Self-Constructed Being

Having a corporeal form is pretty nifty, you can do stuff like walk and talk. Sometimes however you run into a problem: you have no body worth noting. Perhaps you're a robot who's been reduced to a Heart Drive, a ghost who has to possess someone, or an alien who luckily can regenerate From a Single Cell.

This is the trope you need if you have to construct your own body before the nifty stuff you plan to do can be done. If you're a villain you can try to Take Over the World, if you're a hero you can try to save it, and if you are anybody else you get another chance to visit TV Tropes.

Unless the person bringing themselves back to life are also able to conjure up extra clothes to go with it, they very well might be Naked on Revival.

Compare and Contrast Clone by Conversion, Enemy Without, and Tulpa.


Anime and Manga
  • Ronin Warriors: Talpa had to (re)build his body during the series.
  • Cell from Dragon Ball Z starts out with a powerful body, but is programmed to "perfect" it by absorbing Androids 17 and 18. He then becomes a case of From a Single Cell; he regrows his own head halfway through his fight with Goku, and survives self-destructing thanks to a tiny scrap of him remaining (which surprises even him).
  • Monster Rancher had the first two seasons where Moo is trying to dig his body out of the ice while, conversely, the Heroes search for the Phoenix.
  • In InuYasha, an early Monster of the Week was a mask that wanted a body. The bad news: it caused its wearer to decay rapidly (as in, from human to crude oil in seconds.)
  • The Godhand from Berserk. Since they are not part of the physical plane and therefore have no physical bodies, they have to manifest through some material in order to make a presence in the physical world. But every 1000 years, they have the opportunity to reincarnate themselves into the physical world with a corporeal body.

  • In Watchmen, after Dr. Osterman is disintegrated, he spends some time slowly learning how to use his new powers to reconstruct a physical body to inhabit. Downplayed in that he doesn't actually need a body; it's purely for the convenience of other human beings. If you destroy it completely, he can just make a new one.
  • In X-Men Cassandra Nova appears to be Dr Xavier's Evil Twin. She's actually his Superpowered Evil Side that escaped before his birth and built itself a new body.

  • Hardware: a Wetware CPU skull has a bit more life than previously imagined.
  • Hellraiser: Frank Cotton built his body from a single drop of blood (and a few bystanders).
  • Virus: An alien energy being uses machine and human parts to construct bodies for itself.
  • Watchmen: In both the film and the original comic, Dr. Manhattan rebuilds his body from elementary particles following getting trapped in an Intrinsic Field Subtractor... twice.

  • Journey to the West: The monkey king started as a rock.
  • Harry Potter: The Myth Arc of the first four Harry Potter books covers Voldemort's various attempts to take a physical form, and ultimately rebuild his own body, culminating in his confrontation with Harry in Goblet of Fire. Subsequent books cover his ascent to power.
  • In the Star Trek Expanded Universe book of fan-submitted short stories, Strange New Worlds V, Commander Riker falls victim to a seed of Armus, which has been growing inside him for years and tries to pull a Grand Theft Me.
  • In the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the good guys are trying to stop Kronos from rebuilding his body (which was torn to pieces long ago) and returning to the world.
  • In Einsteins Bridge, The Hive have taken over several worlds by making tiny robots by light though tiny wormholes that builds into new Hive on that world.
  • In the in-universe dwarven myths of Discworld, their creator Tak wrote himself before he could write the world and the laws.
  • While they start out with living forms, the elves and gods (Vala and Maia) of Tolkien's The Silmarillion must construct new bodies for themselves before they can interact with the world when their old ones are destroyed. Gandalf, Glorfindel, and Sauron (until he lost the ring) are notable examples of characters who resurrect themselves in this way.

Live-Action TV

Tabletop RPG
  • Call of Cthulhu Dreamlands supplement, adventure "Pickman's Student". A proto Great Old One named Ghadamon spends the adventure slowly taking over the body of a human being so he can enter the waking world.
  • In Exalted, The Fair Folk —eldritch maelstroms of passions from outside reality— must take an Assumption to enter Creation, lest they will be Calcified. Such form tend to be dramatic to the extreme: an indescribably beautiful lady, a towering man-beast monstrosity, or an artist whose performances moves hearts (and steals souls).

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • Ben 10: Vilgax spent most of the first season in a tank regenerating.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Shendu had to (re)build his body during the series.
  • SWAT Kats: the episode known as Unlikely Alloys has a tiny repair robot balloon up to Very Humongous Mecha size after assimilating a lot of technology, then it's creator.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987: Krang is obsessed with getting his robot body working.
  • Megatron spends the first season of Transformers Animated as a head attempting to build a new body. He eventually recovers the damaged-but-still intact original, and fully repairs himself using the stolen Allspark Key.
  • X-Men: Evolution, Apocalypse.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: The entity Karkull possessed a random thief, then transformed the daily planet building, and had his mook "children" possess daily planet employees in one episode.
  • The Crystal Gems of Steven Universe, as the name implies, are sapient gemstones. What appears to be their body is just a magical projection that has their stone embedded within. Should their gems be damaged, their bodies will undergo uncontrollable malfunctions until the gem is repaired.