Follow TV Tropes


And Then John Was a Zombie

Go To
Infected Wall-nut: Here's an idea! Instead of standing out here and guarding this guy's house, we go in his house and eat his brains!
Peashooter: Yeah! Yeah! Go in there and eat his bra— wait, what?
Twin Sunflowers: Yup, definitely a zombie.
Infected Wall-nut: Oh, wow, okay, uh, I can so prove I'm not. Just lean over here, and I'll take a little nibble out of your plant brain.

A character, frequently a protagonist, is turned into the very thing he or she has been fighting; a survivor of a Zombie Apocalypse may get bitten by a zombie, a werewolf or vampire hunter may get infected, and so on. Unlike He Who Fights Monsters, where the hero metaphorically becomes like the evil he was fighting, this is a literal transformation into an actual monster.

Played straight, implies a Face–Heel Turn (but see below). If the transformation in question isn't generally seen as evil or monstrous, that's more of a Viral Transformation.

Tends to be something of an Ending Trope, since it's more dramatic to have the hero succumb at the end of an epic struggle to fight the zombies/monsters/whatever. If there's no way back, that can make it a Downer Ending, and often a Cruel Twist Ending too. May also be the result of a Heroic Sacrifice.

A popular variation of this is for protagonists to have this thrust on them as an Emergency Transformation, and/or (attempt to) use Heroic Willpower to avoid the Face–Heel Turn frequently associated with this trope. If that works, the hero can use the powers for the cause of good. Results of such attempts vary. It is also possible for this to happen to villainous characters. Depending on the villain and the type of transformation in question, results vary — even more than heroic characters — but it can then result in a Heel–Face Turn. Or it could just be a (deconstructed) case of One-Winged Angel.

The Trope Namer is an infamously bad short fanfiction called DOOM: Repercussions of Evil, which ends with the protagonist, named John, suddenly turning into a Zombie with no explanation whatsoever, with the illustration used as the trope picture.

If poorly foreshadowed (as with the trope namer), this can very easily be an Ass Pull. When explicitly foreshadowed, the hero was a Doomed Protagonist. When it's suddenly revealed that the main character was a monster all along, that's Tomato in the Mirror. Often happens when the antagonist of the story was The Virus or The Assimilator.

Examples will contain spoilers!


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, members of the 104th Trainee Corps encounter an Rogue Titan that only attacks other Titans. It's actually Eren, as he's able to create and "pilot" a Titan body. He's not the only one. Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie all turn out to be Titan Shifters sent from somewhere outside the Walls, with the mission to infiltrate the military and exterminate "mankind within the Walls". Eren's transformation changes their mission, with them attempting to kidnap him. Reiner claims they no longer intend to carry out the extermination. Ymir is also a Titan Shifter, but comes from somewhere else, suggesting at least two separate groups of Titan Shifters outside the Walls. The secret experiments Eren's father was carrying out in his basement may be the reason behind his powers.
    • In Chapter 84, Armin is given a life-saving serum that transforms him into a titan. He promptly eats Bertolt, the Colossal Titan, and is subsequently a Titan Shifter like Eren.
    • This is pretty much the fate of anyone who's turned into a mindless titan, namely Dina Fritz, members of Eldian Restorationists, Ymir (briefly), Ragako Village inhabitants, Falco Grice (briefly), Nile Dok, Dot Pixis and any others who have consumed wines that has been spiked with Zeke's spinal fluids.
  • Bleach: When Ichigo invades Hueco Mundo to rescue Orihime, he repeatedly comes into conflict with Ulquiorra, handling each new fight better than last time. Ulquiorra accuses him of becoming more like a hollow, but Ichigo retorts that, to him, it seems like Ulquiorra is becoming more human. Unfortunately for Ichigo, their climactic battle sees Ichigo transform fully into a monstrous hollow and not only rip Ulquiorra's body apart, but also stab his friend Uryuu for attempting to restrain his hollowfication blood lust.
  • The Claymores who become Awakened Beings definitely qualify. Particularly galling in the case of Ophelia, as she really hates Awakened Beings, and became a Claymore to fight them. And Then Cassandra, Hysteria, and Roxanne Became Awakened Beings after they were resurrected.
  • In Corpse Princess, Ouri turns out to be part Shikabane.
  • Destiny of the Shrine Maiden: And then Souma was a petrified Orochi. He saw it coming, though, and try to use the Orochi powers contaminating his body to make a Heroic Sacrifice. He recovers later.
  • In Digimon Data Squad, the main human villain, Kurata, has a great fear of all Digimon and kills a bunch of them in the name of one-sided peace, but then uses their life force to power an even worse villain-type Digimon and become one with it to ultimately take over the world.
  • Early in the Buu saga of Dragon Ball Z, everyone is told that Babidi can take the smallest seed of evil in someone's heart and corrupt them to work for him. The people who go into his ship to fight him are a God, Goku, and Gohan (who are repeatedly shown to be pure of heart and can ride the flying Nimbus) and Vegeta, who claimed to have become a Super Saiyan by having a heart of pure evil. It's not hard to guess who ends up selling his mind to Babidi for a chance to fight his rival on equal terms (though interestingly, he still retains enough of his will to ignore the other two, despite being ordered to kill them too).
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Dragon Slayers suffer this fate by design; as they continue use the powers of dragons against them, they will inevitably turn into dragons themselves. The black dragon Acnologia was one such victim, as was the inventor of Dragon Slayer magic, Irene Belserion, who ironically created it to help humans fight alongside good dragons against the evil ones.
    • Demon Slayers are posed with an issue similar to Dragon Slayers, only instead of turning into demons, they lose their minds and act no differently from the monsters they slay. Gray zig-zags between this after inheriting his father's magic. Although he initially appears to have become corrupted to the point of forsaking his friends and joining a cult, it's revealed he managed to get it under control with medical aid and is The Mole. But then he starts to succumb to it for real after Juvia's Disney Death and learning that Natsu is the demon he learned this magic to kill, and only through Erza's intervention does he snap out of it for good.
  • In Gregory Horror Show, the protagonists of the first two seasons end up transforming into guests of the Hell Hotel with ironic twists. The First Guest was a typical salaryman who's turned into a hollow clay doll (empty shell of a man) that does nothing but run around offering people his business card. The Second Guest was a Woman Scorned leaving a friend's wedding, only to end up transformed into a rat and marrying into Gregory's family herself.
  • Hiromi is infected in I Am a Hero. She turns into a zombie, but isn't quite as aggressive as the others. Later, she appears to turn out okay (to the point that even she thinks she is alright). Unfortunately, this is not the case, and she is in fact an Infected Queen capable of leading the Hive Mind.
  • In Kakurenbo, the main character wins the game of hide-and-seek by being the last child to be found... and then is given the honor of being the new "it", that is, he becomes a demon himself.
  • In Plastic Memories, this is what happens to a Giftia if his/her life span runs out before he/she can be deactivated. Upon turning into a Wanderer, they lose all of their memories and personality. Their limiters are also released, giving them super speed and strength. By that point they have to be taken down, often with deadly force as seen in a Flash Back during Episode 5 with Michiru's Giftia father.
  • In Princess Mononoke, the boar god Okkoto becomes a demon via The Corruption and requires a Mercy Kill.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Magical Girls fight monsters known as witches. When defeated, these witches drop a Grief Seed, which the magical girls use to cleanse their soul gems, which get gradually darker every time they use their powers or suffer sadness and despair. What Kyubey doesn't mention is that when a magical girl's soul gem turns completely black, she will turn into a witch. Every magical girl who doesn't die in battle will eventually become a Witch, the monsters that the magical girls fight throughout the series, and their Soul Gems become Grief Seeds, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle. This is illustrated in Episode 8 when this happens to Sayaka.
    • Even before you become a Witch, there is still some opportunity for horror. The Soul Gems in question? Their name is literal. Since your soul is outside your body, that essentially makes you a girly, sparkly Lich. The girls find this out the hard way when Sayaka's soul gem is thrown too far away from her body, causing her to fall over dead until it is returned to her. She then considers herself inhuman and this accelerates her inevitable transformation into a Witch.
    • Even worse, if you have lost your Soul Gem for too long, your body would begin to rot and turn you into a literal zombie, as seen with Sayaka in Puella Magi Madoka Magica Portable.
  • In Gensoumaden Saiyuki, Hakkai slays a thousand demons and his thousandth turns him into a demon, pointy ears and all.
  • School-Live!:
    • Kurumi's crush turned into a zombie and tried to attack her. She had to kill him.
    • The only adult, Megu-nee, turned into a zombie prior to the manga beginning.
    • In the manga Kei and Miki meet several survivors during the start of the outbreak. The man Kei has a crush on, the leader, ends up bitten by a zombie. In the end only Miki and Kei make it out alive.
    • It's revealed later that Kei became a zombie after she left Miki because she was sick of sitting around just surviving.
    • Kurumi became close to becoming this trope when Megu-nee bit her however an anti-zombie vaccine saved her. It's been shown she's not quite out of the red though, as while alive she shows zombie traits like being unnaturally cold or zombies sometimes not recognizing her as alive.
    • In the manga it's implied that the rescue helicopter crashed because the driver turned into a zombie.
    • In the manga there is a Hope Spot of introducing a new survivor however when the characters finally meet her she's already turned into a zombie.
    • In the anime Megu-nee bites the Team Pet Taroumaru and turns them into a zombie.
    • Aosoi spends several chapters traveling with the girls, only to suddenly turn into a zombie in chapter 68. She has to be killed by Miki.
  • In School Mermaid, the main character ends up being pulled down into the floor by the very mermaids she was hunting and becomes one herself. And it is strongly implied that her best friend will hunt her down and eat her later.
  • In Shiki, almost every character ends up as a vampire, including two of the three protagonists.
  • Used to an extent in Soul Eater as several protagonists (mostly Stein, but Maka, Soul, Black Star and Death the Kid have been subject to this too) get taken over by their own insanity, their infected black blood, or just an Eldritch Abomination that drives them insane.
  • Played for Laughs in episode 7 of Strike Witches Road to Berlin. Lucchini gets enlarged breasts from a cursed idol, and subsequently "infects" other witches by fondling them, giving them enlarged breasts while also making them obsessed with cursing other women. Perrine saves Lynette from Eila and Sanya by tackling them and causing them to flee. She's fine at first, but when they escape into the kitchen, Perrine subsequently develops enlarged breasts and attempts to fondle the other witches.
  • A variant of this is used as a key plot point in Tokyo Ghoul. Kaneki starts out as an ordinary young man with the very typical attitude towards Ghouls, but by the conclusion of the first chapter/episode, he finds himself transformed into a Half-Human Hybrid. His Stages of Monster Grief and struggle to deal with his transformation into the very monster he feared is a driving force during the first half of the series. The finale reveals that Aogiri has plans to create more artificial hybrids like Kaneki, using kidnapped Ghoul Investigators as test subjects. In the sequel, Seidou Takizawa has become an Evil Counterpart to Kaneki, while Koutarou Amon seems to have been labeled as a failure.
  • In Unlimited Fafnir, Ds are girls with supernatural powers who fight dragons. However, dragons have the ability to mark Ds, which will eventually transform them into another dragon unless the dragon responsible is killed first. Prior to the beginning of the series, the dragon Kraken transforms Miyako into another of its kind. The main character Yuu, who is actually a dragon himself, ends up transforming the other Ds in the main cast into humanoid dragons like himself.
  • Uzumaki:
    • After the teacher smashes a bunch of human-hybrid-snail eggs in disgust, he returns a week later a snail man. With a bunch of snail eggs growing on his back.
    • In the end, Kirie and Shuichi become spirals.
  • A chapter of Venus Versus Virus deals with a girl coming to Lucia asking her to help her twin brother, who she thinks is being stalked by monsters. The Reveal comes when it turns out the girl herself has become a Virus. Her parents are ignoring her because only certain people can see Viruses and her brother, who can see her because he has acquired the "vision" to as he is her target, is afraid of her. Lucia ends up having to kill the girl.
  • Furuichi in Xam'd: Lost Memories, who is one of the show's most outspoken human supremacists and someone who deeply loathes the Xam'd, is transformed into a Xam'd halfway through the series. He commits suicide before his transformation is completed.
  • Zombie Land Saga: Played up in the first few minutes of the episode. Sakura doesn't realize she too is undead until after fleeing the house from the other zombie girls. Only finding out when the officer she runs into recoils in fear and she spots herself in a traffic mirror.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Karn, a golem created to fight the Phyrexians. But his heart was a Phyrexian stone, normally used for insta-You Have Failed Me. This stone contained, like all artifacts of Phyrexian origin, the oil, which took hold on Mirrodin. Karn almost gave in to the Praetors' whispers.
    • Expansions set on Innistrad have a noticeable affection for these, and with good reason, as the story line has nearly all monstrosities coming from mankind. In particular, "church warrior becomes zombie" seems to be very popular, although with Crimson Vow, there's also "church warrior becomes vampire".
  • Some Yu-Gi-Oh! cards have images that tell stories.
    • One is the Gagagigo series; it starts as the Gigobyte, who wants to fight monsters... and ends with Gogiga Gagagigo, whose soul has ceased to exist and his body only moves on a drive for power. Ultimately, he overcomes it and becomes Gagagigo the Risen. The flavor text used in the video games (technically official, for once) states that he has overcome the darkness in himself and become a true hero. The compiled story is here if you're interested.
    • Then there's Warrior Dai Grepher; the first card of his story shows him and other warriors and spellcasters fighting demonic creatures. Then the series goes on and he becomes Dark Lucius. In Sakuretsu Armor, Dark Lucius LV 6 can be seen striking down some of the people he fought alongside in that first card.

    Comic Books 
  • The ending of 30 Days of Night involves the hero, Eben Oleson, turning himself into a vampire to save his friends. This counts because the vampires invaded to feed, not to create new vampires, and the humans (until that point) weren't interested in becoming vampires.
  • 2000 AD:
    • Fiends of the Eastern Front: After he believed that he had destroyed Captain Constanta, Hans is turned into a vampire by Constanta himself. Driven by an insatiable lust for blood, Hans is forced to feed on several Soviet soldiers before he decides to kill himself with his final Silver Bullet.
    • Age of the Wolf: Rowan Morrigan, a redheaded witch, uses a rune sigil to keep herself (and several others) from being turned into a werewolf as a result of a wolf bite. When the sigil is finally broken when Rowan is an old woman, she eventually turns but is still able to maintain her sanity.
  • In the Batman Vampire trilogy, Batman is transformed into a vampire as part of a desperate plan to defeat Dracula; while he revels in his new powers at first, his desperate struggle against the Joker in the second part sees him become consumed by his new lust for blood, and the third book forces his old enemies and allies to actually team up to oppose the monster he has become, as Batman drains their blood and tears off their heads, the man who once opposed killers now nothing but a predator.
  • Kill the Minotaur has Theseus do just that, but in the process he's unfortunately infected by the crashed Living Ship that spawned it.
  • The aptly named Marvel Zombies involves Sentry being the patient zero for some kind of zombie virus, which quickly spreads across Earth, and even across the galaxy and into other dimensions. This virus is significant because it will quickly infect almost anyone, whether a god (Thor), a Titan (Thanos), vampire (Morbius), alien (Gladiator and Super Skrull), or someone with a healing factor (Wolverine and Deadpool) and even cosmic beings like Phoenix and Watcher are not safe. The only truly immune people are robots like Machine Man and Jocasta.
  • In Part 4 of Night of the Monster Men, Nightwing and Gotham Girl get exposed to monster blood and mutate into vicious creatures.
  • In Santa Versus Dracula, Santa somehow ends up turning into a vampire after he stakes Dracula despite there being no way he was bitten.
  • In The Smurfs story "The Black Smurfs" (and its Animated Adaptation counterpart "The Purple Smurfs"), Papa Smurf is the only Smurf left in the village after the Black Smurf disease had turned all of his little Smurfs into Black Smurfs (the Smurf analog to zombies). When Papa Smurf rushes to his laboratory to get more tuberose pollen, a Black Smurf disguised as a blue Smurf bites Papa Smurf in the tail and infects him, causing him to turn black as well. The Smurfs are saved completely by accident; the fire in the laboratory causes a volatile potion to explode, which then causes the pollen to spread over the entire village, curing them.
  • In the fictional comic book Tales of the Black Freighter, a story within a story from Watchmen, the protagonist mistakenly bludgeons his wife almost to death while attempting to save her and his family from undead pirates. The pirates only want him, though, and the story ends ambiguously with the protagonist either being killed by the pirates or becoming one. His last words are "I was a horror; amongst horrors must I dwell".
  • In Superman: Doomed, Post-Flashpoint Superman defeats Doomsday after a brutal fight, but he is infected with a virus that transforms him into a Doomsday-like beast. It nearly happens to Supergirl, too. However she avoids that fate by not killing Cyborg Superman or her cousin.

    Eastern Animation 

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In this Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) fanfiction:
  • This trope is named for the legendary Cruel Twist Ending of the fanfic DOOM: Repercussions of Evil, wherein John Stalvern, who has spent the story fighting demons, becomes a zombie himself. (Or possibly was a zombie from the beginning, fooled by Satanic illusions into seeing humans as demons. It's not totally clear.)
  • Zombies has multiple cases of Decoy Protagonist syndrome. But finally, Princess Peach and Sonic seem to be the Big Damn Heroes of the story until they both succumb to their infections and devour their allies viciously.
  • In Before The Dawn, Bella Swan spends the first few chapters being held prisoner and raped by a vampire before becoming one herself.
  • In An Extraordinary Journey, when the SGC and the Colonials return to Kobol, not only do they learn that Elosha has been turned into a vampire, but Lee Adama is sired as well, although they are able to capture Lee and restore his soul.
  • In the Fullmetal Alchemist fangame Bluebird's Illusion, Ed becomes a homunculus in one of the endings.
  • In the How to Train Your Dragon fic Cursed, Hiccup turns into a Night Fury.
  • This is the entire premise of the Resident Evil fic Metamorphosis and Consequences — Leon and Helena and later Ada are infected and mutated into C-Virus B.O.W.s.
  • In Grandma Got Bitten By A Vampire (a fan sequel to the animated Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer), Daphne manages to cure her family of vampirism back to normal, only to find that their dog, Doofus, was turned, and he promptly attacks and feeds on her. What's more, Grandma had made friends with the vampire who bit her and liked being undead (as she was in her twilight years anyway) and thus regained her vampirism, re-vamping Jake (who was initially against being a vampire) as well. The three decided to keep the secret from the family for the time being and enjoy terrorizing Cityville at night.
  • In Respect: This happens in a symbolic sense to Yayoi, who makes a contract with Kyubey in order to stand up to the bullies that torment her. By the end, as Mami points out, she's become a villain, a "bully" herself, and being confronted with this sends her over the Despair Event Horizon. The trope then happens in a literal sense, as we see that Yayoi has transformed into Izabel, the Artist Witch from episode 10 of Madoka.
  • Hard Reset (Eakin):
    • In the canon ending, the Elements of Harmony transform almost every changeling into a true pony permanently.
    • In the alternate ending, Twilight willingly becoming a changeling in order to take over the hive.
  • In Coming Home, James is trying to get away from Pyramid Head and Vatiel and get out of Silent Hill. In the end, James is forcibly turned into a Humanoid Abomination and stays in Silent Hill for his father's life to be spared.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls fanfiction, Dead Air, Bubbles gets bitten in the middle of the story. In the end she turns into a zombie and attacks a sleeping Blossom, killing and eating her.
  • In The Land Before Time fanfiction The Seven Hunters, all of the gang are transformed into sharpteeth.
  • At the end of the award winning Team Fortress 2 short film Till Death Do Us Part, Spy gets scratched by a zombie as it dies and shoots himself in the head to prevent himself from turning into a zombie. He fails, and in the sequel, he attacks the other survivors. He gets better, though.
  • Children of an Elder God: Shinji, Asuka, Rei, Touji and Hikari fight Cthulhu Mythos Eldritch Abominations and steal their powers after killing them. However the stolen power transforms them gradually until they become human-looking cosmic horrors. They never become evil — although their power tries to corrupt them — but they stop being human.
  • Halfway through In a World of Grey, it's revealed Grey transformed Green into another Impostor when he escaped.
  • Unleashing of a Dark Night: Starting from Chapter 51 onwards, there are times in which Tomo will turn into something that looks just like her normal self and/or Rage Form (both variations), but with similarities to the Dark Gaia spawn that she and the others have been fighting (because WereMobians are related to the Dark Gaia spawn and once served Dark Gaia). Fortunately, she never becomes evil.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • At the end of the 30 Days of Night movie, Sheriff Eben Oleson has been fighting the vampires in the town for the last month of darkness, but when his ex-wife is trapped and the vampires are starting to burn the town, he deliberately infects himself with vampire blood. As he hoped, he is able to control himself long enough to fight off the remaining vampires and kill their leader, but the film ends as he watches the sunlight with his estranged wife, allowing himself to be burnt to ash rather than risk him turning on the remaining humans.
  • Alien:
    • Ripley in Alien: Resurrection. Due to genetic mixing, Ripley 8 has inherited a lot of Alien characteristics, and sympathizes with them to a certain extent. This version of Ripley is technically a different character, but the irony has to be appreciated of Ripley becoming so much like the Aliens after she fought them for so long. When she's being brought to the Queen by one of the Aliens after she's captured, she actually hugs the thing as if she's finally come home.
    • Fifield in Prometheus. The black liquid transforms him into an incredibly strong creature that was nigh-invincible. He wasn't exactly a classic zombie, but since he seems to be pretty much utterly under the control of the infection, this still counts.
  • A homage to such endings occurs in the 1996 Tales from the Crypt movie, Bordello of Blood. Rafe saves his love interest, Catherine, from Lilith, only to find out at the end that Lilith managed to bite her in the thigh, conveniently hiding the bite mark from him. Catherine had been undead since her rescue and proceeds to bite Rafe once she and him are alone.
  • At the end of Candyman, the heroine becomes a Candywoman.
  • Carved has the main character being possessed and becoming the new Kuchisake-onna/Slit-Mouthed Woman.
  • Count Yorga:
    • The ending of the 1970 film Count Yorga, Vampire. The last survivor, Michael, manages to go to his girlfriend, Donna, and kill Yorga. After chasing off Yorga's remaining brides (one of which was a friend of theirs), Michael thinks it's over. But just as he relaxes, Donna lunges at him, now a vampire herself, and kills him.
    • A reversal of the kind of ending mentioned above occurs in the 1971 sequel, The Return of Count Yorga. Hayes manages to get past the vampire brides and confront Yorga. After a fight, Yorga is killed by Cynthia, a girl he was trying to turn. Cynthia hugs Baldwin, only to pull away and reveal he's just now turned into a vampire himself. Baldwin promptly goes to bite her and bring Cynthia into the undead ranks he was trying to prevent not moments before.
  • The Dead: Many people fall victim to this, such as the elderly lady in Daniel's village, who survives long enough to let him know his son was rescued by the army, then promptly dies from her injuries. A few moments later she stands up and starts to shamble towards him, forcing him to kill her. Daniel is nearly subjected to this himself, though it's ambiguous if Brian shot him after he died but before he could reanimate.
  • In the final scene of the movie Deadgirl, we find out that the main character has become a zombie rapist despite spending the entire movie trying to dissuade his friends from doing the exact same thing.
  • Deadtime Stories: At the end of "Little Red Runninghood", Rachel is sitting in her grandmother's hospital room. However, when she wakes up, Granny has been transformed into a werewolf.
  • At the end of Devil's Pass, the Final Girl and Final Guy try fleeing into the Stargate to escape the creatures. But it turns out the Stargate is the source of the creatures because traveling through it turns you into one. Whoops!
  • District 9 shows in an epilogue that Wikus has fully become a Prawn.
  • In the Doom movie, Reaper is dying and his sister subjects him to the chromosome which had turned everyone else into monsters. Luckily (and perhaps subverting this trope), he is among the small percent of humans who don't turn into monsters when exposed to it and instead become 'angels'.
  • Occurs in Dragonball Evolution when Goku turns into the Oozaru, said to be an unstoppable servant of Piccolo, after having spent the movie determined to defeat Oozaru. Only after killing Roshi does he get out of it. This is not the case in the original source material, where the Oozaru is not mentioned until Goku transforms for the first time.
  • Evil Dead 2: Ash gets possessed and becomes a Deadite twice during the film. The first time is when the evil corrupts him after he buries Linda (continuing from the first film left off), but the sun coming up cures him. He gets possessed again later on when he's knocked out by Jake, but eventually rids himself of the evil for good when he spots Linda's necklace, the reminder of him losing her allowing him to retake control of his body.
  • Extinction (2018): Peter, Alice, their children, and pretty much every main character is eventually revealed to be an android. Something even they honestly had no idea about, until Alice gets injured and Peter has to help restart her.
  • In the end of Roman Polański's 1967 film The Fearless Vampire Killers (and the subsequent 1997 musical adaptation, Tanz Der Vampire), the protagonists rescue the heroine from a pack of bloodthirsty vampires, only to have her turn into one and attack the "hero" of the film at the very end.
  • An alternate ending in From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter shows one of the protagonists, Ambrose Bierce, telling his tale to a bar patron. When the man doesn't believe his story, Ambrose offers proof... by promptly pulling the man's heart out. The final shot is his eyes changing to a gold color, him gaining fangs and growling inhumanly before he eats the heart.
  • Halloween:
  • The uber-creepy Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) ends with Veronica Cartwright's character approaching Sutherland's character (he was the protagonist). As she calls out to him, he wheels around, points at her, and emits an inhuman wail (sort of the Pod People's call to arms).
  • Needy becomes part-demon after surviving Jennifer's attack in Jennifer's Body.
  • The Lair of the White Worm ends with Hugh Grant's character being smiled at by Peter Capaldi, who's just become a vampire.
  • Late Phases: Averted. Ambrose, knowing he's likely to get bitten and transformed into a werewolf even if he survives, intentionally overdoses on his medication before the final fight to prevent such an outcome.
  • By the end of The Lost Boys, Michael has become a vampire himself, but when the other vampires are destroyed at the end of the movie, not only are two half-vampires cured, he, too, goes back to normal.
  • In The Midnight Meat Train, Leon becomes the new Butcher at the end after he defeats his predecessor.
  • The requisite werewolf wrestler in Monster Brawl became one after he took vengeance on one who killed his girlfriend, getting infected in the process.
  • Nightbreed: Villainous variation. The hateful serial killer Dr. Decker, who despises everything that isn't him and regarded the Nightbreed as vermin that he wanted to exterminate, becomes a Nightbreed himself in the Sequel Hook at the end when the priest revives him. Now he's an undead, superpowered serial killer more dangerous than ever.
  • In Night of the Living Dead (1990), Ben is badly wounded by Cooper during the night, and as a last resort, locks himself in the basement against the zombie horde. When we last see him, the door seems to be holding, but Ben has no supplies and his wound is worsening. When Barbra returns the next day with a group of locals, they eventually manage to open the door to the basement, and encounter the now zombified Ben.
  • Jonathan Harker becomes a vampire at the end of Werner Herzog's remake of Nosferatu.
  • At the climax of The Ωmega Man, Lisa becomes a part of The Family.
  • In Pumpkinhead, a man summons a spirit of vengeance (the titular Pumpkinhead) after his son is accidentally killed by reckless teenagers. Realizing how screwed up things have become, he tries to stop Pumpkinhead; to do so, he himself must die. At the end of the film, the man has to become the next Pumpkinhead.
  • Revenge of the Sith ends with the legendary Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker becoming the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Of course, the original Star Wars trilogy had already established this as a Foregone Conclusion.
  • All the alternative endings of The Ruins show the Final Girl succumbing to the evil plant spores in some way, while it is suggested in the theatrical one.
  • The Searchers: The final escene of the movie suggest, and Word of God confirms that the ultimate fate of Ethan Edwards is to wander "between the winds", like the Indians believe will happen to anybody whose corpse has no eyes, and the destiny Ethan has invoked over a dead Comanche in the middle of the movie by shooting his eyes from his corpse
  • David Cronenberg's Shivers (1975)... and then Dr. Saint-Luke was Infected. Ironically, David Cronenberg considers this a happy ending, as he's said the Infected are happy and free of their inhibitions, and at the end they're about to share their newfound freedom with the whole world.
  • Skyline has Jarrod's brain installed into an alien, only for his Heroic Willpower to grant him control over that alien instead of just becoming its CPU.
  • In Terminator Genisys John Connor, leader of the human resistance against the Terminators, is turned into one himself as a last ditch effort by Skynet.
  • At the ending of The Thing (1982), it appears as though the Thing was killed in an explosion. However, Mac and Childs are still around, and it's not revealed whether or not they had been infected, leaving them to wait and see what happens. The most optimistic reading possible is that they both freeze to death.
  • In Timecrimes, Hector gets stabbed in the arm and chased through the forest by a man in a black coat with his head covered by bandages. Then he travels backwards in time an hour, cuts his head, and begins bandaging the cut. Realizing that he's in a Stable Time Loop, Hector completely wraps his head in bandages, then takes a pair of scissors and attacks his past self, deliberately causing the series of events that led to his climbing into the time machine an hour ago.
  • The main character of the third segment of Trilogy of Terror manages to kill the living Zuni Fetish doll by locking it in an oven, but is then possessed by its spirit. Trilogy of Terror II, which sees the doll return, ends on a similar note.
  • Near the end of Undead or Alive, Elmer makes the mistake of punching an infectious zombie in the mouth, and almost immediately realizes that he is beginning to turn. While he uses the last few moments before the hunger overwhelms him to attempt to make a Heroic Sacrifice, he succumbs in the end, infecting one companion and convincing him to help devour another.
  • A variant occurs in Underworld (2003). Decoy Big Bad Lucien is attempting to turn Michael Corvin into a Vampire/Werewolf hybrid as a means of ending the war between the species while Selene investigates the Lycanths' interest in him and attempts to protect him. He nonetheless succeeds in turning Michael into a werewolf as the first step in the process, and when Selene's Vampire Dad Viktor is awakened and learns of this, he is determined to kill Michael and prevent it. Selene instead completes the process herself to stop Viktor and Michael becomes a hybrid.
  • At the end of Vampire Assassin, the protagonist becomes a vampire.
  • In Van Helsing, the titular Van Helsing becomes a werewolf to battle Dracula because apparently vampires are weak against werewolves.
  • At the end of Windigo, Brandon becomes the eponymous monster.
  • At the end of The VVitch, Thomasin becomes the very thing her (now dead) family accused her of being: A Witch.
  • The Wolfman (2010) ends with Lawrence dead, but only after having bitten Aberline, whose horrorstruck Oh, Crap! look suggests he's just realized the implications.
  • Zombieland: Double Tap:
    • Madison supposedly becomes zombified after fighting a bunch of zombies at an RV site and Columbus had no choice but to put her down. Subverted when it turns out Madison's "zombification" was just an allergic reaction to almonds in her trail mix, plus Columbus never shot at her, just besides a tree in order to scare her away.
    • Both Albuquerque and Flagstaff, Tallahassee and Columbus' counterparts, get turned into T-800 zombies while fighting an army of them. They are both defeated by Tallahassee (who hates Albuquerque) and Nevada.

  • Howl of the Werewolf sees you spending most of the story battling minions of the werewolf lord, Count Varcolac, in order to cure yourself of your lycanthropy. If you did defeat Varcolac at the end, but your transformation is beyond reversing, you automatically gets a bad ending where your feral instincts took over and you become the next werewolf lord.

