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Power-Strain Blackout

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Mike: Whenever she uses her powers, she gets weak.
Lucas: Like, she flipped the van earlier. It was awesome.
Mike: But she's drained. Like a bad battery.

It can be hard to show all the aspects of a fictional ability since such a thing does not have any Real Life context to which the audience can relate. So when a creator wants to show that using a special power takes a toll on a character, he will often have the character faint afterward.

This is especially true when the character uses a power for the first time because they might overdo it due to inexperience. Presumably, the strain of using it is too much for them, causing their mind to shut down in self-defense.

This is frequently used for powers that aren't flashy in order to make them seem more dramatic, such as telepathy and other Psychic Powers.

If the fainting is a symptom of a more serious health problem, it's also a case of Heroic RRoD. (Or a Villainous RRoD, depending on the character.) When it happens the first time a power is used, it's related to How Do I Shot Web?. Can be a form of Blessed with Suck.

If the collapse is after a dramatic win, especially a battle, and is used to skip the boring aftermath, it's Post-Victory Collapse.

Compare to Fainting Seer, which may overlap for Seers. May overlap with Cast from Lifespan, and usually will overlap with Cast from Stamina. Sub-Trope of Fainting.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Aruosumente, when as a child Legna uses his powers for something serious for the first time — predicting who has squirreled away weapons and hid them at the water mill — he has repeated blackouts from the strain.
  • In Beyblade: Metal Fusion, Madoka faints after using her bey to save Kyoya's Leon. It's explained as her "not being used to blading".
  • Bleach: Jakuho Raikoben severely drains Sui-Feng's reiatsu, enough that it usually takes her three days to recover before she can safely use it again. Forcing herself to use it twice in less than an hour caused her to briefly lose consciousness.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, Sakura sometimes collapses after transforming Clow Cards into Star Cards. She knows that doing so will build her power, so she rushes it. Used with abandon to facilitate Ship Tease most prominently throughout Season 3. As Sakura drains herself by creating her own cards, she usually faints from the best possible position to fall into Syaoran. Luminescent Blush ensues.
  • In Digimon Adventure, little Kari emits a light so powerful that her Digimon allies digivolve on contact. However, she has trouble walking, and near the end of the episode, she keels over. Fortunately, by that point, her brother, Tai, is there to pick her up.
  • Dragon Ball Z: When Gohan first goes SSJ2 he triggers it for only a second and then passes out. This was seen in one of Goku's flashbacks of their training in the time chamber and was the moment that convinced him that Gohan could beat Cell if he could sustain that power, which he did.
  • "Blackout Syndrome" appears in the climatic end of Future GPX Cyber Formula. The tremendous g-force generated from driving a formula car over 580km/h around the roller-coaster downhill corner causes a driver to go blind for a few seconds. Hayato, who pushes beyond 600km/h, almost collapses in the final lap.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, Kurapika does this if he spends too long with the Scarlet Eyes activated.
  • At the end of the penultimate episode of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Hayate faints after she uses her powers as the Mistress of the Night Sky for the first time to help defeat an Eldritch Abomination.
  • MegaMan NT Warrior (2002): In Axess, after repelling the Villain of the Week SavageMan, Lan faints after exiting Cross Fusion with MegaMan.
  • Often happens to characters in Naruto when they expend a ton of chakra performing some powerful jutsu, far too many times to count. A more straight example may be genjutsu however, as genjutsu is purely mental and can take its toll on a ninja's body, especially the more powerful ones like Sharingan.
    • In particular, Kakashi very nearly passes out after using his Mangekyo Sharingan three times in one battle, the last time being when he uses it to absorb an explosion caused by Deidara in order to protect his friends and teammates. Even then, he somehow remains conscious albeit unable to walk without assistance, until Might Guy gets the bright idea to give the guy a piggyback ride.
    • Happens to almost all the characters but Kakashi in particular suffers from this thanks to his Sharingan because he is not an Uchiha, and so lacks the Uchiha clan stamina to go with it. Thus, when he does use his Sharingan, he burns out very quickly. Also, Kakashi is unable to turn his Sharingan off, so to conserve energy he has to keep it covered at all times. For these reasons, he often winds up collapsing after major battles. It was even lampshaded by another character in one of the later episodes, much to Kakashi's chagrin.
  • Natsume of Natsume's Book of Friends will sometimes pass out after releasing the names of powerful youkai due to how much of his spiritual energy he expends doing so.
  • One Piece:
    • Luffy falls into this after some of his fights. Usually it's the result of blood loss or poison, though after Enies Lobby and Thriller Bark he passes out from the strain of his Gear 2 technique, which is basically increasing the speed of his blood flow — if it wasn't his rubbery body, the stress on his heart would kill him.
    • Cavendish, one of the participants of the Corrida Colosseum tournament in Dressrosa, experiences this every time his Split Personality Hakuba takes over. Hakuba is insanely fast, even by One Piece standards, and knocks out almost everyone in the ring in a flash. Too bad for him, he's participating in a tournament, so this trope kicking in causes him to lose the match in favor of Rebecca, the one gladiator who wasn't knocked out by his attack.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • In Pokémon the Series: XY, Ash and his Greninja have access to a unique Super Mode through battle bonding with each other. However, using the form proves to be very exhausting for Ash, and all the damage Greninja takes Ash feels as well. This eventually reaches its logical conclusion during Ash's rematch with Alan, where Ash passes out in the midst of battle. While he was winning. It is eventually revealed that Ash and Greninja have this problem because they don't fully trust each other yet. After overcoming a shared Heroic BSoD and making amends, they iron this flaw out, although Ash and Greninja still share each other's pain, albeit on a more downplayed level.
    • In Ash's exhibition match against Prof. Kukui in Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, the strain of having to control an absorbed Blast Burn combined with its post-win evolution using up the remainder of its energy meant that Ash's Incineroar was declared unable to battle a minute after defeating its rival.
  • Sailor Moon usually faints or at least collapses and loses her Super form after using her Rainbow Moon Heartache attack in the S series, although that restriction on her Super form doesn't apply during SuperS, probably because she's using a power source other than the Holy Grail in that series. She also has this problem in the first few episodes of Stars, when she first tries to become Eternal Sailor Moon, and like with SuperS, the problem disappears once that becomes her default form when the Animamates start appearing.
  • In Slayers, the Giga Slave spell has this effect on Lina (as well as turning her hair white for a few days).
  • In Soul Eater, Sid collapses after using his power to get the main characters and Stein outside of the trap set for the whole school. In fairness to him, he had just nearly been blown up and then rushed all the way back to Death City.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne: Hitomi's ability to see into the future, via Tarot Cards, often has this effect on her afterwards. It's eventually revealed that both the duration and the severity of her fainting spells are determined by her emotional state. Meaning the greater her anxiety, the greater its toll on her following her vision; not to mention the part about her anxiety making those visions come true!
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters has the Duel Armor. After the first battle with it, Yami Yugi collapses, and in the subsequent episode, Yugi is still feeling the effects. This lessens as the series goes on, but also happens to Jounouchi.

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Strange: Happens to Doctor Strange on occasion, since magical exertion takes a toll on the body. Once he mutters, "I never used to black out. Now it seems it's all I do."
  • Runaways: In early issues, Molly blacks out from exhaustion after throwing a single punch. As she gets more used to it, she doesn't pass out, but still needs a nap after using her powers.
  • Teen Titans: Starfire, in her very first appearance, faints after using her powers.
  • X-Men:
    • Many telepaths of the various X-Men incarnations do this at least once in almost all of their adaptations.
    • Rogue faints after some time if she absorbs the powers of a sufficiently strong superpowered person, such as Magneto. This is Depending on the Writer, though, as Rogue has absorbed power from the likes of Juggernaut as well as multiple heroes at once with little, to no ill effects.
    • Storm passes out in mid-air after powering down a planet-threatening supercell of her own creation (Dr. Doom had trapped her as a statue, and creating the supercell is her hysterical claustrophobic reaction to being trapped thus).
    • At the beginning of Ultimate X-Men (2001), Storm has a tendency to faint, not from the use of power itself but from the mental effort required to reduce collateral damage — since she has no experience with aiming her lightning.
    • When he was young,note  Cyclops often fainted after releasing his Eye Beams. With practice (and several retcons about how his powers worked) he learned to draw energy from sources other than his own body.
  • X-Statix: U-Go Girl's power literally drains her energy, and she more than occasionally passes out after using her whirly teleportation.

    Fan Works 
  • In chapter 11 of Advice and Trust, Rei faints and collapses to the ground after using her AT-Field to take out SEELE's assassins following their attempts on the Pilots' lives.
  • In the cornice in the ground, the strain from resurrecting Harry, who had been dead for an entire week and was decomposing, causes Eggsy to fall into a coma.
  • In the Engie Main Multiverse, Napaj-7 Ash Ketchum suffers one of these after instinctively absorbing and releasing a bolt of lightning.
    Ash: I, uh, I think I may need medical attention... [collapses]
  • In the Facing the Future Series, Danny does this whenever he comes out of his out-of-control Super Mode.
  • In Heroic Myth, Bell is knocked unconscious from mana drain after Archer pulls out Unlimited Blade Works when caught in a pinch. The Servants are mindful of their mana usage after this, restraining themselves so Bell isn't rendered helpless at a bad time.
  • In Loved and Lost, Twilight Sparkle uses a shrinking spell Prince Jewelius showed her a few chapters earlier to turn Queen Chrysalis and her entire Changeling army tiny enough to fit a glass jar. She becomes exhausted and faints while Jewelius stages a coup against the princesses. She wakes up to find her friends, brother, and the princesses driven away by Jewelius who has made himself Equestria's king. He even manages to poison her mind and fill her with hatred towards her loved ones.
  • Rebloom: White Lily Cookie passes out from mana exhaustion after meeting back up with the Cookies of Darkness; the spells she cast to rescue Pomegranate Cookie were too much for her lowered mana capacity now that her dark magic is gone.
  • Triptych Continuum:
    • Invoked and played for laughs in If Rainbow Dash Can't Sleep... Given that, even when well rested and fed, performing the Sonic Rainboom leaves her seriously drained; Rainbow Dash reasons that doing so in her current exhausted state would be an excellent insomnia cure. While it worked, leaving her out like the proverbial light, doing so at 3 A. M. directly above Ponyville...
    • A far more serious occurrence is seen (and more referenced) in Goosed when Fluttershy tries to drive off a flock of Crystal Geese with The Stare and collapses. Spike is capable of instantly organizing treatmentnote  because Twilight Sparkle has done this fairly often since fillyhood, forcing him to learn how to stabilize ponies suffering from magical over-exertion or watch his sister die.
  • In Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse, when the giant Ahab is about to kill Ukyo, Ranma instinctively uses his ki to assume an equally massive form and protect her. He lands a single blow which saves Ukyo, but the technique nearly kills Ranma as it drained all of his ki, leaving him unconscious for a week.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Incredibles: Violet suffers this for a few seconds when her force field is put under extreme pressure.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls:
    • At the climax of the first movie, the Magic of Friendship saves the day — but it's still straining for the human girls who wield it. After dispelling Sunset Shimmer's demonic transformation and mind-control magic, the six protagonists are seen lying on the floor, looking drained. Twilight Sparkle even seems unconscious for a few seconds until Spike licks her face.
    • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree:
      • The first time she uses her telekinesis voluntarily, to move a large boulder, human Twilight manages but faints and is caught by Sunset Shimmer. She recovers swiftly, though.
      • Later, Rarity is creating a gem-like Deflector Shield around the group against Gaea Everfree's assault. She quickly realizes she can't hold the hostile plant life at bay indefinitely, and when her shield finally shatters she briefly collapses in Applejack's arms.
  • The Secret of NIMH: This happens to Mrs. Brisby immediately after the film's climax, wherein she uses the Stone for the first and only time to move her home. She collapses as its power subsides, then passes out.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Birds of Prey (2020): Once Black Canary unleashes the full extent of her signature Metahuman ability, the Canary Cry, to send some Mooks flying, she collapses in exhaustion.
  • In Freaks (2018), Chloe faints twice after a massive outburst of power.
  • In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: Galadriel faints after using the full extent of her magic to drive Sauron out of Dol Guldur.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Avengers: Infinity War: Scarlet Witch collapses after using her full power to simultaneously destroy the Mind Stone (along with Vision) and hold back Thanos. Though to be fair Wanda does recover fast and attacks Thanos when he cheats and uses the Time Stone to undo what she did.
    • Avengers: Endgame: When Professor Hulk uses the Infinity Gauntlet to bring back everyone who was dusted in Infinity War, he faints soon after with a charred arm. It speaks a lot about the power of the Stones that only Hulk and Thanos can just barely withstand the blowback of the combined energy as poor Tony Stark (a mortal man) dies when he uses the Gauntlet.
  • The Matrix Reloaded: At the conclusion, in the real world, Neo and the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar escapes a bomb that destroys their ship, only to find themselves about to be ripped apart by Sentinels. However, Neo can now sense and communicate with real-world machinery. He hacks the five Sentinels, causing them to short and deactivate. The process causes Neo to fall unconscious and inadvertently jack himself, without hardware, into a Matrix-connected construct world, temporarily imprisoning himself.
  • Shin Godzilla: When Godzilla uses its nuclear breath for the first time, it's enough to absolutely annihilate most of Tokyo but uses up so much energy it goes into a comatose state for two weeks, allowing the humans to plan a strategy to neutralize Godzilla when it wakes up.
  • Spider-Man 2: Peter manages to stop the runaway elevated train, using only his webbing and brute strength. He afterward passes out from the strain but is caught by the passengers before he can fall very far.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse has Nightcrawler passing out after he simultaneously teleports several members of the X-Men before their jet crashes, and Professor X loses consciousness after each time he's Mind Raped by Apocalypse.

  • In Jeramey Kraatz's The Cloak Society, Misty passes out and sleeps when she's moved a lot of people for long distances. Alex also conks out sometimes.
  • In Cold Obsidian, battle mages work in groups of seven where one mage concentrates on attacking spells, another on protecting spells, and the rest of the group — donors — provide magical energy for them. It's not uncommon for a donor to blackout after a battle or even in the middle of it.
  • Daystar and Shadow: Under Shadow's leadership, a group of prisoners with barely-developed psychic powers try to put their four guards to sleep. They have little success, and by the end most of them are nonfunctional from exhaustion.
  • Alaric Morgan is apt to do this since he's a bit of an overachiever and Deryni powers are physically taxing to use. In High Deryni, Morgan tries to contact Derry mentally (sending a Call) during the reconciliation service for himself and Duncan and faints from the effort; Duncan makes the excuse that his cousin isn't used to fasting. He also collapses from overextending himself to Call on campaign in The King's Justice, and Kelson scolds him for pushing himself too hard.
  • In The Dresden Files, wizards feel fatigue when they use a lot of magic. Pushed too far, it certainly can cause a blackout. Notably, it's like exercising, in that wizards get better as they practice: in the first novel, Storm Front, Harry gets exhausted from too much magic quickly and has to rely on other methods to succeed. By the time of Dead Beat and Proven Guilty, he's tossing around fire constantly without even slowing down, though he still occasionally relies on mundane weapons. By Changes, his magical prowess has expanded to impress the White Council, comprised of wizards with decades, if not centuries more experience.
  • In Eragon, Eragon's first attempt at casting combat magic caused him to lose consciousness because it took a large amount of energy out of him at once.
  • Overusing spells in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? will drain the caster's mind until they suffer "Mind Zero" and pass out. This happens to Bell after he learns Fire Bolt and casts it one too many times, and has to be saved by Aiz again. He learns to be more conservative afterwards.
  • Journey to Chaos: Eric casts three spells without chants in quick succession while simultaneously using his burgeoning Casting a Shadow power under the tropical sun, and in a land that lacks mana. He passes out seconds later and when he wakes up, he needs a Mana Potion just to stand up.
  • The Left Hand of Darkness: Estraven — a native of the planet Winter — has been trained to enter a state of "dothe" greatly increasing his strength and endurance. But the period of great strength is followed by a longer period of "dark sleep". Once he drags the Earthling protagonist to safety and lets himself relax, he sleeps 2 days straight, wakes to eat, then sleeps some more.
  • After practicing her telekinetic powers by suspending a cigar in mid-air, Matilda is so exhausted she goes straight to sleep.
  • Demigods and Magicians using their powers in books by Rick Riordan will eventually suffer this, in some cases passing out.
  • The Raven Tower: The Strength and Patience of the Hill speaks another god dead and is knocked out of commission for two years by the ensuing strain. The Myriad also says she had to lend him some of her power to bring him back, showcasing just how incredibly draining certain actions can be for a deity.
  • Star Wars Legends: During one of the New Jedi Order novels, Luke Skywalker uses the Force to telekinetically manipulate the point singularity a Yuuzhan Vong war creature uses for Deflector Shields. Though he's successful in disabling the enemy, he almost passes out in his starfighter. Later on, Kyp Durron replicates the technique and, as he's better with manipulating lots of Force energy at once, ends up "merely" completely exhausted.
  • Happens frequently to seers and to the royals in Tales of the Branion Realm — when you've literally just exploded into flames, it takes a lot out of you. Leads to Post-Victory Collapse in some cases.
  • Tower and the Hive: psychic powers work this way, physically fatiguing the psychic after they perform large feats. It's said that whether you lift an object with your arms or with your mind, you're still doing the same amount of "work" and burning the same amount of calories. For really big teleports, they mostly drain power from enormous electric generators, though it still wears them out. In one case, four of the most powerful psychics in existence pool their abilities to teleport a large fleet of warships across interstellar distances, and all of them immediately retire to their beds and sleep for the next twenty hours.
  • In Uprooted, this is a hazard for wizards and witches as their store of power is invariably a reservoir rather than a steady stream to be tapped without consequence. When a magic user is inexperienced, hasty, and/or desperate enough to drain themselves to the dregs attempting the slightest cantrip afterwards without at least some rest lays them out cold.
  • Physical exhaustion is the main symptom of overchanneling in The Wheel of Time, even to the point of unconsciousness. In extreme cases, it can also cause a permanent loss of one's powers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Willow, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, often collapsed after over-exerting herself during spellcasting. She also sometimes experienced a Psychic Nosebleed.
  • Farscape: In The Peacekeeper Wars, Crichton collapses and is rendered catatonic after shutting down the wormhole he created to force peace between the Scarrans and Peacekeepers. The sequence is somewhat unclear whether this is a result of the process of the mechanism itself, (which appears to involve some form of mental interface) or the alien "Einstein" removing wormhole weapon knowledge from his mind at the same time.
  • Kamen Rider:
  • Smallville: When Chloe first uses her healing power, she collapses so completely that doctors think she's dead. She actually takes on the person's injury, but didn't know that, and Lois had apparently been killed. It looked as if she had traded her life for Lois's, but thankfully, she got better. She used her power to that degree once more and stayed apparently dead for 18 hours.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Mandalorian, "The Child": The first time Grogu is seen using the Force is to lift an enormous, rampaging mudhorn a few feet into the air. The effort is so draining he immediately passes out on letting the mudhorn go and remains unconscious for at least a day.
    • The Book of Boba Fett, "In the Name of Honor": Grogu again, after calming the raging rancor down and putting it to sleep, slumps next to the beast and takes a nap too, as is common for him when he uses the Force for big yet necessary results.
  • Castiel of Supernatural experiences this in "The Song Remains the Same", when he takes the Winchesters back in time to save their parents from a rogue angel. Without his connection to Heaven, he barely has enough power to get them there, and blacks out quickly after vomiting blood.
  • Super Sentai:


    Tabletop Games 
  • Ars Magica: It costs Fatigue levels to use Ritual Magic, cast a spell that's beyond the mage's power to cast safely, or improvise all but the most minor magical effects, meaning a mage can cast a spell (or worse, try and fail to cast it) and promptly drop unconscious for minutes or hours. In the case of Ritual Magic, they're out until they get a good night's sleep.
  • Champions. Normally, Endurance is used to fuel a character's power use. If a character runs out of Endurance, he can use Stun instead. If his Stun runs out, he falls unconscious.
  • In the Dresden Files RPG, as in the books, spellcasting causes physical strain on the caster in two ways: firstly, calling up any magic at all (well, any evocation, and any ritual magic over a certain threshold of power) damages the character's mental stress by a small amount. Worse, if they call up more power than they can use (either in desperation or because they screwed up a roll), they have to take the excess as either backlash, which is this, or fallout, which is worse.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia (1980). If the Norse god Odin uses his powers to heal anyone, he falls asleep for 1 to 10 days.
    • The Wilder psionic class has the wild surge power, which can boost Psychic Powers above their current level, but with a risk of causing a "psychic enervation", which dazes them for a full round afterward and cost more power points.
    • The "Reserves of Strength" feat allows a spellcaster to boost his caster level, and push the level cap on a spell effect, but in exchange for being stunned for 1–3 rounds, depending on the importance of the boost. If the character is immune to stunning, the spell becomes instead Cast from Hit Points.
  • In GURPS, strenuous activities, some power uses, and spell-casting, all cost Fatigue Points (FP); powerful spells and some powers may be defined to cost a lot of them. Running really low on FP can cause a character to suffer penalties to movement and other actions. If necessary, after running out completely, the character can go on to spend Hit Points (HP) in place of FP, and running out of those can eventually cause some kind of total collapse.
  • In Shadowrun, spells cast at "safe" levels (i.e. lower Force than the magician's Magic stat) cause stamina damage as drain. Roll badly enough, or Critically Glitch a Drain resistance roll, and this trope comes into play.

    Video Games 
  • In Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, all magic powers run off stamina, and going into the negative will knock the character out cold until their stamina returns to the positive. The total stamina is derived from both willpower and physical constitution.
  • Happens a few times to Vincent Valentine in Dirge of Cerberus. When his most powerful demon, Chaos, emerges he passes out afterwards the first time this happens in the game. Later uses of this ability sometimes just cut back to him lying on the floor and resting for a time.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, Wynne's plot power Vessel of the Spirit leaves her stunned and disoriented every time she uses it. This effect is only alleviated after completing her personal side-quest.
  • In God of War (PS4), Atreus gets so upset about Modi trying to kill Kratos and insulting Faye, Atreus' very recently deceased mother, that after all his other attacks fail, Atreus accidentally triggers Spartan Rage, a god power he neither knew he possessed nor knows how to control. This results in his power flaming for a few brief seconds, similar to Kratos' own Spartan Rage, before Atreus sputters out and collapses.
    Modi: Oops! I think I broke him!
  • Max has one in the second episode of Life Is Strange. It gets much worse in the final episode, where she passes out and "wakes up" in her personal Black Bug Room.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 3:
      • Makoto falls unconscious for a few days after summoning his Persona for the first time.
      • Happens to Fuuka when she awakens her Persona for the first time, which resulted in her having to rest in the hospital.
    • Noticeable but less pronounced in Persona 4 and Persona 5 as well: in both games, whenever a new person unlocks their Persona for the first time, they get drained and have to leave the TV World or Mementos pretty much immediately. Persona 4 also has the nature of the TV World drain the stamina of anyone who doesn't have fog-clearing glasses, making them much more tired than normal just by being there. People that get thrown into the TV World can't fight back without help because they can't summon the energy to do so.
  • Pokémon: Hyper Beam is the strongest (non-sacrificing) attack in Pokémon Red and Blue, but in exchange it leaves the user so exhausted that they must spend the next turn recoveringbetter hope it takes the target out lest they get an Extra Turn. (Later games in the franchise would introduce other moves with the same mechanic — Frenzy Plant, Blast Burn, Hydro Cannon, Giga Impact, Rock Wrecker, and Roar of Time).
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time:
    • Fayt faints after activating his genetic Symbology ability Destruction for the first time. He also suffers some temporary memory loss from the event, indicating that it was especially psychologically traumatic.
    • A flashback shows Maria passing out the first time she used her power of Alteration. It's heavily implied she also lost her memory of the event.
  • Suikoden IV has Lazlo faint after each use of the Rune of Punishment, due to it draining its host's lifeforce with each use... until it finally kills them. This can be averted by successfully recruiting all 108 Stars of Destiny.
  • Trauma Center:
    • In Under the Knife and its remake Second Opinion, when Dr. Stiles consciously activates his Healing Touch for the first time in an operation (first time he did it was subconsciously out of desperation to save the patient from imminent death, second time was to practice), he faints afterwards. Dr. Hoffman scolds him and tells him he shouldn't use it anymore lest he rely too heavily upon it, but reluctantly agrees to let Dr. Stiles use it only when he absolutely needs to, leading to the once-per-operation limit on manually using the Healing Touch in subsequent operationsnote  (although the limit is also in the operation in which Dr. Stiles faints).
    • In New Blood, the Caduceus crew are challenged to appear on a surgery reality show starring Leonardo Bello, a doctor who wows audiences by using his Healing Touch to do lightning-fast surgeries, and are summarily laughed off. Later, the villains of the game end up sending a patient on the show who is infected with the Ops strain of Stigma, which Bello is hopeless to treat. His attempts to keep up with the parasite by relying on his Healing Touch eventually result in him foaming at the mouth and losing consciousness before the Caduceus doctors arrive to save the day.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Ruby Rose blacks out (or rather, whites out) for days after tapping into the power of silver eyes for the first time.
    • Emerald Sustrai can create hallucinations that only her victims can experience. She complains about a headache after tricking two medics with her power since giving more than one person a hallucination at the same time stresses her power. In the Volume 5 finale, Emerald suffers a Villainous Breakdown when she thinks Cinder Fall might be dead, and triggers one mass hallucination in grief that leaves her unconscious afterward.

  • In The Cyantian Chronicles, the first time Darrik's energy manipulation abilities activate, he tosses a horse. It uses so much energy that he is left nearly unconscious.
  • Thistle of Daughter of the Lilies passes out after using lots of magic in an emergency, and again later that evening. She later explains that she'd been sloppy with her magic and got overwhelmed by the power she was throwing around.
  • When Raezinus from Deverish Also demonstrates the portal spell and it becomes important to keep it open for a while, he eventually passes out from the strain of keeping the spell going for so long.
  • In Drowtales, it's possible to blackout from overuse of mana. It actually happened to a weaker student in chapter 2. In later chapters, Ariel and Chirinide exert themselves enough to become woozy after battle. Those who are more proficient in the mana arts are capable of killing themselves through exertion.
  • In El Goonish Shive, this happens to Grace after she uses her telekinesis for the first time to disarm a mugger.
  • Sidekicks: Having flown all the way from the Committee to the prison Pluton was being kept at, and thus exhausting all of his power, Darkslug suffered one after a brief fight with Pluton.
  • In Spacetrawler, Eebs (or humans like Yuri with Eeb brain implants) will black out if they strain their telekinesis by moving objects that are too massive. Too much of this strain can outright kill them. It's later revealed that this limitation is a result of brain-clamping — we've yet to see an upper limit on how much matter an unclamped Eeb can move telekinetically.
  • In Stand Still, Stay Silent, this can happen to mages who overuse their power. When it happened to Lalli, he was in a Deep Sleep until he recovered.
  • Third Shift Society: When Ellie practices using her blue flame a bit too long she gets unsteady on her feet, and when Ichabod's temporary power loss means Ellie has to burn the protective curses out of an entire pile of old rare books she can't burn on the physical level she passes out.
  • Happens to Orrick in Undead Friend upon turning back into a human after temporarily being a zombie for the first time. He nearly passes out the second time he reverses back as well but manages to stumble home with a bit of help.
  • unOrdinary: The first time Sera uses her powers after having them somewhat restored she passes out due to overdoing it, to John's panic.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: Niko of the Galaxy Rangers will occasionally overtax herself, draining her implant and her natural abilities and end up knocked out or barely conscious for a while. The upside is that if it gets to that point, she's probably just saved everyone's ass with it.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The first time Aang enters the Avatar State in "The Boy in the Iceberg" and several times in the first season before he gets used to it, he is visibly exhausted afterward. By Season Two, he's typically okay even if emotionally distressed.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: This sometimes happens to Gwen when she overuses her mana.
  • Elena of Avalor: Since the power of the Scepter of Light is Cast from Hit Points, Elena becomes weaker and more tired the more she uses it. When using it to defeat Orizaba, she uses so much power she ends up passing out for two whole days.
  • In the Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes episode "Doomsday", Reed experiences this after stretching far enough to close the Negative Zone portal. Unfortunately, he's high in the air when it happens.
  • The Legend of Korra: In the Origins Episode, Wan's first attempt at merging with Raava and using all four elements burns through his energy rather quickly and causes him to pass out. Once he fully fuses with her and becomes the First Avatar, he doesn't have this problem anymore.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, using too many Miraculous at once can be draining to the user. Marinette becomes dizzy just wearing the entire collection, and in the fifth season premiere, Gabriel wearing them all and using them five or so at a time makes him pretty much unbeatable... and brings him closer to total defeat than any of the heroes ever has, as the more he uses his many powers, the more he can barely stand.
  • X-Men:

    Real Life 
  • Dwayne Johnson blacked out after filming the scene in Hercules (2014) where Hercules roars, "I AM HERCULES!" and breaks free of his chains since they used real chains and he also strained his lungs to the limit with the scream.
  • Sean Schemmel fainted after the legendary Kiai he performed when his character Goku transformed into a Super Saiyan 3 in Dragon Ball Z.
  • Tom Jones allegedly fainted upon singing the long and loud final note in the theme song to Thunderball.
  • X Japan drummer Yoshiki Hayashi was somewhat infamous for this until his doctors and managers demanded he take it down a notch.
  • Anyone who has ever served in the military knows the first thing you're taught is to never lock your knees while at attention for this very reason.


Video Example(s):


Bloom's Incomplete Enchantix

Bloom's Enchantix powers suddenly turn on her and go out of control, exhausting her; according to Faragonda, because she didn't earn her Enchantix through sacrifice like the others but through pure force of will, her powers are rendered "incomplete".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / PowerIncontinence

Media sources: