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Adaptational Curves
aka: Adaptational Muscles

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Luke only gets like this when he sucks his gut in.
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Sex Sells, and thus when adapting a work from the page to the screen, executives often feel that, in the interest of attracting more moviegoers, certain liberties can be taken with casting. And thus, a character described as scrawny or flat-chested in a novel might magically become muscular or buxom in the film based on that novel.

Sub-trope to Adaptational Diversity. May overlap with Adaptational Attractiveness, though there's no guarantee that the bustier actress or more muscular guy is necessarily more attractive. May also be a result of Dawson Casting or an Age Lift. Male examples of this trope often go hand-in-hand with Adaptational Badass. The opposite of Big Bra to Fill. When fan artists do this, it can be a case of Self-Fanservice. If this happens gradually within the same series, see Fanservice Pack.

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Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Clover: In the manga, it's implied that male mages aren't particularly fit, with the exception of Yami, but in the anime adaptation, all of them are as muscular than Asta, if not more, which undercuts the point that Asta has spent his life training his muscles and is more physically strong than most mages.
  • General Esdeath from Akame ga Kill! was around Sheele's breast size in the manga. The anime increased her to Leone's size.
  • Attack on Titan: Mikasa Ackerman is flat-chested in the manga, as illustrations of her in a sports-bra and a magical girl costume demonstrate. In the anime, on the other hand, she is given a noticeable bust, as displayed in the second opening and a bonus episode where she does exercizes.
  • Ruiko Saten from A Certain Scientific Railgun was flat-chested in the manga, but not so much in the anime. Compare this to this.
  • Daily Life with Monster Girl:
    • Doppel is flat-chested in the manga and anime. In the mobile game, however, she is much more buxom. Uniquely, this is justified due to her abilities as a shapeshifter — though she hasn't demonstrated this particular aspect of her abilities in the source material.
    • Papi has a noticeably larger chest in the anime, presumably to make her look a bit older.
  • Casca from Berserk while quite curvy and muscled in manga isn't very busty, in the Berserk: The Golden Age Arc movies she is.
  • Gate: In the manga, Hamilton is flat chested and teased for looking like a boy. In the anime, she has small breasts.
  • GONZO is rather infamous for this in their adaptations, with notable examples being Strike Witches, Saki, and Linebarrels of Iron.
    • Quite possibly the most notorious case is with Transformers Cybertron. While the toy version of Thunderblast does have feminine hips and legs, her chest is somewhat blocky and Gundam-y. GONZO opted to hollow out the chest armor - specifically the underside - and make her the first Transformer in history with Underboobs. With nipples.
  • Naruto: In the anime Sakura has thickness in places she most certainly didn't in the manga.
  • One Piece:
    • The Dressrosa Arc Up to Eleven this, especially with Rebecca. The anime in particular has conspicuously enlarged her breasts and frequently delves into filler by showing her fights.
    • The anime in general has been bad about this since at least Water 7. Women's breasts are noticeably larger in the anime than in the manga. Mostly starting with Nami in her Enies Lobby outfit.
    • Male example would be Usopp in movie 8 where he has biceps as big as Zoro’s. In the manga and anime Usopp distinctly lacked such muscular at that point.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime, Asuka has large but not unreasonable breasts and long legs. The manga ramps both up a few inches for a more exaggeratedly curvaceous figure.
  • May in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire has an average sized chest for someone around middle school age. Her Pokémon anime counterpart is infamous for changing sizes often, though it's usually at minimum a cup larger than she should— especially for a 10 year-old. When she reappeared in Diamond and Pearl they sized her down to be more similar to the game version.
  • Tsugumomo: The anime version of Kiriha is far more buxom and shapely than her manga counterpart even after the latter's Plot-Relevant Age-Up.
  • In Soul Hunter, Ko Hiko's sister Koshi in the manga was quite tomboyish and petite. In the anime adaptation, not only she plays a different role, but her breasts are much bigger and her clothing shows them off better. The same goes for Dakki in her anime-only One-Winged Angel.
  • In the second anime adaptation of Ushio and Tora, Kagari the kamaitachi is more voluptuous in her human form, compared to her slimmer manga self.
  • Inverted for the High School DXD anime, where Ravel Phenex is depicted with smaller-than-expected breasts, apparently to make her look more like the "little sister" niche she was actively filling (long story). Ishibumi has gone on record stating he considers this artist error, and her appearances in later seasons give her a chest more in line with novel illustrations.
  • In the Sun and Moon chapter of Pokémon Adventures, Professor Kukui is much beefier than his game and anime counterparts. That's what happens when you use Dwayne Johnson as a drawing reference...
  • Miu of Blend-S is noticeably bustier and taller in the anime. Canonically, she has a small chest and is shorter than Kaho: in the anime, Miu is much taller than her.
  • In Sengoku Basara manga Ransei Ranbu this is applied to Kasuga: while ingame she's rather modest, in the manga she's got incredibly large breasts, which makes some of her male disguises (As Kenshin and later as a soldier to assassinate Masamune) improbable.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Inverted with Edward. In the manga and Brotherhood, he is fairly muscular and hits a large growth spurt near the end. In the 2003 anime, he has a decently muscular but slim build and he doesn't grow nearly as much as he does in manga canon (he's dwarfed by both Noah and Winry in The Movie).
    • While Winry in the manga isn't short, the 2003 anime depicts her as noticeably taller than her manga counterpart. This is most noticeable in Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa.
    • Inverted with Scar, who is given a younger and more bishonen redesign compared to his more muscular manga version.

    Comic Books 
  • Salem is larger in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina than he is in Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
  • Most comic-book adaptations of the John Carter of Mars books have seen fit to portray Green Martian females with breasts. In the original books, it's not clear that they have breasts, or that they nurse their young.
  • Jem's IDW comics changed the body types of several characters. Aja and Stormer gained weight, Shana is curvier, Roxy is more muscular, and Rapture has larger hips.
  • In the comic book adaptation of Guards! Guards!, the single panel flashback to Mistress Garlick the witch declaring that Carrot's sword is "the most unmagical sword I've ever seen", does not fit the "peas on an ironing board" description in Wyrd Sisters (although it's clearly an interpretation of Magrat otherwise).
  • The comic adaptation of Lost in Space has more curvy versions of both Penny and Judy.
  • Power Rangers comics tend to portray the women as more curvaceous and gives all the male heroes a Heroic Build, making them much more muscular than the relatively thin stuntmen and women that play them in the live action show.
  • Sally Acorn and Bunnie Rabbot of Sonic Sat AM had somewhat feminine proportions, but were still identifiable as Funny Animals. Many artists of the Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic book have drawn the two (and many other recurring Mobians) with even more human proportions, with Bunnie's cyborg limbs even canonically redesigned just to fit this. This was downplayed later as as the comics redesigned the in an attempt at better emulating the games' design style more. Going even deeper to the source games has Ricky, who Sally is based off. Ricky is a non-anthropomorphic (male) squirrel.
  • In the Metal Gear comic book adaptations, the women all become smouldery and hypersexual in a Sasha Grey-esque way, to the extent that it's impossible to distinguish even women of different races from each other in some panels. Their outfits also become more revealing, with Naomi's breasts becoming more prominent and Fortune being drawn with exaggerated cameltoe. Raiden is less sexualised overall, but goes from a Bishounen to a masculine character, and we actually get to see his dong in his Full-Frontal Assault scene.

    Fan Works 
  • The Black Emperor: Owing to some intensive training with Sayoko, Lelouch has a more muscular build than his canon counterpart does.
  • In Child of the Storm, the formerly short and skinny Harry hits a growth spurt thanks to his grandmother correcting malnutrition stunted growth and setting a proper diet and being a teenager whose dad happens to be Thor. Additionally, hand to hand combat training leads to him putting on additional muscle, something noticed and appreciated by an increasing number of straight/bi female students, and gay/bi male friends. The result is that part way through 3rd year, he can pass for 15/16, and by the time he's around 14 and a half, he can pass for 17/18.
  • Code Geass: The Prepared Rebellion:
    • Lelouch is a good deal more muscular than in canon, thanks to being more willing to exercise.
    • Sayoko is quite a bit bustier than she was in canon, having D-cup breasts.
  • In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, Smurfette originally had the same flatchested body as her normal mainstream media counterpart, but over time was redrawn to have breasts which she developed when she was changed from her original "un-Smurf" appearance through magic.
  • Evangelion 303: Due to being twenty-one, stopping exercise due to a plane crash that rendered her comatose for several months and a change in diet, Asuka is more stacked than she was in the original show.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines:
    • Misty has a more impressive figure than she did in the anime. This is justified, because she's five years older than she was in the original timeline and closer in age to her sisters in the original show, who were quite curvy.
    • This applies to other characters who have aged up, including Ash and May. Iris however is stated to not be particularly curvy.
  • Coreline: Multiple Alternate Self versions of characters that appear are mentioned to have more muscles than their canon version. Justified because many of those Alternates (that have appeared so far) are superhero versions of a character and several of these are shown (or at least heavily implied) to have taken Boxing Lessons for Superman (or at least gotten some exercise as a general part of their taking as level in badass).
  • While fairly curvy in canon, Nabiki Tendo in Anything Goes Game Changer is not only more obviously fit, but has a bust comparable to Akitsu.
  • Warriors Redux: ThunderClan cats in Warriors Redux are known for being large, muscular, and fluffy (thanks to their medium-length fur). Humans would compare them to Maine Coons. In the original Warriors book there's no standardized ThunderClan design, they're generally ordinary looking (though bigger than most housecats), and they're mainly short-furred.
  • Citadel of the Heart does this with a lot of characters who are given an Age Lift, but the strangest of the numerous examples would be Mewtwo; Mewtwo is a genderless Legendary Pokémon who isn't depicted any differently as far as age goes, but in terms of physical appearance is consistently drawn by MF 217 as being completely shredded. Older artwork from MF217 that have nothing to do with Citadel of the Heart also depict Mewtwo as being beefier than normal, indicating that this is perhaps Author Appeal.
  • Inverted in Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!. Due to possessing his Kryptonian Super Strength from an early age, Izuku rarely needed to truly exert himself and most of his ten months of training consists of refining his control rather than increasing his raw strength. As a result, he keeps his Geek Physique when he gets into U.A.
  • My Huntsman Academia:
    • Izuku earned his six-pack abs like in canon, but he slowly gets brawnier as he continues training, to the point that he's practically bursting out of his old combat school uniform (fitted to his old Geek Physique) when he tries to wear it for a formal occasion. He's also the most frequent source of eye candy in the story.
    • Nora (as biased as she is), says that Izuku's muscular body is an 8.5/Ren, implying that Ren is quite muscular under his loose-fitting clothing.
    • Yang is about as slim as most of her peers in RWBY, but in this story she's described as leanly muscular and Ruby says Izuku's biceps are "almost as big" as Yang's at the start of the story.
    • Both Ruby and Weiss take up weightlifting to overcome their Fragile Speedster tendencies and come out more muscular for it.
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    Films — Animated 
  • Inverted with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. While in the original game, Tifa had exaggerated breasts, the follow up movie reduced her cup size because they would have looked jarring on the more realistic character models. Of course, even with reduced breasts, Tifa is still enormously busty.
  • Pohatu from BIONICLE had scrawny arms and a tiny upper-body (what with his gear-function being in his hip) as a toy, but, overlapping with Adaptational Attractiveness, has a normal body and more proportional arms in the Direct-to-DVD film. Sidorak from the third movie is also much more buff than his scraggy toy.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Baywatch (2017) has this spades - compare David Hasselhoff's Mitch Buchannon to Dwayne Johnson's, Alexandra Paul's Stephanie Holden to Ilfenesh Hadera's, Alexandra Daddario's Summer Quinn to Nicole Eggert's.
  • In Daredevil, The Kingpin, who in the comic looks like a fatty but Word of God states is all muscle, is played by Michael Clarke Duncan.
  • In the original novel Emmanuelle: The Joys of a Woman, the eponymous character becomes fascinated by Bee because the latter is almost breastless. In the film Emmanuelle, Bee was played by Marika Green, who was definitely not flat-chested.
  • Fighting with My Family has AJ Lee, who was famous for her skinny, waify frame, being played by the much curvier and better endowed Thea Trinidad.
  • Some characters in the Harry Potter movies were more muscular than their book counterparts. Ron, for instance, was described as tall and skinny in the books, while Rupert Grint was rather buff in the later movies. Similarly, Neville was short and chubby in the first few movies, fitting his appearance in the books, but puberty was really kind to Matthew Lewis, who became tall and muscular in the later films.
  • When Jennifer Lawrence was chosen to play the lead in the film adaptation of the The Hunger Games, enraged fans almost immediately complained that she was too voluptuous to play Katniss Everdeen, for whom being perpetually underfed was a defining trait. Jennifer Lawrence's response was that she didn't want to perpetuate women's Weight Woe.
  • The American-made Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie featured the characters wearing redesigned costumes that were plated like Power Armor rather than the usual spandex, and made the characters look more muscular than they do on the regular TV show.
  • Black Widow is usually very tall and athletically toned, especially in earlier comics. In the MCU, she's shorter but a whole lot more curvaceous and thick... thanks to being played by Scarlett Johansson.
  • In On Her Majesty's Secret Service Blofeld is portrayed by Telly Savalas, a fairly buff dude. In the books, Blofeld is described as someone whose "muscle has all turned to fat."
  • In the book of The Running Man, protagonist Ben Richards is described as "scrawny" and "pre-tubercular". In the film, he's played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • In Spider-Man, the spider bite that gave Peter Parker his powers also makes him slightly buffer. In the original comics and The Amazing Spider-Man films, the spider bite had no such effect. Played with in the case of MCU Spidey, as while he does possess an impressive physical physique thanks to the bite, he seemly averts this by looking absolutely scrawny with his clothes on, which is all the more fitting for the character.
  • Star Trek (2009): Not a person, but a starship! The USS Enterprise from the Kelvin-timeline has a much curvier design than its iconic counterpart from the original timeline.
  • Star Wars:
    • Some versions of the poster for the original Star Wars movie exaggerated Princess Leia's proportions, to a Fanservice -ish degree.
    • The late-90's toy line based on the series had a tendency to make the male characters far more muscular than they were in the films. It got to the point that Mark Hamill saw a figurine and remarked, 'Dear God, they put me on steroids!'
  • In the X-Men comics, Wolverine is a Pint-Sized Powerhouse at 5'2". The films cast the 6'2" and very ripped Hugh Jackman to play him.
  • In the Fat Kid Rules the World book Curt is described as emaciated looking and distressingly thin. In the film he's played by a skinny, but not sickly looking, actor.
  • Inverted in Kim Possible. Wade's actor isn't slim but he's noticeably less rotund than his cartoon counterpart.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 2000 Syfy adaptation of Dune cast the noticeably voluptuous Barbora Kodetova as Paul's love-interest Chani, who was supposed to be slender and devoid of body fat. It's probably just a coincidence that the uncensored version of the mini-series featured Kodetova in a topless scene...
  • Generally inverted in The Flash (2014).
    • Barry Allen is usually drawn as a highly muscular man in the comics, but is given a skinny-but-fit Geek Physique.
    • Francisco "Cisco" Ramone trades his bodybuilder-like figure for a shorter, slightly stouter frame.
    • Savitar is drawn as a Walking Shirtless Scene with the muscles to match, but the show gives him the same scrawny build as Barry, since Savitar is just an alias used by Barry's evil future self.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Missandei is quite a few years older than her counterpart in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, who's only about eleven, and thus more shapely.
    • In the books, Brienne has a stocky, masculine physique and no bosom at all. Osha is lithe and barely looks like a woman. Both have more feminine figures in the show.
  • Power Rangers: What the movie and comics do for the show, the show itself does compared to its Japanese Super Sentai material. In Sentai, the boys are Bishounen and the girls are often reverse-Dawson Casting cases; everyone's younger and slenderer than you'd expect. In PR, you'll find considerably more muscles on the boys, and more curves (and muscles, though the full-on Amazon-looking cases are rare) on the girls. One of the best cases is is Gekiranger/Jungle Fury. Rio looks like he belongs in a boy band. He looks masterful in a smooth, aristocratic sort of way. Dai Shi looks like he could dismantle you without summoning his battle armor, and fitting with the lion theme is generally more feral-looking.
  • Rizzoli & Isles: Jane Rizzoli is described as "plain" in the source books, but is played on television by Angie Harmon, who is...not.
  • Saturday Night Live once poked fun at Harry Potter, in which guest host Lindsay Lohan was playing Hermione, returning to Hogwarts after summer vacation, having developed a pair of gigantic breasts, and unintentionally drawing so much attention to them that neither Harry nor Ron can keep his eyes off them. This also was Lohan poking fun at herself, as at the time, she was developing and blossoming, and her breasts grew naturally large, and thus many people were speculating that they were fake.
    • Coincidentally or not, this exact scenario is also a well-worn plot device in Harry Potter fanfiction.
  • The Walking Dead
  • In the Archie comics Ethel Muggs is an awkward, beanpole of a brunette. As played by Shannon Purser on Riverdale she's got reddish hair and a much curvier figure. And she lost the comical buck teeth.
  • Jimmy Olsen is commonly depicted with Geek Physiques and of average height. Supergirl (2015) has him played by Mehcad Brooks, who is a Tall, Dark, and Handsome hunk.
  • Wonder Woman: The original comic books up until The '70s portrayed Wonder Woman as a very slim and athletic build. Then Lynda Carter was cast as Wonder Woman and not only did she bring far more cleavage to the role, but the comic book character was forever transformed. In-Universe, she's considered one of (if not the) the world's most beautiful women.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Wrestling 

    Western Animation 
  • Blackarachnia's toy from in the Beast Wars line was a Palette Swap of the stocky and fat Tarantulas. The show gave her a more realistic black widow spider mode, and her robot form was modeled after a thin but well-endowed exotic dancer.
  • Sally from Sonic Sat AM is loosely based on Ricky, who is non-anthro and male (though in the 90s he was female in English countries). Sally has a more feminine figure than most Sonic characters.
  • Dramatically inverted in 2018's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. While the original cartoon had most of its female characters with the same pinup/fashion doll body type— understandable, for a toyline cartoon— the reboot makes them all look younger (which many of them are) and gives them less exaggerated and more varied figures.

Alternative Title(s): Adaptational Muscles, Adaptational Physique

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