  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has the twist ending of... well, guess.
  • Animal Farm ends with the pigs coming to resemble human farmers so closely that the other animals find it hard to tell them apart from humans. They even begin to walk on two legs, wear human clothes, and carry whips. This is a rather Anvilicious commentary on how many revolutionary leaders become as corrupt and oppressive as the leaders they overthrew, if not more so.
  • Whenever a person dies beyond the Wall in A Song of Ice and Fire their body becomes a reanimated wight which is forced to kill all living people at the behest of their masters, the Others. Up until the Winds of Winter, this has happened to several characters:
    • Ser Waymar Royce and Will get turned into wights in the prologue of the very first book.
    • Varamyr Sixskins gets turned into a wight along with the girl who was helping him after fleeing the Battle of the Wall against Stannis.
    • After the Great Ranging in A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords, many of the Night's Watch Samwell Tarly sees are names we have heard about and may have had a line from earlier in the series.
  • In Bone Song by John Meaney, the protagonist dies at the end and becomes a zombie; however, given that zombies are the good guys there, it is not that much of a Downer.
  • In P C Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath series, a singer named Ashe is bitten by haunts (ghouls with an infectious bite) during a battle early in the second book but hides her wounds. By the time of the final battle in the book, she is technically dead (but hiding it well and fully in control of herself), and plays a key part in the main protagonist's (Jaime's) survival: Ashe guards Jaime's back while taking wounds that would have killed a living Kencyr many times over. Ashe's motives are unclear but seemed to include dispassionate curiosity.
  • The Dresden Files: Fool Moon sees Harry investigating a vicious series of werewolf murders. It turns out that most of the murders were committed by four FBI agents who used enchanted belts to transform. Harry manages to steal one, and uses its power to deliver an epic No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to the two remaining wolves. Harry describes its power as utterly intoxicating, and comes close to the brink of being seduced into remaining a wolf, but manages to snap out of it and remove the belt when he sees how horrified his girlfriend is at what he's become.
  • The hunters of the Immortals in Terry Maggert's Fearless series become progressively more inhuman the more immortals they kill.
  • Goosebumps:
    • In The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, the werewolf bites the hero at the climax, and the ending reveals this has passed the curse onto him (not that he and his dog seem to mind). This is also implied at the very end of Werewolf Skin.
    • Calling All Creeps. Some reptilian monsters that can turn into human form come to think that the protagonist, a boy bullied by most of his school, is one of them. They have plotted to transform everyone in the school, and then in town, country, and the world, into Creeps like them, and the hero is trying to stop them from feeding everyone the transforming goo. In the last moment, when he is mocked one more time while trying to stop everyone from eating goo-filled muffins, he is told that he will be the ruler of all Creeps and no longer a target for bullies. The protagonist does a quick Face–Heel Turn, treats everyone to eat the muffins, and eats one himself, becoming the real Creep leader.
  • De Griezelbus: In one of the stories, a boy's father and mother become vampires and want him to join them. He plans to stake them while they are asleep, but cannot go through with it because they are still his family. He decides to wait until they wake up and can turn him.
  • In Hater by David Moody, the main character becomes a Hater about three-quarters of the way into the book, after a prolonged struggle to defend himself and his family from them.
  • This is a possible fate of Regulus Black from Harry Potter after the Inferi killed him.
  • In John Dies at the End, it is revealed in the penultimate chapters of the book that somewhere along the course of the story, Dave has been replaced with a "monster" version of himself, becoming the very doppelganger that part of the story's arc has revolved around. Considering the character John neither dies nor suffers Dave's fate of becoming that which they fought, this could be a subversion. Especially likely considering the writer is Cracked Editor David Wong.
  • In Necroscope, vampirisation happens to the good guys every now and again. Eventually, Harry Keogh is subject to this as well.
  • In the Laura Caxton series, 99 Coffins ends with vampire hunter Jameson Arkley becoming a vampire himself to stop a mass outbreak, with the sequel novel Vampire Zero looking at his subsequent attacks on his own family as he succumbs to his vampire instincts, opposed by his former protégé Laura Caxton.
  • In the Newsflesh book Feed, Georgia, the narrator, gets shot up with Kellis-Amberlee virus and turns into a zombie and has to be killed by her brother.
  • At the end of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, Josh Newman becomes The Grim Reaper. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • The Shadow Over Innsmouth ends with the results of the narrator's genealogical tour of New England. He has ancestors from Innsmouth...from the Marsh family, to be exact. Which means he's a Deep One hybrid himself, and the transformation is already starting to kick in by the end of the story...
  • The Sherlock Holmes Classified Dossier by Christian Klaver opens with Dracula meeting with Holmes and Watson to ask for their help finding his missing wife Mina, only for the party responsible to attack and turn Watson into a vampire as part of a campaign against Holmes. Fortunately, Watson’s strength of character allows him to hold on to his true self and avoid becoming either a mindless predator or an eager killer, even if Watson is ultimately forced to kill the murderous vampire his wife has become.
  • Shinigami ::God of Death:: by Django Wexler has the younger of two sisters bring her mother and her older sister back to life, using the same method the Lightbringer did. Unfortunately, this causes her to be imprisoned as he was.
  • Star Wars Legends: Galaxy of Fear: City of the Dead has Zak Arranda caught up in the experiments of Doctor Evazam, who had noticed that recently dead bodies on Necropolis sometimes became mindless zombies after being exposed to boneworms. Evazam found out how to replicate their results, that these zombies followed his orders, and altered results so that the undead might retain some mind and memories. He used mindless zombies to kidnap one of Zak's friends, killed the boy and used that version on him, then had the zombie child help him kidnap Zak, doused him with the formula, and had him Buried Alive. Later Zak was dug up and found that his friend had enough mind left to help when Zak pleaded with him, but later returned to being a normal corpse along with the other undead after being exposed to an anti-formula. Zak himself was not exposed, and although he resisted any suggestion that he had died during his ordeal and was now a zombie, he was shown spasming uncontrollably as they sometimes did.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Words of Radiance downplays it. Kaladin spends all of the first book and about 90% of this one absolutely loathing all lighteyes. Then he swears the Third Oath and becomes one himself.
  • The Twilight Saga. Happens to nearly all of the main characters, though for most it was an Emergency Transformation.
  • Waves Put Out The Wind by the brothers Strugazkiys has a commission that ensures that no Sufficiently Advanced Aliens can improve human history unnoticed. One of the employees gets some hidden superpowers activated while investigating a superhuman organization. He remains well-intentioned but becomes too inhuman, gradually losing his contact with humanity. All "ludens" (anagram of inhuman in Russian and a reference to "Homo Ludens" — human that plays) have this fate.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Gunn is transformed into a vampire sometime between the TV series finale and After the Fall. A Reset Button Ending restores Gunn to human form — but he retains the memories of the murders he committed as a vampire.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?:
    • In "The Tale of the Chameleons", Janice gets turned into a chameleon and drowned in a well, and her Evil Twin plans to do the same to her friend and the rest of her family.
    • "The Tale of Vampire Town" ends with the protagonist becoming a vampire himself.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Happens a few times:
    • Angel, leading to him become He Who Fights Monsters once he regains his soul.
    • In "Nightmares", Buffy fits this trope when she (temporarily) becomes a vampire.
    • In "Phases", Oz discovers he's a werewolf.
  • The Community episode "Epidemiology" has the study group dealing with a Zombie Apocalypse. Eventually, everyone but Troy is turned leaving him to administer the cure. Unfortunately, he's bitten by Zombie!Abed in the process, but fortunately is able to cure the others before he turns. However, he turns before the cure takes effect, so the trope still stands.
  • An episode of Deadliest Warrior pitted zombies against vampires. On point value, the vampires won. However, the last vampire was bitten by a zombie, turning into a zom-pyre. Guess the zombies won after all.
  • This happens to every single character except Riq, Alex and Patrick at the end of Dead Set.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Dollhouse Season 2. Paul Ballard spends season one and most of season two trying to break down the dollhouse and free the dolls. But he is then sent into a brain-scarred coma by Alpha and is only saved when Topher rewires his brain with the active protocol and rewrites some part of his brain to work in place of the scarred tissue, effectively turning him into a doll.
  • Fear Itself did this with the episode "New Year's Day". You think the female protagonist, Helen, is one of the few remaining survivors after a zombie apocalypse begins, only to discover at the very end that she committed suicide the previous evening and was resurrected shortly afterwards as one of the zombies.
  • All those killed fighting the White Walkers in Game of Thrones are reanimated by them as wights to fight on their behalf unless their bodies are burnt first. Two named characters suffer this fate:
    • In the Season 5 episode "Hardhome", a massive army of wights led by the Walkers attacks an encampment of wildlings north of the Wall. Among them is Karsi, a Wildling chief who's shown loading two of her daughters onto the boats, then taking out wight after wight with her sword, only to be overcome when confronted by some child wights she can't bring herself to kill. At the end of the battle, as the Night's Watch and the Wildlings who have reached the boats slowly pull away from the shore, the White Walkers' leader, the Night King, raises his hands and reanimates all the dead as wights, turning their eyes a glowing blue. Karsi is prominently shown becoming one on the shore.
    • In Season 6, Benjen Stark, considered missing for the last four seasons, arrives from out of nowhere north of the Wall to save Bran and Meera from a wight attack. He explains that he, too, was turned into a wight but freed from the White Walkers' control by the Children of the Forest.
    • During the final battle with the Army of the Dead in Season 8's "The Long Night", some characters who died, such as Dolorous Edd and Lady Mormont, are shown briefly being reanimated as wights.
  • Grimm:
    • The Season 2 finale ends with Nick getting turned into a zombie. That said, these zombies aren't actually dead, just infected with a poison that simulates the appearance of death until the victim revives with a sickly pallor and hyper-violent tendencies. Being a Grimm, he's a lot stronger than the others, and eventually gets over the initial 'condition', while retaining the ability to draw on his zombie-esque strength and lack of need for oxygen if he is being attacked in a manner that threatens his ability to breathe.
    • The Season 3 finale ends with Nick losing his Grimm powers due to Adalind's spell. Shortly into season 4, Juliette agrees to a ritual that will restore Nick's powers. It works and Nick regains his powers, but the ritual turns Juliette into a Hexenbiest.
    • Late in Season 5, the heroes face off with a Blutbad infected with a virus that makes them more vicious. They manage to defeat the infected Blutbad, but Wu is infected in the process. Over the next few episodes, he starts turning into a primitive humanoid on occasion, although he eventually learns how to control this. (At this point, the only normal human in the regular cast is Hank.)
  • Many of the characters in the live action adaption of Goosebumps. Most episodes follow the books to the letter. But a noticeable deviation is Vampire's Breath: in the book, the whole adventure was played straight in which the protagonists spend the whole episode trying to avoid getting bitten and eventually succeed (though one of them takes a substance meant for werewolves). In the TV version, however, the two find out that their whole family are vampires (the one chasing them was actually a relative) and that the siblings have now come of age where their fangs have grown in.
  • Subverted in iZombie. One episode ends with the cliffhanger of Ravi, who's been tirelessly searching for a cure getting bitten by a zombie rat. Turns out zombieism isn't transferrable across species.
  • In the Kamen Rider franchise, this trope is a common looming threat over the titular riders, given that their powers usually come from the same source as the monsters they fight. How much emphasis is put on the theme and how plot relevant it is, however, varies from series to series. In more specific example:
  • How much does Joe of The Lost Room love his daughter? Well, after spending all the series trying to find the Object to rescue her from a Negative Space Wedgie, he becomes an Object to save her. That's right, he gives up being a human and becomes a sapient, mobile, indestructible and unaging thing. This is presented as a good thing however, despite the former Object/person/Occupant pretty much hating his existence.
  • Mystery and Imagination version of Dracula ends with Dracula killed but implied that Mina was still turned before then. The episode ending on an image of Mina in Dracula's ring baring fangs.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: "The Best of Both Worlds": The Borg are able to capture Jean-Luc Picard and turn him into a Borg, thus immediately rendering all of the strategies he planned with the Enterprise crew moot and leading to the slaughter at Wolf 359. He got better.
  • In Season 2 of Supergirl (2015), J'onn starts slowly transforming into a White Martian, due to an emergency transfusion from M'gann M'orzz. Fortunately, Supergirl's foster mother is able to create a cure for him which turns him back to normal.
  • Supernatural:
    • The end of season three looks like it's going to apply this to Dean once he finds out that demons are ex-humans. He also gets tortured enough in Hell so that he finally breaks and starts torturing others and enjoys it because it's not him on the rack anymore. He gets pulled out before he can become a demon, though.
    • Used again with Gordon, who started out as a vampire hunter and is eventually captured and turned by a group of them.
    • Bobby Singer has spent decades hunting but is killed mid-Season 7. He comes back as a ghost with the intention of helping Sam and Dean, but his desire to get even with the creature that killed him starts to turn him into a full-blown vengeful spirit, to the point that he begs them to put him down for good before he kills someone.
    • Anna, a fallen angel, is against a lot of Heaven's more deranged decisions (mostly the ones about Armageddon), but after being handed over and tortured, she decides that killing Dean and Sam's parents before the brothers can be born is the best solution to the oncoming Apocalypse.
    • Castiel suffers from this in Season 8 after being brainwashed by Naomi to become a mindless soldier for her, the very thing he started a civil war over. He gets better.
    • The cliffhanger for Season 9 has Dean dying and returning as a demon due to him taking on the Mark of Cain to defeat their latest threat; Sam and Castiel spend the first few episodes of Season 10 trying to capture and 'cure' Dean of his transformation, and then spend the rest of the season trying to find a way to free Dean from the Mark so that he won't just become a demon when he dies again.
  • Tara from True Blood. She hates vampires after being kidnapped and raped by one in the third season, and spends the fourth season helping the Big Bad try to wipe them out. She is killed when she takes a bullet to the head for Sookie, and the fifth season begins with Lafayette and Sookie begging Pam to turn her. It works, and Tara takes the news about as well as you would expect.
  • In the 1986 Twilight Zone episode "Monsters!", the presence of a (kind) vampire in their neighborhood causes every normal person in suburbia to temporarily mutate into a pack of gruesome monsters that kill the vampire — afterwards, they're horrified at the murder, never realizing that they were the monsters.
  • The original run of Twin Peaks ended on a Cliffhanger as Dale Cooper becomes possessed by the very entity he's been fighting throughout the course of the series. This was part of a deliberate push to get the network to greenlight a third season. When David Lynch finally got to produce that season 26 years later, the fallout from this was one of the more important plot points.
  • In the series Ultra Galaxy NEO, the robot King Joe Black is sent back in time to hunt and destroy Reibloods and their kaiju. However in the movie for the series, a King Joe Black is part of a kaiju army commanded by the Reionyx Ultra, Ultraman Belial.
  • The Vampire Diaries does this multiple times:
    • First with Caroline's dad, who chooses not to complete the transformation (by drinking blood) and dies for good.
    • Later with Alaric, who is turned into an Original Vampire just to become the world's greatest vampire hunter.
    • Finally, the Season 3 finale brings the comparisons between Elena and Katherine to their logical conclusion and ends with Elena turning into a vampire.

