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Mundane Utility / Web Original

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  • Identifying and cultivating Mundane Utilities is one of the primary missions of Whateley Academy, because few people are actually cut out to become superheroes (or villains.)
    • Some of the characters have used their powers to dry off after a shower (Phase and Chaka both), dry her hair (Fey), shave her legs (Verdant), unpack suitcases (Bugs), keep her clothes clean (Pristine), have Snowball Fights (a lot of Poe cottage), mop floors and fold laundry (Chaka), paint a room (Plastic Girl), move furniture, shop, and on and on.
    • Jade's main trick is to split off independent telekinetic extra 'copies' of herself by 'charging' them into objects; when the charge runs out, the copy re-merges with her and both sets of memories integrate. So what does she quite naturally do? Attend two sets of classes at once and use the same trick to study/do homework/clean her room that much faster. Also, be able to go to the smelly parts of the sewers without danger (Copies can't smell!), work a neat costume, be able to keep an eye out for bullies, not need to use anesthetic...Jade is the MISTRESS of Mundane Utility! (Which often leads to ACTUAL utility!)
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    • Phase has cultivated a lot of relationships through his ability to spot patentable mundane utilities for the various wacky devices his fellow students are constantly inventing and then playing honest broker on their behalf. This in part to Cut Lex Luthor a Check, and in part to ensure that important advances get to market, but he also expects to make them rich in the process (and make himself even richer).
    • Shine, a devisor who can build stills and fermentation systems capable of producing seemingly finely aged whiskey in a few weeks, was recruited by a distillery right out of Appalachia and was already selling his equipment (which only he could build, being Devises) for millions, at the age of fourteen. Then he went to Whateley Academy to improve on his skills...
    • One of the Winter session Special Session courses is entitled 'Finding the Job Only You Can Do', for students with unique or hard to utilize powers. Among those suggested (for Tennyo) are in-place satellite repair and replacing nuclear fuel rods without special equipment; most of the other ideas are a good deal more prosaic, but still useful.
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    • One of the previous students, an Underdog codenamed Molefinger, turned his seemingly useless ability to instantly dig holes into lucrative deals with several construction firms and city utilities, to the point that the unions made him only take jobs that would have taken more work than would be affordable otherwise - for six-figure contracts.
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog:
    • What does the Anti-Villain Mad Scientist title character want to use a freeze ray that stops time for? To help him get over his nervousness about talking to a cute girl.
    • In the prequel comics, Johnny Snow uses his ice beam to chill a six-pack of beer/soda.
  • Ed, the man who subconsciously received his brain from the future, built a fleet of Humongous Mechas to save the world from invading aliens, and accidentally erased the Andromeda Galaxy by hacking the universe...puts a time machine to very unorthodox purposes.
  • Happens occasionally with some of the SCPs of the SCP Foundation. Some examples include SCP-500, pills that can cure anything, being stolen to "cure a hangover"; a young woman who can see and manipulate locations depicted in pictures asked to "punch or stab people over the internet"; and a young man who receives visions about various objects (usually other SCPs) asked to locate lost wallets and keys. When such abuses are found out, the personnel involved are at least reprimanded, if not terminated.
    • Plus there are the SCPs who only have mundane utility (a pizza box that makes your favorite pizza & never runs out) and the ones that just look like have mundane utility but can have interesting applications, including a coffee machine that can give you cups of any liquid, including someone's blood.
    • The Foundation does discourage its personnel from using SCPs in this fashion. Mundane uses of the objects is highly regulated — even the pizza box.
    • SCP-294 actually isn't as regulated as you'd think. All the Foundation really needs for it are two armed guards stationed at it to make sure no one orders anything dangerous. Otherwise, they keep it in the break room, and allow people to use it to get beverages in order to save money on drinks. Hey, they've gotta cut some costs too.
      • Just remember that it doesn't understand euphemisms or slang, and order "a cup of coffee", not "a cup of Joe".
    • During the testing of SCP-662, there's a sudden streak of test logs that consist of the anomalous butler doing mundane household chores for the overseeing researcher. This ends with a member of O5 issuing a reprimand for misuse of the SCP.
    • SCP-739 flips the molecular chirality of anything locked in it. One researcher pointed out that using this on sugar results in a pretty good low-calorie sweetener.
    • Using the Biblical Cain as a backup database probably qualifies.
    • Some were originally used like that. One man managed to become the only person in human history to successfully invoke and summon Nergal, the Mesopotamian god of the Sun, to reach down and smite his enemies with an endless fury, costing him his soul in endless torment in the depths of the suns furnace for all eternity to do it. He got Nergal to smite his neighbor so he wouldn't annoy him anymore.
  • This article from The Onion about the head of NASA borrowing the space shuttle to get home faster.
  • 5 Second Films gives us the "Death Ray From Space"; a Kill Sat used to puzzle a kitten.
  • This sketch from Carpe Clunes depicts a Public Service Announcement warning the viewer of psychics' tendency to ruin games of pictionary.
  • If it's large enough and got a thin, but strong waterproof case, you know someone will turn it into a boat. See the second picture.
  • In Red vs. Blue, members of the Blue Team have used the scopes of their sniper rifles as binoculars to spy upon the Reds from a distance. Also, in the later seasons, Tucker's sword also counts. It is debatable as to whether or not it was primarily created to be a sword or a key. Quoth Caboose: "Or maybe it's a key all the time, and it when you stick it in people, it unlocks their death."
    • Season 13 reveals that it was originally a key, as confirmed by the alien AI Caboose finds.
  • Abounds in Tales of MU.
    Mackenzie:Who even came up with the idea of using a living death potion for birth control?
    Roger:Alchemists, I guess. They had to find a bigger market for it than adventurers, vampire slayers, and zombie hunters...
  • Mad Scientist Dr. Insano once used his genius, knowledge, and crazy gadgets to fix a broken Atari Jaguar system (although, being the Jaguar, it didn't last).
  • Shiny Objects Videos: In "Psychic Powers", Curly gains immense psychic powers unmatched by anyone on earth. He uses them to correct Nathan's grammar.
  • On Orkinet, a Sister of Battle mentioned using an inferno pistol - a very rare weapon capable of melting TANKS - to flash-cook a fish.
  • Corridor Digital's Sync series involves a secret agent who can jump into a realistic android body. He uses it for covert ops, and to help him propose to his girlfriend ina a humorous manner.
    • Episode 3 features a young Chinese woman from Hong Kong who is a spectacular hacker and programmer. She uses her talent to try and write an iPhone app. And then hijack the local air control in order to fly planes over the houses of the girls who teased her and tried to break her computer so they would look like crap on school photo day. To do so, she got up to mischief with every computer and iPhone with a certain game in a 25 mile radius. Including that of the aforementioned protagonist's agency. The episode ends with her being caught and dragged into a car by that agency.
  • Zigzagged with Linkara. He uses his magic to turn his toys, (which include phasers, morphers, and sonic scredrivers into the real things purely for fun, uses his spaceship to threaten other online reviewers, and even uses his battlizer to burn a bad comic. However, their secondary use is as weapons against whatever villain invaded his universe.
  • Matthew Bounds from Phaeton is using his power all... of... the... time... and most of the other characters don't even notice it, which is probably why things turn bad when he is Brought Down to Normal. And he is not the only one to use his powers for mundane situations.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd made clones of himself in a dream only so they could play A Nightmare on Elm Street on NES. He later lampshades this.
  • Skitter from Worm uses her insect control powers to clear out rat infestations in her neighborhood.
    • Skitter starts out using bugs to weave a bullet-resistent spider silk uniform and only gets more creative as time goes on. Later in the series she's using them to dial phones, turn pages and help with her morning routine. Her casual use of swarms of insects slightly unnerves other characters.
    • Parian uses her ability to telekinetically control cloth in her job as a fashion designer.
    • Canary used her exceptional singing talents granted by her ability to launch her career as a singer, before an accidental use of the other part of her power landed her in The Alcatraz.
    • Contessa's precognition makes her utterly unbeatable in combat. It also tells her how to tie a necktie.
    • Imp uses her Perception Filter to make people forget her verbal blunders.
    • Narwhal creates a tiny forcefield to act as a bookmark, and her strange scaly bodysuit is actually a mesh of forcefields. Taylor even notes she's using the suit forcefields as a sports bra.
  • The Treaded Path of the Rohomajeshi find a lot of mundane uses for channeling spirits.
  • In We Are All Pokémon Trainers:
    • The Adamant Orb in this continuity grants time control powers on top of its canon abilities of powering up and summoning Dialga. What does Tagg tend to most often use it for? Getting a full night's sleep in only a few minutes by exploiting its Year Inside, Hour Outside time dilation effect.
    • The usage of the Hammerspace backpacks as tents and sleeping bags due to their infinite volume.
  • Cracked's John Cheese suggests in 4 Ways the New Season of 'Heroes' Can Avoid Sucking that the writers of Heroes make the 2014 volume less boring by showing characters "using their powers to do normal, everyday things like making coffee with telekinesis or removing snakes from their yard with that snake tornado spell."
    • Discussed in "What You'd Actually do with a Real Mech Suit?" DOB says to Cody that you couldn't use it to help people because the government & others would ask you for help constantly and Soren that if you use it selfishly and show off, the government will see you as a threat. He then concludes that the logical thing to do would be to use it privately for mundane things like opening beer bottles.
    • This Trope is at the core of an After Hours episode, where the question is which super-power would you want to have but you still have to be yourself living your own life (read: Not a super-hero). In essence stripping away which power has only mundane applications. The eventual winner is the ability to stop time.
  • Inglip, being incorporeal, signs for packages by possessing the delivery boy.
  • In one LoadingReadyRun short, two men are running an exceptionally efficient moving service. How do they do it? Well, as Graham's character insists repeatedly, they certainly DON'T have a functioning teleporter. And this definitely isn't the only practical application they could think of. They do, however, have the stable wormhole conduit to the Argon mines of Thelios V that would be necessary to power a functioning teleporter. They use it to dump garbage (they have a permit).
  • Welcome to Night Vale: The city council is developing a neutron star underneath Night Vale, which according to Cecil could produce enough electricity for the entire world. The council plans to use it to power the lights to the school's football field.
  • Counter Monkey: In one video, Spoony mentions an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game where he played a Wizard and created a Level 1 spell that permanently modified a woman's breasts and made his living as a traveling "plastic surgeon". After thinking about it for a while, the Game Master remarked "You are gonna be so rich..."
  • Everybody gets in on this at some point in Critical Role:
    • Vax uses his insanely high stealth score to prank Grog (by shaving his beard while he sleeps) and his sister (by filling her bed with chicken sorbet).
    • Vex uses her pet bear Trinket in combat, but also to threaten merchants while she haggles or give massages to the party members. Percy also uses Trinket as a coat rack at one point.
    • Keyleth does everything from druid-crafting flowers for everyone for a fancy party, to animating cutlery to dance and perform Be Our Guest, to turning into an Earth Elemental to try and win a cannonball contest.
    • Scanlan uses the suggestion spell to try and win an arm wrestling contest, and to get a Guest-Star Party Member to "check out Grog's bod". Not to mention his many creative uses of his - er - magical bodily waste.
    • Percy likes to solve his problems with explosions - for example, by crafting a sodium bomb to win the cannonball contest - and has previously entertained the idea of tinkering a waffle iron.
  • In Meet the Cores 2, the Fact Core visits the all-knowing Omnisphere. When the Omnisphere offers to use his infinite knowledge to answer a question for him, the Fact Core merely asks where the nearest exit is located. The Omnisphere is not impressed.
  • Frequent in Glowfic in general - almost none of the characters think there's anything wrong with casual use of magic and some actively look for Mundane Utility ways to use it.
    • Stella uses squares to conjure clothes as soon as she's out of the hospital. She does not ever buy clothes again. She then gets herself an awesome magical motorcycle to ride around on.
    • Daeva are summonable - daeva characters use this fact to arrange instant transportation from place to place.
    • Pearl wants to bake at the same time as hugging Shell. She wishes herself telekinesis.
  • In The Fall of Doc Future, Flicker explains that one application of superspeed is market arbitrage. She balances global financial markets by buying low in one market and selling high in another, faster than computers could transmit transactions. (She also makes billions of dollars in the process and spites financiers who were rude to her.)
  • In RWBY Chibi, it's not uncommon at all to see the heroes and heroines use their Semblance and/or their weaponry for mundane things: jump rope, makeshift toy UFO, ice sculpting, aborted attempt at playing arcade games, roasting marshmallows...
  • When the girls in Magical Girl Policy power down, all the sweat, cuts and dirt from the battle disappears from their bodies. That includes things that happen before the battle. So some of them just transform every morning to skip their daily shower and shaving their legs.
  • In TFS at the Table, Eloy is established early on as being unable to hold his liquor. When Lott Fineday offers him a drink that he doesn't want to refuse, he casts Suggestion on himself to resist its effects. It works... until he takes damage later in the video, which breaks his spellcasting focus and makes it all catch up to him at once.

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