Follow TV Tropes


Power Incontinence

Go To
Cyclops is not having a good day.
Daisy: Let me guess: Joey Gutierrez is unfit for action physically, psychologically, and emotionally.
Andrew: Man can't open a doorknob without melting it. My Psych 101 students could tell you he's not ready.

A character's got an awesome power at their disposal but there's a catch: whatever this amazing power is, the character has little or no control over it. Their power seems to go off at random or they can't stop using their powers, even if they want to. This character suffers from Power Incontinence.

Sometimes, a character will just lose control for an episode or two, or have a few accidents while first learning how to use their powers. Extreme emotional situations may cause a loss of control, though, like a pyrokinetic literally Burning with Anger. Sometimes holding your powers for too long as it builds up in your body will also cause an unwanted burst of power. And if your powers somehow have a will of their own, then it may be possible that your powers can simply take over and use you.

Not everyone is so lucky. Many cases are incurable, becoming an integral part of the character. Not to worry, though; many cases can be treated by Training the Gift of Magic. Even if that doesn't work, chronic power incontinence is frequently treatable with some Applied Phlebotinum. You'll have to hold on to that phlebotinum from now on, though (try making a snazzy suit out of it). You'll have to depend on it if you want to avoid any accidents or a shorter lifespan.

Note that this is not always a bad thing for the character, since some powers are better when they don't need to be actively controlled. Having the ability to heal any wound, for example, is awesome when you don't have to consciously activate it — otherwise a severe injury might still kill you if you lost consciousness (from loss of blood, say) before switching it on. However, it is always a lack of the Required Secondary Powers that protects a character from their own powers.

Rarely, the inversed set-up of this trope is used; that is to say, rather than the power being hyper-active from lack of control, they can't get it to work in any way.

Can be one of the ways a character is Blessed with Suck. Compare Restraining Bolt or Power Limiter (common methods of averting this) and Does Not Know His Own Strength (a common result of this). If combined with Shapeshifting, this may result in becoming an Involuntary Shapeshifter, depending on what triggers it and how. Frequently results in Tragic Intangibility when applied to characters who normally have control over their Intangibility. A character with this may also have a case of I Just Want to Be Normal or Afraid of Their Own Strength. Sometimes terrifyingly applied with Reality Warping Is Not a Toy. Severe cases may develop into a Walking Wasteland.

This is the lowest tier of The Law of Power Proportionate to Effort. Conversely, Powers Do the Fighting (the highest tier, and the opposite of this trope) may fall back to this if the user loses control of their power, as said power may start fighting by itself.

Example subpages:

Other examples

    open/close all folders 

  • A Doritos advert has two people gaining cold and fire power and finding that normal tasks like going the toilet and using deodorant have become problematic.
  • This Skittles commercial combines this with The Magic Touch. Tim has the power to turn everything he touches into Skittles... a power that never turns off. He can't feed or dress himself, he's unable to hold his newborn son, and he mentions that he inadvertently killed someone after shaking his hand. The commercial walks a fine line between Black Comedy and Dude, Not Funny!
    Amazed Man: That's awesome!
    Tim: Is it?

    Audio Plays 
  • Everyone who is exposed to the Elysium formula in The Elysium Project has this to some extent. The formula gives people the power to manipulate reality itself, but their powers give them what they want, not necessarily what they ask for, meaning they lose control of their abilities very easily, particularly when they get emotional.

    Films — Animation 
  • The "Sorcerer's Apprentice" scene from Fantasia has Mickey Mouse trying on his master's hat, using his newfound magical powers to animate his broom and have it fetch buckets of water for him. Problem is, Mickey isn't experienced enough with magic to know how to make the broom stop once it's started, and chopping it into pieces with his master's axe only makes things worse, leading to the creation of more brooms with more buckets of water, and poor Mickey soon finds himself in way over his head.
  • Frozen: Queen Elsa can't always control her snow powers, and the results can be disastrous, such as suddenly changing the seasons from summer to winter. As a child she was confined to her room after accidentally harming her sister with a burst of ice, and wears gloves all the time to contain her magic. However, an argument at Elsa's coronation causes her to bring a blizzard down on the kingdom, and getting emotionally overwhelmed only makes it worse.
  • The Incredibles: Mr. Incredible frequently breaks things by accident with his Super Strength when he is upset.
  • The titular character in Kiki's Delivery Service suffers an inversion midway through the film when she suddenly can no longer understand her cat Jiji or fly on her broom.
  • Miles Morales spends much of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse learning to control his powers. Initially he can't touch anything without sticking to it. This seems to be a common problem with Spider-People, as both Gwen and Peter B. offer the same advice when it happens. Miles has a similar problem with the unique-to-him powers of invisibility and his venom blast.
  • Turning Red: Like her mother, grandmother, and aunties before her, Meilin Lee has no control at all over her red panda spirit and the accompanying transformations: she becomes a red panda whenever her emotions run high, and can't transform back to her normal shape until she calms down. Finding a calming Happy Place helps a bit, but most of the women in the family eventually just seal their red panda spirit away so as not to deal with the hassle. Mei eventually discovers that when she fully embraces the panda spirit as a part of her, she gains 100% voluntary control over it.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Felix has no control over the hammer's powers, seen when his attempt to use it to break the jail bars causes them to grow thicker.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1998 Terry Gilliam version):
    • Eric Idle's character Berthold is an extreme super speedster. He wears heavy leg irons to stop himself from dashing all over the place.
    • Adolphus, a super sniper with vision that reaches beyond the horizon, wears thick glasses so he can see things nearby; talk about farsighted.
  • Bruce Almighty: The title character had this at first, mainly due to denying he actually had powers, probably meaning that God was just doing it to convince him. Once he'd accepted that he actually had powers, he had no trouble at all in controlling them. The script however had a few more scenes of the powers apparently acting on their own. One scene would have had Bruce shouting "Damn You!" at an annoying guy at work, causing him to become possessed by a demon, while another scene had him unable to get in the bath, due to involuntarily walking on the water, having to concentrate in order to sink in.
  • In the unreleased 1994 Fantastic Four film Ben can change back to his original form, unlike in the comics, but isn't able to control it and switches forms based on his emotions, only changing back for a short time.
  • In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Johnny gains the ability to temporarily switch powers with rest of the Fantastic Four by touch, even if he doesn't want to. This causes a problem when he touches Reed at an inconvenient time. During the climax of the film, he touches all of the Fantastic Four at the same time and gets all of their powers, and after this, he goes back to normal and loses the power-switching ability.
  • Firestarter 2: Rekindled: Shows the now-adult Charlie having a hard time controlling her pyrokinesis, especially when she's excited. After she meets Vincent (who, unbeknownst to her, has been hired to locate her by the Big Bad), they have sex. However, when Charlie notices that a piece of paper is turning brown from the heat, she stops and runs away. Vincent turns on the light and looks up, noticing the blackened ceiling. He immediately calls his client and informs him that he found the girl.
  • Godzilla franchise:
    • Burning Godzilla from Godzilla vs. Destoroyah is called such because the radiation within the Big G is making go into a nuclear meltdown.
    • Larva Battra had no control whatsoever over his eye-beams.
    • The original 1954 Godzilla had this too, even going near him could poison you with lethal doses of radiation.
    • The 1999 incarnation from Godzilla 2000 had this a lesser extent, where he inadvertently fogged photos taken of him.
  • The Invisible Man (1933): Dr. Griffin's formula made him invisible, but it was irreversible, causing him no end of trouble. (And also drove him insane, a recognized side effect of the drug in the second film.)
  • Man of Steel:
