Created By: Voyd211 on September 16, 2011 Last Edited By: Aludi on September 2, 2012
Troped

Hijacking Cthulhu

A character possesses or controls something vastly more powerful than themselves.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Alt titles: Monster Hijack, Did You Just Hijack Cthulhu?

So, you have your average Body Surfer or enslaving sorceror. Eventually, they aim to become or enslave a powerful being beyond comprehension. And you know what? They succeed.

This is when a character takes forceful control over an Eldritch Abomination, Physical God, or simply something vastly more powerful than themselves.

Not to be confused with Hijacked by Ganon. Can involve Hypno Trinkets, Soul Jars, or Demonic Possession.

Differs from The Kid with the Remote Control in that this is a direct and hostile takeover of the target.

Anime and Manga

  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Father uses a massive-scale alchemy technique to absorb Truth into his body. He was never weak to begin with, but Truth is definitely far more powerful. That said, this ends up being a partial subversion, since he eventually loses control and gets dragged into the Gate of Truth.
  • There was a story arc where someone stole Haruhi Suzumiya's powers.
  • Mao Dante: The title demon tricks Ryo into freeing it, then rewards the boy by eating him. But somehow, Ryo's personality survives this, taking over Dante's body and displacing its previous human identity Judas Iscariot .

Literature

  • In the Dresden Files book Dead Beat, Harry successfully summons the Erlking, a king of The Fair Folk and one of the most powerful beings in the series, and traps it in the summoning circle. Although he by no means has control of it, he is able to keep it from attacking him or leaving.
  • In The Wheel of Time you have the a'dam, a slave collar that lets certain (mostly normal) women control Chanellers. This means someone below a novice can control the strongest possible chaneller if they have them captured.
  • Granny Weatherwax of Discworld has the ability to "borrow" the minds of living things. Among other more normal targets, she has used this ability on an entire swarm of bees, and a building (Unseen University, to be precise, which is a bit of a Genius Loci due to all the magic). Her pupil Eskarina Smith considered trying it on Great A'Tuin, the turtle that carries the world on its back, but decided against it at the last moment because she didn't think she'd be able to get back.

Live Action TV

  • The Family of Blood's motivation is to steal the body of the Doctor, giving one of them immortality.

Tabletop Games

  • In Dungeons & Dragons, a character may attempt to control a Sphere of Annihilation with her will (Willpower check). Doing so successfully results in her temporarily controlling a tear in the reality that is capable of destroying pretty much anything in the universe on touch, No Saving Throw allowed.

Toys

Video Games

  • In the Scribblenauts series, the Mind-Control Ray can be used to control powerful beings like Vampires, Cthulhu, Dragons, and the like.

Web Original

Western Animation

Community Feedback Replies: 71
  • September 16, 2011
    Voyd211
    Not sure how to add specific examples to the draft, but here's one: in Bionicle, Makuta possesses the Physical God Mata Nui.
  • September 16, 2011
    Ekuran
    Compare Olympus Mons.
  • September 16, 2011
    wanderlustwarrior
    In Supernatural the Archangel Lucifer enacts a spell that binds the Four Horsemen to his will. In the words of Death, this is an ungodly spell learned by a "spoiled child throwing a temper tantrum".
  • September 17, 2011
    Bisected8
    • In Adventurers this is how the Summon Magic system works in order to parody the trope in RPGs; summon-able entities exist in a pocket dimension and can be called by a spellcaster to do their bidding for a short time (i.e. long enough to attack). All these entities are beings that were powerful enough to get to said dimension (expecting immortality) making it an example of this trope. At least one character who's betrayed by the Big Bad becomes a summon this way so that they could have a chance to be summoned against him. Then the party's wizard hits on the idea of sending the Big Bad to the dimension to recieve a No Holds Barred Beatdown For Massive Damage.
  • September 17, 2011
    kuyanJ
    In Homestuck, "sprites" are magic objects which will combine with the first two other objects to touch them, and resurrect them if they're dead. If they both have minds, the mind of the second will override the mind of the first. In an attempt to become powerful enough to defeat Jack Noir, Jade Harley throws the corpse of her future self into a sprite that a Physical God has already combined with.
  • September 17, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
  • September 17, 2011
    Voyd
    Oh, I didn't know about snowclones. I didn't know what else to name it, though. DYJHC is really the only thing I can come up with that fits.
  • September 17, 2011
    kuyanJ
    This doesn't seem to me to be a problematic snowclone. If I understand EWWS correctly (this is just based on reading it), it demands that we don't use snowclones that only make sense if you're familiar with the trope name they're snowclones of. This title doesn't seem to be that.

