Martensitic transition is a solid-state phase transition involving cooperative movement of atoms, mostly studied in metallurgy. The main characteristics are low transition barrier, ultrafast kinetics, and structural reversibility. They are rarely observed in molecular crystals, and hence the origin and mechanism are largely unexplored. Here we report the discovery of martensitic transition in single crystals of two different organic semiconductors. In situ microscopy, single-crystal X-ray diffraction, Raman and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and molecular simulations combined indicate that the rotating bulky side chains trigger cooperative transition. Cooperativity enables shape memory effect in single crystals and function memory effect in thin film transistors. We establish a molecular design rule to trigger martensitic transition in organic semiconductors, showing promise for designing next-generation smart multifunctional materials.