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Cursed with Awesome

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Oh no! She's cursed to turn into a busty green superstrong amazon! Wait...

Io: I was cursed with agelessness.
Perseus: That's not much of a curse.

Sooner or later, that something you really wanted nothing to do with is going to be what saves you.

A character has some "terrible" curse placed on them (if they weren't born with it) that is actually pretty awesome. Often, such characters will bemoan their fate and go to great lengths to be rid of the "curse" instead of taking advantage of whatever cool side effects the curse may have. Other times it's the "reward" for Heroic Willpower. Sometimes a subset of people try to tell them this. The idea that the awesome is a curse may cause some forms of Internalized Categorism.

Immortality has been done to death under this heading, even garnering its own trope. While eternal life does have some understandable drawbacks, excessive emphasis on the negative side can push it straight into Cursed With Awesome territory, where it becomes another trope. The Emergency Transformation of a character often crosses into this, as the condition is considered literally de-humanizing. The Curse That Cures can skirt this depending on the severity of the curse and the illness or injury it's curing as a side effect.

Vampire protagonists are very frequently Cursed With Awesome.

The jury is out on the justification of the "curse" of Awesome being Fantastic Racism; on one hand, superpowers aren't that much fun when the majority of the population believe suffocating you in your sleep is pest control. On the other, it's not like All of the Other Reindeer will have an easy time burning you. But if you keep driving off every Torch-swinging Muggle for a generation or so, you're just reinforcing the Fantastic Racism... On and on it goes.

This trope is a major source of Angst Dissonance — if not used carefully, then a character being Cursed With Awesome carries the risk of plummeting straight into Wangst or Deus Angst Machina territory, as nothing is guaranteed to piss an audience off more than a character complaining about having abilities that are, on the face of it, utterly fantastic and that the audience would kill to have. This is especially a risk if a balance between the awesomeness of the powers and the suckiness of the consequences of possessing them is not maintained; if the drawbacks are outweighed by the benefits, then the character just looks whiny. On the other hand, it can make for some great Character Development if the character is saddled with something that is genuinely difficult to live with, but later figures out a way to benefit from it.

There are also some cases where the drawback is just a straight-up Informed Flaw, or negated by a bit of Fridge Brilliance. The Super Mode can be legitimately terrifying if the person using it loses control of themselves while remaining aware of what they're doing, but not if they only do things that they could just as well have done anyway and are just as beneficial, but now they have an excuse for behavior that might be otherwise unacceptable. The Smart Guy may be so smart that it's said to alienate others and leave him lonely or anti-social, but if he's in a Five-Man Band, he almost certainly has at least four True Companions.

Occasionally leads to a "No More Holding Back" Speech whether or not the character is unhappy about the effects of their curse.

The Punishment is an extreme form of this and usually done to someone that actually deserves it. Also compare Plague of Good Fortune. Compare Unishment, where the "curse" turns out to be something that the character actually enjoys or wanted all along.

A power that's triggered by inflicting great harm to oneself can be such an awesome curse.

See also the inverse, Blessed with Suck, where the ability given is supposed to be good, but isn't. Compare I Just Want to Be Normal (where "cursed with awesome" is taken in a different context) and Keeping the Handicap (where the character decides that the benefits of staying disabled are preferable to the benefits of becoming abled). Contrast Super Loser. May result in a Curse Is Foiled Again or Living Forever Is Awesome. Both this and Blessed with Suck may connect with Muse Abuse. If a character actually gets over it by refusing to be tormented any longer by the downsides of their "curse", they usually result in a case of Sweet and Sour Grapes; as the "curse" is merely their own displeasure at their condition, then by moving past it they become purely Awesome.


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  • This commercial for Skittles features a man who turns everything he touches into Skittles. His coworker finds it awesome, but the man explains that he can't hold his newborn son, feed and dress himself, shake anybody's hand, or even do his job.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Astro City story "Lucky Girl," Hummingbird II discovers that her gods-granted powers are tainted with a curse that will eventually turn her into a real bird. She rejects an offer to be cured by having her powers removed, choosing instead to deal with her fate with the help of her Honorary Aunts.
  • In The Books of Magic, Molly grows a garden (a "real garden", as in, "tomato orchard", not "pleasure garden") while in Faerie, and Titania gets miffed about this for no good reason, so she puts an enchantment on the garden. When Molly eats one of the fruits, she gets cursed and is constantly on fire without burning. Molly is pissed, of course, but she puts the curse to good use by burning everything that stands in her way on her march to the Titania's palace.
  • As an Expy of Ben Grimm, Pig-Iron was transformed into a hulking steel monster. While he gained Nigh-Invulnerability and Super Strength, it also makes it utterly impossible for him to have a Secret Identity or live any kind of normal, non-superheroic life. It also resulted in his death from drowning, as unlike the other heroes he couldn't possibly swim. He would be resurrected by Grant Morrison to be a background character in Final Crisis.
  • Deadpool:
    • Deadpool was cursed by Loki to have Tom Cruise's face until his father forgave him. Deadpool was not happy at all. Remember Deadpool is ugly!
    • Deadpool gets this again, in a sort of subversion. In Deadpool #64, Thanos curses him with immortality. Where's the curse in that? Well, they both love Death, so Deadpool would actually be pretty happy being killable. Torn between Cursed With Awesome and Blessed with Suck — the curse only won out because that was Thanos's original intention.
  • Empowered's suit usually is more Blessed with Suck, but the fact it supercharges her orgasms? Gee, what a burden.
  • Thunderfoot, a homage to the character of Watership Down, is cursed in the Vertigo comic book series Fables by a dark magician hare to change into a horrendous, disgusting form — that of a human — until he gets the love of a pretty doe (female hare). Actually, Thunderfoot is the most awesome lad the readers may have seen. Ever. But his attempts to woo lady hares are constantly thwarted by their fearful cries of "MONSTER! Monster!"
  • The Thing in Fantastic Four. Super-strong & nigh invulnerable. Sure he's not the best looking guy around, but despite this he's had several women attracted to him, Alicia Masters, Thundra, the second Miss Marvel, heck even Tigra seemed interested in him. Boo-hoo, poor Ben.
    • Although, this is pretty heavily subverted now. Ben doesn't hate his looks and is actually quite happy to be the "Ever-lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing", as it's brought him great success and many new friends.
    • The most irrational thing he complained about was how he thought the first of these women would flee him if she were not blind. Dude, she has a pretty good idea that you are not normal-looking because your skin feels more like an animate pile of rocks than anything outwardly human.
    • In fact, Alicia played a very big factor in him as a character early on. He doubted that she would fall for "plain old Ben" because she hadn't met him before he became the Thing, and tried very hard to resist his desire to become human again.
      • The Thing goes back and forth on the issue usually presenting himself as someone who has adjusted to the condition and enjoys the benefits, but sometimes something happens to remind him that not everybody accepts him.
    • The big issue comes from the fact that he inadvertently causes damage to structures around him. Buildings would have to be well-reinforced to support him and he probably wouldn't be able to take stairs or elevators. His fingers are too big and powerful to use normal, everyday things like telephones or cups, and everything in the Baxter Building had to be Thing-proofed just so he'd be able to live there. In terms of living his day-to-day life he's essentially handicapped.
    • The Ultimate Universe version of the Thing has his condition played for full angst value but this is a younger version of the character. Aside from looking like a monster, he laments that he can't even figure out how to kill himself because he's too tough.
  • Green Lantern: Locksley Smith, introduced in Comic Cavalcade, can open any lock, and has used it to save children trapped in safes. The fact that he cannot help but open any lock he's within a foot of no matter how foolhardy it is and how much he doesn't want to is a pretty big downside, but while it has mostly ruined his ability to hold a job it's also saved his life and others.
  • Halloween Man: The eponymous hero of Drew Edwards' indie comic is a pretty good example; though Solomon Hitch's "origin story" disfigured half his face and left him with a skeletal hand, he gains superhuman strength and agility, virtual immortality, and even vague psychic powers. In addition, his wealthy, attractive, and brilliant girlfriend Lucy and demigod best friend Ron (son of Dionysus) accept him without hesitation, even if many of the other, more "mainstream" heroes of Solar City do not. Subverted to an extent, as Halloween Man is still one of the undead and needs to gruesomely consume fresh organs from other monsters to maintain himself (rather than reverting to eating humans). It is also hinted that in at least some future time lines he flips to the dark side anyway, becoming a Jason Voorhees type slasher.
  • Hellboy:
    • Johann Krauss and his wife died during the Chengdou disaster; fortunately he was in the "Astral Plane" at the time. Now he's an effectively immortal cloud of mist, as long as he can find an empty "body" to inhabit. The 2004 movie shows him pondering the difference between him and clockwork Implacable Man Kroenen.
    • Abe Sapien was a human scientist who, while exploring an undersea ruin in the 1800s, became touched by an Eldritch Abomination after finding a mysterious "egg" that turned him into a fishman. Subverted in that he doesn't feel cursed. Usually.
  • The Incredible Hulk:
    • For most folks who gain powers via Gamma radiation like the Hulk, the Abomination, and General Ross, it's the opposite Trope, but there are exceptions:
    • She-Hulk started out as Bruce Banner's mousy cousin Jennifer Walters who transformed after being given a blood transfusion from Dr. Banner. She went from a shy, rather nebbish girl into... well, She-Hulk. Eventually, writers realized there weren't any real downsides to it, and she hasn't complained about the situation in years. (The trick is that, as the name implies, they were trying to make a Distaff Counterpart to the Hulk — but while Bruce Banner turns into a horrific, mindless force of destruction most of the time, Jennifer turns into a friendly, vivacious Amazon who is still mentally herself, just tall, busty, and jacked. Hard to see any downsides in that, especially since she didn't like who she used to be all that much to begin with.)
    • Lampshaded as early as the late-80s, when at the end of an issue, Mister Fantastic sadly informs Jennifer that due to a burst of radiation she absorbed, she is now permanently stuck in her She-Hulk form. A couple of beat panels later she replies, "So, what's the bad news?"
    • Jen isn't the only one to benefit from gamma radiation. The Hulk's enemy the Leader was once nothing more than a janitor until an accident involving gamma radiation turned him into a super-genius with Psychic Powers. (He considered the green skin and enlarged, mutated cranium a very small price to pay.)
    • Doc Samson transformed himself using stored energy siphoned from the Hulk in an attempt to turn the Hulk back into Bruce Banner permanently. Considering that it changed him from a somewhat nebbishy scientist into someone with the physique of a Greek god, the fact that it also made his hair longer and green was unplanned, but overall he admits it's still a good deal for him.
    • Indeed, one theory about gamma radiation is that it transforms the victim into a physical embodiment of deeply repressed emotions. While the Hulk embodies the hidden rage that Bruce felt towards his abusive father, She-Hulk is a liberated, daring side of Jennifer that she had never been able to show before. Abomination is an unlovable bastard because Emil Blonsky is an unlovable bastard (or believes he is). Doc Sampson always wanted to be a paragon-style superhero, so that's what he turned into.
    • The She-Hulk question is interestingly played with in The Avengers (Jason Aaron), when Jen's Hulk form becomes more like Bruce's. That's worse, right? Well, it turns out she prefers not having to fight in a highly sexualised form that means she has to make the jokes before the bad guys do, and it's a relief to drop being the funny, upbeat one and just get mad and smash things.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1992): Those trapped in the Dark World are cursed to become beasts without artifacts or heroic willpower. Roam, however, takes advantage of being able to become an eagle.
  • The Legend of the Chaos God: Solego, though trapped within a crystal, has the power to possess any living or mechanical thing that comes in direct contact with the crystal.
  • The Mighty Thor: Thor's foe the Flame believes he is horrendously ugly in addition to having superstrength, fire control abilities, indestructible armour and a BFS. Of course, he is horrendously ugly by fire demon standards which makes him extremely handsome by human (or Asgardian) standards, but the Flame refuses to believe this.
  • ROM and the other Spaceknights constantly bewail the loss of their humanity, even though they can still think, talk, feel, and do pretty well everything else humans can, while also having supercool cyborg armor, the ability to fly, virtual immortality, and, of course, survive attack by the Dire Wraiths.
    • Not being able to get out of their armor probably sucks pretty hard. For one thing, you couldn't have sex. Actually, do there really have to be any other reasons?
    • They also turned out to be right to bemoan their loss of humanity. A second generation of Space Knights was created which were more extremely transformed (and more powerful), and they all went Ax-Crazy and destroyed the rest of their race and the parts removed from all the Space Knights, preventing anyone from ever transforming them back.
  • Played with in Sillage. You would think that in a setting where everyone but the protagonist has psychic powers, to the point that she was not recognized as a person at first, might be a bad thing. Turns out it means she's an excellent spy/special agent, because she cannot be psychically detected like everyone else.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Peter Parker is a genius, incredibly powerful (at least compared to us muggles), a successful photographer — who even published a book of Spider-Man photos — and a college student. Despite his poverty, he is able to provide for himself — including crime-fighting gadgets like web-shooters, webbing and costumes — his aged aunt and his supermodel wife. Remember? He bagged a chick so hot she should be using dorks like him as a paperweight. Not to mention Gwen Stacy, Betty Brant, Liz Allen, the Black Cat, Deb Whitman...
    • This is ultimately deconstructed during the Superior Spider-Man saga. Doctor Octopus, having hijacked'd Peter's body, uses it to be a superior Spidey. However, when the Green Goblin opts to bring everything down around his ears, he comes to realize that Peter purposely stops himself from using his Awesome because of things like this.
    • Spider-Man Noir: When Peter got bitten by the mystic spiders, he hallucinated that a spider god would give him "The Curse Of Power". Considering how the Spider-Man powers have affected other Spider-Man, this isn't actually that far off.
  • Superman:
    • In All-Star Superman, Lex Luthor endangers a space flight, forcing Superman to fly too close to the sun in the process of rescuing them. The damage to his body leaves him with one year to live. On the upside, it boosts his powers and intelligence, and renders him immune to kryptonite, which helps him deal with all his final year's problems.
    • In A Mind-Switch in Time, Superboy is not happy to learn his future self will be a famed newscaster since Pa and Ma always said he should keep himself out of the public eye. Still, going to greater lengths to protect your secret identity seems a small price to pay for becoming a renowned journalist.
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton, Supergirl complains that her incredible powers have been an endless source of problems for her since she crash-landed on Earth. Yes, she has soared through the galaxy and tanked energy blasts. She has also been forced into battle after battle, manipulated, used, abused and treated as a tool or a ticking bomb by pretty much everyone.
      Supergirl: This strength, this power— It's been like a curse.
    • Legends of the Dead Earth: In Superman Annual #8, the League of Supermen is made up of men and women who are empowered with just one of Superman's many Kryptonian abilities. Unfortunately, they can't shut them off. Shield is completely numb, See-Through has to wear lead shades to block his x-ray vision, Flyboy needs to be tethered when not consciously moving towards something, Pounder has to be fed like a baby, and Heat needs to let off excess heat energy every fifteen minutes or his insides burn up.
  • Ironically enough, the literally Death-loving Thanos receives the immortality curse in The Thanos Imperative, and he goes completely omnicidally insane as a result.
  • In the comic Timespirits, Our Heroes encounter a dinosaur-descended space pirate who has supernatural luck. She can never fail to do anything she tries. And when Our Heroes offer to remove the "Curse of Success" she jumps at the chance. Because, as she puts it, "I am so incredibly bored!". So she gets her luck extracted and has the ordinary chance of success and failure of anyone else — which she considers a blessing.
  • This certainly happens to Watchmen's Dr. Manhattan. Being the only person with god-like powers in the entire known universe is a plus. But he lost his humanity, not really caring about anything but science. On the other hand, he doesn't care.
  • Zig Zagged with werewolves in Werewolf by Night. At their creation, werewolves weren't "cursed" but merely given a useful ability; it later became a curse when the way to control those abilities got lost over time. So when Jack becomes a werewolf on his eighteenth birthday, it really is a curse: forced to painfully transform three times a month with no control. But when he finally does learn how to control it, he starts to enjoy the abilities it gives him, being able to use his werewolf form to do good. Unfortunately, the curse seems to have a way of striking back. You can transform any time you want? Your uncontrolled werewolf form during the full moons will become stronger and more violent. You're happy you won't have to change at all anymore, not even during the full moon? You'll lose the ability, and from now on you'll be forced to have visions of hell when you transform.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • While not common the occasional Amazon takes issue with the fact that due to being superpowered and immortal and living on an island with no men/where men don't receive the same, they cannot have children and if straight cannot find a lover of their choice who isn't going to just die on them of old age. The most notable is Persephone from Wonder Woman (2009), who ended up betraying the Amazons and turning evil in order to be with Ares.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Due to the oaths the Amazons have taken in the Golden Age none but their champion can have a life outside Paradise Island, and even leaving for brief periods is questionable. This trade-off for immortality and super-strength does not bother most of them but seeing Diana's life drives Dalma to remove her bracelets (unleashing her full Amazonian strength) and flee to America to become a boxer. Aphrodite orders Dalma dragged to Reformation Island and locked in an Aphrodite Girdle.
  • X-Men:
    • Subverted with the Juggernaut. Those who are bestowed with the power of Cyttorak through his crimson gem are also compelled to do evil, regardless of their previous nature. However, Cain Marko is a natural sociopath, and doesn't need much prodding. When Cain tried to turn over a new leaf and joined the X-Men, Cyttorak was very unhappy with this development. Thus, Cain's power was greatly reduced and he was pushed into returning to a life of evil to regain the lost power.
    • In its early history, the X-Men themselves tended to have attractive heroes who felt awkward about their powers, while villains who reveled in their powers were ugly. This trend was reduced with the introduction of the Morlocks, who were bizarre but kind, plus the general escalating public fear of mutants because they could look just like anyone else.
    • X-Men in many ways reflected this; the heroes were all extremely gorgeous people with cool powers played by people like Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and James Marsden, whilst the bad guys — with the notable exception of Ian McKellen — were all freaks. The later movies began to balance this out a bit more with the inclusion of characters such as Nightcrawler. Other X-Men films, such as First Class imply a number of evil mutants become evil because they're ugly; visible mutations make them bigger targets for prejudice, which in turn makes them more cynical and bitter toward humans.
    • Also, some of the mutants who've wished to be cured over the years (and over the adaptations) have been mutants who looked human and didn't suffer from any lack of control.
    • The X-man Beak became an interesting, fairly literal example. At first, he was simply Blessed with Suck since his only mutant power was looking like a giant plucked chicken. Then the Exiles' boss The Timebroker decides to draft Beak onto the team, and forcibly yank him away from his home reality. Why? Because Beak will supposedly save The Multiverse some day. Essentially, the Timebroker just decided to hand Beak a great responsibility while Beak just wanted his life back, literally cursing him with awesomeness. Of course, the Timebroker turned out to be right when Beak found a way to defeat Hyperion.
    • This point's been lampooned in Toyfare's Twisted Toyfare Theatre, with a villain exclaiming "rich teenagers with superpowers? Yeah, I WISH I had your problems!"
    • Inverted after M-Day which de-powered almost all the mutants. There is, for example, a home dedicated to helping mutants adjust to life without powers. One resident is a former telekinetic who used to use his powers for construction work.
    • During the CinemaSins video of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Jeremy finally has had enough of Mystique claiming humans wouldn't find her attractive in her normal form: a nude, busty blue Action Girl. He retorts it would be almost impossible for a straight man not to be turned on by her.

    Comic Strips 
  • In this Dilbert strip, Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light, makes Dilbert choose between two "hideous fates": having eternal high pay but having to see all his work burned in front of him at the end of each day, or having his work be useful and appreciated but suffering eternal poverty. Dilbert points out that they're both better than his current job and recruits Wally to get in on the deal.

    Fan Works 
  • The Worm Atonement has Ruin. Her power can do some incredible damage and one use is enough to end most battles — but if she makes any sound outside of combat, she'll inadvertently kill everyone around her.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) fanfic build your wings on the way down, Ed is burdened by knowing the dark side of alchemy. But he now knows the ins and outs of alchemy and can do feats thought to be impossible by regular alchemists. He knows how to directly bargain with the Gate and what are the set prices and transactions for Equivalent Exchange.
  • In A Charmed Life Light angsts a bit over L and his father's assertion that Kira is cursed but later decides that if he is "cursed" than he couldn't have asked for a nicer curse to have.
  • The CSI/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory crossover fic Death by Chocolate shows how Violet Beaureguard benefited from the incident of the blueberry pie gum from the film section below — she became a contortionist of such skill that she became a star of Cirque de Soleil. Her mother wasn't too happy about it, though...
  • A repeated theme in Diaries of a Madman. Particularly so with Discord, but Nav, Celestia, and Luna also stand out.
  • The Wise Prince protagonist in Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns feels this way and even outright explains it when he and his elder brother Trian, who dies in Canon but is only presumed dead in this case, make peace with each other after the dwarven noble returns to Orzammar incognito, while the female human noble plays the leader. Having been clever enough to totally manipulate Bhelen and his lackeys by faking Trian's death and getting himself framed for it deliberately, he admits that he believes he would make a great king but his cleverness would rub off on all the conniving politicians and actually cause them to become even more subtle in their backhanded dealing, meaning that he'd upgrade the game of bloody politics that he wants to see shattered. Add to that the fact that history would cause people to assume that only brilliant leaders like him can do any good, which goes against how he wants to see some luminosity in Orzammar as a whole. He argues that Trian can break the game because he's capable of Obfuscating Stupidity so he can kickstart a chain reaction that would, in the long run, lead to a higher way of thinking. So, he feels he'd make a bad king in the current situation because he'd be too god at it. The answer Trian gave? "That... is just so incredibly stupid!" And this is all before a king is decided upon.
  • In The Fire Bird Act I Fleur Delacour feels this way about her flawless Veela beauty and allure and male humans' resultant inability to see her for her inner qualities. Actually a fairly common problem for Veela in Harry Potter fanfics; given an innate and nearly irresistible allure, veela find it almost impossible to find a partner that wants them for who they are rather than what they are.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, it happens to Supergirl. More powers than she can keep track of, to the point that she is able to time-travel by just flying fast enough. Yet still she feels those powers mean she can't lead a normal life, and they work as a magnet for every would-be cosmic conquerer/eldritch abomination looking for a pick or heroes needing to be saved from said cosmic conqueror/eldritch abomination.
    Mentally, she kicked herself. All this incredible power, she thought. The ability to fly faster than light, to exist in the vacuum of space, to pierce the time barrier and reappear whenever she wanted to, and most of the time she took that for granted. No wonder that so often, life was stupid, dull, and boring to her.
    No wonder that she'd never really managed to fully give her heart, or her body, to anyone yet. How many potential mates could understand the power and needs of a Kryptonian?
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfics Hakkōna and Kaitō Kokoro: Obake are creatures that can shapeshift into just about anything. Unfortunately, their powers made them feared by humans and massacred as a result with Kiku as the only survivor.
    Obake. A subcategory of Yōkai, supernatural creatures of Japanese Shinto myth. Obake are beings that can take on any shape, from an inanimate household object to the most ravenous of beasts. However, despite that, Obake can be of various species, possessing various base forms; cat, dog, monkey, even human are just some of them. Obake have generally lived in peace, respecting all those around them. Secluding themselves from people, they are one with nature, in perfect harmony with it and each other as they live through existences which aren't limited by the passing of time. Everything was perfect until that fateful day...
  • Most loopers, especially anchors, in The Infinite Loops view the loops as this. Sure, time is on repeat for who knows how long and sometimes, you are the only one who knows what is going on, but on the plus side, you can never permanently die, you get to visit new worlds and learn new skills, have unlimited chances to fix any mistakes you made, and you tend to end up with your friends and family.
  • In The Institute Saga, Rogue's powers mean that she cannot touch anyone who isn't a Kryptonian, until she finally gets a special bracelet.
  • This is lampshaded and then kicked in the balls in Luminosity with this exchange.
    Edward: No, Bella, any of us would rather be human—
    Bella: What? Okay, Alice said that the three day initiation process or whatever it is is "not fun". I could buy that it is sufficiently not fun that you wish it hadn't happened to you, don't think it was worth it. It'd be a little hard to believe, but not impossible. But why in the world would you want to go back once you've already been through that part? I don't know how old the rest of you are, but you realize Alice would be dead by now, right? Humans generally don't live to be a hundred years old. Whatever it is she misses about being human, she wouldn't have it anymore anyway.
  • In the One-Shot The New Recruit, Matt Garretty (along with his friends Steve and Andrew) received incredible powers during the events of his film. He can generate shields to protect himself from most attacks, can telekinetically move most objects, and can fly. However, those same powers led to Steve's death and Andrew's Face–Heel Turn (which destroyed part of Seattle and exposed their powers). Matt, by the time Coulson finds him, has this opinion about his powers due to his trauma.
  • Prince Charming combines this trope with Blessed with Suck. Prince Adrien was blessed at birth with the gift of charm...which means that anyone who interacts with him is brainwashed into his devoted slave within minutes. He eventually summons the spirit of Misfortune to curse himself in hopes that Misfortune's curse can undo his blessing. While it works (albeit with a few side effects), the curse is still a curse. Which is a problem, since true love's kiss will break a curse...
  • An interesting example occurs in the Project Dark Jade fic Shadows Awakening, Jade actually likes her new powers, and is only trying to remove them because of her Enemy Within/Superpowered Evil Side the Queen, who is slowly corrupting her.
  • Referred to by name in Shinji And Warhammer 40 K, when one of the characters comments that while people could live just fine without the super-powerful, chainsaw-wielding and fruit smoothie making Evas, the current situation of invading giant monsters more or less forces governments to keep them around to survive.
  • In Showa & Vampire, Shinichi and some of his friends are some of the most powerful beings on the planet, each have a pool of beautiful and loyal girlfriends, are the most popular kids in school, are either rich or best friends with someone who's rich... and none of it would've happened without the powers they feel so cursed with having.
  • In Sixes and Sevens, which incorproates elements of the MCU, original comics, and Dracula, Abraham Van Helsing is given the Mask of Death in Latveria to heal from a vampire attack. Victoria explains that it was retrieved from atop Mount Wundagore by past generations along with other items, but was the only item considered safe enough to actually use in comparison to the other dark magic artifacts. The actual effects let the wearer heal from injuries and gain super strength, but if they ever leave the shadow of Mount Wundagore their blood will boil until they die.
  • In Stallion of the Line, Ranma still has his Jusenkyō curse after reincarnating as Luffy. However, Urd forgot to include the water-attracting portion of it. So while Ranma still changes gender with water, he can now stay either gender for several days at a time, something he uses to build a reputation as a female bounty hunter while still acting as a male pirate.
  • Strikers 89 has Merlin. She can't fly Strikers like a normal witch, but she can generate shields, guide missiles, and power up the gun of the plane she's in. She can also talk to machines.
  • The Chronodata in Transcendence: Digital Curse stops Agumon from digivolving, but causes his natural form to grow much stronger. After having it for a certain amount of time, it allows him to evolve anyway, and into a form more powerful than any of his other evolutions. The only downside is that the change is his biology means he is capable of permanently dying in the digital world as well as the real one, and even then its power has saved him multiple times.
  • White Sheep: After losing her arm, Jaune gives Yang a Grimm arm, complete with a sentient creature. Despite being horrified at first, Yang manages to use it to be unstoppable in combat.
  • Wingfic (in which a character grows wings, wangsts about it and gets reassured by their partner) invariably causes Angst Dissonance because most readers think that having wings would be incredibly cool.
  • Young Justice: Darkness Falls has Cyborg, who does NOT like his mechanized body, even though he is now a one-man army capable of using Apokolips weaponry.
  • In the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfic The Long Eventide, Brandywine has her rare ability to summon "echoes" of once-living creatures outright referred to as a curse. Downplayed, as while it's a very overwhelming and dangerous power to wield, she's still willing to makes use of it to get around her sunlight weakness while taking precautions to not be consumed by it.

    Films — Animation 
  • Beauty and the Beast: Sure, not being able to go outside of your castle without a mob of angry villagers trying to kill you sucks. And spending so many years locked up inside would surely start to grate the nerves. Plus you'll have to live with the knowledge that dozens, perhaps hundreds of your servants have been turned into household objects because of your jerkassery. But still there are a million cool things a massive gorilla-buffalo-boar-bear-wolf hybrid with amazing strength and agility can do.
  • Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen is able to project ice and snow. The curse portion comes from the fact that she can't control it, but when she's not constantly worrying about hurting people (and when she's finally accepted by her kingdom at the end) it goes straight back into awesome.
  • In Happy Heroes: The Stones, a helmeted individual deprives the monsters of their abilities; Cute Monster thinks this is good because she can stay cute for however long she wants (since her transformed version is an ugly monster). When the monsters are given their powers back after Big M. asks for them to be returned in exchange for telling the helmeted stranger where the Power Stone is, you can see Cute Monster trying to get away from the ball of energy that contains her powers.
  • Hoodwinked! has Japeth, this mountain goat who lives in a shack in the middle of nowhere. When Red finds him on the porch, he's strumming on a banjo:
    Red Puckett: I'm looking for Granny Puckett's house?
    Japeth the Goat: [singing] Graaaaaaaanneeee Puckeeeet...
    Red Puckett: Could you stop singing for one moment?
    Japeth the Goat: [singing] No I can't, wish I could, but a mountain witch done put a spell on me, 37 years agoooooooo, and now I gotta sing every thing I saaaaaaaaayyyyyy...
    Red Puckett: Everything?
    Japeth the Goat: [speaking] That's right.
    Red Puckett: You just talked! Just now!
    Japeth the Goat: Oh, did I? [singing] Did I? Dididididodadidididoooo... [Red gives a pissed off Aside Glance to the camera]
    [a moment later, lampshaded]
    Red Puckett: Mr. Goat, my granny's in trouble! I've got to find a way around the mountain, fast!
    Japeth: [singing] Well you came to the right goat! [pops off his rocking horns]
    Red Puckett: Oh, good. More singing.
  • Lampshaded by producer Phil Lord when discussing Batman's life in The LEGO Batman Movie.
    Lord: Wah, I'm so rich and handsome, and women like me, and I've got a Maclaren! Something about my parents!
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, the main character starts off believing that being turned into a giantess is a case of Blessed with Suck. However, by the end of the movie she has accepted her size, and uses her powers for good.
  • In Penguins of Madagascar, the penguins waste no time putting their horribly mutated bodies to good use in the final battle, their misshapen limbs making excellent bludgeoning weapons.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is all about this. At first, Rudolph's red nose and Hermey's talent for dentistry make both of them "misfits", but Rudolph's nose is what saves the day at the end (and is a convenient light source), while Hermey's talent saves his friends from the Abominable. The Misfit Toys have this too. Apparently, at least one child in the world would love to have a toy cowboy that rides an ostrich or a choo-choo with square wheels on its caboose. It just takes an expert like Santa Claus to find such children.
  • Odette in The Swan Princess turns into a swan every day (but can regain her human form as long as she's on the lake when the moon rises). Being a swan does allow her to actually escape from her prison undetected and try to find help — as well as being pretty handy for combat. She's able to do many things she couldn't do as a human. It's sort of acknowledged in the first sequel — she's permanently a human but voluntarily changes herself into a swan, recognising that it has advantages and that her husband needs help.
  • Meilin Lee's situation in Turning Red goes from Blessed with Suck to this over the course of the movie. See, her ancestor Sun Yee was given a gift by the gods - the ability to shapeshift into a giant red panda. Sun Yee used this power to protect her village during wartime, and she passed the gift on to all of her female descendants. But over time, each generation found the transformation to be less of a blessing and more of an "inconvenience", until they began to see it as a curse to be sealed away at the first opportunity. When Mei's red panda manifests, she's initially horrified. But with the support of her friends and the kids at school, she begins to see the benefits of her ability, and eventually gains complete control over it. In the end, Mei is able to reclaim Sun Yee's blessing as the gift it was always intended to be.
  • Wreck-It Ralph has Super Strength to the point where he can destroy a brick building with his bare hands and split a jawbreaker in half after a few hits (even though according to Vanellope they're unbreakable). Ralph can even destroy things with immense speed! However, this ability (as he is known to accidentally wreck things when angry but sometimes purposely) and the fact that he's the villain of his game has made him an outcast with most of the other (non-bad guy) arcade characters also thinking of him as someone to be feared (along with the other bad guys). Because of this, Ralph's ashamed of his wrecking abilities at times even though he's very creative with his super strength. It comes in handy when he breaks into the top of the tower in Hero's Duty, when he and Vanellope break into the Kart Bakery and he makes Vanellope a race track so she can practice racing, he busts Felix out of jail, and during the climax when he tries to knock down all the Mentos stalactites into the diet cola lava at Diet Cola Mountain so he could attract and get rid of the Cy-Bugs (even though he was stopped by King Candy, Ralph thought out loud that he needed to hit the Mentos at least one more time for it to work). The NPCs from Ralph's game started treating him nicer though in the end, realizing he game-jumped because of the way he has been treated for the past thirty years and he made some friends (besides the few he already had) during his journey to become a hero.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Batman. Yes, it's so hard to be one of the richest, most attractive, most intelligent men in the world with fighting abilities rivaling most Special Forces, and hi-tech gizmos that NASA would need a decade to reverse-engineer. The Burton/Schumacher movies actually have characters calling out Bruce Wayne on this. The Nolan movies, however, examine how physically and mentally taxing it is to live a double-life as Batman.
  • Jason Bourne in The Bourne Series has had mad assassin training and can read every map, drive every vehicle, speak every language, fire every weapon, can enter anywhere and kill anyone with anything. All that for the little price of his personal memory, however. He also has to dodge a lot of assassins.
  • In the German film Boxhagener Platz, the cool granny protagonist has already survived five husbands. And number six and seven follow the course.
  • At the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we get to see what happened to all the bad kids. Violet is let off the easiest, and is pleased to find that she's much more flexible after becoming a blueberry and then getting juiced. Only her mother is bothered that she's still blue.
  • In Dracula Untold, Vlad's abilities after he becomes a vampire are extremely powerful, being able to curbstomp entire armies in a single battle, but comes at the price of him having blood thirst and being an abomination in the sight of God and man, causing his allies to turn against him.
  • In The Fly, Seth Brundle finds that becoming a diseased mutant does have its benefits, including wall-crawling, superhuman strength, corrosive spit and an enhanced libido.
  • Highlander: All of the immortals have perpetual youth and are nearly indestructible. They enjoy the benefits of many lifetimes worth of experiences, wealth and knowledge. However, they can never have children and must watch everyone they love grow old and die. There's also the whole problem of living your life worrying about other immortals trying to kill you.
  • In The Last Witch Hunter, the Witch Queen "curses" Kaulder with immortality in attempt to exploit Who Wants to Live Forever?, but it only turns him into the world's best witch hunter. Justified later, as it turns out she used him as "storage" for her immortality, it being necessary to bring her back to life fully.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: In Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers learns that the Super Serum he was given has sped up his metabolism to the point where he Never Gets Drunk, which is inconvenient as he's trying to drown his sorrows after Bucky was seemingly killed. He gets over it in Avengers: Age of Ultron where it's shown that it means he's able to drink Thor's highly potent Asgardian mead without any ill effects.
  • The Mummy Trilogy:
    • The 1999 version of The Mummy. Okay, Imhotep got eaten alive by scarabs and had to slumber for a few thousand years, but once released he became an immortal, invincible badass. And, the people who cursed him, and their descendants, were then forced to spend those thousands of years guarding his tomb, waging war on anyone who tried to open it, to prevent the badass from coming out. They thought the Egyptian afterlife was too good for him, but really, it would have been much easier to just kill him. The protagonists even directly state "cursing people just seems to make them stronger, why not just kill them?"
    • In The Mummy Returns, the Scorpion King is cursed to serve the god Anubis for eternity. And as part of this curse, he becomes a humanoid scorpion, only killable by a certain weapon, and 5000 years later is set to revive and conquer the world unless stopped.
    • This was averted in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. The Emperor already had superpowers while he was alive, the curse just turned him into a terracotta corpse.
  • My Pet Monster: Max hates the fact that he periodically turns into a monster with Super Strength. His sister, however, is convinced that it is the coolest thing ever.
  • The premise for Phenomenon. John Travolta's character gains extraordinary mental powers as well as telekinesis all caused by a brain cancer that activates normally dormant regions of the brain. His first big problem is finding out why he got this power — since it scares the locals, it makes his personal life harder than it used to be (he's from a small town). Once he finds out, he takes it much better — yes, he takes a brain cancer that kills him in less than two years, and the inconveniences that go with treating such a cancer, much more peacefully than ostracism.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
  • The main character from Shallow Hal is hypnotized to see a person's inner self. This means that every woman worth hitting on also looks like a supermodel.
  • In The Suicide Theory, Percival desperately wants to die, but keeps surviving his numerous suicide attempts, going so far has to hire a hit man, Steve, to off him (he survives three further attempts by Steve to fulfill that contract). Steve tries to convince Percival that as he is essentially invincible, he can do whatever he wants without any lasting consequences at all, but Percival isn't convinced, and his many attempt to die leave him looking increasingly chewed up throughout the movie.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel:
    • The Groosalugg was cursed with unmatched combat skill. As he recounts his life's story to Cordelia, he talks about how his human heritage in the demon world of Pylea got him banished to the Scum Pits of Ur, meaning for him to die. Unfortunately, his awesome combat skills prevent him from dying honorably, as he destroys every one of his opponents, making him The Groosalugg, or undefeated champion.
    • Angel is cursed with a soul (see below).
    • Doyle (and later Cordelia) gets visions from the Powers That Be about people who need Angel's help. And when we say "visions" we mean "great splitting migraines with pictures."
  • Babylon 5 psychics, particularly in Season 5, when they start whining about how they are all "weapons" created by the Vorlons.
    • Their main issue is with the Mundanes hating them. According to the canon Psi-Corps trilogy, when the knowledge of telepaths first became public on Earth, it was followed by mass Witch Hunts for anyone who even seemed like they may be a telepath. This is despite the Pope (you know, the head of the largest religion on the planet) telling people that he approves of telepaths. The only time shown in the book where he is heeded is when an Italian mob boss lets a telepath go after cheating in his casino, provided he uses his gift to help him.
    • To be fair, there is a lot about being a telepath in Babylon 5 that sucks. In order to keep from hearing the stray thoughts that everyone around them is constantly "shouting", one has to keep one's mind occupied with nursery rhymes, multiplication tables, anything and everything to generate "white noise" inside your own head. Because anything else is an invasion of privacy. Strong emotions are more difficult to block, so if someone's passionately intent on murder, you're going to hear it. And if you're hired to monitor a deal between two people, and one of them is preoccupied with "rather erotic" thoughts, well...
  • Openly addressed in the first episode of Being Human (UK). "How noble of you to take on the curse of immortality so that your friends could wither and decay in hospitals and old people's homes..."
    • Similarly, McNair sees lycanthropy as a blessing rather than curse: "When bones break, they repair stronger, when skin tears, it heals tougher."
    • Although in both cases, vampirism and lycanthropy do seriously suck, especially if you aren't prepared for it.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy, who is cursed to be a "hot chick with superpowers", as Faith once put it. The curse part is she has to use said superpowers to fight for her life every night, and the world's very existence every late spring. All evil is waiting for is for its "one good day" to fall on one where they can end the world. And statistically, she's ancient — most Slayers die the same year they're chosen. At fifteen.
    • In the episode "Nightmares", Buffy is temporarily turned into a vampire... which gives her the strength she needs to defeat the Monster of the Week.
    • Angel is a formerly very famously evil vampire cursed with a soul. Good in that he's immortal with superpowers, irresistible to young girls, a shoe-in to be a Hunter of His Own Kind and the titular star of his own Vampire Detective Series. Bad in that he has a century of memories in his head that make Charles Manson look like a kid playing dressup and said soul never lets him forget it.
    • Dawn. While being a giant and centaurette were annoying to her, she at least acknowledged they had some good points. Being turned into a doll though... not so much.
  • The Charmed Ones from Charmed seem to fit this. For the first three series they don't half go on about being spectacularly powerful witches (especially Piper) and are all somewhat inclined towards giving up their powers if given the chance (especially Piper...) in fact, they only stop complaining about their abilities (to freeze time or move things with their mind/astrally project or see into the future/levitate) in order to use them to save the day from the demon of the week. This may have more to do with the fact the writers set up the entire universe to ensure the sisters would never get to use their powers for anything besides demon-killing. Several episodes are centered around them trying to do something for themselves and getting punished for it.
  • Doctor Who: In "The End of Time", the Master Comes Back Wrong with superpowers including lighting-throwing and super-jumping after a sabotaged resurrection. It is Cast from Lifespan, but his Horror Hunger can take care of that. Knowing the Master, he sees having a reason to kill more people as a bonus.
  • Dollhouse has Echo, slave to the titular organization and all too aware that she and her fellow Actives are being exploited. This curse, however, comes with the ability to call on skills from any imprint she's ever received.
  • Farscape: Normally, Jool's metal-melting scream falls into the inversion, as others routinely scare her or injure her specifically for that. But when someone hits on the bright idea of handcuffing her, she makes with the scream, and the cuffs are no more.
  • Guardian: The Lonely and Great God: For his sins, Kim Shin is doomed to walk the Earth as a handsome rich guy with godlike powers. It has some bummer Who Wants to Live Forever? aspects, but still.
  • Heroes touches on this a lot.
    • Chronologically, the first offender was Brian Davis, who wished he didn't have his powers. He gets his wish when Sylar kills him. Most other characters are somewhat angsty about the consequences of their powers, but quickly learn to make use of them.
    • But some cry about it throughout the entire series. Such as Claire Bennet: her ability is regeneration, and she cries about it nearly all throughout Season 1, mourning how she's the freakshow of the cheerleaders, despite the fact that nobody except for a very select few friends and family knows about her ability, nor is her ability all that apparent unless she severely wounds herself in plain sight. Then in Season 2, it gets even worse, because she cries that she can't go around showing her ability and how restrained she feels. Never mind the fact that the only way to show her ability to others is by injuring herself. Never mind the fact that all she has to do in order to avoid suspicion is lay off her masochistic tendencies. Then she realizes the possibility of the company finding her, because they'll run tests on her and stuff, poking and prodding her. She cries about this too, even though it seems that's all she wants to do to herself; if you find an episode with Claire in it in the first two seasons that doesn't involve a suicide attempt or self mutilation, you get a cookie. And then in Season 3, she loses the ability to feel pain, and cries about that because it apparently takes all the fun out of self-mutilation. At one point she mentions this to Elle, who is suffering horrific agony due to her Power Incontinence, and is, needless to say, not pleased to hear it.
    • Emma Coolidge in Volume Five, a deaf woman who develops the power to see sounds as multicolored lights. This not only looks pretty cool, but also makes her an Instant Expert at playing musical instruments. Her first reaction (after receiving independent verification that she's not hallucinating) is to demand that it be taken away and spend several episodes Wangsting about it for no readily apparent reason.
  • One episode of House implies that the title character may be autistic, which allows him to focus intensely on his cases, at the expense of being a complete social incompetent and highly self-destructive (on the basis of an autistic boy he was treating deliberately meeting his gaze at the end of the episode, which he is stated to have never done before). Wilson outright states at the end of the episode House isn't — he's just an ass.
  • To some extent, David Banner of The Incredible Hulk (1977). Turning into a green raging behemoth whenever you get angry is pretty lousy, yes, but as played on the show it nearly always kicked in to save him or someone else from life-threatening danger. Justified in that David has no memory of what he does as the Hulk, and no conscious control over when he'll change or what he'll do when he does, and the Hulk's insane Super Strength means it could very easily kill people. If David could see the Hulk as the audience sees him, he'd be much more relaxed about the whole thing. As it is, put yourself in David's shoes, and you have every reason to be terrified of the uncontrollable giant green rage monster lurking inside you. (Yes, young Clark Kent, that means you.)
  • Becoming a zombie is usually treated as a Fate Worse than Death, but in iZombie, zombies like the heroine Olivia "Liv" Moore get a lot of benefits. Liv retains her personality and intelligence as long as she routinely gets to eat human brain matter,note  and also gain the ability to absorb the memories, skills and knowledge from the brains they eat. Liv is exceptionally resilient to injury; she can be shot and stabbed multiple times, she doesn't feel pain, she loses very little blood and the wounds eventually heal like they would for a normal person. On top of that, Liv has a "full-on zombie mode" where she gains Super Strength, able to chase down cars and overpower men much larger than her. She also doesn't need to sleep, and her alcohol tolerance is greatly increased. Against all that, the downsides of being a zombie are your taste gets dulled so you can't enjoy normal food again, you look like someone who hasn't seen in the sun and got a tan in years, and it can potentially alienate you from your friends and your career.
  • Acknowledged in the promotional ads for The Listener, about a guy who can hear people's thoughts: he used to think his power was a curse, but he's figured out a way to save people with it.
  • Lizzie McGuire: Lizzie, after trying to find something she is good at, is not very happy to find out she is a rhythmic gymnastics prodigy, calling it a "stupid talent" to have and does not enjoy taking part in a competition which she easily wins.
  • Lost: The Man in Black was thrown into the Island's source by Jacob, which stripped him from his body and turned him into the monster, which was said to be a fate worse than death, and he's trapped on the Island. However, he can shape-shift and impersonate dead people to manipulate others to do his bidding, is immortal and can't be killed by bullets or knives, and in his smoke monster form he can kill an entire group of people with ease.
  • The Middleman has a character who was cursed with immortality as a punishment for kicking someone else out of a lifeboat on the Titanic. This rather backfired, because he thinks Living Forever Is Awesome.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Rumpelstiltskin is cursed to be the most powerful sorcerer in the land and to have sparkly grey skin — which he may or may not be able to conceal with magic. This also comes with a bent toward dark, murderous urges. That this is a curse is established in the Season 1 episode "Skin Deep", wherein Belle almost ends it with True Love's Kiss. In a slight departure, while the show clearly wants us to see him as cursed, Rumpelstiltskin himself never complains about his powers, and is quite sensibly freaked out at the prospect of losing them and being at the mercy of the Evil Queen, not to mention losing any chance of finding his son. The detrimental aspects are not emphasised as much, but the power of the Dark One is much like that of a djinn in that he has incredible power, but there is a magical item which grants the holder complete control over him (as well as the ability to take on the curse via You Kill It, You Bought It). As long as he has the dagger, he can't be killed or controlled, but the curse also makes you prone to evil and the magic always comes with some kind of cost. What the cost will actually be doesn't seem to be predictable.
  • Subverted in Reaper. At first it seems like the devil owning Sam's soul looks like the best thing that's ever happened to him: he gets a cool job as a hunter of escaped souls, powers specially designed for each soul so he shouldn't have too much trouble with them, and the big guy's inside advice on how to get laid. However, the devil also occasionally screws with Sam's life just for the hell of it, and he can't say anything about it to the girl he really loves since it would jeopardize her ownership of her own soul.
  • Saturday Night Live: in one skit, a man is cursed to summon a sexy sax player named Sergio who immediately invokes everyone around him to dance.
  • The Sentinel's Jim Ellison sometimes feels his super-senses are a curse; his first request of Blair is how to make them go away.
    • There are a number of episodes when they are a detriment to him rather than a gift. There's the "zoning-out" problem, which nearly gets him run over by a truck in the pilot, when he focuses his vision too much on a flying frisbee. Also, after his ears get flushed out from all the wax build-up, his hearing is greatly enhanced, meaning he can't even focus at work thanks to all the tiny noises hitting him with the volume of a heavy metal concert. He's also extremely sensitive to pain, although Blair teaches him how to "dial it down" (specifically, using the "dial" imagery).
      • Funny thing is, it's never mentioned that the same super-sensitivity would also mean he would enjoy sex a lot more. Now imagine if two sentinels get it on...
      • Didn't that actually happen once? And with Jeri Ryan of all people...
  • Clark Kent on Smallville, constantly whines and angsts about how terrible it is to be an alien "outsider" with such an awful secret. Yep, an outsider with: two unbelievably loving parents, some awesome best friends who are totally supportive when they eventually learn his secret (and one's a hottie that's totally in love with him to boot), an acceptable level of baseline popularity in school, gets to looks like Tom goddamn Welling so most chicks think he's hot-as... oh and the small matter of developing a wide array of earth-shattering superpowers that make him a virtually unkillable demigod. He's not even superficially distinguishable from a human. Yeah, boo-frikkety-hoo, Clark; cry me a river... If it weren't for kryptonite it would be win-win-win.
    • Admittedly, his whining becomes slightly more justified in later seasons as some people he loves die or move away, his would-be OTP starts getting really screwy, and increasingly more dangerous and determined adversaries are pitted against him. Still, you wish you could just tell him that a few years down the track he'll get the hot chick, be the universally beloved protector of the planet, hang out with a bunch of super buddies etc... SO JUST PUT A SOCK IN IT!
    • He does have the problem of potentially losing control of his strength at a bad time, like during sex, but he later gets a handle on this, making the lesson here "Stop whining and practice controlling your strength so it won't be an issue."
  • In Stargate SG-1, the Jaffa have been genetically engineered so that they must receive a larval Goa'uld symbiote once they reach puberty as part of a rite of passage. The symbiote gives each Jaffa a Healing Factor and immunity to disease, but the symbiote essentially replaces their immune system, so any Jaffa subsequently deprived of a symbiote will die in a matter of hours after enduring great pain. SG-1's Jaffa member, Teal'c, hates how he is reliant on the symbiote even when fighting against the Goa'uld as the ones who have enslaved his people for so long, until the SGC are able to find an alternative in the form of tretonin, a drug that was briefly used by a human world as a health boost but can be adapted to replace the Jaffa's need for a symbiote.
  • In Stargate Atlantis, Teyla is understandably freaked out at first when she learns her telepathic abilities stem from the fact she's part Wraith. However, being a no-nonsense Action Girl, she quickly comes to terms with her background and quickly sets out trying to figure how she can use it against the Wraith.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation The android Data is stronger than a Klingon, smarter than a Vulcan, doesn't need sleep or food or drink, can survive in open space or on any planet, can interface with anything that moves and doesn't have to worry about fear, sadness, hatred, or any other negative emotions, even if he's constantly the victim of racism. But, poor guy, all he wants is to be more human. And even in Star Trek: Generations, when he finally retrieves his emotion chip from his Ax-Crazy brother, Lore, and it interferes with half of his regular operations, and makes him, frankly, a tool, he is still happy to hear LaForge say he's acting more human — in response to Data's chickening out and leaving LaForge in the hands of Dr. Soran and the Klingons. Averted in the next film, Data gets enough control over his emotion function to turn it off when it gets in the way. Lampshaded by Q in one episode, where he points out a great many species spend millennia trying to be as close as they possibly can get to what Data is by default, as a way of pointing out how absurd his desire to be human is.
    • Star Trek tends to go in for this trope a lot. Odo in Deep Space 9 and Seven of Nine in Voyager are other examples of characters with cool abilities and immunities who go through lots of angst over the fact that they aren't the same as everyone else.
    • Seven of Nine is perhaps an interesting subversion. Initially, she just wants to be a Borg again, since it's almost all she's ever known (she was assimilated as a young child). As the series progresses, she learns she can't go back, but doesn't entirely want to give up the positive things she's learned from the Borg (strive for efficiency and perfection). While she does set out to learn about and understand the positive aspects of humanity, she uses her differences in the best ways she can.
  • In the Stick Stickly TV special Stuck, Stick discovers several advantages to having an ice skate stuck to his foot, such as being able to cut out coupons, slice giant marshmallows, and slice potatoes.
  • Scott McCall from Teen Wolf. He doesn't see the awesomeness of lycanthropy when Derek Hale says the bite is a gift, arguing that being turned into a werewolf has made his life much more difficult and now he has to hide it from everyone around him. Justified at first by a Superpowered Evil Side, but now he has full control and seems to have grown out of the angst. His best friend, Stiles Stilinski, rejects the bite later as well because of a similar reasoning and states that he's perfectly happy being a normal human.
  • Although Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood doesn't spend a lot of time bemoaning the fact that he can't die, he has clearly found the drawbacks to it, and there is a fair amount of subtext. He also has to watch almost all his friends, his lover, and at least one member of his family die, then step up and fix everything anyway. He's sort of expected to be emotionless — not cold, just unable to be emotionally hurt or depressed. This, ironically, has got to be depressing.
  • The Russian mini-series Wolf Messing: Seeing through time, based on the (possibly fictionalized) memoirs of a Real Life psychic of that name, portray Messing's abilities alternatively as a gift and as a curse. It's all fun when he uses them on stage to read people's thoughts or make them do something. The pilot starts with Messing being asked a trivial question during a performance (which hockey team will win the championship), and he ends up getting a vision so disturbing (one of the hockey teams will die in a plane crash) that he cuts the performance short and immediately calls the Kremlin. He also gets horrible visions about the two World Wars before they happen. When a character later remarks about how great it would be to see bad things coming and change them, Messing points out that the bad things he sees are too grand to change by him alone. Even the plane crash still happens, despite him warning Stalin about it. Strangely, he is unable to foresee his own people being exterminated by the Nazis. He is also once asked to find a dead girl's body based on a photograph, and he visibly breaks down after touching the picture and revealing the location. When the cops ask if he'd like to help them full-time, he opts to be in the circus instead.

  • "Living Hell" by German Rock/Punk band Die Ärzte, in which a successful musician complains about all the sex, money and fame he gets. Inspired by… some real musician's complaint whose name escapes us right now.
  • Kendall Payne's The Prayer is based on this: a series of curses then explaining why they're awesome:
    May you find every step to be harder than the last
    so your character grows greater each stride.
  • Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett had to use a piano in bad shape for his legendary Köln Concert. The unique sound of the piano is seen to have contributed to the quality of the performance.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Diarmuid of The Love Spot from Celtic Mythology was "cursed" with the titular spot, which caused every woman who looked upon it to fall madly in love with him. A terrible, terrible curse indeed. It DOES kind of, indirectly lead to his death, though... In fact, the concept of the geas (or geis) often overlaps with this trope; in many stories, it brings great power if the associated certain conditions are not violated, but upon violation a nasty curse does tend to kick in.
  • In Christian folklore, the Wandering Jew is ostensibly "cursed" with eternal — or at least unnaturally long — life for taunting Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion. Of course, this could double as a case of Blessed with Suck from the Christian perspective: If the Wandering Jew truly is immortal, then no matter what good deeds he does to atone for his sinful act, he can never go to Heaven, since one must die in order to enter the afterlife.
    • However, without the curse, he would never have had time to repent, and he almost certainly would have gone to Hell. Sure, not being able to go to Heaven sucks, but between the choice of "Live forever and never go to Heaven," or "Go to Hell," he easily got a good deal. As Hell is (pretty much by definition) the worst possible thing, then even floating in an empty universe after it undergoes heat death would be a step up.
    • Also, according to Christianity, the second coming will bring the kingdom of God anyways (with resurrection of the dead and so on.), so technically, it is not necessary to die, the guy just has to wait a bit longer.
  • Classical Mythology:
    • In a Greco-Roman myth recorded by Ovid in Metamorphoses a man named Lycaeon is turned into a wolf as divine punishment for being a cannibal and serving human flesh to the gods. It's strongly implied that he was happier in this form than as a human.
    • According to the Roman writer Ovid, Scylla was a nymph cursed to become one of the most powerful, hideous, and feared monsters in existence, making this Older Than Feudalism. She also raised bemoaning her fate to an art form few since have matched, deciding that if she couldn't be beautiful anymore, she'd stay in the spot she was transformed for the rest of her life, devouring anyone who came near. Having around six wild dogs attached to her may explain the whole "devouring people" deal.
  • Egil, from Icelandic "Egil's Saga". Modern interpretation of it see his description as a clear sign of Paget's disease. It leads to many, many disadvantages but to one thing that is extremely useful for a Viking: a head that can even take the blow of an axe.
  • Norse Mythology has the story of Nornagest, a person who, as an infant, was going to be given blessings from the Norns (the Norse goddesses of Fate), but his parents angered one, who, instead of a blessing, gave him the "curse" that he would die when a specific candle finished burning. They manage to turn this "curse" into a blessing by putting out the candle so it would never "finish" burning... until he is forced to light it again three hundred years later.
    • A similar story from Scotland features three witches, a baby, and a piece of peat. No one told the baby, and on her wedding day she found the piece of peat and tossed it on the fire.
    • The Greek equivalent of that story was named Meleager. The Fates appeared to his mother and told her that he would only live as long as a certain stick in the fire remained unburned. Then when Meleager "accidentally" kills two of his brothers, his mom goes insane and burns the stick, which results in him horribly melting in the arms of his wife-to-be Atalanta.
    • A similar situation occurs in The Simpsons, in "Treehouse of Horror IV" when Homer sells his soul for a donut...
      Homer: Hey, wait. If I don't finish this last bite, you don't get my soul, do you?
      Devil Flanders: Well, technically, no, but...
      Homer: I'm smarter than the Devil! I'm smarter than...
  • According to legend, Thomas The Rhymer was captured by the Fairie Queen, and traded his ability to lie for his freedom. Since he could no longer speak an untrue word, every prediction he spoke about the future came true sooner or later.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Chris Hero has a naturally elevated testosterone level. Most men would think that would be awesome but in Hero's case, it causes him to fail drug tests.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Point buy based systems tend to allow your character to gain extra points to buy powers if you take disadvantages. Some of the more munchkin-prone players enjoy picking "drawbacks" that may lack a certain sting. "Berserker" may turn you into a rage-driven killing machine that causes you to attempt to destroy anything that crosses your line of sight... which is half the definition of adventurer in the first place. (The other half is taking their stuff afterwards.)
  • Some players have turned some 'cursed' items to their advantage, embracing this trope. The greatest example was the classic D&D Sword -1 Cursed, a Clingy MacGuffin which would, no matter what you did to get rid of it, would reappear in your hand when combat began. Many did not see a disadvantage of dealing with a -1 penalty for a weapon which was always available. This would eventually make an appearance in one of the Ravenloft novels in the hands of a villain.
    • This is parodied in Ninja Burger, where the cursed item card has no drawback, and means the "cursed" item can now never be stolen or destroyed.
    • Another cursed sword (which makes an appearance in Baldur's Gate) actually gets a bonus to hit and damage to encourage people to use it. When practicing with it, there's no problem. When anyone attacks you, it causes you to go berserk and kill anyone in the vicinity, only calming down some time after all attackers are dead or have fled. In theory, this is a curse because of the risk of hurting your allies, but in practice, there are ways around this, and it may very well be your best available weapon if you're going the One-Man Army route. Similarly, the 3.5 DMG goes so far as to list a sword that enrages the user as being boon or bane, depending on the wielder's own views. Seen here.
    • A Necklace of Strangulation chokes to death anyone who puts it on. It sounds like a horrible item to find. No one says you have to wear it. No one says you can't, say, bribe an enemy with it. Oops. There are many similarly wicked items enterprising players can abuse.
    • The Shield of Arrow Attraction gives the wielder resistance to damage from missile weapons (meaning they take half damage) but also automatically causes all missile attacks made against targets within 10 feet of the wielder to attack the wielder instead. A bit of a problem if you have a friend who's trying to shoot the orc you're in melee with, but very very useful if you want to protect the Squishy Wizard in the party from being turned into a pincushion by your enemies.
    • Another classic example is the Bag of Devouring, a cursed Bag of Holding that tries to swallow anyone who reaches inside it. Many players are quick to see the potential in a portable garbage disposal. The general consensus is that any player who can't find a use for a "cursed" item isn't trying hard enough.
    • Which is why the DM Guide warns the Dungeon Master to never assume that players will "automatically" discard cursed items on realizing their status. It even gives an example — Dust of Sneezing and Choking, which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin, can do it to either the owner... or those orcs over there that just had it thrown over their heads. (The item is only "cursed" because it looks almost identical to Dust of Disappearance, which makes you invisible, and tracks as such when identifying it.)
    • In the rules for randomly generating cursed items, one possible curse means the item does the opposite of what it's meant to do. The books themselves mention that this isn't necessarily a bad thing, as a wand of "healing" that instead hurts people could be useful as a weapon.
  • The Accursed (subtle!) and Wounded Angel arcs in Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine provide a mixture of neat benefits and unpleasant drawbacks. Wounded Angel relies upon developing physical and mental injuries of various kinds, then gaining powers based on those, while caging something horrible that gets let out if you run out of Divine Health Levels; Leonardo de Montreal, the Wounded Angel pregen, has powers like ripping out his heart to make himself a being of heartless perfection in the dark (it doesn't work in the light because his heart may or may not be fueling the replacement sun — it's complicated), and holds in that space a nightmare known as the Red World. Accursed, meanwhile, involves becoming imbued with the Power of the Void until you can erase things from reality, but at the same time reality itself is prone to some kind of backlash against you...
    • The tumblr arc Indomitable literally spells out its Curse as something that would be a more legitimate Curse except that it doesn't seem to have any actual drawbacks for you (and there's even a power that lets you inflict the drawbacks on other people).
      Jenna Moran: You're like one of those vampires whose "dark curse" boils down to being immortal and awesome. Or maybe you've got a demon inside you, granting you all kinds of special abilities. It definitely feels very Curse-like but the violins informed people play for you will be pretty small.
  • The "curse" of lycanthropy in Dungeons & Dragons, 3.5 Ed., once the afflicted player character succeeds on a Wisdom check of moderate difficulty. See here.
    • This depends on the player and character, for whom in some cases lycanthropy could ruin the character's access to powers or destroy the player's interest in the character by making him evil. However, many players enjoy playing this sort of brutal character and would not see it as a drawback at all. A player who is playing The Hero, however, would probably see almost no drawback to becoming a werebear. "Let's see; super strength, super toughness, and I remain Lawful Good?"
    • Exaggerated and toned down in the 5th Edition. Regarding werebears, they are still the good werebeasts, but the Monster Manual states that there are some evil ones. On the other hand, lycanthropes now have complete immunity to nonmagical weapons that aren't silver, and they have this regardless of what form they are in. This means that even a good-aligned character could still put the "curse" to good use as long as they take the right precautions on the night of the full moon.
    • All editions of Ravenloft, and Paizo in Pathfinder, put the bite back in lycanthrope, where it is not Cursed with Awesome, or Blessed with Suck. It's downright horrific. The GM is practically encouraged to have you one day wake up naked, covered in blood, with a horde of angry peasants brandishing pitchforks and an order of paladins hunting you down. The player does not control his character during his transformed states and has no idea what he did while changed.
    • D&D 4e has the ability for player characters of level 11 or higher to transform into a lich, provided they have the money to cast the ritual. Oh, truly this is a horrible curse... which bestows the caster with almost doubled hit points, powerful regeneration, immunity to disease and poison, a significant bonus to all defences, and the ability to reconstruct yourself from a phylactery if killed. And there's no gradual drift towards evil in the gameplay mechanics, either. Why shouldn't the PCs try this again?
    • Of course, it does enthrall the player to Orcus. That's a significant downside for some. Besides, there's a far less amoral alternative, with Archliches; you need to be more powerful than a normal lich (level 20 and above, it's an epic destiny), but thanks to mixing in some Life Energy into the deal, you're fully alive and immortal, not to mention you have a nice aura that hurts anything you hate, alive or undead.
    • Conditional CwA, but for a transgender person, the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity (under rules as written) would be exactly this sort of thing.
    • Up to 3rd Edition, a drow was turned into a drider (a centaur-like creature that was the upper-body of a drow and a giant black widow spider from the waist down) by their dark goddess Lolth as a punishment for failing a Rite of Passage. Exactly why Lolth would turn one of her subjects into a likeness of herself and make them stronger in the process (letting them keep their divine spellcasting ability too if they happened to be clerics) did seem a little strange, and in the 4th edition, this was changed via retcon, making driders a privileged caste bestowed on drow as a reward. In 5th edition, however, this was changed back, playing this trope straight again.
      • Well, there is the agonizing transformation, plus your mind gets wiped in the process. It's not exactly fun.
      • For a while, the idea was that driders got "stuck" — that is, they got powerful new abilities, but since they were now monsters they couldn't get class levels, so while vastly more powerful than the overwhelming majority of drow they weren't quite as powerful as the most powerful drow (Drow society pushing being The Social Darwinist, this was a valid reason for Driders to be looked down at). The problem came in when edition changes made it possible for driders to gain class levels without changing the drider/drow relationship in settings that had been around before 3E...
  • Given that the world of Exalted has the Immaculate Order, an entire religion devoted to demonizing the Celestial Exalted, it's entirely possible for a Solar or Lunar with Immaculate sympathies to view having become an incredibly powerful demigod as a curse. (Terrestrials are venerated by the Order, and Sidereals a) have been forgotten by most of Creation, including the Order, and b) are recruited, trained, and disabused of any inaccurate notions about Exaltation and the world in general within days of the Second Breath.)
    • Sidereals have to deal with Arcane Fate... a unique astrological phenomenon that causes any being not Sidereal or in the employment of the Bureau of Destiny to gradually forget that they exist. While this is a grand boon to their ability to operate as covert agents (especially since they can 'invent' cover identities that are unaffected by Arcane Fate), it likewise means that if they don't watch their step, critical allies and loved ones will forget they ever existed.
  • Accepting a Geist into your head in Geist: The Sin-Eaters means having a near-demonic old ghost bound to you for the rest of your life and having to put up with seeing ghosts. On the other hand, you get all sorts of cool necromantic powers and, most importantly, if you hadn't accepted the "curse"? You'd be plain old dead. So, naturally, Sin-Eaters tend to see themselves as this In-Universe. Hell, the game's Tagline is "A Storytelling game about Second Chances." It's by far the most optimistic game in the setting (though admittedly, that's a pretty low bar.)
  • Some of the "curses" in Palladium Fantasy give the character bonuses. For example, Glowing Red Eyes gives you a bonus to intimidation, and Frog Legs allow you to jump great distances.
  • Pathfinder has the Oracle class, divine spellcasters who gain a curse in exchange for their magical abilities. The good news is, the curses themselves come with benefits, which get more powerful as you level. It's not unheard of for characters to take a single level in oracle specifically to get a curse or even two. This was averted in the second edition, where the curse is tied directly to the nature of the oracle's abilities instead of being a separate feature (restricting characters from shopping around for a curse that hinders their build little), and has only drawbacks.
  • Speaking of Ravenloft, each domain — a subsection of the plane — is ruled, at least in part, by a darklord, an incredibly evil individual, though not always an unsympathetic one. They get all sorts of shiny powers out of the deal, but it also earns them a curse — which, in and of itself, is personally tailored to the person so that, it wouldn't be so bad for anyone else, but the darklord's personality makes it so that it becomes unberable.
  • The demon lord Baphomet, who was supposedly either a human or an animal (presumably a bull, given his minotaur links) "cursed" to be a super-powerful demon lord ruling an entire layer of the Abyss and building his own monsters.
  • Talisman: Getting cursed by the Poltergeist to only move one space per turn instead of a random d6 roll can have a lot of benefits. It allows you to hop on and off a beneficial space and get the rewards every other turn.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • If you're really lucky, you'll end up like this. Example: The closest thing to retirement a Space Marine might ever get is having their mangled, mortally wounded body put on life support and encased in a Dreadnought, a heavily armed walking tank, for thousands of years. Getting to blow shit up from beyond the grave, and sleeping the rest of the time, seems pretty cool.
    • There's one tale Orks tell of a warband that ventured into the Eye of Terror, ending up on a demon world where they were all slaughtered... only to be raised again every morning to keep fighting, for the Blood God. Orks consider this heaven.
    • The Eldar have an unusual version of this. In order to keep their emotions under control they dedicate themselves to a single career (called a Path), mastering that before leaving it behind and moving onto something else. However occasionally an Eldar will become "stuck" on a particular path and be unable to switch. The downside is that when this happens they risk losing control of themselves, the upside is they become VERY, VERY good at it. In particular Eldar who have become stuck on the path of either the Warrior or the Witch (called Exarchs and Farseers) are the leaders of Eldar society.
    • Psykers in general in the setting. While it ranges from people being able to control their power to ones who would just implode and take half the city with him, most of them have some pretty awesome powers. Alpha-class human psykers are said to be able to destroy titans, Humongous Mecha that would make a Gundam look tiny in comparison, by crushing it with their minds. The aforementioned Farseers are able to see into the future and manipulate the strains of fate, but are otherwise cursed to crystallize slowly over time, becoming one with their own craftworlds.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, Necrons also suffer from a case of this. They're more or less immortal (it's hinted that not a single Necron has ever permanently died, only to be reduced to atoms then teleported to a nearby tomb for repairs), possess strength on par with Space Marines or more, and have guns that strip you one molecule at a time to your bare bones. Necron Lords are even hinted to have sentience, and are able to command legions of his brethren. The cursed part? You're an antithesis to all living beings in the known universe and bar the select individuals (Lords) many Necrons no longer have sentience.
    • The Primarch Ferrus Manus killed a silver dragon in a lava flow and the dragon's metallic skin fused to his arms, covering them with living metal. With his iron hands he could forge weaponry by working the metal with his 'bare' hands and never needed gauntlets in battle, since his hands were already invulnerable. His Space Marines, the Iron Hands legion, have developed a habit of intentionally replacing parts of themselves with cybernetic augmentations in homage to him. However, Ferrus didn't like his metal arms, precisely because they were so useful. In his opinion, he is being made weaker by depending on them and had decided that after the wars were over he would strip the metal off his arms, reassert his own strength and curb his legion's reliance on machine parts. Sadly, he was killed in battle before that could happen and the Iron Hands have gone on trying to fix their "weakness of the flesh".
    • The Obliterators embody Body Horror by being a perfect mix of man, demon and machine. It begins with contracting the Obliterator virus, melding with your firearm, generating ammunition for your firearm, developing the ability to absorb other firearms and finally becoming a full-fledged Obliterator. The awesome part is how Obliterators are Walking Armory incarnate, with Bottomless Magazines and the capability to produce and wield any weapon for any situation.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Some Chaos mutations have entirely positive effects, like a Healing Factor or an ability score boost, and might even leave no outward sign at all. However, even beneficial mutations mark the mutant for death in polite society and draw them that much closer to being consumed by Chaos, so few would ever hope for one.
  • Some cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! have effects that look bad, but can be abused with certain combos. The poster child of this trope, however, is probably Mist Valley Falcon. He can be summoned at no cost, and has a whopping 2000 ATK, which is as high as it gets without drawbacks. The "cursed" part? He can't use that high ATK score without returning one of your cards to your hand. The "awesome" part? Try equipping Big Bang Shot to one of your opponent's monsters before attacking. Yes, you get a powerful attack, and you get to kill one of your opponent's monsters Deader than Dead! He can also return a Fiendish Chain that you want to use again. That's saving a card. The best part? His effect can be used to trigger Divine Wind of Mist Valley, allowing you to summon something like resident Game-Breaker Reborn Tengu.
    • An even more notorious example is Imperial Order, the only continuous spell negation trap in the game. Its intended downside is that it has a maintenance cost that you have to pay 700 life points during each of your standby phases or it's destroyed. This, however, wound up giving the person using it the option to cancel its effect before their turn really starts, allowing them to play their spell cards when they want to after denying the opponent the chance to play theirs. As spell cards are an important resource to the game (especially in spell based decks), this card gave a massive strategic advantage to the person playing it, resulting in the card being banned initially. Eventually it was given an errata that makes the cost mandatory, thus downplaying the awesome part.
    • Yet another example is Painful Choice: You choose five cards from your deck and your opponent picks one of them. The card your opponents chooses goes to your hand and the rest go to the graveyard. Early in Yu-Gi-Oh!'s infancy this was clearly a large cost, as those four cards were lost to you barring a few ways of retrieving them from the graveyard; fewer of which were reliably consistent. But as the game evolved, more and more cards have been printed that rely on them being dumped in the graveyard to activate, subverting this card's major downside into a huge benefit to stack your graveyard. Not only has this card been banned ever since, but the last time it's been printed in English-speaking countries was back in 2008, having only been reprinted a total of once in any one of those locations.

    Visual Novels 
  • Archer of Fate/stay night has access to every weapon but the drill-sword Ea at the cost of them all degrading a rank in power. However, he's able to use Broken Phantasms (greatly powering up one's Noble Phantasm at the cost of breaking it) because every weapon is a Noble Phantasm for him.
    • As to why this is a "curse", this power is the external manifestation of his own soul. His soul manifests as a desolate Field of Blades surrounded by gears/flames. Yeah, Archer has issues.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend has Anghel Higure. He constantly produces hallucinogens from his own body, which cause a field of hallucination that gets bigger and more effective the more physically active he's being — and he's not immune to them himself. On the one hand, Anghel is constantly tripping and finds it hard to get people to take him seriously or even be nice to him because of how he acts. On the other hand, this ability somehow lets Anghel know way more than by any rights he should. And when even the super-strong Okosan can't fight the physically-enhanced Charon Virus Ryouta, Anghel can by making Ryouta play by the rules of his fantasy world, thus preventing the extinction of humanity.
  • Ciel of Tsukihime has Nigh-Invulnerability so long as the vampire Roa remains alive thanks to the world itself, which will not let her die because technically, Ciel = Roa = Alive, and her death would be a paradox. Despite how incredibly useful this is in her line of work, she is dedicated to destroying Roa. Of course, she does have her reasons...
    • Although she can be killed by Shiki cutting her "lines" due to their properties.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Angel can revive the dead, which is an incredible power and is exactly why she doesn't like it and tries to be discrete about it. Kayla of all people realizes what could happen.
    Kayla: What if people found out about her power? You know how much danger that would put her in? Good and evil alike would want someone who could revive the dead! Everyone would be after her, and she would have to be on the run for the rest of her life! And—and since she's an angel, she probably can't die, so she would be on the run forever!
  • RWBY: The twins, Qrow and Raven, have the ability to shapeshift into their namesake birds. They don't tell many people they have this ability, and it helps them travel the world very swiftly and gather intel discretely. After a conversation where she tells Yang and Weiss that Ozpin cannot be trusted, Raven reveals the ability and insinuates that it's a terrible thing she is angry and bitter about. However, of all the questionable things Ozpin has done, this isn't one of them, as the shapeshifting is entirely at-will, and doesn't seem to have any particular drawback.

    Web Comics 
  • The character Lorelei from Black Tapestries, who almost immediately gets transformed into a werefox with heightened strength (while retaining her capacity for rational thought during most circumstances) and is soon thereafter rendered immortal by Issac's meddling.
  • Sir Thane from Blooming Faeries is cursed with an eternal boner, non stop foul language during intercourse, and for any woman who sees him to irresistibly want to sleep with him. This starts out as a problem since this attracts 'any' woman nearby. Including ugly ones, elderly ones, married ones and even an orc woman who is ugly even by the standards of an orc. However all of that only lasts for moments as any woman who sleeps with Thane will become beautiful and incredibly buxom.
  • In Bob and George, The Author is Trapped in Another World — except, he realizes, this means Stuff Blowing Up.
  • Bug shows us that getting your hands cut off can be more handy than you think.
  • In Chivalry and Knavery Ulf the Barbarian has a cursed ring that makes him invincible, won't come off, and summons monsters a few times a day. Presumably it's supposed to make the wearer tire of constantly fighting or ostracize him as a danger to society, but Ulf considers that a bonus.
  • City of Blank: Rex doesn't like his ability to touch Blanks, even if it enables him to fight off Blanks without using special equipment.
  • Fae curses are this in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures. When a Fae puts a curse on you, it's a bright wrist decoration that is a promise of a fae punishment to come at some undetermined point in the future. Fae truly despise anyone else killing their target of revenge before they can enact their vengeance; combine this with the fact that these usually end up being absurd pranks with little harm to them and you have protection from on high for as long as this curse lasts, which can be years, decades, sometimes the rest of your natural life. Dan once had such a curse and abused the hell out of it for his adventuring.
  • In the first arc of Dominic Deegan, Dominic is cursed to have a fish fall on him every time he tries to smoke. Dominic takes the curse in exactly the spirit it was intended — his cat, on the other hand...
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Ellen spreads her "curse" to Vlad, turning her from a male bat-like monster into a human woman. Vlad is so happy to be human at all (the pain of trying to transform on her own nearly killed her) that she just decides that she was never a man in her life as far as she was concerned, and remains a woman without complaint.
    • While they started out as Blessed with Suck, Elliot's and Ellen's powers are beginning to turn into this, lighter on the "cursed" and heavier on the "awesome" as time goes on. At the beginning, they were cursed with Power Incontinence (regularly needing to turn into a girl for Elliot, regularly needing to zap people to change their gender (for males) or enhance their "assets" (for females) for Ellen), but it is already beginning to lessen, and in Elliot's case he has gained a superheroine form in which he is pretty much a Flying Brick with a Healing Factor — the only downside being that he still has to be a girl while doing it.
  • Prince Sid from Fey Winds is supposedly "cursed" so that whenever he becomes nervous, flustered, or scared, he becomes a dragon. This is, of course, lampshaded. (His family has a long tradition of hunting dragons and mounting their heads on the wall.)
    Kit: Sid, in what way is turning into a dragon a terrible curse?"
  • In Girl Genius, having The Spark sits somewhere between here and Blessed with Suck. On the one hand, you can make reality your bitch in the name of Science! On the other hand, the same disorder makes you crazy enough that Hoist by His Own Petard and/or being butchered by an angry mob wielding Torches and Pitchforks are the de facto causes of death in your future.
    • Taking the Jägerdraught turns you into a twisted bestial monster-man, with discolored skin, More Teeth than the Osmond Family, and other features like horns or tails or extra eyes, as well as make you a borderline sociopath who lives only to fight and indulge - and that's if the draught doesn't outright kill you. It also makes you extremely strong, tough, and you age extremely slowly. (Arguably the personality change is also uncertain, as most of them were brutes even as humans.) It's said that every Jäger took the draught willingly, and knowing fully well the consequences. And the physical changes? They consider it "good looks".
  • Goblins:
    • Tempts Fate kills a demon lord... almost. Its eye swears to banish Tempts to the deepest level of hell once its body reforms in ten thousand years. In order to ensure this curse comes true, it furthermore curses Tempts with immortality so he can live long enough. Tempts is extremely enthusiastic about the whole thing.
    • Idle can come Back from the Dead once per day, with the caveat that she needs to die once per day. Much as she hates the dying part, she loves that the curse lets her get away with using overpowered Suicide Attack spells.
  • Homestuck:
  • Rose from Latchkey Kingdom. Being a super-durable shapeshifter doesn't really help with Cloning Blues.
  • Richard from Looking for Group — he is cursed, but aware of the awesome and fuels his own curse to keep the awesome.
  • Luke Surl: Hmm curse is the ability to see future events but nobody will be able to believe you... Is there a good use for that curse?
  • Billy Thatcher of morphE awakens as an Obrimos mage capable of telepathic feats, flight, super speed, control of fire and electricity. When he awoke he was a chess grandmaster on his way to the World Chess Championship and the star of a successful reality TV show. These powers are the worst thing to ever happen to him.
  • While the Negative Continuity of the series prevents it from being explored too in-depth, this strip of The Non-Adventures of Wonderella ends with Wonderita being cursed so that "any blade she touches shall become as dull as a river-washed stone". The final frame shows somebody futilely trying to chainsaw her to death.
  • Oglaf:
    • Zigzagged with a man cursed to be the best in the world at blowjobs. He doesn't quite understand why that's a curse, until the ghost explains that from this point on he'll either be known only as the blowjob guy, or never be able to reveal his talent. (This is also a case of invoked Blessed with Suck.) Later, the city is threatened by an army that will only leave if the general is defeated in sexual combat and the man uses his ability to defeat the general, leading to him being crowned king and then proceeds to use the power to solve all the kingdom's problems, playing the trope straight in the end. He also finds that he actually enjoys giving oral sex, preventing him from being ashamed by his reputation as "King Blowjob".
    • Later a man goes to the "curse emporium" to ask that a man be cursed with lots of awesome sex with hot chicks. He's asked how exactly this is a curse (possibly even by the same spirit who came up with the blowjob curse) and explains that people would be jealous and you wouldn't get a lot of work done. Giving in, the spirit asks who he wants cursed.
      Man: It's me. I'd like to curse myself please.
      Spirit: You couldn't even get someone else to come in and do this for you?
  • The one-off comic "Oh My God!" has the witch curse the princess "so no man ever loves you again!" She's quite thrilled. The witch is more her type anyway.
  • Ara's curse in Penny Blackfeather makes you incredibly magically powerful, blue-haired and generally cool-looking, although there's a small matter of turning into a parrot outside Goblin Valley and the Superpowered Evil Side lurking over your shoulder.
  • The Corby clan in Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan are "cursed" with the ability to turn into birds. Voluntarily. With absolutely no restrictions or drawbacks involved. The "curse" is broken when another character points out that they can just stop doing it.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:
    • In strip 2793, someone realises this herself: being cursed by Heaven to die after a year means she's invulnerable until then.
    • Parodied in strip 4080: In Hell, you have to mine the acid mines every day forever — so you get job security and live forever. Similarly, in "Hades", raking sand forever in Hades is considered a blessing. The latter is explicit about being commentary that the modern world is such a Crapsack World it leads to people thinking things like this.
    • A slightly different satirical comment on the world in "Tower": A princess doesn't mind being locked in a tower forever because there's electricity and good phone reception.
  • In Swords, a man is cursed with a draconic arm... which gives him the strength to wield a BFS one-handed in combat. The man cursed with a silly little fish arm isn't so lucky.
  • Raine from TwoKinds suffers from Involuntary Shapeshifting, and relies on a Power Limiter slave cuff to stop her from going full Keidran. However, this also lets her see through magical illusions.
  • Words of wisdom from xkcd: Some people consider "may you have an interesting life" to be a curse. One, fuck them, and two, if you were actually cursed in this way...
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Mao wants to remove his curse, at the expense of his cat-like features (which Copycat likes the look of, and nobody else has ever mentioned as being out of the ordinary), and sharper instincts. Yokoka either doesn't know or doesn't care that she is similarly cursed.

    Web Original 
  • Pretty much all of the protagonists in Dimension Heroes don't want their Guardian powers, despite how cool some of them think they are.
  • Looming Gaia: Lycanthropy is generally considered a curse, as uncontrollably turning into a bloodthirsty monster is obviously a bad thing. However, lycanthropes grow muscle mass dramatically, and any diseases they have are likely to get better or disappear completely. Evan, who was a frail and sickly child, intentionally contacted lycanthropy to improve his health, and ended up tall and beefy.
  • In Paradise, human characters are randomly, permanently transformed into Funny Animals, though the change is Invisible to Normals who still see the Changed as their old selves. For all that the Change is disturbing and life-changing, it brings with it some advantages, including heightened senses, athletic ability, and a bit of Wish-Fulfillment body modification (most commonly Breast Expansion). In "Confession Building", it saved a character's life when he was abducted by robbers who shot him in the head — except that since he'd Changed into a shorter form, the bullet passed harmlessly over his real head.
  • Scorpio, one of the main characters of The Questport Chronicles, is turned into a dragon by an evil wizard. He doesn't seem to mind.
  • The title character of the erotic Sword and Sorcery series, The Wulf Archives, is always complaining how the Gods hate him. However, since he has continual fantastic adventures, dozens of exotic lovers who don't mind sharing and has an alternate well-endowed lion furry form that femmes lustfully drool for, it's hard to see how exactly he is cursed.

    Web Videos 
  • Karen of The Awkward Compilation is "different". (It's never specified quite what this means, but it seems to cover some degree of geekiness.) On the one hand, it causes Jerkass Ernie to dump her. On the other hand, it happens to be what Dogged Nice Guy Kevin likes about her. He even has a slightly Narm Charm-y speech about it!
  • In a LoadingReadyRun a man mocks Menthor, the Peppermint god, and is cursed with eternally fresh breath, which he comments is a stupid curse. Subverted when it turns out it also makes everything taste like you just finished brushing your teeth, making it at least double-edged.
  • Discussed in the What the Fuck Is Wrong with You? episode "Scattered, Smothered, Covered & Stupid" (which was recorded on the day of Stan Lee's death) when Nash jokingly gets pedantic about proper usage of the Infinity Stones, and Tara tells him that he'll be doomed to a life of cameo hauntings. Nash respond that he would actually love for something like that to happen.

    Western Animation 
  • On Adventure Time, Finn buys a new grass sword that's "cursed" with being supernaturally efficient and also wrapping around his arm and not coming off. On his quest to get it uncursed he realizes that this is actually pretty cool — and even better, once he accepts it the sword conveniently gains the power to turn into a sort of armband and back whenever he chooses.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Katara grieves learning and having to use such a power she doesn't want as bloodbending. Only a few episodes later, though, she is able to put it to good use during a side quest to avenge her and Sokka's mother, manipulating a Fire Nation soldier for information about said mother's killer.
    • Although an in-depth description would be massive spoilers, let's just say that both Aang and Korra learn in their series what it means for them to actually be the Avatar, and leave it at that.
  • In Ben 10: Alien Force, Azmuth's assistant Albedo, after a failed attempt at replicating the Omnitrix, ended up trapping himself in the form of an albino clone of Ben. He treats it as a horrible condition, even though in practice he is now in a much taller and stronger body (Galvans, his natural species, are around the size of a frog, with matching physical abilities), he retains his Super Intelligence, and still has access to the Voluntary Shapeshifting granted by the Omnitrix (the "Ben Twin" appearance is just his Shapeshifter Default Form which he automatically reverts to most of the time), making it an actually pretty sweet condition from a normal person's point of view. The problem is that Albedo is very arrogant, so he sees the body as ugly and primitive (from his point of view, it's like being trapped in the body of a primate), and can't stand all the side effects caused by being in a teenage body.
  • An episode of Futurama had Fry get infested with alien worms from an egg salad sandwich. The worms then built a metropolis in his bowels and began overhauling his entire body, bringing him to a level of peak mental and physical capabilities. Everybody else treats this like a horrible affliction and resolves to remove his worms, but Fry thinks this is the best thing that's ever happened to him. Incidentally, the application of this trope also explained why no one else was eating bathroom sandwiches. Everyone thinks having worms is bad so the "affliction" is gotten rid of before anyone realizes it's a good thing. Really, the main reason it's treated like a curse by everyone else is that they just think having worms live inside you is too gross. They know about the benefits as they watch the worms mend a hole THROUGH HIS TORSO in seconds and see all the internal changes first hand. Leela spends time with Fry and falls in love with him because of how much they improve him. In the end, Fry sees them as a curse only because he can't tell if Leela loves him for him or for what the worms have made him.
  • Gargoyles:
    • Demona gets this twice: The first, she and MacBeth are magically bonded so that each is immortal, unless slain by the hand of the other. Second, she was zapped by Puck to turn human in the day time instead of going into the normal stone sleep. Both "curses" were meant to be punishment, but all they did was give Demona more time to plot against her enemies (99.9% of Earth) and gave her foes fewer ways to take her down for good. The curse does have negative effects however; she can't heal like normal gargoyles, so she just suffers until a wound is fully healed at a slow human rate, on top of which the transformation hurts quite a lot. There was the amount of time that she had spent alone as a monstrous pariah, she is likely insane by now.
    • The mutates. Normal humans transformed into anthropomorphic beasts by the unscrupulous Doctor Anton Sevarius. In case of Derek/Talon and his companions Maggie, Fang and Claw, they're turned into feline beast men (and woman) with enhanced strength and senses, bat wings allowing them to fly (as opposed to the gargoyles, who can only glide in air currents) and the ability to generate and shoot electricity, and later there is Wolf from The Pack, transformed into what looks like a werewolf, which instills him with superhuman strength, heightened senses and the ability to see in the dark. It's shown that Talon, Maggie and Claw do not like their new forms and wish they could turn back to humans, which they cannot unless an antidote is produced, which Sevarius refuses to, whereas the two villainous mutates, Fang and Wolf, are shown to love their new forms and wish to remain as they are.
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Prince Keldor fails a Secret Test of Character when trying to claim the power of Grayskull and is instead cursed with the power of Havoc, a destructive and corruptive power equal to the power of Grayskull. At first, Havoc is slowly killing him, so he's even more desperate for the power of Grayskull as a means to cure himself. After failing to take the power from He-Man, Keldor chooses to embrace Havoc completely. This stabilizes the Havoc, allowing Keldor to fully control its power without any further risk to his life, at the cost of mutating him completely into Skeletor.
  • Mystique Sonia from Hero: 108 is "cursed" with having anyone who tells her that he loves her three times in a row turns into a Yaksha... an adorable creature which she can wear on her head like a hat and which she is very close to. She especially takes advantage of this when her (presumably) first Yaksha gets destroyed by the ligers and soon gets replaced with another one because in the same episode, she has the luck of encountering a man who loves her and tricks him into saying that three times. Another upside is that if a Yaksha stops loving Sonia, it turns back into its original self. This means that Sonia will always know who is merely infatuated with her, and who loves her unconditionally. Yaksha is cursed to lose its original form and be stuck as this monster. A monster with an incredibly durable elastic body, that makes it a huge asset in battle. Not to mention all the time Yaksha spends cuddling with the woman it loves.
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • In one episode, Arnold's grandpa believes he is dying of a "curse" that causes men in his family to die at the age of 81... exactly at the age of 81. They never die young and always live several years past the U.S. male life expectancy. What a terrible fate! It becomes even sillier when Arnold notices that he did the math wrong; his predecessors died when they were 91.
    • Another episode concerns Helga's Sibling Rivalry with her older sister Olga, with Helga being The Un-Favourite to Olga who routinely excels in her studies, has a promising career, and gets showered in endless praise by their parents, while Helga is seen as a mere tumor by them. After talking things over, Olga explains that Helga's lack of attention from her parents is actually a blessing in disguise since it allows Helga to enjoy her life however she pleases, while Olga is weighed down with expectations of academic, professional, and material success from her parents.
  • In Justice League, Jason Blood betrays Camelot to Morgan Lefay, and as a punishment, Merlin binds his soul with the demon Etrigan — thus rendering him virtually immortal. Although Jason perceives this as a terrible curse, it's hard to see the downside, since the demon can't even come out unless Jason recites a specific short poem (although the demon also speaks inside his head constantly, so it can go either way). The downside of the curse isn't directly the immortality. It's the fact that Jason feels so miserable he'd be suicidal, and CAN'T KILL HIMSELF to escape from it. Quick recap: the reason Merlin curses him is that he breaks his oaths of loyalty by betraying his fellow knights in order to be with the woman he (thinks he) loves, Morgan Lefay. She, in turn, promptly reveals she was just using him to give her son Mordred a shot at the throne. So basically, he murdered all his friends to be with a woman who thinks he's little more an inconvenience. You'd probably feel pretty sucky, too.
  • Kaeloo: Kaeloo is "cursed" with the power of turning into a monster whose actions are beyond her conscious control, but the power does prove to have its advantages, such as restoring order when things get too chaotic or playing sports which require physical prowess. In addition, it's pretty much the only thing that can keep Mr. Cat and Olaf in check.
  • In one of the My Little Pony animated specials, the eponymous character of "Come Back, Lily Lightly" is the only unicorn whose horn lights up, which she assumes will get her ostracized if anyone finds out. Thus, she runs off when she's accidentally outed, only for her friends to find her and tell her that a glowing horn is cool, and helpful for finding lost ponies on dark nights.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Bridle Gossip", Poison Joke causes a different curse on those who come in contact with it. Fluttershy, the Shrinking Violet, is cursed with an unfitting deep voice, making talking even more awkward for her than usual. This becomes useful in the Season 4 episode "Filli Vanilli", when her deepened voice let her stand in for Big Macintosh in an acapella quartet.
    • In the Season 5 episode "Appleoosa's Most Wanted", the Cutie Mark Crusaders run into Troubleshoes Clyde, a saboteur who's been going around messing up rodeos. He turns out to be just a big, clumsy Gentle Giant who wanted to be in a rodeo as a colt, but believes his upside-down horseshoe cutie mark means he's Born Unlucky. It turns out his clumsiness makes him a natural at prat-falls, and the Crusaders help him achieve his dream by getting him a job as a rodeo clown.
  • After Tommy touches an irradiated asteroid in the Pet Alien episode "Big Hand of Fate", his right hand becomes extremely large, swollen and "pillow-soft". He initially wants it cured, but after seeing all the upsides it brings (particularly, catching baseballs; a boon when Tommy wants to join the baseball team), he grows to enjoy his new hand.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "The Ballad of Badbeard", the kids hear that whoever finds the lost treasure of the Pirate Badbeard will be cursed with a bad beard forever. The kids (boys and girls both) think this sounds awesome, and go looking for the treasure. When they find it, it turns out — to their delight — that the "treasure" is a chest filled with cheap fake beards.
  • Recess has an episode where a new kid shows up and the main cast discovers he's better than them at everything. He's smarter than the smart kid, tougher than the tough kid, more poetic than the artsy kid. Except it turns out he never has any friends because everyone keeps forcing him to compete with them. Then a Secret Service agent shows up to ask for his help, and he flies away in a fighter jet.
  • In Sabrina: The Animated Series (in which teenage Sabrina is retconned into being a preteen or young teen), Sabrina's aunts Hilda and Zelda were punished for abuse of their powers by being transformed to permanently look 17. Being young and beautiful forever is something that many people through the ages in real life would drink potentially toxic elixirs in order to achieve. And all they had to do was overuse their powers. Since they're REALLY not 17, they don't have the age-related drawbacks, either. Not that it'd matter, since they could make their own alcohol, tobacco, porn, you name it, even if they weren't legally allowed to buy it. One of its drawbacks however, is they can't get any real jobs that require someone to be at least 20-years-old, and they were stuck working in a restaurant just to earn their own money.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the episode "The Mansion Family", it was revealed that Mr. Burns suffers from every disease known to man, some of them discovered in him. However, "Three Stooges Syndrome" basically causes the diseases to cancel each other out. Mr. Burns thinks he's indestructible because of this despite the doctor warning him that even a slight breeze can kill him. This later came back to bite him in the boney butt later on in the series when a new disease managed to "shove them through the door" and he suddenly found out how mortal he really was. Turns out it was his hatred and malice keeping him alive all these years, and he blissfully went back to the way he was, much to the chagrin of the rest of the town.
    • In the "Treehouse of Horror XVI" segment "I've Grown a Costume on Your Face", a witch punishes the town by cursing them to become their costumes after they refuse to let her win the costume contest, as she wasn't technically in costume. Of course, for people like Marge (a skeleton), Disco Stu (Steve Martin Arrow), or Hans Moleman (a mole, and also not a costume) it's a true punishment, but people like Bart (Wolfman), Sideshow Mel (Spider-Man), or Milhouse (Muscular construction worker) ended up enjoying their "fate" and not wanting to be changed back.
  • In South Park it has been revealed that Kenny dying in many episodes has been retconned to not be a case of Negative Continuity, but an actual superpower, he cannot die. Or more accurately, he does die, but is then instantly reborn, with all his memories intact. He remembers all his deaths, but nobody else does. He thinks this sucks, because he has to suffer all the pain of all those deaths over and over — and he's had plenty of extremely unpleasant deaths — and he's annoyed that nobody else remembers it. Still, it comes in handy for the occasional Heroic Sacrifice.
  • In the Star vs. the Forces of Evil episode "Match Maker", Star accidentally turns her 50-something home-room teacher Miss Skullnick into a troll, and can't figure out how to change her back. This only serves to make Skullnick even crabbier... until in the episode "Interdimensional Field Trip", where she learns more about trolls and the advantages that come with her new form, including Super Strength and a lifespan as long as four centuries. It helps that the only downside of being a troll is that they're ugly, and Skullnick wasn't exactly a looker even as a human.
    Miss Skullnick: I'm going to live to be four hundred? And here I thought I was going through "the big change". I'm a teenager again!
  • Transformers: Animated: Blackarachnia is constantly searching for a way to remove her organic half and angsting about everything she's had to give up because of it. However, her exile was self-imposed, her organic parts give her the ability to generate webbing and paralyzing venom, and her "hideous" body has seduced pretty much every Autobot and Dinobot she's come in contact with.
  • In Season 2 of Young Justice, Superboy still looks the same even after a five year Time Skip. One of the side effects of the cloning process that created him is that he will never visibly age. He can still eventually die of old age, but he'll always look like a teenager/young adult. Superboy is less than happy about this and it's implied to be one of the reasons he broke up with M'gann. Alanna tries to sympathize with him but judging by the way she says "curse", she's clearly not seeing the downside.

    Real Life 
  • Polydactyly, in cases when people actually have normal functional sixth fingers. Studies have shown that polydactyls can do certain tasks better than those with five fingers, and develop extra brain functions.
  • Famed Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges wrote powerfully on the benefits of blindness, asserting that he could now "see" the truths of the world more clearly.
  • Autistic savantsnote : They generally have superb mathematical abilities, despite being autistic. However, it's extremely rare. Savants can also be gifted with artistic, musical, linguistic talent, etc., but they tend to only be skilled in that area and absolutely nothing else. It can get oddly specific, too; a savant might be able to draw a horse perfectly, but can't even draw a cloud in the background. There's also the fact that savants can be academically brilliant but have little to no social skills.
  • Having low alcohol tolerance. While it can suck to experience the symptoms of drinking too much faster than others, people with it are less likely to spend too much money on drinking, develop health issues, and become alcoholics thanks to the caution required to live with it.
  • It has been said that Howard Hughes would not have performed any of his accomplishments if he was not driven by his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The same has been said with Howie Mandel.
  • John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, since he never achieved anywhere near the fame of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, or even John Bonham, he was free to enjoy the rock and roll lifestyle and actually explore the many places they visited on tour because no one would recognize him on the street, while the rest of the band couldn't leave their hotel rooms without being swarmed by fans.
  • With neurosyphilis, a recurrence of syphilis when latent Treponema bacteria start attacking the brain, it causes euphoria in its victims. They become more sexually active, happier, and more passionate. Because syphilis isn't very common anymore, this usually happens in old people. Now, you can imagine how being old and suddenly regaining your sex drive is unusual. A substory of House was inspired by this. That, in turn, was inspired by a real case study done by Oliver Sacks, which he wrote about in The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat. This 89 year old woman had been a prostitute in turn of the century Greece and contracted syphilis when she was 20. Since there was no treatment at the time, the spirochetes became latent and only affected her 70 years later. She started feeling horny for the first time in years, and sleeping with younger men. Her fellow prostitutes had nicknamed it "Cupid's Disease" (brothels should know a thing or two about STDs). Sure enough, when they tested her CSF, it was positive for neurosyphilis. And just like in House, the old woman wasn't sure if she wanted it treated. But she didn't have to worry. Her brain had been permanently "damaged," so the spirochaetes could be killed without reversing the mild disinhibition. In House's words, she was "cursed to feel happy".
  • In the late 1940s Harry Corbett used to play the piano in a band. Then he started going deaf (he was eventually cured by an operation). He took up conjuring instead, and before long he started using a teddy bear glove puppet as his assistant — and the rest is history.
  • More neurological awesome-curses: Geschwind syndrome occurs in some people with temporal lobe epilepsy and possibly other temporal lobe abnormalities. It consists of hypergraphia (A compulsion to write or draw incessantly), a tendency to have heightened emotional and mental life and decreased sexual interest, and an inclination towards spirituality. Sure, seizures aren't fun, but the rest of it? Many writers would give anything to spend more time in that mindstate, especially the hypergraphia. Low sex drive is not much of a problem, you only lack the "urge" to mate like 99% of the rest of the population, but you can appreciate sex physically as much as everyone else... You are also much less likely to do stupid things (although, low sex drive can be a symptom of another problem such as depression or a hormone imbalance. It would be wise to double-check.)
  • The religious hierarchy of Egypt was so angry at King Tut's father for trying to switch to a monotheistic system that they did their best to completely erase any history that his son ever ruled. They were so successful that the tomb was only robbed twice months after the burial, the first of which stole limited items and the second of which the robbers were caught and the items returned. Which is why it was full of treasure when Carter discovered it, causing King Tut to be the best-known pharaoh of all time.
  • Narcissists. They are much more confident, ambitious and sure of themselves than ordinary people, giving them a greater chance of success. On the other side, their relationships and self-control can become really serious issues, with a chance they end up putting themselves or others in danger.
  • Russia is a vast country with extremely cold winters, two factors which drive up transport and living costs, and generally cause life in Russia to be an even greater pain. However, during the World Wars, the vastness of Russia and the coldness of her winters played merry hell with the invaders' logistics — they were far more dependent on railways and, unlike the Russians, they didn't have enough horses to keep their troops fed and supplied properly over the massive distances involved.
    • Not just during the World Wars. People with eyes on Russia like the Teutonic Knights and Napoleon Bonaparte also got caught up in the winters, to the point that it was almost expected for a Russian Army to used a Scorched-Earth strategy - wherein they'd evacuate and then raze all the villages in the invaders' path to keep them hungry and exposed to the elements. Napoleon's failed invasion is considered (one of) his greatest failure(s). The Nazis also suffered this, and Hitler expected them to keep on going and not retreat. It's not for nothing that Russia's winter is sometimes nicknamed "General Frost" or "General Winter."
    • Same applies to Finland. But also skiing or snowmobiling through the snowy wilderness in winter is far faster than walking or hiking through them in the summer, and the extremely difficult road conditions in the winter makes Finns skillful car and motorcycle drivers. If you wanna win, get a Finn is an old adage in motor sports. Many car manufacturers do their development work in Finland due to the Finnish winter and road conditions in wintertime.
      • Russian Lada had (and has still) an excellent reputation as a reliable winter car in Finland. While generally not liked, it was respected. It can be said Lada itself was cursed with awesome — the properties which made it a good winter car made it awful to drive in other seasons.
  • Suspension with pay. You don't need to (in fact you can't) go to work, but you still get paid. Along the same vein, suspension from school: most kids hate school anyway, so you're going to "punish" them with a couple of days off? Great! The only ways for it to truly feel like a punishment is if their parents are strict enough to make sure it's not a vacation for them, the student feels ashamed of what they did, or cares deeply about their permanent record. Some schools have gone to "in-school suspension" (basically all-day detention) to counteract this, but this also fails because students aren't really forced to work. For those that do take the time to work, they're able to do so at their own pace since they're not at the mercy of period bells.
  • Shows with a small or No Budget. Yeah, you may not get the best special effects or Scenery Porn of a better funded show, but by the same tokens, the writers realize this, and you oftentimes can get a show that's better written and better produced. The producers of Supernatural, the old series of Doctor Who and Being Human (UK) have all mentioned working on somewhat small budgets (especially for a sci-fi series) forced them to get creative and put more effort into quality instead of spectacle.
    • Good Indie titles are the Video Game version.
    • Adversity forces creativity. The original ending of Back to the Future (driving into a Nevada nuclear test range) was judged too expensive by the studio, so they wrote in the lightning strike at the clock tower instead. Many many classic movies had similar situations, where a unique solution to a budget issue became the most memorable part of the film.
  • Avengers: Infinity War writers have credited this to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since Marvel Studios didn't have access to its top-tier superheroes like Spider-Man or the X-Men when the franchise began in 2008, they had to work with B-list heroes, which gave the studio more creative freedom in reimagining and altering the characters without having to live up to pre-existing expectations by the public. Furthermore, the lesser-known reputation of these heroes forced the writers to focus more on making the characters relatable instead of relying just on brand name recognition.
    • This has also been the case with the DC Extended Universe to a lesser extent - the more successful films in the franchise like Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam were based on lesser-known properties that didn't need to live up to prior adaptations, unlike Man of Steel or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In addition, prior superhero movies with female leads such as Catwoman and Elektra were infamously bad, to the point where the people who made Wonder Woman were largely forced to make the film break out of the Girl-Show Ghetto. For similar reasons, the public perception of Aquaman was largely tarnished by his portrayal in Superfriends, so the makers of his film also knew they at least had to clear a bar.
  • Certain types of synesthesia. Most people who have it describe it as a sixth sense that allows them to memorize things like formulas and phone numbers better than the average person as well; some who perceive sounds as colors have composed music by literally looking at it without the aid of sheet music. The downside? You're basically constantly hallucinating and describing your experiences to someone who isn't familiar with your particular manifestation of synesthesia makes you sound like you just transferred in from Wonderland. Of course, there's also the fact that it cannot be controlled. What if, for example you meet someone who you think might be the love of your life, but merely speaking or hearing their name literally puts a bad taste in your mouth?
  • Waardenburg Syndrome, which usually causes deafness or hearing loss. But many people with the mutation also have the most stunning, gorgeous blue eyes that are humanly possible. [1]
  • Most if not all neurological disorders that give one the ability to feel euphoria without having to work for it. Something that usually takes the average person drugs to achieve.
  • Some people get very neurotic about being late to anything, even by a few minutes, and thus often insist on coming very early. They can be a pain to hang out with, and suffer from anxiety often, but it's better than being chronically late for everything.
  • Some people with bipolar disorder refuse to take medication for their condition, preferring the roller-coaster to a blandly-unpleasant existence of mild sedation and other drug side-effects.
  • Super tasters. They have too many taste buds and as a result, they cannot enjoy delicious foods. But this forces them to actually enjoy healthy foods. YMMV though, since certain healthy foods can be overbearing while less healthy ones with less complex flavors will be preferred.
  • Single people. While a relationship can be a good thing for a person, it can also be bad. Very, very bad. So while single people may feel lonely at times (and may even be ridiculed by others!) they have more freedom, less worry/drama, more focus on goals, no worries about fidelity/exclusivity/trust, etc. relative to people in romantic relationships. All this can apply to virgins as well: there can be no surer protection against STDs and unwanted pregnancies than not having sex!
  • Married people. Sure, you give up a lot of autonomy when you tie the knot, and there's the specter of Awful Wedded Life lurking around the corner. But for those who can endure the tough parts, you've got a permanent friend, companion, support, confidante, assistant, sex partner, and more. Plus, there's plenty of evidence that married couples tend to be more prosperous economically than two otherwise-equivalent singles.
  • Some people require a lot of stimulation to orgasm, or simply can't climax at all. This can make it difficult if not impossible to use masturbation to 'blow off steam' and relax, and it can also foster feelings of inadequacy in one's partners — who may feel they are 'to blame' for you not climaxing. But on the plus side you may well be able to work up to a very, very high plateau of sexual pleasure — the kind most might only be able to reach for a moment before climaxing. And then stay there. In some cases, for hours. Cursed with awesome indeed.
  • Human biology states that wisdom teeth should grow in, something which evolved as they served as a replacement for teeth lost throughout life. Today some people have a hereditary condition that prevents this from occurring. This is technically a genetic defect, however in the era of modern dental hygiene where wisdom teeth are not necessary and most people have them removed via difficult and uncomfortable surgery, it only works to one's benefit.
  • Working weekends. While any shift that requires this does not seem desirable, it has a large advantage that most don't realize unless they've done it: If your days off are normal business days, this means you have days off when everything is open and you can get errands done far easier and at less of an inconvenience to your normal schedule. It also allows one to go shopping at stores that are open 7 days but are far busier on weekends and beat the crowds. You can actually get far more done on your days off.
    • The same with working the night shift or early morning. Many radio hosts, for example, only work when doing their show, and then spend the rest the day doing whatever they want.
      • Some private schools require you to work on Saturdays, but because of this, the days off you normally would have are added to your holidays. For instance, in UK schools that do this you would get nine weeks summer holiday instead of six, plus extra weeks at Christmas and Easter too. You get a great feeling of vindication when people from other schools have to go back to school when you have several more weeks of holiday left. That's not to say it's not frustrating to lose your full weekend though.
    • Many computer programmers prefer working the night shift because it offers fewer distractions.
    • If where you work is a non-trivial commute from home, working at night and on weekends can have the benefit of not having to deal with the horrendous rush hour traffic.
  • Some guy on Twitter tried to threaten women with the "curse" of not dating them. Which led to this hilarious five-act play by John Scalzi: [2]
  • There are quite a few people with high metabolisms that wish they could actually pack on the pounds. This is despite them being able to eat as much as they want without gaining any weight, and svelte people being generally considered quite attractive (to the point where there's many a model who's little more than skin and bones).
  • Poets/Writers/artists who've had horrible lives. In return of a lifetime of suffering (losing their parents very early, starvation, disease, etc.), they write far better works than ones whose lives were happier. A good example is Attila József, a young Hungarian poet whose father abandoned the family when he was three years old and mother died nine years later, ended up in the psychiatric ward, and died when he was crushed by a train. Still he wrote beautiful and amazing poems that were even melodized by some punk bands. Though some of them only get their appreciation they deserve after they die.
  • Amtrak does not run any high speed lines outside the Northeast Corridor due to its lackluster federal funding, forcing it to take winding routes through mountainous terrain — giving train-riders among the best views you can get on any trip in the world. Few railroads in the world offer so much "the journey is the destination" as Amtrak does. However, it can also become Blessed with Suck as Congress does not see tourism and sightseeing as something the federal government should spend money on.note 
  • This turned out to be the case with Secretariat, considered (at least by North Americans) the greatest racehorse of all time. After his death an autopsy revealed that his heart was freakishly much larger than your average horse, with absolutely no signs of disease. Almost certainly the result of a genetic mutation, this enlarged heart's ability to pump much more blood was the primary reason for his speed and stamina.note 
  • Some people with Kallman Syndrome as told in this Cracked article. When the male recipients are too late to be treated, their semen can be infertile and are subjects for their kids' look. Yet the male recipients will not go bald much later than normal men, treated or not. And hey, if they are treated they still have their youth for some time and their voice wouldn't crack.
  • Small-name creators may not be making enough from what they produce for entertainment for it to be their main job, but they generally enjoy better relations with their fans (due to not being flooded with constant fan messages), are more likely to do what they do out of passion rather than just to make money, and don't have to deal with the downsides of being super-famous such as constant public scrutiny.
  • Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome is a condition where a woman is born effectively genetically male on the inside, yet still developed female genitalia and hormones. It leaves any recipient lacking reproductive organs and completely infertile. However the way it affects body development means that women with it often end up absolutely gorgeous.
  • Underachieving students in school, who have to struggle and work hard to get marks. Once they're out of school and likely pursuing a career that doesn't require a high level of academic prowess, they're likely to find themselves excelling purely on the work ethic they developed.
  • People in small or obscure cities may lose out when it comes to things to do around town or participating in big-name events (such as concerts of popular musicians) that are only held in bigger cities that people actually care about, but one of their perks is that where they live is less likely to be flooded by tourists who crowd places or disrespect the local culture.
  • Having an eidetic memory, sure it's of great use when you're revisiting or remembering the most important things. However, you are going to be stuck with bad, cringey or even traumatic memories as well. An eidetic memory works both ways.
  • Heterochromia can be either this or Blessed with Suck. Most people think it looks cool, and it usually doesn't have any side effects. In some cases though (depending on the cause) it can cause vision problems or be indicative of another health issue.
  • Robbie Williams is quite possibly the most famous solo male pop singer alive, having sold 75 million records since leaving Take That (Band) in 1997, but the price of his fame is that he has never been successful in the United States, having only a few minor hits in the US despite being a juggernaut everywhere else. But rather than seeing this as a career frustration, Williams takes advantage of it by making his home in the US — Los Angeles specifically — since it's the only place in the world where he can live anonymously and give his family a normal life.
  • The late Johnny Hallyday was in much the same situation as Williams, but for a different reason — he sang almost exclusively in French, with only a small handful of English-language songs. He was a megastar in France and most if not all of the rest of the French cultural sphere, but unknown in the US. Which is why he spent much of the last 15–20 years of his life in Los Angeles, getting into some English-language acting in those years.
  • ADHD and ADD helps with some things in life, but unless the circumstances are already in your favour they may not be of any use.
    • To compensate for the short attention span, many ADHD individuals develop the ability to Sherlock Scan — but this also makes it harder to focus on any one thing, since they cannot filter out the very details they use to scan everything.
    • Hyperfocus diverts all brain power on a single thing, which allows for faster learning... but cannot be triggered at will, usually only happens if the subject is already interesting, you'll be less aware of your surroundings/needs and can be a massive time sink. For example, one may come up with an idea for a project at 4pm, starts doing it and realizes at 4am they haven't eaten anything for the last 14 hours, they've been postponing a bathroom break for 3 hours and have screwed up their schedule.
  • Mild cases of light sensitivity can very easily become this. You see more clearly in the dark than most others, at the cost of having to wear sunglasses when you go out in daylight, which many people do regardless.
  • Hyperacusis is a very rare hearing disorder that makes a person's ear(s) extremely hypersensitive. As a result, they perceive sounds as being much louder than they really are. According to some hyperacusis sufferers, it is downright debilitating at times; even the quietest sounds (such as a fan blowing, or a heater) can be quite irritating, while sounds that actually ARE quite loud (such as a dog barking) are painful. However, they usually also admit that there are times where they are grateful to have it; extremely good hearing can be very helpful and important in some situations.
  • Some insomniacs learn to adapt to not being able to get a full 8 hours of sleep, becoming "Sleepless Elites" — people who can function just fine with half the amount of sleep.


Video Example(s):


Gamma Is A Girl's Best Friend

Bruce angsts about having turned his cousin into a gamma mutant, but Jen/She-Hulk doesn't mind because she much prefers her new appearance and powers.

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Main / WithGreatPowerComesGreatHotness

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