    And another example: in the page image from Heart Is An Awesome Power, someone is literally controlling Cthulhu.
  • September 17, 2011
    phantomreader42
    • Granny Weatherwax of Discworld has the ability to "borrow" the minds of living things. Among other more normal targets, she has used this ability on an entire swarm of bees, and a building (Unseen University, to be precise, which is a bit of a Genius Loci due to all the magic). Her pupil Eskarina Smith considered trying it on Great A'Tuin, the turtle that carries the world on its back, but decided against it at the last moment because she didn't think she'd be able to get back.

    • There was a story arc where someone stole Haruhi Suzumiya's powers.
  • September 17, 2011
    MorganWick
    The flip side is that trope names need to also make sense if you're familiar with the trope name they're snowclones of, but that doesn't seem to be an issue here either.

    There should be a pencil right above the draft. If that wasn't the problem, see Text Formatting Rules.
  • September 17, 2011
    wanderlustwarrior
    I find this name fine.
  • September 17, 2011
    hevendor717
    In FLCL Naota ends up possessing all the powers of the pirate King Atomsk, an entity so powerful he can steal star systems.
  • September 17, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    I've been trying to say I don't like this name for a while. I prefer not to say that when I can't present alternatives though, so I haven't.
  • September 18, 2011
    Bisected8
    @Auxdarastrix: Everythings Worse With Snowclones is only cases where a snowcloned title doesn't match with the naming patter the snowclone established.

    In this case this is consistent with the Did You Just Index Cthulhu tropes (Cthulhu's a much more powerful being than the one doing X, yet X succeeds) and is thus a perfectly good title. In fact failing to use it would break the naming structure and prove detrimental.
  • September 18, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    Okay, I'll retract my disagreement with the title.
  • September 18, 2011
    NorthernDruid
    Need more description.

    Also, does ths cover stealing "cthulu"'s powers and such as well? And if not do we have a trope for that? If it does cover it it should be included in the description.

    Also:

    • In The Wheel Of Time you have the a'dam, a slave collar that lets certain (mostly normal) women control Chanellers. This means someone below a novice can control the strongest possible chaneller if they have them captured.

    Doesn't fit the current description but fits the laconic just below the title.
  • September 18, 2011
    Voyd211
    Draft edited.
  • September 18, 2011
    Glixinator
    To add to wanderlustwarrior's point on supernatural, I think what Sam does to Lucifer in the season 5 finale would fit this as well.

    Another example would be Melbu Frahma from Legend Of Dragoon possessing the body of the God of Destruction to become the Final Boss.
  • September 18, 2011
    JohnDiFool
    Umm Cartman did exactly that with the real Cthulhu...
  • September 18, 2011
    Generality
    • In the Dresden Files book Dead Beat, Harry successfully summons the Erlking, a king of The Fair Folk and one of the most powerful beings in the series, and traps it in the summoning circle. Although he by no means has control of it, he is able to keep it from attacking him or leaving.
  • September 18, 2011
    FastEddie
    Find a name. This dialog-like snowclone will be rejected.
  • September 18, 2011
    Strunk64
    First, I really like the name. As an example, although I'm not sure it fits, in Ansem Retort, Axel captures and rides on the World Killing God Whale.
  • September 19, 2011
    Koveras
    • In Nanoha As, the crippled nine-year old muggle Hayate gains control over the planet-crunching Tome Of Eldritch Lore, stopping its centuries-long rampage. Slightly justified by the fact that said Tome chose her as its Mistress in the first place, thanks to the kindness and willpower she demonstrated earlier in the series.
  • September 19, 2011
    Ryuuma
    In one of the Indiana Jones videogames (The Emperor's Tomb believe), the final boss use a sort of Mac Guffin to take control of a giant, fire-spewing chinese Dragon and orders him to attack Jones. However as soon as he lose control on the artifact the giant dragon turns on him and swallows him whole.
  • September 19, 2011
    EmbracingShadows
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Father uses a massive-scale alchemy technique to absorb Truth into his body. He was never weak to begin with, but Truth is definitely far more powerful. That said, this ends up being a partial subversion, since he eventually loses control and gets dragged into the Gate Of Truth.
  • September 19, 2011
    ereg
    This very thing is how you defeat the final boss in Metal Arms Glitch In The System
  • September 19, 2011
    hevendor717
    @John Di Fool: More specifically, Cartman befriended Cthulu after he arrived on Earth by acting "cute" while resting on his belly. It was a bizarre Shout Out to My Neighbor Totoro, including a parody of the movie's theme as they travel around the world wreaking destruction together.
  • September 20, 2011
    Chabal2
  • September 20, 2011
    JonnyB
    Captain Ginyu did this with Goku in Dragonball Z, switching bodies with him so he could have his vastly superior power levels. Unfortunately it didn't work the way he planned, as he couldn't control the power levels since he had never trained in that body before.
  • September 20, 2011
    queenbri
    in the Static Shock / Justice Leaguge crossover Richie hacked Brainiac.
  • September 20, 2011
    AFP
    The Walky Verse has The Cheese get hijacked by other characters on a number of occasions, through both physical and supernatural means.
  • September 20, 2011
    TBTabby
    Guards! Guards! has Lupine Wonse use a book called The Summoning of Dragons to summon a dragon and control it...but the dragon doesn't stay under his control for long.
  • September 20, 2011
    GinaInTheKingsRoad
  • September 21, 2011
    Bisected8
    I'm afraid you're Late To The Party, Gina In The Kings Road.

    The title's already has that particular whinge posted, rebuked and then made redundant by Fast Eddie asking that a dialogue based title not be used.
  • September 21, 2011
    IuraCivium
  • September 22, 2011
    AP
    Comics:

    • The Mighty Thor has the Destroyer, a mechanical being with enough power to challange nigh-cosmic beings such as the Celestials. It is often controled by people who are much less powerful.
  • September 22, 2011
    GinaInTheKingsRoad
    I apologize, the Did You Just X Cthulu tropes are a Pet Peeve Snowclone of mine.
  • August 12, 2012
    Voyd211
    I feel like bringing this up again might be a very, VERY bad idea, but it seems this was forgotten. Does anyone else have anything?
  • August 12, 2012
    Koveras
    Nothing wrong with the trope suggestion. This just needs an appropriate working title. And some Rolling Updates.

    • In Dungeons And Dragons, a character may attempt to control a Sphere of Annihilation with her will (Willpower check). Doing so successfully results in her temporarily controlling a tear in the reality that is capable of destroying pretty much anything in the universe on touch, No Saving Throw allowed.
  • August 12, 2012
    elwoz
    This is very closely related to, and may in fact be the same as, The Kid With The Remote Control.

    Obligatory "Fast Eddie needs to calm down about the dialogue titles, often they are just fine" rant here.
  • August 12, 2012
    moocow1452
  • August 13, 2012
    Koveras
    It's "privilege", dammit! And "Apocalypse"! What's up with spellchecker malfunctions on YKTTW lately?
  • August 13, 2012
    TheHandle
    Well, it would be better to take the rolling updates and raise them to the description page. Also, the South Park example needs to be more detailed, as it is Refuge In Audacity to an insane degree. Essentially, Cartman makes himself Cthulhu's pet, in the vein of The Iron Giant or Transformers Prime, and then manipulates him into hurting people he doesn't like, The Kid With The Leash style.
  • August 13, 2012
    KarjamP
    Fast Eddie, what about most of the tropes in the index Did You Just Index Cthulhu?

    Those contain "dialog-like snowcones".
  • August 13, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ Please refer to No New Stock Phrases (specifically to the part with the Grandfather Clause). This is not the place to discuss site policies.
  • August 13, 2012
    Voyd211
    Examples added to draft.

    Also, something I'm not sure is an example:

  • August 14, 2012
    KarjamP
    ^^ In that case...

    Since it's now forbidden to use a dialog-based title when tropes are drafted in YKTTW, I think you need to change the trope title.
  • August 14, 2012
    Voyd211
    Monster Mental Hijack?

    Hijack the Monster?

    I'm grasping at straws here. The title you see is the only good one I could come up with.
  • August 14, 2012
    WaxingName
    • In the Scribblenauts series, the Mind-Control Ray can be used to control powerful beings like Vampires, Cthulhu, Dragons, and the like.
  • August 15, 2012
    KarjamP
    How about "Hijacking Cthulhu"?

    If a proper title isn't found for this trope, I suggest you DON'T launch it until one is found.
  • August 15, 2012
    Voyd211
    Yay, an example.

    • In the SCP Foundation, this is the ultimate goal of SCP-035. It's an Evil Mask that secretes a highly corrosive liquid that prevents it from keeping a host. It wants to take over SCP-682. Obviously, the Foundation doesn't want this, so it's taken to Mind Raping the personnel assigned to it.

    I also have a new working title.
  • August 15, 2012
    elwoz
    Please, distinguish this from The Kid With The Remote Control.
  • August 15, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • In the first issue of Marvel Comics' What If? Volume 2 the Venom symbiote takes over various characters because it burns through the energy of the hosts. Peter Parker, the original host, becomes literally nothing but a skeleton. Venom tries to take over the Hulk, saying it can survive on the Hulk's energy for a very long time.
    • In the Exiles "World Tour" story arc the villain Proteus runs through many bodies in several alternate realities, but they keep burning up. Finally he lands in Morph and discovers an unlimited energy supply, but posession by Proteus kills the host's mind/soul/ personality/etc. Eventually the Exiles decide to brainwsh Proteus into thinking he really is Morph so as to keep the status quo.
    • In early issues of The Incredible Hulk Rick Jones has mental control of the Hulk as long as he (Jones) is awake and in close proximity to the Hulk, but when Jones falls alseep the Hulk wanders off and does his own thing.
  • August 16, 2012
    Voyd211
    There, differentiated from The Kid With The Remote Control. Happy now, Elwoz?
  • August 16, 2012
    SKJAM
    • Mao Dante: The title demon tricks Ryo into freeing it, then rewards the boy by eating him. But somehow, Ryo's personality survives this, taking over Dante's body and displacing its previous human identity Judas Iscariot .
  • August 16, 2012
    Voyd211
    Examples added, plus a new title.
  • August 16, 2012
    shastab24
    In Hulk Vs, Loki takes control of the Hulk in a plan to beat Thor.
  • August 17, 2012
    NightNymph
    An interesting variation is found in the Angel episode "I've Got You Under My Skin." An evil Eldritch Abomination called Ethros who had previously corrupted and sucked dry the souls of tens of thousands of innocent people since "before they had speech to name me" entered the mind of a young boy named Ryan. In a twist of fate, Ethros found Ryan had a "black void" in his mind with no soul, conscience, or humanity, and Ethros instead became the "hijacked" one - trapped within the boy who used Ethros' powers to "destroy everything around him". Ethros was only freed, because Angel and Wesley exorcised him from the boy. Perhaps not a straight example, because even though Ryan was just a human boy, an Eldritch Abomination who was corrupting and destroying souls for eons found the boy's mind to be "the blackest hell [he'd] ever known" and "the only thing [he had] ever feared".
  • August 22, 2012
    Voyd211
    I hope bumping this isn't too problematic.
  • August 31, 2012
    Voyd211
    Bumped again. There weren't any replies for over a week.
  • August 31, 2012
    JohnDiFool
    There's plenty of examples now tho, enough probably to launch it once someone puts them into the actual body...
  • August 31, 2012
    Voyd211
    I feel like it needs five of those hats, though. It has but two.
  • August 31, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Why isn't the South Park example in there?
  • August 31, 2012
    Voyd211
    Because the explanation isn't written as an example, and I don't watch South Park, so I don't know how it goes myself.
  • August 31, 2012
    NimmerStill
    • In South Park, Cartman manipulates the actual Cthulhu via the Rule Of Cute into trampling his enemies, namely the rest of the gang and anyone he suspects to be a hippie.
  • August 31, 2012
    dalek955
    This line isn't from an actual example, but i think it would make an excellent page quote:

    "Sure you're enormous, but once I get to the heart of you, you'll be just another chassis upgrade"
    --Ennesby, Schlock Mercenary
  • August 31, 2012
    Voyd211
    Example added. Yay?

    I still think that there aren't enough hats here to launch, and that adding one myself would just be bad form.
  • August 31, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Yay indeed. Hat added. But yeah, there's supposed to be five.
  • August 31, 2012
    KevinKlawitter
    In Marvel's Secret Wars limited series, Doctor Doom briefly hijacks the abilities of The Beyonder, an omnipotent Cosmic Entity. This was also carried over when the series was adapted into a story arc of Spider Man The Animated Series.
  • September 1, 2012
    dalek955
    • At one point in the DC Universe, the Joker convinces Mr. Mxyzptlk to loan him 1% of his power, but then tricks him into handing over 99%.
  • September 2, 2012
    Voyd211
    Yes! Five hats! PREPARE THE PAGE CANNON! We're launching this sucker!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=vpi6nizogevl48u9emj23t2a&trope=HijackingCthulhu