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Unnecessary Makeover

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Pre-makeover and post...or is it the other way around?
"And the moral of this video is being yourself sucks — be a whore!"
The Music Video Show, Episode 30 (Chamillionaire, Grown and Sexy)

The YMMV variation of Beautiful All Along. You take your standard Hollywood Homely ugly-duckling, have her lose her glasses, take her hair out of that ponytail, and throw her in some fashionable clothes. Immediately the love interest begins ogling at the newfound beauty because hey, She Cleans Up Nicely.

But the audience just doesn't quite buy it.

Maybe it's because the audience thinks Nerds Are Sexy, or that they identify as a fellow nerd with said character. Maybe it's because the character has unintentionally traded in her Hot Librarian and Meganekko cred for a blander type of attractiveness. Maybe the girl was a happy quirky non-conformist who, by selling out to society's vision of beauty, proves herself to be a less-interesting Rule-Abiding Rebel. Maybe the makeover hasn't aged well because her original "dull" look was more simple and timeless, whereas her new ultra-trendy look fell victim to Fashion Dissonance and is now ridiculously dated. It could also be that there is an assumption that without make-up and having frazzled hair anyone will look unattractive, not realizing they are evoking an Unkempt Beauty. It usually boils down to, she was never all that ugly to begin with.

In any case, the reaction is the same: "Why did they change her? I LIKED HER BETTER BEFORE!"

Because mainstream fiction pays much less attention to the attractiveness and fashion choices of men than women (not to mention women's fashion being considerably more complicated), women are far more likely to have their appearance fussed over in this manner than men, though it can still apply to male characters, such as a scruffy roughneck shaving and going for a bland professional look that does him no favors.

This often applies to real-life celebrities getting plastic surgery, with many fans saying they preferred the old face over the new one, especially if the celeb was already attractive to begin with. Whatever flaws they had —including aging — simply made them look like a human being as opposed to an artificial doll of perfect beauty, which tends to make viewers uncomfortable more often than not. It can even affect their work if they get rid of whatever facial quirks made them so distinct in the first place, as Jennifer Grey from Dirty Dancing found out the hard way. But since nothing is more subjective than beauty, No Real Life Examples, Please!

See also: Just the Way You Are, for a similar reaction in-story, which is probably also a Femininity Failure for her. Can be a result of Unkempt Beauty. See also Fans Prefer the New Her where the opposite happens — the characters hate the makeover but the fans prefer it. Also compare Hated Item Makeover.


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  • This trope is deconstructed in Dove's "Evolution" advert — a "pretty, but ordinary" woman is shown going in for a fashion shoot. She is then spruced up with some makeup, removing her necklace, a new shirt, and brushing her hair to give it a flowing effect, which makes her look completely unrecognizable. The photo is then unnecessarily edited to thin out her neck and shoulders, stretch out her chin, straighten her eyebrows, pale her skin color, and make her eyes and nose larger, before revealing it's an ad for foundation.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Bakemonogatari: Some fans dislike that Tsubasa Hanekawa lost her Moe braids and glasses, feeling the short haircut was unflattering though the white streaks she got during "Tsubasa Tiger" are considered an improvement. It doesn't help that Nisemonogatari had Senjougahara with basically had the same haircut making it feel repetitive.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • Kyon tells Yuki that she's cuter without glasses, and a thousand Meganekko fanboys curse his name forever. This may have been a factor in the choice of which book to make into a movie...
    • Some fans also criticize him for advising Haruhi herself to cut her long hair.
  • Kaaya in the second season of The Tower of Druaga. It was probably done to help boost her popularity (Fatina and Coopa stole all of the fanartist attention; its kinda unusual amongst anime fandoms for the female lead to be overlooked compared to a side character like Fatina was in the first season), but most people seem to prefer her season 1 look and think that her season 2 look just makes her look older.
  • Played for drama in Case Closed when a rock star ended up murdered as revenge for dumping a woman who had plastic surgery in order to look more conventionally beautiful. In this case, he considered the make-over unnecessary; she didn't.
  • Played for laughs in an episode of Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 where Priss Asagiri, the rebellious biker singer, loses a bet to her flighty boss Sylia Stingray and is forced to endure the humiliation of being photographed wearing an ugly, outdated ballroom style pink dress with her hair tied back, all to the amusement of her fellow Knight Sabers.
  • Done in reverse in Puella Magi Madoka Magica with Homura, who is first shown with the makeover, but a flashback reveals she was originally an awkward meganekko with braided hair and glasses. She later ditches the glasses and the braids. In-universe, this transforms her from the black sheep to the coolest, most gorgeous girl in the school; but with viewers, it's not so clear-cut. This didn't go unnoticed; lots of merch items were made using her cutesy form, even though it's kind of a spoiler, and The Movie reverts her to the glasses-girl appearance for the first half. As of The Movie, Homura's devil outfit has gotten this reaction from some fans who feel it's too Stripperific, in contrast to her usual modesty, and thus feels out-of-character.
  • Horimiya has Miyamura decide to get his shoulder-length hair done into a shorter, more boyish cut, because he wants to look the part of 'Hori's Boyfriend' and avoid her being teased for dating someone who looks like him. Several of his classmates say they prefer his shorter hair. Fans tended to disagree, preferring the longer hair. Even in-universe, Hori herself thinks he should not have done that to the point that she leaves a bite mark on the back of his neck the first time they have sex to encourage him to grow it back out.
  • Shun from You and Me was a Long-Haired Pretty Boy until he cut his hair because of the summer heat. His haircut came out too short for his liking yet he never grew it out again. Many fans were upset that it's been permanent.
  • Takatsuki from Wandering Son had short hair the entire series but grew it out in high school as she becomes more comfortable being a girl. Most fans prefer the short hair, and even she seemed to.
  • Marika from Bokura no Hentai is introduced wearing glasses but changes to contacts because she thinks she looks bad with glasses. Two of her friends disagree in-series but Marika keeps the contacts.
  • Togo from Yuki Yuna is a Hero is introduced as being wheelchair bound, something rare in anime, and is a Handicapped Badass Magical Girl Warrior. The final episode cures all the Magical Girl related injuries sustained throughout the series, which includes Togo being paralyzed. Many fans were seriously annoyed by this.
  • Many a reader/viewer of Asteroid in Love has expressed a dislike over Suzu's jagged haircut when the series enters year 2, feeling she looked perfectly fine in her long hair in the previous year, and the new do is a definite downgrade. Granted, the haircut was largely for symbolic purposes, after her confession to Misa.
  • In the manga version of Dragon Ball Super, part of what made fan reaction to Moro positive was that he had a pretty unconventional look for a Dragon Ball villain, with a beard, a hunchback, generally monstrous proportions, and an odd mountain goat aesthetic. This meant that his Bishounen Line final form, while meant to be more intimidating and "perfected", soured a lot of people on the guy due to getting rid of those traits in favor of looking basically like Perfect Cell with no spots and horns.
  • Pokémon the Series: XY: Serena received an Important Haircut and changed to a more "casual" outfit after losing her first Pokemon Showcase, which both symbolized her new resolve and served as a Mythology Gag to Pokémon X and Y's character customization. However, it was criticized by a good number of fans that felt her original look was better, especially as one of Serena's main characteristics is being The Fashionista, making it confusing to some viewers why she chose a look that was decidedly less fashionable than her original one.

    Audio Plays 
  • A good half of reviews for the BL drama CD Ahiru-kun wa Sore o Shiranai goes along the lines of "the titular character looked better when he was fat".

  • Vampirella infamously suffered these as her outfit began progressively skimpier under Harris Comics despite the fact she was already one of the most provocative and sensual heroines in comics. It got to the point her outfit's creator, Trina Robbins, called it "dental floss." Then Dynamite attempted putting her in a much more conservative outfit, which is also often considered this trope.
  • Towards the end of Runaways, Klara Prast was suddenly given a makeover, with her signature braid being replaced by a Hime Cut and her sweaters and slacks being replaced with a "cuter" schoolgirl-ish outfit. This was pretty much the point at which she became a Cousin Oliver, as she lost everything that made her stand out from her teammates. The same arc also gave Nico Minoru a more Stripperific look, but there was at least some explanation for her dressing that way - she was trying to get Chase to notice her.

    Film — Animated 
  • Barbie movies have a tendency to fall under this, due to the films frequently portraying Barbie and her friends in colorful Pimped Out Dresses, even when her character is supposed to be poor. As a result, the difference between Erika's princess dress and her pauper dress is barely visible, Liana and Alexa's peasant dresses are nearly as fancy as the princesses ones, and Blair's waitress attire and princess-in-training attire look almost identical.
    • In Barbie as Rapunzel, Rapunzel needs a dress for a ball. While it makes sense for her to need something other than her servant clothes, she rejects the first dress she makes for being too simple. A lot of viewers thought it was fine, if not more flattering than the Pimped-Out Dress she ends up settling on.
    • Barbie in the Nutcracker has a non-outfit related example in Prince Eric, who spends most of the movie in his cursed Nutcracker form and only becomes human again at the end. There's nothing wrong with his true appearance, but most fans prefer his Nutcracker form for its cuter and more distinct-looking design, which stands out much more than the rather generically handsome Prince Charming look he has a human.
  • Beauty and the Beast has quite a number of fans who prefer the Beast to the Prince. Even aside from the fact that the Beast's design is the one we've gotten to know for the whole film, the Prince's design looks rather off, in part because it's notably more realistic than the other faces in the film and therefore lacks a lot of the hunkiness of even, say, Gaston. Of course, in this case, the Prince is his true form and it's not necessarily treated as better. Belle indeed looks unsure of this and it isn't until she sees that the eyes are the same that she's happy. Glen Keane anticipated this trope coming into play; he said in interviews that he and the film's other animators knew that viewers would be disappointed by the Beast they'd fallen in love with being replaced by a stranger no matter what the Prince looked like, so they didn't put as much effort into animating him as they did with the Beast. A deleted line would've had Belle ask him to at least grow a beard (which was restored in the live-action remake).
  • More than a few fans preferred Violet from The Incredibles when she had bangs. Her character development involved her gaining more confidence and no longer hiding behind her bangs; however, she looked quite cute with her original hairstyle. Thankfully her gloomy goth look with bangs came back for Incredibles 2.
  • Rapunzel from Tangled spends most of the movie with 70 feet of golden blonde hair but near the end, it gets cut short and changes color to brunette. Her long blonde hair is vastly more preferred as most fans simply find a more attractive look and is how her hair is in all of the movie's advertisements. They even brought it back for Tangled: The Series.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Breakfast Club: Many people find Allison Reynolds cuter as the "Basket Case", with her post-makeover look being intensely awkward and dated-looking, frequently compared to The Stepford Wives.
  • Sandy from Grease. The new "improved" version makes her look like a streetwalker and is often cited as an example of Be a Whore to Get Your Man. Danny also shows his buddies his newly acquired varsity letter in track, though his makeover is less emphasized (and quickly discarded when Sandy's new "bad girl" look is revealed).
  • Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries is this for some viewers, feeling that Anne Hathaway was still cute before losing her glasses and having her hair straightened. Mia herself still feels awkward about the makeover and tries to hide it from her classmates at first.
  • One critic noted that in Just Go with It despite being told constantly that she was ugly, Jennifer Aniston looks exactly the same after her big makeover as she did before.
  • Jean Cocteau intentionally invoked this trope with his take on the fairy tale, 1946's La Belle et La Bête — this Belle is at least slightly disappointed with the Beast's transformation into a conventionally handsome human, and he set things up to make sure the audience would be too. It worked: Greta Garbo left the screening saying, "Give me back my Beast!"
  • In Enchanted, Giselle gets a makeover before going to The Ball, giving her a more "realistic" appearance to contrast with the somewhat silly "fairy-tale princess" look she originally had. Given the plot and themes of the film, this makes perfect sense, and the characters react according to the trope. Unfortunately, the filmmakers put the actress in a rather unflattering dress and gave her an unimpressive hairstyle, completely ruining the intended effect; she was much prettier as a "fantasy princess" than as a "real woman." And then she was sent to a ball that specifically had a fantasy theme...
  • Caused by Fashion Dissonance for truly tragic makeover in Just One of the Guys, wherein a perfectly normal and nice looking young man is transformed into a horrific Eighties Dude.
  • Rachael Leigh Cook in She's All That, and it's one of the many reasons the movie is mocked these days. Laney is supposed to be unlikely to be prom queen just because she has glasses and paint-colored overalls. A few viewers also found it incredibly creepy that Zack then has Laney go to a party wearing a dress that belonged to his ex-girlfriend.
  • In Earth Girls Are Easy, Geena Davis' character Valerie is upset that her fiance is sexually disinterested in her; her best friend decides the answer is a makeover. The movie is half parody, and the best friend is incredibly ditzy AND thinks being blonde is the key to all happiness (which in this is), so it fits. The morning after Valerie finds out the real reason Ted isn't spending more time with her (namely, he's cheating on her), she returns to her original look.
  • Al Pacino's character in The Devil's Advocate convinces Charlize Theron that she needs to give herself a makeover. She ends up giving herself an unflattering bob and a brown color that adds years to her face. This results in her looking quite unhealthy and disturbed-looking (though given the plot of the movie, that was probably the point).
  • To some Princess Ann's haircut in Roman Holiday. The haircut? Trendy and fashionable back when the movie was made but not so flattering these days.
  • Likewise the makeover in Sabrina, which consists entirely of a short haircut, as opposed to the cute ponytail that another character claims makes Audrey Hepburn look like a horse.
  • Many viewers found the Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face a lot more appealing when she was a bookworm wearing black tights and a wool jumper than when she was transformed into a fashion plate. (Audrey Hepburn does seem to get subjected to a lot of unnecessary makeovers in her films....)
  • Kristen Stewart's character in The Cake Eaters gets one when her aunt takes her to the hairdressers for the day. She asks for something sexy and new. She goes into the shop as a sweet looking thing with long hair and comes out with the most unflattering shaggy bowl cut imaginable. Her aunt calls it "rock star" while the audience has a decidedly different reaction.
  • Valerie Boyd, the teenager in The World of Henry Orient always wore a 19th-century style outfit complete with a Victorian England coat (despite it being The '50s) and a shaggy wild hairstyle that looked boyish yet not unfeminine. But then at the end of the movie she had a complete makeover. Many fans thought she looked more like a generic cutie after, losing the wild, untamed girl look about her.
  • The protagonist of Head Over Heels (2001) was already beautiful and practically doesn't change after the model roommates make her look like a model.
  • In the Follow the Fleet, a Fred-and-Ginger movie from 1936, Harriet Hilliard undergoes her librarian-to-courtesan transformation surprisingly early in the film, in the first fifteen minutes. A scene around ten minutes into the film between the dowdy Hilliard and the glamorous Rogers — cast as sisters — neatly encapsulate the trope itself: 'It isn't that gentlemen really prefer blondes, it's just that we look dumber'; 'Connie, women weren't born with silk stockings on, you know'; 'It takes a lot of brains to be dumb'.
  • Shaolin Soccer: Mui is a girl with terrible acne and greasy hair but is nonetheless clearly a very attractive girl, so we know what to expect when she has a makeover. However, it is comically bad, and she's almost unrecognizable as a girl in a boxy 80s suit and bouffant haircut, and clown-like makeup. Of course, that was the point of it, and later on, she reappears as herself (minus her acne), with a shaved head (the shaved head being so she could disguise herself as a guy and help Team Shaolin after most of the other players are injured by Team Evil). Even without her hair, she's still very attractive.
  • Freaky Friday (2003): The film really wants us to buy that early 2000s Jamie Lee Curtis is unattractive until switch and subsequent makeover. While in her mother's body, Anna gets a very short, spiked pixie haircut, which actually makes her mother look older.
  • Subverted in The Duff. Wes gives Bianca a makeover, but it's more about giving Bianca a confidence boost, so she keeps wearing her old clothes. However, he does make her start wearing properly fitted bras.
  • A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!: One of Tootie's most notable characteristics in her original Fairly Oddparents is her Ugly Cute appearance in that despite having girlish pigtails, glasses, and teeth bracers, she nevertheless has a lot of fans. Tootie's adult appearance in the live-action film, on the other hand, is widely considered to be unnecessary with virtually all aspects of her Ugly Cute appearance (including her glasses) disappear making her look as if she's just another Nice Girl Love Interest. It got to the point that a flashback to a live-action young Tootie is certainly a lot more recognizable than her adult appearance.
  • As the result of Values Dissonance, Calamity Jane usually invokes this to modern viewers. Calamity is shamed for being a slacks-wearing cowgirl. Katie helps give her a makeover but in the end, Calamity Jane goes with a middle ground: a feminine top with pants. The issue is many fans prefer Calamity in her rural tomboy aesthetic.
  • Private Benjamin: In the second half of the film, Judy dyes her beautiful blonde hair a less-than-flattering, unnatural looking red color for Henri, even though she was already a lot prettier beforehand as a blonde.
  • Avengers: Endgame has a Rare Male Example right at the beginning of the movie, when Steve Rogers shaves off the Manly Facial Hair he grew in the previous movie. The vast majority of fans thought Cap looked great with facial hair and mourned its absence in Endgame. In this case, it may have been necessary for plot-related, spoilery In-Universe reasons, as it makes it easier for Cap to impersonate his past self.
  • Steel Magnolias: Shelby has all of her long, Southern Belle locks cut short to a pixie haircut. While she still looked pretty with short hair, longer hair looked much better on her to begin with.
  • Debra Winger's character in A Dangerous Woman goes into a salon, and the stylist cuts off her long, wavy locks for a short, feathered haircut which may have looked good in the 80's, but really isn't so flattering now.
  • At the beginning of The First Wives Club, beautiful Elise gets a lip job just to look younger, and to still be cast in sexually appealing roles. However, the lip job just looks overblown and unnatural.
  • Hilary "Larry" Friedman in Blended is cute/ pretty tomboy, who has a short, curly- bob haircut (similar to Molly Ringwald) and wears athletic clothing. As a result, many boys assume that she's a Butch Lesbian. Her dad's girlfriend Lauren suggests that she change her hairstyle, and as a result, she gets a Girliness Upgrade with long hair extensions and makeup for a boy to notice her, even though she was so much cuter as a tomboy to begin with.
  • The Parent Trap (1961) has one that is justified in-universe - as Susan has to get a haircut to match Sharon, so they can pull off a Twin Switch. However, Susan has long hair and Sharon's is extremely short, leading to some fans thinking it's too drastic a change. What makes this especially odd is that Hayley Mills was wearing a wig for the short hair, and the long hair was naturally hers. The 1998 remake notably lessens it so that one twin has waist length hair, and the other's is only a few inches shorter.
  • The 1950 film version of King Solomon's Mines inserts a sequence not in the book, where the female lead (who also does not exist in the book) decides the Jungle humidity is too much for her hair and cuts it all off. The thing is - the film is set in Victorian times, and the haircut she gives herself is the height of 1950s fashion. It also begs the question of how she managed to get it that good on her own. Superficially the short cut doesn't do Deborah Kerr any favors. And her brother earlier in the film suggests the significantly more logical option of braiding her hair to keep the flies away.
  • Catwoman (2004) pretty infamously decided that Halle Berry of all people needed to be made over twice over. As her civilian identity Patience Phillips, she starts off as endearingly messy and unkempt, then gives herself a very 2000's-era short hairdo and overly-smoothing makeup (which was very clearly done in an attempt to make herself as Catwoman when she needs to be rendered in CGI seamless), which maybe could be excused given her character evolution from a Shrinking Violet to a more outwardly confident woman. Less excusable was what they did to her actual Catwoman outfit: her Beta Outfit of a black leather jacket, black pants and Domino Mask — even if she lacks her usual cat ears — has been seen as a much more attractive and overall better adaptation than the infamously stripperiffic garb she ended up with, almost universally blasted for trying too hard to be sexy.

