The Thursday Blog: Pick Your Superpower Edition

One of mine and Lena’s favorite car games is Stupid Superpowers. The idea, as you might guess, is to come up with comic book “superpowers” that, while they might be useful in exactly the right circumstance, are probably not really all that “super”. A template for this would be the movie Mystery Men, where superpowers included such gems as hitting people with shovels, getting really angry, and the ability to turn invisible as long as you’re completely naked and no one is looking.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve played Stupid Superpowers here on the blog before, but it’s always fun. I’ll get the ball rolling and you can add your ideas below.

Ready? Go!

The ability to ace any exam that isn’t part of your major.

You can fly — down — at an extremely high rate of speed.

The power to exchange the letter “e” and “f” on billboards you pass on the road.

The strength of a dozen men, but only while you are achieving orgasm.

You can always tell exactly what the weather will do 30 seconds from now.

If your drink is already sort of sweet but not quite sweet enough, you can make it the perfect sweetness with the power of your mind.

The ability to walk into a shoe store and only want to look at shoes that they have in your size.

The power to eat fried foods and still lose weight.

You can always appear to be the most attractive person in the room to members of your preferred sex… as long as the lights are really, really dim.

You gain the breath-holding ability of the person who can hold their breath the longest in any swimming pool you are in.

You can teleport your own underwear up to a half-mile.

You have the power to read the thoughts of anyone who is thinking the exact same thing you are.

The ability to say incredibly rude things in public and have it dismissed as “just being you”.

You can super-leap 10% farther than the average for someone of your build and age.

The power to come up with endless “stupid superpowers” at any given time…

112 Responses to The Thursday Blog: Pick Your Superpower Edition

  1. I actually liked Mystery Men. It was very silly, but it had a few sweet (as in quality) moments. Then again, I’m the kind of person who liked Zebraman, too, so… ^^

    Ahem. Stupid superpowers, you say.

    The power to change the flavour of ice cream with a thought.

    • Perfect stupid superpower!

      I liked Mystery Men a lot too. I lean a little bit more toward The Specials, but it may be a Judy Greer thing.

  2. I’ve always wanted the power to predict the future of one twelfth of all the people on earth, but with such a vague degree of accuracy that my predictions are equally applicable to the other eleven-twelfths.

    But surely such a thing is impossible!

  3. New and interesting curses from back in 2004.

    How about sporks? You can turn any item of cutlery into a spork of equal mass. It might be useful. It could make you harder to stab.

    Your LARP weapons are Holy Avengers. They’re normally 0.3-0.6 bludgeoning damage +5% attack skill +5% melee defence skill but against the undead or evil they’re 11.3-22.6 bludgeoning damage +22% attack skill +22% melee defence skill. Under the right circumstances, this is really very useful indeed, and there’s no way they’d convict you of battering someone to death with a stiffened pool noodle.

    Being able to turn real fruit into wax fruit and wax fruit into real fruit would be helpful in keeping your supplies fresh on long journeys, and coupled with some manual crafting could let you choose candle or fruit at will … and would also provide interesting ways to put a grocer out of business.

    Supergrocer: knows the exact weight of anything he or she picks up. By “exact weight” I mean its mass in atomic mass units.

  4. The power to recall useless but vaguely interesting facts you found on the internet WITHOUT sounding like you spend all your time checking out useless information on the internet ‘cos only webgeeks would do that kind of sh*t and hey I ain’t no webgeek. I have a life you know…… I even talked to a girl once so there!

  5. Had this one for decades:
    “The ability to say incredibly rude things in public and have it dismissed as ‘just being you’.”

    My suggestion:

    The ability to bend sporks with your mind.

    Been banned from KFC’s in 32 states…

    • Hey, the Vice President has that one: “Stand up, Chuck!”

      How about the ability to see through any cloth…unless it is in contact with a living thing.

  6. The power to instantly transform paper money into metal coins of exactly the same value. And vice versa.

  7. I have the power to make any one else’s computer work correctly just by touching it… my own… not so much. Kind of like a car mechanic. 🙂

      • Then a quick update… Other people’s computers only work correctly while you are touching them. Not a fix, just a temporary patch. Like when something is wrong with your car and you take it to the mechanic but it won’t make that same sound or do what it has been doing because the car mechanic is there. That’s what I was going for.

  8. I once created a Champions character whose power was regeneration that only worked when he was set on fire.

  9. Here in NYC the most awesome power would be to repel all foul-smelling people from within your subway car.

    • What if your nose could time travel to a time where nicer things to smell were wherever you were, and it automatically popped back on when you got off the subway?

