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Eleventh Hour Costume Change

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This is it. The ultimate showdown between good and evil. You're facing the Big Bad... or something else cool and ultimate showdown-y. But wait a second? Your hairstyle isn't right? Your outfit is just "meh"?

Well, you need an 11th-hour costume change. How? Simple! You can make a wish, cast a magic spell, or some other supernatural magic can happen. You can also just find another outfit in your wardrobe too! We're not picky! It doesn't necessarily need magic!

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This may or may not happen directly before facing the Big Bad or some final confrontation, but it's only this trope if it happens either in:

  • The Final Season or the later half of the Final Season in a TV series.
  • Right before the confrontation of the Big Bad in a Video Game/Movie/Tv Series/Comic Book/ Etc
  • As the characters are preparing to face the big bad.

This often reflects how a character has changed, or how this character Took a Level in Badass.

Often comes with 11th-Hour Superpower.

And Remember, this takes place in the "Eleventh Hour" so spoilers will often appear in the examples. Take care if you don't want things spoiled for you!


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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Cross Ange: As Ange enters the final battle against Embryo, a new, white variant of her outfit materializes on her body.
  • Before their battle against Cell in Dragon Ball Z, Goku who was training in Saiyan Armor opts to change into his classic orange gi so he can "fight as an Earthling." Gohan on the other hand asks for an outfit like Piccolo's in order to honor his first teacher.
  • In Eureka Seven, Renton gets an entire new outfit as he heads out to rescue Eureka. Understandable since his old outfit was in tatters.
  • Soul Eater: Right before Maka, Soul, Black Star, and Tsubaki go to the Moon to confront Crona and Kishin Asura, they switch from their Spartoi outfits to their classic garbs before setting off for the final battle.

    Comic Books 
  • Justice: For the final confrontation with the Legion of Doom, and in order to protect themselves from Brainiac's mind-control worms, the Justice League dons armors using the Metal Men and other methods.

    Fan Works 
  • Cassandra sports three different costumes across Angel of the Bat: her classic Batgirl2000 costume, a gaudy, all-white variation of it, and a more streamlined, aesthetically pleasing variation of the white uniform. The last of the three she received just before the final showdown. It does stick around to become her permanent costume in the sequel.
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    Films — Animation 
  • Incredibles 2: Helen spends most of the movie in an updated version of her original Elastigirl costume. Before entering the final battle, she changes back into her red-and-black Mrs. Incredible suit from the first film, as the less-durable DevTech-made Elastigirl suit had become damaged in a previous scene.

    Films – Live Action 
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Dr. Robotnik spends a majority of the film dressed in a black suit. Near the end of the film, he wears a red flight suit similar to that of his video game counterpart as he confronts Sonic, Tom and Maddie on the Transamerica Pyramid in his hovercraft. And Sonic himself spent most of the movie wearing ratty mismatched shoes before being given his classic red and white ones.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: For the final battle at the Black Gate, Aragorn switches from his Ranger outfit to a more regal-looking Gondor armor.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man 2 has Tony switch to a newer version of Iron Man armor before taking on Whiplash.
    • The Avengers (2012) also has Tony switch to new armor.
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron:
      • Once again, Tony adapts a newer Iron Man armor for the final battle. The Mark 45 is Tony's first Iron Man armor to use FRIDAY as an AI, after all his previous armors used JARVIS (who has now been used to give life to Vision).
      • Combined with Good Costume Switch, for the final battle in Sokovia, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff change into outfits more reminiscent of their comic book counterparts. Wanda dons a red leather jacket while Pietro puts on a silver shirt with blue accents.
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Steve goes out to steal his old World War II uniform from the Smithsonian before the mission to ground the Helicarriers that HYDRA is about to launch. This is because he'd abandoned his SHIELD uniform earlier in the film (as established in a deleted scene) due to HYDRA installing a tracker on it and he hopes that the familiar uniform will jog a brainwashed Bucky's memory.
      Steve: If you're going to fight a war, you got to wear a uniform.
    • Thor: Ragnarok:
      • Loki's costume on Sakaar is dark blue/violet with a dark blue/yellow cape. When he returns to Asgard to join the battle against Hela, he wears the same outfit but in black/green with a green cape.
      • After spending most of the movie wearing black leather, Valkyrie dons an old suit of white and gold Valkyrior armor from the Asgardian armory for the final battle.
    • In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter makes a new red and black costume for himself right before fighting the Big Bad. This is especially significant since it is the first high-tech suit that Peter has made himself.
  • Immediately after finally claiming the trident of Atlan and securing the good will and assistance of the Karathen in Aquaman, the titular hero, having spent the majority of the movie dressed in either surface world civilian clothes or a version of the armor similar to what he wore in Justice League, steps out of the waterfall that led to the Karathen's lair dressed in his iconic orange and green suit from the comics. Just in time for his final battle against Orm, the film's Big Bad.
  • In Batman Forever, Batman dons a silver batsuit with sonar capabilities before his final confrontation with Riddler (justified, as his standard batsuits had been destroyed earlier). Also, after wearing a fabric version of his classic costume throughout the film, Robin is given an armored version when he joins Batman.
  • In D2: The Mighty Ducks after Iceland takes a 4-1 lead with one period to go in the championship game, Team USA changes into new Ducks uniforms (that suspiciously looked like ones the new professional hockey team owned by Disney were going to wear) for the third period.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Daredevil (2015): Throughout Season 1, Matt fights in an all-black homemade costume, rather than his comic counterpart's more famous look. The iconic red Daredevil armor first appears in the finale, as Matt gears up for his climactic confrontation against Wilson Fisk.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In Muppet Treasure Island, the good guys have a rather gratuitous costume change, all putting on matching clean white shirts and dark breeches before confronting Long John Silver.

    Video Games 
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon: After she and the player land on Poni Island, the game's final island, Lillie changes outfits, along with taking on a more confident persona which she calls her "Z-powered form", finally making her own style choices where she had previously worn what her mother wanted.
  • Celeste: After finally coming to terms with 'Badeline', Madeline gains the ability to perform a second dash, and to show this her hair changes its default color to pink.
  • A variation with Riku in Kingdom Hearts. He spends most of the second half of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days in a Black Cloak, but ends up taking on Ansem's form at the end. When he's finally restored to his original form during the endgame in Kingdom Hearts II, he's encouraged by Sora to abandon the coat, and we see that Riku has acquired a new outfit during the Time Skip. He then becomes the final Guest-Star Party Member of the game.

    Visual Novels 

    Western Animation 
  • In season 5 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Adora (as She Ra) has a different She-Ra costume than usual. This isn't quite as close to the Climax as maybe it should be, but it is justified as this is a TV series that lasted for 5 Seasons. Catra also receives one to reflect her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Steven Universe: Having been poofed in the previous episodes, Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, Lapis, and Peridot enter the Grand Finale with new outfits, the latter via a Big Damn Heroes moment and the former via Steven forcing a reform by fusing with them.
  • Kim Possible has examples of both the "final showdown" and "final season" versions:
    • The battlesuit in "So The Drama" was an 11th-Hour Superpower version for (what was intended to be) the final showdown with Dr. Drakken and Shego.
    • After the series was Un-Cancelled for one more season, Kim changed to a new mission outfit after her old one got ruined and she found that the stores didn't stock her old style any more.

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