Mundane Utility: Fan Works
Avatar: The Last Airbender
- In Around The Fountain Zuko uses his firebending to shave. Sokka feels inferior.
- Kyoshi Rising; Kyoshi's Earthbending instructor teaches her to use her powers to fish (although he has practical reasons for it; Earthbenders need to be able to feel impacts and tremors through the ground, so they don't get snuck up on).
- Taken to ridiculous levels in Uninvited Guests.
Ikakku: "Well someone has to open this jar of pickles! ...BANKAI!"
- Calvin becomes a Gadgeteer Genius in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series, but he uses his potentially world-changing inventions for things like duplicating pizza and chilling soda.
- In Acceleration Taylor uses her vector control to put her bullies on mute.
- The Dark Lords Of Nerima:
- Beneda can form Shiruken on her arms. They're great for helping Kasumi chop vegetables.
- The "magic artifact" that Ranma and Ryoga use for their ceremony is used to boil water.
- In Child of Rao Book II, Xander uses his Kryptonian powers for carpentry (and since he drives nails by pushing them in with his finger, he's highly valued by people who want a quiet worker) and has a Super-Powered Alter Ego who uses his Super Strength and Super Speed in construction work and package delivery respectively. Cordelia is always passively absorbing heat so the studio she works in has no need for air conditioning.
- After Harry retrieves the Book of the Dead for Death in Death's Knight, she uses it to prop up her coffee table.
- The God Empress Of Ponykind: Celestia uses Warpflame for many things; burning through ranks of enemies, intimidation, and tidying up an old citadel by burning away moss and other debris.
- In Kyon Big Damn Hero, Yuki used her data manipulation powers to slow the relative time around a tea kettle preventing its tea from cooling down.
- Not In Kansas: Kara uses her super speed to play ping pong against herself in two different versions of her Supergirl outfit.
- In The Return one of the awesome powers of the Succubae is the ability to magic up your own clothing. So if the protagonists see a dress they like in a shop they just need to try it on in the changing room to see how it looks, then once they are out of the shop they magically summon an exact copy out of thin air. Summoned clothes will also dissolve once they are taken off, so it must save a small fortune on dry cleaning too.
- In Stardust, this describes Twilight Sparkle's use of her powers, to the bemusement of XCOM. Telekinesis that can crush a Chryssalid to a smear in one pulse or drive solid steel two inches into concrete? She uses it for tidying up after herself. A spell that renders the target completely silent, so even their actions make no noise? Perfect for silencing an annoying woman teasing you. Inverted in that X-Com is at least considering trying to weaponize any spell that seems it might be useful, such as using the "wallflower" spell so the media doesn't notice them on missions.
- In Tangled Adventures In Arendelle, once she got control of her powers, Elsa's now able to use them for things you might not think about. Not only can she give herself a quick change when necessary, but it also works well for giving herself a royal seal or turning out the lights when she's in bed. (they use oil lamps around the castle.)
- Ice in Timex... keeps on ticking uses her powers to create ice at ice plants to make money. They save power, and she gets half the money they saved in power bills. According to Fire, she makes enough money to pay for the rent of a penthouse in Metropolis. Killer Frost remarks that she should try going legit.
- In Turnabout Storm, Twilight accidentally Power Copies Phoenix's Magatama, effectively turning her into a Living Lie Detector. After learning about this, one of the first things that comes to her mind is how knowing when someone is keeping a secret would come in handy during surveys.
- The Next Frontier: The Kerbal Space Program's prototype faster-than-light starship is equipped with a Quantum Entanglement communications system capable of instantaneous communications with Mission Control eight light-years distant. Mission commander Jebediah Kerman is also using it to update his blog on the Kerbin Space Agency website.
- In Inviolate, Lex Luthor has this to say about his sonic weapon:
"I've never actually hit anyone with it at level ten, but I tried it on a steak once. Vibrated the thing so hard the meat not only cooked to medium rare, but I ended up with quite possibly the most tender cut of beef you could imagine as the connective tissues and bones were practically liquefied." A gruesomely amused grin crossed the man's face. "I could cut it with a plastic fork. Can you imagine what it would do to a human body?"
- He also has an energy-efficient teleportation device that can also be used as a microscope, telescope, MRI, scrying device, and video phone.
- In Ain't Life A Mystery Matt uses the Death Note to prop up his coffee table.
- In Fearful Symmetry when stranded and starving in the wilderness Light uses Death Note pages for kindling (the Death Note never runs out of pages so he'll never run out of fuel) and in a moment of insanity eats a page.
- In Sex Note, when Light figures out the notebook works (despite the name, with it the user can alter people however they want, not necessarily for sex-related reasons), he immediately changes things about himself such as increasing his strength, speed, and giving himself complete immunity to all diseases. Also, he never needs to shave again, his tan is even, and his hair is always perfect.
- In White Day Ryuk uses Death Note pages for wrapping paper.
- In Dragon Age The Crown Of Thorns, resident Badass Longcoat elven blood mage Alim Surana came up with magical runes and glyphs capable of keeping the party camp warm during winter. He also uses his frost magic on a pair of chests where they store meat, making them something like portable freezers.
- Then, there's the enchantment used by the dwarves, which includes self-filling basins of self-purifying water (these things actually show up in the official book 'Dragon Age: The Calling' too) and metal, runed disks that act as portable campfires/grills -they are made of several, rotating, concentric disks that can be moved to make several rune patterns, enabling red hot iron and several intensities of actual flames.
- In the Egyptian Mythology fic A day in the afterlife, a human petitions the Egyptian pantheon to let mortals into the afterlife. Thoth supports the idea. Why?
...[Thoth] argued that humans were excellent scribes and that he could use new recordkeepers himself.
- A fanart by chirpadee shows a Solar Exalt using her caste mark note to read by.
- Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality:
You're giving me a time machine to treat my sleep disorder.You're giving me a TIME MACHINE to treat my SLEEP DISORDER.YOU'RE GIVING ME A TIME MACHINE IN ORDER TO TREAT MY SLEEP DISORDER.
- Later in the same conversation, Professor McGonagall assures Harry that time-turners do not possess the ability to alter the time line, and that she would never give an item with such a capability to students — they might use it to cheat on their tests, after all.
- In another story (I don't remember which), Harry was sent to Azkaban before his innocence was finally proven, and he swore never to return to Britain until all the people that voted for his imprisonement were dead, too. When that happens, he sets out to kill Voldemort and the Death Eaters... and uses his magic as "special effects" to make a film, using Voldemort as the bad guy. It becomes a relatively low-budget film with special effects that ILM would kill to have, and he and Remus make money hand over fist with that film and the next three. It also credits "Tom Riddle" as a stuntsman in all four films, and he decides not to return after the fourth.
- Queen Of All Oni: When Ratso gets the Razor Khan mask, Jackie worries over what Jade will do with two armies of Shadowkhan at her disposal. We then cut to her pitting her ninja against Ratso's... in a baseball game.
- The first thing Jade is seen doing once she learns about her contortionist abilities is using them to win a bet against the Enforcers (unhooking her jaw in a snake-like manner in order to swallow a massive sandwich whole).
- Jade gets this a lot — her magic fans were created to serve as Magic Wands, which they do. But at one point she uses one to, well, fan herself with.
- In the chapter that we really see the new haunted mansion headquarters for the Shadow Hand, we see a Shadowkhan vacuuming, showing that Jade uses her Mooks for chores.
- Game Theory (Fan Fic) examines possible uses of magic from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha in day to day life, such as using magical constructs as Impossibly Cool Clothes. There's also a magic system designed primarily around constructing buildings and other forms of infrastructure that gets mentioned in the world building.
- The mundane utility of most things from Lyrical Nanoha is explored in In The Service, from using flight magic letting someone avoid pressure-based traps to telepathy being used for privacy or in loud environments. Some of the more worrisome aspects are also examined, like being able to cauterize the wounds your Flaming Sword causes while it is causing them being handy for cutting off people's bits as a torture technique.
- Lampshaded and discussed in The best-laid plans.
"Merlin's cooking a three hour meal in half an hour. He’s using a time spell, taking the inside of his cooking pot through time faster than the rest of us. Cully, listen to me – he’s using the level of magic that it would take me a lifetime to learn, and he’s using it to make stew."..."That man has serious power! And he’s using it to make stew! I ask you, what the hell is that about? Stew, for pity’s sake! Who uses power like that for something so stupid? It’s the power of the universe, not a … a… God, why stew, Cully?
- In possibly one of the biggest examples of misuse of Divine Power, Excolotis from I Am War uses his innate abilities as the War God to beat Twilight at a game of darts.
- KPNYRadio has the characters create a device called the Quantum Entanglement Dish (QED), through which they make First Contact with Earth. They decide to use this miraculous discovery...to start a radio show reviewing works by the bronies.
- In the Ponies Of Olympus series, Rarity is probably Lao Wu's greatest student ever. She uses the fighting skills he gave her to help in her dressmaking (and occasionally, acupuncture).
- Racer and the Geek describes assault rifle bayonets and magazines being used for mundane tasks like food preparation, bottle opening, paper weights, cutting bandages, and pulling nails.
- The Reading Rainbowverse version of Octavia developed a split personality in order to deal with the trauma of seeing her father almost cut open. She was unaware of this for most of her life, referring to Philharmonica as her "sister", but once she did realize what was happening... she promptly figured out how to switch to avoid hangover pains.
- Fallout: Equestria - Empty Quiver features the Princess-class Heavy Cruiser HMS Cadence, a pre-war warship mounting eight 203mm long range guns in four turrets and several still fully functional anti-aircraft cannons and ammunition aboard. Nowadays it's a radio station.
- In The Third Generation, the G3 ponies are amazed to see Twilight Sparkle use her gift of magic (something very rare and spectacular to them) for something so mundane as to pick books off high shelves. (Of course, for the G4 ponies, magic is commonplace and ordinary, especially telekinesis.)
- In Black Flames Dance in the Wind, Naruto uses his near mastery of fire to clean himself by incinerating everything off his body. He does note that he has to "air himself out" afterwards as it leaves him smelling strongly of barbeque and tends to attract animals.
- A Drop of Poison is a For Want of a Nail fic where Iruka is poisoned during his fight with Mizuki and can't promote Naruto to Genin; with a lot of free time on his hands until Iruka recovers, Naruto learns to exploit his Shadow Clones to write down all the techniques in the Forbidden Scroll he stole (by using clone version of the scroll, at that) and test them out. Later in the story he creates two new personas to go to school with him for his next year in order to get an unbiased education and manages his own spy network throughout the Elemental Nations. He also uses the clones with various Henges to get better prices while shopping, a instance much more in common with the trope.
- In A Growing Affection, Gaara uses his powers to clean Naruto's house.
- In Team 8, Naruto's Shadow Clones are useful for getting the D-ranked missions done more quickly. He uses them to cheat on his Chunin Exam test, but not realizing that he receives information from clones that are dispelled, he uses them to see the answers and send him signals.
- Naruto also sends his shadow clones shopping on several occasions.
- In a general sense, there exists large amounts of fanarts where trainers and pokemon alike use and misuse their powers in a variety of ways. For example, artist Sougetsu's comics starring Gardevoir and a "Princess" Lilligant have the characters using their powers in all sorts of ways, like Gallade misusing Trick to swap a bag of rubbish onto some random person.
- Pokémon: The Great Adventure gives us Silver, a silver-haired man wearing a full-black outfit and a pretty nice cape. Said cape is often used as a pillow, blanket, a bag ... Ash even notes how warm it is.
- The Pokeumans Fan Verse has produced several ways in which being a Pokemon gives you various abilities that turn out to be useful for more than just battling in your daily life.
Just because you can breathe fire or fly does not mean you can post it on YouTube.Ghost-type students are not allowed to harass teachers on Christmas Eve, especially not in groups of three.Kecleon students are not allowed to set their natural camoflague on ‘strobe’.Do not ask a Whiscash student to say an earthquake is coming so you can get out of class.Do not dare students to see how many uses of Metronome they can do before they Explode themselves.Steel-types cannot be harmed by Poison-type attacks. That doesn’t mean you can eat/drink random things you find lying around for the hell of it.Being a ghost-type does not give you the right to act like a Weeping Angel. The traumatized newbies are willing to testify to this.To Delibirds: You are not Santa Claus. Stop trying to sneak into people's dorm rooms on Christmas Eve.
- It's also produced several submissions to the Things Not To Do In A Pokeumans Base post on the kind of less responsible things people might get up to with the powers of a Pokemon and the mindset of the average teenager:
- In Fireteam Magica, let's just say the Puella Magi Halo 4 night doesn't end well because of this.
- In Thanks Kyubey, Homura uses her time-stopping powers to cheat in an eating contest against Kyouko.
- In With Strings Attached, the four are Actual Pacifists who get infused with a huge amount of magic, so of course they dick around with it a lot. Two examples are John, who, when bored, starts making the people around him thirsty or sweaty or “desirous of urinating”; and George, who shaves by turning into himself clean-shaven.
- In When You Hurt, I Hurt, Ruby uses her Semblance to pass a note in class without getting caught. (Admittedly, it was an important message, but the spirit of the trope is still fulfilled.)
- "Solaere ssiun Hnaifv'daenn": A mighty D'deridex-class warbird, repurposed as an armed freighter delivering medical supplies. Justified in that the region is a little chaotic right now: The plague-ridden planet Glintara is no longer a member of the Romulan Star Empire, but they're independent from the Federation and Romulan Republic as well, and there's been sightings of Space Pirates in the area. And really, in the canon shows the Enterprise had to do that kind of cargo mission all the time.
- Life Aboard the Halberd gives some examples, such as when Sonic and Snake are tasked with washing the windows. Sonic glues soapy sponges to his feet and runs across the windows.
- Touhou fans love to depict various powers used for mundane or silly reasons. Even beyond all those mentioned in the Video Games subpage, Suika using her manipulation of density to collect small things - and growing to giant size to easily collect lumber by plucking whole trees as though they were carrots - Aya using her Super Speed to aid in her role as the local Intrepid Reporter, Cirno being used as air conditioning, Yukari using her gaps for pranks, and many, many other variations exist.