History Main / ItOnlyWorksOnce

7th Sep '17 3:14:49 AM Baeraad555
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* Early in the ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' series, Allanon mentions that certain powerful works of magic can only be performed once and then never again. This is the reason why the heroes of the various books have to spend so much time hunting down or protecting one MacGuffin or another - if, e.g., the Sword of Shannara goes missing, you can't just forge a new one to replace it.
* In ''Discworld/IShallWearMidnight'', Tiffany is told that while the Cunning Man has been defeated before, learning how it was done won't help her and she'll need to device her own strategy against him. The reason is that he won't fall for the same trick twice - he's ''cunning,'' after all.


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* In the first season finale of ''Series/{{Witchblade}}'', Sara chooses to [[spoiler: go back in time to the first episode, thus undoing everything that happened in the series so far.]] She is specifically informed that this will only be possible to do once, presumably to stop that ability from being a GameBreaker.
21st Aug '17 1:02:12 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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* The Elements of Harmony in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' against the GenreSavvy Discord. This time they're dangling the elements over his head as leverage to force him to play along while they try and reform him, but the ''first two things'' Discord does is destroy all of Twilight Sparkle's "[[BrainwashingForTheGreaterGood reform spells]]" and sweet-talk Fluttershy into promising to never use her element against him, rendering the rest completely useless.

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* The Elements of Harmony in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' against the GenreSavvy Discord. This time they're dangling the elements over his head as leverage to force him to play along while they try and reform him, but the ''first two things'' Discord does is destroy all of Twilight Sparkle's "[[BrainwashingForTheGreaterGood reform spells]]" and sweet-talk Fluttershy into promising to never use her element against him, rendering the rest completely useless.
11th Jul '17 9:28:27 AM gophergiggles
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* The Elements of Harmony in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' against the GenreSavvy Discord. This time they're dangling the elements over his head as leverage to force him to play along while they try and reform him, but the ''first two things'' Discord does is destroy all of Twilight Sparkle's "[[BrainwashingForTheGreaterGood reform spells]]" and sweet-talk Fluttershy into promising to never use her element against him, rendering the rest completely useless.
2nd Jul '17 12:03:38 PM FordPrefect
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* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' where they try to get Maggie out of a locked bathroom. Homer tries a coat hanger then gives up. Lisa tries to Coat Hanger again, successfully unlocked the door and lampshaded that why they only tried it once anyway.

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* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' where they try to get Maggie out of a locked bathroom. Homer tries a coat hanger then gives up. Lisa tries to Coat Hanger again, it again and successfully unlocked unlocks the door and lampshaded that door.
-->'''Lisa''': [[LampshadeHanging I don't understand
why they we only tried it once anyway.try ideas once.]]
25th Jun '17 11:04:37 PM infernape612
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* Before the release of Fallout 4, an excited fan sent Bethesda a box of real-life bottle caps weighing over 11 pounds with a tongue-in-cheek letter asking Bethesda if this would be an acceptable substitute for payment. To his surprise, Bethesda then sent him an email accepting the "payment", and agreeing to send him a copy with the understanding that it'll only work the once.

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* Before the release of Fallout 4, ''VideoGame/Fallout4'', an excited fan sent Bethesda a box of real-life bottle caps weighing over 11 pounds with a tongue-in-cheek letter asking Bethesda if this would be an acceptable substitute for payment. To his surprise, Bethesda then sent him an email accepting the "payment", and agreeing to send him a copy with the understanding that it'll only work the once.
25th Jun '17 10:42:12 PM infernape612
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-->-- ''[[BigBad Mephilies the Dark]], VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006''

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-->-- ''[[BigBad '''[[BigBad Mephilies the Dark]], VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006''
Dark]]''', ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006''
16th Jun '17 12:55:02 PM MarcusSLazarus
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* This trope is used as an actual story element in ''{{Comicbook/Runaways}}''. Nico's weapon, the Staff of One, can cast any spell whatsoever but then can never cast it again. (Attempting to repeat a spell results in random effects.) It essentially serves as a leash to her otherwise godlike GreenLanternRing powers. However, it turns out that she can only use each specific spell with ''a specific code word'' once; in a team-up with the ComicBook/YoungAvengers, she was able to cast the same spell repeatedly by running through ComicBook/TheVision's language banks.

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** When Kristoff Vernard was uploaded with Doctor Doom's memories to take his place after his apparent death, he decided to attack the FF by reusing an old plan to send the Baxter Building into orbit, reasoning that it had only failed the first time the true Doom attempted it because of the treachery of Namor; the plan failed again, but only because Kristoff's uploaded memories didn't include the Invisible Girl's ability to generate forcefields, allowing the FF to survive the building exploding in space and return to Earth.
* This trope is used as an actual story element in ''{{Comicbook/Runaways}}''. Nico's weapon, the Staff of One, can cast any spell whatsoever but then can never cast it again. (Attempting to repeat a spell results in random effects.) It essentially serves as a leash to her otherwise godlike GreenLanternRing powers. However, it turns out that she can only use each specific spell with ''a specific code word'' once; in a team-up with the ComicBook/YoungAvengers, she was able to cast the same spell repeatedly by running through ComicBook/TheVision's language banks.banks, while on another occasion she was able to 'reuse' a 'Freeze' spell by instructing her enemies to freeze at a specific temperature.
6th Jun '17 6:25:05 AM Mitis
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* Straits in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' had the powerful [[EyeBeams Space Ripper Stingy Eye]], an ability he witnessed in part one where a vampire can shoot fluids from the eyes at a ridiculously high velocity, allowing it to cut through flesh. The first time he fires it he misses a fatal shot at Joseph, but nicks his neck. The next time he tries it he hits a mirror reflection of Joseph and then the third time it is completely reflected, with Joseph lampshading that he only needed to see the attack once to know how to counter it, due to the predictability that Straits would go for the fatal shots in the neck and forehead again.

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* Straits ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'': Straits/Straizo in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' Part 2 had the powerful [[EyeBeams Space Ripper Stingy Eye]], an ability he witnessed in part one where a vampire can shoot fluids from the eyes at a ridiculously high velocity, allowing it to cut through flesh. The first time he fires it he misses a fatal shot at Joseph, but nicks his neck. The next time he tries it he hits a mirror reflection of Joseph and then the third time it is completely reflected, with Joseph lampshading that he only needed to see the attack once to know how to counter it, due to the predictability that Straits would go for the fatal shots in the neck and forehead again.



** Brook's devil fruit grants him the ability to come back from the dead... once. Since his soul took too long to find his body, he is now a living, still killable skeleton. With training he has subverted the trope by expanding on his power, making its ability to revive him only one aspect of his powers.

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** Brook's devil fruit Devil Fruit grants him the ability to come back from the dead... once. Since his soul took too long to find his body, he is now a living, still killable skeleton. With training But with training, he has subverted the trope by expanding on his power, making its ability to revive him only one aspect of his powers.
3rd Jun '17 10:43:49 PM Mitis
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*** The same goes for First Impression, a Bug-Type variant more than twice as strong introduced in Generation VII. Of course, the only Pokémon that can use it is Golisopod...
16th May '17 7:06:47 PM Eddy1215
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* In ''VideoGame/SheepDogNWolf'', Ralph Wolf uses a magic flute to hypnotize Sam Sheepdog and lure him away from the flock of sheep. It works so well, it's available to use in the next level. However, it's revealed that it won't work anymore as Sam now has earplugs.
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