Magic with the ability to remove the effects of other magic. A form of Anti-Magic (and Sub-Trope to it), this applies to any ability that is used to reverse the effects of another spell that has already worked. If someone has been changed into a frog, a magic spell to change the frog back into a person (presumably the same person) is an example of Dispel Magic. Contrast Counter Spell, which is a spell that interrupts another spell and prevents it from working in the first place, and No Ontological Inertia, where magic fades naturally upon the death of the one who cast it. Anti-Magic can prevent magic from happening at all as a passive defence, while Dispel can only remove magic that has already taken hold. Super Trope to Status-Buff Dispel: anything that dispells a Status Buff specifically goes there.
Anime & Manga
- Near the end of Fullmetal Alchemist, Father activates the giant transmutation circle he's spent centuries constructing to transmute the souls of everyone in Amestris into a Philosopher's Stone that will allow him to consume God and achieve absolute power. However, Hohenheim turns out to have prepared a countermeasure at the absolute last minute: a second transmutation circle which deconstructs Father's Philosopher's Stone and restores the souls of the people of Amestris, destabilizing his apotheosis to the point where he can be defeated.
- The Eclipse Drivers in Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force are capable of instantly dispelling magic of any kind almost at whim, which makes them extremely dangerous to the magic-dependent society at large and to the magic-using main characters in particular.
- In the Archie Comics:
- The Rich Bitch Alexandra Cabot from Josie And The Pussy Cats series can cast witchcraft spells, but these are fragile spells whose effects are ended by as little as Melody Valentine snapping her fingers, which Melody is wont to do.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch has cast a few of her spells so weakly, they were negated by three claps.
- In The Wheel of Time, the Magic by Any Other Name is performed by weaving "threads" of the Elemental Powers. The normal way to cancel someone else's weave is to cut it, but a stealthier option is to unweave it. This is very much a Dangerous Forbidden Technique, since if you screw it up, the threads will resettle into a random pattern (such as a thermonuclear explosion.)
- Xanth's Magician Grey Murphy can cancel out any magic, but only one target at a time (and can actually make magic stronger by leaning hard on his null effect, then removing it).
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- In addition to its use as a Status-Buff Dispel, the dispel magic family of spells (also includes greater dispelling and Mordenkainen's disjunction) are capable of breaking spells. Mordenkainen's disjunction can also destroy magic items.
- In 3.X Edition curse spells such as bestow curse and mark of justice are treated differently from other enchantments and can only be broken by the use of specific spells.
- Forgotten Realms spell "Spellstrike". It removes effects of a single spell cast immediately before (in the previous round). The same sourcebooks has "Unburn", though it reverts ashes made by normal fires as well as magical.
- Magic: The Gathering: "Disenchanting" (destroying enchantments and artifacts) is a standard effect seen often on green and white spells. Just about every expansion has a Naturalize and Demystify variant.
- Explicitly impossible in Wicked, which causes problems when Elphaba starts fiddling with magic at the behest of the Wizard. She gives wings to the monkeys, tries to take it back, and is informed that a spell cannot be broken once cast.
- Most Final Fantasy games have had a White Magic spell called Dispel, that removed the target's buffs and occasionally had the additional effect of removing certain Standard Status Effects such as Slow.
- In the Dragon Age series, Dispel Magic (or simply Dispel) is a common mage spell from the Spirit school that removes all dispellable magical effects (hostile and helpful) from a single target. Additionally, the Templar specialization for warriors typically has an ability that dispels all hostile magic around them (known alternatingly as Cleanse Area, Cleanse, or Spell Purge).
- In The Elder Scrolls, specifically Morrowind and Oblivion, spells and enchanted weapons could have a Dispel effect which would immediately end all magical effects on the target.
- In The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, you can remove a curse from a floor with a Rune of Dagaz or a Black Candle.
- The Fairly OddParents uses Timmy's wish to turn back everything that happens in the episode into normal as an In-Universe Reset Button. Sometimes, however, it doesn't work, and they have to find a solution other than his "undo" wish.
- The Simpsons had an episode where Bart was eaten by piranhas. Lisa pressed the rewind button. Bart was uneaten, the Piranhas swam backwards around him vomiting flesh onto his bones.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.