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Split-Personality Makeover

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When dealing with a character that has a Split Personality, there will frequently be a striking visual difference depending on who is "in control." It's not a literal transformation, like the original Jekyll and Hyde; it's still recognizably the same person, but the differences will be visible. This may include anything from subtle stylistic changes (the character's design becomes more hard and angular when an evil or aggressive personality is in control, but softer and more rounded when a kind and good personality is in control) to more physical things like changes in hairstyle and black bags under the eyes. A significant vocal shift is common as well.

Some of these changes are perfectly possible to do without physically altering the person's body, like the personalities having hair that's styled differently (or one of them not styling it at all and another styling it neatly) but the same length, or changes in body language and posture, or talking differently without completely changing voice actors, but others are firmly in the realm of Artistic License.

These changes may or may not be noticed in-universe; if they are, expect them to treat the change as something intangible. They'll comment "he's like someone completely different now!" or "that's not the person I know!" rather than "hey, when did you get your hair cut?" or "did your voice just drop two octaves?".


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh! is one of the most prominent examples; when his "playing card games" personality takes over, his hairstyle changes, his eyes switch from Tareme Eyes to Tsurime Eyes, his voice deepens significantly, and he's drawn to appear taller and more imposing. (The height change only happens in the anime, though.) Happens with Bakura and Marik too.
  • Allelujah Haptism from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is a more subtle example; which personality is in control depends on which of his differently-colored eyes is hidden by his bangs. Unusually for this trope, he's actually seen shifting his hair around in-universe when he changes personalities, rather than it happening automatically as a stylistic change.
  • Played for Laughs with Tatsuya Yuuki of Gundam Build Fighters: he flips his hair up in the same manner as the aforementioned Allelujah, to engage his "Gunpla Battler" side. He later uses the said hairstyle (coupled with Cool Shades) to identify himself as Meijin Kawaguchi III.
  • Jamie from Zoids: New Century gains swept-back hair and a bold, deep voice when he becomes the Wild Eagle during air combat.
  • You can tell whether Agito or Akito is in control in Air Gear depending on which eye their eye patch is on. They also have differently shaped pupils, and in the anime, drastically different voices. The third personality, Lind, takes it a step farther; he has a totally different hairstyle and cross-shaped pupils.
  • In Psyren, Abyss has darker skin than Sakurako.
  • Motoko, the female protagonist of Change 123. (Just look at the picture on the linked page!)
  • Lucy, the main character in Elfen Lied, has rounder eyes and a softer, childlike expression as her second personality Nyu.
  • Razlo and Livio from Trigun Maximum have a system with fairly reasonable in-universe mechanics. When Livio's running things, he has his long hair flipped over on side of his face. When Razlo takes over, he flips it to the other side and we discover that the previously covered side of his head is bald with weird computer-chip tattoos and a wild eye.
  • The manga Historie, a biography of one of Alexander the Great's secretaries, starts weird, and when Alexander finally appears gets weirder. Apparently Alexander is a rather sweet little prince who developed a split personality upon walking in on his mother having an affair with a slave. That split personality is (Alexander's real-life best friend) Hephaestian, who is kind of a dick and whose presence is signified by a fixed stare and covering up Alexander's snake-shaped forehead birthmark with his mother's makeup.
  • Lady Une in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing has a split personality (which Treize claims is his fault), and the Colonel and the Diplomat can be distinguished easily by the former having her hair up and wearing glasses, and the latter wearing it down and taking the glasses off, as well as changes in facial expression and posture.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Sensui has seven personalities. We meet three, and the visible difference is as impressive as it is subtle, having as much to do with mannerisms and speech patterns as it does visual cues.
  • Saint Seiya: Gemini Saga has two personalities; when "Good Saga" is in control, he has blue hair and calm blue eyes. When "Evil Saga" is in control, he has gray hair and white eyes with bloodshot sclerae.
  • Played straight with Zwei's two personalities Echo & Noise, from PandoraHearts. It even came as a shock to the main cast when they were revealed as being one and the same person. While Echo has dead eyes, free-flowing hair, dresses in uniform, has a calm/stale posture, and a voice that is generally gentle/weak, though devoid of emotion. When turning into Noise her eyes go wild with ecstasy, she braids her hair with an ornament, strips of all clothing (dressing up in a nightgown and blood-red cape), moves as if she was the star of a play and shouts/screams her words.
  • There is no actual split personality involved, but Molossia from Hetalia: Axis Powers changes from his real Nice Guy personality to a Delinquent façade in seconds by changing his hairstyle and putting on a jacket and sunglasses when anyone but America enters his territory.
  • Today's Cerberus: Cerberus' appearance will change depending on which personality is in control. The innocent Kuro has black pigtails, the hot-blooded Shirogane has long white hair, while the stoic Roze has pink hair and a mask over her face.
  • Sket Dance: Enigma inverts this, as his personality changes when he does a "makeover" — he's usually a soft-spoken Shrinking Violet but becomes a boisterous Large Ham whenever he wears a mask.
  • Launch in Dragon Ball has a sweet, caring personality and a violent, aggressive but ultimately goodhearted personality that switch dominance when she sneezes. The sweet Launch is blue-haired, while aggressive Launch is blonde and has a Hammerspace machine gun.
  • Cavendish from One Piece is an incredibly handsome man who transforms into an extremely quick, brutal murderer named Hakuba, who sports one hell of a Slasher Smile and Blank White Eyes. He also goes into a combination of both faces in what Bartolomeo calls a "Half N' Half" when Hakuba attempts a Split-Personality Takeover.
  • Downplayed in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, as all the changes in appearance when the various aspects of Kaguya's personality come to the forefront are outright stated to be artistic license barring when Kaguya (Ice) removes her hair ribbon. This even gets played for laughs in chapter 141 when Kaguya (Moron) takes control. To the audience, she appears to be Super-Deformed, but when shown from the perspective of the other characters we see that she looks the same as always (if somewhat drowsy due to a lack of sleep).
  • The two main human villains of the first season of Bakugan, Masquerade and Hal-G, are alternate personalities of two humans that were changed by massive exposure to negative energy. Hal-G gains green skin when he is in control and also changes his eyes, hair, voice, and clothing, but is still recognizable. It also turns out he is capable of taking control of his body while only changing his eyes (which he keeps closed) to fool people into thinking his good side is in control. Masquarade, however, is completely unrecognizable from his good side not only because he is always wearing a visor in addition changing his hair, voice, and clothing, but also because he is a different gender than his good side.
  • Sakura no Ichiban!: One feature that distinguishes Keiji from Tsukiko besides gender is that Keiji's hair is messier. He also lacks Tsukiko's signature hair ties and sidetails.
  • Ayakashi Triangle: When Suzu's body is taken over by her original personality, her hair grows long, temporarily reversing the Important Haircut that marked the personalities splitting apart.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman: Some of the artists who have drawn the Man of Steel, like Frank Quitely and Ed McGuiness, have made a point of giving Clark and Superman slightly different appearances to help explain why so few people make the connection between the two of them. Quitely's version of Clark, for instance, has a noticeably hunched posture and badly combed hair (whereas his Superman has the usual spit curl). McGuiness' Superman has a perpetual squint, while Clark's blue eyes are usually visible. A 1978 story emphasized that people didn't guess Clark = Superman because he moved and held himself very differently and was even using a bit of super-hypnosis (enhanced by his glasses, which are made from Kryptonian glass from his old rocket) without realizing it, to project an impression of Clark as being smaller and slimmer.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Buddy Love in the original version of The Nutty Professor.
  • Gollum from The Lord of the Rings qualifies - not only does his voice change, but his appearance is also subtly different.
  • Spider-Man: Willem Defoe does a masterful job of this playing Norman Osborne/Green Goblin. Using only facial expression, vocal changes, and body language, he becomes a completely different and nightmarish character.
  • Supergirl (1984): Helen Slater gives Kara's secret identity Linda Lee a few subtle differences in behaviour and speaking, to distinguish her from Supergirl. The fact that she has dark brown hair while Supergirl has long blonde helps too.
  • In Split, Denis wears glasses, jeans, and a shirt; Patricia wears a blouse, long skirt, heels, and occasionally a shawl; Hedwig wears a tracksuit and runners; and Barry dresses in a bohemian chic style. Denis also dresses as Barry when trying to deceive Dr. Fletcher. The beast wears Denis' jeans and nothing else.

