Flight, Strength, Heart

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So far, I've established that she can hit like a Mack truck, selectively alter the flow of time, and possibly talk to plants."
Spike on Illyria, Angel
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We've all heard of the standard superhero power deal, of people with phenomenal cosmic powers,[1] and of people whose powers make people point and laugh, since What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? Sometimes, though, people like to mix things up and give someone with reasonable, or even cool, powers an additional lame or useless one.

Mostly just because it's funny to list someone's powers as "energy manipulation, one of the greatest healers in the world, super strength and... can talk to slugs", instead of just "energy manipulation, healing and strength."[2]

Of course Heart Is an Awesome Power can also apply, which means this power can allow nasty surprise or emergency exit if no one ever takes it into account or it's just too wildly out of line to suspect. Which means the character is "multiclassed" as a Spoony Bard or Lethal Joke Character and standalone versions of these are avoided.

A Sub-Trope of Combo-Platter Powers, The Last of These Is Not Like the Others.

Examples of Flight, Strength, Heart include:


Anime & Manga

  • Mew Ichigo of Tokyo Mew Mew has typical Magical Girl leader powers that make her a particularly useful fighter, as well as the ability to jump high, always land on her feet, and... transform into a cute helpless kitten. Unexpectedly. This was played up in Tokyo Mew Mew - a la mode to the point where she literally had to turn into a cat after three minutes of fighting in order to let Berii take her spotlight and place as leader.
  • Inverted a bit in Pokémon: Misty's Psyduck has Scratch and Tail Whip as its primary attacks (in fact, this is the only time we ever see Tail Whip in the anime). But then the uber-powerful Disable, Confusion, and sometimes even Psychic when its headache is big enough. Bear in mind that Psyduck's time in the spotlight was almost entirely during the first generation of Pokemon, when Psychic was the Gun in the game's Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors.
  • Mokona from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle can take people through different dimensions and works as a Universal Translator. Another of its "secret techniques" is imitating voices.
    • That is not a useless technique, You never know when you are going to need doing a Bavarian Fire Drill.
    • Mokona's sort of a subversion of this. Every aspect shown of his however many secret techniques has come in incredibly useful for the heroes or Yuuko.
  • The eponymous character in Naruto doesn't always get the summon he wants and is stuck with Gamakichi and/or Gamatatsu instead. "Can spontaneously create a thousand clones of himself, generate and weaponize a ball of pure energy, and summon... a couple of small, hungry talking frogs..."
    • This changes quite a bit in Shippuden, as Gamakichi and Gamatatsu have grown quite a bit bigger (as in, larger than any human, though they're still tiny compared to their father Gamabunta), and even the snack-obsessed moron Gamatatsu can do a powerful combination jutsu with Naruto.
    • Played straight/for comedy with Killer Bee, the host of the Eight-Tailed Beast. Being a jinchuriki gives you incredible amounts of chakra (even when not using the beast's power), the ability to transform part or all of the way into the beast's form, and a special power depending on which one. Of what we know of, the One-Tailed lets you control sand, the Two-Tailed can make a weird spectral fire, the Four-Tailed can control/create lava, the Nine-Tailed gives you a Healing Factor, and the Eight-Tails... lets your body produce ink from your mouth. Despite this, the current 8-Tailed host more than makes up for it with his control over the basic forms.
    • Jugo is the originator of the Cursed Seal, giving him great durability and can make his entire body a Shapeshifter Weapon. For an entirely different reason he can also communicate with animals, and have them do various tasks like scouting or scattered torn pieces of clothing to through someone off their trail.
  • Parodied in Azumanga Daioh, when Tomo plans to take Chiyo's intelligence and Sakaki's athletic ability, and Osaka offers her forgetfulness. The theoretical super-Tomo shows up late and without her textbook, but does a triple flip into her seat and gives a perfect translation.
  • Tsugumi Ohba of Death Note said that Shinigami, among intangibility, Flight, the ability to see names above people's heads can also... taste. It should be noted that they don't need to eat.
  • The skill set of Negi in Mahou Sensei Negima! includes various wind and lightning spells, Status Buffs, Flash Stepping, Energy Absorption, etc., etc. Oh, and he also knows a spell for breast inflation.
  • Luca of Saint Beast gets flight, strength, and the ability to read minds via his fingertips. In a different story one might be able to find meaningful uses for this, but in the actual series the only thing he can use it for is to read his boyfriend's mind—the reason he actually wished for it in the first place. In comparison Judas' healing kiss/breath is a lot less lame.


Comic Books

  • Endemic during the Silver Age thanks to common use of New Powers as the Plot Demands.
  • Gambit from X-Men used to have a power which had no practical applications but meant he could touch Rogue. Though this was useful as the two were lovers. (He lost it, of course.)
    • He also had a "charm" power, which everyone except Chris Claremont completely ignored.
    • Rogue herself, when still possessing Ms. Marvel's powers, had a latent seventh sense that allowed her to detect danger. She used it perhaps twice in the comic books. Ms. Marvel herself rarely used the power, either.
  • Superman used to have the power of Super-Ventriloquism, which he used surprisingly frequently. Also whenever Superman used to use his powers to do something more efficiently writers would call it Super-<Insert Thing Here>, so "weaving at Superspeed" became "Super-Weaving".
    • His "Super-Breath" is used only sporadically (volcano eruption, "Fire Wall of Doom"). Supergirl once complained (to herself) how "lame" this power was.
    • Don't forget the infamous "Rebuild The Great Wall Of China Vision" from the movies.
      • This was originally supposed to be another example of applied Super Speed, but they didn't have the budget for it.
    • And the "throw a cellophane S-shield to wrap around you and then dissolve" power from the second.
      • This was clearly a Kryptonian gadget, not a power. Like the multiple copies of himself and the reversed De-Power chamber, it was traps he had set up to frustrate his opponents until they fell for his last ploy.
    • Of course, Superdickery features plenty of completely ridiculous (and fortunately, temporary) powers.
  • A very bizarre version of this in Legion of Super-Heroes- Bouncing Boy has the power to bounce and is incredibly good at angles and geometry- which means his primary power is stupider than his secondary one?
    • I've never read Legion, but it sounds like if all you can do is bounce, mastery of angles is Required Secondary Powers, as it helps you weaponize the bouncing much more effectively. See Cyclops and Cap below.
  • Spider-Man got one of these in "The Other" powerup mini-arc before Civil War. He gained such powers as seeing in the dark, tracing vibrations through his weblines, poison stingers in his arms... and the ability to identify the species of any spider on sight. At least he didn't end up shooting webs out of his behind.
    • Even before that arc, he had adhesive abilities allowing him to climb up walls. That can sometimes come in handy but super-sticky powers still sound puny when compared to super strength and agility. In fact, he once held a small child to his back with no hands, like a spider's egg sac. That's right. Spidey had the power to give spider-piggyback rides! The proportionate piggy-back rides of a spider!
      • Super-sticky sounds lame until Spidey uses it to rip Sasha Kravinoff's face off.
      • Wall crawling is by far his most commonly used power, and the primary reason he's associated with spiders. It also keeps his mask on and clothes together even if they're ripped to shreds.
  • Namor the Sub-Mariner had super strength, could fly, could breathe both air and water, could charge his body with electricity, had telepathic control over undersea life... and could puff himself up like a puffer fish. The latter powers (thankfully) haven't been seen since his reintroduction into Marvel in the 1960s.
  • The Hulk has super-strength and durability... and the ability to see astral forms. Which is more useful than you might think, but not that much more useful.
    • To be even more obscure, he can also always sense his location relative to the place he was "born" in the gamma bomb.
  • It's more a Required Secondary Power, but Scott Summers, aka. Cyclops, has a natural grasp of spatial geometry: usually he uses it to bounce his eyebeams off stuff, but he has used it for other things (like throwing rocks and baseball) at least occasionally. Wolverine once noted that this means it's a very bad idea to play against Cyke in a game of pool. Captain America also has this as well for the same reason (except with his shield); one can only imagine what would happen if the two of them played pool together.
    • In Cyclop's case, it's an inherent power which he's constantly practiced. Captain American developed it as a skill.
  • Empowered's hypermembrane, when intact, grants her an impressive, if unreliable, array of superpowers, such as Super Strength, energy blasts, Wall Crawling, and invulnerability. It can also turn invisible. Not turn her invisible, just turn itself invisible. You can guess how Emp and her body-image issues feel about that little trick.
    • It has its uses. Namely, because it's so well known that she loses her powers when her suit is torn, and because she can make part of it invisible at any given time, she uses it to make her teammate-turned-evil dWarf! lower his guard by faking a torn suit.
      • It also makes phone calls.
  • "Seth", a psycho living weapon developed to take down The Authority, had one thousand, two hundred and four unique powers - literally every single ability the world's seven richest governments together could churn out of their supersoldier programs (with all the resources of a Planet Eris at their disposal). Some of them were typical Superpower Lottery things like telekinesis and super-super-speed. Some of them were quirkier, but made sense in terms of exploiting the Authority's Achilles Heels- "Larynx-Freezing Vision," for instance, stopped the team's Doctor Strange expy from getting a spell out. But then came "X-Ray Strength" and "Nuclear Poop Vision..."
  • Wonder Woman has flight, superstrength second only to Superman, reflexes fast enough to block bullets with her bracelets (and indestructible bracelets), an indestructible magic lasso that can break enchantments and force anyone bound with it to answer any question truthfully and a razor-sharp tiara she can throw like a boomerang. Did you know she can also talk to animals? Neither did most of the people who write her comic, judging by how often she does it.
    • She can also talk with trees.
  • Nightcrawler of the X-Men can teleport (taking other people along - or just pieces of them - if he wants), climb walls and ceilings, turn invisible in shadows, and has superhuman agility and a prehensile tail he can use to fence with three swords at once. He also has the ability to know whether or not he's in his home dimension. He can count the number of times he's used this power for anything other than instinctively ending up in the right dimension when he teleports on the fingers of one hand. And Nightcrawler only has three fingers per hand.
  • The Martian Manhunter has - brace yourself - superstrength, flight, invulnerability, x-ray vision, heat vision, superspeed, nine senses, telepathy, invisibility, intangibility and shapeshifting. He can also - brace yourself - create ice cream with his mind. Needless to say, he hasn't used that last one recently (and to be fair, his new power as the plot demanded that particular day was probably supposed to be to create matter of any sort - ice cream just happened to come in handy a couple of times).
    • Chances are, the writers started to realize that if he could create any sort of matter at will, they'd be making him nearly omnipotent. Oh, and he'd overshadow Green Lantern, what with the permanence and all.
    • Ice cream? Heart Is an Awesome Power!
  • In addition to being a Flying Brick, one-time Avenger Starfox (no relation) has the power to overwhelm people with "waves of pleasure." He mostly uses this to get laid, giving the character a very "date-rapey" sort of vibe.
    • His "pleasure power" would fall more under the realm of Useless Useful Spell. Though the ability to take an enemy out via orgasm is a potentially useful one, it's failed nearly every time he's tried to use it in a fight.
    • Eventually the "pleasure power" became a lot more potent in the pages of She-Hulk, so naturally he lost it in a lawsuit.
  • Mr Hyde from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen had monstrous strength and toughness, and could see heat. With an invisible sociopath on their team, this did become useful.
  • Daredevil's sonar super-hearing is used relatively often. His super-touch is mentioned relatively frequently, as well. Every once in a while, his super-smell will be referenced and useful. But rarely does his super-taste, which apparently allows him to analyze even trace ingredients of food, work its way into a story.
  • Savage Dragon has superhuman strength, invulnerability, a healing factor, superhuman aim, superhuman agility, and... the ability to speak any Earth-based language. He didn't even realize he had this power until he met someone who spoke Mandarin.
  • Even Squirrel Girl, whose primary abilities push Heart Is an Awesome Power to new levels, gets in on this act. Her useful abilites include Talks to Squirrels and Squirrel Agility, but she also has lips that taste like hazelnuts.


Literature

  • Angel from Maximum Ride has Super Strength, Flight, Telepathy, borderline Mind Control, and... can talk to fish.
    • Don't forget Nudge, who can sense stuff about people through what they've touched (important—she can guess any computer password), and she's magnetic (not so important—they play with it on a plane for awhile, then it's promptly forgotten). Yeah.
      • It was probably pointed out that being magnetic and having to touch computers (to get passwords) don't mix.
  • The Sleeper from Wild Cards gained a new form and powers every time he woke up. However, one power stayed with him: He could generate sad piano background music by saying 'Play it again, Sam'.


Live Action TV


Puppet Shows

  • In the Dinosaurs episode where Earl becomes a super-hero, he has the abilities of Flight, Heat Vision, Super-Strength... and can guess anyone's weight to the nearest pound. A news anchor even refers to him as the "Weight-Guessing Wonder".


Tabletop Games

  • Solars in Exalted are blessed by the Unconquered Sun. What sort of powers does this give them? They can become awesome at just about anything, fight well enough to kill gods, dodge attacks that are undodgeable, make a person do almost anything with their powers of persuasion, learn the most powerful sorcery in existence, and even shape primordial chaos into concrete reality. But there are two abilities they all have in common: the power to make their foreheads glow, and to know the time of day at will. Hey torches and watches are fiddly and expensive!
    • In Keychain of Creation, Marena used the light-from-the-forehead thing, and Misho was implied to be using it as well. So far, though, nobody has had occasion to use the time-of-day thing.
      • Radiating sunlight is also very helpful when dealing with vampires, if you learn the right charm.
  • Not uncommon in Mutants and Masterminds, if the player is quirky enough. Some of these simple powers and feats can actually break the plot if the DM doesn't plan ahead. (Like the ability to make nigh-instant gather information checks, or a Bag of Holding that can swallow enemies whole.)
  • Some D&D Spells and powers can create this effect, especially the optional rules and level 0 spells. Wizards can blow up dragons and turn coins into rings. Clerics can raise the dead and produce water from nowhere. An optional Hexblade ability allows you to create spooky omens for no reason other than to freak people out.


