aka: Telepath
"I'm giving this guy such a headache right now."

Telepathy/Mind Reading is a psychic power that allows a character to read another person's thoughts and/or communicate with them mentally.

At its most basic level, it functions as a short range radio, allowing the character to pick up the thoughts of those around him. Sometimes, it has limitations such as touch or proximity, or only being able to 'hear' rather than 'see' thoughts. A common hurdle comes from being unable to probe deeper into the minds of those around them, as well as being something of a Fainting Seer whenever an especially strong willed or horrifying character is around. Psychic overload is also common in crowds, represented by a Psychic Nosebleed. Being a passive receptor and not being able to shut other people's thoughts out can easily drive a psychic insane, making this potentially Blessed with Suck.

More advanced uses of telepathy involve receiving and transmitting thoughts and memories, and probing beneath surface thoughts into memories, or outright going into a Journey to the Center of the Mind or dream travel. Some telepaths may be able to use Astral Projection, or at least see through other people's eyes.

At its strongest, a telepath will be able to Mind Control others, sometimes even to the point of possessing their bodies, create Fake Memories after applying Laser-Guided Amnesia, create a Split Personality and let it take over, or in general be a terrifying god who can Mind Rape their opponents.

It's worth noting that for the above reasons telepathy is one of the most potentially pervertable powers, since it's basically an invasion of privacy of the worst kind. The telepath is the sighted man in the kingdom of the blind, and provided he's discreet he can know everyone down to their most intimate detail, and can use them accordingly. This is a lot worse when he's the overlord. Thus, mind readers in Real Life would be complete Paranoia Fuel. This is why in settings with un-masqueraded telepaths, they are often persecuted, policed, and registered. That is, when they aren't used as weapons or killed.

Heroic telepaths are thus in a difficult position both inside and outside a story proving Bad Powers, Bad People is not true. An author wants them to be heroes, but has to somehow assuage the reader the character isn't a mental voyeur (or if he is, he's got a chivalrous side) and the character will also have to put their colleagues at ease that they aren't likely to turn into a Mind Probing Hive Queen. To solve this, they often practice what they preach with Mind Over Manners.

Telepathy comes in a lot of flavors:

In a setting where there are telepaths, expect people to use Psychic Static to protect their thoughts, and telepaths to construct a Psychic Block Defense to give each other a Poke in the Third Eye when they're snooping. Usually indicated by the Pstandard Psychic Pstance. When the ability requires physical contact it's Touch Telepathy.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has a number of examples; Negi displays very limited mind reading ability in the first chapter (he puts his hand on the target's head and gets maybe 2 words out of it). Later on, the Pactio cards are introduced, which allows Negi and his partners to communicate telepathically. In addition, Nodoka gets a book that allows her to read people's thoughts as her artifact; after an upgrade she can essentially listen to the thoughts of anyone whose name she knows...while another upgrade lets her find out anybody's name.
  • Mao of Code Geass has the ability to hear the thoughts of anyone within 500 meters, even on a subconscious level if he concentrates, making him a formidable opponent to the highly thought-oriented Lelouch. It does, however, have the drawback of being unable to turn off, meaning he always hears everyone's thoughts within five hundred meters.
    • The gender-bent Mao in Nightmare of Nunnally had a similar power, which also included the ability to see into a person's memories as a bonus. To a degree, all the geass powers involve a vague form of telepathy (Lelouch controls minds, the Emperor can mess with memories, etc.). At least, the ones in the anime do.
  • Any Trance user in Psyren, in the form of Mind Jacks.
  • Yellow from Pokémon Special can read the minds of Pokémon.
    • As can Lance.
  • Joshua Christopher in Chrono Crusade is able to read minds after he takes the horns of a demon from the Big Bad. However, he can't turn it off, so it drives him insane. Mary Magdalene is also implied to be some sort of empath in the manga version of the series, but it's averted in the anime—she specifically tells Chrono that she can only see the future, and that she can't read minds.
  • Almost every Pokémon movie has the Pokémon it centers around being capable of telepathy. This never happens in the anime, and the first time it happens (in, of course, the first movie) everyone is surprised. By the eighth movie, Ash is Genre Savvy enough to know that Lucario is speaking to him through telepathy.
    • Actually, one Pokémon episode featuring Jynx had a Lapras who spoke to Ash through telepathy.
  • Some of the Espers of A Certain Magical Index have forms of telepathy. There are only two note worthy cases though; Haruue in Railgun, and Misaki Shokuhou (aka "The Queen of Tokiwadai"). Haruue, as a Level 2, can only receive thoughts transmitted by other telepaths (such as her best friend Edasaki). Shokuhou, on the other hand, is a Level 5 telepath, and thus is capable of mass Mind Control and memory manipulation.
  • The Prime Minister from Hito Hitori Futari.
  • In Lyrical Nanoha, mages can communicate telepathically (but are not able to read minds), which they primarily use for communication from distances at which their voices cannot reach one another, or to communicate with one another without those in earshot finding out. An early episode features Nanoha communicating with Yuuno about the Jewel Seeds while she's still in class and he's at home.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Kyubey and magical girls can communicate with each other through telepathy.
  • Satori of Ranma ˝ can read minds, much to Ranma's annoyance. He uses this power to reveal lies, find out people's most private thoughts, and pit Akane against Ranma.
  • Yukina from Senkou No Night Raid uses this to great effect during spy missions with the Sakurai organization.
  • Haruka Kotoura from Kotoura-san is a fifteen-year old telepath who can't turn her ability off. As a child her naturally naive personality causes her to simply blurt out sensitive information. This causes her to be labelled as a compulsive liar, to drive her friends and classmates away, and to cause her parent's divorce. However in highschool she is finally able to meet Manabe, someone who is transparent and honest and not scared of her ability.
  • Dragon Ball is usually more concerned with physical strength, but telepathy is important to the plot every now and again. The Kais all seem to have some level of mind reading and telepathic ability (King Kai's is so powerful he can psychically communicate with an entire planet at once, from anywhere in the universe). Babidi can use his magic for it, and even Goku and Vegeta will very rarely display low-level mind reading abilities.
    • Kame-sennin read the mind and memories of Nam, a powerful Indian mystic, without him noticing, just by standing near him. Korin can also read minds by just standing in front of a person and much later Goku learns to do this, but he needs to touch his target.
  • Artemis and Luna from Sailor Moon have displayed some telepathic power, mainly the ability to re-awaken the Sailor Senshi's memories during the second season.
  • In Naruto, this is the signature ability of the Hidden Leaf Village's Yamanaka clan, who can possess others, read minds, perform consciousness transfers, and form psychic communication networks.
  • In Summer Days With Coo, this is how Coo and the family dog communicate.
  • In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, vampires can read minds and communicate via telepathy, even with humans. Fai D. Flourite can communicate with Celes!Chii telepathically, too, but does not seem to read minds accidentally or without permission; perhaps in this case telepathy is a skill acquired through magical training. In the same vein, King Ashura is able to project flashbacks directly into people's minds, which can be fought against, with effort.

    Comic Books 
  • From the Marvel Universe:
    • Professor Charles Xavier of the X-Men has formidable psychic powers and is probably the foremost telepath in comics. A number of others have followed in his wake; the X-Books have more telepaths than any other comics subgroup.
      • Such as Jean Grey, Cable, Rachel Summers, and Emma Frost and her clone daughters the Stepford Cuckoos being the most prominent examples.
      • Psylocke sounds like a good name for a telepath, doesn't it? Originally, that was her only power.
      • Notice that all the above are X-Men, the X-teams basically monopolize the named psykers in Marvel (SHIELD does have a number of redshirt weak psykers). In the Avengers vs X-Men series, one Avenger mentioned that the reason why the Avengers had difficulty tracking down the Phoenix 5 (when they weren't blowing things up in public) was that they had no telepaths to scan for them, they were all on the X-Men.
  • From The DCU:
    • This is one of the Martian Manhunter's main powers, usually used in a benevolent manner to communicate with allies or to help heal damaged psyches. When in the Justice League of America, he often acts as a sort of psychic hub through which the team can communicate mind-to-mind. He's generally reguarded as The DCU's greatest telepath.
    • Gorilla Grodd, one of The Flash's nemeses, is an evil gorilla with telepathic powers; his good counterpart, the late King Solovar of Gorilla City, had similar powers. Grodd usually uses his powers for Mind Control or more subtle manipulation, though he can also fall back on his natural strength.
    • Grodd has a grandson (or brother, depending on who's telling the story) dubbed Sam Simeon, one half the comedic crime-fighting duo Angel and the Ape, with a watered-down version of Grodd's powers that just lets him cloud the minds of people around him so they see him as a normal human.
    • Titanians (formerly Lanothians) are an inherently telepathic race. Of course, Saturn Girl, the Titanian member of the Legion of Super-Heroes is the poster girl for her entire race, with abilities similar to the telepatic ones of the aforementioned Martian Manhunter.
      • The Threeboot version of the Legion, placed in one of the 52 parallel universes of the DCU, features a retooled version of the Titanians. In this version their powerful telepathy borders on a collective form of Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training, as modern Titanians are a race of mute individuals, evolved without vocal cords as their prolonged use of telepathy made speech useless. Threeboot Saturn Girl may be as powerful as Mainstream Saturn Girl, but shut down her powers and she gets an instant downgrade to the resident Cute Mute.
  • All elves in Wendy and Richard Pini's ElfQuest graphic novels have the ability to communicate telepathically via a process known as "sending". Wolfriders can also communicate this way with their wolf-friends although this requires eye contact and is more difficult than between elves.
  • Aquaman, famously, has the ability to talk to fish. Or, at least that's what conventional wisdom holds. In reality, Aquaman has a mental command over any creatures even vestigially connected to the sea: aquatic reptiles, crustaceans, squid, seabirds, mosquitoes, and...for those of you who believe in evolution, this includes humans. Or, if you like to speculate, that also includes friggin CTHULHU!
    • Retooled after Flashpoint. Taking a page from some '90s stories and the early origins of the character, Aquaman's telepathy is now greatly toned down, as he can't truly commune with fish or fish-derived life, but just implant compulsions and desires: such as the will to help him.
  • In Strikeforce: Morituri, Scatterbrain could indiscriminately broadcast thoughts and mental states to everyone nearby.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In The Lion King Adventures, the Hermit of Hekima possesses this ability. In The Curse of Death, he reads Simba's mind in order to get an idea of his personality.
  • iFight Crime With Victorious:
    • Carly has the power to read minds and and can later sense others in her vicinity.
    • Tori has the power to actually "communicate" with other minds, unlike Carly, and send thoughts across long distances, though she can't hear other's thoughts.
  • Voldemort in My Immortal can read minds, because he "hath telekinesis"
  • In Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami, Night Yagami can use her Shinigami Ears to hear people's thoughts.
  • In Kira Is Justice, there is the telepathy necklace, which lets Justice and Landras talk to each other via telepathy. This is enforced to fix the fact that Light talked to Ryuk in his room without his family noticing. And...
  • Last One Standing by Kalash93 features a limited for of telepathy. Alicorns can communicate remotely by using magic.
  • Racer and the Geek, also by the same guy, introduces a kind of pseudo-telepaphy in chapter seven. by which magic users can communicate remotely.
  • The Daria/Legion of Super-HeroesFanFic series Legion of Lawndale Heroes has a lot of telepaths, and deals with the problems of being a telepath. There are so many telepaths in society (albeit not revealed to the general public, they operate in government, the military forces of many countries, and in the corporate sectors) that the nations of the world have laws enacted and adhered to by even the rogue nations that police people with not just psi-powers, but powers in general. You can actually get a legitimate job with Psychic Powers, with the understanding that if you misuse them in your work, it's your fault, not the fault of the people who hired you.
  • In With Strings Attached, the Kansael gives John the ability to communicate telepathically through water. Mostly this means he has to touch the others to “connect their water-strings,” but he can also connect them via a puddle, and he has much longer range in a body of water like the ocean, though just how long is not known. Nor is it known whether he can do more than just talk. He can, however, tap into Ringo's mindsight.
  • Reflections, a followup story to Last One Standing by the same author, expands further on the idea. Arparently, Luna and Celestia don't even need to speak, be in close proximity, or even use language in order to communicate with each other. They choose to communicate almost exclusively by mortal methods in order to maintain those skills as well as to respect each other's privacy.
  • In Son Of The Warp, Joseph can read surface thoughts, including what a person is about to do. He can't probe deeper, but he does have enough control to block out thoughts.
  • The title character of Empath: The Luckiest Smurf is considered a telepath, as are the Psyches.
  • When Calvin and Hobbes Get XTREME! crosses over with Garfield in chapter 6, the Fridge Logic behind Calvin being able to hear Garfield's thoughts is naturally addressed, with Garfield's theory on the matter being that Calvin has this.

  • The Quasi-Dead from The Chronicles of Riddick possess powerful telepathic powers.
  • The mutants in the second Planet of the Apes film are telepathic.
  • X-Men:
    • Charles Xavier reads minds with his telepathy, and also can freeze entire groups of people in place.
    • Jean Grey, almost to Xavier's levels.
  • Howard in Pretty Cool has this as part of his Mind Control powers.
  • Regan Mac Neil seems to have picked up some telepathic ability in The Exorcist II: The Heretic, probably from using the brainwave synchronizer. When she helps autistic Sandra to speak, Dr. Tuskin knows exactly what she did and warns her it's not polite to get in people's heads without permission.

  • The Alterien series. As enhanced humanoids, the Alteriens are all telepathic.
  • The spirits and the Aash Ra are all telepaths in Astral Dawn.
  • Alfred Bester's novel The Demolished Man explores what would happen to human societies if telepathy were discovered to be not only real and provable, but a talent that could be developed in the manner of any other skill. With a guild to maintain ethical standards, "peepers" become valuable, contributing members of society.
  • Gamina from The Riftwar Cycle has this ability.
  • The Flame and Deca from Tales of an Mazing Girl can do this. The Latter most sensibly, To Insider Trades on the stock market to get a huge fortune.
  • Alan Dean Foster has a thing for telepathy; it's heavily featured in many of his Space Opera novels. Of particular note are the (extinct) Tar-Aiym and the Ulru-Ujurrians in his Humanx Commonwealth series and the Solarian Combine in Design for Great-Day, who have developed telepathy into what is effectively a multi-species, intergalactic Hive Mind. In the latter case, this is treated as the natural and penultimate evolutionary stage of all species.
  • The telepaths in John Brunner's Telepathist covers the heroic range of this trope (split into "receptive" (able to listen) and "projective" (two-way), but most of all it's seen as a benefit to mankind. Actually having the ability to feel and see what someone is thinking is shown to be invaluable in, say, clinical psychology or conflict negotiation. However,when a really powerful telepath succumbs to the temptation to construct a Dream Land like their patients', they can construct a grand hallucination that another telepath has to pull them out of.
  • In the Inheritance Cycle, it seems that all magic users have the potential to become telepaths. Anyone with sufficient training can attempt resist an attack upon their mind.
  • John Wyndham's classic The Chrysalids, in which the core characters can share what they dub 'thought-shapes', implied to be an intermediate stage on the way to full telepathy. In the midst of its larger points re: resistance to change and growth, the novel also acts as probably the most famous serious exploration of the fear and horror telepathy might inspire in the wider 'normal' community.
  • In Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, the noble caste (referred to as "Comyn"), have telepathy as one of their defining features, along with red hair. With a society where most of the people (at least those who appear in the books) have telepathy has led to interesting social rules like 'Do not enter another's mind without permission' and if one accidentally 'hears' something they weren't meant to, it is considered polite not to mention it. Also, if one is suffering from mental anguish, one tries to keep one's thoughts to oneself so as not to burden others with their emotions. These do not apply to the mind-blind peasant class, who treat the Comyn as descended from Gods. Interesting world, Darkover.
  • Katherine Kurtz's Deryni have a full range of telepathy from an empathic sensing of emotions through Truth Reading (detecting if someone is telling a lie) through compelling them to speak the truth and all the way up to total Mind Control. They can also send and receive words (Mind Speech) and images at a much faster rate than ordinary speech. These skills prove highly useful when questioning people or gathering information from scouts, not to mention facilitating private conversations in the presence of other people. The good guys tend to reserve Mind Control for maintaining the Masquerade; the bad guys (and girls) have no such compunctions.
  • Maximum Ride has Angel. She's six years old and can make you buy her a teddy bear - or make a flying enemy fall by telling them to.
  • Sharona's Voices have perfect recall and can send and receieve telepathic messages to each other, including sensory information - sight, sound, smell, and touch, but can't read minds. On the other hand, Sifters can't send messages, but they can tell when other people are lying or telling the truth.
  • Sookie Stackhouse views her telepathy as a curse and usually tries hard to block out other people's thoughts.
  • Mentioned at the end of The Lord of the Rings, when Gandalf, Galadriel, Celeborn and Elrond appear to communicate without speaking. J. R. R. Tolkien wrote a more detailed account of telepathy among Ainur (lesser deities), Elves and to a lesser extent Men in the essay called "Osanwe-kenta."
  • Kris/Deliann's "flashes" in Blade of Tyshalle.
  • Many people in the Mercedes Lackey series, Heralds of Valdemar, have this ability; it's called "Mindspeech".
  • There's also "mind-speech" in the Zilpha Keatley Snyder Green-Sky Trilogy. Telepathy in general is called pensing. A game called Five-Pense is played by little children to practice and strengthen these abilities, progressing from Signals and Choices to Images, Thoughts and Words.
  • Zenna Henderson's People communicate mentally as a routine thing. According to the narrator in "Deluge", they also have subvocal communication — which is real, and now being researched. Some of them are able to get in other people's heads and do file management, including deletion of information they shouldn't have.
  • Jakub Wędrowycz has this ability. He refers to it as a "frequency" to which one must tune himself, much like a radio.
  • The technological level of the Culture in the Iain M. Banks novels is so high that the super-intelligent A.I. Minds are capable of reading the minds of humans, thanks to some kind of 'action/sensing-at-a-distance' effect. This is, however, considered taboo.
  • In the Firebird Trilogy, both the Sentinels and the Shuhr have telepathic powers. The Sentinels are the "good guys", with strict and strictly enforced limits on how they are allowed to use their powers. The Shuhr are much less pleasant, as they do not put any limits on their use of power, leading to rather frequent Mind Manipulation among those they come in contact with (including the less powerful among their own race).
  • Anyone in morph in Animorphs has this ability. And Andalites and a few other races have it as part of their natural abilities.
  • In the Uplift series Galactics have several technologies to enhance telepathy and use it primarily to detect sapient minds at great distances or last resort communications (the psionic equivalent of a distress beacon is called a "psi-bomb" for a reason).
  • Larry Niven's Known Space features several telepathic species.
  • All the Martian races in John Carter of Mars are mildly telepathic—mostly this is used to control domestic animals, but can also be used to determine if someone is telling the truth during conversation. The First Born (aka Black Martians) largely do not have this ability, but their leader Issus does, which helps her cement her position as a living goddess. Certain groups have more advanced telepathic powers, such as the Lotharians (an isolated sect of White Martians who have developed tremendous powers of illusion, but become detached from reality as a result) and the kaldanes (crab-like creatures that are almost all brain and can seize control of anyone who makes eye contact with them). Earth humans, for whatever reason, can No Sell telepathic probing, something that comes in handy for Earth-born hero Carter during his adventures.
  • One of the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's entries references an entire planet of beings who were cursed with telepathy. Everyone on their entire planet could hear every thought in every other mind on the planet, whether they wanted to or not — which quickly threatened to drive them bonkers from information overload and/or sheer boredom. They solved this by adopting the habit of constantly talking loud enough to drown out the constant, unwanted incoming mental transmissions.
  • Brian Lumley's Necroscope series features telepathy in vampires, as well as humans in varying degree. The humans also occasionally sport other powers, such as locating someone from a distance, clouding someone else's telepathy, or precognition. The telepathy of the titular Necroscopenote  extends even to the dead.
  • Present in The Dresden Files. Although invading the mind of a human is against wizard law - that is, reading minds and mind control - transmitting one's own thoughts is legal. This was used once in a chaotic situation, when an Eldritch Abomination that could kill with a touch was released in a crowded room. A powerful wizard used magic to communicate a tactical plan for dealing with it to everyone in the room, complete with visual aids superimposed on the surroundings, all in the space of a second.
  • In Twilight Edward can read people's minds, though for some reason cannot read Bella's. Shapeshifters in the same pack can also do this while in wolf form.
  • Appears in Harry Potter in the form of Legilimancy. Also a rare aversion of the Conveniently Coherent Thoughts trope common to telepathy stories.
  • In M.C.A. Hogarth's Paradox series the Eldritch and Glaseah are telepathic, the former species have little control over their powers and shun them, while the latter embrace it to the point of preferring telepathy to verbal speech. Jahir and Vasiht'h are an Eldritch and Glaseah pair of psychologists who use their abilities to affect their client's dreams.
  • In Poul Anderson's Sargasso of Lost Starships, the aliens. They can appear however they please, and launch nightmarish psychic attacks. Donovan, however, says they are not telepaths, refering to their inability to receive thoughts or control minds.
  • Kindling Ashes: Dragons can mind-speak with their flyers and only their flyers.
  • In Dragonriders of Pern the dragons and their riders communicate telepathically. It is very unusual for a dragonrider to be able to talk with any dragon other than her or his own, but a handful of such people have existed, among them Moreta, Lessa and Brekke.
  • Verge Foray's 1968 novella Practice! takes place in a private school. Ostensibly for "disturbed children", it is actually devoted to the encouragement of ESP skills.
  • Some of the Martian people of Leigh Brackett's novels were telepathic, including Captain Phil Kirby's Martian wife Shari in Alpha Centauri or Die. When Kirby's ship makes it to Alpha Centauri, Shari encounters indigenous creatures who are true telepaths, able to teleport things and people at will. They can even see inside atoms.
  • Star Holmes in Mark Clifton's novella Star Bright has an IQ in the quadruple digits and is strongly telepathic. She makes contact with another child like herself, and they manipulate events so that his family moves in next door. She is even able to teach her dad some ESP.
  • The Web Novel Ketrin features telpathic lupinoids, resembling big wolves with stripes, that communicate telepathically. Humans can also gain telepathy, either by suckling lupinoid milk in infancy as WildChildren, or by a telepath mingling blood from a cut with a non-telepath. In theory it would be possible for a human to gain telepathy directly from a lupinoid's blood, but needless to say they're reluctant to part with it.
  • Avery Lazar and Oksana from Vampire Academy, can read minds.
  • Raziel from The Mortal Instruments, can read minds and hearts; justified due to his angelic status.
  • Believed to exist in the Eldraeverse, until its possessors developed enough science to reveal it as organic Wi Fi.

    Live Action TV 
  • Babylon 5 had one of the most fleshed out portrayals of telepaths in fiction, even showing how different cultures treated their telepaths. The creator drew heavily from Alfred Bester's novel The Demolished Man, particularly for writing the Psi Corps.
    The Corps is Mother. The Corps is Father.
  • Matt Parkman of Heroes is unusual as being a telepath who isn't inordinately brainy.
    • Parkman's power is actually "full control over the brain", meaning, in effect, every single power in the Mind Manipulation index. Superpower Lottery to the max. Telepathy happens to be his earliest discovered ability and the most prominently featured.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In the S3 episode "Earshot," Buffy is exposed to some Applied Phlebotinum and gains the power of passive telepathy, which becomes progressively more powerful during the episode. Eventually, the power becomes so advanced that she is overwhelmed by the incessant stream of thoughts and needs some more Applied Phlebotinum to get better.
    • Throughout Season 6, Willow shows the ability to communicate telepathically with the people around her at will. She can give messages to others, who "hear" her voice in their heads. She can also read people's "surface thoughts," though most of the Scoobies prefer to speak aloud when communicating with her telepathically.
    • Season 7's "Showtime" shows that the main Scooby trio is apparently able to initiate contact even if Willow isn't actively using the ability, as Buffy begins a telepathic conversation with Willow, who promptly brings Xander in as well in order to formulate an Unspoken Plan Guarantee.
  • The plot of the TV series The Listener is about a telepathic paramedic.
  • Star Trek has several telepathic species, including Vulcans, Betazoids and Ocampa.
    • The Melkotians in "Spectre of the Gun" were described by Spock as true telepaths for their ability to speak directly into the minds of the Enterprise crew, each of them hearing the message in his or her own language, and for the realistic illusions they project.
    • While the child of Betazoid telepath Lwaxana Troi and a non-telepathic human results in their child Counsellor Deanna Troi being The Empath.
  • Sookie Stackhouse, the central character of True Blood is a telepath.
    • She also met a character named Barry Horowitz, who is a telepath.
  • Clark gained this ability for one episode of Smallville.
  • The Doctor (from Nine onwards anyway) has a mild version of this. It mostly consists of being able to access other people's minds and memories upon contact, transfer images/sensations on a level which only he is aware of from his mind to someone else's, and weirdly enough, what seems to be a mental version of the Cooldown Hug.
    • This is actually present in ALL Time Lords. It's a trait of the species, as witnessed by the Master all the way back to the Third Doctor, and mentioned specifically by the Fourth Doctor in "The Deadly Assassin".
    • The TARDIS is also telepathic; she most notably uses the power to translate for the Doctor and companions. However, she can directly communicate with them, although a human may need to look into her heart.
  • The Auronar in Blake's 7 are a race of telepaths. Cally, a member of Blake's crew, was exiled from Auron and is therefore isolated from other telepaths - all alone. Cally could be heard by other people (although reception varied) but could not read minds. She did, however, act as an Evil Detector.
  • In Farscape, members of the Scarran's ruling caste all have a certain degree of telepathic power; most of them use it for forcing their captives to tell the truth while under their influence of their heat projection, though a few have used it to read the surface thoughts of others.
    • The Skreeth assassin, who can telepathically speak through anyone wearing its bio-organic reciever (even over thousands of light years away) and read minds by touch.
    • Don't forget Zhaan's traditional Delvian mysticism, which lends itself to the occasional Mind Meld.
    • And of course, there's Maldis, the vampiric Evil Sorcerer, who knew all the details of John Crichton's life without being told. As he said once "Your mind is an open book. Big print and lots of pictures!"
  • In Firefly, River possesses one-way telepathic abilities, being able to read minds. However, she has the inability to control this, the thoughts she picks up are far from coherent or clear, and they are not conducive to sanity. It doesn't help that she's a traumatized wreck thanks to her experiences at the Academy.
  • In one scene of Soap Chuck and Bob show off Bob's telepathic abilities.
  • The djinn in Supernatural can read their victims minds knowing their greatest desires and fears.
  • Downplayed in No Ordinary Family. The mind-reading character never seems to get the whole picture. She only reads people's minds at a few moments here and there, hearing not their full stream of thought, but a few relevant (and incomplete) thoughts.
  • Downplayed in The Listener, when in one episode the protagonist just neglects to listen to the thoughts of the murderer, who stands over the dead body a few hours after the murder. Instead he gleans a thought from someone else in the room, so the episode doesn't end there and then.

    Other Sites 
  • SCP Foundation
    • SCP-1527 ("Our Bellmaker, Our Radiant Skies"). The large crustaceans summoned by the Bell have a kind of telepathy that can be disrupted by radio jamming. They can use it to telepathically attack human beings at a range of up to 50 meters and cause effects such as confusion, inducing suggestibility, implanting compulsions and leaving messages in their minds.
    • SCP-2525 ("Extraterrestrial Broadcaster"). The original SCP-2525 (currently SCP-2525-N) was an alien creature that could communicate with human beings using telepathy.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dark Heresy, psykers can have a range of these powers, from simple telepathy, through mind control, to full blown mind rape.
  • Naturally, virtually every superhero RPG as well as most science fiction-, horror-, or fantasy-themed ones will have some version of this. In the last case, even if the word 'telepathy' never comes up and psychic powers as such ostensibly don't exist, magic spells and items allowing their user to read or control the minds of others will still be pretty standard fare.
  • Traveller deals with this in an elegant way. The Zhodani Consulate is ruled by a caste of Psi-nobles. Everywhere else psionics tends to be distrusted and severely limited. This way the PC can have widely used telepathy or not, just by being in a different part of the Traveller Universe.
  • Telepathy is a standard blue ability in Magic: The Gathering. The Telepathy card allows you to see your opponent's hand. There are many variants on the ability, usually involving revealing hidden information in some way.
  • The current page image is that of the Yu-Gi-Oh! card, 'Mind Haxorz'.note  Its effects is functionally equivalent to reading your opponent's mind, too: by paying 500 Life Points, you get to see the opponent's hand and all their face-down cards on the field.
  • In Eclipse Phase Psi-Gamma slights are all telepathy used in different applications.
  • Any Green or Purple mage in Ironclaw can communicate by thought, and Mind Reading is a common Journeyman level spell.
  • World Of Synnibarr. The Aquarian race has telepathy that works on sea creatures. It allows communication as well as hypnotic control.
  • This is one of the psychic Aptitudes in Ćon, covering empathy, mental communication, and mind-warping, and is most commonly associated with the Chinese-affiliated Ministry for Psionic Affairs. The free web supplement Asia Ascendant goes into in-depth exploration of what the Ministry does and how it operates.

    Video Games 
  • Mint Blancmanche of Galaxy Angel, although telepathy runs in her family. She once tries to use it to see how the main character feels about the five Angels on board the Elsior. Hilarity Ensues.
  • NetHack has this as one of many obtainable abilities: when blinded in any manner, you can see the exact location of any monster on the current floor that can think.
  • In The Legend of Zelda, Link often receives telepathic messages from the quest mentor or the princess. Although it's usually through the use of a magic artifact or an item, such as the Ocarina or a magical pendant.
  • In Golden Sun, most Jupiter Adepts can read minds, and Sveta can even do this to dead bodies.
  • In Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy this is the only psychic power that psychic prodigy Nick does not have. His Voice with a Psychic Connection Sara does however.
  • Similar to Psi Ops, Second Sight has this as one of the two powers John doesn't unlock- the other being Deflector Shields. Oddly, the only psychic in the entire game that uses direct telepathy at any point is the remarkably ambiguous Jayne Wilde.
  • Super Mario RPG: Hitting the Action Command when using Mallow's "Psychopath" spell reveals a sentence of the affected enemy's thoughts.
  • The first power that Neku discovers in The World Ends with You is the ability to read others' minds.
  • While it's never exactly established as such, Mitsuru and later Fuuka must use some form of telepathy in Persona 3 to communicate with the protagonist and his party while in Tartarus, considering the fact that electronic devices don't work during the Dark Hour. More confusion is caused by the fact that such communications are displayed as electronic communications, complete with static, even though it's been stated that that's impossible.
    • The actual scouting seems to be telepathic, but the rest is just specially adapted technology. Unless her motorcycle works by telepathy too.
  • Psycho Mantis is such a powerful telepath, he can read your memory card. Oh, and he can also do mind control and read your controller.
  • Pokémon has a move, Mind Reader, that allows the user to make sure that the next hit does not miss.
    • A lot of Pokémon (usually Psychic types, though sometimes Ghost or legendary or just special) can communicate telepathically, and some can read thoughts and emotions.
  • The Komeiji sisters of Touhou, being satori, can read minds using their third eyes (which are located on their external hears). Though Koishi blocked this ability by closing her third eye, which somehow gave her control of the subconscious mind at the expense of being unable to read her own mind.
  • Powerful magic users in the ''Warcraft-verse are capable of this.
  • Razputin in Psychonauts has mild telepathic abilities. They generally only come into play when his Love Interest is thinking about him, to her embarrassment.
  • The Terran units called Ghosts in StarCraft have this ability, as Kerrigan (who is a Ghost herself) mentions in the first game's campaign mode.

    Visual Novels 
  • Kotori Shirakawa in the Da Capo Dating Sim / anime. It stems from a childhood wish to be able to understand the people around her after her sudden adoption. She is devastated when depowered near the end and retreats back into the Stepford Smiler mask she wore before she got her powers.
  • In the Murder Mystery Visual Novel Jisei, a voice that only the protagonist can hear tries to help the main character with his investigation. She is able to transmit her thoughts into his mind and read his thoughts.

    Web Comics 
  • In Project 0 Ciro uses telepathy to broadcast a Badass Boast to an entire enemy battleship just before it explodes.
  • In Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures , the 'cubi have thought hearing as an innate ability, which starts to manifest in their twenties, along with empathy, etc. Actual mind reading and dream entering are advanced techniques which have to be learned.
  • In Sluggy Freelance all the Lysinda circle vampires have this ability, though Sam rarely seems to use it.
  • The FreakAngels make heavy use of their telepathic abilities, both to communicate quickly and easily, and to absorb knowledge on their areas of specialty.
  • In Juathuur, sometimes juathuurs communicate with each other this way. Both participants must be willing.
  • The Loroi of Outsider have a variety of psychic abilities, mind talking being among them.
  • In Think Before You Think, Brian has the ability to read minds.
  • A technological equivalent appears as a plot point in Freefall. All of the robots on the planet share information via that planet's equivalent of the internet using built-in radios. This is functionally a type of telepathy as it's virtually instantaneous. Overlaps somewhat with Hive Mind although each robot is actually an independent entity.
  • Asia and Malloy from morphE are Mastigoes mages with mind reading and telepathic abilities.
  • Magick Chicks: This is one, among many, of Faith's abilities as an esper. Which she's used to relay orders to other members of the student council, or to mind-sext Tiffany.
  • Bram And Vlad: Vlad's telepathy starts to develop at a very inconvenient moment.

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamers Alliance, several mages are capable of telepathy although the recipient can always resist a mage accessing his or her mind with enough willpower.
  • In New Vindicators, two characters have the power of mental duplication, to be able to copy another's mind. One is a criminal mastermind called Bookworm, the other is a Nephilim teacher at the European school.
  • This is common enough in the Whateley Universe that Whateley Academy has an entire Psychic Arts Department. Telepaths are required to learn the ethics of telepathhy and pass the ethics test afterward. Some telepaths like Don Sebastiano don't follow the rules.
  • Though Psychic Powers in general are the rarest of all superpowers in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, Telepathy is definitely the most common mental power. The most powerful telepath in the setting is Oracle, a former member of the Global Guardians, though the supervillain Cerebellum contests this point. Other notable telepaths are Headcase, Iron Angel, A Espada, Halazgo, and Mikula.
    • The Scions are a group of four telepathic siblings. They've been pursuing a private war against their father, Cerebellum, in addition to their normal super-villainy.
  • Everyone in Mind Hall from Raising Angels are some form of telepath, empath or weirder.

    Western Animation 
  • In the TV Series W.I.T.C.H., a character named Taranee Cook could read the minds of her fellow guardians and talk to them through their minds.
  • Aqualad of the Teen Titans animated series claims to have telepathy, but he has yet to use it on anyone who isn't a fish sea creature.
  • Ribbon from the original My Little Pony was telepathic, and also capable of sending dream messages.
  • Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has limited telepathy, as she can alter the minds of Parasprites to not eat food and force her memories of friendship onto her friends.

    Real Life 
  • Language - speech and writing, in particular. (Note that this form is much less reliable than most of the fictional ones.)
  • Early psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung believed that telepathy was an atropied sense in humans, based on the seeming mind-reading abilities of animals and what they thought were personal experience of telepathic dreams.
  • Rodent Mind Meld. Scientists have successfully found a way to link one lab rat's mind to another. What is basically an electronic form of telepathy, experiments found that one rat's mind can communicate with another rat from halfway across the world when both of them are hooked up to the same electronic device. One rat is provided with a problem, and the other knows the solution and tells it to the other. Both of them usually act in tandem, both flipping a switch at the same time or what-have-you.

Okay, that should do it. Hmm, why do I have that feeling that I'm Being Watched?

Alternative Title(s):

Mind Reading, Telepath