Created By: fulltimeD on April 23, 2012 Last Edited By: fulltimeD on May 25, 2012

More Human With Time

A nonhuman character (metaphorically or literally) develops their humanity over the course of time

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In this case, what measure is a nonhuman? is a developmental question. This trope covers nonhuman characters who, for reasons of Character Development, a Story Arc, A Very Special Episode, inconsistent writing, Executive Meddling,or because of their nature, take on more human characteristics over the course of a series (or in their backstory). Very often, because of several of the above listed reasons, there are both In-Universe and Behind-The-Scenes explanations for this characters' evolution. In extreme examples, a Rubber Forehead Alien may literally become a Human Alien, or at least take on more human characteristics.

Some examples may be due to Early Installment Weirdness and/or Executive Meddling. Others are What Could Have Been.

EDIT: (sorry, accidentally published before I listed my examples)

Film

  • Spock's Character Development, particularly in the Star Trek films, was learning to accept his human and Vulcan halves in equal measure, after striving for so long to be purely Vulcan.

Live-Action Television

  • Liam Kincaid in Earth: Final Conflict started out as a Half-Human Hybrid with unusual powers but (due to story inconsistencies and new plot developments, and explained in universe by the character himself in almost the exact wording of this trope's title) he became more human over time (it was implied that this happened because he was living among humans, on Earth).
  • Space1999: Maya, the telepathic shapeshifter from the planet Psychon, was a Rubber Forehead Alien who became more human-looking (though never lost the forehead) over the course of the show (due to Executive Meddling).
  • Babylon 5: Delenn, a Minbari experiments with human culture, and even goes so far as to alter herself genetically into a Half-Human Hybrid. She doesn't lose the bone on her head, but it is diminished, and with her beautiful head of human hair, it resembles a Tiara more than anything. An example of this development being plotted way in advance.
  • Star Trek: Spock, but this was mostly in the movies. See Film above.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Data, though most of the time he is tragically unaware of how close he is to "being a real boy."
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Odo, a fluid Changeling who stays in "solid" rubber forehead form most of the time for budget reasons. At first he is very reluctant to indulge in humanoid activities, finding that he gets nothing like pleasure or satisfaction out of them (or so he claims). He becomes way more comfortable with humanoid life after being forced by his own kind to live as a humanoid for months as punishment for killing another shapeshifter. He got better, of course, but after that he was a straight example of this trope.
  • Completely inverted by Farscape: John Crichton starts out as a Na´ve Newcomer to the Uncharted Territories. By the end of the series, he is a Genre Savvy Badass Longcoat who's more comfortable among aliens than his own kind, and arguably considers the Uncharted Territories his adopted home. One could argue that due to all the alien Mind Rape he experienced over the years, and all the false Earths he encountered, he's become More Alien With Time.
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • April 23, 2012
    nman
    Is Bicentennial Man an example?
  • April 23, 2012
    fulltimeD
    ^I've never read or seen it but based on what I know, I would think so.
  • April 23, 2012
    NESBoy
    Although Third Rock From The Sun was always about the Solomon family adjusting to human life, the Fish Out Of Water jokes grew less frequent. At least, that's what I recall from reading about the series.
  • April 23, 2012
    Koveras
    • EDI the Spaceship Girl (an AI) from the Mass Effect series grows more and more human-like, the more she interacts with humans on board.
  • April 24, 2012
    Arivne
    Film
    • Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The T-800 starts off acting robotically but gradually becomes more human-acting throughout the movie. The robot himself explains how he does this.
    John Connor: Can you learn stuff that you haven't been programmed with so you can be you know, more human, and not such a dork all the time?
    Terminator: My CPU is a neural net processor, a learning computer. The more contact I have with humans, the more I learn.
  • April 24, 2012
    StevenT
    • In the live action Fat Albert movie, the animated characters go to the real world and gradually turn more human. Their colors start fading, Dumb Donald gains a face (since he was never drawn with one) and Mushmouth starts speaking eloquently.
  • April 24, 2012
    Duncan
    Surprisingly averted in the Not Quite Human series; though Chip does learn varying amounts of human etiquette, he always stays robotic.
  • April 24, 2012
    ScanVisor
    Did anyone say Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z yet? Ok, he's not really human, but he settles into the lifestyle.
  • April 24, 2012
    Sheldonc
    This is all a nod to the Pinocchio Syndrome, and in Encounter at Farpoint ( the first Star Trek: Next Gen episode) Riker points this out about Data, just so we don't miss it. The Star Trek franchise has scads of these. Star Trek: Voyager has Seven of Nine (does she count as a Rubber Forehead?) who starts out dramatically different then becomes more human as the seasons pass. In the final episode of Voyager, she has implants removed that move towards completing her human transformation.
  • April 24, 2012
    fulltimeD
    ^Sometimes it's a nod to Pinnocchio Syndrome, but that's only in-universe. This is meant to cover both in-universe and behind the scenes explanations (there are usually both).
  • April 24, 2012
    fulltimeD
    ^^And some in universe examples aren't Pinnochio Syndrome. Spock, for example, never "dreamed of being more human," rather it was something he gradually grew more comfortable with as he gained enough wisdom and maturity to stop being so damn insecure about being "only Half Vulcan."
  • April 25, 2012
    Arivne
    @fulltimeD/OP: is this covered by Humanity Is Infectious?
  • April 25, 2012
    oztrickster
    Does Emergent Human cover this?
  • April 25, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Had to remove the word "literally" from the laconic, because that implies Humanity Ensues.
  • April 25, 2012
    fulltimeD
    ^ Next time please don't edit another person's YKTTW. If you see a mistake, just point it out in the thread, and let the OP make the edit.

    This is sometimes literal, by the way so I changed the laconic to mean what I had meant to say, instead of what YOU THOUGHT I had meant to say.

    If you had questioned my use of the word in the thread, in you own post, I wouldn't be so pissed off, but the fact is you and I had different ideas about what the sentence was supposed to mean (and why I used the word "literally" in the first place). You should have asked me what I had meant instead of assuming and editing my YKTTW.

    Cool?
  • April 25, 2012
    animeg3282
    Note "I Got Better" was renamed to Unexplained Recovery . If the recovery is explained, please say what trope it is under.
  • April 25, 2012
    Stratadrake
    ^^ YKTTW ownership issues ... *sigh* anyway, I'm cool.
  • April 25, 2012
    Dacilriel
    This looks like either Emergent Human or what happens when Humanity Ensues meets The Mind Is A Plaything Of The Body. How is this trope distinct from the others?

    The Lady Amalthea in The Last Unicorn, both book and movie.
  • April 26, 2012
    fulltimeD
    @Stratadrake: Thank you for understanding. it's about being taken out of context though, more than any "ownership issue" (though I still find editing others' ykttws to be rude; it used to be discouraged on this site to edit any one else's post).

    @Dacilriel: Emergent Human is about creatures new to sentience/sapience. This isn't. It's about nonhuman sapient creatures that become more human (literally or metaphorically) over time.
  • April 26, 2012
    TMOverbeck
    I'd also put AI Artificial Intelligence under this one too.
  • May 10, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Does anyone think this is not splittable from Humanity Ensues? If enough people say so, I will just nuke this one.
  • May 10, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Alternatively I might consider reworking this to strictly cover examples where Humanity Ensues due to Executive Meddling. Rewritten As Human, perhaps? What are other tropers' thoughts on this?
  • May 11, 2012
    Arivne
    I'll ask again: is this covered by Humanity Is Infectious?
  • May 11, 2012
    fulltimeD
    ^ In-universe, yes, it is. I'm more concerned with the out-of-universe and behind the scenes aspects though, where characters are rewritten to be more human-like than originally portrayed. Cally in Blakes Seven for example, who went from being a Human Alien to an artificially enhanced clone.
  • May 24, 2012
    sigh824
    Marceline from Adventure Time and Castiel the Angel from Supernatural
  • May 25, 2012
    JGuy
    Persona 3. Literal robot Aigis develops human emotions in "The Journey". It only gets weirder in "The Answer". . .

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