Created By: Maniago on August 26, 2017 Last Edited By: Maniago on January 23, 2018
Troped

Immunity Attrition

A character that can No Sell another character's powers eventually still succumb to it due to prolonged exposure.

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trope
Some characters can shrug off whatever their opponent throws at them. Except that doesn't stop their opponent from continuing to try. And wouldn't you know? The more the opponent keeps lashing out, the less effective the character's defense against it becomes, until eventually they go down as easily as anyone else. Looks like their immunity only lasted in the short run, but prolonged exposure still rendered them vulnerable.

Supertrope to Dented Iron, where the damage a Made of Iron character takes starts to take its toll over the years.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Pokémon: Episode Fire and Ice, during the battle between Ash's Kingler and Pete's Cloyster, Cloyster closes his shell, rendering Kingler's punches ineffective. Ash however orders Kingler to keep hitting Cloyster, and sure enough, after enough hits, it becomes too much for Cloyster and his shell cracks open.
  • My Hero Academia: When the League of Villains storms the school, they unleash Noumu, a creature designed to counter All Might by being heavily attack absorbent. However, All Might deduces that Noumu being absorbent doesn't mean completely nullifying, and hammers blow after blow into him faster and more than Noumu can contain.
  • Sonic X: In episode 73, Shadow storms through the heroes' spaceship to pursue Cosmo, handily disposing of any of their attempts to stop him. After a tense fight with Knuckles however, he stands the winner....only to faint in turn, finally succumbing to exhaustion. It's revealed he even had to take off his energy rings to finish Knuckles before he gets back up and continues unfettered. Interestingly the English edit omits this scene entirely, making Shadow seem genuinely unstoppable.
  • Saint Seiya: in Poseidon Saga, the first Mariner Seiya has to fight is Hippocampus Baian, who's a Barrier Warrior that can deflects Seiya's attacks creating barriers with the air. Very confident of his powers, he can't believe that after many intents, his barriers are finally broken by Seiya, being soon defeated just as Seiya did in the past with Silver Saint Misty, who had a similar fighting style and was defeated by the same way Baian did.

Comics
  • DC Comics:
    • Kryptonite is highly lethal to Kryptonians, but has no immediate effect on humans. Thus, they can easily handle it without consequences. However, prolonged exposure to Kryptonite will eventually cause agressive forms of cancer in humans. Lex Luthor discovered this the hard way after years of wearing a kryptonite ring as a protection against Superman.
    • Final Crisis: In The Flash tie-in "Rogues Revenge", after declining Libra's offer to join his army, he created his own version of the Rogues, who eventually battle the original ones without success. The most notable case in which this trope applies is Heat Wave against Burn, Libra's counterpart, which is also a pyromaniac, just like him. When the two fire their weapons at each other, Heat Wave barely sweats and notices to Burn his weapon isn't powerful enough and his suit also of poor quality. It ends with Burn burning to the death.

Literature
  • The Tommyknockers: due to a metal plate in his skull, Jim Gardener is initially unaffected by the alien spaceship, while everyone else around him slowly starts to "become" (mutate into aliens). It also prevents his mind from being read when everyone else gains telepathic powers. But after several weeks of working day in, day out to dig up the ship, and thus being extremely close to the source, Gardener too starts to display the symptoms of "becoming" (like losing his teeth) and realizes it's getting more and more difficult for him to keep the telepaths out of his mind.
  • Played for horror on the Stephen King short story "Night Surf": the teenager pack that is the protagonist of the story survived the rampage of a super-virus called "Captain Trips" and, in the face of the fact that the super-flu has a 100% infection and casualty rate, they only assume that they did so because they were immune. The final couple of paragraphs of the story has them discovering that "Captain Trips" has evolved and their immunity, if they ever really had one, is completely useless.

Live-Action TV
  • Jessica Jones Plays with this trope. Since Jessica grew immune to his mind control powers, Kilgrave eventually tries to invoke this trope by giving himself a power boost in hopes that this will cancel out Jessica's immunity. Unfortunately for him, it fails. Jessica is still immune.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: In the episode "Bliss" a telepathic nebula tries to lure the ship into itself so it can eat it. Seven of Nine believes herself to be immune to it because she is a former Borg drone with many cybernetic implants. However, she was only immune to the initial attack because she didn't have the desire to return to Earth that the rest of the crew shared. Once the nebula tried to fool her into thinking something had happened that she did want, i.e. that she had succeeded in escaping it, it turns out that she was as vulnerable as anyone else.
  • In Legends of Tomorrow, Nate Heywood/Steel is a Chrome Champion who is Immune to Bullets, but even he has limits. In the episode "Freakshow", he is tied up and repeatedly shot at, which appears to strain him and by the end he's begging for it to be over.

Video Games
  • Batman: Arkham Knight: The Scarecrow has developed a partial immunity to his own fear toxin. Keyword "partial" as he can take one dose with no effects, a much larger dosage will cause him to hallucinate his worst fear (a demonic version of Batman) just like everyone else.
  • In Pokémon, if attacking a Pokemon with an attack of the same type, it will result in less damage given. However if the attacking Pokemon is strong enough and hits them with enough attacks, it can still wear the defending Pokeon down and may even KO them.
  • Star Trek Online: Borg drones will adapt to incoming energy weapons fire after a few hits, but this only reduces incoming damage from that energy type. Even if you don't refrequence your weapons with a cheaply replicateable item, you can still Cherry Tap the drone to death.

Web Original
  • Codified by StarDestroyer.net. It is always regarded as possible to simply wear down an enemy with sustained fire; to say otherwise is called the "no limits fallacy".

Western Animation
  • Justice League: Thanagarians are immune to J'onn's power. Until the situation is critical enough for him to try harder.

Toys
  • BIONICLE: The Pit Mutagen is powerful substance that can mutate any being exposed to it, however organic creatures are affected by it so slowly that the effects are unnoticeable, while Brutaka's species have a slight resistance to the point of changing physical appearances slowly.

Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • December 24, 2017
    Prime32
    For many years in DC Comics, Lex Luthor wore a Kryptonite ring at all times as a defence against Superman. Then Luthor discovered that prolonged exposure to Kryptonite results in it having the same effects on humans as it has on Kryptonians, and that his ring had given him cancer.
  • December 24, 2017
    Theharbo
    Death By A Thousand Cuts is definitely related in some way. Also likely to be the fate of anyone going up against a Gradual Grinder - you can tough out their attacks to start with, but they just keep on coming
  • December 24, 2017
    Bisected8
    Supertrope to Dented Iron, for when the damage a Made Of Iron character takes starts to take its toll over the years.
  • December 24, 2017
    Tuckerscreator
    My Hero Academia: When the League of Villains storms the school, they unleash Noumu, a creature designed to counter All Might by being heavily attack absorbent. However, All Might deduces that Noumu being absorbent doesn't mean completely nullifying, and hammers blow after blow into him faster and more than Noumu can contain.
  • December 24, 2017
    intastiel
    The description's sound, but the title seems to sound more like a situation where the immunity is bypassed or overcome in one go (as in the Scissors Cuts Rock trope). Maybe something like "Immunity Attrition"?
  • December 25, 2017
    Arivne
    • Corrected spelling (characters -> character's, untill, Ash', becomming, Jesscia's).
    • Corrected punctuation (deleted unnecessary commas).
    • Examples section
      • Changed media section titles to All Caps.
  • December 25, 2017
    Daefaroth
    The Jessica Jones example seems like a shoehorn. He isn't trying to overwhelm her defenses with constant attacks, He is trying to power level, which would be different.
  • December 25, 2017
    NateTheGreat
    In the Star Trek Voyager episode "Bliss" a telepathic nebula tries to lure the ship into itself so it can eat it. Seven of Nine believes herself to be immune to it because she is a former Borg drone with many cybernetic implants. However, she was only immune to the initial attack because she didn't have the desire to return to Earth that the rest of the crew shared. Once the nebula tried to fool her into thinking something had happened that she did want, i.e. that she had succeeded in escaping it, it turns out that she was as vulnerable as anyone else.
  • December 31, 2017
    marcoasalazarm
    Played for horror on the Stephen King short story "Night Surf": the teenager pack that is the protagonist of the story survived the rampage of a super-virus called "Captain Trips" and, in the face of the fact that the super-flu has a 100% infection and casualty rate, they an only assume that they did so because they were immune. The final couple of paragraphs of the story has them discovering that "Captain Trips" has evolved and their immunity, if they ever really had one, is completely useless.
  • December 31, 2017
    Psi001
    In episode 73 of Sonic X, Shadow storms through the heroes' spaceship to pursue Cosmo, handily disposing of any of their attempts to stop him. After a tense fight with Knuckles however, he stands the winner....only to faint in turn, finally succumbing to exhaustion. It's revealed he even had to take off his energy rings to finish Knuckles before he gets back up and continues unfettered. Interestingly the English edit omits this scene entirely, making Shadow seem genuinely unstoppable.
  • December 31, 2017
    Kaiseror
    ''Batman Arkham Knight: The Scarecrow has developed a partial immunity to his own fear toxin. Keyword "partial" as he can take one dose with no effects, a much larger dosage will cause him to hallucinate his worst fear (a demonic version of Batman) just like everyone else.
  • January 1, 2018
    Nickhasawesomeproblems
    "No Bargain" could be a snappier name.
  • January 1, 2018
    KZN02
    BIONICLE: The Pit Mutagen is powerful substance that can mutate any being exposed to it, however organic creatures are affected by it so slowly that the effects are unnoticeable, while Brutaka's species have a slight resistance to the point of changing physical appearances slowly.
  • January 1, 2018
    bulmabriefs144
    Improve the description, then I say 5 hats.
  • January 1, 2018
    Snowy66
    • In Pokemon, if attacking a Pokémon with an attack of the same type, it will result in less damage given. However if the attacking Pokémon is strong enough and hits them with enough attacks, it can still wear the defending Pokémon down and may even KO them.
  • January 2, 2018
    StarSword
    Video Games:
    • In Star Trek Online, Borg drones will adapt to incoming energy weapons fire after a few hits, but this only reduces incoming damage from that energy type. Even if you don't refrequence your weapons with a cheaply replicateable item, you can still Cherry Tap the drone to death.

    Web Original:
    • Codified by Star Destroyer Dot Net. It is always regarded as possible to simply wear down an enemy with sustained fire; to say otherwise is called the "no limits fallacy".
  • January 2, 2018
    Zuxtron
    • In My Hero Academia, All Might fights against Nomu, a genetically-modified monster whose Quirk, Shock Absorption, allows it to endure his Super Strength-fueled attacks. But although the ability absorbs powerful hits, it doesn't completely nullify them, so All Might overwhelms this ability by using Rapid Fire Fisticuffs to push it beyond its absorption limit.
  • January 2, 2018
    Astaroth
    Is this an example?

    • In the lore of Dungeons And Dragons, Hellfire is able to hurt creatures such as Fire Elementals and Red Dragons that are usually immune to fire damage, because it burns with a heat and intensity unlike any fire normally found on the Prime Material Plane.
  • January 3, 2018
    Basara-kun
    Comic Books:
    • Final Crisis: In The Flash tie-in "Rogues Revenge", after declining Libra's offer to join his army, he created his own version of the Rogues, who eventually battling the original ones without success. The most notable case in which this trope applies is Heat Wave against Burn, Libra's counterpart, which is also a pyromaniac as him. When the 2 shoot their weapons against each other, Heat Wave barely sweats and notices to Burn his weapon isn't enough powerful and his suit also made with bad quality, and in the case of Burn, he got burn to the death.

    Anime and Manga:
    • Saint Seiya: in Poseidon Saga, the first Mariner Seiya has to fight is Hippocampus Baian, who's a Barrier Warrior that can deflects Seiya's attacks creating barriers with the air. Very confident of his powers, he can't believe that after many intents, his barriers are finally broken by Seiya, being soon defeated just as Seiya did in the past with Silver Saint Misty, who had a similar fighting style and was defeated by the same way Baian did.
  • January 3, 2018
    Omeganian
    In Justice League, Thanagarians are immune to J'onn's power. Until the situation is critical enough for him to try harder.
  • January 4, 2018
    FRizer
    I thought this is about a character who loses their immunity because of an exploited weakness... I have examples for that too.
  • January 5, 2018
    Snowy66
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=egekeecozc9r48ujcbfrn8pc