Created By: ccoa on February 13, 2012 Last Edited By: ccoa on March 1, 2012
Troped

Power Overuse Faint

A character using their special power causes them to faint, especially if it\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s the first time.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

Needs a Catchier Name

Please vote on the suggested names or add your own.

It can be hard to show all the aspects of a fictional ability since such a thing does not have any Real Life context that the audience can relate to. So when a creator wants to show that using a special power takes a toll on a character, he will often have them faint afterward.

This is especially true when they use a power for the first time. Presumably, the strain of using it is too much for them, causing their mind to shut down in self defense.

Frequently used for powers that aren't very flashy in order to make them seem more dramatic, such as Psychic Powers like telepathy. It's also frequently a characteristic of The Chick, a Faux Action Girl, a Non-Action Guy, and other non-combat oriented type characters.

If the fainting is a symptom of a more serious health problem, it's also Heroic R.R.O.D.. When it happens the first time a power is used, it's related to How Do I Shot Web?. Can be a form of Blessed with Suck.

If the collapse is after a dramatic moment, especially a battle, and is used to skip the boring aftermath, it's Post-Dramatic Stress Disorder.

Compare to Fainting Seer, which may overlap for Seers.


Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
  • In Metal Fight Beyblade, Madoka faints after using her bey to save Kiyoya's Leon. It's explained as her "not being used to blading."
  • Bleach: Jakuho Raikoben severely drains Soi Fon's reiatsu, enough that it usually takes her three days to recover before she can safely use it again. Otherwise, this happens.
  • Vision of Escaflowne: Hitomi's ability to see into the future, via Tarot Cards, often has this effect on her afterwards. It's eventually revealed that both the duration and the severity of her fainting spells is determined by her emotional state. Meaning, the greater her anxiety, the greater its toll on her following her vision; not to mention the part about her anxiety making those visions come true!
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
  • U Go Girl from the short-lived Mike Allred X-Factor. Her power would literally drain her energy and she'd more than occasionally pass out after using her whirly teleportation.
  • In early issues of Runaways Molly would black out from exhaustion after a throwing a single punch. As she got more used to it she wouldn't pass out, but would still need a nap after using her powers.
  • Jean Grey of the X-men does this at least once in almost all of her incarnations.
  • In Wolverine and the X-Men, Christy faints after using her earth powers to protect herself, her father, Wolverine, and Mystique from an explosion.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Animated]] [[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
  • In Eragon, Eragon's first attempt at casting combat magic caused him to lose consciousness because it took a large amount of energy out of him at once.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
  • In Star Ocean 3, Fayt faints after activating his genetic Symbology ability Destruction for the first time. He also suffers some temporary memory loss from the event, indicating that it was especially psychologically traumatic.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, Wynne's plot power Vessel of the Spirit leaves her stunned and disoriented after every time she uses it. This effect is only alleviated after completing her personal sidequest.
  • Suikoden IV presents another rare male variant, which has Lazlo faint after each use of the Rune of Punishment, due to it draining its host's lifeforce with each use... until it finally kills them. This can be averted by successfully recruiting all 108 Stars of Destiny.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics]]
  • When Raezinus from Deverish Also demonstrates the portal spell and it becomes important to keep it open for a while, he eventually passes out from the strain of keeping the spell going for so long.
  • In The Cyantian Chronicles, the first time Darrik's energy manipulation abilities activate, he tosses a horse. It uses so much of he energy that he is left nearly unconscious.
  • In Spacetrawler, Eebs (or humans like Yuri with Eeb brain implants) will black out if they strain their telekinesis by moving objects that are too massive. Too much of this strain can outright kill them. It's later revealed that this limitation is a result of brain-clamping--we've yet to see an upper limit on how much matter an unclamped Eeb can move telekinetically.
[[/folder]]


Community Feedback Replies: 75
  • February 13, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Nice. This would definitely help split some ambiguity from existing tropes such as Heroic RROD and Post Dramatic Stress Disorder.

