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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.



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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.
  • My Hero Academia.
    • Subverted with Izuku, who has to work his ass off to go from scrawny nerd to muscled and athletic in order to even survive being given One For All. 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 forces men to tell her she's beautiful. After she eats the Slip-Slip Fruit, she gains 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.

    Comic Book 
  • Captain America turns from an asthmatic weakling into the pinnacle of human athleticism after being given the super soldier serum.
  • In 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.
  • 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.
  • Subverted with 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.
  • In New Super-Man, 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.
  • Invoked in Secret Wars (1984). 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.
  • Spider-Man
  • Inverted with Sistah Spooky in Empowered - 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.
  • In 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.
  • 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 have model-perfect looks, and well-endowed figures for heroines. Lori Loud even 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 Gag Boobs 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.


    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 Hollywood 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 Douluo Dalu, all of the protagonists the get progressively hotter as they reach higher levels of cultivation. Tang San is said to have 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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).

    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.


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