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With Great Power Comes Great Hotness

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"Lightning gave me abs?"
Barry Allen, The Flash (2014)

A common form of Wish-Fulfillment among those who are out of shape. Most people would exercise or get Training from Hell if they want an amazing body like those characters in TV shows, comic books, or cartoons. Well, if one gets this sort of makeover, he or she won't have to!

We have ourselves a scrawny, chubby, maybe just plain ugly person. But then some supernatural event happens. This character has either been bitten by something radioactive, met a dying alien, ate a special type of food, or maybe made a deal with the devil. Now that unappealing person has superpowers and a brand new sexy body! Fanboys and Fangirls are now screaming just to see more of him or her on screen or page.

May have something to do with the Most Common Superpower.

Subtrope of Power Makeover. Often the Justified Trope of a Heroic Build. Compare Frilly Upgrade, Bishōnen Line, Progressively Prettier, and Sexier Alter Ego. Contrast Power-Upgrading Deformation and Evil Makes You Ugly. May involve Transformation Sequence and/or Growing Muscles Sequence, and may be part (or all) of the awesome in Cursed with Awesome. If power feels good, it's a Power High.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Akira Fudo from the Devilman franchise was just a skinny Ordinary High-School Student. After fusing with the devil warrior, Amon, he gets a super powerful body with muscles, a manlier face, and a six-pack. He becomes a Chick Magnet because of this.
  • Protagonist Hiiragi Seiichi from The Fruit of Evolution, originally a very gonky character who is notably overweight and has legendarily terrible body odor that can kill certain monsters, is transformed into a handsome, slender Bishōnen after eating the titular Power-Up Food. It's perhaps the human equivalent to the same side-effect that causes animals which consume the fruit of evolution to assume human form, as was the case with two members of his harem; Salia the gorilla and Rurune the donkey.
  • My Hero Academia.
    • Subverted with Izuku. Being given One For All didn't turn him from a scrawny nerd to muscled and athletic, it forced him work his ass off to get that way so he could survive using his own power. Even after becoming strong enough to receive it without exploding, he has to continue working out and refining his body so he can handle larger and larger fractions of its power without breaking his bones.
    • Fat Gum has a variation of this: in his normal form, he is Big Fun, being cartoonishly rotund and stout, but when the need arises, he can burn off his fat to gain a massive power boost, transforming into an athletic Hunk. Afterwards, however, he always eats to bulk back up to his usual size and regain his Kevlard.
  • "Iron Mace" Alvida from One Piece was a Fat Bitch who forced men to tell her she's beautiful. After she ate the Slip-Slip Fruit, all her excess fat slid off her body, giving her an Impossible Hourglass Figure and a pretty face.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi, Miaka is told that she gets Three Wishes as the Priestess of Suzaku, and that she can use them for anything she wants. She thinks about the possibilities, and one of them is becoming thinner and prettier and more popular with boys at school. Her decisions as to what to wish for evolve over the course of the series from entirely selfish, to a combination of selfish and selfless, to entirely selfless... and even though she gets three wishes, she only actually uses two.
  • Disturbingly parodied in Ayakashi Triangle: Lippy is normally a Cephalothorax whose only human features are a small tuft of hair and disproportionately large lips on an Eyeless Face. When she's corrupted and empowered, Lippy becomes "sexier" by gaining a hyper-exaggerated Big Beautiful Woman's figure and long wavy hair, but still has the same face.
  • Rosario + Vampire: In the manga, whenever Tsukune is injected with vampire blood to become a ghoul, he changes from an Unlucky Everydude looking guy to a Bishounen. As he is slowly transforming into a vampire, his human appearance also slowly becomes Progressively Prettier over time, and human girls start to fawn over him for his looks.

    Comic Books 
  • Captain America: Steve Rogers turns from an asthmatic weakling into the pinnacle of human athleticism after being given the super soldier serum.
  • Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!: Roger Rabbit goes from scrawny and near-sighted to as muscular as Superman after eating a Cosmic Carrot to transform into Captain Carrot. It doubles as a way to help him keep his Secret Identity, as no one believes that he's Captain Carrot because of their difference in physique.
  • Empowered: Inverted with Sistah Spooky - she found out that the Alpha Bitches at her school had sold their souls for massive hotness and did the same thing... except her Infernal Services Provider messed up and gave her far more magical power than he'd intended.
  • Gen13:
    • Caitlin Fairchild's gen-activation changed her from a redhead Shrinking Violet geek girl to an Amazonian Beauty.
    • Ja'nelle Moorhead's gen-activation turned her from a short, overweight wannabe-rapper into a Statuesque Stunner, so basically the same as Caitlin's.
  • Ms. Marvel: Subverted in Ms. Marvel (2014). When Kamala Khan first gets her shapeshifting powers, she uses them to look like her idol, Carol Danvers (in her "swimsuit" Ms. Marvel costume). She quickly learns changing your outside doesn't change anything about who you are inside. . . along with many practical downsides of a typical superheroine outfit.
  • New Super-Man: Kong Kenan goes from a tubby 20-something-year-old to being as ripped as well, Superman, after being imbued with Superman's chi as part of the Chinese government's attempt to create its own party-loyal Justice League.
  • Secret Wars (1984): Invoked when Doctor Doom offers superpowers (which include attractiveness upgrades) to two unpopular college girls from the Denver suburb that makes up part of Battleworld. They become Volcana and Titania, the latter of whom becomes an Archnemesis for She-Hulk and the only one who can give her a run for her money in the strength, durability, and Amazonian Beauty departments.
  • She-Hulk: Somewhat plain, mousy Jennifer Walters becomes perhaps the definition of Amazonian Beauty, to the point she most often prefers to remain as She-Hulk, once even regarding losing the ability transform back into Jennifer as not an issue. While Jen is sometimes drawn to be more "comic book" attractive in human form, it is generally accepted that her She-Hulk form is more appealing, both in and out of universe.
  • Spider-Man:
  • Stormwatch PHD: The new Diva, Isabella Fermi, used to be overweight and unattractive. When her famous older sister Alessandra died, Stormwatch somehow turned Isabella into a near-perfect duplicate of her sister, complete with powers. This turns into a mixed blessing; on the one hand, she gets to enjoy all the fame and attention that Alessandra once enjoyed, but on the other hand, her teammates distrust her and her career comes to a sudden halt when she's blackmailed, after the media gets its hands on photos of her former appearance.

    Fan Works 
  • In Amazing Fantasy, scrawny, nerdy Izuku collapses after being bitten by a spider and goes into a coma for two days. When he wakes up, he finds that he's muscled all over like a trained acrobat. When his spider-powers develop, he goes from being almost dead-last in P.E. to outpacing even the naturally athletic Bakugou in nearly every activity.
  • Child of the Storm has Harry develop into this, with the lean Heroic Build of a dancer or a swordsman by partway into the second book - he's by no means bad looking at first, being considered cute in an adorable kind of way, and it's mostly a growth spurt or two, some magical eye surgery, and a diet to correct his malnutrition.
  • Daughter of the Titan and The Forbidden Drink, like other The Owl House fanfics that have Luz retain her ability to turn into, or permanently become her half-titan form, has Luz get hit by a double whammy of increased power and increased attractiveness by Boiling Isles standards. This is near-always included in gags involving Amity whose crush, attraction, or romantic attraction towards Luz, depending on the fic in question's placement in the series timeline, go into overdrive around Luz in this state.
  • This trope is par for the course among natural-born shipgirls in Harry and the Shipgirls. Even a woman who looks extremely homely tends to end up looking like a supermodel upon awakening as a shipgirl.
  • In Magical Puberty, wizards and witches undergo a transformation before their seventh year. The extent depends on the magical power, and usually involves some kind of improvement to certain attributes. With the kind of witches surrounding Harry, J and K are letters mentioned more than once. Thank Merlin for Featherweight Charms. Harry gets a lot of muscle and a serious case of Bigger Is Better in Bed.
  • In Risk It All, Ren notices that he gets noticeably more muscular while increasing his Strength stat. This is most noticeable after he decides to dump 30 points in Strength all at once, resulting in him packing on twenty pounds of muscle all at once overnight. Upping his Charisma also makes him look better in general, removing pimples, giving him a more pronounced jawline, and making his hair shinier following his six-month coma.
  • It's common among meta-humans in Stupor Heroics to gain model-perfect looks and well-endowed figures for heroines as a result of their empowering, and even more so if they were already attractive. Lori Loud admits that her already good looks got even better after gaining her powers.
  • Averted for Bree Daniels from Tales of the Canterlot Deportation Agency. She mentions that most mages she's met assumed that her breasts and other exotic-to-the-point-of-parody features were the product of Life magic, and they often find it hilarious when they realize that Bree has no real capacity for the Sphere and her appearance is 100% natural.
  • In The Weaver Option Taylor's face is described as "angelic" after she becomes a full Saint and gains her wings. Dennis notes that old scars and imperfections that made her look more human had disappeared, giving her a more regal appearance.
  • Taylor's ascent into divinity in The Taste of Peaches came with a dramatic boost to her looks. People question why a trigger event also gives you a makeover. Inari passing down her Fertility domain to her probably helped a lot there.
  • The Warcrafter has another example of this with Taylor. When her trigger event goes awry, Taylor not only gains a different powerset from the original story, but also gains an athletic build and an increase in her breast size. This also happens with main character Adrian and other characters, however, so this is hardly exclusive to her.

    Film - Animated 
  • Hal Stewart from Megamind is a fat lazy loser with a childish personality. After getting Metro Man's powers from Megamind, he is granted the hero's Heroic Build! His body is literally part of his power set: When Megamind depowers him after his Face–Heel Turn at the end, he reverts back to being fat and slovenly.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Captain America: The First Avenger: Like in the comics, Steve Rogers gets this makeover after his infusion of super-soldier serum. He goes from short and scrawny to so buff it results in Peggy Carter (and Hayley Atwell) Eating the Eye Candy.
  • My Super Ex-Girlfriend: The titular girlfriend goes from unattractive (well, as unattractive as Uma Thurman can be made to look) to as beautiful as Uma Thurman can be made to look when she gains her powers. Special focus is given to her gaining the Most Common Superpower.
  • Like in the comics, Peter Parker in Spider-Man was a scrawny nerd until he got bitten by the spider, which leaves him in a groggy haze until he goes home and collapses on his bed. He wakes up with muscles and fixed eyesight that he refers to as a "big change" but hides underneath his baggy sweaters and pants.
  • David Cronenberg's shooting script for The Fly (1986) played with this — Doomed Protagonist Seth Brundle, an out-of-shape fortysomething, became much stronger and more attractive in the immediate wake of his Teleporter Accident before Body Horror and mental decline set in. This was lost thanks both to a tight shooting schedule (December '85 start date for an August '86 release) and the casting of then-33-year-old, Tall, Dark, and Handsome Jeff Goldblum as Seth, resulting in the character being a nerd with an unusually muscular body (i.e. what originally would have been his post-fusion appearance is that from the beginning). Interestingly, Seth's personality still noticeably changes — he's dorky at the start, but in those "high" early stages of his transformation becomes confident and casually, darkly seductive — which does make him appear more conventionally attractive, just in a villainous way.

  • In Stephen King's Carrie, the title character is initially described as fairly chunky and acne-ridden. However, she slowly explores her Psychic Powers over the course of the story, and when Tommy arrives to pick her up for prom, he tells her that she's beautiful. It could be mostly psychological, though, as Carrie also grows more confident in herself until she eventually tells her abusive mother where to stuff it, and a big part of why she was an outcast was her crippling shyness. The film adaptations handle this slightly differently, casting conventionally attractive young actresses in the part and going the Hollywood Homely route until her Beautiful All Along makeover.
  • In Douluo Dalu, all of the protagonists get progressively hotter as they reach higher levels of cultivation. Tang San emerged from absorbing the Soul Ring of a Man-Faced Demon Spider with fairer skin, a lithe-but-toned physique, handsome features, and long blue hair. Ma Hongjun also goes from having a stout physique that got him called "Fatty" to a tall Bishōnen who could floor people with his noble presence alone.
  • In Heralds of Valdemar, magic Power Dyes Your Hair, permanently bleaching Mystical White Hair and causing an Eye Colour Change to Occult Blue Eyes. How characters feel about that depends as to some it does cause an impression of greater age, which, again, is welcome to certain characters like Elspeth. She's glad to get some distance from her childhood reputation as a Royal Brat. The Tayledras, the one people most inundated with magic in the setting, see the inevitable coloration changes as a natural indication of adulthood and celebrate how powerful young mages bleach out early.
  • In The House of Night, those who survive the transformation into a vampyre become inhumanly beautiful. Of course, the goddess-drawn tattoos they develop don't hurt.
  • The Vampire Chronicles: People who are transformed into vampires become uniformly, preternaturally beautiful. For people like Armand, who looked angelic in life, the effect is dazzling.
  • Warbreaker: A rare few humans who die heroically Come Back Strong as "Returned" with new, idealized bodies, and are worshiped as gods in Hallandren. Most are seven feet tall, beautiful, and perfectly muscled, with some variation — Blushweaver gets an extra helping of the Most Common Superpower, while Allmother looks like everyone's favourite granny. It's eventually revealed to be a subconscious use of their latent Humanshifting power.
  • Whateley Universe: The Exemplar power defines a template for the body image, making the person conform to it. Usually, it's hot.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Flash (2014), after Barry Allen gains his Super-Speed, he finds his body is also more toned than it used to be, leading to the page quote. In this case, his powers come with a faster metabolism that burns fat quickly (but with the drawback that he needs to pack in extra calories to compensate, lest he pass out from hunger).
  • She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, like in the comics, once Jen Walters earns the same Hulking Out powers of cousin Bruce Banner the result is an Amazonian Beauty. In a dating app, Jen only lands her one Bad Date, while a profile for Shulkie leads to a stream of matches ("Well, that's demoralizing for Jen!").
  • Smallville:
    • "Metamorphosis": Greg Arkin is initially depicted with pimples, unkempt hair and round glasses. After being mutated by meteor-rock infected bugs, Greg literally sheds his previous skin and becomes more conventionally handsome, ditching the glasses and now having smoother skin and straighter hair.
    • "Facade": Invoked on Abigail Fine. The episode's flashback shows her with a severe case of acne that earned her the nickname "Scabby Abby". Abby underwent a procedure done by her mother using meteor rock which made her more conventionally attractive but also gave her the ability to cause hallucinations in anyone she kissed.
  • In the Australian children's science-fiction series Wicked Science, Elizabeth undergoes this after her transformation into a genius, going from geeky unpopular girl to confident and very good-looking. Although, she was already conventionally attractive, she just had to take off her glasses and let down her hair.

    Tabletop Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Cartoon animator Spazzkid created a cartoon called PowerTrip (which can be watched on YouTube and Newgrounds). It's about an unattractive geek who watches cartoons and gets superpowers by looking at the sun, giving him muscles and a handsome face. WARNING: DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN!

  • In The Gamer, Jee-Han's "The Gamer" ability normally prevents this, as like most MMO characters his appearance won't change just because his stats went up. But when he learns the Cheonbu Spirit Mastery skill from Cheonbumoon, his body undergoes "metamorphosis", upping all of his stats and making him much beefier all over. Unfortunately, the Growing Muscles Sequence also destroys all of his clothes, including his expensive magic-boosting earring.
  • Grrl Power: In the Grrl Power universe, superpowers always make a person who gains them incredibly good looking, regardless of how they looked beforehand. Men gain a Heroic Build, women gain the Most Common Super Power. The fact that Sydney is short and skinny as a board is an instant indication that she doesn't have powers to the other characters.
  • Spinnerette:
    • Heather Brown gaining spider-powers gave her a six-pack she's immensely proud of, and she happily notes to her best friend Sahira that her bust has gotten bigger too.
    • Dr. Laura MacKenzie got her powers from a Venusian energy reactor imbedding itself in her chest, causing her breasts to grow comically large. She takes full advantage of this, calling herself Super MILF and openly admitting that she's a superhero because it's a fetish for her.
    Western Animation 
  • Totally Spies! had a very smart and Adorkable guy figure out how to siphon the coolness of other guys and transfer it to himself. The problem is, it's only temporary so he has to keep doing it. The coolness gives him all sorts of abilities he never had as himself and makes him extremely attractive. Once caught, even Sam Clover and Alex lament that it's a shame because he was "Almost Dateable."


Video Example(s):


Gamma Is A Girl's Best Friend

Bruce angsts about having turned his cousin into a gamma mutant, but Jen/She-Hulk doesn't mind because she much prefers her new appearance and powers.

How well does it match the trope?

4.62 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / WithGreatPowerComesGreatHotness

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