Formerly Ugly YKTTW Discussion

Formerly Ugly
Their looks have improved in recent years
(permanent link) added: 2013-03-04 11:18:10 sponsor: KJMackley edited by: Larkmarn (last reply: 2013-05-18 12:13:16)

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Note for tropers, I was originally going to limit this to In-Universe examples as per the standard of similar tropes but I think there are some examples worth mentioning, noted below. What do you guys think?
People don't always stay looking exactly the same over the years, sometimes they go through weight issues, skin issues, bad hair choices and the like. Thus often while you see someone looking exceptionally attractive in the present story, not long prior they were far less attractive. Other times it is just implied through dialogue.

If shown, it will typically use the same actor/actress but use a Beauty Inversion. Compare She Is All Grown Up, for when puberty is an express reason for it and Beautiful All Along, when very little is done to make them more attractive. Frequently overlaps with Formerly Fat. An inversion would be I Was Quite a Looker when seeing an elderly person in their youth.



[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
  • Arrested Development reveals that Michael's love interest for the season, Rita (played by Charlize Theron), had cosmetic surgery that improved her looks extensively from before, which hid the fact she was mentally retarded. The show used a picture of Theron's Beauty Inversion from Monster as pre-surgery Rita.
  • Friends had the frequent jumps to the characters in late high-school years where Monica was revealed to be exceptionally large and Rachel had a massive nose pre-rhinoplasty.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Penny coerces Howard to help with a surprise party for Leonard by promising to introduce him to one of her easy friends. Among the list includes "A former fat girl with low self-esteem."
    • The Season 6 Valentines Day episode has Penny coming across an ex-boyfriend and the ex-friend Gretchen he cheated on her with, eventually seeing him propose to her. It really didn't help when Penny notes that Gretchen seemed to have lost some weight.
  • The Drew Carey Show had Drew find a very attractive love interest who claims to have recently lost something like 150 pounds. She slowly gains weight over their courtship because she can't handle being around someone who shamelessly eats and reverts back to her obese size. After breaking up, about a year later we see her back to her very skinny appearance.
  • Annie from Community has been described as "only getting hot after high school."
  • Invoked in How I Met Your Mother. Ted is "on the hook" with a girl whom he asks "have you always been this cute" to which she replies that no, she had buck teeth and bad skin. When Ted asks "Really?" she says "No, I've always been hot."
  • In Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia, a boy that Dee dated in high school shows up, engaged to The Waitress (whom he also dated in high school). They both broke up with him because of his horrible acne. Turns out after becoming attractive, he went back to all the girls who broke his heart and has been getting engaged with them and dumping them just before the wedding.


[[folder:Video Games]]
  • Ai Ebihara, an NPC in Persona 4, is revealed to be this and Formerly Fat. When she moved, she took the opportunity to diet and subscribe to fashion magazines to become beautiful and reinvent herself in a new school.

[[folder:Real Life Actors]]
  • Drew Carey himself is an example, during the majority of his career he was a famously heavy guy, which added to his everyman appeal. He was in the Marine Corps, meaning he was once in excellent shape, but after his brother died (who lived much healthier than him) it made him re-examine his life and he lost the weight through exercise and diet.
  • Ethan Suplee, famous for Mallrats, American History X, Remember the Titans, Without A Paddle, My Name Is Earl and Raising Hope is also well known as a heavy guy, but over those films you see him progressively go from obese to merely heavy to downright average. When asked about it he said it wasn't completely intentional, he just started bike riding a lot.

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