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Mundane Utility / Film

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    Film - Animated 
  • Inverted in Big Hero 6. Hiro invents his microbots with peaceful purposes in mind, but the Big Bad weaponizes them.
  • At the end of Frozen (2013), Queen Elsa uses her ice powers to make an ice-skating rink in summer.
    • Olaf's Frozen Adventure introduces Elsa casually using her magic to apply frost trimming to the wreaths decorating the castle's stair railings, and at the end of the special, creating a giant Christmas tree of ice.
    • Ralph Breaks the Internet, Elsa is seen using her magic to make a milkshake while relaxing backstage at Oh My Disney.
    • Frozen II shows Elsa using her magic to make ice toys for children at the Harvest Festival.
  • In Hotel Transylvania, Dracula uses his telekinesis to change Mavis' diaper. Every parent probably dreams of having that ability.
  • The Incredibles:
    • The Parrs' homelife in a nutshell — especially Helen, who finds a way to apply her superpowers to nearly every household chore despite her oft-expressed desire to live a normal life. And, related to Power Perversion Potential, having an elastic body probably came in very handy during the pregnancies. (For that matter, a rubbery woman is the least likely for Bob to accidentally crush with his strength).
    • Inverted in one brief scene, when Helen realizes (much to her chagrin) that in spite all the cool stuff that she can do with her stretching powers...she can't seem to control the size of her butt.
    • There's also the brief scene where Helen's arms stretch to pull Bob back into the bedroom with clearly amorous intent without actually leaving the bedroom.
    • At one point Bob uses his super strength to throw a football an extreme distance, and his son Dash uses his super speed to catch it.
    • In the sequel, Frozone uses his ice powers to summon ice balls for Jack-Jack to gnaw on, thus keeping him quiet and calm.
  • In Inside Out:
    • One of Bing-Bong and Riley's past adventures had them traveling back in time so they could eat breakfast twice in one day.
    • One of the trailers shows Anger's flaming head used for cooking marshmallows. In the actual film it's used at the climax to cut a hole in the windows of Headquarters and let Joy and Sadness back inside.
  • In Kubo and the Two Strings, Monkey uses the Sword Unbreakable to make sushi.
  • In the backstory established in the opening of Onward, one of the main things thing magic was used for was mundane stuff like lighting fires for cooking or for lighting rooms, so eventually it wast just done way with because it was easier to do it via technology.
  • The Sword in the Stone - Merlin's borderline Reality Warper powers are used to help "Wart" do his chores so Merlin can sneak Wart off for lessons. Though this inevitably backfires when Wart's guardians stumble upon this and ground Wart for quite some time.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Aliens zig-zags this: In the future, we've perfected mech-suit technology... and we build them maybe twice the size of a human, tops, and use them as forklifts. And then Ripley uses it to fight the Xenomorph, because hell yes that's what we came here to see someone do with that, complete with the single most bad-assed Pre Ass Kicking One Liner in cinema history:
    Ripley: Get away from her you BITCH!!!
  • In the denouement for Ant-Man and the Wasp, Scott, Hope, and Cassie use the Pym Particles to turn toy cars and a laptop into their personal drive-in movie, and Hank and Janet enlarge a scale model of a house by the sea as their new home.
  • In Avengers: Endgame, post-Time Skip, Thor has repurposed Stormbreaker into a glorified bottle opener for the gallons of beer he drinks.
  • In Captain America: Civil War, Hawkeye mentions that the same Improbable Aiming Skills he uses to fight crime also make him unbeatable at golf. Possible overlap with Blessed with Suck, given his tone when he claims he "just can't seem to miss".
  • Captain Marvel: Carol demonstrates her photon blasts by tapping her hand against her friend's tea kettle, causing the water to boil immediately.
  • Used all over the place in Chronicle with the three main characters' telekinesis. Apart from the usual pranks they play, Andrew uses it to lift and maneuver his camera throughout the film, Steve uses it to shovel potato chips into his mouth, and (in a deleted scene) Matt uses it to stir his milkshake.
  • In Clockstoppers, the protagonist has vast time-stopping powers at his fingertips. He uses them to impress his date and pull pranks.
  • In the movie Dragonheart, as the former knight, Bowen, struggles to start a fire with flint and steel to cook his meal, his newly befriended dragon, Draco, uses his fire breath on the pile of logs.
  • Edward Scissorhands does hedges, makes ice sculptures, cuts hair and grooms dogs.
  • Elysium: Kruger uses his katana to help him cook food over an open fire. Although, Kruger was already fairly unhinged, and this may have doubled as a heads-up to his Axe-Crazy nature.
  • Fantastic Four (2005)
    • Johnny casually uses his flame powers to pop some popcorn in one of those expanding foil bags usually used for barbeque or camp cooking. He once used it to dry himself after a shower.
    • Ben uses his Super Strength to make some freshly-squeezed orange juice without even removing the oranges from their mesh bag.
    • It also has Mr. Fantastic stretching the skin on his face to make shaving easier, and using his stretchy arms to either reload the toilet paper without having to leave the loo, or slide his hand under Ben's locked door to open it and check on him.
    • The second movie keeps up this trend with Sue using her power to make Reed's Blackberry invisible when he's ignoring her and Reed using his stretching ability to dance up a storm at his bachelor party.
  • Flubber: This quasi-sentient green goo can release enormous amounts of energy. What does Brainard use it for? Cheating at basketball. This particular version ups the ante by introducing his digital assistant Weebo, who, in addition to AI that would make Apple's entire Siri division jealous, can also hover without any kind of visible propellers. This is significant because Brainard inventing a flubber-powered hover drive for his car is a major plot point.
  • her: Self-aware, human level (at least) artificial intelligence has been created, and it's used as an OS for home computers.
  • In The Movie of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a mini (knife sized) light saber is used to simultaneously slice and toast bread.
  • The wizard Gandalf in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is seen using a small fire spell to light his pipe. He uses the same spell later on in the movie to much greater effect by turning pine cones into fire bombs.
  • In Horsefeathers, Professor Wagstaff (Groucho) uses the telephone to crack nuts.
  • In Iron Man 3, Savin can be seen using his extremis powers to keep his coffee hot.
  • The title character of Jumper uses his power of teleportation even when it's just to retrieve the remote without having to physically walk to it.
  • James Bond is always using Q's fantastic gadgets for mundane (or just 'other') purposes. For example, at the beginning of Live and Let Die M and Moneypenny give Bond a watch containing a powerful electromagnet. Almost immediately after M and Moneypenny leave, Bond uses it to open the zippered dress of his latest 'conquest'.
  • The titular Labyrinth, in addition to all the magical goings-on to confuse and deter intruders, also has some mystical things going on to keep the place clean. Hoggle reveals at one point that propping a door against the wall in the Oubliette the wrong way around accesses a broom closet instead of the exit, and the "Cleaners" Jareth unleashes to chase Sarah actually does apparently just exist to clean the tunnels: the goblins operating it pay no attention whatsoever when Sarah gets out of their way and just drive right by.
  • Looper
    • Part of the film's premise is that the mob uses Time Travel for corpse disposal.
    • Inverted in the case of telekinesis: most psychics in the film are barely capable of lifting coins a few inches above their hands, and mainly use their ability for party tricks... except for Cid, AKA the Rainmaker.
  • Matilda uses her telekinesis to get books off the shelf.
  • Men in Black II: Jeeves says that he used the exhaust from the Deneuralizer to make hot air popcorn.
  • In Mortal Engines, undead cybernetic killing machine Shrike is shown using his razor-sharp steel talons to open cans.
  • One of the early hints in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) that Jane Smith has hidden skills (as an assassin) comes when she fixes the way a curtain is hanging by balancing perfectly on a chair that is standing on only one of its legs. John also uses this trope to verify his suspicions that Jane is indeed an assassin—he pretends to drop an open bottle of wine and by instinct Jane uses her better-than-average reflexes to save the carpet.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie, Tom Servo mentions that he uses his Interocitor, a device from the movie they're watching that can do everything from fire disintegrator rays to pilot spaceships, to make hot chocolate.
  • In Next, Cris uses his powers to earn a very modest living as a Stage Magician.
  • In Pacific Rim, after Kaiju attacks have become a fact of life, enterprising scavengers have adapted accordingly, learning to harvest Kaiju parts for public use. Just for starters, Kaiju excrement is said to possess enough phosphorous in one cubic meter to fertilize an entire field.
  • Used throughout Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Need firefighters, get a Squirtle team. Need a grill, just use your Charmander's tail. Need a sound system, get a group of Loudred. Need a spy, use a Ditto. As Pokemon battles are a rarity in the setting, this is the primary use of Pokemon in the movie.
  • In Project Almanac, a bunch of high school kids have a working, reusable time machine and settle for doing things like winning the lottery and getting backstage at a concert several months back. They actually discuss better uses for it, including killing Hitler, but they can only get enough power to send themselves back a few months at most.
  • In Real Genius, Val Kilmer's character uses cuts coin-sized slices of frozen nitrogen, something insanely difficult to produce on Earthnote  which he uses to cheat the vending machine out of free coffee.
  • Shaolin Soccer stars a martial artist who wants to teach people kung fu techniques that can help them with their everyday lives - for instance, parallel parking by pushing your car into place, or trimming a tree using Wire Fu jumping techniques. To gain publicity, he uses his skills to compete in soccer.
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice,
    • Dave is trying to clean up his lab (an abandoned subway station) before his date with his Love Interest. Realizing he's running out of time, he uses magic to enchant a broom, a bucket, and a few other objects to do the cleaning for him. Naturally, it all goes out of control, flooding the place and nearly getting Dave electrocuted in the process. In fact, he's falling into the electrified water as his master Balthazar comes back and freezes him in mid-air. Balthazar is not pleased.
    • Drake, Dave's Morganian counterpart, uses his magical abilities to be an illusionist. Downplayed in that, due to his training getting cut short, he wasn't exactly in position to do much else.
    • Dave also uses Tesla coils to impress a girl by making them "play music" ("Secrets" by OneRepublic).
  • Spider-Man 2: The film opens with Peter transforming into Spider-Man so he can beat traffic after he runs late to his job as a pizza delivery guy. This results in the memetic moment where a bystander quips "Whoa! He stole that dude's pizzas!" He still misses the deadline.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man: Peter uses his webshooters to grab Gwen and twirl her in for a kiss when he's unable to spit out to her that he's the masked Spider-Man her dad is chasing.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Peter uses his webshooters to write a spider-webbed "I LOVE YOU" message to Gwen on the side of the Brooklyn Bridge.

  • Star Wars
    • Anakin uses the Force (which is supposedly so mighty that the ability to annihilate a planet pales in comparison) to... make a Shuura fly to his girlfriend's fork. He notes that Obi-Wan would be quite upset if he saw him.
    • Obi-Wan casually uses the Force to retrieve a data module from a projector as he and Yoda are leaving the room.
    • Even Yoda is not immune. At the conclusion of his duel with Count Dooku, he uses the Force to retrieve his walking stick, which was near enough that he could have simply bent down and picked it up. Prior to this, Yoda takes his lightsaber from his belt with the Force.
    • There are multiple examples from the Expanded Universe of Jedi using their lightsabers in lieu of flashlights.
  • Superman
  • The protagonist in the 1959 movie The Immoral Mr. Teas gains some sort of x-ray vision. The significance of this movie comes from the facts that it is the first commercially successful Russ Meyer movie and that it was the first movie since the pre-code era which showed female nudity and was openly advertised (until that time, movies depicting nudity were only sold "under the counter").
  • In the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Casey Jones can be seen cutting food up with one of Leonardo's katanas at the farmhouse.
  • In The Tuxedo a full espionage squad assists Jackie Chan in asking a girl out.
  • Adam from Upside Down gets a job at Transworld and uses the pink pollen (with its double-gravity-canceling properties) to design…an anti-aging cream.
  • The main villain in The Wax Mask has invented technology that allows him to can create cyborgs in the 20th century, which he uses to make lifelike wax mannequins out of kidnapped people for his museum.
  • Wolves: After being taken on as a farmhand by John Tollerman, Cayden finds his superstrength useful in getting his work done really fast. One part shows him throwing straw bales into the barn loft single-handed.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X2: X-Men United: When Logan wants a cold drink, he gives a Dr. Pepper to Bobby Drake, who uses his powers to chill it.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Bobby Drake uses his ice powers to turn the school fountain into a makeshift ice skating rink and also create a pair of ice skates for himself by freezing a layer of ice on the bottom of his normal tennis shoes.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Bradley, who can power electrics, has a job as a carney after he quits Team X.
      "Turn the light off, get a prize. Three tries for a buck."
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Shaw makes Emma Frost use her ability to turn into diamond to chip off an ice cube for his drink.
      • Starting in this movie, shapeshifter Mystique is shown using a "default" human form—simply Jennifer Lawrence without the prosthetics—to pass as normal in public when she doesn't need to impersonate anyone but doesn't want to draw attention with her natural blue skin. This actually contradicts the earlier movies that take place later in the continuity. In X2, Nightcrawler asks her why she doesn't to use her powers this way and she replies, "I shouldn't have to." One could argue that Mystique grew out of the practice as she got older, but the reality is that it lets Lawrence spend less time in the makeup chair.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Quicksilver uses his super speed to play ping-pong with himself.
      • Magneto uses his metal-controlling powers to stitch his head wound and to raise the volume control knob on the television set.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse
      • After a Bump-Into Hello with Scott, Jean Grey uses her telekinesis to grab her school papers before they hit the floor... and her mind-reading to address him by name before he gives it.
  • X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes has the protagonist use his x-ray vision to diagnose medical problems, peep at women, and cheat at blackjack.
  • The introduction to the campy Doc Savage has Doc building a small rocket, an invention that (according to The Narrator) may one day may be useful to mankind! Or, as it turns out, to help him fish.
  • In Doctor Strange (2016) the title character uses his Astral Projection to study up while his physical body is asleep.


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