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Cursed with Awesome
Oh no! She's cursed to turn into a busty green superstrong amazon! Wait...

A character has some "terrible" curse placed on them (if they weren't born with it) that is actually pretty awesome. Often, such characters will bemoan their fate and go to great lengths to be rid of the "curse" instead of taking advantage of whatever cool side effects the curse may have. Other times it's the "reward" for Heroic Willpower. Sometimes a subset of people try to tell him this. The idea that the awesome is a curse may cause some forms of Internalized Categorism.

Immortality has been done to death under this heading, even garnering its own trope. While eternal life does have some understandable drawbacks, excessive emphasis on the negative side can push it straight into Cursed With Awesome territory. The Emergency Transformation of a character often crosses into this, as the condition is considered literally de-humanizing. The Curse That Cures can skirt this depending on the severity of the curse and the illness or injury it's curing as a side effect.

Vampire protagonists are always Cursed With Awesome.

The jury is out on the justification of the "curse" of Awesome being Fantastic Racism; on one hand, superpowers aren't that much fun when the majority of the population believe suffocating you in your sleep is pest control. On the other, it's not like All of the Other Reindeer will have an easy time burning you. But if you keep driving off every Torch-swinging Muggle for a generation or so, you're just reinforcing the Fantastic Racism... On and on it goes.

This trope is a major source of Angst Dissonance — if not used carefully, then a character being Cursed With Awesome carries the risk of plummeting straight into Wangst or Deus Angst Machina territory, as nothing is guaranteed to piss an audience off more than a character complaining about having abilities that are, on the face of it, utterly fantastic and that the audience would kill to have. This is especially a risk if a balance between the awesomeness of the powers and the suckiness of the consequences of possessing them is not maintained; if the drawbacks are outweighed by the benefits, then the character just looks whiny. On the other hand, it can make for some great Character Development if the character is saddled with something that is genuinely difficult to live with, but later figures out a way to benefit from it.

There are also some cases where the drawback is just a straight-up Informed Flaw, or negated by a bit of Fridge Brilliance. The Super Mode can be legitimately terrifying if the person using it loses control of themselves while remaining aware of what they're doing, but not if they only do things that they could just as well have done anyway and are just as beneficial, but now they have an excuse for behavior that might be otherwise unacceptable. The Smart Guy may be so smart that it's said to alienate others and leave him lonely or anti-social, but if he's in a Five-Man Band, he almost certainly has at least four True Companions.

Occasionally leads to a "World of Cardboard" Speech whether or not the character is unhappy about the effects of their curse.

The Punishment is an extreme form of this and usually done to someone that actually deserves it. Also compare Plague of Good Fortune. Compare Unishment, where the "curse" turns out to be something that the character actually enjoys or wanted all along.

See also the inverse, Blessed with Suck, where the ability given is supposed to be good, but isn't. Compare I Just Want to Be Normal. Contrast Super Loser. May result in a Curse Is Foiled Again or Living Forever Is Awesome. Both this and Blessed with Suck may connect with Muse Abuse. If a character actually gets over it by refusing to be tormented any longer by the downsides of their "curse", they usually result in a case of Sweet and Sour Grapes; as the "curse" is merely their own displeasure at their condition, then by moving past it they become purely Awesome.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Devilman Lady, Jun turns into a female Devilman, which grants her some badass superpowers. Unfortunately, due to the high tendency for Devilman to go Axe Crazy Always Chaotic Evil, her powers have her nearly constantly suspected of going evil to the point even her allies are ready to turn on her at a moments notice, and even though she's one of the very few of her kind able to retain most to all of her humanity and remains one of the most moral characters in the Crapsack World that is the series, even she feels the bestial urges try to overwhelm her from time to time.
  • Magical Project S: Sammy complains of being a magical girl because she has a lame outfit; this despite having reality-bending powers. Misao complains about having to transform into Pixy Misa (granted, it was an evil personality). However, at the end, both learn to enjoy their abilities.
  • Ranma ˝. While it's never officially stated that Ranma Saotome has some sort of "May You Live In Interesting Times" curse on him, it's a fair assumption to make in order to explain his status as a Weirdness Magnet. However, Ranma himself has no complaints about this curse, at least in abstract- it draws strong (if weird) martial arts challengers and beautiful girls to him like flies to honey. He complains when they personally get out of hand, but not about the situation itself. Many fans consider his Nyanniichuan curse to be a case of Cursed With Awesome too, but to Ranma it's more a case of Blessed with Suck.
    • It's implied that at least a few Jusenkyo springs can bestow this as well. Pantyhose Taro fell into a spring where a yeti that was riding an ox while carrying a crane and an eel drowned, and consequently transforms into a sort of giant flying minotaur when he gets wet. Perhaps because of this curse's mixed up nature, he's later able to assimilate a Drowned Octopus curse for Combat Tentacles. A character named Rouge fell into a Spring of Drowned Ashura, becoming a demon/goddess with three faces and six arms, a form in which she can fly, breathe fire, and hurl lightning bolts.
  • Ataru Moroboshi of Urusei Yatsura seesaws somewhere between this and Blessed with Suck in regards his Accidental Marriage to Cute Monster Girl Lum. On the one hand, she is a beautiful alien princess who genuinely does love him and sees his better qualities, and a lot of his protestations seem to be rooted in his being a particularly lustful example of the Casanova Wannabe who doesn't seem to realise how lucky he is. On the other hand, Lum does have her legitimate bad points, including having a bad temper and little tolerance for jealousy, being somewhat ditzy, enjoying higher levels of food spice than humans are comfortable with, and, of course, her ability to generate electricity... not only does she use this to discipline him when he goes skirt-chasing, but she sometimes loses control of this when trying to cuddle him, giving him a painful shock (particularly early on, when she is the unofficial villain). And, on the meta-level, there's the fact he was originally supposed to marry Shinobu Miyake (who ended up crushing on Mendou after he was first introduced, then hooking up with Inaba, anyway), until Lum became the Ensemble Dark Horse.
  • Subverted beautifully in Kajika, where young Kajika appears to have an awesome curse grants him superhuman speed, strength, and toughness while giving him many special powers. Despite this, he works endlessly hard to break this horrible curse. Why, you ask? Because it's a downgrade from his normal form, which is even more powerful.
  • In XXX Holic, Watanuki constantly bemoans the fact that he is always stuck with Domeki Because Destiny Says So. Considering that Domeki has saved him from falling to his death (badly injuring his arm in the process), spent ten hours in the rain trying to pull him away from the brink of Hell, saved him from getting mauled by a possessed girl and her box cutter, gave his blood to save his life, and keeps him from being mauled by spirits on a daily basis just by being around him, you would think Watanuki would be a little more grateful — even if he does have to make Domeki lunch once in a while.
  • Gunnm: introduces us to DR. Desty Nova who likes to experiment with the brains of people who are almost dead and can get the craziest results out of them ranging from pure Body Horror to some great examples of this trope. There is Makaku who is an all kinds of creepy monster that eats brains and steals powerfull cyborg bodies to terrorize people with. Wich is exactly what he wants since no one ever even noticed his existence. Jasagun is a motorballer who got his brain fixed by Nova after a crash that would normally have been fatal. He only has a few years to live but in the mean time he can be the unbeatable emperor of motorball since his brain developed some truly God-like fighting skills. And then there is Zapan who got humiliated by Alita so badly he only wanted power so he could kill her. And that is exactly what he got an infinite supply of even though the berserker body would inevitably consume him in the long run.
  • Played straight in The Slayers, with Zelgadis Greywords. His great-grandfather, under the influence of a fragment of the world's ultimate Big Bad, cursed him into becoming a chimera: one-third golem, one-third blow demon, one-third human. This gives him Nigh-Invulnerability, superior reserves of magical energy, greatly augmented strength and speed, a much lower requirement for food, and tremendous stamina. However, he also has blue stone skin, rocky protrusions (which look vaguely like scales) all over his body, and weighs more than some boulders. Despite all the awesome powers, though, he just wants to be human again.
    • Even though Zelgadis spends most of the series trying to find a cure to his affliction, this doesn't stop him from taking advantage of his powers every chance he gets.
      • It doesn't stop everyone else from taking advantage of his powers either. Lina once used him as an anchor, for crying out loud.
    • Zelgadis actually admits at one point that he wouldn't mind his "curse" if Rezo hadn't shown him what he was really like by casting it. Until Rezo transformed him, Zelgadis saw him pretty much the same as everyone else did: as an exceptionally kind, powerful sorcerer who made miracles where ever he went. Rezo's experimenting on Zelgadis showed him that that was all a mask, and that he would do anything, to anybody, to cure his eyes.
    • Zelgadis also doesn't seem to mind the reaction of people to his appearance. While it's possible his misanthropy is a result of his appearance, he is often times called horrible things from misconceptions based on his appearance and actions, and he seems to find it at least somewhat amusing.
    Zelgadis: Heartless sorcerer swordsman?! ...Hmm... I think I like that.
  • Tenchi Muyo GXP plays with this trope. Protagonist Seina Yamada is cursed to be a Weirdness Magnet, with his mere presence causing accidents to harm himself and anyone else in the general area. His curse seems to reach new heights when he gets shanghaied into the Galaxy Police, and attracts a horde of space pirates almost as soon as he leaves orbit. But when he's rescued, it's brought to his attention that his curse led to one of the biggest blows against piracy in history — and he becomes determined to take the chance to have his luck serve a purpose for a change. Of course, the curse also leads to an Unwanted Harem... 'nuff said.
  • The "yaka" in Sola closely resemble vampires minus the need for blood: immortality, super strength and agility, regeneration, ability to resurrect people by turning them, and sometimes other awesome unique powers, with only the vampire-like extreme weakness to direct sunlight (and the 'curse' of immortality) as a drawback. Another character has a unique body that overcomes even that, but he spends all his time angsting over not being a real boy. The ending highlights how unappreciated these abilities are by those who have them.
  • InuYasha features Miroku, who is cursed by the series' Big Bad with the Wind Tunnel - essentially a gaping black hole in his hand that sucks in everything in front of it with phenomenal force. Eventually, we're told, it will rupture and draw himself in without warning, along with any friends or loved ones that might be nearby... but until then, he's willing and able to use it as a superweapon against his nemesis. Also subverted, since Naraku unsurprisingly comes up with a way to neutralize it via "hell bees" that can seriously poison Miroku if sucked into the Wind Tunnel, preventing it from becoming a Story Breaker Power, and by the risk Miroku takes when using the Wind Tunnel on foes wielding sharp-edged weapons (or limbs); one episode had the edge of the Wind Tunnel get cut while sucking in a mantis demon, causing it to begin widening faster than it was supposed to.
  • Ashitaka in Princess Mononoke gets cursed by a boar demon, which manifests itself in a gradually increasing nasty-looking scar which will eventually kill him, and turn him into a demon. (He comes pretty close to the deadline). The curse also grants him awesome powers, like super strength, which comes in very handy among all the hostility he gets faced with.
  • Allen Walker from D.Gray-Man was born with a deformed left arm that made his parents abandon him. After his adopted father died, Allen unknowingly had the Millennium Earl turn him into an Akuma, who then cut Allen's left eye and cursed him. Allen's arm can turn into an incredible weapon for destroying Akuma, and his left eye can see the soul bound to them, making him the only person on the planet who can tell which "people" in a crowd are Akuma. A few other Exorcists are Cursed With Awesome too, particularly Krory (who was bitten by a plant and started drinking the blood of what he thought were humans at first) and Miranda (a perpetual loser who can now stop time). Miranda started as full-fledged Blessed with Suck until she was able to control it, though.
    • Remember, though, that when Lavi briefly saw an Akuma the way Allen always does, he declared it to be horrific and said he'd rather be looking over his shoulder all the time than have to deal with that. And when Allen sees whatever the soul of a level 4 Akuma has become, he immediately vomits in disgust.
      • On the other hand, something else that Allen can see that no other exorcist can is the souls bound to the Akuma being released when the Akuma is destroyed. To everyone else, the Akuma can easily be seen as simply monsters that need to be destroyed, but Allen gets a truer idea of what's really at stake.
  • In Naruto, the character is the "can" part of Sealed Evil in a Can because he houses a malevolent spirit inside him, the Nine-tailed Fox. Said spirit becomes the major reason for his extreme powers because its huge stock of Applied Phlebotinum supplies the energy to all his strongest attacks. Supposedly, the village hates him for it, but most of the named characters (in a series with plenty) don't seem to mind. Oh, and he stops angsting about the beast after the first episode. However, the circumstances did cost him growing up without a family and that because part of his chakra was resisting that of the Kyuubi, it meant that some jutsus were out of his range, like the normal Clone Jutsu.
    • Most of the other hosts aren't as lucky: Gaara was ostracized even more from his village while the thing tried to take over his mind when he slept (so he doesn't) and hosts 2-7 were all killed by Akatsuki. Most of the Jinchuuriki were made to be like superweapons, so how they're viewed varies on the village. However, the 8-Tailed Ox host, Killer Bee, has it even better than Naruto: he's able to control his beast and use it however he wants (that might have been something he needed to learn how to do), has no apparently risk of it getting out (even if he uses its full power), and his village actually respects him. It helps in Killer Bee's case that the Eight-Tails is considerably more mellow than the Kyuubi. The Kyuubi is constantly threatening to kill Naruto; the Eight-Tails just occasionally insults Killer Bee.
    • Naruto now has control of Kurama (the Kyubi), and later on, he managed to befriend it in the same way Bee did, making him an aloof Tsundere who doesn't need to be restrained anymore, lending Naruto the fullest extent of his power.
  • Jun in Special A laments about his problem with girls, which explains why he stays away from relationships. When Sakura kisses him, he wakes up - Turns out his shameful secret is that he's got The Casanova Split Personality inside him. The split personality realizes how awesome this is, but the "outer" Jun fails to see this.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has Setsuna, a half-Tengu demon girl with albinism. This made tengu "Bird Tribe" demons shun her as "unlucky" since she has... wait for it... white wings. Her friends think this is awesome. It's hinted that she's never shown anyone her wings, until the Kyoto trip... which makes a certain amount of sense: if you had a trait that had caused your own family to exile you, you'd try to hide it at all costs, right?
  • What the Gorgon Sisters want their adoring Amazon subjects to believe they are in One Piece: their story is that they slew some monsters and were cursed with their powers and "Medusa Eyes" on their backs as punishment. That the Amazons don't know about Devil Fruit and that everyone the Gorgons fight turn to stone probably helps their story a bit.
    • Also, every Devil Fruit curses the eater with a total inability to swim or, indeed, function at all in water. At the same time, it gives the eater amazing superhuman powers that far outweigh the downsides. Except for a few of them.
      • Word of God says that there are lots of Devil Fruits which either grant powers that are totally useless, or carry a negative side effect so harsh that they essentially ruin the user's life. Since there's no way to reverse the effects, and most fruits' powers are unknown until after you eat them, it makes eating a fruit into a huge gamble. How badly do you want to be cursed with awesome?
      • Another thing to note is that a cursed fruit doesn't get stronger, the user gets more imaginative, which makes the "cursed" part eclipsing the "awesome" part a fault of the user more than anything. Brook is a perfect example, to his knowledge his fruit let him revive from being dead, once. Post time skip he's learned to bend the rules on what "power over the soul" means to the point he can coat his sword in the cold flames of hell as his deadliest attack.
    • Played straight with Buggy, who complained when he accidentally got the power of Bara Bara no Mi, making him immune to all sharp blades in a world where are skilled swordsmen loitering around in every direction. He's completely mastered his powers, but still bemoans them and curses Shanks over it because he was an awesome swimmer before he became an anchor. It blew his plans to sell the fruit and claim a valuable treasure hidden underwater.
  • In Witchblade Masane tries to remove or destroy the eponymous implant / symbiont... that is, docile piece of jewellery transforming her at will into a Stripperiffic death machine capable of ripping tanks apart and surviving its explosion. Naturally, the poor thing deigns to notice these efforts only when she's about to hurt herself, instantly wrecks an offending power tool and returns to its nap.
    • Note that there are implications in the anime that it is slowly destroying her.
  • While it also goes to show some of the really gruesome downsides of immortality, Baccano!! explicitly lampshades its Cursed With Awesome status: discovering that most of the Martillo and Gandor family gangsters mistook the two bottles of the elixir of life for some celebratory wine, Maiza attempts to apologize for dragging them into "the harshness of having to live for eternity." Their response is summarily summed up as, "Are you kidding? This is awesome." Considering the title of the episode ("Both those who are immortal and those who are not enjoy life equally"), it doesn't look like they're meant to be proven wrong.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Edward and Alphonse once attempted a very stupid thing, trying to bring back their mother, and this sets off the plot. Ed lost his leg, Al lost his body and then Ed sacrificed an arm to attach his soul to some armor. They both want their normal bodies back. Getting Al a normal body back makes sense because he can't feel, mentally age, taste, experience normal human contact or pretty much anything like that. Plus, he'll expire eventually. But Ed? Ed gets automail (which a lot of other people have, so it's not especially weird), making him stronger, able to transmute his limbs, doesn't mar his appearance if he doesn't want it to, can use his limbs as shields and repair them as needed (though not terribly well without aid from his mechanic) and he can transmute without a circle, though he'd keep that ability even if he got his arm back. Not to mention that automail is Fetish Fuel for his major love interest. Granted, 'get our bodies back' eventually turns more to 'stop the evil Big Bad and get Al's body back' mostly, but still.
    • From the very start, it was always Al who focused on restoring Ed's lost limbs. Ed always quite logically considered restoring Al's body the important thing.
    • Not to mention Hohenheim, who is an immortal human-shaped philosopher's stone. Admittedly, it is an actual curse, since living forever and knowing that the sole reason for that is entirely because a whole country died would be horrible. But on the flipside, the awesome part comes in because he can completely ignore the laws of alchemy when transmuting and is bullet-proof.
      • Well, its also implied that it used to be MUCH worse for him before he managed to calm and befriend the souls of the half of the population of the murdered nation which formed his body.
    • Darius and Heinkel also count here. While Zampano and Jerso despise being chimeras and just want to be normal humans again, Darius and Heinkel actually don't mind being chimeras at all, and actually decide to remain chimeras and not even bother looking for any type of cure like Zampano and Jerso. Not much of a downside to the ability to transform at will into a musclebound, anthropomorphic gorilla or lion with enhanced strength, speed and endurance. Especially since they can revert to normal-looking human forms as well, so they can live in human society without freaking anybody out.
  • In Code Geass, Suzaku is Blessed with Suck in the form of the Geass command "live", which subverts his Death Seeker mindset by forcing him to survive by any means necessary. This is flipped in Turn 22, when Suzaku has decided to use the command to make himself a better fighter using its effects in his favor.
    • Imagine when Suzaku's really old. He'll be on his deathbed, maybe have loved ones around him or something, then the Geass kicks in. It's really quite funny if you think about it. However, nothing stops him from asking Jeremiah to remove the Geass effect.
      • Not entirely true, if we learned anything from Shirley's death, Geass cannot allow someone to do something they are not physically able to do. Thus Suzaku would still be capable of dying of old age.
    • Nunnally too. While she's blind, that also serves as Plot Armor against Lelouch's Geass which requires eye contact (her eyes are permanently closed)... When Charles' Geass loses effect on her in the last episode and she regains vision, Lelouch instantly Geasses her into giving up the FLEIJA controls.
  • Most of the Contractors in Darker Than Black are either Blessed with Suck or Cursed With Awesome, largely depending on their remuneration. April can cause rainstorms and absolutely loves her remuneration (drinking beer). Louis, on the other hand, has gravity powers but has to break his fingers every time he uses them.
    • And then there's Wei. His power is to destroy things using his blood, and his remuneration is to cut himself, which he'd have to do anyway to use his powers. He might as well not have to pay a price, like the unabashedly Cursed With Awesome protagonist.
  • Pretty much anyone who is an Accidental Pervert on a regular basis, particularly if they have an Unwanted Harem.
  • Mai-HiME has a subversion. In most cases, the HiME really have some awesome powers, but some act like they are curses even before the real downsides come to light. However, once the truth is exposed, it's more of a case of Blessed with Suck... or just Cursed With Suck.
  • In Fruits Basket, everyone that is cursed by the animals of the Chinese Zodiac hate transforming into another animal. Most people would find this very cool, as they get traits from their animal, like agility and strength. Justified in that the curse keeps them from being close to anyone of the opposite sex, aside from those that are also cursed by the Zodiac.
    • Also, pity the poor sod who is cursed with the spirit of the cat...
    • That's probably the reason the author stopped displaying the "animal control" power.
  • The god of the Bakugan, Code Eve, decided to imprison Emperor Barodius in a suit of armor created from his own evil and seal him away in an alternate dimension for eternity for trying to destroy the peaceful planet of Neathia. This ultimately made him stronger than before. However, in her defense, Code Eve wasn't aware of the Psychic Link that Barodius had to Dan which let him become strong enough to break free. If it weren't for that, it'd probably have been an And I Must Scream fate.
  • Nabari No Ou: Rokujou Miharu was born with the ultimate ninja technique, the shinrabanshou, which basically gives you control over all the forces of nature plus the ability to learn complex ninjutsu arts in a snap...and he wants nothing to do with it. He doesn't believe in ninjas, he doesn't want to be a ninja, he definitely doesn't want to be the super high poobah of all ninjadom, and he wishes the whole deal would just go away and leave him alone. Which causes his mentor to do a lot of facepalming, since the only apparent drawbacks of being the shinrabanshou holder are that (1) every clan wants to recruit you and (2) everyone, but everyone, has a favor to ask.
    • Unless you're watching the anime, in which case it has less and less of an impact on the plot the more of its powers are unlocked.
  • Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion gets to pilot a Humongous Mecha and hang out with the hottest girls at his school, who also pilot said Humongous Mecha. Evangelion being what it is, it becomes evident what kind of stress comes with fighting monsters without any prior training. That said, that stress is one of his lesser psychological problems.
    • A pair of Shinji's classmates certainly think Shinji is Cursed With Awesome. And then one of them is brought into the project himself. It ... doesn't go well.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Puella Magi tend to consider themselves no longer human when they learn that the reason they can improve their physical abilities with magic is because their soul is inside their Transformation Trinket and controlling their body remotely. This is especially odd since the rest of the Puella Magi package could genuinely be considered Blessed with Suck.
    • As Kyubey points out, it's not a rational response, but it is understandable given that they've basically been turned into liches.
  • Bleach:
    • Tousen claims that Komamura's zanpakutou has a huge weakness because damaging the zanpakutou automatically damages Komamura. Later on, Mayuri confirms that it's true that this is the Achilles' Heel of Komamura's bankai, but it also gives Komamura an advantage over other bankai-uses: his zanpakutou can be fully restored EVEN IF it breaks while in bankai. For any other zanpakutou, damage taken while in bankai is permanent—and reduces the wielder's raw power permanently as well.
  • Murasakiiro No Qualia has this in the form of Hatou's cellphone arm. She soon finds out she can use it to speak to parallel versions of herself. Plus, it also functions like a regular cellphone. However, she is the phone's battery and overuse leaves her physically drained. She keeps sugary snacks on hand after she loses two pounds in one day from making too many calls.
  • In Toriko, Midora's curse is an insatiable appetite due to his futile attempts to eat away the pain of causing the death of one of the only people he ever loved. His ultimate attack is fueled by this appetite, giving him an Instant Death Radius.
  • The heroines of Coppelion are genetically-engineered humans with various forms of Cloning Blues, and many normal humans wax poetically on their tragic fate of being "puppets." This is hard to rationalize because they're exactly like normal humans, except they're immune to radiation, and many of them have additional powers like super-strength or super-animal-taming. They work for the military organization that created them, but they're treated with the same respect as normal human employees and they get to go on heroic rescue missions. Where's the downside? Courtesy of Clone Degeneration, they're expected to suddenly drop dead around age twenty.
  • In High School Dx D, this is immediately noted In-Universe and capatilized on. In order to access a Super Mode and have any chance of winning an Engagement Challenge he's about to throw down for, Issei has to sacrifice his left arm and have a dragon one grafted on in its place. Dragons aren't devils, and he immediately realizes this means he can now hold holy artifacts in his left hand and packs appropriately. After the Super Mode fails, it's the "cost" that facilitates him delivering a incredibly satisfying No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man would be the trope namer if he had any cool catchphrase that related. Peter Parker is a genius, incredibly powerful (at least compared to us muggles), a successful photographer—who even published a book of Spider-Man photos—and a college student. Despite his poverty, he is able to provide for himself—including crime-fighting gadgets like web-shooters, webbing and costumes—his aged aunt and his supermodel wife. Remember? He bagged a chick so hot she should be using dorks like him as a paperweight. Not to mention Gwen Stacey, Betty Brant, Liz Allen, the Black Cat, Deb Whitman...
  • Subverted with The Juggernaut. Those who are bestowed with the power of Cyttorak through his crimson gem are also compelled to do evil, regardless of their previous nature. However, Cain Marko is a natural sociopath, and doesn't need much prodding.
    • When Cain tried to turn over a new leaf and joined the X-Men, Cyttorak was very unhappy with this development. Thus, Cain's power was greatly reduced and he was pushed into returning to a life of evil to regain the lost power.
  • In its early history, the X-Men themselves tended to have attractive heroes who felt awkward about their powers, while villains who reveled in their powers were ugly. This trend was reduced with the introduction of the Morlocks, who were bizarre but kind, plus the general escalating public fear of mutants because they could look just like anyone else.
    • The first X-Men movie in many ways reflected this; the heroes were all extremely gorgeous people with cool powers played by people like Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and James Marsden, whilst the bad guys - with the notable exception of Ian McKellen - were all freaks. The later movies began to balance this out a bit more with the inclusion of characters such as Nightcrawler.
      • Also, some of the mutants who've wished to be cured over the years (and over the adaptations) have been mutants who looked human and didn't suffer from any lack of control.
    • The X-man Beak became an interesting, fairly literal example. At first, he was simply Blessed with Suck since his only mutant power was looking like a giant plucked chicken. Than the Exiles' boss The Timebroker decides to draft Beak onto the team, and forcibly yank him away from his home reality. Why? Because Beak will supposedly save The Multiverse some day. Essentially, the Timebroker just decided to hand Beak a great responsibility while Beak just wanted his life back, literally cursing him with awesomeness. Of course, the Timebroker turned out to be right when Beak found a way to defeat Hyperion.
    • This point's been lampooned in Toyfare's Twisted Toyfare Theater comic, with a villain exclaiming "rich teenagers with superpowers? Yeah, I WISH I had your problems!"
    • Inverted with recent issues, especially after M-Day which de-powered almost all the mutants. There is, for example, a home dedicated to helping mutants adjust to life without powers. One resident is a former telekinetic who used to use his powers for construction work.
  • Deadpool was cursed by Loki to have Tom Cruise's face until his father forgave him. Deadpool was not happy at all. Remember Deadpool is ugly!
    • Course, this was before Tom Cruise's name became a dirty word. Who knows? Mebbe Deadpool can see into the future too?
    • Deadpool gets this again, in a sort of subversion. In Deadpool #64, Thanos curses him with immortality. Where's the curse in that? Well, they both love Death, so Deadpool would actually be pretty happy being killable. Torn between Cursed With Awesome and Blessed with Suck - the curse only won out because that was Thanos's original intention.
      • Ironically enough, Thanos receives the same curse in The Thanos Imperative, and he goes completely omnicidally insane as a result.
  • Thor's foe the Flame believes he is horrendously ugly in addition to having superstrength, fire control abilities, indestructible armour and a BFS. Of course, he is horrendously ugly by fire demon standards which makes him extremely handsome by human (or Asgardian) standards, but the Flame refuses to believe this.
  • The Thing in Fantastic Four. Super-strong & nigh invulnerable. Sure he's not the best looking guy around, but despite this he's had several women attracted to him, Alicia Masters, Thundra, the second Miss Marvel, heck even Tigra seemed interested with him. Boo-hoo, poor Ben..
    • Although, this is pretty heavily subverted now. Ben doesn't hate his looks and is actually quite happy to be the "Ever-lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing", as it's brought him great success and many new friends.
    • The most irrational thing he complained about was how he thought the first of these women would flee him if she were not blind. Dude, she has a pretty good idea that you are not normal-looking because your skin feels more like an animate pile of rocks than anything outwardly human.
    • In fact, Alicia played a very big factor in him as a character early on. He doubted that she would fall for "plain old Ben" because she hadn't met him before he became the Thing, and tried very hard to resist his desire to become human again.
      • The Thing goes back and forth on the issue usually presenting himself as someone who has adjusted to the condition and enjoys the benefits, but sometimes something happens to remind him that not everybody accepts him.
    • The big issue comes from the fact that he inadvertably causes damage to structures around him. Buildings would have to be well-reinforce to support him and he probably wouldn't be able to take stairs or elevators. So while it's there, it's not dififcult to see how this could begin to stack up.
    • The Ultimate Universe version of the Thing has his condition played for full angst value but this is a younger version of the character. Aside from looking like a monster, he laments that he can't even figure out how to kill himself because he's too tough.
  • Thunderfoot, a homage to the character of Watership Down, is cursed in the Vertigo comic book series Fables by a dark magician hare to change into a horrendous, disgusting form—that of a human—until he gets the love of a pretty doe (female hare). Actually, Thunderfoot is the most awesome lad the readers may have seen. Ever. But his attempts to woo lady hares are constantly thwarted by their fearful cries of "MONSTER! Monster!"
  • Hellboy:
    • Johann Krauss and his wife died during the Chengdou disaster; fortunately he was in the "Astral Plane" at the time. Now he's an effectively immortal cloud of mist, as long as he can find an empty "body" to inhabit. The movie shows him pondering the difference between him and clockwork Implacable Man Kroenen.
    • Abe Sapien was a human scientist who, while exploring an undersea ruin in the 1800s, became Touched by an Eldritch Abomination after finding a mysterious "egg" that turned him into a fishman. Subverted in that he doesn't feel cursed. Usually.
  • In the comic Timespirits, Our Heroes encounter a dinosaur-descended space pirate who has supernatural luck. She can never fail to do anything she tries. And when Our Heroes offer to remove the "Curse of Success" she jumps at the chance. Because, as she puts it, "I am so incredibly bored!". So she gets her luck extracted and has the ordinary chance of success and failure of anyone else - which she considers a blessing.
  • This certainly happens to Watchmen's Dr. Manhattan. Being the only person with god-like powers in the entire known universe is a plus. But he lost his humanity, not really caring about anything but science. On the other hand, he doesn't care.
  • Played with in Sillage. You would think that in a setting where everyone but the protagonist has psychic powers, to the point that she was not recognized as a person at first, might be a bad thing. Turns out it means she's an excellent spy/special agent, because she cannot be psychically detected like everyone else.
  • In All-Star Superman, Lex Luthor endangers a space fight, forcing Superman to fly too close to the sun in the process of rescuing them. The damage to his body leaves him with one year to live. On the upside, it boosts his powers and intelligence, and renders him immune to kryptonite, which helps him deal with all his final year's problems.
    • Of course, in the long run he may wind up considering this to be the best thing that ever happens to him. It's all but outright stated that this version of Superman goes on to become Superman Prime of DC One Million, ensuring he eventually physically resurrects as nothing short of a god, living until at least the year 85200 and resurrecting Lois Lane to be as powerful and long-lived as him, so they can be together forever. Also, he LIVES IN THE GOD DAMNED SUN.
  • Empowered's suit usually is more Blessed with Suck, but the fact it supercharges her orgasms and possibly libido? Gee, what a burden.
    • Supercharged orgasms are one thing, but having a supercharged libido actually could suck.
      • Less so in her case once she gets a hot supportive boyfriend in Thugboy. Yowza!
  • The page picture's subject, She-Hulk, started out as Bruce Banner's mousey cousin who transformed after being given a blood transfusion from Mr. Banner. She went from a shy, rather nebbishy girl into... well, She-Hulk. Eventually, writers realized there weren't any real downsides to it, and she hasn't complained about the situation in years. (The trick is that, as the name implies, they were trying to make a Distaff Counterpart to The Incredible Hulk - but while Bruce Banner turns into a horrific, mindless force of destruction most of the time, Jennifer turns into a friendly, vivacious Amazon. Hard to see any downsides in that, especially since she didn't like who she used to be all that much to begin with.)
    • Lampshaded as early as the late-80s, in the She-Hulk graphic novel. Mr. Fantastic sez, "I've got bad news. Due to that burst of radiation you absorbed, you are now stuck as the She-Hulk, permanently. I'm sorry, Jen." She replies, "So, what's the bad news?"
    • Jen isn't the only one to benefit from gamma radiation (something that is rarely a benefit, as both her cousin and folks like the Abomination and General Ross will point out). The Hulk's enemy the Leader was once nothing more than a janitor until an accident involving gamma radiation turned him into a super-genius with Psychic Powers. (He considered the green skin and enlarged, mutated cranium a very small price to pay.)
    • Doc Samson transformed himself using stored energy siphoned from the Hulk in an attempt to turn the Hulk back into Bruce Banner permanently. Considering that it changed him from a somewhat nebbishy scientist into someone with the physique of a Greek god, the fact that it also made his hair longer and green was unplanned, but overall he admits it's still a good deal for him.
  • ROM and the other Spaceknights constantly bewail the loss of their humanity, even though they can still think, talk, feel, and do pretty well everything else humans can, while also having supercool cyborg armor, the ability to fly, virtual immortality, and, of course, survive attack by the Dire Wraiths.
    • Not being able to get out of their armor probably sucks pretty hard. For one thing, you couldn't have sex. Actually, do there really have to be any other reasons?
    • They also turned out to be right to bemoan their loss of humanity. A second generation of Space Knights was create which were more extremely transformed (and more powerful), and they all went Axe Crazy and destroyed the rest of their race and the parts removed from all the Space Knights, preventing anyone from ever transforming them back.
  • Zig Zagged with werewolves in Werewolf by Night. At their creation, werewolves weren't "cursed" but merely given a useful ability; it later became a curse when the way to control those abilities got lost over time. So when Jack becomes a werewolf on his eighteenth birthday, it really is a curse: forced to painfully transform three times a month with no control. But when he finally does learn how to control it, he starts to enjoy the abilities it gives him, being able to use his werewolf form to do good. Unfortunately, the curse seems to have a way of striking back. You can transform any time you want? Your uncontrolled werewolf form during the full moons will become stronger and more violent. You're happy you won't have to change at all anymore, not even during the full moon? You'll lose the ability, and from now on you'll be forced to have visions of hell when you transform.

    Fan Fic 
  • An interesting example occurs in the Project Dark Jade fic Shadows Awakening, Jade actually likes her new powers, and is only trying to remove them because of her Enemy Within/Superpowered Evil Side the Queen, who is slowly corrupting her.
  • Referred to by name in Shinji And Warhammer 40 K, when one of the characters comments that while people could live just fine without the super-powerful, chainsaw-wielding and fruit smoothie making Evas, the current situation of invading giant monsters more or less forces governments to keep them around to survive.
  • Wingfic (in which a character grows wings, wangsts about it and gets reassured by their partner) invariably causes Angst Dissonance because most readers think that having wings would be incredibly cool.
  • The Wise Prince protagonist in Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns feels this way and even outright explains it when he and his elder brother Trian, who dies in Canon but is only presumed dead in this case, make peace with each other after the dwarven noble returns to Orzammar incognito, while the female human noble plays the leader. Having been clever enough to totally manipulate Bhelen and his lackeys by faking Trian's death and getting himself framed for it deliberately, he admits that he believes he would make a great king but his cleverness would rub off on all the conniving politicians and actually cause them to become even more subtle in their backhanded dealing, meaning that he'd upgrade the game of bloody politics that he wants to see shattered. Add to that the fact that history would cause people to assume that only brilliant leaders like him can do any good, which goes against how he wants to see some luminosity in Orzammar as a whole. He argues that Trian can break the game because he's capable of Obfuscating Stupidity so he can kickstart a chain reaction that would, in the long run, lead to a higher way of thinking. So, he feels he'd make a bad king in the current situation because he'd be too god at it. The answer Trian gave? "That... is just so incredibly stupid!" And this is all before a king is decided upon.
  • The Chronodata in Transcendence: Digital Curse stops Agumon from digivolving, but causes his natural form to grow much stronger. After having it for a certain amount of time, it allows him to evolve anyway, and into a form more powerful than any of his other evolutions. The only downside is that the change is his biology means he is capable of permanently dying in the digital world as well as the real one, and even then its power has saved him multiple times.
  • This is lampshaded and then kicked in the balls in Luminosity with this exchange.
    Edward: No, Bella, any of us would rather be human—
    Bella: What? Okay, Alice said that the three day initiation process or whatever it is is "not fun". I could buy that it is sufficiently not fun that you wish it hadn't happened to you, don't think it was worth it. It'd be a little hard to believe, but not impossible. But why in the world would you want to go back once you've already been through that part? I don't know how old the rest of you are, but you realize Alice would be dead by now, right? Humans generally don't live to be a hundred years old. Whatever it is she misses about being human, she wouldn't have it anymore anyway.
  • A repeated theme in Diaries of a Madman. Particularly so with Discord, but Nav, Celestia, and Luna also stand out.
  • In A Charmed Life Light angsts a bit over L and his father's assertion that Kira is cursed but later decides that if he is "cursed" than he couldn't have asked for a nicer curse to have.

    Film 
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Literally for Barbossa's crew, in the first movie.
    • Will in the finale of At World's End. Although Jack views it more as Blessed with Suck due to the absence of port... er, making port.
  • The 1999 version of The Mummy. Okay, Imhotep got eaten alive by scarabs and had to slumber for a few thousand years, but once released he became an immortal, invincible badass.
    • And, the people who cursed him, and their descendants, were then forced to spend those thousands of years guarding his tomb, waging war on anyone who tried to open it, to prevent the badass from coming out. They thought the Egyptian afterlife was too good for him, but really, it would have been much easier to just kill him. The protagonists even directly state "cursing people just seems to make them stronger, why not just kill them?"
      • Especially when you remember that their belief in the afterlife involved weighing their heart against a feather. If it was heavy with sin (regicide and adultery) it'd get devoured, end of story for Imhotep. Non-existence, no superpowers in undeath, no paradise or torment in death, just the end.
      • They thought Maat's judgement was too good for him anyway.
    • On the other hand, the DVD reveals that Imhotep was apparently conscious the whole time, in eternal agony because the pain from having his flesh eaten by scarabs never went away. Ouch.
    • In The Mummy Returns, the Scorpion King is cursed to serve the god Anubis for eternity. And as part of this curse, he becomes a humanoid scorpion, only killable by a certain weapon, and 5000 years later is set to revive and conquer the world unless stopped.
    • This was averted in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. The Emperor already had superpowers while he was alive, the curse just turned him into a terracotta corpse.
  • The main character from Shallow Hal is hypnotized to see a person's inner self. This means that every woman worth hitting on also looks like a supermodel.
  • The premise for Phenomenon. John Travolta's character gains extraordinary mental powers as well as telekinesis all caused by a brain cancer that activates normally dormant regions of the brain. His first big problem is finding out why he got this power—since it scares the locals, it makes his personal life harder than it used to be (he's from a small town). Once he finds out, he takes it much better—yes, he takes a brain cancer that kills him in less than two years, and the inconveniences that go with treating such a cancer, much more peacefully than ostracism.
  • In all three Spider-Man movies, Spider-Man is constantly whining about how "cursed" he is. In fact the only time he isn't whining about something is when he has the Symbiote suit, which enhanced his powers and made him far more badass, and therefore, cool. After he loses it he seems to be even more whiny and grating.
  • Beauty and the Beast: Sure, not being able to go outside of your castle without a mob of angry villagers trying to kill you sucks. And spending so many years locked up inside would surely start to grate the nerves. Plus you'll have to live with the knowledge that dozens, perhaps hundreds of your servants have been turned into household objects because of your jerkassery. But still there are a million cool things a massive gorilla-buffalo-boar-bear-wolf hybrid with amazing strength and agility can do.
  • Jason Bourne in The Bourne Series has had mad assassin training and can read every map, drive every vehicle, speak every language, fire every weapon, can enter anywhere and kill anyone with anything. All that for the little price of his personal memory, however. He also has to dodge a lot of assassins.
  • At the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we get to see what happened to all the bad kids. Violet is let off the easiest, and is pleased to find that she's much more flexible after becoming a blueberry and then getting juiced. Only her mother is bothered that she's still blue.
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, the main character starts off believing that being turned into a giantess is a case of Blessed with Suck. However, by the end of the movie she has accepted her size, and uses her powers for good.
  • A variant (Rewarding Punishment?) appears in Star Trek IV, where Kirk is "punished" (wink-wink) for disobeying orders (and Saving the World) by being demoted from Admiral to Captain (which is the job he always wanted anyways). Basically an inversion of Kicked Upstairs. It is this and/or Unishment.
  • Highlander: all of the immortals have perpetual youth and are nearly indestructible. They enjoy the benefits of many lifetimes worth of experiences, wealth and knowledge. However, they can never have children and must watch everyone they love grow old and die. There's also the whole problem of living your life worrying about other immortals trying to kill you.
  • Batman. Yes, it's so hard to be one of the richest, most attractive, most intelligent men in the world with fighting abilities rivaling most Special Forces, and hi-tech gizmos that NASA would need a decade to reverse-engineer. The Burton/Shumacher movies actually have characters calling out Bruce Wayne on this. The Nolan movies, however, examine how physically and mentally taxing it is to live a double-life as Batman.

    Folklore 
  • In Christian folklore, the Wandering Jew is ostensibly "cursed" with eternal—or at least unnaturally long—life for taunting Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion. Of course, this could double as a case of Blessed with Suck from the Christian perspective: If the Wandering Jew truly is immortal, then no matter what good deeds he does to atone for his sinful act, he can never go to Heaven, since one must die in order to enter the afterlife.
    • However, without the curse, he would never have had time to repent, and he almost certainly would have gone to Hell. Sure, not being able to go to Heaven sucks, but between the choice of "Live forever and never go to Heaven," or "Go to Hell," he easily got a good deal. As Hell is (pretty much by definition) the worst possible thing, then even floating in an empty universe after it undergoes heat death would be a step up.
  • According to legend, Thomas the Rhymer was captured by the Fairie Queen, and traded his ability to lie for his freedom. Since he could no longer speak an untrue word, every prediction he spoke about the future came true sooner or later.

    Literature 
  • The Heroes of Olympus:
    • Frank Zhang could darn well be the Trope Codifier. His life force is tied to a stick, and if it burns down completely, he dies. However, the fire from the stick has been shown to be able to free Death himself; who knows what other awesome stuff it could do. His Animorphism powers don't count, being just plain awesome without side affects.
      • Not so. Having his life force tied to a piece of firewood IS the side effect.
  • James "Demise" Spector of the Wild Cards series. Sure, he has the unpleasant experience of coming back painfully from the dead, but this leaves him with the nifty superpower of being able to kill any opponent (or just plain anyone that he feels like killing) by making eye-contact and having them psychically experience the full, appalling agony of that death. He 's later able to refine his control of this to allow him just to render an opponent unconscious, if he feels like it. He's also indestructible. He does still feel pain like a normal human being, which sucks a bit, but otherwise? Cursed With Awesome.
    • There is the slight drawback of constantly reliving his death, however.
  • Lilith's Brood : The Oankali consider humans uniquely blessed and genetically very attractive because we have . . . cancer. It turns out the same genes that can go so horribly wrong also can be used for regenerative abilities they've never seen before.
  • Vampirism is often an example of Cursed With Awesome, depending on how Your Vampires Are Different. Potential upsides: immortality, super-strength, shape shifting, hypnotic powers, or sometimes just open-ended Functional Magic. Potential downsides: parasitic dependency, social isolation, inability to endure daylight, addictive cravings and/or psychotic need to kill, various Kryptonite Factors, demonic or even decayed appearance, and loss of one's soul (whatever that may mean in your reality). Whether one is merely cursed or actually Cursed With Awesome depends on how much from Column A you get relative to Column B.
    • The webcomic Sluggy Freelance spoofs this (and Anne Rice's vampires in specific) in this exchange.
    • The comedy Love at First Bite also ends with Cindy Sondheim agreeing to become a vampire because it was pretty awesome. Also, she fell in love with Count Dracula - and she never was a morning person.
    • Interestingly, in Christopher Moore's You Suck, a woman loves being a vampire because she no longer has to be afraid of other people, whereas her boyfriend, whom she turns into one to be with her, realizes he hates having to suck blood and not being able to go out during the day.
      • It's even better when you realise why they take it so differently: the girl had been a living accessory to rich, powerful men all her life, with no real skills, ambitions or capabilities. As a vampire, she is finally important and powerful by default, which is like a dream come true. Her boyfriend, however, despite being a 100-pound-nothing weakling, always knew what he wanted to be and had the guts to leave his home (with his family's blessing) and strike out on his own, taking most things that happen to him with pretty good humour. So vampirism really has nothing to offer to him, it just takes away the things he already had and liked.
    • The vampires in Twilight "suffer" this to the extreme. Yeah, they have to drink blood and they can't go out in sunlight, but they also get Super Strength, Super Speed, super-attractiveness, skin as hard as diamonds, and the only the way they can be fully destroyed is by tearing them apart and burning the pieces. Oh, and the reason they can't go out in sunlight isn't because they'll burn up... it's because their skin sparkles. If they live in an area where the weather is usually overcast, like the Olympic Peninsula, they can go outside whenever they feel like it. And the blood they drink doesn't have to be human blood... the Cullens subsist on animal blood.
      • And Word of God says in the Illustrated Guide that there really is no downside to eating animal blood. It just doesn't taste as good.
      • And hey guys, Twilightverse vampirism doesn't affect your sperm viability!
      • Although your 'true love' is likely to die from the pregnancy.
      • Bella naturally lampshades the Angst Dissonance from start to finish.
    • Werewolves in The Dresden Files are either cursed into it, in which case they're violent murderers who kill anyone they love, which really does suck, or they choose it willingly. All who've chosen it willingly seem to really, really enjoy it.
      • Of course, this is partly because there are four different types of werewolves in the setting, and most people who choose it willingly will choose one of the types that has minimal drawbacks.
    • In The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries, vampires are legally recognized and citizens. However, they can't marry, and their blood is a popular drug. There are people who kidnap vamps, bind them with silver chains, drain all their blood, and just leave the weakened vamp out in the open. Since they're unable to get to cover before daylight, they generally die. This has the handy side effect of destroying the victim and the witness in one fell swoop. Even if they do survive, it takes them months to recover.
  • Quite a few characters inflicted with Animorphism will bemoan their fates so Wangstily when they are turned into things like swans, bears, or dragons, you wonder how they'd react if they were turned into worms.
    • Let us not forget the Animorphs themselves. Tobias flat out calls Morphing "the Andalite's Curse". After a while it seems as though anyone who has a power is bound and determined never to enjoy it. Then again, they are consequently involved in a lonely war against alien invaders, and Tobias's lifespan is greatly shortened in his hawk form (though he always has the option of locking himself in human form). We must also remember that he more or less voluntarily chose to be stuck in hawk form, so the shortened lifespan probably doesn't bother him.
      • They continue to groan about their powers even when later in the series (the book "The Change") The Ellimist gives Tobias the power to morph, this time with the hawk as his base form.
      • Not true. The Animorphs often talk about how amazing it is to be certain animals. For example, if they're morphing into birds, expect a few lines about the joy of flying.
      • The Yeerks make the Hork-Bajir Cursed With Awesome as well. They're used as shock troops for combat because they're strong, agile, and just about every moving part on their body has a wickedly sharp blade sticking out of it. The thing is, those blades? Uninfested Hork-Bajir use them to harvest tree bark, their main food source. The whiplash musculature and quick movement come from the fact that they're an arboreal species that prefers to avoid predators entirely, rather than fight off attackers.
    • In Dr Franklins Island the castaways are put through Involuntary Transformation. Miranda-the-bird's form seems much easier to live with than Semi-the-fish's or Arnie-the-snake's - she's lost her arms to wings, but can fly with ease and her feet are constructed like hands, albeit scaled and taloned. It's mentioned that she loves being a bird but hates being a bird in a cage. She can't talk, though, and she starts losing her mind when it starts to look like Semi will become human again and she will stay a bird.

  • Aristanae and all her female ancestors suffer from this in Darkness Becomes Her. As descendants of Medusa, they are all doomed to either die or be killed before their twenty-first birthday, or become a monster. However, Ari herself is able to control the power to extents no one had seen before, and she is feared by some of the most powerful gods, but still, no one knows what will happen after her birthday...
    • She's also a Gorgeous Gorgon, at least in Sebastian and Violet's opinion.
  • Several retelling of the French fairy tale, "Diamonds and Toads" invoke this trope for the stepsister who is cursed with having reptiles and amphibians fall out of her mouth whenever she speaks. In the Gail Carson Levine story, the stepsister ends up opening a snake racetrack and makes money as a bookie. In the Heather Tomlinson novel, the stepsister's snakes save everyone by eating all the plague-carrying rats. Another continuation of the story has her fall in love with and marry a herpetologist.
  • In the Tamuli trilogy by David Eddings, the Delphae are cursed by their God with a horrifically gruesome death touch, and a glow that warns others not to touch them. Since both also come with an off-switch, and since the power eventually evolves into greater magical abilities, the Knights are a bit stumped as to why it's called a "curse", until the Bhelliom explains that there's a literal difference between a blessing and a curse—a blessing's radiance makes those blessed easily detected by anyone who could sense magic, but curses are, by their very nature, concealing, and actually dampen the "sound" of magic near them. Since the Delphae are trying to hide from the rest of mankind a curse was the most suitable... which kinda makes it a curse In Name Only.
  • Garion in The Belgariad. He's The Chosen One, and he spends most of the series asking "Why me?" He is a sorcerer- sorcerers work by using the Will and the Word (they direct their will at something and speak the word to make it happen.) Although it's pretty awesome as to what he can do, in Queen Of Sorcery, he believes himself to be evil after he burns the killer of his parents to death using sorcery. It's a Running Gag that nobody else thinks there's anything wrong with his situation, and eventually he passes the question on to other characters after he grows up and stops whining. Considering part of his Cursed With Awesome is "Oh, you know that legendary one-eyed god who's psychotically evil and still REALLY mad about his being maimed? Who's indirectly responsible, one way or another, for the horrible death of your parents and lots of your ancestors? You have to confront him. Nope, no one else gets to do it. Nope, no way out. It's all you. Even though up until very recently as far as you knew, you were an ordinary farmboy being raised by his aunt. Good luck!" It's more like he stops whining not because he grows up but because he actually lives to do it and the suck side is drastically reduced.
  • Tuck Everlasting's premise is about what a curse it is to be immortal. Granted, the family does seem pretty upset about it, but that's because they're not taking advantage of it.
  • People descended from the Meyerdahl Beta wave of genetic modification in the Honor Harrington [The Verse 'verse] (including the eponymous protagonist) are faster, stronger and gain an intelligence boost, but anytime it comes up the heroine seems to fixate on her increased need for food (from the enhanced metabolism) and the fact that approximately a 3rd of them don't regenerate well (which is only an issue for the main character because she has a propensity towards getting mutilated in the line of duty).
  • You'd think that having a marked tendency to accidentally break every third thing you touch would count as a curse. The protagonist of Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians certainly does. But what if you learned this "curse" extended to breaking doors that you need to get through, or your grandfather's restraints, or that gun the villain is about to shoot you with ...
    • One of his ancestors who had the same Talent broke time and space in the area around his tomb.
  • Winter Celchu (introduced in the Star Wars Expanded Universe Thrawn novels and subsequently featuring in the X-Wing comics) has a perfect memory, which leads to a curious case of both Cursed With Awesome and Blessed with Suck: in her work as an Intelligence agent her ability to remember conversations verbatim and maps with a single glance (just for a start) was doubtless of endless use, but the pain of such horrible things as the destruction of her homeworld Alderaan never fades. She's very pragmatic about the ability, though.
  • Elva of the Inheritance Cycle is originally purely Blessed with Suck. However, she figures out very quickly how to use her empathetic abilities to her advantage, eventually becoming a Manipulative Bastard antiheroine.
  • The novella "How I Wrote the New Testament, Ushered in the Renaissance, and Birdied the 17th Hole at Pebble Beach" by Mike Resnick has, as the description puts it, "an itinerant Jewish businessman commanded (condemned?) by Christ to "tarry here until I return," spending the next 2000 years trying to keep busy and occasionally helping along the advancement of civilization".
  • Eustace Clarence Scrubb from The Chronicles of Narnia was turned into a dragon, and this is treated as a punishment. Probably because of the ring he had put on as a human, which did not grow and was squeezing his wrist the whole time. There's also the issue that he could no longer associate with humans, since the vast majority would hunt him down and kill him. On top of that, he wouldn't have fit on the ship, and would therefore need to be left behind; and it's strongly implied that dragons are highly territorial and solitary. And before his change of heart, he was an intellectual bully who needed an audience he could abuse and act superior to in order to feel better about himself. So he was facing a long, lonely life in a strange world with no chance of ever returning to human society. Once the pain of the ring had been eased by Lucy's healing cordial, he actually began to enjoy his dragon form and the special abilities it gave him (although by that time, he'd already begun his Heel-Face Turn).
    • He gets a bit of a better deal in the movie version, where he gets the bracelet yanked off pretty early on, is able to fly alongside of the ship, and uses his fire-breathing to help fight the sea serpent.
  • Orson Scott Card's Ender series has Olhado, who lost his eyes in an accident when he was a child, and they were replaced with high-tech metal eyes capable of recording what he sees for later playback. His mother laments his deformity, and his brother marvels that a freak like Olhado could find a wife. Rarely do characters treat Olhado's metal eyes as an advantage rather than a curse. Olhado himself doesn't seem to mind them; he's arguably the most well-adjusted member of his family.
    • Of course, one down side is that in order to be able to play back recordings he chose to have one eye simply be a socket to plug a wire in, so he only actually has one functioning eye and can only see in 2D. Although since it was a deliberate choice on his part presumably he doesn't consider it too bad.
  • In The Kingdoms of Evil, the main character is forced to rule half a continent.
  • In the Knight and Rogue Series Michael becomes the only intelligent human with magic abilities after being experimented on by a Mad Scientist. He instantly labels himself a freak when this power is still restricted to heightening his ability to sense magic in nature, and is frightened to the point of nausea when it gives him the abitility to... make water wetter, though he calms down somewhat when Fisk points out that this isn't that big of a deal. When he figures out how to use his abilities to basically give his horse superpowers to escape being murdered and save himself from a 300 ft drop, he still thinks it's the worst thing in the world.
  • In the first book of The Sword of Truth, Darken Rahl curses Richard in what he THINKS is a completely debilitating way: His enemies will see him as himself, and his friends will see him as their worst enemy. This has the expected effect (including being attacked by Zedd and Kahlan), but shortly afterwards, he meets his half-brother, who KNOWS WHO HE IS! Justice ensued.
  • In the Alex Verus series, Luna's luck-stealing curse has the nice side effect of rendering her immune to casual misfortunes and making her generally lucky. Plus, it doesn't just affect people she likes: She brings bad luck to her enemies, too. Justified in that the curse was created by taking a useful (if morally questionable) luck-draining spell and making it permanent.
  • The clockworkers in Steven Harper's Clockwork Empire series have a disease that will drive them insane and eventually kill them, but in the meanwhile they become super-geniuses who can bend time and space in addition to improved strength and reflexes. Could also be considered Blessed with Suck, but not a bad deal overall.
  • In Sukhinov's Emerald City decalogy, eight years old girl Corina is cursed by the Wicked Witch of the East to age ten times slower than normal. A horrible curse when you are eighteen in a body of a nine years old! When you are eighty in a body of a fifteen years old? Not so much.
  • In Emily of New Moon, Emily Starr considers her imprecise and very rare psychic manifestations as awful, never-to-be-spoken-of incidents, when these powers only ever are shown as helping people. However, Justified when one considers Values Dissonance — psychic powers were classified under "insanity" in the Victorian era.
  • This is the linchpin of A Wolf In The Soul. In order to be victorious over the werewolf taking over his body, Greg needs to fully internalize that this isn't the case, even if he already thinks on an intellectual level that it's horrible.

    Live Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy, who is cursed to be a "hot chick with superpowers", as Faith once put it. The curse part is she has to use said superpowers to fight for her life every night, and the world's existence every late Spring. All Evil is waiting for is for its "one good day" to fall on one where they can end the world. And statistically, she's ancient - most slayers die the same year they're chosen. At fifteen.
    • In the episode "Nightmares", Buffy is temporarily turned into a vampire... which gives her the strength she needs to defeat the Monster of the Week.
    • Angel is cursed with a soul. Good in that he's immortal with superpowers, irresistible to young girls, a shoe-in to be a Hunter of His Own Kind and the titular star of his own Vampire Detective Series. Bad in that he has a century of Charles Manson's memories in his head and said soul never lets him forget it.
    • Dawn. While being a giant and centaurette were annoying to her, she at least acknowledged they had some good points. Being turned into a doll though... not so much.
  • Similar to Buffy, Dollhouse, another Joss Whedon project, has Echo, slave to the titular organization and all too aware that she and her fellow Actives are being exploited. This curse, however, comes with the ability to call on skills from any imprint she's ever received.
  • Angel:
    • The Groosalugg was cursed with unmatched combat skill. As he recounts his life's story to Cordelia, he talks about how his human heritage in the demon world of Pylea got him banished to the Scum Pits of Ur, meaning for him to die. Unfortunately, his awesome combat skills prevent him from dying honorably, as he destroys every one of his opponents, making him The Groosalugg, or undefeated champion.
    • Angel is cursed with a soul.
  • Heroes touches on this a lot. Chronologically, the first offender was Brian Davis, who wished he didn't have his powers. He gets his wish when Sylar kills him. Most other characters are somewhat angsty about the consequences of their powers, but quickly learn to make use of them.
    • But some cry about it throughout the entire series. Such as Claire Bennet: her ability is regeneration, and she cries about it nearly all throughout season one, mourning how she's the freakshow of the cheerleaders, despite the fact that nobody except for a very select few friends and family knows about her ability, nor is her ability all that apparent unless she severely wounds herself in plain sight. Then in season two, it gets even worse, because she cries that she can't go around showing her ability and how restrained she feels. Never mind the fact that the only way to show her ability to others is by injuring herself. Never mind the fact that all she has to do in order to avoid suspicion is lay off her masochistic tendencies. Then she realizes the possibility of the company finding her, because they'll run tests on her and stuff, poking and prodding her. She cries about this too, even though it seems that's all she wants to do to herself; if you find an episode with Claire in it in the first two seasons that doesn't involve a suicide attempt or self mutilation, you get a cookie. And then in season three, she loses the ability to feel pain, and cries about that because it apparently takes all the fun out of self-mutilation. At one point she mentions this to Elle, who is suffering horrific agony due to her Power Incontinence, and is, needless to say, not pleased to hear it.
      • In fairness to Claire her powers have made her life progressively worse since learning about them. She goes from popular teen to outcast. She becomes an instant target for shady people like The Company and Psychopathic killers like Sylar. In Season 3 she suffers the superhero equivalent of rape, making her attitude pretty understandable. By volume 4 she has no friends at all, which is made more obvious in volume 5. She's not so much concerned about the lack of ability to feel pain, but concerned that she eventually won't be able to feel ANYTHING.
      • Also worth noting is the look of utter horror she has when Sylar points out that because she's immortal, she'll one day see everyone she loves grow old and die while she remains the same... and her only company for eternity will be Sylar.
    • Another good example: Emma Coolidge in Volume Five, a deaf woman who develops the power to see sounds as multicolored lights. This not only looks pretty cool, but also makes her an Instant Expert at playing musical instruments. Her first reaction (after receiving independent verification that she's not hallucinating) is to demand that it be taken away and spend several episodes Wangsting about it for no readily apparent reason.
  • Lizzie McGuire from...well Lizzie McGuire after trying to find something she is good at is not very happy to find out she is a rhythmic gymnastics prodigy, calling it a "stupid talent" to have and does not enjoy taking part in a competition which she easily wins.
  • Scott McCall from Teen Wolf. He doesn't see the awesomeness of lycanthropy when Derek Hale says the bite is a gift, arguing that being turned into a werewolf has made his life much more difficult and now he has to hide it from everyone around him. Justified at first by a Superpowered Evil Side, but now he has full control and seems to have grown out of the angst. His best friend, Stiles Stilinski, rejects the bite later as well because of a similar reasoning and states that he's perfectly happy being a normal human.
  • Clark Kent on Smallville, constantly whines and angsts about how terrible it is to be an alien "outsider" with such and awful secret. Yep, an outsider with: two unbelievably loving parents, some awesome best friends who are totally supportive when they eventually learn his secret (and one's a hottie that's totally in love with him to boot), an acceptable level of baseline popularity in school, gets to looks like Tom goddamn Welling so most chicks think he's hot-as... oh and the small matter of developing a wide array of earth-shattering superpowers that make him a virtually unkillable demigod. Yeah, boo-frikkety-hoo, Clark; cry me a river... If it weren't for kryptonite it would be win-win-win.
    • Admittedly, his whining becomes slightly more justified in later seasons as some people he loves die or move away, his would-be OTP starts getting really screwy, and increasingly more dangerous and determined adversaries are pitted against him. Still, you wish you could just tell him that a few years down the track he'll get the hot chick, be the universally beloved protector of the planet, hang out with a bunch of super buddies etc... SO JUST PUT A SOCK IN IT!
  • Subverted in Reaper. At first it seems like the devil owning Sam's soul looks like the best thing that's ever happened to him: he gets a cool job as a hunter of escaped souls, powers specially designed for each soul so he shouldn't have too much trouble with them, and the big guy's inside advice on how to get laid. However, the devil also occasionally screws with Sam's life just for the hell of it, and he can't say anything about it to the girl he really loves since it would jeopardize her ownership of her own soul.
  • In Stargate Atlantis, Teyla is understandably freaked out at first when she learns her telepathic abilities stem from the fact she's part Wraith. However, being a no-nonsense Action Girl, she quickly comes to terms with her background and quickly sets out trying to figure how she can use it against the Wraith.
  • To some extent, David Banner of The Incredible Hulk. Turning into a green raging behemoth whenever you get angry is pretty lousy, yes, but as played on the show it nearly always kicked in to save him or someone else from life-threatening danger.
  • Openly addressed in the first episode of Being Human. "How noble of you to take on the curse of immortality so that your friends could wither and decay in hospitals and old people's homes..."
    • Similarly, McNair sees lycanthropy as a blessing rather than curse: "When bones break, they repair stronger, when skin tears, it heals tougher."
    • Although in both cases, vampirism and lycanthropy do seriously suck, especially if you aren't prepared for it.
  • "No Grandpa, not the shrinking cap!" from the So Bad, It's Good Grandpa in My Pocket.
  • The Charmed Ones from Charmed seem to fit this. For the first three series they don't half go on about being spectacularly powerful witches (especially Piper) and are all somewhat inclined towards giving up their powers if given the chance (especially Piper...) in fact, they only stop complaining about their abilities (to freeze time or move things with their mind/astrally project or see into the future/levitate) in order to use them to save the day from demon of the week.
    • This may have more to do with the fact the writers set up the entire universe to ensure the sisters would never get to use their powers for anything besides demon-killing. Several episodes are centered around them trying to do something for themselves and getting punished for it.
  • Acknowledged in the promotional ads for The Listener, about a guy who can hear people's thoughts: he used to think his power was a curse, but he's figured out a way to save people with it.
  • Stefan, Damon, Bonnie, Elena and all other supernatural beings on The Vampire Diaries who possess special superhuman powers or abilities.
  • Although Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood doesn't spend a lot of time bemoaning the fact that he can't die, he has clearly found the drawbacks to it, and there is a fair amount of subtext. He also has to watch almost all his friends, his lover, and at least one member of his family die, then step up and fix everything anyway. He's sort of expected to be emotionless - not cold, just unable to be emotionally hurt or depressed. This, ironically, has got to be depressing.
  • Saturday Night Live: in one skit, a man is cursed to summon a sexy sax player named Sergio who immediately invokes everyone around him to dance.
  • LOST: The Man in Black was thrown into the Island's source by Jacob, which stripped him from his body and turned him into the monster, which was said to be a fate worse than death, and he's trapped on the Island. However, he can shape-shift and impersonate dead people to manipulate others to do his bidding, is immortal and can't be killed by bullets or knives, and in his smoke monster form he can kill an entire group of people with ease.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation The android Data is stronger than a Klingon, smarter than a Vulcan, doesn't need sleep or food or drink, can survive in open space or on any planet, can interface with anything that moves and doesn't have to worry about fear, sadness, hatred, or any other negative emotions, even if he's constantly the victim of racism. But, poor guy, all he wants is to be more human. And even in Star Trek: Generations, when he finally retrieves his emotion chip from his Ax-Crazy brother, Lore, and it interferes with half of his regular operations, and makes him, frankly, a tool, he is still happy to hear LaForge say he's acting more human—in response to Data's chickening out and leaving LaForge in the hands of Dr. Soran and the Klingons. Averted in the next film, Data gets enough control over his emotion function to turn it off when it gets in the way.
    • Star Trek tends to go in for this trope a lot. Odo in Deep Space 9 and Seven of Nine in Voyager are other examples of characters with cool abilities and immunities who go through lots of angst over the fact that they aren't the same as everyone else.
  • The Middleman has a character who was cursed with immortality as a punishment for kicking someone else out of a lifeboat on the Titanic. This rather backfired, because he thinks Living Forever Is Awesome.
  • Babylon 5 psychics, particularly in season 5, when they start whining about how they are all "weapons" created by the Vorlons.
    • Their main issue is with the Mundanes hating them. According to the canon Psi-Corps trilogy, when the knowledge of telepaths first became public on Earth, it was followed by mass Witch Hunts for anyone who even seemed like they may be a telepath. This is despite the Pope (you know, the head of the largest religion on the planet) telling people that he approves of telepaths. The only time shown in the book where he is heeded is when an Italian mob boss lets a telepath go after cheating in his casino, provided he uses his gift to help him.
  • One episode of House implies that the title character may have Asperger's Syndrome, which allows him to focus intensely on his cases, at the expense of being a complete social incompetent and highly self-destructive (on the basis of an autistic boy he was treating deliberately meeting his gaze at the end of the episode, which he is stated to have never done before). On the other hand, House may just be a brilliant ass.
    • Wilson outright states at the end of the episode House doesn't have it — he's just an ass.
  • The Sentinel's Jim Ellison sometimes feels his super-senses are a curse; his first request of Blair is how to make them go away.
    • There are a number of episodes when they are a detriment to him rather than a gift. There's the "zoning-out" problem, which nearly gets him run over by a truck in the pilot, when he focuses his vision too much on a flying frisbee. Also, after his ears get flushed out from all the wax build-up, his hearing is Turned Up to Eleven, meaning he can't even focus at work thanks to all the tiny noises hitting him with the volume of a heavy metal concert. He's also extremely sensitive to pain, although Blair teaches him how to "dial it down" (specifically, using the "dial" imagery).
      • Funny thing is, it's never mentioned that the same super-sentitivity would also mean he would enjoy sex a lot more. Now imagine if two sentinels get it on...
  • In Once Upon a Time, Rumplestiltskin is cursed to be the most powerful sorcerer in the land and to have sparkly grey skin—which he may or may not be able to conceal with magic. That this is a curse is established in the Season 1 episode "Skin Deep," wherein Belle almost ends it with True Love's Kiss. In a slight departure, while the show clearly wants us to see him as cursed, Rumplestiltskin himself never complains about his powers, and is quite sensibly freaked out at the prospect of losing them and being at the mercy of the Evil Queen, not to mention losing any chance of finding his son.
    • The detrimental aspects are not shown so much as the power of the Dark One is much like a djinn in that he has incredible power, but also a magical item that grants the holder complete control over him. (As well as passing on the curse via You Kill It, You Bought It) Unlike most djinn, Rumple has not allowed the dagger out of his possession in over 300 years, so his will is entirely his own.
  • The Russian mini-series Wolf Messing: Seeing through time, based on the (possibly fictionalized) memoirs of a Real Life psychic of that name, portray Messing's abilities alternatively as a gift and as a curse. It's all fun when he uses them on stage to read people's thoughts or make them do something. The pilot starts with Messing being asked a trivial question during a performance (which hockey team will win the championship), and he ends up getting a vision so disturbing (one of the hockey teams will die in a plane crash) that he cuts the performance short and immediately calls the Kremlin. He also gets horrible visions about the two World Wars before they happen. When a character later remarks about how great it would be to see bad things coming and change them, Messing points out that the bad things he sees are too grand to change by him alone. Even the plane crash still happens, despite him warning Stalin about it. Strangely, he is unable to foresee his own people being exterminated by the Nazis. He is also once asked to find a dead girl's body based on a photograph, and he visibly breaks down after touching the picture and revealing the location. When the cops ask if he'd like to help them full-time, he opts to be in the circus instead.

    Music 

  • "Living Hell" by German Rock/Punk band Die Ärzte, in which a successful musician complains about all the sex, money and fame he gets. Inspired By some real musician's complaint whose name escapes me right now.
  • Kendall Payne's The Prayer is based on this: a series of curses then explaining why they're awesome:
    May you find every step to be harder than the last
    so your character grows greater each stride.
  • Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett had to use a piano in bad shape for his legendary Köln Concert. The unique sound of the piano is seen to have contributed to the quality of the performance.

    Mythology 
  • Norse Mythology has the story of Nornagest, a person who, as an infant, was going to be given blessings from the Norns (the Norse goddesses of Fate), but his parents angered one, who, instead of a blessing, gave him the "curse" that he would die when a specific candle finished burning. They manage to turn this "curse" into a blessing by putting out the candle so it would never "finish" burning... until he is forced to light it again three hundred years later.
    • A similar story from Scotland features three witches, a baby, and a piece of peat. No one told the baby, and on her wedding day she found the piece of peat and tossed it on the fire.
    • The Greek equivalent of that story was named Meleager. The Fates appeared to his mother and told her that he would only live as long as a certain stick in the fire remained unburned. Then when Meleager "accidentally" kills two of his brothers, his mom goes insane and burns the stick, which results in him horribly melting in the arms of his wife-to-be Atalanta.
    • A similar situation occurs in The Simpsons, in Treehouse of Horror IV -
    Homer: "Hey, wait. If I don't finish this last bite, you don't get my soul, do you?"
    Devil Flanders: "Well, technically, no, but..."
    Homer: "I'm smarter than the Devil! I'm smarter than..."
  • In a Greco-Roman myth recorded by Ovid in Metamorphoses a man named Lycaeon is turned into a wolf as divine punishment for being a cannibal and serving human flesh to the gods. It's strongly implied that he was happier in this form than as a human.
  • According to the Roman writer Ovid, Scylla was a nymph cursed to become one of the most powerful, hideous, and feared monsters in existence, making this Older Than Feudalism. She also raised bemoaning her fate to an art form few since have matched, deciding that if she couldn't be beautiful anymore, she'd stay in the spot she was transformed for the rest of her life, devouring anyone who came near. Having around six wild dogs attached to her may explain the whole 'devouring people' deal.
  • Diarmuid of The Love Spot from Celtic Mythology was "cursed" with the titular spot, which caused every woman who looked upon it to fall madly in love with him. A terrible, terrible curse indeed. It DOES kind of, indirectly lead to his death, though...
    • In fact, the concept of the geas (or geis) often overlaps with this trope; in many stories, it brings great power if the associated certain conditions are not violated, but upon violation a nasty curse does tend to kick in.
  • Egil, from Icelandic "Egil's Saga". Modern interpretation of it see his description as a clear sign of Paget's disease. It leads to many, many disadvantages but to one thing that is extremely useful for a Viking: a head that can even take the blow of an axe.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In this Dilbert strip, Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light, makes Dilbert choose between two "hideous fates": having eternal high pay but having to see all his work burned in front of him at the end of each day, or having his work be useful and appreciated but suffering eternal poverty. Dilbert points out that they're both better than his current job and recruits Wally to get in on the deal.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The "curse" of lycanthropy in Dungeons & Dragons, 3.5 Ed., once the afflicted player character succeeds on a Wisdom check of moderate difficulty. See here.
    • This depends on the player and character, for whom in some cases lycanthropy could ruin the character's access to powers or destroy the player's interest in the character by making him evil. However, many players enjoy playing this sort of brutal character and would not see it as a drawback at all. A player who is playing The Hero, however, would probably see almost no drawback to becoming a werebear. "Let's see; super strength, super toughness, and I remain Lawful Good?"
    • All editions of Ravenloft, and Paizo in Pathfinder, put the bite back in lycanthrope, where it is not Cursed With Awesome, or Blessed with Suck. It's downright horrific. The GM is practically encouraged to have you one day wake up naked, covered in blood, with a horde of angry peasants brandishing pitchforks and an order of paladins hunting you down. The player does not control his character during his transformed states and has no idea what he did while changed.
    • D&D 4e has the ability for player characters of level 11 or higher to transform into a lich, provided they have the money to cast the ritual. Oh, truly this is a horrible curse... which bestows the caster with almost doubled hit points, powerful regeneration, immunity to disease and poison, a significant bonus to all defences, and the ability to reconstruct yourself from a phylactery if killed. And there's no gradual drift towards evil in the gameplay mechanics, either. Why shouldn't the PCs try this again?
      • Because it enthralls you to Orcus? That's a pretty damn large downside if you happen to have a conscience. Besides, there's a far less amoral alternative, with Archliches; you need to be more powerful than a normal lich (level 20 and above, it's an epic destiny), but thanks to mixing in some Life Energy into the deal, you're fully alive and immortal, not to mention you have a nice aura that hurts anything you hate, alive or undead.
    • Conditional Cw A, but for a transgender person, the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity (under rules as written) would be exactly this sort of thing.
    • Up to 3rd Edition, a drow was turned into a drider (a centaur-like creature that was the upper-body of a drow and a giant black widow spider from the waist down) by their dark goddess Lolth as a punishment for failing a Rite of Passage. Exactly why Lolth would turn one of her subjects into a likeness of herself and make them stronger in the process (letting them keep their divine spellcasting ability too if they happened to be clerics) did seem a little strange, and in the 4th edition, this was changed via retcon, making driders a privileged caste bestowed on drow as a reward.
  • Point buy based systems tend to allow your character to gain extra points to buy powers if you take disadvantages. Some of the more munchkin-prone players enjoy picking "drawbacks" that may lack a certain sting. "Berserker" may turn you into a rage-driven killing machine that causes you to attempt to destroy anything that crosses your line of sight... which is half the definition of adventurer in the first place. (The other half is taking their stuff afterwards.)
  • Some players have turned some 'cursed' items to their advantage, embracing this trope. The greatest example was the classic D&D Sword -1 Cursed, a Clingy MacGuffin which would, no matter what you did to get rid of it, would reappear in your hand when combat began. Many did not see a disadvantage of dealing with a -1 penalty for a weapon which was always available. This would eventually make an appearance in one of the Ravenloft novels in the hands of a villain.
    • This is parodied in Ninja Burger, where the cursed item card has no drawback, and means the "cursed" item can now never be stolen or destroyed.
    • Another cursed sword (which makes an appearance in Baldur's Gate) actually gets a bonus to hit and damage to encourage people to use it. When practicing with it, there's no problem. When anyone attacks you, it causes you to go berserk and kill anyone in the vicinity, only calming down some time after all attackers are dead or have fled. In theory, this is a curse because of the risk of hurting your allies, but in practice, there are ways around this, and it may very well be your best available weapon if you're going the One-Man Army route.
      • Similarly, the 3.5 DMG goes so far as to list a sword that enrages the user as being boon or bane, depending on the wielder's own views. See [1].
    • A Necklace of Strangulation chokes to death anyone who puts it on. It sounds like a horrible item to find. No one says you have to wear it. No one says you can't, say, bribe an enemy with it. Oops. There are many similarly wicked items enterprising players can abuse.
    • Another classic example is the Bag of Devouring, a cursed Bag of Holding that tries to swallow anyone who reaches inside it. Many players are quick to see the potential in a portable garbage disposal. The general consensus is that any player who can't find a use for a "cursed" item isn't trying hard enough.
      • Which is why the DM Guide warns the Dungeon Master to never assume that players will "automatically" discard cursed items on realizing their status. It even gives an example - Dust of Sneezing and Choking, which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin, can do it to either the owner... or those orcs over there that just had it thrown over their heads.
  • Speaking of Ravenloft, each domain—a subsection of the plane—is ruled, at least in part, by a darklord, an incredibly evil individual, though not always an unsympathetic one. They get all sorts of shiny powers out of the deal, but it also earns them a curse-which, in and of itself, is personally tailored to the person so that, it wouldn't be so bad for anyone else, but the darklord's personality makes it so that it becomes unberable.
    • The demon lord Baphomet, who was supposedly either a human or an animal (presumably a bull, given his minotaur links) "cursed" to be a super-powerful demon lord ruling an entire layer of the Abyss and building his own monsters.
  • Given that the world of Exalted has the Immaculate Order, an entire religion devoted to demonizing the Celestial Exalted, it's entirely possible for a Solar or Lunar with Immaculate sympathies to view having become an incredibly powerful demigod as a curse. (Terrestrials are venerated by the Order, and Sidereals a) have been forgotten by most of Creation, including the Order, and b) are recruited, trained, and disabused of any innaccurate notions about Exaltation and the world in general within days of the Second Breath.)
    • Sidereals have to deal with Arcane Fate... a unique astrological phenomenon that causes any being not Sidereal or in the employment of the Bureau of Destiny to gradually forget that they exist. While this is a grand boon to their ability to operate as covert agents (especially since they can 'invent' cover identities that are unaffected by Arcane Fate), it likewise means that if they don't watch their step, critical allies and loved ones will forget they ever existed.
  • If you're really lucky in Warhammer 40,000, you'll end up like this. Example: The closest thing to retirement a Space Marine might ever get is having their mangled, mortally wounded body put on life support and encased in a Dreadnought, a heavily armed walking tank, for thousands of years. Getting to blow shit up from beyond the grave, and sleeping the rest of the time, seems pretty cool.
    • There's one tale Orks tell of a warband that ventured into the Eye of Terror, ending up on a demon world where they were all slaughtered... only to be raised again every morning to keep fighting, for the Blood God. Orks consider this heaven.
    • The Eldar have an unusual version of this. In order to keep their emotions under control they dedicate themselves to a single career (called a path), mastering that before leaving it behind and moving onto something else. However occasionally an Eldar will become "stuck" on a particular path and be unable to switch. The downside is that when this happens they risk losing control of themselves, the upside is they become VERY, VERY good at it. In particular Eldar who have become stuck on the path of either the Warrior or the Witch (called Exarchs and Farseers) are the leaders of Eldar society.
    • Psykers in general in the setting. While it ranges from people being able to control their power to ones who would just implode and take half the city with him, most of them have some pretty awesome powers. Alpha-class human psykers are said to be able to destroy titans, gigantic mecha that would make a gundam look tiny in comparison, by crushing it with their minds. The aforementioned Farseers are able to see into the future and manipulate the strains of fate, but are otherwise cursed to crystallize slowly over time, becoming one with their own craftworlds.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, Necrons also suffer from a case of this. They're more or less immortal (it's hinted that not a single necron has ever permanently died, only to be reduced to atoms then teleported to a nearby tomb for repairs), possess strength on par with space marines or more, and have guns that strip you one molecule at a time to your bare bones. Necron Lords are even hinted to have sentience, and are able to command legions of his brethren. The cursed part? You're an antithesis to all living beings in the known universe and bar the select individuals (Lords) many necrons no longer have sentience.
  • Some of the "curses" in the Palladium Fantasy RPG give the character bonuses. For example, Glowing Red Eyes gives you a bonus to intimidation, and Frog Legs allow you to jump great distances.
  • Some cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! have effects that look bad, but can be abused with certain combos. The poster child of this trope, however, is probably Mist Valley Falcon. He can be summoned at no cost, and has a whopping 2000 ATK, which is as high as it gets without drawbacks. The "cursed" part? He can't use that high ATK score without returning one of your cards to your hand. The "awesome" part? Try equipping Big Bang Shot to one of your opponent's monsters before attacking. Yes, you get a powerful attack, and you get to kill one of your opponent's monsters Deader than Dead! He can also return a Fiendish Chain that you want to use again. That's saving a card. The best part? His effect can be used to trigger Divine Wind of Mist Valley, allowing you to summon something like resident Game Breaker Reborn Tengu.
  • Pathfinder has the Oracle class, divine spellcasters who all are cursed with disabilities. The good news is, these curses come with matching benefits, which get more powerful as you level.
  • Accepting a Geist into your head in Geist The Sin Eaters means having a near-demonic old ghost bound to you for the rest of your life and having to put up with seeing ghosts. On the other hand, you get all sorts of cool necromantic powers and, most importantly, if you hadn't accepted the "curse"? You'd be plain old dead. So, naturally, Sin-Eaters tend to see themselves as this In-Universe.
  • The Accursed (subtle!) and Wounded Angel arcs in Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine provide a mixture of neat benefits and unpleasant drawbacks. Wounded Angel relies upon developing physical and mental injuries of various kinds, then gaining powers based on those, while caging something horrible that gets let out if you run out of Divine Health Levels; Leonardo de Montreal, the Wounded Angel pregen, has powers like ripping out his heart to make himself a being of heartless perfection in the dark (it doesn't work in the light because his heart may or may not be fuelling the replacement sun - it's complicated), and holds in that space a nightmare known as the Red World. Accursed, meanwhile, involves becoming imbued with the Power of the Void until you can erase things from reality, but at the same time reality itself is prone to some kind of backlash against you...

    Video Games 
  • The SPARTAN-II and SPARTAN-III super-soldiers in the Halo series. Their creator feels she did this, but they can tell it's awesome. Kidnapped at the age of six, given Training from Hell, given augmentations which killed or made useless in combat most of them, but the rest became godly badasses. That said, a greater than 50% chance of being dead or disabled by your twenties, plus more or less a lifetime of military service against Scary Dogmatic Aliens and The Virus does seem to be a downer, even if you can punch through a tank with your bare hands. Considering they've pretty much been brainwashed since the age of six to be soldiers, they still think it's awesome.
    • This mostly shows up in Halo: Glasslands, which is filled with Writer on Board rails against Dr. Halsey for doing this to innocent children, even though no novel before that put all the blame on her shoulders (she had plenty of superiors who approved the project). In fact, even in this novel, no Spartan actually blames Halsey for their fate. Ironically, it was the guy who put them through Training from Hell who did most of the railing.
  • The Legend of Zelda has several examples:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, you wake a sleeping imp, who curses you for your impudence by halving your magic... although what he actually does is halve your magic cost, effectively doubling your magic. Thanks, buddy!
    • In Link's Awakening, a similar imp "curses" Link with greater inventory room, the idea being that Link now has to carry more stuff, and does this three times.
    • Wolf Link of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, who appears when when Link goes into an area covered with twilight, and not only makes a few things a bit simpler, but also has the ability to warp. Although it's played a bit more straight later, when Zant acutally does curse Link, locking him in wolf form. When you get the curse removed (and now at your disposal), Midna lampshades the fact that the curse has turned out to be quite useful. On the "cursed" side of things, there's the fact that people are frightened of Wolf Link. Besides the first time he goes to Ordon Village in that form though, no one actually tries to attack him or hinder him.
    • Also in Twilight Princess, you see a scene where the Sages attempt to execute Ganondorf, leading him to discover he has the Triforce of Power. Furthermore, the Sages seal him away by sending him to the Twilight Realm, where he ends up turning into a god-like mass of pure power.
    • In Spirit Tracks, Princess Zelda is cursed into being a ghost. This allows her to fly, turn into a fairy-orb and possess Phantoms, effectively making her physically stronger than she was when she was actually, well, physical.
  • Lampshade Hanging in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: In order to receive certain (required) abilities, Mario must open locked chests containing demons that dramatically "curse" him with the ability to turn sideways, fold into a paper airplane, etc. Voluntarily, and with no downsides. By the fourth one, Mario can see where things are headed and tells the chest to get on with the cursing. The chest expresses disappointment at not being able to perform his big scene. These demons were originally the legendary heroes who sealed the true villain and fell to its curse. They're forced to be "dark", but found a loophole in how being "dark" is interpreted.
    • And the one in the third chest comes out and says what the curse really is, in a sort of... pseudo-deception?
  • The Sand Wraith form in Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. The Mask of the Sand Wraith displaces its user in time a few hours, allowing them to meet themselves in the past to avert some unpleasant fate. The mask comes off when the "past" version dies, so you have to end up killing yourself. In gameplay terms, while playing as the Sand Wraith, your health is slowly depleted. While the may sound bad at first, it only depletes to about a quarter of your original health bar. This is at least enough to survive one solid hit from pretty much anything in the game (during the time you use the form). Add on to that the fact that your sand tanks regenerate at a steady rate, and any competent player using this form becomes borderline unkillable because you can just rewind time to heal the tiny bit of health you have.
  • In Pokémon Gold and Silver (and later versions), as an extremely rare occurrence, Pokémon may be infected with Pokérus. This highly infectious disease cannot be cured, though the affected Pokémon will heal naturally in 24 hours. What does this horrible disease do, you ask? They make your Pokémon grow twice as fast than normal, even after the disease goes away (it's actually a bit more complicated than that, but that's the upshot). For this reason, players do well to make sure the disease keeps spreading among their Pokémon.
    • On the subject of Pokémon, the hero in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon never seems to find being turned into a Pokémon really awesome (seeing all the cool powers and stuff they have). However, the hero also rarely ever mentions a desire to go back to human form. Subverted in the first PMD games, as the player character chose to become a Pokémon, though they do not remember their past. The Explorers games play this straight, as the main villain was behind the transformation. Averted in the Japan-only WiiWare games, as the player character is not a transformed human in those.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, when you attempt to use one of the first three Drive forms Sora gets, you occasionally go into AntiForm instead. It comes with dramatically increased agility, the ability to perform absurdly fast and powerful combos that can range across the screen, and of course black, wispy tendrils from your outfit and your hair. The downside? The complete inability to heal while the form is active, receiving double damage, you're unable to kill bosses due to a lacking a combo finisher, and the inability to gain experience while in the form. Thus, while it's incredibly powerful, there are often very good reasons to want to avoid it. Especially because each time Anti-Form is activated, the random chance of it happening increases.
    • On the other hand, after a certain point in the game (the Sora/Roxas fight scene), the number of times you've gone into Anti-Form is directly correlated to your chance of unlocking the most powerful Drive form when you use one of the three transformations.
  • Terra in Final Fantasy VI. She considers her magic a curse because it distances herself from others and she fears she may never truly connect with other people. In the meantime, she's the only half-Esper in the world and as such is more or less a demi-god. In fact, until the Big Bad turns himself into a full-fledged god, Terra is arguably the strongest mage on the planet.
  • Vincent in Final Fantasy VII. He let the chick he was crushing on let her boyfriend turn her into a science project, and when he objected he got turned into one too. He considers it a fitting punishment. The experiments have made him immortal, so he gets to spend eternity in his late 20s, and allow him to transform into various demons that can kill normal enemies in a single hit.
  • Ashton Anchors, in Star Ocean: The Second Story/Evolution gets possessed by a two-headed dragon (Thanks to the party), its heads being fused onto his back. Outside of making him look like a freak, it's not nearly as terrible as it sounds, as the dragons are actually rather friendly (Mostly showing hostility towards one another, which is a source of irritation for him), and while despite being capable of taking complete control of him, only choose to do so on one occasion where they had something important to say. On the plus side, they help him in battle by using symbology and breathing fire and ice at foes with his strongest killer move.
    • When presented with a method of removing the dragons in an optional quest, he ultimately chooses to not go through with it as it would kill them, having developed a soft spot for them in the meantime. However, he's still stuck with them in the sequel game that takes place two years later, in which they've also learned some new attacks, such a lunging bite that makes their host do a comical faceplant.
  • The main character in Dragon Quest VIII survived the curse placed on Trodain due to a curse placed on him as a baby, that had the side effect of making the cursed immune to any other curses. In an odd case of Gameplay and Story Integration, this even makes him immune to the status effect "Cursed".
  • The protagonist of Baldur's Gate I and II (and his brother) is "cursed" with supernatural powers due to being descended from an evil god. Depending on which character alignment the player picks at character creature, and on later choices during the game, the character's divine powers differ and grow. "Good" characters may view the ability to destroy the universe as a curse, evil ones probably don't.
  • Nero's arm in Devil May Cry 4 is demonic, which makes him go to great lengths to hide it from his fellow demon slayers. He's also not happy with the fact that he has a demonic arm, but in all honesty, it's the main reason why he's such a Bad Ass, since it bestows all kinds of asskicking powers.
  • In Drakengard, there is an idiosyncratic price a human in a pact with some eldritch creature has to pay for that creature's services. Caim and Leonard have obvious curses - they have lost their voice and sight respectively - but Seere loses his "time", making him immortal. While it is arguable that no one wants to live forever (especially as a six year old child), Seere has already lost anyone dear to him by this point, and it is very hard to say this is a real, immediate curse compared to the others. The hierarch Verdelet also isn't very cursed, since all he lost was his body hair; unfortunately, his condition isn't very awesome either since his dragon pact-partner happens to be petrified.
    • Seere's condition normally would be considered awesome until you take into account that there is a pedophile and an insane cannibalistic child killer in the party...
    • Drakengard II gets some of this, too. The knight generals all have pact partners. One lost her appeal, and is now repulsive in all aspects, making anyone who meets her immediately loathe her. One lost his sense of taste, and now spends much of his time gluttonously stuffing himself in a futile attempt to regain the pleasures of eating. And one lost... his masculinity. "Becoming incredibly effeminate" isn't exactly a huge curse compared to some of the others in the series, or even in the same game.
  • Both Kain and Raziel from the Legacy of Kain series get this, but Raziel is doubly cursed with awesome - first for being a vampire, and second by being thrown into a maelstrom of acid water and turned into a vampire-hunting soul wraith. As a result he loses many of his vampiric weaknesses, such as his aversion to water, weakness in sunlight and need to drink blood, while still keeping his useful abilities, like super-strength and (limited) flight.
    • This is a reoccuring plot point in the series; whether or not vampirism is a curse or a blessing, whether they are parasites or gods, whether they are banished from god's grace or liberated from the wheel of fate. The true result of Raziel's cursed with awesome is that because of his curse, he is the one creature in existance with free will.
  • In NetHack, many "cursed" items can be helpful if applied right, for example a cursed genocide scroll will create monsters instead of kill them, allowing for many useful tactics, such as nurse dancing. (Nurses will raise your HP maximum if they attack you when you have no armor on, surround yourself with lots of nurses and... works best on no teleport levels, so the nurses can't flee.)
    • From the Nethack mod, Slash'EM, there's the Lycanthrope character class. Lycanthropes are permanently cursed with randomly turning into a wolf. They take large penalties to how much they can carry in a game where you need to be Crazy-Prepared. They also have greatly increased hunger, requiring them to constantly be on the lookout for more food. Despite that.. It's AWESOME. The food penalty is countered by insane regeneration and being a werewolf is just plain fun. Compared to other classes agonizing choices over how to fight, being able to maul the face off anyone you meet is straight up cathartic.
  • In Morrowind, it's possible to contract Corprus disease, an incurable illness which disfigures the flesh of its victim. It increases your strength and makes you immune to disease, but reduces your intelligence and makes people disgusted by the sight of you. In addition, it can lead you to a quest where you seek out a wizard who is working on a cure for Corprus. If you volunteer to be his test subject, he'll succeed in removing the negative side effects of Corprus, as well as the strength boost, though as he tells you, he actually never made a cure and you still have Corprus. Incidentally, this leaves you with the immunity to disease, which is a prerequisite to becoming the Neravarine.
    • The Corprus incident is even MORE awesome because it effectively makes him immortal if not killed in battle. As the prophecy puts it, neither blight nor age can harm him/The Curse-of-Flesh before him flies'; Curse-of-Flesh is the prophetic name for Corprus. Apparently he doesn't infect others with the original disease, either - that would be Blessed With Suck.
    • Likewise in Oblivion the player can be turned into a vampire by contracting the disease from fighting other vampires. There's a relatively lengthy sidequest to get a cure, but most players won't use the cure even after getting it because the free powers gained from vampirism greatly outweigh the disadvantages.
    • Daggerfall had lycanthropy. Becoming a lycanthrope granted massive, permanent stat boosts and disease immunity in exchange for uncontrollable bloodlusts every week or so. Thing is, "stat boosts" translated to "your character is a god" and "weekly bloodlusts" translated as "a piss-easy quest to get a ring that satisfies them."
      • Or simply mauling some random, nameless NPC on the streets, which are infinite and literally spawn behind you every second. While laughing at the stings of non-silver-weapon-wielding guards. In fact... why even wait a week to do that?
    • Skyrim has both vampirism and lycanthropy.
      • Vampirism turns the Player Character into a vampire with a number of stat bonuses and useful abilities. Vampires are immune to disease and poison, are harder to detect when sneaking, and spells from the Illusion school of magic become more powerful. You also gain a resistance to frost elemental damage. Finally, vampires have a number of special powers including night vision, Vampire's Seduction, and invisibility. Vampire Lords, added in Dawnguard, are even more powerful, possessing greater combat abilities and Blood Magic, as well as a special perk tree granting even more abilities.
      • That said, vampires have a few notable weaknesses: Vampires can move around in sunlight, but are weakened significantly, fire damage does more damage than usual, and vampires need to feed on blood every once in a while, otherwise their weaknesses (not to mention their inhumanity) become more pronounced, although their powers become stronger too.
      • Lycanthropy allows the player disease immunity and the ability to become a 300-pound killing machine once per day. As with Vampire Lords, Werewolves gain a special perk tree in Dawnguard. Werewolves are absolutely brutal Lightning Bruisers with incredible speed, strength and durability, as well as the ability to heal by eating dead bodies. Werewolves can also use "howls" with special attributes including causing people to run in fear, detect living things from incredible distances, and call in wolves or other werewolves as allies. Unlike vampirism, you have complete control over when and where you enter your werewolf form.
      • The only reason Lycanthropy counts as a curse is because the Daedric Prince Hircine gets claim to your soul when you die; one Werewolf character, Kodlak, laments that his lycanthropy will prevent him from entering Sovngarde, the Nord afterlife. That said, other Werewolf characters are warmer to the idea of an afterlife of eternal hunting, although given who these characters are...
      • Also, on another note, another Daedric prince can lay claim to your soul during the main game as well. This throws the final downside of "determined afterlife" in question as well.
      • And, since the Dragonborn has the immortal soul of a dragon [[(Your Soul Is Mine or several, if you've been busy)]], rather than the standard mortal affair, it's possible that would never have been an issue in the first place.
    • Player characters in The Elder Scrolls Online are Soul Shriven — their bodies are alive, but their souls have been taken by Molag Bal. The most obvious effect of this being that they can't permanently die, in a setting that normally doesn't operate under Death Is Cheap. While this would border on And I Must Scream if they were a slave in Coldharbour as planned, since they managed to escape, this means that any time they die, they can come back at the nearest wayshrine, or, if they have a sufficiently powerful filled soul gem, use it up to kickstart their body and revive on the spot, in either case without much worse than some banged-up equipment and minor bruising. On top of this, your nature grants you access to Soul Magic, starting off with an innate ability to cast a version of Soul Trap that's better than the version normal protagonists from main-series games can learn. Everyone you meet who is aware of your state still treats you as dealing with a terrible burden, but these are some pretty awesome upsides.
    • From the lore, the story of Wheedle. Wheedle was the 13th child of the king of Valenwood, and so had little chance to claim any wealth or titles, so he sought wealth, power and a legacy that would be remembered for all time. By chance, Wheedle came upon a poor beggar and saved her from some angry townsfolk, only for her to reveal to his surprise that she was in fact Namira, the Daedric Prince of disease and revulsion. After he begged her for power and patronage for a whole month, she laughed at the irony of his situation, and gave him three "blessings": disease, pity, and disregard. He could take up any disease that had visible symptoms, so long as he had one. Horrified, Wheedle saw them as curses individually, and altogether horrible. Forced to turn away from his noble heritage, he became a beggar who wandered Tamriel, only to find that he became so pitiable, so tragic, that no-one could walk by his huddled and wretched form without being urged to throw a coin at his feet, and subsequently Wheedle never needed for money - in fact, he became ironically rather wealthy in his own right. He simultaneously became ignored by all, and the people said things around Wheedle that they wouldn't dare say with anyone else in earshot, and soon Wheedle also knew all the closest secrets of all of Tamriel's most powerful citizens. Wheedle has long since passed on from Nirn, but his name is legendary as the Beggar Prince, his exploits chronicled in books, and to this day it is oft said that if you want to know anything about anyone, you need only ask the beggars, as they know all the little secrets of the people and their lives. In a twisted way, Namira granted him everything he ever wanted: wealth, power and a legacy that would last for all time.
  • Adelle of Final Fantasy Tactics A2, as well as a few other characters are Gifted, which grants them unique powers and nigh immortality, but not all can control it. Adelle initially agonizes over it after her village was wiped out by a plague that didn't affect her. It's also something that makes her desirable by the bad guys, with her consent or not. Many of the other Gifted are outcasts of one kind or another, either because people don't trust them or because of their own desire. Lennart for example states that he couldn't bear being friends with normal people that die within a normal lifespan anymore. She feels that she's been Blessed with Suck at first, but as she meets other Gifted and is given their power for her unique class (Heritor), she comes to realize it's not so bad after all—which allows her to release her own Gift—"the power of life, in all its forms and splendor". Which is just a free Regen spell.
  • In Metal Slug 3's second stage, getting attacked by a zombie turns you into a zetta slow zombie... but in return, you become immune to human attacks and you gain a special attack in which you vomit a powerful blast of blood.
  • Zombie status in Final Fantasy X. While your character does convert HP restoration to damage, attacks with drain effects will now heal, while the user takes damage instead, and your character becomes immune to instant KO. There is actually an aquatic sea serpent zombie form of a boss you fight previously in the game who has this effect constantly. And there is an item that brings you back to life with full health. Healing items are useable against enemy monsters. In that case, it's sort of a Blessed With Suck sort of thing if you happen to have a spare Mega Phoenix Down or two normal Phoenix Downs.
    • Zombie is only a true case of Cursed With Awesome in one boss fight, in which your enemy casts a high-percentage, multi-targetting instant death attack that will very likely kill you if nobody in your party is not a zombie. In any other situation it's more like Blessed with Suck, as two different bosses (one of which is the above example) will inflict the status upon you and then try to cast healing or life-based spells to kill you instantly.
  • In F-Zero X, machines with E-ranked grip aren't that bad... in fact, using one allows you to (ab)use several Game Breakers that will let you take massive shortcuts and gain ridiculous bursts of speed.
  • When Samus defeats the Omega Pirate in Metroid Prime, it falls on her, "corrupting" her Power Suit into the Phazon Suit. The "beneficial side effects" (decreased damage and immunity to blue Phazon) from this corruption are all that the player ever experiences, and the only negative consequences show up in the sequel, in a bit of Retcon. The Phazon corruption of Samus herself in Prime 3, on the other hand, has both ups and downs, in that she can use it to enter the very powerful Hypermode, which uses health as ammo and can lead to total corruption if not managed well.
  • Suikoden usually averts this trope; the drawbacks of the True Runes are in most cases genuinely horrifying. A couple of them have no real drawbacks, though (the Dragon Rune and the Gate Rune, for example); their bearers are essentially getting godlike power and immortality for free, so you have to wonder what they're complaining about.
    • Well,there is that whole "when you die your soul becomes trapped in the Rune forever thing", and that "the Rune is alive and has its own potential agenda thing", then there is the fact having a True Rune can make you a VERY big target like the bearers of the previously mentioned Gate Rune who had their entire society smashed to pieces by those seeking its power, the fact that should a bearer ever lose control, even runes that have no extra downsides like the True Elemental Runes can raze entire countries to the ground, the fact that should a bearer be separated from their rune they will die within a few years at most, etc.... the downsides are many.
    • To give you some idea of the more typical consequences of True Runes, the Soul Eater rune instantly devours the souls of those emotionally close to the bearer when they die; the Beast rune eats people to power itself and is implied to drive those tied with it insane; the Rune of Punishment feeds on its user, almost inevitably ending in the user being disintegrated and their memories trapped in the rune in a state of eternal torment; the Sword and Shield runes are two halves of a true rune that force their bearers to fight until one of them can claim both and restore the original rune — whether they want to fight or not; and the Sun rune induces madness and egomania unless combined with its two balancing counterparts, the Dawn and Twilight runes. They're not very nice things to have.
  • In World of Goo, when you encounter an "infected area" in Cyber Space, your first instinct is of course to go around it. But Guide Dang It, the "Grape Vine Virus" actually empowers your free-living projectile goo to cling to each other and form long chains.
  • Two-thirds into the plot, Sagi in Baten Kaitos Origins finds out that he is a product of the experiment that involved combining a human with a piece of evil gods to produce a man-made spiriter (the series' equivalent of the chosen one with legendary powers). While he turns into a demon due to witnessing the torture of his mother at one point, he becomes an all-powerful being once he learns to control the power of an evil god within him. From then on, he has no problem defeating villains who have been unstoppable up to that point.
    • The extent to which this is a "curse" is debatable, since the extra power is at least partly The Power of Friendship. After all, the piece of the "evil" god is actually the player. There's also a subversion: player choice can lead to a Non-Standard Game Over (meaning it really is a curse).
  • Kubikiri Basara, first appearing in Samurai Shodown 3, is a ghost. In the living world, Basara can teleport through shadow, transform into a shadowy bat, and control his bladed disc with his mind. He wants his "accursed" existence to end so he can stay with his beloved Kagaribi in the afterlife. In his SS5 ending, he recovers a repressed memory: he, not Zankuro, had killed Kagaribi.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network 3, the bug associated with the BusterMAX program is basically Power Incontinence; it causes MegaMan to use all of his uploaded chips in rapid fire at the beginning of the turn, aiming and timing be damned. The GameFAQs community held a contest to see who could produce the best character with that glitch as a stipulation.
    • There is another bug in Battle Network 4 where instead of firing of a powerful buster shot, you drop a rock cube onto the field in front of you. (This seems like Blessed with Suck, until you realize that chips like Poltergeist and the Junkman Soul Synchro both like objects on the field. Also, if timed correctly, an enemy running into a rock cube as it is created takes 100 damage and destroys the rock cube. This is better than most chips in the game.)
  • Corporal Matthew Kane of Quake IV is captured and painfully transformed into a cyborg by the Strogg about halfway through the game, but he is rescued by his squadmates before the mind-controlling chip inserted into his brain during the "Stroggification" process can be activated. You can see the whole disturbing process here. Despite having most of his organic body crudely replaced with cybernetic parts, his increased strength, speed, and resistance to Strogg technology such as teleporters (which are instantly fatal to regular humans, as demonstrated when one soldier attempts to go through and it rips him in two) are huge bonuses - especially as his aforementioned resistance to teleporters and the like render him the only member of the Rhino Squad capable of destroying the enemy.
  • The hero in the platformer game Demon Returns in Game Center CX 2/Retro Game Challenge 2 seems to be a form of this: he's turned into a purple imp-like demon by the Big Bad of the game, but all it does is to give him sharp claws from which he can fire small tornadoes when sufficiently powered up and the ability to use any enemies he runs across as his personal form of transportation. It does seem to hinder him in that he needs to consume apples constantly to stay alive, though.
  • Jak and Daxter: After two years of torture and experimentation, Jak gains Dark Eco powers. The Baron and the Oracle warn that it will drive him insane and kill him horribly, people who watch him in action are terrified, and Count Veger in Jak 3 concludes that because of it Jak is an abomination who deserves only death. Nevertheless, it makes him immensely powerful and exactly what he was intended to be: the only thing capable of taking down the Metal Head leader.
  • The Ghouls in Fallout were created by being subjected to a megadose of radiation during the Great War. The downside is that they look like the living dead (which leaves them subject to much discrimination) and may eventually become feral. The upside is that they are healed by radiation and have much longer lifespans than any other normal human. Probably all cases of ghoulification are against the subject's will though, since in addition to the aforementioned discrimination, exposure to massive doses of radiation usually leads to death.
    • Similarly, Super Mutants are also long-lived, with the added bonus of super strength and even increased intelligence in rare cases. In exchange however, you lose almost all memories of your past self, are stripped of free will, and it is all too likely that you will become far less intelligent than you were before being dipped into the FEV tank. Also worth noting is that all Super Mutants are sterile, and that all current Super Mutants (in the West Coast at least) will most likely die out eventually. All told, becoming a Super Mutant does have its advocates, since some people did volunteer for the process back in the original Fallout game. Marcus himself states that he prefers being a Super Mutant to being human because it leaves him less susceptible to petty emotions like "hatred" and "jealousy".
      • According to Marcus (if you choose to set him up with a hooker at the brothel in New Reno), Super Mutants are not actually sterile, "it just takes a few years for the juices to get flowing again after being dipped," though he might actually be referring to sex drive, rather than fertility. The explanation for why mutants are sterilenote  doesn't leave a lot of wiggle-room.
  • Alicia's Valkyria powers in Valkyria Chronicles. There's a lot of wangst about how awful being a Valkyria is (because being impervious to bullets and capable of blowing up tanks with lasers is just so terrible when you're out to end a war, especially when you've been running around as a one-woman army the whole game) and how badly it messes her up, but her fears are hugely exaggerated in proportion to the actual possibility of any of them coming true. Selvaria is supposed to be an example of how bad it is to be a Valkyria because she's exploited for her powers and doomed to a hopeless one-sided love affair, but she chooses that fate for herself; ultimately there's no way for anyone to force a Valkyria do anything she doesn't want to do, but that doesn't stop Alicia deciding to freak out and kill herself with her newly-mastered powers to prove how much of a choice she doesn't have.
  • In the PC version of PowerSlave (aka Exhumed in Europe), mummies sometimes launch a spell which turns the player into one of them for a few second - and he can launch a very powerful attack meanwhile.
  • Female lead Reimi Saionji in Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope was genetically enhanced as part of a project to enable humans to live on the nuclear-wasteland surface of Earth. She has a superhuman immune system and healing ability which even allows her to recover from having most of her body turned to stone. She feels guilty about it because as a little girl, she survived severe radiation poisoning when some of her friends didn't. This was agravated by the fact that she still felt the effects of the radiation poisoning as her body adjusted and she was then forced to listen to her friends parents rant about how she should have died with them.
  • In Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon, its revealed that Gouto's role as The Mentor is meant to be a punishment for an unknown crime he committed. Because forcing him to help his descendents become true Summoners and protect the world from evil is ''such'' a bad thing.
  • Alex Mercer from Prototype begins the game furious and vengeful concerning his condition which lets him run up walls, glide, pick up cars, become immune to falling damage and be generally nigh-invincible.
    • Well, at least James Heller didn't complain of his condition.
  • At the start of the game, the Curse of the Worgen from World of Warcraft transforms the player into a bloodthirsty and mindless werewolf. Shortly after, they receive a partial cure which gives them back their human mind, though it's specifically noted to be temporary, with the risk of reverting to the werewolf mind at any moment still present. But then you get a better cure with the Tal'doren ritual, which permanently "rebalances" the player, allowing the player to not only keep their mind, but also to shift between human and wolf forms at will. Lore-wise, maintaining the human mind requires significant willpower and self-control, but for the most part, Gilnean worgen are just humans with the power to transform into stronger and faster werewolves.
    • There are quite a few encounter specific debuffs that actually make the target more powerful and are often key to defeating the boss. Vaelstrasz the Corrupt, for example, gives all players in the raid "Essence of the Red", which increases the players' mana/energy/rage/runic/focus regeneration by huge amounts.
    • Undead with their own will (Forsaken and Death Knights) can be considered cursed, but don't have any real drawback gameplay wise while enjoying some of the perks of their new existence, much like the Worgen.
      • The game's original version of the Forsaken played this very straight. Permanent immunity to sleep, charm, and fear, no need to breathe, and the ability to speak the Alliance's common tongue, making you an obvious liason for combined faction operations. In exchange, you're vulnerable to holy and undead-affecting spells, have a widespread and powerful enemy NPC faction specializing in exactly that, and Alliance players can kill you pretty easily if they want to. ...As it turned out, they wanted to, and the feeling was mutual, so the races came out more PvP balanced.
    • Northrend also brought us the backstory about the "Curse of Flesh", which mutated the Titan's creations to be easier to manipulate for the old gods. The result: the evolution of Humanity, dwarves and gnomes.
    • There's also a series of weapons that can "curse" you with extra Critical Hit chance.
    • Several enemies hit you with debuffs that allow you to deal extra damage. Often (but not always) they also deal damage to you in addition, basically invoking Cast from Hit Points.
  • Most of Wario's transformations fall into this category. Being on fire isn't that bad if it makes you invincible and allows you to burn away blocks blocking your path.
  • The corruptions in ADOM are supposed to be a mixed bag of advantages and disadvantages and most of them are actually quite nasty to have (even the advantages tending towards Blessed with Suck), but at least one is extremely useful to have even though it theoretically has a huge disadvantage. It makes you gradually degenerate into a caveman by periodically raising all your physical attributes and at the same time lowering your mental ones. This would theoretically make you a gibbering mindless mass of muscle, attribute-wise. However, there is a trainer in a town in the game who can help you increase any of your attributes. The higher the attribute is already, the harder it is to raise it, and doubly so once it hits its "natural maximum". But it's easy to re-train your mental attributes to their old level (or at least a reasonable level) each time they've fallen while letting your physical attributes go on increasing uninhibited because the corruption doesn't care how high they are already.
  • The Sims 2 expansions have several life states that a Sim can become, most with several different nifty traits, but only Knowledge Sims want to become them. Indeed, most infected Sims want nothing more than to be cured of their weirdness. While justified in some cases (becoming a werewolf or a zombie involves a drastic personality shift), many states have such cool side effects that it's hard to understand why you'd want to get rid of the "affliction":
    • Vampires' needs don't decay at night, nor by day if they're asleep in a coffin. They also don't age.
    • Plant Sims need only water, sunshine, and "love" (social interaction) to live— they never get tired, commune with plants, and can asexually produce young with all their own skills and talents.
    • Witches and warlocks can perform Functional Magic with many useful effects.
  • At the start of Mass Effect 2, Shepard dies and is resurrected, meaning s/he now has bulletproof skin, unbreakable bones, super-biotics (Sometimes without having them before), an almost unpoisonable digestive system, enhanced reflexes and numerous other modifications. Any potentional moral, psychological or existential problems arising from this are glossed over entirely, leading to Shepard shrugging off nearly every remark relating to his/her death with a witty remark.
    Nassana Dantius: Shepard! But... you're dead!
    Shepard: I got better.
    • By Mass Effect 3, there are a number of implications that Shepard is less comfortable with all of this than s/he initially let on. There's a conversation at one point with EDI about transhumanism, during which Shepard shows discomfort at the idea that his/her cybernetics might make him/her a Transhuman. Then, in the attack on the Cerberus HQ, after seeing some videos of the Illusive Man talking about attempts to bring him/her back to life, Shepard reveals that s/he's had heavy doubts as to whether or not s/he is really the real Shepard, or just a VI who thinks that s/he's Shepard.
    • In Mass Effect 3, Joker invokes this trope when talking about human biotics facing discrimination for their powers:
  • In Planescape: Torment, Ignus was punished for torching a district of Sigil by being made into a living portal to the Plane of Fire. Turns out that he thoroughly enjoys being able to burn himself (and everything around himself) to his heart's content.
  • In the Lucasarts Simulation Game Afterlife, both Heaven and Hell have respective disasters in which flying animals fly around and defecate on Heavenly Rewards and Hellish Punishments, causing them to have a drastic increase in Bad Vibes. One problem, however: Hell is improved by Bad Vibes, so constantly deploying the Bats Out Of Hell 'disaster' is a positive. The game itself says, "[...] After all, the only thing worse than being in Hell is being in Hell while covered in bat droppings."
  • In Odin Sphere, the people of a fallen kingdom were transformed into anthropomorphic rabbits. The upside is that they get ageless immortality, assuming Armageddon is averted. With the world reborn, two of the main characters, who become these creatures, wished to live a normal life as humans after several thousand years, and so succeeded in the end.
  • Sveta of Golden Sun: Dark Dawn feels this way about being an Adept who can read minds. And a beast(wo)man who can turn into a wolf in combat and start chucking bosses across the room. And the princess of Morgal. And this gets lampshaded by the other player characters every time.
  • Fenris of Dragon Age II. He has had lyrium tattoos burned into his skin in an incredibly painful process, and angsts about it all the time. The result of the tattooing gives him the ability to reach into a man's chest and effortlessly pull out his heart, as well as turning him into a plain Badass and a killing machine when built right.
    • He angsts about the tattoos because they cause him constant pain and the process was so painful it completely wiped his memory
    • In the DLC "Legacy" it's revealed that Hawke's father Malcolm felt that his magic was a burden and that he hoped his children would not be mages. When at least one of his children did turn out to have magic he took great pains to teach them that with great power Comes Great Responsibility.
  • Lagging in online games can be an advantage, depending on how the game handles it. In some games, it makes the person lagging almost unpredictable in movement, letting them do roughly this
  • The player character of Dark Souls is under the effects of a curse that spontaneously brings the victim back from the dead, but saps his or her humanity every time it happens.
  • In Retro Game Challenge, the opening of the game features Game Master Arino doing the incredibly evil act of *gasp* turning the player into a kid and sending them back in time to The Eighties. Anyone who really was a kid in the 1980s thought that this was awesome for the nostalgia. Anyone who wasn't a kid in the 1980s thought this was awesome just cause it is.
  • In Never Dead the protagonist is "cursed" with immortality.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer the Knight-Captain is afflicted by a curse that requires him/her to periodically consume spirits or die. Whether this is Cursed With Awesome or Blessed with Suck depends on how you approach it. An evil character who sees it as a blessing and eats spirits willy-nilly will find that the more souls they eat the faster they die. However, if the KC approaches the curse with practical restraint (pushing one into good-aligned) can get most of the benefits with few of the side effects.
  • In Warhammer 40,000: Rites of War, most of the Eldar relics you find have unreservedly beneficial effects, except for one, the Armor of Gorhu, which makes it impossible for the unit wearing the armor to gain any experience, and causes every adjacent friendly unit to lose two points of leadership, but also makes the wearer unkillable. But since the armor can only be found in the very last scenario of the campaign mode, by which time all your units are at maximum experience anyway, the inability to gain experience doesn't really matter, leaving only the leadership penalty, which is a nuisance, but nowhere near enough of one to negate the fact that the unit wearing the Armor is unkillable.
  • In Rogue Legacy, some traits that may sound detrimental to your heroes are either harmless or wind up being beneficial. For instance, a hero with A.D.H.D. will move much faster than normal, while a hero with peripheral arterial disease won't trigger spike traps due to having "no foot pulse"note .
  • in Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny Gray is a dragon slayer cursed into the form of a dragon-man, and while a dragon killer becoming a dragon may be an uncomfortable idea, it has given him powers he would never have had as a human and since he is famous and his story is widely known, he is accepted everywhere so he doesn't even have the excuse of being an outcast after being turned into a monster. At the end of the game after he kills the one who cursed him, he says its better he didn't change back as he would lose all the dragon powers he gained and they will need all the power they can get to fight Palaxius.
  • The Red Bull X racing prototype machines from Gran Turismo 5 and 6 fit this trope to a T. They literally outclass any and every car in any race where there's no restrictions put in effect. Specifically, these machines have astoundingly phenomenal stats in every category that a land-based vehicle that isn't powered by a jet engine can offer. Braking, top speed, acceleration, handling, you name it. Unfortunately, these same freakishly overpowered stats make them extraordinarily difficult to drive in A-Spec mode (AKA the mode where you directly drive the vehicle yourself), because the cars' monstrous reflexes make them way too easy to go off course and crash. Imagine driving these beasts in the Nurburgring in any configuration; unless you devote yourself to mastering the controls of these cars, it will most definitely take YEARS of trial-and-error to get used to the ludicrously phenomenal performance of these racing machines, let alone driving them in exceptionally difficult courses such as Monaco (Cote D'Azur in the GT universe) and the aforementioned Nurburgring. Interestingly, your AI driver in B-Spec Mode (AKA the mode where you play as racing team director to your AI buddies) has absolutely no difficulty in handling these cars, driving around any course (except probably Monaco thanks to the notoriously cramped configuration of the course) like they were nothing but toy cars.
  • In Mortal Kombat, Shang Tsung was cursed to wither and die unless he consumed souls. Turns out that forcing an evil wizard to kill people is not that big of a drawback to him, and it comes with the side effect of allowing him to absorb the powers of those he vanquishes.
  • In Chrono Trigger, Frog is a human squire who was turned into, well, a frog by Magus. Although Frog initially regarded his new form as a curse, he later realized that being an anthropomorphic form has kickass side-effects, like increasing your strength, and making your tongue long and versatile enough to use it effectively in battle. Nice Job Fixing It, Villain.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ciel of Tsukihime has Nigh-Invulnerability so long as the vampire Roa remains alive thanks to the world itself, which will not let her die because technically, Ciel = Roa = Alive, and her death would be a paradox. Despite how incredibly useful this is in her line of work, she is dedicated to destroying Roa. Of course, she does have her reasons...
    • Although she can be killed by Shiki cutting her "lines" due to their properties.
  • Archer of Fate/stay night has access to every weapon but the drill-sword Ea at the cost of them all degrading a rank in power. However, he's able to use Broken Phantasms (greatly powering up one's Noble Phantasm at the cost of breaking it) because every weapon is a Noble Phantasm for him.
    • As to why this is a "curse", this power is the external manifestation of his own soul. His soul manifests as a desolate Field of Blades surrounded by gears/flames. Yeah, Archer has issues.
  • Fate/Apocrypha features Rider of Red, AKA Achilles, who is "cursed" with the Curse of Immortality, which makes him invincible to any damage from people who have a lower Divine ranking than he does. This is as ridiculous as it sounds.

    Webcomics 
  • While the Negative Continuity of the series prevents it from being explored too in-depth, this strip of The Non-Adventures of Wonderella ends with Wonderita being cursed so that "any blade she touches shall become as dull as a river-washed stone". The final frame shows somebody futilely trying to chainsaw her to death.
  • Sir Thane from Blooming Faeries is cursed to be irresistible to women who become totally insatiable when he is near. This starts out as a problem since not all the women it attracts are what one would call attractive, at least until the side effect of the curse kicks in and they become incredibly beautiful and large chested.
  • The character Lorelei from Black Tapestries, who almost immediately gets transformed into a werefox with heightened strength (while retaining her capacity for rational thought during most circumstances) and is soon thereafter rendered immortal by Issac's meddling.
  • Prince Sid from Fey Winds is supposedly "cursed" so that whenever he becomes nervous, flustered, or scared, he becomes a dragon. This is, of course, Lampshaded.
    Kit:"Sid, in what way is turning into a dragon a terrible curse?"
    • His family has a long tradition of hunting dragons and mounting their heads on the wall.
  • The Corby clan in Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan are "cursed" with the ability to turn into birds. Voluntarily. With absolutely no restrictions or drawbacks involved. The "curse" is broken when another character points out that they can just stop doing it.
  • Bug shows us that getting your hands cut off can be more handy than you think.
  • Words of wisdom from XKCD: Some people consider "may you have an interesting life" to be a curse. One, fuck them, and two, if you were actually cursed in this way...
  • Terezi in Homestuck considers her blindness to be this. Sure, she can't see, but thanks to psychic help from her lusus, she can smell colors, and even read by licking her computer screen. This is only further helped along by her precognitive abilities and talent for manipulation.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Ellen spreads her "curse" to Vlad, turning him from a bat-like monster into a human woman. Vlad is so happy to be human at all (the pain of trying to transform on his own nearly killed him) that he/she just decides that he/she was never a man in his/her life as far as he/she was concerned, and remains a woman without complaint.
    • While they started out as Blessed with Suck, Elliot's and Ellen's powers are beginning to turn into this, lighter on the "cursed" and heavier on the "awesome" as time goes on. At the beginning, they were cursed with Power Incontinence (regularly needing to turn into a girl for Elliot, regularly needing to zap people to change their gender (for males) or enhance their "assets" (for females) for Ellen), but it is already beginning to lessen, and in Elliot's case he has gained a superheroine form in which he is pretty much a Flying Brick with a Healing Factor - the only downside being that he still has to be a girl while doing it.
  • Tempts Fate of Goblins killed a demon lord... almost. Its eye has sworn to banish Tempts to the deepest level of hell once its body reforms in ten thousand years. In order to ensure this curse comes true, it has furthermore cursed Tempts with immortality so he can live long enough. Tempts was extremely enthusiastic about the whole thing.
    • The other downside is that the demon's eye must be attached to Tempts body somewhere or he'll die. So now he is a horrible freak of a goblin... with an eye on the sole of his bare foot. Ground looks awfully gravelly ahead...
  • In Bob and George, The Author is Trapped in Another World — except, he realizes, this means Stuff Blowing Up.
  • Arguably Richard from Looking for Group - he is cursed, but aware of the awesome and fuels his own curse to keep the awesome.
  • Fae curses are this in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures . When a Fae puts a curse on you, it's a bright wrist decoration that is a promise of a fae punishment to come at some undetermined point in the future. Fae truly despise anyone else killing their target of revenge before they can enact their vengeance; combine this with the fact that these usually end up being absurd pranks with little harm to them and you have protection from on high for as long as this curse lasts, which can be years, decades, sometimes the rest of your natural life. Dan once had such a curse and abused the hell out of it for his adventuring.
  • Luke Surl: Hmm curse is the ability to see future events but nobody will be able to believe you... Is there a good use for that curse?
  • In Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal 2793, someone realises this herself: being cursed by Heaven to die after a year means she's invulnerable until then.
  • Zigzagged in Oglaf with a man cursed to be the best in the world at blowjobs. He doesn't quite understand why that's a curse, until the ghost explains that from this point on he'll either be known only as the blowjob guy, or never be able to reveal his talent. Later, the city is threatened by an army that will only leave if the general is defeated in sexual combat...
    • Later a man goes to the "curse emporium" to ask that a man be cursed with lots of awesome sex with hot chicks. He's asked how exactly this is a curse (possibly even by the same spirit who came up with the blowjob curse) and explains that people would be jealous and you wouldn't get a lot of work done. Giving in, the spirit asks who he wants cursed.
    Man: It's me. I'd like to curse myself please.
    Spirit: You couldn't even get someone else to come in and do this for you?
  • Billy Thatcher of morphE awakens as an Obrimos mage capable of telepathic feats, flight, super speed, control of fire and electricity. When he awoke he was a chess grandmaster on his way to the World Chess Championship and the star of a successful reality TV show. These powers are the worst thing to ever happen to him.
  • In Girl Genius, having The Spark sits somewhere between here and Blessed with Suck. On the one hand, you can make reality your bitch in the name of Science! On the other hand, the same disorder makes you crazy enough that Hoist By Their Own Petard and/or being butchered by an angry mob wielding Toches And Pitchforks are the de facto causes of death in your future.

    Web Original 
  • Karen of Awkward. is "different". (It's never specified quite what this means, but it seems to cover some degree of geekiness.) On the one hand, it causes Jerkass Ernie to dump her. On the other hand, it happens to be what Dogged Nice Guy Kevin likes about her. He even has a slightly Narm Charm-y speech about it!
  • Pretty much all of the protagonists in Dimension Heroes don't want their Guardian powers, despite how cool some of them think they are.
  • In Paradise, human characters are randomly, permanently transformed into Funny Animals, though the change is Invisible to Normals who still see the Changed as their old selves. For all that the Change is disturbing and life-changing, it brings with it some advantages, including heightened senses, athletic ability, and a bit of Wish Fulfillment body modification (most commonly Breast Expansion). In "Confession Building", it saved a character's life when he was abducted by robbers who shot him in the head—except that since he'd Changed into a shorter form, the bullet passed harmlessly over his real head.
  • Scorpio, one of the main characters of The Questport Chronicles, is turned into a dragon by an evil wizard. He doesn't seem to mind.
  • The title character of the erotic Sword and Sorcery series, The Wulf Archives, is always complaining how the Gods hate him. However, since he has continual fantastic adventures, dozens of exotic lovers who don't mind sharing and has an alternate well endowed lion furry form that femmes lustfully drool for, it's hard to see how exactly he is cursed.

    Western Animation 
  • In Justice League, Jason Blood betrays Camelot to Morgan Lefay, and as a punishment, Merlin binds his soul with the demon Etrigan - thus rendering him virtually immortal. Although Jason perceives this as a terrible curse, it's hard to see the downside, since the demon can't even come out unless Jason recites a specific short poem (although the demon also speaks inside his head constantly, so it can go either way).
    • The downside of the curse isn't directly the immortality. It's the fact that Jason feels so miserable he'd be suicidal, and CAN'T KILL HIMSELF to escape from it. Quick recap: the reason Merlin curses him is that he breaks his oaths of loyalty by betraying his fellow knights in order to be with the woman he (thinks he) loves, Morgan Lefay. She, in turn, promptly reveals she was just using him to give her son Mordred a shot at the throne. So basically, he murdered all his friends to be with a woman who thinks he's little more an inconvenience. You'd probably feel pretty sucky, too.
  • Transformers Animated: Blackarachnia is constantly searching for a way to remove her organic half and angsting about everything she's had to give up because of it. However, her exile was self-imposed, her organic parts give her the ability to generate webbing and paralyzing venom, and her "hideous" body has seduced pretty much every Autobot and Dinobot she's come in contact with.
  • Demona of Gargoyles gets this twice: The first, she and MacBeth are magically bonded so that each is immortal, unless slain by the hand of the other. Second, she was zapped by Puck to turn human in the day time instead of going into the normal stone sleep. Both "curses" were meant to be punishment, but all they did was give Demona more time to plot against her enemies (99.9% of Earth) and gave her foes fewer ways to take her down for good. The curse does have negative effects however; she can't heal like normal gargoyles, so she just suffers until a wound is fully healed at a slow human rate, on top of which the transformation hurts quite a lot. There was the amount of time that she had spent alone as a monstrous pariah, she is likely insane by now.
  • In The Simpsons episode "The Mansion Family", it was revealed that Mr. Burns suffers from every disease known to man, some of them discovered in him. However, "Three Stooges Syndrome" basically causes the diseases to cancel each other out. Mr. Burns thinks he's indestructible because of this despite the doctor warning him that even a slight breeze can kill him.
    • This later came back to bite him in the boney butt later on in the series when a new disease managed to "shove them through the door" and he suddenly found out how mortal he really was. Turns out it was his hatred and malice keeping him alive all these years, and he blissfully went back to the way he was, much to the chagrin of the rest of the town.
  • An episode of Futurama had Fry get infested with alien worms from an egg salad sandwich. The worms then built a metropolis in his bowels and began overhauling his entire body, bringing him to a level of peak mental and physical capabilities. Everybody else treats this like a horrible affliction and resolves to remove his worms, but Fry thinks this is the best thing that's ever happened to him.
    • Incidentally the application of this trope also explained why no one else was eating bathroom sandwiches. Everyone thinks having worms is bad so the "affliction" is gotten rid of before anyone realizes it's a good thing.
    • Really, the main reason it's treated like a curse by everyone else is that they just think having worms live inside you is too gross. They know about the benefits as they watch the worms mend a hole THROUGH HIS TORSO in seconds and see all the internal changes first hand. Leela spends time with Fry and falls in love with him because of how much they improve him. In the end, Fry sees them as a curse only because he can't tell if Leela loves him for him or for what the worms have made him.
  • In one of the My Little Pony animated specials, the eponymous character of "Come Back, Lily Lightly" is the only unicorn whose horn lights up, which she assumes will get her ostracized if anyone finds out. Thus, she runs off when she's accidentally outed, only for her friends to find her and tell her that a glowing horn is cool, and helpful for finding lost ponies on dark nights.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Poison Joke causes a different curse on those who come in contact with it. Fluttershy, the Shrinking Violet, is cursed with an unfitting deep voice, making speech even more awkward for her than usual. This becomes awesome two seasons later when her deepened voice was a perfect baritone for the Ponytones quartet.
  • Averted and played with in the 90s The Incredible Hulk cartoon - after a slight variation of her comic book origin, Jennifer Walters becomes the She-Hulk. At the end of the episode, Bruce starts beating up on himself about how he has "cursed" Jennifer too and how he'll need to cure her too... Jennifer (despite being entirely capable of changing back) remains big and green and goes so far as to proclaim "Gamma is a girl's best friend." at one point, while constantly telling her cousin she doesn't WANT to be cured.
    • The Hulk is cursed. Jennifer Walters doesn't lose her head when she transforms. She maintains full mental control while in her super form and gets to transform at will. So while Bruce Banner is Blessed with Suck, Jennifer Walters isn't really cursed one bit, and knows it.
  • Hoodwinked has Japeth, this mountain goat who lives in a shack in the middle of nowhere. When Red finds him on the porch, he's strumming on a banjo:
    Red Puckett: I'm looking for Granny Puckett's house?
    Japeth the Goat: [singing] Graaaaaaaanneeee Puckeeeet...
    Red Puckett: Could you stop singing for one moment?
    Japeth the Goat: [singing] No I can't, wish I could, but a mountain witch done put a spell on me, 37 years agoooooooo, and now I gotta sing every thing I saaaaaaaaayyyyyy...
    Red Puckett: Everything?
    Japeth the Goat: [speaking] That's right.
    Red Puckett: You just talked! Just now!
    Japeth the Goat: Oh, did I? [singing] Did I? Dididididodadidididoooo... [Red gives a pissed off Aside Glance to the camera]
    • A moment later, lampshaded:
    Red Puckett: Mr. Goat, my granny's in trouble! I've got to find a way around the mountain, fast!
    Japeth: [singing]' Well you came to the right goat! [pops off his rocking horns]''
    Red Puckett: Oh, good. More singing.
  • Recess has an episode where a new kid shows up and the main cast discovers he's better than them at everything. He's smarter than the smart kid, tougher than the tough kid, more poetic than the artsy kid. Except it turns out he never has any friends because everyone keeps forcing him to compete with them. Then a Secret Service agent shows up to ask for his help, and he flies away in a fighter jet.
  • In South Park it has been revealed that Kenny dying in many episodes has been retconned to not be a case of Negative Continuity, but an actual superpower, he cannot die. Or more accurately, he does die, but is then instantly reborn, with all his memories intact. He remembers all his deaths, but nobody else does. He thinks this sucks, because he has to suffer all the pain of all those deaths over and over — and he's had plenty of extremely unpleasant deaths — and he's annoyed that nobody else remembers it. Still, it comes in handy for the occasional Heroic Sacrifice.
  • In Sabrina: The Animated Series (in which teenage Sabrina is retconned into being a preteen or young teen), Sabrina's aunts Hilda and Zelda were punished for abuse of their powers by being transformed into being permanently looking 17. Being young and beautiful forever is something that many people through the ages in real life would drink potentially toxic elixirs in order to achieve. And all they had to do was overuse their powers. Since they're REALLY not 17, they don't have the age-related drawbacks, either. Not that it'd matter, since they could make their own alcohol, tobacco, porn, you name it, even if they weren't legally allowed to buy it. One of its draw backs however, is they can't get any real jobs that require someone to be at least 20 years old, and they were stuck working in a restaurant just to earn their own money.
  • In an episode of Hey Arnold!, Arnold's grandpa believes he is dying of a "curse" that causes men in his family to die at the age of 81...exactly at the age of 81. They never die young and always live several years past the U.S. male life expectancy. What a terrible fate! It becomes even sillier when Arnold notices that he did the math wrong; his predecessors died when they were 91.
  • In season two of Young Justice, Superboy still looks the same even after a five year Time Skip. One of the side effects of the cloning process that created him is that he will never visibly age. He can still eventually die of old age, but he'll always look like a teenager/young adult. Superboy is less than happy about this and it's implied to be one of the reasons he broke up with M'gann. Alanna tries to sympathize with him but judging by the way she says "curse", she's clearly not seeing the downside.
  • Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender is initially upset at finding out he's the Avatar (and to be fair, the circumstances of the world shortly after he runs away do make the responsibility a pain). Still, you'd think that a 12 year old kid finding out that he could bend not just one, but ALL of the elements would be a little more excited. And as Avatar Roku mentions, being the Avatar doesn't hurt with the ladies.
    • The curse part came from the fact that despite still being the same kid, just having the title of Avatar meant all his friends now thought he was too skilled to fairly play any games with and that he was being scheduled to be sent away from his only other friends for a childhood of training.
      • In fact, since Avatars most often have to travel the world looking for masters of the 4 elements to teach them, it seems common that those who grow up attached to their homes view the journey (at least initially) as a bit of a curse, forcing them to leave their home and families for a time.
      • And of course there's the little problem that he's fully aware that being the Avatar basically boils down to being The Wise Prince. Imagine being told that anything that goes noticeably wrong with the world as long as you live will be considered All Your Fault. At age twelve.
      • There's also the fact that Aang was told he was the Avatar 4 years earlier than normal. Avatar or not, he's still 12, and in his mind he might not have matured enough to handle the expectations and responsibilities that were now being placed on him.
      • Korra, on the other hand, practically reveled in being the Avatar from the moment she knew she was, having already taught herself three of the four elements by age 5. The weight of her responsibilities did eventually catch up to her, however, when she proved incapable of living up to them when the time came.
  • On Adventure Time, Finn buys a new grass sword that's "cursed" with being supernaturally efficient and also wrapping around his arm and not coming off. On his quest to get it uncursed he realizes that this is actually pretty cool—and even better, once he accepts it the sword conveniently gains the power to turn into a sort of armband and back whenever he chooses.
  • Odette in The Swan Princess turns into a swan every day (but can regain her human form as long as she's on the lake when the moon rises). Being a swan does allow her to actually escape from her prison undetected and try to find help - as well as being pretty handy for combat. She's able to do many things she couldn't do as a human. It's sort of acknowledged in the first sequel - she's permanently a human but voluntarily changes herself into a swan, recognising that it has advantages and that her husband needs help.

    Real Life 
  • Famed Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges wrote powerfully on the benefits of blindness, asserting that he could now "see" the truths of the world more clearly.
  • Autistic savants: They generally have superb mathematical abilities, despite being burdened with autism and being bully magnets. However, it's generally with very severe cases and is extremely rare.
    • Not just mathematical abilities; savants can be gifted with artistic, musical, linguistic talent, and so on. The problem is, they tend to only be skilled in that area and absolutely nothing else. It can get oddly specific, too; a savant might be able to draw a horse perfectly, but can't even draw a cloud in the background.
  • It has been said that Howard Hughes would not have performed any of his accomplishments if he was not driven by his Super OCD. The same has been said with Howie Mandel.
  • John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, since he never achieved anywhere near the fame of Jimmy Paige, Robert Plant, or even John Bonham, he was free to enjoy the rock and roll lifestyle and actually explore the many places they visited on tour because no one would recognize him on the street, while the rest of the band couldn't leave their hotel rooms without being swarmed by fans.
  • This disease is pure awesome: With neurosyphilis, a recurrence of syphilis when latent Treponema bacteria start attacking the brain, it causes euphoria in its victims. They become more sexually active, happier, and more passionate. Because syphilis isn't very common anymore, this usually happens in old people. Now, you can imagine how being old and suddenly regaining your sex drive is unusual. A substory of House was inspired by this. That, in turn, was inspired by a real case study done by Oliver Sacks, which he wrote about in The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat. This 89 year old woman had been a prostitute in turn of the century Greece and contracted syphilis when she was 20. Since there was no treatment at the time, the spirochetes became latent and only affected her 70 years later. She started feeling horny for the first time in years, and sleeping with younger men. Her fellow prostitutes had nicknamed it "Cupid's Disease" (brothels should know a thing or two about STDs). Sure enough, when they tested her CSF, it was positive for neurosyphilis. And just like in House, the old woman wasn't sure if she wanted it treated. But she didn't have to worry. Her brain had been permanently "damaged," so the spirochaetes could be killed without reversing the mild disinhibition. In House's words, she was "cursed to feel happy".
  • In the late 1940s Harry Corbett used to play the piano in a band. Then he started going deaf (he was eventually cured by an operation). He took up conjuring instead, and before long he started using a teddy bear glove puppet as his assistant - and the rest is history.
  • More neurological awesome-curses: Geschwind syndrome occurs in some people with temporal lobe epilepsy and possibly other temporal lobe abnormalities. It consists of hypergraphia, a tendency to have heightened emotional and mental life and decreased sexual interest, and an inclination towards spirituality. Sure, low sex drive and seizures aren't fun, but the rest of it? Many writers would give anything to spend more time in that mindstate, especially the hypergraphia. Low sex drive is not much a problem, you only lack the "urge" to mate like 99% of the rest of the population, but you can appreciate sex physically as much as everyone else... You are also much less likely to do stupid things (although, low sex drive can be a symptom of another problem such as depression or a hormone imbalance. It would be wise to double check.)
  • The religious hierarchy of Egypt was so angry at King Tut's father for trying to switch to a monotheistic system that they did their best to completely erase any history that his son ever ruled. They were so successful that even grave robbers couldn't find the tomb. Which is why it was undisturbed when Carter discovered it, causing King Tut to be the best-known pharaoh of all time.
  • Narcissists. They are much more confident, ambitious and sure of themselves than ordinary people, giving them a greater chance of success. On the other side, their relationships and self-control can become really serious issues, with a chance they end up putting themselves or others in danger.
  • Being small or flat-chested. You may not get a lot of attention and you may even feel left out or be teased. But you also have an easy time finding bras and shirts that fit you (may even be able to squeeze yourself into an extra small shirt and still be comfortable) and you won't have to suffer the back pains that your larger-chested counterparts likely do (for example, Queen Latifah said on the Tyra show that her breasts became downright torturous when she used to play basketball, and Tyra added that merely rushing to answer a ringing phone could be painful.)
    • Some studies show that smaller breasts also are more sensitive, having the same amount of nerves spread over less fatty tissue. Cursed with awesome indeed.
  • Russia is a vast country with extremely cold winters, two factors which drive up transport and living costs, and generally cause life in Russia to be an even greater pain. However, during the World Wars, the vastness of Russia and the coldness of her winters played merry hell with the invaders' logistics - they were far more dependent on railways and, unlike the Russians, they didn't have enough horses to keep their troops fed and supplied properly over the massive distances involved.
    • Not just during the World Wars. People with eyes on Russia like the Teutonic Knights and Napoleon Bonaparte also got caught up in the winters, to the point that it was almost expected for a Russian Army to used a Scorched-Earth strategy - wherein they'd evacuate and then raze all the villages in the invaders' path to keep them hungry and exposed to the elements. Napoleon's failed invasion is considered (one of) his greatest failure(s). The Nazis also suffered this, and Hitler expected them to keep on going and not retreat. It's not for nothing that Russia's winter is sometimes nicknamed "General Frost" or "General Winter."
  • Suspension with pay. You don't need to (in fact you can't) go to work, but you still get paid.
    • Along the same vein, suspension from school. Most kids hate school anyway, so you're going to "punish" them with a couple of days off? Great! Some schools have gone to "in-school suspension" (basically all-day detention) to counteract this, but this also fails because students aren't really forced to work. For those that do take the time to work, they're able to do so at their own pace since they're not at the mercy of period bells.
  • Shows with a small or No Budget. Yeah, you may not get the best special effects or Scenery Porn of a better funded show, but by the same tokens, the writers realize this, and you oftentimes can get a show that's better written and better produced. The producers of Supernatural, the old series of Doctor Who and the British Being Human have all mentioned working on somewhat small budgets (especially for a sci-fi series) forced them to get creative and put more effort into quality instead of spectacle.
    • Good Indie titles are the Video Game version.
    • Adversity forces creativity. The original ending of Back to the Future (driving into a Nevada nuclear test range) was judged too expensive by the studio, so they wrote in the lightning strike at the clock tower instead. Many many classic movies had similar situations, where a unique solution to a budget issue became the most memorable part of the film.
  • Certain types of synesthesia. Most people who have it describe it as a sixth sense that allows them to memorize things like formulas and phone numbers better than the average person as well; some who perceive sounds as colors have composed music by literally looking at it without the aid of sheet music. The downside? You're basically constantly hallucinating and describing your experiences to someone who isn't familiar with your particular manifestation of synesthesia makes you sound like you just transferred in from Wonderland.
    • Of course, there's also the fact that it cannot be controlled. What if, you meet someone who you think might be the love of your life, but merely speaking or hearing their name literally puts a bad taste in your mouth.
  • Waardenburg Syndrome usually causes deafness and some unattractive facial features like unibrows. But some sufferers get no other symptoms other than striking, beautiful blue eyes, or one pretty blue eye, regardless of ethnic background.
  • While this can vary from the perspective of the individual with it, Asperger's Syndrome is this. Sure you generally will have less social ability, but you have lowered social inhibitions and have "special interests" which enable one to memorize, study, and focus on said subject for longer amounts of time then a normal person.
    • On the other hand, you could produce Sonichu...
    • Coming from said individual's perspective, while Asperger's is a socially harmful condition, the social handicaps just mean that you have to work around them, making gained ability that much more meaningful, truly exemplifying this trope.
      • If you are born female, however, it can easily lead into Blessed with Suck territory, due to the fact it isn't as easy to diagnose a girl with Asperger's as it is with a boy. Check the trope page for a detailed explanation.
    • For the RPG Crowd: It's been said that Asperger's Syndrome comes across as if someone decided to make 'Charisma' their dump stat and put all the saved/'saved' points into 'intelligence'.
    • Asperger's can also make your five senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste) over-sensitive, the most common one being taste. Sure, this would make you a fussy eater, but with over-sensitive taste-buds you'll be able to taste things other people wouldn't pick up on - like nuts, for example, which could even save lives.
    • With Required Secondary Powers like determination and social support, those "special interests" can translate into a highly-paid engineering job.
  • Most if not all neurological disorders that give one the ability to feel Euphoria without having to work for it. Something that usually takes the average person drugs to achieve.
  • Some people get very neurotic about being late to anything, even by a few minutes, and thus often insist on coming very early. They aren't fun to go to movies with, and suffer from anxiety often, but anyone who's ever been fired for repeated tardies knows that it's not without its benefits.
  • Some people with bipolar disorder refuse to take medication for their condition, preferring the roller-coaster to a blandly-unpleasant existence of mild sedation and other drug side-effects.
  • Super tasters. They have too many taste buds and as a result, they cannot enjoy delicious foods. But this forces them to actually enjoy healthy foods.
  • Single people. Although they may feel lonely at times and get ridiculed by others, single people have plenty of benefits. They have more freedom, less drama in their lives, more focus on goals, no worries about someone cheating on them, etc.
    • All of the above can apply to virgins as well. In addition, virgins don't have to worry about the risks of ST Ds and unwanted pregnancies.
  • While some women have trouble achieving orgasm from intercourse, a small number of men share this issue. On the plus side, they don't have to worry about being premature, but on the other hand, they don't get a physical satisfaction from sex.
  • Human biology states that wisdom teeth should grow in, but some people have a hereditary condition t that prevents this from occurring. While this is technically a genetic defect, it only works to one's favor in an era of modern dental hygiene.
  • Working weekends. While any shift that requires this does not seem desirable, it has a large advantage that most don't realize unless they've done it: If your days off are normal business days, this means you have days off when everything is open and you can get errands done far easier and at less of an inconvenience to your normal schedule. It also allows one to go shopping at stores that are open 7 days but are far busier on weekends and beat the crowds. You can actually get far more done on your days off.
    • The same with working the night shift or early morning. Many radio hosts, for example, only work when doing their show, and then spend the rest the day doing whatever they want.
      • Some private schools require you to work on Saturdays, but because of this, the days off you normally would have are added to your holidays. For instance, in UK schools that do this you would get nine weeks summer holiday instead of six, plus extra weeks at Christmas and Easter too. You get a great feeling of vindication when people from other schools have to go back to school when you have several more weeks of holiday left. That's not to say it's not frustrating to lose your full weekend though.


Curse Is Foiled AgainThis Index Is CursedDoom Magnet
Body HorrorWerebeast TropesHorror Hunger
Boomerang BigotYou Hate What You AreFemale Misogynist
Crippling OverspecializationPower at a PriceCurse That Cures
Cinderella CircumstancesWish FulfillmentDaydream Believer
Amazon ChaserImageSource/Comic BooksDestructo-Nookie

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