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Super-Power Meltdown

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BOOM goes the super-powered individual.

"My body's not doing what I tell it to — my power is acting on its own! KAORI!! AAAHHH!! Kaori's dying... Kaneda, help me!"
Tetsuo Shima, AKIRA

Superpowered individuals are, believe it or not, closely related to nuclear reactors. Sure, they don't (usually) eat uranium, or even have a nuclear accident to credit with their powers, but when facing critical injuries or mental attacks, they run the risk of losing control of their powers and going into a Superpower Meltdown the likes of which could make Chernobyl look like a radioactive cough by comparison.

This depends on the power in question and its source. Nuclear and radiation-based powers have a distressing tendency to go nuclear under duress, but any super with enough raw power can have a meltdown, no matter the source: psychic, mystic, or technological. Sometimes the power builds up inside the body by themselves; not releasing it regularly may mean disaster. Normal people using a Artifact of Doom can inadvertently cause it (or their body) to self-destruct. This can also happen to heroes abusing Explosive Overclocking, who may enter Heroic RRoD and start showing Volcanic Veins. Characters who need Containment Clothing may completely overload if it's breached. Villains who are Drunk on the Dark Side might take One-Winged Angel a level too far and peter out humiliatingly. A genetically empowered hero may discover the hard way that pure humans have a longer lifespan. Shapeshifters will usually go lose control of their Shapeshifter Mashup and go into a Shapeshifter Swan Song. A common side effect of Going to Give It More Energy.

Less lethally, if the hero/villain is only modestly powered or hit with Green Rocks to cause a short circuit, then the meltdown might only take the form of their normal power causing random effects, like telekinesis mimicking a poltergeist rather than de-atomizing everything or a pyrokinetic setting nearby objects on fire rather than exploding. Should their power require constant concentration to keep stable, then any effect that destroys their concentration could be potentially fatal for all involved.

A common occurrence is for a hero going into meltdown to be coaxed back from the brink using Heroic Willpower, or forced to do a Heroic Sacrifice and fly away to save those nearby. If a love interest is nearby, a Cool-Down Hug can reliably stop the meltdown. Occasionally, a hero or villain might purposefully trigger this in an attempt to kill their rival, since the Sphere of Destruction such a meltdown generates tends to be pretty devastating. Whether this works on not depends on if they're the lead.

Compare Spontaneous Human Combustion, Load-Bearing Boss, Phlebotinum Overload, Unstoppable Rage, Superpowered Evil Side, Action Bomb, Power Incontinence, and Taking You with Me. The less evil twin of Eldritch Transformation. Contrast Heroic RRoD, wherein the meltdown is mostly contained within the hero.

See also Power Degeneration, Clone Degeneration, Hoist by His Own Petard (if lethal) and Flawed Prototype.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Near the end of the classic anime movie AKIRA, Tetsuo, who has spent much of the second half of the movie being an unstoppable psychic juggernaut, loses control of his powers after he is forced to fashion a new arm for himself after the original one is blasted off by SOL. This combined with the strain he is already putting on himself results in Tetsuo's body starting to mutate out of control in the most horrific scene of the movie.
  • This turns out to have been the driving force behind the entire plot of Assassination Classroom, for it is the natural consequence of being implanted with tentacle cells. These grant the bearer unmatched physical prowess and multiple appendages, but have the consequence of driving the user into bloodlust and will eventually break down and explode, killing the user.
    • The explosion that that left the moon a permanent crescent? That was not caused by Koro-sensei. Rather, it was caused by an experiment involving a mouse being implanted with tentacle cells Gone Horribly Wrong. Koro-sensei merely took the blame to cover up his own origins.
    • Koro-sensei's threat to destroy the Earth within a year's time if Class 3-E doesn't kill him? As it turns out, it's not a matter of choice but rather a matter of inevitability; the calculations made during the experiment that turned him into what he is now predicted that the tentacle cells in him would eventually break down in about a year, causing him to wipe out much of the Earth in the ensuing explosion. However, it turns out this danger had been all but neutralized all the way back in Volume One via the "poison" that Okuda gave to Koro-sensei, which was revealed in Volume Seventeen to have reduced the likelihood of his tentacle cells exploding to less than 1%.
    • A more direct example occurs with both Itona Horibe and Kaede Kayano/Akari Yukimura, who have tentacle cells implanted into them only to be eventually consumed by the rage that comes with using them. After he loses to Koro-sensei for the third time and is discarded by Shiro, Itona starts breaking down into a rage as he is consumed by his obsession with defeating Koro-sensei. It takes Terasaka attempting to calm him down before Koro-sensei can remove his tentacles. As for Kayano, she was able to keep the effects at bay for over a year by not using her tentacles at all as well as using Nagisa's emotions to cover her own. When she does finally use them, her body starts breaking down as her tentacles cause flames to spout around her, Volcanic Veins appear on her face, and her eyes become bloodshot with flames. It takes Koro-sensei feinting her into thinking she's finally killed him (as her rage is driven by her mistaken belief that Koro-sensei killed her sister) followed by Nagisa subduing her with The Big Damn Kiss to knock her out and abate her bloodlust before Koro-sensei can remove her tentacles.
  • The bakkoutou in Bleach cause this in their wielders fairly regularly. The less powerful generally just get devoured by the bakkoutou after excessive use, but a strong enough user might just get to blow up instead.
    • The first time Ichigo took on a Gillian also resulted in one of these. The powerful upgrade he had just received was beyond his body's current ability to handle and would have resulted in a nasty death if Ishida hadn't saved him.
    • Gremmy tried to defeat Kenpachi by imagining he was physically stronger. However, Gremmy had come to believe Kenpachi was an insanely powerful monster and the strain of trying to make his body stronger than that tore him apart.
  • In A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun, RSPK Syndrome is a term used for when an esper becomes severely traumatized or stressed, causing their powers to go completely out of control and rampage through the city. It can also happen if espers with similar AIM (psychic energy) fields resonate together. Normally, this is very mild, as most espers aren't that powerful, but enough of them suffering all at once can cause poltergeist activity and earthquakes.
  • In Claymore, the only people effective at finding and killing monstrous youma are the titular Claymores, women with youma flesh implanted in them; this also grants them increased physical abilities, and lets them draw on even more physical abilities if they choose to. If they draw too much, though, they risk 'awakening' and transforming into a murderous, human-eating Awakened Being that, due to its composite origin, is vastly more powerful and dangerous than the monsters they were supposed to be fighting in the first place. In actual practice, by the time the story takes place, the 'serious' threats are all Awakened Beings, and youma are little more than mooks... and yet they keep producing more Claymores to fight the Awakened Beings they produced when the previous Claymores went insane. It's eventually revealed that the obviously insane nature of this strategy is deliberate on the part of the organization that creates Claymores, and their real goal was to create and test Awakened Beings from the start.
  • Isako in Den-noh Coil deliberately triggers one of these in order to close a portal to the Other Side.
  • Digimon:
    • This seems to be a habit of dinosaur based digimon and their partners going all the way back to Tai in Digimon Adventure. He purposely puts himself in danger which causes Greymon to turn into his evil corrupt form and promptly pummel everything within reach until his power burns out and he reverts to one of his lowest stages.
    • Not exactly a superhero, but in Digimon Tamers, Takato's rage and despair forces Guilmon to digivolve to Meggidramon...whose very existence starts to shatter the fabric of the Digital World and the real world. Beelzemon saved the day.
    • In Digimon Data Squad, Masaru forces ShineGreymon into a Ruin Mode, which then proceeds to go on a rampage until the power consumes it, killing Agumon (he gets better).
  • Dragon Ball Z:
  • In the manga of Elfen Lied: Lucy going into a literal meltdown due to abusing of her telekinetic powers while destroying some planes and then for healing Kouta's injuries.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, this is Father's ultimate downfall. After he uses the souls of Amestris to suppress the Truth within his body, Hohenheim's countermeasure strips him of the energy, leaving him with only the souls of Xerxes he originally had. Father is then forced to use up a great portion of his Philosopher's Stone in a battle against nearly all the heroes, dramatically weakening him the more he fights. Eventually, he is left so weak he can't defend himself, and he is finally done in by Hohenheim's son, Edward Elric, who deals the finishing blow by destroying Father's Philosopher's Stone with a punch through the chest. This leaves Father completely stripped of all his power to keep Truth inside of him, allowing Truth to break free and drag him into the Gate.
  • The Guyver armor does this if its Control Medal is torn out. Among the things that happen is that the armor EATS the user.
  • In Heroic Age, the result of two or more Nodos fighting each other for long enough is "Frenzy", wherein the Nodos succumbs to pure rage, gains greatly amplified powers (considering what they're capable of normally, this is kinda scary), starts mutating in decidedly painful-looking ways, and generally destroys everything in its path (ships, fleets, planets, etc) until eventually releasing an amount of energy comparable to a supernova, which also kills the Nodos.
  • Inuyasha:
    • Miroku's power is a meltdown. More precisely, he has a black hole in the palm of his hand called the Wind Tunnel, held at bay with an enchanted string of prayer beads. While it's potentially the most destructive power anyone on the team has, it will eventually melt down and eat him like as it did his father and grandfather before him. While he can delay it through by avoiding overuse and occasional repairs to its walls, the Wind Tunnel's collapse is inevitable. This got worse by the end as a result of Miroku absorbing a lot of Big Bad Naraku's poison. Though Kikyo purified some of it, the poison that's left cuts deeper into his body every time he uses the Wind Tunnel. Considering that he's continually forced into situations that compel him to use it, his only chance of survival lies in the other characters killing Naraku before his Wind Tunnel swallows him up. Which they ultimately do.
    • This also occurs in the first movie, in which Miroku fights a villain who copies his Wind Tunnel ability, presumably without knowing the consequences. In the final battle, she realizes that the larger the hole is, the stronger the wind, so she takes a blade and intentionally makes the hole wider. You can guess what happens next.
  • In K when a King uses a considerable amount of power their abilities start to get more and more out of hand, until eventually their Swords of Damocles begin falling apart and eventually crash to the ground, causing catastrophic damages. In the backstory, this already happened to the previous Red King Genji Kagutsu. The result of his Democles Down resulted in a 100 km wide radius of Japan getting a bite chewed out of it that is known as the Kagutsu Crater. Twice this becomes a possibility of happening again. First in season one, Mikoto Suoh (then current Red King) is pushing his limits and ultimately breaks them, resulting in Reisi Munakata, the Blue King, having to kill him before a new crater incident. And then in season two Reisi, suffering from the backlash mentally, emotionally, and power wise from the previous incident, starts to risk having that happen.
  • Subaru's famous berserker scene in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS was apparently her first use of her cyborg abilities as well as using her normal armaments as hard as she possibly could. Afterward, her gear is horribly damaged and she nearly destroyed her intelligent device entirely. Couple that with not bothering to dodge or block attacks and she was pretty seriously injured after that.
  • In Mob Psycho 100, when pushed too far, Mob loses control of his Psychic Powers and his explosive Superpowered Evil Side ???% comes out.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • In the Joint Training Arc, Midoriya suffers one that nearly kills both his team and his opponents, and does a number on the training ground they're in. One for All has reached the point where the quirks of the previous wielders (which were stored in One for All all along) can be utilized by the current wielder. Midorixa accidentally activated a One for All-powered Blackwhip, and had no idea of its existence, even less how to properly use it.
    • The fear of and therefore averting this fate turns out to have been the goal of All For One. Each generation of quirk users gets stronger but his own body has limits. While his quirk can take any kind and any number of quirks from others, his body hasn't changed and a time will come when his power is too much for his body to handle. His funding of Dr. Ujiko's research was to find a way to enhance his body to handle the greater power of holding more powerful quirks. And when it looks like he himself won't be able to benefit from the research, he makes sure to leave his quirk and the necessary research in the doctor's safekeeping for his own successor, Tomura Shigaraki to take them both up and become an even greater villain.
    • About the spoiler above Dr. Ujiko is the author of the Quirk Singularity theory that postulated that mankind will eventually suffer a Super-Power Meltdown at a global scale. It explains that quirks become more powerful and complex every passing generation, thus becoming harder to control as well. There will come a point when Quirks will become too overpowered and complicated, and no one will be able to control them anymore. No one believed it and Ujiko was lambasted and ostracized from society as a result, losing all his credibility and at some point, he went missing. All For One was the only person who believed him for the reasons stated above. In appreciation, Ujiko became one of his most loyal allies. As the series went on, the theory gained some credibility but even then, most people deem it fringe thinking reserved for insane conspiracy believers.
  • In Naruto, Smug Snake Deidara eats his own explosive clay made by him, in the hopes of killing Sasuke as well, and goes nuclear. It didn't work, as Sasuke survived... and Deidara's partner Tobi escaped too.
  • Psychic Squad:
    • Kaoru is nearly killed when her psychic powers begin to go haywire, slamming a helicopter carrying herself and others into a building and being crushed on the ground by the weight of her power. She's saved when her supervisor shows something similar to The Power of Friendship; she has the guts to then stop her own heart, resulting in the cancellation of the meltdown.
    • Later, a lesser case occurs - when Minamoto quits his position as the supervisor of The Children (due to the new head of BABEL being too much of a Manipulative Bastard for him to endure), The Children responds by breaking into tears - and spontaneously calling up a huge whirlwind of mixed ESP that nearly dismantles the BABEL tower.
    • In the last episode of Unlimited Psychic Squad, Kyousuke's powers go out of control due to overuse of his Unlimited Mode. Fortunately, Andy manages to shut them off before it was too late.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, a magical girl's soul gem becomes somewhat dark and tainted after they use magic. This can be undone with grief seeds, but if they neglect to do this and their gem turns completely black, they lose control and turn into witches. This happens to Sayaka, and Madoka in previous timelines. Every other witch in the series was created by an unnamed magical girl's power meltdown. For example, the one who killed Mami, Charlotte, used to be a normal girl with Technicolor Eyes called Nagisa.
  • In Rosario + Vampire, Tsukune's vampire blood injections power him up immensely, but they slowly eat away at both his body and his humanity. He's gained some measure of control over those powers at this point, but he still occasionally loses control
  • Katsumi in Silent Möbius after she finds Robert DeVice dead, her grief and anger make her magical power leash out, blowing up the apartment building in a Pillar of Light as she screams inside the fire with Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • Lampshaded Subversion in Transformers: Cybertron, when Megatron upgrades himself to Galvatron. He spams his signature lightning attack everywhere, including towards his allies, and seems to lose control of it, but stops it straight away when he wants to.
    Galvatron: *brief Evil Laugh* I am all-powerful! *Shoots lightning in all directions*
    Thunderblast: I think he's gonna blow! *He doesn't.*
  • Tsukihime's Tohno Shiki has the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, which perceive the nature of death in the form of lines and dots on virtually everything. He potentially risks this trope every time he takes off his ability-sealing glasses, and (later on) when his eyes become too strong to be suppressed. It has been stated that it wouldn't be strange for everything to fall apart around him, just from his being nearby.
  • In ∀ Gundam, when the Turn A and Turn X are fighting one another at the end, both begin releasing their Moonlight Butterflies against the pilots' wishes. The last time that happened, Earth was knocked back into the Stone Age and its ecosystem was shattered, and it has taken over 2,000 years to repair the damage. It's hinted that the two machines were programmed to destroy one another at any cost, so were utilizing the greatest power they possessed in order to do so. This ends with the Moonlight Butterflies malfunctioning and sealing the two machines inside a solid cocoon of nanomachines, locking them in an eternal stalemate. Loran barely makes it out in time. Ghingham isn't so lucky.
  • In Witchblade, bionical Cloneblades work well (though not as good as the real thing) and do not causes problems (unlike the self-willed Witchblade) until some minor damage happens to trigger deterioration. Shortly afterwards, their transforming power's failure ensues and the user ends up crystallized (and usually shattered). And of course it's irremovable. The Witchblade itself can quickly overload a human body.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel's Dark Guard features the villainous Collapsar, a mutant Energy Being whose Powered Armor doubles as Containment Clothing. When the heroes finally breach his armor, the meltdown that follows levels an entire military base.
  • Watchmen
    • The giant squid Ozymandias plans to drop on New York is expected to die in transit, causing a psychic wave killing millions, driving millions more insane, and scaring the hell out of the rest of the planet. It works.
    • When confronted with reporters regarding being a living carcinogen and being responsible for the deaths of people he cared about, Dr Manhattan abandons his composure and uses his teleportation abilities to transport everyone in the studio en masse before teleporting himself to Mars.
  • Captain Atom in the DC comic Kingdom Come, inadvertently causes the U.S. Midwest to become a radioactive wasteland when the Parasite ruptures his containment suit. This has almost happened to him a few other times in mainstream DC continuity, since unlike other Energy Beings he's made of nuclear radiation.
  • In the Italian Disney comic Paperinik New Adventures, Donald Duck has a superhero identity and one of his allies is the sole survivor of a destroyed planet who has literally absorbed the power of her star (yeah, it's a bit of a Superman shout-out) gaining control over matter and energy. The energy she has at disposal is immense, and if she were to release it fully it would cause her to go nova. Really.
    • After she finds out that a few hundreds of her people, including her lover, survived the destruction of their planet, but are doomed to die anyway sooner or later because the new planet they colonized has no sun, she ends up sacrificing herself to become a sun.
    • We later see a straight example of this from Evron scientist Zoster, who just acquired Xadhoom's powers and went bombastic with his newfound powers. He lasts five seconds before his Family-Unfriendly Death.
  • The Atom (the original Golden Age one with an "atomic punch," not the shrinking Silver Age one) was once used by a time-traveling villain who plotted to turn him into a human atom bomb, destroying Washington, killing President Truman and ensuring that superheroes would be hated and feared forever. (He failed.)
    • The Atom's son, Damage, almost destroyed Atlanta when he built up all his explosive power in a rage to take out a villain who had disfigured him. (They stopped him.)
    • Damage actually does have one of those at the end of Zero Hour: Crisis in Time! when he's fighting Parallax. Just as well, since they were the only living beings left in the DCU by then; Damage created a Big Bang that recreated the DCU as something mostly resembling pre-Zero Hour: Crisis in Time! continuity.
  • In The Authority: Revolution, during a fight on the White House lawn, a superhuman with radioactive powers ends up losing control of his abilities, and the resulting explosion levels the city.
  • The original appearance of Wildfire in the Legion of Super-Heroes had him do a meltdown as a Heroic Sacrifice (he was an Energy Being in a containment suit, who released his whole self as an attack that was exponentially more powerful than his 'normal' energy blasts.) He got better a few issues later.
    • Wildfire set up a special chamber in the basement of Legion HQ with a series of spare containment suits, in case he ever had to use his not-as-permanent-as-you'd-think Heroic Sacrifice stunt.
  • In the original Squadron Supreme limited series, Nuke has a meltdown which ends up killing him, as he burns up all the oxygen inside the force field that's keeping him from incinerating the countryside.
  • In the Marvel Universe, some powers have had serious meltdowns. Captain Marvel was given the Nega-bands, but it should be noted that they were turned into an apocalyptic Nuclear Option in Operation: Galactic Storm and used to blow up the Kree Galaxy and effectively mutate what little life made it through (it was just as rough on the life in the Negative Zone, as it turns out). Also, such matters as Nova Flares from Johnny Storm (one destroyed the Empire State University campus, I believe) have long been a staple in Marvel.
    • The Nega-bomb is ironic in that it hangs a lampshade on the best-played example of Super-Power Meltdown ever, and the least over-the-top, one ironically also caused by Nitro. Captain Mar-Vell actually died of cancer caused by Nitro blasting a toxic storage and leaving Mar-Vell to suffer catastrophic radiation poisoning, but by the time his own powers let it be detected, they were all that was keeping him alive, AND prevented anyone trying to operate or magic-spell out the carcinoma. That death remains the best Permanent Exit in comics history.
  • X-Men:
    • A fairly common problem for mutants, especially when their powers first manifest since most of them have no idea that they even are mutants, much less any advance warning of what powers they have. Can also occur if physical or psychological trauma causes an individual to lose control of their powers.
    • This was also the means by which the Legacy Virus (usually) killed mutant victims. The degree of damage produced depended on exactly what the powers of the mutant in question did.
    • This could be weaponized by Fabian Cortez, one-time second-in-command for Magneto. His mutant ability focused around modifying the powers of other mutants, which could cause cellular damage if ramped up too high. In fact, he attempted to kill Magneto himself by causing all of his victim's powers to flare out as much as possible.
  • The original Quasar got his Power Bands because the previous two users incinerated themselves by trying too hard to control them, while Wendell Vaughn's more laid back go-with-the-flow attitude allowed him to "calm them down", so to speak.
  • Examined in the Image comic-miniseries titled Meltdown (fittingly enough). The protagonist, Caliente (aka. "The Flare"), is slowly being overcome by his fire-based powers. Many tears are jerked as he lives his last days.
  • Hellboy: Liz Sherman already suffers from some Power Incontinence, but when she was eleven, she lost control of her pyrokinetic powers, and destroyed an entire block, with thirty-two casualties (among them her parents and brother).
  • Things work differently in the Negation universe (as opposed to our "bright" universe), so superpowered individuals from the "bright" universe tend to go meltdown. Atlanteans turn out to be immune to this, and other empowered individuals can eventually acclimate themselves.
  • In Rom vs. Transformers: Shining Armor, its discovered that Dire Wraiths possessing Transformers ends horribly for both parties; the biomechanics of a Transformer wrecks havoc with Wraith magic, resulting in a deranged mutant who's powers are wildly out of control. This eventually leads to the Wraith overloading its new body and exploding into flames. Vekktral manages to figure out a safe method that avoids the meltdown, but that technique has its own problem; the victim retains their individuality and is able to fight back against the possession.
  • In Who Took the Super out of Superman?, villain Xviar plots to destroy Earth by turning Superman into a living planet bomb. After secretly placing in Clark Kent's apartment a device that turns Superman into a walking bomb, Xviar puts the Man of Steel through an enemy gauntlet so that his solar reserves build up until reaching critical mass and blowing up both Superman and Earth. He fails.
    Superman: Since Mr. Xavier had tampered with my wardrobe, I played it safe and X-Ray visioned the rest of my apartment— to find those deadly devices behind my bookcase that turned me into a walking impact bomb!
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Circe warns that the White Magician will soon be overwhelmed by the ridiculous amount of magic he's forced into his twisted body several pages before he lights up and burns to ashes during his fight with Wondy. He doesn't cause too much damage to the surroundings compared to what the fight itself was doing but leaves a scorch mark where he was standing.
  • The Incredible Hulk: After the events of Onslaught, where the Hulk and Bruce Banner got separated (again), the Hulk's radioactivity went into overdrive. Eventually, it and the government covering him in molten metal killed him... and he remained so radioactive nothing could get close. And then he sprang back to life, radioactivity fixed.

    Fan Works 
  • A major plot point in the Justice League/Naruto crossover Connecting the Dots. Ino, having accidentally gained telepathic powers from J'onn J'onnz slowly begins to go insane as she struggles to control her new abilities. She almost drives everyone else insane too.
  • During the Final Battle of the third My Hostage, Not Yours story, Gaz loses control of her pyrokinetic powers and nearly kills everyone. Fortunately, Zim is able to calm her down though she loses her power completely afterwards.
  • Shadows Awakening: During the Final Battle, Uncle and Tohru use a spell to invoke one of these in The Queen, causing the target to lose control of their chi, which was destabilized when they went One-Winged Angel.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, this is subverted. It could have happened if Mordin Solis wasn't around, but thankfully the salarian proved able to defuse over-charged Eezo nodules.
  • Sburb Glitch FAQ has something it calls berserk triggers: at least once a playthrough, you'll be channeling your Aspect so much that you'll instinctively cast an endgame ability with no regard for your co-players' (or your own) safety. A notable example is the Aspect of Law, of which the berserk trigger generally involves continuously Min-Maxing for one battle, starting out with things like "I'm going to punch hard, but I can't cast other abilities" and ending with things like "I'm going to punch that guy THROUGH SKAIA and then MY HEART WILL EXPLODE like an OVERCOOKED POTATO". Or the Aspect of Rhyme, which is the only one where players actually target their own teammates when on a berserk trigger.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Supergirl defeats the Galactic Golem by wrapping him up with her cape, Power Girl's and Superboy's and then punching the radiation-leaking starburst on his forehead. Her blow sets off an explosion which could have destroyed the whole city, but fortunately the Golem's meltdown was constrained by their indestructible Kryptonian capes.
    Brother Baldhead had found a way of putting galactic matter together into a living being, a huge, eight-foot semi-Frankenstein with blue-black skin dotted over with starbursts, programming its mind to do what he wanted, and sending it against Superman. The Golem lived on what Luthor termed "galactic energy", which power boosted his considerably beyond Superman's. In their first encounter, Kal had learned that bashing the white starburst on the Golem's forehead would have exploded it, but would also have destroyed a good part of the city and possibly the state if he had done so.
  • My Hero Academia Marvel-verse: Hobgoblin's powers are unstable and after he takes too much damage during his battle with All Might they go out of his control. This results in Hobgoblin blowing himself up in a giant fiery explosion.
  • There Was Once an Avenger From Krypton: Besides combining the Black Cat and Ladybug (when temporarily swapping their Miraculouses in this AU, Adrien and Marinette had to take off their originals for fifteen minutes beforehand and they still felt the urge to unite them pretty strongly), a Miraculous Holder can still use two at once here, but it's more difficult, though it can be done full-time with age and experience. Using three or more at once though, and you'll last a few minutes at best even with that experience before the power incinerates you. Even collecting several and not using them would be too much, according to Lady Noire, as even when the Kwamis don't inhabit the Miraculouses there's a magical link between the wielder and Kwamis, a give and take. You barely notice this lifeline with one, but with several it's too much, as humans weren't just built to handle that much magic coursing through them at once. And this is with the powers restrained; more powerful beings than humans might be able to handle more, but even Supergirl wouldn't last very long with the unfiltered power of a Kwami flowing through her.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X-Men: The Last Stand features this in the form of Phoenix. Sure, she had total control of her powers, but she was still going completely batshit. At least until she asked Wolverine to kill her and end it.
    • Logan sees nonagenarian Professor X suffering from a unknown neurodegenerative disease (speculated in the film to be Alzheimer's or ALS), and shows what happens when the world's most powerful psychic's brain starts deteriorating. Xavier needs to be heavily medicated to keep him from having seizures that induce paralysis in everyone in the area. One such seizure years before the film caused hundreds of casualties, including most of the X-Men.
  • Iron Man 3 has the Extremis characters. With control over their powers, they can raise their body heat to 3,400-plus degrees, which is enough to cut through Iron Man armor. If they lose control over their powers, or suffer a high-temperature attack, they explode at 3,400-plus degrees.
  • Godzilla is going through one of these in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, causing him to glow red and be perpetually angry. Also, there's a fear that his literal meltdown will probably blow up the atmosphere. Luckily, all this radiation is absorbed by Godzilla Junior, mutating him into the next Godzilla, so that's okay. The Super-X3 thankfully also kept the now dead Godzilla's energy from rising high enough to burn the atmosphere, which if it had then Godzilla Junior's body would have burned up before it could save the city from the fallout. So man saves the world, and unwittingly a dead body, and the dead body saves Tokyo from the radiation and is brought back to life.
  • Carrie (2002) implies that the title character's telekinetic rampage is a case of this, with her seemingly going into a trance after being humiliated at the prom. (Other versions of the story, including the original novel, paint it as a straight Roaring Rampage of Revenge, with Carrie remaining in full command of her powers and knowing exactly what she's doing throughout.)

  • Animorphs
    • Book #12, Rachel loses control of her shapeshifting ability and starts randomly changing into things like elephants at inopportune moments, like the middle of a scouting mission over the ocean. It turns out to be the result of an allergic reaction to the crocodile DNA she'd acquired earlier in the book, and the only way to cure it was to ride out the meltdown until her body can expel the crocodile. And by expel, it means she morphs uncontrollably until a 20-foot Nile crocodile forces its way out of her back.
    • Book #35, Marco's emotional turmoil from his father remarrying causes him to start morphing into hybrid forms. It's not as cool as it sounds, as it first turns him into an osprey-lobster that can't breathe or fly, then a trout-gorilla that faces a similar problem. At least the poodle-polar bear was more effective.
  • Pyrogenes do this all the time in the Evil Genius Trilogy, usually before they even learn how to properly harness their pyrokinetic powers. However, Cadel never witnesses these events himself, though he often ends up soaked by the sprinklers that activate whenever a pyrogene self-combusts.
  • The going theory in Gone is that Little Pete caused the FAYZ by having a panic attack... in the middle of the catastrophic meltdown of the Perdido Beach Nuclear Power Plant. Later confirmed.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar books we have the "final strike", in which a magic-user channels all the magical energy in the area through their body. This generally creates an explosion that destroys the one invoking it and everything around them. How large the zone of destruction is depends on the invoker's power. In the first book in the timeline, a would-be God-Emperor and his good opponent ended up doing this (unintentionally in the villain's case, as a failsafe in the good mage's), which ended up creating an enormous lake a quarter of the size of a country and a crater so large it takes weeks to cross to the other side and qualifies as a country.
  • Flinx, of Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series, is a powerful Empath with a slight control problem. One of the more notable symptoms is his tendency to emit blasts of near-absolute telekinetic destruction when stressed to extreme levels. When this first happens, it's a complete surprise to him, but later in the series, Flinx learns to (more or less) intentionally trigger it.
  • An unnerving example in If on a winter’s night a traveler, where the (nameless) character doesn't even realize he's having a superpower meltdown (superpower being erasing things temporarily from existence) until he's erased everything in his city (and maybe even the world), and realizes he can't bring them back.
  • Galbatorix from the Inheritance Cycle deliberately melts down his powers to both destroy Eragon and his allies and end the suffering caused by a curse they put on him. He used the spell "Waíse neiat", or "Be not", to effectively turn himself into a magical antimatter bomb, converting his entire body's mass into energy.
  • In Dave Duncan's series A Man of His Word and its sequel series A Handful of Men, learning "words of power" gives you magical abilities. The more words you know, the more power you have; knowing four words makes you a sorcerer with full-blown Reality Warper powers. Learning a fifth word, however, gives you so much power that it will quickly cause you to burst into flames and die.
  • In Super Powereds, this is a problem for any Powered (Supers with Power Incontinence) with a strong enough ability. Some are only an inconvenience to themselves (e.g. a girl who levitates when experiencing a strong emotion or a guy who randomly teleports when sneezing), while others can threaten a large group of people (e.g. a guy who can accidentally cause a state-wide blackout by absorbing all that electricity, necessitating that he be kept in total isolation in order to slowly bleed off that energy; or a guy who unintentionally causes the laws of probability to be in flux around him).
  • The Wheel of Time: A major risk with channeling, though it's rarely shown. Every channeler has a certain "strength," corresponding to how much of the Power they can draw safely. Go further than that and they might sever themselves. Or render themselves brain-dead. Or kill themselves. Or disintegrate themselves in a Pillar of Light that results in a volcano and a brand-new mountain, called "Dragonmount" because that's where The Dragon killed himself, if there's enough strength. More likely to happen to people who have The Gift but no training. The series does a good job of making The One Power sound dangerous. Lews Therin Telamon, Aginor's first body, and eventually Egwene al'Vere fall victim to this.
  • In the Dale Brown novel Wings of Fire, one of the AL-52 Dragons is mounted with a new laser that uses a contained plasma field as a power source. This generates immense heat and radiation that damages the components maintaining the containment, and when the plasma field gets free it will vaporize stuff in a large area.
  • In the Zachary Nixon Johnson novel The Radioactive Redhead, Zach's psychic secretary Carol nearly suffers from one when an attempt to amplify her powers causes her to almost lose control of them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Scorch is defeated in this manner in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Melinda May injects him with a serum that boosts his pyrokinetic abilities, but as a result, they become too powerful for him to control, and he explodes.
  • Untrained telepaths in Babylon 5 tend to have these frequently, one of the primary reasons behind the Psi Corps.
  • In The Boys (2019), Captain America expy Soldier Boy was experimented on by the Soviets, turning him into a radioactive Walking Wasteland. When he happens to hear some Russian pop music after escaping, it pushes his Trauma Button and triggers an explosion that destroys a restaurant and kills 19 people.
  • Willow arguably had one at the end of Season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • And Illyria came within moments of having one (or rather did have one, until it caused time to cycle back) in Season 5 of Angel. It would've taken out, at minimum, all of Los Angeles. Possibly the whole state.
  • Subverted in the Charmed (1998) episode "Primrose Empath". Prue comes dangerously close to having one of these when she accidentally becomes an Empath in but following a pep talk from Leo promptly gets her shit together.
  • Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor's regeneration was a mild case of this; previous regenerations weren't nearly as explosive. This may be due to him absorbing all the nuclear radiation he did. Plus, suppressing the incoming regeneration so he could say goodbye didn't help either.
    • Happens again with 11th Doctor's regeneration. When the Doctor starts to die of old age, as he is out of regenerationsnote  he is granted a new cycle of regenerations and starts to regenerate. The energy from the regeneration is enough to destroy a Dalek mothership along with smaller ships.
    • Becoming somewhat of a theme, the 12th Doctor's regeneration is explosive to the point that it damages the Tardis and throws the new 13th Doctor outside the flying Tardis over London. This time the 12th Doctor held in his regeneration for a long time, meeting up with the 1st Doctor who was also holding in his regeneration (though the 1st Doctor did not have a explosive regeneration).
  • The Gifted (2017): In Season 2, Reed Strucker's long dormant mutant abilities reactivate, and are revealed to be a corrosive power that destroys everything he touches. He spends all season trying to control these powers, but realizes that sooner or later they'll overwhelm and kill him. Come the Season Finale, he makes the decision to take advantage of this during the Mutant Underground's assault on the Inner Circle — he marches into Reeva Payge's sanctum and provokes her into using her own powers (which cause people to lose control of their bodily functions) on him. As such, his powers essentially go nuclear, killing them both and destroying the building they're in.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: The girls lose control of their mermaid powers when they see a full moon. When it was Rikki's turn, her thermokinesis went out of control and started heating everything near her, causing drinks to explode into vapor and popcorn to pop. She escapes to Mako Island, where she causes a forest fire just by brushing past a few plants. Cleo and Emma were able to get her into the Moon Pool, where she nearly boiled away the water until the moon finally set.
  • One of the crises of the first season of Heroes was the fear that Ted Sprague would use his literal nuclear powers to level New York. In the end, it wasn't Ted they had to worry about.
    • Ted did have a Super-Power Meltdown earlier in the series. It just wasn't as big as they thought. Instead of blowing up New York City, he burned down a house in Odessa, Texas. Still caused quite a bit of damage, and made quite a crispy Claire. It probably would have been as big as they thought, but fortunately Claire was on hand with a tranquilizer gun.
    • In Season 3, Future Sylar loses control and vaporizes Costa Verde after his son is killed.
    • Also Elle went all electric explosiony when Sylar starts to skullcap her, shorting out the circuits of Level 5 releasing its inmates.
    • In the volume 3 finale, Meredith, the pyrokinetic, is injected with a syringe full of adrenaline by Sylar. She goes into Super-Power Meltdown mode, which sadly ends quite tragically for her and anyone else who might not have escaped the Company building.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Stronger never actually goes through with the meltdown, but when he uses his Charge Up Super Mode, he has 60 seconds to vent all of the excess energy before it makes him explode.
    • Kamen Rider Kuuga has a rare case of the meltdown being external rather than internal: the stronger his powers become, the bigger the defeat-induced explosions created by his Finishing Move become. They quickly grow big enough to level city blocks, and it's implied that his final form's kick is powerful enough to produce an Earth-Shattering Kaboom if he were to ever use it.
  • Gabriel Ashlocke (AKA Patient Zero) in Mutant X. The first person to be experimented on by Adam Kane and the first known new mutant. Unlike all other new mutants, which are separated into categories (elementals, ferals, moleculars, and psionics), Ashcroft has powers from all four categories (although not all possible powers). He's also a murderous psychopath. However, so many powers cause his cells to slowly destabilize. Ashlocke's first attempt to save himself involves awakening an ancient sorceress, then he tries to Make Wrong What Once Went Right, then he tries to bully Adam into helping... ultimately, he explodes, taking half the team's base with him.
  • Tess in Roswell does this, deliberately, to take out a military base and protect her baby and the other alien teenagers. She doesn't survive.
  • An episode of The Twilight Zone (1985) had a story, "Nightcrawlers" (adapted from the short story by Robert R. McCammon) about a traumatized Vietnam War veteran with the power to make his thoughts come to life. It worked best when he was dreaming, but all his dreams were about horrific battles. It got messy.
  • In The Umbrella Academy (2019), Vanya loses control completely twice. The first time happens in the first season finale. She ends the world with destructive bursts of energy. The second time happens in season two. She's strapped down and drugged with LSD by the FBI, which ends up forcing her to suddenly remember her whole life, which she had previously repressed. The result? The entire floor of the building is wrecked, everyone on it dies, and she lets out wave after wave of energy, nearly killing Diego, Allison, and Klaus (who came to save her). Fortunately, Ben snaps her out of it in time, saving the three living siblings (though not Ben himself).
  • The Wheel of Time (2021): Channelers who draw too much of the One Power can die as a result. In the books it was called "burning", but rarely left visible damage to bodies. Here, burning usually is literal.
    • In s1e2, Moiraine recounts the fall of Manetheren, when Queen Eldrene drew enough of the power to obliterate a Trolloc army, but was herself destroyed by the same power.
    • In s1e4, Liandrin begins to overdraw while fighting Logain, exemplified by light beginning to flow under her skin, but she suffers no ill effects.
    • In s1e8, Amalisa channels a great deal of the One Power by forming a circle along with Nynaeve, Egwene and two other women to strike down Trollocs with lightning. However, it overpowers her, killing her, the other two women and wounding Nynave (though Egwene heals her).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Extremely common in psykers in Warhammer 40,000, and one reason why psykers are feared by normal humans. The omnipresent risk of daemonic possession being another.
    • The Orks have (or at least had) psykers of their own, called Weirdboyz. Being an extremely psychic race to begin with, Ork Psykers tended to cause other nearby Orks' heads to explode. It gets worse when Weirdboyz get near each other. Of course Orks think this is funny as hell.
    • The Eversor Assassin, whose body is so laden with strength and reflex-enhancing combat drugs that upon death they react violently and cause his corpse to explode.
    • In the spin-off game Necromunda, rogue psykers known as Wyrds are prone to this, usually of the Your Head Asplode or Spontaneous Human Combustion variety.
  • Mega-Juicers in Rifts start to become consumed by their power when they near the end of their lives. First their eyes start to glow, then their whole bodies, and eventually they just burst into flame. If/when they die at any point during this period, they explode.
  • CthulhuTech's parapsychics have a non-zero chance of going into "Burn" every time they use their powers.
  • Mage: The Awakening has the phenomenon known as The False Awakening, wherein a Sleepwalker who's studied under a mage believes that not only have they Awakened, they've discovered a magical path that no one else has before. In reality, they've become infected with a strange form of magical energy that pretty much allows them to go from initiate to godhood in the space of a week... before they pretty much explode from all the power and take out a city block.
  • Deviant: The Renegades has the End Stage Condition. All Deviants have their powers linked to metaphysical Scars that must be kept stable through their pursuits. Should a Deviant reach full Instability, their Scars go out of control, which potentially unlocks new powers but will kill them by the end of the scene unless they find and destroy a Conviction Touchstone (i.e., something representative of the bastards that did this to them).
  • In Pathfinder's second edition many oracle curses function this way. As they draw upon their power the curse that came with it intensifies to make them more powerful but more vulnerable. An oracle of flames becomes surrounded with fire and smoke that blinds them and burns them to death without constant effort to tamp it down, but scorches their enemies even more fiercely. A life oracle's powerful spells are always accompanied by waves of healing magic, but this energy leaks from their own bodies, and they are incapable of healing themselves, while a lore oracle is flooded with so much knowledge that acting on it is difficult and communicating it to those around them becomes impossible.


    Video Games 
  • Manbot in Freedom Force had this as his Fatal Flaw: his power made him prone to causing violent explosions, one of which killed his brother after making him a containment suit.
  • Ultima, the Big Bad of Final Fantasy Tactics, tries to once again go One-Winged Angel on Ramza's team after having its prior seraphim and skeleton-angel forms trashed. Too bad large explosions aren't exactly Energy Beings.
  • A mild version happens to Iris in the first Sakura Wars, although she only blows the roof off a movie theater.
  • In the MMORPG City of Heroes, a sector of Paragon City, known as Siren's Call, was sealed off for several years due to a hero with radioactive powers supposedly going 'boom' there, conveniently allowing the villainous Evil Overlord Lord Recluse to establish a beachhead there. note 
    • With an added Cyborg Booster Pack, players gained access to a Self Destruct power, causing them to explode violently after a ten second countdown, doing immense damage to anything unlucky enough to be in range. It will usually wipe out anything below boss level. The down side? You just died. And it took an hour to recharge.
    • In the game's backstory, Overbrook (now called "Faultline") was supposedly leveled by the earthquake machines of an archvillain known as Faultine. In truth, though, Faultline was a mutant hero who wouldn't have needed them; a villain named PsyCurse used a gadget known as the PsychoChronoMetron to rewrite Faultline into a villain. Unfortunately, feedback from the PsychoChronoMetron caused Faultline to lose control of his powers, resulting in the earthquake that leveled Overbrook.
  • In the Soulcalibur III start-up trailer, Nightmare seems to have one of these because he consumed the souls of a whole army, all at once. It didn't seem to hurt him though.
  • Xenogears opens with Fei as a peaceful painter in a quiet village helping his best friend to get ready for a wedding. Unfortunately, after Grahf repeatedly hits his Berserk Button, he goes on a frenzy of Unstoppable Rage in his newly-acquired Gear and destroys his home village.
    • This happens several times throughout the game, due to the fact that Fei has a super-powered hidden personality called Id with a penchant for wanton destruction.
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis ends with the Nazi scientist being tricked into getting into a god-making machine and putting far too much fuel in it, transforming him into a glowing, horned Energy Being. Then he explodes.
  • In Galerians, if Rion uses the drugs that fuel his powers too much, he will suffer from "shorting" which is instant death to all nonbosses within the radius but does damage to him over time. It can be stopped by using a specific drug. Notably there's another drug which can trigger this instantly.
  • Inverted in Mega Man Zero 4. The Big Bad Dr. Weil tries to crash his Kill Sat into Earth, destroying the only naturally habitable place left on the planet. When Zero tries to stop him, he merges with the kill-sat's computer core for the final boss fight. This trope forms the premise of the last stage of the fight (the boss's second form); if Zero destroys him, the resulting superpower meltdown will destroy the kill sat, averting the crisis. The fact that Zero would (and does) also get blown to smithereens in the process is a mere trifling technicality.
  • A plot point in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. After getting infected with Phazon, Samus has the ability to go into Hyper Mode and use Phazon powered attacks, which is powerful, but causes the Corruption to spread, and if the PED Suit malfunctions, the process can be irreversible, leading to devastating consequences to those around them, as seen with other hunters like Ghor, whose own corruption devastated Elysia.
  • Every human who has tried a direct human/demon fusion in Shin Megami Tensei has ended up like this. Evil Is Not a Toy, after all.
    • Almost every human. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey's Jiminez fuses directly with Bugaboo successfully, though he did go crazy afterwards.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV mostly averts it, with about half of the population of Infernal Tokyo becoming "demonoids" through demon fusion. A few unlucky ones do suffer from a version of this, though.
    • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne averts this with the Demi-fiend, who became half-demon through parasitic infection, but otherwise retained control of his humanity and his newfound powers.
  • In World of Warcraft, Deathwing, the former Dragon Aspect of the Earth, had stolen power from the other four Dragon Aspects. However, this much power nearly rips apart his body, forcing him to have goblins weld adamantium plates to his body in order to keep it intact. Much later on, after marinating in the corruptive power of the Old Gods, even adamantium proves to not be enough, and he has the plates replaced with the even stronger "elementium".
  • In the Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC "Trespasser", the Inquisitor's Mark begins flaring up occasionally, building power at an accelerated rate and causing ever-increasing amounts of pain. By the end, the mark goes into a full meltdown, building power extremely quickly. If not deliberately discharged before it reaches maximum strength, it will detonate and cause massive damage to everyone nearby, the party included. Without Solas' intervention, the Inquisitor would have been killed.
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon uses this as a Hand Wave as to why Mega Evolution only works for a short amount of time (as opposed to the permanent change and increases in stats usually seen with regular evolution in the games) - one case, Mega Scizor, literally melts down according to researchers if left in that state too long. However, in a bit of Gameplay and Story Segregation, nothing bad will happen if someone activates a Mega Evolution and drags out the fight for as long as they can.
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow: Dmitrii Blinov thought that by just possessing Dracula's Power of Dominance rather than being born with it like Soma did, he could become the next Dark Lord. Sadly for Dmitrii, his human soul could not contain nor control the sheer demonic power causing it to torn his body asunder as his gathered souls erupted, amalgamating into a gargantuan horror simply called Menace.
  • The End Times: Vermintide and Vermintide II: Sienna's pyromancy causes Overheating as a Pragmatic Adaptation of the tabletop game's magic system. If the meter exceeds its maximum, she writhes in agony for a few seconds and explodes, downing her instantly and causing Area of Effect damage.
  • Resident Evil 2: After infecting himself with the G Virus, William Birkin progressively gained new mutant forms every time he was encountered. By the end of the game, the damage sustained from all the fights caused his Healing Factor to go awry in a futile effort to keep him alive: he degenerated into a crawling mass of flesh, teeth and tentacles.

    Visual Novels 
  • At the end of the Heavens Feel route in Fate/stay night, Sakura loses the ability to control the Grail's energy, resulting in a potentially world destroying God of Evil nearly being born from the Greater Grail. This requires the use of Rule Breaker to separate Sakura from the Grail and then either Shirou or Ilya's Heroic Sacrifice to keep the god from birthing itself.
    • Also in Heavens Feel, there's Archer's arm. Once the seal is removed so Shirou can use its power, his body and mind begin to break down because he can't withstand its innate magic.


    Western Animation 
  • Lightning Lad in Legion of Super-Heroes - the episode 'Lightning Storm' where his powers leaked out of the hole previously occupied by one of his arms.
  • Teen Titans (2003):
    • Terra overextends her Earth-control powers stopping a volcanic eruption, which petrifies her.
    • Red Star's Atomic Superpower is highly unstable, requiring him to regularly vent his excess energy with a machine. Then he discovers a leak in the storage created the monster terrorizing his village and pulls a with Heroic Sacrifice destroying it. (He gets better.)
    • Beast Boy was believed to be undergoing this in "The Beast Within". After a fight with Adonis, B.B. suddenly begins acting ruder and more aggressive towards the other Titans, and picking up some very... non-typical traits such as an appetite for meat. After B.B. transforms into a Were-beast and apparently attacks Raven, Cyborg analyzes him and discovers that his constantly changing DNA finally appears to be destabilizing from all his animal transformations through the years, meaning B.B. is literally falling apart from the inside out. As it turns out, the changes were caused by an unknown chemical compound that B.B. was exposed to during the fight with Adonis, who was also exposed to it; Beast Boy hadn't attacked Raven after all, he was protecting her from the Were-beast Adonis who had gone after Raven for his earlier defeat. Thankfully, once the compound is identified, Cyborg is able to make an antidote and get Beast Boy back to normal.
  • In Batman Beyond, Blight, described as a walking meltdown, meets his end when his son's betrayal throws him into rage. He was heavily implied to have survived but didn't have appearances for the rest of the series.
    • He does reappear in the tie-in comics, having apparently lost his mind due to the degrading effects of his powers.
  • Justice League Unlimited has Ace in "Epilogue," who might suffer a major aneurysm, causing a psychic backlash capable of killing thousands. While the aneurysm does happen, killing her, there's thankfully no backlash.
  • Firefly in The Batman gained super fire powers that went beyond his control to the point that if he kept on going, he will become a living embodiment of a meltdown and melt down to the Earth's core and destroy Gotham City in the process.
  • In Ben 10, the Omnitrix has been involved in a few of these.
  • In an episode of ReBoot, Bob removes Hexadecimal's mask in an effort to get her to stop. As it turns out, doing that causes an explosion of energy from the hole in her face, which threatens to overload and destroy everything. Oops.
  • An episode of Transformers: Animated sees Wasp talked into using a transwarp generator by Blackarachnia to gain incredible power, turning him into the technorganic Waspinator. His transwarp mutation goes critical soon after.
    • Blackarachnia cocoons herself and Waspinator in webbing before he goes off. Both of them survive, albeit heavily damaged. Waspinator was pulling himself together because he still has plans.


Video Example(s):


Godzilla's Infinite Spiral Ray

In the final throes of Godzilla's battle against Destoroyah, his spines literally begin to melt and energy erupts from his back, setting the surrounding area ablaze. This can only mean one thing; at long last, his meltdown has begun, and it will end in his death. Still, the King of the Monsters keeps fighting on. As his body begins to fall apart from the inside out, he gains access to one final, ultimate ability; the Infinite Spiral Ray, capable of inflicting tremendous damage to even the most durable parts of Destoroyah's armoured exoskeleton.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

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