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Thread: Worthless superpowers

  1. #1
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    Worthless superpowers

    For some unknow reason, I was thinking about this yesterday on the drive home. Come up with superpowers, either from magic or mutation or technology or whatever, but they are an almost completely useless power.

    For example:

    Ability to predict the future, but you can only predict the price of a food item 24 hours in the future.

    Ability to fly, but no higher than 5 mm over any solid surface.

    Ability to read the thoughts of, and control an animal, but only worms (and they are not any smarter, so you only read worm thoughts and they only understand worm concepts).
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  2. #2
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    I don't think you can beat Invisible Boy of Mystery Men, who's invisible if you are not looking at him. Mr. Furious, maybe, the Waffler

  3. #3
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    IIRC, one example from the Wild Cards series was Nova Boy, who could make the sun go nova. An example of a power that is way too powerful to be useful.

    A few off the top of my head...

    Office Supplies Lass has the ability to link paperclips into chains with the sheer force of mental agility.

    The Grassmaster has control over every blade of grass in a 1 meter radius. By concentrating for an hour, he can make them all point towards him.

    Airhead is continuously, helplessly aware of the positions or velocities of every single air molecule in a one centiimeter radius of her skin. An astonishing bore at parties.

    The Reconstructor spent his childhood pushing chicken bones around on his plate at dinner until the day that a toaster fell on his head while at Walmart. Given a pile of chicken bones, he can articulate them into variably-complete chicken skeletons at a glance. Once he stops paying attention, they fall apart again.

    When Solocity is exposed to direct sunlight, she can absorb it and radiate it instantly back at the sun. She doesn't tan very well.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhEb09'1 View Post
    I don't think you can beat Invisible Boy of Mystery Men, who's invisible if you are not looking at him. Mr. Furious, maybe, the Waffler
    Invisible Boy did have a use for his power in the movie, based on a loophole in the description, which I won't specify as it's a minor spoiler.

    Mr. Furious, at least in the comics, could get so mad at crime that he became bulletproof, which is quite useful.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Ability to fly, but no higher than 5 mm over any solid surface.
    Hey, that would be cool.

  6. #6
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    I wrote these down several months ago. I should keep them for
    my own proprietary use, but...

    Blubberella "The Girl of Lard"

    Weight: 470 pounds
    Has to roll out of bed.
    Unable to walk through most doorways.
    Eats constantly.

    Electroshock "Shock"

    Able to make the hair on his head stand on end at will by
    charging his head with static electricity.

    Snooze

    Able to sleep through anything.

    Orgasma

    Able to orgasm for hours at a time.
    (I rather like Orgasma's superpower.)

    Touchie-Feelie

    Able to feel a person's hair or whiskers growing.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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    Sport-swag accuity: The ability to sense bobble heads at 150 yards.
    Minor appendage flourescense: The ability to make your fingers and toes turn flourenscent pink or yellow.
    Empathetic Deja Vu: The ability to know if anyone around you is having deja vu
    Neutrino Sensitivity: The ability to feel neutrinos as they pass through you

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelfazin View Post
    Neutrino Sensitivity: The ability to feel neutrinos as they pass through you
    They at least could tell if Nova Boy was using his power.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

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  10. #10
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    From 'Family Guy': Meg had the power to quickly change the length of her fingernails.
    From 'Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul':One patient had the ability to recite continuously stock market prices in real time, shifted back 24 hours (e.g., the prices as they were 24 hours ago).

    My contribution:Total X-ray vision. You see through absolutely everything. Of course, since you see through everything, you end up seeing nothing.

  11. #11
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    I like the X-ray vision idea, but it's been done. Ray Milland,
    'X - The Man With the X-Ray Eyes' (1963).

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  12. 2007-Jul-21, 05:57 AM

  13. #12
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    These just in!

    The Clam

    Able to keep his mouth shut even when he thinks he's just come up
    with a brilliantly witty remark.

    LumberJack

    Able to digest cellulose. Minor fire hazard and greenhouse gas
    producer.

    Radar Boy

    Detects Radar with a tooth filling.
    (My friend has actually done this when I was with him.
    His filling only detects police radar in the X-band.)

    Groovy

    Able to identify familiar musical passages on phonograph records by
    looking closely at the groove. Most adept at identifiying 1950's and
    early 1960's rock on 45 singles.

    The Geek

    Can identify a computer addict in a lineup with better than 95%
    accuracy. Can identify a tech rep in a lineup with better than
    98% accuracy.

    Starlette

    Is mistaken for a movie star by everyone who sees her. Nobody
    can think of the name of the actress they mistake her for.

    Microwave

    World Champion multiple gold medal winner in the Baby Olympics.
    Swept the bye-bye waving events. Capable of waving bye-bye
    to everyone and everything, without stopping, for longer than
    anyone is able to watch.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Ability to fly, but no higher than 5 mm over any solid surface.
    That wouldn't really be worthless: you'd never need shoes.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    I like the X-ray vision idea, but it's been done. Ray Milland,
    'X - The Man With the X-Ray Eyes' (1963).

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    Haven't heard of it, but I'm intrigued. What happened in the story (I'm guessing spoiling a 1963 story isn't particularly problematic)?

  16. #15
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    Many people in films seem to have the pretty useless power to move mud, etc, from one side of their face to the other from shot to shot.

  17. #16
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    Very basically, his vision kept getting "better" and "better" until he
    couldn't stand it anymore. The same kind of story as "The Incredible
    Shrinking Man". I expect that the IMDB has a plot summary. Right
    at the moment IMDB isn't showing me much because I uninstalled
    Flash, and nearly every IMDB page insists on showing some Flash
    stuff before it will display the main content.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  18. #17
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    X or X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes Spoiler Alert









































    Dr. Xavier (what a coinkydink!) eventually is able to see "God looking back at him" and in a fit of insanity quotes a well-known biblical passage and then gouges out his eyes, thereby "x-cising" the problem.

    Dave MItsky

  19. #18
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    The ability to teleport anywhere along your line of sight, but it takes twice as long to do so as to walk, climb etc. there.

    The ability to morph into a goldfish.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    For some unknow reason, I was thinking about this yesterday on the drive home. Come up with superpowers, either from magic or mutation or technology or whatever, but they are an almost completely useless power.
    The ability to read minds. In my office, all I'd get is dreck.

  21. #20
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    The ability to read your own mind. (Controlling you own mind would be cool; I wouldn't need any more therapy! )

    The power to extend claws through your skin, but without self-healing. Wolverine would've died of a massive infection years ago.

    The power to shapeshift into someone who looks almost exactly like you.

    The ability to rearrange your freckles at will.

    The power to foresee what you will eat for lunch tomorrow.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  22. #21
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    Incredible double-posting powers! Like mine!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  23. #22
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    Infiniman:

    1. Invisable to all EM, reflective and eminative, except when he doesn't want to be.

    2. Impervious to all forms of energy and force, including kinetic, EM, tortional, translational, etc.

    3. Uber-intelligent - reads the entire Internet before coffee in the morning. Doesn't actually need coffee - merely likes the taste.

    4. Uber-efficient - does laundry between waking up and relieving himself in the morning. All stocks reinvested before breakfast. Spends personal time between 0800 and 2359 enjoying self, saving the world.

    5. Boring as all get-out. Who needs such a perfect being? Where's the controversy, the strife, the stuff that sells comics, movies, and movie reviews in the news?

  24. #23
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    The ability to generate ionizing radiation... without being immune to it.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    The Clam

    Able to keep his mouth shut even when he thinks he's just come up
    with a brilliantly witty remark.
    I wish I had that ability!

    As you can plainly see.

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    For some unknow reason, I was thinking about this yesterday on the drive home. Come up with superpowers, either from magic or mutation or technology or whatever, but they are an almost completely useless power.

    For example:

    Ability to predict the future, but you can only predict the price of a food item 24 hours in the future.
    Two words -- stock market
    Ability to fly, but no higher than 5 mm over any solid surface.
    Could be useful IF you can lift significant weight along with yourself

  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelfazin View Post
    Neutrino Sensitivity: The ability to feel neutrinos as they pass through you
    There are military, especially "Homeland Security", applications.

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilya View Post
    There are military, especially "Homeland Security", applications.
    assuming you can count them, or at least distinguish between being next to a bomb and being in the solar system.

    Todd

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    The ability to turn yourself inside-out.

  30. #29
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    The ability to read a book, any book, in 5 minutes

  31. #30
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    The ability to judge a book by its cover.

    The ability to drink a can of Dr. Pepper really fast without having your eyes water

    The ability to disturb the path of up to 25 dust motes floating in any given sun beam without being near them

    The ability to conjure 4th place science fair ribbons out of thin air.

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