Created By: PsychoFreaX on May 3, 2013 Last Edited By: PsychoFreaX on May 4, 2013

Invulnerability Loophole

Immune to direct injury does not mean immune to defeat

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Trope
Often villains with Nigh-Invulnerability will be subjected to the overconfidence that there's no way the heroes can beat them. This could be due to superman-like invincibility but more often it's regeneration From a Single Cell.

So being immune to straightforward physical harm means you're utterly invincible right? Wrong! Due to their arrogance, these villains will often overlook more indirect approaches to defeat them. These include:
  • Biological failure such as poison.
  • Magic may be able to turn them into something useless if not erase them entirely.
  • Being trapped somewhere forever.

Might need a better laconic.


Examples:
  • In YuYu Hakusho when the Elder Toguro developed his regeneration, to being able to do so From a Single Cell, he's convinced he's invincible. Kurama defeated him by latching him to a tree that feeds off him while locking him in an illusion for eternity.
  • In Code Geass, when Charles had obtained immortality. The protagonist Lelouch defeated him by using his mind control powers on God to erase him from existence.
  • In Dragon Ball Z Garlic Junior wished for immortality, only to be chucked into his own dimensional prison a moment later.
  • In Ultimate X-men Sabretooth tries to overcome Wolverine's regeneration by drowning him. He is stopped, but presumably it would have worked.
  • One character in Rising Stars is immune to all injury (and has no sense of touch as a result). He is killed by slipping a plastic bag over his head while he sleeps.
  • Thurim from Requiem Chevalier Vampire was gifted with a Healing Factor by Dracula. However, when he rebelled, Dracula punished him by having him drawn and quartered for eternity.
  • Yami defeats Marik's invulnerable combo (keeping his god card protected by a regenerating slime monster that keeps coming back to life and lets him draw a card, which in turn increases the god's attack) in the Battle City arc of Yu-Gi-Oh! this way, by . Yami mind-controls the slime, which then resurrects on his side, forcing Marik to keep drawing until he runs out of cards.
  • Warcraft III has two minor cases: the paladin's divine shield makes him completely invulnerable, but this means the enemy is attacking the squishier units around him, leading to defeat if not used carefully. Similarly, the Shadow Hunter's ultimate spell makes every unit around him invulnerable but him, making him the only target for the enemy.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, defeating a player who has Platinum Angel or a similar "I can't lose/be destroyed" effect is all about finding and exploiting this trope.
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • May 3, 2013
    Mozgwsloiku
    Often results in Immortality Hurts. Can lead to And I Must Scream if the enemy proves creative enough
  • May 3, 2013
    Mozgwsloiku
    • In Dragonball Z Garlic Junior wished for immortality, only to be chucked into his own dimensional prison a moment later.
    • In Ultimate X-men Sabretooth tries to overcome Wolverine's regeneration by drowning him. He is stopped, but presumably it would have worked.

  • May 3, 2013
    Chabal2
    • One character in Rising Stars is immune to all injury (and has no sense of touch as a result). He is killed by slipping a plastic bag over his head while he sleeps.
    • Thurim from Requiem Chevalier Vampire was gifted with a Healing Factor by Dracula. However, when he rebelled, Dracula punished him by having him drawn and quartered for eternity.
    • Yami defeats Marik's invulnerable combo (keeping his god card protected by a regenerating slime monster that keeps coming back to life and lets him draw a card, which in turn increases the god's attack) in the Battle City arc of Yu Gi Oh this way, by . Yami mind-controls the slime, which then resurrects on his side, forcing Marik to keep drawing until he runs out of cards.
    • Warcraft III has two minor cases: the paladin's divine shield makes him completely invulnerable, but this means the enemy is attacking the squishier units around him, leading to defeat if not used carefully. Similarly, the Shadow Hunter's ultimate spell makes every unit around him invulnerable but him, making him the only target for the enemy.
  • May 3, 2013
    arbiter099
    In Magic The Gathering, defeating a player who has Platinum Angel or a similar "I can't lose/be destroyed" effect is all about finding and exploiting this trope.
  • May 3, 2013
    Generality
    See also Achilles Heel and its various subtropes.
  • May 3, 2013
    StarSword
    Literature:

    Video Games:
    • In The Elder Scrolls the In Game Novel The Hope of the Redoran has a dunmer named Andas whom is prophesied to be invulnerable to blade, spell, poison, and illness. While the prophecy turned out to be true, he ends up being killed when Athyn beats him to death with a club.
  • May 4, 2013
    Arivne
    Mythology
    • Greek Mythology. The Nemean Lion's fur made it invulnerable to damage, so Heracles/Hercules killed it by strangling it to death. The story of the Labors of Heracles comes from ~600 B.C., making this Older Than Feudalism.
  • May 4, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    I didn't see the Heroes episode in question, but I though Claire could always die, just that she'd always resurrect.
  • May 4, 2013
    Koveras
  • May 4, 2013
    Marz1200
    ^^ That's right if I remember correctly. Meredith was just torturing Claire to get her to admit why she wanted to fight villains: for revenge. Claire was in no danger of being Killed Off For Real.
  • May 4, 2013
    Ryusui
    • In Hindu mythology, Hiranyakashipu achieves conditional invulnerability - among other things, he cannot be killed by god, man, or beast. So Vishnu appears before him as Narasimha, the half-man half-beast avatar of a god (i.e. none of the above). Things get progressively worse for him from there.
  • May 4, 2013
    Lightblade
    • Also from Magic The Gathering: Indestructible creatures and artifacts are Exactly What It Says On The Tin; lethal damage and cards that say they "destroy" things will not destroy them. However, they can still be taken off the field by being exiled, or bounced back to its owner's hand, or put back into its owner's deck, or having its toughness reduced to zero (which will put it in its owner's graveyard without "destroying" it).

    Also, a possible page quote from the flavor text of Oust.

    "Invincible" is just a word.
    -- Gideon Jura
  • May 4, 2013
    PsychoFreaX
    ^^^ Right I might need to watch that again. It's been a while so I might not have got it right.

    Oh and sorry I might edit the rest later.
  • May 4, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In Mac Beth the three witches tell MacBeth that he can be defeated "by No Man Of Woman Born" and "never vanquished be until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill Shall come against him." Then his enemies use Mobile Shrubbery (made from Burnam wood) to sneak up on him, and MacDuff reveals he was a Caesarian baby and thus technically not "of woman born."
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