Power Makes Your Voice Deep

When a person taps into some mystical wellspring of power, a common side effect is that their voice immediately plummets several octaves. Naturally, this is a tell-tale sign that copious amounts of ass are about to be kicked.

When pulled off correctly, the results can be spectacular.

If the subject is a woman, this usually presents itself in the form of their voices sounding huskier and more sensual (remember, Power Is Sexy), although there are cases where their voices just become deeper and booming like the men.

May be justified if the power upgrade comes with Hulking Out or transforming into a One-Winged Angel: being larger probably corresponds with longer vocal chords, which produce deeper sounds.

Characters who are not, strictly speaking, examples of this trope may consciously alter their voices to sound deeper (or sexier) while in their heroic/villainous personas, in order to sound more impressive (or distracting) and to protect their identities.

Sister Trope to Power Echoes, Badass Baritone and Contralto of Danger, and the neutral cousin of Evil Sounds Deep and Voice of the Legion. It's not quite the same as Badass Baritone, although these two tropes aren't mutually exclusive. See also Heavy Voice.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel Universe, Tyrone Johnson's voice became much lower when he changed to his Cloak superhero identity.
  • The comic versions of Ghost Rider all get deep, scary voices once they change from their human identities to the Rider. Typically, it's represented by a change in their speech bubbles (speaking in italics, with the bubbles now outlined in black fire, or speaking in white text in black bubbles, and so on).
  • Some incarnations of Superman actually do this as a deliberate affectation to make himself sound less like Clark Kent.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Averted in Nexus. When Jack's in his demon form, his voice has a metallic edge; much like the Autobots.

  • Blackheart from the movie Ghost Rider gets this magical power once he summons 1000 souls into his body. That may have been the only benefit from the whole deal; unless standing around getting blown up so you can slowly reform again is highly sought after in demon society.
  • Done for humorous effect in Batman Forever:
    The Riddler: "For if knowledge is power, then A GOD AM I!" (beat) "Was that over the top? I can never tell!"
  • Galadriel's voice got pretty deep (and reverbed) in the first The Lord of the Rings film when she was imagining what she would do with the kind of power provided by the One Ring. However, Galadriel is already plenty powerful, so all the deep voice and special effects that went with it were her own doing.
    • In The Hobbit, it seems to be her standard way of casting spells, including unnatural lighting and Drone of Dread.
    • In the book, her normal speaking voice is described as "clear and musical, but deeper than woman's wont."
  • When Tia Dalma once again becomes the sea goddess Calypso in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, her voice grows extremely deep and reverbed. It could be because she was also extremely pissed off. Growing to a size so massive that she dwarfed the Black Pearl and all of its crew might've also had something to do with it.
  • In The Little Mermaid, Ursula, the movie's Big Bad, already had a pretty deep voice. After she uses the trident's magic to empower herself and grow to a humongous size, her voice becomes downright demonic. This is more noticeable in the Latin American Spanish dub of the film.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games: Zig-zagged. Human!Twilight's voice gets deeper when she initially transforms, and returns to her usual voice when Spike reminds her of herself. Sunset's voice is unaffected when she transforms. Only evil power makes your voice deep. The first Equestria Girls played this trope straight when the then-evil Sunset transformed into a she-demon under the power of Princess Twilight's crown.

  • The High Seekers in the Novels of the Change, controlled by some unearthly force, sometimes go so deep that it's represented by boldface. This usually heralds the good guys getting a royal spanking.
  • Subverted in Artemis Fowl, when the characters expect this, but get a falsetto instead.
    Number 1: "I know. Less airy, more fairy, right?"
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe there are a few times when the Sentient Cosmic Force decides to convey something to a young Force-Sensitive in a less ambiguous fashion than usual, and actually takes on a voice that seems to come from deep inside of the person. This either sounds like someone the person knows who has died and joined with The Force, or it sounds a lot like them.
    • Rebel Force has Luke Skywalker think that the voice sounds like his, but deeper, older, more certain. He assumes it's his father's voice encouraging him from beyond the grave. We know it's not.
    • Galaxy of Fear has Tash Arranda similarly encouraged and hearing an older-Tash voice. Before that, the Force swells in her when she's commanding someone to stop and not kill her uncle and she doesn't recognize it as hers — it's lower, commanding, and forceful.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Fate in Smallville sounds deeper than Kent Nelson.
  • Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer gets amped up on mystical magic powers and Alyson Hannigan speaks the character with a slightly lower and slower tone and speed.
  • Bailey from The Suite Life on Deck when she's possessed by Princess Xaria. This also happens to London in the same episode, but as a closing gag.
  • Anyone in Stargate SG-1, when possessed by a Goa'uld symbiote, although it's actually the Goa'ulds invoking the trope. They can use normal voices if they want to, but they want people to think that they're all-powerful gods, so they change their voice to match people's expectations.
  • Merlin gets into this when Merlin begins speaking Dragon-language. His regular magic doesn't usually deepen his voice, but the dragon calls do.
  • Supernatural's Misha Collins made a deliberate decision to have his voice as Castiel, the extremely powerful angel, be deeper than his normal voice—it was a one-shot character, right? Four seasons later he kind of regrets it. He got to use his normal voice in one episode, in which the man Castiel has been using as a vessel appears.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Evil of the Daleks", the Emperor Dalek has a noticeably deeper voice, modulated at a lower frequency, than the other Daleks. (Avoided with the normal Supreme Daleks, who tend to have higher-pitched voices than the other Daleks, making them sound like they're on the verge of snapping from stress.)
    • There are some clever justified examples in "The Robots of Death," when the Doctor gets Leela to release helium into a room in order to rob Taren of his Compelling Voice. He takes full command of the situation, the villain and Leela get really squeaky and the Doctor mocks them for it, but his own voice remains as deep and velvety as ever (Power Keeps Your Voice Deep). Apparently, being a Time Lord gives him 'a larynx that can put up with anything', though Rule of Cool is the obvious Doylist factor. We also get Lack of Power Makes Your Voice High, as the amount of gas and thus the effect of the helium on Taren's voice increases as Taren loses control of his robots and thus his power, until he literally squeaks himself to death.
  • Chase Davenport in Lab Rats, whenever his "Commando App" is activated and he becomes Spike. In the "Spike vs. Spikette" episode of Bionic Island, Kate and Bree have their own Commando Apps installed and activated, with their counterparts (Spikette and Spikerella) also in possession of boomingly deep voices.

  • This trope's roots may have sprouted from the radio drama The Adventures of Superman, in which the same voice actor used his tenor range for Clark Kent and his baritone range for the superhero. Most exemplified when, in order to show that Clark Kent was changing outfits, the voice actor would start out in his Clark Kent tenor saying "This looks like a job," then his voice would drop nearly an octave and he'd finish with "for Superman!" This may have been the inspiration for the trope cropping up in other works as part of how Clark maintains his Secret Identity with no props except the glasses.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Inverted in the Eskimo Bob episode "The Swarm." When Yuck absorbs all his clones and takes on his One-Winged Angel form, his voice actually becomes more high-pitched.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television, funnily enough. Men will subconsciously deepen their voices if they feel confident or superior to the person they're talking to. (And the other way around — if you feel inferior, your voice gets higher.) Has to do with establishing dominance. Hence, not only will a person with a very deep, gravely voice subconsciously be seen as a powerful individual, BEING powerful will also cause you to lower your voice without realizing it.
  • Logically, a larger person or animal will naturally have the deeper voice, simply by having larger proportionate vocal cords. You don't see many tall men or women with high-pitched voices, even when they're not trying to sound powerful or threatening.
  • Male frogs and toads developed their extensible chin pouches so that their mating calls would sound deeper and more resonant. This suggests larger body size to females, which seek out the biggest males to father their offspring (because only males with a good set of genes live long enough to grow big).