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* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' plays with this. The show features Gems, a race of aliens with the ability to shapeshift. Each Gem has a form they default to while not actively shapeshifting, typically one that looks human, but with unusual skin tones and hair colors. It's stated that this physical form is technically an illusion--their [[HeartDrive gems]] are their real selves--but they seem to be born humanoid and [[spoiler:Homeworld Gems look humanoid despite little interactions with humans]]. However, when they're extremely injured, they have a chance to ''change'' their default forms when they "regenerate". The new default form is usually very similar in appearance to the last, with only a few small changes. Elements of True Form slip in because most gems ''can't'' make large changes to their base form and keep it stable. Amethyst attempting to make her body significantly larger, for example, causes it to start to collapse and deflate. However, at least one gem, [[spoiler:Rose Quartz]], was able to regenerate with a ''very'' different body and no such problems, but this may have been due to [[spoiler:her power as a Diamond]].

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* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' plays with this. The show features Gems, a race of aliens with the ability to shapeshift. Each Gem has a form they default to while not actively shapeshifting, typically one that looks human, but with unusual skin tones and hair colors. It's stated that this While their physical form is technically an illusion--their forms are "hard light projections" their [[HeartDrive gems]] are their real selves--but selves said form is how they seem to be born humanoid and [[spoiler:Homeworld Gems look humanoid despite little interactions interact with humans]]. the environment, and each one has a default form. However, when they're extremely injured, they must retreat into their gems to heal, at which point they have a chance to ''change'' their default forms when they "regenerate". The new regenerate, though the changes that can be made are minimal (substantially being a change of their default form is usually very similar in appearance clothing). Attempts to the last, with only a few small changes. Elements of True Form slip in because most gems ''can't'' make large larger changes to their base form and keep it stable. Amethyst attempting to make her body significantly larger, for example, the True Form causes it to start to collapse and deflate. However, at least problems with stability. Only one gem, gem in the series, [[spoiler:Rose Quartz]], was able to regenerate with a ''very'' different body and no such problems, but this may have been purely due to [[spoiler:her power as a Diamond]].


* In ''Literature/{{Borgel}}, [[spoiler: Freddie's true form is a monstrous, {{Cthulhumanoid}} Grivnizoid]], but as a shapeshifter he most of the time presents as a small old man.

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* In ''Literature/{{Borgel}}, ''Literature/{{Borgel}}'', [[spoiler: Freddie's true form is a monstrous, {{Cthulhumanoid}} Grivnizoid]], but as a shapeshifter he most of the time presents as a small old man.

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* In ''Literature/{{Borgel}}, [[spoiler: Freddie's true form is a monstrous, {{Cthulhumanoid}} Grivnizoid]], but as a shapeshifter he most of the time presents as a small old man.


-->-- ''Webcomic/SamAndFuzzy''

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-->-- ''Webcomic/SamAndFuzzy''
''Webcomic/SamAndFuzzy'' ''[[https://www.samandfuzzy.com/1732 1732]]''


** Beast Boy [[CaptainObvious stays humanlike when not an animal.]]

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** Beast Boy [[CaptainObvious stays humanlike when not an animal.]]


* Chopper from ''OnePiece'', whom is a [[{{Animorphism}} Zoan-type]] Devil Fruit user, mostly stays in his reindeer-human hybrid form, which he calls "Brain Point", as it is the form he does his best thinking in. It's also his [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter cutest form]].

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* Chopper from ''OnePiece'', ''Manga/OnePiece'', whom is a [[{{Animorphism}} Zoan-type]] Devil Fruit user, mostly stays in his reindeer-human hybrid form, which he calls "Brain Point", as it is the form he does his best thinking in. It's also his [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter cutest form]].

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[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* In the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse, Skrulls are green, pointy-eared humanoids when they're not impersonating anyone. If they die while disguised, they revert to their natural forms.
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* ''ComicBook/WonderWoman1987'': Nol Lapp is a Durlan who was enslaved by the Sangtee Empire and subsequently very rarely uses her default form and even then only when in the company of those she trusts. She instead presents herself as one of the Durlans made unstable by the Six Minute War, looking like a bunch of tentacles in a cloak.


* Durians in Franchise/TheDCU like [[ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}} Chameleon Boy]] have a default form as a bald orange humanoid with pointy ears and a pair of antenna. Those whose families were badly effected by the fallout from the "Six-Minute War" have essentially lost their default and instead look like a shifting writhing inconsistent mass of brown and grey tentacles in their "default" form, and have more trouble with ShapeshifterBaggage in general.

