%% Image selected and caption kept per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1407002661067523800
%% Please do not replace or remove without starting a new thread.
[[quoteright:300:[[Franchise/{{Batman}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Batman_Green_Lantern_001_7346.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Giving [[GreenLanternRing a willpower-fueled weapon]] to the planet's premier BadassNormal? [[SuperpowersForADay That won't last long.]]]]

->'''Rohtul:''' Who are you?\\
'''Batman:''' Your worst nightmare -- a Batman with superpowers!
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold''

Your average BadassNormal can take on monsters, supervillains, and [[EldritchAbomination cosmic horrors]] with nothing but [[TrainingFromHell intense training]] and [[{{Determinator}} sheer determination]]. But that other guy can ''[[StuffBlowingUp blow things up]] [[PsychicPowers with his mind]]''. And so can the villains. How could that [[PunyEarthlings puny human]] possibly [[MugglePower compete with that]]? In short, despite his amazing capabilities, the Badass Normal just doesn't seem to be badass enough. Time for a convenient {{power up}}grade.

He may find some new AppliedPhlebotinum, or discover a new power [[EleventhHourSuperpower lurking within himself]]. Perhaps a sudden revelation reveals some [[ChangelingFantasy otherworldly origin]] in his background, or he has [[TouchedByVorlons an encounter with mysterious beings that leaves him forever changed]] (or [[SuperpowersForADay just for one day]]). Or perhaps his badassness just escalates [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower beyond the limits of normal humanity]]. Either way, an upgrade of this type may be required just so the BadassNormal won't [[CantCatchUp become completely irrelevant]] compared to his superpowered comrades. If the SortingAlgorithmOfEvil leaves him too far behind, and his role seems to be reduced to [[TheWorfEffect getting his ass handed to him]], he may otherwise have to be PutOnABus so he doesn't [[TheLoad get in the way]].

Keep in mind that to qualify for this trope, a character must spend a significant amount of screen time as a BadassNormal before gaining his upgrade. For example, Hal Jordan of the ''Franchise/GreenLantern'' series starts off as a BadassNormal (he's an Air Force pilot) but gets his powers so early in the story that it defines his character. Likewise, fellow Green Lantern John Stewart used to be a member of [[SemperFi another Corps]], but that wasn't even brought up until decades after his introduction. If the power upgrade is a part of the character's origin story, then he doesn't count. If the character only uses his powers in extreme circumstances, he probably FightsLikeANormal.

Compare TookALevelInBadass, where a character who was legitimately weak gets a power boost. PowerLossMakesYouStrong and BoxingLessonsForSuperman are inversions. Contrast with SuperheroPackingHeat, where someone who already has powers decides to pick up a gun (or other prosaic weapon).

'''Important Note:''' Empowered Badass Normal is a trope that specifically deals with a BadassNormal who gains superpowers. It does ''not'' mean "Badass with superpowers." There are plenty of other Badass-related tropes to deal with those. Please help us fight this TropeDecay.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'': Hibari Kyouya is already a very badass fighter with power level way above the rest of the characters. He is still getting every single NextTierPowerUp along with everybody else, staying ahead of the curve.
* ''Anime/SailorMoon''
** Kino Makoto was already an experienced brawler before she even entered the story, and marked her debut episode by punching out [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Zoicite]]. ''Then'' she got her Senshi powers...
** [[PintSizedPowerhouse Minako]] is an even better example. In the anime it's not really visible, even if her moments as a PluckyGirl hint to that. In the [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]], she can OneHitKO Makoto (done when Makoto had been brainwashed by the Dark Kingdom). In the live action, she provoked a collective OhCrap in a group of youma by kicking one in a column so hard to break concrete, ''without transforming!!'' Not to say she was a slouch in the anime. She leaps onto Usagi's balcony untransformed. She also outruns a car after getting her Pure Heart Crystal taken out, even when every other senshi simply passed out from sheer pain and exhaustion.
* Akane Tendō from ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' has gotten this on occasion:
** The legendary [[PowerUpFood Super Strength Soba noodles]] confer herculean strength; after Akane mistakenly ate Happōsai's, she was able to lift, toss, juggle, and ''split in half'' multi-ton, two-stories-tall iron bells. Unfortunately, they had the side-effect of sprouting whiskers on her face until she took the antidote.
** The [[PoweredArmor Battle Dōgi]] from the late manga, a sentient suit that [[TimeToUnlockMoreTruePotential unlocks the wearer's ultimate fighting potential]]. She is able to [[CurbStompBattle run rings around Ranma]] while wearing it.
** A magical swimsuit made from a jellyfish-like substance, which allows the user to swim like a dolphin -- not only negating Akane's SuperDrowningSkills, but also giving her a speed and coordination that leaves Ranma wallowing in her wake.
* Mwu La Flaga of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'', a rare Natural ace pilot on a battlefield dominated by DesignerBabies, is eventually revealed to have "enhanced spatial awareness". Which clearly is the [[AlternateUniverse "Cosmic Era"]] equivalent to [[PsychicPowers Newtypes]]. [[spoiler: In the final battle Cagalli, also a Natural, is shown capable of activating [[SuperMode SEED Mode]] like Kira and Athrun.]]
* ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' stars one. He was known as "[[RedBaron The Black]] [[{{Shinigami}} Reaper]]" even ''before'' he became a Contractor, and in one flashback he completely owned a Contractor in a straight-up fight using only a choke wire, throwing knives, and sheer badass ninja skills. He still has the aforementioned skills, but now he can also [[ShockAndAwe zap the crap out of people]]. Gets taken UpToEleven when it transpires that these same powers [[spoiler: make him a full-blown RealityWarper in the right circumstances]].
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' does this for Ku Fei, who goes from "[[BadassNormal Martial Artist]]" to "Martial Artist that can shoot beams out of her hand and has a magic staff" as she gains the ability to use ki around the time the second major arc begins. This is actually noted in-universe by the MetaGuy as being more impressive to watch than the stronger full-on magic users, as she's "closer to being human" and thus you can understand exactly how good she is. It's hard to compare to someone who can blow up mountains, after all.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'':
** [[spoiler: Ling Yao]] is originally a BadassNormal who can take on homunculi but [[spoiler:then he fused with the homunculus Greed and gets his SuperStrength and InstantArmor power]].
** Scar started out as an Ishvalan warrior priest, who had the strength and skill to take on multiple Amestrian soldiers at once, but after being attacked by Kimblee, he received his brother's right arm, which enabled him to deconstruct anything. [[spoiler:And later, he acquires the power of reconstruction by tattooing his left arm with the designs his brother used to have, enabling him to do alchemical transmutations.]]
* Creed Diskenth, the BigBad of ''Manga/BlackCat'' was already a CharlesAtlasSuperpower abusing [[AxCrazy lunatic]] back when he was just an assassin. As the series progresses he upgrades himself with Tao abilities that grant him a CoolSword, and then [[spoiler: nanomachines]] that grant him a [[spoiler: HealingFactor and make him to all intents and purposes {{immortal|ity}}]].
* Li Ho from ''Manga/TheLawOfUeki'' was considered one of the strongest competitors, and had taken out a large number of opponents despite refusing to use his ability.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece:''
** [=CP9=] members Kaku and Kalifa were already amongst the world's top assassins and extremely skilled spies. Then they get Devil Fruit powers, which escalate their badass levels to an... unusually awesome degree. [[PossessionImpliesMastery Immediately after consumption, no less]].
** Zoro and Sanji are two of the greatest warriors of the Straw Hat crew, aside from their captain, but unlike Luffy, they have no Devil Fruit powers or anything else beyond CharlesAtlasSuperpower. Then they learned [[KiManipulation Haki.]]
** Ace was already a powerful fighter as a child who could hold his own against adult combatants and regularly beat Luffy (who already had his Devil Fruit) in fights. Then he obtained his fire powers and became one of the strongest pirates in the series.
** [[spoiler:Sabo]] was just as competent as Ace when he was a kid. Through only martial arts and [[KiManipulation Haki]] training he achieved second position in the Revolutionary Army, surpassing expert fighters like Jesus Burgess and Diamante in a tournament. A tournament that ends with him [[spoiler:eating the Flame Flame fruit of his late brother]].
** We can now add ''[[spoiler:Usopp]]'' to the list Haki users, as of the Dressrosa arc. Though at that point he displays only Observation Haki, as opposed to the Armament Haki used by most Haki-trained combatants (though the former is arguably more useful since [[spoiler: he's a sniper]]) and the first usage ended up saving ''Luffy and Law's'' lives without them knowing.
* Brandon Heat of ''VideoGame/{{Gungrave}}'' was a great Mafia sweeper who was a skilled hand to hand fighter and a great marksmen. Then, he was killed and become Necrolized. He became much stronger and could take a lot of damage.
* ''Manga/MedakaBox'': Male Lead Zenkichi was already a CrazyPrepared martial artist who could handle even abnormals in combat. After the battle with Kumagawa, he gained the [[spoiler: Parasite Seeing ability which allows him to see things from other people's perspective]]. Literally. Then he becomes even more abnormal, [[spoiler:gaining one more ability - Devil Style, which keeps any kind of ContrivedCoincidence from happening. After he no longer needs Devil Style, he has it modified into War Gode Mode: Model Zenkichi, giving him his own personal SuperMode]].
* ''Manga/RosarioToVampire''
** Miyamoto Haiji, president of the school's karate club. Like almost all of the school's residents, he's some variety of monster, but he doesn't even bother using any monstrous abilities when he first makes a combat appearance. He just wipes the floor with other monsters using his martial arts. As it turns out, he's a tengu- a bird demon. And what we've seen for most of the series is his humanoid, weaker form.
** Tsukune is probably a straighter example. In the beginning he wasn't that impressive, but he was courageous enough to [[TakingTheBullet shield his]] [[OurMonstersAreDifferent stronger friends]] from attacks so often you have to wonder [[MadeOfIron what he's made of]] [[{{Determinator}} to keep getting up like that]]. Then he gets his EmergencyTransformation NextTierPowerUp, and this trope breaks loose. He goes through several power-ups over the course of series and by the final chapter he's [[spoiler:a Shinso Vampire, the most powerful monster there is]].
* ''Anime/MonsterRancher'': Genki may seem to be BadassNormal at first but is often seen focusing energy in order to attack, as well as transferring it to others and putting it into his attacks. Later on it is shown he can [[spoiler:launch Spirit Bombs]] and, in the last two episodes [[spoiler:focus the energy of everyone they know, combining the bodies of several of his friends and reviving the Phoenix]].
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' gives us Videl, the daughter of Hercule (a genuine BadassNormal who, sadly, doesn't hold a candle to the heroes or the villains they fight). Before meeting Gohan, she could give her old man a run for his money in the martial arts. After meeting Gohan, she learns to fly in the same manner as Gohan and his allies.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'': Suzaku Kururugi may count. Already a BadassNormal (he was a skilled Knightmare Frame Pilot and martial arts prodigy) for most of the first season, he slips into this near the end of the first season and into R2. His most obvious upgrade was having the "Live!" geass cast upon him by Lelouch, allowing him to survive situations that would normally have killed him and allowing him to become much stronger and faster than a normal human being in order to do so. However, it had been hinted throughout the series that Suzaku had some as-of-yet unidentified connection to geass... [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot that was never explained or elaborated upon]].
* ''LightNovel/HighSchoolDxD'' has Issei Hyodo, the protagonist is a human who got reincarnated into a devil, who happens to possess a more powerful version of a Sacred Gear called Boosted Gear that [[MagikarpPower doubles his power every 10 seconds.]] Then, he attains [[PoweredArmor Balance Breaker]] and is capable of fighting stronger beings and [[CurbStompBattle curb stomp]] weaker enemies. And then he attains the Illegal Triana (Cardinal Crimson Promotion being the strongest form) to the point that Ddraig, the dragon sealed inside the Boosted Gear, states that he's now at Ddraig's full power. [[spoiler: And ''then'' he becomes even more powerful after having [[OurHeroIsDead his old body dying]] at the hands of Samael, the Dragon Eater, and both Ophis and Great Red, ''two of the strongest beings of the series'', create a body for Issei ''while still having Boosted Gear''.]] If anybody took this trope UpToEleven, it's him.
* In ''Manga/AyashiNoCeres'', Yuuhi Aogiri starts as a competent martial artist ([[RealMenCook who can cook!]]) and manages to save [[{{TheHero}}ine Aya]] more than once with his own abilities alone. However, his sister-in-law Suzumi creates a bandana and two wristbands that lends him part of her power as the Celestial Maiden. That gives Yuuhi partial immunity to other Maidens' attacks (including Ceres) and extra strength while he fights (as shown during the GrandFinale when [[spoiler:he manages to severely wound [[BigBad Mikagi]] with one strike]]).
* The anime of ''Manga/SoulEater'' had Maka, the protagonist, a BadassBookworm who wields a giant red-and-black scythe who is actually her shape-shifting best friend. Her father also had this ability, but she inherited the powers of a Meister from her mother. [[spoiler: Until the final episode, when it turns out she has been a Weapon all along.]]
* Satsuki Kiryujin, of ''Anime/KillLaKill,'' starts off the series as having no powers besides an extremely dangerous sword and a [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower hell of a lot of training.]] When the main character, Ryuko, gets her hands on a [[ClothesMakeTheSuperman Kamui]] and proves nearly able to match her in a fight, Satsuki eventually acquires one of equal power, and starts wearing it for most of their fights. Ryuko herself could qualify, being able to take down superpowered One-Star Uniform wearers even before gaining her Kamui, but she obtains the outfit in the first episode and rarely takes it off thereafter.
* Leorio from ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' is the only member of the main cast without nen abilities. While the weakest of the four, he's still stronger than your average human, is a skilled doctor, and displays a large amount of street smarts. Then after a LongBusTrip, he returns with a nen ability that allows him to transmit his punches through the floor, which he immediately uses to lay out legendary hunter and Gon's father Ging.
* Eren Yeager, from ''Manga/AttackOnTitan''. He's a {{Determinator}} fueled by ThePowerOfHate, graduating 5th in his military class through sheer persistence and noted to be one of the best at hand-to-hand-combat. Then he CameBackStrong, surviving a brush with death and gaining the ability to [[spoiler: transform into a 15-meter Titan with SuperStrength]].
* Crow from ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'' is introduced as a BadassNormal and is so until the end of the season, when [[spoiler:his willingness to fight alongside his Signer friends and help defeat [[BigBad Rex Goodwin]] causes the [[PhysicalGod Crimson Dragon]] to make him a Signer as well]].
** Likewise, Jonouchi from the original ''YuGiOh''. He was about five seconds away from beating the BigBad of season 2, with no magical artifacts or one-of-a-kind super cards. Then in season 4 he gets The Claw of Hermos, letting him turn his monsters into equip spells with basically any effect he wants.
* Reigen Arataka from ''Manga/MobPsycho100''. Despite being a self proclaimed world-renowned psychic and Mob's (an actual esper) master, he actually has no powers at all, but through smarts and extreme luck, he manages to usually end up conveniently looking like a badass. [[spoiler: And then, at the end of the first season of the anime, he inspires Mob so much his sheer admiration powers him up to a degree where his new acquired powers surpass even Mob's. He then proceeds to NoSell all the villains' attacks with ease and even give them a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech before this temporary boost runs out.]]
* Izuku Midoriya from ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'' starts the series as nothing more than a superhero {{Otaku}} with an incredibly sharp mind that lets him [[AwesomenessByAnalysis out-analyze]] and [[IndyPloy out-plan]] even people with powers, as well as having the heart of a hero ([[{{Muggles}} if not the powers]]). This catches the eye of the #1 hero All Might, who takes Izuku under his wing and puts him through an intense 10-month physical training regimen that practically turns the kid into a teenage ComicBook/{{Batman}}. After his training is complete, All Might bequeaths to Izuku his power, One For All, granting him the ability to briefly enhance his body.
** However, there's an aspect of {{Deconstruction}} to this: Whenever Izuku uses One for All, he [[HeroicRROD breaks whatever limbs that he enhances]] and would have permanently crippled himself several times over if the school's nurse didn't having healing powers (and even she warns him that if he keeps it up no healing power in the world will help him). While training under All Might's mentor Gran Torino, Izuku finally realizes that he should view One for All as an extension of his own body rather than a special attack and develops "Full Cowl", where he distributes 5% of the power across his entire body rather than focusing all of it into a single limb.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* An awful lot of FanFiction tends to give Franchise/{{Batman}} powers, typically so he can "stand up" to Franchise/{{Superman}}. Some comics do this, too, usually as a one-issue gag or an {{Elseworld}}. One Elseworld gave him a ''GreenLanternRing'' -- leading to this [[MotivationalPoster Demotivator]] titled [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/green-lantern-batman.jpg "Overpowered"]]
** He was also offered a Sinestro Corp's ring (yellow, based on fear) in canon during the Blackest Night saga which admittedly fits him remarkably well. However, he rejected it (whether due to what happened with the Green Ring and/or because it's ''Sinestro'' isn't stated) and it ended up in the hands of Scarecrow briefly before being taken by a deputized [[{{Greed}} Orange Lantern]] ''Lex Luthor.''
** In a different medium, Batman has been offered the ring, or at least comparable to it ''twice'' (see below in WesternAnimation).
** The ComicBook/AmalgamUniverse sees your Green Lantern Batman and raises you [[http://batman.wikia.com/wiki/Dark_Claw Wolverine Batman]].
** He ''always'' [[ResetButton loses such powers at the end of the story]] or has them [[CanonDisContinuity ruled non-canonical]]. The writers know that Batman is known and loved as a BadassNormal, and neither wants nor needs superpowers. That and it gives them an excuse to experiment.
*** There's one story where Batman gained Franchise/{{Superman}}'s powers, and Superman was BroughtDownToNormal. The ramifications were explored- Batman began to go a little bit crazy from [[KnightTemplar righting every possible wrong he could]], and ends up getting weakened- turns out fighting at night all the time doesn't suit a solar-powered hero.
** [[ComicBook/BatmanVampire Vampire Batman]]. The trilogy of stories ended [[spoiler:with everybody dead, including Batman himself]].
** There are occasions where Batman has his own PoweredArmor to beat superpowerful foes. He does have a storage of more exotic technology and even supernatural items that he doesn't use in his normal crimefighting, but tend to be used when working with the Justice League or during drastic events.
** Batman was offered a Green Lantern Ring in the mainstream comics once. Surprisingly enough, he's not able to do much with it. Despite having incredible willpower, Batman's drive also came from his inability to let go of the past and only was able to conjure bats and an image of his parents. In fact, this is what ''every Green Lantern faces'' each time they wield the ring. As a result, Batman gained a much greater respect for Hal Jordan.
** While there are some Batman villains that fall under this trope, {{ComicBook/Bane}} is a very prominent example whenever he's on Venom. Otherwise, he's a BadassNormal super-villain with a lot of [[{{Determinator}} willpower and discipline]] whenever he's not on it.
* Comicbook/IronMan, who began as a simple man (not even badass) wearing a PoweredArmor, gave himself technology based super powers with the 'extremis' virus after deciding he wasn't fast enough to keep up. In addition to speeding up his ability to control his suits by mental link (even to summon its pieces and assemble into the full suit with his mind) it also allowed him to [[{{Technopath}} mentally link with other pieces of technology]] as well, often leading to 'I hacked it while standing here talking to you' asspulls. The Bleeding Edge suit can do a lot of what the Extremis suit could do and a lot of what it ''can't''.
* This used to come and go for ComicBook/CaptainAmerica, with him gaining and losing superhuman levels of strength depending on the writers, before it was finally decided that his iconic status in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse was partly founded on him being a [[SuperStrength slightly-above-pinnacle of human physical ability]] (being the [[CaptainPatriotic Living Symbol of America]] didn't hurt either). SuperSerum wasn't too super, though given what Steve Rogers was [[HollywoodNerd before then]] it's still damn impressive. Steve Rogers' power was eventually set at a hair above normal (non-mutant) human maximum. This is not the case for the ComicBook/UltimateMarvel version, however, who was clearly superhuman from the get go.
** While he was a BadassNormal when he was still serving as Cap's sidekick, ComicBook/BuckyBarnes now sports an [[ArtificialLimbs artificial arm]] that grants him various nifty abilities such as an {{EMP}} and an electric shock.
* ''ComicBook/UltimateOrigins #1'' reveals that, apparently, [[spoiler:Nick Fury's incredible badass-ness comes from having been a successful test subject of the Super Soldier Serum. On the one hand, you'd think just being Creator/SamuelLJackson would be enough; on the other, this kinda makes it easier to swallow things like ''dodging automatic weapons fire in '''close quarters''''', or holding his own against ''Wolverine'' until Captain America dropped the mutant with a taunt and a grenade. And most of his awesome is [[TheChessmaster in his badass planning, anyway]].]]
** This is at least partially true for the normal ComicBook/NickFury, who is badass and... virtually immortal, thanks to an anti-aging formula he took so he wouldn't age out of useful service. That near-immortality applies only to natural causes of death, though; Nick's survival in combat is purely a result of his badassitude. [[spoiler: Though it turns out that it's a lie. Nick Fury is actually pretty old, but still a badass TheChessmaster with robotic duplicates as revealed in Original Sin.]]
* How to create T'challa, the ''ComicBook/BlackPanther'': start with an African prince, raised since his earliest days to be an all-round expert athlete, brilliant mind, skilled warrior and natural leader. Then have him eat a mystical plant and have all of his physical capabilities boosted to explicitly superhuman levels. Season with all of the miraculous gadgets that a super-advanced MarySuetopia can cook up as personnel-grade gear. ''Then'' let the local Panther deity grant him its blessings.
* This happened to a huge number of [[Franchise/TheDCU DC Universe's]] [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] superheroes, either the characters themselves or their [[LegacyCharacter legacy successors]]. Originally, non-powered mystery men were a popular character type back in 40s and all of DC's characters were supposed to be in self-contained continuities. As time passed, these characters were put into a SharedUniverse with super powered characters and non-powered characters just didn't seem that impressive in comparison. Since a lot of these characters are fairly obscure, most people didn't really care much if they were reworked. ''ComicBook/AllStarSquadron'' was particularly guilty of this.
** The most famous example is ComicBook/BlackCanary. Before joining the [[Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica Justice League]], Black Canary had no superpowers, but one issue immediately after joining the Justice League, Black Canary suddenly acquired the [[MakeMeWannaShout Canary Cry]], a sonic projection weapon emitted from her mouth. This conflicted so much with her traditional BadassNormal nature, that her solo series and the smaller scale ''ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey'' constantly use KryptoniteIsEverywhere to force her to solve problems without using superpowers. Oh, it gets better. The Canary Cry is sometimes described as being ''so insanely powerful'' that any time she uses it, she's basically holding back so as not to ''completely and utterly eff up'' everything within earshot. It's put a hurt on characters who are considered to be ''much'' heavier hitters. Of course, this ironically lets the writers who are so inclined hold this back and [[FightsLikeANormal let her use her 'fu as her primary weapon]]: The Canary Cry really ''is'' that powerful, and you use the conventional weapons before you NukeEm. Gangs of {{Mooks}} and non-Franchise/{{Superman}}-class superpowered thugs can easily be defeated by her martial prowess and should something much greater come up, she has a trump card.
** Happened to ComicBook/GreenArrow II, Connor Hawke, as of ''Green Arrow and Black Canary #14'', when the genetics manipulation of [[MadScientist Dr. Sivana]] granted him with a HealingFactor.
** ComicBook/TheAtom - The first Atom was originally just a short guy with a temper and a good punch, he later gained super strength, a radioactive punch, and radiation immunity. His more famous successors gained the ability to shrink to subatomic levels.
** Stars and Stripes - Star Spangled Kid got Starman's cosmic rod and technology, while Stripesy built a mech for himself. Their successor, Stargirl continues to use Starman's technology.
** Wildcat - Got nine lives; legacy successors got cat related powers and could turn into a werecat.
** Firebrand - Legacy successors got fire manipulation powers.
** Liberty Belle - Acquired ability to project sonic vibrations from her hands along with enhanced speed, strength and agility (the second Liberty Belle, her daughter, did not gain the sonic vibrations, but did gained her enhanced attributes along with her father's, Johnny Quick, superspeed powers.)
** ComicBook/PhantomLady - Legacy successor could become invisible.
** [[ComicBook/SandmanMysteryTheatre The Sandman]] - Legacy successors had all sorts of super powers.
** Congo Bill - Gained the power to turn into a gorilla.
** Crimson Avenger - Legacy successor is a spirit of vengeance with magic guns.
** ComicBook/RedTornado - Legacy successors could manipulate wind in the form of tornados (though the first was a middle-aged woman while her successor was an air elemental inhabiting a robotic body).
** ComicBook/BlueBeetle - Inverted this and then played it straight. The first Blue Beetle (Dan Garrett) had super powers from a magic scarab, the second (Ted Kord) couldn't make it work[[note]](Well, sorta. It did offer him its power once, but it turned out to be evil, and Ted chose instead to destroy it. It's back now and doesn't seem evil anymore.)[[/note]], but the third (Jaime Reyes) goes back to using the scarab.
*** Actually the ''original'' original [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] Fox Features Blue Beetle[[http://pdsh.wikia.com/wiki/Blue_Beetle]], before being revived by Creator/CharltonComics and thence moving to Franchise/TheDCU, started as a BadassNormal then got a bulletproof costume and SuperSerum from a scientist ally. The scarab didn't pop up until UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}} at Charlton.
** Rex the Wonder Dog drank from the Fountain of Youth, gaining longevity, the ability to talk (to any human or animal), and unspecified magical abilities. Overkill, considering Rex was already a decorated war veteran (for both World War II and the Korean War), a successful newspaper photographer, and had won fights with bears, woolly mammoths, and even Tyrannosaurus Rex ''before'' getting powers.
* PlayedWith in ''ComicBook/{{PS 238}}''--Tyler, a MuggleBornOfMages with a ComicBook/{{Robin}}-esque identity, never gets powers. [[spoiler:His clone, Toby, who has his memories, becomes a RealityWarper]]. In an interesting study of DivergentCharacterEvolution, Tyler remains effective and ShroudedInMyth among his peers, while the drawbacks of the others' powers makes him much less able.
* Near the end of ''ComicBook/BlackestNight'', Ganthet triggers an emergency mechanism in the rings of the highest-profile member from each Corps, prompting them to create a temporary duplicate ring and 'deputise' the nearest suitable individual. Most of the resulting Lanterns already had powers (Star Sapphire Franchise/WonderWoman, Indigo Tribe Atom, Blue Lantern Franchise/TheFlash), but we also get Orange Lantern ComicBook/LexLuthor and Sinestro Corps [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Scarecrow]]. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for the Orange Ring to drive Lex mad(der) with greed, and the first ring he steals is Scarecrow's.
* Joshua Carver of ''ComicBook/NoHero'' did patrols at night without any super powers. Then, he gets [=FX7=] and he becomes very powerful. [[spoiler: In fact, he was raised by the FBI as a monster fighter and an FBI agent commented that she's very scared of Joshua since he has superpowers.]]
* In ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo'' Natasha Irons, after a fallout with [[ComicBook/{{Steel}} her uncle]], enlists in the ComicBook/LexLuthor Everyman Project and gains actual superpowers, going from a human in PoweredArmor to a human capable of ''crushing'' PoweredArmor. John Henry is infected with a metagene against his will and transforms into a being composed of stainless steel, capable of deflecting bullets and hurling blobs of molten metal.
* Tigra of Creator/MarvelComics fame started at The Cat, a lab assistant who used a super suit to make her comparable to Captain America, and give her finger claw grapples (the suit was later taken on by Patsy Walker, Hellcat).
* ComicBook/PatsyWalker herself started out as a teen humor character until her transition into a BadassNormal superhero. She later developed some vaguely defined psychic abilities, placing her squarely in this trope.
* The titular Metabarons in ''ComicBook/TheMetabarons''.
* There is a variety of this in ''ComicBook/{{Irredeemable}}'' - while Charybdis always had the powers, they were pretty weak. So when he got boosted to Plutonian's level, he has an advantage, because he actually knew how to fight.
* In Comicbook/NewAvengers, ComicBook/{{Mockingbird}} received a mix of [[SuperSerum Super Soldier serum]] and Nick Fury's Infinity Formula to save her life; an upgrade she has yet to fully exploit.
* ComicBook/MsMarvel was first just Carol Danvers, an Air Force military figure, investigating about this new "Captain Marvel" and the Lawson scientist. And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Marvel Comics wanted to have more female super-heroes, and Carol Danvers was exposed to a Kree machine that turned her into a FlyingBrick with Kree powers.
* At one point, Chase Stein of the ComicBook/{{Runaways}} merged with Vision of the ComicBook/YoungAvengers. During ''ComicBook/AvengersArena'', [[spoiler:he became the new Darkhawk]] (which is, of course, ironic, because his predecessor in that role was one of the Runaways' enemies back when they were still based out of the Hostel).
* ''Comicbook/ThePunisher''
** In a ''ComicBook/WhatIf'' story, the Comicbook/{{Venom}} symbiote joins with Frank Castle instead of Eddie Brock. Using his new powers, the Punisher's war on crime becomes more brutal than ever and he succeeds in killing several Marvel supervillains before a team of superheroes manages to stun the symbiote, allowing Punisher to tame it by telling it that he'd commit suicide and destroy them both unless the symbiote gives him complete control over it. Punisher then tells the superheroes that he's in control now before escaping.
** The ''[[Comicbook/ThePunisherPurgatory Purgatory]]'' miniseries gave Frank, who was resurrected by an angel after a demon-assisted suicide, divine powers that allowed him to pull [[{{Hammerspace}} any kind of (divine) weapon he wanted]] from his BadassLongcoat.
** In ''ComicBook/ThePunisherMAX'', Garth Ennis makes his own supernatural upgrade part of Frank's backstory: During the battle of Valley Forge (depicted in ''[[ComicBook/ThePunisherBorn Born]]'' miniseries), an enigmatic voice gave him the choice to either die in battle or be its agent on Earth. This entity is implied to be Death Itself, and it apparently guides The Punisher's hand.
* In ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck is a BadassNormal in a world of aliens, cyborgs, robots, etc. However he gains psychic powers in issue 40 of the series only to lose them at the end of the issue.
* ComicBook/RedSonja is a ActionGirl on peak human condition that only needs common blades and weapons to take on evil magic-users and monsters. Yet, from time to time, she gained certain power-ups including but not limited to: gaining a RingOfPower that made her virtually immortal, being turned into a vampire, becoming a ComicBook/{{Witchblade}} host and being transformed into the [[PhysicalGod avatar of a living goddess]]. These changes don't last because StatusQuoIsGod and she is always back at being a BadassNormal.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' fic ''Fanfic/QueenOfAllOni'', Jade gets significantly stronger and more durable (plus a healing factor), along with the normal powers of a Shadowkhan when her Queen persona returns.
* Deconstructed in ''FanFic/FalloutEquestria'' as part of the story's attempt to show [[BeingGoodSucks how much it would suck]] to be the main character in a ''{{VideoGame/Fallout}}'' game. Over the course of the story, Littlepip picks up several [[MadeOfIron beneficial]] [[HealingFactor mutations]] and [[HalfHumanHybrid alterations]], at the cost of sterility and a significantly reduced lifespan. By the story's end she's basically [[YourDaysAreNumbered on her last legs]], and being [[spoiler: [[HumanPopsicle sealed in the SPP's stasis chamber]] is probably the best thing that could have happened to her at that point]].
* This is the main premise of the first story of the ''FanFic/FacingTheFutureSeries'' in which [[WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom Sam]] gains ghost powers of her own.
* ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'' does this to Kyon, first making him a BadassNormal via martial arts training in Yuki's [[YearInsideHourOutside error correction spaces]]. Then in chapter 21 he starts getting cool toys. [[spoiler: Initially an extra-dimensional super gun, a watch with body armor, and a very nice coat. Then an AI PDA. Then a beam saber. Then an upgrade to his watch to give him gravity powers. Then another extra-dimensional super gun. [[ItMakesSenseInContext Then Asakura Ryoko.]]]]
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6999519/1/The-Pride-of-Sunnydale The Pride of Sunnydale]]'' makes [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Xander]] [[TookALevelInBadass take a few levels in badass]]. Unlike canon, he's possessed by a primal lion spirit instead of a hyena and retains the possession.
* Subverted in ''[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-19569/Chilord+Echoes+of+the+Fallen.htm Echoes of the Fallen]]''. After [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Xander]] goes as ComicBook/{{Magneto}} for Halloween, he gains Magneto's memories rather than his power. [[spoiler:[[DoubleSubversion At least until Buffy dies]].]]
* In ''[[Fanfic/RyuugisTheGamesWePlay The Games We Play]]'', Adam had already been making a name for himself as a badass even before he had had his Aura and Semblance awakened.
* In the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', there are a few:
** Apple Pie, Applejack and Pinkie Pie's niece from the BadFuture in Dark World, was already part of a BadassFamily capable of thriving in the chaotic hellhole Discord made of the world. Then she awakens as an Element of Laughter, which gives her the power to LogicBomb things because she finds paradoxes hilarious (her special talent is literally paradoxes). This includes other people and ''zombies''.
** Applejack, already a BadassNormal, gains LivingLieDetector abilities upon exposure to the Truth that could MindRape somepony if she ''really'' wanted to. Being AJ, she doesn't very often. [[spoiler:During the final battle with [[BigBad Nyarlathotrot]], she gains healing powers thanks to her relation to Saint Sweetheart. Finally, during the same battle, Dark World Nightmare Mirror [[BequeathedPower gives her her power upon death]], transforming Applejack into an Alicorn. [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu She uses this power to kick Nyarlathotrot's flank.]]]]
** Dark World Applejack also got this trope: her Element of Deceit (or by its true name, Fantasy) gives her a form of LivingLieDetector powers (though different than her prime self's) and makes her a MasterOfIllusion, on top of giving her CompleteImmortality so long as it isn't forcibly removed. She also gains healing powers when she takes Fluttershy's place as Element of Kindness. [[spoiler:According to LooseCanon, she eventually unlocks the Element of Fantasy's true power, gaining a SuperMode.]]
* There are several ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' fics in which [[TeamNormal Asami Sato]] is granted airbending by Harmonic Convergence. Considering canon!Asami is a GadgeteerGenius [[GeniusBruiser martial artist]] who totes a [[StaticStunGun shock]] [[PowerFist glove]]—and considering the two known {{Badass Normal}}s to be canonically affected—this is approximately akin to giving Franchise/{{Batman}} a Franchise/GreenLantern ring.
* Attelus Kaltos of the ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' fic ''Fanfic/SecretWar'' begins as exceptional BadassNormal. Although starting as an [[ProfessionalKiller assassin apprentice]] he is a MasterSwordsman and master martial artist. But once he is [[spoiler: bedridden, with almost every bone in his body shattered. His bone structure is rebuilt with wraithbone by an [[AWizardDidIt Eldar farseer]] Making even bolter rounds deflect off him and Enhancing his [[SuperSpeed speed]] [[SuperReflexes reflexes]] and [[HyperAwareness senses]] beyond normal humans allowing him to be able [[DodgeTheBullet dodge bullets]]. As well as have a slow but sure HealingFactor. But the enemy agents are similarly enhanced if not more so, especially their regeneration]].
* In ''Fanfic/{{FREAKINGENSOKYO}}'', Brad becomes this way after gaining a few levels, learning a few spells and beginning his long-awaited danmaku training.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Joaquin from ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife'', ''is'' a skilled warrior, but the Medal of Everlasting Life makes him unbeatable. [[spoiler:Jorge has confirmed that, if the sequel happens, Joaquin will be able to 'see things' with his injured eye, specifically the dead in the Land of the Living and other things depending on the Land he's in.]]
* The [[AlternateSelf Humane Five]] of the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls'' franchise originally start out no more powerful than one might expect of the average high school student (athletics, singing ability, etc.). By the events of ''Legend of Everfree'', they have power on par with what their [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Equestria Prime]] counterparts have [[spoiler:including their counterparts' defining traits that manifest as controllable magic]], and have attained it over the course of about half a school year compared to the several years that have passed in Equestria.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/KingKongVsGodzilla'' gives the [[Film/KingKong gorilla]] a size upgrade and [[ElementalPowers electrical abilities]] so that he can stand up to the [[Franchise/{{Godzilla}} atomic dinosaur]]. This is a side-effect from the fact that King Kong was originally supposed to be Franchise/{{Frankenstein}}, which would have still fit into this category for making Franky 30 stories tall.
* A bit of a meta-example is ComicBook/JonahHex. For much of his comics career he got by on his wits and his skills, no matter where he ended up, he always kicked ass and took names. When TheMovie [[Film/JonahHex was made]], they gave him the power to temporarily resurrect the dead.
* Ellen Ripley in the ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' series was a normal human who TookALevelInBadass by the end of ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' by destroying an entire alien hive by herself, fighting against acid-bleeding parasitic Xenomorphs. Then by ''Film/AlienResurrection'' her clone Ripley 8, who shares most of her memories, receives some Alien DNA as a result of a flaw in the cloning process. Ripley's own blood becomes slightly acidic, she gets a psychic connection with the Xenos, has reduced empathy and predatory instincts, and is able to [[MadeOfIron shrug off being hit in the face with a loaded barbell]].
* In ''Film/{{Elysium}}'': Max goes from an ex-convict stricken with extreme radiation poisoning to a superhuman with PoweredArmor grafted directly into his body. Kruger goes from being a badass Ex-Special Forces sociopath to an augmented badass Ex-Special Forces sociopath.
* In ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2014'', the Shredder was [[EstablishingCharacterMoment introduced]] by beating up a Foot ninja while his arms were tied behind him. Then he gets a suit of powered armor.
* The basis for ''Film/TheLastWitchHunter''. Kaulder starts off as the man who slays world's most powerful witch and because of this, ends up with immortality. Eight hundred years later, he's TheDreaded.
* Vlad Dracula in ''Film/DraculaUntold'' is introduced as a skilled warrior with such a fearsome reputation that it made his foes cower and retreat with mere mention of his name. His very first feat upon rising as a vampire is [[OneManArmy to put down an army of a thousand Turks]] [[Awesome/DraculaUntold by himself]].
* ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' also makes the titular soldier one of these, but parts ways with the comics on ''how'' exactly. [[spoiler:The comics Winter Soldier's metal arm is his only enhancement, whereas here, Bucky was [[PlayingWithSyringes injected with super serum]] as a POW of Zola's, giving him abilities roughly on par with Cap's with or without the arm. The movie version of it doesn't have any of the comics version's special abilities (like an EMP) either; in fact, it's vulnerable to them (Black Widow shuts it down for a few seconds with a shock disc), though it is stronger than his intact arm.]]
* ''{{Film/Black Panther|2018}}'' fits this trope just like its comic book counterpart: every king of Wakanda must be trained to the peak of human condition, then ingest the special Heart-Shaped Herb which grants superhuman attributes on par with a Super Soldier, and dons a vibranium suit that is practically indestructible. T'Challa goes the extra length when he replaces his old suit with a vibranium-nanite version that absorbs and stores kinetic impact from physical attacks and releases it in energy form. [[spoiler:The movie's BigBad, Erik Killmonger, also qualifies since he is a US operative that scored hundreds of kills and ends up becoming a Black Panther with his own nanite suit after besting T'Challa in physical combat]].

* This is hinted at being the possible future path of Sergeant [[BadassNormal Karrin Murphy]] in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', if she chooses [[spoiler:to accept the offer from [[{{God}} Big G]] and become a [[ChurchMilitant Knight of the Cross]].]]
** In ''Literature/SkinGame'', we find out that [[spoiler:Butters has become Batman of Chicago, combining his grasp of magical theory with Bob's power to create magical artifacts which allow him to, for example, create Mind Fog at will, and skate at almost 30 mph. Still, they're just toys compared to the odds he faces. It isn't until the end of the book, where he becomes the newest (Jedi) Knight of the Cross, that he [[{{Pun}} crosses]] over into Empowered territory]].
** Both the Knights of the Cross and Nicodemus's Denarians tend to be dangerous in their own right even without holy swords or [[ArtifactOfDoom evil coins]], respectively.
* In ''Talyn'' by Creator/HollyLisle, the main character of the same name begins with limited use of something called the Hagedwar, a tool which grants the user power restrained only by how well they know how to use said tool. However, as the heat gets turned up, Talyn conveniently learns how to do such extraordinary things with the Hagedwar that she essentially becomes a demigoddess.
* Tavi of the ''Literature/CodexAlera'' is the [[TheCallPutMeOnHold one and only]] {{Muggle|s}} in a world where absolutely everything [[MagiTek runs on]] ElementalPowers. He can't even turn the lights on and off by himself. He is, however, so badass that he easily outmatches more than a few people who have SuperStrength or can throw waves of fire around, and often saves the day through sheer BadassNormal [[CrazyEnoughToWork awesomeness]]. But he also becomes less and less normal with time; his [[BondCreatures bond]] with Kitai increasingly sharpens his senses and improves his stamina, and at the end of ''Cursor's Fury'', [[spoiler:he finally starts to get over his mother stunting his magic and develops some rudimentary furycrafting ability. But since he's short about 15 years of practice, he's unable to utilize it properly until he gets some TrainingFromHell in ''First Lord's Fury'']].
* In ''Literature/InFuryBorn'' Alicia Devries is a highly decorated [[SemperFi ex-marine]], [[SpaceMarine ex-cadre]] genius of literally superior genetic stock. After spending the first half of the book establishing her as a BadassNormal, she then becomes possessed by a demi-goddess of vengeance and shortly after bonds with the AI of an experimental warship.
* ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'':
** Kaladin starts off solidly BadassNormal, managing to kill a Shardbearer, a feat considered nearly impossible for those without Shards of their own. Then [[spoiler: he starts developing Surgebinding abilities]].
** This is actually a question left intentionally open by the author, and a major source of angst for the character is that he may have had the powers forever but simply hadn't realized it and used them to protect his fellow soldiers. Many of his epic feats of martial skill and survival sort of read differently on a second read-through when you know in advance that [[spoiler: he can sustain himself on stormlight, heal any wound with a handful of spare change, and control his momentum and that of everything trying to hit him]]. Scenes where an opponent has trouble freeing a weapon from a shield or miss with a projectile weapon get an extra helping of "oh. huh."
** A close inspection of the chapter from the perspective of a new recruit in Kaladin's [[TrueCompanions squad]] mentions something that seems a little odd even on a first read(namely, [[spoiler: he seems to be surrounded by/trailing a mist while fighting]]), and when one knows about [[spoiler: his surgebinding]] it becomes blatantly obvious that he has been using it to help his fighting for a long while. He's clearly still a badass spearman in his own right though. This is proven in the second book, when [[spoiler: he kills a chasmfiend when temporarily BroughtDownToNormal]].
* In ''Discworld/{{Snuff}}'' it's revealed that due to the events of ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'' [[spoiler: Sam Vimes can see in the dark, understand the language of goblins, and can ask the Summoning Dark to tell him anything that happened in darkness]].
* ''Literature/WarriorCats'' has a few examples:
** Lionblaze starts out as a very strong, yet very normal, warrior. Then in ''Outcast'', he starts developing the powers of invincibility, becoming exceptionally strong.
** Becoming a Clan Leader works this way. They start out as normal warriors like everyone else [[note]]Normal warrior = Major badass[[/note]], but when they become a leader, they receive [[BackFromTheDead nine lives]], the powers of [=StarClan=], and any other gift the authors decide to give them.
* Remo Williams, in ''Literature/TheDestroyer'' series of books, has trained in the "sun source" martial art of Sinanju, which functions as a CharlesAtlasSuperpower to allow him amazing abilities.
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''
** Both Perrin and Mat were fairly badass even ''before'' Perrin found his connection with the wolves, and before Mat had his little episodes with the dagger from Shadar Logoth and the Aelfinn and Eelfinn.
** Aviendha as well, as she was an [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Aiel]] [[AmazonBrigade Maiden of the Spear]] before becoming a Wise One apprentice and learning to channel. Even her first appearance involves her and a pair of other Aiel fighting (and ''[[IShallTauntYou taunting]]'') a myrddraal, and she was one of the Aiel who took the Stone of Tear.
* Alaric in ''Literature/TheQuestOfTheUnaligned'' was already a BadassNormal policeman [[spoiler: as seen in his killing a dragon with absolutely nothing but his sword and his wits]]. Then he discovered that he's the heir to the [[BenevolentMageRuler royal house of Caederan]], and then after that he[[spoiler: becomes the first orah to be created for centuries]].
* In ''Literature/TheLaundryFiles'' protagonist Bob Howard and his {{Love Interest|s}} Mo both start off as ordinary people, albeit knowing how to use FunctionalMagic (which in this series is a confluence of computer science, advanced math, and astrophysics). In book two Mo acquires an InstrumentOfMurder (a BrownNote-producing violin made from human bone with [[spoiler:a demonic intelligence attached to it]]), while in book three Bob gains TrueSight and the ability to [[YourSoulIsMine eat souls]].
* ''The Literature/SecondApocalypse'': For most of the first two books, Anasûrimbor Kellhus is about as badass as you can get while still being ''something'' like normal. He's hyper-intelligent and has exceptional strength, endurance, and reflexes, due to two thousand years of breeding and a lifetime of training. However, he doesn't actually have any supernatural abilities ... until Drusas Achamian teaches him the Gnosis, the most powerful sorcery in the modern world. Kellhus, already extremely influential and capable, becomes almost horrifyingly powerful.
* Darryl Lancaster of ''Literature/TheInfected'' spent several books as the competent and friendly BadassNormal before gaining fire powers.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** Happened subtly, mostly the "TouchedByVorlons" variety. Jack O'Neill was already badass before the reveal that he has the gene necessary to use the technology of the Ancients. Same for Sam Carter and being used as a host by a Tok'ra. Daniel Jackson was an ActionSurvivor until he [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascended to a higher plane of existence]] (twice). The difference between before and after is relatively minor in some cases, but it's definitely there.
** Used less subtly in the episode "Upgrades", when the three of them all wear [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Atoniek armbands]], granting them enhanced strength, plus SuperSpeed on a level even Franchise/TheFlash would find respectable. Unfortunately for them but fortunately for the continued drama of the series, the armbands impart their superpowers by injecting a nanotech virus... that the human body eventually develops an immunity to. This turns out to be why the Atoniek civilization is extinct: they relied on the armbands exclusively for their defense, and once the entire population was immune, they were helpless.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': Several characters get TouchedByVorlons, and receive added abilities because of it. Talia Winters (already a telepath) develops telekinesis, Lyta Alexander (another telepath) receives a massive power boost, and John Sheridan not only [[spoiler: gets brought BackFromTheDead]], but also develops a resistance to telepathic control.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** Sam Winchester shifts into this in seasons 4 and 5 when he starts gaining direct control over his psychic abilities and uses it to fight demons. However, he eventually abandons them and returns to being a BadassNormal.
** In season 6, Dean was temporarily vampirized in an episode and used his new powers to infiltrate and destroy an entire coven, but his transformation was ultimately reversed in time.
** In season 7, we have [[spoiler: Ghost Bobby]].
** In Season 9, there's Dean after he gets [[spoiler:the Mark of Cain and the First Blade]].
** Also in Season 9, we find out the reason [[spoiler:Garth]] went MIA is that he was turned into a werewolf.
** Before any of them, in "Fresh Blood" [[spoiler:Gordon Walker]] became a vampire. [[IAmAMonster He didn't take it too well]].
* Nick Burkhardt in ''Series/{{Grimm}}'', is essentially an average human being with above average abilities in combat. The only supernatural ability he possesses is his ability to see Wesen in their true form. Fan speculation has gone back and forth on whether being a Grimm provided any abilities besides seeing the Wesen's true forms due to ambiguous portrayals of strength and durability. Starting in season 2, his powers provide a type of immune response that fights certain types of attacks and adapts to compensate or incorporates aspects and [[AdaptiveAbility resistance to further attacks]]. So far, he now has enhanced hearing that allows him to fight blind and hear better than the werewolf, and a zombie state that allows him superior stamina without raising his heart rate or getting fatigued and not needing to breathe for an unknown amount of time.
* Captain Jack Harkness from ''Series/DoctorWho'' and ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' is this. He starts out a badass former time-agent who can easily keep up with the Ninth Doctor in terms of action. Then he dies and is brought back. Permanently.
* Both Mohinder and Ando in ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' spend the first two seasons struggling to keep up in a world of superhumans. They do okay all things considered -- even facing the BigBad, Sylar, a couple of times and living to tell of it, which many characters with powers can't say. [[spoiler: But in Volume 3 they both get powers, letting them hold their own.]]
%%* ''Series/{{Chuck}}:'' [[spoiler: Chuck himself]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* This is quite often how Exaltation works in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', but mostly for Solars and Lunars. To explicate: Solars are typically Exalted after performing an act of bravery or a great accomplishment. Lunars are typically Exalted after surviving in the face of overwhelming odds.
* ''[[TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness World of Darkness]]: Mirrors'' has the "Dark Hero" template, which (on top of a few inherent abilities such as a power stat and [[MadeOfIron greater durability]] and {{healing|Factor}}) allows one to utilise "Skill Masteries", specialized powers based in mundane Skills. The weakest of these constitute {{Charles Atlas Superpower}}s, while the greatest are positively superhuman.
** Due to the relatively "fair" balance between supernatural and non-supernatural abilities (mundane skills, for instance, grant essentially the same increase in capabilities as ranks in a Mage's spheres), it is not uncommon for a WorldOfDarkness game to start with a bunch of badass normal "hunters" and then have them gain supernatural templates only after a certain number of sessions.
** Hunters are this in ''TabletopGame/HunterTheReckoning'' and ''TabletopGame/HunterTheVigil'', especially in the older Reckoning line, where it is strongly recommended your hunter is a thoroughly normal person before they gain their powers.
* Quite a few ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' cards underwent this. As the LensmanArmsRace of GameBreaker superpowers continued, a variety of iconic Normal Monsters became SoLastSeason ComMons for many players. As a result, a large number of those Monsters were rereleased as Effect Monsters. For example, [[ALoadOfBull Battle Ox]] became [[ArmorPiercingAttack Enraged Battle Ox]], [[KnightInShiningArmor Gaia the Fierce Knight]] became [[DesperationAttack Swift Gaia the Fierce Knight]], [[JeanneDArchetype St. Joan]] became [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy Guardian Angel Joan]], and [[VideoGame/{{Gradius}} Victory Viper]][[IAmNotShazam /Gradius]] went from a random ShoutOut to another game to an entire archetype of similarly-statted references. But perhaps the largest of them all was Chaos Soldier[[DubNameChange /Black Luster Soldier]], which went from a subpar and outdated Ritual Monster, to [[GameBreaker one of the founders of the banlist.]]
* The Sisters of Battle of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' are for all intents and purposes normal humans, albeit [[TrainingFromHell trained to elite levels]], and equipped with PoweredArmor, and a [[{{BFG}} Boltgun]]. Their faith in the God-Emperor though is ''so'' strong that it gives them incredible powers on par with psionics (only explicitly ''not'' warp derived, therefore without possibility of invoking Perils of the Warp). These used to be so good that many players preferred to design their army ''specifically'' around Acts of Faith to make a competitive list, although the sixth edition codex has kicked the entire faction down to low-tier.
** There's also the Stormtroopers of the Imperial Guard. For reference, the Imperial Guard are an entire army of human {{Badass Normal}}s, and the very best of them are inducted into Stormtrooper squads, or the Kasrkin squads, if it's a Cadian army. They are given special equipment not normally afforded to rank-and-file guardsmen, such as carapace armour and plasma weapons, as well as a few minor biological and cybernetic augmentations that increase their strength and speed by a small amount.
** This is actually the basic idea behind the {{Space Marine}}s, really. Start with a prepubescent BadassNormal, then fill him full of bio-mods to turn him into a Space Marine.
** While the fluff tends to focus on the ones that were formerly Chaos Marines, Daemon Princes are this trope. Ordinary mortals who become veritable {{Physical God}}s in recognition of their sheer badassery. Like Ax'Senaea the Thrice-Possessed, an ordinary human who ''consumed'' three of Slaanesh's Greater Daemons to make herself young and hearty again, and was aiming for number four when Slaanesh made her a Daemon Princess.
** The above can happen with loyal Imperial soldiers, but they instead become [[OurAngelsAreDifferent Living Saints]].
* From ''TabletopGame/D20Modern'': Take a Fast Hero 5/Gunslinger 10/Sniper 5, already a force to be reckoned with, despite having no magic/cybernetics/mutations.. Give him/her cybernetics implants (D20 Future), Mutations (D20 Future), and/or FX items/Magical inherent enhancements/both (Urban Arcana). Then hope you are not going to face him/her.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' you can build a heavily-chromed street samurai with no magical abilities whatsoever and the team mage can then increase all of your attributes even further (such as motion sense through walls). They can also provide you with preparations, small normal objects set to trigger to cast a specific spell when something specific happens (such as an apple casting a "Rot" spell when someone takes a bite). Additionally, a technomancer's sprite can run Diagnostics on a vehicle (increasing it's abilities beyond the normal) and potentially allow it to take additional actions. If you already had a killer rigger on the team in that vehicle...
* In ''[[TabletopGame/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy Mistborn Adventure Game]]'', you can spend a bunch of Advancements to manifest Allomantic powers if you don't have them already. Since non-powered characters start with better Attributes and Standings, this can make for a ''very'' powerful Hero.
* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', the card [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=130614 Muraganda Petroglyphs]] grants a large bonus to [[BadassNormal creatures without abilities]]. Also shown by the power creep in cards such as [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=249368 Woolly Thoctar]], a 5/4 for a mere 3 mana.[[note]]That's partially balanced by each of those 3 mana being of a different color; the only deck that can play this card at ''any'' time, much less on Turn 3, is one that was designed specifically to do so.[[/note]]
* The UrExample may well be spells in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' which give the BadAssNormal characters superhuman abilities for a short time. A wizard can easily give a fighter the ability to fly, fight at superhuman speeds, and superhuman strength with a couple of spells, then stand back to watch him or her go. Magical items can have a similar effect.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Kyle Katarn from the ''VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga'' games spent the entire first game and first 3 levels of the second as just a BadassNormal (during which he bests Boba Fett and takes out at least one Kell Dragon with just his fists). He then learns about his Force Sensitivity and gets a lightsaber.
* When you disregard his [[EvilHand Evil]] [[RedRightHand Red]] PowerFist, which he does not use for swinging his sword or firing his HandCannon anyway, Nero from ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 4'' looks like a "mere" CharlesAtlasSuperpower user... until TheReveal that [[spoiler:he is a descendant of the series' DefectorFromDecadence super-devil Sparda]].
* The ''Tome of VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' grants its holder access to powerful magicks and the memories of past (and [[FlashForward future]]) bearers.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'': The party start out as Freelancers who can only attack, defend, and chuck items. By the end of the game, they will probably be Freelancers... who have gained a multitude of unique abilities, magic, knowledge of chemistry, ''et cetera'' after mastering the job classes granted to them by the crystal shards.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'': Terra and Celes are the only two members with access to magic for the very first portion of the game (in fact, this makes them highly valuable to LaResistance). After meeting with Ramuh, the rest of the party gains access to magicite and start learning magic themselves.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'': Vincent Valentine was a Turk, one of Shinra's elite [[TheMenInBlack Men In Black]] who enforced the company's will and guarded their [=VIPs=]. And then Hojo got a hold of him and turned him into an ''unaging shapeshifter''.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'': Although the main party themselves don't really count, having been trained to use Guardian Forces and Junctioning, they do turn Laguna and his friends into this whenever they share a consciousness [[spoiler:thanks to Ellone]]. They're already capable, well-trained veterans... but now they have access to para-magic, summons, and Junctions years before Garden made these things familiar to the world.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' has the whole party turned into L'Cie, esper-like humans with magical powers, by Anima after defeating it. [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu Anima is a sort of god like monster.]]
*** In fact, for one character, Snow Villiers, he becomes an Empowered Badass Normal ''twice''. It's implied he always knew martial arts, but getting hold of an experimental bulletproof BadassLongcoat which enhanced his strength lets him make the most of his inherent strength and skill. And then, he becomes a L'Cie, granting him magic powers and the ability to summon ice spirits that can transform into a motorcycle, to put the cherry on the cake.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** Would you believe it, but [[spoiler:Sergeant Johnson]], who [[WordOfGod was revealed]] to be a [[SuperSoldier SPARTAN-I]].
** Pretty much every [[SuperSoldier Spartan-IV]] is this, as they're all adult volunteers who qualified for the program by doing something awesome when they were still {{Badass Normal}}s. Here's the pre-Spartan backgrounds of Fireteam Osiris:
*** Jameson Locke: A former bounty hunter and [[Film/HaloNightfall ONI agent]] who was an expert tracker.
*** Edward Buck: A former [[VideoGame/Halo3ODST Orbital Drop Shock Trooper]] described as such in his pre-Spartan days: "Truly, if he was any better he'd be a Spartan."
*** Olympia Vale: A former Navy diplomat who survived a [[Literature/HaloHuntersInTheDark very dangerous expedition to the Ark]] and acquitted herself quite well.
*** Holly Tanaka: A former Army engineer who [[ComicBook/HaloEscalation survived for years on a glassed world overrun by Covenant scavengers]].
* Most of Exile's party in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' are this - they're already war veterans, trained fighters, spies, bounty hunters, etc. But most of them turn out to be Force Sensitive as well, allowing the Exile to train them as Jedi (or Sith). It's also a common fan theory that Carth Onasi from [[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic the first game]] is an untrained Force Sensitive as well.
* James Heller in ''VideoGame/{{Prototype 2}}'' is derived from the fact that he is [[BadassNormal a normal person who can take on the infected prior to his infection]].
* Albert Wesker from the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series was already one ''hell'' of a MagnificentBastard, but after successfully pulling off his massive GambitRoulette in the first game and coming BackFromTheDead in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilCodeVeronica'', he gains superhuman strength and speed thanks to a specific form of TheVirus.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'' reveals that Wesker [[spoiler:along with the other Wesker children, though he supposedly was the only survivor,]] was a subject of Project W, the first and greatest of Umbrella's experiments. He was indoctrinated with Oswell Spencer's beliefs and treated with the Progenitor Virus since early childhood. He was a badass all along.
** Wesker also makes [[spoiler:Jill Valentine]] one in ''RE 5''.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'' gives us two more to add: [[spoiler: Sherry Birkin, who possesses a healing factor as a result of her exposure to the G-Virus, and Wesker's HeroicBastard son, Jake Muller, who possesses enhanced strength, speed, and endurance]].
* [[PlayerCharacter Nathan Hale]] in ''VideoGame/{{Resistance}}: Fall of Man'' after getting infected with the [[TheVirus Chimeran Virus]] that gives him the ability to regenerate, among other things. And near the end of ''Resistance 2'', he [[spoiler: [[EleventhHourSuperpower gains the ability to make the Chimera explode by waving his hands]] after defeating [[BigBad Daedalus]]]].
** The Sentinels in ''VideoGame/{{Resistance}} 2'', a team of badasses who all survived the infection through the [[TheVirus Chimeran Virus]] and thus have the same abilities as Hale.
* This trope is the origin story of every character in ''VideoGame/{{Rift}}'', although the means of gaining powers depend on the faction. On the Guardians faction intro, the narration specifies that you were not chosen because of your faith, but because of your strength.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** As a race, the Nords are the resident {{Badass Normal}}s of Tamriel. They are a ProudWarriorRace of HornyVikings who epitomize the idea of HumansAreWarriors, but they are least magically inclined race (and have a [[DoesNotLikeMagic strong dislike of magic and distrust of magic-users]] to boot). Despite this, their ancestors were able to carve out a foothold in Skyrim by nearly driving the [[OurElvesAreBetter Falmer (Snow Elves)]], who it is said were nearly as naturally magically inclined as the modern Altmer (High Elves), to [[FinalSolution extinction]]. The "empowerment" comes in when the Nords, facing the threat of the Dragons and their [[ReligionOfEvil Dragon Cults]], prayed for aid from the Divines and were granted it. They were taught how to use the [[MakeMeWannaShout Thu'um]], the LanguageOfMagic of the Dragons which allows users to "shout" [[RealityWarper elements into existence]] as well as some other [[UtilityMagic utilitarian]] effects. Led by the Tongues, masters of the Thu'um, the ancient Nord armies vanquished the Dragons and their Cults, then forged an Empire that covered nearly all of north Tamriel. A succession crisis would eventually tear it apart, and then the use of the Thu'um as a weapon of war dropped dramatically after their defeat at the Battle of Red Mountain, following which one of those Tongues (Jurgen Windcaller) founded the "Way of the Voice" to use the Thu'um only [[HeelFaithTurn honor the gods]].
** In most of the main series games, the PlayerCharacter is a BadassNormal (or at least as "normal" as one can be in a world where magic is ubiquitous and anyone can learn to use it if they choose) with several options to become "Empowered" throughout the game. To note:
*** The Agent in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'' has the options of Lycanthropy (werewolf and wereboar) and Vampirism. Both offer powerful buffs, at the cost of some ([[CursedWithAwesome ultimately minor]]) drawbacks.
*** The Nerevarine in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' also has the option of Vampirism (as well as Lycanthropy with the ''Bloodmoon'' expansion). The drawbacks are more significant than those in ''Daggerfall'', but the "Empowerment" is quite powerful in each case. In addition, [[spoiler: you'll contract the Corprus Disease]] during the main quest. On the positive side, it will make you TheAgeless, give you IdealIllnessImmunity, and permanently boost your Strength and Endurance. However, the negatives include a severe case of BodyHorror and having your mental faculties decreased to animalistic levels. [[spoiler:As part of the main quest, the negatives are cured while the positives remain]].
*** The Champion of Cyrodiil in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' also has Vampirism as an option, with the downsides much less severe than in ''Morrowind''. By completing the ''Shivering Isles'' expansion, you'll also become [[spoiler:the new Sheogorath, Daedric Prince of {{Mad|God}}ness]]. While the powers that come with such a station may not be apparent right away, they do manifest by the time of the next game...
*** The Dragonborn of ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' subverts the trope, as he/she is not actually "normal". The Dragonborn was born with the [[DragonsAreDivine immortal Aedric]] soul of a [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragon]], a blessing bestowed on [[TheChosenOne rare mortals]] by the Aedric TopGod, Akatosh, the God of Time and [[MonsterProgenitor "father" of dragons]]. However, this blessing doesn't mean much until [[RiseFromYourGrave the dragons begin to return]] at the start of the game. Additionally, the Dragonborn has some of the same means of empowerment mentioned above, including Vampirism (with additional boosts given in the ''Dawnguard'' DLC) and Lycanthropy, which for the first time in the series is a ''voluntary'' transformation, making it something of a SuperMode with the previous downsides heavily downplayed.
* This happens to Link in various ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' games. Usually he starts the game as a regular sword-wielding kid, but by the end of the game he's acquired various spells and other magical powers, his energy level has been magically doubled, etc.
* Ashley Winchester, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMs 2}}'' is this when he gets his SecondHourSuperpower a few hours into the game. Comes with a ThemeMusicPowerUp too.
* In the ''VideoGame/XCom'' series, surviving soldiers with high psi strength. They (mostly) start with poor stats, but will become BadassNormal. And when you unlock the Psi-Lab... [[GameBreaker May god]] [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge have mercy on their souls...]]
** You can also do this in ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown''. True, a perfectly ordinary squaddie with a rifle can hold his/her own against the aliens, but later on you can turn them into truly dangerous psionic {{Super Soldier}}s, MindRape enemies to death, conjure up psychic shields or take control of enemies. ''Enemy Within'' adds bio-enhancements which allow soldiers to heal miraculously from injuries, jump over buildings or ''turn invisible'', and cybernetic enhancements which allow the soldier to take control of a MiniMecha which laughs off firepower and is armed with weapons ranging from a flamethrower to a grenade launcher to a PowerFist.
* Depending on player choices, ''Franchise/MassEffect'''s Commander Shepard can be this by the second game. A non-biotic Shepard is a BadassNormal in the first game (or not, given genetic upgrades are standard issue), but Cerberus adds upgrades in the second. Regardless of class selection, Shepard is given a reinforced skeleton, enhanced senses, tougher skin, increased strength and stamina and virtual immunity to toxins. If you choose a new class with an imported save, it's justified by saying Cerberus' tinkering gave Shepard new abilities. Even if you don't change classes from a non-biotic class, the game lets you unlock loyalty powers, which include a few biotic abilities.
* At the start of ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'', CHARNAME is just an ordinary teenager with 1 level in an adventuring class. By the end of the first game, he/she is a certified badass after going toe to toe with Sarevok. By the middle of [[VideoGame/BaldursGateII the sequel]]? A godling capable of flattening armies and transforming into the Slayer. May or may not ascend to full godhood by the end of the game as the God of Murder.
* Some classes in ''VideoGame/NetHack'' are definitely BadassNormal to start with. For example, even at low levels the Valkyrie and Samurai are competent warriors who can dispatch most foes with ease, despite not having any magical powers. By the end of the game, the character will almost certainly have several major artifacts, vast magical powers, and the ability to go toe-to-toe with the HorsemenOfTheApocalypse, before ascending to become a demi-god. [[spoiler: Arguably, this is a bit of a subversion, since the game strongly implies that you ''are'' one of the horsemen, War, BroughtDownToNormal.]]
* Happens to Amy Rose of ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' during the [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure Dreamcast]] [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 era]] [[VideoGame/SonicHeroes games]] as a result of [[StalkerwithACrush chasing Sonic.]] In ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD Sonic CD]]'' Amy is pretty much a normal girl who who's running speed is slower than Sonic's walking speed. Then comes ''Sonic Adventure'', and thanks to her Hammer, she becomes very acrobatic, nimble and is able to defend herself effectively once she gets used to fighting. Once ''Sonic Adventure 2'' comes up, she's gotten a bit better, able to run faster and perform basic spindash techniques. However, when Sonic Heroes comes around, she's able to execute nearly every move Sonic can (if not in a weaker form), and is even able to go toe to toe with him when the situation calls for it. This also applies to Big the Cat, who went from being [[MightyGlacier a slow runner with a poor jump who can move cars and possesses impeccable fishing skill]] to a full-on Power type character, able to run at super speed and spindash just as easily as everyone else.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonballXenoverse'', thanks to the Time Breakers [[MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight screwing up history]], Hercule goes from being a genuine BadassNormal (albeit one with a bad case of TestosteronePoisoning and [[TooDumbToLive overconfidence]]) to being able to fly under his own power, fire ki blasts, and even bring a Super Saiyan Goku to his knees.
* ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}'': [[PlayerCharacter Corvo]] was an in-universe MemeticBadass before [[HumanoidAbomination The Outsider]] gifted him with a PowerTattoo. His skills with a blade were legendary amongst the city guard, and in game they can occasionally be heard recounting times they saw him in action. Giving him supernatural powers just made him more lethal.
-->'''New Guard:''' What...what do I do if I run into him?\\
'''Old Guard:''' Try to make a lot of noise when you die. Then the rest of us might be able to catch him.
* ''VideoGame/QuakeIV'': Matthew Kane is a hardass SpaceMarine. But then he gets captured by the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Strogg]] and, in an [[NightmareFuel utterly harrowing]] sequence, [[BodyHorror subjected to the Stroggification process]]. However, he is saved at the last minute by his fellow marines, leaving him with a new Strogg-like physiology that proves invaluable to the eventual defeat of the Strogg.
* Bullet from ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' possesses a pair of incendiary gauntlet armagus with which to start campfires or ignite her foes, but her mercenary corps' grappling technique means that she can put up a considerable fight without them.
* Wouldn't you believe it, but Ky Kiske from ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' is revealed to be this in ''Xrd''. Any normal human who can keep up with the magically-augmented [[SuperSoldier Gear]] Sol Badguy in a sword fight is a BadassNormal. However, [[spoiler:in ''Xrd'''s story mode, an assassin shoots Ky in the back, riddles him with bullets and goes over to deliver the CoupDeGrace. As he turns to walk away, Ky gets up and runs him through. His wounds have begun rapidly healing and his left eye is glowing red, the mark of a Gear..]].
* In ''Franchise/DragonAge'', this is what Templars and Reavers are compared to the other warrior specializations. Templars get powers that deny magic to their opponents and are very effective against demons from consuming [[GreenRocks lyrium]], while Reavers get the ability to consume their opponent's health or strike harder at the cost of their own by drinking [[BloodMagic dragon blood]], but before they are eligible for becoming either, they must already be accomplished warriors with no magical powers whatsoever.
** Non-mage members of the [[BadassArmy Grey Wardens]] also count, as the process of Joining gives them the ability to sense darkspawn, and arguably enhanced physical abilities as well (or at least stamina). The most prominent example being [[PlayerCharacter The Warden]] themselves.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Battleborn}}'', El Dragón was originally a space [[MaskedLuchador luchador]] who was capable of wrestling against various robots in the ring without any enhancements whatsoever. He was the undisputed champion Galactic Holo-Arena in this regard until the Magnus ISIC entered the tournament and ripped El Dragón's arms off. Though wounded in more ways than one, his fighting capabilities were restored when his torn limbs were replaced with giant cybernetic arms. With them, he's not only able to once again battle with his wrestling moves but also use what cyborg enhancements his arms provide.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/{{Shortpacked}}'', in which Batman has the ability to [[http://shortpacked.com/comic/book-1-brings-back-the-80s/01-just-a-toy-store/batman-can-breathe-in-space/ breathe in space]], based on art in his action packaging which appears to depict him fighting Darkseid in space.
* Bun-bun was already one of the most dangerous individuals in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''. Having him become a godlike personification of holidays took him ''way'' over the top. Also the big revelation near the end of "Oceans Unmoving": [[spoiler: Captain Blacksoul is actually Bun-bun riding inside the head of a levitating robot with SuperStrength]].
* Years into ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures''' run, we find out that Dan's wings were the outward signs of his [[spoiler: 'Cubi heritage]] (his mother was apparently a powerful [[spoiler: succubus]], something that [[LockedOutOfTheLoop apparently everyone knew except Dan]]). Once his heritage fully kicked in, it granted him assorted new powers that he's mostly still getting the hang of. (His ongoing refusal to stay at the [[spoiler:'Cubi academy]] and train doesn't help.) Dan was a very successful adventurer already before he semi-retired to Lost Lake and his heritage kicked in.
* [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Sparky]] from ''Webcomic/AGirlAndHerFed'' - already a hulking M.I.B-type, ticks fully over to this trope once [[spoiler: [[ItMakesSenseInContext The ghost of Ben Franklin reprograms the magitech chip in his head, granting him the ability to control and interface any electronic device, see ghosts, and more]] ]].
* Victor of ''Webcomic/CharbyTheVampirate'' is looking more like this, he thinks of himself as human, others [[http://www.charbythevampirate.com/archive/687 don't]]
* Everyone who plays [[Webcomic/{{Homestuck}} Sburb]] is ultimately destined to become [[spoiler: demi-gods in a new universe]], but given that many of them were badass before playing, their powers come off as this.
* In ''Webcomic/AxeCop'', new powers are really easy to come by for just about all the characters. Axe Cop himself repeatedly [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands just displays]] and also gains new powers, the latter including for example being given flight by the comic's writer, and making himself into a magical mummy. But, unlike other characters, he usually forgets about any and all of them soon and acts like a BadassNormal again, until it's time to gain yet another new power.
* Higgs from ''Wecomic/GirlGenius'' is an interesting example. At first he seems normal, but it is later implied that he is actually [[spoiler:one of the [[SuperSoldier Jägergenerals]]]].
* Tedd from ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' starts out magically impaired, meaning that he can never have his own spells. His response to that can be summed up as "Screw you, I'll make my own magic", and he does just that, manufacturing various {{Magitek}} tools designed for everyday use. [[spoiler: Then an immortal gives him magic powers.]] And then we find out later that [[spoiler: he may have had an extra-normal ability all along - the ability to physically perceive magic and intuit its workings - and wrote it off as IThoughtEveryoneCouldDoThat]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse, the hero Achilles seems to be a non-powered martial artist in the style of Franchise/{{Batman}}. He's actually a genetically engineered super-soldier cloned from the DNA of [[EvilOverlord Lord Doom]], whose strength, speed, and ability to shrug off damage come not from his intensive athletic work-outs, but rather from simple genetics.
* Rear Admiral (retired) Sam Everheart, U.S.N., in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, was already a retired BadassNormal before he took out a team of criminals looting a high-tech research facility and got dosed with nanotechnology. Now Hive is strong and fast enough to deal with the mutants at Whateley Academy.
* In Roleplay/ComicFuryWerewolf, analytical players tend to catch Werewolves a lot. Give them a role, and...
** This includes '''''any''''' role... including being a Werewolf.
** Ranger has had this twice. Once was in Game 9, where he was the Medium Mystic and he developed a GameBreaker strategy. The other was Game 11, where he used his analytical powers [[spoiler: as a Werewolf]].
* In ''Roleplay/DarwinsSoldiers'' a certain character known only as "Trinity" is already a BadassNormal. But after she [[spoiler:doses herself with a SuperSerum her scientists were working on]] she gains SuperSpeed, super agility and SuperStrength.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'' has Batman borrowing Franchise/GreenLantern's ring to fight Sinestro. It looked like Batman was going to hand Sinestro a fairly heavy beatdown, but then the ring ran out of power. He hands it back to GL, saying it isn't his style.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold''
** A number of episodes give Batman superpowers. One time, he gained bat-themed superpowers from a magical artifact. Another episode caused a mishap by a villain's laser beam to give Batman ComicBook/PlasticMan's powers.
** People like giving Bats the Lantern ring. He nearly puts it on for the sake of an even playing field, to the chagrin of Guy Gardner. Sinestro (before his inevitable FaceHeelTurn) half-heartedly agrees, citing regulation, but comes to a compromise by synthesizing a suit that functions as a Lantern's ring would: on willpower.
** After Equinox absorbs a lot of power, Batman and Dr. Fate resort to merging the powers of many superheroes into one person. Of course Batman gets chosen, due to his mind being able to handle the powers. He ends up becoming a gigantic being, dubbed Bat Monolith, with an [[ComboPlatterPowers arsenal of powers]], ranging from Dr. Fate's magic blasts to Green Lantern power ring energy.
** In yet another episode, he arrives on an alien planet whose atmosphere gives him Superman-like powers, to the chagrin of the local BadassNormal hero (who happens to also be a Batman). After a while he realizes that he's making the alien Batman feel useless, the way Superman sometimes makes him feel, and in the end he has the alien Batman remove his powers to also negate his [[KryptoniteFactor weakness to quartz]].
** When Batman gets bitten by a vampire, he gains vampiric powers: ranging from flight, hypnosis, shape shifting, becoming a living shadow, intangibility. Though it turns out to be AllJustADream from the results of vampire induced hallucination.
* Sari Sumdac of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated''. A BadassNormal in her initial [[spoiler: mostly human]] form, [[spoiler: once she gets an upgrade to seem more machine than human, she gets nifty hand blasters and a processing unit boosted even beyond the Cybertronian standard! Not to mention temporary weapon generation]].
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', [=NegaDuck=] steals [[AllYourPowersCombined the powers of his villainous "allies"]]. This doesn't actually make him detectably tougher, since by that time there's not much time left in the episode to defeat him in.
* After seven seasons as a regular, yet freakishly strong, human, regular ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 Ninja Turtles]]'' antagonist Hun becomes one of these after he accidentally gets doused in mutagen in ''WesternAnimation/TurtlesForever''. Of course, considering his [[FantasticRacism hatred of turtles]], he considers it a CursedWithAwesome deal.
* On ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark,'' Mysterion/[[spoiler:Kenny]] actually had powers from his first appearance, but his ability to [[spoiler:[[TheyKilledKennyAgain come back from the dead]]]] wasn't revealed until the third of his four episode appearances as a superhero.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'', Kraven and the Enforcers started out as {{Badass Normal}}s who, while not actually ''winning'' against Spider-Man, could put up a decent fight. To level the playing field, they got themselves powers: Kraven became a {{Petting Zoo Pe|ople}}rson and the Enforcers got PoweredArmor.
** Specifically, Kraven became fused with the DNA of several jungle cats (at least leopard and lion), giving him superhuman abilities such as strength and being able to ''smell'' Spider-Man being there.
** Meanwhile, the first of the Enforcers to become empowered was none other than Shocker. His fellow Enforcers would get their own armor i the second season, with Ox's augmentinng his already impressive strength and bulk while Fancy Dan's allowed him to bounce off of walls.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', while Slade serves as the BigBad for the first two seasons, he has no superpowers beyond being a BadassNormal and a good [[TheChessmaster chessmaster]]. After being killed at the end of the second season, he's resurrected as an undead servant of [[GreaterScopeVillain Trigon]], and gets a truckload of superpowers out of the deal: [[PlayingWithFire pyrokinetics]], {{flight}}, [[VillainTeleportation teleportation]], [[{{Intangibility}} phasing]], and NighInvulnerability. He's eventually stripped of these powers, though it doesn't slow him down much.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries,'' Aladdin winds up getting possessed by Mozenrath and fighting for control of the body. In the middle of the fight, he blocks Mozenrath's magic with [[ThePowerOfLove his spirit's own mystical power]] and wins a BeamOWar with Mozenrath. Unusually for an Empowered Badass Normal, this is never seen again, and it's heavily implied that he can't use it outside his body.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}''
** The Pack are one big mess of these; they start out as a group of TV "heroes" who star in a schmaltzy action series (complete with them fighting the "EEEEEVIL NINJAS!") However, all their physicality is completely real, and when they find out about the Gargoyles they give the Clan a run for their money ''before'' getting upgrades. Then, Wolf becomes a {{Petting Zoo Pe|ople}}rson, Hyena and Jackal get VERY extensive cybernetic enhancements, and Dingo gets a suit of PoweredArmor. Only Fox chose to remain not only fully human but also serve out the rest of her jail sentence. Then went straight into the arms of David Xanatos, her future husband, [[XanatosGambit exactly as they planned.]] It wasn't until ''much'' later that it was [[TheReveal disclosed]] that Fox wasn't [[TheFairFolk completely normal herself]] to begin with.
** Owen Burnett gains a stone fist from testing a potion for Xanatos, and he uses it in combat. [[spoiler: Turns out he doesn't count: he's secretly been Puck all along.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'''s third season, a MassSuperEmpoweringEvent gives [[BlowYouAway Airbending]] to various non-benders around the world. We get two examples:
** [[WellIntentionedExtremist Zaheer]], the season's BigBad, was a non-bender considered just as dangerous as the other members of [[BombThrowingAnarchist the Red Lotus]], each of whom had an unusually strong Bending ability. Unfortunately, he proves to be an InstantExpert and quickly breaks out of prison, since his cell wasn't designed for a bender and the guards were caught completely off-guard. By the end of the season, [[spoiler:he's even gained a legendary Airbendering technique that allows him to fly]].
** The other, thankfully less sociopathic example is [[CoolUncle Bumi]], a [[RetiredBadass retired Commander]] in the United Forces and former MuggleBornOfMages.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'', Star Butterfly was a hero who started out regularly fighting bad guys and taming wild beasts with her bare hands. Then she inherits a magic wand... [[SubvertedTrope Which she has no idea how to use]], needing [[HowDoIShotWeb lots of time to practice with it]] and experiencing more than one unfortunate MagicMisfire in the process.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'', Jack started out as a badass who spent his whole life training with other great warriors to prepare himself for Aku. He is so skilled that Aku has to resort to opening a time portal to the future in the pilot. The season 5 pilot reveals that one of the side effects of the time travel is that Jack [[TheAgeless no longer ages]]. Fifty years after being sent to the future, he is ''still'' in his physical youthful prime. With that said, he is not immortal, as he still requires to eat and can be injured and killed in combat like any mortal man would.
** During the original run, he has two examples of this in "Jack vs the Ultra-Robots." Despite the superior power of his sword, the robots adamantium chassis meant that Jack couldn't cut them (due to a lack of raw strength.) Wanting to atone himself, Extor, the robots' creator, gave Jack a power gauntlet to augment Jack's strength to where he could cut through any metal like butter, including adamantium. He slayed 7 of the 8 robots, but the gauntlet ran out of power before the 8th one, a sword wielder, could be cut. Jack then calls [[DivineIntervention on the power of his ancestors to give him the strength needed to win.]] Cue a ray of light from the sky, empowering the sword and Jack slaying the last Ultra-Robot in a single slice.