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Spider-Sense
"I get these chills up and down my spine, and all of the sudden, it's as clear as day. That if I stay put, I'm dead."
Kabuto, Psyren

A character has the psychic ability to know when something is about to happen, and react accordingly to prevent some kind of harm. Named after Spider-Man's iconic super-power.

To prevent it from becoming a Story Breaker Power, the sense usually comes with a few limitations. Typically, it will detect danger and allow the character to measure severity by intensity, but cannot indicate the danger's exact nature or origin. Often, it may trigger just before danger strikes, limiting the character's ability to avoid the danger entirely and instead enabling them only to dodge the worst of it.

This power is similar and often a part of Combat Clairvoyance, but it does not usually help evading specific attacks on purpose, unless explicitly said so. When the character knows that something has just happened — as opposed to knowing that something is going to happen, it's an example of My Significance Sense Is Tingling. If it's limited to surveillance, it's awareness of Being Watched. Also expect extreme mockery from the viewer if the power fails on a regular basis.

In comics, this is often denoted as squiggly lines around the character's head. See the Trope Namer and Professor Xavier of the X-Men for two prominent examples. Compare The Force Is Strong with This One, which is when a character can sense another's Power Level.

Compare and contrast with Super Reflexes, the non-psychic version of this power.


Examples:

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     Anime and Manga  
  • The Newtypes in Gundam have the ability to sense (amongst other things) hostility directed at them, which allows them to dodge attacks much faster than any normal humans can. Whenever it happens, you see a Beam of Enlightenment around the character with a distinctive sound effect, widely referred to now as the "Newtype Flash."
    • In the Super Robot Wars series, it's an actual ability (called "Flash" in the original Japanese, and "Alert" in the English versions), and not limited to just Newtypes. The activation of the ability is even the Gundam Newtype Flash sound effect.
  • In the Haruhi Suzumiya books, this turns up a lot; Kyon refers to his "danger sense tingling". You develop this pretty quick around Haruhi. It's a survival trait.
  • The martial artists in Ranma can sense if someone is about to attack them. Ranma's is so good, he sometimes dodges attacks in his sleep. This includes Akane, who really is "a martial artist, too." Takahashi just wasn't ever interested in giving her fair fights. Akane's the damsel, Ranma's the hero. (Though she manages to help him out in both the Ryugenzawa and Phoenix Mountain battles.) Unfortunately for Ryoga, his "danger sense" is also affected by his terrible sense of direction.
  • Takuma Fudo Get Backers has the ability to forsee the future in increments of a few seconds each time, up to eleven seconds (IIRC), with much the same effect
  • In Naruto, several characters, most notably Hinata's father, have demonstrated the ability to detect the intent to kill. Probably all ninjas have this skill — Naruto felt the "killing intent" of the girls in his class (who beat him up for accidentally kissing Sasuke). At this time, he hadn't even finished ninja school yet.
    • Actually, it would seem that the ability to "sense" chakra is implied to be quite exclusive. Generally, all ninja can sense chakra, but there are types classified as sensors. Sensors are usually much more proficient than ordinary ninja at sensing chakra. The Hyuugas fall into this type of ninjas for their Byakugan, the Inuzuka and Aburame also falls into this type.
  • Dragon Ball makes good use of this. When some characters aren't using scanners or scouters, they rely on their own instincts to sense one's ki/power levels (no matter the amount) from afar - unless the enemy is consciously suppressing their ki. This came in useful during the Namek arc - Freeza and his troops, despite ridiculously outclassing the heroes in raw power, had no idea this technique even existed. When Freeza fires Eye Beams at a column of smoke with Goku in it and misses every time, it takes Goku a few seconds to realize that his enemy can't sense him.
    • Subverted during the Cyborg arc, where the Z Senshi are shown to have become so reliant on it that they have to find #19 and #20 using their regular senses (and don't notice that they've started their rampage until Yajirobe gets blown out of the sky).
  • Psyren has the psychic abilities from the "Sense" category (a sub-category of the body-strengthenig "Rise") which improve the users basic senses, allow them to feel psychic pressure and can basically act as lesser spider-senses. A perfect example is Kabuto's main power "Menace" (see quote above), which allows him to clearly feel incoming danger and also see the menace of dead and thus predict all of the enemies attacks. In fact, Kabuto's power goes even further than merely allowing him to sense danger - he can manipulate the area of menace and chuck attacks back at his opponent too, allowing him to dodge attacks without actually moving.
  • Amusingly parodied in Martian Successor Nadesico with Inez Fressange, who can sense when other characters attempt to deliver explanations.
  • Sousuke from Full Metal Panic! has an uncanny, sixth sense-like ability to sense "killing intent." He could actually feel other people's malice and intentions to kill him, which allowed him to determine that assassins were nearby. This, of course, helps to allow him to set traps for them ahead of time.
    • This was also used to torment him. One of Mithrils agents would observe him via the scope of a rifle, and was amused to discover that Sousuke became visually agitated when he did this. It's implied that much of Sousuke's misbehavior in school is caused by the agent remotely triggering Sousuke's danger sense, causing to lash out against people near him.
  • The supplementary manga of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie First reveal that Nanoha gained this as a side-effect of her magical powers slowly awakening. Even though she never saw it coming, she immediately reacted and caught a speeding baseball that was headed for Alisa. The fact that she also did all of that with her bare hand without receiving any injuries just added to her general bewilderment on what she had just managed to do.
  • Haruo Niijima from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple has one of these in the thanks to his alien like features. It manifests as either two arrow-tipped antennae, or a sharp lock of hair that erects and twinges on top of his head whenever there is incoming danger. Apparently, he has been known to gauge the level of threat that an opponent posed though this manner and can even function as a radar or sorts (he once was able to avert certain death after detecting the incoming missiles locked on to the boat that he and his entourage were using to infiltrate a Yami base, and then later on, discern the presence of a number of murderous elite soldiers lurking in the dense woods during a beach field trip)
  • In One Piece a specific form of Haki can be used to predict an opponent's movements.
  • The Lupin III character Goemon has a katana called the Zantetsuken. It aquires a "shadow of death" when he or the people he likes might be killed. The shadow has been used to foreshadow the danger, or apparent lack of danger, that other members of the gang are in.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! mages have this. The Negima Bible explains it as a mix of sensing magic and precognitive magic.
  • Amasawa predicts the weather via his hair in The Weatherman Is My Lover. It's nigh infallible.
  • Machi from Hunter Hunter denies she has this, passing it off as intuition and trying to downplay it when put on the spot about her predictions. It would be much more convincing if her "intuition" was ever wrong.
    • Additionally, all proficient hunters develop the ability to sense a "killing intent," regardless of their hatsu type. This is limited by a radius, as shown when Kurapika stalks the Phantom Troupe. Trained hunters can react instantly when others deploy their killing intent, as if it were a reflex. The "killing intent" is explained because emotions affect one's aura, so bloodlust and aggression are channeled through a person's aura, therefore it is nearly impossible to conceal it completely.
  • This is a default, albeit low-key ability of any worthwhile martial artist in Lone Wolf and Cub. Although not working as true precognition, it allows them to sense harmful intent in another person, no matter how well hidden by body language. Many times that is enough to warn of an imminent threat. Extremely skilled individuals however can thwart it by learning to mask their own Qi.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, it is postulated that Touma can subconsciously sense AIM (psychic energy), mana (magic), and telesma (divine energy). This explains why Touma can react to supernatural attacks no matter how fast they are. Note that this does not help him with mundane attacks, and this does not allow him to detect supernatural beings. Word of God confirms this but explains that Touma is not aware he has this ability himself, and just thinks he has incredible reaction time.
  • Lieutenant Alice Malvin, of Pumpkin Scissors, gets tingles on the back of her neck when something important is going to happen, whether good or bad. It's low-key, but it's never been wrong yet.
  • Rurouni Kenshin is vague on whether or not ki actually exists, but all of the high level fighters can at least read body language, if not outright killing intent. In fact, the only battle Kenshin has significant trouble fighting against someone of a (slightly) lower skill level is Soujirou, whose combination of being a Stepford Smiler and super speed made him both difficult to read and difficult to react to.
  • Rosario + Vampire Every monster gives off a sort of 'monstrous aura' depending on what they're doing and how they feel at the moment. Although most monsters have the ability to detect it, vampires (and the blood-infused of vampires) are most proficient at it. It is shown as ranging from general location (i.e. Mizore hiding in the adult section of the magazine stand) to actually hearing their thoughts ('My little Koko...' being enough for Shuzen to drive a spear through the middle of a floorboard and into Haiji's forehead) to 'What's that deadly presence feels like seven Inner Moka got pissed off at me?'.

     Comic Books  
  • Naturally, the Spider-Man comic books feature this all the time, and also have villains trying to find ways of stopping / evading it. Green Goblin will occasionally use a gas that deadens it, which is how he learned Peter's secret identity, while Venom's symbiote is immune to it due to the time it spent bonded with Peter, an immunity the symbiote passed on to its many offspring. Ben Reilly and Kaine are immune to it due to being clones of Peter; likewise Peter is immune to their Spider-Sense, Kaine's Spider-Sense is augmented to the point of giving him premonitions. During the "Back in Black" arc, Sandman questions the wisdom of talking out loud about your ace-in-the-hole sixth sense.
    • It apparently also comes in useful when he's being bluffed in poker, to the point where Iron Fist recently mentioned that other heroes have stopped inviting him to their games.
    • One of its most important uses in the early days was the ability to detect, essentially, if it was safe to take his mask off or not. It's the reason why his secret identity became one of the best kept secrets of the Marvel Universe. In general, it's also very sensitive, to the point that it'll gently guide him out of the way of any other pedestrians he might accidentally crash into. In that sense, he could essentially bury his nose in a book while walking with no fears or worries of collision. And when he's swinging around the city, he doesn't have to consciously aim at targets for his webs.
    • Also more importantly is that his Spider-Sense not only allow him to sense potential threats but if Peter sense IMMEDIATE threats (like say a bullet coming at him), his Spider-Sense would activate his Super Reflexes and cause him to automatically go to take the quickest and most effective way to avoid the danger, this includes combat, and even swinging across New York City. In fact, it's how he manage to make jokes while dodging attacks, as its literally doing everything for him.
    • This is deconstructed in later iterations. As said above, it's doing all the dodging for him and he over relies on it, so when Peter loses his Sense, he becomes severely weakened. Of course, then he receives training in martial arts while he's lost it, and then develops the Way Of The Spider.
      • It also varies depending on the author. Some treatments supplement the interaction of his Spider-Sense and his reflexes by pointing out that his nerves are conducting signals faster than normal, which means that he spends every fight in Bullet Time. This means that even without his Spider-Sense, he still has a much better than average chance of identifying incoming danger and reacting to it simply because he's got more time to notice things with his five normal senses. This is doubtless a fact that the Way of the Spider capitalizes on.
  • Mayday Parker, Spider-Girl, takes after her dear old dad in this department.
  • There's a mutant called Ricochet who has a similar set of powers to Spider-Man, including a "Danger Sense" which is functionally identical to the Spider-Sense. He's one among several heroes who got to take up old, temporary identities Spidey used. Unlike the others, he lasted a long time, probably due to actually being an interesting character who wasn't just a carbon copy of the webslinger.
  • The X-Men had to deal with Destiny, a mutant Blind Seer who can foretell the future.
    • Psylocke can do this from time to time as well. That's not some asspull like her powers tend to be, she's had this ability since day one but it only happens when she or someone close to her is in mortal danger.
    • Blindfold, one of the X-Men's students is just a younger version of Destiny.
      • When Blindfold meets an undead Destiny their powers cancel each out due to the way precognitive abilities work in the Marvel universe.
    • One of the 198 still-powered mutants is a minor precog named Ticktock who can see 60 seconds into the future.
  • When Grant Morrison was writing the X-Men, he created a Goth mutant girl who was living in Genosha and dreamed about its destruction. If she was only smart enough to tell someone about this earlier, not five seconds before the first strike...
  • Parodied in Sam & Twitch by Sam.
    Twitch: "I think something's wrong."
    —>Sam: "Yeah, me too. My spider-sense's tingling."
  • Also parodied by Deadpool.
    Sshhh. My common sense is tingling.
  • In Bone, Grandma Ben had her "gitchy feeling" that served as a portent that something really bad was going to happen.
  • Rose Wilson aka Ravager, a former member of the Teen Titans and Deathstroke's daughter, has the power of minor precognition that lets her predict a person's actions a few seconds before they happen. She is able to match Cassandra Cain in hand-to-hand combat since this power helps her to counter Cassandra's ability to read a person's body language to predict movements. The new Clock King is crazy about Rose because her natural abilities can counter his near identical powers.
  • The Flash villain Brother Grimm can sense the Speed Force, allowing him to anticipate and hit or block Flash no matter how fast he attacks. To bypass this, Flash has to fight him at normal speed.
  • Marv of Sin City has a "cold thing" in his gut that tells him when something's wrong, which has saved his life on several occasions.
  • Urk of Paperinik New Adventures developed his fighting skills to the point he can detect when he is about to be attacked and which one of his attacker will strike first.

     Fan Works 
  • In The Lion King Adventures, the Hermit of Hekima can sense presences. He senses Virusi's presence in The Message, just before his death.
    Virusi: You thought you could hide all the way out here, huh, hermit?
    The Hermit of Hekima: I knew you were coming. I sensed your presence hours ago. Such strong evil is very easy to detect.
  • In Mass Effect Human Revolution, the electromagnetic signature given off by nearby cloak-users causes the element zero nodes implanted in Bryce Lawson and the line of clones he belongs to to tingle.

     Film  
  • The 2002 Spider-Man movie depicted his Spider-Sense using Bullet Time. Whenever something bad was about to happen, time would slow down from Peter's perspective, allowing him ample time to react. Later on in the film (and its sequels), the use of this power is mostly left to be assumed by the audience.
    • There are still visual cues in the sequels, like when Peter senses the tram he's on is soon going to run out of track in Spiderman 2.
    • More subtle cues can be seen in Spiderman 3. Peter face becomes visibly shocked a split second before Harry tackles him off his scooter.
      • Later, when Peter and Harry are fighting at Harry's pad, a strange whistling sound can be heard whenever Harry's arm-mounted blades gets in close range of Peter. At first the noise seems to be caused by wind resistance, since Harry is swinging the blades around, but the noise lingers while Harry attempts to push the blades into Peters face, hence it's the spider sense.
    • Still present in the reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man. The Spider-Sense even caused Peter to react automatically (and rather... aggressively) when exposed to any danger, minor as it might be, when he didn't know how to control his powersfor his own shock. Through both ASM films a specific sound effect indicates the sensation, while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 adds slowed down point-of-view shots from Peter.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had this as a featured power of the title character, but it was modified for the television series (see below.)
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Puma Man, the main character of the film "get[s] this way when [he] sense[s] danger." Tom Servo mocks him: "A Post-It note senses danger better than this guy!"
  • Policaman Earl has it on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs:
    My chest hairs are tingling. Something's wrong!
  • Mr. Incredible has this power. It's only implied in the film by a sudden look of alarm on his face when the first Omnidroid is behind him, but is listed among his abilities in the DVD extras.
    • Actually it's the same ability he uses to sense that Bomb Voyage is in the building he happened to crash into.

     Literature  
  • Robert A. Heinlein's novel The Number of the Beast. Zebadiah Carter has a danger sense that alerts him to trouble just before it occurs, allowing him just enough time to react to it. He insists that he just has good instincts, though. It's the other characters who are convinced it's a Psychic Power.
  • In the Knight And Rogue series, Michael's natural Gift manifests itself this way. It's completely unreliable, though - he once felt it for weeks when an aunt was trying to get him married off, but it doesn't always kick in when people are trying to KILL him... and even when it does, the fact that it activates for things like matchmaking keep him from giving the warning too much credence.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe novel Death Star had Nova Stihl and 'blinking', a spider-sense of his own that allowed him to excel as a martial artist and stormtrooper. But it's actually the Force.
    • This is in fact one of a Jedi's most basic skills; short-scale precognition. It's called their "Danger Sense" in the Novels, and is what allows them to deflect attacks so easily.
    • Tash Arranda of Galaxy of Fear is an untrained Force-Sensitive. In the first book Luke Skywalker encourages her to pay attention to the odd feelings she gets, apparently oblivious to the fact that one of them is "I've been wanting to meet someone like you for my whole life." For the rest of the series, it's not consistent but sometimes it helps. When flying through an Asteroid Thicket, especially, it's a great boon.
    • In the X-Wing Series, Corran Horn finds out he's Force-Sensitive and grouses about it a little, because now he can't tell if feeling antsy before a mission is normal about-to-risk-his-life nerves or a warning from the Force.
  • Tavi in Academ's Fury of the Codex Alera series.. His instincts notice everything and are never wrong. This is noted later as a trait of Tavi's father's bloodline. Those close to Tavi's father eventually made it a habit to write down anything unusual he said because there was a legitimate chance it would end up being prophetic eventually, if not always right away.
  • One of Sarahs powers Tales of an Mazing Girl though its less for Danger then trouble-which is unpredictable, uncontrolable -But does help scoot her towards trouble.
  • Harry Dresden and other wizards sense the build up of magic to figure out when something bad is about to happen.
    • There's also a very strange moment when Harry sets foot on an island he's never visited before and gets a weird sense of deja vu. It's explained by a more experienced wizard that he was experiencing future sight: he was getting instinctual reactions about a place that would become very important to him in the future. It's implied that it happens to all wizards eventually, to varying degrees. The very next book, he establishes a kind of soul-link with the dormant power of the island, an enormously powerful locus for magical energy, confirming the vision.
  • Because she was "shadow-kissed" (brought back from the dead by a spirit-using Moroi vampire), Rose of the Vampire Academy series has the ability to sense when Strigoi (murderous, soulless undead vampires) are nearby. Unfortunately for her, this sense manifests itself as severe nausea whenever Strigoi are in the area, which is not helpful when you are trying to fight super-strong, super-fast creatures who want nothing more than to kill you.
  • In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe Zaphod Beeblebrox's Joo-Janta 500 Peril Chromatic Sunglasses provide spider senses to anyone who can buy a pair. At the first hint of danger, they turn totally opaque and black, preventing their wearer from seeing anything which might alarm them and thus reducing the amount of stress in their life.
  • Dexter's Dark Passenger acts like this, or at least gives him impulses.
  • Vimes displays a few moments in Night Watch, namely near the end just before the final fight (its ambiguous whether it's spider sense, momentarily acute hearing or something else. Time travel is a part of the plot and precognition has been a frequently humorous aspect of the series, though Vimes is decidedly un-magical.)
  • In the Ciaphas Cain novels, Cain always feels a strange tingling in the palms of his hands just before whatever harmless adventure he is on turns out to be pure unadulterated horror. The tingling is usually just in time to let him anticipate the first strike, but never in time for him to avoid the situation altogether.
    • Cain himself believes it to be the sign that his subconscious noticed something that had just Gone Horribly Wrong long before his conscious mind can apprehend the situation. This is most plausible explanation since this ability is not dampened by Jurgen therefore it cannot be caused by the Warp.
  • In Eragon, Eragon's gedwy ignasia (Shining Palm, the mark he got from becoming a Dragon Rider) sometimes itches when... well, it's not clear what exactly triggers it, but being about to be attacked has multiple times, and having a werecat sneak by at the edge of Eragon's sight seems to have another time.
  • Miles Teg gets this in Heretics of Dune via Traumatic Superpower Awakening.

     Live Action TV  
  • The live TV version of Spider-Man redefined the Spider-Sense completely. Instead of just the sense that something bad was about to happen, Peter would get the full-on Phoebe Halliwell/Cordy Chase flash (only conventionally shot with a red filter). This would be accompanied by a shot of Parker (played by Nicholas Hammond) standing still while his eyes flashed.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Angel:
    • Curiously, while this was the only superpower she possessed in the film, the titular character of Buffy did not possess this ability in the TV series. One early episode played with it and featured Giles chastising Buffy about her lack of the intuition and the fact that she instead (correctly) deduces vampires based on their outdated wardrobe.
      • Although, it did carry over her premonition dreams, which was more of A Storm Is Coming type of thing. It featured prominently in the movie and the first season, then continued to feature, if not heavily then recurrently throughout the whole series. To name but a few examples, she mind links with Faith and has prophetic dreams while Faith is in a coma, She has a prophetic dream of the Gentlemen in Hush which actually helps her defeat them, and she sees the army of the First Evil's Uber Vamps.
      • Strangely Faith did claim she'd know if there was a vampire anywhere near, so maybe Buffy just never bothered to practice it, relying instead on...fashion sense. Given how many times she's been surprised by vampires, she probably could have worked on developing her magical senses a bit more.
      • Whether Buffy possessed it or not, she was not above joking about it. In the episode "I Robot, You Jane", she even called the trope by name:
        Buffy: I can just tell something's wrong - my spider sense is tingling.
        Giles: Your spider sense?
        Buffy: Pop culture reference... sorry.
      • There are indications that she has some ability, including "Family" when Buffy senses the presence of invisible demons who are creeping up on her.
    • Normals like Giles have also used the ability to be attuned to vampires in the area so it could just be a matter of training.
    • And on Angel, Doyle, and later Cordelia, got precognitive visions from The Powers That Be about demonic events of note in the L.A. area.
    • Angel is able to detect Darla lurking in his apartment ("Angel"). The spin-off series established (late in its run, waaaaay at the end of Season Five) that vamps can sense each others' presence.
  • Phoebe Figalilly in Nanny And The Professor seems to have a more generic version of this, not limited to harmful events.
  • According to Doctor Who, all Time Lords have this as an innate power. They can sense when time has changed, and can feel the timelines changing around them. Visually demonstrated in The Waters of Mars when the Doctor sees the future change after Captain Brook kills herself to restore the timeline that he changed after having his own creepy A God Am I moment. The look on his face screams "My Time Lord Sense is tingling!"
    • During the Tom Baker era, the Doctor made a similar claim when he realized the Master's plan in "The Deadly Assassin":
      "I can feel my hair curl. Which means either it's going to rain, or I'm onto something."
    • In "The Five Doctors," K-9 senses danger. Just ... danger. And the Doctor is involved.
  • The British series No Heroics has a hero named Timebomb who can see sixty seconds into the future. "Oh, you might want to watch out for the anti-tank missile." "What anti-tank missile?" * BOOM*
  • The Immortals in Highlander could sense each other's presence, usually leading to their finding a private place to try and lop each others' heads off.
    • Occasionally played with by giving unique proximity-sense visualizations or sound effects to specific immortals, hinting that perhaps with extra skill or perceptiveness, it might be possible to tell exactly who the Immortal that set it off was before seeing them. Or it could have just been for the audience's benefit.
  • On Warehouse 13, Pete has 'vibes', gut feelings that usually are correct, and judging by the setting it's implied that he is a latent psychic.
    • While usually correct, they don't do him much good since he can't tell when the thing is going to happen. All through the season finale he was getting senses that Arty was going to die, but it didn't actually happen until the end.
  • In Tower Prep this appears to be Ian's power, which he calls preflex.
  • In an episode of Yes Dear, Jimmy states that he feels a chill when, unbeknown to him, his wife realizes he had given advice she doesn't approve of to their eldest son. When his in-laws claim they feel nothing after he asks them, he thinks that he got nervous for nothing... until his wife walks in a second later to confront him.
  • In Power Rangers Wild Force, with the help of the wind, Merrick is able to sense the presence of nearby Orgs. This proves especially useful while fighting Onikage, who tries to hide from sight during some attacks.
  • In The Legend Of William Tell Drogo often senses danger. It's a facet of his wolf heritage.
  • Kamen Rider Ryuki and Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight had the titular character and his fellow Riders be able to sense when something had come through the mirrors to Earth from Ventara. This was displayed by the use of an odd keening noise that only those with Advent Decks or who had been in contact with a deck or abducted by the Mirror Monsters could hear.
  • In MacGyver, Frank Colton's eye twitches when something isn't right about a situation.
  • River Tam from Firefly might possess such an ability, as in "Out Of Gas,"she predicts an explosion on Serenity several seconds before it happens. However, the show ended up being cancelled before this was explored in detail.
    • In the movie, she knows someone is going to pull a gun before he actually does it, but it isn't clear whether she sensed the event via spider sense or simply read his mind as he thought about it.
  • On Mash, Radar could sense incoming choppers full of wounded before anyone else could see or hear them, could read other characters' (particularly Col. Blake's) thoughts, and often picked up the phone just before it rang.

     Myths 
  • Yagyuu Munenori, also known as Tajima no Kami, was a samurai renowned both for swordsmanship and (later) for philosophy. He made a reputation of a man seeing the trouble coming. One story about him tells how he once sensed "incoming danger" but failed to see any. It turned out that his assistant merely looked at him and mused about whether it would be possible to attack him from behind.

     Newspaper Comics 
  • Beetle Bailey: In one strip, Sarge can sense when Beetle is about to start slacking off, but it doesn't help him catch him doing it, because he can sense when Sarge is coming the same way.

     Tabletop Games  
  • The Hair Trigger Neck Hairs gun shtick from Feng Shui is essentially a gunman's Spider-Sense.
  • Several Super Hero role-playing games have Danger Sense as an allowable power.
    • In the Champions system, "Danger Sense" is marked with a stop sign, indicating it's a potential Story Breaker Power, since it can be difficult for the GM to run certain plots with this power in the vicinity. (Particularly if the player bought the character's power up to "planetary" level.)
  • In the Old World of Darkness, Danger Sense is a relatively cheap merit that gives you a bonus on reacting to imminent threats. Almost any game also includes a spell like this, usually very high-leveled.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition there is a class feature called Uncanny Dodge that allows a character to keep their Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, even when caught unawares. In other words, even though they don't see where an attack is coming from they can still dodge it.
    • The Foresight spell and a variety of psionic powers in various editions of D&D give characters similar abilities.
  • An example in the Amber Diceless system of the Warfare skill is an invisible Player Character trying to attack Benedict (the Universe's greatest warrior) from behind and still being blocked, merely because Benedict's skill told him that it was an ideal time for an invisible attacker to attack him from behind.
  • Rifts has the Psychic Power Sixth Sense, which warns a character that they are in danger 15 seconds before it happens. It doesn't tell the character where or what the danger is, but the advanced warning is enough to give the character some useful combat bonuses.
  • A minor example occurs in d20 Modern, where even if caught unawares, characters still retain their class bonus to defense, described as their inherent ability to avoid harm. This means that even if sitting down and completely distracted, a character can still dodge an attack because they can sense danger.

     Video Games and Visual Novels 
  • In Tsukihime, the protagonist Tohno Shiki has a sixth sense that tells him when he's about to be killed. According to one character, his danger sense is so good that it borders on precognition. Depending on the level of threat, his body may automatically react to it by moving in a way to avoid that death as much as humanly possible, whether or not he actually recognizes the danger.
    • In Fate/stay night, the "Mind's Eye" skill does this. There are two versions, a "True" variant that includes rational combat planning and is gained by hard work and decades of fighting experience, and a "False" variant that is completely unconscious and is an in-born talent but doesn't allow for higher-order planning. Shirou has a talent in the latter (although since he's not a servant it's never said outright): It's about the only thing keeping him alive half the time. In all storylines, Saber decides to train this sixth sense of Shirou's in order to give him a better chance at surviving. As Archer, he has the true version after honing that talent over the years. Which is how he is able to survive combat with powerhouses like Cu Cuchulain and King Arthur .
  • In Zork: Grand Inquisitor, your lantern gives you advice about danger, and your Elvish Sword glows blue when you're near something dangerous.
    Dalboz: My lantern sense is tingling - warning me of danger. Oh, and your sword's glowing too!
  • In Metroid Prime, the HUD has a small bar which warns the player of the presence and distance of environmental hazards (lava, poisonous gas/water, etc), as well as beeping if you get a bit too close.
  • Psycho Mantis, a powerful psychic/mind reader from Metal Gear Solid and The Last Days of Foxhound, used his mind reading abilities to tell what his opponents were going to do next, up to and including dodging bullets.
  • Naturally, just about any game featuring, well, Spider-Man.
    • Although how it's handled varies by game - bullet time and a flashy "look out dipshit, you're about to get hurt very badly" thing around his head have both been seen.
  • The Paladin class in Quest for Glory IV can sense danger or evil intentions. In a variation, the Paladin doesn't necessarily sense the source of those intentions, and danger is not synonymous with evil or even deadly intent. It also borders on a Useless Useful Spell, as when it triggers the player is usually aware of the danger without it (being a Sierra game, about 90% of the game screens qualify). Even in the rare times the player gets a specific warning, it's generally blindingly obvious without needing it.
  • The Grey Wardens in Dragon Age, due to the Taint in their blood, have the ability to sense the presence of nearby Darkspawn. Unfortunately, it goes both ways. One of the stock lines for a Human Noble with the Experienced personality? "Warden senses tingling!"
    • Mages of the same series have the innate ability to sense disruptions in the Veil. With practice, they can learn to detect spirits, powerful spells, and even other mages if they're close enough.
    • Templars go through extensive training in order to be allowed to sense Demons and magical activity.
  • Larry Holland's X-Wing series (including TIE Fighter) would actually encourage players to develop sense of The Force, thanks to nimble fighters mounted with blasters and turbolasers significantly slower than bullets, one had to be able to predict how her target would jink to hit it.note 
  • In Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, Nils and Ninian can sense danger.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum and its sequel, whenever an enemy tries to attack you from behind, white wavy lines will appear on the attacker's head, allowing you to counterattack if you're fast enough. These go away in higher difficulties though, forcing you to counter a sneak attack on your own.

     Web Comics 

     Web Original  
  • Whateley Universe:
    • There's a mutant power category called 'Exemplar'. People with sufficiently high levels of this often have a danger sense, along with direction sense and eidetic memories. Yeah, this one comes with a lot of bonus features. Stormwolf is a good example. Chaka, who can manipulate Ki, can use her Ki to tell when someone is focusing on her or where someone's attack will go.
    • Also, Franklin Delarose, the (non-mutant) Chief of Whateley Security, has an uncanny ability to sense when something bad is about to happen on campus. Of course, this may simply be that he's had a lot of experience dealing with a lot of very weird things, and has been in the job long enough to subconsciously recognize when something's not right.
  • In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, there are too many characters who can sense dangerous situations before they happen, ranging from a quick adrenaline rush that warns them that they, personally, are about to be in trouble to vague clairvoyant flashes that tell them A Storm Is Coming. Second Sight, a precognitive hero, uses this ability to "read" the intentions of those she is fighting, and thus is often able to counter their maneuvers before they make them. Agniputra, on the other hand, has senses that are so heightened her "danger sense" is less her actually sensing danger and more her simply being able to react to it faster than anyone else.
  • Worm:
    • Taylor, the insect-controlling protagonist, is able to develop a limited version of this by sensing where every insect in her range is, allowing her to tell what people are doing or about to do.
    • Eidolon also manifests this power, calling it a "danger sense," for his fight with Echidna.
    • It's revealed that Jack Slash has a form of this that applies specifically to superpowered people, which is why none have ever been able to kill him. He's eventually taken down by a Dragon's Teeth officer in Powered Armor.

     Western Animation  
  • Spider-Man (1967) had his "spider senses tingling" accompanied (in the first episode) by animated red wavy lines around his head, but for the rest of the series, ol' Webhead just just mentioned it when it happened.
    • The 80's version and its sister series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends would have Spidey's eyes glow when his spider sense was set off.
    • Spider-Man: The Animated Series had the air around his head suddenly flash his suit pattern, plus the screen went photo-negative.
      • Sometimes, even though he knew something painful was about to happen to him, he couldn't do anything about it because there were a few instances in which his Spider-Sense went off so strongly it caused him pain and slowed down his reaction time.
    • Spider-Sense in The Spectacular Spider-Man is accompanied by smoky, wavy lines surrounding Peter's head.
      • Occasionally, especially while at school, the lines are omitted and the only clue to the spider-sense going off is a sudden look of surprise on Peter's face, followed by a nonchalant dodge of whatever random object Flash just threw at him.
  • The Fairly OddParents gave several on-point Shout Outs to Spidey's power over the course of the series, due primarily to series creator Butch Hartman's love of Spider-Man comics. Some, better than others:
    Wanda: Oh no, my... Cosmo's-going-to-make-Timmy-dead.... senses are tingling.
  • This is also apparent in Hartman's other, Super Hero-based show, Danny Phantom. Whenever a ghost is near, a wisp of blue mist comes out of the main character's mouth, and he shivers. This is often called his "Ghost Sense." At one point he used it to borrow one of Spidey's most cherished lines:
    Danny: Man, there are so many ghosts here, my ghost sense is going crazy.
  • One episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy used this as a joke:
    Grim: My Spidey Sense is indicating that whatever is making that music is turning everything into a retro cartoon.
    Mandy: Grim, you don't have Spidey Senses.
    Grim: ...Now that complicates matters.
  • Pinkie Pie's appropriately named Pinkie Sense from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Random reactions in her body let her know when something's about to happen, such as her tail twitching when something's about to fall.
    • In the second season she uses it for actual super-heroics, saving ponies from a collapsing building while using her sense to avoid the falling rubble.
  • She Zow has this but calls it SheSP, which like the trope namer allows her to dodge danger when it comes to her but also change the wearer of the ring into SheZow, it's also the only power the wearer retains when not SheZow.


My Significance Sense Is TinglingSensory Index    
Spectral Weapon CopyStock SuperpowersSpike Shooter
Spiders Are ScaryAdded Alliterative AppealSpill Stain Sabotage

alternative title(s): Danger Sense
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