A 1983 Creator/WoodyAllen film, ''{{Zelig}}'' is a {{mockumentary}} set during TheRoaringTwenties and into TheGreatDepression period, concerning the title character, a "human chameleon"- a man who shapeshifts to fit in with those around him- and his encounters with the celebrities of the day. Zelig ultimately comes into contact with Dr. Eudora Nesbitt Fletcher (played by Mia Farrow) who tries to cure him of his uncontrollable shapeshifting. Throughout, commentary on Zelig's life is provided by well-known public intellectuals.

See also BeenThereShapedHistory, for which TheZelig is the alternate trope namer (and [[UrExample ur-example]]).

Not to be confused with the Italian comedy show, which has the same title.

!!Provides examples of:

* AdaptationDistillation: The fictional Zelig biography ''The Changing Man''.
* AllPsychologyIsFreudian: Kind of mocked in that when first receiving treatment, Zelig takes on the persona of a psychiatrist and makes comments that echo a ThemeParkVersion of Freud.
* AmnesiacDissonance: Zelig is ultimately confronted with various victims of his shapeshifting- women he impregnated, a guy he performed surgery on, etc., none of which he remembers doing.
* AsHimself: Famous personalities comment on Zelig, such as Saul Bellow, Susan Sontag, and so on.
* BlackLikeMe: Zelig can alter his race.
* BlankSlate: Zelig starts out as this, having no real personality of his own outside of the various identities he uncontrollably adopts (and has no memory of afterward)
* CelebrityParadox: The movie does a good job of justifying why its audience would never have heard of Zelig by treating him as one of many fads of the 1920s and 1930s, forgotten when the public discovered something new of interest.
* [[spoiler:EarnYourHappyEnding]]
* FeigningIntelligence
* FreudianExcuse
* HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood: As recounted by Zelig under hypnosis, "My brother beat me. My sister beat my brother. My father beat my sister and my brother and me. My mother beat my father and my sister and me and my brother. The neighbors beat our family. The people down the block beat the neighbors and our family."
* IHaveThisFriend: When Dr. Fletcher starts out trying to treat Zelig, he is unresponsive and takes on the persona of a psychiatrist. So, she pretends to be a patient asking about a problem of a "friend"- while she "admits" that she is describing herself, she's actually describing Zelig's own problems, which unsettle him enough to break down his persona.
* KavorkaMan: Zelig seduced numerous women.
* KnowNothingKnowItAll: Pretty much, Zelig's character/FreudianExcuse is this trope taken UpToEleven. Because of his desperate need to fit in, Zelig started out by pretending to have read MobyDick when he hadn't, and this spiraled into mirroring the professions and even appearances of those around him.
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: See Celebrity Paradox.
* MasterOfDisguise: Zelig is somewhere between this and InvoluntaryShapeshifting...
* MistakenForSpecialGuest: See TheZelig.
* {{Mockumentary}}: Probably Woody's most accurate, as it never breaks the illusion that it's a documentary.
* {{Retraux}}: Lots of (remarkably convincing) fake 1920s and '30s footage.
* RunningGag: ''MobyDick''
* SeeminglyProfoundFool: Zelig is somewhere between this figure, and a KnowNothingKnowItAll.
* ShiksaGoddess: Dr. Fletcher is fairly plain (well, HollywoodHomely), but this trope applies in that Zelig is Jewish (and lower class at that), while she is from a wealthy WASP background.
* ThoseWackyNazis
* TookALevelInJerkass: Zelig becomes one when he develops his own personality at first. Instead of being easily swayed, he's violently over-opinionated.
* TheZelig: TropeNamer, an alternate title for BeenThereShapedHistory.