Unusual capabilities manifest in the pilot episode. This lets the audience know right away that the series is about unusually enabled characters. It is very hard to pull off the introduction later on in a series without throwing your viewers for a loop, unless you are a ''master'' of foreshadowing.

The plot of this introductory episode has a strong tendency to be one of the coping-with-new-powers or power-manifestation scenarios like HowDoIShotWeb, DieOrFly, or FallingIntoTheCockpit. May overlap with FirstEpisodeSpoiler if the powers are revealed toward the end of the episode. Compare / contrast SecondHourSuperpower, EleventhHourSuperpower, InMediasRes. If the power is immediately stripped away afterward, this is ATasteOfPower.



* Usagi/Serena becomes ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' in the first episode of the 1990s anime after being given the power to do so by Luna, because TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive.
* ''Anime/GuiltyCrown'': Shu finds the object that gives him his powers (the Void Genome) halfway through the episode, but he doesnt get implanted with it until the last two or three minutes of episode one. When it does happen, there's a massive AnimationBump and a ThemeMusicPowerUp to boot. Did we mention that the music was composed by the wildly popular J-pop band, Supercell?
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': In the first episode Kouji finds a HumongousMecha in his grandfather's underground lab and is told it will be his power from that day on, and he can become a god or a devil with it.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': The first few episodes quickly have Shinji in an [=EVA=] confronting an angel. He gets his ass kicked around a bit, and then he enters his [[UnstoppableRage berserker mode]] for the first time...
* ''Manga/ZatchBell'': They introduce the lightning shooting beforehand, but Kiyo only figures out how they work when they need it.
* ''VideoGame/BlueDragon'' (the anime, anyway): Shu's village gets attacked by an evil army, and then, just as the nastiness is about to start, his shadow appears.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' does this with Ichigo gaining shinigami powers.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': Simon finds a drill bit in the very first episode, then finds a not-so-humongous mecha to which the bit just happens to be the key. Oh, and he can pilot it.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'': Pikachu proved it was much more powerful than it appeared even before Team Rocket ever made their appearance when it defended Ash from the Spearow flock.
* ''Manga/FlameOfRecca''
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'' has Lelouch meet the MysteriousWaif about three-quarters of the way through the first episode, then receive his Geass and use it within the last couple of minutes.
* ''Anime/MaiHime'' has a variation: Mai's [=HiME=] powers manifest for the first time in the first episode when she [[DieOrFly involuntarily]] creates a shield of flame to protect herself and Mikoto, but she only receives her Element in the second episode and her Child in the third.
* ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'': Similarly, while the main character first realizes her powers as a mage by activating [[EmpathicWeapon Raising Heart's]] [[SimpleStaff staff form]] and creating a full [[DeflectorShields Barrier Jacket]] on the first episode, she only casts her first spell on the second episode, and unlocks her oft-used [[SmallGirlBigGun Shooting Mode]] on the third.
** For that matter, most every single MagicalGirl show in existance (except those with {{Cute Witch}}es, since the heroines of those shows already ''had'' powers.)
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', on the other hand, is one of the few exceptions to this rule. While a ''mahou shoujo'' does show up and clean house in the first episode, the main character doesn't gain her powers [[spoiler:until the very last episode]].
* ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' reveals its {{Immortality}} premise within the first third of the introductory episode when, after Firo's fingers are severed, the bloody digits slowly pick themselves off the ground and reattach to his hand. The effect is both unnerving and extremely cool.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'': [[RubberMan Monkey D. Luffy]] ate his [[SuperPowerLottery Devil Fruit]] in the first chapter.
** There were two pilot chapters even before that which showed Luffy with his rubber powers.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'': The title Death Note falls outside Light's school within the first five minutes/few pages of the series. Justice ensues.
* The first chapter of ''Manga/YuGiOh'' features Yugi Muto solving the millennium puzzle, and thus being introduced to his super powered alter ego.
** The first episode of ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'' has main protagonist Yuya Sakaki inventing the new Pendulum Summoning method.
* ''Anime/{{Kamichu}}'' opens right off with Yurie saying that she woke up that morning as a god.
* Franchise/{{Naruto}} discovers that he is the vessel for the Kyuubi and learns the [[SignatureMove Shadow]] [[DoppelgangerAttack Clone]] ability in the first episode.
* Just about any Digimon series so far has had the main characters get their partners in the first episode. Frontier is the exception, in that the humans ''became'' the Digimon after receiving their Digimon Spirits.
** Xros Wars has Taiki gain powers both in the beginning of the first story arc and the ''end'' of that same story arc (AKA episode 30). First he learns how to make Shoutmon [=DigiXros,=] then in the end he learns how to make Shoutmon Super-Digivolve, which is abused thoroughly in the next story arc, whenever the plot calls for it (that is, once in every battle against the Death Generals).
* In ''Anime/DemashitaPowerpuffGirlsZ'', every episode is made up of two parts. The very first episode's first part is a story about the PPGZ defeating Mojo Jojo. The second part goes back to the beginning and shows how the girls got their powers. The next 2 or 3 episodes show how they came to meet up and form the titular Powerpuff Girls Z.
* In ''Anime/{{Endride}}'', no sooner does Shun get [[TrappedInAnotherWorld sucked into Endora]] by a crystal then he discovers he can summon a [[SpontaneousWeaponCreation Warp Relic]], which not even everybody from that world can do.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* All superhero debut comics that don't follow a BadassNormal or somebody who is already supernatural, by definition, employ this trope. Probably the most iconic is ''Amazing Fantasy #15'', the first appearance of Spider-Man.
* ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'': Redlance's tree-shaping powers. They don't appear at a critical moment, they just come in handy when he's doing a spot of gardening. They do help to save the day in later issues, though.
* In ''ComicBook/AllFallDown'', this is Sophie. She's stolen every power on Earth, with no idea at first how to use them.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/{{Atonement}}'': In the first episode Madison feels so guilty about Taylor's death that she triggers and gains the power to connect any two non-living objects and then pull them together or push them apart.
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'': In the first chapter Shinji gets a giant robot and fights his first {{Robeast}}. When he kills Matarael, he feels ''something'' entering his body. That ''something'' was the power of the monster he had just slain.
* ''Fanfic/GodsAngelsAndKings'': In the first chapter Shinji bonds with an alien and becomes the super-hero ''Series/ZoneFighter'' (Franchise/{{Ultraman}} in the second version).
* ''Fanfic/{{Intrepid}}'': When one of their pranks ends with Taylor in a comatose state, Emma and Madison feel guilty enough to trigger and develop powers. In the first episode Emma freezes time, and Madison absorbs objects and knowledge.
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': In the redux, Shinji's Kryptonian powers start manifesting in the first episode.
* ''Fanfic/PokemonMaster'': In the first chapter Ash and his Pikachu master the Shadow element.
* ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': In the first episode Asuka gains SuperStrength, accidentally ripping off her giant robot's control yokes.
* In the first episode of ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'', Shinji gets PsychicPowers, electrokinesis and a giant robot.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': Several characters discover their abilities in the first episode, including Nathan, Hiro, and Niki. Matt, who wasn't in the first episode, discovered his abilities in the second.
* ''Series/OutOfThisWorld'': in the first episode, Evie is introduced to her powers on her 13th birthday.
* ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' where she learns of her powers in the first episode.
* ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred'': Shawn and Maia (as well as the [[MonsterOfTheWeek "freak of the week"]] played by Michael Moriarty) discover their new abilities in the first episode.
* Helena and Dinah both show off their metahuman powers in the first episode of ''Series/BirdsOfPrey''.
* Subversion: ''Series/{{Lost}}'' put solid proof of the island's unnatural properties into the first episode (Locke's standing up and walking), but didn't actually reveal there was anything odd about it until a later episode ("Walkabout", where we learn he was wheelchair-bound).
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' :
** When the characters have super powers in their civilian forms, they always showcase them using their powers just to show that they have them. The trope name is particularly apt here, since the out-of-costume powers tend to be used heavily in the first few episodes and then pretty much vanish thereafter.
** It probably doesn't help that in ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' (what ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' is based on; costumed fight sequences are frequently dubbed over), the main characters rarely have additional powers, leading to the civilian-superhero power divide.
* The pilot episode of ''{{Series/Grimm}}'' is when protagonist Nick Burkhardt first becomes aware of TheMasquerade, because he starts seeing people turn into monsters that no one else notices. As his aunt is dying of cancer, his abilities start to show up.
* Happens in the first 15 minutes of ''Series/{{Misfits}}''. Everyone but Nathan gets supernatural powers. [[spoiler: It's revealed in the season finale that Nathan's power is being immortal.]]
* Alex gets hit with chemicals before long in ''Series/TheSecretWorldOfAlexMack''.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'': The sisters all gain their magic powers on the night the youngest, Phoebe, returns home and finds the Book of Shadows. [[spoiler:Averted when we learn in a later episode that they had them as children, but their grandmother bound them and they forgot as they grew up]]. Leads to several episodes' worth of HowDoIShootWeb for Prue and especially Piper.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* This is very common in superhero shows aimed at kids and teenagers in general.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'' animated series, the Guardians receive their powers in the very first episode... save for Will, who, in a serious [[InvertedTrope inversion]], [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway has to wait until episode 30]] to receive hers.
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'': Although the [[ExpositoryThemeTune intro]] details how Danny got his powers, the first episode is mainly about him trying to figure out out how to use his powers and keep them under control.
* ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock'': The first episode shows Virgil and all of the various super-powered cast getting their powers.
* ''StreetSharks'': The four protagonists are turned into sharks in the pilot.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Trollz}}'', Amethyst's powers manifest after her friends' already have, and the first episode has spells cast by a single Troll. In the second episode they cast their first spell together, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero turning Coal into ice and opening the rift to unleash the Big Bad]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'', Bloom accidentally discovers and uses her magic powers in the first episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' plays with this trope. The first episode has Twilight meet her new friends and their individual powers manifest alongside the [[MacGuffin Elements of Harmony]] which they use to take down [[BigBad Nightmare Moon]], setting up a MagicalGirl format for the show. However, the majority of episodes are a SliceOfLife show about ponies, and things like flight and magic are commonplace and have mainly [[UtilityMagic mundane uses]].