Rata: And then... Musician King. Lady of Faith... Witch of the Black Forest... Dave Sabo?
Shape: Oh, Fusion monsters. Listen, it was the middle ages. Nobody cares.
Combinations from a Fusion Dance tend to retain specific traits of the mergers. The Composite and Mixed Form Shapeshifter varieties tend to retain traits from all of the merging components, while the Power Booster and Switcher usually take the appearance of one component then retain the abilities of the others. Those of Two Beings, One Body are more varied and either treatment works for different cases.
However, there are instances of resulting fusions that are too different from their components. It could be that their fusion takes them apart on the atomic level and puts them back together in a way that it might as well be an entirely new body, or it involves some Shapeshifting but Morphic Resonance is just unnecessary for the process. Whatever the case may be, none of the fused components are recognizable in the result just by mere observation.
When the fusion's anomaly is unintentional, it's a Merging Mistake. It can overlap with Fusion Dissonance if the mistake deforms the result enough for the components to be unrecognizable. Compare with Random Species Offspring, for mismatching results from a different kind of combination.
- Ankylomon and Angemon in Digimon Adventure 02 DNA digivolved into Shakkoumon — which doesn't look anything like either one of them, due to being based on a dogu doll.
- Digimon Frontier: The forms achieved through Fusion Spirit Evolution are normally created by mixing and matching parts from the earlier Human and Beast Spirit Evolution forms (which, in the toyline, also have an alternate combination representing the ancient Digimon who created them). However, supplemental material includes Fusion forms for the supporting cast which couldn't possibly be replicated by a toy - e.g. the Ice fusion combining a snowman and a yeti into a penguin.
- Played for Laughs in Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, where Fusion Dance forms never resemble their components in appearance or personality (or sometimes even artstyle). The main character is a parody of Kenshiro with Funny Afro and he can combine with a bunch of weird monsters to form... Magical Girls and Bishōnen? On the debut fusion, BoboPatch claims to be so powerful that he can only maintain his form for one minute... but later fusions have completely random limits ranging from hours to seconds. One of the fusions in the manga is with Torpedo Girl (a literal female torpedo with a face and legs, not the KISS song) resulting into a parody◊ of Sephiroth.
- Daitarn 3: The Blue Berets from Episode 16 combine to form a Megaborg instead of the usual single Meganoid growing and shapeshifting into one. Though they are Meganoid teenage rebels with a guerilla theme, they combine into a giant three-eyed mummy.
- Marvel Comics:
- The half-Eternal, half-Deviant Ritter Twins have the power to fuse with each other. Their first fusion, Tzabaoth, still has Morphic Resonance to their uncombined forms because it's just their body parts overlapping in a merged body, but their second fusion is a black-and-gold Winged Humanoid with its eyes as the only discernible features on its face.
- Bastion, an enemy of the X-Men, was originally two separate characters: Master Mold and Nimrod. The former being the leader of the Sentinel robots, who was giant sized because his body was supposed to be a factory to manufacture more of them, and the latter being an advanced pink and white Sentinel from the Bad Future of Days of Future Past's Alternate Timeline. The two of them were pushed into a mystic gate called the Siege Perilous at the exact same time and eventually reappeared as a normal-looking android who retained both machines' hatred for mutants.
- J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai vs. Goranger: The Crime Big Four (Baron Iron Mask, General Sahara, Captain UFO, and Hell Boxer) merge to form the Big Four Robo. No, it isn't a Humongous Mecha; this is before those existed in Super Sentai.
- In Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider W & Decade: Movie War 2010, the Dummy Dopant and Neo Organism combined into Ultimate D, whose only resemblance is to the former's humanoid shape. This is justified since both creatures can shapeshift. The linked images are just their Shapeshifter Default Form and "larval form" respectively and the latter transformed into Doras (a humanoid Big Creepy Crawly like Ultimate D but that's the only thing they have in common) earlier in the movie. That ability wasn't exhibited during its fight against Decade and W however, implying that it underwent Shapeshifter Mode Lock.
- Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger: In the first episode, the Akibarangers encounter two Meido cosplaying as the Elegant Gothic Lolita Dark Chicks Nai and Mea who, instead of combining into the more thematically relevant vampire Vancuria like the originals, combines into the male aphid-themed Shibuyaseitakaawadachisohidenagaaburamushi.
- GARO: Gold Storm Sho: Inverted by the Horror fought in the first episode who is disguised as identical twin girls that can move independently from each other.
- As shown in these videos, some of the older Fusion Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh! look nothing like their recipes. To cite just one, Witch of the Black Forest and Lady of Faith (both female) combine into the Musician King (a male guitarist).
- However, it's subverted in that there's also the implication that some Fusion Monsters are not made by the recipes combining their bodies. For example, the anime shows the Time Wizard magically aging the Baby Dragon to turn it into the fusion monster Thousand Dragon (without any fusion card!). Then again, the anime is unreliable as it operates on rules different from the real life games and there's no in-universe explanation given as to how most of these weird fusions occur.
- Zigzagged later in Yu-Gi-Oh!'s lifespan, when Fusion and similar monsters started gaining more non-specific materials, with the artwork depicting only the "canon" combination. E.g. the Metalfoes consist of a series of humanoid monsters riding vehicles, and a series of Fusion monsters representing the same characters wearing their vehicles as Powered Armor... except that any of the Metalfoes' basic forms can be used as material for any of their Fusions. Most of these fusion monsters make it clear that the artwork is just a limitation in depiction. Like how the card "UFOroid Fighter" is simply a combination of UFOroid and any Warrior-Type card, with the result adding the ATK and DEF of its fusion materials. The Warrior depicted in that card is "Elemental HERO Tempest" for consistency with its first appearance in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, but the idea behind the card is that the Warrior-type monster rides the UFOroid and it could have been any other Warrior.
- The game also has a whole class of "Fusion Substitute Monsters", which share versions of the effect "This card can be used as a substitute for any 1 Fusion Material whose name is specifically listed on the Fusion Monster Card, but the other Fusion Material(s) must be correct." (usually restricted to materials or fusions of a specific category). This was later Nerfed by the introduction of Strict Fusion Summoning - monsters with an effect which prevents them from being Fusion Summoned except using materials with the proper names. At least until the introduction of Elemental Hero Prisma, a Fusion support card whose effect lets it change its name.
- Magic: The Gathering: The Innistrad block drew heavily on Lovecraftian imagery and saw the return of Emrakul and the Eldrazi. The block also introduced the "Meld" mechanic, where if you had certain cards in play, they would fuse into some horrific abomination of nature. For instance, the angels Bruna and Gisela would meld to form Brisela.
- As shown in the anime examples, a lot of fusions in Digimon do not have Morphic Resonance to their components, but Digimon Story: Super Xros Wars Blue and Red exaggerate it. As there are too many to mention, let's just take a few:
- Patamon is a guinea pig with bat wings that can combine with Kuramon (spiky ball with one eye) to form IceDevimon (a humanoid demon with long arms and tattered wings). Or, in the Blue version, with Otamamon (tadpole), Wormmon (caterpillar), and Piximon (a Cephalothorax fairy) to form Calumon (a Carbuncle Creature with Ear Wings). Calumon's components make more sense in the Red version because it replaces everyone except for Piximon with Lopmon, Lunamon, and Terriermon (all with bodies with stubby arms and legs and rounded cutesy heads similar to Calumon's).
- Kuramon can also combine with Dracmon (looks like a kid vampire with eyes in its palms) and DemiDevimon (a Cephalothorax demon) into Bakemon.
- Togemon (a cactus with boxing gloves) can combine with Yanmamon and Kabuterimon (a heavily stylized rhinoceros beetle) to form Lillymon (a fairy with leaves for wings and petals for hair and skirt). In the Digimon Adventure continuity and some of the other games, Togemon can evolve to Lillymon without fusion.
- Monzaemon is combined from Sukamon, Numemon (a slug), and Apemon.
- Goblimon and Armadillomon fuse into Minotarumon, which is pretty faithful to Classical Mythology except for its mechanical left hand.
- Coelamon may only slightly resemble a coelacanth but it resembles its components (Crabmon and Syakomon) even less. Crabmon can evolve into Coelamon without fusion in other games.
- Every Shin Megami Tensei game that has fusion mechanics usually have resultant demons that don't resemble their components except for some inherited skills. You can fuse a goddess, The Devil, and a dragon then end up with a penis monster among other possibilities. Seriously.
- Golden Sun: The Final Boss is Saturos and Menardi fusing into a huge two-headed dragon as a Desperation Attack. The aptly-named Fusion Dragon appears to be a mindless beast, both its heads are the same, and it doesn't use any of their spells.
- Cuphead: Ribby and Croaks (frogs in boxing gloves) combine into a slot machine (retaining Croaks' generic brown gloves) when Croaks swallows Ribby.
- In Bomberman Tournament:
- For each dungeon, you need to fuse two karabons to be able to open the final gate. Three of those four require Cartoon Creatures, so that doesn't seem too weird, but the fourth one requires mixing an eel (Unagi) with a pegasus (Youni) to create a winged sea-serpent (SeaWing). By this description, it might seem like it would just retain Unagi's body and Youni's wings but that isn't the case. SeaWing's head has a different shape compared to either component's, its scales' pattern is different from Unagi's, and while Youni has hooves and feathered wings, SeaWing has claws and webbed wings.
- Afterwards, the boss will further fuse with the karabon you just fused to become a monster. All of the bosses are bomber-cyborgs (practically bombermen, humanoid but with mechanical parts), but most of the monsters have barely any relation with the components. To specify:
- MagnetBomber fuses with Pommy Fangs (a fanged electric ball) to create MagnetDragon (a long mechanical dragon).
- PrettyBomber fuses with Pommy Sea◊ (a Pommy variant with fins) to create PrettyBalloon (a fat Tentacled Terror).
- PlasmaBomber fuses with Pommy Dragon to create PlasmaRock.
- The only aversion is GolemBomber fusing with the aforementioned sea-serpent to create GolemGhost (a zombie-controlling phantom). The fusion retains GolemBomber's head but with different colors.
- Devil May Cry 5: Inverted through Literal Split Personality. Vergil splits himself with the Yamato into his human and demonic halves as V and Urizen respectively, neither of whom resembles his human or Devil Trigger forms enough for their origins to be easily deduced.
- Super Robot Wars:
- Super Robot Wars V: In one unlockable scenario, Hoi Kow Loon demonstrates the creation of a Paozu by combining mechs that aren't even from his anime: two mass-production type GN-XIV's. The Paozu then creates others of its type from the surrounding space debris. When Zambot 3 destroys the first Paozu's core that keeps its components fused, the two mobile suits re-emerge intact.
- Super Robot Wars T: In the post-game DLC campaign, the VTX Union encounters Nevanlina and Ende the Devourer, the main villains of V and X respectively. After beating them once, the two of them merge together to create "Nevanende". However, Nevanede looks exactly like Ende, even sharing his animations. The only real differences being in terms of its stats and that occasionally one of Nevanlina's voice lines.
- In Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, when the mayor's traitorous vulture advisors fuse together to fight Sphinx, their fused form is a golden human skeleton with bat-like wings and a skull shaped like a Pharaoh's nemes.
- In The Game of Life, glider synthesis is the practice of colliding gliders together to produce other objects. The end result usually bears very little resemblance to the gliders that originally created it.
- Ansem Retort: Axel and Zexion (both Bishōnen) combine into a real life figure, the seventh president of the United States of America Andrew Jackson, because Axel is a murderer and Zexion is a politician.
- Played with in Steven Universe. Gem fusions have some features from each of their components, but usually put a unique twist on them and/or have features that aren't clearly traceable to any component. The more components a fusion has, the less influence from each one is visible. Take the five-Gem fusion Obsidian, for instance - if you couldn't see the signature gemstones of her components on her body, it'd be hard to tell who she's made of.
- Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero: In "At the End of the Worlds," the Ambiguously Human Phyllis and her Evil Spear Counterpart Phil merge into The Guardian, which Penn and Boone call a "space gorilla."
- Miraculous Ladybug:
- Oblivio is actually two people fused together (Alya and Nino). As a purple humanoid mist with no facial features and has overlapping deep voices, it was hard to tell who they were originally. Even the akumatized item was changed from a computer tablet to a hand cannon.
- Heart Hunter's two faces do not resemble both André and Audrey Bourgeois but unlike Oblivio, there are people around to see them transform.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Wiggy Jiggy Jed, a talking dog, is a fusion of four dogs whos only resemblance is that he's a dog. To make things even more confusing, all four dogs were female.
- In chemistry, a compound is a substance formed when two or more elements are chemically joined. When the elements are joined, the atoms lose their individual properties and have different properties from the elements they are composed of, depending on the nature of the bond and the other element(s) involved. This is why salt (sodium chloride) is edible, but elemental sodium and chlorine are highly reactive and poisonous.
- There are some English textbooks and other teaching materials for toddlers that teach compound words through pictures of the individual words and those words put together. Some of these make sense (e.g. cheese + cake = cheesecake◊) but for individual words that can't be taken literally when used in certain compound words, the pictures become less relevant (e.g. fire + arm◊ = firearm, but there might be a problem with this being taught to toddlers).
- In general, both English and German have quite a few of these as they both commonly combine words to make new ones, however the root words may only have a slight relation to what the compound refers to, be very culturally derived, or whose meaning may have changed or that might not be in common usage anymore.