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Mutants, also known as Deviants and Freaks, are, by general definition, organisms that have undergone a permanent change to their genetic structure relative to the norm for their species. Sometimes this results in a new race or breed, or even, as mutations accumulate over time, a new species (speciation), and sometimes it's a one-off that produces effects that don't breed true, or are so negative that they prevent the individual mutant from successfully surviving and breeding. Technically, any deviation in a person's genetic code that isn't a "simple" combination of their parents' alleles would be a mutation. On average, human beings have 150 to 175 mutations each (mostly minor transcription errors or swapped chromatid segments), the vast majority of which are undetectable. So technically, we're all in some sense mutants.


Mutants in fiction follow this same basic idea (though normally portrayed in biologically implausible or impossible ways), but have a much wider variety of phenotype effects than Real Life mutations because of Hollywood Evolution. Fictional mutants are often Super Heroes, because "mutation" is a very easy way to get multiple power sets from a single Super Hero Origin (this is why X-Men, the first major comic to have Loads and Loads of Characters introduced all at once, starred a group of mutants). Just as often, humans or other animals are mutated somehow into hideous Always Chaotic Evil monsters for the heroes to fight, or pitiful misunderstood freaks. Because even low levels of radiation can be deadly with prolonged exposure, it's common for stories to have Radiation-Immune Mutants who can survive, thrive on, or require radiation to live.


There are two different ways to use the word Mutant: it can refer to characters who were born with a mutation, such as most members of the X-Men. Marvel Comics, the storytellers that have to be the most specific about this kind of thing, refers to these as Mutants. The other definition is things that have had their genetic code changed after birth, whether by radiation damage, gene therapy, or a pandemic disease. Marvel calls these Mutates. Usually in fiction, these after-market mutations also alter germ cells and get passed on to the mutate's kids. For clarity's sake (and in accordance with the Mutant Registration Act), we keep the examples of these two different kinds of mutation separate.

The mutates variety (and certain mutants with an Unstable Genetic Code) are prone to experiencing Transformation Horror in some form or fashion.

May overlap with Evolutionary Levels if the mutants are "superior" to mankind. A type of Super Hero Origin. Very frequent targets for Fantastic Racism. Outside the superhero genre, mutants are most often encountered After the End.

A large body of examples of fictional mutants can also be seen on Wikipedia: Mutant (fictional).

Examples of Mutants

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Contractors and Dolls of Darker Than Black probably count, being a Darker and Edgier take on the traditional comic books version, although other than the fact that they generally have a Meta Origin, there's no indication of whether or not any genetic difference exists. It might even be a subversion; it's mentioned offhand that some government research organizations assumed it was genetic, tried eugenics programs to get themselves a superpowered army, and failed miserably.
  • The diclonii in Elfen Lied. A particularly creepy example, given that after going through the motions of persecution and acceptance, humanity exterminates them and this is considered a good thing.
  • Sein of Lyrical Nanoha was revealed in the third Sound Stage of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS to be one in addition to being a Cyborg. Unlike her sisters, she had an unexpected mutation when she was being born. This is the source of her phasing abilities.
  • The idea that Newtypes in Mobile Suit Gundam are a result of evolution or mutation is gradually debunked as the metaseries goes on. In the earliest shows, however, they are implied to be humans adapting to living (and dying) in space by gaining enhanced senses and low-level Psychic Powers. All related tropes about mutants being exploited, persecuted, and persecuting back apply in full, as well.
  • Dragon Ball
    • An interview with Akira Toriyama years after the conclusion of the manga revealed that Freeza and King Cold are mutants among their own race, hence why they are exceptionally strong compared to the vast majority of them. In the manga proper, the Ginyu Force are also confirmed mutants.
    • Dragon Ball Super: Broly: Broly's extreme power, even for a Saiyan, is explained as him being a mutant. He also has a superior version of the Saiyan's normal Adaptive Ability. A normal Saiyan becomes stronger after recovering from an injury, but he can become stronger during a fight if he is being overwhelmed by his current opponent.
  • Any Naruto character or clan that has a "bloodline trait," such as the Uchiha clan and their Sharingan.
  • One of Digimon V-Tamer 01's protagonists is a Prehistoric Monster and every last mutant he encounters is antagonistic towards him, though some of them do become his friends later. For whatever reason, many of these monsters have their mutant status revoked in later Digimon works.
  • Interviews with Monster Girls's demi-humans are actually humans born with genetic mutations that cause them to exhibit traits of the monsters found in folklore.
  • In One Piece, most of the strongest people get that way via training really, really, really hard, getting a Devil Fruit, or most likely both. Big Mom is neither, she's simply a freak of nature. She was born abnormally strong and despite not being a giant grew so rapidly she might as well be, and by age 5 was strong enough to seriously injure or kill giants on accident. Deconstructed, as her unique nature no one knew how to properly care for her, which ultimately lead to her severe mental illness as an adult.
  • The ghoul race in Tokyo Ghoul have the same appearance as humans. The only difference between ghouls and humans is that ghouls are born with superhuman abilities and a hunger for human flesh. Only human flesh and nothing else. Humans are afraid of getting killed and eaten by ghouls just as ghouls are afraid of getting hunted and killed or contained by humans.
  • The Eldians, aka the Subjects of Ymir, in Attack on Titan are, in absolutely all other respects, ordinary human beings. However, they're also the only race in the world who have the ability to transform into Titans, which happens whenever their bodies absorb Titan cerebrospinal fluid. Their ability also doesn't correspond to the traditional laws of biology; not only is the Eldian ability passed on to all descendants without dilution (unless the other races of the world are more "Eldian" than they care to admit), but the Founding Titan has the ability to remake the biology of all Eldians simultaneously, which was done at one point to grant them immunity to a plague.
  • In Gintama, the second to last story arc in the series reveals this to be the case of Big Bad Utsuro and Kagura's mother, Kouka. They were born with the ability to absorb and store large amounts of their birth planets' Altana, giving them a Healing Factor, slow aging, and near immortality. If they leave their birth planets, they will have to rely on their large reserves until it runs out, greatly weakening them as was the case with Kouka, combined with giving birth to two children.

