A fictional phenomenon where a younger generation, a younger sibling, or some other form of successor, proves to be more smarter, more capable, or much more powerful than the generation before them.
This can be used in several ways:
They solve difficult moral, political or philosophical problems, or stop a Regularly Scheduled Evil, that their predecessors couldn't.
Or, more simply, they make better use of resources or powers their predecessors had, even if they are no more powerful (or perhaps even less powerful).
The easiest explanation is that the new person is better talented. Another is that they're able to approach old problems with new ideas and/or a fresh perspective. Perhaps the older generation specifically raised the new generation to surpass them (or to bring hope where they'd failed). Maybe the old generation just ran out of time.
Another explanation is that advancement doesn't need to be linear. It can be geometric or exponential, and when a sufficiently powerful discovery or achievement is made, it automatically boosts what comes after. For example, every single person reading this has likely surpassed the geniuses that discovered fire and the wheel.
Do not confuse for Replacement Mooks or cases where someone or something inadequate was swapped out for something better. Making machines more powerful or capable than the last, or replacing someone or something that was a failure, makes sense. What makes this phenomenon notable is that there's a smidge of uncertainty. At least ONE person (the predecessor or successor) has to achieve their talent. If the predecessor was manufactured or cultivated, the successor needs to achieve it, or vice-versa.
Super Trope To:
Goku masters the Kamehameha in a few seconds despite the fact that it took its creator, Master Roshi, his whole life to figure it out.
Gohan (and other half-Saiyans) is greatly more powerful than either his human or Saiyan progeny.
After grueling over an entire season to achieve it, Vegeta watches his son turn into a Super Saiyan instantly.
Averted with Future Trunks. His master Gohan taught him to fight and tried to teach him to achieve Super Saiyan status, but Trunks couldn't manage it until after Gohan's death. When he still fails to defeat Gohan's killers, his mother sends him back in time to find another way.
All of the Legendary Sennin become stronger than their teacher, the Third Hokage.
Nagato surpasses (and later kills) his teacher, Jiraiya.
Minato (the Fourth Hokage) becomes stronger than Jaraiya and the Third Hokage
Itachi is later surpassed by his younger brother, Sasuke.
Zig-zagged with the title character often:
Naruto learned to use the Rasengan faster than his predecessors, but at first only in incomplete form. It took the three-year Time Skip for him to fully master it (which was about the length of time it took its creator to make it). However, after he masters it, he's able to make far, far more effective and unique variations of it. (See page picture.)
Perfected Sage Mode, when his mentor could only use an imperfect version. Later, he even learns to do it while minimizing its Necessary Drawback.
Naruto's parents, teachers, and senior pupil have all said they believe he is the one that will find a way to fix the Crapsack World of the Shinobi System.
Unlike the previous jinchuuriki of the Nine-Tails, Naruto finally manages to befriend and "tame" it.
The above examples finally become justified in Part II in several ways. It's learned that using shadow clones allows one to learn faster, and Naruto also happens to be the only one capable of making clones for as long and in as many quantities. This is because he has the Nine-Tails Chakra, but that's only because his hereditary clan are gifted with exorbitant amounts of chakra in the first place. Also, his father intentionally put a small gap in the Nine-Tails' seal to allow Naruto to slowly access and gain control of it. And finally, his very name was given to him by his predecessors to mark him as the Chosen One.
In Fairy Tail, it's constantly said that the younger guild generations are continuing to improve and surpass the old ones. In particular, Erza remarks that Natsu has equaled or even surpassed her.
The entire point to mutants in X-Men is that they're an evolutionary adaption. So naturally, mutants are stronger than their Muggle parents. Usually. But even so, quite a few mutants are more powerful than their superpowered parents:
The Scarlet Witch is vastly more powerful than Magneto.
Proteus is far more powerful than Professor Xavier.
Evilutionary Biologists specifically target the Summers family for this reason. Cable and X-Man are powerhouses compared to their parents Cyclops and Jean Grey/Madelyne Pryor [[note]]when she's not Phoenix-possessed--but even then, X-Man has been said to rival her in power[[/note]]
Vulcan, the youngest Summers brother, is far more powerful than either of his brothers.
Hope Summers, trained and raised by Cable, is one of the strongest mutants to ever live.
It's feared that this could happen in The Sword of Truth. Richard Rahl, the successor to a powerful line of mages, who also happens to be a War Wizard (capable of using both the "good" and "bad" sides of magic naturally), and the wielder of the Sword of Truth marries the Mother Confessor, who have the power of Compelling Voice. A child with these traits (although War Wizardry usually isn't heriditary) would be bad enough, but it's also stated that male Confessors alwaysabuse their powers without fail.
Like his mythical counterpart, Zeus is afraid of fathering a child more powerful than himself, since he overthrew his father Chronos, and Chronos overthrew his father Uranus. This was why he tried to kill Kratos, and thus it becomes a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
Kratos himself takes the place of his master, Ares, as the new war god, and proves less controllable and more dangerous than Ares ever was.
Metal Gear: Big Boss gets his name by defeating his mentor, The Boss.
Commander Shepard succeeds where his mentor and superior officer, Captain/Admiral Anderson failed, becoming the first human Spectre.
Anderson: My chance came and went. It's your time now.
Tali'Zorah can potentially take her father's place on the Admiralty Board and succeed where he failed: by taking back Rannoch, the quarian homeworld.
Krogan in general are all about this.
Aria T'Loak took Omega from her predecessor and transformed it from a generic Wretched Hive into the de-facto capital of the Terminus Systems.
Zig-zagged with the current cycle and their Precursors. In many ways, the current galactic civilization is highly less-advanced. In others, however, they have major advantages. This generation (thanks largely to Shepard) is the one that finally completes the Crucible.
Five hats means that five tropers think it is ready to publish.
You are saying that you think this draft is ready to be published. That means the description is not ambiguous,
it doesn't duplicate an existing trope, there are at least three examples, and the title makes sense.
Is that what you meant to do?
You are saying this draft has a ready-to-publish hat it does not deserve and you are taking it back.