Required Secondary Powers / Web Original

  • In the Whateley Universe, this is usually an important part of the plot and/or the character. Since Whateley is a SuperheroSchool Academy of Adventure teaching teenagers how to deal with their powers this trope gets discussed quite a bit within several stories.
    • Telekinetic Flying Brick characters like Lancer get flight and anchoring and Nigh-Invulnerability and such from their PK field around (and through) their body.
    • Density changers like Phase also have gravity warping so they don't sink through the floor when completely light (Phase can now fly, but when he first got his power, he did have trouble not sinking through the floor). Phase may be an Intangible Man, but he doesn't become intangible as much as he moves matter interdimensionally. So he has no trouble with breathing or keeping his blood inside his circulatory system: it's just that he's moving matter into another dimension. It turns out this means he can go to 'normal density' and 'disintegrate' whatever he is moving through.
    • Speedsters like Scrambler and Go-Go are Energizers, need to eat a ton, and do have to worry about things like chafing. Well-endowed female speedsters like Go-Go also have to worry about bouncing.
    • Wallflower can go invisible and make things around her invisible: powers testing demonstrated her 'sight' when invisible was psychic because an invisible eye cannot perceive light.
    • Size warpers don't actually change their size, they put up warp displacement fields that make them look like they've changed their size, and have all the effects thereof. Phase uses this to his advantage once he realises that being a density warper lets him take over the warp displacement fields of others.
  • Whateley also has a lot of students who lack required secondary powers, effectively turning their super abilities into super disabilities.
    • Frostbite can move water, but she uses the heat in it to move it, and as the heat gets displaced it all freezes solid wherever it happens to be, and so she ends up being an 'ice manifester' by accident. And she has no protection from the cold she creates. She's given herself lots of colds and one nasty case of pneumonia.
    • Supervillain alumna Density specifically lacks gravity warping so full application of her powers causes her to sink helplessly into the ground.
    • The ultimate example is Puppet who is not immune to the extreme toxicity of her extremely corrosive blood. It takes equally extreme life support measures just to keep her alive.
  • Wolverine's required healing factor parodied in this Cracked video.
  • In the sixth Shadow Hawk story in Epic Tales, Shadow Hawk's required secondary abilities are actually a major plot point, as there is a character who's presence negates them. Also interesting in that Shadow Hawk's powers are magical in nature, while the negation powers are scientific in nature, and result after a section of really bad technobabble.
  • Cracked has examined them in two articles:
  • In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, it was generally assumed that all characters had these as a matter of course. Exceptions tended to make for interesting side-stories. For example, Silly Putty was a Rubber Man, but he lacked the power to actually control his extended body when stretched; as a result, he had to be manually shaped by other people. The Shield was Nigh Invulnerable, but wasn't anchored (or superhumanly strong), and as a result was regularly knocked ass-over-teakettle when he was hit with any significant force.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • It's explained that the Freelancers' AI granted them the Required Secondary Powers needed for individual armor abilities. When Griff tried out the Super Speed armor ability without an AI, everything, including his mental processes and metabolism, was sped up, and he ran straight into a wall because he had no way of knowing when to slow down.
    • This is actually averted in the PSA Upgrading, when Caboose gets his armor stuck in invisibility mode.
      Church: Don't worry Caboose, I'm sure when the game comes out there'll be a way to shut it off.
      Caboose: Good. I need sleep.
      Sarge: Sleep? When that game comes out, I won't sleep for a week!
      Church: Yeah, no, it's not that, it's just that he's having trouble sleeping because he can see through his eyelids now.
      Sarge: Oh. That's creepy.
    • Agent Washington mentions an incident where Agent Utah activated a force field, and almost suffocated to death before he could turn it off. The incident is in a deleted scene.
  • In Trinton Chronicles it would seem like everyone who has an ability that might normally kill them has an unmentioned secondary power.
    • Best example of this is Dan who controls time, in order to move at hyper speeds when emulating Super Speed he would need a way to extract air with out burning his lungs and in order to see when he slows time to a crawl he would need a way to speed light up to his eyes while still perceiving slowed time.
  • The demons in the The Salvation War all have giant back muscles that are very similar to the cells of the electric eels, which makes up for the energy a 20 foot tall man would need. The flying demons are filled with a light and highly flameable gas that allows them to fly and breath fire. However, the byproduct to the gas makes the demon's blood HIGHLY acidic, and while their insides are well protected from the acid, their skin bursts into flames if the blood touches it.
    • Succubi are capable making themselves invisible to humans, or make themselves look like beautiful women, but they avoid the problems of such powers by only using a form of mind control to make humans see, or not see, what the succubi wants to. However, this does not affect security camera recordings, and can be blocked with a tinfoil hat.
    • Another example is the healing ability of the angels and daemons. One wounded angel noted he needed a lot more food and water when they were healing, and because of that his was slowed greatly. It is mentioned they have systems in their bodies that prevent such a fast healing rate from becoming cancerous. When an angel army was Nuked, the radiation broke down the systems with horrible results. They, however, also fall to the problem of healing fast does not mean healing right. The broken wings of several angels healed so the bones fused and the joints lost their ability to move.
  • SCPs with seemingly beneficial properties inevitably have a drawback, often in this vein (such as one that grants immortality but shuts down the body's ability to heal), that renders them too dangerous to remain uncontained.
    • The only one which appears to have no side effects whatsoever is SCP-500, a jar of pills that can cure any disease within about two hours. However, there are only 47 pills left, down from 60 when the Foundation first acquired it. And it can't be synthesised.
    • Exemplified in the testing logs with SCP-896. Leveling up in the game allows the player to increase their real world stats in correspondence to the stats in the game. Testing involved getting 5 D-class personnel to each level up a different stat by playing the game: Knight (Stamina), Beserker (Strength), Cleric (Wisdom), Warlock (Intelligence), Bard (Charisma). As testing went on, the downsides to each increase started to show. Knight's skin becomes almost impenetrable, but is unable to move from the lack of elasticity. Cuts along the joints (achieved from using diamond blades) have allowed motion and he luckily does not feel pain. Beserker gains superhuman levels of strength, but is as physically durable as the next man. This results in his death when he rips a heavily-reinforced door off its hinges, shattering his bones from the sheer amount of force that he could generate but not withstand. Warlock is able to recall impressive magnitudes of information, but isn't capable of utilising it in a creative or meaningful way. Inversely, Cleric is capable of advanced organisation and problem-solving, but his long-term memory is severely lacking.
  • This is a Running Gag on Villain Source (Your Online Source For Everything Evil) which sells awesome superpowers then lists all the unfortunate side effects in the small print.
  • The illustrati of Shadows Of The Limelight generally can't hurt themselves with their own power; for example, those with the domain of glass can't be cut by the sharp edges of broken glass, and those with the domain of flame are immune to burns.
  • In RWBY Chibi (and can lean towards its sister series), Jaune finds and decides to play with Team RWBY's weapons. He can't hold Crescent Rose properly (and it's noted in the main series that Ruby and her uncle Qrow are the only two who have the skill to use scythe weapons) and he's blown away by an accidental discharge of Ember Celica, showing that he lacks the body strength to not get blow away by arm-mounted shotguns.
  • Generally, metahumans in the world of Curveball have the secondary powers they need to use their primary powers effectively. It does come up occasionally, though.
    • Red Shift generates a force field around himself whenever he exceeds a certain speed, so that he can travel at Mach 3 without the slipstream tearing his arms off. It also apparently keeps him in contact with the ground, as he was able to run up a staircase at nearly supersonic speeds without launching himself into the air. He's been known to use it as a weapon in and of itself, by running just fast enough that the force field forms, then running into people.
    • Agent Hu has the ability to turn into living fire. Unfortunately, she doesn't have the ability to keep herself from immolating her own clothes (which, admittedly, isn't so much "required" as it is "would be really, really nice").
    • Officially, Agent Grant has the power of teleportation. However, in his particular type of teleportation, there's a split second when he exists at both the origin and destination points simultaneously. He learned at a fairly young age how to interrupt the process at that point. However, since his powers didn't originally involve cloning himself, they don't provide any help at all in keeping track of his various bodies.