    Comic Books 
  • As noted above, X-Men is effectively the Trope Maker for mutants as a Super Hero Origin. As time went on and the writers felt the need to justify superpowers as a mutation, they tried to tie things into evolution, and then things got...screwy.
  • Early X-Men comics implied, and it was later confirmed, that Namor the Sub-Mariner is a mutant, in addition to being a cross-breed between humans and Atlanteans. This explains his ankle wings that allow him to fly, as well as his enormous strength.
  • Thanos is a mutant Eternal born with an appearance similar to that of the monstrous Deviants. That same mutation is also why he is considerably more powerful than the average Titanian Eternal.
  • Mutants are fairly rare in DC Comics, especially compared to their prevalence in Marvel, but one of the most prominent is actually a supervillain; Mano, one of the members of Legion of Super-Heroes villains, the Fatal Five. Mano is one of the few metahumans explicitly mentioned as being a mutant, having been born with the ability to disintegrate anything he touched with his right hand. Notably however, Mano is not human, but an alien mutant. As a response to the mistreatment he received because of his mutation, Mano became a monster and used his anti-matter touch to destroy his own homeworld, afterward plaguing the galaxy at large.
    • Another mutant from the Legion books is the hero Ferro Lad (or just Ferro, in the post-Zero Hour version) who has the power to turn his body into steel.
    • Of note is the Silver Age hero Captain Comet, described as a man born 1000 years before his time.
  • Marvels features Maggie, a young mutant girl with a skull-like face. Her innocent outlook is contrasted with the violent attitudes of anti-mutant humans.
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns comic had a massive teen gang called the Mutants terrifying Gotham. The leader was probably the only Mutant who might actually be a mutant. Well, that or a plain old sociopath with filed teeth.
  • An issue of the classic EC Comics horror/sci-fi anthology series Weird Science (not that one) had a story titled "The Loathsome" about a badly deformed little girl being raised in an orphanage. Her father, a US Navy sailor, had his own DNA damaged by exposure to radiation during an atom bomb test in the Pacific just prior to returning home and fathering her. A military doctor convinced him to give up the infant and tell his wife the child had died shortly after birth. The girl had no super powers and certainly wasn't evil, but was treated as a monster by her caretakers and the other orphans because of her severe physical deformities. The story was An Aesop (a heart-wrenchingly tragic one) about the perils of nuclear weapons and mistreatment of people who are "different." You can read it here.
  • In Mampato , a nuclear war in the 30th century completely destroyed civilization. A thousand years later, all living things on the planet are mutants, plants, animals, and humans, who organize themselves into different tribes according to their mutation. Rena, Mampato's best friend, is a albino telepathic mutant girl.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm: while the Marvel aspects are primarily based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it includes considerable elements of mainstream comics canon, mutants among them, including most of the classic X-Men (in sometimes slightly altered forms), as well as Wanda Maximoff, Peter Wisdom a.k.a. Regulus Black, making him a wizard too and Magneto (referred to for most of the first book as The Dreaded - for good reason). Harry himself is one, via his maternal grandmother, who was the sister of Jean Grey's grandmother, underlining his status as a Heinz Hybrid. That said, it is implied that his mutation and Asgardian abilities will clash in the form of a brain haemorrhage.
    • This is also given as the origin for the ability to use magic, a genetic mutation called 'the M-Gene', which can have considerable variation in how it manifests — i.e. wanded wizards or wandless (though it's hinted that that one is more like being right or left-handed, and most can be trained to use at least a halfway house between the two), stronger or weaker practitioners who, in the latter case, do different things.
    • The Morlocks are also referenced.
  • In Codex Equus, genetic mutations are so prominent they get their own entry, with it being noted throwing magic into things makes things a lot more complex.
    • Dreadmares are rare mutated Boogeymares. Dread was a mutant Dreadmare, dubbed a Dreadmare Emperor, with pony-level intelligence and much stronger than normal.
    • In Changeling cultures, mutants are referred to as 'Deviants', and is often looked on with fear and rejection by the rest of their kind due to how unstable the Changeling genetic structure is. Chrysalis in particular hated them due to her racial supremacist views and had decreed their extermination during her reign. Thorax was one due to his ability to shapeshift into inanimate objects, something he hid from the rest of his hive until his and his hive's Purification. His hive ended up gaining it as well, and his brother Pharynx is also a mutant with his natural combat form.
    • As it turns out, Rainbow Dash is one. She's a Rainbow Pony, a mutant with a genetic mutation that lets her metabolize light into energy and mana, which are know for their super speed. However, even by their standards she's extremely fast, though she is unaware of everything the mutation would allow her to do. Luminiferous is interested in bringing out her potential so she could perform the legendary "Rainbow Warp".
    • Applejack, Fluttershy, and Zecora are also mutants, though of a much less phenomenal degree than Rainbow. They possess the very common "Happy Tail" gene, and thus have Prehensile Tails. Happy Tail mutations are also very common in Equus.
    • Princess Twilight Sparkle is a "So Soft" pony, based on the G1 pony toy line of the same name. Her mutation makes her fur somewhat thicker and much softer than normal, which can provide a natural armor against cold weather and some weaponry.
  • The Institute Saga is a Superman/X-Men: Evolution crossover, so naturally there're mutants. Superman's existence baffles Magneto because Magnus mistakes him for a mutant, but can't understand why Superman's so powerful or has so many different powers.
  • Ma'at: Referencing the central location of its source work, Whateley Universe, the Whateley Academy is mentioned in the first chapter:
    There is a school for mutants, called Whateley Academy, which has the facilities and teachers you'll need.~
    ~I'm a mutant?~
    ~No, but they're the only organization that can be trusted with your training at the moment.
  • Origin Story is set in the Marvel Universe, so yes, there are mutants. The most notable one is Louise Fulford, the main character's Love Interest. Her mutant power, the ability to change her hair color (all her hair, not just the stuff on her head) to any shade or combination of shades she wishes) is less than overwhelming.
    • There is an entire community of homeless, low-powered mutants living under an overpass in Los Angeles. Alex Harris (the story's main character) and Louise take shelter with them for a while, and look after them afterward.
  • In How Trixie (Somehow) Saved Hearth's Warming, it's revealed that [[spoiler:the Big Bad Leidr is a mutant Windigo. The rest of his kind are nonsapient beasts who act purely on instinct, but he's completely sapient and was born that way. This fact is the cause of the heroes reaching out to him after his defeat upon realizing how lonely and painful it was to have the rest of your kind be completely incapable of understanding you.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has "bloodliners", humans with Pokémon-related abilities. They used to be quite rare, but for reasons that have yet to be explained, their numbers have been exploding recently.

  • The film Freaks tells the story of a troupe of sideshow performers with a number of rare disabilities. Most of the acts featured in the movie (and in their sideshow acts) focus on how they function in their day-to-day lives, such as Frances O'Connor eating her dinner with a knife and fork or knitting despite not having arms, Johnny Eck walking without legs, and Prince Randian lighting and smoking a cigarette when he doesn't have limbs at all. The stars of this movie had the same disabilities as their characters, and like their characters, they led pretty contented lives and saw The Freakshow as merely a way to make a living.
  • The giant ants in Them! are an example, oddly enough. The radiation from nuclear testing didn't cause the ants to suddenly become gigantic; it was the offspring of those irradiated ants (along with their increased size, they emerged as adults from their eggs, with no larval or pupal stages in between. Another genetic quirk).
  • The giant octopus from Octopus is similar to the above example. A biological weapon spill resulted in its ancestors being mutated, and several generations later the gigantic beast of the film results.
  • The telepathic mutants in Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
  • Several mutants appear in Total Recall (1990) as deformed inhabitants of Mars. One of the most famous ones is probably the three-breasted prostitute.
  • Grizzly Rage: It's implied the Grizzly was mutated by toxic waste in a river.
  • It's Alive revolves around a mutated baby born with multiple abnormalities, including fangs, claws, and apparently the ability to move about despite being a newborn infant — all of which make it very dangerous when upset, as newborns tend to be immediately after birth. These mutations seem to have been caused by an experimental fertility drug given to the mother, a la thalidomide.

  • In Richard Matheson's short story "Born of Man and Woman", the protagonist is a deformed child born to normal human parents who are disgusted by him and keep him locked in a basement. The end of the story reveals that his deformities are much more extensive then the reader had been led to believe, including multiple limbs, wall-climbing and green blood.
  • Edmond Hamilton's story He That Hath Wings features a mutant born after his mother was hit with electricity (there is a long explanation fitting firmly into the Science Marches On area). The child is born a Winged Humanoid, a rather obvious inspiration to the Angel. Unfortunately, another thing the Angel seems to have inherited is a tendency toward tragic biography.
  • Perry Rhodan used to feature a Mutant Corps (with generally Psychic Powers) especially in the early series, when they were one of Earth's few trump cards against a militarily superior universe. Over time, attrition took its toll (especially when the first-generation immortality phlebotinum became unavailable and the replacement was sharply limited in supply) and various countermeasures were introduced, but the few remaining mutants stayed on as main characters for a long time and occasionally a new one or two would show up. More recently, a wave of mostly teenage mutants appeared that could trace their origin back to mass genetic engineering on a particular colony world during the latest dark age of the galaxy; these were, however, also afflicted with a deliberate genetic flaw that would eventually trigger and kill them, and the eventual cure had the side effect of removing their powers as well.
  • In Super Minion, there's the mutavus virus. For most people, it remains dormant their entire lives, but if someone suffers a mortal wound that doesn't kill them instantly, there's a chance it will activate and modify their body in order to save their life. The frightening, and at times gruesome results, combined with some common misinformation about the nature of mutavus lead to a lot of Fantastic Racism, even though the majority of mutants are no more dangerous or criminally inclined than anyone else.
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • Foundation Series's "The Mule": The reason the Mule's status as a mutant is so plot-significant is that several characters think that this may make him unpredictable by the mathematics of Psychohistory. It's revealed near the climax that his mutation allows him to manipulate the minds and emotions of other characters.note 
    • "Kid Stuff": The elves in this story have a suite of Psychic powers, and the elf antagonist is a mutant who demonstrates their mutation allows them to turn on a bare lightbulb while holding it.
  • The escapism inherent in this trope was subverted as early as 1954, in Alfred Bester's short story "5,271,009." Here, the main character is put in a Lotus-Eater Machine and experiences multiple juvenile fantasies, each of which is explained by "a mysterious mutant strain in his makeup that makes him different." On the other hand, the Espers (telepaths) of The Demolished Man fit the X-Men version very closely, including the idea of classifying them according to different levels of super power.
  • The Vorkosigan Saga actually uses mutants correctly: instead of superpowers, you get horrible deformities! Barrayar became a Lost Colony for a while after the wormhole nexus connecting them to the wider galaxy was disrupted somehow, well before they had a large enough population to avoid problems with inbreeding, and then a neighbouring power with territorial ambitions made matters worse by dropping a bunch of nukes on them. The resulting cultural stigma against any kind of deformity — even non-hereditary ones like a cleft lip, or what happened to Miles in utero — is something they're still along way from moving past for most of the series.
  • Serroi in The Duel of Sorcery Trilogy. In this case, it means that she's tiny, green-skinned, and has what seems to be a pineal eye of sorts and Psychic Powers.
  • Mutants born after a suitcase bomb goes off in New Jersey are the protagonists (and antagonists) of Tom DeHaven's affecting novel Freaks' Amour.
  • The Chrysalids by John Wyndham features a post-apocalyptic society where mutants are a common occurrence. However, seeing as it's a Crapsack World, they're immediately exiled or killed on discovery.
  • Played very darkly in the metatextual post-apocalyptic novel The Iron Dream, where mutants are used as a metaphor for how fascists (specifically, Hitler) view other races than their own.
  • Mindscape: The Vermittlers, the only people who can penetrate the barrier, are not trusted because they are genetically engineered. In the novel, the Vermittlers have a parallel in the Sioux Indian Ghost Dancers; both groups are treated as outcasts and relate to the Barrier by singing to it.
  • In The Infected they're called, well, Infected. Otherwise the trope is played dead straight like the X-Men. Several times people have to reiterate that the Infected aren't contagious or anything, that's just the name that stuck when medical science was trying to decide what to make of them.
  • Worlds of Shadow: Psychics, despite being highly useful, are viewed as mutants whom most people distrust as a result of their powers. However, they're not actually mutants — they're all descended from one woman, so even if she did have some mutation, for the rest it's a hereditary trait.
  • Jeffrey Thomas's noir sci-fi/horror Punktown stories often feature private detective Jeremy Stake, an ex-soldier and mutant who alter his physical feature (including changing his looks to be indistinguishable of a biological female).
  • The female protagonist of Emby Quinn's Southern Gothic urban fantasy Variant is an ordinary person who finds herself caught up in the world of the titular mutations. Pursued by the government, she and her husband flee via the Variant Underground railroad into the secret society of those born with the Variant gene. While this may sound a lot like the X-Men, most Variants have minor physical characteristics or "abilities" that are as much a nuisance as they are of any practical use. Some Variant effects are even debilitating, such as the man whose body is slowly ossifying and turning him into a Living Statue...

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Daleks of Doctor Who. And apparently the Thals, although they seem to have recovered by the start of The Dead Planet. Alydon [speaking of the Daleks] : "If they call us mutations... what must they be like?"
    • The Thals are mutants, too. It's just that their mutations were beneficial, making them healthy and beautiful.
      • The Thals are an interesting subversion. They initially mutated into creatures similar to the Daleks, but where the Daleks "stabilized" and stopped mutating the Thals continued, eventually coming full circle, mutating back into basically their original form.
    • The Third Doctor story entitled The Mutants turns out to be an aversion. The supposedly mutant Solonians are in fact undergoing a natural metamorphosis as part of their life cycle. What's more, the insect-like "mutant" form is merely an intermediate stage, and the final form is a powerful, god-like being.
  • Heroes presents its Stock Super Powers as the product of mutation.
  • The Thematic Rogues Gallery of Power Rangers Time Force.
  • The X-Files regularly featured these as the Monster of the Week, including the liver-eating Eugene Victor Tooms, among numerous others.
  • Sanctuary has Abnormals, which seems to cover mutants and mutates.
  • Played for comedy and mixed with LEGO Genetics in one episode of The Mighty Boosh. We are the mutant race! Don't look at my eyes, don't look at my face!
  • Gwen Raiden from Angel has extremely high voltage, and over the years has discovered interesting uses with her powers. For example, sticking her hand in a laser grid, and taking control of the lasers without setting off the alarm. She stands out as this trope because she lacks demonic heritage or magical training like most powered beings in this universe; she just developed the ability naturally. (Though the source of her power is never really examined and could in fact be supernaturally based. All that's really known is she gets struck by lightning a lot.)
    • There was also a character named Bethany who had telekinesis, but that might be considered a Psychic Power instead. Again, precisely where the power comes from is not explained, but it's only present in people who suffer severe trauma.
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century:
    • In an episode, a group of terrorists trying to blow up an antimatter-fueled power station on Earth includes a mutant henchman with the ability to go de-solid (and thus could make himself immune to attacks at will). Their plot is defeated because the henchman makes a Heel–Face Turn because he will not permit another planet to suffer the same fate as his own world, where everyone not only has powers, but also hideous deformities from the effects of a similar event in the past. (This somewhat misses the point, as most of Earth is populated only by radiation-damaged beings anyway, according to the pilot.)
    • Another episode involves people from a world where everyone, by law, must wear a mask (with a distinctive pattern on it, unique to each individual) and is absolutely prohibited from removing it in the presence of anyone else. One young man, the son of one of the leaders, wants to end this practice. At the end of the episode, he removes his mask and Buck is astonished because he's a handsome, normal-looking human. The subtle horror is revealed when his father and the guards remove their own masks... and reveal that everyone on their planet looks exactly alike.
  • Out of this World (1962): Added to the adaptation of "Impostor", there are mutants living outside of the city dome, frightened of the "normals" who hate them.
  • Power Rangers Time Force: In the year 3000, Mutants are a species of mostly inhuman-looking creatures created from the leftovers of a Designer Babies program. They are hated and feared by humans due to their differences, resulting in several of them turning to crime.



    Tabletop Games 
  • In Paranoia, Mutants tie with Commies and Traitors for the greatest threat to Alpha Complex. In fact, if you are a Mutant, you probably are a Commie Traitor as well. Unfortunately, every Player Character is a mutant. Please report to the nearest Execution Center, citizen.
    • Being a mutant is just grounds for immediate execution. The only exception being if you are a "registered mutant", in which case you just have to wear a bright yellow ribbon at all times, and might as well have "scapegoat" tattooed on your head.
    • Unless you have the Machine Empathy mutation note . This is considered a Very Bad Thing(R). Registered or not, Please stand by, Citizen, A helpful squad of Vulture Troopers are en route, and will be sure to kill you Deader Than Dead in on a short few minutes. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation and have a nice day. Please enjoy a nice Bouncy Bubble Beverage just before your gruesome death.
  • d20 Modern features rules for playing as someone with special mutant abilities.
  • Gamma World had an After the End setting with mutated humans, animals, and plants.
  • Mutant and Mutant Space were Swedish roleplaying games that spawned the Mutant Chronicles universe (despite the name, MC is not about mutants).
    • However, Mutant has been re-released several time afterwards, the latest being Mutant: Year Zero in 2015. It is, after all, Sweden's third or second largest domestic tabletop game. And for any reader who is confused; Mutant is not about mutants, but they sure as h*ll are an important part of it.
  • Mutants & Masterminds uses this as a common 'origin story'.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Mutants are a major problem in the Imperium of Man. Some sages believe that humanity is approaching a new stage of its evolution, but the danger is when mutations result in Psychic Powers, since even a single untrained psyker risks inviting an invasion by the Legions of Hell, and since random mutant births in the populace are a good sign of Chaos corruption. Most worlds have mutant populations that are at best treated as highly-disposable slave labor or Cannon Fodder, or at worst are burned at the stake as perversions of the divine human form. However, some strains of mutants, mostly ones arising from natural causes (natural selection, chemical mutagens, radiation, etc.) rather than from the taint of Chaos, have stabilized into subraces the Imperium tolerates as "abhumans," most notably Ogryns and Ratlings, who serve specialized roles in the Imperial Guard, and the psychic Navigator caste that is required for Warp travel.
    • The always-evolving Tyranids have mutants as well. Old One Eye was a particularly tough Carnifex defrosted decades after the rest of its Hive Fleet was defeated, and its regenerative abilities have been seen in modern Carnifexes, suggesting that its mutation was approved and adopted by later Hive Fleets. The Genestealers of Ymgarl, on the other hand, are thought to be the remnant of a pre-Imperium invasion force, and though they've fought alongside later Hive Fleets, the Hive Mind seems to be leery of absorbing their genetic material — these 'stealers are so unstable that they will mutate during combat. Their absence in the latest Tyranid codex suggests that the Hive Mind wrote them off as a failure.
  • Mutants in Warhammer are usually killed at birth or killed later by the Witch Hunters, but those that do survive tend to retreat to the dark corners of the Old World and band together with similar misshapen outcasts. The Beastmen are one such society, a successful "breed" of mutant that resembles a savage, bloodthirsty satyr.
  • In the latest edition of Mutant Chronicles, there are now finally mutants. The mutants are humans with genes implanted in them from prehistoric times by a Benevolent Precursors race that faced and lost against the Dark Symmetry. In the future, with the return of the Dark Symmetry, mutants are emerging to join the fight.
  • There's mutants in Exalted too. Mutants come in two main flavors, the bioengineered people created by the Solars in the First Age and the humans and creatures exposed to the Wyld at the edge of the world. The first are somewhat rational, physically predictable and still human in their way of thinking, the second... can vary widely in sanity and form.
    • Oh, and there are people whose bodies are twisted by power places like demesnes or the fact they have inhuman ancestry from gods, demons and other creatures...
  • In Vampire: The Requiem Bloodlines are a form of mutation. Upon reaching a certain level of power, Vampires can fundamentally alter their blood to become a new Bloodline (A subspecies of Vampire)... but the only real catalyst for this is a large expenditure of willpower and the sufficiently potent blood. More then a few Bloodlines have emerged accidentally, or has the result of the Founder surviving a nasty curse.

    Video Games 
  • City of Heroes has mutation as one of the stock superpower origins.
  • The Sai, the descendants of the humans in Stormrise have mutated in order to adapt to the extreme conditions after a experiment to change the climate of earth by mankind went horribly wrong, resulting in the mother of all storms and turning most the earth uninhabitable.
  • One of the supernatural creatures in White Noise 2, Morgul, is a giant mutant.
  • In Nasuverse, a lot of characters get their powers by being born mutants. In one of the side stories it is said that while such a person can turn the side of a battle, they typically don't survive said battle. And keeping these mutations in the next generation is a difficult task. A few families of the Demon Hunter Association managed to overcome these problems, especially Nanaya and Ryogi. Their powers were not particularly impressive, but they compensated this by being Badass Families.
  • In Killzone the Helghast have evolved to suit the environment of their adopted homeworld, to the point that they require specialized breathing apparatus to visit other worlds. Complete with evil red eyes.
  • In the Final Fantasy Legend trilogy, mutants ("espers" in Japanese) are one of the playable races. In the first and second games they randomly gain or lose traits after battles.
  • In UFO Aftershock, there are two races, the Cyborgs and the Psionics, who are humans who were born with special abilities due to a genetic mutation caused by the Biomass. The Cyborgs' mutation allowed them to graft robotic implants onto themselves easily, while the Psionics developed Psychic Powers.
  • Mewtwo from Pokémon is a genetically altered Mew.
  • In Sacrifice, there's a tribe of humanoids that are afflicted with a genetically inherited cancerous disease. The goddess Persephone has taken pity on this mutant tribe and while they aren't cured of it, they have been given resistance to the pain it causes, in return the mutants act as Persephone's artillery by ripping out tumours from their bodies and throw them at enemies from long range.
  • Miscreated is set in a world where, after The Final War, a genetic plague caused much of the populace and wildlife to mutate.
  • Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a Strategy RPG based on the tabletop of the same name, the playable characters are mutants based on a mix of human and animal genes stalking the post-apocalyptic wilderness and discovering their origins.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Mutants in the X-Men style are the basis of the Whateley Universe. Some tiny fraction of the people who have the 'meta-gene complex' manifest as mutants, typically around age 14. Most of them — good, bad, or indifferent — go to Whateley Academy to learn how to use their powers and not get murdered by lynch mobs of baselines.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-654 ("Thunderhorn") is a narwhal that can fire a lightning bolt from its horn; the lightning bolt ability is noted as being a mutation.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama features a society of downtrodden mutants with amusingly altered physical states (a girl with a pig nose and gills, a man with a third arm instead of an ear) forced to live in the sewers of New New York. None of them have superpowers, though (well, not from their mutations, anyway). Their similarity to Rubber-Forehead Aliens is why Leela was able to pass for a functioning member of society until The Reveal.
  • The villains in Thundercats1985 are call the Mutants and are anthropomorphic non-feline animals at the service of Big Bad Mumm-Ra.
  • Fred the Mutant in Biker Mice from Mars is one of Big Bad Limburger's minions and is a deformed Quasimodo-like creature with three pink eyes with black irises, a bushy tail, and a tentacle instead of a right arm.

    Real Life 
  • The preponderance of evidence suggests that Britain's Queen Victoria was a genuine mutant. Many of her descendants inherited the allele for hemophilia from her, yet neither of her parents' bloodlines carry this trait, indicating that a random genetic mutation made her a carrier for this disorder... although that assumes that all of her official ancestors were her actual ancestors. Because she was an only child, it's also possible that her mother was the mutant, and she only inherited it, making them both carriers. (Because her mother had brothers, it's improbable that it went back any farther.)
  • There are people who actually play this straighter to the comic version, with seeming superhuman abilities stemming from a genetic mutation, or are believed to. Certain people's bodies are naturally resistant to electricity to the point grabbing a live wire does nothing to them, and they can even redirect it. This article lists several people with near superhuman capabilities that most likely stem from simply being born with unique traits others lack (not all count, though).
  • Ozzy Osbourne was born with a genetic mutation that enables his body to better metabolize narcotics than an average human. Geneticists at Cambridge University discovered this when they mapped his genome to determine how he managed to survive so long.

Examples of Mutates

    Anime and Manga 
  • The Zoanoids from the Guyver franchise.
  • No human examples, but in the Acid Tokyo storyline of Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, they spend a fair portion of their time fighting hideous, deformed monsters whom the survivors identify as 'mutants.' How having the world destroyed by acid raid resulted in animals mutating into three-headed spitting snakes or carnivorous earthworms the size of semis is never really explained.
  • Anyone that has ever eaten a Devil Fruit in One Piece. Unfortunately, they're no longer able to swim.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man originally got his powers when the bite of a radioactive/genetically-altered spider altered his genes. As it does.
    • Spider-Man's rogues gallery is full of these: Dr. Connors tried to use a serum to give himself the regeneration ability of reptiles to regain his missing arm, turning himself into the Lizard. Morbius combined himself with the DNA of a vampire bat which turned him into a living pseudo-vampire. Black Cat was injected with Super Serum. The combination of exposure to underwater gases, radiation and seawater turned Morris Bench into Hydro-Man. Miles Warren injected himself with several experimental serums to make himself stronger and faster, becoming the Jackal. William Baker was at the beach when the military dropped a nuclear bomb there and became the Sandman. MacDonald Gargan was experimented on with radiation and genetic transfusions and took on the name Scorpion.
    • Untold Tales of Spider-Man featured Batwing, who was originally a prepubescent boy. When he got lost in the Carlsbad Caverns and drank water polluted from illegal chemical dumping, he turned into a giant flying bat-creature.
  • Incredible Hulk got mutated to his green self by a hefty dose of gamma radiation. He can switch it on and off...
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, despite their name, are actually mutates instead of mutants, having been born normal turtles before being turned into Teenage Mutant Samurai Wombats by a mysterious substance known either as Ooze or Mutagen (in reality industrial waste created by the alien Utroms in the comics and most later incarnations, and Krang in the first cartoon). The same goes for virtually their entire supporting cast, most notably their adoptive father Splinter, and sometimes-foe Leatherhead.
  • Strontium Dog has mutants all over the place due to strontium-90 fallout in the aftermath of a nuclear war. However, since this isn't America, only a tiny fraction of the mutates actually get powers — most are just disfigured.
  • Likewise for Judge Dredd; both strips have mostly been written by John Wagner and Alan Grant for years.
  • The Fantastic Four received their powers as a result of exposure to space-radiation.
    • One Superman story, very likely as a Take That! against Marvel, featured a group of 4 people who got exposed to space-radiation. They mutated and got super powers alright. All of them ended up becoming unbalanced and eventually committed suicide (aside from their leader who became the villainous Cyborg Superman) because radiation is dangerous.
  • Milestone Comics' Static, probably better known in his animated form.
  • Daredevil's childhood accident with radioactive/chemical/whatever waste blinded him, but also helped to enhance his senses beyond what would be possible for a non-mutate blind person.
  • Despite Sin City being more realistic than most comic series, The Yellow Bastard could still very easily be considered a mutate. He underwent gene therapy in order to reattach his lost body parts and repair his damaged brain, turning into a yellow freak in the process. It's heavily implied that his yellow color and trademark stench is due to organ damage caused by the process, leading to his body filling with bile as it basically rots while he's still alive.
  • Zig-zagged in the DCU. While there are some straight-up mutates, many super heroes (and villains) were later retconned to have something called a "Metagene", which grants super powers under a moment of intense psychological stress.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Pony POV Series, there are several examples.
    • The apocalypse (the magical equivalent of a nuclear holocaust) that ended the Golden Age mutated several beings into monsters, some of which became complete species. The Griffins and sapient livestock are positive examples, as they were mutated in such a way as to become sapient. After Apple Bloom's Cosmic Retcon, the myth that Sweetheart had Healing Hands is made reality, being the result of her being mutated by the blast.
    • It turns out this is the origin of the Sirens. They were originally a trio of Sea Ponies who had a magic spell that allowed them to transform into Flutterponies. Then the aforementioned apocalypse happened, mutating them into their Sea Monster forms and making them extremely powerful and dangerous. One of their siblings wasn't so lucky and didn't survive the mutation.
    • Lord Tirek was originally a normal centaur before absorbing an unholy amount of magic from Pandora's Box mutated him into his current form.
  • In The Despair Kids, Kyoji Nakamura performed gene therapy on himself in order to help combat the despairs. This gave him multiple redundant organs, enhanced vision, greater durability, a Blade Below the Shoulder, Wall Crawl, and a few others he's kept secret.

  • The Toxic Avenger: 90-pound weakling Melvin falls into a barrel of radioactive waste during a cruel prank, and mutates into the hideously disfigured, but hulking, superhumanly strong Toxic Avenger.
  • Godzilla, Rodan, King Ghidorah (The 90s version at least), Biollante, or nearly every single giant monster applies here.
  • The apocalyptic film Prophecies of Nostradamus / The Last Days of Planet Earth featured several mutates (and a few Mutants as well) of varying stripes. One of the most frightening was a group of irradiated humans who became arboreal cannibals covered with cancerous sores.
  • The film The Alligator People has... well, a man whose genes got mixed with an alligator due to radiation.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Alex Mack, the title heroine and protagonist from The Secret World of Alex Mack, is a mutant who got her powers from exposure to the Applied Phlebotinum GC-161.
  • The titular mutants (or mutts) from the Doctor Who episode ''The Mutants''. In this case, the mutations turn out to be universal, and the effect of the planet in question moving into Summer.
    • The Kaleds, even those who are opposed to the creation of the Daleks, also have a strict idea of racial purity. In Genesis of the Daleks they are shown to abandon 'mutos', who have disabilities or don't look good enough, on the hostile planet surface. And those mutos were most likely created by Davros's experiments.
  • Although many of the characters are mutants, many characters of Heroes get their powers from being injected with a gene-altering formula.
  • Mutant X, despite the name, is mostly about people modified after birth. There is one who was modified either before or immediately after his birth... he didn't grow up so well. Some mutants also have children, who naturally fit the first part.
  • Space: 1999. In " Mission Of The Darians", our heroes investigate a Generation Ship whose crew have split into warring factions after a radiation accident. There are mutants, who look like mute dwarfs, and a primitive tribe that hunts them down and executes them, including a hapless Red Shirt from Moonbase Alpha who just happens to have a missing fingertip.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Empire in Warhammer responds to mutations in much the same way as the Imperium in 40k. The Norscans, in contrast, view a sudden mutation as a sign of the gods' favor, and such individuals will usually rise to prominence in a tribe. It's a fine line even for them, though — people who accumulate too many mutations too quickly run a real risk of being overwhelmed by them and degenerating into mindless, gibbering Chaos Spawn.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • If the Imperium is intolerant when it comes to natural mutation, it's positively flamer-happy when it comes to mutates, which are (often correctly) seen as the result of the corrupting influence of Chaos. It is therefore renegades and Chaos worshipers who survive to appreciate the "gifts" of the Dark Gods — or not. Some Chaos sorcerers actually weaponize this, and use their psychic powers to grant allies additional abilities, or turn an enemy character into a mewling pile of flesh.
    • Even some loyalist Space Marine chapters fall prey to this, when quirks in their gene-seed cause initiates to develop unconventional traits. The Black Dragons for instance have a tendency to grow bony talons from their forearms, which they plate with adamantium and use in close combat, while the Blood Angels and their successors are cursed with a Flaw that can drive them to spontaneously fall into an Unstoppable Rage they call the Red Thirst, or hallucinate the Genetic Memory of their Primarch's death, which they call the Black Rage. These are only barely tolerated by the Imperium, which requires that chapters regularly send tithes of gene-seed for screening and monitoring to try and prevent future occurrences.
    • The Soul Drinkers stand out being tainted by Chaos, mutating, and being declared traitors and heretics, yet still opposing Chaos and purifying their gene-seed for the next generation of recruits. Of course, those already affected can't change back — and many don't want to, given the usefulness of their mutations.
    • In a downplayed example, the Tyranids use this in the first stage of their invasion process, or "Tyranoforming." They seed a target world with spores that cause the local flora to mutate and grow out of control, to make it easier to consume the planet's biomass.
  • Warhammer 40,000 spin-off Necromunda has an entire gang faction of these in House Goliath. These muscle-heads undergo intergenerational heavy use of gene-altering muscle enhancements to create an almost subspecies of humans, with many members of House Goliath being bigger than most Space Marines. The most extreme case are the Goliath Berserkers who are mutated to the point of being as strong as a Greater Daemon or Dreadnought and often sprouting razor-sharp bonespurs
  • Similar to the effects of Chaos, there's the evil supernatural force of the Dark Symmetry in Mutant Chronicles which can corrupt normal humans into twisted monsters of the Dark Legion. Also in this future setting, Earth has been abandoned for colonies on the other planets of our solar system and now referred to as Dark Eden. Dark Eden does have remnant human and animal populations, with many having undergone mutations from the environment, such as the Templar faction.
  • Wyld mutants in Exalted. The Wyld is pure chaos and change. Over-exposure to it — or, in many cases, any exposure to it — can cause both the flesh and mind to warp in bizarre ways, and after a certain amount of mutation, often the former person can no longer live outside of the Wyld.
  • In Rocket Age the Martian city Y'Therthl engages in rituals based around their ancient genetic engineering machines at the birth of every child. A few come out of it worst off than when they went in.
  • Pathfinder:
    • The game has two different mutant templates that can be applied to a creature's stats. The Mutant template represents mutation from unusual circumstances, particularly the alien fluids of Numeria, and gives creatures some additional abilities as well as a deformity and an immunity to radiation. The Mana Wastes Mutant is for creatures specifically mutated by the Mana Wastes of Garund, gaining multiple abilities at the cost of a random deformity and any spell-like abilities the creature had.
    • Jotund trolls are thought to arise when regular trolls are exposed to intense mutagenic influences, a theory supported by the fact that most of their kind live in either the magically twisted Mana Wastes and the irradiated badlands of Numeria, both areas home to large populations of mutated creatures. They are given the "mutant" trait in 2E to reflect this.
    • Xulgaths — pale-scaled Lizard Folk that live Beneath the Earth — are prone to a variety of dramatic mutations due to their long exposure to the intense radiation of the Black Desert, an immense underground cavern lined with radioactive minerals, which has permanently warped their physiology and genetics.
      • Their naturally occurring mutations include bilebearers, xulgaths with bulging throat sacs that produce a sticky, toxic slime that they can spit in directed globs or as a fine mist; gutragers, a more developed offshoot of bilebearers with acidic spit, extendable esophagi and the ability to explode; bloodleakers born with scaleless, easily ruptured hides, usually kept as blood donors or living blood banks for religious rituals; goreguts with distended bellies and ravenous appetites; twinskulls, conjoined twins considered blessed by the xulgaths' demonic god; spinesnappers, hulking colossi used as shock troops and combat champions;
      • In addition to this considerable inborn variation, magical and alchemical tampering and can create much more dramatic mutations. These include stonelieges, xulgaths alchemically or magically infused with the essence of elemental earth, granting them increased strength, resilience and longevity alongside the ability to magically shape stone; and slaugraks, freakish, bestial mutants born from clutches tainted by the Abyss.

