Madame Weatherberry from The Tale Of Magic refers to magic as a gift, despite it coming with...heavy social stigma, to say the least. Magic is also uncontrollable at first and this can have negative consequences; for example, one boy who has a talent for Playing with Fire causes his mother to have a Death by Childbirth because giving birth to him burned him so badly.
Casper of Touch is a powerful empath, to the degree that he spends every day almost drowning in the feelings of those around him.
At some point, the humans from Tolkien's Legendarium start considering their "Gift of Men" (meaning mortality) a curse. This was, of course, due to the corruptive influence of Sauron on the vastly powerful Empire of Númenor. In the end, their envy of the long lives led by elves causes them to bring destruction upon themselves. The irony of it is that the Gift is wholly exclusive to Men, and that even the Valar, the most powerful beings in the universe (after Ilúvatar himself), are said to be envious of this gift. Men are the only beings not tied to the fate of the world, and who can leave it one day without having to worry about its future.
In the Freya series by Matthew Laurence, gods are real, and they all have aspects of this trope due to the way belief shapes them. While they've been around for thousands of years and learned enough to generally know the best course of action, they have to pick the one that matches their nature, even if they know it's a bad idea. This means that anyone who knows their obsessions can use them as a means of manipulation - which is exactly what the book's villains do.
In Gathering the Enchanted, Tristan. The poor guy needs to have the snot kicked out of him before he's able to help in a fight. And then if that one hit he musters doesn't pan out, he's gotta get beat up all over again.
Georgina Kincaid in Succubus Blues is immortal, drop dead gorgeous, has shapeshifting powers—but if she so much as kisses her boyfriend, she will drain him of his life-force.
In Legend of the Five Rings-derived fiction, Bayushi Tangen lived his life in shame because of what he viewed as a curse. What was the curse you ask... he was so lucky, the Gods would smile on him and allow even the most poorly thought out, suicidal plan to work perfectly. At one point, he defeated an enemy army because a tower fell on their archers, and a bolt of lightning struck their general just as he was about to kill Tangen. There is a drawback - nothing he ever does will be his accomplishment, because his luck does everything for him.
This ability sort of gets passed on to his students, the Bitter Lies swordsmen, to the point that enemy armies are more afraid of facing a single Bitter Lies samurai than a Scorpion Clan army.
Szamanka od Umarlaków: Being the Job Title seems nice at first - you help (dead) people, you have some nice clairvoyance skills and ghosts can be helpful - but you have to lead all the dead people you're supposed to into the underworld, and if somebody's killed by Black Magic, they will bother you all the time and you won't be able to get rid of them.
Urban Dragon: Having electricity powers might be awesome for combat, but Arkay has a bad habit of completely frying electronics every time she gets excited. And let's not get started on the static electricity: she wears a heavily-gelled pixie cut for a reason.
Holly's psychic abilities in The Bone Clocks. She gets life-saving intuition and a comfortable income from her book, but she and her loved ones are catapulted into the center of a supernatural war. Not to mention that her soul is almost consumed by the Anchorites.
Joshua's empathy in Dora Wilk Series. On the plus side, the only people he can't stop hearing are Dora and Miron. On the other hand, there's so much Unresolved Sexual Tension between those two that poor guy just can't take a rest. And when They Do, it's not the end of his troubles - let's say, they're making out when he tries to sleep...
Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus: A good portion of the main cast has to deal with powers that can be either crappy or awesome, depending on the situation. Starting with the fact that all of them have a smell that entices monsters to them- the stronger they (and their godly parents) are, the more they smell like a five course dinner, and the more they are together, the stronger the signal. Using electronics like cellphones and the internet makes it stronger too. Oh and their heightened battle instincts manifest in the form of ADHD, while their innate ability to understand/learn Greek and Latin comes out as dyslexia.
Leo, in addition to his technological talent, has fire powers. Great for fighting monsters, right? Yeah, except for the fact that said powers are difficult to control and extremely dangerous. Just ask Leo's mom. Oh, wait, you can't: she died in a fire started by accident by her son. And apparently the last son of Hephaestus with the ability started the Great Fire of London. So that should give you an idea of what we're dealing with here.
Hazel can summon precious minerals from underground as per her mother's wish. While the ability has come in useful before, it absolutely ruined her first life, as the stones curse anyone who holds onto them...
Frank Zhang could darn well be the Trope Codifier. His life force is tied to a stick, and if it burns down completely, he dies. However, the fire from the stick has been shown to be able to free Death himself; who knows what other awesome stuff it could do. His Animorphism powers don't count, being just plain awesome without side affects.
In George MacDonald's pretty fairy tale The Light Princess, a vengeful witch curses a baby, upon her baptism, to have no gravity — she is completely weightless, gets to levitate whenever she pleases, and, as a baby, causes many awkward explanations on the part of her parents. However, in an interesting twist, she thinks that the curse is a rollicking good joke — another aspect of the curse is that she also loses her mental gravity and is unable to take anything seriously. The very fact that she can't comprehend sadness makes her parents even more miserable.
In an echo of the Midas myth, Discworld has a character who is cursed by a deity to have anything he touches turn into gold. Unfortunately, the aforesaid deity was dyslexic and cursed him with the ability to turn anything into Glod, which happens to be the name of a dwarf several thousand miles away, who found himself teleported to the kingdom and relentlessly duplicated. The people of the kingdom are now known to be "a little short-tempered".
In Inheritance Cycle, the main character, Eragon, blesses a character with suck. A mother asks him to bless her baby, and he does so with (what he thinks is) a spell to shied her from harm in the Language of Magic. However a grammatical error instead compels her to shield everybody else from harm. As a result she can sense threats to people around her and is physically compelled to prevent as much harm as possible. To Eragon's credit, he swears to fix his mistake, and does a reasonable job of doing so. Although he's unable to fully remove the curse, he is able to remove the compulsion to prevent the impending harm, leaving her with just the ability to sense impending danger to others.
The Invisible Man is a classic example. A power many dream about becomes a terrible burden without an off switch. The very first invisible day he has to strip naked to become unseen - in London in wintertime. And as he's freezing to death, the usual crowd of Londoners going about their winter shopping business almost trample him to death, since they don't realize that he's there. In most film and TV adaptations of the book, the titular Invisible Man goes crazy, though he was already sociopathic to begin with.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is an arguable case, as while Dorian actually gets something desired by most people: untarnished beauty. Due to the Victorian belief that Beauty = Goodness, Dorian is able to sin with impunity without anyone ever believing that he's bad. He indulges so terribly in his power that things quickly go poorly for him.
The Fairy's Mistake, written by the same author as Ella Enchanted, also features a fairy who believes that she's done the right thing in blessing the kind Rosella to have a gem fall from her mouth every time she speaks and cursing the rude Myrtle to have a toad fall from her mouth every time she speaks, only to learn later on that Rosella has become the victim of a Gold Digger prince while Myrtle has discovered some unexpected upsides to her toad problem.
Sonora, of Princess Sonora And The Long Sleep, a story based on "Sleeping Beauty", has Sonora receiving the gift of "Brilliance" from the fairies— that is, being ten times as smart as anyone else in the world. So, to get a picture of that,take the isolation and maladjustment William James Sidis experienced and multiply it by ten.
Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn features the less-than-adept magician Schmendrick, whose teacher Nikos grants immortality for the sake of making him live long enough to realize his full potential. Let's just say it takes awhile.
One of the later Oz books assures us that while you are in the land of Oz, you can't die. This information comes after characters in the books have been chopped into pieces, beheaded, melted, and so forth and it's mentioned that you could be transformed into an inanimate object, turned into sand, and buried. Even so, you'd still be alive and presumably conscious. Forever. Thankfully the series never goes in that direction.
This plot point was later retconned into the Tin Man's origin story. After his cursed axe cut off his own head, he replaced it with a tin one. The original head is still alive and very bitter about it.
In some of the later Oz books, (such as The Magic of Oz) the villainous Nome King considers chopping up the denizens of Oz, then tossing the pieces into a powerful river in order to scatter them forever. Baum was aware of at least some of the truly dreadful applications this immortality could have.
Every single character in Xanth has a power. Naturally, not all of them are going to be winners. The first books gives us a doozy in the form — forms, rather — of a woman named Chameleon. Sometimes she's ugly, nasty, and smart (She goes by "Fanchon" when she's like this). Other times, she's pretty, sweet, and dumb (And she goes by Wynne when she's like this. In the middle stage she goes by Dee). (And since the obvious implication is that smart women aren't pretty or nice — and the transformation happens on a monthly schedule — at all times she's offending the female readers.) The possibility of using magic to make her beautiful during the smart phase is discussed, but she rejects it because it would just reset the cycle, and being smart and pretty at the same time isn't worth being ugly and stupid at the same time. It's not that smart women can't be beautiful (the series has several examples), but that her situation isn't that easy to cure.
In addition to that she's had a Trauma Conga Line that Bink walked in on part of. Her Wynne persona, at her worst, isn't able to think beyond immediate pleasures, causing a complete inability to give informed consent and a tendency to actively try to seduce men. With magically-enhanced sex appeal. According to Xanth's legal system, since she was consenting at the time, she can't successfully prosecute them for rape to prevent them from saying yes the next time (although she tries). Her Fanchon personality, on the other hand, remembers all of this and can understand the implications. It's a wonder that Fanchon doesn't actively hate men, although she's intelligent enough to understand that it's the magic at fault (instead of blaming herself) and solve the problem by getting out of Xanth.
Bink himself has a bit of this at times. His magic talent, which is the focus of the first book, is complete immunity to magical harm, which manifests by Contrived Coincidence. This is a ridiculously powerful talent, strong enough to qualify him as a candidate for King of Xanth, and awesome to have, except for a few problems:
It only protects HIM, those around him are still in danger, including family and friends in fact, they're actually in MORE danger, since Bink's talent might redirect something that could harm him onto the nearest convenient target
It doesn't always agree with him on what qualifies as "harm", and this fact can be disastrous if he tries to make plans based on his talent's effects
It has no effect on purely mundane threats (though there are precious few of those in Xanth)
Another character, Jordan the Barbarian, has extreme healing powers — the only way to take him out of action permanently is to kill him Deader Than Dead. The sucky part? While getting eaten by a dragon may not be permanently lethal, it still hurts exactly as much as you'd expect it to. And afterward he will wake up naked and exhausted in a pile of dragon crap.
Jonathan the Zombie Master can raise zombies and boss them around. The problem is that nobody else wants to be around him because he's a shy shut-in. Whose castle smells like it has a bunch of zombies running around...
This gets even worse when his girlfriend is murdered, and he can't find the body to reanimate her. He commits suicide...and immediately rises from the dead as a zombie. Mixing Who Wants to Live Forever? with I Cannot Self-Terminate, all seasoned with the stench of rotting flesh. Luckily there's a happy ending centuries later.
Felix in John Steakley's Vampires. He is a master gun fighter, blessed with amazing accuracy and instincts that mean death to the men that stand against him. But he can't turn it off. In the heat of battle, he is unable to shoot to wound. At all. And he's not a sociopath, as he can't help getting into trouble due to his Chronic Hero Syndrome. He carries a lot of guilt and just tries to stay out of the world as much as possible.
Felix in John Steakley's Armor was raised for a position of eminence, with physical and psychological conditioning to keep him in the best of health and preserve his life in any dangerous situation. Then his family is killed, and he becomes a suicidal Death Seeker — who can't die.
Quite a few of the aliens in Animorphs have powers. Taxxons have a pretty twisted take on the Extreme Omnivore ability: their ability to eat nearly anything stems from their instinctive and nearly psychotic hunger which can almost never be sated. Everything they can eat, they will eat, no questions. Which is to say, if you are a Taxxon and you get a paper cut in front of your crewmates, goodbye. This isn't even the worst of it, either: One book has a Taxxon get cut in two, at which point one half of it began to eat the other. Imagine being conscious for that.
The Animorphs themselves qualify. They are given the power to turn into any animal they touch, but with it they are given the responsibility to use it to fight against the Yeerk invasion (and the risk of losing their shapeshifting power and being stuck in animal form forever if they go over the time limit). The war ends up being very traumatic for all of them.
A few of the books also go into how traumatic changing into some animals can be. In one of the spin-off books, an Andalite morphs into a Taxxon and is repulsed by the sheer depth of their hunger - another one of them gets trapped in that form and becomes fairly suicidal as a result. The Animorphs also harbor extremely bad memories of a few morphs, most especially the time they turned into ants (and subsequently nearly lost themselves in the sheer mindless mechanical power of the ant minds). When a later plan's brainstorming session comes up with turning into bees, the response is instantly, emphatically, and unanimously no.
The Yeerks themselves (some of them, at least). Such is the curse of the parasite with the ability to grow a conscience.
Any Yeerk who isn't completely sadistic, conscience or not, would be eventually worn down by a voice almost constantly screaming for freedom in their head (at least for a while, and every so often after that), releasing memories and unfiltered emotion directly into the Yeerk's nervous system. Considering the other species they had enslaved, it's easy to wonder how few actually preferred a human host over being a barely-mobile slug. (There's also the whole "sensation" thing - the more vivid and useful a host's senses, the more likely a Yeerk would be to become addicted to feeding said senses.)
One Yeerk was angered enough by his actor host's constant monologuing from Henry V that, during a trip to Make Wrong What Once Went Right, he stopped at the Battle of Agincourt to ruin the inspiration.
The Hork-Bajir are effectively living meat grinders and, as such, were forced into becoming soldiers for the Yeerks. Really, the Animorph universe is a Crapsack World for everyone.
Also, for those who haven't read the series, the Hork-Bajir are completely vegetarian. All the blades are for peeling bark and climbing trees. Great for their diet and (original) lifestyle, terrible because of body-hijacking parasites and frightening anyone who hasn't seen them outside of their body-controlled, stormtrooper role.
Andalites and their thought speak. It's cool being partially psychic, but the lack of mouths meant it took the Andalites centuries to develop alternatives to things like telephones.
Henry in The Time Traveler's Wife is another very extreme case, sitting very comfortably in the realm of Deus Angst Machina. Sure, he can time-travel - but he doesn't have any control over it. His ability targets the most memorable places, people, and events in his life - the traumatic ones even more so than the positive ones. For every time he gets to visit his wife as a teenager or his infant daughter as a ten-year-old, he has to watch his ex-girlfriend kill herself over him or see his mother die for the fiftieth time. And on top of all this, the story takes place in an Eternist Universe. Everything that has ever happened, good and bad, was supposed to happen the way it did, and Henry can't do a damn thing about it. It doesn't take him long to wonder if the Universe is actively f*** ing with him. (Indeed, the only way his time-traveling would have been more Blessed-With-Suck-worthy would have been if the author had remembered to factor in the different positions of the Earth throughout time.)
If the Cosmos is sending him to his most memorable points of his life, it stands to reason that the Cosmos is aiming for the correct locale as well as the correct time. The problem of the earth's position in space is thereby averted.
A very strange short story in one of the Flight anthologies centers around a little girl who constantly hovers about a foot off the ground. The tale recounts all the myriad ways that she is made miserable by this power, building towards the finale where a massive flood leaves her the only person alive!
In the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons, Jesuit archaeologist Father Dure is... given a "cruciform" parasite by the aboriginal Bikura tribe, which grants them the ability to regenerate from death. The bad news is that it gradually turns the host into a genderless moron, and punishes them with crippling pain the farther they go from the Bikura village.
After the cruciform's "turn you into an idiot" flaw is fixed he gets combined with the local version of the Space Pope and is declared the "anti-pope". The effect is that every time the Pope dies Dure gets resurrected and the Pope's supporter shot him in the head in order to get the Pope back.
One story describes a race of humanoid aliens called the Gyr in which about one in every thousand sprouts wings in young adulthood, which carries several disadvantages. Firstly, the wing-growth process takes a year and is very painful and incapacitating. Secondly, winged people develop lightweight hollow bones which make them more vulnerable to injury. Worst of all, those who attempt flight have a tendency to suddenly lose control of their wings and crash — if it isn't fatal, they're stuck with useless, cumbersome wings. And trying to remove the wings surgically causes slow, painful death. Hence, most winged people don't even try flying, and those who do are considered eccentric and foolish.
Another story mentions the immortals of Aya, an island in the world of Yendi. Being bitten by a fly renders them immortal—but while they can't get sick, they can be horribly burnt and disfigured in accidents. And they often end up buried alive and turning into sentient diamonds. It's a horrible blend of Who Wants to Live Forever? and And I Must Scream.
Floyd Jones, the driving character (though almost never the viewpoint character) of The World Jones Made, can see a year into the future. Too bad his future sight is actually made of memories broadcast by his future self to his past self, essentially stripping him of free will.
Manfred, a boy from Martian Time-Slip, can see into the future. Which means he is almost perpetually stuck in a twisted vision of his future as a paralyzed, dying old man in a decaying hospital. His only, temporary escape is succumbing to his schizophrenia-induced hallucinations, which are just as nightmarish and tainted by his obsession with death.
Making it even worse, though, is that a mouse similarly blessed by Coffey lived at least fifty sixty-four to sixty-eight years, and the average lifespan of a lab mouse is about two years. If Paul similarly lives at least 25 times an average lifespan, he might have upwards of 2,000 years of increasing physical decrepitude in a lousy nursing home to look forward to.
Coffey himself was blessed with magical healing powers...in the body of a large, intimidating black man in the ultra-racist '30s South. Needless to say, he didn't commit the crime that put him on Death Row.
The title character of King's Carrie also qualifies for this. Although her mother is probably so crazy that she would have tortured her anyway, the fact that she sees her daughter as a witch because of her psychic powers probably doesn't help. Later in the book, she dies because she overuses her power. By that point, she has already crossed the Moral Event Horizon and kept going for a while, but it's still not a very happy ending.
Johnny Smith's psychic abilities in The Dead Zone would probably qualify, as well.
Charlie McGee's pyrokinesis, and her father's ability to "push", in Firestarter.
The Dad's ability is definitely this trope. He gets pinprick brain hemorrhages whenever he uses his power, effectively meaning that he's slowly killing himself every time he uses it.
While the Overlook hotel in The Shining probably would have been happy to torture the Torrances anyway, Danny's "shining" (read: psychic potential) made him an even tastier target.
In A Fistful of Sky by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Gypsum LaZelle finally comes into magical power...and she inherits the power of curses. She has to curse people, FREQUENTLY, or she dies. She manages to work out solutions to this pretty well, though.
Ben and his dog Ned in Castaways of the Flying Dutchman are given eternal youth and the understanding of all Earth's languages so they can be agents for the side of good on Earth. Unfortunately, they constantly have to move on as soon as they've finished this book's adventure to avoid people getting suspicious, they're always haunted by nightmares of the Flying Dutchman, and there is the risk that the ship will actually find them. And that's not even getting into the fact that Ben was fourteen at the time he was granted this "blessing". Eternal youth is fine, but eternal puberty?
Every man in Chaos Walking has their thoughts heard by everyone in the area. (So do the aliens, but they actually like the power, and it's vital for their communication.)
Thomas Raith (all the White Court) in The Dresden Files. He's close to immortal, immensely strong, can seduce almost anything... but can't touch the woman he loves (or anything she makes him) without it hurting him, and for a long time can't hold a job because his co-workers keep trying to get into his pants and he got blamed for it. Also has to fight the hunger of his inner incubus if he doesn't 'feed' regularly — and if he truly feeds off anyone he can hurt or even kill them.
Harry himself has this, in the form of the Sight. It allows him to see what a person/thing really is, beneath all illusion and glamor. The price? He can never forget what he sees. Ever. He sees some pretty terrible things over the course of the series, and his memory of them will never fade as long as he's alive.
Although Harry occasionally mentions how it's okay, because some of the things he sees are absolutely beautiful — Murphy as a shining wounded angel, for instance. Also, the Sight gave him something he could never have had otherwise: a perfect, unfading memory of his mother.
The soulgaze means that when looking into a person's eyes for the first time, they both see each other's inner nature. And this ability works the same way as the Sight, so he'll never forget. This however is such a turbulent experience that for every day of his life, Harry has to avoid looking into the eyes of any person he talks. He focuses on the nose instead.
Plus, having powerful magic makes it impossible to use modern technology. So Harry's apartment is lit with candles and heated with a fireplace, he has an ice box with actual ice, he drives a rather... elderly car, he can't visit friends in the hospital because he could fry the life-support machines, and any attempts to use electronics even remotely near him tend to result in dead electronics.
In Grave Peril he mentions he has never had a hot bath, because he can't keep a water heater without it shorting out. Imagine a lifetime of enforced cold showers, which has to especially suck in a Chicago winter.
After accepting the mantle of the Winter Knight in Changes, Harry gets another layer of this, though it doesn't show until Cold Days. He can bench 400 kilograms, heals quickly, is numb to pain, and has access to powerful ice magic. On the downside, the same power is pushing him to become more predatory; he has vivid fantasies about raping women close to him that he wants to protect. It gets more intense the more he uses the power. Oh, and there are obvious downsides to being numb to pain, too.
A couple of Tom Holt characters get put through this wringer. Paul Carpenter is, among other things, a powerful natural scryer, but his career in the novels starts with being sold by his parents to a wizarding company and goes downhill from there. An even more straight example is the star of Barking, who was born slightly out of phase with the rest of the world and as suck such can only be killed by someone else who's out of phase, but not only does this render him unable to do maths that fits in with everyone else's maths, but someone is trying to use the law to keep from dying, and wants to shut him away to fail to do her post-mortem accounts for the rest of his lycanthropy-extended life.
Any woman without strong magical resistance will fall in love with Lancer in Fate/Zero if they see the 'love spot' on his face. Ok, sounds like that might get kinda awkward at times, but that's really not that bad right? Unfortunately, it has a bad tendency to work on his lord's fiancee or wife, who then grow obsessed with him. Sola gets rather yandere, in fact. Oh, and then his lord kills him, no matter what he does about the situation. It also happens to be described as a 'curse.'
Ender Wiggin in Ender's Game has the ability to defeat his enemies because he has such mad empathy skills that he knows what they want and what they're likely to do to get it. However, once he comprehends his enemies that well, he also finds that he loves them in an Agape sort of way, so it tears him up to have to destroy the enemy that he knows won't stop trying to destroy him. Then he hates himself for, like, ever.
In the sequel Xenocide, the ruling class of the planet Path consists of those blessed with OCD-like purification urges believed to be communications from the gods. These people appear to all be geniuses. Han Fei-Tzu and his daughter Han Qing-Jao struggle with this supposed honor and sometimes hate the gods for it. Turns out it was a deliberate Blessing With Suck, as the interstellar government genetically engineered the "godspoken" to be smart but with something that mimics OCD; they use the religious aspect to control the geniuses.
The Ender's Shadow spinoff series introduces the concept of "Anton's Key", a genetic modification that can give babies Super Intelligence at the cost of dooming them to early deaths by gigantism, with all of the physical deformities that come with it. The Key puts children's bodies in a state of constant growth so that their brains never stop growing, allowing them to make huge leaps in intelligence, but it kills them by age 25 thanks to the Square-Cube Law.
The Wheel of Time has quite a bit of this. For most of the series, male channelers have awesome powers, but were cursed to eventual insanity. Female channelers from Seanchan are enslaved and dehumanized. Ta'veren warp luck and chance so that the most improbable events happen, including highly unlikely deaths happening around them. Plus there's the fact that the pattern forces them to do what they're meant for, no matter what. Wolfbrothers can communicate with wolves, but if they're not careful, they'll forget they were ever human. As it turns out to be in Towers of Midnight the only wolfbrother that has lost his humanity has (more or less) chosen that fate himself.
The Aes Sedai are somewhat subject to this, too. Use of the Oath Rod which is necessary to become a full sister is severely shortening their lifespan. They do live about three times longer than your average, but compared to the non-Aes Sedai female channellers who go on for 400 years, it still sucks.
Terry the tramp in Lady: My Life as a Bitch has a wonderful case of this. If he gets angry at someone, then he'll accidentally transform them into a dog. Due to this, Terry has never had any friends and turned his mother, father, sister, wife, and child into dogs. Oh, and did we mention it's permanent?
All of the Crafters from The Princess 99 series are examples of this trope when you realize that although they may have great magical powers, they can go berserk and end up losing control of it, harming people or anyone standing in their way through mad grief. And the Crafters around them are told to kill them out of mercy.
Pai in particular is an example of this trope, which is a tragedy considering that he's a decent guy (or at least when compared to his sister). He is a telepath but he is also sensitive to the pain of living creatures, including animals and regular people. But since he's young, he doesn't know how to properly control it. This causes him to have seizures, where his mind is taken over by the Dark, which is an Eldritch Abomination, and lose control of his body.
The Reformed Vampire Support Group is a fairly extreme example of this trope. Vampires aren't superpowerful beings, but rather immortal and chronically ill, as well as potentially dangerous. Reuben the werewolf has a more typical form of this trope, since he turns into a rampaging monster once a month and as a result was kidnapped by a couple of guys and forced to do monthly fights for an audience.
In Hell's Gate, members of the Calirath family often receive random visions of human pain and suffering, which can be taking place anywhere from a few minutes to thousands of years into the future, and anywhere across a multiplicity of parallel universes, with no guarantee you'll be able to figure out where, when, or to whom the vision applies.
Master Chief (along with every other Spartan) in the Halo video game prequel novel Fall of Reach are given awesome physical and mental prowess plus kick-ass Mjolnir battle armor. Sounds good don't it.... until you take into consideration that Chief and the rest were kidnapped in the night and replaced with flash clones subject to genetic defects and cancer, put through harsh physical and psychological conditioning that at least on one occasion causes Chief to vomit, dangerously enhanced (Chief and the few who didn't die or become convulsing/"wish they were dead" invalids), and made to fight enemies immediately after acquiring said kick-ass armor that possess weapons making Armor Is Useless. Plus, Master Chief is apparently the last survivor of the Spartan program, making his entire existence the living (on the outside) embodiment of Blessed with Suck.
In the book Superpowers five college kids gain superpowers and form a short-lived superhero team, but this isn't without its drawbacks. The one with super-strength never quite learns to adapt, the one with telepathy takes a long, long time learning to shut out the thoughts of everyone in the city around him, and the one with super-speed finds out he's aging super-fast now.
In Jonathan Lethem's novel Fortress of Solitude, two emotionally detached boys with antisocial tendencies in 1970's Brooklyn find a "magic ring" worn by a homeless man that grants superpowers (initially flight, then later invisibility). The powers are real, but the ring has no lasting effects on their fates as they come of age; they briefly toy with the idea of "fighting crime", but finding that it's more difficult in practice than it sounds, they lose interest in the ring and blithely continue to commit their own preferred crimes (petty theft, graffiti-tagging, drug dealing and abuse). One ends up spending most of his adult life in jail, and the other drops out of college and grows up to be chronically unhappy. Meanwhile, their ring goes years between being worn. The implication is that the way people relate to others, rather than their abilities, is what shapes their destinies.
''The Alchemyst'' subverts this. When Sophie has her powers awakened, everyone keeps saying that the powers have extreme drawbacks and that she'd be better off without them. Except, when it happens, they don't actually suck.
And then in later books, the Witch of Endor's memories that are put inside her as a result start to overpower Sophie's own memories... and then we learn that if Sophie loses control, the Witch of Endor might actually take over her mind.
Thomas, the title character of the third of Robin Jarvis's Deptford Histories. According to Simoon the fortune teller, Thomas is blessed with a charmed life, and can come unscathed out of situations which would kill a less lucky person. Unfortunately, in Simoon's words, fate smiles so brightly upon him that those around him are in shadow; while he can survive in the face of terrible odds, those around him suffer for it. This is brought home at the end when Ma Skillet hypnotizes him into throwing his only remaining friend off the dock.
Tuck Everlasting. The Tucks and their horse have drunk from a spring that made them immortal and froze them at the age they were when they drank it. Side effects, other than no longer being part of the circle of life, include being unable to settle down with mortal people because they will be ostracized or worse when their condition becomes apparent.
The book Abby Carnelia's one and only magical power has that one and only power be a Blessing with Suck. Abby gets her power. It's utterly useless. Then, because of the stupid power, she gets kidnapped and meets other kids with other useless powers. When they plan the escape, she realizes that, even though they all have useless powers, hers is the most useless. Everyone else's powers are key to getting out. Hers is making an egg spin in circles.
The Bentley Little short story "Estoppel" (found in The Collection) puts this spin on a variety of Reality Warping. The protagonist's ability is that anything he says out loud about himself becomes true. As a result, he has to be very very careful about what he says, lest he accidentally rewrite his (and the world's) history in disastrous ways or trap himself into a form incapable of speech. And that's without even getting into the issue of talking in his sleep.
Subverted in Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians and sequels. The repertoire of Smedry "Talents" consists entirely of annoying everyday human traits (the ability to trip and fall down, to get lost, to break things, to be late). The twist comes in when it turns out that Smedries can crank the strength of these Talents all the way Up to Eleven. The main character's grandfather arrives late for gunshots and the pain of being tortured, and, in fact, has been arriving late for his own death for over a decade. The protagonist meanwhile, breaks guns and crossbows that are aimed at him from a distance ... as well as kitchens and most of the weapons he tries to handle. The downsides of the Smedry Talents still apply, they're just overshadowed by the advantages.
Well, somewhat overshadowed by the advantages. Recent characters include an aunt who says inappropriate things at awkward moments and a cousin who dances really poorly.
The short story "All You've Ever Wanted" by Joan Aiken concerns a girl living with her aunts and getting a nice birthday card each year from her fairy godmother with a greetings card type little wish. Problem was they always came true. When it said 'Each morning make another friend / Who'll be with you till light doth end', that year turned into a grueling social whirl with not one single day sitting quietly at home. When it wished she could enjoy fresh air knowing her friends were nearby, she was forced to go on hours long hikes, watching her new friends flash past in cars, never offering her a lift. When it wished that flowers might follow in her footsteps, flowers grew up after her, and she had to move into the shed and ended up with a permanent cold. She spent her entire youth looking forward to her 21st birthday when she could meet her fairy godmother and ask her to please stop.
Orrec's uncontrollable power of "unmaking" in Gifts, the first book in Annals of the Western Shore. He has to blindfold himself for fear of killing the people he loves or destroying their property, but this also has the effect of giving him such a fearsome reputation that nobody wants to mess with Caspromant.
In the Black Jewels trilogy, Jaenelle Angelline is the most powerful being to have existed for centuries, if not ever...and it completely fucks her life up. She frightens and repulses her family, leading them to send her to Briarwood, a correctional institution that's actually a playground for pedophiles. She's rendered incapable of the smallest tasks. And in the final climax of the story, she's completely helpless to save the people she loves because she can't find a way to fight back that wouldn't killeveryone.
The royal family in Fiona Patton's Branion series is this, particularly its head, the Aristok, who is essentially a hereditary God in Human Form. A god of Flame. Who very commonly goes insane, commits suicide or dies in childhood from the strain of literally having the Flame inside them. Even worse when they convert to the worship of a different god for several generations, but can't escape the fact that they are still metaphysically tied to what they now regard as a demon.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Winning the Golden Ticket is this. You get to be one of only five families that get to see and explore Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, a huge supply of chocolate, and a shot at a mysterious superprize, but one small misstep and you are in for a very unpleasant experience, possibly with lasting damage. (Although behaving yourself and not ticking off Mr. Wonka and the Oompa-Loompas does increase the surviving-unscathed factor.)
Also an example is the story Willy Wonka tells, of an Indian Prince who requested he be built a palace out of chocolate. Wonka obliges, and the Prince soon finds out how stupid an idea that is in the Indian sun.
Pazel Pathkendle in The Chathrand Voyages had a spell placed on him by his mother, so that he'll instantly comprehend any language he sees or hears a sample of. Unfortunately, she apparently wasn't very good at using magic, as there are only brief periods when he can use the ability which cannot be predicted, and which end in "mind fits" where he can't make any kind of intelligible speech.
The Chocolate Touch, by Patrick Skene Catling, tells the story of a candy-loving boy who gains the power to turn everything that he puts in his mouth into chocolate. At first he revels in eating chocolate oranges and chocolate milk (and chocolate gloves), but after a while he gets sick of the taste, and ends up turning his mother into chocolate by kissing her.
In the Christ Clone Trilogy, those who get the Mark of the Beast "communion" experience miraculous healings, restored youth, and psychic abilities, all for the cost of spending eternity in the Lake of Fire.
Also, Fflewddur Fflam is blessed with a harp by the Chief Bard Taliesin that practically plays itself, but its strings always need repair after he "colors the facts."
In P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath series, the powers of the magically gifted (or cursed) Kencyr, the Shanir, are just as likely to suck as to be beneficial, or may do both at once. Being followed around by a swarm of mind-linked insects, for instance, or being only able to consume blood, milk and honey, or being afflicted with magical clumsiness that can be passed to others.
The Healer of Morinmoss can heal practically anything, but she has to share the pain of her patient. She became a hermit for the reason of not being able to take it anymore.
Later on, Linden's health-sense means that she's in pain whenever her surroundings are warped by evil magic, which is the case constantly for long periods of time.
Seadreamer has a very powerful second-sight type ability that cannot be turned off, but he has trouble communicating what he sees, since the horror of it has struck him permanently mute. This results in other people being worried because Seadreamer is so miserable, but continuing on their doomed course anyway, since they don't know what trap they are walking into. Seadreamer's tragedy is that he never took a level in mime.
As for Covenant himself, he has trouble using his own power of wild magic while it makes him central to the machinations of a superintelligent Evil Overlord.
In the Circle of Magic series, Tris has power over all kinds of weather/forces of nature, like tides, lightning, earthquake, winds, rain, etc. She can hear things on the wind, and eventually learns how to scry on the wind as well, which very few mages can do, and most of the ones that try to learn end up going mad. However, outside of her teachers, foster family, and close friends, people either think she is exaggerating about the extent of her power, or are jealous of the fact that she has so much. Also, she can't make a good living as a weather mage, since she is too responsible to disrupt the climate, and she refuses to use her powers as a battle mage, since it makes her sick. Before her magic was discovered, her parents thought she was possessed or something similar whenever her magic acted out, and passed her around from relative to relative before dumping her at Stone Circle Temple. That temple didn't want her either when her magic acted out, and she was sent to Winding Circle where finally she discovered her magic and got training in it.
And it goes From Bad to Worse for Zhegorz, who has similar abilities, but was declared insane and spent decades in mental institutions because of "hearing voices"
Sandry inherited a huge tract of land and a title of Clehame (Countess) in Namorn. However, since she is also female and unmarried, this makes her a target for multiple attempts at forced marriage, as well as unwanted attention from the Namorn Empress. In the end she has no other options but to sign away her Namorn land and her title to her (male) cousin.
In Alexey Vinokurov's The Country Of Three Lands Mycroft the Black Knight has a gift of defeating anyone who meets him in single combat. Only this gift is hereditary and his ancestor obtained it by striking a deal with demons and selling his own soul and the souls of his descendants. Therefore, every night Mycroft is tormented with the ghosts of people he had killed and with visions of his ancestors suffering in hellfire, and he knows that one day he'll join them too.
The Damning power in Croak falls smack-dab in this category.
In Anne McCaffrey's Crystal Singer series, candidates to join the Heptite Guild (prospectors for crystals needed for interstellar communication) are exposed to microscopic symbiotes by the very atmosphere of Ballybran itself. The symbiotes grant those exposed with extended lifespans, enhanced physical abilities and Super Senses. At least, the really lucky ones do. The majority will end up with one sense enhanced to a Power Incontinence level (one wears special lenses to keep him from seeing everything on a microscopic level). Sometimes the enhancement will boost one sense and shut down another (another with super vision is rendered deaf). And then there's the rare death. The Singers (those with perfect transitions) don't escape unscathed either, as constant exposure to the piezoelectric fields of the crystals scrambles their brains, causing memory loss and personality alterations. And they ALL share an inability to leave Ballybran for long, otherwise their symbiont will start to weaken, causing them to sicken and die. Veteran Singers tend to either break down physically and retire to a convalescent home or get locked into a cycle of "Obsessively mine enough crystal to make it off Ballybran for a long time, be forced to return to renew the symbiont or when the money runs out, rinse, repeat." The risks are considered "worth it", due to the long hedonistic lifestyle the lucky ones get to live before things start to sour.
Johnny Smith in The Dead Zone sees visions of past, present, and/or future when he touches people or objects, but he can't turn it off, and the person on the other end may feel anything from an odd zap, to a draining sensation, to a sudden instinctive sense of revulsion. In a coat room, looking for a hanger for his coat, he brushes against the coat of someone who is going insane, and spends the rest of the dinner worrying about who among the other diners it is. Every time the press get ahold of another incident, he's flooded with letters and packages from people wanting him to touch things for him, he loses his beloved teaching career because of the publicity, and when he's asked to help find a serial killer, he has to see the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl from the killer's point of view!
In the Dragonlance novel Darkness and Light, Sturm, Kitiara, and a bunch of gnomes end up on Lunitari, the red moon. The moon grants them all powers; Kit gets super strength, Sturm gets visions, one gnome gets amazing eyesight, another can fly, another summons rain and lightning, etc. This all seems great at first, but soon enough, the powers become too much for them to handle; the gnome with good eyesight eventually gets it strong enough that he can see through his eyelids and miles down into the ground, preventing him from getting any rest; the one that summons rain is stuck in a perpetual rain cloud centered on him; the flying gnome needs to be anchored by his friends, lest he fly off into space. The only person who loves her gift is Kit, and she's sorry to see it go.
In Dr. Franklin's Island Semi is involuntarily transformed into something like a manta ray and confined to a pool. She's stuck with no voice, no hands, and no ability to survive outside of the pool. Because The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body she usually actually enjoys being a fish and the freedom of movement that comes with it, but she hates being confined and is horribly aware that her companion won't try to escape because Semi would be stuck there. When out in the ocean she is delighted.
Her companion Miranda's situation is between this trope and Cursed With Awesome. She's an enormous bird, able to fly well, with dexterous handlike feet, capable of much more independence than Semi. She's even allowed to fly free to an extent. But she too doesn't have a voice, and seems to be losing her mind faster than Semi.
Arnie turns out to be alive and transformed into a snake, left strapped to a bed instead of even being given a limited enclosure like Semi. Somehow, he's unable to read as a snake.
In Frank Herbert's Dune, control of Arrakis is definitely this. Yes, you get to control the trade flow of the most valuable thing in human civilization. It also paints a big fat bullseye on you since everyone else will want to take it from you. It's even worse if you actually plan to live on Arrakis — it's a miserable desert planet with huge sandworms, and everything tastes like cinnamon because of trace amounts of spice.
The main characters in Eden Green are infected with an alien needle symbiote that heals any injury and helps them survive even the most dangerous situations. On the downside, it's painful, disfiguring, 'freaky', and suggests And I Must Scream scenarios.
Nine-year-old Jakey from Emily The Strange The Lost Days. He can read minds. Not only does it mean no one wants to be around him, lest he reads their minds, but it has also kept him away from home and mother for nearly all of his life, traveling with Attikol. Earwig even acknowledges she would not want to be around him after she got her memories back.
The warlocks of the Ethshar series falls under this. By drawing on a power source they can sense, they are gifted with many powerful abilities: Telekinesis, flight, enhanced senses, improved health, the ability to heal diseases by directly attacking the disease, and more. And the more they use their power, they more power they can use. While this may sound incredible, the suck part is rather major: All warlocks are plagued by horrific nightmares as the source of their power draws them to it. It's not unusual for a warlock to awaken at night hovering several stories above the ground with a hole in their house's roof. And the longer they've used their powers, the harder it is to stop, so eventually they are all Called, and vanish to never be seen again until The Final Calling.
Kij Johnson's short story, The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change takes place after an unspecified event has granted human-like intelligence to dogs, cats, and a handful of other nonhumans. So in other words, dogs are now able to speak with humans. The thing is, they are stilldogs, with all that implies. And if you consider how humans have treated dogs throughout history, you've probably guessed that things don't work out so well for either species.
The things that Daire sees in the beginning of Fated cause her to be temporarily institutionalized.
Gaia Moore of Fearless. Not being able to feel any fear might sound really cool, but Gaia routinely makes mistakes of judgment which, as she is fond of pointing out, someone who could feel fear would think twice about. The only reason Gaia doesn't get herself killed is because she is A) also gifted with Super Speed and Super Strength (by human standards) and B) trained in "every martial art with a hard-to-pronounce name" (paraphrased).
Mac from the Fever Series can see the true forms of the bad Fae that have invaded the human realm. And because of this, they want her dead.
Finnikin of the Rock. Oh God, Finnikin of the Rock... The major Blessed with Suck is Evanjalin/Isaboe, whose power is not empathy, as everyone thought. She 'walks the sleep'- that is, when she sleeps, she reads the thoughts of others who sleep- of her people, Lumaterans. That is, she becomes witness to everything that's happened to them- she feels their pain for everything. This is in a country where 100% of the population have been or have had a family member tortured, raped, killed, or something equally awful. And this kid witnessed every bit of it, through not only witnesses and victims, but through the people who did it. And did I mention the people dying of fever, hunger or being worked to death? It made Finnikin cry too, when he said, "If I could have a gift, it would be to tear from her mind such depravity. Sweet Goddess, how I wish it," and then he cries and beats himself up for not being able to help her.
In Kristin Cashore's Fire, the titular character is a "monster" who possesses a hereditary mutation that makes her extraordinarily attractive and also telepathic. However, her involuntary ability to attract people forces her to constantly fend off crazed human stalkers as well as hungry wild animals with similar mutations who love eating the flesh of other monsters. She has telepathy and mind control abilities, but they are so limited that they can be resisted by anyone with a strong enough will. Fire gets physically injured and abused in all kinds of ways through the course of the book, as being a monster does not give her superhuman strength, healing, or invulnerability.
Astrid Spark, the titular Girl with Magnetic Fingers, can repair everything non-alive just by touching it. This means people around her constantly ask her to repair broken things, often quite mundane. And then it is discovered that she can also "repair" injuries of living things by kissing the injured part - let's say, things get pretty Squicky pretty fast.
Duck Zhang, who guest stars as the C plot hero in HUNGER (the first GONE sequel), has the power to change his density...I.E, to either sink so deep into the ground he suffocates and buries himself alive, or float around a bit unable to move. It is played up a lot and used for comic relief, although he does find a use for his power in the end... Let's just say he "killed himself" trying to find a use... Mwhahahahahahahahahaahahahahahah
Duck: I'm a moof! I'm a moof with a really sucky power!
In Gravity FallsDipper and Mabel and the Time Pirates Treasure, one ending has Dipper, Mabel and Blendin gaining a potion of Eternal Youth. The result is Dipper and Mabel never reaching puberty, and are stuck as twelve year olds forever. They outlived their loved ones into the Time Baby's future, where they open up a museum of the past, with Blendin stuck as the janitor forever.
There are born maybe one or two a generation, if that, and they carry a very distinctive birthmark. Their existence ensures that the mortal Luggnagg they are born from will never fear death. But after the age of eighty they become a non-person and can not own property. They see all they love change and die. If their family, including far descendants, do not care for them, the Struldbergs are stuck relying on a government pittance, begging isn't allowed, but 'gifts' are. Often they can not remember much beyond their eightieth or ninetieth year. Legally, they barely exist.
Gislaug, titular character of the the narrative poem cycle Haugtussa (Fairy mound girl, written by Norwegian writer Arne Garborg), is given the "sight" (not unlike Danny´s powers in The Shining). This is a mixed blessing at best, because it alienates her from her community, destroys her possibilities for love, and she is essentially haunted by every secondary world being in her home area. She ends up as a mix of Mysterious Waif, Waif Prophet and downright Cloud Cuckoolander, but in a moment of clarity, she actually chooses this over the alternative - not seeing anything at all. This messy situation is eventually solved, and she ends up as a wise, caring woman in the end.
Will Parry in His Dark Materials may be the king of this trope. He is destined to be the bearer of the Subtle Knife, which can slice through the barriers between worlds. Gaining it mutilated his left hand, the "sign of the Bearer". On top of this, every single time he uses it, for good or ill, he creates a hole into which Dust drains out of the world, and through which more Spectres are unleashed. And then there's the little matter of what the Knife is rumored to be destined to be used for...
Skip, the protagonist of I Hate Dragons has the magical power of smelling so delicious to dragons that they go insane with the desire to eat him.
Being Infected in TheInfected is already this, since you get superpowers but for the most part they're useless and you get a crippling mental disorder with them. Even more so for Brian Yi, a fat out-of-shape geek with the power... to physically take the place of people who are about to die. In some cases that can mean correcting a skid, very carefully climbing down, scaring off wild animals or kids, and in one case talking a single mother with serious post-partum depression into getting some help. More often though, he's dropped into robberies, deadly fights, warzones, assassinations, angry mobs and in arm's reach of superhuman serial killers.
And even more so for Melanie Miller, a young girl with Power Incontinence that turns everyone around her, including her whole family and community, into superstrong, nigh-invulnerable monsters that eat people. And they all have an instinct to seek her out, since eating her flesh specifically makes them faster, stronger, tougher and smarter. After a grueling trek through the wilderness, with Brian replacing her multiple times, they get her to safety on an island (the monsters can't swim) only to realize the situation when the guards protecting her turn. As the monsters rather around the shore of the lake, the decision is made to drop ten fuel-air bombs on the site, and remove the threat posed by monsters and little girl all at once.
In I Want to Go Home by Gordon Korman, Rudy is a kid who can do anything easily and perfectly. This makes him terminally bored with everything they make him do at summer camp.
Protectors in Known Space are stronger than humans, tougher than humans, smarter than humans, and apparently never die of old age. They're fanatically devoted to protecting their descendants, because if their line of descendants dies out, they instinctively stop eating and die unless they're one of the very few that can transfer their gene-loyalty to the species as a whole. So ... no problem, just protect your great-great-great-grandkids, right? Except that one of the things you have to protect them against is other immortal superhumans who are also trying to win the zero-sum game for their own descendants. Oh, also: you instinctively have to take the best option to protect your descendants, and you're too smart to lie to yourself about what that option is, so free will is no longer a thing for you.
Murakoks, who routinely contact their Alternate Universe selves, but go insane if they ever try to bodily visit other worlds.
Happy inhabitants of Echo, living in the place of wonders and easy kitchen magic, who risk losing the "spark of life" without any good reason at all (it doesn't happen anywhere else). The city is also a giant magnet for magical monsters and is under the ancient curse — periodically reawakened by some or other mad wizard — which makes people gradually liquefy while remaining fully conscious even long past the point of no return and supposedly lose a chance to any afterlife once they die of it. More powerful folk may resist this, but risk being temporarily, but suddenly deprived of all magic if they use forces both of their world and of Multiverse. Oh, and while local magic is so strong, actually using it slowly drains the Heart of the World.
The Last of the Just follows the thousand-year history of a family in which one man of every generation is (or maybe isn't) a "Just Man" ordained by God to relieve the world's suffering. Not even the Just Men themselves are entirely clear on what this means, but it's apparently necessary that in order to make other people suffer less they need to suffer more in equal proportion.
In Justine Larbalestier's trilogy beginning with Magic or Madness, people born with magical abilities have a choice of either refraining from using their abilities and going insane, or using them and shortening their lifespans every time they perform magic. Some unscrupulous magic users avoid this by stealing magic from other people and using it, usually preying on inexperienced kids who don't know how to resist magical parasitism or don't realize that giving up magic will shorten their lives.
Rhulad Sengar from the Malazan Book of the Fallen has a magical sword that brings him back to life any time he dies, as well as granting supernatural strength and other magical abilities. Unfortunately, the sword was a gift from the Crippled God, who never does a good turn for anyone without cost; Rhulad can't physically put the sword down, his resurrections are incredibly physically and mentally agonizing (leading to Sanity Slippage), and the first time around he was dead for several days and had already been dressed for burial before he came back — which, in his culture, involves having searing-hot gold coins ritually burned into the flesh to cover the entire body. When Rhulad resurrected, the coins stayed attached. Add in the Trauma Conga Line that ensues after Rhulad becomes the Emperor of the Tiste Edur, and its small wonder he ends up half-mad and completely miserable, immortality or no.
One of the titular Midnights Children is so beautiful that they blind anyone who looks at them. Their great-aunt eventually disfigures them, which negates the power.
