Assimilation Backfire
Description Needs Help

(permanent link) added: 2012-11-03 00:01:56 sponsor: KZN02 (last reply: 2012-11-12 22:06:10)

Add Tag:

Please add hats if ready.

The Assimilator absorbs something in particular and one of two things can happen.

The Assimilator is terrifying because of its virus-like ability to absorb people body and mind into itself, creating a threat that can spread faster than a Zombie Apocalypse. However, The Assimilator's voracious and indiscriminate appetite may lead to it eating someone who proves Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth. To keep the food metaphor, this person may well cause severe indigestion as they fight from the inside and take control back from the Assimilator, even to the point of usurping the title of Hive Queen.

Alternately, if You Are Who You Eat lets the Power Parasite steal another's powers, then their theft may go horribly right when their Weaksauce Weakness is also stolen and allows enemies an easy way to defeat it. To make matters worse, the Assimilator probably has no idea it inherited the weakness or how to minimize it or stop it being exploited.

Compare No Sell, where the attempted assimilation just plain fails, and Feed It a Bomb, where a bomb is absorbed.

Spoilers ahead!

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Buu tries to absorb Vegetto, but the absorbtion fails and Vegetto (now split into Vegeta and Goku) releases all the victims Buu had absorbed previously.
    • The Supreme Kais weakened Kid Buu into Buff Buu and finally Fat Buu when he tried absorbing them. It seems inconsistent considering how high their power-levels are, but its explained that because they are pure good, and Buu pure evil, the two forces diffused each other.
  • YuYu Hakusho: When Sensui Seven member Gourmet eats Elder Toguro to get his powers, Elder Toguro ends up taking over his body later.
  • Naruto: when Orochimaru tried to steal Sasuke's body, Sasuke reversed the process and absorbed him instead
    • Also, there's always the threat that the Tailed Beasts can take control of their hosts and go on a rampage. But a strong enough host can instead summon their power at will, and an even better host can make friends with their beast.
  • Toward the very end of Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, the Big Bad Father absorbs his Anti-Hero homunculus Greed, and his Ultimate Shield power with it. Having been previously defeated by Edward Elric, who figured out his extreme defensive abilities are merely carbon-based, Greed decides to turn his powers the other direction and turn Father's body into pathetic frail graphite...allowing the heroes to K.O. Father for good.
    • Previously, after Pride absorbs Kimblee, he is finally defeated by Ed Elric due to Kimblee weakening him from the inside.

Film
  • Logan's Run: the computer was trying to drain his memories or something to find the hidden lair of the resistance groups. Instead, not only was there no "resistance", but the experiences outside the dome actually overloaded the system (c'mon it was a a rather short movie, they didn't spend that long outside).
  • In The Matrix, Agent Smith assimilates The Oracle, which appears to backfire in some way (since she knew he was coming). At the end, Neo defeats him by letting himself be assimilated. This gives Smith a direct link back to the machines, allowing them to purge the rogue AI.
  • In Ghost Rider, Blackheart No Sells Blaze's penance stare power the first time it's used on him since he doesn't have a soul. When he draws the trapped souls of San Venganza into his body in a bid to increase his power, Blaze realizes that he's made himself vulnerable to the stare and uses it to destroy him.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, one of the main villains are Cybugs, which take on the features of whatever they eat. A Cybug eats King Kandy, who is assimilated a little too well and becomes said Cybug's primary consciousness.

Fanfics
  • In a Star Trek / Doctor Who / My Little Pony crossover fanfic "My Little Enterprise", the Doctor resolved the whole plot by going back in time to the destruction of his homeworld and impersonating the leader, tricking the Borg Celestia into having him assimilated, which allowed him to disrupt her during the final confrontation.

Literature
  • In the Discworld novel Carpe Jugulum, the Magpyrs suck Granny Weatherwax's blood and attempt to turn her. She survives the experience without becoming a vampire; the Magpyrs aren't so lucky, however, as feeding on Granny Weatherwax has allowed her to turn them. By the end, they're craving tea instead of blood and even talking like her.
  • Animorphs: By morphing a Howler, a race of Psychopathic Manchildren with a species-wide Hive Mind (anything one sees, all of them know), Jake manages to implant the memory of his and Cassie's First Kiss. The Elllimist tells him that the next time they're deployed, they'll try this novel tactic, which will ensure that they will never be used as shock troops again.

Live-Action TV
  • Star Trek: Voyager eventually lampshaded the Kazon's Too Dumb to Live tendencies by having Seven of Nine remark that assimilating them would weaken the Borg Collective.
    • In the series finale "Endgame", Admiral Janeway infects herself with a bioweapon before meeting the Borg Queen. When the Queen assimilates her, it infects that entire collective.
  • Dr Who:
    • In the Christmas special The Next Doctor, the cybermen attempt to upgrade Miss Hartigan, but she's so strong-willed that she not only survives the process with her mind intact but manages to rewrite the cybermen's programming.
    • In the Daleks Take Manhatten two-parter, in an experiment designed to save the Daleks from extinction, Dalek Sec absorbs human DNA and mutates itself into a human/dalek hybrid. The new hybrid-Sec finds himself developing human values and emotions, which eventually causes the other Daleks to execute him in disgust.

Video Games
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2, if One of Many is in your party when you meet the dead god Myrkul, they'll ask you if they can eat Myrkul. Given that unlike your own Spirit-Eater curse, One of Many adds consumed souls to its collective, Myrkul will take over, resulting in a Bonus Boss.

Web Comics
  • The Borg Expy in an early Sluggy Freelance strip run into this problem after assimilating Riff and Torg. "Since you have come among us, all we have done is drink fermented hopps beverages and ogle scantly clad females. This has seriously jeopardized our goal of the all-collective. We've never had to do this before... We are kicking you out."

Western Animation
  • In the 'Neogenic Nightmare' arc of Spiderman The Animated Series, Spiderman is attacked by the Vulture, a villain who uses advanced technology to steal vitality from others. Unfortunately for the Vulture, the mutation that gives Spiderman his powers is particularly unstable at the time of the attack, and he absorbs some of Spiderman's DNA, causing him to mutate in a monstrous man/spider hybrid.
  • Superman villain Parasite is a power stealer who also gains their weaknesses. This means whenever he steals Superman's powerset, Superman can actually beat him by using kryptonite.
  • One episode of South Park has Cartman's super high-tech Trapper Keeper begin assimilating all technology (beginning with a calculator, then a computer, then a lamp, then Cartman). "Trapper Keeper ready to ensorb." Eventually it goes on a rampage and heads for Cheyenne Mountain to ensorb the NORAD command center located there, but on the way it eats Rosie O'Donnell, weakening it enough for Kyle to turn it off.
  • Happened to a brain-eating alien on The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, when it was dumb enough to consume Mandy's brain.
  • In the last episode of The Secret Saturdays, V.V Argost has assimilated the Kur powers from Zak's Evil Twin from an anti-matter Mirror Universe, and then does the same to Zak himself to become even more powerful. But what Argost didn't realize (but Zak did) was what happens when matter and anti-matter combine, and Argost obliterates himself instead.
  • Young Justice had an appearance of Parasite who was defeated when he stole Miss Martian's powers without realizing they came with a weakness to fire, which the heroes exploit.

Rolling Updates

replies: 36

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy