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Power High

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She seems to be enjoying it a bit too much…

"Power is intoxicating [...] and like any intoxicant, it's also addictive."
Skulduggery, Skulduggery Pleasant

Power feels good...

For some, that is true in a very literal sense. When a character either gains superpowers (often coupled with Powers as Programs) or becomes more powerful they will feel pleasure sometimes expressed in a similar way to an orgasm.

The pleasure this power gives is usually expressed to phrases like "Yes! Yes! Yes!", "I can feel the power surging through my veins", "This feels so good," or similar, often in a very explicit way.

Whatever the case it is made clear that the person is really enjoying the pleasure his/her new powers give. Sometimes a side effect of this is that the person will have an addiction similar to drugs, which makes their "superpowers" similar to a G-Rated Drug. If they experience this with Psycho Serum, the two tropes merge.

This trope is mostly associated with villain characters as they are the more likely to express pleasure when gaining power and using it for hedonistic purposes than heroes. In contrast heroes are more likely expected to dislike their powers.

See also Addictive Magic, Drunk on the Dark Side, Evil Feels Good, Good Feels Good, With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, Drunk with Power, Orgasmic Combat and Power is Sexy.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In The Big O, Alan Gabriel really enjoys being wired directly into Big Duo.
  • The reason the modern Claymores from Claymore are exclusively female is because release of yoki (demonic energy that powers them) is this to men. To be even exacter, male Claymores (produced long ago) experienced the power-up as sexual pleasure and Awakened almost immediately.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • After Piccolo merges with Nail, he spends a good minute just standing there reveling in how awesome he feels. The infamous dubbed version is now known as "Motivational Piccolo".
      "Wow... unreal... my gosh...! This is AMAZING! I feel INCREDIBLE~! YES! YES! YES! YES! I can win! I feel great! I! CAN! DO! THIS! AAUUUGH! [beat] Yes! I'm home! I'm alive! This is all a miracle! I'M AWAKE! I'M WIDE AWAKE!!"
    • The Dragon Ball Z Kai version, while less memetic, has just as much ham.
      "This strength...this unimaginable STRENGTH! If I had known that merging with another being could result in this kind of power, I would have sought it out YEARS ago! I am INVINCIBLE! No-one can stop me now!"
  • Pilots in Genesis of Aquarion react downright orgasmically when three Vectors combine into the eponymous Aquarion. The moaning and facial expressions are probably just there for Fanservice.
    • The sequel Aquarion Evol handles it the same way. The next sequel, Aquarion Logos, has it show up much more rarely. It being unrelated to the previous two seasons may have had something to do with that.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, DIO explicitly compares rejuvenating himself with Joseph's blood to a high, while tearing at his own flesh with his fingernails (and even drilling his finger into his own skull) to show off his enhanced regeneration.
    DIO: What a truly magnificent feeling! I feel so good, I could break out into song! Eight seconds have passed! One hundred years ago, I attained immortality, but I didn't feel as absolutely wonderful then as I do now! [Jams finger into temple, begins drilling] Joestar blood suits me so very well! THIS IS THE GREATEST HIGH!"
  • Inverted in Princess Tutu. Rue feels pain when she transforms.
  • In Puella Magi Kazumi Magica, Airi after becoming Yuuri says "Haha this is great! …these powers are the best." All of this while licking her lips and looking very very pleased in a suggestive way. Kazumi also has a moment of this in chapter 1 in her first battle.
  • S Cryed: While Kazuma may have a heroic motivation for gaining the power (fighting a Knight Templar organization) but there's no denying the look on his face when using his Alter. Particularly once he gets his first Alter upgrade.
    "More power! And more! SHINE BRIGHTER!!"
  • Masane in Witchblade enjoyed her combat form... very much, until she both got the hang of it and realized how taxing the transformation is. One of the first times, she briefly crouches high on the wall, murmurs "Amazing." and licks her lips, looking at incoming rocket swarm, before jumping. There's a lot of such scenes.

    Comic Books 
  • The rare DCU Psycho Serum Aramilla gives the user an incredible rush. In Robin when Tim is slipped some he notes how fun it feels and he knows he's become dangerously detached from the violence he's doling out. His feeble attempts to control his attitude are all for naught until he actually kills someone. They get better of course since his performing CPR slips them the drug.
  • The Flash: In comics from the late 2000s, we're introduced to a corrupted form of the Speed Force, the Negative Speed Force, which during DC Rebirth is re-hauled into being this trope. It causes the speedster's powers to become destructive and harmful, while also slowly killing them from their use; it lacks the regular Speed Force's Healing Factor properties and causes those who use it to appear drunk. Though not explicit, it's possible to infer that Eobard Thawne's descent into madness might have been caused by the use of it, rather than being connected to the actual Speed Force.
  • Ultimate Marvel: The Ultimate version of She-Hulk definitely experiences this in her first transformation
  • Zatanna: Everyday Magic: Since Nimue is a normal human, when she stabs the Homo Magi Zatanna with the life-draining needle, Zatanna's life / magical energy are so potent that they overwhelm Nimue, who never felt anything like it before. It's heavily implied she actually gets sexual pleasure out of it,, with her facial expression implying she had an involuntary orgasm.

    Fan Works 
  • All For Luz: Luz admits she gets this when she steals a Quirk with All For One, which explains why she has a Psychotic Smirk and tends to go Ax-Crazy whenever she does it. She's trying to curb doing this but the more enemies she faces, the mopre Quirks she needs to combat them.
  • Lilith already had this to some degree in Borderlands, made more explicit in Borderlands 2 ("This stuff is the tits!"). In Fractured (SovereignGFC), a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands crossover, she goes off the deep end after having a change in alignment. It's not just her powers, either—an actual Psycho Serum is also involved.
  • In My Huntsman Academia, Nora can get one when she's particularly charged up with electricity, easily pounding an Ursa Major's torso into paste before declaring that she'll run out and kill every single Grimm in the Emerald Forest.
  • In Raindancer, Izuku's Quirk, "Liquid Body", allows him to completely turn his body into water. Because of this, he's literally in his element when he's raining, causing him to forgo an umbrella to savor the euphoric feeling of being surrounded by so much water. He also gets a similar effect when he's basking in moonlight, particularly when the full moon is out. During this time, he can act as though he's loopy, on an adrenaline high, or even drunk. Both conditions increase the potency of his already devastating control over water, warning his friends to yank him out of it if he starts acting weird.
  • With Strings Attached: In the Second Movement, when the other three get magic, it makes them so high that it takes them weeks to notice that Paul didn't get any.
  • While all of the four experienced Power Highs in With Strings Attached, by The Keys Stand Alone only Paul and Ringo still do in significant ways. Paul gets high off the “background noise” of his magic, which is like a “triumphant thundering symphony,” and uses it both to pass the time at night (he hardly sleeps) and to calm himself down when he's getting agitated, which proves useful on numerous occasions. He is not, however, addicted to it. Ringo, on the other hand, is so thoroughly addicted to his mindsight that he goes into withdrawal when he's blocked and thinks he'll kill himself if he has to go back to Earth without it again. Paul also discovers that absorbing energy gives him a rush as well—and, when he was hit by two lightning bolts in rapid succession, he also got drunk and had an orgasm.
  • In The Taste Of Your Magic, Bellatrix Lestrange describes breastfeeding Harry Potter as addictive, since doing so allows Bellatrix to increase her magical power. She even contemplates vanishing the milk in Harry's stomach just so she could continuously feed him, but figures that even if it did work, it would trap her in an eternal high until she wasted away.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Disney's Aladdin, Jafar wishes to become a genie. His wish is fulfilled and while gaining "phenomenal cosmic powers" he proclaims "The power, the absolute power! The universe is mine to command, to control!". His enjoyment falls short thanks to Aladdin's Batman Gambit. He forgot about the "itty bitty living space" that comes with genie powers.

    Film — Live Action 
  • When Tony Stark inserts the new element into his arc-reactor in Iron Man 2, he gets a very sudden high.
    Tastes like... Coconut... and METAL! Oh, YEAH!
    • In the previous movie, Obadiah Stane pilots the Iron Monger suit in a last-ditch effort to get rid of Tony. He later admits that he's really enjoying the power of the suit.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: When Tia Dalma is released from her human form and regains her godly powers by becoming Calypso, she makes a familiar expression that makes her enjoyment very evident.
  • Spider-Man 3: When Peter gets the symbiote he says that "I feel wow... this feels good!"
  • Star Wars: Darth Sidious/Palpatine is a unique example in that he isn't any physically more powerful during the events of Revenge of the Sith, but he's finally achieved his plan to destroy the Jedi Order and assume eternal control over the Republic (soon to be the Empire) and really lets this loose as soon as he realizes it.
  • An inversion is evidenced in X-Men.
    Rogue: "Does it hurt when [your claws] come out?"
    Wolverine: "Every time."

    Live-Action TV 

  • Leveling High in An Outcast in Another World is an affliction that affects only Humans. When they Level up, their brains are magically drugged to want to Level more, which involves more killing, which creates an awful feedback loop. Eventually, the High becomes so powerful that it overtakes their personality and turns them into crazed murderers.
  • Everworld: Senna claims using magic "...filled me up, rushed through me, the sensation of power more erotic than any fantasy, more exciting. The power, I loved it so, it filled me and fulfilled me. It was mind, it was body, it was sex and money and power and revenge and triumph all rolled into one."
  • In Steven King's Firestarter, unlike her father Andy McGee, who suffers headaches and mini-strokes from using his mental domination abilities, Charlie McGee finds using her powers to be fun and pleasurable. Since her parents instilled a complex about using her powers in order to keep her from burning the house down as a toddler, she feels a lot of guilt over this.
  • Journey to Chaos: Breathing in the magical mist known as "Fog" will cause a rush of power directly to the user's soul. It's described as a "heady experience" and people get addicted to it. Those that capitalize on this are analogous to drug dealers.
  • Labyrinths of Echo had the Order of the Holey Chalice, where power was acquired by drinking from bottomless cups. The protagonist given a taste of this felt literally power-drunk, which an ex-adept confirmed to be the normal effect — and noted that it's important to discern the real power boost from illusions of power. The Order's acolytes were given the taste of power from their masters' cups now and then and became full members after they learned to keep the liquid from spilling on their own. As a result, it was one of the magical traditions with very, very motivated apprentices, but no training on self-discipline at all.
    • When one of their Minor Magisters, already well-adapted to this, stole the reserve of power from a lot of huge aquariums. He remembers very little from the next few years, but managed to earn the monicker "Mad Fishmonger", among the mages half of whom were obviously batshit insane and the rest just dangerously obsessed. In the city which (according to himself, much later) everyone of right mind left in haste long ago on account of the civil war between these overpowered nutcases.
    • Once was used in a mental attack against Max, after which, instead of hunting an enemy, he shredded annoying, but harmless phantasms in happy bloodthirst — and since he didn't actually receive any extra power, ended up so weak and vulnerable that his boss could neither leave nor use strong magic around him before arranging an external protection.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant: the titular character provides the page quote and discusses this with Valkyrie, whose own powers are rapidly growing as a warning. For context, by her mid to late teens, she's an Elemental capable of fighting adults with centuries of experience on relatively even footing and the most intrinsically talented Necromancer since Lord Vile, and sealing her True Name to try and prevent her dark side, Darquesse, from running rampant, backfires by turning Darquesse into a Superpowered Evil Side that increasingly verges on being a Physical God, and the sensation of her taking over is described as intoxicating. For further context, he's not just trotting out a cliche, he knows from personal experience: his Superpowered Evil Side is Lord Vile.
  • The Wheel of Time: People channeling the One Power gain such acute senses and feel so much more alive that they have to discipline themselves to let go of the Power afterwards. It's so addictive that most channelers who lose the ability to channel die of despair within a year or two. The True Power, the Power supplied by the Dark One to his favoured minions, is even more addictive.
  • The Dresden Files Fool Moon: the FBI agents that are using the wolf belts seem progressively less stable as the story continues, until at the end they're little more than psychopaths looking for their next high. When Harry uses the belt he grabbed earlier, he's immediately lost to the power and sensation, and the narration reflect that he's enjoying it far too much...until he almost kills Susan, and tears the belt from his body, describing it as pulling off a layer of skin, and leaving him weak, tired, and with the nagging desire to immediately use it again.
  • The Dark Tower: There are psychics called Breakers who use their power to break down the walls of reality. One states in his narration that breaking is a pleasant experience.

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, after Dark Dragon uses his Elemental Absorption to absorb Luna's lightning form into his body, the rush of power gives him an almost orgasmic high. He gushes about how good it feels, how he feels pumped up and overflowing with power, all the while making his usual dirty jokes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Amber Diceless Role-Playing. In the section on the character Merlin, it says that the magical powers possessed by Amberites make the user feel so good that they can become addictive.
  • In Forgotten Realms, elven magic users in the area of raising mythal (city-scale spell field) had a peculiar reaction: spontaneously levitate and space out. Elminster in Myth Drannor had a scene when one elven gardener found his noble lady and her handmaiden floating naked over the basin, staring into nowhere and "moaning a chant." He had no options but to shake his head and conclude that "pleasure spells were certainly becoming powerful things these days." The tales spread, and much later some elven wizards (including one Wizard Guild's dean in Raven Bluff) became mythal proponents just because they heard colourful descriptions of this effect.

    Video Games 
  • The more Anarchy stacks Gaige gets in Borderlands 2, the more she tends to invoke this. This includes yelling, "I'm getting a god complex and I LIKE IT!" and it all goes downhill from there.
  • Marx from Kirby Super Star has this expression for a brief second during his Evil All Along moment at the end of the mode, which gives him a decidedly maddened look. The remake's Marx Soul wears this expression constantly as a dead giveaway to the fact that he's lost it.
  • In Overwatch, all of the heroes have an "I am unstoppable!" line for when Ana nanoboosts them. Especially noticeable with the tanks (except Roadhog).
  • In the Persona franchise, the heroes of 3, 4, and 5 are all shown enjoying a taste of their new power when they first summon their Persona. This carried over to the anime adaptations of 3 and 4. Interestingly, in Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, Yosuke can sometimes be heard yelling "Give me power!" in a demanding voice when summoning his own Persona. This seems to mostly just be for flavor, as in none of these cases do the Power High aspects play a role in the plot or character development.
    • It is possible to get addicted to power in Persona 5: at the end of the game, Yaldabaoth offers to give the Phantom Thieves control of the Metaverse (as they are currently trying to destroy it to keep Yaldabaoth from chaining down humanity's free will). It's possible to accept, with the notion that destroying the Metaverse would destroy their Personas, which drove them through their story, being explicitly mentioned.
  • In Portal 2, Wheatley, when placed into a position of complete power over Aperture, immediately begins to show symptoms of a power high, commenting on how small and insignificant Chell is. Unfortunately, this ultimately leads to his Face–Heel Turn.
    Wheatley Do you have any idea how good this feels?
  • Team Fortress 2: "I AM BULLETPROOOOOOOOOF!!!!!"
  • Juri from Super Street Fighter IV after gaining ki based powers from the Feng Shui engine she proclaims: "Mmm...I like it. I can feel waves of ki energy surging through my whole body" in a very suggestive way. This can be seen here.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: When Venom gains absolute control of his symbiotic suit he screams " Yes! Yes! Yes! Now I have TOTAL absolute control!" See it in this video.
  • Starting in Resident Evil 4, anyone that's conscious enough to exert control over their viral transformation really, really likes it. This includes Salazar and Sattler from the fourth game, Irving and Wesker from the fifth game, and Simmons from the sixth game. Resident Evil 7 is an aversion: while they profess to greatly enjoy their transformations, Jack and Marguerite are shown to be horrified by what they've become and what they've done. Lucas, on the other hand, is a psychopath who is only pretending to be infected, so his "power high" is entirely fabricated.
    • Wesker really liked it as far back as Resident Evil – Code: Veronica (dramatically announcing "Sure I'm not human anymore, but just look at the power I've gained!" as he holds out his arms in something between a T-pose and Milking the Giant Cow and spins around, as well as all the maniacal laughter) and even the Rebirth scenes in Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles ("Time to take this virus out for a test drive" *kills every zombie in sight* "What amazing power!")


    Web Original 
  • In The Lazer Collection:
    Dr. Octogonapus: Feel the power, Randal! Let it seep up your thighs and penetrate your body! Let it penetrate you, Randal!
    Randal: It feels good!
    Dr. Octogonapus: Now release! Let it build up and release!
    Randal: Hnnn... BLAAAAH!!

    Western Animation 
  • In Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Harvey, who gets his power from sunlight, discovers that suntan lotion can provide the same effect. He quickly becomes addicted to the rush and starts spending all his money on lotion, until his friends are forced to stage an intervention.
  • She-Hulk in The Incredible Hulk (1996) seems to really like transforming.
  • In The Mask animated series, a gypsy woman steals the power of the mask and screams "yes yes yes!" while she does.
  • In Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Mira has the power to phase through objects. When she discovers she can phase through energy and absorbs some of that energy, she comments on how great she feels. Later, we learn that doing this is very addictive, and the episode becomes an analogy for drug usage, where Mira has to kick this dangerous habit.
  • In Steven Universe, this trope is one of the features of gem fusion. Fusions are a good deal more powerful than the sum of their parts, and forming one feels good. True to the nature of the trope, though, this is not without its cons. Sugilite is so caught up in her own raw power that she refuses to unfuse back into Amethyst and Garnet. Pearl so deeply enjoys the strength and confidence she experiences as Sardonyx that she starts pulling off a series of one-gem False Flag Operations in secret, just to create an excuse to fuse with Garnet again. When Jasper takes control of her and Lapis' fusion Malachite, it's clear she's having the time of her life with the sheer power she now possesses. When she reappears later, she's completely obsessed with fusing with Lapis again.
  • In the Teen Titans (2003) episode "Overdrive", Cyborg installs the Maximum-7 processor chip into his systems and he soon goes "BOOYAH!" as he feels the increase in power.