To fit a typical episode formula, the heroes may have to spend a certain amount of time fighting a [[MonsterOfTheWeek single opponent]]. However, dramatic episodes may have the heroes fighting ''hordes'' of similar minions or critters. Characters with special abilities will suddenly seem much much stronger than before, and how this came to be is almost never [[AppliedPhlebotinum explained]]. They'll be cutting through them like harvesters through hay, making you wonder why it wasn't so easy before.

This often comes up in {{OVA}}s and {{Non Serial Movie}}s, which have less time and more budget to impress the viewer, but occasionally it'll pop up in the show proper near the season finale. An EpicTrackingShot is often a signal of this.

Related to the Law Of ConservationOfNinjitsu. Contrast SoLastSeason. See also SpecialEffectsEvolution.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/SailorMoon'' often did this near the end of its seasons with nondescript monsters. The usual sentai formula of fights also didn't apply to the movies, which often have individual characters mowing down hordes of monsters.
** Especially jarring in the movie, where a single plant demon (having fed on lifeforce) proves a challenge to the entire team. Then they destroy hundreds of them in a massive battle.
** The Live Action version, ''Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon'', did as well, which is expected as it's a Toku series.
* FightingGame Anime like ''StreetFighter'' and ''VideoGame/FatalFury'' are notorious for featuring KiAttacks much more powerful than the games would suggest. (And in reverse, when ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' was turned into a FightingGame, Ranma's extraordinarily powerful KiAttacks were substantially weakened.)
* TheMovie of the first season of ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' noticeably upped the power of the characters, to the point that Nanoha's [[WaveMotionGun Starlight Breaker]] ''levels a city.''
* ''{{Manga/Bleach}}'' anime. In early seasons a single normal Hollow was a major threat. During the Hueco Mundo arc the Soul Reapers on the team (Ichigo, Rukia and Renji) were slicing through Menos Grande Gillians as though they were nothing, and other characters with lesser power destroyed hordes of regular Hollows without blinking.
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[[folder:Film]]
* ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}''
** ''Film/GodzillaFinalWars'' had this in spades. In the ultimate fanboy "Godzilla versus Everyone" film, Big G plows through almost all his classic opponents, easily dispatching monsters that formerly fought him for an entire movie. In fact, at one point he takes down ''three'' at once in a fight that lasts about a minute (ironically, those three monsters are the only ones Godzilla doesn't kill).
** The [[Film/{{Godzilla 2014}} 2014 reboot]] features Godzilla in his biggest incarnation yet, bigger than every other incarnation of the character in terms of both height and length.
* When ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' made the jump from syndicated series to big budget movie ''Film/StarTrekGenerations'', TheBridge was upgraded with additional space specifically to fit in more ExplosiveInstrumentation to dramatically send more {{Red Shirt}}s flying during the action sequences.
** Not only that, but the ''Enterprise''-D was destroyed in the movie specifically so they could create a new ship and new sets that looked better on the big screen.
** The franchise makes occasional references to genetic augments, who were so powerful that they caused the Federation to outlaw the process. In the television shows, they've never come across as more than a fit human. Come ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', and one of them finally lives up to the hype.
* While ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' had always had a pretty small budget, TheMovie had a larger budget, thanks to being backed by Universal Studios. However, the only thing really different is that everything seemed bigger (including an incredibly expanded set showing other areas of the SOL).
* ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'': Not only did the then-record $100 million budget allowed for a SpecialEffectsEvolution, but the story's scope is bigger, the CGI-animated liquid metal Terminator is far harder to kill, and the heroes fight more than just a Terminator, with one major scene revolving around a clash with an army of police when they invade Cyberdyne.
* The second ''Franchise/{{Gamera}}'' film ''Film/GameraVsBarugon'' has noticeably scaled up, well, everything. Bigger sets, better monster suits, better music, better actors, and a more solid over directing style.
* Happened between [[Film/{{Transformers}} the first Transformers movie]] and [[Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen its first sequel]], which allowed for bigger action scenes and more complexity on the robots. Inverted a bit with ''[[Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon Dark of the Moon]]'', as while it ''was'' more expensive than the first film ($195 million to the $150 million of the first). It still manged to be less expensive[[note]] by about $5 million[[/note]] than ''Revenge of the Fallen'', yet look like a film '''''twice''''' its size.
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[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' occasionally had the bad guys animate a whole bunch of monsters at once, only for them to fall to this trope.
** TheMovie has three main monsters and countless creatures springing from Ivan Ooze. It should be noted also that the rest of the budget was used for the Rangers' suits (they all get breastplates, while some of them gain special abilities) and the special effects, which step up from PeopleInRubberSuits to ConspicuousCGI.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' Season 7 introduced the Turok-han or "Uber Vamps" that are sort of the vampire equivalent of a missing link. They're super hard to kill with chests as hard as concrete so staking is a problem. Buffy spends the first episode they're introduced fighting and killing one of them. ''The whole episode''. Then in the finale the good guys face off against literally thousands of them in a free-for-all fight under the hellmouth and even the more inexperienced members of the team are dusting them left and right. [[WordOfGod Joss Whedon]] mentioned in interview that he was aware of how little sense this made but stood by the episode.
* ''Franchise/KamenRider'' series tend to have one of the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters of the Week]] become a {{Mook}} near the end of the season, with multiple costumes made for bigger fight scenes. Their movies also tend to have better wirework, more complex action scenes, and more explosions.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' is this trope in spades. For example, the Daleks are galaxy spanning empires that can field thousands of units - and yet the most we ever saw were the same four or so Daleks costumes paraded around in a circle to make them seem more numerous... until the 2005 revival, where the climax of the series featured a Big Budget long shot with millions of Daleks all lusting for the destruction of the Doctor and the extermination of the human race. It made every fan weep tears of joy.
** Happened before that. The Creator/PeterCushing [[Film/DrWhoAndTheDaleks Dalek]] [[Film/DaleksInvasionEarth2150AD movies]] really make a Dalek invasion look like one ''should,'' the first movie even being a remake of the Daleks' show debut, making the very same story seem much more epic. The movies are often reviled by fans for their deviation from canon (Cushing's First Doctor is apparently a human named Dr. Who, primarily) but at the time, it was amazing. They looked at least as good as the 1980s episodes, with a more 'summer blockbuster' feel, at a time when the TV show hadn't worked its way up to color, or having the ''matte paintings'' that were supposed to make the hallways look longer '''[[SpecialEffectFailure actually go all the way to the floor.]]'''
** The show's Dalek episodes benefitted from this film as well - the rainbow-colored Daleks don't look so garish in black and white, so suddenly the show had more props to work with.
* ''{{Film/Serenity}}'' is basically a much more expensive, better-looking episode of [[{{Series/Firefly}} the series it's spun off from]]. And it is ''awesome!''
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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Several TRPG have this trope supported by the mechanics. In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' (4th Edition), there are monsters classified as 'mooks', which go down when you deal as much as 1 point of damage to them. While these monsters have AC that match their level, players have powers (mostly once-per-day) that never miss.
* In TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}, mooks like these are classified as Extras. A ton of powers have effects that basically says 'extras are fucked, only people with Essence-control may avoid'.
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[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''{{WebAnimation/RWBY}}'' has a tendency to make characters ''much'' more powerful than they're supposed to be during key moments. The four short films which lead into the first season were lavishly-produced and released months apart, and they featured ''massive'' action scenes with the main characters effortlessly mowing down dozens of enemies and pulling off incredibly complex fighting moves. When the series proper started and the animators needed to have an episode out each week, the fights instantly became much smaller, with those same characters now struggling to overcome a handful of those same enemies and relying on simpler techniques. However, sometimes during season premieres, season finales, and mid-season finales, everyone temporarily [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]] courtesy of the more generous budget and scheduling allotted to those special episodes.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' doesn't use any of the budget that one would expect for them to use buying the rights to [[WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy flashback jokes]]. Instead, they save their budget to take brief indulgences in awesomely animated action-based episodes. Hell, for "Dungeons and Wagons", the amount of budget used for the RPG plot was literally described as "all of it". These episodes usually feature at least two separate hordes of something.
* Episodes of ''{{WesternAnimation/Animaniacs}}'', ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' and ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' that were animated by Creator/TMSEntertainment cost more to use than most of the other studios Creator/WarnerBros was using at the time.
** Episodes from Creator/SpectrumAnimation and {{Creator/Startoons}} also tended to cost more to produce. The latter being being demestic-based rather then Asian meant a higher cost than its counterparts in [[{{Creator/Akom}} South]] [[Creator/KokoEnterprises Korea]], [[Creator/WangFilmProductions Taiwan]] or [[Creator/StudioJunio Japan]].
* Disney's television output from TMS and [[Creator/WaltDisneyAnimationUnits their (now closed) units in Japan and Australia]] usually looked ''much'' more expensive than the other contractors' work normally did.
** Japan and Australia were so expensive that they were cut off from television animation by the late 90s and were reserved on DirectToVideo movies (and in Japan's case, Pooh features) until they were closed down.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' had a major shift from the first season to the second season. Compare the Ryloth campaign from season one to the Geonosis Campaign of season two. And then compare THAT to the Kamino battle of season three, and then Umbara from season four.
* Despite being Creator/{{Nickelodeon}}'s most popular and successful show, ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' has always hid its modest budget with [[LimitedAnimation sparse movement]] made up of strong drawings. When it came time to make ''WesternAnimation/TheSpongebobSquarepantsMovie'', the crew went all-out with Creator/JohnKricfalusi-[[DerangedAnimation inspired animation]], expansive use of [[RogerRabbitEffect mixed-media]] and a [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome lush orchestral score]] in place of the series' library of stock music.
** [[WesternAnimation/TheSpongeBobMovieSpongeOutOfWater The second film]] upped this further with the use of even more MediumBlending, including StopMotion and photorealistic CGI.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThomasAndTheMagicRailroad'' recreated the series' model train set at double the size on a Toronto sound stage. [[UncannyValley Still couldn't make the faces to move, though]].
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