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New Ability Addiction

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Grunt: Wait, you really brought your NCO sword on deployment?
NCO: Fuck yeah I did, I spent $600 on this stupid thing. I'm not going home 'til I stab a motherfucker.

A character gets a new piece of kit and is itching to use it. This has two potential results:

This trope often plays out in a similar way to Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere, with the character in question getting increasingly desperate to use it. They might start using it for petty things (either to sate their "addiction" in the first case, or out of desperation in the latter).

Note that this doesn't apply to new abilities that a character begins using routinely; they must use it to the exclusion of other options, or be actively looking for reasons to use it for the sake of it.

Contrast Plot Tailored to the Party and This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman (where the plot contrives to give someone an excuse to use their ability). Compare Appeal to Novelty, Chekhov's Skill (which this often overlaps with), When All You Have Is a Hammer… (where this is a viable strategy), and Drunk with Power (for when authority comes with the urge to abuse it).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Crush Gear Turbo, Kouya learns how to use his late brother's Finishing Move Shining Sword Breaker, a special move more powerful than anything else. Kouya would quickly use this move in every battle he can because it instantly brings him victory, but because the move puts so much strain on his Garuda Eagle that it eventually destroys itself beyond repair. He eventually gets a replacement in form of the new Garuda Phoenix which is more durable than the old Garuda Eagle, but Kouya has learned his lesson of not spamming the Shining Sword Breaker as much.
  • In Naruto, Sasuke constantly uses his Mangekyo Sharingan from the moment he unlocks it. Within roughly a week of obtaining it, he's overused it to the point of being nearly blind, something that took his older brother six years. Notably, Kisame expresses concern when Itachi uses his Mangekyo twice in one day whereas Sasuke uses his several times in a single fight.
  • In One Piece, Kalifa and Kaku had just recently eaten their Devil Fruits when they had to deal with the Straw Hat Pirates, with their comrades commenting that, excited by their new powers they gained from eating them, will try to use those powers in every situation they can find. While it doesn't affect Kaku that badly, as his powers are merely an upgrade in strength, Kalifa is so eager to try out her Bubble-Bubble powers that when fighting Nami, she always prioritizes her powers over her skill in hand-to-hand combat. Her Skewed Priorities, combined with how Kalifa has a poor grasp of her Bubble-Bubble powers, allows Nami to fight on even terms, even though Nami would've been curb-stomped had Kalifa actually made use of her normal fighting abilities. Blueno had also eaten his Devil Fruit not too long ago either, and it is shown that he will show off his Door-Door powers in public at every opportunity he can find.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL: During Zexal II, Yuma gains Chaos Number 39: Aspiring Emperor, Hope Ray V in his duel against Girag. He's so impressed with this power that the next 3 duels have him relying on this card as his new ace. This ends up becoming an Exploited Trope as Vector uses this to ensure that Yuma is Lured into a Trap, giving the former a Near-Villain Victory that takes a Deus ex Machina to overcome.
  • In Zatch Bell!, once Kanchomé gets Shin Poruk, he doesn't rely on anything else again. Justified since Shin Poruk is a borderline omnipotent Reality Warper and arguably the most overpowered ability in the whole series.

    Comic Books 
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Tarn is addicted to the ability to transform, and is always itching to use it at the first opportunity he's given. This results in his burning out no small amount of T-Cogsnote , much to the consternation of Decepticon medics.

    Fan Works 
  • There is an EarthBound fan comic depicting Paula teaching Ness PK Fire, and after mastering it, he ignores Paula's advice to use it wisely and instead spams it on his opponents. This is a reference to how real-life Ness mains in Super Smash Bros. like to spam the attack.
  • It's mentioned in Magic Tutor that foals who've just earned their cutie mark tend to go a bit overboard, so Cheerilee makes a policy of giving a bit of extra recess any time a foal earns her mark, to let the excitement play out.

  • Harry Potter:
    • In the fourth book, there's a Running Gag that Percy's just passed his Apparition exam (analogous to getting his driving license) and keeps apparating down the stairs just because he can. This annoys Fred and George, but by the fifth book, they're doing exactly the same (and annoying Ron), albeit ostensibly on the basis that "time is galleons", rather than to show off.
    • Not only did Fred and George apparate everywhere, they started using magic for everything when they became of age in the fifth book, to the point where it goes beyond being impractical and actually becomes kind of dangerous. (At one point, they almost accidentally stab Sirius while carelessly magicking some kitchen utensils around.)
    • A minor example in the seventh: as soon as Harry turns seventeen and is therefore allowed to cast spells outside school, he performs several petty ones just for the heck of it. Unlike Fred and George, Harry calms down when a hasty Summoning charm causes his glasses to poke him in the eye.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Brightlord Amaram displays a protracted version, finding excuses to summon his Shardblade several years after he received it. Deconstructed in that Amaram got that Blade by killing one main character's brother, and selling another main character into slavery under false pretenses.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Grey's Anatomy episode "Idle Hands," the hospital staff can't wait to try out their new Lodox scanner, but find they're foiled at every opportunity; Dr. Hunt wheels their first potential patient to the ER because her injuries are too severe, and a patient with a sprained ankle hasn't been injured severely enough to warrant use of the scanner. Just as the doctors are getting ready to scan Heather for "a marble she stuck up her nose when she was 6 and never found," a motorcycle crash victim arrives who is in need of a scan. Upon viewing the clarity and precision of the results, the team agrees it was worth the wait.
  • In Kamen Rider Gaim, after Kouta receives his Sengoku Driver, he starts treating it as a toy, transforming for almost every little chore he has to undertake and also using it to win money in the recently popular Mons game. It takes being called out of it by his older sister and a Heroic BSoD caused by a nearly fatal encounter with the White Armored Rider to make him act more responsible with his new powers.
  • On Scrubs, one episode had The Janitor get a new circular saw. He spends the episode desperate to use it (JD even caught him using it to saw a twig). At the end, he saws Dr. Kelso's table in half so it can be removed (thanks to Dr. Cox making everyone think he's dead).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Shadowrun: Excessive usage of one or more cybernetic implants is one of the symptoms of augmentation addiction, when people become addicted to the new abilities granted by cybernetic augmentation and keep pushing for more, better implants to the point of harming themselves. If it becomes bad enough, they can eventually chrome themselves to the point where their body can no longer function and die. The only treatment for really severe cases is to remove all implants and replace them with organic tissue.

    Video Games 
  • In the opening of Life Is Strange's second episode, "Out of Time", we find that Max has abused her newly discovered Time Master powers to stay up all night studying. You then meet up with Chloe, who encourages this further, by testing it (to prove she has it) and then taking her to the junkyard to help her shoot bottles with perfect accuracy. Deconstructed when Max starts suffering from a Psychic Nosebleed and dampening of her powers causing them to short out right at the end of the chapter, meaning that you can't rewind if you fail to talk down Kate from her suicide attempt.
  • Mentioned in Subnautica: The first time you use the PRAWN suit, your PDA warns you against going on a power trip.
    PDA: It is normal when first piloting a Prawn suit to feel a sense of limitless power. Prawn operators receive weeks of training to counteract this phenomenon. You will have to make do with self-discipline.

  • This Awkward Zombie comic pokes fun at the fetch mechanic in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, where the player can sent a Pokémon to gather resources. The protagonist makes their Pokémon carry their stuff and do their chores, and when Akari scolds them for being lazy, their response is to make Gengar shut the door on them.
  • In Concerned, a Whole-Plot Reference/parody of Half-Life 2; when Frohman gets hold of the Gravity Gun, he starts using it for everything (parodying the way a lot of players became obsessed with it). Eventually, everyone gets sick of this and takes it away, which causes it to end up in the hands of its rightful owner Freeman. This becomes a Brick Joke when it turns out that he was the one who caused it to become supercharged near the end of the game. The Combine put him in charge of destroying Freeman's weapons with the confiscation field. When he got to the Gravity Gun, he started desperately trying to abort the process because he couldn't bear to see his beloved Gravity Gun come to harm, which ended up causing the machine to malfunction.
    Frohman: There is no Frohman, there is only... THE CLAW!
  • In The Last Days of Foxhound, Dead Cell's "The Chinaman" (a character who was cut from the games it's based on) never has an excuse to use his two main abilities; swimming and special effects, giving him an Inferiority Superiority Complex. Near the end, the fact this would have been very useful in the original Metal Gear Solid is lampshaded.
  • Void tries using Geminiman's abilities in L's Empire after a "Freaky Friday" Flip, but he couldn't get any of them to work. He eventually just gave up and stuck to his spear powers.
  • In one Manly Guys Doing Manly Things strip, Commander Badass entrusts Jared with access to the power-washer. He uses it properly for the first few chores (wash the company car, clean the windows, etc,) but then he keeps using it for things like weeding the lawn (tears up the ground), stocking the fridge (wet food everywhere), and collecting the mail, resulting in the Commander promptly taking it away again.
    Jared: [as washer is pried from his hands] I REGRET NOTHINGGG!!!
  • Terminal Lance #302: "Pirate Sword" has a Marine NCO on a combat mission brandish the ceremonial saber NCOs are required to buy for their dress uniform when they're promoted. He had to buy the thing, so he's darn well gonna use it! The author's remarks:
    LCPL. (ret.) Max Uriarte: Back to the sword though, it's one of those things that I don't even know what the fuck it's really for. Obviously you can't go around racking up confirmed sword kills in Afghanistan, so it's really just a useless ceremonial item that no one would ever willingly pay for.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • A variation can occur in the metagame of online multiplayer games (especially long-running MMORPGs). Any time new content is released, half of any given server will be populated by people using that new thing for at least a few weeks and the older content deserted. The same can happen in single-player games, but it's obviously less noticeable.
  • When a new technology or technique becomes available (or popular), it often saturates the relevant fields for a while. For example, a glut of games that featured Wreaking Havok, and Cel Shading came out when reliable ways of implementing them were developed before it stablised (not to mention console makers requiring game devs to make use of the console's gimmick, sometimes resulting in tacked-on minigames or Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode) and purple became the colour of choice for a lot of clothing in the 1860s thanks to the invention of mauveine.
  • This can backfire in the case of Bleeding Edge Technology — technology which is so new, it carries a risk of proving unreliable to early adopters. It is also the thinking behind an Appeal to Novelty.