"Moved! The muscles tautening and relaxing, flex, extend, miraculous cells working their collective way to move great heavy bones and sacs of skin and organs, shift them balance them so delicately. The joy of it was too great. It erupted for her in — what was this convulsive spasming of her diaphragm? What was this gust of sound erupting from her throat? It was laughter. How long had she faked it with computer chips, simulated speech and laughter and never, never knew what it meant, how it felt. She never wanted to stop."People don't always keep the same number or shape of limbs during a story — that'd surely be boring. So sometimes, a character ends up getting completely new limbs, possibly of a type they've never used before. They can also just get a temporary extension to their body; either way, it's a chance for them to explore new sensations and abilities. This gives the creator a chance to show off their descriptive skills, explaining new things the character feels and how they're using their reshaped body. This page may contain spoilers if a character only gets new limbs or a different form at the end of the story. The body parts can have been changed through someone shapeshifting, getting Artificial Limbs, being cursed, or just randomly Sprouting Ears. On occasion, the person has a whole new body instead, which may or may not be used for hilarity if they're naked. When downplayed, this trope is simply a character using their existing limbs in a new way or finding new sensations. Truth in Television for people and animals who receive transplants and prosthetics. Supertrope to Showing Off the New Body; see also Artificial Limbs, Voluntary Shapeshifting, and Sense Freak. How Do I Shot Web? is a variation to do with superpowers.
— Jane, Children of the Mind
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Anime and Manga
- In the Osamu Tezuka manga Dororo Hyakkimaru, the swordsman who Dororo travels with, was magically mutilated as a child, and so is made mostly of artificial parts. When he defeats one of the demons involved, he gets back a random real body part, and the new sensations are often both thrilling and painful.
- Like most newly-ponified fanfiction characters, Agatha from Mare Genius finds having a tail a bit weird.
- Any non-human characters who undergo Humanity Ensues can fall into doing this, like with their hands if their front limbs (e.g. a horse hoof) lack digits.
- Melanism, a Harry Potter fanfic taking place in the Marauder Era, has Nyx's initial Animagus transformations. She is a black panther, and when she is learning she is fascinated by her tail and paws; once she masters the whole thing, the author takes care describing her enhanced senses of hearing and smell.
- In The Amazing Spider-Man, Dr. Connors injects himself with a serum that allows him to regrow his lost right arm. When he realises it worked, he regards the limb with the appreciation and fascination as if it was his newborn child, and laughs when he accidentally burns it on a desk lamp.
- Jake of Avatar lost the use of his human legs in battle, and one of the things he loves about his avatar body is that it is whole. When he first "wakes up" in it, there is focus on his exploring new things he can do, like running and jumping.
- At the end of The Empire Strikes Back, Luke gets a new hand. After being pricked with a needle to check pain sensation, he flexes his fingers a bit and clenches a fist while examining his bionic hand.
- The Little Mermaid:
- One of the main events in the first film is Ariel's transformation into a human. The film focuses briefly on her feet and how she's excited to have toes.
- Reversed in the sequel, when Ursula's sister Morgana turns Ariel's daughter Melody into a mermaid. She gets a musical number about figuring out her new fins.
- In Star Trek: First Contact, the android Data is captured by the Borg and then has patches of organic matter — actual skin — grafted onto his exterior and integrated into his systems by the Borg Queen. Notably, when he tries to escape, one of the patches is cut, allowing Data to experience pain for the first time; the experience confuses and fascinates him so much that he agrees to allow the Borg to graft more of it onto him.
- Rapunzel from Tangled finds grass strange and new after being kept in a small tower all her life. Once she exits, she tentatively touches the ground for the first time and feels the grass with her bare feet.
- Parodied in Inspector Gadget: John Brown wakes up from the surgery and is almost horrified at the sight of gadgets popping out of his fingertips.
"What have they got me on?!"
- In Self/Less, when Mark Bitwell comes back to life at the end of the movie, he stares at his hands and feels his face before going to check the laptop in the room.
- Ax, and Andalites as whole, do not have mouths and if they morph into a creature with one then the feeling of taste drives them mad. Every time Ax turns human his friends have to stop him from devouring everything from cinnamons buns to cigarette butts.
- Yeerks naturally are blind slugs, and possession of their victims is intoxicating because of all the new senses they gain. Even Visser Three, the Yeerk Dragon-in-Chief, fell in love with the sense of sight.
- Older Than Feudalism: nearly anyone healed in The Bible.
- In Robert A. Heinlein's The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Richard gets a replacement for the foot he lost in the war. The first thing he does is faint. The second is spend a day reliving the marvel of having two fully functional feet.
- In Children of the Mind, the third sequel to Ender's Game, the AI Jane gets transferred in the human body of Valentine's clone. She describes the process at like fitting into a glove, individually finding each part and fitting into it. Each new feeling surprises her, from touch to crying, etc. When she briefly returns to her AI network a few chapters later she finds it lacking, as even virtual omniscience pales to the visceral taste of life.
- Halo: The Fall of Reach: Midway through the book, the SPARTANs all marvel at their new Powered Armor, Samuel in particular spouting "I think I'm in love." Averted earlier with their physical augmentation. There the SPARTANs' reactions are mostly dizziness and confusion post-surgeries.
- After Wormtail cuts off his hand at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, he is given a new, silver one through magic. He stares at it in disbelief, then experiments with motion and crushing a twig between his fingertips.
- Dr Paul Brand's Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants goes into detail about how, after getting surgery to restore finger movement, leprosy patients explore the new motions their hands can do and will practise things like squeezing a rubber ball.
- In Septimus Heap, a millipede is transformed into the shield bug that will eventually belong to Jenna. There's a passage narrating what it feels like for him to lose his many precious legs and instead find himself with just six, complete with fingers. He considers hands useless and clumsy, though he does get used to it.
- Valhalla features Tikaris, new body parts in the form of an insectoid robot that lives in the chest of its user. When Violet gets hers, she explores having the new part by flying, looking through its eyes and more.
- When 10's hand gets chopped off in Doctor Who, shortly after his regeneration there's a short focus on it as he grows a new one. "I've got just enough residual cellular energy — to do this. *regrows hand* ...Wanna know the best bit? This new hand is a fightin' hand."
- In Now and Again, Michael Weisman dies and his brain is stolen by the government to be used in an experimental procedure, putting it into a new body. When he wakes up, one of the first things he does after realizing he's in a new body is check out his package. He is pleasantly surprised.
- In the Red Dwarf episode "Bodyswap", Lister agrees to let the hologram Rimmer take over his body for two weeks, in return for Rimmer taking on an exercise regime to get Lister's body in shape. However, Rimmer is overwhelmed by the experience of having a physical body for the first time since his death, and goes on a two week binge of eating, drinking and smoking.
- An episode of Smallville has Lionel and Clark switch bodies; Lionel then admires his new body in a mirror.
- Star Trek: Voyager. The holographic doctor has his program damaged during an Away Mission in "Heroes and Demons", resulting in the disappearance of his hand. A cut later, and he's staring in fascination at his new hand.
Myth and Legend
- The legend of Icarus contains a variation on this trope, likely making it the Ur-Example. When Icarus gets given a pair of wings (made from wax and bird feathers), even though they just strap on rather than being actual appendages, he explores what he can do with them. His delight in seeing how close to the Sun and low to the sea is what leads to his death.
- In Commander Kitty, Nin Wah seems quite pleased with having her arm back. Too bad for her she's just an android duplicate.
- Gunnerkrigg Court's Robot is given a new arm by Kat in Chapter 56, which is supposed to simulate human musculature, and how it can self-heal and grow stronger with use. The new experience is so overwhelming that mere moments after the new arm is activated, Robot forces himself into a reboot. His subsequent attempt to explain the new sensations to Kat immediately afterward is summarized in a two-page spread... depicting a giant, eldritch abomination connected to his left side where the arm should be, full of eyes.
- Void from L's Empire spends several pages staring at his hands while getting used to the sensation of having limbs and a mouth after a "Freaky Friday" Flip with Geminiman.
- Inverted in Phoebe and Her Unicorn without any shapeshifting or body switching. In this strip, Marigold (the unicorn) theorizes that having toes must be like having tarantulas on the end of one's legs.
Phoebe: That's creepy, but it isn't inaccurate.
- Kickassia: When 2D Lee becomes 3D Lee, he spends most of the following episodes touching things and exulting in how he has tactile stimulation now.
- Kara: When the eponymous Robot Girl first receives her legs, she takes a few steps on them with a look of wonder on her face, hinting that she's becoming sentient.
- After Krieger of Archer gives Ray a pair of bionic legs, he shows off by dancing a jig.
- In the Batman Beyond episode Meltdown, Mister Freeze has his consciousness transferred from a Brain in a Jar to a cloned body. After the completion of this process, he walks to the window, puts his hand to it, and says "cold" (it's winter) with a look of absolute joy on his face. He has been numb to the sensation for decades.
- One Family Guy episode has Joe Swanson gets new functional legs transplanted, and he proceeds to show off his old athletic and martial arts abilities to the point of becoming arrogant and rejecting his old friends for new ones who can keep up with him. In the end he becomes paralyzed again in An Aesop about pride.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Sonic Rainboom" has fashion-minded unicorn Rarity gain beautiful butterfly wings in an attempt to get a friend of Rainbow Dash's up to Cloudsdale - because only pegasi can walk on clouds, and giving a unicorn or earth pony wings somehow counts. However, Rarity winds up obsessing over how better things are now that she has her wings, instead of cheering Rainbow up, which only increases the stress the pegasus's currently undergoing. Like Joe above, she too gets a swift lesson in pride when she literally flies too close to the sun, destroying her wings and sending her plummeting back to Earth, spurring Rainbow Dash to discard her insecurities and save her friend.
- Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero has the characters undergo a transformation every time they enter a new dimension. While some transformations are minor, others give them entirely new bodies and limbs, which the characters will either be annoyed or pleased about depending on what the circumstances are.