Follow TV Tropes



Go To
A trope with roots in antiquity.

Dendroo | δενδρόω
(vb.) turn/grow into a tree
In the Passive, it means "to be turned into a tree." Used surprisingly often.
Ancient Greek Word of the Day, Classics Enthusiast

One of the more extreme ways to get closer to Mother Nature is to become an actual plant.

This trope goes way back to the days of Classical Mythology, when turning people into plants was used as both a reward and a punishment by the various gods of the pantheon.

A Transflormation can be positive, negative, or even neutral under the right circumstances. Becoming a plant may be the result of a Forced Transformation in which the victim's consciousness is either rendered inert or forced to look on in silence. On the other hand, it may instead take the form of a species change from Muggle to Plant Person.

It's not unheard of for some trace of the person's physical form to remain after their transformation, such as a distorted version of their face remaining on a tree trunk.

Because people tend to associate positive feelings with nature, a permanent transflormation can be an effective way to show that a dying character is "returning to nature" and thereby finding peace and dignity in death.

See also Cool and Unusual Punishment, Transformation Horror, Curse That Cures, and Metamorphosis. Compare its sister tropes Taken for Granite (an involuntary stint as statuary) and Animorphism (Voluntary Shapeshifting to take animal form).

Not to be confused with Playing a Tree.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Blue Submarine No. 6 had two human background characters that were turned into trees (with their eyes still moving).
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend have Doraemon and friends traveling to the Green Planet, a world populated by Plant Aliens, and at one point after being captured by hostile tree-men Doraemon uses his gadget mask to turn the whole gang into tree-people to sneak through tree-men guards. They do revert back to their human forms after a few minutes though. There's also the discovery of a conspiracy within the Green Planet where they're attempting to drop a plant-based nuke on earth, triggering an Apocalypse How with earth's entire population converted to plants, and the climax revolves around Doraemon and gang trying to prevent that from happening.
  • Fairy Tail: At the end of his fight with Erza, Azuma of Grimoire Heart transforms into a tree partially due to the horrific wound she inflicted on him to finish him off and partially because he burned out his Lost Magic, the Arboreal Arc, during their fight, with him noting this is the price he pays for such power. Despite this, he completes his transformation smiling as she gave him the fight of his life.
  • In Flip Flappers, the mother of the protagonist wipes out most of the members in Asclepius by turning them into clovers.
  • GeGeGe no Kitarō (2018): In one episode, this happens to Nezumi-Otoko, Kiyomi, and Kubota during the initial confrontation with the bamboo people, who were also humans before entering the bamboo thicket.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Golden Wind: Giorno's Gold Experience revolves around this concept, transforming inorganic matter into either animals or plants.
    • Stone Ocean: Once The Green Baby begins to take form within the prison's maximum security ward, it starts turning all the nearby prisoners into trees that spreads throughout their bodies.
    • Steel Ball Run: Sugar Mountain's Stand, forces someone who failed to use up the items they were given before sunset causes them to be turned into wood and embedded into a tree's bark.
  • One Piece: Ryokugyu's Wood-Wood Fruit allows him to transform his body into various plants/wood. He is able to sprout vines and branches from his body like tentacles, which is also how gets his nutrients without eating, simply by using his vines to sap them from various sources.
  • Pop Team Epic: One sketch has Pipimi turn into a tree after saying a bad pun.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Hiei has Mukuro's abusive father fused with a parasitic plant, making him almost immortal but still able to feel pain, then gives the guy to Mukuro as a present.

    Comic Books 
  • District X has a man whose mutant power is slowly transforming into a tree whenever he sleeps. His family prevents this by waking him up and pruning any roots and branches, but they get separated, and he becomes a full-blown tree in the sewers.
  • Marvel Tales(an early Marvel horror title) has #105's story, "The Man Who Vanished", in which a businessman goes on vacation to a cabin in the Catskills, but finds it's been taken over by a creepy old hunchbacked man and that the last man who tried to evict him mysteriously disappeared. He chases the old man away and discovers a bizarre human-shaped tree growing on the cabin's porch. The man tries to uproot it but discovers the plant's sap resembles blood...and that there's a strange plant like growth on his arm. The growth eventually spreads over his whole body and changes him into a ghastly plant creature just like the tree on the porch, which he realizes to his horror was once the man who disappeared earlier. His wooden feet than root him to the ground next to the other man-tree, and the old man returns to care for his garden. The last narration box then switches to the POV of one of the plant-beings, begging the reader to come drop by the cabin and get closer to the plants so they can have company.
  • The Sandman (1989): In the fourth issue, Morpheus muses on how Hell has changed just before coming upon the wood of suicides (as seen in The Divine Comedy). He hears one of the trees say he thought taking pills would stop his pain and notes there were once so few suicides to only take up a grove. Since his last visit, there are so many of them that they make up a forest.
  • The Smurfs: In the comic book story "The Little Tree", Lumberjack Smurf finds out that an elf's sister has been turned into an evergreen tree and spares her from being cut down.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: The first-ever comic book adaptation (by Gold Key Comics) features a planet of Man-Eating Plants which reproduce through spores that can also infect animals and turn them into plants as well. Even worse, they can not only travel through space but also penetrate the hulls of starships like the Enterprise. After the landing party narrowly escapes the planet, during which a Red Shirt was transformed, Spock recommends destroying all life on it to prevent the spores from spreading to other worlds
  • In the Supergirl story arc The Girl with the X-Ray Mind, after being infected with the "Plant Scourge", Supergirl can unwillingly transform any living being near her into a vegetable.
  • Wonder Woman: Back in ancient times Aphrodite turned a group of sirens into trees as punishment for their calling sailors to their deaths. One of these trees was cut down and a piece of it carved into a bangle that ends up in the hands of Mona Menise and helps her try to get revenge on Wonder Woman. Diana forces the siren out of the wood with her lasso, showing her true form and revealing she'd been stuck in the tree, and later the bangle for centuries unable to move or communicate while aware of her surroundings.

    Eastern European Animation 
  • Gypsy Tales: Near the end of "The Gypsy Woman and the Devil", the devil turns Vunida into a cherry tree for her starving children to eat.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm:
    • In sequel Ghosts of the Past, Ollivander observes that this is often the fate of incautious young wand-makers foolish, arrogant, or plain lazy enough to try and make a bargain with one of The Fair Folk for access to some particularly fine trees or arcane woods.
    • During the free-for-all at the climax of the sequel's Bloody Hell arc, Wanda sort of turns Selene into a tree (the 'sort of' is because Wanda makes a tree grow up and through her, tearing her to pieces and trapping what remains in the tree). Selene being Selene, this slows her down for a while, but eventually she breaks free by turning herself into a dragon.
    • In Unfinished Business, Nimue pulls this on Carol, turning her into a tree.
  • In Fallout: Equestria, Fluttershy mutates into a tree in the style of Harold from the game series.
  • In Head Heart & Soul when Harry thinks Ron has been killed, he transfigures Voldemort into a tree and makes it permanent.
  • The Oversaturated World explores the results of this trope with Fluttershy, who spends her summer vacation as a tree and takes a fair bit of convincing to turn back into her old self.
  • Triptych Continuum: As part of the reason Twilight Sparkle is Afraid of Their Own Strength:
    Discord: "Well, I imagine that believing one had turned their parents into decorative plant life would leave something of a scar..."

    Films — Animation 
  • Hercules: A nymph turns herself into a tree when chased by Phil in reference to the myth of Daphne and Apollo. It's Voluntary Shapeshifting on her part, though: as he comments "they can't keep their hands off me" she indignantly whips him with a branch.
  • Yellow Submarine: Near the end, the Nowhere Man turns the chief Blue Meanie partway into a rose bush.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Annihilation (2018): While inside the Shimmer, the expedition discovers a field full of plants in the shapes of humans. They're not sure whether they used to be humans, or are just plants that grew into that shape. While they are near that field, leaves start to sprout from Josie's arms. She commits suicide by letting herself become one of those plants.
  • In Evil Dead 2, Bobby Joe is captured by the possessed trees in the woods. Next time we see her, her corpse has been embedded in a tree.
  • The Fountain: The conquistador explodes in a burst of grass, tendrils and flowers at the end of his story, mirroring the Mayan creation myth mentioned earlier in the film.
  • The Little Shop of Horrors: Whenever Audrey II eats someone, it sprouts a flower with that person's face afterwards. After it eats Seymour, he becomes a flower that can exchange words with his love interest. This is preserved in the stage musical but left out of the film version of the musical.
  • The Rookies: The movie's plot involves a bio-weapon dubbed the "Green Virus", which can cause plants to grow on the skin of humans, and prolonged exposure will turn human beings into trees. The Big Bad, leader of an Eco-Terrorist syndicate, intends to use the virus to "cleanse the earth" by turning the world's human population into plants, and a major scene of the film involves the virus being unleashed into New York, turning much of the populace into tree-people.
  • Troll 2: The goblins of Nilbog town do this to people so that they can eat them, by means of getting them to eat their evil food. Arnold gets turned into a plant thing by the goblins, complete with his own planter. Of course, he mostly just looks like a human with a couple of vines and pieces of bark stuck on, because the movie had No Budget.

  • One of the (many) bad endings from Beneath Nightmare Castle have you investigating an Elven fountain in an enchanted garden. Alas, the water is magic, and when it splashes on you, it turns you into a plant.
  • The Choose Your Own Adventure book "The Magic of the Unicorn" has this as one of its bad endings, even if it's rather And I Must Scream since you're stated to be still able to feel and think.
  • One book of the Star Challenge series too, as punishment for messing with ent-like aliens of the Andromeda Galaxy.
  • Cretan Chronicles: One of the bad endings can have Altheus being punished by getting turned into a bolus tree.
  • More than one bad ending in You're Plant Food! have you being transformed into plants, one which is shown on the book's cover. In the story itself you can obtain an antidote to suppress the transformation.

  • The Aeneid: Aeneas finds the kingdom of Polydorus abandoned and overrun by a forest. The Trojans have no idea where all the people could have gone, until one of them breaks off a tree branch and the voice of Polydorus screeches out a warning about this cursed land. Aeneas leaves the tree-man and doesn't come back.
  • Downplayed in A Bad Case of Stripes, where Camilla sprouts branches at one point.
  • In The Court of the Air, by Stephen Hunt, an ancient and evil civilization escaped a terrible disaster by moving underground, and coped with the lack of food by transforming the enslaved majority of its vassal-states' population into plants that lived off the caverns' thermal energy. The elite classes lived off their human "crops", which were helpless to resist or even protest.
  • In Deltora Quest, drinking water from a dreaming spring with a "wicked heart" will turn the drinker into a tree.
  • The Divine Comedy: The seventh circle of Hell contains a twisted forest where each tree contains the soul of a suicide. Borrowing from The Aeneid, Dante has no idea the trees are people until he breaks off a branch; then he sees black blood pour out while the voice trapped within the tree finally can let out a horrid scream.
  • The Duel of Sorcery Trilogy:
    • In the third book, Serroi is turned into a tree as the price of defeating Ser Noris.
    • In the subsequent trilogy, Dancers, she turns back.
  • This happens to Amberle at the end of The Elfstones of Shannara: she was chosen to transform into a new Ellcrys, the magic tree that keeps the demons trapped in the Forbidding.
    • This also happens to Grianne Ohmsford in a different and more limited way at the end of Tanequil, a later book in the Shannara series. She becomes one of the people that feeds the eponymous magic tree's roots, which frees her spirit to live in the air around the tree's branches.
    • In the Magic Kingdom of Landover series also by Terry Brooks, Queen Willow is a Plant Person who periodically transforms into an actual tree, but only temporarily. No points for guessing what kind of tree.
  • This turns out to be Michael's fear in the first book of The Forbidden Game trilogy. He believes his fear is silly but after the group almost become plants themselves, the others remark it is just as horrid as everyone else's fears.
  • In "The Girl Who Loved the Sun", by Diana Wynne Jones, the title character ends up as a beech tree; the story is modeled on Greek legends, but with a more English and less Mediterranean ecosystem.
  • "Green Thoughts", a 1931 novella by John Collier, has an exotic, carnivorous orchid whose blossoms resemble what it ate (flies at first, then a cat, then its owner); it is thought to have been the inspiration for Little Shop of Horrors above
  • The Immortals:
    • In the second book of the quartet, black robe Numair manages to change Book Two Final Boss Tristan Staghorn into an apple tree, which is treated as a near-impossible feat.
    • In a later anthology book, it is revealed that this was inverted at the same time. When Numair turned Tristan into a tree, a tree somewhere else in the world turned into a man. He's very confused by this, but eventually takes the name Qiom.
  • At the end of John Bellairs' The Letter, The Witch and the Ring, the villain probably falls victim to a Literal Genie demon she has summoned, and after wishing to be young and beautiful and to live a thousand years.. gets turned into a willow tree.
  • Land of Oz:
    • In The Marvelous Land of Oz, Mombi's last-ditch attempt to escape Glinda is to turn herself into a rose.
    • In the Backstory of Kabumpo in Oz, the Princess of Sun Top Mountain was turned into a tree by the evil magician J. Glegg when she refused to marry him.
  • In The Midnight Library, a short story collection, the story called "An Apple a Day" concerns a young boy steals an apple from a neighbour's orchard, turning out to belong to a local witch, then he starts his horrifically slow transformation into an apple tree with his face on it. His parents don't really notice.
  • Orlando Furioso: The evil sorceress Alcina seduces men, but when she tires of them, she changes them into stones, animals, plants, or anything that strikes her fancy. When she did this to Astolfo, she turned him into a myrtle. He is eventually turned back to normal by the good sorceress Melissa.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
    • Pre-series, Zeus turned his daughter Thalia into a pine tree to save her life. She gets better, courtesy of the healing powers of the Golden Fleece. The tree remains where it is, but she goes back to being a human. On hearing her story, Percy worries about what his father, Poseidon, might do in this sort of situation. He guesses he would either end up as plankton or as a floating patch of kelp.
    • Nico got turned into a dandelion by Persephone due to a "family spat" sometime before "The Sword of Hades" and gets turned into a corn plant by Triptolemus in The House of Hades.
  • In Sorcery and Cecelia, Cecy's brother Oliver gets turned into a tree by an evil magician. He gets better.
  • In Speaker for the Dead, this is revealed to be part of the natural life cycle of the aliens known by the human colonists as "piggies." The piggies, or pequeniños, are the highest form of animal life on their planet; the humans discover (after some tragic misunderstandings on both sides) that when they die they are "planted" and then metamorphose into the planet's large (sentient) trees, the dominant vegetable life, as a natural part of their life cycle. The human scientists eventually discover that this is a common theme for all life on the planet; everything from insects and grass to birds and fish have two distinct stages, many of them switching from animal to vegetable. It turns out that this is not a natural state but that the planet's native life had been altered by an alien race's genetic engineering virus in the distant past.
  • In The Third Witch (a retelling of Macbeth by Rebecca Reisert), the main character Gilly prays at one point to be turned into a tree, and if that desire is granted she promises to abandon all thoughts of revenge against her nemesis, Macbeth. It doesn't happen.
  • Which Witch?:
    • Ethel Feedbag imprisons a family of three Muggles in three different trees as part of a black magic competition.
    • When Terrence is recaptured by Matron and finally realizes he has magic powers, he turns her at least partially into a tree in order to root her to the ground and halt her threatening advance.
  • Xanth: The Magician Trent won the Superpower Lottery with the power to transform any living organism into any other living organism. During his reign of terror, he hits quite a few of his enemies with Forced Transformations of every size and shape. Then he figures out that trees are living organisms too, and just starts turning his enemies into trees.
  • A short story named "Summer Retreat" was about the Copses, a family of weretrees. They turned into trees to sleep for the winter... after murdering their neighbors and burying them in the yard for fertilizer.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Charmed (1998): The sisters invoke this trope with a spell to bypass the recently acquired Complete Immortality of an episode's villain — because trees are immortal too.
  • Cowboy Bebop (2021). The Callisto Liberation Front use a spore-dispersing device designed for terraforming as an improvised terrorist weapon. It's not a pleasant experience, though it is played for Black Comedy.
    Newsreader: According to eyewitness reports, the toxic gas turned people into...trees? (turns off-camera) Are you serious with this? Oh shit, that's nutbags!
  • Dinosaurs: In "If You Were a Tree" a bedtime story Grandma Ethyl tells Baby Sinclair, Earl, who works as a tree pusher for the WeSaySo Corporation, magically exchanges souls with a tree. At the end of the story Earl and the tree switch back, each having learned the importance of the other. But it's just an in-show story so there are no long term effects.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Both "Mission to the Unknown" and "The Daleks' Master Plan" feature Varga Plants, the thorns of which contain poison that transforms victims into other Varga Plants.
    • In "The Seeds of Doom", anyone infected by the Krynoid will be transformed into a murderous plant monster.
    • In "The Mark of the Rani", the Rani has land mines that transform anyone who steps on them into a tree. It is implied that the victims still have consciousness, as one of them is able to move his branches as if they were still arms to stop Peri from meeting the same fate.
  • Edge of Darkness: At the end of the series, Craven turns into a black flower with no attempt at an explanation.
  • In the Lost in Space episode "The Great Vegetable Rebellion", Dr. Smith was turned into a plant by an anthropomorphic carrot. (He got better.)
  • In Once Upon a Time:
    • In Season 5, the Dwarves testing out the new barrier preventing to leave Storybrook results in Dopey being turned into a tree.
    • The Backstory has Merlin turned into a tree by the Dark One, and the heroes spend most of Season 5 trying to undo the spell.
    • This is how Mother Gothel is defeated near the end of Season 7, losing a Beam-O-War with Alice which turns her into a tree.
  • Power Rangers Mystic Force: In one episode, Xander falls victim to this when he drinks a potion that he mistakenly believes will make him more attractive.
  • The Strange Calls: Episode 6 features a guy who developed a serum that turns people into trees, and has used it on himself (he's halfway through the tranformation). His evil plan is to turn the rest of the town into trees as well.
  • Swamp Thing (2019): The pilot episode for the TV series has the title character fuse a bad guy into a tree as punishment for killing one of Dr. Arcane's escaped test subjects.

  • From Tori Amos' "Beauty Queen/Horses": "But will you find me if Neil makes me a tree?"

    Music Videos 
  • Radiohead's music video for "There There" ends with frontman Thom Yorke becoming a tree as his apparent punishment for stealing some enchanted clothing he found in the woods. It's a lot more graphic than it sounds.
  • The music video for Japanese singer DAOKO's Girl features a sequence where the main character turns everyone around her into giant flowers.
  • The music video for Ween's "Transdermal Celebration" is an animation of aliens terraforming the planet and planting spores on humans which turns them into trees. The main subject in the video transforms slower than others and gets to witness the destruction, including watching a toddler getting turned. The video is too short to indicate whether consciousness is retained after getting fully turned.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Classical Mythology sees this happen a lot, often serving as a "Just So" Story about the origin of a particular plant back then:
    • The nymph Daphne was shot by one of Eros' lead-tipped arrows, which caused her to spurn Apollo's amorous advances. Desperate to escape Apollo, the fleeing Daphne cries out to the gods to save her and is changed into a laurel tree.
    • Baucis and Philemon from Ovid's The Metamorphoses are the only ones in their town to welcome the disguised Zeus and Hermes into their home. Part of their reward for upholding Sacred Hospitality is that when one of them dies, the other will die also; when death comes for them, they are changed into a pair of intertwining trees to symbolize their Eternal Love.
    • Persephone turned the nymph Minthe into the mint plant as revenge for trying to sleep with her husband.
    • Leuce, a nymph and consort of Hades, was turned into a white poplar tree when she died, which became associated with the Underworld in general.
    • The myth of Narcissus is sometimes recounted as Narcissus being changed into a narcissus flower as a punishment for being such a, you guessed it, narcissist. In the earliest recorded versions, though, the flower simply sprang up on the bank of the spring where he died, and was named in his memory.
    • Myrrha, Adonis's mother, was transformed into a myrrh tree after sleeping with her own father. She then gave birth to Adonis while a tree.
    • Philyre, who got turned into the linden tree after giving birth to Chiron, a centaur.
    • Smilax got turned into bindweed after slighting Krokos (who got transformed into saffron after his death).
    • When the Argonauts encountered the Hesperides, the sisters transformed themselves into an elm, a poplar, and a willow tree.
    • Apollo gave his lover Cyparissus a tame deer as a pet, and when Cyparissus accidentally killed it, he asked Apollo to let his tears fall forever out of sorrow. Apollo granted the request by turning him into the first Cypress tree.
  • There's also the tale of ''Eglė, The Queen of Serpents'', from Lithuanian folklore. A woman named Eglė married a snake who can turn into a handsome human prince and together they had three sons and one daughter. When Eglė's family threatens to kill her husband and attempts to get information out of the children, the sons kept their mouths shut but the frightened daughter squealed, leading to her maternal family killing her father (with scythes, no less). Upon learning of this fact, Eglė curses herself and her children into trees: her strong sons into sturdy oak, ash, and birch, while her weak daughter a quaking aspen. Eglė herself turned into a spruce tree.
  • Blodeuwedd, in Welsh myth, went the other way: Pygmalion-like, she was the perfect woman, called into being from the flowers of the earth, who while beautiful was shallow and fickle — she was punished for her faithlessness by a further transformastion, this time into an owl to haunt the night.

  • The Adventure Zone: Balance: occurs to Hurley and Sloane during the Petals to the Metal arc. Later, they're revealed to actually have become dryads.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Polymorph Other and Polymorph Any Object spell can change a living creature into a tree or other plant.
    • In an old Dragon magazine article a wizard was challenged to a duel. He snapped his fingers, cast a Polymorph spell on the challenger and changed him into a plant, then said "Next?"
    • The Shape Change spell allows the caster to change into a plant, such as a bush.
    • The Barkburr is a small limpet-like monster that lives on trees. It jumps onto an opponent and injects them with a poison that causes lignification — it turns the victim into a tree.
    • The Druid spell Jungle's Rapture is a curse that makes the victim stiffer and stiffer as it slowly turns into wood over a few days. It's possible to slow down the process with restorative magic, but if not removed the curse will turn the victim into a plant of the same size.
    • The Wu Jen spell Arboreal Transformation turns the target into a Treant the size of a huge oak under the caster's control. After several days, said Treant becomes an ordinary tree.
    • Wild Magic Sorcerors have a 1-in-20 chance of a spell going wrong and becoming a Random Effect Spell instead usually centred on themselves. One of the possibilities is to turn into a potted plant for one combat turn, if someone deals enough damage to you in potted plant form you revert to your original form however.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Mosslords — creatures resembling monstrous, evil, four-armed Treants — can, through their Deadwood Curse special ability, transform one limb of any foe they strike in melee into a gnarled, immobile wooden branch.
    • A forest blight's claw attacks can slowly transform the flesh of its enemies into immobile wood. If their victims are completely overtaken by this lignification, they fully transform into trees. One way to undo this is to slay the blight that did this, at which point all of its transformed victims will retake their original forms.
    • Green men emit an aura that causes any non-plant creature that comes within sixty feet of them to slowly transform into a nonmagical plant, unless it succeeds at a Fortitude save.
    • In Second Edition, adult and older forest dragons can turn themselves into trees at will. In addition, when ancient and older ones kill another creature with a bite attack, their target is turned into living wood. The resulting statue can turn into a tree over time, but cannot be used to resurrect its former self.
  • Rocket Age: The oldest Ganymedians eventually root into the soil of their home and become trees, venerated by their descendants.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • One of Catachan's many terrifying flora is the Spiker, a plant which shoots needle-like stingers at living things to turn them into other Spikers.
    • The Seers of Lugganath astral-projected their forms into the garden of Chaos God of Disease, Nurgle, seeking a cure for a blight ravaging their craftworld. Their punishment for intruding in Nurgle's most sacred sanctum was to be turned into screaming trees. An eternal, miserable decoration on his daily walk.
  • In Warhammer: Age of Sigmar the Goddess of Life Magic, Alarielle the Everqueen, is able to cast Metamorphosis, a spell that causes the target's arms to twist into branches and their feet to form roots until they become a tree. In the game, if this spell kills the last model in a unit then the player can replace the model with a wood.


    Video Games 
  • Blasphemous: This is a recurring "blessing" granted by the Grievous Miracle.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm: This fate befalls anyone caught in the wrong type of virtual atmosphere without a special breathing apparatus. It happens to Boxxyfan’s grandma and sister during Chapter 7, marking the start of his fall into darkness. Later, it happens to all of Catie’s friends, when Boxxyfan returns to get revenge.
  • In Bug Fables, when the Wasp King eats the last remaining leaf of the Everlasting Sapling, he turns into The Everlasting King, a semi-plant immortal demigod with huge regenerative power, and he attempts to use his newfound powers to destroy Team Snakemouth. After the defeat, he loses control of his powers and turns into an inanimate tree. Queen Elizant decides to keep it as a monument of their long struggle in search of the Sapling and a warning to not seek its power any longer.
  • The ClueFinders 6th Grade Adventures: The Empire of the Plant People: Joni starts turning into a plant while held hostage by the denizens of the polluted underground civilization.
  • In Conquests of the Longbow, if you pass the Green Man's riddle game he will grant you the ability to temporarily turn yourself into a tree. If you fail (or deliberately attack him otherwise), he'll make you one permanently.
  • Dark Souls: The second game features giants whose life cycle seems to involve turning into trees (even after death) and dropping seeds. The third game sees this happen to humans as well after spending too long as hollows (minus the seeds).
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: Flonne was turned into a flower as punishment for aiding Laharl's invasion of heaven. Whether or not she gets changed back depends on which ending you get.
  • The Dragon Age lore features this as the origin of Sylvans, though it could be seen as more of an Inverted Trope; when spirits and/or demons cross over from the Fade, they typically seek out something (or someone) to posses, as their Fade forms are vulnerable and somewhat uncomfortable in the more grounded mortal realm. Unfortunately, if a spirit/demon exits the Fade in, say, an isolated forest, their options are limited, and indeed, many choose to posses trees themselves. This results in them getting trapped in said tree, which becomes their bodies, and they end up immobile until someone either releases them, or they manage to gain enough control over their bodies to begin moving around. Sadly, most sylvans you meet are driven insane, either from the trauma of crossing from the Fade or from being trapped in a tree for gods know how long, but you do meet one with a penchant for rhymes who refers to himself as a "Poet-tree."
  • In Dragon Quest VIII, a curse not only covers an entire kingdom with thorny vines but also turns almost everyone into statue-like plants.
  • Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup has Potions of Lignification, which temporarily transform you into an animate tree. In this form, you are incapable of movement, including teleportation, but have improved defensive capabilities, although attacking and spellcasting are still possible. This is usually beneficial, but drinking an unidentified potion and unexpectedly turning into a tree in the middle of a difficult battle can also be very bad.
  • Fallout: Over the course of a few hundred years and three games, Harold slowly goes from being an oddball FEV product to a Plant Person with a bonsai tree on his head named Bob growing on his head to a fully fledged talking tree completely rooted in place by a now much larger Bob. He's not really happy with the last bit when your character first encounters him in that form, but depending on how you play it he can come to terms with being involuntarily made a Fisher King slowly restoring plant life to the wasteland.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has this as a possible fate for those who wander into Il Mheg, land of The Fair Folk: numerous "leafmen" are scattered about the landscape in various postures, and the pixies can threaten the player with the same fate in some sidequests. Although it's mostly a punishment for going where people don't belong or otherwise upsetting the pixies, it does at least appear to be instantaneous and painless, and there's one example in which a dying defender was transformed this way instead of succumbing to the Body Horror Painful Transformation of turning into a Sin Eater.
  • Golden Sun: The population of a lumberjack village is turned into trees due to a forest spirit's curse, then restored after the heroes break the curse. One NPC is balanced precariously over a stream, if you don't move her to safety before removing the curse, she drowns.
  • Goosebumps: Night of Scares does this in the Expansion Pack, Dead of Night, where the player gets exposed to Dr. Brewer's plant powder and ends up turning into a plant-person. For the rest of the level, they must collect ingredients to create an antidote to reverse the transformation.
  • In Keen Dreams, this is your main weapon: throwing little seeds to (temporarily) turn enemies into flowers — as opposed to all other games where Keen wields a ray gun.
  • Kid Icarus has monsters that can turn the player into a mobile eggplant.
  • The King's Quest series has several examples.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the Flute Boy is slowly turned into a tree by the power of the Dark World, and the transformation completes after you play the flute for him one last time, though he gets better in the ending thanks to the Triforce. There are also trees that you can talk to in the Dark World that are implied to have originally been inhabitants of the Light World like the Flute Boy.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask begins with Link forced into the form of a plantlike Deku Scrub by the Skull Kid. Once the player figures out how to reverse the transflormation, they can initiate it at will by donning the Deku Mask. The Transformation Sequence still looks excruciating, though. The Deku Butler's son, whose form Deku Link comes from, was also changed from a Plant Person into an inanimate tree.
  • Mana Series: many games in the series end with someone fusing with the Mana Tree to revive it.
    • In Final Fantasy Adventure, the Mana Tree dies after the battle. The heroine, as the sole surviving member of the Mana Tribe, must stay and become the new tree. The same happens in Sword of Mana, its remake.
    • In Secret of Mana, you discover that your mother is part of the mana tree, and that that is the fate of all the women in the mana clan.
    • In Trials of Mana, your Faerie friend who accompanied you the entire adventure is actually a seed of the Mana Tree.
    • Legend of Mana ends with you killing the mana goddess inside the mana tree and then disappearing from the world. No explanation is given, but we can expect you've become a mana tree because it keeps happening in the Mana series.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, several Toads become ensnared at Toadwood Forest and are slowly absorbed into the trees as their energy is slowly withered from their bodies.
  • In The Messenger, travelers cursed by the Queen of Quills are transformed into the mushrooms of Quillshroom Marsh.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time: A mushroom instead of plant variant occurs with zombies here. The Witch Hazel is capable of turning most Zombies into Puff-Shrooms (or Fume-Shrooms if her level is sufficiently high enough) for an instant kill. Her Plant Food power turns a zombie into a Toadstool, a cross between a toadstool and a toad that eats zombies and produces sun. There's also Spore-shroom, whose projectiles can turn zombies into more Spore-shrooms.
  • In Portal 2, Wheatley, after taking control of the Aperture Science Enrichment Center and becoming Drunk with Power, shoves GLaDOS's AI brain into a potato battery as payback for her calling him a moron earlier. Needless to say, she's not happy about having to rely on Chell carrying her around for the rest of the game.
    Oh, hi. So, how are you holding up? BECAUSE I'M A POTATO.
  • In Quest for Glory II, Julanar is a woman who, while fleeing from brigands, is discovered by a djinn who transforms her into a tree in order to save her from her pursuers.
  • In Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, the Topiary Sprinkler transforms enemies into bushes that keeps them frozen in place.
  • RuneScape: During the "Plague's End" quest, the player is tasked with finding and reuniting the elven clan leaders, who went into hiding during a civil war. Lord Crwys, of the clan famed for woodcutting and farming, has turned himself into one of the forest trees and gotten sick from the Poison Waste seeping into his roots. Thankfully, all he needs to turn back is a dose of plant cure.
  • Shantae:
  • In Summoner 2, Maia transforms into the tree of Eleh after defeating the Tempest.
  • In Sunless Skies, the Amiable Vagabond is forced to literally put down roots if you turn his attempted betrayal against him and then choose to save him from falling down Old Tom's Well. Given his love of exploring the Skies, this is a living hell for him.
  • Sword and Fairy 7 has a variation with New Deities. They originally were fruits of a divine tree, that were infused with power of the Chunzi spring. If a New Deity loses too much energy, they will transform back into a fruit to recover. It happens at the start of the game with the Deuteragonist Xiu Wu.
  • In Undertale, Flowey is actually Prince Asriel Dreemurr, who was inadvertently brought back from the dead (minus his soul) as a flower thanks to an experiment by the royal scientist, Dr. Alphys.
  • Heroes in Wildermyth may acquire the "elmsoul" transformation, in which they absorb an ancient tree spirit and take on plant-like characteristics including the ability to photosynthesize. Should an elmsoul hero lose a limb, it regrows as a tree branch.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Druids can learn a Tree-of-Life form, which allows them to transform into mighty Treants.
    • In Warlords of Draenor, players are introduced to the Botani, plant-people who will inflict this in a distinctly Body Horror and mind-controlling way on orc (and in one dungeon, human mage) NPCs. The very concerning part is that it's hard to tell if the orcs are simply reanimated corpses or if they're enthralled and mutated but still alive. As for the humans? One of them begs for you to flee as her body and magic try to kill you.
    • In Legion, a more deliberate version is done by the Vrykrul Druid Vydhar, who, with the help of Highmountain Tauren, transformed himself into a tree ages ago to make his wisdom eternal.

    Visual Novels 
  • Your Turn to Die plays up the Body Horror flavour of this trope should Kanna be voted for death in chapter 2-2, leading to the execution "The Human Flower", whereby seeds are released from Kanna’s collar into her body, causing the root to burst from under her skin, eventually leading to a rose sprouting from her head as the final touch.

    Web Animation 

  • Ava's Demon: Maggie gains the ability to transform her arms into vines and branches as an effect of forming her pact with the demon Tuls.
  • In The Dragon Doctors, staying as a tree for six months to three years is one of the first step of training in shapeshifting magic: One has to learn to appreciate other shapes to master them.
  • Erstwhile: In "A Tale With A Riddle," based on the very short story by The Brothers Grimm, three women are changed into flowers.
  • In The Gamer, the druid warrior Horpitia Aholting, partner to the Witch of Slaughter, is capable of transforming into a tree that gathers life force to power the Witch's spells.
  • In Held Within, by Dan Standing, the snooty college student Maple signed up for the Arbor Club just to put it on her resume, and her ongoing absence cripples the club's abilities to increase the greenery around campus. This angers Susie, and when Susie's girlfriend is accidentally transformed into a genie Susie uses a wish to transform Maple into a rather obvious choice in trees.
  • In Kill Six Billion Demons, Mottom is fond of these, such as here.
  • The Wotch:
    • Anne temporarily goes through this starting here and ending here in the “Days of Their Lives” arc. She’s changed back shortly afterwards by the nature spirit responsible.
    • The original Wotch did this to a random thief in a flashback here.

    Web Original 
  • The Taste of Static: In The Miller Tapes, this is both the fate of Saint Dagmar and Tom Miller.

    Web Videos 
  • In Funny Or Die's parody series of Captain Planet , the Captain (played by Don Cheadle) turns bad guys polluting the environment into trees... but then starts acting like a jerkass and continues to turn innocent citizens into plants, too, much to the horror of the Planeteers who summoned him.

    Western Animation 
  • Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: "Tree of Ickis" has this happen to Ickis after he eats a seed pod, turning him into a tree, and Oblina and Krumm have to gather up termites to free him from his wooden prison before he is cut down and sliced to pieces by a sawmill conveyor belt and turned into baseball bats. Gooloog, another monster Ickis meets, also suffered the same issue he did, and moments after Oblina and Krumm save him, he offers Gooloog the termites used on him, but he declines, having grown fond of his current state and saying it's too much responsibility to be free.
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Tummi steals a fruit off a cursed tree, eats it, and then slowly transforms into a tree himself. The rest of the Gummi Bears need to find the cure.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In the episode "Eternal Youth", Poison Ivy turns rich people into trees. Unlike most versions, the artistic-license chemistry version she's using takes several days, at least at the dosages she initially uses.
  • Ben 10: Ben can voluntarily transform into the alien forms Wildvine and Swampfire, which are Plant People. Well, Plant Aliens.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: The captain is an example of the self-inflicted version sometimes; he can transform parts of his body into multiple natural things, including trees and vines, if he thinks it will help him deal with a problem. During "The Great Tree Heist", it backfired on him when Hoggish Greedly mulched him, causing him to dematerialize painfully and scaring the Planeteers half to death.
  • Catscratch: In the episode "Core-uption," Waffle becomes a potted flower as a result of Gordon turning the world into a Sugar Bowl.
  • Darkwing Duck: Dr. Reginald Bushroot went a step further than Poison Ivy and injected himself with his experimental serum. This resulted in chlorophyll going through his veins instead of blood and plant tissue growing from inside his body: His feet turning into roots and leaves sprouting thanks to sunlight. He is now more plant than duck since even getting shredded leads to his regeneration.
  • Defenders of the Earth had an episode where an Absent-Minded Professor accidentally creates a super plant fertilizer that turns him into a plant. The villains plan to conquer Earth by turning humans into plants using the professor's formula.
  • Gravity Falls: At the climax of "Northwest Mansion Mystery", the Monster of the Week turns the guests at the Northwest's party into tree-like statues.
  • In Justice League episode "Hearts and Minds", to stop Despero's army of soldiers powered by the Py'tar, the Py'tar itself transforms them into trees, to prevent them from attacking other worlds.
  • MGM Oneshot Cartoons: "The Tree Surgeon" has the titular surgeon sprouting roots and branches after accidentally poking himself with a syringe meant for a sick tree.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Over a Barrel", Fluttershy expresses interest in becoming a tree, which became something of a fandom running gag.
    • In a flashback in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", a young Twilight Sparkle's Power Incontinence resulted in her accidentally turning her parents into potted plants.
    • Invoked, and ultimately used in a partial rather than full-body example, in "Dungeons & Discords". While role-playing in the tabletop game he's playing alongside Spike and Big Mac, Discord attempts to transform a guard into a parsnip and, on flubbing the roll to do so, instead transforms his own hand into a cluster of parsnips shaped like fingers. In all of Captain Wuzz's subsequent appearances, his left hand remains the root vegetable he turned it into, albeit a fully movable one.
    • In "A Health of Information", one of the symptoms of advanced Swamp Fever, a disease contracted by inhaling a certain kind of pollen, is leaves and branches sprouting from the victim. Ultimately, this results in the afflicted pony being completely transformed into a tree — the very same kind of tree whose flowers create the pollen that causes Swamp Fever.
    • In "The Mean 6", the clones of the Mane 6 that Chrysalis creates are made from heartwood, a sample of each pony's hair, and pictures. When the clones get destroyed by the Tree of Harmony, they turn back into colored pieces of the wood they were made from.
  • Nature Cat is apparently having an upcoming episode in which the titular character gets increasingly tired while playing one day, so he dozes off and has a dream that he turns into a plant, learning about photosynthesis.
  • Over the Garden Wall: This is the M.O. of the Beast, the shadowy soul-stealing Big Bad—those close to death or or past the Despair Event Horizon turn into edelwood trees, which are then used to keep his lantern lit. The lantern is also his Soul Jar, so he's essentially consuming their souls to stay alive.
  • Rick and Morty: The premise of "Pickle Rick" is Rick Sanchez, the main character, turning himself into a talking pickle as a ploy to get out of a family therapy session.
  • In Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, the destruction of King Winterbolt's ice scepter resulted in him turning into a tree.
  • In The Secret Show episode "Planet Professor Professor", Changed Daily starts turning into an orchid plant the longer he wears a helmet stuck on his head forcing the effect.
  • In the Team Galaxy episode "Strange Fruit", an hungry Josh eats a fruit from an unknown alien planet without analyzing or trying to identify it first. Turns out to be a Mutagenic Food which slowly turns him into a giant version of the fruit. He gets better at the end but not before some Transformation Horror when near the completion of his transformation Josh loses the ability to speak and starts rotting awayas he gets much too ripe... The protagonists also use the fruit's abilities to fight off the villains of the episode.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): Raphael is turned into a plant in the first episode of Season 3 when the turtles battle The Creep, a mutant plant monster.
  • The Transformers: In the episode "Sea Change", Rumble enters the Well of Transformation (which changes whoever is immersed into it to whatever form they think of) and is tricked by the heroes into turning himself into a tree, immobilizing him. Luckily for Rumble, he reverts at the end of the episode when an explosion knocks his tree form into the water.
  • In Trollz, Zirconia was imprisoned within, and eventually became, a tree for 3000 years, with her magic being used as a conduit by Simon. He later tries to do the same to Onyx, and in the Beach Episode he tries again with Zirconia; she's partly turned into a palm tree to fit the tropical setting.
  • Ultimate Book of Spells: One episode has Gus and Cassie afflicted with a curse that brings out their ancestry; Cassie slowly turns into a tree, as apparently witches originally came from "witchwood" (though the specifics aren't explained).
  • Wakfu: The effect of a Polter's touch is to turn living creatures into vegetal statues
  • Winx Club:
    • Halfway through the first season, Mirta is changed into a pumpkin by Icy, and Flora spends the rest of the season trying to figure out how to change her back.
    • Headmistress Faragonda is turned into a tree at one point, but she gets better.
  • In The World of David the Gnome, gnomes have a natural lifespan of 400 years, after which they die and become trees. The Grand Finale depicts David, Lisa, and their friend Casper having reached the end of their lives and departing for the mountains and undergoing the process. While Casper is shown to be scared of the end of his life, David and Lisa accept it and are grateful for the life they shared together. David and Lisa become intertwined apple trees as a sign of their love and their spirits are shown in the closing moments of the show.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: "The Demon Seed" features a Haylin Seed turning Jack Spicer, Vlad, and all the Xiaolin Warriors save Raimundo into plants. Clay becomes a plum tree (with a not-yet-plantified Omi plucking one of his plums and eating it, prompting Clay to protest, "Hey, watch where you're plucking!") Kimiko becomes a daisy, Jack turns into a Cactus Person, and Omi towards the end becomes an unidentified plant with a beard made of moss.

    Real Life 
  • The parasitic fungus O. sinensis grows inside moth larvae and eventually emerge from the caterpillar. The infected caterpillar bodies is sought after by Chinese herbalists as a remedy called "dōng chóng xià cǎo" ("winter worm, summer grass").


Joni Really Vegs Out

The pollution slowly turns Joni into a plant.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / Transflormation

Media sources: