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Anime & Manga
- One Piece
- Franky's case is a bit different: He's a cyborg who uses cola as an energy source, mostly because he loves cola. (He can use other carbonated drinks, juices or even tea, with... mixed results.)
- Hody Jones, the leader of a gang of fishmen consumes great quantities of an "energy steroid" to the point where he overdoses on it. Instead of dying however, he transforms into a stronger, uglier version of himself, before being suddenly aged into powerlessness by the side effects.
- Inverted with April in Darker Than Black: the remuneration for her powers is to drink. She does like alcohol a lot.
- In Wolf's Rain, Quent Yaden gains the ability to see through the wolves' humanoid disguises after consuming alcohol. On the downside, it impairs his aiming skills.
- Chu from YuYu Hakusho in the Dark Tournament arc gets stronger and can release more energy the drunker he gets.
- Inverted with Fujusawa-sensei from El-Hazard: The Magnificent World. He gains Super Strength as a result of coming to El-Hazard, but only when he stops drinking. He's not happy about this. He's also chain smoker, so it's further inverted when he finds he gets even stronger when he stops smoking. He's also not happy about this.
- The "Druggies" in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED are three human mobile suit pilots who have been taking the drug called Gamma Glipheptin to boost their combat powers to the same level as the Coordinators — with all due consequences to their health and life expectancy.
- Elongated Man drinks a lot of Gingold soda and gets super-stretch powers. Evidently, it works only on him.
- Semi-Averted: Gingold can increase flexibility in most people who drink it, but you have to go to serious overdose levels to get actual stretching abilities, which can then be maintained by regular drinking of the normal product. A significant section of the human population is allergic to gingold extract, and thus unable to take advantage of the herb's special properties.
- Rex Tyler, aka Hourman, derives his powers from synthetic drug "Miraclo," the remaining toxins of which must then be purged in the bloodstream over the following 24 hour period before it can be used again. Rex actually discusses the psychological effects and his reliance on the drug with a concerned Dr Midnite in "The Justice Society Returns!"
- The New Guardians villain Snowflame is the poster boy for this trope (he's the page image!), having actual observable supernatural abilities powered by cocaine, which he worships as a god.
- Tintin: Give a few drops of alcohol to a tired Captain Haddock, and he'll be good as new. Just make sure he doesn't get too much.
- Inverted in Empire, where supervillain tyrant Golgoth keeps his minions under control by feeding them a highly addictive power-boosting drug called "Eucharist". It's so addictive that anyone who stops using has a good chance of being driven permanently insane during withdrawal. The inversion becomes apparent with the discovery that derived from the blood of the defeated superhero Endymion. In other words, Endymion's superhuman biology powers everyone else's addictions.
- In Grant Morrison's X-Men, the drug Kick is a highly addictive power-booster that only works on mutants. It's actually the sentient bacteria Sublime, making it an inversion as well — Sublime's power is to be an addictive power source.
- In one incarnation of the Crime Syndicate of Amerika, Johnny Quick derives his powers from an addictive substance made from the blood of his predecessor in the role. It's never shown to work for anyone else.
- As shown in Forever Evil, Ultraman gets his powers from grinding Kryptonite into a fine powder and then igniting it with his heat vision so he can snort its fumes.
- Averted in Captain Alcohol, where the use of alcohol hinders his abilities as opposed to help them.
- In Diabolik, those who have recently used cocaine and similar drugs tend to recover faster from the title character's Truth Serum and sleep agents. Justified as stimulant drugs and narcotics (including the truth serum) do in fact counteract each other.
- The weird-ass 2000 AD comic Storming Heaven revolves around superhumans being born from experiments with LSD in the 1960s. Unfortunately this also gives rise to new supervillains like Charles Manson.
Films — Live-Action
- In Scarface (1983), Tony's cocaine allowed him to take a lot of punishment before going down.
- The Legend of Drunken Master
- In The Wolf of Wall Street, the main character has taken so many downers that he can barely move. Inspired by a Popeye cartoon on the television, he snorts cocaine until he's charged up enough to be marginally functional.
- Done for laughs in Modern Times, where Charlie gets much more assertive after he accidentally takes some cocaine.
- In Lawrence Watt-Evans' The Legends of Ethshar books, the magical power that warlocks have was given by something, possibly a meteorite. It suddenly awoke power in thousands of people. The more that warlocks use their power, the more powerful they get, the more they want to use it, but when they use too much of it, they are compelled to fly to the source and are never heard from again. It's portrayed as an addiction.
- Shaman of the Undead has Kwiatuszek ("Flower"), whose Awesomeness by Analysis powers are powered by junk food and caffeine. They still make her fat, but she long ago decided that she won't be Brainless Beauty.
- In the Dune novels, Guild Navigators fit. Breathing great quantities of melange/spice gives them limited powers of prescience, enough to find safe passage when their ship is traveling faster than light. It also deforms them significantly. The general population doesn't gain this benefit, but that's because they don't literally breathe nothing but spice all day, every day (at most, they take it in tablets and put it in their food and drink — particularly their coffee, since it tastes like cinnamon).
- The Bene Gesserit are also an example, particularly demonstrated in God-Emperor of Dune when they are forced to suplicate to God-Emperor Leto II for their Spice allocation. Also noteworthy in Chapterhouse: Dune in showing the Sisterhood's need to re-create the Spice after the Honored Matres both destroyed Rakis and Tleilax, the two sources of the drug, it also had an updated version of the Agony portrayed.
- In Wild Cards, Captain Trips has several different Superpowered Alter Egos, each of which is triggered by taking a different derivation of LSD.
- In Super Powereds, Hershel's Superpowered Alter Ego Roy comes out only when Hershel has some whiskey. This appears to be part of the procedure that turned Hershel from a Powered into a Super. Subverted in that no addition is involved (and Hershel isn't a big drinker anyway). Also, after turning into Roy, whiskey doesn't have any further effect, except keep Roy active. In Year 2, Roy meets a freshman, who loves beer to the point of obsession. Ironically, it turns out that his Super Strength is far more affected by hard liquor than beer. The kid gets stronger the more alcohol he consumes, but he also gets more drunk and can't sustain it for long.
- On WKRP in Cincinnati, Johnny and Venus get drunk and then have their reflexes measured live on-air as a PSA against drunk driving. For some reason, the more Johnny drinks, the better his reflexes are.
- Similarly, on Designing Women, the girls' wacky friend Bernice is required by her niece to have a competency hearing. The morning of the hearing, they come downstairs to see her drinking some leftover champagne from the night before. This worries them, since Bernice is kooky at the best of times. Bernice then mentioned how she had played loud music the night before to keep the aforementioned niece up all night, saying "Of course I kept her awake all night, does she think I want her fresh for my sanity hearing?" Mary Jo lampshades it, saying "Liquor seems to have the opposite effect on you, you seem sharper."
- Isaac Mendez on Heroes discovers an ability to paint the future. Unfortunately, Isaac is also a heroin addict who finds he can paint only when high. This effectively means that Isaac's ability is dependent on drug use, creating some awkward issues for him. Eventually, he gets himself clean and discovers that he can paint the future even when sober.
- Happy Endings: One episode has Penny getting drunk, which gives her the power to speak and understand Italian. This isn't just a couple of drinks, either; she has to get wasted to get to the point where she can do this. She gets with a cute Italian guy this way, but he leaves her because he was traumatized by his father's alcoholism. (Side option: Alex starts lavishly eating ribs when smashed. Not as impressive.)
- My Name Is Earl: Randy is an adept liar, con man and all-around competent at doing stuff, but only after he's had four beers. No more, no less.
- There was a Forever Knight episode where Natalie found that a drug called Lidobuterine (sp?) seemed to cure Nick's vampirism. However, it turned into the drug being addictive, and in order to remain 'human', Nick had to keep taking it and get more and more of the drug at once.
- Captain Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager claims she beat the Borg with coffee. She also shows some suspiciously strong indications of having an unhealthy relationship to coffee, which is where that claim starts to enter into this trope.
- MADtv: Stan the Coffee Guy is a coffee addict, though he usually tries to fight his addiction. When he goes berserk in a coffee factory a security guard tries to take him down with a taser, but the stuff has made Stan so hyperactive that he's immune to electric jolts. The confused guard then tries tasering himself and ends up knocking himself unconscious.
- In Series 2 of Danger 5, Pierre gets Super Serum effects from snorting cocaine off people's tits. At one point he even dips his guns in a pile of cocaine to shoot coke-covered bullets.
- Followers of Slaanesh, the god(dess) of hedonism and excess, are usually hopped up on enough drugs to by all rights kill them. They get boosts to their Initiative scores and may even gain the Feel No Pain rule.
- Dark Eldar are quite similar (considering they're the only reason Slaanesh exists in the first place) but they at least make sure to distinguish between drugs and combat drugs.
- Ghouls, from Vampire: The Masquerade, which are powered by vampire blood that they need to ingest on a regular (monthly *at least*) basis become addicted. Vampire blood is crazy-addictive but you need to ingest a whole pint of it to actually gain unaging immortality (assuming you keep consuming it) and super-strength.
- Grifters in Deadlands Noir are spellcasters who derive their powers (or, more precisely, their ability to draw power from the Hunting Grounds) from some addictive and self-destructive vice, either a substance or a habit such as gambling.
- Punch-Out!!'s Soda Popinskynote . He drinks huge amounts of soda, even in the ring. The drink restores his stamina and increases his punching power, albeit for a short time.
- Dragon Age: Unlike the mages, who simply get a power boost from Lyrium, the Templars' abilities are powered solely by it. However, it is also addictive as hell, and the Chantry monopolizes Lyrium trade to keep its Templar junkies on a short leash. Just to make the situation murkier, Alistair has the abilities of a Templar despite never finishing his training, and Warrior characters in both games can get the Templar Prestige Class. Lyrium does boost Templar abilities, but it's unclear how necessary it is. Things get worse in Dragon Age: Inquisition when a faction of Templars start using Red Lyrium, an even more powerful and dangerous variant of lyrium tainted by the Blight.
- In Alpha Protocol, the 1980s-themed villain, Konstantin Brayko, ingests enormous amounts of cocaine to power up and fight Mike Thorton, allowing Brayko to do things like run incredibly fast and be temporarily bulletproof. You can thwart this by having Steven Heck sabotage his supply.
- The insane crime boss Jack Lupino in the original Max Payne overdoses on Valkyr and takes an ungodly amount of lead into the body before he bites the dust. Justified much later by The Reveal that Valkyr was originally developed by US military to create Super Soldiers: in other word, the drugs worked on Lupino as designed, never mind that it also proved addictive as hell.
- In the Mass Effect setting, the drug Red Sand is capable of enhancing biotic powers, though it's considered an illegal narcotic in most parts of the galaxy.
- In Mother Russia Bleeds, the street drug Nekro (a thinly veiled expy for Krokodil) is used as a power-up that can heal you or send you into a temporary berserk mode. It also serves as a constant peril for the protagonists, who are motivated by their desire to get this shit out of their system, with the final boss being a hallucinatory manifestation of the drug itself.
- In Fallout Jet is, in-universe, an analogue to meth or crack. In the modern sequels it restores action points, except in Fallout 4 where it induces Bullet Time. Noteworthy in that it's presented as nothing but a drug, in a world where radiation is basically magic and functional Super Serum exists in the from of Psycho. It should also be known that it was first synthesized from the fumes of Brahmin shitWhy? and the drug's effects are made more potent using a mix of sugars from soda or breakfast cereal and cleaning agents or using flamethrower fuel.
- Caleb from Flander's Company earned short-range teleportation after spending some time drinking an average of 8 liters of coffee a day. Consuming more coffee also makes him more powerful, allowing him to teleport a whole building at one point.
- In Fallout: Nuka Break, it's revealed in Season 2 that Twig has drunk so much Nuka-Cola in his life that it has altered his DNA, to the point that drinking Nuka-Cola gives him a minor Healing Factor. For instance, a two day old bullet wound appears to have been healing for over a week.
- South Park: Marijuana gives Towelie [an anthropomorphic towel] Popeye-like powers. Well, Towelie thinks so. Detached onlookers see a very different story.
- The Futurama episode "300 Big Boys" has Fry tap into the speed force when he gulps his hundreth coffee cup of the episode.
- Family Guy: Peter Griffin can play the piano beautifully, but only when he's blackout drunk.
- Brad from Super Mansion is powered up by heroin and other illegal drugs.