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->'''[[RobotBuddy Tom Servo]]:''' Today I begin anew, no longer Tom Servo, mere robot; I emerge from my metal chrysalis, Tom Servo--real live boy! Haha! Snips and snails and puppy dog's tails, that's what Tommy's made of!
->'''Joel:''' [[DeadpanSnarker Yeah, really.]]
->'''Crow:''' [[DontExplainTheJoke No, paint, actually.]]
->'''Joel:''' Tom, y'know, I knew this was gonna happen sometime. You're experiencing the [[TropeNamer Pinocchio Syndrome]]!
-->-- ''MysteryScienceTheater3000'': ''I Accuse My Parents''

The extreme of IJustWantToBeNormal. The character either isn't human to begin with, or has a {{curse}} that has taken away their humanity. Often involving an artificial being such as a robot wanting to be a flesh-and-blood creature -- or at least closer to one in ways it feels are important, like becoming {{creative|Sterility}}.

They are looking for a way to obtain it. Despite AppliedPhlebotinum and magic being able to do everything else, it seems the power to turn someone into a mortal human being is incredibly rare. In those cases where someone ''does'' get the instant magical cure, they'll often throw it away, saying they want to earn it, or "it's the path, not the destination." Whatever that means. Of course, FailureIsTheOnlyOption, at least until the GrandFinale.

This is often a goal of robots, vampires, werewolves, and so on. In these circumstances, sometimes a more GenreSavvy character will be taken in by this trope, but instead make some important logical deductions. Namely, that if you're a robot, you [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots probably already act like a normal human,]] to the point of being able to pass the Turing test. If you're a vampire or werewolf, you're substantially stronger and [[PunyEarthlings hardier than a typical human]]. Or maybe, in the most extreme cases, you'll become convinced that HumansAreBastards, and you're better off being what you are. As a result, as cool as these "emotion" things may be, it may not be worth being BroughtDownToNormal just to enjoy them. In these cases, the character in question can often be found [[TakeAThirdOption looking for a third option]] that will allow for the best of both worlds.

Named, of course, for the puppet who wanted to BecomeARealBoy, but much older than that. Likewise, the ShapeshiftingLover or the TalkingAnimal who is really a victim of a BalefulPolymorph {{Curse}} are figures of long standing in OralTradition.

Very often overlaps with WhatMeasureIsANonHuman. Contrast HumanityEnsues. See also HumanityIsInfectious, where a human mindset is catchy.

Not related to PinocchioNose. For the sister trope BecomeARealBoy, see ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfPinocchio''.

----
!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/AstroBoy'' is perhaps the oldest anime expression of this trope.
** At first, anyway. When he gets upgrades that allow him to experience pain and fear, he begins to wonder if humanity is all it's cracked up to be.
** Also subverted in the manga story "Astro II", where a new Astroboy is built to replace the original who apparently died in the final episode of the 1960s anime. Mark II is designed to be as human-like as possible... and as a result he's as shiftless, greedy & sex-crazed as the real Astroboy wasn't.
** Inverted in the English closing theme song of the 1960's ''Anime/AstroBoy''; the chorus of children sing "What can I do, to be like you, and become a real Astroboy?"
* Deconstructed in the anime version of ''{{Kikaider}}'', with deliberate allusions to ''Pinocchio'' -- the "Gemini" circuit to give Jiro/Kikaider a conscience, for instance. The ending of the OVA sequel is a full subversion, with Jiro only becoming "real" by [[ShootTheDog Shooting The Dog]]:
-->'''Reiko/Bijinder:''' "And so Pinocchio became a real boy. And they lived happily ever after." And yet, I wonder. In becoming human, did Pinocchio truly find happiness?
* ''InuYasha''
** The [[HalfHumanHybrid half-dog demon]] from the {{anime}} series by the same name originally wanted the series MacGuffin to become a full demon. However, after spending time with Kikyo he decided to become a human. After that didn't go over well, he decided he wanted to become a full-demon again, but appears to care less and less about it as the series went on. In the end [[spoiler: he just stays a half-demon; the only "right" wish to make of the jewel was to destroy it]].
** Played straight by the anime-only character Gyuoh. He's the son of a minotaur-like she-demon and a human scholar, who transforms from a good-looking human in the day into a creature like his mother at night. In his demon form, all birds and animals except carrion eaters flee from him, while his presence causes flowers to wilt and die, two facts that enrage and upset him greatly. Like most of the characters in the series, he wants to use the power of the Shikon Jewel- in his case, however, he wants to become all human. He also decides that, rather than risk life and limb seeking the fragments, he'll create a new Shikon Jewel by using certain mystical lore to fuse the requisite four souls together, deciding on Inuyasha for Aramitama (Courage), Miroku for Kushimitama (Wisdom), Sango for Sakimitama (Love) and Shippo for Nigimitama (Friendship), with Kagome's spiritual powers binding the four together.
* This is the entire series basis for ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist,'' with Ed wanting to get his limbs and Al's human body back by finding (or creating) the Philosopher's Stone.
** In [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]], becoming human is also the primary drive for [[spoiler:many of the Homunculi, Lust especially]].
* This is one half (pun intended) of the basis for the Anime, Manga and {{OVA}}s of ''RanmaOneHalf'' -- Ranma wants to find a way to stop turning into a girl... Results are evenly split between "it's a fake"/"it's just a legend", finding it, but having to destroy it to save someone and the AppliedPhlebotinum not working as advertised.
* ''KeyTheMetalIdol'' wants to be human, and is told that she'll become one if she collects 30,000 (yes, ''thirty thousand'') friends. Her solution is to start a career as an IdolSinger. [[spoiler:She actually was human all along]].
* Sara's motivation in ''MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'', especially in the manga, [[spoiler:comes from the fact that Tarou abandoned her out of guilt and, in the manga, sabotage from a well-intentioned servant. Screaming that she didn't ask to be born a mermaid, let alone a princess, she decides that if she can't be with him, she'll destroy everyone on Earth.]]
* In ''Anime/CorrectorYui'', [[spoiler: the BigBad Grosser claims that he wants to be alive and not just a part of the Com.Net that must be re-booted]]
* Inverted in the "Resurrection" volume of ''{{Phoenix}}'', where Leon, a human that is 60% robot, wants to turn full robot so as to be able to be with his love, Chihiro.
* The main character of ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' is a duck that uses a magical pendant to become a girl. She often angsts about how she's "just a bird", and towards the end of the series she admits that she wants to stay a girl so she can keep dancing and stay with her friends. [[spoiler:But in the end, she gives up her pendant to save Mytho, and returns to being a duck--thanks in part to Fakir, who encourages her to be her true self, and also [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming promises to never leave her]].]]
* Inverted in ''GalaxyExpress999'', where the main character wants to have his brain put into a robot body.
* In ''Manga/SazanEyes'', the two main characters want to stop being immortal and become normal humans.
* In ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'', Zelgadis is all angsty about having been [[CursedWithAwesome turned into a human/golem/demon chimera]], and wants to find a cure. Other chimeras that he and his companions come across (mostly in the LightNovel series), especially a particular one in a [[ADayInTheLimelight a special side story]], share the same sentiment.
* In the ''Anime/SailorMoon S'' Movie, after falling in love with a human scientist named Kakeru, [[NonHumanSidekick Luna]] becomes sad knowing that she cannot be with him because she is a cat. She later becomes human for a short time [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy and encourages Kakeru to be with his childhood sweetheart, Himeko, because that is who he truly loves.]]
* [[ArtificialHuman Tieria Erde]] goes through this to some extent in season two of ''{{Gundam 00}}'', to the point of denying that he isn't human, or insisting that being "human" is relative, anyway. [[spoiler: At the end of the series, after his "[[MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning death]]", he tells Setsuna that he is happy to have been an Innovade, because it was the key to saving everyone in the end and learning their true purpose.]] Incidentally, all of the others of his type are very happy being what they are and look down on humans [[spoiler: except possibly Anew]].
* [[RobotGirl Chachamaru]] of ''MahouSenseiNegima'' has been known to angst over whether or not she actually has a soul. [[spoiler: She does. Apparently the rule is that if you're capable of that kind of emotion, you must have a soul. Alternately, [[MemeticSexGod Negi will kiss you so hard that it gives you a soul]].]]
* In the second series of ''Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman'', [[spoiler: Joe Asakura is revealed to have just barely survived at the end of the first series and converted into a cyborg by a scientist. He's more powerful than ever, but all he wants is to be human again.]]
* As revealed in the [[AudioAdaptation third Sound Stage]] of ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha [=StrikerS=]'' [[spoiler:through a VideoWill implanted in Reinforce Zwei's memories]], a variation of this was the [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots first Reinforce's]] small wish. While she didn't want to become fully human and definitely didn't want to become completely normal, she did dream of the day to live as a human, gathering around the dinner table with Hayate and the Wolkenritter, and sharing smiles with each other from time to time. Alas, as an ArtifactOfDoom and and ArtifactOfDeath, such a wish could never happen unless a small miracle would occur, [[spoiler:a miracle that never came, she noted sadly, as she concluded the recording before proceeding to her HeroicSacrifice]].
* Celia, resident mermaid of ''RaveMaster'' briefly expresses this desire, hoping it will allow her to be with Haru.
* Eureka, the heroine from ''EurekaSeven'', secretly in her heart wishes to be a human in order to be with her lover Renton. [[spoiler:She was revealed to be an alien life form who had an appearance of a human form with no special powers whatsoever.]] Technically there is no such way known for her kind to turn into a pure human being. Despite having regular human appearance, she constantly feels insecure about the way humanity is going to view her if they find out and fearful of losing the right to stay by her lover's side. In the TV anime version, [[spoiler:she had turned non-human in appearance by growing wings out of her back, which is permanent, but Renton still loves her regardless and they continued to be with each other in the ending]]. However, in the anime film version, [[spoiler:Eureka mysteriously was shown to be an ordinary human girl (without wings and circular red eyes) appearing naked with long hair alongside her lover Renton who was unconscious during her climatic "incident". The movie never showed what really happened to her, leaving viewers to ponder about her fate. She also ended up completely losing her memories and unable to speak, like that of a newborn infant. Eureka had become an existence that depends on Renton's survival/memories, meaning if her lover dies or lost his memories, she will cease to exist (though no solid evidence to suggest whether this is true). Despite these setbacks, she still ended up falling for Renton by kissing his cheek and holding his hands in the ending.]]
* Boota of ''TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' is kind of a roundabout case, where it's revealed near the end that Boota's most precious wish was to have a humanoid form so he could be more helpful to his friends. Also, Yoko's tits.
** [[CompletelyMissingThePoint Yoko's tits want to be real?!]]
* Robot girl Nano from ''{{Nichijou}}'' wants to feel like a real human being. This means getting to go to school is the thrill of her life. Her efforts are hampered, however, by the big wind-up key she has on her back courtesy her eight year old creator (who likes to slip in other modifications when Nano isn't looking).
* The evil knight gundam Deathscythe of ''SDGundamForce'' has this- being [[StalkerWithACrush obsessively in love]] with the princess of Lacroa, he feels that the only thing keeping them apart is the fact that she's human and he's not, and the crux of his schemes is obtaining enough magical power to turn himself into a human.
* ''{{Beyblade}}'': [[spoiler: Zeo]] is revealed to have this. Dr. Zaghart had a son, who was killed in an accident. So he built a robot version of his son as a ReplacementGoldfish. He reveals this to the robot (who was unaware of the truth until that point), which proved to be a real TomatoInTheMirror moment for the poor kid. He is convinced that he must take all four of the Bladebreakers' Bit-Beasts so that he can use their combined power to become a real boy. He loses to Tyson in the end, and Tyson convinces him that as a robot, he would have abilities that a human would never have anyway!
* In ''Manga/KamisamaKiss'' [[{{Kitsune}} Tomoe]] tries to become human [[spoiler: so he can marry Yukiji. His efforts fail and end up triggering a curse that will eventually kill him unless Nanami can find a way to undo it.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''{{ComicBook/Livewires}}'' subverted this trope -- the protagonist, Stem Cell, was an ArtificialHuman built with all the emotions of a human, who needed to learn to alter those emotions in order to survive.
* ''Comicbook/SwampThing'''s [[SuperHeroOrigin origin]] changed him from a man into a living pile of vegetation, and his main goal was to return to normal. In a twist, when Alan Moore took over the book (in his first major writing gig for [[TheDCU DC]]), he took away this motivation with a {{Retcon}} that didn't directly contradict any previous material. Swamp Thing discovered that he was not a man who became a plant monster; he was a mass of plants possessed by the memories and spirit of that man, who was, in fact, dead. Regaining his humanity was then no longer a goal, and he instead became an AnthropomorphicPersonification of nature.
* Comet the Super-Horse from pre-Crisis DC. He was originally a centaur called Biron who wanted to be fully human, unfortunately Circe made a mistake and made him ''fully horse'' instead. The reason he has superpowers is because the spell couldn't be reversed, so Circe gave him superpowers to [[SecondPrize try and make up for it]].
* Likewise, ScudTheDisposableAssassin is fond of stating, "It's cool to be a robot." When a screenwriter tells him of a script similar to his life, Scud is disappointed at the ending, where the hero is rewarded with humanity. He [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on it by asking the writer to not pull a Pinocchio. "Make him proud of what he is, and you've got my $7.50."
* Mr Eff from [[JohnnytheHomicidalManiac JtHM]] was a Styrofoam pastry display. His master fed off Nny's imagination to make him more real when he needed. Unlike Psycho d-boy, who only wished to please his master and get Johnny to commit suicide, Mr Eff tried to keep Johnny alive and killing for as long as possible till he can become fully real. [[spoiler:He failed. Johnny killed himself at the end of Issue #4, and issue #5 he was "Taken back into" his master, along with Psycho d-boy, saying "Fuck! I was so close!".]]
* Subverted in ''TheMightySkullBoyArmy'', Unit 1, a cute, toy-like robot, once voices his hopes to never be a real boy...because he fears puberty, and all those snips and snails...
* X-51, aka Machine Man, aka Aaron Stack, of MarvelComics has wanted to be/believed he really is human in most of his incarnations. In ''EarthX'', Uatu the Watcher strips him of his human appearance. Late in the trilogy, an alternate universe version of himself appears who used his creator's DNA to create a human body for himself and tells his robot counterpart that his programming makes him human enough already.
** He's been subverting the hell out of this since ''{{Nextwave}}'', spending most of his time drinking and boasting of his robot superiority.
* Played with in ''ElfQuest''. After the defeat of BigBad Winnowill, who spends some time in human form, Mender (who has the same fleshshaping/shapeshifting powers as Winnowill - though none of her experience) decides to try it out for a while too. He doesn't do very well.
* ''{{Fables}}''. Many of the non-human characters want to become human simply so they can get out of 'The Farm' (or in the case of Reynard the Fox, seduce Snow White). The Farm is a grand place but a gilded cage is still a prison. Too bad the magical resources are expensive and limited. What there is tends to be turned towards survival. What's worse is that most of the non-humans are immortal. Hundreds of years have passed by the time the series starts and there is no end in sight. No wonder there was a civil war. Later on, it gets better. And complicated. New lands are accessible for all.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* Beast in ''Beauty and the Beast''
* "Literature/TheFrogPrince" and variations, such as "Literature/EastOfTheSunWestOfTheMoon".
* In [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/firebird/stories/greekprincess.html "The Greek Princess and the Young Gardener"]], [[TalkingAnimal a fox]] demands that the hero cut off his head at the end; this is needed to transform him back to a man, as he is the enchanted brother of the Greek Princess. Similarly, in [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/pussboots/stories/lordpeter.html "Lord Peter"]], the cat demands that her head be cut off, which proves to turn her back into a princess, and "Literature/TheSevenFoals" demand the same, which turns them back into seven princes.
* In [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/sixswans/stories/sevendoves.html "The Seven Doves"]], [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/sixswans/stories/twelvewilducks.html "The Twelve Wild Ducks"]], Literature/TheSevenRavens, and [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/sixswans/index.html "The Six Swans"]], the sons turned to birds are rescued by their sister, turned back into human form.
