Follow TV Tropes

Following

Changing Yourself For Love

Go To

A character changes an integral part of their appearance or personality in the hopes of getting their crush to like them. This often ends in a Be Yourself Aesop where the character learns that they don't need to change who they are for someone else and it turns out that their love interest liked them the way they are. In other works, the character does end up catching the attention of their love interest only for them to quickly realize how shallow their love interest is.

Advertisement:

Sometimes, the change in image is portrayed as positive and sticks as Character Development.

Super-Trope to Be a Whore to Get Your Man, where a character changes their image to be more sexual to attract their love interest.

See also Converting for Love, where a character changes their religious beliefs for love and Love Redeems when a villain switches sides after falling in love with a good person.

Compare Shapeshifters Do It for a Change and Shapeshifting Seducer when they literally change themselves for love (or lust and seduction, at any rate).

Related to Positive Friend Influence and Peer Pressure Makes You Evil as well. May involve She Cleans Up Nicely and/or Unnecessary Makeover. Contrast I Can Change My Beloved when a character believes they can change their Love Interest.


Advertisement:

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Bell Cranel starts out as a Harem Seeker in search of the Rescue Romance his grandpa always told him about. After he's rescued from certain death by the devastatingly beautiful and incredibly powerful adventurer Ais Wallenstein, Bell is instantly smitten with her and vows to become strong enough to stand beside her one day. His desire to catch up to her is so strong that he gets a unique Meta Power Up that rapidly increases the rate at which his stats grow and lets him break the usual stat caps so long as his feelings for her persist. Because of this, he completely drops his Harem Seeker ways and dreams of becoming a hero to earn her affection.
  • Shirogane from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War reinvented himself as a confident academic in order to attract Kaguya after his stint as a Dogged Nice Guy proved unsuccessful. While this did help him catch her attention (to the point that she doesn't even remember that she met him before the change), she ultimately fell in love with the kind person underneath his mask. Kaguya also displayed shades of this, though her change was a case of Love Redeems. This also leads to a bit of drama during the Culture Festival arc, since both of them feared that the other only loved the persona that they had created.
  • Downplayed in Mission: Yozakura Family. Taiyo and Mutsumi are married in the first chapter in order to get Kyoichiro off their backs. But Taiyo soon realizes the magnitude of the danger Mutsumi is constantly in and decides to become a superspy strong enough to protect her and be worthy of being her husband against the expectations of others.
  • Naruto: Prior to getting her Important Haircut, Sakura grew out her hair because she heard a rumor that Sasuke liked girls with long hair.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: After passing good part of the episodes with the Does Not Like Men attitude, Stocking finally dropped all of that when she felt in love with an ugly devil that was also The Pig-Pen and had little to no interest on her. Stocking not just abandoned her cold attitude, she went like a highschooler in love, and in a date, even she went enterely of pink instead of black (but still in gothic lolita fashion), trying to impress him.
  • Ranma ½: Akari Unryu, in her debut story, does everything she can to force herself to hate pigs (refusing to even say the word "pig") after a standard-issue comical misunderstanding causes her to think Ryoga is ashamed of his pig curse. It doesn't really work, but the effort alone probably makes her the single most considerate human being in the Dysfunction Junction that is Nerima.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: Betty grows her hair out her short hair into her iconic ponytail in order to get Archie's attention after she saw him with a girl with a ponytail.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Shrek 2, after arriving to Far Far Away's kingdom where Fiona's parents live, she and Shrek argued about being more flexible with her parents, where Fiona ends with "I've made changes for you, Shrek. Think about it." Later, Shrek with Donkey and Puss in Boots sneaked into Fairy Godmother's factory and got the "Happily Ever After" potion since he thought he would be better to her if he got a human as husband than an ogre, eventually becoming in one (of a Hunk type, noneless).
Advertisement:

    Films — Live-Action 
  • American Beauty: Lester falls for his daughter's schoolmate and, after overhearing her say that she would find him attractive if he just were more buff, starts working out regularly until he's in top shape to impress her.
  • Grease: In addition to Sandy becoming "bad" to impress Danny, Danny himself tried to win her over by getting involved in sports after she expressed interest in a jock, despite that he and the other T-Birds were making fun of the jocks earlier in the film.