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* Durians Durlans in Franchise/TheDCU like [[ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}} Chameleon Boy]] have a default form as a bald orange humanoid with pointy ears and a pair of antenna. Those whose families were badly effected by the fallout from the "Six-Minute War" have essentially lost their default and instead look like a shifting writhing inconsistent mass of brown and grey tentacles in their "default" form, and have more trouble with ShapeshifterBaggage in general.


* Due of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'', though as a very effective assassin, the only enemies who've seen her default form don't live long enough to squeal about it. [[spoiler:At least, until Zest proves to be too much for her and promptly kills her to avenge his friend, Regius.]]

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* Due of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'', ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'', though as a very effective assassin, the only enemies who've seen her default form don't live long enough to squeal about it. [[spoiler:At least, until Zest proves to be too much for her and promptly kills her to avenge his friend, Regius.]]



* ComicBook/{{Mystique}} of the ''ComicBook/XMen.'' Interestingly done in ''Film/X2XMenUnited'', where Rebecca Romijn played Mystique in disguise -- sans makeup. From ''[[Film/XMenTheLastStand X-Men 3]]'', it seemed like the ''X2'' no-makeup appearance would be her normal human appearance, except with dark hair.

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* ComicBook/{{Mystique}} of the ''ComicBook/XMen.'' Interestingly done in ''Film/X2XMenUnited'', where Rebecca Romijn Creator/RebeccaRomijn played Mystique in disguise -- sans makeup. From ''[[Film/XMenTheLastStand X-Men 3]]'', it seemed like the ''X2'' no-makeup appearance would be her normal human appearance, except with dark hair.



** She basically has 2 default forms. Blue-Skinned when her mutant powers are working, and normal human when de-powered. Basicalle, her Human Default Form is her exact look with normal skin and eyes.

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** She basically has 2 default forms. Blue-Skinned when her mutant powers are working, and normal human when de-powered. Basicalle, Basically, her Human Default Form is her exact look with normal skin and eyes.



* Franchise/DCUniverse Durlans like [[ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}} Chameleon Boy]] have a default form as a bald orange humanoid with pointy ears and a pair of antenna. Those whose families were badly effected by the fallout from the "Six-Minute War" have essentially lost their default and instead look like a shifting writhing inconsistent mass of brown and grey tentacles in their "default" form, and have more trouble with ShapeshifterBaggage in general.
* The Franchise/MarvelUniverse has the Skrulls, who often hang around in their normal forms even when there's no real reason to do so. The Skrulls believe they are superior to all other forms of life, a very good ''psychological'' reason to assume their natural forms whenever possible, much like the way someone who has to wear a uniform they consider demeaning for their job probably takes it off in their spare time.
** Apparently, it can also be uncomfortable for them to remain in an assumed form for too long at a time. In one ''Fantastic Four'' story, [[MsFanservice Lyja]] makes an excuse to her date to take a short break and rest a few minutes in her default mode, because her human form gives her a headache.

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* Franchise/DCUniverse Durlans Durians in Franchise/TheDCU like [[ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}} Chameleon Boy]] have a default form as a bald orange humanoid with pointy ears and a pair of antenna. Those whose families were badly effected by the fallout from the "Six-Minute War" have essentially lost their default and instead look like a shifting writhing inconsistent mass of brown and grey tentacles in their "default" form, and have more trouble with ShapeshifterBaggage in general.
* The Franchise/MarvelUniverse has the Skrulls, who often hang around in their normal forms even when there's no real reason to do so. The Skrulls believe they are superior to all other forms of life, a very good ''psychological'' reason to assume their natural forms whenever possible, much like the way someone who has to wear a uniform they consider demeaning for their job probably takes it off in their spare time.
**
time. Apparently, it can also be uncomfortable for them to remain in an assumed form for too long at a time. In one ''Fantastic Four'' ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'' story, [[MsFanservice Lyja]] makes an excuse to her date to take a short break and rest a few minutes in her default mode, because her human form gives her a headache.



* When he's not fighting, flying, or impersonating more famous superheroes, Hulkling of the ComicBook/YoungAvengers looks like an ordinary sixteen-year-old boy.

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* When he's not fighting, flying, or impersonating more famous superheroes, Hulkling ComicBook/{{Hulkling}} of the ComicBook/YoungAvengers looks like an ordinary sixteen-year-old boy.



* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11989539/1/Hakkōna Hakkōna]]'' and ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12023508/1/Kaitō-Kokoro Kaitō Kokoro]]'': [[spoiler:Kiku's base form is that of a nekomataneko, a mix between human and nekomata. In other words, his true appearance is that of a human with cat ears and twin tails.]]

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* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11989539/1/Hakkōna Hakkōna]]'' and ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12023508/1/Kaitō-Kokoro Kaitō Kokoro]]'': [[spoiler:Kiku's base form is that of a nekomataneko, a mix between human and nekomata. In other words, his true appearance is that of a human with cat ears and twin tails.]]tails]].



* ''Literature/HarryPotter''

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* ''Literature/HarryPotter'' ''Literature/HarryPotter'':



* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': [[TricksterMentor The Trickster]], although he's been shown to be able to assume other forms (Doctor Sexy, the guy he dropped in a wormhole) tends to stick with the one played by Richard Speight Jr. That form actually consisted of the entirety of his first appearance, sans wardrobe changes. [[spoiler: As he's actually the ArchangelGabriel it's not explained his default form is the visage of his vessel, as all other angels require. It's certainly not his ''actual'' true form, as an unmasked angel is an eye-burning, ear-splitting BrownNote.]]

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* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
**
[[TricksterMentor The Trickster]], although he's been shown to be able to assume other forms (Doctor Sexy, the guy he dropped in a wormhole) tends to stick with the one played by Richard Speight Jr. That form actually consisted of the entirety of his first appearance, sans wardrobe changes. [[spoiler: As he's actually the ArchangelGabriel it's not explained his default form is the visage of his vessel, as all other angels require. It's certainly not his ''actual'' true form, as an unmasked angel is an eye-burning, ear-splitting BrownNote.]]



* OlderThanFeudalism: Most gods of Myth/GreekMythology who can shapeshift (Zeus, looking at you here) have a normal, everyday form. Of course, Zeus had a preferred form and a true form, so he was both A and B. He didn't appear in his true form to mortals, for [[YouCanNotGraspTheTrueForm reasons Semele discovered just before she burnt to death]].

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* OlderThanFeudalism: Most gods of Myth/GreekMythology [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]] who can shapeshift (Zeus, looking at you here) have a normal, everyday form. Of course, Zeus had a preferred form and a true form, so he was both A and B. He didn't appear in his true form to mortals, for [[YouCanNotGraspTheTrueForm reasons Semele discovered just before she burnt to death]].



* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' has [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Manaketes]], who are basically humans with wings (and even that depends on which game you're playing). They need special stones to access their dragon forms. Later games reveal that the dragon forms ''are'' their true forms, and that the special stones are a PowerLimiter: Without them, Manaketes tend to go a bit... [[WithgreatPowerComesGreatInsanity nuts due to their power]].

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* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' has [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Manaketes]], who are basically humans with wings (and even that depends on which game you're playing). They need special stones to access their dragon forms. Later games reveal that the dragon forms ''are'' their true forms, and that the special stones are a PowerLimiter: Without them, Manaketes tend to go a bit... [[WithgreatPowerComesGreatInsanity nuts due to their power]].



* It's debatable whether Alex Mercer of ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' would be considered to have either a true form or preferred form to fit this trope. He ''does'' use his appearance before being infected as a default form, this form being the one he assumes whenever the player deactivates all disguises and powers. However, [[spoiler: it's later revealed that he's not actually the "real" Mercer, but the Virus itself after consuming Mercer and assuming his shape and memories. So in that regard the player-controlled Mercer never really had a real original form to begin with; the closest we see would technically be either his black and red tendrils or the brilliant red goop the virus was while inert in its vial]]. His successor in VideoGame/{{Prototype 2}}, James Heller does use his a true form, however.

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* It's debatable whether Alex Mercer of ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' would be considered to have either a true form or preferred form to fit this trope. He ''does'' use his appearance before being infected as a default form, this form being the one he assumes whenever the player deactivates all disguises and powers. However, [[spoiler: it's later revealed that he's not actually the "real" Mercer, but the Virus itself after consuming Mercer and assuming his shape and memories. So in that regard the player-controlled Mercer never really had a real original form to begin with; the closest we see would technically be either his black and red tendrils or the brilliant red goop the virus was while inert in its vial]]. His successor in VideoGame/{{Prototype 2}}, ''VideoGame/{{Prototype 2}}'', James Heller does use his a true form, however.



* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans''

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* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'':



* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'', Penny (Gumball's girlfriend) used to hide herself in a peanut-shaped shell. In "The Shell", she is revealed to actually be a shapeshipter fairy-like creature. In her default form, she has a yellow body, antlers and wings. In every transformation, she has a pair of antlers.

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* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'', Penny (Gumball's girlfriend) used to hide herself in a peanut-shaped shell. In "The Shell", she is revealed to actually be a shapeshipter shapeshifter fairy-like creature. In her default form, she has a yellow body, antlers and wings. In every transformation, she has a pair of antlers.



* [[BigBad Chytrine]] of ''The Dragon Crown War'' usually appears as an ethereal, somewhat-elvish looking woman of great beauty and indeterminate age, though she can take on other forms as well, up to and including [[OurDragonsAreDifferent a dragon]]. [[spoiler: It's eventually revealed that she's a hybrid of urzrethi (a race of shapeshifting humanoids) and dragon (also shapeshifters in this setting) so what she actually looks like - or if she even technically has a "true" shape in the first place, getting shapeshifting from both sides of the family tree and all - isn't specified]].

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* [[BigBad Chytrine]] of ''The Dragon Crown War'' usually appears as an ethereal, somewhat-elvish looking woman of great beauty and indeterminate age, though she can take on other forms as well, up to and including [[OurDragonsAreDifferent a dragon]]. [[spoiler: It's eventually revealed that she's a hybrid of urzrethi (a race of shapeshifting humanoids) and dragon (also shapeshifters in this setting) so what she actually looks like - or if she even technically has a "true" shape in the first place, getting shapeshifting from both sides of the family tree and all - isn't specified]]. specified.]]



* ''Series/{{Heroes}}''

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* ''Series/{{Heroes}}''''Series/{{Heroes}}'':



** Jello is technically an Shifter/Exemplar, but her BIT is basically a blank slate. Her default form resembles some kind of peat jelly.

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** Jello is technically an a Shifter/Exemplar, but her BIT is basically a blank slate. Her default form resembles some kind of peat jelly.



* In ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', Miss Martian defaults to a green-skinned version of her civilian, human identity. It's eventually revealed that she developed it based on an old sitcom [[AliensStealCable that she watched on Mars]]. "Image" also reveals that [[spoiler:she's ashamed of her real form, which is a White Martian, not a Green one]].

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* In ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'':
**
Miss Martian defaults to a green-skinned version of her civilian, human identity. It's eventually revealed that she developed it based on an old sitcom [[AliensStealCable that she watched on Mars]]. "Image" also reveals that [[spoiler:she's ashamed of her real form, which is a White Martian, not a Green one]].

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* Franchise/DCUniverse Durlans like [[ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}} Chameleon Boy]] have a default form as a bald orange humanoid with pointy ears and a pair of antenna. Those whose families were badly effected by the fallout from the "Six-Minute War" have essentially lost their default and instead look like a shifting writhing inconsistent mass of brown and grey tentacles in their "default" form, and have more trouble with ShapeshifterBaggage in general.

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* Like in the comics, Martian Manhunter's form in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' is a more human-like version of his true alien form. More than anything he did it to put the minds of the rest of the league at ease when he first meets them, knowing they will be more comfortable with a human-like appearance where they can read his expressions, and he just keeps it for the remainder of the series with the implication being he's more or less fine with any outward form. He also has a preferred human form that he always assumes when masquerading as a person, which is the same generic square-jawed man in a trench coat. [[spoiler:He eventually gets ''another'' preferred form when he leaves the league to pursue a life of his, that of an elderly Chinese man married to a human woman who apparently knows of what he really is.]]


* Given a twist in Tais Teng's SF short story "Gekleed in Twijfelachtig Vlees" ("Dressed in Doubtful Flesh"). Problem solver Percy d'Arezzo ([[InsistentTerminology y Mac]] [[GratuitousJapanese Shimonoseki]]) is hired by a shapeshifter who has ''forgotten his true form.'' Percy proceeds to take litmus tests for a baffling gallery of [[StarfishAliens shapeshifter species]] in an attempt to solve the problem by elimination.

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* Given a twist in Tais Teng's Creator/TaisTeng's SF short story "Gekleed in Twijfelachtig Vlees" ("Dressed in Doubtful Flesh"). Problem solver Percy d'Arezzo ([[InsistentTerminology y Mac]] [[GratuitousJapanese Shimonoseki]]) is hired by a shapeshifter who has ''forgotten his true form.'' Percy proceeds to take litmus tests for a baffling gallery of [[StarfishAliens shapeshifter species]] in an attempt to solve the problem by elimination.

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* ''Webcomic/DangerouslyChloe'': Played with. Succubi can shapeshift into any form they want, though their default form is always very attractive. When Teddy gains Chloe's shapeshifting powers temporarily, he immediately turns into a copy of Chloe. After all, he has ''her'' powers, but not enough control to choose a different form.


* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', Alkazar courts Leela and other aliens by shapeshifting to resemble a male of their species. When Fry and Bender blow Alkazar's cover, Leela and his other wives beat him up until he reveals his true form: a 3-foot alien cricket.

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* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', Alkazar Alcazar courts Leela and other aliens by shapeshifting to resemble a male of their species. When Fry and Bender blow Alkazar's Alcazar's cover, Leela and his other wives beat him up until he reveals his true form: a 3-foot alien cricket.

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