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Embarrassing Superpower

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A superpower that's embarrassing or socially unacceptable.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Chabal2 on Dec 24th 2017 at 2:30:44 AM
Last Edited By:
Chabal2 on Dec 27th 2017 at 11:30:22 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Superpowers that are humiliating to use or socially frowned upon.

Subtrope of Blessed with Suck. See also Embarrassing but Empowering Outfit and Bad Powers, Good People. Compare What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? and Useless Superpowers.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • Gigantomakhia: In order to heal Delos, Prome secretes what she calls "nectar" from her body. Prome being Ambiguously Human, she doesn't care what it looks like. To anyone else (especially Delos), it looks like a young girl is pissing on him. After she heals him, he feels part of his humanity is irretrievably lost.
  • 12 Beast: Eita can perform a Fusion Dance with a Monster Girl to power up his vambrace... which is usually achieved by groping their breasts. The hunter who catches them in the act as he's preparing to snipe them looks shocked.

Comic Books

  • Lanfeust: Everyone on the planet Troy gets a different superpower, which can range from anything from invincibility to causing thirst, or creating freshwater springs, or farting from their ears.
  • A side character in He Pao only fathers male children. Being good-looking, he's very much in demand among wives looking to secure their position by giving heirs to their husbands, but he can't exactly advertise the fact lest said husbands get vengeful.

Film

  • "The Spleen" from Mystery Men has Fartillery powers. While his powers can be effective, he compounds the issue by being a socially awkward and unattractive.

Live-Action TV

Video Games

  • Epic Battle Fantasy 3: Natalie considers her "Kyun!" Limit Break embarrassing but useful (as it clears away all status problems, buffs the party and debuffs the enemy).
  • Inverted early on in Golden Sun, where Ivan uses his Mind Read ability (he needs to touch the other person or at least be very close) on the heroes without asking for their permission. After he apologizes for it and the ability is used to capture three thieves... the game gives no penalty for using the Psynergy on other people (mitigated by the fact that non-Adepts can't feel or see Psynergy, but they seem unfazed about teens with No Sense of Personal Space). Thirty years later in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, it's said he no longer uses the power, possibly due to A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read.

Webcomics

Feedback: 7 replies

Dec 24th 2017 at 2:35:47 AM

Dec 24th 2017 at 8:45:11 AM

Isn't this just Blessed With Suck only more specific?

Dec 24th 2017 at 9:43:28 PM

Could be a subtrope. Blessed With Suck tends to be played seriously and have fire consequences, while this one's consequence is merely embarassment.

Dec 25th 2017 at 4:27:39 AM

"The Spleen" from Mystery Men has Fartillery powers. While his powers can be effective, he compounds the issue by being a socially awkward and unattractive.

Dec 27th 2017 at 6:39:50 AM

Contrast when The Pig Pen gained an embarrassing superpower, but he's proud of it instead.

(hey, should be an Empowered Pig Pen trope to contrast this IMO)

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