Created By: Deboss on March 19, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on April 26, 2015

Find The Monster's Weakness

A plot where the goal is to find a way around ImmuneToBullets.

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Trope

Splitting up Five Rounds Rapid as per this thread.

When the Monster of the Week, movie or what have you attacks and is Immune to Bullets, the heroes have to go find some way of defeating the monster. Although defeating the monster can involve returning some kind of MacGuffin to the ancient tomb, this trope is about when the key to defeating the monster is finding it's Kryptonite Factor and then weaponizing it. It's also possible that simply switching to a different weapon might be effective, Kill It with Fire being a very popular one.

Expect the early part of the media to use Our Weapons Are Useless and horrible decimation of the Red Shirt Army.

Related Tropes: Attack Its Weak Point (for after you've found the weakness), and For Massive Damage for the effect.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 
  • Parasyte: The creatures are tough enough to completely ignore bullets, but that doesn't stop a few police from opening fire and getting butchered. The main character takes them on by knowing their weaknesses, though, and the government soon learns their weaknesses and kills them off by the dozens with high-powered shotgun ammunition. Quickly Double Subverted by introducing a super-parasite that ignores THAT ammunition and massacres an entire platoon.

    Comic Books 
  • Irredeemable. It's unclear if the Plutonian has any weaknesses, but the heroes definitely want to know what they are, if they exist as he's effectively unstoppable if they can't find one.

    Film 
  • Independence Day. After firing a massive amount of missiles at both the Mother Ship and the fighters, the humans have to find out a way to shut down the aliens' shields so they can fight effectively.

    Literature 
  • The Hobbit Bilbo accidentally discovers the one weak spot in the dragon Smaug's scales, and the information gets passed to Bard the Bowman, who only has one shot at hitting it.

    Live Action Television 
  • Stargate SG-1. The Anubis Warriors have armor that absorbs Energy Weapon fire and is completely bullet proof. Even large amounts of explosives can stop the things. It took quite some time to develop weapons that could be used to kill them.
  • Star Trek. The Borg have force fields around their ships and personal force fields around each of the Collective; during the Enterprise's first few encounters, they were constantly attempting to discern how to get their phasers to pierce the fields. It was accepted that only two or three shots would work before the Collective Mind would work its way around to altering the fields against the variant-power phaser blasts.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy kills The Judge, who ostensibly cannot be killed by a weapon forged, by blasting him to bits with a rocket launcher, which is not a forged weapon, nor existed when he was born.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Awful Green Things From Outer Space. The crew of the starship Znutar must try various devices on the title monsters, hoping to find one that kills them.
  • Many monsters in Call of Cthulhu are immune to bullets (some deities are immune to artillery shells). Destroying them requires finding some attack they are vulnerable to. For example, Fire Vampires can be "put out" by water, sand, etc.
  • Champions. Many super characters have such high defenses that they're immune to bullets (and many other normal attacks). However, they may take a vulnerability to a specific attack in order to get more character points. If you can find out that vulnerability, you can do additional damage to them and take them down.

    Web Original 
  • The Salvation War. Small arms have to be adjusted and they switch from small high speed rounds like the 5.56mm to big, slow rounds like the Beowulf. The only changes made to most weapons is the addition of iron, and that's mostly just to hurt the demons more than regular bullets. When the humans avert Only Small Arms Exist, the human weaponry proves devastatingly effective and it's the demons who are stuck with the pathetically outmoded and virtually useless weapons. Every time the demons try one of their "classic" weapons, it fails miserably and the humans hit back with something unimaginably more lethal. For instance demonic lightning bolts are countered by massed salvoes from multiple-launch rocket batteries, brimstone is countered by Sarin nerve gas.


Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • March 19, 2011
    INUH
    • In Irredeemable, it's unclear if the Plutonian has any weaknesses, but the heroes definitely want to know what they are if they exist.
  • March 21, 2011
    JohnDiFool
    Buffy kills The Judge, who ostensibly cannot be killed by a weapon forged, by blasting him to bits with a rocket launcher.
  • March 22, 2011
    johnnye
    How's this different to Depleted Phlebotinum Shells? Is it just that this is about the race to develop them?

    Also, the name sounds far too close to Attack Its Weak Point.
  • March 22, 2011
    Deboss
    It's specifically the plot set up to find the Depleted Phlebotinum Shells. I'm not particularly attached to the name if you have suggestions.

    I'd say Buffy isn't an example because she's not finding a weakness, she's applying a hammer.
  • March 22, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Well, Buffy (and/or Giles) discovered a logical/Exact Words weakness. At the time the "no weapon forged" line was written forged weapons were the most deadly in existence. Rocket Launchers aren't forged.
  • March 22, 2011
    Rattgirl
    The Borg in ST:NG. They have force fields around their ships and personal force fields around each of the Collective; during the Enterprise's first few encounters, they were constantly attempting to discern how to get their phasers to pierce the fields. It was accepted that only two or three shots would work before the Collective Mind would work its way around to altering the fields against the variant-power phaser blasts.
  • March 29, 2011
    Deboss
    Do you think one where they find out that there is no weakness, or that you don't have to find a weakness, just hit it enough times is enough of a distinction to justify it's own trope? Added Buffy example since it was an Exact Words weakness and spoilered the ending.
  • March 29, 2011
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • The Awful Green Things From Outer Space. The crew of the starship Znutar must try various devices on the title monsters, hoping to find one that kills them.
    • Many monsters in Call Of Cthulhu are immune to bullets (some deities are immune to artillery shells). Destroying them requires finding some attack they are vulnerable to. For example, Fire Vampires can be "put out" by water, sand, etc.
    • Champions. Many super characters have such high defenses that they're immune to bullets (and many other normal attacks). However, they may take a vulnerability to a specific attack in order to get more character points. If you can find out that vulnerability, you can do additional damage to them and take them down.
  • March 29, 2011
    rage24
    • This is how many duels are won on Yugioh. Yugi's opponent will have an all powerful monster summoned, but he will find a weakness and exploit it to win the game.
  • March 29, 2011
    acrobox
  • August 22, 2011
    Deboss
    this is more of a plot structure, than an a way to attack.
  • August 22, 2011
    LeeM
    In The Hobbit Bilbo accidentally discovers the one weak spot in the dragon Smaug's scales, and the information gets passed to Bard the Bowman, who only has one shot at hitting it.
  • March 19, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump, might wanna grab this

    Compare Find The Cure
  • March 20, 2015
    Alucard
    Defeating the Divine Dragon in The Legend Of Dragoon requires an entire quest devoted to finding the Dragon Block Staff in order to vastly limit its massive power. It still manages to be That One Boss.
  • March 20, 2015
    Koveras
    • The plot of Ultima I concerned finding the weakness of the evil wizard Mondain, who is completely invulnerable thanks to a magic artifact,—it turns out, you have to travel back in time and kill him before he created said artifact.
  • March 20, 2015
    Arivne
    • Deleted a period after the word "Examples" that was preventing folders from displaying properly.
    • Examples section
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Added [[foldercontrol]].
      • Deleted Camel Case from folder names. Folder names can't be Blue Linked.
      • Namespaced work names.
      • De-capitalized (Aliens) and corrected spelling (-> aliens').
      • Added an asterisk at the beginning of examples to indent them.
      • Added [[/folder]] at the end of each media section folder so they would display properly.
  • March 20, 2015
    TonyG
    Star Wars: Much of the plot of A New Hope is about getting information on the Death Star's defenses and its weak spot to the Rebel Alliance.
  • March 20, 2015
    JoeG
    • In an episode of the 90's revival of The Twilight Zone, a demon appears to a man and informs him that it is omniscient and omnipotent. It gives him a challenge: he must either ask it a question it can't answer or give it a command it can't fulfill or else it will kill him and take his soul. He defeats it by telling it to get lost.
  • March 21, 2015
    Snicka
    • In the short "Az egig ero fa" (The tree that reaches the sky) from Magyar Nepmesek, the princess seduces the dragon to find out where he keeps his Soul Jar.
  • April 26, 2015
    DAN004
    Does this count? I want opinions.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=33hgsdzuzd177e8oght08wpb