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Puppet Permutation
"I do not have puppet cancer!"
Puppet Angel, Angel

Periodically, perhaps in a program, a perplexing and perhaps preposterous plot passes. A person - powerful protagonist or pitiless profligate - perchance permutes into a precious and precocious puppet. Please prevent picking on their peculiarities or partaking in putting your paw up their posterior, per their penchant for punishing poor pillocks with pugnacity and punches.

A possible Pernicious Polymorph. Please parallel with Pestiferous Pieces of Plywood. Or perhaps People Puppets.

Translation of Alliteration Here 


Precedents of this paradigm:

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     Anime and Manga  

  • Happens to Akane in Ranma ˝, both in the OVA "Ranma, Look at Me" and in the ending of the Manga.
  • Happens in the second Vampire Princess Miyu OAV, where the Shinma Miyu has to fight is an Uncanny Valley Girl who transforms the students of a prestigious Kyoto private school into mannequins. And falls in love with one of them, so to prevent the Star-Crossed Lovers situation, she turns him into a Shinma. At the guy's request, because he falls for her as well even after finding out who she truly is.
  • Sabrina from Pokémon used her psychic powers to transform people into dolls while suffering from Literal Split Personality.
  • Anya of Karin is fond of taking people's souls and sticking them into dolls. Near the end of the manga she binds her grandfather's soul so that they can figure out what the hell is going on.
  • In Melody of Oblivion this is one of the various things that happen to normal people that see a monster. The other examples are turning into statues or ape-men. Each particular monster seems to have a particular effect.
  • Puppet masters in Naruto can do this.
  • Drocell Caines of Black Butler had this as his M.O.

     Comic Books  

  • The Flash #133, a classic Silver Age Flash story where Abra Kadabra turns the Flash into a marionette.
  • In "Strung Along," in The Vault of Horror #33, a dying puppeteer's marionettes came to life and turned his greedy wife into a puppet in a more gruesome and literal manner than most stories of this variety.

     Film  

  • The film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy had a moment where the Infinite Improbability Drive turned the characters into yarn puppets, due to the ship being a giant ball of yarn (complete with knitting needles). Arthur vomits yarn just as normality is reached, and his normal self is shown pulling yarn out of his mouth.
  • The plot behind Curse of the Puppet Master. They managed to do it in the end.
  • In Dead Silence, Mary Shaw's final wish was to have her own corpse turned into a ventriloquist doll. Also, while she was alive, she killed a young boy, Michael Ashen, and turned him into a puppet. Later, in the film's Twist Ending, it is revealed that Edward Ashen has been Dead All Along and also became part of Shaw's doll collection, and the very end of the film shows that Jamie, Lisa, Henry and Lipton are now part of her collection.
  • The antagonistic father in the 1987 film Dolls gets transformed into a Mr Punch puppet near the end of the family after he destroys the good Mr Punch doll that was protecting the little girl.
  • Double Subverted in Shrek 2 where Pinocchio is actually turned into a human boy by the evil Fairy Godmother while the other fairytale characters are trying to play Keep Away with her wand. Pinocchio starts to appreciate his new human form, only to be turned back into a puppet by accident.
  • The Big Bad of Tourist Trap has the power of turning his victims into mannequins that he can control.

     Literature  

     Live Action TV  

  • The above quote comes from "Smile Time," an episode of Angel where the titular character is turned into a puppet. Within the episode, he fights other, demonic puppets. It also contains the line "You're a wee little puppet man!" from Spike. May or may not be a hint that he's being turned into a metaphorical puppet.
    Angel: I'm made of felt...and by dose comes off!
    • Spike later gets the same treatment in the comic Spike: Shadow Puppets when he travels to Japan where Smile Time is still popular.
  • In the 30 Rock episode "Apollo, Apollo", it is revealed that Kenneth sees everyone as singing puppets.
    • Authentic Whatnot Muppets, no less. And Liz Lemon really walks like one.
  • One of the SciFi episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 sends the Satellite of Love through a wormhole that temporarily replaces Mike with an Alternate Universe robot/puppet Mike.
  • At the end of The Middleman episode "The Vampiric Puppet Lamentation," both the Middleman and Lacey are (briefly) turned into puppets.
  • The Stargate SG-1 episode "200" features a five-minute Imagine Spot mash-up of the series pilot and the original Stargate movie, as cast with marionettes.

     Music  

     Video Games  

     Web Animation  

     Web Comics  

  • During one magician's duel in The Wotch, a character gets turned into a marionette.
  • Childlike and sociopathic Ilharess Kharla'ggen from Drow Tales has a hobby of turning people that take her fancy into dolls. Though she has demonstrated an ability to do this entirely by magic, her favourite method is to physically cut out the bones from her victims' arms and legs, pull out their eyes and tongue, decorate them cutely, and leave them like that. Being elves, they can theoretically live indefinitely as long as they are fed, making this example of the trope seriously creepy.
  • A prominent character in The Forgotten Order, has been cursed into a form of a doll that must do the bidding of witches and wizards.

     Western Animation  


Clipped Wing AngelShapeshiftingShapeshifting Lover
Musical AssassinImageSource/Comic BooksSuper Speed
Puny ParachuteAdded Alliterative AppealPursued Protagonist

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