      • That would be swell too. Much more useless (which was your original point, right?) but not as anti-bacterial.

  10. The power to make kids shut up when told to. No, really, that would really help me. Damn nephew…

    The power to read a 500+ pages book in a heartbeat, only to wait an agonizing 5+ years until the author finishes the sequel. Damn GRRM…

    The power to know everything, but have a constant liquor stench around you, so no one takes you seriously(inspired by Homer Simpson and those cephalopod aliens).

  11. The ability to travel in time to any date, but unable to change your location relative to galactic centre so you always end up stuck in space.

  12. The ability to shapeshift into any form, but you have to concentrate on each atom in your body one at a time in order to change it.

  13. Telekinesis that only works on objects you would have been able to pick up and move if you wern’t so lazy.

    Many people would want this power despite it’s uselessness.

  14. and now for a power I’ve been told I do have:
    The ability to sneak up on anyone, and go totally unnoticed till you talk; except when you actually want to go unnoticed, then they notice you every time.

  15. The ability to make people forget your name in awkward social situations. (I hate it when I do that 😛 )

  16. The power to make your feet smell of the exact type of cheese you are thinking of at the time.

    Gorgonzola, Stilton, Edam, Feta, Parmesan, Cheddar, Wisconsin squeezy… the possibilities are limitless.

  17. Being able to touch someone and instantly know their ranking in line to the throne of the United Kingdom, but only if the Act of Settlement 1701 never been passed.

    • Or all of Israel’s mainstream news channels for that matter. Did you know the IDF’s own radio station(it’s quite a major music&news station here) has had numerous interviews with known terrorists, in friendly tones no less?
      Wonder what Americans will say of their army conducting a friendly phone interview with Bin Laden.

      The power to make annoying customers/kids in stores shut up&go somewhere else.

      The ability to fly but only while wearing a duck costume and during duck-hunting season/borrow rapidly in the ground but only while wearing a rabbit costume during rabbit-hunting season.

      Being so attractive that even straight guys want you(like here ), but only when locked up in jail.

      The ability to breath underwater, only to discover it really stinks down there.

      The ability to see into the future, only to get bored to death by knowing everything that will ever happen to you(courtesy of Dune).

  18. Ah, here’s a good one….

    The ability to assume the appearance of the most recent common ancester you share with any biological entity you are touching.

    So if you touch your sister, you can take the appearance of your father or your mother, if you touch a cat you can take the appearance of a late-cretaceous mammal, if you pick a flower you can take the appearance of a basic multicellular organism…

  19. >> I have the power to make any one else’s computer work correctly just by touching it…

    Ha! I do that, actually – it’s so common, my clients used to call it, “The Al Aura.”

    My proposed useless superpower? The ability to have an absolutely brilliant idea occur to you… at the exact same instant that it does to someone else with more resources and a better reputation for having brilliant ideas than you do.
    ‘I Was Just Gonna Say That, Man’ Man!”

    The ability to detonate any explosive device you’re currently holding in your hand.
    ‘Fool Me Once…’ Man”

    The ability to take on the appearance of a slender, large-headed and large-eyed eleven-year-old person of the opposite sex, only you still weight the same, so, unless you ARE slender and large-headed, you’ll be much taller than you are now.
    “The Cosplayer”

    The ability to know, when standing within six feet of it, where buried treasure is NOT.
    (No hero-name because no one wants to associate with this guy.)

    The ability to know exactly where you should put your feet… as long as you move very slowly and bow your head.
    “The Pedestrian”

    The ability to fly at incredible speed… as long as you’re in a hard vacuum.
    “Single Shot”

    The ability to stand up and move around comfortably, no matter how much you weigh. (This will come in handy if you ever have to land on… say… Jupiter. …or Earth if you’re crapulous. …or live in a centrifuge.)
    “Heavy Duty”

    Okokok – I’ll leave some for the other guys.

  20. The power to an iPhone 4 cell signal strength while holding it? 😀

    The power to transform into any inanimate object that anyone in the room calls out. Oh, and did I mention that you live in a Frat house…….

  21. The ability to predict future events, but only those that are truly inevitable and beyond any possibility of anyone stopping, even if they had time travel.

    “Yeah, the planet is going to be sucked into a black hole next tuesday…nope, nothing we can do about it…sorry.”

  22. Oooh I’ve got another!

    The ability to accurately predict the sum total of next week’s lottery numbers! Not the numbers themselves, just what they add up to.

    • I haven’t run the numbers, but that has to decrease the odds significantly. Very useful when the prize is greater than the cost for you to purchase all of the tickets required to match that sum.

  23. The power to hum Billboard Hot 100 hits from 10 years in the future, but so badly you can’t really make out the words or the tune.

  24. The power to unfasten your flies, aim and pee where you want to without using your hands, and without spilling a drop.

    (Not sure how this power would work for women…)

  25. The ability to say exactly what a woman wants to hear when she asks your opinion on something.

    • Now you’re just not being reasonable! Bending the laws of physics to your whim I can take, but this is just too far out.

  26. This is a common one in fiction but I still think it deserves mentioning:

    The ability to heal any wound on someone else, only to have it inflicted on yourself.

  27. The ability to instantly know who is right in an argument, but only on internet forums.

    • and a related, much less posible power:
      The ability to convince an internet troll they are wrong.

  28. The ability to know exactly what other people are thinking of you, but knowing it makes it suddenly true, (instant Karma.)

      • well you only get to read one person’s mind at a time, so whoever you read second would over-ride.

        • But then if you like the first one’s thoughts better you could tune in to his mind to over-ride the over-ride.

          • As long as the 2nd guy didn’t think you had the attention span of a gopher. Might not be able to then.

              • thought nothing of you would have no effect. Thought you were a nobody, or were insignificant would have consequences though.

                presumed dead would have a rather obvious effect though 😛

  29. The ability to always speak the complete truth, with a complete lack of tact or restraint, regardless of whether you know anything about the actual subject.

    (See the movie “Liar” for a mild example of this…this power would be even worse…it would invoke ACTUAL truth, with no regard for euphamism or polite conversation. For example, you could suddenly blurt out at the funeral of a much beloved philanthropist “It’s a shame he got his fortune using slave labor to make cheap shoes in Korea!”)

  30. The power to talk in their native language to the last being who made a sound you heard. You can’t turn this power off, so if a bird chirps halfway through your sentence the second half of the sentence is all bird noises.

  31. The ability to make time flow backwards or forwards at any speed, but without you or anybody else being able to perceive the difference.

    Alternatively, the power to change the size of everything in the universe at once, but always to a constant scale.

  32. The ability to plug an oil leak at the bottom of the ocean.

    This is what humanity is lacking.

    • Oh yeah BABY!

      I’d have an army of zombie poultry walking around the local Grab ‘n’ Bag, moaning, “GRAINS! GRAINS!!”

  33. The ability to create staples out of your forefinger, and staple things together with only your forefinger and thumb.

  34. The ability to alter luck and probability fields for yourself… In the most negative manner possible.
    “Murphy Man.”

    The ability to cause the most intense orgasm a person has ever achieved by thinking about it… but you have absolutely no control over who you cause the orgasm in.

    The ability to learn how to play a new musical instrument just by picking it up, but lacking the muscle memory to play actual technically demanding pieces. (Funny enough, this occurs in real musicians.)

  35. The ability to read someone’s mind, but only as you’re driving past them in your car, and then only if they make eye contact with you. Also the ability goes away the second they break eye contact.

  36. The ability to control/command Dragon/Elves/Pegisi/Unicorns, but only in worlds where these creatures do not exist.

    The ability to ‘hear’ another person’s thoughts, but not the context of them. Quite useless if they think in a diffrent langage, which is more a worry since it counts if they’re a visual person and think in images, while you think in audio, or some alternative.

  37. The ability to, by singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or even just talking, help others do a bit better at whatever it is they are doing.

  38. The ability to make people that you want to talk to stop calling you when you are halfway through shampooing your hair, walking out of the door with a glass of tea, school books, purse, keys and phone in your hand while locking the door, or otherwise indisposed and call you when it’s convenient for you, especially those people that you can never get a hold of and they only call you at these times. I have a couple of friends like that .

  39. All the powers of Superman, but only when sound asleep.

    The ability to see the future, but only when so drunk you’re seeing things anyway.

    The ability to converse in any language you don’t understand. You can hold up a conversation, but have no idea what you or the other person are saying.

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  41. You can walk on the surface of water, but you have to be under water
    You can time travel into the future, one second at a time
    You can make money appear, one penny at a time.
    You can never die, but everything still hurts
    You can talk to animals, but they all hate you
    You can burn whatever you see, but you’re blind
    You can summon fire, underwater
    You can breathe underwater, but air kills you
    You can make food appear, but it has to be burn
    You know everything, but have short-term memory loss
    You can run as fast as the speed of light, backwards
    You can transform into any inanimate nonliving object
    You can teleport anywhere, within a 5ft radius
    You can fly at 1 mph
    You can transform into any vehicle, but you can’t go over 1/2 mph
    You are the strongest person alive, but you’re fully paralyzed
    You can freeze anything, that’s made of ice