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Required Secondary Powers / Western Animation

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  • On Batman Beyond, one villain was an Intangible Man who started losing control of his powers including his anchoring ability, so he started falling through successive layers of ground. The episode ends with the implication that he'll keep falling until he reaches the center of the earth. Depending on what other Required Secondary Powers he does or doesn't have, he may suffocate, die of hunger/thirst/old age, or be entirely immortal but his body would presumably keep falling even after that.
    • As seen in Batman Beyond, and the DCAU in general, a chemically-induced transformation usually leaves the victim without the ability to control the new form and the long term effects on the body. Examples include Mister Freeze's body rotting away except for his head, Clayface faced decomposition/liquefaction since his powers were granted by an overdose on a cosmetic product, Blight's radioactivity was growing in intensity and affecting his mind and the artificial skins used to hide it couldn't hold it back, and Inque's liquid nature made her vulnerable to simple water attacks (which would dilute her to the point where she couldn't hold any form).
      • One episode had Bruce showing off a Batman powersuit he had, but he couldn't use it because the strength increase put too much strain on his already unhealthy heart.
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    • Another notable thing about the DCAU is that nobody has anchoring abilities. Many super strong and invincible characters get knocked around by punches and throws performed by much weaker characters. Even BATMAN once threw Superman across the room into some tables, although it only really surprised Superman that anyone would try it rather than hurt him. At times this can make seem like vastly different attacks do the same amount of damage, such as when Batman kicked Darkseid.
  • Justice League:
    • Evoked when Flash is fighting Sinestro. Sinestro remarks that his beams are as fast as Flash, but Flash (who is effortlessly dodging them) points out that unlike he, Sinestro can't think fast enough to react in time to his movements.
    • Morgaine Le Fay casts an eternal youth spell on herself and her immortal son, as obviously they would continue aging past the point of being decrepit otherwise. Her son didn't know this, and when he tried to age himself into an adult, realized he accidentally broke the "youth" portion of the spell, but still had immortality. At the end of the episode his years rapidly catch up with him, turning him into a drooling old man, unable to move but also unable to die.
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  • In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Ultraman either doesn't have them, or is able to turn them off. While everyone else is able to fly no problem, his flight causes a sonic boom and shatters glass as he passes.
  • Birdman: In "Versus the Speed Demon", the titular villain wears a titanium suit to protect his body from friction whenever he uses his Super Speed.
  • Played for laughs in the Dexter's Laboratory episode "Don't Be A Hero" where Dexter tries to give himself various superpowers. He gets all of the powers but none of the Required Secondary Powers that make them effective. For example, Super Speed doesn't automatically come with super braking and he ends up arriving at his destination later than he would have at a normal walk because he can't slow down fast enough and overshoots, around the globe.
    • Another episode had Dexter running late for school (he only had 30 seconds before the bus would show up), so he sped himself up 60-fold (giving himself 30 minutes). This led to him having to move very slowly to avoid friction burns (even having to re-do his homework after accidentally setting it on fire), having to grab water droplets from the showerhead due to how slowly they were going, being unable to pour milk onto his cereal since he had to wait for gravity to take effect, and numerous other subversions.
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  • Timmy Turner does the same thing in The Fairly OddParents! He learns his lesson and wishes for the secondary powers after the first few backfire.
  • Averted in Gargoyles, as the eponymous beasts, despite having wings, don't have any of the Required Secondary Powers necessary to enable flight, and thus can't actually fly (they simply glide). Dr. Sevarius notes at one point that the amount of energy the species uses for all this near-flight still requires the equivalent of eating three cows a day. He theorizes that their daytime stone forms may actually be a Required Secondary Power themselves, used to absorb solar radiation to provide the necessary energy for their aerobatics. The gargoyles are sometimes seen operating after a day spent indoors or in bad daytime weather; Word of God has said that missing a day's worth of solar radiation for a gargoyle is equivalent to skipping a meal. They'll have less energy, but it won't be very noticeable.
    • Another Required Secondary Power is the low-grade Healing Factor that seems to function on gargoyles when they're asleep; this, too, may be linked to Sevarius' "energy-storing hibernation state" theory. This secondary power is presumably the reason that the stone-destroying action of plants, lichens and weather didn't cause any disfigurement during their thousand-year enchanted sleep.
    • A third Required Secondary Power was added in-universe, according to the backstory. The gargoyles' clothes didn't petrify with them in ancient times, but in the days before mortal sorcery was largely forgotten a mage laid a spell that caused gargoyles' clothing to change with them, apparently out of a desire not to see gargoyle Clothing Damage. That's right: real Magic Pants!
  • Bunnie Rabbot from Sonic Sat AM could've had some serious problems, but the writers never discussed it. Since the interrupted process was supposed to transform her entirely into a machine, it's presumably pure luck that the half-way state she is stuck in is organically viable, or a safety device to prevent her from dying during the process. In season 2, it was revealed the roboticizer was a medical device, so that might have been the reason.
    • One episode of the cartoon had her jam the jaw of a massive, dinosaur-themed mining robot open. Either she actually has Super Strength and never realized, or there's more of her that's roboticized than what's established.
    • Some fanfic authors have used the idea that the build up of toxins from the robot parts could be fatal. The actual comics used a similar "her stuff is killing her" at least once, which led to her getting a revamped look, and establishing she can't be "cured" ever. Her new cybernetics were established as drawing on her own energy, and that overuse could kill her. Following the reboot, it's not clear how her limbs work, but she had to upgrade there as well due to tech advances.
    • Most versions of Sonic have him as a Big Eater, and note that his sneakers are specially designed to reduce the problems with friction. Occasionally other secondary powers are alluded to, and on occasion he has learned to use them for other means (the Sonic the Comic version noted that part of the reason he was so tough was that he could vibrate the particles around him to provide a forcefield against air friction and direct damage).
    • There was an advertisement/comic about Sonic that stated that his sneakers were, in fact, "frictionless". Which, while solving the problem of his shoes bursting into flames, creates the new problem of how he gains any traction, and thus is able to move at all... or stop, for that matter.
    • The idea of the sneakers protecting Sonic from friction was a plot point in an episode of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Somebody stole the shoes, leaving Sonic unable to use his speed without hurting his feet.
  • In Loonatics Unleashed, Rev Runner's powers include Super Speed, Sixth Sense and "GPS Sense". While endurance isn't normally a problem for him, he once stopped to take a break while powering the Loonatics' holodeck on a bicycle.
  • The Venture Bros. have The Impossible Family, semi-Affectionate Parody of the Fantastic Four who shows what happens when you don't have this; Cody bursts into flames when exposed to oxygen, and merely burns painfully as a result. Sally can only make her skin invisible (or rather, make it visible: it's invisible by default and she requires all her concentration just to look normal). Ned's calloused skin gives him super-strength and durability, but leaves him in near-constant pain.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Firebenders don't burn themselves despite their fires coming from their bodies, but can be burned by the flame of other Firebenders.
    • Skilled Firebenders have been shown to be able to at least deflect or disperse fire thrown by an opponent if prepared for it; part of it comes from the bender's method of manipulating their element in unconventional ways ("bending" of plants, sand, metal, and even human bodies, or adapting principles like redirection from other bending disciples). It stands to reason that an unskilled or careless Firebender could hurt themselves, but it's likely that they're taught extreme control and discipline from an early age.
    • An idea which is supported by the Nickelodeon site stating that Combustion Man's missing arm and leg were caused by misusing his own explosive power.
    • The Airbenders seem to have resistance to wind burns and Earthbenders aren't bruised by their kicking and punching of rocks, though how much of that is kung fu magic or just bending power is left unanswered.
    • Aang has been shown to use a spreading motion while increasing his speed meaning he is likely moving air out of his way. As for how he can breathe without said air it has also been shown that Aang has in impressive lung capacity.
    • Also, Airbenders and Firebenders both seem to be resistant to extreme temperatures, or at least extreme cold; Iroh was dragged around in only his underwear the day before the winter solstice, Aang wore his signature light clothes at both the north and south poles and went swimming near an island with patchy snow on the ground, and Zuko exploits the fact that Firebenders require breath control to swim under water for a long time.
    • Also, since Air and Firebending are basically jet and rocket propulsion respectively shooting out of your hands, Airbenders and Firebenders seem to have some kind of anchoring ability to prevent themselves being thrown around by their own power against their wills.
    • Much like Firebenders and learning control, Earthbenders must also condition their extremities through training; they all go barefoot regardless of terrain and when Aang was training he would seriously injure his hand from punching actual stone. When Toph went for a pedicure, the ladies at the spa had to grind the dirt off of her feet with a metal spade. For most people, that would also take off a significant portion of skin as well.
  • Spyke from X-Men: Evolution had the ability to grow spikes from his bones, which he could hurl at his opponents. As a result, he was frequently shown chugging large amounts of milk to replace the bone calcium he lost.
  • Darkwing Duck: When a misfired particle accelerator gave Darkwing Super Speed, he caught fire from the friction when he first used it, and Honker had to treat his uniform with some type of chemical to prevent this. Worse still, the Super Speed also accelerated his metabolism so he aged at a hyper-accelerated rate. This was used as a plot point as the villain set up a trap that would make Darkwing Super Speed himself into a pile of dust.
  • The villain Nanosec in Transformers Animated aged to an old man after overusing his powers (He was back to normal for his next appearance, though, though it's implied that Slo-mo interceded with her Allspark-enhanced artifact)
  • Blastus in Robotomy has flame eyes, but not flame-proof eyes, so when he tries to use them he accomplishes nothing but setting his own eyes on fire.
  • Jimmy Neutron used a superslick spray to give his shoes Super Speed. While the effect of friction in the air is never discussed, he had horrible control of the friction on the ground and was unable to stop. He ended up as a pile of goo.
  • An episode of Kim Possible had the title character (and Rufus) don a pair of hi-tech shoes that allowed her to run incredibly fast, so that she could fight an army of super-sonic robots. She had all the secondary powers associated with super speed, apparently, except the ability to slow down. Even while not moving, everything around her moved so slowly it was almost stopped. By the end of the episode, she was mostly back to normal, but couldn't hit the brakes fast enough to stop in Middleton.
    • This also brings up a few questions, regarding the time she spent apparently doing nothing for what was to her likely several hours, while those around her were shown to have moved.
  • The titular character of Danny Phantom has a bucketload of these. For example, he's clearly very hard to injure considering the number of buildings he falls off of or is blasted through with minimal damage to himself or his jumpsuit. This one is pretty reasonable, though, because the story wouldn't be very interesting if damage was realistically represented every time Danny gets blasted, punched, zapped or shot through a wall.
    • He has no lasting problems with being frozen from the inside out, and their only effect during their uncontrolled development is to make him feel very cold and move slowly. Nor does he have any problems channeling pure cold through his body during subsequent uses of the ability.
    • He clearly also has some variety of superhuman eyeballs which never get dry or irritated from speeding through the air.
    • All standard secondary super strength powers also apply.
  • A minority fan theory about cutie marks in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The mark signifies what a pony's special talent is, and is usually seen as limiting; i.e., if a pony's special talent is woodworking, woodworking is all they can do. The theory holds that, inversely, the pony is intrinsically talented at everything related to their main hub talent; so a pony whose thing is woodworking is good not just at engraving wood, but knows about different kinds of wood, the proper uses of all the tools and creative applications thereof, the properties of different kinds of stains and varnishes, and what you can do with all that sawdust when you're done.
    • This is actually explained quite handily by Twilight Sparkle. She says that all unicorns have a little magic that help them with whatever special talent they have, despite not being especially talented in magic. For instance, in Twilight's case, her special talent is magic, essentially giving her endless possibilities in using it. Even so, she has to learn the spells and master them, or risk a variety of negative side effects (For example, a failed teleport scorches Spike in "The Ticket Master", an animation spell goes spectacularly haywire in "Winter Wrap-Up", and the gem-hunting spell she learnt from Rarity in "A Dog and Pony Show" behaves slightly differently). She's explicitly shown studying to make sure she can cast her spells properly in "Boast Busters", and hints from later episodes imply that she also learnt some spells from other unicorns in her life, friends and family alike.
    • Athletic pegasi would need to be very sturdy to survive the rigors of high-speed flight (while at the same time being lightweight, a difficult equation). Rainbow Dash, an exceptional athlete, is capable of destroying an entire barn by crashing into it unprotected without any injury (makes you wonder exactly what she did to damage her wing later on - attack the moon?) and is holding her own in an iron pony competition against Applejack, who is herself a very accomplished athlete even by earth pony standards.
    • As demonstrated by Twilight in the season 4 premiere, controlling flight is not a very easy skill to grasp. Even when she does manage to get into a somewhat stable flight, she finds out the only brakes she has are the ground.
    • Rainbow Dash outright states that flying is more than just "flapping her wings", as she notes that flying in the sky at high speeds usually means you'll be running the risk of ramming into something, and unlike on the ground you don't just come to a halt (at least not vertically). For that reason she must be subconsciously aware of everything around her at all times. This also neatly explains why she seems so unfocused in most episodes; she's actually observing all of the background events as well, so she's not as focused as the other characters on the task at hand.
  • Ben 10, as XLR8, rather than running, skates on the ball-shaped parts of his feet to cut off the impact-with-ground problems and manages to keep dust out of his eyes due to a built in windscreen. Both are presumably evolutionary traits shared by all Kinecelerans.
    • In Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Fasttrack suffered an inability to slow down when running quickly in "The Eggman Cometh".
    • Most of Ben's super strength forms seem to come with the required secondaries as part of the package.
  • Transformers: Prime
    • The phase shifter, which grants intangibility, is explicitly stated to work intuitively, allowing the user to remain grounded without falling through the floor, see without light ignoring their visual sensors, talk without phasing through the air, and pass through some objects while being able to grab others. The only limitation seems to be that the thing has to be turned on for it to work, and most likely cannot be used indefinitely. Worries about breathing are irrelevant since its intended users are giant robots who don't need such things.
    • The Apex Armor is an invulnerable suit of Powered Armor that also grants enhanced strength as seen when Miko wears it and beats up a bunch of Vehicons. It has no anchoring ability whatsoever, allowing Predaking to toss around Starscream like a ragdoll even while he's wearing it.
  • In Archer, Ray eventually becomes a paraplegic but gets mechanical implants to let him move his legs again. Unfortunately, since that's the only mechanical part, he can't really do any of the superhuman feats a full cyborg like Barry can do, as demonstrated when he injured himself trying to push a car out of a ditch.
    Archer: Are you shitting me?! Bionic legs and you lift with your back?!
  • In American Dad!, it was revealed that Roger has super speed so potent he can pull off ONscreen teleportation. One might question the amount of friction that would cause, except it was revealed a few seasons earlier that Roger's skin is flame-retardant.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Countdown", there's a point similar to the Dexter's Laboratory entry where after they freeze time, Gumball and Darwin try to read an issue of Captain Punch, only for it to catch fire because they're opening it so fast it causes an insane amount of friction, and since they're moving faster than electricity they can't operate any electronic devices. Unlike Dexter, they don't have to walk slowly.
  • In the 1967 Lone Ranger cartoon episode "Quicksilver", a man drinks super speed potion Q-32 and always gets one up on the ranger. At the end, he is getting away with the bag of bank money when the formula wears off and the secondary effects of a super-speed metabolism take effect. Suddenly he slows down, drops the bag and his hands get wrinkled. His voice gets throaty and starts to crack, his hair turns grey, then falls out and he winds up senile. All in less than ten seconds.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: In one episode, the Dark Hand enforcers divide the magic talismans among themselves. Finn takes the dog talisman, which gives immortality, but trades away the horse talisman, which provides healing, believing it was redundant to have both healing and immortality. Unfortunately for him, he finds out the hard way that the dog talisman doesn't include healing and only seems to prevent outright lethal injury. It certainly doesn't prevent pain.
  • At the beginning of the Chuck's Choice episode "The Dentalist", Chuck obtains Extreme Omnivore powers following his latest choice to give himself a bottomless stomach. He soon gets a toothache after eating an entire ice cream truck because the choice didn't include giving him indestructible teeth.

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