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[[quoteright:241:[[ComicBook/{{Marvels}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maggiemarvels1_1352.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:241:[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Beware the mutant.]]]]

[=Mutants=] are, by general definition, organisms that have undergone a permanent change to their genetic structure relative to the norm for their species. Sometimes this results in a new race or breed, or even, as mutations accumulate over time, a new species (speciation), and sometimes it's a one-off that produces effects that don't breed true, or are so negative that they prevent the individual mutant from successfully surviving and breeding. Technically, any deviation in a person's genetic code that isn't a "simple" combination of his parents' alleles would be a mutation. On average, human beings have 150 to 175 mutations each (mostly minor transcription errors or swapped chromatid segments), the vast majority of which are undetectable. So technically, we're all in some sense mutants.

Mutants in fiction follow this same basic idea (though normally portrayed in [[MagicGenetics biologically implausible or impossible]] ways), but have a much wider variety of phenotype effects than RealLife mutations because of HollywoodEvolution. Fictional mutants are often {{Super Hero}}es, because "mutation" is a [[MetaOrigin very easy way]] to get multiple [[StockSuperpowers power sets]] from a single SuperHeroOrigin (this is why ''ComicBook/XMen'', the first major comic to have LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters introduced all at once, starred a group of mutants). Just as often, humans or other animals are mutated somehow into [[PowerUpgradingDeformation hideous]] AlwaysChaoticEvil monsters for the heroes to fight, or [[TheGrotesque pitiful misunderstood freaks]]. Because even low levels of radiation can be deadly with prolonged exposure, it's common for stories to have RadiationImmuneMutants who can survive, thrive on, or ''require'' radiation to live.

There are two different ways to use the word Mutant: it can refer to characters who were born with a mutation, such as most members of the ComicBook/XMen. Creator/MarvelComics, the storytellers that have to be the most specific about this kind of thing, refers to these as '''Mutants'''. The other definition is things that have had their genetic code changed after birth, whether by [[ILoveNuclearPower radiation damage]], [[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke gene therapy]], or a [[ThePlague pandemic disease]]. Marvel calls these '''Mutates'''. Usually in fiction, these after-market mutations also alter germ cells and [[LamarckWasRight get passed on to the mutate's kids]]. For clarity's sake (and in accordance with the [[SuperRegistrationAct Mutant Registration Act]]), we keep the examples of these two different kinds of mutation separate.

The mutates variety (and certain mutants with an UnstableGeneticCode) are prone to experiencing TransformationHorror in some form or fashion.

May overlap with EvolutionaryLevels if the mutants are "[[TranshumanTreachery superior]]" to mankind. A type of SuperHeroOrigin. Very frequent targets for FantasticRacism. Outside the superhero genre, mutants are most often encountered AfterTheEnd.

A large body of examples of fictional mutants can also be seen on Wiki/{{Wikipedia}}: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutant_%28fictional%29 Mutant (fictional)]].

!!Examples of Mutants


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Contractors and Dolls of ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' probably count, being a DarkerAndEdgier take on the traditional comic books version, although other than the fact that they generally have a MetaOrigin, there's no indication of whether or not any genetic difference exists.
** It might even be a subversion; it's mentioned offhand that some government research organizations assumed it was genetic, tried eugenics programs to get themselves a superpowered army, and failed miserably.
* The diclonii in ''Manga/ElfenLied''. A particularly creepy example, given that after going through the motions of persecution and acceptance, [[spoiler:humanity exterminates them and this is [[EsotericHappyEnding considered a good thing]].]]
* Sein of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' was revealed in the [[AudioAdaptation third Sound Stage]] of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'' to be one in addition to being a {{Cyborg}}. Unlike her sisters, she had an unexpected mutation when she was being born. This is the source of her [[IntangibleMan phasing abilities]].
* The idea that Newtypes in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' are a result of evolution or mutation is gradually debunked as the metaseries goes on. In the earliest shows, however, they are implied to be humans adapting to living (and dying) in space by gaining enhanced senses and low-level PsychicPowers. All related tropes about mutants being exploited, persecuted, and persecuting back apply in full, as well.
* Any ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' character or clan that has a "bloodline trait," such as the Uchiha clan and their Sharingan.
* One ''Manga/DigimonVTamer01'''s protagonists is a PrehistoricMonster and every last mutant he encounters is antagonistic towards him, though some of them do become his friends later. For whatever reason, many of these monsters have their mutant status revoked in later Franchise/{{Digimon}} works.
* An interview with Creator/AkiraToriyama years after the conclusion of ''Franchise/DragonBall'' revealed that Freeza and King Cold are mutants among their own race, hence why they are exceptionally strong compared to the vast majority of them. In the show proper, the Ginyu Force are also confirmed mutants.
* ''Manga/InterviewsWithMonsterGirls'''s demi-humans are actually humans born with genetic mutations that cause them to exhibit traits of the monsters found in folklore.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* This is the premise of the ''Franchise/XMen'' franchise, where mutations form the team's MetaOrigin for StockSuperPowers ranging from the semi plausible to the blatantly absurd. [[FantasticRacism Discrimination]] against Mutants and by Mutants (some of whom believe that they, collectively, are [[EvolutionaryLevels a step above humanity]]) is one of the work's constant major themes.
* ''ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' comic had a massive teen gang called the Mutants terrifying Gotham. The leader was probably the only Mutant who might actually be a mutant. Well, that or a plain old sociopath with filed teeth.
* An issue of the classic Creator/ECComics horror/sci-fi anthology series ''Weird Science'' (not [[Film/WeirdScience that one]]) had a story titled "The Loathsome" about a badly deformed little girl being raised in an orphanage. Her father, a US Navy sailor, had his own DNA damaged by exposure to radiation during an atom bomb test in the Pacific just prior to returning home and fathering her. A military doctor convinced him to give up the infant and tell his wife the child had died shortly after birth. The girl had no super powers and certainly wasn't evil, but was treated as a monster by her caretakers and the other orphans because of her severe physical deformities. The story was AnAesop (a heart-wrenchingly tragic one) about the perils of nuclear weapons and mistreatment of people who are "different." You can read it [[http://weirdsciencefiction.blogspot.com/2010/07/loathsome.html here.]]
** Paid homage to by Alex Ross with Maggie in ComicBook/{{Marvels}} (See above image.)
* ComicBook/{{Thanos}} is a mutant Eternal born with an appearance similar to that of the monstrous Deviants. That same mutation is also why he is considerably more powerful than the average Titanian Eternal.
* Mutants are fairly rare in DC Comics, especially compared to their prevalence in Marvel, but one of the most prominent is actually a supervillain; Mano, one of the members of LegionOfSuperHeroes villains, the Fatal Five. Mano is one of the few metahumans explicitly mentioned as being a mutant, having been born with the ability to disintegrate anything he touched with his right hand. Notably however, Mano is not humans, but an ''alien'' mutant. As a response to the mistreatment he recieved because of his mutation, Mano became a monster and used his anti-matter touch to destroy his own homeworld, afterward plaguing the galaxy at large.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' is, while the Marvel aspects are primarily based on the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse, considerable elements of mainstream comics canon, mutants among them, including most of the classic X-Men (in sometimes slightly altered forms), Wanda Maximoff, Peter Wisdom [[spoiler: a.k.a. Regulus Black, making him a wizard too]] and there are persistent references to ComicBook/{{Magneto}} as TheDreaded. [[spoiler: Harry himself is one, via his mother, whose own mother was the sister of Jean Grey's grandmother, underlining his status as a HeinzHybrid. That said, it is implied that his mutation and Asgardian abilities will clash in the form of a brain haemorrhage.]]
** This is also given as the origin for the ability to use magic, a genetic mutation called 'the M-Gene', which can have considerable variation in how it manifests - i.e. wanded wizards or wandless, stronger or weaker practitioners who, in the latter case, do different things.
** The Morlocks are also referenced.
* ''FanFic/OriginStory'' is set in the Marvel Universe, so yes, there are mutants. The most notable one is Louise Fulford, the main character's LoveInterest. Her mutant power, the ability to change her hair color (all her hair, not just the stuff on her head) to any shade or combination of shades she wishes) is less than overwhelming.
** There is an entire community of homeless, low-powered mutants living under an overpass in Los Angeles. Alex Harris (the story's main character) and Louise take shelter with them for a while, and look after them afterward.
* In ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/237978/how-trixie-somehow-saved-hearths-warming How Trixie (Somehow) Saved Hearth's Warming]]'', it's revealed that [[spoiler:the BigBad Leidr is a mutant Windigo. The rest of his kind are nonsapient beasts who act purely on instinct, but he's completely sapient and was born that way. This fact is the cause of [[SympathyForTheDevil the heroes reaching out to him]] after his defeat upon realizing how lonely and painful it was to have the rest of your kind be completely incapable of understanding you.]]
* ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'' has "bloodliners", humans with Pokémon-related abilities. They used to be quite rare, but for reasons that have yet to be explained, [[BizarreBabyBoom their numbers have been exploding recently]].

* The film ''Film/{{Freaks}}'' tells the story of a troupe of sideshow performers with a number of rare disabilities. Most of the acts featured in the movie (and in their sideshow acts) focus on how they function in their day-to-day lives, such as Frances O'Connor eating her dinner with a knife and fork or knitting despite not having arms, Johnny Eck walking without legs, and Prince Randian lighting and smoking a cigarette when he doesn't have limbs at all. [[DisabledCharacterDisabledActor The stars of this movie had the same disabilities as their characters]], and like their characters, they led pretty contented lives and saw TheFreakshow as merely a way to make a living.
* The [[AttackOfthe50FootWhatever giant ants]] in ''Film/{{Them}}'' are an example, oddly enough. The radiation from nuclear testing didn't cause the ants to suddenly become gigantic; it was the ''offspring'' of those irradiated ants (along with their increased size, they emerged as adults from their eggs, with no larval or pupal stages in between. Another genetic quirk).
* The giant octopus from ''Octopus'' is similar to the above example. A biological weapon spill resulted in it's ancestors being mutated, and several generations later the gigantic beast of the film results.
* The telepathic mutants in ''Film/BeneathThePlanetOfTheApes''.
* Several mutants appear in ''Film/TotalRecall1990'' as deformed inhabitants of Mars. One of the most famous ones is probably the [[{{Multiboobage}} three-breasted prostitute]].

* Creator/EdmondHamilton's story ''He That Hath Wings'' features a mutant born after his mother was hit with electricity (there is a long explanation fitting firmly into the ScienceMarchesOn area). The child is born a WingedHumanoid, a rather obvious inspiration to the [[Comicbook/XMen Angel]]. Unfortunately, another thing the Angel seems to have inherited is a tendency toward tragic biography.
* ''Literature/PerryRhodan'' used to feature a Mutant Corps (with generally PsychicPowers) especially in the early series, when they were one of Earth's few trump cards against a militarily superior universe. Over time, attrition took its toll (especially when the first-generation immortality phlebotinum became unavailable and the replacement was sharply limited in supply) and various countermeasures were introduced, but the few remaining mutants stayed on as main characters for a long time and occasionally a new one or two would show up. More recently, a wave of mostly teenage mutants appeared that could trace their origin back to mass genetic engineering on a particular colony world during the latest dark age of the galaxy; these were, however, also afflicted with a deliberate genetic flaw that would eventually trigger and kill them, and the eventual cure had the side effect of removing their powers as well.
* The ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' series gives us The Mule, who has PsychicPowers and great physical strength but is infertile. Later novels retconned his origin.
* The escapism inherent in this trope was subverted as early as 1954, in Creator/AlfredBester's short story "5,271,009." Here, the main character is put in a ''LotusEaterMachine'' and experiences multiple juvenile fantasies, each of which is explained by "a mysterious mutant strain in his makeup that makes him different." On the other hand, the Espers (telepaths) of ''Literature/TheDemolishedMan'' fit the Franchise/XMen version very closely, including the idea of classifying them according to different levels of super power.
* The ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' actually uses mutants correctly: instead of superpowers, you get horrible deformities! Barrayar became a LostColony for a while after the [[HyperspaceLanes wormhole nexus]] connecting them to the wider galaxy was disrupted somehow, well before they had a large enough population to avoid problems with inbreeding, and then a neighbouring power with territorial ambitions made matters worse by dropping a bunch of nukes on them. The resulting cultural stigma against any kind of deformity -even non-hereditary ones like a cleft lip, or what happened to Miles ''in utero''- is something they're still along way from moving past for most of the series.
* Serroi in the ''Literature/DuelOfSorceryTrilogy''. In this case, it means that she's [[LittleMissBadass tiny]], [[AmazingTechnicolorPopulation green-skinned]], and has what seems to be a pineal eye of sorts and PsychicPowers.
* Mutants born after a suitcase bomb goes off in New Jersey are the protagonists (and antagonists) of Tom DeHaven's affecting novel ''Freaks' Amour.''
* ''Literature/TheChrysalids'' by Creator/JohnWyndham features a [[WorldWarIII post-apocalyptic society]] where mutants are a common occurrence. However, seeing as its a CrapsackWorld, they're immediately exiled or killed on discovery.
* Played very darkly in the metatextual post-apocalyptic novel ''Literature/TheIronDream'', where mutants are used as a metaphor for how fascists (specifically, Hitler) view other races than their own.
* ''Literature/{{Mindscape}}'': The Vermittlers, the only people who can penetrate the barrier, are not trsuted because they are genetically engineered. In the novel, the Vermittlers have a parallel in the Sioux Indian Ghost Dancers; both groups are treated as outcasts and relate to the Barrier by singing to it.
* In ''Literature/TheInfected'' they're called, well, Infected. Otherwise the trope is played dead straight like the X-Men. Several times people have to reiterate that the Infected aren't contagious or anything, that's just the name that stuck when medical science was trying to decide what to make of them.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* The Daleks of ''Series/DoctorWho''. And apparently the Thals, although they seem to have recovered by the start of ''The Dead Planet.'' Alydon [speaking of the Daleks] : "If they call us mutations... what must they be like?"
** The Thals are mutants, too. It's just that their mutations were beneficial, making them healthy and beautiful.
*** The Thals are an interesting subversion. They initially mutated into creatures similar to the Daleks, but where the Daleks "stabilized" and stopped mutating the Thals continued, eventually coming full circle, mutating back into basically their original form.
** The Third Doctor story entitled ''The Mutants'' turns out to be an aversion. The supposedly mutant Solonians are in fact undergoing a natural metamorphosis as part of their life cycle. What's more, the insect-like "mutant" form is merely an intermediate stage, and the final form is a powerful, god-like being.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' presents its StockSuperPowers as the product of mutation.
* The ThematicRoguesGallery of ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce''.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' regularly featured these as the MonsterOfTheWeek, including the liver-eating Eugene Victor Tooms, among numerous others.
* ''Series/{{Sanctuary}}'' has Abnormals, which seems to cover mutants and mutates.
* Played for comedy and mixed with LegoGenetics in one episode of ''Series/TheMightyBoosh''. [[CrowdSong We are the mutant race!]] [[EarWorm Don't look at my eyes, don't look at my face!]]
* [[ShockAndAwe Gwen Raiden]] from ''Series/{{Angel}}'' has extremely high voltage, and over the years has discovered interesting uses with her powers. For example, sticking her hand in a laser grid, and taking control of the lasers without setting off the alarm. She stands out as this trope because she lacks demonic heritage or magical training like most powered being in this universe, she just developed it naturally. (Though the source of her power is never really examined and could in fact be supernaturally based. All that's really known is she gets struck by lightning a lot.)
** There was also a character named Bethany who had telekinesis, but that might be considered a PsychicPower instead. Again, precisely where the power comes from is not explained, but it's only present in people who suffer severe trauma.
* ''Series/BuckRogersInTheTwentyFifthCentury'':
** In an episode, a group of terrorists trying to blow up an antimatter-fueled power station on Earth includes a mutant henchman with the ability to go de-solid (and thus could make himself immune to attacks at will). Their plot is defeated because the henchman makes a HeelFaceTurn because he ''will not permit'' another planet to suffer the same fate as his own world, where everyone not only has powers, but also hideous deformities from the effects of a similar event in the past. (This somewhat misses the point, as most of Earth is populated only by radiation-damaged beings anyway, according to the pilot.)
** Another episode involves people from a world where everyone, by law, must wear a mask (with a distinctive pattern on it, unique to each individual) and is absolutely prohibited from removing it in the presence of anyone else. One young man, the son of one of the leaders, wants to end this practice. At the end of the episode, he removes his mask and Buck is astonished because he's a handsome, normal-looking human. The subtle horror is revealed when his father and the guards remove their own masks...and reveal that everyone on their planet ''looks exactly alike''.

* A staple in Creator/DataEastPinball's ''Pinball/TalesFromTheCrypt''

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'', Mutants tie with Commies and Traitors for the greatest threat to Alpha Complex. In fact, if you are a Mutant, you probably are a Commie Traitor as well. Unfortunately, '''every''' PlayerCharacter is a mutant. Please report to the nearest Execution Center, citizen.
** Being a mutant is just grounds for immediate execution. The only exception being if you are a 'registered mutant' in which case you just have to wear a bright yellow ribbon at all times, and might as well have "scapegoat" tattooed on your head.
* ''TabletopGame/D20Modern'' features rules for playing as someone with special mutant abilities.
* ''TabletopGame/GammaWorld'' had an AfterTheEnd setting with mutated humans, animals, and plants.
* ''Mutant'' and ''Mutant Space'' were Swedish roleplaying games that spawned the ''TabletopGame/MutantChronicles'' universe (despite the name, MC is not about mutants).
** However, ''Mutant'' has been re-released several time afterwards. It is, after all, Sweden's third or second largest domestic tabletop game. And for any reader who is confused; ''Mutant'' is not about mutants, but they sure as h*ll are an important part of it.
* ''TabletopGame/MutantsAndMasterminds'' uses this as a common 'origin story'.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** Mutants are a major problem in the [[TheEmpire Imperium of Man]]. Some sages believe that [[HumansArePsychicInTheFuture humanity is approaching]] [[EvolutionaryLevels a new stage of its evolution]], but the danger is when mutations result in PsychicPowers, since even a single untrained psyker risks inviting an invasion by the LegionsOfHell, and since random mutant births in the populace are a good sign of Chaos corruption. Most worlds have mutant populations that are at best treated as highly-disposable slave labor or CannonFodder, or at worst are burned at the stake as perversions of the divine human form. However, some strains of mutants, mostly ones arising from natural causes (natural selection, chemical mutagens, radiation, etc.) rather than from the taint of Chaos, have stabilized into subraces the Imperium tolerates as "abhumans," most notably [[OurOgresAreHungrier Ogryns]] and [[{{Hobbits}} Ratlings]], who serve specialized roles in the Imperial Guard, and the psychic [[TelepathicSpacemen Navigator]] caste that is required for [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace Warp]] travel.
** The always-evolving [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Tyranids]] have mutants as well. Old One Eye was a particularly tough Carnifex [[HumanPopsicle defrosted]] decades after the rest of its Hive Fleet was defeated, and its regenerative abilities have been seen in modern Carnifexes, suggesting that its mutation was approved and adopted by later Hive Fleets. The Genestealers of Ymgarl, on the other hand, are thought to be the remnant of a pre-Imperium invasion force, and though they've fought alongside later Hive Fleets, the Hive Mind seems to be leery of absorbing their genetic material -- these 'stealers are so unstable that they will mutate ''during combat''. Their absence in the latest Tyranid codex suggests that the Hive Mind wrote them off as a failure.
* Mutants in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' are usually killed at birth or killed later by the Witch Hunters, but those that do survive tend to retreat to the dark corners of the Old World and band together with similar misshapen outcasts. The [[BeastMan Beastmen]] are one such society, a successful "breed" of mutant that resembles a savage, bloodthirsty satyr.
* There's mutants in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' too. Mutants come in two main flavors, the bioengineered people created by the Solars in the First Age and the humans and creatures exposed to the Wyld at the edge of the world. The first are somewhat rational, physically predictable and still human in their way of thinking, the second... can vary widely in sanity and form.
** Oh, and there are people whose bodies are twisted by power places like demesnes or the fact they have inhuman ancestry from gods, demons and other creatures...
* In ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'' Bloodlines are a form of mutation. Upon reaching a certain level of power, Vampires can fundamentally alter their blood to become a new Bloodline (A subspecies of Vampire)... but the only real catalyst for this is a large expenditure of willpower and the sufficiently potent blood. More then a few Bloodlines have emerged accidentally, or has the result of the Founder surviving a nasty curse.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' has mutation as one of the stock superpower origins.
* The Sai, the descendants of the humans in {{VideoGame/Stormrise}} have mutated in order to adapt to the extreme conditions after a experiment to change the climate of earth by mankind went horribly wrong, resulting in the mother of all storms and turning most the earth uninhabitable.
* In ''Nasuverse'' a lot of characters get their powers by being born mutants. In one of the side stories it is said that while such a person can turn the side of a battle, they typically don't survive said battle. And keeping these mutations in the next generation is a difficult task. A few families of the Demon Hunter Association managed to overcome these problems, especially Nanaya and Ryogi. Their powers were not particularly impressive, but they compensated this by being [[BadassFamily Badass Families]].
* In VideoGame/{{Killzone}} the Helghast have evolved to suit the environment of their adopted homeworld, to the point that they require specialized breathing apparatus to visit other worlds. Complete with [[RedEyesTakeWarning evil red eyes]].
* In the ''[[VideoGame/SaGa Final Fantasy Legend]]'' trilogy, mutants ("espers" in Japanese) are one of the playable races. In the first and second games they randomly gain or lose traits after battles.
* In ''VideoGame/UFOAftershock'', there are two races, the Cyborgs and the Psionics, who are humans who were born with special abilities due to a genetic mutation caused by the Biomass. The Cyborgs' mutation allowed them to graft robotic implants onto themselves easily, while the Psionics developed PsychicPowers.
* Mewtwo from VideoGame/{{Pokemon}} is a genetically altered Mew.

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* Webcomic/{{Bug|Martini}} [[http://www.bugcomic.com/comics/lousy-lineage/ deconstructs the idea of gaining superpowers by mutation.]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' a {{unicorn}} mare was exposed to strange pollution, and her offspring grew into Generictown's resident {{Kaiju}}, [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20090428.html Unigar the Vast Unicorn.]]
** And the [[StockNessMonster Loch Ness Monster]] is a 65-million year old mutant newt.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2004-09-24 Slick bolts from a polluted scene at the sight of a mutant.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Unsounded}}'', minor mutations are caused by the BackgroundMagicField of the Khert causing interference. Some people get eyes that see into the Khert or modified brain stems that let them cast spells mentally instead of vocally; others get deformed limbs or are stuck smelling like vinegar all their lives. BrattyHalfPint Sette has a tail that she's quite proud of, though [[spoiler:her BarbieDollAnatomy and strange interactions with the Khert raise some questions about how far the mutations go]].
* ''Webcomic/LightAndDark:'' has mutant humans referred to as Freaks, many of them with superhuman abilities or odd features such as extra limbs. There are also animal-like humans such as the feline Katsas.
* ''Webcomic/KongTower'' features both varieties. Mutants are referred to as ''Aberrant,'' and notably do not feature NoConservationOfEnergy, though they do stretch the limits of what's actually possible for biology.

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* Mutants in the ''Franchise/XMen'' style are the basis of the Literature/WhateleyUniverse. Some tiny fraction of the people who have the 'meta-gene complex' manifest as mutants, typically around age 14. Most of them - good, bad, or indifferent - go to Whateley Academy to learn how to use their powers and not get murdered by lynch mobs of baselines.
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'', [[http://scp-wiki.net/scp-654 SCP-654 ("Thunderhorn")]]. SCP-654 is a narwhale that can [[ShockAndAwe fire a lightning bolt from its horn]]. Its lightning bolt ability is noted as being a mutation.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' features a society of downtrodden mutants with amusingly altered physical states (a girl with a pig nose and gills, a man with a third arm instead of an ear) forced to live in the sewers of New New York. None of them have superpowers, though (well, not from their mutations, anyway). Their similarity to RubberForeheadAliens is why [[spoiler:Leela]] was able to pass for a functioning member of society until TheReveal.
* The villains in ''WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats1985}}'' are call the Mutants and are anthropomorphic non-feline animals at the service of BigBad Mumm-Ra.
* Fred the Mutant in ''WesternAnimation/BikerMiceFromMars'' is one of BigBad Limburger's minions and is a deformed Quasimodo-like creature with three pink eyes with black irises, a bushy tail, and a tentacle instead of a right arm.

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* The preponderance of evidence suggests that Britain's ''Queen Victoria'' was a genuine mutant. Many of her descendants inherited the allele for hemophilia from her, yet neither of her parents' bloodlines carry this trait, indicating that a random genetic mutation made her a carrier for this disorder. ...that assumes that all of her official ancestors were her actual ancestors. Because she was an only child, it's also possible that her mother was the mutant, and she only inherited it, making them both carriers. (Because her mother had brothers, it's improbable that it went back any farther.)
* There are people who actually play this straighter to the comic version, with seeming superhuman abilities stemming from a genetic mutation, or are believed to. Certain people's bodies are naturally resistant to electricity to the point grabbing a live wire does nothing to them, and they can even redirect it. [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19661_6-real-people-with-mind-blowing-mutant-superpowers.html This article]] lists several people with near superhuman capabilities that most likely stem from simply being born with unique traits others lack (not all count, though).
* Creator/OzzyOsbourne was born with a genetic mutation that [[ImmuneToDrugs enables his body to better metabolize narcotics than an average human]]. [[http://www.indyposted.com/123988/scientists-say-ozzy-osbourne-is-a-genetic-mutant-are-you-surprised/ Geneticists at Cambridge University]] discovered this when they mapped his genome to determine how how he managed to survive so long.

!!Examples of Mutates

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* The Zoanoids from the ''Manga/{{Guyver}}'' franchise.
* No human examples, but in the [[AfterTheEnd Acid Tokyo]] storyline of ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'', they spend a fair portion of their time fighting hideous, deformed monsters whom the survivors identify as 'mutants.' How having the world destroyed by ''acid raid'' resulted in animals mutating into three-headed spitting snakes or carnivorous earthworms the size of semis is never really explained.
* Anyone that has ever eaten a Devil Fruit in ''Manga/OnePiece''. Unfortunately, [[SuperDrowningSkills they're no longer able to swim]].

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* Comicbook/SpiderMan originally got his powers when the bite of a radioactive/[[RetCon genetically-altered]] spider altered his genes. [[ILoveNuclearPower As it does]].
** Spider-Man's rogues gallery is full of these: Dr. Connors tried to use a serum to give himself the regeneration ability of reptiles to regain his missing arm, turning himself into the Lizard. ComicBook/{{Morbius}} combined himself with the DNA of a vampire bat which turned him into a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent living pseudo-vampire]]. Black Cat was injected with SuperSerum. The combination of exposure to underwater gases, radiation and seawater turned Morris Bench into [[ElementalShapeshifter Hydro-Man]]. Miles Warren injected himself with several experimental serums to make himself stronger and faster, becoming the Jackal. William Baker was at the beach when the military dropped a nuclear bomb there and became the Sandman. [=MacDonald=] Gargan was experimented on with radiation and genetic transfusions and took on the name Scorpion.
** ''Comicbook/UntoldTalesOfSpiderMan'' featured Batwing, who was originally a prepubescent boy. When he got lost in the Carlsbad Caverns and drank water polluted from illegal chemical dumping, he turned into a giant flying bat-creature.
* Comicbook/IncredibleHulk got mutated to his green self by a hefty dose of gamma radiation. He can switch it on and off...
* The ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'', despite their name, are actually mutates instead of mutants, having been born normal turtles before being turned into TeenageMutantSamuraiWombats by a mysterious substance known either as Ooze or Mutagen (in reality industrial waste created by the alien Utroms in the comics and most later incarnations, and Krang in the first cartoon). The same goes for virtually their entire supporting cast, most notably their adoptive father Splinter, and sometimes-foe Leatherhed.
* ''ComicBook/StrontiumDog'' has mutants all over the place due to strontium-90 fallout in the aftermath of a nuclear war. However, since this isn't America, only a tiny fraction of the mutates actually get powers - most are just disfigured.
* Likewise for ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd''; both strips have mostly been written by John Wagner and Alan Grant for years.
* The ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'' received their powers as a result of exposure to space-radiation.
** One Superman Story, very likely as a TakeThat against Marvel, featured a group of 4 people who got exposed to space-radiation. They mutated and got super powers alright. All of them ended up becoming unbalanced and eventually comitted suicide (aside from their leader who became the villainous Cyborg Superman) because radiation is dangerous.
* Creator/MilestoneComics' ComicBook/{{Static}}, probably better known in his [[WesternAnimation/StaticShock animated form]].
* Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'s childhood accident with radioactive/chemical/whatever waste blinded him, but also helped to enhance his senses beyond what would be possible for a non-mutate blind person.
* Despite Comicbook/SinCity being more realistic than most comic series, The Yellow Bastard could still very easily be considered a mutate. He underwent gene therapy in order to reattatch his lost body parts and repair his damaged brain, turning into a yellow freak in the process. Its heavily implied that his yellow color and trademark stench is due to organ damage the process caused him, leading to his body filling with bile as it basically rots while he's still alive.
* Zig-zagged in the DCU. While there are some straight-up mutates, [[MetaOrigin many super heroes (and villains) were later]] reconned to have something called a "Metagene", which grants super powers under a moment of [[TraumaticSuperpowerAwakening intense psychological stress]].

[[folder:Fan Works]]

* In the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', there are several examples.
** The apocalypse (the magical equivalent of a nuclear holocaust) that ended the Golden Age mutated several beings into monsters, some of which became complete species. [[spoiler:The Griffins and sapient livestock are positive examples, as they were mutated in such a way as [[UpliftedAnimal to become sapient]].]]
** It turns out this is [[spoiler:the origin of the Sirens.]] They were originally [[spoiler:a trio of Sea Ponies who had a magic spell that allowed them to transform into Flutterponies. Then the aforementioned apocalypse happened, mutating them into their SeaMonster forms and making them extremely powerful and dangerous. One of their siblings wasn't so lucky and didn't survive the mutation.]]
** Lord Tirek was originally a normal centaur before [[spoiler:absorbing an unholy amount of magic from Pandora's Box]] mutated him into his current form.
* In ''Blog/TheDespairKids'', [[OriginalCharacter Kyoji]] [[TheMedic Nakamura]] performed gene therapy ''[[ProfessorGuineaPig on himself]]'' in order to help combat the despairs. This gave him [[SpareBodyParts multiple redundant organs]], [[SuperSenses enhanced vision]], [[MadeOfIron greater durability]], a BladeBelowTheShoulder, WallCrawl, and a few others he's kept secret.


* ''Film/TheToxicAvenger'': 90-pound weakling Melvin falls into a barrel of radioactive waste during a cruel prank, and mutates into the hideously disfigured, but hulking, superhumanly strong Toxic Avenger.
%%* The ''Film/{{Doom}}'' movie.
* Franchise/{{Godzilla}}, Rodan, King Ghidorah (The 90s version at least), [[Film/GodzillaVsBiollante Biollante]], or nearly every single [[{{Kaiju}} giant monster]] applies here.
* The apocalyptic film ''Film/PropheciesOfNostradamus'' / ''The Last Days of Planet Earth'' featured several mutates (and a few Mutants as well) of varying stripes. One of the most frightening was a group of irradiated humans who became arboreal cannibals covered with cancerous sours.
* The film ''Film/TheAlligatorPeople'' has... well, a man whose genes got mixed with an alligator due to Radiation.

* Probably the UrExample is Creator/HGWells' ''Literature/TheIslandOfDoctorMoreau'' is about a scientist turning animals into antropoid creatures using vivisection. The different [[Film/TheIslandOfDoctorMoreau film adaptations]] generally update the vivisection part with more plausible methods like hormones and genetic manipulation.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* Alex Mack, the title heroine and protagonist from ''Series/TheSecretWorldOfAlexMack'', is a mutant who got her powers from exposure to the AppliedPhlebotinum GC-161.
* The titular mutants (or mutts) from the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS9E4TheMutants ''The Mutants'']]. In this case, the mutations turn out to be universal, and the effect of the planet in question moving into Summer.
** The Kaleds, even those who are opposed to the creation of the Daleks, also have a strict idea of racial purity. In ''Genesis of the Daleks'' they are shown to abandon 'mutos', who have disabilities or don't look good enough, on the hostile planet surface. And those mutos were most likely created by Davros's experiments.
* Although many of the characters are mutants, many characters of Series/{{Heroes}} get their powers from being injected with a gene-altering formula.
* ''Series/MutantX'', despite the name, is mostly about people modified ''after'' birth. There is one who was modified either before or immediately after his birth... he didn't grow up so well. Some mutants also have children, who naturally fit the first part.

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* The Empire in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' responds to mutations in much the same way as the Imperium in ''40k''. The [[HornyVikings Norscans]], in contrast, view a sudden mutation as a sign of the gods' favor, and such individuals will usually rise to prominence in a tribe. It's a fine line even for them, though -- people who accumulate too many mutations too quickly run a real risk of being overwhelmed by them and degenerating into mindless, gibbering [[WasOnceAMan Chaos Spawn]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** If the Imperium is intolerant when it comes to natural mutation, it's positively [[BurnTheWitch flamer-happy]] when it comes to mutates, which are ([[ProperlyParanoid often correctly]]) seen as the result of [[TheCorruption the corrupting influence of Chaos]]. It is therefore renegades and Chaos worshipers who survive to appreciate the "gifts" of the Dark Gods -- [[BodyHorror or]] [[WasOnceAMan not]]. Some Chaos sorcerers actually weaponize this, and use their psychic powers to grant allies additional abilities, or turn an enemy character into a mewling pile of flesh.
** Even some loyalist Space Marine chapters fall prey to this, when quirks in their gene-seed cause initiates to develop unconventional traits. The Black Dragons for instance have a tendency to grow bony talons from their forearms, [[CursedWithAwesome which they plate with adamantium and use in close combat]], while the Blood Angels and their successors are cursed with a Flaw that can drive them to spontaneously fall into an UnstoppableRage they call the Red Thirst, or hallucinate the GeneticMemory of their Primarch's death, which they call the Black Rage. These are only barely tolerated by the Imperium, which requires that chapters regularly send tithes of gene-seed for screening and monitoring to try and prevent future occurrences.
** The Literature/SoulDrinkers stand out being tainted by Chaos, mutating, and being declared traitors and heretics, yet still opposing Chaos and purifying their gene-seed for the next generation of recruits. Of course, those already affected can't change back - and many don't want to, given the usefulness of their mutations.
** In a downplayed example, the Tyranids use this in the first stage of their invasion process, or "[[{{Terraforming}} Tyranoforming]]." They seed a target world with spores that cause the local flora to mutate and grow out of control, [[PlanetEater to make it easier to consume the planet's biomass]].
* Wyld mutants in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}''. The Wyld is [[WorldGoneMad pure chaos and change]]. Over-exposure to it -- or, in many cases, ''any'' exposure to it -- can cause both the flesh and mind to warp in bizarre ways, and after a certain amount of mutation, often the [[WasOnceAMan former person]] can no longer live outside of the Wyld.
* In ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' the Martian city Y'Therthl engages in rituals based around their ancient genetic engineering machines at the birth of every child. A few come out of it worst off than when they went in.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''VideoGame/BioShock'': The splicers were originally ordinary people who purchased injectible upgrades for their DNA when ADAM arrived on the market, gaining good looks, intelligence, even super powers... right before the side-effects of frivolous ADAM-usage started cropping up.
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' lists this power origin as "Science", as in the character got their powers in a scientific accident.
* The Forgotten in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' are the result of the Brotherhood of NOD's human experiments with [[GreenRocks Tiberium]], and each faction views them differently: the Brotherhood outright loathes the ''mutants'', the ''shiners'' are nothing more than a convenient ally for GDI, and ''The Forgotten'' view themselves [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy "a people of honor"]]. Naturally, they always get shafted.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'':
** Two major in-game races, the Ghouls and the Super Mutants, are the result of a combination of radiation fallout and the Forced Evolutionary Virus, a pre-war biological weapon that was designed to create disposable super soldiers. When the war happened, some containment vessels burst and were exposed to radiation, creating an air-borne version of the virus that turns anyone exposed to it alongside a massive dose of radiation into a Ghoul, a person who looks just like a zombie even though they're still alive. They also gain immunity from radiation which instead heals them, AND makes them biologically immortal, but has the drawback of running the risk of turning Feral, a state when their brains decay from radiation exposure, turning them into mindless cannibals, like a traditional zombie, and making them sterile as well. The Super Mutants on the other hand are the result of direct, untainted exposure to the FEV, which turns humans into hulking, ogre-like monsters with SuperStrength, biological immortality and superhuman toughness. Unfortunatly, it also tends to lower their intelligence, and renders the mutate completely sterile.
** The Master, the main villain of the first game, is also a mutate, a former scientist who fell into a vat of FEV and was left to soak in it rather than mutating through brief exposure. The result was a massive BodyHorror abomination of liquid flesh with incredible psychic powers and VoiceOfTheLegion who's living flesh covers the bottom part of his base.
** There are also some humans with minor mutations amongst the human populace. The Slags in VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}} are a group of humans who took shelter in subterranean caves and when they returned to the surface, they found out that their bodies couldn't handle living on the outside. Your own character can get a sixth mutated toe by stepping on the radiated goo in the Toxic Caves without protective boots, but you can pay a doctor to amputate it. A man in Gecko was scorned in Vault City and eventually exiled himself because of the way he was mistreated for being very radiation resistant. In VideoGame/{{Fallout Tactics|BrotherhoodOfSteel}}, one of the enemy groups you fight against is the group of tribals called "The Beastlords", who were mutated by radiation near the caverns where they lived and gained the ability to mind-control most animals near them, except humans and deathclaws.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', your PlayerCharacter can be bestowed a variety of mutations as you level up, ranging from simple radiation resistance, to having a HealingFactor while suffering radiation poisoning to being able to heal yourself via cannibalism. The last such feat that can be taken causes the PC to VIOLENTLY EXPLODE when s/he hits critical health, without actually hurting herself.
** Towards the end of ''Fallout 3'', it is heavily implied that '''everyone''' in the District of Columbia, with the exception of Enclave personnel, has been mutated from radiation--but most of the mutations are so minor as to be unnoticeable. This theme was already present in ''Fallout 2'', where it's outright stated that everybody in the world apart from the Enclave and the Vault dwellers has gotten various minor mutations due to the persistent background radiation. To the Enclave, who had just been terrified from discovering the ghouls and the super mutants, this was strong grounds for planet-wide genocide.
* In ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion II'', there's a tech called Evolutionary Mutation, which, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin as the name says]], allows a one-time change to statistics of the race that discovers it.
* In ''VideoGame/SepterraCore'', the inhabitants of [[WorldShapes Shell 7]] were mutated by the emissions of the Core, and are now a separate species known as Underlost. They look like [[Franchise/{{Alien}} xenomorphs]] with hard exoskeletons. Despite their fearsome appearance, they aren't crazy or evil.
* The Zerg in ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}'' mutate captured samples of enemy races to [[TheCorruption assimilate them]] into The Swarm. Most notable in the game is their assimilation and alteration of future BigBad Sarah Kerrigan.
* The OD of ''VideoGames/SunsetOverdrive'' were also transformed by consuming the [[MayContainEvil soft drink Overcharge]]. OD are addicted to Overcharge and are extremely violent, attacking any human or robot in close proximity.

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' the No-Fun Corporation infects someone with a virus that causes them to [[http://sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/20091116 mutate randomly]], which just so happens to turn him into a giant, cannibalistic monster. Go figure.
* ''Webcomic/KongTower'' featured both varieties. Most call Mutates ''"Curios,"'' and the phenomenon that creates them is scientifically termed the ''[[FreakLabAccident "Sklodowska Reaction,"]] which causes cellular metamorphosis and allows for NoConservationOfEnergy. In the [[http://townsendwright.com/kong-tower/kt79/ comic where the concept is described]] it's pointed out that college courses that teach about this reaction have to lock the doors so students don't try to [[TooDumbToLive experiment on themselves to get superpowers]] before the lesson's over.

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* [[NotUsingTheZedWord Psionics]] in ''Literature/TheDescendants'' are a corner case. While they're born for the most part in the present, it's stated that these mutations were kicked off generations ago by WWII era [[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke experiments]].
* FreaksMutantsAndMonsters
* ''{{Literature/Worm}}'' has the Case 53s, people used as test subjects for Cauldron who have large physical changes to go along with their powers.
* {{Literature/Enter the Farside}}: Some Fargraced are born or emerge from the [[EldritchLocation Farside]] with physical deformities. Jolly's gang, the Manc Freakshow, are entirely made up of Mutants. Jolly is a 9 foot tall hulk with green skin and mossy hair. [[ThirdEye Triclops has three large, black eyes that can operate independantly]]. Ooze's body liquids are replaced by an inky substance. [[HalfHumanHybrid Squeeks looks like a man/rat hybrid]], and Aberrant is neckless with four arms that join at his elbows.
* In Website/TheOnion article "[[http://www.theonion.com/article/new-osha-regulations-cut-down-workplace-mutations-52828 New OSHA Regulations To Cut Down On Workplace Mutations]]", laws are proposed specifically to prevent people from spontaneously mutating due to workplace accidents in [[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke bioengineering facilities]], pharmaceutical development, hazardous waste processing plants, [[NuclearNasty nuclear power plants]], or [[MagicalParticleAccelerator particle accelerators]] causing them to develop antennae, compound eyes, mouths on their hands, the heads of venus flytraps, or similar drastic mutations.
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation''
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-065 SCP-065 ("Destroyed Organic Catalyst")]]. Any animals within 12 meters of the center of SCP-065 suffer rapid harmful mutations. The larger the animal is, the faster the mutations occur.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-783 SCP-783 ("Baba Yaga's Cottage")]]. Any animal that enters the Cottage undergoes massive mutations which usually give enhanced combat abilities.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1575 SCP-1575 ("Venus Statue")]]. Any water that passes through SCP-1575 gains mutagenic properties. Any animal that drinks the water will undergo mutation into a human being.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1888 SCP-1888 ("Terraforming Temple")]]. When animals or plants are exposed to the substance SCP-1888-2 they physically mutate, with their bodies developing means of effective attacks (claws, poisoned thorns, etc.).
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-2756 SCP-2756 ("Surreal Landscaper")]]. SCP-2756 is an anomalous disease of unknown origin that mutates living creatures, causing extra organs to grow on random parts of their bodies.
* The Website/{{tgchan}} adventure ''Fen Quest'' has the land of Erja Nokol, which in addition to having a mutant population is also home to highly mutagenic tar pools that cause even more drastic changes (turning "mutants" into "abominations", as per local terminology) if one ends up submerged in them. Yet some of the unluckiest mutants will willingly take a dip in tar, playing a second round of SuperpowerRussianRoulette on the off chance that the new mutations may improve their lot in life. That's what happened to Tomato: He became a quadruped (without gaining additional arms, which means he doesn't have hands) with a hide covered in poisonous barbs and can't talk without great pain, and as Cheese explains, that was a step ''up'' from what he used to be.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/ToxicCrusaders'', a kiddiefied version of the very not-family-friendly ''Film/TheToxicAvenger'' franchise.
* ''Mutant League'', loosely based on the videogames, posits a [[MetaOrigin common origin]] for all the mutants; a huge toxic spill/explosion under the world's largest stadium on game day.
* ''Defenders of Dynatron City''.
* Parodied in a WhatIf episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' where the Griffins get super powers from radioactive waste. When Mayor West tries to replicate the results, he just gets leukemia.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' DarkActionGirl Shego and her brothers received their superpowers by being in the proximity of a meteor impact.
* In Book 2 of ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', it's shown that [[spoiler:'''the Avatar themself''']] is a form of mutate. When a spirit [[DemonicPossession possesses a person]], the possessed's morphology and anatomy [[BodyHorror radically changes in accordance to the spirit]]; in [[spoiler:Wan's]] case, these alterations were internal and perhaps more metaphysical in nature, since he fused with Raava, the light spirit. After their permanent bonding in the Harmonic Convergence, they became united as one, and as such [[spoiler:the Avatar]] has ever since been a human altered by Raava's essence.
* Duke Nuke, one of the villains in ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' becomes a mutant after exposure to radioactive nuclear waste.