Created By: XzenuJanuary 14, 2011 Last Edited By: XzenuMay 15, 2011
Troped

Trans Nature

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Rolling Updates * Needs More Examples


Biologically, Bob belongs to a certain race, gender, species or similar. However, he really don't feel at home there. Instead, he identify with another group. Thus he wants to change his body or nature or both. Either he want to become a part of the other group, or he already consider it a part of it and merely want to fit in a bit better.

In Real Life, there are at least two versions of this. First, we have Transsexual individuals who have a male brain/personality/identity but a female body - or vice versa. Second, we have the religious version - mostly tied to belief in reincarnation. Since men have higher social status, many Hindu and Buddhist women hope to male in the next life, while still having a female gender identity in this life.

In fiction, however, Trans Nature can take pretty much any form. Especially in fantasy and Science Fiction. Note that trying to regain your true form (after having been cursed) does not count. Starting to identify with your new form does, however.

When a character is a fictional kind of Trans Nature, it is often a big part of this character being a hero or villain: Either he's a member of a oppressive/evil group transitioning to become one of the good and/or oppressed people, or we have a "traitor" (straw or otherwise) who identifies with the wrong group.

It can also work as an inversion of Internalized Categorism: Bob thinks men/humans are bad, but instead of denying himself the good things about being a man/human or doing bad things because he thinks that this is what being a "real" man/human means, he instead stop being a man/human - magically changing into something else.

Expect the character to be in a world of trouble if there is No Transhumanism Allowed.

May be caused by Humanity Is Infectious, or inversions thereof. In some cases, Trans Nature lead to Humanity Ensues. Note however that that trope is normally not combined with Trans Nature - instead, the animal resents having been transformed to a human. One very common form of Trans Nature is Pinocchio Syndrome: A robot, living doll or whatever wanting to become a real human.

Supertrope of Transsexual. Sometimes a Sister Trope of Ascend To A Higher Plane Of Existence.


Examples

Comic Books
  • In Fables, we have the fox Reynard who is attracted to female humans and want to become a human so he can seduce him. This wish is eventually granted by the witches, making him a shapeshifter with a beautiful male human form.
    • We also have some cases of regular Pinocchio Syndrome, with Pinocchio himself and some of the wooden soldiers becoming human.

Film
  • In Avatar, our protagonist take Going Native to the logical conclusion, ending the movie with literally becoming a Na'vi.
  • In Mammoth, our failed Mighty Whitey protagonist falls in love witha thai woman and is quite shocked that she thinks men are better then women and that it's okay because she can be a man in her next life if she is good enough. His wannabe-feminist preaching fails to impress her.

Literature
  • One of Stephanie Plum's nieces wants to be a pony when she grows up.
  • The Merry Gentry series has a number of people who want to be sidhe and often mimic them by dying their hair an unnatural red or getting plastic surgery to get their ears pointed. The later is laughed at by real sidhe because only half breeds have pointed ears.
  • In the Isaac Asimov novella (and later film) The Bicentennial Man the robot "Andrew" desires to be human, so he gets various implants to change his robotic/positronic body & mind into biologic parts. When he finally becomes fully human he gets acknowledged as such by the government, and then dies of old age.
  • Subverted in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel Original Sin - it's very popular amongst trendy young humans in the 40th century to undergo radical cosmetic surgery that makes you look like an alien ("body bepple"). But the Doctor claims that this doesn't mean they actually like aliens; like many empires, the Earth Empire has a fascination with its vassal states' cultures but contempt for the bearers of said culture.

Live Action TV
  • In both continuities of V, alien lizards are evil. Those lizards who side with humanity stop having a real lizard mind, instead developing human personalities/emotions.
  • In Star Trek Deep Space Nine, at least two episode is about regular humanoids wanting to transition to become "Joined Trill". A Joined Trill is a composite species, with one humanoid component (normally from the Trill race, nut a human was briefly joined in one TNG episode) and one symbiont. Becoming a Joined Trill brings on many changes, including a form of reincarnation: You retroactively gain past lives in the form of the symbiont's former hosts, and after your death you will continue to live on as one of these past lives for the next host.
  • In Star Trek Voyager, the AI called "The Doctor" as well as the former Hive Mind drone Seven Of Nine are both transitioning. Unlike their predecessor Data from TNG, however, they do not want to become humans. Instead, they are trying to grow into something new.

Real Life
  • A general real life example: Otherkin. To quote Wiki Fur, "Otherkin are those who believe that their physical forms do not define or fully encompass their mental states, personality, psychology, or spiritual nature." See the full article here.

Tabletop Games
  • In Shadowrun, elves are a subrace of humanity. Some normal humans are "elf wannabees" who want to be elves, and sometimes use plastic surgery to make themselves more elf-like. They're usually looked down upon by real elves.

