Alice has been transformed into a giant talking rabbit, and for some reason doesn't realize it. Bob, still in shock, hands Alice a mirror. Alice takes the mirror, and sees her reflection. She sees the rabbit in the glass that moves when she does, and freaks out. Gromit handed Wallace a mirror when he had Rabbit ears. Note that any reflective surface can work here, not just mirror. Compare The Mirror Shows Your True Self (which isn't about transformation) and House of Broken Mirrors (which may happen before or after this). Related to Tomato in the Mirror (that's about realizing that it's been oneself all along, this one is about transformations that have happened as part of the story that do not necessarily mean that it was oneself all along) and Just Woke Upthat Way.
Examples:Anime and Manga
- In The Twelve Kingdoms, after Youko is pulled into another world, she undergoes a transformation that is subtle, but apparently significant enough that her schoolmate Yuka doesn't recognize her. When Youko asks what's wrong, Yuka silently pulls out a compact and shows it to her.
- Subverted example: in the first Fantastic Four movie, the future Human Torch convinces the guy who we know to be the one who turns into The Thing that something terrible and irreversible has happened to his face. He slowly lifts the mirror, and he looks totally normal.
- In The Emperor's New Groove, Kuzco only sees that he's been transformed into a llama when he rushes to a pond to look at his reflection after seeing that his hand has become a hoof.
- In Pinocchio, Lampwick doesn't notice that he's turning into a donkey until he starts braying. he then feels his now-furry head, and confirms his suspicions when he looks into a mirror.
- In The Chronicles of Narnia, Eustace first discovers his transformation into a dragon upon seeing his reflection in a pool of water.
- In the book Things Not Seen, he doesn't know that he's become invisible until he doesn't see himself in the mirror.
- In the episode of The X-Files "El Mundo Gira", the Monster of the Week only realizes that he has become this by looking at himself in a mirror.
- Grimm has Monroe and Rosalee talking about the first time they woged. Rosalee says her first time, she didn't realize she'd changed until her brother showed her a mirror.
- Quantum Leap:
- In the first episode, after Sam leaps for the first time his brain is "swiss-cheesed" so he doesn't know who he is or what he's doing there. When he first sees himself in the mirror he jumps back, apparently having a mental image of his face which isn't the face he's looking back at.
- In the early episode "How the Tess Was Won" Sam is trying to woo a woman named Tess on behalf of the man he leaped into, but ends up losing her to another man. Al suggests that Sam look into a mirror where he sees a hispanic man looking back; Al says that Sam got much further than anyone would have expected (Tess is white, and the story takes place in the 1950s). Evidently Sam never looked into a mirror the entire time he had leaped even though it had been upwards of a week.
- In one Halloween Episode, Sam looks into the mirror and discovers that he has no reflection.
- This happens to Funguy in Chrono Cross. After he notices the party staring at him, he looks in a nearby pool of water and flips out when he sees that he's become a mushroom.
- In Anti-Heroes, when Aldran resurrects Lana with a scroll of Lifeblood, he tells her she should fix her hair and conjures a mirror. Since Lifeblood scrolls turn the revivee into a vampire, she casts no reflection.
- While Art of Sequential Art was passed out during holiday merriment, his two flatmates shaved his head in strip #122. A contrite Kat shows him the results in a mirror. Art is shocked at first, then displeased. Strangely, Art's huge eyebrows were left intact.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Zuko does it to himself. He gets up after his fever for a drink and to wash his face. Only when he looks in the mirror, he sees to his horror that he has become Zuko-as-Aang. It turns out to have been All Just a Dream.
- A slight variant occurs in the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) series. After Keldor is transformed into Skeletor, a horrified Evil-Lyn shows him his reflection. Skeletor sees his head is now nothing but a skull.... and starts laughing manically.
- In the Futurama episode "Spanish Fry", Fry has just had his "human horn" (nose) stolen by alien poachers. Zoidberg agrees to tell him tactfully and promptly shouts "Fry your nose is gone! We know not where it is but on your face it is not!". Bender then shoves a mirror in his face and invokes this trope.
- The scene from The Simpsons where Lisa gets braces, she's given a mirror and she breaks it. That scene was parodying the Joker scene from the original Batman movie.
- A Running Gag in Jackie Chan Adventures is for a character to undergo a magical transformation, ask why everyone else is staring, and Uncle to say "Don't look in the mirror!" Naturally, the character immediately does so and freaks out, and Uncle adds "I told you not to look in the mirror!"
- In the Christmas Episode of Martin Mystery, Diana's ears grow and she doesn't notice, only complaining that everyone's so loud all of a sudden. Martin then holds up a dinner platter to show her what has happened.
- In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Criss Cross Crisis", Blossom finds out that she's in Miss Bellum's body when Buttercup (in the Professor's body) holds a mirror up to her. Afterward, Bubbles, in the Mayor's body, walks over to the bathroom mirror and has this hilarious Double Take.
Bubbles: Mayor, what are you doing in our house. I'm not in your house, you're in my body. Oh. (beat; cue Spit Take)
- Butt-Monkey Daffy Duck in his cartoon "Duck Amuck" has his body erased by a devilish artist, then redrawn horribly Off-Model. Daffy remarks that he feels strange, but can't pinpoint what's wrong. It's when the artist draws a mirror for him that Daffy sees how hilariously he's been mutated, and rages at the animator.
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