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Instant Costume Change

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The Instant Costume Change is an ability of Super Hero characters to change from their street clothes into their hero costumes, well, instantly. This doesn't include characters who wear their costumes under their normal clothing. The Instant Costume Change is usually accomplished by some bit of Applied Phlebotinum that automatically transforms the character's clothing with little action; often a button push or just a thought. When the hero detransforms, whatever clothes they were wearing before they transformed reappear, even if they're wearing something like a heavy winter jacket, a yukata, or a long-sleeved shirt while their hero costume has short sleeves, a crop top, or a tight bodysuit. Accessories like headbands or scarves that aren't part of the hero costume will usually disappear as well.

Virtually all Henshin Heroes perform an Instant Costume Change when they transform into their powered modes. But other characters can have this ability as well. The exact mechanism by which the trope operates varies from character to character, but some common methods include nanotechnology, morphable cloth, magic, and alien tech.

See also To the Batpole!, Flung Clothing, Instant Armor, and Technically Naked Shapeshifter, the last one who can instantly change clothes by shapeshifting new ones. Sometimes involves a Transformation Sequence and often a way to justify Transformation Is a Free Action.


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  • Kathy Smith in this Babe commercial.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Lyrical Nanoha, mages summon their "barrier jackets" with their intelligent devices (or armed devices).
  • Pokémon: The Series: Jessie and James usually start out disguised as workers or sellers to lure Ash and the gang. And then, when the heroes are surrounded, they remove their disguise to show that they're actually Team Rocket. It doesn't make sense in some factors, though... for example, when they don't wear gloves in their disguise, but do wear them in their Team Rocket uniforms.
    • Pokémon: The Original Series: In the episode "The Light Fantastic" Jesse and James instantly change from their regular Team Rocket costumes into archeologists' garb.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (AKA Battle of the Planets). G-Force had wristband communications devices which also allowed them to change between their team uniforms and civilian clothing.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: When Veldora and Milim accidentally out Luminous at Walpurgis, with an annoyed huff she uses magic to switch out her maid outfit with her proper gothic Demon Lord attire.
  • Cutey Honey has a special device built into her breasts that allows her to instantly reconfigure her clothing and even her appearance; beyond the normal Henshin Hero effect, she can change into a number of alternate forms with unique skill sets, such as Badass Biker Hurricane Honey and Scoop Honey.
  • In Arata: The Legend, Sarae, the Hayagami of one of Yorunami's Zokushou, has the power to instantly change its target's clothes to whatever its wielder is imagining.
  • Duke Fleed from UFO Robo Grendizer is able to generate a pilot suit from his own body in order to pilot Grendizer. The suit also provides protection from different types of hazards, such as lasers.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, when Gohan starts attending high school, he has Bulma create a device that lets him instantly change between his school uniform and a superhero costume so he can fight crime in Satan City as Great Saiyaman while protecting his identity.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica originally had the characters' Magical Girl costumes simply appear in place of their normal clothes, though later episodes gave them a very brief "clothes disappear, momentary Barbie Doll Anatomy and then new clothes appear" Transformation Sequence. Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion gave them fuller and very trippy sequences.
  • Ayakashi Triangle:
    • Exorcist ninja use Transformation Trinkets to change into battlesuits instantly, which can be further modified with an portable external device while still being worn. Reo once changed her, Matsuri, and Soga's gear into swimsuit for a Beach Episode. Suzu can modified her ayakashi medium costume similarly without any kind of external tool.
    • When Matsuri has to get ready for gym class in the girls' locker room, he uses incredible agility to change clothes super-fast, minimizing awkward situations.

    Comic Books 
  • A Green Lantern Ring can do this. When a Lantern is separated from their ring, they usually undergo an involuntary Instant Civilian Clothes, due to No Ontological Inertia.
  • In the Spider-Man mythology, the Venom symbiote can alter its appearance to that of any clothing the host wants.
  • Supergirl:
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl often took advantage of her Super-Speed to do this. In Supergirl (1972) #1, she changes clothes in a split-second when someone opens her dorm's door. In Supergirl (1982) #20 she again instantly strips off her costume and puts her civilian clothes on when her friend Joan knocks on her door.
    • Being a shapeshifter, the Post-Crisis Matrix version of Supergirl could transform from regular clothes into her Supergirl uniform by altering her clothes telekinetically.
    • Post-Crisis Kara also used her Super-Speed to change clothes instantly. In Batgirl (2009) she comes to visit her friend Stephanie Brown -alias Batgirl III- and does this to avoid being caught by Steph's mother.
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Belinda Zee instantly changes clothes when she first becomes "Superior Girl".
  • Fantastic Four leader Reed Richards invented an "unstable molecular fabric", which some characters can morph using their powers.
  • The kids in Power Pack can change into their costumes by saying the words, "Costume on!" Their suits (made of unstable molecules and created by Friday) travel to and from a dimension called Elsewhere, where they're tended to by supernatural tailors. The kids can even leave notes in the pockets to request alterations.
  • The Flash:
    • Wally West could create his costume from Speed Force.
    • And any version of The Flash effectively pulls this one off just by being fast enough to change clothes in the blink of an eye.
    • In addition to his speed, the Barry Allen version of the Flash was further aided by the use of a ring that stored a costume chemically treated so that it could be packed into the ring's compartment for this trope. A little silly, considering that with his speed, he could just take a quick jog back to his home, get dressed in his costume, and come back and no one would even notice.
  • Averted in modern Batman comics and film adaptations. Bruce's costume is too bulky to be worn under his regular clothes, so when an emergency pops up he has to travel to the Batcave (or somewhere where he has a spare costume in storage) to suit up.
  • The Mighty Thor: Thor or anyone with similar powers like Thunderstrike or Beta Ray Bill, can change from costume to street clothes by stamping their uru weapon against the ground. (In some cases, the user's powers are activated this way, and in some, the weapon itself changes into a walking stick.) This was lampshaded in one comic with Thunderstrike where he asks Spider-Man to talk over lunch, but has to switch to get money. He says he has no idea where his clothes go, "but at least my wallet's safe."
  • The Heroic Age version of Iron Man. His armor is entirely part of his body and emerges from his bones when needed.
  • The members of Genšł could do this for a period of time, thanks to high-technological bracelets. Grunge once grabbed Rainmaker's bracelet by mistake and didn't realize it until after he had used it to change costume.
  • Ms. Marvel when she was first introduced could instantly change between her normal clothing and costume instantly, although it was never explained how she could and the ability (along with her combat sense) was never demonstrated by Rogue after she permanently drained the powers from Carol Danvers.
  • X-Men: When Jean Grey originally became Phoenix she would instantly restructure the clothing she and the other X-Men were wearing into their costumes by telekinetically rearranging the molecules. Her divergent future daughter Rachel Summers also demonstrated this ability once she acquired the same powers.
  • The Ray Palmer incarnation of The Atom has a costume that is only visible and tangible when he uses his shrinking abilities. This eliminates the need to change into (or out of) it entirely — he's basically always got it on. There's still the question of what happens to his civilian clothes when he shrinks, though...
  • Black Panther can do this thanks to having a very high-tech costume, starting around Christopher Priest's run.
  • Ever since Patsy Walker returned from Hell, she can summon the Hellcat costume at will.
  • The Morrigan from The Wicked + The Divine is a triple-aspect goddess, who swaps seemingly at will between Macha, Badb, and Gentle Annie, all three of whom are still visibly her, but with radically different hair, clothes, and personalities (though of course, all versions of her aesthetic are None More Goth).
    • Persephone also runs through a number of barely discernible but clearly elaborate costume changes during her time spent catatonic in the Underground. Admittedly, it's unlikely she was literally laying on the same spot on the ground for a month, but one does nevertheless wonder where a homeless orphan fugitive gets such a variety of haute couture...other than Jamie McKelvie's always fashion forward imagination, that is.
  • The classic version of The Creeper has an implant that makes his costume (originally worn to a costume party) appear and disappear. The Post-Crisis version also recreates the drugs that were in his system at the time, explaining why the Creeper acts so erratically.
  • The members of the Shazam! Family have magic-based superpowers so their street clothes (along with their wallets, keys, phones and Freddy's crutch and other mobility aids) simply disappear and rematerialize when they power down.
  • The Golden Age Fury from the All-Star Squadron sequel series The Young All-Stars can instantly change into her skintight bulletproof golden armor from her civilian clothes with just a thought.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): In the Silver and Bronze age, Diana could change whatever she was wearing as Diana Prince into her Wonder Woman costume by spinning her magic lasso around herself.
    • Wonder Woman (2006): In this iteration, Diana is able to change from her civilian wear or Agent Prince uniform into her hero costume via magic, a transformation which is accompanied by sparkles but is otherwise instantaneous.
  • The third Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, gains sapient Powered Armor from the Scarab grafted onto his back. Activating it destroys his clothes and originally left him naked when he turned it off; the first time that he actually complained about this, the Scarab revealed that it can create clothes for him from whatever atoms happen to be in the air so that now he's actually dressed when he turns is off.
  • In Superman story A Mind-Switch in Time, Superboy is taking a look around his parents' empty house when he hears the door opening behind him. Before it has become fully opened, he has already changed into his civilian costume.

    Fan Works 
  • CRISIS: Equestria: Pinkie Pie changes the kind of powers she wants to use in the given situation by changing her outfit to match her perceived Genre Shift. Nobody even sees her do it.
  • A Very Kara Christmas: Linda goes out to the woods at night and changes clothes at super-speed. She moves as fast than she becomes a blur.
    It was 7:00 at night and Linda was already in the woods beside Midvale Orphanage. She always did a quick survey of the area with her X-ray vision, and used her super-hearing as well, before she changed clothes. She also remembered to do that at super-speed. It wouldn't do for someone to see Linda Lee stripping to her underwear and then taking a small, compressed wafer from her pocket and unfolding it into a female version of Superman's uniform, then donning it. Anyone attempting to watch her, if she had missed them, would have seen the merest blur they could possibly perceive.
  • Digimon Xros Wars AU 02: Betsumon is a master of unseen costume-changing, and complains when Tagiru and everyone else Betsumon had stolen clothes from pull off a Flung Clothing change back into their original outfits.
  • Elk Harrison in Zero Context: Taking Out the Trash. One second, he's wearing a nifty little tuxedo. As soon as he drinks down soda pop, he immediately dons his Pepsiman costume in-between eye blinks.
  • Full Circle: Oona adds a feature into her lab coat that allows her to change into any outfit she wants with a simple tug at the coat's lapels. She remarks that she hasn't had to change her clothes in months, which causes Olympia, Otis and Oprah to start Backing Away Slowly as she clarifies what she meant.

    Films — Animation 
  • DC Showcase: Green Arrow starts with Oliver Queen driving to the airport. When he comes swooping in as the Green Arrow to Save the Princess, he apologises for not arriving earlier. "But you try changing clothes in a hybrid!"
  • Parodied in The Emperor's New Groove; villainess Yzma and her lackey Kronk reach her lab by riding down a Mayincatec roller-coaster that fits them into lab-coats and goggles en-route. When the heroes later sneak into the lab, they also get stuffed into the very ill-fitting costumes.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: When Doc Ock reveals herself, she sheds her dorky scientist attire to reveal a tight, body-hugging outfit that previously there had been no indication she was wearing.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Undercover Brother. Undercover Brother jumps out of a window while dressed in what can be best described as a nerd disguise. On the other side, he comes out in his normal attire, complete with afro.
  • Buster Keaton did the same thing for real in Sherlock, Jr., entering the window in evening clothes, and emerging dressed as an old woman in a dress and shawl.
  • Jason in Mystery Team has shades of this.
  • While waiting for Jake and Elwood to arrive as the Palace Hotel in The Blues Brothers, Curtis and the Blues Brothers Band perform the song "Minnie the Moocher". Behind the curtains, they are wearing their normal clothes, but as soon as Curtis says "Hit it!" and the curtains open, their clothes instantly change to white tuxedos, and then change back to normal moments after the song ends.
  • Typically done by ninjas in the Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies.
  • Jeremy Irons does this in Lolita (1997). Entering the motel room's bathroom in his suit, a Jump Cut has him instantly opening the door dressed in his pyjamas, no doubt to show how eager his character is to get into bed with a sleeping Dolores.
  • In Sky High (2005), this is apparently a skill all heroes and sidekicks learn by default. All they have to do is walk out of sight behind a tree a civilian, and walk out the other side a superhero. There's one point during the climax where Stitches changes from dress clothes to his villain garb in the time it takes for the camera to cut away from him in back. To top it off, he was surrounded by nearly a dozen people while he was doing it. A clip during a montage shows the sidekicks practicing this in class, running behind a wall and coming back out a second later in a different outfit. One kid screws up and comes out in his underwear.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Thor, Thor switches back into his battle armor when he reacquires his hammer Mjolnir.
    • Ant-Man has Scott Lang being given ten seconds to put on the suit. He starts at 9, and the time he's done the counter's at 4. He put on a full body suit in five seconds.
    • In The Avengers, Loki instantly changes from Midgardian attire into his battle armor.
    • In Thor: Ragnarok, both Thor and Loki do the same when they see Hela.
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, Iron Man wears a device filled with nanites that can take the form of his armor (as well as change the armor itself as needed, like rebuilding his hand repulsors into a big cannon.) This Instant Armor is seemingly being shared with other heroes, with Spider-Man: No Way Home having Spidey in a nanite costume and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania featuring pocket-sized modules that put out the title characters' suits over their clothes.
    • In Avengers: Endgame, before the final showdown between Cap, Tony, and Thor vs Thanos, when Thor summons Stormbreaker and Mjolnir, he instantly changes into Asgardian armor.
    • In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, once a monster shows up close to the church where Strange is attending a wedding, he uses his magic to turn his formal clothes into his sorcerer robes.
  • Subverted in Deadpool: No Good Deed. He spots a mugging while in his civvies, and takes so long to get into costume that when he returns the perpetrator is long gone and the victim is shot dead. He just starts talking to the body and helping himself to the victim's groceries.
  • Superman Film Series:
    • In Superman: The Movie, Clark does the iconic opens-shirt-to-reveal-Superman-suit thing, flies off...and the rest of his clothes just sort of fade away while he's flying.
    • Supergirl also shows the title character walking through a forest, and her outfit (and hair color) swiftly change while she's momentarily obscured by some trees.
    • Superman Returns tries to fix this at one point: Clark opens his shirt, flies off, and lets his suit flutter off as he goes...except what about his pants? Did he somehow take them off in that one motion? The angle makes it hard to tell there.
  • In Hook, once Peter Banning takes his first flight after remembering he is Peter Pan, his clothes change from a pirate’s outfit to Pan's traditional green leaves and tights … in midair.
  • In the 2019 Kim Possible Live-Action Adaptation, Kim gets a call from Wade, steps off-camera for a moment, and returns in her mission outfit. Later, when she asks her mother and grandmother for help, they do the same. Lampshaded by Ron asking how they do it.

  • The Swineherd does this behind a tree in the Hans Christian Andersen story, also featuring in The Yellow Fairy Book, there being no believable way he can change into a Prince costume which it isn't mentioned he has, or clean himself of the muck he is covered in.
  • In Tsar Gorokh's Detective Agency, Nikita ends up doing this by accident when he gets too close to Sivka-Burka's ear. Somehow, the horse sucks him into the ear and out the other, with him dressed as a typical prince from Russian fairy tales. His police uniform and bag are nowhere to be found. Those are later somehow retrieved by Baba Yaga. The horse later ends up defeating the Big Bad this way, whose frail body can't support itself without his massive armor. Later, Nikita learns to avoid the horse's ears while riding it, even when he's holding on for dear life, as the horse is flying.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Wonder Woman could basically do this too in her TV show by twirling around a few times. Nobody spun it like Lynda Carter. But what happened to her purses?? Not to mention the glasses, hats, etc. In some Season 1 episodes, she would be shown holding them after transforming, but after that, they just seemed to vanish.
  • In Smallville, Clark naturally does this a lot in Super-Speed. However, it gets ridiculous when Oliver changes into his complicated Green Arrow uniform in about five seconds.
  • The Adam West Batman (1966) TV series had Batman and Robin changing into their costumes while sliding down the pole into the Batcave, by hitting the "Instant Costume Change Lever" on the way down. The actual clothing change wasn't shown.
    • Queen of Wands has a suggestion.
    • Possibly similar to the one Mr. Incredible had in his car in The Incredibles?
    • In The Movie between the first and second seasons (think "shark repellent bat-spray") we see that there is a switch marked "Instant Costume Change Lever" that they pull on the way down.
  • Shaktimaan, a famous Hindi serial from the 1990s deserves a mention. The superhero's alter-ego, Pandit Gangadhar Shastri could change into Shaktimaan (and back), simply by spinning around like a top.
  • Power Rangers has a few examples outside the usual morphing. All ninja-based characters are adept at Flung Clothing to completely change their wardrobe, and in Power Rangers Mystic Force, the unmorphed wizard robe uniforms appear when they enter the dimension their base is in. Another dimension gave them more medieval garb upon arrival.
  • On Star Trek: The Original Series, Sufficiently Advanced Aliens had a thing for putting female crewmembers into feminine clothing using their Stop Trick powers.
  • Ultraman and his M-78 teammates can transform from fully clothed human form.
  • Naturally, Barry can do this by virtue of being extremely fast in The Flash (2014). In one episode, he doesn't even go anywhere, since he has brought his suit in a gym bag, and it looks like he just spins around in place at superspeed. Additionally, Eobard Thawne is able to put on his yellow Reverse-Flash suit in the blink of an eye since it's somehow stored in his ring. Barry asks Cisco to figure out if he can use the ring to the same effect, which eventually happens in Season 5 with a costume from the future that uses Atom's shrinking tech.
  • The iconic dramatic shirt-rip shows itself in every version of the Superman mythos, including Lois & Clark, Smallville, and Supergirl (2015). In fact, at one point, Supergirl walks to the wall behind her just so she can turn around and do the shirt-rip-to-reveal-the-S while walking toward the camera. In later seasons of Lois and Clark, Superman develops a Wonder Woman spin, and Lois is quite surprised when an alternate universe Clark instead ducks into a cupboard. In season 5 of Supergirl, Brainiac 5 gives her a microscopic device that creates her costume around her.
  • In Legends of Tomorrow, the Atom keeps his suit shrunk to doll size in his pocket in case he should need to change quickly. (Mind you, that solves the problem of where he keeps it, but not the actual putting it on.)
  • In season eight of Supernatural, Castiel is wearing his mental patient scrubs from season seven and is dirty and unshaven after returning from Purgatory, so he goes into the bathroom to freshen up. He comes back out about 20 seconds later, neat, clean-shaven, and back in his usual suit and tie — which he didn't even have when he went into the bathroom. Justified in that he has minor Reality Warper powers, alongside Super-Speed, which he occasionally makes use of for searches and simple things.
  • In Henry Danger, Ray and Henry change into their costumes by a special bubble gum.
    • Lampshaded by Charlotte in "The Secret Gets Out." When she sees Henry change into his costume by blowing a bubble, she asks how it could all fit in the gum.
    • In "Grave Danger", it is revealed that they can return back into their regular clothes by blowing a bubble while in costume.
  • WandaVision: Peoples' clothing and hairstyles are altered when entering the Hex to reflect whatever time period the Hex is in. This is best shown in episode 5, where Wanda spends most of the episode with 80s' blowout hair, a red-blue patterned blouse, and mom-jeans, which instantly change to long flowing hair and her Avengers uniform when she leaves the Hex to confront Hayward.
  • Come Back Mrs. Noah. A robot valet (consisting of a booth with a trio of groping hands) is used to dress the title character. Inevitably it malfunctions and swops her clothes with a male character in the next booth.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The superhero RPG Mutants & Masterminds has a feat called Quick Change, which allows a character to change between his street clothes and hero uniform as a free action.
  • Earlier editions of Champions had the Instant Change power, which did just what you'd expect. Recent editions have replaced that power with a limited form of Transformation (defined as Transforming one's clothing).
  • Exalted 3rd Edition has the Charm Flashing Ruse Prana, which allows a disguise to be donned in an instant - including wardrobe. Perhaps closer to this trope conceptually, the Charms Whirlwind Armour-Donnig Prana, Armoured Scout's Invigouration, and Hauberk-Summon Gesture can be used in combination to allow the Solar to change from ordinary clothing into his armour in an instant.

  • In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2013), Willy Wonka initially appears dressed in a long black coat...suddenly, with a single struck pose, the coat vanishes to reveal his true, much more colorful suit. Between how quickly this happens and the contrast in the colors, it appears as if the whole outfit turns itself inside-out.
  • Cinderella: On Broadway, both the Fairy Godmother and Ella spin to transform their rags into gorgeous gowns. Demonstrated here in their Tony Awards performance.
  • In Frozen (2018), Elsa changes from her coronation dress to her sparkling ice dress in a literal flash at the climax of "Let It Go".

    Video Games 
  • Animal Crossing characters don't need to do much in order to change their clothes. In the original Gamecube/N64 version they'll change clothes by doing a little spin, and in all subsequent games they'll do a flip instead. When Wild World introduced accessories and new hats for the player character to wear, they started doing the flip in order to put those on (and take them off) too. Everyone in the game is well aware of how instant everything is; you can change clothes anywhere, even in the middle of town, and it's not uncommon to see villagers suddenly change their clothes while talking to another villager.
  • In Dusk Diver 1 & 2, the characters outfits will change when going into their super modes.
  • [PROTOTYPE]: Alex Mercer can switch between his Shapeshifter Default Form and his disguise form in about a second.
  • In Secret Agent Barbie, Barbie performs these when changing between Stealth, Action and Adventure modes, sometimes in broad daylight, in a public area, while surrounded by other people. This is never mentioned or explained.
  • No More Heroes: When Travis arrives in Destroyman's arena to face him for his spot in the assassin rankings, he finds him wearing his civilian outfit, a normal postman uniform. Destroyman asks Travis to turn around just for a moment so he can change, and Travis complies. The moment Travis turns his back to him, Destroyman fires his Wave-Motion Gun, and Travis just barely manages to dodge it in time. When Travis turns, he sees Destroyman has already changed into his outfit in an instant.
  • The Sims spin around whenever they need to change (or take off) clothes. They can do it anywhere, but you can also make them go to a dresser in order to have them change in a slightly more traditional way ("traditional" in terms of location only; they will still change by doing the spin). If they change their hairstyle, it just appears on them automatically without any spinning needed.
  • Every character in Super Cosplay War Ultra has the ability to instantly change into different cosplay outfits, gaining the abilities of the character they're cosplaying.
  • World of Warcraft has always allowed instant changes of clothing/armor/weapons/etc. while not in combat, and there have long been add-ons to help with organizing sets for quick switches. Quick-changeable item set have become a built-in feature of the game client in Cataclysm.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel: When Thomas uses his powers to make a partition of time to have a talk with Rean, Thomas, and Rosine, the latter immediately changes into her nun habit.
  • Persona 5: When characters awaken to their Persona, their clothes change from their casual outfit or school uniform to a Phantom Thief outfit. This is because the "Palaces" they enter are based on their Target's warped view of the world around them and their costume change represents both the Phantom Thieves' "will of rebellion", and the Palace owner's recognition of them as threats that need to be eliminated. Note that this is controlled entirely by the Palace owner, and not the thieves themselves. When they are viewed as a threat they will transform into their thief costumes whether they want to or not.
  • Athena has been known to do this with her psychic powers in The King of Fighters. Mai does something similar in a few of her win poses, but without any supernatural explanation (given that she's a ninja, it's likely just her Master of Disguise skills).
  • In Injustice 2, Supergirl's opening (if she is the second character to speak) starts with her dressed in her civilian clothes before zipping off with Super-Speed and returning in costume. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also change from their detective disguise to whatever gear they're equipped should they take off their hats and coats (Leo with twin swords, Donnie with a bo staff, Raph with twin sais, and Mikey with twin nunchucks).
  • Trick or Treat Beat!: There are a multitude of different costumes available to the Player Character. You instantly turn into the new costume you touch in the game world.
  • Ibuki from Street Fighter does this as part of her introduction. She does need a smoke bomb however.
  • A downplayed example in Crash Tag Team Racing. Sports news reporter Stew has a habit of switching hats on a dime, be it a pompadour, a news reporter hat, dreadlocks and sunglasses, a fruit hat, a clown wig, or a pharaoh hat. What downplays this trope, though, is that it always happens off-screen, so we don't ever see him going through a hat change, but it always happens within a matter of fewer than 10 seconds.
  • Hitman 3 begins in Dubai with Agent 47 skydiving onto The Sceptre, and after navigating through scaffolding and maintenance air vents, he makes his way inside to eliminate his targets. His true entrance is denoted by him dramatically moving through the curtains into the lobby, instantly changing from his skydiving equipment to his signature look. Unrealistic for sure, but it's as cool as you'd expect.
  • This is one of many superhero tropes parodied in South Park: The Fractured but Whole. The New Kid changes into their superhero costume and back again by spinning around a la Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman (complete with an Action Command for it). Near the start of day 2, another kid sees them doing this and makes fun of them for it.

    Web Animation 
  • Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse sometimes shows Barbie and/or her companions wearing clothes that can change appearance and function through such actions as pulling a cord or turning a knob.
  • RWBY: In Volume 3 episode "Destiny", Nora changes from her regular clothes into a workout outfit between cuts.

    Web Comics 
  • In Alice and the Nightmare, Rougina manages to get to the Phanty U's back entrance, get out of her usual garb, remake her hair, put on make-up, and get into this wonderful dress in the time it gets Alice to reach the main hall, find a seat and open the uni flyer.
  • Queen Albia of England from Girl Genius can go from gardening clothes to mourning garb to a Skifandrian outfit over the course of five panels. While having a conversation.
  • El Goonish Shive: One of Nanase's spells lets her swap the clothes she's currently wearing for another set.
  • In Jupiter-Men, secret Mun Tech gadgetry allows the Jupiter-Men to instantly don their costumes just by wearing their mask and/or putting on their team communicators. This cause their super outfits to overwrite their current clothes. Returning to civilian wear is as simple as taking their masks off.
  • Subverted in Sunstone. The comic touches on how difficult it is to get in and out of latex (especially when sweat is factored in) we even see Ally having to wrestle latex stocking off of Lisa.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-1156 is a talking horse with the ability to change its clothing at will.
    • SCP-040-1a is a polymorphic jumper that acts as clothing for SCP-040 and transforms into clothing appropriate for the environment.
  • Actually explained and played with in the Whateley Universe. We first see Generator and Shroud using their powers to change clothes, although Shroud's first demonstration is to use her cloak to turn into what looks like a Japanese schoolgirl. Fey not only uses her magic to change her own clothes but starting around "Boston Brawl 2", she is using a spell that enables her to change the entire team into their uniforms (with them holding the packaged uniforms at the start).

    Web Videos 
  • In Noob, Ystos has a mask that he wears only in battle. When he puts it on, it tends to just appear on his face in a split-second. May be justified by the fact that the series is mostly set in an MMORPG.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History: In the intro to Goku vs Superman, the latter switches from his Clark Kent disguise to his superhero suit in the intro by spinning around.

    Western Animation 
  • The Owl House: Hunter dramatically reveals himself as the Golden Guard after posing as a Hexside student by suddenly changing into his uniform and mask with a sweep of his staff, with added bonus of cleaning up the liquid the Emerald Entrails dumped on him.
  • The animated series Spider-Man Unlimited gave Peter Parker a wrist device containing nanomachines that rebuilt his street clothes into his Spidey suit.
  • Occurs frequently on The Magic School Bus. When the bus transforms, Ms. Frizzle and the kids' clothing will often change along with it. For example, if the bus turns into a submarine, everyone will instantly be wearing scuba gear.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes has Janet shrink to shed her civilian clothes, then suddenly emerge as The Wasp.
  • In keeping with its vague video-game theme, SwaySway and Buhdeuce of Breadwinners can make new costumes blink onto them by jumping and shouting, "L-l-l-l-level up!"
  • When Joey transforms into the eponymous Atomic Puppet, his green coat, white t-shirt, and brown pants are instantly replaced with his superhero costume, and vice-versa when he powers down.
  • In Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, Shaggy and Scooby have a remarkable ability to instantly change into various disguises to temporarily outwit villains. For instance, in "Mystery Mask Mix-Up," they run into a small room to escape two jiangshi (Chinese vampires); the monsters open the door not two seconds later, and the pair has somehow managed to put the uniforms of Chinese restaurant waitstaff in that ridiculously small timeframe.
  • In the Pilot Movie of Sofia the First, Sofia suddenly changes from her commoner dress to her princess gown between the time she steps out of the carriage and the time she is crowned.
  • On Ready Jet Go!, whenever the group goes into space, Sean, Sydney, and Mindy instantly change from their regular outfits to the same spacesuits that the Propulsions wear.
  • The singer of "Sufferin' Till Suffrage" from Schoolhouse Rock! does so simply by spinning.


Video Example(s):


Sufferin' Till Suffrage

The singer of "Sufferin' Till Suffrage" has the ability to change her appearance simply by spinning, typically making herself look like that of historical figures in women's rights.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / InstantCostumeChange

Media sources: