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No Man Should Have This Power

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"You're talking about power no human should have. You'll end up destroying yourself, but not before you've annihilated everything else."
Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Man: Edge of Time

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility, but power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Some powers — and responsibilities — are too great for anyone to be trusted with.

A character may realize this on his own — perhaps the Big Bad has just been defeated, and his Ancient Artifact is now in The Hero's control. After contemplating all the good he could do, The Hero may realize that he can't take away people's free will. He may experience a "Not So Different" Remark moment, and gain some sympathy for his enemy.

Alternatively, the party may begin fighting over who should control this power, demonstrating their inability to be trusted with it. Eventually, a wiser member will point out that the only possible solution is for no one to have it.

In any case, the choice will usually be clear. The source of power must be discarded, destroyed, or sealed back in its can. This may be a final resolution, a return to the status quo, or even the beginning of a quest to get rid of the power. If the proper choice isn't made, this may mark the Start of Darkness.

See No MacGuffin, No Winner when the power is lost as a karmic punishment, rather than a willing decision in fear of the consequences. Also compare It Belongs in a Museum. Does not refer to powers that only women have, or only The Chosen One or many should have.

See also: The World Is Not Ready, Status Quo Is God, Reluctant Mad Scientist, May It Never Happen Again, and Technological Pacifist. If the power simply isn't used, for no specific reason, that's Holding Back the Phlebotinum. If the protagonists aim for this trope but don't succeed, see Dangerous Device Disposal Debacle.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the manga Tripeace, two rulers solve the conflict between their nations by destroying the magical fountain that they are warring over.
  • Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night: The conclusion their respective main characters ultimately come to, regarding the corrupted Holy Grail.
  • In Code Geass, Cornelia argues this when she tries to convince Schneizel that his plan to achieve world peace by nuking all the world's major cities and forcing them into submission is going too far. Unfortunately, he has probably the most chillingly understated A God Am I moment in history, and very calmly disregards her qualms and has her shot when she tries to stop him.
  • Goku literally attempts to do this to one of the Dragon Balls in an effort to stop Syn Shenron from becoming Omega Shenron (again) in Dragon Ball GT. The results are: a funny moment watching him nearly choke to death in the attempt to swallow it, a W-T-F moment when the ball APPEARS IN HIS FOREHEAD for no discernible reason, and eventually failure when Syn Shenron manages to re-absorb it anyway.
  • In The Vision of Escaflowne, the characters spend several episodes in a futile effort to keep the Big Bad from getting access to a sealed vault full of energy needed to implement his plans. Since the entire purpose of the nation guarding the vault is to ensure that nobody ever opens it, one has to wonder why they didn't just destroy the key centuries ago.
  • One Piece:
    • It has a villainous and justified version. The World Government would probably prefer to destroy the Poneglyphs that have the only known record of the Void Century inscribed on them, with the possible exception of the one describing the location of Pluton. Said Poneglyphs are frustratingly impervious to harm, so the Government resorts to killing anyone who can read them. At the same time though, Tom the shipwright had the blueprints to Pluton, which was passed down by each main shipwright of Water 7. Spandam knows this and tries everything he can to get the plans before getting Nico Robin, who is the only person left who can read the Poneglyphs. Iceberg and later Franky end up with the plans; here it's discovered the plans exist that in case someone discovered the weapons and resurrected it for misuse (including the World Government), the plans were made to counteract them since the only thing that could destroy a Pluton is another Pluton. Franky destroys the plans, saying that once the plans were known; they would have to be destroyed anyways in order to prevent other groups from creating their own Plutons.
    • In the film One Piece Z, this is also why the World Government hid the Dyna Stones, strange egg-shaped stones that would release violent explosions when exposed to oxygen and said to rival the lost superweapons in might.
  • GTO: The Early Years: After seeing all the harm caused by fighting over Masaki's coat, Eikichi burns it so nobody can use it (Masaki had asked him to keep his gang from re-forming anyway).

    Comic Books 
  • Astro City: When it seems his childhood heroes came to life, Wolfspider finds out they're just a bunch of petty crooks using a Transformation Trinket powered by belief to pretend to be heroes. Afterwards, Wolfspider has the trinkets in hand and contemplates giving them to people who are actually heroic, doing it right this time... then he decides it's too dangerous and melts them instead.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: In Don Rosa's "The Universal Solvent", Gyro invents the titular Solvent, a liquid capable of destroying almost anything. After Scrooge foolishly spills the Solvent on the ground, the ducks go on a dangerous mission to retrieve the Solvent before it destroys the planet's core. After the world is saved, Gyro expresses regret over having ever invented the Solvent and gives his research notes to Scrooge, telling him to put them somewhere safe. Scrooge obliges — by using the Solvent itself to destroy the notes.
  • The Infinity Gauntlet ended with Adam Warlock acquiring the eponymous gauntlet which granted the user god-like powers. Not soon after that, the Living Tribunal, a cosmic being meant to bring order to the cosmos, declared that the gauntlet's gems must never be used by a single person ever again. The gems were then scattered amongst Warlock's allies.
  • In an annual for the X-Men Wolverine managed to acquire the crystal that an alien villain had tricked them into acquiring for it after the alien had killed everyone (they got better), finding himself imbued with cosmic power that he realized while thinking of Jean (this was before her return in X-Factor) no one should have and destroyed the crystal. It proved to be a hidden test of character and any species that tried to exploit the crystal (the lines of statues depicting those who failed included a Kree and Skrull at the head of the line) would be locked into a genetic dead end unable to continue evolving further.
  • Superman:
    • In Elliot S! Maggin's Bronze Age story Superman (Vol. 1) Annual #10: The Day the Cheering Stopped, the Man of Steel gets a magical sword which was apparently created at the dawn of time. It gives him incredible power (even for Pre-Crisis Superman) and helps him defeat the villain. In the end he realizes the incredible power the sword will give him and feels that it will make him an all powerful protector. He decides he doesn't want this power and throws it into space. A voice (possibly the voice of God) tells him he did the right thing.
    • During the course of Kryptonite Nevermore, two thirds of Superman's power are syphoned off by the otherwordly Sandman Superman. When both Supermen are about to square off, they see a vision showing the result of their battle— Earth destroyed. Horrified, the Sandman Superman decides to return to his dimension, and Superman decides against getting his full power back:
      I-Ching: Perhaps I can transfer the powers [the Sandman Superman] took from Superman back to him!
      Superman: No! I've seen the dangers from having too much power... I am human— I can make mistakes! I don't want— or need— more...
    • In Way of the World, a Green Lantern wants to destroy Dolok's time-travelling device since he cannot trust anybody to not be corrupted or even killed by that kind of powerful, dangerous technology. Supergirl privately disagrees, since she would like using it for a good purpose, but she eventually decides her friend is right and she destroys the device.
      Green Lantern: That device is evil. That kind of power...should never be used. Whatever it takes, I'll help you destroy it.
  • Part of what makes the Winslow the MacGuffin in the Gallimaufry arc of Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire is the fact that it's explicitly indestructible. Even the Prime Movers don't seem to have found any better way to deal with it than to hand it to some promising species or other and let them hide it.

    Fan Works 
  • Mike's New Ghostly Family: When Mike Schmidt and his ghost children find out about the fact that Circus Baby's Entertainment and Rental still has some Remnant left, meaning that someone might find it and use it for their own nefarious purposes (given that the substance can trap a human's soul inside itself and condemn them to And I Must Scream fate after death), the family decides to destroy these last traces of Remnant to deny everyone that chance. Once Afton Robotics shuts down and CBEAR gets closed, they sneak into the building at night, dismantle the Remnant-filled Scooper, and then set the entire building on fire to destroy all other possible traces of Remnant left, along with the rest of William Afton's vile secrets.
  • Old Man Henderson: After finishing the campaign, Waffle House Millionaire burned the 320 page backstory of doom he'd written for Old Man Henderson, saying it was too evil to exist.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act III: Near the end of the act, it's revealed that Issa Shuzen collects rare magical spells and artifacts, though he never intends to actually use them. One of said spells/artifacts was the only copy of the chronoflies' Chrono Displacement spell, which Akua and Kahlua steal and give to Kiria so he can use it to change the outcome of the Battle of Kahdaln, which forced the monsters to set up The Masquerade in the first place, in favor of the monsters using Tsukune's inner ghoul, effectively rewriting history so that humans are extinct and monsters rule the world; however, what Akua and Kahlua didn't know was that Kiria also planned to use the spell to send other Blackheart-infected monsters to wipe out all of the Dark Lords and any other powerful beings who could possibly pose a threat to him, creating a timeline where Kiria himself reigns supreme. During their attack on Kiria's HQ, Tsukune and co. agree that the Chrono Displacement spell is too dangerous for anyone to have and destroy the scroll so it can never be used again.
  • Invoked in the Marvel Cinematic Universe/Harry Potter crossover "Strange Potter" regarding the Resurrection Stone, after Strange and Wong find it while searching for Voldemort's horcruxes. Strange allows himself to use it to have one last talk with the Ancient One, and then lets Harry, Sirius and their family use it to talk with James and Lily, but makes it clear that he's only doing this once and then he'll put the Stone away somewhere safe, at least partially because using it may actually hurt the souls summoned back and because it's emotionally dangerous.
  • The Metropolitan Man: Motivated almost entirely by this trope. Lex Luthor actually takes little issue with Superman's crime-stopping proclivities, but reasons that since Superman could potentially end all life on the planet, then no matter how unlikely that outcome might be, Lex needs to dedicate himself completely to ending that threat. At least that's what he says. By the end of the story, Luthor is revealed to be just as malicious and greed-motivated as his canon self by stealing Superman's alien technology for his personal use. His invocation of this trope was just a ruse used to dupe people like Lois into believing his schemes were altruistic.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Atlantis: The Lost Empire, after the city was sunk due to the misuse of their Crystal, the King believed it was for the best that it be hidden away from everyone...including his own people.
  • In DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, Scrooge eventually comes to think this way of the Genie's power. After everything that's happened, he realizes that it's just too dangerous for anyone to have access to the lamp. He claims that he has to find a way to prevent the Genie's power from being abused, even if it means wishing the lamp was buried in the center of the earth. The rest of the cast beg him not to do this since it would mean Genie would be trapped there forever. Fortunately, Scrooge has already figured out a solution: he uses his last wish to make Genie into a mortal boy, which is what Genie has wanted all along too.
  • In the climax of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, almost everyone present wants the Wishing Star for their own purposes: Puss wants it to wish for nine more lives, Kitty wants it to wish for someone she can trust, Goldi wants it to wish for a real family, and Jack Horner wants it to have all the magic in the world to himself. However, almost everyone then finds that they don't need the wish for one reason or another. Kitty and Goldi both realise that they've already got what they've always wanted, while Puss learns to cherish his final life and the time he has left, no longer letting his actions be ruled by fear. This just leaves Jack; an incredibly cruel, petty and selfish man with a wish that could endanger the whole world. To this end, the three bears, Perrito, Puss, Kitty, and Goldi all work together to get the Wishing Star's map out of Jack's hands before the latter three wordlessly agree to tear it apart on the spot. This results in the destruction of the Wishing Star and Jack along with it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Comes up in Avengers: Endgame, when the Avengers arrive to rematch with Thanos to try and use the Infinity Stones to undo his universe-wide Depopulation Bomb, they find that he doesn't have the Stones anymore. He explains that their temptation of omnipotent power was too great for anyone, even himself, and after using them to fulfill his genocidal scheme, he used their own power to destroy them (at a severe cost to his physical body). The Avengers eventually find a way around this: by traveling back in time to before they were destroyed.
  • In Back to the Future, Doc Brown repeatedly promises to himself to destroy his own time-travelling technology, which finally happens at the end of movie three. ( Almost immediately it turns out that he had built a new one.)
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Bruce invokes this trope in an attempt to justify to Alfred his belief that he needs to kill Superman to protect the human race.
    Bruce: Jesus, Alfred, count the dead... thousands of people. What's next? Millions? He has the power to wipe out the entire human race, and if we believe there's even a one percent chance that he is our enemy we have to take it as an absolute certainty... and we have to destroy him.
    Alfred: But he is not our enemy!
    Bruce Wayne: Not today. Twenty years in Gotham, Alfred; we've seen what promises are worth. How many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?
  • Non-supernatural version in The Dark Knight. Lucius Fox says "this is too much power for one person" when he sees Batman's machine that lets him monitor the whole of Gotham simultaneously. Further played with in that "this one time" he's willing to use it to catch The Joker, and also in the fact that the man who built it fully acknowledges that it's too much power for him and gives Lucius the means to shut it down once the immediate crisis has been dealt with.
  • Forbidden Planet: Dr. Morbius insists that humanity won't be able to handle the power granted by the Krell artifacts. Captain Adams resents Morbius setting himself up as the arbiter of this technology; when Morbius himself can't handle the power, Adams realizes this really is too much power for humanity, so he doesn't object to destroying the entire Krell laboratory.
  • Played somewhat for laughs in The Gods Must Be Crazy, when a tribe of Kalahari bushmen find a bottle and it proves to be so useful in their barren habitat that they are soon fighting over it. The conclusion is that it must be destroyed, which as far as they know is only possible by throwing it over the edge of the earth. The real problem is that there is only one bottle, so it is more "No single man should have this power".
  • In the 1954 movie, Gojira, the scientist who created the Oxygen Destroyer, the only thing that could kill the titular monster, knew that the weapon he had created was too terrible for mankind to have, and so burned all his notes on it and committed a Heroic Sacrifice when he fired the prototype.
  • In Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), Mark Russell is furious and protests when he finds out that his ex-wife helped Monarch to recreate the ORCA — an experimental device from their younger days which they tried to use to communicate with whales — so that it can used to communicate with the Kaiju, and he insists that the device is too dangerous to use because there's too much risk that it'll backfire and make the Kaiju rampage instead of preventing another attack. The Easter Egg in the end credits indicates that even if Mark was Right for the Wrong Reasons about the ORCA's role during the film, in the long term he was very right about the threat of the device driving the Kaiju to decimate humanity again.
  • Subverted in the fourth Halloweentown movie: Marnie finds an ancient source of magical power called "The Gift" which could, in the wrong hands, allow one to control the entire population of Halloweentown. In the film's climax, she seemingly destroys The Gift for this reason, wanting to keep it away from an evil organization called The Dominion. However, the final scene reveals that she actually gave it to the one person she felt could be trusted with that kind of power: Her brother Dylan.
  • One of the complaints of Hellboy II: The Golden Army was that they destroyed the crown pieces at the end, when they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble by doing it as soon as they found them.
  • In The Film of the Book Jumper, this is why the Paladins are hunting the teleporters. "Only God should have this power—to be in all places, at all times."
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider has the time manipulating Triangle of Light that was abused by an ancient civilization, resulting in its destruction. To prevent anyone from using it again, the triangle was split in two and the pieces were separated. The main plot of the movie was for Lara to prevent the Illuminati from gaining the pieces. After the triangle was reassembled, Laura considered using it to bring back her long dead father, but ultimately destroyed the triangle once and for all.
  • Spike Lee's biopic Malcolm X has a key and iconic scene where the Nation of Islam leader successfully obtains access to and subsequently medical help for a black man incarcerated (probably unjustly) by local police. This is accomplished by X heading up a veritable army composed of not only Nation of Islam members, but also black onlookers, creating a nevertheless peaceful (but determined) mob of perhaps a couple of hundred, spontaneously, and virtually in seconds. Once his goals are satisfied, X silences the crowd with a gesture, and disperses them with another, spurring the awed police chief to state "No one man should have such power!".
  • At the end of The Mask, the protagonist casts the magical mask into the river. (But subverted when his dog fetches it.)
  • Near the end of Overlord, Cpl. Ford orders Pvt. Bryce to blow the explosive charges they set up so that the secret Nazi lab that's creating a serum, which Ford used on himself, to make super strong undead soldiers, will be buried beneath the rubble, and ensure that not even the Allied forces can use and refine what was created down there.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The reason why the Spaniards destroy the Fountain of Youth at the climax, stating that only God can grant eternal life.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022), it's revealed that the Echidna War started after the Echidnas formed the Master Emerald out of the seven Chaos Emeralds, and the Owls enforced this trope by attacking them for it and hiding it away which the Echidnas refused to take lying down. After Sonic uses the Emeralds to become Super Sonic, he and Knuckles reforge the Master Emerald as Sonic didn't believe he was capable to wield such power full-time.
  • In the film version of The Spiderwick Chronicles, Arthur Spiderick realized that the knowledge he had collected into his Field Guide on the world of faeries was too much for anyone to know about. Justified as Mulgarath the ogre wanted to use it to destroy all the faeries in the world.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: After watching an informational video on Project Genesis, a device meant to terraform inhospitable planets, Dr. McCoy immediately realizes that this could just as easily eradicate life on hospitable worlds as a weapon of mass destruction. Spock initially believes McCoy's overreacting, until they find out Khan Noonien Singh wants Genesis for himself. Dr. David Marcus, one of Genesis' co-developers, pointed out the same thing even before Khan got involved.
    Spock: I do not dispute that in the wrong hands...
    McCoy: "In the wrong hands"? Would you mind telling who's are the right hands, my logical friend?
    Kruge: Do not lecture me about treaty violations. The Federation, in creating an ultimate weapon, has become a gang of intergalactic criminals.
  • In the live-action Transformers film, Optimus Prime says that if there's no other way to keep the Allspark out of Megatron's hands, he'll shove it into his own spark to destroy it. This option is a last resort because it would also kill Optimus. In the end, Sam shoves it into Megatron's instead. But as the sequel shows, turns out that doesn't quite work.
  • In The Twins Effect one of the girls does just this to kill the Big Bad.
  • One of the many lessons Bruce is forced to learn in Bruce Almighty, after learning it's difficult to be God.

  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: After the Big Bad Voldemort almost got his hands on the titular magical artifact, capable of granting immortality and infinite wealth, Dumbledore and its creator Nicholas Flamel decide to destroy it to ensure its power would never be stolen and abused.
    • At the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry decides this with the two of the three eponymous Deathly Hallows, which have been proven to be Artifacts of Doom. The Elder Wand is reburied with Dumbledore and should Harry, its current master, die a natural death, the wand's powers would be broken. (In the movie, Harry simply snaps the thing in half and throws it into a gorge, guaranteeing that it can never be used again.) As for the Resurrection Stone, Harry leaves it where he dropped it in the Forbidden Forest. According to Word of God, a centaur stomps on it whilst coming to aid Hogwarts' defenders in the final battle against Voldemort. This buries it deep into the earth, presumably forever. Finally, Harry resolves to keep the third Hallow, the humble Cloak of Invisibility, which is also his family's Ancestral Weapon, and eventually gives it to his older son, James.
      • This comes up in the defictionalized edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Dumbledore's commentary on "The Tale of the Three Brothers" (aka "The One With… The Deathly Hallows") downplays or outright denies the existence of the Hallows, but the introduction to the tome suggests that he's keeping the truth to himself to prevent others from making the same mistakes that he did.
    • Snape and Dumbledore had also agreed about this with regards to the Elder Wand. The plan was supposed to be since Dumbledore (as the master) arranged for Snape to kill him, the wand would die with him so Voldemort couldn't get his hands on it. The hitch in the plan was Malfoy disarming Dumbledore and becoming its master.
  • At the end of "Imogen's Epic Day", Imogen finds that she still has a drop of the Water of Life left and she could attain ultimate power with the Glory Bloom with it. Instead, she wipes the drop on her jeans and thinks nothing of it. Judging by Agent Campbell's reaction, this is to be expected from a quest like her's.
  • In Vernor Vinge's ahead-of-its-time novella, "True Names", after Mr. Slippery and Erythrina defeat the Big Bad, they realize they're now in control of the world's computing resources, including the military nets, and can not only protect themselves against further threat, but can probably make the world a better place for a lot of people. Then they realize they could also be the worst dictators the world has ever seen, and reluctantly give up their control.
  • In Larry Niven's novel World of Ptavvs, Earth and Belter agents must not only prevent Kzanol from retrieving a Mind-Control Device powerful enough to enslave the entire human population, but also make sure that the other human faction doesn't grab it for themselves.
  • Subverted in Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain novel The Black Cauldron, where the good guys would like nothing better than to eliminate the titular MacGuffin, and half of the plot of the book is them trying to figure out how to destroy the damned thing. As it turns out, to destroy the Cauldron, you have to willingly jump into it, sacrificing yourself in the process. The climax of the book is the good guys all running for the Cauldron, attempting to throw themselves in it before the bad guys can get it, or before one of their friends jumps in, instead. One of their former foes reaches the Cauldron first.
  • Used literally in The Guardians of Childhood when Ombric's bookworm Mr. Qwerty eats his whole library in order to keep its knowledge out of Pitch's hands.
  • In Polish Dark Fantasy series about adventures of inquisitor Mordimer Madderdin, titular character once investigated disappearance of population from few small, secluded villages with traces of unspecified attackers and evidences of cannibalism. He finally finds out an alchemist who discovered a drug capable of turning anyone into fanatic, loyal and unstoppable killing machine, testing it on the first village and then slaughtering the remaining with his "army" for research data. After witnessing first-handed how a single drugged peasant ripping apart small squad of soldiers while being literally chopped to pieces and still kicking, he corners the alchemist with the remaining soldiers. Their commander starts to muse about how this substance could be used for greater good and to win back Holy Land... after which Madderdin orders his own men to kill remaining two soldiers, butchers the commander and the alchemist himself and then burns down the recipe and the lab, covering the whole thing as an act of witchcraft in the report. To hammer the point even harder, the whole situation is a severe case of out of character behaviour for Mordimer.
  • The One Ring of The Lord of the Rings must be destroyed as much because of this trope as because it also happens to be the Soul Jar which keeps the Dark Lord alive. It grants "power according to the stature of the wielder," and there are a handful of folks around who might— might— be able to use it to overthrow Sauron, but because Power Corrupts, all that would do is set them up as a new Big Bad to trouble the world.
  • The Starcatchers in Peter and the Starcatchers are a secret society who aim to keep the mysterious substance known as "starstuff" out of the hands of those who seek to use it for selfish means. They do this by collecting it when it falls from space and sending most of it back, keeping only small amounts for emergencies — emergencies being defined as "situations where we need help getting a buttload of starstuff back into space".
  • Averted so far in David Barnett's Gideon Smith series, after the Big Bad of the first book recovers the Ancient Egyptian superweapon Apep, despite the heroes' efforts, and goes on a rampage with it - after they stop him, the heroes avoid destroying the weapon despite its power and ultimately keep it later on in the series. It's psychically connected to one of main characters who'd die if the weapon is destroyed and frankly, the weapon is simply too cool to ditch in an arbitrary "No Man Should Have This Power" statement.
  • In Victoria, the early, idealistic John Rumford believes this to be true of the power of the federal government, seeking to create a very libertarian state with freedom for the people. Whether he succeeds or not is arguable; at least some readers may see something bittersweet in his early encomium to liberty when contrasting it to how the Northern Confederation he helps build turns out in practice.
  • In Antarctica Online by Alexander Gromov and Vladimir Vasilyev, the titular continent suddenly swaps places with an equivalent area in the South Pacific. While the novel is more concerned with the consequences of such a shift, there is some question as to how the hell did something like this happen? When the US attempts to "pacify" (read: invade) the newly-created nation, something transports one of the American destroyers into orbit, causing the invading forces to beat a hasty retreat. The epilogue reveals that one of the questest members of one of the Antarctic research stations has discovered a strange orb. He accidentally dropped the orb, resulting in the continental shift. He then consciously used the orb on the destroyer. Finally, he lowers the orb into a chasm in order to keep it from being discovered by anyone else, using this trope as the reason.
