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Inexplicably Awesome

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Mr. Banks: Will you be good enough to explain all this?
Mary Poppins: First of all, I would like to make one thing quite clear.
Mr. Banks: Yes?
Mary Poppins: I never explain anything.

Someone who is Inexplicably Awesome is Shrouded in Myth. Whatever Backstory, secret origin or Mysterious Past an Inexplicably Awesome character has is by definition locked away; their existence is a conundrum. They usually display powers or abilities that are unusual if not downright bizarre for the setting, and exhibit eccentricities to match. One would assume that such an impenetrable enigma would be a source of gallons of plot, and they'd be right, although not in the obvious way: rather than being a puzzle to solve, their very presence is typically a plot generator, setting people and events in motion as a direct result of their oddball take on reality.

It should be noted, that they only are this trope if they are genuinely unique in their setting. If "he/she must be a Time Lord" is a workable explanation for a character and the series isn't even Doctor Who, odds are it's this trope. note  They can be anyone from a near omnipotent being to a mere weirdo, but that does not make them any less weird either way.

Attempting to actually explain their awesome may have unintended and hazardous consequences, including but not limited to Cerebus Retcons and, in some severe cases, the dreaded Voodoo Shark.

Compare with The Wonka, a character who is successful owing to unique/crazy logic and who may overlap with this trope (as its Trope Namer does — see Literature below).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The fan-favorite TK of Angel Beats!. Spends all his time dancing, only speaks by quoting English song lyrics (despite not actually knowing how to speak English), and has physical skills that only Angel has ever matched (and she's using reality hax to do so). It's admitted by various characters that TK is a total mystery: none of them know anything about his backstory, or even his real name.
  • Claire Stanfield and Graham Specter of Baccano!; Claire's explaination of attributing his incredible strength to his time as a circus acrobat only explains half of the things he has done so far, while Graham's unmatched skill with his wrench and similar strength to Claire's go unexplained. Then Narita states that Ronny Schiatto is probably the only one who can rival Claire in raw power. At the very least Ronny has many explanations for his overwhelming power, yet somehow Claire can give him trouble.
  • The Imagine Breaker of A Certain Magical Index fame; it merely ables its wielder the ability to dispel and negate supernatural powers, such as Magic and Esper abilities. In a World… where magic and superpowers reign supreme, a power which perfectly counters said powers was very much a Game-Breaker for both Sides. Its very existence is one of the series' greatest mysteries; a small handful of individuals know it exists, even fewer of them are well-aware of its origins (which are dubious at best), an extremely rare few are capable of wielding its full potential, and whatever Aleister Crowley has planned for it, and its current host Kamijou Touma is anyone's guess.
  • C.C. and V.V. of Code Geass both have shades of this, at least in the first season. They're basically immortal beings with little to no backstory who grant mental eye powers and speak in riddles, in what is otherwise a Mini-Mecha Real Robot series that focuses on chess and politics. In the second season, much of both their backstories are explained, but not nearly enough to give a complete picture. Fans' desire to learn more about Geass and the Codes is part of the reason why a continuation of the franchise is wanted so much. It's also never explained why Suzaku and Kallen have physical strength and reflexes that go beyond merely impressive and into the realm of obviously superhuman. Even on foot, without the aid of their Super Prototype Knightmare Frames, they've been seen to casually accomplish such feats as outrunning machine gun fire and karate-chopping a bee into pieces mid-flight. (The latter nearly being a Cover-Blowing Superpower for Kallen, since her civilian identity is supposed to be a frail Ordinary High-School Student who takes sick days frequently in order to secretly engage in terrorism.) Nor are either of them ever seen doing training that would justify it as a Charles Atlas Superpower.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku at the start of the series. Nothing was known about his past other than he was found in the mountains by his grandfather and was raised in isolation for a number of years. Other than that, everything about Goku was up in the air like why he was so powerful, had a tail, and why he turned into a big ape during a full moon. His friends and enemies openly debated if he was even human. By Dragon Ball Z, we learned he's a Human Alien from a warrior race and he's actually a weakling by their standards. Even then, his ungodly strength and seemingly endless potential still isn't fully explained given he outpaces the Saiyan Prince, who is said to be the strongest their race have to offer. Part of it is a lot of hard work, but, as the series has shown, hard work alone can't catch natural talent unless it isn't maintained. In Dragon Ball Super, Zamasu becomes so obsessed with Goku's power and endless growth that he actually uses the Super Dragon Balls to take his body, abandoning his godly form.
    • Goku's father, Bardock. Despite being born and classified as a lower class Saiyan, he has a power level around 10,000 before he died. For reference, Goku didn't get that high until he trained with King Kai and he was still only around 8 to 9,000 without the Kaioken. That also makes him much stronger than Nappa, an elite soldier. In fact, he's about as strong as King Vegeta. It can be explained to an extent by Bardock frequently returning from missions on the brink of death, and receiving zenkaisnote  from it, but the very existence of the class system indicates it must have been quite rare for a low-class Saiyan to exceed the power levels of the elites.
    • For decades, no one knew why Frieza and his family were so powerful. His power was so unrivaled that it took a legend to defeat him and every villain afterwards is either demonic in nature or created to be the strongest in the universe. It wasn't until a 2014 interview that it was revealed that Frieza's family are mutants among their race and Frieza himself is a prodigy even among them. This was foreshadowed years earlier, actually, but only to people lucky enough to own and be able to read the Akira Toriyama - The World artbooks, which revealed that Frieza's Quirky Miniboss Squad the Ginyu Force was also made up entirely of freakishly strong mutants. (Of note, Captain Ginyu himself speculates that the above Goku may also be a mutant, but unlike Frieza and co, this has never been confirmed.)
    • Bojack is about as only a Pirate, yet has a power superior to Vegeta and Trunks and surpassing that of Frieza, who the Kais explicitly considered at the time of his arc to be the greatest mortal power in the universe. No explanation has ever been given as to why Bojack is so strong, or why a character at his level of strength is and was content to be a mere Space Pirate.
    • Majin Buu was at first thought to be a magical creation of the wizard Bibidi, but it turns out he just summoned Buu. In truth Buu is as old as the universe and no one knows where he comes from or why he is so strong.
    • Super 17 in Dragon Ball GT, prior to the DBS retcons, was this. He was initially just a fusion of Android 17 and an Evil Counterpart of 17 produced in Hell, both of whom had long since succumbed to the Can't Catch Up nature of the series, yet somehow their fusion was capable of taking on the entire DBGT Saiyan squad without breaking a sweat and even matched Goku in his Super Saiyan 4 state. True, Super 17 made liberal use of his Energy Absorption ability to quickly gain ground and Gero suggested that 17 was a failed Super Prototype with Super 17 being actually 17 in his complete state as Gero intended him to be, but it wasn't until DBS (showing that 17 and 18 were fully capable of training themselves up to match the literal god-tier power levels the main cast reached) that the matter was definitively resolved.
    • Beerus is an especially powerful Destroyer Deity, but turns out to be a mortal whose strength got him a God Job. Who and what he was before is not explored.
    • Jiren is stronger than the Gods of Destruction, despite being mortal. No one knows why, he's just that strong from a lifetime of training. Not even Jiren himself knows how his training got him to be that powerful.
  • Durarara!! is a mostly-realistic series outside of its supernatural elements. Shizuo and his Super-Strength are not among those supernatural elements. The causes of Shizuo's strength clearly would not work for the human body, and yet he explicitly is purely human, and he's stronger than any of the supernatural creatures.
  • Done mildly in Eyeshield 21 with Hiruma. Just about all we know about his past is that he has a strained relationship with his father, has been living in a hotel since he was in middle school, and used to spend his time hanging out at a military base. None of this explains his endless supply of firearms (note that firearm ownership is almost completely illegal in Japan), ability to blackmail people on an international level, or even why he has elf ears. His existence is simply crazy awesome.
  • Haré+Guu: Guu's powers are never truly explained, though it's hinted that she's a Humanoid Abomination.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya, for now, at least. The light novels look like they're going to explain where she got her powers from.
  • Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto. A recurring plot element through the series is Acchan and other bullies trying to make Sakamoto slip up or look stupid. They do this out of jealousy for how easily Sakamoto attracts the attention of all the ladies. Whenever the bullies try, Sakamoto just ends up looking even more cool than he did before. But how is Sakamoto so good at everything? How does he manage to stay perfect through everything he does, even in the face of overwhelmingly bad odds? No explanation; he's just that good.
  • Walter C. Dornez is an ordinary human but one of the deadliest characters in Hellsing thanks to his Razor Floss, and that's in a setting full of vampires and other weirdness. But while Hellsing more or less gives explanations for every other character's abilities, it's never said how or why Walter can use his Razor Floss in ways that don't even pretend to follow the laws of physics. Even at the age of 14, no less.
  • The main characters in Hetalia: Axis Powers are the Anthropomorphic Personifications of various countries. They "grow" as their people expand and grow in power, get "colds" when their countries are having financial problems, and die when their country/national identity is destroyed. It is never explained how or why they exist, they're just there. And since this is mostly a comedy show, it probably never will be explained.
  • Subverted in Ichinensei Ni Nacchattara. The protagonist is Inexplicably Awesome from the perspective of the other main characters, but we the readers know exactly how he came to be that way.
  • Raphael from I'm Gonna Be an Angel! is this even though he's not really doing much throughout much of the series - he's an angel professor from Angel Academy located somewhere in Heaven, has only one wing (the reason for this is probably the series' biggest unexplained mystery) has a very laidback and mischievous attitude and is in a relationship with his male student. For many fan(girl)s he's just Awesome incarnated.
  • Kanon from Jewelpet Sunshine is a high school girl with Super-Strength. It's not outright explained why she has it, but there's the implication that it comes from her being a Wise One.
  • The gag series A Manga About a Stereotypical PE Teacher Who Dies at the Start of a School Horror Movie features this as the primary joke: the titular PE teacher, nicknamed Gorilla, acts out the usual cliches of "Boisterous Weakling Asshole Victim who provokes a villain or monster and then gets brutally killed to show they're dangerous." Then, just when the actual "brutal killing" part happens, Gorilla proceeds to No-Sell the whole thing, barely even recognizing that something supernatural happened, and reprimand the villain or monster as if they're a truant student. In the first chapter, a monster's jaws snapped shut on his head and neck, but he promptly pulled their jaws open and chastised them for wearing tongue piercings against school rules. Needless to say, no origin is given for his amazing abilities, and he doesn't even seem to be aware of them.
  • Mononoke's Medicine Peddler. He comes with no name, no backstory, unexplained magical powers, a Situational Sword, near-immortality, flamboyant clothes and a dry sense of humour. It's not even confirmed if he's human or not. Rather than causing the adventures, however, he just goes to the source. Probably.
  • Ironically enough, Mobile Suit Gundam hero Amuro Ray is this. He's a Newtype, a new breed of psychic human in the Gundam universe postulated to come about as result of humans evolving to adapt to life in space. The UC era's strongest Newtypes, like Paptimus Scirocco and Haman Kahn (both of whom journeyed beyond the asteroid belt into the farther reaches of space), were born in space, as are most of the other Newtype heroes like Kamille Bidan and Judau Ashta. The in-universe theory of Newtypes is that they're an evolutionary trait to adapt to living in space. But Amuro, a Newtype of sufficient strength to estabish a Psychic Link with the entire White Base crew at one point, was born on Earth, and only moves to space as a teenager, and his parents similarly are Earth-born. He's average as Newtypes go, but him even being a Newtype at all contradicts everything we're told about them.
  • Naruto:
    • It's never explained why the Nine Tails is so much stronger than the other tailed beasts, but a mere half of its power is enough to equal six of its brethren at once.
    • Hashirama Senju - the First Hokage, was widely considered to not only be the strongest ninja in the Fire Nation, but the strongest ninja in the world. He had a unique set of skills that were very distinct from his brother Tobirama Senju - such as a Wood Style kekkei genkai, and an impressive Healing Factor without the use of hand seals, rivalling even Tsunade's Creation Rebirth - Strength of a Hundred note . Not even being the reincarnation of the Sage of Six Paths' youngest son explains how exceptional he was as a ninja, since the Sage's younger son didn't have those powers.
    • In Boruto, Moegi Kazamatsuri of all people is out of nowhere revealed to be a Wood Style user. Moegi has no known connection to Hashirama other than coming from the village he founded (same as the majority of the cast), and is too young to have been one of Orochimaru's human test subjects who were injected with Hashirama's cells.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Even by the standards of the other girls, Zazie Rainyday has been an enigma. Even as we delve into the pasts of her classmates (Mercenaries, Mages, Mad Scientists, The Undead, Half-Demons, a Robot, a Time-Traveler), the information we get on her has always been spotty: she's a Silent Bob, she can see ghosts, and she hangs out with unexplained, amorphous demon-like things. She calls them friends. Hundreds of chapters later, even after finally getting some info on her, her origins and motivation remain obscure.
  • Ninja Nonsense has Onsokumaru, who would be this trope, except for the fact that he's an incompetent and perverted moron. An incompetent and perverted moron who's basically a yellow ball with a face on it and who runs a ninja school. In the first episode he claims to be a hawk, but one of the main characters immediately calls him on the Blatant Lies of that.
  • The titular villain of Noein does gets his backstory explained, but his abilities, which include but are not limited to teleporting himself or others across dimensions, causing entities to crumble away with a touch, bending reality, and apparently terraforming his own universe and creating an eldritch army out of captive humans to assimilate parallel universes, are not.
  • Lala Ru of Now and Then, Here and There is a Mysterious Waif with a magic pendant that links to an infinite supply of torrential water, but apart from the fact that she's a living MacGuffin who is Really 700 Years Old and that use of her powers drains her life force, nothing is ever divulged about her origins or backstory. Hamdo would be a lesser, villainous example: it's not at all clear how a raving lunatic who would probably have difficulty going to the bathroom without help ended up "king" of a flying battleship, other than a hitherto unhinted period of mental competence.
  • One-Punch Man:
    • There is no logical explanation for how Saitama obtained his godlike strength, since he was shown to be a rather ordinary man before he started his training. Saitama himself chalks it up to his training regimen... which isn't Training from Hell, but just a moderately difficult, realistically possible, strength training regimen,note  so there's no way he could have become so strong just from that. Many characters Lampshade this, and believe that Saitama has some other secret he isn't telling anybody, but it's suggested that even Saitama doesn't really know how he got so strong.
    • The S class hero known as King is known throughout the populace as the World's Strongest Man despite his rank (7th among the 16 S-class heroes, probably due to the fact that he isn't very active). Any monster that unluckily meets him in battle is reduced to gore while he himself is left unscathed by the ordeal. Among the S class Heroes who have explicit skills and/or powers known to all (such as psychic powers, Super-Speed/Super-Strength, Healing Factor etc..), King's skillset and/or powers are a mystery and all that is said about his battles is that he "did a special move/something" that resulted in his victory. King is actually a subversion because he is an ordinary guy, and the monsters that got credited as his kills were actually Saitama's kills. King just happened to be the one left in the scene after Saitama had left.
  • Pani Poni Dash! is already packed with random insanity, but even the other characters can't begin to wrap their minds around their class president, Ichijou. Observe. If anyone tells you they know what's up with Ichijou, they are lying!
  • While many of Sailor Moon's Minako Aino's many abilities are explained by her training as a Sailor Soldier, once in a while she shows one that comes out of the blue, such as having been a decent martial artist (with Savate, of all things) and a formidable athlete before becoming a Sailor Soldier or being a good enough hairdresser to deal with Usagi's sudden hair growth. It's hinted she grew up abroad, but as it's never explored beyond small scattered hints there's no confirmation.
  • Re:CREATORS is a series full of Techno Babble and long explanations, but not one word is said about how a random character by some amateur artist (the Big Bad Military Uniform Princess) could become alive to avenge her creator's suicide, drag other fictional characters from their universes to our reality, and become almost omnipotent by manifesting every power and ability that other artists gave to each and every iteration of her in their homages and related works. Also, she curbstomps everyone and the only way to stop her is to give her what she wanted from the beginning, making her a blatant Karma Houdini and rendering everything that happened during the series pretty much pointless.
  • Downplayed in Steins;Gate. While it's revealed that everyone has some form of Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory (in fact, it's stated to be the reason people experience deja vu) the protagonist Okabe Rintaro exhibits a far, far stronger variant that lets him recall enough about previous timelines that the shift heavily disorients him. Outside a reference to a childhood fever once giving him a similar sensation, it's never explained exactly why he alone exhibits this ability.
  • Hohenheim's master in Fullmetal Alchemist was able to create the Dwarf in a Flask using alchemy and some of Hohenheim's blood. The dwarf is stated to be a piece of what lies beyond the gate, but how alchemy actually brought him into being is left unexplained.
  • Genjuro Kazanari of Symphogear is considered one of, if not the, strongest characters in the franchise, capable of absolutely curbstomping most of the cast with his Super-Strength. This is despite the fact that while most of the cast have ancient Magitek weapons that grant superhuman abilities, Genjuro has no such weapon and seems to owe his strength entirely to Charles Atlas Superpower; the only reason he rarely fights himself is his lack of defensive abilities (Noise disintegrate humans on contact and no amount of muscle would make him immune to that). Whenever asked, he credits his skills to watching lots of action movies. Then it turns out his father is just as inexplicably strong despite being an eighty-something old man, which raises about as many questions as it answers.
  • Rito of To Love Ru and his awesome Accidental Pervert situations. While his unique clumsiness with the girls is not exactly a true skill which he would ever be proud of, it's nonetheless become one of his trademark characteristics, the frequency and coincidence of which are nothing less than extraordinary. Chapter 66 of Darkness lampshades this, when Doctor Mikado is convinced that all of his incidents are not the disease, but instead it is his natural talent manifested because of the way Rito extremely restrained himself with the girls, causing his "libido" to accumulate and release in form of accidentally groping girls' bodies and all the other perverted stuffs that have happened so far!
  • Rak Wraithraiser from Tower of God. How did he get here in the first place? He swam through Shinsu, that's all we know. He is loud, theatric, surprisingly intuitive and has an inspiring, simple mindset that can change people in an instant, even though they are a lot smarter than him. He kicks several kinds of ass and wields a giant spear, making him a literal Lancer for protagonist Twenty-Fifth Bam. Any obstacle he faces he overcomes within days, if there is something he wants, he'll get it and there is no-one greater in his mind than him, as can be seen in his countless Badass Boasts. Yet we know almost nothing about how Rak came to be, but it's okay, since he is badass enough to be named ManGator by fans. And this is the point where we should mention that he is a 4m (12ft) tall bipedal alligator that looks like a reincarnation of Godzilla.

    Comic Books 
  • Atomic Robo: Doctor Dinosaur claims to be a velociraptor who built a time machine after the Large Hadron Collider killed the dinosaurs and gave him super-intelligence, then traveled forward in time to sabotage the LHC. All of these claims are dubious at best, and there seem to be plenty of more plausible explanations for every ridiculous thing Dr. Dinosaur says... and yet, he keeps doing things that are flat out impossible, to the point where one starts wondering if his raving explanation is the truth.
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac was intentionally created without a backstory because author Jhonen Vasquez knew that no backstory would satisfy reader expectations. He also felt that "I got pantsed in school. I kill now!" is a pretty silly motivation.
  • The Joker runs on this trope, causing him to be the Trope Namer and Trope Codifier for tropes ranging from Joker Immunity to Multiple-Choice Past. He's so pants-on-head insane that even Superman has a hard time dealing with him whenever they go toe to toe. It's even implied that he is so unhinged, he is aware of the Fourth Wall, and just doesn't care.
  • The Phantom Stranger:
    • The comic went decades without any kind of "origin", until DC did a special issue of Secret Origins that offered four different, contradictory explanations for his mysterious abilities. Nowadays, most fans and many writers treat Alan Moore's tale of an angel who wouldn't choose sides in the War in Heaven as the de facto origin.
    • Geoff Johns has put a new spin on his origins: apparently, he was cursed by a group called the Circle of Eternity to watch what he sowed. That only leaves us asking this question: what did he sow? Then he's revealed to be Judas. As part of his punishment, the Circle condemned him to wear his thirty pieces of silver around his neck forever as a mark of shame. This was not well received and as of the latest universal Retcon, this backstory has been erased.
  • During Marvel's run of G.I. Joe, Zartan was very much this. How can this assassin/biker gang leader make himself look like anyone within seconds? Never answered! The closest we got was outside speculation that it is "a mixture of hypnosis and holograms". Later on Devil's Due as well as IDW's reboot both gave their own origin to Zartan, and they had one thing in common: they did not explain the full extent of his ability.
  • Stardust the Super Wizard was an Golden Age superhero with very ill-defined superpowers that could do basically everything he wanted (via various rays) and whose origin and motivations for fighting crime were completely unknown. It's implied he was Sufficiently Advanced Alien since his powers are said to be based on "science" which is so advanced it might as well look like magic for normal humans (hence the Super Wizard in his name), but the creator never really cared elaborating on it (naturally, since the Golden Age wasn't particularly known for setting up rules or some kind of realistic grounding into the lore), and being public domain nowadays a 'canon' explanation is impossible.
  • Wolverine was like this for years after he was introduced. His face went unrevealed for about six months, the nature of his claws for a bit longer, several of his powers (healing factor, unbreakable bones) were unmentioned for years, the name "Logan" wasn't revealed until months after that, and his true origin took decades to come out. Marvel Comics was genuinely worried that his mysterious past was what made him cool, and if they revealed too much, they would not only ruin Wolverine, they would ruin the X-Men, and thus destroy Marvel Comics.
  • The limitless potential of the Summers/Grey family tree in X-Men has been a cornerstone of the series ever since Mr. Sinister showed up in the 80's, but to this day we don't know exactly why the Summers/Grey line is so special, or what about it causes it to produce Superpower Lottery Winner level mutants with such regularity. A special shout-out goes to Vulcan, the long-anticipated 'Third Summers Brother' who debuted in 2005's Deadly Genesis story. While his brothers Cyclops and Havok are strong Alpha-level mutants, Vulcan surpasses them by orders of magnitude, to the point of boasting a power comparable to Dark Phoenix Jean Grey despite not being a Phoenix Force host. Indeed, in a What If? tale where he did become a Phoenix Force host, Vulcan immediately incinerated the Shi'ar homeworld and went on a galactic cosmic temper tantrum before coming to Earth and nearly roasting that to a crisp as well.
    • And even Vulcan arguably pales before his niece and two of his nephews: Cable, arguably the weakest of the bunch could successfully hold up the vast island-city of Providence (which he'd been doing for months, often in his sleep and on the other side of the world) while simultaneously fighting the Silver Surfer on even footing, communicating with him, and repairing the damage their fight was doing on a molecular level. Rachel, meanwhile, was capable creating baby black holes via the sheer strength of her telekinesis and go toe to toe with Thor while rifling through his mind - and that before several recent jumps in power. Oh, and did we mention that she's arguably the Phoenix's favourite host? Even more than mummy dearest? And that she has vast and vague temporal manipulation powers that allow her to travel through billions of years at will? Then there's Nate Grey, the baby of the family, who was a Dark Phoenix rated Reality Warper at 17 and most recently ascended to literally become a new plane of reality.
    • On a less galactic scale, this also applies to the elite few mutants born before the atomic age such as Apocalypse, Selene, Exodus and the Externals. For decades it was strongly implied that the advent of nuclear power was responsible for the emergence of mutants, hence their early sobriquet of "the children of the atom". While this has since been downplayed as the trope has declined in popularity, even in recent years it has been suggested that the detonation of atomic bombs triggered an explosion in mutant birth rates. And yet, the mutants above and a few others were born well before the atomic age, and several of them have immortality as part of their power sets as well.
  • Best Tiger from Invincible. What's his origin story? How can he make bullets ricochet off objects in flagrant defiance of the laws of physics while blindfolded? How can his mind discern patterns and trajectories so flawlessly he can even tell when someone's reading his mind? Does he even have powers or is everything he does just Charles Atlas Superpower taken to inhuman extremes? He is Best Tiger, that's all the answer you're getting, and quite frankly it's the only one you need.
  • The world of Scott Pilgrim is very much a video game-inspired place of Magical Realism, which follows the lives of an eclectic, but otherwise realistically-adjusted cast of young adults in Toronto, mixed with the occasional arcade-style brawl with supernatural powers. Even in that context, it's still rather odd that the titular character — a slacker devoid of life goals and more than a bit of an irresponsible manchildis in fact the best fighter in the province; it's just simply accepted as a narrative fact because it's awesome.

    Comic Strips 
  • The title character of Liō. It's possible the entire strip is the non-school-approved daydreams of a very weird kid. But if the pet squid, the outer space trips, and the showing up of other comic strip characters are real, he's got to be Inexplicably Awesome.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has The Archmage Doctor Strange, an incredibly powerful Master Sorcerer who can make the Gods themselves dance at his whims. This is by design - there is, in fact, quite a lot of backstory behind just how he can do all of that, a large chunk of which is filled in during the sequel.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami has an strictly in universe variation with the title character. The reader knows how she got where she is but the villains, and most of the heroes find her a very big, very dangerous unknown.
  • Pokémon Strangled Red gives us Miki, a Charmander who evolves earlier than most members of her species, and is unusually powerful and resistant to super-effective attacks. The reason is never mentioned.
  • There Was Once an Avenger From Krypton has Doctor Doom. His mystical abilities far outstrip anything he should be theoretically capable of given his origin as someone from an alternate universe where the rules of magic are different, and he can use wizard-style magic despite not having the right bloodline or supernatural blessings. Hecate herself, despite being the Greek Goddess of Magic, actually joins his cause just to understand how he does what he does.

    Films ― Animation 
  • The many supernatural horrors from Where the Dead Go to Die, who are never given a true explanation as to what they are. Labby and the sun-headed Jesus in particular are very puzzling in this regard.
  • Frozen: Elsa was born with ice powers simply because the plot requires her to be born with ice powers. A few lines imply that this isn't entirely without precedent, however. Word of God explained it later, with 1,000 years passing since the last one, as well as a case of When the Planets Align. Doesn't make her any less awesome. This would later be subverted in Frozen II where the origin of her powers does receive an explanation, albeit an esoteric one.
  • Pocahontas's shamanic powers go unnoticed by most of the characters, but she actually accomplishes quite a bit with them: she talks to trees, summons up spirits, leaps over ravines through levitating, survives crashing down in the water from a cliff, and learns English within three seconds.
  • The Sparrow Guardian from Willy the Sparrow. She's a strange old woman who inflicts a Karmic Transformation on Willy, can communicate with animals, and can walk over thin air. In the original Hungarian, she's described as a fairy of some kind.
  • It is never explained where any of the Supers from The Incredibles came from, whether their powers depend on individual circumstance, artificial enhancement from the same Weird Science, if they are a Superior Species that evolved from humans naturally or some kind of When the Planets Align situation. The only supers whose powers are explained are Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack, and they have powers because their parents have powers.
  • Lampshaded in The Mitchells vs. the Machines. Katie wonders why anyone in their right mind would not only build the world's biggest Furby, but also make it able to shoot lasers from its mouth.

    Films ― Live-Action 
  • The Joker as depicted in The Dark Knight proves conclusively that you don't have to be even remotely on the side of good to embody this trope. The movie goes to great lengths to deny that the Joker has any Backstory whatsoever, even having the Joker himself lampoon the idea by twice (and nearly three times) giving mutually contradictory explanations of how he got his signature scars.
  • Yoda in Star Wars. Every single alien in the cantina scene of A New Hope has been given a name, a species, and an extensive backstory in the Expanded Universe, but we don't even know the name of Yoda's species (it's known that there are others of his species, but they're extremely rarenote  and just as mysterious as Yoda is). He's just some little old green guy who happens to be the most powerful Jedi who ever lived. And George Lucas intends it to stay that way; Yoda's history is officially off-limits. The novel I, Jedi mentions via a Holocron that significant elements of Yoda's backstory are known (at least to some) in-universe, but while the book's first-person narrator says that the tale of how Yoda became a Jedi was very interesting, he shares absolutely none of that story with the readers. Lucas never explained why it was so important for Yoda's past to be mysterious, other than that being mysterious is part of the point of his character.
  • Mystery Men: The Sphinx has two superpowers, apparently: he can slice guns apart with his mind, and "He's terribly mysterious".
  • Labyrinth: Jareth is a handsome, snarky, elegant Reality Warper who appears human, yet somehow became the Goblin King and created the titular Mobile Maze to surround their city. His unknown Backstory has become prime Fanfic Fuel over the decades. The official spinoffs give different answers, with Return to Labyrinth having him be an ancient magical creature of unknown nature, and Labyrinth: Coronation having him be a stolen human baby.
  • Hardcore Henry: In a futuristic society of cyborgs and clones, the villain Akan has telekinetic powers. No one else has mental powers, and his are never explained.

  • Mary Poppins is not only an example of this trope, but quite possibly scarier than the Joker once you realize that in the original books, she was practically a Physical God. She wasn't the nice, motherly, "oh children, what shall I do with you?" type of nanny either, but the "put you through Ironic Hell until you cry uncle and promise to behave" type.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Tom Bombadil appears for exactly one segment of the first book which has absolutely no impact on the surrounding plot, his powers have no clear (if any) limitations, and most notably the One Ring has zero effect on him whatsoever. Tolkien was deliberately vague as to his origins, so that some mysteries might remain in the world. It's outright stated that he was the first being in Eä, and that he will be the last. This means that when Morgoth and the other Valar descended from the Halls of Ilúvatar into the world he was already there.note  Perhaps understandably, no adaptations of the book thus far have included him, not only because he brings the narrative to an absolute dead stop screeching halt, but because his very presence trivializes the aura of power and menace surrounding the Ring.
    • A lot of creatures in Tolkien's Middle Earth are utterly unexplained, from the eagles to the dragons to the Nameless Things. This is partly because of his very strict metaphysical rules; whereas other fantasy series could easily get away with making random species, from an in-universe perspective they don't make any sense, and so their origins are hotly debated by Tolkien fans.
  • The Magic School Bus, featuring the eccentric and wonderful Ms. Frizzle, was a set of picture books before it was a cartoon series.
  • Inheritance Cycle: At the start of the series, Angela seems to be a short and harmless herbalist with a sharp wit who doesn't like to use magic and enjoys knitting. Then we find out the she can speak Urgal, happens to be a Seer, is the only person in the entire Varden who is able to shield her mind and thoughts from the cursed-child Elva (whose powers even the dragon-rider Eragon isn't immune to), is able to simultaneously hold the amazingly skilled fighter Arya, the ferocious dragon Saphira and the dragon-rider Eragon in place with her mind alone, has killed eight-feet-tall Kulls in hand-to-hand combat, and is an expert at using the sword she carries — which turns out to be the sharpest blade in all of existence. Her origin and past is unknown and left open to speculation. During a telepathic duel against the High Priest of Helgrind, she whispers who she truly is to it. We don't know what she said, but the High Priest promptly broke down in screaming horror.
  • Derek Leech in The Quorum by Kim Newman. He first appears standing on the bed of the river Thames in 1961. He already has "language, knowledge, purpose" and a name, but he doesn't have any history before then. He goes on to build himself from nothing into a highly influential Corrupt Corporate Executive who is part Rupert Murdoch, part Richard Branson and part Satan, working inexorably towards a diabolical purpose, not sleeping and chewing constantly to keep his rat-like teeth from growing too long, but there's never an explanation of where he came from.
  • There is a character called Hoid that shows up in all Brandon Sanderson's adult fiction (which are all in the same verse. The only things we know are that it's the same person every time, he can hop from world to world by some unknown means, and that he's apparently immortal (seeing as the books he's appeared in take place over a 500 year or thereabouts time span according to Word of God) He frequently acts odd but seems to have a homing instinct for significant events and people, even if those people don't really understand their own significance. He has some skill with a type of magic called Lightweaving, which is talked about in one of Brandon Sanderson's unpublished works, Dragonsteel (or the Liar of Partinel). The magic involves, among other things, illusions. He may well be one of the oldest living things in the universe, given that he was there at the shattering of Adonalsium.
  • The possibility that the trope namer for The Wonka — Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — might be a Time Lord is one of the Grand Unifying Guesses. Absolutely no backstory is given for him in the original novel and its sequel, leaving the reader only with this extraordinary gentleman who has not only become a Living Legend for the Impossibly Delicious Food his factory produces, but employs a race of doll-sized people as his workforce, has a glass elevator that doubles as a functioning spacecraft, and has invented such wonders as a fountain-of-youth pill and its aging counterpart...among other things. To date, only one major adaptation (the 2005 film) has attempted to give him a detailed backstory, and even then it only goes so far to explain the wonders he's created. The 2013 stage musical has him only say this much:
    Despite the man seen at these doors
    My childhood home was bland like yours
    But I knew how to look to find
    A world that wasn't color-blind
  • In Victoria, William Kraft's background is never revealed, but he appears fairly wealthy and extremely well-connected, even on the international scene, and is a major charismatic leader, military strategist and political mastermind in spite of his complete lack of official credentials and often "eccentric" habits.
  • The Demon Headmaster: The titular headmaster is an ordinary-looking man, in an otherwise mundane setting, who just happens to have Hypnotic Eyes and an obsessive desire to take over the country. No backstory is ever provided for him, and the heroes are generally too busy trying to stop him to look into the matter.
  • Fate/strange fake: Ayaka Sajyou is supposedly a completely ordinary person with no Magic Circuits and no special powers. However, she is somehow able to be a Master and supply her Servant with more mana than a first class magus can. A few characters get confused by this, but she cannot answer how; she didn't even know that the supernatural existed until she gained a Servant.
  • Diane Duane's So You Want To Be A Wizard series features a series of mysterious, almighty entities known only as "the Powers" who are led by The One, from whom all life springs forth. The members of this group are not themselves examples of this trope; they're described as analogues to gods and spirits in different cultures, and in fact all religions' interpretations are just different names for the same Powers. However, despite creating the entire multiverse and knowing all there is to know, there's one entity who is a total stranger to them and thus definitely Inexplicably Awesome—Chao, the Transcendent Pig. As his name implies, he's a chubby, talkative pig who is literally everywhere and everywhen at once, meaning he's totally omniscient; it's possible to play a game with him in which he'll respond to any one question you have in exchange for your asking three he cannot answer. It's also implied that he's already introduced himself to everyone on all worlds at some point, even though people have only the vaguest memories of that meeting (we see this with Nita introduces him to her mother; when Chao remarks "We've met," she replies "You know, we have...but for the life of me I can't remember where."). Chao is also the only being who knows the meaning of life, and it's protocol to ask him about it whenever you meet him on the offchance that he might slip up and give it away. None of the other Powers have the slightest clue about where Chao came from, if one of them created him (it's theorized that whoever did might be too embarrassed to admit it), and his role in the grand design of Creation. Thankfully, Chao is an incredibly nice entity and is perfectly happy to have pleasant chats with everyone from wizards to humans.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete had Artie, the World's Strongest Man. Or more accurately, The Strongest Man... in the World! His on-camera feats include hitting a golf ball 300,003 yards, pushing a house to the left an inch, rolling a bowling ball from Wellsville to Canada, skipping a stone on Neptune, leaving the Wrigley family's gutters clean and spotless by blowing through the drainage pipe, and leaping across the city in a single jump. At the same time, this is a man who claimed that he would destroy the "foul green pipe" when battling with a hose, rode a canoe through someone's backyard, and "beat up the Atlantic Ocean" by repeatedly punching the incoming tide. While Artie fit in with the show's theme of treating mundane topics as Serious Business for the sake of comedy, no one else in the show even came close to doing the kinds of things that Artie was capable of. The showrunners have confirmed that Artie was a real person in-universe and not a figment of anyone's imagination. But it was never explained how Artie could do the things he does, or how he's the strongest man in the world. He just is.
  • At the start of Arrow, Oliver Queen is rescued from the island of Lian Yu, a place so hellish he's had to become an incredible badass to survive, capable of taking on criminals armed with automatic weapons with just a bow and arrow. Yet he can also speak Russian and construct Trick Arrows capable of sophisticated electronic hacking, skills he could not have picked up if he'd been marooned on an island for five years. It takes five seasons of flashbacks before we get the full story of what really happened.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor, towards the start of their decades long run, was a bizarre man with no solid explanation for his story-generating time-travelling abilities. Since then much background information has been stated, but the most important piece ― that their people are ultra-powerful masters of time and they're on the run from them ― was revealed back in 1969, and large gaps in the Doctor's past and character are half-shrouded and still strange. Various Retcons and attempts to explain things (or make things more complicated) have been attempted, but it's generally accepted the Doctor will always retain some level of mystery.
    • The Master, the Doctor's Evil Counterpart, is similar. Russell T. Davies added a vague "origin story" in the revival, but it still left some holes, and their past relationship and obsession with the Doctor is still unexplained. All we know for sure is that the two of them used to be best friends, and still are on some level no matter how often the Master tries to take over the world or kill the Doctor.
      Clara: "He's not your friend, you keep trying to kill him!"
      Missy: "He keeps trying to kill me. It's sort of our texting. We've been at it for ages."
    • The Weeping Angels are one of the most terrifying monsters in the entire history of the series partially because of this trope. No effort is made to explain their origin or motivations and what little is known about them is only barely understood. To the point where Rassilon, the founder of Time Lord society, once even referred to them as "the Weeping Angels of Old", implying that they not only predate the Time Lords, but even they don't know what the hell they actually are?!
  • The title character of Ghost Writer is an amnesiac ghost who communicates by manipulating text to form messages. His true identity is never determined, and only a few vague clues are ever given; he's a Friend to All Children (his first words on screen were "Are the children safe?"), remembers being chased by dogs at some point, and was born some time before the twentieth century. According to two of the show's writers and producers, the plan was to reveal Ghostwriter as an ancestor of Jamal's—a runaway slave (hence the being chased by dogs) who was captured and killed for teaching other slaves to read—but the show was cancelled before they could produce that episode.
  • Mr. Roarke of Fantasy Island, especially in later seasons, where he demonstrated supernatural abilities well beyond the fantasies he provided for his guests, including confronting and turning away demonic entities.
  • Kamen Rider Den-O has the Owner of the Den Liner. Owner is a very enigmatic middle-aged man capable of feats that were never explained in the show. He can, for example, keep up with a speeding train. On foot. And he is shown to be immune to Ryutaro's mind control, possessing a similar ability himself. What makes this character especially awesome is his stoic and calm way of acting, while doing all of his unexplained stuff.
  • Robbie Rotten from LazyTown is always full of gadgets, evil schemes, and other plans, but how his disguises, teleportation, and other inventions work is an exercise for the viewer. Some episodes hint that it's magic while others science, and still others both. And that's not even getting into his phone that can order anything.
  • MythBusters: Jokes about Jamie Hyneman's Expansion Pack Past can sometimes turn him into a bit of this — maybe he can't actually pull off all this stuff they're saying, but doesn't it sound like he could?
  • Kramer from Seinfeld, who should by all rights be the biggest loser in the series but doesn't appear to know defeat, regularly accomplishing feats far outside the normal parameters of the show (at one point leading George to exclaim, "You're Batman!") He once adequately explained how he managed to (seemingly unintentionally) seduce a confirmed lesbian by simply saying, "I'm Kramer."
    George: ... His whole life is a fantasy camp. People should plunk down two thousand dollars to live like him for a week. Do nothing, fall ass-backwards into money, mooch food off your neighbors and have sex without dating, that's a fantasy camp.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation's Guinan. By all appearances, she's nothing more than a middle-aged human woman with some excellent hats... who's old enough to have been married 23 times, powerful enough to intimidate Q, perceptive enough to sense changes in the fabric of space-time, and knowledgeable enough to know about alien races that the Federation has never made contact with. And yet, she chooses to spend her life tending bar on the Enterprise, usually dispensing life advice to neurotic Starfleet officers. The only clues we ever get about her background are that she's from "a race of Listeners" who were almost entirely assimilated by the Borg and that she's spent some time in both 19th century San Francisco and the Nexus.
  • Karen Walker from Will & Grace would frequently joke about outrageous, often contradictory episodes from her life, even from before she married Stan and became the over the top Rich Bitch. Still, Noodle Incidents ("You know how I'm into gangster rap right?"), celebrity friends, her real age, and even the condition of her immortal soul were strictly on a need-to-know basis.


    Tabletop Games 
  • The Lady of Pain in Planescape manages to be this, which is quite a feat in a setting where the actual gods are an important element. Partially because she's capable of keeping them out of Sigil, and even seems to be responsible for killing a god who tried to set up shop in her town, and partially because nothing about her is ever explained. We don't even know her Character Alignment or if "she" is actually female. But don't, don't try to worship her. Because of the more philosophical nature of the setting, the creators went out of their way to keep her an enigma, including vetoing any and all attempts to attach stats to her. (The closest they got to giving her any kind of stats was in the 3rd Edition sourcebook Planar Handbook, in which she is described as Lawful Neutral and female. This alone was too much for some older fans to stomach.) She is also one of the few entities to avert the Lord British Postulate. NEVER challenge or anger her - you can't withstand her wrath. Given the setting, being this is essential to her power: the setting runs on Clap Your Hands If You Believe, so if enough people knew or even decided together on what she is, even a deity, she would become that, and thus most likely vastly less powerful than she is now.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Cypher. We don't know who he is, where he comes from, where he's going, or what he wants. All we know is he periodically shows up on battlefields to turn people into smoking craters with his two pistols and that he has a sword that he never uses. What's even stranger is that he's a Chaos Space Marine who has the same "And They Shall Know No Fear" trait as Loyalist Marines.
    • The Immortal God-Emperor of Mankind appeared out of nowhere during humanity's darkest time (well, one of them, at least) to lead a centuries-long, galaxy-spanning campaign of conquest that united nearly all of humanity under one rule for the first time in its history. He is given an origin story, but it makes no sense and only appears in early material, which is frequently ignored by writers and fans alike. In later materials it's treated as one option in a Multiple-Choice Past.
    • His second in command Malcador gets even less of an origin, despite being second only to the Emperor in psychic power and the founder of basically the entire Imperial government. When the Emperor first shows up in the backstory, they were already old friends.


    Video Games 
  • The entire main cast of Killer7 qualifies, all the more since the officially published backstory doesn't actually match what's presented in the game. Even the character with the most backstory given in the game, Dan Smith, still counts once you realize he had to have died twice.
  • The G-Man from Half-Life appears to be a plainly dressed businessman with a speech impediment, a bit strange-looking (described as "Emaciated Robert Oppenheimer" by one fan), but still basically normal-looking. Yet he pulls the weirdest tricks in the whole game, freezing time and walking right into a scene as if through the Fourth Wall. The way he speaks, the words he chooses, and the references he makes accentuate his oddness. For that matter, looking like a calm and plainly dressed businessman is itself odd when he appears in the middle of an alien-infested war zone. The only hint about who, or rather what, he might actually be comes from Word of God stating that the direction they were going for when portraying him was to make him come across as something that has assumed A Form You Are Comfortable With, but doesn't care if you're convinced enough by its disguise to remain comfortable with it.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has a few characters who qualify. Who is the Happy Mask Shop Man, how did he come by Majora's Mask, and why is he the only guy with time-travel-proof memory besides Link and co.? Majora's Mask itself toes the line between this and Eldritch Abomination, as does its opposite number, the Fierce Deity Mask - Majora has some backstory alluded to in-game, but it's fairly vague.
  • Big Joe, a wandering Elvis Impersonator in the original Xenogears. He encounters the party at the most bizarre moments: During the Aveh tournament he is the crowd favorite. His moves deal pitiful damage, but the audience in turn restores his HP and hurls cans at you for big-time hurt; he cons 5000 G out of you in the Nortune Civil Block; he plays cards against you on the Yggdrasil; he is a prisoner in the Ethos HQ; while Shevat is under attack, he is found in the air ducts pondering his life; and he is a dancer in the Level 2 area of Etrenank. In the end of the game, he is both a Sound Test and a shop keeper in the ruins of Zeboim. A somewhat hidden fact in the game is that Big Joe was actually living at the time of the ancient Zeboim civilization, a five-time hit movie star, NBA Player of the Match, Baseball Triple Clow, Wimbledon Grandslam - and in the same year he won both the WWE Championship and a Pulitzer prize. Unfortunately, he fell over at one of his numerous prize ceremonies, damaging his brain, and started to think he was Elvis. Somehow he placed in suspended animation before Zeboim fell and woke up 4000 years later in the present day Xenogears era, explaining his longevity (but not his indestructibility or seeming teleportation between cities.)
  • Zer0 in Borderlands 2. Gearbox even says they designed him to be this. The only things we know about him are that he is (likely) male, he (usually) fights for the thrill and challenge, and loves haiku to the point of speaking exclusively in it. Beyond that, we know nothing. We don't even know if he's human.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Flemeth, until the third game shed some light on her. She's an immortal shapeshifting witch on a completely different power level than anyone else in the setting, can identify world-changing heroes on sight, and no-one knows quite what she is; not the escaped slave from The Magocracy, not the possessed mage, not even her own daughter. The fact that she has planted several fake backstories for herself in folklore and intentionally drops self-contradictory hints doesn't help. The third game gives an answer while bringing up even more questions. The demon said to have possessed Flemeth in legend was not a demon, but the remains of the elven goddess of love and justice. Now the question is, what were the elven gods?
    • Awakening has the Architect, a sapient and non-violent Darkspawn. Don't ask him how he came to be a sapient Darkspawn; he's just as clueless about that as you are. As far as he knows, he just happened to be born deaf to the "song" of the Old Gods, allowing him free will. David Gaider hints that he's a being like Corypheus; i.e. he's a human mage turned into a unique Darkspawn and essentially one of the Chantry's Satan analogues.
  • Saints Row:
    • The Boss. Throughout all the games, we never get anything more than tantalising glimpses into their Mysterious Past, never anything concrete that explains just how some random schmuck remade him/herself into the second most deadly person on the planet. Kinzie apparently knows everything about them thanks to the internet and her computer skills, but the Boss tells her in no uncertain terms that if she ever speaks a word of that information, she's dead. Interestingly, British Boss specifically uses the word "classified" with regards to this information, possibly hinting at some sort of military or spy background for that particular Boss.
    • Oleg from Saints Row: The Third. How did he get so large, powerful, durable? What exactly did he do for the KGB? How does he recognise STAG technology or the Deckers' NEMO Chair? Apart from a vague assertion that it would be best for his alliance with the Saints if they did not know, we have nothing. He's Promoted to Playable in the Alternate Universe game Agents of Mayhem as Yeti. In this universe, he was experimented on as part of a Russian Super-Soldier program... but all that did was turn him into An Ice Person, he was still just as huge before that and it's still never explained.
  • Max Payne. In an ostensibly realistic Film Noir-inspired series, we get absolutely no explanation as to how a supposedly ordinary (former) policeman is actually an escapee from a Heroic Bloodshed work who has Super-Reflexes, fighting skills that special forces would weep in envy over, and only needs painkillers to shrug off ridiculous amounts of damage.
  • HUNK from Resident Evil. He's implied to be Umbrella's top non-Super-Soldier operative, taking up the moniker of "Mr. Death" due to his habit of being the Sole Survivor of crazy Suicide Missions. He's never been met by any of the main protagonists, and no-one knows his real name or his past, although we have been given very brief glimpses of his face (in one ending, he takes his gasmask off and you can see his reflection in the visor).
  • The Merchant in Resident Evil 4. Nobody has any idea who or even what he is (there's some subtle hints in his appearance that he's probably not human) or where he gets all those wonderful guns, or why he's even selling them to you.
    • The Duke, of Resident Evil Village, is similar to the Merchant (in fact, an Easter Egg—the Duke reciting the Merchant's famous "Whaddya buyin'?" catchphrase—reveals that the two know each other), both in his role in the game (providing weapons) and the total mystery surrounding him. He's Ambiguously Human at best, as he's so fat that he's quite literally bursting out of his clothes, yet nimble and able to perform Offscreen Teleportation. He also possesses many strange abilities, including cooking meals so delicious that they permanently boost Ethan's stats and laughing off full-on explosions, but the Duke never outright challenges Mother Miranda, though he does openly defy her laws seemingly without concern for the consequences. The Duke also knows a lot more than he lets on—he tells Ethan all about the Four Lords and how to restore Rose—but never says anything outright, instead providing cryptic clues and vague hints with a chuckle. Though the Duke claims to be a True Neutral who'll sell to anyone, he's also Ethan's closest ally in the game and does him constant favors, all the while claiming that he's simply providing "first-class customer service." At the end of the game, Ethan outright asks the Duke "Who—what are you?", and the Duke only laughs and says that even he doesn't know the answer.
  • OFF leaves a lot of things about many of the characters in the game mysterious, but Zacharie is easily the most mysterious of them all. He's completely aware that he's in a video game, and the player eventually finds out that he owns the amusement park in Zone 2 (and a book can be found in the same zone about a hero slaying a monster, with the hero somewhat implied to be Zacharie.) He's rubbed shoulders with a lot of characters, including the Judge (who he's on a first name basis with and is even willing to take over for him for a while when he's grieving over the loss of his brother,) Hugo (who has taken a huge liking to him in the past) and Optional Boss Sugar. There's also no explanation given as to why he's willing to repeatedly sell things to the Batter when he's planning to basically destroy the world.
  • No More Heroes and its sequels (No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, No More Heroes III). If you're lucky, you'll get a brief snippet of vague backstory for your next assassin, but other than that there's no explanation for the insane mailman superhero with the crotch laser (who even comes back as two separate characters in the sequel despite (or due to) being bisected), the Japanese guy with the beam naginata who can summon laser dragons, the unstable baseball bat-wielding ballerina with an army of gimps, the aliens who challenge you in battle, and many other characters. Even the UAA itself is strange and incomprehensible; somehow Sylvia managed to dupe at least 11 dangerous killers (and one loser otaku with a beam katana) into believing they were part of a fictional organization and get them to kill each other. But then in the sequel it's suddenly a real organization again. Travis Strikes Again follows it up by having the aforementioned ballerina's drunken baseball player father come to avenge her death, at least until he learns of a cursed video game console that can bring her back to life (which actually kinda makes sense, long story). Subverted there, as the DLC finally explains their backstory.
  • The Adviser from the Grand Campaign in Total War: Warhammer and sequels. Somehow, no matter what faction or Legendary Lord you pick to start your campaign, he's managed to talk his way into becoming their chief adviser and councillor, with nary a Hand Wave given. This being in spite of the fact that most of the non-human factions in Warhammer actively loathe or at least look down on humans, and that it's not at all clear what exactly his profession is. (He's implied to be a Necromancer in the Vampire Counts campaign and a Chaos Sorcerer in Warriors of Chaos/Beastmen campaigns, but being a mage of some stripe still doesn't explain how he managed to convince the Greenskins, the Wood Elves, the Dwarfs or either human faction to listen to him.)
  • Sans from Undertale is, at a glance, a skeleton in a blue hoodie, sports shorts and slippers who would rather lounge around, make silly jokes and hang out with his friends at the local monster bar and restaurant than try to capture the Human Child. Despite this, he's the single weakest monster in the Underground that nevertheless displays a level of skill that blows the established cast out of the water with creative tactics, and if you try to kill everyone, he will give you a bad time. Combined with the fact that he's thwarted Flowey's plans more than once, demonstrates the ability to teleport and has knowledge of various resets, there's a broken-down time machine hidden in his bedroom, his Gaster Blasters are named after an even more mysterious character who seems to have disappeared and been temporally scattered across space and time, he seems to be aware of the game mechanics and the save system, coupled with the fact that a red substance that's probably blood comes out of him when he dies and not turned to dust like all established monsters, and an awful lot of fans are left convinced that Sans isn't even actually a monster at all. One thing's for certain, though: whatever his story is, there's a lot more to it than what's shown in the game.
  • Pokémon:
    • In the 1996 guidebook Pocket Monsters Encyclopedia it's explained that being able to be stored and transported as data is a property of the Pokémon themselves instead of technology and nobody's 100% sure how it works. In theory, they could be housed in a glass case instead of a Poké Ball. This is never explained, but later confirmed to still be canon (and not just Early-Installment Weirdness) in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
    • Mr. Bonding, a minor character who first appeared in Pokémon X and Y, is a man in a pink tux who grants the players O-Powers (a mechanic that buffs things such as EXP bonuses, increasing the chances of capturing Pokemon or hatching eggs faster). What puts him into this territory occurs in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire where it's revealed that he's a fusion of 6 people: 5 strange old men who also grant O-Powers and are inexplicably awesome themselves, and a once "powerless man" who was previously on a Despair Event Horizon who now serves as the "main host" for the 5 old men. Absolutely nothing in the series really explains what happened and how he came to be.
  • B.J Blazkowicz has become this as of Wolfenstein: The New Order. There's almost nothing that can explain his bizarre immunity to stab wounds, his ability to wield an MG46 as a personal weapon and dual-wield automatic double-barrelled shotguns, the fact he's 49 by the events of the game but hasn't aged a day or lost any of his considerable muscle mass, nor anything to explain how he was able to resist Bubi's poison in the climax of the game, in Bubi's own words "a dose heavy enough to sedate an elephant".
  • Most of the unusual actions in Cold and Flu Invasion can be explained away by video game logic, but one man has the inexplicable ability to climb into his hat and disappear.
  • Alpha Protocol gave us Steven Heck. He claims to work for the CIA. The CIA claims they've never heard of him. His tendency to spout off conspiracy theories, go off on weird tangents and resort to cartoonish violence at the slightest provocation make you want to ignore him. His skills (the least of which involve killing a number of armed NSB agents with his bare hands and locating several pounds of medical-grade cocaine, spiking it with rat poison and delivering it to a mansion in Russia with two days' notice while working out of Taiwan) make doing so impossible. It is never explored who Steven is or what his background involves, but it is suggested (and never outright denied) that he just one day decided being a superspy would be really cool and worked his way into the world of black ops on the power of his unbridled batshit insanity alone.
  • Mizuki from AI: The Somnium Files is a little girl with outrageous Super-Strength, to the point of being able to beat up multiple adult men armed with guns, bench press 220 lbs, jump several times her height, and so on. This is commented on, making it clear it's actually intended to be unnatural, but no explanation is ever given for why she's able to do these things.
  • The source of Sonic the Hedgehog's super speed and skills was never explained. The localizers infamously attempted to explain them by giving him a superhero-esque origin in an early tie-in comic. Keyword is attempted, as said origin was promptly ignored by the games and all but one of the adaptations, and would be Jossed by Sega and Sonic Team (along with similar localization changes).
  • Ahti in Control is seemingly a ordinary janitor, but his Blunt Metaphors Trauma way of speaking is the most normal thing about him. When Jesse first runs into him, he directs her to an elevator that wasn't there before (in a place where his own portrait had once hung) and offhandedly responds to her internal monologue. The Oldest House is under siege by a formless Eldritch Abomination that instantly possesses anyone without a very specific kind of protection, but Ahti is both untouched and barely seems to notice. Later documents shows that the FBC, a government agency dedicated to explaining the unexplainable, can't make heads or tails of him or even keep him out of restricted areas. During the final levels, he appears during Jesse's Battle in the Center of the Mind to offer moral support. Various symbols and events connected with him throughout the game imply he's a Finnish sea god or an avatar of the Oldest House itself, but this is never made fully clear.

    Visual Novels 
  • Dr. Mosely/Zeta from Double Homework is this. Not even Dennis can find her birth name, and she can disappear from the setting of any of her experiments, leaving only rumors of what she did behind.

    Web Animation 
  • Deconstructed with Harrison from Camp Camp, who seems to be the only person in the show with actual magical powers. Unfortunately, this also means that there's nobody around to teach him how to use them properly, leaving him an Inept Mage who once made his brother disappear and is now unable to bring him back. His parents, who are terrified of him, sent him to magic camp because that was the best thing they could find to help him learn how to control them.
  • Llamas with Hats: Carl is a villainous example. Seemingly just a talking llama with a hat, he's somehow able to acquire nuclear weapons, topple foreign governments, create live dragons out of the flesh of his victims and open rifts in the fabric of space time to mutilate alternate-universe babies. Even Carl himself wasn't sure how he pulled off that last one.

  • The title character of minus. is like a more irresponsible Mary Poppins.
  • The dragons in Ozy and Millie are a mild case. Oddly enough, they're not magical beings as such, but they do seem to be involved in the surreal from time to time. Ozy put it best: "They like to attempt the impossible on a regular basis. Sometimes, to their surprise, it actually works." This may account for why there's a portal to another dimension in Llewellyn's couch.
  • Richard from Looking for Group. Hilariously entertaining and essentially a Memetic Badass, we don't really know anything about Richard's past. Except that he's not actually dead.
  • Girl Genius: Othar Tryggvassen, GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER!!! The man has survived falling out of airships (several times, always appearing back on the airship within a few panels), escaped handcuffs, and got back up after getting hit with what should have broken his back (which, admittedly, he states are the result of his "hero's trousers.") So far, the only explanation offered is "he's a hero, it's in the job description."
  • Jones ("just Jones is enough") from Gunnerkrigg Court.
    • She's "Practically perfect in every way" — as tricky as Mary Poppins, as coldly precise and as unstoppable as a Terminator, and apparently even Coyote has no power over her — yet almost no one (including the readers) knows who and what Jones is, other than she's "not a robot". Which is less than informative, given that non-robotic beings known to visit or inhabit the Court range from shadow folk to extradimensional psychic arthropods to deities from three different pantheons... so far.
    • As of "The Stone", her history has been revealed in flashback: she's been around almost as long as the Earth itself, looking exactly the same as she does now (i.e. an anatomically modern human), and most of the time in which she wasn't encased in rock has been spent wandering the planet or, more recently, teaching and guiding others. Even so, Jones outright says that she doesn't know what she is.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • The crazy gymnast assassin Oasis. Pete has shown us hints as to who (or rather what) she is but has pulled the rug out from under us before. Whether she's a robot, a real girl with fire powers that's immortal to boot, a zombie-like being who heals all wounds, a ghost that 'dominates' other beings to the point they even look like her, or something else we don't really know. All we know is she apparently can't be killed and goes berserk whenever she sees someone from Hereti Corp.
    • Bun-bun. A badass talking rabbit with a bad attitude, a switchblade, and a glock he pulls out from nowhere. The only clues we've had to his past so far is that he's been thrown out of time once before by Santa Claus, his mother was probably killed in front of his eyes, and he was put back into the right timeline by Uncle Time who admits it was just somewhere in the right 'ballpark'. At least until it's revealed that he, along with Santa, used to be one of the Mohkadun gods.
  • Fortiscue the sheep from Commander Kitty is young enough that Nin Wah guesses he hired her and her crew to steal an action figure for his collection, but he's somehow responsible for building a Ridiculously Human Robot (who later turned on him), inventing a consumer electronic device used by nearly half the galaxy, and runnning a massive cloning operation aboard a gigantic space lab. These achievements are really the closest thing he has to a backstory.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: The Time Abyss God-Emperor Gog-Agog started out as a literal pile of worms that somehow became sapient, turned into The Worm That Walks, and developed Enlightenment Superpowers — a feat that's supposed to be metaphysically impossible in the setting, since animals don't have true souls.
  • Gudako, the main character of Learning with Manga! FGO, appears to have no real origin besides that of the character she's based on (a trainee mage with unusual affinities who was in the right place at the wrong time). However, she happens to be strong enough to beat legendary superhumans to death, shrug off exposure to all kinds of exotic and deadly magics, and come back from the dead multiple times. There's absolutely no given origin for why she's so powerful; at one point, when asked how she survived being thrown 12,000 years into the past, she explained that humanity can conquer any challenge.

    Web Original 
  • The closest thing Ruby Quest has to a full-fledged antagonist is Ace, a mysterious hulking bruiser wearing a bird mask. What little is divulged about him (he used to work as an orderly at the Metal Glen before going berserk, he was actually excavated from the bottom of the ocean, and his real face looks like a mass of writhing tentacles) fails to explain the questions of what he is and who he really works for.
  • At Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe, there's this one teacher in the Magical Arts Department. She goes by 'Circe', but that may be her real name instead of a codename. She may be the real Circe from classical Greek myth. She occasionally rambles, but her ramblings tend to be real prophecies. No one knows why she came to the academy, or how old she really is, or how she got her powers, or even if she's a mutant. She has a history of picking people to mentor, and later the people die horribly while fighting great evils. She just decided to mentor one of the main characters.
  • Near everything in the SCP Foundation, because SCPs have to be inexplicable to be SCPs. Some of the staff also qualify, most notably Dr. Clef, who has stared down SCP-682 and has joked about being a Reality Warper and/or Satan. Well, the Satan thing was definitely a joke, anyway. Probably.
  • The Slender Man. No one knows where he comes from, why he kidnaps children and mind rapes people, or why he is The Blank. (Or who his tailor is.) And anyone who does try to give him a backstory will probably get shot down, as he's much more scary and fun when he's Shrouded in Myth.
  • Jeannette from Funny Business is a subversion. She is practically omnipotent, but the second half of the story is dedicated to explaining her existence through certain philosophical thought experiments.
  • Dad. No explanation is given for any of the insane things he can pull, which includes Super-Strength, Eye Beams, a stretchy tongue, summoning an electric guitar complete with giant amps and an entire stage, and a penchant for his head catching on fire.
  • Fluffle Puff. She can seemingly summon objects from nowhere, withstand any and all attempts to move her unless she wants to be moved, and is immune to anything a villainous character throws at her. How? Why? No idea! However, it's all Played for Laughs rather than any attempt to tell a serious story, so it all most likely falls under Rule of Funny.

    Web Video 
  • Epic Rap Battles of History: The setting where the eponymous battles take place is able to bring together any two figures they want, regardless of whether they lived in the same place, at the same time, or even existed within the same universe, and they all immediately become great at spitting Boastful Raps, too. How does it work? Nobody knows.

    Western Animation 
  • Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus takes a very hands-on approach to education which typically involves taking her students on "Field Trips" in her bus, which has the power to shrink, expand, change, transform and generally do things school buses aren't supposed to be able to (it is a magic school bus, after all), and that doesn't even begin to describe the various things it can do to the students themselves for the sake of first-hand experience with the subject of the day. All that's ever revealed about her and the bus is that her first name is Valerie and the guy who built the bus doesn't seem particularly magical himself. It's eventually revealed her distant ancestor had a Magic Spanish Galleon, but that just raises more questions.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: Various seemingly supernatural beings and events go unexplained, but the most notable are Father and Grandfather. Each is entirely covered in shadow, leaving them as red-outlined silhouettes with yellow eyes. At least in Father's case, this black coating can be removed and reappear at will. Father possesses pyrokinesis, the ability to turn into a dragon, and apparently hasn't aged by the time the members of Sector V have become middle-aged. Grandfather can levitate, turn nearby objects and buildings into more old-fashioned versions of themselves, and "ageify" anyone he touches into a "senior citi-zombie", not to mention he's so strong that he survives the moonbase being dropped on him. No explanation is given to where their family's powers originated, nor why Monty/Numbuh Zero and Nigel/Numbuh One never developed these abilities, other than the fact that they aren't evil like Grandfather and Father.
  • Miss Tickle from Mission: Magic! did the same shtick as Ms. Frizzle, but earlier. She used a magic cat statue and a door she drew in a chalkboard in place of a school bus, but otherwise had the same hair color and even a similar group of students. Miss Tickle is probably Ms. Frizzle's cousin or older sister.
  • Dr. Henry Killinger from The Venture Bros.. Even though other characters on the show have magical powers, Killinger is clearly a cut above everyone else, especially because nothing about him is ever explained. He inexplicably knows everyone's backstory and most secret desires, he can magically cure herpes and pull anything he needs out of his Magic Murder Bag, and despite his name and costume, he seems to be single-mindedly promoting happiness and helping people realize their potential. He can fly on an umbrella like Mary Poppins, and at one point his face appears in the stars and quotes Shakespeare. It's also heavily implied he's just Henry Kissinger, and always has been. He is eventually revealed to be the same kind of being as the Guild's Investors. Which doesn't really explain anything either since the Investors are also Inexplicably Awesome.
  • Inspector Gadget:
    • Gadget is this as well as Inspector Oblivious. Never mind that it is his niece Penny and his trusty superintelligent dog Brain who actually do all the investigating (and get none of the credit): just how the hell did he end up as a walking Swiss Army Hammerspace Knife who would probably be the most dangerous crimefighter in the world if he wasn't such a flaming idiot? The show never tells us, and that is more fitting than any mundane explanation. The Movie takes a stab at it, but it predictably does not go well. The professor who gave him the gadgets did appear in at least one episode, but the story behind them was never shown.
    • Penny makes even less sense. Where did that computer book come from? When did Penny learn how to hack everything in the world? How does she always have the time to follow Gadget around? Though the last question could be answered by Penny's freakish intelligence getting her out of school early.
  • The Flintstones: Doorstop Baby Bamm-Bamm's origins and Super-Strength go completely unexplained.
  • The twins from Superjail! have Reality Warper powers, affect the plot in ways that border on Deus ex Machina to Diabolus ex Machina and almost never interact directly with the other characters, but there doesn't seem to be any explanation at all as to why they can do these things. They don't even seem to be Superjail employees or inmates and don't seem to have any specific reason for messing with the jail (besides maybe hating the Warden which is sometimes sort of implied). In the second season however it is revealed that they're alien pranksters who came to Earth on a year abroad but had too much fun in Superjail to go back to their family.
  • Family Guy:
    • Stewie Griffin is a one-year-old boy who has successfully built a Time Machine, a machine to control the world's weather, mind control devices, convincing robot duplicates of various family members, and transmat pods, created human clones on more than one occasion, and traveled to parallel universes, among other things. No explanation is given for his super intelligence, nor how his entire family (aside from Brian) are completely oblivious to what Stewie is up to all the time. Though an early season episode mentions Lois possibly smoked pot while she was pregnant with Stewie as a potential explanation of how he's so intelligent.
    • Brian is an anthropomorphic dog in a world where almost all other dogs are regular dogs. Unlike Stewie, everyone understands Brian when he talks, but nobody questions it.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
    • Pinkie Pie regularly ignores, leans on or stares at the fourth wall, defies the laws of physics and magic whenever plot or humour convenient, and launches into musicals when no one else does. She's popped out of locations too small for her to fit, appeared inside of mirrors, and even fought the closing circle at the end of the episode. While this itself isn't unusual for a cartoon, she's the only one, and everyone else is well aware that Pinkie Pie doesn't really work with the same rules as anyone else, and just does their best to ignore the weirdness. Her strange actions drive the plot in several episodes. Twilight actually tried to figure out one of her nonsensical abilities, and ended up being so frustrated she gave up trying. Lampshaded in Magic Duel, Pinkie Pie loses her mouth and is later made to play several instruments at once, including a tuba, by Twilight. When asked how she could play a tuba with no mouth, Twilight responds "That wasn't magic. That was just Pinkie Pie." After Lord Tirek's defeat and all the magic returns to the unicorns of Equestria, one such orb returns to Pinkie Pie's muzzle — yes, Pinkie Pie canonically has superpowers.
    • Princesses Celestia and Luna are Physical Goddesses with enough power to move the sun and the moon (and stop them, as Nightmare Moon demonstrates) with no explanation of their origin (except for a brief mention by Celestia that they arrived to end Discord's rule) or phenomenal level of power. Former show-runner Lauren Faust said that keeping them mysterious was part of their character. note 
    • Discord himself. He is by an enormous margin the most powerful note  being ever to beset Equestria, but aside from being referred to as "the spirit of chaos and disharmony" (and it isn't clarified whether that's only a title or he's an Anthropomorphic Personification) and once ruling Equestria as an Evil Overlord nothing is truly known about him.
    • Many of the other main villains get this too; there has been a lot of still-unconfirmed speculation on the origins of Queen Chrysalis and the changelings, King Sombra, and exact nature of what Nightmare Moon actually was.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Ferb. A walking Funny Background Event who only gets one or two lines per episode, he's fluent in such languages as dolphin and Martian and is quite possibly the entire reason the kids are able to defy the laws of physics (Phineas is the idea guy, but Ferb draws up the actual blueprints). At one point, even his name was shrouded in mystery, as his name was revealed to Vanessa, leading him to explain it was short for somethingnote . Also, he has green hair. This never gets explained.
    Isabella: Yeah, I once saw Ferb play an entire game of soccer using a pumpkin, and he didn't even break it! To this day, his motivation for doing so remains shrouded in mystery.
    • The Fireside Girls is an organization dedicated to turning young girls into this. Many of their badges serve no real practical or logical purpose but are nonetheless awesome and depending on the badge they're working on, Isabella and the other girls can pull random skills connected to said badge out of nowhere.
  • Resident technowizard Raf in Transformers: Prime can have his computing prowess explained by being a Child Prodigy, but there has yet to be a sufficient explanation for why he instantly understood Bumblebee's beeps.
  • The Allspark in Transformers: Animated: no one on Cybertron knows where it, or the hammer that created its casing, came from, but it possesses amazing destructive and lifegiving powers as well as demonstrating signs of sentience. The writers flat-out said that they were never going to explain it, because that would make it less interesting and/or be excessively complicated.
  • Maccadam from Transformers: Cyberverse falls into this. He has an extremely large and strange alt mode and can see into the future. In-universe he's rumored to be one of the original 13 Primes, but he neither confirms or denies this. The rumors are eventually confirmed when Maccadam reveals to Optimus that his true name is Alchemist Prime.
  • Guru Pathik in Avatar: The Last Airbender displays a great deal of knowledge of the Airbenders, spirit world and abilities tied into energy, however it's never explained where he learned. He states that he's a spiritual brother of the Airbenders, doesn't appear to belong to any of the four nations (where they all represent a mixture of real-world cultural and ethnic traits he's very distinctly Indian) and is by far the oldest human character in the series (he was a contemporary of Aangs Old Master over 100 years before the series began).
  • Izzy from Total Drama. She's an Action Girl and one of Total Drama's best combatants (capable of regularly beating up a Scary Black Man), has an alleged IQ of 188, Speaks Fluent Animal, has pyrotechnic knowledge, master of many weapons, displays Toon Physics, is wanted by the RCMP, and has several split personalities (one of which is a savant level genius who solved time travel).
  • Beetlejuice is the self-proclaimed Ghost With the Most. Most what? It's shown repeatedly that he's more powerful than most of the other residents of the Neitherworld, and one episode even outright states that he actually has enough power to take over the place single-handedly. (He's just too lazy to be bothered.) But at no time is it ever explained why he's got so much power.
  • Samurai Jack had the Guardian, a extremely powerful warrior tasked with protecting a time portal from anyone who wants to use it. What exactly he is and where he came from is one of the show's biggest mysteries: he looks like a large blue humanoid dressed in a long coat with superhuman strength and is capable of withstanding the impact of missiles. He also packs some serious heat in the form of machine guns and rocket launchers alongside swords and spears, and at one point he eats a metal shield. Whether he is an alien, a demigod or whatever created him and made him guard the portal is never clarified, but he has done his duty for countless eons and defeated anyone who wished to use the portal. The Guardian is also one of the most powerful beings in the setting, holding the distinction of being one of the very few to have defeated Jack in single combat. Not awesome enough to save him from being killed by Aku, however.
  • Most of the characters in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power have some kind of clear source of their abilities: Bow is smart and has trained to fight, most of the princesses have a runestone that provides their power, Swift Wind was empowered by Adora's sword, Scorpia is descended from a line of Scorpion People, and so on. The big question mark is Entrapta, whose Prehensile Hair is explicitly not a runestone-derived power, and she's otherwise portrayed to be human, so how she's able to do that is unknown.
  • Played for Laughs with Sergeant Cosgrove in Freakazoid!. He's a heavyset, gruff cop who never seems fazed by anything, and often serves as the Only Sane Man in the World of Ham that Freakazoid and his allies and enemies inhabit. However, Cosgrove also possesses strange powers: he can always find Freakazoid no matter where he is—largely so he can invite him to odd events like "the Honey Harvest Festival in Acton"—has complete and total knowledge of evil schemes without any explanation (in every episode, he rattles off precise details of the Villain of the Week and their latest plot during the previously-mentioned odd events)), and has the ability to cause anyone to instantly calm down and stop whatever they're doing just by pointing and declaring "Hey—cut it out." In a spin-off comic, Cosgrove was able to get Yakko, Wakko, and Dot Warner to "cut it out"—something Death himself wasn't able to do. No explanation is ever given for any of Cosgrove's skills: he's just that good of a cop.
  • Looney Tunes: On the surface, Bugs Bunny seems to just be an unassuming rabbit, unremarkable aside from his anthropomorphic traits. But when pushed, he almost always turns out to be not only a very clever trickster, but also a powerful Reality Warper who can always manifest exactly the abilities needed to defeat the villain of the episode. At no point is it ever explained where all his powers come from.
  • Uncle Grandpa: The title character is somehow simultaneously the uncle and grandfather of everyone on Earth, and that's just the beginning of his unexplained abilities. Among the ones that come up most frequently are his ability to be in multiple places at once, having an RV that's much Bigger on the Inside, and being able to travel through time, among numerous others.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) has Mr. Touch and Mr. Go, a pair of assassins who show up in a couple of episodes. They have Wonder Twin Powers that consist of fist bumping each other, so that they can respectively use super-strength and super-speed for only minutes at a time. Why they are able to do this at all is not explained, as the focus of their episodes are more about the Turtles using the assassins' weakness to defeat them.