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Playing With / Gender Bender

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Basic Trope: A character switches genders through functional magic or Applied Phlebotinum.

  • Straight: Mike is sexist and insulting towards Marcy. She turns Mike into Michelle to teach him a lesson. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Exaggerated: A rift in the space-time continuum causes everyone on Earth to flip genders. Yes, even characters with ambiguous or unusual genders, though what exactly that entails for them is not explained, since there is global hilarity ensuing.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • A Wizard Did It.
    • Mike is a clownfish or otherwise belongs to a species in which changing gender is a normal part of the aging process.
    • Mike is a shapeshifter.
    • Mike's Y-chromosome is removed by genetic engineering.
  • Inverted: Gender Mode Lock. In a world where people normally switch genders, one person becomes unable to.
  • Subverted:
    • Mike looks no different after Marcy zaps him.
    • Mike's body is physically changed, but Mike decides that sex shouldn't be the prime determiner of gender and continues to identify as a guy anyway.
  • Double Subverted: "That's because it's a slow spell that works from your internal organs out. You're basically going to have your genitals fall off and go through puberty again, as a girl this time, and compressed into the space of a month. Have fun with the mood swings!"
  • Parodied:
    • Marcy's gender bender spell turns out only to stick Mike in a Wig, Dress, Accent Michelle costume—once he finds the zipper, he can get out.
    • After becoming female, Mike immediately turns into a Valley Girl with no trace of his prior personality. Marcy finds Michelle so annoying that she changes her back into Mike.
  • Zig Zagged: The spell is imperfect, so Mike keeps turning into Michelle or back to Mike at random intervals, generally using the Rule of Funny. Whether it affects him physically or mentally as well seems to keep going back and forth—there's evidence for both.
  • Averted: Although there are transformation powers or gadgets in the setting, no one ever changes gender.
  • Enforced: The story was written for a TG fiction site, and wouldn't have been accepted if there weren't gender-bending in there somewhere.
  • Advertisement:
  • Lampshaded: "Huh, an ancient two-faced statue marked with the combined male and female symbols. I don't like where this is headed."
  • Invoked:
    • Marcy specifically studies a spell for just such a purpose.
    • Mike, a transgender woman who wants to be Michelle, learns that Marcy is a witch, so he decides to say as many sexist remarks to her to goad her into changing him into a girl.
  • Exploited: The heroes are up against a monster and its powers don't work on women. As the team has no women, the mage turns warrior Mike into Michelle to battle the creature.
  • Defied: "Foolish witch! I am carrying the sacred herb moly, which protects me from all transformation magic. Did you really think I didn't see that coming?"
  • Discussed: " 'Turn him into a woman!' That's your answer for everything, isn't it?"
  • Conversed: "How long do you think it will be before the first Gender Bender incident in this new anime sitcom?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • The story downplays the fetishistic elements of the change, instead concentrating on the mundane details of proving your identity after a transformation, getting all your paperwork updated, avoiding becoming a scientific lab study, and dealing with the fallout of all your relationships. If in full detail, it examines the effects of a massive, sudden shift in hormones and how it affects how someone thinks and acts.
    • Protagonist has to deal with double standards and prejudice that (s)he didn't have to deal with before.
    • Mike/Michelle can't take being the opposite gender and is driven insane and/or kills him/herself.
    • The transformation not only made Mike biologically a woman, but transgender. Because of this, Mike is either left confused or is met with prejudice from those who see him as a woman.
  • Reconstructed:
    • A Wizard Did It! The reality-bending aspect of the transformation smooths over any boring mundane nitpicks, so the writer can get back to the glorious fetishes.
    • Guy turns into a girl, and can enjoy the fact that now people pay attention to her feelings, are way more reluctant to hit her, and can now act on what is often considered feminine behavior without being ridiculed for it. The paperwork may be way weird, but still less extensive and complicated as the one necessary for the sexual reassignment surgery she had been saving money for.
    • Mike, or rather Michelle, was transgender before, not after the change:As such, it's a massive windfall for her, but she is still specific to the changed who were not so fortunate.
  • Played For Laughs: The story focuses on Mike's inability to internalize "female" behavior. Man, I Feel Like a Woman, Gag Boobs, Innocent Fanservice Girl and similar tropes are in full force. In addition, Michelle's love life just got really weird.
  • Played For Drama: The story focuses on Mike's hatred of his new form and inability to cope with a woman's social role, in a metaphor for real-life gender dysphoria. Michelle faces gender discrimination both subtle and blatant, sexual harassment, and alienation from her friends and family, who don't accept her as the same person.

Go back to Gender Bender here, sir- I mean ma'am- I mean... Just... Just go, already!

Example of: