[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/{{Aquaman}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/oshgfp_resize.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: "Command the [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos creatures of the deep]]" [[WhosLaughingNow doesn't sound so stupid now, huh?]] [[note]][[http://mk01.deviantart.com/art/Outrageously-Lovecraftian-117472834 Picture]] by [[http://mk01.deviantart.com/ MK01 on DeviantArt]][[/note]]]]

->'''Largo:''' Dude, I'm battlin' zombies and all I got is luv pow3r from a n3wb magical grrl. Help me out here.\\
'''RentAZilla Salesman:''' All ya got? That's enough, mate.
-->-- ''Webcomic/{{Megatokyo}}''

%% One quote is sufficient. Please put additional entries on the quotes tab. %%

The character decided to play the SuperpowerLottery and ended up somewhere at the bottom of the [[SuperWeight superpower scale]]. In the world full of {{Reality Warper}}s and ElementalPowers, [[MyNewGiftIsLame they won a heart]]. Probably wondering, WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway

Hey, [[TitleDrop Heart is an awesome power!]]
Somehow they manage to {{Curb Stomp|Battle}} {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le foes.

Usually, a type of skill reapplication: the power has utilities which no-one but the WeakButSkilled hero recognizes. Occasionally the ''main'' power isn't the awesome part, it's the RequiredSecondaryPowers needed to have it work in a remotely logical way. Sometimes justified with the powers [[MagikarpPower only becoming effective over time]], or that they are [[ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman only effective under certain conditions]] - however then they pay off handsomely.

Sometimes the character [[HoldingBackThePhlebotinum does not realize the usefulness of the skill]] [[TookALevelInBadass until later]], in which case it is a ChekhovsSkill. Might involve a ChekhovsClassroom on the lines of: "Sure, my only power is to control X... but you forget that Y is X too".

Might be AnAesop to make the most of what you have. Especially [[{{Irony}} ironic]] if another character had, or could have had the same ability before, but decided that it was useless.

The video game version is usually a LethalJokeCharacter, and sometimes DifficultButAwesome. SisterTrope to LethalHarmlessPowers, where normally useful but inoffensive powers turn out to be able to ''really'' hurt others. See also the InverseLawOfComplexityToPower, which can be why these powers become useful.

Compare MagikarpPower, which truly ''is'' useless at first, but eventually ascends to extreme power through hard work and/or patience. Do not confuse this with FlightStrengthHeart, where the character has a relatively useless power, ''and also'' an awesome power. If the power is truly useless outside the highly restrictive conditions of an [[PlotTailoredToTheParty Eigen Plot]] contrived to make it useful, then ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman.

Despite the name, this trope is not explicitly about TheHeart or ThePowerOfLove but that can happen.


