May double as a "I Want" Song, a Sanity Slippage Song, a BSoD Song, a "Gaining Confidence" Song, or a Villain Song, especially if That Man Is Dead. See also Coming of Age Story, Character Development. Compositionally, it's often a Small Start, Big Finish number, starting off rather slow and low before growing as the character asserts themselves.
This is meant to describe Character Development, and not a literal transformation or Metamorphosis, though the two may overlap if the metamorphosis causes the character's development. Don't let the progressive tense fool you either; it can also be an a character explaining how they've already changed—and might only just be realizing it now.
Note: This is Character Development summary in song: spoilers may ensue, even if you only see a character name.
- Getting Back on Your Hooves has an example for Trixie. After going on an adventure in Everfree Forest with Fluttershy, in which she saw that her belief that kindness equals weakness was very flawed, she sings "Through New Eyes", about how her world view has changed and she's not certain what to do now. Twilight joins in, reassuring Trixie with her own part of the song about how her world view was changed by her move to Ponyville. Trixie finishes by singing about how she now knows her new True Companion Twilight will help her through the change.
- Ice Fury sees Elsa sing a new version of Let It Go to encourage her new dragon- later to be named Wintergale- to overcome her fear of flying.
- Anastasia has Anya actively seek out her long lost family and reject her previous Amnesiac Hero state in "Journey to the Past".
- Disney Animated Canon:
- "I See The Light" from Tangled doubles as both a Let's Duet and this for both Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, as they realize their feelings for each other are changing them as people.
- Frozen: Elsa sings "Let It Go" when she goes into a self-imposed exile after her powers are exposed in public, and now she can use her powers to her full potential and build an ice palace in total solitude.
- During Show Yourself in Frozen II, Elsa comes to term with her powers and learns that the answers she wanted were inside her all along.
- Encanto has two.
- The first is "What Else Can I Do?" is one for Isabela as it's about her embracing her newfound ability to make "imperfect" plant life and finally shedding the facade of her being The Ace.
- "All of You" is one for the Madrigal family as a whole, due to it being about them moving past their unhealthy perfectionist attitude and becoming a closer, more mentally healthy family.
- The Last Unicorn: "Now That I'm A Woman"; in this case while the physical change from unicorn to woman has already taken place, Amalthea is describing the mental changes that are taking her over.
- "For a Moment" from The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea is about Melody's transition from human to mermaid.
- "I Am Chirin" from Ringing Bell, which is played when Chirin decides to team up with the evil Wolf King, and as a result he goes from an innocent baby lamb to a fearsome, demonic ram.
- "Strange Things (Are Happening to Me)" from Toy Story counts, since Andy starts to appear to favor Buzz over Woody, and this has an effect on Woody's character.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer the movie, Buffy's entire career kicks off with an I Am Becoming song: "Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore."
- Eric Draven gets one in The Crow (specifically, "Burn," by The Cure) as he goes to a makeup mirror in his apartment and makes his transformation into a white-faced, spandex-clad avenger.
- In Disenchanted (2022), Giselle sings about how her family are becoming suburbanites in "Even More Enchanted".
- Hannah Montana: The Movie gives us "The Climb", which neatly encapsulates Miley's emotions, the lessons she's learned in the movie, and the general message of the film. Later, in Season 4, Miley writes "Wherever I Go" to say goodbye to her secret identity as Hannah, and moves forward to face the world as her real self.
- Addison from Z-O-M-B-I-E-S (2018) has "Stand", where she sings about not wanting to hide her true self anymore and culminates with her shedding her blond wig and revealing her natural white hair.
- The Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical opens up with one of these, in "Going Through The Motions," where Buffy compares herself now with the way she was before her death at the end of Season 5.
- Saturday Night Live parodied this in 1989 with its parodic tribute to fictional Broadway composer Hal Jerome ... one of his early songs is "I'm Maturing As a Songwriter".
- Sydney to the Max: Sydney sings one in "Baby One More Rhyme", as she describes her discoveries at finding her true self.
- "The Guardian of the Realm" from Fireaxe's 4 hour epic Food for the Gods follows one soldiers progression from a young wide-eyed idealist to a cynical, embittered man.
- Disturbed has a few of these:
- Origami Angel: A happy version in Somewhere City. "Doctor Whomst" opens with the singer recreating a childhood memory, and then wondering if it's really the nostalgia that's making him happy. He concludes that he's "starting to like himself" and is finally happy with who he is, and then is ready to improve himself further for someone he admires.
- 13 has "13/Becoming a Man" which is about the main character's Bar Mitzvah, and how he will become a man.
- In the musical The Addams Family, Wednesday sings about how love is changing her in "Pulled".
- The stage musical Anastasia has "Journey to the Past" and "Crossing a Bridge", where Anya is at the literal and figurative crossroads of being an Amnesiac Hero orphan to someone with a family and an identity.
- Company (Sondheim) has "Being Alive" for Bobby/Bobbi's shedding of his/her commitment phobia. Doubles as a late-in-the-game "I Want" Song.
Joanne: You're not a kid anymore, Robby. I don't think you'll ever be a kid again, kiddo.
- In Dreamgirls, Effie sings "I Am Changing" and decides to get her life together. In the revival of the musical, the actress playing her has changed into a glitzy dress that is revealed just before she starts the final belt.
- Evil Dead: The Musical has "I'm Not A Killer", where Ash brings himself to kill his possessed girlfriend and "It's Time", where Ash finally mans up into the demon-slayer we know and love. "Look Who's Evil Now" also counts for Shelly.
- Carmen has "In L.A." in the musical version of Fame, which is about how she moved to L.A., got hooked on drugs, and slept with producers for money/drugs. Doubles as a BSoD Song.
- The Musical adaptation of Fun Home has "Changing My Major", in which Alison accepts her sexuality for the first time and stops trying to bottle her true feelings up.
- Hamilton has "The Room Where It Happens", where Hamilton goes from a rash, impulsive politician to one who knows how to play the game. It is also somewhat of an inversion: instead of Hamilton singing about the change himself (except for one small part at the beginning), it's Burr singing about it from the perspective of an outsider (and thus is framed as his "I Want" Song).
- Into the Woods has "It Takes Two" for the Baker and the Baker's Wife.
I'm meeting you in the woods!
- "I Know Things Now" shows how much more street-wise Little Red Riding Hood is becoming after her run-in with the Wolf.
- Jekyll & Hyde gives us "Alive", about the good doctor becoming the monster within.
- Elle has several in Legally Blonde: The Musical from "Chip On My Shoulder" to the reprise of "Legally Blonde". "So Much Better" in particular stands out as almost being this play's answer to "Defying Gravity" in terms of codifying Elle's metamorphosis.
- In Little Shop of Horrors, Audrey's part in the duet "Suddenly Seymour", is about how she believes that Seymour is making her a better person.
- Les Misérables:
- "What Have I Done" is Valjean rejecting his life as a criminal in favor of redemption.
- Cosette's version of "In My Life" combines a grown-up "I Want" Song with I Am Becoming Song. She sings about her longing for new horizons and love, and closure with the past - and how she's growing up and delighted to do so.
- In Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, "Dust and Ashes" is about Pierre realizing he is ready to experience real love, not the artificial lust he once held for his wife Hélène. Doubles as an "I Want" Song.
- "La Monture" ("My Heart If You Will Swear") from Notre-Dame de Paris: the devoted, virginal Fleur-de-Lys tells her cheating fiancé Phoebus that she will remain faithful to him... as long as he has Esmeralda executed. In the French lyrics, she sings that she has thrown her girlhood dreams "to the wolves" and that her heart is "hardening."
- In The Phantom of the Opera, "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," Christine's lament for her father, ends with a declaration that she will try to put his memory behind her and live unburdened by the pain of her past.
- "I'm Gonna Be a Producer" from The Producers is an Am, Want, and Becoming song all in one.
- In "An Organized Life (1974)" from the musical version of Vanities, Kathy sings about her nervous breakdown and journey of self-discovery, also making it a BSoD Song. Also, "Friendship Isn't What it Used to Be" from the same act, and "Looking Good", the finale for the TheatreWorks Palo Alto and off-Broadway versions.
- In The Ring of the Nibelung tetralogy of operas by Richard Wagner, the song Siegfried sings while reforging anew Nothung, the shattered sword of his dead father, is a climactic piece in the whole cycle and taken as his rite of passage from boy to man.
- Shucked: "Woman of the World" is about Maizy realizing that she has become more than just a small-town girl from Cob County.
- The titular song "Six" from Six: The Musical has each of Henry VIII's ex-wives have come into their own as a person and pursued new dreams outside of being defined by the King.
- Probably the biggest one of these from Sweeney Todd is "Epiphany", where Sweeney makes his transformation from vengeful Anti-Hero to Serial Killer Villain Protagonist. It also doubles as a BSoD Song due to coming right on the heels of his failure to kill Judge Turpin.
- Also the "Johanna Quartet" for the title character.
- In Thoroughly Modern Millie, the song "Gimme, Gimme" is when Millie officially decides that she wants to be with her Love Interest Jimmy, even if he isn't rich. Luckily for Millie, he secretly is.
- Urinetown has "Look at the Sky" for Bobby Strong, who is no longer willing to be complicit in the surveillance and terrorizing of the poor for the Urine Good Company.
- After Elphaba finds out that what she assumed was the ultimate force for good—the Wizard—isn't, she knows she has to help the Animals without him. "Defying Gravity" echoes her "I Want" Song, 'The Wizard And I', now with her asking for Glinda's partnership instead of the Wizard's.
- Wicked is full of these, including "No Good Deed," "Wicked Witch Of The East," and "For Good" also count.
- An example of the "both inner and external metamorphosis" type: if his boss battle is won with paint instead of thinner, the Mad Doctor from Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two will survive his fall in the thinner pit, and finally understanding what heroism is about for having saved by Mickey and Oswald, he sings That's What Heroes Do (also known as I'm a Toon Again), where he vows to become good, in answer to which the magical Guardians change him into a real toonnote
Mad Doctor (singing): "I'm a toon again!? I'm a toon again! Can it be, I'm a toon again?! Thank you, thank you, my dear friends! Now on this you can depend: from here on in, I'll be good again!"
- In Kingdom Hearts III, "Let It Go" is used in identical context to the original movie.
- The Rainbow Rocks short "My Past Is Not Today" is basically "Let It Go" written for Sunset Shimmer, about leaving her former self behind for a more promising future.
- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: Where to begin? The musical could be described as Dr. Horrible's Start of Darkness. Some specifics:
- 'My Eyes': Penny, the girl Billy has been trying to achieve a verbal connection with for...a while, is going out with Captain Hammer. This pushes him towards Dr. Horrible.
- 'Brand New Day': Yes, Captain Hammer is dating Penny specifically to spite Billy. Murderous rage and planning ensue.
- Billy's part in 'So They Say' as he puts the finishing touches on his plans to kill Captain Hammer.
- 'Slipping' is this, to an extent. It is more what Billy is claiming he is. He's fusing an "I Want" Song and an I Am Becoming Song—and failing. When the time comes to finish his plan, he falters.
- 'Everything You Ever' is partly this trope, partly I Want To Become. It solidifies Billy as Dr. Horrible, and it's almost a triumph...
- The first song in The Lion Guard Season 3 premiere is "New Way To Go," where a confused and disturbed Janja sings about how he's changed because of Jasiri, how he's no longer satisfied working for Scar, and wonders if he should join her. He does by the end of the episode.
- In the episode "The Answer" from Steven Universe Ruby and Sapphire sing "Something Entirely New" about becoming Garnet.
"Where did we go?
What did we do?
I think we made
something entirely new.
And it wasn't quite me,
and it wasn't quite you,
I think it was
someone entirely new."
Steven: "I can make a promise.
- The song "Change" from Steven Universe: The Movie is about Steven's capacity to change.
I can make a plan.
I can make a difference.
I can take a stand.
I can make an effort
if I only understand
that I, I can make a change."
Pearl: "Nothing is holding me back now.
- "Independent Together" is a similar moment for Pearl in the movie.
No one can push me around.
Who do I want to be?
I'm the master of me.
And isn't the thought enough
to lift me off of the ground!"