Follow TV Tropes


Easy Sex Change

Go To

In Real Life, gender transition for a transgender person is a lengthy process involving extensive hormone and psychological therapy. For example, in the United Kingdom, most doctors will not administer hormone therapy without a recommendation from a psychologist, who must first spend months evaluating the patient to make sure that they are mentally stable and won't have any regrets.note  Getting genital surgery requires at least a year of being on hormones and of living full-time as that gender. Additionally, the physical changes brought about by hormones take several years to complete, as with puberty.


Surgeries are not necessarily the be-all-and-end-all aspect of transitioning, either. Not all trans people get them – plenty are happy with the results of hormones and/or social transitioning. Those who do undergo cosmetic procedures (such as facial or genital reconstruction) do not do them all at once, and they must recover from the procedures.

Trans folks must also deal with other problems both before and during their transitions. They might lose some friends, family members, or partners after coming out. The results of transition are diverse, and the common saying is "your mileage may vary." Just like puberty, hormone therapy can yield vastly different results for different people, and some may be unsatisfactory.

Examples of this trope disregard all or most of the above. Not only is the Easy Sex Change much faster, but the physical, psychological, and social complications are also minimized. The physical transformation is usually highly effective and sometimes accompanied by Magic Plastic Surgery (particularly when the role is played by different actors pre-op and post-op).


Attractive Bent-Gender is a common result. Not that this can't happen in Real Life (feminizing or masculinizing facial and body features are common, as stated earlier), but recipients of the Easy Sex Change almost always come out looking like a Hollywood starlet or supermodel.

Sex change surgery that is reversed is another common signifier of the Easy Sex Change. That being said, the "reversed sex change" is not completely unheard of in Real Life - see, e.g., the story of Iraqi millionaire Sam Kane.

Often followed by Old Friend, New Gender. Not to be confused with Gender Bender, which involves sex changes that (usually) are even easier, and driven by magic or Applied Phlebotinum. This trope is more about idealized (occasionally highly idealized) versions of Real Life SRS.

Contrast Trans Tribulations.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Back Street Girls: The entire premise is about three Yakuza men being forced to undergo reassignment surgery to become pop idols. This happens over the course of a quick trip to Thailand, followed by a year's worth of idol training. By the end, the three are indistinguishable from any other woman, with enough good looks to sell plenty of merchandise.
  • Franken Fran has Fran switch the sex of a boyfriend and girlfriend at her high school - literally swapping their torsos and genitalia - because the girlfriend was attacked once and is now afraid of men. Possibly justified by Fran quite frankly being crazy enough to do it, especially since she performs any surgery she thinks is warranted regardless of later psychological issues and believes "alive but in unimaginable, incurable psychological torment" to be preferable to "dead". Oddly enough, it's one of the few "happy" endings (though the couple in question is later revealed to have broken up after cheating on each other).
  • Wandering Son, which treats these types of issues more seriously in general, averts this. At one point, transgender Cool Big Sis Yuki confides to Yoshino that her mother can't forgive her because she wanted to be a girl, "wanted it so bad", which can imply that Yuki went through all the proper processes. It's also showing signs with the protagonists, who are slowly transitioning (well, as much as teenagers with parents who aren't letting them go to therapists can).
  • Averted in Pretty Face: Dr. Manabe insists on giving Rando a sex change (since he has a girl's face), and acts like this trope is real. Rando, on the other hand, knows better and beats up Manabe whenever he brings it up.
  • Semi-averted in The Day of Revolution: Kei/Megumi's gender reassignment goes fairly easily since she's already genetically female and physically intersex. However, everyone agreed to go through with it far too quickly and for fairly dubious reasons.
  • In Hes Dedicated To Roses, the main heroine briefly (but seriously) contemplates getting a sex change operation seeing how her crush is in love with her cross-dressing alter-ego and she doesn't want to hurt him by letting him know she's actually a girl. This idea is quickly shot down and isn't brought up again.
  • In The Vision of Escaflowne, it is revealed that Dilandau used to be an innocent little girl, and Allen Schezar's little sister at that. Although it's implied that there was a long, drawn-out process of some type required involving Emperor Dornkirk's "Fate Changing" experiments, which possibly involved some kind of probability-manipulating, extra-dimensional/quantum physics weirdness, but at the end, Dilandau reverts back to Celina and it's implied that she stays that way. This is not addressed in either the movie or the manga; in the movie, Dilandau is biologically male the entire time, and in the manga, the character is female and stays that way the whole time.
  • Marika from Bokura no Hentai averts this. She spends a while dressing up in private but eventually comes out to her mom after some friends tell her she should see a doctor. She spends a few weeks out of school, going to therapy and such, but ends up going to school as a girl. Even after that she suffers from some Pass Fail moments and is shown to be insecure in femininity.
  • Averted in Yuureitou. Tetsuo still looks feminine, in a Bishōnen way, despite being on testosterone for a while. He casually implies once he wants surgery but doesn't have the money.
  • Subverted in Kyou Kara Yonshimai. Kashiwa comes back from college specifically to save money on dorming due to her transitioning. One of her sisters even elaborates how expensive it is. Kashiwa's sisters at first think she had already gotten "the surgery" but she tells them she wouldn't do that without coming out to them first.
  • It's vague exactly how Yukari and Sora from Family Compo transitioned. It's implied they're both non-op and likely are not on hormones (Sora still menstruates and they have some Unsettling Gender Reveal moments involving their genitalia and chests) but are able to pass perfectly nevertheless. It's to such an extent that, when Masahiko requests them to dress as their assigned genders during his university welcoming, everyone assumes they're transvestites because Sora and Yukari look so masculine and feminine, respectively, compared to when they show up later in their preferred clothing and the same crowd is none the wiser.

    Comic Books 
  • The Sandman (1989): Averted in the story "A Game of You". Wanda lives as a woman and appears to be taking hormones but won't get "the operation" because she's terrified of surgery. It later comes out that she was rejected and despised by her entire family, who all want to pretend that the whole "wanting to be a girl thing" never happened. Gender change appears to have been very hard for Wanda so trying to live as a man must have been even harder. After her death, she's shown as a happy, beautiful woman in the afterlife.
  • Played with in Runaways with Xavin, who uses their Skrull physiology to take on a female form in order to woo the lesbian Karolina, but who soon suspects that mere cosmetic changes aren't going to be enough to keep Karolina happy in the long run.
  • Played with in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century, where Orlando spontaneously changes gender every few years. While the transformation is faster than medical gender reassignment, it's still a slow process that takes several days and is implied to be deeply uncomfortable to Orlando.
  • In Judge Dredd, this happens to one of the judging panel members of a TV Talent Contest by the application of a particular drug, changing the individual from a frail woman to a hulking, muscular man in a matter of minutes. However, the shock of the transition kills the individual several minutes later.

    Fan Works 
  • Discussed and averted in a The Penguins of Madagascar fic entitled Princess (Laburnum Steelfang); Kowalski, the resident Mad Scientist, quite easily could give Julien male anatomy, but they decide it's a bad idea because it would raise uncomfortable questions from the humans and because Kowalski's inventions have a tendency to go horribly wrong.
  • In This World and the Next: gender reassignment surgery is performed on an unconscious Ron without his knowledge and he wakes up a woman.
  • In this Linkin Park fanfiction, "Chessi" Bennoda becomes a completely passing young woman with the help of a makeover in one day. The fic is loaded with pretty offensive misconceptions about being transgender. Hilariously enough, the writer is a trans man that wrote it before he identified as such.
  • In Formerly Known as Harry Potter?, trans witches and wizards can take a series of potions during puberty to stop puberty and induce the puberty they want. As adults, they can use magic to change themselves more completely than muggles can.
  • In What Tomorrow Brings, Mertil reveals that several Andalites have used the morphing technology to do this via a Frolis manoeuvre (taking DNA from different Andalites to create a new body) if they feel genuinely uncomfortable in their original form.
  • In the oneshot The Gender Ninja of Oz, Ozma doesn't identify as completely male or female. They end up using the Magic Belt to change their appearance into something androgynous.
  • The Wound's Still Bleeding: There is only one way to physically transition and it is relatively easy in that it instantly changes you, however there's a huge catch: it can't be done on anyone over 20 because of how it strains the body, At 23, Kakashi is too old and can only transition socially.
  • In Excuses... Excuses..., ponies transition using magic, however it can't give you the ability to get pregnant or impregnate others.
  • Clair De Lune: Equestria has magic that can permanently change a pony's anatomy.
  • The Arithmancer: It's briefly noted in the sequel Lady Archimedes that Metamorphmagi can change their biological sex as part of their power, though it is more difficult than normal appearance alteration (such that "they can't do it on a whim") and it doesn't affect the Metamorphmagus' gender identity.
  • Holly Potter and the Witching World features a few ways to get an Easy Sex Change, though most of them are noted to be temporary. The most successful permanent version, the Mulierarius Potion, is not widely known — largely because the very sex-positive witching world is fine with people wanting to "experiment a little" with being a different sex, but (largely thanks to its skewed gender ratio) is far less accepting if anyone wants to make the change permanent.

  • Averted in The Silence of the Lambs, when Hannibal says that the Serial Killer Buffalo Bill will probably be found to have been rejected by multiple gender reassignment clinics because he thinks he is a trans woman when he really just hates himself.
    Lecter: Our Billy hates his own identity, you see. He always has, and he thinks that makes him a transsexual. But his pathology is a thousand times more savage and more terrifying. He wants to be reborn, you see.
  • A subversion of this trope is central to the premise of the off-Broadway play and movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Hedwig's surgery is done with little preparation by a shady East German doctor, leaving Hedwig with the "Angry Inch" of the title.
  • Invoked in the Adam Sandler version of The Longest Yard. Adam's team, the underdogs of the movie, replace someone on the guards' team's steroids with female hormone pills. Not more than two days later, said guy is bawling and weeping, supposedly acting feminine because of the hormone. To make a long story short, hormones do not work that way. A more likely outcome from suddenly taking a huge dose of estrogen would simply be getting very sick, in various "normal" ways (headache, nausea, etc.) Emotional side effects are possible, but would probably require testosterone-blocking medication to be taken at the same time.
  • In Myra Breckinridge, the character Myron Breckinridge has sex reassignment surgery that works so well that his new persona as Myra completely convinces everyone that she's been female all along... which she should, being played by Raquel Welch (with Rex Reed as Myron who tags along as Myra's more-or-less imaginary friend). Justified, as it turns out the whole movie is a dream the closeted Myron is having.
  • Deathstalker: One of the mooks is transformed instantly into a woman via magic. He is sent to seduce and kill the Deathstalker, but Deathstalker feels something is not quite right and doesn't go thru with the love making.
  • While not as "easy" for the patient as most examples, a dark take in The Skin I Live In is similarly unrealistic, as a surgeon does an involuntary sex change on the guy who raped his daughter. He also keeps him/her in isolation and uses him/her as a guinea pig for developing artificial skin.
  • Subverted in Bad Education (2004). Ignacio is prevented from having one because he doesn't have enough money. All he manages to get are breast implants, and he still looks like a man in spite of that.
  • The Assignment (2016): It's unclear just how long, but within very little time Jane performs a full set of sex reassignment surgeries on Frank, altering his cheeks, throat, nose, and genitals. This isn't possible, willing or not, as he'd need time for recovery from each one. There's no indication that he was held very long, however. Of course, since he's played by Michelle Rodriguez, he comes out with her appearance (which is also quite implausible).
  • In the Italian comedy Le Comiche 2 the two main characters cause the main recurring chew toy character to undergo an undesired breast augmentation first and a sexual reassignment surgery later. The movie completely glosses over the psychological implications and trauma of an undesired sex change. After the breast augmentation, the character is shown behaving and living as male, embarrassingly hiding the fact he has breasts and wearing a bra due to circumstances. Once his male genitals are removed, they are completely accepting to be a woman.

  • Members of The Culture can change sex at will, although it does take several months for the changes to gradually take place. Justified because they're ridiculously advanced transhuman post-scarcity beings who can also (for example) produce a variety of drugs and chemicals from specially-tailored glands within their bodies simply by choosing to do so.
  • Fairly easy sex changes (taking several months) are available to anyone who wants them in Walter Jon Williams' Aristoi, using a "nanologic" package. Another nanotech procedure allows men to experience pregnancy.
  • Tanith Lee's Biting the Sun books describe an ultra-futuristic society with very easy sex and body changes. Officially, you are only supposed to change bodies once per month, but everybody flouts this rule all the time.
  • In John Varley's Eight Worlds series, sex changes are so commonplace that anyone who spends their life as just one is considered a little weird, and population control laws are: "one person, one child."
  • In the books Accelerando and Glass House by Charles Stross, people living in post-Acceleration times have completely mutable bodies: They can get a new body of either sex (or both, or neither) in as little as a kilosec (just under 17 minutes) - the time it takes an A-Gate to build it for them. This leads to phrases such as "I found myself in a female orthohuman body...".
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Within A Civil Campaign, the saga of Lady Donna's sex change to Lord Dono shows that sex changes are relatively easy and painless with futuristic genetic technology, although Lord Dono comments that it does take time and his guy parts are still growing in. No mention of therapy is made although the character did go to Beta Colony, a planet known for pervasive (sex) therapy, and in fact, Dono's stated reason for the change (Loophole Abuse in highly patriarchal Barrayar's inheritance laws) is at best highly dubious. It's possible that Dono deliberately avoids mentioning any mandatory therapy since a) he is seeking public office, b) his family is not known for their mental stability, and c) on Barrayar, therapy carries a stigma of presumed violent insanity. The process is also apparently quite possible to reverse, which would lead to some relaxation of the rules.
  • The book Trans Sister Radio has Dana (AMAB), a college professor, get their surgery done to become female over the summer so that she can come back in the fall as female. (At the time the book was written, one was supposed to live as the other gender for a year before surgery even gets done, which Dana doesn't do. The effects of her hormone replacement therapy are also much more rapid than in real life.) The author seems to have sped up the process for drama, especially since Dana's girlfriend is a public-school teacher and thus everyone in town objects to them. At one point in the book this trope is played straight, as a doctor discusses another MtF sex change (that he didn't perform) where the man's wife decided she was a lesbian, so he had a sex change to stay with her, only to be then dumped because the wife decided she wasn't a lesbian after all.
  • George Alec Effinger's Marîd Audran series takes place in the Budayeen, a Red Light District of a 23rd century Cyberpunk Muslim/Arab city. In this setting, sex changes while expensive are still easy and commonplace. Also quite effective, though not quite to the point of being a true Gender Bender treatment. Attractive Bent-Gender is the norm, not the exception.
  • Neil Gaiman's short story Changes features a pill (originally created as a cancer cure) that has the "side effect" of causing a painless, perfect, permanent yet easily reversible (just pop another one) sex change overnight. The story follows the way society changes following that discovery, and towards its end years later, the very concept of gender has become completely ambiguous and the words used to describe it considered strange and outdated.
  • Kane: This happens to Mina Rush in "Deep in the Depths of Acme Warehouse". However, it was probably magic, as the object that caused the change was a dildo modeled after the plaster cast of Jimi Hendrix's penis found in the said Acme Warehouse.
  • I Am J averts and discusses this. J is a seventeen-year-old trans boy who discovers early in the book about trans people and transitioning. He begins taking hormones partway through the book, but to his disappointment, he has to get a signed letter from his mother and go through therapy first. His friend Melissa doesn't quite understand what being transgender means until he thoroughly explains it. She heard that trans people "have surgery, and then they become the other gender", but J tells her otherwise.
  • The short story "Paradigms of Change" by Geoffrey A. Landis has an "X virus" accidentally developed from experimental gene therapy. Most of the people infected by it (at least that we see) are not volunteers, and the Second Law of Gender-Bending is very much averted, with frequent mention of the work to create a "Y virus" that will reverse the effects.
  • Discussed heavily in Bangkok 8, where Dr. Surichai brags about his artistry in turning Ussiri into Fatima, who is perfectly feminine, but he admits that a lot of time, money, and effort went into this transformation.
  • In Tales of the City, Anna Madrigal went under the knife as soon as the option became available, and by the 1970s, nobody seems to be able to tell that she is a trans woman.
  • Because the Igors in the Discworld novels are crazy talented at all kinds of surgery, including plastic, this is taken to its logical extreme in Monstrous Regiment where an Igorina is not only able to pass as an Igor with almost trivial ease, but she is able to physically reconfigure herself between the curvy and beautiful Igorina shape and the ugly and hunchbacked Igor shape in a process that might as well come with Transformers sound effects, all by apparently flexing a few specific groups of muscles.
  • Digitesque: One of the relics left behind by the ancients is the "geneforge," which allows for a person's body to be easily reshaped to their exact desires. It can be used for minor things like skin color, but also for full sex changes. While geneforges are pretty rare these days, using them is still considered a sacred right.
    Ada: [reading the inscription] The lives we live need not be the lives we were given.
  • Women's Need Calls Me, a short story in the Heralds of Valdemar setting, features the magic sword Need, generally believed to be Gender-Restricted Gear, chooses a trans woman with intense dysphoria. In a later-set book Need is able to make small and greatly desired changes, day by day, to another character's body which add up to a clear difference several months later. Here, Need just dismantles an ominous locus of magic energy and uses it to completely transform Pol's body overnight, though doing so came with some risk of failure and drains the sword into 'sleeping' for decades.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Invoked in an episode of The Love Boat where a woman assumes that a man on the cruise is traveling for a sex change operation because he has a dress in his room (among other misunderstandings) because obviously he would be traveling and living as a man right up until he gets the operation and jumps into womanhood all at once.
  • Wonder Showzen: Mother Nature cuts off her own lady parts with a knife, then puts them in a bucket. She dies as a result of attempting surgery on herself. Then another puppet has sex with the bucket of bloody lady parts. It's just that kind of show.
  • Nip/Tuck had an episode with an MTF transperson becoming male again after realizing she really felt more comfortable being a gay male. Christian Troy does the surgery ASAP, without any of the prerequisites. Even assuming that Troy is an unscrupulous and unethical doctor, sexual reassignment surgery still doesn't work that way.
  • The Psych episode "Who Ya Gonna Call" had a man with three alternate personalities: a woman who wanted to have SRS, a confused normal guy, and a psychopath who had murdered the doctor to prevent his imminent surgery, although he wasn't taking hormones or undergoing any other precursors to SRS. Somewhat averted in that there was a psychologist involved, but the SRS process as presented was heavily compressed.
  • Averted in CSI in one episode, where they investigate the death of a woman and discover that she is a trans woman in the midst of transitioning to female, and has not yet had any genital surgery. They also meet a well-intentioned back-alley doctor who explains how this trope is nowhere close to true in real life, and how the length of the process (both from a medical and bureaucratic standpoint) makes people turn to people like him even though it puts them in danger.
  • The sitcom Soap had almost the perfect example of this trope. In an early story arc, Jodie (Billy Crystal) decides to have a sex change to please his boyfriend. Despite no real-life experience (aside from a bit of cross-dressing), no hormonal therapy, no psych evaluation, still looking like what he is (a man), he gets admitted to a hospital to have his outie turned into an innie, and they're apparently quite willing to do it. He does not go through with it.
  • In the "Nobody's Perfect" episode of Karen Sisco, Karen hunts fugitive Louis DiNardo. Eventually, it turns out that Louis has had surgery to become "Lois". The timeline is a little vague but certainly not enough time has elapsed for the requirements of ethical SRS medical treatment. While easy, the surgery is also thorough (Lois specifically mentions that she no longer has a penis and that she "doesn't miss it"), and quite successful. While Louis is played by a cisgender male actor, Lois is played by Alexandra Billings, an attractive transgender actress.
  • Degrassi set themselves up to sidestep this whole part of the issue by putting Adam in Grade 11 at age fifteen, meaning he's on schedule to graduate from High School and therefore the show before he turns 18 and can begin physical transitioning. He was retconned into a sophomore in the second half of Season 10 and then killed off while he was still pre-hormones.
  • Addressed (and averted) in an episode of Private Practice, where a patient is told that their procedure will have to be delayed because Sheldon suspects that although the desire for the operation is genuine, there are psychological issues that need to be addressed to ensure everything goes smoothly. He turns out to be right when the patient attempts suicide upon being given this news, and offers to help them get through these issues so she can complete the process of becoming a woman.
  • In the much-derided Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Profit and Lace", Quark is forced to pretend to be a woman and conduct a meeting with an important Ferengi businessman (on the subject of women's rights on Ferenginar) while his mother is out of commission. Apparently, 24th-Century technology allows them to perform a complete sex change operation on him in just a few hours and then change him back to a man the following day (presumably they kept his... male parts in bio-stasis or something). The only nod to reality is a quick gag at the very end where his hormones are temporarily out of balance and it makes him emotional. Granted, this is Star Trek, where plastic surgery to make someone look like a different species is apparently an outpatient procedure.
  • In the Torchwood episode "Greeks Bearing Gifts", Jack claims that he started paying closer attention to his co-workers after a male colleague began "acting strange" right before going on several weeks leave and returning as a woman named Vanessa. Since Jack only mentions this in passing, it's possible that sex changes are handled differently in the 51st century, and it's always possible that Jack is just that oblivious.
  • That's what Barbara of Babs' Cabs the lady of The League of Gentlemen, wished to go for and she would have if it wasn't for one small, insignificant detail at the very last minute. She has been for some years into the process ("I've only been on the hormone treatments eighteen months. Me nipples are like bullets.") dressing and presenting herself as a woman, despite leaving many things that pointed to the contrary unchanged such as the voice and the hair. At the first series finale, she is about to make the big step and we last see her lying in the operation bed preparing for the moment only to be informed by the nurse that the surgeon isn't available but his replacement will take over. And then we see that Doctor Chinnery is the replacement and as the drug takes effect, everything fades away including the shears that he gets out.
  • In Mendol Ikemen, the manager Saeko apparently had one. But the characters keep referring to her as a man after The Reveal, suggesting she's merely a Creepy Crossdresser (or, perhaps, that the characters are just really insensitive?)
  • Averted in the Picket Fences episode "Pageantry". A schoolteacher is found to be transgender which causes problems with the townsfolk. Jill Brock defends the transgender individual's credibility by explaining that undergoing such a process involves a number of steps and is not something done on a whim.
  • The L Word: Averted with trans man Max (Moira formerly). The characterization was generally pretty awful, and much of the actual science was off - being on testosterone for as long as he'd been, it would be damn near impossible to get pregnant, even with no birth control methods being used; also, "roid rage" is a myth, and as such couldn't possibly be exacerbated by having testosterone obtained illegally. Non-prescribed testosterone's risks are vastly associated with the substance either being doctored or effectively "overdosing" - after a certain point, testosterone reaches maximum saturation in the body and the remainder is converted into estrogen, which is why non-trans bodybuilders using it can experience shrinking of testicles and breast growth. But he did hold a benefit to pay for his chest surgery (breast reduction/chest masculinization), which meant he couldn't afford even the more basic and less expensive of the "sex change" surgeries. Just FTM chest surgery ranges run about $8k in reality, not including travel, time off work, etc.
  • The Alex-to-Alexis transition in Ugly Betty took quite a long time and involved several episodes featuring Alexis wrapped up in bandages while recovering from the surgery. On the other hand, she did come out looking like Rebecca Romijn, so...
  • Nao from Kinpachi-sensei averts this. He wants surgery now but is told by a doctor it's a long process. He's only fifteen and won't be allowed to go on hormones until age twenty, age eighteen with parental consent. It would take two to three years of hormones until he can get any surgery and even then he'd need a lot of therapy beforehand. Nao's understandably distraught.
  • Averted in Pose, where Elektra, Angel, and Candy all want to transition. Angel is trying to save up money for it, while Candy has no hope of ever earning enough money for it. Elektra manages to steal enough money for surgery and undergoes GRS, but she spends a while in the hospital in great pain and faces the prospect of being abandoned by both her "children" (who are pissed because she raided Abundance's Christmas fund to make a down payment on the surgery) and her longtime lover, who was against her getting the surgery.
  • Hit & Miss: Averted. Mia has to take hormone pills and use hormone cream; she starts to panic when she misses them for a single day. She's also still saving up for sex reassignment surgery.

  • Played with in the NOFX song "My Vagina", which is sung from the perspective of a trans woman who went through an operation. The singer complains about remembering to put the seat down when she uses the toilet and having to be more thorough in cleaning herself, but considers it worth it to be able to hang out with lesbians.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In the Japanese promotion FMW, we have the strange case of Gosaku, who underwent a sex change and became Asuza Kudo. Then she decided to get changed back and somehow became the half-spider Bio-monster DNA in the process. Japanese wrestling is weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeird.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Transhuman Space includes this as part of the general high-biotech transhumanist style of the setting and quite a lot of people are said to change, permanently or temporarily. However, it doesn't seem to come up much in the game beyond this mention.
  • In Eclipse Phase a sex change requires nothing more than twelve hours in a Healing Vat. There's also a fairly inexpensive Sex Switch biomod that allows one to change sexes at will, though it takes a week, at least you're out and about during the change.
  • In Hc Svnt Dracones GRS is a relatively simple gene therapy procedure, however the perceived ease has made it more difficult for trans individuals who can't afford it like Cassi in the module "Hope" to find acceptance in society.
  • Shadowrun: Due to advances in cybertech, biotech, and genetech, sex changes have become relatively cheap, easy to perform procedures. To the point that notable runner Plan 9 has apparently had so many sex change operations that they can't remember which sex they started out as, over the course of just a few years.
  • In Teenagers from Outer Space, the Boy-Girl Gun swaps your gender every time you get hit with it. It's available for $10.
  • Consciously averted in Magic: The Gathering. The game's first openly transgender character, Alesha, is associated with the mana colors of red, white, and black. The designers stated that they chose this because none of those colors have access to Sex Shifter magic, and they wanted to make the character more realistic.
  • In the Science Fantasy RPG Starfinder, Serum of Sex Shift is a mass-produced magic item that instantly and permanently gives the imbiber a set of sexual characteristics of their choice.

    Video Games 
  • In BioShock it is stated in an audio log by Dr. Steinman that Adam makes this easy.
  • Circuits Edge, the 1989 CRPG based on George Alec Effinger's Marîd Audran series (see Literature, above), likewise features several characters who have had Easy Sex Changes (though it's not an in-game option for the player/Audran himself.)
  • A documentary about Poison's (from Final Fight) gender identity as a trans woman jokes about her being stated to be a new half (the term for pre-op trans women with male genitalia) in Japan but post-op with female genitalia in the USA with a cartoon segment. In said segment, Poison is on a flight from Japan to America, and upon reaching American territories, a doctor rushes up to her with a syringe and surgical tools to change her sex before they land.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, alchemist Cagliostro simply uses alchemy to create a new female body and transfer her soul over from her former male body to her current female body.
  • With tongue firmly in cheek, one of the fake radio ads in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas advertises this sort of thing.
  • Adventure in The Sleazy Back Alley of Kingdom of Loathing, and you may run into a clinic where you can get a sex change for 500 Meat and 1 Adventure, and be on your way the same day. Do it often enough, and you become eligible for a trophy. What's the meat for? You don't want to know. note 
  • In Saints Row 2, 3 and 4, you can get a sex change for just five hundred dollars at the plastic surgeon. And not only is it cheap, but it's also instantaneous! (You can also go from white to black, or black to Hispanic, or white to Asian, green or blue, change from being skinny as a nail to morbidly obese, or anything else you can think of.) In the third game, this is necessary if you play as a female Boss since one mission requires you to get plastic surgery to become Cyrus Temple and infiltrate a ship.
  • Discussed in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Apparently magic makes it fairly easy to physically transform one's sex. The problem is that magic is heavily stigmatized in non-Tevinter nations throughout Thedas, and even many Tevinter citizens are still incredibly wary of magic. Case in point: transgender character Krem (who is Tevinter) admits that he would never let magic go near his body to change "all the way".
  • RuneScape: The Makeover Mage will change your character's sex for a small price. One quest has a boss that can't be beaten by a male character and so you are forced to get a sex change to complete it. If you were male at the start of the quest then the quest giver will reimburse you for the sex change and give you a coupon to change you back for free when the quest is finished. The Mage themself frequently swaps their own gender.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X allows you to change your character's gender once you complete a side mission. Since your body isn't human but rather a mimeosome, Yardley's machine is easily capable of changing every appearance, including gender.
  • After a patch to The Sims 4, partially or even fully changing a Sim's sex - to the tune of dramatic body and voice changes and adding/removing the ability to become pregnant and impregnate others - can be done at a mirror or dresser by any teenage-or-older Sim at any time.
  • Before that, MySims did it by simply not assigning a gender variable.
  • This trope is used in a very really bizarre (and squick-inducing) way in the Japanese-exclusive game Han-Seimei Senki Andorogynus for the MSX and PC-88 at the half of the game: After the titular, male-looking, protagonist is fatally wounded, he is "rebuild" as a beautiful woman, which she doesn't look like her previous male form at all. Keep in mind his previous male form was this and her new female form is now this. The squick part came out with the fact we can see almost all of the sex-change surgery in its gory detail (well, only two images, one of them being having his face pulled, but the narration leaves nothing to the imagination).
  • Borderlands 3: Discussed. Apparently the physical process of a sex change is as easy as stepping into a Quick-Change Station (the same stations you use to re-spec your skills and change your skins), but Lorelei notes that there's a lot more to it than that. Since she's in the middle of a war, she doesn't have time for all the stuff that would come after and therefore chooses not to get the sex change yet.
  • World of Warcraft used to charge $15 USD to change a character's gender, as part of a broader appearance change service. In a nod to their trans playerbase, as of the Shadowlands expansion, characters can now change their appearance, which includes character gender, at any in-game barber for a nominal sum of in-game gold.

  • Ballerina Mafia has a sex change performed overnight as an April Fool's joke.
  • A Running Gag in College Roomies from Hell!!! is the horrifying side businesses of the Hot Dog Man, which include "quick and effective sex-change surgery".
  • Aversion in High Maintenance, a comic centering on a transgender vigilante and her transitioning friend/sidekick. It might help that the writer is transgender.
  • In the Jet Dream Remix Comic, NATO scientists have re-engineered the bioweapon Virus-X into a viable Gender Bender. Unable to replicate the Western effort, Soviet scientists perfected the Easy Sex Change. While considered quite inferior and much more painful, this surgical process is much more widely available, and a powerful tool for the Reds in the "Cool War" to win over the world's teens.
  • Averted and pointed out in Khaos Komix, and the author would know, from personal experience. Though the pre-transition was unusually easy, and they pass very well.
  • One of the many possible modifications offered by GavCorps Diversity Engineering division in Schlock Mercenary. Somewhat justified given the already established medical technology in the 31st century -quite a few characters have had new & different bodies regrown from just their severed heads. When Elf had her legs regrown, she got longer legs than before and a larger chest during the same procedure. The machine in question was military grade, with plans available on the hypernet and "fabbed" onboard. The doctor here tells about how her third pass through "the can" shifted her from male to female, giving a brief synopsis of the process; the change happens on the genetic level as well as higher ones.
  • Comes up a lot, sometimes subverted, sometimes played straight, in Unicorn Jelly and other works by Jennifer Diane Reitz, who is herself transsexual. Played straight in To Save Her, thanks to Kaye's Mover containing incredibly advanced medical technology. For a machine that can grant immortality and resurrect a dead human-crystal hybrid after an explosion tore her to pieces, something like a sex change is piece of cake.
  • Presented mostly realistic for Venus Envy (by a transgender author). Though Zoe has been on hormone treatment for months she has yet to develop any substantial breasts and wears a padded bra instead. Plus the rest of her "equipment" is still intact, which occasionally causes problems...
  • In Umlaut House Rick invented a gender bender ray that changes someone's sex instantly and implied to be completely, judging by his "28 days" comment when Voltair accidentally used it. It's later shown that he made it to help his "colleague" Dr. Peggy Seus (born as "James")
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Tedd long ago invented a device that allows him to change a person's biological sex (and other features) essentially at will. In fact, his obsession with transforming himself and his friends into the opposite sex could have been seen as somewhat creepy... until it's revealed that he's genderfluid, and was using the tech to help him wrestle with his own gender identity. He actually used the change ray to walk around school as a girl for several days, but he was already so effeminate as a guy that no one noticed.
    • Magus demonstrates a darker side of this trope. In his world, magic is commonplace, including gender-bending magic. This means that gender equality lags far behind our world; if a woman wants to become a soldier, she's allowed, but she's expected to become a man first.
  • Averted with Aubrey in Boy Meets Boy - Aubrey is identifying and presenting as a man but has not had "the surgery" (implied to be bottom surgery; there's also no mention of top surgery or hormones). Since he already worries a great deal about being seen as a "real man" and he pulled an Old Friend, New Gender on the main cast of the comic, he angsts about how to reveal this to them, especially Aurora, though when he finally does:
    Aurora: So you interrupted my long, fascinating story just to tell me that one little bitty detail?
    Aubrey: ...Yes.
    Aurora: Trust me, you count as a guy. Now, where was I...

    Web Original 
  • The round robin story H! Flash had this very heavily implied to have happened to a character at the end of one of the chapters. The next writer, however, hated this trope and had "the operation" turn out to simply be exploratory surgery in preparation for the theoretically more realistic reassignment surgery to follow. The author of the previous chapter was not well pleased.
  • Averted in The Salvation War series. The character 'kitten' (small K, not a typo; it's complicated) is partly inspired by someone known to the author who went through the same process herself.
  • In their crossover review of Myra Breckinridge, The Cinema Snob and Diamanda Hagan discuss the sex change with (unhappy to be cameoing) trans activist Zinnia Jones, who notes that a) telling Myron right before the surgery that once the penis is gone it's gone for good is rather late to be mentioning that, and b) given that Myron's still presenting as a man (complete with facial stubble) she would have thought Myron was FTM rather than MTF.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Averted with Generator. She did manage to get a fully successful transformation at one point with the BIT-Splicer, but then later events reversed it, and at the same time made conventional SRS impossible in the future due to her new Healing Factor. Eventually, some doctors found a solution involving a less conventional surgical approach, but it remains to be seen how successful it will be.
    • Zig-zagged with Grace Goodkind. While the Devisor drug treatment she got was less intrusive and more effective than conventional SRS would have been, it still took several weeks, and included several additional rounds of plastic surgery to bring it to her desired form - which was not so much female but intersexed in any case. Furthermore, it came at the end of several years of gender therapy and secret use of hormone suppressants, and the treatment itself was incredibly dangerous. Grace has stated that the only reason she took such a drastic approach was that she knew how the family would react, and needed to do it as quickly and silently as possible to avoid them stopping her.
  • In the SCP Foundation provides a few examples:
    • SCP-113 is a stone that upon coming into direct contact with the flesh of an organism possessing sex chromosomes will transform the organism's physical sex characteristics in a way that usually results in reversing the organism's biological sex. It takes about a minute and is excruciatingly painful.
    • SCP-6113 is an entity that goes around finding transgender people at their lowest point and provides these to help them.
    • The GOC exaggerates, inverts, and zig-zags this trope in this tale. Given the number of thaumaturges in their ranks, it's only natural that the process involves 3-D modeling a new body down to the fingerprints, forging a symbolic sword and chalice with a dwarf, and undergoing a ritual that retcons the universe into having always been the other gender.

    Western Animation 
  • The South Park episode "Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina" doesn't specify how much time passes from the operation to "her" first public outing (after which he went home to Mr. Slave the very same night), but it can't have been very long.
    • As one might expect from such an overnight sex change, Garrison never really looks much like a woman, let alone a supermodel. He does somehow get curvy hips and a pair of breasts as part of his new configuration, even though developing those typically require years on hormones and/or other surgical procedures, and they don't come automatically with GRS.
  • In the Futurama episode "Bend Her", Bender becomes a woman to cheat at the Olympics. The procedure involves changing out his male oil for female oil and snipping off his antenna. The operation also involves hitting his body with a hammer until it looks vaguely feminine. To be fair, Professor Farnsworth does give Bender some disclosure, about the danger of Bender's being "trapped forever between the already ill-defined robot sexes." Plus, y'know, he's a robot.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force
  • In The Venture Bros., Colonel Hunter Gathers' operation (and subsequent reversal, all part of Xanatos Speed Chess plan) is Zig-Zagged. It's "quick" compared to real life, in that he just kidnaps a top plastic surgeon to perform it in an ancient temple. However, the work done is shown in the scars, stitches, and medical tape on Gather's body from all the incision sites, averting the "easy" portion for both doctor and patient. The reversal seemingly happens instantly with no lingering side effects. However, while not outright stated, many comments made by other characters throughout the series, as well as Hunters' consistent appearance in skintight outfits (particularly in Rusty's classic pink speed suit while impersonating him where Gathers appears to sport a camel toe), imply that he never "got" his male genitalia back. This would avert the trope and play it closer to reality, where reversing a male to female sex change is incredibly difficult and is one of the reasons why it is not "easy" to get one in real life.
  • A flashback in the Superjail! episode "Jailbot 2.0" shows that Alice underwent a rather quick hormonal transition to try to become an attractive woman, in hopes of finally getting to date her old warden. However, she then found out that he was a gay man, and once he discovers she changed, he fired her. Subverted a bit in that Alice is still visibly brawny, deep-voiced, and hasn't "gotten it removed" (as she states in the season 2 finale).
  • Family Guy: In "Quagmire's Dad", the titular character goes in for surgery, and comes out a few (onscreen) minutes later looking like a mannish woman. No time needed to heal, and ready to have sex with an unknowing Brian right away!
  • Ugly Americans:
    • Callie gets a sex change to get a job as New York Ambassador to Atlantis. At the end of the episode, just as suddenly as she changed into a man, she's mostly back to normal, but, in bed, Mark mentions her needing "a few more surgeries." From then on out, though, she's back to normal.
    • An older episode had Mark himself transformed into looking like his roommate's ex-girlfriend, hoping to help him get over her. Unfortunately for Mark, seeing how his change was a curse that made him rapidly age until he had sex with a man, he didn't turn back so easily. The initial easiness is explained by Leonard Did It.