  • Thendy Bravura (also known as another dozen names) in Felsic Current incurs very visible personality changes. Often, others can tell he's just "done it again" merely by witnessing his facials features melt into a completely different countenance before he even speaks. Their mounting exasperation to these frequent incidences is usually the source of comedy.
  • The dark Cinderella adaptation Sunny Ella plays with this, as Ella sees the world (and herself) one way but the reality of the situation is much different. Ella sees herself as a beautiful fairy tale heroine with a lovely singing voice and a sunny disposition; in reality, she is mute, scarred, unkempt, and has violent tendencies.
  • In Carpe Jugulum, Nanny Ogg can tell the difference between Agnes and Perdita because Perdita's face is sharper.
  • Justified in The Stormlight Archive. Shallan and her two other personalities, Veil and Radiant, look different from each other because Shallan uses Lightweaving whenever they switch. Veil looks drastically different from the other two because she was originally a disguise persona who took on her own life, and Radiant looks like a stronger, taller Shallan because Shallan needed a warrior.

    Live-Action TV 
  • They comment on this extensively in the miniseries Jekyll. Hyde is slightly taller and thinner than Jackman, he has a slightly different hairline and jaw shape, and his eyes are jet black. Of course, it's the same actor plus platform shoes and different tailoring/shooting angles, but the effect is subtle and present, and many viewers who may not even notice the prosthetic changes at the start of the series will immediately be able to identify which one of them is in control by the end, even without the vastly different body language and behaviour.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Emu is a kind-hearted doctor who trips over himself a lot. His gamer self, M, is confident, brash with a side of Psychopathic Manchild. The changes become somewhat less obvious as Emu finds stable footing in his role as a doctor, which mends most of the differences but not to the point of Split-Personality Merge.
  • In Season 1 of Once Upon a Time Ginnifer Goodwin gives some very faint differences between her Storybrooke counterpart Mary Margaret and her Enchanted Forest counterpart Snow White. Mary Margaret is a little shyer and more soft-spoken. Snow meanwhile is more confident and prone to the occasional burst of sarcasm.
  • In Angel to contrast Fred and Illyria. Although Illyria is possessing Fred, she still retains some of her default thoughts and memories. Whereas Fred is a Cute Clumsy Girl with a hint of a Texan accent, Illyria is proud and speaks archaically. Amy Acker stands upright and walks in a different way when she's Illyria. There's one scene where Illyria is pretending to be Fred and switches back and forth, changing the way she carries herself and conveying who's who without any need for a costume switch.
  • In the Doctor Who episode Nightmare in Silver, there is no physical tell-tale indicating whether Mr Clever or the Doctor is in control, apart from the fact that the camera angle is oriented to the side of his face with or without the Cyberman implants. The camera angle also focuses on the implants-free side when Mr Clever tries pretending to be the Doctor to trick Clara.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Second Thoughts", a mentally impaired janitor named Karl Durand transfers the memories, experiences, and personalities of four other men into his brain using a device built by Dr. Valerian, the first of those men. After the first two transfers, Karl begins to exhibit signs of something akin to multiple personality disorder as the other personalities briefly surface and take temporary control of his body. Karl's appearance does not change but Howie Mandel differentiates between the various personalities by changing his facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. Different camera angles as Karl converses with the other personalities add to the effect. It is best illustrated by Mandel's performance as the rude, obnoxious thief and gambler William Talbot.
  • Someday or One Day:
    • Chen Yun Ru's bangs cover her forehead. When Huang Yu Xuan is in control, she combs them back, exposing her forehead.
    • The real Wang Quan Sheng has a bowlcut. When Li Zi Wei takes over, he styles his hair to look exactly like that of his original body.
  • In Doom Patrol (2019), Kay/Jane's appearance alters slightly depending on which of her personalities is running the body in a way that reflects their appearance in the Underground (which often look completely different from the real-world body). This is frequently a hair or makeup change, but Hammerhead brings her tattoo and the Secretary acquires a pair of glasses from somewhere. Others are much less subtle — because Flaming Katy is always seen using her superpower that leaves her Wreathed in Flames, any smaller effect she might theoretically be having is impossible to determine.
  • On Haven, each of the overlays has their own distinct personality and style, in part because the cycle repeats every 27 years, so most of them live in different time periods and because these personalities are based on real people who exist outside of Haven. In season 5, Mara, the original personality, is released, and is noticeable for being much less inhibited than Audrey, unbothered by nudity, far less modest, and very much The Gadfly. This is in addition to a different hairstyle/color and make-up style than Audrey usually wears.

    Video Games 
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc has Touko Fukawa, an asocial, rude author. At the sight of blood, Fukawa reveals her other persona, Genocider Syo, an infamous Serial Killer. The two are discernibly different in that Genocider Syo has sharp teeth, red eyes, and an Overly-Long Tongue.
  • .hack//G.U.'s Sakubo lets you know who is in control by hernote  hat, which changes which point is up, backpack, which changes color, eyes that switch from Tareme Eyes to Tsurime Eyes, and skirt which flares out or flattens. Her hair also gains a bit of a curve outward as Saku. Given that this is an MMORPG, this is hidden under the guise of Saku and Bo being twin brother and sister.
  • In Dragon Age II, this is the case with Anders. While Justice is in control, he will have Glowing Eyes of Doom and a severe case of Evil Sounds Deep (the "evil" part may, however, be debatable), as well as a minor case of Power Echoes.
  • Layton Brothers: Mystery Room: Alfendi's hair and posture change when switching from Placid to Potty Prof. Potty Prof has darker hair, a more hunched posture, and a smugger demeanor. Placid Prof has lighter hair, stands up straight, and has a calmer, more subdued demeanor.
  • Parappa The Rapper: Captain Fussenpepper's face turns red and his eyes become bloodshot when he's in his Drill Sergeant Nasty personality. Hairdresser Octopus's entire body turns red and his tentacles move when he's in his crazy personality.
  • Dev in Potion Permit is a quiet postman with DID, but when his boisterous pirate alter Dan takes over, his blue eyes turn red and he instantly changes to his pirate outfit and talks like one.
  • Twisted Metal: The physical difference between Marcus Kane and his evil alter-ego Needles/Sweet Tooth is more obvious than most other examples, as Needles wears a scary clown mask and Marcus doesn't. In the reboot, this is explained by Sweet Tooth being a part of Marcus's personality only unleashed by wearing the mask. Though oddly, in Head-On Marcus somehow has long hair even though Needles appears to be bald.
  • Therese Voerman from Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is a stiff Ventrue Ice Queen in a business suit. Her "twin sister" Jeanette is a slutted-up Malkavian party girl. You find out they're sharing the same body when you reach the end of their storyline, and find Therese/Jeanette wearing Therese's clothes but with her makeup and hairstyle split between Therese's professional do and Jeanette's party girl do.

    Western Animation 
  • Mike from Total Drama, to different degrees depending on which personality is in control. Chester is hunched over, has wrinkles and speaks in an older-sounding voice, Svetlana has eyelashes, unique irises, and lipstick, and speaks in a female voice with a Russian accent, Vito has slicked-back hair, sounds like he's from Joisey and doesn't wear a shirt (since Mike losing his shirt is what triggers the personality begin with) and Manitoba Smith has an Australian accent and a fedora (again, because Mike putting on a fedora is what triggers him). Mal has bangs, a deeper tone of voice (which also has a reverb effect sometimes), and dark bags under his eyes, though he can hide everything but the occasional reverb when masquerading as Mike.
  • Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys: Whenever Dr Splitz switches to his Splitzy persona, his usually well-groomed hair spikes out.

    Real Life 
  • There is some very limited Truth in Television to this. Some people with actual DID (rare birds to begin with) have been documented to have selves with different handwriting, different handedness, different voice pitch, timbre, dialect, or speech mannerisms, or to walk or stand differently. Some selves may speak languages that others cannot. These "phenomena" have of course been exaggerated somewhat by overly impressed (singlet) psychiatrists, including changes in eye colour the most common Suspension of Disbelief Killer in portrayals of DID — which seems like it really cannot happen, but has been theorized as happening because of slight changes in tension of iris and/ or pupil. These other behavioural changes can sometimes actually make the same body under two different selves difficult to immediately recognise as the same physical person. Truddi Chase described herself and other multiples as capable of radically differing physical appearance depending on who was front, and there was nothing metaphysical about it; the narrative emphasized that it was all based on posture, muscle tension or relaxation, emotional presentation and so on. Multiples who do not have classic DID can also have selves who appear radically different from one another.