    Literature 
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: Albert, the father of Carmen, who divorced her mother Christina and then remarried with Lydia, was a lot more religiously praticant than with his former wife, being observed praying by Carmen.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Farscape, Sikozu's black-leather-and-tattoos makeover in the Wrap It Up "The Peacekeeper Wars" is blatantly designed to appeal to her boyfriend Scorpius's fetishes.
  • In an episode of Happy Days, Richie tries acting like a greaser to impress his crush. When it doesn't work, he says to Ralph, "It worked for the Fonz!". Ralph replies, "Everything works for the Fonz!".
  • Hannah Montana: In one episode, Miley decides to try and turn her tomboyish best-friend Lily into a Girly Girl to help Lily win over her crush (and because Lily's antics were annoying her), especially after seeing the Alpha Bitch duo flirting with him. However, this only makes the boy less interested in her, to the point where he stands her up at the dance; it turns out, he liked her because she was a cool skater-chick.
  • iCarly: In "iMake Sam Girlier", Sam requests Carly and Freddie to help her become more of a Girly Girl to impress a boy she likes. It works until the new school bully starts harassing Carly and Freddie and she reverts back to her old self to save them. It turns out Sam's crush actually likes her for being who she already is instead of who she tried to be.
  • Played for Laughs in an episode of My Family; in one episode, the Harpers host an attractive female exchange student from France, and Nick tries to woo her by acting extremely French (wearing a beret and black turtleneck); when that fails, he then acts extremely British (wearing a red smoking jacket and ascot and smoking a pipe).
  • An episode of Saved by the Bell has Lisa pretend she was an intellectual to impress a boy she liked because he scoffed at her real personality.
  • In the TV series of Train Man (2004), Yamada gets a makeover before going on a first date with Saori, as he's an Otaku but doesn't want her to know that he's one (Saori wasn't wearing her contact lenses when he defended her, so she didn't know what he looked like). Later on, it turns out that she's fine with his Otaku nature, and she has a good time in Akihabara when Yamada takes her there.
  • Victorious: In one episode, Cat meets a boy while she was wearing a blonde wig for a short film she was shooting. She lets him think she's a natural blonde as she worries that's the only reason he asked her out. However, eventually her wig is knocked off and the boy sees her actual hair. He admits he thinks she's beautiful, but doesn't like that she lied to him and breaks it off with her.
  • One two-parter from Salute Your Shorts sees Budnick fall in love with Dina and force himself to become the classy, nice guy that he assumes she wants. This ends up backfiring, as well she is initially flattered by his attempts to change, she finds the "respectable" and "composed" Budnick boring, and tries to get him to dump her and go back to normal.
  • Suburgatory: In one episode, Lisa develops a crush on a new boy at school. However, Tessa believes he's gay after she keeps catching him staring at the jocks. Lisa isn't phased, and aggressively pursues him. She even starts dressing up as a boy in order to get his attention. In the end, it's revealed he was actually an undercover narcotics officer who was posing as a teenager to catch a jock who was using steroids. He also had a wife.

    Music 
  • The Big Time Rush song "Any Kind Of Guy" is about the guys announcing their intent to become any kind of guy the girl might want:
    Changing my point of view
    Everyday something new
    Anything to get next to you (gonna get to you)
  • Bowling for Soup: "Girl All The Bad Guys Want" is about the singer crushing on a "chick a little cooler" than him. Because she's into things like wrestling, mustaches, and rap metal, he admits in one verse that now he's watching wrestling, listening to rap metal, and struggling to grow a mustache.
  • Deliberately averted in the song "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel
    Don't go changing to try and please me.
    You never let me down before.
  • The 60's standard "Wishin' and Hopin'", first recorded by Dusty Springfield, exhorts the listener to stop moping around and start changing yourself to get your man:
    "Do the things he likes to do/Wear your hair just for him"
  • In "Pristine" by Snail Mail, told from the perspective of an insecure lover, asks their crush who they change for (a.k.a. who they really like), and then offers to make herself into her lover's type of girl:
    Out out of everyone, who's your type of girl?"
    [...]"I can be anyone."
  • In "The Beers" by The Front Bottoms, the narrator is taking steroids because his girlfriend likes a man with muscles.

    Theatre 
  • In The Addams Family, Wednesday Addams changes from a sombre, unorthodox young woman who wears black to a cheerful, generic young woman who wears yellow for her love interest, a guy who is basically just the definition of generic.
  • Much Ado About Nothing: The first sign that Benedick had fallen in love with Beatrice is when he shaved his beard. Earlier in the play Beatrice had mentioned how she could not stand the thought of kissing a man with a beard.

    Video Games 
  • Fable I: Parodied in a Sidequest where a man promises to introduce the Hero to his daughter if he gets "her favourite" haircut — a Gag Haircut that takes three trips to the barber. He then admits that it was a joke to make the Hero look silly and that he doesn't have a daughter.
  • Yandere Simulator:
    • One way of eliminating your rival peacefully is Matchmaking, which involves finding out what her type of boy is, find the boy who has a crush on her, and convince him to change his appearance to the one the rival finds attractive. If the rival finds an intelligent boy attractive, Yandere-chan will help the suitor study and then impress the rival with his wisdom.
    • Gema Taku's task for the player is to ask the bully girls (Musume and her Girl Posse) he has a crush on what they think about him. Yandere-chan will tell him what physical traits they don't like at him, so the next day, he will change his appearance (change his messy hairstyle with a neat ponytail, shave clean, improve his posture, remove his bandana, and replace his opaque glasses with transparent ones) and the bullies will all fall in love with him.

    Web Original 
  • ACTUALLY HAPPENED: In "I Lost All My Hair Because My Boyfriend Made Me Become Blonde", Kimberly dyes her brunette hair blonde because she heard that her crush liked blondes.
  • Dad: In Daughter's attempts to attract her crush, the Big Man on Campus Griffin, she decided to cut her hair, rationalizing that she liked short hair too, in a way that made it pretty apparent this isn't something she'd have done naturally.
  • The Nostalgia Critic: In the Princess Diaries 2 review, Hyper Fangirl kidnaps the Critic and bribes him to stick around by showing her all the nerdy, masculine media she supposedly likes. However, near the end of the review when he's supposedly given in to her, he learns she has the Transformers movies. When she has a breakdown asking him to tell her which movies to like, he realizes she was just pretending to like most of these things to manipulate him to fall in love with her.

    Western Animation 
  • 6Teen: In "Lights Out", Starr, Jude's love interest, decides to go goth in pursuit of other interests. Jude tries to follow suit as well but both know that's not who he is and mutually break up over it. Which wouldn't be the first time and won't be the last.
  • The Loud House:
    • In "Back in Black", Lucy dyes her hair blonde and wears a pink outfit instead of her usual black and white one, and starts talking like a Valley Girl and avoiding mentioning her morbid interests, to impress her crush Rocky. It turns out Rocky has similar interests to her.
    • In "White Hare", Lincoln dresses as a greaser to impress the new girl Stella. In "Be Stella My Heart", he slicks back his hair, Clyde takes off his glasses, and Rusty puts on a suit, again to impress Stella. Eventually, Stella becomes their platonic friend.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Zig-zagged in the episode "Simple Ways", Rarity isn't so much trying to change herself and imitating (what she thinks of) Applejack out of love to get Trenderhoof's attention so much as trying to impress him and getting jealous when he keeps focusing on Applejack whom he becomes smitten with. Played straight with Trenderhoof however near the end when he nearly decides to leave his job and city life to be a "country bumpkin" (even dressing in overalls) just out of his crush for AJ though she manages to talk him out of it.
  • My Little Pony Tales: In "Roll Around the Clock", Bright Eyes and Lancer are encouraged by their friends to change their looks and personalities to attract each other. Unfortunately, they liked each other the way they already were, and both end up being repulsed by the other's "new".
  • The Peg + Cat episode "The Roxanne Problem" does this with an Implied Love Interest. Cat meets another cat, Roxanne, and it's implied that he has a crush on her. In order to impress her, he pretends that he's Good with Numbers and has Peg lip-synch for him. when he reveals that he doesn't know squat about mathematics, she says that it's fine as he can always learn.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report