When a normal or not-as-powerful rival needs to take down someone with a super power, they are commonly going to use a stun gun. Something about the shock to the nervous system renders the victim unable to access their powers long enough for the attacker to get the drop on them.
It seems especially useful on vampires.
Note: Can only be inverted or subverted if the charge is meant to incapacitate and fails somehow. Simply getting a shock that empowers or has no effect at all doesn't count as a real inversion or subversion.
Anime and Manga
- Early in Pokémon Team Rocket often came out with Humungous Mecha, robots, etc. that generally proved explosively vulnerable to Pikachu's electricity. Eventually they got smart and started designing their machines to withstand or even be supercharged by electric attacks.
- In The Ultimates, The Wasp knocks out the The Hulk, who's been thrashing her teams and most of Manhattan, by shrinking to wasp size crawling into the Hulk's ear and electrocuting his brain.
- In the DCAU, Superman was commonly inconvenienced by being electrocuted.
- Blade: Used on the daywalker by Quinn and his cronies, all of whom Blade has made a hobby of thrashing.
- Inverted, played with in Crank, in which shocks are the only way the main character can continue to live or perform his fighting feats.
- Inverted in The Avengers: When Thor attempts to short circuit Iron Man's suit, it momentarily super charges it instead.
- Ancillary materials to Attack of the Clones reveal that the energy cage in which the Geonosians held Obi-wan exerts a constant low-level electrical charge on the prisoner, which has the side effect of rendering Force users unable to concentrate enough to use their powers.
- In Silent Hill:Revelations, the Brethren use electric sticks to fend off the faceless nurses.
- Subverted in the New Jedi Order series. During an otherwise successful attempt to capture a Yuuzhan Vong infiltrator on Coruscant, Mara Jade Skywalker hits him with multiple stun shots from her blaster with no effect whatsoever. Medical scans of the prisoner later on reveal that redundancies in the Yuuzhan Vong nervous system render them invulnerable to stun shots
- Subverted in the first Dresden Files novel. While wizards are normally just as vulnerable to mundane weapons as any other human, being one also makes you a Walking Techbane. So when he's threatened with a stun gun by the Big Bad's untrusting wife, Harry is easily able to disable it despite the fact it would easily take him down if she managed to hit him with it.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Initiative uses taser blasters as a standard issue weapon for it's human soldiers to capture subhumans, who would normally prey on even the strongest and most well-trained humans.
- In Heroes, agents with The Company use tasers to subdue super powereds.
- During one episode of Supernatural, one is used on Kate, a vampire.
- During the third season finale of Angel, Connor uses a taser to subdue Angel and capture him.
- Subverted with a non-plot-relevant prisoner in the opening of an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The prisoner is hopped up on PCP and breaks loose from the officers trying to restrain him. Another officer hits him with a taser; he collapses, then gets back up, and is finally subdued by half a dozen officers dogpiling him.
- The Legend of Korra: The Lieutenant, who supports Amon's claim that Benders use their powers to control and frighten non-benders, uses electrified kali sticks to incapacitate said Benders.