Follow TV Tropes


Does Not Know His Own Strength
aka: Does Not Know Her Own Strength

Go To
"Dammit, that's the third door this week!"

After you gain Super Strength, one of the first things that happens is that you lack the dexterity and sensitivity to know when or how much of your super strength is being applied. Consequently, when trying to go about your daily grind, you accidentally break almost anything in your hands from pulling or squeezing too hard (that could include important levers or other people's hands). Jars and cups explode from the slightest squeeze, you burst through doors and windows, your shoulders chip at entrances/egresses and at worst, you cause severe damage to important facilities or even living beings. The toughest objects are brittle in your super-strong hands and you have to be extra delicate with how you hold or lift things. This is one of the most Omnipresent gags in the medium of superpowers as one of the missing Required Secondary Powers that has to be re-learned and remembered for daily functioning.


Normally, it only happens to folks who gain Super Strength, not characters born with it and who had it all their life. After all, in real life an Olympic athlete that can lift several times his own weight can also pick up a caterpillar without squishing it and it would create all sorts of Fridge Logic to see characters with long-established super strength constantly smashing plates or bottles and not wonder how they ever managed to feed themselves without learning how to control their power. The one major exception to this is if they're from a place (whether it's another planet, an alternate reality, or a Hidden Elf Village) where everyone is that strong, so things like doorknobs and coffee cups are built to withstand being used by individuals capable of crumpling steel with their bare hands and they're not used to how comparatively flimsy everything is on Earth.


This trope is related to Blessed with Suck but is specific to strength and to powers which resemble strength (e.g. the ability to crush objects via telekinesis). It works as a trade-off where the massive raw power that's great for a battle makes Mundane tasks hell to perform. Another variation involves Functional Magic or Psychic Powers, where a mage or telekinetic with the power to decimate armies must do chores by hand, because the spellcaster lacks enough fine control over those powers. After all, incinerating enemies with "too much fire" isn't really a problem, but burning dinner with "too much fire" is.

If the hero's family is unaware of the hero's new powers, undoubtedly the blame for the damage will fall on 'shoddy construction' or on another house member's bad attempts at DIY.

A frequent and more realistic variation of this is that the hero is able to control their strength, but when tempers flare or the hero is startled (or otherwise incapacitated, or perhaps inebriated) that control quickly lapses.

A Sub-Trope of How Do I Shot Web?.

Compare And Call Him "George"!, when it happens to (formerly) living things. Related to Power Incontinence. Could be called the inverse of Gentle Giant. Can overlap with Unskilled, but Strong. This also plays a part in Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex situations.


    open/close all folders 


    Anime & Manga 
  • Astro Boy: This was a major issue Astro had when Tenma was forcing him to be a replacement for his deceased son Tobio. Being a Robot Kid, Astro couldn't act like a normal child and broke things very easily. Eventually he learned to control himself better.
  • In Aruosumente, the Sage comments on how Legna has great abilities as an Oracle but lacks the knowledge and refinement to use them fully.
  • The Rogue Titan in Attack on Titan tends to hit so hard that it wrecks its own body along with whatever it's hitting. Fortunately, its Healing Factor helps to make up for that.
  • Basquash!: Iceman, especially in episode 8, when Dan constantly chews him out for his "DESTROY!!!" fever, but he simply cannot grasp that being a complete barbarian during games is bad. In the end, it is revealed that his infamous "destroy balls" are nothing but mere passes. Iceman is simply incapable of NOT throwing them.
  • Finny from Black Butler tends to do this, the result being lots of broken things and a crowning moment of awesome when he gets to use this to his advantage.
  • In Berserk when Femto aka Griffith first uses his new god powers to stop The Skull Knight saving Guts and Casca, he holds out his hand and makes a gravity well that misses the knight but crushes a group of Apostles into chunks. Femto then looks down at his hand, amazed. When Guts attacks him years later, Femto doesn't even uses his hands and just blows Guts away from him using telekinesis, showing how much he has mastered his powers.
    • Killer Gorilla Apostle Wyald has a moment he where he picks up Casca like a doll and in doing so hurts her, because he doesn't know his own strength at least when applied to less violent actions.
    • Heroic example comes from Guts when he's fighting a roaming Apostle and using an ornate Cool Sword that Godot gave him, when fighting the monster Guts swings the blade so hard it snaps in two against the Apostle's hide. Guts then finds his iconic BFS and "neatly" slices the Apostle in two, this scene not only shows the level of weaponry you need to slay a demonic being, but it also shows Guts's Super Strength is so high that any blade smaller than a greatsword is ill suited for him.
  • A more tragic example occurs in Birdy the Mighty. In one episode, a serial killer is hunting and murdering young women with short brunette hair and glasses. It turns out to be a rogue Marionette that escaped and is seeking the women because they have similar traits to her creator, who imprinted her with childlike affection, and she ended up killing her "Mama" and the other women by hugging them until their insides ruptured.
  • In Bleach, after Nel Tu temporarily returns to her true age, she hugs the living crap out of Ichigo, who had previously been badly wounded while she was watching. However, what she fails to realize is that she's so strong in that form that she actually comes close to choking him. By the time Orihime makes her realize it, he passed out, causing her to worry and hug him even harder.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Before he became a Demon Slayer, Gyomei lived a peaceful life as a priest free of conflict. However, when a demon attacked and killed several of the orphans at his temple, Gyomei retaliated with a ferocity and strength that he did not know he had in him, beating the demon's head to a bloody pulp over and over until the sun rose. He states that if it weren't for that moment, he would have lived his entire life without realizing that he possessed such incredible strength and resolve.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The very first time this trope was in effect was during the preliminary matches of the 21st tournament. Goku playfully tapped his opponent (a big, muscular man) in the back of his leg, causing the man to fall out of the ring in pain. Goku quickly told Krillin to be careful from then on. It had been a while since Goku and Krillin had fought somebody who didn't have super-strength on par with their own, after all.
    • During the filler episodes leading up to the Cell Games in Dragon Ball Z, Goku and Gohan had this problem as Super Saiyans. Needless to say, Chi-Chi wasn't amused. The viewers were, though. This made sense, because they'd never gone through everyday, non-combat life in Super Saiyan form before.
    • In filler late in the Cell Saga, Goku crumbles the wooden house King Kai built as soon as he lays his hand on it.
    • During one of the tournaments, contestants are qualified to participate in the fight by punching a machine that registers the force delivered. Goku and his friends have to concentrate really hard to hit the machine without breaking it. Vegeta doesn't hold back.
    • Before that, when Goku wants to train Gohan in preparation for the Androids, while Goku attempts to calm his wife Chi-Chi down he pats her on the back, causing her to fly through a wall and a tree. Goku was very apologetic and helped Gohan patch her up.
    • An earlier filler example happens when Goku recovers from his heart illness, and he and Chi-Chi do the "happily toss into the air" bit when they reunite. Goku, momentarily(?) forgetting his own strength, accidentally tosses Chi-Chi too far (as in, too high to see). She didn't really seem to mind, probably since he caught her and the action reaffirms his aforementioned recovery.
    • His youngest son, Goten, unknowingly achieves Super Saiyan for the first time while training with Chi-Chi. He promptly kicks her, assuming she'll still be faster than him and dodge. She's not, and flies about twenty feet into a tree. She's perfectly fine, and not the slightest bit angry, just upset that her youngest son is already an alien killing machine.
    • Even Chi-Chi herself gets in on the action. In an early episode, while waiting longer than usual for Goku to return home (he may have been dead at the time), she decides to wash the dishes. About every other dish gets squeezed so hard it cracks, then dropped into a convenient garbage bin. While Chi-Chi has a much lesser level of Super Strength than the main characters, it's still more than enough for her to shatter glass in her bare hands if she's too angry to restrain herself.
    • Gohan humorously has a few moment like this during his High School days when he tries to act normal, like when playing baseball not only does he jump 25 feet in the air to catch a home run but when he throws the ball (as lightly as he can) to kid on third base he knocks the dude straight over. Another time Gohan created a goddamn earthquke in his classroom by tapping his foot impatiently allowing Gohan to get out of class.
    • For all his embarrassing defeats in Z, Yamcha's still strong enough to wreck an ordinary weight machine with one tug. Also when Yamcha gives Beerus a simple Smack on the Back in Dragon Ball Super he makes the Physical God of Destruction stagger forward in surprise. This shows despite how lesser Yamcha's power is he still has enough Super Strength to nearly knock over a god who wasn't expecting it from a mere mortal.
  • Durarara!!'s Shizuo Heiwajima is prone to this, especially when angry. At one point the Yakuza even deduce Shizuo's recent presence in an apartment complex simply by the state of the stairway's guardrails — which is not very difficult, as Shizuo managed to utterly destroy them on his way out.
  • Eyeshield 21:
    • While Gaou knows how strong he is, he doesn't understand the very idea of "holding back", and is thus completely unable to do so in any situation. The same can be said for Husky Russkie Rodchenko.
    • Kurita, on the other hand, is too strong and too friendly for his own good, meaning big, painful hugs all around.
    • Shin also does this from time to time, usually with electronic devices.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Roy Mustang suffers from this in chapter 107.
      Roy: Without my vision I can't limit the blast properly!
      Hawkeye: Don't limit it at all!
    • Major Armstrong is feared because of this. He hugs others and causes minor-to-severe injury while doing so. When seeing Edward injured and in the hospital, he was so emotional that he hugged him to the point Edward needed a full body cast.
  • Fushigi Yuugi has Nuriko, completely unaware just how strong his super strength is. Wanting to cheer Tamahome up, he gives him a tiny poke on the back of the guy's head with his index finger and promptly sends Tamahome's face into the table.
    Nuriko: I only gave you a poke.
    Tamahome: You call that a poke!?
  • In Get Backers, one of the repeating causes of the main characters' crushing debt is the fact that Ban can't seem to control his strength when he is in a bad mood. As a result, he and Ginji frequently find themselves having to pay for damages to the Honky Tonk as a result of Ban breaking everything from coffee-cups to plates, tables, bars, doors, windows, and even walls.
  • During her early life in a highly enhanced prosthetic body, the Major of Ghost in the Shell had some major (no pun intended) difficulties controlling the prosthetics' strength. She mentions (and it is shown in the opening credits) that she once smashed a doll by being unable to control her own limbs.
  • The few countries in Hetalia: Axis Powers with Super Strength are very prone to this. America in particular. Usually at either Japan or England's expense.
  • High School D×D:
    • One of the first steps in Issei's development is the harsh realization that he's a pretty worthless Devil and his Sacred Gear is far more valuable them him. Over time, and with a lot of Training from Hell (no Hard Work Hardly Works here), he's able to keep a level playing field with increasingly powerful opponents that constantly push him to the limit. While this doesn't affect his daily life, it does result in Issei completely forgetting how to fight against normal enemies, rather than dragons and gods.
    • During his Mid-Rank Devil exam, for the combat portion, Issei is so certain he'll barely scrape through this phase as well he put all his strength into the fight, resulting in his opponent being sent through the wall in a single blow.note 
    • Issei regularly spars with Kiba, who is repeatedly described as the only technique-type on a team of power idiots. Kiba reveals he can't take this sort of training lightly, as Issei could kill him if a blow got through without being properly mitigated. Issei is horrified - he'd already been holding back.
  • Hitomi-chan Is Shy with Strangers: When Yuu and Hitomi do the cart curling game with Yuu in the cart, Yuu tells Hitomi to use her full strength to push the cart because it seems heavy. She does...and sends the cart so fast that it rams into a wall and flips Yuu out of it.
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?:
    • Ais Wallenstein is so strong that she injures her sparring partners even when she tries to hold back, and she needed to get a Made of Indestructium sword because all other weapons break when she uses them.
    • Lyu Lyon also finds it hard to hold back when sparring.
  • As she undergoes her first full transformation into Harugon in the first chapter of Kaiju Girl Caramelise, Kuroe Akaishi runs away from Arata Minami and catches her breath at a bridge. She absentmindedly grips one of the railings with a transformed hand, crushing it and tumbling into the river below.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple:
    • Muay Thay God of Death Apachai Hopachai. Also a Gentle Giant on his own right, he is really kind to all living things, being even able to speak with animals. Unfortunately, due to the Training from Hell he went through during his childhood (and the fact that he was thrown in life-or-death battles even as a kid) he's incapable of sparring with Kenichi without delivering several blows that would have killed anyone less resilient. It gets to a point when Kenichi loses the memory of being hit due to a concussion. He's actually killed Kenichi at least once. The other masters are able to revive the poor kid, and it's been mostly played for laughs. He thankfully grows out of this in time.
    • Kenichi himself gets into this early on. One of the more humorous examples has him giving a "light" slapping to Niijima, and manages to knock him out instead.
    • Played more tragically during Kenichi's fight against the Tirawit Koukin trained Karate club. While they received training in attacking and were pretty good at it they received none in defending. That's why when Kenichi used his normal strength against them, one blow was enough to send them to the hospital. Tirawit points out how Kenichi doesn't even realize how much stronger he is than average humans.
  • Lapis Re:LiGHTs has Salsa of IV KLORE. She is a werewolf with supernatural strength and speed but is so excitable and wild that she oftentimes breaks things like doors.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Being a combat Cyborg blessed with Super Strength, Subaru mentions her fear of performing this trope during a flashback. Also illustrated in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS manga during a wall-climbing exercise, when a Teana that just met her asked her to put a little more strength in boosting her up, causing the now terrified girl to achieve her dream of taking to the skies a lot earlier than she expected.
    • Since she received her powers by fusing with a Great Big Book of Everything containing the strongest spells in the multiverse, Hayate literally cannot use low-power magic. As a result, the TSAB normally treat her similarly to a tactical nuke, only calling her in to cast a single spell in certain situations (and after evacuation orders have been given). Which is odd, given that Rein Eins' usage of spells like Bloody Dagger show that Hayate should, at least in theory, be able to fight at the anti-personnel level.
    • In a sound stage of A's, after Shamal forgot to heat up the water for bathing Vita asks Signum use her magic. She answers that she lacks finesse for smaller tasks.
    • A physical strength example occurs in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, when Miura Rinaldi, one of Zafira's students in martial arts, accidentally breaks the wookden pole she uses for training soon after it was fixed.
  • It's a Running Gag in Massugu ni Ikou that Big Friendly Dog Hanako jumps up on people and knocks them down.
  • During an arm wrestling competition in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Ilulu ends up snapping Makoto's wrist like a twig.
  • In Monster Musume, Kimihito's Cute Monster Girl harem, with the exception of Rachnera and Lala, have difficulty holding their strength back, which often results in Kimihito being injured. When Lunacy strikes Miia, Papi, and Centorea at the same time, they all suffer from this, thus leaving Kimihito facing a very real risk of literally getting killed during intercourse if the temporarily lust-crazed girls manage to capture him long enough to have their way with him.
  • In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Masayuki Hori is more used to performing rugged physical labor than performing delicate tasks. When he tries to add screentone to a drawing, he tears through the paper.
  • Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation: Prince Zenoba was born with a rare gift of Super Strength which was discovered when at the age of three, he accidently snapped his baby brother Julius' neck in front of a whole birthday party. It's a Running Gag how Zenoba breaks things, or does a Neck Lift or Ceiling Smash by accident.
  • Musuko ga Kawaikute Shikataganai Mazoku no Hahaoya: Lorem's overwhelming brute strength is great for dealing with enemies... not such much for fine household chores. Her attempts to cook a simple food dish for Gospel go awry after she keeps destroying all the food and appliances. By the time Merii comes over, the kitchen is a complete mess and Lorem only has a barely edible carrot paste to show for it.
  • Naruto:
    • Sakura Haruno, while training with Tsunade during the time skip of the original series, acquires the same herculean strength that she has. But of course, whenever Naruto does anything Sakura thinks is stupid, she gets the urge to pound the tar out of him and sends him flying with just one punch.
    • Played for Laughs when Naruto gains Biju Mode and accidentally hit one of the Bijudama into one of the Alliance formations, indirectly wiping it out because he couldn't control his strength.
    • Earlier, when Naruto and Sasuke are fighting on hospital roof and use their new jutsus (Rasengan and Chidori) on each other, Sakura gets in the way and to both boy's panic they literally can't stop before Kakashi knocks their asses into two water tanks. Sasuke is pleased to see his chidori seemly did more damage to water tank than his rival's attack until he looks behind Naruto's tank and sees what the Rasengan did. This clearly wasn't Naruto's intention therefore Kakashi is concerned Naruto learned such a powerful attack at a young age.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
  • Happens a few times in One Piece especially when people get their Devil Fruit Abilities for the first time: Luffy for instance as a child couldn't control his Rubber Man powers and would end up punching his own face with attempted stretchy punches, not until he was teenager could use his powers better; though Crocodile still dubbed him Unskilled, but Strong. Kaku also had this problem despite being grown adult and Professional Killer, when he first activates his Zoan-Devil Fruit he falls through the floor and his attacks are now strong enough to unintentionally slice the building he was standing inside in half.
    • Luffy still invokes this trope with his other actions as everything from a Smack on the Back, The Glomp or Balloon Belly can cause Amusing Injuries, property damage or worse if Luffy isn't careful. In Movie 7 Luffy discovers Second Gear by complete accident and is amazed when he sends a Humongous Mecha flying out of nowhere.
    • Zoro was plagued by this trope in his early bounty hunter days (shown in Filler) where he'd constantly break his other katanas by using too much Super Strength, so much of his early training was focusing on using the required force and nothing more. When Zoro told Mihawk about the times where he'd chip his blades, Mihawk outright told Zoro a ruined sword is Master Swordsmen's greatest shame so Zoro strove to learn Armament Haki to protect his katanas from harm.
      • Even when being careful Zoro risks killing normal dudes with his strength as when he used the flat side of his blades to knock out the Galley La Foremen and Nami warned him that's still enough to cause serious injury. Earlier on Zoro split the Going Merry's mast in half while simply drawing the sails, though in this case it's more showing the poor condition the ship was in that it couldn't handle its superhuman occupants rather than Zoro's strength.
    • Sanji gets a variation in Skypeia when Gan Fall teaches him about the Impact Dial, Gan Fall instructs him to put the dial on a barrel and then smack it with all his strength using a huge hammer Sanji does so and nothing happens leaving Usopp whose watching underwhelmed. Sanji understands the Dial absorbed the damage from his blow and Gan Fall told him to press the Dial to the barrel and see what happens... the barrel explodes into smithereens, if Sanji had swung the hammer normally without the Dial being there he would've put a hole in the Merry's deck.
    • This trope comes up again in Punk Hazard thanks to Trafalgar Law putting half the crew in a "Freaky Friday" Flip situation, the first case is when Nami in Franky's Cyborg body goes to punch out Sanji who’s in Nami's own weaker sexy body and loving it... which results in Nami nearly killing Sanji/herself. The second time is when Franky decides to use Chopper's ability to transform into stronger forms through pills. Unfortunately, Franky doesn't have any of Chopper's medical expertise and goes on a Unstoppable Rage in Monster Point which he can't control.
    • As shown in a Flash Back Charlotte Linlin aka Big Mom suffered from this problem immensely, when she was just five years old, she was strong enough to kill a large bear instantly with a single smack, merely intending to scold the animal. She also broke several of giant's bones by slapping a mosquito on his back, hell even as a 68 year old woman she just walked through an iron bound door unconsciously. It's likely because she was Easily Forgiven for her accidents as a child by Mother Caramel that Big Mom cares little for the catastrophic damage she causes later in life.
  • In Pokémon, Ash's Dragonite tends to hug its human allies a bit too hard. Pokemon allies on the other hand enjoy the cuddles from this Gentle Giant.
  • Ever since they switched to a multi-man team, the Pink heroine in the Pretty Cure series will always discover how powerful she is when she takes off into the sky in a panic.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Whenever Ryoga's emotions get too much, or his mind wanders, everything he touches tends to crumble around him. Combine this with the fact he gained the ability to shatter inanimate matter with a finger jab early in the series, and you've got a man who has as much trouble not destroying Tokyo as he does navigating it.
    • There is also a storyline in which Akane gains Super Strength due to accidentally eating food called Super Soba, and briefly falls into this trope. She first discovers her newfound strength when she casually sets her bowl down, and promptly smashes the table and the floor below the table. She would also regularly pat other characters (usually Ranma) with what was supposed to be a light touch on the head or shoulder, and instead sent them flying.
    • During a mid-manga story, Ranma is weakened by a vengeful Happousai. The cure involves a painful-looking moxibustion technique applied on his back — out of reflex, he tries to swat Cologne off his back, only to find himself smashing a solid concrete roller (the kind used to flatten sports fields) purely by accident.
    • It's played up more in the manga version, but Shampoo often destroys things around her, tearing through walls rather than going for the door or shattering doors when she does use them. It's debatable whether she counts for this, though, as it's just as likely that she just likes to show off that she's a Cute Bruiser. Though when given a hypnotic suggestion to "go home peacefully" she still smashes through a wall as she leaves.
  • In Rebuild World, Shizuka warns Akira to not crush the trigger of his guns by accident while getting a handle on the Super Strength his augmented suit provides. When training with it at first, he punches and kicks holes in the ground and accidently flings himself around. His Virtual Sidekick Alpha reprograms it to make up for its cheap Power Limiter capabilities.
  • Makoto Kino from Sailor Moon. By accident, she had choked Mamoru unconscious while trying to interrogate him and smacked Ami while trying to give her a friendly pat on the back. These instances are Played for Laughs, of course.
  • In Super Robot Wars: Original Generation: The Inspector, Lamia listens to a rather heartwarming speech from Kai to Ryusei and Bullet about trying to get the captured Arado to make a Heel–Face Turn of his own will. As the speech finishes, Excellen cheerfully points out to Lamia that she's accidentally twisted the handles of the exercise machine she had been using into a pretzel.
  • In Tenchi Muyo! GXP, protagonist Seina Yamada has to spend several episodes learning to control this after being given enhanced strength and speed. Of course, this turns out to be a lovely excuse to set up some Innocent Cohabitation...
  • In Tiger & Bunny, it's implied that Kotetsu had this problem back when was a child ("I'm not supposed to touch anyone when I'm like this. I'll hurt people."), which was why he was ashamed of his NEXT abilities up until he encountered Mr. Legend.
  • Tomo-chan Is a Girl!: A childhood flashback indicates that Tomo suffered from this a bit in childhood (i.e snapping Jun's handheld video game in two while trying to play it when they first met). As a high-school student she has mostly grown out of it aside from... well she is a Spirited Competitor who considers it disrespectful to treat opponents with kid gloves, which would not be a problem if it were not for how when her blood is up her ability to properly gauge the capabilities of others goes way down.
  • Torako, Anmari Kowashicha Dame da yo centers on a soft-spoken, insecure, impossibly strong gentle giantess transferred to a school filled with the most fearsome and notorious delinquents in Japan because she suffers from this; damaging doors constantly and breaking a classmate's arm by flinging her out of the path of an oncoming truck along with past acts of carnage she frantically downplays.
  • Monkey king Bambina from Toriko can't find a suitable opponent or a dance partner, because almost everybody he comes across ends up ripped to shreds in seconds, when he tries to fight or dance with them, due to his incredible strength. Even powerful regenerating demon, capable of singlehandedly killing and eating almost every creature on planet managed to survive only for a couple of seconds.
  • Karna, the protagonist of The Rise of the Unemployed Wise Man has no clue how insanely overpowered he is, even when he learns that he has several gods as pets as his only frame of reference is the legendary heroes of humanity who were even more powerful and would look at his exploits as "the basics."

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Jonie, being the strongest goat in the group of main characters besides Sparky but also much clumsier compared to him, tends to be very rough to people and objects - so much so, in fact, that in episode 23 of Joys of Seasons she has to wear gentle cuffs invented by Mr. Slowy to be able to help hurt animals without her accidentally hurting them even more.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman:
    • Played straight when Supes is depicted as a child who realistically doesn't know his own strength as seen in Action Comics #1 (here). After the 1986 reboot, some writers declared that he only developed his powers at a late age to avoid it.
    • An excellent 1960s issue of Superboy dealt with a villain tricking young Supes into thinking he had accidentally killed Lana Lang with a careless display of strength. Grief-stricken, Superboy turns himself in to the police and sits brooding in a jail cell, giving the villain and his mooks a free window of opportunity to commit crimes unopposed. Naturally, it's all a ruse, and Lana turns out to have been merely kidnapped and is totally unharmed.
    • One story from the '90s saw Supes' strength start increasing exponentially. This trope definitely came into play then.
    • Some versions of Krypto the Superdog apply this trope. Being just a dog, he really doesn't know his own strength.
    • Many, many times in various Superman comics other people would gain Superman's strength. This trope almost always applies.
    • In Kryptonite Nevermore Superman accidentally rips a door off its hinges right after recovering his powers.
    • One Bronze Age story had Superman's strength seeming to increase beyond his ability to control, and he resorted to a super sunscreen to block his absorption of the sun's rays. It turned out to be a trick by the Parasite, who was specifically leeching Superman's ability to control his strength, making his strength seem like it was increasing, while the sunscreen was in fact rendering him weaker and weaker. At the climax, as he's realized too late what was happening and is plummeting to his death because he can't fly any more, he removes his boots because he hadn't put any sunscreen on his feet, and absorbs just enough sunlight mojo while falling to survive the impact.
    • In Infinite Crisis, Superboy-Prime attacks Conner Kent, beating him badly whilst causing a huge amount of damage to the town of Smallville, until a (fairly large) group(s) of other heroes arrive as back-up. When a heroine named Pantha calls him a "stupid kid" and attacks him in which Superboy retaliates by smacking her across the face... He ends up taking her head off and killing her, he is completely shocked when he notices the blood on his hand and has a mini breakdown.
    • In Superman Annual #8, Pounder, one of a far-future League of Supermen who have each been genetically engineered to have one of Superman's powers, has support staff who have to do everything for him, because it's not safe for him to touch things. (The whole League is Blessed with Suck, in fact.)
    • In Superman: Secret Origin, a teenage Clark Kent, whose powers were just beginning to emerge, really had no idea how strong he was. It caused problems when he tried to play football with his friends and accidentally broke Pete Ross's arm.
    • On the other hand, Supergirl does this on occasion, for example in one of Redan's Batman and Superman comic strips. Then again, she was still learning to control her powers. One of the explicit differences between Superman and Supergirl is that Superman has mental blocks he imposed on himself so there's an upper limit to how much power he'll use, while Supergirl has no such blocks, allowing her to at times be stronger than her cousin.
    • In the 1970 story "Supergirl's Lost Uniform", Supergirl while in her Linda Danvers identity lifted what she thought was a fake 500-lb weight and twirled it like a baton. The fake was the one next to it. Oops.
    • During one of her first fights against Reactron in the Post-Crisis title, she pulls a man out of a building at super-speed and accidentally breaks his arm in three different places.
    • In Supergirl Volume 6 #27—the beginning of the Red Daughter of Krypton storyline—Supergirl kicks Lobo so hard that she—apparently—kills him. Kara is so upset that she swears she didn't want to kill him and she cries she doesn't know her own strength.
      Supergirl: I don't even know my own strength!
    • The Supergirl from Krypton (2004): As she is wandering naked around Gotham City's docks, Kara is harassed by a man. Kara grabs his hand, intending to shove it away, and she accidentally crushes his fingers.
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth), as Kara is learning how to drive, she puts her foot on the brake... and through the bottom of the car. When it happens, her foster mother cries out "Again?".
    • Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade: In the first chapter, Kara breaks her desk when she puts her hand on it. And in the second chapter she puts her hand through the wall when she is writing on a chalkboard.
    • In Last Daughter of Krypton, Supergirl is not aware of her massive stregnth when her rocket crashes on Earth and she wakes up from her artificial sleep. So, she is downright shocked when she punches a robot -in reality, a soldier in Powered Armor- beyond the horizon.
    • Strangers at the Heart's Core: Wanting to increase her physical strength, Shyla Kor-Onn did set up a strength-leeching machine on the top of a building. Unfortunately, she forgot about her new magnified strength when she went to turn the machine off; she pushed it off the ledge, and accidentally crushed an innocent bystander.
    • Power Girl has a long history of breaking or outright destroying things when she loses her temper. Fortunately, this usually results in getting it back under control.
  • Spider-Man:
  • Jack in the comic book Next Men cannot control his super-strength and has to be guided places so he does not break objects by accidentally brushing up against them.
  • X-Men:
    • When Colossus is stuck in transformed form he gets angsty about people seeing him as a monster. He then proceeds to try and call his team from a phonebooth but since he is frustrated, trying to dial the number causes his fingers to punch right through the phone.
    • Rogue accidentally snaps Grim Reaper's neck with a single punch after she absorbed Wonder Man's powers. She was holding back.
    • In a Wolverine series, there is a grown-up mutant with super strength but the intelligence of an infant. A horse tries to kick him and he punches it, then he gets upset because he can't put the horse's head back on.
    • Wolverine himself in his Origin Story permanently disfigured his brother Dog when he slapped him in the face... not knowing he'd just gained some claws at the time.
  • Done tragically in The DCU Elseworld story "Created Equal". The second issue of the two-parter starts In Medias Res a five-year-old Alex Kent has accidentally killed his mother, Lois, by hugging her.
  • In Nextwave, the narration mentions that the Captain once knocked a man's lungs out of his chest by patting him on the back... but in his defense, he was drunk.
  • The titular character in Concrete is very much Blessed with Suck in this regard, being a half-ton stone man who doesn't dare try to hold anything breakable.
  • The titular character in Monica's Gang suffers because of this. Since she's only 6, it leads to really funny situations (although not so funny for her parents, who have to pay for the broken stuff). Jimmy Five and Smudgy feel in their skins what her inhuman strength causes, most often in the form of physical retribution for their infallible plans to "defeat" her, though she's been known to throw around the comic's Superman expy. It's all in Amusing Injuries territory.
  • The Punisher villain The Russian squeezed a mook to death with a one armed hug... accidentally. He was genuinely trying to be friendly!
  • The JSA introduced Citizen Steel, who literally doesn't know his own strength — the accident that gave him his powers also deadened his sense of touch, meaning he can't feel how much force he's exerting. He walks around in a costume he was cast into so that he can control it.
  • Obelix from Asterix does seem to know his strength... he is just apparently unaware that not everyone possesses that strength, hence his failure to understand the difference between "knock on the door" and "smash the door" and why no-one around him is able to carry tiny menhirs.
  • In the last issue of the Marvel MAX Barracuda miniseries, Barracuda pats the young hemophiliac he had been charged with turning into a cold blooded killer on the back... killing him. To be fair, Barracuda is a fucking beast of a man, but that's... dang, son.
  • In 52, being a god-empowered superbeing stopped being fun for Osiris after he killed his sister Isis' attacker, the Persuader, by flying into him too hard.
  • A lot of humour stemmed from the use of this trope in the 1970s comic strip Wee Ben Nevis which featured in The Beano. This trope is also frequently used in The Dandy's most famous strip Desperate Dan.
  • The title character from Irredeemable also fits this trope. Basically a Superman expy, in one scene where he visits one of the many sets of foster parents he had as a child, we see him feeding their severely disabled (adult) biological son. Turns out he was there the day that Jr. came home from the hospital with Mum...he just wanted to give his new baby brother a hug...
  • Present all over in Savage Dragon: Smasher taking the head off her husband with a single punch, Dragon killing Solar Man when the latter lost his powers in midfight, both resulting in messy Your Head Asplode moments. Those are just two of many examples.
  • She-Hulk, who provides the page image, is usually not an example. However there's a storyline where she works out like crazy to beat a much stronger opponent (she intelligently uses a quirk of her physiology which increases greatly, in her Hulk form, the effects of workout in her "normal" form). This increases her strength to the point that she breaks nearly everything she touches, until she gets a Power Limiter suit.
  • One Lucky Luke story had a pathetically wimpy guy (he has to carry lead weights so the wind doesn't blow him away) turn into a musclebound human nearly overnight with Luke's help. However, he has difficulty adapting, and crushes glasses he's trying to pick up and rips the saloon's doors off.
  • In Invincible upon developing his Viltrumite powers Mark accidentally throws a garbage bag into orbit while taking out the trash. He becomes a superhero soon after. Similarly at his graduation Mark accidentally throws his square academic cap into orbit. Played for Drama later as a horrified Mark nearly kills and permanently disfigures Angstorm Levy, since Mark assumes Levy has the Super Toughness to take a rage-filled beating from him. He doesn't.
  • Becomes a source of angst for The New 52 version of Superboy when he realizes that he can't be around ordinary people without killing them.
  • A telekinesis version in the case of Hellion of the New X-Men: After the battle against Nimrod when he asks Emma Frost to unlock his powers' full potential so he can get X-23 back to Elixir to save her life, he suddenly loses all fine control of his powers. When Beast asks him to move a paperclip he instead blows out an entire wall.
  • Robin Series: When Tim has Aramilla forced into his system and ends up fighting Lady Shiva he accidentally kills her due to his lack of control and temporary powers. He's able to revive her, but it transfers some of the drug into Shiva's system allowing her to kill everyone else in the room in a whirlwind attack to Tim's horror.
  • Shazam!:
  • Wonder Woman (1987): In Cassie's first fight after having her powers unlocked she's quite suprised at being able to toss Artemis down the street. Unlike most examples she's also delighted, because not only can Artemis take it she also jumped into the fight—which she likely wouldn't have survived without powers—without knowing for sure what they were.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • In chapter 19 of Jonathan Joestar, The First Jojo, Jonathan accidentally snaps a chopstick in two while trying to hold it properly.
  • In Justice League of Equestria, Rainbow Dash first learns of her newly acquired super strength when she kicks a tree and makes it explode into splinters.
  • In The Stars Ascendant, Twilight is unaware of the fact that her fight with Tirek has revealed that she is as powerful as every non-alicorn in Equestria combined. Celestia feels guilty, both for underestimating Twilight Sparkle and for putting all of Equestria in danger unnecessarily by not trusting Twilight to be strong enough to win.
  • In Superman and Man, a third party magically makes Christopher Reeve exchange bodies unwillingly with Superman. Reeve realizes what has happened when he accidentally crushes a nightstand clock.
  • In It Takes a Village, after his growth spurt, Spike finds himself much stronger than he is used to, as well as being physically larger. This results in him breaking things by applying to much force, and banging into stuff when he moves like he did when he was smaller.
  • In Harmony Theory, Rainbow Dash's power level didn't change, but she's in the distant future where the ponies have become a lot weaker and more fragile than the ponies of her time. She sometimes forgets to check her strength and speed.
  • In Imaginary Seas, Percy knows that he has new powers as a Servant that he never had when he was alive, but he doesn't know just how exceptional he is until Chiron shows shock at just how many Noble Phantasms he has, using five without thinking about it even while holding back. It's also played more conventionally when Percy suffers the effects of forcibly taking on Zeus' Klironomia. His body starts spasming so badly that when he tries to grip a tree for support, he ends up ripping it out of the ground and pulls it apart while trying to let go of it.
  • Carly and Sam from iFight Crime With Victorious, particularly Sam. When Sam first receives her power, unknowingly, she tosses a soda can at Freddie that knocks him off his feet. Carly, more level-minded, runs into this problem less often, but using it is still a very volatile process.
  • In Co-op Mode, James almost ends up outing himself as a parahuman when he starts lifting weights several times heavier than what he used to lift inside the school gym. Luckily, the gym coach just mistakes him for having taken Tinkertech drugs.
  • Kyon from Kyon: Big Damn Hero.
    • Because of the nature of his training he knows martial arts but he doesn't remember any experience with them, including the specific effects of his attacks on opponents. After the fight on chapter 12, Iyouji was surprised when he had to ask how bad were the injuries he made on the Mooks.
    • In a later chapter, a Fictional Document reminded that while getting new powers were good, one should also learn to be careful with them.
  • Last Child of Krypton:
    • During a conversation with Kaji in the chapter 3 of the original version, Shinji admits he does not know what the limits of his super-strength and his other powers are and he is still trying figuring it out. The older man reminds him that he has to be careful to not hurt other people.
    • In chapter 2 Shinji tried to straighten a falling plane by taking hold of the tail and pulling, but he miscalculated his strength and torn the tail off the plane.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Naturally, Asuka has no clue how strong she is once she starts developing her powers. Her first attempt to find out ends in fire and destruction. And that's before she gets heat vision.
  • In the beginning of Supergirl (2015) story Survivors, Kara isn't conscious of her tremendous strength. Then she crushes a supposedly unbreakable baby's bottle… and later she accidentally bruises her cousin's arm when she holds him… so she compels herself to be careful.
    She had figured out as the day wore on that she had to hold Kal very lightly. She had squeezed a bit too hard and he cried earlier. She didn't think she had squeezed hard at all but there was a small bruise on his arm. Kara was becoming stronger and everything seemed to become softer, more brittle. It was like living in a world of delicate glass.
  • Twisted Toyfare Theatre — The Hulk encounters Ewoks. "Hulk pet fuzzy too hard! Fuzzy pop!" Also the time he petted the bunny too hard. And then did the same with Cyclops.
  • Paul, in spades, in With Strings Attached. Compounded by his having two levels of strength, “low” (where he can lift about 8 tons) and “high” (where he can lift at least 90 tons). After practicing day and night (literally) for several weeks he can act relatively normal at “low” strength (though he still breaks things if he doesn't take care); however, at “high” strength, which he tries not to use unless practicing, he can just barely function in the real world. He is continually conscious of his strength, so that in proximity to other people, he hardly moves, and he never makes sudden gestures.
  • In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World we learn that after Paul returned to Earth, though he was back to normal, he had a tough time readjusting and couldn't easily relate to his family. In particular, fears of what he might do to Linda during sex made him avoid relations with her, which hurt her deeply. He was rather ambivalent about being brought back to C'hou just after he had started to return to normal, though (as was his general wont) he hid this feeling from the others under a mask of brisk competence and cheer. But nearly all the ground he gained with practice in With Strings Attached disappeared.
  • Comes up frequently in Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfics, particularly those depicting newly-activated Slayers. This is usually how they prove to others that something weird has happened to them.
    • In Xendra, Buffy has a rough time at a contracting job due to her tendency to destroy things she's working on, and sometimes the tools. Her boss (who knows she's the Slayer) is dumbfounded that she destroyed a wrench that you could run a truck over without bending it.
  • Kallen Kozuki in Justice Society of Japan, to the point that even reaching for a glass of milk without breaking it becomes difficult. On the plus side, she did enjoy her newfound ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
  • In Emergence, Yang Xiao Long of RWBY wakes up in the real world in Syria and is attacked by ISIS terrorists. Her super strong punches end up tearing through them and making them explode. After getting over the initial shock, she finds it difficult to not do this, frustrating her as she wants to take one alive for questioning. Later, when her half-sister Ruby Rose passes a basketball at a boy, it knocks the wind out of him and almost floors him.
  • The premise of Oops! is Naruto accidentally distracting the Kyuubi when the latter was enhancing Naruto's body. Naruto ends up 113 times stronger than naturally possible, which results in things like leaving fingerprints in brass doorknobs and being unable to feed himself. When Naruto tries to eat some ramen, he shatters the bowl by picking it up. When Shizune feeds him, Naruto bites off the ends of chopsticks without noticing. In the end, Gai has to train Naruto to manage his Super Strength.
    • A similar story, Kitsune's Power has a similar incident and result, except Naruto's only five at the time. As he grows older, he spars with Rock Lee under Maito Gai's direction, resulting in Lee becoming even faster and stronger than in canon. Butterflies ensue and Naruto becomes Anko's apprentice.
  • The Bridge:
    • Godzilla is turned into a Unicorn, but retains a great deal of his power. When he tries to punch a punching bag, it bursts. In this case it's less he's unused to his power and more he's unused to everything around him that's of a similar size being that fragile.
    • While visiting an injured Xenilla in the hospital, Destroyah tries to give him a friendly nudge, but presses too hard on his ribs. He barely stops himself from screaming.
  • In Thousand Shinji, when Asuka started to mutate, her strength increased exponentially... but gradually, so she spent several days breaking things accidentally until she figured out that her physical strength was growing.
  • Played with in MagicTale given that Undyne knows how strong she is, but is used to everything being made out of stone or metal, resulting in her frequently breaking wooden objects. Though in the case of one door, she simply wasn't aware which way it opened, causing her to knock it off its hinges. Likewise, she's not quite aware of how fragile humans are. A friendly pat on a cook's back dislocated his shoulders.
  • In The More Things Change Series following the events of the Grand Finale, with his Mystical Monkey Power now fully accessible, Ron has had moments of this, such as throwing Kim too hard, breaking a force gauge machine, and smashing a hole in a wall.
  • After being magically transformed into Superman in New Guard, Xander has a lot of trouble with his new strength. When encouraged to break out of handcuffs, he's shocked that he actually can and later when he goes to the bathroom, he breaks the urinal.
  • Fates Collide:
    • Chloe von Einzbern pulls a rope that rings the von Einzbern mansion's doorbell too hard and it breaks. Archer fixes it.
    • Iskandar tends to squeeze too hard when he hugs people.
  • Equestria: Across the Multiverse: At the end of the My Little Pony Tales Story Arc, the Mane Six accidentally discover they grant others in different worlds Rainbow Powers so long as that world didn't already have a set of Elements (and only to a max of seven ponies are once) when they do so to the Tales Seven. In addition to the new Super Mode, all seven get awakened Earth Pony Magic and the Super Strength that comes with it. Naturally, they have no idea how to control it and end up accidentally breaking things around them. Applejack teaches them how to control it afterwards.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku had no idea just how strong he was after his Kryptonian Super Strength manifested at the age of four, tearing a door right off his hinges by accident after being diagnosed as Quirkless and literally bouncing off the walls in his excitement. He became keenly aware of how dangerous it makes him when he accidentally threw Katsuki Bakugou across a park, past a road, and straight through a stone wall while imitating All Might, horrifying him into the opposite of this trope.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Izuku first discovers his Super Strength when he destroys his desk by gripping it too hard while trying to dodge one of Bakugou's explosions. When Kamui Woods comes to retrieve Izuku, who has since crawled up the side of a building, he puts the Hero's hand in a death grip until he's asked to ease up. The day after that, Izuku accidentally shoves Bakugou all the way down the hallway and struggles to avoid snapping his pencils in half.
  • Mostly played for laughs when Lucy becomes Kryptonian in the Supergirl (2015) fanfic Future Shock. First she dopeslaps Kara who can now definitely feel it, and a few chapters later she almost goes nuclear trying to show off for a girl.
  • Bakugo in The Undead Schoolgirl: Dead Pulse doesn't realize how powerful his explosions were because his mind is wired to see them as minor things. His mind automatically filters out the noise so they only sound like small pops and what he thought was only enough heat to cause a first degree burn at worst was actually enough to sear and blister flesh even through clothing.
  • In Bucky Barnes Gets His Groove Back & Other International Incidents, Steve Rogers has had some issues on and off with forgetting just how strong he is post-Super Serum. These days, it seems to happen only when he's either not paying attention or deeply emotionally compromised. Not long after the procedure, he tried drawing again and accidentally snapped his art pencil in two, causing him to swear up a storm, and Clint Barton's seen him leave fingerprints in a lead pipe while on an op. Clint also mentions that he would totally have a one-night stand with Steve just on account of how attractive he is, if he were sure Steve wouldn't get too far into the moment and accidentally break Clint's pelvis.
  • Much like the above example, the Captain America fanfic Grateful has post-Super Serum Steve snap his pencil in half after attempting to draw.
  • Fate: Kill: It is mentioned that the Heiwa tribe doesn't normally use weapons because they are so strong that any weapon they try to use breaks. Shirou provides them with many of his traced weapons, which are more durable than the regular kind and can survive being used by them, making them very grateful.
  • My Ideal Academia: Shirou defeats Sasori with an elbow strike that he assumes just knocked him out, but is later informed the strike broke his skull and hospitalized him. Shirou realizes he got too used to fighting Servants who are many times stronger and tougher than humans.
  • In A Green Dragon's Hoard, Izuku is ridiculously strong, using weights of up to ten metric tons with ease. Besides referenced instances like accidentally uprooting a tree, the wind generated from Izuku casually waving his hand almost knocks Manami over.
  • With This Ring: Kryptonian Super Strength is actually quite user-friendly, with fine control being very achievable, but Kara Zor-El still has an adjustment period when she arrives on Earth. Paul helps her practise by creating a construct punching bag and vase of flowers; she has to punch the bag as hard as possible, then take a flower without breaking it. It's hard to get right.
  • I am Bitch, the Shield Hero's Slut!: Malty knew she was just over level 40 but it didn't occur to her exactly what that meant until fighting in her first Wave. Monsters in their 30s are cut down with absurd ease and when the captain of a company of knights angers her, she attacks him in a rage only to cut him in thirds, not realizing how much weaker he was than her.
  • A Flower's Touch: Aerith is wholly unprepared for the strength that comes with Mako enhancements. She's tasked with picking up drinking glasses until she can do so without shattering them just from holding them.
  • In The Awakening of a Magus, Harry, thanks to his transformation, becomes much stronger than a regular human, but doesn't even realize it at first. People taking Polyjuice for the sake of Identity Impersonator take on some of that strength, and need to be careful not to break anything.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Incredibles. Mr. Incredible got very stressed out the day he was fired and broke a number of things. He dented a doorknob, shattered the car's window, and cut straight through the plate and part of the table when cutting his son's steak. The best was when he completely lost his temper and threw his boss through seven walls. He's usually in control though, capable of doing little fiddly things with his hands even as he holds up something gigantic.
  • The young Tigress was shown to be like this in Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five, till she learned self-control.
  • Disney's Hercules: Hercules is unaware of his heritage as a demi-god with Super Strength until he's a teenager; his lack of knowledge and control of his strength made him The Klutz and shunned by the local villagers. Until he learns the truth, goes off to search for Philoctetes and starts taking levels in badass through his Training from Hell...
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, Ginormica initially has this problem after discovering she has super strength (more than her massive form should have, at any rate). She ends up nearly crushing Derek in her excitement to see him again. Other than that, though, she manages to keep a handle on it.
  • This is a recurring problem for the titular protagonist of Wreck-It Ralph. He has a tendency of breaking things even when he doesn't intend to, going so far as to accidentally wreck up the Nicelanders' apartment complex during their game's anniversary party and kill Fix-It Felix Jr (it was okay though, he respawned).
  • The Powerpuff Girls Movie shows that the girls knew their own strength...they just didn't know how to apply it properly until—after exiling themselves on an asteroid—they sensed the Professor was in danger.
  • Mentioned in Superman Unbound by Lois and Clark about Supergirl in regards to how she takes out the thieves at the start of the movie, even naming the trope. It's justified since Kara mentions that she didn't gradually grow into her powers like Clark did. She just suddenly had them and is still trying to learn how to use them.
  • Causal example in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, when the older Spider-Man tells Miles to wait while he breaks into the Kingpin's lab. Miles hits the boulder he's resting on in annoyance... which causes the rock to split apart, Miles just says "That's new" and is inspired to follow his counterpart/mentor into the lab.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree: The first time Applejack's Super Strength manifests, she accidentally pulls Rarity to the rock-climbing wall's top with no real effort. Later, she becomes very wary of a repeat incident while working on the dock, wielding her hammer very carefully. She later learns to control it much better, but has a relapse in the Webisode "Overpowered", the result of her power getting boosted. She accidentally tears the door off her locker, then crumples it while trying to shove it back in place.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Jason Voorhees has this happen to him in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, when he throws Bert into a tree and, much to his surprise, tears his victim's arm off in the process.
  • Sky High:
    • The Commander keep a couple of those mobile landlines in a drawer in case he breaks one on a rant.
    • Also, once Will gets his super strength, he accidentally rips his front door off its hinges by opening it.
  • Spider-Man:
    • In Spider-Man Peter is ecstatic when he sends Jerk Jock Flash Thompson flying with one punch, only this gets subverted as he sees the horror and fear of classmates including MJ. Of course only Harry Osborn is excited at seeing his best friend’s Super Strength.
    • The best bits of humor in The Amazing Spider-Man was Peter struggling with his strength in regular activities e.g. turning off his arm alarm clock or brushing his teeth.
    • Mostly averted with MCU Spider-Man; see below.
  • Played with in Up, Up and Away!. The protagonist is born into a family of superheroes, but was born without a power. In order to convince his family that he's not a loser, he rigs certain things to fall apart as he uses them, such as taking the screws off the door hinges to make it appear he ripped it off. Played straight with a Noodle Incident for his father, who apparently did quite some damage to his house's foundation. Interestingly, this convinces everyone but his grandfather, who saw right through the ruse.
  • Hancock. Though in his case, it's more a case of him simply not bothering to check his superstrength.
  • In Fantastic Four (2005), The Thing is prone to doing this with drinkwear, though it could also be related to reduced sensation with his new skin making it hard to tell how much he's squeezing. His jaw muscles also increased in strength with the rest of him, as he's seen accidentally biting through the tines of a fork. Also, few chairs support his weight any more, but he doesn't always remember this.
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe this sometimes comes up:
    • Played most straight in Captain America: The First Avenger after Steve gets the Super Serum and is surprised to see what his body can now do.
    • Pepper Potts goes through this twice in Iron Man 3 first when she uses iconic Powered Armor and blows herself over trying to get the repulsor working, in the Final Battle when injected with the Extremis Virus she was bit shocked after she brutally killed the Big Bad Killian.
      Pepper That was really violent.
      • Iron Man himself occasionally forgets he is armored plated Walking Armory as when he took his first joyride in Mark 2 and when he tried to land safely on the roof of his mansion he fell two stories into his workshop... completely overlooking how heavy he was.
    • Thor, despite being Brought Down to Normal, still had Super Strength by Earth standards as seen he shoved a doctor off him... sending the doctor flying and causing a riot within the hospital. Much later in Thor: Ragnarok, the God of Thunder truly realized his namesake and sent the Hulk flying off him with a punch, Thor then stared at electricity flowing on his arms with interest.
    • The titular antagonist of Avengers: Age of Ultron accidentally slices Klaw's arm when the latter enraged him by comparing him to his creator Tony Stark. He apologizes meekly and half-heartedly as Klaw starts bleeding and gasping in pain and shock.
      • In the same movie Scarlet Witch unconsciously disintegrates three Ultron bots into dust in a moment of despair after she senses that her brother Pietro has died Taking the Bullet.
    • In Captain America: Civil War, it's said that Peter Parker has had his powers for six months and is more-or-less used to them. He knows his strength well enough to consciously hold back. Though there shades of this trope like when Spidey does a Punch Catch to Bucky's cybernetic arm and just geeks over it not knowing how deadly that arm was to everyone else before then. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spidey simply pushes a mook over and sends him flying into another mook showing how strength is behind he's simplest movements. However, at a few points in Spider-Man: Far From Home, he slips up when he's stressed, like accidentally knocking his classmate Flash Thompson unconscious with a lovetap or snapping a seat belt that won't fasten.
    • Hulk plays this very straight in Ragnarok as unlike the previous movies he's just chilling around and not on a Unstoppable Rage, at one point he unintentionally destroys a whole Quinjet just trying to reach his new best friend Thor.
  • In the fantasy-wuxia film, Na Cha the Great, the titular hero gains super strength after eating an enchanted fruit his father forbids him from touching. Suddenly feeling himself surging with energy, Na Cha decides to test his strength by punching a nearby tree - and end up splitting said tree into half, splitting all the way to the ground, and for the floor to break apart as well, inadvertantly leading to a mini-earthquake. Cue Oh, Crap! from Na Cha when his father who is caught in the quake finds out what he did.
  • The Autobots of the Transformers movie basically destroys Sam's backyard. Part of it may have been scale issues (although Cybertronians are somewhat varied in size, very few shown in the movies are anything near human-sized), but the majority was the fact that Earth construction is considerably more fragile than Cybertronian construction. They were pretty good about not damaging animal life forms, at least.
  • In Superman Returns, Clark accidentally breaks the glass in the picture frame he's holding when Jimmy surprises him with the information that "Lois is a mommy". Also while playing fetch with his mother's dog, Clark accidentally throws the ball a bit too hard, and it sails into such a far distance, that the dog doesn't even attempt to run and retrieve it just letting out a whine.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • In Man of Steel while being bullied in a Flash Back, Clark grips a fence poll to stable his anger. When Pa Kent scares the bully away, it's shown Clark has mangled the metal with his bare hand.
    • In Wonder Woman Diana is getting knocked around during her Training from Hell and she uses her bracelets to defend herself... and nearly kills her sparring partner with the blow back scaring the fellow amazons and herself. Done more positively later as Diana is climbing tower but to her horror loses her handhold and falls down but then discovers she can just dig her hand into the stone with Super Strength and climb up the fun way.
    • Wonder Woman 1984. Barbara uses the Dreamstone to Make a Wish to be just like Diana Prince, whom she admires for being beautiful and confident, but she has no idea that Diana has superpowers as well. Her first hint is when Barbara goes to open her refrigerator and rips the door off its hinges.
    • Downplayed with Barry Allen/the Flash in Justice League but he's still surprised that he can reduce Parademons to mush with his Super Speed, there'a little Fridge Horror if you consider he could've done to normal humans if wasn't careful.
      • Completely averted in Zack Snyder's Justice League. Barry knows the effects of his Super Speed on humans, and makes minimal use of it to move people around such as when he saves Iris West from a car accident with extreme care. He also saves a bunch of people in the tunnels battle, but not by moving them unlike the theatrical version, rather by preventing debris from falling on them.
    • Invoked a lot in SHAZAM! (2019), Billy is ecstatic at being able to punch through concrete but runs into trouble like ripping open his school bag and nearly killing a mugger accidentally. Billy also has trouble with his Shock and Awe powers not only does he destroy one man's phone while charging it but he nearly gets a bus people filled with people killed with one careless lightning bolt.
  • Elvis Presley's boxing movie, Kid Galahad.
  • In Kamen Rider: The First, Hongo Takeshi runs afoul of this trope in a non-comedic manner, trying to save a little girl from being hit by a truck. He scoops her up a little too forcefully, and while he does save her life, she has to be hospitalized anyway due to the pressure he put on her body.
  • At the end of Young Frankenstein, the Monster accidentally rips off Inspector Kemp's wooden arm while shaking hands. Understandable, as the brain hasn't been attached to that body for very long..
  • In the background material for The One, Yulaw was first revealed as an interdimensional offender by a fellow agent who long suspected him. He did it by asking him to carry a case upstairs and then revealing that the case was, in fact, loaded with extremely heavy weights and cannot be lifted by a normal person. Yulaw picked up the case and carried it with ease, likely thinking it was full of books. When the agent (a multiple black belts) confronted him, he ended up getting thrown down the stairs and paralyzed from the waist down. It also happens in the film with Gabe Law, who is starting to discover his newfound strength (by accidentally breaking a rifle in half).
  • Moonraker. Jaws tries to pull the ripcord on his parachute... it comes off in his hand. Later on he's chasing Bond in a speedboat, realizes he's heading for an Inevitable Waterfall and tries to jerk the steering wheel to the side; it also comes off in his hand. Being Made of Iron, he survives both Oh, Crap!-worthy moments unscathed.

  • Hagrid from the Harry Potter series, being a half-giant, has superhuman strength. Unfortunately, he seems to forget this during physical displays of affection; his Bear Hugs almost always cause someone's bones to bruise, while a friendly pat on the back has the power to make someone fall down.
  • Subverted in Dragon Bones: Gentle Giant Ward is Obfuscating Stupidity, so when a man attacks him in his own house, he throws the man into the next wall, and says "Yay, a wrestling match! I win!". However, Ward is well aware that the man didn't want to wrestle, but just wanted to hit the "harmless idiot", and he is also aware how much force he applied. However, his uncle (who believes him to be stupid) explains his behaviour with this trope, and warns the visitor that Ward is very well behaved as long as "no one lays a hand on him". Ward also likes to give a Bear Hug to anyone who does him a favour, as part of his pretending to be stupid. (One of his cousins mentions that he doesn't want to be nice to Ward, for fear of being rewarded with a Bear Hug.) As he's only pretending, Ward never actually hurts someone, he just applies enough strength to make people think that he has no idea how strong he is. His Cute Mute younger sister Ciarra is shown to enjoy his hugs, apparently he's more careful with her than with older males ... and of course he doesn't have to deceive her, she's mute.
  • This happens a lot to Mary Beth Layton in the book Superpowers. She first discovers her super strength by breaking a door knob. And a door. And the refrigerator door handle. And a pitcher. And the phone. And the toilet, the TV remote, a broom and most of her plates and bowls. She also slips up and breaks her boyfriend's ribs during sex, and beats a man to death by accident.
  • The trope is present in Soon I Will Be Invincible as one of many background details. Doctor Impossible breaks the handle of a toilet, the cyborg Fatale's weight makes hardwood floors creak and cracks tiles, and she can't use normal furniture.
  • Carrie: Believe it or not, the titular character didn't initially intend to kill anybody, but when she accidentally did, she snapped and decided everyone deserved the same fate.
  • Perhaps the Trope Maker is the protagonist from Philip Wylie's Gladiator, the character credited with inspiring the Superman mythos. His superpower is basically superstrength, and it does him no good at all in this world. He accidentally kills a man playing football, gets fired from a manual labour job because he's making everyone else look bad, gets fired from a bank job because he saves someone from suffocating in the vault, and they want to know how he opened it... The entire novel is about what, realistically, it would be like to live with superstrength. A very modern look at a superhero before there were superheroes.
  • Used in Richard Scarry's books. Hilda, an anthropomorphic hippo child, accidentally rips a door off its hinges when she is told to open the door so the students can go out to play. Later, when the door is fixed, she rips out the door along with part of the wall when she attempts the same thing.
  • Deconstructed in Ender's Game: Ender uses all his strength (including intelligence, reflexes, the environment, his own weight, his enemy's mistakes) to fight bullies, because he believes himself to be inept compared to the bullies around him, especially Peter. Then it turns out that he used too much strength and accidentally killed two people, without realizing that they weren't just unconscious. The government hushed it up until Ender won the war; he didn't take the 'trial' well.
  • In Twilight, Edward mentions something to this effect...
    Edward: You have no idea how delicate you are. I could reach out, meaning to touch your face, and crush your skull by mistake.
    • It's not clear to what extent this is actually true and to what extent it's Edward trying to cover up his crippling intimacy issues, however.
    • Bella gets this in the fourth book because brand new vampires are so damn strong. She hugs Edward and actually hurts him, something nearly impossible to do to Twilight vampires. Emmett, widely regarded as by far the strongest Cullen, is completely overpowered in the weeks immediately after Bella's transformation.
  • In What Fire Cannot Burn by John Ridley, Mutants with Super Strength do their best to avert this, but they must concentrate to avoid applying a little too much force. "Your sweaty nightmare — 'Hey, do you want to hold the baby?'"
  • In Cyborg by Martin Caidin, the novel that inspired The Six Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin accidentally broke a man's wrist with his new bionic hand. Ironically, it was right after that man figured out that Austin's bionic hand had developed a feedback that would allow him to judge how much pressure he was exerting — once he got used to it.
  • Lennie from Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck is a tragic Deconstruction of this trope, breaking the neck of a doggy by petting it too hard.
    • That's hardly the worst thing he (unintentionally) does. He also accidentally breaks Curley's wife's neck, leading to his Mercy Kill at the hands of George and one hell of a Downer Ending.
    • Curley picks a fight with Lennie; it doesn't end well for Curley. Lennie's scared to fight back, but once he does, all Lennie needs to do to stop Curley is squeeze his hand so hard that Lennie breaks his bones.
  • Derek Souza in Darkest Powers is a werewolf with an incredible protective streak over the people he cares about, which leads him to do such things as throwing another boy into a wall and breaking his back, nearly tossing Chloe across a room while merely trying to keep her from stomping off, and breaking Liam's neck, killing him - and all of this completely by accident.
    • Granted, nearly all of the main characters with the exception of Simon could probably fit under this trope, as their DNA has been tweaked, thus making their individual abilities much, much, much stronger than usual and leading to random outbursts of power. Most notably Chloe's accidentally raising the dead in her sleep, Derek's already mentioned feats, and Liz's telekinetic tantrum right before she is taken away and murdered because she cannot control her powers.
  • The magic version is used in the Tortall Universe. Most wizards can put out a candle by magic; if Numair tried it he'd just cause an explosion.
  • A bit of a Running Gag in the Star Trek Novel Verse whenever a character has to have a missing limb replaced with a "biosynthetic" prosthetic. One engineer manages to crush his communicator in his new hand, and remarks that at the moment he can punch a hole in a wall for a power coupling but holding an egg or shaking hands would be problematic.
  • Halo: The Fall of Reach explains that John (the future Master Chief) experienced this following his augmentation surgery, leading him to wonder if the artificial gravity in the gym where he was exercising had been reduced. Shortly afterwards he was forced into a spar against four veteran Helljumpers, with John accidentally killing two as a result of this trope (it's pretty much stated that the fight was deliberately set up to test the effectiveness of his augmentations; since then, there's been bad blood between the ODSTs and the Spartans).
  • Scarlet of the The Ultra Violets, mostly thanks to her powers being superhuman dancing skills before the super-strength kicked in.
  • The Wagner family in The Last Superhero are prone to this. It forced Orville to give up superheroing due to also being The Klutz, and his son, John Jr., casually mentions in the narrative that he's broken the limbs and ribs of his classmates occasionally by accident.
  • In Alien in a Small Town, the hulking alien Paul knows how frail Indira will become as she ages, and he's terrified of accidentally hurting her.
    He had imagined her in this state years before, when he feared that if his massive hand even touched her in this condition, she would break like a hollow eggshell.
  • Even at only a few weeks old, Wiggle and his littermates from Survivor Dogs were showing signs of the strength they'd have as adults. During a play-fight, he bit Lucky (a grown dog) too hard because his adult fangs were growing in. When tussling, Lucky notes that it won't be long before Wiggle is the one who needs to hold back. This strength made others like Alpha and Sweet, who are dislike Fierce Dogs, wary of the triplets.
  • Schooled in Magic: A magical variation. Those with powerful magical talent (such as Emily) often have difficulty learning alchemy, because using magic to control alchemical reactions requires a light touch.
  • The Haunting of Drearcliff Grange School: Gillian Little is a Gentle Giant, eleven years old and already over six feet tall and a foot wide at the shoulders. She's been known to get trapped in rooms after accidentally pulling the doorknob off.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, shortly after Daylen gets his powers, he gives "a good thump" to a local villager who accosts him, and ends up shattering most of his ribs. Thankfully, Ahrek is at hand to both heal the man before he dies and to give Daylen a well-deserved tongue-lashing. After this, Daylen admits how reckless he was and is a lot more careful about using his strength against people who don't have his kind of powers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This trope was formerly named "Ace Lightning Syndrome", after the titular character in the CGI-animated TV program Ace Lightning, who had quite the tendency towards smashing his human sidekicks' household appliances when he arrived in the 'real world', super strength and all (not to mention his need to absorb energy in order to survive resulted in the destruction of much electrical equipment. And apparently Mark's family's electric bill was costing them a fortune).
  • Altered Carbon. Lieutenant Ortega doesn't even realise her arm has been replaced by an artificial limb until she bends a rail on the hospital gurney she's lying on.
  • In Angel episode "Carpe Noctem" Angel's Vampire body is taken over by a Dirty Old Man Marcus who at one point while out on the town, gets into a fight and sends a dude flying with a single punch causing Marcus to yell "NICE!" in glee.
  • Bionic Woman. After discovering her Mad Scientist fiancee has turned her into a bionic woman, Jaime Sommers decides to stop looking for Mr Right and settle for Mr Right Now. At that moment a handsome stranger catches her eye; Smash Cut to them making out in the toilet. Unfortunately Jaime accidentally breaks one of his ribs in her enthusiasm, putting an abrupt end to events.
  • There's an accidental version in Blake's 7. In "Headhunter", a character breaks off the teleport control handle when he grabs it violently. This is nothing unusual given the No Budget sets, but he's later revealed to be an android disguised as a human, so this trope could be in play also.
  • Bonanza: The Season 2 episode "The Ape" used this trope as its centerpiece: a lonely, mentally challenged man named Arnie desperately seeking both love and a chance at owning his own farm causing great physical harm to people who cruelly mock him. Hoss sees potential in Arnie and tries to mentor him, but his efforts are always thwarted by Arnie's desire to marry a barmaid, Shari, who wants nothing to do with him ... and Arnie's own temper and inability to realize that, due to his tremendous strength, he can kill a man rather easily. Hoss repeatedly tries to warn Arnie that he doesn't know his own strength. Before the episode ends, Arnie indeed kills at least two people: a Ponderosa ranch hand who had mocked his slow, awkward ways; and Shari, after he attempts to gift her with an expensive strand of pearls), who slaps the necklace away and tells him he's just a big old, dumb "ape" (Arnie grabs the much smaller Shari by the neck and shake her violently, until she dies). When Hoss realizes what Arnie has done, he tries to get Arnie to understand that he killed someone (and possibly a second person, too) and that he has to go to jail. Arnie then knocks down Hoss and tries to flee. When a sheriff's posse surrounds Arnie, he picks up a huge boulder and attempts to hurl it toward everybody, forcing them to gun him down.
  • The Boys (2019). In "Get Some", Popclaw has sex with a man while high on Compound V, and during orgasm she squeezes her thighs around his head so much she cracks his skull open. As the whole thing was Caught on Tape, the Boys use this to blackmail her for information.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy has this problem quite often.
      • She accidentally smashes her alarm clock with her super strength, then sweep the pieces into a drawer of likewise broken alarm clocks.
      • In "The Initiative" she accidentally tears the handle off a yogurt machine in the college cafeteria and makes a mess.
      • There are several occasions when Buffy hugs someone too hard and has to be told to let go. When she glomps the surgeon who tells her Joyce's operation was a success, his ribs creak ominously and he shouts in pain.
      • During the season one episode "Witch", she accidentally throws one of her classmates across the gym during cheerleading practice.
    • In "A New Man", Giles awakens one morning as a large and powerful demon after being cursed. He walks through his home and accidentally tears the banister off of his stairs, smashes a phone when he tries to call for help, rips through his favorite shirt, and breaks the front door off its hinges. The irony of course is that Giles is normally a mild-mannered British librarian.
    • During her introduction in "No Place Like Home", Glory causes the interior of a warehouse to cave in by merely stomping her foot in a hissy fit. For once this is a good thing, as she was chasing Buffy at the time.
  • In Caprica, this is how Zoey Greystone killed her early Love Interest Philomon. Had some terribly bad consequences.
  • Played with on Charmed when a spell cast on their police buddy gave him Superman-like strength and invulnerability. Has him accidentally ripping the door off a police cruiser, but only mildly bruising the suspect.
  • The unsub in the Criminal Minds episode "Damaged" turns out to be a big and strong but mentally challenged man who was childlike and arguably did not intend to kill his victims.
  • The Flash (2014). While still getting used to his the A.T.O.M. suit, Ray Palmer does a Three-Point Landing and cracks the concrete.
  • Eun Bi, an ex-high school delinquent, from Flower Boy Ramyun Shop says this after playfully hitting Ba Wool around the back of the head and he comments that it really hurts.
  • Sometimes a problem for The Greatest American Hero.
  • Happens to Gilligan on Gilligan's Island in the episode where the castaways ate radioactive vegetables. Gilligan ate a lot of spinach, giving him super strength.
  • An episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys takes place in modern times and involves the creators of the show going on a retreat in order to improve the show. The star Kevin Sorbo also comes along, except that he's really Hercules (yes, a Greek demigod pretending to be an actor playing a Greek demigod). During a dinner outside, he gets over-excited and slams the long dinner table, breaking it in half. The host blames the rotten wood and laughs it off. Of course, it's revealed at the end of the episode that the host is, in fact, Ares in disguise.
  • In UPN super-spy show Jake 2.0, the main character mostly dodged this because his powers were mostly by activation; nevertheless, there was at least one occasion where his little brother pissed him off, resulting in him accidentally breaking off the handle to his car door. He also put a ton of holes in the walls of his apartment trying to gently tap in nails.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Hongo Takeshi from the original Kamen Rider. In fact, a recurring source of Angst in the earlier episodes was Hongo's fear that his superhuman abilities would make it impossible for him to live a normal life. In one episode, he freaks out after accidentally injuring a child (by crushing his fingers) during a misguided attempt to comfort the boy.
    • Early on, Kintaros from Kamen Rider Den-O suffered from this, or at least K-Ryotaro/K-Masaru(first possessee), breaking everything from park benches to lamp posts.
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O: Cranked Up to Eleven, with Sougo Tokiwa. What was intentionally considered to be Sougo seeing future events via dreaming, it is in reality him unintentionally influencing and even outright shaping the future according to what he sees in those very dreams. In others words, Sougo is unconsciously creating new timelines simply by dreaming.
  • In Lois & Clark, after being exposed to red kryptonite, Clark's powers get boosted beyond his control. His strength gets boosted to the point that when he hugs Lois, it gives her bruises on her arms, turns their place into a mess after he sneezes and accidentally breaks a chair from getting up too quickly. Surprisingly, doesn't happen much in the episode where Clark gets Laser-Guided Amnesia and forgets who (and what) he is. His dad has to hit him with a baseball bat (the only time when a father saying "It'll hurt me more than you" while hitting his son is true) to prove it.
  • Power Rangers Time Force: Katie comes from a future of Designer Babies, and possesses superhuman strength as a result. She's also fond of hugging her teammates.
  • The Price Is Right: On numerous occasions during the Bob Barker era, overly excited contestants who were Samoans would pick up Barker, bearhug him, and otherwise get very affectionate with him, causing him brief physical discomfort. Often, but not always, these instances occurred after the contestant won a pricing game. A running joke was that, every time a Samoan contestant appeared on the show, Barker would claim that a past Samoan contestant injured him (before playfully admonishing the new contestant to keep her distance). This gag was downplayed and eventually forgotten upon Drew Carey's appointment as host, and never came into play with either Dennis James or Tom Kennedy.
  • Smallville:
    • In "Blank", Clark has his memories removed, resulting in him ripping the door to his home from its hinges as he literally doesn't know his own strength.
    • Chloe once winced when he grabbed her shoulders with unnecessary force. In "Persona", when Chloe admits she couldn't help with what he is doing, Clark grabbed her arm forcibly, only to let her go quickly. It tipped her off that he is actually Bizarro.
    • In "Warrior", a newly empowered superhero accidentally crushes Chloe's hand.
  • Stargate SG-1: In "Upgrades", Jack, Sam, and Daniel are all equipped with an alien wristband that enhances the wearer's speed and strength, if only for a limited amount of time. In the episode, Jack crushes a grip-meter and accidentally takes a chunk out of General Hammond's wall just by lazily kicking it. He also knocks Sgt. Siler off a balcony while trying to high-five him. In this case, said alien tech grants super strength and poor judgement. Siler was a genuine accident. The other two times were demonstrations of his strength, just poorly thought out.
    • They also got into a bar fight, earning themselves a rebuke from General Hammond. After all, with their strength and speed, they could have easily killed those guys (especially since Jack is a Colonel Badass).
  • Star Trek:
    • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Amok Time", we get a look at how strong Vulcans really are when Spock loses control and manages to completely destroy his computer terminal. Other times when Spock loses control he becomes really scary because of it. In another episode when Kirk had to provoke Spock into a murderous fury to free his mind from an alien influence, he noted in his log that he might die before Spock comes back to his senses. He nearly does.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • The holodeck malfunctions, replacing characters in a Wild West simulation with recreations of Data, with his approximate physical abilities as well. Some of the characters are weaselly cowards and otherwise unaware of their enhanced strength, but others are the Big Bad of the story and also unaware of their strength.
      • In "Masks", an alien probe starts taking over the Enterprise, and Data, who gets possessed by it. At one point, Data grabs Picard's wrist and Picard visibly freaks out as he knows Data could easily crush it (and is possibly already holding it way too hard).
    • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Worf (yes, that Worf) relates a story of when he was 13, playing soccer, and accidentally headbutted a player on the opposing team. Since Klingons are much stronger than humans and have ridged foreheads, the other kid's neck was snapped and died of his injuries shortly after. He uses the incident to explain why he's not a Boisterous Bruiser like other Klingons.
  • Provides some of the fun when super-strong-ordinary-girl Do Bong-soon overdoes it in Korean drama "Strong Girl Bong-soon".
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • In "World's Finest", a crossover with The Flash (2014), Kara gives Barry a friendly slap on the back, causing him to wince in pain and her to say, "Sorry."
    • In "Legion of Superheroes", Kara describes finding a stray cat shortly after arriving on Earth. She fed him, but was afraid to touch him at first for fear of accidentally hurting him. Finally, she was sufficiently sure of herself in that regard to pick him up and pet him, which helped her feel a bit more at home.
    • In "Truth, Justice and the American Way", Kara Danvers claims she's not angry after meeting Siobhan. Barry then informs her that she's just broken the phone she's holding.
  • The Tick (2001): The live-action series has a gag where Arthur shakes hands with the Champion, and Arthur clutches his hand in pain, then the Tick shakes hands with the Champion and the Champion recoils in pain.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "The Little People", one of the giant spacemen accidentally crushes Peter Craig to death when he picks him up to examine him. He feels guilty about it.
  • The Umbrella Academy (2019):
    • Number 1 aka Luther has this problem frequently as his size and strength guarantees he’ll break something when indoors, at one point when fighting Diego he punches over a statue and later he rips a bar door off it hinges when in a hurry. Still that’s nothing compared to when he’s piss drunk and depressed as Luther casually shoves his brother Klaus, sending the latter flying across the room. In Season 2 after getting fired from his seedy club after losing a match during his Despair Event Horizon smacks the brickwork in his room in frustration making a big hole, to the amusement of his brother Five who’s waiting outside. Luther uses the new window he made, to flip Five off.
    • Played for Drama with Number 7 aka Vanya once she inadvertently unlocks her destructive powers (that were suppressed since childhood) she damages streetlights and cars while angrily ranting and when she and her boyfriend Leonard get attacked by three drunk men she accidentally kills two of them. Worse still Vanya in a moment of rage slits her sister Allison’s throat with Razor Wind by mistake, which is her Start of Darkness to becoming a supervillain.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Greek Mythology:
    • Herakles/Hercules got very annoyed with his music teacher, Linus, for telling him he was playing music wrong. So Heracles slugged Linus with his lyre, or with a stool... and killed him. Oops. The first evidence of this story is in vase-paintings of the 5th century BC, making this one Older Than Feudalism. In another version, Linus slugged Hercules first. When Hercules was on trial, he was acquitted on the grounds that "everybody has a right to return a slug".
    • Hera would taunt him with visions to make him angry enough to smash his wife/kids/best friends/cities and then feel so guilty about it he'd go on a near-suicidal adventure in order to atone for it. The gods and goddesses of Greek myth wobbled back and forth from being actual physical gods and being embodiments of abstract ideas, depending on who you asked. So there's a thin line between an artificial wrath brought on by Hera's mind control and a natural wrath that gets associated with Hera because Hera, goddess of marriage who is married to the biggest Casanova in the Greek pantheon, is the living embodiment of jealous rage.
  • Ilia Muromets, one of Russian legendary heroes, was super-strong, and sometimes hurt people by things like hugging. It didn't help that he just didn't bother to get up until age 32, so he hadn't practiced social interaction much.
    • Another hero, Svyatogor, was literally so strong the earth refused to hold him and was thus confined to a mountain range which was somewhat less finicky.
      • Some variations of the Muromets story have him receive super strength, and immediately having half of it drained away so that he won't end up like Svyatogor.
    • Vasiliy Buslaev, a hero of the Novgorod epic cycle, is a young ne'er-do-well who doesn't realize his insane strength. This leads to people's arms and legs being casually ripped off.
  • In the Finnish epic The Kalevala, this trope is Kullervo's shtick. For every task he is given to do, he always does it "according to his strength," not according to what the task requires, so he ruins whatever he attempts. Tell him to fell trees, and he magics the whole forest into a wasteland where nothing grows. Tell him to build a fence, and he builds a sky-high and airtight one. Later his father takes him fishing but he completely wastes the boat rowing and kills every fish in the lake trying to set the nets.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Played for laughs in The Muppet Show episode starring Christopher Reeve (way before his accident). The guest star is explaining to Miss Piggy that he wasn't at all chosen for the role of Superman on account of his strength... while accidentally tearing apart a cupboard door. Miss Piggy's reaction: "Yeah, right..."

  • Joshua Oliphant in Revolting People, who tears the house to bits by accident, and wrestles bears to death while trying to make friends with them. Played for Laughs, obviously.

  • Alfred, the Bison construction worker from Darwin's Soldiers, possesses extreme strength. Most of the time he is in control of it but if he is angry then things tend to get destroyed. For instance, he crushed a piece of concrete that he was planning to use as an Improvised Weapon. A more extreme example was when he started pounding on Aisha's door and leaves the door looking like someone had taken a sledgehammer to it. And he accidentally knocked over a vending machine while trying to free a stuck snack.
  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Daigo isn't immediately aware that his superpower grants him enhanced strength. He only finds out when he accidentally crushes a street lamp, and then a man's arm when he prevents him from beating up his girlfriend.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In The Dresden Files RPG, near the write-up for the Supernatural Strength power, Harry writes in the margins that it's really easy to accidentally kill someone with a simple punch at this power level.
    • Although ironically this is one of the games where the rules don't really back that statement up. If you take an opponent out of a conflict in the Fate system (which The Dresden Files uses), you decide — within reason — just how exactly that happens, and thus settling for a "mere" knockout blow is just about always an option unless you're dealing with a particularly bloodthirsty GM. (On the third hand, nothing whatsoever prevents a character regardless of their "technical" strength level from being created with a relevant aspect — which could even literally be "Does Not Know His/Her Own Strength", they're freeform that way — and playing the trope dead straight to earn fate points, be that in combat, outside it, or both.)
  • Cyberpunk 2020 has an inset in the section about Cyberware which features Ripperjack having a bad night due to his cyberware punching through cheap concrete and crushing the big pipe he tried to grab to keep from falling into a metal pretzel.

    Video Games 
  • While just about everyone in Disgaea has ridiculous DBZ-levels of Super Strength, only Flonne's shown some difficulty in controlling it: at one point, she hastily shoves Laharl away (to prevent him from performing Percussive Maintenance on poor Mr. DVD Player) and ends up rocketing him across the room.
    • The Vita port of Disgaea 3 brings us Rutile, a halfling Nekomata whom transfers to Evil Academy to get a better hold of her demonic strength. It becomes a little hard to make friends when a casual handshake can break people's arms.
  • A trailer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution has Jensen accidentally cracking a glass as he tries to hold it with one of his new cybernetic arms.
  • The Legend of Zelda: This tends to be a problem with Gorons, being rock people that could give human bodybuilders a run for their money.
    • In Ocarina of Time, After clearing the Dodongo's Cavern, Darunia the Goron decides that he and Link are now sworn brothers, and gives him a hearty pat on the shoulder. It goes about as well as you'd expect, especially when all of the Gorons decide it's time for a Group Hug, which causes Link to run away screaming at the top of his lungs.
    • A similar thing happens in Breath of the Wild, when Daruk gives Link a playful pat on the back that nearly breaks the poor Hylian's spine.
  • Touhou:
    • Flandre Scarlet of the possesses extreme physical strength and the ability to destroy absolutely anything at will... except she does not know how to control this power. In fact, she was locked away in a basement for 495 years as a result of her unstable and potential destructibility. According to fandom, those she "plays with" do not last long...
    • Entirely averted with the oni Yuugi Hoshiguma, the physically strongest of the entire cast, whose self-control is such that just getting her to spill a drop of the sake she holds in one hand in a wide bowl while fighting is considered the only plausible way of winning against her.
  • It's not raw physical strength, but Nadia Grell of Star Wars: The Old Republic is the only known Force-Sensitive of her species. Unfortunately, her powers grew with no one to train her. No worries about her getting Drunk on the Dark Side (she's entirely too sweet for that), but rocks and trees do have a tendency to explode if she gets too excited.
  • In Devil May Cry 3 after Dante is defeated by Vergil and unlocks his Devil Trigger he staggers over to a pillar and smacks it in frustration, the pillar shudders and then breaks apart. Dante looks at his hand excited, the music kicks in and he gets a Heroic Second Wind worth nothing Dante had Super Strength before then but it seems his DT has boosted it to point he has it unconsciously.
  • CPU Yellow Heart and her spoiler-to-name non-HDD self in Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, who is capable of knocking enemies over the horizon without trying. Demonstrated in one of her team-up skills where she punts an enemy at a teammate, expected them to hit it back, but puts so much force into it the enemy just cleans them up on the way through.
  • Dynasty Warriors: Guan Yinping beats down stone walls for training, and it shows, as she has a tendency to accidentally rip bricks out of masonry and nearly dislocates people's shoulders when helping them up. Her issue isn't that she doesn't know how strong she is, but rather being raised in her Badass Family means her frame of reference is slightly off.
  • Soul Calibur III & IV: That'd be Sophitia's younger sister, Cassandra, who has a bad habit of breaking her sister's swords, due to how roughly she handles them.
    • Her brother-in-law, Rothion, repaired them the first time, after Cassandra returned from her first journey (SC II). However, her next outting concluded with her shattering her sword again. Only this time, Sophitia put her foot down and marched her down to the smithy to fix it, herself.
    • But in SC IV, she finally put that muscle to good use, by breaking Soul Calibur as payback for all the hell it had put Sophitia through.
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon has Bewear, the Strong Arm Pokemon, a big cuddly bear that is Beary Friendly and loves to give hugs to its Trainer to show its affection. However, its immense strength means that said Trainer is unfortunately crushed to death, unless they have taught it how to ease up.
  • In Hector: Badge of Carnage, Hector is shockingly strong for a fat man, but is incapable of holding back his strength. This becomes a problem where the player needs to "Fight like a cow" which Hector can't do since the softest hit he can do is still a swift jab to the face, thus requiring his partner Lambert (a scrawny weakling) to fill in.
  • Path of Exile: The assassin Vorici gives players missions that can involve killing a target but not all of his guards, all of his guards but not the target, or reducing the target to low life but leaving him alive. This can be difficult for characters who are built to obliterate half the screen with a wave of their hand, and can require some awkward workarounds like removing almost all their supports, or repeatedly using a movement skill that deals almost no damage to wear them down.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the crown prince of the Kingdom of Faerghus, Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd, has incredible physical strength, but has trouble keeping it from interfering with more dexterous tasks. He asks his friend Mercedes to teach him needlework in their support chain, and somehow manages to accidentally bend a pair of scissors with his physical strength alone, and sits out of participating in a fishing contest for fear that he’d accidentally snap his fishing rod in half. It's been a problem for years: His Childhood Friend Felix won't let him live down the fact that he used to accidentally snap swords in half as a child.
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening, prince Chrom of the Halidom of Ylisse is remarkably strong, but clumsy enough with it that he regularly destroys training dummies during his sword training, and handles mundane objects so hard that he breaks them, much to his chagrin.
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake has a heartbreaking example with Cloud and Tifa. Late in the game after Section 7 has been completely destroyed by Shinra, Tifa breaks down completely at losing her home for a second time and cries on her childhood friend’s chest. Cloud who up until that point had been very hesitant to open up to those close to him, finally gives into his feelings and hugs Tifa tightly in response but being a Mako-powered Super Soldier, his strong embrace actually hurts her slightly.

  • Champions of Far'aus: Leilusa and Hyperion sometimes forget that they are Physical Gods from another realm of existence who are much stronger than the mortals who work for them. Thankfully it just leads to occasional Slapstick humor.
  • Lola and Mr. Wrinkles: Hugo, a St. Bernard, leaves Mr. Wrinkles feeling bulldozed after a hug.
  • A common flaw in Magellan Academy, since most of the students are superpowered and in training. A particularly noteworthy case would be the superstrong but not invulnerable Justine Kef, strong enough to lift massive weights but with normal human bone structure. She can break herself if she uses too much strength outside of her super suit.
  • In this Sluggy Freelance strip, while Aylee's getting used to being Torg's secretary, she tends to accidentally drive her fingers right through the computer keyboard.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, when Bob briefly gains Super Strength, he manages to stop a bank robbery... but accidentally destroys the bank in the process.
  • In The Order of the Stick, the Monster In The Darkness DOES know it's super strong, it just still can't control its strength as demonstrated here.
  • In Tales of the Questor, this happens as an one off joke when Quentyn reunites with his friend, Kestral at her engineering school. She gives him a big hug and inadvertently hurts him because her vigorous studies having increased her strength considerably and she is not yet fully in control of it.
  • Summer Mighty of Everyday Heroes has trouble controlling her new-found strength, resulting in a kitchen remodel.
  • Spinnerette: Not as bad as most, but Heather's still getting used to her new strength, as well as having six arms, as seen when she bear hugs Sahira.
  • The first time Walky and Joyce have sex in It's Walky!, they wreck most of the furniture in their hotel room. As one of the hotel employees says, "Man of steel, woman of steel, bed of Kleenex."
  • Equius of Homestuck would like to use bows and arrows as his Weapon of Choice, but can't actually wield them without the bow snapping like a twig when he draws it. The only safe outlet for him to let off his frustration is through beating the shit out of robots in cage matches.
    • He also loves drinking milk. It's too bad he can't pick up a glass of it without shattering it in his hand.
  • Karin-dou 4koma: Tamaryu, a Super-Strong Child thanks to being a dragon:
    • Her attempt at bowling sends her ball into orbit.
    • Her attempt at smashing a watermelon rends it into a fine pink spray.
    • Her attempt at filling up an inflatable pool causes a blast that knocks Kinka out. Seren makes a note to not teach her CPR until she's learned to take it easy.
    • After Kinka explains her token attempts at Percussive Maintenance on a fan that just stopped working, Tamaryu decides to help out with a "light chop" that splits the fan in half.
  • Zig-Zagging Trope with the title character from Poppy O'Possum; she's very much aware of her own strength, and treats it like no big deal (to the incredulity of those around her). However, she occasionally misjudges how much strength is needed for a given situation, such as when she opens the iron gates to Eggton when the guards refuse to let her in - resulting in one of the doors becoming unhinged and being sent flying off into the nearby countryside.
  • Once Stung: In short order after getting her super powers, Cynthia breaks Jessica's finger, winds a football player by throwing the ball back to him and busting hole in her bedroom wall.
  • Grrl Power: Colonel Maxima sometimes forgets things have weight. The Flavor Text at the bottom of the comic also mentions that she "forgets things can be hot, sharp or fast" as well.
  • PS238 shows the result of Julie "84" hugging Moon Shadow in his Revenant-provided jet: He's uninjured, but she wrapped the pilot seat around him.
  • In Superline, after Logan develops super strength, he has difficulty handling things gently and breaks just about everything he touches, even after barely picking it up.
  • Princess Princess: The Ogre was just trying to express himself through dance, but his size and clumsiness unwittingly caused a lot of destruction to a village in the process.

    Web Original 
  • In a JonTron video Regis Philbin's Epic Workout when he's asked to get a stapler from a drawer he pulls out the whole desk with his arm impressed that his workout routine is working.
  • Common problem in the Whateley Universe: Phase can change her density from intangible to super-dense. When she first manifested, she smashed her bathroom, bent her tub, and then went light and couldn't stop sinking through the floor. One of the things Whateley Academy teaches is control of powers. The bricks routinely have assignments like carrying a raw egg around to learn control.
    • Probably a better example than Phase (who for all her worrying has remarkable fine control over her powers already) would be Compiler, a girl who used her mutant gift for nanotechnology to give herself the superhuman strength and speed her mutation itself failed to provide and that she hasn't quite learned to keep from activating purely by accident yet.
    • Another good example is Diz Aster, who is a Brick along the same lines as Lancer - except that her telekinetic field can't produce anything less than 7 tons of force. This also means that she can't even feel anything, since her shields extend to a few millimetres past her skin; by the time Chaka starts helping out, it's been a year since anyone's been able to touch Diz — or since she's been able to touch anyone else.
    • An equally good example might be Tennyo — whose powers include the ability to throw around beams of energy that flood the area around her with radiation. Since Tennyo herself is immune to the effects of her powers, she's rarely aware of what's happening until it's too late. This got Lampshaded in a chapter of The Great Shoulder Angel Conspiracy, where the instructors for Team Tactics pointed out that Tennyo can't just throw radiation-heavy energy around wildly without noticing if she wants the rescue mission to be a success... so they gave her a belt-attachable radiation detector, so that she can keep an eye on the levels she's putting out.

    Web Videos 
  • The Noob webseries and comic show Gologotha to having friendly gestures towards Gaea that seem to genuinely hurt her, both in-game and in real life. Gaea comments about "almost getting killed by Gologotha's greeting" at some point in the comic.

    Western Animation 
  • The Tick had a tendency to leave crumbling footprints embedded in the roofs of buildings whenever he went Roof Hopping. The Tick has done the door thing, too. And generally causes massive amounts of collateral damage. It isn't that he is unused to his strength so much as that he's clumsy, insane and not very bright. And Nigh Invulnerable, so he doesn't necessarily notice if he bangs his head on a doorframe hard enough to put a hole in the wall.
  • This problem can sometimes happen with Benders in Avatar: The Last Airbender especially inexperienced ones.
  • On the more realistic side of things, Bill Dauterive in King of the Hill has a surprisingly high amount of strength despite what his age and body-type would imply. Back in his football days, he was known as the "Billdozer" for his uncanny ability to just keep pushing through an opposing team's entire defensive line to make a goal. Even at his current age, he's able to pull off similar feats if the situation is dire enough, and the reason he rarely does is because he has so little self-confidence that he never really tries.
  • Shujaa the gorilla in The Lion Guard keeps causing damage because of this. Scar gets his minions to pick fights with the guard to get Shujaa to cause more damage. Beshte, the hippo who’s the guard’s strongest, teaches him how to slow down and think before he acts. Interestingly, Beshte himself has this happen at the Tree of Life when he is trying to meet new animals. They think he’s attacking and have to be re introduced to see he’s not a bad guy.
  • Bulkhead of Transformers Animated has this problem fairly often, in no small part to being the biggest Autobot and in a world much too small for him. In an online short, he's shown causing gale-force winds to blow away a park full of people just by applauding.
  • In Transformers: Prime, Bulkhead says that the Autobots know both when to use force and how much to use... and breaks some of Ratchet's equipment by way of demonstration. "Hey, I NEEDED that!" Unlike Animated Bulkhead, this version isn't clumsy but it's implied that he still heavily restrains himself because even among Cybertronians he is an abnormally big and powerful bot. Part of his relationship with Miko is her encouraging him to unleash his strength when necessary.
  • Mr. Strong on The Mr. Men Show. His Catchphrase always comes up after an incident involving his strength: "Aw, I barely touched it."
  • The Justice League episode "Only a Dream" referenced this trope. When Dr. Destiny traps Superman in his worst nightmare, said nightmare involves Superman losing control of his strength and accidentally crushing Jimmy Olsen to death when he tries to hug him. Of course, Superman's "No More Holding Back" Speech in the grand finale mentions that he's constantly holding himself back, for fear of hurting those around him.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold in "The Super-Batman of Planet X" when Green Arrow arrives on Zur-En-Arrh to retrieve Batman, he unknowingly becomes a Flying Brick in the alien atmosphere. Ollie is very surprised when he indents the rocket with his hand, then quickly becomes gleeful as he starts flying around, then Batman ever the killjoy comes in and removes Green Arrow's superpowers much to the latter’s disappointment.
  • In the Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes episode "Bait And Switch," Reed experiences this as a result of having switched powers with Ben.
  • The infant Bamm-Bamm on The Flintstones. Later spinoffs (that feature Bamm-Bamm as a child, teenager or adult) usually show him as fully aware of/in control of his strength. "He's the strongest toddler in the whole land, tear your arm off it he shakes your hand..."
  • George Jetson becomes this in The Jetsons when he gains super strength from a thinking device which breaks down causing him to be stuck in this form. He breaks everything at the slightest touch.
  • Kim Possible had a few of these moments when she briefly ended up with the Super Strength of Hego, a Superman Substitute. For most of those moments, though, she hadn't yet realized what had happened, making it a literal case of not knowing her own strength.
  • Hercules: The Animated Series focuses on Herc's teen years and has this as a running gag.
  • Teen Titans's Starfire is an alien from a planet where everybody has superstrength, resulting, when she comes to Earth, in a world-of-cardboard effect as Superman described it (not the trope). Particularly unfortunate as she fond of hugging her friends.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Luna Eclipsed", Princess Luna renders Fluttershy unconscious by hugging her. She also makes cracks in the ground with her footsteps a few times.
    • Derpy Hooves. She's also The Klutz. Needless to say, it's a recipe for disaster.
    • In "A Canterlot Wedding," Queen Chrysalis is shocked to find that consuming the love between Princess Cadance and Shining Armor has given her enough power to defeat Princess Celestia in a one-on-one Wizard Duel.
    • In Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, Twilight has trouble performing even the most basic magic after the power transfer, blowing up the door to the Golden Oaks Library simply by trying to open it and briefly teleporting to random spots all across Equestria. It isn't until Tirek comes after her that she gets a handle on her power, if only because she's no longer trying to hold it back.
    • In A Rockhoof and a Hard Place, Rockhoof starts a new job as a teacher at the School of Friendship, and immediately starts breaking things due to being careless with his raw strength. (presumably, Equestria 1000 years ago didn't have as many breakable things)
    • Baby ponies are shown to have this issue, with the Cakes being warned their newborn twins Pound and Pumpkin will have this issue by Twilight, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash. They're right, and Pinkie Pie finds this out the hard way. Taken Up to Eleven with Princess Flurry Heart, who is a baby Alicorn and a large part of the damage she causes is because she has no idea how powerful she actually is.
  • Nanny of Count Duckula suffered from this, causing many instances of There Was a Door and We Have the Keys.
  • In Ben 10, Ben has a rarely-unlocked form called Way Big. He's a nod to the heroes of the Ultra Series and is cosmically-powered, so his strength is not simply what his size implies if you ignore the Square-Cube Law. The race's native environment is inside cosmic storms and they really aren't born to live in a world with anyone or anything that's breakable. A great deal of real estate can be obliterated with little effort if Ben doesn't keep himself in check, as witnessed once in a story taking place in the future: A villain made the grave error of hurting Ben's son. When Ben flattened him with one punch, a decent chunk of the city got flattened as well.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: Bullwinkle invokes the line on himself in a bumper of his show after pulling a wild animal out of his hat instead of his intended rabbit.
  • Really Really Big Man, the resident superhero of Rocko's Modern Life, suffers from this problem, especially in his day job as a mild-mannered (female) reporter, as he cheerfully walks into the office, ripping off doors and smashing holes in the floorboards with each step. Even as his heroic self, he seems somewhat unaware of just how potentially destructive he can be, as those lovable little Poots find out to their cost...
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy has several characters such as Ed, Sarah and Rolf showing feats of superstrength, and sometimes (mostly Ed) causing collateral damage because of it. In "Eds-aggerate", Rolf even hangs a lampshade when he pulls some of the kids out of a pipe, they get sent flying and land on a wheelbarrow full of dirt, catapulting the contents right onto himself.
    Rolf: Rolf is too strong for his own good.
  • In one episode of X-Men, a nebbish archaelogist discovers how to transfer the power of The Juggernaut from Cain Marko to himself. Immediately after becoming Juggernaut he accidentally tears off the door from his fridge.
  • Kaeloo:
    • Bad Kaeloo has Super Strength, but sometimes forgets about it. In one episode, she hugs her friends and their heads explode.
    • In one episode, Eugly gives Stumpy a high-five which sends him flying into the air and crashing into a nearby tree.
  • Robot Chicken has a parody of Man of Steel in which Pa Kent suffers a heart attack. Clark attempts to provide CPR, but his super breath inflates and deflates Pa like a balloon until his hands and feet pop off. Then he tries chest compressions and collapses Pa's chest while sending his head flying.
  • Zeke's Pad: In "Art is Bigger Than Life", Zeke's drawing accidentally turns him into an eight-foot-tall massive muscle bound freak. Not knowing his own strength, Zeke breaks things, rips off doors, and is generally misunderstood.

    Real Life 
  • There's a nervous system disorder that prevents people from telling quite how much pressure they're applying to something — though unless they're ridiculously strong, it's rarely ever a problem. Or unless they're handling something light and delicate, like paper or a neurosurgical operation. Children with this condition can have serious problems when it comes to things like pencils and crayons- they can't accurately gauge how hard they're holding them so they regularly snap them. This can also cause severe difficulty in learning how to write- holding the pencil or pen too hard makes writing neatly difficult and causes significant strain on the writer's hand.
  • Inverted (cruelly) with leprosy. It's not that they injure others, but that they injure themselves since their sense of touch is severely reduced. Couple that with a high rate of infections leading to gangrene and disfigurement. Thankfully there is a cure.
    • Far, far more prevalent is diabetes, where neuropathy (damage to nerves) combined with poor circulation lead to this, eventually resulting in a terrifying amount of preventable amputations. It's also much harder to reverse diabetes than eliminate leprosy. There are other causes of neuropathy as well.
  • Though nowhere near as extreme in fiction, can happen with some people devoid of any nervous disorders. Common with young men who are just realizing that they've suddenly gained a bunch of muscle mass.
  • And athletes. It's not uncommon for water polo players to under-estimate their strength and over-estimate the other player's strength, and dunk someone/give them a nosebleed/really hurt someone without realizing it.
  • André the Giant was this way. He was extremely careful in the ring because of it. Unless you pissed him off.
  • An example of how this can be an ACTUAL thing: Jim Cornette once did an interview, where he related the story of a wrestler who once got jumped by a ringside fan. Cornette (never known for his physical prowess) claimed the fan was so small HE could have beaten the guy up; the wrestler the fan jumped was "Hercules Hernandez". Being part of the pre-litigious era, the man was restrained and held backstage, and after returning from the match, Hercules slapped the fan so hard he knocked the guy off his feet, into the wall, and onto the ground unconscious. Cornette's group was the next scheduled match, they walked over the poor fellow, had the match, returned back and he was still out cold. Cornette asked Hercules why, if he was THAT angry, didn't he just punch the guy? The response: "Oh Jimmy, if you punch a guy you might hurt him!"
  • Victoria slapped Beth Phoenix in 2006... breaking Beth's jaw in the process.
  • At Over The Limit 2010, R-Truth slapped Ted DiBiase Jr. so hard that he got a concussion.
  • Basketball player Charles Barkley once hugged a teammate into the emergency room. WHOOPS!
    • Even non-athletes can hug hard enough to seriously restrict breathing, especially if two people hug someone at the same time.
  • Beyonslay may fit this trope. Look at what she did to Rice Rocket!
  • People who hit their growth period before their peers can exhibit this. Sometimes it sticks, particularly for those who end up very large. It can be hard to estimate just how much damage you can do when you don't work out but are still 6+ feet.
  • Scientists are currently working on robots that are made of soft materials, because hard ones are not equipped to handle delicate objects. There are also efforts to measure exactly how much power it takes for a robot arm to injure people, so they can fine tune the limiters. One step in this process involved building a robot arm that hits people and asking them to rate their pain on a scale.
  • Sadly, lots of small children learn this the hard way with their first pet, especially if they mistakenly try to ride a dog or a cat like a horse, which can cause serious back injuries to the pet. And on the flipside, many pets don't always realize that their humans aren't as tough as they are, causing incidents when an excited large dog knocks a child over or an energetic horse gives a playful buck that dislodges his rider.
  • Individuals with frequent seizures can be abnormally strong, which is why you either get a half dozen people to help sedate one who is out of control or you have one try to gentle calm them down. This is not so much "abnormally strong" as that they don't have the natural limiters on using their strength and are instead flailing about uncontrollably. A normal person knows not to hit something that won't move, like a wall, with their full strength. A person having a seizure doesn't have that option.
  • In a similar vein, many martial arts involve training yourself to shut out those limiters on cue, not unlike the effect of an adrenaline rush. A karate novice can't chop a pile of wooden boards with their bare hand because they're subconsciously holding back, which ironically is likely to result in an injured hand if they try, whereas a skilled practitioner can do it with no ill effects.
  • In athletics in general someone may see their physical strength improve with regards to one specific area (like weight training) only to not realize how it translates into another sport. Thus you start playing basketball and suddenly shoot the ball over the backboard. Or a friend starts to playfully wrestle with you and you lift them off the ground.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Ace Lightning Syndrome, Does Not Know Her Own Strength, Doesnt Know Her Own Strength


Everything's Fine

Souped-up Steven breaks an anvil in half with a single tiny tap.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength

Media sources: