Created By: DAN004 on March 30, 2014 Last Edited By: DAN004 on July 25, 2014
Troped

Immunity Disability

Because sometimes being immune to something may be a detriment instead.

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Rolling Updates, Needs a Better Description

This is about a situation where a character that's immune to something experiences a drawback based on said immunity.

The kinds of disability vary - You Feel No Pain? You might not know what hit you or how much it damages your body. You're immortal? You'd be surprised of what you can live through. And so on and so forth.

Subtrope of Power at a Price and Blessed with Suck. If your particular immunity is of death, it becomes the subtrope Who Wants to Live Forever?

Compare and contrast Disability Immunity, Disability Superpower and Exploited Immunity.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • One Piece. While fighting a giant zombie, Chopper, the team's doctor, tells it that the fact that it can't feel pain is its greatest weakness, as it has no way of knowing how much damage its body parts are accumulating until they're so injured that they simply stop responding altogether. The Straw Hats eventually beat it by shattering its spine, leaving the thing laying on the ground wondering why it can't move.
  • In Part 2 of Jojos Bizarre Adventure, the villain Cars ends up gaining immortality and an auto-evolution ability after combining the Stone Mask and Red Stone of Asia. Joseph uses this ability against him by throwing him into an active volcano where he hardens in defense as it's about to erupt. He gets launched into space and is stuck floating around forever, eventually his mind shuts down completely.
  • Touma in A Certain Magical Index has his enchanted right arm, Imagine Breaker, that functions as an Anti-Magic - in a world filled with mages, this gives him a large advantage. However, among other sucky things, it also cancels beneficial magic such as Healing Hands. If not for his expert surgeon friend he would have died of many non-magical things that his enemy can use.
  • Blade of the Immortal
    • The protagonist, Manji, is not only immortal but can heal from virtually any wound. This comes back to bite him a few times:
    • In general, Manji bemuses that although he's one of the best swordsmen in Japan, his sword skills have slowly gotten worse because knowing he can't die dulls his instincts.
    • There's a special poison that works only on immortals; it doesn't directly kill them, but it basically reopens every single wound they've ever received after becoming immortal. When used on Manji, the results are especially gory, excruciating, and horrific.

Comic Books
  • Thurim in Requiem Chevalier Vampire had a Healing Factor gifted to him by Dracula. When Thurim rebelled, Dracula took advantage of Thurim's unkillability by having him drawn and quartered for eternity.
  • Superman's near invulnerability is often parodied with it also prevented him from shaving because even his beard was too tough to cut.

Film
  • This sets off the whole plot of Santo vs. la Hija de Frankestein — Frieda Frankenstein has developed an immunity to the youth serum she needs to survive.
  • Downplayed in Captain America: The First Avenger. After Steve's best friend is KIA during a mission, Steve complains that one of the downsides of the Super Soldier serum is that he can't get drunk anymore.
  • In Death Becomes Her, the two women gain immortality just before one suffers a broken neck and the other has a hole blown through her stomach. Yes, they are immortal but their bodies are falling to pieces, literally. The very end of the movie has their heads rolling down the stairs.

Literature
  • In Escape From Genopolis, the people of Genopolis have eliminated all forms of pain, including hunger and thirst. This means that, aside from people forgetting to eat and not being able to gauge when they need medical help, nobody can feel emotion anymore.
  • Chrestomanci: At birth, it was foretold that Christopher Chant's weakness would be silver, so his father cast his strongest spells against silver affecting him. Ultimately, silver causes him to be Brought Down to Normal; when Christopher isn't touching it, he's the most powerful enchanter in the worlds. (It's implied that it was a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.)

Live-Action TV
  • The Twilight Zone Classic episode "Escape Clause". A man makes a Deal with the Devil to gain immortality, which is effectively immunity to death. He murders his wife so that he can experience the electric chair, but his lawyer manages to get him life in prison. Since he can't die, he's going to be there a long time.
  • In the final episode of Alias Big Bad Arvin Sloane has gotten his hands on enough Rambaldi documents to create a vat of fluid which somehow makes him immortal - and immediately thereafter a giant stone pillar falls on him, trapping him under it forever.
  • In Heroes, Claire can't get drunk because of her regenerative ability. She uses this to her advantage once, but complains about it other times.
  • Forever Knight: If someone learns of vampires, a vampire will hypnotize them to forget. If they're one of the few people who are immune to hypnosis they'll usually be killed.

Tabletop Games
  • Followers of Nurgle in Warhammer and Warhammer 40K are generally immune to pain, due to their bodies being so much dead or festering tissue. Likewise, Slaaneshi cultists are Too Kinky to Torture, but they require ever-greater amounts of sensory input to feel anything.
    • Blanks are rare individuals who are immune to all psychic powers. This causes a number of side effects:
      • Blanks not only nullify psychic powers on themselves, but often in a small area around them. Psychics in the area can normally find people by seeking out their psychic signatures. The dead-zone created by a blank is even more of a sign that something odd is there.
      • As emotions are a form of psychic power, blanks cannot feel emotion and drain emotions from those around them. This gives them an Uncanny Valley effect.
      • Being immune to all psychic powers includes healing or support abilities as well.
      • Because blanks are so rare, once discovered, you'll be picked up by the Inquisition and trained into a commando. Depending on your viewpoint, this is either awesome or horrible.

Video Games
  • In Disgaea, Ninjas are the only class able to dodge special techniques. Unfortunately, that includes healing spells.
  • Joshua Graham from Fallout: New Vegas suffers from horrific burns as a result of being covered in burning pitch as punishment for failing Caesar. He's also Immune to Drugs, meaning that no medicine can ease his constant pain.
  • One of the reason why fighting the Bonus Boss of Persona 3 is hard and tedious. You can at most resist her attacks. If you happen to null, absorb or reflect the element she's going to use, you get a 9999 damage Megidolaon to your face instead. This is an exception however, as other times being immune will greatly help you throughout the game.
  • In Magicka, accidentally casting immunity to Life makes you unhealable.
  • In Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, there are a few cases of this:
    • Mummies do not become hungry and thus cannot eat. This also prevents them from drinking healing potions.
    • Undead characters are immune to Torment, but because it can only be cast by those who will feel its pain, they can't cast it either.
  • In The Last of Us Ellie's immunity to the fungus means that she won't become a zombie, but the Fireflies plan to use her to develop a vaccine would have resulted in her death.
  • In Dota 2, it's usually a good thing to cast Magic Immunity on yourself in the middle of battle to prevent the enemy from stunning you - but this also prevents your allies from casting healing spells on you.
  • A few skills in Elsword will deal more hits/be easier to follow up if the enemy is Immune to Flinching.

Web Comics
  • In Dominic Deegan resistance to magic is generally considered a disability, because while magic fireballs can't hurt you, white mages can't heal you when something non-magical almost kills you.

Web Original
  • Highlighted in a story from The Codeless Code, where a monk (read: programmer) is shown the error of his ways by having his sense of pain suppressed as he retrieves a coin from a fireplace.

Real Life
  • The Greek king Mithridates reportedly suffered from this. Having ingested small quantities of poison daily to acquire an immunity, his first attempt at Better to Die than Be Killed by absorbing poison failed. The second try involved stabbing himself, and worked much better.

Community Feedback Replies: 39
  • March 30, 2014
    Larkmarn
    Isn't this Blessed With Suck?
  • March 30, 2014
    zarpaulus
    • In Dominic Deegan resistance to magic is generally considered a disability, because while magic fireballs can't hurt you, white mages can't heal you when something non-magical almost kills you.
  • March 30, 2014
    DAN004
    ^^ Maybe... I wonder if this can be distinct enough to be a subtrope. If not, though, then MTD>
  • March 31, 2014
    Antigone3
    This sets off the whole plot of Santo Vs La Hija De Frankestein — Frieda Frankenstein has developed an immunity to the youth serum she needs to survive.
  • March 31, 2014
    Astaroth
  • March 31, 2014
    Chabal2
    • Followers of Nurgle in Warhammer and Warhammer 40 K are generally immune to pain, due to their bodies being so much dead or festering tissue. Likewise, Slaaneshi cultists are Too Kinky To Torture, but they require ever-greater amounts of sensory input to feel anything.
    • The Greek king Mithridates reportedly suffered from this. Having ingested small quantities of poison daily to acquire an immunity, his first attempt at Better To Die Than Be Killed by absorbing poison failed. The second try involved stabbing himself, and worked much better.
    • Thurim in Requiem Chevalier Vampire had a Healing Factor gifted to him by Dracula. When Thurim rebelled, Dracula took advantage of Thurim's unkillability by having him drawn and quartered for eternity.
  • March 31, 2014
    BOFH
    Video Games
    • In Disgaea, Ninjas are the only class able to dodge special techniques, including healing spells.
  • April 1, 2014
    TrueShadow1
    • One of the reason why fighting the Bonus Boss of Persona 3 is hard and tedious. You can at most resist her attacks. If you happen to null, absorb or reflect the element she's going to use, you get a 9999 damage Megidolaon to your face instead. This is an exception however, as other times being immune will greatly help you throughout the game.
  • April 1, 2014
    Arivne
    Live Action TV
  • April 1, 2014
    Ryusui
    • Highlighted in a story from The Codeless Code, where a monk (read: programmer) is shown the error of his ways by having his sense of pain suppressed as he retrieves a coin from a fireplace.
  • April 1, 2014
    needsanewhobby
    Who Wants To Live Forever is a significant subtrope.
  • April 13, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump...
  • April 13, 2014
    KingZeal
    In Blade Of The Immortal, the protagonist, Manji, is not only immortal but can heal from virtually any wound. This comes back to bite him a few times:
    • In general, Manji bemuses that although he's one of the best swordsmen in Japan, his sword skills have slowly gotten worse because knowing he can't die dulls his instincts.
    • There's a special poison that works only on immortals; it doesn't directly kill them, but it basically reopens every single wound they've ever received after becoming immortal. When used on Manji, the results are especially gory, excruciating, and horrific.
  • April 19, 2014
    DAN004
    pmub.

  • April 30, 2014
    Astaroth
    Would this qualify?
    • In the Legacy Of Kain series, vampires generally develop a tolerance towards sunlight as they grow older and more powerful. The Rahabim clan instead focus on becoming aquatic and developing a tolerance to water, but are even more vulnerable to sunlight than their non-aquatic kinsmen.
  • April 30, 2014
    bitemytail
    ^ I don't think so. This YKTTW is for where the immunity itself causes a problem. For example, if a vampire immune to sunlight were sentenced to be tortured in the sun until he died (again). The fact that he's immune to sunlight (normally a benefit) is now working against him.
  • April 30, 2014
    boone
    Video Games:
    • In Magicka, accidentally casting immunity to Life makes you unhealable.
  • May 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump.
  • May 13, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump.
  • May 18, 2014
    DAN004
    May I ask for hats?
  • May 18, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In the final episode of Alias Big Bad Arvin Sloane has gotten his hands on enough Rambaldi documents to create a vat of fluid which somehow makes him immortal - and immediately thereafter a giant stone pillar falls on him, trapping him under it forever.
  • May 19, 2014
    bitemytail
    • In Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, There are a few cases of this:
      • Mummies do not become hungry and thus cannot eat. This also prevents them from drinking healing potions.
      • Undead characters are immune to Torment, but because it can only be cast by those who will feel its pain, they can't cast it either.
  • May 19, 2014
    BaffleBlend
    Compare And I Must Scream, where an immunity to death is the problem.
  • May 21, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ already there in the pothole.
  • May 30, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump.
  • June 1, 2014
    JoeG
    • PS 238: Ambriel has an invisible "Guardian Angel" that protects her from all possible harm. When a supervillain temporarily disables her powers, we find that her powers protected her so thoroughly that her immune system never needed to develop. She immediately gets sick, and her powers return just in time to keep the doctors from being able to treat her, so she died. (She got better).
  • June 1, 2014
    abateman
    In Heroes, Claire can't get drunk because of her regenerative ability. She uses this to her advantage once, but complains about it other times.
  • June 1, 2014
    EnlightenedLime
    • Happens every so often in early chapters of Mahou Sensei Negima with Asuna's magic cancelling ability.
  • June 2, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ try giving me one instance.
  • June 4, 2014
    bitemytail
    Another Warhammer 40 K example:

    • Blanks are rare individuals who are immune to all psychic powers. This causes a number of side effects:
      • Blanks not only nullify psychic powers on themselves, but often in a small area around them. Psychics in the area can normally find people by seeking out their psychic signatures. The dead-zone created by a blank is even more of a sign that something odd is there.
      • As emotions are a form of psychic power, blanks cannot feel emotion and drain emotions from those around them. This gives them an Uncanny Valley effect.
      • Being immune to all psychic powers includes healing or support abilities as well.
      • Because blanks are so rare, once discovered, you'll be picked up by the Inquisition and trained into a commando. Depending on your viewpoint, this is either awesome or horrible.
  • June 4, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Forever Knight: If someone learns of vampires, a vampire will hypnotize them to forget. If they're one of the few people who are immune to hypnosis they'll usually be killed.
  • June 5, 2014
    StarSword
    Film:
  • June 5, 2014
    Statzkeen
    In Videogame/Dota2, it's usually a good thing to cast Magic Immunity on yourself in the middle of battle to prevent the enemy from stunning you - but this also prevents your allies from casting healing spells on you.
  • June 16, 2014
    DAN004
    pmub
  • July 3, 2014
    DAN004
    bump.
  • July 20, 2014
    bejjinks
    In Death Becomes Her, the two women gain immortality just before one suffers a broken neck and the other has a hole blown through her stomach. Yes, they are immortal but their bodies are falling to pieces, literally. The very end of the movie has their heads rolling down the stairs.

    A similar kind of immortality shows up in other examples.

    There was also a parody of the fact that Superman's near invulnerability also prevented him from shaving because even his beard was too tough to cut.

    In Magellan, they subverted the trope by giving their powerhouse characters a special device that would let them shave.
  • July 20, 2014
    Illemar
    Chrestomanci: At birth, it was foretold that Christopher Chant's weakness would be silver, so his father cast his strongest spells against silver affecting him. Ultimately, silver causes him to be Brought Down To Normal; when Christopher isn't touching it, he's the most powerful enchanter in the worlds. (It's implied that it was a Self Fulfilling Prophecy.)
  • July 23, 2014
    DAN004
    What would be the indices? I only know of Power At A Price.
  • July 25, 2014
    DAN004
    Final bump
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=6luctypjdosv18dvp2xwavuv&trope=ImmunityDisability