A specific type of Audience Reaction. For every Unnecessary Makeover, you're bound to find the opposite. This is the case where a character in universe (usually female) gets some kind of makeover. Her friends are horrified that she would change at all and treat said makeover as something awful or else spend a good time talking about how much better she looked before. Normally, because Status Quo Is God, the makeover will be gone and the character will be back to normal, though sometimes the friends may learn An Aesop that the friend dresses for herself and not to please them. However, Fans Prefer the New Her (or him). Perhaps if it's an Evil Makeover, then it might result from Evil Is Sexy? The scruffy guy might look good in a business suit, a Tomboy might suit the Girliness Upgrade, you get the picture.
See also Unnecessary Makeover, Beautiful All Along and Just the Way You Are, which is what this trope is trying to be. Closely related is Critical Backlash - and this is the fans having that to the character's appearance.
- More than a few School-Live! fans enjoyed Miki wearing an eyepatch due to injuries sustained due to an explosion caused when a helicopter burst into flames with her nearby. Her eye eventually healed though. The anime adaptation didn't even include the injury.
- Fuu from Yuki Yuna is a Hero received an Eyepatch of Power partway through the story when she becomes blind in one eye. The reason she wears it is no laughing matter but fans agree she looks cool with it. Her eyesight was fixed in the final episode though.
- This happens with Spider-Man's black costume, although to be fair, half the characters were rather accepting of it. It's Mary Jane who dislikes it, and insists that he get rid of it (although in her defense, she was just attacked by someone wearing an identical costume, so her disdain for it was understandable). The costume has persisted as a fan-favorite, appearing in nearly every adaptation of the character in some form, and constantly being featured as an alternate outfit in video games.
- This is played a bit straighter in Ultimate Spider-Man, where Peter got the same black costume and lost it over the course of a couple issues. When Mary Jane discovered he'd discarded it, she agreed that "it wasn't him".
- One issue of Archie Comics had Betty start dressing goth and hanging around goth kids. Her friends are at first negative about the change but in the end try it out themselves in order to relate to Betty. Betty looked really attractive as a Perky Goth, especially since she had blue eyes when normally they're a cartoony black, however it isn't referenced after that issue.
Films - Animated
- The Disney Princess merchandise does this with Mulan. She's often seen in the pink dress she wore to the Matchmakers to sell fashion dolls. However Mulan herself was uncomfortable in said dress and it represented a lifestyle she did not want. It doesn't stop her from looking stunning when the makeover is complete though.
- In a similar example, some Brave merchandise depicts Merida in her baby blue dress. The same one her mother forced her into and represented the Arranged Marriage she didn't want. Most Merida cosplayers usually choose the princess's simple dark green dress she prefers, or else the one she wears at the end (symbolising her character growth).
- Madam Mim from The Sword in the Stone is an old ugly witch but for about half a minute, she uses her magic to transformation in a beautiful young curvy version of herself and then promptly transforms back to her old self, proclaiming she prefers looking ugly. Most fans disagree, which is why the majority of fan content features her beautiful version.
Films - Live Action
- The Stepford Wives (2004)
- The robot wives in both versions are forced into different outfits than they normally wear. In the original film it worked because Joanna, Bobbie etc were already very good looking beforehand - and they were forced into 1950s style dresses with too much make-up. The implication was that they looked like porcelain dolls. But in the remake, Joanna spends most of the film with a hairstyle that doesn't suit her and Bobbie is likewise dressed down - making the robot transformations come across as She Cleans Up Nicely. The rest of the wives are likewise put into very flattering sun dresses.
- Similarly, Roger looks much better after his makeover without the loud mishmash of colors and clownish outfits.
- This would have been the case for the original too. Word of God says that the wives would originally have been dressed "like Playboy bunnies, sans the ears" until the director cast his wife Nanette Newman in a role. As she was significantly older than the rest of the actresses playing the wives, the change to 1950s dresses was done.
- In Freaky Friday (2003), Tess is repulsed by the makeover she is forced to get when Anna is in her body. Except she had a very unflattering hairstyle before said makeover and dressed all in black dowdy clothes that didn't seem to fit her. This appears to be just Tess's reaction, as she gets a few looks from men as she walks down the street after the makeover and her fiancé seems to like it too.
- In The Hole, Liz dyes her hair blonde to get Mike to notice her, but freaks out at the result and dyes it back. The actress is actually a natural blonde so the colour suits her much better than the black hair she has for the rest of the film.
- In V for Vendetta, Evey is naturally furious at having her head shaved in prison yet Natalie Portman pulls off the bald look really well. Portman herself had this reaction, having wanted to shave her head for a while.
- In a similar example to the above, when Anne Hathaway is shaved nearly bald in Les Misérables, it's meant to be just another degradation in her character's miserable life. Turns out, Anne Hathaway looks fantastic with short hair, and a lot of fans embraced the "new look", not realizing she fully intended to grow it back.
- Mika Boorem's makeover in Augusta, Gone is meant to symbolize her character properly going off the deep end and when she checks herself into a teen rehab centre, the psychologist forbids her from wearing her punk-rock/heavy metal clothes. Compared to the extremes some rocker chicks go for, Augusta looks quite tame and actually suits the look.
- Fred and Velma in the live action Scooby-Doo movie get possessed by demons that think all humans dress like beach party kids and so they get made over accordingly, which suits them. In fact, when Velma puts her glasses back on, she looks very nice indeed.
- The Hunger Games:
- Katniss Everdeen has a lot of dresses that are popular with cosplayers - including her iconic 'Girl on Fire' dress. She wears these while being pimped out just before being sent to participate in a brutal death match.
- There's some of this in-universe too, where Katniss's distinctive braid becomes popular as a fashion statement. Katniss only wears her hair like that when she's hunting - because her district is poor and she has to hunt to make sure her family have enough food.
- In the American version of The Experiment, a dramatization of the Stanford Prison Experiment, Travis has his long hair shaved off in a Traumatic Haircut - where the guards then piss on his freshly shaved head. Rather than getting shaved completely bald like his German equivalent, Travis just has a buzzcut - which actually suits Adrien Brody better.
- Midnight Express - Billy has to get a haircut when he goes to prison. He goes from having floppy '70s Hair to a buzzcut that suits him. It's still got a little bit of length, so it's not like he's scalped.
- In Avengers: Infinity War, Steve Rogers now sports a full beard that puts Thor's to shame, reflective of the long months he's spent separated from the other Avengers and on the run from the law. The fans were quite...vocal about their approval, to put it lightly, and many mourned its absence in Avengers: Endgame as an Unnecessary Makeover.
- Conversely, in Endgame, Clint Barton has shed the moniker of Hawkeye in favor of calling himself "Ronin", wearing an all-black costume with a hood and wielding a katana more than his bow. The choice reflects his serious Sanity Slippage into a violent Vigilante Man who hunts down and murders organized criminals in cold blood as an outlet for his rage and grief over the deaths of his family in the Snapture, and many of the other Avengers, especially Black Widow, are horrified by this mark of his descent into darkness. The fans enthusiastically embraced his new look because the Ronin persona looks, and is, ridiculously badass.
- Beastly—the book is about a spoiled Pretty Boy who undergoes a Karmic Transformation, turning him into a fanged, hairy monster. In the movie, though, he is cursed to look like...a tattooed punk with a shaved head and some scars? It's a pretty severe change, but the fact is, many viewers will find him more attractive when he's "cursed." (Which makes sense, in a meta way—after all, the filmmakers almost certainly made this decision based on the logic that their male lead needs to be hot.)
- Lampshaded in The Saga of Darren Shan. Lady Evanna can take whatever form she wishes and occasionally makes herself stunningly beautiful. However her preferred form is a hairy human-wolf hybrid. When Darren asks her why she doesn't stay beautiful all the time, she says that the hairy form is how she was born and prefers it for that reason.
Live Action TV
- Elliott and Carla have this reaction in Scrubs when they meet a patient who just got plastic surgery after a car accident and wants to go back to the way she looked before
"I know I had a big nose and droopy eyes, but they were my big nose and droopy eyes"
- The reality series Extreme Male Beauty has the presenter Tim revealing his new self to his wife and friends who are all repulsed by it and the end of the last episode has him going down to the pub to start reverting to his old self straight away. While admittedly what he had to go through to change was excessive (long hours in the gym, crash dieting etc) he didn't look nearly as bad afterwards as his friends were saying. What's even worse is that the first episode has him thinking his wife wants him to change and she insists she doesn't but he goes ahead with it anyway because he wants to change. It also comes across as a rather mean-spirited anti-fitness Aesop; ignoring that the excessive methods Tim went through to get in shape are precisely what personal trainers advise against. Namely he was trying to get in shape cold turkey in eight weeks - whereas most people advise making gradual adjustments in lifestyle.
- Similar case with the show Scene Stealers where teenagers from one scene were made over to try and pass as those from another (i.e. a plastic was made into a goth). Some of the teens that got made over suited the new styles quite well, especially Michaela a goth who became Mikki a plastic. She suited the plastic look much better than the girl who made her over. A rude girl Gemma also got made over into a posh look that looked better without all the extra jewellery etc.
- The reality show That'll Teach Em, which saw modern teenagers sent to 1950s-style school, had all the boys receive a traditional short back and sides haircut, which did not make some of the long-haired rockers happy. One boy, Brennon Gunston, started out with long floppy blond hair and ended up leaving the series as a result of the Traumatic Haircut. Yet to some, the haircut looked nice on him. These types of shows become Hilarious in Hindsight since the 1950s hairstyles came back into fashion.
- On an episode of Snog, Marry, Avoid?, POD is appalled when presenter Ellie gets hair extensions put in. Ellie does indeed look very nice with long hair and the extensions themselves looked quite natural on her.
- Total Divas has Paige getting annoyed at having to do Beautiful All Along for the Hall of Fame ceremony. Plenty of fans enjoyed getting the chance to see her tanned and in a Pimped-Out Dress.
- Once Upon a Time:
- In an alternate universe in the Season 4 finale, Emma has been locked in a tower for years and is dressed in rags. The gown she's wearing is actually quite nice and it rather suits Emma's Unkempt Beauty. Too bad she changes out of it pretty quickly.
- The same finale has Regina living as a forest bandit who's been persecuted by Snow White, and pines for unrequited love. The costume she wears is very flattering with some fur trim and a long ponytail that suits her.
- After Regina's HeelFace Turn the elaborate Costume Porn she favoured as the Evil Queen retroactively becomes a symbol of her utter depression and self-loathing - which led to her becoming a villain in the first place. But given the Absolute Cleavage on display and the fact that Lana Parrilla benefits from Evil Is Sexy, plenty of fans prefer the Evil Queen look.
- In the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander has his eye gouged out by Caleb and consequently starts wearing an eyepatch. The fans loved it and it's almost unanimously considered to be his most iconic look, because of how badass he looks, and because the Eyepatch of Power is an incredibly strong visual symbol for how far he's come as a character. Xander is understandably not fond of it, because losing an eye is painful and inconvenient.
- In Spartacus: Blood and Sand
- Lucretia looks very nice when she starts wearing her red wigs in Season 2. Unfortunately she's being forced to wear them by Ashur as a way of him asserting his dominance over her - and after he's brutally raped her. This is lampshaded when Illythia compliments Lucretia on how nice she looks with the red hair - only for the latter to shudder.
- Plenty of fans prefer Spartacus with short hair too rather than the long hair he has in the pilot episode...which is cut off in a Traumatic Haircut when he's captured by the Romans. Likewise he keeps his hair short during the war - when Crixus has grown his out - as a representation that the man his wife loved is no more and he can never go back to his old life.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch - a Season 7 episode has Sabrina getting trapped in a colleague's computer and he uses Photoshop to turn her into a big-breasted bimbo in a tight pink dress. In-universe it's meant to be humiliating for her (though she does enjoy some extra attention) - but needless to say it's a pretty blatant example of Fanservice.
- Charmed (1998) has a Bad Future where Prue has become a Corrupt Corporate Executive who is estranged from her sisters. Her attire is a tight strapless dress that's very flattering to Shannen Doherty - and she looks stunning with long blonde hair.
- CM Punk lost a Hair vs Mask match and got shaved bald. Most fans seem to prefer him with the short hair, and he kept it relatively short since then.
- Molly Holly:
- She was brainwashed by The Hurricane into becoming Mighty Molly. She herself was surprised that it's one of her most fondly remembered gimmicks.
- Most fans preferred her with the blonde hair she had as Miss Madness, Mona, Mighty Molly and her Holly Cousin character. She's a natural brunette and having to maintain the blonde colour ruined it, and changing it to brown after a FaceHeel Turn was because it was "like straw" to quote her. She did re-bleach the hair when she made a cameo return at WrestleMania 25.
- In Bioshock Infinite, Elizabeth gives herself an Adrenaline Makeover after killing Daisy Fitzroy during the Vox Populi uprising. She chops off her ponytail, giving herself a short bob, and changes from a white blouse and skirt to a full-length dress with a bodice that invokes Of Corsets Sexy. Her previous clothes are drenched in blood, the corset is pretty much her running around in her underthings, and on top of that the dress is a painful reminder of Lady Comstock—she even apologizes, saying, "This is all they had". Of course her new look ends being the one featured in the poster and the vast majority of cosplays.
- A major story arc in Final Fantasy XV involves the protagonist, Noctis Lucis Caelum, returning after a Time Skip where he spent 10 years trapped in the Crystal, now Prematurely Grey-Haired, with his previous Anime Hair hair grown out to his shoulders, a dirty, scraggly beard, and scars and age lines all over his face. It's meant to reflect the terrible trauma he's suffered as a result of spending an entire decade in the spirit world separated from his friends, but the fans...didn't see it that way. Because he. Looks. Incredible. He actually looks awesome with grey hair, the Badass Beard adds some desperately needed maturity to his face, (not to mention softening his frighteningly pointy chin), and the Barbarian Longhair looks much more reasonable for a hardened warrior than his previous "Sasuke haircut", and even the dirt and stubble adds to his looks rather than detracting from them. More than a few approving fans have favorably compared his appearance to John Wick or Geralt of Rivia.
- In As Told by Ginger, Ginger's friends get really worried when she gets made over to look like Courtney Grippling and she results in learning An Aesop about being true to herself. Though she looked quite nice with her hair done and wearing some of Courtney's clothes.
- The Weekenders;
- The episode "My Punky Valentine" has Tino getting a punk rock makeover to try and get a girl's attention which his friends are not happy with. He actually suits the punk rock look, but it's gone by the end of the episode.
- Lor gets a Girliness Upgrade in another episode when she hears a boy likes her. Her friends have an Uncanny Valley reaction to the makeover and the guy says it freaked him out. The makeover itself wasn't as extreme as some other examples since all that was different was Lor wearing a skirt and a girlier hairstyle. Though admittedly, she backed out when she heard she was supposed to get made over even more (including plastic surgery).
- Tish gives herself a set of fuzzy buns on the side of her hair and the gang act as if it's the end of the world. It wasn't preferable to her old hair, but it wasn't as hideous as they make it out to be.
- In Recess, Spinelli enters a Beauty Contest for kids and at the end refers to herself as a "painted up doll", implying she doesn't like being cleaned up. But she does look very nice in her evening gown with her hair done up.
- The All Grown Up! episode "Bad Kimi" has Chuckie horrified when Kimi shows up with a pink streak in her hair because he takes it as a sign of her rebelling and it's gone by the next episode. The do in question? Kinda cute.
- The Simpsons: Marge Simpson is not happy when a plastic surgeon gives her breast implants by accident and she spends the whole episode fretting about them, which of course means they're gone by the end of the episode. This one probably doesn't need any further explanation.
- In the Family Guy episode "Sibling Rivalry", Lois gains weight when Peter gets a vassectomy, up until she becomes as obese as Peter. The show treats this as one of the worst things ever, though some fans believe she looks sexy while she was pudgy.
- One episode of Harvey Beaks has Fee getting her first haircut and increasingly cutting it shorter to avoid getting it ruined. Several of the haircuts were considered very cute but by the next episode she has her old hair back. It's at least justified in that she is a Wild Child who never brushes, washes, or combs her hair so long, messy hair fits her better.
- Happens a few times in Jem. In "The Bands Break Up" Raya is disgusted by Kimber's new Misfits inspired makeup however fans either often prefer it or can't tell the difference. Similarly Roxy gets a makeover in "Roxy Rumbles" when she decides to change her life and many fans liked it quite a bit.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- 'Flutterbat', the Fan Nickname for Fluttershy's vampire bat form, is very popular in the fan fiction. This is ignoring the fact that Fluttershy was turned into it accidentally and the process was very traumatic for her and friends.
- Due to Evil Is Cool and the impressive design, Nightmare Moon is popular among the fan fiction too. But the villainess was a result of Princess Luna's jealousy and corruption - and the princess is plagued by guilt over her actions. But Princess Luna herself is also quite popular, lessening this somewhat.
- The comics exclusive Nightmare Rarity also have her share of fans and is quite possibly the biggest Ensemble Dark Horse (no pun intended) from the comics.
- In the episode "The Mane Attraction", Applejack's fillyhood friend Rara has grown up to become a pony pop star, similar to Lady Gaga. This is treated as her being untruthful to herself, and in the end of the episode she stops dressing so flashy and changes her music style to ballads. Fans are mixed on this. Many preferred Rara the way she was before the final act.
- In the fifth season of Samurai Jack, to reflect how broken he has become, Jack has a neglected appearance with his hair untied and a Badass Beard. Many fans embraced his new design and were disapointed when he returns to his classic appearance after finding inner peace and regaining his sword.
- Audrey Hepburn these days is held up as a fashion icon for her thin willowy figure. This came as a result of her being starved in a POW camp, and gave her health problems for years.
- Carey Mulligan's pixie haircut became a popular fashion trend. The only reason Mulligan cut her hair that short was because it had been ruined from constant dyeing, and she wanted to grow it back as soon as possible.
- Jennifer Aniston has not been quiet about how much she hated the iconic 'The Rachel' haircut she had on the second season of Friends. It became a 90s fashion landmark, while Aniston has said that the hairdresser was drunk when he cut it like that. She grew it back as quickly as she could.
- Ginnifer Goodwin hates having long hair, finding it a pain to manage, and prefers to keep it short - even insisting that if a role requires long hair, she'll just wear a wig. Doesn't stop a lot of fans from begging her to grow it back. And she ended up growing it out in 2018.