  • In the laughable The Pumaman, Kobras is able to catch our inept hero in the throes of his mind-controlling mask. The first thing he does is screw with his powers, temporarily de-powering him.
  • Revenge of the Sith: At the ending for, Darth Vader's telekinesis goes berserk after Palpatine tells Vader that he killed his own beloved wife, Padme, by accident, pushing him past the Despair Event Horizon. The entire surgical lab shakes, with the walls buckling and the equipment — up to and including the droid surgeons — imploding.
  • The Ring (American movie adaptation): Samara Morgan is unable to control her ability to project images — whether that's onto surfaces or into people's minds.
  • Scanners: Starts with the hero Cameron Vale Mind Raping somebody by accident. So there you go. It's no fun being a scanner. And hearing the thoughts of everyone around you does weird things to your childhood: Vale has no personality, Benjamin Pierce tried to murder his entire family, and Darryl Revok went nuts, drilled a hole in his forehead, and has since gone from self-destructive to simply destructive.
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Sherlock Scan is, at times, presented like this and best demonstrated in the 2009 film when Holmes is doing dinner with Watson and his fiancee Mary Morsten. He is constantly bombarded by voices and unremarkable details of his surroundings filling his mind and can do nothing to silence it besides focus on Mary and attempt to scan her (once he offends her and drives away both of his guests the bedlam of voices returns). Could be interpreted as an Ambiguous Disorder.
  • The Specials: Former villain Amok tells of an incident where he lost control of his power to generate anti-matter particles during an... intimate moment, and in his words, " thing I know, I'm holding half an ass!".
  • Suicide Squad (2016): El Diablo is a man with fire powers, who, at the start when he's joined the Squad, is unwilling to use them. At the end, we find out his backstory: he started to lose control over his power whenever he got emotionally upset, and during an argument with wife, where she threatened to leave him, he erupted so badly that he burned down his entire house, killing his wife and children with it -- unintentionally, because he loved them dearly.
    El Diablo: See, when I get mad, I lose control, you know, I just... I don't know what I do.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The T-1000's shapeshifting ability, after it's frozen with liquid nitrogen, shattered with a gunshot, and then thaws out and reforms, begins to glitch. In the theatrical cut, this was limited to one scene of its silvery real appearance rippling over its default disguise. However, a couple of Deleted Scenes show that it had started sticking to surfaces it touched, and also took on their appearance uncontrollably. At one point, its hand and forearm turn into the black/yellow stripes painted on a railing it was holding, and its feet take on the appearance of the floor as it walks. Later, when Sarah Connor shows up behind the T-1000 disguised as her, John looks down and sees the T-1000's feet have melted into the grating they're standing on.
  • Thelma: Thelma initially has no conscious control over her psychic powers, which are powerful enough to kill others if she's wished it. While by the finale she has gained control over them, it's not necessarily for good.
  • In When Evil Calls, Michael wishes that he had X-Ray Vision, so he can perv on the girls' basketball team. He is granted his wish but then discovers that he cannot shut it off, and he is now doomed to see everyone naked, forever.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: Rogue can't control her powers at all, which sucks because she's a Power Parasite who can potentially kill anyone who touches her. She has to wear gloves and can't ever be intimate or close to anyone. Unlike in the comics, she never learns control and instead takes up the mutant cure.
    • X-Men: First Class: Alex Summers / Havok can emit powerful energy blasts, but he can't control their direction. This problem is solved by a special harness, which he even refers to as his "energy diaper" in a deleted scene.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Erik nearly crashes the plane when he's yelling at Charles. Xavier subjects himself to a Power Nullifier because he has lost control over his telepathy.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Scott Summers / Cyclops can't control his Eye Beams when they start manifesting. He has to be blindfolded until he is brought to the Xavier Institute, otherwise he'll destroy everything (and everyone) around him. There, Hank McCoy / Beast creates special filter sunglasses for him, enabling him to control his mutant ability.
    • Logan: In his old age, Xavier suffers from mental deterioration and seizures in which his psychic powers paralyze everyone in the vicinity. It's implied that one of his seizures killed most of the X-Men and injured many of his students in the "Westchester incident".
    • The New Mutants:
      • Roberto can't control his powers at first, which caused him to kill his girlfriend accidentally in the past when they were unleashed when he got aroused.
      • Sam's triggered a mine collapse accidentally which killed his father and a number of other miners.

