- Charlie Brown Baldness often occurs when a character appears to have almost no hair but canonically has hair, anything ranging from a buzzcut to a full head of hair.
- Characters with Black Bead Eyes are often shown to have actual eye colors at one time or another.
- Characters with Four-Fingered Hands are often assumed to have five fingers like normal humans.
- Hair Color Dissonance is when a character's hair looks a different color than it actually is.
- Suddenly Blonde is for when a video game character's canon hair color doesn't match their sprite or model.
- Visible Invisibility is where the audience is able to see a character who is supposed to be invisible to others.
- Characters who are The Noseless or characters who have No Mouth usually do actually have them, however they're drawn without them.
- Characters who suffer from Animals Lack Attributes or Barbie Doll Anatomy usually are meant to actually have the parts that are missing.
- Alleged Lookalikes occurs when characters are meant to be similar looking in-series but aren't for the viewer
- Your Size May Vary and Not Drawn to Scale occur when things are depicted as a different size than intended in canon.
- Furry Lens occurs when the characters who are actually humans look like animals to the audience.
- Fully-Clothed Nudity may involve character treated as naked plot-wise, even though they're at least partially-clothed from an audience perspective.
Contrast to Appearance Is in the Eye of the Beholder and Rule of Perception. Using a Fourth-Wall Portrait is a way to draw a more accurate version of the character. May be a sign of a Lazy Artist or Stylistic Suck.
- Shinigami eyes in Death Note are red eyes characters receive when they take a Deadly Upgrade. Word of God is that it's stylistic and In-Universe their eyes don't change color.
- In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the various Breathing styles of swordfighting used to fight demons are named and themed after various elements, and their techniques are visually depicted as though the characters are manipulating those elements (i.e., Water Breathing techniques are often shown with water swirling around the sword's blade). However, it's been confirmed that none of the demon slayers actually have any Elemental Powers, and the elemental effects are purely for visual flair.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Although Koichi Hirose is canonically 157cm (roughly 5'2"), he is always presented to the audience as being comically small, sometimes barely taller than the protagonist's knees.
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt uses so many different styles that it's an impossibility to decide which one is the "true" one.
- The characters of Free Collars Kingdom are regular stray cats and are treated as such by the humans they interact with, but the art style shows them as catboys/catgirls.
- Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san is a semi-autobiographical manga about employees at a bookstore. To protect their anonymity, the author not only changes all names, but draws herself as a living skeleton and the others as always wearing bizarre masks. No one ever reacts to either, and the series is otherwise entirely mundane.
- Kaguya-sama: Love is War: One of Kaguya's "personalities" is Kaguya-chan, a version of her that acts very cutely and childish thanks to feeling a strong sense of happiness and escapism plus sleep deprivation. She's drawn in a Super-Deformed art style, making her look much smaller and child-like; the narrator however lampshades that this trope is in effect and to everyone else she just looks like an absent-minded Kaguya. Taken to a hilarious degree when Shirogane copies her in an attempt to communicate with her — while the readers see two adorable Super-Deformed characters repeating each other's names, Iino sees two young adults behaving in a really creepy manner.
- The Nakano sisters of The Quintessential Quintuplets have their whole gimmick based on the fact that no one can tell them apart, even though they have different hair colors and voices. As such, their having different hair colors is only for the reader's convenience; in-universe it's all the same shade.
- Thigh High: Reiwa Hanamaru Academy: The manga is a typical gag moe series, but all the cute girls the show would focus on are now boys, ranging from Hunks to Bishōnen, though they still wear things like bras, panties, and skirts. It's unclear whether the characters are actually women being drawn as men to the audience, or if the story is set in a world with very different gender roles.
- In the animated adaptation of Mo Dao Zu Shi, when the deceased protagonist Wei Wuxian is summoned back to earth, his new body (which belonged to the man who summoned him, Mo Xuanyu) looks nearly identical to his old body in his first life (the only differences being the shorter hair and the smaller, less muscular build). This is solely for the audience's convenience — In-Universe, the two men do not resemble each other and everyone who previously knew Wei Wuxian do not recognise him in his new body.
- Calvin and Hobbes: Hobbes appears as a Funny Animal to Calvin, but a stuffed toy to everyone else. Whether Hobbes only comes to life when he's alone with Calvin, or is always alive and only Calvin can see his non-toy form, is left for the reader to decide, and is one of the reasons given by Bill Watterson for not allowing merchandising or adaptations.
- Played with in the "Flatter-matic" camera plotline in Angus Og where the camera prints out pictures that look more realistic than the usual caricature art-style. The characters get confused, and the reader is supposed to think it is because of the style switch, but then, it turns out that these pictures are just incredibly flattering.
- At points in Blade Runner, the eyes of Replicants (and other artificial life-forms, like the owl) are seen to glow unnaturally. The director has said that this is a stylistic effect and is not visible to the other characters in-universe.
- In Wonder Woman 1984, Diana wishes for her lost love, Steve Trevor, to come back to life, and he does so by possessing another man's (played by Kristoffer Polaha) body. While Diana and the audience see him as, well, Steve, everyone else in-universe see the man in his original appearance.
- Pyramids: The embalmers explain to the apprentice that their clients' representations are always touched up to remove imperfections.
Embalmer: Certainly they'll notice. But they won't say anything. They expect us to, er, improve matters.
After all, you don't think they're going to step up and say, "It's all wrong, he had a face like a short-sighted chicken", do you?
- So I'm a Spider, So What?: The protagonist is reborn on the body of a spider monster, but she is presented in illustrations and in the manga and anime adaptations as a relatively cute animal, with big anime eyes, a normal mouth, humanoid movements using her frontal legs as arms, and the viewers are led to believe this is her true appearance, however, whenever the story is shown from someone else's perspective, it's revealed that she is actually as monstrous as the other spiders, and her cute traits are just there for the viewer to have an easier time empathizing with her.
- Often on How I Met Your Mother Older Ted confesses that things look different in his flashbacks because that's how it seemed to him at the time. For example, when Robin dated an older man, he is first introduced as being in his late forties, but then Older Ted says that to him and his friends he looked much older, and the boyfriend appears as a senior for the rest of the episode.
- In an episode of Bones the Victim of the Week, when we finally see her headshot objectively, is superficially similar looking to Brennan. However, Brennan sees her as her exact double and therefor so do we, until the end of the episode. When other characters look at the headshot they don't see any similarity, which confounds Brennan and confuses the viewer - since we see the headshot the way Brennan does.
- Spoofed on 30 Rock when new high-definition cameras are put in that show the characters in greater detail. Liz and Lutz look old and wrinkly, Kenneth is a Muppet, and Jack looks like a younger Alec Baldwin.
- Some dialogue in Animal Crossing implies a female villager is wearing a skirt despite the fact she is bottomless and only has a long shirt on. On the other hand, dialogue also has villagers noticing their lack of pants.
- All blood in Danganronpa is colored hot pink, but it's still described as red in dialogue. It's also fair to assume that the adult citizens of Towa City in Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls aren't actually blue and pink silhouettes and minor characters in Danganronpa 3: Despair Arc don't have translucent blue heads.
- Word of God has stated in that in Umineko: When They Cry, almost everyone is a dark-haired Asian in the "real" world, and their appearances in their sprites don't necessarily reflect that.
- Subverted in Higurashi: When They Cry when it comes to Rika's voice. Despite being under thirteen, she can sound like an adult when she becomes serious or solemn. It turns out the voice changes happen in-series but her friends ignore it.
- Andrew Hussie has stated that the images in Homestuck are merely stylistic representations of the characters that don't accurately portray their actual size, shape, or race. This makes sense regarding the sprites, which are obviously stylised videogame-style images, but this trope apparently holds true even for the 'hero mode' images where the characters are drawn with cartoony, but semi-realistic proportions. As a result, it's very easy to find wildly differing character designs for the characters, sharing only the most basic identifying details.
- In Nebula, the characters (who are the Anthropomorphic Personifications of various planets) are all depicted to the viewer as having Non Human Heads of what they personify, though they apparently all have regular faces and can read each other's expressions just fine.
- In-Universe for Scandinavia and the World. We see the Nordic countries as themselves, but America sees four Swedens. This is, of course, a reference to how Americans tend to see these countries as interchangeable.
- It's implied in Drowtales that the glow of of tainted eyes and the white spirals seen in the eyes of certain characters who are tainted in a specific way aren't visible to the other characters are and purely for the reader's benefit. This is most obvious when shapeshifter Ariel pretends to be her crazy half sister Kalki and changes her eye color to red but lacks the glow and spirals but no one except Kiel (who not only has them but has fourth wall knowledge) seems to notice this. For comparison, the red glow seen in the pupils of all drow was originally thought to be this until another character specifically pointed it out in the eyes of Liriel, who looks like a dark elf but has the glow like a drow, meaning it's likely eyeshine.
- In Ava's Demon, the Hosts don't have strangely-shaped irises in-universe and are only there to indicate to the viewer of their true nature.
- SCP Foundation: It is supposed to be impossible to photograph Dr. Alto Clef's face. His official profile photo shows him with a spider's head, but he apparently appears human in universe.
- Subverted with The Powerpuff Girls. Multiple jokes and references make it clear they really don't have fingers or noses, and have abnormally large eyes. In fact, they're ostracized by their classmates for this very reason.
- Original LEGO animated shows such as Ninjago and Nexo Knights typically retain their stylised minifigure appearance as part of the brand. However, due to the fact that the art style doesn't impact the aforementioned shows in any way, it's implied that the characters are actually human in-universe. This doesn't apply to The LEGO Movie, in which the characters are treated as LEGO minifigures in-universe as well.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Squidward goes anywhere typically pantsless (except on occasion where he may have a different clothing). And his... genitals are never seen note . A few episodes play with this, such as in "Bossyboots", where Squidward, in anger of being a mascot, tears off his costume, only for the police to immediately come to him and put a fine note on his crotch.
- Gems in Steven Universe cannot shapeshift their gemstones like the rest of the bodies. However, when they fuse together to make much larger individuals, the gemstones appear to grow along with them (for instance, Jasper's gem seems to grow from a few inches to bigger than a watermelon when she forms Malachite). The show's staff have specified they're not literally changing size, it's purely for the sake of visibility.