In Oh, God!, God (played by George Burns) specifically tells Jerry Landers that he could have appeared in any other form, but chose one that Jerry could understand. God does the same thing in the two sequels.And both times, he looked like George Burns. So did The Devil.One of the Sufficiently Advanced Aliens in Contact takes the form of Eleanore Arroway"s dead father in order to be able to talk to her. The Caribbean beach upon which they hold said conversation is also an example of this trope.Not just that beach. Everything she saw outside the capsule after entering the second wormhole was previously shown in the film, implying that she was in some kind of VR from that point until she was returned.Likely in an homage to this trope"s use in Star Trek, the Thermians in Galaxy Quest disguise themselves as humans when visiting Earth. Their native form looks more like a mollusk than a human. In one scene, the Thermians forget to put on their disguises when visiting the Show Within a Show"s stars—causing the latter to be quite disturbed...They also keep up the disguises when no humans are around, because their slavish devotion to the Galaxy Quest "historical documents" made them build the ship exactly as they saw it—i.e., with controls designed for human beings. In their true forms, they can"t use their own ship!The situational variant of this is used in 2001: A Space Odyssey. David Bowman travels through the Star Gate, which we presume is even more mind-blowing in the flesh, so to speak, and ends up... in a hotel room.Inverted in Avatar, it"s the humans who take on the form of aliens in an attempt to begin diplomatic negotiations with them while they plan to destroy the planet.The avatars are still different from the Na"vi, being Na"vi/human hybrids. They have smaller eyes and ten fingers and ten toes (the Na"vi have eight of each). Presumably, this is because a human wouldn"t know how to function with only four fingers on each hand.Though they seem to have no problem getting used to the tail...The recent Percy Jackson movie adaptation has Hades, whose style resembles Mick Jagger"s. When Percy, Annabeth and Grover are a little bit surprised by his appearance, he shows them his true form - a big, flamy, talking flame - and changes right back. His looks aren"t discussed any further.The humanoid version is implied to be closer to his true form - the flamey-demon-shape was just a form he picked to make them un-comfortable.
Lampshaded and double-subverted in an episode of South Park. The alien initially takes the form of Stan"s father and the kids first think that the whole "alien taking a form you are comfortable with" trope is lame. But when the alien then takes its true form, they scream and quickly ask it to go back to a "comfortable" form. They then spend quite a while going through possible forms (including Santa Claus, Saddam Hussein, and Missy Elliot) until they arrived at a taco that craps ice cream.Not to forget the form of Moses in the Super Friends episode - a giant spinning orange energy prism! Yeah.This trope is parodied in a later episode, when the "Wall Mart" tells Stan and Kyle he can take many forms. He than proceeds to put on a different hat and ask: "Does this form please you?" and takes on several other "forms" such as the same guy but wearing a jacket.
HP Lovecraft"s Old Ones avert this trope, as they can"t be concerned with whether their appearance causes puny human minds to shatter like glass.Actually, he does not always appear dressed as a Pharaoh, in Nyarlathotep; he is described only as a swarthy man "of the race of the Pharaohs" - from Lovecraft"s letter: Nyarlathotep was a kind of itinerant showman or lecturer who held forth in public halls and aroused widespread fear and discussion with his exhibitions. These exhibitions consisted of two parts — first, a horrible — possibly prophetic — cinema reel; and later some extraordinary experiments with scientific and electrical apparatus. ...In cameo appearances in Friendly Hostility, though, he has gone so far as to don a form reminiscent of Neil Gaiman with eyes of infinite space.The Mi-Go in "The Whisperer In Darkness" take a stab at this trope with the...materials they have at hand.Near the end of CS Lewis" Perelandra, two eldila attempt to find a suitable form to take when they meet the king and queen of Perelandra. Good thing, too, as their first two attempts wouldn"t have worked at all.In particular, one of those forms is described as being a particular perception of the eldila in much the same way as suffering a concussion and seeing stars is a particular perception of a rock (i.e. one that has been thrown at your head).In a short story by Margaret Attenborough, when God visits Kitty Heaven (which is actually Human Hell) he takes the form of a white Persian.Humorously played with in a science fiction story (name sadly forgotten) where a dead human whose casket is launched into space is brought back to life by a group of aliens. The main character/narrator asks the alien why it looks so human-like, to which the alien gives the standard response. He asks to see its true form, and when the being complies, the narrator notes for the audience that he "wasn"t sure which end to talk to."The Ellimist takes the form of a girl known by the Animorphs when he humbly requests their help. As he also stops time along with this, Jake thinks to himself that it"s not really all that humble. Most of the time, he appears to the Animorphs (and Elfangor, in the 80s) as an adult male, or a wrinkly elf-like creature (as seen on the cover of The Ellimist Chronicles). At the end of The Andalite Chronicles, Elfangor sees the Ellimist as he truly is: "An indescribable being of light and time and space."When the Ellimist appears to Tobias in The Change, he appears as a mixture of birds. "I saw it flying toward me. It was a bird of prey. A raptor. Some undefinable shape, part falcon, part eagle, part hawk. It had a snow-white belly and reddish-brown back and a tail that spread to show a dusky rainbow of colors." When Tobias comments that this wasn"t how the Ellimist looked the last time the Animorphs saw him, the Ellimist says that he chose a shape Tobias would identify with.Near the end of Carl Sagan"s novel Contact, the main character encounters an alien being that has taken the form of her long-dead father in an attempt to make the experience less frightening.The other characters encounter something similar. One person sees his granddaughter. Another sees her long-dead husband. And the Chinese archaeologist sees Confucius.In Glen Cook"s book Petty Pewter Gods, it turns out that practically all of the gods of the various pantheons are actually refugees from another dimension that feed on faith. Their true form seems to look something like a giant glowing sea anemone - or at least, that"s the form of something that tries to break free and into the real world.In Cruel Zinc Melodies, a mysterious presence that"s really a miles-long sentient fungal mass under the World Theater"s construction-site sends a projected image of Eleanor to communicate with Garrett.In Everworld, Senna has her astrally-projected form take the form of a military-looking man when communicating with her followers, wisely suspecting they would find that more authoritative than a pretty sixteen-year-old girl. When she actually brings them to Everworld she eventually creates the illusion of herself as a pseudo-Valkyrie for the same reason.Subverted by Aphrael in the Elenium trilogy by David Eddings (and its sequel, the Tamuli trilogy). Although she is a goddess, she chooses to appear as a barefoot little girl—not so much for the comfort of the humans with whom she interacts, but for her own. She likes to be cuddled and kissed and treated like a little princess, so she adopts the form that is virtually guaranteed to win her such treatment.Her true form isn"t that difficult to get around - a gorgeous, pale, nude young woman. Who glows. And flies. And is a source of magic. And can destroy you with a thought, if she feels like it.Inverted in the Star Trek: TNG novel Eyes of the Beholders. The Enterprise encounters an artifact of an extinct race that is sending out a psychic beacon that causes insanity with prolonged exposure, is so oddly shaped that they can"t look at the thing, and beaming aboard it overloads Data, sends Worf on a homicidal rampage. Although they deduce that it is the cultural legacy of an extremely unique race (It was basically a spacefaring art museum with psychic advertising) Picard orders it to be destroyed, before they realize that they can reprogram Data to be comfortable enough with it to go in and turn it off.