  • King Midas is pretty much the Ur-Example of this. Granted the ability to turn anything he touches into gold by the gods (and having the warnings of such a dangerous ability being ignored), Midas at first is elated with the ease he gained further wealth... but his inability to withhold his powers when he deems fit makes it impossible for him to eat without the food turning into gold in his mouth, and ultimately results in his beloved daughter getting turned into gold before he gets rid of the power.
  • In The Bible:
    • Seraphim are described as having to constantly conceal their true forms with their wings, lest they incinerate anything that gazes upon them.
    • God Himself has the same problem, but He can work around it by simply not manifesting on the mortal plane or, when He does, assuming A Form You Are Comfortable With (such as a burning bush).
    • In the Bible, there is one story that implies that Jesus of all people had this problem. Jesus apparently involuntarily healed a woman from a chronic bleeding condition when she snuck up behind him and touched the edge of his robe, although he immediately sensed what had happened and asked, "Who touched me?"

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, a group of teenagers are suddenly imbued with superpowers by a Mass Super-Empowering Event. Given their age and the suddenness of the acquisition, many of them struggle to get a handle on their newfound abilities.
    • Zia can't turn off her telepathy, and on more than one occasion has nearly caused serious mental damage to other characters when she lost control of her emotions.
    • Michal is repeatedly shown to be too impulsive and excitable to have control over his power to create fire. This isn't as big of a problem when he's only producing lighter-sized flames, but proves a hassle when he accidentally sets himself on fire.
    • Jessica instinctively uses her Compelling Voice whenever she's angry or upset. Unfortunately for others, that's quite often.
    • Benjy can occasionally lose control of himself and Hulk Out from his regular, humanoid bug form to a giant, mindless monster. This first happened when a group of Neo-Nazis attacked him, and he killed them all in self-defense.
    • Harriet is shown to have poor control over the trajectory of her telekinetically-controlled spear. While played for comedy at first, it takes a turn for the dramatic when she accidentally spears someone in the abdomen and suffers a Freak Out.

  • In Jasper in Deadland, Jasper has the power to restore memories to Deadland's citizens just by touching them. There isn't a single instance of him restoring someone's memory on purpose, as he has no reason to believe that it would help him on his journey.

    • Some Masks of Power are always active or are simply too much for a normal being, or even a highly powerful being who lacks experience to handle and use properly. Even regular masks need time and practice, but in the case of organic masks (which are actually living creatures that latch onto your face), it can take a lot of effort to shut them down, since they have their own mind. The Toa Inika still made good use of them, since the intense light radiation their heads gave off couldn't be turned down.
    • Kongu almost has it worst: he is never able to turn off his Mask of Telepathy (or stop reading minds around him) until he becomes a Toa Mahri and gets another mask. And even that one isn't much better: the Mask of Summoning allows him to summon a random Rahi (wild animal), but not control it, so there is a decent chance that activating it would drop a Kaiju on top of whatever problem his team is dealing with and force them to fight that.
    • Hahli has it even worse than Kongu. Her Mask of Detection has the power to sense the location of the Mask of Life by giving her headaches, but since she can't turn it off, being in close proximity to the Mask of Life eventually becomes so painful to her that she discards the Mask of Detection despite the fact that not wearing it means having a constantly brightly shining head, although this isn't a problem for long since she and the other Toa Ignika are turned into the Toa Mahri shortly after that.
    • Then there's the Felnas, Mask of Disruption. As the name implies, it causes whomever the wearer targets to lose control of their powers. This works for the Toa's Elemental Powers, and other species' special abilities (but not Kanohi masks). As shown with both Krika and Icarax, disrupting powers like intangibility and teleportation is a very efficient way of killing someone. Both meet their end after Gorast does just this with the Felnas she wears.
    • This is the reason why the Mask of Time is so dangerous. Not only is the Mask of Time extremely difficult to use, but unlike most masks of power which stop working if they are damaged, the Mask of Time's power leaks if it is damaged. Destroying the Mask of Time or losing control of it could destroy reality by causing a Time Crash. When Vakama tries fighting Makuta using the Mask of Time to slow Makuta down, he fails because it also slows him down. Later he forces Makuta to agree to a truce by threatening to break the Mask of Time. Tahu tries using the Mask of Time against the Bohrok-Kal, but he has to stop after a short time to avoid losing control, and it does not really help anyway because the Bohrok-Kal are protected by a force field.
    • After the Mask of Time fails, the Toa Nuva defeat the Bohrok-Kal by transferring their energies to the Bohrok-Kal until they have more power than they can control. The one with magnetism power is crushed by magnetized debris, the one with gravity powers collapses into a black hole, the one with the ability to absorb and release air is launched into space, the one with plasma power melts the ground it is standing on and sinks into it, the one with electrical power is paralyzed, and the one with sonic powers is vibrated into pieces.
    • Voporak, a being that was modified to track the Mask of Time, has a variation on this problem. He has the power to cause Rapid Aging and Make Them Rot. He can turn this power off with effort, but it is always on by default when he is not consciously suppressing it. When he is knocked unconscious during a battle with Teridax, Teridax uses this to his advantage by throwing Voporak's boss The Shadowed One into Voporak's unconscious body so that The Shadowed One would be affected by Voporak's aging power.
    • This is also how the Toa Metru manages to defeat the Rahi Nui. The Rahi Nui is a chimera designed to hunt Toa that possesses several powers including a very fast Healing Factor, Size Shifting, the ability to No-Sell and grow stronger from Elemental attacks, and several other powers. After it has knocked out four of the Toa Metru, one of whom would have died if not for a Villainous Rescue, the two remaining Toa figured out that its Size Shifting powers don't change its mass. So they feed it elemental attacks while it is growing larger so it loses control of its size and grew so large that it evaporates due to its density decreasing as its volume increases. It eventually reformes but with most of its powers gone.
    • Vezon accidentally gets himself fused with a mask of dimension gates and begins jumping between parallel realities involuntarily.
    • Dalu uses a pair of weapons that drain some of the user's energy to temporarily enhance one of a target's attributes beyond their control, such as giving them uncontrolled Super Speed or Super Strength, or far worse, enhancing one of their senses to drive them insane with Sensory Overload.
    • The Mask of Life often gives uncontrollable powers to those who touch it without its permission. Usually this is temporary, although it was permanent the first time it ever does it, when it gives a Great Being the uncontrollable ability to bring inanimate objects around him to life. The Mask of Life itself also has a power that it doesn't have control over. When certain conditions are met, a countdown is started that slowly turns the mask from gold to black, and when this happens all life in the universe will die. When the Toa realize that they do not have enough time to awaken Mata Nui before the countdown is up the Mask of Life chooses to sacrifice its body instead to awaken Mata Nui more quickly. It turns out that the Big Bad knew about this and it was part of his plan. Even if the heroes had known what his plan really was, to steal Mata Nui's body, they still would not have had any other choice than to awaken Mata Nui to keep the mask from killing the universe.

