"Guess who's back? Back again? Green is back, tell your friend! Guess who's back? Guess who's back?"A hero has gotten so accustomed to The Call, they go out and seek new abilities if they lose them. Usually, for this trope to be in effect, the Hero would have to go back to "square one"—being a relatively ordinary and unremarkable person. If they still retain some power, albeit only a fraction of what their peak was, then The Call never truly hung up. This trope is meant for the characters who could, at any time, choose to go back to an ordinary life, but steadfastly refuse and Jump At The Call once more. Do not confuse with Regular Caller, in which a Hero answers a different call throughout multiple stories, episodes, or sequels. If the Hero is subject to this trope against his will, it's Can't Stay Normal. Can often be a justification for a Next Tier Power-Up, Re-Power, or even New Powers as the Plot Demands. May or may not include a 10-Minute Retirement. See also Chronic Hero Syndrome
open/close all folders
- At the end of the first season of Sailor Moon, all the Senshi were restored to life, having forgotten about their powers. When the next season's villains showed up, Usagi became Sailor Moon again, but tried to let the others live a normal life. The very next episode, a Cardian attacked and the other girls witnessed it, and despite having no powers or memories of their time as the Sailor Senshi, they still stood up to fight it. Luna promptly restored their powers and memories.
- In Bleach, Ichigo loses the powers he gained from Rukia, only to undergo Training from Hell to gain his own shinigami powers. He loses them again later, but The Call Knows Where You Live and offers to give him his powers back... in exchange for taking a whole new set of powers off the Call's hands as a trade.
- And then he loses those powers, too, but the Call won't give up so easily, and the ENTIRE set of Captains/Vice-Captains of the Gotei 13 are thus ORDERED to give him all new powers for the THIRD TIME! Damn, Ichigo. Why don't you just marry The Call at this point?
- Uryu from the same series provides another example. Early on, he burns out his powers by supercharging them with an Upgrade Artifact. In a Filler arc, he gets a temporary Upgrade Artifact that breaks at the end of the arc. Then, back in canon, he undergoes Training from Hell to regain his original powers.
- This happens with both Futari wa Pretty Cure and Yes! Pretty Cure 5 when they jump into their sequels, Futari wa Pretty Cure MaX Heart and Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO!: the girls defeat the bad guys, lose their powers, go on with their lives, then a new threat steps in and they get brand new powers to fight with.
- This is a regular occurrence for Tony Stark, who constantly sees his latest suit destroyed, only for him to go back to the workshop and create a bigger and better one.
- Rick Jones is the ULTIMATE example of this trope, having been a sidekick for, or gained the powers of, an improbable number of Marvel superheroes.
- Mary Marvel tried this in the Countdown to Final Crisis series. ...It didn't quite work out for her...
- Superman has done this on a countless number of occasions.
- Just about every member of the X-Men has lost their powers at some point, and their responses tend to vary. People Blessed with Suck (like Beast or Rogue) tend to feel heartfelt relief, while others who enjoy their powers (like Angel or Iceman) fall into despair. There's also Quicksilver, who no longer had the mutant gene following the events of House of M, so he stole The Inhumans' "Terrigen Mists" to gain new superpowers. Hilarity Ensued.
- After House of M, this became the motivation for a huge number of depowered mutants who Just Wanted To Be Special Again. Polaris joined Apocalypse to get her powers back, Magneto made a deal with the High Evolutionary to get his powers back, Rictor tried to get his powers back but never succeeded, etc. There were even multiple teams of depowered mutants speed dialing the call. One was a New Warriors team using technology to give themselves new powers, while the other, X-Cell, had characters such as Callisto, Marrow, and the Blob relying on their natural skills to force Quicksilver to restore their powers.
- Wonder Girl has Jumped at the Call more than once by borrowing magical artifacts that gave her superpowers, but she had to give them back. So one day she just goes up to Zeus himself and asks for permanent powers. Zeus is so impressed at her boldness that he grants them. Though the fact she was his daughter might have had something to do with it. Then when most of the gods leave the world, those powers fade, until Ares grants her some new ones. Then a bit later still she unlocks her own demi-god powers. All in all she's had something like four or five different power sources.
- Guy Gardner once had his Green Lantern Ring taken away. He proceeded to steal Sinestro's ring, and used it for a while. When that got destroyed, he activated his Vuldarian genes to become Warrior. When he exploded thanks to that, he got his ring back, this time for keeps.
- Speaking of Green Lantern ... Hal Jordan was a Green Lantern, then an omnicidal maniac, then dead, then he became The Spectre, then he got better and became a Green Lantern again (and punched out Batman), then he was Agent Orange (briefly) before going back to being a Green Lantern, then a civilian, then a kind of renegade Green Lantern under Sinestro, then a Black Lantern, then a Green Lantern again.
- After he quit being Robin, Dick Grayson had the chance to live a normal life, but he quickly gave it up to become Nightwing.
- Cassie Lang was Stature of the Young Avengers, but was killed. When resurrected, she found she was Brought Down to Normal. She wasn't happy, and eventually got her powers back thanks to a criminal organisation, taking the new codename Stinger.
- Cutter's tendency to constantly Jump To The call was parodied in the first ElfQuest New Blood special.
Cutter: A quest! Happy happy! Joy joy!
Live Action TV
- Tommy Oliver from the various Power Rangers series makes a habit of this trope, having lost his powers around a half dozen times, and getting new ones each time, although there was a seven year break at one point.
- In fact, it would be possible for Tommy to form a full five man Ranger team of all the incarnations of his powers before the break, with the after the break, the Black Dino Ranger being once again the mentor and Sixth Ranger. Granted, there would be two Red Rangers (Zeo and Turbo) and two White Rangers (MMPR S2 version and MMPR S3 Ninja version). This doesn't include his clone, either.
- Tommy has had a record of 14 zords total: MMPR's Dragonzord, White Tigerzord, Falcon Ninjazord, and White Shogunzord; Zeo's Zeozord 5 (Phoenix), Red Battlezord, and Super Zeozord 5; Turbo's Red Lightning Turbozordnote ; and Dino Thunder's Brachiozord, Cephalazord, Dimetrozord, Stegozord, Parasaurzord and Ankylozord. Several of which could be their own megazord. Clearly Tommy lists The Call on his speed dial as "Personal Taxi Service".
- Jason Lee Scott put the call on speed dial instead to become the Gold Ranger in Power Rangers Zeo.
- Depending on definitions of "retaining some of their abilities", Billy might have attempted this trope or never hung up the call.
- Other Rangers that have Put The Call On Speed Dial:
- Adam and Justin each returned for an episode in Power Rangers in Space.
- Each team whenever they return for a Reunion Show the next year (except the Alien Rangers and Time Force who never gave their powers up, while Lightspeed Rescue instinctively changed their minds after seeing smoke, and a fire engine race by during the retirement ceremony).
- All Red Rangers except the aforementioned exceptions in "Forever Red".
- Adam (again), Tori, Kira, Xander in "Once a Ranger" (Bridge was also there but he never hung up the call).
- These Rangers had inverted 10-Minute Retirement, since they only got their powers back for the episode(s). But by the same token they didn't lose them at the end either. Somewhere out there is a team of Retro Rangers...
- For Super Sentai, most teams just put the call on hold after beating the Big Bad, staying ready to return to action if their enemies return while leaving new threats up to the later teams. In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, after one massive battle in which every previous hero answered the call, they all lost their powers. Now that they've been found again, and are being used by the Gokaigers, some of the previous heroes (such as Kaoru and the Hurricanegers) have tried to reclaim them, one (Hyuuga) offered to take over one of the new heroes' powers, and others have moved on from superheroism.
- At the end of the series, all the heroes get their powers back.
- This has happened so often to Peter Petrelli of Heroes that you'd think the Call is just messing with him.
- Burn Notice is centered around this trope, and Michael says as much in every episode intro. In fact, the original season makes a big deal over the fact that he could just go and try to lead a normal life, but can't bring himself to do so. And at some point, his mother asks him why he won't, and he says he honestly doesn't know. He just doesn't want to.
- Alex, the main character of Lunar: Silver Star Story. He loses his powers near the end of the game, and even winds up deposited right back at his peasant village. Meanwhile, the Big Bad is still progressing his evil plans for world domination. In the end, Alex manages to restore his powers and returns to the villain's tower to save the day.
- In Chrono Trigger, the player party invokes this during one of the Multiple Endings. With The Hero dead, their Time Machine destroyed, and every Time Gate closed permanently, the party builds their own Time Machine and reunites the old gang to go time-hopping one more time to search for a way to bring their dead comrade back to life. Pulls double-shift as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- Space Quest: No matter what happens, Roger is inevitably busted back down to Janitor Second Class. That does not stop things like Sariens, Sequel Police, immortality-crazed old women, and Vohaul from showing up and making his life hell.
- Dark Forces Saga: Kyle Katarn gave up his Force abilities voluntarily, settling for just being a Badass Normal. However, when he lost Jan to a foe against whom Badass Normal wasn't enough, he reclaimed those Force abilities and the luggage rack of issues that came with it.
- In Overlord, after being told he's really an amnesiac Hero (as in job class) and having his powers stripped away by the real Overlord, does the Villain Protagonist flee or return to the side of goodness? No, he fights the usurper and takes it all back, choosing to remain the Noble Demon / Evil Overlord dark lord of evil
- Vulkan of If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device seems to have this. Despite leaving in direction unknown ten thousand years earlier, he shows up literally seconds after conditions of his return are met.