%% Image and caption selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1374777007025304000
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[[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/{{Castlevania}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/belmonts_6193.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Simon Belmont: [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaI Badass]], and [[WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster wannabe badass]].]]

->''"Kristin Kreuk isn't Asian... is she?"''
-->-- '''''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-dmYK2bEK8 15 Reasons We HATE Chun Li with Evil Craig,]]''''' ''commenting on the [[RaceLift race lifting]] done in Film/StreetFighterTheLegendOfChunLi.'' [[note]]For the record: Kristin Kreuk is Canadian, but she ''has'' Chinese ancestry on her mother's side.[[/note]]

Sometimes writers who make adaptations change aspects of plots and characters to the point where they [[NotAsYouKnowThem remove most of the characters' qualities]], or even to the point where you don't recognize them. To many fans, every aspect of a character's personality, ability, etc. should be preserved. Sometimes writers do this for the fans... with a catch.

Usually in newer versions of older media (say an NES game or horror film) a character's design is changed to the point where they can only be recognized by incredibly minor details (or a name being posted on the picture). This is done to modernize characters for a new generation, much like any remake or adaptation. Sometimes this change doesn't sit well with the fans, but in some rare cases people will accept the newer design, saying it is a great change overall. Changes to old designs usually end with people getting used to them until the next change is made where a vicious cycle is restarted until the product comes out and people are settled.

Compare NotAsYouKnowThem where the appearance is the same but the personality isn't, RaceLift and AdaptationDyeJob for those particular changes, AdaptationalAttractiveness, and ProgressivelyPrettier for when their looks improve, TheNthDoctor when there's an in-universe reason for the change, TheOtherDarrin for an unexplained change of actor, EarlyInstallmentCharacterDesignDifference for characters whose designs looked different early on, and AdaptationalUgliness for when adaptations make them look less attractive. See also TheyChangedItNowItSucks. Can lead to YourCostumeNeedsWork. Also compare with OffModel and DependingOnTheArtist. When it happens to locations, see ChaosArchitecture.



[[folder:Multiple Media]]
* [[UsefulNotes/TheGloryThatWasRome The Roman Army]] is usually represented as completely made of heavy infantry equipped like [[http://romanmilitary.net/images/guard4.jpg these re-enactors]] (the only variation is when they wear leather variants of the armour), with their officers wearing the [[http://legionsix.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/zFt-Mac-05-00d1.jpg muscle armour,]] no matter the period. As the Roman state spanned about a thousand years (twice that if you count the [[UsefulNotes/ByzantineEmpire Eastern Roman Empire]]), the equipment and composition of the Roman Army depended on the period (especially as the soldiers were supposed to pay for their own equipment until the first century BC) and even deployment: Roman soldiers in the colder north always wore warmer local clothes (that included pants) under their armour. The 'classic' Roman soldier is actually a soldier of the Parthian/Persian border between 70 AD and the Tethrarchy, while the muscle cuirass was reserved to the richest officers and had all but disappeared before the appearance of the 'classic' armour. It also ''always'' included other kinds of troops, both from citizens and subjects/allies (Roman citizens were heavy infantry only from the Marian reform in the first century BC, and that was reversed by Caracalla giving Roman citizenship to all subjects in 212 AD).

* Snickers' "You're not you when you're hungry" commercials took advantage of this trope.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'': The Gundams designed by Kunio Okawara[[note]]who has been designing Gundams since [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam the original RX-78]][[/note]] were redesigned by Hajime Katoki[[note]]who worked on ''Manga/GundamSentinel'' before designing the suits for ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam0083StardustMemory'', designed the Tallgeese and other OZ suits for ''Wing'', and is known for reinterpreting Okawara's designs for the [[TheMerch Gunpla line]] and manga adaptations[[/note]] for ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWingEndlessWaltz''. For the most part, Katoki sought to streamline the Gundams and make them sleeker, removing a few weapons (with the exception of Heavyarms, which got MoreDakka) and accessories and rearranging others in the process, keeping them functionally identical to their TV counterparts for the most part. WordOfGod even stated that they were, in fact, the exact same machines with the exact same performances, and were in fact {{retcon}}ned into replacing the TV versions. However, this didn't stop [[FanDumb groups of fans]] from insisting that the movie versions are vastly inferior to their TV counterparts, even to this day, for those very same reasons. It also didn't help that ''Endless Waltz'' had a minor SeriesContinuityError by showing the final versions of two of the suits in a flashback to before the beginning of the series, before those suits received their [[MidSeasonUpgrade Mid-Season Upgrades]], and that the Wing Zero Custom was so heavily redesigned that it lost its [[TransformingMecha Neo-Bird flight mode]]. Adding more fuel to the fire were the "Ver.Ka." model kits of the pre-upgrade versions of the Gundams; while most of them addressed some of the issues by reinterpreting previously-removed elements of the Okawara designs to bring them closer to their TV counterparts, the Wing Gundam Ver.Ka. was nearly identical to the Wing Zero Custom, which was a separate mobile suit altogehter.\\
The 2010 manga ''The Glory of Losers'', a retelling of the series, attempts to reconcile all of this. It uses Katoki's designs for the Gundams from the start, with the "Ver.Ka." "original" designs getting their mid-season upgrades to the ''EW'' "Custom" designs. The Wing[=/=]Wing Zero issue is resolved by Katoki redesigning Wing Zero again, this time reincorporating the Neo-Bird mode and other design elements from the TV version, into Wing Zero's original SuperPrototype design, and then having Zero receive a mid-season upgrade to the Wing Zero Custom, with its design being influenced in-universe by the both the Wing Gundam and a new mid-season upgrade to the Tallgeese.
* In the original ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' manga, Zengyo, the assistant of Ryuken's old rival Koryu, originally resembled an ordinary middle-aged man with no real qualities that made him stand out. When the character was adapted to the anime series, he became an elderly ninja master for some reason.
* Because [[Creator/HirohikoAraki Hirohiko Araki's]] art style is [[ArtEvolution constantly changing]], this is inevitable whenever he redraws one of his earlier characters. For reference, compare [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure Jotaro Kujo]] as he appears in [[http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/jjba/images/4/41/Jotaro_article_crop_stardust_crusaders_color_v10_074.png/revision/latest?cb=20140713164042 Stardust Crusaders]] with his design from [[http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/jjba/images/4/4d/Jotaro_article_crop_stone_ocean_color_v02_032.png/revision/latest?cb=20140501172737 Stone Ocean]]; while the basic elements of his design still remain, the facial build and proportions are so vastly different that he's almost unrecognizable in the latter image.
** In turn, the Art Evolution in the manga affect the character designs in the anime. Unlike the manga, the art style in the anime stays consistent throughout, but only in each given Part. The art style for the anime of a new Part will be different from the last.[[note]]The shift from ''Phantom Blood'' to ''Battle Tendency'' is the exception, as they shared the same art style.[[/note]] For example, here's how Jotaro looks in ''[[http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/jjba/images/1/13/Jotaro_anime.jpg Stardust Crusaders]]'', then ''[[http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/jjba/images/2/2c/Jotaro4_Key_Art.png Diamond is Unbreakable]]''.
** The king of this, though, is probably Jonathan Joestar, the protagonist of [[Manga/JojosBizarreAdventurePhantomBlood the first part]]. As [[https://i.imgur.com/FwAysPS.jpg?1 his original design]] was basically defined by being a musclebound giant (and he's canonically 193cm/six-foot-five, and a rugby player), the CastFullOfPrettyBoys aesthetic that Araki's artstyle has evolved towards since then has left him looking [[https://i.imgur.com/07EM3HY.jpg flat-out indistinguishable.]]
* Virtually every character in the ''Anime/TokyoMajin'' anime does not resemble their original character designs. Some characters such as Marie and Kozunu have it worse than others in that they not only do not look like their original designs but their personalities were also drastically altered.
* ''Manga/PocketMonsters'':
** At the start of the manga very few Pokémon resembled their official designs. Rumor has it the designs were based off what the mangaka thought the sprites looked like, not their actual designs, [[http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/manga/pocket_monsters/pm_01/03_wild_poke.jpg which looked incredibly off.]] As the series went on the Pokémon started looking more like their game counterparts, even resembling the official art better then other adaptations in some examples such as Pikachu.
** Characters in this manga and ''Manga/TheElectricTaleOfPikachu'' tend to look really weird, too. Case in point: compare [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/3/30/FireRed_LeafGreen_Professor_Oak.png Prof. Oak from the games]] with his character designs in the respective [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/6/6e/Professor_Oak_PM.png aforementioned]] [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/e/ee/Professor_Oak_EToP.png mangas.]] And can you believe that [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/f/fe/Green_PM.png this guy]][[note]]even the Charmander on his shoulder and that Poké Ball look waaay off...[[/note]] is supposed to be [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/e/ee/Red_Blue_Blue.png Blue/Green?]] Or that [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/0/00/Agatha_PM.png this]] is [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/d/d1/FireRed_LeafGreen_Agatha.png Agatha?]] Would you believe us if we told you that [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/9/9a/Earl_PM.png this]] is [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/9/9c/Earl_Dervish.png Earl?]] Or that [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/1/16/Bill_PM.png this thing]] is supposed to be [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/0/0e/Red_Blue_Bill.png Bill!?]]
** Oddly, this has occurs even within the manga's canon. When first introduced Bill was a huge ugly {{gonk}} with scruffy facial hair. Come Johto and he's suddenly in his younger game accurate design.
* Red from ''Manga/PokemonAdventures'' has noticeable bangs that poke out of his hat, which makes him look little like his Red counterpart from the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games. He resembles Red [[TheArtifact even less so now]] due to game Red's redesign starting at ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue FireRed/LeafGreen]]''. Red in the games has light brown hair and brown eyes while his ''Adventures'' counterpart has longer black hair and red eyes.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'':
** [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/c/c3/Blaine_anime.png Blaine]] anime looked ''really'' differently from the way he does [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/e/e2/Red_Blue_Blaine.png in the games and most media.]] Curiously, his design is actually accurate to a [[EarlyDraftTieIn prototype Blaine character design]], which was replaced in late post-production. [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/6/6c/Blaine_disguise_anime.png The disguise he initially uses]] resembles his usual design (if it weren't for the wig).
** Kanto was very creative with how accurate they kept the character designs, however Bill is still something else. Both personality and design wise, he is little like Bill in the games. In the games he has brown hair and wore a simple brown shirt. He was transformed into a Pokemon by accident while testing out a machine. Bill in the games has a Kansai accent however this isn't translated in the English versions (though ''Manga/PokemonAdventures'' gives him a thick Southern accent). Bill in the anime is a green-haired rich man who wears a red robe and was stuck in a Pokemon ''costume''. His Kansai accent is presented as a British accent in the English dub. Bill was also DemotedToExtra, only appearing once in Kanto when his game counterpart is a reoccuring character.
** In a more unusual case of this trope, in the anime, Erika was depicted as having blue hair and wearing a green dress. In ''PokemonIChooseYou'' (which is an AlternateContinuity), Erika strictly resembles her game self, including having black hair.