[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' has plenty, as WordOfGod has said the Devil Fruits themselves don't become more powerful, the users just use them better with more creativity.
** RubberMan Luffy, since among the other Devil Fruit abilities his one is rather low-tier until he starts inventing other uses for it. Especially noticeable when Luffy goes up against [[ShockAndAwe God Eneru]], as due to his rubber body not conducting electricity Luffy was probably one of the few people on the planet who could've defeated him without needing a high level of [[KiManipulation Haki]]. Luffy also gets particularly clever with his abilities by taking advantage of the fact that his ''entire'' body, including heart, blood vessels and bones, are all rubber. For his "Gear Second" technique he pumps his blood flow to a pressure level that would kill any normal human, giving him SuperSpeed. For "Gear Third" he inflates his bones to [[MightyGlacier increase his hitting power significantly, at the cost of speed]]. [[spoiler:And for Gear Fourth, he combines all of these, inflating his muscles as with Gear Third, and pumping not just his blood, but his entire body, Gear Second-style, and combining all of these with every side technique he already has. The result can only be described as [[OverlyNarrowSuperlative the most destructive balloon mankind will ever see.]]]]
** Kaku boasts about gaining the power to turn into a ''[[http://img104.imageshack.us/img104/7584/kaku9vb.png giraffe]]'' AND becomes more powerful thanks to it. When he reveals his power, ''everybody in the room'' laughs at it (including ''his own teammate'') despite him warning them not to underestimate the destructive power of the giraffe. When they persist, he gets angry and combines his power with his Tempest Kick to ''cut the Tower of Justice in half from the inside.''
*** In fact the [=CP9=] were this for Zoan type fruit users (ability to turn into an animal) since until then animal powers were rather lack luster compared to most Paramecia (get a super power) and all Logia (become a nigh invincible force of nature). Until them the only notable Zoan user was Chopper who had to use special medicines to tap into different forms in order to fight effectively. But the [=CP9=] leader points out that Zoan fruits also grant the user extra animal-like strength and alter their bodies (like growing claws) and since all of [=CP9=] were highly powerful martial artists, in their hands Zoan fruits became utterly terrifying by making already powerful fighters that much stronger.
** This is prevalent all over the series. Scratchmen Apoo, who can control sound effects, thanks to the large number of onomatopoeia in Japanese, he can do such things as ''cut anything or anyone that can possibly be cut'' under normal conditions. Wapol can merge anything into his body by eating it; as one result, [[CutLexLuthorACheck he invented a metal so useful]] he was ''reappointed a lesser king by the World Nobles''. And a main character who accidentally combined the power "to not die ''once''" with getting lost, with the result being functional immortality and inhuman abilities. Batholomew Kuma, with the ability to push things, is one of the most powerful characters in the story, especially since his power includes the ability to push abstract concepts like pain and exhaustion. Baroque Works Member Mr. 3. His power allows him to create an endless supply of candle wax from his body. He was also able to make this wax hard as steel and make keys out of it, but its greatest use didn't come in until he [[spoiler:used it to stop the flow of the Warden Magellan's impossibly corrosive and utterly deadly poisonous flood]]. Doflamingo has the power to create strings. Which he uses to [[PeoplePuppets control people]], [[RazorFloss cut nearly anything in half]], and ''fly''. Mr. 3. is a stand out example, as he was ranked higher than Mr. 5., who has a much more impressive power (being a living bomb) because Mr. 5. was "some idiot with a devil fruit' while 3. put effort into actually mastering his.
*** The paragraph above highlights how Paramecia powers (which includes the protagonist's RubberMan abilities) are perhaps the greatest example in the series. They don't have a straightforward concept like [[ElementalEmbodiment Logia]] or [[{{Animorphism}} Zoan]] fruits, allowing for the most outside-the-box thinking and diversity in the application of a single fruit's powers.
** In a more literal version of this trope, the author states that Sanji is able to set his leg ablaze without hurting it because [[ItRunsOnNonsensoleum his heart burns hotter]].
** Nami's Tempo before it was upgraded, was basically a party gag that she managed to rework into being able to create lightning and summon storms.
** In the Doflamingo Pirates, we have [[spoiler:Sugar, a little girl who ate the Hobby Hobby Fruit. It gives her the ability to turn people and animals into [[LivingToy Living Toys]]. The secondary abilities of the fruit are what really make it shine. It also allows Sugar to create verbal contracts that essentially [[{{Brainwashed}} brainwash]] the toys into doing whatever she wants and there's nothing they can do about it. Anyone that knew who the toys were before their transformations will ''[[LaserGuidedAmnesia forget all about them]]'', so it's not like their families or friends will seek revenge. The Hobby Hobby Fruit also halts the aging process the moment they eat it, so [[TheAgeless Sugar isn't really a "little girl"]]. And all it takes to become a toy is by lightly touching the victim, no matter how strong they are. Sugar is far from a powerhouse, but if this fruit was consumed by a LightningBruiser in his/her prime, it could easily be a StoryBreakerPower]].
** Also from Doflamingo Pirates, Diamante's power is Flutter Flutter Fruit, which allows him to flatten and convert anything into clothlike form, which can then be returned to normal at his convenience. While it's never shown whether he can actually do this to enemy combatant, he can do it to himself thus allowing him to dodge most physical damages. The biggest sell of the fruit though, is that it allows him to become a WalkingArmory, loaded with tons of various weapons in compact form, culminating with a series of confetti launchers which launch tons of confetti into the air.... [[DeathFromAbove which are really heavy spiked balls.]] Diamante can also apply his powers to the ground--while he can't flatten it, he can still make it ripple and billow like cloth, limiting his opponents' mobility.
** Donquixote Rocinante has the Calm-Calm Fruit, which allows him to do things silently or create spherical regions around him where no sound can get in or out. Although he uses it for its direct purposes of telling things to people without letting anyone else know and to get undisturbed sleep, he shows what the power of silence can ''really'' do when he storms Diez Barrels's hideout: He effortlessly enters, shoots out the lights, grabs what he wants, and leaves causing a lot of destruction and injured bodies around him that nobody notices until it's too late. Because gunshots silent inside his sphere of influence, as are the screams of the people he shoots. It's the perfect power for an assassin. He also uses this ability to securely sneak Trafalgar Law out of the area and into the Navy's custody, where he'll be safe.
** Charlotte Cracker can create and control biscuits. This, apparently allows him to create and control [[spoiler:living suit of armor, made entirely out of them. This suit looks indistinguishable from a real human and strong and durable]] enough to give Luffy a hard time. In fact, luffy had to go into [[SuperMode gear fourth]] to destroy him... and then Cracker [[spoiler:easily creates ''five of them''. Even better, since he doesn't have a limit to how much biscuits he can make, he theoretically can just keep creating more and more supersoldiers in place of destroyed ones as long, as he wants.]]
-->'''Cracker:''' I simply control my perfectly crafted masterpieces and make new ones, if situation calls for it! That's the power and beauty of my biscuits - saying, that my strength is limitless doesn't do it justice! [[spoiler:It took you everything you had just to defeat one guy, who was nothing more, than one of the infinite amount of biscuits, i have at my beck and call...]] I literally only have to lift a single finger!
* ''Manga/TheLawOfUeki'' bases its entire setting on this. Nearly every power (with precious few exceptions) is weak or weird, but with proper application can become deadly.
* Everyone except the main antagonists (whose powers tend to be ''obviously'' terrifying) in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''. Powers like healing, making maps and summoning zippers have all deadly combat applications when in the hands of a stand user. In a world full of guys who can stop time, have super strength, and can even reset reality, it's amazing to see what such seemingly under-powered abilities as controlling sound effects and drawing manga can do.
* In ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'', one character can take existing water and make the immediate area briefly rain. This was mostly just used to provide water for her partner who could [[AnIcePerson freeze water]], but then she uses [[InertiaIsACruelMistress the power of inertia]] to basically riddle someone with SuperSpeed full of bullet holes.
* ''Manga/GhostHunt'': Ayako doesn't even ''reveal'' her real powers usually, leading the party to view her as a phoney knockoff priestess. She does have some exorcism ability, but her real power is her affinity with trees, which allows her to exorcise massive amounts of zombies. The reason? [[UselessUsefulSpell Her power drains a lot out of the surrounding area, and can only be used in an area with a holy tree grove nearby]].
* Koyomi in ''LightNovel/YokuWakaruGendaiMahou'' has the ability to turn any spell into a basin. It seems like a lame power at first, until everyone around her realizes that it can transform ''any'' spell, regardless of who cast it or how powerful it is, effectively giving her a universal PowerNullifier. Koyomi herself never actually catches onto this.
* In ''Manga/LetterBee'', '''Heart''' allows you to fire FrickinLaserBeams and kill [[BigCreepyCrawlies armor bugs]].
* ''Manga/BananaNoNana''
** The main character has the power to manipulate... bananas! In a world where there's more traditional powers like water manipulation and superhuman strength, this seems like [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway a pretty lame power to end up with]]. But Nana later explains (and demonstrates) she can manipulate ''everything'' about the banana, including size, weight, and hardness. Cue the absurd, but unusually badass scene of her using the banana as a bludgeon, morphing into a shield, and then morphing it into a sword. The fight ends with the villain taking a hostage, and demanding that Nana, "drop [her] banana!"
** A maid whose power is to "do housework really fast". She uses a sword in the form of a mop so her movements are extremely fast.
* ''Anime/{{Scryed}}'': Give Urizane a watermelon and he has an ImaginationBasedSuperpower because he can use that watermelon for anything.
* In ''Manga/{{Aphorism}}'', each character's power comes from a specific Japanese kanji. For example, the kanji for "change" allows someone to change their appearance; the kanji for "katana" allows the user to use ...[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a katana]]. In comparison, the kanji "righteous" is useless in combat.[[spoiler:Then we learn that the way the kanji manifests itself depends on how the user chooses to interpret the word. ''Then'' she realizes that the kanji for "righteous" and ''[[ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem "subjugate"]]'' look very similar...]]
* In ''Manga/IrisZero'', most of the [[MagicalEye Irises]] have seemingly useless powers like seeing what mood someone is in that they use to do things like manipulate people.
* ''Manga/{{Unico}}'' can work all sorts of magic for those who love him, and [[FriendToAllLivingThings he's very good at making friends]]. He also has the power to stop wars, anywhere he goes, just by existing. This power forces the gods to intervene and try to get rid of him because he seriously messes up their plans.
* ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'':
** We have Fiamma of the Right, one of the most powerful characters in the series, outclassing monstrosities such as [[spoiler:a fully-awakened Accelerator]]. His power? [[HolyHandGrenade "The Holy Right"]], the ability to use all other Biblical abilities relating to the right hand. Lame? This is the ability that allows him to ''destroy an entire city'' in one fell swoop, teleport instantaneously to another location, and create a {{Flaming|Sword}} {{BFS}} '''''forty kilometers in length'''''.
** Cendrillon has the power of ''Literature/{{Cinderella}}''. This gives her incredible speed and agility to casually dodge a cluster bomb strike (based on Cinderella's dancing and the pumpkin carriage) and lets her ''remotely [[BodyHorror mutilate the feet]]'' of anybody with a different shoe size than her. After all, she can do anything that has to do with the story of Cinderella.
* Paper Masters in ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' have the power to mentally control and manipulate paper, which also evidently comes at the cost of such extreme bibliomania that it can functionally ruin their lives (they can be hard-pressed to resist the urge to read or enter a bookstore when they should be, say, working, and they typically spend hundreds to thousands of dollars a ''week'' on new books for their collection). However, Paper Masters can control everything about paper and control all paper around them -- leading to stunts like creating plane-swallowing dragon-beasts from masses of paper, turning a simple page into a sword that can cut through steel, and more. There's a reason why "PaperMaster" is now considered an example of StockSuperpowers.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''
** The Tsuchikage has Dust Release as his bloodline power. No, not blasting people with dust like Gaara does with sand, ''creating'' dust by [[DisintegratorRay pulverizing everything in its area of effect]]. Dust Style has been translated as Particle Style, and one of these abilities creates a massive explosion. It's not dust. It's molecules, atoms, and a nuclear explosion.
** The title character himself once used his "Sexy No Jutsu", which transforms him into a hot girl, to successfully [[{{Nosebleed}} stun]] the Third Hokage (the head of his village and one of the most powerful ninjas alive) in order to steal something. The ability is generally treated as a joke.
*** 680+ chapters later, Naruto uses the "Reverse Harem no Jutsu" to distract [[spoiler:[[PhysicalGod Kaguya Ootsutsuki]], the mother of the Sage of Six Paths]] for a few seconds and then he and [[spoiler:Sasuke]] attacks her with Taijutsu.
** Konan's paper jutsus seem pretty tame, especially compared to [[SuperpowerLottery her partner.]] Then we, and the BigBad, are reminded that the primary explosives in this series are made from paper tags when Konan busts out ''600 billion'' of them.
** Among the Tailed Beasts, Kurama's ability is that he can sense negative emotions. His brethren have abilities like "can generate lightning" or "can control sand." However, his ability makes for a flawless EnemyDetectingRadar, rendering it impossible for his enemies (or Naruto's, for that matter) to send spies or infiltration units or even hide, severely limiting possible strategies to use against him.
* In the anime adaptation of ''Manga/MedakaBox'', Fude Ezumachi can change the colours of things. He manages to disable one of the most powerful characters in the series by turning their skin splotchy blue, causing their body to react as if it had been heavily bruised. He also displays the ability to make things brittle by turning them grey, can shake his enemies' confidence by turning them pink, and implies that he can use the colour red to open massive wounds that bypass any defense.
* All of the humans in ''Literature/FromTheNewWorld'' are extremely powerful, able to [[MindOverMatter toss huge objects around with their minds]] and [[PlayingWithFire generate arbitrary amounts of fire]]. In addition to this, Satoru has the seemingly unusual ability to create floating mirrors. This may not sound impressive, but it turns out to be very useful for looking around corners and concealment. He saves lives with his weird floating mirrors multiple times.
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter''
** A few nen abilities seem like this. Kortopi of the Phantom Troupe and his ability to copy items doesn't seem particularly useful to a CarnivalOfKillers. Except that things he can copy extend to ''entire buildings'', and he can sense the positions of his copied items as well as anyone inside the particularly large ones, making him a good EnemyDetectingRadar. [[spoiler:It also turns out to come in handy when the Troupe needs to [[FakingTheDead Fake The Dead.]]]]
** Hisoka with his Bungee Gum. The power to make his aura sticky like gum, and the power to change the appearance and texture of thin surfaces. Those are his only Nen abilities. As lame as they sound, the way he uses them makes them overkill. He even named them in a rather cheesy manner, as they come from a chewing gum brand from when he was young. Especially since his ability opens up all kinds of opportunities for misdirection (fitting his MonsterClown magician persona.)
** PlayedForLaughs initially when Gon's mentor Biscuit reveals her nen ability to be...a personal masseuse. But then it turns out that it's actually a very good support ability, allowing Gon to get seven days worth of rest in only a half hour (and she's badass enough not to need an offensive nen ability [[spoiler: especially when she reveals her BrawnHilda true form.]])
* ''Manga/CityHunter'':
** Villain Eran Dayan was allergic to men, getting hives whenever a male came near him. Initially played for laughs... In the same scene it allows him to realize that Ryo had disguised himself as a woman, and when Ryo moves for the kill later in the arc he discovers that Eran can use his allergy to ''sense his presence'', negating any kind of disguise and hiding technique.
** From the same arc, Ryo has the ability to make his GagPenis ''retire in his body''. Found out when he infiltrated Eran's manor disguised as a woman only to have Eran's [[TheDragon Dragon]] check his gender by watching his crotch (a standard procedure).
* Mami Tomoe from ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' has the power to ''create ribbons'' and control them. Sounds lame, right? Well, thanks to study of engineering and some creativity she translated it into creating muskets, a {{BFG}} called [[http://static4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130105090739/thebiogateroleplay/images/6/62/Tiro_Finale.jpg Tiro Finale]], and, in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'', [[spoiler: creating a fully-functional ''double of herself'']].
** Mami also notes that [[spoiler:Homura's power to [[TimeStandsStill stop time]]]] counts too; while it has very little destructive capability, it could be harnessed to do so with a bit of creativity.
* In ''Anime/GenesisOfAquarion'', Apollo's [[TheNoseKnows enhanced sense of smell]] allowed him to smell things like microscopic organisms (from several feet away, when inside a cockpit!) and even ''immaterial beings''.
** In the sequel ''Anime/AquarionEVOL'', Andy's power is...to dig. While this seems useless at first, as all he can do is basically cut away large sections of ground to dig tunnel's slightly faster than normal, he eventually is able to create instant pitfalls in solid steel, and towards the finale can even generate black holes. His love interest MIX has the opposite power, she can fill holes, and while this initially seems limited to just to filling up Andy's work, she's later shown to be able to instantly repair battle damage to the Aquarion, and fill up the openings in enemy gun barrels and thrusters, causing them to destroy themselves when they fire or move.
* In ''Manga/StealthSymphony'', Slice's blood, once it leaves his body, coagulates into gold coins. This is his only innate ability, and he shows no fighting skill greater than an average human. However, he has spent his years using these gold coins to buy powerful magical weaponry he keeps on his person, as well as build a business empire so that he can influence high-ranking government officials. He currently owns at least three such magical items (one of which is even called MacGuffin), which together allows him to go toe-to-toe against the strongest combatants in the world. As the coins are physically much larger in volume than the blood they transformed from, he also sometimes deliberately sticks a bleeding hand down opponents' throats to burst them from the inside.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' has Ichibei Hyosube, the Commander of the Royal Guard who is higher ranked than even Yamamoto. His power is [[IKnowYourTrueName control over the "true name" of anything]], and it is he who provides everything in Soul Society with its name using his [[ArtInitiatesLife giant calligrapher's brush]]. By altering the true name of anything, he also alters its nature; his unreleased sword can erase half of a person or object's true name, cutting its power by half. In Shikai he can erase something's true name completely, and thus its power as well. His Bankai can give something a completely different name and cause it to take on the properties of that name; if, for instance, he were to change an opponent's name to "ant," they would immediately become as feeble as a small bug.
* [[Manga/CodenameSailorV Early in her career]], [[Franchise/SailorMoon Sailor Venus]] unveiled the Venus Sulphur Smoke, that is ''an horribly stinking cloud of Venus''. It allowed her to knock out a horde of enemies without risking collateral damage. Also, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus#Clouds given what Venus' clouds are made of]], she was probably diluting the cloud.
* ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'' has Origami Cyclone, who complains about how useless his NEXT ability is. Said ability - the power to assume the appearance of anyone - is definitely not useless; it's more that it's better suited for things like espionage and covert ops than the kind of high-profile superheroics he's expected to perform (not that it doesn't eventually come in handy.)
* In ''LightNovel/UnlimitedFafnir'', Yuu's ability to summon a handgun seems a bit pitiful compared to the girls being able to cast devastating spells and attacks. However, said gun proves useful against human targets, and he is also able to summon a WaveMotionGun, which comes in very handy for defeating dragons with.
* After [[CharacterDevelopment getting over her initial naivete]], Nao Kanzaki becomes one of the most dangerous players of the titular ''Manga/LiarGame'' because of her [[BewareTheHonestOnes honesty]]. This may seem like a disadvantage in a game like the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Liar Game]], where everyone is normally a self-serving liar willing to deceive others to satiate their own greed, but it gives her two very important advantages. [[spoiler: Firstly, because everyone else is self-serving, this makes Nao the only player the others can reliably trust to help them, and once everyone else realizes this, she becomes a MagneticHero able to hold together alliances that normally wouldn't be formed because everyone is too suspicious of each other, thus allowing her and Akiyama to pull off tactics that would normally fall apart due to backstabbing and betrayal. The other advantage is that whenever she decides to deceive others herself, she can fool people more easily because nobody expects her to be able to pull it off, let alone do it in the first place. In particular, Yokoya does exactly what she wants him to do because he underestimates her, and she knows how Yokoya works and which buttons to press.]]
* The protagonist class of ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'' has an impressive array of Quirks, including SuperStrength, [[HavingABlast creating explosions]], and possessing a LivingShadow. Along with these we have abilities like firing cellophane tape from the elbows, being able to pull sticky balls off their own body, and having a tail. What these Quirks may lack in raw power, however, they have consistently more than made up in through utility in offering increased mobility or ways to lock down enemies their more destructive peers lack.
* Ryouta Mitarai from ''Anime/DanganRonpa3''. He's the SHSL Animator, a talent that seems banal and unimpressive compared to others [[spoiler: until it's revealed that studying animation has granted Mitarai the ability to [[BrainWashed brainwash the people who watch the shows he helps create]]. This makes him ''extremely'' dangerous, and sure enough, towards the end he snaps after his BreakTheCutie and pulls a FaceHeelTurn, becoming the BigBad. It takes quite a bit of effort for the rest of the cast to get him back.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Pictured above: Comicbook/{{Aquaman}}, who is absolutely ''not'' as weak as MemeticMutation [[ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman would have one believe]]. A combination of RequiredSecondaryPowers (he can swim like a fish and punch people while under [[WaterIsAir 500+ atmospheres of pressure]], which is {{Franchise/Superman}} level asskickery) and FridgeHorror (he commands ''everything'' that lives in the ocean; guess where {{Franchise/Godzilla}}, Franchise/{{Cthulhu|Mythos}}, and the [[Literature/TheBible Leviathan]] live?) have had many writers portray him as horrifically powerful and outright feared by heroes and villains alike, and for very good reasons.
-->"He could control every creature that lives in the sea. But I don't think either of you know what that really means. Do you know, do you understand, do you have any idea how much life there is in just one single square mile of sea? I don't think you do... and if you multiply that by lots of miles in every direction... I'd never seen anything like it in my whole life... [[GoMadFromTheRevelation and God as my witness, I hope to never see it again]]."
** Perhaps the most awesome (and funny) example is Aquaman's friendship with sea life used to defeat [[ComicBook/SubMariner Namor]]. Poor Namor never knew what hit him when he had an ''orca'' dropped on him.
** [[DependingOnTheWriter A few writers]] give him the ability to command not only sea life, but also any animal with any connection to the sea, even vestigial or ancestral. Considering life originated in the ocean and every animal has an aquatic common ancestor, that means he can control every animal that has ever existed, ''including humans''.
*** It even included martians kind-of impersonating humans (or possibly just humanoid aliens), most likely indicating that the author had forgotten about his own reveal.
* Heck, some of Aquaman's fellow Detroit League members qualify for this trope. How many comic-book loving Tropers don't think much of Vibe because of his vibrational powers and EthnicScrappy tendencies? [[http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p278/lammal412/Vibe1.jpg Check out this example of sheer power.]] [[http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p278/lammam412/New/Vibe2.j聰g And how about]] [[http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p278/lammal412/New/Vibe3.jpg this sequence]] [[http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p278/lammal412/New/Vibe4.jpg in which he stabilizes time eras]] during ''Comicbook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths''? "You was sayin', Tropes?" [[MemeticMutation OUTRAGEOUS!]] The Comicbook/{{New 52}} reboot of Vibe drops the CaptainEthnic elements and makes him a more fully-realized character. His abilities allow him to sense breaches from other dimensions, making him the Justice League's guardian of TheMultiverse.
* ComicBook/TheWasp sometimes gets crap for being "useless" and "lame," especially from younger fans. ''[[ComicBook/TheUltimates Ultmate Avengers]]'' #3 has [[LegacyCharacter Red Wasp]] single-handedly killing an entire room full of terrorists, demonstrating how incredibly deadly her abilities actually are. Turns out [[FridgeHorror having the power to shrink and fry someone's brain from the inside out]] isn't something to laugh at, huh?
** Earlier than that, an issue of Ultimates 2 shows what happens when she uses those energy blasts of hers at full size.
** Ultimates 1 has her single handedly defeat the hulk in a single blow. Turns out no matter how strong your muscles get, your brain is still as weak as always.
* ComicBook/PlasticMan. Hoo boy, Plastic Man. Many villains underestimate Plas for his goofy demeanor and the stigma that [[RubberMan stretching powers]] are [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway useless]]. Well, Plas ''doesn't'' have stretching powers, he's a ''[[VoluntaryShapeshifting shapeshifter]]'', and possibly the greatest in Franchise/TheDCU at that. He can change his size, shape and density, enabling him to shrug off damage that could kill many members of the Justice League outright and raise the density of his fist to be able to ''explode your head'' with one blow (but he's too nice for that). His shapeshifting is so radical that he can pretty much hide in plain sight any time he wants by changing shape into everyday things, too, so you won't see him coming. Oh, and as a side effect to his shapeshifting powers, his brain changes shape so drastically and constantly that he's effectively ''[[PsychicStatic immune to psychic powers]]''. Let's not even ''get'' into OrificeInvasion. Pissing off Plastic Man is a ''[[BewareTheNiceOnes terrible]]'' idea.
--> '''Batman:''' He could kill us all. For him, it would be ''easy''.
** When ComicBook/MartianManhunter was taken over by a SuperpoweredEvilSide that lacked the standard Martian weakness to fire (rendering him a shapeshifting telepath with Superman-caliber FlyingBrick powers and ''no weaknesses''), Batman had a very simple contingency plan for such a scenario: send Plastic Man to fight him alone.
* ''ComicBook/RisingStars'' has Laurel Darkhaven, who can telekinetically manipulate very, very small objects. Such as your carotid artery. She becomes a government assassin. She later uses the ability to control "very small things" to telekinetically sift EVERY inch of arable soil under the entire Middle East in order to make the entire region fertile again. The results can be seen from ORBIT! Turns out many powers are like this because of implications or aspects directly hidden. Poet's powers are supposed to be just minor energy abilities, but they're actually control over the Power itself...
* Similar to the above example, we have Deborah "Debrii" Fields of The ''ComicBook/NewWarriors'', who has low range telekinesis. She can levitate herself off the ground for a bit and telekinetically move small objects within her immediate vicinity. Sounds rather weak, but she makes up for it by controlling every single small object near her with such precision that it's scary. Fighting in a junkyard, she effectively created a tornado of junk to batter her opponent and even formed a "mech suit" of junk around her body. Fighting her on a beach would mean her opponent would be up against a vicious sandstorm.
* Franchise/SpiderMan:
** Peter once ripped part of ComicBook/NormanOsborn's face off when he stuck to it with his stickum' powers during ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome American Son]]''. Not how Creator/StanLee imagined it being used, but awesome regardless.
** On a similar note, Spider-Man's clone Kaine once used his sticking powers to tear off a piece of wall and beat the Rhino over the head with it. He would also use his sticking powers routinely to leave the "Mark of Kaine" on his victims, in the same manner that Spidey would later use them in the above-mentioned ''American Son'' example.
** Mr. Brownstone was a minor villain who could teleport matter... a few grams at a time. He used those powers to become a drug dealer catering to wealthy clients wishing to indulge in heroin without any nasty needle marks. Naturally, he could also teleport drugs to people's systems against their will...
** Spider-Ham is a cartoon pig with spider-powers (or more correctly, a cartoon spider bitten by a radioactive pig). This means that, as a cartoon character, he has the same properties as them. Bringing them to the more grittier and rougher worlds, such as Earth-616, this turns him into a MadeOfIron hero. A good example is during ''ComicBook/SecretWars2015'''s version of ''ComicBook/SpiderVerse'', when he coerces a Thor to punch him. He takes it, gets knocked through many walls, comes to a stop at a break room and casually gets up and walks off, taking Electro's sandwich while he was at it. This also allows him to eat pork without being considered cannibalism.
* Comicbook/SquirrelGirl has [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the power to control squirrels]], and has become a RunningGag and Marvel's LethalJokeCharacter by defeating the most powerful supervillains in existence. [[SecondHandStorytelling Offpanel]]. The offpanel thing is becoming mostly subverted, as she easily defeats Wolverine in a sparring match, shown mostly in silhouette but still visible, and she was also shown ripping killer Nazi mechas to shreds. In her case, this is crossed with FlightStrengthHeart, as she actually has a pretty useful (if not overly impressive) set of abilities due to her squirrel nature - superhuman strengh and agility, superhuman senses, the ability to leap huge distances, and nasty claws. Yet, she manages to draw mileage even out of her actual "Heart" power - the ability to talk to squirrels - since apparently, [[DeathOfAThousandCuts being swarmed by dozens, if not hundreds of tiny clawing and biting critters]] [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d2/DrDoomSquirrels.png can be surprisingly effective]].
* This is a grand tradition for the ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}. Most characters have only one power, and it's not always something very impressive.... At first
** One of their first recruits was Triplicate Girl, with the ability to transform from one ordinary teenage girl... to ''[[DoppelgangerAttack three]]'' [[DoppelgangerAttack ordinary teenage girls]]. [[MundaneUtility Useful for doing chores]] and [[PowerPerversionPotential pretty fun in bed]], but not much good in combat. At least, not until she became [[WeakButSkilled a master of Tri-Jitsu]], a martial art based around the fact that you have six arms, six legs, and three potential points of attack to coordinate from. She is also an expert infiltrator. Go somewhere and be seen to walk back out ... after leaving ''two'' of your selves hidden somewhere.
** Matter-Eater Lad can... [[ExtremeOmnivore eat anything]]. Hardly a power to write home about. However, seeing as Tenzil Kem's personal definition of "stuff" includes ''laser beams'' and ''doomsday computers,'' you might want to keep him around in case you need to get rid of something. In one story he ate [[CosmicKeystone a supposedly-indestructible wish-granting device]] and so saved The Legion from the invincible monster it had created after everyone else failed. It drove him mad, but hey, he saved the universe! In at least one version, being able to bite through and chew up anything meant the RequiredSecondaryPower of acidic saliva, providing a potentially nasty ranged attack.
** Chemical Kid can alter chemical reactions. In the Comicbook/{{New 52}}, he is terrified and asks why everyone is counting on him to subdue a rampaging Daxamite (Daxamites are just as powerful as Kryptonians). Element Lad talks him through slowing down the chemical reactions in the Daxamite's brain, causing him to pass out, then reversing the chemical reactions in his skin that let him absorb and process sunlight, taking away his powers. This means Chemical Kid can defeat Superman if he wanted to. "Altering chemical reactions" has every potential to be ''lethal'' if it can affect living organisms, which kind of depend on carefully balanced and regulated chemical processes to keep working. (Note, though, that things like transmuting elements or causing/affecting ''nuclear'' reactions don't technically fall under "chemistry".)
** Almost all of the Substitute Heroes qualify in one form or another. Color Kid is perhaps the best example of the trope. He can make things change color. Doesn't sound like much, but during his tenure he turns green kryptonite into (harmless to Superman) blue kryptonite, switches the color of the sky and the ground (confusing fighter pilots), create clouds of "black" to blind opponents (and power up his teammate Night Girl, who loses her powers in daylight), change someone's entire body to match a wall to provide camouflage, and fire day-glo beams that blind and confuse opponents. Turning yellow sunlight into red might instantly de-power any Daxamite or Kryptonian opponent as well, [[DependingOnTheWriter depending on the writer's interpretation of how quickly that weakness kicks in]].
* Franchise/{{Batman}} villain The Ten-Eyed Man is an interesting case. Fans usually interpret this as him having [[GoForTheEye ten additional weak points]]. But as most people will attest, eyes are pretty useful. Eyes on your hands? Makes you one of the best shooters in the DC universe, due to an unerring aim. Makes it a bit hard to pull the trigger, though... It can make him nearly impossible to sneak up on, as long as he holds one hand behind his back.
** The Ten-Eyed Man is actually nearly the inverse of this trope, since his early appearances tended to heavily play up the "awesome" of being able to look at things by waving at them and downplay the "heart" of not being able to use his fingertips for anything. This led to [[CharacterShilling ludicrous scenes]] where jailers at Arkham kept his hands locked in a specialized box, because his power to see in all directions (but only when he has his arms outstretched) [[InformedAbility apparently made him impossible to contain normally.]]
** There's also The Carpenter, who is [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment a carpenter]]. Sounds pretty lame but who do you think built all those evil lairs and giant traps the big time villains love to use? There was even one instance where she saved Batman from a stage covered with booby traps she had made for The Director, then took out The Director [[HoistByHisOwnPetard with one of the traps he had commissioned her to build.]]
* ''Comicbook/{{Stormwatch}}: Team Achilles'' had a character whose superpower was to make plants grow really fast... and he worked as an assassin. The thing is, most people at any given time have seeds in their digestive tract from the vegetation they've eaten, and growing those up to full plants in a few seconds leads to a nasty death from internal injuries and/or choking.
** Which is itself a ShoutOut to ''ComicBook/SwampThing'', once Creator/AlanMoore thought about what a character with complete empathy with/control over plants could do when he reworked the character. This very method leads to a striking BodyHorror demise for one of Swampy's foes after he eats a burger containing tomato slices, lettuce, pickles, onions...
* Doug "Cypher" Ramsey of the ''ComicBook/XMen'' junior team ''ComicBook/NewMutants'' originally had the power of [[CunningLinguist comprehending languages]], and that was it. Then he died and [[DeathIsCheap came back]], with his powers [[CameBackStrong expanding]] to all forms of "language". This includes computer language (making him a master hacker and programmer), arcane languages (letting him cast spells), body language (giving him the ability to fight all the New Mutants at the same time and win), and even the structure of buildings, allowing him to pinpoint their weak spots instantly. TookALevelInBadass, indeed.
** Many fanfic writers anticipated the potential broader interpretation/application of his powers even before his demise. Canon finally caught up with them.
* Marvel's Razorback has the mutant ability to instinctively operate any vehicle. Including Alien HumongousMecha that didn't exactly come with [[UnusualUserInterface instructions.]]
* In ''ComicBook/SecretAvengers'', the Scientist Supreme informs D-list supervillain Mentallo that his limited psionic abilities are quite laughable, but could be invaluable if utilized correctly. Cut to the next issue, where Mentallo throws the U.S. government into a state of emergency after mentally hijacking their entire fleet of [[Comicbook/IronMan Iron Patriot]] [[AttackDrone drones]].
* Dove of the Comicbook/TeenTitans is a low-level FlyingBrick, who also has the power of "perfect peace". In the ''Comicbook/BlackestNight'' crossover, this not only allowed the previous Dove to ''not'' come back as a {{zombie|Apocalypse}}, but also [[spoiler:allowed the current Dove to destroy hordes of the otherwise-unstoppable emotion-powered zombies at once]].
* One of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Captain Planet|AndThePlaneteers}}'' comic books actually has Ma-Ti lamenting over how lame "Heart" is as a power after Wheeler makes fun of him for it. Later in the issue, Ma-Ti uses his ring to reach and understand the hearts of all the creatures in the forest to help the other planeteers, including {{bears|AreBadNews}}.
* Marvel's very own FadSuper ComicBook/{{Dazzler}} has the ability to absorb sound and convert it into light. This may not sound like much at first glace, but she can do things like blinding people with bright flashes (duh), create a strobe effect that upsets equilibrium, create holograms, and even FrickinLaserBeams. She's also immune to sound based attacks, because they just make her stronger. This ability is shown to be obscenely powerful, as ComicBook/{{Galactus}} once recruited her to retrieve one of his Heralds and exposed her to unimaginable sounds, including the explosion of an entire galaxy (yeah yeah, no sound in space. He's Galactus, he has no care for your paltry human physics), to boost her to sufficient levels. In fact, Black Bolt of the Comicbook/TheInhumans, who's considered one of the top-tier powerhouses of the Marvel Universe, would literally have NO WAY of defeating Dazzler with his strongest attack. It's also suggested that one day, she could expand this property to cover ''other'' fundamental forms of energy. Ever set off a nuclear explosion with a boombox?
** Notably, Dazzler's solo series involved her teaming up with Black Bolt in a battle with the Absorbing Man, a guy who gives ComicBook/TheMightyThor fits on a regular basis. Black Bolt supercharged Dazzler with so much raw sound that she was able to completely overload the Absorbing Man's powers and knock him out. Keep in mind that the Absorbing Man is a guy who's tanked cosmic energy blasts and cyclones from '''Odin''', Thor's father and a PhysicalGod.
* Some of [[Comicbook/TheFalcon the Falcon's]] powers include talking to birds and seeing what they see. It doesn't sound too promising until you realize that these birds can aid him in battle and act as his spies from ''everywhere''. It's been implied that between Comicbook/NickFury and all of the resources of ComicBook/{{SHIELD}}, and Falcon with all of the pigeons in New York, Falcon has the better intelligence network. His powers also affect other creatures that have some sort of avian ancestry. An issue of ''Comicbook/TheAvengers'' has him rescuing the team from a group of raptor-like aliens by using his abilities to force the creatures to flee. People also forget that his wings are pretty powerful melee weapons, as demonstrated when he decapitated an Ultron drone during ''Comicbook/AvengersDisassembled''. This was {{lampshade|Hanging}}d during ''Ultimate Nightmare'', when Comicbook/BlackWidow jokingly said that Falcon wouldn't impress Unicorn by flapping his wings, only to retract her statement when he used them to eviscerate the villain.
* Cixi's power from ''ComicBook/{{Lanfeust}}'' is to change water's state between liquid, solid and gas. Said like this, it doesn't seem that powerful, but it becomes horribly creepy when you realize humans are mostly ''made'' of water. At one point, BigBad Thanos has her causing a man's blood to boil until he is literally burnt from the inside.
** Heck, the comic is filled with examples of the trope. For example, after Thanos manages to take over Troy's capital, a man whose power is reading the future in animal entrails (e.g. a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haruspex haruspex]]) uses said power (shown earlier to be somewhat useful but nothing special [[EveryoneIsASuper by the setting's standards]]) to run a ''very'' efficient [[LaResistance underground insurgency]], and one of his best elements is a big, middle-aged woman with the power induce horrible, crippling indigestion in people just by looking at them (something she does to {{mooks}} with great relish).
* The Robot Masters built by Dr. Light in the classic Franchise/MegaMan series are always initially used for some sort of [[MundaneUtility industrial application]], before being repurposed by the BigBad for combat. Most of these uses are either obvious or well explained in the games' backstories, with one glaring exception: Time Man, who was designed for time travel experiments, but who can only slow time down. This is justified in that he's a prototype from before the perfection of time travel theory, but it still leaves him without an obvious MundaneUtility. The comics, however, reveal one that would be ''invaluable'' to anyone involved: [[spoiler:surgery]].
* ComicBook/{{Jubilee}}'s original power set make her a frequent source of ridicule, since on the surface her fireworks seem incredibly useless. But then you remember that she's manipulating ''plasma''. Emma Frost once stated that had Jubilee exercised her powers to their ''full'' potential, she was capable of detonating matter at the ''sub-atomic'' level, making her a ''[[PersonOfMassDestruction walking fusion bomb]]''. And the only limitation on where she manifests her fireworks seems to be range. You know what happens when a firework goes off ''inside your skull''? Luckily, nobody except one Omega Sentinel has ever had to find out.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Or, in this case, clairvoyance in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached''. The Hunter calls Ringo's mindsight “the single most valuable ability” amongst the four—beating out SuperStrength / NighInvulnerability, [[MakingASplash complete control over water]], and [[VoluntaryShapeshifting unlimited shapeshifting]]—because he can see anything. Including atoms. With perfect clarity. At any distance, up to and including ''the surface of the sun''. Knowledge is power, indeed.
* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' has a notable example in normally C-List X-Man Sean Cassidy a.k.a. Banshee, whose power is normally limited to [[MakeMeWannaShout screaming]] and somehow flying off that. Here, about [[BadassGrandpa forty years of practice]] mean that he's explored the full possibilities of his powers, including [[SuperSenses Super Hearing]] sufficient to create a sonar that Daredevil would envy, being able to extend a field of absolute silence around himself, allowing him to move in absolute silence, shoot completely silently and even nullify the sound of ''an exploding claymore mine'', and being able to hit the resonant frequency of just about anything. This means that he can destroy almost anything. Such as wands. [[NightmareFuel Or bone.]] Or, apparently, granite, which he once ''liquefied.'' And then there's his CompellingVoice, with which he has apparently done things which give Nick Fury nightmares. Add to this the experience of having served as in Intelligence Officer in Vietnam, then as a detective for Interpol, and you get a [[BewareTheNiceOnes very scary individual.]]
* In ''Fanfic/{{Luminosity}}'', Elspeth's powers all relate to effective communication. On its own, it can be used as an ExpositionBeam or to be magically convincing, but ''only'' of things she genuinely believes. Not useless, but far from a StoryBreakerPower. But it gets very interesting when someone capable of PowerCopying gets involved and starts using it on Elspeth herself and in combination with other peoples' powers. By the end of the novel, she can [[spoiler: ''resurrect the dead''. (Human sacrifice required.)]]
* In ''Fanfic/ShinobiOfTheHighSeas'', like in canon, Ms. Valentine can change her weight anywhere between 1 kilogram and 10,000 kilograms. At first, she merely uses it to float up and then crush people. Later on she learns that her physical strength is the same no matter how much she weighs and that she can increase the weight of other people/objects. Cue Ms. Valentine [[CurbStompBattle one-shotting a Pacifista]] by axe kicking it with a 5,000 kilo leg.
* ''[[Fanfic/LuffysRenewedAdventure Luffy's Renewed Adventure]]'': The Open-Open Fruit is this. Zoro lampshades how feeble the power seems from the name when Luffy tells him about the fruit, but when he explains that it can open ''anything'' you can think of, including portals in time, which affords one the capability of [[BackFromTheDead undoing death]] or [[UnPerson preventing birth]], Zoro retracts that opinion very quickly.
* [[WesternAnimation/TeenTitans Jinx]] in ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9051372/1/Consequence-of-Misunderstandings Consequence of Misunderstandings]]'' shows just how deadly "bad luck" is. If used on an object, it generally breaks. If used on a person, it causes anything from a sprained ankle or broken bone to a heart attack or brain aneurysm.
* ''FanFic/ShadowsAwakening'': The normally useless Tiger talisman (balance between one's chi) is the one thing keeping [[EnemyWithin the Queen of the Shadowkhan]] from corrupting Jade and fully possessing her.
* In ''FanFic/ADreamOfDawn'', Fluttershy's status as a FriendToAllLivingThings extends to the monsters of the Everfree Forest - which lets her command an army of timber wolves, manticores, and hydra.
* In ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/111360/the-cutie-mark-crusaders-use-their-brainsssss The Cutie Mark Crusaders Use Their Brainsssss]]'', Scootaloo has the talent of... turning things orange. Well, "gamboge," technically. This seems completely useless and has the added insult of her cutie mark being the exact same color as her coat, and thus effectively invisible. It becomes critical to saving Equestria from, yes, a ZombieApocalypse.
* In ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'':
** Lemon Hearts' special talent is lemons. Just lemons. However, she's ''very'' creative with this to the point of being a ''Gifted Unicorn''. For reference, most Gifted Ponies have Special Talents like [[TimeMaster commanding time]] or [[ShockAndAwe incredible lightning abilities.]] Lemon Hearts is ''on par with them'' simply by being exceptionally creative with it. There's a ''reason'' the ''Royal Guard'' is wary of her.
--> '''Lemon Hearts''': *While chasing a pair of Changelings down with a stallion sized, monstrous lemon based {{Familiar}}* "HOW'S THAT FOR AN ANGRY MOTHER LEMON?!"
** Another example is Running Gag, a member of Shining Armor's squad. His talent is languages. While on paper, this might sound useful, but not impressive, it turns out it's not just ''learning'' languages. Gag has the ability to [[{{Omniglot}} learn any language after only hearing it spoken a few times and speak it fluently]]. This makes him ''very'' useful on the group's diplomatic mission [[spoiler:and allows him to fool the Changelings utterly during the Wedding Arc by copying their native language and pretending to be one]].
** One of the things Derpy's potential Alicorn self, shown in alternate universes, is AnthropomorphicPersonification of is ''Letter Carriers''. [[UnstoppableMailman Because nothing can stop the mail]], she's TheJuggernaut.
* Brittany in ''[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-27501-32/JoeHundredaire+Blue+Belle+Director+s+Cut.htm Blue Belle]]'' has PrehensileHair that she can also change the length, color, and style of. She stakes an entire church full of vampires by using her hair to fling pencils at them, acting like a human [[MoreDakka minigun]]. [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]] decides to check her email while she waits for Brittany to finish.
* In ''Fanfic/TealovesSteamyAdventure'', Tealove's special talent is tea. For most of the story, she isn't much of an action protagonist. However, in the final fight scene, she makes her skills useful: she brews a tea that can heal her injured teammates, then she uses the leftover boiling water as a weapon.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Captain Planet|AndThePlaneteers}}'' fanfic ''Fanfic/HeroesForEarth'', the {{Trope Namer|s}} gets it again. Besides the canon examples, his power acts as TranslatorMicrobes that are the only thing that lets the Planeteers understand each other, since there isn't any language that they all share.
* Witches in ''Fanfic/RoyalHeights'' are all born with a certain specialty ranging from telepathy to shape shifting. Embry's power? Words. Seems quite useless at first until you see that literally anything that corresponds with letters can be manipulated to her liking. This also pertains to learning an ancient language in seconds, changing an entire book or journal, and having complete knowledge of anything she has ever read or written.
* [[Literature/HarryPotter Gilderoy Lockhart]] becomes an incredibly dangerous opponent in ''I Was Never A Scarecrow'' due to his mastery of glamour and memory spells. As Harry puts it, "You can't trust your senses or even your memories. How do you fight someone that makes you forget you're even in a fight?"
* ''Disney/TheBlackCauldron'' fanfic ''Fanfic/HopeForTheHeartless'' has as the main heroine [[NiceGirl Avalina]], who becomes [[VillainProtagonist the Horned King's]] MoralityPet. She's not a fighter or a magician, but her extraordinarily strong aura of [[FertileFeet Life]] and [[SympathyForTheDevil great compassion even for the likes of the Horned King]] allow her to accomplish some things many people wouldn't even dream of. They include befriending the lich in question and causing [[spoiler:his heart to reawaken after centuries of being dormant]], [[FriendToAllLivingThings riding]] a [[GiantFlyer gwythaint]] and causing [[spoiler:an entire healthy forest to grow in a lifeless area]].
** The Horned King himself lampshades this trope twice at least. In one instance he says it to [[YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre comfort Avalina during one of her moments of self-loathing]]. The other instance is when [[ShutUpHannibal he refuses to fall for his former master's provocations]].
--> ''"...she is anything but weak. Her strengths appear as weaknesses, but I have never seen or heard of a mortal so strong that they cry for their enemies, and call a... creature like me... a friend."''
* In ''Fanfic/TheDarkSideOfTheMirrorVerse'', this seems to be [[MirrorUniverse Mirror Starlight's]] mentality with Cutie Marks (in contrast to her prime self's KnightTemplar level hatred of Cutie Marks). When a pony accuses another of having a 'loser' Cutie Mark, [[BerserkButton she takes it rather personally]], and takes time to instruct another that viewing his cooking Cutie Mark as unmanly is stupid and it's perfectly possibly to be both. Given she's stated to be a teacher and a tutor, this makes sense.

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife'', [[spoiler:Manolo's love of singing and playing the guitar helps him tame the demonic bull]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/ShrekTheThird'', [[JerkwithaHeartofGold Snow White]] uses her animal-friend ability to its full extent: she summons them to do battle.
* ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'': Even ignoring its magical properties, Rapunzel's 70-feet-long hair demonstrates enough versatility to befit an ActionGirl. She uses it to incapacitate intruders, [[BuildingSwing swing from buildings]], tie InstantKnots, and stay warm while outdoors.

[[folder:Film - Live-Action]]
* ''Film/SkyHigh2005'': {{Sidekick}}s were often underestimated in their usefulness. The viewer is initially led to believe Ethan's ability to turn into a puddle is useless. Near the end of the film, however, it turns out to be absolutely perfect for ''setting up a sneak attack''. Lash never saw Ethan coming. Also note that, right before he takes down Lash, Ethan demonstrates the ability to flow ''vertically'', something he'd never done before then.
** Also worth noting that the coach who decides whether you're a hero or a sidekick doesn't really think about his decisions and just goes with his first impressions, much like a comic book reader who looks to what seems cool rather than useful. For instance, the kid who can turn into a rock monster immediately gets named a 'hero' despite being incredibly clumsy and useless.
** The trope is [[{{Pun}} heartily]] played with throughout. Other "sidekick" powers of the current class include a girl who can turn into a gerbil, which is immediately deemed lame, despite the fact that she can still communicate verbally, and a guy who glows. While not great on the surface, being able to turn into a very small, nimble rodent can allow one to get into all kinds of normally inaccessible places, and sharp teeth are great for, say, cutting through electrical wires. [[CaptainObvious And the guy who glows is great]] if you find yourself in a dark AirVentPassageway. One ActualPacifist simply declined to demonstrate her powers, and got branded a sidekick, so it came as quite a shock when she revealed how badass controlling plants and making them grow at ludicrous rates could be.
** And, in what might almost be a reference to Cypher above, [[spoiler: the villain is a technopath, who originally went to Sky High at the time the current classes parents were. At that time, technopathy was was just "being a super science nerd" and she was relegated to sidekick, became a supervillain, got de-aged by her own device, and went back to Sky High to get revenge, where her technopathy powers were considered much more powerful and useful with the prevalence of modern technology.]]
* In ''Film/StarTrek (2009)'', Kirk asks Sulu about his combat experience while en-route to fight hostile Romulans. "Fencing", he replies simply. Once the fight begins, Sulu produces a sci-fi collapsible sword which he promptly puts to use. The "fencing" line and ensuing scene was a ShoutOut to ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' with the infamous Sulu shirtless fencing scene from "The Naked Time".
* In ''Film/TheHobbit'', Gandalf believes that the best way to keep the forces of darkness away is to embrace kindness in all its forms, no matter how small, and this is the primary reason why he believes in Bilbo so strongly. Which works at first sight only thematically, but per Gandalf's style ends up working pragmatically, too. Bilbo's niceness, lack of ambition and general rustic charm makes him a sort of MoralityPet of the Dwarfs, generally acting as a voice of reason and an inhibitor of conflict. Moreover, it makes him mostly resistant to the lure of the Ring, which is important in [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings the sequel]].
* ''Film/AntMan'' has this trope as one of this central theme. The titular character is well-known in comics as a major case of WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway. The movie goes on its way to prove how truly useful his powers can actually be. [[IncredibleShrinkingMan Shrinking while retaining your normal strength and density]]? You got a fighter the size of an insect, nearly impossible to see or aim at, capable of infiltrating places you will never see him coming from, who can kill you in one punch provided he hits you with the strength of a human fist focused in a quarter-inch of area. [[PestController Controlling ants]]? Just keep various colonies of ants from dangerous species at home and you have a miniature army with various abilities adapted to the situations. Or you can place a shrunken camera on their back and use them to spy anyone you want. [[ShrinkRay Shrinking other objects]]? Well you can [[spoiler:''shrink a real tank and keep it as a keychain which you can turn back to its normal size whenever you need it'']].

* The main characters of Mur Lafferty's superhero novel ''Literature/PlayingForKeeps'' are examples of this trope. As "Third-Wavers", they are discriminated against for having weak or incredibly specialized powers, but as the story goes on, they discover ways their powers can be far more useful than they thought, to the point that some would qualify for LethalHarmlessPowers. In particular, the heroine, Keepsie, has the superpower that nothing that belongs to her can be taken from her without her consent. Anyone who tries is paralyzed until they stop trying. In the beginning of the novel, she considers this to be a pretty useless power. Once she figures out that [[{{Immortality}} her life counts as something which belongs to her]], and gets a power-up from Zupra EX that grants her more control over her powers... She also later learns to extend this protection to her friends and business, because they're "hers".
--> '''Keepsie''': "You're breathing my air."
** Peter can learn things about other people by smelling them. Turns out this means he can not only track people like a bloodhound but also know exactly what they're doing and where they're going, and he can instantly find out anyone's biggest strengths and weaknesses.
** Michelle's only power is that she can carry any tray, no matter how full it is, without dropping or upsetting it. This means she can carry ''anything,'' no matter how big and heavy, as long as it's technically on a tray -- and it also gives her lethal aim if throwing the tray like a discus.
** Ian can send out high-pressure beams of feces from his hands. ''Extremely'' gross, but actually a very effective weapon.
** Alex has HealingHands, though he can only heal one square inch at a time. He still ends up saving the lives of quite a few people with this power.
** Collette is a SupremeChef who instinctively knows exactly what kind of food everyone wants. Comes in handy when someone is trying to impersonate one of your friends, because while they may be able to mimic his appearance and voice, they have more trouble mimicking his exact food preferences. Also, it's amazing how useful an intricate knowledge of cooking oil and its boiling point might prove when you're under siege...
** Tomas has SuperStrength, but only for five-second bursts. Still, it's incredible what you can do in five seconds.
* In the ''Literature/RoseOfTheProphet'' trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, a wizard named Mathew teaches several women how to cast a simple spell that will create a fog to help them escape from their enemies. The chief component of spell is water and Mathew has never cast the spell in a desert environment. While they provided all the water they could for the spell to work, it was not enough. What they didn't know is when the spell is not given enough water, it will ''seek out water from any source possible''. And what is the human body mostly made of?
* Door from ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}'' can... open doors. Thing is, it doesn't matter where the door goes or ''whether there was even a door there to begin with''. The BigBad is treating her as a LivingMacGuffin to get her to open a door to [[spoiler:''Heaven''; she opens a ''new'' door on top of the existing door and throws him into outer space instead]]. Wow. Not to mention that early in the story she is driven into a corner by her pursuers, and literally ''opens'' one of them. Yes, she can open doors in human bodies - the results are messy.
* The powers in Creator/BrandonSanderson's ''Literature/AlcatrazSeries'' are all examples of this trope. Each member of the Smedry family has a unique ability called a Talent that, on paper, looks completely useless. However, creative application allows the family to use their Talents well:
** Main character Alcatraz has the gift of breaking whatever he touches. This initially simply gets him into trouble with his various foster families, as he has a tendency to break precious objects. However, he later learns that he can use the power to break ''anything'', which essentially makes him impossible to imprison (he simply breaks whatever's holding him captive). An ancestor with a similar ability once broke ''time'' to create a TimeStandsStill zone for his tomb.
** Grandpa Smedry has the power to arrive late to things. Annoying for keeping appointments, perhaps, but also incredibly useful: bullets always miss him (because he's "late" to their hitting him), he can keep himself from bleeding or sensing pain because he's late to feeling it, and he even hints that he's essentially immortal because he's constantly showing up late to his own death.
** Quentin Smedry [[TheUnintelligible speaks nonsense]]. This makes any information or secrets safe with him, as he quite literally can't reveal them, even when being tortured.
** Australia Smedry has the ability to wake up ugly. However, "ugly" is an incredibly relative term; furthermore, she can use the Talent to wake up looking like an ugly version of ''somebody else.'' In essence, she's a MasterOfDisguise extraordinaire.
** Kazan Smedry's Talent is getting lost. He uses this power to {{teleport|ation}} out of dangerous situations, such as falling from incredible heights--he "gets lost" on the way to the ground, you see.
** Folsom Smedry is a really, really, ''really'' bad dancer, and starts doing his horrible moves whenever music comes on. However, the Talent also makes him an incredible warrior, as his awful dancing allows him to fight others with unpredictable and dangerous movements.
** Aydee Ecks (a cousin) has the Talent of being terrible at math. She uses this gift to save the family during a fight against giant robots, as she's put in charge of their ammunition--and it turns out that by asking her how many [[ItMakesSenseInContext exploding teddy bears]] remain in their arsenal, she can miscount and thus provide an infinite supply.
** The [[SeeThruSpecs Oculator lenses]] also apply. There are lenses that, among other things, let the wearer shoot wind, fireballs, inflict terrible pain... and the one that is the most powerful is a pair of glasses that grants the ability to [[TranslatorMicrobes understand, read, and write any language]]. Knowledge is power.
* Almost the entire anthology ''Literature/{{Temps}}'' (and its sequel, ''Euro Temps'') features the losers in the SuperpowerLottery; while there is the occasional temp who can make the Gods jealous with their powers, most are on the level of the woman who Always Knows Exactly Where David Earnshaw Is - as long as he's in Britain. However, some of them manage to become dangerous anyway:
** The main character of Creator/DavidLangford's story "Leaks" is targeted by a MadScientist who wants to see if his power can be expanded to other fields. The main character's power? Teleporting a pint of beer between glasses. Can it be expanded? Yes, to include any liquid in any container. Including, to the mad scientist's chagrin, the blood in the human circulatory system. The scientist similarly theorizes the narrator could teleport an airborne plane's fuel away. By the end of the story the main character even moves beyond liquids, teleporting money out of the pocket of his superiors.
** "Leaks" also mentions a wild talent with the ability to incinerate individual grains of dust--but only one at a time. He gets the idea of focusing his power on gunpowder, and goes on to have an illustrious superhero career as Mr Misfire, the Man Whose Adversaries Shoot Themselves in the Foot.
** The heroine of Roz Kaveney's "Totally Trashed" can materialize random pieces of litter and garbage out of the air. She stops a homicidal robot by covering it in old stamps and scraps of paper that block its sensors, and discovers that when she really gets mad, she can drop an old, rusted-out car on top of someone. Later she finds out that many of the things she materializes are actually potentially valuable antiques from alternate universes or timelines, such as a tarnished, slightly dented Roman centurion's shield that looks at first glance like a garbage can lid and old newspapers from other timelines that prove the existence of alternate universes, drawing in the interest of Nobel Prize-hungry researchers.
* ''Literature/CircleOfMagic''
** Don't let his power fool you: Briar Moss's power is [[GreenThumb that of plants]]. You might think he can only grow plants, but in Tris' Book he works with his three foster sisters to create killer thorns to protect the temple he's currently calling home. And in ''Street Magic of The Circle Opens'', he's considered a full mage, and on his own he uses a basket woven from dried reeds to bind up and hold down a girl he was trying to convince she needed magic training, use roses to torture an allergic gang member for information, and in the climax [[spoiler:uses plants to tear down walls, cause wooden doors to come alive as if they're still trees, and use a thorny vine to kill someone by having the thorn grow THROUGH someone trying to come up behind him]].
** Lady Sandrilene Fa Toren will tie you up with your own clothing (or anything else that could be considered "thread" or "woven material") if you try to defy her. ''Thread'' is an awesome power.
--->'''Sandry:''' The cloth-head tied [my bonds] with ribbons. I suppose it didn't occur to him ribbons are made of cloth.\\
* later*\\
'''Sandry:''' (her captors are now encased and gagged in woven cocoons, the ringleader tied to a rock in a similar predicament) You can tell all Namorn this is what happens when I'm vexed.
*** Even more impressive is in the first book, where she [[spoiler:uses sympathetic magic involving thread to [[AllYourPowersCombined "tie" the four main characters' magics together]]]]. This is because her power doesn't just extend to ''physical'' thread, but also any magic that can be visualized as string, such as life and {{nothing|IsScarier}}.
*** In the first quartet, her consideration of escaping bonds by un-weaving knots leads to the idea of enacting a DefeatByModesty.
*** She once immobilized a group of her uncle's guards when they tried to keep her from reaching him when he had a heart attack. It's also implied she stitched her uncle's soul to his body to keep him alive until the healers showed up.
* In the ''[[Literature/TortallUniverse Lioness Rampant]]'' quartet, Alanna uses thread magic to dump an arrogant male student on his ass when he starts deriding "women's work".
* In Elana Frink's short story "The Los Angeles Women's Auxiliary Superhero League", the character Jane is initially embarrassed about her power of "niceness". It turns out that she can mesmerize people by [[CompellingVoice speaking to them gently in a soothing tone of voice]], to the point where she can stun would-be muggers and reduce a supervillain to a drooling vegetable. She later gets the superhero name of "Hypnotique" which she likes much better than "the nice one".
* ''Literature/{{Xanth}}''
** Useless abilities are referred to as "Spot On The Wall" powers, meaning that they do useless things like making a colored spot appear on a wall. One character literally has that power, but it turns out that she can use her power to make mosaic images with amazing detail. Furthermore, she doesn't even have to know what she's making in order to create it. In one scenario, she makes an image of an "operations manual" to a device in order to learn how to use the device.
** Irene's power is to make plants grow faster, which is actually a pretty useful ability, but seemingly mundane. However, Xanth is full of a ridiculous number of plants with very specific powers, and armed with the right seeds Irene can produce virtually ''anything''. In her case the awesomeness of the power is universally recognized, being designated as Magician-tier (the highest level magic there is among humans).
** Lacuna has the power to change text, which growing up she primarily used for pranks. As an adult, however, she ran up against the mighty Com Pewter, a RealityWarper who can make anything in his vicinity happen...via text appearing on his screen. She then ''permanently'' reprograms it into a HeelFaceTurn.
* The eponymous item in ''Literature/TheSwordOfShannaraTrilogy''. Its power, which is hidden for much of the first book, is revealed to be [[spoiler:telling the truth about whatever it touches]]. Lame, right? Well, no not quite. You see, the Sword not only [[spoiler:''tells'' the truth, it forces whomever its touching to ''accept'' that truth]]. This comes in pretty handy as the BigBad is [[spoiler:revealed to be DeadAllAlong and deeply in denial about it]]. Bye bye Brona. But that's only one use right? Wrong again. The Sword shows up in almost every book in the series, proving to be the perfect antidote to every ManipulativeBastard and EvilMentor out there. It [[spoiler:saves Par from being possessed by Rimmer Dall]] in ''Literature/TheHeritageOfShannara'' by [[spoiler:revealing the latter's lies]], and [[spoiler:sends the [[Literature/TheVoyageOfTheJerleShannara Ilse Witch]] into a HeelRealisation-induced VillainousBSOD]] after revealing [[spoiler:the lies she has built her life on]]. So what's a lame power again?
** It also has some more practical uses, such as being able to guide an airship through a maelstrom while flying blind.
** Unfortunately, it's only as good as a normal sword in situations that would require a normal sword, such as being ambushed by ten bandits.
* A side character in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' is a very weak [[PunctuationShaker Asha'man]] who can channel just a little of the [[FunctionalMagic One Power]], and therefore stands ''miles'' below the main characters. Fortunately for him, he's very good at making [[TeleportersAndTransporters Gateways]], to the point that he can make Gateways hundreds of times better than he should have been able to. The character uses this with quite a bit of imagination, and due to the unique properties of gateways using his skill to [[PortalCut cut an iron chain]] is the least of it. At one points, he opens a huge gateway on a battlefield with the other side ''inside a frikkin' volcano.'' He could hold his own in combat against the best, if not for the fact that an enemy channeler [[AntiMagic could just shield him]].
%%The example below is a Zero Context Example. Do not uncomment it without expanding it so that it explains how the trope is used in the book in a way that someone who hasn't read it can understand.
%%* ''Literature/ChildrenOfTheRed King'' is basically ''made'' out of this trope.
* ''Literature/WildCards''
** Digger Downs can literally "sniff out" aces, but also happens to be a paparazzi who works in the magazine about aces.
** Astronomer won the SuperpowerLottery, but employed a lot of aces and weak deuces and taught them to use their powers well. Did you know that if you can control nearby water, it also extends to ''bodily fluids''?
** Popinjay arguably takes the cake. He has a power to teleport... only other people, only if he can "shoot" them with a pretend gun (you know the gesture), and only to places he's been to numerous times and knows excellently. He works as a private eye and, amongst other things, teleports people to jail. However, later into the story we find out that [[spoiler: the location from his recurring nightmare that makes him wet himself]] apparently works, too.
* While the Franchise/{{Nasuverse}} has a notable share of insanely durable or insanely powerful characters, there is at least one character per setting, who while having a power that ''sounds'' unspectacular, can produce results as equally ridiculous as their overpowered brethren. Consider:
** [[LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai Asagami Fujino]]: [[AxCrazy Mild]] [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Mannered]] High School student with the psychic power to... turn objects clockwise or counter clockwise? Uses? How about twisting victims into a bloody pulp by sight alone? Or reducing a whole ''suspension bridge'' into wreckage?
** Kiritsugu from ''LightNovel/FateZero'' has the dual origin of severing and binding, which translates to breaking things and then putting them back together, which causes irreparable degradation. That doesn't sound very useful, but when his target is a mage's Magic Circuits... Well, there's ''many'' reasons people call him the [[MageKiller Magus Killer]], and this is the nastiest one.
** For ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'' and ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', see the Video Games examples.
* Billy Harrow, the main character of China Mieville's ''Literature/{{Kraken}}'', is a hapless museum curator and preserver of dead animal specimens. In fact, it turns out that he is the ''saint'' of museum curators who preserve dead animal specimens. This isn't all that impressive, until he realizes that his preservationist powers extend to [[spoiler: reanimating zombie lab specimens as his familiars, and briefly stopping time]]. He's also a pretty capable BarrierWarrior.
** This leads up to Billy foiling the BigBad's plan ''after'' it succeeds: [[spoiler:squid are gods, according to the Krakenists, but Billy realizes this particular squid (dead, preserved in a jar) isn't a god, it's a ''specimen''. And Billy's the saint of preserved museum specimens. Cue victory through semantics]].
* ''Franchise/{{Mistborn}}''
** A [[FunctionalMagic Feruchemist]] can use the fictional metal atium to alter his or her age, but because Feruchemy is an EquivalentExchange based magic system, in order to become young they'd have to spend an equivalent amount of time old, and as such, this power is considered worthless except as a disguise. Enter [[spoiler:[[GodEmperor the Lord Ruler]], who can do both Feruchemy and its sister magic system, Allomancy. The interaction between the two powers lets him, among other things, exponentially increase the output of his Feruchemy, so that instead of a worthless power, in his hands atium gives him what amounts to a closed loop of infinite youth- thereby making him functionally immortal]].
** Tin, as an Allomantic metal, allows one to have SuperSenses, but if you're just a Misting instead of a Mistborn (who is able to use all Allomantic powers) it essentially turns you into just a human watchdog. Useful, but not as devastatingly powerful as the powers granted by other metals like pewter, iron, or steel. Spook, who can only use tin, is OvershadowedByAwesome thanks to his comrades' far greater physical combat abilities. Then in ''Hero Of Ages'' he [[spoiler: eventually burns so much tin he effectively becomes a "tin savant" whose senses are so intensely acute that he can locate enemies based solely on the sounds of their heartbeats and outmaneuver opponents by sensing what they're doing based on tiny things like the rustle of their feet on the ground]].
** ''Literature/WaxAndWayne'':
*** Marasi is a Cadmium Misting, a person who can burn Cadmium to create a bubble of slowed time; time moves slower within the bubble than outside it. Initially this power is considered rather useless, as there aren't many times that someone needs to move slower than the rest of the world (though one character points out that, since she's interested in law enforcement, she could use it to speed up stakeouts). However [[spoiler: during the final battle with Miles, she uses this ability once all of Miles's mooks are gone and he's distracted. Since Miles doesn't notice the bubble has gone up, this allows plenty of time for Wayne to get the police and come back to Miles's hideout, where they capture him]]. In the second book, she [[spoiler: causes an assassin's bullet to miss its target by enveloping him in a time bubble, which messes with the direction of objects entering or leaving it]].
*** Feruchemical iron lets you alter your own weight; you weigh less while filling it, and weigh more while tapping it. While not useless, this was largely considered underpowered. Most people only used it to make themselves lighter, largely ignoring the other half of the power. Wax, however, has this power in addition to Allomantic steel--meaning he can telekinetically Push metals away from him. If he is heavier than the metals, they are Pushed, but if the metals are heavier than him he is Pushed. Since he can control his weight, he has more flexibility than most Coinshots. At one point he kills an entire ''building'' by Pushing down while in the air and tapping enough weight to make him weigh more than the building.
* [[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983 He-Man]] villain Stinkor wasn't allowed to appear on the cartoon itself because his power of smelling really horrible was deemed too ridiculous. However, a supplemental ''book'' for the rejected Stinkor episode was in fact published. Turns out that Stinkor smelled so bad it sapped even He-Man's strength and Stinkor came closer to beating He-Man than almost any of Skeletor's other servants.
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'': Peeta was a cake decorator at his family's bakery, which doesn't seem like it would be too useful in a death match. Until, that is, he uses it to paint his body to camouflage himself by the river. In ''Catching Fire'', Katniss notes that out of all the Hunger Games' victors Peeta is the one who is best suited to lead a rebellion, because whereas the others are all deadly fighters he possesses enough goodness to make people rally around him through the things he says.
* John Taylor of ''Literature/NightSide'' has a gift that lets him find anything. Big deal, right? Well, with only the slightest application of learned magic, he can find the activating key to any spell, holes in dimensions, the one pin on the grenade-belt that's looser than the others, the glass jaw of an eldritch abomination, etc. He calls taking bullets out of opponents' guns his "party trick", and routinely counters villains' threats with offers to do likewise to their favorite internal organs.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** ThePowerOfLove is so potent that Lily sacrificing herself to save her son Harry allowed him to survive the killing curse that gave him his scar, and when Harry [[spoiler:dies (sort of) to save the inhabitants of Hogwarts they became incredibly resistant to anything the Death Eaters can throw at them]].
** Neville is considered a loser by most of Hogwarts, with his only redeeming feature being Herbology. [[spoiler: He weaponizes it, hurling screaming plants that cause instant death off the walls of the castle and carting around man-eating tentacle plants, during the Battle of Hogwarts. ''He potentially killed the entire first wave of Death Eaters by throwing a potted plant at them.'']]
** For the Deathly Hallows Dumbledore regards the Invisibility Cloak as this. The Elder Wand is powerful but also makes you a target. The Resurrection Stone doesn't really solve anything and in the end makes you long for something that can never be. On the surface the Invisibility Cloak is the weakest of the three since experienced wizards have other ways of turning invisible but as Dumbledore points out it's the only one of the Hallows that lets you protect someone else.
** The defining characteristic of Hufflepuffs is their loyalty, honesty and hard work. Compared to the bravery, cunning and knowledge of the other houses, this lead to many in and out of universe regarding Hufflepuffs as something of a joke. But then they, to a man, all elect to stay and fight in the Battle of Hogwarts and provide the necessary weight of fighters to keep everybody else safe. Turns out being able to rely on somebody in even the worst crisis means more than knowing your Mandrakes from your Blast-Ended Skrewits.
* In the ''Literature/BookOfSwords'' series, [[spoiler:[[HealingShiv Woundhealer]] destroys Shieldbreaker (the most powerful Sword) and saves the hero's life when Woundhealer is stabbed into his heart]]. The narrative explains this by stating that there is no power greater than the human heart.
* In the third trilogy of the ''Literature/KushielsLegacy'' series, a group of occultists manage to summon up a demon from the Literature/ArsGoetia, who teaches them the language of ants. This is treated as a prank on the demon's part and a useless nuisance until one of the occultists [[spoiler: learns to "speak" the language of ants and command them. And moves into the Amazon jungle, which is chock-full of soldier ant colonies. At that point it stops being a nuisance, takes a flying leap past Awesome and lands right in a lake of terror]].
* In ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'', the children of Demeter can make plants grow. This comes in handy in the Battle of Manhattan, where Percy has them use their powers to block up the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel against an invading army of monsters.
** And in ''Literature/MagnusChaseAndTheGodsOfAsgard'', by the same author, the one god that can stop the monsters is not Thor or Odin or any of the war gods. It's Frey, god of summer and life and balance.
* Literature/{{Cinderella}} in ''Literature/ThePrincessSeries'' can summon animals to help her. Birds and mice? Try [[ThreateningShark sharks]] and [[SeaMonster sea serpents]]!
* Many magical powers in the ''Literature/ErecRex'' series are often much more powerful than they appear at first glance. The series' resident BigGood and ReasonableAuthorityFigure, King Piter, has the almighty and magical power of ''talking to plants''--which so happens to give him [[SurveillanceAsThePlotDemands an information network like you wouldn't believe.]] In comparison, the guy whose power is talking to animals isn't ''nearly'' as strong.
** Bethany is a young girl who happens to be really, really good at math. Supernaturally good, almost. As it turns out, this actually gives her amazing divination abilities ([[spoiler: and it runs in the family]]).
** The butler Jam Crinklecut has the magical ability to "always be ready to serve." As it turns out, if you get stuck in the wilderness, having a guy who can summon food from nowhere is extremely useful.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles Molly Carpenter'': lives in a setting where most problems are solved with super strength, giant fireballs, or hordes of undead servants. Her forte? Illusions. At first, it's mostly good for hiding from a fight. As time goes on she learns to dazzle and disorient enemies with a "one woman rave" of light and sound, and eventually to create convincing duplicates of herself to draw enemy fire wherever she wants it. Now that the 14th book has had her [[spoiler: forced into the position of a lesser queen of the fae, who are physically incapable of lying, she could wreak havoc with the entire supernatural power structure by speaking only through lying illusions of herself]].
* Boots from ''Literature/TheUnderlandChronicles'', TheChosenOne of the cockroaches. Given how valuable the cockroaches prove time and time again in the series, having them completely on your side is an awesome power indeed.
* In ''Literature/{{Relativity}},'' the villain "Cricket" has the power to ''talk to insects (and spiders),'' which doesn't sound very useful... but, he does manage to talk some tarantulas into stealing some small but valuable items for him.
* Tasha from ''The Gods Of Dream'' sneaks into [[DreamLand Eloria]] as a talking mouse. She then proceeds to be incredibly useful several times, from chewing through ropes to incapacitate an Incubus, wielding a ring around her neck to purify [[TheCorrupter Loor]]'s influence, and acting as a lookout to help them get through a maze. She even ends up [[spoiler:laying the finishing blow on the BigBad, because she's the only one who can get close enough]].
* The protagonist of ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Finding The Way]]'' is a Pathfinder: she instinctively knows how to travel anywhere safely, even places she's never been before. This ability is very useful in her job as a guide, but nowhere else...until it's revealed that she also knows how to dodge enemy attacks.
* In ''Literature/{{Frostbite}}'', Rose Hathaway doesn't think Mia Rinaldi's elemental power of water will be much use in fighting off the monstrous Strigoi. Mia later saves Rose from a Strigoi by surrounding its head with water, nearly crushing it under the water pressure.
* In the ''Sensor'' series by Susan Illene, the main character's abilities are...to sense. She knows when someone is lying, and can sense other supernaturals, their powers and such. Useful, but she has no combat powers. Sensing a vampire does no good if they can just rip her apart with their bare hands. BUT. When it's groups fighting against each other, she can tell her allies the enemies' positions, numbers, and capabilities, which is a huge advantage if they don't have their own sensor.
* In ''Literature/PegasusInFlight'', Tirla is a very restricted telepath... who also happens to have a Talent that makes her fluent in every language in existence, and she can translate them effortlessly. Given that she lives in a giant community full of people who speak different languages, it's basically her full-time job.
* Patrick, in ''Literature/TwoPercentPower'', has the superpower of being able to manipulate milk telekinetically. He uses this to generate projectiles, shields, whips, and ramps. [[spoiler:And eventually develops the ability to pull recently drunk milk out from inside of an opponent...]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheLostRoom'':
** One of the Objects is a pair of Scissors which can rotate things around a point, which seems pretty limited until you realize that the center of rotation can be ''outside'' of what's being rotated. The protagonist finds out the hard way when the previous owner uses the scissors to toss him around the room like a ragdoll.
** The Clock, which can sublimate manganese. How often does one encounter manganese, you ask? Turns out it's a component of quite a few alloys, including brass and stainless steel.
** The Glasses inhibit combustion of whatever you're looking at when you wear them. One cruel Seeker tests them by putting a gun to a claimant's forehead and pulling the trigger a few times. Nothing happens.
* On one episode of ''Series/{{Misfits}}'' we see a guy who can control milk and dairy products telekinetically. No one takes him seriously until he realizes that he can force dairy food around people's bodies and more specifically, back up people's digestive tract to choke them with it. The episode ends with a KillEmAll situation.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** One of the first spells Willow Rosenberg learns is levitating a pencil. She [[ChekhovsSkill levitates it into a vampire's heart.]]
** While hardly lacking for decent superpowers, Buffy herself also learns to use other skills in hunting vampires. Her keen fashion sense, for instance, comes in handy for spotting vampires, who frequently wear dated garb.
** In the Season Five finale, Spike makes fun of Xander's job as a construction worker. Later, Xander takes the record for the largest ImprovisedWeapon in the show's history when he [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu attacks the hell-god Glory]] [[Awesome/BuffyTheVampireSlayer with a wrecking ball]]. Xander's [[BoringButPractical training as a construction worker]] means that he is the only reason the Scoobies have anywhere to live, thanks to his constantly patching up [[WeirdnessMagnet Buffy's house]] in later seasons.
* ''Series/KamenRiderFourze'', with 40 different pieces of equipment, was bound to run into this. In one episode [[MissionControl Kengo]] is ready to write off the [[InASingleBound Hopping Switch]] as useless, but [[TheHero Gentaro]] insists that everything has its use; he demonstrates this by dodging the chameleon MonsterOfTheWeek's tongue (and again in TheMovie, where he uses it to pinball-kick about a dozen {{Mooks}}). Later on, even Gentaro thinks the [[ThePenIsMightier Pen Switch]] is a wash, but his friends discover that its ink hardens into a metallic substance, meaning it can make instant barriers (and in that specific case, block the {{monster|sOfTheWeek}}'s [[TakenForGranite Medusa]] power).
* Similarly, ''Series/KamenRiderWizard'' had a few of [[TheHero Haruto]]'s magic rings come off as duds during his initial test, only to prove much more useful with a little thought. The Sleep Ring [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin puts its wearer to sleep]]; Haruto figures out that if he slips the ring on someone else's hand first, it lets him [[NonLethalKO disable]] human enemies via InstantSedation. The Excite Ring's first use has Haruto develop shirt-shredding muscles, seemingly just for the purpose of a sight gag (and ParentService); using it as Kamen Rider Wizard, however, makes him [[HulkingOut Hulk Out]].
** In a more literal example, we have the Hope Ring, which sounds innocuous but turns out to be exceptionally powerful because [[spoiler:the gemstone set into the ring is the PhilosophersStone]].
* One ''Pulp Sport'' sketch has a superhero whose power is to be able to find the start of a roll of sellotape in an instant. This proves incredibly useful.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'': Emma is the product of True Love, so she seems to be magical by default, being a LivingLieDetector and apparently being able to jumpstart Regina's magic just by touch. In general, however, her "magic" seems to just be the fact that she is a physical form of ThePowerOfLove. This suddenly becomes useful when it's revealed that love allows her to NoSell [[spoiler: Cora trying to rip her heart out]]. More generally, True Love's Kiss is capable of negating any curse, no matter how powerful.
* ''Series/TheAlmightyJohnsons'':
** The main characters are all mostly depowered gods. Some of the powers like Anders' CompellingVoice or Olaf's eternal youth are obviously awesome, but then you've got people like Michele's mother--as the goddess of parties, she decides to throw a party, and everyone instantly knows there is a party (including whatever theme she feels like including), and they ''will'' be there.
** Mike is Ullr, god of games, and doesn't lose games under any circumstances. Pretty cool on its own, but absolutely awesome when you keep in mind that a game is anything two people agree is a game. He's invincible in a fight if his opponent makes the mistake of betting on it, and he can even read minds if someone asks him "Guess what?" After all, it's a [[ExactWords guessing]] ''[[LoopholeAbuse game]]''.
** Johann, father of the Johnson brothers, is Njord, god of the sea. His power is to "spread oil on troubled waters," to calm arguments. Sounds like a weaker version of Anders' CompellingVoice? Maybe, but it means he never has to face any consequences for all the shit he pulls, since no one can stay mad at him.
--->'''Olaf:''' And yes, he also calms the ''actual'' sea. Great if you're a sailor, not so great if you're trying to take your twenty-one year-old out surfing.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The Doctor's companions are an interesting variation of this. When compared to the Doctor himself--a 900-plus year old Time Lord with a time machine, encyclopedic memory, sonic screwdriver that can pretty much get out of any situation--their "mere" human abilities seem lame in comparison. But in recent seasons, the companions and their various training have saved the Doctor's bacon on countless occasions:
** Martha Jones, a medical student, provides invaluable services when dealing with humans and aliens alike; she's eventually recruited by UNIT as a master of alien biology, and even saved the Doctor at least once by memorizing his body structure and working to heal him.
** Similarly, Rory Williams, a hospital nurse, once saved his own life by teaching his fiancee Amy how to perform CPR (or at least [[CPRCleanPrettyReliable the television version of it]]).
** Sarah Jane Smith is an investigative reporter by trade, which gives her skills in sneaking around and researching alien threats covertly. She's one of the main reasons that Earth is still around in the series.
** Donna Noble doesn't even have a permanent job--she's a "temp," or employee hired on a daily basis to fill in for absent workers--but her knowledge of office life is incredibly useful, not to mention her ability to [[AwesomenessByAnalysis quickly figure out how new-to-her workplaces function]]. In "The Sontaran Stratagem," she explores a facility and discovers a crucial fact about the employees--namely, that there's never been a sick day in the history of the office--which proves that cloning is involved. In "Journey's End," her abilities as a typist actually end up ''saving reality itself'' [[spoiler: although admittedly, she'd gained the same mental capacity as the Doctor in that particular case]].

* ''Podcast/PlumbingTheDeathStar'' gives this treatment to Madrox the Multiple Man, who has the power to make exact copies of himself and absorb them for their knowledge. "Is Madrox just the worst for the MU?" makes the case that he could potentially take over every job in the world economy, learn every possible skill, become everyone's significant other, and become the dominant species on Earth by himself solely through his one superpower.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Nobilis}}''
** The player characters are {{Physical God}}s. Mortal [=NPCs=] often have enormous magical, supertech, and quasi-miraculous powers - and remain completely unable to challenge them, except ''extremely'' indirectly. What is the one class of mortals these Sovereigns of Creation must be cautious of? '''Botanists'''. It turns out the Angels used a language of flowers to define reality. Clever botanists [[RewritingReality can write their own addenda]].
** The Nobles (player characters) themselves can be like this, if the player wants them to be. There's an example of a Noble who is the Power of... Blankets. All blankets. Everywhere. And he can see through them from any distance. And he can make them do anything he wants, also from any distance. [[ParanoiaFuel Including suffocating you while you sleep in them.]] ''He is one of the most feared Nobles in the setting.''
** Power of various emotional Estates are ridiculously powerful when combined with the animistic nature of Mythic Reality, especially in 1st & 2nd edition. Suddenly, gravity doesn't ''like'' you anymore.
** In 3rd edition, Persona miracles can let you affect the "borders" or your Estate, making things more or less like the important traits of it. For example, if the Power of Hope states that one of the properties of Hope is that "Hope springs eternal," then Persona miracles of Hope can make things immortal.
** When compared to its siblings, the Powers of Chaos and Strife, being the Power of Borders seems underpowered. Then the Estate is explained as having the power over all boundaries, including metaphysical ones (like class boundaries), and tells of how the current Power plunged Cincinnati (whose Mayor offended it) into anarchy for forty days by erasing the distinction between citizen and criminal.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** The magic school of Divination, at its higher levels, make you a metagaming pro. Despite this, it's perhaps one of the schools most commonly stereotyped as WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway.
*** TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms canon admitted that knowledge is power: diviners firmly stood on top of very competitive and unforgiving hierarchies -- Gromph Baenre, the Archmage of [[GambitPileup Menzoberranzan]] and Zalathorm, king of [[TheMagocracy Halruaa]]. Melegaunt Tanthul, prince of Shade, was bold and [[MagnificentBastard sneaky enough]] to go study SealedEvilInACan from inside its can and succeed.
*** Realms also has Gayrlana "Lady Bloodsword". A female human fighter with topped out Charisma (traditional DumpStat) and Mindlink (ability to ''talk'' directly by telepathy) as a psionic wild talent. The result: a great LethalJokeCharacter, because she used these advantages, and what started as a simple dungeon crawl ended with her as the head of Mindulgulph Mercenary Company, a mercenary company comprised ''predominantly'' of MonsterAdventurers,[[note]]it's also in [[http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13961 available for download "Gold & Glory" sourcebook]][[/note]], and continued along this line. Whatever the task is, they probably have creatures well-suited to it and humans or humanoids who can play intermediary.
*** Also, one article in ''Dragon'' Magazine told the story of a heroic and legendary wizard who, after his death, [[WhosLaughingNow was revealed to have been a diviner.]] The article also included his spellbook, which included new Divination spells that were ''very'' useful.
** Illusion, similarly, is often perceived as being far weaker than it really is. Even a low level illusionist has the ability to create voices in crowds, pass unreadable messages, and make documents that appear to be whatever paperwork is required, which while not spectacular in straight combat are ideal for running a rebellion. At higher levels, incredibly complex illusions can be created with a nigh-impossible saving throw, or can manipulate foes by substituting their reality for another or causing them to die of a fright-induced heart attack. (YourMindMakesItReal applies in all these situations.) The problem here that something like 2/3rds of the creatures in the game are flatly immune to 90% of the spells in the illusion school, which forces it into WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway by way of balance-intended neutering.
*** In 3.5, there is a prestige class known as the Shadowcraft Mage. This one prestige class takes the Illusion school and turns it UpToEleven. It does so thanks to its ability Shadow Illusion, which allows spells such as Silent Image to replicate the effects of all evocation and most conjuration spells a sorcerer or wizard can cast (one level lower than the spell used to replicate them). This means that one spell can be prepared and serve the function of almost two entire schools of magic on the fly in addition to its normal effects. This becomes more important when you realize that you can increase the level of a spell via metamagic feats such as Heighten Spell and Earth Spell, two feats present in almost all Shadowcraft Mage builds. Suddenly, you have a character able to use almost two entire spell schools for the cost of knowing one spell. Even better, however, is that the spells replicated use the cost of the illusion spell used to replicate them. With the right feats, you suddenly have characters capable of casting Miracle [[note]](conveniently an Evocation spell that via a certain feat can be added to the sorcerer/wizard spell list)[[/note]] ''for free'', which in turn means that illusions can replicate the effect of '''''almost every spell in the game'''''.
*** Likewise, the above immunity to illusions backfires thanks to Shadow Illusion's secondary effect. The spell replicated can be disbelieved, but doing so means that it has 10% of its effect per spell level of the illusion used to replicate it. This means that a basic Fireball spell would be at least 50% real. However, there are feats and abilities (one even given by Shadowcraft Mage itself) that boost the quasireality of a spell, meaning that higher level spells are actually ''more real when disbelieved'', turning an immunity to being fooled by illusions into a weakness to the replicated spells.
** Enchantment has the same issue exact same issue as Illusion; it is perceived as weak because the writers, recognizing the GameBreaker potential of the school, have gone out of their way to neuter its effectiveness, thus making it almost worthless.
** In the Elfslayer Chronicles, a game of D&D played over an IRC chat, an illusion-mage PC decided to go OffTheRails [[ScrewYouElves in response]] to the DM's [[CantArgueWithElves blatant elf fangirlism]] (with her being a YaoiFangirl adding fuel to the flames) and start strategically murdering elves, using his illusion magic to give himself alibis and incriminate those who he wanted to. He ended up almost singlehandedly throwing the nation into chaos and pushing the elves into a war they couldn't ever hope to win.
** In 4E, there's Warlords (and to a lesser extent, Bards) with the "grant free melee/ranged basic attack" gimmick. Hey, cool, a free attack that usually has a lower to-hit chance than most abilities, and one roll of weapon damage instead of potentially between 2-5 rolls plus all sorts of bonuses. Nice, not great. And then Essentials came out, whose character classes usually base around turning someone who only has melee/ranged basic attacks into a PersonOfMassDestruction suddenly lashing out three times their equivalents' damage ''per attack'', and a Warlord that could grant an extra attack or three just cut the average encounter time in half. Some classes also have powers that can be used as a basic attack.
** The Diplomacy skill - used to convince others to do you favours - is so overpowered it has gained the nickname 'diplomancy'. An optimised 2nd-level character can reliably convince gods to fight for him. See here: http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/advanced-rules/diplomacy-design.html
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' has cards [[http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/sf/50 designed specifically for players who fit this trope]]. As the article states, this is Johnny's whole deal: Find good uses for "bad" cards.
* The (very) old Marvel Comics Superhero RPG had numerous weak powers that could be awesome in the hands of a creative player. Best example is Coloration, the ability to change the color, transparency and refractive index of matter. Seems very lame, until you're fighting vampires in the sewers and you turn the ground above, not just transparent, but into a giant magnifying glass.
* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension''
** Beginner characters, being limited to a couple Spheres at rank 1 or 2, seem sucky. Until you realize that, for instance, the first rank in the [[PsychicPowers Mind]] Sphere already gives you the ability to boost your cognitive abilities to superhuman levels (total eidetic memory, information processing, etc) and psychic AuraVision. Being that the whole game is pretty much about thinking outside the box, players and Storytellers are encouraged for take lateral thinking.
** As a warning for potential game masters out there: Don't let someone who understands basic chemistry or physics to take Matter or Forces unless you are prepared to deal with the consequences of, say, mud in a swamp being transmuted into sodium metal under your bad guy. If you don't know the consequences of that statement... just don't let your chemistry geek friend take Matter.
** ''Any'' sphere can become this with enough imagination. Spirit becomes a taxi service to the Umbra, Life allows for crazy healing, helpful player mutations and terrifying BodyHorror on their enemies, Entropy brings the failing of every mechanism not working in the player's favor... the list goes on.
** Entropy Level 1: Sense Fate And Fortune. Go to casino. Play slot machines. Wipe your ass with $100 bills.
** The truly nasty spells come from two-sphere combinations, since you can do those with a starting character and the addition of the second influence can rapidly strip essentially every limit from the core spell. Consider: low-level spirit allows you to talk to spirits and convert some of your power into spirit-compatible bribes. Nice enough, but even though you can talk to basically everything that you can imagine having a personality (rocks, computers, your schedule) the power levels of the spirits rapidly outpace your ability to bargain meaningfully, much less bribe them. Add in prime, which allows you to juggle your power reserve and extract power from other things, and you're bribing the spirit of the entire city to assassinate a rival you don't like, and things of similar scale. With about three levels in each sphere.
* In both ''Tabletopgame/{{Shadowrun}}'' and ''Tabletopgame/{{Cyberpunk}}'', one of the weapons characters can have access to is basically high-tech squirt guns. Yes, squirt guns. Think this is super lame? Well, fill them with high-potency acid or lethal skin-absorbed poison and shoot it at someone's face, see how lame that is. [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Noah "Spoony" Antwiler]] [[http://spoonyexperiment.com/counter-monkey/shadowrun-the-squirt-gun-wars/ made a whole video on them]].
* ''TabletopGame/BleakWorld'' has this with Werecockroaches, it seems lame yes, until you remember a cockroach can fly short distances and can lift 100 times its own weight while surviving with its head off.
* The Chromativariation mutation in ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' allows the user to change an object's color. Sounds pretty useless at first, but since clearance levels are color-coded, a user of that mutation can easily and convincingly accuse someone of treason by simply turning some of their possessions violet.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/MasterOfMagic'': The Halfling top-tier unit are Slingers - a ranged unit with Luck. However, that means they always hit for maximum damage and when they're at Elite level, they can take down ''anyone''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'': A lot of powers in the series may sound useless or very abstract, but have potential to be creatively abused:
** Reimu has the power to fly, something which nearly everyone else in Gensoukyou also possesses along with their other powers. Except Reimu can also ''fly away from reality'', making her [[NighInvulnerability completely untouchable]] for as long as she wishes.
** Kogasa is an umbrella youkai with the power of "surprising humans", and she's not even very good at it. She appears as a Stage 2 midboss and boss, and that appears to be the height of her power. Until [[spoiler:she suddenly appears as the mid-boss of the [[BonusLevel EX-Stage]], complete with the ''massive'' power boost that suggests]]! What a surprise [[BreakingTheFourthWall for us!]]
** Subverted with Yuuka, whose [[GreenThumb mastery of flowers]] is explicitly noted to be just as useless as it sounds. However, she's still [[TimeAbyss one of the oldest residents of Gensoukyou]] with [[FlightStrengthHeart physical and magical power]] [[StrongerWithAge to match]].
** Lily White has the power to announce the coming of spring. She does this by [[MoreDakka showering you with an unholy amount of bullets]].
** Rin Kaenbyou has the power to haul corpses to fuel the fires of Hell. It isn't just their body though, but also their ''soul'', breaking them from both the cycle of reincarnation and the [[DeathIsCheap easily accessible (and escapable) afterlife]]. In a setting where everyone and their grandmother wields a StoryBreakerPower, the [[{{Nekomata}} cat]] is one of the only ones that can render you DeaderThanDead.
** Koishi Komeiji gave herself [[PokeInTheThirdEye a poke in her]] MindReading ThirdEye in order to escape [[AMindIsATerribleThingToRead all the hurtful thoughts]] people harboured for her [[ForgotAboutTheMindReader because of her power]]. This had the side-effect of making her [[EmptyShell unable to read her own heart and mind]] as well as giving her the ability to manipulate the subconscious... How exactly is that useful? Well, it gives her a PerceptionFilter that makes her so unnoticable, you may not notice her even if you look straight at her, and also [[LaserGuidedAmnesia wipes her existence from the minds of everyone who take their eyes off her]].
** [[FlightStrengthHeart Besides being an ancient wizard-messiah with all the power that entails]], Toyosatomimi no Miko has the power to listen to ten voices at the same time... which includes the "ten desires" that make up the human psyche, meaning she can effectively read minds (or at least, personalities). This ability also causes divine spirits (physical manifestions of human desire) to be drawn to her, which she can absorb for power in a small-scale version of GodsNeedPrayerBadly.
** Raiko Horikawa can ride any rhythm, which sounds really abstract and useless... until she starts shooting lightning everywhere. Then you realize that in [[LoopholeAbuse classic Touhou fashion]] she found her way into the repertoire of another [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raijin rather notable drummer]] and suddenly her [[BonusBoss Ex-boss]] status makes rather more sense. Another way to read her ability is that she can [[http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Raiko_Horikawa make anything follow a rhythm]], which doesn't sound too formidable either, but she could totally kill you via cardiac arrhythmia.
** Yukari Yakumo has the power to manipulate boundaries. This seems like a fairly useless power, until you realize that she can manipulate ALL boundaries, physical and otherwise, since boundaries are what basically [[RealityWarper makes up reality as we know it]]. The applications for her powers are varied and highly creative, including manipulating the boundary between truth and lie to use a reflection of the moon to commence a lunar invasion [[note]]How this works. The True Moon is hidden by the False Moon, which is what people see. Additionally, it's completely impossible to target the True Moon, so manipulating the boundary there doesn't help. (The Moon people are quite aware of her power, and put in that countermeasure.) However, [[LoopholeAbuse there is no such restriction on the reflection of the True Moon]]. Therefore she manipulates the boundary of Truth and Lies on the reflection, turning it into a reflection of the True Moon, which allows her to see where to target and open up a gap.[[/note]]. When not using it as a SemanticSuperpower, she creates gaps- portals to an eye-filled dimension that (according to the fandom) she uses mostly for stupid pranks.
** The series also has an ''inversion'' with Rumia, who has an awesome-sounding power ([[DarknessEqualsDeath manipulation of darkness]]) that turns out to be really lame, or at the very least she sucks at it - [[RequiredSecondaryPowers her vision is weakened by her own darkness]]. According to [[WordOfGod ZUN]], he intentionally gave a first boss an ability that sounds like it would be more at home on a final boss.
** Sagume has the power to only speak lies. Which means that whatever she says, the world changes so that it ''becomes'' a lie. Even she recognises this is horrifically dangerous and rarely speaks, though fortunately the changes aren't retroactive or instantaneous.
* [[QuirkyMinibossSquad The Cobras]] in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater''. The Pain [[BeeBeeGun controls bees]] and is effectively a living bee hive. This makes him pretty much unstoppable on an open battlefield, stinging to death any soldiers without having to even be present himself. The Sorrow is kind of a spirit Aquaman. He didn't just talk to spirits, he could pull battle plans, orders and other assorted information regarding the opposition from ANY dead soldier, which, you know, [[CaptainObvious there can be a lot of in a war.]]
* Franchise/{{Nasuverse}} examples that don't belong to the {{Anime}} section:
** ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'': Tohno Akiha's power is called Plunder, which gives her the ability to "steal body heat." ...Well, okay, but we have people that can kill absolutely anything and others that can drop the moon on you, so what? How about being able to steal ''all'' of it from a person at ''any'' range, with such sudden violence that the target will instantly and functionally [[KillItWithFire Self Combust]]? [[note]] They're not actually catching on fire or anything, it just feels like it to them because they can't understand what she's doing.[[/note]]
** Shirou in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' is so limited in magic that he can only use two kinds; Reinforcement and Projection. Neither seems very useful because Reinforcement just strengthens existing objects and Projection can only create an object for a very limited amount of time. In Shirou's case however [[spoiler:he can use Projection to recreate any weapon he's seen before as a slightly weaker copy. Shirou is surrounded by heroes and demigods who ''use'' absurdly powerful weapons. And since Shirou is making disposable copies of the weapons anyway, he can reinforce them to the point that they explode on contact with a target, eliminating the power gap between the copy and the original]]. By the end of the three routes Shirou is... rather dangerous for a human.
** See the {{Anime}} examples for ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai''.
* In ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', one of the least-played Controller powersets is MindControl; it has a bad rep due to not having a summonable combat pet as a tier 9 ability (among other issues). This would seem to give it "WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway" status, except for the minority of players who use this set, who can attest to just how powerful it is in capable hands. As an aside, Mind Control is actually one of the more popular sets for Dominators (who have control and ranged damage abilities, as opposed to buffing/debuffing abilities like Controllers). M.C.'s ability to hold, sleep, and confuse multiple targets while your character is in "Domination" mode makes the immobilization powers found in other sets seem obsolete.
* ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'''s Guybrush Threepwood can famously hold his breath for 10 minutes. The Pirate Elders are, to say the least, less than impressed when Guybrush mentions this as his special skill. As it turns out, being able to hold your breath for 10 minutes is [[SuperNotDrowningSkills a DAMN useful skill for, y'know, A PIRATE]].
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
** It's right there in the title. At one point in the first game, six Franchise/{{Disney Princess}}es and [[OriginalGeneration Kairi]] are kidnapped because their pure hearts are the key to unlocking Kingdom Hearts. To an even more basic extent, the strength of one's heart decides if the person is able to bear a Keyblade, a giant magical key that can cause a world of hurt on any creature it hits.
** It's hinted that despite saving the universe multiple times over with his entirely self taught Keyblade powers (including intuiting how to use Master level powers by the time of III), Sora's true power is his amazingly strong heart. His heart can forge nigh unbreakable bonds with others, hear hearts in pain and instinctively reach out to them, keep the hearts of several others inside his among other things. It's even hinted that his heart is able to ''house, heal and revive people who technically never existed''. Heart may just be the key to saving the universe this time round.
** Keyblades can lock or unlock anything. This means that, among other things, it's difficult to contain their wielders within conventional prison cells as their keyblade allows them to unlock the jail door without the need to steal the warden's keys. It's also possible for them to unlock every chest they come across, unseal anything that is sealed with a sort of lock, etc. As revealed in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'', the locks don't even ''have'' to look like a keyhole in order to work - if it's a lock in one sense or another, the keyblade can work on it. In fact, the lock doesn't even have to be physical. For example, keyblades can be used to seal or unseal the hearts inside of others, open gateways to other worlds, etc.
* The Realm has 5 schools of magic, magic costs mana crystals which cost gold. One of the circles is Enchantment, which lets you ''permanently'' enchant items. But enchantment has no innate spells so its entire circle requires you to have learned other circles, but with enough ability, you can enchant ''any'' spell to ''any'' item.
* ''VideoGame/EpicMickey'' uses the thinner and paint mechanic to mean destroy/kill or repair/love. There is not actually any change in battle style, except the first will remove the tank from the fight, and the second will make him fight for you. Many have also pointed out the FridgeHorror in that mind control is the far darker option.
* In the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' series, a number of characters have moves fitting the description of this trope. However, an extreme example of this is seen in the case of [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Jigglypuff]], whose "Down-B" special attack is "[[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway Rest]]". This doesn't even heal the character, as it does within Jigglypuff's origin franchise. However, if used with perfect timing, it [[spoiler:can cause a two-hit KO; KO's at 30 damage, and it DOES 30 damage]]. Until they {{Nerf}}ed it in ''Brawl''.[[spoiler: Even then, it can KO in 3-4 hits against an opponent with full health, as well as inflicting a health-draining status (which helps reach the KO-mark).]]
* In '' VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', engineering was largely considered a joke profession, most of its unreliable gadgets being watered down versions of better spells. Then the Burning Crusade expansion was released, and some smartass figured out that you could use the otherwise pointless Gnomish Remote Control to take command of the unstoppable [[BossInMookClothing Fel Reaver]]. Hilarity Ensued. [[ObviousRulePatch Briefly]].
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''
** Gau has a lot of powers, but most players don't know how to use them[[note]]especially since he's uncontrollable, but all he does is attack or do one technique[[/note]], and lament that he is uncontrollable. He also gets to attack for quadruple damage by using the rage of a lost housecat. Or he can use flowers to turn your enemies against each other with his charm ability. And he can use a [[ElectricJellyfish jellyfish]] for the one time in the first half of the game that pussycats can't kick ass. Even without the well known over powered strategies like "Wind God Gau", any observant player can see Gau use magic for free and earlier than normal.
** The same game also has Relm. She can draw pictures. Completely useless, right? Except that with it, she can single-handedly defeat [[LaughablyEvil the most powerful cephalopod]] in the game.
* The [[SpinAttack Top Spin]] in ''VideoGame/MegaMan3'' is frequently regarded as the absolute worst weapon in the series. Once you figure out how to use it, however, it is one of the most ''powerful'' weapons in the game. It will [[OneHitKill one-shot]] any enemy who's not outright immune to it, with the exception of most bosses. Even some ''bosses'' are destroyed in one shot by it, including the final boss! The only thing you have to keep in mind is which enemies are immune to it, and the fact that the weapon drains energy for as long as you're in contact with the enemy, so it can empty out its energy very quickly if you're not careful.
** Other robot masters exist with themes and weapons that sound silly on paper but are a lot more effective than you'd expect, such as Bubble Man and ''especially'' his eventual successor Burst Man, who combines [[BubbleGun giant bubbles]] capable of [[FloatingInABubble trapping and carrying away Mega Man]] with explosives and Bubble Man's SpikesOfDoom-covered ceiling.
** It's really not uncommon for this series for the final boss of a Mega Man game to be hurt the most (or in some cases ''only'' hurt) by the weapon that's the most stupid-sounding or cumbersome to use. The most infamous example is in Mega Man 7, where the weapon you get from Spring Man (Who looks about as stupid as he sounds, likewise for his attacks) is one of the best to fight [[ThatOneBoss Dr. Wily's final weapon.]]
* ''VideoGame/DungeonCrawl'' features Cheibriados, the god of time and slowness. Followers are [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway rewarded for pious deeds by slowing them down]], but Cheibriados eventually rewards the slow with seriously great time-related powers and attribute boosts.
* Various ghosts get various powers in ''VideoGame/GhostTrick'', but the one who takes the cake for this trope is [[spoiler:Missile. He used "swap the location of two objects" to stop someone from being shot ''after the gun has fired'']].
* In ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', Paula's Pray ability produces unpredictable results throughout the game. However, it's absolutely essential to defeating the final boss, [[EldritchAbomination Giygas]]. When Paula prays during the final battle, it deals ''five digit damage'' to Giygas and eventually kills him.
* ''VideoGame/EarthBoundBeginnings'' has a similar sequence, wherein after all the weapons that Ninten and company bring have failed to scratch Giygas, they defeat him... through the lullaby his adoptive human mother sang to him as a baby. The Melody of Love causes the psychic alien to break down and cry before retreating, and presumably are what drove him to become the mindless EldritchAbomination he appears as in the sequel.
* And In ''VideoGame/Mother3'', PK Love is the name of Lucas's special move, due to his great compassion. It's what allows him to pull the Needles. That being said, sometimes Heart isn't so awesome, [[spoiler:when the villain turns your twin brother into a soulless cyborg because he has that power too]].
* This is part of ''CopyKitty'''s ExcusePlot: protagonist Boki possesses PowerCopying as her main ability, and doesn't think much of it. Her uncle Savant thinks differently, and sends her a VR training program to convince her of how versatile her powers can be. Turns out, he's right: After all, what's not awesome about combining multiple powers into devastating weapons? Or copying an enemy's MookMaker abilities to summon your own minions? TurnsRed just as the boss does? Copying the boss' entire moveset? How about copying a (giant) robot's {{Magitek}} A.I. in order to take control of it?
** Taken to [[NightmareFuel terrifying]] extremes during the [[spoiler: [[EldritchAbomination Exgal]]]] fight. It turns out that whatever Boki's limitations are, [[spoiler: the DangerousForbiddenTechnique powering Exgal's abilities (that was ''never meant to be copied'') isn't one of them. It doesn't end well for Exgal or [[HeroicRROD Boki]]]] .
* In ''VideoGame/PixelDungeon'', one of the [[RandomDrop Random Drops]] you can find is a Wand of Flock--basically, it summons a couple of indestructible sheep. Sounds lame, but these sheep can help keep mooks from hitting you.
* In ''VideoGame/DontStarve'', Wilson's ability to "grow an magnificent beard" sounds pretty useless compared to being a strongman or being fireproof, but a long enough beard provides insulation to help survive [[DifficultySpike winter]], and it can be shaved off to provide one ingredient for a [[OneUp Meat Effigy]] and a little [[SanityMeter sanity]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} IV'', India's special unit is the Fast Worker, the Worker unit with one additional movement point. Compared to, say, Germany's [[TankGoodness Panzer]], China's [[AutomaticCrossbows Chu Ko Nu]] or America's [[BadassArmy Navy SEAL]], it is a bit underwhelming. However, the BoringButPractical Fast Worker is one of the most useful special units in the entire game, capable of allowing cities to flourish with more growth and industry and also being more useful for maintaining larger empires, and also being the only special unit that is available throughout the entire length of the game, from the stone age to the modern day.
* ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'': The Peacekeepers get extra happy people, extra space for people and doubled council votes. Minor bonuses until one realizes that happy people lead to golden ages and population booms. Coupled with doubled votes, this is instant diplomatic victory.
* One of the creatures of the enthropy element in ''VideoGame/{{Elements}}'' is a Schrödinger's Cat - a weak and cheap creature that has the ability to die willingly while staying alive. It's completely useless unless it's used along with the element of death. Death has several cards that give positive effects whenever a creature is dying (vultures and condors gain a boost to attack and health, boneyard creates skeletons, etc.), which makes a creature that can die as many times as needed extremely useful.
* A villainous variant can be found in ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddysSisterLocation''- or, more specifically, [[AllThereInTheManual the secret animatronic blueprints hidden in the game's files]]. In it, you find out that [[spoiler: each animatronic has some sort of child-abduction technology put in by [[SerialKiller William]] [[WouldHurtAChild Afton]]- Circus Baby has a chest cavity designed to capture and hold children when there's only one child in the room, Funtime Freddy has a voice mimicry module, etc. So when you get to Funtime Foxy, you find that [[AmbiguousGender he/she/yes]] has the ability to... release scents. Doesn't sound that threatening... until you realize that ''[[KnockOutGas chloroform]]'' is a scent, which would explain how he/she/yes [[FissionMailed knocked you out on Night 3]].]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 5}}'': In the finale, the belief in the heroes, which has so far just been a glorified popularity poll from an in-game MessageBoard of how much you're encouraging people to stand up for themselves, [[spoiler:summons a [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever fifty foot tall]] demon king who uses the hopes and dreams of the people of Tokyo to [[ItMakesSenseInContext shoot a giant mecha god in the head and save Christmas.]]]]


* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Elan's best ability is being GenreSavvy and TheDitz - and he combines both skills and ''weaponizes'' them against his brother Nale.
* ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'':
** [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=499#comic This]] strip combines {{Precious Pupp|y}}ies with [[spoiler:ChestBurster and TeleFrag]].
** In [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2663#comic this one]], a villain called the Existentialist, whose powers aren't exactly defined but are sort of implied to consist of knowing existential philosophy, comes up with a plan to beat the invulnerable Regenerating Man by causing him existential angst and confusion.
* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo''
** [[{{Ninja}} Junpei]] claims that {{Magical Girl}}s follow a "code of love", which is much more dangerous than the ninjas' code of honor, and results in "much destruction of urban area". Magical girls have been shown to possess super speed, super strength, super athleticism (balance and so forth), teleportation, [[ArsonMurderAndJayWalking and shrinking]], and the closest thing this setting has to a BigBad is an immortal ReallySevenHundredYearsOld DarkMagicalGirl who controls hordes of zombies and destroyed one of the most complicated [=MMORPGs=] in existence when she was ''bored''.
** Three so-far-unnamed {{Magical Girl}}s are "potentially catastrophic grade." The zombie master mentioned above is not one of them.
** While we are on the subject of Magical Girls, let's talk abut Yuki Sonoda. Her power is stealing things. Even she doesn't think her power is any good, but at one point she steals a RentAZilla. And it seems to obey her perfectly.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''
** Tavros' seemingly-useless ability to commune with Alternian fauna? [[spoiler:It works on the hordes of imps, ogres, and other such beasties that appear in Sburb, allowing him to amass an entire army of imps, ogres, and basilisks before even hitting his second gate.]] Suddenly, the guy who was mercilessly taunted for being a useless cripple before, is now probably the most powerful player in the session. Said powers of communion extend to [[spoiler:Becquerel, Earth's First Guardian and RealityWarper extraordinaire]].
*** And then [[spoiler:the Condesce]] copied this power for [[spoiler:herself. And used it to [[OhCrap enslave Dog Tier Jade]]]].
** John's friends eventually have the power to teleport, jump around in time, and manipulate luck. John just has [[BlowYouAway wind powers]]. And he ends up stronger than all of them put together simply because he [[spoiler:was tricked by Vriska]] into a permanent SuperMode.
** Vriska's mind control has kind of a weird power curve: it starts off very useful but becomes somewhat pointless when the game starts (there are 12 trolls around, some with resistance/immunity to boot, and like 50 million enemies? Awesome.). By the end of the session these 12 trolls have become absurdly powerful. And that's nothing compared to [[spoiler:all the ghosts of every dead Beta version.]]
** So it turns out that Gamzee can [[spoiler:amplify people's fears and give them terrible nightmares]]. He uses this to [[spoiler:doom the kids' universe.[[note]]Because of said nightmares, John draws harlequins all over his bedroom, leading Dad to collect them because he thinks it will bring him closer to John, so John ends up prototyping one that he got for his birthday, so all the Dersites wear harlequin clothing, which makes Jack Noir kill the Black Queen, become absurdly powerful, and set out to destroy everything in his path.[[/note]]]]
** This is done ''literally'' with the Heart aspect in Sburb. The fanbase assumed that Heroes of Heart were simply good at managing relationships. Eventually, we discover that in Sburb mechanics, Heart is roughly synonymous with [[spoiler:[[TropesOfTheSoul Soul]]]]. To hammer it in even further, this is revealed to a character known as the "[[spoiler:Prince]] of Heart", along with the fact that [[spoiler:"Prince" is a "destroyer" class]]. In other words, he's the "[[spoiler:Destroyer of Souls. He later proceeds to demonstrate his abilities by ripping Aranea's soul out of her body]].
*** This also makes Nepeta, the [[spoiler:Rogue]] of Heart, often portrayed as an innocent young troll, the [[spoiler:[[OhCrap Stealer of Souls]]]].
** Jade, with her friends flying around, creating super tornados, time traveling and using other amazing magic powers, was unsure of how useful her potential "space" powers were going to be when she would inherit them. Later she is shrinking planets to the size of baseballs, teleporting meteors, and accelerating battleships to the speed of light. (Though while changing the size of objects is certainly a power of the Space aspect, it is unclear whether teleportation and telekinesis are part of her Space powers or due to her [[spoiler:merging with [[PhysicalGod Becquerel]] and gaining his dog-like powers]].)
** Biscuit of the Felt's "power" is to hide in a broken oven, mistakenly believing it's a TimeMachine. Much later, it's revealed that said oven's true power is that it's BiggerOnTheInside. The entire Felt gang can be transported inside it.
** Roxy has the Rogue of Void power, which allows her to "steal nothing". She, understandably, thinks that her powers are [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway most useless of the bunch]]. Turns out, that she can [[spoiler:steal concept of nothingness from imaginary things, thus creating anything, she can imagine from nothing]].
* In ''Webcomic/SidekickGirl'', Illumina's powers are floating a few feet off the ground and creating light, powers that she has no idea how to use practically and uses them just to show off. Then she and Sidekick Girl have a FreakyFridayFlip, and the much smarter Sidekick Girl shows what these powers can ''really'' do, discovering that Illumina can fall safely from any height -- she slows into a hover rather than suddenly stopping by hitting the ground. As for light? Well, extremely high-intensity but otherwise normal light is the "flash" part of flash-bang grenades. Intense enough light can stun, as well as temporarily or even permanently blinding.
* [[BitchInSheepsClothing Ashlie Jackson]] of ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest: [[SpinOff Evolution]]''. Her power was that if she spoke, her speech would come off as SensoryAbuse rather than anything intelligible, causing the listener to feel ill. How does she use this? She uses it as a distraction so that she can get a bullet into someone while they're down.
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'': [[ChronicHeroSyndrome Elliot]] gains the ability to turn into a [[GenderBender girl]] by messing around with experimental alien technology and an ancient magical artifact (in that order). Elliot's a fairly well built martial artist, and his female form is a more idealized form, so the ability is really only useful for slipping out of ropes at first. It acts as the catalyst for turning him into an actual ''mage'', and later allows him to shapeshift into any female body he imagines... around the time this new magical power ''forces'' him to transform on a regular basis, because of all the previous interference. He quickly grows to find the transformations inconvenient, creepy, and awkward. Then he gets a spell which, while it still keeps him female, turns him into [[SuperGenderBender a superhero]] with some StockSuperpowers, and three "Secret Identity" forms which gently alter his behavior so as to keep a low profile. It's kind of a mix between this and MagikarpPower.
** Meanwhile, Edward Verres has the Power of Exposition. That is, he can explain complex subjects moderately well, conjuring (by magic?) charts and graphs to assist him. This suffices to protect earth from a [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2012-01-10 deathless army of rage]] on at least one occasion.
* In the Spanish-language [[http://www.afrikislife.net A Friki's Life]], an elf's gun of choice when surrounded by giant, carnivore ants: Invoking the flower fairies [[spoiler:in their circulatory systems]].
* Invoked at ''Luke Surl'' comic [[http://www.lukesurl.com/archives/1294 strip 299]].
* Done with a magical object rather than a person in ''[[Webcomic/{{Goblins}} Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes]]''. Forgath has the Anymug, an enchanted mug capable of creating any non-magical drink the owner desires. Emphasis on ''drink'' -- although it can produce disgusting things like urine that no person would ''willingly'' drink, it can't create anything that's outright too toxic or volatile to drink at all. When in a fight, he uses it to create an indefinite supply of Dragon Lung, an ultra-flammable liquid.
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'': The demons of urine and bad haircuts [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2008/06/26/episode-1009-demon-stration/ give Black Mage nightmares]].
* ''Webcomic/TheBeastLegion'': Xeus shows the power of his will by unleashing the Guardian Beast power on his own in the [[http://www.thebeastlegion.com/issue-09-page-57-achieving-the-impossible/ last page of Issue 09]].
* In ''Webcomic/OwMySanity'', Dave has such good luck with {{Eldritch Abomination}}s due to his inhumanly intense empathy. This tends to confuse and intrigue them enough for them not to eat his head and allows him to just roll with things that would cause others in the CthulhuMythos to go stark raving mad. Unfortunately, it's useless in interacting with other humans, as they use it as an excuse to treat him as a ''doormat''.
* ''Webcomic/LastRes0rt'' has a surprising number of these, justified by the FantasticRacism of the Celeste (the Celeste maintain schools where they learn to use the full cadre of their abilities, whereas the rest -- including Djinn and Light Children -- only learn of their powers once they gain access to one or two abilities, and rarely advance beyond that.) The end result means that "progress" from one ability to the next implies a new use of the old power:
** Jigsaw's abilities have slowly grown from merely being able to read thoughts (and communicate in kind) to the ability to generate illusions [[spoiler: and turn invisible]]
** Daisy's primary power appears to be her ability to 'bounce' (read: teleport), which she originally used to try and escape, but also works as a way to surprise foes from behind [[spoiler: and above]]!
* In ''ComicStrip/ThePerryBibleFellowship'' [[http://pbfcomics.com/136/ strip 136: Super League]], the Super Leage thinks of Caffeinator this way.
* ''Webcomic/GrrlPower'': Heavenly Sword's power, which as lampshaded as potentially being ''very'' adaptable by WordOfGod.

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* ''WebVideo/SuburbanKnights'' involves this [[spoiler:very literally with Ma-Ti. His ring is the one thing that can defeat [[BigBad Malachite]].]] As it turns out this delves more into CripplingOverspecialization, and it ended up [[spoiler:[[CastFromLifespan Casting From Lifespan]] and [[HeroicSacrifice killing Ma-Ti]]]].
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', the main character is a fifteen-year-old wannabe superhero in a world full of people with powers. While most famous heroes and villains have standard abilities like [[FlyingBrick flight, strength]], healing, speed, etc, she only has the power to control insects, spiders, and other invertebrates, but she's smart enough to come up with all sorts of creative ways to apply her powers. These include attacking with hundreds of black widow spiders and other venomous creatures, spying on people from two blocks away by looking through the eyes of insects, devising a bullet-resistant costume by commanding spiders to spin one from their silk, improvising a costume with carefully directed insects, which not only conceals her identity but intimidates her opponents with [[TheWormThatWalks a giant, creepy-looking human-shaped swarm]], arming even the nonstinging, nonvenomous insects (imagine being divebombed by bugs whose undersides are coated in capsaicin, the active ingredient in pepper spray, who are guided to your mouth, nostrils, and eyes), have her bugs vibrate to mimic speech, pull the pins on grenades, used spider threads as triplines or to cocoon people, and even [[spoiler:kill a NighInvulnerable character by cramming insects down their throat so that they suffocate]].
** Another example of a character with a very unimpressive power is Oliver, who is an EmpathicShapeshifter who involuntarily takes on traits that fit other people's ideals of beauty. [[ChekhovsGunman This turns out to be extremely important]] [[spoiler:because it allows him to impersonate the final BigBad's counterpart]].
** A [[LethalHarmlessPowers villainous example]] would be Nice Guy, who has the power to not be seen as a threat. People can still see and talk with him, but when his power is "on", they perceive him as [[TheNondescript just another face in the crowd.]] Even when committing murder in broad daylight.
* In ''Literature/DeadWest'', from all wielders of PsychicPowers, [[HealingHands Medices]] and [[BarrierWarrior Vindexes and Propugnators]] are considered weak and "soft". Guess what are the Porcelain Doctor's main powers. When you combine these powers with superior swordsmanship and a diamond will, you've got one terrifying juggernaut. The young and nice doctor can slaughter a dozen of commoners and two other aristocrats in a matter of minutes without getting killed, or protect the whole lazaretum by himself.
* In ''Roleplay/WeAreOurAvatars'', Sawbuck's ability to teleport him and his attacker to any place in the space-time continuum is used by Snowman to kick Drakina out of her building.
* Jack from ''Webcomic/ZebraGirl'' has power over all things ''plaid''. That sounds ridiculous and useless until Jack points out that at a near-microscopic level, any fabric's weave ''is'' a form of plaid. He used this logic to trap Harold Duvase (an evil Franchise/HarryPotter {{Expy}}) inside his own scarf and then banish him into another universe.
* Literature/WhateleyUniverse.
** Aquerna has the spirit of the squirrel, and is a joke on the campus of [[SuperheroSchool Whateley Academy]]. But in her combat final, she figured out how to use her powers to thrash one of the school bullies.
** Generator's power starts off looking ''unbelievably'' lame. But she keeps figuring out new things she can do with it (other than [[MundaneUtility babysitting and doing the dishes]]).
** Gateway can only open 'gates' to other places. Then she finds out she can summon things from other dimensions through those gates. Starting with Rythax, an intelligent winged panther-like thing bigger than a tiger.
** Verdant can secrete stuff. But she can secrete anything she can think of, through any of her glands. She can bite you and inject the deadliest poison known to exist.
* In the Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse, Madras had telekinetic control over fabrics, and only fabrics. That sounds like an amazingly lame power, until you look around and realize just how much fabric surrounds us every day of our lives (and the fact that most people go around covered in the stuff). Combine telekinetic control of fabric with a ten-foot-long canvas cape, and you've got one badass crimefighter.
* In the world of ''WebVideo/TalesFromMyDDCampaign'', what is the one race that the evil [[FishPeople Kua-Toa]] deemed too dangerous to permit to live even as slaves? The ones that summon elemental {{Mooks}} to do their bidding? The ones that shoot lightning bolts? No, the race that they truly fear are the ones that, like the Kua-Toa themselves, can freely breathe both air and water.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Comicbook/{{Aquaman}} receives this trope in the animated medium as well. ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited'' and ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' in particular use it to great effect and make him one of the most powerful characters in each series, while in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'' he uses microscopic aquatic organisms to control ''water itself''. In ''The Brave and the Bold'' he's weak primarily because he's by far the most relentlessly positive do-gooder GentlemanAdventurer and has very definite ideas about how a hero should behave, and most of those ideas involve faces and the punching thereof (not really where he shines, though he's reasonably strong). This leads to some rather hilarious sequences where he turns aside from a hopeless fist-fight to casually stop a large-scale natural disaster or weapon of mass destruction or other "non-heroic" issue in a matter of seconds, then returns to losing the fist-fight against the villain.
* Speaking of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'', B'wana Beast's ability to combine the best abilities of two different animals into hybrids didn't seem that useful (and at times, disturbing). However, the Followers of Starro saw the potential of his powers and used him to create a giant Starro monster.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', the Box Ghost becomes the definition of HarmlessVillain after the first few episodes and Danny gains some control of his powers, but his ADayInTheLimelight episode reveals 'control of all boxes' includes ''Pandora's Box'' (although that one [[HoistByHisOwnPetard kinda backfired]]). In the BadFuture episode, we meet Boxlunch, daughter of the Box Ghost and another recurring enemy, The Lunch Lady. She's got the powers of both her parents, which she quickly uses to create some PoweredArmor for herself. Not to mention Box Ghost himself TookALevelInBadass in the BadFuture, to where even his CatchPhrase "Beware" sounds threatening.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Captain Planet|AndThePlaneteers}}'':
** Ma-Ti [[TropeNamers himself]] is no pushover. In the ItsAWonderfulPlot episode where Wheeler never got the ring, Ma-Ti managed to get a snooty businessman to give him money. He can sense the location of seemingly any conscious life form, and if the comics are to be believed he can [[TelePathy read minds]], knock people out, [[MoreThanMindControl influence their decisions]] and command [[TheBeastMaster an endless horde of rabid wildlife to do his bidding]]. Used effectively, Heart really is the strongest power, and Gaia wasn't kidding when she told him that in the first episode. However, Ma-Ti is [[ChildrenAreInnocent so]] [[NiceGuy kind-hearted]] that he doesn't ''dare'' to use it to its full extent – [[FridgeBrilliance which is surely the ACTUAL reason why Gaia gave him the most powerful of the Rings]].
** In "The Conqueror", Zarm offers the Planeteers Iron Fists of their powers. Ma-Ti turns his down, though Zarm tells him he can control ''the hearts of the world''.
*** It sure helped that Ma-Ti's ring has cancelled out Zarm's [[CompellingVoice attempts at]] [[HypnoticEyes brainwashing him]]. That's right: the Heart Ring makes you ImmuneToMindControl.
** Also, the power of Heart apparently comes with the ability to "recharge" the other rings, as seen by the end of the "Summit to Save Earth, Part II" episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'': [[http://southpark.wikia.com/wiki/Mint-Berry_Crunch Mint Berry Crunch]] has the power of mint and berries yet with a satisfying tasty crunch! And use them as weapons. [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu To punch out Cthulhu.]]
* Vince, the one guy in ''WesternAnimation/VoltronForce'' who doesn't get a weapon or tool from his Voltcom, is arguably the strongest; he allows Voltron to [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands reconfigure its]] [[CombiningMecha component lions]] and overcome the Haggarium KryptoniteFactor.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': It's [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin right there in the title]].
** In the series premiere, Twilight Sparkle represents Magic in the Elements of Harmony, but she and her friends can't access the Elements' full potential until she learns the value of friendship.
-->'''Princess Celestia''': I saw the signs of Nightmare Moon's return, and I knew it was you who had the magic inside to defeat her, but you could not unleash it until you let true friendship into your heart.
** Amongst the unique abilities ponies possess, Fluttershy being the FriendToAllLivingThings is highly useful when [[PaintingTheFrostOnWindows nature needs to managed]], but doesn't seem that impressive. Except her ability really does include '''all''' living things, including a manticore, a ''gigantic'' adult dragon, a cockatrice, Cerberus, and even [[spoiler:the spirit of chaos himself]], all of whom she managed to pacify with nothing but a firm tone and a kind touch (with occasional help from [[DeathGlare The Stare]]). Good thing she's the nice, shy little pegasus she is...
** Earth ponies don't have any obvious magic, unlike the unicorns, who cast spells from their horns, and the pegasi, who walk on clouds, control weather, and have tactile telekinesis that allows them to tow things while in flight. According to WordOfGod, they're stronger and have more endurance than a unicorn or pegasus of comparable physique, and have a deeper connection with nature[[note]]Making Fluttershy a bit of an odd duck, since she's a pegasus whose specialty lies within the earth pony domain[[/note]] and the earth. The latter means that they are inherently better at growing and tending plants of any kind, to the point where in ancient times earth ponies were the only pony tribe capable of producing food, and even in modern times only earth ponies have ever been seen growing anything. The greater strength of earth ponies is seen most notably in "Hearts and Hooves Day", where an earth pony schoolteacher is strong enough to break through two walls when properly motivated (and without ImpactSilhouette, she just demolishes it), while one who is notably stronger than average is shown effortlessly towing a ''house''. While ''skipping.''
** Maud Pie, Pinkie's sister, was able to reduce a boulder to ''dust'' with her bare hooves to save Pinkie. Though, like Big Mac, she is atypical (if all earth ponies were that strong, Pinkie wouldn't have needed saving. Though Pinkie ''is'' strong enough to effortlessly toss another pony over her 'shoulder' on a few occasions.)
** However, it's the GreenThumb abilities that really fit the trope. Pegasi can fly! Unicorns can do magic! Earth ponies can... uh... garden. [[SarcasmMode Woooow.]] But think again: it's ''only'' them who have the ability to tend the soil and make crops grow. This means they are in fact the most essential of the races. ''Life itself'' is made possible by them. No pegasi? The weather's no longer under ponies' control. No unicorns? Some things that are easier with magic will be harder now. No earth ponies? ''Everyone starves to death once the food runs out.''
** Pinkie Pie's special ability is making other ponies happy. While this mostly manifests in throwing sweet parties and being a delightful {{Cloudcuckoolander}}, this also gives her access to the RuleOfFunny, allowing her to regularly perform feats that [[WrongContextMagic break the magical rules of Equestria]], most forms of logic, and ''[[FourthWallObserver the fourth wall]]'', interrupting the IrisOut on three separate occasions.
*** Pinkie's "party cannon" helps her set up parties super fast. As the changeling fight showed, it can also be used as an actual cannon.
*** It was shown that Equestria is home to a type of elemental called Windigos whose special ability is to turn the entire world to endless winter if the ponies are in discord with each other. Pinkie Pie's parties are ''holding the apocalypse at bay.''
** A literal example with Princess Cadence, the third Alicorn in the series. She's a LoveGoddess who has the power to repair the bonds between ponies and spread love wherever she goes. Compared to the {{Physical God}}dess level abilities her aunts show, this doesn't seem as impressive. Then you remember that ThePowerOfFriendship is the most powerful magic in the world, and ThePowerOfLove is its close cousin. Cue her and her husband-to-be using ThePowerOfLove [[spoiler:to deliver a HeartBeatDown to [[BigBad Queen Chrysalis]] that sends her and her minions ''[[TwinkleInTheSky hurtling over the horizon]]''.]] We see in the Season 3 opener that her love magic is capable of repelling King Sombra, an ancient and extremely powerful unicorn king who took ''both'' her super powered aunts to defeat a thousand years ago.
** In ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E26TwilightsKingdomPart2 Twilight's Kingdom Part 2]]'', [[ThePowerOfFriendship The Elements of Harmony]], in their Rainbow Power form, are more powerful than the magic Tirek absorbed from countless ponies across Equestria, including that of the four alicorn Princesses and [[MixAndMatchCritters the personification of Chaos itself]].
* The aforementioned Stinkor in ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse2002''. In this cartoon, the character got the chance to show just how lame of a power stink really was, and He-Man was almost defeated. In later episodes, Skeletor treated Stinkor much better than his other minions, just because of how powerful he was. Stinkor's stench is so awful that Skeletor has to hold his nose around him. ''[[TheNoseless Skeletor doesn't have a nose]]''. Another episode showed that his stench is strong enough to send dragons running for the hills, no easy feat. He proceeded to clear out basically every dragon in the country so Skeletor's plan could move forwards (the dragons were the natural predators of his latest weapons).
* Creator/DCComics' Sportsmaster is a minor super-villain who uses sport-themed gimmicks. In ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', [[AdaptationalBadass he's one of the most powerful villains]], and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_sports his repertoire seems to have been expanded greatly]], to the extent that he's effectively an evil version of Batman.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'':
** Some of Ben's alien forms. Most notably, Grey Matter's power is to be small and have high intelligence. Seems pretty weak, until you realize he can build a lasergun out of pieces of crap, destroy {{Killer Robot}}s from the inside, hide in smaller spaces and outsmart most opponents. The Omnitrix, which give Ben his ability to turn into aliens, was created by a guy from Grey Matter's species (and he is considered to be the smartest sentient being in multiple GALAXIES).
** In a [[AlternateUniverse now alternate]] future episode, [[spoiler:Ben's son Kenny used Grey Matter to hack the Omnitrix (being given his own as a birthday present) and turn off the power limiter, therefore giving him access to all alien forms currently available with no time limit between them]].
** We also see Grey Matter's ability proven in the ''Showdown'' two-parter of ''Omniverse.'' After trying to ever since getting the new Omnitrix, Ben ''finally'' re-unlocks Humungousaur, takes on the shapeshifting monster... and is quickly cocooned. He tries to switch to Way Big, gets Grey Matter instead... and realizes how to ''immediately'' take down the monstrosity with a precise nerve pinch.
** Cannonbolt is an in-universe example. The first new alien Ben unlocks after the original ten, Ben laments that all the form can do is turn into a ball and roll around. It's only later in the episode that he finds out that when Cannonbolt picks up speed, his tough shell makes him more or less a free-rolling wrecking ball. Not only does Cannonbolt rip the planet-destroying MonsterOfTheWeek apart from the inside out, but he goes on to become one of Ben's more prominent alien forms. As seen in "Be Afraid of the Dark", Cannonbolt can survive ''atmospheric re-entry'' and the resulting crash into the earth while encircling two completely normal people (who are likewise unharmed).
** Toepick's sole power is... being ugly. Sounds useless, right? Except his masked visage is [[BrownNote so hideous when seen, it terrifies the unlucky sod who caught a glimpse of it]]. So far, each occasion where Ben used him ended up defeating the villain he was facing in a matter of seconds, and showrunner Derrick J. Wyatt has said that if ''[[RealityWarper Alien X's]] [[PhysicalGod halves]]'' saw Toepick, ''they'd be terrified.''
* In ''WesternAnimation/SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries'' when everyone ends up inside Harvey's comic book world, Sabrina's power is to make squids shoot out of her hands. It seems pretty useless until Harvey's draw-it-and-it-comes-to-life pen gun runs out of ink and Sabrina remembers what squids are good for...
* ''WesternAnimation/SchoolhouseRock'': Zero the Hero's power seems useless on surface, but at one section he alters any number by the power of 10 through adding (and presumably removing) zeroes. He also altered weights by adding zeroes, making it literally heavier. He created money by altering the $4 written on a piggy bank to a $4000, and there doesn't appear to be any limit to this. So he theoretically could change reality, simply by altering numbers. If there was box of "10 guns" he could grow it to a box of "1,000,000 guns" and supply an army. This also implies he could reduce anything to zero as well, causing it to vanish! He didn't do much in the video besides making some small-time money and making weights heavier, but he is still young yet... [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxYsgRsNg2s The video.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' episode "Mega Diaper Babies", when the babies are imagining themselves as superheroes, Chuckie is forced to be "Stinky" and constantly complains about it. However, after the others are [[CurbStompBattle Curbstomped]] by BigBad Angelitron, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Stinky's stench overwhelms her and causes her to self destruct]].
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/MenInBlack'', after exposure to an alien device, Kay becomes a golem and Elle gets telekinesis and heat vision while Jay apparently only gained enhanced gymnastic skills. However, in the FinalBattle with the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters Of The Week]] who were also give superpowers, it's revealed that Jay also gained SuperSpeed.
-->'''Jay''': Jack be nimble, Jack be quick!
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls''. The Ameoba Boys may be the GoldfishPoopGang, but in one episode, they (accidentally) became a virulent plague capable of taking down an entire population with sickness.