History Main / UselessSuperpowers

26th May '16 1:06:51 PM MajinAkuma
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* In the ''Franchise/DragonBall'' movie ''Anime/BardockTheFatherOfGoku'', Bardock is granted precognitive powers by the last of a race he was slaughtering. You'd think being able to see the future would be useful, but in this case, the power comes in the forms of random, uncontrolled visions of the future, which mostly consist of his youngest son's life on Earth and Freeza wiping out the saiyan planet and all of its people. Which was the point. The alien gave Bardock the visions as a form of vengeance, hoping to punish the saiyan with dreams of a future that can't be stopped. The only consolation is the knowledge that his son will be the one to defeat Freeza.

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* In the ''Franchise/DragonBall'' movie TV Special ''Anime/BardockTheFatherOfGoku'', Bardock is granted precognitive powers by the last of a race he was slaughtering. You'd think being able to see the future would be useful, but in this case, the power comes in the forms of random, uncontrolled visions of the future, which mostly consist of his youngest son's life on Earth and Freeza wiping out the saiyan planet Planet Vegeta and all of its people. Which was the point. The alien gave Bardock the visions as a form of vengeance, hoping to punish the saiyan Saiyajin with dreams of a future that can't be stopped. The only consolation is the knowledge that his son will be the one to defeat Freeza.
5th Apr '16 5:29:26 PM Kalaong
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* In the [[AnimatedAdaptation animated]] version of ''WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}}'', the title character can do pretty much whatever he wants once Lydia calls him into the living world. However, he developed all of his powers solely for his "bio-exorcist" profession; they are ''only'' good for "[[UnusualEuphemism juicing]]" ([[TheTrickster pranking]]) people. Any and all attempts to use them for more constructive purposes backfire or have ridiculous drawbacks, or he [[LiteralGenie literally interprets a wish]] or [[YouJustHadToSayIt underestimates the penalties involved.]]
** Example: Lydia is busy baking cookies for the Girl Scouts Cookie Sale. Beetlejuice gets bored and instantly conjures some cookies from the underworld. Lydia doesn't trust them, but she's woefully undersupplied so she sells them. The last line of the recipe? "Do not dunk." When Beetlejuice finally decides to test what happens, the cookie [[InstantPeopleJustAddWater grows lifesized and goes on a rampage]]. So do all the other cookies he sold. Oops.

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* In the [[AnimatedAdaptation animated]] version of ''WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}}'', the title character can do pretty much whatever he wants once Lydia calls him into the living world. However, he developed all of his powers solely for his "bio-exorcist" profession; they are ''only'' good for "[[UnusualEuphemism juicing]]" ([[TheTrickster pranking]]) people. Any This works out wonderfully when he has AcceptableTargets to humiliate. However, ''any'' and all '''all''' attempts to use them for more constructive purposes backfire or have ridiculous drawbacks, or he [[LiteralGenie literally interprets a wish]] or [[YouJustHadToSayIt underestimates the penalties involved.]]
** Example: Lydia is busy baking cookies for the Girl Scouts Cookie Sale. Beetlejuice gets bored and instantly conjures some cookies from the underworld.Netherworld. Lydia doesn't trust them, but she's woefully undersupplied so she sells them. The last line of the recipe? "Do not dunk." When Beetlejuice finally decides to test what happens, the cookie [[InstantPeopleJustAddWater grows lifesized and goes on a rampage]]. So do all the other cookies he sold. Oops.
4th Apr '16 6:50:35 PM FordPrefect
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** You can register your mutation to avoid execution, but it still gets you scapegoated a lot. And if The Computer figures out that you have [[{{Technopath}} Machine Empathy]], then [[BerserkButton your entire clone family gets erased]].
4th Apr '16 6:43:52 PM FordPrefect
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*** In the episode "The Hunted" SuperSoldier Roga Danar is more GenreSavvy than the crew. To escape from the ''Enterprise'' while the transporters are shutdown and mostly under guard, he sneaks into a cargo hold and uses a cargo transporter, powered by a phaser, to beam off the ship. That said, using cargo transporters are a bit risky as they are not as precise and you run a very high risk of arriving at your destination with your liver put-in backwards.

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*** In the episode "The Hunted" SuperSoldier Roga Danar is more GenreSavvy than the crew. To escape from the ''Enterprise'' while the transporters are shutdown and mostly under guard, he sneaks into a cargo hold and uses a cargo transporter, powered by a phaser, to beam off the ship. That said, using a cargo transporters are transporter is a bit risky as they are not as precise and you run a very high risk of arriving at your destination with your liver put-in backwards.
4th Apr '16 6:42:23 PM FordPrefect
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* The movie ''Film/MysteryMen'' relies heavily on useless powers for its plot. All of the main characters are designed to be wannabe superheroes with powers that are only really useful on rare and specific locations. The main super-team consists of a boy can only turn invisible when nobody's looking, a man who gets super strength and dexterity only when he is well and truly furious (and only slight anger, such as the Hulk, doesn't count), a woman who is a fantastic bowler, a man who is an expert with a shovel, a man who can throw forks particularly well, a man who farts with unique strength, and a man who is "terribly mysterious."

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* The movie ''Film/MysteryMen'' relies heavily on useless powers for its plot. All of the main characters are designed to be wannabe superheroes with powers that are only really useful on rare and specific locations. The main super-team consists of a boy can only turn invisible when nobody's looking, looking[[note]]it does let him sneak past automated security[[/note]], a man who gets super strength and dexterity only when he is well and truly furious (and only slight anger, such as the Hulk, (slight anger doesn't count), count like it does for the Hulk), a woman who is a fantastic bowler, a man who is an expert with a shovel, a man who can throw forks particularly well, a man who farts with unique strength, and a man who is "terribly mysterious."
19th Mar '16 2:45:14 PM nombretomado
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* ''ComicBook/GreenLantern'' stories from the same era. The fully-unleashed power of a Green Lantern is such that for a time even the yellow weakness wasn't enough: there had to be "invisible yellow" or "infra-yellow" or a "yellow compound" around when GL needed to attack enemies or manipulate objects that were so completely non-yellow. A little TechnoBabble to make a green-clad bad guy count as yellow meant you didn't even need [[TheBigBangTheory a #2 pencil]] to seriously ruin Hal's day.

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* ''ComicBook/GreenLantern'' stories from the same era. The fully-unleashed power of a Green Lantern is such that for a time even the yellow weakness wasn't enough: there had to be "invisible yellow" or "infra-yellow" or a "yellow compound" around when GL needed to attack enemies or manipulate objects that were so completely non-yellow. A little TechnoBabble to make a green-clad bad guy count as yellow meant you didn't even need [[TheBigBangTheory [[Series/TheBigBangTheory a #2 pencil]] to seriously ruin Hal's day.
9th Feb '16 8:22:12 PM Gravidef
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** It's worth noting, though, that the writers were able to [[JustifiedTrope justify]] Sabrina's limitations better than ''Bewitched'' did. Sabrina was, after all, a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin teenage witch]]--so she combined the lack of foresight and desire for quick fixes common to teens with powers she didn't fully understand. She was also trying to balance learning about the supernatural with a fully mortal life as well, which tended to make her lazy about looking up specifics in her [[GreatBigBookOfEverything Magic Book]]. She also couldn't access the full range of her powers until she got her "Witch's License"--and even ''then,'' she couldn't use it until she solved the Spellman family secret! Finally, her aunts tended to take a "hands-off" approach to Sabrina's magical education, insisting that she learn to clean up her own messes rather than simply fixing them for her. Combine all of this with [[TheMasquerade the inevitable attempts to hide magic from the mortal world]], and you begin to understand Sabrina's issues.
9th Feb '16 8:11:11 PM Gravidef
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* As mentioned in the intro at the top of the page, ''Series/{{Bewitched}}'' may be the UrExample of this trope. One season one episode revealed that Samantha could rewind time and completely rewrite reality with her powers--and she's not even the most powerful witch in the series. As such, the writers had to keep coming up with caveats to not only her gifts, but magic in general:
** One of the biggest examples throughout the series is that Darrin isn't crazy about Samantha using her magic to solve all of his problems for him; this has been interpreted in [[ValuesDissonance later years]] as a kind of supernatural StayInTheKitchen, with Darrin trying to force Sam to be "normal." Notably, she usually ended up ignoring him.
** Several episodes involved needing to know the ''exact'' spell/hex/transfiguration that was used to enchant someone or something in the first place; Sam couldn't fix a problem until she knew the specifics of the magic behind it. Similarly, breaking a spell required knowing who had cast it--while [[ObnoxiousInLaws Endora]] was usually behind the wacky magic of the week, she was [[NotMeThisTime occasionally innocent]], forcing Sam to look to her other relatives for a solution.
** The first few seasons featured the absentminded Aunt Clara, who was prone to casting powerful enchantments and then forgetting either what specific spell she'd used or the counter-spell required to undo her magic.
** The Witches' Council, the governing body of magic, would occasionally show up and keep Samantha, Endora, or their relatives from using their powers (usually when it was most inconvenient).
** Finally, there was a general habit of witches and warlocks casting protection spells against each other, resulting in magical battles of willpower.
3rd Feb '16 10:16:56 AM CompletelyNormalGuy
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** Interestingly, because of the way the book was designed, it is a pleasure to read, and a good proof that TropesAreNotBad.
25th Jan '16 11:47:51 PM Patbad73
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* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' has Bubs, who apparently has the ability to fly, but only about two or three inches off the ground due to all the weight he's gained. Plus, he [[WeaksauceWeakness loses the power when someone gets him to say his name backwards, minus the first B (sbu).]]
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