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[[quoteright:236:[[ComicBook/{{Mystique}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mystique_shapshifting_1888.jpg]]]]

{{Shapeshift|ing}}ers are very common in fiction due to their flexibility. They can turn into a [[{{Werewolf}} wolf]], a [[{{Sizeshifter}} giant]], a tree, a whale, or sometimes only transform into another person.

How much a humanshifter can change varies. It could be just the face or it could be the whole body. The latter can lead to GenderBender tropes. While Humanshifters don't have the versatility of being able to shift into another animal, they have their advantages. They are usually a MasterOfDisguise, able to replace their subject, and wreak havoc by many ways. Done rightly, they could bring down entire kingdoms without having to personally use a weapon.

See {{Doppelganger}}. Compare {{Shapeshifter}} and MasterOfDisguise. Contrast WigDressAccent. For nonhumans that become humans, then that's HumanityEnsues. If someone is involuntarily shifted then see CloneByConversion.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Beautiful PlayboyBunny Melona in ''Anime/QueensBlade'' has this ability. Often using it for disguise, battle, or to sow confusion.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', this is [[{{Transvestite}} Mr. 2 Bon Clay]]'s power from the Clone-Clone Fruit. By touching the face of a person, he is able to impersonate the face, voice, and body, [[ManIFeelLikeAWoman as he proved with Nami]], of that person. There's a reason why he's ranked Number 2. It is also a hindrance, since to use his [[DanceBattler Martial Ballet Arts]] he has to use his real body, or something as strong.
* Liar's Mask, Due's Inherent Skill in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'', allows her to assume the appearance of any humanoid (though apparently only female of approximately the same height and build as herself).
* Mirror Man, an agent of the British Library in ''Anime/RODTheTV''.
* An assassin in ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'' steals the appearance of several people (as part of the KillAndReplace routine).
* Minor character Suetsumu in ''Manga/ZettaiKarenChildren'', using telepathic hypnosis. An unusually benevolent example, since she uses it primarily to comfort terminally ill patients in her role as a nurse, and she doesn't even lie about who she really is while using it.
* In ''Anime/{{Bakugan}}'', Zenet Surrow can transform into other people.
* In ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'' this seems to have originally been the extent of Ivan/Origami Cyclone's power, though after the TimeSkip he's able to take on a wider variety of forms.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* This is sometimes the Chameleon's power in ''Franchise/SpiderMan'', who is a SuperVillain who has impersonated Spider-Man and some of his RoguesGallery many times. (DependingOnTheWriter, this may be a shapeshifting superpower, or he may just be a MasterOfDisguise.)
* DependingOnTheWriter, Mystique from the ''ComicBook/XMen'' comics is usually limited to human shapes. Some adaptations have stretched this, though, such as the ''X-Men Evolution'' cartoon that had her turning into animals like wolves (and in one memorable case due to Apocalypse boosting her power, [[OneToMillionToOne she was able to turn into]] an entire ''swarm'' of bats).
* The second Hate Monger was an android that could take on different racial appearances. He used this ability to infiltrate hate groups and instigate a HatePlague.
* This is the power of the villain Everyman in Franchise/TheDCU.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Inception}}'', this is Eames' job as a Forger, but he can only do it in dreams.
* In ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'', the T-X is a Terminator with an endoskeleton covered by liquid metal. It can't shapeshift to the same extent as the T-1000, but it is more stable, is able to carry on-board weapons, and is still able to disguise itself as other people.

* In the ''Literature/LoneWolf'' setting, the Helghast are [[TheUndead Undead]] with the power to change into a human form. This makes them the perfect spies and infiltrators for the [[EvilOverlord Darklords]].

* This is an ability that can be possessed by watercrafters in ''Literature/CodexAlera''. Even if you have only a limited watercrafting talent, you can change your appearance, though it takes longer to complete the process. Taking a form of a different size or shape from your own can be uncomfortable at best, though.
* This is Tessa Gray's unique power in ''The Literature/TheInfernalDevices''. Her whole schtick is that she can change her appearance into any humanoid, dead or alive, as long as she has touched an object that belonged to them. She's turned into both males and females.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Metamorphmagi like Nymphadora Tonks ([[spoiler:or her son Teddy Lupin]]) have the ability to alter their appearance at will, but must presumably retain a human shape. This is in contrast to Animagi, who can perform {{Animorphism}} into one specific animal.
** There is also Polyjuice Potion, which can turn you into a specific person for an hour, [[CannibalismSuperpower after you add a bit of said person into it]] (such as a hair, nail, etc.) It messes up if you add a non-human component, even if that person is a HalfHumanHybrid.
* In Max Fraj's ''Literature/LabyrinthsOfEcho'' most sufficiently powerful mages can alter their appearance. There are also some mages proficient in changing the appearance of others. Their field of work is best compared with cosmetic surgeons, therefore the LSIF (the settings police for magic-involving cases) keeps tabs on them. The most notable user of this magic is Sir Kofa Yokh, the LSIF's Master Listener. While an elder gentleman in his default appearance, Kofa Yokh will easily assume any shape at will to do his work - going unnoticed all around Echo and gathering all relevant information or altering the appearances of his fellow Secret Investigators when needed.
* In ''Literature/DoraWilkSeries'', one of magical powers of vampire lord Roman is ability to give himself, or any other person, a shape of any other humanoid, complete with scent. It's implied to be less of biological change and more an extremely detailed, touch-proof illusion.
* As a Shi'ido, Borborygmus Gog of ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'' should be able to transform into any creature he wants to, but in the series he stays almost exclusively to humanoid forms while the protagonists are watching. Partly this is because he uses his power to infiltrate, but even cornered, he prefers tools like blasters and {{Tykebomb}}s. Pretty much the only exception is just before and during his ShapeshifterSwanSong, and he keeps flickering back into his default form during that.
* In ''Literature/{{Seraphina}}'' dragons can only transform into their own human form, called a saarantras (saarantrai for plural, saar for short).
* The Returned in ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'' have this power. Most modern Returned don't know they have it, and so simply take on whatever build and appearance society thinks of as the ideal. The Royal House of Idris, who are descended from a Returned, can alter the color and length of their hair at will (including facial hair for male Royals).
* In ''Literature/ArrivalsFromTheDark'', the Exile's VoluntaryShapeshifting species can turn into any other race at will. However, he had a rare condition that locks him into the first form he turns into, allowing only minor variations after (no GenderBender due to major internal changes that would require). He chooses to go to Earth and turn into a human, arriving in the 13th century. In the first book alone, he has four named identities with well-established credentials: a Chinese astronomer, a Zulu representative to the UN, a European reporter, and an American soldier. In later novels, he mimics a HumanAlien and a "pseudo-humanoid" with four fingers, although those changes are largely cosmetic (i.e. still human inside). He also appears to be able to remove and regrow limbs at will, as he spends decades as a soldier with a prosthetic arm.
* In ''Literature/TheGirlFromTheMiraclesDistrict'', Nikita's HulkingOut abilities can be applied to let her alter her face and figure to some extent, so while she can't look like a man, she can, for example, change her apparent ethnicity.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The First Evil in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' can only transform into real dead (or ex-dead or undead) people. You do see occasional glimpses of a demonic face that presumably represents its "true form", however.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'':
** Episode "Small Potatoes", Eddie Van Blundht has an extra layer of muscle that he can control to perfectly impersonate other humans. Moreover, although the episode doesn't specifically mention the limitation, we only see him in the forms of other ''male'' humans.
** The Alien Bounty Hunter can assume the appearance of any human he has met, e.g. Fox Mulder's.
** In the episode "Gender Bender", the villain shapeshifts from male to female and back, though s/he only seems to have a single appearance for each gender.
* Victoria in ''Series/NoOrdinaryFamily'' had the ability to shapeshift into anyone else, even including their personality and superpowers. After she was killed, Stephanie was able to exploit this by temporarily impersonating ''her''.
* ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' episode "The Four of Us Are Dying" features a con man with the ability to shapeshift into anyone he chooses. His downfall comes when he appears as a crazy old man's son. The guy [[OffingTheOffspring really doesn't like his son]].
* In ''Series/TrueBlood'', shapeshifters gain the ability to do this after killing at least one of their parents, even if it was an accident or not their fault (like during childbirth). But it takes a serious toll on their bodies, and if they do it just a few times they'll most likely die.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' story "The Faceless Ones", the aliens are "chameleons" -- faceless aliens who can transform into duplicates of specific humans through technology.

* "Seen and Not Seen", a song from Music/TalkingHeads' ''Music/RemainInLight'' is about a man who believes that he and others can gradually change their faces through force of will. He's worried, though, that he might have chosen features that don't suit him.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** The Changeling race in the TabletopGame/{{Eberron}} setting has this as its signature power, being able to take on the appearance (and only the appearance, not the other innate powers of) other humanoids. They can also change sex (or mixe sexes, or become asexual) at will.
** By extension, the {{Doppelganger}} race (which the Changelings are descended from) has this same power too. Of course, by the way ''D&D'' defines "humanoid", they could also become creatures such as harpies.
** The ''alter self'' spell lets you transform into another creature of your type. Since most spellcasters are humanoids, this means [[FiveRaces humans, elves, dwarves, etc.]] (Although a dragon casting ''alter self'' could only turn into [[OurDragonsAreDifferent a different dragon]].) The ''humanoid shape'' invocation for Dragonfire Adepts lets them transform into any (non-templated) humanoid shape (it's not ''quite'' as powerful as ''alter self'' for humanoid adepts -- it misses out on a few boni the new form might have -- but on the other hand it lasts for much longer than a standard ''alter self'' spell).
* Creator/GamesWorkshop games:
** In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', the Callidus Temple of the Officio Assassinorum are experts in the use of the aptly named drug polymorphine. This rare substance allows a trained operative to change their appearance into that of another person so that they can disguise themselves, and occasionally to KillAndReplace their targets. With the addition of special surgical implants that react with the polymorphine, the Callidus Assassin is even able to masquerade as aliens or mutants.
** The Kairic Acolytes of the Arcanite Cults from ''TabletopGame/WarhammerAgeOfSigmar'' possess some limited form of shapeshifting ability, being able to change their form and features so that they can appear as anyone from an emaciated scholar to a wealthy merchant. The Acolytes use this ability to disguise their true allegiances and enact their masterís plans in secrecy.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Spy in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' has the ability to impersonate members of the opposing team (and his own team) in order to infiltrate their base.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Elliot in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' can [[http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=1083 consciously change his appearance]], although thanks to a botched magical awakening, most of his available forms are female. (Properly awakened magic in this setting tends towards PersonalityPowers, so it's been theorized that he won't awaken properly until he finds a female form that in some way represents his true self.) His magically-created OppositeSexClone Ellen has a more refined version of this, allowing her to scan somebody and change her form to match theirs perfectly, which [[http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=1065 isn't limited to humans]].
* Sabine the [[HornyDevils succubus]] from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''. She can do "human", "dwarf", and also turn male. By ''D&D'' rules, she can change into any Medium or Small humanoid form.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Not uncommon among low-level Shifters in the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse''. Bogus, a student at SuperheroSchool Whateley Academy can only turn into other people, and can't change his weight either.
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'', [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-974 SCP-974 ("Treehouse Predator")]]. It can take the form of a any human being that it has killed and eaten.
* Pretender from ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' is a humanshifter who can clone himself. His clones are also humanshifters.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* A villain from ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' named [[PunnyName Camille Leon]] can shapeshift into people after an experimental cosmetic surgery; however, she always retains the same basic body shape.
* Zee from ''WesternAnimation/TheZetaProject''. He has been known to appear as a (humanoid) statue and a broken version of his robot form, otherwise it's strictly people.
* False Face from ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' had the ability to change his facial features and hair to impersonate others, but was never shown to even appear as another gender or body type.