Limb Sensation Fascination
A character focuses on their newly acquired/used body parts.


(permanent link) added: 2012-09-18 09:05:13 sponsor: Telcontar (last reply: 2012-10-06 02:52:23)

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Moved! The muscles tautening and relaxing, flex, extend, miraculous cells working their collective way to move great heavy bones and sacs of skin and organs, shift them balance them so delicately. The joy of it was too great. It erupted for her in -- what was this convulsive spasming of her diaphragm? What was this gust of sound erupting from her throat? It was laughter. How long had she faked it with computer chips, simulated speech and laughter and never, never knew what it meant, how it felt. She never wanted to stop.

People don't always keep the same number or shape of limbs during a story -- that'd surely be boring. So sometimes, a character ends up getting completely new limbs, possibly of a type they've never used before. They can also just get a temporary extention to their body; either way, it's a chance for them to explore new sensations and abilities.

This gives the creator a chance to show off their descriptive skills, explaining new things the character feels and how they're using their reshaped body. This page may contain spoilers if a character only gets new limbs or a different form at the end of the story.

The body parts can have been changed through someone shapeshifting, getting Artificial Limbs, being cursed, or just randomly Sprouting Ears. On occasion, the person has a whole new body instead, which may or may not be used for hilarity if they're naked. When downplayed, this trope is simply a character using their existing limbs in a new way or finding new sensations.

Supertrope to Showing Off the New Body; see also Artificial Limbs, Voluntary Shapeshifting, and Sense Freak. How Do I Shot Web? is a variation to do with superpowers.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In the Osamu Tezuka manga Dororo, the swordsman who Dororo travels with was magically mutilated as a child, and so is made mostly of artificial parts. When he defeats one of the demons involved, he gets back a random real body part, and the new sensations are often both thrilling and painful.

Fanfiction
  • Melanism, a Harry Potter fanfic taking place in the Marauder Era, has Nyx's initial Animagus transformations. She is a black panther, and when she is learning she is fascinated by her tail and paws; once she masters the whole thing, the author takes care describing her enhanced senses of hearing and smell.

Film
  • Jake of Avatar lost his human legs in battle, and one of the things he loves about his avatar body is that it is whole. When he first "wakes up" in it, there is focus on his exploring new things he can do, like running and jumping.
  • In Star Trek: First Contact, the android Data is captured by the Borg and then has patches of organic matter -- actual skin -- grafted onto his exterior and integrated into his systems by the Borg Queen. Notably, when he tries to escape, one of the patches is cut, allowing Data to experience pain for the first time; the experience confuses and fascinates him so much that he agrees to allow the Borg to graft more of it onto him.
  • At the end of The Empire Strikes Back, Luke gets a new hand. After being pricked with a needle to check pain sensation, he flexes his fingers a bit and clenches a fist while examining his bionic hand.

Literature
  • In Septimus Heap, a millipede is transformed into the shield bug that will eventually belong to Jenna. There's a passage narrating what it feels like for him to lose his many precious legs and instead find himself with just six, complete with fingers. He considers hands useless and clumsy, though he does get used to it.
  • Dr Paul Brand's Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants goes into detail about how, after getting surgery to restore finger movement, leprosy patients explore the new motions their hands can do and will practise things like squeezing a rubber ball.
  • In Children of the Mind, the third sequel to Enderís Game, the AI Jane gets transferred in the human body of Valentine's clone. She describes the process at like fitting into a glove, individually finding each part and fitting into it. Each new feeling surprises her, from touch to crying, etc. When she briefly returns to her AI network a few chapters later she finds it lacking, as even virtual omniscience pales to the visceral taste of life.
  • Animorphs:
    • Ax, and Andalites as whole, do not have mouths and if they morph into a creature with one then the feeling of taste drives them mad. Every time Ax turns human his friends have to stop him from devouring everything from cinnamons buns to cigarette butts.
    • Yeerks naturally are blind slugs, and possession of their victims is intoxicating because of all the new senses they gain. Even Visser Three, the Yeerk Dragon-in-Chief, fell in love with the sense of sight.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Richard gets a replacement for the foot he lost in the war. The first thing he does is faint. The second is spend a day reliving the marvel of having two fully functional feet.
  • Halo: The Fall Of Reach: Midway through the book, the SPARTANs all marvel at their new Powered Armor, Samuel in particular spouting "I think I'm in love." Averted earlier with their physical augmentation. There the SPARTANs' reactions are mostly dizziness and confusion post-surgeries.
  • After Wormtail cuts off his hand at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, he is given a new, silver one through magic. He stares at it in disbelief, then experiments with motion and crushing a twig between his fingertips.

Live-Action TV
  • In Now and Again, Michael Weisman dies and his brain is stolen by the government to be used in an experimental procedure, putting it into a new body. When he wakes up, one of the first things he does after realizing he's in a new body is check out his package. He is pleasantly surprised.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Bodyswap", Lister agrees to let the hologram Rimmer take over his body for two weeks, in return for Rimmer taking on an exercise regime to get Lister's body in shape. However, Rimmer is overwhelmed by the experience of having a physical body for the first time since his death, and goes on a two week binge of eating, drinking and smoking.
  • When 10's hand gets chopped off in Doctor Who, shortly after his regeneration there's a short focus on it as he grows a new one. "I've got just enough residual cellular energy -- to do this. *regrows hand* ...Wanna know the best bit? This new hand is a fightin' hand."
  • An episode of Smallville has Lionel and Clark switch bodies; Lionel then admires his new body in a mirror.

Myth and Legend
  • The legend of Icarus contains a variation on this trope, likely making it the Ur Example. When Icarus gets given a pair of wings (made from wax and bird feathers), even though they just strap on rather than being actual appendages, he explores what he can do with them. His delight in seeing how close to the Sun and low to the sea is what leads to his death.

Video Game

Web Video
  • Kickassia: When 2D Lee becomes 3D Lee, he spends most of the following episodes touching things and exulting in how he has tactile stimulation now.

Western Animation
  • One of the main events in The Little Mermaid is Ariel's transformation into a human. The film focuses briefly on her feet and how she's excited to have toes.
  • Rapunzel from Tangled finds grass strange and new after being kept in a small tower all her life. When she tentatively touches it for the first time, she wriggles her toes in it slightly.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Sonic Rainboom" has fashion-minded unicorn Rarity gain beautiful butterfly wings in an attempt to get a friend of Rainbow Dash's up to Cloudsdale - because only pegasi can walk on clouds, and giving a unicorn or earth pony wings somehow counts. However, Rarity winds up obsessing over how better things are now that she has her wings, instead of cheering Rainbow up, which only increases the stress the pegasus's currently undergoing.
  • One Family Guy episode has Joe Swanson gets new functional legs transplanted, and he proceeds to show off his old athletic and martial arts abilities to the point of becoming arrogant and rejecting his old friends for new ones who can keep up with him. In the end he becomes paralyzed again in An Aesop about pride.

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