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A non super-powered character gets superpowers. However, because Status Quo Is God, those powers won't last long and are strictly a one-shot deal. In other words: not only do the superpowers wear off by the end of the episode, but they can "never" get the powers again. Unless they do using a Recycled Script and/or just because it's fun.

Often happens to the superpowered character's Muggle Best Friend. When this plot is repeatedly recycled with a particular character, see Superpower Silly Putty.

May overlap with Superhero Episode and with Muggle Best Friend. Contrast with Brought Down to Normal

See also: Sidekick Glass Ceiling

Examples of Superpowers for A Day include:

Manga Anime

  • In Ranma ½ Akane (one of the more realistic martial artists) was given powers to match the rest of the cast twice, once with magic noodles (which also caused her to grow whiskers) and once with a magically-super-powered martial arts costume.


  • In All-Star Superman Lois Lane gets superpowers thanks to a formula for one issue
  • In The Silver Age of Comic Books, it happened so often to Jimmy Olsen that has a running gag where it's a drinking game.
  • The Marvel Comics series Captain Universe dealt with this trope on a monthly basis. Captain Universe was not one person, but a persona with cosmic powers attached which merges with various people in times of need.
  • In one issue of Love and Capes, Crusader's fiancée has a wizard grant her temporary superpowers so she can understand life as a superhero.
    • Her intention was for it to be literally this trope's name - having superpowers for 24 hours. Just after she drinks the triggering potion, she learns the actual time-limit is non-existent. She'll have the powers until she decides she doesn't want them. Which she does, at the end of that story-arc..
  • In issue 456 of Detective Comics, the Elongated Man gets himself captured when his powers wore off at the worst possible moment. This results in a cliffhanger that leads into the next issue, in which his Muggle wife becomes the Elongated Woman. Interestingly, while Ralph gets his powers from Gingold, Sue is allergic to it, so she instead gets her powers from technology.
  • Issue #8 of Nodwick had Yeagar gaining superpowers due to a stray blob of ink from the artist, but he lost them when they got siphoned off by a super villain and ended up empowering the president of the Henchman's union (a hamster, by the way).

Live Action TV

  • Smallville
    • Pete Ross got elastic super powers thanks to a chewing gum. However those powers only lasted for one episode.
    • Chloe Sullivan got the power to make everyone tell her the truth. Unfortunately that superpower was killing her. So it was removed by the end of the episode
    • Lana was clairvoyant
      • In a later episode, Lana temporarily copied Clark's powers. Clark actually had to remove them because Lana was determined to use her powers to get vengeance on Luthor.
    • Clark briefly had "Dead Zone" Vision
    • Lex, Lana and Jonathan were all briefly Flying Speeding Bricks. It cost Jonathan his health and eventually his life.
  • In Lois and Clark, a villain tries to steal Clark's powers but accidentally transfers them to Lois.
  • The ~Gilligan's Island~ gang eats some radioactive vegetables and gets superpowers: super-strength, super-speed, super hearing etc.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Hide and Q," Riker gets Q-powers.
    • Likewise in "The Nth Degree" Barclay gets Q-like super-intelligence -- though it's hinted to be somewhat permanent, but it's uncertain how.
  • In one episode of Stargate SG-1 Jonas Quinn acquires precognitive abilities.
  • In one episode of Stargate Atlantis, McKay gains super senses, mind reading abilities, telekinesis, and became much smarter as a result of an accidental encounter with an Ancient device. Unfortunately, the machine is designed to induce Ascension meaning that the subject will die if they don't figure out how to Ascend in time.


  • One Isaac Asimov short story "The Secret Sense" had an Earthman gain a Martian sense via a special drug. The effects only lasted for a few minutes and It Only Works Once. However, it arguably wasn't worth it, because as the Martian points out, the Earthman won't be able to experience that sense again. Metaphorically speaking "You entered a normal man! You leave blind-blind-BLIND."

Western Animation

  • In the Bugs Bunny short "Super-Rabbit", Bugs gets temporary superpowers from eating super carrots. This is never mentioned in all subsequent shorts.
  • Fry and Leela get superpowers in Futurama, and become super-heroes.
  • Family Guy episode "Super Griffins."
  • The Simpsons: A nuclear accident turns Homer Simpson into a a hulk like creature -- for about three seconds.
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "World's Greatest Mom," Dexter accidentally gives his mom super-powers... for the rest of the episode.
  • The Jetsons: George Jetson becomes "Super George" when an experiment goes wrong.
  • Partially applied in The Flintstones, where Fred and Barney learn to apply judo-chop powers which allow them to take out armies of giant mooks-- but they either somehow forget them by the end of the episode, or else they never encounter any more mooks ever again
  • In Danny Phantom Tucker wishes to have ghost powers like Danny and a genie grants the wish. Unfortunately he becomes evil with said powers and therefore a reset button is used.
  • Happens all the time in The Powerpuff Girls. Princess, Mojo Jojo, the Gangrene Gang, the Mayor, and a group of the girls' classmates all have episodes where they gain superpowers temporarily.
  • In one episode of American Dragon Jake Long, Spud wants to be normal like his mom. He ends up getting bitten by a magical frog that gives him a frog-like appearance, a long tongue, and the ability to jump very high. At the end of the episode, he gets them removed.
  • Timmy Turner in Fairly Oddparents wishes life were like a comic book. Everyone on Earth gets super powers, but only for one episode.
  • Occurs in the Men in Black epsiode "The Supermen in Black Syndrome", where an alien Amplifier Artifact grants Jay, Kay and Elle, alongside three alien criminals, superpowers. Kay becomes a Super Strong Thing Expy, Elle gets various Eye Beams with different effects, Jay becomes Super Speedy and super-agile, one villian becomes a Human Torch expy, another gets Flight, and the last one gets a Healing Factor (that lets him regenerate a la the T-1000).
  • An episode of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers concerns Dale getting elastic powers, thanks to a chunk of crystal that broke off a meteorite, and turning into a superhero named "Rubber Bando!" Of course, the crystal is smashed by the end of the episode, rendering it useless.


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