RemovedAchillesHeel Removed Achilles Heel YKTTW Discussion

Removed Achilles Heel
a character missing a weakness or limitation that should have
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(permanent link) added: 2013-04-06 16:12:14 sponsor: CosmeF (last reply: 2013-04-27 21:17:34)

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A common trait of monsters is the Weaksauce Weakness that allows humans to face them. After all, if monsters are so powerful and scary how come that they haven't already took over us? Thus, fairies are repelled by iron, demons run away in fear before a drop of Holy water, vampires can't stand sunlight, werewolves only roam when there's a full moon, and so on. Not only monsters have this problem, very often characters that are too powerful are bound to have a restriction that, if they're villains, gives the Hero a chance against them and, if they're heroes, prevents them from being too boring to watch.

It follows that a villain with a weakness that both the Heroes and audience is familiar with, will instantly become a bigger threat if said character gets it removed. Feel sorry for its enemies if their main strategy is Attack Its Weak Point.

The weakness doesn't necessarily have to be a Kryptonite Factor, it could be a well known flaw that the heroes always exploit, like a detective that can always be sure that the criminal will left clues behind or that serial killers always follow a pattern that he can deduce to find them.

A character can achieve this through focused (and generally painful) training, get this status as a side effect of increasing their powers, thanks to magical or scientific experiments, by being Badass or just gifted. To remove a Kryptonite Factor, a recurrent method is exposing to small doses of it, in a similar fashion to characters with Acquired Poison Immunity.

Just to be clear, this trope doesn't cover cases when the author changes the character into not having a weak point it used to have, it only counts when it happens in-universe.

Compare with Fight Off the Kryptonite, when the character doesn't lose his weakness but tries to fight it through sheer will force, and Kryptonite-Proof Suit, where the character takes measures to avoid it. Similar to No Sell, but instead of ignoring other characters' powers, in this case what's ignored are the natural weaknesses.

Previous and Possible titles: Sunbathing Vampire, Acquired Weaksause Immunity, Applied Weaksauce Immunity, Standard Weaksause Immunity, Immune to Kryptonite, Doing in the Kryptonite


  • A commercial for Nutrigrain breakfast bars had a family of vampires. One of the vampires stated "Ve vere not morning people" until they discovered Nutrigrain bars--and showed them sitting at the table in sunlight having them for breakfast.

Anime And Manga
  • The Angels from Neon Genesis Evangelion had a Core that, if destroyed, would meant the Angel's destruction as well. But the eleventh Angel had a body made of nanoentities, meaning that it didn't have a core, at least not that the heroes could detect and destroy as usual, but it also had an Adaptive Ability that allowed it to learn and become immune to anything that they used against it.
  • Saiyans from DragonBall suffer an agonizing pain when their tails are squeezed. Goku used this against Raditz and Piccolo tried to do the same against Nappa, just to learn that he and Vegeta were inmune to this, the only apparent reason for that is that they were just too badass.
  • From Jojos Bizarre Adventure we have some examples:
    • First one, Cars, the Big Bad from Part 2, a vampire that became immune to both sunlight and the Ripple, the only two things that could kill them.
    • Second one, a villain from Part 4, the Big Bad Kira, was the first character with a stand that could operate regardless of distance, while the normal rule is that if there's a stand, its user is nearby. However, his stand had another limitations: it couldn't be controlled at will and Kira couldn't know what was it doing or seeing. He wasn't the last one.
    • And third, in both Part 4 and 5 there was a character whose stand would activate after the user's death, and since the only surefire way to destroy a stand was killing the user, they were impossible to destroy.
  • Walpurgisnatch from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the only witch that could exist outside a barrier and therefore wreak havoc on the real world.
  • An episode of Pokémon featured a trainer that made one of her Steel Pokemons fight exclusively against Fire Pokemons until it overcame its weakness against Fire.
  • Yuugen Kaisha presents a literal example with Bosco, who did this by repeatedly exposing himself to highpowered UV lamps to gradually build immunity to sunlight, as part of his attempt to give up being a vampire, because he'd fallen in love with Makiko.

Comic Books
  • Kingdom Come: It is revealed early on that because of all the yellow solar rays Superman has absorbed at that point, he gained an eventual immunity to all forms of Kryptonite, making him effectively invincible to everything but magic.

  • Becoming this is Deacon Frost's goal in Blade. Until he completes the dark ritual, he and his followers have to use a thick covering of sun lotion to survive in sunlight.
  • It happens in I, Robot , where everyone is pretty sure that robots would never attack a human due to their programming.
  • In during the climax of Underworld: Evolution, Selene gains immunity to UV radiation (and thus sunlight) by drinking Alexander Corvinus' blood and becoming a vampire-Immortal hybrid. As previously shown, even the most powerful vampires suffer lethal burns when exposed to sunlight.
  • Dracula in Van Helsing displays none of the weaknesses commonly associated with vampires; Anna mentions multiple weapons that have failed to destroy him in the past, he survives being staked through the heart onscreen, and uses a Cross-Melting Aura to destroy the silver crucifix Van Helsing threatens him with. Carl eventually figures out that the only thing capable of killing him is a werewolf.

  • The Yeerks' from Animorphs need to leave their hosts once very three days to absorb Kandrona rays with their real bodies, otherwise they die of starvation. In their planet, the Kandrona rays are generated by their sun, on Earth they have a secret base with an artificial generator.
    • A renegade Yeerk that couldn't afford to go back to the base found a way to survive anyway killing and eating a fellow Yeerk every three days.
    • In another book the Yeerks found a substitute for Kandrona that they could absorb without leaving the host's body, unfortunately it was highly addictive, hindered their ability to control the host, and could potentially drive them mad, replacing their original weakness with something worse.
  • Artemis Fowl: Demons, as a species, are no longer able to use magic after they reach their adult stage, called warping (warlocks are extremely rare, but don't warp). So when the Big Bad starts using magic despite being, in his own words, "such a magnificently warped creature"... it turns out there's an unconscious warlock's spirit inhabiting his body.
  • The Terry Pratchett book Carpe Jugulum has a family of vampires whose father has trained them all to be immune to sunlight and to not react to holy symbols or garlic, as one is just a collection of lines and curves and the other is merely a member of the Allium family. This bites back hard at the end of the book, though, when the family can't stop seeing holy symbols everywhere. After all, they're just straight lines and curves...
  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Voldemort uses Harry's blood in a ritual to restore him to power, which also allows him to bypass the Power of Love protection bestowed on Harry by his mother's sacrifice.
  • Hercule Poirot once faced a killer that he couldn't gather evidence against because he didn't murder anyone, he subtly manipulated people with seemingly innocent remarks to hit their emotional buttons and push them into murdering. Poirot realized it but still was unable to bring the villain to justice, since none of his actions could be seem as a crime so he broke his moral code and killed the guy, lamenting how that, at the end, the villain even managed to make Poirot himself a murderer.
  • Saruman from The Lord of the Rings created a new breed of Orcs after his Face-Heel Turn, the Uruk Hai, that weren't weakened by sunlight unlike ordinary Orcs. They were also stronger and overall superior.
  • Twilight vampires feel a strong, almost uncontrollable urge for blood, the only exception being Bella after her Vampification in Breaking Dawn.
  • The clasic example in literature is Lestadt in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles series. Knowing the oldest and most powerful vampires can withstand full sunlight, he chooses to accelerate the process, despite only being two hundred years old, by facing down the sun at noon. In a desert. Although the experience nearly kills him, his body eventually regenerates into the appearance of a man with a deep, permanent, suntan.

Live Action TV
  • Given the amount of vampires in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, there's bound to be examples of vampires immune to their traditional weaknesses
    • One involved removing the vampire's heart surgically (which will kill him eventually, but renders him immune to vampire weaknesses until then).
    • Another example was when the Fang Gang goes to Pylea, Angel discovers that the dimension's sun doesn't harm him, allowing him to operate during the daytime.
    • Dracula went to Gypsies sometime in the 1800 and traded vampire secrets for protection from a few Vampire weaknesses. Such as now he cannot be killed by a stake through the heart.
  • For many seasons it was established on Supernatural that the special knives they had could kill any demon. Excepting any Satanic Kings Of Hell. However, a lady demon in season 8 just laughs off the knife wounds. (It was speculated that it was because the demon was really old, but it was never really addressed.)
  • True Blood: Sookie's blood, because of her fairy ancestry, has the power to give vampires this ability.

Video Games
  • One of the characters in Neverwinter Nights is secretly a werewolf, masquerading as a merchant and selling silver artefacts and wolfsbane herb to werewolf hunters. Not only does this keep suspicion away from him, but he also claims that exposing himself to his weaknesses in this way has allowed him to build up a tolerance to them.
  • Legacy of Kain:
    • Moebius has a sceptre that is enchanted to weaken any vampires he uses it against. Raziel is completely unaffected by the sceptre due to him being 'remade', and while Kain is initially affected by the sceptre, he discovers that he's become immune to its effects when Moebius tries to use it against him towards the end of Defiance (as a side-effect of Raziel ripping Kain's heart from his chest during a previous encounter).
    • And in Soul Reaver, the Rahabim Vampires have evolved into amphibians, overcoming their vampiric weakness to water in the process. By killing their leader Rahab and absorbing his soul, Raziel also overcomes this weakness.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's Dawnguard expansion pack, the vampire Lord Harkon intends to create a permanent eclipse to black out the sun, allowing his clan to hunt freely without being hindered by their weakness to sunlight.

Western Animation
  • The Blood Bending ability from Avatar: The Last Airbender allows Water Benders to control living beings using the water inside them, but it's only possible on a night with a Full Moon, when Water Bending is boosted. In the sequel, The Legend of Korra , a famous criminal surprised everyone performing Blood Bending without a Full Moon thanks to his unique genetics. His sons had the same ability.
  • Demona from Gargoyles gained the ability to turn into human during day, instead of turning into stone like her brothers. While she hates humans and therefore hates her daytime form, she became more dangerous by having daytime to do as she pleases while normal gargoyles sleep.
  • In Megamind , the eponymous character creates a new superhero using Metroman's genes. This new "hero", Titan, has the same powers as Metroman. That's why Megamind is shocked to learn that, unlike Metro Man, he's immune to copper. In this case, it hints at the fact that Metroman was never weak against copper to begin with, he merely faked it.
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