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A fairly common subtype of settings with a Mass Super-Empowering Event in the backstory. Each superpowered person gets one power. Some powers are more versatile than others, of course. The only exceptions are people whose one superpower is the power to copy or steal powers. Nobody gets Combo-Platter Powers as a default.

Examples of One Person, One Power include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books


  • The Nightfall books by Mickey Zucker Reichert feature individuals with single "natal talents".
  • The supers in Those Who Walk in Darkness and What Fire Cannot Burn by John Ridley all have strictly one power each. This became a major plot point in the latter book.
  • The Xanth books fit this trope.
  • The titular Gracelings each have one Grace (which is either a skill at which they are superhumanly proficient or an outright superpower.)
  • The psychic children of the Gotterelektrongruppe in Ian Tregillis' Bitter Seeds.
  • The Magicals/Actives of Hard Magic all have one power each, albeit with Required Secondary Powers included.
  • Gone by Michael Grant features several superpowered kids with a single power each.
  • In Shadow Ops, "Latents" (humans who develop magical powers) only develop within one specific "school" of magic. Some of these are limited, i.e. pyromancers can only create fire. Others are impressively diverse, such as terramancers, who can control earth, shape and grow plants, and mind-control animals.

Live Action TV

  • The 4400
  • Heroes has this for all the heroes. It's just that a couple of them have the single power of stealing/copying other people's powers.
  • Mutant X does this with the exception of Gabriel Ashlocke, who had every power.
  • Misfits subverts this. Although everyone seems to get one power, at least two people were given two powers in the storm, and Seth can give customers multiple powers with his ability.
  • Alphas


  • Push
  • Sky High. While Nurse Specs mentions that its possible for the child of two superhumans to inherit both of their parents powers, the implication is that its damned rare, and everyone else's reactions to Will's not only being super-strong but being able to fly implies that most people only have one power.

Web Original

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