* The hero of "Literature/EastOfTheSunAndWestOfTheMoon", [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/eastsunwestmoon/stories/norroway.html "The Black Bull of Norroway"]], [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/eastsunwestmoon/stories/brownbear.html "The Brown Bear of Norway"]], [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/eastsunwestmoon/stories/enchpig.html "The Enchanted Pig"]], the dog in [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/eastsunwestmoon/stories/daughterskies.html "The Daughter of the Skies"]], and [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/eastsunwestmoon/stories/whitewolf.html "The White Wolf"]] each wish to marry the heroine because if she lives with him for a time, he will be freed of his {{curse}}. Unfortuantely, she invariably [[ForbiddenFruit violates a prohibition]], which puts him in the power of the person who transformed him, and she must [[TheQuest find him again]] to free him.
* Subverted in many other fairy tales, especially if the main character is born or was an animal, but it is a "skin" that covers a human body. These characters are forced into permanent human bodies due to people, usually a fiancée, burning their animal skins. It gets so bad at times, you wonder if this is really a happy ending, even though it is supposed to be one, as in one story, a girl who gets her goat skin burned tries to jump in after it, having to be held back by the prince.
* The Chinese [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legend_of_the_White_Snake "Legend of the White Snake"]], which inspired the movie ''GreenSnake'' below.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* A lot of Terminator: TheSarahConnorChronicles fan fictions portray [[RobotGirl Cameron]] as an example of this.
* Lyra in the [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic MLP:FIM]] fanfic ''FanFic/{{Anthropology}}'' desperately wants to become a human, even through nopony else has even heard of them. [[spoiler: She gets her wish, and it is revealed [[ChangelingFantasy she wasn't born a pony.]]]]
* [[spoiler: Pauline]] from the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries'' desperately wants to be human so that she can be with her master and also for the simple fact that she doesn't have a body that can express her emotions like humans do, meaning that every feeling she has is bottled up inside her without release.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* The entire plot of the ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'' revolves around this (featuring the song "When I'm Human").
* In ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'', Ariel has a desire to become human after seeing all the gadgets humans are able to invent, but it gets greater when seeing a handsome prince. Even though her father is strictly against such a dream, she asks help from [[{{Antagonist}} Ursula]], who complies to her wish if she gives up her voice. [[DealWithTheDevil She seals the deal.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* David (Haley Joel Osment) in Creator/StevenSpielberg's ''Film/AIArtificialIntelligence''. {{Anvilicious}}ly, complete with a Blue Fairy. Specifically noted as being so inspired, too.
* Number/Johnny Five in ''Film/ShortCircuit'', who has gained self-awareness and understands himself to be alive; thus he must fight to prevent being "[[TheyWouldCutYouUp disassembled]]" (which for him would be "death") and convince others that he does have human emotions and thought processes. Though he is an ''extremely'' fast reader, in the second film, he intends to study the books ''Literature/{{Pinocchio}}'' by Collodi and ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}'' by Shelley more closely, clearly identifying with the plights of both the puppet and the creature. [[spoiler:He gets his wish, partially, at the end of the film, when after his heroics, the U.S. government decides to grant him the rights of an American citizen; the film ends with him and his immigrant friend taking the oath of citizenship at a mass-ceremony for such.]]
* [[RobinWilliams Andrew]] in ''Film/BicentennialMan''. He's a robot who was accidentally created with a quirk in his hardware that allowed him to feel emotions and learn unlike other robots of his kind. The major plot line involved him wanting to be officially recognized as being human, and involved his many decades of work on inventing artificial organs and other life-sustaining techniques, which he applies to himself in addition to marketing them for general use. In the end, [[spoiler: he's finally recognized by the government as being human, as he dies on his 200th birthday. Having replaced his entire body with his self-invented artificial organs, he has become mortal, a prerequisite for humanity.]]
* The backstory of ''Film/EdwardScissorhands'' reveals he ''almost'' was exactly like an ordinary human, but his Inventor died before he could furnish him with proper hands; thus he is virtually unable to touch others. It's suggested in the film that there's the possibility he could still be made "complete" in that way, but that never comes to pass. Perhaps more importantly, when he falls for Kim, he does whatever he can to make her aware of his love for her in hopes she will reciprocate it, despite what he is.
* The Robot boy Electronic from Russian film ''Electronic's Adventures'' also wishes to become human, which is especially funny given that his human double Syroezhkin envies him.
* ''Film/GreenSnake'': The Green Snake and her sister White Snake are two female ophidian spirits who seek to become human in order to raise their status on the karmic scale and incidentally experience human love.
* ''Film/ReturnToOz'' has [[spoiler: The Nome King]] desiring to become human [[spoiler: By turning everyone who lived or knew of Oz into stone or an ornament.]] Needless to say [[VillainousBreakdown he was not pleased when this was ruined by the luck of a little girl.]]
** Not present in the original book, by the way; in that one the Nome King just did it for shits, and also a few giggles.
* The android Sonny in ''Film/IRobot'' shows symptoms of this. He reveals what could be slight envy of Spooner for his boast of artistic talent. Sonny also shows gratitude just for being referred to "as someone, not something." Spooner's closing words to Sonny: "find your way just like the rest of us..." leans this way even more.
* Seth Brundle from ''Film/TheFly'' loses his humanity through the course of the movie. His syndrome drives him to [[spoiler: kidnapping his ex-girlfriend in an attempt to fuse with her, as she is pregnant with his unborn child, possibly the last of his humanity]].
