Tv tropes super strength

Tv tropes super strength DEFAULT

Strength Index

Tropes about being physically strong or demonstrating strength like with lifting or hitting. Not to be confused with Muscular Index but there can be some overlap.

Contrast Weakness Tropes.

  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: Being so strong that you are worried you might hurt someone.
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: Strong women tend to pair up with stronger men.
  • Amazon Chaser: A girl being physically strong is what this guy finds most attractive about her.
  • Balls of Steel: A man's balls are strong enough to resist a Groin Attack.
  • Barehanded Bar Bending: A character demonstrates their strength by bending a metal object with ease.
  • The Big Guy / The Brute: A team member that specializes in tasks that require physical strength.
  • Boobs of Steel: Large breasts on a woman are a clue that she's physically strong.
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: Heroes use brute strength while villains use intellect.
  • Brains vs. Brawn: Strength and intellect are portrayed as opposites to one another for contrast.
  • Brawn Hilda: A woman who's physically strong and looks very mannish.
  • Crushing Handshake: Shaking hands with someone stronger than you causes you pain.
  • Cute Bruiser: Looks cute and dainty but is actually capable of beating people up.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Super Strength can cause problems if you can't control it.
  • Dumb Muscle: What one lacks in brains is made up for with their physical strength.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: A woman can lift a person off the ground without breaking a sweat.
  • Genius Bruiser: This person has both the brains and brawn.
  • Girly Bruiser: Just because this lady is girly doesn't mean she still isn't capable of getting her hands dirty when the situation calls for it.
  • Glacier Waif: She looks like a Fragile Speedster or a Squishy Wizard but is actually a Mighty Glacier.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: You know the villain is strong if he lifts the defeated hero over his head.
  • Impossible Pickle Jar: Opening a jar or bottle takes serious endurance.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Super Strong characters can still be really light on their feet.
  • Made of Iron: Has such strong endurance to survive lethal situations that a normal person would be killed by.
  • Men Are Strong, Women Are Pretty: Strength is expected of men while women only need to be beautiful.
  • Mighty Glacier: With great physical strength comes loss in speed and mobility.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: You can get really strong if you live and train in Russia.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: Large muscles are a sign of strength.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: A character doesn't need bulky biceps and triceps to be strong. In fact, lack of muscle is much more effective.
  • Neck Lift: A character demonstrates his strength by grabbing his opponent by the throat and lifting him up with only one hand.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Men are intimidated by or turned off of women stronger than them.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Small in size yet is deadly in strength.
  • Powerful, but Incompetent: A character that has great power or ability, but is too dumb to actually accomplish anything with it.
  • The Pretty Guys Are Stronger: Think pretty boys are pansies? Not these guys, they're tanks compared to the more monstrous looking fighters.
  • Smack on the Back: Strong character affectionately smacks someone on their body, causing them pain.
  • Stout Strength: Fat men who are strong.
  • Strength Equals Worthiness: You gotta show how strong you are if you want to gain the respect of someone important.
  • The Strength of Ten Men: They're as strong as multiple men put together.
  • Strong Ants: Ants are so strong they can lift 10 times their own weight.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Normally strong characters get weakened in certain situations.
  • Stronger Than They Look: Despite looking weak, they're actually a tank of strength.
  • The Strongman: Circus performer whose physical might is practiced for the entertainment of others.
  • Super Rug-Pull: When you have Super Strength, you can pull out a chunk of rock and whip it like a rug.
  • Super Strength: Strength that is beyond human ability.
  • Super-Strong Child: Not all children are weak and helpless.
  • Takes Ten to Hold: "Strength in numbers" taken literally, usually against a One-Man Army.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: A carnival game that tests the participant's strength, usually involving a high striker.
  • Tough Beetles: Beetles portrayed as strong and heavily armored.
  • Uninhibited Muscle Power: Super Strength that comes from natural causes rather than magical means.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Even those who lack natural talent can be strong.
  • Women Prefer Strong Men: Women are most attracted to very strong men.
  • World's Strongest Man: A man who's stronger than all other people on the planet.


Does Not Know His Own Strength

"Dammit, that's the third door this week!"

After you gain Super Strength, one of the first things that happens is that you lack the dexterity and sensitivity to know when or how much of your super strength is being applied. Consequently, when trying to go about your daily grind, you accidentally break almost anything in your hands from pulling or squeezing too hard (that could include important levers or other people's hands). Jars and cups explode from the slightest squeeze, you burst through doors and windows, your shoulders chip at entrances/egresses and at worst, you cause severe damage to important facilities or even living beings. The toughest objects are brittle in your super-strong hands and you have to be extra delicate with how you hold or lift things. This is one of the most Omnipresentgags in the medium of superpowers as one of the missing Required Secondary Powers that has to be re-learned and remembered for daily functioning.

Normally, it only happens to folks who gain Super Strength, not characters born with it and who had it all their life. After all, in real life an Olympic athlete that can lift several times his own weight can also pick up a caterpillar without squishing it and it would create all sorts of Fridge Logic to see characters with long-established super strength constantly smashing plates or bottles and not wonder how they ever managed to feed themselves without learning how to control their power. The one major exception to this is if they're from a place (whether it's another planet, an alternate reality, or a Hidden Elf Village) where everyone is that strong, so things like doorknobs and coffee cups are built to withstand being used by individuals capable of crumpling steel with their bare hands and they're not used to how comparatively flimsy everything is on Earth.

This trope is related to Blessed with Suck but is specific to strength and to powers which resemble strength (e.g. the ability to crush objects via telekinesis). It works as a trade-off where the massive raw power that's great for a battle makes Mundane tasks hell to perform. Another variation involves Functional Magic or Psychic Powers, where a mage or telekinetic with the power to decimate armies must do chores by hand, because the spellcaster lacks enough fine control over those powers. After all, incinerating enemies with "too much fire" isn't really a problem, but burning dinner with "too much fire" is.

If the hero's family is unaware of the hero's new powers, undoubtedly the blame for the damage will fall on 'shoddy construction' or on another house member's bad attempts at DIY.

A frequent and more realistic variation of this is that the hero is able to control their strength, but when tempers flare or the hero is startled (or otherwise incapacitated, or perhaps inebriated) that control quickly lapses.

A Sub-Trope of How Do I Shot Web?.

Compare And Call Him "George"!, when it happens to (formerly) living things. Related to Power Incontinence. Could be called the inverse of Gentle Giant. Can overlap with Unskilled, but Strong. This also plays a part in Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex situations.


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    Anime & Manga 

  • Astro Boy: This was a major issue Astro had when Tenma was forcing him to be a replacement for his deceased son Tobio. Being a Robot Kid, Astro couldn't act like a normal child and broke things very easily. Eventually he learned to control himself better.
  • In Aruosumente, the Sage comments on how Legna has great abilities as an Oracle but lacks the knowledge and refinement to use them fully.
  • The Rogue Titan in Attack on Titan tends to hit so hard that it wrecks its own body along with whatever it's hitting. Fortunately, its Healing Factor helps to make up for that.
  • Basquash!: Iceman, especially in episode 8, when Dan constantly chews him out for his "DESTROY!!!" fever, but he simply cannot grasp that being a complete barbarian during games is bad. In the end, it is revealed that his infamous "destroy balls" are nothing but mere passes. Iceman is simply incapable of NOT throwing them.
  • Finny from Black Butler tends to do this, the result being lots of broken things and a crowning moment of awesome when he gets to use this to his advantage.
  • In Berserk when Femto aka Griffith first uses his new god powers to stop The Skull Knight saving Guts and Casca, he holds out his hand and makes a gravity well that misses the knight but crushes a group of Apostles into chunks. Femto then looks down at his hand, amazed. When Guts attacks him years later, Femto doesn't even uses his hands and just blows Guts away from him using telekinesis, showing how much he has mastered his powers.
    • Killer Gorilla Apostle Wyald has a moment he where he picks up Casca like a doll and in doing so hurts her, because he doesn't know his own strength at least when applied to less violent actions.
    • Heroic example comes from Guts when he's fighting a roaming Apostle and using an ornate Cool Sword that Godot gave him, when fighting the monster Guts swings the blade so hard it snaps in two against the Apostle's hide. Guts then finds his iconic BFS and "neatly" slices the Apostle in two, this scene not only shows the level of weaponry you need to slay a demonic being, but it also shows Guts's Super Strength is so high that any blade smaller than a greatsword is ill suited for him.
  • A more tragic example occurs in Birdy the Mighty. In one episode, a serial killer is hunting and murdering young women with short brunette hair and glasses. It turns out to be a rogue Marionette that escaped and is seeking the women because they have similar traits to her creator, who imprinted her with childlike affection, and she ended up killing her "Mama" and the other women by hugging them until their insides ruptured.
  • In Bleach, after Nel Tu temporarily returns to her true age, she hugs the living crap out of Ichigo, who had previously been badly wounded while she was watching. However, what she fails to realize is that she's so strong in that form that she actually comes close to choking him. By the time Orihime makes her realize it, he passed out, causing her to worry and hug him even harder.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Before he became a Demon Slayer, Gyomei lived a peaceful life as a priest free of conflict. However, when a demon attacked and killed several of the orphans at his temple, Gyomei retaliated with a ferocity and strength that he did not know he had in him, beating the demon's head to a bloody pulp over and over until the sun rose. He states that if it weren't for that moment, he would have lived his entire life without realizing that he possessed such incredible strength and resolve.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The very first time this trope was in effect was during the preliminary matches of the 21st tournament. Goku playfully tapped his opponent (a big, muscular man) in the back of his leg, causing the man to fall out of the ring in pain. Goku quickly told Krillin to be careful from then on. It had been a while since Goku and Krillin had fought somebody who didn't have super-strength on par with their own, after all.
    • During the filler episodes leading up to the Cell Games in Dragon Ball Z, Goku and Gohan had this problem as Super Saiyans. Needless to say, Chi-Chi wasn't amused. The viewers were, though. This made sense, because they'd never gone through everyday, non-combat life in Super Saiyan form before.
    • In filler late in the Cell Saga, Goku crumbles the wooden house King Kai built as soon as he lays his hand on it.
    • During one of the tournaments, contestants are qualified to participate in the fight by punching a machine that registers the force delivered. Goku and his friends have to concentrate really hard to hit the machine without breaking it. Vegeta doesn't hold back.
    • Before that, when Goku wants to train Gohan in preparation for the Androids, while Goku attempts to calm his wife Chi-Chi down he pats her on the back, causing her to fly through a wall and a tree. Goku was very apologetic and helped Gohan patch her up.
    • An earlier filler example happens when Goku recovers from his heart illness, and he and Chi-Chi do the "happily toss into the air" bit when they reunite. Goku, momentarily(?) forgetting his own strength, accidentally tosses Chi-Chi too far (as in, too high to see). She didn't really seem to mind, probably since he caught her and the action reaffirms his aforementioned recovery.
    • His youngest son, Goten, unknowingly achieves Super Saiyan for the first time while training with Chi-Chi. He promptly kicks her, assuming she'll still be faster than him and dodge. She's not, and flies about twenty feet into a tree. She's perfectly fine, and not the slightest bit angry, just upset that her youngest son is already an alien killing machine.
    • Even Chi-Chi herself gets in on the action. In an early episode, while waiting longer than usual for Goku to return home (he may have been dead at the time), she decides to wash the dishes. About every other dish gets squeezed so hard it cracks, then dropped into a convenient garbage bin. While Chi-Chi has a much lesser level of Super Strength than the main characters, it's still more than enough for her to shatter glass in her bare hands if she's too angry to restrain herself.
    • Gohan humorously has a few moment like this during his High School days when he tries to act normal, like when playing baseball not only does he jump 25 feet in the air to catch a home run but when he throws the ball (as lightly as he can) to kid on third base he knocks the dude straight over. Another time Gohan created a goddamn earthquke in his classroom by tapping his foot impatiently allowing Gohan to get out of class.
    • For all his embarrassing defeats in Z, Yamcha's still strong enough to wreck an ordinary weight machine with one tug. Also when Yamcha gives Beerus a simple Smack on the Back in Dragon Ball Super he makes the Physical God of Destruction stagger forward in surprise. This shows despite how lesser Yamcha's power is he still has enough Super Strength to nearly knock over a god who wasn't expecting it from a mere mortal.
  • Durarara!!'s Shizuo Heiwajima is prone to this, especiallywhen angry. At one point the Yakuza even deduce Shizuo's recent presence in an apartment complex simply by the state of the stairway's guardrails — which is not very difficult, as Shizuo managed to utterly destroy them on his way out.
  • Eyeshield 21:
    • While Gaou knows how strong he is, he doesn't understand the very idea of "holding back", and is thus completely unable to do so in any situation. The same can be said for Husky Russkie Rodchenko.
    • Kurita, on the other hand, is too strong and too friendly for his own good, meaning big, painful hugs all around.
    • Shin also does this from time to time, usually with electronic devices.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Roy Mustang suffers from this in chapter

      Roy: Without my vision I can't limit the blast properly!
      Hawkeye: Don't limit it at all!

    • Major Armstrong is feared because of this. He hugs others and causes minor-to-severe injury while doing so. When seeing Edward injured and in the hospital, he was so emotional that he hugged him to the point Edward needed a full body cast.
  • Fushigi Yuugi has Nuriko, completely unaware just how strong his super strength is. Wanting to cheer Tamahome up, he gives him a tiny poke on the back of the guy's head with his index finger and promptly sends Tamahome's face into the table.

    Nuriko: I only gave you a poke.
    Tamahome: You call that a poke!?

  • In Get Backers, one of the repeating causes of the main characters' crushing debt is the fact that Ban can't seem to control his strength when he is in a bad mood. As a result, he and Ginji frequently find themselves having to pay for damages to the Honky Tonk as a result of Ban breaking everything from coffee-cups to plates, tables, bars, doors, windows, and even walls.
  • During her early life in a highly enhanced prosthetic body, the Major of Ghost in the Shell had some major (no pun intended) difficulties controlling the prosthetics' strength. She mentions (and it is shown in the opening credits) that she once smashed a doll by being unable to control her own limbs.
  • The few countries in Hetalia: Axis Powers with Super Strength are very prone to this. America in particular. Usually at either Japan or England's expense.
  • High School D×D:
    • One of the first steps in Issei's development is the harsh realization that he's a pretty worthless Devil and his Sacred Gear is far more valuable them him. Over time, and with a lot of Training from Hell (no Hard Work Hardly Works here), he's able to keep a level playing field with increasingly powerful opponents that constantly push him to the limit. While this doesn't affect his daily life, it does result in Issei completely forgetting how to fight against normal enemies, rather than dragons and gods.
    • During his Mid-Rank Devil exam, for the combat portion, Issei is so certain he'll barely scrape through this phase as well he put all his strength into the fight, resulting in his opponent being sent through the wall in a single blow.note In fairness, it's implied Issei's strong enough to pass the High-Rank combat exam with one arm behind his back, but lacks in other areas.
    • Issei regularly spars with Kiba, who is repeatedly described as the only technique-type on a team of power idiots. Kiba reveals he can't take this sort of training lightly, as Issei could kill him if a blow got through without being properly mitigated. Issei is horrified - he'd already been holding back.
  • Hitomi-chan Is Shy with Strangers: When Yuu and Hitomi do the cart curling game with Yuu in the cart, Yuu tells Hitomi to use her full strength to push the cart because it seems heavy. She doesand sends the cart so fast that it rams into a wall and flips Yuu out of it.
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?:
    • Ais Wallenstein is so strong that she injures her sparring partners even when she tries to hold back, and she needed to get a Made of Indestructium sword because all other weapons break when she uses them.
    • Lyu Lyon also finds it hard to hold back when sparring.
  • As she undergoes her first full transformation into Harugon in the first chapter of Kaiju Girl Caramelise, Kuroe Akaishi runs away from Arata Minami and catches her breath at a bridge. She absentmindedly grips one of the railings with a transformed hand, crushing it and tumbling into the river below.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple:
    • Muay Thay God of Death Apachai Hopachai. Also a Gentle Giant on his own right, he is really kind to all living things, being even able to speak with animals. Unfortunately, due to the Training from Hell he went through during his childhood (and the fact that he was thrown in life-or-death battles even as a kid) he's incapable of sparring with Kenichi without delivering several blows that would have killed anyone less resilient. It gets to a point when Kenichi loses the memory of being hit due to a concussion. He's actually killed Kenichi at least once. The other masters are able to revive the poor kid, and it's been mostly played for laughs.
    • Kenichi himself gets into this early on. One of the more humorous examples has him giving a "light" slapping to Niijima, and manages to knock him out instead.
    • Played more tragically during Kenichi's fight against the Tirawit Koukin trained Karate club. While they received training in attacking and were pretty good at it they received none in defending. That's why when Kenichi used his normal strength against them, one blow was enough to send them to the hospital. Tirawit points out how Kenichi doesn't even realize how much stronger he is than average humans.
  • Lapis Re:LiGHTs has Salsa of IV KLORE. She is a werewolf with supernatural strength and speed but is so excitable and wild that she oftentimes breaks things like doors.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Being a combat Cyborg blessed with Super Strength, Subaru mentions her fear of performing this trope during a flashback. Also illustrated in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerSmanga during a wall-climbing exercise, when a Teana that just met her asked her to put a little more strength in boosting her up, causing the now terrified girl to achieve her dream of taking to the skies a lot earlier than she expected.
    • Since she received her powers by fusing with a Great Big Book of Everything containing the strongest spells in the multiverse, Hayate literally cannot use low-power magic. As a result, the TSAB normally treat her similarly to a tactical nuke, only calling her in to cast a single spell in certain situations (and after evacuation orders have been given). Which is odd, given that Rein Eins' usage of spells like Bloody Dagger show that Hayate should, at least in theory, be able to fight at the anti-personnel level.
    • In a sound stage of A's, after Shamal forgot to heat up the water for bathing Vita asks Signum use her magic. She answers that she lacks finesse for smaller tasks.
    • A physical strength example occurs in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, when Miura Rinaldi, one of Zafira's students in martial arts, accidentally breaks the wookden pole she uses for training soon after it was fixed.
  • It's a Running Gag in Massugu ni Ikou that Big Friendly Dog Hanako jumps up on people and knocks them down.
  • During an arm wrestling competition in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Ilulu ends up snapping Makoto's wrist like a twig.
  • In Monster Musume, Kimihito's Cute Monster Girl harem, with the exception of Rachnera and Lala, have difficulty holding their strength back, which often results in Kimihito being injured. When Lunacy strikes Miia, Papi, and Centorea at the same time, they all suffer from this, thus leaving Kimihito facing a very real risk of literally getting killed during intercourse if the temporarily lust-crazed girls manage to capture him long enough to have their way with him.
  • In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Masayuki Hori is more used to performing rugged physical labor than performing delicate tasks. When he tries to add screentone to a drawing, he tears through the paper.
  • Musuko ga Kawaikute Shikataganai Mazoku no Hahaoya: Lorem's overwhelming brute strength is great for dealing with enemies not such much for fine household chores. Her attempts to cook a simple food dish for Gospel go awry after she keeps destroying all the food and appliances. By the time Merii comes over, the kitchen is a complete mess and Lorem only has a barely edible carrot paste to show for it.
  • Naruto:
    • Sakura Haruno, while training with Tsunade during the time skip of the original series, acquires the same herculean strength that she has. But of course, whenever Naruto does anything Sakura thinks is stupid, she gets the urge to pound the tar out of him and sends him flying with just one punch.
    • Played for Laughs when Naruto gains Biju Mode and accidentally hit one of the Bijudama into one of the Alliance formations, indirectly wiping it out because he couldn't control his strength.
    • Earlier, when Naruto and Sasuke are fighting on hospital roof and use their new jutsus (Rasengan and Chidori) on each other, Sakura gets in the way and to both boy's panic they literally can't stop before Kakashi knocks their asses into two water tanks. Sasuke is pleased to see his chidori seemly did more damage to water tank than his rival&#;s attack until he looks behind Naruto's tank and sees what the Rasengan did. This clearly wasn't Naruto's intention therefore Kakashi is concerned Naruto learned such a powerful attack at a young age.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
  • Happens a few times in One Piece especially when people get their Devil Fruit Abilities for the first time: Luffy for instance as a child couldn't control his Rubber Man powers and would end up punching his own face with attempted stretchy punches, not until he was teenager could use his powers better; though Crocodile still dubbed him Unskilled, but Strong. Kaku also had this problem despite being grown adult and Professional Killer, when he first activates his Zoan-Devil Fruit he falls through the floor and his attacks are now strong enough to unintentionally slice the building he was standing inside in half.
    • Luffy still invokes this trope with his other actions as everything from a Smack on the Back, The Glomp or Balloon Belly can cause Amusing Injuries, property damage or worse if Luffy isn't careful. In Movie 7 Luffy discovers Second Gear by complete accident and is amazed when he sends a Humongous Mecha flying out of nowhere.
    • Zoro was plagued by this trope in his early bounty hunter days (shown in Filler) where he'd constantly break his other katanas by using too much Super Strength, so much of his early training was focusing on using the required force and nothing more. When Zoro told Mihawk about the times where he'd chip his blades, Mihawk outright told Zoro a ruined sword is Master Swordsmen's greatest shame so Zoro strove to learn Armament Haki to protect his katanas from harm.
      • Even when being careful Zoro risks killing normal dudes with his strength as when he used the flat side of his blades to knock out the Galley La Foremen and Nami warned him that's still enough to cause serious injury. Earlier on Zoro split the Going Merry's mast in half while simply drawing the sails, though in this case it's more showing the poor condition the ship was in that it couldn't handle its superhuman occupants rather than Zoro's strength.
    • Sanji gets a variation in Skypeia when Gan Fall teaches him about the Impact Dial, Gan Fall instructs him to put the dial on a barrel and then smack it with all his strength using a huge hammer Sanji does so and nothing happens leaving Usopp whose watching underwhelmed. Sanji understands the Dial absorbed the damage from his blow and Gan Fall told him to press the Dial to the barrel and see what happens the barrel explodes into smithereens, if Sanji had swung the hammer normally without the Dial being there he would've put a hole in the Merry's deck.
    • This trope comes up again in Punk Hazard thanks to Trafalgar Law putting half the crew in a "Freaky Friday" Flip situation, the first case is when Nami in Franky's Cyborg body goes to punch out Sanji who&#;s in Nami's own weaker sexy body and loving it which results in Nami nearly killing Sanji/herself. The second time is when Franky decides to use Chopper's ability to transform into stronger forms through pills. Unfortunately, Franky doesn't have any of Chopper's medical expertise and goes on a Unstoppable Rage in Monster Point which he can't control.
    • As shown in a Flash Back Charlotte Linlin aka Big Mom suffered from this problem immensely, when she was just five years old, she was strong enough to kill a large bear instantly with a single smack, merely intending to scold the animal. She also broke several of giant's bones by slapping a mosquito on his back, hell even as a 68 year old woman she just walked through an iron bound door unconsciously. It's likely because she was Easily Forgiven for her accidents as a child by Mother Caramel that Big Mom cares little for the catastrophic damage she causes later in life.
  • In Pokémon, Ash's Dragonite tends to hug its human allies a bit too hard. Pokemon allies on the other hand enjoy the cuddles from this Gentle Giant.
  • Ever since they switched to a multi-man team, the Pink heroine in the Pretty Cure series will always discover how powerful she is when she takes off into the sky in a panic.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Ryoga. Whenever his emotions get too much, or his mind wanders, everything he touches tends to crumble around him. Combine this with the fact he gained the ability to shatter inanimate matter with a finger jab early in the series, and you've got a man who has as much trouble not destroying Tokyo as he does navigating it.
    • There is also a storyline in which Akane gains Super Strength due to accidentally eating food called Super Soba, and briefly falls into this trope. She first discovers her newfound strength when she casually sets her bowl down, and promptly smashes the table and the floor below the table. She would also regularly pat other characters (usually Ranma) with what was supposed to be a light touch on the head or shoulder, and instead sent them flying.
    • During a mid-manga story, Ranma is weakened by a vengeful Happousai. The cure involves a painful-looking moxibustion technique applied on his back — out of reflex, he tries to swat Cologne off his back, only to find himself smashing a solid concrete roller (the kind used to flatten sports fields) purely by accident.
    • It's played up more in the manga version, but Shampoo often destroys things around her, tearing through walls rather than going for the door or shattering doors when she does use them. It's debatable whether she counts for this, though, as it's just as likely that she just likes to show off that she's a Cute Bruiser. Though when given a hypnotic suggestion to "go home peacefully" she still smashes through a wall as she leaves.
  • In Rebuild World, Shizuka warns Akira to not crush the trigger of his guns by accident while getting a handle on the Super Strength his augmented suit provides.
  • MakotoKino from Sailor Moon. By accident, she had choked Mamoru unconscious while trying to interrogate him and smacked Ami while trying to give her a friendly pat on the back. These instances are Played for Laughs, of course.
  • In Super Robot Wars Original Generation: The Inspector, Lamia listens to a rather heartwarming speech from Kai to Ryusei and Bullet about trying to get the captured Arado to make a Heel&#;Face Turn of his own will. As the speech finishes, Excellen cheerfully points out to Lamia that she's accidentally twisted the handles of the exercise machine she had been using into a pretzel.
  • In Tenchi Muyo! GXP, protagonist Seina Yamada has to spend several episodes learning to control this after being given enhanced strength and speed. Of course, this turns out to be a lovely excuse to set up some Innocent Cohabitation
  • In Tiger & Bunny, it's implied that Kotetsu had this problem back when was a child ("I'm not supposed to touch anyone when I'm like this. I'll hurt people."), which was why he was ashamed of his NEXT abilities up until he encountered Mr. Legend.
  • Tomo-chan Is a Girl!: A childhood flashback indicates that Tomo suffered from this a bit in childhood (i.e snapping Jun's handheld video game in two while trying to play it when they first met). As a high-school student she has mostly grown out of it aside from well she is a Spirited Competitor who considers it disrespectful to treat opponents with kid gloves, which would not be a problem if it were not for how when her blood is up her ability to properly gauge the capabilities of others goes way down.
  • Torako, Anmari Kowashicha Dame da yo centers on a soft-spoken, insecure, impossibly stronggentle giantesstransferred to a school filled with the most fearsome and notorious delinquents in Japan because she suffers from this; damaging doors constantly and breaking a classmate's arm by flinging her out of the path of an oncoming truck along with past acts of carnage she frantically downplays.
  • Monkey king Bambina from Toriko can't find a suitable opponent or a dance partner, because almost everybody he comes across ends up ripped to shreds in seconds, when he tries to fight or dance with them, due to his incredible strength. Even powerful regenerating demon, capable of singlehandedly killing and eating almost every creature on planet managed to survive only for a couple of seconds.
  • Karna, the protagonist of The Rise of the Unemployed Wise Man has no clue how insanely overpowered he is, even when he learns that he has several gods as pets as his only frame of reference is the legendary heroes of humanity who were even more powerful and would look at his exploits as "the basics."

