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Imagination-Based Superpower

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"I won't insult you by trying to stop you with a single finger. No, I won't even raise any fingers against you. I'll take your life... using my mind alone."
Gremmy Thoumeaux, Bleach

This power, based on the user's imagination, allows the user to create anything if they can think of it. It can be anything mundane from table flatware to weapons like rocket launchers and machine guns.

Because of the nature of this trope, there will often be some kind of limitation to the power to prevent it from becoming a Story-Breaker Power. For example, the power has a limited power supply, or the power has the inability to affect certain objects, or maybe the wielder's imagination isn't as good as yours or mine. For example, the rings wielded by the Green Lantern Corps have a limit to how many constructs their rings can make, and they used to have the infamous inability to affect yellow-colored objects (or, in even earlier versions, anything made of wood). People with the Imagination-Based Superpower are vulnerable to doubt; i.e., imagining themselves losing. As such they can be Psychoactive Powers, with increased or decreased potency based on the user's confidence level.

A Super-Trope to Spontaneous Weapon Creation. Reality Warping tends to be this.

Likely to overlap with New Powers as the Plot Demands and Strong as They Need to Be. Compare and contrast Clap Your Hands If You Believe and Your Mind Makes It Real, where similar effects come not from superpowers but from the general power of belief. See also Art Initiates Life, Prop, Swiss-Army Superpower, and Semantic Superpower.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • It's oddly popular in the Super Robot Genre for the mecha to run on a green, glowing, extremely powerful energy source that is limited only by the pilot's willpower and imagination, much like the Green Lantern. The first example being Getter Rays, then the G-Stone, the Bronze Bell's Power and Spiral Energy.
    • Full Metal Panic!'s Lambda Driver is another example of specialized mecha equipment that explicitly runs on the pilot's willpower and imagination. Unfortunately, the only person on the good guys' side able to pilot their only Lambda Driver-equipped mech is Sousuke, a Stoic Consummate Professional with approximately the imaginative capacity of a cinder block. This situation causes considerable difficulty and frustration for everyone involved until he finally gets some of his issues sorted out at the end of The Second Raid. (The bad guys, meanwhile, hand out Lambda Drivers like candy to Ax-Crazy Psychos for Hire who have absolutely no difficulty making them run.)
  • Amentia: People called Delusioners can conjure up whatever they imagine, including people capable of independent thought. However, most Delusioners are unaware of this and cannot tell their conjured things from the real deal. For example, the main character, Lee Wee-Jin, is a siscon and usually conjures up loving duplicates of his bullying sister Wee-Na, and often gets them mixed up. When he learns about his ability, he finds that he can make creations of other Delusioners disappear, as long as his willpower is stronger than theirs. Unfortunately, a group called the Wakers are hellbent on persecuting Delusioners with weapons that can destroy whatever they create.
  • Black Clover:
    • Anything that Dorothy imagines in her Glamour World becomes real with all the properties that it would have in the real world. However, her magic also manifests anything that can be unintentionally imagined too.
    • Because his Picture Magic is based on creating paintings, Rill is only limited by his creativity. He's been seen casting wells, a wooden multi-headed snake, and a harpy. Rill notes that the more inspired he is the stronger his magic is.
  • Bleach: Gremmy Thoumeaux's fantasies can create fully functional people, change landscapes, render bones too brittle to function, and heal injuries or kill just by imagining wounds never occurred or people are already dead. He can even create fully functional clones of himself whose presence increases the power of his imagination. If he loses focus on imagining something the effect will end, though indirect injuries will remain. The ability has two drawbacks: If he doubts himself, his power can make the doubts real; and if he uses his power to do something he can't imagine, it can result in a Superpower Meltdown.
  • In Bungo Stray Dogs, Kunikida's power allows him to create whatever he wants by writing on his notebook, as long as he has seen the object before and knows how it functions.
  • Cardfight!! Vanguard gives a huge emphasis on the importance of imagination, so naturally there are superpowers that came out of it.
    • First is PSYquolia, which is some kind of mix between Telepathy and Seers. PSYquolia users can communicate with their cards and influence the flow of their decks, or see the way the fight is going to turn out like seeing the future. That includes knowing what the opponent is going to draw. They can also draw other people in the realm of their imagination, which is directly linked with Planet Cray, where the beings that are illustrated in the cards reside, thus allowing them to come and go through the planet mentally as they please. That is used for Mind Rape quite a few times, but it can also allow them to communicate via telepathy with other people; for instance, in one episode, a guy with this power uses it to drag three other people in his imagination and hold a discussion with them, while they were the center of attention in a stadium full of people. Nobody notices that something was off. In addition, they can attack other people in that realm, or ask their cards to do so, which results in them experiencing the physical pain even though there is no actual injury. Finally, they can track each other down. The ability also has some degree of physical manifestation; at their strongest, one user obtains Blow You Away abilities (though his power always kind of manifested like that) and another Ki Manipulation. However, all of this — and we mean ALL OF IT — can be countered if someone else has a stronger imagination because that's what it comes down to.
    • The second ability doesn't have a name, but its users are called either Singularities or Peacemakers. It's a type of Summon Magic that allows them to physically manifest the creatures of the cards on Earth, and all that entails. However, it's a major case of Blessed with Suck; it requires imagination, and we quote "so strong that it chips your life away". The side effects are various and horrific: one suffers from Rapid Aging and dies on-screen, another is almost paralyzed, and a third becomes an Empty Shell to cope with the pain. The others aren't that badly damaged, but one is in a constant state of burn-out, and another is tricked into knocking himself into a coma via his own power. Notably, the reboot removes the Cast from Hit Points aspect of this ability.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Teitoku Kakine has the power to create and manipulate constructs out of dark matter, which is rather similar to a Green Lantern's power. The scary part is that since his "Dark Matter" is explicitly matter that doesn't otherwise exist in this universe, he can choose at will what properties to give it upon creation, and the amount of it he can make is theoretically infinite. He was even able to use it after being reduced to a Brain in a Jar to fashion a new immortal, regenerating body (and then bodies) that functions just like a living being.
    • An immensely complex and powerful spell called "Ars Magna" can also do this: when it's in effect, anything the caster thinks of becomes reality. Izzard is defeated through exploiting the obvious weakness in this: if the caster thinks of things that can defeat him, then they shall appear as well.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Rusty Rose has this with his magic: Arc of Embodiment. Unlike most with an Imagination-Based Superpower, fear and doubt don't have much negative effect on him. In fact, when he feels fear for the first time in a long time, he uses it as inspiration for a new spell. When he actually stops screwing around and gets serious, it takes some serious creative thinking for Fairy Tail to get around his defenses and hit him and lucky for them he's not too good at actually taking a hit.
    • There's actually a fair number of these in Fairy Tail. At the most basic level, you have Molding magic, which allows you to create objects or weapons out of an element (Ice, Wood... even Memory). Then you have Solid Script, an attack that takes the form of the word you write (iron, fire, etc.).
  • In Hello World, younger Naomi gets gifted a special glove called the Hand of God that can manipulate matter it touches into anything he can imagine, including a black hole. The better he knows an item's composition and structure, the faster he can do so, and he goes through Boxing Lessons for Superman by reading a lot of relevant books.
  • In MÄR, Ginta can use magic stones to imagine pretty much any ability for Babbo. There only seems to be a vague limit to what he can do based on his own magical power, but if he has the energy, it can be done. Snow is understandably underwhelmed when the first things he comes up with are a plain hammer and dagger.
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: The titular character has godlike powers, meaning she can twist reality and create any thing/situation she wants. The only catch is she doesn't realize she has this ability.
  • My Hero Academia: Momo Yaoyorozu has the power to generate physical objects from her body, as long as she knows their atomic structure. Fortunately, she's a genius and thus has been shown creating a number of different items. Her hero costume is detailed as having reference books in the belt compartments, in case there's anything she doesn't know. Her only limitation is that each use of her power is Cast from Calories, so she has to constantly eat and overusing her power risks her becoming weak and anemic.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Haruna owns a magical sketchbook which allows her to summon anything she draws as a magical beast. Thus far she's used it to fight, to decoy enemies by summoning clones of her friends, to tie enemies up by summoning tentacle-ermines (don't ask), stopping a Gatling gun barrage by summoning a swarm of small creatures (more ermines) to get in the way of the bullets, making a flying manta ray to avoid enemies on, and creating several modified golems of other characters.
    • Shadow using magic also qualifies; Takane D. Goodman creates shadow golems for attack and defense (as well as clothing), the other shadow magic user creates blades and such. Haruna has a better imagination, and she can reuse a drawing.
    • Jack Rakan's artifact allows him to create literally any weapon. Normally he'll just go with a BFS since that suits his style best, but the fact remains that if it's a weapon of any sort, he can make it. The kicker? He doesn't even need his artifact to beat most opponents, he's just that ungodly strong.
  • One Piece:
    • Parodied with Kanjuro who has the ability to turn anything he draws real. The problem is that he's a Terrible Artist, rendering anything he creates barely functional (or completely non-functional if drawn badly enough). If he creates a creature, it always appears to be in pain and is happy only when it's destroyed or reverts back to a drawing. When he reveals he was The Mole, he also reveals he was faking his drawing skills by using his weaker hand for them, and starts using it to his fullest potential. He can even make copies of himself.
    • A straighter example is Mr. 3, whose wax-molding powers function very much like a poor man's Green Lantern Ring. He can't do much against fire (or high temperatures in general), but otherwise he can build himself a Humongous Mecha battlesuit in seconds.
    • In a way, many Devil Fruits can be considered this. Though the basic power is determined by the fruit itself, the usefulness of those powers are determined by the creativity of the user. Did you know being made of rubber can give you Super-Speed? Or how about the seemingly useless power to return to life once, would you have guessed it would also let you summon the icy power of the underworld itself? And did you know the power of Pushing can also include shoving around abstract concepts like injury and pain? Devil Fruits never get more powerful than when you first eat them, outside of a very rare occurrence called Awakening, but the users get more creative.
    • It turns out that Luffy's Gum-Gum Fruit has this power once it's Awakened, giving the user absolute control of their surroundings by way of Toon Physics. How? Because there is no Gum-Gum Fruit; that was a name that the Government made up to mask the most powerful Devil Fruit in the world, the Mythical Zoan Human-Human Fruit, Model: Nika. The sun god.
    • Jewelry Bonney's Age-Age Fruit doesn't just allow her to change the ages of herself and others, but also use her imagination to tap into a variety of potential futures when aging herself up. She can make herself massive and muscular, or use her imagined version of Nika's power to enlarge and stretch her fist like Luffy can.
  • In Pokémon: The Series, Ditto's Transform move not only lets it turn into other Pokémon, but face masks, arms, keys, umbrellas, full-sized working cannons etc. Pretty much whatever it needs.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Spiral Energy is essentially this. It's the force of willpower manifested into reality, allowing one to "do the impossible." While first seen to apply (temporary) repairs to Gurren Lagann's leg early on, it also allows one to create matter, break physics and just overpower anything through sheer will. By the end of the series, Simon is able to harness it to do practically anything. Though namely in the making of larger drills while powering the insanely huge mechs. Perhaps as a nod to its spiritual predecessor, Getter Robo, it usually manifests itself as green (with the exception of Lord Genome; who's is a rather sinister red, though this is due to the fact he is using spiral energy against itself, working for suppressive and repressive means, since his was green back when he was a young man.
  • The World God Only Knows: Demons' robes can do anything from creating lifelike replicas to looking into the past, limited mainly by the skill of the user and the mass of the robe.
  • Zatch Bell!: Kanchomé's powers throughout the series revolve around transformation. But in the final saga, it turns out the real basis of his power is illusion, with his strongest spell trapping his opponents in a world where he can control anything that they sense. It only has two weaknesses: the user's own stamina, which can still outlast pretty much any opponent long enough to break them, and the fact that it can only control five senses. Of course, most opponents don't have six.

    Comic Books 
DC Comics
  • Green Lantern: The Power Rings. In addition to the primary ability of creating anything the user could think of, it also had a knowledge database that allowed it to translate any language, flight, and gave its user the ability to survive in any environment. Oddly, he was once able to create a Turkish-English Dictionary with his ring in the Janissary arc. Which really shouldn't have been necessary, considering the aforementioned translation function.
    • Kyle Rayner (a comic book artist) is notable as one of the most powerful and dangerous Green Lanterns because of his overactive imagination. He's been known to spawn entire armies of constructs (many of them Shout Outs to various other comic books, manga, and anime).
    • There's also the other Lantern Corps, all of whom are capable of the same matter-creation as Green ones, though different Lantern Corps apply their Green Lantern Ring powers differently. The Raging Red Lanterns typically vomit their energies from their mouth as a sort of acid, which can also corrode other Corps' constructs. Orange Lanterns are the physical recreations of Larfleeze's victims (as he is the only true member of the corps of Greed) in addition to being standard constructs. Yellow is like Green, but with Fear as its power source and it allows them to manifest the worst fears of their targets against them. Blue Lanterns usually just let their Ring make a copy of whatever the target will feel Hope about, but in the presence of a Green Lantern, can do plenty more, especially sabotage or nerf the Red, Orange, and Yellow corps while also being able to heal. Violet has the basic powers in addition to manifesting strange violet crystals to entrap lovers in a form of stasis. The Indigo Tribe has the basic power set, weaponized Compassion (forcing their victims to have compassion), and the ability to tap into any of the other colors' powers. Later stories establish several limitations on the rings:
      • The Lights Out storyline reveals that these powers do have a serious limitation: the source of their powers, the Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum, is finite. Turns out the previous universe went dark since the "Lightsmiths" used them extensively and the sole survivor clearly doesn't want that to happen.
      • Rebirth reveals that focusing your will to create an object through them takes a huge amount of concentration and willpower. Green Arrow feels like he just ran a marathon after making a simple arrow with a ring. Kyle confirms that this happens every time he uses the ring. It's likely one of the reasons the rings are programmed to seek out badass determinators: they're the only ones who have the mental fortitude to even use the rings in the first place.
      • In several Elseworld stories Batman gets a power ring, but while Batman is certainly the poster child for Nerves of Steel, he is still a deeply wounded man, and in at least one story, the ring reflects this as he has to face his inner psyche, with ring-made bats and a specter of his parents facing him down. He comes out of it with a lot more respect for Jordan than before.
        Batman: You go through that every time?
        Green Lantern: Yes.
    • Then there is the Phantom Ring, a colorless (gray) ring that appears to be the Flawed Prototype for the Lantern Rings. The Phantom Ring can use any of the seven emotional lights, but it all depends on the emotion that the user is feeling. If they're relying on Willpower, they'll use Green, hopeful, they'll use Blue, and so on. However, because it shifts on the person, and because the farther you are on the Spectrum's ends, the more the light will influence you (best seen with the Red Light of Rage and the Violet Light of Love, both of them on the opposite ends of the spectrum and their wielders are usually completely nuts and driven by the emotion of their ring unless they master themselves), the Phantom Ring will pretty much make you into a very powerful but potentially very emotionally unstable person (and the person who got it was already kinda nuts to begin with.)
  • Deliciously subverted in Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol with the villain called the Quiz, who has "every superpower you hadn't thought of". Combating the Quiz consisted of listing as many superpowers one could summon up before she could come up with her Green Lantern's Ring effect.
  • Plastic Man's elasticity gave him the power to turn into virtually anything he wanted, with ill-defined limits, including machines with moving parts such as spinning wheels, gears or propellers, a giant aerosol can full of bug spray, and in some sillier stories a working magnet (and in at least one case, "anything he wanted" included Wonder Woman). The catch to all that is that he can't change his colors and is pretty much stuck to his skin color, red and black. Now his son on the other hand...
  • Beast Boy, Vixen and Animal Man's powers all revolve around either turning into or gaining the abilities of whatever animal they can think of. The thing is, what does and does not qualify as an animal is incredibly vague, meaning they have a good deal of variety, and can transform into/copy even other sentient species (how's a Kryptonian strike your fancy? How about an Apokalypsian?). To make matters even more confusing, on at least one occasion when Vixen's powers were limited to "the human animal", her abilities allowed her to copy the powers of other superpowered humans, even those whose powers weren't natural... and Superman... and an actual Green Lantern (it was lampshaded that this didn't make sense, though, and it eventually turned out to be the work of a Reality Warper).
    • Other DC characters with similarly open-ended abilities include Metamorpho the Element Man and Mr. 104, who can transform into any chemical they can think of, along with other Voluntary Shapeshifting tricks. And in the Legion of Superheroes universe, the Lallorian superhero Duplicate Boy can manifest any superpower he has seen, including mixing-and-matching several powers from different superhumans all at the same time, and without suffering from any duplicated superhuman's weaknesses. It has been stated in continuity that he could be the most powerful superhuman in the universe except that 1. his power level has left him lazy and 2. he is particularly unimaginative (to his credit, he recognizes this latter flaw and intentionally seeks out wiser people to lead him, but this has made him particularly vulnerable to being exploited and fooled by leaders he should not have trusted).
    • Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man. (Yes, he was a Doom Patrol villain, how'd you guess?)
  • Teen Titans:
    • Argent can generate silver plasma which she can either project as energy blasts or mold into complex shapes like daggers, shields, and whips. In JLA: Rock of Ages, her powers in the future had evolved to the point that she could create an entire army of silver plasma creatures.
    • Bunker, a member of the New 52 Teen Titans, is capable of creating and manipulating "psionic brick" structures. By his own admission, he needs practice, and his ability to make things much more complicated than a simple wall or "gloves" for his fists is pretty limited, but he's confident that eventually he'll be virtually indistinguishable from an actual Green Lantern.
  • Ibis the Invincible, a character from the Shazam! books, has the Ibistick, a staff that can do anything. Anything. The only limitation is that he has to ask the Ibistick aloud to do it. As a result, Ibis is so bored with life that he spends most of his time in suspended animation.
  • The New 52's version of Phantom Lady has black light gloves that can manifest darkness into black fog, Hard Light objects (like razors and shields) and living shadows.

Marvel Comics

  • Black Panther: Klaw has the ability to create virtually anything he can imagine out of sound energy.
  • Fantastic Four:
    • The Invisible Woman has this ability, given to her after her original ability turned out to be so useless that writers had to give her a reason to even EXIST. If you're a spy, a thief or an assassin, or just a phenomenally skilled martial artist, being able to turn invisible at will would be quite useful by itself. But Sue is none of those things, and an otherwise ordinary human who can turn invisible isn't much help against enemies with superhuman strength. They pulled that off pretty well, considering that she is now the strongest member of the team. Basically, she's become an Invisible Lantern over the years, being able to shape her invisible forcefields into any sort of constructs she wants but with the added advantage that her enemies can't see them.
    • In early stories, the Human Torch's flame could often come off as this. One of his solo yarns in Strange Tales had him building a catapult out of pure flame to get rid of a bomb.
    • Galactus (and to a lesser extent his heralds) possesses the Power Cosmic, which was at some point described as being able to control the four Fundamental Interactions of the universe. Whatever this would entail in Real Life, what it allows Galactus to do in the comics boils down to "Anything he wants". There are limits to what he can do, but these limits are so high that it's only ever an issue if he encounters one of the two or three people who are stronger than he is.
  • The New Universe: The Star Brand easily fits this trope. It can do just about anything the user wants, from flying to immortality. However, it has tons of downsides to it, including being unable to be fully rid of the power (passing it leaves you with 10% of the power and you can drain it completely, but there's the possibility that you'll get it back or accidentally pass it on) and it can only be held by living beings (the two times it was placed on inanimate objects? Gave people superpowers and turned Pittsburgh into a crater, respectively). When the New U's Earth was brought to the Marvel U, it was placed in quarantine because the Star Brand upset the balance of the universe. Its main depicted wielder, Ken Connell, was severely lacking in imagination and functioned mostly as a Flying Brick.
    • In the 2018 Avengers run, the Star Brand reappears... having attached itself to a woman transported as space migrant labour with her boyfriend, who'd got pregnant, and then was 9 months along and panicking as she was separated from her boyfriend and put into a space immigration lock-up just as she got the Brand... and went into labour. Her terrified rampage ripped through a Shi'ar prison galaxy and attracted the Avengers, the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, and all the extant Heralds of Galactus. Naturally, Captain America managed to calm her down long enough to deliver the baby. Then it turned out that the real bearer of the Star Brand was the baby, the mother having died in delivery. The Avengers then adopted the baby, who proved to be... somewhat wilful. As in, confronting a super-charged Moon Knight who'd stolen, among other things, Mjolnir and the Spirit of Vengeance with Iron Man unable to stop her.
  • Quasar: The Quantum Bands. They do pretty much the same as the Green Lantern rings, only they're not technology, or run by willpower, and they come with the slight design flaw that kills anyone incapable of wielding them. And yet an Omnicidal Maniac like Annihilus was able to hang on to them for several months in-universe.
  • Runaways: The Staff of One lets Niko cause any effect she can name — once. Any attempt to do the same thing twice causes random effects, ranging from silly (summoning pelicans) to massively inconvenient (teleporting her miles away). They are a bit inconsistent about this, but at least early on it seems it is not limited to the effect but to the actual command word; there are examples of Nico trying to come up with synonyms for words she has already used.
  • Spider-Man: The Answer has pretty much the same "power", allowing him to do whatever is required to "answer" a situation. For some reason, this doesn't make him omnipotent, and he does get trounced by Spidey fairly often. Though in hindsight, it makes sense. An answer isn't always correct. Or there could be more than one correct answer.
  • Thunderbolts: Melissa Joan "Mel" Gold was given a cybernetic vocalizer that allowed her to use her augmented vocal cords to create constructs out of solidified sound, in a manner similar to Klaw, when she reinvented herself as Songbird. Deconstructed in that it actually proves tricky for her to properly use this power at first, as her only previous experience with her sonic powers was simply shrieking to produce straightforward sonic blasts. With practice, however, she learned to use it competently.
  • X-Men:
    • The most powerful psychics in the Grey-Summers family — Jean Grey, Rachel Summers, Nathan Summers, and Nate Grey — are such powerful telekinetics that at least in the case of Nate, they can explicitly warp reality. The others can, minimally, bend a few of the laws of physics and rearrange molecules, and that's without the Phoenix coming into play.
    • Gabriel Summers a.k.a. Vulcan is an energy-manipulating example, as he can manipulate any form of energy on a truly colossal scale — and despite getting a bare minimum of training and being, frankly, impulsive, immature, and outside of some very specialised situations, as thick as two short planks, he can do practically whatever he likes with it. Mercifully, with stupidity comes a lack of imagination (most of the time). In the Krakoan age, he's graduated to full Green Lantern-style energy constructs, including semi-sentient and entirely subconscious ones. Given that he's got the rough personality of Superman-Prime, this is... unfortunate.

Other Comics

  • Any comic book wizard, sorcerer, or magician can pretty much pull a spell out of their ass to do it. Unless the plot says they can't use a particular power, even if they've done exactly that before.
  • Death Vigil: Clara's veilripper is a pen that allows her to draw things into existence.
  • Invincible: Atom Eve has the ability to alter the atomic structure of anything into anything she can think of, allowing her to do things like turn thin air into Deflector Shields.
  • Spawn has the power to do almost anything, but the bigger the feat is, the more it uses up his limited energy pool. Once it's all gone, he gets a one-way trip to Hell.
  • Star Wars: The Force, especially in the EU, is shown to be able to do just about anything the plot wants it to. From the more common things like shooting lightning from the hands, choking people, seeing the future, etc. to more exotic things like moving objects to size of Star Destroyers, mutating life into insanely dangerous creatures, and so on. If the plot needs it The Force can do it, the only thing that keeps it from being a Story-Breaker Power is how fickle The Force tends to be as to what it'll allow people to do.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes is an ambiguous example. Assuming every weird thing that happens to Calvin actually happens, then Calvin can do anything or summon anyone he wants with his mind. He creates advanced technology out of cardboard, travels to Mars in a wagon, and requests leaf collections from aliens. Unfortunately, while he can occasionally do such things of his own free will, he usually has no control over this power. Occasionally he has to to deal with threats such as monsters under his bed, enormous bedbugs, murderous living snowmen, or even his own bicycle!

    Fan Works 
  • Elle in Bird can create worlds and force reality to conform to their shape. From glittering caves to derelict concrete bunkers filled with barbed wire and rust. They reflect, at least in part, her mental state and lend her power a Fisher King aspect. She only has limited control of them, however, and the dangers presented by them dominate an entire arc of the story.
  • Child of the Storm has Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, as a Posthumous Character and former SHIELD Agent. His primary job? Act as a counter-measure to freaking Magneto. Who is consistently depicted in-story as a peer of planet-busting Thor. And by all accounts, including Magneto's own, he was very good at it. By the time of the story, the ring has vanished. It later reappears in the possession of Doctor Strange, who loans it to a teenage Carol Danvers in chapter 75 and conveniently fails to mention that it's a lot more than just an enchanted ring until it saves her life (by bringing her Back from the Dead). Even in her inexperienced hands (she gets the basics from the ghost of Alan Scott, but that's it), it proves powerful enough to blast straight through Darkhold-enhanced defences of a Loki-class Evil Sorcerer, and is described as operating like a focus for magic at its most fundamental: magic, commanded and shaped to its wielder's will. And by 'magic', we mean that it's tied to the magic reserves of Earth itself, which is a cosmically powerful magical dynamo.
    • It later reappears in the sequel's side-story, and it's revealed that it can do basically anything, especially if someone takes the safeties off.
  • This is the way the Sealing Arts are displayed in most Naruto fanfictions. If one just has the idea and the intelligence to find the correct array, one can do nearly ANYTHING with seals.
  • Sam's ghost powers in the Facing the Future Series are like this, similar to how the Green Lanterns' rings work, as the author has mentioned many times.
  • In Consequences of Unoriginality, Emeris has this amongst his unicorn magic, creating tool constructs that are explicitly compared to the Green Lanterns'.
  • Taylor in Silencio has the power to create telekinetic constructs in the shape of anything that she can mime. Objects created can be as simple as the classic mime barrier or a strong wind, to things like chainsaws, Swiss army knives, and one time, a horse.
  • The Everything Note in Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami allows the user to do anything they write down in it, such as teleporting, resurrection, gaining new abilities, taking over the world, traveling through time, and sex. It would be a Story-Breaker Power, but most of the time, Dark and Sayu are too busy fighting over it to properly take advantage of it.
  • Profesor Layton Vs Jack The Raper, seemingly heavily inspired by Dark Yagami, also includes an appearance by the Everything Note. Again, it has the power to do anything the user writes in it. It is first revealed to be in the possession of Emmy, or rather, Jack The Raper, but she loses it to Watari when he corners her in a public area. Watari attempts to use it to stop Emmy, only to drop it out of his helicopter when attacked by Lysandre and The Grim Reaper. Later, the Shinigami King shows up and reveals he somehow recovered it, only for Emmy to snatch it and then use it to activate a Super Mode. After her eventual defeat, the Shinigami King uses the Everything Note to teleport the two of them back home.

    Films — Animation 
  • Elsa's Snow Queen powers in Disney's Frozen (2013) is depicted like this. Besides the usual freezing blasts, blizzards, ice spikes, ice walls, and ice shields, she could also create clothes woven from ice, create ice structures of all kinds including an entire Ice Palace, and even create sentient life made of snow.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The title character of Bruce Almighty gets God's powers, and aside from the two rules God gives him (no telling people he's God or affecting free will), he can do anything he wants, using the power of thought alone.
  • This is how a skilled architect or extractor can operate in the dreamworld in Inception. Since everything is a construct of imagination, you only need enough focus and clarity to create whatever you want. Exemplified when Arthur gets in a gunfight and Eames stops to lend a hand.
    Eames: You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling. (Pulls out a grenade launcher)
  • The title object of The Mask manifests superpowers based on the personality and imagination of the character wearing it.

  • In Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series, Adept powers are essentially this. Each Adept has an area of specialty but each individual manifestation of that specialty can only be used once. For instance, the Blue Adept sings rhyming spells but each rhyme only works once. This makes sense in the context of the spoken word but doesn't bear up to much scrutiny when some of the other Adepts manifest powers through building golems, mixing potions, and drawing lines. One Adept paralyzes with the Evil Eye. How do you see the person you're paralyzing differently each time?
  • This is basically how sorcery works in The Belgariad. Belgarath describes it as 'The Will and the Word' — imagine what you want to happen, then say a word to release your Will and make it happen. Practically, you're limited by how much energy you can safely use but more importantly, you have to be able to envisage what you want to achieve. This encourages sorcerers to spend lots of time in study, as knowledge vastly expands their available repertoire. It's also entirely possible for sorcerers to do something that should be impossible even with magic if it doesn't occur to them that it's supposed to be impossible: Garion once brought a stillborn foal to life with semi-subconscious magic, to the astonishment of Belgarath and Polgara because they as lifelong sorcerers would never have attempted that since they "know" that it just can't be done. As an absolute limit, it's impossible to 'unmake' anything. The universe doesn't like it and unmakes you instead.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of... Aliens: The protagonists of Pirates all seem to have this, which makes the events of their game come to life. Up to and including them all being blown up when one of the kids self-destructs their spaceship, ending his turn. The next turn begins with one of the girls saying "Pretend we exist."
  • In The Camp Half-Blood Series, Apollo's lyre is capable of conjuring whatever the musician thinks of. Apollo used the lyre to construct the walls of Troy, and Grover Underwood summons a birdcage, a brick wall, and enchiladas in order to combat the titular singer of Apollo.
  • The damned in ''The Great Divorce' are able to create anything they want just by imagining it, although whatever they create ends up being poorly made and mostly illusory (houses can't keep out rain, for example).
  • This is the power of imagers in L.E. Modsitt's Imager Portfolio. Unusually for this trope, it carries the associated risk of rewriting the universe through your daydreams or nightmares. For example, the hero discovers his powers when he starts daydreaming about his master's (he's a journeyman artist at that point) Jerkass son blowing himself up by mixing some oils wrongly. Next thing he knows: BOOM!!! Similarly, it's mentioned that no imager is allowed to sleep in the same room as any other human, including his wife, because of the risk of imaging in his sleep.
    • Though imaging does have some limits, mostly related to energy and matter conservation.
  • In Isekai Cheat Magician, magic works this way: while it must be based in the four classical elements (Air, Earth, Fire, and Water), a spell can be created by visualizing the effect. Rin, who has modern education in sciences (particularly physics and chemistry), is able to use a greater repertoire of spells based on it: for example, when she started training with fire, instead of thinking of wood burning, she picked gas, producing hotter flames than her mentor.
  • Libriomacy in Magic Ex Libris works mostly like this. It's a sort of collective imagination power that lets people tap shared belief to pull magic or technological items from books, with a few limits like no time travel, necromancy, or wishes. Still, it's incredibly powerful and versatile.
  • Dhyarra crystals in the German horror/fantasy/SF series Professor Zamorra are this, essentially drawing upon "cosmic energies" to turn what their user imagines into reality. Downsides include the need for fairly intense concentration (temporary effects are repeatedly shown to be easily dispelled simply by distracting the user) and very precise visualization for complex tasks at least, as well as the fact that a crystal too powerful for a given user to control will burn out their mind and leave them dead or a drooling vegetable in short order. And you can't gauge an unknown crystal's power level just by looking at it...
  • Sphere offers a literal example, as the titular sphere is capable of bestowing Reality Warper abilities upon whoever enters it. This would allow one to manifest their imagination and effectively shape reality to their whim. Unfortunately, these powers can also manifest a person's subconscious thoughts and worst fears. In the end, the surviving protagonists realize their abilities are too dangerous for any man to possess, and decide to erase their powers and all memory of their encounter with the sphere. However, it's implied at the very end of the novel that Elizabeth Halperin kept her powers.
  • In Unlimited Fafnir, Ds have the power to create dark matter and transmute it into almost anything, within limits. They can only generate a limited quantity of dark matter at a time, and organic tissue is considered to be impossible to transmute due to its complexity. Vritra has the same power but is far more skilled with it. She can create living organisms, and (in the past) had enough dark matter to recreate the entire planet when it was destroyed.
  • Amy Dallon, from Worm also known as Panacea and later in Ward as the Red Queen has one of these: she has the ability to intuitively understand and completely control and reshape any biological organism she can touch, limited only by the amount of biomass she has to work with. She can create novel lifeforms and recreate existing ones with just an effort of concentration. Much to the chagrin of several people both in-universe and out, she has very little creativity, along with several self-restrictions, and uses it mostly to heal people. Even after her mental breakdown in Worm and complete Face–Heel Turn in Ward even her wildest creations were inspired or directed by someone else.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one episode of The New Adventures of Robin Hood, Rob acquires a unicorn horn to fight the Big Bad. He can command it to turn into anything from a weapon, to a ladder, to a length of rope. Towards the end, he's flailing a bit, and just yells, "Give me what I need!"
  • This is acknowledged in-universe in Ressha Sentai ToQger. The Rangers' train-themed powers and Humongous Mecha are literally fueled by their IMAGINAAAATION, and a lot of what they do comes off almost as a children's game of pretend; such as switching their colors around because it sounds like a fun idea, their Finishing Move being what they see as a fitting punishment for the Monster of the Week, or their mecha's controls working as they imagine they would. There's a good reason for this, as near the end of the season it's revealed that they really are kids, recruited to put "play pretend" to good use against the villains.
  • Magic in Sabrina the Teenage Witch works like this most of the time. It also often shows the shortcomings of such an ability. Improperly worded or ordered thoughts can create spells with unfortunate side effects. Such as how Aunt Hilda states that Columbus Day can be attributed to her casting a spell "to make everything round".
    Valerie: [upon witnessing Sabrina's magic] So you basically think of something, you point with your finger, and that something happens?
    Sabrina: That would be the technical definition.
  • Doctor Who: After a boy named Grant accidentally swallows a gem that grants wishes, the Superman-obsessed kid gains superpowers largely based on those of his comic book idol, including Super-Strength, flight, Super-Speed, enhanced senses, invulnerability, and X-ray vision. He can also snap his fingers and achieve different results, such as breaking a window rated to withstand a nuclear blast or lighting a candle. He becomes a superhero called the Ghost.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Genius: The Transgression PCs are Swiss Army Superpowers. Sure, they may only have a raygun and a door-opening device on them when you trap them in your warehouse, but depending on their abilities, they could build just about anything in there.
  • In Mutants & Masterminds, to most traditionally simulate the actual Green Lantern ring, most players take the Create Object power, which basically allows them to make anything they want out of thin air.
  • Dynamic Sorcery from Big Eyes, Small Mouth acts as one of these, with the higher levels enabling the user to create more powerful effects.
  • In Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, Reality Syndrome can grant any wish you have, it's just that it tends to backfire unless you're careful with it. It even has powers that let you pull objects out of your daydreams.
  • Iolithae Septimian in Nobilis can, if she's careful, change anything with a sufficiently powerful miracle, as long as she can think of a way to phrase it as a lie.

    Theme Parks 
  • The original version of Journey into Imagination at Epcot in Walt Disney World has Dreamfinder bring things from his and Figment's imaginations to life in the form of realms of imagination that the riders travel through.

    Video Games 
  • In Amazing Island, humans' imagination is the key to creating monsters and saving the island.
  • Honkai: Star Rail: Imaginary is an element in the game. Though its downplayed, in that the Imaginary element is based on the scientific principle behind Imaginary, such as Imaginary Numbers. Welt, being the former Herrscher of Reason, has Imaginary as his element, but he can’t just create anything with his power, as he has to have an understanding behind the principles of what he creates.
  • In inFAMOUS: Second Son, Eugene Sims has the ability to create projections from virtual characters. In his case, he uses his powers to create angels and demons from his favorite video game, which Delsin gains to a limited extent after he absorbs his power.
  • In Scribblenauts, the key to progressing through the game's various puzzles is not about unlocking new items, all of which are available from square one, but discovering new usable items and new ways of using them to create the desired effect. If you can make a garage door opener with an Eldritch Abomination tied to a pirate or bribe an army of kappa into fighting the zombie hordes for you by feeding them cucumbers, more power to you.
    • That said, one of the complaints lodged against the game was how often creativity was left off the menu. Sure, you could try to do something inventive, but you were at the mercy of whether or not the programmers had programmed the items you were trying to use so that they could interact the way you were trying to use them. Many of the things you could summon which theoretically should have been incredibly helpful weren't actually programmed to do anything at all.
    • On the other hand, this is somewhat justified as the game (and its sequel) have essentially the contents of a dictionary plus adjectives. Trying to figure out a way to get all of that to work would be... tricky.
  • The Drawn games center on Iris, a young princess in hiding, whose drawings, paintings, and paper cut-outs all come to life. The player must explore, make use of, repair, or complete Iris's artwork to succeed.

    Visual Novels 
  • Nasuverse:
    • Tsukihime: Arcueid Brunestud has what is known as the Marble Phantasm. Marble Phantasm is the ability to reproduce any situation found in nature. Uses shown include turning a hallway into a vacuum in a manner that vaporizes the contents of the hallway, summoning the moon from the future (somehow), dropping the moon on people, summoning mystical castles and potentially turning herself a magical girl, if Carnival Phantasm is to be believed. Is it any wonder she doesn't get a chance to show off much in Tsukihime? All she's limited by are her natural strengthnote  and the fact that it can't do tricks that break the laws of nature.
    • Fate Series: Shirou Emiya and his future counterpart Archer EMIYA have the Reality Marble Unlimited Blade Works. A Reality Marble is a Mental World that can create anything the user imagines and either draw people into it or pull their creations into the real world. While they cannot create divine constructs, it is easier and less energy-consuming for them to create weapons, especially swords, hence the name Unlimited Blade Works. If their hearts and minds falter, their creations become brittle. Chloe von Einzbern, who has a copy of Archer EMIYA's powers, can use it to create weapons, clothes, and a chair once.

  • The outsiders have this in Modding as explained here.
  • Blinker Stones in Gunnerkrigg Court work much like this, acting as a "lens" for psychic abilities, which means they can do pretty much anything. It's specifically mentioned that eventually the user becomes powerful enough that they can't use it, and have to rely on their own powers.
  • In Alice and the Nightmare, oneironauts of Spades and Diamonds Suits can alter reality of dream at will — Spades can make the dream look however they want it to, and Diamonds can create material objects.
  • Paranatural:
    • Spectrals can learn to shape their spectral energy into solid constructs with a thought. It takes a lot of training, though, and even once you've mastered the art, spectral energy can't affect the normal world at all. They are also temporary, so if you lose your concentration the construct will dissipate.
    • Isabel has the power to control paper through her spirit Eightfold. The things she makes this way are both permanent until she chooses to dispel them and can affect both the normal and spirit worlds. Isabel has been seen using them to make weapons, bandages, and a horse.
    • Ed has the power to paint solid objects anywhere—including thin air—through his spirit Muse. His constructs are permanent until dispelled, but they are invisible and intangible to the normal world.

    Web Original 
  • Derek the Bard, host of Warning! Readers Advisory! wears and uses an actual Green Lantern ring.
  • The Lamplighter of the Whateley Universe has a lamp that lets him do Green Lantern-esque things with light. He hasn't been used as a hero yet. Riptide has aquakinesis and is a side character, but when she had to stop The Lamplighter from killing Chaka, she found out she could do pretty much whatever she wanted if she had enough water.
  • Half Full posits a future where everyone has imagination based superpowers with no restrictions whatsoever. Unsurprisingly, there is war.
  • In Citadel, Kerry Dragon has a limited version of this power that effectively lets her turn into any one of a number of dragons.

    Web Videos 
  • In the Gritty Reboots version of Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin's imagination has gotten so powerful over the years that it can manifest itself in real life, which is not a good thing as it is angry at Calvin for outgrowing it.

    Western Animation 
  • In an ironic subversion, Justice League's Former Marine John Stewart was once criticized by his former Green Lantern Corps mentor about the militaristic, uncreative use of his ring, mainly as a blaster weapon and forcefield. This itself is actually an echo of the early disputes among the fandom in regard to both his character and limited abilities. Following this episode, Stewart begins to increasingly be more creative with his ring, culminating in "Kid Stuff" where he is reverted to a child and his ring's power increases exponentially due to his active (if not overactive) imagination.
    Kid Green Lantern: I'll make a laser cannon! No, a missile launcher! Oh — oh, I know!
    Kid Batman: Just pick something!
    • And by the end of that episode? He uses the ring to make himself a Humongous Mecha bristling with every weapon you could ever think of. And uses it to launch a Macross Missile Massacre, the No One Could Survive That! type. Genre Blind much?
    • The early lack of creativity was somewhat galling in the face of his comics origin, where he was, yes, a Marine, but also a fully-trained architect. More likely it was due to budget and scheduling as much as anything.
      • This seems to no longer be the case in comics either. In Green Lantern: Rebirth, Hal Jordan narrates how John's architectural background influences his constructs; everything is meticulously detailed, even including individual screws and moving parts. Hal has specifically stated that "None of John's constructs are hollow." In fact, a recent scene had John Stewart attempting to recreate an entire planet with his ring, only for it to inform him that the willpower limit was exceeded. Just think about that for a second...
    • During Christmas Episode, in which John gets into a snowball fight, he does things like creating multiple hands to toss snowballs. The implication being that he uses his ring in a purely utilitarian manner only when he's fighting. Which given the nature of the show is the vast majority of what he's seen using it for.
  • Ecto-Manipulation in Danny Phantom. It's not just for shooting beams out of your hands — a skilled ghost can essentially create anything through the use of their own Ectos. Vlad alone managed to create tangible forms with his (such as a rope or a giant batter). They can also telepathically lift objects and in the rare instance shown, trail their Ectos to do whatever they want them to do. The possibilities are limitless.
  • Splatter Phoenix from Darkwing Duck can basically create anything with her brush. That's probably the reason she is killed off in her second episode.
  • Static Shock:
    • In "Child's Play," a little boy named Dwayne discovers that he's a Bang Baby with the power to bring anything he thinks of to life. While Dwayne is quite happy to conjure up childish but fun things—like making a fountain produce cherry soda instead of water—his mean stepbrother Aron manipulates him into using his abilities for selfish reasons. The episode also depicts the limitations of this power: when Aron pushes Dwayne to generate money, the resulting bills are obviously counterfeit because Dwayne can't perfectly imagine them.
    • In "Brother-Sister Act," Mirage, another Bang Baby (and another largely innocent kid being forced into villainy by her nasty brother), combines this power with being a Master of Illusion. She can manipulate light however she sees fit and largely uses her imagination to create realistic images of threats, like tigers and elephants.
  • Played straight in Green Lantern: The Animated Series, for obvious reasons, but also subverted when the Interceptor needs repairs. Hal asks if a ring construct would suffice until they could get back to Oa for proper repairs. Aya replies that the construct would have to be an exact duplicate of the coil and its 56 moving parts to within a 0.8162-micron tolerance, which none of the Lanterns have the skill to replicate.
  • Transformers: Prime introduces an ancient device used by one of the first Cybertronians called the Forge of Solus Prime, with its explicit power being that it can take raw material and hammer it into any device desired by those who wields it and created other legendary weapons like The Star Saber. They do suggest that it has its limitations in that the creator has to have a basic understanding of how the device is supposed to work and not literally forming anything you can think of.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Discord is a Reality Warper who works largely like this, often creating and/or warping things, landscapes, and people just For the Lulz.
    • The Green Lantern Expy Radiance from the comic book Power Ponies, who can create purple energy constructs using the gems covering her costume. When Rarity gets granted this role in the episode "Power Ponies", unlike her friends who are struggling with controlling their powers, after the first try, she starts using it to the full extent of its versatility.
    • Rarity gets this for real in "Inspiration Manifestation". Unfortunately, in an obvious allegory of drug addiction, it also comes with a side of Brainwashed and Crazy: she stops eating and sleeping, and grows increasingly manic until she gets free of it.
    • The episode "All Bottled Up" reveals that this is, to an extent, true of Equestrian magic as a whole. For instance, transfiguration requires the caster to picture the object in their mind, and teleporting an object requires imagining the intended destination.
  • The Orb of Quite Remarkable Power in Earthworm Jim basically functions as a spherical Green Lantern Ring. Parodied when Psy-Crow used it to fight Jim, and at one point accidentally tried to drop a giant hamburger on him because he was thinking about lunch.
  • In The Tick, a supervillain called The Terror possessed a device that could create anything he wanted. In one flashback, he created a flood of chocolate that nearly drowned a superhero. In the present day, the elderly Terror plans to come out of retirement by retrieving the device. He is foiled thanks to the Tick and the also-elderly heroes who stopped him in the past. In the end, the Tick promises to destroy the device, but can't resist using it to make a BLT. He's disappointed with it since it didn't have any mayo. The machine responds by dumping a ton of mayo on his head.
  • Miraculous Ladybug has several of these. Evillustrator (evilized Nathaniel) can create anything drawn on the special pad on his arm. He does have a Logical Weakness, though, in that he needs light to see what he's drawing. Mime can create invisible objects by miming them, even complex things like a car, but only one thing at a time. And there's Hawk Moth himself, whose power is bestowing powers on others. He can get quite creative with the powers that he grants, although it's usually related to the mental state of the recipient. It turns out that all of the Miraculous holders are like this — which Ladybug uses to create magic charms that block Hawk Moth's power (which Hawk Moth eventually finds a way around) — as well as the kwamis, which has resulted in several historical disasters. Animaestro can transform into any type of 2-animated being he can imagine with any power he wants but can only use his power if he is being watched by somebody.
    • The Rooster Miraculous has this as its actual ability. Sublimation gives the user the ability to give themself any power they want, though it comes with a number of limitations that prevent it from going into outright reality warping. The user can’t give themselves a power that is already possessed by another Miraculous, they have to possess a general understanding of how their power would work, and they can’t use their power to give themselves knowledge of anything they didn’t know before.
  • In Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, this is more or less the norm for everyone, but it appears to mostly be limited to creating sentient beings. That said, it's not unheard of for people to create sentient versions of inanimate objects using this ability.
  • Felix the Cat's Magic Bag of Tricks could be considered this. It's never given any full details, but it transforms into any object Felix wants and apparently only works for Felix.

Alternative Title(s): Imagination Based Power


Green Lantern’s Super Move

Probably should’ve moved.

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