  • In The Wheel of Time, the Choedan Kal are a set of Amplifier Artifacts created during the Age of Legends as a last-ditch defense against the Shadow, capable of granting one Channeler nearly infinite power. They were hidden away until the present day, since even the global catastrophe that ended the Age wasn't enough of a Godzilla Threshold to wield them; during The Chosen One Rand's Darkest Hour, Rand considers using them to end the world and the cycle of reincarnation, but decides that their power is a "trap" and destroys them instead.
  • Towards the end of Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves, Han argues against the Rebellion taking control of a No Warping Zone device that can limit who can access Faster-Than-Light Travel. Even though, as Leia says, it would end the war against the Empire completely, Han points out that eventually, someone who couldn't be trusted with such power would rise to the top of the New Republic, and set up another evil empire which could never afterward be stopped. Leia eventually sees the sense of this, which is handy for Han, since he'd already sabotaged the device before she agreed to it.
  • The Bone Maker: Kreya ultimately hides the Big Bad's spell to bring people Back from the Dead by granting them part of the spellcaster's own lifespan, deciding that it poses too great a temptation to use wisely. Crucially, it can be modified to steal a third party's lifespan instead.
  • In the novella Dawnshard, set in The Cosmere, Rysn comes across a Lost Superweapon and the species that has been guarding it. They've been killing anyone who comes too close to discovering it, as they believe that it is beyond any being's capability to wield properly. It's revealed to be one of the four ancient commands Adonalsium used to create the universe, and were later used to shatter them into sixteen pieces. The Sleepless believe that to use it properly one would need the understanding and knowledge of Adonalsium, and only agree to let Rysn embody it because she's incapable of accessing its power. As we later learn, humans messing with the Dawnshards was what destroyed Ashyn, so this belief is well-founded.
  • Wings of Fire: Peril decides to resolve Winter and Qibli's argument over how they should use Darkstalker's scroll, which has his animus powers stored in it and allows you to enchant objects to do basically anything, by burning the scroll so no one has it. Unfortunately, this backfires because the scroll was enchanted to give Darkstalker back his powers, allowing him to free himself, if it is burned.
  • Sphere: The titular object is speculated to be of alien origin and its function seems to be to make real anything a person can think of but the catch is that it also makes real even the subconscious expectations and fears of a person's heart. Not surprisingly, the people who discovered it, upon realizing its true nature, decide not only to get rid of it but also that they need to forget that it ever existed so that nobody will ever try to retrieve it.
  • In Some Desperate Glory, the Wisdom, a vast god machine capable of warping reality, eventually realizes that it's too powerful to allow any sentients to influence it. Before the book even began, it made the decision to destroy Earth and the fourteen billion people on it, kicking off the plot. Or rather, Leru made the decision, after it gave them a glimpse into all possible options. At the end of Act 3, it's hijacked and used by Avi to kill twenty trillion people in vengeance for Earth, and at the end of Act 4, Aulus Jole uses it to destroy reality out of spite and is only narrowly stopped by Kyr. After this, the Wisdom decides to send Kyr back to the beginning of the book's events, and destroy itself so no one else can use it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: Lewis and Zane learn the hard way that ambergris perfume hypnotizes mermaids into being infatuated with whoever's wearing it when Nate of all people gets his hands on some. At the end of the episode, Zane suggests to Lewis that all his problems with Cleo can be solved with the perfume. Lewis responds by dumping it into the ocean.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Sword of Kahless", the heroes embark on a quest to find the eponymous sword, a very important religious artifact to the Klingons. So important, in fact, that whoever finds it and brings it back to the homeworld would gain the cultural/religious/political power to take over the Klingon Empire. As it turns out, it seems to corrupt its wielder faster than The One Ring, and after seeing her cohorts plotting to take over the empire and fighting amongst themselves over who gets to do it, Jadzia beams the sword into space. Word of God said that the sword was just a sword, with no unnatural powers; the lure of power and glory was what caused people to fight over it.
    • The Star Trek Expanded Universe has the sword retrieved at least twice. In Star Trek: Armada, Worf's enemy Toral seeks to take over the Empire with a fake and goes after Worf in order to prevent anyone from finding the real one. Worf survives, retrieves the real sword, and reaffirms Martok as the Chancellor. In a novel, Ezri Dax retrieves the sword and gives it to Martok, who has been overthrown by his illegitimate son, causing the pitched battle to stop and every Klingon to bow down to their Chancellor.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: When Q appears in "Hide and Q", he endows Riker with the power of the Continuum in an attempt to uncover how humanity might someday surpass his species. Picard immediately pressures Riker into resisting the urge to use this power, ostensibly to prevent Will from abusing it, and also to win a wager against Q in the hopes of making the God-like being sod off forever. Even though he is corrupted by the power, Riker ultimately decides to remain human and has the power taken away, with the moral being that humanity will take its own path without needing to be uplifted by Q. This doesn't stop Q from continuing to harass Picard once a season for the rest of Next Gen's run, of course.
  • Star Trek: Voyager introduces the "Omega Directive" in the episode of the same name, which is this trope applied to the Omega molecule — a super-powerful substance which, if mishandled, can not only blow up anything around, but also turn entire sectors of space into a No Warping Zone. If Omega is detected, Starfleet must do anything necessary to destroy it, with all other directives (even the Prime Directive itself) rescinded.
  • Parodied in one episode of The Big Bang Theory. The guys end up with one of the actual props of the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings movies, and squabble constantly over who gets to keep it, while Leonard rolls his eyes. While they're asleep, Leonard takes the ring, and tells them he sent it back to Peter Jackson where it belongs. Subverted when it turns out Leonard kept it for himself.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Master has, at least twice, offered the Doctor joint or even total control of their superweapon of the week, daring the Doctor to rule the universe benevolently. Both times, the Doctor refused for this reason (plus, they'd find ruling over anything soul-crushingly dull).
    • The Doctor comes to this conclusion about the Key to Time at the end of "The Armageddon Factor" and helps Romana reach the conclusion by hamming it up and pretending he went mad with power.
      The Doctor: [scary voice] Are you listening to me, Romana? Because if you're not listening, I can make you listen. Because I can do anything. As from this moment there's no such thing as free will in the entire universe. There's only my will, because I possess the Key to Time!
      Romana: Doctor, are you all right?
      The Doctor: [back to normal] Well, of course I'm all right. But supposing I wasn't all right?
    • When the Doctor alters a fixed point in time in "The Waters of Mars" and thinks of himself as "the Time Lord Victorious", with the ability to dictate the laws of time and manipulate the course of history to whatever he wants, Captain Brook tries to convince him that nobody should be able to do that. He replies "Tough", and says it's for him to decide the morality of his actions. It takes Brook's suicide to shock him back to reality.
  • At the end of a series 2 episode of Spooks, the team catches a hacker who has a program which enables him to hack any computer connected to the internet (he worked with the people who designed the internet in the early days, and essentially has a backdoor). After recovering the computer with the hacking program on it, and considering what the government and politicians will do with it the team chuck it in the Thames.
  • In Angel, the Gem of Amara is a magical ring that renders vampires immune to their weaknesses (staking won't kill them, they can walk in sunlight, crosses and fire are ineffective). When Angel gets a hold of it, he destroys it at the end of the episode since it's too dangerous for any vampire (even himself) to have.
  • In The Boys (2019), Vought develops a variant of their Super Serum Compound V that gives non-Supes powers temporarily, with the intent of selling it to the military. Queen Maeve smuggles some to The Boys to give them a fighting chance against Payback and eventually Homelander. However, Butcher and Hughie are the only ones willing to use it as this trope is fully in effect and they butt heads with the others over it, especially Mother's Milk who lost his family to Supes and says the trope name word-for-word as he argues that they need to draw the line somewhere. Butcher felt the exact same way they did, but knew that they were out of options and initially tries to stop Hughie from following him down this path, calling it a "curse".
  • Once Upon a Time. At end of "Operation Mongoose" Henry becomes the new Author with Reality Warper powers. Having seen how the power had corrupted Isaac (the previous author), Henry snaps the quill in two, deciding nobody should be that powerful.
  • Person of Interest:
    • The Machine is an omniscient surveillance system that collects and collates data on everyone in the interest of preventing terrorist threats. Its designer, Harold Finch, knew that the risk of using this power for anything other than its intended use was too great, so he made it impossible for anyone to see its actual processes—even him. The government just gets the social security numbers of individuals relevant to national security, while Harold himself gets the numbers of threats irrelevant to national security; petty premeditated murders and the like. As the show wears on, it becomes clear that while no human should have this power, someone needs to, and the Machine itself is the only option.
      Control: The Machine belongs to me.
      The Machine: [via Root] No. I don't belong to anyone anymore. You, however, are mine. I protect you. The only thing you love lives at 254 Wendell Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. I guard it, same as I guard you. Do not question my judgment. Do not pursue me or my agents. Trust in me. I am always watching.
    • For most of season 3, the team is trying to prevent the creation of Samaritan, an AI like the Machine but with none of the safeguards or moral programming, which can be controlled and set against anyone the designers don't like. This turns out to not be the case, as Decima is actually creating Samaritan so that it can rule the world, not them. So which is worse—evil people controlling an evil god, or the other way around?
  • In one episode of Castle (2009) involving an invisible man, Castle and Beckett learn that the Victim of the Week stole research data from a government facility trying to develop an invisibility suit, so that he may perfect it as part of a revenge scheme cooked up with his friend. After nearly crossing the line, he realizes that invisibility is too much power for humanity to have and wiped out the facility's research and planned to destroy the suit, only for it to stolen by the killer (his ex-girlfriend, who he had used to get her research needed to perfect the suit). In the end, Beckett and Castle arrest the killer and the head researcher takes custody of the suit. Realizing that the victim was right about the suit being a Deal with the Devil, Castle warned the researcher not to lose her soul.
  • A more mundane example in The Dead Zone, where a former student of Johnny's creates something that is going to revolutionize science. However, Johnny has a vision, where the discovery is used to build more effective WMDs, resulting in the student trying to destroy all data about his discovery. He dies in the process, while his assistant manages to recover an encrypted hard drive with the data and gives it to some shady characters.
  • This forms the central theme for shows like Warehouse 13 and The Librarians. Certain items have been imbued with special powers that are too destructive to be allowed to be out in the world. Special repositories have been build where these objects can be safely stored away and agents of these repositories roam the world looking for new artifacts that need to be hidden away.
  • In the finale of Power Rangers Beast Morphers, after the fall of Evox/Venjix, it was decided that Mayor Daniels' original assessment that it was too dangerous to harness the Morphin' Grid as a power source because villains would exploit it for their own gains was correct all along, with the use of Morph-X being discontinued as a result.
  • In El Chapulín Colorado, the Samson's wig episode ends with the wig being cut up, and Chapulin commenting that it's for the best so that no one will abuse the wig's ability to give the wearer Super-Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability, but the archaeologist that called him still laments that it's a great loss to academia.

    Video Games 
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: Thousands of years before the game, Lord Nerevar led the Chimer people to war against the Dwemer on account of the Dwemer's "blasphemous" research of the Heart of Lorkhan. How Nerevar died is recounted differently based on who is telling the tale. Some versions of it hold that his generals, after defeating the Dwemer, wished to use the Heart to tap into Lorkhan's divinity and become gods themselves. When Nerevar asserted that no mortal should have such power, his generals betrayed and murdered him, and went on to become The Tribunal and Dagoth Ur. Others believe that it was Dagoth Ur who suggested to destroy the tools necessary to use the Heart but Nerevar talked him out of it before being betrayed by the Tribunal. In the game's present, it falls to the Player Character, who may or not be Nerevar reincarnated, to finally destroy the heart and depower the Tribunal and Dagoth Ur.
  • Episode Two of Half-Life 2 has Eli Vance snap over the discovery of the Borealis research vessel still being around. Considering the ship belongs to Aperture Science, the infamous rival to Black Mesa that does dangerous experiments deliberately For Science!, it makes sense that the research done on the ship is just as bad. Eli is plagued more emotional trauma from the first game, in addition to his mistake of not preventing the whole incident when he had the chance and what happened after that. He speaks almost to the point of insanity where the destruction of the ship and all of its research is the only thing he thinks about it.
  • Spider-Man: Edge of Time: The Alchemax CEO, aka Peter Parker 2099, explains to Spider-Man 2099 his plan: he wants to harness the quantum energy from Walker Sloan's gateway and rewrite history to reverse Amazing Spider-Man's mistakes, including the deaths of Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy and her father. Spidey 2099 argues against his plan for this reason, but the CEO doesn't listen.
    Spider-Man 2099: You're talking about power no human should have. You'll end up destroying yourself, but not before you've annihilated everything else.
  • Shulk does this in the end of Xenoblade Chronicles 1. He just killed Zanza by obtaining the same godlike power he had and was asked how he felt the world should be remade. His response was that it wasn't his decision to make which prompted him to relinquish his godhood and create a world where mortals were in control of their own destinies.
  • Assassin's Creed's Altair says this about the Pieces of Eden, and after beating the Well-Intentioned Extremist Big Bad, he announces that he intends to destroy it. He can't bring himself to do it; the possibilities of all the knowledge it contains are too much for him to resist, and later games show that while he never got Drunk on the Dark Side as he made sure to only use as little as possible to gain knowledge, he did spend most of his life trying to learn its secrets.
    • In "The Tyranny of King Washington" DLC for Assassin's Creed III, Connor and Washington touch an Apple and experience an Alternate History where Washington goes mad with its power and declares himself king. Also during the game Connor drinks a tea made from a Red Willow Tree that gives him power and slowly starts to lose himself to it. After Connor defeats him in this reality, they snap out of it. Neither of them wants to have the Apple after this, but Washington begs Connor to put it somewhere where no one will ever find it. Connor drops it into the ocean, while Washington's belief that a republic is the only bulwark against tyranny is only reinforced.
  • In Devil Survivor, Gin's ending is what happens when you cross this with Omnicidal Neutral; you (in most cases) could have taken control of Babel, but instead you eliminate all other candidates, destroy Babel, and send the demons back to where they came from.
  • In the Neutral Path of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, the enlightened AI Arthur invokes this: he has acquired far too much information on the Schwartzwelt and its denizens, and knows that should he return intact to civilization, it will be misused and him glorified until he was deified by Humanity. The very idea is so against his core programming (Humanity should never lose control over their destiny, not even to him), so requests his main CPU be added to the components of the nuke intended to finish the Negative Space Wedgie, finishing both it and him for good.
  • Tarnum in Heroes Chronicles: Masters of the Elements invoked this trope. Having conquered the Elemental Planes and become the titular Master of the Elements, he decided that his power was too great for anybody to wield and, after banishing the Elemental Lords back to their respective planes, deliberately had his own memory of the Elemental Planes (and the memory of every wizard who followed him) wiped, much to the chagrin of Gavin Magnus. But in light of what happened to Gavin Magnus later, Tarnum was probably right...
  • The omnipotent wish-granting Triforce of The Legend of Zelda always splits apart to keep anyone without a balance of Courage, Wisdom and Power in their heart from obtaining the whole thing from the get-go. Unfortunately, as seen in the backstories of Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, the very rumor of its existence tends to cause Hyrule to descend into civil war; Skyward Sword during its ending cutscene has Impa explicitly acknowledge that its power is far too tempting for the general public to know about. The backstories of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds also deal with individuals who do have the whole thing deciding to deliberately split it up anyway to prevent any wars among greedy individuals like the one that led to it originally being sealed in the Sacred Realm in the first place. A Link Between Worlds features a similar example with Lorule's version of the Triforce. The Loruleans faced their own war for the Triforce that tore apart the land, but the solution they came up with was to destroy it. They ended up realizing too late that the Triforce was the source of life for the land, and they nearly brought about The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Dr. Gerald Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog managed to both invoke this trope and become the recipient of it. He was initially a Reluctant Mad Scientist contracted by the former president of the United Federation to help with their Immortality Seeker research and only agreed to help his ill granddaughter Maria after first refusing on these grounds. After he created the Ultimate Life Form Shadow the Hedgehog, a later administration turned on him believing Shadow to be too dangerous to be left alone and invaded Gerald's space station, killing his granddaughter and turning him into an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Adam can invoke this trope with the "Destroy Panchaea" ending. He says that humanity has the option of determining the future of augmentation, and that no one should have the ability to influence that decision. Not even himself. So he destroys Panchea and kills (seemingly) everyone with the power to do so.
  • In Hacknet, Bit came to this conclusion about Hacknet after learning that it's meant be leaked to the public so that EnTech can have a monopoly on security software. The reason that you were sent a copy of the software was so that you could learn about the plan yourself and destroy the development builds before EnTech can finish it. In the end, you're directed to the "heart" of the program to terminate it and delete your own copy.
  • In Marvel Super Heroes, the heroes' arcade mode endings involve them acquiring the power of the Infinity Gauntlet...only to discard it and return to their daily lives. Wolverine, Psylocke and Iron Man's endings in particular allude to this. Wolverine has a hard enough time being a man instead of a killer, Psylocke knows what it's like to have someone change you against your will, and Iron Man's narrator notes that such power would corrupt anyone.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite: Dr. Light states at one point that the Infinity Stones are "too powerful for mortals to wield."
  • In Mass Effect 3, the Illusive Man's ultimate goal is to take control of the Reapers threatening the galaxy and use them to ensure humanity's place at the top of the pecking order. One possible ending to the game has Shepard destroy the Reapers outright, ending the destructive fifty thousand year cycle and preventing anyone else like the Illusive Man from getting the same idea.
  • Sorcery!: The Analander can decide this should they retrieve the Crown of Kings, observe its mind-controlling powers and decide to destroy it. Flanker and Jann seem to agree with it also.
  • Comes from an unlikely source in Batman: The Telltale Series Season 2, episode 4, depending on preceding decisions John Doe, aka The Joker, holds this view of the virus he takes from Harley Quinn during the climactic scene of the episode.
  • Mortal Kombat 11 has this happen in Rambo's arcade ending. After defeating Kronika and taking the power of the Hourglass, he has the power to see and change all timelines, giving him the ability to drastically alter events, letting him do things like stop bloody wars from ever happening. However he also realizes the unintended consequences, such as causing innocent people to be Ret-Gone due to changing events. Rather than decide the fate of others like that, something which he thinks would make him no better than the politicians responsible for throwing away lives in the Vietnam War, he gives up all that godly power and walks the earth once again as a drifter.

    Web Animation 


    Web Videos 
  • Subverted on Atop the Fourth Wall after Linkara acquires an insanely powerful spaceship:
    Linkara: Is there any one person who can be trusted with this much destructive power? The capabilities of this thing are incalculable! And can I really be trusted to keep it? You know, maybe... maybe we should destroy it.
    Iron Liz: Do you really mean that?
    Linkara: Hell, no! It's mine now!
  • In a FunnyOrDie parody of Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton discovers that the theme song's "I can do anything" is meant literally, turning him into a Physical God when he reads a book. Horrified, he declares "No man should have this power!" and proceeds to destroy all the books in the world, finally looking out over the ruins of civilization with a "My God, What Have I Done?!"

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10:
  • Parodied on South Park. The boys see the girls playing with a paper fortune teller. After Butters successfully infiltrates their slumber party and steals it from them, the boys decide that the power to tell the future is too great and dangerous to possess, and destroy it with a spectacular explosion.
    • Parodied again in "Fantastic Easter Special" when the boys find out that the position of Pope was never meant for humans, but for rabbits. You see, Jesus knew that no human could speak for all of Christianity without eventually succumbing to corruption, and thus chose rabbits because they were pure, tolerant, and incorruptible. The reason the Pope's hat is shaped the way it is is because it was meant to accommodate rabbit ears.
  • Gargoyles:
    • In the episode "Grief", the Emir manages to take the powers of Anubis (mastery of death) away from Jackal and becomes Anubis' avatar. The Emir then does what he can to repair the damage inflicted by Jackal during his brief tenure as Anubis' avatar. After seeing the destruction wrought by Jackal and becoming the avatar himself leads the Emir to two epiphanies: the first being that the dead should stay dead, and that no one mortal should have access to this kind of power ever again. He collapses the entire building on himself, destroying any trace of the knowledge needed to bind Anubis.
    • Goliath uses this to justify his withholding of the Eye of Odin. This has problems when he encounters the real Odin, and mistakes him for an enemy.
    • He also uses this to justify sending the Phoenix Gate into oblivion. It didn't last long.
  • In the Grand Finale of Generator Rex, Rex obtains the full godlike power of the Meta-Nanites as his family always intended. Rex issues two orders to the Meta-Nanites. First Rex initiates a Global Cure Event removing the Nanite threat. Then Rex orders the Meta-Nanites to shut down, stating that he doesn't want anyone, including himself, to have access to this much power ever again.
  • The Bravestarr episode "The Wrong Hands" is basically the series's anti-nuclear episode. A race of militaristic aliens builds an enormously powerful cannon (powered by Kerium, of course) to "conquer the galaxy." Bravestarr recalls a time when, as a boy, he'd gotten his hands on a mining tool and accidentally destroyed the hut he and Shaman were living in. Shaman had told him how dangerous some things could be in the wrong hands, and that when he was older, he would see that some things are "too terrible and too dangerous to be in anyone's hands." Bravestarr destroys the cannon before it can do much damage.
  • In Xiaolin Showdown after Master Fung's "We Win, Because You Didn't" demonstration, Omi opts to "destroy" the Golden Tiger Claws, a teleporting Shen Gong Wu. He opens a portal to the Earth's core and throws the Claws themselves through it. Subverted in a later episode when the heroes need the Claws to defeat an otherwise-unstoppable monster - Omi uses the Serpent's Tail to retrieve them, but by then, both sides had grown strong enough that it wasn't a Game Changer.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
  • In Gravity Falls, the author of Dipper's mysterious journal built a machine he thought could benefit mankind, but soon realized it was too dangerous to be used, and so scattered the knowledge of how to use it in his journals and hid them.
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • Lampshaded by Green Arrow after the Watchtower's Kill Sat function is hijacked and forced to fire on a city. Upon seeing the devastation, he notes 'It's too much power for anyone to have'. The rest of the League eventually agrees with him and decommissioned the weapon.
    • Turns out, the original seven felt that way about the Justice League itself. The expansion wasn't just to increase numbers and power, but to also bring in a far wider variety of viewpoints to help keep them grounded; GA's lecture about the cannon was just the first and most prominent example.
  • In Book 4 of The Legend of Korra, Varrick experiments with Spirit Vines, originally to investigate their use as a limitless source of energy. When his experimental apparatus becomes an impromptu death ray in a Phlebotinum Overload, he suddenly has some Curious Qualms of Conscience and opts to put the kibosh on the whole project Unfortunately, his employer Kuvira's interest was piqued by the death ray, and twists his arm into continuing.
  • In numerous episodes of Adventures of the Gummi Bears where the bears discover ancient inventions built by their ancestors, they come to the conclusion that their ancestors' technology is too powerful for anyone to possess (especially when Duke Igthorn gets his hands on it) and destroy it.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), to prevent anyone from using the Kraang's actually Professor Honeycutt's Black Hole Generator, the Utrom split it into three parts and hid them across the galaxy. Unfortunately, the Triceratons found the fragments and used the weapon on Earth. Fortunately, an atoning Honeycutt pulled a Heroic Sacrifice to change the future and destroy both the generator and the Triceraton fleet.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) had an episode where Krang steals a legendary artifact from aliens in order to destroy the dimensional barrier with Dimension X. In the end, the aliens take the artifact away to be destroyed.
  • Rodimus Prime proposed this in The Transformers season 3 episode "Fight or Flee" when the Decepticons conquer an energy-rich, game-changing planet populated by pacifist robots. Although understandably reluctant, the pacifist residents, who had neither the skill nor the desire to fight a protracted war, agreed to the plan and eliminated their beloved home/galaxy-threatening weapon in one giant blast.
  • In Defenders of the Earth, the "Necklace of Oros" arc ends with Jedda casting the Necklace into the magma at the heart of the (dormant) volcano where Monitor is located, saying:
    Some powers are too great for the hands of men.
  • In Dragons: Riders of Berk the Race to the Edge saga concludes with Hiccup determining that the Dragon Eye's potential to be used for the harm of dragons is too great and destroys both it and the second Dragon Eye he had made.
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In "The Ghost of Paradise Estate, Part 4", after using Squirk's magic amulet to reverse the damage he did, Megan deliberately shatters it, stating its powers are too easily used for evil.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002): In one episode, after a clash with Skeletor involving the powerful Legacy Stones, He-Man determines the stones too dangerous and destroys them for the safety of Eternia. This, however, left the stones' guardian, Sy-Klone without a duty, but fortunately, He-Man found him a new purpose: as a member of the Masters.
  • In the last episode of Superman: The Animated Series, Lex Luthor's last recorded thought on the title character is that "No one man should have that much power," gritted through a neck brace — funny enough, he got it when Superman had been de-powered and managed to sucker-punch him.
  • In Wakfu, the Eliatrope dragon Grougaloragan states that no normal person can use the Eliacube and that Nox will only end up destroying himself or worse if he doesn't give it up. Nox simply replies he's done rather well with it for the past 200 years, but near the end of their fight admits that the cube is indeed too much for a normal person to handle and he's learned that firsthand. After all, his obsession with it cost him everything he ever held dear, and the only reason he hasn't thrown it away is because he intends to use it to take it all back.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2021):
    • No king of Eternos since King Grayskull has ever wielded the Power of Grayskull for fear that such power would be easily abused. King Randor brands the Masters of the Universe criminals for using its power, even for good.
    • The relationship between Eternos and its allied nations Avion and Leviathae was damaged because King Grayskull refused to let the other nations use the Sigil of Hssss, an artifact capable of raising the dead as an undead army, and instead broke and hid the Sigil away.
  • In Star Wars Rebels, Ezra discovers that Lothal hides a portal to the World Between Worlds, a dimension that allows anyone to walk through time and possibly influence events. After a close call with a paradox and accidentally creating a Stable Time Loop, he destroys both gates, both to keep them from Palpatine and because of how much easy it would be to warp time from within it.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: This is Star's reason for destroying the realm of magic. It has potentially infinite power and past users have caused destruction on a multiversal scale. It is also shown to have corrupting effects on those who indulge in it too much.

    Real Life 
  • Nuclear non-proliferation treaties are as close as real life gets to this trope.
  • The Roman politician Valerius Messalla was a devout republican (he gets a brief Shout-Out in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar as one of Brutus's military commanders) who was lucky enough to survive the Civil Wars. Augustus, the first Emperor, decided that this man of traditional Roman virtue would be a good choice for the new office of Prefect of the City of Rome (a sort of combination Mayor and Chief of Police.) Messalla resigned within a week, on the grounds that he was disgusted with the powers of the office. (Since the powers of the Emperor were considerably greater than those of the Prefect of the City, he probably meant it as a Take That!.)


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): No One Should Have This Power


Charms of Bezel

A set of five charms that grant the wearer with a wide range of Magical abilities: Luck, Electrokinesis, Pyrokinesis, Telekinesis, and Resurrection.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / NoManShouldHaveThisPower

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