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Puberty Superpower

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Today, you are a man — mazel glob!

"And like all puberty-induced superpowers, it comes at night, while thunder claps."

The acquisition of superpowers or abilities at the onset of becoming a teenager, roughly between the ages of 12-16. This is probably to avoid the inherent danger of a child or baby casually using powers in a potentially destructive manner or, if there is one, blowing the Masquerade. However, more often, it works as a rather transparent metaphor for puberty.

Curiously, few such teens have trouble figuring out How Do I Shot Web?; apparently, the powers are just instinctive. This doesn't stop mentor figures from putting them through training to master those abilities, however.

Nearly all current "dramatic" superheroes with "natural" superpowers (such as Marvel's mutants) receive them as teenagers. In fact, the trope originated with the creation of the X-Men in the 1960s and was probably developed to appeal to the overwhelmingly teenage readership of comic books at the time.

This in turn was possibly influenced by the folklore about poltergeist manifestations being associated with adolescents, which in turn has been interpreted as a metaphor for sexual awakening.

See also Dangerous 16th Birthday and Human Alien Discovery. Compare The Call Put Me on Hold and sometimes Fictional Age of Majority. Contrast Growing Up Sucks where a character possesses a power throughout childhood, but loses it at puberty instead.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the world of Charlotte abilities are "awakened" when an individual reaches adolescence and go away when adolescence is over.
  • The age is thirteen in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch. Any mermaid with her pearl becomes a legal adult in the mermaid world, as well as summoning an apparition of Aqua Regina, who may or may not upgrade her power.
  • In Karin, vampires are born outwardly normal and attend school like anyone else until their vampirism suddenly kicks in and they become weak against sunlight and so forth, which can happen any time up to high school.
  • Omamori Himari: Yuuto's demon-hunting powers were supposed to have awakened when he turned 16. His powers took a little longer to manifest, however.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya gained her reality-warping abilities at age twelve. Itsuki got his Psychic Powers at the same age, though in his case it wasn't a real example since he got his powers because of Haruhi subconsciously creating espers, and he just happened to be around the same age as her. Alternatively, it's also possible that Haruhi has had the ability to warp reality since birth, but she had never really questioned the way the world works until the age of 12. Or perhaps that she has remade the world multiple times in the past, but the protagonists of the main series, being denizens of ''this'' world, are unaware of these prior universes.
  • In Strike Witches, magic powers usually surface in girls around age 12 and mostly disappear by age 20.
  • The "Topless" of DieBuster manifest in certain humans at the onset of puberty and disappear when puberty fades, similarly to Strike Witches above. The organization of the Topless, the Fraternity, has numerous allusions to childhood and its trappings as a result.
  • The vampire queens in Blood+ are born as vampires and get their powers at the age of 16 years. From this point on they will not physically get older.
  • Subverted in My Hero Academia where Quirks manifest anywhere from birth to the age of four, and not having one by the time they are four, means that the child is Quirkless and will never get any powers.
  • Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon shows that half-demons grow older at a human rate until they reach puberty. However, once they reach puberty, they become significantly more long-lived than humans. However, the extent of this longevity can vary widely. However, the half-demons only get their longevity during their puberty. They already had their superhuman physical strength as children.
  • Aizawa-san Multiplies: Aizawa's mother says that all the girls in her family get some variety of power when they're teens, which is why she's not terribly surprised at the fact that she went from having one daughter to having four due to suddenly gaining Self-Duplication powers one day.

    Comic Books 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8: Due to the new rules of the Slayer line, Potential Slayers now become full-fledged Slayers when they reach suitable maturation; one such Slayer, Soledad, activating at 16.
  • Most later versions of Superman, e.g., Smallville, although pre-Crisis Superman continuity (including the 1978 movie) has him lifting cars (or at least adults) as a baby. Read any pre-Crisis Superboy comic featuring "Superbaby" to see why most writers don't let babies have super powers.
  • X-Men: As mentioned above, this franchise is very much the Trope Maker. Mutant powers usually manifest at puberty. This happens on birthdays more often than is statistically warranted (though possibly justified, as moments of intense emotion and/or stress are sometimes said to be a factor in the initial manifestation).
    • The X-Men spin-off New Mutants is explicitly this trope; all team members have powers that appeared with puberty, a varying number of years in the past — Xian's the longest ago (she's 19), Rahne's only a month or two before (at 13).
    • X-Men: Evolution reworks continuity to put most of the main characters in their teens.
    • Generation X is about a group of powered teens at Xavier's spin-off school.
    • Exceptions to this trope tend be extreme. The shapeshifter Morph, as explained in Exiles, was born a fairly squishy mass of a baby. Nonetheless, he counts himself lucky since his power allowed him to quickly shift into a more normal appearance and live a fairly happy family life.
      • This is also very similar to what happened to Captain Britain's girlfriend and later wife, Meggan.
      • There is also Jamie Madrox, alias, Multiple Man, whose mutation showed itself directly after birth when he created several copies of himself after getting the usual slap on the behind. In X-Factor (2006), it's suggested that mutants who manifest at birth aren't technically mutants, but rather something mysteriously other.
      • A fairly mild exception was Hank McCoy, alias the Beast, who only had larger-than-average hands and feet when he was born. In the original (pre-1975) incarnation of the X-Men, that (and inhuman strength/agility) was the extent of his mutation. It wasn't until the original series ended that he turned furry.
      • Kurt Wagner, alias, Nightcrawler was born with the physical characteristics that are part of his mutation: blue fur, hands and feet with fewer digits, a prehensile tail, et cetera. His teleportation ability was a straight example of this trope.
  • Fantastic Four: Franklin Richards is a major exception who, even more dramatically than Superbaby, shows the dangers of a child who possesses (literally) world-shaping power.
  • Power Pack is an exception, where the Power siblings gain their powers from an alien, with Alex at 12, Julie at 10, Jack at 8, and Katie at 5 when the comic first started.
  • Spider-Girl:
    • While her father got it from a radioactive spider-bite, May Parker got her powers in the middle of a high school basketball game.
    • However, her younger brother Benjamin turned out to have super-strength and the ability to shoot organic webs (a power neither his father or his sister had) as an infant. Luckily, as it turned out, as he was thus able to save his own and his mother's life.
  • Lampshaded by Molly Hayes in Runaways; when her powers developed, she kept trying to talk to her parents and friends about the weird things her body was doing, but they all thought she was just talking about normal puberty.
  • Averted in Supreme Power: the toddler Hyperion, upset by a barking puppy, incinerates it with his eyes.
  • Horrifically inverted in the back-story of Billy Butcher from The Boys. After Butcher's wife was raped by a superhero, she dies when the unborn super-powered fetus born from that encounter literally rips itself out of her womb.
  • In Valentino's normalman:
    normalman: When did you get your superpowers?
    Sophisticated Lady: Puberty.
  • All Fall Down begins the day after Sophie Mitchell hits puberty.
  • Avengers Academy has many of the students manifest their abilities during teenager-dom, in extremely traumatic ways. Jennifer Takeda, for instance, discovers her abilities when making out with her boyfriend. Unfortunately for Jenny, her ability is to project and excrete hazardous, toxic, and radioactive materials. He doesn't die, but the trauma haunts her.
  • In Sex Criminals, middle-school girl Suzie finds out that having an orgasm somehow freezes time for the entire world and everyone in it except her.
  • Another exception: PS238, which deals with "prodigies", who are elementary-school students with superpowers (one of the titular school's taglines is "PS238: Making sure the next generation doesn't break too much of this generation's stuff").
  • Persuasion (Kara Killgrave), of Alpha Flight, manifests her mind control powers and turns purple at age 13.

    Fan Works 
  • How on Earth?: The members of the Uno family have innate superpowers that can only be activated during puberty (eleven to fifteen/sixteen), either by a fellow family member or by an emotional outburst. By a stroke of luck, Monty Uno was able to avoid activating his powers, unlike his younger brother Benedict. His son Nigel probably would've been able to do the same had Grandfather not gotten his hands on him.
  • A Few Needed Adjustments is a Yokai Watch fanfic where it turns out that Fumi cheated on Keita with Kyuubi, resulting in Natsume. Natsume only learned this after she woke up one day looking like a fox. Her yokai side didn't activate until her first period.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Izuku's new spider-powers are mistaken for this as he passes off his abilities as a Quirk.
  • In The Worst Possible Sitch, Monique began getting visions when she hit puberty.

    Films — Animation 
  • Parodied in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Miles gets bitten by a radioactive spider while working on graffiti, but just brushes it off. The next day, he's significantly taller, sweaty all the time, has visible thought captions, and his hands stick to things (including his crush Gwen's hair). He chalks it up to puberty.
  • Superman: Red Son starts with a 12-year old Somishka having recently gained Kryptonian powers.
  • Turning Red: Mei's shapeshifting ability manifests when she's 13 years old and is experiencing puberty. This ends up becoming an Entertainingly Wrong moment, as when Mei freaks out after transforming and hides in her shower, Ming (Mei's mom) enters under the assumption that she just had her period.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The film Sky High (2005) only has the main character as having his powers first activate on-screen whilst he was in his teens, and it does kinda say that what with the powers being in the blood, puberty is the last possible point for someone to gain superpowers (unless you have a vat of toxic waste), after which it's pointless to have that cape at the ready.
  • Speaking of, Charlie from Firestarter is an exception, since she showed her abilities in infancy, much to her parents' alarm.
  • The whole point of the Disney movie Up, Up and Away!, where the middle child of a superhero family is quickly approaching his 14th birthday. All superheroes receive their powers before this age. If they don't, then they remain ordinary humans. His younger sister, though, got her Eye Beam powers at the age of two (now imagine for a second a two-year-old who can shoot lasers out of her eyes), so 14 is just a cut-off age. He remains a human at the end but comes to term with it, and his best friend suggests he still becomes a masked hero but without powers. On the upside, he can touch aluminum foil. In order not to cause his father (a respected local hero named Bronze Eagle) to be embarrassed at having a normal son, the kid fakes having Super-Strength (by rigging a patio door to fly off its hinges when he opens it) and flight (by throwing a ball at a tree and running away). His grandfather (a retired hero named Steel Condor) sees right through him and urges him to tell his father the truth.
  • Now You See It...: Danny claims his first sign of power started when he was thirteen, and Madame Suzette tells him that powers usually start at the onset of puberty.

  • In Grimoire's Soul people generally gain the ability to use magic via personal grimoire at age 14. Kesterline uses social control to convince people that for the most part only nobles, and only male nobles of the Mage core at that, can use magic, but the reality is that almost everyone has the potential to use it.
  • Channelers in The Wheel of Time get their abilities as teenagers (or early twenties for men).
  • Magical education starts in early adolescence (age 11) in the Harry Potter series (a Coming of Age Story). Magical ability, however, is present since birth. It's generally accepted that if it hasn't revealed itself by age 7, it's not there.
  • In The Dark is Rising, Will gains entrance into the Circle of the Old Ones at eleven.
  • Yet another notable (and extreme) exception: In Robin McKinley's Spindles End (an expansion of the various "Sleeping Beauty" stories) magic permeates everything and the Fairies are actually normal people who just happen to have the inborn ability to control it. Some Fairies come into their power fairly early. A few manifest powers very early, a phenomenon known in the novel as "Baby Magic". As cutesy as that sounds, it's actually very dangerous and unpredictable. A baby Fairy may be able to understand Animal Talk. Or, he may be able to transform the nanny into a terrier and pull a One-Winged Angel act every time he has a tantrum...
  • Averted in Olaf Stapledon's Odd John, where the title character had special abilities from birth. However, those abilities also came with a cost (including much slower childhood development and physical frailties).
  • Inverted in A Coming Of Age by Timothy Zahn: Children do not develop their telekinetic powers at puberty, but at approximately 5 years of age, however they instead lose their powers at puberty.
  • In The Dresden Files, magical talent typically sets in at puberty, but people only begin to achieve their full power at age 100. This emphasizes how badass Harry is, as he isn't even 40 and is among the top twenty most powerful wizards on the planet.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series, the Heralds typically gain their Gifts, and their Companions, in their teen years. It can be a Traumatic Superpower Awakening when this happens much earlier or much later than 13 or so.
    • Played with in her Five Hundred Kingdoms novels, in which those likely to be magic users feel magic growing around them at the point when a fairytale would usually begin in their case, which is usually mid-teens.
  • Almost every superpower in Women of the Otherworld is a puberty superpower. Werewolves first begin to change at the end of puberty; the average age of their first change is 18, although it can happen anytime between 15 and 21. Witches can begin practicing minor spells at a young age, but after their first period can perform a ritual that greatly increases their magical strength. Half-demon powers also start showing up at the beginning of puberty and increase in strength until their late twenties. In fact, the parallel young adult series Darkest Powers focuses on adolescents just coming into their powers.
  • The Firestarter refers to this. The child protagonist already has the titular powers... but scientists are afraid puberty will make them spike to nuclear levels.
  • The twin sisters in T*Witches discover they have magical powers at age 14. In the movie, it was curiously changed to 21.
  • In Diane Duane's Young Wizards series, the Powers most often offer Wizardry to kids in their teens; Nita is considered a bit early, at 13, Kit even earlier, at 12, and Dairine is shockingly young at just 10. The younger a wizard is when they start, the more raw power they have; however, the Powers generally want kids to have as much of a childhood as possible before offering them the magic.
    • They also get a smaller burst of power from hormones during puberty, as happens in High Wizardry: Kit has a growth spurt, and Nita is getting a little bit of growth up top.
  • In Bras and Broomsticks by Sarah Mlynowski, Rachel Weinstein's younger sister gets magical powers before her. This is explicitly because of puberty; her sister was an "early bloomer".
  • While Magyk in Septimus Heap manifests itself much earlier than puberty, Apprentices achieve full abilities when they turn 14.
  • Mostly averted in the novel StarCraft: Ghost: Nova with the titular character who is an extremely-powerful telepath and telekinetic. While, normally, psychic individuals are required to be turned over to the Ghost Academy, Nova is from one of the Old Families of Tarsonis, and her father uses his considerable influence to keep her "gift" hidden. It's mentioned that she's been able to do things from infancy and always appears to know what people are thinking and feeling. However, it's not until she's in her teens that her powers start approaching "critical". When her parents are killed in front of her by a bunch of rebels, she literally goes nuclear, wiping out the rebels and any innocent bystander nearby, as well as shattering the penthouse dome, which is rated for nuclear strikes.
  • Windseekers in Zahrah the Windseeker start to float around puberty. Zahrah herself starts floating after her menarche.
  • Averted in Correspondence From the Goddess, where Lydia Devin is an aimless adult a couple of years out of high school when her powers start showing up.
  • The Ultra Violets only begin to manifest their powers when they are re-exposed to Helitropium, at age 11-12. One of the major plot points, Opal being powerless for most of book 1, is suspiciously similar to a girl watching all of her friends develop quickly and noticeably while she remains the same.
  • In The Belgariad, Garion's first use of his powers comes shortly after he begins shaving. In the prequels, Belgarath and Polgara both gained their powers during puberty as well. It's explained that it probably doesn't happen during childhood because that's when you're most likely to try to unmake something in a tantrum, which the rules of magic forbid.
  • In two of Sergey Lukyanenko's novels, genetically engineered people don't receive the full extent of their abilities until they undergo a metamorphosis in their early to mid-teens. In Line of Delirium, Kay Dutch is an illegal "super", with a preference for linguistics, although all his physical and mental qualities are at superhuman levels. He explains that he was a scrawny weakling until sixteen, at which point his body started its modifications. In Genome any "spesh" has to undergo pupation at around 12-13, at which point his or her mind and body undergo the final changes.
  • In The Folk Keeper, sealmaidens are stated to be just like humans when born, only coming into their fae powers when they turn 12 years old.
  • The titular character of Carrie had very occasional instances of telekinetic ability as a baby/toddler, but gained consistent powers, including some telepathy, after her first period.
  • In The Mortal Instruments, shadowhunter Jace tells that most shadowhunters get their first runes at the beginning of their puberty.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians has demigods. As soon as they enter puberty, their powers develop. But at the same time, they also get a smell that attracts dangerous monsters.
  • In the German booklet series Maddrax, there are the mutants. In their childhood, they are not at all different from ordinary humans — only with the onset of puberty does the mutation begin.
  • Whateley Universe: Mutants usually manifest around age fourteen. It's a good thing there's a high school to ship them all off to...
  • In Worm, most parahumans appear to get their powers in their teenage years.
  • In Brennus, most metahumans manifest during their teens, with a Traumatic Superpower Awakening. People who manifest earlier tend to be more powerful; people who manifest later tend to be less powerful.
  • In Arrow and Ace, powers are mentioned multiple times to manifest around puberty. The catch, people don't always realize when that happens, leading to some How Do I Shot Web?.
  • It's not technically a superpower, but in His Dark Materials, every human being is accompanied from birth by a daemon that represents part of their soul. As long as man is a child, the daemon changes into various animal forms. But once humans reach puberty, the daemon permanently assumes animal form. It was a special moment for Lyra and Will because their daemons got their permanent form after Will touched Lyra's daemon and Lyra touched Will's daemon.
  • In The Haunting Of Cassie Palmer by Vivien Alcock, Cassie's psychic powers start manifesting when she's thirteen.
  • In the Siren trilogy, sirens are just like ordinary girls until they reach childbearing age. Then they gain the ability to breathe water and enchant men, but also need to spend a few hours a day immersed in saltwater, or they dry out and eventually lose the ability to breathe.
  • Not explicit but certainly implied in 100 Cupboards as the approximate age when green men go through the warpspasm. Henry and Darius were both twelve, Monmouth around thirteen, and Mordecai certainly below fifteen. Averted with the Distaff Counterpart version of the power, the manifestation of which apparently doesn't rely on age or birth order.
  • In Knights of the Borrowed Dark, the titular Knights gain their powers at the exact instant of turning thirteen. This tends to be...explosive.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The special children in Supernatural develop their powers at the age of 22 years and six months. Past puberty, but still valid as a metaphor for emerging into adulthood.
  • Notable exception: Characters in The 4400 were granted superpowers by people from the future at various ages, from childhood to old age. The one in-show exception is Isabelle, who was conceived and implanted into Lily's body during her abduction, and shows extremely powerful abilities as an infant and even some powers while still in the womb. Indeed, the character of Isabelle never really goes through puberty at all, as she is aged from an infant to adulthood in an instant at the end of the second series.
  • Betazoids (a naturally telepathic race) in Star Trek gain their mind-reading powers at puberty, except for a few rare exceptions who are born telepathic. Those tend to be mentally unstable from not being able to "tune out" the mental noise around them.
  • Averted in Bewitched, where the witch-children are shown using magic even as infants. Of course, they're half-mortal, so their abilities may be atypical. Endora brags that Samantha was able to fly on her own by age five but then adds that Samantha had been precocious for her age.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch claims that half-witches come into their powers on their 16th birthday, before which Sabrina's aunts had engaged in an elaborate Masquerade to keep the other world a secret from her — though this does not jive well with the later implications that witches are generally comically bad at dealing with things in the usual mortal way, and that deliberately avoiding magic is unhealthy for a witch. This is also retconned in Sabrina: The Animated Series, where a 13-year-old Sabrina has full knowledge of the other world. That or the cartoon was just following the path of the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch comic books, where Sabrina is shown with her powers even as a child (in a few "Little Archie" stories).
  • Heroes averts this. Characters manifest their powers at various ages. Some, like Nathan Petrelli or Matt Parkman, manifest well into adulthood. Others, like Micah Sanders or Molly Walker, manifest before puberty. The youngest example is Donna, from the comics, who was unaware she had a power at all because she'd had it from birth. She had simply assumed telescopic vision was normal. Or Claire Bennet, whose powers had her survive a fire as a baby.
    • Matt Parkman Jr. is the most outstanding aversion of the series, his "touch and go" power manifest before even his first birthday.
  • Averted in Merlin (2008) — the titular character could use his magic "before he could talk".
  • Spaced: The comic Tim is working on is about an orphaned kid who is exposed to some weird chemical by an amoral 'Doktor' as part of some twisted experiment. Absolutely nothing happened and the Doktor destroyed his research. Then when puberty hit, the dormant chemicals in his bloodstream activated and the orphan kid mutated into the comic's titular Bear.
  • Slayers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer fit this model. They suddenly become a Slayer around thirteen or fifteen. Right up until Willow breaks the 'one girl' system in season 7's "Chosen".
    • Not most of them, prior to Willow's spell at the end of the series. Only a few Potential Slayers ever end up being "activated". Most aren't, and if they're not called by the age of 20 or so, they never will be.
    • There are also the warlocks and witches who get their powers with puberty. But that's just because adults in this series are useless, and most of the protagonists are teenagers. They get their powers as soon as they deal with magic, theoretically, even a child or an adult could become a warlock or a witch.
  • Angel inverts this with Connor in season 5. His new "parents" take him to Wolfram and Hart for help when he discovers his abilities after being hit by a truck and later being able to fight demons. He eventually finds out the truth.
    • In the comics you can also see the half-demon Ruby Monahan. When she turned 18 years old, her demonic powers suddenly developed. But her body changed as well.
  • In Smallville, while Clark had super-strength and super-speed as a child, most of his other powers didn't manifest until he was in his teens. In one memorable case, his heat-vision first manifested due to sexual arousal... make of that what you will.
  • In The Tomorrow People (1973), new teeps begin manifesting their powers in a dramatic "breaking out," their head suddenly crowded with overheard voices via telepathy and, more dangerously, teleporting instinctively with no destination in mind, winding up stuck in hyperspace forever. (The revival solves that problem, at least, by means of a beacon which would draw any undirected teleports to a single location, letting them learn how to 'jaunt' safely and bringing them together to learn from each other, like teen girls dragging a friend off to the bathroom to explain the facts of life or deal with an embarrassing period accident.)
  • Latent telepaths in Babylon 5 often manifest at puberty, though some (like Susan Ivanova) manifest substantially earlier.
  • On Lost Girl, Fae gain their powers during puberty. Bo discovered her succubus powers at 16 when she accidentally killed her boyfriend.
  • The series The X-Files has Dylan Lokensgard from the episode "Lord of the Flies". He is a kind of human insect mutant. And because he is in adolescence, his body changes and his powers develop. His mother, who is also such a creature (his father is an ordinary human), makes him aware of this several times during the episode.
  • Plays for horror in Stargate Atlantis. Wraith gain their special powers, such as super strength and regeneration, during puberty. But at the same time they also develop a horror hunger, and have to suck the life force out of humans (or other wraith).
  • In Grimm, female Grimms are able to see Wesen as they are for the first time around the age of twelve. The men, however, may be in their thirties before their power kicks in.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Maria in Safe Havens doesn't develop her ability to Time Travel until she hits puberty, much to the relief of her parents Dave and Samantha who were worried about Maria's present self disappearing as a baby. This doesn't seem to be binding, though, Maria's son Leonardo develops his powers at a much younger age. Then again, he is Leonardo da Vinci, it wouldn't be at all surprising that he's a prodigy in this field too.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, sorcerers and psions develop their powers around puberty.
  • In both Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Werewolf: The Forsaken, werewolves or other fera/changing breeds generally go through First Change around puberty at the earliest. Depending on circumstances, it can happen significantly later in life, or very rarely earlier. In the New World of Darkness, puberty is also a common time for psychic powers or the more innate forms of thaumaturgy to manifest.
    • Princess: The Hopeful: Princesses usually Blossom when they first realize that they are capable of making a difference and set out to make the world a better place. This most commonly happens during puberty as the prospective Princess begins to establish an identity for herself, but can also happen as a child or not until she is fully mature, depending on circumstance.
  • In Exalted, children in the Realm are raised on the assumption that they might turn into Dragon-Blooded. This almost always happens during puberty, so children who do not transform in this way by their 20s are considered "failures" and assigned to lesser roles.

    Video Games 
  • Shigesato Itoi has stated in an interview that this was the way that all the characters with PSI powers gain new abilities throughout Mother 3.
    Word on the Wind: It appears that one of your friends is not feeling very well. They aren't poisoned, nor are they sleepy, yet they just can't shake that ill feeling. They lack the energy to run, and using items or hot springs doesn't appear to help, either. It would seem this is because something is beginning to awaken inside them. But I'm sure they'll get over it before long, so don't be too worried.
  • In Dragon Age, a mage's powers generally begin to manifest at the onset of puberty, though some can and do receive them much earlier.
  • In Mass Effect, due to biotics being caused by a fetus undergoing Element Zero exposure whilst in-utero, it's possible for newborn infants to manifest biotic abilities at birth, while others remain latent biotics until secondary exposure later in life. According to Word of God, all biotic classes of Commander Shepard are the latter, having undergone secondary exposure and subsequently manifested their biotic potential at 17. After joining the Alliance Military a year later, they were then fitted with L3 implants. This is to explain the apparent discrepancy of biotic Shepard being older than most L3s and not being present at the Boarding School of Horrors that Kaidan attended.
  • A variation is present in Splatoon. Inklings start out as tiny little squids, then over the years gradually grow more humanoid until they become fully developed at around 14 — which is also when they gain the ability to shift between human and squid form at will. The same goes for Octolings, their octopus counterparts.
  • Weird and Unfortunate Things Are Happening: Alicia's psychic powers, as she started seeing things that weren't there for other people, when she hit puberty.
  • Bioshock Infinite: As seen by charts in the facility containing her, Elizabeth had her reality-warping abilities since she was a baby, but once she started going through puberty, the intensity of said powers skyrocketed to the point they had to build a device to shackle her power to manageable (by Comstock, not by Elizabeth) levels.
  • In The Sims, occults such as witches, vampires, werewolves, fairies, mermaids, and aliens can't use their powers until they become teenagers.

    Visual Novels 

  • Played straight here in the Electric Wonderland comic "Puberty of the Future" reveals that Nettropolis avatars undergo a random and apparently permanent transformation at about the time they enter high school. While most of these transformations consist simply of becoming taller, some of NJ's enemies and friends assume more powerful forms in the story. NJ doesn't get a superpower, for the record, just whiskers.
  • Everyday Heroes: Summer also has quite a bit of teenage angst regarding her superpowers, since she has difficulty controlling them and this has led to a few catastrophes.
  • Inverted in To Prevent World Peace. Magical Girls gain their powers as young children and are expected to lose them during puberty.
  • In Girl Genius, most Sparks break through as teenagers or young adults. It's subverted by Gil, who built his first construct as a young boy. Double subverted by Agatha, who started breaking through as a child but got a Power Limiter put on her. Her powers fully awakened when she lost it thirteen years later.
  • In Grrl Power, most people with latent innate superpowers usually see them manifest in early puberty.
  • Ignition Zero: On Martin's thirteen birthday his faerie shapeshifting powers awakened.
  • In Mob Psycho 100, the emotional volatility that accompanies puberty is noted to have dramatic effects on espers with Emotional Powers. Shigeo was born an esper, but it's at age fourteen that his power starts growing exponentially and beyond his ability to reliably control it through Emotion Suppression. Additionally, his brother Ritsu, a latent esper himself, starts manifesting his own Emotional Powers shortly after turning thirteen.
  • The Order of the Stick also makes an exception: Xykon, although being a Sorcerer, has his necromantic powers manifesting while still a young boy.
  • Sleepless Domain has a double-ended version: magical girls usually get their powers around age 12-13 (when puberty is starting) and lose them again around age 18 (when puberty is coming to an end).

    Web Original 
  • In the Winds of Change universe, people Change into half human, half animals during puberty. They also gain awesome powers.
  • The adult fiction series Tim, the Teenage MC double-subverts this trope. Tim is born with his telepathic powers switched on, but "grows out of them" shortly after learning to talk. He forgets about them until they reactivate around puberty.

    Western Animation 
  • The alien race that Starfire of Teen Titans (2003) belongs to is born with powers, but undergoes a metamorphosis during the teen years (with puberty metaphor fully in place) that may grant additional abilities. And it varies per individual. Starfire started with a huge zit before other mutations came in and eventually became a chrysalis. She came out of it with Eye Beams. Compare this to her older sister Blackfire, who turned violet for a couple of days.
  • Danny in Danny Phantom made light that he was gaining "evil puberty" powers once he received the Ghostly Wail. His powers from the beginning onset also reacted to his growing teenage body (example: his nervous emotions towards a girl triggered an unexpected intangibility and cause his pants to fall down, poor poor Danny).
  • Kaeloo: When Mr. Cat and Stumpy hit puberty, they gain invisibility powers. Subverted, however, as the two were actually suffering from a disease, and had not hit puberty yet.
  • Parodied to hell and back in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, where Peanut gaining superpowers is used as a stand-in for puberty. He's embarrassed by his solar shield manifesting during a meeting, is caught shooting off his power bands to pictures of supervillains in the bathroom, and nervously asks Black Vulcan about his first time facing off against a bad guy.
  • Interestingly enough Hanna-Barbera gave us one of the few inversions on this trope. Bamm-Bamm Rubble's whole super-powered as a baby loses his in his teen years on The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, only to regain them in adulthood in later movies. Essentially making his puberty superpower being that he Forgot About His Powers.
  • Inverted in Transformers: Animated. Sari realizing her robot heritage and upgrading herself with the Allspark key actually causes her to go through puberty. It's never really explained how this works, nor is the disorienting nature of going from eight to a teenager in an instance addressed in any way. Since Sari is a Cybertronian, it was probably just an upgrade to her body; happens all of the time in Transformers.
  • In the appropriately titled Star vs. the Forces of Evil episode "Mewberty", the title character goes through the Mewni equivalent of puberty. This consists of her becoming boy crazy and sprouting acne-like purple heart stickers when exposed to them. Those stickers eventually overtake and cocoon her, transforming her into a six-armed flying butterfly monster with super strength and Spider-Man web powers that kidnaps and imprisons every boy she can find. Then it arbitrarily wears off after a few hours, leaving her with only a pair of small vestigial wings as a reminder. Later on the powers resurge in a less horrifying fashion.
  • Zatanna in DC Super Hero Girls awakened her magical powers after getting her first zit.
  • Subverted with Kipo in Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. While she becomes aware of her Voluntary Shapeshifting abilities on her 13th birthday, it's revealed in the second season and that she's always had the ability, having used it on at least one occasion as an infant. They just didn't re-manifest until adolescence because her powers are triggered by her fight-or-flight response, and she's spent most of her life until the events of the show living comfortably in an underground bunker.
  • Spike gains a pair of wings after going through a shed, which is the dragon equivalent of puberty in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
  • Invincible: The title character, Mark Grayson, doesn't develop his powers until he turns 16. Afterwhich, he begins training with his father, Omniman, to control his powers and start his career as a hero.