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Rule 63
Image from pixiv.

"I'd make a sexy chick!"
Brodie, Mallrats

For every given male character, there is a female version of that character, and vice versa.

They may be canonical. Most of them aren't. The internet has a fascination for producing gender swapping regardless of the context of the original character. Canon-derived examples of the trope tend to outlast their actual-canon inspirations (which are often single stories, or even short throwaway gags.)

No character is immune to this effect — not Darth Vader, not Master Chief - no one. note 

Closely related to Gender Flip. When a separate character is a female knock-off of an existing male character, you have a Distaff Counterpart. Crossdressers, of course, provide their own version of this. There's a good chance that you'll see the character in question in a Gendered Outfit (like our lovely Maria at right, here).

One of the Rules of the Internet. Can (and often does) overlap with Rule 34. Since these female versions are often much cuter than their male counterparts, it can also overlap with Self-Fanservice.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

Distaff Counterpart/Gender Flip

     Anime And Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics actually has an Alternate Universe devoted to this: Earth-11, featuring Superwoman and Batwoman as well as the very Spartan-looking Wonder Man.note  Fun fact: 11+52 (the total number of alternate Earths after Infinite Crisis) equals... 63.
  • DC's Animesque Ame-Comi Girls line has female versions of many male characters, but not vice versa, and not for all male characters. Most are actually the Distaff Counterparts of the male characters, "promoted" in their absence. But there are a few straight examples of this trope, including a female Sinestro, and an Indigo made indistinguishable from a female Brainiac.
  • Marvel Mangaverse: Characters who don't start the story off already female are replaced by females very quickly.
  • One comic had The Authority meet their gender-flipped Alternate Universe selves.
  • The Fantastic Four once visited an alternate universe where Tony Stark was female... and married to Captain America.
  • An issue of Uncanny X-Men featured an evil team of male versions of several X-Women fighting Captain Britain. Most of them looked very flamboyant in those costumes.
  • Exiles once visited an alternate Earth with female Magneto and Quicksilver, and Scarlet Warlock (male Scarlet Witch).
  • The Joker:
    • He's a woman named Bianca Steeplechase in Thrillkiller and its sequel, which are set on an alternate Earth in the early '60s. Batgirl and Robin goes up against her. Harley Quinn is still a girl.
    • In theFlashpoint arc, the shots in Crime Alley that night killed Bruce. There's still a Batman; though; Thomas Wayne would up becoming the (really) Dark Knight as a result. The Joker exists too, as a direct consequence of the same evening: Martha.
  • Dennis the Menace (UK) had a female cousin who looked exactly like him but wore a bow in her hair and a skirt. Also her name was Denise The Menace.
  • The cover of issue #8 of the second volume of Young Avengers depicts the main team as how they look in many alternate universes. One of them is a universe where all the female characters are male and viceversa. The section showing that universe is rather tiny but at least fans of male Kate Bishop won't have to adapt the character anymore (and fans of female Prodigy at least know she has short hair like her male counterpart).
  • X-23 is pretty much an invoked version of this: A female clone created by a project attempting to recreate Weapon X, but because the genetic sample was too badly damaged on the Y chromosome, the scientist who created her decided to double the X and make the clone female, instead.
    • Of course, that's not to say that Rule 63 versions of Wolverine weren't popular in fanart even before her creation...
  • Star Trek Expanded Universe:
    • The Star Trek: The Original Series comic All of Me had a brief appearance via Negative Space Wedgie of one Jane T. Kirk, captain of the Foundation starship Enterprise.
    • The comic book series based on the 2009 film eventually introduced an alternate universe containing gender-swapped versions of the entire Enterprise crew, complete with a version of Jane Kirk.

    Fan Works 

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Red Dwarf had an entire alternate dimension where Lister, Rimmer, and Holly had female counterparts; Cat, meanwhile, had a male dog counterpart. Because dogs and cats are different genders.
  • Pops up every now and then on Sliders, Most notably in the episode Double Cross where there is a female counterpart of Quinn named Logan St.Clair.
  • The sketch TV show In Living Color! had Kelly Coffield as Andrea 'Dice' Clay.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Here's Fabled Dianaira Its name might come from 'Deianira' in the Greek mythology. Ironically, Deianira is a female while this card is obviously male. However, a fanartist "corrected" this mythological error.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • Generator Rex has an awesome in-universe example of this in "Beyond the Sea," although the similarities between the Cabo Luna beach babes and Rex and Noah go unnoticed. Yay for surprise fanservice!
  • Metalocalypse. Dethklok had a tribute band that was composed of all women, giving each of the band members a female counterpart. Dethklok rejected them, as they found them rather creepy. Though Toki admits the female Pickles was cute, and Nathan agreed she did have nice eyes.
  • Superjail! had an early episode where opposite-sex counterparts of the staff ("Ultraprison") appear along with a bunch of female inmates, complete with a transgender man to compliment Alice. These characters would be reused for a cameo at the end of season 2, setting up a cliffhanger for the following run of episodes. Within season 3, the Ultraprison characters appeared again in the premiere, while two other episodes had brief cameos. The cliffhanger for season 3/premiere of season 4 also revisit this concept yet again.
  • The episode "Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake" used this concept, and in a reference to this trope, the entire episode was revealed to be a fanfiction by Ice King.
    • Another episode, "Bad Little Boy", shines focus on some more gender-swapped characters.
  • "Neutopia", the seventh season premiere for Futurama, features Gender Bender versions of each character. The episode even lampshades this trope when a calendar of the sex-changed characters makes a huge profit due to the "creepy fans" of Planet Express.
    • Also, Coilette, Bender's attempt to join (and win) the 3004 Olympics as a bending competitor, in "Bend Her"
  • In-universe, the Rowdyruff Boys to The Powerpuff Girls.
  • In an early episode of Young Justice, Miss Martian uses her shape-shifting powers to imitate Kid Flash, Robin, and Aqualad — but female versions, because her powers aren't developed enough to readily do more complex shape-shifting stunts such as mimicking the opposite sex. Kid Flash approves.
  • Family Guy has an in-universe example. In a Cutaway Gag, Peter and Lois agree to make out in one of the restaurant bathrooms. When Peter comes out of the bathroom thanking Lois, she says she didn't go in with him. The person who he made out with turns out to be a male clone of Lois, who sits at a table with a female clone of Peter.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: An in-universe example occurs in "Destination Imagination", in which Mr. Herriman hires several potential replacements for Frankie when she disappears, one of them being basically a male Frankie.

    Webcomics 
  • Ménage à 3:
    • Although "Garii" is just a figment of Yuki's imagination, she's close enough.
    • There's also an "official" manifestation of this trope as a bonus story in the series' fourth book collection.
  • Scandinavia and the World has a male and female version of most commonly mentioned countries; they are generally very similar in appearance. (Sister Germany even has her brother's mustache).
  • Many characters in Arthur, King of Time and Space have different genders based on their arc. Tristram, in particular, is female in every arc besides the baseline, and Morgan and Nimue are actually male in the M*A*S*H* arc.
  • El Goonish Shive has a great deal of actual Gender Bender activity, which also inspires a lot of fan art.
  • This April Fools strip of Kevina And Kelly
  • An official version of this occurs in Ears for Elves. The last panel here calls the rule by name and shows what Tanna and Luero would look like when gender-flipped.
  • Jix has a story arc that revolves around a device that might as well be called "The Rule 63 gun." Lauren spent the majority of the arc as a feminine looking man.
  • Unwinders Tall Comics: Amy drew a picture of BBQ She-Sauce and Unwinder finds that she's attractive.
  • The art gallery of the EATATAU!!! website contains this gender-flipped picture of the two leads.

    Web Original 
  • Played with in Red vs. Blue: In addition to the six inept, clueless, lazy, and outright retarded men, who because of the series being a Halo machinima all look identical with only different color, there is a single female character in the form of Tex, who is almost completely sane in comparison and a more capable soldier than all the others combined.
  • The RWBY series has an entire team composed of genderflips of legendary figures: Jon of Arc, Mulan, Thor, and Achilles.
    • All four of whom having at least one myth involving them cross-dressing.

    Real Life 
  • Among Mixed Martial Arts fandom, Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos is considered to be Wanderlei Silva's female counterpart.

Gender Bending/Cross-Dressing

    Anime And Manga 
  • Naruto examples:
    • The title character's sexy jutsu.
    • Konohamaru uses it too.
  • Pokémon has several prominent examples:
    • In the first season, Ash Ketchum dressed up as 'Ashley', a little blonde girl in an orange dress.
    • Ash has been forced to cross-dress once each region after this—as a one-shot female NPC in Hoenn, and as a French Maid in Sinnoh. The fandom took these examples and ran with them.
    • The banned episode "Beauty And The Beach" features James entering a swimsuit contest with inflatable breasts.
  • Code Geass:
    • Lelouch is forced into a dress in one Picture Drama, and into an incredibly skimpy belly dancer uniform in another. As a result, the fandom really likes to run with that idea.
  • Black Lagoon does the gender inverting in one of its specials seen here on youtube, including an awesome male Balalaika (and Eda looking an awful lot like the cowboy mercenary she had a Gun Kata duel with). Hilarity bonus also runs for the Creepy Twins. The best part is that, in spite of having their genders swapped, the characters still have the same voice actors, who make no attempt to sound more gender appropriate.
  • Blue Exorcist: Recently, creator Kato Kazue posted on Twitter sketches she made of the main cast gender swapped.
  • A recent chapter of the Soul Eater manga made this canon. Most of the main characters (including Blair, but sadly, not Kid) became gender-swapped. How long a character stayed in his/her gender-bended form depended on how much of a Covert Pervert that character is.
    • Then again, there's still one character that seems immune to Rule 63. Then again...
  • Hayate of Hayate the Combat Butler was found to play a very convincing female (even attracting the romantic attention of three male characters in that form). His female appearance has since made several more appearances and its own name (Hermione Ayasaki) and Hayate has been fandom-paired with his gender bent form.
  • Ren/Run from To Love-Ru can somehow change genders by sneezing. Lala also invents a device that temporarily causes someone to switch genders.
  • The title character of Ranma ½ is a canonical Gender Bender, being cursed to change into a sexy, female version of himself on contact with cold water, because he was once tossed into a cursed spring in a training session by his idiot father. While obviously a "real" aspect of the Ranma character, fandom has taken the concept even farther, naming the female side of him "Ranko" and making her an actual character in countless fan works, (many of them extremely NSFW).
  • Kuragehime has Kuranosuke cross-dressing as a hobby. This is justified since his mother is somewhere else. Tsukimi often says that he looks good as a woman, despite her fear of men.

    Comic Books 
  • An issue of Lobo has the Main Man dying and going to the afterlife... only to be reincarnated as an extremely masculine female version of himself.
  • A canonical Superboy story, "Claire Kent, Alias Super-Sister"note  has Superboy transformed into a girl. It's not permanent ( and, as it turns out, the whole experience was just a mental illusion), and the story is mostly forgotten today, except as a tryout of sorts for the Supergirl concept. Mostly. There is quite a lot of fan art, and several Fan Fics, based on the premise that Clark was permanently stuck as Claire.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Original Series, in its last-aired episode, "Turnabout Intruder", tells the story of a forced Body Swap between Captain Kirk and his crazy ex-girlfriend Janice Lester. Of course, everything is sorted out at the end... though that hasn't prevented a plethora of Fan Fics, fan art, and photo manipulation about alternate scenarios where Kirk is stuck permanently in Janice's body (usually due to Janice-in-Kirk's-body being killed.)

    Video Games 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • One particularly nice example of the Metalocalypse band getting genderbent exists here.
  • The fandom’s tendency to swap genders for the characters of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is played with in "Magic Duel": Twilight Sparkle transforms Applejack into a stallion for a short time for a competition on who has better magical ability. It's later revealed that it was actually her brother painted in Applejack's mane and coat colors.

Fanverse

    Anime And Manga 

     Comic Books 
  • Genderbending Loki from The Mighty Thor isn't that difficult to imagine since not only is he a shapeshifter normally, but he assumed Sif's form for several story arcs for the lulz. Princesses Thor and Loki aside, The Warriors Three have also enjoyed time as the fairer sex.
  • The Avengers trio, in a fan art depiction.
  • Watchmen fandom has a fairly established body of Rule 63 fics, especially on the Kink Meme. Get used to Danielle, Wanda, Adi, Laurence, Joan Osterman, Sal and Edie.
  • Common in fan art too, as a search for "Genderbent Joker" on Google will reveal. You may want to keep safe search on.
  • The Archie Comics gang, like most comic book Print Long Runners, have attracted the occasional Rule 63 interpretations. A 2012 story, "The Great Switcheroo," provided official examples in Archie #636.note  In the story, Sabrina the Teenage Witch's cat Salem casts a Gender Bender spell on the entire population of Riverdale, not to mention Josie and the Pussycats too.
  • Behold, a sketch of genderswapped Rogue and Gambit. This was met with enthusiasm, mainly because it would mean Gambit were a hot, flirty French chick.
  • Brazilian webcomic creator Priscilla Tramontano has taken this rule and applied it to some of Marvel’s most popular villains, and the results are absolutely glorious

    Fan Fic 

    Film 

     Literature 

    Live Action TV 
  • A sketch on The Carol Burnett Show featured gender swapped versions of the cast of the original Star Trek.
  • Saturday Night Live has a sketch called "What Up With That?" in which a cavalcade of groovy, costumed background folks help obnoxiously interrupt the guest's interview, whenever the host compulsively re-sings the theme song. Among them on the Christmas edition is "Grinchina". Played by Nasim Pedrad, she makes for a freaky but Cute Monster Girl.

     Tabletop Games 

     Video Games 

    Webcomics 

     Web Original 
  • Examples from That Guy with the Glasses:
    • Anne Onymous of The Wotch drew a Worksafe image of That Guy with the Glasses.
    • At one point, there was also an amusing series of videos created by (female) TGWTG fans dressing up as their favorite (male) reviewers and demanding that the fandom fix this crackfic singularity gender bend... thing.
  • For their crossover review of [2] (2009), The Agony Booth's Sofie Liv and Stuff You Like's Sursum Ursa dressed up (and did the review) as Holmes and Watson.
  • Happy Tree Friends plays this differently depending on which side of the fandom you are looking at. Among Japanese fans, the characters that get genderbended the most often are the four originally female characters. Out of the boys, designing female Russell, Lumpy and possibly Flippy seems to be the most common, although it is easier to tell who never is bent. Most of the results from searching for genderbends by the western fandom are either Flippy as a woman or female copycat sues based on him.
  • Even The Runaway Guys get the female treatment. If them dressed as The Powerpuff Girls doesn't count then this totally does.

     Western Animation 

    Other 
  • Every Vocaloid (including Rin and Len) and almost every UTAUloid tend to have a genderbend. In the UTAUloid's cases, many are made by the authors themselves. People have also edited their vocal files to create a masculine/feminine version of the characters.
  • The Female Fellowship - a counterpart to the lineup of heroes from The Lord of the Rings.

Grand Unification

    Anime And Manga 

Recursive CrossdressingGender Blending TropesSamus Is a Girl
Rule 50Fanfic TropesSailor Earth
Rule 34Laws and FormulasRule Zero
Magical GirlImageSource/InternetHigh-Tech Hexagons
The Many Deaths of YouImageSource/Video GamesVideo Games

alternative title(s): Rule 63
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