average human in size, respectively.
2nd May '17 5:03:49 PM intastiel
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* Several [[http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/dragonTrue.htm dragons]] can take an alternative form of a medium size animal or humanoid. The smallest shape-shifting dragon can weigh 1/8 lb or less, the biggest can weigh ''125 Tons'' or more. Conversely, Polymorph and similar spells allow the caster to transform him/herself or someone else into from a small animal to a dragon or another creature of similar size.

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* Several [[http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/dragonTrue.htm dragons]] can take an alternative form of a medium size animal or humanoid. The smallest shape-shifting dragon can weigh 1/8 lb or less, In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', the biggest can weigh ''125 Tons'' or more. Conversely, Polymorph various VoluntaryShapeshifting and similar BalefulPolymorph spells allow the caster to transform him/herself or someone else and abilities ignore conservation of mass, as demonstrated by 125-ton dragons {{Humanshifting}} into standard-size humanoids. Some editions explain this as magic drawing energy and material from a small animal the [[ElementsOfNature elemental Planes]] to a dragon or another creature of similar size.fuel their effects.
19th Apr '17 7:11:44 PM harostar
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* The [[ShapeshifterWeapon kagune]] of the titular creatures in ''Manga/TokyoGhoul''. Hand-waved as involving a specialized organic material called RC cells, it isn't clear how someone can store that much excess biological material inside their body without extra weight or mass. The most extreme example in the series has to be Eto, a 44-kg girl that routinely produces a {{Kaiju}}-type armor from her RC supply.
4th Apr '17 10:43:26 AM AthenaBlue
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* Averted in Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/OperationChaos'' where all animal based lycanthropes must observe Conservation of Mass. The 180 pound hero transforms into an 180 pound wolf, while a Giant Mook who turns into a tiger is "seven feet tall and monstrously fat."
* Creator/HarryTurtledove not only keeps to the principle (illustrated distinctly by a couple werehawks too heavy to fly) in ''Literature/{{Werenight}}'', he gives Poul Anderson's Giant Mook a semi-affectionate nod... and upgrade. An "immensely tall, immensely fat" barbarian chief turns into a '''sabretooth'''. A ''big'' sabretooth.

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* Averted in Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/OperationChaos'' where all animal based lycanthropes must observe Conservation of Mass. The 180 pound hero transforms into an 180 pound wolf, In Vicki Ann Heydron's short story "Cat Tale", a woman's idle wish to know what it's like to be a cat is granted; while she was thinking of a Giant Mook housecat, she's amused to realize that conservation of mass has made her a mountain cat.
* Katherine Kerr's ''Literature/{{Deverry}}'' series, despite being magic based, required Dweomer workers
who turns into a tiger is "seven feet tall and monstrously fat."
* Creator/HarryTurtledove not only keeps
change shape to the principle (illustrated distinctly by a couple werehawks too heavy to fly) in ''Literature/{{Werenight}}'', he gives Poul Anderson's Giant Mook a semi-affectionate nod... and upgrade. An "immensely tall, immensely fat" barbarian chief turns into a '''sabretooth'''. A ''big'' sabretooth.retain their mass. Making them quite large birds.



** It isn't stated that Angua is a similar mass in either form but the differential isn't huge - about 25% - so a short human woman would weigh about 50kg and a male wolf up to 45kg
* In the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse
** In the "Literature/GalaxyOfFear" series, the race known as the Shi'ido can shape-shift. It's explained that due to their extremely long lifespan, in which they can live for 500 years and only people older than 61 are considered adults (makes you wonder what their drinking age is), their shapeshifting ability improves with age. Young Shi'ido can only change skin color, older ones could change into any humanoid species they wanted, and ones even older can change into whatever. However, if they tried to change beyond their natural boundaries, they'd be [[ModeLock stuck in that form for weeks or months]]. How exactly they could change isn't well explained, but ''The Essential Guide to Alien Species'' said something to the effect that they have folds of extra skin under their skin that they can use if they need to to change into larger or smaller species (or rocks and trees, apparently). Also, since some species identify others with smell as well as sight, and the Shi'ido aren't perfect at what they do, it's explained that they use telepathy to get around (what could be described as) LatexPerfection.
** ''Galaxy of Fear'' has Hoole ignore conservation of mass whenever he needs to. If he's escaping with the child protagonists on a skimboard that won't take his extra weight, he can just turn into a small rodent that doesn't burden the craft. He once becomes a mammoth frog to carry them one at a time over a wall, and he can be a small flying animal to cover ground quickly. The times when he ''can't'' turn into something that gets him out of whatever situations he's in, so that it's the ingenuity of the kids that saves the day, sometimes seem arbitrary.
** Clawdites, the species of the female bounty hunter in ''Attack of the Clones''. For them to transform it requires great concentration, which was broken slightly during the speeder chase with Anakin, and they are incapable of changing mass significantly.

to:

** It isn't stated that Angua is a similar mass in either form but the differential isn't huge - -- about 25% - -- so a short human woman would weigh about 50kg and a male wolf up to 45kg
45kg.
* In the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse
** In the "Literature/GalaxyOfFear" series, the race known as the Shi'ido can shape-shift. It's explained that due to their extremely long lifespan,
Featured regularly in which they can live Jim Butcher's ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. Conservation of mass isn't a problem at all for 500 years and only people older than 61 are considered adults (makes you wonder what their drinking age is), their magical shapeshifting ability improves with age. Young Shi'ido can only change skin color, older ones could change into any humanoid species they wanted, and ones even older can change into whatever. However, if they tried thanks to change beyond ectoplasm. When a creature shapeshifts, or when something from the Nevernever (faerieland) comes to the real world, the matter (in the case of a shapeshifter, the extra mass layered over their natural boundaries, they'd be [[ModeLock stuck real body; in case of a demon, their whole physical body in the real world) is formed out of ectoplasm from another dimension, animated and given substance by magic. When that magic is withdrawn, the ectoplasm turns into an equal mass of a inert, clear, viscous goop which is an inconvenient mess but quickly evaporates. Arguably justified, in that form there's an explanation of and consistent rules for weeks where extra mass comes from that make as much sense as anything else in the series: leftover ectoplasm has been used to identify a crime scene as magical in nature, and I'm sure that characters have slipped and fallen on the stuff at some point or months]]. How other.
** This doesn't seem to explain how shapeshifting into something smaller works, though. Where does the extra mass go? The Nevernever? If so, how is it protected from some nasty spider-goblin thing that probably wants to eat it?
*** According to the official RPG, that's
exactly they could change isn't what happens. It's presumably sent to something like a Demesne: a small pocket of the Nevernever under the way of a specific being, which is generally hard to reach unintentionally, as well explained, but as uninhabited by anything else. The [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis margin notes from Harry and friends]] specifically mention this as a good adventure hook.
* In ''Literature/ExpirationDate'', a fugitive ghost is briefly able to disguise the body it's inhabiting by adding biomass to increase the body's height and shape. The question of where the extra biomass comes from is addressed, and it's not pleasant: [[spoiler:it's taken from the dog that was hunting them, which does not survive the process]].
* In the [[Literature/FafhrdAndTheGrayMouser Fafhrd and Gray Mouser]] novel
''The Essential Guide to Alien Species'' said something to Swords of Lankhmar'' by Creator/FritzLeiber, a shrinking potion does, in fact, displace mass, as the effect now rat-sized Mouser has to swim his way out of a good-sized puddle of meat, cloth fibers, and metal fragments (flesh, clothes, armor, and weapons). Later, he grows back to his full size away from that they have folds of extra skin under their skin that they can use if they need to to change into larger or smaller species (or rocks and trees, apparently). Also, since some species identify others with smell as well as sight, puddle, and the Shi'ido aren't perfect at what they do, it's explained that they use telepathy to get around (what could be described as) LatexPerfection.
** ''Galaxy of Fear'' has Hoole ignore conservation of
mass whenever he needs to. If he's escaping with is taken from nearby objects (and people!), notably a very fat girl who finds herself suddenly slim. Great news for her, {{Squick}} for Mouser?
* ''Literature/GarrettPI'': In ''Petty Pewter Gods'',
the child protagonists on a skimboard that won't take his extra weight, he can just turn into a small rodent that doesn't burden the craft. He once becomes a mammoth frog to carry them one at a time over a wall, and he can be a small flying animal to cover ground quickly. The times horses' torsos slim down drastically when he ''can't'' turn into something that gets him out of whatever situations he's in, so that it's the ingenuity of the kids that saves the day, sometimes seem arbitrary.
** Clawdites, the species of the female bounty hunter in ''Attack of the Clones''. For
their wings sprout via shapechanging, and plump up again when they retract them to transform it requires great concentration, which was broken slightly during the speeder chase with Anakin, and they are incapable of changing mass significantly. after landing.



* In the ''Literature/IronDruidChronicles'', this is HandWaved. Magic disobeys the laws of physics all the time. It works however [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve people believe it works]]. And since widespread knowledge of the laws of physics is a fairly new thing... yeah. All of the "Old Ways" disregard the laws of physics, such as a druid's shape shifting, or Coyote's resurrection.
* In the ''Literature/JaneYellowrock'' series, by Faith Hunter, Jane is a SkinWalker, capable of copying the genetic code of animals and possibly people to assume a new form. This Native American magic allows her to sloth off mass and store it 'else-where' (mainly stones and sand) and to gain mass to grow in size. Interestingly enough Jane likes to only absorb or deposits mass into stone because to her it doesn't have any individual traits aside from being empty matter.
* Explicitly averted in the Literature/KittyNorville novels. The easiest way to distinguish a werewolf in lupine form from its mundane counterpart is the fact that they are normally ''at least'' half again as large as the 36 kg (80 lbs) norm.
* Dragons from ''Literature/KronikiDrugiegoKregu'' need a "pattern" for the specific organism to shapeshift into, as well as ''loads'' of additional energy -- [[BigEater huge amounts of meat]], in other words. Or soil. Or at least apples, though carnivorous dragons think these are yucky.
* In ''Literature/{{Liar}}'' by Justine Larbalestier this is explicitly averted; werewolves are exactly the same mass in both forms.
* Steven Erikson's ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' has this feature for both Soletaken and D'ivers (single- and multiform shapeshifters, respectively). Depending on which one of these beings you encounter, you might be up against a grown man who can become a hawk and fly away... Or something that can become one or more dragons. At least the undead shapeshifter can't become living...
* In Creator/FrankHerbert's novel ''Man of Two Worlds'', a shapeshifting alien is captured by humans and is confined to a cell with only a small drain being the way out. He laments the fact that he can't simply destroy his own mass so that he can become small enough to fit through the drain. Too late does he realize that he could have just turned into a snake and slithered down the drain, without having to bypass the law of conservation of mass/energy.
* The kandra of ''Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy'' explicitly ''are'' bound by Conservation Of Mass. This comes up a couple of times in the third book, including one where the hero takes advantage of the fact that the same body mass that makes for a scrawny human makes a fairly beefy wolfhound and one where the same hero quickly shifts up from dog to horse by eating an entire pig for the extra mass.
* Averted in Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/OperationChaos'' where all animal based lycanthropes must observe Conservation of Mass. The 180 pound hero transforms into an 180 pound wolf, while a Giant Mook who turns into a tiger is "seven feet tall and monstrously fat."
* In the ''Literature/PerryRhodan'' universe, shapeshifters with actual physical bodies of their own that they depend on generally do have to obey conservation of mass no matter how flexible they may be otherwise; the same is not necessarily true of EnergyBeings taking on a physical form for their convenience, however, and given the number of handwaves involved in psi and hyperspace physics the line between the two can get a bit blurred on occasion (as it arguably does with e.g. the Cynos, who do seem to combine traits of both).



* In the [[Literature/FafhrdAndTheGrayMouser Fafhrd and Gray Mouser]] novel ''The Swords of Lankhmar'' by Creator/FritzLeiber, a shrinking potion does, in fact, displace mass, as the now rat-sized Mouser has to swim his way out of a good-sized puddle of meat, cloth fibers, and metal fragments (flesh, clothes, armor, and weapons). Later, he grows back to his full size away from that puddle, and the mass is taken from nearby objects (and people!), notably a very fat girl who finds herself suddenly slim. Great news for her, {{Squick}} for Mouser?
* Averted in the ''Literature/WildCards'' series, where Kid Dinosaur can change shape into any kind of dinosaur, but explicitly does not change mass. This results in such things as a 3 foot tall T-Rex.
** Played straight with another character who's body stored everything he ate (he never had to go to the bathroom) and kept absorbing until he had enough mass and excess food to go into a prolonged hibernation, during which his body would radically change (as would his powers).
** Skewed with Rahda "Elephant Girl" O'Reilly, who is a Irish-Hindu were-elephant. Her excuse is that she absorbs energy from the environment and converts it into mass; this can black out a city if used in the right location. Likewise, when she changes back the excess mass converts into a flash of light. Of course, the amount of energy needed to convert into a couple of tons of elephant flesh is incredibly titanic; and the energy release from changing back should wipe out a continent. So it's neither averted nor played straight.
* The ''Timeweb'' trilogy by Brian Herbert takes the more obvious approach: shapeshifters grow larger by absorbing rocks and dirt into their own mass. Growing smaller is somewhat like shedding snakeskin, and can be a bit disgusting if a massive change is needed.
* In Creator/FrankHerbert's novel, "Man of Two Worlds", a shapeshifting alien is captured by humans and is confined to a cell with only a small drain being the way out. He laments the fact that he can't simply destroy his own mass so that he can become small enough to fit through the drain. Too late does he realize that he could have just turned into a snake and slithered down the drain, without having to bypass the law of conservation of mass/energy.
* Used and {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Literature/TheShapeshifter'' book series, Dax Jones can turn into a fox, but has no idea where his clothes and whatever he is carrying disappear to when he does.

to:

* In the [[Literature/FafhrdAndTheGrayMouser Fafhrd and Gray Mouser]] novel ''The Swords of Lankhmar'' by Creator/FritzLeiber, a shrinking potion does, in fact, displace mass, as the now rat-sized Mouser has to swim his way out of a good-sized puddle of meat, cloth fibers, and metal fragments (flesh, clothes, armor, and weapons). Later, he grows back to his full size away from that puddle, and the mass is taken from nearby objects (and people!), notably a very fat girl who finds herself suddenly slim. Great news for her, {{Squick}} for Mouser?
* Averted
Merlin in the ''Literature/WildCards'' series, where Kid Dinosaur ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' novels can change shape into any kind of dinosaur, his appearance, but explicitly does not change mass. This results in such things as a 3 foot tall T-Rex.
** Played straight with another character who's body stored everything he ate (he never had to go to the bathroom) and kept absorbing until he had enough
his mass and excess food to go into a prolonged hibernation, during which his rough body would radically change (as would his powers).
** Skewed with Rahda "Elephant Girl" O'Reilly, who is a Irish-Hindu were-elephant. Her excuse is that she absorbs energy from
dimensions always remain the environment and converts it into mass; this can black out a city if used in the right location. Likewise, when she changes back the excess mass converts into a flash of light. Of course, the amount of energy needed to convert into a couple of tons of elephant flesh is incredibly titanic; and the energy release from changing back should wipe out a continent. So it's neither averted nor played straight.
*
same. The ''Timeweb'' trilogy by Brian Herbert takes the more obvious approach: shapeshifters grow larger by absorbing rocks and dirt into their own mass. Growing smaller is somewhat like shedding snakeskin, and can be a bit disgusting if a massive change is needed.
* In Creator/FrankHerbert's novel, "Man of Two Worlds", a shapeshifting alien is captured by humans and is confined to a cell with only a small drain being the way out. He laments the
fact that he can't simply destroy his own mass so all the seijins who are popping up are the exact same height and are never visibly active at the same time allows [[spoiler:Aivah]] to figure out that he can become small enough to fit through they're all the drain. Too late does he realize that he could have just turned into a snake and slithered down the drain, without having to bypass the law of conservation of mass/energy.
* Used and {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Literature/TheShapeshifter'' book series, Dax Jones can turn into a fox, but has no idea where his clothes and whatever he is carrying disappear to when he does.
same person.



* Worried about and obsessed over in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse: ordinary Shifters can't violate Conservation of Mass, but the highest-level Shifters (who may not be using the same underlying principles) ''can''. The researchers are still trying to figure out where the extra mass goes or comes from, but it seems to be inter-dimensional. As for clothes, the best Shifters shift their own, and have to learn how to do it right so people aren't pointing out that their 'dress' has pores and hairs showing.
* Featured regularly in Jim Butcher's ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. Conservation of mass isn't a problem at all for magical shapeshifting thanks to ectoplasm. When a creature shapeshifts, or when something from the Nevernever (faerieland) comes to the real world, the matter (in the case of a shapeshifter, the extra mass layered over their real body; in case of a demon, their whole physical body in the real world) is formed out of ectoplasm from another dimension, animated and given substance by magic. When that magic is withdrawn, the ectoplasm turns into an equal mass of a inert, clear, viscous goop which is an inconvenient mess but quickly evaporates. Arguably justified, in that there's an explanation of and consistent rules for where extra mass comes from that make as much sense as anything else in the series: leftover ectoplasm has been used to identify a crime scene as magical in nature, and I'm sure that characters have slipped and fallen on the stuff at some point or other.
** This doesn't seem to explain how shapeshifting into something smaller works, though. Where does the extra mass go? The Nevernever? If so, how is it protected from some nasty spider-goblin thing that probably wants to eat it?
*** According to the official RPG, that's exactly what happens. It's presumably sent to something like a Demesne: a small pocket of the Nevernever under the way of a specific being, which is generally hard to reach unintentionally, as well as uninhabited by anything else. The [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis margin notes from Harry and friends]] specifically mention this as a good adventure hook.
* Explicitly averted in the Literature/KittyNorville novels. The easiest way to distinguish a werewolf in lupine form from its mundane counterpart is the fact that they are normally ''at least'' half again as large as the 36 kg (80 lbs) norm.
* Steven Erikson's ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' has this feature for both Soletaken and D'ivers (single- and multiform shapeshifters, respectively). Depending on which one of these beings you encounter, you might be up against a grown man who can become a hawk and fly away... Or something that can become one or more dragons. At least the undead shapeshifter can't become living...
* Katherine Kerr's Literature/{{Deverry}} series, despite being magic based, required Dweomer workers who change shape to retain their mass. Making them quite large birds.
* Kelley Armstrong's werewolves in her ''[[Literature/TheOtherworld Women of the Otherworld]]'' series retain the same mass in either form, and have to eat lots to account for their higher metabolism.

to:

* Worried about Used and obsessed over {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse: ordinary Shifters can't violate Conservation of Mass, ''Literature/TheShapeshifter'' book series, Dax Jones can turn into a fox, but the highest-level Shifters (who may not be using the same underlying principles) ''can''. The researchers are still trying to figure out has no idea where his clothes and whatever he is carrying disappear to when he does.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
** In
the extra mass goes or comes from, but it seems to be inter-dimensional. As for clothes, "Literature/GalaxyOfFear" series, the best Shifters shift race known as the Shi'ido can shape-shift. It's explained that due to their own, extremely long lifespan, in which they can live for 500 years and have to learn how to do it right so only people aren't pointing out that older than 61 are considered adults (makes you wonder what their 'dress' has pores and hairs showing.
* Featured regularly in Jim Butcher's ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. Conservation of mass isn't a problem at all for magical
drinking age is), their shapeshifting thanks ability improves with age. Young Shi'ido can only change skin color, older ones could change into any humanoid species they wanted, and ones even older can change into whatever. However, if they tried to ectoplasm. When a creature shapeshifts, change beyond their natural boundaries, they'd be [[ModeLock stuck in that form for weeks or when months]]. How exactly they could change isn't well explained, but ''The Essential Guide to Alien Species'' said something from the Nevernever (faerieland) comes to the real world, the matter (in the case effect that they have folds of a shapeshifter, the extra mass layered over skin under their real body; in case of a demon, their whole physical body in the real world) is formed out of ectoplasm from another dimension, animated and given substance by magic. When skin that magic is withdrawn, the ectoplasm turns they can use if they need to to change into an equal mass of a inert, clear, viscous goop which is an inconvenient mess but quickly evaporates. Arguably justified, in that there's an explanation of larger or smaller species (or rocks and consistent rules for where extra mass comes from that make as much sense as anything else in the series: leftover ectoplasm has been used to trees, apparently). Also, since some species identify a crime scene others with smell as magical in nature, well as sight, and I'm sure the Shi'ido aren't perfect at what they do, it's explained that characters have slipped and fallen on they use telepathy to get around (what could be described as) LatexPerfection.
** ''Galaxy of Fear'' has Hoole ignore conservation of mass whenever he needs to. If he's escaping with
the stuff at some point or other.
** This
child protagonists on a skimboard that won't take his extra weight, he can just turn into a small rodent that doesn't seem burden the craft. He once becomes a mammoth frog to explain how shapeshifting carry them one at a time over a wall, and he can be a small flying animal to cover ground quickly. The times when he ''can't'' turn into something smaller works, though. Where does the extra mass go? The Nevernever? If so, how is it protected from some nasty spider-goblin thing that probably wants to eat it?
*** According to
gets him out of whatever situations he's in, so that it's the official RPG, that's exactly what happens. It's presumably sent to something like a Demesne: a small pocket ingenuity of the Nevernever under kids that saves the way day, sometimes seem arbitrary.
** Clawdites, the species
of a specific being, the female bounty hunter in ''Attack of the Clones''. For them to transform it requires great concentration, which is generally hard to reach unintentionally, as well as uninhabited by anything else. The [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis margin notes from Harry was broken slightly during the speeder chase with Anakin, and friends]] specifically mention this as a good adventure hook.they are incapable of changing mass significantly.
* Explicitly averted in The ''Timeweb'' trilogy by Brian Herbert takes the Literature/KittyNorville novels. The easiest way to distinguish a werewolf in lupine form from its mundane counterpart is the fact that they are normally ''at least'' half again as large as the 36 kg (80 lbs) norm.
* Steven Erikson's ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' has this feature for both Soletaken and D'ivers (single- and multiform shapeshifters, respectively). Depending on which one of these beings you encounter, you might be up against a grown man who can become a hawk and fly away... Or something that can become one or
more dragons. At least the undead shapeshifter can't become living...
* Katherine Kerr's Literature/{{Deverry}} series, despite being magic based, required Dweomer workers who
obvious approach: shapeshifters grow larger by absorbing rocks and dirt into their own mass. Growing smaller is somewhat like shedding snakeskin, and can be a bit disgusting if a massive change shape to retain their mass. Making them quite large birds.
* Kelley Armstrong's werewolves in her ''[[Literature/TheOtherworld Women of the Otherworld]]'' series retain the same mass in either form, and have to eat lots to account for their higher metabolism.
is needed.



* In the ''Literature/JaneYellowrock'' series, by Faith Hunter, Jane is a SkinWalker, capable of copying the genetic code of animals and possibly people to assume a new form. This Native American magic allows her to sloth off mass and store it 'else-where' (mainly stones and sand) and to gain mass to grow in size. Interestingly enough Jane likes to only absorb or deposits mass into stone because to her it doesn't have any individual traits aside from being empty matter.
* In ''Literature/{{Liar}}'' by Justine Larbalestier this is explicitly averted; werewolves are exactly the same mass in both forms.
* In Vicki Ann Heydron's short story "Cat Tale", a woman's idle wish to know what it's like to be a cat is granted; while she was thinking of a housecat, she's amused to realize that conservation of mass has made her a mountain cat.

to:

* In ''Literature/VoidCity'', vampires have the ''Literature/JaneYellowrock'' power to shapeshift into one or more animals, but how it works varies between individuals. Some are able to take their clothes with them, while others have to leave their clothes behind. Eric actually generates new clothing: even if he starts out naked, he'll be in his usual casual clothes when he changes back. As a result, he's accumulated tons of identical outfits. Everyone just accepts it as a natural part and parcel of a vampire's magic powers.
* Creator/HarryTurtledove not only keeps to the principle (illustrated distinctly by a couple werehawks too heavy to fly) in ''Literature/{{Werenight}}'', he gives Poul Anderson's Giant Mook a semi-affectionate nod... and upgrade. An "immensely tall, immensely fat" barbarian chief turns into a '''sabretooth'''. A ''big'' sabretooth.
* Averted in the ''Literature/WildCards''
series, by Faith Hunter, Jane is a SkinWalker, capable of copying the genetic code of animals and possibly people to assume a new form. This Native American magic allows her to sloth off mass and store it 'else-where' (mainly stones and sand) and to gain mass to grow in size. Interestingly enough Jane likes to only absorb or deposits mass where Kid Dinosaur can change shape into stone because to her it doesn't have any individual traits aside from being empty matter.
* In ''Literature/{{Liar}}'' by Justine Larbalestier this is
kind of dinosaur, but explicitly averted; werewolves are exactly does not change mass. This results in such things as a 3 foot tall T-Rex.
** Played straight with another character who's body stored everything he ate (he never had to go to
the same bathroom) and kept absorbing until he had enough mass and excess food to go into a prolonged hibernation, during which his body would radically change (as would his powers).
** Skewed with Rahda "Elephant Girl" O'Reilly, who is a Irish-Hindu were-elephant. Her excuse is that she absorbs energy from the environment and converts it into mass; this can black out a city if used
in both forms.
* In Vicki Ann Heydron's short story "Cat Tale",
the right location. Likewise, when she changes back the excess mass converts into a woman's idle wish flash of light. Of course, the amount of energy needed to know what convert into a couple of tons of elephant flesh is incredibly titanic; and the energy release from changing back should wipe out a continent. So it's like to be a cat is granted; while she was thinking of a housecat, she's amused to realize that conservation of mass has made her a mountain cat.neither averted nor played straight.



* In ''[[Literature/GarrettPI Petty Pewter Gods]]'', the flying horses' torsos slim down drastically when their wings sprout via shapechanging, and plump up again when they retract them after landing.
* The kandra of ''Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy'' explicitly ''are'' bound by Conservation Of Mass. This comes up a couple of times in the third book, including one where the hero takes advantage of the fact that the same body mass that makes for a scrawny human makes a fairly beefy wolfhound and one where the same hero quickly shifts up from dog to horse by eating an entire pig for the extra mass.
* In the ''Literature/PerryRhodan'' universe, shapeshifters with actual physical bodies of their own that they depend on generally do have to obey conservation of mass no matter how flexible they may be otherwise; the same is not necessarily true of EnergyBeings taking on a physical form for their convenience, however, and given the number of handwaves involved in psi and hyperspace physics the line between the two can get a bit blurred on occasion (as it arguably does with e.g. the Cynos, who do seem to combine traits of both).
* Dragons from ''Literature/KronikiDrugiegoKregu'' need a "pattern" for the specific organism to shapeshift into, as well as ''loads'' of additional energy ([[BigEater huge amounts of meat]], in other words. Or soil. Or at least apples, though carnivorous dragons think these are yucky.)
* Merlin in the ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' novels can change his appearance, but his mass and rough body dimensions always remain the same. The fact that all the seijins who are popping up are the exact same height and are never visibly active at the same time allows [[spoiler:Aivah]] to figure out that they're all the same person.
* In ''Literature/ExpirationDate'', a fugitive ghost is briefly able to disguise the body it's inhabiting by adding biomass to increase the body's height and shape. The question of where the extra biomass comes from is addressed, and it's not pleasant: [[spoiler:it's taken from the dog that was hunting them, which does not survive the process]].
* In the ''Literature/IronDruidChronicles'', this is HandWaved. Magic disobeys the laws of physics all the time. It works however [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve people believe it works]]. Any since widespread knowledge of the laws of physics is a fairly new thing... yeah. All of the "Old Ways" disregard the laws of physics, such as a druid's shape shifting, or Coyote's resurrection.
* In ''Literature/VoidCity'', vampires have the power to shapeshift into one or more animals, but how it works varies between individuals. Some are able to take their clothes with them, while others have to leave their clothes behind. Eric actually generates new clothing: even if he starts out naked, he'll be in his usual casual clothes when he changes back. As a result, he's accumulated tons of identical outfits. Everyone just accepts it as a natural part and parcel of a vampire's magic powers.

to:

* In ''[[Literature/GarrettPI Petty Pewter Gods]]'', the flying horses' torsos slim down drastically when their wings sprout via shapechanging, and plump up again when they retract them after landing.
* The kandra of ''Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy'' explicitly ''are'' bound by Conservation Of Mass. This comes up a couple of times
Kelley Armstrong's werewolves in the third book, including one where the hero takes advantage her ''[[Literature/TheOtherworld Women of the fact that Otherworld]]'' series retain the same body mass that makes for a scrawny human makes a fairly beefy wolfhound in either form, and one where the same hero quickly shifts up from dog to horse by eating an entire pig for the extra mass.
* In the ''Literature/PerryRhodan'' universe, shapeshifters with actual physical bodies of their own that they depend on generally do
have to obey conservation of mass no matter how flexible they may be otherwise; the same is not necessarily true of EnergyBeings taking on a physical form eat lots to account for their convenience, however, and given the number of handwaves involved in psi and hyperspace physics the line between the two can get a bit blurred on occasion (as it arguably does with e.g. the Cynos, who do seem to combine traits of both).
* Dragons from ''Literature/KronikiDrugiegoKregu'' need a "pattern" for the specific organism to shapeshift into, as well as ''loads'' of additional energy ([[BigEater huge amounts of meat]], in other words. Or soil. Or at least apples, though carnivorous dragons think these are yucky.)
* Merlin in the ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' novels can change his appearance, but his mass and rough body dimensions always remain the same. The fact that all the seijins who are popping up are the exact same height and are never visibly active at the same time allows [[spoiler:Aivah]] to figure out that they're all the same person.
* In ''Literature/ExpirationDate'', a fugitive ghost is briefly able to disguise the body it's inhabiting by adding biomass to increase the body's height and shape. The question of where the extra biomass comes from is addressed, and it's not pleasant: [[spoiler:it's taken from the dog that was hunting them, which does not survive the process]].
* In the ''Literature/IronDruidChronicles'', this is HandWaved. Magic disobeys the laws of physics all the time. It works however [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve people believe it works]]. Any since widespread knowledge of the laws of physics is a fairly new thing... yeah. All of the "Old Ways" disregard the laws of physics, such as a druid's shape shifting, or Coyote's resurrection.
* In ''Literature/VoidCity'', vampires have the power to shapeshift into one or more animals, but how it works varies between individuals. Some are able to take their clothes with them, while others have to leave their clothes behind. Eric actually generates new clothing: even if he starts out naked, he'll be in his usual casual clothes when he changes back. As a result, he's accumulated tons of identical outfits. Everyone just accepts it as a natural part and parcel of a vampire's magic powers.
higher metabolism.



* Odo from ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' is described as "heavier than he looks" (while in human form), which would make sense if he spent most of his time getting ''bigger'' instead of smaller. Apparently he can be heavier than an average human and still manage to turn into a bird and fly around (remember, "heavier than he looks"), or be carried around by Rom easily while in the shape of a glass.
* The Doctor from ''Series/DoctorWho'' changes size between regenerations, and it's never even brought up where the extra mass goes when changing his form.

to:

* Odo from ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' is described as "heavier than he looks" (while in human form), which would make sense if he spent most of his time getting ''bigger'' instead of smaller. Apparently he can be heavier than an average human and still manage to turn into a bird and fly around (remember, "heavier than he looks"), or be carried around by Rom easily while in the shape of a glass.
*
''Series/DoctorWho'': The Doctor from ''Series/DoctorWho'' changes size between regenerations, and it's never even brought up where the extra mass goes when changing his form.



** Humorously addressed in the cinema prologue to "Deep Breath". Strax, recounting the Doctor's incarnations, notes the rather obvious height difference between Six and Seven and wonders what happened to the rest of him.
** In "The Daemons" the alien Azal creates vast amounts of heat whenever it changes size. Or cold. Presumably, heat is created when it loses mass by shrinking, and is absorbed when it gains mass by expanding. Though, the amount of heat generated by getting rid of enough mass for a 20 ft monster to turn microscopic would make quite a mess of your planet.
** In "The Lazarus Experiment", Professor Richard Lazarus exposes himself to a de-aging device which mutates him into a giant, life-force devouring monster. However, despite the radical change in size, it's stated that he hasn't actually gained any mass and thus his body is highly unstable.
** The Zygons are able to shapeshift into, pretty much, anything and anyone. In "[[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor The Day of the Doctor]]", the Tenth Doctor suspects that [[UsefulNotes/ElizabethI Queen Elizabeth]] is one, despite the fact that they look fairly large. A few scenes later, one ''does'' turn into a copy of the Queen. The Doctor even suspects a harmless bunny of being a Zygon. The real Queen later kills the Zygon!Queen with a small dagger, pointing out that, at the time, the creature was as much a frail woman as her. The clothing bit is mentioned too by a different character.
** The Doctor states in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E9Flatline Flatline]]" that, if the TARDIS lands with its full mass projected in 3 dimensions, the Earth will shatter. In the same episode, something starts draining the TARDIS's dimensional energy, having it shrink into a small box several inches high. It also gets light enough that Clara is able to pick it up and carry it in her handbag. From the Doctor's point of view, the entrance out of the TARDIS has shrunk.
* At first ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' kept it fairly reasonable. The series first "shapeshifter" was really a MasterOfIllusion. In the fourth volume they introduce a genuine shapeshifter, whom [[PowerCopying power thief]] Sylar promptly snacks on. At first, Sylar only used his shapeshifting power to shapeshift into people of roughly the same size and weight as him (and also still wore the same clothes before and after shifting). However, after a few episodes, Sylar is able to shapeshift ''his clothes'', and also turns into a kid.

to:

** *** Humorously addressed in the cinema prologue to [[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E1DeepBreath "Deep Breath".Breath"]]. Strax, recounting the Doctor's incarnations, notes the rather obvious height difference between Six and Seven and wonders what happened to the rest of him.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS8E5TheDaemons "The Daemons" Dæmons"]], the alien Azal creates vast amounts of heat whenever it changes size. Or cold. Presumably, heat is created when it loses mass by shrinking, and is absorbed when it gains mass by expanding. Though, the amount of heat generated by getting rid of enough mass for a 20 ft monster to turn microscopic would make quite a mess of your planet.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E6TheLazarusExperiment "The Lazarus Experiment", Experiment"]], Professor Richard Lazarus exposes himself to a de-aging device which mutates him into a giant, life-force devouring monster. However, despite the radical change in size, it's stated that he hasn't actually gained any mass and thus his body is highly unstable.
** The Zygons are able to shapeshift into, pretty much, anything and anyone. In "[[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor The [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor "The Day of the Doctor]]", Doctor"]], the Tenth Doctor suspects that [[UsefulNotes/ElizabethI Queen Elizabeth]] is one, despite the fact that they look fairly large. A few scenes later, one ''does'' turn into a copy of the Queen. The Doctor even suspects a harmless bunny of being a Zygon. The real Queen later kills the Zygon!Queen with a small dagger, pointing out that, at the time, the creature was as much a frail woman as her. The clothing bit is mentioned too by a different character.
** The Doctor states in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E9Flatline Flatline]]" [[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E9Flatline "Flatline"]] that, if the TARDIS lands with its full mass projected in 3 dimensions, the Earth will shatter. In the same episode, something starts draining the TARDIS's dimensional energy, having it shrink into a small box several inches high. It also gets light enough that Clara is able to pick it up and carry it in her handbag. From the Doctor's point of view, the entrance out of the TARDIS has shrunk.
* At first ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' kept it fairly reasonable. The series series' first "shapeshifter" was really a MasterOfIllusion. In the fourth volume they introduce a genuine shapeshifter, whom [[PowerCopying power thief]] Sylar promptly snacks on. At first, Sylar only used his shapeshifting power to shapeshift into people of roughly the same size and weight as him (and also still wore the same clothes before and after shifting). However, after a few episodes, Sylar is able to shapeshift ''his clothes'', and also turns into a kid.



* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', shapeshifters are shown to shed their old skins whenever they take on a new form. This only covers half the issue, though.



* Odo from ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' is described as "heavier than he looks" (while in human form), which would make sense if he spent most of his time getting ''bigger'' instead of smaller. Apparently he can be heavier than an average human and still manage to turn into a bird and fly around (remember, "heavier than he looks"), or be carried around by Rom easily while in the shape of a glass.
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', shapeshifters are shown to shed their old skins whenever they take on a new form. This only covers half the issue, though.



[[folder:Web Original]]
* Worried about and obsessed over in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse: ordinary Shifters can't violate Conservation of Mass, but the highest-level Shifters (who may not be using the same underlying principles) ''can''. The researchers are still trying to figure out where the extra mass goes or comes from, but it seems to be inter-dimensional. As for clothes, the best Shifters shift their own, and have to learn how to do it right so people aren't pointing out that their 'dress' has pores and hairs showing.
[[/folder]]



* Jake from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' is an extreme example, being able to stretch to AttackOfThe50FootWhatever-scale on demand. One episode, "The Limit", explored what [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin limit]] there is to Jake's shapeshifting, and he didn't reach it until he had stretched a ''great'' distance. But that was due to his organs no longer functioning, so the hypothetical limit of how massive he can become hasn't been explored yet.
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10'' [[JustifiedTrope Justifies]] this with the [[TransformationTrinket Omni/Ultimatrix]] being the source of all Ben's added and lost mass.
* WesternAnimation/CatDog isn't even a shapeshifter, but they can still stretch over miles and miles with no loss of volume when, normally, their body is just a few feet long.
* The ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' episode "Dale Beside Himself" features the Fleeblebroxians, a roughly mouse-sized alien race that can transform into anything with ease, for example a dragon the size of a small dog and several hundred times the mass of a chipmunk. This can hardly be explained by the fact that they consist of "unstable molecules".
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', every fairy suffers from this. Let's just say "AWizardDidIt" and move on. As these are the same fairies that regularly POOF! things into existence the baggage is one of the least JustForFun/{{egregious}} things about them.
* On ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', sequences in which gargoyles awaken from "stone sleep" often show fragments of stone scattering from their skin as they re-animate, as if they're breaking out of a very thin coating of rock. Although there's plenty of magic in their Verse, "stone sleep" is described as a natural physiological quirk of their species, so losing an outer crust of stone every sunset ought to cost them whatever energy they'd allegedly accumulated from sunlight while immobile.
* {{Handwave}}d in ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'' with nanobots. Not always a perfect solution there, though: nanites build stuff ''out of other stuff,'' so constantly generating his weaponry and vehicles, and doing it ''again'' when they get broken, means a lot of metal is being made from no apparent source; ''much'' more of it than Rex's body and nanites could possibly provide the material for. The plot of one of the episodes deals with another type of shapeshifter baggage: where do all the nanites Rex absorbs ''go''? It turns out that every now and then Rex has to go to a base in the Antarctic with giant, massive vats he has them drained into, otherwise the sheer quantity may make him go crazy.
* Nobody's really sure where ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'' gets her extra mass when she [[HulkingOut transforms]]. Interestingly, Mr. Cat, the other shapeshifter in the cast, doesn't appear to experience significant changes in mass despite his wide variety of forms.
* Imp from ''WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower'' routinely took on forms that required an outside energy source to perform their function (and more energy than he could reasonably produce naturally) and he was never shown having to recoup what was lost. Notable examples are being a lit candle, two types of rocket complete with jet propulsion, flame thrower powerful enough to start a forest fire, and a laser rifle.
* Mostly averted in ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan''. Sandman loses some of his sand every time he fights, and has to be 'fed' raw silicate to keep the same mass. He only becomes bigger when he ingests ''more'' silicate, and becomes a giant after taking an entire beach's sand.
* ''Challenge of the WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'' never explained where Apache Chief got the mass to grow 50 feet tall whenever he said "Inekchok!". People speculated that 500 cattle disappeared from the Great Plains whenever he did this. Clearly, this is ridiculous -- everyone knows that a Native American would absorb 500 ''buffalo'', not 500 cattle!



** In the IDW comics (the "-ation" miniseries at least) mass shifting, as befitting dimensional rupturing, required a ''lot'' of energy to do and [[PowerGlows generated quite spectacular fireworks]] due to laws of physics being broken. The headache was simultaneously decreased ''and'' increased by only having one character consistently mass-shift, but of course it was [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Size_changing Megatron turning into a gun.]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' episode "Dale Beside Himself" features the Fleeblebroxians, a roughly mouse-sized alien race that can transform into anything with ease, for example a dragon the size of a small dog and several hundred times the mass of a chipmunk. This can hardly be explained by the fact that they consist of "unstable molecules".
* Imp from ''WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower'' routinely took on forms that required an outside energy source to perform their function (and more energy than he could reasonably produce naturally) and he was never shown having to recoup what was lost. Notable examples are being a lit candle, two types of rocket complete with jet propulsion, flame thrower powerful enough to start a forest fire, and a laser rifle.
* ''Challenge of the WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'' never explained where Apache Chief got the mass to grow 50 feet tall whenever he said "Inekchok!". People speculated that 500 cattle disappeared from the Great Plains whenever he did this. Clearly, this is ridiculous -- everyone knows that a Native American would absorb 500 ''buffalo'', not 500 cattle!
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', every fairy suffers from this. Let's just say "AWizardDidIt" and move on. As these are the same fairies that regularly POOF! things into existence the baggage is one of the least JustForFun/{{egregious}} things about them.
* Jake from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' is an extreme example, being able to stretch to AttackOfThe50FootWhatever-scale on demand. One episode, "The Limit", explored what [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin limit]] there is to Jake's shapeshifting, and he didn't reach it until he had stretched a ''great'' distance. But that was due to his organs no longer functioning, so the hypothetical limit of how massive he can become hasn't been explored yet.
* Nobody's really sure where ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'' gets her extra mass when she [[HulkingOut transforms]]. Interestingly, Mr. Cat, the other shapeshifter in the cast, doesn't appear to experience significant changes in mass despite his wide variety of forms.
* WesternAnimation/CatDog isn't even a shapeshifter, but they can still stretch over miles and miles with no loss of volume when, normally, their body is just a few feet long.
* Mostly averted in ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan''. Sandman loses some of his sand every time he fights, and has to be 'fed' raw silicate to keep the same mass. He only becomes bigger when he ingests ''more'' silicate, and becomes a giant after taking an entire beach's sand.
* {{Handwave}}d in ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'' with nanobots. Not always a perfect solution there, though: nanites build stuff ''out of other stuff,'' so constantly generating his weaponry and vehicles, and doing it ''again'' when they get broken, means a lot of metal is being made from no apparent source; ''much'' more of it than Rex's body and nanites could possibly provide the material for. The plot of one of the episodes deals with another type of shapeshifter baggage: where do all the nanites Rex absorbs ''go''? It turns out that every now and then Rex has to go to a base in the Antarctic with giant, massive vats he has them drained into, otherwise the sheer quantity may make him go crazy.
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10'' [[JustifiedTrope Justifies]] this with the [[TransformationTrinket Omni/Ultimatrix]] being the source of all Ben's added and lost mass.
* On ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', sequences in which gargoyles awaken from "stone sleep" often show fragments of stone scattering from their skin as they re-animate, as if they're breaking out of a very thin coating of rock. Although there's plenty of magic in their Verse, "stone sleep" is described as a natural physiological quirk of their species, so losing an outer crust of stone every sunset ought to cost them whatever energy they'd allegedly accumulated from sunlight while immobile.

to:

** In the IDW comics (the "-ation" miniseries at least) mass shifting, as befitting dimensional rupturing, required a ''lot'' of energy to do and [[PowerGlows generated quite spectacular fireworks]] due to laws of physics being broken. The headache was simultaneously decreased ''and'' increased by only having one character consistently mass-shift, but of course it was [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Size_changing Megatron turning into a gun.]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' episode "Dale Beside Himself" features the Fleeblebroxians, a roughly mouse-sized alien race that can transform into anything with ease, for example a dragon the size of a small dog and several hundred times the mass of a chipmunk. This can hardly be explained by the fact that they consist of "unstable molecules".
* Imp from ''WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower'' routinely took on forms that required an outside energy source to perform their function (and more energy than he could reasonably produce naturally) and he was never shown having to recoup what was lost. Notable examples are being a lit candle, two types of rocket complete with jet propulsion, flame thrower powerful enough to start a forest fire, and a laser rifle.
* ''Challenge of the WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'' never explained where Apache Chief got the mass to grow 50 feet tall whenever he said "Inekchok!". People speculated that 500 cattle disappeared from the Great Plains whenever he did this. Clearly, this is ridiculous -- everyone knows that a Native American would absorb 500 ''buffalo'', not 500 cattle!
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', every fairy suffers from this. Let's just say "AWizardDidIt" and move on. As these are the same fairies that regularly POOF! things into existence the baggage is one of the least JustForFun/{{egregious}} things about them.
* Jake from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' is an extreme example, being able to stretch to AttackOfThe50FootWhatever-scale on demand. One episode, "The Limit", explored what [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin limit]] there is to Jake's shapeshifting, and he didn't reach it until he had stretched a ''great'' distance. But that was due to his organs no longer functioning, so the hypothetical limit of how massive he can become hasn't been explored yet.
* Nobody's really sure where ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'' gets her extra mass when she [[HulkingOut transforms]]. Interestingly, Mr. Cat, the other shapeshifter in the cast, doesn't appear to experience significant changes in mass despite his wide variety of forms.
* WesternAnimation/CatDog isn't even a shapeshifter, but they can still stretch over miles and miles with no loss of volume when, normally, their body is just a few feet long.
* Mostly averted in ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan''. Sandman loses some of his sand every time he fights, and has to be 'fed' raw silicate to keep the same mass. He only becomes bigger when he ingests ''more'' silicate, and becomes a giant after taking an entire beach's sand.
* {{Handwave}}d in ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'' with nanobots. Not always a perfect solution there, though: nanites build stuff ''out of other stuff,'' so constantly generating his weaponry and vehicles, and doing it ''again'' when they get broken, means a lot of metal is being made from no apparent source; ''much'' more of it than Rex's body and nanites could possibly provide the material for. The plot of one of the episodes deals with another type of shapeshifter baggage: where do all the nanites Rex absorbs ''go''? It turns out that every now and then Rex has to go to a base in the Antarctic with giant, massive vats he has them drained into, otherwise the sheer quantity may make him go crazy.
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10'' [[JustifiedTrope Justifies]] this with the [[TransformationTrinket Omni/Ultimatrix]] being the source of all Ben's added and lost mass.
* On ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', sequences in which gargoyles awaken from "stone sleep" often show fragments of stone scattering from their skin as they re-animate, as if they're breaking out of a very thin coating of rock. Although there's plenty of magic in their Verse, "stone sleep" is described as a natural physiological quirk of their species, so losing an outer crust of stone every sunset ought to cost them whatever energy they'd allegedly accumulated from sunlight while immobile.
]]


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