    Web Original 
  • Chadam has trouble controlling his magical abilities at first, which gets his dog killed and his friend hurt.
  • Moist from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. He has the power of being absurdly damp, and can't turn it off.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: During the Cell Saga, Goku and Gohan end up training their Super Saiyan abilities to the point where they actually forget how to power down and remain transformed for the rest of the arc. This is in contrast with the original manga, where they stayed Super Saiyan on purpose in order to get better acclimated to the form.
  • Happens to every villainous protagonist during an episode of the Season 2 of Flander's Company, because of a malfunctioning invention from Caleb, which has the effect of temporarily unlocking Docteur Parker's evil Jekyll & Hyde personality.
  • The plot of "Nothing Like The Sun" is the main character's journey to find a way to turn her Glowing Eyes off.
  • Silence/Simon from Phaeton can't talk due to his inability to disable his sonic vacuum field.
  • Characters in Roll to Breathe can lose control of their powers if injured enough. This happens a lot to Lightningrod, Davey Doomzone, and post-Max Machine Black Cavalier, who all get blamed considerably and lose a lot of self-esteem for the damage they cause.
  • RWBY:
    • Weiss Schnee admits to Winter with frustration that she's struggling to master the Schnee ability to summon ice-forms of vanquished enemies. Throughout Volume 3, she fails to summon on command but, when trying to protect Velvet during the battle for Beacon towards the end of the volume, she unintentionally summons the arm and sword of the knight. During an Atlesian fundraiser to help the Kingdom of Vale in Volume 4, Weiss angrily snaps at a woman who is insulting Vale's plight and her father, only to unconsciously summon the Boarbatusk she defeated in Professor Port's class and cause chaos. Eventually, after she gets disinherited for her insolence, Weiss manages to summon the Boarbatusk perfectly.
    • In Volume 4, it's revealed that Qrow Branwen suffers from this in the opposite extreme to Weiss. Unlike Weiss who struggles to activate her larger glyphs on command, Qrow passively radiates misfortune and is unable to turn their power off. While it is incredibly useful on the battlefield, it causes havoc with family, friends and personal relationships, so much that they spend as little time as possible with their own loved ones to make sure they don't get caught in its effects.
  • Played for Laughs in RWBY Chibi. Pyrrha Nikos' magnetic powers are shown going crazy in one skit — Nora calls out to her and scares her, slamming almost every metal object in the kitchen on top of her, causes the rest of Team JNPR to be unable to take a hike because she keeps affecting Jaune's compass, accidentally throwing her spear into their lamp after being startled and being very wary of looking at old VHS tapes.
  • This is a very common problem for anomalous humanoids in SCP Foundation.
    • SCP-053 is a little girl (or at least appears to be one) who drives humans around her violently insane and is apparently immortal and anyone who harms her is instantly killed. She does not even seem to be aware that this is happening.
    • SCP-073 destroys plants and anything made from plants around him. He is also impossible to injure and anyone who tries to hurt him receives the injury in his place. He cannot turn these effects off.
    • The rewritten version of SCP-166 is a humanoid who causes the decay of artificial objects around her and accelerates plant growth, neither of which she can turn off.
    • The original version was a succubus like humanoid who causes any man who sees her to want to have sex with her so strongly that they will try to rape her, and the effect doesn't always fade way when separated from her. This really sucks for her because she is a devout Catholic and she also has extremely fragile skin.
    • SCP-213 has the ability to vaporize matter, which he does not have total control over. The Foundation theorized that his powers are caused by some kind of parasite when he started growing eyes on his body.
    • SCP-486 is a woman who bleeds snakes instead of blood. She cannot control what the snakes do and they attempt to bite all other humans. Something nasty happens if she has an injury that would cause internal bleeding.
    • SCP-507 will randomly shift to a random Alternate Universe version of Earth, and then shift back to his original universe after a random amount of time. He has absolutely no control over this, so the only thing he can do is carry emergency supplies with him at all times so they'll be with him when he shifts.
    • SCP-1119 absorbs any human who touches him and adds some of their organs to his own. The Foundation discovered him when he absorbed a police officer who was trying to stop him from committing suicide.
    • SCP-2662 is an Eldritch Abomination who suffers from this problem. He unconsciously mind controls humans into forming cults that worship him, and he hates this because he grossed out by his worshipers' behavior. This is because he is going through his species' version of puberty and as he matures he will have more control.
    • SCP-2860 started with just turning any living thing he touched with his hands into marble. Over time this effect got stronger, until contact with any part of his skin or hair turns both living and dead material into marble, including his own dead skin cells. This has caused his so much pain that he now wants to die.
    • SCP-3275 is a pizza delivery man with some degree of reality-warping abilities, which appear to be linked to his mental state. Every pizza he delivers is inadvertently changed to something radically different (and sometimes inedible) while he's not looking, and he has no idea why it keeps happening but it's implied to be related to his grief over his mother's death.
  • Image Board quests:
    • The protagonist of Shiné Quest is affected by "God's Curse", which causes one to constantly spam the first spell they ever cast. For a god, it's supposed to be the spell that gives them shape (it's not intended as a curse and not supposed to apply to mortals); in Shiné's case, it's "Soft Touch", a White Magic spell that makes the user unable to harm anyone no matter what they do. The constant casting drove her magic power through the roof, making her one of the best white mages in the setting.
    • Miki of Moot Point was born with fire powers she couldn't control as a child. She was forced to live in her parents' kitchen because it was the only room they could afford to have magically warded against fire.
  • Trinton Chronicles brings us several mentioned but non-obvious examples.
    • The biggest is Sara who has fire generating powers with the power to ignite and burn whole towns; the catch...she can only control it while awake normally, so when she sleeps or is knocked out everything burns.
    • There are others who have power problems, although mostly minor or often background mentions, the Undergrounder's who have powers that either do not fit, make them difficult to live with, or outright monsters. A main character who suffers from this is Boris who's power of super digging comes from his huge and very sharp claws..which he can't retract or hide in anyway.
  • Hawthorne dorm at Superhero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe has a bunch of people with this problem — it's what the dorm is for. It's especially bad for those who also lack Required Secondary Powers like Frostbite, who manipulates and freezes any water around her but isn't immune to the cold she creates. Diz has a PK field that has a force of over eight tons — and she can't stop it. Everything she touches get hit with eight tons of force. She has to take liquid food (and presumably air) through a special deviser-built nano-tube straw because her forcefield keeps everything out, so she hasn't had solid food since her powers came on.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television with some young animals:
    • Baby skunks. Adult skunks can control when they release their scent (and usually give plenty of warning before they resort to it, because it does take a lot of energy to produce). Baby skunks, however, don't have the necessary control over their scent glands yet, in much the same way other infants suffer from regular incontinence.
    • Similarly, it has been observed that venomous snakes will inject different doses of venom in different situations, using more to defend themselves from a predator than they would use in capturing prey, for example. Many biologists believe that young snakes are less able to control the doses they deliver than adults; making it that much harder to treat the victims of bites from younger snakes.
  • Nuclear power plants basically have two settings: On and Low. After a scram, they still produce significant amounts of heat, and there are many systems to remove this heat. When you are unsure about the state of these systems, you get Three Mile Island. When they are smashed to bits by forces beyond your control, you get Fukushima Daiichi. And, when you disregard safety and disrespect what you're playing with, you get Chernobyl.
  • Rare-earth magnets can be considered this. They have a very powerful magnetic force, so much they can crumble under their own power if smashed against another magnet. They can also harm anything that's put between two magnets. There's a reason they're kept away from small children.


Video Example(s):


Willow breaks down

After trying to hold herself and her friends together the whole episode, Willow starts to crack under the pressure. Her powers spiral out of control, and she winds up ensnaring herself, Gus, and Hunter in a thick tangle of vines that grow faster every time she tries to stop them. Hunter manages to free her and tell her she and Gus mean the world to him, and Gus tells her it's okay to rely on someone else for a while - at which point Willow immediately starts crying out for her fathers.

How well does it match the trope?

4.58 (19 votes)

Example of:

Main / PowerIncontinence

Media sources: