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Playing With: Mundane Utility
Basic Trope: Superhuman powers used for everyday occurrences.
  • Straight: Maxine has fire-controlling powers. She regularly uses them to burn away spiderwebs in her apartment.
  • Exaggerated: Maxine uses her fire controlling powers for every single task she has to do.
  • Downplayed: When Maxine finds herself lost in the desert, she uses her fire-powers to keep warm at night and signal to search-parties.
  • Justified: It makes Maxine's life that much easier, and she needs the practice anyways.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Maxine spots a spiderweb in the corner. She brings out her fire... and uses it to incinerate a Mook who was sneaking up on her from behind.
  • Double Subverted: Then she decides that as long as she's got her fire out, she might as well burn the web anyways.
  • Parodied: Maxine uses her fire powers to heat up the air, creating an airflow strong enough to reduce the pressure in the room to the point where it pulls the door open. Rather than use the handle.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Maxine uses her fire powers to forge new weapons for her teammates.
    • Maxine is a superheroine who after using her fire powers in combat for years and never giving a thought to other applications they may have, decides to use them around the house instead. After a while she realizes that mundane overuse of her power drains her energy to use it for good and considers giving up on household usage, but realizes that such uses do not drain her power to the extent that they would hinder her in combat... until a bigger bad guy comes on to the scene, defeating her and bringing her to lament that she couldn't put all her energy into stopping him. In response, Maxine quits "mundane usage" cold turkey, but gets frustrated with her life of a superheroine and begins to use her powers exclusively in the household. After years of not giving a thought to the noble applications her powers may have, Maxine-
  • Averted: Maxine only uses her fire powers for important things.
  • Enforced: Maxine has been prohibited from fighting crime, and has to make a living doing something else with her powers.
  • Lampshaded: "A mistress of fire using her awe-inspiring powers for bug-zapping. Nothing excessive about that at all."
  • Invoked: "Why do I have to shovel? Can't you just use your fire powers to clear the snow?"
  • Exploited: Melinda hides a fire-activated poison-gas capsule in a fake spiderweb in Maxine's house.
  • Defied:
    • "I shouldn't abuse my powers for selfish gain, even if it's for shoveling snow."
    • "Young lady, the space-time scar in your bedroom isn't to be used for doing your homework; granted, it's not cheating, but it's an unfair advantage over your classmates."
  • Discussed: "She's looking at that spider web with a thoughtful expression, she's got fire powers... I see where this is going."
  • Conversed: "I wish I had the power of flight — the traffic jams in this place just get worse every year."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Using her powers for such petty things drains Maxine's "fuel" to such an extent that when she needs to use it for something serious, she doesn't have enough juice to do it.
    • She accidentally subverts the Inverse Law of Utility and Lethality, and the collateral damage is huge.
    • Maxine grows to rely on her powers to such a degree that when she's depowered on a mission it disrupts her daily life.
  • Reconstructed:
    • The energy Maxine expends by using her powers on such a small scale is relatively negligible, and she can easily make up the difference before going into battle for real.
    • Maxine understands the concept of getting tired from exercise, as soon as she actually "refuel" herself, she's able to burn twice as long.
    • Maxine wears a Power Limiter when she burns webs so collateral damage is avoided.
    • After the depowering incident mentioned in Deconstruction, Maxine resolves to stop using her powers for petty reasons; as a result, she falls out of practice, and endangers her team. They help her to find the balance between losing control of her powers and losing sight of how to be human.

You understand that you're probably using more computer processing power than the entire world had in 1960 to look up the Mundane Utility page, right?

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