  • It's become a cliché that in any visual adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, fans will generally prefer the Prince's "cursed" beastly appearance over his "real" human one. This may be the result of the story's very conceit: the Beauty (and therefore the audience) must fall in love with the Beast despite his hideous appearance, and therefore the "reward" of him becoming handsome once this happens is seen as unnecessary (though no longer being trapped in the form of a giant beast is obviously supposed to be a reward for him, too).

    Live-Action TV 
  • One of TV's most controversial Unnecessary Makeovers occurred in Felicity, when the title character cut off her signature mop of brass-blonde curls. This might more accurately be called a Marine Corps Makeover, since she was sheared like a sheep, with a pixie cut that felt rather unsuited for her. The new hairstyle and accompanying wardrobe change (from sweatery to kicky) mirrored the production team's intent to morph the show into something different, including a jarring change from a moody, introspective opening theme to an upbeat pop song. All done in the name of ratings, the fan reaction was mixed at best, with many viewers outraged and disappointed.
  • The greatest debate surrounding the Wonder Woman TV show is whether Lynda Carter is hotter as Wonder Woman or Diana Prince. There's really no correct answer here.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • The short "Body Care and Grooming," which featured a disheveled college girl "made over" to show the value of grooming in one's dating life. Crow and Tom Servo held a mock debate in the skit after the short, arguing over whether she looked better neat or "sloppy". They riff on the guy going after the "madeover" girl and saying, "Uh, excuse me, I couldn't help but notice how much you look like everyone else!"
    Narrator, disapprovingly: Look at your hair.
    Crow: I like her hair!
    Narrator: Look at that blouse.
    Crow: I'm looking, I'm looking!
    • Inverted in a Rifftrax they did for Terrible Truth. The film tries to show how strung out the girl looks after 6 months of heroin abuse, but the riffers actually think she's more attractive after than before.
  • Sometimes people find the women on Survivor to be more attractive while stranded on the island than when they're dolled up for the reunion show (unless they wear fetish stuff, that is, like Kelly Wiggelsworth's skin tight strapless leather minidress).
  • Anywhere from a third to a half of all the makeovers on What Not to Wear. Which, apparently, includes everything not worn by Stacy London.
  • Snog, Marry, Avoid?:
    • Most of the contestants start out as underdressed with far too much fake tan, eyeshadow and hair extensions, but every so often someone with an obviously creative, unique taste in fashion and makeup is stripped of all originality for the sake of boring conformity.
    • On the other hand, a lot of contestants seem to have gradually performed this trope on themselves, covering their real appearance in increasingly over-the-top layers of beauty products until they can't face the world without hours spent in preparation; they come to the show in search of re-learning how to look okay with a more ordinary level of grooming.
    • The high watermark in most episodes is the point where they have removed all the makeup and fake tan, and the subject is just wearing a bathrobe. After that, they proceed to make her (in most shows the subject is a young woman) look like a schoolteacher almost at retirement age.
  • Scrubs treats Elliot's makeover at the start of Season 3 as a big deal. She decides to get an edgier haircut and a lot more make-up. Producers may have realized that it was too much, as she tones down the look as the season goes on. Word of God is that the studio wanted a sexier female character to market to the male demographic, hence the Fanservice Pack. Some fans still think turning Elliot into a Ms. Fanservice was still a bit overdone, given that Sarah Chalke was already a cutie.
  • Stargate SG-1: Rather meta example in that no one (except, in all probability, the producers) was trying to doll Samantha Carter up, but we'd occasionally see her with long hair and whatever when visiting the future or Another Dimension or whatnot, and every time it happened, it was
  • Mildred Hubble of The Worst Witch gives herself a radical makeover in the first episode of the spin off Weirdsister College that involves cutting off her Girlish Pigtails. The other characters make a big fuss about how much better she looks except she gave herself an extremely frumpy hairstyle that made her look like she was in her 30s. She tidied herself up a bit towards the end of the series but most fans still preferred her with pigtails.
  • In Lost many people preferred Kate's natural, casual and outdoorsy appearance on the island to her made-up, formal and fashionable appearance off of the island in the fourth season.
  • In the 2006 Robin Hood, the character of Djaq is forced to disguise herself as a boy for her own protection, leading her to crop her hair short and wear baggy pants and a cleavage-concealing waistcoat. In the second season, she's much more feminine, has longer (though still short) hair and wears what can only be described as an "outer-bra." Most people preferred her season one appearance.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, late-seasons Willow compared to early-seasons Willow. In this case, her change in style may have had less to do with becoming more pretty (she already was) than with illustrating her character development.
  • Glee:
    • Rachel's makeover in "Hairography" is acknowledged as this in-show when Finn eventually tells her: "I'm gonna say this as nice as I can, but you look like a... sad clown hooker".
    • They did it again in Season Four with the same character. "New York Rachel" dresses and carries herself almost exactly like Lea Michele (the actress playing the role). A very large segment of the fandom prefers the way she dressed before.
  • Deconstructed in one Hannah Montana episode where Miley convinces Lily to change her tomboy image and look/act more "girly" to attract her latest crush, only to find out that the boy actually liked tomboy Lily better.
  • This is also done in iCarly with Sam. The boy likes Sam's new look but reveals that he likes her neutral look even more.
  • This is exactly the intended effect in an episode of The Twilight Zone, "Number 12 Looks Just Like You", where everyone is required to get cosmetic surgery to make them look like identical models. One Hollywood Homely gamine, perhaps tomboyish for the day, shocks everyone and is sent to a psychiatrist when she questions whether the surgery is really necessary. They end up performing the surgery against her wishes — and she ends up very happy with the results. She also invokes it earlier, when she looks at a picture of her pre-surgery mother and thinks that she looked better that way. The mother, meanwhile, insists that she was "a fright" back then.
  • M*A*S*H: Margaret Houlihan went from natural Hospital Hottie to having her hair done in a fried perm, her lips bloated, a fake tan and lashings of eyeliner that stretched Willing Suspension of Disbelief massively. One wonders if viewers even liked it at the time, let alone now.
  • In That '70s Show, Donna gets one of these when she dyes her hair blonde for... really no good reason at all other than the fact that Jackie thinks that her red hair looks ugly. In fairness, this was only because of Real Life Writes the Plot, as Laura Prepon had dyed her hair blonde for the film Karla and the show decided to write it in.
  • In an episode of The Mentalist, Cho needed to go undercover and pick up a woman. For a sexy guy like Cho, this shouldn't be a problem, but for some reason, they thought he needed a makeover first. It just ended up making him look like a sleaze. Or a hitman.
  • A good majority of fans see Lisa Zeemo's makeover in the last season of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide as being this. Her appearances lessened and her personality took a major dive once she came back, plus fans liked her dorkiness.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In the William Hartnell-era story "The Chase", the Doctor encounters Steven, who has been living in a People Zoo with no human contact for two years, and so bears longish, unkempt hair and a short beard. After the Doctor takes him as a companion in "The Time Meddler", the Doctor recommends he have 'a wash and brush-up', causing him to shave his beard off, and Vicki cuts his hair for him at the start of the next serial, "The Myth Makers". The trouble is that before his makeover, he looks very distinctive and dreamy in an Unkempt Beauty kind of way, with a fairly impressive five o'clock shadow, and after his makeover he looks like a slightly prettier Ian clone (the previous companion who Steven is a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for). Modern fans seem to prefer the bearded version, though this may be down to Fashion Dissonance — looking like that is very fashionable in the 2010s but was borderline unacceptable in the 1960s.
    • The complete change of the Fourth Doctor's fashion sense between Season 17 and 18 — from a collection of playful early-Victorian-style garments worn with a gaudy scarf, to a dark red, almost military outfit with plus-fours — was done because the new producer, John Nathan-Turner, wanted to leave his mark on the show. He had originally envisaged a far more extreme change in the Doctor's appearance — he had wanted the scarf gone, possibly a drastic haircut, a 'completely new design of shirt' (that could be sold as Official Cosplay Gear), extreme Limited Wardrobe and big red question marks on the lapels. The costume designer managed to wangle this down to a more toned-down scarf, a heavily-layered Limited Wardrobe that the actor could switch out pieces of whenever he felt like it, and a shirt with an interesting cut modeled after Victorian waistcoats with ivory question marks on the lapels. The new outfit does look good and flattering and everyone involved was satisfied with it, but both the costume designer and Tom Baker himself felt that the producer wanted to change the outfit for the sake of change alone.
  • RuPaul's Drag Race:
    • In the first season, the drag queens were tasked with giving glamorous makeovers to a group of rough and rugged female martial artists. The challenge ended up being very lopsided since there were only two that were...aesthetically challenged; the rest were already attractive and simply needed help with makeup and walking in heels. Needless to say, when Rebecca Glasscock won the mini-challenge and was tasked with pairing everyone up, she picked the prettiest one for herself and the most challenging one for her rival Shannel.
    • An odd example happens in Season 1 of Canada's Drag Race. For the second runway, the queens had to redo their first time ever in drag with their present-day skills (complete with photos for comparison). For Kyne, whose first time was dressing as Ursula for Halloween, the redo somehow looked worse than the original, leading to her elimination.
  • Eva Marie has this reaction in the first episode of Total Divas. Concerned that she resembles the Bella Twins too much, the office tries to have her dye her hair blonde. Eva freaks out and, unable to go through with it, opts to dye her hair red instead. Some fans feel the red doesn't look good, but it's agreed to be relatively distinctive and "All Red Everything" became her Catchphrase.
  • A curse in The 10th Kingdom causes Virginia to suffer Rapid Hair Growth. Wolf takes a magic ax to it...and cuts her hair completely short. It was shoulder length originally, but Wolf cuts it to a pixie length. For a few fans, this was just too drastic a change. Especially since Virginia was shown to be very unhappy with the result.
