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->''"You know how some people and animals lose control of their bladders when they're surprised? It's like that, but for [[ShockAndAwe lightning]]."''
-->-- [[http://web.archive.org/web/20101020123407/http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/JustBugsMe/StarWarsArchive2010 Just Bugs Me (Archive)]], ''Franchise/StarWars'' (on the Emperor's apparent inability to stop using force lightning on himself)

A character's got an awesome power at their disposal, but there's a catch. Whatever granted the power didn't give the character control over it. They can't stop using their powers, even if they want to. This character suffers from Power Incontinence.

Sometimes, a character will just lose control for an episode or two, or have a few accidents while [[HowDoIShotWeb first learning how to use their powers]]. Extreme emotional situations may cause a loss of control though, like a [[PlayingWithFire pyrokinetic]] literally BurningWithAnger. Sometimes [[PentUpPowerPeril holding your powers for too long as it builds up in your body]] will also cause an unwanted burst of power.

Not everyone is so lucky. Many cases are incurable, becoming an integral part of the character. Not to worry, though; many cases can be treated by TrainingTheGiftOfMagic. Even if that doesn't work, chronic power incontinence is frequently treatable with some AppliedPhlebotinum. You'll have to hold on to that phlebotinum, though, from now on; ([[ClothesMakeTheSuperman try making a snazzy suit out of it]]). You'll have to depend on it if you want to avoid any [[SuperpowerMeltdown accidents]] or a [[PowerDegeneration shorter lifespan.]]

Note that this is not always a bad thing for the character, since some powers are better when they don't need to be actively controlled. Having the ability to [[HealingFactor heal any wound]], for example, is awesome when you don't have to consciously activate it -- otherwise a severe injury might still kill you if you lost consciousness (from loss of blood, say) before switching it on. However, it is always a lack of the RequiredSecondaryPowers that protects a character from their own powers.

Rarely, the [[InvertedTrope inversed]] set-up of this trope is used; that is to say, rather than the power being hyper-active from lack of control, they can't get it to work in any way.

Can be one of the ways a character is BlessedWithSuck. Compare RestrainingBolt or PowerLimiter (common methods of averting this) and DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength (a common result of this). If combined with {{Shapeshifting}}, this may result in becoming an InvoluntaryShapeshifter, depending on what triggers it and how. A character with this may also have a case of IJustWantToBeNormal or AfraidOfTheirOwnStrength. Sometimes terrifyingly applied with RealityWarpingIsNotAToy. Severe cases may develop into a WalkingWasteland.

----
!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:General]]
* As {{poltergeist}}s differ much from other ghosts, usually having [[BedsheetGhost no apparitions]] and making no noises beyond the mess they cause, there is a theory in occult circles that they actually aren't ghosts, but the observable effects of uncontrolled and unconscious telekinetic ability.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* A Doritos [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPjBmunkaIg advert]] has two people gaining cold and fire power and finding normal tasks like going the toilet and using deodorant have become problematic.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/InuYasha''
** Miroku has [[CursedWithAwesome the Wind Tunnel]], a black hole-like void in his hand that pulls in everything in front of him unless he has it covered up using his prayer beads. What's worse, eventually the void ''will'' be big enough to pull in him (and anything that happens to be around him) unless Naraku is destroyed. It's one of the reasons he keeps asking random women to have his children, so that he'll have a descendant to continue the fight if he fails. The other is that he's a CasanovaWannabe.
** Inu-Yasha also has a genetic predisposition to this problem, which his father made a magic sword to fix. After it breaks the first time, the chances of him getting [[SuperpoweredEvilSide extra power in a way that makes him kind of evil]] increase dramatically, especially if he doesn't have the sword on him. Luckily it's an awesome BFS which gets continuously upgraded to an InfinityPlusOneSword, so he's not missing much, even if a compulsion to kill things didn't bother him.
* Yeon Yihwa from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' is an immensely powerful [[PlayingWithFire fire user]], but she is not only [[TheKlutz physically clumsy]], she has at times so little control over her powerful flames that she has a history of being a TeamKiller. She is a little insecure about it.
* A-Ko from ''Anime/ProjectAKo'' wears bracelets to keep her SuperStrength from crushing everything she touches (which tends to happen anyway as she's kind of spazzy). Also, every morning her LateForSchool SuperSpeed run causes damaging sonic booms, yet [[SnapBack the damage is always repaired by the next morning]].\\\
A-ko does not wear her wrist bands to bed, and in at least one movie was able to throw a pillow to silence an alarm clock without destroying anything. Maybe her powers don't work unless she's fully awake?
* Likewise, Creator/RumikoTakahashi's ''Maris the Chojo'' wears "strength restraints" since she's a Thanatosian -- she has six times the normal strength of a human being. Even with the restraints she still ends up accidentally destroying much of what she touches.
* Takahashi also used this with Asuka in ''Manga/UruseiYatsura''.
* Kyo from ''Manga/FruitsBasket'' has to keep his prayer beads on whenever he's in human form [[spoiler:to prevent him from instantly reverting to his demon form.]]
** Also a major problem for [[TheEmpath Saki Hanajima]]. When she was younger, she couldn't block out people's feelings, causing her to become quiet and withdrawn. Because of her refusal to interact with people, [[BullyingTheDragon she starts getting bullied]], until she finally [[TheDogBitesBack snaps]], suddenly discovering her PsychicPowers and using them to [[spoiler:put one of the bullies in the hospital]].
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''
** Kakashi was offered a special eye from his dying friend, but can't turn its power off, so he covers it with his headband in order not to waste energy.
** If Naruto reaches four-tails or above then he needs an outside source [[spoiler:or the Fourth Hokage]] to calm him down because he can't on his own, and if given enough incentive or time ''more'' tails will come out.
** This is actually a very real concern for most jinchuuriki. If too much of the beast's will escapes with the chakra, they'll be overwhelmed and the beast will break out of the seal.
*** Note, these all change over time. Jinchuriki can learn to tame and control the entirety of their Beast's power. Naruto for example [[spoiler: tamed Kurama, the Kyubi and can use ''all'' of the Fox's power and can overwhelm ''five'' Biju at the same time. Not only that, he could hold his own against ''Madara Uchiha'', the Ten-Tails, and even Juubi Jinchuriki Obito!]]
* In ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'', the superpowered "Contractors" must pay for using their powers by performing a pointless action specific to that individual shortly afterwards. Those who don't have to make such a payment are called "Moratoria", suffering from Power Incontinence. Moratoria are stated to be extremely rare, the only one shown in the series having been changed from a normal Contractor as a side effect of a contract-suppressing plant. The same person reverted back into a normal Contractor in the end, something stated to have a near-zero likelihood, but not before going on several uncontrolled rampages wherein she [[PlayingWithFire incinerated several people.]] Sometimes the pointless action makes their powers ''very'' much not worth it, like having to drink the blood of children. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Or being forced to smoke.]]
* ''Anime/CodeGeass''
** Mao has a Geass that allows him to read the mind of anyone within 500 meters. Over time, he loses the ability to control it and as a result hears the surface thoughts of everyone within range.
** Late in the first season, the same fate befalls [[spoiler:Lelouch's CompellingVoice Geass; he suffers a brief, debilitating headache, and doesn't realise that he's lost control over his power. He later makes a joke to Euphemia about killing all Japanese people, and realises a moment too late that he's Geassed her into doing it. In the beginning of R2, C.C. gives him a special contact lens to block it when needed.]] C.C. claims that the contacts will eventually stop working, leaving it active all the time.
** And speaking of C.C., [[spoiler: she herself suffered this fate back when she had her own geass.]]
** In general, anyone who receives a Geass power will eventually lose control of it.
* Vash the Stampede of ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' could be considered to suffer from this, when [[spoiler:[[DeathRay Knives releases his Angel Arm]]]].
* Minki the Oni from ''Manga/HellTeacherNube'' has incredibly destructive powers... which she loses control of and end up [[HoistByHisOwnPetard backfiring]] when she's not wearing her, um, panties.
** Played way more seriously when [[spoiler: in a fixed day, Nube loses a good part of his control over his Devil Hand. This means ''[[BodyHorror his whole arm and then half his body begin mutating]]''. If not for Tamamo, Kyouko and Hiroshi's efforts, he would've been completely consumed by the Hand.]]
* Aki Izayoi, from ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds''. To make things worse, her EvilMentor Divine was purposely training her so that her PsychicPowers would be ''more'' destructive, as part of his plans to form an army of psychic assassins. After Divine's death, Aki made a HeelFaceTurn that resulted in a slow process that eventually resulted in her being able to control her powers fully... But it wasn't automatic.
* The protagonists from the ''Hoshi no Umi no Amuri'' OVA, where their abilities are treated like allergies. Amuri's Reflect, causes her to repel physical objects that she touches suddenly, Suzu's Escape causes her to be moving continuously, and Perriere's Infiltrate causes her to pass through most solid objects.
* ''Manga/ShamanKing'': both [[spoiler:Hao]] and [[spoiler:Anna]] have an uncontrollable ability to read minds. This leads to [[spoiler:Hao's StartOfDarkness]] and [[spoiler:causing further Power Incontinence for Anna in the form of her spontaneously summoning demons]].
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima''
** Negi Springfield's [[SneezeOfDoom Sneezes of Doom]] are accidental discharges of magic caused by ordinary sneezes.
** His BlackMagic ability is also acting up; it's [[spoiler:slowly turning him into a demon and causing poisoning-like symptoms in the process, and as the poison and transformation progress, he increasingly goes into SuperMode involuntarily]].
** TheWorldTree leaks magical energy all over Mahora's campus for a few days every year. Every 20 years or so, it becomes incredibly powerful, which can lead to some serious problems. Such as a request for a kiss turning Negi into a {{Determinator}} or [[spoiler:The BigBad using the energy to power her magic robot army]].
* In ''Manga/BusouRenkin'', the character Victor is constantly displaying a life-draining ability that he can't turn off, even if he wanted to... [[spoiler:and so is protagonist Kazuki, who in the later part of the series, begins to turn into a being just like Victor.]] Justified in that it is a vital life function; Victor compares it to breathing.
* ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'' has a variant with Apachai, as he's extremely powerful and is physically incapable of holding back when he fights. As such, he undergoes [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/history_s_strongest_disciple_kenichi/v03/c023/3.html special]] [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/history_s_strongest_disciple_kenichi/v03/c023/4.html training]] so that he won't accidentally kill Kenichi during training.
* Several people in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex''. Touma can't turn his right arm off, so he constantly cancels his own luck and interferes with any magic in the vicinity. Aisa Himegame constantly draws in vampires and kills them en masse. Accelerator suspects that he has such an [[MysticalWhiteHair abnormal appearance]] because his power deflects ''sunlight'' off him, but isn't really sure. Index has no control over her John's Pen mode. [[spoiler: Aureolus Izzard needs intense focus to control his alchemist abilities and appears to rely on some type of acupuncture for it, and it still turns on him. As the final major example, the angel that gets sucked down from Heaven really can't help the fact that it ''has'' to return and that in doing so it will cause a major catastrophe. It doesn't seem very thrilled about the idea.]]
* Yoshiki, a high school student in ''Anime/BoogiepopPhantom'', gains an incontinent ability to hear peoples' thoughts in episode nine, "You'll Never Be Young Twice". He promptly discovers that [[AMindIsATerribleThingToRead all of his friends dislike him, only sticking around to leech his money]]. He then [[MoreThanMindControl gives his mind away]] to a bad guy out of desperation.
* ''Manga/{{Akira}}''
** Tetsuo starts losing control of his powers following the battle with Kaneda, which manifests as his body starting to mutate around the metal arm he built with them after losing the original to [[KillSat SOL]]. Eventually, [[SuperpowerMeltdown his body starts mutating out of control]], leading to the most horrific scene of the movie.
** In the movie, Akira himself seems to have this, as he has reached such a power level that when resurrected his powers automatically destroys the city of Neo-Tokyo and then he dissapears into a dimension of his own creation, sucking down everything within a few miles' radius with him.
* Clow Reed of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'', ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'', and ''Manga/XxxHolic'', reportedly the most powerful magician to ever exist until the coming of his [[MagicalGirl successor]], caused the plots of ''all three series'' with his power incontinence. He caused the first two by needing to run a GambitRoulette to get rid of his ability to predict the future (he couldn't turn it off), and he caused the latter two by ''accidentally turning someone into a zombie'' simply because while she was dying he wished for her to open her eyes again. The ''entire multiverse'' gets fucked up and screwed over several times in trying to fix that booboo.
* Joshua Christopher from ''Manga/ChronoCrusade'' has the power to [[{{telepathy}} read minds]] after he's given the horns of a powerful demon. However, he can't control the power, so it [[TerribleTicking quickly]] [[HearingVoices drives]] [[UnhappyMedium him]] [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity insane]].
* Ageha, Frederica, and Shao from ''Manga/{{Psyren}}'' all have this as a result of their PSI powers being fueled by emotion instead of focus of thought.
* ''Manga/OnePiece''
** [[spoiler:Coby develops the ability to use Haki (specifically, the Color of Observation) during the war at Marineford. However, his ability to [[HearingVoices hear voices disappears]] as people die and it can't seem to be controlled ''and'' takes a toll on him during said war.]]
** Luffy had the same problem when he developed Color of the Supreme King Haki. He ended up knocking out everyone in the general vicinity whenever he lost his temper. [[spoiler:After the TimeSkip, he has full control over it.]]
** [[spoiler:After stealing Whitebeard's from his corpse, Blackbeard had a test run of his new [[StoryBreakerPower Gura Gura Fruit powers]] and accidentally sent a tsunami at Sabaody Archipelago.]]
* The eponymous creations in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' might count. True, Evas are {{Empathic Weapon}}s of the HumongousMecha variant but still, if they go [[SuperpoweredEvilSide berserk]], the only thing you can do is running away until they run out of power. If, however, the Eva in question is [[MamaBear Unit 01]], chances are [[SuperPersistentPredator it may not stop even without power]] so just keep running.
* Goku in ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}}''. When his power limiter breaks or is taken off and he reverts to his true form he will try to kill anything that moves including his friends. He'll probably be reasonably successful as he's immensely powerful in this form. When it breaks the limiter can only be recreated by the gods or Sanzo. Hakkai also has to wear his power limiters although the risk of him losing himself and going berserk when he removes them is only because of the minus wave and when he has been shown to remove them he remains in sane(ish) mind and can put them back on to revert to human form. But he's currently at risk when taking them off, probably.
* ''Manga/{{Translucent}}'' is a gentle SliceOfLife manga about a girl who's slowly turning invisible. This is presented as a documented medical syndrome, not a special power; at least one adult she knows is permanently invisible. The girl appears more solid when she's feeling self-confident, but will eventually have to learn to find a happy life and accept her condition.
* ''Manga/SketDance'' introduces Koma-chan, a ladylike and desperately shy HugeSchoolgirl who is not able to control her enormous strength whenever she's embarrassed.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''
** Coyote Starrk is so powerful that his reiatsu inadvertently killed anything that came near him, leaving him incapable of socialising or forming any emotional ties to others. He was so desperately lonely that he joined Aizen's cause solely because Aizen was the first person he'd ever met who could withstand his reiatsu without dying.
** Initially, Ichigo has no idea how to control his enormous reiatsu and when his reiatsu explodes out of him when fighting his very first Menos Grande, he would have died if Uryuu hadn't taken control of his reiatsu for him and calmed it down. Although he gets better at it, he does not have finesse of control and his power output is so great even when in a calm state that he's incapable of sealing his zanpakutou, causing it to exist in a constantly released shikai state by default. His enormous leaking reiatsu also affected several of his classmates, allowing them to become spiritually aware. He possesses a Substitute Shinigami badge that, among other things, acts as a damage limitation device for his reiatsu.
** Kenpachi cannot properly control his reiatsu output. As a result, he cannot seal his zanpakutou or control how much reiatsu he's suppressing or releasing so wears a special eyepatch that acts as an artificial PowerLimiter. He wears it when he wants to suppress his power and he takes it off when he wants to increase the amount he's using in battle. [[spoiler:It's connected to a traumatic childhood experience. His meaningless life gained meaning when he met and almost defeated his first Worthy Opponent. He was so terrified of being left alone that he subconsciously suppressed his power to spare her life and it's been suppressed ever since.]]
* In ''LightNovel/IsThisAZombie'', it's revealed that [[spoiler:[[{{Necromancer}} Eucliwood Hellscythe's]] magic is extremely powerful and unstable to the point that she has to constantly [[EmotionlessGirl remain emotionless]], [[TheVoiceless never speak]], and [[TwentyFourHourArmor wear magic-suppressing armor]] in order to control it. Even worse, whenever the words she says become magical, she experiences something equivalent to MindRape. Even more worse, provoking her enough for her to lose control of her emotions for one moment will have ''[[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds very disastrous]]'' results.]]
* ''Anime/TigerAndBunny''
** [[spoiler:Kotetsu]] starts showing the first signs of Power Incontinence when his powers starts going haywire in episode 14 -- increasing in strength dramatically (jumping manages to cause a sonic boom) but also shutting on and off seemingly at random. [[spoiler:It's revealed that he is slowly losing his power, a very rare thing among NEXT, and that his powers going haywire is like a candle flickering brightly before it goes out.]]
** Also the case for [[spoiler:his daughter Kaede when she starts to develop her NEXT power. Her power is to copy the ability of the last Next she touches. She can't easily control the first couple of powers she copies, but when Kaede gets [[AnIcePerson Karina]]'s ability she can use it in a variety of ways, probably because she knew what she was dealing with by that point.]]
* ''Manga/FairyTail''
** [[spoiler:Black Mage Zeref]] cannot control his magic if he cares for the lives of others. This is very bad since he has ''Death'' magic, and Power Incontinence turns him into an EnemyToAllLivingThings.
** At first, Juvia couldn't control her water magic, meaning it rains wherever she is. After her fight with Gray tires her out, the rain finally stops and [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming she sees the sun for the first time in her life]].
** Bixlow and Evergreen both have powerful [[MagicalEye eye magic]], which neither of them can fully shut off. (Soul stealing and turning others to stone, respectively.) In order to make sure they don't hurt the people around them, Bixlow covers the upper half of his face with a knight's visor and Evergreen just uses a pair of eyeglasses.
** In Wendy Marvell's fight with Chelia Blendy, Wendy uses healing magic on Chelia, powering her up. Everybody wonders what Wendy was thinking, but when Chelia attempts a blast, the attack misfires and misses by a mile. Everybody then realizes that Wendy had been aiming to increase Chelia's powers to the point that she has difficulty controlling them.
* In one story from the ''Miles Edgeworth Case Book'' manga for the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series, Maya's spiritual powers have developed to the point at which she can unconsciously channel the spirit of her dead older sister Mia merely by thinking about her in her sleep. At the end of the same story, Pearl shows the same ability.
* [[spoiler:Asa Shigure]] from ''VisualNovel/{{Shuffle}}'', as [[spoiler: the demonic powers that she inherited from her mom Ama start awakening. She refuses to use them, however, to not break Ama's [[BrokenBird already damaged heart]], and they start to flow so strongly that her life comes to risk. Rin has to ''force'' her to use them so Asa won't die due to this trope, taking a knife and slitting his wrists open so Asa will have to heal his nearly fatal injuries.]]
* Haruka Kotoura in ''Manga/{{Kotoura-san}}'' cannot shut off her {{telepathy}}, nor can she differentiate between speech and thoughts. She has some limited control over focusing on individual minds to read in all the noise, but if she can't see them she may end up reading any nearby mind. Although she has a few friends now, she's still socially shunned by most because of this.
* This is the cause of [[spoiler:karma demons]] in ''Literature/FromTheNewWorld''. They lose subconscious control of their power allowing it to warp their surroundings unabated, leading to very devastating results.
* The {{magical girl}}s in ''Anime/IlSolePenetraLeIllusioni'' constantly leak some of their magic. This doesn't seem to be particularly dangerous; [[ThePowerOfTheSun Akari]] causes plants to grow quickly, while {{Luna|cy}} attracts dogs.
* The power that flows from Karasumori in Kekkaishi is revealed to be a form of power incontinence, it simply flows out and infuses everything, partly due to a lack of control and partly due to a lack of ability to consider consequences. [[spoiler: Chushinmaru's power is simply out of control, he needed to be sealed because only Hazama could touch him safely (he accidentally siphoned away the lives of an entire village at one point) and so was too dangerous to roam the world. Chushinmaru is incredibly powerful even while sealed, if he was completely free then he would be true menace, even accidentally.]]
* Josuke's stand ability in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' is initially presented as the ability to restore anything and everything ([[NoSelfBuffs except himself]]) to a previous state. Then it's quickly revealed that they're actually restored to what Josuke ''thinks'' was it's previous state. If he's too distracted or angry to concentrate, the things he restores can be a little...[[CameBackWrong off]] [[BodyHorror (at best.)]]
* Oriko, of ''PuellaMagiOrikoMagica'', is a powerful {{Seer}} with the ability to instantly make predictions of the future. Unfortunately, when she started her career in ''Symmetry Diamond'', she had no control over when it activated and what the subject of the prediction would be. Considering that her magic is CastFromHitPoints... yeah, that was a problem.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Many Comicbook/{{X-Men}} suffer from this:
** Rogue drains the powers of anyone she touches, so she wears gloves and skin-concealing outfits to avoid accidental physical contact with others. Even worse, when she used this power on MsMarvel, it didn't wear off for a long time afterwards, absorbing Marvel's powers and memories seemingly permanently. Rogue lives in constant fear that this same thing might happen again to someone else she uses her power on. She was cured of this power incontinence by Professor X in ''X-Men: Legacy'' #224. [[StatusQuoIsGod We'll see how long it lasts this time]].
** ComicBook/{{Cyclops}}, without his trademark visor he wears as part of his costume, or a pair of ruby quartz glasses out of costume, would be firing his EyeBeams 24/7. (In fact, he ''is'' firing them 24/7, they're just being blocked.) [[spoiler:This limitation was recently revealed to be a mental block, and was fixed by Emma Frost.]] Used to be from having hit his head in the accident that killed his parents. There was a throwaway scene in one of the comics shortly after Wolverine lost his Adamantium (and briefly regressed to a neanderthallic state) where Cyclops hit his head in some kind of rune-covered pit, and a caption stated, "A subtle change is worked in an area of his brain damaged so long ago", so it's possible both explanations are correct. After the events of ''Comicbook/AvengersVsXMen'', the visor can't block his eyebeams anymore. The only thing that can are his own eyelids.
** Wither has skin secretions that dissolve any organic (that is, biological) matter he touches. Including his father. Good thing he was born into an age of polyester.
** Leech's power to turn off other mutants' powers is always on.
** Cyclops' brother Havok originally required a special containment suit to control his powers. Interestingly enough, Cyclops and Havok are immune to each other's powers.
** When Jean Grey (Marvel Girl, Phoenix) was a child, she couldn't control her telepathic ability and ended up in a catatonic state. Later on she had a similar problem with the Phoenix Force.
** One of the residents of the all-mutant neighborhood ComicBook/DistrictX was a woman who could spontaneously burst into flames. Unfortunately, unlike other mutants with similar powers, she was [[RequiredSecondaryPowers not immune to fire]]...
** Omega Red showed even bad guys suffer from this as he had to drain people's life energy to survive and temporarily had to release the death spores his body built up or they would kill him. Even after he found a cure that allowed him to survive without other people's life he stole it anyway and would probably do the same with his death spores.
** Chamber's power is always on, and in fact destroyed half his face and some of his internal organs (heart and lungs) when he first used it. This is what happens if a mutant ''isn't'' [[RequiredSecondaryPowers immune to his or her own powers]]. Though it has been established that the fire is actually his true form and his human body is more of a "shell" (or, one might say, a 'chamber') that he doesn't really need, so no real harm done (at least, physically. ''Half your face being missing'' tends to put a cramp in one's social life.)
** As Gamemaster's [[PsychicPowers omnipathy]] destroyed his sanity by exposing his mind to the constant horror of 6 BILLION minds all at once ''all the time'', he inserted computer chips into his brain to help regulate his mental activity so [[PowerNullifier he doesn't]] fry his own brain.
** Kitty Pryde became stuck in her intangible phase in the aftermath of an extended period spent hurtling through space [[PutOnABusToHell inside a giant, ever-hardening bullet]] that she had phased through the Earth. She was also stuck in intangible mode once after being hit with an energy harpoon during the Mutant Massacre but was restored to normal with the help of Mr. Fantastic and Dr. Doom.
** Jubilee can also lose control of her powers if she's angry. (In fact, she once [[BatmanGambit used this to her advantage]] when she and the rest of GenerationX were being held hostage by the mutant criminal Emplate. She insulted him to the point that he was so angry, he used his powers to drain a large portion of her life energy, gaining her powers in the process... Which he could not control, because he was so angry. Suffice to say it turned the situation around.)
** After the events of ''Comicbook/AvengersVsXMen'', Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magneto, and other mutants who were close to the Phoenix Force are all suffering problems with their powers. Magneto's magnetic powers aren't as strong anymore, Cyclops' eyebeams are too strong even for his visor to contain as mentioned above, and Emma Frost's PsychicPowers aren't working though she can still turn into diamond.
** ComicBook/{{Gambit}} had to go to [[DealWithTheDevil Mr.Sinister]] to have a portion of his brain removed to curb his powers. At the time, he was having difficulty touching things without having them explode, and was worried that people would die because of it. The opperation took him from having the power of an Omega-Level mutant (on par with the like of Jean Grey, Hope Summers and Cable) to an Alpha-Level mutant. The storyline eventually revealed he was right to worry thanks to an encounter with an alternate universe counterpart of his who didn't get the surgery. Said parallel Gambit had changed his name to "New Sun". Because he had awakened to his full powers in a firestorm of energy that ''incinerated all life on Earth in a few seconds''.
* ''ComicBook/IncredibleHulk''
** Bruce Banner transforms into the Hulk whenever someone makes him too angry, and once he's in that form he has no control over his actions.
** Joe Fix-It (a smaller, gray-skinned variant) had a brief story line where he always came out at night and generally did things Bruce did not approve of. (This is in fact what the Hulk was ''always'' like in the very earliest issues. This new storyline tweaked the original Gray Hulk a bit, taking him from EarlyInstallmentWeirdness to a different manifestation of his powers.)
* Franklin Richards, the pre-teen son of Reed and Sue Richards of the ComicBook/FantasticFour. His mutant reality warping powers are practically without limit; he was the one who created the ''Heroes Reborn'' universe that saved Franchise/TheAvengers and the Fantastic Four from dying at the hands of Onslaught. However, he rarely has any control of his powers at all. Things... Just seem to happen.
* Franchise/SpiderMan was like this during the ''Acts of Vengeance'' storyline. He received the powers of CaptainUniverse (in order to fight a threat that the Uni-Power predicted would happen after the crisis) but an experiment he was working on with an ESU professor muddled it a little, making him unable to fully control the incredible cosmic powers. This caused horrible mental strain on him, almost pushing him over the edge; he had lived by the saying "With Great Power ComesGreatResponsibility" all his life, and now had ''godlike'' power. Fortunately, the power of Captain Universe is always temporary; once he had defeated the threat and fulfilled the purpose for which he had been given the power, it went away.
* ''JusticeSocietyOfAmerica''
** Citizen Steel, one of the newer members, gained the powers of SuperStrength and NighInvulnerability through exposure to liquid metal blood. The exposure removed his ability to register temperatures, textures, and (more importantly) how much strength he's exerting. He goes around in a steel costume he's ''literally'' welded into to keep him from accidentally crushing anyone.
** Another member, Lightning, can't touch anything electrical otherwise she causes it and the the surrounding area to short out, her being a teenage girl who had a popular social life makes it worse for her.
* Wundarr absorbed ambient energy constantly, and if it wasn't burned off by occasional acts of SuperStrength or dampened by special ComicBook/{{SHIELD}} equipment, he tended to explosively regurgitate it periodically. Later, as [[NewAgeRetroHippie Aquarius]], his power is [[RePower modified]] to neutralize ''all'' energy above a certain threshold near him, whether he wants it to or not.
* Similarly, Strong Guy of ''Comicbook/{{X-Factor}}'' has the power to absorb kinetic energy and redistribute it as super strength, but if he doesn't let it out soon enough, it has effects on his physiology (which is the reason for his... unique appearance).
* In the ''ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}''/''{{BPRD}}'' comics, Liz Sherman has a great deal of difficulty controlling her pyrokinetic powers. Some of this is due to the nature of her abilities, but some of it is also due to psychological trauma related to her first manifestation (at age 11 she destroyed her entire family and 30 other people) and the institutionalized upbringing that followed.
* Comicbook/GhostRider originally suffered from this, but gained control over his powers eventually.
* The character whose murder starts off the plot for ''ComicBook/RisingStars'' is physically invulnerable, but that results in him being unable to have any sense of touch at all. He becomes an obese couch potato because without physical sensation he can't experience any form of physical pleasure except for the taste of food. His murder is carried out when he falls asleep in his chair and he's unable to feel that he's being bound to it by the murderer (who asphyxiates him with a plastic bag).
* TheSentry has the problem that he is literally his own worst enemy. Due to a MindRape by the old Mastermind, Sentry is completely unbalanced, and displays any number of psychological problems on any given day. He also has some undefined psionic ability to periodically make everyone in the world forget he exists. His biggest problem is that every time he tries to do good with his vast power, he manifests his own arch-nemesis, The Void. The Void then proceeds to do as much evil as the Sentry does good. Which one is working with Norman Osborn?
* ''ComicBook/XForce''
** Zeitgeist, the original leader [[spoiler:and SacrificialLamb]] of the revamped ''X-Force''. While this didn't carry on for very long, when his powers (vomiting acid) first manifested, he accidentally killed the girl he was drunkenly making out with on the beach.
** Guy Smith, a.k.a. Orphan and Mister Sensitive, led the team thereafter, including when it became X-Statix. His superhuman senses meant that any irritation to his skin caused him great pain. Attempting to block out the pain with mental exercises didn't work; eventually Professor X designed him a special suit.
** Phat, one of the members of X-Force/X-Statix under the Orphan, has the power to fill his body with extradimensional gunk, causing it to balloon to grotesque proportions but increasing his strength exponentially. Prior to discovering he was a mutant, he experienced severe fluctuations in weight.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'', Dr. Manhattan [[spoiler:is tricked into thinking he has this problem.]]
* Mind**** in ''ComicBook/{{Empowered}}'' can only speak and see using her psychic powers, which makes her unable to lie, [[spoiler:because her brother removed her tongue and eyes so she'd be forced to rely on her powers more]] and reads the minds of everyone nearby; since most of those people are superheroes and most of ''them'' are jerkasses, she can't really handle being in groups for long and spends most of her time on their space station alone, which she hates.
* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}''
** The new Superman limited series ''[[ComicBook/SupermanSecretOrigin Secret Origin]]'' shows Clark Kent's heat vision going off involuntarily when his emotions are stirred up. The first time fire shoots out is when Lana Lang kisses him, [[SomethingElseAlsoRises which is]]... [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything suggestive]]. At this early point in his life, his glasses serve much the same purpose as Cyclops' shades.
** Superman villain Parasite is a little worse off than Rogue stealing life force from anyone near him and being constantly hungry for more.
** After being restored to full power on his return from [[ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman death]], Superman's powers started slowly increasing which was welcome at first but eventually led to his powers being out of control and his body physically warped. Eventually cured by having Parasite leech his excess power and the strange element with it that was causing the problem. This also justified an art shift for Parasite from basically looking like a bald man with purple skin to his current more monstrous appearance.
** This tends to happen to him periodically because it taps into one of his greatest fears: losing control of his immense power and the harm that could result.
* In ComicBook/TheSupermanAdventures (a series based off [[SupermanTheAnimatedSeries the animated series]]), a body-swapped JimmyOlsen gets a mild case when Superman's x-ray vision comes on by accident. Unlike many of the cases mentioned, nothing catastrophic occurs.
* Like Ghost Rider, the first ComicBook/{{Spider-Woman}} was at first unable to keep her pheromones in check, causing guys to be attracted to her and woman repulsed at her. She learns to control it, eventually.
* Black Bolt of TheInhumans has vast energy powers, comparable or exceeding a Herald of Galactus. Sadly, the region of the brain that controls them is the same that controls his voice. The net effect: he can't open his mouth without unleashing devastation. (Which often gets mistaken for a sonic attack.)
* Most of the cast of ''[[TheNewUniverse DP7]]''.
* The League of Supermen, a far future team in ''ComicBook/{{Superman}} Annual #8'', all suffer from variants of this, due to each having ''one'' of Superman's powers (and their artificial nature, as they are all humans genetically modified to simulate Kryptonian powers). [[EyeBeams Heat]] has to fire his heat vision every 15 minutes, or he'll burn up from the inside; [[XRayVision See-Through]] has to wear a lead-lined visor when not using his powers; [[{{Flight}} Flyboy]] has to be tethered to stop him drifting away if he doesn't concentrate; [[SuperStrength Pounder]] DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength; and [[NighInvulnerability Shield]] can't feel anything. New recruits [[SuperBreath Tempest]] and [[SuperSpeed Speed]] are given PowerArmor that simulates the powers rather than genetic modification; they still have disadvantages (Tempest can't breathe ''in'' too sharply; Speed needs to constantly replenish her energy) but at least they can turn them off.
* Suntop in ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'' has a version of this. Since his power is [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway extreme empathy]], he's able to feel the anguish of any elf strong enough to communicate it magically. Even pain from thousands of years into the future. He can't help it, since he's just a child for most of the main plot.
* In ''ComicBook/UltimateXMen'' Gambit joined the evil Fenris corporation because they helped cure his Power Incontinence. He tells Rogue that his energy charging powers had gone out of control and he couldn't even ''eat'' -- any food he tried to touch would explode.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Finder}}'', Jaeger's healing factor makes him near impossible to kill, but is so robust he ''has to get injured regularly'' to avoid becoming ill.
* Negative Man from the ComicBook/DoomPatrol is perpetually radioactive, needing to wear head-to-foot specially treated bandages to contain his condition. This is just one example of the sort of DisabilitySuperpower typical of the team.
* Emmy in ''ComicBook/{{Demo}}'' has a CompellingVoice that she has no control over; it's ''always'' on. She tries to get by without talking at all, which generally she can... unless someone's hassling her and refuses to back off, that is.
* The Magnet in ''Terra Obscura''. By the time the story takes place, he has almost no control over his magnetic powers. However, they're also not nearly as powerful as they once were, so he mostly attracts coins, staples, and other small objects made from ferrous metals, and even then only when he's within arm's reach of them.
* The reborn Emperor in the finale of the ''Franchise/StarWars'' comic ''ComicBook/DarkEmpire'' creates a Force Storm to deal with a Rebel fleet parked in front of his enormous battlewagon Star Destroyer. When he's about to be killed by the Skywalker twins, somehow he loses control over the Force abomination and it begins to consume him and his ship in a titanic conglomeration of power.
* In the original ''Creature Commandos'' stories, Warren Griffith was the team's "Wolfman", but due to an imperfection in the formula that gave him his werewolf powers, he would change to human form and back almost randomly, and typically at the most inopportune times.
* Happened a few times in ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog''.
** When Mina Mongoose first awakened her SuperSpeed, she had absolutely no idea how to control it, slamming into things at high speeds. She's forced to ask Sonic for help, though she also uses that time to show off her crush for him, too.
** When Knuckles accidentally awakens his Chaos Force powers following an attack by the Dark Legion that tossed everyone save Knuckles and a captive Julie-Su into another dimension, he ends up glowing green and accidentally unleashing a lot of power. When the echidnas in Abilon find out about this, they attempt to suck his powers out. All he does is blow up the machine and turn the poor sap at the controls into Doctor Finitevus.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/DungeonKeeperAmi'' has all individuals, youma or otherwise, trained in Dark Kingdom-style magic exhibit this as a teleportation side-effect. (Lishika is a special example -- not only is her affinity [[ShockAndAwe lightning]] but it's strong enough that each teleport will shock any passengers she may be carrying, and once set her on fire!) Also featured are keepers themselves- whose dungeon hearts tend to leak corruption that, in sufficient quantity, takes on the aspect of whatever element/affinity is most closely attuned to the Keeper in question. Examples: Mercury's sleet storm, Zarekos' perpetual night.
* Paul in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached''. At his highest level of strength, he's so powerful that he can barely move without causing chaos. He has practiced literally day and night to get to the point where he can at least walk around, but he has to keep constant watch on himself, keep his arms at his sides, etc. And to revert to his more manageable lower level of strength, he has to explode, creating a large glassy crater and pretty much wiping out everything around him. But even at "low" strength he has to fiercely regulate his behavior.
* ''Fanfic/ShinjiAndWarhammer40K''. When Shinji's psychic powers first appear, he's reluctant to depend on them during battle since they interfere with his syncing capabilities. When he does it anyway to win a battle, he has no idea how to turn them off and as such, is booted from NERV. To solve the situation, he [[spoiler:embarks on a pilgrimage to Javaal where he learns how to suppress his abilities enough for him to continue piloting and still have enough psychic power to vaporize a human-sized target from a few meters]].
* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', Haruhi's powers were like this until Nagato started filtering them, though she has to get rid of the junk data every night. [[spoiler:Later on, closed space stops being produced, removing the other incontinence Haruhi had.]]
* The ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' fanfic ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/109481 four titles]]'' interprets Rose's "mind" powers as giving her permanent, uncontrollable telepathy:
-->''There's no way for you to ignore a complex and varied stream of input save doing it consciously. Unfortunately, you can't ignore it consciously; the thoughts of others reach into your mind and fill it with thoughts, tales, ideas.''
* In ''Fanfic/MiracleChild'', Gamzee can't control the fear-producing chucklevoodoos well because his lifelong habit of sopor slime consumption stopped them from developing normally. This does not endear him to the other trolls.
* In ''Fanfic/TouhouTonari'', this is a serious problem for Yuyuko due to her power to invoke death on others and forced her to isolate herself.
* In ''Blog/AlwaysHavingJuice'', Cream doesn’t know how to control her powers of Super-Imagination. Vector does and is trying to teach her.
* In the ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'', Twilight normally has no problem with this... except if she [[CantHoldHisLiquor gets drunk]]. [[NoodleIncident Last time she did]], she lost control of her powers and Ponyville had to be reassured that Discord hadn't returned.
* ''[[FanFic/JusticeLeagueOfEquestria Mare of Steel]]'': At first, Rainbow Dash does not have very good control over her superpowers, doing things like destroying a tree with SuperStrength or blowing up a pot of food with her EyeBeams. She learns to control her powers in the Fortress of Solitude, but still struggles with some more passive powers, like [[AnIcePerson controlling her Freeze Breath]] [[SneezeOfDoom while sneezing]].
* In [[http://www.mangapark.com/manga/saki-dj-tsuruga-gakuen-umi-ni-iku/c0/10 this]] {{Manga/Saki}} doujin, Momo gets too excited while helping Yumi learn how to swim by holding onto her hands and enters "[[{{Invisibility}} Stealth Mode]]" by accident (although, in canon, she can't control it and has gone unnoticed for much of her life), terrifying Yumi as she thinks Momo is no longer there.
* [[PowerLimiter Dampener]] removal in ''Fanfic/PokeWars'' results in firing off attacks at random. After control is learned, the attacks are always lethal. In addition, pokémon whose bodies are on fire will start radiating massive amounts of heat uncontrollably.
* ''FanFic/AShadowOfTheTitans'': After Jade [[OvernightAgeUp magically ages herself into an adult]], she gets hit with this. While her PlayingWithFire powers causing her hands to burst into flame at the slightest emotional high is annoying to her, it's most apparent when she tries to [[CastingAShadow travel by shadow]], and keeps overshooting her target. Which is to say, she keeps ending up ''on the wrong continent''! Ultimately, she reverses her age to normal, due to being so sick of it all.
** On a more mundane level, her new height had the effect of completely throwing off her center of balance, so she couldn't walk properly, requiring her to use her telekinesis on herself to get around.
* Taya almost kills Navarone through this in ''FanFic/DiariesOfAMadman''. Trixie also loses her horn after a homemade spell blows up in her face.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' fanfic [[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/10004308/1/Kyoshi-Rising Kyoshi Rising]], Kyoshi can barely control her [[DishingOutDirt Earthbending]]. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that [[DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength she isn't very old]], and thus hasn't had a chance to practice. Once she does get some practice, she becomes much more effective.
* ''Demon's Curse:'' Half the reason Naruto doesn't use his magic (Combination of VampiricDraining and DemBones necromancy) prompting him to ignore them as best as he can. His inexperience at using his magic (and reluctance to use/train said powers) really ends up biting him on the ass when he [[NiceJobBreakingItHero accidentally transfers a bit of his power to a monster]] and when a villain made his necromancy go haywire and used him as a conduit to summon a never-ending army. Luckily after the latter incident, Makarov and Mirajane train him to control it.
* The FanFic/TriptychContinuum has ''[[spoiler: [[TheNameless her]].]]'' Due to something going wrong during an attempt to [[spoiler: become an alicorn, ''she'' is constantly [[PainfulTransformation cycling]] between the three major pony races.]] Among the results is that [[spoiler: ''she'']] has the raw strength of a Princess for each aspect -- and no experience in directing or controlling it. When fear hits, things happen. Some of them can be lethal.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' fic ''[[http://kakaitalover.livejournal.com/11561.html Drafted!]], Harry has issues with controlling his newfound angelic abilities.
-->''“Oh, oh, right, that! Shit! Uh, hang on a minute, I always forget how to do this –” I concentrated fiercely, and after a few minutes I was pretty sure I had the majority of the Glow dimmed down to a mortal-friendly level. “Better?” I asked, a little nervously. So sue me. I'd like to see you blunder through your first week of Ascension without a bit of performance anxiety.''

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The "Sorcerer's Apprentice" scene from ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'' has Mickey Mouse trying on [[RobeAndWizardHat his master's hat]], using his newfound magical powers to animate his broom and have it fetch buckets of water for him. Problem is, Mickey isn't experienced enough with magic to know how to make the broom ''stop'' once it's started, and chopping it into pieces with his master's axe only makes things worse, [[AsteroidsMonster leading to the creation of]] ''[[AsteroidsMonster more]]'' [[AsteroidsMonster brooms with]] ''[[AsteroidsMonster more]]'' [[AsteroidsMonster buckets of water]], and poor Mickey soon finds himself in way over his head.
* Elsa from ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' can control her powers when she's in a good mood, but if she's afraid or has anxiety, the results can be disastrous, such as her changing the seasons from summer to winter.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBaronMunchausen'' by Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle's character Berthold is an extreme super speedster. He wears heavy leg irons to stop himself from dashing all over the place. Similarly, Adolphus, a super sniper with vision that reaches beyond the horizon, wears thick glasses so he can see things nearby; talk about farsighted.
* Two Words: Burning Franchise/{{Godzilla}}. Likewise, Larva Battra had no control whatsoever over his eye-beams.
* ''Film/{{Scanners}}'' starts with the hero [[MindRape Mind Raping]] somebody ''by accident''. So there you go. It's no fun being a scanner. And hearing the thoughts of everyone around you does weird things to your childhood: Vale has no personality, Benjamin Pierce tried to [[SelfMadeOrphan murder his entire family]], and Darryl Revok went nuts, [[BrainBleach drilled a hole in his forehead]], and has since [[FromBadToWorse gone from self-destructive to simply destructive]].
* In ''Film/TheSpecials'', former villain Amok tells of an incident where he lost control of his power to generate anti-matter particles during an... intimate moment, and in his words, "...next thing I know, I'm holding half an ass!"
* Happens in the ''Film/InspectorGadget'' movie. "Go-go stop!"
* ''Film/XMen'':
** In ''Film/XMenFirstClass'', Alex Summers can emit powerful energy blasts, but he can't control their direction. This problem is solved by a special harness, which he even refers to as his "energy diaper" in a deleted scene.
** In ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', Erik nearly crashes the plane when he's yelling at Charles.
* In ''Film/ManOfSteel'', young Clark has some difficulty controlling his SuperSenses initially, resulting in SensoryOverload. His EyeBeams pose a similar problem. The same goes for the Kryptonians, who need their PoweredArmor to isolate them from Earth's atmosphere. [[spoiler:Zod eventually compensates for the SensoryOverload, and gets a hang of his EyeBeams fairly quickly after he accidentally demolishes a building.]]
* Samara Morgan, from the American version of ''Literature/TheRing'', is unable to control her ability to project images - whether that's onto surfaces or into people's minds.
* The title character of ''Film/BruceAlmighty'' had this at first, mainly due to denying he actually had powers, probably meaning that God was just doing it to convince him. Once he'd accepted that he actually had powers, he had no trouble at all in controlling them.
** The script however had a few more scenes of the powers apparently acting on their own. One scene would have had Bruce shouting "Damn You!" at an annoying guy at work, causing him to become possessed by a demon, while another scene had him unable to get in the bath, due to involuntarily walking on the water, having to concentrate in order to sink in.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* A good number of the Aces and Jokers in ''Literature/WildCards'' have powers that are always on.
** Digger Downs's ability [[spoiler:to identify [[DifferentlyPoweredIndividual Aces]] or well-disguised Jokers by smell]] is always on. But so are most normal [[spoiler:senses]], and they aren't considered incontinent either.
** The Amazing Bubbles' ability to absorb kinetic energy and store it as fat is always on. She can't control losing the weight when she fires the bubbles full of energy either.
** Bloat's Wall, a surrounding mile-wide field of psychic energy that can only be passed by an intense act of will, and can't be shut off. As Bloat grows, the Wall expands (also against his will) until it reaches parts of the mainland, driving out residents.
** Whenever Water Lily as exposed to highly ionized air, she made it "rain". Also whenever she's, um, excited.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' story ''Literature/TheFallOfReach'' it's revealed that if a non-[[SuperSoldier SPARTAN]] tries to utilize the [[PoweredArmor MJOLNIR armor]], they will literally break themselves due to their inability to control their new super-speed and super-strength
* Power Incontinence is the entire point of ''Literature/HiddenTalents'' by David Lubar, where six kids meet at a school for delinquents only to discover they have latent psychic powers that caused their apparent behavior problems. By the end of the first book, they all have better control over their powers [[TheWoobie except Lucky]].
** "Lucky" can't stop hearing voices from lost objects. In the sequel, [[spoiler:[[NightmareFuel he goes crazy from this and ends up in a hospital]], but gets better with the help of some AppliedPhlebotinum to suppress his powers]].
** [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Martin]] [[TheEmpath can sense]] {{Berserk Button}}s.
** "[[MeaningfulName Flinch]]" is [[SpiderSense precognitive]] which makes him jumpy and a distraction in the classroom (but excellent at sports and stand-up comedy).
** "[[MeaningfulName Torchie]]" [[PlayingWithFire sets things on fire]].
** "[[MeaningfulName Trash]]" unconsciously [[MindOverMatter flings things around or just plain wrecks them]].
** "[[MeaningfulName Cheater]]" unwittingly copies other people's test answers word-for-word, because he's telepathic and [[ParanoiaFuel can't tell which thoughts aren't his own]].
* Rae, the main character of the series ''Literature/{{Fingerprints}}'', can't control her PsychicPowers, and the sudden onslaught of other people's thoughts when her ability first manifests causes her to freak out in public and get committed to a mental institution for a year. She later starts putting wax on her fingers as a sort of makeshift PowerLimiter. There's one other character who also can't turn off their psychic ability, but any difficulties they might have aren't directly addressed in the story.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter''
** The title character's cursed scar that gives him insight into Voldemort's thoughts.
** Not to mention what usually happens to child wizards -- they make strange things happen when they're angry or scared. This is evidenced by Harry removing the protective glass keeping a large python inside its cage at the zoo, which made Dudley tumble into said cage. This even carries over into adolescence.
** This was the reason why [[spoiler:Ariana Dumbledore]] was locked up at home. [[YouDoNOTWantToKnow After whatever-those-boys did to her]] she was unable to control her magic and was close to blowing up the house every other day.
* Flinx, of Creator/AlanDeanFoster's ''Literature/HumanxCommonwealth'' series, has a strong [[TheEmpath empathic]] talent that turns itself on and off at seemingly random intervals. While the ability grows more sensitive and powerful over the years, it's still maddeningly unpredictable. In addition, when sorely provoked he sometimes erupts in [[SuperpowerMeltdown uncontrolled telekinetic detonations]], making him a PersonOfMassDestruction.
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''
** Mat Cauthon is extremely lucky. Especially in totally random things-like dice. In fact, he wins so much that people frequently suspect him of cheating and he's forced to leave the scene quickly (sometimes, his luck is kind enough to make him lose to avoid this). Anything and anyone he comes across by random selection will turn out to be important, even when he would much rather avoid trouble.
** Several character who can channel (most notably Rand) had trouble keeping a lid on their powers when they were learning the basics. And thanks to a nasty curse, males who learn how to channel end up getting power incontinence all over again since WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity.
** Aes Sedai can muffle their psychic link with their Warders, but the Warders apparently have no such ability and must rely on the Aes Sedai to do it for them. When [[spoiler: Rand and Elayne finally]] have sex late in the series after several other people are bonded to them, they forget to muffle the bond, resulting in much embarrassment and a near ass-kicking by [[spoiler:Birgitte, Elayne's]] other Warder. It's not so much they forget, they (or at least [[spoiler:Elayne]]) DO muffle it at first but they were um... occupied after that and didn't maintain it.
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', after Rachel acquires a crocodile morph, she morphs involuntarily whenever she is feeling strong emotion. There are two reasons why this is a bad thing. The first is that houses are not built to support the weight of an adult African elephant. The second is that when you have a conspiracy of mind-controlling aliens whose only obstacles to taking over the world are the morph-capable "Andalite bandits", it is not a good idea to reveal that you can turn into animals. It turns out that Rachel is "allergic" to the crocodile morph, and once she expels it, she goes back to normal. Except for the fact that she is now standing next to a very confused crocodile...
* Janie in Lisa [=McMann=]'s ''[[Literature/TheWakeTrilogy Wake Trilogy]]'' (''Wake, Fade'', and ''Gone''). Janie has the power to be in other people's dreams. The only problem is, she passes out in the real world and she can't control it. She actually almost gets in a car accident because she got sucked into the dream of a kid on a school bus and passes out and nearly hits the bus.
* Gazo Kovacs is a victim of this in the ''Literature/EvilGeniusTrilogy'': he possesses a powerful and seemingly uncontrollable stench that can knock out just about any human being within thirty paces, and has to wear a hazmat suit to stop it from harming those around him. However, by the third novel, he's managed to get his power under control through various forms of therapy, and is now capable of using it to save lives.
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{Firestarter}}'', Charlie [=McGee=]'s pyrokinetic power first arose when she was a infant, and more than once it nearly kills her and her parents; as she grows older, she does gain some control over it, but this doesn't stop the GovernmentConspiracy hunting her from fearing that she could become a PersonOfMassDestruction unless she's given the ''[[TykeBomb appropriate]]'' training. It's also worth noting that while she gains the control necessary to avoid starting fires when she doesn't want to, it's very hard for her to stop once she does start one.
* In Creator/ALeeMartinez' ''Literature/{{Monster}},'' the main character of the same name has [[ComboPlatterPowers hundreds of different superpowers, including flight, invulnerability, super-strength, laser-sight, and invisibility]]. Unfortunately, each one is tied to Monster's skin colour, which changes every day: at the beginning of the story, Monster's skin is blue, granting him invulnerability; the next day, it's purple, giving him [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway the inability to smell anything.]] However, when he steals the CosmicKeystone from Lotus close to the end of the story, he gains a temporarily measure of control over his power, resulting in many a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* Henry, from ''Literature/TheTimeTravelersWife'', has no control over his time-jumping ability, which complicates his life as one might imagine, and also leads to some NightmareFuel when [[spoiler: his offspring inherit the ability - while still in the womb, with usually fatal results]].
* The Confessors in the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series have to keep conscious control of their power at all times to avoid unleashing it on anyone they touch.
* When Colin wakes up after [[CoolStarship Dahak's]] "minor improvements" to his body in the first ''Literature/EmpireFromTheAshes'' book, he very nearly goes ''insane'' from the sensory overload and sensation of an alien presence in his mind. It takes some extended TrainingFromHell before Colin gets completely used to his new powers.
* In ''Literature/TheLegendsOfEthshar'' universe warlocks experience this with increasing severity as they develop their powers. Unlike other magical schools, warlocks rely simply on exerting their own will to bend reality; the source of their power does not require bargains, prayers, or rituals to obey them. However, with the passage of time they become increasingly attuned with their powers and so exercise them without conscious thought, often against their own will. This is a bad thing because the more a warlock uses their power, the more they become attuned to the whispers that accompany it. Unless killed naturally, warlocks are eventually drawn to the source of those whispers against their will; the Calling is one of the greatest concerns of their guild.
* This is a big plot point in ''[[Literature/TheBlackMagicianTrilogy Magician's Apprentice]]'' by Creator/TrudiCanavan.
* In ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Brightly Burning]]'', Lavan Firestorm's gift of Firestarting was provoked into action by bullies at the Merchant's School. He can't control it himself. His Companion [[spoiler:and lifebond,]] Kalira, controls his power. [[spoiler:When Kalira is killed in the final battle with Karse, Lavan has neither the means nor the desire to control his gift further. He incinerates the entire region, including the Karsite army, the surrounding forest and grounds, and himself.]]
** This can be an issue for many Gifted until they are taught how to control themselves; in the Last Herald Mage trilogy, [[spoiler:Vanyel Ashkevron]] needs to be ''removed from the city for everyone's safety'' after suddenly and traumatically developing his strong abilities, and in the Arrows trilogy [[spoiler:Talia]] loses control of her mental powers even after she's supposedly been taught, because of some misunderstandings regarding her training.
* ''Literature/CircleOfMagic''
** Trisana Chandler was abandoned by her family due to the unnatural weather phenomena that tended to occur around her, which was caused by her magic getting away from her. Given her power tends to be linked to negative emotions, the situation only got worse with time.
** Mages in general in the series have minor ''Harry Potter''-style leakage until they learn to control it. The worst affected character is Zhegorz, a man who was assumed to be plain old insane for having visions and hearing voices and was locked up in a BedlamHouse until he really did develop paranoid schizophrenia or something like it.
* ''Literature/LonelyWerewolfGirl''
** A mild case of this occurs with the fire demons tending to set things alight or shoot sparks when they get emotional.
** Kalix also tends to lose control of her werewolf powers when she transforms, cue UnstoppableRage.
* Many of the mutants in ''Literature/{{Gone}}'' have this. Sam accidentally [[FrickinLaserBeams burned his step-father's hand off]]. Bette [[LightEmUp made her hands glow]] and then couldn't get them to stop glowing. Hunter accidentally killed one of his friends when he becomes a human microwave. Astrid and Diana seem to [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway "read" people]] by touching their hands, whether they want to or not. Duck accidentally sunk through the bottom of a swimming pool. Lana got lucky and [[HealingHands healed herself and her wounded dog]] without realizing it. Orsay sees people's dreams whenever she's near a sleeping person, no matter who it is, which causes some NightmareFuel when she gets stuck in Drake's head. Jack has [[SuperStrength accidentally broken a lot of things]]. Bug spends most of his time [[{{Invisibility}} invisible]]. Brianna gets sick and ends up coughing in SuperSpeed. A lot of the more powerful characters eventually learn to use their powers, but not all. It seems that control is one of the variables in the RandomPowerRanking.
* Discussed in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', where just about all mortal wizards have [[WalkingTechbane difficulty using technology]] because their magic "leaks" out into the surrounding environment, generating a "Murphyonic field" (as one character describes it) that disrupts delicate electronics. Simply turning on a phone or computer in the presence of a wizard will cause it to go haywire, and if a wizard is powerful, emotional, or ''both'', it can cause an entire building's worth of electronics to blow out.
* In ''Literature/TheEyesOfKidMidas'', Kevin Midas gradually loses control of his RealityWarping powers, causing [[RealityBleed his subconscious thoughts to bleed into reality]].
* In the prequel trilogy, his problem was that [[HowDoIShotWeb he couldn't figure out how to use his magical powers.]] But in ''[[Literature/ChroniclesOfThomasCovenant The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant]]'', the title character has the opposite problem: lashing out with increasingly ferocious discharges every time he's in pain (which, given that he is a character in a Stephen Donaldson novel, is ''All. The. Time.'') Towards the end of the trilogy, he's in danger of destroying the entire fantasy world, which was of course [[BigBad Lord]] [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Foul's]] plan all along.
* Due to a chemical accident, the title character in ''Confessions of Super-Mom'' has a warped right hand from which she can spray a mysterious fluid. Not only is she incapable of completely stopping it from dripping, she discovers during a sexual encounter that she... well, [[FreudWasRight sprays]] at the moment of climax.
* In the Literature/LordDarcy stories, prescience is one of the few Talents which has yet to be understood by magical science, and thus, is subject to this trope. Commander Lord Ashley from ''Too Many Magicians'' can see a few seconds into the future, but only intermittently when he's under stress.
* Thick, in the [[Literature/RealmOfTheElderlings Tawny Man]] trilogy, is somewhat mentally handicapped, but incredibly strong in The Skill (a form of mental magic). He often has difficulty ''not'' broadcasting strong emotions to everyone within miles of him (and forcing them to feel an echo of what he does).
* In the third book of the ''Literature/KnightAndRogueSeries'' Michael has had magic long enough that his powers have adjusted to him and began to trigger on their own, though he's still capable to shutting them down once he notices he's using them.
* In ''Literature/MelodyAndThePierToForever'', Mathematicians who are untrained may experience power incontinence. In Book 1, Melody struggles to control the Aecxis of Rage and suffers explosions of unintentional or poorly directed aecxal power on multiple occasions.
* In the myth of the ancient King Midas of Pessinus, (which is a city of Phrygia): King Midas spoke a prayer in vain, asking for everything he touched to turn to gold. This newly granted enchantment was something that Midas could not control in any way. Everything he touched turned to gold, and he died from starvation as a result of not being able to digest golden things. -According to Aristotle.
** Other versions of the myth have him get rid of the power by bathing in the river Pactolus. It caused the river to carry gold ever since, which is how Croesus became rich.
* In ''Cold Kiss'' by Amy Garvey, Wren's PsychicPowers act up the most when she is feeling overly emotional.
* In Fred Saberhagen's ''Literature/BooksOfSwords'' series:
** Many of the powers granted by the Swords are like this. Sightblinder, for example, always disguises its wielder, from friend and foe alike. Soulcutter causes soul-crushing despair in everyone within its area of effect, including the wielder. Townsaver and Shieldbreaker both prevent their wielders from putting down either one, or from running away, once battle is joined; Dragonslicer seems to have a similar issue, although the circumstances under which it activates in the first place are much rarer. The Mindsword, when its blade is exposed but it is not wielded by anyone, generates waves of potentially harmful telepathic noise; the Mindsword, when wielded, also affects everyone within its radius, even those whom the wielder might prefer not to mentally enslave.
** Another example from the same series is Prince Adrian. In ''Woundhealer's Story'', it turns out that the reason he is blind, and apparently simple-minded, is that he is actually [[spoiler:such a naturally powerful wizard that for the first several years of his life, he does not bother using his eyes at all, relying instead on his magical senses. He likewise does not bother trying to talk to anyone, because he has such powerful means of magical communication]].
* Common in Octavia Butler's [[Literature/{{Patternist}} Patternmaster]] universe. "Latent" telepaths, in particular, are entirely unable to control their mind-reading abilities, which makes them miserable people in every sense of the word.
* In ''Literature/TheRestaurantAtTheEndOfTheUniverse'', the Belcerebon people of Kakrafoon are cursed with the disease of uncontrollable telepathy. They seek relief from it by staging a Disaster Area concert.
* In ''Literature/{{Croak}}'', Damning comes with unfortunate side effects. Like potentially damning your friends if you don't discharge the energy often enough.
* In ''Literature/TheShadowSpeaker'', Dikeogu has the power of ShockAndAwe, however until he learns to control it it pretty much results in lightning randomly hitting him.
* Iris from ''Literature/TheUltraViolets'' has a tendency to "rainbow" when nervous, causing her art beam superpowers to go wild and produce crazy patterns and rainbows at random, and her face to break out in random patterns like lilac flowers, lavender stripes, and violet polka dots.
* Imagers in L.E. Modsitt's Imager Portfolio can sometimes use their ImaginationBasedSuperpower accidentally if they are daydreaming (or just regular dreaming, for that matter). For example, the hero discovers his imaging powers when he starts daydreaming about his master's (he was a journeyman painter at the time) JerkAss son blowing himself up by mixing oils wrongly. Next thing he knows: BOOM!!
** This also prompts a specific rule that imagers cannot sleep in the same room as any other person, including spouses, because of the risk of killing someone by imaging in your sleep. (This only applies to literal sleep, not sex, as a fair number of imagers are married and have children.)
* Orrec's problem in ''Gifts,'' the first in the Literature/AnnalsOfTheWesternShore. He has no idea when he's actually activated his DeadlyGaze, making him a danger to everyone around him. After destroying an entire hillside and thinking he destroyed his father too, he goes blindfold for everyone's protection. [[spoiler:It turns out the real reason he can't tell when he's using his power is because ''he has no power''. His father was just unmaking things from just behind him every time.]]
* Ia of ''Literature/TheirsNotToReasonWhy'' has huge precognitive powers, and anyone who touches her risks being pulled into them, with often traumatic results.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Power Incontinence is the whole premise driving ''TheGreatestAmericanHero''. It's somewhat self-inflicted: the aliens who gave Ralph Hinkley his power-giving super suit also gave him the instruction manual for it, but he promptly lost it (because this is a comedy and [[HilarityEnsues hilarity must ensue]]). And when he got another copy of the manual, he almost immediately ''lost it again'' trying out one of the powers described. HilarityEnsues as he and his FBI agent side-kick make attempts to determine how to activate the suit's various abilities while fighting crime.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}''
** Clark Kent has trouble finding the "off-switch" to his newly-discovered eye beams. (or as Chloe [[DeadpanSnarker snarked]], "[[FreudWasRight Premature ignition]]".)
** And he later suffered from SuperBreath sneezes.
** And earlier, from dream-floating (even though he technically "can't fly" due to [[ExecutiveMeddling producers' mandate]]).
** He also had to learn to filter out noise to avoid being overwhelmed from his [[SuperSenses super hearing]], which required about [[HardWorkHardlyWorks thirty seconds of training]].
** There was also an episode where solar flares caused his powers to alternatively super-charge without control and cut out. At one point, he ended up running all the way to Reno by trying to jog... only to end up having to take the bus back.
** When he [[spoiler:gained MindControl powers, his CompellingVoice makes everyone does exactly as told... including himself.]]
** Many meteor freaks also suffer from Power Incontinence, like Sean Kelvin who sucks heat out of everything he touches.
* Many of the characters on ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' deal with Power Incontinence in some form or other (and [[IdiotBall intelligence incontinence]] at times, but that's a separate rant).
** A major plot point in the first season dealt with Peter Petrelli having to learn to control the powers he absorbs. Power Incontinence seems to be a long-term, almost systemic problem for Peter. When he's under pressure, he seems to get ''some'' power, but it's never exactly what he needs (unless he's used it in the past few minutes). If he has time to work at it, though, he can call up a specific power.
** Also, Ted, a character with the power to create radioactive energy in his hands cannot control his powers, which caused his wife's cancer and subsequent death.
** Maya, [[spoiler:who accidentally kills everyone around her whenever she gets upset or separated from her brother]].
** Dale Smithers had to constantly blast loud Rap music to keep her super-hearing in check.
** Sylar [[spoiler:is willingly power-incontinent and kills people to get their power. He's regretful afterwards, but can't stop.]]
** Elle, in her second appearance in Volume 3. Sylar apparently cures her with ThePowerOfLove.
** Meredith, when she gets injected with adrenalin and can't stop using her fire power.
** Mohinder established that the seat of all these powers is the adrenal gland so pretty much any "hero" going through stress or trauma is potentially prone to this.
* On ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred'', [[spoiler:After taking the [[SuperSerum promicin]] shot, Danny gets the ability to spread promicin through the air. He can't stop it without dying himself, and he ends up killing an enormous amount of non-promicin-tolerant people.]]
* Kitazaki from ''[[Series/KamenRiderFaiz Kamen Rider 555]]'' turns people to ash by touching them. Gaining this horrible power at such a young age (the actor was 15, Kitazaki presumably the same) is probably among the reasons why he has become such a raving madman.
* Until he learned to control it somewhat, ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' suffered from this with the Intersect. Even now in the fourth season, where he pretty much has a handle on it, he will still flash involuntarily on non-combat Intersect entries, i.e. his flashing on Heather Chandler, Sarah's AlphaBitch in "Chuck vs. the Cubic Z". The flashing is always involuntary. However, he's gained enough control over it able to hide it from people who don't know he's the Intersect, whereas at first he would [[NonSequitur automatically blurt out whatever he flashed on]], then try to cover it up.
* Ned in ''Series/PushingDaisies'' suffers from this. It doesn't cause many problems in regard to actually bringing stuff back to life, but it does mean he can never directly touch his dog or his girlfriend or they'll die. Well, he's also forced to be vegetarian, for somewhat squicky reasons. And he can't eat his own pies. And there was the incident with the bearskin rug. But the "not touching his girlfriend" thing is the worst of it.
* Tommy Dawkins from ''BigWolfOnCampus'' falls under this trope. The poor guy has no control whatsoever over when he transforms into a werewolf whether it be from emotional stress, a full moon, or extreme pain. Though he can transform at will to fight evil. He just has a bit harder time changing back.
* Ea, the eponymous heroine of the Dating-Sim story turned TV-Miniseries ''Series/ToumeiShoujoEa'' (''"Invisible Girl Ea"'') was [[InvisibleMainCharacter turned invisible]] by the [[GovernmentConspiracy Random Men in Black]] before the series starts. This would be a [[CursedWithAwesome pretty awesome power]], except for the fact that she cannot turn it off and several [[ContrivedCoincidence common things]] both disable it and cause her pain -- including static electricity, bright light being reflected off a mirror, and being touched (like, say, [[NakedPeopleAreFunny by clothes]]). Trying to find a way to remove her powers so she can live a normal life is a focus of the series.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''
** When Buffy is accidentally infected with a demon's telepathic powers and can't stop reading minds, she nearly goes insane.
** Also Willow after the development of her addiction to magic and especially after [[spoiler:Tara’s death]]. At certain point even a minor magic practice triggers personality changes in her and locks a “dark personality↔dark magic” feedback loop.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}''
** Illyria initially has full control over her [[TimeMaster time manipulation]] powers, but the mortal body she's in isn't strong enough to contain them, so she eventually loses control and comes UnstuckInTime. She has to be [[DePower depowered]] to prevent her from [[SuperpowerMeltdown exploding and taking out at least the entirety of Los Angeles]].
** Also Gwen, who has the power to channel electricity, but unfortunately, lacks the power to ''not'' channel electricity.
** Also Angel himself, when in Pylea - he gets stuck as a supervampire due to the different laws of physics of that dimension.
* In ''Series/TrueBlood'', it takes a great deal of effort for Sookie Stackhouse to block her telepathic powers.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'': Although not magical or a superpower, Sherlock's constant [[SherlockScan deductions about his surroundings]] cause trouble for him in ''The Reichenbach Fall''. After he is thrown out of a courtroom for contempt because he annoyed the judge by analyzing the jury and refused to stop commenting on the lawyers' questions ''before they asked them'', John tells Sherlock that he told him "not to be clever." Sherlock irritably replies that he can't just turn it on and off.
** As of ''The Empty Hearse'', his brother Mycroft shows traces of the same. Sherlock tosses him a hat a client left, asking him to do deductions about his owner. Mycroft refuses, but before he realises he's already started describing the owner.
* A major problem that ''Series/{{Firefly}}'s'' River Tam suffers from is a complete inability to control her [[TheEmpath empathic]] PsychicPowers. Coupled with a physical inability to control her emotions thanks to her amygdala being stripped out, [[MindRape horrific mental scarring]] from what was done to her at the Academy, and [[GoMadFromTheRevelation mind-breaking secrets]] she picked up from government officials, [[TheWoobie the poor girl]] is more or less a complete mental wreck.
* ''Series/KamenRiderStronger'', being the first Franchise/KamenRider with an alternate form, could use his Charge Up to become significantly more powerful. However, he must use the extra energy up within a minute, or else he will explode.
* ''Series/{{Bewitched}}'' had Esmeralda. When she sneezed, strange objects would temporarily appear, and [[HilarityEnsues hilarity would ensure]]. Also, when she became nervous (and she was nervous ''a lot''), she would become invisible.
* One major reason mundane humans distrust telepaths in ''Series/BabylonFive'' is not only that said telepaths can theoretically pry into your mind -- they also cannot turn off those abilities. While a deep scan (memories, subconsciousness etc.) requires a deliberate effort, telepaths are constantly, unconsciously surface scanning, i.e. snapping up what people are currently thinking. The only way to avoid is for telepaths to constantly occupy and distract their minds with other stuff. In season five, [[MeaningfulName Byron's]] renegade telepaths explicitly reject that as an oppressive measure forced on telepaths by mundanes.
* Phoebe of ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' is practically the queen of this trope (not that the other sisters are entirely innocent): She doesn't have any sort of control over her premonitions until ~season 6 (and even then she never learns how to turn it off), the flying power she accidentally stole from the dragon in season 2 was unreliable to say the least. She also had a hard time controlling her empathy power at first, but soon got over that, though she didn't have nearly as much as a rough ride as Prue did when she [temporarily] became an empath. Also happened to Piper "Exit Strategy", where her ability to freeze time is upgraded to StuffBlowingUp too. Plus, Paige has struggled with this in her orbing ever since she was a high-schooler.
* ''Series/{{Misfits}}''
** If you think it's tough to break up with someone, just imagine what it's like for Curtis, whose power is to [[GroundhogDayLoop rewind time every time he feels guilty]]. So he has to constantly find a way to break up with his girlfriend in a way that prevents her from pulling his guilt strings.
** Then there's Kelly. Uncontrollable telepathy + poor self-esteem + poor impulse control = hitting people who think bad things about you for no apparent reason.
** Not to mention Alisha. Her power to instill uncontrollable lust in anyone she touches sounds pretty weak on its own, but the fact it happens to ''anyone'' she touches and that she can't turn it off makes it more of a liability than anything else.
* In ''Series/MahouSentaiMagiranger'', after obtaining their [[SuperMode Legend Modes]], the siblings experience an overflow of power while in their civilian forms, which is resolved by the end of the episode.
* Poor Morgana on ''Series/{{Merlin}}''. She's had precognitive dreams her entire life, and even after being trained in magic, she ''still'' has absolutely no control over them and needs her magic bracelet to stop them, and even that occasionally fails. It's implied that this is the case with all magic users, as both Morgana and Mordred had no control over their magic when it surfaced.
* In ''Series/{{Haven}}'', this is the case with practically all of the Troubled; either the power is on all the time, or it tends to activate without their control when they get upset.
* Pretty much all of the Cortexiphan kids on ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' have problems with this when they grow up. One has cell-regenerating powers that given everyone he meets cancer, another has uncontrollable magnetic powers and so can't be near anyone with metal fillings, etc.
* In ''Series/{{The Sentinel}} Jim often has trouble controlling his senses.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' has a couple instances where telepaths lose control of their powers and begin projecting their own emotions onto other individuals.
** [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG: "Sarek"]] has the title character begin transmitting his emotions (yes, Vulcans ''do'' have them) onto the ''Enterprise'' crew due to the Vulcan equivalent of senior dementia, a condition called Bendii Syndrome. This jeopardizes negotiations Sarek has spent almost a century setting up. A mind-meld with Picard enables him to regain control long enough to finalize the treaty.
** [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine DS9: "Fascination"]] has a less serious case where, due to a viral infection, Lwaxana Troi starts to make latent crushes and attractions between the regular cast crop up (Kira and Bashir start making out, Jake Sisko gets a crush on Kira, Kira's boyfriend Vedek Bareil pursues Jadzia who in turn pursues Sisko). Troi's crush on Odo, who wasn't affected at all, started it all.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology]]
* King Midas is pretty much the {{UrExample}} of this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''
** Psykers (psychically sensitive humans) generally can't control their powers... which leads to them usually being [[WitchHunt hunted down as witches]] and [[BurnTheWitch burned at the stake]]. Believe it or not, the alternative is actually ''[[DemonicPossession worse]]''.
** Ork pskyers, or Weirdboyz, have even ''less'' control of their psychic abilities. They generally live apart from the other boyz because the gestalt Waaagh! energy that pervades the Orkish race ends up being vented through the Weirdboy, [[YourHeadASplode with negative effects for those around him]]. In game terms, this means that Weirdboyz ''must'' use a psychic power each turn, and the exact ability used is determined randomly. And the power appears randomly, sometimes taking other orks around the weirdboy off.
** The Kroot have a CannibalismSuperpower version of AdaptiveAbility, allowing them to evolve new traits by consuming the flesh of critters with those traits -- eat strong, tough creatures, like Orks, and the Kroot will grow stronger and tougher. The downside is, they can't turn this off, so if they don't eat a balanced diet -- and, more importantly, regularly eat the flesh of sapient beings -- they'll eventually devolve into mindless animals. The entire animal ecology of their homeworld, Pech, is now based on devolved Kroot.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} Supers'' (the rule supplement that fleshed out superpowers), the point cost to buy individual powers can be reduced if the player accepts limitations on them, for example "Always On" or "Uncontrollable", or takes specific disadvantages linked to it. "Body of Fire, Always On" means the character is a walking fire elemental. "Uncontrollable Telekinesis" manifests as poltergeist phenomena. Telepaths who cannot shut their telepathy off suffer massive distraction and headaches if they are in a crowd. Teleporters may find they're not sleepwalking, but sleep''teleporting'', with embarrassing or life-threatening results.
* Many other point-based systems allow that as well, such as ''TabletopGame/MutantsAndMasterminds'' or ''Big Eyes, Small Mouth''. "Uncontrollable" comes with a even worse version of this trope where your power is actively malicious toward you.
* The psionics rules for ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' include a psychic disease known as Cascade Flu, which causes those infected to manifest all their powers, one after another, with random targets. This can be amusing if you have nothing but, say, the powers that create (but not shoot) arrows out of thin air and let you jump really well, but it can be outright deadly if you happen to have more than one attack power.
* ''TabletopGame/CthulhuTech'' has this sort of thing with its psychics. Run out of magic points? Don't worry, you can still CastFromHitPoints. You just have a chance of Burning for hours afterwards.
* In ''TabletopGame/ArsMagica'', this is treated as a fairly ordinary quirk of apprenticeship in the Order of Hermes, especially if the apprentice in question has an affinity for say, fire magic, or, in the case of Bjornaer magi, if they have a particularly ornery or excitable heart-beast form and haven't learned to shift properly yet.
* The "broken" creeds of ''TabletopGame/HunterTheReckoning'', Hermits and Waywards, suffer from this, among other things. Waywards have their "second sight" always on, meaning they can /always/ see any monsters around them, non-stop, 24/7. Given that every Wayward is on a personal mission to eliminate the supernatural from the world, this does /not/ do much to help their mental stability. Hermits have a constant connection to the PowersThatBe; unfortunately, the human mind wasn't meant to maintain that kind of connection, so the Hermits end up a little unbalanced, as well.
* Plenty of Mega-Heroes from ''TabletopGame/HeroesUnlimited'' have some problem controlling their powers. For example: Hazmat has the powers to control radiation and transform into living plasma. The problem? He can't transform back, meaning he has to permanently stay in a specially designed HazmatSuit.
* This can be a problem with one's party if you get the [[GoneHorriblyWrong wrong]] aura effects in ''TabletopGame/GammaWorld''. Hi-larity will ensue as your party draws and quarters your character for killing Dave The Robot Demon the hundredth time.
* Although it's not ''necessarily'' your powers (but it can be), this is how some Afflictions work in ''TabletopGame/{{Nobilis}}'' -- they provide a constant stream of miracles whenever the HG thinks they should, but you have no control over which miracles they are or how they are used. One like "My Estate frequently does things in my area without my consent" can lead to [[HilarityEnsues much hilarity]], although depending on your choice of Estate, this could be anything from randomly inflicting despair on people to the creation of pine cones out of thin air. And you get MP every time an Affliction proves inconvenient to you.
* This can happen to your character in ''TabletopGame/TalesFromTheFloatingVagabond'' if the Game Master feels you're overusing your character's Shtick. A character with the [[BagOfHolding Trench Coat Effect]] may fall victim to RummageFail, while a character with the [[ToonPhysics Escher Effect]] may find that [[RealityIsOutToLunch the laws of physics stop working at the most inconvenient times]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* Franchise/{{Bionicle}}
** Some Masks of Power are always active, or are simply too much for a normal being, or even a highly powerful being who lacks experience to handle and use properly. Even regular masks need time and practice, but in the case of organic masks (which are actually [[{{Squick}} soft, pulsating living creatures]] [[NightmareFuel that latch onto your face]]), it can take a lot of effort to shut them down, since they have their own mind. The Toa Inika still made good use of them, since the intense light radiation their heads gave off couldn't be turned down.
** Kongu had it worst: he was never able to turn off his Mask of Telepathy (or stop reading minds around him) until he became a Toa Mahri and got another mask.
** Then there's the Felnas, Mask of Disruption. As the name implies, it causes whomever the wearer targets to lose control of their powers. This works for the Toa's ElementalPowers, their Kanohi masks, and other species' special abilities. As shown with both [[spoiler:Krika and Icarax, disrupting powers like intangibility and teleportation is a very efficient way of killing someone. Both met their end after Gorast did just this with the Felnas she wore.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'', Elizabeth was originally going to grow weaker [[spoiler: the more you used her powers]], but this idea was dumped due to it being impractical.
* In the MMO ''Videogame/CityOfHeroes'', an accident suffered during the Rikti War caused the hero Positron's nuclear powers to run constantly, forcing him to spend all his time in his containment suit out of fear of nuking everyone around him. As of Issue 10, though, his powers have gone back to normal, since he was killed when the Rikti invaded again and [[DeathIsCheap a teammate resurrected him]].
* ''Videogame/{{Starcraft}}''
** While they aren't specifically superheroes, the [[SuperSoldier Terran Ghosts]] suffer from being unable to not read thoughts of those around them. At least the superficial stuff.
** And Protoss, especially the higher-level ones, sometimes suffer from extreme excess of psychic energy. High Templar units, for example, are in the manual mentioned to go through conditioning so as to not [[YourHeadASplode make heads randomly explode]] in their presence due to extreme psychic power (and relaxing these mental blocks is the basis for their devastating Psionic Storm ability).
** In the novel ''Liberty's Crusade'', the title reporter meets Sarah Kerrigan and thinks how great it would be for a reporter to have telepathy, only for Kerrigan to pick up on his thought and simply tell him that it wouldn't be as great as he thinks. In ''Ghost: Nova'', the title character is an extremely-powerful telepath and telekinetic who has yet to learn what she is thanks to her wealthy father carefuly hiding her abilities (any telepath is prompty taken by the Ghost Academy). However, the violent murder of her parents by a terrorist group results in her MindOverMatter abilities to manifest violently in the form of a wave that not only kills anyone still alive in the penthouse but also shatters the glass dome that is supposed to be rated against ''direct nuclear strikes''.
* Psycho Mantis from ''Videogame/MetalGearSolid'' is constantly reading the minds of those around him unless he wears his gas mask. The popular explanation (which was used in ''Webcomic/TheLastDaysOfFoxhound'' as well) is that the mask itself [[GogglesDoNothing doesn't do anything]]. Rather, it serves as a sort of crutch, like a security blanket or a lucky charm or MagicFeather or something, that allows Mantis to filter out undesirable thoughts.
* In the original series of ''[[DotHackR1Games .hack//]]'' games, overusing [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique Data Drain]] caused an array of adverse effects to the player. Depending on how much viral infection the player has taken on from using Data Drain, they can suffer anything from status ailments and debuffs to loss of experience points or even suffer a [[NonStandardGameOver System Error]].
* ''Videogame/NetHack'' characters may acquire (either from certain magic items or from eating corpses) the ability to polymorph or teleport... but at random times, uncontrollably. If you're polymorphed into a strong monster during a tough combat or teleported away from danger, good for you! If you're polymorphed into a sewer rat on dungeon level 15, that's a different matter...
** And in ''VideoGame/AncientDomainsOfMystery'', may the gods help you if you accidentally teleport out of a shop without paying. Shopkeepers have absolutely no sense of humor.
* ''VideoGame/FreedomForce'' has Man-Bot, whose Energy-X mutation is [[BlessedWithSuck much less desirable than those of his teammates.]] His body constantly builds up volatile Energy-X. He wears a suit of PoweredArmor that contains it; without it, he randomly suffers powerful energy discharges that nuke anything in the immediate vicinity... like his brother. It carries over to gameplay as well; even with the armor, any attack that strikes Man-Bot has a small chance of triggering an explosion that damages Man-Bot and anyone close to him. This can be either very good or very bad, depending on whether he's in the middle of the enemy or the team.
* ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime 3'' has this as a side effect of using [[SuperMode Hyper Mode]]. Sometimes the power meter starts charging on its own, causing a NonStandardGameOver if it fills. While the usual "treatment" is an UnstoppableRage, Samus can opt for ATeamFiring if there are no targets nearby.
* The Carson Extreme Hot Rod in ''[[VideoGame/{{Burnout}} Burnout Paradise]]''. Infinite boost is a pretty sweet deal... too bad there's no way to turn it off. If you can master it, though, it's one of the fastest and most fun cars in the game.
* ''VideoGame/InFamous''' Cole [=McGrath=] can't control his ability to ShockAndAwe enough to hold a gun, ride in a car, or even ''swim''.
* K' from ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' has to wear a special glove to control the flame powers given to him by the Kusanagi DNA, otherwise he can cause explosions without trying. A similar character, Nameless, also has to wear a special glove to control his flame powers: at one point in his backstory he killed somebody accidentally by tapping them on the shoulder.
* With its vast and varied SuperpowerLottery, ''Videogame/{{Touhou}}'' naturally has a few examples of this.
** [[TheDitz Cirno]] constantly [[AnIcePerson cools the area around her]], and among other things is prone to give people who touch her frostbite.
** Satori Komeiji has the power to [[{{Telepathy}} read the hearts and minds]] of anyone and everyone with her [[ExtraEyes third eye]], and [[ForgotAboutTheMindReader the contempt]] [[AMindIsATerribleThingToRead this earned her]], both amongst humans and other {{youkai}}, impacted her to such an extent that she willfully exiled herself to [[FantasticGhetto the Underground]] with other undesired youkai.
** Her sister Koishi, who had the same power, permanently sealed off her eye in order to escape the contempt. On the down-side this had the unforseen side-effect of permanently [[EmptyShell sealing off her own heart and mind]], resulting in her WalkingTheEarth in a purely subconscious stupor. She now also has the incontinential power to [[PsychicPowers manipulate other peoples' subconscious minds]] [[PerceptionFilter which]] [[ImaginaryFriend manifests]] in [[ByTheEyesOfTheBlind various]] [[InvisibleToAdults interesting]] [[NotSoImaginaryFriend ways]].
** Hina is a curse goddess who is actually benevolent and ''absorbs'' misfortune instead of spreading it, however she has a tendency to... ''leak'' misfortune.
** Miko can't turn off her [[SuperSenses super-hearing]] and wears [[PowerLimiter earmuffs]] to try to deal with it.
** Akyuu can't forget anything, at least until the [[{{Reincarnation}} next time she dies]].
** Yamame ''probably'' can't help but infect everyone, but she doesn't really like humans either, so we're not entirely sure.
** Kokoro's [[EmotionControl powers]] go haywire after she loses her Mask of Hope, making everybody, well, hopeless. [[HeroAntagonist She does her best to fix this, though]].
** Parsee has, in an interesting mix of this trope and PowerBornOfMadness, the ability to [[HatePlague manipulate the jealousy of others]]; this power is derived from [[GreenEyedMonster her own jealousy of them]]... Also, Parsee is pretty much physically incapable of ''not'' being [[DrivenByEnvy jealous of others]].
** Seija Kijin combines this trope with PersonalityPowers; she is an amanojaku with the ability to [[InterfaceScrew flip anything over]]. She is a CommanderContrarian and ConsummateLiar who is happy when others are sad and hates herself when she makes others happy.
* One variant of the [[PoisonMushroom "Disease"]] item in ''VideoGame/{{Bomberman}}'' causes him to uncontrollably drop bombs. With the charming in-game name of ''bomb diarrhea''.
* The Hammer and Golden Hammer in the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' games could be considered this as while very powerful, once you grab one of them, your character will be forced to swing it like a madman until it either disappears with time or gets knocked out of your hands by an attack, unable to do anything but move and jump until then. Getting knocked off the edge almost ensures your demise due to your inability to double jump or use a special, there are certain things you ''don't'' want to hit accidentally (Explosives or an Ike or Marth using a CounterAttack), and if you're unfortunate enough to get a defective hammer that's incapable of causing harm, you can't voluntarily dispose of it.
* David, the autistic mathematical genius introduced in the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' [=DLC=] ''Overlord'' can understand the Geth and talk in their language. Once plugged in the Geth neural network however, he can't block out any of their constant chattering.
-->'''David:''' ''[[AndIMustScream QUIET! MAKE IT STOP!!!]]''
* A more pleasant example is Nadia Grell, the Consular's companion in ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic''. The poor girl might be one of the most powerful telekenetics in a generation. Unfortunately, Force Sensitives (much less Force Users) are unheard of on her planet. Without training, it led to things ''exploding'' whenever Nadia got too happy, too sad, too scared, or too angry. Part of the reason her father was so eager to make an alliance with the Republic (and the Consular, personally) was to find ''anyone'' who [[GoodParents could help his daughter control her abilities]].
* Pichu is power incontinent. In the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' video games, this doesn't manifest. In the anime, as well as in ''Videogame/SuperSmashBros'' Melee, however, it [[CastFromHitPoints damages itself with its electric attacks]], bringing the cute little critter from "outmatched" to "useless".
* Partway through ''Videogame/{{BioShock|1}}'', Jack ingests a dose of an experimental formula [[spoiler:in order to undo Fontaine's PsychicAssistedSuicide TriggerPhrase]]. However, its side effect causes him to constantly, involuntarily switch plasmids until he finds and ingests another dose.
* The Unbreakable Darkness from ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable: The Gears of Destiny''. Merely appearing somewhere causes fluctuations in time and space and creates Dark Piece clones formed from the characters' pasts and even alternate futures. Oh, and the world she's in and everything around it will be reduced to nothing if she ever reaches full power, even though she doesn't want such things to happen. The ending reveals that [[spoiler:the Materials and the Tome of the Purple Sky were originally meant to be a PowerLimiter system so that she could regulate her unlimited powers, and she's finally able to use them for good once Lord Dearche, the Material of Sovereignty, successfully re-establishes this role of hers]].
* In ''VideoGame/CognitionAnEricaReedThriller'', the titular character has the power to briefly look into the past by touching objects imprinted with memories. However, her ability gets extra sensitive if she is emotionally distressed, causing her to involuntary use the power in situations where it is very inconvenient for her.
* At the end of every set of stages in ''VideoGame/MightyFlipChamps'', Alta's magic wand flips the chambers on its own, so she has a very short time to move to a safe spot to avoid getting crushed by the incoming dimensional wall.
* The same thing happens in the final stage of ''VideoGame/MightySwitchForce'', where Patricia's helmet siren activates every few seconds without her input.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'': The Seeress of Paddra, a.k.a. Yeul, cannot control her visions of the future, which strike whenever any change occurs to the timeline. The real kicker is that each vision brings her [[PowerDegeneration closer and closer]] [[PsychicNosebleed to her demise]], until one fateful day, [[CastFromLifespan she has a vision that kills her]]. [[spoiler: [[BlessedWithSuck The main character has the same power as well.]]]]
* Some offerings ''Videogame/SoulSacrifice'' cannot be turned off once they are used, such as armors and evasion spells. It's particularly annoying when you place a golem and get constantly knocked back.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}''
** Shiki [[AuraVision sees]] lines of death on ''everything'', allowing him to destroy nearly anything with even a butterknife. Shortly after acquiring this effect, he started having nightmares of the world falling apart at its seams and would have gone insane if he had not been given indestructible glasses that block this effect. Using this power anyway puts a strain on his brain and usually gives him headaches when he takes off the glasses. In the manga, he also kills things with a tree branch and his ''finger nails''.
** On a lighter note, Seo Akira can see the future... sometimes. With the amazing control to know that Shiki will decide on impulse to invite her to chat after lunch. On a plus note, seeing the future doesn't lock it in place for her like most forms of clairvoyance, which also means that the above chat after lunch doesn't necessarily ever happen.
* Likewise, in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', Rider wears a eye visor constantly, [[spoiler:not just to hide that she's Medusa, but also the fact that her petrification ability from her [[DeadlyGaze eye]] cannot be restrained]]. Or if she's in her normal mode, she wears a pair of glasses. The exact same style of glasses as Shiki's actually -- they're called Magangoroshi (Mystic Eye Killer) glasses. Seeing as [[spoiler: Aozaki Touko is one of the few connections between the ''Tsukihime'' and ''Fate'' timelines, as she's the one who makes Shirou his artificial body, it's very likely she also made Rider's glasses, as she made Shiki's as well.]]
* ''Anime/TanteiOperaMilkyHolmes'': Ellery's power activates without her control, ''and'' her power is to activate other people's powers.
* Two important examples in ''VisualNovel/DaCapo'', though only one really minds. Sakura's magic is highly dependent on her emotions and acts out in ways she wouldn't normally. As a child, her magic would accidentally break people's arms. In the main story, a girl gets a branch dropped on her head in Sakura's route and there are implications that she is accidentally responsible for Nemu's sickness in that route. Kotori is the other example, who often feels fatigued and ill due to constantly reading the minds of others, especially their more negative thoughts or ones in which she is the school idol, not a person.
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Planets}}'', the purpose of the academy is to teach psychic students how to control their powers.
** Marin has a harder time controlling her psych than other students because she wasn't born with it. As a {{telepath|y}}, she had to learn to turn it off so she wouldn't hear everyone's thoughts all of the time.
** Ryuu has trouble controlling his {{teleportation}} and runs out of energy quickly due to [[spoiler: a heart condition]].
** Kaius doesn't use his powers [[spoiler:PureEnergy]] because it is too dangerous and before he knew how to control them [[spoiler: he accidentally killed his mother.]]
** [[SuperpowerLottery In addition to]] his [[MindOverMatter telekinesis]], Lucan also has telepathy [[spoiler: which allowed him to unconsciously {{brainwash}} all of [[InstantFanClub the girls in the school]] into loving him.]] He doesn't like [[StalkerWithACrush the result]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt''
** [[spoiler:Zimmy]] has RealityWarper powers. They tend to spontaneously manifest by making her nightmarish hallucinations become real. Either that or the power only has one setting; it's really not clear at all how it works, or if the hallucinations are caused by the power or merely coexist with it. Although the point still stands that she can't control it. The closest she can come to controlling it is by sticking close to a PowerNullifier, which is far from a perfect solution. (Especially since her PowerNullifier of choice is subject to human needs like sleep.)
** When Parley's teleportation ability first manifested, she accidentally transported herself and the group with her into ''her bedroom''. She was not amused. Parley eventually finds out she can control her powers by sticking close to a boy whose power is to [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway organize the disorderly]]. [[{{Tsundere}} Whom she already had a crush on.]] [[RelationshipUpgrade This works out well.]]
* Elliot and Ellen from ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' experience what is perhaps one of the most literal forms of this possible; to the extent that Elliot is instructed to use his transformation powers in the privacy of a bathroom at every opportunity so as to prevent "accidents." In fact, anyone who gains their magical powers "improperly" will have some form of Power Incontinence until their magic power stabilizes.
* Ben of ''Webcomic/BreakpointCity'' can't control his lightning blasts without the [[http://www.breakpointcity.com/archives/2000/12/14/routine-check-up/ gloves]] given to him by the superhero organization.
* Jigsaw Forte from ''Webcomic/LastRes0rt'' learns about her Vampiric powers the hard way, right down to having to either learn to control her temper or risk letting her more... [[RedEyesTakeWarning visual aspects]] manifest themselves. She can't turn her mind-reading off, either, which makes her have panic attacks around crowds.
* Witches in ''Webcomic/SerenityRose'' have good control over their powers for the most part, but can conjure up creatures in their sleep. Sera creates a monstrous version of a girl she once knew, which results in a hiker losing his arm, and later results in the [[http://www.heartshapedskull.com/2009/03/25/goodbye-crestfallen-page-069/ violent dismemberment]] of many of the soldiers sent to stop it. Another witch, who never consciously used his powers at all, supposedly created 100 giant fire-breathing metal horses to crush Napoleon's army. He was of course burned alive, being a witch in the 19th century and all.
* Summer Mighty in ''Webcomic/EverydayHeroes'' has trouble controlling her [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/eddurd/everydayheroes/series.php?view=single&ID=74000 eye beams]].
* Faen in ''Webcomic/DrowTales'' has the ability to feel the emotions of those around her, and at times can control those emotions. Which would be pretty awesome if a) she could turn it off, b) she didn't live in a CrapsackWorld, or c) she weren't essentially PurityPersonified. Eventually, [[spoiler: the constant MindRape drives her slightly nuts, she accidentally [[PersonOfMassDestruction kills off a significant number of people]], and she ends up fleeing to the surface world, at which point the main character follows her.]]
* ''Webcomic/TheIntrepidGirlbot''
** Raccoon #1 just can't control her EyeBeams.
** Neither can Girlbot herself control all the power and resources at her disposal. She does her best, but [[http://www.intrepidgirlbot.com/2010/12/06/distress/ events always spiral out of her control]].
* Kili of ''Webcomic/TheDragonDoctors'' has such powerful spiritual senses that they went totally out of control when she was a child; she's been branded with magical marks on her face and body that suppress her spiritual vision to keep her from going insane. What remains of her power is still immense, since it turns out these tattoos ''completely'' negate the powers of ordinary shamans.
* In the world that ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'' is set in there exists the authors own design of what incubi and succubi are, essentially a race of shape shifting empaths who feed off emotions more than they do souls. Unfortunately for those individuals who mature to a point where this function becomes active without someone in the know to instruct them, these individuals may suffer from crushing migrains due to the influx of constant emotional downpour around them. Thankfully this can be for the most part filtered to allow only the desired emotional energies to flow through 'but' recently it's been revealed that despite this the cubi in question will always be 'very' susceptible to the emotions around them such that whatever emotion they may be experiencing at any given time will be kicked into overdrive so that even the slightest bit of anger becomes blinding rage for those who lack restraint.
* After [[AnArmAndALeg losing his arm]], [[TheSoCalledCoward Dies Horribly]] from {{Goblins}} is bestowed with a shapeshifting magical one, but the new limb also reacts to emotions, making it hard to control, as it will transform into spikes and blades when he is scared. He never learns to fully control it, [[spoiler:especially once the arm develops an ultra-violent mind of its own]] and ultimately has to sever it [[spoiler:causing it to transform into an ultra-powerful, mindlessly aggressive, multiplying evil being that [[ThePowerOfBlood sustains itself on the blood of the living]].]]
* ''Webcomic/TheChosenFour'' shows Ness loses control of his PSI as a result of emotional trauma, becoming an UnstoppableRage. [[spoiler:Department Store Spook learned that the hard way.]]
* Brian from ''Webcomic/ThinkBeforeYouThink'' can't turn off his mind-reading ability.
* One subplot in ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'' involves Shelly's inability to control her [[spoiler:sphinx side. She's partially shapeshifting whenever she feels strong emotions, and her instincts are interfering with everyday life.]]
* Gail in ''Webcomic/WhenSheWasBad'' does not have a stable set of powers aside from SuperStrength.
* In the middle of the "Gackt" arc in ''Webcomic/ManlyGuysDoingManlyThings'', Mr. Fish (a [[VideoGame/{{Pokemon}} Gyarados]]) learns Hyper Beam. The problem is that once he starts Hyper Beaming, he can't ''stop''. [[spoiler:He Hyper Beams Gackt in the face and then runs out of steam.]]
-->'''[[ABoyAndHisX Jared]]:''' COMMANDER! WE DON'T KNOW HOW TO TURN OFF THE LASERS!
* The "Jareth's cold" arc of ''Webcomic/{{Roommates}}'' is made of this trope. Every time poor guy sneezed something random magic happened, he even managed to sneeze the [[AuthorAvatar creator]] into the comic.
* Katia Managan, protagonist of ''Webcomic/{{Prequel}}'', suffers this as she learns to control her magical abilities.
* ''Webcomic/{{Karin-dou 4koma}}'': Seren is an immortal magician of immense power with a "Spell Booster" predisposition that automatically, drastically boosts any spells she casts, rendering low-level magic impossible without her PowerLimiter on.
* [[spoiler: Kit Darling]] in ''Webcomic/PoppyOPossum'' has the power to see matter at the atomic level, as well as potential interactions between substances. Unfortunately, she has no control over this power; she's been functionally blind since she was a young child, and can only manage with the help of special anti-magic glasses.
* ''Webcomic/KnightsOfBuenaVista'' is a CampaignComic covering ''{{Disney/Frozen}}'', and Elsa's player did such insane MinMaxing that although Elsa counts as a [[PhysicalGod "Living God"]], she also has a 90% of accidentally casting magic (barring any PowerLimiter).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Hawthorne dorm at SuperheroSchool Whateley Academy in the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' has a bunch of people with this problem -- it's what the dorm is for. Frostbite manipulates any water around her and freezes it, but isn't immune to the cold she creates. Diz has a PK field that has a force of over eight tons -- and she can't stop it. ''Everything'' she touches get hit with eight tons of force. She has to take liquid food (and presumably air) through a special [[GadgeteerGenius deviser]]-built nano-tube straw because her forcefield keeps everything out, so she hasn't had solid food since her powers came on.
* Moist from ''Webvideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog''. He has the power of being [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway absurdly damp]], and can't turn it off.
* Most of the Main cast in ''Literature/WhenTheHuntingPartyCame'' have this problem due to being forcefully injected with a SuperSerum.
* ''TrintonChronicles'' brings us several mentioned but non-obvious examples.
** The biggest is [[CuteMonsterGirl Sara]] who has fire generating powers with the power to ignite and burn whole towns; the catch...she can only control it while awake normally, so when she sleeps or is knocked out everything burns.
** There are others who have power problems, although mostly minor or often background mentions, the [[TheMorlocks Undergrounder's]] who have powers that either do not fit, make them difficult to live with, or out right monsters. A main character who suffers from this is [[MagicalNativeAmerican Boris]] who's power of super digging comes from his huge and very sharp claws..which he can't retract or hide in anyway.
* Silence/[[spoiler: Simon]] from ''Literature/{{Phaeton}}'' can't talk due to his inability to disable his sonic vaccum field.
* [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-507 SCP-507]] of the Wiki/SCPFoundation will randomly shift to a random AlternateUniverse version of Earth, and then shift back to his original universe after a random amount of time. He has absolutely ''no'' control over this, so the only thing he can do is carry emergency supplies with him at all times so they'll be with him when he shifts.
* A number of characters in ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' suffer from this to one degree or another. A woman with the ability to make people suggestible through her songs told her ex to "go fuck himself" without realizing she was affecting him. [[ExactWords He did]]. Fatally. Another example is Panacea, who accidentally [[spoiler:brainwashed her foster sister into being in love with her]].
* Gloom Glimmer suffers from this in ''Literature/{{Brennus}}''. Her AdaptiveAbility tries to give her what it thinks she needs, constantly -- such as clairvoyance for every odd thought, or a powerful sexual glamour when she wants to impress her new teammates. She takes special pills to rein it in.
* Happens to every villainous protagonist during an episode of the season 2 of ''Series/FlandersCompany'', because of a malfunctioning invention from [[MadScientist Caleb]], which has the effect to temporarily unlock Docteur Parker's [[spoiler:evil JekyllAndHyde personality.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Generally averted with WesternAnimation/{{Popeye}}, who can maintain control well under the influence of spinach. However, in at least two shorts Popeye force-feeds Bluto spinach, who then proceeds to lose all control and involuntarily and senselessly beats Popeye up (in both shorts, Bluto has reasons for not doing so).
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans''
** Raven's and Terra's powers fluctuate according to their level of emotional stability.
** Starfire is allergic to metallic chromium, and sneezes starbolts. [[ArtisticLicensePhysics Which should mean she'd be doing it almost constantly, as chromium is something you'd run into all the time a modern setting.]]
** One episode introduced an alternate version of Red Star, essentially the Soviet Captain America, and a crapload more powerful. Problems arose when it was revealed that his body periodically discharges a highly corrosive and dangerous plasma like substance. In a true TearJerker moment, Red Star was revealed to have lived in exile his whole life in a compound built to contain him after he accidentally destroyed half of his hometown.
** Beast Boy tends to change shapes randomly when he sneezes, such as in the episode when he caught a cold.
* The title character of ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' has this problem, especially at first. Even later, hormones and extreme emotion cause his powers to bleed over to his human form, although limited to glowing eyes (when angry) or bouts of invisibility/phasing (particularly when around an attractive girl). He also had a hard time learning to [[MesACrowd duplicate]].\\\
His two strongest powers repeatedly gave him problems. His [[MakeMeWannaShout Ghostly Wail]] would use up all his ghostly energy and cause him to revert back to his human form after using. When he first manifested his [[AnIcePerson ice powers]], they caused him to feel like he was freezing, to the point where he eventually was. All of these problems were solved by the end of the series and he was in complete control of his powers.
* A second season episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'', "U is for Undivided", has [[AnnoyingYoungerSibling Cornelia's younger sister Lillian]] began to manifest her Heart of Earth powers, making her as powerful as Elyon. Without even knowing it, she gave her cat Napoleon the ability to speak, and transformed her family's apartment building into a medieval castle. The girls and Matt had to arrange a complex {{plan}} to get Lillian to unknowingly pass off her powers to Matt, Mr. Huggles, and Napoleon, keeping the girl LockedOutOfTheLoop about her abilities until she reached the age where she'd be able to handle her powers responsibly.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'', the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Villain Of The Week]] Max Dillon gets zapped by lab equipment and thrown into a tank of electric eels; this being a version of the MarvelUniverse, he starts constantly emitting electricity, and has to wear a protective suit at all times so other people won't be hurt. Even so, his power leaks out - he can't watch TV, lighting arcs out of his hands when he's upset - and he can't even eat without zapping something. By the time he gets into a supervillain teamup, of course, he's managed more control.
* In the first episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'', BlueBeetle has [[HowDoIShotWeb trouble controlling his suit]] and accidentally creates a wormhole.
* Occurs in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' when [[RobotGirl Sari]] gets in touch with her heritage and ends up with more power than her system and low level of control can safely handle, causing her to go on a rampage. It was even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]].
-->'''Bulkhead:''' Maybe you should try holding it in!
** She tried, then damn near exploded. Lose/lose.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond''
** Ian Peek from the episode "Sneak Peek" gets his hands on an experimental belt that allows him to pass through walls. Repeated use renders the belt unnecessary, but unfortunately for Ian, without the belt he's not up to the task of regulating when and what he passes through. [[AndIMustScream Guess what happens.]]
** Derek Powers a.k.a. Blight, the BigBad for season 1. Powers became a WalkingWasteland in the show's beginning. He managed to pass for human by applying a fake skin; however, it degraded after time. Anyways, as Batman continuously foils his schemes, Powers undergoes a season-long VillainousBreakdown which causes the fake skin to degrade even faster; eventually, his temper means that the skin wastes away too quickly for him to continue running his corporation. He then undergoes a rather literal SuperpowerMeltdown, though its implied he might've survived.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'',
** In the "[[Recap/JusticeLeagueS2E5And6OnlyADream Only a Dream]]" episode, John Dee a.k.a. Doctor Destiny traps several members of the Justice League in their worst nightmares. Three of them have nightmares related to Power Incontinence. TheFlash gets stuck in SuperSpeed mode so that TimeStandsStill for him. John Stewart's concerns that his new powers as a Franchise/GreenLantern have permanently altered and isolated him from humanity are taken to an extreme (poor guy literally cracks up as Green light bursts out of his body!). The worst is Franchise/{{Superman}}. His powers go out of control and he accidentally kills the people closest to him.
-->'''The Flash:''' I've always been afraid this would happen. I'm gonna live out my whole life in the time it takes you to tie your shoelaces! Somebody! '''Say something!''' (''curls up in a fetal position'')\\\
'''Green Lantern:''' Come back! Why are you all running? What are you afraid of? (''as his friends and neighbors all run away when they see him'')\\\
'''Superman''': I started out with no power at all. Then I kept getting more. What if it ''never stops?''
** On a side note, Dee didn't do this to Hawkgirl. He just took advantage of her claustrophobia and trapped her in a nightmare where she was ''BuriedAlive''.
** In a later episode, Flash pushes his powers to the limit to take down a particularly tough foe (who's just wiped the floor with the rest of the League)... and then discovers he ''can't slow down''. If not for ThePowerOfFriendship, he'd have been lost in the Speed Force forever, and says outright that he can never do that again.
** Likewise, J'onn tries to extend his telepathy to all of Metropolis in order to do a quick scan for Lex Luthor in "Tabula Rasa." He finds him... and then gets flooded with the private thoughts of ''all'' of Metropolis, and finds he can't shut off the flow.
* Occurs in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' with Aang's [[SneezeOfDoom Sneezes of Doom]], with a variety of "oops" levels including [[HilarityEnsues accidental blown roofing]]. Aang also has the problem of reflexively entering the Avatar State whenever he's under emotional duress. When he does, duck and cover. Should you happen to be the focus of his wrath, put your head between your knees and kiss your butt goodbye.
** Early in the first season, Katara suffered from Power Incontinence while she was learning how to [[MakingASplash Waterbend]] properly. When she gets flustered or angry, her subconscious Bending is strong enough to split building sized icebergs, but once she gets some proper training near the end of the season she quickly becomes a Waterbending master.
* In the ''StaticShock'' episode "Sunspots", the [[Comicbook/{{Static}} titular hero]] begins to lose control of his electromagnetic abilities after being exposed to sunspots. Sometimes his abilities cease to work altogether, while other times, he becomes overpowered to the point that he almost harms those around him.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{X-Men Evolution}}''
** Spyke slowly gained this problem. In the third season, he had increasing trouble retracting his spikes, to the point where he simply couldn't do so. Then he was PutOnABus until the fourth season, where his spikes had grown into full-blown bone armor he couldn't remove.
** The episode [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "Power Surge"]] does this to Jean, who loses her hold on her telekinesis and telepathy.
** Rogue went even wilder when all the personalities and powers she had absorbed resurged and caused her to flip out.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'', Ben's NRG form is made of PureEnergy, with control over fire and radiation. Unfortunately he has to stay encased in a special suit of armor, or the people around him can develop radiation poisoning.
** Ben in general himself suffers from this, as at times the Omnitrix would give Ben something other than the form he had in mind.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** In the episode "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", Twilight Sparkle flashes back to her entrance exam for Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns. In the course of taking the test, she taps into her latent magic for the first time and ends up accidentally leaking magic all over the place, turning her parents into potted plants, among other things.
** A milder example occurs in "The Ticket Master" when, accosted by a crowd of ponies who want her ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala, Twilight Sparkle unexpectedly teleports herself and Spike away to the library. Twilight is merely surprised, but Spike ends up shocked... rather literally.
** As her SanitySlippage gets worse in "Lesson Zero", she starts to TeleportSpam without even apparently realizing it during the picnic with her friends.
** During the events of "The Cutie Pox", Apple Bloom steals some of Zecora's ingredients to brew a potion that could finally grant what she desires the most: a Cutie Mark. The problem is, the potion effect doesn't stop at ''one'' and keeps giving her an infinite number of Cutie Marks (every new Cutie Mark gives her a new special ability, to boot) and Apple Bloom neither can turn them off or stop using her new abilities. Eventually, her body ends up acting on its own, without stopping to rest or sleep while Apple Bloom desperately begs it to stop.
** The existence of "Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns" and "Magic Kindergarten", which are entirely separate schools for unicorns focused on teaching them to control their powers, imply that power incontinence is a fact of life for all unicorns, at least in early childhood. Confirmed when, after the Cake twins are born, Rarity warns the parents that baby unicorns are prone to strange, unpredictable bursts of magical energy.
** In ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E26TwilightsKingdomPart2 Twilight's Kingdom Part 2]]'', once she's been supercharged with the other Princesses' magic, Twilight is so overpowered that the mere act of opening a door instead causes it to explode and trying to fly sends her off at a speed which breaks the sound barrier.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', Cody Impossible has the power to turn himself into a human torch but lacks the RequiredSecondaryPowers to either turn it off or be immune to the pain of being set on fire. Any amount of time he spends awake and in a normal oxygenated atmosphere is an unending torment of unimaginable pain.
* Duman in ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' eventually becomes sick and has trouble controlling his powers. [[spoiler:This indirectly leads to his death.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ComboNinos'': In one episode, Diadoro and Gomez released a Divino who had the power to turn into anyone who touches him, regardless of the Divino wanting it to happen or not.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', the title character has trouble activating, and controlling, his powers. He is a child as well as being part human, though, and controlling his powers is suggested to be something he can learn.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* TruthInTelevision with [[SmellySkunk baby skunks]]. Adult skunks can control when they release their scent (and usually give plenty of warning before they resort to it, because it does take a lot of energy to produce). Baby skunks, however, don't have the necessary control over their scent glands yet, in much the same way other infants suffer from ''regular'' [[PottyFailure incontinence]].
** Similarly, it has been observed that venomous snakes will inject different doses of venom in different situations, using more to defend itself from a predator than it would use in capturing prey, for example. Many biologists believe that young snakes are less able to control the doses they deliver than adults; making it that much harder to treat the victims of bites from younger snakes.
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