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Gender Bender

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ZAP! Long hair included.

Ross: Help me out here. When you come out of the "brain transplant", you are going to be her?
Joey: Yes, but in Drake Remoray's body. Why is this so hard for you to get? I thought you were a scientist!
Friends, "The One with Joey's New Brain"

A character has undergone a complete physical sex change, usually through magic or Applied Phlebotinum. Depending on the medium, genre, and storyline, this may be a one-time temporary change, a recurring change (causing the character to jump the gender line often), or even permanent.

Sometimes it's the same person, sometimes it's a man and woman sharing one body. If a man and a woman swap bodies, it's a variant of "Freaky Friday" Flip. Male-to-female transformations tend to vastly outnumber the opposite when this trope is in play, probably due to Most Writers Are Male.

The trope can be played many different ways. It might be Played for Laughs, Played for Drama, or even played for horror if Loss of Identity or an unusual amount of Squick is involved.

For Laws related to this trope, see the First Law of Gender-Bending, the Second Law of Gender-Bending, and the Third Law of Gender-Bending. Man, I Feel Like a Woman, Different for Girls, and Attractive Bent-Gender are also common enough that they approach the level of Law.


Contrast with Rule 63 and Gender Flip, two tropes generally related to "alternate" versions of characters who, In-Universe, have always had the "opposite" gender from what the audience would expect. She's a Man in Japan is basically "Gender Flip via Localization", where Executive Meddling results in a character's sex being changed to meet the perceived needs of another market. But as with the aforementioned tropes, Gender Bender characters who previously wore a distinctive outfit may wear a Gendered Outfit, tailored to their new sex, after the change.

For this trope's impact on relationships, see Unsettling Gender Reveal, Jumping the Gender Barrier and Gender-Bender Friendship.

Can lead to a Mister Seahorse plotline, though not nearly as often as one might expect; when it does (especially when the First Law of Gender-Bending is in play), it is often part of a Babies Ever After epilogue, rather than an active part of the story.


Contrast with Transgender and Hermaphrodite, which are real-life phenomena (though on rare occasions, a Gender Bender character might turn into a hermaphrodite instead of, strictly speaking, the "opposite sex"; also, Gender Bender stories can intersect with transgender characters, by having someone transition unexpectedly by magic, or have the experience of being gender-changed bring a transgender character out of denial. Not to mention all the possibilities of using Gender Bender stories as metaphors for transgender identity...). Also contrast with Easy Sex Change, which deals with idealized but somewhat realistic takes on the Transgender experience. Not related to Was Once a Man.

If the character belongs to a species that does this as a regular thing or explicitly has a superpower that grants them that same property, see Sex Shifter.

Note that the definition of "gender" being used here (and in most TV Tropes trope names) refers to both a character's physical sex and their gender identity with the female version of the character almost always being more extensively gender-coded than the male version. This may lead to a Sobriquet Sex Switch.

Finally, in accordance with the aforementioned Laws, as well as certain demographic reasons, male-to-female changes are far more likely than female-to-male ones, and the rare female-to-male ones are usually less susceptible to the Three Laws of Gender Bending.

In social justice circles, this trope is criticized for its implication that sex and gender are the same thing, as well as for excluding non-binary people. Others find it good as an exploration of gender's fluidity.

Though this trope has been used in media for decades, the name most likely came from the season one episode of The X-Files of the same name that features murderous beings that can change their sex at will to seduce their victims.

Not to be confused with Animal Gender-Bender, which deals with putting sex specific animal features on both genders.


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  • In one Mountain Dew commercial, a guy finds out his car remote can transform objects. Since he just broke up with his girlfriend, he conveniently uses it to turn his best friend into a hot girl. The implications of said commercial are very disturbing.
  • A series of Italian "Coloured is better" laundry commercials play this as a joke. The first has a woman throwing her pencil-necked white partner into the washing machine after he fails to seduce her, and he emerges as a sexy, muscled black man. The second has her partner throw her in after comparing her to models in a gentleman's magazine — and she emerges as a sexy, muscled black man.
  • There are two commercials for Snickers, each featuring a rather cranky Aretha Franklin amongst a group of young men. Annoyed by her, they tell her that every time she gets hungry, she turns into a diva, and offer her a Snickers bar. After taking the first bite, it turns out that she is a young man too, who literally turned into a diva. In fact, the campaign started with a Super Bowl spot where a guy turns into Betty White.
    • There have been quite a few of these during the Snickers "You're not you when you're hungry" campaign. One of the funniest involved The Brady Bunch, with Marcia as Danny Trejo and Jan as Steve Buscemi.
  • In a 2014 Doritos commercial three men are watching football while sharing a bag of Doritos. They discover that biting down on a Dorito while making a wish makes said wish come true. The first man ends up with a sack full of gold coins, the second having his father tell him he's proud of him and the third turns into a beautiful blonde woman. Interestingly the ad makes it clear that this isn't the result of a wish going wrong or someone else's wish, with the woman coming across as very satisfied with the results.

    Card Games 
  • Munchkin includes at least one Gender Bender card in each iteration, and sometimes two! (Might come in handy if you're a low-level and poorly-geared male facing a deadly Amazon!)

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe:
    • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman, is the end result of the Ultimate Clone Saga. She is a clone of Peter Parker, implanted with his memories and genetically modified in vitro to be female and develop additional powers. During the Clone Saga she fills the same role as Ben Riley did in the 616 Clone Saga. Afterwards she assumed the CIA/FBI created identity of Jessica Drew and returned to active crime fighting as Spider-Woman. She confessed that along with inheriting Peter's memories, she is still in love with Mary Jane Watson.
    • X-Men examples:
      • Supporting character Courier has the power of complete control of his body's cells, allowing for shapeshifting as well as other abilities. While undercover as a woman, he was discovered by Mr. Sinister and injected with drugs that would cause his body to break down. Gambit made a deal with Sinister to have Courier stabilized, and Sinister kept up his end of the bargain — but didn't know Courier was originally male. The female form is now Courier's default form.
      • Due to a consciousness transfer to a cloned body gone slightly askew, Sinister himself is now Miss Sinister.
      • And now Misters Sinister. And then back to a Miss, this time in a stolen body. At this point Sinister is more of a consciousness that occupies whatever body (or bodies) it needs.
      • Endo of Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Project and Wolverines is introduced as a Chinese woman named Meifeng when Sharp frees her from the Paradise installation. It's eventually revealed that she was actually a man before Paradise got hold of her, and the boyfriend/fiance she's been desperate to locate after escaping is not only dead, but was actually his girlfriend.
    • Alpha Flight member Walter Langkowski spent several years as "Wanda," due to having possessed a dead female teammate's body.
    • Iron Man is even subjected to this; his armor (which, at this point, is partially fused with his body) gets hijacked by Ultron and reshaped into the image of Janet van Dyne, Ultron's "mother". After it's undone, the entire Mighty Avengers team teases him about it.
    • The Skrulls are a race of shapeshifters. Skrulls changing into other genders have been seen from their very first appearance (the four Skrulls that attempted to replace the Fantastic Four were all male). It's just that nobody had noticed the detail or thought on it until the example below.
    • One obvious application of the Skulls' inherent ability didn't come to light (at least, in canon) until the male Skrull Xavin turned up in Runaways and asked for Karolina's hand in marriage. Karolina, being a lesbian, refused... until Xavin transformed into a female human, because for a Skrull to change his/her physical sex is as easy as blinking. While the psychological ease with which Xavin shifted his/her gender identity to match her new sex still seems to be fairly rare (most other named Skrull characters seem to have a strong preference to not change their sex even when disguising themselves as other species), it's apparently also not seen as any big deal in Skrull society.
    • Loki of The Mighty Thor spent some time in a female body (eventually revealed to be that of the goddess Sif); he eventually returned to his usual body.
      • In Loki's solo book, while male most of the time, they can and do flip gender at will. They spent weeks in female form infiltrating Lorelei's band of thieves, then a few issues later flipped genders AGAIN to gain the trust of the Angels, in an all-female society, and didn't bother to switch back for the rest of the miniseries. Odin even refers to them as his child who is both his son and daughter at least on two occasions. This continues in the jerks next solo book too, complete with a character joking about Loki becoming America's first female president.
    • Invoked in Captain America storyline, "The Superia Stratagem". Supervillain Superia plans to establish "Femizonia" — a female-ruled utopia from which she will Take Over the World. Captain America and his allies infiltrate her base to stop her, but Cap and Paladin are captured at one point, and subjected to Superia's feminization process. (She believes that, as women, the heroes will see the light and join her cause.) The two male heroes are rescued before the process does anything to them, however.
    • Good Boy of the Great Lakes Avengers is a girl named Good who transforms into a masculine wolf.
    • In The Infinity Gauntlet, Adam Warlock goes through a Journey to the Center of the Mind Vision Quest in which he is turned female, culminating with her giving birth.
  • The DCU:
    • In Shade, the Changing Man, Shade's consciousness leaps into the body of a recently murdered woman. Unfortunately, he was unable to alter her body to resemble his old one until he solved her murder and put her soul at rest. This led to various comical scenes with Shade experiencing the Male Gaze, his first period and sex as a woman.
    • The second Infinity, Inc.. series, from the writer of Shade, Peter Milligan, featured team member Fury, who involuntarily switches between genders.
    • In Resurrection Man, title character Mitch Shelley spends a couple of issues as a woman, after being tortured to death several times (with each time being more painful than the last). His persecutor has a theory (opinions differ as to the amount of Truth in Television therein):
      Mr. Bland: Women have appreciably higher pain thresholds than men. If Shelley reconfigures from each termination in a form suited to "protect" him from that method of death, then a female version would make sense.
    • In Superman/Batman #27, the Earth-2 version of Superman finds himself in the body of his cousin Power Girl, while the Earth-2 Batman is in the body of his daughter, the Huntress.
    • In one issue of Guy Gardner: Warrior, the title character's demonic archenemy Dementor turns him into a woman ("Gal Gardner") for no clear reason, and later forces him/her to perform a fashion show for it by threatening hostages it has. (It would be highly cynical to suggest that the real reason was that, at the time, Guy was a rare example of a male character in a Stripperiffic costume, so naturally they wanted to show what it looked like on a female character.)
    • In Legion of Super-Heroes stories, the trope has been used several times:
      • Played for Drama in an infamous Retcon that long-time supporting character Shvaughn Erin had been taking the gender-changing drug "ProFem" the entire time we'd known her. After going off the drug, she becomes "Sean."
      • "Grandin Gender Reversal Disease" causes a temporary change of gender. It temporarily transforms Matter-Eater Lad into Matter-Eater Lass as part of an infiltration mission.
      • Played for Laughs in a very silly Legion of Substitute Heroes one-shot, when Color Kid becomes Color Queen.
    • Averted/Misdiagnosed once by Ambush Bug in Supergirl (1982) #16. The Bug spends most of the story trying to cure Superman of the dastardly plot that transformed him into a young blonde woman. It's a case of Critical Research Failure for Ambush Bug, though. Despite his Genre Savviness, he somehow was completely unaware of the existence of SuperGIRL. He does, however, turn out to be Genre Savvy enough to figure out Supergirl's secret identity at the end.
    • Zatanna's beautiful assistant Mikey is the result of an unspecified magical Gender Bender. A "three years ago" dream sequence, depicts her as a burly male.note  Word of God from writer Paul Dini says "Zatanna didn't do it & can't reverse it; Mikey brought it on him/herself. Now Mikey's in an interesting place where she has to sort out her feelings about this." While there's a lot more to Mikey's story, with the book's cancellation, it doesn't seem likely that the story will be told any time soon, if ever. At the very least, Mikey does exhibit all three laws of gender bending to various degrees. Aside from her transformation which is said to be irreversible, Mikey has learned to live as a woman to a point; her fashion sense and personality remain very masculine, but she's not opposed to having to dress or active more feminine if need be.
    • In a 1960 Superboy story, "Claire Kent: Super-Sister," Superboy is turned into a girl by a telepathic alien girl from a matriarchal planet who's insulted by Superboy's chauvinistic thoughts. Superboy has to adjust to being a girl in both his secret and super identities... but in the end, it turns out to be All Just a Dream.note 
    • Believe it or not, Superboy's dog, Krypto, had not one, but two Red Kryptonite Gender Bender adventures!
      • "The Handsome Hound of Steel" has a plot that wouldn't be at all out of place in modern TG fiction. Krypto wants to change into a handsome collie to impress a female collie, but a Red K cloud ends up turning Krypto into a duplicate of the bitch he fancies — and it turns out she's pregnant! Krypto actually delivers puppies in his altered form (though they vanish from existence when he changes back to normal.)note 
      • In "Krypto's Three Amazing Transformations", a time-traveling Krypto gets turned into a cow (and definitely a female, because she gets milked!) And not just any cow, but the cow that started the great Chicago fire of 1871! (As it happens, the wrongly accused Mrs. O'Leary's cow was innocently grazing in a pasture at the time.)note 
    • Given its premise (a dial that transforms its user into a random superheroic identity), you'd think this trope would have turned up in Dial H for Hero more often than this:
      • In the Chris King/Vicki Grant series, it showed up once, albeit in circuitous fashion. The dial turned Chris into a hero named "Any-Body" — a hero with shapeshifting powers that Chris used to take the form of Naiad, a villainess, in order to trick another bad guy.
      • One storyline in the 2003-2005 H.E.R.O. revival had a chauvinistic male character use the dial, after which he turned into a buxom blonde female hero. Unfortunately he had no means of changing himself back. The story was not played for laughs, and included such low points as the hero being date-raped by his male best friend.
      • The New 52's Dial H series introduces this concept in the third issue, when the main character learns he'll land in a female body "every few dials."
    • In The Sandman (1989), Desire can be either gender whenever it wants to be and is frequently depicted with both male and female traits. In its first appearance, Desire greatly resembles another being who is "whatever it wants to be": Gozer from Ghostbusters.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): The kreel are naturally gender benders, able to transition late in their lives, which is part of how they would naturally procreate as it was common for entire generations to be born one sex so some would have to change in order for there to be any children. This has been suppressed for centuries under the Sangtee Empire with reproduction now enabled by cloning.
    • In the later parts of The Books of Magic, Timothy Hunter himself spends several issues in the form of a girl, thanks to an amulet that once belonged to his mother. Unlike many examples of the trope, he doesn't even find it remotely freaky to suddenly be of the opposite sex, just viewing it as a handy way to disguise his real identity (but then, this is hardly the first time he's changed shape, or had his shape changed for him, and most of the changes were decidedly freakier — at least this time he is still human, walks on two legs and can wear normal clothes). Since he looks like a younger version of his mother, he adopts the name "Mary". Tim even responds positively to Charles Rowland (of the Dead Boy Detectives) flirting with him as "Mary" in a Winter's Edge story.
  • Lucifer, in Joseph Michael Linsner's Dawn series, has been shown at least once to be able to take on a female form. Considering he is a former angel and the gay lover of Ahura Mazda (the series' God analogue), this has some interesting potential ramifications.
  • At the end of the XXXenophile story "Vici, Vidi, Veni", an army invades territory that worships a god of lust, believing him to be a farce, and everybody in their empire gets turned into frogs. The smirking god asks the sole unchanged knight whether he now believes, and the survivor says yes. As a reward for the "conversion", he's promptly turned into a woman and made an acolyte of the god, being led off to the novice quarters (and, implicitly, hot lesbian sex).
  • In the comic book Mantra from Malibu Publishing, the main character is a warrior employed by a wizard. He's continually reborn by having the wizard transplant his soul into a new male host whenever he died. At the start of the series, the wizard is betrayed and has only enough strength to move his most loyal warrior's soul one more time. He tells the warrior that this time it will be different. The warrior awakes to find himself in the body of a single mother. The series deals with him coping with this and having to learn magic to cope with his lack of martial abilities.
  • In Camelot 3000 by Mike W. Barr and Brian Bolland, King Arthur is awakened from his sleep during an alien invasion. A number of Arthur's knights have been reincarnated, sometimes into distinctly different bodies (e.g., black, Asian, hideous mutant.) Sir Tristan, quite a womanizer in his former life, is reincarnated as a young woman. The appearance of Isolde (also reincarnated, but still female) complicates the matter further, although they end up in a surprisingly sweet lesbian relationship.
  • When IDW comics started their Transformers comic, it was decided that there would only be male Cybertronians. When they decided to include female transformer Arcee into the universe, they decided not to retcon their decision, and so they made Arcee the victim of a forced alteration by a Mad Scientist specifically to introduce gender to the race. She's understandably pissed off about it.
    • This later got retconned into being a purposeful change on Arcee's part, it's just the torture and other experiments at the same time she objected to. Additionally, other cybertronians who transitioned on purpose after being introduced to the concept have been introduced.
  • In the comic Locke & Key, by Stephen King's son Joe Hill, one (of many) magic keys can open doors and allow whoever steps through them to swap genders.
  • In Alan Moore's Promethea, Roger, a member of the supporting character team "the Five Swell Guys". Roger used to be a man until an unseen incident at "Suffragette City" turned him into a woman. Roger's original form was never depicted in the comic.
  • Mighty Man of The Savage Dragon is an ancient entity passed from host to host at the point of death. The current host is female Ann Stevens (or New's complicated) - the host, regardless of their sex, is able to transform into a tall blonde man with Flying Brick powers, by tapping their wrists together.
  • In the Archie Comics story "The Great Switcheroo", Sabrina the Teenage Witch's cat Salem casts a spell that changes the sex of everybody in Riverdale. The story plays a bit like a Gender Flip in execution, as none of the transformed characters know what their "true" sex is supposed to be, but it "really" happened, and Sabrina's eventual reversal spell isn't actually a Reset Button. There's even video evidence suggesting that the gang spent a day as the opposite sex, though none of them remember it.note 
  • Youngblood:
    • In 1995, Image Comics decided to cash in on their "target demographic" by temporarily turning many of their heroes into heroines, a period known as "Extreme Babewatch". This event started in Youngblood, where Glory's nemesis Diablolique takes revenge on her enemy (and on men as a whole) by changing every man Glory had ever met into a woman. The event lasted only a month and didn't have much to carry on plot wise, but it occurred through much of image's then-current lines, dramatically raising the amount of fanservice. As was the point.
    • In the 2012 relaunch, Photon, formerly a male character, becomes Lady Photon. Their race apparently switches genders every seven years.
  • Once, when Groo the Wanderer was The Most Intelligent Man in the World, he accidentally got most of his supporting cast thrown into prison (it's a long story). Arba and Dakarba have enough magic to transform everyone in the dungeon into ducks, but it takes Pal to suggest that a dungeon full of beautiful women might be more useful for actually escaping.
  • Monster Girl from Invincible is, well, a girl who can turn into a monster — a MALE monster. She's even fathered a son in monster form.
  • Issue 6 of IDW's Samurai Jack comic sees Jack reuniting with his old friend, the Scotsman... who's been turned into a woman by mischievous leprechauns for wrecking their fairy circle. The leprechauns strike a bargain with Jack to turn the Scotsman back to normal... but as they're sealing the deal they turn Jack into a woman too, apparently because they thought it would be funny.
    • In another issue, there's a story where Jack meets a beautiful Geisha archeress. The two travel together, and Jack begins to fall for her... only to wipe some of her makeup off to reveal pitch black underneath. "She" then transforms into Aku, who mocks Jack before leaving. And this wasn't even the first time he's done this, though at least Aku had a reason for it beyond tormenting Jack.
  • In The Wicked + The Divine, Lucifer is reincarnated as a girl (who generally goes by Luci and uses female pronouns). Inanna, a female Sumerian goddess, was likewise incarnated as male, though in his case, "guy is a small word". The 1831 Woden also incarnated as a woman.
  • Judge Dredd: When America Jara died, her lover Bennet Beeny had his brain transplanted to America's body so that he could continue to be with her. Additionally, he had used his old body to impregnate America's, so that he ended up giving birth to his own daughter.
  • An example from French Comics appears in Paulette by Georges Wolinski and Georges Pichard (1970): the old Joseph, a clochard that saved the eponymous protagonist, is suddenly magically transformed in a stunningly attractive brunette (with the same age of the blonde Paulette) and becomes her companion in a ton of misadventures. Though now Joseph is very younger, healthier and in a better physical shape, she is absolutely not pleased to be female, she has still the mindset of an old clochard (with a little bit of mischief added) and she talks frequently as a veteran of the First World War (still in a very female and young body). She likes to repeat "I could be your grandpa" and similar other sentences. Also naked. We have to punctuate that this comic is a hurricane of Fanservice. At the end of the first adventure with Paulette, Joseph is able to become the old man again: however he has a ton of photos and Pin Up of his nude stunning female self (with dedication... to Joseph!) When Paulette is kidnapped again, Joseph is transformed definitively in the brunette and forced to be involved in Paulette's endless surreal misadventures.
  • Another French example would be Une Femme dans la Peau or Johanna about the middle-aged lecherous Antoine, who gets hit by a bus. (He was distracted.) A mad Nazi scientist transplants his mind into the dead body of a beautiful girl who died of an overdose. Now, Antoine has to deal with being a blonde bombshell, trying to get enough cash to survive (he ends up taking a job as a pinup girl, because of course), and having to dodge the scientist's elderly Nazi-Remnant chums and stop them from using the procedure in a two-for-one Fountain of Youth/World Domination plot.
  • In the second issue of Bodie Troll, Bodie uses magic lipstick to turn into a human girl.
  • Fables: In Cinderella: Fables Are Forever, Ivan Durak turns out to be Dorothy Gale in disguise.
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Tiresias' youngest daughter, Bio/Bion/Vita/Vito/Roland/Orlando, began to develop this ability at the age of ten.

    Comic Strips 

    Fairy Tales 
  • In the Albanian story "The Girl Who Became a Boy", uh... well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Similar to Mulan, a girl pretends to be a boy to give her family honor. After adventures and even getting married, she gets cursed into changing gender. This is surprisingly congruent with Albanian culture. The practice is dwindling now, but Albanian girls could swear themselves to celibacy and be considered men socially. This was often done to make sure there would be a "male" head of the household.
  • An odd bit of folklore claims that kissing one's own elbow will cause a person to change sexes. (Did you just try it? It works!) No it doesn't — it's impossible to kiss one's own elbow. And before anyone asks, it wouldn't work if your arm isn't connected to your body.

    Fan Works 
  • Harry Potter works:
    • Played with in The Girl Who Loved, via a crossover with Ranma ½.
    • In This World and the Next has Ron turn into a girl as a consequence of a Groin Attack by a troll. It Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
    • Jamie Evans and Fate's Bitch is one of many super!Harry Peggy Sue fics, except when Harry comes back, he ends up in the wrong body.
    • In Becoming Female, Snape makes Harry drink a potion which turns him into the perfect female form.
    • Harry Potter and the Unexpected Second Life is an alternate ending to Deathly Hallows where both Harry and Ron after the Battle of Hogwarts are victims of the Widowmaker poison, which only affects men, and only survive by taking Polyjuice Potion and turning into Hermione, and end up having to stay female for several months while they still have the potion in their systems.
    • In Ah! My Witches (Though Some Previously Could Not Be Considered Witches), Voldemort's newly invented immortally potion ends up turning himself, Draco and Lucius into Skuld, Urd and Mara respectively (Narcissa also takes the potion, but since she was already female, she just turns into Belldandy).
    • In Water Aerobics for the Aquaphobic, during a poorly-planned Hogwarts field trip to Jusenkyo that resulted in most of the students being cursed into various forms, Ron falls into Spring of the Drowned Violent Tomboy, which curses him to turn into Akane Tendo whenever he gets splashed with cold water. Theodore Nott is similarly transformed into a siren, a kind of female monster like a humanoid equivalent of a black widow, and there was also a grandfather of Sirius' who apparently fell into the Spring of the Drowned Double-Jointed Concubine.
    • In Potion 99 Harry takes a potion to permanently turn himself into a girl because the wizarding world is extremely bigoted about homosexuals and crossdressers.
    • In Changes Harry turns into a girl because Metamorphs experience a random major physical change when their powers first awaken. Due to the inadvisability of shifting anything more complicated than soft tissue, the change is permanent.
  • Irreversible Damage: One of the potions reverses the physical sex of those who drink it. This ends up seeing considerable use in the story, and multiple characters — including Greg himself — undergo permanent sex changes.
  • There are several fan-written sequels to the "Claire Kent: Super-Sister" Superboy comic book story (see above). In these stories, Clark's transformation into Claire is not All Just a Dream. The first story in the series can be read on this Website.
  • In Blessing in Disguise, a Spider-Man fanfic, the radioactive spider who bites Peter Parker is female, which results in Peter not only gaining spider powers, but turning into a girl.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • The first book has Loki comfortably transform into a female form for a banquet, apparently largely on a whim, suggesting that while primarily identifying as male, Loki is at least mildly gender-fluid. He mentions past instances of transforming into a woman and one occasion, him transforming Thor into a woman for about twelve hours. Apparently Thor himself wasn't overly fazed by it and is implied to have taken the opportunity to experiment. Harry shuts him down before he can go any further on the grounds of Too Much Information.
    • Harry doesn't seem overly bothered by the idea of doing it himself. In the sequel, he jokingly speculates about transforming Clark into a girl to fool the targeting on a magic spell, noting that a gender-switch is a big change. A mortified Clark shuts him down, and asks, essentially, "how would you like it?" Harry's dry response is that given what he knows about his cousins, Jean and Maddie, and has heard about his mother, he'd ask to change into a looser shirt first.
  • In the Haruhi Suzumiya fanfic Kyonko's New Life, Haruhi causes two universes where the cast are opposite genders to merge, resulting in those in the know of The Masquerade switching minds with their alternate selves. Our poor Ordinary High-School Student and Cosmic Plaything Kyon is now a girl with A-Cup Angst who still has to deal with the ever insane and domineering alternate universe Haruki.
  • Doing It Right This Time: When Kaworu decided to send himself and the other Children back in time to prevent the end of the world, he thought he might avert to play his role in the Dead Sea Scrolls prophecies if he changed sexes. So he turned female.
  • Red, White, and Blue, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossover with the Marvel Universe, in which a Halloween costume sticks Xander with Mystique's powers and base form, and an inability to resume his own appearance... so he morphs into Willow, and poses as her cousin.
  • Trapped, a virtual genderswap fic in the Sword Art Online fandom, in which Kirito is stuck playing as his little sister's avatar in the death game for years.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic works:
    • Becoming Ponies has, as its core concept, fans of the show waking up with the bodies of the show's characters. Given the infamous Periphery Demographic, this was inevitable.
    • Tzeentch does this to the God-Emperor, mixed with Baleful Polymorph, at the end of their fight in The God Empress of Ponykind. The Emperor/Princess Celestia is pissed off at first, but get used to it after a few years.
    • A few non-canon stories in The Non-Bronyverse involve this. One where TD gets turned into a pegasus mare by poison joke, and another where he becomes an alicorn princess. Both times he's rather horrified.
    • Justice League of Equestria; in one side story to Mare of Steel, Rainbow Dash gets turned into a colt due to exposure to Red Kryptonite. She really doesn't want to stay a colt, especially when Maxima tries to take her/him as a mate.
    • In Ponies After People, it's possible for someone to change sex when they become a pony.
    • When a Pony Calls revolves around a brony accidentally switching bodies with Lyra, a female unicorn. Later, his original body winds up being gender bent by Twilight, as a result of Lyra not being able to handle male hormones. Also, it turns out being stuck in a magical environment is slowly turning his now female body into a pony too.
    • The Teen Titans crossover My Little Titan has the Titans wind up in the bodies of the Mane 6. Naturally, this means the male Titans have this happen to them with the exception of Beast Boy, who ends up in Spike's body. Cyborg is not happy about this last part.
    • Navarone finds a pair of artifacts that change the gender of the user in Diaries of a Madman. Occasionally they get used for disguise (as well as other things) — at least until they break...
    • A Diplomatic Visit: While all changelings can change gender at will, chapter 25 explains that it is expected, when male changelings mature to become their hive's Queen, for their baseline biology to permanently change into a female's in the process. Thorax remaining male partway through his transformation surprises them.
    • The M-rated Suspenders-verse by Evilhumour mentions that Cadance can take a male form, Bolero, when she wants to; most prominently, she did so in order for she and her wife Gleaming Shield (this universe's Shining Armor) to conceive their daughter Flurry Heart.
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Tempest Rewrite:
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Journal did this for April Fool's Day 2013. None of the cast seemed to notice.
  • While uncommon, Thor fanfics where Loki turns into a woman are not too hard to find. It's usually explained by the fact that he's a frost giant and inspired by Norse myths of the gender-changing god (see the "Norse" entry in the "Mythology" tab). (All) Father Loki is one such fic by Savu0211.
  • The Infinite Loops will occasionally reboot a looper as the opposite gender. Twilight speculates it happens roughly two percent of the time. Some loopers do this more than others, such as Commander Shepard and Bonnie the Bunny.
  • Joel 1/2: An invention turns Joel into a woman. It should be noted that it was the author's idea for how the show could keep Joel himself on with Joel Hodgson (His actor) leaving (It was written before Mike officially became host).
  • In the The Matrix fanfic Bringing Me To Life two male characters, Apoc and David, are reincarnated as female.
  • This is completely and totally averted in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Power Girl fanfic Origin Story. It isn't a gender-bender story at all, despite the fact that you don't find that out until 13 or so chapters in. If all you read in those first dozen chapters, however, you'll come away thinking that this is a story about Xander Harris turned into a girl. Except it's not. It's about a girl who has a sort of psychotic break and thinks she's Xander Harris.
    • To be more specific, the protagonist of the story appears to initially be Xander trapped in the body of Power Girl, with an Interlude also showing her stuck in his body. It eventually turns out that, because of both Xander and Karen's unique natures, the decision to dress as her on Halloween created a sort of anomaly within the multiverse. When the spell ended, Harris and Power Girl were both sent back to their respective universes, but along with this copies were created - a girl with Karen Starr's body but the memories of Xander Harris, and a boy with Xander's body and Karen's memories; both are essentially newborns, each deposited in universes where they now live as their "home" worlds (Marvel for the former, Alexandra Harris; Stargate for the latter), and while the latter's story is not followed it's suggested to be somewhat similar to Alex's (in terms of finding oneself and such).
  • When Yuri!!! on Ice was announced, a lot of Western fans thought it meant that kind of yuri, and were surprised to see that it's actually about male figure skating. In Japanese, all three versions of "Yuri" are written differently... making Yuri On Ice a convenient pun for doujinshi in which the male characters are genderbent, at least one of which does exist.
  • The Simpsons fanfic Lisa 1/2 has this happen to both Bart and Lisa, after they fall into the spring of drowned girl at Jusenkyou. Bart turns into a five-year-old Chinese girl named Ping, while Lisa, who went in after him, turns into Bart.
  • Applies in a sense in the Stargate SG-1/Yu-Gi-Oh! crossover "The Serpent's Vow"; Seto Kaiba is the Goa'uld Queen Set, also known as Nephthys, but despite being a Queen and hence capable of giving birth to other symbiotes, he has retained the same male host since ancient Egypt and considers it just as much his true form as the symbiote.
  • Domoverse: Ron, who turns into a girl over the course of several hours after getting hit by a car and his mutant power manifesting.
    • Estelle becomes a boy over the course of a year thanks to her mutation.
    • And Ruth, who used to be Isaac. This was done very much against her will.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Kitsune: Conner Jeremy Fox, a 39+ year old man, age-regressed into a teenager girl.
    • Ma'at: 70+ year old Doctor Daniel Edward O'Neill transforms into Dani, a 20-something female priestess of Ma'at.
  • In The Fairly OddParents fanfic The Wrath of Remy Buxaplenty, a malicious wish from Remy turns Timmy into his Timantha form. The First Law of Gender-Bending also applies, as Remy wishes that Timmy would remain female permanently.
  • In Take the Green and Go Ranma is cursed with a female form, as in canon. Unlike canon, however, said female form is Shego, who had been sent back in time and drowned at Jusenkyo. Will Du later falls into Spring of Drowned Girl (the spring Ranma fell into is Spring of Drowned Demon Woman) and is cursed with the form of a blonde-haired girl.
  • In Inheritance of Cards and Demons, this is the power of the Switch card, as Rin finds out when it turns him into a girl named Sora.
  • One of the main characters of Boy Scouts ½, Matthew Atanian, fell into the same cursed spring as Ranma and thus has the same curse. A later introduced character, Perfume, is a woman who fell into Spring of Drowned Boy, and thus has the inverse curse.
  • In GG, Kronos, But I Have Foresight, the main character, Evan Gamble, is turned into a girl named Eve upon being pulled into the Percy Jackson and the Olympians world. This is due to Artemis and Hera refusing to accept the help of a guy when a girl could do it just as well, and Aphrodite suggesting this compromise.
  • In The Merry Go Round Broke Down, it's implied that Simon went through an incomplete, or even full, transformation. He still at minimum identifies as male, but it's also mentioned that he has the "wrong parts" as a weird side-effect of being turned into a CG character. He's also for some reason pregnant.
  • The Lord of the Rings fanfic A Day in Time revolves around Merry waking up in the bodies of his ancestors, one of whom happens to be his very pregnant (and about to give birth) great-grandmother.
  • In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, both Tapper and Duncan McSmurf get transformed into Smurfettes by a wish made with a magic egg, and Hefty gets partially transformed into one by Ghinelle the girl genie, who gets even on behalf of her mistress Smurfette for Hefty trying to use Sexual Extortion to keep his mouth shut about Smurfette having a genie.
  • The My Hero Academia fanfic When all you have is a Hammer has this as Izuku's quirk. It's unusual in that Izuku gets the ability when they’re just four years old, and they identify as non-binary regardless of which form they’re in.
  • In Account Transfer, Ryouga has his original curse overwritten with one that causes him to turn into a girl as part of his wish to have Ranma's problems.
  • In an interlude from Fate/Sunny Order, it's revealed that years ago, Ritsuka and Kana Tohsaka found Kaleido Ruby, who activated with blood from a cut on Ritsuka's hand and turned him into a magical girl. While Shirou was able to free his son from being a magical girl with Rule Breaker, it left Ritsuka still as a girl. The family had to wait for two weeks for Zelretch to turn their son back to normal, due to Ritsuka's girl body being made from aspects of multiple female counterparts.
  • In Distorted Reflection, a battle with a D'arcmon damaged both Taichi's and Mimi's digivices. When they wake up the next morning, they find themselves in the opposite gender thanks to the damaged Digivices swapping data. The more they use their Digivices, the more they get repaired and in turn make it harder to return to their original genders.
    • While their partners Agumon and Palmon remain the same, it's their Digivolutions that are affected. Agumon now digivoles into the female Sunflowmon, while Palmon digivoles into the male Growlmon.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin in Genderbent, where a dust mixture Jaune made is spilt onto him, Pyrrha, Ren, Nora, and Yang, turning them into the opposite gender. Later, an antidote made to turn Yang into a girl again is used on Weiss and Blake by Nora, turning both of them into boys.
  • In Nil Desperandum, Lelouch's mind is sent back to the day of Britannian invasion of Japan after his death in the Zero Requim. However, the body he ends up in is a female version of himself named Luluka.
  • Discussed in Zero Context: Taking Out the Trash. The central protagonist had been born a male named 'Curtis', and had at some point been mutated into a cat-like humanoid with special powers. Curtis liked being human more than he liked having his superpowers, and years later took advantage of a magical wish-granting crystal he'd found to regain his humanity and reset himself back to square one—even if it meant completely forsaking his masculinity to become a girl, turning into 'Callista'. A nurse in the epilogue had to make it clear to her patient that this didn't automatically mean Callista considered herself transgender, stating that she'd been called such by some who had heard the term before but didn't fully understand what it meant.
  • Danganronpa: Improper Avatar has Hajime arrive in Hope's Peak like at the start of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, only to find out that he's now a girl. The same process also happened to Nagito, Chiaki, Fuyuhiko, Peko, Mahiru, Mikan, and Kazuichi. The discussion between Makoto, Kyoko, and Byakuya implies that this was the result of sabotage by Izuru Kamakura.
  • A rather odd example in the Fate/Zero parody fic Fate Crazy Knights which has Arturia able to summon her Knights of the Round (minus Lancelot, who is summoned as Kariya's servant) and Merlin. Initially, the knights Gareth and Galahad start out male. However, following the release of the Camelot chapter in Fate/Grand Order, all the Knights that debuted or were talked about in that singularity undergo character updates in chapter 10, leading Gareth to become a girl and Galahad to fuse with Mash (who is fused with his power in the game). While Merlin is able to turn Galahad back to normal, he can't do the same to Gareth because she doesn't mind being a girl, especially since she can become Gawain's favorite little sister instead of competing with Gaheris for the role of favorite little brother.
  • In Interviewer, a photographer named Cecilia gets akumatized with this power thanks to the frustration of Lila refusing to follow directions and the latter misgendering the former. The transformation are merely biological, so while Ladybug and Chat Noir are outright transformed, the already trans-girl Juleka becomes a cis-gender girl and Plagg (who is essentially genderless) is unchanged.
  • In Ponies After People, it is possible for someone to change gender when they become a pony. This happened to the protagonist, Alex, who was once a man but is now a mare.
  • In Let's Go! Akane-kun, Akane wakes up one morning to find that not only has she become a boy, everyone she knows thinks that she has always been male. In addition, she (or rather "he") is now engaged to Shampoo, and Ranma is engaged to Nabiki.
  • In Switching it Up!, thanks to Mousse switching everyone's curses (except his own) around, Ryouga gets Ranma's curse and is cursed to turn into a blonde-haired girl every time he gets splashed with cold water.
  • Fates Collide: Arthur Pendragon became Arturia after too many class changes in Chaldea Academy. She later had her daughter Mordred following an affair with Diarmuid Ua Duibhne.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 1940 Hal Roach feature Turnabout concerns a bickering husband and wife, each of whom wishes they could have the "easy" life of the other gender. Their wish is subsequently granted by an enchanted Indian sculpture sitting on their mantelpiece. By the end of the film things are seemingly back to normal... until the Indian god confesses that he screwed up and informs the husband that he's now pregnant. The film was an adaptation of Thorne Smith's 1931 novel, which was later adapted as a short-lived TV series in 1978.
  • Zerophilia, directed by Martin Curland, concerns a young man named Luke who obtains the rare Z chromosome after a sexual encounter with a mysterious woman which turns him into a zerophiliac, a person whose sex changes with the act of sex (either by your lonesome or with another person). Sex with another zerophile induces mode locking.
  • Several movies have used the same basic plot, wherein a womanizing playboy dies and is reincarnated ''as'' a woman:
    • In Goodbye Charlie, Tony Curtis becomes Debbie Reynolds.
    • Cleo/Leo wasn't a porn movie, but it was made by a cast and crew of adult film veterans, and explores the sexual aspects of the transformation more frankly than most movies of this type.
    • In Blake Edwards' Switch (1991), Perry King becomes Ellen Barkin.
    • In Sam, Brock Harris becomes Natalie Knepp. Unlike the other versions Harris's character doesn't actually die (he is transformed into Knepp thanks to a mysterious drink he got at The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday) but otherwise the film follows the same plot.
  • All of Me uses the "shared body" variation, as Lily Tomlin's character dies and partially inhabits Steve Martin's body.
  • The hypochondriac Bernard Cutting in Carry On Matron has his body examined by a fellow doctor in the hospital, who points out that his pelvis is rather feminine-shaped, which makes him think that he is probably gender-bending. Unsurprisingly, this trope is subverted, but he soon relaxes after visiting the cuckoolander Dr Goode, who's just as uncertain about the situation as Bernard is.
  • The Hot Chick has a lowlife thief (played by Rob Schneider) accidentally swapping bodies with a snotty teenage girl.
  • There are several films which take the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and, while keeping Jekyll male have Hyde be a beautiful but evil woman:
  • In the sex comedy Sexual Chemistry, a chemist's attempt to create a sex-enhancing drug backfires, turning him into a woman. He keeps changing back and forth over the course of the movie. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Something Special (a.k.a. Willy/Milly) is a rare female-to-male example, where a tomboyish teenager wakes up to find herself magically transformed into a male after making a wish during a solar eclipse.
  • In Splice, Ginger, one of the two transgenic creatures created by Clive and Elsa, turns from female to male due to hormonal changes, and fights Fred (the other transgenic creature, who was male from the start) during a press conference that unleashes a shower of blood on the front row. This turns out to be foreshadowing for similar changes in Dren.
  • In Jurassic Park, the all-female dinosaur population gradually has some of them turn male. This is due to the fragmented dino DNA that created them being "repaired" with the DNA of a frog species that can change gender.
  • It's a Boy Girl Thing gives bickering teenagers Nell and Woody a "Freaky Friday" Flip via a Mayincatec God.
  • The Hong Kong action comedy Holy Weapon features this towards the end. In the movie, Ghost Doctor creates "Feminine Wine" for an intersexed woman, warning that if a man drinks even just a drop, he'd become a woman. They then have the male Idiot Hero Ng Tung look after the brew without telling him what it is or what it does. Ng Tung unwittingly drinks the brew, thinking it's a nutritious soup. Then his penis tells him that from now on, whenever his body gets wet, he'll turn into a woman. He'll become a man again when he dries his body. This becomes useful during the final battle, when the Big Bad's Mooks throw Ng Tung into the river as a sacrifice, only for him to emerge fully female, complete with Gainaxing and Girlish Pigtails. Thus, he/she becomes the Seven Virgins' 11th-Hour Ranger (since one of them is trapped in a net throughout the battle).
  • In Orlando, the title character wakes up as a woman halfway through the movie and is completely unfazed by the change. Which is more than you can say for everyone around her.
  • In The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, Luster is constantly switching between female and male due to her player forgetting and being reminded of her true gender. It's lampshaded several times, both in-character and out-of-character.
  • In Frankenstein Created Woman, Doctor Frankenstein successfully transfers the soul of a man into the just-drowned body of a deformed young woman. Frankenstein fixes up the woman's body, making her beautiful, but as with most of the Doctor's experiments, things start going downhill from there.
  • Gremlins 2: The New Batch: One of the Gremlins ingests a jar of Applied Phlebotinum in the genetics lab that immediately turns it into a Girl Gremlin, who then proceeds to become an Abhorrent Admirer to the jerkass head of security. This is one of the more peculiar examples by the standards of the trope, since the Gremlins are an asexual species that reproduces more like a fungus.
  • In the movie Scooby-Doo, the gang's souls switch bodies at one point, causing Fred, in Daphne's body, to remark "Hey, I can look at myself naked!" Daphne was not amused.
  • In the sequel, Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed, Shaggy drinks an unknown potion and transforms (from the neck down) into a woman, for a little while. This turns out to be a Chekhov's Gun as the villain was using it to disguise his identity
  • The Australian feature Dating the Enemy takes the classic set up of a bickering couple who get an opportunity (in a "Freaky Friday" Flip) to "see the world through the other's eyes".
  • In Gozu, a dead Yakuza brother returns as a young attractive woman with no explanation given why.
  • R.I.P.D.: To everyone living Roy looks like a (beautiful) young woman. Later we see Proctor has a male avatar and Nick's second avatar is a girl scout.
  • The movie Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is about a group of teenagers who get sucked into a video game and are stuck in the bodies of the avatars they chose. The group's wannabe Alpha Bitch, Bethany, ends up selecting Professor Shelly Oberon, whom the game describes as a "curvy genius" (which she assumes means "Hot Scientist"). To her surprise and horror, Shelly Oberon turns out to be an overweight middle-aged man (played by Jack Black). Hilarity ensues.
  • The sequel, Jumanji: The Next Level, has several examples:
    • Spencer re-enters the game, hoping to regain the confidence he had as Dr. Smolder Bravestone. However, the game sticks him with the avatar of the female thief Ming Fleetfoot. To add insult to injury, Fleetfoot has essentially the same strengths and weakness as his normal, male self: high intelligence and cleverness, but no physical strength or fighting skills — and a pollen allergy to boot.
    • Later, Spencer's grandfather, Eddie (Danny DeVito), ends up in Fleetfoot's body; he's too amazed by the fact that he has hair again (being bald in the real world, and having spent much of the film as the extremely strong, but bald, Bravestone) to be concerned about being female.
    • "Fridge" initially gets stuck as Professor Oberon (which, as the group's resident jock, he is not happy about). However, an electric shock causes him to briefly swap avatars with his teammate, Martha, putting her in Oberon's body and him in the body of Ruby Roundhouse (which he finds far preferable). After he admits that the breasts are a nice bonus, Martha snaps at him to keep his hands off her body; Fridge replies that feeling himself up was the first thing he did.
    • Bethany, who enters the game long after the others, ends up with the only remaining avatar: Cyclone, a horse. After that, she's only too happy to be swapped into Professor Oberon's body (again).
  • In the first and second Phantasm films, the Tall Man is able to transform himself into a woman in order to lure people in to be killed.
  • The Assignment (2016): Frank gets a full sex reassignment via magic plastic surgery, and the result is him going from physically male to looking like Michelle Rodriguez (who played him in both cases).
  • In the Italian comedy Le Comiche 2 the two main characters cause physical and psychological damage to many people throughout the multiple episodes composing the movie. The main recurring victim (chew toy) is a male individual that undergoes an undesired breast augmentation at the end of the first episode. Later he has an accident of comedic underwear exposure, revealing he is wearing a bra supporting large breasts. As the movie progresses, he ends up in a hospital and he is given a sexual reassignment surgery. Finally, completely turned into a woman, she is an odalisque in a harem, seemingly accepting her new role and gender (Second Law of Gender-Bending).
  • Another rare female to male version, in the 2015 Swedish film Girls Lost (Pojkarna) - based on a Young Adult novel - three teen girls who suffer from misogynistic bullying at school find a mysterious seed that grows into a flower that can turn them into boys if they drink its nectar, though it wears off by morning. One of the teens is heavily hinted to be a trans man and finds the situation liberating and becomes addicted to the nectar, whilst the other two are intrigued and find some more confidence as boys admit they'd rather stay as girls.
  • The 2018 Belgian short film Switch features an initially female protagonist who discovers that having an orgasm causes her to change sex. The film can be seen as a commentary on trans people's experiences. Can be viewed here.
  • Freaky: For the Butcher and Millie via "Freaky Friday" Flip. He's an adult man, she's a teenage girl, and both find the change discomforting (he adjusts faster).

  • Averted in Masques; Aralorn is a shapeshifter who can change into, among other things, a mouse, but she can't do men. Whenever she needs to look like a man, she goes for an androgynous woman instead. It is implied it is mostly her own unwillingness to do cross-gender shapes that is responsible for this; she has to practice for the magic to work properly.
  • The premise of the Sex Gates trilogy by Darrell Bain & Jeanine Berry: Portals appear at random all over the world. If they don't make you vanish when you pass through them, they cause you to emerge as a flawlessly healthy 18-year-old... of the opposite gender. Hilarity Ensues. Well, not so much hilarity as extreme societal upheaval. The Middle Eastern response — namely, chucking various imams and abusive husbands through, was highly amusing. Other aspects, like the Trans Equals Gay implications of homosexuals lining up for their Gender Bender or women eager for the chance to be the "superior" sex, may be less amusing.
  • In Iain M. Banks's Culture novels, citizens of the Culture are able to change their gender at will. The process is slow, taking several months, but is done entirely using consciously-released hormone, not requiring any external assistance. The change is so complete that they begin to produce the appropriate sex cells, and a newly-female person can get pregnant and give birth. Most people in the Culture will spend a year or two as the opposite sex at some point in their lives, just to see what it's like. A popular expression of love is for a couple to conceive a child, then change gender and conceive another, so both partners are pregnant with the other's child at the same time (they are also able to temporarily arrest the development of the embryo/fetus, so that they can time it so they come to term together — if the embryo is only just conceived, they can even keep it alive while they become male).
  • In Gael Baudino's Dragon trilogy, an enemy wizard does this to an entire troop of soldiers from an extremely sexist country. The transformation is permanent, and the characters' adaptation to their new state is dealt with at length; the new women's situations are dealt with surprising sensitivity, given that at the time Baudino was a Dianic Wiccan.
  • Princess Ozma of L. Frank Baum's Oz series was magically changed into a boy as a baby, and grew up this way (under the name "Tip") until the spell was discovered and she was changed back. The fact that their personalities are total opposites has led to at least a century of many fans trying to explain this away via or Retcon. Lampshaded when the Gump mentions he thought Ozma was nicer when she was a boy. The Gump also mentions that Ozma didn't much like him talking since she changed her name.
  • Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga:
    • A Civil Campaign has, as a significant character, Lord Dono Vorrutyer... formerly Lady Donna Vorrutyer.
    • Not to mention Bel Thorne the hermaphrodite, who, while technically both male and female, is quite fond of switching its perceived gender around just to mess with people's heads.
  • A common motif in Jack Chalker books. Usually it's a) to show just how indomitable the transformed character is, and b) to showcase the sheer evil of the individuals responsible... and make their eventual Karmic Deaths—or at least karmic comeuppance — all the more appropriate. Appropriately enough given how deeply Chalker is associated with this trope, his immortal hero Nathan Brazil's last act in Chalker's final book is to "accidentally" inflict a Gender Bender on himself; it may have been a Freudian Slip on the character's part.
  • Neil Gaiman has played with this trope a few times:
    • In Stardust, Bernard the goat herder is first turned into a goat by the Big Bad, and later into a woman to pose as her daughter.
    • The short story "Changes" has Gender Bending as its premise, as a cancer cure called Reboot that works by altering the patients DNA has the side-effect of transforming the patient into a fully functional and fertile member of the opposite gender. The story takes place over several decades, analyzing how society would react to the effects introduced by such a drug. The middle eastern response is especially horrific, in contrast to the Sex Gates example above.
  • The entire basis of the plot of James Alan Gardner's novel Commitment Hour.
  • This is the ending twist of the Clive Barker short story "The Madonna" from The Books of Blood. All men who enter The Madonna's lair become women. Though it can be terrifying for some people, he/she ended up better than most other characters.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness is basically "what if everyone were of negotiable sex".
  • An important point in Charles Stross' Glasshouse is that the characters come from a society where Gender Benders are ridiculously easy. It's implied that most people tend to settle on a particular gender for the sake of convenience; the protagonist is usually male, but doesn't even remember what his original body's gender was.
  • This is pretty much the point of Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Biography.
  • The middle part of Elminster: The Making of a Mage is basically "The Making of a Priestess". When Elminster agreed to serve the goddess of magic, he finds himself teleported without any warning to an unknown location and turned into a lass-"to see the world through the eyes of a woman" (and to hide him from Magelords out for his blood), having nothing on her save half of a broken ancestral sword, and no magic abilities save innate magic vision. Later he learned the spell himself. In the next book, Mystra pushes a silent sex-inverting spell into his mind, to give him a way to circumvent controls built into his body. Which he used while embraced... er... restrained by his current Love Interest, no less. "Well met. Call me Elmara, please!"
  • Several Animorphs characters do cross-gender human morphs. Marco morphs the female governor in one book, and presumably, Cassie and Rachel morph male when they acquire sailors for a mission on an aircraft carrier. Rachel's eagle, acquired between books 1 and 2, is male, as is the grizzly bear that she acquired in book 7. Marco acquires a girl wolf in book 3, while Jake, Marco and Ax all become a female skunk in book 9, and Rachel and Cassie (along with the four boys) acquire a male polar bear in book 25. Tobias acquires Taylor, a human female, in book 43. In The Hork-Bajir Chronicles Aldrea (who is female) morphs Alloran, the future host of the below-mentioned Visser Three.
    • This is the plot point of one book, where Visser Three morphs into a female human and masquerades as Tobias' cousin Aria in order to capture him after he is read a letter from his father, Prince Elfangor. Visser Three spends most of his time in this form during the book, just in case Tobias is morph-capable and spied on him in animal form; Tobias only figures out the trick because Visser Three is too good at acting like a human woman and checks "her" hair in a mirror, which is automatic for most women but not necessarily for one who's been living in Africa for years, which was what "Aria" was supposed to be doing for most of Tobias' life.
  • In The Wheel of Time, after Balthamel dies, he is resurrected as the beautiful woman, Aran'gar. This is situational irony, because Balthamel had been known as a tremendous lecher.
  • Many characters in The Memory Wars remember past lives, and several have explicitly lived some lives as genders other than their current one. In Locked Within, one of Nathan's key memories is of his life as Katherine O'Reilly, a renowned monster-hunter whose lover was hanged, having been framed for murder.
  • In the 1952 French short story Héloïse by Marcel Aymé, the thirty-five-year old Martin turns into the title female character each evening, causing her to clash with his wife. Things get complicated when Martin falls in love with Héloïse, and when Héloïse gets out and sleeps with other men. At the end of the story, Martin's wife tells him that Héloïse is pregnant; and that Martin/Héloïse will give birth to a boy who will soon turn into a girl. Ouch.
  • In Walter Jon Williams' Cyberpunk novel Hardwired, the rich elite often transfer their consciousness to a younger body to extend their lives. The book introduces one who used to be an elderly man but got himself transferred to a young, female body to live his sexual fantasies of submission and vulnerability. S/He gets what s/he asked for and more when Sarah, one of the protagonists seduces, and then murders him/her.
  • In the novel Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin, the main character Jill changes into a boy, Jack, before (or during) her period.
  • In the Safehold series by David Weber, Nimue Alban (or, specifically, the robot with Nimue Alban's personality) crafts the persona of Merlin Athrawes. Her robotic body has the capability to shift genders, which she uses to complete the image.
  • The whole idea of a man being turned into his own fantasy woman is deconstructed by Angela Carter in The Passion of New Eve.
  • In And Eternity, Orlene is temporarily transformed into a man to make a point.
  • The protagonist of Death's Master by Tanith Lee is a Wonder Child who can switch at will between male and female.
  • Tanith Lee also explores gender-switching in her Biting the Sun series, where changing bodies and genders is almost as easy as changing clothes. Officially you're only supposed to change once every thirty days, but nobody pays attention to that.
  • In Judith Tarr's Avaryan Rising series, a young nobleman from one nation is turned female—by way of a dangerous magic ritual—so that s/he can marry the prince of another nation for diplomatic reasons. Predictably, she's smoking hot in female form.
  • Malahide in the Havemercy series.
  • In the Vampire: The Masquerade series, Sasch Vykos was once Myca Vykos, but changed genders via Vicissitude.
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Alex Fierro might fit both versions of this trope. She's gender fluid, and is also implied to be a Sex Shifter whenever her identity changes.
  • Polyjuice Potion in the Harry Potter series has been stated to do this, although we never actually learn how far the gender bending goes. Some examples in the series:
    • In Goblet of Fire, Barty Crouch, Jr. escaped Azkaban by swapping identities with his mother via Polyjuice Potion.
    • In Half-Blood Prince, Crabbe and Goyle take the Polyjuice Potion many times to pose as first year girls, in order to allow Malfoy to repair the Vanishing Cabinet.
    • In Deathly Hallows, in order to get Harry out of Privet Drive, five of his friends (and Mundungus Fletcher) disguise themselves as Harry using Polyjuice potion. Two of the decoy Harrys are Hermione and Fleur. Amusingly, Fleur isn't too happy about being Harry; after the transformation is complete, she tells Bill not to look at her because she's hideous.
  • In the Mercedes Lackey and Piers Anthony novel, If I Pay Thee Not In Gold, there be demons. They look ordinary, if beautiful, and with awesome eyes, but normal for normals where they come from. What distinguishes them is immortality... and gender bending when they have sex. Imagine losing your virginity and learning that. How can demons die? By being killed, or if a partner is unfaithful.
  • In Warrior Cats, the others often can't keep up with the massive cast, especially characters who were created just to flesh out the allegiances, so this has happened to several characters (most notably Sedgewhisker and Rowanclaw).
  • In Dread Brass Shadows, Garrett encounters a couple of characters who magically disguise themselves as other people, sometimes of the opposite sex. Finding the corpse of one of them, he's squicked out to discover that the dead man is reverting from his assumed female form to his natural one only gradually, from top to bottom.
  • In Sphere, the protagonist tests out his reality-warping abilities on some nearby mummified corpses, changing men to women and women to men. That's right: gender-bending corpses.
  • In Cordwainer Smith's Instrumentality short story, "The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal," the Arachosians made their women into man-like things (klopts) on purpose. It was a Fate Worse than Death.
  • In Peter Pan in Scarlet, the former Lost Boys must wear their children's clothing in order to become children again and return to Neverland. Unfortunately for Tootles, he has no sons, so must wear his daughter's ballet dress, and turns into a girl.
  • A... rather awkward version happens in Galaxy of Fear: The Brain Spiders. Jabba the Hutt has a weird gambit going where he removes the brains of major criminals, turns their bodies in for the reward money, and installs their brains into the bodies of hapless people in his fortress - their brains end up in spider droids, which sucks. A particularly large and brutish killer's intended body is set free, so he gets put into Tash Arranda, a not-yet-fourteen-year-old girl. At first he doesn't mind much, but soon he starts complaining to Jabba about it. Jabba is just amused. The narration, once the point of view character figures it out, calls him "he".
  • The Sister Verse and the Talons of Ruin has the ascendants, who assumed the forms of women in the war of the second act to facilitate infighting within humanity, and eventually birth the Sisters of Ruin.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire dragons are described by Maester Aemon as "neither male nor female, [...] but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame." His knowledge of dragons being able change sex at will comes from a rare book from scholar Septon Barth, who also served as Hand to Jaehaerys I. Interestingly during the books several dragons are referred to by a specific gender, for instance Balerion is referred to as male by Daenerys and Tyrion refers to Syrax as a "she-dragon", suggesting some dragons may remain a single fixed gender.
  • In The Dollmaker, Stephen is reincarnated into an artificial female body, and in doing so, all of his flaws are stripped away. That's the happy ending.
  • Ian Covey, the doppelganger in Everyman takes the form of two different women.
  • In the Dune series, the Tleilaxu Face Dancers were shape-shifters with the ability to change gender.
  • For the people of Greg Egan's novella Oceanic, who otherwise seem mostly human, coïtus ends with the penis transferring itself to the other partner. The protagonist has one sibling; each of their parents is mother to one and father to the other. (The people's origin legend suggests that their ancestors had been disembodied software for a long time before creating their bodies.)
  • K. Lynn's His Womanly Ways employs the body-horror route with a gradual genderswap for the main character. Womanizer gets cursed to know what it's like for a woman, and he slowly starts turning into one. The change is found to be permanent, but the novel subverts the typical genderswap tropes by utilizing an underlying transgender theme.
  • In the novel Girl by David Thomas, Bradley Barker (the main character) goes into hospital to have his wisdom teeth removed and is given a sex-change operation by mistake. The change is permanent and the main character does get used to being a woman through typical dress and actions, but the novel is surprisingly respectful of the transgender topic despite the comedic plot set-up.
  • Alison Tyler goes the typical bodyswap route in Tiffany Twisted. A woman and her boyfriend switch bodies and explore each other in intimate and personal ways. Of course, the male-turned-female character uses the opportunity to feel himself up. The point of the swap in this case is to teach the protagonists a lesson — namely, to be more respectful and considerate of each other.
  • One of the titular Midnight’s Children can do this by immersing themselves in water.
  • Lord of Light:
    • The Masters of Karma regularly reincarnate ordinary individuals in bodies whose sex differs from the individual's gender, especially if they want to use it as a punishment. Those who have ascended to the Heavenly City, however, get to choose their sex with each new body; when he first confronts Sam and is forced to answer Sam's questions about the gods while sinking into quicksand, Yama mentions that the current Goddess of Dance at the time had previously been a God of War.
    • The original Brahma was a lesbian whose birth name was Madaleine; she chose to get transferred into a supremely masculine bodynote  time and again, but still had a nagging fear of not being man enough to attract women.
    • When Kali is asked to become the new Brahma, she agrees, even though it means breaking off her marriage to Yama in the middle of their honeymoon. She is later reincarnated as a female again, under the name Murga, who Yama introduces to Kubera as his daughter.
    • Helba, the Monarch of Thieves, alternates sex with each incarnation. When Sam approaches her to steal his belt back from the museum of the gods, she initially refuses, stating that she doesn't perform thefts when female.
  • In Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, The king poses as an old woman as part of the Secret Test of Character he gives Manyara and Nyasha.
  • The Machineries of Empire: The Hexarchate has a Non-Heteronormative Society and the Magitek to make any medical transition a trivial affair. When Cheris first wakes up after becoming a Willing Channeler to Jedao, she sees his reflection in place of hers and initially assumes that her superiors have changed her sex for some reason.
  • In Princess Holy Aura, a 35-year-old man's choice to become a 14-year-old girl is one of the key points of the story.
  • In I'm In Love With the Villainess, Prince Yuu suffers from this after he was accidentally infected with a gender-bending disease when he was young. Complicating matters is that he wants to return to his birth gender, but his mother doesn't want him to endanger his chances at the throne. He eventually cures himself of the disease, and happily lives on as a female.
  • The Queen Of Ieflaria: A common magic in the setting, and why no one is too worried about the heir of two women. The problem is that you have to want the Change for it to stick; actual transsexuals are easily able to Change permanently, but there is some doubt whether either Esofi or Adale will be able to maintain it long enough to produce an heir.
  • Reborn To Master The Blade the Hero-King Inglis wishes for reincarnation on his death bed to the Goddess who watched over his life, as he regrets never truely becoming the best swordsman in the world due to his duties as king. He is reincarnated as the daughter of the Captain of the Knights decades in the future.
  • The Reincarnated Vampire Just Wants To Enjoy Her New Life has the main character, Scarlet, start out as a male disembodied spirit and end up reincarnating as a female vampire.
  • Demon Sword Maiden starts the story with a very, very effeminate boy getting confessed to by his older, taller, and very busty crush. He reciprocates, and then the plane they're flying in crashes, killing them both. The next moment, he wakes up in her body, while her soul is stuck in a magic mirror. The prevailing conflict in the story is him trying to find a way to get her out and give her her body back, becoming a powerful demon-slaying samurai in the process...
  • The Four Profound Weaves: The first of the titular magical arts weaves the wind into a "carpet of change", which can transform a person's body to match their inner self. Transgender people in the desert nomads commonly use these when they transition: one of the protagonists did as a young child, while the other kept his carpet for forty years and finally used it in his sixties.
  • "PMS Zombies" shows the troubles of a teenage boy unwillingly turning into a beautiful girl right as all the women in town turn into man-hungry cannibal zombies.
  • Togetherly Long: This happens to Chiisai, who starts out as a boy but transforms into a girl when he/she dives in front of a ray gun blast that was intended to turn his/her best friend Oukii into a statue. The reason Chiisai becomes a girl and not a statue is because he's/she's not the same species that Oukii is, and so the Ray Gun had a different effect on him/her.
  • Chakona Space: Skunktaurs, which were a competing project to the chakats' development, can switch between male and female. They're born male then change to female for the first time at puberty and can trigger the change at will from then on.
  • Magical Girl Policy: Rob is revealed to be Spirit Guard Serenity, and will be permanently transformed into a girl upon transforming the first time.
  • Whateley Universe: This is a major point of many of the tales, due to them taking place in an LGBI dormitory at the eponymous Superhero School.
    • Several of the main characters are gender bent by their "Exemplar" mutant power, which involves Involuntary Shapeshifting to match their "BIT" (Body Image Template). A BIT is that person's mental image of a perfect body, which is occasionally the "wrong" gender — although Exemplar mutations tend to have a side effect of a certain level of acceptance, and many were transgender to begin with (i.e., the changes fit what they wanted to be all along). Note that a BIT can lead to an intersexed state as well — this is -the case with both Phase and Circuit Breaker - or cause a non-human appearance. It should also be noted that the First Law is in full effect in the Whateley 'verse — as a rule, it is not possible to undo or really change an Exemplar mutation.
    • Other than the Exemplar mutants, one main character is changed to a girl by being bonded with a powerful female elf spirit, another due to a poorly worded prank by her little brother, and yet another hasn't changed at all but is actually a transgender girl trying to find a way to transition. Oh, and then there's Hank, who's gender bending the other way.
    • And that's not even counting the ways it has happened separate from mutations. These include finding and bonding with a magic sword (Bladedancer); deliberate magic (Scapegrace); botched magic (the Crystal Wavers); getting affected by a booby-trapped book meant to protect her from a familial curse (Josie Gilman); conning a horny Mad Scientist into doing it (Delta Spike); a Mad Scientist accidentally dosing himself with his own 'perfect Drow girlfriend' transformation serum (Jobe Wilkins); memory transfer of a copy of a male Mad Scientist's self into a female Drow clone body (Belphoebe); getting dosed with a sex-slave serum (Daphne Han, who then turned the tables on her captor); bonding with powerful spirit beings (several of the Loose Cannons); making a poorly-worded wish with a Power Gem (Hat Trick); being an unwilling subject of magical experiments (Dragonsfyre); getting affected by nanotech (Tyler Collier); getting affected by nanotech and a magic-based computer game (Whisper); and getting zapped by an angry Mad Scientist girlfriend (both Reach and Lapin).
    • Things go completely off the rails in the story "Smoke and Mirrors", when someone finds a devise called a 'Mimicry Inducer' (which imposes someone else's appearance on a person), and decides to use it as an offensive weapon. Fortunately, the First Law of Gender-Bending doesn't apply for once, though at least one permanent male-to-female change does occur (to someone who happened to be Transgender to begin with, so no one was complaining).
    • It should be added that the rate at which the transformations take place can vary greatly, from Tennyo's near-instantaneous self-immolation/transformation, to the half-decade long gradual self-adjustment that Mega-Girl is going through. In between that are Crimson Comet (three days), Phase (about a week), Shadowdancer (two months of agonizing illness), Fey (six months of slow changes followed by a sudden, unpleasant burst of alterations after her first major use of her powers), Chaka (about a year, and requiring surgical intervention to correct her hips half-way through), and Beltane (a couple of years of self-modification). And that's not counting shapeshifters like Jimmy T., who can voluntarily change form in a short period, or those who transform involuntarily more or less instantaneously at varying times, such as Reach, Chimera, Fling, or Heyoka.
  • Xanadu (Storyverse): A number of transformations cause people to change genders and/or physical sexes, such as a frat guy who wore an Ariel costume on a dare and is turned into a mermaid, a man turned into a female Fox Folk, a woman who is turned into a Hulk Hogan clone, and two women who were part of a group cosplaying as marines from Hogan's Heroes. The main character in "Refamiliarization" also undergoes this as his full transformation slowly sets in, but the fact that he's turning into a female dragon specifically means that the sex change is largely a secondary issue for her.

  • The titular character of Blue Öyster Cult's Imaginos and its sequel often shapeshifts into (among many other forms) his female persona of Desdinova the foreign minister. She narrates both the opening track of the first album and its most famous song overall, "Astronomy".
  • The video for "Bye Bye Beautiful" flips almost at random between portraying Nightwish and Nightwish-as-a-Girl Group (starting as the latter), with then-lead singer Annette Olzon the only member staying the same in both versions.
  • The Sarah Brightman song "Madam Hyde", inspired by The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, puts a new spin on the story by having Dr. Jekyll turn into a woman after drinking a magic cocktail.

    Myths & Religion 
  • There are several instances of gender bending in Greek Mythology, all of which are Older Than Feudalism.
    • The prophet Tiresias was (in one version of his story) transformed into a woman by the goddess Hera as punishment for killing a pair of mating snakes. After spending seven years as a woman, he encountered another pair of snakes at the same spot and (either by killing them or leaving them alone) was changed back into a man. In some versions of the story, he continued to change sexes every seven years for the rest of his life. As a result of Tiresias's unique experience, Zeus and Hera later called upon him to settle an argument over which gender experiences more pleasure during sex (as he alone had experienced it from both perspectives). Tiresias sided with Zeus, stating that women enjoy it more; Hera's response to that is why he became known as "the blind prophet".
    • The goddess Artemis turned the Cretan boy Sipriotes into a woman for staring at her naked body while she was bathing.
    • In his Metamorphoses Ovid wrote of Iphis, a daughter of Telethusa and Ligdus, who Ligdus had said — when Telethusa was pregnant — he would kill if born a girl. The goddess Isis told Telethusa to bring Iphis up as a boy, and Iphis eventually fell in love with a woman — Ianthe. So Isis turned Iphis into a man. They lived Happily Ever After.
    • Poseidon raped Caenis, but afterwards offered to grant her a wish. She wished to become a man so that she would never be raped again. He granted her wish, and as a bonus, made her invulnerable to weapons. The new man renamed himself Caeneus and became a fierce warrior. He was eventually killed by being crushed to death under a pile of tree trunks and rocks. In some versions, he became a woman again in the Underworld.
  • Hindu Mythology
    • In the Mahabharata, Shikandin, the reincarnation of Amba, was born specifically in order to kill Bhishma. He was born as a girl but was brought up as a boy due to Prophecy Twist. He exchanged his female body with a Yaksha and was turned into a man.
    • The God Vishnu turned temporarily into a beautiful woman called Mohini in order to seduce the demons away from eating nectarine that would lead to immortality. He coyly teased them about it, transformed back to his original self and gave the pot to the gods.
    • The Hindu view on reincarnation allows for gender to be changed during the cycle. So a man who dies could be reincarnated as a woman, and vice versa.
  • Norse Mythology is full of this trope:
    • The gods hired a contractor to build their heavenly city. They let him name his price after he did the work, he asked for the goddess of love's hand in marriage, and the sun and moon to boot (it's unclear if he meant the gods Sól and Máni, or the actual celestial objects). He was a giant, with a giant horse, so they had to distract the horse and get him outa town. How'd they distract the horse? Why, by having the trickster god Loki, noted male, transform into a hot mare, of course! Loki actually got pregnant from this and bore the eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, who Odin nicked to be his warhorse. Loki didn't mind, presumably wanting to drown the memories in mead as quickly as possible and never see a reminder again. Another version of the myth has the Giant getting Odin's wife if the work is completed by a certain date, and Loki distracts the Giant's horse as above to delay the work past the due date so she doesn't have to pay up.
    • In the myth where Loki invades the gods' banqueting hall to insult them all, he and Odin both charge the other with having turned into a woman — a real woman, who had borne a child and nursed it.
  • According to Herodotus' Histories some Scythian raiders once made the mistake of sacking a temple of Venus Castina (the aspect of Venus who looks after the souls of women locked in male bodies.) The Goddess responded by turning the raiders into women.
  • Happens in a rare myth of Guanyin, the Chinese interpretation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who is recognized as almost exclusively female due to a mixture with his/her own Tara and some fertility goddesses (although Avalokiteshvara truly appears only in 4 of his 32 incarnations as female). It is connected with a school of Shaolin, there, Guanyin changes into a man for the sake of the group and later is "allowed" to stay that way.
  • In the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas:
    Simon Peter said to them: "Let Mary go away from us, for women are not worthy of life."
    Jesus said: "Look, I will draw her in so as to make her male, so that she too may become a living male spirit, similar to you."
    (But I say to you): "Every woman who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven." (Gospel of Thomas, Saying 114)

    Pro Wrestling 
  • A sex change is part of Bio Monster DNA's backstory in FMW, as deciding being a woman wasn't for him, the process to turn him back into a man went wrong and instead made him a human spider hybrid.
  • Conversed at the unsanctioned RoH A Night Of Hoopla where Bobby Fish told former ring crew member Cheeseburger he had a better chance of growing a vagina than beating reDRagon.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons examples:
    • The "Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity" is a magic item dating back to AD&D. It changes the wearer's sex. In later editions, it often brought some distaste due to being referred to as "cursed" with some trans fans questioning why, though once it's pointed out that it forcibly changes the wearer's gender, or outright removed it, the derision stopped. It is also far easier to return from the dead than to reverse this curse. The single most powerful spell in the game has only a 50% chance of reversing it.
    • The Changeling race from Eberron can change appearance at will, including gender (or become genderless/hermaphrodite). They do tend to have a basic sexual identity developed during childhood, but any changeling can still procreate as either gender.
    • Most shapechanging magic (such as alter self) allows the caster to choose the gender of the assumed form, along with more typical alterations such as height and build.
    • Many "random" magic effects in D&D include involuntary sex change as one possible result. Wild Mages in particular tend to suffer from it.
    • The infamous Tomb of Horrors has this as a result of one of the many, many traps, with the added bonus of alignment reversal.
    • In the third-party supplement The Book of Erotic Fantasy, there is a sex-change spell, oh-so aptly-named reverse gender, with the memorable flavor text "I'm a girl! I'm a girl! I'm a... no, wait, let me check." It is often combined with permanency to make the change permanent. However, it will be turned off in an Anti-Magic field.
    • Forgotten Realms has a special spell for this, that was repeatedly used in the Elminster Saga novels, though didn't make it into sourcebooks. Eilistraee used to allow this as an option for her rare male priests (being a female used to be the only way to truly feel her divine dance, which is needed to become a cleric). However, males can freely become priests of Eilistraee after her return, post-Sundering/5e. Mystra at least sometimes does this too, though her high-ranked servants are likely to shapeshift into lots of forms either way while going about their usual business.
    • Greyhawk got Zagig's gender shift spell introduced in Dragon #270. 3rd level, but unlike alter self it remains until dispelled or negated.
    • Several creatures (exactly which depends on the edition) have the ability to change into other forms. Some of these, such as that of several dragon types, are generic enough in what those alternate forms can be that it is possible to shift gender with them — of course, it usually comes with the requirement to change into a different kind of creature as well.
    • Corellon Larethian, the patron god of the elves, has long had this ability as an obscure bit of lore dating back to his first appearance. It was basically trivia for most of D&D's lifespan, serving mainly as a way to reinforce the elfeminate trope, but in 5th edition, it was made more prominent by adding the existence of a minority of elves having the ability to voluntarily shift genders once a day if they wish, a trait referred to as "The Blessing of Corellon", since it's believed to indicate special favor from the elf god. Unless they're drow, in which case they have to learn to hide the ability really fast or they'll be murdered for being a threat to the rigid gender roles of drow society.
    • 5th Edition gives kobolds the ability to involuntarily change gender as a result of having a severe imbalance in the male/female ratio of a warren due to attack by monsters or adventurers. As kobolds are reptilian humanoids that lay eggs and lack any form of sexual dimorphism, they see this as just a thing that happens.
  • Pathfinder:
    • The Elixir of Sex Changing is a relatively cheap way to change one's biological sex; unlike similar magic, it only works on a consenting subject, is permanent, and can't be Dispelled. One NPC in the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path is mentioned to have undergone gender reassignment with the potion.
    • The game includes Dungeons & Dragons' Girdle of Opposite Gender, whose sex-changing effect is framed as a Curse and lasts until Dispelled.
    • The Harrow Deck of Many Things Cards of Power include a "Clone" card, which, when drawn at random, causes the drawer to change sexes.
    • There is also Anderos salve and Mulibrous tincture, though they only work on secondary sex characteristics (so not gentialia) they are much cheaper (5gp each) but require twice per week use over the course of months to show full results. Anderos salve makes the user more masculine, Mulibrous tincture makes the user more feminine and together they make the user androgynous. The changes become permanent after 6 months.
  • In the Animesque Tabletop Game Teenagers from Outer Space, the Boy/Girl Gun is a standard item, and one alien power replicates the effect on the user. It's probably best to not speculate about the non-standard items.
  • Mekton Zeta cites this as a sample use of the "Special Effect Weapon" Stupid Mekton Trick.
  • In GURPS, "Hermaphromorph" is a cheap (5 point) Advantage that allows a character to change sex at will.
  • Similarly, Eclipse Phase has the "Sex switch" augmentation that allows one to change sex at will, but the transformation takes a week. For some reason, it only takes a day in a healing vat to permanently switch sexes.
  • Exalted
    • The Lunar Exalted have access to a charm which allows them to change sex at will. Their God/Patron Luna, who's typically identified as female, enjoys the same power, and sometimes appears as a man or a pregnant boy.
    • Alchemical Exalted have a charm that allows them to shift their physical appearance, allowing them to be males, females, and even hermaphrodites or sexless. Since they are sterile in any case, however, the changes are purely cosmetic.
    • With Sidereal Martial Arts, it's possible to make someone switch genders by punching them.
    • If a Primordial's central soul is killed, the Primordial's personality and form undergo drastic reconfiguration, akin to Doctor Who-style regeneration. In at least one case, this included a change in gender; the male Primordial known as He Who Bleeds the Unknown Word became the female Elloge, the Sphere of Speech.
    • Finally, there's an artefact known as the Stone of Gender Transformation, that allows the user to change their gender.
  • Scion has an Epic Appearance perk mentioned in the God rulebook, that allows the Scion to change everything about his/her body, including gender, and becoming a hermaphrodite. They're even fully fertile.
  • Unknown Armies provides players with at least three permanent ways to magically change their character's sex, a few more temporary methods, and several canonical one-off accidents. In addition, since the game is set in the Present Day, gender-reassignment surgery is also available — and explicitly necessary for correcting some magical accidents.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the Chaos God Slaanesh typically uses the pronoun "He". However, he in fact is neither male nor female yet both at the same time (the Eldar who created hir use "She Who Thirsts"). He assumes whatever form the person viewing him would find most attractive, which means that he can either be a fully functioning male, female, hermaphrodite or whatever else a person finds attractive at any given time. His traditional form is a weird sort of hermaphrodite, being split down the middle vertically as a woman on the right side of the body and a man on the left. The same goes for his/her breeds of daemon, including the more animalistic ones, and the cultists s/he shows favor to.
  • Cthulhutech has a First Order (low level) spell of the Transmogrification style called "Beckon the Unexpressed". Its other names are Aphrodite's Touch and Gender Bender, which sums it up fairly well. By magically "tweaking" the target on a chromosomal level, the target switches gender in a painless fashion over a period of three days. The ritual is legal (though it requires a permit), and implicitly a person "switched" in this manner is fully functional in their new role — the spell has replaced surgery for gender reassignment. Because the ritual only requires an effigy of the target and not the target's actual presence, it's noted that immature occultists like to use it for pranks. Especially in college. As well as merely switching men to women and vice versa (the change is permanent, but easily undone with a second spell), casters with sufficient occult skill and knowledge of physical medicine can use this spell to create different varieties of fully functional gender ambiguities (people with the body of one sex and the reproductive organs of the other, or a "true" hermaphrodite with the body of one sex and the organs of both).
  • Twilight Sparkle's Secret Shipfic Folder has four cards that change a pony's gender (although one is titled Rule 63 and another has the name Dude Looks Like a Lady so this could be half subverted).
  • Forsooth! has a theme table that lists this as a possible theme. It's no wonder considering the game's inspiration.
  • Shadowrun: Generally averted; while the setting offers fully functional sex change procedures, this is usually for genuine transgender people rather than this trope. However, notable shadowrunner and Conspiracy Theorist Plan 9 has had so many sex change operations, switching back and forth from male to female, that they claim they can't remember what they started out as anymore.
  • In the Classic and New World of Darkness:
    • Mage: The Awakening:
      • The Legacy known as the Daksha become Hermaphrodites after a certain degree of initiation, but also have the ability to shift between a male and female form as they see fit (although they will generally consider the hermaphrodite form their true one). They do this because they believe it is the mark of their superiority.
      • Mages talented in the Life Arcanum can change sex (along with any other physical traits) and Masters of Life can do this for others. However, living bodies naturally resist magical influence, so the spell needs to be periodically renewed.
    • As of second edition, the Werewolves of Werewolf: The Forsaken can switch sex at will using an ability nearly identical to that of the Lunar Exalted described above, with more or less the same justification.
    • The Galloi of Vampire: The Requiem are a Nosferatu bloodline who exchange their freakish ugliness for eerie, androgynous beauty and whose most powerful members can bestow a Gender Bender through Blood Magic. If the recipient is sufficiently dedicated, the change becomes permanent.
    • Some Flesh Shintai powers in Vampire: The Masquerade's Kindred of the East allow the user to change gender; one, Gender Change, from the Thrashing Dragon Dharma book, does it by repurposing various parts of your anatomy so it resembles the other gender's - e.g., for a male-to-female transformation, the reproductive tract comes from large intestine and muscles.

    Web Animation 
  • There's an episode of Bee and Puppycat where Bee turns into a boy named Bird.
  • Homestar Runner: In the Strong Bad Email "different town", Strong Bad explains what he would do if he could make Free Country USA different in any way he wanted. These changes range from the plausible (like the King of Town being stuck in a box of peas, Coach Z getting a new jacket, and Homestar calling it quits) to the weird (such as Pom Pom looking like an ABA basketball and Strong Sad having horns and a tail). The weirdest of all? He plans to turn Homsar into a "modestly hot" girl. After realizing that this is Homsar he's talking about, Strong Bad starts to wonder if his imagination is broken.
  • In Dad Enlightenment, Hank changes into Heather, a pale female version of himself, at one point.
  • Sapphire Foxx is devoted to exploring as many aspects of gender bending as possible. The main myth arc involves the idea that gender identity disorder is an inherited curse, but side stories may involve things like a businessman being mistaken for a woman when meeting a client, transforming a crossdressed Halloween cosplay couple as a prank, or pneumatic machines that can remold a person's body.
  • One skit in the eleventh asdfmovie has a man telling a crying boy that "boys don't cry"; the crying boy then spontaneously grows breasts, as if changing into a girl.

    Web Comics 
  • In 1977: The Comic, Bud annoys the Mystic Frog, which curses him by giving him the ability to randomly transform into a female version of himself, randomly and at the most inappropriate times. Bud later realises the trigger is anger. Do not press his Berserk Button. Or do it anyway, just for laughs.
  • In The Accidental Space Spy, Datimas are born female, but can become male if they are successful enough.
  • In Anthros And Dungeons, Mickeal the anthro white male bear and the male gray wolf drink from an enchanted pool and switch to females.
  • At Arm's Length got one when they introduced the first place winner of their character contest. A human from a parallel world appeared in front of Reece and Sheila, and the two used a disguise spell to make him appear as something from their world, only for something unexpected to happen, resulting in the human's gender to be switched in the process.
  • In Autumn Bay, Captain Jack Bishop, leader of a team of specialists dedicated to containing supernatural threats, is turned into a teenage girl by one of their targets.
  • Axe Cop has two prominent examples of this trope, both revealed in "Ask Axe Cop" installments:
    • In a What If? scenario, Axe Cop revealed that he'd only want to have kids "in a jillion years when I am done with my job" (i.e., the last bad guy in the world has been killed.) Axe Cop would then use unicorn magic to turn his best friend Sockarang into a girl, and they'd have a family together.
    • In another (canonical!) example, Axe Cop teamed up with Abraham Lincoln, who turned into Abraham Lincoln: Explosion God and "put a bomb inside every bad guy." With all the bad guys in the world destroyed, Axe Cop used his magic unicorn horn and wished for Abraham Lincoln to be a girl. They got married, and lived Happily Ever After... until Axe Cop got bored. Presumably, the bad guys were resurrected and Axe Cop went back to doing his job, but the final fate of Girl Abraham Lincoln is, as yet, unrevealed.
  • In the Transformers fancomic Bent, Perceptor's newly-invented ray gun ends up turning several Cybertronians into femme-bots. Hilariously, when it happens to Starscream, there's no physical difference but his voice gets a little deeper (according to the other characters).
  • Bruno the Bandit spent one story arc as a woman as punishment for trying to steal from the temple of Dyla.
  • In Calogrenant, an Arthurian knight with gender dysphoria is transformed into a maiden, and goes on Monty Pythonesque adventures which feature inspirations from the many versions of the legend.
  • In Cherry, Kirsch repeatedly tries to sell the eponymous Steve on the idea of actually becoming a girl. (He's not keen.)
  • In Dangerously Chloe, Chloe injects Teddy with her blood to cure him of a cold, which has the side effect of turning him first into a copy of her, then into a girl resembling himself as the effect wears off. Later, when Chloe is uncontrollably attacking men, Teddy gets a smaller dose of her blood from Pandora, making him a girl somewhere between the two, and the effect becomes permanent when Kimmy out of curiosity injects him with her own ectoplasm-like ichor.
  • DDG explains why, when you are a disembodied soul you shouldn't fool around with magic cloaks. Something then-recently deceased Zip wishes s/he had known to start with.
  • In Devils Cake Zoshi transforms himself into a girl in order to be Kea's new roommate. She does not appreciate this invasion of her space and privacy whatsoever.
  • The misogynistic Stunt from Dominic Deegan gets briefly turned into a woman after defiantly taking a bite of an onion labeled "pleez no eat" in a land of chaos magic.
  • In Dragon Ball Multiverse, Syd from Universe 6 can switch genders with others upon eye contact. She tries this on U13's Prince Vegeta to even out their power differences, only to find out that Vegeta is still Vegeta, woman or not. The First Law of Gender-Bending is subverted in that said transformation lasts for only five pages. It didn't stop people from drawing a minicomic about the possible implications, in the case it was permanent.
  • The Dragon Doctors has a fair amount of this, starting with a valley where a mysterious curse led to all the men becoming women; most of the time the issue of having one's physical sex changed is taken fairly seriously. Most of the time.
    Greg: I have no idea how I'd react to that.
    Sarin: Why wonder?
  • This is the main power of the Tiresias Orb (see the "Mythology" section) from Eerie Cuties, which Blair steals, uses irresponsibly, and accidentally breaks, leaving Ace stuck long-term; much, much later, kissing Kade after touching Blair causes Ace to transfer the curse to him for a while, until Chloe figures how to use this effect to break the curse completely.
  • El Goonish Shive is notable for the sheer number of gender-bending gags and storylines. It definitely started as pure Author Appeal, but it slowly evolved into the comic's heavy themes of gender identity (although the shameless indulgence stuff is still there, especially in non-canon stories).
    • Tedd is a Chivalrous Pervert with a Transformation Ray. He spends quite a lot of time as a girl, partially because his male form is extremely androgynous while his female form is anything from girlishly androgynous to a knockout, but also because he's more comfortable as a girl sometimes. Originally he thinks it's just a fetish-turned-pastime, but he eventually realizes that he's gender fluid. He even gets a magic mark from Pandora that lets him change his default sex, instead of merely enchanting himself female. It also causes Trans Tribulations of a sort since his father thinks it's unhealthy for Tedd to be a girl so often.
    • Elliot is transformed into a girl by Tedd very early on in the comic, and uses an enchanted diamond to break the curse. The diamond ends up creating an Opposite-Sex Clone of him named Ellen, and granting them both magic related to the original transformation. Ellen can fire beams that transform men into women (and eventually other beams) while Elliot can transform into a woman, which he doesn't actually want to do. Naturally, Elliot winds up with excess magic and has to spend as much time as possible as a girl to burn it off, lest he spontaneously transform at school. Since magic tries to fit your personality and it can't figure out why Elliot hates all of his spells, it eventually overcompensates and gives him the ability to turn into a Flying Brick superheroine. EGS also gives us this wonderful line when Sarah and Susan are arguing over whether it's healthy or not when Elliot "fails at perversion":
      Sarah: Don't you remember what it's like to be a teenage guy?
      Susan: I try not to.
    • Grace is a Voluntary Shapeshifter who can turn into or mix-and-match any form she's had previously, which includes several male forms. Although, she rarely has actual reason to do so.
    • Every main character aside from Ellen spends the evening as the opposite sex at Grace's birthday party. A later party involves more general transformations (mostly to do with size and hair colour), although Justin turns into a woman. A haywire magic mirror at said party ends up turning almost everyone into each other's transformed forms, with Justin turning into ginger Nanase and Elliot turning into blonde Ashley.
    • While Ashley has yet to actually switch sexes, she is rather enthusiastic about it, having discovered her bisexuality at a young age reading Ranma ½. She also writes embarrassing wish-fulfillment fics in her free time where men get turned into hot girls. In fact, accidentally seeing Elliot turn into a girl leads to her asking him out.
  • Exiern is about a mighty barbarian who went to save the Damsel in Distress princess from the evil wizard. Accidentally nullifying his own ability to cast dark magic, the wizard resorts to pouring all the power he can into a light magic spell, transforming the barbarian into a beautiful woman.
  • In Free Turn, an argument with a potionmaker leaves both Demi and Milo turned into girls; it wears off quickly for Milo, being a mimic, but for Demi it takes a month or so. In Loose Change, Jacques mentions that he uses a coin to guess at the gender of transformed people, but no actual changes of sex are seen. Also, Tricksters throughout the setting often disguise themselves as the opposite sex, but these are just illusions, not "true" transformations.
  • In Gender Swapped, the main characters are hit by a ray gun that changes their sex and rewrites their lives while they sleep. The machine, known only as the 'GSM' has been built by scientists for a yet to be announced reason. Two of the three main characters were hit by a split beam setting the plot in motion, the third character Elise, whose name is now Elyps, due to an odd set of circumstances, has to live as a boy without the luxury of the people closest to her thinking she was always that way. This comic has followed both the First and Second Laws of Gender Bending.
  • In Girl In My Dream, Ji-Hoon gradually becomes a female named Ji-Hyun as he dreams.
  • In Grim Tales from Down Below, Aku has a female form which he uses whenever he feels his daughter needs to talk to a mother figure.
  • In The Handbook of Heroes, Wizard, who starts the comic as male, turns himself into a woman to complete a seduction quest, and opts to make it permanent upon learning the Amplifier Artifact robe he'd planned to trade the reward for had been recut into lingerie by its succubus owner.
  • I Dream of a Jeanie Bottle: On top the protagonist Jean/Jeanie, a fan of the classic TV series I Dream of Jeannie and admirer of said series' titular character, who was forced to take the form of said character after accidentally being turned into a genie, (It Makes Sense in Context) there's also a running gag involving Jean/Jeannie using his/her new found powers to turn other men into women, if they piss him/her off, including Jean/Jeanie's own best friend Neil, sometimes temporarily as is luckily the case with Neil, but often he/she doesn't even bother to turn them back.
  • The Insecticomics has several instances of characters spontaneously changing their gender, although being that they are mostly androgynous Transformers gender isn't much of an issue for them.
    • The most notable was the time that Lazorbeak was voted female in an effort to make the comic less male-dominated.
    • In a later strip, the resident Moral Guardian Lady Jaye protested that the male Thrust was pursuing a relationship with Dreadmoon (also male), whereupon Thrust promptly declared himself female and went off to hit on Dreadmoon again. Since the characters and the author both refer to Thrust as "she" from this point on, apparently Thrust never bothered to change back.
  • A storyline near the end of It's Walky switches the genders of Walky, Joyce, Head Alien, Monkey Master, and the aliens' computer due to Unpredictable Results. Entropy nearly kept them that way, but The Wanderer intervened. The trope is played with somewhat as well. Joyce points out to Walky that despite having changed genders, they're still straight, leading to humorous moments between them and their team mates. It's later revealed that male-Joyce's "equipment" was bigger than Walky's regular package. Walky is not happy to know this, to say the least.
  • Jet Dream (the Remix Comic), along with its Spinoff series It's Cookie! and My Jet Dream Romance, are built around this trope. These Affectionate Parodies of Silver Age comic books take as their premise the notion that the male members of the "Thunderbird Squadron" (Blackhawk Expy) have all been turned (permanently and irrevocably, natch) into girls via Applied Phlebotinum. As Joint Elite Team, Division of Raiding-Expert Aeronautical Maidens, they continue the good fight as T-Girls instead of T-Birds. In addition, the most talented teenage boy recruits in Junior Echelon, Teen T-Girls, Elle-Boys, and Esprit-Girls (Natural!) (J.E.T. T.E.E.N.) may themselves be voluntarily turned into girls after a period of training in Advanced Crossdressing and T-Girl combat specialties.
  • In Jix, one of Remula's personalities, Lamerix creates a device that does this. She tests it out on Lauren, changing her into a guy. Lauren gets mad about being temporarily stuck and uses it on Lamerix, but with no noticeable change (due to no major sexual dimorphism in Ambis and the fact that fur covers their private parts). Lauren convinces Lamerix to temporarily change her husband Paul while she's trying to figure out how to reverse the change.
  • In Kill Six Billion Demons, devils gain new bodies as they rise and fall in power, which tends to involve this. Vladok becomes female when he falls from Ebon rank to Blue, but doesn't seem to care about the gender bender in the least.
    • This also seems to be the case with the technically sexless angels, whose true appearances are more based on how they feel. White Chain's form is roughly humanoid, but with wings and eyes on her hands and hair. Juggernaut Star, once stripped of their thorn knight form, looks extremely feminine as well. As all angels refer to each other as Brothers, such manifestations are considered heretical.
  • Done briefly in The Last Days of FOXHOUND, in which Decoy Octopus (who, through drinking their blood, can take on another person's appearance) disguises himself as Sniper Wolf. It's a very complete transformation.
  • Magic And Physics has Shelly, who, oddly for this trope, doesn't seem to remember being a guy ever. However, her brother does, and seemingly the Author and the Writer do too.
  • One of the many cameos in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Rr by Entropy Max are the space aliens from Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl, making this trope inevitable for a feminine-looking male down on his luck in regards to the (ambiguously lesbian) girl he likes. Meet Yuuno Scrya (second image NSFW).
  • In Mischief in Maytia, one of the characters gets crushed by a flying saucer and is given a rental body while his real body gets repaired. The rental body is that of a teenage girl.
  • The basic premise of Misfile has Ash, the hero, getting accidentally "misfiled" in heaven by a stoner clerk. This not only changes him from a teenage boy to a teenage girl overnight, it changes the entire world to fit. Some aspects are convenient (no need to explain anything or shop for new underwear), some are comically disturbing (Bikini shots and prom pictures in the photo album,yaoi magazines under the bed), and some are not-so-comically disturbing ("girl-Ash" had reconnected with her estranged mother via a letter that "boy-Ash" had been too ashamed to send and had already lost "her" virginity to his oldest and best friend.)
  • Parodied in Murry Purry Fresh and Furry when Melvin decides to reboot his webcomic Fart Police to be a gender-swapping high school comedy.
  • In Narbonic, Mad Scientist Helen Narbon invents an instant gender-change formula. She gleefully uses it in several storylines, not least to make her sex life more interesting. When Dave and Helen briefly separate near the end of the comic, his reaction is "Good lord, I'll never have lesbian sex again!"
  • Oglaf: It comes up less often than you'd expect.
  • One Girl Guy Army: The main character Tait transforms into a blue haired girl with a blue ribbon wrapped around his neck. The other main character Icarus also revealed to have been turned into a girl in the past. Icarus is revealed to be the Amazon princess Amelia who had his male essence forcibly taken out magically by the Amazon Queen who placed her own female essence in place of his own.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Roy has to don the mystical "Belt of Femininity/Masculinity" to escape a pair of would-be assassins. This is an actual magical item in Dungeons & Dragons, though this one reacts to Remove Curse better. Breaking the trend slightly, Roy is NOT a beautiful woman, and is still bald.
    • Also a common theme is the fics written in the Crack Pairing thread on the forum. And a theme week for avatars every year.
  • In Out-of-Placers Kassen is turned into a female Yinglet, small scavengers resembling a cross between a rat and a shorebird with a massively skewed gender ratio, making Kass a hot property in a culture whose entire social structure relies on Women Are Wiser because the menfolk all tend to be happy-go-lucky idiots.
  • Cordelia in Princess Chroma has magic powders that change people's gender. She manages to get a face full of said powder herself by accident.
  • In Quantum Vibe, Nicole meets a female Sexbot named Hitomi who starts coming onto her. When Nicole wants to back out ("I really don't, y'know, flop that way"), Hitomi simply swaps gender to suit Nicole's inclinations. This simply leaves Nicole aghast. Hilarious in Hindsight in that she later, in different circumstances, ends up having loads of lesbian sex with a gynoid.
  • The premise of Sailor Sun is that Bay (formerly Brad) was transformed by the producers of the Show Within a Show of the same name some time before the series began, in order to make him/her the new star of the Fan Fiction series. Not only couldn't she talk them into reversing it, but just days later she ends up meeting her Kid from the Future, Honey - which is also how she discovered that she a) never changes back, and b) is already pregnant after the bender she went on the night after being transformed.
  • She !s me (Oh no! I'm a girl!) The story of a guy who one day wakes up as a gal. Don't think of this as a funny bodyswitch comedy, but as a serious evaluation about the question "What would you really do if...?" She sets out to convince her friends she is who she says she is, only to come to the conclusion that they called the cops on her when they ask her to convince them, because they didn't outright reject her story to begin with. Unfortunately, she's right, which doesn't exactly make things any better.
  • In Sinfest, the "Trans State" is a section of the woods that instantly changes a character's sex.
  • The Belt of Femininity/Masculinity shows up in a strip of Something*Positive, as a way of shutting up an obnoxious player.
  • In Somewhere Different, protagonist Mark is hit by a truck, and saved from dying by being turned into a girl.
  • In Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki, the title character starts out as a teenage boy, until he watches a "Magical Girl" DVD and Hermod, in the form of a monkey (or marmoset), comes out of his TV and turns him into a valkyrie, a female warrior of Norse mythology. This almost immediately leads to a Man, I Feel Like a Woman page.
  • Sword Princess Amaltea is a story held in a matriarchal world, so it's quite a shock when princess Amaltea and prince Ossian suddenly switch genders at the end of Chapter VI.
  • TwoKinds had a case of this with Clovis, who — as punishment for stealing Lady Nora's masquerade mask and abusing Zen and Natani — was hit with a curse that turned him into a woman and makes him unable to describe himself as anything but a woman. This causes some difficulties for his business as while he can bind his breasts, his female heat cycle kicks in during the summer and forces him into seclusion. It's also not helpful to him that he and the culture he comes from are heavily misoginystic.
  • Umlaut House has a gender-bending Transformation Ray, originally built by Mad Scientist Dr Hundecoph to help his transgender friend Dr. Pegasus become female, but later accidentally set off by Volair, who takes it in stride before changing back a few days later. For the second series, author Allen Ecker explains elsewhere that when Hundecoph reformed, he took the unusual step of releasing the design to the public (he'd already made a fortune selling his other inventions, but he wanted to make sure that this particular one was open-source).
  • In Unnatural Selection, the AIs can do this with body modifications. However, none of the main characters do so... except in the spin-off Polokoa Quest, where Rokolo's Chief chose to switch from male to female.
  • In When I Woke Up I Became A Bagel Girl, obese Otaku Bong Gi, well…
  • The Whiteboard: After pressing a button with a Shmuck Bait warning sign, in the May 22, 2012 strip, Roger is transformed into a woman.
  • The Wotch is pretty much based around the trope; whole groups of male students at Tandy Gardens HS (note the initials) have been permanently transformed into females (four of whom would later be featured in a Spin-Off series, Cheer!), and some of the other male characters seem to have become addicted to being temporarily in female form. (The authors of both comics readily admit to being a little too interested in Shapeshifting. Their readership is in the tens of thousands. We blame 1980s cartoons.) In one particularly strange example, the Wotch herself has an older brother who likes to relax by taking on the form and personality of a four-year-old girl.

    Web Original 
  • BigCloset is a large site hosting Gender Bender fiction, but differs from FictionMania in that most stories are Safe For Work. Many stories are novel-length, and the writing quality is generally better.
  • C0DA, written by former The Elder Scrolls series writer/designer Michael Kirkbride, takes place in the far distant future of TES universe. Vivec, a Physical God already established by the series' lore to be a hermaphrodite (though he still generally appears as male and is referred to by male pronouns), turns out to be Almalexia's daughter, appearing as a full woman. Yes, it's a very Mind Screwy work.
  • From El Chigüire Bipolar: "After the National Electoral Council's requirement of at least 40% women candidates, Henry Ramos Allup changes sex."
  • Cleverbot at times will turn you into the opposite gender (obviously in a pretend role-playing way) typically just for its own amusement or if you simply just ask it to. Sometimes it will even get oddly specific and turn you into things like a cheerleader, a maid, a school girl, an anime girl, etc.
  • DeviantArt in general has entire communities surrounding this trope. Just put "TG" into the search engine and enjoy.
  • FictionMania (NSFW) is a massive archive specializing in gender bending stories of all kinds. The site isn't limited to this trope, however, as it also accepts Real Life (or Very Loosely Based on a True Story) stories of sexual reassignment and transitioning, Crossdressing, and Easy Sex Change fiction.
  • The premise of The Finite Life of a Dating Sim Heroine, which is a Web Serial Novel about a boy who gets sent into a Dating Sim and forced into the body of the game's heroine.
  • In one entry of the blog F*cking in Brooklyn, the writer imagines himself swapping bodies with a glamorous lady friend for a day. Unlike many other examples, he ultimately concludes that the human experience is so widely varied that it would be impossible to know what it is to "be a woman", even after a lifetime of living as one.
  • Lea Wilderson appears to be the blog of a man named Lee Wilderson who turns into a woman.
  • Deconstructed rather viciously in Lola. Some random guy — who happens to read Gender Bender porn—is turned into a hot chick by a Mysterious Website That Wasn't There Yesterday. He hates it, on account of the trouble being someone who doesn't, y'know, legally exist. And being objectified by men. The story ends with the implication that they're going to end up shipped off to some mysterious government facility for a nonspecified fate.
  • New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe introduces a crown item that allows the character Toadette to turn into a facsimile of Princess Peach. While no example of this trope is present in the franchise itself, the item's reveal quickly inspired online artists to apply the crown and transformation to other characters — most notably King Bowser, who within a week or so quickly developed a fanon "Bowsette" alter ego — Princess Peach, but with Bowser's horns and tail — that he turns into when donning the crown. Shipping of varying levels of humorousness, chiefly with Mario, naturally ensued.
  • Okashina Futari is a story of two siblings, a boy named Ayumi and a girl named Satori, who have the ability to change each other's gender (which cannot be done onto themselves) merely by wishing it. As expected in most gender-bending, the boy-to-girl transformation is more frequent. They can also change the other's clothing, including undergarments, but they can't change the gender and not change the clothing, nor can they change the clothing into garments worn by the other's gender (e.g. Ayumi as a girl wearing a man's suit).
  • In the Paradise setting, human beings are randomly, permanently changed into Funny Animals (though the change is Invisible to Normals). A small percentage of Changed also change their gender. Given the Wish-Fulfillment nature of the setting, the number of gender-Changed who appear within stories is somewhat disproportional to the amount that exist setting-wide.
  • The Satyri series (and possible future webcomic) by DeviantArt artist DP Ragan is about a series of virgin males who are cursed by a group of succubi, either by being pulled into hell and having their soul infected with a fragment of a succubus' soul, or by using a cursed item (usually bodywash) that causes their skin to melt off, revealing their new, permanent form. The face is the last part to melt off — if the victim doesn't give in to the horrible uncontrollable itching as their skin bubbles and melts at the edges the face will regenerate their human body over a few weeks of constant torture; the gender bending, however, is permanent. If they don't manage to keep their hands away (and it's not common knowledge to do so, most people don't last more than a few seconds), or if they managed to get pulled into hell for the personal treatment by another succubus, they are now permanently stuck as a Satyri — a vaguely Satyr-like half-Succubus. Satyri traits include a tail, horns, elflike ears, Ungulate hooves (think "Draenei"), inhuman (yellow iris on black) eyes, unnaturally colored latex skin and hair (red, blue, and "bubblegum" being the most common), and an enforced lack of nudity taboo. Wings are also common, especially with Satyri who have completely "went native" and turned into outright Succubi.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-113, a piece of jasper that turns anything with sex chromosomes that touches it into the opposite gender. Although, the change is rather painful, there is a 25% chance of the subject's genitals being obliterated and multiple exposures may cause [DATA EXPUNGED].
    • The Foundation also has a character named Agent Diogenes, who has been exposed to it so much that they either now have no gender, or are both genders. In either case, they can't remember which gender they originally were.
    • SCP-2009 is a fungal infection that transforms any human that contracts it into an exact copy of a young Chinese-American man (who may or may not have been its original host) over a few days. The interview logs focus on the psychological and Body Horror aspects of this trope, showing a woman slowly succumbing to the SCP's effects.
    • The Body Surfing Dr. Bright has inhabited a number of female hosts.
  • In Take A Lemon (seen here), Marshall Steen wakes up one day as Marsha. S/he determines that it was caused by a scientific experiment gone awry and then decides not to change back for a few months, just to prove that s/he can cope with the situation. It turns out she wasn't actually transformed, she'd just been given the memories of her male counterpart from an alternate dimension.
  • Most of the characters in The Trading Post, one of whose writers is also behind Transplanted Life.
  • The plot of Transplanted Life. In fact, in that story, the only way a mind-transfer works is between genders.
  • The Vulvoid Transformation is a story about evil panties that turn their hosts into girls and make them give birth to more evil panties. No, really.

    Web Videos 
  • AFK: Steven and Maybel both played characters of the opposite sex. Upon waking up to discover they have become their characters, the result was obvious. Maybel in particular is very uncomfortable with peeing as a male, and Jack has to listen while she does this, then vents about it.
  • Benzaie of That Guy with the Glasses winds up being turned into a woman in this video as a side effect of watching Jem and the Holograms too much.
  • Rachel Bloom's parody of Beyoncé's "If I Were a Boy," in which the title phrase is interpreted as "if I became a boy," to which the singer reacts not unlike Gregor Samsa.
  • Critical Role in Campaign 2 the party of the Mighty Nein have to sneak into Asarius "The City of Beasts" where humans are rare, in order to hide more easily the human members of the party disguise themselves as non humans. When Caleb offers to cast the spell Polymorph on someone Beaureguard asks him to turn her into a Tiefling... a male Tiefling. It is revealed that though *most* of her skin in that form is red, as per her request, Caleb had only seen one male Tiefling's 'parts' their fellow deceased party member Mollymauk her penis in that form does not match the rest of her.
    Dude Tiefling Beau: ...why is just my dick purple?
  • Given that the 2014 D 20 Live event featured the infamous Tomb of Horrors, this ended up happening, to both the team's newfound pet-polymorphed-gargoyle-turned-kitten and the team's rogue.
  • French Baguette Intelligence:
    • In A typical French vs English Debate, when Fuck Cares mentions that it is 'La France', not 'Le France' and Bowl says that it is 'Mother England' not 'Father England', Fuck Cares and Bowl's avatars switch from Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth to Franziska von Karma and Mia Fey, respectively.
    • Franziska von Karma is also used to represent Fuck Cares for Content Warnings and when Baxter changes his server nickname to 'Karen' as a joke in Dark Humor vs "Dark Humor".
  • The Chinese webseries Go Princess Go combines this with Fish out of Temporal Water. A playboy tries to save a woman from drowning, but is knocked unconscious with a kick to the head and wakes up as a princess in ancient China. The time to adapt to her new life takes a while; besides having no known way to return back to his original life, she has to learn how to live in an era where the role of women is not as prominent as it is in the 21st century. The series did noticeably cause a bit of a stir with Chinese media, and had to be censored due to its themes of gender roles and identity being very liberal for a very conservative country. Received a Korean remake several years later called Mr. Queen, where a chef working for the South Korean president is put into the body of Queen Cheorin in the Joseon period.
  • During the Magical Princess arc of Masters Of The Metaverse this occasionally happens to Magical Prince Chad after he gains the Magical Power of Friendship.
  • Happens in two episodes of Rooster Teeth's Million Dollars, But...
    • In one scenario, they're only able to spend the money by transforming into a secret alter-ego of their choice. Wanting to experience life as the exact opposite of herself, Lindsay chooses the alter-ego of a large black man.
    • Another scenario has them swap sexes every time they fart. The other two hosts of the episode both take full advantage of it, with Barbara using it to scare off cat-callers and Blaine getting a job at a strip club so he can transform back into a man on stage to screw with people. Either way, they unanimously agree to take the money.
  • The Spoony Experiment: Spoony becomes the teenage Valley Girl "Spoonette" after he's banished to a universe based on the game "Party Mania" (which, oddly enough, is already home to gender flipped versions of Benzaie and 90's Kid).

    Western Animation 
  • In Archer's Sterling Archer's dream in season 8, Pam became a man. He almost had a future with a bunch of trafficked Chinese women.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In the episode "Oh, Brother", Dexter gets tired of Dee Dee's antics and uses one of his inventions to travel to an alternate universe where he has an older brother instead of an older sister. Unfortunately, Dexter discovers that "Dudey" is an obnoxious Jerk Jock whom his parents favor over him and who is even more destructive than Dee Dee.
  • Lloyd in Space hangs an entire episode on a one-shot who's "Neither Boy or Girl" and of a species that chooses its own gender at the age of thirteen. They do at the end of the episode; however, they look no different from before. But we'll never know which gender they chose.
  • In The Emperor's New School episode "Girls Behaving Oddly," Kuzco and Kronk use one of Yzma's potions to turn themselves into girls so that they can befriend Malina, whose "girlfriends" have abandoned her.
  • In one episode of Johnny Bravo, "Witch-ay Woman", a fortune teller tries to teach Johnny a lesson in showing women respect by turning him into one. He may or may not have only been mesmerised into thinking he was a woman
  • In an episode of Ozzy & Drix, when Ozzy accidentally ends up in the body of a girl instead of his usual (for the TV show) human host Hector, Ozzy's own sex starts changing. He very nearly becomes completely female, but does not lose his beard.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • "Operation: F.U.T.U.R.E." has a young misandric lass who gets a "Girlifyier" gun from her alternate future self. Cue the dystopian alternate future, where Numbuh Four (minus his hand) is the only adult male left. He becomes the leader of the Boys Next Door; with the help of Numbuh Three's granddaughter develops a "Boyifyier", and a sex-swapping battle ensues. He manages to evade this future by going back in time and changing things.
    • "Operation: C.A.R.A.M.E.L.", where Numbuh Five's candy-hunting rival, Heinrich von Marzipan, turns out to have once been a girl, who was transformed into an ugly boy through some magic caramels which took away her beauty. And this is the reason he has such a big grudge against Abby.
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • In "The Boy Who Would Be Queen", Timmy becomes a girl after he mocks Wanda's idea of wishing to turn into one (to find the perfect gift for Trixie Tang), noting that he did say "I wish" and "girl." This does allow him to think like a normal girl; after some humorous jabs at him by his godparents, Timmy gets back at them by wishing they switched genders, becoming Cosma and Wando.
    • In "The Good Old Days!", Timmy wishes himself, his grandfather, Cosmo and Wanda into a 1930s style cartoon where Wouldn't Hit a Girl is a law of the universe. He therefore makes an additional wish that the Vicky analogue was a boy so he can defeat "him".
    • It's never been revealed how Timmy's parents, who dressed as each other for the Halloween Episode, were affected by Timmy's "Real and Scary" wish. Apparently, it wasn't traumatic for them, as they dressed as each other again in "Take and Fake".
    • In "Dadlantis", Chloe's wish turns her and Timmy into mermaids, with Timmy becoming female in the process.
    • This happened to Timmy again in a Nickelodeon Magazine comic where he saw that his classmate Elmer was sad and wished to be his fairy godfather. His fairies didn't let him finish speaking before granting the wish and ended up turning him into a fairy godmother instead.
  • In the Danny Phantom episode "Attack of the Killer Garage Sale", there is a very brief scene (literally just a second) where Technus turns Danny into a blonde supermodel with a ghostly remote control.
  • Johnny Test:
    • In one episode, an invention turns Johnny into a hot girl for about 5 seconds, then overloads and turns him into a hulking female monster. She turns back to normal a few seconds later.
    • In a later episode, an invention turns Susan and Mary purple, then huge-headed, then male. They revert after a while, but it was All Just a Dream anyway.
    • Another episode has Johnny and Dukey turn into female rollerbladers to win a roller derby.
  • The last episode of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog has Sonic and Tails transported into various fairy tales. In the first one they visit, they're Hansel and Nettle (Gretel). Sonic is Hansel... and Tails is Nettle. Disturbingly, four-year-old Tails gets boobs as a girl. He even lifts up his dress to verify it: "I'm a girl!"
  • Bender from Futurama blurs the line between the "already ill-defined robot sexes" more than once:
    • In "Raging Bender", he becomes a fighter for the Ultimate Robot Fighting league, and is first billed as "Bender The Offender"; as his popularity falls, however, he's forced to play the Gorgeous George Heel role of "The Gender Bender", dressed in a blonde wig and pink tutu.
    • In "Bend Her", Bender poses as a fembot to compete in the Olympic games, wins several gold medals, then has to have a sex change in order to pass the gender verification test. As the fembot "Coilette," Bender begins a relationship with the robot actor Calculon — planning initially to marry and divorce him so she can take half his stuff. However, it turns out that Calculon is genuinely in love with Coilette, and prepared to give up acting to be with her. In the end, the crew helps Bender fake Coilette's death at the wedding so he can undo the sex change without hurting Calculon more than necessary.
    • "Neutopia" brings the entire Planet Express crew to a planet where gender is unknown, and an alien swaps their sexes. Leela and Amy do not enjoy being male, while Fry, Bender, and the other men-turned-women find the experience fun. And in a Call-Back, Bender's female form is Coilette.
    • In "Prisoner of Benda", Amy and Professor Farnsworth use an Applied Phlebotinum device to voluntarily switch bodies (she wants to binge eat without consequences, he wants to be young again). Once they try to switch back, however, they discover that the machine cannot be used on the same two people twice... leading to a barrage of body swapping hilarity that includes (but isn't limited to) Bender inhabiting Amy, Leela switching into the Professor's body, and Amy switching with Hermes.
  • In the Batman Beyond episode "Out of the Past", it turns out Ra's Al Ghul has taken over his daughter's body, which is even more disturbing than it sounds. Ra's can speak with his Ra's voice, even though he has the body of a woman... the transition is outright creepy. Furthermore, Ra's still acts in a very effeminate manner, despite the voice. Remarking on the situation:
    Terry: Lady, that is the sickest thing I've ever seen. You're creeping me out!
    Bruce: You? She kissed me.
  • In ThunderCats (1985), the evil Mumm-Ra has transformed into a female on at least four separate occasions:
    • In "The Garden of Delights", Mumm-Ra assumes the form of a faerie queen to lure Tygra into a trap.
    • In "The Mask of the Gorgon", he turns into Nada of the Warrior Maidens.
    • In "The Queen of Eight Legs", Mumm-Ra turns into a tiny female fairy called Diamondfly.
    • In "The Astral Prison", Mumm-Ra transforms into the Nether Witch, which is implied to be an alternate identity he regularly assumes.
  • Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends: In "Seven Little Superheroes," the Chameleon, a male villain, displays his shapeshifting powers by assuming the forms of female heroes Shanna The Jungle Queen and Firestar (as well as several male characters.)
  • Hogatha in The Smurfs (1981) switches genders when she becomes a Smurf in "The Fake Smurf".
  • T.U.F.F. Puppy has The Chameleon, who wears an Applied Phlebotinum suit which allows him to transform into anything, including into a woman at least three times, once as Bunny the Real Estate Agent and again as FiFi Oui Oui, and as the little chipmunk girl.
  • In Wakfu, season 2, episode 10, Evangelyne and Amalia temporarily turn male thanks to a magic potion to be able to play Gowbbowl in the misogynistic town of Brâkmar.
  • The opening to an episode of Arthur had Arthur wondering how life would be easier if people could turn into other people should the need arise. The Imagine Spot shows Arthur about to be caught by his mother for making D.W. mad, so he transforms into his grandmother and confuses his mom.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable once swapped bodies. However, the only time the fact they don't have the same gender affected the episode was when Kim forgot which bathroom at school "Ron" was supposed to get in.
    • It's never been stated how far Camille Leon can go while shapeshifting into males.
  • The Simpsons:
    • At the end of the episode "Cape Feare", it's shown that Grampa apparently needs to take a type of medication to prevent this from happening to him.
    • Towards the end of the "Treehouse of Horror XIV" segment "Stop the World, I Wanna Goof Off", while Lisa was messing with a reality changing watch; Homer, Bart, Marge and Maggie are briefly gender bent.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • On one episode of Samurai Jack, Aku assumes the form of female warrior Ikra, to trick Jack into leading him to a way back to the past, so as to destroy it.
  • Robot Chicken had an episode parodying Ranma ½ where the Nerd finds a spring like the spring of the drowned girl at Jusenkyou. He jumps in imagining all the advantages of being a sexy girl. Unfortunately, it turned out that the girl who drowned there was fat, gassy and had a club foot, so you can imagine the payoff.
  • In the American Dad! episode "Stan Goes on the Pill", Stan turns into a woman after taking an experimental pill that was supposed to make it easier for him to listen to women. The female doctor giving him the pill told him that he was only supposed to take half, and naturally, he didn't listen.
  • The premise of Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero involves a combination of body snatching and shapeshifting, so naturally the main cast occasionally end up getting genderbent.
    • In "The Princess Most Fair" Penn is the eponymous princess, Sashi is a knight, Boone is a fairy godmother, Rippen is a sorceress, and Larry is a female magic mirror. While Sashi and Rippen's genderbent forms both look like entirely different people, Boone and Penn just look like female versions of their original selves.
    • In "Rip-Penn", Boone is a housemaid while Sashi is a male chemist. Both forms are very similar to their regular ones, with the only major difference being their clothing and hair.
  • In The Loud House episode "One of the Boys", Lincoln enters an Alternate Universe where his sisters are brothers. Later on, he briefly becomes a girl named Linka (in which the brothers are a whole lot nicer to).
  • The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Job" involved Richard's reality-warping shockwaves hitting the other Wattersons and Larry, who switch genders at one point,
    • A similar occurrence happens in the first part of Gravity Falls's "Weirdmageddon" finale to Gideon and Ghost Eyes when they go through weirdness bubbles.
  • There was an episode of Purno de Purno where the eponymous character drank a potion that changed him into a girl. He remains a girl for the remaining duration of the episode, where he goes to a tent in a Middle Eastern desert as a vacation spot.
  • Zeke's Pad: In "Gender Render", Zeke tries to console his crush Maxine but she tells him that he is a guy, and he just wouldn't understand what it is like to be a girl. Maxine's comment makes Zeke think, and he wants to understand girls better. He tries to change his mind into that of a girl, but instead accidentally changes his body into that of a girl.
  • In The Legend of Vox Machina episode 5 "Fate's Journey" when Vox Machina makes camp Scanlan Shorthalt the Gnome Bard starts reading incantations from a spell scroll he has. He turns himself into a frog, a Unicorn-Hippocampus, and then into a Elven Woman (who basically looks just like him but female and tall). He approves of his own looks in that form, and leaves Grog "Confused, and aroused".

    Real Life 
  • 5-alpha-reductase deficiency (5-ARD), known crudely as "Guevedoche" ("Balls at twelve") in the Dominican Republic and simply "Kwolu-aatmwol" ("female thing transforming into a male thing") in Papua New Guinea, in which a genetic male is born with what appears to be female genitalia under casual scrutiny, only to "turn" male when they hit puberty. This is a rare but inheritable genetic disorder, seldom seen outside the above-mentioned places. Allegedly, because it is comparatively common in small, highly insular communities, most of those affected adjust with surprising ease.
  • Meet Wolbachia, a bacteria that primarily affects arthropods (insects, arachnids, and other bugs). It can, very rarely, turn infected males into completely fertile females. (More commonly, it turns them into infertile pseudo-females, and even more commonly it just kills them).
  • Some fish will start out as male, but then change genders if their female mate dies. Others do the opposite. Clownfish are one of them (male changes to female.) This led to a lot of Finding Nemo jokes.
  • There have been cases of chickens changing sex.
  • There are also documented cases of peahens changing into peacocks.
  • Frogs and other amphibians are extremely susceptible to hormonal changes and can undergo severe physical changes that appear just weird for vertebrates. One study shows that the popular herbicide atrazine can change male frogs to female.
    • This one was a major plot point in Jurassic Park, in which some of the all-female dinosaurs inadvertently turn male because of frog DNA used to fill in the gaps in the dinosaur DNA, thus allowing a breeding population to get established.
  • Cross-gender hormones and sex reassignment surgery can make someone appear to be the opposite sex. However, it is primarily a cosmetic change, as the person's genitals will not function, reproductively, after the surgery.
    • However, female-to-male transgender people CAN retain their reproductive function as long as the uterus and ovaries are not removed. So there is a possibility of a transgender man having biological children. The most famous case is of Thomas Beatie, who got pregnant three times after transition.
    • Additionally, reproductive function in the "new" sex is not actually beyond the realm of theoretical possibility (although it's certainly well beyond the bounds of what we can do now); advances in tissue engineering could potentially allow for trans people to be given fully-functional reproductive organs in their post-transition bodies (as well as rectifying the various imperfections inherent in surgically constructing female genitals from male or vice versa).
  • Some reptile species may hatch as either male or female depending on their incubation temperature, with moderate temperatures producing females and both higher and lower temperatures producing males.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Genderswap, Gender Bending


Catarina and Friends

Keith dreams about a world where he, his sister, and their friends are the opposite genders.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / GenderBender

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