"Super special awesome ultra special sexy Transformation Sequence, go!"Lots of Phlebotinum is voice activated: Kirk talked to the computer, Michael talked to KITT, Automan talked to Cursor. But there is no place where a voice activation is more universally required than when triggering a Transformation Sequence. You are, more or less, not allowed to transform to your super-powered alter-ego without ranting some special key-phrase. This phrase may or may not be descriptive, but it should almost certainly be pithy. If your transformation Catch-Phrase is lame, you will not be allowed to keep transforming. In situations where the hero explicitly cannot transform without magic words, rest assured that Easy Amnesia or a silencing attack will rear its ugly head at least once, making the change impossible when needed the most. If the phrase also untransforms the hero, expect him to do this by mistake sometimes. Villains in particular will often be tricked into saying their power-down phrases. And woe betide anyone who mispronounces the transformation phrase, as horrible, horrifying things may result. The trope originated with comic-book character Billy Batson, who first used the Catch-Phrase "Shazam!" to transform into Captain Marvel in 1940. For some heroes, the phrase can be omitted when time does not allow, especially if the full Transformation Sequence is omitted. Superheroes who do not go through an explicit Transformation Sequence (Batman, Superman) are exempt. A common Anime phenomenon; in the Japanese dialog of Sentai and anime, the word "Henshin" — meaning roughly "change" or "transform" — is often found in the phrase, and is sometimes the entire phrase. Other times, the phrase may be entire sentences, or even magic spells (especially in the case of some Magical Girl anime), which again can be one word or entire phrases. Differs from In the Name of the Moon in that By The Power Of Grayskull is the activation password for the Applied Phlebotinum, while In the Name of the Moon is a harangue directed at the opposition. This is the magic Catch-Phrase that actually causes or facilitates the transformation. For one that is simply a cool kind of rallying cry or way to get the adrenaline pumping ("Flame On!", for example), see Invocation. When either of these contains (or is) the name of the hero's new form, it's Transformation Name Announcement. Nor is it for any kind of words used to trigger magical effects. That would be Magical Incantation. See also: Transformation Trinket
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Anime & Manga
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: In the first season of the English dub, Yugi's transformation into the pharaoh is usually precipitated by his shouting the title of the series.note
- The title of the series, Yu-Gi-Oh is one of the pharaoh's titles, which translates to "king of games".
- Parodied in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series with various shouts when Yugi transforms, the most memorable of which is "Super Special Awesome Ultra Special Sexy Transformation Sequence GO!"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL has the Barians shout "Bariarphose!" to turn back into their true forms.
- Guyver: Likewise, Sho initiates his transformation by emitting the series title in a long, loud shrill. The live-action Made For TV Movies abbreviate the delivery, making him look a lot cooler. The live-action movies have a different character (American college student Shawn Barker, as opposed to Japanese High School Student Sho Fukamachi). Also, other Guyvers throughout various incarnations of the series have shown a few different ways of activating this. In the 2nd film, the Guyver-Zoanoid transforms by yelling "Bio-Morph." In the 1st animated series, Guyver II (in the Japanese version) didn't need a word at all. Guyver III went from yelling "Guyver" to "Bio-Boost" in later episodes. Guess at the end of the day the word just helps one focus.
- Lyrical Nanoha:
- The first transformation of involved Yuuno making Nanoha repeat a long, complicated speech that Nanoha later complains is too long and hard to remember; however, to his surprise, she's later able to transform by saying only "Raising Heart, set up!"
- She also starts her spells with "Lyrical Magical!" (hence the title). Or at least she's supposed to... you could probably count on your hands the number of times she actually does so.
- She does do the full speech again for the final battle of season 1, just to up the drama.
- In the Japanese version, season one, her activation phrase is "Raging Heart, onegai", meaning that please really is the magic word (onegai means please).
- Getter Robo, the majordomo of piloted Super Robot anime, used the phrase "Change, Getter X", where X was the number/name of the form to be assumed. The actual change was just assembling the combiner team in a new order. Later on in the series the phrase "Open Get" was used to disconnect the component vehicles.
- This is probably more Invocation seeing as the phrase "Change, Getter X" was immediately followed by "Switch on!" Each Getter Machine has a set of three switches in their cockpits that indicate which form they transform into. It follows that "Open Get" is caused by them turning off the switches, thus uncoupling and reverting to the Getter Machines. After all, most Humongous Mecha anime do these things simply because they are cool.
- Martian Successor Nadesico's Show Within a Show Gekiganger 3, based heavily on Getter Robo and other shows of its type, uses "Let's Gekiga In!" (based on Voltes V's "Let's Volt In") for all its combination sequences, and "Gekiga Out" to disconnect the vehicles.
- Each of the Sailor Senshi in Sailor Moon went through several different activation phrases over the course of the series, on the order of one or so per arc/season, as they improved their powers and combat ability. The general formula was "[Planet Name] [Something] Power, Make Up!" The '90s English dub of the anime dropped the "Make Up" bit. The Dub also mucks around with the names themselves (despite originally being in English) sometimes resulting in made up stuff like "Moon Cosmic Dream Action". One really bad time had the Girls calling the first part of the phrase solo, then all at once calling "Make-Up!" The dub, due to the sheer omission of "Make-Up" resulting in it ending up as "Mars Star Power, Planet Power!"
- Sailor Jupiter's pre-attack powerup invocation probably counts. "Guardian Jupiter! Stir up the storm, summon the clouds, send me your lightning! Supreme Thunder!" She drops everything but the attack name later on, though. Though it does appear a few times later, making the attack seem more Bad Ass then normal.
- The Sailor Hellblazer Crossover Fan Fic spoofs this when John Constantine accidentally sets his Transformation phrase as "bloody friggin' hell."
- this counts: "I call upon the powers of Zeus himself, infuse me with your heavenly thunder, which is actually lightning, but no one seems to notice. Pika-chuuu!"
- In Mai-Otome, the Otome's Phlebotinum-based powers require a vocal authorization from the Otome's bonded master before the Otome herself can verbally invoke her Transformation Sequence.
- Spoofed in One Piece: Franky the shipwright is a Schizo Tech cyborg who activates his powers by shouting "Hentai!" (abnormality) instead of the traditional Toku phrase "Henshin!" (transform). While "hentai" can also mean "metamorphosis", its more common meaning of "weirdo" or "pervert" creates obvious humor, as other characters comment he is a weirdo/pervert for running around in nothing but a speedo and a Hawaiian shirt. However, he doesn't even activate his powers this way, and just likes saying the word.
- Pretty Cure:
- In Futari wa Pretty Cure, Nagisa, at least, is quite surprised to hear herself call out her and Honoka's key phrase ("Dual Aurora Wave") when they begin their first Transformation Sequence. This also happens with their after-transformation speech and their attacks. No explanation of any kind is ever given.
- This was repeated in the spinoff series Futari Wa Pretty Cure Splash Star. This time there was an explanation (although not one that can be extended back to the original series), and as a result Saki and Mai don't really question it later on (whereas Nagisa continued to be confused whenever she and Honoka said "something weird again"). By the way, their phrase was "Dual Spiritual Power".
- Yes! Pretty Cure 5 had "Precure metamorphose!" (Between that and the looks of the five girls, there have been accusations of ripping off Tokyo Mew Mew, which also uses "Metamorphose" as its phrase; see below.)
- Fresh Pretty Cure! had "Change! Precure Beat Up!", HeartCatch Pretty Cure! had "Pretty Cure, Open My Heart!", Suite Pretty Cure ♪ had "Let's play! Pretty Cure Modulation!", Smile Pretty Cure! had "Pretty Cure! Smile Charge!", DokiDoki! Precure had "Pretty Cure Love Link!", Happiness Charge Pretty Cure had "Pretty Cure Rolling Mirror Change!", and Go! Princess Pretty Cure has "Pretty Cure Princess Engage!"
- Due to the heroines having multiple gem-themed forms, Maho Girls Precure has elements of a Mad Libs Catch Phrase: "Cure Up Rapapa! <jewel>. Miracle Magical Jewelryle!"
- Kira Kira Precure A La Mode has "Let's la-stir it up!" as the transformation phrase.
- Tokyo Mew Mew had "Mew Mew X Metamorphose!", X being the name of their eponymous food (strawberry for Ichigo, pudding for Bu-ling, etc.)
- In Akame ga Kill!, the Imperial Arms "Incursio" (Bulat's armor, later passed to Tatsumi) is activated by holding its key and shouting its name.
- Trinity Blood: "Nano-machine Crusnik 02, starting operation at X percent level!". Every time Abel says that, he transforms from a big ditz into an incredibly badass killer.
- Used quite often in Bleach
- The Empathic Weapons need their wielder to say the magic Catch-Phrase in order to switch into a more powerful form. The Catch-Phrase is unique to each weapon (though always including the weapon's name) and must be learned from the weapon itself. The phrase can range from the short ("Snap", "Shatter", "Dance") to longer ("Reign over the frosted heavens", "Shoot to kill", "Sting all enemies to death") to very long ("Flower wind rage and flower god roar, heavenly wind rage and heavenly demon sneer", "All waves rise now and become my shield, lightning, strike now and become my blade", "All things in the universe turn to ashes").
- The more powerful form, Bankai is activated by saying just that, although everybody tends to say its name afterwards anyway.
- Unlocking said form also allows one to use the first form without any declarations. For example, while fighting Starrk, the two with the longest release 'phrases' - Kyoraku and Ukitake - activate the first release simply with the names of their swords and without fanfare (contrast with Stark's rather more showy transformation). Helpful given the potential for such lengthy verses getting interrupted. (Rest of the time, everybody says their phrases anyway because they're cool.) This aspect is first revealed during Renji's fight with Byakuya...cluing Byakuya into the fact that Renji has achieved Bankai.
- It's also parodied. Urahara tells Ichigo that the only way to activate some "magic armor" is to yell "TAKE THIS! THE POWER OF JUSTICE! JUSTICE ARMOR! JUSTICE HACHIMAKI! EQUIP!" note at the top of his lungs. Ichigo eventually figures out it's useless, but not before humiliating himself. It later shows up as an actually useful item in a filler arc, leading to much outrage from Ichigo.
- Aside from the zanpaktou, there's also kido, which can be unspoken by very high level users, to short phrases, to requiring scrolls to keep track of. Using a kido without the chant weakens it, even for the highest-level users, and when a less skilled user tries, it also increases the chance of the spell failing entirely (and possibly blowing up in the caster's face, as frequently happens with Renji).
- In their variant of being Hollow-Shinigami hybrids, the arrancar usually go into Resurreccion mode by saying a specific word or phrase followed by the name of their zanpaktou. For example, Starrk says "Kick about - Los Lobos!", Barragan says "Rot - Arrogante.", and Nnoitra says "Pray - Santa Teresa!" By contrast, Vizards don their masks silently (they still have zanpaktou with the whole fanfare, of course)
- In Coffin Princess Chaika, in order to activate their Iron-Blood Transformation, Tohru and Akari recite one that doubles as a Badass Boast:
I am steel. Steel knows no doubt. Steel knows no fear. When faced with my enemy, I hesitate not. I am a weapon to destroy these. Iron-Blood Transformation!
- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: The shift from "civilian clothing" to bird suits was triggered by speaking the phrase, "bird go!" into a special wristband. When the show was brought to America as Battle of the Planets, the phrase was "transmute!" In the G-Force permutation, the phrase was "G-Force, Transform!"
"Kagaku Ninpou: Hi no Tori! (Ninja Art: Firebird!)"
- "Transmute to Fiery Phoenix!"
- In the original Japanese series, it was treated as an attack name:
- In Eagle Riders (which was based on the second series), the phrase is "Eagle mode, now!".
- "Bird, go!" is one of the few holdovers from the original series present in Gatchaman Crowds, though the heroes shout it while holding aloft their NOTEs instead of saying it into a wristband.
- "Transmute to Fiery Phoenix!"
- Ronin Warriors/Yoroiden Samurai Troopers used this to don their armor. Usually, they took a transformation stance, yelled out "Armor of X," and some sort of incantation. For Wildfire, this was Tao Jin("the way of virtue"). The subarmor could be summoned at will, and it was donned before entering battle. Apparently, when not in use, their armors took the form of glass spheres with their corresponding Confucian value(depicted with kanji) inside it.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!: Western mages have personal "key" phrases to say before reciting spells. (For example, Negi's is "Ras tel ma scrir magister") There's also a 'training' key phrase for novice mages who don't have a personal one yet.
- And Pactio cards, which summon a magical artifact for the user with the activation key "Adeat".
- Modified in the Karas OAVs, where the transformation sequence is spoken by the hero's handler. (It's also one of the coolest transforms ever, albeit very long.)
- Wedding Peach had two for each hero, because they each had two transformations.
- This only happens in the anime, however. In the original manga, they all said the same phrase.
- Spoofed in Wedding Peach Abridged with, "Bridal Striptease, Go!"
- Done in just about every Digimon series, usually including Transformation Name Announcement:
- Digimon Adventure had "[name]mon, Digivolve to... [new name]mon!" in the dub, and "[name]mon, evolve! [new name]mon!" in the original Japanese, which gets re-used in every series (with variations added), in addition to the phrases said by the humans.
- Digimon Adventure 02 had "Digimental Up!" in Japanese and "Digiarmor Energize! (or rather, "Digiarmor Ener... gize!)" in the dub. The mon in question would then go through the usual call, but with "Armor Digivolve to/Evolve."
- Digimon Tamers had "[card name], Card Slash!" in Japanese and "Digi-Modify! [card name], activate!" in the dub. Evolution/Digivolution being achieved through different cards, except for evolution to Ultimate/Mega which gets "Matrix Evolution!" in Japanese, and "Biormerge, activate!" in the dub.
- Digimon Frontier has "(Double/Hyper) Spirit Evolution!" in Japanese, and "Execute, (Beast/Fusion/Unified) Spirit Evolution!" in the dub, plus "Slide Evolution!" when switching between Human and Beast Spirit.
- Digimon Savers has "Digisoul - Charge!", "Digisoul - Full Charge!", and "Digisoul Charge - Overdrive!", plus "Charge! Digi-Soul Burst!" for the final Mode Change. The dub replaced "Digisoul," with "DNA," and changed the Burst Mode phrase to "Charge! DNA Burst Mode!"
- Digimon Xros Wars has numerous variations of "DigiXros!" ("DigiFuse!" in the dub), including, but not limited to "Double Xros," "Great Xros," "Xros Up," ect..
- Magical Angel Creamy Mami: Yuu's transformation required the phrase "Pam puru pim puru parim pompun! Pim puru pam puru parim pompun!"
- Persia, the Magic Fairy says "Perukko Raburin Kurukuru Rinkuru" to turn into her Older Alter Ego.
- Floral Magician Mary Bell says "Mary Bell's Flower Magic!"
- Unlike the previous Studio Pierrot magic girl series which involve magic words, in Magical Stage Fancy Lala, Miho transforms into Lala by saying an actual henshin phrase: "Toki no kioku ni omoi wo komete, ima, Fancy Lala ni karei naru seichou!" which translates as "Bringing my thoughts into the memory of time, grow now magnificently into Fancy Lala!"
- Hellsing had Alucard use the phrase "Releasing control art restriction to level (#)..." when he goes from merely terrifying to Horror Incarnate.
- Voltron: "Activate interlocks, dynatherms connected, infracells up, megathrusters are go! Let's go Voltron Force!... Form feet and legs!... Form arms and torso/body!... And I'll form... the head!"
- This doesn't happen exactly in the Japanese version (Golion). Before the lions combine into Golion, they do say "Let's Golion!". However, there is no "Form feet and legs..." part; the sequence itself doesn't have any dialogue except at the end in later episodes when Akira Kogane/Keith shouts "Golion!!".
- In the Sequel Series Voltron Force, the mode change command "Form [color] center!" was added. The various weapon commands ("Form, Blazing Sword!" and its variants) are somewhere between this and Calling Your Attacks.
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam has the protagonist shouting "Rise, Shining Gundam!" whenever he decides to call his Humongous Mecha. It's not quite a transformation sequence, but close enough.
- GaoGaiGar: FINAL FUSION!! SYMMETRICAL DOCKING!! MEGA FUSION!! SYSTEM CHANGE!! SANMI ITTAI!!
- Shinkon Gattai Godannar!! had "Drive change go," "Volspinner slave on," "Mushin ittai Godiner," and "Change Genesister."
- Punie-chan's activation in Dai Mahou Touge (Magical Witch Punie-Chan) is classic: "Lyrical Tokarev, Kill Them All!"
- Genesis of Aquarion: Pilot 1: "Nenshin!" Pilot 2: "Gattai!" Pilot 3: "Go! Aquarion". Apollonius, Apollo possessed by him and Touma use instead "Sousei Gattai! Go! Aquarion!"
- Aquarion Evol changes it, instead, the command is "X Gattai! Go! Aquarion!", with who says each piece changing depending on episode. The X also changes every time Aquarion combines, with it usually being something that has to do with the current situation or state of mind the Elements have.
- Aquarion Logos changes it once again. Now it's "Sousei Gattai! X! Aquarion!", where the X depends on which Aquarion is being created. Everything is said by the first pilot, while "Aquarion!" is shouted by both or all three pilots.
- In Sekirei, the Sekirei gain power with a kiss and a chant, called a norito. Each Norito is unique to that Sekerei:
- Musubi - These are the fists of my pledge, crush the catastrophe before my Ashikabi
- Kazehana - Wind of my pledge, blow away the dark clouds of my sekirei
- Homura - These are the flames of my pledge, burn the Karma of my Ashikabi
- Tsukiumi - This is the water of my pledge, purify the evil residing in my Ashikabi
- Shiina - Decaying streams of my pledge, wither the cross of my Ashikabi.
- Transformers: This trope is actually almost exclusively present in the Japanese-original series for most of the time in the American-original series, transformation is simply treated as something like breathing, in that it requires little to make it happen.
- In Transformers: Super-God Masterforce, their transformations were always voice-activated, in a straight example of this trope.
- From Transformers Headmasters: HEAD ON!
- In Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Transformers Armada, Transformers Energon, and Transformers Cybertron, Optimus Prime could achieve a secondary transformation by declaring, "Optimus Prime, super mode!"
- In episode four of Robots in Disguise, Sky-Byte had his mouth full of the MacGuffin, and was unable to transform because he couldn't say "Sky-Byte, terrorize!" around it.
- Transformers Cybertron: CYBER KEY POWER!!!!!!!!!
- In Japan, the transforming call for normal vehicle-to-bot stuff is simply "Transform" or "[name,] Transform" in English, but in the Beast era, it becomes "Henshin," which means the same in Japanese and is quite familiar to fans of Kamen Rider. This means RID and BW2 give us "Henshin" from the beast bots and "Transform" for the vehicle bots. Of course, the US version of RID leaves "Transform" as "Transform," as it would in the Unicron Trilogy, and gives the Predacons their familiar "Terrorize" command.
- Brave Command Dagwon Try Dagwon!
- Cardcaptor Sakura: "Oh key that hides the power of the dark, reveal your true form to me. I, Sakura command you under the contract! RELEASE!!!!!!!!!" Since CCS is somewhat of a magical girl parody, it doesn't actually cause HER to transform (that's Tomoyo's job as a costume designer; never the same outfit twice! Sakura says it's unnecessary and kinda embarrassing; Tomoyo disagrees.), it just causes the key to transform back into the full-sized wand so she can use it to control the cards.
- The dub has two different versions. The original one is "Key of Clow, power of magic, power of light, surrender the Wand, the force ignite. Release!", then when the wand becomes the Star Wand, the chant is "Key of the Star with powers burning bright, reveal the staff and shine your light! Release!"
- Dites in Chrome Shelled Regios are activated by saying "Restoration!" If the Dite has multiple forms, a number is appended to select the specific form: "Restoration Zero-One!"
- Kaze no Stigma: Ayano summons Enraiha by calling it while clapping her hands together.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Za Beasto!
- In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Simon calls out the transformation of Cathedral Terra to Supergalaxy Gurren Lagann, while doing a reverse Glasses Pull (or crying tears of blood in The Movie). Viral goes Audience Surrogate and responds "I was waiting for these words!" Seconded.
- Kamichama Karin: AI AMU GODDO! (Other characters opt for Latin or actual Japanese catchphrases when transforming.)
- In Is This a Zombie? Ayumu and Haruna transform into a Masou Shoujo their keyword is, Nomobuyo, Oshi, Hashitawa, Dokeda, Gunmicha, De, Ribura." note
- Black*Star in Soul Eater calls out to Tsubaki to get her to change weapon forms.
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: Panty and Stocking have an elaborate chant while powering up their lingerie into ghost-slaying weapons. The full version is used once, and later parodied when it quickly decays into apathetic mumbling. Their demonic nemeses, Scanty and Kneesocks, have their own Power of Grayskull chant.
- In Super Robot Wars Original Generation Divine Wars the main character, Ryusei Date, shouts out 'Variable Formation' whenever he and his two team mates combine in the Super Robot SRX. It's a homage and a parody of this trope because 'Super Robots always have to have a cool combination battlecry.'
- In Hyper Speed GranDoll, Hikaru shouts "Gran Change!" to transform.
- The girls of Makeruna Makendo say "Ma-ken-do!"
- In Jewelpet Twinkle the girls transform with "Twinkle Twinkle Magical Charm Winkle Winkle Jewel Flash" while boys transform with "Grilla Grilla Magical Charm Winkle Winkle Jewel Flash". They also begin each spell with "Twinkle Twinkle" or "Grilla Grilla" respectively. In one episode, the fact that boys' and girls' magical phrases are different is a plot point.
- Yuuma says "Mysterious Diamond Flash!" to transform.
- Tekkaman Blade has "Tek Setter!".
- COME HERE! DAITARN 3!
- The Weapons of Light (both the original Darkstar weapons and the knockoff; most notably, Gourry's Sword of Light) in Slayers require the phrase "Light, come forth!" to activate their Laser Blade goodness.
- The original Darkstar weapons are actually the followers of Dark-Star Dugradigdu, another plane's equivalent of Ruby-Eye Shabranigdu—instead of his followers becoming lords in their own right like Hellmaster Febrizo and Demon Dragon Garv, Dark-Star's lieutenants became weapons. In the series' main plane, the local Mazoku are invoked by a litany of titles at the beginning of Black Magic spells; the most famous is probably "O (that which is) darker than twilight, O (that which is) redder than flowing blood, buried in the stream of time", the invocation of Ruby-Eye himself, from the beginning of Dragon Slave.
- In Mon Colle Knights, both Mondo and Rokuna chant the sentence of "With us, you can do it!" before merging with the monster they choose.
- Roger's oft-used phrase to active The Big O is "BIG-O! SHOWTIME!".
- Cutey Honey has "Honey Flash!"
- The English dub of Spider Riders has "Arachna Power!"
- World Trigger has "Trigger ON!" for activating said Triggers and the Trion bodies
- Yuusei Shounen Papi (AKA: "Prince Planet") has the title character Papinote changing to his superhero form by taking his medallion and shouting "Piiiiiiii....PAPI!". The dub keeps the first part, but changes the second part to "PAZOW!".
- Star Driver: APPRIVOISE!!
- Jojos Bizarre Adventure: Stand Users often invoke the name of their Stand when they bring it forth, although it's evidently not necessary since just as often the Stand appears without any such prelude. Nonetheless, Dio Brando wouldn't be himself without his "ZA WARUDO!" Similarly, Hamon users like to call out their technique when they perform it.
- Moldiver: METAMORFORCE!!
- Parodied in Endride. When Shun arrives in Endora and discovers he has a Warp Relic, he immediately names it Excalibur and tries to call it forth like he's in a henshin scene, even though that's not how summoning Warp Relics works. Emilio immediately gets on his case because the shouting does nothing and only calls attention to them as they try to escape.
- Idol Time PriPara has the characters yell "Idol Time Countdown!" before changing their clothes.
- The titular armors in Senki Zesshou Symphogear require a short, mostly-nonsense verse to activate. The name of the relic used to make the gear is always included, and the exact verse seems unique to each relic/user combination. For example, the three users of Gungnir have:
Kanade: Croitzal ronzell Gungnir zizzlHibiki: Balwisyall nescell Gungnir tronMaria: Granzizel bilfen Gungnir zizzl
- GX introduces an upgrade called Ignite Mode, which activates with the phrase "Ignite Module: Drawn Blade!" regardless of the user.
- Megaton Man uses the word "Overkill" to transform into his ridiculously muscled superhero form from his ridiculously muscled alter ego.
- In The DCU, Jason Blood is changed into Etrigan when a certain poem is read, by him or by someone else. The full version is:
Change, change the form of man.
Free the prince forever damned.
Free the might from fleshy mire.
Boil the blood in heart of fire.
Gone, gone the form of man,
Rise the demon Etrigan!
- Often, especially in adaptations, only the two last lines are used. To change back, he recites "Gone, gone, O Etrigan! Resume once more the form of man!"
- Other versions of the poem have been seen to work. Spoofed at least once by Blood himself, while in a particularly snarky mood:
Gone, oh little man so tame,
Arise the demon... Whatsisname?
- Shazam: Captain Marvel's "Shazam!". Along with Cap, the entire Marvel Family uses this magic transformation word. (Except for Captain Marvel Jr., who uses "Captain Marvel!", making him possibly the only superhero who cannot introduce himselfnote ) The Captain Marvel villain IBAC changes back and forth from his identity by saying his own "super" name, as does Junior's villain Sabbac.
- DC is constantly messing with them, though. Billy Batson (calling himself simply Marvel) is now the wizard who gives the others their powers, Freddy Freeman (formerly Captain Marvel Jr) is trying to become a superhero named Shazam (who still uses his name to transform, but has thankfully gained the ability to make that optional, so he CAN say his name without transforming now), and, in a fit of nostalgia, Billy Batson/Marvel changed Black Adam's word from Shazam to "Chocolate Egg Cream" in an attempt to keep Black Adam from transforming. It didn't take. Black Adam then got rid of the powers himself by transferring them to a powerless Mary, creating Black Mary Marvel. Which went well...
- A different Captain Marvel (There've been at least half a dozen, if not more, superheroes named Captain Marvel, none of which are related) had as his phrase the word "Split!" This would activate his power... the ability to split his body into pieces, even down to individual fingers. This was, apparently, necessary, but it doesn't make a lot of difference since for obvious reasons it wasn't a very long-lived comic.
- Marvel Comics Captain Marvel parodied this once. Rick once shouted "Shazam" while switching places with Genis and he didn't understand what was that supposed to mean.
- Thunder Girl, Big Bang Comics' Captain/Mary Marvel pastiche, had the word "Alakazam!" Her evil Nazi counterparts (who more closely resemble the rest of the Marvel family, with another Mary thrown in for good measure) have "Gotterdammerung!"
- A crossover with Scooby-Doo granted Shaggy and Velma with Captain Marvel-like powers, though they were summoned by saying their respective Catch-Phrase, "Zoinks!" and "Jinkies!" (and, like the Shazam call, the words corosponded with certain gods/heroes.
- Golden Age hero Johnny Quick activated his abilities by reciting the formula "3X2(9YZ)4A". His daughter Jesse Quick did the same, until she lost her powers. It's not enough just to say the formula: you need to understand the four-dimensional construct it describes, and you also need a certain mental state and/or link to the Speed Force.
- Towards the end of Johnny Quick's run (pun not intended), other speedsters attempted to point out to him that the formula was really pointless... his powers were simply an ability to tap into the Speed Force. This proved true when, in the process of his Heroic Sacrifice he started his formula several times, then finally simply thought "The hell with it" and ran at superspeed without using it.
- Perhaps ironically, an even later issue of The Flash had our hero Wally West spouting the equation out of desperation to be faster during a particularly large disaster. Not only did he speed up, but time actually froze around him — keeping the world in a frozen moment of time that only fellow speedster Max Mercury could reach for a few minutes before being dragged out again. Time resumed its natural flow when Wally was finally able to let go and allow time to resume. 'Pointless' indeed.
- Johnny Thunder commanded his magical (though literal-minded) genie through the mystical phrase "cei-u". In his early issues the running gag was that he wasn't aware of this, and the magic would happen at seemingly random times without him realizing that it was always after he has spoken the words "Say, you!" at whoever he was chasing. Needless to say, he wasn't portrayed as very bright.
- And then, to cue the amnesia part, he got Alzheimer's. He got better. Those magical genies are tricky.
- Due to a later retcon, both "cei-u" and "say you" were revealed as backwards misspellings of the genie's name: Yz. Turns out he was a fifth dimensional entity, like Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite. Legacy Character Jakeem Thunder's genie is named Lkz, or as Jakeem pronounces it backwards, "So cool".
- Parodied in Defenders Indefensible, when a shockingly calm Bruce Banner attempts to stimulate a change into the Hulk, with such gems as "Hulk On!" and "Shazulk."
- Also parodied some years before in a series in the Marvel humour comic Not Brand Echh entitled "Super-hero Daydreams". Each one-page strip had an ordinary person finding themselves in a situation, dangerous or mundane, where super-powers would be handy — such as being on the subway when the conductor fainted or in a queue at a cafeteria when a queue-jumper barges in and grabs the last serving of a particular dessert — or needed, as in the case of the guy about to be beaten up by a gang. In each case, the daydreamer imagines saying "Sha-Marvey!" and being transformed into a super-hero and saving the day. Most such heroes are Marvel characters, though some are made-up Expys, e.g., "Wonderful Person".
- Miracleman: The early Captain Marvel knockoff Marvelman, better known now as Miracleman, used the transformation phrase "kimota" (spell it backwards). His sidekicks use the phrase "Miracleman". Alan Moore's Miracleman series used both the amnesia and trick power-down cliches.
- His alter-ego, Mike Moran, spent years not realizing he was a superhero, but was nagged by the near-memory of the word he just couldn't remember. While at a crisis at a nuclear plant, he sees the word "ATOMIC" on a window; since he's looking at it from behind, he sees it as "[C]IMOTA" (with the "C" reversed), which is enough to trigger his memory.
- The aliens who pioneered the technology have multiple bodies, and swap bodies by using power words. The mad scientist who plundered the alien technology to create Miracleman put in a few little tricks. For example, when Miracleman hears a particular magic word, "Abraxas", he transforms back into a human, and can't change for an hour.
- Said mad scientist also experimented on a dog...who, being just a dog, obviously couldn't speak, but would still transform from normal dog to outright monster when hearing someone say its catchphrase, "Steppenwolf". Mike Moran, under the effect of the "Abraxas" shutdown, is about to be eaten alive by the dog-monster, until he catches on: he shouts "Steppenwolf!" and turns it back into a puppy.
- The magician Zatanna and her father Zatara speak their spells backwards. (Remember: words backwards, sentences forwards!) However, Zatanna has sometimes explained away the need to do this as being merely a focus exercise.
- The first Blue Beetle would shout "Khaji da!" and thus cause his Scarab to activate his powers.
- There's a reason for this: "Khaji da!" is the Scarab's name, a point revealed in Blue Beetle #25 (of the most recent series).
- General Glory, also from The DCU. He forgot his magic catch phrase after being mindwiped by the government. He finally tracked it down via the propaganda comics the government used to issue so they could deny his very existence. "You saw General Glory beating up a tank? Sure... stop reading so much, soldier."
- A similar situation occurred with WildStorm Captain Marvel Expy Maximum Man, whose alter ego, Kyle Trueblood developed Alzheimer's and afterwards spent every waking minute saying every word in every dictionary in every language he could find. His former archenemy remembered it and kept it from him out of spite. Eventually there was an emergency, and he told Trueblood what it was: Hecatean.
- Golden Age (now Public Domain) superhero the Green Lama used as his transformation phrase the mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum". Since the Lama was supposed to be Buddhist this makes a sort of sense.
- Fellow Buddhist-based hero Thundermind, of the Great Ten, used the same mantra. It means "All hail the jewel in the lotus," by the way.
- Marvel heroine Go Go Tomago transforms into her powered form by saying her own superhero name.
- Hawk and Dove, from the DC Universe, would magically gain their superpowers and costumes by shouting out loud their super-hero names. This would only work if there was danger afoot, however.
- Kid Eternity, from both Shazam and Teen Titans, could say "Eternity" to summon a historical or mythological hero, who would then disappear after a certain amount of time. His archenemy, Master Man, could say "Stygia" to summon a historical or mythological villain, who would then disappear after a certain amount of time.
- Issue #24 of Plop! contained a story called "The Bella Button Caper", in which the titular character was legislating to ban all comic books forever. In response, the "Great Comic Book Spirit" gave a twelve-year-old called "Comic Book" McFiend the power to turn into a different DC superhero by saying - what else - "Plop!". After he finally cornered a remorseful Bella, the spirit told her to say "DC", which turned her into a comic book.
- The trope was parodied in issue #23 of the Stephanie Brown Batgirl series, where she confronts the Reapers, the (Somewhat pathetic, although admittedly dangerous) villains she has faced for the majority of the tail-end of the series. When she finds herself outmatched by the numerically superior Reapers, she shouts SHAZAM! at the top of her lungs. The Reapers pause momentarily in confusion, and question one another on if Batgirl is magic or not, before the Teen Titans burst to the rescue, having been waiting for the signal to come charging in. They proceed to effortlessly annihilate the Reapers, some of whom do not even bother to look at the Reapers as they defeat them.
- Colt Noble and the Megalords is a parody of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, so naturally it comes complete with this. Prince Jaysen transforms into Colt Noble, Paladin of Power, by saying the "activation code" "Activation Code!" (shut up), and changes back by saying "Deactivate!" See, he was given this power by a weird robot intelligence and he didn't understand what was going on at first ("Choose your activation code." "Activation code?" "Now, choose your deactivation code." "urr, 'deactivate'?")
- Also from writer Tim Seeley is Colt Noble's Mini-Comics Included stablemate Superbeasts, where a nerdy kid named Marvin turns into Dracula Man by saying "Dracula On!" (or maybe just "Dracula") and turns back by saying "Alucard!" This is also a rare case of cross-racial transformation — Melvin is black, but Dracula Man is white.
- The Green Lantern Corps have their famous oath, which serves as a battle cry and is also the password for recharging their rings:
- In brightest day
In blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power—Green lantern's light!
- Every other corps gets one too, except for Larfleeze (he, of course, wants one). Sinestro's is notable for mentioning himself by name and inverting the first two lines of the Green one ("In blackest day, in brightest night"); the Indigo Tribe's oath is in the strange language of their homeworld, and mentions Abin Sur (Hal Jordan's predecessor) by name. Also, not every Green Lantern uses the same oath; it's explicitly stated that the precise words don't matter ... it's a matter of timing and focusing the mind, so whatever works for any given member to accomplish that is fine. For example...
- Rot Lop Fan, a GL from a planet that was always in total darkness, whose natives had no concept of light or color, had a sound-centric oath that went, "In loudest din/In hush profound/My ears catch evil's slightest sound/Let those who worship evil's knell/Beware my power, the F-sharp bell!" As far as he knows, he is a member of the F-Sharp Bell Corps. Though his powers manifest in terms of sound waves rather than light, his powers are equivalent to that of any other GL.
- In the Duck Dodgers parody/homage episode, Dodgers' attempt is "In blackest day or brightest night, cantaloupe watermelon yadda yadda, a superstitious and cowardly lot, with liberty and justice for all!"
- Alan Moore's Promethea is an unusual and creative example; in order to change into the form of Promethea, Sophie Bangs has to create a poem off the top of her head. One time, she rattled off a poem that transformed her into Promethea, while imbuing her mother, her best friend and a nurse with the identities of past incarnations of Promethea.
- Darna is a Philippine example that first appeared around the same time as Captain Marvel.
- Archie and his pals had a spell where they were superheroes. Jughead summoned his super alter ego Captain Hero by this chant:
Teeny weeny magic beaniePointing towards the sky,Give me valor, vigor, strength,Form a super guy!
- Parodied in "The Secret Origin of Grooble Man" in Plop! #10. The title character discovers through exhaustive experimentation that saying the nonsense word "grooble" can give him super-strength for slightly more than a minute. Unfortunately for him, this happens to apply to everybody who says it. When every single other person in a bank that's being held up gets involved in an argument over which of them can be the "most super" he walks off to find a better way of becoming a superhero.
- In Runaways, Nico summons her Staff of One by cutting herself and saying, "When blood is shed, let the Staff of One emerge!"
- In Mega Man Reawakened, Megaman and Roll say a special phrase to transform into their battle modes.
- In Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm. The phrase merely activates a Sailor Scout or Justice Champion's Transformation Assistance Generator, so saying it without one does nothing. Some champions who don't need Generators will say it anyway to psyche themselves up, but it is unnecessary. The titular Lightstorm says his own phrase ("Celestial Power Unleash") while trying to regain his powers, but it does nothing.
- Friendship Is Magical Girls: The girls all do this to change into their mahoushoujo forms. "Element of Harmony (Magic/Loyalty/Laughter/Generosity/Kindness/Honesty)!"
- Being Original Flavor fanfics of Power Rangers, it comes with the territory in Power Rangers GPX and Power Rangers Guardians Of Gaia. The former uses "GXP, start it up!" while the latter chose "It's morphin' time! Guardians of Gaia, AWAKEN!"
- Power Rangers: Oceania: "Point Break!"
- In the Miraculous Ladybug fic Hop To It, Jack/Rabbit has "Mimmi! Hop to it!" - when changing back, she says "All hopped out" - and Diego/Perro Negro has "Wrekk! Bare my teeth!"
Films — Live-Action
- The Lathe of Heaven has Doctor Haber use hypnosis so that George Orr will begin his "magic" dream state whenever Haber says "Antwerp".
- The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden casts his spells using Latin... ish phrases. He justifies this in his narration by explaining that words in foreign, unfamiliar languages provide a sort of insulation from the raw power of a spell for a wizard's mind. One time in Fool Moon he cast a spell when he couldn't speak. The spell worked fine, but he was badly disoriented for some time after. Presumably if Harry ever worked on his Latin he would have to start casting spells with another, even more obscure language, like most wizards do.
- In "Die Geschichte von Kalif Storch" ("The Story of the Caliph Stork") by Wilhelm Hauff, the hero and his friend use the magic word "Mutabor" to turn into the titular storks - and, due to laughing while transformed, promptly forget how to turn back. They rediscover the magic word by spying on the bad guy bragging about how he tricked them.
- In Anthony Boucher's story "The Compleat Werewolf", the magic word "Absarka" transformed the main character out of his werewolf form. (There was another word to change him into wolf form, but it's just called "The Word" in the story, i.e. the author doesn't reveal it.) There were just two problems with this: (a) as a werewolf, he had to get somebody else to say the word for him and (b) when he changed back into a human, he was naked — either that, or a helpless wolf inextricably entangled in a gray three-piece suit.
- In Bruce Coville's The Monster's Ring, the main character had to recite an incantation in order to use the ring. One chant was required to transform into a monster, while another was required to change back.
- In Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Black & Blue Magic, the main character had to recite a flying-related verse while rubbing a certain magic oil into his shoulder blades in order to grow wings.
- In Leonis, an obscure French-Canadian fantasy novel set in Ancient Egypt, the hero had the power, given to him by the goddess Bastet, to transform into a white lion at will as long as he shouted the words Lion Child three times in a row.
- In Scott Meyer's Off to Be the Wizard, adding a new wizard to the shell involves said wizard saying a series of phrases in a bastardized version of Esperanto: "Supren supren. Malsupren suben. Lasis dekstra lasis dekstra. Bee aye komenco." This translates, roughly, to "Up up. Down down. Left right left right. B A Start." Yep, that's the Konami Code. Also, activating spells (i.e. macros) involves gestures and commands (usually, in Esperanto). Martin's salutation during his "graduation" dinner is activated by saying "EH NEEEK CHOCK!" (a Shout-Out to Apache Chief from Superfriends), which involves Martin growing into a giant composed of flying boxes. Later, he changes the activation phrase to a simpler "Groovy".
- Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future: Members of the Future Force transformed into armored form by calling, "Power on!"
- 1970s Wonder Woman rip-off Isis forced the titular character to recite a full-sentence incantation to activate her powers. Also, she apparently had to activate powers in a certain order (i.e. she couldn't skip around on her spell list) or an incantation wouldn't work.
- Thankfully, not so much when she entered The DCU.
- Every Power Rangers series. Ever.
- Although in Operation Overdrive there were double-figure instant morphs. Still needed words for everything else, but when there was emotion involved, woohoo baby, they went for the silent approach. Similarly, Power Rangers in Space completely skipped the morphing sequence and the catchphrase in their Series Fauxnale.
- They weren't afraid to spoof it from time to time. Even as far back as the first season, whenever Billy did the call, he would often say it in technobabble, i.e. "It's time for molecular transmutation!"
- It is not entirely clear in which cases the phrase is By the Power of Grayskull!, and in which it is an Invocation. For the original rangers, saying the name of their respective animal was required (Zordon tells them to summon their powers thus), and the now-famous prelude, "It's morphing time!" was absent in the very first morph (Zordon is the first to use the phrase in the second episode). With every team since (except Zeo), it was the team call, not the individual call, that triggered the morph. Time Force is a strange case: the Quantum Ranger's morpher was voice-activated, and this is explicitly different from the way the Time Force morphers worked. Doesn't stop them from saying "Time for Time Force!" to morph.
- RPM justifies the catchphrase as a voice lock for the morphers.
- Other series have it weird, for example those Rangers (like Space and Lightspeed Rescue) whose morpher has a password keypad and is used as such, still have team call (and intricate hand gestures before typing their codes).
- And just for fun, let's list them all in order!
- "It's Morphin' Time!" (Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and Power Rangers Zeo. Then followed with their original dinosaur/animal symbol (for Mighty Morphin Season 1 to 2) or '(insert color here) Ranger Power' (for Season 3) or Ranger designation (for Zeo)). note
- "Shift Into Turbo!"note
- At first the Turbo Rangers did use individual calls like Mighty Morphin and Zeo. It was in the form of "Zord Name" TURBO POWER!!. This was abandoned after most of the team was Put on a Bus and the replacements only did the team call.
- "Let's Rocket!" (Power Rangers in Space)note
- "Go! Galactic!" and "Magna Power!" (Power Rangers Lost Galaxy)note
- "Lightspeed! Rescue!" and "Titanium Power!"note
- "Time for…Time Force!" and "Quantum Power!"note
- "Wild Access!" (Power Rangers Wild Force)note
- "Ninja/Thunder/Samurai Storm! Ranger Form!note
- "Dino Thunder! Power up! Ha!" and "White Ranger! Dino Power!"note
- "SPD! Emergency!"note
- "Magical Source! Mystic Force!" and "Legendary Source! Mystic Force!"note
- "Overdrive! Accelerate!"note
- "Jungle Beast! Spirit Unleashed!" (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)note
- "RPM! Get In Gear!"note
- "Go Go Samurai!" and "Gold Power!"note
- "Go Go Megaforce!" note
- "Super Mega Mode!" note
- "Unleash the Power!" note
- "Ninja Spin!" note
- VR Troopers: used the phrase "Trooper Transform! We! Are! V!R!" to initiate their transformations. It's the "Trooper Transform" that's actually needed for the change.
- Beetleborgs: "Beetle-Bonders! Beetle-Blast!" (Cue Theme Music Power-Up.). "Back-Blast!" reverted them to human.
- The Metallix season had: "Data-Bonders! Input card! Beetle-Blast!" for their Beetleborg forms and "Bug out!" and "Bug-back" to go to and from their bug forms. "Input card" is said when loading any data card into any device, though. Most notably, the guns had a variety of functions depending on which card was used. Yes, the tradition of having a series of collectible trinkets that activate everything including the morphers, adopted by Power Rangers in RPM, the seventeenth season, is Older Than They Think.
- The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg: "Fire within me!" "Earth beneath me!" "Air above me!" "Water around me!" "Forest before me!"
- Rohan, The Hero, had Battle Fury Armour, which he activated by shouting... go on, guess. Battle Fury!
- Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad had "Let's Samurize, Guys!" (for Sam, The Hero), "Let's kick some Giga-butt!" (for Tanker, The Big Guy), "Pump up the Power!" (for Sydney, The Smart Girl), and a random non sequitur (for Amp, the Plucky Comic Relief) that essentially lampshaded the whole pointlessness of the henshin phrases (at least, until he was replaced: Lucky London, the second comic-relief guy, just said "Surf's up! ")
- In the episode where everyone's personalities changed, Tanker and Sydney actually switched phrases.
- Kamen Riders traditionally use "Henshin", simply meaning "Transform," though Showa-era Riders would occasionally use variants, such as Kamen Rider Stronger's "Henshin Stronger".
- The two Kamen Rider productions to completely avoid this trope are the deconstruction film Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue (whose protagonist bore more similarity to the Incredible Hulk than a typical Rider), and Kamen Rider Hibiki (except for some goof-ups slipping by Kamen Rider Decade's endgame).
- In the scheme of things, all Riders saying "Henshin!" is relatively new. From the top:
- In the original series, Takeshi Hongo simply exposed the Typhoon belt to air pressure by revealing it when jumping or riding his Cool Bike in order to transform into Kamen Rider Ichigou. At first.
- When the actor's injury caused his temporary replacement by Hayato Ichimonji, Nigou's belt had a cover. "Henshin!" was the command to open it, and he'd flip into the air to generate air pressure like his predecessor.
- When Hongo returned permanently, it was with the all the transforming ceremony that Ichimonji had brought to the franchise. As he makes the now-iconic transformation pose, he would declare "Rider Henshin!" The jumping/flipping into the air is still necessary, though, and will continue to be done by Riders for whom it isn't.
- Kamen Rider V3 said "Henshin! V3!"
- Kamen Rider X said "Set up!" instead of "Henshin!" for most of his series, and switched to "Dai Henshin!" (Great Transformation) towards the end. His most recent Reunion Show appearance has him going back to the old call.
- Kamen Rider Amazon did not say "Henshin" but rather "AAAAAAAA-MAAAAAAAAA-ZOOOOONNNNNN!!!"
- With Kamen Rider Stronger, it was "Henshin! Stronger!"
- Finally, Kamen Rider: Skyrider came after a hiatus and was intended as a Continuity Reboot, and originally, the show and its protagonist were known only as "Kamen Rider." For the first time since Hayato Ichimonji, the call was simply "Henshin!" because it's not like there were other Riders to need to be distinct from. It came back into continuity in a big way by becoming a Reunion Show, with every one of his predecessors making multiple appearances, but just saying "Henshin" stuck, and was used by all of his successors to this day, with the exception of Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue, Kamen Rider: The First, and Kamen Rider: The Next, which were all Darker and Edgier films with no room for cute phrases and elaborate poses that monsters are polite enough to rarely interrupt. All transformations in those films are wordless.
- The first Rider since 1975's Stronger to have a phrase other than simply "Henshin" is Mach, the secondary rider of 2015's Kamen Rider Drive. Having spent a lot of time abroad, his call is "Let's Henshin!"
- The Henshin belts for Heisei era Riders sometimes contribute their own phrases to accompany this (default phrase only, or we'll be here all day as the number of forms each rider gets increases. However, each form does typically get its own announcement.):
- Kamen Rider Faiz: "Standing by... Complete."
- Kamen Rider Blade: "Turn Up/Open Up/ Change"
- Kamen Rider Kabuto: "Henshin!"/"Cast off! Change (Whatever insect the Rider is)!"/"Hyper Cast Off! Change Hyper Beetle!"
- Kamen Rider Den-O: "Sword Form"/"Rod Form"/"Axe Form"/"Gun Form"/"Climax Form"/"Liner Form"
- Kamen Rider Kiva: "Gabu!"
- Kamen Rider Decade: "Kamen Ride... Decade!"
- Kamen Rider Double: "Cyclone! Joker! Cyclone Joker!"
- Kamen Rider OOO: "Taka! Tora! Batta! Ta-To-Ba, Tatoba TATOBA!" (Just about all of the forms get their own Jingle)
- Kamen Rider Fourze: "Three... Two... One..."
- Kamen Rider Wizard: "Shabadoobie Touch Henshin!" *repeats until he actually touches his transformation ring to the Wizard Driver. When he does...:* "Flame, please! Hi! Hi! HI HI HI!"note
- Kamen Rider Gaim: "Lock on!" "Soiya! Orange Arms! Hanamichinote On Stage!"
- Gaim had a lot of fun with it. After "[fruitname] Arms!" and a musical cue would come a catchphrase, different for each form of each rider, some in or containing Gratuitous English, some in song, etc. We also get an in-universe explanation for the talking Drivers for once: the guy who made them was having fun, and put it in because it was cool. The higher-ups in the Mega Corp. that made them for their mysterious true purpose didn't have their own Drivers say a catchphrase - that is, except for the inventor of the Rider gear himself.
- Kamen Rider Drive: "Start your engine!" "Drive: Type Speed!" note .
- Kamen Rider Ghost: Ghost and Specter have common part "Eyyye! Bachirimina!" *repeat until Eyecon is activated* followed by specific part for each: "Kaigan: Ore! Let's Go! Kakugo! G-g-g-Ghost! Go! Go! Go! Go!", "Kaigan: Specter! Ready Go! Kakugo! Doki Doki Ghost!". Necrom has a his own: "Yes, sir." *stand-by music until Eyecon is activated* "Tengan! Necrom! Mega Ulord! Crush The Invader!"
- Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: "Gashattonote ! Let's Game! Meccha Gamenote ! Muccha Gamenote ! What's your name?! I'm a Kamen Rider!"/"Gacchan! Level up! Mighty Jump! Mighty Kick! Mighty Mighty Action! X!!"note /"A Gaccha! Buttobase totsugeki! Gekitotsu Punch! Gekitotsu Robots!"
- Kamen Rider Build: "Rabbit! Tank! Best Match! Are you ready?! Hagane no Moonsault! RabbitTank! YEAH!" for Build, "Wake UP Burning! Get Cross-Z Dragon! YEAH!" for Cross-Z.
- The English versions gave us—
- In the Philippines, the first Kamen Rider to air there was Kamen Rider BLACK and the dub use "Rider Change!" Later shows that were brought in (starting from Kamen Rider Ryuki up to Kamen Rider Hibiki, and then back to Kamen Rider OOO) kept "Rider Change!" Yes, even Hibiki, the show that lacked a transformation call!
- Madan Senki Ryukendo has the protagonists shout out the name of their Empathic Weapon to turn them from a portable form into full-sized weapons. Since this is Ryukendo, it was Lampshaded in one episode where Kenji is in a large, echoey cave with some civilians a little way down another passage and a Secret Identity to maintain. He tries to whisper the name and his weapon retorts, "Can't hear you."
- The Chou Sei Shin Series series used "Souchaku!" ("Equip!") as their standard transformation phrase. Chou Sei Kantai Sazer X, in keeping with their Xtreme Kool Letterz, would upgrade this to "X Souchaku!"
- In Cutey Honey The Live, Honey transforms by touching two fingers to a little heart charm on her neck and calling "Honey Flash!". Her transformation is a naked/sparkle scene a la Sailor Moon, but the catch is that the people around her can see her naked and sparkling. This goes for all animated incarnations too; she's a more tech-based Magical Girl-like character; her transformation is caused by a device in her body that disassembles things on an atomic level and reassembles them, similar to the replicators in Star Trek. In the seconds that her clothes are temporarily vapor, she is very much naked in the real world and every character can see it all (camera angles mean you see enough to make it Fanservice instead of an outright X-rated affair.) When it comes to how she feels about this, it depends on the portrayal: the early semi-ruthless, rebellious, and pragmatic Guile Hero typically couldn't care less if you saw her butt for five seconds, and if you were a male opponent, getting Distracted by the Sexy would prove painful. However, Go Nagai couldn't resist putting in the odd Accidental Pervert moment with Butt-Monkey detective Seiji Hayami. The more recent portrayal, including that seen in the live action version, is a Fun Personified Genki Girl Genius Ditz who can calculate Pi to the zillionth digit but is like a child personality-wise, which makes her hilarious, but makes the darker moments truly tragic because of who they're happening to - you will cry. She doesn't even seem to notice that people react quite differently to her when she's without clothes than when she's in them.
- Space Sheriff Gavan: All he needs to say is Jouchaku. note
- Super Sentai, the show Power Rangers get their basic concept from. For most of the earlier series that used it, the transformation call was simply the name of the team or form, but later series started to switch it up a bit. Most of these phrases are also used along with some action done with the Transformation Trinket. (Feel free to fill in the phrases of missing series.)note
- "Go!" (Himitsu Sentai Goranger)
- "Fever!" (Battle Fever J)
- "Denzi Spark!" (Denshi Sentai Denziman)
- "Vul Eagle!" "Vul Shark!" "Vul Panther!" (Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan. There wasn't a team call, just the individual ones. If all were together, we'd just have Red saying "Vul Eagle!" and then all would be transformed when the stock footage ended.)
- "Goggle (color)!" (Dai Sentai Goggle Five)
- "Dyna (color)!" or just "Dynaman!" (the gag dub had different calls entirely)
- "Let's Change!" (Dengeki Sentai Changeman. Or, alternatively, "Change [animal]!" if just one is changing, or if they're feeling particularly dramatic. However, sometimes, the "Let's Change" is omitted.)
- "Prism Flash!" (Choushinsei Flashman)
- "Aura Mask!" (Hikari Sentai Maskman)
- "Liveman!" (though earlier on they said their designations)
- "Turboranger!" (or alternately their titles, like Red Turbo)
- "Five (color)!" or "Fiveman!"
- "Cross Changer!" (Choujin Sentai Jetman)
- "Dino Buckler!" (Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger)
- "Kiryoku Tenshin! Aura/Kiba Changer!" (Gosei Sentai Dairanger)
- "Super Henkei! Doron Changer!" (Ninja Sentai Kakuranger)
- "Chouriki Henshin!" (Chouriki Sentai Ohranger)
- "Gekisou! Accel Changer!" (Gekisou Sentai Carranger)
- "Install! Megaranger!"/"Keitaizer! Install!"
- "Ginga Tensei!"/"Kishi Tensei!" (Seijuu Sentai Gingaman)
- "Chakusou!" (Rescue Sentai GoGoFive)
- "Chrono Changer!"/"Time Fire!" (Mirai Sentai Timeranger)
- "Gao Access!" (Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger)
- "Ninpuu / Jinrai / Tenkuu! Shinobi Change!" (Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger)
- "Bakuryuu Change! HA!" (Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger. Mikoto, on the other hand, doesn't do the last "HA!")
- "Emergency: Dekaranger!" for the core five. Other Rangers got to personalise it: "Emergency: Dekabreak / Dekamaster", etc.
- "Heavenly Saints, grant us power! Mahou Henshin! Maagi Magi Magiiro!" / "Tenku Henshin! Goolu Golu Goldiiro!" (Mahou Sentai Magiranger)
- "Boukenger! Start up!" / "Go Go Changer! Start up!"
- "Boil!/Echo!/Sharpen! Power/Cry/Blade of the Beast! Beast on!" (Juken Sentai Gekiranger. Power Trio gets the first, violet gets the second, white gets the third.)
- "Change soul, set! Let's Go On!" (Engine Sentai Go-onger)
- Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: "Ippitsu Soujou!"* / "Ikkan Kenjou!"*
- Tensou Sentai Goseiger: "Change Card, Tensou!" ("Tensou" is used when activating any Gosei Card power, not just the transformation into Goseiger.)
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: "Gokai Change!"
- Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters: "Let's Morphin'." (Unique in that the phrase was only used to finish the transformation. Their devices were the one to get things rolling by declaring "It's morphin' time!"; by the time the Gobusters say anything, the only thing left to do was form their helmet's visors.)
- Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger: "Juumousou!"
- Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger: "Brave in! Kyoryu Change! Fire!" (Although their transformation devices regularly appended the name of their dinosaur after the Kyoryuger inserted their Beast Batteries, the Kyoryuger would occasionally call out the name of their dinosaur as well.)
- Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger: "ToQ Change!"
- Shuriken Sentai Ninninger: "Shuriken Henge!" / "Shuriken Change!"
- Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger: "Honnou Kakusei!"*
- Uchu Sentai Kyuranger: "Star Change!" (Like with Kyoryuger, the Seiza Blasters sometimes add extra callouts - usually the name of Ranger's constellation followed by "Seiza Change!"* )
- Seiun Kamen Machineman: "DOLPHIN!!!"
- Several Ultraman in Ultra Series have them. The earliest ones said nothing (or just a stylized grunt).
- Iron King: Iron Shock!
- BIMA Satria Garuda: "Berubah!", Indonesian for "Change!".
- Parodied: on the 29th January 2001 edition of WWF Raw, Taka Michinoku (of tag team Kaientai) once invoked the Power of Grayskull while challenging the Dudley Boyz for the Tag Team Championship; they got curbstomped.
- Done quite a lot in most RPGs that involve magic. Incantations and the like.
- Most tabletop games don't require the player to chant anything, as it's assumed the PC says whatever he needs to say to get the desired spell activated (ie, Power Word Kill doesn't specify the word used).
- Actually, the majority of the incantation is done during the preparation step. The actions they take to unleash it are simply finishing the last part of the spell. (Sorcerers use the words to help them focus as their power is largely instinctive).
- Subverted in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition, as a player can take Silent Spell as a feat, allowing one to cast spells without speaking when speaking is usually required, at the cost of a higher level spell slot.
- There's also the Nonverbal Spell feat in one of the supplements which allows a spellcaster to bypass the use of words as long as they use some other sound (grunting, mumbling, or even singing). This was initially so that one race which didn't speak could still become a spellcaster. It also allows for a cheaper way of being stealthy than Silent Spell since it doesn't affect the spell slot level.
- However, GURPS has an optional rule for spellcasting using cantrips; you can prepare in advance (or invent on the spot) a poem to cast a spell; longer poems give better effects. The player, not the PC, must recite or read the actual cantrip, and you're not allowed to "stop time" to make up a poem, so you'd better be good at improvisation or have a prewritten one at the ready.
- Spells in Kobolds Ate My Baby require the player to perform the correct action/speak the correct words. The phrase for casting "Wall of Beer" was "Tappa tappa kegga, wall o'Beer omega!". Being invisible required the player to cross their arms and do their best to look like a brooding vampire.
- Most tabletop games don't require the player to chant anything, as it's assumed the PC says whatever he needs to say to get the desired spell activated (ie, Power Word Kill doesn't specify the word used).
- Explained away in a Shadowrun book. People in the Shadowrun-verse yell, wave their hands in elegant motions, point, say things quite dramatically, and other magicky stuff, but when asked this, a mage says that it's all used to help focus mana. It's not necessary, though.
- An exception to the "most tabletop games don't require the player to chant anything" rule was the first edition of The Dark Eye, which did in fact require exactly that (plus the expenditure of astral points and possibly a die roll). If the player couldn't remember the correct rhymed incantation, their character simply couldn't cast that spell. This was gradually dropped later on, though a number of spell names still reflect their early-day origins.
- The main character of Viewtiful Joe shouts "Henshin-a-go-go, baby!" (sometimes "Henshin around!") to activate his powers and costume because he uses a voice-activated watch. (He only needs to say "Henshin" - but what fun is that?) Similarly, in the same game, Captain Blue and Sexy Silvia also shout "Henshin!", while Stylish Alastor shouts "Devil Trigger!" and "Trigger me, baby!" In Viewtiful Joe 2, Silvia also shouts "Henshin-a-go-go, baby!"
- In the anime adaptation, when Captain Blue Jr. eventually gains his own powers, he uses a variant of the phrase, saying "Henshin-a-Yo-Yo, baby!" (since he uses yo-yo's as weapons in his transformed state).
- The main villain of the sequel, Jet Black, uses "TENSHIN!"
- Kermit's nephew Robin in Muppet Monster Adventure can turn into monsters after collecting their amulets and getting their powers, and has a different call for each one.
- Some of the Lumas in Super Mario Galaxy transform into various objects when fed enough star bits by the player. When this happens, they shout 'Transform!!!' which appears on the screen in a speech bubble in a very large, bold font.
- And they appear to shout something that sounds like "Henshiiin!"
- Mega Man ZX: "MEGAMERGE!/ROCK ON!"
- In the same vein, in order to Wave Change in Mega Man Star Force, one has to first say, "EM Wave Change, (Name), On The Air!"
- Lampshaded by Omega-Xis in the third game when Geo attempts to Wave Change and fails to before being registered with project Trans Code.
Geo: Man, that's so embarrassing! I even yelled and everything!
Omega-Xis: That's strange, yelling makes everything work!
- The asari of Mass Effect always say, "Open your mind, embrace eternity!" before using their mind-melding powers. It's just a religious thing.
- Done with the "Gun del Sol" from the Boktai series. Django charges it by raising the gun sky-ward and shouting "TAIYOH!!"
- The Gun del Sol also appears in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, where it is given the less Spanglish name of "Solar Gun" and Snake now charges it by yelling "sunlight!" instead of "taiyō" (unless you're playing the Japanese version, in that case he will still yell "taiyō").
- In Flower, Sun and Rain, Sumio Mondo has a computer named KATHARINE (Catherine in the English), which he activates with a variety of code phrases. Here is the first one:
Sumio: A mystery is concealed within this man! An endless journey — The prey protects its soul — While the hunter hunts the truth. A requiem solely sung for the search! Truth is singular. It's time to go to work, Catherine! The search culminates here!
- The girls in Arcana Heart all call their Arcana with such a phrase. The biggest standout being Kira's "don't ask why, just give me your powers."
- Super Monkey Ball 2 and it's quite bizarre story mode where the heroes had to chant a song before they could go rolling around a level. According to the subtitles, the song had lyrics, but it all sounded like "Uki uki uki-ki-ki!"
- Combined with a Badass Creed in Princess Waltz: A sword in my hand. A vow on my finger. I am clad in white. I will become a contestant in the Waltz.
- In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift when Ragna or Terumi activates his Azure Grimoire (thus turning into his Unlimited form) he shouts "Restriction 666 released! Dimensional interface force field deployed. Code S.O.L. Blazblue activate!"
- Similarly, when activating his Blood Kain buff normally in battle, Ragna tends to shout either "Blood Kain!" or "Unleashing Armagus!" or "Idea Engine linked!"
- Persona4 has you calling out for your Persona, then hitting a card.
- Persona3 would also have you calling out for your Persona before shooting yourself with an Evoker. However, it is clear that this isn't necessary since it only happens occasionally. (On a side note, there is no silenced status in 3 anyway.)
- Heather's Princess Heart transformation in Silent Hill 3: "Henshin!... Sexy Beam shubatsu!"
- In Wonder Momo, when Momo transforms she says the standard "Henshin!".
- Activating Fury Form in Fairy Fencer F requires yelling out "Fairize!", and the tutorial has this exchange:
- In The Wonderful 101, a game themed off the tokutatsu genre, all the Wonderful Ones (or at least the main ones) use "Wonder-eyes, (codename)!" when they transform.
- Spoofed on Homestar Runner with the Strong Bad E-mail "lunch special", in which Strong Bad thinks that getting Bubs to say his name backwards without the first B (in other words, "sbu") will make him give away a free lunch special. Eventually, Bubs says it, and reveals that it doesn't make him give away a free lunch special but rather makes him lose his ability to fly (though he could really only hover a few inches above the ground anyway).
Bubs: Why are you trying to get me to say Sbu?
Strong Bad: THERE! You said it! Now you gotta give me a free lunch special!
Bubs: No, no, no. Getting me to say my name backwards minus the B just makes me lose my super power!
Strong Bad: What super power?
Bubs: Being able to fly.
Strong Bad: You can fly!?
Bubs: Well... not anymore, I can't.
Strong Bad: Oh, right.
"Shapeshift unto... a Sumatran tiger!" *DWAYNE!*
- The email "shapeshifting" pokes fun at this, with Strong Bad imagining himself gaining the ability to shapeshift and, in addition to having to put up with pointless rules and restrictions, having to activate the power out loud:
- Dresden Codak has the Tokamak twins, not related to the Wonder Twins, and SCIENCE.
Alina: Probability distribution of... electron cloud!
Dmitri: Density with mass reaching boundaries of... the Chandrasekhar limit!
- In Cheer, Jo tries to activate the mysterious (and thus far useless) wand she's found via Grayskull phrases, similar to Peter Parker trying to use his weblines in the first Spider-Man movie. She even starts to try the original, but doesn't get to finish.
- Parodied in Tales of Mynarski Forest; when the delusional Heywood raises his "magic sword" to the sky with a call of "By the Powers of Numbskull!" he gets struck by lightning with predictable results.
- The Ignition Weapons from Tower of God unleash their powers by a very short version of this trope, e.g.: "Narumada, Ignite!" Getting them to listen to you is often a much more complicated matter.
- Played with in one El Goonish Shive filler comic: Ellen, having nicknamed her boobs "The Wonder Twins", yells "Wonder Twin powers... ACTIVATE!"
Ellen: Damn. I was hoping they'd get bigger.
Grace: Are you wearing a towel as a cape?
- In Sluggy Freelance, Zoe's transformation powers are enacted by the words "shupid" and "kwi". However, this works whether said by her or somebody else. (Kind of has to, since her alternate form is that of a camel... which can't talk.)
- In WCI High, plain-looking Blossom Pearl transforms into sexy Awesome Girl by using her magic word, which is actually "MAGIC WORD", an acronym which stands for "Mighty Awesome Girl I Call, With Outstanding Rackage, Doll!"
- Pv P featured a comic about the minor random character Lolbat, who is shown to be a child who activates the power of ancient memes with the phrase, "It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time!"
- XKCD: CAREBEARSTARE!
- At one point in Bad Guy High, one of the kids got a He-Man-esque suit and a bunch of powers from some magic hermit. To call his powers, he had to call the hermit's name note and a lightning would strike him, changing him. Saying it again restored his form, so he made that mistake a couple times. And once when SuperDan was holding him down on the ground, he recited the word a couple times so the lightning would strike Dan instead.
- In Emergency Exit, Karl Tameron activates his couch robot by saying the phrase, "I sing the body electric," the beginning of a Walt Whitman poem. While this is not an example, it happens that later that same phrase not only transforms his couch but also seems to give him some manner of super powered electronics control, which satisfies the criteria. Fridge logic dictates that it's possible that he would have gained the super powers if he had a face the first time he said it and didn't need to use the speaking program from the portal bracelet, as he did not say the words himself that time.
- Sinfest remembers the grayskull. Being performed Seymour, this didn't work well.
- In Parallax, Raiments are activated by a "Key", which is essentially this trope. Unfortunately, since most Raiment users have absolutely no idea how to use the Raiment, their Key is usually some random word like "What?"
- Paranormal Mystery Squad lampshades this - Charlotte’s spells are accompanied by assorted random pop-culture references, but neither she nor anyone else can explain which, or why..
- In Magical Girl Policy, each member of the Spirit Guard have a phrase that they need to say in order to transform into their super-powered personas.
- Possibly in a reference to Power Rangers, the Dimensional Guardians from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes must shout "Dimensional Guardians, power up!" to activate their Guardian powers.
- Whateley Universe: When Action Girl Chaka gets a set of magical gloves that - once invoked - let her make four extra-hard punches, she has to choose the invocation phrase. Being a wacky teenager in a superhero world, she chose "It's clobberin' time!".
- Atop the Fourth Wall: "INTERNET REVIEWER!"
- Super-speedster Jenny Thunder, a hero from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe activated her speed powers by yelling out the phrase "THUNDERBOLT POWER NOW!"
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) and She-Ra: Princess of Power doing this was mocked mercilessly by The Nostalgia Chick: "By the honor of pep-talks!"
- Equally mocked by The Nostalgia Critic in Return of the Nostalgic Commercials, which included a 1-900 number for He-Man (yes, really).
Fabulous stories about what I may or may not be wearing will be revealed to you when you hold aloft your mighty phone and say: "I got parents' permission." I HAVE PERMISSION!
- The Quest For Geekdom: "BY THE POWER OF GAYSKULL!"
- My Way Entertainment: "Black Power, motherfucker!" "Deep penetration!" "King Chili, motherfucker! Yeah~!" "Fried rice!" "Jose Canseco!" "Dragon shit!"
- Manatee Girl: The Movie has "Manatee Girl Planet Saving Powers Activate!"
- Masters of the Universe
- This trope takes its title from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), where that Catch-Phrase changed unassuming Prince Adam into his titular alter-ego. In The New Adventures of He-Man it was changed to "By the power of Eternia..." The much less known power-down phrase (used once each in the 1980s series and the 2000s series) is "Let the power return!"
- Ironically (since he's the Trope Namer), it's not just the phrase that transforms him, he needs to be holding his magic sword (which he pulls out of Hammerspace). At one episode where he ventures to Orko's planet, where everything seems to work backwards (e.g. Orko's magic works correctly, and Adam's flame-throwing wrist gun spits out water instead), he had to recite the whole phrase backwards to transform (he didn't transform when he said the phrase as normal early in the episode, then figured it out after some observing and analysis).
- She-Ra: Princess of Power: He-Man's Distaff Counterpart (and Separated at Birth twin sister), She-Ra, used a minor variant - "For the honor of Grayskull!" In an episode when Adora (She-Ra's alter-ego) is rendered unable to speak, she cannot transform and is powerless until she recovers her voice. In another episode she is also rendered unable to transform when the orb on her sword is cracked by a powerful beam attack from the Horde; fortunately, she gets it repaired after performing several difficult labors that test her resolve.
- Played With in Danny Phantom. The Title Character usually shouts out "Going Ghost", but it isn't necessary since he can transform without saying it.
- One time Vlad mocked him for it, and for a few episodes after that, Danny didn't say it at all.
- In the episode "Memory Blank," Danny, who has no memory to go by, screws it up. Sam's reaction is priceless.
- Transformers: Possible stretch, but when time permits, conversion to robot mode is accompanied by a transformer calling its own name, then saying, "Transform!"
- Beast Wars used this trope more extensively, with "Insert Name Here, Maximize!" for Maximals, "Insert Name Here, Terrorize!" for Predacons and "Beast Mode!" for reversing it. Later in Beast Wars, some had vehicular modes with specialized names (at least once, Rattrap called his "Knieval Mode"). In Beast Machines, it was implied that the voice command was required, but there were a fair number of times in the original when they didn't use the voice activation.
- In Beast Wars, Dinobot specifically changed his code whenever he switched sides.
- "I Am Transformed" for the Beast Machines Maximals (a plot point in the early episodes, as the characters needed to learn how to transform, as it had previously been handled by an onboard computer in them.) "I am transformed" was more of a mantra as they tried to enter the mental state needed to transform without their computers.
- Whereas the Vehicon Generals had their own personalized codes. "Thrust, overdrive!" "Jetstorm, afterburn!" "Tankor, pulverize!"
- Beast Wars used this trope more extensively, with "Insert Name Here, Maximize!" for Maximals, "Insert Name Here, Terrorize!" for Predacons and "Beast Mode!" for reversing it. Later in Beast Wars, some had vehicular modes with specialized names (at least once, Rattrap called his "Knieval Mode"). In Beast Machines, it was implied that the voice command was required, but there were a fair number of times in the original when they didn't use the voice activation.
- The Centurions had the activation phrase, "Power-X-Treme!" (or rather "pow-ER ext-REEM!") to beam down their weapons.
- Captain Planet and the Planeteers: "Let our powers combine! Earth!"
- "By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!"
- And when the good deed has been done: "The Power is Yours" to make the powers uncombine.
- It wasn't just necessary for the combination, either. To even use their powers individually, they first had to call out the name of their power. As Wheeler (of course) discovered, it counts if you say the word even if you don't mean it that way.
- Captain Planet's Evil Counterpart, Captain Pollution, is summoned the same way in the episode where Dr. Blight managed to create dark counterparts of the Planeteer's rings.
- "Let our polluting powers combine! Super Radiation!"
- "By your polluting powers combined, I am Captain Pollution!"
- SuperTed had the phrase "I'll just say my secret magic word...", which the teddy bear would then whisper, turning into SuperTed. The word itself was never revealed on-screen, and in fact a lot of people think "I'll just say my secret magic word..." was the magic word. However, in one episode Texas Pete's dim and not particularly villainous henchman Bulk overheard it and used it to turn into Super-Bulk. The same episode had SuperTed forget the word himself. This seemed to ignore the fact that Mother Nature hadn't ever given Bulk a magic potion to become super powered... that we know of.
- ThunderCats (1985) and its reboot Thunder Cats 2011 have several:
- Lion-O's Situational Sword, the Sword of Omens, requires him to say "Thunder! Thunder! Thunder! ThunderCats, Ho!" to cause the sword to lengthen from dagger to longsword length unlock its full combat potential and rally the troops to battle with a Bat Signal.
- Parodied in one episode where Jackalman stole the Sword of Omens. He holds it up and chants, "Plundar! Plundar! Plundar! Jackalman, Ho!" Nothing happens, but then he bursts into laughter.
- A simple "ThunderCats, Ho!" or "Ho!" is sometimes sufficient to fire a bolt, temporarily grow the sword, and activate a number of other context-sensitive powers. In the original, Lion-O did occasionally grow the sword without so much as a word.
- "Sword of Omens, give me Sight Beyond Sight!" allows Lion-O to use the sword's Psychic Powers. This particular example is parodied in the Family Guy movie, where Lion-o uses the sword to spy on Cheetara in the bathroom.
- In the original, when separated from it, Lion-O could say "Sword of Omens, come to my hand!" to get it back. This even worked over interstellar distances, but he didn't use it as often as he should have.
- A villainous example: Big Bad Mumm-Ra transforms into a One-Winged Angel form with the incantation "Ancient Spirits of Evil, transform this decayed form, into Mumm-Ra... the Ever-Living! Bwa ha ha ha HA!"
- In one particularly embarrassing original series moment that Mumm-Ra will never live down, Snarf of all people takes advantage of this catchphrase to become even more beefy than Mumm-Ra himself. Snarf chanted "Ancient Spirits of Evil, transform this canine form, into Snarf-Ra... the Ever-Living!" Clearly Mumm-Ra's transformation chamber could do with better security.
- Mumma-Ra's good counterpart Mumm-Rana uses "Ancient Spirits of Goodness, transform this gentle form to Mumm-Rana, the Ever Good."
- The sister series SilverHawks:
- It also has a villain with a transformation speech: "Moon Star of Limbo! Give me the might! The muscle! The menace! Of MON...STARR!!" In one episode where he transformed using a broken off chuck of the Moon Star, he replaced the first part of the chant with "Moonstone of Limbo!"
- On one occasion, the villains needed to charge a box with the energy in order to break Mon-Star out of jail. The Added Alliterative Appeal was changed from M to P ("Moon Star light. Enter this power pack. Give it the punch, the power, the potential, to free Mon-Star!").
- Winx Club: Before 4Kids edited it, Bloom says "Bloom Magic Winx!" some of the time before transforming, with the other fairies substituting their names instead. Around season 2, it got reduced to just "Magic Winx!" When the girls earned new outfits, 4Kids did have the girls saying "Go Enchantix!" for a while.
- Possibly similar to Inspector Gadget's "Go, Go, Gadget X!", a phrase that was used to activate the required gadget 80% of the time.
- Challenge of the Superfriends added Apache Chief and Samurai as token ethnic characters to their line-up. Apache Chief could grow to 50 feet tall by saying "Inekchok!", which the narrator once assured us was the Apache word for "giant man". Apache Chief's power was parodied by Family Guy. Saying "Inekchok" makes Quagmire's penis grow larger!
- Samurai could turn into a tornado by saying "Kaze no you ni hayaku!", or turn invisible by saying "Koya ningi!" To H-B's credit, Samurai was using genuine Japanese: "Kaze no yō ni hayaku" means "As swiftly as the wind", and "Tōmei ningen" means "Invisible man".
- The Wonder Twins had "Wonder Twin Powers, Activate!" as their starter phrase, although it also required a fist bump and then each twin would have to vocalize what they would become.
- Used by Freakazoid!, without even Lampshade Hanging it to any real degree. He has to say "Freak out!" to transform into Freakazoid, and "Freak in" to turn back into mild-mannered nerd Dexter Douglas. When Dexter says "freak out", he always precedes it with an extended "Ah" sound, like the chorus to the disco song "Le Freak" by CHIC.
- In Fred and Barney Meet the Thing, young Benjy Grimm would transform into The Thing by touching his magical rings together and saying "Thing Ring, Do Your Thing!"
- Played for laughs in DuckTales (1987), where Bungling Inventor Gyro Gearloose programs the Gizmoduck suit to be activated by the phrase "blatherskite", believing that nobody uses it. Little did he know that "blathering blatherskite" was mild-mannered accountant Fenton Crackshell's favorite expression and that he would transform into Gizmoduck for the first time purely by accident after uttering his own phrase (instead of just "blatherskite") standing too close to the suit. In another episode, Launchpad starts using the expression, leading to some Secret Identity close calls. And in a later episode, the suit somehow shrinks in the wash... and its activation word (somehow) becomes "blab".
- The power suit seems to be able to hear the phrase no matter how far away the speaker is. In one episode, Fenton is hundreds of miles away and needs the Gizmoduck suit. He says the phrase and it activates, and flies across the country to get to him.
- Not so much as it works that when Fenton is not within the suit's range, he calls it and says the word through the telephone. The reason that he had his mother use it the one time was because he forgot to turn on the suit's answering machine.
- As noted above, the actual phrase is only "blatherskite," chosen as the most obscure word in the English language. The blabbering part is just Fenton's expression, and he never realizes that he only needs to say the second half.
- Originally, when Gyro asked Scrooge what the password for activating the suit should be, Scrooge told him that "any nonsense word will do." So Gyro looked up synonyms for the word "nonsense" and chose "blatherskite".
- The power suit seems to be able to hear the phrase no matter how far away the speaker is. In one episode, Fenton is hundreds of miles away and needs the Gizmoduck suit. He says the phrase and it activates, and flies across the country to get to him.
- The spell that serves as a modifier for Raven's powers in Teen Titans is "Azarath Metrion Zinthos!"
- Lampshaded in the episode "Nevermore", when Dr. Light attacks her mid-spell and gives her the advice to "find shorter magic words".
- Similarly, an issue of Teen Titans Go! had the Titans' powers get juggled around, so Beast Boy ended up with Raven's magic and demonic taint. Her mantra doesn't work for him because he doesn't know what they mean, so she suggests he come up with something meaningful to him. He decides on "Tofu, Gamestation, Terra."
- The Battletoads cartoon pilot had the three teenage protagonists shout out "Let's get warty!" to transform into their toad counterparts. A pretty stupid catchphrase, but not half as bad as what many people thought they said: "Let's get horny!" (As in horny toads. Hopefully.) "Let's get normal" was used for the reverse transformation.
- Spoofed on The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, where in one episode, Grim uses the exact same speech as He-Man to teleport his magical scythe into his hands. He has never before, and never again does need to say those words to do that.
- Grim may have just been having fun. Despite his usually dour demeanor, episodes have repeatedly shown that under the death's hood lurks a big goofball.
- ReBoot has "ReBoot". Simple, eh?
- Along with a tap of their symbol, usually...
- Spoofed during Nullzilla, where the characters summon vehicles for a Combining Mecha with voice commands. Bob, Dot, and Enzo get the usual speech related to the vehicles, but Frisket barks for his and Mike has to say "Gnat, slightly annoyed, high pitched buzzing force".
- M.A.S.K.: Both MASK and their VENOM counterparts call out "[name of mask], on!" to activate their masks' special powers.
- The short-lived The Avengers: United They Stand cartoon based on the Marvel comic book of the same name had Ant-Man screaming Avengers Assemble!! followed by the transformation sequence of 3/4 of the team putting on powered armor. Scarlet Witch, Tigra and The Vision didn't wear any, being mutants and a robot respectively, so they were left out of the transformation sequence.
- The Merchandise-Driven show King Arthur & the Knights of Justice had Arthur and his Knights activate their magical armor by putting their fists on the Round Table and reciting their oath:
Arthur: I am King Arthur.
Knights: And we are the Knights of Justice. We pledge fairness to all, to protect the weak and vanquish the evil!
- Miraculous Ladybug:
- Marinette transforms into Ladybug by saying "Spots on!" to activate her Miraculous. Similarly, Adrien becomes Cat Noir by saying "Claws out!" The French version has them instead say "[Kwami's name]! Transformez-moi!"note , while the Korean version has them call "Henshin! Ladybug!" and "Henshin! Black Cat!"
- Also Hawk Moth. In English, his phrase is "Dark wings, rise!"
- Sixth Ranger Rena Rouge says “Trixx, Let’s Pounce!”
- In Jem, a rare western Magic Idol Singer series, Jerrica "transforms" into Jem by touching her earrings and whispering, "Showtime, Synergy!" The earrings enable her to communicate with the advanced computer system called Synergy, and "Showtime" is the code to tell Synergy to project the computerized hologram which change Jerrica's appearance into that of Jem. Other holograms are available with more explicit commands. "Show's over, Synergy" is the counterpart "power down" phrase.
- The segment "Arabian Knights" from The Banana Splits has the sorcerer Bez the Beast transform into a different creature by proclaiming, "Size of a... (dog, elephant, cow, what-have-you)!"
- Teamo Supremo's transformation sequence, which has all three of the kids jumping with Brenda's skipping rope, is always triggered by Crandall saying, "Rope me, Brenda!" (obviously not in the way shown here, though one wonders if he ever wanted it that way).
- The 1990s toon, Mummies Alive! has the four titular mummies proclaim "With the strength of Ra!" before going through their transformation sequence.
- In Defenders of the Earth, the Phantom activates his super-strength by chanting "By jungle law, the Ghost Who Walks calls forth the power of ten tigers." His transformation sequence then shows... varying numbers of tiger heads passing into his body.
- In W.I.T.C.H., the team transforms when leader Will holds up the Heart of Kandrakar and calls out "Guardians Unite!", then each girl calling out their element (Water! Fire! Earth! Air!). Will, being the one bestowed with "What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?" goes through three different phases throughout the two seasons: in Season One, she was first up and just GRUNTED; the first half of Season 2, the grunt was replaced with "With Heart!"; when she FINALLY gained her element in the second half of Season 2, she's shunted to the end, but says "Quintessence!". It's also revealed that this goes the same for ALL Guardians, as Nerissa and the members of C.H.Y.K.N. say this when they transform with the Seal of Nerissa.
- "Guardians Unite" was an invention of the animated series, as the comics only had the girls naming their powers (except for Will). Also, in most other countries, the translation of the phrase is a simple straight translation. The most notable (if not only) exception is the French dub, which uses "Cristallisation" instead (even though the show was animated in France).
- And in the comics, after "New Powers" the four girls call their element, then Will call "The power to unite them". Could be a problem if she had to do an individual transformation.
- Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders has "By the magic of the (X) Stone". Which however does not apply to Kale and her Dark Stone... maybe an Evil Laugh does the job?
- The Secret Scouts in Dinosaucers would make use of their Rings of Power by saying, "Secret Scouts ring, power up!"
- Zigzagged in Green Lantern: The Animated Series with the character of Razer (a Canon Foreigner to the Green Lantern franchise). Originally a Red Lantern, his power-up phrase was the same as his fellow Red Lanterns: With blood and rage of crimson red / We fill mens' souls with darkest dread / And twist your minds to pain and hate / We'll burn you all - that is your fate!. After starting his Heel–Face Turn, however, another character provided him with an alternate phrase that would better reflect his new good guy status but still have the correct cadence to activate his ring and powers: The power of the crimson red / Can lead your soul away from dread / And heal the deepest wounds of hate / Let no one else decide your fate. Unfortunately, it was later revealed that this new phrase did not work for him, and he was forced to continue using his original phrase.
- The Iron Man cartoon of the 1990s had this. When Tony needed the armor he was currently wearing to be something else, he'd call the other armor by name, and his chassis would simply change accordingly. This was a way to integrate the vast variations of Iron Man armor from the comics.
- Shazam: Captain Marvel can apparently weaponise his transformation sequence, if his appearance in Justice League is anything to go by. While battling Superman, he caught Supes in a Bear Hug, called out his transformation phrase, and the bolt of lightning that would normally have transformed him back into Billy Batson instead struck Supes for damage.
- In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, he would kill Starro, the season's Big Bad, by this manner, getting under him and saying "Shazam" repeatedly and letting the lightning do the rest. However, the Faceless Hunter, Starro's herald, would use the stolen powers of the captured Bwana Beast to fuse Starro's body and its smaller star creatures into a massive conglomerate that he controlled, and that couldn't be stopped so easily.
- This is an adaptation of a tactic used at least twice in the Silver Age DC comics. After Dr. Sivana resurrected Black Adam, the latter villain was fighting with Captain Marvel and called down the magic lightning, but used his super-speed to dodge it so that it hit Cap, transforming him into Billy. Later, in a JLA/JSA crossover, Superman had been driven into a murderous rage by red kryptonite, so Cap taunted him into attacking. Just before the two heroes collided, Cap said the secret word and the magic lightning struck, not only transforming him into Billy, but also clearing Superman's head — just as well, because Billy was falling out of the sky!
- Later adapted to Kingdom Come, where Captain Marvel used this tactic against Superman ( Billy/Cap was Brainwashed and Crazy), also using super-speed to dodge the lightning and make it hurt Superman. The combat in Justice League Unlimited animated series mentioned above is more likely a Mythology Gag to this KC one, which, in turn, is a mythology gag to the Silver Age ones.
- Captain Marvel then gets to use this stunt in his Dying Moment of Awesome, sacrificing himself by using the lightning to detonate a bomb in mid-air and prevent it from reaching its intended ground zero.
- Double Dragon has "For might!" "For right!" "We are Double Dragon!"
- In American Dragon: Jake Long, the title character uses the phrase "Dragon up!" to change from human to dragon. He can also turn individual parts of his body to those of his dragon form by saying "[Body part] of the dragon," which prove useful for temporarily enhancing his hearing and vision.
- This is one of the two ways to turn into SheZow, the owner of SheZow's Glamazon Power Ring must say "You Go, Girl!". To change back, the ring owner must say "She-Yeah!"
- In-Name-Only example in SpongeBob SquarePants, in the episode "Karate Choppers", the talking drop of Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce says "By the powers of naughtiness!"
- In The Adventures of the American Rabbit, while Rob (AKA: the American Rabbit) doesn't have a phrase for transforming into the American Rabbit, he does have a phrase for transforming back into Rob: saying his own name.
- In LoliRock, the princesses must call out their names and the names of their country (as "[Name], Princess of [Country]!" to transform into their Magical Outfits.
- Parodied in the Fanboy and Chum Chum episode "The Sword In The Throne", when Fanboy holds up the Plunger of Power and yells, "By the power of grade school!" in an almost shot-by-shot reference to He-Man.
- In the Looney Toons short "Transylvania 6-5000", Count Bloodcount could change between his bat and vampire forms by saying "Hocus Pocus!" and "Abracadabra!". Bugs Bunny uses this against him, first by mangling the transformation phases ("Hocus-Cadabra!" and "Abraca-Pocus"), then using Inherently Funny Words ("Newport News" and "Walla-Walla, Washington!")
- The incantation needed to activate the Amulet's power in Trollhunters. Occasionally, though not often, shortened or omitted altogether.
—For the glory of Merlin, Daylight is mine to command!
- Max Steel (2013): To change Turbo modes, the titular hero Max shouts "Go Turbo" along with the mode he wants to change to ("Go Turbo Strength", "Go Turbo Flight" etc.)
- In the first two episodes of the Garbage Pail Kids Cartoon, Trash Can Ken was able to transform Split Kit, Patty Putty, Elliot Mess, Clogged Duane, and Terri Cloth into their Garbage Pail forms by saying "Trash out!"