->''"A Slayer's life is simple. Want. Take. Have."''
-->-- '''Faith''', ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''

Let's face it, in some worlds HumansAreTheRealMonsters, and the only reason these {{Crapsack World}}s have a semblance of civility and law is fear of reprisal. So what happens when your typical misanthrope gets a hold of AppliedPhlebotinum, a RingOfPower, is [[ViralTransformation bit by a werewolf]] or discovers they're a mutant with StockSuperPowers? Blow off society and do whatever they want!

Rather than try to be a hero who got TheCall, they will use their powers for petty crime. Want a million dollars? Just use your EyeBeams to melt open the bank vault. A lover cheated on you? SuperStrength to turn the guy's car into a cube. That beautiful house? Summon up a ghost to scare the owners away and move in once the price drops. "But what if the cops find out?!" Well, with most cases of this trope, the newly empowered criminal will either make [[ImmuneToBullets short work of them]] or be totally undetectable. In truly disgusting extremes, they may walk into a restaurant (where they're ''known'' as a SuperVillain), [[EvilIsPetty be rude to the waiter]], not pay the bill, and then fight their way through the city's police force for it. And that's assuming the police even ''try'' to stop the super-jerk, as it won't take too many public demonstrations before the cops have to admit that it's futile.

Most of the time, these villains will be very small time thinkers, at most terrorizing local authorities into making him a sort of king, but when one ''does'' [[VisionaryVillain see the big picture]] you [[AntiHumanAlliance can expect them to want]] to TakeOverTheWorld, or even [[TranshumanTreachery try to enslave humanity]]!

People with the power of {{invisibility}} are [[InvisibleJerkass especially prone to this]]. Expect a hero to berate them with "YouCouldHaveUsedYourPowersForGood!"

Subtrope of BewareTheSuperman. See also MightMakesRight and AppealToForce and SmugSuper.

Compare DrunkWithPower, WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity. Related to BeneathTheMask and WhatYouAreInTheDark because superpowers reveal how a person would act without any fear of reprisal. In this trope that hidden self is anything but {{LawfulGood}}. See SuperSupremacist for someone with superpowers who skips over the "get away with crime" part and goes for straight-up subjugating the non-superpowered.

The SupernaturalElite almost definitely have this sentiment.

Contrast CutLexLuthorACheck for the ways a supervillain could have used his or her abilities to make tons of ''entirely legal'' cash. Contrast ComesGreatResponsibility, this trope's exact opposite.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Oddly inverted with ''Manga/HunterXHunter''; Hunters can apparently get away with things that they probably shouldn't. Hisoka outright tells the chairman of the Hunters Association that the reason he wants to become a Hunter is that a Hunter License gets you out of most of the responsibility for committing ''murder''. The chairman confirms this. The result is that would-be criminals wind up taking the Hunter Exam for an extra layer of legal protection. This becomes a political plot point later in the series.
* ''[[Anime/PrettySammy Magical Project S]]'' Subverted by [[TheHero Pretty Sammy]] when she tried to break the rules, a classmate informs her that even Magical Girls have to abide by the rules.
** [[DarkMagicalGirl Pixy Misa]] does this all the time. It's no surprise being that [[BeneathTheMask she represents what a Misao without moral bounds would do]]. Even after her HeelFaceTurn, she still does things like stealing a NASA space shuttle.
* The first thing almost anybody who gets esper powers in ''Manga/ZettaiKarenChildren'' is this. While PANDRA members manage to get away with doing it a lot, most of the other espers end up caught and jailed.
** Taken to an extreme when Kyosuke takes over a country. Why? To give the PANDRA children diplomatic immunity [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming so they can go to school with their friends]].
* From ''Anime/HellGirl'', this is tried out by [[spoiler:Mikage Yuzuki after she succeeds Ai Enma to send the one who sent her friend to hell... to hell]]. It doesn't go over too well and even before then, Ichimoku Ren and Honne-Onna leave.
* ''Manga/NaruTaru'' is basically a {{Deconstruction}} of your typical {{Mon}}s series, where the children with powerful critters at their beck and call [[KidsAreCruel are quick to abuse that power]].
* Pretty much the concept behind ''Manga/DeathNote''. Light, a clever teenager lamenting the state of the world, accidentally obtains superpowers in the first episode, and [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans immediately going on a world-changing killing spree]].
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', Lelouch uses his Geass to not get caught leaving the school campus when it's not allowed, as well as other, unspecified rule-breaking, so that his second life leading the rebellion won't interfere so much with his cover as an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent.
* Stated and demonstrated by Mewtwo in ''Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie''. When one of his human guests says that a Pokémon can't be a trainer, Mewtwo counters this argument by tossing him into a fountain via telekinesis and later proceeds to do the same with said human's Gyarados.
* This is pretty much the motivation for Androids 17 and 18 of ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', albeit to different extremes depending on the timeline. (The androids from Future Trunks timeline killed and destroyed simply ForTheEvulz while those in the present timeline were more interested in petty crimes and causing trouble, rarely using lethal force against any who tried to stop them, and viewing the hunt for Son Goku as a "game.")
* ''Manga/{{Saki}}'': This series is often called "Franchise/YuGiOh meets Mahjong", and true to that idea, the series is basically about Saki encountering girls with increasingly powerful supernatural abilities who use these abilities to cheat in Mahjong tournaments - and Saki beating them using her own supernatural powers.
* ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'': Ling-Ling Huang. ''So'' badly. She and her brother need to get Tsukune into the Haung family's mafia. After Fang-Fang's [[MistakenForGay initial request]] and [[ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules failed challenge]], she drops in on another attempt when [[AnIcePerson Mizore]] points out that he needs to offer something in return. The Red (Huang's) Team wins? Tsukune joins the mafia (the girls are free to follow him, something they don't entirely have a problem with). The White (News Club) Team wins? Tour China's hotsprings, it's on us! Cue a couple hundred Jiang Shi on the Huang family's team, armed with bombs, emotionlessness, and dismemberment. What takes this UpToEleven is that ''supernatural powers are explicitly '''against the rules''''', and what's Ling-Ling's excuse? "Whatever. [[CatchPhrase I'm already dead]]."
* ''Franchise/YuGiOh'':
** Pegasus can read minds, this allows him to get the knowledge of his opponent's strategy and set cards. Whether it is rule-breaking or not is debatable.
** Ishizu can see the future, allowing to prevent bad moves and go the "good route", which is definitively unfair.
** In the end, the Pharaoh can draw any card he wants by [[ScrewDestiny screwing destiny]].
** Marik creates a Shadow Game against Joey, who he repeatedly attacks with his monsters not for the purposes of defeating Joey within the rules of the game, but by draining his energy so much that Joey passes out. Incredibly, Kaiba declares that this is allowed and awards victory to Marik.
** In the final against Yugi, Marik is fused to the Winged Dragon of Ra due to his creation of a Shadow Game, so is able to use a De-Fusion card to separate himself. But Marik was only fused to Ra ''in the Shadow Realm'' - in the Duel Monsters game itself, they were never fused to begin with.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhTheMoviePyramidOfLight'', Anubis uses his power to protect the Permanent Trap Card "Pyramid of Light" from being destroyed. Then, he uses souls to empower his Theinen the Great Sphinx and tenfolds its ATK. And then the Pharaoh destroys it with his three Egyptian Gods without using effects, but by just combining their power, and he didn't use Obelisk or Ra's effects to destroy it.
** While tenfolding the ATK out of nowhere doesn't make sense in the English dub, Anubis actually activates Theinen's effect in the Japanese dub. Theinen gains ATK of all the monsters that are in Anubis graveyard. After doing the math, Anubis does really have enough monsters with an amount of 31,500 ATK in his graveyard.[[note]]3x Blue-Eyes White Dragon (3x3000), Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon (4500), Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon (3000), Familiar Knight (1200), Rare Metal Dragon (2400), Des Feral Imp (1600), Paladin of White Dragon (1900), Peten the Dark Clown (500, two of the three of them are banished), Spear Dragon (1900), Andro Sphinx (3000) and Sphinx Teleia (2500).[[/note]]
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', Judai uses Super Polymerization to fuse ''himself with Yubel, his opponent''. As you guess, the result of the duel is ambiguous.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'', [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Go]][[ItIsPronouncedTroPay odwin]] uses a bit of the power of the King of the Underworld to sabotage his three opponents by sending darkness condors at them. That's right. He doesn't use Monster Cards, but outside force. To make it worse, when Crow and Jack crash because of him, Goodwin uses the Riding Duel rules against them, even though he doesn't ride a D-Wheel to begin with.
* A lot of fans of ''Anime/YuGiOhZEXAL'' think that Yuma's ability to use Shining Draw in ZEXAL Mode pushes the limits of fair play, but you can excuse him, seeing as the villains cheat worse. ''Eliphas'', however, you cannot. His godlike powers and authority over the Astral World let him use the Shining Draw ability ''any time he wants'' (the equivalent of magical deck-stacking), as opposed to Yuma, who can use it at most twice per duel, and only in ZEXAL Mode. To make this worse, Eliphas sort of broke the bank on broken cards, his ace monster being a ''Rank 13'' Xyz Monster that was able to gain ''33 Overlay Units''. (Most real players would consider that, well, impossible.) Ironically, despite this blatant cheating, Yuma was able to defeat him without Astral's help, [[BreakTheHaughty using a Rank 1 Xyz Monster]].
** Yuma uses all of ZEXAL Modes and Shining Draw abilities in his duel against Don Thousand. Yuma's partner Nasch also uses his Barian's Chaos Draw during the duel. To be fair, Thousand is a PurposelyOverpowered villain with overpowered, game breaking and cheap monsters, and if they don't win, they will die and the world is over.
* The majority of ''LightNovel/{{Campione}}'''s titular warriors hold the belief that their status grants them the right to do whatever they please. [[TheHero Godou Kusanagi]] is an exception. The magic associations have learned to accept this and simply try their best to earn favor so Campiones will be less likely to destroy them and their countries out of irritation.
* While not a requirement for piracy, many pirates in ''Manga/OnePiece'' will take advantage of their Devil Fruit powers to enhance their criminal activities. Of course, the World Government isn't without their own supply of Devil Fruit users...
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'': Using her ability to [[TimeStandStill stop time]], Homura Akemi stole all kinds of weaponry from the JSDF and Yakuza to help her fight Witches. All of them are stored in some kind of BagOfHolding behind her shield. [[FridgeBrilliance A smart choice as well]], since [[spoiler: it means her soul gem won't corrupt as fast as those of other Magical Girls and collecting grief seeds is much easier for her]].
* ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'': Celty, a HeadlessHorseman, rides around on a black motorcycle without any lights or license plates, which is of course illegal. In the second season, when some reporters ask her why she does that, she just flat-out tells them that her bike is actually a horse, and the rules don't apply to him. The cops point out that actually the law does still apply to horses, and this one doesn't get an exception just because he's supernatural. After Celty reads up on the law a bit more, she points out that supernatural aside, there ''is'' an exception written in for horses, so she doesn't technically need to worry about lights or plates. The cops admit that's true... but she still has to obey the posted speed limit. It just normally doesn't come up because most horses can't run seventy kilometers per hour.


[[folder:Card Games]]
* In a way, the [[CorruptChurch Orzhov Syndicate]] from ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering''. As expressed in [[http://www.magiccards.info/rav/en/108.html this card]]'s flavor text:
-->"Why limit yourself to mortal law when you can outlive those who enforce it?"

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A ''LOT'' of supervillains tend to do this. Not just typical supervillains either. [[FaceHeelTurn Some are former heroes]]...
* Creator/MarkWaid and Peter Krause's ''ComicBook/{{Irredeemable}}'' shows us what happens when a Superman-level hero suddenly decides that he's completely sick of humanity and its infantile whining. During the first few pages we learn that the Plutonian has already killed millions by basically nuking a city and we personally see him incinerate one of his former allies in his own home, killing his wife and children as well. The series takes us along as his former mates try to stop him, but even they fear him as they would an angry god.
* Creator/BrianMichaelBendis' ''ComicBook/{{Powers}}'' also briefly explores this fallen-hero theme (much like ''Irredeemable'', but only for a short story arc). This trope gets uttered almost literally in one issue, where a man walks up to a bank teller and tells her simply, "I have powers. Give me all the money."
* There's a similar example to the one above in the Creator/MarvelComics series ''ComicBook/{{Exiles}}'', where, in an alternate reality, Blob walks into a bank and hands the teller a note saying "This is a robbery. I am a bulletproof mutant. Quietly hand over the money." A security guard starts firing at him, and Blob merely shouts "Can't you people read?"
* "Mark Milton", aka Hyperion in ''ComicBook/SupremePower'' gets this revelation along with some basic {{Ubermensch}}[=/=]TheUnfettered philosophy when he learns he's an alien and was lied to since birth to make him a tool of the government.
* U-Go-Girl of ''ComicBook/XMen'' spinoff team ''ComicBook/XStatix'' originally decided to use her teleportation to commit crime, intelligently - stealing tons of petty stuff and not challenging any superheroes. She got bored of it after 15 minutes when she got everything she always wanted and ended up returning it and becoming a superheroine instead.
* The entire story of ''ComicBook/FinalCrisis Aftermath: Run!'' The more power the Human Flame gets, the more petty his behaviour becomes. (And he was a minor-league supervillain to ''start'' with.) Note that in the first few issues, he betrays his wife and daughter and sets small dogs on fire. It gets ''worse'' from there.
* Pretty much the basic premise of ''ComicBook/{{Wanted}}''. The Fraternity were a group of supervillains who had triumphed and actually retconned the superheroes out of their reality. As a result, anyone with super powers was a member of the Fraternity, and anyone wearing a Fraternity badge, or driving a car with Fraternity plates could get away with ''anything'' and ''everything''.
* The kids in ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' pretty much do this, but they only screw ''some'' rules. They aren't actually breaking every law they think of. Just child protection laws, truancy rules, etc. They're still superheroes after all.
* The Invisible Man from ''ComicBook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'' uses his invisibility to kill a police officer and steal his clothes because he was cold. This is perfectly in character with the original (see under "Literature", below).
* ''ComicBook/{{Invincible}}'' mentions this during a crossover with ''ComicBook/TheAstoundingWolfMan''. When Wolf-Man asks if Invincible will get in trouble for breaking government property and beating up superheroes, Invincible shrugs it off, saying that as long as he's strong enough to save the earth, he gets a pass. While he often blows off the rules for good reason, Invincible increasingly starts to believe that because he's the most powerful superhero on Earth, the rules don't apply to him all. This is treated as a decidedly negative trait, and eventually backfires badly.
* ''ComicBook/TheAuthority'', though for their case it might be more of 'Screw The Rules I Have Supernatural Powers - And I Will Make New Rules!'
* The ''ComicBook/{{New 52}}'' version of young Franchise/{{Superman}} in ''ComicBook/ActionComics'' and the first story arc of Franchise/{{Justice League|OfAmerica}}, which take place in his early superhero years. He laughs at the cops, throws [=CEOs=] into rivers, chokes Batman, etc. He grows out of it and is much more humble in the present.
* In ''ComicBook/TheBoys'' every superhero is this. They have superpowers and they decide that they can do anything they want, and feel that the government can't stop them. Thing is, they are actually wrong. While Vought American, a large defense contractor that has created all the super heroes in the setting, is willing to cover up and/or whitewash the exploits of their supers for the sake of profit and good PR, the company can and will deal with them if the incidents cannot be spun or are hurting their bottom line. The best example of this is what happened to the ''ComicBook/{{XMen}}'' expies G-Men. The government and Vought American knew that the team founder John Goldokin was a unrepentant pedophile and child abductor that had abused of all the children under his care but they were still willing to turn a blind eye to this because the G-Men were one of the most popular and profitable super heroes teams. All things changed once V.A realized that Goldokin's perversions and instability were out of control (he requested permission to created ''another'' preschool team) and summed to public scandals like the suicide of Jean Gray expy Silver Kincaid, the higher ups realized that the team were a public relations liability and ordered a team of [[PrivateMilitaryContractor Red River operatives]] to deal with them and the subsequent fight saw the G-Men getting massacred with frightful efficiency.

* This attitude, to varying degrees, is a key plot driver in ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm''. For instance, the British Wizarding World has this attitude in regard to the Muggle world, which is why Peter Wisdom [[spoiler: a.k.a. Regulus Black]] is determined to use [=MI13=] to bring them to heel by force.
** Ironically enough, the Avengers also tend to only obey the rules either when it suits them, or when they're on duty. They're a bit of a variation of the usual trope in that they do care for ordinary people and take great pains to protect them-they just don't really have time for mortal authorities and their politics.
** As per canon, the entire reason the White Council exists, according to Ebenezar [=McCoy=] is to hold this attitude in check among wandless Wizards (as it often leads to dark magic) and protect ordinary humanity from those less pleasant species that would use and abuse them, which is also why they often stay aloof of mortal disputes (for one thing, grudges and feuds can last for centuries with ordinary human lifespans. Wizards live for most of half a millennium). It's also the reason they heartily dislike/are wary of Doctor Strange, who has absolutely no qualms about getting involved in mortal politics, and persuades, manipulates, or outright bullies pretty much everyone into doing what he wants - he is, after all, the key representative of unchecked power. While Strange has his own, largely justified, reasons for what he does, you can see the Council's point.
* [[Manga/DeathNote Light]] in ''FanFic/ThePrinceOfDeath'' decides to be more of a JerkAss than usual when L is having a meeting with the Kira Taskforce and [[CrazyJealousGuy isn't paying enough attention to him.]] [[AttentionWhore He regains L's attention]] by telling the room full of cops he's the original Kira (and instigating a (cat)fight with Naomi by [[EvilGloating gloating]] [[KickTheDog over the fact that he killed her boyfriend]]) [[StoryBreakerPower knowing full well that there is absolutely nothing they can do about it now that he has become a literal God of Death]]:
-->'''Light''': I was hoping for something a little more entertaining... But I'm bored. This is pointless! You've already caught the Kira that killed her dear boyfriend. Just tell her!
-->'''Ukita''': A-Already caught? B-But L who-?
-->''Light is [[PsychoticSmirk smirking]]''
-->'''Ukita''': Don't tell me its-
-->'''Naomi''': (to Light) You killed him? (to L) Why is he alive? Why is he just-
-->'''Light''': Direct your anger at me. I am the one you want dead.
-->''Naomi aims a gun at him''
-->'''L''': Please put your gun down.
-->'''Naomi''': Y-You killed him? You're really the one responsible?
-->'''Light''': Yes. You should know that-
-->'''Naomi''' (tightening grip around the gun): Know what?
-->'''Light''': [[ItsWhatIDo That it is my job to kill.]] ''summons deathscythe'' [[LargeHam I am Kira. The Prince of Shinigami... I live and thrive off death and thus do not think to threaten me. All I am familiar with is the filth, the madness, the rottenness that constructs this world. Do not attempt such a thing again...]]
-->'''L''': Light. Please put [[EquippableAlly her]] away.
-->'''Light''' (unsummons deathscythe): [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity That was actually the first time I used]] [[EquippableAlly her]] [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity too.]]
* In ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureau'', Celestia is rendered as this. She's a goddess and doesn't have to answer to any of the shaved apes. [[FanFic/TheConversionBureauNotAlone In other stories she tries this]], only to find [[MugglesDoitBetter the shaved apes can hit back]].
* In ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]''[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] MassiveMultiplayerCrossover, Sarah believes strongly in this. Because MightMakesRight--that is, she was given enough powers to accomplish the mission her creators gave no matter the resistance--she ignores rules about mass killings or imprisonment, citing a [[WellIntentionedExtremist greater threat]]. From her perspective, the only rules that matter are the ones she was given, backed by her [[AppealToForce ability to annihilate anyone]] [[TooDumbToLive dumb enough to stand in her way]].
* In ''FanFic/AllYourBaseAreBelongToHer'', Dawn embodies this to an ''Epic'' degree. She was [[ClassyCatBurglar bad enough]] back in the Buffyverse, where a small remnant of her awakened Key abilities remained active even after Buffy sacrificed herself, allowing her to defeat any lock. When she enters SG:1's universe, however, and discovers that Key+PortalNetwork=Teleportation abilities, she lives this trope with joyful abandon. Basically, if there is something shiny, fashionable or valuable lying unattended anywhere in Colorado, she'll get around to taking it eventually.
* [[WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie President Business]] convinces [[RidiculouslyAverageGuy Emmet]] that the Master Builders are like this in ''FanFic/APieceOfRebellion''. Supposedly, they think that their powers mean they should be able to do whatever they want, without caring how it affects ordinary civilians.
* In FanFic/RainbowDoubleDashsLunaverse Twilight Sparkle is convinced that the laws limiting knowledge of certain fields of magic (such as mind-control spells) only apply to other ponies. Ponies who don't have a cutie mark talent in spells and the power to teleport into and out of locked archives.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* When Hal gets powers in ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'', even before [[FromNobodyToNightmare going on a destruction spree throughout the city]] he was using his powers to steal money, bikes, and arcade games. (This was screwing ''super'' rules as well, since he was supposed to fight Megamind but didn't bother showing up.)
* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] with Elsa from ''{{Disney/Frozen}}''. She ''wants'' to run away from Arendelle and live a life in the mountains without any rules or boundaries, [[spoiler: but reality sets in when Hans and the Duke of Weselton's guards hunt her down]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The main character uses his ability to rob banks in ''Film/{{Jumper}}''.
* The telekinetic guy from the movie ''Film/{{Sidekick}}'' (not to be confused with the trope {{sidekick}}) begins using his powers for little practical jokes and stuff like that, but by the end, he's murdering people left and right.
* Pretty much the entire concept of the dark side in ''Franchise/StarWars''.
* A significant part of ''Film/{{Hancock}}'''s attempt to clean up his act is to convince the public that he doesn't live by this trope and that they can hold him accountable for his actions, willingly serving prison time for instance, until he's called back in to help.
* The main characters in ''Film/{{Chronicle}}'', most of the time, use their telekinesis to cheat at beer pong and play pranks on innocent shoppers. [[spoiler:[[BreadEggsMilkSquick And try to lay waste to half of Seattle.]]]]
* ''Film/BruceAlmighty'''s crimes include, among other things, vandalism (Breaking a fire hydrant), theft (swapping his clothes for those in a shop), sexual harassment (Blowing a girl's skirt up) and assault (the Butt Monkey). And that's just one scene.

* In ''Literature/NotJustAWitch'', the villain wants to make money with the fur of snow leopards, and for this reason [[spoiler: tricks the titular witch into turning all inmates of a prison into snow leopards, by pretending he just wants to keep the beautiful animals as living garden decoration]].
* In ''Literature/{{Masques}}'', this is played straight with the villain, and (sort of) averted with Aralorn, who works as a spy, for a neutral faction. As a shapechanger, she would make a very good thief, but apparently she isn't interested in that.
* In the novel ''Literature/JinxHigh'' by Creator/MercedesLackey, a VainSorceress uses her magical powers to rule the local high school.
* The title character in ''Literature/TheInvisibleMan'' also uses invisibility to steal and tries to plunge England into a reign of terror.
* Examined and played with, heavily, in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. Most supernatural beings feel no compunction towards obeying mortal authority, or believe themselves allowed to ignore the laws (case in point: the Wardens executing warlocks).
** Played with, however, in the supernatural world's set of laws codified by the wonderfully wicked Mab: the Unseelie Accords, laws to govern how magical beings behave towards one another. Most heavy players follow these laws - save for Nicodemus, who believes that his immortality and powers mean he shouldn't need to bow his head to anybody. As it turns out, Mab doesn't agree-and he learns this, to his regret.
** Also, in the novel "Cold Days," Harry finds very quickly that the Sidhe always honor their agreements very strictly because Winter (or Summer) Law is so absolute that violating it never even occurs to them. Harry, being Harry, finds out what instantly happens when he tries. [[spoiler:As the Winter Knight, his broken back and other injuries return immediately since Mab's Mantle vanishes when he violates Winter Law.]]
** The White Council and their Laws of Magic also exist to limit power. When speaking with Captain Luccio, Harry brings up the fact that the Laws cover BlackMagic but not things like murder without using magic, theft, etc. Luccio points out that if the Council attempted to punish countries for their crimes, they would have to go after, say, America, for its treatment of Native Americans. [[RealityEnsues Which would get the American wizards upset (since they support the country even though it's done some bad things),]] which would eventually lead to civil war. In order to keep the Council from fracturing, they would need to take control of the wizards, for which they would need BlackMagic. Which the Laws cover already.
* In Creator/AnneMcCaffrey's Talents 'verse (''Literature/ToRidePegasus'' trilogy and ''Literature/TowerAndTheHive'' series), in the early days the psychics form a group with a code of behavior in order to try to avert this trope. When a girl more powerful than any other psychic in the world learns how to use her powers (ironically because she saw a public service announcement by the group) she goes on a crime spree which eventually results in murder [[spoiler:and her own death]]. In later books, every Talent of significant strength is [[MutantDraftBoard brought into the fold early]] and [[ComesGreatResponsibility taught to use their powers responsibly]].
* The Literature/KittyNorville books spend a great deal of time thinking about this trope. In one of the earlier books, there's a big discussion on why (and why not) they don't often see supernaturals knocking over banks and the like. This is definitely averted with main character Kitty, but she does run into a lot of people who feel differently, especially as the series progresses.
* In an extreme example, in ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'' novels, the Great Ones of Tsuranuanni were ''legally'' outside the law. They could literally do ''anything'' unless the Assembly of Magicians (A council formed of all of the Great Ones) ruled that they couldn't (only done once in story - to declare that they could not free slaves). Beyond that, they could arbitrarily declare - and be obeyed - that people shut down their businesses, entire noble clans commit mass suicide, wars be arbitrarily ended, or anything else they could think of.
* The Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse discusses this in ''Literature/FateOfTheJedi''. It's nice that the Jedi listen to a [[SentientCosmicForce higher authority]] nobody else can hear. Somewhat less nice when one realizes that the [[ArchEnemy Sith]] apparently receive guidance from that same higher authority. And that the Force can't be sworn in as a witness in a court of law.
* In the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' series, David sees nothing wrong with using his newly acquired powers for casual theft. Fortunately, the other heroes are a bit more moral.
** The other Animorphs might count as well, considering that David gets the idea to use his powers for theft from the heroes [[IronicEcho in the first place]].
** The other Animorphs are examples, often using their powers for things like stealing a car dealerships mascot, cheating on a science project, sneaking into concerts, ruining a restaurant's reputation, and spying on people. While they don't often resort to outright theft, it's not uncommon to see them do things in the early books because it made things easier, or it was funny.
* The protagonist of ''Literature/{{Jumper}}'' used his teleporting powers to wage a one-man vigilante anti-terrorism campaign. ''In the 1990s''.
** In a moment almost ripped from a buddy comedy, he kidnapped both the terrorist leader, and the NSA agent following him, then left them on an island surrounded by freezing-cold water in a large, sheer-walled pit in the desert.
* In ''Literature/TheSagaOfDarrenShan'' Darren's friend [[TheSociopath Steve]] wanted to be a vampire so he can kill people whenever he wants.
* In ''Literature/TheVampireChronicles'' this tendency becomes more pronounced as vampires age, and their powers and invulnerability increase. By the time they have reached a point where they are a FlyingBrick with PsychicPowers, the rules of both humanity and weaker vampires become distinctly less important to them.
* Most Epics have this mindset in ''Literature/TheReckonersTrilogy''. Epics generally view normal humans as expendable at best; many Epics enjoy killing and/or torturing unpowered individuals for [[ForTheEvulz shits and giggles]].
** And the Capitulation Act states that Epics are now ''legally'' outside the law. They are basically classified as forces of nature, and trying to pass a law forbidding Epics from doing whatever the hell they want is about as pointless as forbidding volcanoes from erupting. On the other hand, if you ''do'' manage to kill an Epic, no human authority is going to prosecute you.
* More or less the motto of the Bondsmagi in the ''Literature/GentlemanBastard'' series. When the old Therin emperor tried to regulate them, they sent him their fee schedule. When he followed up with an army, they annihilated it, then incinerated his capital city for good measure, establishing twin policies of JoinOrDie for anyone with magical talent and ruthless DisproportionateRetribution against anyone who challenges them.
* ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'': In Alethkar (and most likely other Vorin nations like Jah Keved), Shardbearers are above most laws. It is illegal to imprison them; they can only be executed, and of course only for the most heinous of crimes. In most cases, when a Shardbearer is accused of a crime, the accuser is imprisoned for slander without anyone even bothering to see if the accusation is justified. While a large part of this is due to the Alethi's degeneration into {{Blood Knight}}s and their worship of the kind of slaughter that Shardbearers can wreak, there is a pragmatic side as well. Since they bear Shardblades that they can summon at any time and use to cut through anything, imprisoning them is a laughable prospect. Though note that it ''is'' possible to force a Shardbearer to give up his Blade without killing him. It's just the Alethi see ownership of Shards as a sacred right, and refuse to take them except in duels.
* This attitude is almost universal among the Princes in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber,'' since their principal power is walking between dimensions. There can be no consequences for the actions they take out in 'Shadow' (their word for any dimension except their own), since they can simply depart after they have what they want.
* Mitchell Calrus[[spoiler:/Xio]] tries this in ''Literature/FineStructure''. He fails in an epic fashion, not by getting caught but by being incredibly obvious and inefficacious. Seph spends several paragraphs afterwards harping about how he is a "terrible, ineffective supervillain".
* Taylor, of ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', comes to essentially this conclusion about the existence of parahumans; that they cause the system of human civilization to break down around them because it wasn't ''designed'' to deal with people like Alexandria, who can fly faster than a jet, is smarter than any ten geniuses, and is {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le, or her, who can essentially perceive everything that happens within five city blocks. Instead of using her powers for her own gain, however, she decides to try to find a system that ''does'' work.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''{{Series/Sliders}}'' had a world in which a group that could kill through dreams flagrantly broke the law and killed people right in front of the police with their powers.
** Of course, nobody thought to just arrest the whole group, preventing them from touching you.
** Another episode has a world where magic is real, so the cops are afraid to touch powerful sorcerers.
* ''Series/{{Bewitched}}'': Pretty much every single wizard and witch that appears on-screen (even Samantha) believes this: they are only really restrained by their own code of honor (which is still pretty flexible as long as they can get what they want with as less hassle as possible) and what other witches in the room may think of them--and even so, the ones that are ObnoxiousInLaws to Darren don't really have much of a problem making his life a living hell for as long as they can before Samantha tells them to stop or makes a counter-spell of her own (and then dismiss their 'WhatTheHellHero' reactions with "he's a mortal, you're a witch, it's your fault for getting married in the first place").
* Widespread in ''Franchise/StarTrek''.
** In the pilot episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', [[AGodAmI Gary Mitchell]] developed superpowers after the ''Enterprise'' crossed the energy barrier at the edge of galaxy: he swiftly developed an AGodAmI mentality and started killing crew members. Averted when it came to Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, who used hers to stop Mitchell and ended up getting killed in the process.
** Charlie Evans from "Charlie X" was given superpowers by the Thasians after his ship crashed and everyone else was killed. When the ''Enterprise'' picks him up, he has obsession with being liked and "removes" people from reality if they piss him off. Eventually the Thasians show up to take him back and repair the damage, but they're too late for a ship he destroyed that was trying to warn the ''Enterprise''. While Charlie repents in the end and promises never to use the powers again, Kirk and the Thasians agree that it's too much of a temptation.
** Trelane from "The Squire Of Gothos". You want someone to hang out with? Instantaneously pluck your guests from their ship. Said guests try to defy you? Chase them around with the planet you're on. [[spoiler: Fortunately, Trelane's parents are close by whenever he takes the trope too far.]]
** There was an episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' where a guy would enter people's dreams and do terrible things to them. He enters Dr. Crusher's and Counselor Troi's dreams and rapes them, and he enters Riker's dream and beats him within an inch of his life. When confronted, he claims to see nothing wrong with doing something for fun. Until he tries it again on Troi and Worf comes to her rescue.
** Basically every single member of the Q Continuum ignores ''all'' rules imposed by ''anybody'' except their own kind, and even then it's kind of iffy. Being [[TheOmnipotent omnipotent]] they can get away with this since nobody more powerful than them has appeared in any canonical story. Q's own son, appearing as a teenage boy in ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', flat-out tells Janeway he can do whatever he wants because he has unlimited control over space, time and matter. At least his father felt the need to claim [[BlatantLies "superior morality"]] as a justification for his behavior.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The Doctor uses a combination of advanced technology (psychic paper) and BavarianFireDrill / ImpersonatingAnOfficer to get past obstacles.
* Kind of the entire point of most plots - romantic and non - in the first few seasons of ''{{Series/Smallville}}''. The meteor [[MonsterOfTheWeek freak of the week]] suffers "Kryptonite Psychosis" and uses their meteor-given powers for their own selfish gain, perfectly willing to commit multiple murders to further their goals before Clark stops them and they get sent to the Belle Reve mental institution. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d numerous times by characters [[FantasticRacism biased against meteor freaks]]. Clark himself qualifies when under the influence of Red Kryptonite. His Red K-activated personality, Kal, acts out Clark's basic wants and needs without concerning himself with the consequences of his actions, and is not only unconcerned with [[{{Masquerade}} keeping his powers a secret]], but is even tempted to go public with them because he believes that his powers make him infallible.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Faith and, in the episode "Bad Girls", Buffy herself. Also [[MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch the majority]] of [[AlwaysChaoticEvil vampires and demons]]. It helps that Sunnydale was made for evil entities to screw around in. The rules are bent for slaughter and games.
* ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' is ''made'' of this trope. Well, at least in [[AntiHero Alex's]] mind.
* ''Series/{{The Twilight Zone|1959}}'' episode "Literature/ItsAGoodLife" is built on this, although six-year old Anthony is convinced that he's just doing good things. Including getting rid of bad people. And of course, only bad people would think that the things he does could be bad...
* The finale of ''Series/TheInvisibleMan'' had the titular character permanently cured of the insanity-causing side effect of his invisibility, thus no longer needing a regular supply of the temporary cure from his government employers. His initial response is to return to the life of crime he'd lived [[BoxedCrook before being recruited as a test subject for invisibility]]. Subverted shortly afterward, since after finding a bank robbery to be pathetically easy and boring with his powers (and realizing he's actually [[GoodFeelsGood grown to like being one of the good guys]]), he returns all the money before anybody even realizes it was stolen, and eventually goes back to his old job...but demands a higher salary for both himself and his partner, and the re-hiring of the scientist who cured him against orders.
* Widespread among vampires on ''Series/TrueBlood''. Although their public relations campaign claims that they just want to be a [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire part of normal human society]], including having equal civil rights, they have no problem with breaking the law if they think they can get away with it. In particular they are not above using mind control on humans and/or feeding from people without their consent. In one episode, Bill even subverts [[MustBeInvited the rule that vampires aren't allowed to enter a human's home without an invitation]] by glamoring one of them and having that person invite him. In another episode, Eric physically threatens Sookie (who can't be glamored) into inviting him in, although this is only because he senses a werewolf in her house.
* Played straight or subverted in ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'', depending on [[RuleOfFunny whatever is funnier at the time.]] Sabrina herself [[CantGetAwayWithNuthin keeps running afoul of]] a surprisingly large number of laws governing witch behaviour that are as byzantine as they are draconian, but most other witches seem to be able to do whatever they want to whomever they want as long as a stronger witch doesn't oppose them.

* OlderThanFeudalism: The [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Greek myth]] of Gyges (most well known from {{Creator/Plato}}'s Literature/TheRepublic) is about a man who finds a ring of invisibility and uses it to commit all sorts of crimes, culminating in seducing the queen and killing the king.
** The Greek myths in general have the gods hold the attitude that "With Great Power Comes Very Little Responsibility." The only restrictions placed on them are those done by other gods, and even then, they often try to fight it. For example, Zeus is a loving and faithful husband to Hera only as long as there are no pretty mortal women around-in which case, he's only a loving and faithful husband while she's around.

* Crops up in ''TabletopGame/TheWorldOfDarkness'' gamelines:
** The [[Quotes/{{Masquerade}} third quote]] for {{Masquerade}} illustrates a problem with this train of thought. That said, vampires in ''[[TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem Vampire: The Requiem]]'' (and most supernaturals, for that matter) can get away with ''a '''lot''''' considering both the CrapsackWorld they live in means people just don't care about most crimes, and their Masquerade clean up is top notch. (Provided you have the expertise/pull to have the clean up done for you without getting staked, mind you.)
** Most sourcebooks for ''TabletopGame/TheWorldOfDarkness'' specifically warn Storytellers that this might be the case, and advises them to bring the hammer down if it happens. (A vampire kills a cop? Cop murders ''never'' go cold-case, and they might break through the Masquerade if they search enough; cop-killers tend to be left for the sunrise once the Prince finds out.)
** It comes up more in Vampire because the only real threat to most vampires from breaking the masquerade is retaliation from the people intent on keeping it. Most other splats involve a more direct mechanical penalty that's difficult to cover over with further power use or roleplay: werewolves drive anyone in line of sight into a killing rage or madness, mages are bitch-slapped by the laws of physics or break the world and let [[EldritchAbomination something]] in to say hello, ghosts can be banished by mortals extremely easily, etc. The only other splat that's as easy to indulge in this trope as Vampire is TabletopGame/HunterTheReckoning, which can lead to a lot of fast escalation since the two are each others' greatest natural enemies.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': How many players think this since you are, after all, the chosen of Gods and superior to normal mortals in every way! If you can cut down mortals with ease, why should you bother with their petty morals? You are a ''Living God!'' compared to them!
** Not just players, either. Attitudes like that led to the depravities of the First Age.
** Or yet, sometimes, just the characters. The player himself might not agree with such philosophy, but power corrupts and the exalted are literally more powerful and more important than most gods. Indeed, a character's attempts to ''avoid'' this trope can make for a particularly epic storyline within a campaign, regardless of success or failure.
* Player Characters in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' or ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' will try this. Any GameMaster worth his or her salt should have a thousand ready tricks to foil them, or else should simply embrace their descent into SociopathicHero or even CardCarryingVillain status. This can also extend to the Rules of Gravity for Oracles.
* This is Chaos's schtick in any of the Warhammer games. Because of their supernatural abilities, Chaos cults have been known to permanently take over entire solar systems and beat on the punitive army that arrives to take back what's theirs. It can get so bad that some worlds have essentially become permanent Chaos vassal states with no one being able to do anything about it.

* The basic plot of Marlowe's ''Theatre/DoctorFaustus''. He gains supernatural powers through a DealWithTheDevil and decides he can do whatever the heck he wants. After they do that, he grows [[EvilIsPetty increasingly petty]], stooping to playing pranks on UsefulNotes/ThePope, amusing the Emperor's court, and eventually just dying alone, realizing how badly he wasted his potential.

* Cheat codes and devices are this in the {{Meta}} sense. Why dodge your opponent when you can be invincible? Why reload or conserve ammo when you can have unlimited ammo? Why scrounge for money when you can max out your wallet and buy the best gear and all the upgrades? After all, what's anyone in the game going to do to stop you?
* ''VideoGame/RuneScape'':
-->'''[[BadassGrandpa Wise Old Man]]''': Vini; volui; mihi est (I came; I wanted; it's mine).
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', this is the outlook of [[TheClan Great House]] [[EvilSorcerer Telvanni]]. They strongly believe in MightMakesRight, and KlingonPromotion is a legitimate means of advancement within the house (which is your "in" to rise to the top of the as an otherwise hated outlander). The Telvanni tend strongly toward magical might, and only care about the Temple and Imperial laws and their various bans on certain kinds of magic insofar as they can actually ''enforce'' those laws and bans...
* The whole point of ''Videogame/{{Prototype}}'' is that you got superpowers and can do anything you want.
* Sans from ''Videogame/{{Undertale}}'' during the final fight on the KillEmAll route. [[spoiler:He uses telekinesis, dodges all of your attacks, switches out attacks (either through [[RealityWarper quantum physics manipulation]] or stopping time) and attacks you in the menu.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''; Vriska uses her powers to kill, disable, and maim many other trolls, but this is in fact entirely legal and entirely natural and commonplace on Alternia.
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', more or less every government does this. Because sparks tend to suffer from WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity, this tends not to work out very well for the populace; they will be subjugated and mistreated at best and used as HumanResources at worst.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Evon}}'', Corrin tells Evon (who he's just found out is his half-sister) that since they're both sorcerers and shouldn't be [[http://evoncomics.com/?p=1603 "bound by the rules that govern ordinary people"]] and said rules shouldn't stop them from [[spoiler: taking up their affair from [[SurpriseIncest before they knew they were siblings]]]]. [[http://evoncomics.com/?p=1646 Evon's reaction]] to this is to threaten to kick his balls into his throat if he ever mentioned that again.
** And, subverted, when it's discovered he SORELY overestimated his relative power. [[spoiler: Corrin fell down the stairs. And bounced off a railing. And now knows what railings are capable of.]]
* 'Creatures' of [[Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures DMFA]] and its fan comic [[Webcomic/ProjectFuture 'Project future']] often believe that their increased physical strength and magic gives them the right to do whatever they like to 'Beings', who are weaker and usually have no magic.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* This is part of what makes the original ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' so enjoyable, because in a rare protagonist example, Ben does what pretty much any ten year old boy with super powers would do, switching between beating up super villains in the streets, to using his powers to find the prize in a box of cereal without buying it.
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'':
** This also gets referenced in after his parents find out not only about the Omnitrix, but that Ben had been lying to them for years to cover up his superheroing [[YouAreGrounded they very quickly ground him]]. He actually plays along until he points out that they don't actually have the power to ''enforce'' this punishment, transforms, and flies out the window to help his friends. This shows how much Ben has matured since the first series in that he's still willing to break some rules, but only because they were stopping him from doing good and helping people.
** Alien Force villain Darkstar plays this trope ''very'' straight.
* The Griffin family in the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' short "Super Griffins."
-->'''Peter''': Well, we promised Lois we'd use our powers responsibly, but I suppose doing the exact opposite couldn't hurt.