Miriam Black has the ability to see how a person will die just by touching them once. The only way she knows to benefit from this macabre power is noting what's in the pockets and wallet of a person when they die, waiting for it to actually happen, then looting their money and credit cards afterward.
While Gwen's psychometry helps her get through all the various problems she encounters at Mythos Academy, it has it's downsides, mainly stemming from the fact that she can't turn it off, causing her to learn things she would rather not know. Like the fact that during her first kiss, she read her suddenly ex-boyfriend's mind and learned that he would have much rather been kissing someone else. Or the time she borrowed a friend's hairbrush and suddenly getting to experience how said friend had been raped by her stepfather the night before while holding said hairbrush...
The title character of A Nameless Witch is cursed to be beautiful, unaging (undead), and has magic powers. But since she's a witch, she goes around in disguise looking as ugly as she can manage. Bad side effect: she's so good looking because the curse makes her a literal man-eater... or at least, she desperately wants to eat anyone she loves.
The People: Being a Sensitive, without learning to control it. Bethie feels the pain of everyone around her.
In Scorpion Shards, the six protagonists have extraordinary abilities, but their power attracts otherworldly Eldritch Abomination parasites that infect and corrupt them, warping and inverting their benevolent superpowers into horrible curses.
Her luck only works if there is some element of choice (though so far it worked, albeit it often took time to work).
Her luck gets her out of troubles, but it doesn't prevent her from getting into such predicaments in the first place. Physical damage was avoided so far, but mental is another story.
Since others want to use her luck for themselves, she actually gets endangered pretty often. In fact, she got bogged down in the whole Drift mess because of her luck.
People around her also get endangered because of her, and they are not protected, so many of them end up dead / insured / scarred - and she is guilty!
Shifter is about a world where certain people are 'takers'- they can take pain from people (and heal them) and put it into metal. Nya is 15, and a taker- but not a full taker. she can only take pain from one person and put it in another....did I mention there's a war going on and the other side is looking for takers like her?
Phil/Eros in Snyper is able to travel anywhere and cannot be physically restrained or confined because "love knows no bounds." In normal circumstances, it just means not needing house keys or a fare card to ride the subway, but his enemies seem to realize the greater potential of being practically unstoppable.
In A Song of Ice and Fire, Gregor Clegane's vast strength and size make him The Dreaded. His condition also caused him horrible migraines throughout his life to the point that he regularly drank painkillers. When he is fatally poisoned, his own resilience turns against him by making his death even more long and painful. Not helped by his earlier consumption of painkillers dulling their effectiveness.
In Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible common superhero tropes are dissected and deconstructed with people like Fatale, who lost half of her body in an accident and had it replaced with cybernetics, but must constantly take anti-rejection drugs and ended up working black ops to pay for her esoteric maintenance, Damsel, whose powers are related to her extraterrestrial origins but must live with some very odd allergies and other biochemistry issues because she's a bioengineered Half-Human Hybrid of two otherwise incompatible species, or Rainbow Triumph, whose powers stem from an experimental cure for a terminal illness and must take drugs once every few hours or die horribly. In fact it's damn near impossible to name a character in this book who isn't either blessed with suck or Cursed With Awesome.
In Michael Flynn's The January Dancer from the Spiral Arm series, the crew of the New Angeles finds a treasure trove of alien artifacts, none of which they can move.
The Spirit Thief has demonseeds. Pros: superhuman strength, speed and senses, Healing Factor, being a Shadow Walker. Cons: every spirit in existence fears you and strives to kill you, the League of Storms is hunting you down, and if you survive both of those, you will eventually be possessed and start devouring every spirit in existence.
In The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, there are naturally-born human telepaths. However, Mother Nature is a fickle bitch and so just as many are born with the opposite ability: they constantly involuntarily broadcast their thoughts to everyone around them, and are unable to hear others' thoughts in return.
The Star Trek: New Frontier feature it big style. There are legends of "The Great Bird Of Galaxy", and it settling down on a planet is considered a big blessing (for example by Hermats.) It turns out legends are true but the blessing has a massive suck factor: said bird will fill your planet with easily harvestable energy which also has the ability to make the planet super-fertile— but the energy is destined for the bird's embryo, which uses the planet as its egg, and destroys the planet when it hatches. This is what happened to Thallon.
In Super Powereds, there are people with special abilities. Those that can control theirs are called Supers and can study to obtain a Hero License to become superheroes. Unfortunately, a sizable percentage of people with abilities are unable to exert reliable control over them. They are called Powered and are looked down upon by the Supers. For example, Vince has Energy Absorption and is introduced having accidentally drained an entire county of electricity when trying to fix his toaster. Nick can manipulate luck (apparently, he can somehow manipulate quantum probabilities, but he just calls it "luck" for simplicity), but it can either be good or bad luck. His introduction involves him winning a lottery, getting hit by a truck while celebrating, hitting a bouncy castle in his neighbor's yard, causing the castle's compressor to explode, with the lottery winnings exactly covering his hospital bills and the lawsuit against him by the neighbor (even though it wasn't his fault). He's pretty upbeat about it. They are recruited into a secret program to help them control their powers, thus turning them into Supers.
More specifically, Twitchtip the 'scent seer' whose sense of smell is so accurate that she can smell secrets — not a fast track to the popular crowd.
Also, Nerissa. Funny how a society built on one man's prophecies treats their own personal prophetess so poorly.
Turns out being the Warrior of the prophecy isn't much fun for Gregor. At the end of the series, Gregor is warned that with his rager abilities it will be much easier for him to kill people, so he'll always have to keep an eye on himself.
The shadow-kissed in Vampire Academy. They share a Psychic Link with their spirit users, which is very useful if the Shadow-kissed is a guardian, but because the nature of Spirit often drives the user crazy, the Shadow-kissed end up absorbing all of that negative energy. Oh, and being able to see ghosts isn't as wonderful as some people make it out to be.
In Very Bad Deaths, Zandor, the telepath has a bad case of A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read. Zander finds close proximity to almost anyone distinctly uncomfortable. When he finally comes in close contact with Alan, a serial killer, this becomes a distinct disadvantage. Merely being close to a mind that viciously demented is torture for him.
In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 novel Deus Encarmine, Arfio appears as the re-incarnation of the primarch Sanguinius after he wields the Spear of Telesto. Shortly after, being told that those who object to it are dying, which must be an omen, he says that he would much rather be an ordinary Blood Angel, standing beside his sibling Rafen.
In Aaron Dembski-Bowden's Warhammer 40,000Night Lords novel Soul Hunter, when Septimus is rebuked for speaking of his master Talos's curse, he says he's just calling it what Talos does. Given that his prophetic visions are uncontrollable, make him rant and rave like a lunatic (he has to be locked up in a chamber during them), and are often horrific, he has a point. Even his primarch's observation that they are alike does not help him like it.
Arithon S'Ffalenn, and to a lesser extent other royal heirs, from Janny Wurts's War Of Light And Shadow. The sorcerers picked the defining virtue of the ruler of each kingdom - e.g. passion for justice, courage, or foresight - and gave them to their descendants. Arithon is descended from two families, so he gets foresight, the ability to see all the consequences of his actions, and compassion, the ability to empathize with everyone. And he doesn't get a choice. So he sees exactly how his actions hurt other people, and feels their pain as his own. Thanks a lot.
In Warrior Cats, the Three's powers all have their downsides. Lionblaze can't be harmed in battle, but he also suffers from bloody nightmares of him murdering others. Jayfeather can see into other cats' dreams and memories, but this causes him to learn things he shouldn't (which he constantly has StarClan cats nagging him about), and he is also blind. Dovewing has super-strong senses, which leaves her sometimes distracted, and it also makes her sister very jealous of her, to the point that the villains try to take advantage of her jealousy.
Nathan Brazil, the lead character in Jack Chalker's Well World series is effectively immortal and is arguably God or the Steward of God though he does not consciously realize it. He remarks that no matter what the disaster, he has been a survivor, no matter how awful the event was.
Brazil also has a tendency to bless other characters with suck, usually as a karmic retribution for something they've done
The "Wild Cards" series has a truly staggering amount of this trope. In this setting, an alien virus released over New York by a pulp-style Nazi villain warps the DNA of thousands of humans, resulting in a world where about 9% percent of the population has some sort of mutation. Some get superhuman powers and others get nasty physical and mental mutations. Even some of the characters who got superpowers found that they came with strings attached. Such as:
The Oddity: composed of three people joined together into one person he/she/they has superhuman strength, but the various parts of the three bodies are constantly rearranging themselves, causing The Oddity to suffer constant pain, a body that is often semi-crippled from having limbs that are mismatched or out of place, and a multiple-personality disorder.
Roulette, who can kill people by having sex with them. Trouble is, she never knows when it will or won't activate.
Cap'n Trips, who can transform himself into alternate universe versions of himself, each of which has a different superpower. To activate his power, he must dose himself with potentially life-threatening amounts of psychoactive drugs.
The Harlem Hammer, whose body can metabolize metals, giving him superhuman strength and nigh-invulnerability. The drawback is that he needs to consume heavy-metal salts to supplement his body's unique nutritional needs, the gradual accumulation of which makes his body unnaturally heavy and increasingly less flexible.
Carnifex, whose body can heal any injury very quickly. Too quickly for him to get adequate reconstructive therapy when he is injured, so his face and body are a mass of misshapen scar tissue.
Popinjay, who can teleport anything....except himself.
The Sleeper, whose body periodically lapses into a death-like coma that lasts several weeks and results in his appearance and powers (or mutations) changing each time. He has, on occasion, woken as a Joker (hideous with no powers) and there is always the possibility that he will 'draw the black queen' (die horribly). This has left him with a pathological fear of falling asleep, and an addiction to amphetamines (and the accompanying violent mood swings) that he takes to keep himself awake in a futile attempt to postpone the next change.
The Sleeper later learns of another unfortunate aspect of his powers; him going to asleep actually isn't what causes his transformations. Rather it's simply an instinctual response to keep him from experiencing any pain from his transformation, which happens regardless of whether he goes to sleep. He learns this the hard way when he puts off sleeping out of desperation to be at his sister's wedding and ends up gruesomely transforming into a terrifying bat monster right in the middle of the ceremony.
Bagabond is a bag lady who has the power to communicate with animals telepathically. This wouldn't be so bad, if it hadn't caused her to become completely alienated from human thought processes, resulting in her being miserably lonely.
Demise is a man who was killed and than revived by his power activating. He Came Back Wrong and can now not only kill by looking at people (meaning he can potentially kill by accident), but constantly remembers the horrible pain he suffered while dying.
Fortunato is an ace who's powers are broad enough that he's effectively become a sorcerer. That includes the ability to raise the dead necromancer style, which would be pretty cool if not for the fact that he has to sodomize the corpse to do so.
Mister Nobody has the power to shapeshift at will. The power is extremely useful, but only after he learned how to control it. Before that, he couldn't figure out how to shift back to his original state, and so spent over a decade in the form of a giant ape.
All the titular witchers from The Witcher saga. They are inhumanly skilled combatants who possess superhuman senses and reflexes, are immune to all known diseases, can shrug off many lethal poisons and venoms, and their potential lifespan is about ten times that of a normal human. However, after becoming one, they're destined to wander from village to village like the lowliest pauper, common folk treat them with contempt (while needing their services all the same), and they regularly have to square off with hideous creatures that will rip them to shreds if they slip up even for a second. And no matter how many battles they survive, that will eventually be their fate, because no witcher has ever died of old age.
Serena Clarke has the power to force anyone to do anything. Anything, that is, except disobey her. She quickly grows frustrated with how simple this makes her life. It also means she can't pursue any sexual or romantic relationships in good conscience, since she can't ever be sure said relationships are 100% consensual. Much of her internal monologue consists of her begging people to defy her.
Eli Ever has an incredible Healing Factor. Nothing permanently harms him... but he can still feel pain. So when he winds up in a Mad Scientist's lab, he's a prime candidate for experimentation. He's essentially tortured for years on end, with no chance of death freeing him. Not even removing his heart kills him.
To a lesser extent, Sydney Clarke and Dominic Rusher have this problem, too, since their powers are what get them tangled up in the feud between Eli and Victor. (Though they at least have the consolation of a Family of Choice that genuinely cares about them, even if they're in constant danger.) Sydney's powers also slow her aging, which means she's stuck looking like a child even though she's eighteen by the time of the second book.
In Erec Rex, the title character has a magical power which he calls "cloudy thoughts"—sudden compulsions to do something seemingly random, with him actively having to fight his body if he doesn't want to do it. It always winds up helping someone else (for example, putting down pillows right before his little sister crashes onto the floor, or running outside to pick up a trash can that turns out to have a cat pinned under it), but he hates the loss of control, and lives in fear that one day they'll make him do something bad instead.
Devils & Thieves: Jemmie's extreme magical sensitivity is unique and useful, giving her a powerful edge over others...if it weren't for the fact that just being around enough kindled makes her feel like passing out, and makes it almost impossible to even use her own magic
Ghost Roads: Routewitches are fundamentally nomadic; they get their power from traveling and have a deep need to be on the move. As queen, Apple is immensely strong, eternally young, gifted with extra powers, able to commune directly with their goddess...and can't go anywhere. Well, she could—there's no actual physical barrier or geas preventing her—but things usually go haywire if the monarch leaves the Ocean Lady and she's much too responsible. So, until she steps down, Apple can only experience travel through the tribute of her subjects.
When Dracula marries Queen Victoria in Anno Dracula, many European tried to get immortality as a vampire with the bonus of Dracula's bloodline getting shapeshifting (vampires like Lord Ruthven or Genevieve Dieudonne cannot). The problem is shapeshifting is difficult, often killing or mutilating failures and the further a descendant is from Dracula, the more unstable - so many newborn die shortly after turning. Additionally Dracula's bloodline is corrupt, unlike other vampires, his get need to sleep in their own native soil or eventually start rotting and many suffer from early mental degeneration. Finally some of Dracula's get share his weakness to holy water and crucifixes, something that non-superstituous vampires are usually immune to.
In general, being a vampire isn't all that great though getting older corrects some of these issues: there's the only food a vampires can accept being blood, getting burnt by sunlight while a vampire is "young" and etc. Some of the benefits aren't that impressive, a vampire that is weak before undeath won't get much of a strength boost after being a vampire and vampirism doesn't always correct pre-existing health issues (if a vampire has a disease like syphilis - the disease just mutates).
Timothy Zahn's works often deconstruct this aspect of creating Super Soldiers. The Cobras of The Cobra Trilogy are equipped with unbreakable bones, super strength, computerized combat reflexes, and the ability to shoot lasers from their hands and feet in order to make perfect covert guerrilla fighters. But the modifications lead to serious health problems later in life, not to mention that the combat reflexes can't just be turned off even in civilian life. The Copperheads of the Conquerors trilogy receive a direct-brain link to their spacecraft that makes them the fastest and deadliest combat pilots humanity has, but the link is so powerful and freeing that returning to being "merely human" afterwards is traumatic, and excessive use can even lead to borderline catatonia when not "plugged in."
In the epic fantasy Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes, most forms of magic are this. The Lady Merchant, goddess of magic, grants incredible gifts...but you have to give her something in return. Like your ability to have good dreams, your emotions, your ability to move, and so on. And no, you don't get to pick what you get or what you give. While you can theoretically stave off paying the price by not using your magic, most people never get a choice—if they live in the fantasy-Stalinist Revolution territory, or in Haven with the religious fanatics, it's Burn the Witch! time, and if they live in the fantasy-Rome/Italy Imperium, they get forcibly conscripted and forced to use their powers until they're used up. There is such a thing as Prodigy, someone with multiple gifts who doesn't have to pay a price, but, well, see above. They'll still be either dead or a war criminal before they're twenty. Small wonder so many desert from the Imperium to become Vagrants, like the heroine Sal.
In The Licanius Trilogy, Gifted are able to use immensely powerful magic and Augurs can read minds, control people and even see the future. The former are sent to strictly supervised academies and managed by a dictatorial police force, and the latter are just outright executed if discovered.
Smoke: At first Freddie is happy to be an invisible, uncatchable burglar, then hes constantly getting bumped into on the streets and such, cant go out and interact with most people and his girlfriend is grossed out by how hes invisible during sex.