Video Games


Webcomics

  • In Slightly Damned, Kieri the water angel can fly, shoot icebolts, and has a curse that let her turn into a cute bunny.
    • Being said cute bunny restricts Kieri's ability to fight and (I think) it weakens her magic. However, it crosses into Cursed with Awesome when Kieri becomes unhittable due to small size and increased rabbity agility. After all, Toski did refer to it as a gift!
  • In Something*Positive, Super Stupor: While not a weak power by any means, the very... intimate contact necessary for one superhero's truth power to work makes him very reluctant to even admit that it exists.[1].
  • Dave's kernelsprite, from Homestuck, was prototyped with an impaled crow. This gives him wings & flight, an always available sword, energy beams, insight into the secrets of the game, and apparently the ability to deface posters from a distance while someone is writing on them.


Web Original

  • Aquerna, at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. Strength, quickness, leaping ability, and.. she can talk to squirrels (although some of the time this one is her best power).
    • Makes sense once one considers that she gets her powers from a (possibly the) squirrel spirit. She gets overshadowed by many of the flashier super-teens at the school, but it's actually a pretty neat and consistent package.


Western Animation

  • All three The Powerpuff Girls are superstrong and can fly, can shoot Eye Beams, and have several other cool powers. Blossom also has freezing powers, Bubbles can speak any language (including animal languages), and Buttercup can... roll her tongue like a taco.
    • Fanon states that her actual power is that she can fight even better then the other girls.
  • During the second season of WITCH, the girls gained some interesting secondary powers. Among the quirkier of their new powers, Irma gained the power of persuasion and the ability to turn people's clothes pink.
    • This is used to great effect to annoy the muscular Knight of Vengeance Frost who apparently doesn't believe that Real Men Wear Pink. Considering Irma is the comic relief of the team this could almost count as Personality Powers.
  • Lampshaded in Jackie Chan Adventures, where the villains split the 12 talismans between the four of them, letting them rob banks with super strength, laser eyes, and the ability to turn cops into chickens, among other things. Finn, however, gets the powers of astral projection, motion-to-the-motionless and balance (spiritual, sadly). Luckily, he complains enough so that comparatively-Badass Normal Hak Fu trades with him... and then he makes a second trade with Ratso when this gives him flight and two healing powers (which later turns out to not actually be redundant).
    • The show partially subverts this, as the form-shifting talisman (the above-mentioned turn-people-to-animals one) is made MUCH more useful than it would be in other shows. Such as when Jade turns Jackie into a chinchilla—partially, because she wasn't sure what a chinchilla was.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Noticing that his parents have to work all day and are too tired for him when they get home, Timmy wishes to his fairy godparents that his parents were superheroes and "toss in whatever superpowers they can think off". Standard powers: superstrength, flight, morphing powers, heat vision and superspeed. Stranger but no less practical powers: spider snot. And then there's meat vision.
    • They also turn out to have immunity to magic, which becomes a problem when he wants to hit the Reset Button.
  • South Park featured Captain Hindsight. Not only can he fly, but he also has... extraordinary hindsight. This is treated as Cursed with Awesome.
  • Stitch has super strength, a super-retentive brain (can learn any language, alien, human, or otherwise, in a very brief time period), agility, quick thinking—he's created to be a being of mass destruction. He can also act as a gramophone (stick a claw on a vinyl disc, open Stitch's mouth, and swing to the Elvis). And perfectly regurgitate a cake he just ate.
  • Superman has precise muscle control.
    • Actually more useful than you might think. If he didn't have precise muscle control, he wouldn't be able to be Clark Kent convincingly.
  • In The Superhero Squad Show this applies to just about everyone. Doctor Strange is good at energy projection, transformation of matter, Bulgarian cow-tipping, and sudoku.
  • On Teen Titans, Starfire is a Flying Brick with Super Strength, the ability to project energy blasts from her hands and eyes, resistance to the vacuum of space and other harsh environmental conditions, and the ability to... learn languages by kissing a native speaker.
    • She doesn't have to kiss them. Star just finds that the most fun.
  1. itty bitty living space not mandatory
  2. This is a reference to Tsunade from Naruto.