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Playing With / The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body

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Basic Trope: For some reason shapeshifting affects the way the shapeshifter thinks and behaves.

  • Straight:
    • Bob and Alice have their minds exchanged by a Mad Scientist. Despite some initial confusion and discomfort, they rapidly adjust to their new bodies. After a month or two, even though they remember their old lives, you would not be able to tell from their mannerisms or emotional reactions that they'd ever been the opposite gender.
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    • Alice is turned into a cat. She soon develops a standoffish personality that's unlike her, and has no qualms with ordinary pet food.
    • Bob drinks from the Fountain of Youth and is reverted to a teenager. His mind slowly shifts to that of a teenager's over time.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob has the ability to turn into a wolf, gaining the instincts of that form. After a week in that form, he forgets he was ever human.
    • Alice and Bob adopt each other's exact personalities and ways of thinking after about a week. After two weeks, they have learned each other's deepest secrets and memories while completely discarding their own. "Alice" and "Bob" are then completely indistinguishable from Alice and Bob from before the experiment began.
  • Downplayed:
    • A character's sexual orientation changes after a gender bender, but not their behavior or personality.
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    • A human that is turned into a wolf develops a craving for raw meat, but nothing else.
  • Justified:
    • The new body's hormones and outside social pressure to conform to the new shape's role combine to affect the shifter's attitudes.
    • The magic in a Baleful Polymorph curse slowly erodes the victim's memories and personality to make it ever harder for them to seek out or accept a cure.
    • The shapeshiftee is presented with a second consciousness that begins to blend with their own.
  • Inverted:
    • The Body Is A Plaything Of The Mind. Whatever body Emperor Evulz possesses slowly changes over time to look like his original form; his personality is just that strong.
    • Whenever Bob experiences Character Development, his appearance alters as a result.
    • Bob's personality is like the Animal Stereotype of a wolf, so a certain magic spell turns him into a wolf.
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    • Bob and Alice have their minds exchanged. Somehow, this gradually causes a physical Gender Flip to take place, and they start resembling "themselves" more and more with each passing day.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob has been acting more and more like a normal dog since he shifted into that form—but it's actually an put-on so that the villain will feel free to speak in front of him and spill his plans.
    • When Alice is turned into a cat, she doesn't gain the instincts of a cat, e.g. she lacks the grace to always land on her feet.
    • Alice gains all of the same instincts as a cat, but her personality never changes, and her humanity as a whole is not at risk. (She may even remember these instincts when converted back to human.)
    • Bob acts more and more like a dog the longer he's in dog form... turns out he's just voluntarily immersing himself.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Once the villain has been sent to jail, Bob is told that he can turn back now, but he refuses, because being a dog is more comfortable for him now.
    • After spending sufficient time as a cat, Alice learns how to land on her feet - but not by practice.
  • Parodied:
    • Macho action hero Bob is turned into a woman. He immediately begins acting out the most demeaning feminine stereotypes and insists that his name is now Missy. Several other characters point out that the Applied Phlebotinum involved doesn't affect the victim's personality... Missy doesn't believe them.
    "My new lady parts compel me to enjoy shopping for frilly lingerie!"
    • Alice dyes her hair to a shade similar to Bob's, and immediately immediately begins acting out the most demeaning masculine stereotypes and calls herself Adam.
    • A cat is turned into a human, and expresses a strange desire to fill out paperwork and eat cheap burgers.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob has been acting more and more like a normal dog since he shifted into that shape, but it was an act to throw the villain off guard, but Bob doesn't change back once the villain is captured, but he retains mostly human mannerisms, but then he becomes leader of a pack of feral dogs and renounces his humanity, but....
  • Averted: The rules of magic in this universe state that the body, mind and soul of a person are separate targets for transformation spells. Any behavioral changes in a physically transformed person are purely down to actual experiences in the new body.
  • Enforced: The writer wants shapeshifting to be a rare occurrence in her story's universe, so makes sure it has this downside.
  • Lampshaded: "Don't be silly! Turning into a dog doesn't affec—Squirrel!"
  • Invoked: Helga the Hot includes a personality-eroding effect in her Baleful Polymorph spells to really screw her victims over.
  • Exploited: Knowing that this effect exists, Charlie secretly inflicts a Gender Bender on Bob and the other boys in his class, in hope of having a better chance of getting dates.
  • Defied: "This amulet I wear prevents me from losing my true self, no matter my current form."
  • Discussed: "Bob's been acting kind of...funny ever since he turned into a dog, don't you think?"
  • Conversed: "Given that Fanfic Writer X always has her Gender Bender victims totally embrace their femininity by the end of the story, regardless of their original personalities, I'm going to presume Author Appeal."
  • Deconstructed:
    • So many people are scared of the change affecting their mind that the only people who use the device are people that want this sort of thing, such as those looking to pull off a Memory Gambit or expressing Trans Nature desires.
    • When Alice transforms into an animal and back, she gains a generic "human" personality that is nothing like her own.
    • Bob has the ability of Elemental Shapeshifting. Since inanimate things have no mind, he gradually loses his consciousness the longer he's in an elemental form. Staying as an element for too long results in Cessation of Existence.
    • Alice transforms into an animal with a small brain that can't fit her whole mind. This causes long-term amnesia or a flat-out Death of Personality.
  • Played For Laughs: Bob retains personality traits of shapes he's shifted into for a few minutes after returning to human, but it's just a set-up for episode-ending jokes.
  • Played For Drama: Bob's tendency to become more deeply immersed in the personality of his alternate forms is a serious problem, and suspense is built in long story-lines as to whether or not he'll be able to change back in time.

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