  • One episode of Seinfeld revolved around the title character's barber giving him a boring, Beaver-Cleaver haircut, when he wants a hip 90's era coif. Looking back, the humor is inverted as Seinfeld has a normal haircut that you would find in any boardroom or even movie stars these days, while his friend's "best haircut I've ever had" looks dated and ridiculous.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Snow White's clothes get steadily frumpier every season, as though the costume designers forgot that she spent the first two seasons being modest without wearing such ugly clothes. This also coincides with the character suffering Badass Decay and Flanderization.
    • Regina chops her hair short in Season 6 for no reason at all. The Power Hair she sported in Season 1 was a symbol of her villainy, and the hair grew out to represent her Heel–Face Turn. And there's also the fact that the hair was now even shorter than its Season 1 length, and didn't suit Lana Parrilla at all. Naturally, she grew it to a better length in Season 7.
    • David's longer combover in Season 3 not only looks way too coiffed for someone spending all their time in the jungle but it wreaks havoc with the continuity whenever they have to do a flashback to Season 1 events where obviously his hair was much shorter.
    • Emma gets a series of weird costume choices in Season 6 that completely clashes with her character's established style. Emma previously favored low maintenance casual clothing, occasionally dolling up for a night out. Suddenly she's appearing in matronly skirts and outfits that are more suited to a school teacher at retirement age.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Sansa does something of an Evil Costume Switch to reflect taking on a more morally ambiguous role - and it involves putting on a black dress with a Cleavage Window and dyeing her hair black. Much Narm was had over the change - with Sophie Turner even jokingly calling it "Sansa's goth phase" - and it didn't even correspond to meaningful Character Development since Sansa went back to being a Pin Ball Protagonist in Season 5.
    • Ellaria gets a new hairstyle in Season 5 presumably over mourning Oberyn. Except that the haircut she gives herself makes her look like a modern businesswoman and thus ferociously out of place in a medieval fantasy setting - compare Brienne of Tarth's more appropriate Boyish Short Hair. It's, in fact, the same hairstyle her actress Indira Varma sported in Bride and Prejudice, playing such a character.
  • Angel - Cordelia's haircuts from mid-Season 2 up until Season 4 have a lot of scratched heads from fans. Charisma Carpenter was getting annoyed with the upkeep of her long hair and asked to cut it shorter. She's since poked fun at the first few attempts, but fans agree that the style it was by Season 5 was much better.
  • America's Next Top Model has become infamous for this with its Makeover Episode every season. While some makeovers do enhance the model's features or at least seem like a worthy enough choice, half the time the results are scratched heads from viewers and tears from the models.
    • One girl who wore her hair short was given extensions to make a mullet that Tyra admitted was inspired by a horse.
    • Girls who prefer their hair long are frequently given bobs or pixie cuts that don't suit them or traumatise them because of how drastic the change is. One girl who defined herself by her long hair was so shaken by the haircut that she performed badly for the rest of the season.
    • A girl with straight blonde hair was given a mad weave of curls that even the hairdresser realised halfway through was a bad idea - and they tried to do damage control to make it look decent for the photoshoot, fully planning to fix it afterwards.
    • One girl who was naturally dark-haired was given two toned hair resembling Cruella De Ville. While she did her best to make it work, the hairdresser made the silly decision to bleach one of her eyebrows too - making it look as though she was walking around with only one eyebrow.
    • Males aren't exempt from this either. One guy was given extensions that not only looked cheap, but drew comparisons to Jesus paintings. Another was given a face weave that looked every bit as ridiculous as it sounds.
  • Deliberately done in The Wild House when Georgina starts dating the much older Gavin. He is wealthier than her previous boyfriends (since he's an adult in a lucrative profession) and she wants him to propose. In an effort to look "sophisticated" and "mature", she ditches her black clothing and gothy makeup, instead wearing hideous frilly floral outfits. Even her middle-aged and shabbily-dressed parents think her new look would be more appropriate for someone her grandmother's age.
  • Short-lived reality series The Swan was an extreme example. The premise was taking a group of plain, middle-aged women and giving them cosmetic surgery on top of fashion makeovers. It's not that the makeovers were completely unnecessary, but the extent to which they went: one woman had a tummy tuck, butt lift, inner thigh lift, dual facelift, upper lip lift, upper and lower eye lift, endoscopic brow lift, *deep breath* rhinoplasty, breast implants, and breast lifts. In the big reveal, the women also had professionally-styled hair and makeup, and beautiful dresses; they would have probably looked every bit as lovely with just the fashion makeovers and not cutting themselves open 11 different ways. Bizarrely, they were given an extensive diet and gym program as well, which should have sufficed without all the surgery. On top of all that, the show had a competitive aspect as well. In follow-up interviews years later, many of the women ended up in a worse mental state than before they went on, and most of the married ones got divorced because their husbands felt like they were suddenly married to a stranger. It should come as no surprise that the show was ravaged by critics for the message it sent; Entertainment Weekly in 2010 went as far as to call it the worst reality show ever produced.
  • Charmed (1998):
    • Season 4 had Phoebe embarking on about six different hair changes that year alone. The worst however has to be halfway through, where she cuts it to shoulder length and gives herself a tiny fringe that looks more like a Dumb and Dumber homage.
    • Chris in Season 6 grows his hair out to the most unflattering curtains style imaginable - and not to mention out of fashion, considering it was already 2004 (and wreaked havoc with the continuity when he had a flashback episode to before he travelled back in time). It managed to look slightly better when he shortened it towards the end of the season, and his subsequent appearances had him with more flattering short hair.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia had this In-Universe with Mac. First when they put on massive amounts of fat, thinking it made them look powerful and intimidating, but which everyone else just thought looked gross. Then, later, when Mac actually got a bodybuilder physique, the rest of the Gang, while not repulsed by it, were still utterly apathetic.
  • Everybody Loves Raymond: In the early seasons, Patricia Heaton has a sense of Unkempt Beauty which ties in nicely with her character: as a frequently-frazzled mom of three small children, she's more focused on taking care of her family than her own appearance, but she's clearly naturally attractive, wears flattering, stylish-yet-practical clothing, and has her hair in a well-groomed but low-maintenance bob. In later seasons, though, the producers apparently decided that Heaton needed to look sexier and started putting her in much more form-fitting, bust-enhancing outfits, along with growing her hair out to a style that looked like it required most of her attention. Many fans dislike the change and prefer Debra's original look, especially because the makeover is closely tied to her Flanderization of being overly controlling and nasty to Ray. Compare early Debra and later Debra here; note that the second link reveals that the producers initially wanted someone "hotter" for the part, suggesting that the style change was their way of getting what they planned all along.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Dolph Ziggler had a brief period in 2011 where he cut all his bleached-blond hair into a brunette buzzcut and switched to some more muted trunks. Vickie Guerrero called this "new and improved", but the result made him look like The Generic Guy.note  It was unanimously agreed that the change was ill-thought out and he re-bleached the hair as soon as it got long enough.
  • WWE Diva Aksana made the unwise decision to go from blonde to brunette. This is a polarizing one, however, as just as many prefer her with dark hair as they do with blonde. What makes this especially odd is that the hair and costume change was brought on by a gimmick switch - going from ditzy foreigner to Femme Fatale. The actual character was pitched by Karlee Pérez for herself, and it was just given to Aksana for no apparent reason.
  • While on the subject of WWE Divas, Nikki Bella got breast implants in 2012 because she was unhappy with her figure as she approached 30. Many fans are upset because she no longer looks like her twin sister Brie, and since most women in professional wrestling have breast implants, it was admirable that they did not have them. However, there are others who are fine with it for obvious reasons. Nikki also opted to start weight training, developing a more muscular physique than Brie. This choice is divisive for two conflicting reasons.
  • Some fans have this reaction to various wrestling women putting in hair extensions or weaves. Charlotte in particular was attacked for how bad her fake hair looked when she first started wearing them.
  • Any male wrestler known for having long hair that gets it cut short can inspire this reaction. The Undertaker is one such example. He has cut his hair short several times over his career (even sporting a mohawk during the early 2010s), but he has always grown it back out, likely because it's part of his trademark image. Edge also cut his hair short after retiring, but as of 2017 has grown it long again. Some wrestlers, such as Diamond Dallas Page, Christian and Triple H, are agreed to look better with short hair than long hair.
  • The short-haired, clean shaven AJ Styles grew long hair and a beard in 2013. His "Soccer mom" hairstyle is often mocked in the fandom and many wish he'd cut it short again.
  • Sheamus returned from a long hiatus in early-2015, now sporting a spiked mohawk, a nose ring and beads hanging from his beard. The fans in the arena began chanting "You look stupid!" at him, and continued to do so until he went back to his original look in 2020.
  • Aliyah dyed her hair black shortly after being signed — in what many fans assumed to be an attempt to look more convincingly Arab. Notably, by the time she became a proper regular on TV, she was back to light brown. When she did go dark in 2018, it was agreed to look much better.
  • Similarly Becky Lynch got a lot of rolled eyes when she dyed her blonde hair red shortly after being signed — due to concerns that she was being forced to adopt an Oireland gimmick. Which she did, but it was then phased out due to negative fan reactions. She later changed her hair to bright orange to fit a character switch to a Steampunk Genki Girl — which is agreed to be a better fit.
  • Alicia Fox is known for changing her hair a lot and some of her attempts raise eyebrows — such as a few of her nightmarishly ugly red weaves in 2011. She even gave herself a Luna Vachon-style mohawk briefly in 2016 — something she herself regretted instantly.
  • Krissy Vaine spoke in an interview with Diva Dirt about how she had to darken her hair to get WWE to hire her - as they felt she looked too similar to Torrie Wilson (quote them "we already have one of those"). She further underlined the oddness by saying that when she got sick of the colour and went back to her original platinum blonde, she was called up to TV immediately.
  • Angela Fong likewise had to change her hair colour completely when she was called up to TV because apparently people confused her with Gail Kim.

    Video Games 
  • One of the most notorious examples is Bomberman Act:Zero, a gritty reboot in a dully-colored post-apocalyptic setting that reimagined the Bombers as grotesque cyborgs. It was mocked and snarked on as early as the first previews, and upon being released (and flopping miserably) even more so, to the point that Hudson Soft considered it an embarrassment and quickly went back to the "cute" aesthetic they had been using before.
  • Otacon switched his glasses for contacts in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots because it made him look "more handsome". The general consensus was relief when he put his glasses back on and started looking sexy and sophisticated again instead of mildly dorky.
  • Xenosaga 2's new 'realistic' character models were so reviled by the fans, that the new, new characters in Xenosaga 3 were much closer to the first game (though not the same).
    • This also included Shion losing her glasses and wearing sexier clothes, fans preferred her dorky, more modest appearance in the first game - which at the time was unusual for a JRPG protagonist.
  • Lady of the Devil May Cry series was changed from an appropriately moody teenager with a slight tomboyish Catholic Schoolgirl-esque moe look (due to purple spandex shorts and her 'skirt' being made of ammo for her guns) in the third game to... just another busty woman with a Navel-Deep Neckline and flawless skin, having her dress less modestly than Trish in the fourth game. Her minimal role in the fourth game's story didn't help either, so fans were surprised at her DMC4 role focusing more on Fanservice appeal. Fortunately, this is rectified in DMC5 where her proportions and clothing style return to what they originally were in the third game.
  • The Frogger series underwent a massive reboot with The Great Quest in the early 2000s, Frogger himself going through an Anthropomorphic Shift. The game's art style was... not great, making Frogger look absolutely hideous as a result. Luckily, after The Great Quest fumbled both critically and commercially, the creators learned their lesson and quickly replaced it with the Frogger's Adventures series in which Frogger, though still anthropomorphic, was much easier on the eyes.
  • FakeFactory's Cinematic Mod for Half-Life 2 gave the old Source engine a serious kick in the pants, allowing for far more beautiful environments. While these were applauded, fans everywhere raged at the inclusion of the author's version of Alyx Vance. The mod replaces Alyx's down-to-earth, realistic appearance with a new model based on real-life supermodel Adriana Lima, wearing a midriff-baring shirt and exposing her cleavage. Later versions removed her bra, showing Alyx's nipples through her shirt. Many Half-Life 2 fans revolted at the changes, because the entire reason she was popular was because she wasn't a Sports Illustrated pinup girl and more of a Girl Next Door.note 
  • The Sims games act as a storytelling medium as well as a video game. Anyone can send stories to the official website accompanied by images from the game. Many, many of these stories consist of the pre-made resident Sims getting makeovers. While some are fine, a lot are unnecessary. A lot of them feature the Sims being redesigned so as to lose their distinctive quirky appearances, often with an over-reliance on third-party downloadable content.
  • Dragon Age II: Hawke's Love Interest gets a costume switch immediately after their Relationship Upgrade, in most cases a pretty minor alteration. Merrill gets a complete change from her grey and green clothes to a strange white and silver costume that not only ditches the Scarf of Asskicking but doesn't interact with the character model correctly to the point that her neck overlaps the high collar when she's moving her head around.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • It's a plot point twist where we discover who Princess Zelda is and not a proper makeover, so it serves as more of a visual cue than an intentional makeover, and for that reason wouldn't be this, except that the in-game reaction in The Wind Waker is that Tetra is much prettier as Zelda. Many feel she looked better as Tetra the pirate girl. It's more the in-game reaction that evokes this trope because it's not meant to be an actual makeover, but merely a revelation. But then again, there was no need to have her clothes change from her cute pirate outfit to a typical Princess Zelda dress since only the identity was revealed, but we guess a text revelation isn't as dramatic. It's telling that in Phantom Hourglass, she not only stays in her original identity throughout the entire game but expresses disdain at being called "Zelda".
    • Midna in Twilight Princess tends to get similar reactions to her more humanoid "true form", with people finding her initial implike design cuter, more unique, and conveying more of her sassy appeal. It's not uncommon for people to joke that Midna's imp form essentially proved the codifier for "shortstack" designs (i.e. a short, busty female character with Hartman Hips), and artwork of Midna's imp form far outweighs her true form, even—hell, especially on porn sites.
  • Ashley's new look in Mass Effect 3 is this. Her Prim and Proper Bun in the first two games is a much more practical hairstyle for her vocation, and more flattering to her face shape than the new bangs.
  • Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have extensive modding communities; there are plenty of mods that change the appearance of the protagonist, various notable characters as well as equipment. Since these mods purely subjective, being made with the tastes of the author in mind, gamers looking at these mods can think of them as being Unnecessary Makeovers.
  • This was the general reaction to some of the redesigns from Shin Megami Tensei IV. While some, like Minotaur, made sense to be redesigned since he hadn't been seen in the series for an extremely long time, others like the Archangels and Lucifer were less so. This issue was made worse due to them being redesigned by guest artists causing them to feel out of place in the game.
  • Cole MacGrath in inFAMOUS had a buzz cut and Perma-Stubble, but in early pre-release footage of inFAMOUS 2 he was redesigned with thicker hair and a full beard, which made him look too much like Nathan Drake. inFamous fans hated the new Cole so much that Sucker Punch changed him back to his old look before it was too late.
  • Fans are very divided on Riku's redesign as of Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], which gave him shorter hair. Half of the fandom is grateful for the change, while the other half laments the loss of Riku's Sephiroth-esque Long Haired Prettyboy appeal. When his hair was shortened further in Kingdom Hearts III, the debate only intensified.
  • Shaundi from the Saints Row series underwent drastic changes from her debut in Saints Row 2 and her second appearance in Saints Row: The Third. Regarding her appearance, in 2 she had distinctive blonde dreadlocks and do-rag in her hair and wore a get-up that simply composed of a casual camisole and pair of flare trousers, fitting her status as The Stoner. In the second game, her blonde dreadlocks are replaced with a brown ponytail and she wears more flashy, upmarket clothing that fits her shape better, but aren't as memorable. However, her appearance change was divisive at worst and it was the new personality (going from a Really Gets Around laid-back stoner chick into a tense, vengeful Faux Action Girl, being very close to being a Distaff Counterpart of Johnny Gat) that pissed off Saints Row fans more than the new look. Saints Row IV rectifies the problem by giving an explanation to Shaundi's changes (her celebrity status and peer pressure caused her to lose interest in smoking, and Johnny Gat's death caused her to be much angrier), making her less tense, and having a simulation of the 2 Shaundi appear many times in the game (complete with a Meet Your Early-Installment Weirdness moment).
  • Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 2nd Season pulls one on Taku Komori, a hikkikomori character that the player can pursue in the attempt to get him out of his shell and return to going to school regularly again. Should the player succeed, Taku will cut his messy, chin-length hair into a much shorter, sportier look, and dons the Hanegasaki Academy uniform. Going by the online reaction of players, they would have much preferred him to retain his L-esque haircut.
  • Pokémon:
    • While most of the character redesigns for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are praised, Team Magma Admin Tabitha's makeover isn't. While his new personality wasn't criticized, the adaptions cause him to undergo Adaptational Ugliness, with the most glaring changes being slight hair growth, a significant weight gain despite being rather fit in the original adaption, ditching his traditional getup for a clunkier one that really makes his weight stand out, and his eyes being constantly shut. It doesn't help that this stands out like a sore thumb in comparison to the other admins, all of whom underwent Adaptational Attractiveness, and for the most part, have a few remnants of their past designs intact.
    • Downplayed in Pokémon Sun and Moon. During the second half of the game, Lillie ditches her distinct brimmed hat and dress get-up for a sportier get-up and ties her long hair in a ponytail, as a means of showing her strengthening resolve in helping to defeat her mother. While many prefer her pre-makeover appearance (indeed, most depictions of Lillie in fan art and official depictions show her with this), her makeover is still liked as it keeps her Moe elements and as it shows her fleeting away from her mother's influence.
  • The various Ascensions in Fate/Grand Order often get this response, with fans preferring lower-level looks to the "upgraded" ones. Reasons vary, but tend to include the many instances of armored Servants losing their cool armor, outfits going from decently attractive and tasteful to Stripperific (especially on underage characters), or just a streamlined and iconic design suddenly gaining a bunch of useless bits and bobs. Fortunately, the game provides the option to switch to their lower-level sprites if you don't like the high-level looks.
  • Marvel's Spider-Man 2: In the last stretch of the game, Miles makes and wears a new suit called the "Evolved" Suit. Unfortunately, fans near-unanimously find the makeover godawful, with massive over-design, a garish color scheme, a hood that's not even worn, exposed hair that looks awful with a mask due to Miles' hair style, and tacky Adidas sneakers. It was probably meant to symbolize Miles' growing confidence and willingness to differentiate himself from Peter, but fans widely felt that his iconic black-and-red costume already did that and looked much better. Making it all worse is that he makes this new suit during an alien invasion, making it seem like he cares more about fashion than saving the city.

  • Can I Be Drawn Better:
    • A stick figure asks its artist to draw it better, from which he turns it into a cartoon girl. The girl then asks to be drawn pretty, to which the artist gives her long hair and nicer clothes. However, her facial features are exactly the same and as shown in the Know Your Meme comments, plenty of readers think she looked pretty before he gave her the makeover.
    • Inverted in this parody comic, where the artist leaves it a stick figure, saying "You are already perfect." The stick figure is pleased with this.
  • Made into an entire story arc in Girls with Slingshots after Clarice questions Maureen's sex appeal. Maureen reads US Magazine, gives herself a makeover, and starts trying to be aggressive, which upsets her boyfriend and her platonic friends until she reverts to being Maureen.
  • Danny of Roomies! shouts at his TV about this. Thankfully, Joe's prophecy appears to be coming true these days.
  • In Sticky Dilly Buns, Amber and Dillon helped Ruby prepare for her first date. Their efforts didn't improve much on her nerdy charm.
  • "Bimbofication" images often focus on taking a regular character and transforming them into a blonde-haired, large-breasted nymphomaniac. A common complaint about them is that the characters themselves looked more appealing and unique beforehand, instead of just being a long-discredited stereotype, as well as some bimbofication art end up with exaggerated proportions that hits the uncanny valley for some viewers.

    Web Originals 
  • This poem by Monica Gilbey Bieber gruesomely deconstructs this trope. In the poem, an evil seamstress most likely meant to symbolize society forcibly sews a dress and mask into the skin of her victim, meant to symbolize the person being forced to change into someone s/he is not.
  • In The Nostalgia Chick's video on Grease, she has a "makeover fairy" drop by to give her BFF Nella a makeover. Boy, does it not work. Most of the comments on the video said either "There's nothing wrong with Nella!" or "How could you be so nasty to her?"note 
    • The makeover fairy makes another appearance in the Hercules episode, when she takes advantage of Nella and the Chick being trashed and unconscious to apply lipstick and make them "so pretty!"
    • Her appearance in the Jem episode sends the girls into the "height" of 80s fashion. Oh, yeah, they look as ridiculous as that sounds.
    • When she appears in the Grease 2 review, she attempts to makeover Todd in the Shadows. She fails miserably. Again. Honestly, her entire shtick as a recurring character is failing miserably at makeovers.
  • In Obscurus Lupa's review of "Vampire Dog", she notes that the makeover the dog helps give his owner is pointless — not because he looked better before, but because he doesn't look any different whatsoever. As she notes, they are even using clothes he already has in his wardrobe anyway.
  • In one episode of the React series, some of the YouTubers reacted this way upon watching the music video to Tay Allyn's "Mass Text." To quote, "Did [Allyn] just get a makeover? She looks the same!"
  • The Music Video Show provides the quote of this page and the host gets upset at the music video for having a woman's nail polish being changed from black to white, the former color which he wears on his nails.
  • The popular "Original vs. Un-Tumblrized" meme originates from a comparison image of Tank Penny from Fortnite. The "Un-Tumblrized" edit of Penny is widely derided for making the character thinner with more buxom, removing the pink ombré from her blonde hair, lightening the character's skin (with a very noticeable thong line) and changing her eye colour to blue, and inexplicably giving her a cross necklace.

    Western Animation 
  • Lampshaded in the aptly named Clone High episode "Makeover, Makeover, Makeover: the Makeover Episode". Joan allows Abe to give her a makeover as a way of getting his attention; for some reason he decides a feathered haircut, a nurse's uniform, and a cybernetic eye are the look. When Joan is understandably upset, her foster grandfather tries to help "fix" it. Since he's literally blind, this is no help at all. He puts Joan in a football helmet and a stack of tires. Cleo intervenes and at least takes Joan shopping for actual clothes, though barely. Joan's final look is something even Bad Sandy would call over the top - big tousled hair, blue eyeshadow, and red lipstick, with a micro-mini dress, red fishnets, and spike heels. After all of that, Abe still isn't interested in her, and Joan ends up accepting an invite to prom from JFK in an attempt to make him jealous.
  • In the Futurama episode "The Cyber House Rules" has an in-universe example. Leela - a one-eyed mutant who's otherwise a Cute Monster Girl - gets plastic surgery to have two eyes and therefore look normal. Fry is portrayed as the voice of reason for loving Leela just as she is, and she realises the error of her ways when the plastic surgeon wanted to perform more surgery on a child with a similar deformity. Naturally the episode ends with a Reset Button as Leela goes back to her old look.
  • A late episode of Johnny Bravo has Don Knotts, "Weird Al" Yankovic and Blue Falcon give Johnny a makeover to appeal to changing tastes in kids. After the new Johnny is presented, the kids hate it.
  • In Season 4 of Kim Possible, Kim's mission outfit is ruined during an assignment, and for very nebulous reasons she can't simply replace it with an identical version (especially considering a Season 1 episode had her look become a worldwide sensation, leading one to believe that there should be thousands of copies for resell). After an entire episode of trying to find a new look, she finally settles on one that's more-or-less the same but with a purple shirt that covers her belly as opposed to a black one that displays her midriff. This has led many fans to speculate that the showrunners simply needed to excuse for Kim to show less skin.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Shadybug's Good Makeover is often seen as a downgrade from her original design, which had a cuter hairstyle and more design elements that contrasted her from Ladybug. Her makeover is essentially a less cohesive version of Ladybug's design, making it stand out less and look cluttered design-wise due to her pink bangs and red outfit clashing with one another.
  • Both Bright Eyes and Lancer get one in the My Little Pony Tales episode "Roll Around The Clock". They are also told to act like pompous jerks, which causes both to get angry at the other.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Gwen Stacy, who looked rather like a teenaged Debra Whitman (although this continuity's Debra underwent a Race Lift. It's complicated), had a makeover for a Valentine's Day outing. The glasses went, the hair was loose and long, and she kept the headband, making her look... like comics!Gwen Stacy, however, it also makes her look a lot like a Blonde MJ and a nicer version of Sally Avril. She kept the look in subsequent episodes.
  • Parodied in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture": Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, who were fairly average-looking for the SpongeBob universe, come out of the makeup trailer as horrible, stapled, rubber-banded monstrosities.
  • Mr. Persnickety /Pernickety in The Mr. Men Show was redesigned from the character Mr. Fussy, but by the time the second season happened, he was given a drastic change in terms of looks. He was repainted dark green and renamed like his book counterpart due to Chorion wanting the show b more like the books. Some fans that grew up watching the show since the first season thought the makeover was unneeded for a few reasons. For one, his original name from the first season made him more high class sounding as compare to "Fussy" which sounds more childish. While fans like his skin color to be more darker compare to the other brightly colored green characters, some thought he should've kept the green hair color like in the first season. The last major complaint from fans was him being more one noted. While Mr. Fussy had his moments in the first season being a neat freak, he does try to be friendly with the other characters. But the second season makes him more meaner as the show focuses more on him being uptight (worse in the comics by Viz where he is strict about the rules) compare to him being fleshed out from the first season.
  • In one of the final episodes of Star Wars Rebels, Kanan Jarrus went clean-shaven, cutting not only his Padawan braid but also his beard (even past the goatee he had in the first two seasons). And man does he look terrible with it. Fangirls and fanboys alike reacted with almost unanimous dismay, and fanart of him is practically guaranteed to feature his original hairstyle. Although it's done for important in-story reasons and represents a significant milestone for his character, he's barely recognizable and looks about twelve years old without the beard. Some people even joked that it's the kind of haircut you'd expect a blind man to end up with when cutting his own hair.
    • To a less significant extreme, some fans had this reaction to Ezra's haircut in the last two seasons. Starting with the season three premiere, he hits a growth spurt and matures facially, which was generally well-received, but he also gets a rather severe, military-style haircut, which wasn't. The general consensus is that it's very unflattering and not nearly as appealing as his long, shaggy hair from the first two seasons.