    Asian Animation 

  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Jonie, being the strongest goat in the group of main characters besides Sparky but also much clumsier compared to him, tends to be very rough to people and objects - so much so, in fact, that in episode 23 of Joys of Seasons she has to wear gentle cuffs invented by Mr. Slowy to be able to help hurt animals without her accidentally hurting them even more.

    Comic Books 

  • Superman:
    • Played straight when Supes is depicted as a child who realistically doesn't know his own strength as seen in Action Comics #1 (here). After the reboot, some writers declared that he only developed his powers at a late age to avoid it.
    • An excellent s issue of Superboy dealt with a villain tricking young Supes into thinking he had accidentally killed Lana Lang with a careless display of strength. Grief-stricken, Superboy turns himself in to the police and sits brooding in a jail cell, giving the villain and his mooks a free window of opportunity to commit crimes unopposed. Naturally, it's all a ruse, and Lana turns out to have been merely kidnapped and is totally unharmed.
    • One story from the '90s saw Supes' strength start increasing exponentially. This trope definitely came into play then.
    • Some versions of Krypto the Superdog apply this trope. Being just a dog, he really doesn't know his own strength.
    • Many, many times in various Superman comics other people would gain Superman's strength. This trope almost always applies.
    • In Kryptonite Nevermore Superman accidentally rips a door off its hinges right after recovering his powers.
    • One Bronze Age story had Superman's strength seeming to increase beyond his ability to control, and he resorted to a super sunscreen to block his absorption of the sun's rays. It turned out to be a trick by the Parasite, who was specifically leeching Superman's ability to control his strength, making his strength seem like it was increasing, while the sunscreen was in fact rendering him weaker and weaker. At the climax, as he's realized too late what was happening and is plummeting to his death because he can't fly any more, he removes his boots because he hadn't put any sunscreen on his feet, and absorbs just enough sunlight mojo while falling to survive the impact.
    • In Infinite Crisis, Superboy-Prime attacks Conner Kent, beating him badly whilst causing a huge amount of damage to the town of Smallville, until a (fairly large) group(s) of other heroes arrive as back-up. When a heroine named Pantha calls him a "stupid kid" and attacks him in which Superboy retaliates by smacking her across the face He ends up taking her head off and killing her, he is completely shocked when he notices the blood on his hand and has a mini breakdown.
    • In Superman Annual #8, Pounder, one of a far-future League of Supermen who have each been genetically engineered to have one of Superman's powers, has support staff who have to do everything for him, because it's not safe for him to touch things. (The whole League is Blessed with Suck, in fact.)
    • In Superman: Secret Origin, a teenage Clark Kent, whose powers were just beginning to emerge, really had no idea how strong he was. It caused problems when he tried to play football with his friends and accidentally broke Pete Ross's arm.
    • On the other hand, Supergirl does this on occasion, for example in one of Redan's Batman and Superman comic strips. Then again, she was still learning to control her powers. One of the explicit differences between Superman and Supergirl is that Superman has mental blocks he imposed on himself so there's an upper limit to how much power he'll use, while Supergirl has no such blocks, allowing her to at times be stronger than her cousin.
    • In the story "Supergirl's Lost Uniform", Supergirl while in her Linda Danvers identity lifted what she thought was a fake lb weight and twirled it like a baton. The fake was the one next to it. Oops.
    • During one of her first fights against Reactron in the Post-Crisis title, she pulls a man out of a building at super-speed and accidentally breaks his arm in three different places.
    • In Supergirl Volume 6 #27—the beginning of the Red Daughter of Krypton storyline—Supergirl kicks Lobo so hard that she—apparently—kills him. Kara is so upset that she swears she didn't want to kill him and she cries she doesn't know her own strength.

      Supergirl: I don't even know my own strength!

    • In the beginning of The Supergirl from Krypton, Kara accidentally breaks a lot of things because she does not know how strong she is.
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth), as Kara is learning how to drive, she puts her foot on the brake and through the bottom of the car. When it happens, her foster mother cries out "Again?".
    • Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade: In the first chapter, Kara breaks her desk when she puts her hand on it. And in the second chapter she puts her hand through the wall when she is writing on a chalkboard.
    • In Last Daughter of Krypton, Supergirl is not aware of her massive stregnth when her rocket crashes on Earth and she wakes up from her artificial sleep. So, she is downright shocked when she punches a robot -in reality, a soldier in Powered Armor- beyond the horizon.
    • Strangers at the Heart's Core: Wanting to increase her physical strength, Shyla Kor-Onn did set up a strength-leeching machine on the top of a building. Unfortunately, she forgot about her new magnified strength when she went to turn the machine off; she pushed it off the ledge, and accidentally crushed an innocent bystander.
    • Power Girl has a long history of breaking or outright destroying things when she loses her temper. Fortunately, this usually results in getting it back under control.
  • Spider-Man:
    • When Peter Parker first got his powers, he accidentally crushed a steel pipe "like it was paper".
    • Later Spidey gets into a boxing match with Jerk Jock Flash Thompson, knowing he could seriously injure Flash if he didn't pull his punches, Peter puts a fraction of his strength into a love tap punch. Not gentle enough however, as Flash goes flying out of the ring of course most of Peter's classmates think it's a fluke.
    • Similar occurrence happens in Ultimate Spider-Man when Peter first got his powers, he tried to avoid Flash's attacks during a school fight, and managed to stop his fist. But, by doing so, he broke his hand. Uncle Ben and Aunt May were sued for hospital bills by Flash's parents.
    • When Doctor Octopus took over Peter's body, he was unaccustomed to Spider-man's strength and was surprised when he punched Scorpion in the face that he tore his jaw off and nearly killed him. It was quite the Fridge Horror for the Octavius as he realized Spidey was holding back all the time and could've killed half his Rogues Gallery but Peter was was always careful of hurting his foes as well his loved ones.
    • When rebounding with the The Symbiote Spidey to fight Red Goblin, Spidey gets enraged when Flash is mortally wounded and with a single punch sends Norman flying through two skyscrapers. Interestingly it's Flash who calms Peter down knowing Spider-Man will break his Thou Shalt Not Kill if he continues in that state.
  • Jack in the comic book Next Men cannot control his super-strength and has to be guided places so he does not break objects by accidentally brushing up against them.
  • X-Men:
    • When Colossus is stuck in transformed form he gets angsty about people seeing him as a monster. He then proceeds to try and call his team from a phonebooth but since he is frustrated, trying to dial the number causes his fingers to punch right through the phone.
    • Rogue accidentally snaps Grim Reaper's neck with a single punch after she absorbed Wonder Man's powers. She was holding back.
    • In a Wolverine series, there is a grown-up mutant with super strength but the intelligence of an infant. A horse tries to kick him and he punches it, then he gets upset because he can't put the horse's head back on.
    • Wolverine himself in his Origin Story permanently disfigured his brother Dog when he slapped him in the face not knowing he'd just gained some claws at the time.
  • Done tragically in The DCUElseworld story "Created Equal". The second issue of the two-parter starts In Medias Resa five-year-old Alex Kent has accidentally killed his mother, Lois, by hugging her.
  • In Nextwave, the narration mentions that the Captain once knocked a man's lungs out of his chest by patting him on the back but in his defense, he was drunk.
  • The titular character in Concrete is very much Blessed with Suck in this regard, being a half-ton stone man who doesn't dare try to hold anything breakable.
  • The titular character in Monica's Gang suffers because of this. Since she's only 6, it leads to really funny situations (although not so funny for her parents, who have to pay for the broken stuff). Jimmy Five and Smudgy feel in their skins what her inhuman strength causes, most often in the form of physical retribution for their infallible plans to "defeat" her, though she's been known to throw around the comic's Superman expy. It's all in Amusing Injuries territory.
  • The Punisher villain The Russian squeezed a mook to death with a one armed hug accidentally. He was genuinely trying to be friendly!
  • The JSA introduced Citizen Steel, who literally doesn't know his own strength — the accident that gave him his powers also deadened his sense of touch, meaning he can't feel how much force he's exerting. He walks around in a costume he was cast into so that he can control it.
  • Obelix from Asterix does seem to know his strength he is just apparently unaware that not everyone possesses that strength, hence his failure to understand the difference between "knock on the door" and "smash the door" and why no-one around him is able to carry tiny menhirs.
  • In the last issue of the Marvel MAX Barracuda miniseries, Barracuda pats the young hemophiliac he had been charged with turning into a cold blooded killer on the back killing him. To be fair, Barracuda is a fucking beast of a man, but that's dang, son.
  • In 52, being a god-empowered superbeing stopped being fun for Osiris after he killed his sister Isis' attacker, the Persuader, by flying into him too hard.
  • A lot of humour stemmed from the use of this trope in the s comic strip Wee Ben Nevis which featured in The Beano. This trope is also frequently used in The Dandy's most famous strip Desperate Dan.
  • The title character from Irredeemable also fits this trope. Basically a Superman expy, in one scene where he visits one of the many sets of foster parents he had as a child, we see him feeding their severely disabled (adult) biological son. Turns out he was there the day that Jr. came home from the hospital with Mumhe just wanted to give his new baby brother a hug
  • Present all over in Savage Dragon: Smasher taking the head off her husband with a single punch, Dragon killing Solar Man when the latter lost his powers in midfight, both resulting in messy Your Head Asplode moments. Those are just two of many examples.
  • She-Hulk, who provides the page image, is usually not an example. However there's a storyline where she works out like crazy to beat a much stronger opponent (she intelligently uses a quirk of her physiology which increases greatly, in her Hulk form, the effects of workout in her "normal" form). This increases her strength to the point that she breaks nearly everything she touches, until she gets a Power Limiter suit.
  • One Lucky Luke story had a pathetically wimpy guy (he has to carry lead weights so the wind doesn't blow him away) turn into a musclebound human nearly overnight with Luke's help. However, he has difficulty adapting, and crushes glasses he's trying to pick up and rips the saloon's doors off.
  • In Invincible upon developing his Viltrumite powers Mark accidentally throws a garbage bag into orbit while taking out the trash. He becomes a superhero soon after. Similarly at his graduation Mark accidentally throws his square academic cap into orbit. Played for Drama later as a horrified Mark nearly kills and permanently disfigures Angstorm Levy, since Mark assumes Levy has the Super Toughness to take a rage-filled beating from him. He doesn't.
  • Becomes a source of angst for The New 52 version of Superboy when he realizes that he can't be around ordinary people without killing them.
  • A telekinesis version in the case of Hellion of the New X-Men: After the battle against Nimrod when he asks Emma Frost to unlock his powers' full potential so he can get X back to Elixir to save her life, he suddenly loses all fine control of his powers. When Beast asks him to move a paperclip he instead blows out an entire wall.
  • Robin Series: When Tim has Aramilla forced into his system and ends up fighting Lady Shiva he accidentally kills her due to his lack of control and temporary powers. He's able to revive her, but it transfers some of the drug into Shiva's system allowing her to kill everyone else in the room in a whirlwind attack to Tim's horror.
  • Shazam!:
  • Wonder Woman (): In Cassie's first fight after having her powers unlocked she's quite suprised at being able to toss Artemis down the street. Unlike most examples she's also delighted, because not only can Artemis take it she also jumped into the fight—which she likely wouldn't have survived without powers—without knowing for sure what they were.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 

  • In chapter 19 of Jonathan Joestar, The First Jojo, Jonathan accidentally snaps a chopstick in two while trying to hold it properly.
  • In Justice League of Equestria, Rainbow Dash first learns of her newly acquired super strength when she kicks a tree and makes it explode into splinters.
  • In The Stars Ascendant, Twilight is unaware of the fact that her fight with Tirek has revealed that she is as powerful as every non-alicorn in Equestria combined. Celestia feels guilty, both for underestimating Twilight Sparkle and for putting all of Equestria in danger unnecessarily by not trusting Twilight to be strong enough to win.
  • In Superman and Man, a third party magically makes Christopher Reeve exchange bodies unwillingly with Superman. Reeve realizes what has happened when he accidentally crushes a nightstand clock.
  • In It Takes a Village, after his growth spurt, Spike finds himself much stronger than he is used to, as well as being physically larger. This results in him breaking things by applying to much force, and banging into stuff when he moves like he did when he was smaller.
  • In Harmony Theory, Rainbow Dash's power level didn't change, but she's in the distant future where the ponies have become a lot weaker and more fragile than the ponies of her time. She sometimes forgets to check her strength and speed.
  • In Imaginary Seas, Percy knows that he has new powers as a Servant that he never had when he was alive, but he doesn't know just how exceptional he is until Chiron shows shock at just how many Noble Phantasms he has, using five without thinking about it even while holding back. It's also played more conventionally when Percy suffers the effects of forcibly taking on Zeus' Klironomia. His body starts spasming so badly that when he tries to grip a tree for support, he ends up ripping it out of the ground and pulls it apart while trying to let go of it.
  • Carly and Sam from iFight Crime With Victorious, particularly Sam. When Sam first receives her power, unknowingly, she tosses a soda can at Freddie that knocks him off his feet. Carly, more level-minded, runs into this problem less often, but using it is still a very volatile process.
  • In Co-op Mode, James almost ends up outing himself as a parahuman when he starts lifting weights several times heavier than what he used to lift inside the school gym. Luckily, the gym coach just mistakes him for having taken Tinkertech drugs.
  • Kyon from Kyon: Big Damn Hero.
    • Because of the nature of his training he knows martial arts but he doesn't remember any experience with them, including the specific effects of his attacks on opponents. After the fight on chapter 12, Iyouji was surprised when he had to ask how bad were the injuries he made on the Mooks.
    • In a later chapter, a Fictional Document reminded that while getting new powers were good, one should also learn to be careful with them.
  • Last Child of Krypton:
    • During a conversation with Kaji in the chapter 3 of the original version, Shinji admits he does not know what the limits of his super-strength and his other powers are and he is still trying figuring it out. The older man reminds him that he has to be careful to not hurt other people.
    • In chapter 2 Shinji tried to straighten a falling plane by taking hold of the tail and pulling, but he miscalculated his strength and torn the tail off the plane.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Naturally, Asuka has no clue how strong she is once she starts developing her powers. Her first attempt to find out ends in fire and destruction. And that's before she gets heat vision.
  • In the beginning of Supergirl () story Survivors, Kara isn't conscious of her tremendous strength. Then she crushes a supposedly unbreakable baby's bottle&#; and later she accidentally bruises her cousin's arm when she holds him&#; so she compels herself to be careful.

    She had figured out as the day wore on that she had to hold Kal very lightly. She had squeezed a bit too hard and he cried earlier. She didn't think she had squeezed hard at all but there was a small bruise on his arm. Kara was becoming stronger and everything seemed to become softer, more brittle. It was like living in a world of delicate glass.

  • Twisted Toyfare Theatre — The Hulk encounters Ewoks. "Hulk pet fuzzy too hard! Fuzzy pop!" Also the time he petted the bunny too hard. And then did the same with Cyclops.
  • Paul, in spades, in With Strings Attached. Compounded by his having two levels of strength, &#;low&#; (where he can lift about 8 tons) and &#;high&#; (where he can lift at least 90 tons). After practicing day and night (literally) for several weeks he can act relatively normal at &#;low&#; strength (though he still breaks things if he doesn't take care); however, at &#;high&#; strength, which he tries not to use unless practicing, he can just barely function in the real world. He is continually conscious of his strength, so that in proximity to other people, he hardly moves, and he never makes sudden gestures.
  • In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World we learn that after Paul returned to Earth, though he was back to normal, he had a tough time readjusting and couldn't easily relate to his family. In particular, fears of what he might do to Linda during sex made him avoid relations with her, which hurt her deeply. He was rather ambivalent about being brought back to C'hou just after he had started to return to normal, though (as was his general wont) he hid this feeling from the others under a mask of brisk competence and cheer. But nearly all the ground he gained with practice in With Strings Attached disappeared.
  • Comes up frequently in Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfics, particularly those depicting newly-activated Slayers. This is usually how they prove to others that something weird has happened to them.
    • In Xendra, Buffy has a rough time at a contracting job due to her tendency to destroy things she's working on, and sometimes the tools. Her boss (who knows she's the Slayer) is dumbfounded that she destroyed a wrench that you could run a truck over without bending it.
  • Kallen Kozuki in Justice Society of Japan, to the point that even reaching for a glass of milk without breaking it becomes difficult. On the plus side, she did enjoy her newfound ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
  • In Emergence, Yang Xiao Long of RWBY wakes up in the real world in Syria and is attacked by ISIS terrorists. Her super strong punches end up tearing through them and making them explode. After getting over the initial shock, she finds it difficult to not do this, frustrating her as she wants to take one alive for questioning. Later, when her half-sister Ruby Rose passes a basketball at a boy, it knocks the wind out of him and almost floors him.
  • The premise of Oops! is Naruto accidentally distracting the Kyuubi when the latter was enhancing Naruto's body. Naruto ends up times stronger than naturally possible, which results in things like leaving fingerprints in brass doorknobs and being unable to feed himself. When Naruto tries to eat some ramen, he shatters the bowl by picking it up. When Shizune feeds him, Naruto bites off the ends of chopsticks without noticing. In the end, Gai has to train Naruto to manage his Super Strength.
    • A similar story, Kitsune's Power has a similar incident and result, except Naruto's only five at the time. As he grows older, he spars with Rock Lee under Maito Gai's direction, resulting in Lee becoming even faster and stronger than in canon. Butterflies ensue and Naruto becomes Anko's apprentice.
  • The Bridge:
    • Godzilla is turned into a Unicorn, but retains a great deal of his power. When he tries to punch a punching bag, it bursts. In this case it's less he's unused to his power and more he's unused to everything around him that's of a similar size being that fragile.
    • While visiting an injured Xenilla in the hospital, Destroyah tries to give him a friendly nudge, but presses too hard on his ribs. He barely stops himself from screaming.
  • In Thousand Shinji, when Asuka started to mutate, her strength increased exponentially but gradually, so she spent several days breaking things accidentally until she figured out that her physical strength was growing.
  • Played with in MagicTale given that Undyne knows how strong she is, but is used to everything being made out of stone or metal, resulting in her frequently breaking wooden objects. Though in the case of one door, she simply wasn't aware which way it opened, causing her to knock it off its hinges. Likewise, she's not quite aware of how fragile humans are. A friendly pat on a cook's back dislocated his shoulders.
  • In The More Things Change Series following the events of the Grand Finale, with his Mystical Monkey Power now fully accessible, Ron has had moments of this, such as throwing Kim too hard, breaking a force gauge machine, and smashing a hole in a wall.
  • After being magically transformed into Superman in New Guard, Xander has a lot of trouble with his new strength. When encouraged to break out of handcuffs, he's shocked that he actually can and later when he goes to the bathroom, he breaks the urinal.
  • Fates Collide:
    • Chloe von Einzbern pulls a rope that rings the von Einzbern mansion's doorbell too hard and it breaks. Archer fixes it.
    • Iskandar tends to squeeze too hard when he hugs people.
  • Equestria: Across the Multiverse: At the end of the My Little Pony TalesStory Arc, the Mane Six accidentally discover they grant others in different worlds Rainbow Powers so long as that world didn't already have a set of Elements (and only to a max of seven ponies are once) when they do so to the Tales Seven. In addition to the new Super Mode, all seven get awakened Earth Pony Magic and the Super Strength that comes with it. Naturally, they have no idea how to control it and end up accidentally breaking things around them. Applejack teaches them how to control it afterwards.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku had no idea just how strong he was after his Kryptonian Super Strength manifested at the age of four, tearing a door right off his hinges by accident after being diagnosed as Quirkless and literally bouncing off the walls in his excitement. He became keenly aware of how dangerous it makes him when he accidentally threw Katsuki Bakugou across a park, past a road, and straight through a stone wall while imitating All Might, horrifying him into the opposite of this trope.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Izuku first discovers his Super Strength when he destroys his desk by gripping it too hard while trying to dodge one of Bakugou's explosions. When Kamui Woods comes to retrieve Izuku, who has since crawled up the side of a building, he puts the Hero's hand in a death grip until he's asked to ease up. The day after that, Izuku accidentally shoves Bakugou all the way down the hallway and struggles to avoid snapping his pencils in half.
  • Mostly played for laughs when Lucy becomes Kryptonian in the Supergirl () fanfic Future Shock. First she dopeslaps Kara who can now definitely feel it, and a few chapters later she almost goes nuclear trying to show off for a girl.
  • Bakugo in The Undead Schoolgirl: Dead Pulse doesn't realize how powerful his explosions were because his mind is wired to see them as minor thingsA pro hero mentions that it's so Bakugo isn't afraid of his own Quirk and can use it to it's full potential. His mind automatically filters out the noise so they only sound like small pops and what he thought was only enough heat to cause a first degree burn at worst was actually enough to sear and blister flesh even through clothing.
  • In Bucky Barnes Gets His Groove Back & Other International Incidents, Steve Rogers has had some issues on and off with forgetting just how strong he is post-Super Serum. These days, it seems to happen only when he's either not paying attention or deeply emotionally compromised. Not long after the procedure, he tried drawing again and accidentally snapped his art pencil in two, causing him to swear up a storm, and Clint Barton's seen him leave fingerprints in a lead pipe while on an op. Clint also mentions that he would totally have a one-night stand with Steve just on account of how attractive he is, if he were sure Steve wouldn't get too far into the moment and accidentally break Clint's pelvis.
  • Much like the above example, the Captain America fanfic Grateful has post-Super Serum Steve snap his pencil in half after attempting to draw.
  • Fate: Kill: It is mentioned that the Heiwa tribe doesn't normally use weapons because they are so strong that any weapon they try to use breaks. Shirou provides them with many of his traced weapons, which are more durable than the regular kind and can survive being used by them, making them very grateful.
  • My Ideal Academia: Shirou defeats Sasori with an elbow strike that he assumes just knocked him out, but is later informed the strike broke his skull and hospitalized him. Shirou realizes he got too used to fighting Servants who are many times stronger and tougher than humans.
  • In A Green Dragon's Hoard, Izuku is ridiculously strong, using weights of up to ten metric tons with ease. Besides referenced instances like accidentally uprooting a tree, the wind generated from Izuku casually waving his hand almost knocks Manami over.
  • With This Ring: Kryptonian Super Strength is actually quite user-friendly, with fine control being very achievable, but Kara Zor-El still has an adjustment period when she arrives on Earth. Paul helps her practise by creating a construct punching bag and vase of flowers; she has to punch the bag as hard as possible, then take a flower without breaking it. It's hard to get right.
  • I am Bitch, the Shield Hero's Slut!: Malty knew she was just over level 40 but it didn't occur to her exactly what that meant until fighting in her first Wave. Monsters in their 30s are cut down with absurd ease and when the captain of a company of knights angers her, she attacks him in a rage only to cut him in thirds, not realizing how much weaker he was than her.
  • A Flower's Touch: Aerith is wholly unprepared for the strength that comes with Mako enhancements. She's tasked with picking up drinking glasses until she can do so without shattering them just from holding them.
  • In The Awakening of a Magus, Harry, thanks to his transformation, becomes much stronger than a regular human, but doesn't even realize it at first. People taking Polyjuice for the sake of Identity Impersonator take on some of that strength, and need to be careful not to break anything.

    Films — Animation 

  • The Incredibles. Mr. Incredible got very stressed out the day he was fired and broke a number of things. He dented a doorknob, shattered the car's window, and cut straight through the plate and part of the table when cutting his son's steak. The best was when he completely lost his temper and threw his boss through seven walls. He's usually in control though, capable of doing little fiddly things with his hands even as he holds up something gigantic.
  • The young Tigress was shown to be like this in Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five, till she learned self-control.
  • Disney's Hercules: Hercules is unaware of his heritage as a demi-god with Super Strength until he's a teenager; his lack of knowledge and control of his strength made him The Klutz and shunned by the local villagers. Until he learns the truth, goes off to search for Philoctetes and starts taking levels in badass through his Training from Hell
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, Ginormica initially has this problem after discovering she has super strength (more than her massive form should have, at any rate). She ends up nearly crushing Derek in her excitement to see him again. Other than that, though, she manages to keep a handle on it.
  • This is a recurring problem for the titular protagonist of Wreck-It Ralph. He has a tendency of breaking things even when he doesn't intend to, going so far as to accidentally wreck up the Nicelanders' apartment complex during their game's anniversary party and kill Fix-It Felix Jr (it was okay though, he respawned).
  • The Powerpuff Girls Movie shows that the girls knew their own strengththey just didn't know how to apply it properly until—after exiling themselves on an asteroid—they sensed the Professor was in danger.
  • Mentioned in Superman Unbound by Lois and Clark about Supergirl in regards to how she takes out the thieves at the start of the movie, even naming the trope. It's justified since Kara mentions that she didn't gradually grow into her powers like Clark did. She just suddenly had them and is still trying to learn how to use them.
  • Causal example in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, when the older Spider-Man tells Miles to wait while he breaks into the Kingpin's lab. Miles hits the boulder he's resting on in annoyance which causes the rock to split apart, Miles just says "That's new" and is inspired to follow his counterpart/mentor into the lab.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls &#; Legend of Everfree: The first time Applejack's Super Strength manifests, she accidentally pulls Rarity to the rock-climbing wall's top with no real effort. Later, she becomes very wary of a repeat incident while working on the dock, wielding her hammer very carefully. She later learns to control it much better, but has a relapse in the Webisode "Overpowered", the result of her power getting boosted. She accidentally tears the door off her locker, then crumples it while trying to shove it back in place.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Jason Voorhees has this happen to him in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, when he throws Bert into a tree and, much to his surprise, tears his victim's arm off in the process.
  • Sky High:
    • The Commander keep a couple of those mobile landlines in a drawer in case he breaks one on a rant.
    • Also, once Will gets his super strength, he accidentally rips his front door off its hinges by opening it.
  • Spider-Man:
    • In Spider-Man Peter is ecstatic when he sends Jerk Jock Flash Thompson flying with one punch, only this gets subverted as he sees the horror and fear of classmates including MJ. Of course only Harry Osborn is excited at seeing his best friend&#;s Super Strength.
    • The best bits of humor in The Amazing Spider-Man was Peter struggling with his strength in regular activities e.g. turning off his arm alarm clock or brushing his teeth.
    • Mostly averted with MCU Spider-Man; see below.
  • Played with in Up, Up and Away!. The protagonist is born into a family of superheroes, but was born without a power. In order to convince his family that he's not a loser, he rigs certain things to fall apart as he uses them, such as taking the screws off the door hinges to make it appear he ripped it off. Played straight with a Noodle Incident for his father, who apparently did quite some damage to his house's foundation. Interestingly, this convinces everyone but his grandfather, who saw right through the ruse.
  • Hancock. Though in his case, it's more a case of him simply not bothering to check his superstrength.
  • In Fantastic Four (), The Thing is prone to doing this with drinkwear, though it could also be related to reduced sensation with his new skin making it hard to tell how much he's squeezing. His jaw muscles also increased in strength with the rest of him, as he's seen accidentally biting through the tines of a fork. Also, few chairs support his weight any more, but he doesn't always remember this.
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe this sometimes comes up:
    • Played most straight in Captain America: The First Avenger after Steve gets the Super Serum and is surprised to see what his body can now do.
    • Pepper Potts goes through this twice in Iron Man 3 first when she uses iconic Powered Armor and blows herself over trying to get the repulsor working, in the Final Battle when injected with the Extremis Virus she was bit shocked after she brutally killed the Big Bad Killian.

      Pepper That was really violent.

      • Iron Man himself occasionally forgets he is armored plated Walking Armory as when he took his first joyride in Mark 2 and when he tried to land safely on the roof of his mansion he fell two stories into his workshop completely overlooking how heavy he was.
    • Thor, despite being Brought Down to Normal, still had Super Strength by Earth standards as seen he shoved a doctor off him sending the doctor flying and causing a riot within the hospital. Much later in Thor: Ragnarok, the God of Thunder truly realized his namesake and sent the Hulk flying off him with a punch, Thor then stared at electricity flowing on his arms with interest.
    • The titular antagonist of Avengers: Age of Ultron accidentally slices Klaw's arm when the latter enraged him by comparing him to his creator Tony Stark. He apologizes meekly and half-heartedly as Klaw starts bleeding and gasping in pain and shock.
      • In the same movie Scarlet Witch unconsciously disintegrates three Ultron bots into dust in a moment of despair after she senses that her brother Pietro has died Taking the Bullet.
    • In Captain America: Civil War, it's said that Peter Parker has had his powers for six months and is more-or-less used to them. He knows his strength well enough to consciouslyhold back. Though there shades of this trope like when Spidey does a Punch Catch to Bucky's cybernetic arm and just geeks over it not knowing how deadly that arm was to everyone else before then. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spidey simply pushes a mook over and sends him flying into another mook showing how strength is behind he's simplest movements. However, at a few points in Spider-Man: Far From Home, he slips up when he's stressed, like accidentally knocking his classmate Flash Thompson unconscious with a lovetap or snapping a seat belt that won't fasten.
    • Hulk plays this very straight in Ragnarok as unlike the previous movies he's just chilling around and not on a Unstoppable Rage, at one point he unintentionally destroys a whole Quinjet just trying to reach his new best friend Thor.
  • In the fantasy-wuxia film, Na Chathe Great, the titular hero gains super strength after eating an enchanted fruit his father forbids him from touching. Suddenly feeling himself surging with energy, Na Cha decides to test his strength by punching a nearby tree - and end up splitting said tree into half, splitting all the way to the ground, and for the floor to break apart as well, inadvertantly leading to a mini-earthquake. Cue Oh, Crap! from Na Cha when his father who is caught in the quake finds out what he did.
  • The Autobots of the Transformers movie basically destroys Sam's backyard. Part of it may have been scale issues (although Cybertronians are somewhat varied in size, very few shown in the movies are anything near human-sized), but the majority was the fact that Earth construction is considerably more fragile than Cybertronian construction. They were pretty good about not damaging animal life forms, at least.
  • In Superman Returns, Clark accidentally breaks the glass in the picture frame he's holding when Jimmy surprises him with the information that "Lois is a mommy". Also while playing fetch with his mother's dog, Clark accidentally throws the ball a bit too hard, and it sails into such a far distance, that the dog doesn't even attempt to run and retrieve it just letting out a whine.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • In Man of Steel while being bullied in a Flash Back, Clark grips a fence poll to stable his anger. When Pa Kent scares the bully away, it's shown Clark has mangled the metal with his bare hand.
    • In Wonder Woman Diana is getting knocked around during her Training from Hell and she uses her bracelets to defend herself and nearly kills her sparring partner with the blow back scaring the fellow amazons and herself. Done more positively later as Diana is climbing tower but to her horror loses her handhold and falls down but then discovers she can just dig her hand into the stone with Super Strength and climb up the fun way.
    • Wonder Woman . Barbara uses the Dreamstone to Make a Wish to be just like Diana Prince, whom she admires for being beautiful and confident, but she has no idea that Diana has superpowers as well. Her first hint is when Barbara goes to open her refrigerator and rips the door off its hinges.
    • Downplayed with Barry Allen/the Flash in Justice League but he's still surprised that he can reduce Parademons to mush with his Super Speed, there'a little Fridge Horror if you consider he could've done to normal humans if wasn't careful.
      • Completely averted in Zack Snyder's Justice League. Barry knows the effects of his Super Speed on humans, and makes minimal use of it to move people around such as when he saves Iris West from a car accident with extreme care. He also saves a bunch of people in the tunnels battle, but not by moving them unlike the theatrical version, rather by preventing debris from falling on them.
    • Invoked a lot in SHAZAM! (), Billy is ecstatic at being able to punch through concrete but runs into trouble like ripping open his school bag and nearly killing a mugger accidentally. Billy also has trouble with his Shock and Awe powers not only does he destroy one man's phone while charging it but he nearly gets a bus people filled with people killed with one careless lightning bolt.
  • Elvis Presley's boxing movie, Kid Galahad.
  • In Kamen Rider: The First, Hongo Takeshi runs afoul of this trope in a non-comedic manner, trying to save a little girl from being hit by a truck. He scoops her up a little too forcefully, and while he does save her life, she has to be hospitalized anyway due to the pressure he put on her body.
  • At the end of Young Frankenstein, the Monster accidentally rips off Inspector Kemp's wooden arm while shaking hands. Understandable, as the brain hasn't been attached to that body for very long..
  • In the background material for The One, Yulaw was first revealed as an interdimensional offender by a fellow agent who long suspected him. He did it by asking him to carry a case upstairs and then revealing that the case was, in fact, loaded with extremely heavy weights and cannot be lifted by a normal person. Yulaw picked up the case and carried it with ease, likely thinking it was full of books. When the agent (a multiple black belts) confronted him, he ended up getting thrown down the stairs and paralyzed from the waist down. It also happens in the film with Gabe Law, who is starting to discover his newfound strength (by accidentally breaking a rifle in half).
  • Moonraker. Jaws tries to pull the ripcord on his parachute it comes off in his hand. Later on he's chasing Bond in a speedboat, realizes he's heading for an Inevitable Waterfall and tries to jerk the steering wheel to the side; it also comes off in his hand. Being Made of Iron, he survives both Oh, Crap!-worthy moments.


  • Hagrid from the Harry Potter series, being a half-giant, has superhuman strength. Unfortunately, he seems to forget this during physical displays of affection; his Bear Hugs almost always cause someone's bones to bruise, while a friendly pat on the back has the power to make someone fall down.
  • Subverted in Dragon Bones: Gentle Giant Ward is Obfuscating Stupidity, so when a man attacks him in his own house, he throws the man into the next wall, and says "Yay, a wrestling match! I win!". However, Ward is well aware that the man didn't want to wrestle, but just wanted to hit the "harmless idiot", and he is also aware how much force he applied. However, his uncle (who believes him to be stupid) explains his behaviour with this trope, and warns the visitor that Ward is very well behaved as long as "no one lays a hand on him". Ward also likes to give a Bear Hug to anyone who does him a favour, as part of his pretending to be stupid. (One of his cousins mentions that he doesn't want to be nice to Ward, for fear of being rewarded with a Bear Hug.) As he's only pretending, Ward never actually hurts someone, he just applies enough strength to make people think that he has no idea how strong he is. His Cute Mute younger sister Ciarra is shown to enjoy his hugs, apparently he's more careful with her than with older males and of course he doesn't have to deceive her, she's mute.
  • This happens a lot to Mary Beth Layton in the book Superpowers. She first discovers her super strength by breaking a door knob. And a door. And the refrigerator door handle. And a pitcher. And the phone. And the toilet, the TV remote, a broom and most of her plates and bowls. She also slips up and breaks her boyfriend's ribs during sex, and beats a man to death by accident.
  • The trope is present in Soon I Will Be Invincible as one of many background details. Doctor Impossible breaks the handle of a toilet, the cyborg Fatale's weight makes hardwood floors creak and cracks tiles, and she can't use normal furniture.
  • Carrie: Believe it or not, the titular character didn't initially intend to kill anybody, but when she accidentally did, she snapped and decided everyone deserved the same fate.
  • Perhaps the Trope Maker is the protagonist from Philip Wylie's Gladiator, the character credited with inspiring the Superman mythos. His superpower is basically superstrength, and it does him no good at all in this world. He accidentally kills a man playing football, gets fired from a manual labour job because he's making everyone else look bad, gets fired from a bank job because he saves someone from suffocating in the vault, and they want to know how he opened it The entire novel is about what, realistically, it would be like to live with superstrength. A very modern look at a superhero before there were superheroes.
  • Used in Richard Scarry's books. Hilda, an anthropomorphic hippo child, accidentally rips a door off its hinges when she is told to open the door so the students can go out to play. Later, when the door is fixed, she rips out the door along with part of the wall when she attempts the same thing.
  • Deconstructed in Ender's Game: Ender uses all his strength (including intelligence, reflexes, the environment, his own weight, his enemy's mistakes) to fight bullies, because he believes himself to be inept compared to the bullies around him, especially Peter. Then it turns out that he used too much strength and accidentally killed two people, without realizing that they weren't just unconscious. The government hushed it up until Ender won the war; he didn't take the 'trial' well.
  • In Twilight, Edward mentions something to this effect

    Edward: You have no idea how delicate you are. I could reach out, meaning to touch your face, and crush your skull by mistake.

    • It's not clear to what extent this is actually true and to what extent it's Edward trying to cover up his crippling intimacy issues, however.
    • Bella gets this in the fourth book because brand new vampires are so damn strong. She hugs Edward and actually hurts him, something nearly impossible to do to Twilight vampires. Emmett, widely regarded as by far the strongest Cullen, is completely overpowered in the weeks immediately after Bella's transformation.
  • In What Fire Cannot Burn by John Ridley, Mutants with Super Strength do their best to avert this, but they must concentrate to avoid applying a little too much force. "Your sweaty nightmare — 'Hey, do you want to hold the baby?'"
  • In Cyborg by Martin Caidin, the novel that inspired The Six Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin accidentally broke a man's wrist with his new bionic hand. Ironically, it was right after that man figured out that Austin's bionic hand had developed a feedback that would allow him to judge how much pressure he was exerting — once he got used to it.
  • Lennie from Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck is a tragic Deconstruction of this trope, breaking the neck of a doggy by petting it too hard.
    • That's hardly the worst thing he (unintentionally) does. He also accidentally breaks Curley's wife's neck, leading to his Mercy Kill at the hands of George and one hell of a Downer Ending.
    • Curley picks a fight with Lennie; it doesn't end well for Curley. Lennie's scared to fight back, but once he does, all Lennie needs to do to stop Curley is squeeze his hand so hard that Lennie breaks his bones.
  • Derek Souza in Darkest Powers is a werewolf with an incredible protective streak over the people he cares about, which leads him to do such things as throwing another boy into a wall and breaking his back, nearly tossing Chloe across a room while merely trying to keep her from stomping off, and breaking Liam's neck, killing him - and all of this completely by accident.
    • Granted, nearly all of the main characters with the exception of Simon could probably fit under this trope, as their DNA has been tweaked, thus making their individual abilities much, much, much stronger than usual and leading to random outbursts of power. Most notably Chloe's accidentally raising the dead in her sleep, Derek's already mentioned feats, and Liz's telekinetic tantrum right before she is taken away and murdered because she cannot control her powers.
  • The magic version is used in the Tortall Universe. Most wizards can put out a candle by magic; if Numair tried it he'd just cause an explosion.
  • A bit of a Running Gag in the Star Trek Novel Verse whenever a character has to have a missing limb replaced with a "biosynthetic" prosthetic. One engineer manages to crush his communicator in his new hand, and remarks that at the moment he can punch a hole in a wall for a power coupling but holding an egg or shaking hands would be problematic.
  • Halo: The Fall of Reach explains that John (the future Master Chief) experienced this following his augmentation surgery, leading him to wonder if the artificial gravity in the gym where he was exercising had been reduced. Shortly afterwards he was forced into a spar against four veteran Helljumpers, with John accidentally killing two as a result of this trope (it's pretty much stated that the fight was deliberately set up to test the effectiveness of his augmentations; since then, there's been bad blood between the ODSTs and the Spartans).
  • Scarlet of the The Ultra Violets, mostly thanks to her powers being superhuman dancing skills before the super-strength kicked in.
  • The Wagner family in The Last Superhero are prone to this. It forced Orville to give up superheroing due to also being The Klutz, and his son, John Jr., casually mentions in the narrative that he's broken the limbs and ribs of his classmates occasionally by accident.
  • In Alien in a Small Town, the hulking alien Paul knows how frail Indira will become as she ages, and he's terrified of accidentally hurting her.

    He had imagined her in this state years before, when he feared that if his massive hand even touched her in this condition, she would break like a hollow eggshell.