    Video Games 
  • BioShock: The splicers were originally ordinary people who purchased injectible upgrades for their DNA when ADAM arrived on the market, gaining good looks, intelligence, even super powers... right before the side-effects of frivolous ADAM-usage started cropping up.
  • City of Heroes lists this power origin as "Science", as in the character got their powers in a scientific accident.
  • The Forgotten in Command & Conquer are the result of the Brotherhood of NOD's human experiments with Tiberium, and each faction views them differently: the Brotherhood outright loathes the mutants, the shiners are nothing more than a convenient ally for GDI, and The Forgotten view themselves "a people of honor". Naturally, they always get shafted.
  • In Evolve, this is the fate of anyone exposed to the genetic material of the monsters. This can occur either through deliberate exposure, as in the case of Kala, or by being trapped in an area they've begun to terraform.
  • Fallout:
    • Two major in-game races, the Ghouls and the Super Mutants, are the result of a combination of radiation fallout and the Forced Evolutionary Virus, a pre-war biological weapon that was designed to create disposable super soldiers. When the war happened, some containment vessels burst and were exposed to radiation, creating an air-borne version of the virus that turns anyone exposed to it alongside a massive dose of radiation into a Ghoul, a person who looks just like a zombie even though they're still alive. They also gain immunity from radiation which instead heals them, AND makes them biologically immortal, but has the drawback of running the risk of turning Feral, a state when their brains decay from radiation exposure, turning them into mindless cannibals, like a traditional zombie, and making them sterile as well. The Super Mutants on the other hand are the result of direct, untainted exposure to the FEV, which turns humans into hulking, ogre-like monsters with Super Strength, biological immortality and superhuman toughness. Unfortunately, it also tends to lower their intelligence, and renders the mutate completely sterile.
    • The Master, the main villain of the first game, is also a mutate, a former scientist who fell into a vat of FEV and was left to soak in it rather than mutating through brief exposure. The result was a massive Body Horror abomination of liquid flesh with incredible psychic powers and Voice of the Legion whose living flesh covers the bottom part of his base.
    • There are also some humans with minor mutations amongst the human populace. The Slags in Fallout 2 are a group of humans who took shelter in subterranean caves and when they returned to the surface, they found out that their bodies couldn't handle living on the outside. Your own character can get a sixth mutated toe by stepping on the radiated goo in the Toxic Caves without protective boots, but you can pay a doctor to amputate it. A man in Gecko was scorned in Vault City and eventually exiled himself because of the way he was mistreated for being very radiation resistant. In Fallout Tactics, one of the enemy groups you fight against is the group of tribals called "The Beastlords", who were mutated by radiation near the caverns where they lived and gained the ability to mind-control most animals near them, except humans and deathclaws.
    • In Fallout 3, your Player Character can be bestowed a variety of mutations as you level up, ranging from simple radiation resistance, to having a Healing Factor while suffering radiation poisoning to being able to heal yourself via cannibalism. The last such feat that can be taken causes the PC to VIOLENTLY EXPLODE when s/he hits critical health, without actually hurting herself.
    • Towards the end of Fallout 3, it is heavily implied that everyone in the District of Columbia, with the exception of Enclave personnel, has been mutated from radiation—but most of the mutations are so minor as to be unnoticeable. This theme was already present in Fallout 2, where it's outright stated that everybody in the world apart from the Enclave and the Vault dwellers has gotten various minor mutations due to the persistent background radiation. To the Enclave, who had just been terrified from discovering the ghouls and the super mutants, this was strong grounds for planet-wide genocide.
  • Giant Bear Rampage has you controlling a bear mutated into a giant monster after being exposed to toxic waste.
  • Just like the stories of Michael Moorcock, in Master of Magic, sorcery of the Chaos realm can induce a permanent mutation on a unit (one out of 3 possible mutations, including breathing fire), changing it from it from its original race type to becoming a creature of Chaos. The two spells that does this are Chaos Channels and Doom Mastery.
  • In Master of Orion II, there's a tech called Evolutionary Mutation, which, as the name says, allows a one-time change to statistics of the race that discovers it.
  • Most of the playable characters in Nuclear Throne are mutates. The exceptions are Rogue (unmutated human), Robot (robot), Horror (living radiation being), and Y.V. (Venuzian God). They also become mutates as the game goes on, since leveling up involves collecting enough radiation to trigger a mutation.
  • In Septerra Core, the inhabitants of Shell 7 were mutated by the emissions of the Core, and are now a separate species known as Underlost. They look like xenomorphs with hard exoskeletons. Despite their fearsome appearance, they aren't crazy or evil.
  • The Zerg in Starcraft mutate captured samples of enemy races to assimilate them into The Swarm. Most notable in the game is their assimilation and alteration of future Big Bad Sarah Kerrigan.
  • The OD of Sunset Overdrive were also transformed by consuming the soft drink Overcharge. OD are addicted to Overcharge and are extremely violent, attacking any human or robot in close proximity.
  • With Chaos and Skaven in Total War: Warhammer, you have units like Chaos Spawn and Hellpit Abominations that come from creatures mutated by supernatural forces. The Beastmen like the Skaven were originally natural creatures that got warped into their present state, but then breeding true.
  • In Digital Dreams's Mutant Football League a spiritual successor to Mutant League games by Electronic Arts, the teams include orcs, demons, aliens, robots and etc. The mutant part of the league are from players of the Mutated Humans race who got their mutations from environmental exposure.
  • The Stalkers, mutated animal protagonists of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, got that way because they're manufactured Super Soldier flunkies of the Ark.
  • Studio Nanafushi's Dead or School has a post-apocalyptic Japan where people have been mutated by an unknown virus into zombie-like mooks and huge monstrosities. So many were created, that the mutants would drive the remaining humans deep underground for 78 years. The virus didn't just infect humans, animals and plants were also affected - this ranged from the harmless such as edible fish sprouting legs and vegetables developing eyes to far more dangerous creatures such as venom-spitting plants and Giant Spiders of various sizes and abilities.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Psionics in The Descendants are a corner case. While they're born for the most part in the present, it's stated that these mutations were kicked off generations ago by WWII era experiments.
  • Worm has the Case 53s, people used as test subjects for Cauldron who have large physical changes to go along with their powers.
  • Enter The Farside: Some Fargraced are born or emerge from the Farside with physical deformities. Jolly's gang, the Manc Freakshow, are entirely made up of Mutants. Jolly is a 9 foot tall hulk with green skin and mossy hair. Triclops has three large, black eyes that can operate independantly. Ooze's body liquids are replaced by an inky substance. Squeeks looks like a man/rat hybrid, and Aberrant is neckless with four arms that join at his elbows.
  • In The Onion article "New OSHA Regulations To Cut Down On Workplace Mutations", laws are proposed specifically to prevent people from spontaneously mutating due to workplace accidents in bioengineering facilities, pharmaceutical development, hazardous waste processing plants, nuclear power plants, or particle accelerators causing them to develop antennae, compound eyes, mouths on their hands, the heads of venus flytraps, or similar drastic mutations.
  • SCP Foundation
    • SCP-065 ("Destroyed Organic Catalyst"). Any animals within 12 meters of the center of SCP-065 suffer rapid harmful mutations. The larger the animal is, the faster the mutations occur.
    • SCP-783 ("Baba Yaga's Cottage"). Any animal that enters the Cottage undergoes massive mutations which usually give enhanced combat abilities.
    • SCP-1575 ("Venus Statue"). Any water that passes through SCP-1575 gains mutagenic properties. Any animal that drinks the water will undergo mutation into a human being.
    • SCP-1888 ("Terraforming Temple"). When animals or plants are exposed to the substance SCP-1888-2 they physically mutate, with their bodies developing means of effective attacks (claws, poisoned thorns, etc.).
    • SCP-2756 ("Surreal Landscaper"). SCP-2756 is an anomalous disease of unknown origin that mutates living creatures, causing extra organs to grow on random parts of their bodies.
  • Fen Quest has the land of Erja Nokol, which in addition to having a mutant population is also home to highly mutagenic tar pools that cause even more drastic changes (turning "mutants" into "abominations", as per local terminology) if one ends up submerged in them. Yet some of the unluckiest mutants will willingly take a dip in tar, playing a second round of Superpower Russian Roulette on the off chance that the new mutations may improve their lot in life. That's what happened to Tomato: He became a quadruped (without gaining additional arms, which means he doesn't have hands) with a hide covered in poisonous barbs and can't talk without great pain, and as Cheese explains, that was a step up from what he used to be.

    Western Animation 
  • The Toxic Crusaders, a kiddiefied version of the very not-family-friendly The Toxic Avenger franchise.
  • Mutant League, loosely based on the videogames, posits a common origin for all the mutants; a huge toxic spill/explosion under the world's largest stadium on game day.
  • Defenders of Dynatron City.
  • Parodied in a What If? episode of Family Guy where the Griffins get super powers from radioactive waste. When Mayor West tries to replicate the results, he just gets leukemia.
  • In Kim Possible Dark Action Girl Shego and her brothers received their superpowers by being in the proximity of a meteor impact.
  • In Book 2 of The Legend of Korra, it's shown that first Avatar was a form of mutate. When a spirit possesses a person, the possessed's morphology and anatomy radically changes in accordance to the spirit; in Wan's case, these alterations were internal and perhaps more metaphysical in nature, since he fused with Raava, the light spirit. After their permanent bonding in the Harmonic Convergence, they became united as one, and as such the Avatar has ever since been a human altered by Raava's essence.
  • Duke Nuke, one of the villains in Captain Planet and the Planeteers becomes a mutant after exposure to radioactive nuclear waste.
  • Played for Laughs in Dilbert when Dilbert's workplace has become so toxic from its decaying water system, air vents and the horrible air quality that the workers begin to suffer from random, hideous mutations, Dilbert being one of the few not affected. The mutations range from growing an extra limb or an enlarged eye but otherwise still look human, to hilariously monstrous like Wally who became a giant fly with a human head. All the mutations are reversed at the end of the episode when the workers just end up getting immune to the toxic environment and revert to their original bodies.
  • Happens to Dakota in Total Drama Revenge of the Island, as a result of staying too long in the radioactive mine. She becomes extremely tall with green spiked hair and orange skin, and can only speak in broken English.

Alternative Title(s): Mutant


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