-->'''Brundlefly:''' Help me be human... please.
* ''Film/CoolWorld'' revolves around the toon ("doodles" per the movie's parlance) villainess Holli Would's obsession with becoming a human woman and experience everything the "noids" can. She has to break the one law of Toonworld to accomplish this: [[InterspeciesRomance have sex with one of them]]. She eventually succeeds, but the worlds start to converge and turn into a chaotic anarchy as a result.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* [[Literature/TheAdventuresOfPinocchio Pinocchio]], of course.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''TheBicentennialMan'' is about a robot who, over the course of two hundred years, deliberately becomes more and more human.
** [[spoiler:In the end in order to be recognised as human by the world's government body, he decides that the last most important remaining difference between himself and humanity is that his positronic brain could conceivable keep working for centuries. He then arranges an operation to cut that time down drastically. The World government declares him human shortly afterward.]]
* A fairly rare example of an animal with PinocchioSyndrome and a rare example of someone who wants to be human for all the wrong reasons is King Iofur from ''[[HisDarkMaterials Northern Lights/The Golden Compass]]'' (depending on which side of the pond you are from). It is also a quite rare example of where a character wants to be perceived of human by their actions but knows that there is never going to be a chance of [[HumanityEnsues physically becoming human]].
* Several characters from Charles de Lint's UrbanFantasy novel ''Memory and Dream''.
* The classic "Literature/TheLittleMermaid" story.
* Minerva in Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/TimeEnoughForLove''. An administrative computer who learns to be human and falls in love. Eventually has a human body created so she can implant her personality into the body and experience love as a human, and not incidentally become the lover of the man she fell for in the first place.
* ''The Cat Who Wished To Be a Man'' by LloydAlexander is about [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a cat that wants to be a man]].
** Arguably more of a subversion, since [[spoiler: HumanityEnsues after the first five pages.]]
* Zora Zombie from ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' would've been happier to be alive or all-the-way dead, but was content to muddle through until she got to BecomeARealBoy. Well, real ''girl'', but same idea.
* The children's book ''Literature/TheVelveteenRabbit'' is about a toy rabbit who wants to be real.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Data from ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' has this as his central character arc, and Riker points out Data's similarity to Pinocchio as early as the pilot episode. Interestingly, when Q offers Data the choice of being turned into a human Data rejects it - he wanted to become human by himself, not to have it handed to him magically.
** There's an interesting scene between him and Spock, who as a Vulcan would rather be more like Data. Each has what the other wants most and can't enjoy it, it seems...
** Downplayed as the series went on, going form wanting to be human to just wanting emotions (with some point out he has them, in his own way).
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''
** Subverted with the Doctor who's more than happy to remain a piece of emergency software (his strongest wish is that people will remember to shut him off when they leave Sickbay) but is forced to grow through his circumstances and with the gentle support of Kes. Eventually the Doctor becomes quite enthusiastic about expanding his abilities (sometimes to the annoyance of his colleagues) but the scenes where he's most passionate are not about the Doctor becoming human, but about him having the same rights as a human being.
*** This may be related to the fact that many similar holograms, even using same appearance as the good EMH, are used for grueling slave labor, and unable to do anything about it because they're constructs of light, force field, and programming, and not legally people as such.
** Likewise Seven of Nine, a human who was assimilated at a young age and is quite proud of being Borg, with no desire to [[BecomeARealBoy Become A Real Girl]]. By the final season however she is [[HouseWife raising surrogate kids and cooking meals]] with the best of them.
* Also subverted with Odo from ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' a Changeling who was temporarily locked into humanoid form by his people as a punishment. Odo claims that he will never forgive the other Changelings for putting him into a humanoid body. WordOfGod even invokes this trope; showrunner Ira Steven Behr described him as "a wooden boy who wants to become a better wooden boy."
* Parodied (of course) by ''Series/RedDwarf'', as Kryten the mechanoid wishes he was able to lie and cheat like humans.
-->"Over the years I have managed to develop some serious character faults of which I'm extremely proud!"
** And then in one episode he is accidentally changed into an actual human. At first he's excited, but can't get the hang of his new station in life and eventually takes Lister's advice and changes back into a robot.
* Parodied in episode 507 of ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' "Film/IAccuseMyParents," in which Tom Servo decides he wants to be a real boy, and repaints himself Caucasian pink. Also in episode 610, "TheViolentYears", Tom replaces his dome with an extremely disturbing ventriloquist's dummy head. The name of the trope also comes from an earlier episode when they were reading about Data in a magazine.
* Nick Knight the [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampires vampire]] from ''Series/ForeverKnight''.
* Similarly, Mick St. John the {{Vampire Detective| Series}} in ''{{Moonlight}}''.
* Barnabas Collins of ''Series/DarkShadows'', yet another of the FriendlyNeighborhoodVampires. (He predates Angel and Nick Knight.)
* And ''Literature/VarneyTheVampire'' pre-dates even Barnabas by over a century, though he sure as hell wasn't a Friendly Neighborhood ''anything''. Heck, he was a rotten neighbor, period.
* And for the final member of the FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire pack, Series/{{Angel}}. At least, when he wasn't Angelus.
* [[spoiler:Mack]] from ''Series/PowerRangersOperationOverdrive'', about five seconds after finding out he ''wasn't'' [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots human to begin with]].
* The Cylons from the new ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' series designed themselves as (nearly) humans and try to procreate in the human way, rather than building new copies.
** Inverted by Cavil, Cylon Model Number One, who loathes his humanity, [[spoiler: and The Five for making him human]]. He just wants to be a real robot. This was in the fact the entire reason he decided to wipe out humanity.
* ''Series/BeingHuman'' has this concept as its basic premise with a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf trying to find some level of normality.
* An interesting variant occurs in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' with a group of Replicators who want to ascend. They don't want to be human initially, but eventually come to realize that ascension is only possible for mortals (they are essentially high-tech machines) and so set out to become human.
* Ankh of ''Series/KamenRiderOOO'' gets hit with this late in the series, after having spent most of it [[PuppeteerParasite latched onto a human body]]. He doesn't necessarily want to be human, but he wants to truly be alive and able to enjoy things and feel satisfaction instead of being cursed with the insatiable desire that is common to all the [[OurHomunculiAreDifferent Greeed]].
** Hajime of ''Series/KamenRiderBlade'', resulting in [[spoiler:Kenzaki giving up his own humanity]] so that Hajime can continue living as a human.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* "8 Bits" by mind.in.a.box is sung (with a SyntheticVoiceActor) from the POV of a Commodore 64 game character running under emulation who longs for the real C64 computer of her ancestors.
* The Spine from SteamPoweredGiraffe longs to be human, and seems to admire many aspects of human culture such as love and Spaghetti Westerns.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology and Legend]]
* KoreanMythology features a tiger and a bear, who wishes to become humans. The god Hwanung(Heavenly Emperor's son) tells them to eat only garlic and mugwort for 100 days in a dark cave, without seeing sunlight. Tiger gives up, but the bear passes the ordeal and on the 21th day, transforms into a beautiful woman(named Ungnyeo, 'bear-woman'). Ungnyeo marries Hwanung and gives birth to a boy named Dangun-Wanggeom, first king and forefounder of the Korean people.
* [[FantasticFoxes Kumiho]] in Korean Mythology often seek to become human, but how they go about it varies between each one. Some [[ImAHumanitarian eat people (specifically their livers)]], others believe TrueLovesKiss will do it, and some just [[VampiricDraining gorge themselves on spiritual energy they steal from people they seduce.]]
* The legend of Pygmalion is an odd variation. A sculptor who wasn't interested in women (in some versions, this was because the women in Cyprus had been cursed by Aphrodite for denying her divinity, causing her to strip them of their pride and "reduce" them to prostitution) but a statue of a woman he sculpted was so incredibly perfect, he fell in love with it, wishing that she was human. Eventually, after making an offering to Aphrodite on her festival day and wishing for a bride who would be "the living likeness of my ivory girl" (as Ovid's version says), she took pity on him and made her human.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* The overriding goal of the player's characters in the role-playing game ''TabletopGame/PrometheanTheCreated'' is to complete "the Great Work" -- transforming from [[FrankensteinsMonster dismembered, animated corpses]] into human beings. This is actually possible (if very hard), making this one of the few examples of the trope where the goal can be achieved in the end. Sadly, achieving that goal almost invariably involves creating more of your kind, an endeavor in which success is [[IHateYouVampireDad immoral]], and failure is... [[EldritchAbomination undesirable]].
* Maligno, the "carrionette" darklord of Odiare in the {{Ravenloft}} [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons D&D setting]], thought he was the real son that Giuseppe created him to be, but the parents of the children he entertained destroyed his delusion. In revenge, Maligno murdered them with the help of other animated toys. Ironically, while all other carrionettes can achieve this goal by [[DemonicPossession possessing human victims]], Maligno lost this ability when he became darklord of Odiare; despite being the most powerful carrionette and their leader, he must always have the body of a puppet. [[IronicHell Like all darklords, he is cursed for his crime.]]
* This is also a common trait of a Clockwork Swordsman, [[RidiculouslyHumanRobot an intelligent construct]] (not always male, [[NonIndicativeName roughly half are designed to resemble females]]) originally found in the ''[[{{Mystara}} Red Steel]]'' campaign. While most of them try to hide it behind a dashing swashbuckler façade, the fact that they aren't truly human pains them to no end.
* The "Transformed Animal" archetype in ''TabletopGame/FengShui'' are animals that managed to become humans (or their offspring, in later Junctures) because being human offers better opportunities. However they fear magic since it may cause them to revert to animal form, which spells the end for the character as far as playability goes. In other words, they've all become "real boys", and just want to avoid going back.
* In their current incarnation in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', there are several Necron who are looking for ways to become mortal again after having survived as robots for a very long time.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* This is the goal for most of Organization XIII from ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', although they were humans before losing their hearts. The leader, Xemnas, instead would rather become a "[[AGodAmI great being]]", just like every other incarnation of Xehanort.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' inverts this with Ziggy, who used to be human, but is now mostly robot. He wants the rest of him to be robot too.
* Aigis of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}''. She gradually does become more human as the game goes on in terms of personality.
** To a lesser extent, Teddie from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', even though it's more of a sideeffect of his deep fear of being left alone again in his case. Like in Aigis' case, his human characteristics grow stronger over the course of the game [[spoiler: and he manages to create himself a rather convincing human body halfway through the game.]]
** To a far greater extent, Labrys from ''Persona4Arena'', who was deeply traumatized due to her nature as a sentient robot and came to hate her mechanical body.
* In ''WorldOfWarcraft'''s third expansion, [[spoiler:Cataclysm, the Worgen of Gilneas have developed a cure to allow them to retain their humanity while transformed into their {{Werewolf}} forms, but are still looking for a way to get rid of the curse completely]].
** While a majority of the Forsaken have resigned themselves to undeath, there are many who see their existence as a curable disease or curse and long for a return to full life.
* While part of [[spoiler: Yomiel's deal with the blue people]] in ''VideoGame/GhostTrick'' is for revenge, [[spoiler: he also wants them to find some way to have an artificial life. His real dream is to grow old in a society that accepts him and die surrounded by loving family, rather than "living" forever as a ghost in isolation.]]
* The goal of [[spoiler:[[ArtificialHuman Da]][[NinjaMaid niel]][[PsychoLesbian la]]]] in ''VideoGame/HauntingGround'' is to become "complete". Understandable, given that [[spoiler:she's a [[ArtificialHuman homunculus]]]]. But in order to do that, [[spoiler:she]]'s got to slice open the protagonist to get her [[spoiler:[[MacGuffin Azoth]]]] first...
* The villain of ''ComixZone'' has liberated himself from the comic book he was formerly a character in, but is still a 2-D drawing. In the GameOver sequence, the death of his creator embodies him in true flesh and blood, giving him the potential to TakeOverTheWorld.
* One possible ending of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' reveals that [[spoiler: Shale the golem plans to seek a way to become a dwarf again, which she once was, despite her frequently expressed disdain for "soft, squishy" beings.]]
* In the first chapter of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIV'', Healie the ''healslime'' wants to become a human. He reasons that since he wants to become human, if he hangs around humans, he'll become one [[ExcusePlot so he joins Ragnar]] on his quest. It actually works and he leaves Ragnar to [[PutOnABus start his own life]] after Ragnar joins the hero/heroine in the fifth chapter.
* A sidequest in ''Videogame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' has you helping out a Loader who wants to become human, but has a rather flawed idea of what that entails.
* Hinted at in the ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic'' series and made obvious in the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' games. Endings to Mega Man games often showed the hero walking home when he could easily teleport. This seemed to imply he needed time to contemplate the totality and meaning of his adventure. In the ending of ''VideoGame/MegaManX1'', the narration pointed out that X wondered how long he would have to destroy fellow robots before there would be peace. In ''VideoGame/MegaMan7'', [[spoiler: Mega insists he "is more than just a robot" in what was a minor {{world of cardboard speech}} before the roof caved in and Wily escaped]]. Either way, the main characters of Mega Man consistently flirt with sentience.
* In ''{{Franchise/Halo}}'' AI Cortana generally seems content being an AI. By the time ''VideoGame/{{Halo4}}'' rolls around, she shows signs of wanting to be human. This could be caused by the fact that she's entering [[AIIsaCrapshoot rampancy]] which will end with her insanity and death. This statement sums it up best:
-->'''Cortana:''' I can give you over forty thousand reasons why that sun isn't real. I know it because the emitter's Rayleigh effect is disproportionate to its suggested size. I know it because its stellar cycle is more symmetrical than that of an actual star. But for all that, I'll never actually know if it looks real...if it ''feels'' real.
** For all of her vast array of knowledge, there are some things that Cortana will never be able to experience, and now, confronted with her own mortality, she regrets the things she can never have. It's subdued, quiet, and [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/TearJerker/Halo heartbreaking]].
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' subverts this with [[spoiler: Alicia]], who is convinced that her powers mean she isn't human. She's wrong, naturally, [[InternalizedCategorism it's all]] [[HystericalWoman in her head]], but she's so dedicated to defining herself by bad examples that the only way she can deal with them is by rejecting them completely in favor of becoming [[spoiler: Welkin's]] wife.
* ''Videogame/{{Octodad}}'' is about an octopus attempting to live life as a human and trying to prevent other humans (particularly his wife and kids) from discovering what he is.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Sora in ''{{Ever17}}'', complete with its very own reference to the PygmalionPlot. She's a little worse off than many of the characters here: She doesn't even have a body. [[spoiler:No really, she doesn't.]]
* Shannon and Kanon (though Kanon especially) from ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' have this, though Kanon will still insist that they are only "furniture". [[spoiler:As it turns out, they ''are'' human, but they don't consider themselves human for reasons that are very complicated and tragic.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Interesting variant in ''{{Homestuck}}'': Cronus Ampora is a kind of alien otherkin. While physically a troll, he claims to identify as a human, going as far as to dress like a stereotypical 1950's greaser in an attempt to seem more human. Despite this, he frequently uses his [[AlienBlood blood color]] as [[FantasticCasteSystem justification for poor treatment of others]] - which is something a human most likely wouldn't think to do.
* Humorously subverted in a letter to ''Ask Dr Eldritch'': a robot writes in to ask why everyone around him thinks he secretly desires to be human, when he's actually quite satisfied with being a robot, something he considers to be far better than being human.
* Grace from ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' went through this between the Painted Black and Birthday Party arcs by refusing to use her abilities to shapeshift from her full human form. She was still willing to use other means to transform i.e. via the TransformationRay Gun and only used her abilities to transform back to human when she was told it was the only way to do so and even then she only used them reluctantly.
* The "Suicide Fairies" from ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' need to be killed by someone else in order to pass some manner of test in order to become human. This is apparently something that happens with reasonable frequency among the creatures of the Gillitie Wood, although ''why'' they want to become human is something the comic has yet to explore. There's also an inverse version; humans can take a test to become creatures of the wood, although in their case it apparently doesn't involve getting killed.
* In ''{{Sinfest}}'', there is a Reality Zone, in which the art is far more realistic than the cartoony style, and devil characters catch on fire. The reforming succubus Fuschia no longer catches fire, but starts to crumble in it. In a WishFulfillment comic, [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=4437 Fuschia is inside the zone without suffering any harm.]]
* Parodied in this [[http://www.bogleech.com/comics/comic75-alive.htm comic]]. Just because robots want to be alive, doesn't mean it's pleasant.
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'': The story of Stiks is a twisted horror version of ''{{Pinocchio}}'': A crude stick figure of a marionette made by a poor (in both senses of the word) toymaker is brought to life by the Moon Twin, but in seeking to become human, he is given advice by the malicious Basphomy, leading to his stealing his "father's" face, hands and feet to complete himself. This angers the Moon Twin, who curses him for eternity, and he goes on forever seeking replacement parts in place of what he's currently wearing rotting away. ...This counts as a bedtime story in the land of Halloween, though it also appears to be true.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the ''{{Paradise}}'' setting, humans are randomly, permanently transformed into {{Funny Animal}}s. PinocchioSyndrome affects most characters after the Change, especially the ones who [[GenderBender changed gender]] at the same time. One particularly poignant case affects Christopher Mattiaz, a character from [=MatthiasRat's=] stories, [[spoiler:who changed genders six days after getting married and hasn't been able to be intimate with his wife for the past two years at the time the story begins]].
* Happens a few times in ''Roleplay/WeAreOurAvatars'', most notably to 3Dee but also to VideoGame/MegaManAndBass, twice, but it was inverted with [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLegends Sonia Belmont]], who was happy to try her hand at being a robot.
** Repeated with Sunny via a wish and inverted with Brian by being resurrected as a puppet.
* Hinted to be the AI Sigma's motivation in ''RedVsBlue'', with his obsession with theoretical "metastability" stage (where an AI is essentially a full person) and his attempts to [[GottaCatchThemAll collect other AI "fragments"]] that, like himself, were based on an original "Alpha" AI [[spoiler:(he is evidently unaware that he and the other fragments aren't copies, but literal fragments after Alpha's mind was destroyed through torture)]] and merge them into a single entity known as the Meta.
* A tiny number of humanoid [=SCPs=] in the Wiki/SCPFoundation suffer this syndrome. One of them is [[http://scp-wiki.net/scp-085 a sentient drawn girl]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Subverted by ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' where Bender's transformation into a human in a comedic WhatIf episode was disastrous.
* Jenny in ''WesternAnimation/MyLifeAsATeenageRobot'', despite the fact that without her powers Earth would have been enslaved and/or destroyed dozens of times. (But you can't expect her to think rationally, [[TeensAreMonsters she's a teenager after all.]])
** It's a variation, as Jenny's problem isn't that she's a robot, it's just that as a robot she doesn't quite fit in.
* Spot/Scott in ''WesternAnimation/TeachersPet''.
* The version of VideoGame/MegaManClassic seen in ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster''.
* Brainiac 5 becomes a Real Boy (...somehow) in the finale of ''WesternAnimation/LegionOfSuperHeroes'' season two, after he defeats the Brainiac 1 programming within him. The fact that he was ''already'' a {{Mechanical Lifeform|s}} was actually {{lampshade|hanging}}d: "I was emotional as a robot, can you imagine me as a human?"
* The four main characters of ''WesternAnimation/StreetSharks'' spend some of their time trying to figure out a way to get turned human again. Mostly they seem more concerned with [[spoiler:finding their dad though]]. Also, when they [[spoiler:did find a cure in one episode, they ultimately chose to turn back into sharks to continue to fight crime.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles| 1987}}'' (the first animated series) had an episode where the Turtles found tainted cookies that would've turned them human. [[FunPersonified Michelangelo]] swipes some because he was sick of being treated like a freak by the people of New York. Of course his brothers had to turn him back because the transformation would've eventually killed him.
** As he ''was'' Hamato Yoshi in this version, Splinter wishes to return to human form and does in "Splinter No More". After he mutates back into a rat and realizes HumansAreBastards, he no longer has the desire.
* ''WesternAnimation/BigGuyAndRustyTheBoyRobot'', the main character Rusty is turned into a human boy by a villain in one episode. Unfortunately this means he has to deal with pain when trying to fight, when his normal catch phrase is "No pain receptors!" He's glad to be back to full robot at the end of the episode.
* A repeated problem for [[MadScientist T. O. Morrow]] in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice''--his first two androids, [[MakingASplash Red Torpedo]] and [[PlayingWithFire Red Inferno]], believed they were human to infiltrate the JusticeSocietyOfAmerica, and neither turned into TheMole like they were supposed to. His third attempt, ComicBook/RedTornado, knew he was an android but turned on his villainous "father" anyway. [[DishingOutDirt Red Volcano]] was his only success--and [[spoiler:promptly killed Morrow]], saying "[[GoneHorriblyRight No more Pinocchios]]." [[spoiler:Turns out this Morrow was ActuallyADoombot himself, though]].
* [[TalkingApplianceSidekick BMO]] from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' spends [[NoBiologicalSex his/her]] free time talking to his/her [[ImaginaryFriend reflection]], claiming to be a "real living boy" while badly mimicking human activities. Likewise, the episode "[[ADayInTheLimelight BMO Noire]]" focuses on BMO pretending to be an adult male detective in an elaborate fantasy world he/she has created. {{Averted}} with [[GadgeteerGenius NEPTR]], the household's other RobotBuddy.
[[/folder]]

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