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Mind over Matter
Jean doesn't have to lift a finger to lift Hank.

"...Yeah, I can break necks with my mind."

Telekinesis/Psychokinesis: the ability to move stuff just by thinking at it really hard. Although hand gestures can also help.

As super powers go, it's one of the most useful and straightforward. Being a Psychic Power, we don't have to worry so much about violating the laws of physics: how does the glass lift up but not everything else nearby? Because the glass is what the hero wanted to lift up.

It's also very light in terms of Special Effects demand (no need for expensive fire effects or CG energy projectiles, just use some strings or an air-cannon to blast stuff around) making it popular with Live Action shows. See Coconut Superpowers.

That said, telekinesis being such a powerful ability, it will sometimes fall prey to some Kryptonite Factor that is more or less entirely arbitrary. Or not...

The major limitation with telekinesis seems to be its scalability: it is almost always harder to lift a heavy object than a light one, and a person with this superpower will often be seen to be visibly straining to accomplish it, as if their telekinesis takes the form of a long but entirely physical "invisible arm" with all the normal physical limitations that normally implies. Pushing this ability past its limit often leads to a Psychic Nosebleed or even passing out. Nevertheless, it is very rarely used up to its full potential, as almost every fight would become trivial if it ended with a telekinetic neck-snap.

For whatever reason, telekinesis seems to be more common for series outside the usual superhero tradition: classic The Cape-style superheroes rarely have this as a power, except in very specialized forms.

Sometimes Flight will be depicted as a specialized form of telekinesis (lifting one's own body).

Some non-corporeal characters, such as ghosts, can interact with normal matter only via telekinesis. Creatures without fingered hands, or without limbs at all, often will have such powers, allowing them to comfortably interact with the world.

Note that the term "mind over matter" originally had nothing to do with telekinesis, it was coined in reference to what Tropers would call Heroic Willpower (or maybe Charles Atlas Superpower); the mind forcing the body beyond its normal limits.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Kiiko Kawakami, Kuttsukiboshi is able to use telekinesis, which she gained as the result of an accident.
  • Accelerator in A Certain Magical Index. More specifically, he is able to manipulate the vectors of almost anything imaginable, even ultraviolet radiation or electrochemical signals in a brain's neurons, hence his name.
  • For an extreme end of power, see Tetsuo Shima in the manga and anime AKIRA.
  • The vectors of Diclonii in Elfen Lied is effectively a very limited form of telekinesis. Ironically, despite LITERALLY being invisible arms, Diclonii never seem to suffer from increased stress when moving heavier objects.
  • Asagami Fujino in the third Kara no Kyoukai book/movie can do a very specific form; she can bend things. It doesn't sound like much until you add in the fact that she can do this to anything she thinks is remotely bendable — in particular, human limbs. At the end of her story as she is cornered by Shiki, she gets a Desperation Attack upgrade in the form of boosted power and clairvoyance, which removes her one weakness — having to actually see the thing in order to bend it. Asagami to suspension bridge: BEND!!!!!!.
    • According to the novel, and somewhat implied in the anime, she actually has two powers. She can rotate things clockwise... and can rotate them counterclockwise. The bending happens when she does both at once. Also, she completely averts the "harder to move heavier objects" aspect. If she can imagine a fulcrum, she can rotate it.
  • It was revealed that Il Palazzo can do this at the end of the Excel♥Saga anime, along with various other psychic powers.
  • Maou in Hataraku Maou-sama! can use telekinesis among other abilities (with him being the dark lord and all). He used it to stop a bridge from collapsing on Chiho and Emi.
  • School Rumble's Tenma Tsukamoto can bend spoons with her mind, though it is not given nearly as much emphasis as her younger sister's, Yakumo's, powers of Telepathy. Notable in that unlike many other people with Psychic Powers, who tend to have higher-than-usual intelligence as a sort of Required Secondary Power, Tenma is a complete ditz.
  • Miya Alice from Dangaioh has Psychic Powers that allow her to release enormous waves of telekinetic energy.
  • Pokémon
    • Psychic-type Pokémon usually have this power. Some humans do as well.
    • Mewtwo takes this Up to Eleven in the first movie.
    • Pokémon Special: Yellow's powers are limited to controlling a Pokeball tied to the end of her fishing line, but it has proved to be incredibly useful in many situations.
  • Aries Mu from Saint Seiya has this in spades, combined with telepathy, Psychic Powers and pink hair. He can lift up houses, and his apprentice, Kiki, likes to hurl great big rocks at people with his mind.
  • In Psyren, Telekenesis is the most basic psychic ability of the "Burst" category. Marie and Grana are specialized in this, using it with great precision and power (especially Grana).
  • Telekinesis shows up a number of times on Ghost Hunt. Such as a case where a teenage girl unknowingly uses telekinesis to imitate/mimic a haunting to convince her classmates that she can see ghosts, or a case that involves a girl who claimed to be able to bend spoons, and of course there's Naru whose telekinesis is so powerful he risks getting a heart attack any time he uses it.
  • The Stands from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure combine this and other Psychic Powers with the Fighting Spirit trope. Since only Stand users can see other people's Stands, normal people perceive Stand activity as psychic phenomenon, as demonstrated by Jotaro Kujo when he seemingly willed a bullet aimed at his head to stop in mid-air (when his stand, Star Platinum, really grabbed the bullet before it could kill him), then caused the bars of his prison cell to bend so he could step out (that would be Star Platinum grabbing the bars and pulling them apart).
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Chiaotzu has shown telekinetic abilities. Also, Guldo, of the Ginyu Force, uses this as well. And so do Frieza (lifting the Dragon Balls), Cell (building his arena) and the Kaioshin (making the super hard metal float).
  • In Trigun, Legato often demonstrates that in a world where one has generally pull a trigger to kill someone, the ability to break bones and control people with thoughs is rather potent.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, the Sternbild mayor's baby son, Sam, has this as his NEXT power. Young as he is, at the moment he only causes things to break or fly into the air when he cries. Even so, it was enough to spoil the plans of a trio of kidnappers who thought they were kidnapping a pair of harmless, non-superpowered, children.
  • One episode of Haruhichan had this as one of Nagato's powers.
  • Ran does this to Amu in one scene in episode 6 of My Guardian Characters. Amu is not amused.
  • Ryoko in Tenchi Muyo! has some minor telekinetic powers, but she almost never uses them, and never for anything serious. Mainly for animating the "tail" on one of her favorite outfits.
  • Aoi Miyoshi from Senkou No Night Raid can use telekinesis to deflect incoming attacks or push away unwanted enemies or objects. However, their is a certain time limit attached to his powers.
  • Several of the Domain Control abilites belonging to the Knights of the Ring in The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer are just forms of applied telekinesis,

    Comic Books 
  • One Retcon of Superman's abilities proclaimed that all his super-powers were telekinesis or another psychic power; this became explicit with Superboy, a part-Kryptonian part-human clone with "tactile telekinesis", allowing him to telekinetically manipulate anything he could touch. Then it got RetConned away again...
    • The powers of the Superman Conner Kent from the Bad Future of the Titans Tomorrow story arc are upgraded from tactile telekinesis to full-blown telekinesis in the interim, which pretty much gives him the combined power of Superman and Phoenix.
    • For Superman these abilities were retconned, but not for Superboy. In fact, the New 52's Superboy possesses telekinesis on par with/greater than the "Titans of Tomorrow" version, and also can manipulate his powers to mimic Superman (super strength by channeling TK through limbs, X-ray vision by telekinetically scanning the contents of a building/ship, which requires touching it, heat vision by intensifying his TK and channeling through his eyes, etc.)
  • The X-Men's Jean Grey is one superhero with general-purpose telekinesis (as are her various genetic descendants). Initially, the Phoenix power was simply this at its highest level — rearranging any and all matter down to the sub-molecular level.
    • Of her descendants it is the various Nate Summers' who top out the scale. Nate "Cable" Summers once had a fight with the Silver Surfer destroying his base, Providence, which was the size of an island; And wrecking much of Sydney, Australia, but telekinetically rebuilt it mere moments after they plowed through them. Cable's powers, though, are usually mostly devoted to stopping the techno-organic virus that would otherwise overtake his body, hence his reliance on BFGs for most of his history. Unencumbered, his powers at their height are easily movieverse Phoenix class.
    • Nate Grey is in theory even stronger. Numerous feats (such as being able to destroy the Moon in one shot) aside, Norman Osborn notes that he could go one on one with the Sentry, at the time when the Sentry was pulling insane feats out of his ass every other week.
    • Also among the X-Men, Psylocke can do it, though her powers are altered so much it had to be seriously, not Lampshade Hanging-ly, acknowledged on-panel. She can focus her full power into a blade that can cut through anything, and she can choose to fry the brain of a living victim without cutting them physically (even when her telepathy is explicitly down).
    • Though said to be telepathic only, Professor X has been known to affect matter on rare occasion with intense concentration, once even bringing down a Sentinel singlehandedly with a pinpoint, full-power attack. Telepath Emma Frost can't, though interestingly, a power-copying mutant once did so while using her powers.
      • Some versions of Xavier's backstory have him surviving a car wreck as a teenager by telekinetically shielding himself, but losing that portion of his powers due to a head injury.
    • Julian Keller aka Hellion is also a telekinetic mutant. For a while after M-day, he was the only telekinetic mutant left on Earth. He's not on the same level as Phoenix or X-Man, but when he has nothing holding back his power he's able to tear through Sentinels (the giant killer robots specifically designed to wipe out mutants) like they were tissue paper.
  • Using her force fields, Sue Richards of the Fantastic Four can do it by putting something in a field and then moving the field.
  • ElfQuest has Rayek, whose telekinesis was at his first appearance more of a party trick. Years of training and some other boosts let him push the limit, far enough to fly while carrying someone else, and/or repel arrows shot at him.
    There are only two others, Egg and Trof, making telekinesis one of the rarer powers.
  • The run-of-the-mill foot soldier in The Red Star is trained in telekinesis; spinning your standard-issue bayonet so fast it blocks bullets is a basic skill.
  • In Irredeemable, this is Plutonian's real power; all applications of his powers are really him using his telekinesis unconsciously. Modeus remarked that he could alter probability, reverse entropy, and see through time, and that's just the tip of the iceberg of what he could do if he became aware of it.

    Fan Works 
  • Haruhi takes on this in Kyon Big Damn Hero in order to have fun with supernatural powers without causing total havoc.
  • Ringo in With Strings Attached. Extraordinarily powerful, inasmuch as, by using his TK in conjunction with his mindsight, he has incredibly precise control and can reach at least a hundred miles with it. It does not tire him out to use it. His upper level of strength is not known, but he can toss people around and move them very rapidly. One limitation he has is that he must constantly concentrate on an item to keep it moving, and his concentration fails after 5-7 seconds, or if he's terrified, or if he's being jounced around. Still, he can do a lot in 5-7 seconds.
  • The title character of Empath: The Luckiest Smurf as well as all Psyches have telekinetic abilities.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the movie adaptation of Carrie, Carrie White can lift, turn on objects, and control the movement of objects with her mind.
  • Patrick Swayze's Ghost is an example of the "mind over matter only" convention.
  • In The Matrix, Neo can fly and stop bullets with his mind. You'd think he'd be able to do more stuff (like disarming enemies), but apart from one scene where he pulls some weapons from across the room, stopping bullets seems to be it.
    • Of course, this is just a visual representation of his superior Matrix hacking abilities.
  • The Strangers in Dark City possess Telekinesis, as does the hero Murdoch. However, individual Strangers seem limited to levitation and opening apparently nonexistent doors; only by combining their powers and interfacing with special machinery can they perform more impressive feats. Only Murdoch and the Stranger Leader Mr. Book have more developed "throw objects and people around with your mind" abilities — though by the end of the film Murdoch's powerful enough to warp The City's layout at will.
  • The super power/action film Push has several characters with this ability, who make creative use of it during gunfights and fistfights.
    • Interestingly, the name of the film has nothing to do with telekinesis (telekinetics are called Movers in the film). Pushing is actually a More Than Mind Control ability.
    • The two main Movers in the film, Nick and Victor, are a fairly even match, although Victor is initially stronger as Nick hasn't had much practice with his abilities. During the climactic battle, Victor is able to hold off dozens of Mooks spraying him with gunfire by putting up telekinetic shields, typically using one hand to hold the shield and another to throw the shooters through the windows/walls. Victor and Nick are also seen augmenting their punches and kicks with telekinesis.
  • For all its spiritual bent, in Star Wars, the vast majority of what we see The Force do is just lift, shove, choke, or crush things. But then it is called the Force.
    • A good example of how powerful a Force-sensitive individual can be is Starkiller in The Force Unleashed, who manages to pull a Star Destroyer out of the sky and crash it. He did have some help from gravity, but it's still one of the most impressive telekinetic feats in Star Wars history. And by far the most impressive by a single, unassisted Force-user.
      • He also ends up nearly dying as a result, as he doesn't actually aim where he crashes the ship and it heads straight for him. Apparently, diving out of the way of a giant crashing starship by a few meters is enough to avoid being killed.
    • Arguably, Darth Nihilus from Knightsofthe Old Republic is even more impressive. With telekinesis, he was able to rip a starship (admittedly, not quite as large as a Star Destroyer) out of a crushing planetary gravity well that devastated an entire planet and constantly hold the ship together for a period of months or years.
  • The terrible direct-to-video horror movie Five Girls gives the eponymous girls bizarre "powers", one of them being telekinesis.
  • In Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, the title character can use a staff of some kind to make rubble float in the air. He also uses this to destroy the tanks trying to shoot him.
  • In Dreamscape, limited telekinetic abilities are displayed by the protagonist, Alex, though his primary abilities seem to be telepathic in nature.
  • The three main characters in Chronicle gain telekinetic powers. Similar to Irredeemable, as they practice with their powers, they learn to fly by lifting themselves, and to pull of a decent simulation of Nigh-Invulnerability by creating a "barrier" around themselves.
  • In Modern Problems, the main character gets these powers. Lots of Power Perversion Potential ensues.
  • In Looper, telekinesis, or "TK", has been discovered by 2044, with 10% of humanity born with the potential for it. However, most people can't do much more than clumsily levitate quarters, with varying degrees of focus and effort required. Sarah can easily levitate a metal cigarette lighter and casually spin it around in smooth circles. Cid can levitate all the furniture in a room, apply enough force to flip a moving vehicle, send out a shockwave that knocks over everything within a hundred yards, and make people explode. And that's before he learns to focus his abilities...
  • In Freddy vs. Jason, Freddy Krueger can easily move objects with his mind in the dream world. He even plays an ad-hoc game of pinball with Jason's body.
  • Children of the Corn
  • One of the powers displayed by Imhotep in The Mummy Trilogy was this. In the first film, he brings down Rick's airplane with a sandstorm that has his face on it. In the second film, he repeats the trick, but with water and a dirigible. In one scene in the second film, he also levitates two of his own Mooks and violently smashes them against each other for nearly killing Rick's son.
  • X-Men:

    Gamebooks 
  • This is a power in the Lone Wolf gamebooks. It gets more and more awesome as the books go on with Nexus, the upgrade of Mind Over Matter: by Book 9, you can move objects with your mind, wade through toxic fumes and intense heat with little difficulty, and put out fires with your mind. It is never used offensively, however, Lone Wolf having plenty better options for that.

    Literature 
  • The Alterien series features a different kind of telekinesis. The Alteriens' telekinesis is based on the amount of energy one is able to project with the amount of intensity and force necessary to initiate movement. What they can move and at what duration is completely dependent upon the level of energy they have inside their bodies at the time.
  • In Adam R. Brown's Astral Dawn, the high spirits have psychokinesis. Their power is actually the projection of their energy directed by their thoughts.
  • Larry Niven's Gil Hamilton has a telekinetic arm, which manifested due to "phantom limb syndrome" after his real right arm was amputated. The imaginary arm is physically weak, but can touch anything that seems within arm's reach, even if it's really much further away. This includes reaching through solid barriers, manipulating objects in a live TV image, or sifting the dust in a live hologram of the lunar surface.
    • Also, the weakness of the lifting power doesn't make it useless. Gil performs a "floating cigarette trick" to pick up women at a bar, and later there's some tastefully implied Power Perversion Potential. In a less fun context, when Gil was captured and bound, he used the arm to reach into his captor's chest and stop his heart.
  • Stephen King's Carrie.
  • Firestarter's main character could also do this, though it wasn't nearly as strong as her main power. Her mother also had some minor drug-induced telekinesis.
  • In an unusual inversion of Puberty Superpower, everyone on the world of Timothy Zahn's A Coming of Age has telekinesis until they hit puberty.
  • In Christopher Stasheff's Warlock of Gramarye series, all the female witches on Gramarye have telekinesis (their male counterparts have flight and teleportation instead).
  • In Discworld, Rincewind the Wizzard needs to open a lock and uses Mind Over Matter to do so. However, it appears that it is affected by the laws of physics, as he has to be careful not to push too hard or his brain might start coming out of his ears.
    • The same series gives us an odd variant in the case of a witch named Miss Level. She was born with two bodies managed simultaneously by the same mind. One is killed during the events of A Hat Full of Sky; the other survives with a sort of full-body phantom limb syndrome. Given some coaching by Granny Weatherwax and the nature of belief on the Disc, she finds that she can use this sensation as a second body, essentially becoming this trope. This makes her "juggling twins" act rather impressive.
  • Anne McCaffrey's Talents series has telekinetics so powerful they can fold space to teleport mass over light-years, thus making them the invaluable cornerstone of an interstellar civilization. They require outside energy sources to power their higher-grade uses of this ability, but that requirement gets de-emphasized with each book in the series and each generation of Talents to the point where it's practically a Magic Feather.
  • In Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, this is one of the expressions of "laran", which is possessed by the highly-evolved alien Chieri, some humans and their Half-Human Hybrid descendents. Very few humans can manifest this kind of power without the aid of natural or artificial "matrix crystals" (aka. "starstones"). However, a group of "laran"-gifted humans working with a powerful enough (usually artificial) matrix can level entire cities.
  • In John C. Wright's Chronicles of Chaos, one technique of power.
  • In Wild Cards, minor telekinesis is one of the most common powers, but most can only levitate small items such as coins and paper clips. The Great And Powerful Turtle can lift battleships. But only in the safety of his armored "shell" does he feel comfortable enough to do so.
  • So very many times in Roswell High. It appears to be the basis of most of the aliens' powers. It's all about manipulating molecules — moving them, shifting them. Of course, it doesn't show itself like telekinesis all the time, but there are examples — like when they shove the molecules of a non-working car forward so that it moves.
  • Caine has this in Gone. He can lift and move incredibly heavy objects, "carry" something 80 feet, throw it farther. The same standards apply to people — he can use his power on them, as well. He can break an object or even a building with his mind (he made a church crumble in book 1). Presumably he could do the same thing to a person, but he seems to prefer throwing them to their deaths instead, or just letting the other super-powered Coates kids deal with them. He can use it to propell himself through the air, although that is not revealed until book 3. All any of it requires is subtle hand motions. He is one of the 3 most powerful mutants in the series.
  • Subverted in The Saga of Darren Shan. The main character's vampire mentor, Mr Crepsley, likes to use Super Speed to snatch objects out of peoples' hands so quickly they don't notice him doing it, and snaps his fingers to draw their attention while doing so. Darren assumes he's using telekinesis for the first couple of books, and only finds out the truth when Crepsley catches him trying to make something fly by snapping his fingers.
  • Many Adepts in Jean Lorrah's Savage Empire are telekinetic.
  • Largely averted in the Lensman universe - for all the Lensmen's other psionic talents and all the other cranking up to eleven this universe does, this is one capability they specifically do NOT have. On the other hand, the Arisians - their ultimate benefactors - have it in spades, and it's implied that the eventual goal of the Galactic Patrol (long after the canon events are complete) will be to develop independence of the need for physical weapons.
  • One of the main powers of sufficiently strong telepaths in the Firebird Trilogy. The best of the best can even use telekinesis on themselves to control their own rate of fall.
  • The Silicoids in Sergey Lukyanenko's Line of Delirium emit and manipulate focused EM fields, which they use for locomotion (being columns of solid rock), intraspecies communication, and object manipulation. Their early spaceships were propelled by the combined efforts of the crew. They got the idea of adding external drives from other races.
  • In Roald Dahl's Matilda, Matilda learns how to move small objects with her mind. But she can only lift small things and for only a short period of time. It's revealed that she loses the power at the end of the book, because she's been moved to tougher classes and doesn't have any brain space left over.
  • In the Aunt Dimity series, Dimity will sometimes initiate a conversation by making her journal fly off the shelf in the study. She will also occasionally place Reginald so as to draw Lori's attention to something.
  • Corran Horn, in the X-Wing Series and beyond, is the grandson of a Jedi and inherited various Force skills... but he can't use telekinesis nearly as easily as most Jedi, needing to absorb other energy first.
  • In Dorothy Gilman's The Clairvoyant Countess, Madame Karitska, teaching two psychics, has them turn pages in a book.
  • The Sorceresses of Rossak in the Dune prequels are able to do this. However, they mainly use their powers to suicide-bomb cymeks. The most powerful of them, Norma Cenva was actually able to rebuild her body after destroying it with a psychic blast, turning from dwarfish and unattractive into a stunning white-haired beauty. By the end of the Butlerian Jihad, many of the Sorceresses have sacrificed themselves to kill cymeks, while many more died from the mutated Synthetic Plague. By Sisterhood of Dune, only a dozen or so Sorceresses remain. The majority of the Sisterhood is made up of a new breed of women with different powers, who are the original Bene Gesserit. By the end of that novel, The Emperor has the rest executed for their part in a plot to render him sterile.
  • Anne Rice tends to use Psychic Powers as opposed to Functional Magic in her novels. In both The Vampire Chronicles and Lives of the Mayfair Witches human psychics, spirits and vampires exhibit varying degrees of telekinetic powers. In the case of the vampires, it is the actual force that animates them, and accounts for their Super Strength, Super Reflexes and Super Speed.
  • The titular protagonist of The Girl With The Silver Eyes, Katie, is telekinetic. The book involves her search for other children like herself.
  • Trash in the novel Hidden Talents and its sequel True Talents, is telekinetic, but unaware of it. Because he doesn't know he has them, he can't control his powers, and they manifest by things flinging themselves across any room he happens to be in, causing him endless trouble when teachers and students at his school believe he's vandalizing classrooms and deliberately disrupting classes by throwing things. He ends up ostracized and alone at an alternative middle school, where no one wants to talk to him for fear of getting hit in the face. Once he accepts that he has powers, he does learn much better control.
  • In Poul Anderson's Sargasso of Lost Starships, the aliens. Fighting them includes flying spears.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • Talia Winters developed telekinesis when her telepathic abilities were enhanced. Other "Teeks" are generally clinically insane, and the attempt to create a more stable telekinetic... didn't end well.
    • Lyta Alexander hints that she's way more advanced than others in this regard, capable of popping blood vessels in the victims' brains. Bester expresses doubt about her TK abilities, although this is reasonable because he knows about all of Psi Corps' failed attempts in this area. Lyta does however use her powers openly in front of Girabaldi (smashing a security camera) and G'kar (shattering the wrist restraints station security had her in).
    • The Technomages use Shadow technology to mimic these abilities. The Passing of the Techno-mages novel trilogy describes them in great detail. One of these involves simulating levitation by creating an invisible flying platform under the technomage, although they frequently add holo-illusions of a Magic Carpet or a dragon. Similar to a telekinetic, this requires constant concentration, as the tech only works as long as the technomage holds the "spell" in his or her mind. Technomages train from a young age to keep multiple "spells" in their minds.
  • Several of The Tomorrow People were able to learn this ability.
  • In The Secret World of Alex Mack, the title character has this as one of her powers, and was the one used most often.
  • Courteney Cox's character on Misfits of Science had this as her superpower.
  • The very first power stolen by Sylar on Heroes. He nabs several others before and during the series, but flinging stuff at things remains his hallmark all-rounder.
    • Sylar also manages to display a version of telekinesis known in some corners as "microscale TK" — using telekinesis as a cutting weapon.
    • Sylar actually uses his telekinesis in an unusually diverse number of ways. Practical applications include personal levitation, augmenting his physical strength (like Vader, he's fond of the one-armed throat choke), shielding his body against physical attacks, a Barehanded Blade Block, and a ranged slashing attack (which can actually miss and hit further away objects)
    • Sylar is so deeply associated with telekinesis that when he finally mimicked flight moments before killing Nathan, many viewers believed it was also just a clever use of his telekinesis.
    • Sylar's biological father has the same core ability as his son (i.e. to sense how things work and steal powers). He also manages to "acquire" telekinesis from some pool soul. Peter Petrelli gets telekinesis from being around Sylar due to his empathic ability. When Arthur steals his powers, he gains this as well. In fact, he is much more proficient in them than Peter ever was, using telekinesis to snap Maurie's neck with a wave.
  • Uncle Martin on My Favorite Martian could move objects on incredibly obvious strings by pointing at them.
  • In Power Rangers in Space, Kerovians have telekinetic powers. Andros seems to think the skill can be learned by any human (despite clearly being an alien, Andros considers himself "human": in the Power Rangers universe, "human" seems to be a generic term for non-monstrous sentient bipeds), though his sister Karone never shows any evidence of possessing them outside of a flashback to her youth.
  • In Red Dwarf, a holovirus gives Rimmer telekinetic powers.
  • The Ori and nearly-ascended beings in the Stargate Verse.
    • The Goa'uld have experimented with creating Hok'tar - humans with some Ancient abilities to use as hosts. Cassandra, at one point, is able to manipulate EM fields enough to levitate a magnetic chess piece. Nirrti's experiments with an Ancient DNA sequencer result in several mutants, some of which use telekinesis (one uses it to kill her). One of the best examples is Kalek, an artificial human created by Anubis. His telekinetic abilities are very advanced, and he uses them to deflect bullets. For bonus points, he's played by Neil Jackson, who went on to play Victor, the "evil" telekinetic in Push.
  • There are a half-dozen examples in Star Trek.
  • Prue and Paige Halliwell in Charmed as well as some of their ancestors and descendants. People that are half-whitelighter, i.e. Paige, have telekinetic orbing, a combination of the orbing and telekinesis powers.
    • Billie Jenkins also has this as a power. It had also become very common power in the later seasons for most witches.
  • Bethany Chaulk from Angel has this power.
    Angel:What do we know about telekinesis?
    Wesley: Ah. Yes. The power of moving things with one's mind. (Beat) That's... pretty much it. The power of... moving... I-I'm better with demons, really.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Nightmare", Max Miller, one of Azazel's special children, could lift objects with his mind. Demons and angels have this power too. In the later seasons, Sam and Dean spend a lot of time being slammed into walls because of it, especially when the guy doing the slamming is Crowley.
  • Cally from Blake's 7, a telepath in canon, manifested it once under conditions of EXTREME stress, and not entirely voluntarily.
  • As if Doctor Who's Weeping Angels didn't have enough powers, they also can apparently use a version of telekinesis to short out lights. While this might not sound very deadly, you have to remember that being unable to see an Angel even for a split second easily gives it enough time to kill you (and if there isn't a light source, you're going to be blind for longer than a split second). They can reach a person standing several feet away and kill them in the time it takes for someone to blink, after all...
    • Possibly this is 'just' their ability to feed of various forms of energy in the local environment.
    • The Doctor himself temporarily gains TK-like powers thanks to the Archangel Network and every single human being on Earth thinking about him with hope at the same exact moment. He not only restores his youth (having been artificially aged by the Master) but creates uses TK to form a bubble around him that blocks the Master's laser screwdriver. When the Master turns to fire at the Doctor's companions, the Doctor knocks the screwdriver out of the Master's hand from half a room away. He also uses it to float. Given the nature of the ability, the Doctor only has it for less than a minute.
  • A natural ability of Vardians in Tracker. Often accompanied by a flick of the head in the direction the item was being thrown.
  • An early First Wave episode has a villain of the week with telekinesis. Surprisingly, for a show about aliens creating genetically-engineered Half-Human Hybrids and downloading their minds into them, the character is human. According to a government agent, her power first manifested when her father had a horse-drawn cart fall on him back in Ukraine. She lifted the heavy cart with barely an effort. Interestingly, she mostly uses her power to torture people to death by increasing air pressure around them. She nearly suffers a Karmic Death when Cade tricks her into entering a hyperbaric chamber and turns up and then down the pressure, while she's throwing random objects at him at high speeds with her mind. Even Mabus, the alien leader with enormous Psychic Powers, didn't have powers like that.
  • The Thundermans has main characters Max and Phoebe. This is their most commonly used power.
  • Witches and Warlocks on Bewitched use this power frequently. Indeed, objects being floated around by characters like Tabitha are a common threat to The Masquerade that Darren and Samantha have going on.
  • Finn from Misfits gained this power during the storm. However, it requires extreme effort and concentration just to move a small object across a short distance. When panicked or angered, however, he is able to throw large and heavy objects across a room with little effort.
  • All of the telepaths in Believe, with varying levels of strength. Bo, the most powerful of them, even manages to redirect a lightning strike during a storm.

    Music 
  • The music video for David Guetta's "Titanium" features a telekinetic teenage boy (the video starts with the aftermath of his powers wrecking a school corridor), played by Ryan Lee of Super 8.
  • The music videos for M83's "Midnight City", "Reunion" and "Wait".

    Pinballs 
  • The mini-playfield in The Twilight Zone, where the player uses flipperless "magna-flips" to battle The Power.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • There's a fifth level arcane spell simply called "Telekinesis", and a bunch of more specialized versions.
    • The psionic powers, present from the first edition but more formalized in the second with The Complete Psionics Handbook, has "psychokinesis" as a whole discipline, one of the most versatile.
  • Telekinesis advantage in both GURPS. Also a whole line of spells, beginning with the Apportation.
  • Champions has a Telekinesis power set.
  • Dark Heresy gives psykers a telekinesis discipline. This being Warhammer 40,000, it doesn't just allow one to move items with their mind, it allows players to catch projectiles out of mid-air ala Neo from the Matrix, form improvised armour, crush the life out of enemies, create and use a melee weapon "as little as a molecule thick" in addition to the more mundane magic missile-esque force barrage and the usual moving stuff around.
    • Rogue Trader's basic Telekinesis technique is even called Mind Over Matter.
  • One of the potential origins from Gamma World (7th Edition) is Telekinetic.
  • Starblazers Adventures, based on the 1970s-80s British science fiction Comic Book. Telekinesis is a specific type of Psionic skill available to aliens and mutants. Characters must spend a Fate point each time they affect a different object. Since the game occurs in a star travel setting, the rules note that telekinesis is easier in zero gravity.
  • Exalted: She Who Lives In Her Name has an entire Charm tree branching off Mind-Hand Manipulation. It starts as the ability to hold people with your mind and eventually goes through the creation of whirling death zones of random debris around you to the power to crush souls.
  • Spanners in Continuum can develop this, among other psionic abilities, although most spanners consider it window dressing compared to their ability to travel in time and space at will.

    Theater 

    Toys 

    Video Games 
  • In the game Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy, this is one of the first powers Nick Scryer "remembers". Unfortunately, as is the case with just about every single power Scryer remembers in the game, one of your enemies is much more proficient at it than the PC; in this case, Edgar Barrett spends his boss battle hurling fuel tankers at you.

    However, through the use of cheats and secret costumes, you can match his telekinesis, and cut his bossfight wonderfully short by smashing his fat face in with one of his own 5 ton tankers. And, of course, you are then free to use it throughout the rest of the game however you may choose.
  • Likewise, you get telekinesis in Second Sight. At first, you can only move small objects with it. Once you upgrade it, though, you can force choke and throw enemies around like rag dolls. Another power involves throwing Mind Bullets, which may be a separate form of TK.
  • Telekinesis is also one of the many powers available to Raz, the psychic prodigy protagonist of Psychonauts. In the beginning, Raz begins with a fist of psychic force to use in fights and a "thought bubble" that he bounces off of to double-jump. After he earns the Telekinesis merit badge, he can use the fist to lob objects and enemies through the air (and into walls). After he earns the Levitation merit badge, he can ride his thought bubble to bounce incredibly high and use it like a cartoon umbrella to slow his descent.
    • Many of the psychics in the setting have telekinesis. Notably, the 13-year-old Mikhail uses it to restrain a local bully and keep him in mid-air. He also somewhat graphically describes the nasty stuff he can do to bodies of people held this way...
  • Biotics in Mass Effect. Enemies with biotic powers will actually shout this at you during combat.
  • The BioShock Plasmid Telekinesis works exactly like this.
    • The sequel upgrades this, with level three working on smaller enemies.
  • Telekinesis is one of the starter spells (the other being Fire Bolt) in Dark Messiah. It works pretty much like the Gravity Gun.
  • Many of the non-combat Psynergy in the Golden Sun games is telekinesis of some sort. Carry, Catch, Force, Lash, Lift, Move, Pound, Scoop, and Tremor all fit the strictest definition, and Blaze, Cyclone, Growth, Halt, Hover, Retreat, Teleport, and Whirlwind/Gale all are more loosely telekinetic in nature. They all involve doing something with the mind, but the others don't move (or in Halt's case, prevent movement of) anything.
  • Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid and The Last Days of Foxhound.
    • Whether or not she has any psychic ability of her own is debatable, but his successor Screaming Mantis also makes heavy use of it. Using the Mantis Doll gained during the fight, Snake can also use a weaker version of it to damage enemies and steal items.
  • Silver the Hedgehog from the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
  • Plenty of pins in The World Ends with You let you throw around any traffic barriers, bicycles, cars, or the like that happen to be lying around. Joshua has similar attacks, such as using his cell phone to drop soda machines on enemies.
  • The Psychokinesis ability in Destroy All Humans!, which lets you fling around humans like the apes that they are, and when you get strong enough, toss around cars and mechs with impunity.
  • The Telekinetic Grab spell in Runescape, which lets the player take objects that are visible but not necessarily accessible (e.g. behind an Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence). The Earth spells also resemble telekinesis by magicking up boulders out of the ground and hurtling them at opponents.
  • In Ghost Trick Sissel uses the titular tricks to move inanimate objects. Yomiel can control living beings like puppets with a similar technique.
  • Kingdom Hearts II introduced the concept of Drive Forms, which allowed Sora to fuse with his teammates (except in the case of Limit Form) to temporarily gain new abilities in battle, one of which granting him the ability to wield a second Keyblade. Two of the Drive Forms, Master Form and Final Form, involve him handling at least one Keyblade telekinetically.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Aqua has a Command Style, which is vaguely similar to Drive Forms in that it's a powerup that grants new powers, called Spellweaver which allows her to wield her Keyblade telekinetically as well.
  • Pokémon has the Psychic elemental move Telekinesis, which lifts the target in the air, granting most moves minus OHK Os a guaranteed hit for three turns, but gives the foe a Ground immunity. The move called "Kinesis" lowers the opponent's accuracy (presumably by deflecting attacks coming at the user)
  • Telekinesis is a spell in Diablo. It can be used to push back monsters, but is mostly useful for opening doors and chests that may be booby-trapped.
    • The manual states that when taught this spell, trainees are placed in a prison cell and the key is left out of their reach. Those who aren't good at it will be there for a while...
  • The March Hare has this ability in the video game adaptation of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.
  • In Final Fantasy IX, at least three mages have psychokinesis among their magical repertoire: Kuja and Queen Stella restrict it to taking items from Zidane, while Garland puts it to better use in his boss battle.
  • The Combine Advisors use extremely powerful telekinesis as a weapon in Half-Life 2: Episode 2. They are so good at this they can even fly.
    • On one occasion, a resting Advisor was disturbed by humans upon which it broke the containment shell and lifted the two offenders, a corpse and a metal barrel into the air to see what's going on. First it examined the barrel then crushed it and threw it aside. Next it examined the corpse and probed its brain before snapping its spine and throwing it aside as well. The protagonist was to be the next but an explosion injured the Advisor, causing it to blow out the roof and fly away. Keep in mind that Advisors are essentially giant slugs without limbs: the sucker did all these with telekinesis alone!
  • In Vindictus levitating things this way is one of Evie's three main powers, along with Firebolt and Magic Arrow. It's implied that she's actually more a Gravity Master than a straight-up psychokinetic.
  • Bonus character and Ensemble Dark Horse Joachim Armster from Castlevania: Lament of Innocence uses his vampiric telekinesis to wield an impressive five swords at once.
  • The Advent from Sins of a Solar Empire have this as one of their abilities, using it for feats ranging from tossing away entire fleets of enemy ships, to improving their mining operations.
  • In Starcraft the more powerful Protoss possess telekinetic abilities. High Templars use it to levitate themselves indefinitely. While not present in the game, the novels do show that some powerful human telepaths are capable of this as well. Sarah Kerrigan, after becoming a Zerg in the novelization of Episode II, uses her telekinesis to reflect bullets back at the firing soldiers. Nova's power is several orders of magnitude higher. For instance, after she witnesses her parents being killed by rebels, she unconsciously emits a telekinetic wave that kills every human being in the vicinity and shatters a transparent dome that is meant to withstand direct nuclear strikes. She later learns to levitate herself using telekinesis, although this requires a lot of effort and concentration.
  • In Mortal Kombat, this is Ermac's signature power, and he's one of Shao Kahn's most powerful cronies. In Mortal Kombat 9, it's revealed that he was the one who ripped off Jax's arms. He is one of the most blatant cases of Fridge Logic, seeing as how he's evil and nothing is stopping him from simply decapitating enemies in seconds.
    • It's All In The Manual that one of Ermac's most influential souls is the last king of Outworld, which holds him back from out-and-out slaughter. In their ending in 9, that soul becomes the dominant part of the Hive Mind.
  • Rose and Bison from Street Fighter, as they're both powerful psychics and share the same soul. Sort of.
  • The one and only gameplay mechanic in the tongue-in-cheek Table For One. As you can see here, it's quite difficult.
  • One of the abilities available to the Bantam from Vivid Conceptions. He uses it to move around crates which acts as Floating Platforms.
  • The "Open" and "Fetch" spells in Quest for Glory are essentially telekinesis.
  • WildStar Espers train by moving their psyblades around with only the power of their minds. Later on, they swing around said blades with their "freaky mind powers" as a basic attack, and can charge up said blades for a more powerful attack.
  • Amongst many other powers you get in Saints Row IV Telekinesis is one of them, you could set it to lightning to turn whatever you carry into a lightning grenade or you could set it to steal life to whatever living matter (Humans, Zin and anything that's not an object/machine)

    Web Comics 
  • Project 0: Movement powers as a subset of modding.
  • The aptly-named Dr. Kinesis in Evil Plan The Webcomic.
  • One of Nanashi's pool of powers in Earthsong.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Grace can do this, with efficiency depending on her current form, up to exploding stuff when she's really upset, but she isn't all that good at controls and used it only in critical situations. On the other hand, in some forms she can and do use it for flying.
    • Elliot's Kamehame Hadoken appears to be a short-range nondirectional telekinetic impact. Swallowing him whole is a bad idea.
  • Some of the Abductees in the Walkyverse have this power.
  • Sofia of Breakpoint City can do this.
  • Quite a few of the Trolls in Homestuck have some form of Psychic Powers, but Sollux and Aradia, after she became a ghost, are the only ones with telekinesis. Both of them prefer to use their abilities to fight rather than allocating a specific weapon to their Strife Specibus.
    • Witch of Space powers involve shrinking and expanding objects, as well as being able to accelerate them to high velocities. God-Tiered Witch of Space powers let you do this to planets.
  • Clau, from M9 Girls!, uses her telekinesis in the usual way, and also to create force fields.
  • In The Specialists, Lady Liberty.
  • In Spare Keys For Strange Doors, Marion Sark.
  • The titular superhero of Average Joe has this as one of his many powers, which seems to be limited by his ability to concentrate at the time.

    Web Original 
  • In the Whateley Universe, there are enough kids with Psychic Powers at Whateley Academy that there is an entire department offering classes in this. The teachers in the department are also psychic, so a lot of the characters have Mind over Matter abilities. Some of them do the Superman thing using said abilities, while others have the Jean Grey package, although no one in this universe has those levels of power. Slightly subverted, in that there is lots of discussion about how it works, and what the power limitations are, and so on.
  • The Omega Universe has several telekinetics (Tempest, for example). Magic users can use telekinetic "rotes" i.e. spells that briefly emulate telekinesis.
  • The Academy of Superheroes has several. Breaker is notable in that she was a very weak teke who used her powers to emulate wuxia-style martial arts i.e. high leaps, slow falls etc.
  • Chakona Space features Bluepaw skunktaurs who are usually very powerful telekinetics. A team of Bluepaw skunktaurs can combine their abilities to do industrial level lifting.
  • The retelling/sequel of the text-based game What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf? features a little girl displaying telekinetic power.
  • In Worm, several variations of this power are represented:
  • The inspiration for this ironic "Teach the Controversy" t-shirt

    Western Animation 
  • Used in Transformers Animated, where the school of Cyber-Ninjutsu that Prowl and Jazz practice features mastery of "processor over matter" as its ultimate technique. It's used by mechanical beings.
  • In Teen Titans, Doom Patrol leader Mento has this, and it seems to also be part of the standard package for the Superpower Lottery winners, among which we have most prominently Raven, Brother Blood and even — on one occasion never mentioned again — Slade.
  • Family Guy: Stewie after being exposed to nuclear waste.
  • In Pinky and the Brain, Pinky once makes some paperclips fly in the air. When an astonished Brain asks about it, Pinky just casually says "Comes and goes."
  • Unicorns in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic are all magically gifted, which is usually portrayed as some form of telekinesis. This really comes in handy in their daily lives, since it allows them to easily do things like reading books, carrying small objects etc. despite their lack of fingered hands. Twilight Sparkle, however, specializes in magic and is thus extremely powerful (e.g. plucking all apples from tens of trees at once, then neatly putting them in baskets). The only other unicorn we've seen with anywhere near her level of power is Trixie, and even she pales in comparison.
    • Actually Trixie never does anything all that impressive, least of all with her telekenesis, as she really only handles her hat and a rope using it. Rarity, on the other hand, has demonstrated rather impressive telekenesis on a couple occasions. In one episode, she levitated roughly a dozen mannequins at once, and in another, she summons a couch from her house for the sole purpose of fainting melodramatically onto it because she realized she forgot to bring plates on their picnic.
    • To some extent they can create objects from nothing, as seen when Trixie conjures up flowers during her show. Sure, they might not be real (she performs tricks after all), but the freaking storm cloud she uses to embarrass Rainbow Dash certainly was.
      • This is backed up in the Winter Wrap Up episode, where Twilight mentions that the Unicorns in Canterlot use their magic to change the weather(or at least the seasons).
    • Twilight's telekinesis is also capable of handling extreme loads such as rebuilding a dam after it has burst, or levitating a full water-tower, and possibly the Ursa (depending on just how heavy a bear literally made of the sky really is).
  • Yumi of Code Lyoko can perform telekinesis while in the virtual world of Lyoko, most often using it offensively to crush XANA's monsters under boulders. She can also use it to levitate her teammates on occasion.
    • In the short pilot "Garage Kids", unlike in the main series, Yumi can use this power while in the real world.
  • In W.I.T.C.H. Cornelia gains telekinesis as her power upgrade in season two.
  • In an episode of Almost Naked Animals, Howie gets a remote control stuck to his head. He gains telekinetic powers after it gets wet while he tries to remove it.
  • Used in its original meaning in Batman Beyond, when a villain turns out to be nigh-invulnerable purely by convincing himself that he is. Apparently, all you need when you're falling from a high-rise is to imagine that you can't get hurt, and you'll be fine. Bruce utters this trope's title.
  • In the 1973/74 Super Friends episode "The Balloon People", the title characters have modest telekinetic power. When acting together, they can move a doghouse.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, most bending is controlled by physical actions. Only a handful of benders have surpassed this limitation:
    • King Bumi can bend the earth from a distance with his face.
    • "Combustion" Man wields an unusual form of Firebending that projects explosive blasts from the third eye tattoo on his forehead.
    • Yakone and his sons Amon/Noatak and Tarrlok can do this with Bloodbending since they have a natural talent for it. They can twist an entire roomful of people into pretzels without even lifting a finger.
    • Ming-Hua is missing her arms, but this handicap doesn't stop her from being a potent Waterbender. She simply psychically bends water to fashion replacement limbs.
    • Ming'Hua's comrade P'Li is even better at Combustion-bending than the original Combustion Man, being able to curve her shots around cover.

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alternative title(s): Telekinesis; Psychokinesis
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