[[quoteright:350:[[Manga/{{Bleach}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Shonen_Upgrade_9507.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:TheHero's progression.''[[note]]And there are many more forms post-timeskip[[/note]]'']]

->'''Goku''': ''(Transforms)'' This is a Super Saiyan. And this... ''(Transforms ''again'')'' ...this is what is known as a Super Saiyan that has ascended past a Super Saiyan. Or, you could just call this a Super Saiyan 2.\\
'''Babidi''': Ho hum. What a useless transformation. You've changed your hair. So what?\\
'''Goku''': Just wait...\\
'''Piccolo''': Has he really found a way to surpass an Ascended Saiyan? Is that possible?\\
'''Krillin''': He must be bluffing. I mean, what would that make him? DOUBLE ascended?\\
'''Goku''': And this... ''(Begins powering up)'' '''IS... TO GO... EVEN... FURTHER... BEYOND!!'''
-->-- ''Anime/DragonBallZ''

NextTierPowerUp is an item, power, or transformation gained by a main character to drastically increase their abilities. Most commonly it's some sort of "special ability" or "new move," like a SuperMode. It sometimes appears as an EleventhHourSuperpower, a DangerousForbiddenTechnique, or, rarely, IAmNotLeftHanded.

The NextTierPowerUp usually involves more than "just" training; there's always some exterior source for the power, like a magic weapon, an [[LifeEnergy infusion]] of ''[[KiAttacks ki]]'', or a TransformationRay. Many of the more powerful {{Next Tier Power Up}}s have some sort of [[PowerAtAPrice downside]] attached, such as risk of a HeroicRROD ([[DeadlyUpgrade if]] [[PowerDegeneration not]] [[TheCorruption worse]]) if used too much, or a risk of [[SuperpoweredEvilSide losing yourself]] to TheDarkSide.

All true Next Tier Power Ups bring a shift in the status quo, a handoff in the caliber of villain the series will deal with. [[SortingAlgorithmOfEvil Villains of the past will now be entirely outclassed on their next appearance]], if they even get one. Most should just take some time off, [[CharacterLevel and find some low level monsters to beat up]], or [[TrainingFromHell train]], generally for a story arc or two [[TookALevelINBAdass before they come back]]. The status quo is reset to a new higher level compared to previous parts of the story, and the character grows.

One variable is when the upgrade happens. The upgrade could happen early in the arc/season, to give the hero a fighting chance on the new big bad, if so it is likely to have serious downsides that the hero must struggle with that prevent it from being used to its full potential until an important climax moment. Or it can happen at the end of an arc/season. When the next arc rolls in, the new big bad outclasses the old one in every way. Either event it marks a shift from a previous era of the series. Or it could come right before the arc's final battle, to let the hero defeat the Big Bad who's been outclassing the hero up til then.

Done well often results in a CrowningMomentOfAwesome; however, if the new ability is poorly introduced, lacks proper build up, or is forgotten about after one use and this happens too much it [[TropesAreTools risks]] mutating into NewPowersAsThePlotDemands. The [[HumongousMecha Mecha Series]], equivalent is the MidSeasonUpgrade. This trope is the greatest weapon of a SmallStepsHero. Contrast OneSuperOnePowerset, which is more common in Western media than in the East.



[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* The [[TropeCodifier most well known example]] of this trope is the various levels of Super Saiyan from ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', though early on there was a previous NextTierPowerUp in the form of the Kaioken, which increased Goku's power at the cost of [[HeroicRROD the toll it would take on his body]] [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique if he used it at too high an intensity]], as well as a later NextTierPowerUp during the Majin Buu saga in the form of Fusions. [[spoiler: The Kaio-Ken actuallly becomes relevant again later on, as Goku learns to combine it with his newest SuperMode. Unfortunately, in spite of the massive speed increase, this has a much bigger backlash on his body than when he used it against Vegeta since he combined it with a form that already drains energy steadily, resulting in his muscles violently swelling and constricting.]]
** Saiyans have this trope as a biological ability. Recovering from near-death injuries cause a permanently massive boost in strength, speed, and ki.
** In ''Manga/DragonBall'', Goku, desperate to kill King Piccolo drinks the "Ultra Divine Water", a magic water that unlocks the drinker's latent powers if they can survive its poisonous and painful effects.[[note]]Which might explain why a supposedly low-class Saiyan can train his strength to surpass Saiyan elites.[[/note]]
** {{Subverted}} earlier on, after almost being killed by the world's deadliest assassin, he goes to Korin's tower to get the magic water. After spending several days trying to take it from Korin, he succeeds, and feels much stronger after drinking it... only for Korin to reveal that it's just tap water! The boost in strength he got was from the workout of trying to take it from him. The Ultra Divine Water he drinks later on is the real deal, though.
** As far as supporting characters go, there's also Piccolo merging first with Nail and later with Kami; and Krillin, Gohan, and Dende getting their hidden potential unlocked by Guru.
** Frieza, after his [[Anime/DragonBallZResurrectionF revival]], trains to unlock a new form that puts him on par with the heroes again.
* Even Seinen manga are not immune from this. Though Guts of ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' doesn't learn any shounen-y techniques as the manga goes on, his acquisition of the [[{{BFS}} Dragon Slayer]] and the cannon-arm after the Eclipse definitely counts as an upgrade, as does the Berserker Armor later on, though this latter definitely comes with a downside in the form of his EnemyWithin getting strengthened every time he uses it.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** Shinigami have 3 forms to their Zanpakuto: "Unreleased", "Shikai", and "Bankai". Ichigo starts unreleased, loses his powers, skips straight to Shikai upon regaining his powers, and later gains Bankai in two-and-a-half days (it normally takes years for shinigami to gain Bankai). In addition, Ichigo's Hollow powers are a similar example, powers acquired, not through training, but by dramatic need, usually after being [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice stabbed]]. As the power levels increase throughout the story, Ichigo's dramatic power-ups have become more and more extreme.
** In seven days, Uryuu goes from being unable to fight a lieutenant that's at 20% power to being able to one-shot a captain and his Bankai. Afterwards, he loses his power from the type of power-up he used and is chewed out by his father for it. His father comments that had he not run off half-cocked (before his power was ready for the power-up), he'd actually have been able to win his fight off his base abilities without needing that special power-up at all. Cue the final arc, and his power has suddenly become extremely important to everyone's fate; not only is he receiving Ichigo-style power-ups as a result, he's also destined to surpass the BiggerBad, [[spoiler: Yhwach]], in power.
** As a result of the villain power levels in the final arc, even the captains are being curbstomped, prompting interventions by the mysterious Royal Guard. The type of training the Royal Guard put several characters through results in lieutenants becoming far more powerful than the captains who have not been put through this training. [[spoiler:Renji, Rukia, Byakuya and Ichigo are all given direct Royal Guard training whereas Kyouraku (implied to at the advice of the Royal Guard) orders Unohana to put Kenpachi through TrainingFromHell to receive his.]]
* ''Manga/BoboboBoBoBobo'' 's Next Tier Power Ups are direct parodies of ''Dragonball Z'''s Super Saiyan and Fusions.
* ''Manga/BusouRenkin'' has the revelation that Kazuki's kakugane is actually one of the three black kakugane capable of turning its wielder into a super-powered WalkingWasteland that drains the life from everyone around them. [[spoiler: The upgrade actually becomes the driving force of the second half of the story, since Kazuki needs his kakugane to live, and the transformation is supposedly irreversible and will eventually cause him to remain in that form permanently, causing his former allies to turn on him.]] The transformation also causes a more standard upgrade, in the form of a new Sunlight Heart.
* ''Manga/{{Claymore}}'' has series protagonist Clare acquire new abilities by either observation, but she also does so by assimilating people. It's more friendly than most PowerCopying, but the trope still applies.
** At one point, she gains a NextTierPowerUp by taking another more powerful character's arm and [[AppendageAssimilation attaching it to her own body]]. Especially interesting because the other character gave up the arm willingly as a "parting gift," and even cut it off herself.
* In ''Manga/DGrayMan'', Allen Whine Rand is the most guilty of them all and is all gained through sheer willpower and emotion. Kanda and Lenalee also earn this by having their Innocence transform into an unknown Crystalline form. Tyki Mikk as well, to an extent.
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' uses this fairly often; the evolving each digimon does could be considered a possible version of this trope, although a straighter example is the Burst Mode from Digimon Data Squad/Savers. The Burst Mode granted the digimon partners incredible power, beyond that of Mega/Ultimate level, but had a downside in that if negative emotions were used to generate it, the digimon would enter Ruin Mode instead, which would send it on a mindless rampage until it destroyed itself.
** Adventure did this too, you can mark the change in the plot based on the last Champion level (Angemon), the first 'proper' Ultimate level (Metalgreymon), and the [[EleventhHourSuperpower Arrows of Light and Hope]] creating Megas (Wargreymon and Metalgarurumon).
** Adventure 02 shifts between two significant modes of evolution, from Armor Digivolving in the early series to [[FusionDance DNA Digivolving]] in the second half.
* ''Anime/FairyMusketeers'': Akazukin's Princess mode.
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'', has a LOT of examples:
** Natsu typically fights with his normal Flame Dragon Slayer magic, but has two different but arguably equally powerful power-ups. One is Dragon Force which he gets when eating powerful magically imbued substance like Lacrima crystals and it increases his powers to that of a true dragon (although this is still debatable, seeing that he can barely make a dent in a fight with real dragons). His second power-up is the Lightning Flame Dragon mode which he gained when he ate Laxus's lightning during the fight with Master Hades at Tenroujima and it allows him to combine his fire-based attacks with lightning, more than doubling its powers. He can enter Lightning Flame mode at will, but using it will exhaust him much faster than usual.
** Gajeel has two different power-ups as well. He normally fights with his Iron Dragon Slayer mode but can enter Iron Shadow Dragon mode at will, which he attained after he forcefully ingested Rogue's shadows during their fight at the Grand Magic Tournament. Recently, during his battle with Tartaros's Torafuza, he managed to turn his Iron Dragon's Sword attack into Steel Dragon's Sword by absorbing the carbon in Torafuza's poisoned Black Water attack.
** Wendy has no special combined powers like Natsu or Gajeel other than her normal Sky Dragon magic, but she recently gained Dragon Force after breathing in the pure air in the cave where Face was found in her battle with Tartaros's Ezel.
** Laxus is different than the other Dragon Slayers in that he typically fights with normal non-Dragon Slayer lightning magic, which by itself, is as powerful as the others normal Dragon Slayer magic (he defeated the entire Raven Tail team with just this). He automatically enters Dragon Force whenever he uses his Dragon Slayer magic at all. Thus he only uses this when he fights powerful opponents like Jura or Tempesta (or a two-on-one match against both Natsu and Gajeel) and his Dragon Slayer magic has been seen to be more powerful than most of the Dragon Slayers' power-ups.
** Sting and Rogue have two levels of power-ups to their White and Shadow Dragon modes. First is the White Drive and Shadow Drive which enhances their power and speed a step above their normal levels. The second is Dragon Force, which they can enter at will as they have Lacrima crystals embedded inside their bodies and this will power them up exponentially.
** Right before the TournamentArc, the main cast receives something called Second Origin from Ultear, which is basically just an increase of magic that one user can use. It has the same effect as this trope though as they all became exceptionally more powerful; Gray's ice making becomes larger, Lucy can summon and maintain two spirits at once when her previous limit was one at a time, and Erza can use an exceptionally powerful armor with it.
** In the Tartaros Arc, Gray also gets a variant of slayer magic called Devil Slayer Magic [[spoiler: which his undead father passed onto him.]] Not only does it make him stronger but unlike Dragon Slayer magic against dragons, it is ''very'' effective against demons, who just happened to be the main antagonists of that arc.
** After the second TimeSkip, Lucy gets another power up that allows her to utilize the abilities of her spirits by donning different clothes similar to Erza's requip. Now she can fight on the frontlines along with Natsu and the others rather than just relying on her spirits.
* ''Manga/{{Freezing}}'s'' protagonist [[{{Determinator}} Will. Not. Lose.]] And because she refuses to give up, she keeps drawing on and gaining more and more power.
* Trans Am technology in ''Anime/{{Gundam 00}}'' is pretty much this. In the end, though, its subverted [[spoiler: as the hero and the main villain end up going into older, out dated machines for their final battle]].
* In ''Manga/{{Guyver}}'' there is the Gigantic upgrade for each character equipped with a Guyver. Only problem there is a limit on using it and is essentially a suit that can be worn by only one character at a time. Aptom himself can qualify in which he slowly gains more power by absorbing more Zoanoid types.
** Guyver I can take the Gigantic upgrade a step further by transforming into the Gigantic Exceed, an [[HumongousMecha apartment-sized bio-armor]]. He's used it once so far, to fight the Zoalord Kabarl Khan in his equally huge zoanoid form.
* ''Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure'': Super Silhouette, Heartcatch Orchestra, and ''finally'' the Mugen Silhouette. That last one is best described as ''Franchise/PrettyCure'' [[XMeetsY meets]] ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann''. HCPC is one of the most Shounen-y straightly-played MagicalGirl shows ever.
* ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven'' gets rather obsessed with this. Since SoLastSeason is always in effect, the main characters have to get constant upgrades just to [[DownToTheLastPlay barely win]].
** The sequel, ''Inazuma Eleven GO'' ramps it UpToEleven with the avaliabilty of [[Manga/SaintSeiya power armors]], [[DragonBall transformations]], and [[BlueDragon shadow avatars]]. Arguably almost every possible NextTierPowerUp is in this one show.
* ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'' has this, especially when the various rings start kicking in. Especially with [[TheHero Tsuna]], who gets glove and Box power-ups like nobody's business. [[spoiler: This comes back to bite him when fighting his father. Reborn tells Tsuna that he relied too much on his Next Tier Power Ups and not enough on his strength which he needs to defeat Iemitsu. He doesn't, but he does better after Reborn's motivational speech.]]
* ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'' gave Fate and Nanoha rebuilt forms of Bardiche and Raising Heart respectively after both were nearly destroyed in their first fight with the Wolkenritter. Aside from a general power boost, both Devices have the new Belkan cartridge system, new modes and both of them got new names: Bardiche Assault and Raising Heart Exelion. In ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'', Nanoha and Fate got upgraded version of their {{Super Mode}}s; Nanoha's Exelion Mode is upgraded into the Exceed Mode, and Fate's Sonic Form is upgraded into the Shin Sonic Form. Moreover, Raising Heart Exelion got the Blaster System, and Bardiche Assault got the Riot Zanber.
** In ''Manga/MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce'', Thoma plays it straight. When Thoma reacted for the first time, his Reacted Mode had a red cape, his pants had free places, his waist cape was red on the inside, and he had one marking only on his face. He gained more marking on his body when he transformed a second time, and since his third time, his Combat Protective Clothing changed to the Kurokishi Mode ("Black Knight Mode"); it's more armored, the armor part on the left arm is completely different, the Divider is much bigger and looks more dangerous and crazier, the pants are different, the red cape disappeared and the waist cape is black on the inside now, there are much more markings on Thoma's body, and the Bible of the Silver Cross in accompanying him. After Thoma gained the ability to control his Eclipse powers, he doesn't get red eyes any more, but either green or purple.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' has several of these. Several characters are half-demons with superpowered demon forms to match. Anyone with a Pactio can supercharge their strength with magic as well as summon a powerful artifact. Negi himself has his BlackMagic. [[spoiler: Not to mention his own Pactio]].
** After being defeated in her rematch with Tsukiyomi, Setsuna eventually gets one of these in the Magic World arc [[spoiler:via her new Pactio formed with Konoka, which granted her a different Pactio Card than the one she got from Negi]].
** And then there is the ''[[YinYangBomb kanka]]'' technique Asuna (re)learns during the Mahora Festival Budoki.
** It's also mentioned that Kotarou has the same ability as the Saiyans mentioned above - that is, after being defeated he comes back stronger.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': Late in the series, Kouji Kabuto learnt to combine his HumongousMecha RocketPunch with EverythingIsBetterWithSpinning to create Big Swing Rocket Punch (essentially, Kouji spins Mazinger's arms at full speed before shooting its fists). It counts like this trope and not like a MidSeasonUpgrade because it was not a new weapon installed into the mecha, but a new technique invented by Kouji drastically increased his power (It was several times stronger than a normal RocketPunch).
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', the title character's Kyuubi tails are a form of this, as is the forming of Sasuke Uchiha's Sharingan mid-fight-scene. Choji Akimichi's special Food Pills also count. There is also Orochimaru's Curse Seal, which Kimimaro, the Sound Four, and Sasuke all have. Kankuro gains more Ninja Puppets, while Tenten gets Weapon Scrolls. Later on, there is Jiraya and [[spoiler: Naruto ''again'']] with Sage Mode. Naruto then gains [[spoiler:full access to the Kyuubi's chakra by [[ThePowerOfFriendship befriending it.]]]] And, of course, Rock Lee and Might Guy have the Eight Gates to move up through. Naruto uses the trope a lot.
* Most of the ''Franchise/OnePiece'' characters gained a new weapon, tool, or power in the Skypeia arc.
** Specifically, Zoro gained a RazorWind attack and Nami got a Jet Ski. The real upgrader was the [=CP9=] Arc, when Luffy gained two new forms, Chopper became TheBerserker (temporarily), Nami and Usopp upgraded their previous weapons, Usopp started to gain confidence, Sanji set his attacks on fire, and Zoro tripled his swords to nine.
** The Fishman Island arc has had the crew reveal even MORE upgrades. Though these are completely justified, seeing as they spent 2 whole years specifically to gain Next Tier Power Ups.
* In the anime of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' this is subverted because no matter what evolutions Ash's team go through, and what he learns about battles during the storyarc, he resets to Pikachu for the next region. [[StatusQuoIsGod Causing no change at all.]]
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'': A particularly heartbreaking example with Akemi Homura, right at the last episode. To wit, [[spoiler:Madoka's wish turns her into a Goddess-like MagicalGirl, but she can no longer exist in this world. So, Madoka passes some of her powers to Homura as a proof of their bond.]] [[TragicKeepsake It's the black bow from the promotional materials]].
** Madoka's [[spoiler:Goddess-like form]] also counts. It's probably a ShoutOut to the aforementioned Infinity Silhouette.
** ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'' [[spoiler: has a dark example of this trope. At the end of the movie, Homura grabs onto Madoka's hands and prevents her from purifying her Soul Gem. Instead of turning into a witch, Homura's Soul Gem fills with ThePowerOfLove, and the human Madoka is seperated from her goddess self. Homura's Soul Gem then shatters and is replaced with a new item named the [[AllThereInTheManual Black Orb]], while Homura herself becomes a self-proclaimed [[SatanicArchetype demon.]]]]
* ''Anime/QueensBlade'' has the protagonist Reina learning Dragon Tail from Echidna.
* [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Tsukune]] from ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'' receives one in the form of an {{emergency transformation}}. He has gained the powers of a vampire, subsequently received training from [[TheAce Inner Moka]], and most recently [[spoiler:had his body modified so that he can fight on par with [[TheDragon Akuha]]. [[TookALevelInBadass It worked]]]].
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' has the eponymous protagonist learning Amakakeru Ryuu no Hirameki from his estranged mentor, while Sanosuke learns Futae no Kiwami ([[MemeticMutation AAAAAHHHHH!]]) from the wandering monk Anji [[spoiler:who is in league with the BigBad Shishio]]. They barely win the day even with those {{Dangerous Forbidden Technique}}s. [[spoiler:Somewhat note worthy in that NONE of the secret techniques work..the main Villain dies via a deus ex machina after soundly besting ALL of them.]]
* In ''Anime/SCryed'', Kazuma goes out to upgrade his Alter power because it is too weak, then later gets an additional upgrade at the end of the series through willpower. Ryuho also follows this, but his first upgrade is more an IAmNotLeftHanded, in that he had it retroactively.
* ''Manga/SaintSeiya'':
** The Sacred Cloths of Athena change into sleeker, more impressive new forms whenever they're destroyed and have to be rebuilt (especially the Bronze Cloths, which are broken at least once per series.) Works as a non-sexual form of {{Fanservice}} as the Constellation form of the Cloths [[CostumePorn becomes more and more intricately detailed with each iteration]] -- the original Pegasus and Cygnus Cloths required a LOT of imagination to resemble a winged horse or a swan, but by the time they became [[spoiler:Divine Cloths through Athena's blood]] they were near-perfect reproductions -- and they cover more and more of their Saint's body at the same time.
** In regards to the Saints themselves, their goal in the Sanctuary Arc was to awaken to the mystical [[EleventhHourSuperpower Seventh Sense]], which would allow them to perceive the [[BattleAura Cosmo]] of faster-than-light Gold Saints and counterattack. In the [[BigBad Hades]] Arc, the objective was the ''[[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands Eighth]] Sense'', which grants them entrance into [[{{Hell}} the Hades]] while still being alive. Then, when facing Hades' [[TheDragon Dragons, Thanatos and Hypnos]], the overwhelming force of the Bronze Saints' Cosmo upgrades them (and their Cloths, see above) [[AGodAmI to godly levels]].
* Subverted with ''Manga/ShamanKing'', where "furyoku" is set at birth and can only be raised by near-death experiences. Then double-subverted when several characters who can [[BackFromTheDead resurrect]] people allows the FiveManBand to die once or twice in order to get stronger, even to the point of having LITERAL TrainingFromHell.
* In ''Manga/SoulEater'', the main duo's driving goal is to obtain their NextTierPowerUp by turning Soul into a Death Scythe. [[spoiler: They eventually succeed.]] Black*Star and Tsubaki also get the katana upgrade.
** After some training in Japan (manga-only), Black Star and Tsubaki unlock the ''true'' potential of the Uncanny Sword, gaining a [[DarkIsNotEvil shadow form]] of every one of Tsubaki's forms.
* This was mercilessly parodied in episode 5 of ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'' when Kotetsu and Barnaby discover their "Good Luck Mode" and uses it to defeat an opponent [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope only to find out that]] [[CoolButInefficient it doesn't do anything other than make them look cooler]]]].
** There's also a much more serious subversion in the second half of the series. For reasons unknown, Kotetsu suddenly gains an incredible boost in power at the cost of a slightly shorter [[HourOfPower time limit]] on his [[SuperMode Hundred Power]]. At first he's quite excited that his NEXT abilities are evolving...until he learns that [[spoiler:this sudden increase in strength is actually the first sign that his powers are ''fading'', "like a candle that burns brightest just before it burns out".]]
* In ''Anime/{{Transformers}}'', it's traditional for the Autobot/Maximal leader to get some sort of upgrade or SuperMode before the final scene.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'', the God Cards are a version of this. So are the Orichalcos arc Legendary Dragon cards, which were brought into the main character's deck by pure willpower and TheMagicPokerEquation. The cards ''didn't actually exist'' before the moment the main character needed them and they magically came into existence.
** In ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', Judai/Jaden's Elemental Hero Neos and the Neos Fusions count too.
** Clear Mind and its advanced stages (which produces Accel Synchro monsters) and Burning Soul (which allows you to summon Red Nova Dragon) for ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds''.
** The forms of ZEXAL used by Yuma and Astral when they merge in ''Anime/YuGiOhZEXAL'' are most definitely this, labelled in Duels as ZEXAL, ZEXAL II, and ZEXAL III, all allowing the user to create new cards through Shining Draw, ZEXAL II can transform a card into its true form while in the hand via Shining Evolution/Re-Contract Universe, and ZEXAL III creates a ZEXAL Field to prevent the debilitating effects supernatural Duels can have. They look a LOT like Super Saiyan forms and get just as flashy each time they transform. Then, there's Dark ZEXAL, the dark version of the first one.
* In ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' this happens several times.
** Before and during the final round of the the Dark Tournament ''all four'' of the core characters got one. Yusuke had Genkai's enormous spirit power transferred to him; Kuwabara received the Trial Sword; Kurama got a potion to turn him into his stronger kitsune form; Hiei had his Dragon of the Darkness Flame technique turned back on him and absorbed it for a huge power boost.
** Kuwabara had the first of the Chapter Black arc when his jigen-tou manifested. Later, Yusuke [[spoiler:died and came back as a demon.]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': Harry Dresden's {{Hellfire}}, then [[DiscardAndDraw Soulfire]], then [[spoiler: [[LadyAndKnight Status as the Winter Knight]]]]. Two out of three were [[DealWithTheDevil Deals with the Devil]] (one nearly literal), making them upgrades with a great deal of trade-off, and the odd one out [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique causes temporary damage to his soul when used]]. The 'enemies of the past are too weak to be an issue' aspect of the trope doesn't come up very often, since most of the entities he faces were crazy strong to begin with, consider how much trouble he had with ghouls and Red Court vampires in the earlier books compared with now. [[spoiler: Okay, he doesn't actually have ''any'' trouble with the Red Court now on account of how he killed them all, but if he ''did'' it'd be less trouble than in earlier books.]]
* ''Literature/OctoberDaye'' books. Giving her better magic, endurance, stamina, night vision, and just about everything else but humanity.
* ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'': The Ideals are practically designed for this. Each Order of the Knights Radiant has five Ideals, with the first being the same for every Order ("Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination") and the next four unique. When a Knight swears the next Ideal, the efficiency of their [[{{Mana}} Stormlight]] use increases, and they suck in all the Stormlight within range to [[HealingFactor heal from any wounds]] and [[PowerGlows glow like the sun]]. Interestingly, the Ideals ''only'' modulate efficiency. A Knight can use all their abilities before swearing any Ideals, they just don't know how. This is why the Heralds, who had no ideals at all, were so powerful; while their Stormlight use was much less efficient than the normal Knights, [[WeakButSkilled they had thousands of years of practice with their abilities]].


[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* The most well known example from live action TV is the conversion of [[HumongousMecha Dinozords]] to the new Thunderzords in ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers''.
** A lesser known example involves the Rangers themselves: recent seasons involve advanced versions of the Ranger ''suits'', their usage ranging from HourOfPower to MidSeasonUpgrade variants.
* Franchise/KamenRider has the general formula of the Heisei Riders getting their powers, learning how to use the many alternate weapons and forms provided by their TransformationTrinket, undergo CharacterDevelopment right before getting a MidSeasonUpgrade then finally get their ultimate SuperMode form shortly before the finale. SerialEscalation with the summer movies providing an extra form optional.
** Interestingly, a few Showa Riders gained these sorts of powers, too. Series/KamenRiderStronger gained a special SuperMode partway through the series to help deal with stronger foes. Series/KamenRiderBlack is the odd one of the bunch - he doesn't change throughout the series, but becomes Series/KamenRiderBlackRX in the sequel series, then gains two extra forms - Bio Rider and Robo Rider.

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* This is more or less how leveling up works in many games. A character grows in strength, allowing them to face more difficult challenges and go on broader adventurers.
* [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons D&D]] has some clear examples beyond the gradual power boosts that come with levelling for magic users. Obtaining 3rd, 6th and 9th level spells. 3rd level grants classic wizardly powers like fireballs which are the first big damage aoe spells, healers are now able to bring back the dead at this level too. 6th level provides a new tier of magical power with bigger and bigger jumps between spell levels from this point on, Disintigrate in particular can one-shot anything below Bosses. 9th level spells grant godlike power to all casters. The ability to travel anywhere at all short of a God's own house, or summon anything save said God from those places. The power to level cities with a single spell or transform into a Dragon or stop time is unlocked. Finally, the Wish spell is here, this is the point at which casters become literal reality warpers. Anything is possible with a Wish, the only limits are what the DM is willing to permit.[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Vindictus}}'', you can get the power to transform into a Dark Knight or Paladin. Once you get enough training in transformed mode, you unlock a second transformation with an AP cost but even larger bonuses.
* ''VideoGame/{{LaTale}}'' has this with it's third jobs, where you're infused with the power of the goddess Series.
* Being a tribute to all things anime, ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' [[TropeOverdosed naturally]] [[InvokedTrope invokes]] this trope by virtue of [[MemeticBadass Bang]] [[RatedMForManly Shishigami]]'s Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan technique, complete with an [[BackgroundMusicOverride overriding]] ThemeMusicPowerUp by [[JAMProject Hironobu Kageyama]] and [[PowerGlows a golden sheen]] covering his body. It is AWESOME.
--> '''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic5kr4LPxXo BANG BANG BA-BAAAAANG!!! BAANING-UU TAMASHII!!! TATAKAU KOKORO KOUGETSUKU HODO NIIIII!!!]]'''
* Being the equivalent of an interactive anime (With even more references than VideoGame/BlazBlue), ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'' under goes quite a few new transformations of this nature thanks to his anger. A more traditional version is [[spoiler: Asura getting the Karma Fortress Mantra Reactor implanted into him and activated by Yasha, allowing him to use his wrath without harming himself, and super charging his already immense powers at base form up to insane levels, along with gaining a new ''planet'' sized form known as Asura the Destructor, where he basically becomes a HumongousMecha.]]
* Played with in ''VideoGame/ZettaiHeroProject''. Your generic, [[HelloInsertNameHere nameless]], [[ThisLoserIsYou pathetic]] protagonist has to learn several cliche hero traits such as the PowerOfLove in order to upgrade from [[HenshinHero Unlosing Ranger]] to ''True'' Unlosing Ranger. [[spoiler:When the WHAMEpisode reveals that the protagonist has a backstory and is actually an IronWoobie {{Determinator}}, the parody you've been expecting turns out to be genuinely [[MomentOfAwesome awesome]].]]
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'', Ludger's Corpse Shell mode is initially triggered involuntarily. He eventually learns how to activate at it will, which is when it becomes usable in battle, and from there, it evolves at key points in the story, initially only granting him a lance and armor on his arms, but eventually graduates to a full suit of armor. [[spoiler: It also turns out that repeated use of it is life-threatening.]]
* ''VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptuniaVictoryII'' has a new form for the [=CPUs=] appropriately called Next Form where in CPU mode, they change into an even more powerful version of themselves at the cost of one EXE Gauge Drive.
* Cecil from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', who undergoes a CharacterDevelopment and class change from Dark Knight to Paladin. While his level is reset to 1, Cecil is becoming a lot stronger over very brief time.
* Promotion/Class Change in ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'', where a magical "seal" or a special ceremony is used to grant a unit new power. Many protagonists notably get a class change based on the story events, where they either acquire legendary weapons or get their MacGuffin's power unlocked.
* Besides the standard EvolutionPowerUp all monsters can go through in ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}'', they have a secondary method. Exposure to large amounts of minkowski radiation, the kind produced by Patterson tech, induces massive mutations. This drastically alters their physiology, sometimes inducing weaknesses to produce new strengths or just completely replacing their existing abilities with new ones.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* American webcomic ''Webcomic/ElijahAndAzuu'' has a variation on this concept: Most of the cast are angels and demons, and their power increases substantially when they let their wings out (which are normally hidden, even when they have no reason to hide them).
* This happened to the Light Warriors in ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' when they got their class changes, complete with [[FrillyUpgrade new, but similar costumes.]]
* The characters in ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'' get these as they move up their Echeladders, slowly unlocking new abilities, with the ultimate objective of reaching [[SuperMode God Tier]]. Of course, their are also multiple God Tiers, each with their own added abilities, including the ability to talk without [[PaintingTheMedium the use of a digital chat interface]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In {{Literature/Worm}} there are rare cases where someone who already has a superpower gets a second [[TraumaticSuperpowerAwakening trigger event]] giving them a completely new power. However, this leaves the recipient so psychologically screwed up that they rarely last long. Moreover, WordOfGod states that second trigger events are never plain upgrades; for instance, a pyrokinetic might gain a longer range but lose precision. Most capes get better over time through just practice and using their powers more intelligently. Late in the story it's explained that [[spoiler:the second trigger simply removes some of the limitations meant to protect the shard's host]].
** Some capes actually experience second triggers immediately after their first. The stress of triggering combined with the actual event pushing them over the edge twice. [[spoiler:Taylor triggered twice in the locker but never fully accessed her secondary power]].
** [[spoiler:Taylor]] manages to massively power up her ability by having [[spoiler:Panacea directly modify her brain. At the cost of range and SanitySlippage she gains the ability to [[EleventhHourSuperpower control other parahumans during the final battle]]]].