  • Black Sabbath's "Iron Man". Through a Stable Time Loop, a man travels to the future and witnesses The End of the World as We Know It at the hands of the titular villain, then travels back in time to warn people about the coming threat, but in the process is transformed into Iron Man himself.
  • In the music video for Bastille's "Pompeii", the protagonist spends most of the video trying to find somebody else who hasn't succumbed to some sort of plague that turns your eyes black. In the last moments of the video, his eyes turn black as well.
  • The song "Haunted Town" by Lordi starts when the singer finds himself in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse. In the end he realizes that he's actually dead himself:
    I searched the old graveyard
    for an answer
    In the mossy headstones
    I found my name
    Ooh, I walk among the dead
  • In the video for Clazziquai Project's "Flea", there are tons of creepy white horned demons that appear briefly throughout the video. At the end of the video, Alex takes his blindfold off (he had been wearing it for the whole video), stares blankly into the camera, and has his face gradually morph into one of them.
  • "Devil Town" by Daniel Johnston, later covered by Tony Lucca, is this trope to a T.
    All my friends were vampires
    Didn't know they were vampires
    Turns out I was a vampire myself
    In the devil town

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Used in this Nigerian folktale:
    A hunter goes into the bush. He finds an old human skull. The hunter says: "What brought you here?" The skull answers: "Talking brought me here." The hunter runs off. He runs to the king. He tells the king: "I found a dry human skull in the bush. It asks you how its father and mother are."

    The king says: "Never since my mother bore me have I heard that a dead skull can speak." The king summons the Alkali, the Saba, and the Degi and asks them if they have ever heard the like. None of the wise men has heard the like, and they decide to send guards out with the hunter into the bush to find out if his story is true and, if so, to learn the reason for it. The guards accompany the hunter into the bush with the order to kill him on the spot should he have lied.

    The guards and the hunter come to the skull. The hunter addresses the skull: "Skull, speak." The skull is silent. The hunter asks as before: "What brought you here?" The skull does not answer. The whole day long the hunter begs the skull to speak, but it does not answer. In the evening the guards tell the hunter to make the skull speak, and when he cannot, the guards kill the hunter in accordance with the king's command.

    When the guards are gone, the skull opens its jaws and asks the dead hunter's head: "What brought you here?" The dead hunter's head replies: "Talking brought me here!"
  • According to Japanese mythology, killing many youkai (a thousand, according to some versions) results in their slayer being transformed into a youkai himself. Then again, anyone capable of killing 1000 demons is powerful enough to be considered a demon himself by most people, so this could just be a Lampshade Hanging on that fact. This belief is the reason why there're quite a number of Japanese works (be it anime, manga, game, music, etc.) that have this trope in them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 use this trope heavily.
    • In 40K, not only do you turn into a demon, but you also have a good chance of winding up causing the deaths of billions. The pen and paper RPGS Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader feature extensive rules on corruption by the Ruinous Powers just to fit this trope.
    • Black Crusade takes this trope and runs with it, with "trying to become a high-ranking demon" being a valid goal for the player.

  • All the protagonists sans Emma in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals are either killed by musical-loving zombie aliens and are reanimated as so, or have been exposed to the aliens long enough to become one of them.
    Paul: Am I going crazy?
    I've become what I hated...
    Or maybe I never did.
  • Averted by Berenger at the end of Eugéne Ionesco's Rhinoceros; however, his putative girlfriend Daisy decides to succumb and join the rest of humanity in becoming one of the titular animals.
  • Alfred, the assistant vampire hunter in Tanz Der Vampire, becomes an undead bloodsucker himself at the end of the show. Worse, the vampire that turns him is none other than Sarah, the girl he loves and was trying to save. However, in the musical, this isn't depicted as especially bad, as, due to sympathy songs, etc., the spectators are expected to have sympathy with the vampires and the only one really wanting to kill vampires was the professor.

    Video Games 
  • In the end of the Alone in the Dark 2008 reboot, either Carnby or Sarah becomes a demon of Lucifer.
  • Artery Gear: Fusion: The fate of anyone who gets Puppetised.
    • The Rift Octopus was once Quinn's friend Massana. She wishes to end her friend's current state.
    • This happened in the past to Cream. She was attacked by a puppet and had nearly permanently transformed into a puppet herself. Only a last-minute transformation into an Artery Gear saved her life.
    • Clarice is a puppetised Artery Gear that has managed to maintain her ability to think and strategise.
  • At the end of Apocalypse, Bruce Willis's character is demonically possessed.
  • Halfway through the First-Person Shooter Area 51 (FPS), your character gets mutated; this is also a case of Phlebotinum Rebel.
    • The other Area 51 (the Light Gun Game) has this on the Game Over screen, which also happens to be the Game Clear screen. Strangely enough, you can do this early enough in the game by shooting three STARR members (the friendlies) and no one else, which covers the game screen in trippy vision and replaces your bullets with alien darts.
  • Both Baten Kaitos games use this, albeit in very different ways.
  • Beyond Dark Castle: And then Prince Duncan was the Black Knight.
  • The worse endings of BioShock have you becoming just as much of a monster as Andrew Ryan and Frank Fontaine.
    • Also done to a degree earlier. In order to complete the game, it's necessary to be converted into a Big Daddy, the most dangerous and iconic enemies of Rapture. Thankfully, it's temporary.
    • BioShock 2 uses it for a few nutshots on players. Remember Mark Meltzer? That badass protective father from the surface who comes to Rapture to find his daughter and manages to survive it? Yeah, he gets caught by Lamb and turned into a Big Daddy- one you'll have likely killed shortly before finding his last audio diary. And at the end of the game, you have to fight your Voice with an Internet Connection, Augustus Sinclair, as a Big Daddy.
  • BioShock Infinite also gets in on the action, revealing that Booker and Comstock are the same person, only Booker, in this universe, did not run away from his baptism, and the Booker you play sold his infant daughter, Anna, to "wipe away the debt".
  • Dead Cells has one of the more unusual examples of this trope. The main character, the Beheaded, goes through the game trying to find and kill the King. What he doesn't realize is that he is the King, or rather his mind. In the true ending, his mind reunites with his body and he fully becomes the King, completing this trope.
  • Blizzard Entertainment seems to love this trope:
    • At the end of Diablo, the hero defeats the titular boss and jams its soulstone in his/her own forehead to contain it. This results in the hero becoming the new Big Bad in Diablo II. This was later Ret-Conned in Diablo II by saying that said hero was more or less Mind-Raped into doing so.
    • It's uncertain how long Tal Rasha held out containing Baal this way, but, considering the Diablo II expansion, it's probably safe to say that anyone who fights demons succumbs to this in some degree.
      • And again in Diablo III. Leah, niece of Deckard Cain, starts off as a genuinely good character. Then she finds out that her Mom is an evil witch and her dad is the wanderer from Diablo II. She becomes corrupted by the soulstone after capturing a few more demons in it (thus becoming an even more powerful version of Diablo herself).
    • In StarCraft, Kerrigan fights the Zerg during the Terran campaign but becomes one during the Zerg campaign. She gets better... and then she re-infests herself for the second time.
      • Vice Admiral Alexei Stukov. Originally the second-in-command of the UED Expedition Fleet sent to pacify the Zerg and Protoss, he was killed and given a burial in space, which resulted in a cerebrate acquiring his body and bringing him back to life with infestation. A joint attempt to deinfest and rescue him by Artanis and Raynor later, and it turns out the cure was temporary - he was reinfested while in custody of his murderer, no less.
    • Similarly, Arthas and Illidan in Warcraft III. Note that in the cases of Kerrigan and Arthas, the trope is in that they become leaders of the factions that they opposed, not those that they first joined.
      • Sylvanas fights Arthas' undead right up to the point where she was killed and resurrected as a banshee.
    • A playable example: No, warlock. You are the demons.
  • This is one of the more insidious aspects of the plague in Bloodborne: Those who fight the monsters it's created make for its most vicious beasts once they finally succumb to it. Prime example would be Father Gascoigne, who will gradually wolf out as you fight him. It even happens (by different methods) to your character if he beats the True Final Boss. And true to form, it's even scaled; you were the single most badass of the Hunters, and thus you get to be an Eldritch Abomination yourself, though presumably you at least get to keep your mind.
    • The trope is also explored and contrasted with He Who Fights Monsters: Hunters are sent out to combat the Scourge of Beasts, and the earlier they can take down those afflicted with the Scourge the better as the further they've succumbed to the plague, the more bestial and dangerous they become. As such, some Hunters try to take preventive measures and kill those afflicted with the Scourge during the early onset of the disease, while "John" is still more "John" than he is a zombie. However, the less beast-like a Hunter's preys become, the more likely it is for them to experience Sanity Slippage, Jump Off The Slippery Slope, and start attacking unafflicted humans. Prime example here would, once again, be Father Gascoigne who simply attacks you because "you'll be one of them, sooner or later."
  • Boktai 2 has Django turned into a vampire and forced to do an entire dungeon hiding from the sun, sucking blood, and turning into a mouse or bat to stay alive. He eventually gets the ability to change between human and vampire at will, but the game makes it very clear that he is at constant risk of losing himself forever.
  • This is the bad ending of The Breach. As of the most recent update, it's the only ending.
  • In Castlevania 64's Downer Ending, you get this on two levels; a side character, Vincent the vampire killer, becomes a vampire. Also, Carrie agrees to marry Malus (Dracula), to which he ominously notes that they have "a binding contract".
    • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Gabriel Belmont and his son Trevor were both holy knights of the Brotherhood of Light and dedicated to the fight against the forces of darkness, before circumstances made them both into vampires. Gabriel in particular became Dracul - Prince of Darkness and the ruler of the night.
    • If you unlock the true ending path of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, then, upon defeating Graham Jones, who has declared himself Dracula's reincarnation, Soma himself is revealed to actually be the reincarnation of Dracula. And if you get the bad ending, by losing to the True Final Boss, then he quite literally becomes the "second coming" of Dracula, in mind as well as ability.
    • In the Castlevania arcade game, there is a third playable character that has this happen to her. The Witch fights and destroys Dracula but unintentionally turns into a vampire herself. The Witch's reaction is not a happy one, seeing as she spent the entire game fighting the forces of evil.
  • The final cutscene of Chaos Heat, after you destroy the last mutated monster, have you boarding an evac chopper and having a conversation with a redshirt. Cue a Reaction Shot of the redshirt seeing something horrifying, before cutting back to your character - now a mutant monster yourself, having been infected during your escape. You could unlock an ending that averts this trope, by destroying 90% or more Chaos Cores spawned by slain enemies, but getting this result is Harder Than Hard.
  • In 6 Days a Sacrifice, the main character, Theo DaCabe, is turned into the mindless servant "The New Prince" by Chzo after the old servant Cabadath tries to betray him, because Cabadath didn't want to be replaced.
  • The ending of Condemned: Criminal Origins seems to imply that main character Ethan Thomas has become one of the demonic freaks causing all the chaos in the game. The sequel Josses this, as Ethan winds up as a burned-out alcoholic bum and the demonic freaks are really just an ancient mystical cult.
    • Even then, it still could be a case of this trope; in both games, the primary enemies are psychopathically violent homeless people, driven mad by the real villains. In Bloodshot, Ethan's suffered substantial Sanity Slippage and starts off pretty much only slightly less unhinged than the psychopaths he fights.
  • At the end of Dead Rising 4 Frank West falls off a helicopter into a pile of zombies, presumably dying. In the DLC epilogue "Frank Rising", Frank is turned into a zombie by the zombie pile, then regains his sentience, and spends the entire DLC trying to cure himself.
  • Dead Space: Extraction: In the first chapter, you play as one of the soon-to-be necromorphs and unknowingly kill all your comrades.
    • Then at the end of the game, one of the main characters turns into a necromorph too. Though considering the later DLC for part 2, it was revealed to be a dream.
  • The second installment of the Deep Sleep Trilogy has the protagonist come face to face with a Shadow Person, the game's main antagonists. The third game on the other hand, does not leave off on what happened. Until The Reveal that is, which shows that you had not escaped from the monster and it stole your body, leaving you as a Shadow Person.
  • If you take a long time to feed on delicious meat, the Demon Virus in Digital Devil Saga is going to take hold of your psyche and Shapeshifter Mode Lock you in demon form. At that point, the kindest thing that can be done for you is to bash your brains in before you start mindlessly eating others. In a misguided effort to do good, two named characters attempt to resist the hunger. Neither case ends well. There are other cases in which instead the virus was left to stew in the body of the infectees for a very long while, with the same result. For extra added horror, the beings the second category produces? Angels.
  • Disgaea 2's worst ending features this. In spades. If Adell has met the required conditions, Rozalin, the real Overlord Zenon, will inform you that you too are her enemy. If you are victorious, Zenon's evil will consume Adell's soul. His first act as the new God Of All Overlords? To devour his younger brother and sister, bones and all, ALIVE. Cue crunching sounds.
  • In Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga, the player starts off as a Dragon-slayer. After about one hour of gameplay, he is turned into a dragon-knight.
  • The Don't Starve Total Conversion Mod, The Screechers (which was created by the developers themselves), indicates this fate of at least two of the campers; a list can be found featuring people who are marked off, with their statuses either being "Found", "Dead", or "Monster". Naturally, there's more than one that comes to get you in the ending.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, Grey Wardens become immune to the Darkspawn taint by drinking a vial of their blood, enabling them to sense when Darkspawn are near and not fall victim to the corruption Darkspawn spread everywhere they go. Then it turns out this only delays the corruption, and every Warden will eventually succumb to it and become a ghoul.
  • In Dungeons of Dredmor, the first 3 levels of Demonologist give you resistance to Righteous damage, and useful powers when fighting demons. Any further than that, and you lose all that resistance in exchange for more versatile moves. What's the name of the penultimate level, giving you a chance to transform into a literal combat monster? 'No, you are the demons'.
  • The bad ending for Dying Light's 'The Following' DLC has Crane turn into an intelligent Volatile like Mother after he escapes out of the quarantine zone, The hole that Crane escapes through just so happens to be located near a playground where a mother and her two children are preparing to leave as the sun sets. Cue the Fade to Black while they cower in fear and an inhuman scream as the credits begin to roll. The other ending isn't that great either.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion's "Shivering Isles" Expansion, you are summoned by Sheogorath, Daedric Prince of Insanity, to be his champion and defeat his other half. When you do, he rewards you by turning you into himself. Though it doesn't seem to affect the game much except at certain points you can go into Madgod Mode. Otherwise the game still plays out normally. Gone further in Skyrim; the Dovahkiin meets the new Sheogorath, who at this point has fully transformed and seems to be a shell of his former self, though he isn't complaining. This is a first and only for Bethesda in which you actually meet the hero from a previous game.
  • The bad ending of Eversion reveals the princess you've been trying to save is an Eldritch Abomination, who promptly eats you. The good ending of Eversion turns you into an eldritch abomination, and you and the princess fall in love. Unless, of course, you already were an eldritch abomination all along.
  • Eternal Darkness: Anthony's chapter casts the hero as a Frankish messenger who intercepts a message intended to curse Charlemagne by exhausting the curse on himself first; his chapter is devoted to racing to defend Charlemagne while slowing succumbing to the corrosive curse though his efforts are futile. In Paul Luther's chapter later on, Anthony is encountered again, tragically having been turned into a zombie of Augustus Pious's dark god.
  • Eternal Evil has an ending where Marcus decides to relinquish his humanity and become a vampire, after listening to the vampire lord's offers. Now that he's immortal, he gets to witness the purging and extinction of humanity in 2104.
  • In Evolve Kala suffers this through infection with monster genetic material. While she manages to hold out for a time, and even use the powers granted by the mutation against the monsters, her mind is eventually subsumed and she transforms fully into the Hybrid.
  • The ending of Fable: The Lost Chapters gives you the option of putting on Jack's mask, becoming his new host.
  • In Fallout, if you tell your Vault's location to the Super Mutant leaders, you get a Non Standard Game Over that involves being dipped in FEV and turned into a Super Mutant yourself.
  • Subverted in Fallout: New Vegas: Old World Blues, where the Courier has their heart, brain, and spine replaced with cybernetic parts just like the Lobotomites, but retains a psychic connection with their original brain. There's also a deleted alternate ending where they would join the Think Tank.
  • In Far Cry 4, the storyline of Valley of the Yetis ends with poor Ajay being turned into a Yeti after he destroys Yalung's artifact, although given his evident distress, it's possible that he's retained his human consciousness. Which may make it even worse.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, the Warrior teeters dangerously close to this after absorbing the aether of all of the Lightwardens. Despite their best efforts, they are unable to contain all of that Light in their bodies, and it's only by Ryne's intervention that the Warrior doesn't transform into the ultimate Lightwarden then and there. After that, it's a race against time to find a way to safely expunge the Light from their body and stop Emet-Selch's plans. The trope is ultimately subverted thanks to the Warrior channeling the Light into a Blade of Light to strike Emet-Selch down.
  • In GemCraft Chapter 0, the force you're trying to claim takes over, but it's a prequel and the truth was fairly obvious based on the events of the first game.
  • Happens at the end of God of War, as amusingly portrayed in this comic strip.
  • In Guilty Gear, Frederick was the genius scientist who created the Gears, a race of Humanoid Abominations meant to be the next stage of humanity's evolution, but he was turned into one against his will by That Man, and his Gear creations went on to rampage across the world and kill millions. Feeling nothing but guilt note  for his actions, Frederick abandoned his original identity and became Sol Badguy, a Bounty Hunter who uses his awesome Gear powers to hunt down and destroy the rest of his kind. He gets bit... sidetracked from his mission later on, and by the end of -Strive-, That Man turns him back into a human again.
  • In Hollow Knight, the "Embrace The Void" ending reached by defeating the Pantheon of Hallownest in Godhome sees the humble Knight metamorphose into a towering, tentacled, horned, multiple-eyed Void demon that crushes the Radiance like a bug(no pun intended), then completely takes over Godhome and begins to reach into Hallownest itself via the Godseeker.
  • In the bad endings of The House of the Dead, Goldman or a character close to the protagonists turns into a zombie.
  • In the 'Conquest' ending of Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, Nepgear, having traumatically slaughtered pretty much everyone she cares about, up to and including her own sister, approaches the Big Bad... who points out that she's essentially made herself the harbinger of the apocalypse, and the world is doomed by what she's done, no matter what happens next. Roll credits.
  • In INSIDE (2016)'s final act, the protagonist is absorbed/assimilated by the Huddle, which the player then assumes control of.
  • Instinct ends with you escaping the zombie-ridden facility, having injected the protovirus into yourself to counter the infection. But in the final cutscene, the camera pans over your character and you suspiciously bear the same veins as seen on those zombies you've killed... the game ends at that point.
  • Happens in one of Kichikou Rance's endings, where Rance, depressed either for Sill's death or absence (if the player is taking too long in rescuing her), finally gives in to Satella's suggestions of becoming the Demon King, committing a Moral Event Horizon immediately afterwards — namely, cruelly killing poor Miki, who, crushed by the betrayal, lets herself be hacked for hours, since she's that tough. Then he becomes a powerful Demon King, who crushes the human nations without trouble, with Satella at his side.
  • In the bad ending of the first Kid Icarus game, Pit is turned into a monster. Oddly, it's Palutena that does it to him. Maybe this is really supposed to be the joke ending?
  • Kingdom Hearts:
  • In La Pucelle, if you defeat certain powerful enemies in the Dark World/Netherworld (which requires a lot of Level Grinding), a band of demons will appear and declare Prier their new ruler... which Prier rejects out of annoyance after being teased by her teammates, and the game continues anyway, ignoring this interruption. However, if she continues on past that, becoming even stronger, she triggers a Non Standard Game Over as the demons make her their new ruler for good and her friends abandon her. Prier being a demon queen is the Canon ending, as she puts in several appearances in the Disgaea series as "Demon Overlord Prier," a powerful optional character, as a half-demon with wings and a horn.
  • In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2, it turns out that the Soul Reaver is in fact Raziel's soul, which was absorbed into the original blood stealing "Reaver" and driven insane from being trapped for hundreds of years. And that he is doomed to fulfill this fate over and over again at least until Kain creates a paradox and saves him... until Defiance when Raziel willingly becomes the Soul Reaver, purified of any corrupting influence. In true mind-breaking Legacy of Kain style, this is also Tomato in the Mirror. There's a Tomato in the Mirror because John became a zombie at the end.
  • In Oersted's chapter of Live A Live, he spends most of the chapter trying to vanquish the Lord of Dark. Then, after everyone around him either dies, betrays him, or turns against him due to a really big misunderstanding, he decides to become the next Lord of Dark, Odio, thus setting the stage for the rest of the game.
  • The bad ending of Lollipop Chainsaw has The Hero Juliet's mother suddenly revealed to have become a zombie when the group returns to her home.
  • The Hidden Object Game Love and Death: Bitten features Daemon and Victoria, the former a vampire and the latter a human trying to help him regains his humanity. At the end of the quest, their roles are reversed. Daemon is turned back into a human, but in trying to beat the vampire queen that turned him, Victoria is captured and bitten, becoming a vampire.
  • At the end of the second act of Marathon: RED (a Game Mod), the hero is mutated by The Virus, and his former allies turn against him for a stage, but he turns into a Phlebotinum Rebel.
  • Present in one of Mass Effect 3's endings. Shepard, the protagonist, takes over the Reapers, effectively becoming their unified intelligence. How s/he handles it depends on the player's Karma Meter — if you play as a Paragon, s/he focuses on protecting the galaxy, but if you're Renegade, s/he places more emphasis on eliminating potential troublemakers.
    • Also something that happens to a lot of people trying to research Reaper tech... like the entirety of Cerberus.
  • Happens in Metal Slug 2/X and 3, with MS2/X setting the players against mummies, and MS3 being the literal trope as zombie enemies can make you one of their own (though not without benefits). The clones of your abducted comrade? They join in on the fun, too!
  • Metroid:
    • In the Non-Standard Game Over of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Samus is "terminally corrupted" and turns into another Dark Samus.
    • Downplayed in Metroid Fusion, which begins with Samus being infused with Metroid DNA to cure her of the X-Parasite invading her body. This transforms her into a human-Chozo-Metroid hybrid on a genetic level, though in practice, it only means that she's immune to the X. The only other aspect of Metroids she gains is their susceptibility to cold.
    • Played straight in Metroid Dread, where it is revealed that the aforementioned Metroid DNA infusion actually is transforming her into a humanoid Metroid; her Thoha Chozo DNA has simply been hindering the process. Her encounter with Raven Beak at the start of the game serves as a catalyst for the full transformation (as Metroids were designed to be hostile to Mawkin Chozo), and by the end of the game, she has fully become a Metroid with far stronger Energy Absorption powers than any Metroid previously seen. Raven Beak even dubs her "the ultimate Metroid", thanks to having the powers of a Metroid, the technology and strength of the Chozo, and the mind and body of a human.
  • In I=MGCM. At the end of Chapter 4 onwards, Kaori, one of the magical girl heroines, dies and is corrupted into a demon after being ambushed by demons. After time resets, Seira's killed by an Arachne demon and is corrupted into a demon. After that, it's revealed that a few demons the heroines fight are actually dead heroines, from alternate universes, who are slain and corrupted by demons and their demonized selves from other alternate universes.
  • In the ending of Middle-earth: Shadow of War, events lead to Talion willingly picking up Isildur's Ring of Power, which gives him back his powers and keeps him alive after Celebrimbor betrays him. He doesn't turn into a Nazgûl until decades later however, and uses his powers to fight against Sauron's forces. He finally loses his humanity in the Golden Ending (and in the Final Boss of the first story DLC). Fortunately, the Alternate Timeline implies he didn't have to serve the Dark Lord for long, and he dies swiftly after the One Ring is destroyed.
  • In NetHack, the polymorph effect can turn the player into almost any monster. Additionally, there's the Helm of Opposite Alignment, a helmet that switches your alignment to the opposite of your own if you're chaotic or lawful, and randomly to one or the other if you're neutral. To make it even worse, you can't take it off.
  • In the escape-the-room game Poco Escape, you wake up locked in a room that's sparse except for a few pictures of adorable little bears, which are naturally slightly creepy considering the circumstances. The ending heavily implies that you are actually the girl's teddy bear.
  • In Portal 2, you spend the first half of the game with a robotic sphere named Wheatley trying to defeat GLaDOS. Guess what happens to Wheatley?
  • In Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, when the Prince puts on the mask, he finds himself transformed into the Sand Wraith. This makes him not only a monster but a doomed monster, as he saw the Dahaka kill the Sand Wraith in the past. Fortunately, he is ultimately able to Screw Destiny and return to his normal self.
  • Played straight in Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, where the prince is partially turned into a sand monster, complete with Heroic Willpower and a light sprinkling with a Gollum Made Me Do It-voice, though that seems to be there more to be defied than blamed.
  • In Project Zomboid, this is how you died, most of the time. You can watch your character die, get back up, and start shambling. Although this is game over in one sense, you can start a new character in the same continuity and experience a brutal Previous Player-Character Cameo.
  • Happens in [PROTOTYPE] to several characters. Alex: "I am the virus!"
  • In Quake IV, at a particular point that marks roughly the midpoint of the game, the protagonist is converted into a Strogg in all but allegiance. Were it not for a very well-timed raid by the good guys, our hero would have crossed the point of no return, as he was almost the entire way through the conversion process by that point. He then becomes a Phlebotinum Rebel. Wanna see?
  • Literally in Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, a spin-off game to Red Dead Redemption. In it, a Zombie Apocalypse breaks out, and John sets out to find the cause of it, if possibly a cure. In the end, he discovers that the power-hungry Reyes from the original story heard of a mask hidden in an Indian burial ground that could make him invincible, but stealing it and testing it out, it instead cursed him and the rest of the land as punishment. John manages to return the mask to where it belongs and rids the world of the plague. A few months later, however, Seth, a treasure hunter, finds and steals the mask, starting it all over again. John by this time is dead due to the events of the original story, but then we're treated to him rising from his grave. Subverted in that he's a revenant, an undead who still has his soul. The achievement for completing the game directly quotes the Trope Namer.
  • The Bydo love pulling this on humanity's heroes in the R-Type series.
    • It first happens in R-Type Delta, if the player is piloting the R-13 Cerebrus — that particular fighter proves incapable of escaping the final level, and the Bydo exact revenge by converting the ship and its pilot into a tree-like Bydo.
    • Then there's R-Type FINAL, in which one of the Multiple Endings leads to the player getting converted into a hybrid Bydo/human/R9-Series...thing... and is sent back to the first level of the game, fighting both the Bydo as well as its former comrades. (It's worth noting that at the start of the game, you can see your future Bydo self fly by at the very start of the level!)
    • R-Type Command also pulls this on an entire human fleet at the end of the Human campaign — in fact, the player's character in the subsequent Bydo campaign is the former human commander. In both the case of FINAL and Command, the player's characters have no idea that they're no longer human and can't understand why Earth's forces are out to get them.
  • A staple of the Resident Evil franchise.
    • The protagonists of Resident Evil: Outbreak are all infected, with the potential to turn if their Virus Meter reaches 100%. The game's worst ending involves them being rescued by a helicopter... only to turn into a zombie mid-flight, attacking and killing the others on board.
    • In Resident Evil 2, several people are infected and turned. The whole outbreak was caused by this happening to William Birkin, who infected himself with the G-Virus after being shot. Lt. Marvin Branagh is introduced as the last survivor of the RPD, helping the player as best he can before barricading himself in the room you find him in, where he will turn into a zombie if you make your way back into the room later. S.T.A.R.S. member Brad Vickers also appears as an optional bonus zombie, hinting at his fate in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (the first half of which takes place the day before RE2).
    • Steve Burnside is infected near the end of Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, though he's able to regain control long enough to sacrifice himself to save Claire.
    • Near the end of Resident Evil 6, Piers intentionally infects himself with the C-Virus in order to save their partner. They manage to maintain control long enough to face the Final Boss and then pull off an epic, heartbreaking Heroic Sacrifice.
    • In Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Mia Winters was infected while trying to subdue Eveline. Ethan is also revealed to have been infected, explaining his unusual resilience and hallucinations throughout the game. His infection is still in an early enough stage that he's able to kill Eveline before she can take over his mind.
  • In the end of Resistance 2, Nathan Hale fully mutates into a chimera.
  • The ending of the incredibly obscure computer game THE SCREAMER. (Yes, it really is in all caps like that.)
  • Shadow of the Colossus has Wander gradually becoming less human, and ends with Wander becoming a new version of Dormin's body (which is what the Colossi originally are) himself. It fails, and he reverts to human form, but as a newborn with demon characteristics. It's heavily implied that he becomes the ancestor of the horned boys in ICO this way.
  • Silent Hill examples:
    • In the Possessed ending of Silent Hill 3 Heather becomes demon-possessed, and kills Douglas.
    • Silent Hill 3 uses this trope earlier, when Vincent throws doubt on whether or not Heather has actually been fighting monsters or not by mockingly saying "They look like MONSTERS to you?". Some interpret that to mean Heather has been killing people, not monsters, making her the possessed demon/mass murderer/bad guy. However, it's just as likely he's referencing the fact that many of the demons you encounter are actually considered angels in the religion of the Order. This is a fairly common theme in Silent Hill, with certain hints here and there suggesting that you may be hallucinating everything on a murder spree, such as the inclusion of police tape in an area where you had previously fought and killed monsters. Of course, Vincent followed up the above line with a chuckle and "Joking! Just joking."
    • In the worst ending of Silent Hill: Homecoming, Alex becomes a Pyramid Head.
    • In Silent Hill: Downpour, Murphy becomes the Bogeyman for the final fight. It's not permanent, though, assuming you choose to spare Anne. This may or may not be an example of this trope though, as the game never makes it clear if you actually have become a monster or if this is simply how Anne sees you because of her father's death.
  • Played for laughs in the Hidden Object Game Sinister City. In the end, Count Orlok becomes the star of a movie in which he plays a vampire. Scenes from the film shoot are shown during the game's credits. John, the protagonist, plays a victim of the vampire in one shot with Orlok ready to bite him. Orlok bites him for real and the director calls for an ambulance. The last shot is John as a vampire.
  • Star Trek Online: In ground combat, Borg drones sometimes use a special attack to assimilate Player Characters that get close enough. This causes an Interface Screw where the player loses control of their toon, which starts attacking other PCs present. The condition is only removed by respawn.
  • In Streets of Rage, the player is one of three ex-police officers finding themselves duty-bound to stop the assorted crimes of Mr. X, a powerful crime kingpin. In the final level, Mr. X offers to make you and your co-op partner into his right-hand men. If one player accepts and one refuses, Mr. X sits back and watches while you and your former partner solve the disagreement the only way they can. If the "heroic" player loses the fight, the remaining player goes on to fight Mr. X, and if successful...No, Axel, You Are The Crime Lord.
    • Possible again in the Fan Remake for any character, including Mr. Freakin' X. Paradox anyone?
  • In the end of Super Paper Mario, Luigi ends up as part of Dimentio's plan and pilots a giant robot before being cured by Mario. It was implied something might happen to Luigi a few minutes before that, though.
  • Team Fortress 2's auto-balance mechanic tends to do this with frequently frustrating timing. A player can lose due to having personally destroyed the only defense guarding against said failure immediately prior to being switched to the opposite team.
  • Happens in the end of Throne of Darkness, to The Magnificent Seven Samurai. After defeating the Dark Warlord, their feudal lord reveals that he only wanted you to retrieve the immortality potion. He then drinks the potion, transforms into the next dark warlord, kills his own servants (the player's party) and brings them back as zombies.
  • In the mid-1990s action-RPG Entomorph: Plague of the Darkfall, the hero is trying to protect survivors of recent magical catastrophe from (more or less sentient) giant insects that went out of control. He is obviously too weak for this task and ends up needing to consume various body-altering drugs that gradually transform him into a giant insect. More importantly, the last mission involves re-sealing the cursed scarab that brought the current troubles to the island. If you don't hurry, you become another blob producing the goo that turns humans into insects.
  • Touhou Project's Kochiya Sanae recieves a warning that she who hunts youkai may become one, as well. In her profile, it's mentioned that Alice was a human who became a youkai to pursue power. In supplementary materials, Marisa is confirmed to experiment with methods of gaining immortality, but in one game she refuses to eat an immortal person's liver to get it. Reimu also has that option, and doesn't balk at the method so much as the idea of becoming anything remotely inhuman.
    • Marisa is a curious exception to magicians in general; it's stated All There in the Manual that becoming a Youkai Magician is a natural progression of studying magic. Marisa has made neutral comments towards immortality, and Alternative Character Interpretation goes both ways towards whether she's heading towards becoming youkai, or if she'd want to.
    • One of Byakuren's disciples, Ichirin Kumoi, used to be a human. After successfully warding off a youkai called Unzan, he decided to protect Ichirin for the rest of his life. This caused Ichirin to slowly turn into a youkai herself.
  • In The Walking Dead: Season One, Lee gets bitten in Episode 4, so this is his fate in Episode 5 should you choose to have Clementine leave without killing him at the end.
  • The Wolf and the Waves: If the player character dies to a zombie, he becomes a mindless shambling corpse and you need to restart the game.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Scarlet Crusade was devoted to eradicating the undead, but was taken over by Dreadlord Balnazzar, who possessed Grand Crusader Saidan Dathrohan; he kills the Scarlet Crusaders in Stratholme, raising them as undead.
    • Players get in on the act too. New Forsaken players get a quest to collect the bodies of Scarlet Crusaders so they can be "recruited", and a daily quest in Northrend has players killing and raising members of the Scarlet Onslaught as ghouls for the Knights of the Ebon Blade.
    • This is also the case for the majority of the Crusaders post-Stratholme. Mostly due to the actions of player Death Knights, and the Ebon Blade faction. This can result in Death Knights who complete Loremaster being responsible for the Scarlet Crusade becoming Scourge, then eliminating them as Scourge in passing through Eastern Plaguelands...
    • Illidan becomes a half-demon by absorbing Fel magic, though he accepts his transformation as a necessary part of gaining enough power to fight demons.
    • After spending several expansions as one of the Scarlet Crusade's most zealous leaders, High Inquisitor Whitemane's ultimate fate is to be resurrected as a Death Knight. This is a vast improvement.
  • In the final installment of Xenosaga, one of the many antagonists, Dmitri Yuriev, tries to conquer his fear of God by becoming a god himself using the Zohar and Abel inside Omega Res Novae. It works, of course, but then his clone/son who is supposed to be dead, Albedo, pops up and takes it all away. Makes one wonder...
  • The end of Zombie Driver has the protagonist that ran over hundreds of zombie hordes turn into a zombie from an infected bite he got much earlier in the game.
  • Used as a game mechanic in ZombiU. You technically only have one life, and when killed, your character then becomes a zombie, and all of your inventory is left with them. If you die, you take control of a different survivor who has to follow the same Voice with an Internet Connection to survive but also have to track down your predecessor, defeat them, and get back your inventory. If you have an internet connection, you may also come across other players' fallen survivors.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • Attempted by Chief in Arby 'n' the Chief, when his Machinima character, also named Jon, becomes an alien after fighting in a war against them. The effect was not as he intended.
  • In a Dorkly Originals parody of Plants vs. Zombies, a Wall-nut whose bitten by a zombie gradually turns green and becomes a zombie as well (which isn't possible in the original game). The zombified Wall-nut then not-so-subtly threatens to eat the other plants, so they killed him. And then another zombie takes a bite out of another plant...
  • The Red vs. Blue: The Recollection trilogy does this three times. The Meta, a shell of a man now playing host to a group of rogue A.I.s, was once part of the project that produced them; Pvt. Church, who constantly complains about the A.I.s and the trouble they cause, is revealed to be not only an AI himself (the Alpha), but the source of all the others; and finally, the Alpha was based on the mind of the Director of Project Freelancer, ''Doctor'' Leonard Church.
  • The first episode of Tobuscus Animated Adventures ends with Toby, who was bitten earlier by a zombie, turning into one and attacking his friend Gabe, interrupting the "Everybody Laughs" Ending.
  • Watermelon: A Cautionary Tale: Jimmy, despite being warned this would happen, eats watermelon seeds and slowly transforms into a watermelon over the course of a day.

  • Dracula: Ruler of the Night At the end of the story, Dracula and his brides are killed, but it doesn't reverse the transformations on those fully drained. Lucy and her mother, Minerva, turned during the story, escape into the night. Milly, Van Helsing's wife, likewise remains as a vampire and Quincy, who was bitten and died in the final battle with Dracula, ends up turning later after the other hunters ship his body back home to Texas to be buried, thinking that he was spared the curse when Dracula died.
    Quincy: (Upon rising as a vampire) Well ...damn (He shudders and moans as his vampire features come in) HISSSS!!!
  • Leif & Thorn has a vampire-hunting AU. The fifth (and currently final) installment has Thorn turned into a vampire.
  • In The Order of the Stick, the character Durkon Thundershield is shown to dislike the undead very strongly. During the events in Girard's dungeon, he is killed and reanimated as a vampire.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: A character who caught the Rash, then turned into a Plague Zombie off-panel, spent most of their life protecting their settlement from Plague Zombie monsters.
  • Unsounded: One of Duane's duties in life was hunting down and destroying plods and unlicensed wrights. His body is now a decaying plod with his soul still bound to it, and considering he's legally dead definitely unlicensed.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Finn and Jake of Adventure Time are both turned into Lumpy Space People by the end of "Trouble in Lumpy Space". They got better.
    • Also in the Adventure Time episode "Mortal Folly/Mortal Recoil", Princess Bubblegum sends Finn and Jake to fight the Lich. In the end, Bubblegum is turned into the Lich's vessel. She too, gets better (sorta).
    • This happens to be the case of Marceline, as she tried to exterminate the vampire race, culminating in the Vampire King biting her just as she kills him.
  • In one episode of Code Lyoko, Xana's latest possessed victim is Yolanda, the school nurse, and Jeremie gets the idea of using Franz Hopper's notes to fight her on Xana's terms, in effect, using Lyoko's technology to give Odd the same powers as someone under Xana's control. Like everything Jeremie tries to do using Hopper's incredibly advanced and complex experiments, this nearly ends in a disaster. (Fortunately, Odd is able to recover.)
  • Family Guy's parody of Lost — "We are the island!"
  • Gravity Falls: When zombies attack the Mystery Shack in the season two premiere "Scaryoke", Soos gets ready to defend it with knowledge he's accumulated from watching horror movies all his life. But before he can do anything, he's bitten and becomes zombified, and remains so for the rest of the episode, although a cure is mentioned at the end and he returns good as new for the next episode.
    Soos: Dudes, stay calm. I've been training for this moment my whole life. With all of the horror movies I've seen, I know literally everything there is to know about how to avoid zombies.
    Zombie Behind Soos: (CHOMP!)
    Soos: Second thought, gonna flip the script. Can I eat your brains: Yay or nay? Seeing some 'yay' faces over here.
  • Parodied in Invader Zim in the episode "Bolognius Maximus" in which the title character and Dib transform into bologna. The DVD Commentary hangs a lampshade on this.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: In "The Curse of El Chupacabra", El Toro gets scratched by a chupacabra, and transforms into one himself when the sun sets.
  • After a part of Aku's body ends up inside Samurai Jack, he very nearly turns into an extension of Aku himself, before snapping out of it when he remembers how many people he's helped.
  • In the The Secret Show episode "Zombie Attack", just as Anita is reprogramming the cheat code into the zombifying controller to reverse the zombification, she's yanked out of the escape pod by a zombified Victor and Doctor Doctor and turned into a zombie herself. Fortunately, it doesn't take long for the reprogrammed cheat code to take effect, and everyone is restored to normal.
  • In the South Park episode "Ginger Kids," after Cartman starts a crusade against gingers, the other boys try to stop him by dyeing his hair red, bleaching his skin, and giving him henna freckles. Cartman and a surprising number of other South Park residents consider gingers soulless abominations, thus viewing the change as this trope. But then he just changes his tune and starts a genocidal ginger supremacist movement, only relenting and preaching tolerance after Kyle explains to him that he's not really ginger. Which later becomes ironic after the episode "201," when Cartman's rival Scott Tenorman tells him that they share a father (Cartman's mom sleeping around, etc.) whom Cartman killed in an earlier episode to get back at Scott. Both Scott and his father have red hair, making Cartman half-ginger.
  • In the four-part finale of Steven Universe: Future, this happens as All-Loving Hero Steven's repressed trauma and self-loathing boil over. He declares himself a monster, and as a result, turns into a massive Godzilla-esque monster much like the corrupted gems he had already fought and cured. It's implied that without the Cool-Down Hug climax, he may have gotten stuck that way forever.
  • Mickey Mouse (2013): In the special "The Scariest Story Ever", Mickey tries to tell a scary story to his and Donald's nephews on Halloween. One of his stories casts himself Van Mousing, a vampire hunter, and the story ends with him being revealed to have been bitten while fighting the Vampire Prince. However, the boys all found this twist ending predictable.
    Mickey: And now, the vampire hunter became... (hisses, revealing candy-corn "fangs" in his mouth)
    Nephews: (bored) A vampire.
    Donald: Yes, a vampire!
    Goofy: Hoo-ee! Nobody saw that comin'!
    Nephews: We all saw it coming.

No, TV Tropes. You are the demons.

Alternative Title(s): You Are The Demons


And Then Samus Was a Metroid

After years of hunting down Metroids, Samus ends up becoming one herself, with the energy-draining powers that goes with it.

How well does it match the trope?

4.76 (34 votes)

Example of:

Main / AndThenJohnWasAZombie

Media sources: