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Uh-oh. A character is cursed with a special ability or condition. What's this? Instead of the character angsting over the special ability, it turns out the character thinks the special ability they now have is awesome. The dissonance between how the character got the special ability and how they view the special ability itself is at the core of this trope. As such, this is an In-Universe only trope.


A curse is any negative event or series of unfortunate events whether that be an actual Curse, or negatively Applied Phlebotinum. If the character angsts over the events the lead to them getting the special ability before they decide the special ability is awesome, then it counts as a curse.

Reasons for a character to think a special ability is awesome are too numerous to mention. If their main attitude is that the special ability usually sucks and only occasionally is awesome, then they do not qualify for this trope. This trope is about "Sucks" verses "Awesome"; not about "is Useless" verses "is Useful"; utility and desirability are not equivalent for this trope.

Some of the more common reasons for a character to like a special ability regardless of origin include Living Forever Is Awesome, Unishment and the simple fact that the character now has a power from the Magic and Powers index.


Compare/contrast Mundane Utility where it is the general usefulness of the character's special ability that makes it awesome, not the way the character thinks about the special ability regardless of how useless the ability turns out to be.

The inverse is Blessed with Suck, where it's the events that are positive and the special ability that is negative.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Battle Angel Alita: introduces us to DR. Desty Nova who likes to experiment with the brains of people who are almost dead and can get the craziest results out of them ranging from pure Body Horror to some great examples of this trope. There is Makaku who is an all kinds of creepy monster that eats brains and steals powerful cyborg bodies to terrorize people with. Which is exactly what he wants since no one ever even noticed his existence. Jasagun is a motorballer who got his brain fixed by Nova after a crash that would normally have been fatal. He only has a few years to live but in the mean time he can be the unbeatable emperor of motorball since his brain developed some truly God-like fighting skills. And then there is Zapan who got humiliated by Alita so badly he only wanted power so he could kill her. And that is exactly what he got an infinite supply of even though the berserker body would inevitably consume him in the long run.
  • In High School Dx D, this is immediately noted In-Universe and capitalized on. In order to access a Super Mode and have any chance of winning an Engagement Challenge he's about to throw down for, Issei has to sacrifice his left arm and have a dragon one grafted on in its place. Dragons aren't devils, and he immediately realizes this means he can now hold holy artifacts in his left hand and packs appropriately. After the Super Mode fails, it's the "cost" that facilitates him delivering a incredibly satisfying No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • In Naruto, the character is the "can" part of Sealed Evil in a Can because he houses a malevolent spirit inside him, the Nine-tailed Fox. Said spirit becomes the major reason for his extreme powers because its huge stock of Applied Phlebotinum supplies the energy to all his strongest attacks. Supposedly, the village hates him for it, but most of the named characters (in a series with plenty) don't seem to mind. Oh, and he stops angsting about the beast after the first episode. However, the circumstances did cost him growing up without a family, with a bad reputation that he only made worse due to being an attention seeking prankster.
    • Most of the other hosts aren't as lucky: Gaara was ostracized even more from his village while the thing tried to take over his mind when he slept (so he doesn't) and hosts 2-7 were all killed by Akatsuki. Most of the Jinchuuriki were made to be like superweapons, so how they're viewed varies on the village. However, the 8-Tailed Ox host, Killer Bee, has it even better than Naruto: he's able to control his beast and use it however he wants (that might have been something he needed to learn how to do), has no apparently risk of it getting out (even if he uses its full power), and his village actually respects him. It helps in Killer Bee's case that the Eight-Tails is considerably more mellow than the Kyuubi. The Kyuubi is constantly threatening to kill Naruto; the Eight-Tails just occasionally insults Killer Bee. So while Naruto might have gotten off a bit easier, a consistent reminder (big example with Gaara's initial personality when being introduced) was that Naruto could've become a much darker person.
    • Naruto now has control of Kurama (the Kyubi), and later on, he managed to befriend it in the same way Bee did, making him an aloof Tsundere who doesn't need to be restrained anymore, lending Naruto the fullest extent of his power.
    Comic Books 
  • In the Astro City story "Lucky Girl," Hummingbird II discovers that her gods-granted powers are tainted with a curse that will eventually turn her into a real bird. She rejects an offer to be cured by having her powers removed, choosing instead to deal with her fate with the help of her Honorary Aunts.
    Fan Works 
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist fanfic build your wings on the way down, Ed is burdened by knowing the dark side of alchemy. But he now knows the ins and outs of alchemy and can do feats thought to be impossible by regular alchemists. He knows how to directly bargain with the Gate and what are the set prices and transactions for Equivalent Exchange.
  • The CSI / Charlie and the Chocolate Factory crossover fic Death By Chocolate shows how Violet Beaureguard benefited from the incident of the blueberry pie gum from the film section below - she became a contortionist of such skill that she became a star of Cirque de Soleil. Her mother wasn't too happy about it, though...
    Films — Animated 
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, the main character hates being turned into a giantess after a freak meteorite hit her. However, by the end of the movie she has accepted her size, and uses her powers for good.
  • Odette in the squeal to The Swan Princess voluntarily ends up changing herself into a swan, recognising that it has advantages and that her husband needs help. In the first movie, she was only changed into a swan due to a Curse.
    Films — Live-Action 
  • The premise for Phenomenon. John Travolta's character gains extraordinary mental powers as well as telekinesis all caused by a brain cancer that activates normally dormant regions of the brain. His first big problem is finding out why he got this power—since it scares the locals, it makes his personal life harder than it used to be (he's from a small town). Once he finds out, he takes it much better—yes, he takes a brain cancer that kills him in less than two years, and the inconveniences that go with treating such a cancer, much more peacefully than ostracism.
  • At the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we get to see what happened to all the bad kids. Violet is let off the easiest, and is pleased to find that she's much more flexible after becoming a blueberry and then getting juiced. Only her mother is bothered that she's still blue.
    Live Action TV 
  • The Middleman has a character who was cursed with immortality as a punishment for kicking someone else out of a lifeboat on the Titanic. This rather backfired, because he thinks Living Forever Is Awesome.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Rumpelstiltskin is cursed to be the most powerful sorcerer in the land and to have sparkly grey skin—which he may or may not be able to conceal with magic. This also comes with a bent toward dark, murderous urges. That this is a curse is established in the Season 1 episode "Skin Deep," wherein Belle almost ends it with True Love's Kiss. In a slight departure, while the show clearly wants us to see him as cursed, Rumpelstiltskin himself never complains about his powers, and is quite sensibly freaked out at the prospect of losing them and being at the mercy of the Evil Queen, not to mention losing any chance of finding his son.
  • In a Greco-Roman myth recorded by Ovid in Metamorphoses a man named Lycaeon is turned into a wolf as divine punishment for being a cannibal and serving human flesh to the gods. It's strongly implied that he was happier in this form than as a human.
  • According to the Roman writer Ovid, Scylla was a nymph cursed to become one of the most powerful, hideous, and feared monsters in existence, making this Older Than Feudalism. She decided that if she couldn't be beautiful anymore, she'd stay in the spot she was transformed for the rest of her life, devouring anyone who came near. Having around six wild dogs attached to her may explain the whole 'devouring people' deal.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In this Dilbert strip, Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light, makes Dilbert choose between two "hideous fates": having eternal high pay but having to see all his work burned in front of him at the end of each day, or having his work be useful and appreciated but suffering eternal poverty. Dilbert points out that they're both better than his current job and recruits Wally to get in on the deal.

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