The Makeover

Clone High, "Makeover, Makeover, Makeover: The Makeover Episode"

Simply put, the transformation from mundane (or ugly) to beautiful. This is a theme found in works from all over the world, though probably the best known is the "Cinderella" rags-to-riches story. The Makeover may result in a permanent change in the character, but it's just as likely they'll reform at the end of a story as they learn it's alright to Be Yourself.

The Makeover most commonly results in a change in appearance, but it has other forms. A Training Montage, for example, is a kind of makeover. The Makeover is also a major source of Character Development, as the physical transformation has an impact on the personality of the character, for better or for worse.

Frequently takes the form of a Makeover Montage, but not always.

Truth in Television, though fictional ones are generally more dramatic.

Compare Rule of Glamorous.
A Super Trope to:


  • The Boutique public service ad from Canada is a creepy deconstruction of this.
Comic Book
  • In issue 3647 of The Beano, Dennis the Menace (UK)'s parents were surprised by Gok Wan, who offered them a makeover, to Mum's delight. The results are revealed in issue 3649, with the parents commenting that it's taken years off them. They look completely different, and Dad seems to have had a personality transplant!


Fairy Tales and Folklore

  • In Murderess, Bridget and her posse give Lu one while she canít bring herself to protest. She is horrified at the result.
  • In TheHungerGames Katniss is subjected to one of those, to pretty her up so she can attract sponsors, before she fights to death in the arena.She remarks on how ironic this is.
  • In A Brother's Price the protagonist and his family get a makeover prior to the royal ball, to make sure they don't turn up with dirty fingernails.

Reality TV
  • There exists a whole genre of reality shows all about making over unattractive people, ranging from extreme (including orthodontic and plastic surgery) to the more moderate wardrobe makeover.

  • Hairspray, Tracey and Edna in "Welcome to the Sixties".
  • Annie: Little orphan Annie in "I Think I'm Gonna like It Here".
  • Legally Blonde: Male example with Emmett Forrest in "Take It Like A Man".

Video Games
  • Delightfully spoofed in Magical Makeover. The protagonist uses a variety of magical cosmetics to beautify herself for a ball that wind up having unexpected side effects like transforming her into a plant person, giving her an insect-like proboscis for a mouth, or covering her entire body in pink crystal scales. They still make her "beautiful" enough to earn a Magic Mirror's approval, though, which is what ultimately matters!

Western Animation
  • Parodied in the Clone High episode "Makeover Makeover Makeover".
  • The Weekenders, when Tish lands a role on a teen TV show.
  • An episode of Family Guy involved Meg getting a makeover and becoming the lead singer of her Family Band.
  • An episode of Sabrina: The Animated Series averts this. In an effort to make her cousin Norma to at least 'look' less embarrassingly weird Sabrina attempts to make her over. It's an absolute success....until Norma's hair springs right back into its bizarre style. No further attempts are made and she goes back to her original weird style.

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