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[[quoteright:338:[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/telek3_6648.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:338:Using [[MindOverMatter telekinesis]] for truth and justice? [[TheFashionista Try fashion]]!]]-]

In fiction it's very common that a character's life drastically changes after they get superpowers. The first thing most people do (after dealing with the person bullying them throughout act 1), is strap on their shiniest [[TheCape cape]] or nicest [[KickTheDog dog-kicking boots]] and become the local hero or villain. That's not the life for this character.

When this character gets superpowers, the first thing they do is... not much. They use their powers to marginally improve their lives, and simply do what they feel like. They don't care about the typical GoodVsEvil struggle [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive (unless their mother gets kidnapped by the Evil League of Evil, or is staked by the local Knight Templar)]]. Their behavior is probably how most ordinary people would act if they got superpowers. They aren't particularly mean, nor especially kind. They are just ordinary people given extraordinary powers. Often this is how characters in shows on the center of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism act before the plot shows up.

If there are other characters that have chosen to become heroes or villains, they (more often than not) will tell this character that they are either [[YouCouldHaveUsedYourPowersForGood selfish or wasting their potential]].

While plot-wise most characters are given superpowers for the purpose of beating up other guys with superpowers, this kind of character can be used in SliceOfLife situations and make a plot interesting without an antagonist that must be beaten.

Differs from MundaneUtility in that MundaneUtility is where a superpower can be/is used to make a character's every day life easier, whereas with this trope that's ''all'' their powers are used for.

Opposite trope of ComesGreatResponsibility. Related to CutLexLuthorACheck and ChaoticNeutral (they tend to do whatever they want).

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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ''. Present Android 18 uses her powers only for personal gain and fun. She more often than not only cares about monetary gain, and hardly ever gets involved in the GoodVsEvil struggle. Future Android 18 is very much evil, taking this trope to a sociopathic extreme. After all, if you can blow up a city with a wave of your hand, [[AppealToForce you don't need to pay at the clothing store]].
** While only in the anime, Yamcha also uses his super human combat training to earn boatloads of cash playing professional baseball, between each crisis. Given his lackluster combat performance aside from early in Dragon Ball, it's pretty much the only effective use of his training he displays.
*** Still pretty stupid though, considering how much ''more'' money Mr. Satan makes as the reigning World Martial Arts Champion. Even Yamcha could take him in a fight if he wanted. Ostensibly none of the protagonists do this because they don't want to deal with living in the public eye, but if you are going to be a famous athlete anyways...
* In ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', this is Kyoko's attitude after becoming a MagicalGirl. Though initially an idealist like Madoka and Sayaka, after ruining her life, she decided to only use her powers for her own benefit.
* Nao from ''Anime/{{Mai-HiME}}'' uses her powers as part of her schemes to trap and rob perverts.
* When Makoto in ''TheGirlWhoLeaptThroughTime'' discovers that she has the ability to, well, leap backward in time, she uses it almost entirely for things like singing karaoke for ten straight hours and having a dinner she likes instead of one she doesn't. On the other hand, the more significant the change she makes to the timeline, the more it tends to backfire on her dramatically. Both of the two other characters in the film who have experience with time travel separately say that it's a good thing that she used the ability almost exclusively for small things.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:ComicBooks]]
* Peter Parker, at first. It was only after a thief he could have stopped killed his uncle that he [[TropeNamer named]] [[ComesGreatResponsibility the opposite trope]] and became ''SpiderMan''.
** Something akin to this was invoked, however, in a short story about Spider-Man as if Stan Lee had never existed. The moral becomes "With great power comes hot chicks and money from wrestling".
** This is actually a point in the storyline "Alpha": a listless, ordinary teenager is granted superpowers by accident and, instead of being an actual hero, he becomes something of a media darling and a real JerkAss to boot.
** In a ''WhatIf'' storyline, Spider-Man becomes a celebrity and superstar when he decides that catching the robber (who would otherwise kill uncle Ben) is a good PR move, and ends up as a successful manager for supercelebrities wanting to jump the same bandwagon. Although this initially ends up benefitting several superpeople (the X-Men are no longer feared or hated), they suffer when serious threats show up, since the "heroes" don't have the training to stand up to them. Spider-Man in this timeline does [[InSpiteOfANail ultimately]] become a hero after ComicBook/{{Daredevil}} sacrifices his own life to save him.
* The entirety of Comicbook/ClanDestine. The family lives a very wealthy, comfortable lifestyle and stays relatively quiet about their abilities. It's only when the youngest twins decide they want to become heroes that the family is exposed.
* There's a [[TheFlash Flash]] story where a man asks him if he ever realized something like 90% of superpowered individuals became villains instead of heroes, then corrects him that it isn't the case. Most are like this, simply living their lives out of the spotlight. Flash realizes that this actually makes a lot of sense.
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[[folder: Fan Works]]
* The four practically define this trope in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached''. After they get empowered, all they want to do is play with their magic, and they could have happily spent the rest of the book doing so (with a side trip to rescue Lyndess), except that the C'hovite gods decided to put them to use.
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[[folder:Films]]
* In ''Film/BruceAlmighty'': After Bruce got the powers of God, he immediately began to use them for fun, to improve his romantic life, and to become more successful as a reporter.
* In ''Film/{{Jumper}}'', the main character spends the time between finding out he has powers and the plot [[IncrediblyLamePun jumping]] around, seeing the world, and occasionally leaving [=IOUs=] in emptied bank vaults (but with the serious intention of one day paying them back).
* In ''Film/WhatWomenWant'', the main character [[LightningCanDoAnything got the power to read minds thanks to getting electrocuted while drunkenly crossdressing]]. He uses these powers to improve himself on dates (and give at least one lady some ''mind-blowing'' sex), to bond with his daughter, and manipulate women.
** He also uses it to be better at his job, by stealing ideas from his boss and female coworkers.
* In ''Film/MysteryMen'', it's heavily implied that Captain Amazing became a millionaire ''after'' becoming a hero thanks to, basically, [[CorporateSponsoredSuperhero being a walking advertising board (imagine a NASCAR racer fighting crime)]]. His problems at the beginning of the movie stem from waning interest in his heroic persona, meaning the companies are about to cut funding, ending his rich lifestyle.
** It was also mentioned he was a successful lawyer, so if anything may have merely [[GloryHound wanted the attention]].
* ''Film/{{Chronicle}}'' features this in spades; after three high-school guys are given [[MindOverMatter telekinetic powers]] by a mysterious artifact hidden at the bottom of a crater, they mainly use their newfound abilities to waste time in increasingly spectacular ways, from playing pranks on customers at a department store, to playing football several thousand feet off the ground. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, a very nasty combination of AbusiveParents and bullying at school eventually turns one of them into a super villain.]]
* ''Film/{{Hancock}}'' was this from the start and for most of the movie [[spoiler:until Ray finally convinced him to use his powers for good as a superhero]].
* In ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', Quicksilver uses his super-speed for shits, giggles, and petty larceny.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The {{Faust}} legend, and how it's depicted in ''Theatre/DoctorFaustus'' is all about this, and would qualify as a darker take on this. After making his DealWithTheDevil, Faust behaves in a quite similar manner to ''BruceAlmighty'' and uses his power to pull pranks and satisfy his whims of the moment. While this kind of thing makes the audience laugh, it amounts to him wasting the true potential of the deal and he ends up eternally damned without a lot to show for it.
** And also there are [[ThoseTwoGuys his apprentices]], who use his magic books for even wackier shenanigans.
* In ''WearingTheCape'' even the superheroes are working for big paychecks, and the more successful ones are idolized, with their own merchandise lines, fan-clubs, even TV shows fictionalizing their adventures. This doesn't mean they're ''all'' in it for the perks--just that a superhero career can be financially remunerative. The trope name is also used as an epigram for a chapter, along with the original.
* In ''The Scent Of Magic'' by Cliff [=McNish=], when one girl gets magic all she does is read a book by the light of her spells shining from her eyes.
* In ''Literature/{{Murderess}}'', Lu enjoys the newfound powers she gains after crossing into [[MagicalLand Greywall’d]].
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* At the start of ''NoOrdinaryFamily'' only the father wants to be a superhero. The mother uses her SuperSpeed to get her chores done and is more interested in the scientific implications. The son uses his super learning to get good grades in school and the daughter uses her telepathy to find out if a guy is a jerk.
* Merlin in ''{{Series/Merlin}}'' uses his magic to do his chores in several episodes. He also uses it to humiliate Arthur in a marketplace duel in the pilot, only losing because he spotted his disapproving mentor in the crowd.
* When Anya becomes a vengeance demon (again) in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' she makes extensive use of her teleporting powers for everyday use. It does come back to bite her in the ass when she is punished by having her powers restricted to vengeance-only purposes and she finds that she is really out of shape.
* Using magic for personal gain or other petty reasons was usually looked down upon or outright forbidden on ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' and ''SabrinaTheTeenageWitch''
* This is the essential concept of ''Series/{{Misfits}}''. Of course, a lot of characters have [[BlessedWithSuck powers that aren't especially useful in making their lives better]], but the ones that do only really use them for this.
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[[folder:TabletopGames]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Aberrant}}'', this is essentially what ''every'' nova does with their newfound powers. Granted, there are a few who use their powers in the classical superhero way, but even then they only do it for the fame or the money. Justified, as ''Aberrant'' is more or less a deconstruction of the superhero genre.
* Likewise, in the ''Paragons'' setting for ''MutantsAndMasterminds'', you'll get just as many heroes who use their powers for personal fun times as do for altruistic aims. One sample NPC is Gourmand, who has the ability to teleport anywhere on Earth... and uses it to visit her favorite out-of-the-way restaurants across the globe (the fact that she has Immunities to gastric distress and weight gain help).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebComics]]
* Pretty much the whole point of ''{{minus}}''. The title character is basically a PhysicalGod, but only uses her powers to have fun. {{Justified|Trope}} in that she is a child, and doesn't have any ambitions.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}},'' [[spoiler:Sahira]] uses her powers to take care of minor chores, such as doing the cleaning with six hands at once. Spinnerette herself does this as well, but that's ''[[MundaneUtility in addition]]'' to fighting crime.
* ''[[http://www.dorkly.com/comic/62368/the-5-best-possible-uses-of-telekinesis The Five Best Possible Uses for Telekinesis]]''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebOriginal]]
* Cecilia Rogers of the WhateleyUniverse can control fabric. She could become another [[Anime/ReadOrDie Yomiko Readman]] or Magneto with her amazing powers. She chooses to be a really good tailor.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes''
** [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-zagged]] with Hank Pym who is able to control ants, become a giant and shrink down to ant-size... and uses them ForScience until his girlfriend (see the Wasp, below) convinces him to become more proactive.
** Subverted by Wasp. She starts out following this pattern, then got bored and decided to convince Hank Pym that they should become superheroes.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', there is a Treehouse of Horror episode where both Lisa and Bart get superpowers. After getting his powers Bart declared "[[ItAmusedMe I must only use these powers to annoy!]]". He annoys bad guys.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', as shown in the page image. Admittedly, it must be hard to sew when you ''don't have hands''. It overlaps with MundaneUtility as ponies with cutie marks fully utilize their special talents or powers in their everyday tasks.
** The show is also consistent in depicting unicorn telekinesis as being fairly "weak", good only for small- or medium-sized objects at close range, and nowhere close to [[ComicBook/TheDarkPhoenixSaga Dark Phoenix]] power levels. Unless, of course, you're Twilight Sparkle.
[[/folder]]

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