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Depending on the Artist

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From top left: Ken, Ken, Ken, Ken, Ken, Ken, Ken, Ken and Ken.note 

As is obvious, different artists interpret the character differently. Some artists see Marisa as having small breasts, and others see her with even smaller breasts.

Every artist has their own take on the characters they draw. Sometimes that take is jarringly different from previous depictions.

That's when this trope comes in: it's what happens when an incoming artist willfully changes a character's basic appearance, giving the character a significantly different height or build, less (or more) prominent deformities, a different apparent age, a radical, unmotivated costume or hairstyle change, or even a Race Lift without in-story justification.

This is common in comics, where it often involves incidental parts of a character's outfit being either exaggerated or downplayed. For example, this is how the Superman symbol evolved to the familiar diamond-shape from the more triangular one of his first appearance.

Note that this trope is only about deliberate, unexplained changes; it does not apply to changes caused by story events, nor to very slight variations caused by differences in art style (such as between multiple storyboarders). (The acid test might be this: If the character were a real person of whom many color photographs existed, would all the drawn portrayals still make sense?) Nor is it the same thing as characters unintentionally going off the style guide or model sheets due to rushed or incompetent artistry.

Many cases of Progressively Prettier and more than a few aversions/examples of the Most Common Superpower depend on the artist.

Compare Off-Model, Historical Beauty Update, Adaptation Dye-Job, Depending on the Writer, and Inconsistent Coloring.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Beastars: Due to the limitations of CGI animation, the anime adaptation is an imperfect replication of the manga's artstyle. Generally speaking, the more complicated a character's design is, the more noticeable the changes brought by the jump to 3-D will be. Characters who had pretty simple designs to begin with, like Jack and Haru, look pretty much identical to their manga counterparts. But characters with extremely complicated designs, like Pina and Louis, are borderline unrecognizable.
  • In Death Note, minor character Matt didn't have a canonical hair colour, though the guide book listed it as brown. The anime coloured it a sort of brown-green colour, while in Fan Art the general consensus is that it's red. In the DS game his hair was blue.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba:
    • Zenitsu’s nichirin blade is unique in that it doesn’t have a distinct color. His blade has an yellow lightning strike pattern across the blade; while in the manga the lightning sparks are more detailed and more visually impressive, the anime simplified the lightning pattern to look less complicated, likely to ease the burden on the animation.
    • Inosuke’s swords are extremely worn out blades which are so chipped that they look like saws. Inosuke has centered his whole fighting style around using these blades, to the point where when he gets brand new blades, Inosuke just intentionally chips the new blades to reach the same dented level his previous ones had. In the manga the chipping on the blades are uneven and twisted, but the anime made it more uniform, looking even more like they are intentional saws instead of worn out blades.
    • The Art Shift used for comedic moments also varies. In the manga it is very notable and quite extreme how simplified the art becomes during more light-hearted moments. The anime does reference said art shift but it isn’t quite as extreme as it is in the manga, a semblance of the characters’ proper regular designs is still maintained in the anime.
  • This happens in Digimon all the time, across the various different media. The official Bandai artwork may obscure or omit certain details of each monster's body, which then have to be guessed at by later artists drawing the character.
  • Dororo: The details of Hyakkimaru's appearance tend to vary significantly between adaptations (or cameos in other Tezuka productions), ranging from a rugged, muscular man whose prosthetics are undiscernible until removed in the 1969 anime to a slight, eerie boy who looks more like a doll than a real person in the 2019 anime.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The series has the quite famous reputation for this trope, as there have been eleven different animation studios (Studio Junio, Seigasha, Studio Cockpit, K-Production etc) as well many different artists and directors having worked on the anime across the decades. This results in a lot of Animation Bump or the reverse, e.g when Trunks cuts Freiza in "Another Super Saiyan?" the smooth animation notably becomes rougher and less detailed in "Welcome Back Goku" due to changing studios and animators.
      • One particular animator, Tomekichi Takeuchi, drew the characters—especially Vegeta—with big foreheads and pointy chins.
      • Yukio Ebisawa was known for giving them pointed cheeks and chins like an upside down triangle, hence his nickname "Triangle Guy".
    • Yamauchi Shigeyasu is responsible for the Art Evolution in the Buu Saga and later movies, making the characters look smoother and adding more shading to skin tones. Shigeyasu's work is regarded as some of the most visually appealing artwork in the franchise.
    • In Dragon Ball Super the main animation is done by Toei Animation, but during important moments in the fight scenes, the likes of Naotoshi Shida and Yuya Takahashi are brought in. As such the quality of the animation and characters is improved compared to the usual animation. This is most noticeable during Goku's Ultra Instinct transformation in the Tournament of Power.
    • Dragon Ball Super: Broly had seven different animators (Yuya Takashi, Naotoshi Shida, Naoki Tate, Ryo Onishi, Chikaishi Kubuto, Yoshiko Umakoshi and Yuki Hayashi) all working on the same movie and its fight scenes. Although thanks to good editing, pacing and directing from Tatsuya Nagamine it's barely noticeable and contributes to the overall quality of the film.
    • Vegeta's design as a child is not consistent as shown here. In Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku and Dragon Ball Super, the animators follow Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru design with Vegeta having bangs over his forehead, while Akira Toriyama's design in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Dragon Ball Minus and Dragon Ball Super: Broly have him with his iconic widow's peak even as a child which is more internally consistent with the lore of Saiyans hair never changing from the moment they are born note .
  • The Lupin III franchise has been through multiple incarnations, and every incarnation alters the character designs, sometimes a lot. Fujiko Minè in particular is heavily affected by this, her look often varying wildly between appearances, to the point that a layperson might not realize she's the same character before she opens her mouth. The other four recurring characters also vary a bit, Lupin moreso than the others, but nothing about their general design ever changes other than perhaps the colour of Lupin's jacket.
  • Noein is an intentional example: Since the show deals with alternate universes, the animation is split between two animation companies with completely different art styles, meaning the show's overall art style alternates every other episode.
  • Like Dragon Ball, One Piece art varies from seasons as Toei has dozens of different animators and directors with the Straw Hats getting changed up sometimes slightly or sometimes drastically.
    • Yuji Hakamada and Tomoko Yoshida is responsible for the much more simplistic art style of early One Piece with very thin lines and often unpretentious shading on villains (e.g Kuro, Arlong, Smoker etc). Though they did take the time to paint the backgrounds, giving great landscapes that look like oil paintings which later seasons lack.
    • Katsumi Ishizuka helped the art change in Davy Back, Water 7, Enies Lobby and so on making the characters noticeably lanky, but the angular style benefited fighting characters like Luffy, Zoro and Sanji.
    • Naoki Tate's style on One Piece is very unique and strange since it's very simplistic removing lines from characters's faces and bodies (e.g Franky) to point where they look Off-Model.
    • Also like Dragon Ball the quality is boosted up for the Non Serial Movies with Masayuki Sato being the standout as animator, though he did mistaking give Robin brown eyes instead of blue in Strong World and One Piece Film: Z. Although the animation so beautiful it tends to be forgiven.
    • Like Naoki Tate, Mamoru Hosoda's animation in Movie 6 is very unique but also un-One Piece-like, some fans dislike the creepiness of the art style while others laud it as an underrated gem.
    • Kodai Watanabe's art style in One Piece: 3D2Y has rougher, penciled appearance that looks amazing going to Mad House levels during the Final Battle. He returns later for the climax of Luffy and Katakuri's fight in the Whole Cake Island anime.
    • Whenever the characters suddenly get an Animation Bump in the middle of a fight scene in One Piece, good chance Naotoshi Shida is the culprit behind it, as he has contributed to many of the battle sequences in the series both pre and post Time Skip.
    • The Wano arc has Tatsuya Nagamine the same guy who directed Dragon Ball Super: Broly so now the Straw Hats and everyone else look more smooth and have more fluid movements. Fans (even detractors) have been praising Toei’s new direction compared to previous lackluster animation.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Misty's eye color switches between blue and green throughout the many series. In the games, she has green eyes in all appearances.
    • Ash has no consistent height besides being shorter than adults. In some episodes, he reaches Jessie's chin and in others, he only reaches her shoulders. He's seemingly grown to same height as Misty in Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, but is reverted to being shorter in Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon.
  • In the Warrior Cats (manga) since all the art styles are radically different, seeing cats appear in two different styles is quite jarring. This especially applies to Scourge and Tigerstar.
  • On Yu-Gi-Oh!, Tea has a pretty consistent figure. However, her bust size constantly varies between episodes, and sometimes within scenes. Her outfit also seems to affect it — her yellow "Spirit" shirt makes her look flat, her school uniform, Duelist Kingdom arc, KC Grand Prix arc, and Memory World arc outfits make her look moderately-sized, her blue button-up shirt (from the Battle City/Virtual World arcs) makes her look well-endowed but is the most likely to vary, and the yellow tube top she wears in a few episodes makes her look large enough to rival Mai's massive breasts.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: While Asuka/Alexis' physique is mostly consistent, in some episodes (e.g. Episode 41) her arms look rather toned, giving a bit more muscle to her compared to the other Obelisk girls.

  • Before the invention of photography, the only way to preserve the features of a famous person was through a painting or drawing. Unfortunately, some artists would add their own embellishments, and in many cases (but we can't be sure of exactly which ones), the artist never saw the subject at all and based the painting on a description.
  • This is very common in depictions of Biblical and mythological figures. In particular, as Christianity spreads around the world, Jesus will often be given a Race Lift in the local church to reflect the local culture. Compare this third-century catacomb painting of Jesus as the Good Shepherd (beardless and wearing a short tunic) with modern takes on the same subject by Gail Rein (standard Looks Like Jesus, with fair skin, light brown hair and beard, and a long robe), John Snogron (a darker-complexioned version of the same), and an unnamed French artist (short-haired, beardless, and black).

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The artists can't seem to reach a consensus on what Lim-Dul looks like. Dark Ritual shows him with black hair and ram's horns, his own card has him white-haired and with his horns out of the picture, and the comics draw him bald and with antlers.
    • In the days before style guides were standard, this trope was all over the place. One particular example is the Ice Age and Alliance sets' depiction of the Balduvian race - on some cards, rowdy, war-painted barbarians, in others dark-skinned shamans, in others some sort of...whatever this thing is.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts:
    • More of "Depending on the Colorist" but what color are Snoopy's doghouse and supper dish? Red or Yellow? What color is Charlie Brown's shirt? Yellow, right? Except when it's red. What color is Peppermint Patty's shirt? Green, except when it's purple.
    • Worth noting that Charles Schulz didn't have an outside colorist for Peanuts. He colored the Sunday strips himself, so most differences are on him. However, there was always a risk that the syndicate, in color-inking the strip for distribution, might screw up his color guide.
      • Since Schulz's death, many of the originally-black-&-white daily strips have been recolored. These are far more likely to have such continuity errors. For example, some versions of a Peanuts strip which specifically says that this dog dish is yellow, as a plot point, shows the dish a different colour.
    • Charlie Brown's shirt was originally red in the Sunday strips, but switched to yellow due to the popularity of the TV specials, which used yellow from the start. Some pieces of merchandise have used orange, blue or green, and a rare few even changed the color of the black zigzag.
  • Apparently colorists are the bane of cartoonists' lives, as the cartoonists are often blamed for colouring problems. Scott Adams ran headlong into this when he did a Dilbert strip about a thieving night watchman and the colorist gave him dark skin.
  • In Garfield, the house and Jon's clothing have no set color palette. In one set of strips Odie is briefly adopted by a little girl (during a storyline where he and Garfield get lost in the city). In the first strip where she appears, she's colored like this. In subsequent strips, she's colored like this. This is because the dailies were colored by different people than Sunday strips, which are intended for color printing. The dailies were only colored years later for a collected edition.
  • This problem also messed up a The Far Side cartoon with a bunch of penguins and one of them singing "Me, I just gotta be me." The joke is that the penguins all look the same, but one colourist made the singing penguin yellow instead of black and white, ruining the irony. Gary Larson admitted to liking the other version on its own merits.
  • Mike's friend Lawrence in For Better or for Worse is meant to be mixed-race (his father being a black Brazilian). Depending on the colorist and Johnston's own style, he varies between being darker-skinned or appearing as white as Mike.
  • The main characters in Dick Tracy are drawn quite consistently, with the noticeable exceptions of Lizz Worthington and Diet Smith. Chester Gould drew Lizz as a fairly normal-looking woman, Rick Fletcher made her somewhat cuter and bustier, and then Dick Locher changed her design, making her look far more butch and less feminine. As for Diet...Is Diet winning his battle with his waistline these days? Does he have normal eyebrows or enormous ones?
  • Since the mid 1990's after the retirement of creator Hank Ketcham he handed off the duties of drawing Dennis the Menace to his friends Marcus Hamilton and Ron Ferdinand, Hamilton's style is more broad and detailed and he gives the characters full eyes while Ferdinand's is loose, sketchy, less detailed and gives the characters Black Bead Eyes, Scott Ketcham, Hank's son began drawing the strip in 2010 and his style is similar to Hamilton's except a bit more cartoonish.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The art style varied greatly in the An American Tail movies. The only two with similar animation styles are the direct-to-video sequels, and Tanya still somehow managed to look completely different in both movies (she's the character who goes through the most extreme design changes from movie to movie).
  • The Little Mermaid: When animated by Glen Keane, Ariel is drawn and animated more intricately, especially in her face and hair.
  • Bill Justice drew the Lost Boys from Peter Pan with elvish features such as pointier ears on their costumes, buck teeth, and small button noses, while others such as Wolfgang Reitherman and Fred Moore drew them in a cartoonish manner.
  • Pinocchio: In scenes animated by Woolie Reitherman, Pinocchio's nose is slightly longer, and Jiminy's hat always seems to be drooping to one side.
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: In his book The Fairest One of All on the making of the film, J.B. Kaufmann points out that Snow White's expressions and body language subtly change from scene to scene, depending on which of her two main animators is handling her. In the scenes animated by Hamilton Luske (e.g. when she runs through the forest, or in "Whistle While You Work") she's more wide-eyed and childlike, while in the scenes animated by Grim Natwick (e.g. when she teases Grumpy, or in "Someday My Prince Will Come") she's a slightly more sophisticated young woman.
  • Son of the White Horse was animated both by Pannonia Film Studio veterans, including the director Marcell Jankovics himself, and the low ranking animation staff who reportedly had a very hard time following the film's art style. Animation quality varies a lot, with some scenes having fluid, dynamic animation with detailed characters, well defined anatomy and weight, while others have rough, choppier and weightless animation with simplified character models and minimal facial expressions. The director has stated he was disatisfied with at least 20 minutes' worth of animation.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This is discussed in American Splendor, when Joyce isn't sure what the real Harvey Pekar will look like, since some artists have him looking like a young Marlon Brando while others represent him like an ape with stink lines.
  • Discussed in Revealing Casper, a documentary about the making of the 1995 film. Animators put a lot of their own expressions into their characters, but they didn't want to make it obvious that Casper was animated by at least five different people.
  • Godzilla has had many, many different designs over the years. As multiple costume designers and eventually CG artists have given him different looks meaning Goji's scales, spines, height, mass and eye colour is often drastically different from film to film. Some go for a Darker and Edgier look in homage to the orignal, while others go for a more Lighter and Softer making Godzilla look more cartoonish like in the 70s era.
  • For most of Space Jam, the Looney Tunes cast resembles their 1950s/Chuck Jones designs. However, in a sequence animated by David Spafford (the scene where they take Michael to their gym to practice), they look more like Bob Clampett's designs.

  • Lone Wolf:
    • Darklord Gnaag's appearance between Book 8 and Book 12, which is primarily due to the change in illustration artists. The Updated Re-release changes his appearance further, again due to a new artist.
    • Gwynian the Sage is hardly recognizable in illustrations between his first appearance in Book 4, and his later one in Book 8.
    • The Chaos-master's illustrations in Grey Star's series and then in The Prisoners of Time are also wildly different, but here it's completely justified in-story, since the Chaos-master is an Eldritch Abomination who keeps changing shape all the time.
    • The graphic novel The Skull of Agarash is mostly faithful to the illustrations provided in the gamebooks, notably for the various Darklord minions and monsters, with the exception of Banedon's Dwarven crew, which are depicted looking more like goblins than the classic bearded dwarves.

Sesame Street picture books:
  • Before a Muppet version of Grover's mom was constructed for the show, artists drawing for the books apparently don't agree with how she should look. Depictions range from an old lady to a young mother. Tough Pigs takes an extensive analysis on this one.
  • Likewise, before Elmo's parents appeared as Muppets on he show, different picture book artists drew them with different hairstyles, but nearly always portrayed them both as looking just like grownup versions of Elmo. When they finally appeared on the show, however, father Louie had the same red color as Elmo but a different head shape and brown hair, while mother Mae was a light orange monster with purple hair.
  • Ben Skywalker. His hair is officially "flame-red" but has been depicted as reddish-brown, sandy blond, brown, and fully blond. The faces don't entirely match up, either.
  • What the main character of Coraline looks like depends on the illustrations. Her hair is usually varying shades of brown but sometimes it's black. The shading used in the books implies she has black hair as well. Her hairstyle is typically something of a bob haircut but the original illustrations have her with a shoulder length style.
  • When Paul Kidby replaced Josh Kirby as the cover artist for Discworld, he brought in not just a different style, but also significant changes to the appearances of some characters — most notably Rincewind, who was depicted by Kirby as an old, Gandalf-like mage with a long white beard (see the Sourcery cover for an example), but in Kidby's interpretation is clearly younger and sports just a short, brown goatee. It's been acknowledged that Kidby's interpretations are much closer to Pratchett's descriptions of characters than Kirby's. (Kirby had a notoriously free attitude to interpreting the books.)

    Myths & Religion 

    Print Media 
  • MAD tends to have different takes on mascot Alfred E. Neuman depending on who drew that issue's front cover, but most artists stick closely to more polished variants of the design codified by Frank Kelly Freas and Norman Mingo early in the magazine's history. However, other artists have given him their own spin—Sergio Aragonés's takes are very cartoony and sketchy, Mort Drucker's are more jagged, Jack Davis's very loose and energetic, and Al Jaffee's are more chunky. Drew Struzan's only cover is extremely Off-Model with a very different haircut. James Warhola and Richard Williams usually painted their covers, thus giving them a little more muddy retraux feel like the Mingo and Freas covers of old. This has generally been averted from the early 2000s onward, as an overwhelming majority of the covers are drawn by Mark Fredrickson, a digital artist who sticks closely to the established style.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons gets this a lot.
    • The worst victim is probably the Demon Lord Demogorgon; the consistent part of its appearance is that it has two animalistic heads and tentacle arms. Its bulk, amount and color of hair, skin texture, number of tentacles (varies between one and two on each arm), arm structure, and the species of the animals its heads are has varied over the years, between hyenas, baboons, and mandrills. Link, link, link, link, link for the most recent rendition. and another link.
    • Demogorgon's main rival, Orcus, spent a lot of 3rd switching back and forth between tough and muscular and morbidly obese. Nonetheless, he's been pretty consistently described as the fattest of all Fat Bastards.
    • Mordenkainen, The Archmage of Greyhawk goes back and forth between Ambiguously Brown in one image and almost sickly pale in another.
    • Before 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons, all Tieflings (the result of interbreeding between humans and demons) looked different, with the only constant being that there was some physical sign of their non-human heritage. Fourth edition standardized their appearance in theory — now all Tieflings have horns and tails — but artists vary widely in how human their faces look, whether their horns are curled like ram's or stick straight up (and whether that's random, consistent, or varies by gender), whether their tails are thin and flexible or thick and ungainly like a dinosaur's, etc.
    • Beholders are a very interesting case, where the variations between artists have ended up becoming a plot point. Beholders have a basic description: a floating sphere with a central eye and a fanged mouth, as well as ten stalk-like eyes atop the body. However, the many artists representation led to extreme variability in colors and looks. How big/small and/or sunken is the eye, how large is the mouth and in what shape, whether the skin is chitinous or scaled or spiky, how long/thick are the stalks, where they connect and whether they are snake-like, tentacle-like or crustacean-legs-like, not to forget how comical or horrific the overall appearance is, all have depended greatly on the artists over the years. In the end, starting with the Spelljammer setting, this extreme variability has become canon, and has led to Beholders being portrayed as rampant racists: all Beholders that deviate too much from a specific one are considered hideous mutants by said individual, whose own form is the one and only pinnacle of the species, and are only good for extermination.
  • Sajan Gadadvara, Pathfinder's iconic monk, is supposed to be from Golarion's equivalent of Southeast Asia. He usually looks less Southeast Asian than some variation on the theme of Ambiguously Brown.
  • This was a recurrent problem in early BattleTech, particularly with the appearances of the titular 'Mechs, especially the Unseen. Take a look at any three Phoenix Hawk drawings, and all of them will differ fairly significantly from one another and from the Macross VF-1S Valkyrie, from which it is derived. Some artists made spot-on Macross reproductions, while others gave the PHX a bulbous round head.
  • Ironclaw occasionally crosses into this with recurring characters. For instance, as an anthropomorphic fox, Amalsand Jakoba has been depicted (sometimes in the same comic) with and without hair.
  • In Warhammer 40,000 the God-Emperor of Mankind has been depicted in various states of mummification after becoming a Dark Lord on Life Support, ranging from an almost living corpse in a sitting position to a giant skeleton with wires hanging out of it (the latter being the more popular interpretation).

  • BIONICLE had this so much, that eventually the writer simply came forward and said that everyone is free to choose which kind of character design they want to see as "the most real". Thankfully in some cases, like for the shape-shifting race of beings called Makuta or the Mask of Life, most of the variations were canon-justified. Though a lot still had to be chalked up to the occasional Unreliable Illustrator, or artists not being supplied with sufficiently clear guidelines.

    Video Games 
  • One of the characters in Angry Birds is Hal, whose most notable feature is his long beak. Here are three different interpretations of him. The top image is how he looks in the games, the middle is his appearance in the "Summer Pignic" special (which is part of Rovio Entertainment's early animation efforts and can also be seen in both a promotional image for the Mighy Eagle and the Bad Piggies' Egg Recipes cookbook), and the bottom is from this promotion for Coca-Cola's 2012 Olympics campaign in China (which featured the art style made standard since the "Ham-O-Ween" special).
  • BlazBlue can't seem to settle on a single clothing design for their characters (unlike it's sister series Guilty Gear, who give the characters new outfits every game). While the overall colors tend to remain the same, the official art varies in all of their appearances. For example, no two pieces of Ragna art have the same belt design.
  • The titular character of Carmen Sandiego varies between a light skinned brunette or a darker skinned raven haired woman. Carmen is usually depicted as the latter.
  • This seems to be an issue with Castlevania: Judgment, an attempt at making a Castlevania fighting game. One of its major selling points, in theory, would be the Fanservice of having characters from different branches of the franchise come together to battle each other — but the character designer, Takeshi Obata (of Hikaru no Go and Death Note fame,) made most of the characters look drastically different than they did in their original games. For instance, this is Eric Lecarde in his original appearance in Castlevania: Bloodlines. This is him in Judgment. Though this was an issue in Castlevania character designs long before Judgment; Simon Belmont's character design specifically wildly varies between installments — his hair has been red, blond, brown, black, and blue - and switching from a Conan the Barbarian look in the early games to the Bishounen style popularized by Ayami Kojima's artwork before going back to the barbarian look in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Devil May Cry: In every entry to the series, Dante and co's appearances are drastically changed from the previous title being Progressively Prettier thanks to better engines and graphics. Though particularly loved designs such as Dante and Vergil's look in DMC3 are carried over to Marvel vs. Capcom 3 also DMC1 era Dante and Trish are changed in Viewtiful Joe to match the cartoon style.
    • The first Devil May Cry game has still has the hallmarks of being a off-brand Resident Evil with Dante character and appearance akin to Leon Scott Kennedy before becoming his own character and a lot of the aesthetics being proto-RE4. Hideki Kamiya's style is also apparent with the concept of eldritch angelic beings carrying over to Bayonetta.
    • The second Devil May Cry game went for Darker and Edgier aesthetic, it wasn't received well and the flamboyant style returned for all main line games.
    • The fourth game was created with the MT Framework engine (which was used on a lot of the Resident Evil titles) and has distinctly anime-esque aesthetic to the characters. The fifth game in comparison is powered by the RE Engine and much like the REmakes goes for a grittier aesthetic with Dante and co having photorealistic appearances.
  • Dislyte: The art for the characters do not match their in-game models at times. For example, Tang Xuan's art depicts him with albino-like skin, though his in-game model has him with tanned skin. Drew's eyes have three different styles: normal purple eyes from the Show Begins intro, purple irises for his in-game art, and white eyes with no pupils for his in-game model. Aware of these, the developers decided to ask players in a survey about how well each character portrait matched the in-game models.
  • The hair colors of Billy and Jimmy Lee from the Double Dragon series seem to differ depending on the game. The original arcade game had two nameless protagonists, with Player 1 as the blond-haired brother in blue and Player 2 as the brown-haired brother in red. When the game was adapted to the NES, Techos decided to flesh out the backstory and had the promotional art identify the main characters, with Billy Lee being the darker-haired younger brother and Jimmy Lee as the blond-haired older one. However, in the actual NES game, Billy is the hero in blue, while Jimmy is his rival in red. As a result, subsequent games in the series would often switch back and forth between one style or the other.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest II:
      • Princess of Moonbrooke. Technically, Akira Toriyama does both of her designs, but several Fan Art depictions have her act in different manners and personalities, depending on whether she has purple or blonde hair.
      • The American box art gives the Princess comparatively Stripperific attire, showing some leg & a bit of cleavage as opposed to her very modest full gown and headdress that appears in-game and in all other artwork.
    • Dragon Quest IV:
      • The male Hero is occasionally drawn as a Bishonen by some artists.
      • Elisa's official art indicates that she's a simple human girl, in the game she uses the same elf sprite as Rose.
  • Final Fantasy has just...tremendous examples of this. It's most obvious when dealing with the older games, which have been ported and remade and all that good stuff countless, countless times, but it exists in all of them, especially since the release of Dissidia.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy is an interesting variation of this, as it contains characters from lots of different Final Fantasy games that have very different art styles (compare the Steampunk aesthetic of Final Fantasy VI to the sci-fi Cyberpunk/BioPunk style of Final Fantasy VII to the standard Medieval European Fantasy fare of titles like IV and on and on and on and on...) and makes them all conform to one art style for purposes of internal visual coherency. The style in question is done by main designer Tetsuya Nomura (quite obviously, to anyone familiar with the man's other works), but incorporating the Signature Style of the series' other main designer/illustrator Yoshitaka Amano—and this "Amanoization" applies as well to characters that were originally drawn by Nomura, such as Tidus and Squall.
      • And then the game does it deliberately and pushes it further with the Summon spells, which are represented by a variety of artwork—from the original Concept Art (like Malboro) to completely new designs (such as Carbuncle), all of which span the entire 20+ years of the series. For an example of this trope taken literally—the "auto" Bahamut summon shows the dragon as designed for Final Fantasy X by Tetsuya Nomura, while the "manual" Bahamut shows the same he was drawn by Amano for Final Fantasy V.
    • The recurring mascot critters, enemies, summons, etc., often vary wildly between games. Although, since each game takes place in a different world/verse, it's not as straight an example as it could be.
    • Final Fantasy V had many examples of this. Every character has their concept as drawn by Yoshitaka Amano, their little pixeled map sprite, their battle sprite, their menu portrait, the super-deformed chibi official art based on the sprite, and a 3D render. Internal consistency between any of those is the exception, not the rule.
    • Final Fantasy II also gets it pretty bad, due to two main factors: The first is that it has been remade/ported no less than six times, usually with an updated graphical look (Firion is identical to Fighter in the NES version and doesn't begin looking like a different, unique character until the Playstation version) and sometimes with new official art by a new artist in the Feelies. Then there's the renditions of the main characters and villain in the FMV opening of some versions of the game, where they are utterly unrecognizable. Secondly, there's the little fact that Amano apparently could not decide how he wanted to draw Firion. Practically every concept piece features a very different-looking Firion, and a similar thing applies to art of the Emperor. It's so bad that Nomura's rendition of Firion for Dissidia, which incorporates elements from practically all the official arts and recent sprites, looks more like "Firion" than "Firion" does.
    • Final Fantasy IV has some particularly egregious examples. Among some prominent ones is the Nintendo Power art created from, apparently, whole cloth to, apparently, sell the art to Americans. These depictions of Rydia, Rosa, Edward, Kain, Cecil and especially Palom and Porom aren't very true-to form. In-game, the character Cecil gets it particularly bad, getting different art for the original concept, the DS remake, the sequel, and yet another for Dissidia, in addition to the miscellaneous pixeled sprites "chibi" artwork, 3D renders, and inconsistent depictions of the exact color of his armor and skin. Really, he is rarely depicted the same way twice, even in the same game.
    • Promotional art for Final Fantasy VII on gaming magazines often depicted the cast differently from Tetsuya Nomura’s designs. Some were very accurate to the sci-fi Cyberpunk/BioPunk art style of the game with minor differences (Cloud is more of a happy camper on the Electronic Gaming cover and Zack is missing his spikey bangs on the PlayStation magazine cover). Other covers such as this one depicted the characters in a distinctly comic book style, while the Spanish PlayStation magazine depicted Cloud and especially Tifa in an extremely suggestive manner. Even promotional art for the remake has this going on, with the art of Cloud on the UK PlayStation magazine being more gaunt and skinny than he is in the game.
    • Like with FFIV and FFVII, Final Fantasy X’s promotional art on official magazines could be quite different from the art from the game. One famous PSM cover drawn by Joe Madureira depicts Tidus as a Rated M for Manly badass clutching Yuna to his muscly chest while seriously staring off into the distance, completely unlike the easygoing, occasionally irritating goofball he actually is in the game. Another PSM cover depicts an older looking, more well endowed Yuna doing the Sending Dance like it’s an action pose.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem Gaiden: The official art for the game is extremely inconsistent, with characters having different hair and eye colors depending on the piece of art, and a lot of the time an in-game sprite and portrait is completely different from the artwork. One especially egregious example: One of the two protagonists of the game, Alm, has green hair on the game's box art, but his in-game sprite and portrait have blue hair. The remake Shadows of Valentia, released two and a half decades later, rectifies all of this, along with a huge dose of Art Evolution and Adaptational Attractiveness.note 
    • Fire Emblem: Awakening:
      • Discussed in the DLC when Chrom asks why the Marth in one chapter looks completely different from the previous one: as a figure of legend, Marth has been depicted and reimagined many times.
      • A straighter example: nobody seems to be able to make up their minds about what color the default Avatar's hair is. White? Silver? Pale blonde? You'll see all three in official materials with little rhyme or reason.
    • Fire Emblem Fates:
      • Just like Awakening's Avatar, this one's hair color is tricky. On their official art it's white, in-game it looks more platinum blonde, in Smash it's this weird pale beige.
      • Is Azura's bust small, as her portrait suggests, or does she just have a Hidden Buxom, as her official art and the various art for the Cipher card game suggest? And if so, how much? For comparisons' sake, here is Azura in a cutscene and here is Azura in an official Cipher card based off that same cutscene.
  • League of Legends' Unbound Thresh, an undead villain whose lore update has him crossing the Bishōnen Line, varies in visual presentation and tone both across and within various League media. Splash and other promo art for League and in-game models in League and mobile game Wild Rift and some card art from digital card game Legends of Runeterra play up a Raven Hair, Ivory Skin aesthetic of youthful beauty, while alternate Runeterra card art ages and sharpens his face, emphasizing his inhuman pallor, talons, and body made of light. Lore cinematic "Thresh Unbound: A Night at the Inn" goes the furthest to emphasize his maturity and monstrosity, as an older, leaner, taller Thresh fully Looks Like Cesare and visibly leaks light from the collar and joins of his armor, underscoring that he isn't remotely human from the neck down. This cinematic was so well-received that just weeks after release, Riot announced that much of his in-game art would be updated to be more in line with the cinematic itself.
  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon: In the PlayStation version of the game, the Destroyer is a tall, bipedal beast with a long tail, slender limbs, human-like arms ending in claws, and a narrow head framed by long, forward-pointing horns. In the DS version, it's a hulking, quadrupedal, comparatively short figure with a massive, hornless, mouthless head.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: For whatever reason, Zelda has three different designs: a short-haired brunette in a pink dress, the same design but as a blonde, and a long-haired blonde in a red dress (which matches her sprites if Link is fully equipped). Most fans associate her with the brunette design and Hyrule Historia later canonized it.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: While Marin's appearance is mostly consistent throughout her appearances in official art in Japan and North America (other than some inconsistency regarding whether the collar of her dress is blue or yellow), the German strategy guide decided to give her a totally different, more exotic appearance with a bare midriff, a bead necklace, and blonde hair rather than red.
  • Mega Man (Classic): The eye color of Mega Man and his sister Roll is officially blue, but are often green by different artists. Given that the rest of the heroes in the franchise come with green eyes, the confusion is understandable.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid: There are two artstyles used for Metroid artwork: a gritty realistic style used in the instruction booklet (in both the Japanese and Western versions) and a cute chibi style used in the Japan-only strategy guide. Most characters and creatures, including Samus and Kraid, have consistent designs between the two artstyles, but Ridley is a notable exception. In the instruction booklet, Ridley's head has a very alien design with two large bug eyes, three Extra Eyes along his snout, and a tube-shaped mouth. In the guide, Ridley's head appears more similar to that of a traditional western dragon, removing the extra eyes and tube-mouth in favor of long toothy reptilian jaws. What makes this notable is that the former design is Early-Installment Weirdness while the latter design much more closely resembles his iconic modern design later introduced in Super Metroid.
    • Samus Aran rarely looks the same from game to game. Beginning with Super Metroid, she's a very tall woman with long blond hair and blue eyes, but her facial structure, muscular definition, bust size, hairstyle, and shade of blonde all change dramatically in each game. Before this, there were even more anomalies; the original game gives her brown hair and green hair at different points, while some early comics give her purple hair. Metroid: Other M significantly altered her appearance again after it had finally become at least somewhat consistent, making her at least a full foot shorter than she usually is and giving her green eyes and a mole on her chin that isn't present in any other game.
  • Pac-Man may be depicted as the very different early design on the original arcade cabinet, or more closely resemble the in-game sprite with no legs, or as the version sporting legs, boots and a hat, in Pac-Land and the Pac-Man animated series.
  • Downplayed with N Harmonia from Pokémon Black and White. For the most part, his appearance is kept intact besides his eye colour. Most adaptions of him and his in-game sprite show him as blue-eyed, whereas a lot of official artwork shows him as green-eyed.
  • Resident Evil much like Street Fighter has had multiple different designers, artists and improved better engines and resulting in the aesthetic and the characters fluctuating in appearance from title to title. The designs of the first two games RE1 and RE2 were heavily based off Isao Ōishi’s artwork having a bright and sudo-anime style to the characters and monsters. In RE4 and it's following titles the artstyle is much darker and the characters are more realistic-looking while still being stylised, this is thanks to the games being powered by the MT Framework engine. However RE7, RE2make, RE3make, RE4make and Resident Evil Village are powered by the RE Engine and as such the world, characters and monsters are photorealistic and much less stylized.
    • Chris Redfield notably is almost never consistent from game to game, due to different engines, graphics and being modelled on different people. This is the same for every character, with hair and eye color changing frequently. For example Claire Redfield goes from brunette, to auburn, to redheaded and then back to brunette for the remake of the second game. There’s also Leon who depending on the graphics and model bounces back and forth between pretty boy and hardened badass or a deadringer for Dante and his hair goes from reddish brown to dirty blond. Even the aforementioned remake of 4 follows this inconsistency having Leon appear more blond despite him clearly being brunette in his last remake appearance.
  • Rusty bizarrely has two different designs of the titular heroine, one where she has long straight hear and a revealing set of blue leotard, elbow gloves, and knee-high boots that's used on the cover and during gameplay, but during the cutscenes, Rusty has shorter, wavy hair instead and wears a slightly less revealing leotard along with the gloves and boots in red.
  • Shantae: Shantae's appearance varies from game to game. Sometimes it's to fit with other style changes in the rest of the game, other times it's just the artist envisioning her in a different way. She's cuter in some incarnations, more sultry in others. Her skin tone has also been pretty inconsistent, though she usually is pretty tan, the trailer for Shantae: Half-Genie Hero made her very pale. WayForward, the game company, has stated that they will change it based on supporter feedback.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog:
    • Sonic himself has been subject to this on the Mega Drive boxart when comparing between his native Japan and in the US. In Japan his design was softer and his quills were aligned as they are today, with six quills arranged in two rows (and two more on his back). In the American boxart Sonic is incredibly glossy, and his head is more of a sphere with four flat quills arranged in a straight line. This look was kept in the US until Sonic's jump to 3D in Sonic Adventure, but lived on in comics and the various cartoons of the era.
    • How long is Maria's hair? Usually it's past her shoulders but sometimes, such as with her CGI model in Shadow the Hedgehog, it is only up to her chin. Also, how wavy is it?
  • In the Space Quest series, Roger's hair is initially brown instead of blonde.
  • Star Fox has historically done this a lot.
    • Between the Vapor Ware (but leaked) Star Fox 2 and Star Fox 64, the Star Wolf characters changed dramatically in appearance, with Wolf standing out the most. Not only does he have an eye scar instead of his later patch, but it's on the opposite eye.
    • Katt is another extreme version of this, becoming an artistic The Other Darrin in Command.
    • Most of the other characters have had very noticeable design alterations to some degree. Falco's beak constantly changes shape between games and comics, the entire shape of Peppy's and Slippy's head has changed significantly, Pepper lost his Cool Shades and got black eye patches instead, and Fox's eye color shifted from blue to green. Wolf's eyes are usually violet, but they were gray in Command, then violet again in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • Street Fighter series has undergone a lot of artists over the course of the last twenty-plus years. The one in the lower-right is a bonus — it's from SNK vs. Capcom, and was drawn by the artist from The King of Fighters.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • What does baby Yoshis look like? In some games (such as Yoshi's Story and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door) hatchings are just smaller Yoshi however in other games (such as Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. U) they are more squished and Ugly Cute looking.
    • On the original Mario Bros. arcade cabinet, Luigi wears green overalls with a brown shirt.
    • During the late 1980s, Mario's costume started going from red overalls/blue shirt to blue overalls/red shirt (and conversly for Luigi, green overalls/blue shirt to blue overalls/green shirt). For a couple years, Nintendo's promo art varied between these two schemes before they were solidified as blue overalls/red-green shirt around the mid-SNES era (1993-1994).
    • The Ninji enemy is all over the place, with interpretations of its original sprite ranging heavily. Sometimes it's a black creature with two big white eyes and red fangs or Blush Stickers, and other times it's a white creature with two small black eyes wearing a black bodysuit with red buttons.
  • Major Pierre De Chaltier looks completely different in Tales of Destiny 2 than his Tales of Destiny self, with gold-blond hair instead of platinum and in a completely different standard outfit. Ignetos's hair colour has also been changed from gold-blond to brown. And all the original Swordian Masters looked completely different in the Tales of Destiny manga than their game designs.
  • Touhou Project has been subjected to this as a result of ZUN's art compared to Tasogare Frontier's as well as the fanarts.

    Web Animation 
  • Etra-chan saw it!:
    • Akane, Azami and Tsutsuji can wear either pants or skirts depending on the artist drawing the episode.
    • Most episodes use the stock chibi art in text bubbles when characters are out of view, though some artists will draw unique faces.
  • There are some inconsistencies regarding Blake in RWBY. Nobody can agree on whether or not her usual outfit leaves her belly button exposed or not, her shorts sometimes have a button and zipper on the crotch but usually don't, and her feline ears are colored purple in the first season but black everywhere else.

  • Abstract Gender went through several different artists, each with their own style and character design. One of the biggest problems with the comic was that even the individual artists couldn't keep the character designs constant.
  • Deviant Universe: Given that anyone can join in and take part, the quality of art between artists varies A LOT.
  • Gender Swapped went through this, the new artist's change in style made the characters look completely different.
  • Each page of Heroes Unite is drawn by a different artist, and each artist has their own style. This can cause characters to change appearance during the same scene.
  • Living with Insanity. When Paul Salvi became the artist, he redesigned all the characters so that the only ones who look like they did when David Herbert drew them are the goth girl Sally and Afro guy.
  • Exploited in Melonpool, suggesting that Lyman and Uncle Max (two notable Chuck Cunningham Syndrome characters) are actually the same character.
  • The regular characters in Lightning Made of Owls are drawn by the different contributing artists in all sorts of ways. Sometimes they're highly realistic, sometimes they're stick figures. Sometimes they're not human.
  • Sonichu does this and it only has one artist. Christine Weston Chandler's artwork is completely unrefined that everyone has a different look, but the character illustrated with the least amount of consistency is Christine herself.
  • Sonic the Comic – Online! has several different artists and there are no design guidelines. The artists differ on whether they use the SegaSonic eye colors (green eyed Amy, blue eyed Tails, purple eyed Knuckles) or Fleetway-canon colors (brown eyed Amy, brown eyed Tails, blue eyed Knuckles). Most artists use the lanky, modern Sonic design however some use the "classic" design, as in the official comic Sonic used his classic design with green eyes instead of getting a total redesign for Sonic Adventure.
  • Broken Telephone has 18 different artist teams (one for each chapter), some of whose styles are radically different than the others'. Due to this, there is a bit of confusion when one character appears in different chapters. Lao, in particular, is the one that seems to give the readers the most fits, exacerbated by the fact that the bandage on his arm appears in a different place in each chapter.
  • Character designs can vary quite a bit in Homestuck, as there are multiple people doing the artwork and no model sheets. For example, they can't seem to decide whether Jane is skinny, Hollywood Pudgy or actually fat; or whether Equius is lean or heavily muscled.
  • The Unofficial Spider Man Newspaper Strip has two different artists presently, Xavier Rojo and Eli G, due to Eli being a big time fan of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, the art style on their strips shifts in favour of reflecting the look of that show for the characters.

    Web Original 
  • Jenny Everywhere intentionally encourages this — she's an open source superhero with a very vague description, so anybody can interpret her anyway they wish. The most common interpretation has her wearing aviator goggles and a scarf, and the official description calls her "Native American or Asian."
  • The NPCs on Gaia Online vary in appearance depending on who is drawing them. Sometimes the eye color, body type, or overall "look" is different.

    Western Animation 
  • One show that ran on these sort of inconsistencies was John Kricfalusi's The Ren & Stimpy Show, due to John's strict rule that there was no strict rule about staying on model. "Draw expressively, not well" was the order of the day at Spumco. He insisted his artists not have a character with the same pose or expression—or even drawn the same way—twice. After all, the way he sees it, only "wimps and Communists" (his words) stay on model. A more specific example would be that the bulk of Stimpy's body could either be fat ("Who's Stupid Now?"), or he'd just be big boned ("Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen"). Sometimes both!
  • Some of the key animators for Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog had previously worked on Ren & Stimpy, and it shows in the series' extremely loose style. The size of Robotnik relative to everyone else, the size of his head relative to the rest of his body, whether he had ears, whether or not his mother had a mustache, what the surrounding countryside looked like...all of these were up to interpretation.
    • In some episodes Grounder is sometimes a lighter shade of green.
  • Being a collaborative effort, the movie based on Dante's Inferno embraces this trope. Each level of hell is animated by a different studio, and Dante himself changes looks each time, sometimes gaining or losing equipment, and his hair and scythe in particular were all over the place.
  • As once noted in a DVD Commentary of Avatar: The Last Airbender, whether Sokka and Aang are lean but muscular or just flat-out scrawny-looking changes depending on the animator.
  • Transformers:
    • Captain Fanzone from Transformers: Animated has Eyes Always Shut in the episodes animated by The Answer Studio, but not by Mook DLE. This is probably because they came up with different interpretations of his official character model, which has him squinting, although it's debatable if it should always be like that.
    • G1 sometimes had episodes animated by a less-expensive studio, but you got what you paid for. Sometimes there's an Animation Bump to the point of looking better than the movie, sometimes the errors are so many and flagrant that it truly interferes with understanding what's going on. One of the cheaper company's particular quirks was that Chip Chase's jacket was dark blue with a light blue shirt beneath instead of brown with a white shirt, resulting in a rarity for the day, and even this day sometimes — a human character who actually owned more than one set of clothing.
    • Many of the other episodes varied in how Animesque the show could look (sometimes even within episodes). For instance "Roll For It" and "SOS Dinobots" Have a distinct style compared to the rest of Season 1, and both "Nightmare Planet" and "Call of the Primitives" in Season 3 top even those episodes in how much they look like an anime.
    • Although the transformation schemes of most G1 characters (like Prime, Bumblebee, the Dinobots, the Seekers) were fairly consistent, others weren't: some episodes showed Astrotrain's transformation as toy accurate (his legs and feet becoming the front of his both vehicle modes, and a vehicle mode turning upside-down to become the other), while others depicted his transformation from locomotive to shuttle (or vice-versa) without the upside-down turn, or his wings on robot mode becoming the front of the locomotive.
    • Ironhide and Ratchet have many different transformations (the only consistent part is the chest becoming the vehicles' front), mostly because their original toy designs were very different from their character models for the cartoonnote , so the animators lacked a good visual reference to work on.
  • With Looney Tunes, how a particular character looks depends almost entirely on who is in the director's chair. Although their general appearance remained constant, it was easy to recognize a Chuck Jones-directed Bugs Bunny short from a Friz Freleng one. A big reason for this was the fact that at Warners, it was generally the director's job to do the character model sheets and layouts (the key poses that serve as guides to the animators), and thus these followed the director's individual drawing style.
    • In the earlier Robert McKimson-directed Bugs Bunny cartoons Bugs was really chubby and fluffy, with stubby legs, hairy cheeks, and prominent front teeth. This "chubby Bugs" design is generally credited to McKimson unit animator Jean Blanchard. (Oddly enough, it was McKimson himself who'd drawn up the "standard" Bugs model sheet while still an animator for Bob Clampett's unit in the early '40s). Interestingly, Art Davis also used the chubby Bugs design in his only Bugs cartoon (1949's "Bowery Bugs").
    • One animator (Cal Dalton) in the earlier Friz Freleng's Bugs Bunny cartoons drew him with a round head, a skinny body with equally skinny limbs, long thin angular ears, and big fuzzy cheeks. The animators in Freleng's unit (Dalton, Richard Bickenbach, Ken Champin, Jack Bradbury, Gerry Chiniquy) had jarring contrasts in character appearances
    • This was most apparent during the mid-1930s, when the animators were still fiddling around with the designs. Porky Pig in particular varied greatly; in some cartoons, he was only somewhat portly, while in others he was fat to the point of obesity. It wasn't until about 1938 that Bob Clampett came up with the character we now recognize as Porky.
    • Similarly, Elmer Fudd didn't have a consistent look for a while. He varied from the big-headed guy he is now to being a guy with a normal-sized head and big nose. He also had a brief period in which he was fatter than Porky.
    • In the earlier Chuck Jones Daffy Duck cartoons he had two toes instead of three, and in the Frank Tashlin Daffy cartoons he had a very lean and angular design with a long bill.
    • In the Goofy Gophers short "Two Gophers from Texas", the two gophers change drastically in appearance depending on who's animating. Don Williams drew them short and chubby with short stubby tails and pointed ears while Bill Melendez drew them taller and thinner with long tails and round ears.
    • In the early 1940’s Friz Freleng cartoons when Phil Monroe animated, the characters would look like they came from a Chuck Jones cartoon, Monroe had previously worked with Jones and later went back to animating for him again.
    • When Rod Scribner animated, he would give the characters very wrinkled skin and big eyes with pupils that would turn into curved cylinders, and he had Foghorn Leghorn's comb and wattle move when he talked.
    • In Chuck Jones’ unit Lloyd Vaughan in his earlier work would often draw characters with one eye bigger than the other and Bugs Bunny with one front tooth longer than the other, and Ben Washam from the late 1940’s onward would draw Bugs Bunny with pointed front teeth.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack loves this trope. Every storyboard artist has their own style, and it shows.
  • Whatever you were used to seeing in the animation of Tiny Toon Adventures, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and Darkwing Duck, Kennedy Cartoons would turn it into a squash and stretch show (usually) drawn on ones. Each Kennedy artist had their own style as well, but the quality varies from cartoony distortion to just Off-Model. In fact, Kennedy was let go after the first season. One Tiny Toon Adventures character whose look tended to vary was Buster's rival Roderick Rat. When animated by Wang he is gray (except in one short where he was black) and has a cuter design, when animated by Kennedy he is brown and has a more sinister-looking appearance.
  • Animaniacs also had a passel of different animation studios working on it, often leading to examples of this trope.
  • The Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes cartoon artist(s) seem to have given Johnny a chin you could put a eye out with.
  • Gorgonzola from Chowder is possibly an example of this. Most of the time he's only drawn slightly chubby, not much.. but sometimes he is drawn almost as large as Chowder but on quite a few other occasions he's drawn really thin. (sometimes resulting in him looking like a baby with a unusually large head) Plus the disappearance and reappearance of his monobrow. The other characters are also subject to this kind of thing (not necessarily weight, though)
  • Froggo from Histeria! also falls into the whole "sometimes fat, sometimes thin" thing.
  • Prominent throughout Danny Phantom where the main trio (especially Danny) can either look ridiculously scrawny or look as though they got some meat in their diet and gained some muscles. Thought the series eventually progressed or gotten stiffer, they flip-flopped around often between these two kind of art styles throughout the run of the show. Then there was that brief "loose" style they had for the better part of Season One.
  • Yogi Bear:
    • Ranger Smith constantly changed his appearance in the original cartoons, even becoming a blonde in one episode of Yogi's Gang.
    • Yogi and Boo Boo's appearances also varied in the original shorts, until the feature film Hey There, it's Yogi Bear, whose designs for Yogi and Boo Boo were used from then on.
    • Parodied in the Spumco-made shorts, where Ranger Smith changed appearance between shots.
    • The entrance to Jellystone Park changed with every single short. It never had the same appearance. Ever.
    • In fact, many Hanna-Barbera productions were known for this until at least the mid-late 1960s (i.e., the beginning of the Taft era) when character designs and appearances remained mostly constant.
  • Fans of X-Men: The Animated Series will remember the revamped character appearances in the final episodes of the series, thanks to a new overseas unit taking over for the prior one. Of note is Jubilee (she went from cropped to shoulder length hair and apparently ditched the glasses), Magneto (who also gained longer hair) and Jean Grey (whose design in-costume matched how she looked in the comics — the cartoons gave her a ponytail that stuck out the back of her "mask" until those final episodes, where she finally had the whole thing come out from the top.
  • Family Guy: Poor, poor Meg Griffin. In some episodes she simply happens to have a wide body type but a stomach most real life girls would kill for, while in others she's got a muffin top.
  • Much like The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, the storyboarders of Adventure Time very freely let their own style show in their episodes. This is usually most prominent in how Finn is drawn -– sometimes he's a little more chubby or thin, his hat may or may not be rounded and more dimensional, his limbs may be more wiggly, etc. Jake's appearance widely varies too, but he may not count, being a Shapeshifter.
  • King of the Hill.
    • In scenes where Kahn ends up shirtless, his body is portrayed in a wide variety of ways. Sometimes he looks similar to the other guys and has a slight gut ("De-Kahnstructing Henry"), in others, he has a flat stomach and good pecs ("The Fat and the Furious"). And a few times, he's been shown to be quite ripped with a six-pack ("Get Your Freak Off").
    • How bald Dale is when shown hatless also varies. Sometimes he just has a moderately receding hairline, other times he's as bald as Bill.
    • After hitting puberty in season 5, the color of Joseph's shirt and shorts switched from green and white to blue and brown respectively. However, some artists forgot this and gave Joseph his old colors in some of the early post-puberty episodes.
  • Superjail! is built on this, with artists being encouraged to go off-model for all of the characters. Sometimes one artist will even have a few different styles for their take on the cast. Generally, every single character tends to show differences, but there are a few that normally stick out:
    • Alice's bust tends to alternate between being massive to even being smaller at points, while her stubble and body hair comes and goes. She may or may not have sideburns, and her mole tends to change places.
    • Jared's head size and facial proportions vary a lot, along with his hands going from having four fingers on each to having the usual five digit hands.
    • The Twins' wrinkles come and go, and their height alternates between them being on the taller end (nearly Alice's height, if not that) to the others towering over them. Their faces are generally either depicted as rounded and softer, or with heavier squared jaws. Their bodies can either be really scrawny, or have a considerable amount of muscle tone (even six-packs in one instance).
    • Just how horrific Ash is supposed to look from burn damage can vary. The common factors are his lack of ears (either shown as holes or puckered ones), only having nostrils for his nose, and his mutilated hands, although his face either can look skeletal or his head more rounded. Sometimes he looks as if he shouldn't even have eyelids.
    • Gary and Nicky have their hair colors alternate between a straight black, a brown-highlighted black, and dark brown. Gary's bird tends to change its general size as well, and sometimes Gary's hair is either center parted and slicked back, or he has a side part.
    • Lord Stingray's helmet either acts more like one, or as an Expressive Mask. His eyes are either drawn behind the lenses or as part of them, and his teeth vary from being normal to him having a mouth full of razor-sharp fangs.
  • In Generator Rex, Van Kleiss' hair is usually upper back length, but sometimes, his hair is drawn ethier shoulder-length, mid-back length, waist length or hip length.
  • On Mike, Lu & Og, the size of Mike's pigtails often varied.
  • Classic Disney Shorts:
    • Whether Minnie Mouse is shirtless like Mickey or wears a dress varies. They usually lean towards a dress however she will occasionally still wear her classic skirt.
    • Scenes animated by Ben Sharpsteen are easy to identify because he drew characters with mouths that curve towards the cheek.
    • Jack King drew Mickey with diagonal "pie-cut" eyes and buttons on the soles of his shoes.
    • Ken Muse, who would later animate for Tom and Jerry, was the only animator to draw Mickey Mouse with buck teeth.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Fluttershy's eyes have been dark blue, bright green and every color in between. Though admittedly that could be due to confusion over differences in the ambient lighting. Since the show's Animation Bump, Fluttershy's eyes have become permanently cyan/teal.
    • Background characters, due to their status as simple placeholders to fill out a scene, are still prone to sudden changes. Sometimes they have a different build, different cutie marks, horn or wings appear when they don't normally have them, etc. Also, the color of a background unicorn's magic is subject to change.
    • Lauren Faust has explained that Luna's pilot design is because she was reborn with very low magic levels after Nightmare Moon's defeat. After recovering, Luna transformed back into her taller, ethereal-maned self. This was also referenced in the second story arc of the comic book, which features a basically powerless Luna drawn in her pilot design for most of the arc. However, episodes of the show have depicted Luna with low magic and she still keeps her normal design; not even her mane changes.
  • In My Little Pony 'n Friends, Habbit the rabbit had three distinct looks (is he white? Is he brown? How anthropomorphic is he?) and while a pony's look remains the same (in fact, the same model was recolored for all the ponies; outside "Rescue at Midnight Castle," all ponies differ only in color and the presence/absence of horns/wings.) the same pony might have wildly different effects for using the same power. (On one occasion, the same pony teleports in with a Star Trek-like slow fade with shimmering particles, does what she needs to do, and then teleports out with a quick burst of white energy (the most common recurring effect for it.)
  • Kat from Kenny the Shark has two hairstyles used: One is just her hair down normally while the other variant has them ending in curls.
  • In Terry Toons shorts it is usually very easy to tell when animators are switched, one such example is from "A Wolf's Tale" the wolf's design wildly changes from scene to scene, in some scenes he's chubby with hairy cheeks, small ears and a short snout and in other scenes he's very skinny, has no hair on his cheeks, long ears, and a long snout, and when Jim Tyer joined his scenes were fast paced and rubbery.
  • Steven Universe:
    • The show discouraged strict adherence to model sheets and actively pushed for its animators to express their individual styles, so characters' proportions and sizes in relation to each other change frequently and drastically between episodes. Sometimes characters will be drawn with visible musculature and anatomy, sometimes with borderline Rubber-Hose Limbs.
    • In "the Return", Jasper's jaw is much larger, her hair is slightly elevated, and her body type is slightly broader. In the episode right after that, "Jail Break", her jawline is less defined, her hair is hanging loosely, and her body type is smaller.
    • This is quite noticeable with Peridot - she's rather short for a Crystal Gem with her limb enhancers removed, but she seems to get progressively stubbier as the series goes on.
  • Sometimes Eric from Jem has his hair styled in a manner that resembles devil horns and sometimes he doesn't.
  • Reoccurring characters The Hex Girls from Scooby-Doo have varied designs. The most noticeable is Luna. In The Witches Ghost she is black but in most future appearences, aside from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, she is white. Her bandmate Thorn had red highlights in her hair originally but supposedly they were removed in other appearances because she frightened children, though Mystery Inc brings back the red tone.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: There's a few artists that had a distinguishable style, but the one that stood out the most was C.H. Greenblatt (who later created the above-mentioned Chowder and Harvey Beaks). Watch any of his boarded episodes, and you can always tell that he's drawing those wacky facial expressions, especially Fear of a Krabby Patty, which was very Off-Model. In the post-sequel era, newcomer storyboard artist Adam Paloian is heading this direction as well. If you want proof, these are his drawings.
  • The Loud House: Although the show is animated digitally, the styles of the storyboard artists often show through. In particular, episodes boarded Kyle Marshall have the characters more prone to wonky, Off-Model expressions.
    • Does Luna wear earrings on both sides or just one? While her usual 3/4 view implies she has paperclip earrings on both sides, as do most of her forward facing shots, a single shot in "One Flu over the Loud House" shows her with only one earring on the right, and later productions (like her forward facing shots in later seasons, The Loud House Movie and even the live action movie) have her wearing a single paperclip on her left ear.
  • One particular animator for Tom and Jerry, Pete Burness, animated Tom with a hairy, scruffy looking coat, with big teeth and thick eyebrows which made him look very sinister and kind of ugly.
  • In Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Red Hulk's guns. They're big Hand Cannons with two barrels, but the details are in flux. In animation, this usually happens because you have more than one company handling the animation.
  • The last season of Captain N: The Game Master was done by a different studio from the first two, and the character designs were cheaper-looking than in the earlier seasons: in particular Kid Icarus has more baby-like proportions, a slightly different hairdo, and goes around barefoot instead of wearing sandals, Simon Belmont lacks goggles on his forehead, Mother Brain's design is overall simplified and Lana's footwear is changed from a pair of boots to what looks like a pair of shin guards worn over blue flats.
  • Ready Jet Go!: Despite being CGI, it has animation/model inconsistencies due to the different international studios that animate the show. For example, Sean's shape. Sometimes he has a bulging stomach, other times he doesn't. A common animation error also gives him a longer torso than in other scenes.
  • Certain layout artists from The Simpsons styles are more evident with how they drew certain characters, like for example Eric Stefani note  would draw Homer with a wide head and Luis Escobar would draw him with a very tall head.
  • For the Fleischer Popeye cartoons Dave Tendlar would draw the characters with big balloon like fingers, and Roland “Doc” Crandall would draw the titular character with a very wrinkled face.

  • This used to be the case for Day Out with Thomas events in the UK back in the 1990s and 2000s, as every British heritage railway that hosted the event at the time had their own different approach with Thomas and how he should look like, with his face and body on different railways widely varying between being very show-accurate to having little resemblence to the Tank Engine. The other engines are even less consistent than Thomas (see this gallery on the Thomas Wikia for just how crazy it was). Justified given that Thomas and friends are often just dressed up steam engines that the heritage railways happen to have on hand, explaining the inconsistency across railways. In more recent years, Mattel has started to clamp down on this and have begun to enforce a stricter and more consistent image, so it isn't as common as it once was (at least for Thomas). This is averted in the American events, as unlike the UK events, they all use replicas of the one operated by Strasburg Railroad.


Video Example(s):


Pen Ward to Alex Hirsch

The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack is noted for replicating the different styles of its' storyboard artists in its' animation. This is examplified in this brief section from the episode 'Gone Wishin'', where a Pendleton Ward drawing seemlessly morphs into a Alex Hirsch drawing.

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Example of:

Main / DependingOnTheArtist

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