** In ''Sun and Moon'', the characters go on a field trip to Kanto. The Cerulean Gym looks nothing like it did in the Original Series.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** Big Mom went from looking like a typical {{Gonk}} in her appearance as a silhouette to horrific when she actually appeared, and finally to a middle point between the two when her respective arc began. However, it's possible that Oda wanted to tweak her character design to make her more intimidating for when we first see her. Justified as Oda is constantly going through ArtEvolution so an improved design would not be surprising, as her design was made during the end of the Water 7 Arc, which is a '''LONG''' way away from the end of the Fishman Island Arc. Kaido appears to have gone through the same development now that he's been introduced, though his final design does maintain some continuity with his original silhouette.[[note]]His final design has the pointy nose, crescent-shaped eyes (when they're shown in full), and brow of the original silhouette.[[/note]]
** During Coby's first appearance at the beginning of the manga, he was a somewhat chubby and short kid with a round chin, but when he reappears ''[[TheBusCameBack nearly 420 chapters later]]'' during the Post-Enies Lobby Arc, he is thinner, taller, and has a more defined chin. Even his nose is shaped differently. Please note that a year hadn't even passed within the story when he reunites with Luffy. Oda states that during Coby's [[PutOnABus bus ride]], he went through a growth spurt and tightened his muscles due to Garp's training. He still has his signature pink hair and round glasses, but he looks more like his past self's older brother now. If you look at his face and build only (not hairstyle/hair color, clothes and glasses), he actually looks a great deal like Luffy now.
* The Comic Bon Bon childrens' manga adaptation of ''Anime/ArmoredTrooperVotoms'' took quite the liberties with characters' designs, between the black-and-white interior pages and the colored artwork. Fyana's hair became somewhat shorter and colored black, with her eyes being green (instead of her having brown hair and brown eyes). Several characters in the Kummen arc were also drawn radically different compared to how they appeared in the anime, with Ru Shako receiving a black bowlcut and Kanjelman's gray hair also changing to black. Ypsilon received long hair, while the Schmitel brothers suddenly lost their eyebrows and received bulging, insect-like eyes.
* Nagisa Momoe, who is introduced in the ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' sequel movie ''[[Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion Rebellion]]'', qualifies despite not even being ''in'' the original 12-episode series. [[spoiler:Well, technically, she ''is'' there, but only as the Witch Charlotte. She spends most of the ''Rebellion'' movie as TeamPet "Bebe", who looks like Charlotte save for the face (presumably to allow a wider range of facial expressions).]]
* ''Anime/FutureGPXCyberFormula SAGA'' and ''SIN'' are designed by ''Anime/MaiHime''[='s=] art directors, which causes everybody to look at least 5 times more {{Bishonen}} than the ways they were in the TV series and two previous OVA titles. Furthermore, backflashes retain the old videoclips, resulting in several ArtShift thoughout the show.
* Fujiko from ''Anime/LupinIII'' changes looks with every animation staff. Possibly {{Justified}} by her being a MasterOfDisguise with a bounty on her head, so she could be changing her looks in-universe, and possibly {{Lampshaded}} in ''Anime/LupinIIIEpisode0FirstContact'' (Fujiko in the flashback has brown-reddish hair and in the present is blonde with a different hairdo) and ''Anime/LupinIIITheWomanCalledFujikoMine'' (where she changes hairdo, hair colour and dresses ''every episode'').
* ''Manga/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** In one of the ''Zelda'' manga based off ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI'', Zelda looks nothing like her game version. Her game version was a prepubescent brunette PrincessClassic while [[Manga/TheLegendOfZeldaI the manga]] had her as blonde, teenage, and overall very different looking. Link looks mostly like his game design but wears overalls instead of his signature tunic.
** Some of the bosses from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' look way different in the Akira Himekawa manga. Kholdstare turns from a cloud creature similar to [[Franchise/{{Kirby}} Kracko]] to something that looks like a giant [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Piloswine]] and Vitreous, originally a giant eyeball surrounded from a bunch of smaller eyes resting in a pool of toxic ooze, is now a one-eyed female giant swamp monster. Also, Link's Dark World form is changed from a rabbit to [[HilariousInHindsight a]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess werewolf]].
** The Zelda in the [[Manga/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords2004 adaptation]] of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwordsAdventures'' doesn't resemble her game counterpart at all. She instead looks like the ''Ocarina of Time'' or ''Wind Waker'' interpretation of Zelda. Her hair is far lighter and not in a ponytail.
** Zelda in ''The Hyrule Fantasy'' by Kobayashi Susumu doesn't resemble her appearance in the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI original game]] at all. In the games she is a kid with puffy EightiesHair and an equally puffy pink dress. The manga aged her up into a teenager and went with a more realistic medieval design. She's [[AdaptationalModesty much more covered up]] as well.
* Ritchie in ''Manga/TheElectricTaleOfPikachu'' looks absolutely nothing like he does in the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime. He has completely different clothes, [[AdaptationDyeJob is a blond]] rather than a brunet, and looks [[DivergentCharacterEvolution less like Ash]].
* The animated adaptation of ''Manga/{{Parasyte}}'' changes a number of character designs as part of its SettingUpdate.
* Princess Ozma in the ''Literature/LandOfOz'' books has long, wavy ruddy-blonde hair ([[AdaptationDyeJob which is depicted as dark brown or black in illustrations]]), wears a long white dress, and wears a circlet crown on her head. In the ''Anime/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz'' anime Princess Ozma is a short girl with short, curly light brown hair who wears an Elizabethan collar, red clothes, white tights, and a more generic crown. She resembles a TomboyPrincess in the anime.
* Apollomon Whispered of ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'' looks like [[https://wikimon.net/File:Apollomon_whispered.png this]] in his official artwork, but he has a [[https://wikimon.net/File:Apollomon_Whispered_XW49.jpg completely different color scheme]] in the anime.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Creator/MarvelComics characters sometimes gain new costumes which may or may not be kept depending on fan reaction.
** The ''Comicbook/XMen'' franchise is a major testament to this.
** In fact...the UltimateUniverse is a combination of this trope and NotAsYouKnowThem.
** Which incarnation of ComicBook/NickFury do you prefer? The one whose head resembled that of Reed Richards or the one with that of Samuel L. Jackson?
** [[ComicBook/TheTombOfDracula Count Dracula]] in has always been depicted as a typical ClassicalMovieVampire up until the 2010 gave him a [[http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/c/ce/X-Men_Vol_3_1_Textless_Djurdjevic_Variant.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20100716131106 radical look]] with red armor and pale white hair.
* Creator/DCComics' ComicBook/{{New 52}} version of [[ComicBook/SuicideSquad Amanda Waller]], who is much slimmer and more attractive in appearance than the pre-New 52 version of her. Despite her looks, Waller's [[BlackBossLady personality]] is still the same.
* Zelda and Hilda Spellman have changed so many times in ''ComicBook/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' since the 90s, more than probably any other character. Their classic designs look like traditional witches, with them being a FatAndSkinny duo and Zelda having green hair.
* ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'':
** Breezie the Hedgehog had a ''massive'' redesign when she made her first appearance in ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog''. When she first appeared in ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'', she looked less like a hedgehog and more of a hedgehog-ish [[Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit Jessica Rabbit]]. When she made the hop, she was given a massive makeover, making her more in line with modern day Sega-type hedgehogs while still giving the impression that this was Breezie. Fans ''really'' like this look.
** Issue 281's cover showed another redesigned character, this time Dulcy the Dragon from ''WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM''. The original design was more of a Western Dragon with a large nosering. Her new look turns her more into an anthropomorphic dragon, ditching the nosering gaining what appears to be some armor. Like Breezie, fan approval of this is pretty high.
* Almost every ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}'' received redesigns for the ''ComicBook/JemAndTheHolograms'' comics. While they are recognizable enough there are clear differences. For example Kimber is now much lankier and her normal hairstyle is a sidecut.
* Aqualad is usually a human looking boy, however ''ComicBook/TeenTitansYearOne'' puts an emphasis on his fish-looking aspects and he gives him a bluish skin tone.
* The ComicBook/New52 redesign for Solstice looks nothing like her original design. She was originally an Indian girl who dressed in light colored clothing. Her redesign has her as completely jet-black and shadowy, with blue hues.
* The New 52 infamously redesigned ''SelfDemonstrating/{{Lobo}}'' as a PrettyBoy. Reader backlash was such that DC eventually ended up bringing back the classic Lobo design.
* In September 2017, [[ComicStrip/DennisTheMenaceUK Pie-Face]] in ''ComicBook/TheBeano'' suddenly had much longer hair, a hat, and glasses. It was done to match his appearance in the new CGI cartoon ''WesternAnimation/DennisAndGnasherUnleashed''.
* ''ComicBook/SpiderManAndBatmanDisorderedMinds'' depicts Ashley Kafka with [[http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/6/6d/Ashley_Kafka_%28Earth-7642%29_from_Spider-Man_and_Batman_Vol_1_1_0001.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/150?cb=20130724163849 longer hair and wearing glasses]]. Making it weirder is that iconic Spidey artist Mark Bagley is the artist and has drawn Kafka before, including during ''ComicBook/TheCloneSaga''.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Popeye}}'s'' recurring adversary, the Sea Hag started off with her own unique look with her long black robe and hood and EyesAlwaysShut, and a much smaller chin. As the years went on, however, especially when Bud Sagendorf took over the strip, she began to look more like Popeye in drag, but with warts and PermaStubble.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Tanya Mousekewitz looks and acts different in every single ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'' movie. Most prefer her design in ''Fievel Goes West''.
* ''Disney/TheLionKingIISimbasPride'':
** Kiara at the start of the film. There are [[http://www.freewebs.com/princess_kiara/presentations.htm many differences]] (such as no black ear tips and being a different colour) between her and the infant at the end of the [[Disney/TheLionKing first film]], who fans tend to call "Kopa" after Simba's son in ''Literature/TheLionKingSixNewAdventures'', which has caused a lot of EpilepticTrees.
** Both Simba and Nala look different between ''Disney/TheLionKing'' and ''Disney/TheLionKingIISimbasPride'', even at the beginning that takes place after Kiara's birth. Simba is bulkier and more similar to his father, while Nala's eye color changed. This has helped the [[FanWank theories]] that the film doesn't really take place after the original film, but instead Kiara is the second cub.
* The Once-ler from ''WesternAnimation/TheLorax'' looks nothing like [[Literature/TheLorax his original book counterpart]]. In the book he was TheFaceless but in the movie he looks like a young, handsome man. His non-flashback design is truer to the source.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanUnlimitedMonsterMayhem'', based on a kid's toyline by Mattel, both plays this straight and averted with the Joker. Played straight in the sense that he doesn't resemble that figure from the toyline these movies based based on, which feature a Joker in militaristic gear with jagged teeth. Averted in the sense that his depiction is far more in line with traditional versions of the character.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAngryBirdsMovie'' the characters are radically re-designed from their game counterparts. Most notably they now have hands and feet!
* This has often occurred in a few of Nickelodeon's movies based on their shows:
** In ''WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys [[TheMovie Movie]]'', the shaman who gave Eliza Thornberry the ability to talk to animals looks drastically different from how he appeared on the show's opening and in the episode "Gift of Gab".
** In ''WesternAnimation/TheSpongebobSquarepantsMovie'', King Neptune is much different than his appearance in the show. On a minor note, news reporter Perch Perkins is colored purple rather than orange and seahorses are drawn more realistically.
* The character designs between the original ''Literature/TheSissyDuckling'' book and the AnimatedAdaptation are very different. Elmer has upright head feathers in the book but a mop-top in the special.
* The ''Franchise/DisneyFairies'' series has a few. Notably, Queen Clarion's design drastically changes from the books to the movies. She turns from wearing flower-petal dresses like everyone else into a taller fairy with a dress made of glitter and massive golden butterfly wings for no apparent reason.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' film changed most of the characters' looks so that they could be more realistic--[[AlternateUniverse not that most of them had previously had consistent looks anyway,]] but [[TheStarscream Starscream]] had [[http://tfu.info/1997/Decepticon/Starscream/starscream.htm usually]] been fairly recognizable before. This was met with criticism of being unable to recognize and/or distinguish them.
** But this is really nothing new in the series; characters named "Optimus Prime" generally look more or less the same (with the movie design ''mostly'' within the typical parameters), but every Megatron is completely different when it comes to physical appearance (the exception being in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', where he is a combination of his Generation 1 and movie designs).
** Played straight with the Fallen however. In the G1 continuity, he's squarish and is on fire, but in the Movie continuity, he's scrawny and red-hot! And yes, WordOfGod confirmed that those two are actually the same character.
*** As with the original toy and cartoon versions of some G1 characters (particularly the shape of their heads), which was eventually corrected by later toys so that they look more like their cartoon incarnations. The worst offenders of these are Ratchet and Ironhide, whose toys neither had heads nor feet!
** The 'Bots and 'Cons from the ''[[VideoGame/TransformersWarForCybertron Trans]][[WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime formers:]] [[WesternAnimation/TransformersRescueBots Aligned]]'' [[VideoGame/TransformersFallOfCybertron continuity]] actually couldn't decide whether they should look more like the Transformers from ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'', [[Film/{{Transformers}} The live-action]] ''[[Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen Transformers]]'' [[Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon films]], or ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', or perhaps all three.
* Galactus from ''Film/FantasticFourRiseOfTheSilverSurfer'' was a huge cloud. He still [[PlanetEater ate planets, though]]. However, the cloud was lit up by periodic flashes from within, revealing shadows that looked like Galactus' [[NiceHat angular helmet.]] WordOfGod states that the big purple guy is ''inside'' the cloud, to be unveiled when the ''ComicBook/SilverSurfer'' movie comes out. [[FranchiseKiller Which it won't]].
** Which was a mostly faithful adaptation from ''ComicBook/UltimateGalactusTrilogy'' which has Gah Lak Tus as a giant swarm of hive drone robots.
* A common fanboy criticism of ''Film/SpiderMan1'' was that the Green Goblin looked nothing like his comic design. He wore green armor and had a mask more like a helmet (the Music/WeirdAlYankovic song "Ode to a Superhero" described it as a "dumb Power Rangers mask") and didn't wear his trademark hat. Some photos have the long part of his head tinted purple to evoke the hat, but in the film itself, it's pretty green, making it look like Gobby just has a huge head.
** The casting of Creator/TopherGrace as Eddie Brock (aka Comicbook/{{Venom}}) was pretty infamous. Nearly everywhere else, he's a large adult bodybuilder. The film version? A skinny guy who looks like he's 20.
* Most characters in the 1982 short "Spinal Tap: The Final Tour" were played by the same actors later to appear in ''Film/ThisIsSpinalTap'' (even Paul Benedict as the 'twisted old fruit,' this time without his bizarre glasses), except for keyboardist Viv Savage. Rather than the curly-haired, slightly large version played by David Kaff in the final film, the original Viv is a much more energetic, thin, blond actor who remained uncredited.
** The prototype Spinal Tap seen on Rob Reiner's 1978 ABC special look dramatically different from their 1984 counterparts, particularly Nigel, who has much longer hair and glam-ish makeup. However, it can be argued that this was simply a different era of their career than what was seen in TIST, and their looks matched their preferred style at the time.
* In nearly all media featuring the Rutles, rhythm guitarist Stig O'Hara is portrayed by South African musician Rikki Fataar. However, when the characters made their debut (on ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' in America, and ''Series/RutlandWeekendTelevision'' in England), Stig was David Battley, better known as Charlie Bucket's science teacher in "Willy Wonka."
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries''
** The actors often fairly resemble the characters, but the costumes are often completely different. Gone are the colorful superhero costumes of the comics, and in their place [[MovieSuperheroesWearBlack are black leather jump-suits which are understood to be utilitarian, though their use is never specified]]. Furthermore, characters such as Toad and Mystique are often redesigned to look markedly different, while Creator/IanMckellen (ComicBook/{{Magneto}}), Ellen Page (ComicBook/KittyPryde) and Anna Paquin (ComicBook/{{Rogue}}) don't resemble their characters in terms of age and build. What may or may not be significant to some is that ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} is explicitly short in the comics (except in the ComicBook/UltimateMarvel universe or where artists err) but in the movies, he's played by 6'2" Creator/HughJackman who has the build one might expect from a superhero type (though in the [[Film/XMen1 first movie]] at least, other actors wore platform boots to make them seem taller).
** ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'' features the first live action appearance of fan favorite Marvel character ComicBook/{{Deadpool}}, and when fans got the news that he would make an appearance, they went crazy. [[http://www.statepress.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Untitled12-300x192.jpg Then this happened...]]
** Beast's makeup in ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'' is less feline-looking than his counterpart in ''Film/XMenFirstClass'', and more reminiscent of Kelsey Grammer's Beast. What caused this change is never actually explained.
* Aldrich Killian in ''Film/IronMan3''. In addition to gaining major AdaptationalAttractiveness, he goes from being a meek, middle-aged geek to a good-looking blonde with a strong build. [[spoiler: This is actually a plot point, since he starts off as a meek nerd closer to his comic counterpart, but later ingests a SuperSerum that greatly enhances him]]. The movie [[AdaptationalBadass also gives him superpowers]], which he lacked in the comics.
* Both Film/JamesBond and Franchise/{{Batman}} have been played by different actors with very different looks, even when the films suggest they take place in the same continuity as earlier installments (e.g. ''Film/GoldenEye'', ''Film/BatmanForever'').
* ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'':
** In ''Film/{{Godzilla 1998}}'', Godzilla was given a more raptor-like stance and a prominent chin.
** Gigan in ''Film/GodzillaFinalWars'' TookALevelInBadass, as evident by the extra spinning blades.
* The live-action adaptation of Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/NightWatch'' novel changes many of things from the novel (such as removing most of the magical elements in favor of pointless action scenes and twisting many plot lines). What most fits this trope is the appearance of Zabulon, the head of the Moscow Day Watch. In the novels, he is consistently described as an unassuming-looking man in his 20s-30s wearing a grey suit and glasses. Since that wouldn't look good on-screen, the character now looks much older and is HellBentForLeather.
* In ''Film/JemAndTheHolograms'', Synergy was made into a pocket-sized RobotBuddy who communicates in beeps and blips – nothing like the the holographic woman that Synergy is in [[WesternAnimation/{{Jem}} the cartoon.]]
* In ''Film/FantasticFour2015'', Doom lacks the helmet, armor, cape and other characteristics of his comic counterpart, resembling a robot instead. This has been given the FanNickname of "Crash-Test Dummy Doom". On the Fantastic Four themselves, human Ben Grimm is a lot smaller than his counterpart in the comic, and Johnny Storm has been given a race lift, no longer the blonde Caucasian in the comic.
* Leslie in the ''Literature/BridgeToTerabithia'' is a ten-year old tomboyish girl with dark BoyishShortHair who dresses in unisex, plain clothes. She's mentioned to be able to [[LadyLooksLikeADude can pass for a boy]]. In the 2007 film she's played by the Creator/AnnaSophiaRobb. She doesn't look anything like either her book or 1985 film versions. Leslie is instead twelve-year old with blonde bob-length hair who dresses in girly clothes that are usually in bright colors.
* In the second ''Film/GeorgeOfTheJungle'' film, George looks almost completely different from how he did in the first movie, thanks to [[TheOtherDarrin not being played by]] Creator/BrendanFraser. This being ''George of the Jungle'', they lampshade the hell out of it.
-->”Me new George. [[BitingTheHandHumor Studio too cheap to pay Brendan Fraser]].”

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Lana Lang in ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' is heavily altered. From a Caucasian [[FieryRedhead redhead]] to part-Asian with dark brown hair.
* Virgil Reality, the quirky artificial intelligence from ''Series/CrashZone'', had his virtual form redesigned in the second season--in the first one he looks like a blurry splotch with a face, in the second one he's a complete floating head.
* The ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' characters barely look like their comic book counterparts, a fact that has been lost by many due to many qualities being [[{{Retcanon}} added]] into the comics and due to AdaptationDisplacement. Sabrina's hair is far longer than her signature bob haircut and is a golden blonde instead of a MysticalWhiteHair tier of platinum blonde. The usually [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair green haired]] Hilda is a brunette, and Salem went from having orange fur to being a black cat. Hilda lacks a GagNose, Zelda is much skinnier, and both dressed in contemporary fashions instead of looking like traditional witches.
* Saki in the manga ''Manga/SukebanDeka'' is a tall, lithe, 17 year old with pink hair. Her live action counterpart is shorter, younger, wider, and has black hair. When seen side by side they look nothing alike.
* ''Series/CodeLyokoEvolution'' [[ArtShift swapped]] the traditional animation of ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' for live action segments. Odd's actor doesn't match his original look or his CGI "Lyoko" design. He looks jarringly young compared to everyone else and is quite short. He doesn't even having the same hair colour as his animated version (having a brown/dark blond tone instead of light blond).
* The Norwegian series ''Series/VazelinaHjulkalender'' invokes this trope with SantaClaus, revealing that his traditional look with a big belly and long white beard isn't how he really looks at all -- he's actually skinny and has a thin, whispy, barely-there-at-all beard. For public appearances he wears a fat suit and a fake beard so that he'll fit the public perception of him, otherwise nobody believes he's really Santa Claus.

* In the [[Theatre/TheLittleMermaid Broadway adaptation]] of ''Disney/{{The Little Mermaid}}'', Ursula's [[http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140821045938/disney/images/1/16/1561_Ursula_40_detail.jpg iconic appearance]] is [[http://images2.fanpop.com/image/photos/14200000/ursula-the-little-mermaid-on-broadway-14262824-410-289.jpg heavily altered,]] probably due to the difficulty of bringing her fanciful design to the stage (as with most of the characters). Here, her white wavy hair heavily increases in size, her tentacles are a slimy shade of green rather than black, and her skin, depending on the actress portraying her, is a sickly pale white as opposed to purple. But perhaps the most noticeable physical change is her size. While she still has, as Sherie Rene Scott (who originated the role on Broadway) puts it, "a giant, giant ass", Ursula is portrayed as much slimmer than her obese animated counterpart. In some cases, this could also count as AdaptationalAttractiveness.
* The [[Theatre/TheLionKing Broadway musical]] version of ''Disney/TheLionKing'' for some reason actually portrayed [[TheHyena Ed the hyena's]] costume with [[Franchise/PlutoThePup Pluto's]] face!

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The characters of ''TabletopGame/CandyLand'' have gone through multiple redesigns. Princess Lolly in particular has changed designs, hair colors, hairstyles, clothing, and ages often. She's sometimes not even royalty.

* Happened all the time in ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'', due to [[MidSeasonUpgrade all the various transformations]] the characters had to go through in order to still be purchasable. This has of course lead to fan complaints, especially when the ''original'' Toa characters got redesigned into flying "Phantoka" and "Mistika" forms -- the Mistika had it worst, having become utterly unrecognizable and lacking all of their former defining physical traits. This redesign was actually [[ExploitedTrope exploited by the writers]], who explained prior to their release that the characters would be wearing AdaptiveArmor but looked like their old selves underneath -- except for Pohatu, whose color had to be changed from tan and brown to orange and gray because brown sets sold bad. In a later wave, they released a new Tahu figure that was, in-story, supposed to be exactly the same as the original toy, but, well, [[http://biosector01.com/wiki/images/7/7a/Set_Toa_Mata_Tahu.png compare]] [[http://biosector01.com/wiki/images/3/36/Set_Star_Toa_Mata_Tahu.jpg them]].
* C.A. Cupid from ''Toys/MonsterHigh'' has skeletal wings and out-there hair and makeup, but when the gods reassigned her to the eponymous school of ''Toys/EverAfterHigh'', she got feathery wings and looked normal.
* If we were to start discussing this trope as it pertains to ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'', we'd be here a long, long time.
** Thanks to multiple universes, this isn't as big a deal as in other franchises. In-universe, the process of reformatting (where a Transformer gets a brand new body, usually due to severe injury) or upgrading can result in this. For example, in ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformersTheMovie'', Starscream had trouble recognising Galvatron as a rebuilt Megatron, and more recently in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersRobotsInDisguise2015'', Fixit observes that Starscream looks very different from the records (looking more like his G1 incarnation than how he appeared in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'').
** This was done as a joke in ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' when Optimus Primal got his upgrade to his Optimal Optimus form (thanks to temporarily fusing with Optimus Prime). The other Maximals initially didn't recognise him, leading Rattrap to quip about him switching bodies a lot. Come the Maximals' reformatting in the premiere of ''Beast Wars''' SequelSeries ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines'', and ''no one'' looked like their former selves.
* ''Franchise/MyLittlePony''
** There are many examples in the franchise, but one of the most notable is the human character Megan from the G1 series, whose animated version is almost completely different from her toy; the former being a tomboyish farmgirl, the latter a preteen girly girl in a princess-like dress.
** G2 stands out like a sore thumb, which is part of the reason it [[AmericansHateTingle bombed]] in most countries. The series usually looks like small, Shetland ponies at minimum but G2 gives them a more realistic, "horse like" design. G3 promptly returned to the classic look with {{Animesque}} influence, while G3.5 and G4 use a highly stylized look.
** G3 reused some G1 characters (thus is why a few were able to be reused in G4). Their designs were completely redone. The orange furred and flaxen haired Applejack became a deep red furred pony with a green mane and a different Symbol in G3. G4 returned her to her original colouring because Lauren Faust took inspiration from G1.
* Current Skipper from ''Franchise/{{Barbie}}'' looks very little like the traditional Skipper. It could be justified in that she hit puberty and apparently dyed her hair.
* Some of the 25th anniversary ''WesternAnimation/RainbowBrite'' redesigns are this. In addition to being given an AgeLift Moonglow has blue hair instead of light pink and wears a different outfit.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Zero's transition from ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' to ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' could be considered a drastic change. Justified in ''Zero 3'', when it's revealed that Zero is actually Zero in a copy body. Played straight during the final ''minute'' of the game, when [[spoiler:TheDragon Omega crosses the BishonenLine by...transferring himself to Zero's original body, which now looks ''exactly the same as his new one'' with a slightly darker color scheme.]] The reason for this change is due to the change of the character design artist. For the sake of convenience storyline-wise, Zero has always looked like this.
* Alice's [[http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080524071155/bloodyroar/images/9/94/AliceHumanBRX.jpg appearance]] in ''Primal Fury'' is drastically different from [[http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080524070119/bloodyroar/images/3/32/AliceHumanBR.jpg her debut]] in the original ''VideoGame/BloodyRoar''. Can be justified by her growing during the time gap, though.
* Ralf and Clark from ''VideoGame/IkariWarriors'' were radically redesigned when they were reintroduced in ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' series, which worked for the better since the original designs were just generic Franchise/{{Rambo}}-clones anyway. Maxima from ''KOF '99'' was also a {{transplant}} from an earlier Neo Geo beat em' up titled ''Robo Army'', but the ''KOF'' version looks nothing like the original character.
** A majority of the alternate costumes in the ''Maximum Impact'' spin-off series radically alters the appearance of their characters as well. Falcoon, the producer and main illustrator of the ''Maximum Impact'' games, received flak for this, and even admitted he felt wary messing around with [[ClothesMakeTheLegend such iconic designs]] for the "Another" costumes.
** It was then done again ''within'' ''KOF'' itself due to a massive ArtShift in the twelfth and thirteenth installments, with alterations ranging from slight details to changes in whole body structure. The most obvious cases are (again) Ralf and Clark, who both gained several pounds of muscle, more deeply tanned skin and are now headswaps of each other again (thereby undoing 15 years of [[DivergentCharacterEvolution evolution]]). Other design changes include Athena and Yuri, respectively 18 and 20, whose appearances were both changed to the point of [[YoungerThanTheyLook looking actually younger than]] LittleMissBadass [[AnIcePerson Kula]]. Kula is '''''fourteen'''''.
* The ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series is slightly guilty of this, though mostly due to the ArtShift between games and the fact that the original games were for the 8-bit UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem and the only way to know how a character was supposed to look like was through the games' covers and manual art:
** Compare the anime-style character designs of Richter and Maria from ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood Rondo of Blood]]'' to Ayami Kojima's more gothic designs in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony of the Night]]'', ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaCurseOfDarkness Curse of Darkness]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaTheDraculaXChronicles Dracula X Chronicles]]''.
** Most notably, Dracula, who is featured in every game in the series, has almost as many different appearances within the game series, as he does in every other unrelated movie and comic, etc. This is justified by how he possesses a different body every time he reanimates. That and the fact they'd have to pay the Lugosi estate a fortune to use the most famous likeness of the character, coupled with also trying to reference any number of other actors who have played the character...
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaJudgment'' has even more changes, as a result of [[Manga/DeathNote Takeshi]] [[Manga/HikaruNoGo Obata]] (re)designing the characters. However, this game happens in an AlternateUniverse where the timelines have converged into one.
* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'':
** Samus Aran has gone through some changes herself. Only starting with ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'' has she started to develop a consistent appearance.
** Ridley has some major appearance changes - while his design used in ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' has stuck with some minor changes in later games, in [[VideoGame/{{Metroid1}} the first game]], his [[http://static.gamesradar.com/images/mb/GamesRadar/us/Features/2010/08/Samus%20and%20Ridley/Finished/Metroid01--article_image.jpg ingame sprite]] depicted him as a more humanoid dragon around Samus's height... and if that wasn't enough, the [[http://metroid.retropixel.net/games/metroid/artwork/metroid_24.jpg art for Ridley in the American manual]] shows him as this... ''thing'' which has zero resemblance to the sprite at all!
** Likewise, Kraid altered his appearance in the change from ''[[http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/metroid/images/7/79/Metroid_Kraid.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20091012201449 Metroid]]'' to ''[[http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/metroid/images/2/20/Kraid.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20150701082624 Super Metroid.]]''
* Most of the characters in the ''VideoGame/{{Soul|Series}}'' series go through various changes, sometimes to the point that their default costumes are completely different than in the previous game. That said, most of the fighters are still easily recognizable and identifiable between appearances:
** Presumably to make her look more mature and less anime-like, Xianghua's face was changed between ''Soul Calibur'' and ''Soul Calibur II'', giving her smaller eyes, a larger nose, and removing her perpetual smirk. It didn't stick, and she went back to her original {{Moe}} facial features for every subsequent game.
** There's Lizardman, who seems to take after another species of reptile with every sequel, picking up and dropping different crests, frills and horns with each new appearance. His actually being [[WasOnceAMan a cursed human]] might have something to do with it. Oddly, he commands several other lizard mooks that closely resemble his original incarnation.
* The main character of ''VideoGame/DigDug'', Taizo Hori, has this going for him in the game ''VideoGame/NamcoXCapcom''. This also happened earlier with both the cover to ''[[VideoGameRemake Dig Dug Deeper]]'' and Taizo's SuperDeformed redesign in the ''VideoGame/MrDriller'' series, though the latter style would be kept for most subsequent appearances, including ''Dig Dug: Digging Strike''.
* Cless, Mint, and Klarth from the original ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' for the Super Famicom looked drastically different from their original character designs, if their face portraits were any indication, making this a possible case of this happening within a single work. All the remakes and other games featuring or cameoing the characters have used sprites that fit the original design. This was because the character designs were originally done by Yoshiaki Inagaki, which were used for the game sprites. However, due to ExecutiveMeddling by Namco, the character designs were replaced by the ones done by Kosuke Fujishima, but it was too late to change the sprites at that point. The sprites were changed in the remakes to reflect Fujishima's designs.
* From the ''VideoGame/{{Tales|Series}}'' series, Summon Spirits Efreet, Gnome, Undine, and Sylph have almost never looked the same from game to game, though they hold on to certain themes (Efreet is a demonic burning beast, Sylph is a fairy, etc.). Gnome notably changed from a legion of lumps of dirt (''Phantasia'') into a big-nosed hamster creature (''Eternia'') between his first two appearances in the series. A more direct example of this trope would be Efreet himself turning from a vague fire monster in the original ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' into a clear red humanoid with a fiery head and arms in the ''remake'' for the PSX. The drastically different appearances of the Summon Spirits was once [[HandWave explained during a Skit]] in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' where Sheena explains to Lloyd that the Summon Spirits can change their appearance at will and simply decide what they look like for convenience's sake.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** [[BigBad Dr. Eggman/Robotnik]][[http://info.sonicretro.org/File:Eggman01_32.png]] has gone through many of these--[[AmericanKirbyIsHardcore American redesign]][[http://info.sonicretro.org/File:Toon_eggman2.png]], ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog''[[http://static1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090911045129/sonic/images/a/ae/Robotnik_fat_fat_fat.png]], ''WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM''[[https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/villains/images/7/76/Satam_robotnik.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20150401181254]], ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure''[[http://info.sonicretro.org/File:SA_Eggman_Original.jpg]], ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006''[[http://info.sonicretro.org/File:Eggman_06_Final.png]], and ''VideoGame/SonicBoom''[[http://sonic.wikia.com/wiki/File:Eggman_Sonic_Boom_concept.jpg]]. Each apparently felt that none of his existing designs was quite good enough. The ''Sonic Adventure'' version has stuck, becoming the basis for his subsequent appearances.
