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"When a villain transformed, it was a nightmare, the worst possible case scenario, as the gap in power now widened into an abyss. (...) [Heroes' transformations] felt monumental, both because the heroes finally had a ray of hope in the face of the villains, as well as being deeply significant to the personal narratives of these characters."

A Super Mode or "Overdrive Mode" where a character temporarily becomes much stronger, almost always accompanied by a visible change. Basically, a Dangerous Forbidden Technique or Deadly Upgrade without the dangerous/deadly parts — it may be limited somehow, usually by time or a finite Power Source, but sometimes it's not even that (if it shortens the user's lifespan or similar, it's a Heroic RRoD). Very popular in action-based video games. May or may not have a requirement to trigger (usually anger), but must look awesome via glowing and floating.

These transformations are usually accompanied by either a failure on the part of the other party to intercede, or a temporary "aura of invincibility" that renders them incapable of doing so. Popularized by the Super Saiyans of Dragon Ball Z. Super Modes are particularly common in manga and anime.

The Super-Trope to Deadly Upgrade, Invincibility Power-Up, Limit Break, Next Tier Power-Up, Superpowered Evil Side, Unstoppable Rage, and often regarded as a One-Winged Angel act for heroes. Related to superpowered Animorphism and occasionally Super-Empowering. Turns Red is the bad guy version of this. A Power Up Full Color Change, a Golden Super Mode, and the Standard Power Up Pose may be its visual indicators. A Fusion Dance sometimes results in this trope. When used by characters with Multiform Balance, the Super Mode is either All Your Powers Combined or Lightning Bruiser.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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  • In the 90s, Coca-Cola once ran a couple commercials featuring an ordinary suburban mother who's secretly a Flying Brick superhero who gets emergency calls on her phone and powers up into a metallic Amazonian Beauty to save the day while still making time for her kids.
  • When Super Sugar Crisp changed its name to Super Golden Crisp, its mascot (Sugar Bear) gained the ability to transform into Super Bear. (This powered-up form was anything but endearing, though, and the concept was soon dropped.)

    Asian Animation 
  • Catch! Teenieping: Using the power of the six Royal Teeniepings, Princess Romi can transform into a more powerful form known as Princess Veronica, and also gains a new attack called Magic Rainbow that combines the powers of all six of her forms. This also manages to revive Happying in the process.
  • Guardian Fairy Michel: Poyo's adult form as the Fairy of Spring is tiring to use, but very powerful.

    Comic Books 
  • The Incredible Hulk: The Hulk has multiple forms, but the one that best fits this trope is his "Worldbreaker" mode, which can easily do what its name suggests.
  • Superman achieves his Super Mode by literally flying into the sun and staying there for a little bit. His power grows to the level where he can defeat Darkseid with minimum effort.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW): Remember Twilight's glowing eyes from the series' pilot? The magic of the comet infuses Twilight with even more power, causing her eyes to glow, a powerful aura to form around her, and to float off the ground, ending with a magical burst that defeats Chrysalis.
    • We see one for Princess Celestia as well where he mane and tail burst into flames. The only two times we ever see her do this is to fight her alternate universe self and in the past to defeat Queen Chrysalis and her Changeling horde in Trot, implying she only uses this form to fight god level beings like herself. From what we see of this, she's powerful enough to leave Queen Chrysalis and her Changelings such a being they still carry the scars.
  • The most famous example in western comics is probably Jean Grey's Phoenix persona, coming from the Phoenix force. The origin of said persona has gone back and forth (was she possessed by the Phoenix? Did it replace her? Did it copy her and genuinely believe it was her? All these explanations have been offered at various points). Originally, though, on a mission in space she was exposed to a solar flare that ended up unlocking her full potential as a psychic. This ended up leading to the The Dark Phoenix Saga (though as most forget, it wasn't inevitable — Jean/the Phoenix was just fine, if a bit Hot-Blooded, until Mastermind spent a long time messing with her head). Afterwards, Jean returned, having been left by the Phoenix in a healing cocoon on the bottom of Jamaica Bay, and the Phoenix Force has since come back and merged with her on several occasions, bringing her back to life if she dies, and giving her the ability to do anything from destroy stars to manipulate entire galaxies as the White Phoenix of the Crown.
    • Her daughter, Rachel Summers, spent much longer as the Phoenix than her mother did.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Super Modes were quite abundant in the pre-Super Genesis Wave universe. Besides the established Super Sonic and Super Shadow, there were Hyper Knuckles (which was Super Knuckles taking his other Super Mode's name), Turbo Tails (which was Tails with a cape and more magically inclined), Master Mogul (Mammoth Mogul powered up with the emerald power of Enerjak, Super Scourge (which, unlike Sonic, made him weaker after reverting back) and a few others. One memorable scene had Ray the Flying Squirrel drive off invading Legioneers by hopping on the Master Emerald and pretending to go Super Ray.
    • The the post-Super Genesis Wave universe, only video game instances were canon until Sonic Universe #74 when NICOLE the Holo-Lynx becomes Overclocked NICOLE by absorbing the power of the Red Star Rings.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bikini Bottom Horror: Amidst the war against the Tortured One's Patrick's, Mr. Krabs transforms into an actual, giant crab in self-defence, Squidward transforms into a giant, frankly hot man-squid version of himself, and SpongeBob transforms into the Kaiju-sized Porifera.
  • Child of the Storm has the Phoenix (or rather, the power she grants) function as this for Her hosts, granting them vast cosmic powers that start at Physical God level and get stronger from there. However, it also weakens the fabric of reality, and amplifies and is amplified by emotions, meaning that hosts are usually very carefully chosen for their emotional stability and only possess the power for as long as it is required. Harry is an unusual example, however, since he's not technically a host: his powers were granted as a protection/defense mechanism, and originally weren't consciously accessible (if he died, or was in mortal danger, the Phoenix would use the fragment within him to step in and deal with the threat, usually by vaporizing it). He does learn how to use it in the sequel, but it turns out that this is an extremely bad idea when the local fabric of reality is already fragile, and it risks turning him into the Dark Phoenix if he loses control of it, and releasing Surtur a.k.a. the original Dark Phoenix if he uses it/dies and it kicks in to protect him. Consequently, much of the second book is spent trying to master himself and it.
  • The Equestrian Wind Mage: During the second season's Final Battle, the Elements of Harmony merge with the Mane Six's weapons, and then merge with them directly, in order to give them the power to destroy Demise once and for all. Afterwards, it's revealed that the Elements have permanently fused with them.
  • In the Facing the Future Series, Danny has unlocked such a mode that triggers under moments of extreme duress. While Danny gains a major boost in power in this form, he is unable to control it, and overuse of it could cause his body to burn out. However, it has been shown in the first story of the series that not only will Danny get control of it, but Sam will unlock one too.
    • The Mysterious Watcher known as G later refers to this as a "True Ghost Form" and has one of his own.
  • Fairies of the Shattered Moon: In addition to Dragonforce from Fairy Tail canon, the state where Gray and later Yang get demonic black markings over their bodies is named the Full Demon Form, their Devil Slayer equivalent to Dragonforce. However, their enemies, the Gates also get the Eclipse Etherious Form, though while this does provide a radical increase in strength (none of the heroes have been able to defeat on alone), it straddles the line between this and One-Winged Angel, as the user often gains additional monstrous limbs in addition to the power boost.
  • The Flash Sentry Chronicles:
    • After training to use the Theta State, a meditation technique that only lasts a few seconds but allows the users senses and instincts to be heightened to the point everything around them is moving in slow motion, throughout Season 2, Flash eventually manages to find a way to enter it at will and have it last as long as he wants, thus dubbing it the "Theta Mode."
    • Both Jakhowls and Tricksters have "battle forms", which is essentially what their adult forms look like, allowing them to grow taller and doubles their power. It takes massive amounts of aura in order to achieve this form but after proper training it becomes their default mode instead of their smaller standard forms. Shade managed to achieve his battle form after going through Doom Raizer's experiments, but Springer managed to achieve his battle form naturally.
  • The God Squad reveals that Nightmare Moon was this for Luna (and is in fact her unleashing 10% of her power) and that all the gods can trigger such a transformation (and Discord tends to stay at 10% all the time). Lord Tydal has even gone up to 40% and become an elder god monster.
  • Harry Potter: Pokémon Master has the Arts, many of which offer super modes:
    • Veela can go from ordinary, if beautiful, women into etheral goddesses with glowing green auras and solid black/white eyes.
    • Aura Knights can summon aura around their bodies, blue in color, that enhance their strength and speed
    • Speakers can 'remove the mask' that causes their canine teeth to sharpen into fangs, their fingers to turn into talons, and unleash as Speaker Pulse that tells every Pokemon in an area to get the hell out of there.
  • Miraculous City: Following a Mass Super-Empowering Event that granted everyone in Paris internal Miraculous powers, it's revealed that an active Miraculous user that combines the physical artifact with their internal powers can enter an Ultra Mode, further amplifying their power.
  • The Night Unfurls: Any time where Kyril eats a Beast Blood Pellet turns him into a Lightning Bruiser. As his blood sings and boils, so does his beast-like ferocity. Visceral attacks are used more often, and a swipe from the butt of his gun is enough to shatter a man's face. Of course, this is not even his final form.
  • In The Norse Hero: Fenrir, when Izuku is at his most enraged, is in a life or death situation or if his loved ones are in that situation, he takes on a form he dubs "Ragnarök". He grows to be 13-feet tall, he grows a pair of horns on his head and his eyes and embers go from orange to purple.
  • Ojamajo Doremi: Rise of the Shadows: The Queen gets one in the form of her Super Witch Form. In it, she is described as looking more like an Angel than a Witch, she is granted powers far beyond her normal capabilities, and she is given a "keyblade" with which to fight. Majorin is set to get one of her own in the sequel Witches at World's End.
  • In the Pony POV Series,
    • Dark World!Derpy and Traitor Dash's Elements (Loyalty and Treachery/Free Will) give them forms of this. Derpy's turns off all her body's natural limiters and increases her strength to the point she can do the work of an entire team off Pegasi by herself. At first this does have a toll on her body (though Rarity and Applejack have Healing Hooves), but she gradually builds up her endurance to use it more frequently. In Traitor Dash's case, she can transform into Ender Dash, her already incredible speed increasing to the point she can perform a Flash Step and both her Pegasus magic and strength. She retains this after her Heel–Face Turn, possibly even becoming stronger, to the point her Sonic Rainboom (called Sonic Endboom in this form) can allow her to escape the atmosphere and even break through Nightmare Paradox's armor.
    • In the Dark World Drabbles Expanded Universe fic, Applejack eventually unlocks one of her own that grants her Super-Strength and far stronger illusions, complete with a similar transformation to Rainbow Dash.
    • The main universe Fluttershy was turned into an Alicorn after being purified of being Nightmare Whisper, but her power is sealed in a butterfly as she's decidedly not ready for it at the time. When she eventually does use it in the Final Battle, it turns out due to the nature of how she became one, her Alicorn form only has a mortal's mana pool to work with. As such, it acts more like this in practice, as she can't permanently maintain it and has to switch into it when she needs the power.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines not only features Mega Evolution and Bond Phenomenon as in the anime, but also adds BREAK Evolution from the TCG, first hinted in a sidestory, and later featured in Chapter 28 of the main story.
  • Sasha and the Frogs: Sasha unlocks the power of the Strength Calamity Gem in the finale during her duel with Anne atop Toad Tower.
  • In Sonic and the Death Cheese, unable to combat the Death Cheese on his own, Sonic becomes Super Sonic to take the fight to it.
  • Starfall (Star vs. the Forces of Evil): The Mewberty form from canon shows up. Several people call it a "battle form," and Star has to awkwardly explain that battle isn't exactly its primary purpose. It's also noted that while the physical and magical enhancements are quite helpful, even at the best of times it greatly increases the queen's base instincts. While fighting Empress Ishtar, Star is able to beat her by threatening Tom. Ishtar is already a Mama Bear, but in her Mewberty form she can't even consider that it might be a trick, and is led into a trap.
  • In the The Sum Of Our Sins It is told that the royal sisters' normal, tall, sparkly forms are this. Twilight reaches this form when she is in a fit of rage after finding out Rainbow Dash had been absorbed by the God's Sin. Turns out in this universe every race can ascend to a higher form, if they just break their body's magical limits. It's also worth mentioning that the Rainbow powers are used like this.
  • Too Many Ashes: In addition to Ash-Greninja, one of the Ash clones has a Chesnaught that's also capable of assuming a powerful form that resembles its trainer.
  • Top of the Line (Editor-Bug) has the "Ultimate Duty Mode" that Zim creates for GIR for the SIR Unit tournament, which makes him an unstoppable force of destruction, but is meant as a one-use last resort due to how much power it uses up. It's eventually used in the last round to allow him to beat MiMi.
  • Fiora from Vow of Nudity is a shifter, meaning her species can temporarily morph into a bestial form that emphasizes their feline traits. Though it’s downplayed in that it’s not terribly strong, just granting some bonus hitpoints and additional movement speed, and she still largely relies on her magic to fight in either form.
  • Two of these appear in Zero Context: Taking Out the Trash:
    • The first is Callista's Nine Lives Emergence, which can only be used in her hybrid form and has at least two tiers. The first one, Aggression, amplifies her speed and reflexes by 9x while bringing her worse emotions to the fore, as well as turning her ears, ruff and tail tip black. The second one, yet unnamed, further enhances her capabilities by an unknown amount, requires her to get her emotions under control to the point of serenity, and turns her aforementioned anatomy white. Regardless of the tier, NLE tires her out to use.
    • The second is Aldonza's Combat Drive; unlike Callista's Super Mode, this increases all of her combat capabilities by an unknown amount and provides her with a Battle Aura. Her orange fur turns hot pink, and the effects of the Drive will only last a short time before wearing off on its own.

    Films — Animated 
  • In the finale of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, the Rainbooms get rainbowfied super modes on top of their anthropony transformations.
  • In an earlier version of Turning Red, Mei's red panda form was originally planned to have size-shifting powers that would've had her grow larger the angrier she got. This element was scrapped when the team decided to simplify Mei's red panda abilities. Mei was also going to possess fire powers in her red panda form that activated the angrier she got.

    Films — Live Action 
  • In the climax of Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), Godzilla absorbs the radiation from the recently killed Mothra to become Burning Godzilla. In this form, he is covered by bright orange volcano-reminiscent lines and gets access to the nuclear pulse, along with a huge power boost. It's more than enough to defeat King Ghidorah.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Thor: Ragnarok has Thor able to fully unleash his lightning powers after a vision from Odin, allowing him to fly without Mjolnir, which naturally has him become more powerful and causes his eyes to glow blue and lightning to surround him while at full power. Unlike most examples, he's still easily defeated by the Big Bad, Hela. Avengers: Infinity War keeps this and he is shown with glowing blue eyes and lightning around him when fighting Thanos' forces and then dealing a Curb-Stomp Battle while wielding Stormbreaker to Thanos while Thanos has all six infinity stones.
    • Captain Marvel (2019) has Carol "go binary" after fighting off the Supreme Intelligence, although it's never referred to as such in the film. Her whole body becomes surrounded by her photon blasts (including her eyes, which now glow gold), she can fly and hover at will, survive in space without a helmet or breathing device, and has greatly increased speed, strength, and durability. In one scene, it even makes her hair seem weightless, giving her a Goku-esque look.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022): Dr. Robotnik uses the Master Emerald to become a green-tinted electropath and uses this power to build his Death Egg Robot. And naturally, Sonic uses the Chaos Emeralds to achieve his super mode and defeat the Death Egg Robot.

  • Rachel can do this in Animorphs The Return, thanks to Crayak. She morphs into a bigger, more muscular version of herself with long claws.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Ravage, an already big and strong guy, can make himself bigger and stronger still. He also gains points to his durability and can No-Sell attacks that would have given him trouble before.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians displays two possible versions of this, one being in The Last Olympian where he receives the curse/blessing of Achilles. The second appears in both The Last Olympian and The Son of Neptune where he enters a battle mode in which he generates a localized hurricane around his body that allows him to defeat a Titan in single combat. It should be noted that he seems to lack control over the hurricane barrier.
  • Tree of Aeons: Edna, when she unlocks her Domain, receives the [Duty Beyond Life and Death] skill, which grants invulnerability for 24 hours accompanied by a yellow glow. There are ways to fight against it, mostly involving restraining her until it wears off and she crashes with exhaustion, but while it's active, she's able to No-Sell shots from a demon king.
  • In The Zombie Knight, reaper-servant pairs who are old enough can temporarily merge their souls and gain very strong new abilities. Each of the three classes of ability gets one such state, and very old servants can also use the overarching pan-rozum state. However, for pairs not old enough to fully control the merge, it can become a Superpowered Evil Side or even a Heroic RRoD.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffyverse:
    • Buffyverse vampires are generally that bit more dangerous when they go Game Face, especially if the vampire is Angel. For him, this is really a super-charged version of The Coats Are Off; in the sense that he can still fight effectively enough beforehand, but when his fangs extend, his opponent(s) are in very serious trouble.
    • In Pylea this becomes even more pronounced. Due to its unique properties, vampires are rendered completely human until they put on their Game Face, at which point they become the completely feral "Van-Tal", implied to be the true form of the demon that inhabits them.
    • In the Season 4 finale of Buffy, the Enjoining Spell combines the Scooby Gang's various attributes into a reality-warping force of nature inhabiting Buffy's body. The drawback is that it taps into the spirit of the First Slayer, who spends the following episode trying to kill them in their dreams.
    • Doyle's bracken demon mode.
  • Doctor Who: In "Last of the Time Lords", the Doctor temporarily gains an upgrade when all of the mental power of humanity is focused on him through the Archangel network. During the few minutes he has it, he can float in mid-air and use telekinesis.
  • The main character in each of the GARO series usually unlocks a Super Mode in his final battle, which is only used in that particular battle and never seen or referenced again in later series.
  • Riser Shirogane in Genseishin Justiriser, a powered-up form of Riser Glen, which is activated when Mio channels Riser Gant and Riser Kageri's power into Glen. Averted for Demon Knight; At the moment he attempted to transform into his Super Mode, the Big Bad absorbed his powers and transformed into what would have been Demon Knight's Super Mode.
  • This trope is a staple in the modern (Heisei and Reiwa) Kamen Rider series. Throughout each series, the main Rider, plus several secondary ones, gain new stronger forms, with them achieving their final form past the halfway point. Naturally, a lot of these include new merchandise (usually a large sword) to sell with them.
    • In the last battle of Kamen Rider Amazon, Amazon gains immense power by combining the GiGi Armlet with GaGa Armlet.
    • Kamen Rider Stronger is the first to introduce form change to the franchise in the Showa era, with his Charge Up form. This form comes with the drawback that he has to unleash its energy within one minute, or he'll explode himself.
    • Kamen Rider Kuuga escalates this trope to ridiculous levels. When Kuuga gains his Mid-Season Upgrade Super Mode, his increase in power is so big, that the police had to evacuate part of the city as the resulting explosion of its Finishing Move could destroy an entire city block. His final form was implied to be able to destroy the entire planet.
    • Kamen Rider Decade's Complete Form can summon copies of his nine predecessors' Super Modes to perform tandem versions of their Finishing Moves.
    • Since Decade, tie-in movies both near and after the end of the series usually undergo Serial Escalation, granting a Rider a Super-er Mode and even a Super-est Mode. These are usually golden repaints of their original Super Mode, or add wings to the existing form.
  • KITT's Super Pursuit Mode in the last season of Knight Rider.
    • ...and KI3T in the 2008 TV movie and (just about) every episode in the resulting TV series.
  • Madan Senki Ryukendo's eponymous hero combines this trope with Multiform Balance. During the first half of the show, he has four forms. Later, he gains a Mid-Season Upgrade named "God Ryukendo", and that's not even his most powerful form. This form also enables Super Modes for his other forms. His final form is Ultimate Ryukendo.
  • Red Dwarf: In The Promised Land, a third holographic mode known as diamond-light is discovered, which is said to be able to turn holograms into superheroes. The hologram Rimmer insists on being upgraded, which lets him be Nigh-Invulnerable, convert solid matter into light and move it through walls, and to turn into a glowing orb. However, it consumes a lot of power, spending a few minutes in diamond-light practically cripples Rimmer for the rest of the special until he uses the Anubis Stone to boost himself back to diamond-light.
  • Star Trek: Voyager
    • The USS Prometheus has one of these.
    • So did the future version of Voyager itself in the Grand Finale. It could don super armor capable of shrugging off the best efforts of the Borg (for a time).
  • Super Sentai and Power Rangers have two standard variations: those originating in Sentai are usually lightly-armored upgrades available to the whole team (Sixth Rangers possibly excluded), while Rangers adds "Battlizer" modes that are heavily armored and armed to the teeth, usually only for the Red Rangers (though other male Rangers usually get their own battlized versions in the toyline).
  • Ultra Series
    • Ultraman Mebius has four super modes — Mebius Brave, achieved when Ultraman Hikari lends him his Transformation Trinket; Mebius Burning Brave, which is fueled by The Power of Friendship; Mebius Phoenix Brave, which is gained when he does a Fusion Dance with his teammates; and Mebius Infinity, a form gained by a Fusion Dance with the Ultra Brothers.
    • Played with by Ultraman Hikari from the same series. He first appears as Hunter Knight Tsurugi, which is his super mode, but it isn't portrayed that way because the armor was corrupted by his rage. He later assumes the form without giving in to rage, and finally unlocks its true power.
    • Super Ultraman Taro, gained via Fusion Dance with the Ultra Brothers in the compilation flick Ultraman Story to defeat the Humongous Mecha Grand King.
    • Glitter Tiga for Ultraman Tiga, which he can only unlock through the hopes of those who believe in his ability to win, such as from all the children in the world when he was petrified by Gatanozoa and from past Ultramen against the Dark Giants in The Movie The Final Odyssey.
    • Gaia Supreme for Ultraman Gaia, which he got from Fujimiya after he gave up the power of Ultraman Agul after realizing how misguided he was in order to destroy the gargantuan Zorlim.
    • Eclipse Mode for Ultraman Cosmos, unlocked with Musashi's own courage combined with Cosmos' strength and kindness to combine the best of all of Cosmos' usual abilities into one neat package; the movies add Future Mode, as well as Ultraman Legend for Ultraman Cosmos and Ultraman Justice's Fusion Dance.
    • Ultraman Noa for Ultraman Nexus, which is in fact his true form and borders on Physical God.
    • Burst Mode for Reimon in Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle, although it's a Superpowered Evil Side. His monster Gomora also enters Burst Mode when it happens, becoming an even more unstoppable force when it happens.
    • Ultimate Zero for Ultraman Zero, which he actually gains from the aforementioned Ultraman Noa. Later in in Ultraman Geed, he gains Beyond after he loses the ability to use the Ultimate Zero form.
    • Ultraman Saga features Ultraman Zero, Ultraman Dyna and Ultraman Cosmos's eponymous Fusion Dance, the only thing that they could use to stand on an even footing with the monster Hyper Zetton.
    • In the "New Generation" era, Ultras often receive two Super Modes; one that they gain for the final story arcs in their series and another they use in a movie after the series ends.
  • In the final two episodes of Season 1 of The Umbrella Academy, after being locked up and experiencing a fair amount of trauma, Vanya enters a state where she has perfect control over her newly-unleashed powers, and is capable of casually destroying buildings, flipping a car, and ending the world. This state is visibly marked by glowing white eyes, and her powers also bleach her clothing and skin. In Season 2, she briefly enters this state again after being tortured by the FBI.

    Multiple Media 
  • Axonn's super mode in BIONICLE is essentially the combination of a very controlled version of an Unstoppable Rage and The Juggernaut. He becomes immune to every attack his foes can toss at him, and the effect wears out after he has delivered a spectacular beating in them. It can be accessed by making him very mad.
  • From The Grossery Gang, there's Putrid Power. Given to them by the legendary Trash Can Juice, it boosts their strength and height, along with giving them special abilities. However, they have to believe they have the capabilities to use their powers, otherwise they'll fade.
  • Transformers:
    • Transformers: Generation 1:
      • The toy of Ultra Magnus can combine with his trailer to create a huge Super Robot, but fiction rarely treats it this way, instead using his large combined form as his normal robot mode, often making it ambiguous if he even has a smaller form.
      • The first Super Mode ever given to Optimus Prime was his Powermaster Upgrade, which gave him a much larger and stronger form when combined with his trailer. Like all Powermasters, however, this required him to use a smaller partner to transform.
    • Optimus has a different Super Mode in each installment of the Unicron Trilogy. In Armada and Cybertron it's created by him combining with his trailer in some fashion, while in Energon it's created by combining with four drones that become his limbs.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Fairly common in religions of Indian origin such as Hinduism and Buddhism. This is a notable trait of several deities and tutelary spirits, often triggered in a bout of wrath against evildoers.
  • This is Older Than Print: Cu Chulainn, Irish folkloric hero, when particularly angry, would enter a super mode where he was stronger, faster, tougher, etc. On the down side, he changed into a terrible monster. His muscles bulged and twisted around in his body, and some joints would reverse, hence the name "Warp Spasm". Additionally, one eye would grow as big as a goblet, the other eye would shrink to a pinhole and recede into his skull, his mouth would grow and his hair would stand on end. And given that in his "normal" mode he can throw spears into the clouds and have them come down on his enemy minutes later, or leap clear over fortress walls, his Super Mode was pretty damn super indeed.

    Tabletop Games 
  • This is why Big Eyes, Small Mouth has the Alternate Form power. It's not hugely powerful — without modifiers you spend nine points on something to give you +10 points — and it's required that there's some drawback (even if it's only social) to prevent you from simply morphing into Omnikill Form and spending the rest of your life there.
  • Clerics, Druids and Wizards can all do this in Dungeons & Dragons with the right feats.
    • Feats or spells. Clerics in 3rd and 3.5 Ed can do it with the right domain choices, if available (Destruction + Strength. A smite that already has a good bonus getting an additional bonus from the Feat of Strength power. Yeah, Can you say "cleaved in 'twain"?)
    • Or any of those three classes when using the Shapechange spell. With the right choice of form, the power-up can be exceedingly impressive.
    • The Barbarian's Rage, which makes him all around meaner and tougher to his enemies for about half a dozen game rounds. This is a Charles Atlas Superpower, because it is pretty much done by further adrenalizing an already trained and powerful body.
      • In 4th edition, it is explicitly supernatural. It's the result of temporary, willing possession by primal spirits, some of which are subtle enough you might not even notice the feats performed aren't possible. Others set you on fire. Wardens also get super modes that last for the whole combat as daily powers, temporarily transforming themselves into part-spirit beings with varying powers.
      • In 5th edition, the Super Mode is powerful enough that a barbarian can survive attacks that would render them unconscious, but not kill them.
    • Druids have always had Wild Shape, but 5e let's some subclasses trade a use of Wild Shade to transform into a powered up form:
      • A Spores Druid's Symbiotic Entity ability let's them super charge their spores, giving them a big buff in temporary hit points (4 per level of Druid), doubles the power of Halo of Spores, and gives every melee weapon attack a bonus 1d6 necrotic damage.
      • Stars Druids can tranform into a form with a Celestial Body with a specific constellation that gives some kind of power boost, with Archer allowing a bonus action to deal radiant damage with a glowing arrow, Chalice boosting all of your healing spells and basically giving you a Healing Factor when you cast them, and Dragon buffs your Intelligence and Wisdom checks and Constitution saving throws. At 10th level, this gets powered up so that Archer deals additional damage, Calice heals more, and Dragon let's you fly. You also gain the ability to switch through the forms at will at the start of each turn.
    • In 5e, a Paladin's 20th-level ability is usually some sort of triggerable minute-long aura and/or power boostnote  which is a super mode in everything but name.
    • Another one is sort of implied for dragons, or at least dragons who prefer to stay in humanoid forms rather than their natural state (such as song dragons). When they revert, they're going from an average humanoid to a giant dragon with claws, wings, armoured scales and very, very sharp teeth.
  • Various groups in Exalted can do this. Among the most prominent are Lunars using the Deadly Beastman Transformation Knack and Infernals using Shintai Charms.
  • Building these is fairly simple in GURPS but a particularly funny example appears in the Biotech supplement where the [[Catrans girl Felicia]] parahuman template has a Super Mode that causes their libido to go into overdrive afterward.
  • Game mechanic of Privateer Press's Monsterpocalypse. Here called Hyper Mode (and with Ultra, Mega, and Quantum variants, depending on rarity), you attempt to accumulate Power Dice by securing (or crushing) buildings, holding power zones, destroying units, etc. When you have enough, your monster can go Hyper, gaining different stats. Generally, these are improved, though some have lower defense or health and drastically altered powers, resulting less in a power up and more in a significant strategy change. You can be dropped out of Hyper Mode by certain attacks (including a Headbutt) or drop out willingly (useful if your Alpha has higher defense). You also enter Hyper Mode automatically when your Alpha mode is depleted of health, resulting in something like Turns Red.
  • Princess: The Hopeful: In addition to the mundane and Transformed forms all Princesses have, each Court grants an "Avatar Charm" which allows a Princess to undergo a "second Transformation" and become a living embodiment of her Queen's powers and philosophy. The exact powers this grants varies, but these are all among the most powerful Charms in the game.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the Necron Astrologer Orikan the Diviner becomes enhanced by powerful celestial energies when the stars are in the right alignment and his ultimate goal is to manipulate events so that this state becomes permanent. In-game this is represented by the 'The Stars are Right' ability that, in all editions, boosts his characteristics to the equivalent of a C'tan Shard.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game:
    • Certain Synchro Monsters get "Assault Modes" where they become more powerful stat-wise, and get stronger effects. Stardust and Red Archfiend also have Majestic forms and Accel Sychro forms too note 
    • The "Number C" and "C Xyz" archetypes are completely comprised of this for several Xyz Monsters.
    • And, in the anime series' finale, they go even further with Shooting Quasar Dragon, a form of Stardust achieved by entering the golden Over Top Clear Mind Super Mode. Note: The card DOES exist in reality. Holy crap...

  • Akuma's Comics: Both Akuma and his rival Kari are capable of taking Shin forms to power themselves up. Sonic, in addition to his Super and Hyper forms, manages to gain a Doma Sonic form beyond even them.
  • In El Goonish Shive, "Not Tengu" seems to have this. Greg, despite having unlocked a number of powers through "Anime-Style Martial Arts", doesn't.
    • Susan has a super mode using magical power stored in her hair. When she uses it her hair changes color back to her original blonde.
  • Jagganoth from Kill Six Billion Demons is normally a gigantic, fairly plain-looking humanoid Physical God who can fight off all the other Demiurges by himself. When he actually gets serious, he turns into "Chakravartin Jagganoth", not so much gigantic as mountainous, with a lot of arms (possibly 500) with a weapon in each, red skin, a fiery aura, a skull-head with numerous faces, and some nice pants with floral decorations. Kill Six Billion Demons is known for its huge Splash Panels that show so much detail of, say, a cityscape that the comic page offers the opportunity to view a larger-resolution version of the image to look at all that detail; Chakravartin Jagganoth is so humongous he gets a page like that all to himself more than once. Aside from just being bigger, one obvious effect the transformation has is that he can use those arms to make some serious combo attacks. And he gets a Breath Weapon too.
  • In Noblesse Nobles have Soul Weapons that increase their powers when used.
    • Raizel, as the Noblesse, has a special variant of the Soul Weapon that allows him to gain dominion over blood.
  • Tower of God has several examples. They generally make the user generically stronger both physically and magically, and may allow the use of special magic attacks.
    • Twenty-Fifth Bam gets a piece of the Thorn, a strange object that's supposed to be meant for killing the God-Emperor, which he can activate for a limited time to increase all his powers. Then he gets more, as he kind of absorbs different powers as a special ability. He can also stab himself with things to get even more powerful. By the end of the Hell Train arc, his combined Super Mode power is absolutely insane for someone of his level. After that, he keeps getting new components to it so fast he doesn't have occasions to try out his full potential power before getting more.
    • The Lightning Pill is a power used by electricity-magic users, where they basically make a ball of that magic and eat it to boost themselves up for a few minutes, though they can't even walk after that. Their hair also stands on end and they get a small mark on their face indicating what's going on. Khun Ran uses it frequently, and the memory of young Khun Mascheny Jahad uses it in her final battle. The head of the family, Khun Edahn, considers it too dangerous to be useful.
    • Ignition weapons have their own version of this, even though they're (normally) just objects: when ignited they start bursting with energy and become a lot more powerful, gaining massive range even when they're theoretically close-range weapons.
    • A series of inhuman experiments has created a handful of living ignition weapons, people with the power of an ignition weapon. Bam with the Thorn is sort of an example. Two other obvious ones are the Beniamino "brothers", both of whom were known as "The Devil of the Right Arm" at some point, each of whom can activate one of their arms like an ignition weapon. (For Ilmar, it's actually the right arm, and he originally earnt the nickname, but then it came to refer to Cassano.) Rapdevil, who went around pretending to be the Devil of the Right Arm until he got beaten up by the original, also had some weaker Super Mode power in his arm.
    • Kallavan obtained much of his power from absorbing an Ancient Artifact known as the Essence of Bravery, and he can also activate its power to become even more powerful.
    • The Blood Tamara is an "item" that's dissolved in the user's blood. Baragav obtains it and becomes (even more) Nigh-Invulnerable, but he can also activate its power, causing him to glow purple and be able to launch energy blasts.
    • The canine people ruled by Baylord Yama have inherited a power that allows some of them to use "partial tranformation" that gives them some monstrous features — say, a big clawed hairy arm — and makes them more powerful as well as at least sometimes giving them specific special powers. Only Yama himself can use the complete transformation. It later turns out the feline people they originally served have their own version called Beastification, which they use with more ease and more effectively.

    Web Original 
  • In DEATH BATTLE!, a character's Super Mode, should they have one, can easily be a deciding factor in a battle and, more often than not, can subvert their great power. Examples of this include:
    • Outlasting a form, such as Vegeta lasting longer than Super Shadow.
    • Overpowering a form, such as Superman tanking Super Saiyan God Goku's God Kamehameha and Doomsday overpowering Hulk's Worldbreaker form.
    • Matching a form, such as Starman-powered Mario taking on Super Sonic.
    • Sometimes a character might have one and don't even need it such as Red Ranger Jason defeating Leonardo without needing backup powers such as the Dragon Coin, Gold Zeo Powers or Omega Fire Powers.
  • The Sonic fan animation Nazo Unleashed has massive use of this, from Super Sonic and Shadow, Dark Super Sonic, to giving the Big Bad Nazo a Perfect form to Hyper Sonic and Shadow, who fuse to become Shadic, then Hyper Nazo, then Hyper Knuckles and Super Tails.
  • RWBY: Yang's Semblance allows her to power-up by taking damage and converting it into kinetic energy that she can deal right back at her foes. This means that the more damage she takes, the stronger she becomes. When her Semblance activates, her eyes turn red and her hair catches fire. This ability to doesn't make her invincible; if she's struck by such a powerful blow that she cannot absorb it, she gets injured instead of being able to convert it. After Adam cuts off her arm in Volume 3, by negating her Semblance in this manner, she learns how to fight smarter and only use her Semblance as a last resort instead of a crutch. Her rematch against Adam in Volume 6 goes much better for her.
  • Dash of the Whateley Universe can use his Energizer power to make himself much, much faster and stronger. For ten minutes. And it takes him about ten minutes to crank himself up first. And he can only do it a couple times a day without completely exhausting himself.
  • In the web serial Worm the hero Battery's powers work like this, by standing still and concentrating she powers up, giving her a boost to speed and a smaller boost to strength as well as limited electromagnetic powers, the longer she stands still for the more powerful / longer she can keep it up for.

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia:
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang can enter the "Avatar State", during which he acquires the combined warrior skills of his previous lives, turning him into a god of destruction. The drawback is that if the Avatar is killed in this state, he will not reincarnate and will thus cease to exist, which almost happened in the Season 2 finale thanks to Azula. The only reason he survived being trapped in an iceberg for a century was that he was in the Avatar State the entire time. Aang is pretty much on auto-pilot in the Avatar State and will attack anything perceived as a threat with maximum force. Avatars who achieve willful control over the Avatar State through spiritual mastery and experience are considered "fully realized," and are usually nigh unstoppable. In the Sequel Series, The Legend of Korra, the Red Lotus's plan is to poison Korra so she goes into it on instinct so they can kill her. The problem is that they underestimated the raw power she wields and it goes about as well as can be expected. Fully realized Avatars have done things like stop erupting volcanoes, split a peninsula off from the mainland as an island, tank and bend the energy of the equivalent of a Fantastic Nuke, and create spirit seals that last for ten thousand years.
  • Ben 10:
    • Ben had various Ultimate Modes for his aliens thanks to the Ultimatrix in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien. The only known drawback was that the Ultimate forms developed personalities and thoughts of their own, which Azmuth eventually dealt with. Ben loses this power, however, when he receives a new Omnitrix and the Ultimatrix was, by Word of God, destroyed before Ben 10: Omniverse.
    • Likewise, in the 2016 reboot, Ben using Upgrade to power up the Omnitrix during his fight with Vilgax gives him access to Omni-Enhanced versions of his aliens.
  • Baymax's Overdrive Mode in Big Hero 6: The Series, which makes him more powerful at the expense of draining his battery.
  • In Bionic Six, the titular Six are just ordinary humans until they activate their bionics.
  • Butt-Kicking Mode in Butt-Ugly Martians; the three Martians are able to become huge and powerful. Later, they soon possess in the incredibly powerful "Ultra Mode" — their enlarged size feels reduced slighty in this mode, but this mode surpasses "Butt-Kicking Mode" in strength and power.
  • The space dinosaurs of Dinosaucers could 'Dinovolve' and become big, strong primal versions of themselves — but not without intelligence like when the Tyrannos did it.
  • Kim Possible: In the Grand Finale "Graduation", Ron taps into the Mystical Monkey Power to defeat Warhok and Warmonga. He sends them flying into their Spaceship which ultimately kills both of them.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts:
    • Played for Laughs with Dave. He can change into a large and powerful form with Flight, Super-Strength, and Super-Toughness. It's one of the normal parts of his life cycle. He only ever enters this stage when there is no need for Flight, Super-Strength, or Super-Toughness. The one time he's in his Super Mode when a fight breaks out, he immediately shifts to his next stage and becomes useless.
    • Kipo's typical usage of her powers as partial transformation of her body parts into those of a jaguar; usually her arms into giant paws for super-strength and her eyes for enhanced vision. Later in Season 2, she gains the ability to completely transform into a giant jaguar. Then the Season 2 finale reveals that she can transform even further into a much larger and powerful Mega-Jaguar.
  • Lolirock: Iris possesses a form called "Shanila", which causes herself to become her most powerful and can vanquish evil in just one second. However, the form also causes her to lose all sense of dignity.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the episode "Twilight's Kingdom Part 2", the ponies' Rainbow Power seems to function like this. Once the danger has passed, the Mane Six revert back to their normal forms.
    • In addition to looking awesome, the Rainbow Powers (both versions) seem to give the characters new abilities: the mane six can all fly now and when defeating Tirek fire six individual beams of magic before finishing him off, and the Rainbooms were actually capable of using individual magic attacks against the Sirens.
  • Lego's Ninjago:
    • The show gives us the Ninjas' True Potential, which is essentially a Super Mode unlocked when an elemental master overcomes a significant psychological barrier. Zane unlocks his when he discovers the truth about his past, Cole finds his when he reconciles with his father, Jay unlocks his when he overcomes his insecurity about Nya, and Kai finds his when he realizes he isn't The Chosen One after all, but is instead meant to protect the true Green Ninja. Nya, too, has a True Potential, with her psychological barrier being her fear of failure, but since she doesn't discover her elemental powers until much later, her True Potential isn't unlocked until four seasons after the other Ninja.
    • Also in the show, Lloyd has a Super Mode, but it works differently than the other Ninja — since he's The Chosen One, his Super Mode takes the form of his Golden Ninja form, which he activates during his climactic battle with the Overlord in Season 2. He's later nerfed when the Golden Master steals this Golden Power from him in the next season, but Lloyd still isn't powerless without it, as shown in later seasons. Dialogue by Garmadon suggests that Lloyd may yet have a traditional True Potential like the other Ninja, but as of Season 7 it has yet to be unlocked.
  • The Owl House:
    • For much of the series, Eda is afflicted with a curse that turns her into a massive, uncontrollable Owl Beast while sapping her natural magical powers. In Season 2's "Knock, Knock, Knockin' on Hooty's Door", after a Vision Quest of sorts, she makes peace with her curse and gains access to a harpy-like hybrid form that grants her great strength, flight, and razor-sharp talons. Lilith gains access to this form as well after the Time Skip in the series finale.
    • In the Series Finale "Watching and Dreaming", after Luz is seemingly killed by the Belos-possessed Titan, she wakes up in the In-Between Realm, where she meets the Titan's spirit, who grants her the last of their power and sends her back to the Demon Realm in a human/Titan hybrid form with clawed hands and feet, horns, and yellow eyes with black sclerae. She also can fly, has a degree of invulnerability, and can use Titan Glyphs and a Titan's natural Super-Scream powers at will. She returns to normal once Belos is defeated and the Titan passes on.
  • Happens regularly in the animated Popeye shorts. Whenever Popeye eats raw spinach, he gains Super-Strength, becomes impervious to harm and every fight he's losing turns into a Curb-Stomp Battle in his favor. He can also weaponize whatever is used to restrain him such as scrap metal (turning himself into a tank or a torpedo with it), and his corn cob pipe can even turn into a rocket this way, allowing him to fly.
  • In Steven Universe, Fusion normally creates a unique entity with a mixture of All Your Powers Combined and the components powers mixing to form new ones. However, Steven and Connie's Fusion, Stevonnie is different and in practice serves as this for their components in an actual fight. Connie is a Weak, but Skilled Badass Normal, so Stevonnie only has Steven's power set with Connie contributing a sizable power boost and her skill in sword fighting. This results Stevonnie being powerful enough to go head to head with Jasper.
  • Steven Universe: Future: Steven gains one at the beginning of the epilogue, which makes him glowing pink and gives him super speed and super strength. Deconstructed, as it turns out that it's the result of Steven's untreated PTSD and traumas from the original series and movie, that causes his body to react at any stressful situation, even the minor ones, out of proportion, and to randomly swelling. And since he never learned how to heal from his trauma, he has no way to control it.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: When Mewman females enter "Mewberty," they gain access to a six-armed butterfly monster that captures and cocoons any male it comes across. They transform back eventually, and as they get older they gain more control over the form and are able to use its powerful abilities for combat purposes, as seen in one episode where Star's mother briefly uses hers to interrupt a rather stupid game her family is literally killing itself over. At the climax of Season 3's "Toffee", Star unlocks a Golden Super Mode version that see uses to defeat the titular villain, and is later able to use at will by the end of the season.
  • Wakfu: In his final duel with Grougaloragran, after Nox realizes just how powerful his dragon opponent really is and after Grougal has fought off Nox's minions, Nox resorts to sampling a chunk of his wakfu stores to empower himself, causing a mass of writhing wakfu to sprout on his back and forming twin energy hammers.
  • In W.I.T.C.H. the Guardians are able to transform into their elements. It's extremely dangerous and the most powerful they can become. They only do it once, and nearly lose their humanity doing it. Luckily, their friends and family are able to bring them back.

    Real Life 
  • An adrenaline rush can function as one, as the increased amount of the hormone results in temporarily faster reflexes, higher pain tolerance, and (to an extent) increased strength thanks to increased blood flow to the muscles. The latter of which has even been reported to manifest in superhuman hysterical strength.
    • To be slightly more precise, the fight-or-flight response that arises in such stressful situations is technically our Super Mode; however, the fact our sympathetic nervous system is impossible to control consciously makes such outbursts of power, indicated by a tremendous jump in basal metabolism, a borderline case of Power Incontinence. In short, you do not know when and how will your Super Mode activate. There's no need to worry however; in the case our body comes to recognise an imminent danger, the power will come to you.
  • Certain Chi Gong breathing exercises, such as ones that originate in the Hua Shan Pai mountains, when done for long enough, can get the blood flowing fast, and allow one to shrug off fatigue (or even become hyperactive, and chock full of energy).
  • A Runner's High (or Swimmer's High for swimmers), when an athlete feel they can last for miles on end through the sheer euphoria caused by their exercise of choice.

Alternative Title(s): Super Form


Go Binary

With the "Go Binary" skill, Captain Marvel gains a powerful attack boost and a measure of invulnerability.

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Main / SuperMode

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