  • Even at only a few weeks old, Wiggle and his littermates from Survivor Dogs were showing signs of the strength they'd have as adults. During a play-fight, he bit Lucky (a grown dog) too hard because his adult fangs were growing in. When tussling, Lucky notes that it won't be long before Wiggle is the one who needs to hold back. This strength made others like Alpha and Sweet, who are dislike Fierce Dogs, wary of the triplets.
  • Schooled in Magic: A magical variation. Those with powerful magical talent (such as Emily) often have difficulty learning alchemy, because using magic to control alchemical reactions requires a light touch.
  • The Haunting of Drearcliff Grange School: Gillian Little is a Gentle Giant, eleven years old and already over six feet tall and a foot wide at the shoulders. She's been known to get trapped in rooms after accidentally pulling the doorknob off.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, shortly after Daylen gets his powers, he gives "a good thump" to a local villager who accosts him, and ends up shattering most of his ribs. Thankfully, Ahrek is at hand to both heal the man before he dies and to give Daylen a well-deserved tongue-lashing. After this, Daylen admits how reckless he was and is a lot more careful about using his strength against people who don't have his kind of powers.

    Live-Action TV 

  • This trope was formerly named "Ace Lightning Syndrome", after the titular character in the CGI-animated TV program Ace Lightning, who had quite the tendency towards smashing his human sidekicks' household appliances when he arrived in the 'real world', super strength and all (not to mention his need to absorb energy in order to survive resulted in the destruction of much electrical equipment. And apparently Mark's family's electric bill was costing them a fortune).
  • Altered Carbon. Lieutenant Ortega doesn't even realise her arm has been replaced by an artificial limb until she bends a rail on the hospital gurney she's lying on.
  • In Angel episode "Carpe Noctem" Angel's Vampire body is taken over by a Dirty Old Man Marcus who at one point while out on the town, gets into a fight and sends a dude flying with a single punch causing Marcus to yell "NICE!" in glee.
  • Bionic Woman. After discovering her Mad Scientist fiancee has turned her into a bionic woman, Jaime Sommers decides to stop looking for Mr Right and settle for Mr Right Now. At that moment a handsome stranger catches her eye; Smash Cut to them making out in the toilet. Unfortunately Jaime accidentally breaks one of his ribs in her enthusiasm, putting an abrupt end to events.
  • There's an accidental version in Blake's 7. In "Headhunter", a character breaks off the teleport control handle when he grabs it violently. This is nothing unusual given the No Budget sets, but he's later revealed to be an android disguised as a human, so this trope could be in play also.
  • Bonanza: The Season 2 episode "The Ape" used this trope as its centerpiece: a lonely, mentally challenged man named Arnie desperately seeking both love and a chance at owning his own farm causing great physical harm to people who cruelly mock him. Hoss sees potential in Arnie and tries to mentor him, but his efforts are always thwarted by Arnie's desire to marry a barmaid, Shari, who wants nothing to do with him and Arnie's own temper and inability to realize that, due to his tremendous strength, he can kill a man rather easily. Hoss repeatedly tries to warn Arnie that he doesn't know his own strength. Before the episode ends, Arnie indeed kills at least two people: a Ponderosa ranch hand who had mocked his slow, awkward ways; and Shari, after he attempts to gift her with an expensive strand of pearls), who slaps the necklace away and tells him he's just a big old, dumb "ape" (Arnie grabs the much smaller Shari by the neck and shake her violently, until she dies). When Hoss realizes what Arnie has done, he tries to get Arnie to understand that he killed someone (and possibly a second person, too) and that he has to go to jail. Arnie then knocks down Hoss and tries to flee. When a sheriff's posse surrounds Arnie, he picks up a huge boulder and attempts to hurl it toward everybody, forcing them to gun him down.
  • The Boys (). In "Get Some", Popclaw has sex with a man while high on Compound V, and during orgasm she squeezes her thighs around his head so much she cracks his skull open. As the whole thing was Caught on Tape, the Boys use this to blackmail her for information.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy has this problem quite often.
      • She accidentally smashes her alarm clock with her super strength, then sweep the pieces into a drawer of likewise broken alarm clocks.
      • In "The Initiative" she accidentally tears the handle off a yogurt machine in the college cafeteria and makes a mess.
      • There are several occasions when Buffy hugs someone too hard and has to be told to let go. When she glomps the surgeon who tells her Joyce's operation was a success, his ribs creak ominously and he shouts in pain.
      • During the season one episode "Witch", she accidentally throws one of her classmates across the gym during cheerleading practice.
    • In "A New Man", Giles awakens one morning as a large and powerful demon after being cursed. He walks through his home and accidentally tears the banister off of his stairs, smashes a phone when he tries to call for help, rips through his favorite shirt, and breaks the front door off its hinges. The irony of course is that Giles is normally a mild-mannered British librarian.
    • During her introduction in "No Place Like Home", Glory causes the interior of a warehouse to cave in by merely stomping her foot in a hissy fit. For once this is a good thing, as she was chasing Buffy at the time.
  • In Caprica, this is how Zoey Greystone killed her early Love Interest Philomon. Had some terriblybadconsequences.
  • Played with on Charmed when a spell cast on their police buddy gave him Superman-like strength and invulnerability. Has him accidentally ripping the door off a police cruiser, but only mildly bruising the suspect.
  • The unsub in the Criminal Minds episode "Damaged" turns out to be a big and strong but mentally challenged man who was childlike and arguably did not intend to kill his victims.
  • The Flash (). While still getting used to his the A.T.O.M. suit, Ray Palmer does a Three-Point Landing and cracks the concrete.
  • Eun Bi, an ex-high school delinquent, from Flower Boy Ramyun Shop says this after playfully hitting Ba Wool around the back of the head and he comments that it really hurts.
  • Sometimes a problem for The Greatest American Hero.
  • Happens to Gilligan on Gilligan's Island in the episode where the castaways ate radioactive vegetables. Gilligan ate a lot of spinach, giving him super strength.
  • An episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys takes place in modern times and involves the creators of the show going on a retreat in order to improve the show. The star Kevin Sorbo also comes along, except that he's really Hercules (yes, a Greek demigod pretending to be an actor playing a Greek demigod). During a dinner outside, he gets over-excited and slams the long dinner table, breaking it in half. The host blames the rotten wood and laughs it off. Of course, it's revealed at the end of the episode that the host is, in fact, Ares in disguise.
  • In UPN super-spy show Jake , the main character mostly dodged this because his powers were mostly by activation; nevertheless, there was at least one occasion where his little brother pissed him off, resulting in him accidentally breaking off the handle to his car door. He also put a ton of holes in the walls of his apartment trying to gently tap in nails.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Hongo Takeshi from the original Kamen Rider. In fact, a recurring source of Angst in the earlier episodes was Hongo's fear that his superhuman abilities would make it impossible for him to live a normal life. In one episode, he freaks out after accidentally injuring a child (by crushing his fingers) during a misguided attempt to comfort the boy.
    • Early on, Kintaros from Kamen Rider Den-O suffered from this, or at least K-Ryotaro/K-Masaru(first possessee), breaking everything from park benches to lamp posts.
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O: Cranked Up to Eleven, with Sougo Tokiwa. What was intentionally considered to be Sougo seeing future events via dreaming, it is in reality him unintentionally influencing and even outright shaping the future according to what he sees in those very dreams. In others words, Sougo is unconsciously creating new timelines simply by dreaming.
  • In Lois & Clark, after being exposed to red kryptonite, Clark's powers get boosted beyond his control. His strength gets boosted to the point that when he hugs Lois, it gives her bruises on her arms, turns their place into a mess after he sneezes and accidentally breaks a chair from getting up too quickly. Surprisingly, doesn't happen much in the episode where Clark gets Laser-Guided Amnesia and forgets who (and what) he is. His dad has to hit him with a baseball bat (the only time when a father saying "It'll hurt me more than you" while hitting his son is true) to prove it.
  • Power Rangers Time Force: Katie comes from a future of Designer Babies, and possesses superhuman strength as a result. She's also fond of hugging her teammates.
  • The Price Is Right: On numerous occasions during the Bob Barker era, overly excited contestants who were Samoans would pick up Barker, bearhug him, and otherwise get very affectionate with him, causing him brief physical discomfort. Often, but not always, these instances occurred after the contestant won a pricing game. A running joke was that, every time a Samoan contestant appeared on the show, Barker would claim that a past Samoan contestant injured him (before playfully admonishing the new contestant to keep her distance). This gag was downplayed and eventually forgotten upon Drew Carey's appointment as host, and never came into play with either Dennis James or Tom Kennedy.
  • Smallville:
    • In "Blank", Clark has his memories removed, resulting in him ripping the door to his home from its hinges as he literally doesn't know his own strength.
    • Chloe once winced when he grabbed her shoulders with unnecessary force. In "Persona", when Chloe admits she couldn't help with what he is doing, Clark grabbed her arm forcibly, only to let her go quickly. It tipped her off that he is actually Bizarro.
    • In "Warrior", a newly empowered superhero accidentally crushes Chloe's hand.
  • Stargate SG-1: In "Upgrades", Jack, Sam, and Daniel are all equipped with an alien wristband that enhances the wearer's speed and strength, if only for a limited amount of time. In the episode, Jack crushes a grip-meter and accidentally takes a chunk out of General Hammond's wall just by lazily kicking it. He also knocks Sgt. Siler off a balcony while trying to high-five him. In this case, said alien tech grants super strength and poor judgement. Siler was a genuine accident. The other two times were demonstrations of his strength, just poorly thought out.
    • They also got into a bar fight, earning themselves a rebuke from General Hammond. After all, with their strength and speed, they could have easily killed those guys (especially since Jack is a Colonel Badass).
  • Star Trek:
    • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Amok Time", we get a look at how strong Vulcans really are when Spock loses control and manages to completely destroy his computer terminal. Other times when Spock loses control he becomes really scary because of it. In another episode when Kirk had to provoke Spock into a murderous fury to free his mind from an alien influence, he noted in his log that he might die before Spock comes back to his senses. He nearly does.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • The holodeck malfunctions, replacing characters in a Wild West simulation with recreations of Data, with his approximate physical abilities as well. Some of the characters are weaselly cowards and otherwise unaware of their enhanced strength, but others are the Big Bad of the story and also unaware of their strength.
      • In "Masks", an alien probe starts taking over the Enterprise, and Data, who gets possessed by it. At one point, Data grabs Picard's wrist and Picard visibly freaks out as he knows Data could easily crush it (and is possibly already holding it way too hard).
    • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Worf (yes, that Worf) relates a story of when he was 13, playing soccer, and accidentally headbutted a player on the opposing team. Since Klingons are much stronger than humans and have ridged foreheads, the other kid's neck was snapped and died of his injuries shortly after. He uses the incident to explain why he's not a Boisterous Bruiser like other Klingons.
  • Provides some of the fun when super-strong-ordinary-girl Do Bong-soon overdoes it in Korean drama "Strong Girl Bong-soon".
  • Supergirl ():
    • In "World's Finest", a crossover with The Flash (), Kara gives Barry a friendly slap on the back, causing him to wince in pain and her to say, "Sorry."
    • In "Legion of Superheroes", Kara describes finding a stray cat shortly after arriving on Earth. She fed him, but was afraid to touch him at first for fear of accidentally hurting him. Finally, she was sufficiently sure of herself in that regard to pick him up and pet him, which helped her feel a bit more at home.
    • In "Truth, Justice and the American Way", Kara Danvers claims she's not angry after meeting Siobhan. Barry then informs her that she's just broken the phone she's holding.
  • The Tick (): The live-action series has a gag where Arthur shakes hands with the Champion, and Arthur clutches his hand in pain, then the Tick shakes hands with the Champion and the Champion recoils in pain.
  • The Twilight Zone (): In "The Little People", one of the giant spacemen accidentally crushes Peter Craig to death when he picks him up to examine him. He feels guilty about it.
  • The Umbrella Academy ():
    • Number 1 aka Luther has this problem frequently as his size and strength guarantees he&#;ll break something when indoors, at one point when fighting Diego he punches over a statue and later he rips a bar door off it hinges when in a hurry. Still that&#;s nothing compared to when he&#;s piss drunk and depressed as Luther casually shoves his brother Klaus, sending the latter flying across the room. In Season 2 after getting fired from his seedy club after losing a match during his Despair Event Horizon smacks the brickwork in his room in frustration making a big hole, to the amusement of his brother Five who&#;s waiting outside. Luther uses the new window he made, to flip Five off.
    • Played for Drama with Number 7 aka Vanya once she inadvertently unlocks her destructive powers (that were suppressed since childhood) she damages streetlights and cars while angrily ranting and when she and her boyfriend Leonard get attacked by three drunk men she accidentally kills two of them. Worse still Vanya in a moment of rage slits her sister Allison&#;s throat with Razor Wind by mistake, which is her Start of Darkness to becoming a supervillain.

    Myths & Religion 

  • Greek Mythology:
    • Herakles/Hercules got very annoyed with his music teacher, Linus, for telling him he was playing music wrong. So Heracles slugged Linus with his lyre, or with a stool and killed him. Oops. The first evidence of this story is in vase-paintings of the 5th century BC, making this one Older Than Feudalism. In another version, Linus slugged Hercules first. When Hercules was on trial, he was acquitted on the grounds that "everybody has a right to return a slug".
    • Hera would taunt him with visions to make him angry enough to smash his wife/kids/best friends/cities and then feel so guilty about it he'd go on a near-suicidal adventure in order to atone for it. The gods and goddesses of Greek myth wobbled back and forth from being actual physical gods and being embodiments of abstract ideas, depending on who you asked. So there's a thin line between an artificial wrath brought on by Hera's mind control and a natural wrath that gets associated with Hera because Hera, goddess of marriage who is married to the biggest Casanova in the Greek pantheon, is the living embodiment of jealous rage.
  • Ilia Muromets, one of Russian legendary heroes, was super-strong, and sometimes hurt people by things like hugging. It didn't help that he just didn't bother to get up until age 32, so he hadn't practiced social interaction much.
    • Another hero, Svyatogor, was literally so strong the earth refused to hold him and was thus confined to a mountain range which was somewhat less finicky.
      • Some variations of the Muromets story have him receive super strength, and immediately having half of it drained away so that he won't end up like Svyatogor.
    • Vasiliy Buslaev, a hero of the Novgorod epic cycle, is a young ne'er-do-well who doesn't realize his insane strength. This leads to people's arms and legs being casually ripped off.
  • In the Finnish epic The Kalevala, this trope is Kullervo's shtick. For every task he is given to do, he always does it "according to his strength," not according to what the task requires, so he ruins whatever he attempts. Tell him to fell trees, and he magics the whole forest into a wasteland where nothing grows. Tell him to build a fence, and he builds a sky-high and airtight one. Later his father takes him fishing but he completely wastes the boat rowing and kills every fish in the lake trying to set the nets.

    Puppet Shows 

  • Played for laughs in The Muppet Show episode starring Christopher Reeve (way before his accident). The guest star is explaining to Miss Piggy that he wasn't at all chosen for the role of Superman on account of his strength while accidentally tearing apart a cupboard door. Miss Piggy's reaction: "Yeah, right"


  • Joshua Oliphant in Revolting People, who tears the house to bits by accident, and wrestles bears to death while trying to make friends with them. Played for Laughs, obviously.


  • Alfred, the Bison construction worker from Darwin's Soldiers, possesses extreme strength. Most of the time he is in control of it but if he is angry then things tend to get destroyed. For instance, he crushed a piece of concrete that he was planning to use as an Improvised Weapon. A more extreme example was when he started pounding on Aisha's door and leaves the door looking like someone had taken a sledgehammer to it. And he accidentally knocked over a vending machine while trying to free a stuck snack.
  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Daigo isn't immediately aware that his superpower grants him enhanced strength. He only finds out when he accidentally crushes a street lamp, and then a man's arm when he prevents him from beating up his girlfriend.

    Tabletop Games 

  • In The Dresden Files RPG, near the write-up for the Supernatural Strength power, Harry writes in the margins that it's really easy to accidentally kill someone with a simple punch at this power level.
    • Although ironically this is one of the games where the rules don't really back that statement up. If you take an opponent out of a conflict in the Fate system (which The Dresden Files uses), you
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Super Strength / Literature


Go To

  • Eponymous character in Aatomik has super strength as his main power.
  • The Alteriens in Alterien all have a degree of superhuman strength on par with most enhanced human soldiers.
  • Animorphs has the Hork-Bajirs. They are a species of friendly, peace-loving, and repiloid aliens. And they have blades all over, and are physically strong. They are among the strongest known species, which is why the Yeerks enslaved them, and use them as soldiers.
  • In Astral Dawn, the Keepers and Defilers both endow the bodies they possess with above normal strength. This is a natural side-effect due to their intense energy.
  • Earthcrafters in Codex Alera can give themselves super strength by using their furies. Particularly powerful ones tend to wade into battle wielding hugeBFSs and warhammers to get the most out of this ability.
  • Cradle Series: Anyone with an Iron body has superhuman strength and durability—and since most people get an Iron body before their teenage years, this means everyone is like this. However, Iron bodies have various specializations; Lindon's Bloodforged Iron body has a ridiculously overpowered Healing Factor, and Eithan's Raindrop Iron body gives him super reflexes. It's Yerin's Steelforged Iron body that is supposed to be the absolute best in terms of raw strength.
  • Several characters in Devils Cape have this, including Behemoth, Argonaut and Scion, and Bedlam.
    • Magic practitioners can also use Kinetomancy, which results in this and limited Super Speed.
    • Harry Dresden himself gains this after becoming the Winter Knight, at one point he mentions bench-pressing kilos.
  • Numerous races in Discworld are super strong. Most notable are the golems and trolls thanks to being mainly made of rock and clay, one Troll in particular Detritus in The Fifth Elephant easily wields the &#;Piecemaker&#; a massive modified siege crossbow that fires six-foot-long arrows that can destroy buildings. Humans in Discworld are also ludicrous strong compared to normal standards, Carrot who was raised in a dwarf mine and &#;build like a god&#; is able to stop a fleeing crook by holding his arm out with the same effect as running into a steel girder, Carrot can also knock out trolls with his punches and put a sword through stone pillar and the villain standing in front of it. Vimes is no slouch either able lift The Librarian (a kg orangutang) off the ground.
  • The titular Dracula has incredible strength with Professor Helsing confirming that the count has strength of at least twenty men. At the start of the novel Jonathan describes Dracula's "grip of steel" and later on The Count actually kills Renfield by throwing him to the ground so hard that his bones shatter. Being the Trope Codifier for Vampires Drac likely set the standard for Vampire's super strength in fiction.
  • Most nonhuman creatures in The Dresden Files, especially when compared with puny humans.
  • Fearless plays with this: Gaia is technically super strong, but only in comparison to other humans (in a hypothetical battle against, say, Superman, she would get curb-stomped). This is because she doesn't feel fear and therefore isn't held back from unleashing everything she's got when she fights, like most people are.
  • Nikita in The Girl from the Miracles District, when she goes berserk, has enough strength to tear men apart with her bare hands.
  • Harry Potter
    • Rubeus Hagrid might be a Gentle Giant but he still twisted Uncle Vernon's gun like it was rubber, tamed several massive super beasts by hand, knocked out several Aurors by punching them and apparently wrestled trolls in the Forbidden Forest as a boy. Hagrid's strength is also a hassle for his friends too as Hagrid's pats on the back and hugs can be incredibly painful.
      • Giants naturally have strength in abundance, Hagrid's brother Gwarp and the other giants wreck Hogwarts in the Final Battle.
    • Fenrir Greyback has this due to being a Werewolf and acting like a Werewolf even when not transformed, in his first appearance Greyback overpowered Harry and Bill effortlessly. Greyback can also walk off getting hit with a triple stunning spell from Harry.
    • Wormtail's aka Peter Pettigrew's sliver hand could reduce a twig to powder, Harry almost got choked out till he reminded Wormtail of the life debt the former owed him.
    • Wizards appear to have some relative super strength compared to Muggles, e.g Dumbledore despite being in his s could lift a fourteen year old Harry off the ground easily and a book later swims the breaststroke in a storm. Quidditch players namely Beaters invoke this strongly given they have to knock back Bludgers (which are made of iron and weigh approximately pounds) with clubs.
    • There's also a strengthening Solution

Super Strength / Live-Action Films


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  • The Adventures of Captain Marvel film serial of showcases one of the earliest film examples (which makes sense, given its the first superhero film of all time) with the titular Captain Marvel. Throughout the 12 episode serial, the Captain lifts enormous stone columns, large fallen trees, elevator cars, and other feats of strength, to the point where he ends some of his fist fights with criminals by casually slapping them.
  • Alien:
    • The Xenomorphs appear to have this, given how easily we see the first Xenomorph overpower Brett in Alien and in the sequel we see the Xenos effortlessly pull open automatic doors barring them from their prey. Justified a bit as their bodies have exoskeletons and are biomechanical in nature, meaning they're much stronger than the average human. They can even overpower Yautja with one Xenomorph impaling a Yautja warrior and lifting him up into the air with its tail. The Xenomorph Queen is the strongest, being able to rip android Bishop in two like wet tissue paper and match Ripley in a Power Loader. The Facehuggers also dreadfully strong for their size, in Aliens it took the combined effort of Hicks, Vasquez and Gorman just to get one off Ripley, before it could impregnate her.
    • Smart Gun Operator Mark Drake in Aliens: The M Smart Gun is already a hefty piece of equipment weighing-in at 18 kilograms (or 36 Pounds), and yet Drake was able to effectively and accurately operate said heavy-weapon and retreat at a brisk pace while wearing 4-kilograms (or 8 pounds) or chestplate armor, while also carrying a fully-loaded MA Flame Unit, which adds yet another 2 Kilograms (or 4 pounds) to his already considerable encumbrance. Yes, Drake is able to briskly maneuver and effectively fight while weighed down by 24 Kilograms (or 48 pounds) of weapon and armor at all times; yup, Drake sure is one tough customer.
    • The Engineers as seen in Prometheus are super strong thanks to their size and biology, we see one Engineer rip android David's head off with one arm and use it to beat Weyland to death. In the Prometheus tie-in comic Predator: Fire and Stone one Engineer easily fights the Yautja Ahab, snapping his arm like a breadstick and tosses him around, Ahab has to use his gadgets to weaken the Engineer in order to kill it.
  • The eponymous hero of the Baahubali duology can lift pound statues of solid gold without breaking a sweat.
  • Blade Runner: Nexus-6 Replicants are built to be far more durable and stronger than human beings, at the cost of a reduced lifespan. In the climax, Roy Batty lifts up Deckard's entire body weight using only one hand to save Deckard's life.
    • Replicants' strength is shown in even greater detail in Blade Runner as Nexus-9 Replicant protagonist K at one point busts through a wall like Kool-Aid Man and the willowy Luv effectively overpowers the protagonist at several points. However while Nexus-9 Repiclants are strong, they&#;re still not that much more durable than normal humans and are still vulnerable to bleeding to death, getting shot and drowning, thus making them Glass Cannons in general.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick:
    • Riddick. The benefits of being a Human Alien from a high-gravity death world. Combined with the savagery and brutality that he displays in combat, he tends to shred through his opponents like they were made out of tinfoil. Of course, in retrospect, it makes you wonder how a simple locked door could stop Riddick in the first movie.
    • The Necromongers display prodigious levels of physical strength, especially when you start getting into the higher ranks, like Vaako and The Lord Marshall. Again, it's been pointed out that the Necromongers hail from a heavy gravity world and they make use of gravity-based energy weapons along with gravity engines and drives for their ships and vehicles.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • The most prominent example are the Kryptonians and namely Clark Kent aka Superman and just like in the comics Supes's strength fluctuates wildly in the films leading a great amount Power Creep, Power Seep. In Man of Steel Clark is very strong being able to lift a school bus out of a lake as a teen and hold up a oil rig as an adult (though he definitely struggled with the latter). Once Supes fully realizes his powers he's much more effective with his strength able to smash straight through buildings and make Kung-Fu Sonic Boom with his fists, however interestingly other Kryptonians such as Faora, Nam-ek and Zod can easily match Clark in strength giving him a harder time throughout the movie. Though Superman is still a good deal stronger them (likely due to being exposed to Earth's sun for longer) as he could Neck Snap Zod despite the latter's Nigh-Invulnerability. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Clark's strength is more erratic as he can pull an ocean liner through ice, but another time when Superman lifts a piece of a space shuttle (approximately pounds kg) it forces him down onto one knee though it can be argued Superman is likely being careful as to not hurt the astronauts inside. In the Final Battle Clark is again matched, this time by Doomsday who mostly overpowers him, requiring Wonder Woman to help him out in the fight. In Justice League ( theatrical cut only) all bets are off and Supes is much stronger than he was presented as in the previous films, Superman is now able to effortlessly carry a huge building (that's likely much heavier than the oil rig and definitely heavier than the shuttle) and in his resurrection scene (featured more prominently in Zack Snyder's Justice League) Supes easily overpowers Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg despite Wonder and Aquaman specifically being actually closer in strength to him in the comics.
    • Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman is very strong, near the start of her solo movie when she doesn't know her strength Diana accidentally smashes through stone with her bare hands when climbing a tower. In the battle at the Western Front, Diana tosses a tonne Ehrhardt E-V/4 (German armored car) several meters and in Final Battle when she learns she's Semi-Divine she breaks free of the iron girders Ares put around her and lifts a much heaver ton tank, albeit with visible effort. In Justice League she's strong enough to knock Steppenwolf around and cut into his Super Toughness with her Cool Sword, though she needed to combine her strength with Aquaman's to overpower Steppenwolf in a tug-of-war, showing she's still several steps below the top tiers. Meanwhile she's little more than an annoying fly to Superman, who no-sells her offense and incapacitates her with a single headbutt.. In Zack Snyder's Justice League she&#;s a good deal stronger as Diana deals the finishing blow to Steppenwolf chopping off his head.
    • Arthur Curry aka Aquaman due to being a Half-Human Hybrid has Atlantean strength meaning his body and physical capabilities are far greater than any normal human, he's shown able to lift a submarine (likely over 48, tons, though he was using hydrokinesis here and he's much stronger in the water than on land) from the ocean. Aquaman also has shown to able to smash extremely durable materials like NSA drone, Blank Manta's Powered Armour and even send Steppenwolf flying with his mother&#;s trident. In Zack Snyders Justice League Arthur in the climax is strong enough to impale a battered Steppenwolf through the chest from behind and actually lift him up with the trident.
    • Billy Baston aka Shazam is shown to be strong enough to punch through a concrete pillar and catch a bus later in the movie. However, Billy is matched in strength by Dr. Sivana (who is given an Adaptational Badass from the comics). The rest of the kids get super strength when Billy shares the power of Shazam, Pedro in particular stops a Ferris wheel ( tons at the very least) from falling.
    • Technology can drastically boost strength in the DCEU, see Batman's Powered Armour which helped him fight (a kryptonite-poisoned) Superman and Cyborg whose tech gave him to strength to knock back a Humvee and even help Superman pry apart 3 Mother Boxes.
  • Elysium: Aside from being able to rip off the heads from droids and throw people around like dolls, the Exosuits increase the user's physical performance dramatically. They move more quickly than the average combatant, and Kruger was able to leap a great distance and height using his Exosuit. Max was able to rip himself from a gurney, and pretty much pulverize Crowe into the floor of the Armoury before throwing him like a shotput.
  • Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th series has this ability from Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and onwards after he becomes an undead zombie, some of his feats of strength include ripping a man's arm off just by slightly pulling it, and decapitating someone with one punch.
  • Game of Death. Jabbar's character shows supernatural strength and can lift James Tien with ease. That is, as long as he is not blinded by the light.
  • Ghost Rider gives an impressive visual example of super strength violating the laws of physics, as the Rider snares a helicopter with his chain and pulls it down. Unless he's heavier than a helicopter, tugging on the chain should have launched him toward it. Whatever demonic powers were at work somehow knew which he was trying to achieve.
  • Godzilla gives two examples; Godzilla himself, able to throw kaiju of equal proportions over his head, and Titanosaurus, the only kaiju in the entire series to lift Godzilla by the head using only his own head and neck.
  • The Golem in the silent movie classic The Golem is arguably super-strong, single-handedly supportingthe ceiling of the Emperor's palace at one point.
  • Highlander: Though it isn't specified the Immortals appear to have this along with immortality. Connor MacLeod is able to cut through a concrete pillar with his Cool Sword and Big Bad Kurgan impales a man with his sword and lifts him up by the hilt before throwing him across an alley.
  • Indestructible Man: After his resurrection, Butcher Benson is strong enough to lift a car and rip a steel safe apart with bare hands.
  • It Runs in the Family: BigDicky of the redneck gang that makes conflict with the old man can tear the porch right off of a house.
  • Obviously the larger dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park franchise are much stronger than people, but they are also shown to be much stronger than their real life counterparts as well. This is most noticeable for Rexie, the Spinosaurus, and especially the Indominus.
  • King Kong is a classic example, being a gigantic ape who can snatch biplanes out of the air and crush them as well as overpower and kill multiple dinosaurs who attack him on Skull Island. In his MonsterVerserevamp, Kong can swing a ship's anchor chain around as a Improvised Weapon and can even stagger and down Godzilla with his blows.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Mr. Hyde is a hulking monstrosity with super strength, unlike his book version.
  • Les Misérables has Valjean (fittingly played by Hugh Jackman) who just like the book is able to lift stuff e.g ship mast and horse cart that realistically no person could lift in that era. While it's more of a metaphor for Valjean&#;s labor in life it does also in hindsight make Javert an Adaptational Badass since he is able to match and drive off the superhuman Valjean in this movie, while Javert was easily physically beaten by Valjean in the Broadway Musical.
    Valjean: I am warning you Javert I'm a stronger man by far, there is power in me yet, my race is not yet run.
  • In Lord of the Rings several creatures and races have great strength, even willowy elves like Galadriel who carries Gandalfeffortlessly in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. The most extreme example is Sauron though as being a Maiar he can send entire armies flying with a swing of his mace as seen during the Flash Back in The Fellowship of the Ring.
  • Usually averted in the Mad Max movies which mostly played off the human characters as realistic in terms of ability, untilMad Max: Fury Road where The Brute Rictus the tunnel ram out of the War Rig&#;s engine with his barehands which is not physically possible for anyone other than a superhuman to do. This does raise the question as to how the hell Max could beat Rictus in a fistfight earlier in the same scene, but then again Max isn't exactly a normal person himself.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Tony Stark's Iron Man suits have the power to lift around 3 tons, according to a promotional image in the second movie but as we actually see in the movies that estimate is low-balling it. Even his first suit Mark I in Iron Man can smash open steel doors, and his later suit could catch a ton SUV near the end of the movie, though doing so enormously strained the suit's capabilities, caused him to keel over, and was marked by an immediate decrease in available power. In Iron Man 2, with his portable suit-case suit, he kicks his own car (with Pepper and Happy inside it) a few meters to get them out of the way, then in the climax, Tony is literally punching Hammer Drones apart with the Mark 6. In The Avengers the Mark 6 has the power to go toe-to-toe with freaking Thor and come out with only a few dents (yes Thor was probably holding back but given at the time the only other character who could knock Thor around like that was the Hulk it's still impressive on Tony's part). Black Widow even suggests to Captain America (who unlike Tony is superhuman) that he best stay the hell out of the fight. In the same movie we see Tony's most impressive strength feat in his "normal armor" i.e jump-starting the Helicarrier's turbine by pushing it. In Iron Man 3, we get another explicit figure for the weaker 'portable' Mark 42 suit, which can lift pounds (check the 'Max Weight Load' stat in the plane rescue scene). In Avengers: Age of Ultron we see by far Tony's strongest suit the Hulkbuster which speaksforitself, though it's important to note the Hulk was still stronger and probably would've ripped the Hulkbuster apart if Tony hadn't smartly used F.R.I.D.A.Y to send replacement armor-pieces to keep himself intact. When Hulk came back to senses and was distracted Tony was able to knock him out with a sneak attack. The Mark 46 in Captain America: Civil War seems to be in a similar boat to his earlier ones ( ton range) given that it's only slightly stronger than Captain America, not very impressive compared to the Mark 6 which could give Thor some trouble. The Mark 50 in Avengers: Infinity War is much stronger able to use a building-sized-pillar to smash Thanos and it even managed to bypass the Mad Titan's Nigh-Invulnerability and draw blood from his cheek (yes like Thanos says that ain't much but considering Thor needs a super starforged-axe just to injure the Titan, Tony being to hurt Thanos with tech alone is amazing).
    • The title character of The Incredible Hulk gives us the page quote. In his own movie, he wrecks the army, tosses Humvees around, owned Super Soldier Blonksy with one kick, uses cars as bludgeoning tools and even overpowered fellow gamma-beast Abomination when enraged enough. In The Avengers, Hulk rips apart the Helicarrier from the inside out, beats Thor and Loki (demigods) around like ragdolls and in the climax, kills a Chitauri Leviathan (which likely weighs over tons) with one punch without a doubt Hulk is the strongest human alive. In Avengers: Age of Ultron Hulk not only wrecks a whole city but Hulk is able to rip up Tony's supertough Hulkbuster suit and in the Sokivia battle he makes short work of the Ultron-bot army even chewing one up as well effortlessly defeating Ultron who gave Cap, Thor, Vision and Iron Man a hard time. Hulk's strength is one of the reasons why Hulk was not in Captain America: Civil War (aside from being on a different planet) because according to the Russo Brothers, any side Hulk picked would automatically become the winning side the same can be probably said for Thor below. In the same movie, Ross likens Hulk and Thor to "30 megaton nukes" which is telling of how The Government sees their destructive strength. In Thor: Ragnarok it&#;s reaffirmed Hulk's strength is so great that Thor without Mjölnir or any other big weapon won't last long against a sufficiently angry. Hulk was even strong enough to stagger Surtur the massive reawakened fire demon in the climax. However in the same movie Thor does briefly overpowers Hulk with his fully realized Shock and Awe powers (the Grandmaster weakened Thor with a Shock Collar before we got a definitive winner), also while Hulk does overpower the giant undead wolf Fenris he still gets bitten showing the limits to his Nigh-Invulnerability. In Avengers: Infinity War Hulk had required strength to knock Thanos around and force him up against a wall, subverted again though as Thanos was just humoring Hulk and swiftly turned the tables on the jolly green giant with some well placed blows and outright defeated him. The Russo brothers weighed on this stating while Hulk is absurdly strong his fighting style is mindless thanks to his child-like intelligence which is unfavorable odds against Thanos who is Strong and Skilled.
    • Among the Avengers, Thor is the only one to rival the Hulk in terms of physical strength. In his first movie, he flips an entire golden banquet table over, takes on the entire Jotunn (Ice Giant) race with no trouble, and flies into a Jotunn ice beast so hard he rips a hole clean through it. In The Avengers, he crushes Iron Man&#;s Armour with his fingers and is the only person capable of trading blows with the Hulk. In the New York battle, he helps Hulk brings down multiple Leviathans. (And this is after he was stabbed in the chest by Loki, yet he even asks an exhausted Captain America if he can keep going). In Thor: The Dark World he fights the Aether-powered Malekith without Mjölnir and throws teleport spears with enough velocity to impale the Dark Elf. In Age of Ultron, he (enhanced by his hammer) flips a light tank by hitting it. In Thor: Ragnarok he's able to knock Surtur around, hit Hulk (with Hulk's own weapon) so hard Hulk goes flying into a wall as well as hurt Hulk with unarmed blows. Thor's lightning mode drastically increases in his strength to point where he can knock down Hela (who was able to completely destroy Mjölnir) and even overpower the aforementioned Hulk. In Avengers: Infinity War Thor swings Rocket&#;s spaceship around, holds open the massive forge of a Nidavellir star, and then throw his new axe Stormbreaker so hard into Thanos's sternum that he mortally wounds him. Even without his divine powers, Thor somehow still stays superhuman, as brings down over a dozen elite SHIELD Agents with brute force alone.
      Agent Coulson: You made some of my best men, some of the most highly trained professionals in the world, look like a bunch of minimum wage mall cops that's hurtful.
    • While he might be significantly weaker than the previous examples, Steve Rogers aka Captain America also has this thanks to the Super Soldier serum. In his first movie, he manages to break through a glass window (much harder to do than it sounds) accidentally, and lifts a motorcycle (with three women sitting on it) above his head without any apparent effort. In The Avengers, Steve using his shield manages to reflect a strike from Mjölnir without getting turned into a pancake by the blowback (this becomes confusing later when a mere grenade launcher, blows Cap off his feet when he tries to reflect it) and at the start of the movie Cap throws a haymaker so hard it causes the punching bag he's practicing on to go flying (snapping the chain it was attached to), and in the Battle for New York, he fights dozens upon dozens of Chitauri despite not being as powerful as Iron Man, Thor or Hulk. In The Winter Soldier he jumps off his bike and brings down a Quinjet with just his shield. In the climax, he lifts a massive girder off Bucky to save him. But most impressively, in Civil War he stops a small helicopter (Eurocopter AS specifically) from taking off with one arm. However this also gets subverted heavily with Cap as well with his limits being frequently shown, like the time Loki effortlessly overpowered him in their fight in The Avengers and while Cap does technically beat Iron Man in Civil War it's only because he got help from Bucky, he targeted the arc reactor and Tony himself was holding back so he wouldn't kill Steve. There's also the time Cap caught Thanos's hand in Infinity War and hold him back, while undoubtedly an amazing Determinator moment Steve nevertheless wasn't strong enough to withstand a single punch from the Hero Killer. However in Avengers: Endgame Steve wields Mjolnir and even Stormbreaker and both weapons increase Cap's strength immensely to the point where he briefly overpowered Thanos.
    • Bucky Barnes, the titular soldier in Winter Soldier, has strength comparable to Captain America, due to implied experiments done by the Soviets and HYDRA. This is further enhanced by his cybernetic arm which can break concrete and even choke out Cap. However the arm proved to be no match for Spider-Man.
    • Scott Lang aka Ant-Man gets enhanced strength when he turns into Giant-Man, as with the expanded mass he's able to rip off an airplane's wing and knock buses around. In Avengers: Endgame Giant Man can punch down the Chitauri Leviathans as easily as the Hulk could and he even crushed The Brute Obsidian Cull under his foot without even noticing.
    • Vision, thanks to the power of the Mind Stone, is massively strong and basically the Avenger's second Flying Brick. In his introduction in Avengers: Age of Ultron he crushes Ultron-bots like they're made of cardboard. In Civil War, Vision effortlessly overpowers Hawkeye; and when the latter swings a baton at him it shatters like an icicle. Later Vison rams Giant Man so hard that he loses balance and falls back into the plane behind him, and that was after splitting a bus in half with his forearm. Vision's strength is one of the reasons why Corvus Glaive wisely weakened Vision with a special spear Back Stab before even trying to get the Mind Stone from his head.Played for Laughs in WandaVision as while pretending to be a Stage Magician, Vis lifts piano one handed to the shock of the audience forcing Wanda to have use her powers to turn the piano into a flat board, to fool the audience into thinking it's a trick and subsequently calm them down. In the Final Battle Vision grinds his Evil Counterpart White Vision through the road by the face DBZ-style and later they smash each other into the ground so hard they make a crater.
    • T'Challa aka Black Panther while clearly not as strong as characters such as Hulk, Thor, Vision or even Spider-Man is still far beyond any normal human thanks to Heart Shaped Herb, in fact T'challa can casually slice a humvee door off with his claws and throw it a goon behind him hard to enough to take him out. In Civil War Black Panther overpowers Bucky twice (worth noting the latter time Bucky was in full Winter Soldier mode). Also in his solo movie, T'challa brings down a charging Rhino (30km/h) with his strength alone just like the comics. Even when Brought Down to Normal T'challa can tank a spear to the shoulder and overpower the massive M'baku with his Charles Atlas Super Power.
    • Peter Parker aka Spider-Man, though small, is the third physically strongest human being behind Carol Danvers and The Hulk. In Spider-Man's debut movie Civil War, Tony Stark measures that Peter Parker can stop a ton speeding car on a YouTube. In the airport battle, Spidey casually overpowers Falcon and Bucky - two highly experienced veterans - and also catches Bucky's previously-unbeaten cybernetic arm with ease, leading to an Oh, Crap! moment for Bucky. Spidey also knocks over a truck and sends Cap and Falcon flying with just his kicks. Later in the same fight Spidey holds up an entire jet bridge (typically 27 tons, though he was only holding up between a third and half of it so it would be acting as a lever) that Cap drops on him, causing him to ultimately lose the fight, though Cap still gives him high praise. The reason why Spider-Man lost despite his superior strength to Cap, is most likely because of Steve's greater experience compared to Spidey's rookie status is simply a bad matchup (also the movie has &#;Captain America&#; in the title). Spider-Man: Homecoming shows Spidey strength in greater detail as he stops an elevator full of people from falling, briefly halted two halves of ferry from falling apart and in his most epic Heroic Spirit moment lifts tons of concrete and metal rubble off him in the climax. In Infinity War Spidey is shown to have the sheer strength to stop Obsidian Cull's hammer attack and even smashes The Brutewith a taxi. On Titan Spidey's blows are enough to stagger Thanos to the point of genuinely pissing him off, though as to be expected once Thanos got his hands on the "insect" their clash ended quickly. While he was clearly outclassed in terms of might Spidey was still strong enough to play tug of war with the Mad Titan even pull the goddamn infinity gauntlet off Thanos's hand. Also in Spiderman Far From Home just like the comics, Peter knocks out Flash Thompson with a single lovetap.
    • Non-Avenger examples come from the Guardians of the Galaxy in particular Drax, Gamora and Groot. Drax (played by WWEDave Bautista) has incredible brute strength being able to lift great weights, break through solid stone, rip metal apart and able to send dudes flying with simple strikes, at one point in the Prison Riot Drax even crushes a flying turret with his barehands. However Drax's might is overshadowed quite a bit, he was soundly beaten by Ronan in Knowhere and effortlessly swept aside by Thanos in the Titan Battle (though he did manage to force Thanos down to his knee with a sliding kick when he had him off-guard and could physically restrain Thanos's leg briefly). Gamora thanks to her alien biology + cybernetic upgrades can Neck Lift Mantis, hack off Groot's arms, cut open the Abilisk with her sword and even wielda broken ship's cannon as aBFG. Subverted though as Gamora is clearly overpowered by the aforementioned Drax, as well her father Thanos who's even stronger than him. Groot though a Gentle Giant nevertheless has great physical prowess too e.g like the time he lifted an alien bruiser by the nostrils till his nose came off or better yet his "Groot smash scene" in the Final Battle. Size also doesn't diminish Groot's might as Baby Groot overpowered a full grown man.
      • Peter Quill aka Starlord also got super strength when he tapped into his half-celestial powers essentially making him a Physical God allowing him to match his father Ego.
    • Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel due to absorbing the energy from the light speed engine aka the Tesseract aka the Space Stone has greatly enhanced abilities, even before she fully utilizes her Super Mode Carol overpower dozens of Skrulls with brute strength and she's shown to able to send her foes flying with just kicks and punches. Once Carol unleashes her full power and becomes a Flying Brick she has strength comparable to Vision, Thor and even the Hulk given she was able to stop a Kree missile with just her hands. In Avengers: Endgame not only does Carol physically carry Benatar back to earth but also destroys Thanos's warship all by herself and even grapples with Thanos making him struggle , though she is beaten when he harnesses the Power Stone.
    • Speaking of which Thanos is the most prominent villain example and puts most of the previous examples to shame. Remember Cap's Shield, made of stuff that even the aforementioned Thor couldn't dent? Thanos managed to casually break through that same material with his fingers when he killed Vision. Even before that the Mad Titan soundly beat the Hulk (even hoisting him above his head) as well as overpowering Thor, Loki fatally, Gamora also fatally, Drax, Mantis, Spider-man, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain America (both of whom he defeated in one punch) and Vision again fatally. If that weren't enough the Power Stone in particular increases his might seen when he throws a goddamn moon at the heroes. In Endgame we see even without the Gauntlet Thanos can still battle Thor, Iron Man and Captain America and overpower them with just his raw un-augmented strength, Thanos even breaks Cap's previously unmatched shield in the fight. Yes the aforementioned Captain Marvel does give him some trouble but it's worth noting once Thanos got a good grip on Carol he could toss her around like a ragdoll, signifying that Thanos is one of the few whose physical might can be considered comparable to hers, although she does later on No-Sell a headbutt from him.
  • Almost everyone in The Matrix with the Agents being the most blatant being able to punch through concrete and crush cars underneath their feet. The heroes have this too, in the training room Morpheus could send Neo flying with a kick so strong he snapped a wooden pillar, speaking of Neo he gets even greater strength as a Flying Brickand so does Smith.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors: In his dreams, Kincaid is a superstrong bruiser who can bend steel with his bare hands. Not strong enough for Freddy, however
  • Night of the Living Dorks: Konrad discovers that he gained immense strength when he became a zombie. He starts using it to get back at everyone who bullied him.
  • Jet Li's characters in The One get this thanks to the in-universe Conservation of Ninjutsu. At one point, Yulaw uses a pair of police motorcycles as boxing gloves.
  • The titular alien (Yautja) in Predator. Not only is the Jungle Hunter strong enough to overwhelm Arnie's Dutch and Neck Lift him, but he can also rips men's spines out like they are Made of Plasticine. Later Predators are shown breaking concrete with their blows and swinging around the aforementioned Xenomorphs by the tail.
  • Fezzik in The Princess Bride. Most noted during Westley's first encounter with the giant, as Fezzik holds an enormous boulder in one hand, and nonchalantly chucks it over his shoulder when they decide to fight hand-to-hand combat. Not to mention the warning shot he gave Westley, i.e throwing a boulder at a rock near Westley's head so hard it powderises.
  • Robocop being you know, a Cyborg has enhanced strength being able to punch through walls, send dudes flying with simple blows and Neck Lift Boddicker. In the Reboot Robocop is presented as even stronger and faster too.
  • Spider-Man 2: Spider-Man demonstrates super strength far beyond his expected capabilities, stopping a subway train with two web lines and his own back.
  • In Star Wars several characters and aliens have enhanced strength namely The Rancor, Wampas, Wookies such as Chewbacca, and of course Darth Vader. Jedi can also draw strength from the Force when they're not being merely super athletic, see Force Rapid Fisticuffs from Mace Windu.
  • Augments from Star Trek tend to have this as standard, but it's most apparent with John Harrison/ Khan from Star Trek Into Darkness, who can swing around a beam cannon like it weighs nothing (one-handed no less), send men flying with a single blow, and crush peoples' skulls with his bare hands. The only one who can fight him evenly is Spock, since Vulcans (including a Half-Human Hybrid like him) are much stronger than humans and even then Khan can still No-Sell the infamous Nerve Pinch which gives a clue to just how strong he is.
  • The Disney film The Strongest Man in the World revolves around Medfield College student Dexter Reilly inadvertently gaining super strength from a strength formula that landed in the cereal of his best friend, Richard Shuyler.
  • Terminator

Strength tv tropes super

Super Toughness

"Not enough car."

"Any sufficiently durable individual is indistinguishable from immortals."


The power of unambiguously superhuman durability, ranging from being "merely" Immune to Bullets, to getting hit by a nuke and finding it to tickle a bit, and even beyond that.

This is a Required Secondary Power to be able to do anything with Super Strength; without it, Newton's Third Law would result in you ruining your hand every time you threw a super-punch, and every bone and muscle would snap/tear under the tension of lifting a car. Of course, that doesn't mean characters with Super Strength are always shown having Super Toughness in any other context.

A Sub-Trope of Nigh-Invulnerability (specifically, the Made of Diamond type). Compare Made of Iron, where an explicitly non-superpowered character can take a lot more punishment than is normally possible for no apparent or explained reason, though Charles Atlas Superpower can blur the line between Made of Iron and Super Toughness.

This applies to a lot of superpowered powerhouses, Flying Brick-type characters, as well as many of those who utilize extensive cybernetic enhancement, Ki Manipulation, Supernatural Martial Arts, and/or Functional Magic. It's sometimes a side-effect of particularly adaptiveHealing Factors. Most Super Soldiers possess it, and it can also be achieved with Mind over Matter.

Combine it with Super Strength, and you're likely to end up with the Implacable Man. Often part of Super Speed users as well as per Required Secondary Powers, as anyone with otherwise ordinary human physiology would literally tear themselves apart very quickly. When it's just their skeleton see Unbreakable Bones.


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    Anime & Manga 

  • Armitage of Armitage III can take bullets, stab wounds, and head-on grenade hits and keep going, with only cosmetic damage to her flesh. She even managedto survive her ownself-destruct mechanism.
  • Attack on Titan has the Female and Armored Titans. The Female Titan has no skin and all her muscles are exposed, yet she takes horrific injury without a sound and it barely ends up slowing her down. Given that she can and does react to serious injury occasionally, it would seem that these wounds do hurt in the normal fashion, but she may have been trained to work past it, along with the other shifters. The Armored Titan shrugs off cannon fire, attacks from the Rogue Titan, and explosions that decimate an area for miles, without a scratch, and its introductory scene shows it demolishing the fifty-meter wall in front of it and still having to slow and stop itself afterwards. The Rogue Titan would qualify, except that its injuries do cause it some detriment as it tends to be so single-mindedly focused on murdering its target that it attacks without regard for the critical state its body is in and usually ends up worse for it.
  • Bleach
    • Shinigami life force is affected by their spiritual power. The more spiritual power they possess, the harder it is to even scratch them, let alone kill them.
    • Arrancar possess Hierro note Spanish for Iron, a supernaturally tough skin which makes it difficult to injure or kill them. Nnoitra is singled out for having exceptionally hard Hierro even by the standards of other Espada.
    • Quincies possess Blutnote German for "Blood". Pure-blood quincies possess it from birth, impure-blood quincies learn it with training. Blut Vene channels reiatsu through their veins via reishi manipulation to massively increase their defensive power, making it very hard to injure or kill a Quincy. Cang Du and Mask de Masculine can further use their Schrift powers to shrug off attacks even Blut Vene can't cope with.
  • In Brave10, Seikai can turn blades with pure muscle. Jinpachi is then introduced blocking Seikai's strike with one hand.
  • This is one of Shioon's martial arts powers in The Breaker. Sure, he can bleed (a lot), but he doesn't stay down. Most conversations with him or about him contain No One Could Survive That! , What the Hell Are You? and Why Won't You Die?. On top of that, he heals very quickly and comes back stronger from all the extensive beatings he survives.
  • In Delicious in Dungeon Falin, as a chimera, shrugs off damage that would normally kill any of her components &#; in her case, a slashed throat and stab wounds to her heart, right lung, and kidney &#; either because they're no longer vital organs for the whole, or because she has redundancies.
  • Virtually all Digimon Rookie level and above have some level of this (for instance, Garurumon, a mere champion level has fur that's described as being far harder than steel, and he's not even a particularly durable Champion level), but Mega level digimon take the cake. They can shrug off the attacks of even groups of Ultimate level digimonnote  who, it should be noted, are often compared to nuclear weapons in terms of destructive capacity, and can often casually change the effects of the weather over large areas of land without so much of a scratch, being momentarily inconvenienced at worse. Secondary and tertiary evolution Mega levels (occasionally refered to as "Ultra" or "Super Ultimate") take this up to eleven: Omnimon is capable of shrugging off thousands of mega level attacks with a flick of the wrist, The combined attacks of WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon don't even move Alphamon, and Susanoomon can basically No-Sell Lucemon Falldown Mode's Paradise Lost Punch.note  which is powerful enough to easily shatter celestial bodies
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku is shot by Bulma in his first meeting with her in Dragon Ball, and it only stings him. As the power levels get higher and higher, not only guns, but rockets, tank fire and pretty much anything else have 0 effect. In fact, it's a Running Gag in the series for the Earth's entire armed forces to launch an all out assault on the arc villain, only for them to laugh it off. This happened as early as King Piccolo, and by the time of Dragon Ball Z, the very first villain, Raditz, is introduced by catching a shotgun round and flicking it back at the attacker far harder. All the main and supporting heroes (yes, even Krillin) are strong enough to laugh off entire armies worth of ordnance.
    • Even among the cast, there are two standout examples: Vegeta and Frieza both take incredible amounts of punishment even by Dragon Ball standards, yet they will frequently continue to stand up again and keep fighting. Frieza was still alive cut in half, blasted through the ground, had a planet explode beneath him, and drifted in the vacuum of space for an unspecified amount of time. He also survived a point-blank Energy of Destruction to the face as well as repeated pummeling from the Pride Troopers and survived a 1 hour beatdown against Broly. Vegeta, meanwhile, continues to get up after a beating by Majin Buu so many times that Buu is actually briefly afraid of him, the only time Buu shows any fear in the series.
    • This is the gimmick of most of the Non-Serial Movie villains as Garlic Junior, Doctor Wheelo, Lord Slug, Turles, Super Android 13, Bojack, Janemba, Beerus, Golden Frieza and especially Broly just No-Sell some of the strongest attacks the Z-Fighters throw at them and some i.e Broly and Super Android 13don't even flinch when they get hit.
    • Subverted however if you consider Ki Manipulation plays a part in a lot of this instances and the heroes and villains can quickly become Glass Cannons if they aren't already guarded e.g Goku in his strongest Super Mode (Super Saiyan Blue) was taken out by a simple laser beam in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection &#;F&#;. Another time in Super Goku Black when he was unaware was knocked down by Mai using a sniper rifle (albeit with a special bullet), similarly Goku and Krillin were both hurt by bullets fired by Muggles signifying they needed to train more.
  • Shizuo Heiwajima from Durarara!! was born with Uninhibited Muscle Powerwhich sent him to the hospital whenever he used it. Eventually, though, recovering from those injurieshas made him as tough as his is strong. Someone once shot a ballistic knife into his chest at almost point blank range. It went in about half a centimeter.
  • In Ghost in the Shell, Mokoto Kusanagi, courtesy of bionics. In the various animes,Batou was even more so, though in the original Manga he only had a few bionic parts rather than having a full prosthetic body like the Major or his anime incarnations and therefore wasn't substantially tougher than a normal human.
  • In Inuyasha, Yokai and Hanyou can take more damage than a human can.
  • My Hero Academia has Eijiro Kirishima, whose Quirk is Hardening, which lets him harden his own skin and therefore become super tough. He thinks this Quirk isn't flashy enough, but by Season 3 he comes to realize his Quirk doesn't lend itself to being flashy; you can be a cool hero simply by showing just how much you can take (true enough, his Super move ends up being just becoming even more invulnerable). Come Season 2, we have Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu, whose Quirk, Steel, lets him transform his skin into steel (which, in essence, makes him similar to Kirishima, much to their dismay).
  • One Piece:
    • A World Government assassin squad, CP9, has among its arsenal the special ability "Iron Body" ("Tekkai", or "Iron Mass", in Japanese). It made their bodies as hard as iron to resist damage. The downside was that you couldn't move when in Iron Body. Jabra is the one exception as a master of the Iron Body ability he can move while using it making him a definite Lightning Bruiser, Sanji had to burn through Jabra's Tekkai to actually beat him.
    • "Color of Armament" Haki can also be used to this effect protecting the user's body against blows and bladed attacks as well doubling striking/cutting power. Usually it just affects relevant parts of the body rather than all of it at once, but Vergo and Pica each demonstrate a full-body hardening at respective points.
    • Some people are simply incredibly tough by nature or training. While examples abound, the best ones are the Yonko (Emperors of the Sea) .
      • Whitebeard: During Marineford he sustained sword wounds, gunshot wounds, and 46 wounds from cannonballs, and got a portion of his head blasted off, resulting in injuries in total and he didn't fall down once. And he was sick and old too, what a badass.
      • Big Mom: She's known affectionately as a "Iron Balloon" as guns, cannon balls and massivedynamite explosionsdon't even bother her. Even before that Nami used Big Mom's Shock and Awe powers against her and hit Big Mom with a massive thunderbolt it didn't work.
      • Kaido: His Establishing Character Moment is an attempted suicide by way of jumping from a floating island 10, meters above the ground, leaving a huge crater and getting back up with a mild headache. The Marines have given up on trying to execute him, and he's taken up suicide attempts for fun because he's that indestructible. It even drives his Death Seeker tendencies, as he's so curious as to whether he can be killed in the first place that he's willing to try everything, including igniting a war that will set the world on fire to see if any combatants can finally end his life. When Luffy in Gear Fourth tries all his strongest attacks on Kaido, it merely annoys him. Later Luffy uses advanced Armament Haki that damages the target&#;s insides and Zoro uses a special Cool Sword that respectively hurt Kaido for real, but even then all they accomplish is for Kaido to start taking the fight somewhat seriously with his Half-Human HybridSuper Mode.
  • One-Punch Man:
    • This is Saitama's other power alongside Super Strength and Super Speed. Throughout the story, he never takes a hit that seems to cause him any actual pain or damage.
    • Boros has a potent enough case of this that, coupled with his Healing Factor, he actually survives a punch from Saitama. Several, in fact. He still dies once Saitama decides it's time to be serious about this.
  • In Sonic X and Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, most of the anthropomorphic characters have this, in stark contrast to their One-Hit-Point Wonder status in the games (although this is mostly game mechanics to be fair.) For example:
    • In the former, Sonic and his cohorts constantly take blows that would turn human beings into fine paste, such as being hit by a skyscraper sized Giant Mecha, while barely flinching. When Sonic and Shadow go Super they inch closer to full invincibility, only ever being hurt by each other, and the attacks of Dark Oak. Shadow takes the cake with this even outside of his super form; unless he runs out of stamina he's almost impossible to put down, surviving even being pulled on by a planet sized being at one point no worse for the wear.
    • In the latter, both Sonic and Hyper Metal Sonic clashing together is shown to cause huge damage to the surrounding landscape, even at one point causing a mountain sized stalactite to break off and fall from the sky, and yet for the most part, they aren't injured by this. Sonic's body does start to give out before Metal's, but he takes a lot of punishment first. Metal himself is ridiculously tough, shrugging off all of Sonic's attacks like they are nothing. It took hacking into his system hitting him with a point blank spindash, being ground zero in a huge explosion (causing his already damaged body to rip in half), and submerging him in molten lava to finally kill him.
  • In Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Zentraedi were designed to be much tougher physically than a human being. Lampshaded by Breetai, who had just been Thrown Out the Airlock without a spacesuit and came back in:

    "I am not built as weakly as you are."

  • Goes hand in hand with Aiko "Torako" Torasawa's inhuman strength in Torako, Anmari Kowashicha Dame da yo. Multiple people have tried to attack her with varying degrees of seriousness and not only does Torako barely notice most of the time, but the attackers either hurt themselves in the attempt or break whatever they were attacking her with.

    Comic Books 

  • Aquaman is able to take machine gun fire, but it does cut his skin and draw blood, so he wears Atlantean scale armour.
  • Being completely invulnerable is the sole power of Brit to the point that one mission consisted of strapping a nuclear bomb to his chest, setting it off to kill the superpowered henchmen of a villain, and then taking a beating from the guy until his enemy was completely exhausted.
  • Brother Power The Geek, being a cloth dummy that is filled with rags and supported by an internal wire framework, is extremely pliable and resistant to pain.
  • Incredible Hulk is famouslydurable, as are many of his gamma-irradiated allies and foes. One time Hulk and Fantastic Four's The Thing were having an arm wrestle and got nuked by the military and weren't even slightly bothered.
  • In Invincible, the titular protagonist aka Mark Grayson and most of the cast are super tough. When time Invincible finds himself in a scuffle with a Batman-archetype and the poor dude breaks his knuckles punching Mark&#;s face. Subverted when Marks is up against other members of his race the Viltrimites and other strong alien who do succeed in beating him bloody and in one case making his intestines flop out. Fortunately Mark has a Healing Factor.
  • Iron Man depending the Powered Armour can No-Sell all sorts attacks including bullets, punches from Spider-Man (who hurt his hand) and Storm's lighting. In fact, Tony's suits are tough enough to withstand blows from Sentry, Hulk, Thor and can even tank several nuclear explosions.
  • Jessica Jones from Alias and The Pulse has this power as a part of her Flying Brick power set. She was capable of taking a severe beating from Iron Man and the Vision (two very powerful heroes) which resulted in damage to her neck, nose, spine, and retina. She's later shown withstanding a venom blast (a burst of concentrated electricity) from Spider-Woman that causes her noticeable pain before she gets back up and decks the other woman in the face. In a flashback, she receives a slash across her back with a knife that cuts her skin, but the only medical attention she required was a bandage. While threatening a group of armed men, Jessica's internal monologue reveals that she isn't quite sure if she's bulletproof. The Pulse revealed that Jessica's internal organs (including her uterus) are also super tough, which was good news for her after the Green Goblin attempted to blow her up while she was pregnant. Bottom line, she may not be invulnerable, but she can take a beating and keep on fighting.
  • The Juggernaut, almost nothing can stop him. Spider-Man learned this the hard way in the seminal ASM # where he literally pulls out of every trick in the book including zapping with a million volts of electricity and ramming into Juggernaut with a gasoline trunk which explodes but it's all reduced to The Worf Effect, forcing Spidey to trick Juggs into stepping into wet concrete and sinking just to temporarily get rid of him. Later comics have dialed it up further with the entire X-Men throwing everything at him to no effect, Thor blasting him with Godblast to no effect and even an unstrained Optic Blast from Cyclops that would quote "rip a small planet in half" to again no effect. Hulk's son Skaar once punched Juggernaut all the way to Mars and he was no worse for wear. What's most terrifying is knowledge that even when you do seriously hurt Juggernaut e.g remove all his skin and organs with magic, he'll still keep going as a big scary red skeleton. Played with though, as Juggernaut is still susceptible to Telepathy and strong mystical attacks which may count as a Drama-Preserving Handicap.
  • Jessica Jones' husband, Luke Cage, is even tougher. While he's not a Flying Brick like his wife, he still is incredibly durable to the point of outright bulletproofness; leading to many referring to him as the man with unbreakable skin. He's even tanked hits from Hulk, Namor and Promixa Midnight one of Thanos's Elite Mooks. He does have limits, though: repeated blunt force injuries will cause him internal damage, at which point his unbreakable skin becomes a liability.
  • Sunspot of New Mutants and some other X-Men-related series is an interesting aversion. The sun gives him Super Strength, but not any enhanced durability, requiring to be a lot more careful. He could toss a tank as surely as Colossus, but if that tank were to hit him with a shell before he reached it, he'd be chunky salsa!
  • Preacher
    • The page image is of the Saint of Killers. He's notable for not being hurt by anything that's thrown at him throughout the story, be it bullets, tank shells, a multi megaton nuke, or the armies of heaven. And at the very end, God himself can't do anything to him- because the Saint is sitting on the Throne of Paradise.
    • The guy next to him is Cassidy, an Irish vampire, who is a downscaled example- he can take hits far above a human's level (in one case getting shot a dozen times by a high-powered rifle), but in his case it very much hurts- and then there's the whole catches-fire-in-sunlight thing.
  • Robin Series: The villain Impervious who showed up to try to collect on the bounty the Penguin placed on Robin's head is impervious to harm, but doesn't have any other powers like super-strength to go along with it. Luckily for Tim she was intercepted by the Veteran, who has the same power set plus a lack of aging, who was able to detain her before she reached Tim both times she tried it.
  • Rogue of the X-Men, when she was the Trope Namer for Flying Brick (due to a certain instance of power absorption), was usually very tough but not fully invulnerable. One comic had her taking a bullet to the head, which knocked her out (whereas such things would simply bounce off of other Flying Bricks). She often referred to this as "nigh-invulnerability". The "nigh" part was meant to mean that there were indeed still things that could hurt her, so it's not the Nigh-Invulnerability we speak of in trope-speak. She's closer to nigh-invulnerable nowadays thanks to absorbing Wonder Man's powers, e.g The Falcon punched her and broke his hand.
  • Silver Surfer is mostly certainly this as She-Hulkdiscovered the hard way when first met him and slugged him. She rubbed her hand in pain afterwards.
  • Spider-Man is also an example. While not as conventionally invulnerable as guys like, say, Thor or Colossus, he can still take insane amounts of punishments that would kill ordinary men with little more than superficial bruises. While he can he hurt by conventional means such as bullets or knives- Depending on the Writer- his resistance to impact forces is more consistently something to behold. Even guys like a pissed-off Hulk and the Juggernaut haven't killed Spidey with just one of their blows. He also often makes up for not being on the same level of invulnerable as more powerful superheroes by sheer determination, e.g in Avengers vs. X-Men where he survives a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from a Phoenix Forced-possessed Colossus.
  • Hardcase from Strikeforce: Morituri could increase the density of anything he touched to produce this effect, and use it to incapacitate enemies.
  • Supergirl is a nigh invulnerable Flying Brick on par with her more famous cousin.
    • In Supergirl vol 1 #3, a giant mutant venus fly-trap tries to swallow Linda/Kara whole but it ends up spitting Supergirl out because it can't bite her skin.

      Supergirl: This brute may become a vegetarian now! Trying to chomp down on my invulnerable body would ruin the appetite of any meat-eater!

    • In Supergirl Vol 2 #1, she shielded several men from a shower of molten steel with her body.
    • In Supergirl Vol 5 #21, Kara got a locomotive dropped on her. It knocked her out for several seconds. Then she woke up and threw it out of the planet.
    • Post-Flashpoint Kara, first discovers that she is very, very hard when she gets caught in an explosion and she doesn't get harmed.
    • In the first Supergirl (Rebirth) arc she gets punched out of a city.
    • In The Supergirl from Krypton, Kara's body is extremely tough. When she loses a sword-fight and her sparring partner is about to stab her, Superman overreacts until Wonder Woman reminds him that Artemis' sword would've shattered on impact.
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton Kara gets hit by missiles, punched into a moon and hurled into the Sun. She endures everything.
    • In Demon Spawn, Supergirl endures the heat of a burning building and flies through a wall without getting hurt.
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade Linda is nearly invulnerable. Unfortunately, her power tends to fail at inopportune and comical times.
    • In Bizarrogirl, a Planet Eater smashes Kara through a planet (albeit to be fair, Bizarro World is significantly smaller than Earth)
  • Superman is one of the most iconic comic book examples. Most of his enemies also have this ability to better justify their ability to throw down with him.
    • In Krypton No More Superman fought one-time villain Protector that can change his body into diamond to become extra-tough.
    • In Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man a Lex Luthor's robot slams Superman into a building. The blow is strong enough to bring down a chunk of the wall, but Clark barely feels it. Spider-Man's hide is not so tough, but he takes several metallic tentacles to the face when he fights Doctor Octopus, and he doesn't even get knocked out.
    • In War World:
      • Martian Manhunter hits Superman with strength enough to shatter rocks, but Superman endures their blows.
      • Shortly later, Superman and Supergirl endure the impacts of Warworld&#;s planet-killing weapons. Supergirl rams through Warworld at inconceivable speed. She knocks herself out but she doesn't suffer further harm.
      • And Superman flies so fast that he bursts through the barriers of reality. The narration notes that strain would reduce other beings to shapeless paste.
    • In the first chapters of Kryptonite Nevermore, Superman tanks cannon fire several times. However he loses most of his invulnerability throughout the story.
  • Thanos while he was capable of getting stabbed when he was younger in his origin clearly has become this in later years. He&#;s tanked blasts from Silver Surfer and even Black Bolt's OP vocal talent which can destroy entire planets, only succeed in giving the Mad Titan some Clothing Damage.
  • Thor being a Physical God has walked off things that would turn most of his Earth hero buddies into mush or a smear on the ground. He&#;s casually rammed into planet busting nukes, flown through suns and even shrugged off blasts from Galactus. He can still be damaged and knocked out, but it usually takes some powerful magic, cosmic power or a ludicrously strong foe like the aforementioned Hulk, Juggernaut or Thanos to damage the Son of Odin.
  • Wonder Woman. Being a Flying Brick on par with Superman means she's got toughness to spare. While its often inconsistent about whether she needs to use her bracelets to defend against things like bullets and energy blasts, the fact that she can take hits from people like Superman and the like puts her firmly in the nigh invulnerable category

    Fan Works 

  • Derpy from the Pony POV Series is implied to have a form of this, as her special talent appears to be 'being a Determinator.' Dark World!Derpy, however, is upgraded by becoming the new Element of Loyalty, which takes this Up to Eleven to the point getting hit with lightning doesn't even seem to effect her. This seems to be a Required Secondary Power of her Super Mode, which otherwise would tear her body apart.
  • In The Parselmouth of Gryffindor, the Dementors' bodies (unlike their robes) are utterly indestructible by anything short of Fiendfyre, even being able to No-Sell the Trolley Witch's claws.
  • In Marionettesthe title androids have this on account of being constructed out of mithril (an extremely durable, but light weight magical metal). Lightning Dust slams face first into a tunnel while on top of a speeding train and only loses her false skin and one of her eyes while being knocked offline for a short period. During her fight with Masquerade, Trixie is repeatedly thrown and smashed through walls without any serious damage. Ace and Teddy, the two G2 Marionettes, are made of steel, and just a little less durable than their 'little siblings'. Ironically, the reason for the choice of materials in both cases was the Generation 1 Marionettes lacked durability.
  • In Atonement, villain Hatchet Face is incredibly resilient.
  • In I am Superman, The Iron Giant is completely unfazed by any of Lung's attacks.
  • Child of the Storm has Asgardians (who tend to minimally have Golden Age Superman levels of durability and largely ignore bullets), and Grey Court Master vampires, with AIM missiles merely qualifying as painful.
    • Thor, meanwhile, is the gold standard for every character that isn't explicitly cosmic, being capable of walking on stars.
  • Hellsister Trilogy's main character can shrug an exploding star off. Yet still, when she punches Darkseid in the face with one of her super-strong blows, he just takes it.

    She sped towards him again, ducking under the twin eye-blasts that came from him, and rocked his world with an uppercut that would have taken off the top of a mountain. To his credit, Darkseid was tough enough to take it, but went off his pins again.

  • Hive Daughter has Taylor, thanks to her upgrades. In one timeline Coil shot her in her exposed face and it only really mildly annoyed her.
  • A Force of Four has Power Girl, who can easily dive in magma without harm.
  • The Loud Awakening:
    • Lori's dragon scales are stated to be tougher than steel, titanium, tungsten, and inconel combined. Even her "normal" skin is described as tough enough she could take a point-blank shotgun blast and come out with a minor scrape.
    • While not as extreme, all of the Loud children inherited superhuman increase in durability, to the point Lincoln and Lucy while suppressing their powers could survive being hit by a shockwave from a mech that would have killed a normal human.
  • Fate/Reach Out has Shirou, who combines Persona-given buffs with Reinforcement magecraft to make himself invulnerable.
  • Superman of The Great Confrontation has the whole House of El. Their invulnerability varies after centuries interbreeding with humans and sometimes Amazons. The direct descendants of the first Superman and the original Supergirl are virtually undamageable; their relatives tend to be less tough.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Solvernia has Zerael's ganman, the Adamastor. His defenses are so resistent that allows talking to be a free action.
  • The Last Daughter has Taylor. The only thing shown to hurt her is the explosion from killing Behemoth. Even suplexing Behemoth from outer space doesn't hurt her in any significant way.
  • In The Vampire of Steel, Zol-Am is impervious to traditional vampire-killing methods due to his Kryptonian heritage, so the team have to seek alternate means to deal with him.
  • The Future Flash has main character Bart Allen, a half-Kryptonian speedster who is suitably nigh indestructible.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton has half-Kryptonian Asuka Langley Sohryu, who becomes aware of her invulnerability when she accidentally crashes into and through a building.
  • Last Child of Krypton: Shinji Ikari has Kryptonian DNA, so it doesn't come as a surprise when he gets hit with one dozen nukes and survives.
  • The Web of The Spider-Man: As per canon, Peter Parker is incredibly tough.
  • In Survivors, the main character and her cousin have this power, as proven when she got shot and didn't even notice the bullets.
  • White Sheep (RWBY): Jaune's nature gives him tremendous Aura reserves. A full-on swing from Cardin's two-handed flanged mace hitting him on the arm only stung a bit, left a bruise, and reduced his Aura by a minuscule amount.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Peter says the resistance to blunt force and the minor Healing Factor he got from the spider bite are the only reasons why he isn't permanently hospitalized given all the punishment he takes. It also provides a level of safety for Izuku when he's busy running into a wall while trying to get his Intangibility power to work or jumping off a fifty foot ferris wheel to start web-swinging for the first time. It doesn't mean it won't hurt in any case.
  • Level Up (MHA): Early on, Itsuka gets a talent that improves her damage resistance based on her strength. Then she gets One For All. As a result, Itsuka is basically immune to nearly every form of damage.

    Films — Animation 

  • The Incredibles:
    • Besides Super Strength, Mr. Incredible has this going for him. Especially since he seems perfectly fine mere feet next to boiling lava.
    • The Omnidroid series of robots get progressively tougher with each model until v can only be really hurt by itself.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The Hidden: Any human host that the evil parasite possesses becomes durable enough that they need to be shot over fifteen times before it decides to swap it for a better meatsuit. The cops note that one vacated host simply bled to death, because the alien wasn't around anymore to keep it alive.
  • I Come in Peace: The two aliens are much tougher than ordinary humans. The cop still lives for quite a while after half his torso is shot off, and the drug dealer isn't even fazed when Jack tries to kick his ass, while gunfire barely slows him down.
  • To King Kong, Godzilla, and other Kaiju, human weapons are puny.
  • Lots of characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Thor Odinson:
      • In the first Thor he only gets a excited at a Frost Giant nutting him in the head and punching him a yard away. In the climax he tanks Loki blasting him with Odin&#;s Gungnir, the same spear which could atomise a few aforementioned Frost Giants.
      • In The Avengers () Thor pretty much no sells Iron Man punching, and blasting him, even returning Tony&#;s headbutt with his own stronger one. Although in total fairness, Thor is still somewhat pained by Iron Man&#;s attacks and judging by facial expressions clearly wasn&#;t expecting a mortal man in a can to give him any trouble. Thor also handles Hulk&#;s blows, although unlike with Iron Man, Hulk manages to draw blood.
      • In Avengers: Age of Ultron Quicksilver decides to Speed Blitz Thor, we see that Pietro can send the likes of Hawkeye and Captain America flying when he runs at them, and in the climax at top speed Pietro breaks Ultron bots to pieces by sprinting through them. When he runs at Thor however, Pietro bounces off a nonplussed Demigod like a milk dud.
      • In Avengers: Infinity War during the forging of Stormbringer we witness Thor endure the full blast of a ignited star. He&#;s burned to a crisp but still alive and thanks to Stormbringer&#;s magic heals quickly.
      • Subverted in Avengers: Endgame Thor volunteers himself to be the one who wields the Infinity Gauntlet with all six Infinity Stones citing his durability as the strongest avenger. Except Tony vetoes it, not as an insult to his friend&#;s power but out of compassion as Thor in the years since Infinity War has become obese and manically depressed and is no state to handle that level of blow back. It&#;s entirely possible he could&#;ve survive the Stone&#;s energy but it was better not to risk it.
    • Drax the Destroyer:
      • In Guardians of the Galaxy, he takes an blast of engine exhaust to the chest without injury, and manages to survive being rammed with the Milano (Rocket was trying to hit Ronan, who was choke-throttling Drax at the time), although the latter left him unconscious for a brief time, and he is clearly sore and limping afterwards.
      • In the sequel, he is dangled out the back of the Milano on a cable during a crash-landing through a forest, smashing into trees. He seems to have enjoyed the ride once we see him on the ground.
      • Briefly Played for Laughs in Avengers: Infinity War, when he's got Iron Man's cannon to his face. Iron Man threatens to open fire on Drax point-blank if Quill shoots Spider-Man, and Drax is unfazed and insists Quill attack, as he claims he can take it. Both Mantis and Strange immediately call him on it, though. Later, during the battle on Titan, he takes quite a bit of repeated punishment from Thanos and it's only a direct blast from the Power Stone that takes him out of the fight.
    • Spider-Man
      • Already hinted in Captain America: Civil War, where he takes a Shield Bash to the face from Captain America, a blow that would have certainly concussed an ordinary human. He's also swatted aside by Giant-Man into a bunch of crates and survive with little more than a few superficial bruises.
      • Becomes very obvious in Spider-Man: Homecoming: Peter's resistance is fully superhuman. The amount of punishment Spider-Man endures through the movie would easily kill an ordinary human, and even badly maim a Super Soldier. Notably, he gets bounced up and down by an Anti-Gravity gun, dragged behind a van and repeatedly slammed against trashcans and brick walls, supports the full weight of two halves of a ferry for a few seconds without his arms tearing off, is slammed into — and then through — a bus by the Shocker, is buried under a whole warehouse crumbling into him, and then survives a plane crash followed by a thorough beating from the Vulture, without even having to go to the hospital afterward. The suit Tony provided Peter with also counts, as it takes all the same abuse and doesn't have so much as a scratch, or even any of its features disabled.
      • In Avengers: Infinity War, he's shown functioning at high altitudes with little in the way of protection, with only some difficulty. He also takes hits from Thanos himself and still stands, despite the Mad Titan beating up the Hulk himself. (Justified somewhat, given that he's wearing the Iron Spider armor.)
      • Once again demonstrated in Spider-Man: Far From Home: Spider-Man survives injuries and accidents, which while painful, is far above ordinary human capability and would be fatal to any human being, such as bonking his head multiple times against an iron bell or surviving the impact of a high speed rail at full speed. On both occasions he's still conscious and not too worse for wear, while recovering and healing quickly.
  • In the case of RoboCop, this arguably is his main superpower, with super strength and justifiedImprobable Aiming Skills as his secondary ones.
  • The Terminator, especially in its debut film. It's not indestructible, it takes damage throughout the film. Actually getting what's left of it to stop is another story.
  • In Unbreakable David Dunn discovers that he has this power when he's involved in a train crash:

    ER Doctor: And, to answer your question, there are two reasons why I'm looking at you like this. One because it seems in a few minutes you will officially be the only survivor of this train wreck, and two, because you didn't break one bone, you don't have a scratch on you.

The limits of his durability are left vague. David himself believes he wouldn't be able to survive being shot point-blank, and given the quasi-realistic tone of the movie seeing him come out unharmed from something like that would feel a bit odd, but that's never tested, and nothing else is ever enough to hurt him.


  • The Brightest Shadow: One common use of sein, ranging from making someone slightly tougher than normal to Catai shrugging off bladed weapons to Xetsu ignoring an entire group trying to kill him.
  • Cassandra Kresnov: GIs' construction means they can survive hits that would incapacitate or kill a human. In Crossover Sandy crashes a motorcycle at very high speed and hits the ground running, while in Killswitch she's gut-shot and only suffers blunt-force trauma. She also explains to Vanessa in Crossover that her equivalent to a carotid artery and jugular vein are housed inside her spinal column, so a Slashed Throat doesn't work on her either.
  • The Elder Scrolls In-Universe Books: In The Hope of the Redoran, in accordance to an omen read at his birth, Andas is immune to blades, magic, disease, and poison, and not one drop of his blood ever spills on the ground. It turns out, however, that his Nigh-Invulnerability works like Luke Cage's: during a Duel to the Death, his cousin Athyn beats him to death with a club, having guessed the loophole that Andas's toughness doesn't extend to internal injuries from blunt force trauma.
  • Numerous spells can accomplish this in The Magicians, as is demonstrated when Quentin successfully walks to the South Pole — naked. At one point, a crevasse opens beneath him and he barely even notices - he just hits the bottom and climbs back up without missing a beat.
  • In Mistborn, allomancers who can use pewter can increase all of their body's physical abilities, which includes not only strength and speed, but also resistance to injury (and a mild Healing Factor). The drawback of this is that an allomancer who turns his or her pewter off without seeking medical attention first can simply keel over on the spot, from injuries that were trivial in their enhanced state but are much more harmful (or even fatal) to an ordinary human body. The Inquisitors, who have pewter but also a ridiculously strong Healing Factor thanks to mixing all three of the setting's magic systems, not just allomancy are considered all but unkillable.
  • In Ravelling Wrath, the Stern God's will protects Justicar from all physical harm. In their first fight, her opponent manages to strike her face with a blade &#;- and it doesn't even leave a mark on her cheek.
  • The Saga of Arrow-Odd: Over the course of his feud with Arrow-Odd, Ogmund Eythjofslayer gets every bone in his body broken, his face torn off, his buttocks sliced off, and jumps from a 80 yard cliff into the North Atlantic. Yet he survives all and recovers every time, even if gruesomely scarred.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, this is one of the powers granted by Lifebinding. Daylen uses it to avoid injury whenever he can, though the sheer number and power of the threats in the world means that he often has to rely on his Healing Factor when the force becomes too much even for his Super Toughness.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's The Star Beast Lummox shrugs off a shot from an anti-tank rifle, consumes poisons happily, and survives an attempt at drowning. The Sheriff who wanted to kill him considers tricking him into eating explosives, but fortunately doesn't get the chance, seeing as her race might have destroyed earth if their lost princess were killed.
  • In the Tales of Kolmar trilogy, Varien is cut with a sword, but rather than getting his arm cut off as everyone else expected, he actually stops the sword with his arm and manages to still fight the guy. It's because he used to be a dragon, and his bones and muscles are still as strong as they were in his dragon form.
  • The Traveler's Gate: One power of Valinhall is the "stone gauntlet," which makes the Traveler nearly indestructible while it is active. It only lasts for a couple seconds, as it is only intended to help survive one or two hits, but the power recovers quickly and can be used again soon.
  • The Witchlands: Aeduan is superhumanly tough, and even if something manages to break through his skin, he still has his Healing Factor.
  • Wild Cards: a fairly common power among aces and even jokers.
  • Worm: a common trait of Brutes.

    Live-Action TV 

  • On The Clarke empties a clip of bullets into a rampaging (possibly mutated) gorilla. All that does is slow it down for a few seconds; it then gets back up and keeps attacking just as hard as before, with seemingly no ill-effects.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel:
    • Buffyverse vamps, Slayers and many species of demons. All of them can take quite a beating, ranging from being able to take a full-force beatdown from someone with super strength to needing a specific wayto be killed. Get hit by a car? Walk it off. Fall from a skyscraper? Continue with your day. Have a bomb explode in your hands? Lament on how it ruined your jacket. Get zapped by a live wire in water? How's my hair?
    • Also, while Slayers are actually a little stronger than vampires, vampires can take a more thorough beating because they're technically not alive and thus don't have to worry about things like internal organ damage.
  • A very funny episode of Perfect Strangers, &#;Call Me Indestructible&#; centers around Balki and Larry being given this super power (in Larry&#;s dream). After being &#;rescued&#; from a falling airplane by the Myposian God of protection, Teflonos, they are granted the power of indestructibility for 30 days. Hilarity Ensues as they perform extreme stunts and generally make a mess of things with the knowledge that they cannot get hurt.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation Data is an android who possesses this ability, on top of being The Needless. In Star Trek: First Contact for instance, he casually shrugs off machine gun fire. He is, however, seemingly still vulnerable to phasers.

    Mythology & Religion 

  • According to The Achilleid and works of Classical Mythology written after it, Achilles' limbs can't be pierced by steel because they were dipped in the River Styx. Since The Achilleid ends before Achilles can get into a fight, this remains an Informed Attribute in that epic.


    Tabletop Games 

  • Any superhero RPG or universal system will quite naturally feature at least one way to model this.
  • Ars Magica: Downplayed with Hermetic mages, whose magical studies actually make them slightly more resistant to various sources of damage — even without casting spells, an adept in Playing with Fire can resist fire damage, The Beastmaster can withstand animal attacks, Earth magic users can absorb damage from stone or metal weapons, and so on.
  • Available in The Dresden Files RPG in various degrees of the Toughness and/or Recovery power (potentially up to all-out Physical Immunity). These are only available to characters with a suitable high concept — i.e., actual supernatural creatures, which in many games will be primarily NPCs — and must be assigned at least one "catch" that bypasses them (like the classic example of silver for werewolves).
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Barbarian class is pretty much this trope given flesh: they have a d12 Hit Die which is the highest Hit Die available among the classes of choice, and they also have at least one other class ability that helps them thrive in melee combat, though the specifics of said abilities vary depending on the edition being played.
      • Barbarians in the 3(.5) edition can eventually develop Damage Reduction/-, which reduces Bludgeoning, Slashing, and Piercing damage they suffer. This ability gets better as the Barbarian grows in levels.
      • Barbarians in the 5th edition start their adventuring life off with Unarmored Defense and Rage. The former allows them to use their Constitution modifier along with their Dexterity modifier to Armor Class if they forego body armor, while the latter grants them resistance to Bludgeoning, Slashing, and Piercing damage, cutting it in half. Rage can be upgraded as early as 3rd level to resist every damage type except Psychic if the Barbarian chooses the Path of the Totem Warrior as their Archetype and picks the Bear option.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade:
    • The discipline of Fortitude is explicitly this, giving characters a larger 'dice pool' (i.e. a larger chance) to 'soak' (reduce or ignore) damage. It also allows those who have it to partially soak damage they normally couldn't, like a vampire reducing damage from sunlight or fire. Fortitude is not an automatic reduction, however, and a bad roll of the dice means you can still get just as carved up with a knife as anyone else. There's just a lesser chance you will.
    • It shows up in Vampire: The Requiem as Resilience. Activating it grants a temporary increase in health levels, and allows a vampire to downgrade a certain amount of aggravated damage to lethal.
  • Warhammer 40,:
    • Plague Marines are among the toughest regular infantry an army can field. On top of being a genetically engineered super soldier armed with power armour, they have been touched by the "gift" of Nurgle, and turned into a walking pandemic too inured with pain to feel it anymore and too necrotized too rely on their natural physiology anymore. In terms of shots from a bolter, (roughly) 1 in 20 will actually manage to kill one. To put that into perspective, a regular human would be lucky to survive 1 in 3 shots.
    • One of the more well-known Plague Marine Headquarter choices, Typhus, takes this up to a ridiculous degree. In the game he can be, and usually is, one of the most durable HQ choices, befitting for a Nurgle champion. With Toughness 5, Terminator Armour, and 4 Wounds, he can weather over a hundred STR-4 BS-4 shots with AP-3 or worse. In fact, since that's the profile for a Hot-Shot Volley Gun wielded by a Tempestus Scion, and hence of interest, the exact number of shots (remember, it's Salvo 2/4) it takes to kill him on average is.

    Video Games 

  • In the Devil May Cry series, the descendants of Sparda (Dante, Vergil and Nero) shrug off many attacks and also have a massive Healing Factor to explain how they quickly recover from stuff that can injure them.
  • In Earth and Sky, Austin's earthsuit gives him super strength and super toughness.
  • Master Chief of Halo fame is a Spartan-II who can survive atmospheric reentry and subsequent impact with the ground almost unaided. The fact that he didn't turn into a squishy soup like mixture is a testament to his Super Toughness. It helps that his armor was upgraded immediately before Halo 2 (and that he has Plot Armor). In Halo: First Strike a group of Spartan-IIs tried that in the last-gen armor and half of them died.
  • Kirby: For such a cute little guy, Kirby is EXTREMELY durable. Thanks to his pink, stretchy body, he can survive being flattened, electricity, rocket flames, cannonball explosions, atmospheric reentry, sharp blades, and in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, a planet-sized explosion!
  • Mass Effect:
    • The absurd durability of krogans is something of a running joke. Due to evolving on a Death World where they were a prey species until they invented gunpowder, they have second and often third copies of nearly every organ in their bodies (including a redundant nervous system), thick hides, a camel-like hump that stores nutrients, and great strength. As a result they can shrug off things that would kill other species, and BioWare never lets us forget it.
      • In Mass Effect 2, the description of the M Widow anti-materiel rifle states that it's intended for use against "armored vehicles and krogan."
      • Nakmor Drack in Mass Effect: Andromeda is only now starting to hit the limits of krogan biology, after a warrior career 1, years long and the loss of most of his redundant organs and two limbs to various injuries.
    • It is telling that many people, including some krogan, think this about Commander Shepard. In the finale, s/he even takes a full-on shot from Harbinger's battleship-destroying main gun, and, while injured, gets up and continues. S/he's a badass human with cybernetic enhancements, but survives more danger than Krogan. Shepard can also win a "dominance headbutt" with a krogan on Tuchanka, much to the krogan's astonishment.
  • [PROTOTYPE] gives us Alex Mercer. He isn't unkillable, but multiple RPGs, choppers, tanks and zombies aren't going to do the job unless the player is playing the game wrong.
  • [PROTOTYPE 2] protagonist James Heller, who gets infected by Alex, gains the same toughness. Furthermore, the player is given the option to render him completely bulletproof via a purchasable upgrade.
  • Albert Wesker from Resident Evil has this, probably as a Required Secondary Power to his strength and speed. It's generally overlooked and he can be damaged by gunfire or sufficient force, but a ton of girders on the head, RPG exploding in his hands or falling from a plane would reduce a human being to bloody smear, not disorient them for half a minute — Healing Factor or not.
  • In Shuyan Saga, Jade's special skill is called Iron Skin. However, it fails if her concentration wavers too much, and since she has serious anger management issues, that's a problem.
  • Ghat from Zeno Clash, due to his particular mixture of human and chimera ancestry, can take blows that would shatter bones and crush organs. Though in Zenozoik, being at leastMade of Iron is the baseline.

    Web Animation 

  • This a common occurrence in DEATH BATTLE! as one character will often prove to be super tough compared to other character guaranteeing a victory.
    • Goku wasn&#;t able to make a dent in Superman due to Ki unlike Kryptonite and Magic having no effect on Supes and in addition to the amount ridiculous things Superman has bounced back from in the decades of comics, even Goku&#;s strongest attacks wouldn&#;t do more than hurt Supes slightly. Whilst Superm&#;s attacks such as X-Ray Vision lobotomy could kill Goku.
    • On the flip side in The Hulk&#;s fight with Broly he eventually was disintegrated by Broly&#;s Ki, despite having similar ridiculous Super Toughness feats as Superman. The reason being Hulk has no to resistance to Ki energy (as proven by Iron Fist) and Broly&#;s toughness as shown by his latest movie was great enough to No-Sell hits from Goku in his God forms whom in his fight with Beerus almost destroyed the universe with the shockwaves caused by the clashes of their fists.
    • This is the primary reason why Lobo (who&#;s ironically beaten up Superman frequently) couldn&#;t damage Ghost Rider in the slightest as the latter&#;s level of toughness far exceeded Lobo to point where only holy weapons could actually hurt GR. Unfortunately for Lobo, he doesn&#;t have any holy weapons in his arsenal and there was no way he could leave the fight to find any, as Ghost Rider could chase him across the universe. Things didn&#;t end well for the Main Man.
    • This also factored in Dante vs Bayonetta&#;s fight. Both characters could survive getting shot and clobbered by god-like baddies on a daily basis, except Bayonetta has been taken down with a stab wound courtesy of Jeanne&#;s dagger and in general avoiding attacks is Bayo&#;s speciality. Dante on other hand has survived getting impaled (even with special weapons) on numerous occasions and his Royalguard Style meant even Bayonetta&#;s most powerful tricks like Madama Butterfly couldn&#;t put a dent in him. Leading to Dante wearing Bayonetta down and stylishly reducing her to Ludicrous Gibs with Lucifer.
    • In Mario&#;s rematch with Sonic, the plumber&#;s toughness along with his greater strength was why he was able to kill Sonic this time round. While Sonic is tough himself, he has never survived an explosion worth megatons without any power ups like Mario has in Super Mario Tennis. This meant when Sonic and Mario super modes eventually ran out, Mario could endure Sonic&#;s Rolling Attack and kill him.
    • This is one of the reasons why Genos in his fight with War Machine couldn&#;t remotely harm the latter as even the biggest Wave-Motion Gun was ineffective against against Rhodey&#;s Powered Armour. Genos on the other hand has broken apart frequently in his own series and War Machine was able to reduce him to a head by the end of the fight and stomp him into mush.
    • This ability served Yang well in her fight against Tifaeven though Tifa was physically stronger and more experienced in battle, the combination of Yang's Aura and natural toughness meant she could tank Tifa's attacks before eventually finishing her off.
    • This is what helped Cloud in his rematch against Link, while both he and Link had survived all sorts of attacks and beatdowns from Physical Gods Demise/Ganon and Sephiroth. Cloud had survived Sephiroth&#;s Supernova which according to the manuals is real, and since Link has never had to contend with anything like that, Cloud had the toughness advantage in addition to the strength and speed advantages. As a result Cloud could survive all Link&#;s tricks and overwhelm and kill him with the Fusion Swords.
  • Many people in RWBY qualify, thanks to Aura functioning as a protective personal force field. Yang takes it a step further than most: her Semblance allows her to absorb the force of the blows she takes, effectively giving her immunity to impacts that could level buildings (as long as her Aura holds out). Being punched through a concrete pillar by a house-sized Humongous Mecha really only succeeded in dazing her for a few seconds and making her really mad.

    Web Comics 

  • Alice Grove from her comic of the same name fell off a windmill and was perfectly fine. She later took an explosion to the face and it only angered her.
  • The Winslow from Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire is completely indestructible. You want to find a Winslow on a planet but don't have time to comb the surface? Destroy the planet and sift through the rubble. There is no known force in the universe that can even harm it, to the point that a character suggests it may be stashed in a nearby sun when it goes missing.
  • From El Goonish Shive: While it's unclear exactly how durable Elliot's superheroine form is, being knocked out of the sky by a large explosion, and into a busy street is merely enough to knock him out for a few minutes.
  • In The Far Side of Utopia, the character Mium seems to be this. While a mage jumps off a building a floats down, he just drops off the edge and leaves a dent in the concrete below, apparently without a scratch. Earlier he blocked a bullet with his hand, but its not clear if that was just being tough or magic.
  • Achilles from Grrl Power is completely invulnerable, even on a sub-atomic level. (And despite the alias, his heel is not an exception). The cast page rates the various character's superpowers on a five point scale — he's the only character with a power rated at a six.
  • In Peter Parker: Foreign Exchange Student, Peter has a measure of resistance against blunt forces. It's enough to let him walk away after taking a hit that left him in a large crater in the floor, albeit with him groaning that his everything hurt. When controlled by Venom, Izuku's Full Cowl-enhanced punches barely faze him.
  • In Tower of God, this is one of the powers practically everyone except innocent bystanders have to varying degrees, increasing as they climb up the Tower. For example, Khun Ran was advised that if he was to ever fight a member of the Arie family, he shouldn't even try to avoid their special swordsmanship, but should just take the hits with the durability that comes from being from the Khun family (and probably the other Ten Great Families as well). Someone once states that Princesses of Jahad are supposed to have bodies tens of thousands of times as durable as ordinary people. Meanwhile, low-level Super Toughness is no defence against high-level attacks; a mere Regular from the Great Families would be instantly destroyed by a stray attack from a battle between powerful Rankers. At the more extreme end of the scale, High Ranker Ha Jinsung once took a hit from a Wave-Motion Gun that destroyed the landscape around him, and came out unharmed in spite of not even bothering to make a shield with Shinsu.
    • The Hero Bam, as an Irregular, has a limited ability to penetrate anyone's invulnerability completely regardless of how much more powerful they are. So basically he can make a scratch (though not more than that) on people whom people much more powerful than himself couldn't.

    Web Original 

  • SCP Foundation:
  • In The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles, all Canadians build up a "physical and spiritual" toughness by surviving the harsh Canadian winters. This allows them to shrug off injuries that would incapacitate or kill an American — for example, leaping from a sixth-story window, then getting bludgeoned by a pound football-on-a-pole in midair.
  • Plenty of supers at Superhero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe, but Peril is a good example. He field-tested an inventor's jetpack. It exploded at two hundred feet up (so he took the blast and then the fall). He's fine now.
  • Worm:
    • Many capes with a Brute classification (though the term could signify anything that enhances durability, including Healing Factor or Deflector Shields). Examples include Weld, who is literallyMade of Iron, Aegis, whose body is filled with enough redundant parts that injury doesn't really bother him, Alexandria, whose body is in a form of temporal stasis preventing it from being injured or otherwise changed, and Siberian, who is a combination unstoppable force and immovable object.
    • The Endbringers take this Up to Eleven. Their bodies are composed of multiple layers, each one stronger than the last, with a central core that surrounds and protects their only vital components. With the data provided in the story, fans have made some calculations on just how tough they are, which have been confirmed by Word of God. One result was trillion MPa of pressure to destroy their limbs and novemdecillion MPa to destroy their cores. For the record, the latter measurement is more pressure than all the matter in the entire observable universe could provide.

    Western Animation 

  • Rabbot from Aqua Teen Hunger Force has never been injured or even mildly inconvenienced by anything in all its appearances, to the point that it lives through both "The Last One" and "The Greatest Story Ever Told", episodes partially dedicated to killing off past villains en masse.
  • Dracula from Castlevania as seen when Trevor tries fighting him hand to hand and his punches to Dracula&#;s face don&#;t even make the count flinch.
  • South Park gives us the Member Berries, intelligent grapes that continue to talk solely about how great Star Wars was and neo-reactionary ideology even after being baked into a pie, being set on fire, or doused in acid. As soon as the stimulus is ceased, they resume talking as if nothing happened.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Gems are generally much more durable than humans, being barely annoyed by things like falling stories, getting thrown through walls, or freezing in a block of ice. Even Peridot, who does not have any Super Strength, was barely hurt when spending a day falling off cliffs and getting squashed under boulders. This is before getting into their ability to regenerate even when they are injured. At least part of this can be attributed to the fact their bodies are Hard Light constructs that don't have anything like internal organs to worry about damaging.
    • The half-human/half-gem title character is also quite durable, getting barely scratched by a falling boulder to the face, and says he's never had to go to the hospital. When he eventually does go to a hospital a few years later in the sequel series, we learn he has gotten plenty of injuries — Steven's bones have been broken repeatedly — but he has innate healing powers that have made up the difference.

Alternative Title(s):Super Tough

Sigmas Males are Lying to Themselves - Salari

Stock Superpowers Index

The standard, recognizable super powers shared by many a hero (and villain) with no risk of becoming cliché or being seen as lame.

Can be strengthened by the presence of friends or turning evil. Tend to developwith puberty, manifest when you turn 16, or reflect your personality. Can be turned off under the right (er, wrong) circumstances or exchanged. May even get you put in a special category.

May be temporarily stolen or given up. Upgrade at your own risk. Required Secondary Powers not included.


Subtracting all of the above equals a Badass Normal. Though Badass Normals do have the option of attaining:

For information on how to obtain them, see How to Give a Character Superpowers.

Alternative Title(s):Stock Superpower, Stock Superpower Index, Stock Superpowers


Now discussing:

Uninhibited Muscle Power

Some characters are strong. In many works, this can easily be justified - either superpowers are known to exist, or Charles Atlas Superpower is a fact of life. But in some settings, the author needs a more down-to-earth explanation for why one guy can throw cars around like they're made of tissue paper. When someone is called upon for said explanation, the following lecture will usually occur:

"You ever hear about moms lifting cars off their kids? The human body is actually capable of incredible strength, but the brain inhibits it most of the time in order to keep our muscles from tearing themselves apart under the strain. His body is doing the same thing, but he's in that state of strength all the time."

Essentially, this is Explosive Overclocking applied to human beings who lack the Required Secondary Powers to handle it. This can be used as a Hand Wave or Played for Drama; in the latter case, expect the danger of a Heroic RRoD resulting from overuse of this strength to be heavily played up.

The principle behind this is Truth in Television, but the idea of these inhibitors being permanently turned off or granting anything that could be considered true Super Strength is most emphatically not. Not least because the process is actually a bit of a Dangerous Forbidden Technique in that it involves temporarily rerouting more energy to your muscles by temporarily turning critical processes like digestion off. And even aside from that fact, it wouldn't take long to do serious damage to your body. The only way to utilize this phenomenon constructively is genetically engineering humans to have much more resilient bones, tendons and muscle fibers; in other words, giving a full set of Required Secondary Powers to use super strength safely. If it is done, then you actually can have a tiny waif or bishie boy throwing athletes around. Compare 90% of Your Brain, where powers activate the unused brain potential instead of unused muscle potential.

Compare Die or Fly.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

  • Shizuo Heiwajima from Durarara!! seems to have been born without the ability to control his own strength. As a kid, his bones would routinely break under the strain. However, he recovers stronger every time, so as an adult, he doesn't usually get that particular side effect.
  • Ayumu, the titular zombie from Is This a Zombie?, can remove his inhibitors on his muscles in combat. The downside is that he's prone to damaging his own body from the strain and impacts. Since he's a zombie he doesn't have to worry about dying from the resulting injuries, but it can take time to heal from them. Especially if parts of his body get separated in the process, since they have to be collected and reattached.
  • Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star gives a simple but amazing explanation as to how strong he is in comparison with other people.

    Kenshiro: Most people only use 30% of their natural strength. That's not much. The secret to Hokuto Shinken is controlling the other 70% as well.

  • In A Certain Magical Index, one of the many powers that Acqua of the Back gets from his ability Divine Mother's Mercy is to use % of his body's potential. Since he also has superhuman durability and endurance, he doesn't have to worry about burning out and damaging his body unless he faces something truly challenging like an angel-class being.
  • In Berserk the Berserker Armor not only allows the wearer to completely ignore pain, but also unlocks the wearer&#;s full physical potential. Schierke explains that the brain imposes unconscious limits on the muscles and other parts of the body to prevent it from destroying itself through excessive strain; pain is the body&#;s way of telling a person to stop what they&#;re doing before they hurt themselves. When these limits are removed by the armor, the wearer gains superhuman strength, agility, and reflexes at the risk of his own life. Sure, Guts was already a Lightning Bruiser with Charles Atlas Superpower, but the Berserker Armor takes him to a new level: when he's berserk he can perform insane leaps and somersaults through the air despite carrying the weight of heavy armor and a BFS, and he becomes strong enough to even catch and stop the Tail Slap of Grunbeld's giant dragon form. The downside is that in the berserker state induced by the armor, Guts will keep attacking like a crazed animal no matter what damage it causes to his body; for example, he digs his feet into the ground so hard that he snaps his left tibia and fibula, and when Grunbeld sends him flying shortly afterward he also gets his arm horribly twisted out of joint. The armor compensates for any broken bones by piercing Guts's flesh with spikes that hold the bone fragments in place, and violently twisting things back into alignment, which allows him to keep fighting despite making him bleed profusely. It turns out that the armor&#;s previous owner, the Skull Knight, died because he kept fighting until he was devoured by the armor's steel teeth and bled out his last drop of blood. Although Guts with the help of Schierke manages to snap out of berserk mode and escape with his companions, part of his hair turns white from his ordeal and he almost doesn&#;t survive when the armor is removed to treat his wounds. From then on he tries very hard to avoid using the armor&#;s berserk mode unless there&#;s simply no other option.
  • In Naruto, the first gate of the Eight Gates, the Gate of Opening, removes the brain's limits on the muscles allowing the muscles to use % of their strength.
  • Lampshaded with Deku's One For All "1 Million Percent" Delaware Detroit Smash in My Hero Academia, which is explained later by a doctor as Deku using hysterical strength in a moment of desperation, combined with the full power of One For All, which already wrecks his body when he goes full bore with it, in a colossal attack that takes out a foe who Deku believed could even tank a full power hit from All Might himself. The result is the most damage to Deku's body he's ever had from a single attack, and even after Recovery Girl's healing powers are used on him it still results in lasting ligament damage.
  • In City Hunter this is the reason people under the effects of Angel Dust (a more powerful version of the Real Life PCP, see below for more) are far stronger than they normally are. In a case of Surprisingly Realistic Outcome, the extreme strength also causes long term damage: Mick Angel, one of two people who survived being dosed on Angel Dust, ended up with his right arm devastated, preventing him from shooting a gun ever again when before that he could fire a Magnum Desert Eagleone-handed.
  • In Kengan Ashura, the Kure Clan—and their predecessor, the Wu Clan—has a secret technique that allows them to remove the brain's limiters and allows them to enhance their strength and speed. They breed selectively in order to create superior genes that can withstand the strain this unleashed power puts on their bodies.


  • After a Freak Lab Accident, this is the justification for the eponymous Darkman's strength and inability to feel pain.
  • The alleged superpower of Mr. Furious in Mystery Men, though it's pretty obviously just him playing it up. Right up until the end, when he finally gets angry enough for it to actually work.
  • Used in Rocket Man, when the titular character has to lift a rover that is lying on top of the mission commander. He asks he commander to call him "Mommy" in order to force this response. It works. It also helps that Martian gravity is 1/3 of Earth's.
  • In Silent Fall, this is one of Tim's "savant skills." When pushed far enough, he's strong enough to break open a bolted door. Dr. Harlinger uses this as evidence that Tim murdered his parents after he had already been dismissed as a suspect for being too weak to inflict that kind of damage.


  • The Dresden Files. During Skin Game, Butters speculates that this is all that Harry actually gains from the mantle of the Winter Knight and points out that it's going to take an immense toll on his body over the long term.
    • Though since the Mantle also appears to amp up his wizardly Healing Factor, he might actually be able to get away with it.
  • In The Zombie Survival Guide, the narrator points out that zombies don't have the mental limits preventing them from using % of their muscular power. This makes them very powerful, but prone to injuring themselves.
  • In Of Mice & Men, Lenny has super strength presumably as a compensatory byproduct of his mental deficiency.
  • In Poul Anderson's The Sensitive Man, the title character has not only this but many other abilities normally displayed only by psychotics. After a rescue in which he is taken for a mutant or an alien, he confesses to this — and how he's about to have a nervous breakdown.
  • In The Stainless Steel Rat, Jim once used an experimental drug capable of bringing a person to this state. According to him, he wouldn't have dreamed of using it if not for the fate of the world being at stake.
  • In Corpies, this is Zone's superpower (hence the name: he's always "in the zone"). He consistently performs at his physical peak. Unfortunately, it's quickly shown that his body is starting to break down from him overusing his ability (he frequently parkours through disaster areas). The Docs tell him to take it easy, but his job is too important for that. At the end of the novel, Titan gives Zone the phone number of a retroactive healer he knows, who can undo all the damage and restore him to his prime. Normally, such services are only affordable by the super-rich, but it's implied that the healer owes Titan, so this is Titan calling in his marker.
  • In Tom Clancy's works, a drug referred to as "Thor's Hammer" creates this effect in the same way that PCP does in real life.
  • Peeps and carriers can apparently invoke this at will, of course they can also live for centuries so presumably they have some sort of Healing Factor too.
  • In Emergence, this is a plot point, called "hysterical strength". Candy uses it to extract Adam from a wrecked car. Please note, this is not Worst Aid, since they're in a post-apocalyptic world with no ambulance service and the entire area the wreck is in is on fire, so his survival requires extraction from the car. Later, Adam proves unable to use this ability until it becomes vital. Candy thinks he has an understandable aversion after nursing her through the effects of overuse of "hysterical strength" while she was rescuing him.
  • Worm: This is part of Aegis's powers. He doesn't have outright Super Strength, but he can run on adrenaline far longer than a mundane can, and his powers also give him redundant biology so he can keep going despite the damage.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Seinfeld. George plays with this in one episode: he had been faking a handicap for his employer, who provided him with an electronic scooter; later, George accidentally upsets a group of geriatrics, who chase him on their scooters, but since the battery dies, George picks up his scooter and runs with it right into his employer. Afterwards, George tries to explain what happened by claiming that in desperate times, people have been known to perform feats of superhuman strength, and even uses The Incredible Hulk () as an example.
  • This is the origin of the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk (). Dr. David Banner, physician, scientist, searches for a way to tap into the hidden strengths all humans have because he wasn't able to save his wife in a car accident despite the scientific fact that some people can flip a car when given the proper incentive. It turns out that on those occasions there were solar flares going on, sending gamma radiation into Earth's atmosphere. Banner overexposes himself with gamma radiation but it doesn't seem to have any effect - until later.
  • In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One" (S02, Ep21), this is a Discussed Trope. When Jake first lifts a vehicle off of a guy it was dismissed as "a fluke adrenaline thing", but he realizes he has Super Strength when he bench presses pounds "stone cold calm".
  • In Alphas this is Bill's power, he can activate an adrenaline rush at will for five minutes at a time, his heart can't handle anything longer.
  • Wonder Woman: This is the canonical reason given for Wonder Woman's strength and the strength of all of the Amazons of Paradise Island as stated in "Fausta, the Nazi Wonder Woman". Note that Wonder Woman was under the influence of her golden lasso at the time.

    Fausta Grables: What makes you so strong?

    Wonder Woman: On Paradise Island there are only women. Because of this pure environment we are able to develop our minds and our physical skills unhampered by masculine destructiveness.

    Tabletop Games 

  • Paranoia: The mutant power Adrenaline Control allowed the user to boost their Strength to superhuman levels for a short period of time, at the cost of serious muscle damage afterwards.
  • Red Markets: Vectors, newly infected "zombies" who haven't technically died yet, tend to be very strong and fast because the Blight doesn't care about tissue damage. They only have a couple days before Blight-caused hemorrhaging or bullets kill them at most anyways, and a couple days after that they'll rise again as a shambling Casualty.

    Video Games 

  • In Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, this is how Fuka, who is otherwise an ordinary schoolgirl, is able to match her power with the likes of demons. The narrator explains that while this would normally put a huge strain on a human's body, Fuka is so convinced she's in a dream where she's the Invincible Hero, that she can fight at full power with no adverse effects.

    Visual Novels 

  • In Dies Irae, Shirou uses a mixture of drugs, his inability to feel pain and his foreknowledge to the release all restrains on his body and allowing him to keep up with with the super powered monsters of the L.D.O. However, due to things such as caution and common sense not existing in his vocabulary, this often ends up doing a number on his body.

    Web Comics 

    Real Life 

  • Humans are only capable of using around 65% of their muscles' potential strength, with trained athletes potentially going as high as 80%. Only a few people have gone past this with even fewer reaching full potential. Every one of those situations was a life or death situation, when special hormones such as adrenaline are able to allow us to override the block, hence how people refer to this reaction as "fight-or-flight". The reason why this Defence Mechanism Superpower can only remain as a defence mechanism is because the stress reaction deprives other systems of energy, like for example digestion (hence Bring My Brown Pants) and the immune system (hence why chronically stressed people are more likely to get sick), and also because any amount of exertion above the one-third limit causes our muscles (and even tendons) to tear themselves from the bone, rip themselves apart, or even start to liquefy. Of course, the severity of the damage depends on the intensity of the stressor, how far beyond the limits one goes, and for how long. Oh, and in addition to that, ever punched a wall? Imagine that, but worse. If you hit something hard enough, you're gonna break your own bones and limbs, short-term. Kinda contradicts that point of being about to do things if you break yourself doing it. So evolution fixed the problem.
    • Certain hallucinogenic drugs such as PCP create this effect. This is where the stories of people on PCP being completely immune to pepper spray, fighting off a dozen cops at once, and not being stopped by gunshots come from.
    • Mental illnesses and disabilities can also have this effect, hence the (admittedly quite rude) term "retard strength" and the Dumb Muscle trope.
    • Loss of muscle control is also why it's dangerous to try to restrain someone who's having a seizure. Your best bet is to move objects out of the way until they're all right.
    • Electrical shocks to the muscle may trigger the entire muscle to contract. This is why touching a live electric wire is sometimes said to "throw someone across the room" despite there being no momentum from the electricity - the shock runs down a bent leg, which suddenly straightens with enough force that the person throws themselves away from the wire. Do not try this yourself - electrocution is not to be taken lightly.
  • The reason we have excess muscle capacity is because muscle fibers take time to recharge before they can be reused, so to be able to do rapid strong movements (or strong sustained movements, since sustained force requires repeated contractions) we build up reserve muscle strength, more than we need 'at any one moment'. So using this unrestricted muscle potential is mainly limited to sudden jerks, not smooth movements.


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