Created By: Justice4243 on April 17, 2010
Troped

Explaining Your Power to the Enemy

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
(Did a search and didn't see a trope that covered this, let me know if we have one. Needs more examples and possibly snappier name)

Villains like to gloat, no surprises there. However, this gloating does not always end at explain one's entire plan to the hero. Occasionally, a villain, or hero even, generally one with magical powers, a special ability, or a special item will explain their power to the protagonist. Even though leaving this ability a mystery would be a huge advantage, the villain is so sure of themselves (or REALLY just not thinking ahead) that they will give up some information, or explain their power in great detail before using it on the hero.

Of course, this gives the hero the information and some extra time to deal with the situation. This is often something of a subtrope of Viewers Are Morons and very commonly found in shonen titles, though it is not uncommon for the character to explain their powers even if it has already been stated or shown how they work. Also a subtrope of Inaction Sequence, with the extra bonus that the villain is making a glaring mistake. Additionally, a close cousin to Luckily, My Powers Will Protect Me, but the person explaining their powers is doing it to the absolute LAST person they should be.

See also Evil Gloating and Trash Talk.

Examples

  • In Darker Than Black, Hei encounters a contractor while on a mission. Said contractor uses his own blood as a medium to destroy his opponents. Despite this contractor having every reason to suspect that Hei is a also a very dangerous contractor, the contractor quickly explains how his powers work before getting into a fight.

  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pegasus explains the abilities of his Millennium Eye to Yugi, including the ability to read minds. This gives Yugi the chance to come up with a counter stratagem. (I'm going from a randomly caught part of an episode here, someone correct me if this is wrong).

Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • April 16, 2010
    TBTabby
    In Berserk, Guts is fighting a regenerating demon whose wounds heal as fast as they're inflicted. The demon taunts him by saying that it can regenerate endlessly as long as its head is intact. Guts chops the demon's head in half and thanks it for telling him.
  • April 16, 2010
    Duckling
    Bleach. Just Bleach.
  • April 17, 2010
    Echidnite
    Oh my god this trope should be called 'Bleach.' Heroes do it to villains, too. Especially annoying when Hirako Shinji, whose powers rely confusing the hell out of his opponent by reversing their senses and movements (left=right, up=down, and all that), explains exactly how he does so, allowing the villain to easily figure out how to reverse his thinking.
  • April 17, 2010
    Earnest
    See also Evil Gloating and Trash Talk.

    It doesn't need to be just special abilities, a villain may well outline their entire strategy to showcase how it's perfect and unbeatable, while forgetting the hero has a knack for on the spot Flaw Exploitation.
  • April 17, 2010
    IlGreven
    Inaction Sequence covers this, I think...
  • April 17, 2010
    silver2195
    Our Bleach character sheet suggests that Shinji was actually tricking Aizen by only partly explaining his abilities.

    Naruto has some of this as well (such as Sakon and Ukon explaining their powers to Kiba) as well as some subversions (like Kakashi lying to Zabuza about how the Sharingan works).
  • April 17, 2010
    silver2195
    And this is not the same as Inaction Sequence. Inaction Sequence is about the characters standing there and talking and posing during a fight, not about what they say.

    How Did We Miss This One?
  • April 17, 2010
    moocow1452
    We didn't, Luckily My Powers Will Protect Me. At least, it seems pretty lumpable to me.
  • April 17, 2010
    silver2195
    Luckily My Powers Will Protect Me is about the characters speaking to "nobody in particular", not to the enemy.
  • April 17, 2010
    randomsurfer
    Angel series finale:
    Hamilton: Let me say this as clearly as I can. You cannot beat me. I am a part of them. The Wolf, Ram, and Hart. Their strength flows through my veins. My blood is filled with their ancient power.
    Angel: Can you pick out the one word there you probably shouldn't have said? he vamps out and bites Hamilton, draining his blood Wow. You really are full of it!
  • April 17, 2010
    Justice4243
    I've reference some of the other tropes mentioned in the replies, though it sounds like this trope covers some ground not mentioned in other tropes.

    Examples: Gohan has proven that Cell is no match for him in Dragon Ball Z. After a bit of a beat down, Cell decides it is best to cut his losses and self destruct himself and take the planet with him. The process takes about 60 seconds, in which time Cell explains exactly what he is doing and helpfully adds that attacking him will make him explode faster. This gives Goku enough time to figure out what to do with Cell and even say a few goodbyes before teleporting Cell and himself off planet.

    Gutierrez, from Freakazoid!, tries three items (kryptonite, the color yellow, and water on the hero hoping each will be Freakazoid's weakness. None of them work, and when Gutierrez gets impatient and asks Freakazoid what his weakness is, Freakazoid tells him (graphite bars charged with negative ions). Freakazoid also helps build the cage that eventually contains him.

  • April 17, 2010
    Justice4243
    Regarding the Bleach example, if it was a trick that might be something of a subversion of the trope.
  • April 17, 2010
    vexle
    Yu Yu Hakusho. In the anime, Yusuke is forced to fight someone in complete darkness. His opponent has a helmet-type device that allows him to perceive and alter the flow of energy around and inside him, letting him A) see in the dark (which Yusuke has no way of doing) and B) strengthening parts of his body temporarily. He explains all of this during the fight. The viewer is left screaming at the television for the opponent to just beat the shit out of Yusuke, which he can do with impunity thanks to the Night Vision Helmet.
  • April 18, 2010
    DorianMode
    From time to time in the DCAU we'll get some of this, to bring us up to speed on a character who is introduced without showing their origin. More and more as it went on, culminating in Justice League Unlimited.

    Also, to complete the "Big Three," One Piece characters will either have this, a sideline character, or a handy-dandy side panel to explain new Devil's Fruit abilities.
  • April 18, 2010
    silver2195
  • April 18, 2010
    silver2195
  • April 18, 2010
    Five_X
    Near the end of Macbeth, the titular character explains to his enemy, Macduff, that "no man of woman born can harm him". Macduff was born of a C-section.
  • April 19, 2010
    silver2195
    I'll launch this myself in a day or so if no one objects.
  • April 19, 2010
    Justice4243
    If people say it's ready, I'll take care of it now.

    Thank you everyone.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=by6zgbly4oyncs0z0fki3aqj