Web Comics
  • Reynard the Fox also appears in Gunnerkrigg Court, and true to the myth, he fell in love with a human woman. Rather than shapeshifting, however, he convinced Coyote to grant him the power to possess anything with eyes - and he uses it to take the body of a young human male so he can go to the court and woo his beloved...
Unfortunately for him, she'd just been pretending to be interested in him in order to lure him into the Court, where he is imprisoned for the next several decades.

Western Animation
  • In The Boondocks, When Uncle Ruckus die, he will finally become a real white man in the heaven for white racists.
  • King Louis from The Jungle Book, a monkey wanting to become a human.
  • Another Louis, the alligator from The Princess And The Frog, wants to be human so that he can play trumpet in a jazz band. He doesn't become human, but still gets his wish to play in a band.
  • In the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, Princess Ariel of the Mer-people have a fixation with humans, eventually falling in love with a human and becoming one herself. In this version of the story, humans and mer-people are portrayed as equal, so Ariel's transformation isn't about becoming better or worse.
    • The original HC Andersen version is not so nice. In this version, it turns out that God love only mankind, so the Mermaid is doomed from the beginning simply for being born as a "lesser" species. Since her quest in this version was limited to trying to reach out to her Love Interest, it's not an example of this trope. Oh, and it fails miserably, too.
  • Teacher's Pet is about a dog who wants to be a boy.

Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • January 15, 2011
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • In Shadowrun, elves are a subrace of humanity. Some normal humans are "elf wannabees" who want to be elves, and sometimes use plastic surgery to make themselves more elf-like. They're usually looked down upon by real elves.
  • January 15, 2011
    Stratadrake
    If you're going to snowclone the "trans" prefix, try Trans Natural.
  • January 15, 2011
    Xzenu
    It's about what the character's nature is, not about whether or not the character is natural.
  • January 15, 2011
    ladygem
    Western Animation King Louis from The Jungle Book,
  • January 16, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Speaking of Pinocchio....
  • January 16, 2011
    norsehorse89
    ... how about Ariel?
  • January 16, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Um, what non-Trill humanoids have ever become joined (or even expressed interest) other than Riker that one time as an emergency life-saving temp?
  • January 17, 2011
    shimaspawn
    Literature

    • One of Stephanie Plum's nieces wants to be a pony when she grows up.
    • The Merry Gentry series has a number of people who want to be sidhe and often mimic them by dying their hair an unnatural red or getting plastic surgery to get their ears pointed. The later is laughed at by real sidhe because only half breeds have pointed ears.
  • January 17, 2011
    Xzenu
    Added the mentioned examples and clarified the DS 9 example.

    Watched parts of the Disney version of The Little Mermaid earlier today. Good movie. First time I saw it, actually. I have been avoiding it because the original version disgust me so much. It's well written, but to me it seem to run entirely on destructive self-hatred.
  • January 17, 2011
    TBTabby
    Teacher's Pet is about a dog who wants to be a boy.
  • January 19, 2011
    TonyG
    Another Louis, the alligator from The Princess And The Frog, wants to be human so that he can play trumpet in a jazz band. He doesn't become human, but still gets his wish to play in a band.
  • January 19, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In the Isaac Asimov novella (and later film) The Bicentennial Man the robot "Andrew" desires to be human, so he gets various implants to change his robotic/positronic body & mind into biologic parts. When he finally becomes fully human he gets acknowledged as such by the government, and then dies of old age.
  • January 19, 2011
    DaibhidC
    • Subverted in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel Original Sin - it's very popular amongst trendy young humans in the 40th century to undergo radical cosmetic surgery that makes you look like an alien ("body bepple"). But the Doctor claims that this doesn't mean they actually like aliens; like many empires, the Earth Empire has a fascination with its vassal states' cultures but contempt for the bearers of said culture.
  • January 23, 2011
    SnarkyChocobo
    A general real life example: Otherkin. To quote Wiki Fur, "Otherkin are those who believe that their physical forms do not define or fully encompass their mental states, personality, psychology, or spiritual nature." See the full article here.
  • January 24, 2011
    dotchan
    Most of the wanting to be human examples should go into I Just Want To Be Human if it isn't already in there.
  • January 24, 2011
    BlackDragon
    Reynard the Fox also appears in Gunnerkrigg Court, and true to the myth, he fell in love with a human woman. Rather than shapeshifting, however, he convinced Coyote to grant him the power to possess anything with eyes - and he uses it to take the body of a young human male so he can go to the court and woo his beloved...

    Unfortunately for him, she'd just been pretending to be interested in him in order to lure him into the Court, where he is imprisoned for the next several decades.
  • January 24, 2011
    Xzenu
    Hmm. The other trope is about Pinocchio Syndrome. I think robots, made in man's image, wanting to be human should ho in that trope. While Reynard and similar fits better in this one.
  • May 15, 2011
    Ardiente
    I love this trope.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable