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The Magic Touch

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Sometimes, one touch can change everything.

Literally touching one or more mundane objects (weapons, sticks, rocks, etc.) to transform them into awesome objects by infusing them with magic. Occasionally, this power is contained in a glove. While this usually involves the touch of the hands, sometimes the touch with any part of the skin works similarly.

Depending on what specifically happens when you touch things, there may be potentials to this; "turning to gold" touch makes you rich, "turning to food" touch makes you never hungry, etc. However, if there is no way of limiting this (whether innate control of the power, or a Power Limiter), it could become messy quickly.

It potentially can be used to strengthen your weapons. You can, for example, make your pointy stick vibrate for extra killing potential or make your spear acidic. The important thing is that it is possible without a long amount of time or outside influence, such as The Blacksmith or, in extreme cases, tools.

The Trope Codifier is the tale of King Midas, who gets a wish of being able to turn everything he touches into gold. However, after he touches food and his own daughter and turned them into gold, he realizes that it's more of a Blessed with Suck.

See also: Elemental Punch, Item Amplifier, Midas Touch, and Spell Blade. Touched by Vorlons is when your touch gives people superpowers. It's the Touch of Death when your touch kills instead, and Material Mimicry if touching it changes you.


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  • Skittles: A man in "Touch the Rainbow" turns everything his hands touch into skittles, whether he wants it or not and whether what he touches is alive or not. He mentions killing a man just this morning and demonstrates how he can barely function due to his touch by picking up his ringing telephone and thus turning the device into skittles.
  • A McDonaldland commercial has the Hamburglar imagine what life would be like if everything he touched would turn into McDonald's cheeseburgers. When Ronald won't let him touch Grimace, a frustrated Hamburglar accidentally touches himself, turning him into a cheeseburger.

    Anime and Manga 
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Hamon users can infuse energy into objects to make them stronger and more durable.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS: Cinque's Inherent Skill "Rumble Detonator" turns any metallic substance she touches into high-grade explosive. Combined with her other special ability to summon any number of steel throwing knives, it turns her into one of the most dangerous girls around.
    • See Gambit, below.
  • Slayers has Astral Vine to enchant anything sharp including corporeal spell effects to damage targets immune to normal weapons.
  • Omamori Himari has the Light Ferry ability of the Amakawa family, which allows them to enhance objects and people.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, this ability is possessed by Homura (along with a Shield of Holding), in contrast to most Puella Magi who summon magic weapons. Given the loose nature of magic in the setting, theoretically all Puella Magi could have this power.
  • Mina Hazuki from Darker than Black can turn anything she's holding into something indistinguishable from a lightsaber.
  • Suzuka from Outlaw Star has a wooden katana that acts as a conduit for her Ki Manipulation.
  • In Dragon Ball, minor villain Monster Carrot could turn any living being he touched into a carrot. He could change them back if forced to.
  • One Piece:
    • Some Devil Fruit powers are activated with a touch.
      • Vander Decken's Mark Mark Fruit lets him mark someone/thing with his hand, and then anything he "throws" with said hand will home in towards that marked target. As he has only 2 hands, he can only mark 2 people at a time; his marking can also be washed away with water to his hand. In particular, he always keeps one hand for Princess Shirahoshi, who he has touched since a decade ago and he hasn't washed that hand ever since.
      • Sugar's Hobby Hobby Fruit lets her turn people or animals into toys with the touch of her hands. It has the side effect of making everyone forget about the victim. When Robin got her pinned with her hand-multiplication powers, Sugar simply touches one of Robin's "growth hands" with her own hand and Robin gets turned into a toy. She gets better though.
      • Gladius' Pop Pop Fruit makes everything he touches inflate and then pop, releasing deadly shrapnel all around.
      • Aside from turning himself invisible, Absalom can also make everything he touches invisible with his Devil Fruit power. This becomes much worse when, he's killed and his devil fruit stolen by Shiryu of the Rain. A very dangerous member of the Blackbeard Pirates and the former Warden of Impel Down. Who you can bet will use his new devil fruit powers to their fullest extent.
    • Users of Armament Haki can imbue objects they touch with their own spiritual energy to enhance them. Examples are Zoro and his swords, and Vergo and his staff.
  • In Record of Ragnarok, this turns out to be the true power of Jack the Ripper's volund. A pair of High-Class Gloves that turns anything he touches into a divine weapon capable of slaying gods.
  • When in his true form, Gyokko, one of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba's Twelve Kizuki, gains the power to turn anything he touches into live fish.

    Asian Animation 
  • The rock man from episode 37 of Happy Heroes can turn anything into stone simply by touching it, which proves a dangerous thing to the Supermen when they're turned into stone one by one.
  • In the King Shakir episode "Golden Day", Katriye and her friends touch a magic coin and turn into gold. Canan, who was reading a book on Classical Mythology earlier, recognizes the connection between the coin and King Midas.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men:
    • Gambit has the ability to turn anything he touches into an explosive. Although he prefers to charge and flick playing cards at his opponent. The Ultimate X-Men version claims that he joined Fenris because he was losing control of his powers (basically an even suckier version of Midas since all the food he touches turns into a bomb) and their experiments stabilized him.
      • Older Than They Think: Though it's oft-forgotten about now, Gambit's original connections to Mister Sinister were because he originally went to Sinister to get some of his brain excised to permanently dampen down his powers, so he couldn't lose control. He also had to deal with a short-lived villain called "New Sun", who turned out to be a version of himself from an Parallel Universe slash Bad Future who never got his powers dampened, grew to Physical God status, and lost control. He's called "New Sun" because he vaporised the entire planet Earth with his powers.
    • The Silver Samurai, after his reveal as a mutant with Absurdly Sharp Blade as his power.
    • Another character, Harpoon from the Mutant Massacre arc, can charge a metal spear with his own bio-energy and use it as a devastating weapon.
  • In the Don Rosa Scrooge McDuck story "Of Ducks, Dimes and Destinies", it is learned that Magica DeSpell has been attempting to steal Scrooge's "Number One Dime" for this purpose; she possesses a magic formula that would grant her the ability to turn whatever she touches into gold, but the key component of the spell is the first coin ever earned by the richest person in the world.
  • In the Superman story arc The Dominus Effect, Jimmy Olsen in the first Silver Age reality story accidentally drank a vial of Profession Hamilton's alien isotopes and was believed to have been transformed into a simple-minded alien that can turn anything he touches into gold. As it turns out, though, an actual alien swapped places with Jimmy and had him trapped in the Daily Planet storage room without his clothes.

    Fan Fiction 

    Film — Animated 
  • Cinderella: The pumpkin king coach and partially the nifty dress.
  • In the stop-motion holiday special The Year Without a Santa Claus, Snow Miser demonstrates that he can turn objects into snow, and back to their original forms, by touching them. (Debatable whether this trope also applies to his brother Heat Miser, as melting things with a touch is changing what state of matter they're in, but not changing them into different matter.)

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Ghost Rider (2007), Johnny can imbue anything he touches with hellfire, often transforming it to look even more metal. This is most prominent with his motorcycle and a random shotgun.

  • In The Chocolate Touch a boy has the same gift as Midas but with chocolate instead of gold, and with his mouth instead of his hands.
  • Michael in the Knight and Rogue Series develops the ability to 'enhance' the properties of things, making water more effective while fighting fire, giving his horse Super-Speed, and on one occasion making the air thicker to break his fall.
  • Fate/Zero: Berserker has the ability to turn anything he holds into a Noble Phantasm and has Instant Expert, Implausible Fencing Powers and Super-Strength, with the result that he can rip a telephone pole out of the ground and use it to completely overwhelm a legendary swordsman with an Infinity +1 Sword. Oh, and any magic weapon he holds responds to him as if he were its master. One of the biggest Oh, Crap! moments in the story comes when he manages to get his hands on a jet fighter.
  • Fate/strange Fake: Saber can turn anything he holds into a copy of the legendary sword Excalibur. The higher quality the object is, the stronger it is. For example, when he used his ability on a tree branch, it broke after one use, while a real sword lasts longer. It is mentioned his copies are never as powerful as the real Excalibur, and if he were holding the real one, he would be able to use it, but not be able to bring out its full potential.
  • Soulcasting in The Stormlight Archive. One touch can turn rocks into food, wood into steel, or a brigand into smoke.
  • The Practice Effect has a setting in which this is the normal effect of touching - more specifically, using - an object: natural law causes inorganic things to become more fit for a specific use with continuous use, and to rapidly fall apart from lack of use. The setting's "magic touch" is at base the power to prevent this: equally valuable, as a law of diminishing returns on "exercise" otherwise limit the complexity of tools and technology level which can exist.
  • Everybody Loves Large Chests has a particularly nasty variant. Performing the Ritual of Unholy Wealth produces an extravagant golden goblet called the Profanus Gloria, which is eternally filled with... some kind of liquid. Anyone who sees it will feel an unnatural and insatiable urge to drink from it, and lash out at anyone else who might want it themselves. However, those who drink have their skeletons painfully turned into solid gold, with the rest of their bodies disintegrating soon after.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A Troubled woman in Haven turns any food she touches into cake. She's more than a little overweight.


    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street:
    • One animated sketch featured King Minus, who would make things disappear whenever he touched them. The sketch ends with him accidentally making the princess he was trying to rescue vanish.
    • An episode features Cookie Monster being granted "The Cookie Touch", wherein whatever he touches turns into a cookie, so he never has to wait for them. He tries to share his newfound power with his friends by turning their favorite things into cookies, which doesn't bode well with them. He soon finds out he has another disadvantage when he wants to eat something other than cookies.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Gauntlets of Ghost-Fighting for when you want to kill incorporeal things but don't want to enchant all of your stuff. Even older are Gauntlets of Weaponry Arcane that make any weapon held count for purpose of immunities as silver and +1 to what it normally is.
    • Ice drakes can spread shocking cold at a touch, while a water drake's touch can put out any fire.
  • Pathfinder:
    • The Arcane Strike feat allows any arcane caster to briefly imbue their weapons with magic, increasing damage.
    • A number Magic Knight classes like the magus and warpriest have the ability to grant enchantments to weapons or armor they're using. These can be simple numerical bonuses or other enhancement effects like flaming or spell resistance.
  • Chronicles of Darkness:
    • Werewolf: The Forsaken has the rite of pants dedication. Interestingly enough, most Klaives don't count since they require the outside influence of a spirit and a great deal of time/effort.
    • Changeling: The Lost: A lot of Clauses seem to work by empowering a prop, this is most clear in the case of the Entitlements: College of Worms, The Scarecrow Ministry, Bodhisattvas of the Broken Cage, and Squires of the Broken Bough.
    • Beast: The Primordial: The Fist of Nightmares Merit allows a Beast to "store" a Nightmare inside her hands so she can release it on someone by mere touch.
  • Mage: The Ascension: Mages can imbue objects with energy, thus for example allowing them to hit ghosts.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The first few stages of the obliterator virus work like this, up until you can't remove your weapons or armor anymore.
  • GURPS:
    • Played with. When it comes to magic, "standard" spells work best on things the caster can, indeed, touch, and the chance of success then drops off fairly quickly with distance (effective skill is -1 per yard between caster and target, in a 3d6-roll-under-skill system). This is exactly the main benefit of a magic staff in the game, too: properly enchanted, touching something with it counts as touching it personally and it extends the user's reach accordingly as well.
    • Played straight with Imbuements, which allow a character to infuse weapons (or limbs, armor, shields, etc.)that they use with magical enhancements.

  • In Jasper in Deadland, Jasper restores the lost memories of any Dead citizen he touches, as a side-effect of entering Deadland while still being alive.

    Video Games 
  • In The Binding of Isaac, the Midas Touch powerup causes any enemy that touches you to turn to gold, dropping coins if you kill them before it wears off. The Turdy Touch instead turns them into a pile of poop, with the added benefit that it doesn't wear off. Both come with the drawback that you still suffer contact damage.
  • In Eternal Darkness, you learn the "Enchant Item" spell quite early on. While it can be used to power up weapons, it's also used to repair broken (by plot events only) items and at one point near the end make a C4 bomb powerful enough to destroy some catacombs full of Eldritch Abominations.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, poisons work this way. If you make a potion with only negative effects you can apply it to your weapon. While you're technically just using Poisoned Weapons, the poison is alchemical in nature, has most of the same effects as magic and allows the poisoned strikes to affect incorporeal creatures (magical weapon) regardless of type.
  • In the Makin' Magic expansion pack of The Sims, any Sim with magical powers can use the Enchant spell to temporarily bring a garden gnome or lawn flamingo to life — or even just make the fridge open and close by itself as it pleases, or make the checkers on the checkerboard dance around.
  • In the Devil May Cry series, Dante can shoot enchanted bullets, shotgun blasts and grenades when using his Devil Trigger. It's implicitly his touch that makes this possible. Similarly, in Devil May Cry 4, Nero charges his shots by holding his revolver with his demonic arm.
  • In The Secret World, every Player Character uses their weapons as a kind of magic wand, overlapping with this and Ki Manipulation. Oh, and it's modern-day Urban Fantasy, and an Assault Rifle or pair of pistols conducts magic just as easily as a sword or traditional magic focus.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Mandricardo's Noble Phantasm, Serment de Durandal, causes anything he holds to gain the strength and cutting power of the legendary sword Durandal, even a wooden sword. Unfortunately, his weapons do not inherit Durandal's durability, so they tend to break.


    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-1015 ("Poor Man's Midas") is a cursed penny that causes whoever possesses it to turn everything they touch into pennies. The original owner died after rubber bullets fired by Foundation agents turned into pennies and ruptured his abdominal cavity.
  • Worm: Dauntless has this as his superpower, being able to infuse a set of equipment with special powers each day, and therefore getting more and more powerful as time goes on.
    • Flechette has the ability to make anything she touches completely ignore most of the laws of physics for a short time, which allows any projectiles she uses to bypass any and all defenses until they are already inside their targets.
    • By definition, Striker-class powers tend to work like this.
  • In the SuperMarioLogan episode, "Bowser Junior's Curse!", Junior refuses to eat his corn dogs and tosses them out the window, and as a result, the Corn Dog God curses him with the corn dog curse, wherein everything he touches turns into a corn dog.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Apparently, Zuko can light up his dao swords.
  • In one episode of Class of the Titans, selfish Neil is cursed with the Midas touch by the goddess Nemesis to teach him a lesson.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, Heinrich Von Marzipan is a villain that fell in a chocolate volcano, which tranformed him and gave him the ability to turn everything he touches in chocolate. Due to his Sweet Tooth, he considered it a gift (even thanking his arch-nemesis) until he wanted a hamburger and realized that turning everything in chocolate was not so good.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Viewer Mail #2", Peter's cursed with the power of turning everyone and everything he touches into a clone of Robin Williams.
  • Hercules: The Animated Series also did its own take on Midas, as a James Bond spoof. Here, Midas is a Blofeld-type supervillain who wants to launch himself into space and be able to turn the whole world to gold.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Chat Noir's Special Attack works along these lines, causing anything he touches to disintegrate. It's not clear what it would do to a person, but one episode where Chat was turned against his partner with Mind Control strongly implies that it would not be pretty.
  • In the Muppet Babies (2018) episode, "When You Wish Upon A Rizzo", Piggy wishes to turn everything she touches glittery, and Rizzo, who takes on the form of a genie, grants that wish. At first, Piggy likes this wish, but she soon finds out it has drawbacks; when she tries to eat apple slices, she turns them glittery, and when she tries to hide from Kermit's life-sized Mega Super Ultra Robo Dinosaur action figure, she exposes her hiding place by turning the rock she was hiding behind glittery.
  • Rubbadubbers has Terence "if only" himself with the power to turn anything he touches into bubbles. He enjoys it until he turns Winona into bubbles.
  • The Silly Symphony short "The Golden Touch" retells the story of Midas.
  • In The Smurfs (1981) episode "Smurfette's Sweet Tooth", Smurfette gained the power of turning whatever she touched into smurfberry candy.