Top 10 Times Cartoon Characters Changed Their Appearance

Cartoon characters usually keep the same design in every episode to make it easier for animators and because it makes the characters more recognizable and marketable. Sometimes however, their physical appearance will completely change to fit the narrative being told in a specific episode. Here are the best times a cartoon character's appearance completely changed.
The Top Ten
1 Pickle Rick (Rick and Morty)

Easily one of the funniest and most iconic transformations in cartoons. In Rick and Morty season 3, episode 3, Rick turns himself into a pickle to avoid family therapy with his daughter Beth and his grandchildren Morty and Summer. Because of something Morty did however, Rick can't transform back into a human easily and ends up in the sewers where he has to fight for his life. He eventually gives his new body an upgrade after he kills a rat. The rest of the episode turns into an action movie skit that sees Rick fighting a bunch of bad guys.

2 Handsome Squidward (SpongeBob SquarePants)

In the episode "The Two Faces of Squidward", SpongeBob accidentally slams a door on Squidward's face, who is then rushed to the hospital where he gets facial reconstruction surgery. The treatment makes him amazingly handsome and beautiful, so much so that the citizens of Bikini Bottom faint because of how handsome he is, ask for autographs and follow him around, his reaction of course being that he likes all this attention. Eventually a massive crowd gathers around Squidward's house, so much so that they soon try to break in to get him. Squidward has no choice, but to escape and hide in SpongeBob's house where he begs the latter to help him get his old life back. They then have to hide into the Krusty Krab. Squidward asks SpongeBob to smash the same door that injured him into his face to turn him back the way he was again, threatening to hit SpongeBob if he doesn't. SpongeBob repeatedly slams the door in Squidward's face. This ends up making Squidward even more handsome, then suddenly ...more

That episode definitely was the most iconic for sure - out of most items in this list

3 Donut-Head Homer (The Simpsons)

In the episode "Treehouse of Horror IV", which is a parody of The Devil and Daniel Webster, Homer is at work and states that he would sell his soul for a donut after finding that Lenny and Carl took all the donuts. The devil, revealed to be Ned Flanders, appears and offers Homer a contract to seal the deal. Before Homer finishes the donut however, he has a brilliant idea, realizing that Ned will not be able to have his soul if he does not eat all of the donut, Homer keeps the final piece in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, while half-asleep and looking for a midnight snack, he eats that final piece, which prompts the devil to reappear and take Homer's soul. Marge then fights to get her husband's soul back and even hires a lawyer. Later in the episode, the jury rules in favor of The Simpsons. Enraged, the devil frees Homer, but gets his revenge by turning Homer's head into a donut. The next morning, Homer is gluttonous as ever and cannot stop eating his own head. He can't even leave ...more

4 Luna becomes Lulu (The Loud House)

In the episode "Really Loud Music" Luna is convinced by Doug and Michelle into changing her appearance for a competiion and turn her into Lulu.

5 Meg becomes hot (Family Guy)

In the episode "Don't Make Me Over", Meg asks her crush on a date, but he turns it down. In an effort to cheer her up, Lois takes Meg to the mall to get a makeover. This makeover makes Meg look so hot that she becomes popular. This ties in with the subplot of the episode where Peter and his friends start a band, because Meg becomes the lead singer. She eventually lets fame go to her head becoming rude and arrogant. This fame earns her a spot on Saturday Night Live. Meg is seduced by Jimmy Fallon, and has intercourse with him, but discovers that the entire encounter is being aired on live television as part of the show. Peter attacks and beats up Fallon in revenge. Afterward, Meg apologizes and returns to her old look as she feels "being beautiful is too much work".

I'm kind of surprised that Jimmy Fallon was okay with being portrayed as a disgusting creep who would do such a thing.

6 Bender becomes a human (Futurama)

In "Anthology of Interest II", the 18th episode of season 3 of Futurama, the crew continues where they left off in the previous episode in which Professor Farnsworth revealed his "What-If Machine". In this episode, the robot Bender ask what would happen if he was a human. The machine then shows that Professor Farnsworth would have invented a process of "reverse fossilization", which can turn metal robots into organic life-forms and then would test it on Bender who is successfully transformed into a human. After a short period of adaptation, Bender loses self-control over his new senses of taste, touch and emotional responses, and goes on a sensory input binge. A week later, at the Academy of Science Nobel Prize judging, the Professor presents Bender, who has become so fat he cannot move.

7 Giant Kangaroo Monster (Courage the Cowardly Dog)

In the episode "The Transplant", Muriel has the dog Courage dig a hole in the ground so she can plant a new flower as her previous one died. Courage digs very deep in the ground and finds a bone. After digging all around that bone, it reveals more bones which turn out to be the bones of an extinct giant kangaroo creature. Courage's old master Eustace decides to auction it off, but in the process injures his back. Dr Vindaloo performs a disc transplant on Eustace using a vertebrae from the monster that Courage kept, which causes him to mutate into a giant Kangaroo monster. Eustace then kidnaps his wife and runs off with her like Donkey Kong kidnapping a princess. Courage then has the doctor implant another monster bone into him to transform himself so he can fight Eustace and save Muriel.

8 Roger as Ricky Spanish (American Dad)

Everyone's favorite alien Roger from American Dad has disguised himself multiple times throughout the show's seasons, taking on different personas from different purposes, one of them being to be able to get out of the Smith family's house without being recognized by the CIA. Roger's most famous and evil persona is Ricky Spanish, simply because he managed to get himself hated by the entire town when using this persona. The seventeenth episode of the eighth season of American Dad is the episode to watch if you haven't seen it yet.

9 Mecha-Streisand (South Park)

In the 12th episode of season 1 of South Park, the episode is centered around actress and singer Barbra Streisand, and of course she is parodied pretty hard in classic South Park fashion, though the episode focuses more on her singing career specifically, depicting her voice as annoying. There are two different stories being told here, one was the fourth boys Cartman, Stan Kyle and Kenny finding an old triangular relic during a school trip, the relic being called the Diamond of Pantheos, and the rest of the episode centers around Streisand already having a similar relic and wanting to acquire the other piece. Later in the episode, Streisand acquires the relic from the boys and turns into "Mecha-Streisand", which is basically a giant robotic creature that resembles the monster Godzilla. She is later defeated in the episode by Leonard Maltin, Sidney Poitier, and Robert Smith, all of whom took the forms of Japanese movie monsters.

10 Cartman gets breast implants (South Park)

Eric Cartman and his mom have been forced to move out into a cheaper home, an abandoned hotdog stand, in a recent episode because Cartman didn't want his mom to have a job and therefore not be able to tend to his every selfish needs. To fix that, Cartman tried to convince his mom to get breast implants, in the hopes of seducing a rich man and get them both out of poverty. After she refused, Cartman raised enough money to pay for the procedure and brought his mom to the clinic thinking she would be forced to take it. As you can imagine, she refused. Frustrated, Cartman said "If you won't get fake breasts, then I will" thinking she's object and finally gets the breast implants. Unfortunatly for Cartman, his mom had enough of his antics and let her son suffer the consequences of his actions.

The Contenders
11 Animal Remote (Dexter's Laboratory)

In the episode "Changes", which is the pilot episode of the series, Dexter's sister Dee Dee goes into Dexter's laboratory after their mom asks her to check if her brother is ready to go to school. Dexter is obviously not happy about his nosy sister's intrusion and so the two start chasing each other around the lab, making a mess of the place, eventually stumbling upon Dexter's latest invention: a hand-held device that turns people into various animals. Dee Dee being mad that she saw one of her dolls used as a test dummy in the lab, she uses the remote on Dexter, turning him into a rabbit. Dexter then uses the remote and turns Dee Dee into a frog. The two go back and forth, turning each other into different animals like a beaver, a tiger, a dinosaur, etc. Their mom then goes to check on them, mad at their antics, they both race to press the button on the remote and are successful in turning each other back to normal, with only one problem: Dexter now looks like Dee Dee and Dee Dee now ...more

12 Strawberry Peter (Family Guy)
13 Lucy gets a makeover (The Loud House)

From the episode "Back in Black" Lucy wants to be more regular and normal so that Lincoln's friend Rusty's little brother Rocky will like her and when the sisters find out they become overjoyed with her wanting to be more normal that they give her a new makeover in order to gain Rocky's attention.

14 Ed Bighead becomes a clown (Rocko's Modern Life)

From the episode "Closet Clown" where who despite his distain for clowns suddenly starts becoming one himself and gets actual joy from being a clown but tries to keep it a secret from everyone else.

15 KevMan (Paradise PD)

In the third episode of season two of Paradise PD, Karen creates an all-female police force to combat Randall's misogynistic politics at Paradise P.D. after finding out that Gina gets paid less than her male counterparts in the department. Randall and the rest of the men of Paradise PD get kicked out of their police station, after Karen takes it over and uses it for the female police force. Randall combats her by establishing his own all-male police force, but soon is very upset with his police force for being shown up by a bunch of women and he blames Kevin mostly. Randall believes that Kevin is not acting manly enough and vows to train him to become the more ideal man. During training, Randall puts testosterone patches on Kevin turning him into a mega-buff bulked up alphachad, who now goes by "Kev-Man" and is more efficient against criminals than any of the male or female officers in the town. Later though, the testosterone patches turn Kev-Man into a gigantic behemoth that acts ...more

16 Dizzy Devil becomes a gentleman (Tiny Toon Adventure)

From the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Dapper Diz" where Plucky and Hampton turn to Mr. Popular/Buster Bunny into changing Dizzy into the perfect friend by making him more of a gentleman however DIzzy's new transformation ends up alienating him from all of his friends who can't stand his snobbish personality.

17 Ben transforms into Ultimate Swampfire (Ben 10: Alien Force)
18 Lampwick transforms into a donkey (Pinocchio)
19 Peter becomes handsome (Family Guy)
20 Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup get turned into gogs (The Powerpuff Girls)
21 Mr. Garrison gets a sex change (South Park)
22 Johnny transforms into a spider (Johnny Test)

In the episode "Johnny Long Legs", Susan and Mary experiment on Johnny with spider DNA. The first test gives Johnny 4 arms, which made him very good at dodgeball at school. When Johnny got home, their father Hugh saw this and yelled at the twins to turn their brother back to his normal self before dinner. In their hurry, the girls accidentally turn Johnny into a spider. Dukey the dog sneezes and sends Johnny flying out the window right in front of the school bully Bumper who decides to feed Johnny to Mr. Muncher. Dukey asks the sisters to turn him into something to save Johnny. Turned into a bat, Dukey scares off Bumper and brings Johnny back to the sister who then turn the two back to normal.

23 Leela gets a second eye (Futurama)
24 Homer gets hair (The Simpsons)
25 Everyone's genders are swapped (Futurama)

This happened in the twentieth episode of the sixth season of Futurama titled "Neutopia" where the Planet Express crew become a airline and on their first flight across space, they crash on a planet where a sentient rock alien appears and is fascinated by everyone's genders. Initially seeing both genders are angry at each other, the rock takes away everyone's privates. Without the tension caused by genders, the castaways get along and work together to repair the crashed ship. However, Hermes and LaBarbara begin to miss the feeling of physical intimacy and demand the alien to restore their genders. The alien attempts to do so, but inadvertently switches their genders. Before the alien can fix its mistake, it is vaporized by Zapp Brannigan.

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