If you’ve seen any of your TikTok friends get Tony Stark’s trademark goatee, gain Thor’s muscles, or go green like Bruce Banner, you’ve likely seen examples of TikTok’s Marvel Shapeshift trend. These videos use the Shapeshifting TikTok effect to morph a user’s face into a Marvel character.
But don’t be fooled! Contrary to popular opinion — and some deceptive TikTok videos — the “Shapeshifting” effect doesn’t seem to pick the Marvel character you most resemble.
It works like this: You upload an image of the Marvel character (or characters) you want to use with the Shapeshifting effect, and if there are multiple characters in the selected photo, the effect seems to pick one at random. (Case in point: When this white, bearded Distractify writer tried out the effect, the Shapeshifting effect morphed his face into Zendaya’s Spider-Man character, MJ.)
It’s easy to use the Shapeshifting effect to make morph into a Marvel character.
To participate in the TikTok trend, follow these steps:
1. Save a photo of a Marvel character (or Marvel characters) to your camera roll. (This photo grid of characters from Avengers: Infinity War is a pic many TikTok users upload for this step.)
2. Open TikTok, and tape the Discover icon in the footer bar.
3. Type “Shapeshifting” in the search bar, and tap the Shapeshifting icon under the Effects subhead.
4. Tap the red button with the camera icon at the bottom of the screen.
5. Select the image you saved.
6. Tap the record button. After a three-second countdown, the effect will “shapeshift” your face into a character in the selected photo.
7. Press the check button to customize your video.
8. Add any sounds, text, stickers or additional effects. Then tap Next.
9. Caption the video as you see fit and tap Post to share.
Your resemblance to your Marvel superhero “lookalike” might not be … super.
Some TikTok users are confused by the character they morph into with the Shapeshifting effect. @victoriaorgana thought she might turn into Mantis because she’s Asian, but the Shapeshifting effect instead turned her into Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, then T’Challa, aka, Black Panther, and then Ned from Spider-Man.
Users are finding other creative uses for the Shapeshifting effect.
As Newsweek reported on April 14, the Shapeshifting effect only recently became available in the United States and in Canada, but TikTok users latched on to the effect as it was rolled out.
Some people have used the Shapeshifting effect, for example, to prank a family member or friend. In one mischievous example, a user named Olly — who posts under the handle @otakoyakisoba — told his mom, LuLu, that the effect would find her Disney princess lookalike.
“Mulan or Ariel,” she said, before the effect morphed her into Ursula from The Little Mermaid.
Horrified, LuLu had Olly find her “lookalike” again, and she morphed into the alligator Louis from The Princess and the Frog. “I can’t help it!” Olly claimed, cackling with laughter.