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* ''Series/BabylonFive'': Presents a rare good-guy example of this: when there's only one White Star, it's unstoppable. Once there's a fleet, they start getting taken down by mid-level enemies, often with no Vorlon or Shadow support.
** This is especially bad since the White Stars are meant to be able to learn from each hit it takes, so that the armour gets stronger after every battle. Even as late as the fourth series, the White Stars continued to get weaker: in Series 3, it takes 3 White Stars to destroy a Shadow warship([[spoiler: after a telepath has jammed it]]), but by the battle of Proxima 3, 4 White Stars are needed to deal with a single Earth destroyer, an incredibly simpler ship with far less firepower (albeit with the ability to manoeuvre ), which Sheridan stated was weaker than The White Star.
** WordOfGod [[http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/guide/081.html says]] that the White Star fleet was deliberately pulling its punches to avoid slaughtering the Earth Forces. Sheridan wanted the EA ships to stand down or defect. (It ''was'' a civil war.)
*** The evidence for this exists in the episodes themselves. In the battle in "No Surrender, No Retreat", Sheridan shows concern for the crew of the ''Pollux'' when that ship is destroyed--a ship whose captain and crew had ''[[KickTheDog openly fired on innocent civilians]]''. After the battle, he considers his task force to have "achieved the mission objective", but because an Earth Alliance vessel had been destroyed in the process, it's ''not'' a victory to him. The only time the White Stars are ''not'' pulling their punches in this conflict are when they face the "special force" of Earth ships (which have been heavily enhanced), and when they're scrambling to destroy [[spoiler:the Earth's defensive grid before it starts firing on the planet below.]]
** This also seems to apply to the Shadows and Vorlons - Shadow battlecrabs were notoriously difficult to kill and Vorlons were pretty much invincible. Until the Battle of Coriana, when they started blowing up left and right. (Though in fairness, the coalition force arrayed against them was pretty huge too.) The casualties were massively slanted against the allied fleet.
** Also at Coriana VI, the Vorlons and Shadows were up against other First Ones, who presumably had weapons at least equal to them, and superior to what the Younger Races had on their ships.
** Marcus Cole explained to a group of thugs why they should tell him what he wanted to know: "Because if you don't, then in five minutes I'll be the only person at this table still standing. Five minutes after that, I'll be the only person in this room still standing. So, who's in?" After he makes good on this threat, he laments that, "Now I have to wait for someone to wake up."
* ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'': You see this near the end of the show. Where initially a few Cylon Centurions were nigh-unstoppable juggernauts that needed to have their heads blown up before they stopped, in a suitably dramatic StormTheCastle situation the dangerously outnumbered Battlestar crew can bring them down in droves with a few sporadically-fired 9mm rounds. [[spoiler:Admittedly, they had the help of other Cylons by this point, which ''could'' mean better bullets.]] Plus the fact that the Colonials in the start of the series were armed for the last Cylon war, and the new units were massive upgrades, while at the end of the series they'd been fighting Cylons for years on end, and had plenty of time to improve.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Buffyverse [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]] were particularly subject to this trope. Individual [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]] could be fairly respectable opponents, though they still had a bad track record of getting one-stab killed after Season 1. Whenever [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]] gathered in groups, they were cannon fodder. One just hopes they don't have problems with splinters.
** The final season mixed this trope with a good dose of, ahem, VillainDecay. The first Turok-Han 'uber-vamp' was a nearly unstoppable force very narrowly beaten by the Slayer after several victories. In the finale, however, the Scoobies went up against an army of them, and Xander, Anya, and the slayers-still-in-training were taking hundreds of them down easily. In the DVD commentary, Joss Whedon points out that this was a conscious decision, claiming that "they couldn't all be as hard to beat as the first one," since that would make the last fight unwinnable. No in-universe explanation is given, simply the remark that storytelling is more important than an internally-consistent canon. Nothing else left to do but recite [[MST3KMantra the Mantra]] and shrug it off.
** Applies to Slayers too: Buffy on her own can take any number of vampires, but whenever she's fighting with Faith or Kendra, at least one of the Slayers gets into a position where they need the other's help.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The amount of danger presented by the Daleks seems to always be inversely proportional to the number of Daleks present. When the Doctor and company are only facing one, as in "Dalek", it's a potential end-of-the-world scenario. When he faces ''millions'' as in "The Parting of the Ways" and "Doomsday", all it takes is a quick DeusExMachina to save the day. When he's back to three in "Evolution of the Daleks," [[spoiler:it takes a betrayal of their enslaved army to take them down, and one still gets away. You can be sure that last one is once again going to be a serious threat when it reappears.]]
** Referenced in "Doomsday", when Daleks and Cybermen declared hostilities:
---> '''Cyberman''': We have five million Cybermen. How many are you?\\
'''Dalek''': Four!\\
'''Cyberman''': You would destroy the Cybermen with four Daleks?\\
'''Dalek''': We would destroy the Cybermen with ''one'' Dalek!
** To be fair, the Daleks do seem capable of making good on this threat - they are so much more advanced that during the ensuing fire fight they are seen to take out dozens of Cybermen, but not one of the four Daleks takes damage.
** The Doctor himself makes heavy use of this trope. As Rose says in "Doomsday", "Five million Cybermen? Easy. One Doctor? ''Now'' you're scared." And in previous episodes, even in the old series, the Daleks eventually started a policy of dropping whatever they were doing and fixating entirely on the Doctor once they knew he was present.
** The Series 4 Finale "Journey's End" and the Series 5 Finale "The Big Bang" seem to indicate that Millions of Daleks < One Doctor < 5 or Less Daleks <[[spoiler: one ''very'' pissed-off River Song]]
** This even applies to Davros, their non-Dalek creator. When he's surrounded by Daleks, he's an AxeCrazy and rather unintelligent cartoon Hitler-clone who spends most of his time yelling at them. When there are no or few Daleks around, he's a much calmer and terrifyingly intelligent ManipulativeBastard.
** In "Forest of the Dead", as the carnivorous shadow creatures approach, take pause, and then flee after this one line.
---> '''The Doctor''': I'm the Doctor, and you're in the biggest library in the universe. (Beat) Look me up.
* ''Series/KamenRiderDenO'': The hordes of ninja in the movie ''Ore Tanjou'' suffer so badly from this that even the [[ThisLoserIsYou ridiculously inept protagonist]] Ryoutarou can hold his own against one.
* ''Series/KamenRiderDragonKnight'': The {{Mooks}} suffer from an ''extreme'' case of this. A group of them are nothing but cannon fodder for an ''unmorphed'' Len to kick around. ''One'', on the other hand, once required ''two'' Riders to use some of their strongest attacks.
** This is actually due to the source footage. In ''Series/KamenRiderRyuki'', we have a MonsterOfTheWeek called Gelnewt which was of standard monster strength and was fought over the course of a two-part episode. For ''Dragon Knight'', the producers decided to turn the Gelnewt into the series' {{Mook}}, meaning this trope suddenly applies. Ironically, this filtered back to Japanese, where Gelnewts are the {{Mooks}} in the ''[[Series/KamenRiderDenO Den-O]] and [[Series/KamenRiderDecade Decade]]'' {{Crossover}} movie '''entirely because''' there was a surplus of the suits left over from the filming of ''Dragon Knight''.
** Kamen Riders, to some extent. When Kit fought alone against Axe, Spear and Strike all at the same time, he manages to defeat the three of them [[spoiler: and even finish Spear]]. But when he fights Axe solo, he loses both times and has to be bailed out by Wing Knight.
** In ''Decade's'' first movie: two Riders vs. all of [[LegionOfDoom Dai-Shocker]]? The Riders were easily trounced. Even when the rest of the Riders arrive, they are still heavily outnumbered, but it was enough to turn the tides.
** In Series/KamenRiderKabuto, how hard it is to kill [[{{Mooks}} Salisworms]] depends on how many there are; just one or two may require a FinishingMove, in a larger group they can be killed with a few swipes of a weapon, and in a very large group just a hard punch can destroy them.
** The 40th Anniversary movie, ''Film/OOODenOAllRidersLetsGoKamenRiders'', a team of all main Riders from Ichigo to OOO, gets knocked around by Great Leader. However, when Ankh gives OOO the Shocker and Imagin medals to become [=TaMaShii=] Combo, Great Leader is dropped. Interestingly, when the Secondary Riders show up to help finish the fight, they ''do'' overcome Great Leader.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': Sees a lesser degree of this. Eliot can drop a crowd of mooks just by breathing hard (especially in a season premiere as an EstablishingCharacterMoment for new viewers, even moreso if they have guns), but a one-on-one fight takes him a while and effort.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Played totally straight when Miles fights off an entire militia in the pilot. As promised, he's "good at killing".
* ''Satisfaction'': A justification for the trope is given in this Russian [[PeriodPiece period]] miniseries. A fencing instructor makes his student fight three of his servants at once. After the student loses the first round the instructor asks him why he lost. The student says that he was outnumbered. The instructor tells him that he is wrong, because their greater number is actually their weakness: none of them wants to get injured, each would prefer one of the other guys to be in harm's way, and hence none of them is willing to show some initiative and do something really daring. With that knowledge the student naturally proceeds to kick their asses.
* ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'': Hilariously lampshaded in an Creator/AdamSandler-era SNL skit, where the group of ninjas do a review of what went wrong after another failed attack. "How did we say we were going to attack the guy?" "All at once..." "And how ''did'' we attack?" "One at a time..." Sandler's hooded ninja speaks up about the use of throwing stars, noting that they are not a good idea in a large group, then pulling back his hood to reveal one stuck in his forehead. The gang ends up deciding to get their confidence back by beating up the next person they meet in the lobby - who of course turns out to be Bruce Lee.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'': Had this in the fantasy scene where over a dozen asian interns attackers (wearing surgical masks much like ninja masks) are handled with ease by Turk and Todd. Admittedly it's a fantasy scene so no justification is neccesary but it still fits the rule.
* Franchise/StargateVerse: Regularly seen. ''Series/StargateSG1'' has the justification that Tau'ri ships like the F-302 Mongoose and ''Daedalus''-class battlecruiser are simply better-engineered than their opponents', which tend to be AwesomeButImpractical. Same goes for ground engagements: Numerically smaller Tau'ri forces mow through dozens, even hundreds of {{mook}}s at a time due in part to [[BoringYetPractical better]] [[RockBeatsLaser equipment]] and tactics.
** This goes both ways, of course. The battle at the Ori supergate had four Ori ships {{curbstomp|Battle}} an entire fleet of Jaffa, Asgard, and Tau'ri ships.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'': This show is all over this trope. In fact this could be the very basis of their famous {{Redshirt}}s. You see groups of {{Redshirt}}s get vaporized, but Scotty survives into the 24th century! Even in the future, multiple Starfleet personnel get wasted during the course of TNG, but Worf makes it, despite TheWorfEffect. Likewise, while whole armadas of ships get pummeled, single starships win the day. This even applies to the bad guys. A single Borg cube can cause so much havoc, yet every time we seen a bunch of Borg cubes, they're usually destroyed immediately after.
** In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Best of Both Worlds, Part II," the Borg blows away an entire Federation taskforce, without even a fight. However the Enterprise-D is able to go it alone against the Borg cube, and escape with only minor damage.
** Somewhat lampshaded in the TNG episode "Contagion" where Riker says "fate protects fools, little children, and ships named ''Enterprise''."
** Speaking of a single Borg-cube wiping out all of the attacking Starships, Conservation of Ninjitsu earns its Magnum Opus when the lone ship Voyager enters the Borg home-turf of the Delta Quadrant, turning the tables completely as it takes on ''the entire collective--'' apparently destroying it when Admiral Janeway kills the Borg Queen.
*** In that case, though, the ''Voyager'' was equipped with weapons and armor ''from the future.''
** Against Species 8472, the Borg send legions of Borg cubes, all of which are taken down in seconds. CurbStompBattle indeed.
** Also seen in ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' during the Dominion war arc. The Dominion have powerful Jem-Hadar fighters/destroyers that attack in [[GoddamnedBats large fleets]] to overwhelm big slow clumsy ships. The [[CoolShip Defiant]] is the first Federation ship built along these tactical lines, and its first combat against the Dominion sees it nearly destroyed by only two or three Jem-Hadar fighters. Later in the series, the Defiant and other Federation and Klingon ships are seen swatting fleets of them like flies.
* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' and ''Franchise/PowerRangers'': There are many instances of a monster beating up an entire team of Rangers, only to be defeated by a single Ranger in a [[ThisIsSomethingHesGotToDoHimself sufficiently climactic battle]].
** The [[{{Mooks}} enemy grunts]] are an exception, though. They are pushovers in small or moderate numbers, but huge hordes of them occasionally manage to overpower the Rangers (happens especially in season finales).
** Also, early seasons would sometimes feature battles with multiple resurrected monsters, who would usually go down with just one or two hits. Eventually subverted in the third season premiere where a villain and four resurrected monsters, all giant sized, tear the Megazord to pieces.
** Funny you should mention the Megazord, since they're victims of this as well. A single combined one from every machine available can destroy practically anything, but two or three fighting together usually get knocked around like ragdolls.
** Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger subverts this. In an early episode The Gokaigers face off against 6th ranger key clones they are able to defeat them but the 5 of them are overpowered by the other 10 keys. In The 199 heroes movie The Gokiagers and Goseigers are able to easily take on a couple of dozen ranger clones at a time in pairs of 2 and Gosei Knight easily takes out the 6th ranger clones.
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