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Makeover Montage

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"We'll have you washed and dried
primped and polished till you glow with pride.
Trust my recipe for Instant Bride.
You'll bring honor to us all!"
Disney's Mulan

A.K.A. Torture Session Montage.

A girl with frizzy hair, pimples, braces and Nerd Glasses is plunked into a chair (maybe even tied down for good measure) in front of a mirror by well-meaning friends and attacked with a flurry of curling irons, combs, hair gel, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick, nail polish, and all manner of powders and waxes. Put her under a bright spotlight, like at a Jack Bauer Interrogation, for good measure. Just remember, before you're done, The Glasses Gotta Go. She never exhibits any allergic reactions from the multitude of substances that are put on her, and never stands up for herself if she doesn't want to have a makeover in the first place.


Voila, She Is All Grown Up! Often hypocritically paired with Be Yourself, as the glamorous version the person has never been before is their true self all along, really! Compare Lipstick-and-Load Montage. Comedic ones likely have a heavy overlap with an Improbable Hairstyle Sequence.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • A rather dark version of this occurs in Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, in which the kidnapped alien band are given a fully automated makeover to make them appear human: their skin is painted, their hair is dyed, their memories are replaced, and they are all fitted with mind control devices.

    Comic Books 
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Etta begs Diana to let her do her makeup, but Diana doesn't tell her to go ahead and have at it until she requests that Etta find a look for Wonder Woman. Etta tries out a number of looks before truly feeling inspired and coming up with the one they go with.

    Fan Fiction 

  • Descendants 2: After six months of putting on an act in Auradon as a Princess Classic, Mal returns to the Isle of the Lost and gets a badass makeover from Dizzy Tremaine that resembles her old villainous look pre-Auradon, including replacing her pink nail polish with black, gifting her a new studded leather outfit, and dying her hair back to purple. Mal is happy to look more like her old self, which she feels is her real self.
  • Sandra Bullock undergoes one for Miss Congeniality. Waxing was involved. Her hair was thinned and trimmed, and her character went from the natural no-makeup looknote  to fancy makeup.
  • Another rather creepy variant appears in Mirrormask, though whether the use of the Carpenters song "Close To You" pushes it into Narm territory is debatable.
  • Rare and elusive all-male version in Encino Man, in which a caveman is miraculously transformed into a goofy 80s teenager by the two guys who found him. Complete with towel turban and bath beads (which, admittedly, the caveman ate).
  • Another rare male version in Dont Tell Her Its Me (alt titled: The Boyfriend School), in which the pre-makeover Gus is post-cancer bald and overweight, but in order to try to seduce the girl of his dreams, he spends months losing weight, exercising, getting tanned, and getting his newly grown hair cut and styled. He also gets a wardrobe change, contacts, and an accent to become the dream guy, Lobo.
  • Another rare male example in Fixing Pete, as Ashley (Brooke Burns) is assigned to make Pete (Dylan Bruno) have new clothes to make him more presentable for an upcoming book tour.
  • In The Mirror Has Two Faces, frumpy college professor Rose rebounds after getting sexually rejected by her husband by getting a makeover, exercising, changing diets, losing weight, and a wardrobe change.
  • The beginning of Mulan has the titular character get “primped and polished” for her appointment with the local matchmaker. Since this test will evaluate her skills as a Proper Lady and potential bride, she is bathed, has her hair and makeup done, and all dressed up by various groomers to make her look like the ideal Chinese lady. She expresses discomfort as she is scrubbed clean, has her hair pulled, and has her waist squished to make it look smaller.
  • Parodied in Not Another Teen Movie, in which the makeover strictly consists of removing Janie's glasses and letting her hair out of its ponytail.
  • Fern gets a new look and a new name in Jawbreaker to keep her silent about Liz's murder.
  • Dirty Dancing: Baby doesn't exactly get a makeover but her clothes get skimpier and sexier as her dance lessons progress.
  • Tank Girl. Rebecca making over the outside of her tank in a animated montage. If you look closely you'll notice that it gets made over from a PT-76 light tank to a M-51 Super Sherman.
  • Earth Girls Are Easy - an entire musical number as Julie Brown gives a (completely unnecessary) makeover to Geena Davis.
  • Rita Hayworth gets one before her photo shoot in Cover Girl (1944). She doesn't look much different at the end of it, though.
  • In Wild Rose, Jiang, wanting Xiao to make a good impression with his family, has her get a makeover in which she's dolled up and dressed in fancy clothes. But Xiao is still a Tomboy with uncouth country manners, and things go wrong at the dinner anyway.

    Live Action TV 
  • Power Rangers Super Megaforce: Emma and Gia, the pink and yellow rangers, take new recruit Orion, the silver ranger, to get some new clothes and a haircut, as the alien was wearing ragged clothing and had let his hair grow out after his home planet had been destroyed by the bad guys.
  • Suggested by Abed in Community episode "Physical Education" when the group wants to get him to impress a girl.
  • Parodied in the iCarly episode iGo One Direction, where they have a parody of typical teenage girl movie, including a makeover-scene. Considering the main audience of the show, this move was pretty ballsy.
  • Perfectly parodied in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend with "Put Yourself First," a makeover set to song all about how women should put themselves first...for men. "Don't think about it too hard."
  • CSI: The Teaser to "Under My Skin" has a teenage girl undergoing a makeover from her older sister. As this is CSI, it does not end well for her.
  • 100 Things to Do Before High School: In "Be a Fairy Godmother Thing!", CJ gives a makeover to a girl named Scout as part of her attempt to be a fairy godmother.

  • "Like the First Time" ("처음처럼" by 티아라) has a music video that is this. Five friends prepare their glasses & books girl for a 소개팅 (blind date).

    Video Games 
  • An optional scene in Final Fantasy VI has the group doing this to wild boy Gau.

    Web Comics 

    Web Originals 
  • Parodied by Hardly Working. Sarah does one for David and Pat - into an ordinary black gown, which she says is the only thing she has. At the guys' insistence, she goes through the makeover montage. The resulting product in the end is that she looks a lot like Elphaba in a sweater.
  • Parodied in the Bone Mouth sketch "Makeover Montage Goes Awry" - First the recipient of the makeover is murdered by a man lurking in the closet... Then her murderer gets the makeover instead

    Western Animation 
  • Hey Arnold!: Helga does this to herself because she's sick of people forgetting she's a girl. The episode ends with her realizing why she always avoids this girly stuff — it's stupid.
  • Over the Hedge has the other animals do this to Stella the Skunk.
  • Parodied in the penultimate episode of Clone High, in which several characters undergo this, to the accompaniment of a song consisting only of the word "makeover" repeated seven times as seen here.
    Cleopatra: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
    Cleopatra/Joanne of Arc: Makeover!/Suicide!
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons", there's a montage of Apu trying out different haircuts. For every variant, Homer gives Apu a thumbs up.
    • "The President Wore Pearls" parodies "Rainbow High" from Evita.
  • Magnificently spoofed in South Park: an episode spoofing Queer Eye for the Straight Guy features two makeover montages — the first one is pulled out of Queer Eye, and the second happens after The Reveal that the guys from Queer Eye are actually crab people. The boys must be made over into crab people as well and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Smurfette goes through this in The Smurfs story "Smurfette's Golden Tresses" with Barber subjecting her through various hairstyles before finally realizing that it's hard for him to improve upon perfection.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Daphne undergoes one in "In Fear of the Phantom" when she instructs the Hex Girls to "turn her into a rock star".
  • Sofia the First: When Amber insists that Sofia’s slumber party guests have to fit in with the other princesses at the party, Sofia starts by having Baileywick give them princess makeovers, complete with fancy gowns, new hairdos, and tiaras.
  • The Loud House: In Really Loud Music, the song “Changing Luna” shows Doug and Michelle giving Luna a complete make-over into what they believe an artist should look like.
  • The Venture Bros. episode, "The Bellicose Proxy", when trying to help Guild Stranger S-464 win back his love, Dr. Z suggests he and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch take him to get a makeover, which starts a makeover montage in a mall. It just turns out to be all in Dr. Z's head.
    Dr. Z: (laughs) Then we all get milkshakes.
    Mrs. Monarch: We're not going.
    464: I don't want to do that.
  • Uglydolls puts the montage through a song, "All Dolled Up". Mandy helps the Uglydolls dress up to look like Perfection dolls and blend in, despite the fact that she's insistent that they don't have to do this. The makeover fails in the end for them, and only ostracizes them further.

Alternative Title(s): Geek To Chic


Oh's Makeover (sort of)

Tip's attempt to give Oh a makeover does not go as planned.

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