Created By: Schol-R-LEA on January 11, 2014 Last Edited By: Arivne on January 17, 2014

Emergency Power Emergence

A seemingly normal person manifests a super power at a moment of stress.

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Joe is a an Ordinary Everydude with nothing to mark him as unusual. One day, Joe makes a mistake and walks into the wrong part of town, where he is attacked by something: a vampire, a powerful mutant, an evil alien, what have you. It all looks bleak for Joe, when suddenly something happens: he is unexpected surrounded by a Glow Of Power, he has the strength of ten men, and with a wave of his hand, he quickly dispatches his attacker. What happened?

Joe's Emergency Power Emergence happened, that's what.

Maybe Joe was a latent mutant. Or perhaps he had a sudden rush of insight that awakened him magically. Whatever the cause, it is a reoccurring theme that previously unknown superpowers are most likely to make themselves known just when the person needs them the most.

May involve a Second Hour Superpower, if the powers are greater initially and then settle down to a lower level, but the two tropes are orthogonal to each other. Differs from 11th-Hour Superpower in that it the person gaining the power had never shown any unusual powers beforehand (though there may have been Foreshadowing of it). A common form of Super Hero Origin, especially where mutants are involved, and often counts as a Traumatic Superpower Awakening.

This seems to be a slightly wider trope than either Die or Fly, Defense Mechanism Superpower, or Traumatic Superpower Awakening all of which I initially missed. Is this tropeworthy by itself?

Alternative titles are more than welcome, as this one is rather weak.

  • In Marvel Comics, Dazzler's younger half-sister, Lois, manifested her mutant powers when she was attacked by a homeless man.
  • Whateley Universe has at least two:
    • Generator, whose powers emerged when her father attempted to beat her to death;
    • Vamp, whose powers emerged when she was being sexually assaulted.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • January 11, 2014
    • In Jumper David's jumping powers first manifest when he's drowning.
    • Spider Man first discovered his powers when he jumped out of the way of an oncoming car and found himself sticking to a building's wall.
  • January 11, 2014
    This can instead be a redirect to those three tropes.
  • January 16, 2014
    Does anyone agree or disagree with DAN 004's assertion?
  • January 16, 2014
    I disagree.

    First off, you can't redirect to three things. I guess we could make it a disambiguation page but... why? It's not like people are currently potholing Emergency Power Emergence on the wiki, which is the usual reason we turn links into disambigs. Generally we prefer people link directly to the trope they're talking about, rather than make a new one to obfuscate things.
  • January 16, 2014
    ^ That means... we shouldn't have this trope?
  • January 16, 2014
    • In Worm, that's the standard way to get superpowers.
  • January 17, 2014
    The first three paragraphs are an Example As A Thesis and need to be changed to just a description of what the trope is.
  • January 17, 2014
    ^^^ I mean... we have this trope. It's absolutely covered by those three extant tropes. And I don't think there's any reason to make the name into a disambig, either.
  • January 17, 2014
    ^ I'm tentatively going to support that position.
  • January 17, 2014
    ^^ I see. MTD.