    • In Eragon, Eragon's first attempt at casting combat magic caused him to lose consciousness because it took a large amount of energy out of him at once.
  • February 13, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Often a mild form of Heroic RROD.
  • February 13, 2012
    MiinU

    Anime and Manga

    • Bleach: Jakuho Raikoben severely drains Soi Fon of reiatsu, enough that it usually takes her three days to recover before she can safely use it again. Otherwise, this happens.

    • Vision of Escaflowne: Hitomi's ability to see into the future, via Tarot Cards, often has this effect on her afterwards. It's eventually revealed that both the duration and the severity of her fainting spells is determined by her emotional state. Meaning, the greater her anxiety, the greater its toll on her following her vision; not to mention the part about her anxiety making those visions come true!

    Animated film

    Video games

    • Suikoden IV presents another rare male variant, which has Lazlo faint after each use of the Rune of Punishment, due to it draining its host's lifeforce with each use... until it finally kills them. This can be averted by successfully recruiting all 108 stars of destiny.
  • February 13, 2012
    c0ry
    Perhaps Super Exhaustion for a title which could also cover instances in which the user does not immediately faint, as well as powers which do this regularly beyond the first time.
  • February 13, 2012
    KingZeal
    This is the hat for nearly every Staff Chick in comics:

  • February 13, 2012
    ccoa
    Those aren't Staff Chicks. Possibly just The Chick? (Also, Zero Context Examples)
  • February 13, 2012
    KingZeal
    I don't know what to call it. I thought the trope was about the female character that didn't have physical abilities. (Although, Starfire wouldn't be an example since she's also a Flying Brick.)

    And really, I can't think of any specific examples for these characters (except Starfire, since I JUST read the comic in which it happens, and thus pointed it out in the example), but they are well-known for it happening. It's so common that I just can't pick out one particular instance.

  • February 13, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • U Go Girl from the short-lived Mike Allred X-Factor. Her power would literally drain her energy and she'd more than occasionally pass out after using her whirly teleportation.
  • February 13, 2012
    dalek955
    Cast From Consciousness or Cast From Stamina? (as a snowclone of Cast From Hitpoints)
    • When Raezinus from Deverish Also demonstrates the portal spell and it becomes important to keep it open for a while, he eventually passes out from the strain of keeping the spell going for so long.

    I agree, this is a trope we've needed for a while.
  • February 13, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In early issues of Runaways Molly would black out from exhaustion after a throwing a single punch. As she got more used to it she wouldn't pass out, but would still need a nap after using her powers.
  • February 14, 2012
    nitrokitty
    How is this different from Heroic Red Ring Of Death? Not saying it isn't, I just don't see it.
  • February 14, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ Heroic RROD causes serious health problems. This just knocks the user out for a while.

    • In Dragon Age Origins, Wynne's plot power Vessel of the Spirit leaves her stunned and disoriented after every time she uses it. This effect is only alleviated after completing her personal sidequest.
  • February 14, 2012
    ccoa
    Snowclones are generally frowned upon these days, are they not?

    Super Exhaustion could work, but suggests that it's more for super powers, perhaps.
  • February 14, 2012
    Koveras
    This is more of a cleanup entry rather than snowclone, if I understood correctly.
  • February 14, 2012
    ccoa
    I meant the name suggestions.
  • February 14, 2012
    MiinU
    Overlimit Black Out, seems pretty self explanatory. But just in case...

    • Overlimit - As in exceeding a limit or one's own limits, usually under threat or risk of danger by going beyond said limit.
      • The word overlimit also comes from Tales Of Vesperia, and refers to a special state in which you can use Artes (special abilities) in rapid succession for a set amount of time. In that sense, it can be considered and extended Limit Break mode. And, since the trope specifies fainting as a result of overusing such abilities, I figure it'd be nice to include it in the trope description.

    • Black Out - Means to faint, pass out, or temporarily lose consciousness; which, of course, is the danger brought about by going over the limit of one's ability in this case. Hence, the proposed trope name.

    I'd say that covers it. It's short, it's catchy, and most importantly: it's Exactly What It Says On The Tin.
  • February 14, 2012
    dalek955
    Decent snowclones are allowed. The problem is that a lot of people are willing to sacrifice clarity or accuracy in order to contrive a snowclone.
  • February 14, 2012
    ccoa
    I, personally, like Overlimit Blackout the most so far, but I'll put all the name suggestions in the OP and let the majority decide. If necessary, we can do a crowner.
  • February 14, 2012
    dalek955
    Should we do another for when power use leaves you tired but not necessarily fainting?
  • February 14, 2012
    Damr1990
    i'm thinkin Power Exhaustion, but it makes it sound like you deplete the power rather than getting tired of using it... mhmmm, Power Fatigue, perhaps?
  • February 14, 2012
    somerandomdude
    If it's the first time, this is related to How Do I Shot Web.
  • February 14, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    "Jean Grey of the X Men."

    Actually several telepaths on the team do that.

    Also, the apostrophe in the laconic needs to be removed, due to the bug causing the slashes.
  • February 14, 2012
    MiinU
    @Damr1990 - Fatigue only implies exhaustion, not fainting. Power Fatigue makes it sound like you either exhaust your power, or become exhausted from simply using it.

    The name needs to reflect that the user faints from over using their power or faints as a result of using it beyond their normal limits. Overlimit Blackout says it best.
  • February 14, 2012
    Earnest
  • February 14, 2012
    ccoa
    @Dalek955 - Hmm. That does seem very close. I'd like to hear more opinions on the matter, but my inclination would tentatively be to fold them under one trope. It's seems to me it's an author trying to convey the same information - that using a power is psychologically/physically draining (without necessarily being physically bad for you, like Heroic RROD).

    But I also wonder if they may have different connotations. Being exhausted may indicate an attempted aversion of No Conservation Of Energy, whereas fainting may be less physical exhaustion and more psychological trauma.

    In short, I am willing to be convinced either way. Any other opinions?
  • February 14, 2012
    acrobox
    So I'm thinking Heroic RROD (which is a terrible Snow Clone name with a really long and obscure explanation behind it if you're not an Xbox owner) is more about wearing down overtime, where as this is more about wearing out in a short burst of over exertion.

    So Heroic RROD would be like if you used a supermove several times over the years or even too many times in one day and it wears out your body. This is if you use your supermove once, usually for the first time, and because your not used to it you pass out.

    the line is kind of blurry but its there in my mind
  • February 14, 2012
    ccoa
    Heroic RROD always has serious to fatal health repercussions. People who simply faint after using their powers are usually fine. There's some overlap when the fainting is a sign of something worse, but they're otherwise distinct.

    And, yes, it is a terrible snowclone.
  • February 14, 2012
    troacctid
    Relationship with Post Dramatic Stress Disorder? Looks very similar.
  • February 14, 2012
    ccoa
    Post Dramatic Stress Disorder is specifically a character collapsing after the dramatic moment/danger is over.

    This is about a character fainting after using their power, regardless of when you are in the narrative. There could be no danger or drama going on at the time, in theory. Or it could occur in the middle of the danger.

    Post Dramatic Stress Disorder states the preceding event being any kind of Crowning Moment Of Awesome.

    This is specifically for powers (super, psychic, magic). No awesomeness required, although it could be present.

    Post Dramatic Stress Disorder states that the cause of the collapse is fear, reaction, or injury.

    The cause of this collapse is the use of the power itself (more similar to Heroic RROD).

    Finally, Post Dramatic Stress Disorder is used by the author to have an excuse not to write/show the battle aftermath.

    This is used as a way for the author to show that using the power puts some sort of strain on the user, particularly for powers that aren't showy, like telepathy.

    There is overlap, but I think they are distinct, at least as Post Dramatic Stress Disorder is written now. I suppose we could talk expanding Post Dramatic Stress Disorder, but I think the connotations are different.
  • February 14, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    Overlimit Blackout. Cast From Stamina doesn't work as much, since it's mainly from pushing themselves too hard (or using the first time).

    Magic Knight Rayearth, Hikaru does this when she first uses magic.
  • February 14, 2012
    acrobox
    Anime Example
    • Dragon Ball Z - When Gohan first goes SSJ 2 he triggers it for only a second then passes out. This was seen in one of Goku's flashbacks of their training in the time chamber and was the moment that convinced him that Gohan could beat Cell if he could sustain that power. Which he did.

    Western Animation Example
    • Avatar The Last Airbender - the first time Aang enters the Avatar State in the pilot episode and several times in the first season before he gets used to it, he is visibly exhausted afterward. By Season Two he's typically okay even if emotionally distressed
  • February 14, 2012
    ZombieAladdin
    Rogue in X Men faints after some time if she absorbs the powers of a sufficiently strong superpowered person, such as Magneto.
  • February 15, 2012
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Champions. Normally Endurance is used to fuel a character's power use. If a character runs out of Endurance they can use Stun instead. If their Stun runs out they fall unconscious.
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia (1980). If the Norse god Odin uses his powers to heal anyone he falls asleep for 1-10 days.
  • February 15, 2012
    PsiPaula4
    Bump.
  • February 16, 2012
    surgoshan
  • February 16, 2012
    ccoa
    Strangely enough, I happened to watch an episode of the 90's X-men cartoon with my son last night, and Jean Grey up and fainted after using her powers on the Juggernaut. :P
  • February 16, 2012
    TomWalpertac2
    Another webcomic example: The Cyantian Chronicles' resident Chew Toy, Darrik is frightened enough that his energy manipulation powers start by themselves. he uses up enough of his energy that he is dizzy for some time afterwards.
  • February 16, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Literature:
    • Alaric Morgan is apt to do this, since he's a bit of an overachiever and Deryni powers are physically taxing to use. In High Deryni, Morgan tries to contact Derry mentally (sending a Call) during the reconciliation service for himself and Duncan and faints from the effort; Duncan makes the excuse that his cousin isn't used to fasting. He also collapses from overextending himself to Call on campaign in The King's Justice, and Kelson scolds him for pushing himself too hard.
  • February 16, 2012
    TomWalpertac2
    Real Life example: Tom Jones allegedly fainted upon singing the long and loud final note in the theme song to Thunderball
  • February 17, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Index this on Power At A Price
  • February 17, 2012
    MiinU
    Might wanna add Rolling Updates.
  • February 17, 2012
    PsiPaula4
    The Pokemon moves Selfdestruct and Explosion.
  • February 17, 2012
    Generality
    Physical exhaustion is the main symptom of overchanneling in The Wheel Of Time, even to the point of unconsciousness. In extreme cases it can also cause a permanent loss of one's powers.
  • February 17, 2012
    dalek955
    ^^ Those would be Taking You With Me.
  • February 17, 2012
    ccoa
    I've never understood the point of the Rolling Updates tag. If you're not updating your YKTTW as you go along, how are people supposed to judge if it's ready to launch or not? Rolling Updates should be the default, not the exception.
  • February 17, 2012
    dalek955
    ^ I've always thought so. Maybe you could bring it up with the admins.
  • February 18, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Rolling Updates is older that voting. Used to be to just follow the Three Rules Of Three - as long as 3 other tropers made comments to the effect of, "yep, this is a trope" you were good to go.
  • February 20, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    At the beginning of Ultimate X-men Storm had a tendency to faint, not from the use of power itself but from the mental effort required to reduce collateral damage - since she had no experience with aiming her lightning.
  • February 20, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Smallville: when Chloe first uses her healing power she collapses so completely doctors think she's dead.
  • February 21, 2012
    ccoa
    I'm aware of the history of YKTTW. It should have been the norm from the beginning, not since the introduction of the hats.
  • February 21, 2012
    HaggisMcCrablice
    See also Blessed With Suck, for superpowers that may be tiring for and even slowly killing the user.
  • February 21, 2012
    TomWalpertac2
    Casting my vote for Overlimit Blackout.
  • February 21, 2012
    MiinU
    You forgot to include the Bleach, Escaflowne, NIMH, and Suikoden IV examples at the top.
  • February 21, 2012
    Rainbow
    Sailor Moon usually faints or at least collapses and loses her Super form after using her Rainbow Moon Heartache attack in the S series, although that restriction on her Super form doesn't apply during Super S, probably because she's using a power source other than the Holy Grail in that series. She also has this problem in the first few episodes of Stars, when she first tries to become Eternal Sailor Moon, and like with Super S, the problem disappears once that becomes her default form when the Animamates start appearing.
  • February 21, 2012
    ccoa
    I haven't forgotten them, I just haven't moved them yet. I don't know why people put examples in the replies rather than editing them in directly now that the "overwrites the OP's name" bug is fixed. It just makes more work for me.

    Believe me, this is not my first rodeo. I know YKTTW better than I'd like to.
  • February 21, 2012
    MiinU
    ^Wait, we're allowed to do that?

    As far as I knew, it was considered bad form for anyone other then the YKTTW's host to edit the OP. But if it's really okay, I'll go ahead and add 'em then.
  • February 21, 2012
    TomWalpertac2
    Added Cyantian example, cleaned up entry.
  • February 22, 2012
    MiinU
    deleted.
  • February 22, 2012
    ccoa
    It used to be considered rude, because editing a YKTTW draft caused it to change the name of the original creator to the name of the editor. No one likes it when it looks like someone is taking over something that's "theirs".

    However, since the sponsor is now preserved no matter who edits, the same etiquette as any main wiki page applies - anyone can do minor changes like adding examples, but major changes should be discussed. However, the old custom is still hanging in there by sheer momentum.
  • February 22, 2012
    KZN02
    Persona 3: the MC falls unconscious for a few days after summoning his Persona for the first time.
  • February 22, 2012
    MiinU
    ^^@ccoa - Ah, I see.
  • February 22, 2012
    captainsandwich
    I think over limit blackout doesn't reveal the super power part, and therefore to general. I think, short of the original title, that Power Fatigue while the least catchy says what the trope is about best and therefore the best. I vote Power Fatigue
  • February 22, 2012
    MiinU
    Power Fatigue only suggests exhaustion, not fainting, which is the key aspect of this trope.

    Also, why is The Secret of NIMH under western animation? It's a feature length animated film. It says so on the related works page, and on the DVD cover itself. If NIMH is considered western animation, then wouldn't the same apply to Disney's material?
  • February 22, 2012
    ccoa
    I think we're going to need a name crowner for this.

    Here we go.

    Once that's decided, I think this is ready to launch.

  • February 24, 2012
    ccoa
    Bumping for more votes. Two are tied for the lead.
  • February 24, 2012
    whereismytea
    Blackout Magic?

    (I jest)
  • February 24, 2012
    dalek955
    ...actually, that's a fairly good title. I vote for Blackout Magic.
  • February 24, 2012
    MiinU
    Blackout Magic would limit examples to magic only, when there are also instances involving psychic powers, ancient artifacts, or simply from exerting one's own special ability (i.e. transformation abilities, mutant powers, etc.). So if we went with Blackout Magic, we'd need a separate page for all the non-magic examples. I think it's best to go with a name that covers all of them.
  • February 24, 2012
    dalek955
    eh, those are Magic By Any Other Name.
  • February 24, 2012
    ccoa
    People tend to be overly literal with titles, though.
  • February 24, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Titles tend to be the largest factor in how a trope gets linked and used/misused.
  • February 25, 2012
    Unknown Troper
    What a stupid reason. Shouldn't the text paragraphs be more important?
  • February 25, 2012
    dalek955
    It is indeed stupid, but if there's one thing the online world isn't short of...
  • February 26, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Yes it's stupid, but it's the truth. It's why we need to have stupid guidelines like No New Stock Phrases, because it solves a stupid problem.
  • March 1, 2012
    ccoa
    The name voting has been neck and neck for a while. I'd like a clearer lead on the winner, so bumping for more votes.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=n656hpwd5awahp3yv0orrl92