The following fan theories are about Empathic mimicry.
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|Peter absorbs personalities as well as powers as a result of having to "feel" another person's presence in order for absorption.||None|| + In his fight with Isaac, Peter displays an "evil", aggressive nature to him when he uses his telekinetic abilities, which likens to that of Sylar. Peter, being empathetic, needs to experience another person's "essence" in order to use their abilities. Being around Sylar invoked fear and chaos, so using Sylar's powers would inevitably cause Peter to have violent tendencies.|
- Peter, when stopping Claude's broomstick or dropping the taser gun's darts, did not have a violent outburst.
|Peter can mimic non-superhuman abilities of others.||None|| + Peter initially seemed only able to draw stick figures, but is able to paint similarly to Isaac when close to him.|
- In How to Stop an Exploding Man, when Sylar uses Isaac's power he sees the event on the canvas in the form of a picture already - the painting takes no exceptional skill, it is just tracing the lines and filling in the colors.
|Claude was right about how Peter can call back his powers.||Claude said that in order for Peter to use his mimicked powers without the original owner present he had to block them out.|| + When he didn't remember anyone from his past, Peter had effectively "blocked them out". That being said, he could still use the powers that he has absorbed.|
• What Peter actually said is that he needed to remember how the people from whom he copied powers "made him feel". It's possible to recall the emotion without recalling the person.
|Peter can only use some powers to do whatever the "source" of it can do and if he encounters them when they have refined control of it, the ability he has is refined as well.||None|| + When Peter first met Matt Parkman in Fallout and absorbed his telepathy, he could only read minds as that's all Matt could do at that time while in Powerless, he may have gained the thought transmission / mind control aspect of that ability from meeting Matt near the vault.|
+ Adam Monroe has refined control of his regenerative ability (due to approximately 350 years of experience), this stronger regenerative capability could've be absorbed by Peter when they meet in Four Months Later (once the "Haitian Pills" were out of his system).
|Absorbing too many abilities makes an empathic mimic stupid.||Noah suggested that Sylar might become mentally ill because of multiple changes in his DNA.|| + Future Peter's actions are illogical, if not stupid: he revealed himself to Claire (Resistance), he shot Nathan and later still revealed himself to him, he traveled to past, yet did nothing to change the future.|
- Sylar's ability is intuitive aptitude, not empathic mimicry. Also, an empathic mimic's DNA changes slightly as abilities are used; when he isn't using an ability, his genes are, if not normal, well within the realm of functionality.
+ In 2011 Future Peter was the most wanted terrorist. He spent four years killing hundreds of people to save the world and then he suddenly decided to go to the past to prevent Pinehearst's and his own crimes. Sounds ridiculous, to say the least.
|If someone who has had their ability absorbed through empathic mimicry undergoes a major personality shift, then the mimic will become unable to access their ability.||None|| + In the exposed future, where Claire becomes a sociopath, Peter Petrelli seemed to lack rapid cell regeneration.|
- Peter was able to use mimicked abilities when he had no memories of who he was, or he knew.
|There is a limit to how many abilities this ability can absorb. After absorbing so many it removes some to make place for others.||Mohinder said this ability was like a sponge, and even sponges can only retain so much water before letting some out.|| + Peter only seemed to use phasing twice and did not seem to use it after Season Two, by which point he met multiple evolved humans.|
+ This would account for Peter's use of some abilities e.g. rapid cell regeneration and flight more than say super speed or precognition.
|The more emotionally attached Peter is to a person the easier he could access their ability.||None|| + He was able to use flight and invisibility a lot easier than abilities from people he had only recently met such as telekinesis and telepathy. But when he met Matt and Sylar again and got to know them better these powers were more refined.|
|Peter's empathic mimicry evolved into power mimicry.||None|| + Originally he had the power only to mimic someone around him. Eventually he was able to copy powers and used them, even if they weren't around.|
- Claude taught him how to use his powers, because he knew other mimics like Arthur Petrelli.
+ He originally needed to remember how they made him feel. Later, he could recall them even when he was amnesiac.
+ Arthur claimed his power was more advanced, so did the writers.
|An Empathic Mimic doesn't need physical interaction with another Evolved Human to absorb their power.||None|| + Peter absorbed Ted Sprague's Induced Radioactivity without any interaction with him.|
|See Also: 9 • Red • Time travel • Empathic mimicry|