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Baleful Polymorph
aka: Involuntary Transformation

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"You wish for me to cow your enemies?
I can do better than that..."

"Are you ready?
Transformation central!
Reformation central!
Transmogrification central!"

Characters get hit with a spell, Curse, or Transformation Ray, causing an instantaneous and involuntary transformation into a form that is harmless or otherwise seriously impairs their ability to pursue their goals, until they can revert to their usual form by some means. This is commonly some sort of animal creature (whether real or fantastic), though it can also be a plant or a lifeless object. They may or may not lose their voice, or even their mental faculties (in which case someone else will have to seek the cure for them).

Frogs, newts, and toads are so common that they have their own subtrope, Bewitched Amphibians. Other common choices include mice, chickens, pigs, and sheep.

In role-playing or video games, this is frequently a Standard Status Effect that will disable or greatly weaken most attacks and magic, but will rarely affect the victim's Hit Points or armor. People may get turned into toads, but — hot damn — those toads will be Made of Iron! A notable exception is when insects are involved, in which case the victim is not long for this world.


This is common in fiction, as it's a way for a spellcaster to defeat foes with magic without simply killing them, or as a form of punishment (e.g. underlings who failed their boss one time too many). It's also generally less permanent and more palatable than actual death. Often requires a hero to find the magic "cure" to turn his friend back into a person. This can be also be used to show a specific aspect of the character's personality, such as gluttons turned into pigs, or cowards into chickens.

Occasionally, this may function as a Transferred Transformation; in such cases, one character stuck in an undesirable form can only break the curse by shunting it onto someone else.

Occasionally in fiction a character may manage to save the day while still under this effect, sometimes through use of the animal form's abilities. This will lead to the Aesop that it's brains, not strength, that's important. Or that courage is more important than size. Or that you can lay an egg and still feel like a man.


If the transformation is presented to disturb and frighten the viewer, it becomes Transformation Horror. It will then probably be a Painful Transformation.

Whether or not a Baleful Polymorph is effective against a Voluntary Shapeshifter varies, depending on whether or not it also imposes a Shapeshifter Mode Lock — otherwise the shapeshifter can just transform themselves back to normal, or at least something else. Thus, it is a subtrope of curses.

Depending on the method, clothing may be transformed as well, or it may not, resulting in Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing if the characters or audience are aware of this fact, or Empty Piles of Clothing if they are not. (In either case, naturally, when they get turned back they're going to need those clothes back...)

Polymorphing into a nonliving form is much less likely to be played for laughs and much more likely to be permanent.

Can be used as a Karmic Transformation. Characters transformed this way may also exhibit Morphic Resonance. See also Emergency Transformation, Shape Shifter Mashup and Beauty to Beast. Compare Taken for Granite (turning into a statue), Unwilling Roboticisation (turning from flesh into something mechanical). Contrast with Hybrid Overkill Avoidance, where the subject is immune to further polymorphing because they're already supernatural. Compare Involuntary Shapeshifter.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Campione! when Sun Wukong manifests on Earth, all non-magical humans in the surrounding city are transformed into monkeys. Notably, this is not out of malice but primarily because Sun Wukong desires subjects to rule over; the transformed civilians are unharmed and eventually return to normal.
  • The titular girl in Caterpillar Girl And Bad Texter Boy, Suzume Kikuo, was transformed into a giant caterpillar out of misery. The rest of the story is trying to figure out how to turn her back.
  • In Dokkoida?!, Hyacinth's henchman Pierre has the ability to morph into almost any animal when whipped. The animal is always random, and never anything useful. However, in the past (i.e. before the start of the series) he morphed into animals that were quite threatening indeed, leading to Hyacinth's status as an A-class villain.
  • In Doctor Slump, the morph gun that Senbei invents can cause this effect on its target, by changing said target into whatever the user says the target would become while pointing it at said target. It's also the reason that Senbei and Arale are stuck as flies in a three-part story arc.note 
  • One chapter in Doraemon had "Animal Biscuits/Transformation Crackers", which were animal-shaped biscuits that turn anyone who eats them into an animal based on what biscuit they atenote .
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The villain Captain Ginyu in Dragon Ball Z (who has the ability to switch bodies with his opponents) is defeated when he is tricked into switching bodies with an ordinary, powerless Namekian frog. When the planet he is on explodes, he is transported along with everybody else to Earth, and stays on Earth, along with the frog now inhabiting his old body, until the planet is destroyed by Kid Buu. In an anime filler, he manages to switch bodies with Bulma, but is soon forced back into his frog body.
    • Speaking of Bulma, she is on the receiving end of the switching bodies with Ginyu Frog in Z. There was also the time the Rabbit Boss turned her into a carrot in the original Dragon Ball.
    • In the final saga, Majin Buu regularly turns people into candy to eat them and absorb their powers. Eventually, he even turns Vegito into a candy ball. Said candy proceeds to kick Buu's ass. Buu, considering Vegito to be even more dangerous as what basically amounts to an absurdly powerful living bullet,note  decides to change him back. Now that's entertainment.
      Vegito: I'm no ordinary candy! I'm a jawbreaker, the strongest candy there is!
      • Played for Drama when Buu turns Chi-Chi into an egg before stomping her to pieces, to the horror of everyone present.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • An All There in the Manual example with Kinana: she was turned into a snake ten years ago and made to fight alongside Cobra, until Marakov turned her back. She doesn't have any memories of being a snake.
    • In chapter 491: Irene transforms Princess Hisui into a mouse.
  • In Fruits Basket the story centers around a family with a curse that turns thirteen of its members into animals from the Eastern Zodiac (plus the Cat) whenever they're embraced by someone from the opposite gender who isn't cursed themselves, though luckily they can still talk and will eventually turn back (but expect an awful lot of awkwardness). While turning into an animal may seem fun on paper, it's still clearly a curse since it prevents the afflicted from forming relationships outside of the family and many of their parents reject them because of their cursed status.
  • Envy in Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa gets stuck as a dragon due to Shapeshifter Mode Lock from going through the Gate into a world without alchemy. After being trapped in that form for two years, he's mainly reduced to growling and roaring despite the fact that he can speak, and is hunted by the Thule Society in an effort to open the Gate. In the end, he murders Hohenheim and simultaneously kills himself without ever changing back.
  • In Gintama, a story arc focuses on Gintoki, Katsura, and Kondo trying to return to their original forms after they're cursed as a result of relieving themselves on a cat's grave. The former two transformed into cats, while the latter of the three inexplicably ends up as a gorilla instead (Befitting of his nickname). Despite the change, they're still able to beat up the ones responsible for capturing Kabukicho's stray cats rather easily, though in Kondo's case, it's more than justified.
  • Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics provides plenty examples:
    • The witch from "The Six Swans" turns her royal husband's six sons into swans with cursed white capes. Their sister must make six other capes to break the curse, which the swans manage to put on when they come to rescue her and bring her kidnapped son back.
    • The prince in "Snow White and Rose Red" caught the wicked gnome stealing the castle's treasures and got turned into a bear for his trouble. He didn't recover his human form until he managed to kill the gnome.
    • Rudolf in "Brother and Sister" was turned into a Deer when he drank water from a pond that was enchanted by his and Rose's evil Step-Mother.
    • The prince's subjects in "The Iron Stove" were turned into mice by the Hot Witch. After the Witch is given a Disney Villain Death, they're released.
    • "The Old Woman in the Woods" turned a prince and his subjects into animals, with the Prince himself stuck in an owl's form, and those that trespass in the witch's neck of the forest are turned into trees. The only one who escapes this is the maid Lisbeth, and the Owl Prince first protects her and then recruits her to kill the witch.
    • In "The Magic Heart", a huntsman finds a cabbage garden of two different types. One kind of cabbage turns those who eat them into donkeys, the other kind returns the donkeys to their human forms. He used these cabbages to get revenge on an old witch and her daughter Lisbeth for treating him like crap, though later he uses another to return Lisbeth to her human form.
    • In "Jorinde and Joringel", a Wicked Witch who hates happy couples in love turns the titular Jorinde into a bird. Her boyfriend Joringel has to rescue her.
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss likes to transform an opponent into a game animal of some kind and then try to cook them alive.
  • In one episode of The Legend of Snow White, Snow White's pets accidentally turn her into a rabbit with magic dew that they think will just make her understand their speech.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
    • Referenced. The penalty for flagrantly breaking The Masquerade is getting turned into an ermine. This may or may not be the case with Chamo.
    • In Negima!?, Negi does get turned into a chupacabra, but he gets better.
  • In a story of one the Mazinger Z manga versions, a race of giant, man-eater, fish-alike, humanoid Eldritch Abominations from another dimension named Chip Kamoy tried to invade Earth. They kidnapped a normal human girl and transformed her into a mermaid-like being to communicate with humans. Later they trapped The Hero Kouji Kabuto and she helped him to escape. In punishment she got executed by the Chip Kamoy.
  • In Nyan Koi!, Junpei will turn into a cat (which pretty much kills him, since he's allergic) if he doesn't perform one hundred good deeds for cats.
  • Any Witch in Ojamajo Doremi is turned into a Witch Frog whenever a human calls them a Witch. They can be changed back, but only the one who called them can pull it off. Unfortunately, most humans run away in fear when it happens, leaving many unfortunate Witches trapped in that form for the rest of their lives. It's even implied that most Witches never return to normal. Averted later on when the curse the causes the Baleful Polymorph is lifted by the one who originally cast it in the first place; it still came too late for those who died as witch Frogs.
  • In One Piece, the samurai Kin'emon's missing son Momonosuke ate an artificially created Devil Fruit that turned him into a little eastern style dragon. Whether due to his inexperience with Devil Fruit powers or problems with the man-made fruit itself, Momonosuke has trouble transforming back to human form.
    • The Dressrosa arc introduces Sugar, a member of the Doflamingo pirate crew. She has eaten the Hobby-Hobby fruit, which grants her the ability to turn people into toys and even remove people's memories of them. Though this comes with a trade-off that she's stuck in the physical body of a ten-year-old girl. Actually, even that doesn't come as a disadvantage.
  • Pokémon:
    • Ash Ketchum gets turned into a Pikachu at the end of an episode thanks to a rather careless magic spell coming from a Cute Witch they've been helping. Luckily for him it only lasts for a while, and he seems to be thrilled to be able to freely play with his Poks. (Unluckily for the audience, we barely see him do anything in this time — the next episode starts with him returning to his human form).
    • Pokémon also has Sabrina, who while suffering from Literal Split Personality turns some people into dolls with her psychic powers.
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Ginji's Rescue Team (an adaptation of the below-mentioned Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team), a boy named Ginji falls asleep and wakes up in another world turned into a Torchic. It ends with him inexplicably turning back into a human. The manga keeps it vague if his adventure was a dream or not.
  • Inverted in Princess Tutu. Ahiru is actually a duck to begin with and gets turned into a human girl, but certain circumstances will cause her to revert to duck form...
  • Ranma ½, natch. While many of the springs can be Cursed With Awesome or Blessed With Suck dependent only upon your feelings towards that curse and the situations of your life (Boy/Girl, Panda, Child, etc.), the various little animal springs (like Cat, Duck and Pig) lean pretty heavily towards Blessed With Suck. Especially seeing as how other springs include Yeti-Riding-Ox-Carrying-Crane-and-Eel and Ashura.
  • In Ruin Explorers, Ihrie turns into a rat every time she uses her magic, a curse from her old master.
  • Used in Sailor Moon, when Wiseman tricks Esmeraude into putting a crown on herself that would boost her powers. It turns her into a mindless dragon instead.
  • In Sgt. Frog, Keroro tricks Natsumi into wearing a dog collar that transforms her into a dog, forcing Natsumi to flee her house as they're not allowed to have pets there. Keroro then follows Natsumi, intending to catch her in the act of doing something embarrassing while stuck as a dog, as she finds herself fighting her canine urges. She fortunately manages to dodge this and finds herself in the care of her crush, before reverting to human form right before him and causing Keroro to zap himself with his own device, causing him to behave like a dog in turn.
  • This trope is central to the plot of the ero-manga Tentacle Lovers, wherein a young man is turned into a small, cute tentacle monster after a foreign princess botches a summoning spell. Played with by the end, wherein the Princess manages to make a new body for the protagonist, and transfers his soul into it. However, because it was designed from her memory (and the two had several Mate or Die moments), his new form was a bit more... endowed... than it used to be.
  • A Running Gag in To Love-Ru is that Rito is constantly getting transformed into different shapes or things, whether they be animals, objects, or different sizes due to Lala's inventions; whether or not it was a malfunction or an accident.
  • Uzumaki features some people who transform into snails, and one couple who become snake-like. This isn't too bad for the snailized people until the un-snailized people start looking for food.
  • In one chapter of Superior, Sheila gets turned into a dog (that can only say meow) when Exa tries to teach her healing magic.
  • Mashin Hero Wataru Series: Kurama and the rest of his village are humans who were forcibly turned into bird-people by Doakudar. He's mainly working for him in order to undo that. Himiko personally thinks his bird form is cooler than his human one.
  • Arabian Nights: Adventures of Sinbad: Since the setting is based on Arabian Nights, you must expect to come across them quite a lot. Shera was also victim of this. She's a princess transformed into a bird. So are her parents, who got turned into white eagles.
  • In Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun, whenever Nene is touched by water, she starts to develop mermaid scales on where her skin comes in contact with water, due to her swallowing a mermaid scale. If she is completely submerged or drenched in water, she transforms into a tiny fish.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 8 episode 22, Huo Haha feeds Happy S. a magic candy cracker that turns him into a candy cracker. Not only does this strip him of his superpowers, but it also makes him susceptible to melting when in the rain or near a fire, on top of making him edible.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In Mighty Little Defenders, Wolffy is accidentally transformed into a dog, making it difficult for him to catch the goats like he would normally do.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has a lot of these.
    • Ovinomancer later got a reprint and shout-outs in the Time Spiral block in the form of Ovinize (Transforms target into a sheep) and Pongify (Transforms target into a giant ape). Shadowmoor has Snakeform (Transforms target into a snake). Unglued has Fowl Play(Transforms target into a chicken). Mechanically similar "restraining" cards can instead represent a new state of mind or magical bindings. There are a few cards that turn the target into something nonliving. Some polymorphs can be undone (enchantments that can be destroyed), others are permanent (because they remove the original creature from the game and replace it with something else).
    • Then there's Mass Polymorph which (at least in terms of flavor) transforms all your creatures into other creatures basically at random.

  • German comedian Otto once told the story of Susi Sorglos, whose hairdryer claimed to be a transformed prince. This turned out to be a lie, it was actually a transformed razor.

    Comic Books 
  • All Fall Down: Entertaining children in hospital, the shape-shifter Phylum is permanently trapped in the form of a chimpanzee.
  • In Amulet, the city of Kanalis has a curse on it, turning anyone that stays there too long into some sort of anthropomorphic animal. The populace is generally okay with this, and just go about their lives as normal, but elsewhere there's shown to be some tension towards those who are animals.
  • In Transfer of Power, The Authority's punishment for the superpowered monster that attacks them (depowered back into a hick) is to take him back home and change him into a flock of chickens. Just as the local bar turns out and the locals decide chickens are acceptable sexual partners. "Do you remember when heroes just used to take bad guys to jail?" (In this case, the reason they didn't is because the hick was empowered by G7. Yes, the seven wealthiest governments in the world. His jail stint would have been shorter than Paris Hilton's.) Worse: the locals are actually his brothers, who had just been complaining about a lack of anything to eat.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, Dawn has been turned into a giant (well, at least she got to stomp Tokyo and fight a giant robot version of herself), a centaur (uh, gave Xander a ride...) and a doll.
  • Circe the Goddess is a straight-up villain for The DCU and turns her foes into animals. This doesn't stick for Plastic Man, for obvious reasons, but does kinda turn him on.
  • Emperor Joker: After the Justice League — reimagined in this mad world as a bunch of wacky supervillains—teams up to stop the Joker, he turns most of them into dogs.
  • Sersi of The Eternals is the Marvel Universe inspiration behind the legend of Circe, and often temporarily transforms her foes into harmless animals.
  • The Eye Of Mongombo: Adventurer Cliff Carlson is turned into a duck by a vengeful witch doctor named Jumballah.
  • Fables:
    • In the comic book, the realm Prince Charming came from had its fair share of cursed folks being turned into all sorts of talking animals. Of course, marriage to royalty would reverse the curse. King and Queen Charming disposed of the more troublesome ones by summoning the cook...
    • Also, in a slight twist a rabbit named Colonel Thunderfoot is transformed into a human by the angry rabbit mother of a soldier who died after Thunderfoot sent him to battle. The terms of course were that Thunderfoot could only be turned back into a rabbit if he found a doe able to see past his appearance and love him. Judging by the end of the chapter, he is in rather bad luck on that score.
  • After the Fantastic Four defeat them, three Skrulls offer to turn into something else (and be hypnotized into forgetting their previous lives.) They are turned into cattle and put out to pasture. Which is very creepy after Fridge Logic sets in. In fact, that's not the last we ever hear of the Skrull-cows. The meat they are eventually turned into winds up giving a group of ordinary people superpowers. And cancer.
  • During the Infinite Crisis tie-in Day of Vengeance, The Spectre turns The Phantom Stranger into a rat, since he wasn't powerful enough to kill him. This is The Spectre's general specialty, with origins as a method of getting murder past the Comics Code Authority. Generally, the polymorph is such that the transformed person gets killed or destroyed horribly in such a way as to make ordinary murder seem pleasant... but because it wasn't a human (or, often, a living thing) getting horrifically murdered, its OK!
  • Isola: Queen Olwyn of Maar has been transformed into a tiger by an evil spell. The premise involves her and her loyal guard captain Rook setting off on a quest to the titular mythical land of the dead to find a way to turn her back.
  • Iznogoud: One of Iznogoud's favourite types of scheme involves using a magic spell or object to transform the Caliph into an animal or object. Invariably, the spell will backfire and transform him instead. Just to give a few examples:
    • "Likhwid's Bottle, or the Bottle of Likhwid" has Iznogoud buying an elixir, one drop of which will turn the drinker into a woodlouse. What he doesn't learn until the sale is complete is that it's the last drop in a gigantic jug, and the disgusting elixir itself must be consumed undiluted. The vizier finds various ways to trick/force the Caliph into drinking endless bowls of the stuff, but when there is one drop left, inevitably it is Iznogoud who drinks it and turns into a woodlouse after he faints and the well-meaning Caliph tries to revive him with it.
    • "Kissmet" features one of the classic examples of a Baleful Polymorph: a frog curse that can only be reversed by a kiss which turns the kisser into a frog. Iznogoud is surprised when it takes no subterfuge whatever to get the Caliph to kiss the frog suffering from the curse, whereupon the Caliph turns into a frog and the frog turns into a prince... who decides to claim the throne for himself and have the vizier executed. But the spell has a wrinkle: if a cursed frog kisses a human, both will turn into frogs. By the end of the story, Iznogoud has had to get himself a stay of execution by kissing the frog Caliph, leaving himself, Wa'at Alahf, and the prince all stuck as frogs.
    • "The Doggy Flute" sees the title object used by a Chinese wizard to turn rude people into dogs, so Iznogoud gets hold of it to use on the Caliph. But when he can't remember the tune he needs to play to turn him into a dog, his practising causes polymorphic chaos all over Baghdad, doubly so when he turns the animals back into humans (who are not happy to have been transformed). Unsurprisingly, the story ends with the flute being used to turn Iznogoud himself into a dog.
    • In "Fairy Tale", Iznogoud contracts apprentice fairy Blunderbell to turn him into the Caliph, but she gets it wrong and turns the Caliph into Iznogoud instead, then both Iznogouds into Caliphs, and finally she ends up turning Iznogoud and his (accidentally created) clone into clothes irons.
  • In Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden, Jax goes through this two times, but both of them are downplayed. In one example, she tried to cast a fire spell, but ended up burning her arm off. She tried to cast a spell to grow her arm, but end up growing a tree bunch (she got better though).
    • In another instance, while Jax was tied up at the bottom of the elevator shaft, her head turns into a balloon by Thomas Lorik in order for her to get the elevator key.
  • In Lori Lovecraft: The Dark Lady, the future version of Lori transforms a demon from a Rat Folk into an actual, normal sized rat.
  • One Mickey Mouse comic had a witch turn Minnie into a lamb by tricking her into eating an enchanted fig.
  • The Mighty Thor was turned into a frog on more than one occasion. One time his fellow Avengers were transformed too. Thor groaned "not again..." while Iron Man started freaking out.
  • In The Smurfs comic book story "The Little Tree", Lumberjack Smurf finds out that an elf's sister has been turned into an evergreen tree and spares her from being cut down.
  • In Soulsearchers and Company, Arnold Stanley—the original owner of the company—was transformed into a talking prairie dog by an Evil Sorceror.
  • Supergirl:
    • Back in The '60s Supergirl owned a sapient horse with magical powers named Comet. As he described to her telepathically, he was originally a centaur in ancient Greece named Biron. The witch Circe gave him a potion to turn him fully human after he prevented an evil sorcerer poisoning her water, but by mistake made him fully horse instead due to the Sorcerer. Later, after meeting Supergirl, he went on a mission with her to the planet Zerox, where a magic spell was cast that turned him into a human, but only while a comet passes through the solar system he is in. As a human, he adopted the identity of "Bronco" Bill Starr, a rodeo trick-rider.
    • In Supergirl vol 1 #7, Tony Martyn, a Peace Corps volunteer who Kara has a crush on, is turned into a giant Yeti by evil wizard Orgox.
    • In Supergirl Volume 2 #23, Kara fights a mutant whose psychic rays can turn people into mutated humanoid animals.
  • It happens to Superman in Action Comics #303 when he's accidentally turned into a horned, flying, humongous Kryptonian snake-monster named Drang while handling a drang egg contaminated with Red Kryptonite radiation.
  • Before Swing with Scooter turned into an Archie clone, its seventh issue featured a story where Scooter and his friends were turned into anthropomorphic vegetables. Yes.
  • Witch Girls has this occur several times in its comics, notably with Lucinda Nightbane turning a couple of muggers into a frog and fly, and another in which she turns a bully into a two-headed rabbit who she releases into the world to breed.
  • Wonder Woman foe Circe's most common shtick is turning men into Bestiamorphs against their will. The level of consciousness she leaves the victims varies with her whims but they are forced to serve her and lose their human forms to become animalistic and monstrous, usually as Mix-and-Match Critters but occasionally looking like an ordinary animal.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): In "The Witch and the Warrior" Circe abducts every male superhero her powers detect and turns them into animals and human-animal hybirds and then hunts them down with over 60 female villains. Wonder Woman teams up with most active superhero women to save the day.
  • X-Men: The mutant Masque of the sewer-dwelling Morlocks can alter the flesh of anyone he touches, in pretty much any way he can imagine; and he has a very twisted imagination.
  • Zatanna loves this. She often does it to punish those who annoy her or deal with enemies, once even casually and (half-) jokingly threatening to turn Batgirl into a toad once if she didn't go on girls night out with her.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • When Calvin and Hobbes use the Transmogrifier, like most of their cardboard box technology, it never turns out well. This might be why The Princess and the Frog used the word as well in the above song lyric.
    • Calvin is once turned into an owl by the Transmogrifier Gun, but accepts it when he realizes that he won't have to go to school. He is actually disappointed when the transmogrification wears off.
    • Calvin once uses it to turn himself into a tiger; he ends up looking like a shorter Hobbes.
  • In some of the Witch Hazel stories in Little Lulu, Hazel often transforms Lulu (or a nameless girl who is drawn as Lulu) into various things, such as a cat, a parrot, a monkey, a mermaid, a mouse (twice), and even a water pipe!
  • Exploited by Brian in the Knights of the Dinner Table a few times.
  • The Wacky Adventures of Pedro often has Pedro the Mailburro forced to take on a new form, such as an amoeba or a grotesque alien.
  • SnarfQuest, Prince Raffendorf had been transformed into a rat man by Suthaze's magic, and only Suthaze possessed the ability to reverse the curse.

    Eastern European Animation 
  • Gypsy Tales: The devil, from "The Gypsy Woman and the Devil", turns Vunida into a cherry tree for escaping his palace.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
  • In the Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) fanfiction Abraxas (Hrodvitnon), Vivienne Graham is revived and kept alive by San (Ghidorah's severed left head) while transforming her into a two-headed human-Ghidorah chimera Titan before she regains consciousness. The Baleful part probably wasn't helped by the duo's initial Came Back Wrong form putting them in a constant state of pain for months. After they've gotten better, Vivienne accepts that she physically isn't human anymore but she still needs to hold on to her humanity.
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures fanfiction Queen of All Oni, a failed spell by Daolon Wong ends up transforming Jade back into her Shadowkhan form, leading to a Face–Heel Turn.
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures and Teen Titans crossover fanfiction A Shadow of the Titans, a mysterious being (called "The Cackler", according to Word of God) transforms Jade back into her Shadowkhan form and sends her to the TT world (though her morality is unchanged this time round).
    • Later, Mumbo turns Jade into a monkey.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Vengeance of the Foot Clan:
    • During the events of Vengeance of the Foot Clan, Ethan is exposed to mutagen and transforms into a red panda. He's initially horrified, but Master Hamato helps him realize the pros of his condition.
    • During War of the Heart of Darkness, Jess is captured by the Foot Clan and forcibly converted into an Arctic fox.
  • Hobbes is briefly turned into a rabbit by Calvin in order to get Sherman to his house safely in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series.
  • In The Blue Blur of Termina, Sonic the Hedgehog was transformed into a Deku Scrub by the Skull Kid.
  • In My Little Pirates: Luffy's Adventures in Equestria, every human character who travels to Equestria will be turned into a pony, unable to recover their original form until they get out of Equestria's borders. Ponies are not affected when they visit the Grand Line, though.
  • In Rise of the Galeforces, Violet Parr, subverts this trope. Specifically, it works two-fold: first, she is turned into a Tyrannosaurus rex by the Big Bad in Chapter 24, and then again in Chapter 29. Both times, she is smart enough to realize that she now has the physical power of the (second) greatest carnivore on the planet. In a rare instance when the smarter of the Big Bads is the one who carries the Idiot Ball, Ludlow realizes this fairly quickly, and changes her back into her human form to avoid further trouble, but then the normally smart Ripper traps her in her dinosaur form indefinitely for his own ends, with disastrous results.
  • The PER from The Conversion Bureau use a a potion to forcibly turn people into ponies.
  • Tzeentch does this to The Emperor, combined with Gender Bender, at the end of their fight in The God Empress of Ponykind. The Emperor/Princess Celestia is pissed off at first, but gets used to it after a few years.
  • A variant from Generation 2021, Hikaru is forced into a Garchomp costume. A costume that grants him the same powers as a real Garchomp.
  • In the Percy Jackson fanfiction Moon Daughter, Annabeth is turned into a grape "with no soul" when she catches Mr. D watching "child pr0n."
  • In Knowledge Is Power Voldemort gets turned into a squirrel. Yes, a squirrel.
  • In Diaries of a Madman, Athena cursed Arachne by transforming her into a spider, in revenge for an insult.
  • In Shadowchasers: Torment, the Doomdreamer Loreli did this to enemies, former lovers, and even to her own father, usually turning them into cats.
  • In The Worst Sonic Fanfiction Ever, Sonic, Knuckles and Tails are turned into a salami at one point.
  • This trope is one of the key aspects of A New World, A New Way and its sidestories. Arcues moves a vast majority of the Pokèmon and a handful of humans to Equis, and turns the selected Humans into Pokèmon. Some of the humans don't mind the change though.
  • Interlude 9 of My Family and Other Equestrians has Lizzie being turned into a pegasus overnight. The same chapter has Blade Star being involuntarily turned into an alicorn (he was an unicorn before that point). Discord might have something to do with both of these cases, though.
  • In the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) fanfic Blythe's Little Problem, Blythe Baxter transforms into a cat and only has four days to turn back to normal before it would become permanent... and then Sue Patterson turns into a ferret.
  • In From the Dust, Link is transformed into a wolf so he can escape being sent to prison. It causes him no end of trouble in actually getting stuff done after, since he has yet to change back.
  • In Ever After High fanfic Poisoning Apple when Apple torments Rotbart with her singing, he accidentally turns her into a swan to get to stop. Rotbart, Raven and Sparrow have to rush to change her back before anyone finds out.
    • Rotbart traps himself in owl form when he was too injured from a monster attack. He stays in his form when Apple rescues him and has to have Raven bail him out when Apple tried keeping him.
  • In The Elements of Friendship, Twilight's parents are permanently transformed into plants at Twilight's exam. Due to the nature of transformations, only Twilight can undo it... which she's not powerful enough to do yet.
  • Diamond in the Rough (Aladdin) reveals Iago, the Carpet, and the Tiger's Head at the Cave of Wonders to be transformed men.
  • In How Trixie (Somehow) Saved Hearth's Warming, Trixie and Vixen end up turned into wooden toys by the Rat King. They soon discover his castle is filled with other ponies who were turned into wooden toys and enslaved by the Rat King. Trixie manages to turn being made of wood into somewhat of an advantage, and after the Rat King meets his end, everypony reverts back to normal.
  • Lulu's Bizarre Rebellion: Lena's stand Children Of The Night turns its targets into movie monsters, which then rampage their way back to her. Because she can give it contingent instructions, she can use this to take people's loved ones hostage to their obidience to her, which is how she recruits Shirley's father.
  • A Snake Named Voldemort has Voldemort himself, courtesy of a potion Snape slipped into his tea, and later Bellatrix, courtesy of Voldemort. Downplayed in the latter example, since she doesn't remember being human while she's in her snake form and doesn't remember being a snake when she's human.
  • In Helping... Hands? Trixie is trying to learn more about zebra magic. To that end, she performs on Lyra what she thinks is a Zebrican ritual to turn a pony into a zebra. It moves over into this trope when she discovers that the Zebrican spellbook was badly mistranslated: Her spell turns Lyra into a human, and what she thinks is the counterspell turns out to be a gender-change ritual. And things only go downhill from there.
  • The Most Stupid Deaths In Super Mario 64 seems to enjoy this trope:
    • At the end of episode 1, Mario transforms the brackets guy into a Kirby lookalike.
    • Also, when Mario is turned into a Goomba, and then a ghost.
    • And when Clone 4 uses the Cursed Key of Peachium, he turns into a peach clone.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Mentioned as an effect of one artifact the group finds in the Questioning Order's vault. Also a side-effect of the Crystal Mirror, which transforms those who pass through it into a form suitable for the world on the other side. In this case, it turns all of the group into humans when they arrive in the world of Canterlot High.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Mister Mxyzptlk makes himself known by turning Inko Midoriya into a dog after she gets annoyed by the obnoxious sounding trumpet snake he created. She doesn't remember a second of it after Mxyzptlk is banished back to the Fifth Dimension and Izuku intends to keep it that way.
  • In Girlfrenemies, Raven's Black Magic goes wrong and she turns her friends into various types of dogs. It takes a few tries to fix because she's so stressed.
  • FAITH is an Ash/Misty fan comic where Misty finds herself reunited with Ash after being transformed into a Pikachu.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: There are multiple methods to achieve this trope:
    • Dungeon Hearts come with a spell to turn people into chickens, which has been used multiple times.
    • In "Convoluted Rescue Plan, Go!", Ami has made pills that turn people into "baby mice".
    • As seen in "Trapped, Part 1", Ami's Mercury energy mixed with Metallian energy, chaos magic, and Dungeon Heart Corruption, turns people into "monsters".
  • Doctor Patterson from the The Dresden Files and Supernatural crossover fic Cross Cases is a budding warlock with an unfortunate tendency to transform his enemies and sometimes allies into frogs or toads once they've seen something they shouldn't have, or simply outlived their usefulness. Unfortunately, that includes Dean, Charlie, Castiel, and Crowley.
  • Thomas Smith from The Legend of Spyro fanfic The Portal is transformed into a blue dragon when he is pulled from his world to the Dragon Realms by the titular portal. Later, his best friend is pulled into the Dragon Realms as well, except he becomes a yellow dragon as opposed to a blue one. In the sequel, Hard Choices, Thomas' parents are transformed into dragons when they're pulled into the Dragon Realms as well, with the father becoming a dark red dragon whereas the mother becomes a dark green dragoness.
  • In Adopted Displaced, Captain Black accidentally turns himself into a frog while experimenting with chi spells.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, the Eye of Ekron disables a guard by transforming him into a lizard.
    Some of the men threw themselves in the villains' path as they advanced into the building. A lucky few were shoved out of the way. The Empress's eye turned another into a lizard.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: In chapter 12 of the sequel Diplomat at Large, it's mentioned that as part of her sentence, along with being depowered, Chrysalis was turned into a donkey for the rest of her life.
  • Sasha And The Frogs: Happens to Sasha in chapter 11 where she gets turned into a newt.

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin:
    • Abu is turned into an elephant and later a wind-up monkey toy.
    • Jasmine's tiger is turned into a kitten.
    • And inverted when Jafar is turned into a genie, in an itty bitty living space.
  • In Alice in Wonderland, the protagonist changes size at alarming rates. While it does happen because she herself consumes various food and drinks, she usually is unaware of the exact effects of the consumption.
  • In Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2, the big bad, Eris, is given legs instead of a mermaid tail — her worst nightmare.
  • Disney uses this a lot. Beauty and the Beast has the Prince involuntarily transformed into the Beast by the Enchantress, along with the other servants.
  • Metus being turned into a snake by the Ignika in BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn.
  • In Brave (by Disney subsidiary Pixar), Queen Elinor becomes a bear. And the same fate fell upon a prince who became killer-machine-in-bear-form Mor'du. At the end Merida's triplet little brothers become bear cubs as well.
  • Brother Bear is based on this trope. Kenai is turned into a bear by the Great Spirit and his recently deceased eldest brother Sitka as punishment for attempting to avenge Sitka by killing the bear. Justified when it turns out to be the mother of a bear cub named Koda.
  • In Cinderella, the mice and dog are turned into the footman and horses. Cinderella III: A Twist in Time has the Stepmother steal the Fary Godmother's wand and ultimately turn Anastasia into a copy of Cinderella to steal the Prince away. While Anastasia might have been bullied into agreeing, she still seems rather upset about the whole thing.
  • The Emperor's New Groove:
    • The movie features a slew of polymorphing potions going awry, and some of the results are much less than useful—becoming a turtle, a parrot, and a humpback whale are each pretty Baleful in their own right.
    • The main character, Kuzco, is turned into a llama by Yzma by means of one of these potions.
    • And then there's the entire palace guard, who get transformed into several different creatures, though their baleful-ness is apparently up to the individual:
      Guard: Uh... I've been turned into a cow... can I go home?
      Yzma: You're excused. Anyone else?
      The rest of the troops: Nah, we're good!
    • And of course Yzma gets her comeuppance when one of the final potions is used on her. And she turns into a fluffy little kitten. Cue Kuzco taunting her until he gets scratched.
  • G.I. Joe: The Movie: Golobulus exposes Cobra Commander to some mutagenic spores as punishment for failure, which slowly changes him from human(oid) to snake.
    Cobra Commander: "I Was Once a Man! Once a maaaan!"
  • In Jack to Mame no Ki, everybody who originally lived in the castle except for Margaret get turned into mice by the witch's magic.
  • Kubo and the Two Strings:
    • What actually ended up happening to Kubo's father, as a result of his relationship with Kubo's mother making her turn against her family. As we can see from the paper recreation, it looked very painful.
    • In a way, the Moon King is also subjected to this, having been turned into a normal human by Kubo, something that he clearly would not have ever desired.
  • In The Little Mermaid, various merpeople are changed by Ursula into shriveled polyps.
  • In Pinocchio, the wayward boys are turned into donkeys - slowly but surely.
  • In The Princess and the Frog, Naveen and Tiana are both involuntarily turned into frogs. (The voodoo man promised "green" in Naveen's future ...)
  • Edmund from Rock-A-Doodle is transformed into a kitten by the evil Duke of Owls, and upon realizing that he's been tranformed, he cries out "Jeepers, I'm all furry!"
  • In Sheep & Wolves, Grey turns into a sheep after he goes to Mami the gypsy rabbit for help and she gives him a potion so he can "change", setting the plot in motion.
  • In Spirited Away, Chihiro's parents are turned into pigs after eating food that was meant for spirits. Later in the movie, Yubaba's giant infant son is turned into a mouse, and a large bird with Yubaba's head is turned into a tiny black hummingbird-thing. This trope is used a lot in Miyazaki movies, it seems.
  • In The Frog Princess, Koshchei turns Vasilisa into a frog.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Willow:
    • Evil empress Bavmorda transforms all of an army into pigs this way. The pig transformation is also used as a temporary status effect in the NES RPG based on the movie.
    • The sorceress Fin Raziel is also subjected to this treatment, though Bavmorda turns her into a possum, not a pig. And then Willow himself transforms her into... a bunch of other animals, with nary a pause in between. She (finally) gets better.
      Goat Fin Raziel: Maad Maartigan...
      Madmartigan: What the Hell happened to you?
  • In Time Bandits, the Source of All Evil turns one of the dwarves into a pig.
  • The movie Russell is about a man who gets turned into a koala.
  • Troll:
    • In the original film, Torok transformed the residents of the apartment complex into various magical creatures, judging by Peter's transformation it's quite painful.
    • In Troll 2, people get turned into plant things by the goblins. Although if the reactions of one victim are anything to go by, it's not exactly painful.
  • The first live-action Guyver movie does this to Mark Hamill's character by turning him into a giant cockroach thing. Then he dies.
  • The film Ladyhawke has a double case of this, orchestrated by an evil priest. Two lovers are cursed so that the man, Etienne Navarre, becomes a wolf by night, and the woman, Isabeau, becomes a hawk by day. They can only both be human at exact sunrise and sunset, but they can never touch.
  • In Hocus Pocus, young Binks is turned into a black cat by the three sister witches, and is doomed to live forever with his guilt.
  • Stardust:
    • Tristan is promised safe transportation, food, and lodging by Ditchwater Sal. She turns him into a mouse and puts him in a cage with some cheese. This is just for practical purposes rather than it just being a curse—Ditchwater Sal can't have Tristan taking up a lot of space and eating a lot of food.
    • Ditchwater Sal also keeps Tristan's mother as a slave, as a human when she's needed to do a service, and as a bird at other times. She seems rather pissed about it.
    • Lamia changes Bernard, a farmboy into a goat to help pull her cart (along with an actual goat from Bernard's farm). Later, she changes him into a young woman and the (real) goat into a man as a subterfuge. The drawback is that their voices don't change, so Bernard sounds very masculine and Billy still acts like a goat.
  • In ''Sinbad' a sorcerer turns Sinbad's friend into a dog.
  • This is used as a disturbing visual element in Black Swan, where the protagonist imagines herself morphing into an actual black swan as she struggles psychologically with her role in the ballet. Unless it's really happening...
  • In Bedknobs and Broomsticks Miss Price turns several people into rabbits. It's a running gag that no matter what the actual target animal is supposed to be the spell always turns them into a rabbit.
  • In High School Musical 2, the "Humuhumunukunukuapua'a" skit is about a lonely Hawaiian princess who seeks to break the spell on a prince who's been turned into a fish.
  • In the Turkish film Tatlı Cadının Maceraları (Adventures of the Sweet Witch) (based on Bewitched), a magical evil woman promptly transforms a man into a goldfish on a frying pan when he is unresponsive to her advances. He is later rescued by his magical wife.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Freddy turns Debbie into a giant, helpless cockroach and then crushes her.
  • The evil Djinn in Wishmaster does this many times to his victims, with multiple variants. He changes people into trees, brick walls, mannequins, glass doors, crocodiles, a pimple on someone's ass, and many other unpleasantries.
  • Maleficent: Maleficent turns the raven Diaval into a man to save him from being beaten to death. When he later pledges his service to her, she changes him into whatever form best suits her needs.
    Maleficent: I need a horse...
  • In the 2003 TV film Quigley, Archie is turned into the titular Pomeranian after an untimely car crash and is sent back to Earth in his new form in order to prove that he can change his selfish and unforgiving ways.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Humorously subverted when Sam eavesdrops on Gandalf and Frodo's conversation about the One Ring in Bilbo's former house. Samwise begs Gandalf not to use his magic to turn him into something "unnatural". Then the scene cuts to a shot of Gandalf walking with a horse and telling Sam to keep up, only for Sam to run along after them.
  • In The Lobster, those who fail to find a partner in 45 days are turned into animals. At least they get to choose what animal they become.
  • In Nine Lives (2016), the main character is trapped in the body of a cat for a good deal of the film.
  • Spy Kids: The OSS agents Floop captures get turned into "Fooglies", wacky-looking characters that co-star with him on his TV show and speak in backwards English. After Floop pulls a Heel–Face Turn, it happens to his Dragon Ascendant Alexander Minion, though unlike the others he's still able to speak properly.
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019): In what is considered to be one of the film's most terrifying scenes, Tommy is stalked by the farm's scarecrow, Harold, who has suddenly come to life. As it chases after him, Tommy stabs him with his pitchfork... only for Harold to completely No-Sell the attack, grab the pitchfork, and stab him with it. But instead of blood, straw seeps out of Tommy's wounds. He stumbles away, screaming for help, and more straw comes out of his mouth and clothes. The next morning, Tommy's vanished without a trace... but the scarecrow is wearing his clothes.
  • Played for Laughs in Krull. Inept Mage Ergo the Magnificent tries to turn Colwyn into a duck for making fun of him, but it backfires, duck-ifying Ergo instead. He eventually decides to work with it, turning himself into a tiger when the group storms the Black Fortress.

  • The first of the Endless Quest pick-a-path books, Dungeon of Dread, is a surprisingly-grim adventure in a dungeon where all the monsters were created by an evil wizard casting this spell on enemies or innocent bystanders. There's nothing you can do to restore the victims, but the villain gets Hoist by His Own Petard, succumbing to this trope in turn, in the best ending.

  • The Adventures of Pinocchio: Pinocchio and the other boys who have been lured to Toyland are after a while transformed into donkeys.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland features a baby turning into a pig, possibly in accordance with the will of the Duchess, or it might be that Wonderland is the kind of place where babies sometimes spontaneously turn into pigs. In any case, as the baby was previously subject to severe Black Humor abuse from the Duchess and Cook, Alice decides it's better off as a pig and leaves it to its own devices.
  • In the book All Tomorrows, future humans are conquered by the Qu, a technologically advanced and extremely religious civilization. As punishment for terraforming different planets and killing the native life-forms, the Qu forcibly reengineer humans into unintelligent, animal-like forms, which are sometimes used as pets or beasts of labour. When the Qu leave these planets behind, however, some of these post-humans re-develop sentience, and create a new empire in the process.
  • Very common in Arabian Nights, where it is typically employed by sorceresses who are either hit upon by men they do not like, or for the purposes of punishing an erstwhile lover they are tired of.
    • Example of both kinds are found in the story of "King Beder". King Beder is first turned into a bird by Princess Giauhara when he tries to kiss her hand. He is later rescued by another benevolent sorceress queen, but then reaches the city of the formidable Queen Labe. She is so much into this trope that the first thing Beder notices on entering her kingdom is the abnormally large number of donkeys, mules and horses on the streets, who, he later learns, were all her former human lovers whom she had transformed into animals after she tired of them. Beder himself escapes her clutches when he first meets her, by transforming her into a mule with assistance from a magician friend. However, Labe is rescued by her mother, and quickly has her revenge by changing Beder into a "foul bird".
    • Another extreme example is found in the "Tale of the Young King of the Black Isles", where the king in the title is transformed into a living sculpture—he is stone from neck downwards—by his adulterous wife as punishment for harming her lover. The queen is not content with merely transforming the king her husband, and goes ahead and makes a display of her magical powers to him by transforming all the inhabitants of his kingdom into fish, color coded by their religion. This whole transfiguration explosion is later discovered when a fisherman tries to catch these fish and finds them to be rather unusually jumpy.
    • Taken to an extreme in the story of "The Merchant and The Djinn" — the titular merchant finds himself having incurred the murderous wrath of the titular Djinn, but is saved at the last moment by the intervention of three completely unrelated travelers who happened to be in that stretch of desert at the time, all of whom are carting around various animals that all happen to be their wives/brothers/relatives who have had bad/foolish experiences with magic and were put under a spell—in something of a parody of this idea. What follows are various stories within stories explaining how each of them suffered this fate, and The Djinn is so amazed by having heard them that he agrees to let the merchant go in exchange for the experience.
  • In Bedknob and Broomstick, Miss Price briefly turns Charles into a frog to prove her bona fides as a witch.
  • In The Belgariad, Polgara uses this twice during the course of the series. She permanently transforms Queen Salmissra into a huge serpent in the original books. (Salmissra comes to appreciate the benefits of the change, and does not want to be returned to her previous form). In the prequel Polgara The Sorceress, she temporarily transforms one of the Cherek kings into a man-sized frog because she thinks a regular Dope Slap won't be enough to get the message across.
    • Mentioned in The Malloreon, when Beldin and Belgarath are talking to a sorcerer who hasn't learned the rules. Beldin discourages it, on the grounds that having one annoying person is less tiresome than having a hundred aggravating frogs.
  • In Patricia A. McKillip's The Bell at Sealey Head, it turns out that the bell is the enchanted Queen Hydria, and the crows her enchanted knights.
  • At the end of the first chapter of Birthright (2017), the protagonist is transformed into a dragon. Not an enormous, fire-breathing dragon mind you, but a tiny, harmless whelp. This kicks off the plot, forcing the protagonist to find a way to reverse the transformation without the villain finding out.
  • In The Black Company, resident wizard One-Eye's favorite threat is to turn people into toads, but he's never shown actually doing it. This leads more than one of his companions to believe that he doesn't actually possess the ability to do so.
  • The Black Swan: Odette and the rest of the flock turn into swans due to a spell cast by Baron von Rothbard, in contrast to the voluntary shapeshifting of Von Rothbard and Odile.
  • The second book in Betsy Hanes' Bone Chillers series of children's horror novels, Little Pet Shop of Horrors, dealt with a girl who was transformed into a dog, to be sold by a pet shop. Unlike some fictional transformations, her clothes don't come along for the ride, which creates some momentary awkwardness when she regains her true form.
  • In Castle Hangnail, there's a running gag about Molly wishing she knew a spell for turning people into earwigs when they need to be taught a lesson. At the end of the book, the minions find one and present it to her as a token of their appreciation.
  • In The Cats Of Tanglewood Forest (and the children's picture book it's based on, A Circle Of Cats), the titular cats do this as a way of saving the main character, Lillian Kindred, who had been bitten by a snake, so they turn her into something that's not dying, a kitten. As soon as Lillian wakes up, she sets off to get the spell reversed (as she prefers to be a girl), only the cats are in hiding now as their leader, The Father of Cats, disapproves of them using their magic in such a way.
  • In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Violet Beauregarde's karmic fate is a transformation into a giant blueberry, with only her head, hands, and feet showing that she was once human. (This is played up in the 2005 film and 2013 stage musical adaptations, in which her parent figure in each has Skewed Priorities with regards to their concerns for her—in the former, it's that she won't be able to "compete", and the latter, that she can't be a starlet in this form.) At the end of the novel, after all the juice is squeezed out of her, she's Not Quite Back to Normal, as her skin and hair are still blue.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
    • Rabadash, the Calormene prince, gets temporarily turned into a donkey, and is warned that it will happen again if he moves more than 10 miles away from the temple of Tashbaan.
    • Subverted (unintentionally?) with Eustace Scrubb, who gets turned into a dragon as a punishment. While being a dragon seems awesome, he couldn't talk (and could barely write), couldn't fit on the boat to continue the group's quest (so would have had to spend the rest of his life alone on the island), and was wearing an armlet that was perfectly-sized for his human form but was digging into his foreleg and causing him constant pain as a dragon. And it has the intended result as well, turning him into a much better person in the end.
    • There's also the unpleasant schoolchildren towards the end of Prince Caspian, who get turned into pigs.
  • In The Chronicles of Prydain, Morda inflicts this in Taran Wanderer. Taran resists because he is (unknowingly) carrying Morda's Soul Jar.
  • In Robert E. Howard's "The Tower of the Elephant", Conan the Barbarian remembers that Yara was said to have used a gem to turn a prince into a spider before stepping on him. Not that that will stop him from trying to rob him.
  • The Curse Workers: In the first book, the titular White Cat turns out to be the protagonist's missing, presumed-dead childhood friend Lila. It turns out that he has the rare power of transformation, which his crime family used for assassinations, messing with his head in the process so he wouldn't remember, and he turned her into a cat instead of killing her by turning her into an inanimate object. He turns her back after he figures out what's going on.
  • In Devon Monk's Dead Iron, Cedar's brother Wil was permanently turned into a wolf—with, fortunately, his own mind—as opposed to Cedar's Involuntary Shapeshifter.
  • Discworld:
    • In the novels, it's stated that Granny Weatherwax doesn't do this. Instead, she prefers to make people think they're frogs, which takes much less magic, is slightly less cruel, and is a lot more entertaining. The Discworld does, however, contain a few instances of turning people into animals and lots of threatening to turn people into animals. They usually, but not always, get better.
    • In Lords and Ladies, Ridcully uses Stacklady's Morphic Resonator to turn a bandit chief into a pumpkin. In accordance with the universal laws of humour, it's still wearing his hat.
    • He also turns a particularly annoying complainer into a frog, albeit briefly, in Soul Music.
    • Going Postal: When one of the crooked bankers threatens to sue Unseen University in a heated moment, Ridcully retorts "Oh, PLEASE sue the University! We've got PONDS full of people who tried to sue the University!"
    • In Sourcery, a University wizard in service to Coin the Sourcerer transforms Lord Vetinari into a small lizard, one of the few times anyone's gotten the better of him.
    • In Witches Abroad, Lilith, the quintessential "good witch" gone bad, revisits the Cinderella tale by turning animals into humans and vice versa. When upset at some coachmen getting drunk, she turns them into cockroaches — and steps on them.
    • The Librarian of Unseen University is a subversion: he's accidentally turned into an orangutan near the beginning of The Light Fantastic, but he prefers it so much (it's easier to fetch books from on high, for example) he refuses to be transformed back. His morphic field seems to have been permanently affected, as any other time he's transformed, he retains his red-orange orangutan fur. In later novels, his orangutan strength helps save the day.
    • In Equal Rites one silly boy is turned into the "more fitting" form of a piglet.
    • In A Hat Full of Sky, Tiffany Aching temporarily gains the ability to transform an arrogant would-be wizard into a frog, though her magic isn't yet powerful enough to violate the conservation of mass, thus necessitating making a giant magical bubble of all the leftover matter from his body next to the frog, which is more horrifying in many ways than the frog-transformation itself.
    • The Tiffany books also have the Toad, who was once a lawyer who tried to represent a girl in a Frivolous Lawsuit on a fairy godmother. It was the judge applauding that really got to him, though.
  • The Divine Comedy:
    • In the seventh circle of Hell, those who commit suicide are transformed into trees, unable to speak or scream unless their branches are broken, making them bleed.
    • In the seventh Bolgia in the eighth circle of Hell, thieves are transformed into snakes. To regain their human form, they have to attack and bite their fellow damned (thus stealing their human forms), only to be transformed again when they themselves are bitten again by the snakes.
  • In Dogsbody the protagonist, Sirius, a star-denizen, is falsely accused of murder, and is sentenced to reincarnation into the earthbound body of a dog and retrieve the Zoi, a powerful weapon, on Earth. Near the end of the story, after he retrieves the weapon and becomes a star again, he later regrets his choice and wishes to have stayed as a dog with his human caretaker, a little girl named Kathleen, who loved and took care of him in the time he had been a dog on Earth and also had made him realize the importance of caring for others and learning to love those in need of compassion, in comparsion to the selfish and ill-tempered being he was in the beginning before he was turned into a dog.
  • In the Dragaera series, this is Sethra Lavode's favorite method of dealing with obnoxious Dzur heroes. Also, in a Monty Python and the Holy Grail Shout-Out: "She'll turn you into a newt." "I'll get better."
  • The Dragon Hoard:
    • The protagonist, Jasleth, is cursed to turn into a raven for one hour a day — and it's a different hour every day, at random, so he never knows when it's about to happen until it does.
    • A Story Within a Story about a kidnapped princess features several instances, including a magic ointment that turns people into insects, and an animal that's really a cursed prince (as well as an animal that claims to be really a cursed prince but turns out to have just been fooling).
  • In Andre Norton's Dread Companion, Kilda finds that eating the food of the land slowly turns her toward a creature of it, and Oomart too. Fortunately, she has human food, which can turn you back.
  • The Dresden Files not only consciously avoids using this trope, but the author has actually come up with a plausible reason why most "good" wizards have outlawed the practice.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series makes a spell to shift another person involuntarily rather difficult, and making shifting yourself perfectly easy, but running a very real risk of forgetting how... and why... to shift out of the other form.
  • In Ella Enchanted, Lucinda, a fairy of the gift-bestowing kind, doesn't think through the consequences of her 'gifts'. One of her favourites is turning people into squirrels, and she believes she's doing them a favour until she spends a week as a squirrel herself.
  • The Elminster Series: In Making of a Mage, Eliminster turns three magelords into stones whom he puts in an ocean, saying he hopes they have large and strong lungs to swim ashore when the spell wears off.
  • In Alethea Kontis's Enchanted, in the Back Story, Jack Jr. was turned into a dog.
  • Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles:
    • Dealing With Dragons features a spontaneous example when Woraug turns into a toad, having lost the privilege of being a dragon by not acting dragon-like enough.
    • In the later books, it's mentioned that there are countless ways a careless person could be cursed and turned into a flower or animal or rock or something in the Enchanted Forest. When Mendabar and Cimorene are clearing out a meadow, they find and disenchant several kings and princesses. In Calling on Dragons, Cimorene mentions how you have to be careful in the Enchanted Forest, because you could sit or walk on someone important without knowing it. And while it's more of a spell transfer than an actual transformation, we also get the annoying fellow with the long name getting turned into a sky blue, twelve-foot-tall donkey, floating above the ground and with giant wings.
  • In Falling Sideways many, many characters get turned into frogs. Or made to think they're frogs. Or made to seem like frogs to others. Or various combinations. Sometimes frogs get turned into people, which, for the powerful, super-intelligent alien frogs in the story actually pretty much counts as this trope. There's a lot of frogs.
  • Drawing from its inspirations of folklore, The Folk of the Air has faeries who aren't adverse to cursing humans into unwanted forms. One common fae transforms Heather into a human-cat hybrid merely becuase he noticed her staring at his own feline ears.
  • Forgotten Realms: The actual D&D spell has a notable use in R.A. Salvatore's Exile. As noted under Tabletop Games, the spell gradually takes over the object's mind, which in story terms makes for all kinds of tragedy.
  • The Franny K. Stein book The Fran With Four Brains had Franny's dog Igor turned into a tuna fish sandwich by the third Franbot's Food-Ray Blaster. The Franbots also planned to do the same to Franny, her family and the rest of humanity.
  • In the Gameknight 999 Series, at the end of Last Stand on the Ocean Shore, Herobrine is trapped in the body of a pig.
  • In The Girl from the Miracles District, the "hiccups" - surges of black magic from the ley lines - can sometimes hit a person unexpectedly, turning them into some manner of a mindless beast. As far as everyone knows, it's impossible to reverse the process.
  • This is the plot of Apuleius's The Golden Ass from c. 150 CE, one of the earliest surviving novels.
  • In Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore's "A Gnome There Was" Tim is transformed into a gnome because the first gnome emperor decided that if fairies could have changelings, his people should be able to replenish their population in a similar manner. Since gnomes are supposedly immortal, this makes little sense to Tim until it's revealed that the various emperors are fond of transforming their enemies into beings other than gnomes.
  • More than a few Goosebumps books had this as a problem the kid-protagonist had to face, caused either through magic or technology.
  • This happens a number of times in Harry Potter, usually played for laughs. Justified in that one of the classes is Transfiguration, and a lot of students have bad aim. One example is Draco Malfoy, the Amazing Bouncing Ferret, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. "Quidditch Through The Ages" also mentions that after one early match, they had to specifically come up with a rule prohibiting Transfiguring the Keeper into a polecat, although given that the use of several weapons and releasing a swarm of vampire bats were also banned after that match, whether this was intended to prevent the enemy from remaining on their broom or to increase their own team's ability to drop on other players and savage them remains a mystery for the ages.
  • The Hollows: In the first book, Dead Witch Walking, the Big Bad transforms Rachel into a mink and keeps her as a pet for a time.
  • How the Marquis Got His Coat Back: Lady Drusilla of the Raven's Court has a habit of turning people who upset her into birds of prey.
  • I Am Mordred: Merlin was transformed into a hawk by Nyneve, then caged. He kills her when he's freed.
  • The Harlan Ellison short story "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream". The title really gives it away.
  • The Infernal Devices: In The Clockwork Princess, Benedict Lightwood is gradually driven mad and finally turned into a gigantic serpent-like demon as a result of the demon pox.
  • In the J.W. Wells & Co. trilogy, the standard punishment for betraying the firm is being turned into office supplies. You retain some measure of sapience.
  • In Alan Dean Foster's Kingdoms of Light, the Six-Man Band consists of a mage's pets (three cats, a dog, a snake, and a canary), turned into humans by the mage's dying spell. In the end, they are captured by the evil Munderucu and turned back into animals—except that due to character growth, they not only remained sentient, but they became great cats, a huge wolf, a 40-foot python, and a firebird. Oops.
  • In the short story "Lady Into Fox", a dainty elegant woman is turned into a talking fox, and very gradually becomes one mentally. The woman who always wore napkins and fancy etiquette, was now eating live rabbits in the living room. It was never explained why she transformed. But it's assumed that some karmic celestial intervention or God himself was punishing her husband for being a fox hunter.
  • This is basically the whole premise of Lady: My Life as a Bitch, with the title character (among others) getting accidentally turned into a dog by a tramp.
  • Land of Oz: This happens at least once in almost every Oz book. Villains such as Ms. Yoop the Yookoohoo and the Nome King have been known to do this. The Magic Belt that the Nome King used to transform anyone into whatever object he chooses was taken by Dorothy and Princess Ozma and comes into use in many future books.
    • In The Magic Of Oz, a young boy learns to use a very dangerous magic word ("Pyrzqxgl", hard to use because very few can pronounce it) which can turn anything into anything. He learns to pronounce it, and becomes an Unwitting Pawn of the villainous Nome King, who convinces him to use it to wreck havoc in Oz. Naturally, Ozma's protectors try to stop him, until in one scene, he panics and says it dozens of times, transforming nearly the entire cast into various animals—including the Nome King too, who makes the mistake of making him angry. Eventually, the Wizard himself is able to use the word and turn it against them, then trick them into drinking the Water of Oblivion to make them forget the word and return them to a "blank slate". (Which, in the Nome King's case, only stops his evil ways for a short time...)
  • Froggy from The Land of Stories is a human that turned into a large frog by a wish. He's actually the missing Charming prince, and is briefly returned to his human form, but later discovers he's actually better off as a frog, and decides to stay as one.
  • This happens in The Long Dark Teatime Of The Soul, where the Thor's fits of rage always cause the unwilling transformation of some hapless bystander or object. In the course of the novel this befalls an airport ticket agent (who ends up transformed into a vending machine), a lamp (turned into a cat) and a jet fighter which turns into a short-tempered eagle, with the RAF rings still faintly visible on its wings.
  • Discussed in The Lord of the Rings. Characters believe that the wizard Gandalf might turn Sam into a newt, or Mr. Butterbur in stopping them in their tracks, as the change generally takes 15+ minutes.
  • In Little, Big: or, The Fairies' Parliament, Mrs. Underhill, a powerful faerie, has a stork who works for her, and who is hoping to be returned to the form of a woman after putting in enough years of service. However, the tables are cruelly turned when the stork learns she was always a stork; the process of being turned into a human wizard's Soul Jar messed with her memories, and the human wizard's soul actually coming to reside in her causes an even bigger identity crisis.
  • In The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl, this is the main character's special ability, although it so horrifies her that she never uses it unless she's really annoyed with someone.
  • In The Magicians, Brakebills students entering their fourth year are transformed into geese, but for a strictly practical reason: fourth year takes place at Brakebills' southern campus - in Antarctica - and having the students instinctively fly there is the most economic means of transportation.
  • This trope is the binding theme of Ovid's Metamorphoses.
  • In Mogworld, there's a bunny morph spell that Jim eventually buys. According to Jim, "It's a combat control strategy that also happens to be incredibly hilarious." It gets deconstructed when he explains that polymorphed rabbits are indestructible, because if you can turn any foe regardless of size, into a small harmless rabbit and instantly kill it there, then there would be no point in buying any other spells.
  • Murderess features a race of people known as the Moonfolk, or Lavricenote . They are infertile, and one becomes one of them by transforming under very specific conditions, and it’s implied that it’s not a good thing. Lu almost becomes one herself before ‘Hat Lad’ points it out to her.
  • In No Such Thing as a Witch, Nora and Todd find out that if four pieces of their neighbor's magic fudge are eaten together, it can turn you into whatever animal you're thinking of at the time. The first time this happens, it's to Todd and no one was expecting it. Towards the end of the book, Nora deliberately uses it to turn herself into a mouse to sneak into the neighbor's apartment. Todd also turns into a cat a few more times, with one of those times being nearly in front of a health inspector!
  • October Daye: The first book, Rosemary and Rue, begins with Toby being turned into a fish by the kidnappers she was tracking, and left in a koi pond at the Golden Gate Park Japanese Garden. It takes fourteen years for the spell to wear off.
  • Circe appears in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, turning men into guinea pigs. (They're less difficult to keep than actual pigs).
  • Ironically enough the novel Polymorph, which is about a literal "baleful polymorph" (e.g. an evil creature which can assume any form) contains no examples of this trope, since it cannot transform others.
  • In one Rainbow Magic book, some goblins get turned into goldfish.
  • Carla's transformation forms half the climax for part one of The Red and the Rest.
  • In the Rogue Agent series, Reg has been a bird for centuries when previously, she was the human Queen of Lalapinda. She can't use any of the magical powers she possessed but she can still sense it in a big way.
  • In Sabina Kane: Red-Headed Stepchild the untrained Sabina Kane attempts to cast a spell to banish the demon Giguhl back to his home plane, and accidentally traps him in the form of a hairless cat instead.
  • The Saga of Hrolf Kraki: Prince Bjorn is cursed by his sorcerous Wicked Stepmother to transform into a bear.
  • After Saladin Chamcha miraculously survives a plane crash in The Satanic Verses , he starts turning into an incarnation of the devil, growing horns and cloven hooves. In the course of several weeks, he becomes (to his dismay) increasingly devil-like, eventually turning into an eight-foot tall devil with glowing eyes and smoke coming from his nostrils, before turning back to normal. During a stay in the hospital, he also encounters patients who are slowly turning into animals and inanimate objects.
  • Scholarly Magics series:
    • In A College of Magics, people who cross Menary Paganell have a tendency to wind up as animals.
    • In A Scholar of Magics, turning people into animals is the function of the secret weapon being developed by the Agincourt Project.
  • Schooled in Magic: Changing someone into an animal is commonly used as a prank by the Whitehall students. Later Emily encounters a much nastier version, in which a murderer is turned into a boar as punishment and hunted to his death.
  • Secret Histories: Wild witch Molly Metcalf admits to once turning a fox hunting party into foxes for a day, feeling it would give the hunters some perspective.
  • In Josepha Sherman's The Shining Falcon, Finist finds that a wolf really is a transformed man. His girlfriend, angry with him, hadn't really expected it to work.
  • Neil Gaiman's Stardust:
    • A witch turns Tristran into a dormouse to carry him in her cart. In the novel, it's made clear that this isn't actually meant as a curse; it's done for practicality: Tristan takes up a lot less room this way after him arranging for food, bedding and travel. It's also implied that the spell turns you into the animal you are most like. The witch also turns Tristran back once she's given him a ride. She does find it amusing though.
    • The witch earlier turned Tristran's mother into a bird as a punishment.
  • The Stormlight Archive features Soulcasting, courtesy of either a specific kind of artifact, or one of the two kinds of Surgebinding magic that have access to the ability. It's generally used to turn objects into other objects, such as rocks into food, wood into metal (handy for trade with a culture that has great reverence for stone and views mining as horrible blasphemy), or reshaping stone to make buildings. It can also be used on people, to horrifyingly lethal effect.
    • Those who frequently use the artifacts to soulcast suffer a drawback in the form of savanthood. Their flesh slowly turns into the material that they use most for soulcasting. Over the course of the series so far we have seen people turning into various substances including rock and crystal, vines, and smoke.
  • In Stormsong by C.L. Polk, one of the punishments the Grand Duchess of The Fair Folk can mete out is to be transformed into a Horse of a Different Color and put to work, though at least the sentence isn't indefinite. She inflicts this on her Treacherous Advisor Aldis when his crimes are exposed.
  • In the infamous children's book Sylvester And The Magic Pebble, Sylvester accidentally makes a wish with the pebble that turns him into a rock.
  • Time Out Of Time: Balor often has a tendency to turn people into animals that he keeps locked in cages.
  • Hundreds of victims of this effect make up the supporting case of Too Many Curses. They're all very much disappointed when the death of the wizard who transformed them fails to negate this trope.
  • Tortall Universe: In the second book of the Immortals quartet, Numair manages to change Book Two Final Boss Tristan Staghorn into an apple tree, which is treated as a near-impossible feat, and due to the nature of magic in the world caused a tree somewhere to turn into a very confused man.
  • Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood is a bit confusing regarding this trope. It's made clear early on that there's something off about the knights who seek the Tanglewood's treasure, and it's eventually revealed that they're all animals, turned human by a sorceress and forced to serve her. Only that's a lie: they were humans the villain turned into animals, and the sorceress turned them human again, and then the villain turned them into animals again.
  • In Susan Dexter's The True Knight, the queen's only son was turned to a swan. Wren and her master were forcibly recruited to retrieve him.
  • Villains by Necessity: It's implied that Blackmail's horse is actually his brother, transformed into a horse by Mizzamir.
  • Wayside School: A non-animal example occurs in Sideways Stories from Wayside School in which Mrs. Gorf transforms her students into apples.
  • In E. D. Baker's The Wide-Awake Princess, a witch tries to turn Annie into a beetle. Annie's immunity to magic causes it to backfire on the witch.
  • In one early short story from The Witcher saga by Andrzej Sapkowski, a young knight named Duny is under a spell that turns him into a giant hedgehog by day, and Geralt helps him remove it—the whole story is a rather gleeful deconstruction of the classic "Beauty and the Beast" plot. Of course, Duny is a Nilfgaardian prince who later went on to become The Emperor Emhyr var Emreis, so it's a hell of a Chekhov's Gun...
    • In another short story, it is said that Geralt lifted a curse from a baron who had been transformed into a cormorant.
  • In The Witches, the titular Child Hating Witch Species is fond of this:
    • Their plan to dispose of a huge number of children is to turn them all into mice with a time-release potion. They transform the protagonist, who steals the formula and uses it to get them all Hoist by Their Own Petard.
    • The protagonist's grandmother mentions a little girl that a witch transformed into a hen, which her parents kept. In a moment of Gallows Humour, the grandmother admits that the hen produced the tastiest eggs she's ever eaten.
  • The Witches of Eileanan: It turns out that Maya the Ensorcellor has this ability due to being half-Fairge. Among her victims are the Rìgh's brothers, turned into blackbirds with Lachlan the only survivor; Tabithas Wolf-Runner, turned into, fittingly enough, a wolf; Khan'gharad, turned into a horse; and Khan'tirell, turned into a toad.
  • "Evil" Magician Trent of the Xanth series can transform anything into anything. When he was ousted, rumors spread that he turned his enemies into fish and left them to suffocate on dry land. Trent explains that he did turn some into fish but only in rivers or other bodies of water.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The 10th Kingdom, the prince is turned into a dog almost from the beginning of the story but manages to escape and get help. He is helpless throughout most of the story but he does help the heroes when he can. The witch also turns a dog into a copy of him; the dog isn't happy about it either.
  • In the very first episode of Beetleborgs, Flabber turns the kids into rats by mistake.
  • Often seen in Bewitched.
    • In various episodes, cousin Serena transforms Darren into a lamb, an ape and a statue. She is also shown as having transformed her erstwhile lovers into a crow and the Loch Ness monster. In one particularly extreme case, she transforms a man into a bed warmer and forget to transform him back for hundreds of years, leading up to the bed warmer being put up as an antique in a museum.
    • In an episode, Samantha turns a chimpanzee into a man, then back into a chimpanzee, then back into a man, and then finally back again into a chimpanzee. In another episode, she transforms a detective who seems to have discovered her magical abilities into a parrot, to convince him of how powerful she really is.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", the witch Amy Madison turns Buffy into a rat with a spell. Later in "Gingerbread", Amy turns herself into a rat to escape burnage at a stake... and can't turn back. It's also possible she was trying to turn the angry mob that had kidnapped her into rats rather than herself and just suffered a Magic Misfire due to her being tied up and thus unable to properly aim the spell. Then there's that little spell at the end of the season... Amy does get restored twice but the first time, Willow doesn't realize she restored Amy and accidentally changes her back into a rat.
    • In "A New Man", Ethan breezes back into town for a little more fun, which results in Giles being turned into a Fyarl demon.
  • Happens now and again in Charmed. The sisters have both turned people into animals and been turned into other creatures themselves. Usually this is because a spell backfires or has unforeseen effects, but sometimes it's deliberate.
  • In the Season 3 Finale of Every Witch Way, Emma and Mia end up trapped in a Resident Evil-esque video game and have to work together to survive. Emma's initially attempt to defend them results in her turning the attacking zombies into hats, though the dialogue that follows implies that she was trying to do something else:
    Mia: Hats? Really?
    Emma: It was the best I could do.
  • Goosebumps:
    • In the first "Chillogy" episode, Karl convinces Jessica to sell lemonade for exorbitant prices by artificially driving up demand. Then he exposes her and turns her into a Pig Man for being a "greedy little pig".
    • In "Be Careful What You Wish For", everyone in the world except Samantha is turned into a fly by the Literal Genie witch when she blurts out "All of you just buzz off!". In the book, everyone simply vanished until she could correct the badly-worded wish.
  • One episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys uses a magic Bow and arrow belonging to Artemis to turn Herc into a pig for most of the episode, while Iolaus and Autolycus scramble to get him restored.
  • Often seen in I Dream of Jeannie. Most notably:
    • In "What's New, Poodle Dog?", Jeannie turns Roger into a poodle to prevent him from arranging a double date for himself and Tony with two beauty queens.
    • In "Who Needs a Green-Eyes Jeannie?", the jealous Jeannie turns Tony's ex-girlfriend into a chimpanzee.
    • In "Happy Anniversary", the Blue Djinn turns Tony into a lobster and Roger into a donkey.
    • In "Who Are You Calling a Jeannie?", the amnesiac Jeannie accidentally turns Dr. Bellows into a mouse.
    • Reversed in "Fly Me to the Moon", when Jeannie turns a space chimp into a human (played by Larry Storch).
  • Kingdom Adventure: This is one of Zordock's abilities. The monster "Gulp" is actually Magistrate Kendrick, Pitts' predecessor, who was loyal to the Emperor and refused to go along with Zordock's plans. Zordock turned him into the beast that everyone now calls "Gulp" to punish him, but he's still got human-level intelligence, is capable of speech, and actively helps the protagonists whenever he can.
  • Legend of the Seeker: In his arrogant younger form, Zedd turns a lovely young prostitute's customer into a mouse so he can have her for himself.
  • An episode of Love And Curses opened with three obnoxious fratboys being turned into carp. Since the witches promptly plopped them into a frying pan, though, the "less lethal" part doesn't apply.
  • Lovecraft Country: William/Christina used a potion to turn Ruby into a white woman, and didn't ask first. Naturally, she's freaked out to wake up that way, but soon likes the idea since it gives her more privilege, so that her next transformations are knowing and wanted.
  • Married... with Children:
    • The episode "Psychic Avengers" ends with the family turned into chimpanzees and Buck turned into a human by a gypsy's curse after a scam. The end credits to that episode even show Al and Peg in chimp form. Though granted they don't seem to care...
      Peggy: Oh well, I guess we're monkeys. (continues watching TV)
    • The episode "Field Of Screams" has a subplot involving this, Bud, Buck, and the new bug powder Kelly advertised called "Springtime in Baghdad". The transformations weren't shown on-screen, but what Buck and Bud end up as show. Buck was turned into a different breed of dog, then a turkey. Bud, on the other hand, grew breasts from the exposure to it. By the episode's end, they had long, floppy ears. Doesn't it make you think what "Springtime in Baghdad" is made of?
      Buck: [as a turkey] I sure hope this crap wears off before Thanksgiving.
  • In an episode of Merlin, Morgana transforms Guinevere into a deer.
  • The Mr. Potato Head Show: an evil magic kit turns two different characters into toasters, who both say "I feel peculiar" upon this happening.
  • In MythQuest, Cleo takes the place of Blodeuwedd after Blodeuwedd kills her husband. As punishment, she is turned into an owl.
  • The Nickelodeon sitcom 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd is about a bully who is transformed into a dog by a mysterious drifter and must perform 100 good deeds in order to turn back.
  • Pixelface: In "The Ugly Truth", Alexia is transformed into a yeti by a magical beauty cream.
  • It's a semi-recurring thing in Power Rangers for villains to nab innocent bystanders and turn them into the Monster of the Week. I can't think of a single time the Rangers spared any thoughts for the civilian's safety; they just made the monster go boom as usual and the person would be back to normal. Either that, or the MOTW would just as often transform civilians into whatevers for the scheme of the week, which is dealt with the same way.
  • In Pushing Daisies, the children of Coeur d'Coeurs are terrified of aunts Lily and Vivian because they are reputed to turn unwary children into birds. That the aunts have taught at least one of their pet parrots to say "Help! She turned me into a bird!" may have contributed to the rumor.
  • Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch is changed into a cat for one hundred years as punishment for trying to take over the world. This punishment is fairly standard among witches, as other characters suffer or nearly suffer similar fates. (In one episode, an old member of Salem's gang who's had his sentence commuted visits, and he's still just getting the hang of being human again.)
    • Harvey also found himself on the odds and ends of spells due to his romantic involvement with a witch. He's been turned into a frog, a beast, a dog, a bowling pin and much more, but thankfully since he's mortal he never remembers the magic he is under (that is, until Sabrina uses up her spell quota on him).
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "True Q", Q briefly turns Doctor Crusher into an Irish Setter dog.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager
    • Q turns his son into an amoeba for a short period to show him where he is going to end up if he keeps acting irresponsibly.
    • While in the Fair Haven holodeck program, Tom Paris plays a prank on Harry Kim by changing a pretty Irish lass he's about to kiss into a cow. Unfortunately two holodeck charcters witness this and become convinced that Tom and Harry must be The Fair Folk (not the friendly kind).
  • On Supernatural, the witch Rowena confronts Olivette, who had her kicked out of the Grand Coven. She's about to kill Olivette but decides that would be too merciful, so instead turns her into a mouse. After Sam barges into her presence, she threatens to turn him into a moose. "A real moose!" ("Moose" being the nickname given to Sam by her son Crowley.)
  • Raven and Chelsea of That's So Raven accidentally turn themselves into cows in the Halloween special.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Jess-Belle", the title character obtains a Love Potion from Granny Hart. As she does not have any money to pay for it, she has to pay a price of a different sort: she turns into a leopard every night at twelve o'clock.
    • There's also "It's a Good Life", where Anthony Fremont turns a man into a jack-in-the-box, before sending him to the cornfield.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Cat and Mouse", Guillaume de Marchaux was cursed by an angry husband to live forever in the form of a cat during the day, only being able to turn into a man again at night.

    Music Videos 
  • Radiohead's music video for "There There" ends with Thom Yorke becoming a tree, as his apparent punishment for stealing some enchanted clothing he found in the woods.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Nearly every mythological tradition has examples of the gods turning some unfortunate, or sometimes favored, human into an animal, demon, angel, plant, or mineral; either permanently or temporarily. Sometimes, even the gods themselves are affected, usually as a punishment inflicted by a more powerful or Trickster deity. This is particularly common in Greco-Roman mythology.
  • Older Than Feudalism from Classical Mythology: Circe in The Odyssey takes revenge on Odysseus's men by turning them all into pigs.
  • Occurred with considerable frequency in Celtic Mythology, to the point that it's actually difficult to find stories that don't feature at least one instance of it. The Children of Lir were turned into swans, a Welsh king got turned into a boar, Gwydion and Gilfaethwy were stuck spending three years as a breeding pair of animals that changed every year, Oisin's mother was changed into a doe, and so on.
  • The Ars Goetia has a particularly scary practitioner in Ose. A conjurer can have Ose transform someone into most anything else. The scariest part: the victim begins thinking that they've always been what they've just been turned into.
  • While the cause for the ability varies between versions, the story of King Midas has his touch act like this, turning anything touched into a gold statue. Very unfortunate when his daughter goes to hug him. Fortunately for him, not only is this power removed, but the victims are restored. In some versions, though, the power is never removed and he ends up starving to death because any food he touches turns into gold. At this point, "the Midas Touch" has become synonymous with "Be Careful What You Wish For."


    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Named after the 4th-level baleful polymorph spell, which turns involuntary targets into small, weak animals and can make them lose their minds. Turning them into something that would kill them (a non-lunged fish on land, or a non-flying animal in a situation where only a flying creature has a reasonable chance of survival) makes the spell easier to resist, as though the target instinctively knows what he's being turned into and that the situation is even worse. Though the duration is permanent, the subject gets a second save to retain their mental faculties and their special powers.
    • The Book of Vile Darkness has a magic item that gets around this, as it allows single aspects to be changed (also applying a rule that if a creature becomes unfeasible it instantly dies); thus, a lethal change can be made through several otherwise harmless additions, such as giving a flying creature several dozen additional wings.
    • There is also polymorph any object, which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin: you can turn pretty much anything into pretty much anything. Unlike the above it's usually temporary, though.
    • This can affect more than player characters. After an insurrection called the Reckoning that rocked the politics of the Nine Hells of Baator, Baalzebul, Lord of the Seventh, was transformed by Asmodeus from a humanoid with a fly's compound eyes into a enormous, disgusting, slug-like form that constantly generated filth and garbage, which quickly turned the layer of Maladomini from Hell's bureaucratic heart into a reeking ruin covered in sewage. As of current background material, this transformation was the retroactive effect of a curse Asmodeus placed on Baalzebul, which will change his form into a slug for a year if he lies to any devil. The Lord of the Flies has since worked off his old "debt," and is now scrupulously honest with his fellow Baatezu for fear of reverting to his hideous slug form.
  • Pathfinder, being based on D&D also has baleful polymorph (though it's harder to cast, requiring a higher level) and polymorph any object. Pathfinder also has mythic baleful polymorph, which lets the caster transform almost every creature within a 1-mile radius into harmless animals.
  • In the Ravenloft campaign, Yagno Petrovna, the Darklord of G'henna and High Priest of Zhakata has the ability to turn victims into mongrelmen, which he usually does to punish his subjects for heresy or blasphemy. This was one benefit he got from becoming a Darklord; it doesn't work on anyone who does not believe in Zhakata, so Player Characters are usually immune, seeing as nobody except Yagno's own subjects believe in him. (Zhakata isn't real, having been dreamed up in Yagno's insanity.)
  • Mage: The Awakening has several spells like this, including one that not only turns the target into an animal but forces them to claw the way out of the excess mass. Also one that targets your entire future lineage, making the polymorph hereditary.
  • Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000:
    • A particularly nightmarish variant of this is a staple of the daemons and sorcerers of Tzeentch. The demon gods grant gifts, usually in the form of mutations. Once you gain enough, there are two options. The first is a good one: badass daemon prince. The second is insanity, many eyes, and general fun and games. You live off grubs and act as cannon fodder. Fun. A common psychic power for Chaos Sorcerers in 40k, the ironically titled "Gift of Chaos", lets them immediately transform anyone, friend or foe, into a Chaos Spawn. Various editions of fantasy have also included various Chaos Magic spells that transform the victim into Chaos Spawn—some Tzeentchian spells instead allow the warlock to turn their victim into a Horror of Tzeentch.
    • Of course, the Orks aren't always that much better, given that their stronger Shamans or Weirdboyz have a nasty habit of turning people into Squigs (little bouncy things that are mostly Fungus and Teeth)
    • In the Warhammer expansion, Storm of Magic, miscasting while standing atop an Arcane Fulcrum can result in a multitude of destructive and/or amusing effects, one of which turns all wizards on the table into frogs. There's also a Bretonian Cataclysm spell that can do the same thing.
    • The Skaven have a spell known as "the Dreaded Thirteenth Spell", castable only by their strongest units (Grey Seers of 4th-level wizardry and Vermin Lords). If it hits, an entire unit of the enemy is turned into Skaven.
  • Exalted has Pattern Spider Touch, from the Charcoal March of Spiders Style. It allows a Sidereal to fundamentally alter their opponent in some interesting way. Typically, it's used to punch people in the face and turn them into ducks.
  • Witch Girls Adventures allows characters to do this with the Alteration-class spells of Animalize Human or Monsterize Human.
  • Super Dungeon Explore has an expansion set Von Drakk Manor including happy looking witches with the ability to turn heroes engaged in combat into Miserable Toads. Far from Miserable, they acquire several defensive abilities and a knack for stealing potions and healing from their foes. They are even reverted with a kiss from a friendly model.
  • The "Transformation" trick in Kitsune: Of Foxes and Fools, appears to show the Scumbag Lawyer turned into a toad.
  • This is a new spell available to spellbinders of the Svaldon disciplines in Kaisers Gate. Actually uses the same name, requires not only the casters Spellbinding skill roll, but it must beat the targets Spirit roll, and doesn't last too long. Cannot be used against those who teach it, and is also useful for turning polymorphed beings back to their original state, as well as returning those who have been turned to stone to their normal state (though they are not guaranteed to survive that.)

  • In John Milton's Comus, the Attendent Spirit speaks of how Circe did this, and Comus after her.
    (For most do taste through fond intemperate thirst),
    Soon as the potion works, their human count'nance,
    The express resemblance of the gods, is changed
    Into some brutish form of wolf or bear,
    Or ounce or tiger, hog, or bearded goat,
    All other parts remaining as they were.
    And they, so perfect is their misery,
    Not once perceive their foul disfigurement,
    But boast themselves more comely than before,
    And all their friends and native home forget,
    To roll with pleasure in a sensual sty.
  • In Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin, this is what actually happened to Elsa of Brabant's little brother, Duke-Child Gottfried, who was cursed by their Evil Aunt Ortrud. She and her husband Count Telramund framed poor Elsa and accused her of murdering him, which prompted the titular Lohengrin to step in her defense. It turns out that the swan that drove Lohengrin to the bank was the cursed Gottfried; Lohengrin prays to God and manages to undo the magic, then elects the newly-humanized boy as the official Duke before taking off.
  • Swan Lake (Also adapted as The Swan Princess) is about a princess who becomes a swan during the day due to the spell of a sorcerer.

    Theme Parks 

  • Mixels has "murps", a mix gone horribly wrong in some way. Murps still have abilities of the two Mixels that are part of it, but with the catch that the Murp has his own personality with neither of them controlling it and no control of his own powers. Most of the time, they just giggle and let their powers affect them. Some are worthless (like the Flain/Slumbo Murp, which is just a log that does nothing), while others can be very dangerous and only make things worse (like the Scorpi/Glurt one, which encases everything in slime and can cut down trees with its tail).

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Yeve the sorceress in Atland teleports her arch-enemy Mael, another sorceress, out into the middle of a desert... then turns her into a fish.
  • Several examples in Charby the Vampirate:
    • Mye is turned into an attractive statuesque winged demon woman with bunny ears and a tail due to a potions accident. After she reverses the effects she still ends up transforming into the form against her will any time she sneezes.
    • Kavonn turns Oleander Benson into a jackalope, while maintaining his sentience if not his voice, when the Bensons ambush and try to murder him.
    • When Oleander's sisters track down Kavonn to ask for their little brother back they attack Kavonn as soon as Oleander is returned to his normal form resulting in him turning Oleander and Hydrangea into jackalopes.
    • When LaBelle and Sadick capture Kavonn he curses LaBelle to shapeshift to become more monsterous or more beautiful in response to her actions. She eventually figures out how to weaponize this.
  • City of Reality features the villain Hinto Ama, who wreaked havoc in the World of Magic with her transformation powers. Years later, the Manumitor is a man who seeks to undo the harm she caused by reversing as many of the transformations as possible, but is apparently capable of the same magic. This is because he is in fact Hinto Ama in disguise, seeking to atone for her past misdeeds.
  • In Crimson Flag Julian Urocyon found a staff that could transform Reyn into ordinary (non-anthropomorphic) foxes (Who are still fully sapient, though unintelligible). He used it on the Red Queen and her bodyguard Bryce and planned to use it on the Red's entire military but was foiled by Lucian, though both of them were transformed in the process. A Grey who has been hit with the spell will be able to absorb and analyze the curse after a period, allowing them Voluntary Shapeshifting and the ability to cast it themselves. Reds and Arctics are screwed.
  • In Issue 4 of Deadendia, Pugsley accidentally turns Barney into a dog and Norma into a cat.
  • Drowtales features Ariel's father, who in the distant past was a dark elf (that is, a surface elf) who was transformed into a giant spider. Ariel's mother, Mel'anarch, has shapeshifting powers. The inevitable occurred. Later on, the bio-mages of the Jaal'darya are able to reverse his condition
  • In Erstwhile, three women are turned into flowers.
  • Princess Flibbage from Footloose has a notorious habit of transforming unimportant characters when she's annoyed.
  • Tony from A Very Dangerous Thing is turned into a Rotom in his debut.
  • In Goblins, a major battle had several polymorph effects occurring due to the Shield of Wonders. One guard is polymorphed into an ogre, and another becomes a soulspike destroyer. A few issues later, another guard is transformed over the course of several panels into dozens of snakes, which promptly go slithering off in different directions.
  • Angel's stock in trade in The Good Witch, which she cheerfully applies to thugs, bullies...and random innocent bystanders.
  • El Goonish Shive:
  • In Housepets!, King was involuntarily changed from a human named Joel to a Welsh Corgi, by a jerkass gryphon using Joel/King for the gryphon's own purposes. Several other human characters have also been transformed into animals (a camel, a raccoon, a squirrel, and a bobcat) by cursed treasure.
  • Several characters in The KAMics have been unwittingly changed into various things. It usually happens to Gertrude & Brunhilda.
  • New World is largely based on this trope, as both Nicolo and Amanda love turning people into frogs, furries, or anything else comes to mind, usually throw genderbending into the mix as well.
  • In No Rest for the Wicked, Prince Orson the talking bear. Perrault claims it, too.
  • Oglaf:
    • One princess finds a frog in the forest with a sign saying "Kiss Me". She does so, and the frog turns into a bear that immediately mauls her. The whole thing is apparently a practical joke. But she gets the last laugh by bringing a frog, kisses it, and throws it to the pranksters where it immediately turns back into a crocodile mid-air.
    • Subverted in "Husbandry". A local farmer had been telling the rest of the town that a wicked sorcerer turned his wife into a goat, so when one day a disenchanter shows up who can lift the curse, he is forced to admit that he lied and is really just a goat-fucker.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Vaarsuvius gets temporarily turned into a lizard by a greenhag. However, they can still cast a few spells as a lizard, and every one of them turns out to be useful. Except Hold Portal. They lampshade the trope.
      Vaarsuvius: Well, either I spontaneously decided to get in touch with my reptilian side, or I was just the target of a Baleful Polymorph.
    • Later, Miron Shewdanker uses it to turn Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator, Belkar's Allosaurus, into a small lizard.
  • In Princess Chroma, the Mentor Mascot started out as a handsome Winged Humanoid with a variety of magical powers and immortality. Now he's a lop-eared bunny at the mercy — or lack thereof — of an ill-tempered middle-school girl.
  • In Roza, the title character uses her powers to shrink the Chimaera, a huge goat-like monster, into a regular goat. The goat follows the characters around afterwards.
  • In Slightly Damned, Kieri is cursed with a Baleful Polymorph (snow bunny) by water guardian Toski. She can control it a little, but sometimes involuntarily shifts to being a snow bunny or back to being an angel when she sneezes.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, Torg gave Zoe a necklace one Christmas, having found it inside of an Egyptian pyramid. It turns out to be cursed, and transforms her into a camel. Her friends eventually learn the necklace's history and change her back, but the necklace ends up binding to her in the form of a tattoo, and a pair of magic words spoken by anyone can turn her into a camel ("shupid") or human ("kwi").
  • Trace Legacy in TwoKinds disposes of his predecessor High Templar by transforming her into a wolf Keidran (anthropomorphic wolf) and having her guards drag her off to a slave market. Incidentally getting polymorphed in the Two Kinds setting is extremely painful. He also gives his ex-girlfriend's annoying little sister thin fur and a set of cat's ears although it's not clear how "baleful" this was as she quite likes the look.
  • In Exiern a rogue spellsinger transforms a seamstress into something like her wooden mannequin.
  • In Dan Standing's Held Within college student Susie accidentally turns her girlfriend into a genie. When she finds out she has infinite wishes she goes on a spree of transformation revenge, transforming other students into alligator, tree, statue, doll, and other forms..
  • In Scaled Up, a woman in World War II is turned into a cat by the Pilot's bounty hunter.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, the barrier around Betel's Forest, among other things, turns people into a beast form as they pass through it. Anyone who can normally shapeshift is also afflicted with Shapeshifter Mode Lock.
  • The Witch and The Bull: This is the basis for most of the quest of the comic as Tan, a rather jerkish royal advisor of the human kingdom, finds himself cursed and turned into a bull without warning. It's only by fortunre that he runs into a witch named Aro who can hear him and agrees to help him out.

    Web Original 
  • This is the backstory for animation blogger, Neil Sharpton's persona the Unshaved Mouse, who used to be human, but as a child was turned into an animated mouse by the immortal warlock, Walt Disney (just go with it) for the crime of... not thinking Disney's Beauty and the Beast was as great as everyone else. Though unlike most examples, Mouse has largely accepted this and moved on. (Being happily married to Mrs. Mouse probably helps.)
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-731 ("Rathole Cover") is a manhole cover which causes anyone who steps on it while not being observed to fall through it and turn into a sewer rat.
    • SCP-748 ("Industrial Dissolution"). One of the products created by SCP-748 is cigarettes. When they're lit, anyone inhaling their vapor is turned into a basking shark over a period of 30 minutes.
    • SCP-1537 ("Akul'hil"). Anyone hearing a specific phrase in the SCP-1537 language Akul'hil is 99% likely to die and be transformed into SCP-1537-A (a Shapeshifting Blob Monster) after a two week period.
    • SCP-2950 ("Just A Chair"). It's just a chair. Nothing world-ending about it at all. Trust us. It is actually an anomaly that takes the form of whatever the majority of people think it is. A book describing it as an extremely dangerous monster used to mean that it was a monster, but after figuring out the true nature of the object, the Foundation wrote a fake document claiming it was an extremely comfortable metal chair and spread information of it among their members in order to turn the monster into said chair.
  • Thanks to DovSherman at DeviantArt, Mary Sue-ification now works like this too.
  • In the Castle of the Night has this Played for Drama. All of Von Krolock's victims have their souls implanted in Pricolici wolves, which are ravenous beasts that kill innocents who try to leave his castle's premises.
  • In Thalia's Musings, Hera is very fond of visiting this fate on Zeus's paramours. Io in particular was turned into a cow and then given to Thalia as a pet.
  • In Moonflowers, Ned Song is turned into a white wolf by the Hunter, The Fair Folk leader of The Wild Hunt, then gets unwittingly adopted by his own daughter Alima. The curse means he can't communicate with anyone living or the Irish gods trying to help him out, and it also makes humans mistake him for a wolf-dog instead of a full-blooded wolf. Ned can't do much as Alima's pet, but by the twentieth chapter he makes a Blood Oath with a spirit to kill the Hunter.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Van Beuren Studios Rainbow Parade short "Spinning Mice", the evil little devils that the Wizard unwittingly created turn the wizard into a giant rabbit by spilling his own potion on him.
  • The fate of many an individual unlucky enough to cross paths with the Magic Man of Adventure Time. The magic man does it solely because he's a jerk and admits as much.
  • The premise of Atomic Puppet is based on the superhero Captain Atomic being transformed into a sock puppet by his former sidekick. He can still walk and talk, but can only use his powers when Joey puts him on his hand.
  • Falina in The Amazing Feats of Young Hercules used to be a human princess, but when she claimed that Aphrodite was prettier than Hera, she was turned into a sable. She is returned to human form at the end of the movie.
  • In the 2006 revival of Biker Mice from Mars, the three-part episode "Once Upon a Time on Earth", ended with Lawrence Limburger and Napoleon Brie being turned into fish, Dr. Karbunkle being turned into a turtle, Cataclysm turned into a non-sapient mouse, the alien convicts Ronaldo Rump planned to disguise as world leaders transformed into puppies, and most of the Catatonian soldiers turned into harmless kittens.
  • In the classic Disney short Magician Mickey, Mickey Mouse holds up a magic hoop that Donald Duck inadvertently jumps through several times, turning him into a different animal every time he goes through, including a kangaroo (with boxing gloves, yet), a walrus and a monkey.
  • Bill Burnett revealed in an interview that, had ChalkZone been able to continue, Rudy would have encountered a human villain who was a victim of this. He stayed in ChalkZone for too long and became a zoner, and lost his ability to use the magic chalk.
  • Dexter's Laboratory has a direct American Werewolf parody called "The Laughing" (a reference to the werewolf movie The Howling) where Dexter becomes a "were-clown" after being bitten by a pair of dentures belonging to a clown performing at Deedee's birthday.
  • A Time Travel episode of DuckTales (1987) included a meeting with Circe, who, of course, turned Scrooge into a pig. A Carl Barks comic also had Magica use Circe's wand to turn Scrooge's nephews into animals to blackmail him for his #1 Dime.
  • Occurs a number of times in The Emperor's New School. Probably not surprising, given the movie that it's based on.
  • One of The Fairly OddParents pilot shorts had Cosmo and Wanda catching the Fairy Flu, causing their sneezes to turn people into various things, ultimately turning Vicky into a dragon. Most of their victims don't even notice.
  • Parodied in an episode of Futurama titled "The Honking", which has Bender turning into a psycho werecar in one scene. But after a while he kind of gets used to it and it begins to actually feel quite nice.
  • Gargoyles, "Metamorphosis". Elisa's younger brother gets transformed into a gargoyle-ish monster, and the only scientist who understood the process is killed. The episode ends with our cool veteran cop, Elisa, crying uncontrollably at the fate of her brother.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "The Inconveniencing", two ghosts turn a teenager named Nate into a hot dog. In a later episode, a different ghost turns the guests at the Northwest's Party (including Dipper) into wooden statues with branches and leaves, then attempts to burn the place down with the wooden people inside.
  • The obligatory appearance by Circe in Disney's Hercules: The Animated Series featured the personality polymorph, complete with Icarus, the resident weirdo, becoming a platypus. Alectryon, the soldier who fell asleep on guard duty and was punished by being transformed into a rooster, also appears in one episode.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
    • The Monkey Talisman has the power to turn anything into any animal (and only animals; Jade found that part out the hard way when she tried to change a log into a death ray and got a manta ray instead).
    • There is also the Monkey King, an ancient mystical creature trapped as a puppet who turns people into puppets whenever someone pulls his leg. His first appearance features Jackie falling for it though Jade hits him with the Rat Talisman, letting him go around and eventually change himself back, while the second episode has a hapless construction worker fall victim to his curse.
    • During the season 1 finale fight against Shendu, Jackie steals the power of the Monkey Talisman and turns Shendu into a rabbit. Unfortunately Shendu still has enough remaining powers to be a Killer Rabbit, and promptly beat up Jackie and changes himself back into his demon dragon form.
    • The later episode "Mirror Mirror" has Jackie, Jade, Uncle, and Tohru cursed by four mirror spirits. While Uncle merely loses his voice, Jackie's head enlarges until he can barely hold it up, Tohru literally becomes his mother (including all her most unpleasant personality traits), and, playing the trope the straightest, Jade is simply turned into a donkey.
  • Happens to Wonder Woman in the Justice League Unlimited episode "This Little Piggy". She still has her bracers, at least. They then made a toy of Batman walking a pig. Why, nobody will ever know.
  • Kim Possible was cursed with transforming into a monkey, but she got better (at the very last second). Funnier in that the villain, Monkey Fist, intended the curse for himself.
  • A few times in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In a flashback, young Twilight's Power Incontinence turns her parents into potted plants.
    • In "Too Many Pinkie Pies", people keep interrupting her as she's practicing her Apples to Oranges spell, resulting in unfortunate orange/animal hybrids of a bird and a frog when her aim is thrown off.
    • In "Inspiration Manifestation", a party clown gets turned into a waiter and a mariachi pony gets turned into Octavia!
    • In "Dungeons and Discords", Discord attempts to cast "Transform into Root Vegetable" to turn a guard into a parsnip while playing Ogres & Oubliettes. He fails, and the spell instead his claw into parsnips — although we don't see this (until the end), since it only happens in Spike's narration.
  • In the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) episode "The Shaping Staff", the titular magical item was used for just this — King Randor was turned into a goat, Orko into a cricket, Teela a frog, He-Man a gold statue, and the Sorceress a tree. At the end, Evil-Lyn accidentally turns herself into a winged snake when she tries to use the broken staff.
  • Over the Garden Wall:
  • The Powerpuff Girls: In "Monkey See, Doggy Do", Mojo turns the the Powerpuff Girls into dogs, and their superpowers don't carry over. They manage to beat him anyway because they still have sharp teeth and human intelligence. In the Sequel Episode, Mojo refuses to change them again, believing it will keep them from beating him—which is even dumber, because then they're still superheroes who can beat him up directly.
  • In the Rupert episode "Rupert and the Twilight Fan", the Conjuror's rival is punished for using a sleeping spell on Tiger Lily by being turned into a crow.
  • This is Krudsky's major form of attack once he gains magical powers in Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King. He turns Gribbles into a rabbit, Velma into a werewolf, Fred into a vampire, Daphne into a witch and the Goblin King into a goose. Additionally, Shaggy and Scooby are turned into a snail and a mouse by the witches in the Dead Bogs.
  • In another Scooby-Doo film, Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf, Shaggy spends the majority of the movie as the werewolf in question.
  • Samurai Jack: The "Chicken Jack" episode. The title pretty much sums it up. It is worth noticing though that Jack isn't exactly helpless as a chicken...
  • In a The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show short, a magician seeks to turn Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy into monkeys for the sake of practicing his Black Magic. However, his spell backfires at the end at the end he is the baleful polymorph.
  • The Smurfs:
    • Besides a few times when humans have been turned into frogs, episode "The Noble Stag" has one instance where their friend King Gerard has been turned into a black stag by his cousin Malcolm the Mean, who desired to take over the throne.
    • And once Peewit was transformed into a talking dog. Also turned the son of a visiting king into a chicken, the plot of the episode finding and turning him back before his dad - who was there very reluctantly to discuss a treaty - found out.
    • In the episode "Bewitched, Bothered, and Besmurfed", Greedy Smurf transforms into a living fiddle after Smurfette, who is wearing a magic necklace, wishes that a sick Greedy Smurf would be "fit as a fiddle". Even after turning into a fiddle, Greedy is seen to be able to move on his own and talk.
    • "All Work and No Smurf" is another notable episode involving transformations. In the episode, several smurfs contract an illness that causes them to transform into living versions of the tools they use in their work. Although they are able to speak and move on their own, their mental faculties have been altered so they can only think of doing the function of the tool they have become (Painter Smurf becomes a paintbrush and only wants to paint things, Tailor Smurf turns into a pair of scissors and only thinks of cutting things, etc.) Because the transformed smurfs have no interest in turning back into smurfs, Brainy Smurf must find a cure for the illness.
    • "Sassette's Bewitching Friendship" sees a young witch transform Smurfette into a mermaid (for a good reason — she was trying to save Smurfette from drowning). Smurfette is grateful, until the witch reveals that she hasn't actually yet learned how to undo transformations...
    • "Brainy's Beastly Booboo" involved a mishap with an African storyteller's magical powder, which changes two village girls and several Smurfs into various animals with their normal heads. The younger girl (now a giraffe) and Baby Smurf (now a tiny cheetah) promptly run off and get lost.
  • In the famous South Park episode "Fun Times with Weapons", Cartman (playing Balrog) gives himself too many powers, causing Kyle to take all his powers away until he can learn to play nice. When the gang meets up with Professor Chaos, he traps all of them except Balrog!Cartman. Kyle is then forced to give Balrog!Cartman his powers back. Cartman then immediately turns Kyle into a chicken for no reason.
    • In "Damien", the title character turns Kenny into a platypus after the latter called Damien's mother a bitch.
    • In the Phone Destroyer video game, the Cock Magic spell turns random units into chickens, while the Transmogrify card turns an enemy into a rat.
  • In Super 4, fairy Twinkle's backstory is that she accidentally turned the Queen Fairy into a frog, and thus got exiled from fairy lands because of this. Note the Queen can still talk and govern under this form, but she naturally holds a grudge. Only Twinkle can revert the spell, but her attempts always end up thwarted. As she points out once, there are often risks of "frogization" when she tries any polymorph spell.
  • One episode of Teen Titans has the team transformed into various animals: Cyborg as a bear, Starfire as a tiger,Robin as a monkey, Raven as a rabbit and... Beast Boy as a lamp? (This is after an extended sequence of the villain transforming Beast Boy into various creatures, only for him to turn back, mocking said villain in the process until he finds a loophole. Even then, Beast Boy could still shapeshift, but only into various types of objects.) Starfire being turned into a tiger may have been a Mythology Gag — in an issue of the comics the team was "de-evolved", and Starfire became a cat-like creature.
  • In Testament: The Bible in Animation the king of Babylon is turned into a beast by God and sent to live in the fields. He gets turned back later but his son keeps his crown.
  • The Tick: In one episode, The Tick gets turned into a two-headed bluebird who can only speak in High School French and lays chocolate eggs. Let us say that again. The Tick gets turned into a two-headed bluebird who can only speak in High School French and lays chocolate eggs. The Mad Scientist kid responsible for this has used his transforming machine for other purposes, like turning his entire PE class and coach into an ant colony (still doing the same climbing and running drills within their little ant farm, of course). When Arthur attempts to use the machine to turn the Tick back into his normal form, he struggles with the dizzying array of controls, turning the Tick into a blue dog, a blue sock, a blue houseplant, etc. before he finally notices the giant red button labeled "NORMAL" slightly to his right. Partially subverted when The Tick rhapsodizes about how one can lay an egg and still feel like a man and protects his egg. Later turned in to squick when the egg is broken and he eats the chocolate.
  • Winx Club:
    • This becomes a story point in the first season of , where Mirta is turned into a pumpkin halfway through by Icy for both foiling her plan to break Bloom's mind and making an illusion so terrifying that it scares Darcy and Stormy and keeps them from killing the other Winx. The rest of the season contains several references to Flora trying to figure out how to change Mirta back; she manages to do so in the second-to-last episode, though she plays it up as being very difficult to do.
    • In the third season, Miss Faragonda is turned into a tree, but she gets better.
  • In the rebooted series of YooHoo & Friends it is the central theme with polluting corporate executives being turned into cute, cuddly animals by Father Time and sent on missions to fix up the environmental damage they have caused.
  • Used as the central plotline of the Dungeons & Dragons episode "Prison Without Walls": after a long trudge through the swamp looking for the gnome wizard Lukion, they ultimately learn that Venger decided to humiliate the gnome by transforming him into a Shambling Mound note  instead of simply putting him in a normal prison. In a weird zigzagging of this trope, though, Lukion the Shambling Mound is actually much stronger and tougher than in his original form — however, his inability to speak or make magic gestures prevents him from using his magic, so it's still a form of Blessed With Suck.
  • Wakfu:
    • In season 1 episode 4, the four Ugly Princesses are victims of this, thanks to a curse from the god Osamodas. Also applies to the princes turned into frogs.
    • Grany Smisse was permanently changed into a bow-meow (think housecat) sometime in the backstory of season 2. He still retains the power of speech, though.
    • In season 2 episode 5, Amalia, Evangelyne and Yugo are all changed into cute piglets by a magic trap, leaving Sadlygrove to save the day.
    • In season 2 episode 16, all the inhabitants of a village were turned into Ridiculously Cute Critters by a cursed spring.
    • In season 2 episode 21, Yugo, Ruel and Sadlygrove are turned into simians by the Bellaphones.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Involuntary Transformation, Chickenification


Greedy execs turn cute

Father Time turns five greedy executives into cute, cuddly animals so they can fix the mess they've made.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / BalefulPolymorph

Media sources:

Main / BalefulPolymorph