Oops... guess the blue kryptonite is a little too much to handle...
is useful, so applying more phlebotinum should be more useful
Wrong! When the amount of phlebotinum reaches critical mass
, bad things happen. Maybe it summons an Eldritch Abomination
, maybe it makes a black hole
, maybe it goes more and more unstable
and eventually blows up
. If the phlebotinum was already dangerous, expect the danger to increase exponentially.
May cross over with Aesoptinum
when the Aesop
is "All things in moderation." Not to be confused with Phlebotinum Overload
. Superpower Meltdown
is this on the individual level. See also Going to Give It More Energy
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- The the Magic: The Gathering novel Time Spiral, Radha uses this to defeat Greht. She breaks his hold on his horde, he gets if back by starting a ridiculously powerful spell, and Radha starts feeding him more mana. This doesn't end well for him.
- In Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Wonka gives the grandparents pills which de-age them exactly 20 years per pill—they all decide after taking the first one that they should split the whole bottle, which then made three of them babies and one of them negative two years old. Played for horror.
- Magic on Discworld has some ugly quantity limitations.
Live Action TV
- Pictured at the top is Bizarro from Smallville, who reacts in the opposite manner to kryptonite that Clark does. He gains strength from green kryptonite, which depowers and poisons Clark. When exposed to blue kryptonite, which strips Clark of his powers for as long as it's in contact, he gains a massive power boost and explodes.
- In one Fantasy Island a woman was given a potion to become beautiful for a time (an hour??) if she took one drop. Complications ensued and she was forcibly made to drink the whole bottle on the grounds that "if one drop is good the whole bottle is better!" She became a harridan.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation had an episode where an old diplomat takes his wife's share of age-reversing medication as well as his own.
- The end of "Planet of Spiders" on Doctor Who— the Great One, leader of the spiders, assembles a web of crystals that contain power—but when she completes it, the power destroys her. Also meant as a metaphor for the ego.
- Those crystals are psychic super amplifiers so not just a metaphor, her ego *is* the power that destroys her.
- In The Outer Limits (revival), a scientist pursues an immortal woman to unlock the secret of eternal life. He injected a tiny bit of her blood into a rat, which was still alive decades later. As his age had caught up with him, he decided to attempt the same on himself. He drew a little too much blood, however, causing him to de-age into a pre-fetal puddle of human tissue.
- Older versions of Dungeons & Dragons has Potion Miscibility. That is if you mixed potions or drank a potion while under the effects of another potion you had to roll on a chart to see what would happen instead of the normal effects. A few of the effects are desirable, but possible effects include explosions and being poisoned.
- Forgotten Realms had a few. Too many strong spells released at once tend to interact abnormally until they form one "spell-storm" on the scale up to Fantastic Nuke or overload and warp the Weave powering them. This way several civil wars among the Drow caused total destruction of their cities, supposedly including the creation of Great Rift — geographical feature about 170 miles long and 1000 feet deep. Myth Drannor had large extradimensional pockets built too densely — enough that they began to interfere, distort magic all around and compromised an originally impenetrable city-scale teleport denial ward — which becomes Very Bad News during an attack by a whole army of fiends.
- Many cyberpunk games have some sort of psychological penalty for implanting too much cyberware, such as going insane or dying.
- Shadowrun: lowers Essence, losing too much causes death
- Cyberpunk 2020: lowers Humanity, losing too much causes Cyberpsychosis
- Call Of Cthulhu supplement Terror Australis, adventure "Old Fellow That Bunyip". The investigators must drive a bunyip upriver by calling "Eleanba Wunda", the name of a terrifying spirit. Unfortunately, if they say the name too often they may summon Eleanba Wunda itself.
- In the Batman The Animated Series episode featuring Bane, Batman defeats Bane by sabotaging his Venom pump, causing a massive overdose. This is repeated in two Batman Beyond episodes: in one, Bane's doctor adapts the venom formula into slap-on dermal patches, only to be defeated when Terry knocks him into an entire box of them (followed by an explosion to knock him out); in another, a scientist marketing LEGO Genetics to create animal people turns himself into a chimera to fight Batman, only to be defeated when Batman doses him with even more of the stuff, causing him to go turn into a horrible blob monster that can safely be blown apart on a Saturday morning cartoon.
- Iron Man: Armored Adventures has this in the episode "Best Served Cold". Whitney Stane has been over-using the Madame Masque image inducer, and the phlebotinum that powers it has started to affect her brain. Tony has to travel to the arctic to find the raw ore form of the material to help cure her but in the end ends up having to use a small amount from the supply that powers his pacemaker.
- In Adventures of the Gummi Bears, the Gummi Glen Gummis at one point corner Toady and he decides to drink a whole keg of Gummiberry Juice and everyone scrambles back for the reaction for that much a dosage. Sure enough, Toady has a massive overdose that leads him to uncontrollably rocketing back to Duke Igthorn empty handed.
Truth In Television
- People taking prescription drugs will often grow accustomed to the small amounts they take, and so they overdose when they take more and more to try to compensate. Unfortunately, the effective dose and the safe dose are both determined by different factors, and don't rise at the same rate when it comes to a lot of medications, so doing this means you're liable to, well, overdose. Better to switch up meds.