--> ''Junk is something you don't use because you don't need it...until just after you get rid of it!''

A character or group of characters does something that limits their abilities (usually temporarily) for what looks to be -- and may well actually be -- excellent reasons, with the best of intentions. (For example, a team allows a key member to take a vacation, or a character loans his "lucky" tennis racket to a friend who's going out of town.) Almost as soon as this limitation becomes irrevocable, a situation which requires the talent, skill or item in question immediately appears; without the missing element, the character or characters is seemingly doomed.

The resolution of this crisis depends strongly upon the genre of the story being told, ranging from {{zany scheme}}s to [[ImprovisedWeapon improvised substitutions]] to [[PowerLossMakesYouStrong bulling it through on raw guts and determination]]. The key element, though, is a seemingly-harmless relinquishing of an advantage for good reasons, which is immediately [[DisproportionateRetribution "punished"]] by a dire need for the lost advantage.

Compare GiftOfTheMagiPlot, where two characters each give something up in exchange for something else that's only useful in combination with what the other character gave up. Contrast with BroughtDownToNormal, where the loss is never voluntary, and sometimes enjoyed -- and the lost power is returned just in time to use it. Compare CantStayNormal, which is the usual result.

This is also used sometimes as an explanation for ChaoticNeutral or ChaoticStupid actions. Contrast IDidWhatIHadToDo, which does the same as in this case, but for LawfulNeutral or LawfulStupid actions.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', Negi seals his magical talent for three days in order to avoid the temptation to "fix" his class's test results with a spell. He immediately finds himself in a dangerous situation where he must rely upon his students for safety.
** Done in the long term by Asuna with her memories, which she gave up at least a decade ago [[IJustWantToBeNormal in order to live a normal life]] (she was depressive and on the verge of picking up Takamichi's smoke addiction). Considering she helped out in the last war, her memories would have been really, really helpful now. And giving them up didn't really keep her "normal", either.
*** It's actually [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] a few times. You see, by giving up her memory, she also gave up the memory of ''why'' she gave up her memories. As a result, she's now running full-throttle down the path to becoming the sort of person she ''didn't'' want to be before she lost her memories, but she doesn't remember that she didn't want to do what she's doing! Just going to a decent psychiatrist to cope with the memories she gave up would have saved her a great deal of time and effort in the long run.
* This is relatively common in HumongousMecha series, where as soon as the pilots get a day off to go to the beach, the city they're supposed to defend will get attacked, allowing the use of a BeachEpisode without resorting to completely pointless {{fanservice}}. Although most of them have it anyway.
* In the ''Manga/YuGiOhGX'' manga, Manjyome buries his "Light and Darkness Dragon" (whose Duel Spirit fills in the role of the Ojamas), because he wants to prove that he's good enough to be in Obelisk Blue on his own (which he confesses was later due to fear of losing with Light and Darkness Dragon). Manjyome immediately recovers the card after Judai uses ''his'' Duel Spirit to defeat him, and [[spoiler:wins in their rematch in the finals of the academy tournament]].
* A painful example in ''Manga/{{Gantz}}''. Kurono [[spoiler:earns 100 points and chooses freedom to be with his girlfriend at the cost of his memory. The end result: he thinks his girlfriend is a stalker, and he and his little brother are both murdered by vampires]]. %%Possibly useful information: was all this permanent? If so, it may qualify as a subversion.
* In ''Manga/{{Claymore}}'', [[spoiler:exiled {{Badass}} Claymore in hiding Ilena spends an episode or two teaching Clare her quick sword technique. Ilena is missing her left arm and Clare is missing her right. Sensing that Clare had no hope without her right arm, Ilena slices off her own right arm and gives it to Clare on loan so that she can master the technique. Clare leaves to pursue her goal. In the very next scene, another Claymore shows up to kill the outcast Ilena who is now missing both arms... The only way the Claymore was able to sense her this time is because she used some of her Yoki aura in teaching the quick sword technique to Clare.]]
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', Ichigo gets hit hard with this during the ''Lost Agent'' arc. Having finally gotten his wish to [[IJustWantToBeNormal be a normal human]], he finds himself LockedOutOfTheLoop when his friends are attacked and turns to the mysterious [=XCution=] organization when they promise to help restore his Soul Reaper powers. [[spoiler:It turns out to be a trap engineered to let the members of [=XCution=] steal Ichigo's powers, but he [[CantStayNormal gets them back in the end]] and defeats them.]]
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[[folder:FanWorks]]
* In ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'', after discovering that his new SuperStrength came with a massive helping of BlessedWithSuck (PowerIncontinence), Paul manages to shed most of it by pumping a ton of energy into a basic light spell and exploding. He's quite pleased that he's still left with enough strength to be “interesting” (though he's still not very good with it and has to practice just to be able to walk). However, when they're sent to New Zork for the first piece of the Vasyn, he discovers it's 20 feet of solid rock that he's supposed to lift, but it's far heavier than he's capable of lifting now. That's when he regrets shedding the power—and when, out of desperation, he figures out how to restore it.
* In ''FanFic/ConstantTemptation'' [[TheAtoner Light]] is kidnapped soon after he decides he doesn't really want to be Kira or use the Death Note anymore.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In Disney's Disney/{{Hercules}}, Hercules agrees to surrender his SuperStrength as part of a deal with Hades. As soon as the deal is complete, Hades frees the Titans from imprisonment and launches his invasion of Greece and Mount Olympus.
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[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/FinalDestination 2'', Clear Rivers was the last of the survivors of the Flight 180 crash from the previous movie. [[YouCantFightFate Death has a list with her name on it.]] She spent all of the first movie thwarting Death's attempts at claiming her and successfully escaped every seeming "accident". In the second film, she had decided that the only place safe for her from these "accidents" was to lock herself up in a small padded cell, living like a prisoner, with no sharp objects or anything that could conceivably kill her. She is safe... until the next group of people on Death's list seek her out. She is reluctant to help at first but later decides to leave the protection of her cell and start living again. Unsurprisingly, she dies before the end of the film.
* In part three of ''Film/TheMatrix'', some of the secondary characters pull a BigDamnHeroes moment by flying their hovercraft into the dock and activating the EMP, shutting down every robot in the place -- [[NiceJobBreakingItHero only to be informed by the general that this has also disabled all of their best defenses against the next wave]]. Might be a subversion, however, as the dock was already said to be lost when they conceived the plan; Lock was just looking for a scapegoat.
** It's definitely Lock looking for a scapegoat. Remember who gave the order to open the gate so they could get inside in the first place?
* The plot of ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome'' could be seen as a delayed Good Idea. Man had hunted whales to extinction in the 21st century. In Kirk's time, a probe arrives that will destroy Earth unless someone responds to its call... which turns out to be the song of a humpback whale. TimeTravel and AnAesop against the dangers of overwhaling are of course involved.
* In the movie ''SupermanII'', Superman gives up his superpowers for Lois Lane -- just before he needs them in order to defeat the Phantom Zone villains. In the original cut of the film, the means by which he recovers his abilities -- by consuming the energy that powered the Fortress of Solitude's holographic projections of his parents -- is not revealed to the audience, as Marlon Brando had refused to appear in the movie after original director Richard Donner was fired. The recently released Donner cut of the film includes this scene.
* In ''Film/JohnCarter'', Carter has settled in nicely on Mars and [[IChooseToStay decided there's nothing for him back on Earth]]. He expresses this commitment to his new life by hurling his interplanetary-teleportation amulet out over the landscape. Mere minutes later, the not-as-beaten-as-they-seemed enemies surprise him and transmit him back to Earth. This requires him to spend many years searching for another amulet. [[spoiler:He fails, forcing him to find the enemy that sent him back, kill him, and steal ''his'' amulet.]]
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[[folder:Literature]]
* In the ninth ''Literature/ThePendragonAdventure'' book, ''Raven Rise'', Mark gives his Traveler ring to a villain because he figures that since Bobby can't communicate with him anymore anyways, it's useless and will save his parents without hurting anybody. It ends up literally causing the apocalypse.
* In ''Laura Leander'' series, the titular heroine gives up her power as Light Guardian in order to get her mother RescuedFromPurgatory. It seems a perfectly valid idea, since an ancient agreement forbids Dark Guardians from using their powers to hurt anybody who isn't a Light Guardian directly. Unfortunately, [[spoiler: The BigBad, who desires revenge on her for previous defeats, finds a way to hurt her ''past self'' (from times she was a Guardian), and she has to assist her past self with her powers now gone...]]
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[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In the Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures novel ''Human Nature'', and the TV two-parter based on it, Doctor turns himself into a human schoolteacher, with none of the knowledge or abilities of his normal self. In the TV story, it's to avoid being tracked by the MonsterOfTheWeek, but in the book it's just to experience what his companions go through (having been given the idea by, it turns out, one of the villains, deliberately so that he could be taken advantage of in his reduced state).
* An episode of ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger'' featured this, when the team's [[GadgeteerGenius ace mechanic]] Swan was given an award and encouraged by the others to take a break and go to the award ceremony. Naturally, the city is attacked while she's gone, and it's immediately demonstrated that the team's TransformingMecha start breaking down if they miss even one day of maintenance. Which either proves that Swan is an incredible mechanic or an incredibly lousy mechanic.
** The Rangers are all going on about how they don't know if they can hold their own without Swan, but they have to support her decision to go away because [[HeroBall "we have to do what's best for Swan"]]. Regardless of the fact that the Earth might be destroyed as a result.
* In Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy, the original Magna Defender released the Lights of Orion. However when he becomes possessed by revenge he needs the lights to face and kill Scorpius.
* A variation in Series/{{Sherlock}}: Irene [[spoiler: fakes her death and sends her phone to Sherlock.]] She soon has to get it back.
* ''Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites:'' Erik wins immunity at the final five. Guaranteed to be in the Final Four, right? Not if the Black Widow Brigade has anything to say about it.
* ''{{Misfits}}'': The ASBO five, wanting to get their normal lives back, sell their powers to Seth. Within a day, [[spoiler: Nikki has been shot and Curtis no longer has the power to turn back time and save her.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* In NorseMythology, Frey gives up the sword-that-can-fight-by-itself in order to gain the love of a giantess. Thus, in the Ragnarok, Surtr will not be defeated by the sword, and will devour the entirety of creation with fire.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{NieR}}'' has this to some extent. Those somewhat worthwhile goat hides with good value? Welcome to hours of killing goats for a quest. The expensive but otherwise easy money when sold as VendorTrash? You need those for another quest. That gives better pay.
* In the ''SonicTheHedgehog'' game ''{{Sonic Adventure 2}}'', Knuckles the Echidna, fighting over possession of his precious Master Emerald with FemmeFatale Rouge the Bat, notices Robotnik stealing the gem away from under their noses. Instead of attacking Robotnik directly to get the gem back, he...shatters the Emerald, explaining that he can always gather up the pieces later. Seems like a good idea at the time...until it's realized the gem is needed to help stop [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt a giant space station powered by Chaos Emeralds from crashing into Earth]]. Oh, and Rouge is a master jewel thief with technology that can help her find the broken shards just as well as Knuckles' internal Chaos detector can. (Knuckles probably also should have shattered it with less force, as the shards are sent all over the continent.)
* In ''VideoGame/GodOfWar II'', Kratos drains his divine power into an artifact so that he can destroy the (animated) Colossus of Rhodes. Of course, given that the whole thing was just a BatmanGambit on the part of Zeus, Kratos shortly learns the drawback of vesting all your power in an artifact, as Zeus betrays him and sends him to [[PlanetHeck Hades]].
* In generic [[EasternRPG JRPGs]] like ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' (as an example) it's common for "newbies" to get rid of something that doesn't seem worth it/powerful enough/takes up to much space/etc. Bonus points if it makes the game harder for themselves.
* [=MMOs=] seem to have this happen to new players. A lot of people who've had these experiences seems to hoard every item they gain until they're completely sure they don't need them. Bonus points if they sold them and still needed them.
* Ever played a game where you get the BFG but due to it's limited ammo you use it to clear out that one tiny room with a horde of cannon fodder? Then you know how it feels to get you ass wooped after getting to that enemy who's only weakness is that BFG.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** Elan in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0232.html this strip]] apparently sent all the party's weapons to fix up, because they won't need them while they are staying in a hotel anyway. They did.
* In ''{{Spacetrawler}}'', Yuri becomes increasingly violent, erratic, and detached from her teammates in the aftermath of getting tortured. Martina sees to it that Yuri gets psychotherapy to deal with this. The therapy-bot, trying get Yuri back on her feet as quickly as possible, erases her memories of the event, and this appears to fix her. Then, Yuri has another run-in with the alien who tortured her. When it becomes apparent that Yuri's memory loss will allow said alien to take advantage of her, the therapy-bot restores Yuri's memories--causing her to revert to her scary, violent self.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* A rather humorous occurrence in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987'' that, ironically, fits both this trope ''and'' the [[ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime old name for this trope that is now redefined]]. IIRC, the villains attached a mind-control device to a giant squid and were using it to attack the [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal title teenage turtles]]. When the villain with the remote control dropped it, Donatello used his bo-staff like a golf club to knock it into the water. Once the villains were defeated and gone, the turtles were still left to deal with the giant squid.
-->'''Raphael:''' We could use the remote to subdue him, but Mr. Home-Run-Slugger over here had to go and knock it into the water!\\
'''Donatello:''' ''(sheepishly)'' Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
* Happened in an episode of ''DrawnTogether'', which was probably a parody of Superman 2. Captain Hero feels so guilty about giving Foxxy a tumor through extensive use of his X-ray vision, he gives up his powers. This leaves him paralyzed, confined a wheelchair controlled with a breathing tube. He finds that he has to save her not long after.
* This trope is at the very center of the ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' GrandFinale.
* In the ''[[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983 He-Man]]'' episode "The Problem with Power", He-Man surrenders the sword that gives him the power of Grayskull because Skeletor tricks him into thinking that he's killed someone. This results in the heroes having to attempt to stop Skeletor's plot via a suicide mission because He-Man is no longer around to solve the problem. Once He-Man discovers the truth, he has to retrieve the sword to regain his power in time to save Teela from dying for the cause.
* In ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' there's the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2000_problem Y2K]] episode, where the town gives up guns right before they realize they need them.
** In a more tragic example, "Life of Brian" has Stewie destroy his time machine after one too many near-death experiences, only for Brian to be killed by a hit and run driver mere moments later. [[spoiler:Fixed mere episodes later when a chance indirect encounter with a Stewie travelling forward from the past gives him [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong a window of opportunity to save his best friend]].]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' 2-parter "Stan of Arabia", Stan renounces his US citizenship by tearing up his and the rest of his family's passports and quits the CIA after finding he prefers life in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately for him, the rest of his family runs afoul of the law and ends up on death row, with himself joining them once he pleads. Without the passports he destroyed, he has no way out of this predicament. It takes Roger getting the man Steve sold him to to request the execution be called off.
* Several times in ''WesternAnimation/TheMask'' animated series, including the pilot, Stanley tries to give away or bury the eponymous artifact only to desperately need it again by the halfway point.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad'' the unit falls into this a bit. With Tuddrussel and Larry being so bad with history, they need Otto to help them. The kid practically coddles the adults with this effortless task at solving problems that they could never fix. In one particular example of them being without the kid is when Tuddrussel and Larry had seemingly abandoned Otto, and tried to first fix the mission themselves, but they quickly gave up and tried to find other orphans with the extreme knowledge of History that Otto possesses. But this proved to be a waste of time, there was no other kid with Otto's talents that could help, it wasn't only until accidentally finding Otto again that the mission could be completed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* A good amount of hoarders believe that if they were to get rid of something that shortly afterwards they would need it. Hence why they never throw anything out.
* During the [[NapoleonicWars Retreat from Moscow]], Napoleon decided to burn his army's pontoon train because having to take those heavy wagons with it only slowed it down, the horses could be distributed to where they were needed more urgently and the weather had turned so cold that all rivers were covered in ice thick enough for armies to walk over. Shortly after that order was carried out, it became a bit warmer again and the ice on the Berezina river broke, rendering it impassable. And so the French pioneers had to wade into water that went up to their shoulders to build two bridges for the army, and most of them died from the exposure to the ice-cold water shortly after they finished their job.
[[/folder]]
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