** An even more thorough redesign of [[StalkerWithACrush Amy Rose]] was introduced at the same time, and has similarly completely displaced the earlier "short, crossdressing Sonic" depiction. Note that this was because of an edict from Sega ordering all media of ''Sonic'' to be consistent with the game's designs, with various in-story reasons being offered for the changes (for example ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'' had Amy physically transforming into a twelve year old while ''ComicBook/SonicTheComic'' just had Amy change the way she styles her quills).
* Ladd Spencer (or [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Rad]], depending on the version) from the NES ''VideoGame/BionicCommando'' has been redesigned at least thrice already: the first time for the UsefulNotes/GameBoy version, followed by the ''Rearmed'' remake, and then the 2009 console sequel for the [=PS3=] and Xbox 360. Only the ''Rearmed'' version looks anything like the original NES character. While Ladd from the NES game looks nothing like the protagonist in the arcade version, he doesn't count as a redesign, since the player character in the arcade game was just a nameless soldier (except in the American localization, which claimed he was Super Joe).
* ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'':
** The series gradually changed the designs of its twin protagonists as the series progressed. In the original arcade game, Player 1 had blond hair and a blue outfit, whereas Player 2 had brown hair and a red outfit. In the NES version, Billy Lee wore a blue outfit and had reddish brown hair, whereas Jimmy wore a red outfit and had blond hair. Technos would try to depict Billy and Jimmy as distinct from each other as possible in promotional art, a practice which eventually made its way into the actual games in the NES version of ''Double Dragon III'' (at least in its cutscenes and character portraits) and later in ''Super Double Dragon'' (in the actual in-game sprites), which depicted Billy and Jimmy with different hair styles as well. Later games in the series made by other developers after Technos went out of business were inconsistent as to which style to use. For example, ''Double Dragon Advance'' and the [=iOS=] version used the distinct versions of Billy and Jimmy Lee, whereas ''Double Dragon Neon'' and ''Wanders of the Dragons'' went with the identical palette swapped designs and original hair colors.
** The Neo Geo fighting game [[RecursiveAdaptation based on]] [[Film/DoubleDragon the movie]] featured radically redesigned versions of not just Billy and Jimmy, but other characters from the previous games, namely Marian, Abobo, Burnov and Duke. Billy and Jimmy in particular wore torn t-shirts and sweatpants as their normal outfits and their {{super mode}} outfits only vaguely resemble their original ones (they look more like fancier karate gis instead of ''Film/TheWarriors''[=/=]''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar''-esque ensemble they actually wore in the old arcade/NES games).
* The black-haired Ray Poward from the Appaloosa-developed {{VideoGame/Contra}} games (''Contra: Legacy of War'' and ''C: The Contra Adventure'') looks nothing like the original blond-haired character from ''Contra: Hard Corps''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Wipeout}}'':
** ''Wipeout HD: Fury'' is an expansion pack to ''Wipeout HD'' that replaces all of the vehicles with freaky, vaguely shattered-looking redesigns. They're almost completely unrecognizable.
** Ditto with ''Wipeout XL'', which replaced the pseudo-realistic homologized ships of the first ''Wipeout'' with extremely differentiated counterparts.
* ''VideoGame/StarFox'':
** The Arwing has a different design in every game it's featured in. Only in ''Command'' was it given a genuine canonical upgrade in the form of the Arwing II.
** To a lesser degree, Fox [=McCloud=]'s design. The shape of his head in ''Command'' gives him a significantly more stylized and cartoonish look than his UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube appearances.
** All the characters look ([[DependingOnTheWriter and act]]) a bit differently to how they did in the original ''Star Fox''. And the manual, where they were represented by actual puppet-like things.
* [[JackassGenie Calypso]] in the ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal'' series has barely ever bothered keeping his design consistent.
* King Boo in all appearances. ''VideoGame/LuigisMansion'' had him look plain horrifying, later games made him a normal(ish) goofy looking Boo with a crown who was just a standard KingMook. ''VideoGame/LuigisMansionDarkMoon'' has King Boo back to his regular scary self, though inexplicably with his ''VideoGame/MarioKartDoubleDash'' voice. It's like Nintendo can't decide on a final design for this guy, though some have theorized that his ''Luigi's Mansion'' design would be considered too creepy for a game like ''Mario Kart'', as ''Luigi's Mansion'' is DarkerAndEdgier than most Mario games.
* ''Franchise/FiveNightsAtFreddys'':
** Even accounting for them being old and damaged animatronics, the Withered animatronics in ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys2'' look rather different from their appearance in [[VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys1 the original game]], with larger eye sockets, Freddy having top teeth, and Chica's head being two pieces. [[spoiler:As it turns out, this is what they looked like ''before'' they were refurbished for the events of the original, which happen years later.]]
** In ''VideoGame/FreddyFazbearsPizzeriaSimulator'', Springtrap has drastically changed his appearance following the ending of ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys3''. Most notably, his head now looks somewhat like Golden Freddy (or, as displeased fans may say, WesternAnimation/{{Goofy}}), suggesting he used (a) Golden Freddy's suit to repair himself.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** The FMV opening in remakes of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' depicts, in rough order of appearance, the BigBad [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070324001446/finalfantasy/images/c/ca/FF2_Emperor.jpg Emperor Palamecia]] TheHero [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080420191733/finalfantasy/images/8/83/Pers_Firion.jpg Firion,]] TheBigGuy [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080225080751/finalfantasy/images/1/1d/Amano_Guy.jpg erm...Guy,]] BlackMagicianGirl [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080225080647/finalfantasy/images/5/56/Amano_Maria.jpg Maria]] ([[{{Stripperiffic}} image mildly NSFW]]), and BlackKnight [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080225080550/finalfantasy/images/1/18/Leon.jpg Leon.]] And some [[NightOfTheLivingMooks mooks,]] but no one cares about them. See the opening [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtt9PUZWKiY here.]] and marvel at the differences. Leon doesn't get it too bad, Guy is badly altered but still basically "Guy," Firion and Maria resemble the actual character only vaguely, and if you hadn't been told beforehand that that was the Emperor, you would not recognize him.
** Faris from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' has several designs. Her [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130624142044/finalfantasy/images/4/48/Faris3_TCG.png most well-known design]] is the purple haired one used in her sprites however her [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121008130853/finalfantasy/images/e/e5/Faris_TCG.png canon design]] is far more formal and has ''blonde'' hair.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' (at least in the PSP-remake) there is a jarring diversity between Cecil's [[http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121009084008/finalfantasy/images/4/41/FF4_PSP_Cecil_Field.png field]] and [[http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110328002504/finalfantasy/images/d/da/FF4PSP-CecilPSprite.png battle]] sprites, from hair length and outfit to eye colour. Considering Cecil's menu portrait and other designs, the field sprite seems more likely.
** Coinsiding with the ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'' example above, ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' are known to keep changing the Summon Spirits designs from game to game while maintaining the basic image. Shiva is blue-skinned icy lady, Ifrit is horned fierce fire beast, Alexander is some winged machinery, etc. However, the details behind these descriptions change drastically.
* The entire original ''Franchise/AloneInTheDark'' trilogy is the only time Edward Carnby ever kept his appearance consistent. Carnby himself has his appearance changed about three times, and that's not counting [[Film/AloneIntheDark2005 the Uwe Boll movie]] [[http://www.defunctgames.com/shows.php?id=freezeframe-75 but rather counting]] ''[[CoversAlwaysLie his ingame appearance after the boxart]]'' of [[Videogame/AloneInTheDark2008 the 2008 reboot]]!
* ''VideoGame/QuakeII'''s Strogg race have received a total makeover in ''VideoGame/QuakeIV''.
** In the same vein, the Demons of ''VideoGame/{{Doom 3}}'' only somewhat resemble their counterparts from the earlier games in the series (though ''3'' was a reboot, so...)
* Dante's redesign in ''VideoGame/DmCDevilMayCry'', which was the cause of much controversy among the ''Franchise/DevilMayCry'' fanbase.
* Guybrush Threepwood from the ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' series was originally supposed to be red haired as can be seen on the original cover art for ''VideoGame/TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland''. However, the game portrays him with blondish hair due to the limited color palette. ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland2LeChucksRevenge'' has him with a brown ponytail and a beard. The third game, The Curse Of Monkey Island gives him a bright blond messy ponytail and this is how he's stayed for the rest of the series. The Special Edition remake of ''Monkey Island 2'' has him with blond hair, which led to fan backlash.
* Kid Kool's design in the box art for ''Kid Kool And The Quest For The Seven Wonder Herbs'' for the NES has him look like a tough character, with black hair, muscles, sunglasses, a white shirt, a sleeveless leather jacket, sneakers and ripped jeans. The Kid Kool character in the actual game itself looks completely different; he is chubby, has brown hair and wears a brown shirt and white overalls. Are we talking about the same character here? You can blame AmericanKirbyIsHardcore for this. The original version of the game starred Kakefu-kun (a TV star from the mid-80s), but since nobody outside of Japan had heard of him, they changed the cover of the localized version to look...like that. Yeah.
* In a bizarre inversion, the VideoGame/{{Fallout}} franchise mentions the Desert Rangers multiple times across the continuity. One is first encountered in [[VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}} the first game]], where he is described as wearing a trench coat and gas mask, but uses the standard model for a character wearing combat armor. An actual suit of Desert Ranger Armor can be acquired over the course of VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas, which looks exactly like Tycho's getup is described--but nothing like how Tycho actually ''looked'' in the first game.
* Both ''Franchise/SpyroTheDragon'' continuities and ''Skylanders'' completely redesign the purple dragon. In the Classic series he is a tiny, cute purple dragon with really small wings, in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfSpyro'' trilogy he is more armor plated with a different personality and had another redesign to make him larger after a PlotRelevantAgeUp, and in the ''VideoGame/{{Skylanders}}'' series he is smaller again with his original personality, but now looks much less cute and has larger purple wings and a much bigger tail spike. The fandom is divided about these changes, to say the least...
* ''VideoGames/SuperSmashBros'':
** The official art of Pit from ''VideoGame/KidIcarus'' in the first two titles. ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBrosBrawl'' combines the two looks while making him look older, which also serves as an EarlyBirdCameo for ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'' look.
** A similar case to the above could be made for the ''Super Smash Bros.'' interpretation of Marth, from ''VdeoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia''. While he retains the basic design tenets, he looks fairly different from his appearances in earlier games ''and'' subsequent games. In the case of subsequent games, this was accidental - the ''Shadow Dragon'' redesign of Marth was finalised just as they'd finalised his appearance in ''Brawl'', with neither development team having any idea of the other redesign effort until the ''SSB'' group came to show the ''Fire Emblem'' group their finalised Marth. This was finally amended in the fourth game, where Marth's design is mainly rooted in his depiction from ''New Mystery of the Emblem''.
* ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'' gives Jim Raynor almost a complete redesign. [[http://i.ytimg.com/vi/nhSrUCC4Kl8/0.jpg This]] is him in the original ''Starcraft'', while [[http://www.freewebs.com/starcraftnurdz/hero-raynor-thumb-02.jpg this]] is him in the sequel. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] by greater graphical fidelity and [[TimeSkip several years of in-universe time]].
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** [[TheEmperor Emperor Uriel Septim VII]] has the dubious honour of looking completely different in every game he's in. In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena Arena]]'', he looks like a stereotypical king, with short hair and a full beard. In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'', he's bald and clean-shaven, and in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'', he's hairy again, but he now has shoulder-length hair and no beard. His chancellor, Ocato, experiences a similar phenomenon - in ''Daggerfall'', he's bald human and has a goatee, while in ''Oblivion'', he's a clean-shaven [[OurElvesAreBetter Altmer]] with a full head of hair.
** The "Beast Races" ([[LizardFolk Argonians]] and [[CatFolk Khajiit]]) have changed drastically over the course of the series, though this may have more to do with the [[ArtEvolution enhanced graphical capabilities]] as the series had gone on.
* Kid Niki from ''VideoGame/KidNikiRadicalNinja'' looked more "radical" than his Japanese counterpart, Yanchamaru, but the Japan-only sequels for the Famicom made more drastic changes to his appearance.
* Before the ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' series [[VideoGame3DLeap leapt into 3D]] with ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'', there were 10 [[SecretCharacter Secret Characters]] that were [[PaletteSwap Palette Swaps]] of other characters. 2 of them (both of which appear in ''VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroesVsStreetFighter'') [[InNameOnly don't look like the characters they're based on, despite their names]].
** One of these characters is U.S. Agent, who is also an AssistCharacter in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomClashOfTheSuperheroes''. In the comics, [[http://images.wikia.com/marveldatabase/images/6/65/John_Walker_%28Earth-616%29.gif his costume]] is based off of Captain America's, but anyone can tell the difference between them. In ''[=MSHvSF=]'', his sprite simply [[http://s15.postimage.org/j317hu5rr/us_agent.gif swaps Cap's blue color with grey.]] The other character is Mephisto, the father of Blackheart. He's just [[http://s11.postimage.org/utpsnstxb/mephisto.gif a red version of his son]] in ''[=MSHvSF=]'', looking absolutely ''nothing'' like the way he does [[http://images.wikia.com/marveldatabase/images/8/89/Mephisto_%28Earth-616%29.png in the comics]].
** And then, there's War Machine. [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080512022421/marvelvscapcom/images/8/8f/Wmachine_anim.gif His sprite]] is a Palette Swap of Iron Man's. However, ''all'' of his illustrations from the ''[=MvC=]'' series (here's an [[http://images.wikia.com/marvelvscapcom/images/6/65/Mvc2-war-machine.jpg example]] from ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom2'') actually look more like his [[http://s10.postimage.org/5i7zv7om1/warmachine_mark2a.png Mark II-A armor]] in the comics (save for the armor's thighs being black instead of silver and other minor details).
* The [=MSX2=] version of ''VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake'' featured photo-realistic character portraits (most of them being [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed obvious traceovers of popular celebrities at the time]]) in lieu of the more iconic character designs by Yoji Shinkawa featured in the later ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' and its sequels. While the game's renditions of Solid Snake, Roy Campbell and Big Boss vaguely resembled their future ''MGS'' incarnations (with Snake looking a bit older than he did in the original ''MGS''), the original designs for Master Miller and Gray Fox are bit more jarring in contrast: Master Miller has a distinctively Asian appearances in the MSX version instead of [[RaceLift being the blond-haired Caucasoid]] he was in ''MGS'' and ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker Peace Walker]]'', whereas Gray Fox is a Creator/TomBerenger lookalike with bronze skin and brown hair instead of being white haired like he was from ''MGS'' and onward.
** Later ports of ''Metal Gear 2'' replaced the original portraits with new ones drawn by Shinkawa, but this change was most likely done to avoid likeness infringement than any attempt at maintain consistency.
* The video game version of ''Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough'' had several characters that looked ''nothing'' like their actors from the movie. For example, Robinson had a full head of hair and beard, Moneypenny had very short hair and a face that didn't remotely resemble Samantha Bond's, Sir Robert King was balding and had a mustache, but the most egregious has to be Q, who instead of looking like Creator/DesmondLlewelyn, looks like an overweight, younger man with brown hair and glasses.
* The UpdatedRerelease of ''Videogame/Persona4'' features a new extended epilogue, set 1 year after the events of the game. Most of the characters have new outfits, but are otherwise still clearly regognizable... and then there's Kanji, [[http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/396852_10151909972515398_944657840_n.jpg who looks so different it's hard to believe it's the same guy.]] Seriously, show anyone who hasn't seen the epilogue [[http://0-media-cdn.foolz.us/ffuuka/board/a/image/1340/02/1340020460609.jpg this]] photo, and they'd most likely tell you Kanji wasn't in it at all.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** Red from ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' is a scrawny looking kid with black AnimeHair. His current design, which has been used since the remakes (''Firered'' and ''Leafgreen''), is more {{Bishonen}} and mature looking (along with being a PerpetualFrowner in all his official art, in contrast to his original design which usually smiled). He has light brown hair in a slightly different style and his clothes have the same colours and style but are styled differently.
** Many other characters have seen even more drastic redesigns for the remakes. Two notable examples are Morty and Sabrina, whose Generation IV onward clothes bear little resemblance to their styles in previous generations (more so Sabrina). Sabrina cut her hair and started dressing in a much more casual style, implied in-series to [[DarkIsNotEvil be to seem more approachable]].
** Several members of Team Aqua and Magma have been drastically redesigned as seen in ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire]]'' compared to the original ''Ruby and Sapphire''. In this [[http://i.imgur.com/i1V4Leb.png image]] from top left to bottom right, we have the Team Magma Grunts, Team Aqua Grunts, Courtney (whose design stayed mostly the same), Shelly, Tabitha, Matt, Maxie, and Archie. Maxie mostly {{avert|edTrope}}s this, as he still closely resembles his design from the original games, minus the widow's peak and of course, different attire and glasses.
** According to early promotional art and adaptations such as ''Manga/PokemonZensho'', Red's mother in ''Red and Blue'' had bob-length brown hair in a wavy style. By the remakes ''[=FireRed=] and [=LeafGreen=]'' she had been redesigned. She wears different clothes and has long ''blue'' hair.
* ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'':
** Almost all the characters got vastly redesigned for ''Crash of the Titans''. Prior to that they had redesigns but they were far more subtle. Crash is shorter and with different body proportions. He no longer has gloves but has tattoos on his fur. Coco had slowly been aging since ''Nitro Kart'' but it's in [=CotT=] where she began looking really pubescent. For the sequel, ''Mind Over Mutant'', she looks even older and dresses in a more tomboyish style.
** Even amongst a whole cast of characters looking and behaving very unlike themselves, Tiny Tiger in ''Crash of the Titans'' stands out as bearing no resemblance at all to his previous depictions. In previous games, he was designed to resemble a ''Tasmanian'' tiger and characterized as a big, brutish DumbMuscle and a ThirdPersonPerson who also spoke in HulkSpeak, with no greater desire than to crush Crash under his feet. In ''Crash of the Titans'', he's quite indisputably a normal, Indian tiger, and is turned into a Wrestling/MikeTyson parody who speaks with SesquipedalianLoquaciousness and seems quite friendly towards Crash, only antagonizing him on Dr. Cortex's orders. A player not paying attention would probably just assume this to be a new character entirely.
* Mac from ''VideoGame/PunchOut'' never looks the same. In the NES game he was a very short (4'8) guy, with pale raven hair but come SNES and he's suddenly blond, and with a totally different face and haircut at that. In the Wii title he's revamped again to be [[AmbiguouslyBrown darker skinned]], [[YoungerAndHipper younger]] looking (he is [[ImprobableAge seventeen]]), almost a foot taller, and with a different haircut. It's even worse with the proto-Mac from the arcade game. He looks like a 20 or 30 something year old with bright ''green'' hair. The UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube version of ''Fight Night Round 2'' features the player character from ''Super Punch-Out!!'', who is erroneously identified as "Little Mac" (it's implied, he's just a generic boxer name). ''Super Smash Bros. Brawl'' for the Wii, being a proper Nintendo-produced game, used the actual Little Mac from the NES game. When Mac is introduced as a character in the Wii U and 3DS installments he uses his remake design.
* While everyone in the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series has undergone ArtEvolution to some extent, Ada Wong in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'' is ''drastically'' different compared to her established look in every prior appearance. The shape of her eyes, nose and lips are nothing like they used to look, and her skintone is also noticeably lighter. She also has a [not especially flattering] new hairstyle and a different voice actress, so basically, the only things about Ada that haven't changed are her name and propensity for the color red.
* Schala in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' - [[http://www.chronocompendium.com/images/wiki/e/eb/Schala.jpg a tall girl who looks around 16+ with long blue hair, long purple robe and some jewelry.]] Schala in ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' - [[http://lparchive.org/Chrono-Cross/Update%2087/5-ending116.jpg significantly shorter, appears to be half the age she was before, and now has short blond hair and is suddenly wearing a white dress and no jewelry for no explained reason.]]
* The [[http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140117115050/americanmcgeesalice/images/6/6e/AMA_March_Hare_Render.png March Hare]] and [[http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110617071218/americanmcgeesalice/images/d/d2/Dormy.png Dormouse]] from ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'' eventually undergo a [[http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140525105438/americanmcgeesalice/images/b/b0/March_Hare.png major]] [[http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130922132837/americanmcgeesalice/images/e/e9/Dormouse_AMR_render.png redesign]] for ''VideoGame/AliceMadnessReturns'', the former being much more noticable.
* [[http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/powerinstinct/images/e/ee/Keith_Wayne.jpg Keith Wayne]] and [[http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/powerinstinct/images/1/1b/Annie_Hamilton.jpg Annie Hamilton]] from ''VideoGame/PowerInstinct'' got [[http://www.culturaneogeo.com/reviews/matrimelee/rev/KeithMatrimelee.png major]] [[http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/snk/images/1/1f/AnnieMatrimelee.PNG changes]] to their look from ''Gogetsuji Legends'' in 1995 to ''Matrimelee'' in 2003, but their moves remained the same. These 2 were the only returning characters from old games who have a change of look, which got back for pachinko game ''CR Goketsuji Ichizoku''.
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm''
** [[VideoGame/StarcraftII Dehaka]] went through a major redesign, going from an [[https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/starcraft/images/9/91/Dehaka_SC2-HotS_Story1.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130316214531 upright bulky creature]] with grey/brown/yellow skin to a [[https://www.heroesfire.com/images/heroes/talent-card/dehaka.jpg skinnier hunched creature]] with blue/black/purple skin. This is {{lampshaded}}/{{justified}} by him, claiming that he's [[LegoGenetics evolved]] much since joining Kerrigan's Swarm.
** This also happened with Stukov, who's infested arm went from being [[https://i.ytimg.com/vi/yhAKcgMCK4c/maxresdefault.jpg only a little bigger than his normal one]], to suddenly being [[https://www.heroesfire.com/images/hero/portrait/stukov.png utterly massive.]]
** This happened ''in reverse'' for Greymane. When Greymane was added to the game, he had a generic human and worgen model in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', so the art team created a [[https://d1u5p3l4wpay3k.cloudfront.net/allstars_gamepedia/thumb/8/88/GennGreymaneArt.jpg/240px-GennGreymaneArt.jpg?version=b1b894ba4306a0eb09a9ef78f8ef2adc unique look for him]]. Come ''Legion'', Greymane received his [[https://d1u5p3l4wpay3k.cloudfront.net/wowpedia/thumb/0/01/Hallow%27s_End_Genn_Greymane2.png/300px-Hallow%27s_End_Genn_Greymane2.png?version=764eb9af285a1c6075551fffc9fa3817 own]] [[https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR-BW8PW1n2Lum4HqWLCh2PL3Zyt-axTEC3DSOdcIeFuVxb2gh3 models]]... which naturally look nothing like the ones in ''Heroes''.
* The [[http://img.gamefaqs.net/box/0/6/3/38063_front.jpg North American box art]] for ''VideoGame/{{Zeliard}}'' depicts what appears to be a [[HornyVikings stereotypical viking]] with Popeye arms. The main character in the actual game is wearing a completely different outfit, and is depicted as a fairly standard 80's anime hero in the cutscenes (which is also where you discover that the lines on his sprite's helmet are ''wings'', not horns). Pretty much the only thing they have in common is red hair.
* This was the norm for American and European box arts of Japanese games back in the 80s and early 90s as a result of the AmericanKirbyIsHardcore trope. Back then, when games were localized, it was common practice to "Americanize" them and redesign their characters to the point they became unrecognizable, creating [[CoversAlwaysLie a stark contrast between the character designs, tone and style of the box art and those of the actual game]] that baffled many gamers. So you ended up getting things like a game [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/fc/TheKrionConquest_boxart.png whose box art]] depicted an adult woman drawn in a realistic style with badass looking characters and elements next to her and in the background, when the actual game used a cute anime style and depicted her as [[http://s769.photobucket.com/user/Elkovsky/media/NES%20pics/KrionConquest_003.png.html a young moe girl]]. ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' is the most well known example of this.
* In the early ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' games, Desmond Miles' face changes slightly in every game so that he can more resemble whatever ancestor the game was starring.
** In a more extreme example, we have Al Mualim's appearance in ''Altaïr's Chronicles'', where he has a completely different face and outfit, and even a short black beard, in contrast with the usual long grey beard. You'd never know that this character was actually Al Mualim if the game didn't outright call him that.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', while Link's facial features look the same as always, he is completely lacking his [[ClothesMakeTheLegend iconic green tunic]] to the point that even the merchandise doesn't have it; he wears a blue shirt instead. Miyamoto has said that [[https://gamerant.com/new-zelda-link-green-tunic-miyamoto/ he doesn't even know if the tunic will be in the game.]][[spoiler:Probably because nobody specified which one was "the" tunic, since you can find multiple versions in the game based on previous incarnations of Link and a brand new one for the Hero of the Wild.]]
** In a case of EarlyInstallmentCharacterDesignDifference, this is why Link and Zelda look so off in the first two games. The Zelda in the original game has light brown hair in a medium-length hairstye and wears a simple pink dress. The "Sleeping Zelda" from the second game has curly red hair and wears a similar dress. Come ''A Link to the Past'' and the standard Zelda design began to emerge. Since then, ''every'' Zelda has been a blonde. Likewise, the Link from the first two games is the only brunette Link. These three characters stand out compared to the rest of their incarnations. This seems to have since been {{retcon}}ned into a timeline thing, as almost all of the dirty blonde and brunette Link's belong to the "Downfall Timeline".
** The Link in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames'',''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'', and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' are the same Link. Despite this, Zelda's design is completely different between ''ALTTP'' and the ''Oracle'' games. She went from a yellow blonde to strawberry blonde, changed her hairstyle, and changed the design of her dress. Her ''Oracle'' design is ''Ocarina of Time'' inspired.
* Discussed InUniverse in ''VideoGame/LEGOBatman 3: Beyond Gotham''. At the beginning of the game, Batman and Robin end up encountering Killer Croc and are shocked at his change - previously, Croc was just a normal LEGO Minifig, but after ''VideoGame/LEGOMarvelSuperHeroes'' introduced the Bigfig, Croc was one of those who got that changed into one.
* In ''VideoGame/CaptainAmericaAndTheAvengers'', Juggernaut is one of the villains the Avengers face down. However, instead of his usual hulking design, the Juggernaut's the same size as every other villain and, for some odd reason, he has a red... window?... on his helmet, making him look more like a robot than the real Juggernaut.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** Thanks to a [[ArtEvolution much higher budget]] in the later episodes, this happened when [[https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/southpark/images/c/c6/Mecha-Streisand_1998-2010.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20110721214630 Mecha Streisand]] made her reappearance. It's even [[{{Lampshading}} lampshaded]] by one of the people activating her, who remarks that she somehow looks even more terrifying than last time.
** Ben Affleck, Geraldo Rivera, Al Gore, and Conan O'Brien were also radically re-designed after their first appearance.
* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster'':
** Pictured: On the top, Simon Belmont as he appears in the packaging illustration for ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' (specifically the [=X68000=] version). On bottom, Simon Belmont as he appears in ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster''. Basically he was made into a TopHeavyGuy with piloting gear for some reason.
** Though not to quite the same extent, {{VideoGame/Mega Man|Classic}} is [[http://i.onionstatic.com/avclub/5450/19/16x9/960.jpg colored green on the same show (said to be a mistake from the coloring artist)]], while [[VideoGame/PunchOut King Hippo]] [[http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/fictionalcrossover/images/c/c4/CaptainN_01_KingHippo.png/revision/latest?cb=20130824211004is teal]]. The latter is particularly noticable because the first season's opening features footage of Little Mac fighting a decidedly non-teal King Hippo in ''Punch-Out!''.
** In fact, almost all of the video game characters in ''Captain N'' bear little to no resemblance to the genuine articles: [[http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/vsbattles/images/b/b0/Mother_Brain_Metroid.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20150709201521 Mother Brain in the games]] was a giant cybernetic brain with eyes in a pickle jar, contrary to popular belief, [[NewerThanTheyThink her cyclops design didn't come till the SNES era]]. In ''Captain N'', she was still a giant brain in a jar... but with [[http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/nintenshows/images/4/4a/Image.out.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20111028124223 a trampoline-like stretch of face that had huge lips and the voice of Levi Stubbs.]] Part of this may be a misinterpretation of her [[http://metroid.wikia.com/wiki/File:Metroid_Boss_Mother_Brain.gif NES sprite]], whose horns, and tube resemble a jaw with a grimacing expression.
** The ''Castlevania III'' episode is particularly hilarious in this regard, making Alucard a TotallyRadical skateboarding teen and \ having a nameless male wizard who is presumably Sypha. Of course, Sypha [[SamusIsAGirl being female wasn't revealed]] until the game's end.
** According to interviews with the staff, the game companies sent NES cartridges for the animators to play through, combined with the [[NintendoHard extreme difficulty]] of many of these games, the character designers had to come up with their own designs for many game characters.
* When Cleveland Jr. first appeared in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', he was a thin hyperactive boy with a short attention span. When he was [[{{Transplant}} transplanted]] into ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'', he was turned into a slow-talking dimwitted fat kid. In other words, he became the [[RaceLift black]] [[{{Expy}} version]] of Chris Griffin, except opposite on the intelligence scale. Lampshaded in the B-Plot for one episode where the new Cleveland Jr. explains that he is actually a secret agent who killed the original Jr. in order to assume his identity as a cover (that Cleveland Sr. didn't notice is relatively consistent with his parenting skills). Not exactly ''canon'' since nobody has yet mentioned this outside of that particular episode.
* In their first appearance on ''WesternAnimation/SpaceGhostCoastToCoast'', where they spun-off from the Aqua Teens from ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'' look different.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheNewAdventuresOfHeMan'' are, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin new Adventures of He-man]]. But it's [[RecycledINSPACE set in the future.]] The only characters from [[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983 the old series]] to appear outside the first episode are He-man, Skeletor and the Sorceress, and they don't look or sound like themselves. In the early episodes Skeletor is very soft-spoken, almost nice. This is in stark contrast to the verbally abusive Skeletor from the original show. However he does sound less kind as the series goes on. His head looks less skull-like than it used to, and he has eyeballs instead of eyeless pits.
* ''Franchise/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'':
** In the cartoon version of ''Franchise/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'', the chipmunks are FunnyAnimal played straight. [[Film/AlvinAndTheChipmunks The films]], on the other hand, make them look more like real-world chipmunks.
** Also true from series to series. WesternAnimation/TheAlvinShow chipmunks look different than the [[WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks 80's series]] Chipmunks (lampshaded in the episode "[[Franchise/BackToTheFuture Back To Our Future]]") who look somewhat different from the "A Chipmunk Christmas" version.
* The narrow gauge engines in Season 5 of ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'' don't look like how they did in the season prior. Many details were changed, and some engines had completely remodeled faces. It is said they made new larger models to capture more detail, though the main reason was that the smaller models were too troublesome to operate. The worst offender being Rusty, with a large drawn out face going all over his front, as opposed to the earlier model, which had a smaller face. Especially jarring in Season 5, since the original smaller models are used for scenes requiring the narrow gauge engines to communicate with Standard Gauge engines, or take place on sets alongside standard gauge rails. The new models are used for scenes where the narrow gauge engines are on their own.
* Every few years, Creator/{{Toonami}} would undergo a retool, usually resulting in [[RobotBuddy TOM]] and [[CoolStarship The GPSS Absolution]] getting new designs. Each redesign gave the impression of [[TookALevelInBadass the ship and crew getting stronger]]. Then along came the fourth redesign, and well, [[http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/sparkprime/TOMevolution.jpg see for yourself.]] With the [[UnCancelled revival]], TOM is back to his third incarnation, with TOM 4.0 being {{retcon}}ned into an entirely different robot.
* Parodied in ''[[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner Limozeen:]] [[AnimatedAdaptation But they're]] [[RecycledinSpace IN SPACE!]]'' where Mary Palorocini is actually drawn with red hair and a pot belly "because he's the comic relief!"
* Pete Jr. looked nothing like [[WesternAnimation/GoofTroop how he is drawn now]] in his debut short, ''Bellboy Donald'', where he is actually drawn like MickeyMouse, but with cat ears. His currently accepted design looks like a younger and friendlier version of his father, WesternAnimation/{{Pete}}.
* WesternAnimation/RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer in his cameo appearance in ''WesternAnimation/SantaClausIsCominToTown'', his appearance in ''[[WesternAnimation/FrostytheSnowman Frosty]] and Rudolph's Christmas in July'' and his appearance in ''Rudolph's Shiny New Year''. Rather than reuse his models from ''Red-Nosed Reindeer'', they simply created new ones for those films, none of which resemble each other or the original Rudolph.
* ''Franchise/DCAnimatedUniverse'':
** Every character in the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' got one when it became ''The New Batman Adventures''. Most of which looked a lot more toony:
*** Commissioner Gordon got hit with it most of all. In ''B:TAS'', he was fairly heavy, had a sort of "whippy-doo" as part of his hairstyle, and carried a pipe. In ''TNBA'', he was positively ''gaunt'' in comparison, had a crew cut, and lacked the pipe. It's either {{fanon}} or WordOfGod that he had gotten very sick in between the series, and the new look was a part of this.
*** Baby Doll looks almost like a completely different character in ''[=TNBA=]'' thanks to her becoming heavily stylized.
*** Other characters included The Scarecrow (whose lanky hobo look is now much more imposing with him sporting a hat and a noose around his neck), Poison Ivy (now pale-skinned, having a darker shade of green in her outfit, and missing the leggings from her original outfit), Killer Croc (now greener, and his facial designs look flatter), Catwoman (whose new outfit is completely black save for a pale mouth area and all-white eye holes; her civilian look was also changed from a blonde to a brunette) and Riddler (sporting a design similar to his 60's incarnation). The Joker's redesign wasn't too radical: his chin was now [[ThinChinOfSin pointed]] rather than square, and he lacked the lipstick and had black eyes with white pupils. Neither fans nor staff took to it, so when they made the movie, ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyondReturnOfTheJoker'', he kept the pointed chin but regained his eyes and lipstick.
** Madelyn Spaulding from ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock'', a character who appeared in 2 episodes (the 2nd season's "Attack of the Living Brain Puppets" and the 4th season's "She-Back!"). Her redesigned appearance for the "She-Back!" episode makes her look like a whole different character. In "Brain Puppets", she had green eyes, a round face, and was slightly curvy, but now, she has black eyes, a leaner face, and a skinnier body. It's as if she lost some weight during her absence and was wearing green contact lenses all along. At least Kimberly Brooks voiced her for both appearances. It's made even stranger when newly animated flashback scenes of the "Brain Puppets" episode are shown in "She-Back!" and [[FlashbackWithTheOtherDarrin Madelyn is sporting her 2nd design]] (with a different hairstyle and clothing), all while Static was correctly wearing his 1st costume.
* Similar with the DCAU, ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' got some when it went into Season 6. Not much is noticed aside from some cleaner animation but Gi now has shoulder length hair.
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDragonJakeLong'' went through a radical ArtEvolution (or [[BrokenBase arguably]] de-evolution, as it became more stylized) between season 1 and season 2. The art style change is explainable however that doesn't explain the fact that several characters were [[http://ashyartemispotozuko.deviantart.com/art/American-Dragon-Jake-Long-Different-321834603 very redesigned.]] For example Hayley originally was purple in her dragon form but season 2 made her pink. Some of the changes were done to emphasise their personalities more. Sara and Kara (the Oracle twins) are a pair of redheaded PolarOppositeTwins. In season 1 they are identical, wavy haired redheads however the moody Kara dresses in a punk/grunge fashion while Sara has a FlowerInHerHair and a green dress. In season 2 Kara is a raven haired {{goth}} while Sara is a stereotypical blonde blue-eyed prep.
* All ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' sequels brought some change to the characters' designs and personalities, which was usually justified through a TimeSkip, although some cases played this trope straight ([[TheSmartGuy Cooper]], [[DarkMagicalGirl Charmcaster]], and [[CanonImmigrant Elena]] come to mind.) ''[[WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse Omniverse]]'', on the other hand, takes place less than a year after the events of previous sequel ''[[WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien Ultimate Alien]]'' and involves a large amount of flashback on the original series. Yet, in both the flashback and present episodes, aliens and characters are all redesigned to the point some of them bear few similarities to their model.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'', the more famous the actor in the movie ''Ghostbusters'', the less his character resembled him. Winston Zeddemore's only major deviation was that he didn't have a mustache (which Ernie Hudson would ditch in the second film anyway), while Egon Spengler was blond and had a much different hairstyle, he didn't differ that much from Harold Ramis either. However, Ray Stantz looked nothing like Creator/DanAykroyd but was, instead, a stout redhead with a pot belly (before Aykroyd was known for being chubby) and Peter Venkman looked absolutely, positively nothing like Creator/BillMurray but instead, a tall, thin "leading-man" type, although his voice remained similar. Animated Ray [[InkSuitActor looks more like]] his voice-actor, Frank Welker. He's only missing a pair of huge, eighties-style bifocals.
* ''WesternAnimation/APupNamedScoobyDoo'': In the episode involving Daphne's room being stolen, Daphne's parents are shown to look reasonably different from her, with an example of her mother having blonde hair. In the second-to-last episode of the cartoon, Daphne's parents are seen again, except this time their look is that of [[GenerationXerox adult carbon copies of her]] and even have her "There's no such things as ghosts!'' [[VerbalTic verbal tic]].
* In the 2006 SequelSeries of ''WesternAnimation/BikerMiceFromMars'', Modo's nephew Rimfire is given a redesign. While still having orange lightning-shaped highlights in his hair, he has a different hairstyle and his hair and fur colors are changed from black and greyish-brown respectively to completely pale brown.
* Ariel's sisters from ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'' have changed quite a bit, especially when you compare them to [[WesternAnimation/TheLittleMermaid the show]].
* Bowser and Princess Toadstool in ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperMarioBrosSuperShow''. Princess Toadstool is based on her original sprite rather than her official art, and thus she looks like a young redheaded teenager rather than the more mature-looking, blonde Peach most fans know. Bowser's animated counterpart differed from his depiction in the games because his entire body was colored green instead of just his shell and he was bald instead of having fiery hair.
* In the 90s ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' animated series, Blade made an appearance but so did a pre-movie Whistler. Whistler looked and sounded nothing like the character played by grizzled Kris Kristofferson in the movies. Animated Whistler was younger, cleancut, and voiced by Creator/MalcolmMcDowell who spoke in his usual mid-atlantic accent. The animated appearances predate the movies by about four years. And the character of Whistler was created for the films (he had not appeared in the comics), so the writers of the animated episodes simply had access to an early, possibly unused draft of the film script. Both get a pass since at that time, there was no indication as to who would be eventually cast as Whistler, if a film was made.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpidermanUnlimited'': [[http://i.imgur.com/K3mGgcB.png?1 Carnage looked almost nothing like himself]]. At least the other villains' bizarre designs were justified by the fact that they were supposed to be merely counterparts to Spidey's foes, but Carnage was the regular Carnage from Peter's Earth...
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In his first onscreen appearance in "Homer's Odyssey", Waylon Smithers was dark-skinned with blue hair due to an unfortunate mistake when the show was sent overseas to Korea to be colorized and animated. The production crew did think about leaving him this way, but the [[UnfortunateImplications thought of a black man who sucked up to his white boss wouldn't sit well with a lot of people]], so they made it known that Smithers would be white (er, yellow) for all subsequent episodes. Jokingly handwaved by some of the writers, saying that Smithers had just come back from holiday with a heavy tan.
** "The Mansion Family" features Music/BritneySpears, [[https://frinkiac.com/img/S11E12/94960.jpg though she looked more like Baby Spice]] from Music/TheSpiceGirls. WordOfGod said her design was meant to look like Spears from her "Baby One More Time" video.
** As shown in [[https://bythebigcoolingtower.tumblr.com/post/171864673616/minor-characters-drederick-tatum this link]], the recurring boxer character Drederick Tatum had an inconsistent appearance before they settled on his current design from "The Homer They Fall" onward.
* Many of the characters featured in the Creator/DiCEntertainment continuation of ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeARealAmericanHero'' look very different from how they appeared in the original Sunbow series. Notable examples include Serpentor's snake costume being green instead of yellowish orange, Snake Eyes wearing a red visor instead of his grey one with slits, and Destro initially having a golden mask instead of a silver one. Being a MerchandiseDriven show, though, in most cases this was the result of a new figure for the character in question.
* WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls, as they appeared in the one-off special "Dance Pantsed," underwent a bit of a change in appearance. Their heads were almost square with rounded corners, their eyes didn't taper to the sides of their heads, and even Mojo Jojo looked ragged and emaciated.
* This is averted in ''WesternAnimation/ElenaAndTheSecretOfAvalor'', the crossover movie between Craig Gerber's two shows, ''WesternAnimation/SofiaTheFirst'' and ''WesternAnimation/ElenaOfAvalor'' . The characters in the latter show are shaded lighter to better fit into the world of her former show, but still keep their basic character designs. This is because Sofia is animated in Korea while Elena is animated in Canada, so the movie was animated in Korea to save money.
* ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'':
** When [[WesternAnimation/BoskoTheTalkInkKid Bosko and Honey]] appeared in "Fields of Honey", they went from looking AmbiguouslyHuman to straight anthropomorphic dogs, possibly due to their origins as racial caricatures.
** When early ''Merrie Melodies'' stars Foxy and Roxy appeared in "Two-Tone Town", they were redesigned to look less like [[CaptainErsatz knockoffs]] of WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse and more like foxes.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Creator/CharlieChaplin once entered a lookalike contest. [[YourCostumeNeedsWork He lost because nobody thought he looked like Charlie Chaplin.]]
* Former Music/{{Chicago}} singer and multi-instrumentalist Bill Champlin went from look like [[http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0001/404/MI0001404244.jpg?partner=allrovi.com this]] to [[http://melodic-hardrock.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Bill-Champlin-Burn-Down-The-Night-Back.jpg this]] within the span of three years. Yes, ''that is the same guy in both pictures''.
* When [[Creator/MarxBrothers Groucho Marx]] didn't have his trademark fake mustache, most people didn't recognize him. When he went on to host ''Series/YouBetYourLife'' he grew a real one so people would recognize him.
* Music/MichaelJackson went through numerous nose jobs starting in 1979, as well as a chin operation circa 1985, massive weight loss in 1981, and a proven bout with vitiligo: a skin disease which created white splotches on his skin. His use of makeup and, later, bleaching creams would make his skin appear gradually lighter. That, in addition to different wigs and tattooed "eye-liner" made Michael look completely different by the end of the '80s, and more so as time went on. The Michael Jackson of 1978 would look completely unrecognizable to people mainly familiar with his appearance starting in the '90s.
* Music/DollyParton lost a Dolly Parton lookalike contest...in which all the other entrants were ''drag queens''.