This happened a lot in the various Star Trek series:Every time a member of the Q Continuum visited the USS Enterprise, the Deep Space 9 station, or the USS Voyager, this trope occurred. Often, the Q in question would make some sort of snarky remark about having to wear a meatbag suit while doing it. And like the example from Contact above, when the crew of Voyager was taken to the Q Continuum itself, the appearance of this place was a version of this trope because the true nature of the Continuum is beyond the safe limits of mortal comprehension.In a couple of novels, Q tries to expand Picard"s horizons; one time he has them take the form of a 3-headed serpent, but it"s too much for Picard; another time, when he takes Picard and Data to the Continuum, the unfiltered sensory perception of the Continuum makes Data shut down.And adding to the mystery of how the Continuum chooses to represent itself to humans is that while the one Q we are most familiar with chose to wear the uniform of a Starfleet Admiral basically on a whim (to bother Picard, then updated it later on to bother Sisko), other Q"s most often show up as a Starfleet Admiral despite having no real personal reason to, nor even a reasonable way to know how and that it got chosen, in the case of the imprisoned, suicidal Q.The wormhole aliens in Deep Space 9 used the forms of the various cast-members when they manifested to Sisko.Once, Quark found a way of talking to them, and they got to use Sisko"s form as well.And the Caretaker in Voyager"s pilot episode appears to the crew as a kindly old man in a holographic simulation of a Southern plantation, because it believed that would be a more comfortable venue than its true jellyfish-like form, briefly glimpsed at the end of the episode. Star Trek really did love this trope.After Species 8472 took some mood stabilizers and stopped killing everything, they took human form to rehearse infiltrating the Federation headquarters on Earth. Later they have peace talks with Voyager, which would likely have been difficult in their original three meter tall form, where they kill everything they touch.They were only killing everyone because they thought everyone was like the Borg, who tried to assimilate them.The Changelings. Odo was essentially doing this every episode, which would actually make this the most frequent occurrence of this trope in the whole franchise.Lorien, from Babylon 5, appears as a wizened old man-alien... but his true form is a starship-sized ball of tentaculared glowy gas...The Vorlons—When Kosh saves Sheridan, he appears basically as whatever each person thinks an angel (or the equivalent) looks like, and he appears in Sheridan"s and G"kar"s fathers in their minds. It isn"t until later, when Ulkesh (and the remaining fragment of Kosh hiding in Sheridan"s body, which has apparently called Ulkesh out for a fight to the death) appears outside his encounter suit, that the true form of the Vorlons (thus far revealed only to Dr. Kyle and Lyta) appears: giant flying plasmatic squiddy things. Slightly subverted with the Shadows, who are frequently invisible but always corporeal and vaguely resemble giant spiky scorpions.Interestingly, Londo, an athiest, didn"t see anything when Kosh left his suit.Londo SAYS he didn"t see anything, but this is LONDO we"re talking about. He"s so Byzantine even HE can"t keep up with his various plots (and that"s a large part of how he ends up so badly).Both the Ancients and the Ori in Stargate SG-1 use this trope. The series even lampshades it stating that the Ancients used to be human-like beings anyway, so taking our form is as natural to them as breathing. If they still breathed, that is.Similarly to the Q Continuum example above, the plane of the Ancients is also presented in A Form You Are Comfortable With - as a homely American diner. Not just any diner, but one Daniel Jackson had gone to as a kid.Interestingly, Anubis appears as an overweight guy, which is definitely meant to trick Daniel, as Goa"uld always take beautiful hosts (of course, his true form would be a small snake).Played straight and subverted with the First Evil on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Able to take the form of any person who has died, the First sometimes will manipulate people by appearing as a comforting, departed loved one... but more often than not, it will maliciously choose whatever form will most freak its victim out. And it"s really good at it, too.Again used with Illyria who uses the general form of Fred (granted shes blue) despite the fact that it makes some people (especially Wesley) uncomfortable. Leads to a Major Tear Jerker in the final episodePlayed with in Supernatural, where the Crossroads Demon almost always takes form of a sexually appealing woman. Considering that the demon seals her Faustian deals with a kiss, this probably plays into her advantage. Same goes for Lilith.Subverted in later episodes. The demons will appear in whatever body they"ve decided to possess, and they don"t always pick a body that is sexually appealing. Crowley in particular didn"t, and still expected his client to seal the deal with a kiss, much to the (male) client"s disgust.In addition, angels have to possess human "vessels" in order to interact with humans, because seeing an angel"s true form will burn out a person"s eyes and its true voice causes shattered glass and bleeding ears. Castiel eventually reveals his true form is "about the size of your Chrysler Building."Which raises the question of why Lucifer and Michael even needed human vessels to begin with, since neither of them seem to care whether or not they harmed humans. Fighting each other in their true forms would have saved a lot of time and effort, as opposed to spending an entire season trying to coerce Sam and Dean into becoming their vessels. The only answer given so far is "Them"s the rules." They"re required to have a host, but we don"t know why precisely.Played straight in Dark Side of the Moon when the brothers visit Heaven. While there, the garden at the center of Heaven will change its appearance according to what the viewer most expects it to look like, becoming the botanical gardens in Cleveland for Sam and Dean. Also, angels still appear human and wingless, which is even lampshaded by Zachariah:Parodied in a Christmas special for Everybody Loves Raymond where Rob pretends to be Santa, but Ray"s daughter isn"t fooled. His response? He had taken the form of her uncle Rob because it"s a form she"d be comfortable with.Seen in Battlestar Galactica, angels appear to characters throughout the series in the form of other characters. Notably Six to Baltar and vice versa, as well as an angel who looks like Leoben to Starbuck.Head-Leoben is the only one who confirms this though. Head-Six and Head-Baltar appear in these forms even when no one is around to see them. In fact, Tyrol implies that the Final Five designed Cylon Model Six after the angel they saw, not vice-versa.Not to mention that incident where Head-Baltar appeared to Baltar. Baltar was everything but comfortable.The angelic-like ascended aliens (called Being"s of Light)from the original series did this when they needed Apollo"s help with a mercy mission. He got a sidekick that only he (and later Starbuck) could see called "John".In Lost, the Man in Black/Smoke Monster can take the form of any person he wants, and he takes different forms to appeal to different people. To Jack, he was Christian; to Eko, he was Yemi; to Ben, he was Alex; to Richard, he was Isabella; and in his final form, when he intended to influence the island"s entire population, he was John Locke.He could create hallucinations of almost anyone, but it’s implied that he could only physically mimic a limited number of people. Every solid human shape he takes is of a dead person whose corpse is on the island ("Isabella" never physically interacts with Richard). This would explain why he took the form of Christian in front of characters for whom that form carried no significance; Christian was the most convenient non-threatening form that he had in his repertoire at the time.
In Gunnerkrigg Court Coyote appears as a somewhat stylized coyote -- usually—but his true form can be seen by the spiritually aware. Carefully, as it"s like picking out details on the sun.In El Goonish Shive, Pandora "Chaos" Raven seems to be trying to invert this trope by appearing as a little girl. What she says and does is more creepy that way. Though it seems that mostly she adopted it as more appropriate for childish things, like temper tantrumsspoilers!.Also played straight later as she takes the form of Fox, Nanase"s summon, to wake her up and get Nanase to listen to her so Nanase will do what Chaos asks with out freaking out too much. Nanase eventually catches on that she"s not Fox but by that time she doesn"t care and is willing to do what Chaos asked anyway.
This trope is at the least Older Than Feudalism, with gods taking forms that appeal to mortals (Zeus). Indeed, the story of Semele has Zeus forced to show her his true form, which promptly kills her.And seeing as this is Zeus, he"s got his reasons to make himself appeal to mortals.Wildly averted in Abrahamic religions. Seeing the face of God is said to result in instantaneous death. Moses, a favored prophet, was however, treated to a view of the back of God. It sent him flying out of a temple and left his face glowing. Additionally, angels tend to have disturbingly non-standard numbers of things like wings, eyes, and even faces. The chariot of God, the Merkabah, is similarly unusual. Ezekiel and Isiah are great sources for descriptions of God as being difficult to describe. Also, keep in mind that these religions generally emphasize God having no physical form; it"s considered fairly blasphemous to ascribe one to him. You"d have to ask a rabbi how someone could "see God"s face/glory" then.Moses didn"t even get to see the form of God, he was only allowed to see His radiance.It"s telling about the "true form" of angels when, almost without exception, their first words are "Don"t be afraid".The manifestation of God as a human in the form of Jesus is (or at least was 2000 years ago before people got used to it) playing the trope straight then, but subverting the expectations people had at the time.Even the angels were described using this trope, since their descriptions don"t normally work in the natural realm. Wings and wheels covered in eyes? They sometimes took on the appearance of humans, and they were still described as looking different.The Tao te Ching is an attempt to do this to the Tao, through a series of analogies.
The Emperor of Warhammer 40,000 did this as a matter of necessity, appearing as (very) large human wearing armour because his true form would also expose any viewers to his psychic presense, which even ten thousand years after his apparent death is powerful enough to burn out the eyes of anyone who makes even momentary psychic contant with him and is capable of maintaining a galactic navigation beacon.In Exalted The Unconquered Sun has appeared in the form of a handsome four-armed human since the time when humans became the dominant race of Creation. Prior to that, he appeared as a golden scaled humanoid tyrannosaurus in honor of the Dragon Kings, who were his most ardent worshippers. He"s also capable of assumning practically any form if he wants to make himself more (or less) comforting to another. His reason for assuming other forms is partially as an expression of respect and solidarity, partially for the sake of being comforting and partially because his true form (a humanoid figure of molten gold and obsidian studded with galaxies, with blazing eyes and countless arms) would burn out the senses of practically any being that viewed it.
Happens a few times in Shin Megami Tensei verse.Pretty much all powerful dragons in World of Warcraft have the ability to take on a human(oid) form whenever they want. Some even adopt aliases and pass themselves off as (relatively) normal people to suit their purposes (be they good or evil).Most dragons prefer to take elven forms, as they believe humans to be inferior creatures. Even Korialstrasz/Krasus, who is pretty friendly to humans, takes the form of an elderly elven mage. Deathwing and his ilk only take human forms in order to infiltrate the human society. Other dragons occasionally appear as other races, such as goblins, but only when they"re undercover.Mephasm, an Affably Evil pit-fiend in Neverwinter Nights 2, always takes the form of a purple-skinned half-elf when the player character sees him.So why don"t Baalze-whatsit the Hezerou (giant humanoid toad-like thing) and Kolibaro-something and the two other pit fiends in Mask of the Betrayer take on an easier-to-cope-with form? At least the Erinyes and the Succubus in Jerro"s Haven have a reason for looking like that...Male Morrigi in Sword of the Stars. Being powerful psychic beings, they automatically give off a psychic aura that makes anyone looking at them see a divine, "good" creature from their own mythology instead of their true forms (as an example, most humans see angels). Since the Morrigi are traders and diplomats by nature, this tends to smooth over diplomatic functions with other species quite nicely.Interestingly, this aura is primarily meant to attract females, similar to the tail feathers of male peacocks. Basically, Morrigi females look for a male with the most beautiful (i.e. strongest) aura, while Morrigi males look for a female who can resist their aura.It is hinted that Yukari Yakumo of Touhou only appears to be a middle aged woman because she specifically altered herself to appear that way. Her gaps, tears in reality she uses for transportation, provide a glimpse of her original appearance, and it isn"t pretty.
See more: Jack In The Box Munchie Meal Calories, Jack'S Munchie Meal
Some zoos have been known to feed animals using hand puppets that look like an adult of that species.This is actually necessary for baby primates when humans are feeding them. The human literally wears a monkey suit to simulate the fur of the mom. This way the baby will accept the mother when he"s returned to her.One example of this is the quadrupolar echo pulse sequence in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The math works out perfectly, but trying to visualize it invariably winds up with the spin pointing 90 degrees from where the math says it should be and where experiment confirms that it actually is. The lesson here is that once you get into the realms of quantum mechanics, physics really is just math, and what you think of as "physics" is just a Form You Are Comfortable With.Humans instinctively relate to dogs by summoning up qualities dogs and humans share in common (dogs cannot understand space shuttles, they can understand hierarchy, territorialism, tribalism, predation, and familial affection).