A non-human character in a series, often an animal, is turned into a human. The major difference between this and a Pinocchio figure wanting To Become Human is that the transformed character usually doesn't want to be human. Such changes are, more often than not, involuntarily forced upon them, like the inverse of a Baleful Polymorph.
Sometimes, immediately after such tranformation follows a Humans Through Alien Eyes sequence as the newly transformed inspects their new, strange pink extremities with five wriggling tentacles, the strange growth infecting the very top of their body and the bizarre inability to see in ultraviolet.
Once experiencing what it's like, the creature often can't wait to turn back to normal. The most common version of this trope will involve cats, due to the sly assumption that cats already think they're the best creatures, and also... well, you know. This can also be a Cool and Unusual Punishment for supernatural beings, as the loss of their powers forces them to be Brought Down to Normal. If the character is a nonhuman who hates the human race this may be a Karmic Transformation as they discover Being Human Sucks.
If the change is voluntary, the character only occasionally puts up with it for the sake of convenience. Very often, they are simply sobad atacting human that it's better for everyone that they aren't.
Sometimes the character flips between both, and has no specific problems with it, but does it selectively because it makes other characters feel more comfortable. This trope preferentially happens to the Non-Human Sidekick, where it can't be permanent because it might disrupt the premise of the character.
Naturally, the mascot-dominated demographics of shonen and shoujo will result in the transformation into a character who is incredibly adorable or attractive, providing eye candy for the audience while not invoking romantic notions in the established cast.
See also A Form You Are Comfortable With. Contrast Animorphism, which is kind of the opposite (humans turn into non-humans). May result in Alien Among Us or a Shapeshifting Lover. Contrast Humanity Is Infectious, where it's the human mindset that is catchy.
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Anime and Manga
Played with in Bleach, where Yoruichi first appears as a snarky, deep-voiced cat, but is later revealed to be a hot, dark-skinned woman.
In one episode of Keroro Gunsou, Kururu invents a device that turns animals into humans, and the Keronians take a trip to the zoo to find recruits for their forces. Despite their best efforts, they don't find any animals who are either able or willing to act as soldiers.
Tony Tony Chopper of One Piece is a textbook example of the mascot variant. He got this way from eating the Human Human fruit, and unlike most examples of this trope, prefers to stay in his hybrid form.
Well, what do you expect? He's a doctor. And he's become less of a textbook example after the Time Skip; now he doesn't mind being called a monster.
Hippo in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch is a penguin that, when he has been living on the surface long enough, attains an alternate form of a cute little boy. Oddly enough, he finds his human form ugly and his penguin form attractive. Additionally, the Dark Lovers are actually sea animals turned into humans. Same with the Black Beauty Sisters, who become kemonomimi instead.
Ryo-ohki gets one of these in the Tenchi Muyo! OVA series. This leaves her with four forms: cute cuddly critter, little kid, sexy teen/adult, and Cool Ship. She's usually shown in either critter or little kid forms. For the record, she started with just the battleship, and was given the cute critter form on her rebirth.
Subversion in Ranma 1/2: most animals don't care much about being turned into humans (or even other animals, for that matter.) The creatures conquered and captured by the Musk Dynasty, however, are justified in their hostility by virtue of being naturally aggressive, powerful beasts that take issue with being domesticated in the first place; the rage they express after being dunked in the Spring of Drowned Girl and locked in the form of women comes less from the shock of being human than from simply wanting to rip their captors a new one.
Katy the cat in The Fantastic Adventures of Unico wants to be a witch, so the kind-hearted little unicorn transforms her into a human girl (complete with cute outfit!). Katy doesn't believe Unico transformed her, so he returns her to her original form and refuses to make her human again because she's selfish (well, she is a cat). After Katy saves the life of the old woman she thought was a witch, Unico changes her back into a human.
Similarly, Kukuru the Big Bad of Unico and the Magic Island is a simple puppet who willed himself to life through sheer anger and hatred (and sunlight) to avenge his abandonment by humans.
The title character of Princess Tutu is a duck who is granted the power to transform into a human, and then again into a Magical Girl. Her name in Japanese is, in fact, Duck (Ahiru), and she regains her duck form whenever she accidentally lets slip a quack.
One chapter of Urusei Yatsura has a bat working for a loser vampire, and recruits Ataru to find a fair maiden for the vampire to bite (or alternatively just a decent amount of blood from a maiden). Payment for services is a kiss from a pretty girl, but since the bat doesn't know any girls (he hired Ataru for this), it secretly turns itself into a hot babe... and is thoroughly creeped out by her reflection. She struggles to give Ataru a very brief peck, then flees in abject nausea, and is later seen (in bat form) furiously gargling and brushing his teeth.
Luna the cat is shown capable of attaining a human form in every permutation of the franchise. In The Ninetiesanime, she turns into an adult human briefly in the S Movie, which was based on an arc in the manga where she also attained human form. In the manga, she does so more than once, as do her fellow cats Artemis (her lover) and Diana (their child).
In the manga only, Rei's crows, Phobos and Deimos, briefly become humans in order to grant Rei the Mars Crystal during the Dead Moon Circus arc. They're later revealed to be denizens of the planet Coronis, where Sailor Lead Crow also hails from. Just in time for them to both get killed by her.
CubeŚCursedŚCurious provides an unusual variant, in that the ones gaining human forms are inanimate objects. Still, the idea is the same.
In Kanon, Makoto is an updated version of the Japanese kitsune fox-woman, a fox who takes female human form to seduce a man.
Inverted in Digimon Frontier; one of the main themes is of the human children coming to terms with their new identities as digimon. For example, this theme becomes apparent in one episode in which Duskmon inflicts a Lotus-Eater Machine on Takuya, sending him back to the human world, on the day he left for the digital world, in the form of a childlike digimon. Due to this, Takuya starts to realise that he's no longer completely human.
Also the entire premise of Hataraku Maou-sama!, where the Devil, his loyal underling, and his sworn enemy are transported to modern Japan, lose their powers, and become broke young adults working as minimum-wage employees.
"Are these...human hands?"
In Suite Pretty Cure ♪, Seiren had the ability to shapeshift into anything she wanted to, usually as a human to better deal with Hibiki and Kanade. However, when a combination of being brainwashed and Hummy's devotion to her caused her to be conflicted with her emotions and attempt to save Hummy, the collar that allowed her to shapeshift was destroyed as she became human... and Cure Beat. She's quick to accept she can't change back, but it takes her longer to accept people accepting her.
In the Marvel Universe, the Heroes for Hire incarnation of the White Tiger was an actual tiger, transformed into a human being. She eventually chose to be changed back into a tiger as being a human was too confusing for her.
Happens quite frequently in Fables, mostly because Fables who are nonhuman (or at least don't look human enough) are forced to live in a secluded area called the Farm where they can't leave. As a result, Fables try to save up to buy a glamour spell to give them human appearances. Snow White helps give Bigby the ability to turn into a human with a lycanthropy-stained knife. There is also the case of Colonel Thunderfoot, a rabbit who is turned into a human by the angry mother of a rabbit who dies after Thunderfoot leads the troops into an unwinnable battle. She tells him he can only change back from this "hideous form" if he can find a female rabbit that loves him regardless. By the end of the chapter, his chances look rather bleak.
A variant happens in Archie Sonic the Hedgehog, when Princess Sally's AI sidekick constructs herself a holographic mobian body after experiencing it first hand during a "Freaky Friday" Flip.
An issue of Sonic the Comic has an issue where Sonic is a human◊. As the issue goes, Sonic wakes up one day in a strange bedroom as a human. As he wanders around the house he meets a woman who says he's mother and makes him believe that Mobius and Sonic the Hedgehog were All Just a Dream. As it turns out though, it's just a trap by Robotnik.
Take ANY canon that has a non-human character. Guaranteed, there is fanfic where a machine/magic turns them into a human. Usually a very hot one, at that. This is done for the express purpose of the non-human character being able to connect on a more "human" (No Pun Intended) level with their human companion as they feel that they can't properly convey their feelings as a non-human. Shippers LOVE this, though it has its platonic uses.
For a long while, this happened so often in 9 fandom that the beginnings of a backlash were starting to brew. Fortunately, it seems that nothing too terrible came of it, as there was never any massive, public clash. It was more or less resolved when many artists/writers began more clearly marking their human form work as such.
The Incredibles: Rise of the Galeforces gives us a variant on this concept, with a little help from Genetic Memory. While it helps explain why the cloned Supers can access memories of their past lives, it also applies to non-human creatures as well. Thus, if a non-human creature, such as a Pteranodon in Adam's case, is cloned such that the copy has a predominantly human form, the copy would thus feel as though he were actually transformed into a human being.
In the Death Note fic Constant Temptation Ryuk is caught and punished for interfering in human affairs and being turned into a human is his punishment. Ryuk decides it's totally worth it when Watari shows him how to make apple pie.
Lyra Heartstrings of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Anthropology is convinced that humans are more than just a fairy tale, and desperately wishes to know more about them, how they lived, etc. She goes so far as to change her hooves into hands, and it is eventually revealed that she was Human All Along, her obsession stemming from her previous life as a human. She's turned back into a human, and is sent to Earth.
A Twilight Landing does something similar to the Anthropology example above, this time with Twilight Sparkle as a pony turned into a human after being zapped to Earth. It takes getting used to walking, and she has to be reminded several times not to walk around naked. She's also curious about humans, but not to the point of obsession like Lyra above.
The female writers of the Portal fandom have an affinity for turning Wheatley human, usually so some sort of physical contact can take place between him and a Mary Sue (but more frequently Chell acting as little more than a Mary Sue). In the more lemony explorations of this, Wheatley tends to find himself having new feelings or even "discovering the joys of the human body" if you catch my drift. There's usually a reference to The Itch during these sequences, as that plot point has been repeatedly (mis?)interpreted as a sexual innuendo. The most famous example of the Wheatley Turns Human narrative is Blue Sky, which also showcases the popular trope of Wheatley's human form being based off of the voice actor, Stephen Merchant.
Trixie's botched spell turns Twilight into a human in Diaries of a Madman. Once the spell is reversed, a few others occasionally make use of the human form.
Films — Animated
Every human-appearing character in Spirited Away, except Chihiro and her parents. If some of them look human-like, it's only because it's a matter of convenience. This, of course, make sense, since Japanese folklore is rife with this.
The shape-changing foxes and tanuki of Pom Poko do their best to blend in with humanity after they lose their fight to save their forests. Some even become real-estate developers themselves.
In Shrek 2, Shrek gets turned into a human after drinking a potion. It's also revealed that Harold, Fiona's father, got turned into a human from a toad by the Fairy Godmother.
Cinderella had the Fairy Godmother turn both Major the horse and Bruno the bloodhound into humans to serve as the drivers for Cinderella's pumpkin coach (since the role of the horses have been taken by the mice).
Disney's direct-to-video Cinderella II Dreams Come True had a sequence in which the mouse Jacques was turned into a human so he could be more helpful to Cindy.
In City of Angels, angels can choose to become human...but they have to commit angel suicide to do it. Nathaniel Messenger (Dennis Franz' character) did so before the beginning of the movie and Nic Cage's character does it near the end.
The vampire film, Daybreakers has two interesting examples. In a vampire-ruled world, human blood is running out. In their search for a cure to vampirism, the remaining human rebels find out that rapid exposure to sunlight, usually lethal, followed by immersion in water, can revert a vampire to human form. The cure is impractical to use on the billions of vampires, but they discover that drinking cured blood cures the feeder. This creates a sort of positive virus effect, the starved vampires feeding on cured people, getting cured, then being fed on themselves, curing more people.
Two instances with The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. First, the aliens transform themselves into humans, and have newfound experiences with human emotions. Next, the other scientist merges four animals into one human - who can talk in English but still has animal behavior (such as table eating habits that the aliens copy.)
When Freddy is dragged into the real world in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, he becomes human again. He turns back into his standard form pretty quickly though, although he's still human even then.
This happens to Nanny Ogg's horrible cat, Greebo, from the Discworld novels. Normally, he's ugly and foul smelling, but when transformed into a human (in Witches Abroad and Maskerade), it is claimed that "His left eye glittered with the sins of angels, and his smile was the downfall of saints (female ones, anyway)". He has been described as looking evil in an interesting sort of way, like a pirate who really understands the term of 'Jolly Roger', or a romantic poet who gave up the opium and tried red meat. In fact the best brief descriptions are that:
He could swagger while asleep. Greebo could, in fact, commit sexual harassment while sitting very quietly in the next room.
Nanny: "He looks aristocratic."
Granny: "He looks like a beautiful, brainless bully."
This also falls in line with the Disc's general opinion of cats; Elegant, beautiful, brainless bastards.
In Witches Abroad, Granny's evil sister Lily also did this to a wolf, partially anthropomorphising it to fulfill the Big Bad Wolf role in a living fairytale. This is treated as a monstrous act, because predator minds having to think like a human drives them insane and makes it impossible to live as either a wolf or a human. In the end a woodcutter gets called in for a Mercy Kill. (This doesn't apply with Greebo because cats have enough poise to pull anything off).
Inverted and later defied by the Librarian, who was a human to begin with, and has carefully destroyed all evidence of who he was so no-one will get the bright idea of trying to change him back.
In the book The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, the unicorn is turned into a human for about a third of the story to protect her from the Red Bull that had hunted down all the other unicorns. She is horrified at first, mostly because the transformation makes her mortal, something she's never experienced before. However, the longer she remains transformed the more human she becomes and the more she loses her own identity, until eventually she wishes to stay human and spend what short life span she has as a human with her human true love. The end of the story leaves her quite melancholic, a unicorn once more, but not as pure and aloof from humans as her kind is, since she has experienced human emotion.
This trope is the entire point of the novel Shoebag, in which a cockroach finds himself transformed into a human and wants to transform back.
In Kockroach, a cockroach inexplicably turns into a human being. Rather than trying to find a way back, he makes good on his predicament, taking advantage of everything that comes his way and thriving, because despite his new body he's still a cockroach.
In the Tom Holt book Snow White and the Seven Samurai, the big bad wolf is turned into a handsome prince (by way of a frog), and isn't very happy about it.
In Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger, turtle wizard Clothahump coerces Mudge the otter into assisting Jontom by threatening to transform Mudge into a human if he refuses. In Paths of the Perambulator, in the same series, Jontom's animal companions are all unwillingly transformed into humans by a surge of wild magic, and he has to play Rick Springfield's Human Touch backwards to change them back.
In his other boot Kingdoms of Light the familiars of a fallen wizard are transformed into humans and forced to cross a weird dimension that represents the land of light (in the form of a huge rainbow) in order to bring back the power of light to a now darkly colored world. Needless to say with a snake, two cats, a dog, and a bird all turned human with a sudden realization of human feelings and emotions things get a little...odd.
Animorphs: There are two examples of animals gaining morphing power from touching the morphing cube. One, an otherwise incredibly dangerous Cape Buffalo, nearly achieves sapience but then gets killed off. The other is an ant that partially morphs into Cassie.
It screams as it loses its mind and its connection to the colony. One of the most terrifying scenes in a series packed with horror and Paranoia Fuel
Ax counts too. He morphs human and then is really bad at it-he plays with his 'mouth sounds' and goes berserk around food, and he hates morphing human most of the time, always saying humans are unstable on two legs.
The dragons in Dragons in Our Midst. Though technically voluntary, there was pretty much no other option they could take, and most if not all of them certainly would have rather stayed dragons.
Treasure in the Heart of the Tanglewood has one of the few true subversions of this trope. Year after year, one Knight in Shining Armor after another rides into the Tanglewood to fight the monster within, and year after year, they never come out again. The beast within turns each knight into an animal, then kills them, and tells the protagonist that these were the true forms of the knights, which they had been shifted out of for use as Cannon Fodder. The subversion is that he lied, and shapeshifted beings in this setting don'tdie as themselves. The knights were human all along.
In On A Pale Horse, to grant a client's last request for a good story, Death tells a story about a whale who gets transformed into a woman. She falls in love with a man, but gets disgusted when she finds out he's a whaler. Her lover tries to explain that whale meat is the village's main source of food, but she dumps him and returns to the sea. However, she eventually meets a whale who is really a transformed squid. He is trying to investigate why whales hunt his kind. She tries to explain that squid are the whale's main source of food, then realizes that humans and whales are Not So Different. She returns to human form, reconciles with her lover, and they get married, presumably Happily Ever After.
The titular character of the Dutch children's novel Minoes by Annie M. G. Schmidt. She was a cat, and one day she woke up as a lady.
Bulgakov likes to play with it, usually for ironical purposes, like in "Heart of a Dog".
In one of the Goosebumps books, a bee's mind is accidentally swapped into the body of a human boy. The bee does not seem very comfortable in a human body—it continually makes buzzing noises and attempts (unsuccessfully) to eat nectar from flowers.
In the first Keys to the Kingdom book, it is mentioned that being made mortal is one of the punishments for disobedient Denizens.
Tales of Kolmar's got the king of the Kantri, Akhor, become human at the end of Song In The Silence. As the one Kantri most fascinated by humans - he actually used to try to walk on two legs like them, but it hurt too much - he's initially very happy about it, enjoying the stronger sense of touch and the much more dexterous hands. There's a point in The Lesser Kindred where he realizes he can't fly, and later when it really sinks in that who he was is gone, which are both marked with grief and sorrow. It's very mixed. But it does mean he can be with his beloved. In Redeeming The Lost he becomes a Kantri again and mourns his human shape.
One of Harry Dresden's allies in Fool Moon, Tera West, is revealed to be a wolfwere, a wolf who can take the form of a human. After the death of her lover, she goes back to the mountains to live with her pack.
Happens twice in the Tortall Universe. In the Trickster duology, it's established that crows can turn into humans if they want, but only one character becomes human permanently. In The Immortals quartet, Numair tells Daine that because he turned an enemy mage into a tree, a tree somewhere has been turned into a human. This led to a lot of fanmail asking what happened to the tree, so the author finally wrote a short story on the tree.
Aesop'sThe Cat-Maiden has a cat transfigured into a woman to settle a bet between Jupiter and Venus. Jupiter thinks that instinct and nature can be transcended and Venus says that "nature will out." They turn the mouse into a woman and give her to a man to wed. Jupiter thinks the bet is won until Venus releases a mouse into the wedding hall and the maiden pounces on it, revealing her true nature.
In his collection of Aesop retellings, Aesopus Emendatus, Ambrose Bierce subverts this by having her react like a woman— in such an over-the-top Eek, a Mouse!! way that her potential suitor is irritated.
This happens at the end of several Dinoverse books. The first time, three Pachycephalosaurs briefly possess three human boys and jump around before being sent back home. The second time, in Please Don't Eat The Teacher the fifty-foot Acrocanthosaurus called Green Knight is killed and ends up Sharing a Body with Will Reilly, which appears to be permanent. He's content, though, since he can be with Patience like this. The third time, in Dinosaurs Ate My Homework, the intelligent saurian Alternate Universe version of JD takes his body permanently and alone.
A rather neat example in Geoph Essex's Jackrabbit Messiah: Caleb O'Connor was involuntarily transformed into a human sometime in the past. Interesting in that: a) it happened long before the events of the book (and appears to be permanent); b) the character doesn't seem to mind much (aside from wondering who did it and why) and has adapted very well; and c) the book isn't primarily aboutthat character, so the reader never finds out how it happened either. Before the casual reveal, there are some subtle and not-so-subtle hints, including the character's Meaningful Name (both first and last!), and what Indra calls the character when they meet.
Illyria on Angel started out life as a routine Sealed Evil in a Can, escaping from her tomb in a sarcophagus and possessing the body of Winifred "Fred" Burkle, a series regular. Illyria, having shrank down from the 50-foot Cthulhu into a skinny (albeit indestructible) corpse, is forced to throw in her lot with Angel's crew, being stuck with a form which would serve as catnip to her demonic cohorts. Adding to her problems, remnants of Fred's brain patterns start affecting the creature's personality, causing it to unconscious reconstruct her host's old life — including bonding with Fred's grieving lover, Wesley. By the series finale, it's almost impossible to tell where Fred and and Illyria begins.
Black cat Luna of the live-action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon has the ability to turn into a human girl. Unlike prior incarnations in the franchise she turns into a small child, and even a Sailor Senshi. However, she still acts like a cat sometimes, and sneezing changes her back.
The Red Dwarf episode "DNA" had Kryten turn human, much to his surprise and pleasure — until he found out his spare parts (most notably his spare heads) hated him for it. Just take a look at the scene. And the photos were an example of Enforced Method Acting.
And his eyes no longer have a zoom mode. And his nipples no longer pull in radio signals.
And the whole last-chicken-in-the-shop look for certain body parts.
It was also a punishment for Q in one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Having less than a microsecond to decide, he chose to be human in the hopes that Picard and crew would protect him. Then spent most of the episode lamenting that he should have asked to be turned into anything else other than human.
Also, it was impossible to communicate with Species 8472 before they started taking on human form, and afterwards we never saw them in their tripedal, purple-skinned, cross-pupilled Supernatural Gold Eyes form again.
In the new Doctor Who, it seems to be a standard Time Lord power to be able to put their "Time Lord-ness" and memories into a watch fob and become biologically human.
The difference from most examples of this trope is that Time Lords, while transformed, have no real memory of their former selves. The Doctor, as a human, has strange dreams of his Time Lord life, and the Master hears drums, but they still don't doubt their humanity and seem perfectly content.
Also occurs in the episode "The Doctor's Wife", in which the TARDIS's soul is ripped out and stuffed into a human body.
Anya from Buffy is another example. Anya was originally a thousand-year-old vengeance demon who took human form to curse unfaithful men. Then in "The Wish" she loses her powers, and becomes human. She eventually resigns herself to being human. Her unfamiliarity with human social conventions (particularly not talking about sex in public) is a running gag/theme.
Or so it seems, at first; it actually turns out she originally was a human, born in Sweden during Viking times. And she was just as weird back then, while other vengeance demons like Halfryk don't seem to have any such foibles.
Also from Buffyverse, Darla, the first vampire seen in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is resurrected as a human complete with incurable disease that nearly killed her originally but with the full memory of having been a vampire intact. Later, she is turned into a vampire again, but suffers from bouts of human emotions when she becomes pregnant with Connor.
Used in Wizards of Waverly Place when Alex gets Justin to turn a couple of guinea pigs into humans for some information.
Samantha of Bewitched turned a horse into a woman just to understand what the horse wanted to say. The changeling was not happy with this: "I've got nothing to swat flies with!"
She did this in another episode as well, turning a cat into a woman to model for her husband's boss. In this case, though, the cat-turned-woman actually likes being human.
In Charmed, a snake, a rabbit, and a pig were turned into humans by a group of girls who wanted a date for a dance. The spell was temporary but the transformed men wanted to remain human permanently.
Castiel in the Supernatural episode "Two Minutes to Midnight". After his previous altercation with other angels in "Point of No Return", Castiel turns up in a hospital and finds that he has become pretty much human. He shows that there's just enough angel left inside him to resist Pestilence's powers.
As of the end of Season 8, not only has Castiel been subjected to this again, but so has every angel in Heaven, barring the one vengeful angel who forced them all to fall.
In the Old World of Darkness roleplaying game Werewolf: The Apocalypse, some of the werewolves originated as wolves. These, though as intelligent as the others, usually find shapeshifting less than pleasant and make use of it only for special purposes. Some factions, such as the human-hating (and all-wolf) Red Talons rarely take on human shapes at all.
This was also part of the backstory for the changelings of Changeling The Dreaming. With the encroachment of Banality and a severe decrease in all-around belief, the faeries who were unable to make it back to Arcadia bound their souls to human bodies. A changeling generally goes through a normal childhood until their fae soul goes through "Chrysalis," at which point they begin to perceive the world of the fae and start recalling information about their past lives.
In the reboot of the same game, Changeling: The Lost, those humans who were taken and turned into Beasts and Elementals have a hard time adjusting back to being human again. The Beasts have a hard time thinking non-instinctively after being animals for so long, and the Elementals have trouble relating to other people after spending so long as flames or trees.
And again with the old World of Darkness, in Demon The Fallen, demons who'd escaped from the Abyss had to take empty bodies (the brain-dead, the severely insane, and the recently dead) to remain on Earth. This actually grounded a lot of them and made them less demonic, seeing as they were experiencing human emotion and sensation for the first time after millennia in a featureless abyss.
Shadowrun has rules for playing a character who can shift between human and an animal form. The main drawback to such a character isn't the hefty investment of character generation resources, it's the fact that such characters are supposed to be played as animals that turn into people, not people that turn into animals, which makes justifying why they're hanging out with a bunch of gun bunnies in a smelly city sprawl rather than climbing trees a bit difficult.
More or less applies to a couple of NPCs from the Carnival supplement for Ravenloft. One is a former snake familiar of an evil wizard, whose master used to turn her into a sexy elf for "companionship"; gaining her freedom when she joined the Carnival, she now works as a snake-charmer/dancer. The other is either a leopard who turns into a man, or vice versa: he's not sure which.
In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past there is a hidden Easter egg. If you go into the northwestmost house in Kakariko village, there's a vase which has a Cucco (basically an in-universe chicken) hiding under it. Part way through the game you get the "Magic powder" item. If you sprinkle it on this Cucco then it turns into a woman and complains about the shift. The effect is reset when you leave the house.
The Cucco-turned-woman also gives a hint about the town's statue being not quite what it seems.
In Dark Cloud Xiao, Toan's pet cat, is turned into a catgirl once you give her a potion, and declares that she wants to help "Master" reassemble the Atlamilla, donning a slingshot and becoming your second party member.
It's implied that Nastasia from Super Paper Mario used to be a bat who became humanoid to repay Count Bleck for freeing her from a trap.
An interesting example from the Touhou Project: most fairies in Gensokyo are perfect mooks, lacking in personality but able to endlessly respawn if killed. Ice fairy Cirno, on the other hand, has quitea personality, and is several magnitudes more powerful than the average fairy. When she encounters Eiki Shiki, the yama conjectures that because Cirno's the strongest! so powerful and able to move around and cause trouble, she's coming closer to becoming a youkai and therefore mortal. The conversation goes completely over Cirno's head, of course...
Plus, of course, there are all the youkai that take the form of cute girls, but which originally came from animals and inanimate objects lasting a hundred years, per Japanese mythology.
Some of the beastmen in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn originated as animals and became more human-like after Alchemy was released, and will happily chat with the heroes about how weird it is to be walking on one's hind feet, wearing clothes, and eating cooked meat instead of raw.
A wolf in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is cursed with humanity by a gang of mischievous Sprites in a sidequest. He is pissed about the change — he can't hunt well without his fangs and claws, his own pack drove him off thinking he was just another human, humans think he's just a lunatic and forced him to wear pants. The Fateless One can help the unfortunate wolf by killing the sprites and undoing the curse.
Talazia from Weaponlordis revealed to have actually been a raven who was cursed into becoming a human seven years ago. She also gets Laser-Guided Amnesia, making her only remember her time as a human.
EDI in the Mass Effect series. She starts out as a body-less AI residing in the Normandy SR 2, and eventually she is referred to as the Normandy herself. In the third game, she gains a body, and with it, a new perspective on humanity that eventually causes her to refer to herself as alive.
This is precisely what happens to Imnity and Rico at the end of the final route in Duel Savior Destiny. Taiga just sorta strips them of their status as spirits and absorbs their power before going off to beat up God.
StarCraft II: Kerrigan is de-infested at the end of the Wings of Liberty campaign.
In Narbonic, Artie the superintelligent talking gerbil is temporarily turned into a human for a specific mission. The transmogrifier ray reacted with his modified DNA to cause him to spontaneously switch between human and gerbil forms. Eventually he learns to control the changes, but he still thinks of himself primarily as a gerbil. Also fits the trope by having moviestar-type good looks, and a voice to match.
Also, Caliban the demon renounces his demonic powers and becomes mortal. He looks mostly the same, except for having lost the wings and horns, but that's because even as a demon he appeared as a little blond guy with a British accent.
One story in Phil Foglio's XXXenophile involved a witch who had accidentally cast a lust spell on herself. She summoned her patron god, Cernunnos, to, ah, scratch her itch, but even the randy deity can't satisfy her. It turns out her (sentient) cat familiar accidentally dumped a spoonful of a love potion she was making for someone else into something she was drinking. The spell could only be broken by playing with whoever had given her the potion. So Cernunnos turns the cat into a human and had him join in, after which the witch's familiar became the witch's fiance. The cat enjoys being a man— but also thinks opposable thumbs are overrated and, after the witch declares her love for him, asks "Will you still feed me?"
All Ace characters in Pandect are animals that can turn human at will. Since humanity comes with a soul and a greatly extended lifespan, earning Ace is a great reward, albeit one with a lot of responsibility attached.
Myan from Cat Nine though she's more of a Cat Girl because the spell that allows her to transform was incomplete. She doesn't seem to mind though.
Red from Gunnerkrigg Court is a Regional Fairy who wants to become human, initially. The first time we see her post-metamorphosis, she's in a barely-contained rage over her new body and over the human classes she has to take.
Although, once she learns about haircuts, she is pretty enthusiastic about the misguided notion that you can chop bits off a human's body, and Annie and Kat have to forcibly restrain her from trying it herself.
The reverse also happens: humans can become animals through a similar process.
And most non-fairy girls get turned into male humans. Ouch. Not going to stop the horny bunny!
While Aylee from Sluggy Freelance has never become fully human, she has eventually adopted a form close enough that, with a little makeup and contact lenses she can reasonably pass herself off as one. She actually seems quite happy about the transformation (particularly having fingers delicate enough to do things like pick paperclips off a table), though some of her attempts to fit in with humanscan be a littlefrustrating.
In Kevin & Kell, the portal from Furth to Earth transforms animals into humans. Except Mrs. Aura and Nigel, who become dolphins. In Mrs Aura's Twitter feed, she became a human subsequently and the current retcon appears to be that dolphin-world is a seperate reality.
Francis Fennec, the son of a fennec fox and a human-turned-rabbit, spent the first year of his life as what could only be described as a hereditary mess of an unclassifiable animal. Later, though, he turned into a human. Lindesfarne's research revealed that because Danielle was originally a human, any children born to her would eventually turn human...as would her own, since she too came from the human world originally. Funny thing, though, Francis isn't that bothered about his humanity, since he's still a baby, but the uproar that ensued from the general population...
The Moreaus of the Global Guardians PBEM Universe are Uplifted Animals who were force-evolved into a near-human form. Regardless of their original species, their constant interaction with humanity over the decades have made them all very humanlike psychologically.
The "Prime" variety of Anthropomorphic Personifications active on Earth in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe (that is, those who are "pure ideas" rather than a normal human who has been merged with the "power of the idea") generally start out as pretty inhuman, psychologically speaking. They get more and more human the more they interact with people. Of course, there are exceptions.
Vanguard, which involves a planet where bugs are apparently the dominant species being struck by a strange meteor. A scout goes to investigate...
The end of Gaia Online's poorly-named "Demonbusters" event has the central demigod characters stripped of their powers and reduced to mortality. Subsequent events feature them trying to return to being deities, to no avail.
Lawof Talos has Karl, a animated statue turn into a human in the end due to A Wish to bring back every dead from the Tournament back to life (he was killed in the final round)........apparently the wish thought Animated Statue does not = Life. He is not pleased.
Puck himself counts, in a way; he created his human identity (Owen Burnett) and voluntarily lived in it for years (very well, too), but when he helps Xanatos and the gargoyles fight Oberon his punishment is being trapped in that form permanently, except when he needs to train or protect Alexander. Since he's Puck, he proves entirely capable of engineering loopholes for himself on occasion.
In The Transformers, the episode "Only Human" involves Springer, Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, and Arcee having their minds put into synthoid human forms by the villainous Victor Drath (with the help of the suspiciously familiar Old Snake). While they were "created" with white t-shirts and boxers, by strong coincidence they managed to find clothing that corresponded to their paint scheme hanging on four hooks inside an empty warehouse.
An earlier episode involves Seaspray falling in love with a human-like alien woman, resulting in his entering a magical pool in order to become a "human" man (however, he keeps his metal feet and his 'bubbly' voice"). The alien woman later uses the pool to become a robot.
Transformers Animated appears to pay tribute to this episode with the two-parter "Human Error", which starts with the Autobots partying it up on Christmas Eve and going to sleep/"stasis", and then Optimus Prime waking up and finding himself—and all the other Autobots—in human form. This turns out to be a Decepticon plot to demoralize them into changing sides. It doesn't work. They get to indulge their curiousity about food, Optimus appreciates humanity better after trying to manually drive the fire truck, and Prowl figures out the VR world and uses it to gain Matrix-like power to help them return to their robot forms.
Ben 10: Alien Force has Albedo, a Galvan (species of super-smart small aliens), being a victim of this: after he attempted to create his own Omnitrix and set it to match human protagonist Ben's one. The problem is, an Omnitrix has its owner's DNA as the default form, meaning he ends up turned into a clone of Ben. He was displeased to say the least.
"I am stuck in a stinky, sweaty, noisy, hungry, hairy, smelly teenage human body, constantly craving chili fries and scratching myself in places I suspect are inappropriate!"
Amusingly, from some perspective, this a rare case where being turned into a human shouldn't be that bad technically talking: after all, humans are taller and physically stronger than Galvans, and it has been shown several times that Albedo retained his Galvan intelligence. The problem is, Albedo has a huge ego and believes Humans Are Flawed, so he considers it as unbearable.
In the Conan The Adventurer episode "Bones of Damballa" Skulkar, an undead skeleton warrior servant of Wrath-Amon is transformed back into his original human form, and tricks Conan and Zula into helping him get his "other" form back.
In the The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "Night of the Living Grim", Grim contracts a magical disease called "Encroaching Doom Syndrome" that ends up turning him into a mortal human.