->'''Nyssa:''' I can't believe you're saying he's a ''ghost!''\\
'''Doctor:''' He isn't! He's a floating cloud of energy which has the power to focus itself and move physical objects, often with dramatic results!
-->-- ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'', "Winter for the Adept"

Removing a [[MagicRealism relatively poetic]] or mystical element (or [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane possibility]]) and replacing it by way of {{retcon}} with a more "realistic" one, in a {{revision}}, sequel or other adaptation, or occasionally even just later in the same story. This is pretty common in a fantasy-to-SciFi situation, probably because the two aren't too different in the outcome produced -- [[JustForFun/ScifiCounterpart a magical invisibility ring vs. a technological cloaking device]] are [[MagicFromTechnology functionally the same]]. However, it tends to disgruntle fans of the original, especially when the explanation is less satisfying than the mystery. Amusingly, if the answer is in {{technobabble}}, its "reality quotient" is [[VoodooShark just as silly]] as the initial explanation, even if certain [[BurnTheWitch anti-magic]] MoralGuardians may like technobabble better. It can also demand a whole sequence of [[ContrivedCoincidence coincidental oddities]], which (as observed by Creator/{{Aristotle}}) just makes it less convincing.

Another problem this trope might encounter is that, while fans only expect [[MagicAIsMagicA magic to have the same effect while used in the same way]], the audience may be less [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief willing to suspend disbelief]] when converted into [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness hard science]], unless it is prefaced with [[GreenRocks some kind of]] [[MinovskyPhysics pseudoscientific material]] [[{{Unobtanium}} specifically stated not]] [[AppliedPhlebotinum to follow standard physics]] (of course, doing this still keeps the stuff ''[[DistinctionWithoutADifference technically]]'' magic, just not, you know, ''[[FunctionalMagic magic]]'').

Compare and contrast with HowUnscientific. See also SufficientlyAdvancedAlien, {{Demythtification}}, TheMagicGoesAway, MagicVersusScience, and MaybeMagicMaybeMundane. Compare {{Jossed}}. Contrast MagicAIsMagicA and TheMagicComesBack. [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Has nothing to do with]] [[BurnTheWitch the execution of magic users,]] or [[ShootTheMageFirst targeting them in combat situations]].

The full {{inver|tedTrope}}sion of this trope is a trope unto itself, DoingInTheScientist.



[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/ScrappedPrincess'' eventually reveals [[spoiler:its "[[MagicFromTechnology magic]]" to be lost, or rather confiscated, [[ClarkesThirdLaw technology]], and its religious mythos to be a front for {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s playing puppetmaster behind the scenes]].
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' has two completely ridiculous, though ambiguous, examples.
** The first is a mystical stone mask that turns its wearer into a vampire when exposed to blood, by grabbing their face with spikes. The second series reveals that the mask was actually created by an advanced race of humanity that ''eats'' vampires. The functionality of the Stone Mask was never truly explained though. Jonathan had a hypothesis that it worked by hitting key pressure points, but was unaware of the mask's supernatural qualities at the time.
** The second is when it is revealed that Stands (PsychicPowers personified) are created through a magical arrow forged from a meteor, which grants a Stand to anyone it hits. This arrow is later revealed to be not magical, but ''[[ILoveNuclearPower radioactive]]'', and grants Stands by mutating the target's DNA. Although the true nature of the Arrows is left rather ambiguous (the [[BlindIdiotTranslation less-than-accurate]] translation certainly didn't help the subject), while [[spoiler:Polnareff]] claims it's an extraterrestrial virus that creates the effect of the arrows' material, it's made very obvious that they seem to have a will of their own and a more spiritual quality to them. The supernatural side is also present in Part 6, making the whole example controversial at best.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'' and ''Anime/GreatMazinger'': In the Mazinger versus Great General of Darkness, a prophet warns Boss and his gang -and later Kouji and his friends- about the imminent Mykene invasion. It turns out that [[spoiler:in reality he was Prof. Kenzo Kabuto, father of Kouji and Shiro, who knew about the Mykene due to reasons have nothing to do with prophecies]].
** And in episode 36 of ''Anime/MazingerZ'', [[spoiler:Baron Ashura pretended being]] a witch.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' is known for doing in certain cases once the Straw Hats reach the Grand Line. The mysteries of Skypiea and the Florian Triangle end up with SOME kind of rational explanation that makes them seem less supernatural than the readers originally thought.
** Also semi-inverted in the case of Skypeia, though. As a proponent of the [[StrawNihilist New Era]] philosophy that denies dreams and romanticism, Bellamy attempts to do this by heckling the Straw Hats for believing in a flying continent, even providing an alternate explanation for why a ship might fall out of the sky. Naturally, he gets proven completely wrong, and while the Skypeian continent may have a "rational" explanation for its existence (in-universe, at least) that doesn't diminish the sense of discovery and adventure.
** Also, it was made clear that ships have been mysteriously disappearing in the Florian Triangle since long before Thriller Bark.
** To date, there is exactly ''one'' supernatural occurrence that has not been given a logical or scientific explanation in-universe: The Klabautermann. It's described as a spirit that is attracted to a well-loved ship, such as the Straw Hats' ''Going Merry'', manifesting when a ship nears the ends of its life. It's used to explain how the ''Merry'' was mysteriously repaired overnight during the Skypeia arc, but no explanation is given for the spirit itself beyond the legend.
* ''Anime/WitchHunterRobin'' ends with this, explaining all magical powers to be a result of genetic breeding from the original witch. Which is still really magic at its core, just mixed with science.
** In a similar vein, Ellis of ''Anime/ElCazadorDeLaBruja'' turns out to be the product of a project to genetically engineer witches, but these witch powers are genuinely supernatural in nature. The main characters also meet a psychic girl and a harvest spirit disguised as a deceased writer along their journey, without any "rational" explanation given.
* In the manga version of ''Manga/ChronoCrusade'', demons are [[spoiler:really aliens who crash-landed in the Atlantic Ocean and are now living underwater in their mothership. So a lot of what seems 'magical' about them is really BizarreAlienBiology or extremely advanced technology]]. However, this doesn't completely explain away their more supernatural powers, and there's still plenty of other magical and supernatural elements that are never explained away with science. The reason why this happened, according to [[WordOfGod the mangakaBigCutieMiley]] at an anime con in Seattle, is that he was criticized during the manga's run [[CriticalResearchFailure for not having the demons be accurate to Christian mythology]], so he pulled an AuthorsSavingThrow. Also, the anime adaptation ''didn't'' do this and played the supernatural elements straight the whole way through.
* In the manga version of ''Manga/SailorMoon'', the [[FanNickname moon cats]] Luna and Artemis, who previously seemed to be just another magical element inherited from the ruined Moon Kingdom, are revealed to be from planet Mau, which seems to explain their ability to talk (and turn human). This being ''Sailor Moon'', there's still plenty of magic behind almost any "aliens" that appear in the story, but it was still a noticeable {{retcon}} -- an earlier side story ''The Lover of Princess Kaguya'' (basis for the ''Anime/SailorMoon S'' NonSerialMovie) where Luna falls in love with a human man has her lamenting being "just a cat"; while it seems to be implied that the cats ''can't'' randomly turn human at will, in this story Luna doesn't seem to be aware that she has a human form and only achieves it because of the Ginzuishou power.
** Also, the Moon Kingdom was a powerful and unique piece of mythopoeia, and its Senshi were originally almost deities -- their official group title is "Soldiers of the Four Guardian Gods". The last series replaces this with there being Senshi ''all over the Galaxy''. It doesn't provide a scientific explanation, but since it destroys the poetic elements of the story, it counts.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'': [[spoiler: Kyubey is a SufficientlyAdvancedAlien, not a magical creature, and he wants to prevent the universe's heat death by breaking the second law of thermodynamics. However, he does this by performing genuine miracles and drawing out real magical potential in human girls so he can collect energy generated by emotions; none of these are governed by thermodynamics or any kind of science and that's why they suit Kyubey's purpose]]. A rare case of also counting as DoingInTheScientist.
* [[spoiler:The Second Hokage]] in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' calmly explains the actual process of causing a Sharingan to evolve. Whereas the standard method known for developing the Mangekyo is "kill your best friend", he explains that during moments of severe emotional anguish, the Uchiha's brain releases a special chakra that mutates their eyes.
* In ''Anime/CorrectorYui'', the "magic" is actually a part of [[TheProfessor Dr.]] [[BigGood Inukai's]] Corrector software to counter and reverse [[AIIsACrapshoot Gros]][[BigBad ser's]] influence.
* ''Franchise/DragonBall'':
** When ''Dragon Ball'' gave way to ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', the stories took on more of a sci-fi tone. Goku's previously inexplicable talents (and his tail) were retconned as the product of his alien biology. His tendency to transform into a giant monster under the full moon was given a delightfully [[TechnoBabble preposterous]] "explanation" in terms of electromagnetic waves and hormones. Even Kami, who was for all practical purposes a god, was demoted to a strange visitor from yet another planet. Nevertheless, there were still plenty of fantasy elements, and the sci-fi aspect was downplayed in later stories.
** In a 2017 interview, Toriyama did this to the Super Saiyan transformation as well, removing the mystical qualities and revealing the genetics behind it. According to him, it all comes down to something called "S-Cells" that all Saiyans naturally possess, but which are fostered by things that the average Saiyan would never achieve, like a calm heart and high fighting power. Goku was essentially the perfect combination of power, environment, and temperament to achieve Super Saiyan, and ended up passing his genetics on to his sons, which is why they achieved the transformation at such young ages.
* An odd example occurs in ''Manga/MegaManMegamix'' - while the abilities of the Robot Masters in [[VideoGame/MegaManClassic the original games]] were all clearly technological, the bios given for them in the manga tend to rationalise them and ground them in something resembling reality. This is especially true for the more fantastical powers - for instance, [[TimeMaster Flash Man's]] [[TimeStandsStill Time Stopper]] is explained as a system that controls the speed of light, rather than outright control over time.

* ''Literature/YoungBeichan'' is what is called a "rationalized" version of a fairy tale where the daughter of the witch/ogre/other magical evil helps the hero flee; she's the daughter of an evil king.

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* General comic book example: when DC jump-started UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|OfComicBooks}} by reinventing a number of their once-popular characters, they tended to replace mystical origin stories with scientific ones. For instance, the new Franchise/GreenLantern got his powers from being a {{space police}}man with an advanced technological weapon, rather than finding a magical lantern. This is probably largely because of the influence of Editor in Chief Julius Schwartz, who was also a major editor in the field of prose science fiction.
* In the original ''Comicbook/TeenTitans'' comics, Mal Duncan's horn was a celestial artifact given to him by the archangel Gabriel. In the Comicbook/PostCrisis continuity, the horn was instead a technological device built by Mal and his girlfriend Karen.
* The early 1960s ''Comicbook/BlueBeetle'', Dan Garrett, gained superpowers from a magical beetle-shaped amulet from Ancient Egypt. The third Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, also gets his power from the Scarab, but about seven issues in, it's revealed to actually be a long-lost bit of ImportedAlienPhlebotinum. {{Justified|Trope}} in that the alien race behind it, the Reach, have disguised many of their plans and weapons as "magic" so that no one would ask questions. And of course, since this is the DC Universe, nobody denies that magic exists; in fact, Garret used magic to activate his. This was inverted in ''Comicbook/DCRebirth'', which seems to have decided [[DoingInTheScientist it really IS magic, after all]].
* Likewise, ComicBook/{{Hawkman}}'s powers are ever-changing in nature: He's either the reincarnation of an Egyptian Pharaoh, or an alien. Or the reincarnation of an alien pharaoh. For example, the mystic that gave the third/fourth Hawkman his powers was retconned into being a Thanagarian scientist. Also, the nature of the "Nth Metal" that gives him his powers keeps changing; from a simple [[ArtificialGravity anti-gravity]] material, to all-purpose GreenRocks, either scientific or magical or even angelic in nature and naturally or artificially originating either from Earth, Thanagar or Heaven. Pick one from each column.
* There ''was'' a period when ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor'' and his fellow Asgardians were actually {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s whose exploits inspired Norse mythology, but who weren't actually gods. This has since been completely ignored.
** The official Marvel explanation is that the Norse gods (and all the other pantheons) are ''extradimensional''. [[MagiTek That use magic. And technology.]] The [[Film/{{Thor}} film]] also makes the claim that [[ClarkesThirdLaw magic and science are in fact one and the same(at at least, have been integrated so well by the Asgardians that the difference is somewhat semantic for them)]]. Asgard seems to exist physically in another dimension. ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' reiterates this, stating that Asgardians are from Asgard, not outer space.
** The ''[[FlipFlopOfGod other]]'' official Marvel explanation is that they're living story dreamt up by humanity. This is also one of the oldest (first mentioned in an 80s Thor annual but not really followed up upon) and the most modern explanation (explicitly in use since JMS's Thor).
** ''ComicBook/EarthX'' attempts to create a coherent MetaOrigin for the various superpowered races in the Marvel Universe such as Asgardians, {{mutants}}, and [[Comicbook/TheInhumans Inhumans]]. When it comes to the Asgardians, TheWatcher states that they were merely a race of [[AncientAstronauts ancient alien]] {{shapeshift|ing}}ers that [[AFormYouAreComfortableWith were forced into the forms of Norse deities]], because that's what the Norse [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly thought they were]].
* Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}:
** Subverted in a Supergirl ''[[Comicbook/{{Supergirl 1972}} story]]''. The eponymous heroine thinks villain Orgox pretends to be a kind of demon-sorcerer in order to deceive a bunch of superstitious, insular villagers, but it turns out that Orgox is really a demonic sorcerer.
** Played straight in ''[[Comicbook/{{Supergirl 1982}} another story]]'' in which villain Kraken pretends to be a wizard, but he uses devices hidden inside his bracelets and belt to perform his tricks. Kara realizes he cannot be a wizard when one of his "spells" hits her and hurts her but doesn't blow her head off.
* Franchise/{{Batman}} has done his fair share of this, usually pointing out people explicitly trying to use smoke-and-mirrors to appear mystical, or some ancient artifact that was thought to be "cursed" or "enchanted" having a rational explanation, like a rage-demon-possessed mask that actually had a few small poison-tipped spikes that drove the bearer mad. That said, he's also explicitly encountered ghosts, wizards, gods and demons, so it's less a case of "There's no such thing as magic" as "I won't believe it's magic until I prove it one way or the other."
* With the ComicBook/ScarletWitch, PowersThatBe have forever been going back and forth on whether she's a literal witch or not. It's mutant probability-altering power! It's "Chaos Magic!" [[ArmedWithCanon It's both! No, it's not! And on and on and on.]]
* In Comicbook/UltimateMarvel the origin of mutant powers was retooled as something that was scientifically made. SuperSerum instead of an evolution process.
** In mainstream Marvel it's been canon for a long time that mutants are the product of the Celestials messing with the human evolutionary process, and aren't natural.
** The mainstream version of Black Knight is a mystical knight with an enchanted sword from the time of King Arthur. The Comicbook/{{Ultimate|Marvel}} Black Knight is a quadriplegic {{Cyborg}} with ArtificialLimbs and a suit of PoweredArmor.
** This is true of a lot of characters, since the Ultimate Universe is generally lighter on magic and mysticism than the mainstream Franchise/MarvelUniverse. A good example is that Comicbook/{{Hawkeye}} refuses to believe Comicbook/GhostRider is actually from {{Hell}}, and instead thinks he's just a mutant who happens to have a flaming skull.
** Valkyrie from ''Comicbook/TheUltimates'' started off this way (she was just a Thor {{Fangirl}} rather than an actual Norse deity), but ended up being given magical powers by Loki.
** Ultimate Comicbook/CaptainBritain was just a guy in a [[ClothesMakeTheSuperman superpowered costume]], unlike the mainstream Captain Britain, who was actually granted magical powers by Myth/{{Merlin}}.
** ComicBook/BlackPanther is completely divorced from any mystical or ceremonial overtones, and instead is a mortally-wounded African teen who was [[WeCanRebuildHim rebuilt into a super soldier]] by Weapon X.
** Subverted by Thor, however. The Ultimate version of him often teased that he wasn't really a deity, leaving conflicting hints that he was actually just a man with super-powers that suffered a mental breakdown and was now under the delusion he was a Norse God. Then revealed that he's a deity after all and all the hints to otherwise were planted by Loki to fuck with him.
* Officially, ComicBook/{{Mephisto}} is not literally the devil in Marvel's comics; he just gets off on convincing people that he is. Magic is a very real, very prominent force in Marvel stories...sometimes. Depending on the writer and the tone of the series, seemingly magical elements may be written off as fantastic technology and demons may in fact be interdimensional aliens...or not. It's all quite confusing, really, but the go-to solution seems to be simply not to worry about it too much. Mephisto is one of several evil extradimensional beings who claim or have claimed to be ''the'' Devil, Satan Merkratang. They all rule their own Hell dimensions, and all claim to be the real deal. Canonicly, they're all liars and know it. The '''real''' Satan hasn't been seen in so long, even in Hell, that many (even among the rulers) don't believe he actually exists. It doesn't mean they're going to take the chance and sit on his empty throne.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Appears sometimes in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfiction.
** ''Fanfic/TheWritingOnTheWall'' has AdventurerArchaeologist Daring Do working on excavating an ancient, imposing building constructed deep in the desert. Daring Do dismisses the metallic thorns constructed around the ediface as something meant to deter tomb robbers, and the eponymous writing inside the building as an attempt to scare people away with a nonexistent curse on anyone who disturbed the sanctity of the place. Too bad she was WrongGenreSavvy and RightForTheWrongReasons; the words and the thorns were both meant to deter tomb robbers, but [[spoiler: the building isn't a tomb, and the "curse" was a warning of the very real, but entirely non-magical danger which lay within]].
** One of the appendices to Act II of the alternate continuity ''[[Fanfic/TheEquestriaChronicles Legends of Equestria]]'' models magic as an imperative programming language, composed of elementary instructions that unicorns have over time abstracted into personal "libraries" that allow them to cast more complicated spells with less effort. It even points out that magic is almost-provably Turing complete under this model.
** ''Fanfic/FrigidWindsAndBurningHearts'' effectively destroys most of the magic of Equestria. The Everfree Forest is just a nature preserve (it even has ''poachers''), Discord is just a mundane tyrant, the retelling of Equestria's founding doesn't have Windigoes, and almost everything out of the ordinary is because of deliberate meddling, not because of any magical nature of the place. Even "The Stare" is just something that ponies who work with animals learn!
** While generally inverted in ''FanFic/DiariesOfAMadman'', the elementals are actually a race comprised of nanomachines, rather than beings of magic.
* ''Fanfic/KitsuneNoKenFistOfTheFox'' is set in a HighSchoolAU setting, and as such it's made clear from the outset that there won't be any ninja jutsu, summoning magic, bloodline abilities, or any of the Bijuu present in the story.
* ''Fanfic/TwelveRedLines'' does this to ''MangaEffects,'' explaining many of them away with quirks of biology.
* ''Fanfic/XMenTheEarlyYears'': Cyclops, aided by Iceman's cold-manipulation powers, tricks a Satan cultist into believing he's a dark wizard. Long story.

* Done subtly in the 2006 film ''End of the Line''. [[spoiler:It is never stated outright, but there are major hints at the true nature of the movie's "demons". 1: The demons never actually harm or physically interact with anyone on-screen. 2: The film drops at least one hidden incident of the word "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergot Ergot]]" without any other context. 3: All of the main characters who actually see any demons wolfed down [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergotism an abandoned platter of muffins]] earlier in the film. Hmm.]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars: Film/ThePhantomMenace'' supposedly did this to the Force. In the original trilogy, the Force is described as an energy field created by life that interconnects all living things. The ability to manipulate this energy field could be passed down through the family and sensed by other Jedi. However, ''The Phantom Menace'' claims that life ''itself'' is the result of a symbiotic relationship with organisms known as midi-chlorians, that reside in all living cells. Having a high concentration of midi-chlorians increases both one's ability to manipulate the Force, and the total potential power of the individual Force user. Thus, it seems the Force is actually a physical property of the body rather than an abstract talent or metaphysical ability. However, [[WordOfGod George Lucas]] claims that the midi-chlorians are merely the practical, biological side of the Force distinct from the spiritual aspect, and Franchise/StarWarsLegends sources such as ''Literature/DarthPlagueis'' treat the organisms as merely vessels of the Force rather than the Force itself.
* The entire Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse is essentially an example of this. In the original Marvel comic book continuity (or at least in some iterations of it), some of the superheroes' abilities were left without a plausible scientific explanation, or were outright billed as magic or sorcery (e.g. ComicBook/DoctorStrange, the "Sorcerer Supreme of Earth"). In the MCU by comparison, the tone of the entire continuity is that "everything is explainable by science", even if this is not often stated outright.
** Perhaps the most explicit example is in the Thor movies. In the first ''Film/{{Thor}}'', the source of Asgardians' abilities is left mostly to the imagination. The Asgardians themselves refer to them in terms usually associated with magic and claim to fail to see the difference between magic and science when asked by the human protagonist. By ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'', Asgardian equipment is more obviously technological (e.g. the rather pedestrian shield generator for the main palace), Odin states outright Asgardians are regular mortals (with Loki putting their lifespan at some 5,000 years, thus making it possible for the Asgardian characters to be present on Earth in the Dark Ages), Thor pilots an obviously technological Dark Elf ship with familiar ease, etc. Perhaps the most direct example is when Jane Foster asks an Asgardian physician whether the device they're using to scan her (for the presence of the Aether, a parasitic MacGuffin), which the Asgardians call a "soul forge", is a "quantum field generator" (itself technobabble, but of the "plausible" kind). The Asgardian fails to answer, but does confirm that the device "transfers molecular energy from one place to another", which apparently, according to Foster, is what a quantum field generator does. This is as close as the MCU comes to saying that all Asgardian abilities are either natural (such as their lifespan and their mooks' physical strength), or technological.
** In ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'', Comicbook/IronMan posits that the "worthiness enchantment" on Mjölnir (Thor's hammer) functions on the principle of a biometric security system. Thor replies calling it an interesting theory, but offers a better one: That the hammer can only be wielded by the "worthy." Later in the film a character being able to lift it causes Thor to instantly trust them completely.
** Averted with ''Film/DoctorStrange2016'', wherein it's shown that not only is magic a real force, but it specifically doesn't need to follow the rules of scientific law.
** Somewhat Averted or muddied with ''Film/ThorRagnarok''. It would appear the average Asgardian is a long lived mortal. But Odin, Thor, and Hela are something else entirely. Loki is told to be a magic practitioner. His illusions are not tech, but rather, a magic spell he learned from his adoptive mother Frigga.
** Happens in ''Film/BlackPanther'' with his sister Shuri. In the comics, she's a MagicKnight who incorporates shamanism into her fighting style in contrast with her GadgeteerGenius brother. But in the movie, Shuri's magic abilities are completely omitted in favor of splitting Comic!T'Challa's personality between the two siblings: Film!T'Challa retains his social and political savvy, while Film!Shuri is Wakanda's lead engineer who supplies T'Challa's gadgets. The film also ''averts'' this trope, however, as the Heart-Shaped Herb allows T'Challa to enter the spirit realm and convene with the souls of past Black Panthers.
* ''Film/HighlanderIITheQuickening'' reveals that Immortals are aliens from the planet Zeist. The director's cut has them as time-traveling {{precursors}} from the prehistoric past. Both explanations met with CanonDiscontinuity due to unpopularity.
* ''Film/{{Doom}}'' changed the monsters from demons to alien/mutants.
* The 1929 horror film ''The Unholy Night'' ends with a "rational explanation" to explain all the supernatural horror elements, which was common in American films at the time.
* ''Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari'' had "it's all in the patient's head'' {{bookends}} attached on the insistence of the movie's producers.
* ''Film/TheTenCommandments'' has a scene where Ramses tries to explain away the Plagues as natural phenomena. To paraphrase, he tells Moses that red mud seeped into the Nile River, causing the frogs to leave and the cattle drinking from it to sicken and die, whose carcasses rotted, attracting rats and bugs that spread disease. Then there's the matter of burning hail from the sky...
** The 2014 movie ''Exodus: Gods and Kings'' follows down a similar path, with nearly all supernatural events being given a halfway plausible "realistic" explanation. For instance, the Nile is the color of blood because the wildlife murdered hundreds or thousands of people in it and it's actually full of blood.
* ''Film/{{Troy}}'' retells ''Literature/TheIliad'' without any gods or magic. In fact, the film's message scorns mysticism, religion, and superstition. In the beginning, Achilles lampshades it when a boy asks if he's really invincible. Achilles responds that if he were, then he wouldn't be bothering with a shield.
** This is actually a fair point, as stories of Achilles being literally invincible didn't emerge until later, more fantastical versions of the Trojan War. During the time that The Iliad was popular entertainment, Achilles was as vincible as the next soldier, but was unbeatable due to his skill.
* If you can get your mind off [[MsFanservice Mathilda May's]] assets, ''Film/{{Lifeforce}}'' (aka "The naked space vampire movie") posits that vampire legends are based on a race of alien LifeEnergy parasites.
* Not a single one of [[Film/TheFantasticFour the]] [[Film/FantasticFour2005 three]] [[Film/FantasticFour2015 attempts]] at making a ''Comicbook/FantasticFour'' film franchise have actually included ComicBook/DoctorDoom's sorcery abilities, instead always opting to make his powers a side effect of the scientific accident that disfigured his face.
* The ''[[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga Batman Begins]]'' trilogy
** ComicBook/RasAlGhul, instead of being a single man who uses Lazarus Pits to extend his life, uses body doubles to fake his death.
** Two-Face doesn't have dual personalities fighting for control. He just has an obsession with the idea of random chance and a thirst for vengeance.
** Bane's venom enhancements are replaced with a face-mask full of anaesthetic, to treat an old (presumably spinal, judging from the scar on his back) injury.
* ''Film/StreetFighter'' changed M. Bison's psychic and telekinetic abilities to a [[ClothesMakeTheSuperman special suit]] that gives him [[ShockAndAwe electromagnetic]] powers.
* ''Film/HouseOfDracula'' sweeps aside the supernatural elements of [[Film/TheWolfMan1941 The Wolf Man]]'s curse, gives it a TechnoBabble explanation and has it ultimately cured in the ending.
* ''Film/{{Ondine}}'' has [[spoiler: this as a TwistEnding. Ondine isn't really a selkie, just a really good swimmer. The "seal coat" is actually smuggled drugs, the "selkie husband" is a drug baron, her mystical song is actually a foreign pop song and that also means that Annie getting a replacement kidney is just pure coincidence]].
* The protagonist of ''Film/TheIllusionist'' abandons his illusions for seances and shows wherein he seems to actually communicate with the dead. [[spoiler:Turns out he's just a really, REALLY good illusionist... I guess the title should have given it away.]]
* In ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'', TheJuggernaut never has his origin given, and is at least believed by the populace to be just another mutant. In the comics, he gets his powers and armor from a mystical gem. The Phoenix is just ComicBook/JeanGrey's [[SplitPersonality alternate personality]], rather than a god-like cosmic entity. Though to be fair, the Phoenix originally ''was'' just Jean in the comics before it was {{Retcon}}ned into being a creature from space.
* ''Film/ChildrenOfTheCornIITheFinalSacrifice'' posits the idea that all the supernatural stuff happening in that installment and [[Film/ChildrenOfTheCorn1984 the previous movie]] might have been hallucinations caused by contaminated corn. "[[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane Might have been]]" being the keyword, since some of the stuff seen by characters who have been exposed to the corn for a very short while is very similar to what others who have been exposed for years are seeing. The [[Film/ChildrenOfTheCornIIIUrbanHarvest next film]] throws this possible explanation [[DoingInTheScientist out of the window]].
* Played with in ''Film/HellraiserHellworld''. The [[ArtifactOfDoom Lament Configuration]]? An online puzzle. [[BigBad Pinhead?]] Literally called a franchise icon. Hellworld? An exclusive, debauched party. It's all just a game, until things get real and cenobites start showing up and the bloodbath begins. Then the wizard is done in a second time, as [[spoiler: it's all the means a mundane killer uses to pick off the protagonists after drugging them with hallucinogens so they'd see what he put in their heads]]. Then the [[DoingInTheScientist wizard rises from the grave to kill the scientist]], as the original killer opens the Lament Configuration and the franchise icon puts in his obligatory appearance.
* The ''[[Film/{{Halloween 2007}} Halloween]]'' reboot ignores the idea that Michael's behavior is the result of an ancient curse placed on him by Druid cultists, instead opting to portray him as a very violent, deranged young man searching for his sister. Also if the ending of [[Film/HalloweenII2009 the sequel]] is any indication, he [[spoiler: [[KilledOffForReal lacks]] the supernatural JokerImmunity of his pre-reboot counterpart]].
* Just like in the original novel, ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'' has the titular wizard, which is famously revealed at the end to be just a normal man using visual tricks to make people think he uses actual magic. This is later explored in full in the prequel film ''Film/OzTheGreatAndPowerful''. Interestingly enough, even though the wizard is a farce, there's actual magic in this world, which shows how good the wizard's abilities are, as he's able to fool ''actual magic users''.
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' has a minor example that is not so much "magic retconned into science" as it is a mystery for the ages being filled in with explicit visuals. In [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings the book]], everyone acknowledges that the new creatures under command of the wizard Saruman are some variety of Orc, but the terms used for them and possible explanations of their origins are inconsistent and inconclusive. It could be magic, or it could be some sort of eugenics or even [[HybridPower hybridization]] with humans. In the film, while the full details are still not given, there are shots of apparently fully-grown Uruk-hai being "birthed" out of gelatinous sacs, which at the least narrows down the possibilities. Since Saruman is present in these scenes, this would be an exceedingly rare case where the Wizard Did Himself In.

* Done somewhat blatantly in the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series and can mainly be ascribed to the Sisters of the Light. In the first few books, magic is described as being one's "gift" and prophecies in-world were very traditionally vague. Once the good Sisters are introduced, they bring along their own descriptions, describing the gift as one's "Han". And beyond the fourth book, the previously well-written and plot-relevant prophecies disappear and are replaced with [[MinovskyPhysics quantum physics]] {{technobabble}} meant to sound more scientific than mystical, going beyond MagicAIsMagicA (this is also, not coincidentally, when the story becomes an AuthorTract).
** At this point, the Evil Sisters also start stealing the "Han" of male wizards and using it for themselves, apparently through the power of [[spoiler:spiky demon penis]].
* One of Creator/HPLovecraft's signature tropes was describing magical incantations as mathematical formulae, and explaining demons and antediluvian gods as aliens, interdimensional beings, {{time travel}}ers, or [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs time-traveling aliens]]. He was a staunch atheist, and this was part of the message of his works.
** Lovecraft's novella ''Literature/AtTheMountainsOfMadness'' was a wholesale demystification of his own mythos. It explicitly described Cthulhu as an alien, not a deity, which "Literature/TheCallOfCthulhu" itself did not do.
** Legend has it that Abdul Alhazred, the Mad Arab, was killed in broad daylight by an invisible monster. Most mythos material that draws strictly from Lovecraft runs with this, but Creator/AugustDerleth later expanded on it, explaining that that whole thing was simply a hoax to cover up his even more painful death by torture.
** Lovecraft's story "Literature/TheDreamsInTheWitchHouse" starts with the protagonist moving into the titular building ''because'' his curiosity is aroused by rumors that it is haunted by the ghost of the witch who once lived there. In a way it is, but it is heavily implied that the "haunting" is not actually supernatural but an [[AlienGeometries extremely sophisticated science based around the manipulation of space and time]].
* ''Literature/TheLaundryFiles'' by Creator/CharlesStross follows on this point; the secret agency that deals with {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, the Laundry, was founded after Alan Turing discovered a math equation that simulated magic. A HandOfGlory is described as specific variables that form a complete circuit with an extradimensional source, and the traditional "gaze of the Medusa" turns out to be triggered by a ''very'' rare form of brain tumor and [[spoiler:can be replicated on a circuit board]].
* ''Literature/TheWarlockInSpiteOfHimself'' has the "[[WitchSpecies witches and warlocks]]" of the LostColony of Gramarye revealed as having inheritable mutations that give them PsychicPowers. Until the fourth or fifth book (it's a long series), when it is revealed [[spoiler:the main character is an actual magic user, not a psychic. Except that it's then (later in the same book) revealed that he is a psychic. The reason he can use 'actual magic' earlier in the book is that he's been transported to an alternate universe where there is actual magic. Once he gets back home, he can't do magic, but he keeps the psychic powers that he's now unlocked. (Hence the title of this book - The Warlock Unlocked]].
* In ''The Literature/ColdfireTrilogy'', the magic system actively prevents technology from arising (beliefs and fears are made manifest and honestly, who really believes that their car will start each day?). Except... as it turns out, [[spoiler:the inhabitants of the planet are descendants of earlier space travelers, and the "magic" is the result of injured psychic aliens]].
* Brian Stableford's short story "The Gardens of Tantalus" is a whodunnit with the Greek philosopher and supposed magician Apollonius of Tyana as the detective. It retells Philostratus's account of Apollonius exposing a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent lamia]], but in this version he exposes a murderer, and the supernatural aspects were later added by his follower Damis (whose diaries Philostratus claimed to have used) to hide the fact he wasn't told what actually happened.
* Marion Zimmer Bradley's ''Literature/{{Darkover}}.'' ''[[AppliedPhlebotinum Laran]]'', the setting's word for their magic, is a word for psychic abilities that can be amplified through matrix crystals. Bradley does a good job of showing how most native Darkovans call it sorcery, but those who actually work with it treat it as a science. Although the science behind the psychic abilities boils down to "It's magic but not!"
** To a lesser degree also her ''Avalon'' books and ''Firebrand'' (they have some magic and some elements explained by more mundane factors).
* In an unusual variant, the Literature/LordDarcy mysteries take place in a world where sorcery exists and is very explicitly treated as a science; Darcy's associate Master Sean O'Lochlainn mentions that one of the reasons he has an M.S. (Master of Sorcery) degree rather than the Th.D. (''Thaumaturgae Doctoralis'') is that he "couldn't handle the math" required for the latter. However, the solution to his cases usually turns out to be non-magical. Indeed, Darcy must often prove the culprit used mundane methods so as to exonerate an innocent magician, thus doing in the wizard to ''save'' the wizard.
* In ''Literature/The13thWarrior'', the monster is actually a brutal primitive tribe, implied to be the last Neanderthals.
* Many books by Creator/RichardMatheson do this, including ''Literature/IAmLegend'' (vampires) and ''Literature/HellHouse'' (a haunted house).
* According to the (pretty strange) rules of magic in Gordon R. Dickson's ''Literature/TheDragonKnight'' series, this is how technology develops. Magicians invent a new type of magical technique that runs on [[{{Mana}} magical energy]] and share it amongst each other. If they share it too much, it ''stops being magical'' and starts being technology and running without mana. The only way to replenish the world's supply of magic is with new magical techniques: the main character invents the theater and special effects in one book which helps replenish the world's supply of magic.
* Some of Creator/DeanKoontz's works prefer to settle for a paranormal solution over a supernatural one, and ''The Servants of Twilight'' is a particularly heavy-handed example. The main character's son is pursued by the followers of a religious fanatic throughout, who's had visions that paint the child as the Antichrist. In the final confrontation, [[spoiler: the fanatic is attacked and killed by a horde of bats]], and this, along with other strange occurrences, lead the mother to think her kid might really ''be'' the Antichrist. [[spoiler: And that's when the fanatic's top mook -- who has been mostly silent throughout and shown no signs of higher thinking -- goes into a two-page explanation about how the two characters were most likely psychic and picking up on one another, before walking out of the book entirely.]]
* Ann Radcliffe, a late 18th century Gothic novelist, loved this. Most of her books have a big section in the denouement explaining how each and every seemingly-supernatural element was really just trickery. Or the wind. This is especially interesting because the supernatural was a hallmark of the Gothic genre, and Ann Radcliffe was one of its foremost writers.
* The original ''Franchise/SherlockHolmes'' stories. Pick ''any'' story (or novel) with a seemingly supernatural element and that element will be given a rational explanation by the end. Most obvious example is ''The Hound Of The Baskervilles''.
* Creator/StephenKing has ''Literature/GeraldsGame'', which featured a superfluous last chapter that establishes that everything had a rational explanation. Not the usual from King, but that may have been the point.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov does this in his ''Literature/BlackWidowers'' series, especially in "The Obvious Factor" and "The Haunted Cabin". Another short story, "The Cross of Lorraine" features a LawyerFriendlyCameo of the Amazing Randi, who does this for a living.
* Played with in ''Literature/TheThreeInvestigators'' series. Often played straight, but some of the "rational" explanations seem to be extremely far-fetched.
* Creator/ScottWesterfeld does this in ''Literature/{{Peeps}}'', where vampires, and all of their traits, such as being afraid of sunlight and mirrors and crosses are explained away as parasites affecting brain chemistry. Even vampires turning into bats is explained.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheApocalypseDoor'' by James D. Macdonald: Over the course of the novel, the protagonists piece together the evidence that the "demons" they're fighting are the spearhead of an extradimensional alien invasion -- but then, at the end, it's suggested that they really are demons.
* Justified and inverted ''at the same time'' in Creator/GKChesterton's Literature/FatherBrown short stories. At first, something supernatural seems to be going on; in the end, the "ghost-story" phenomena turn out to be this-worldly. However, Chesterton then follows up with a double twist: the crime had a supernatural cause after all, one far more dreadful than any ghost... i.e., the terrible mysteries of the human heart.
* In the ''Literature/PeterPan''-ExternalRetcon ''Literature/PeterAndTheStarcatchers'' series, the stuff we know as "fairy dust" is actually "[[GreenRocks Starstuff]]", a highly dangerous AppliedPhlebotinum that can do anything. Besides being [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy the creative force behind every genius in Earth's history]], Starstuff can make people fly, [[spoiler:turn birds into "fairies" and fish into "mermaids"]], and [[spoiler:keep you from dying or growing older]] if you survive prolonged exposure.
* ''Black Castle Olshansky'' mystery novel by Vladimir Korotkevich has in-universe example. Everyone, and the protagonist himself, feels nothing but frustration when the protagonist finds the scientific explanation of the haunting in the titular black castle.
* Caleb Carr's ''The Legend of Broken'' mostly plays this straight. The "sorcerer" Caliphestos is just a scholar, healer and proto-scientist (and hates being called a sorcerer) and the Bane a tribe of goblin-elves is the product of inbreeding among people exiled for not matching up the the physical standards of the City-state of Broken. However it's hinted that the lost manuscript on which the story is based was written by Broken's founder based on dream visions and Caliphestos has a [[BondCreature seemingly supernatural rapport with the pantheress Stasi]] that's never really explained.
* Creator/AnneMcCaffrey's ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'' series begins with fire-breathing dragons, telepathy, and teleportation, all believed to be a form of magic. By the third book in the series, the dragons are genetically modified lizards with {{technobabble}} explanations for the telepathy and teleportation [[spoiler:and telekinesis that let the massive dragons fly with wings too small for their bodies]].
* The ''Literature/{{Doom}}'' series changes the video game's demons from hell into genetically engineered alien monsters. They were created to resemble demons because the aliens had last reconnoitered Earth during TheMiddleAges. Fly was raised Roman Catholic and knows that [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu man-made weapons shouldn't be able to destroy real demons]]. Some monsters have organic weaponry and others have cybernetic weapons installed. Not that it makes them any less deadly.
* Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/RoughDraft'' duology has the protagonist become into a superhuman being called a "functional", meeting other functionals with supernatural abilities. While parallel worlds are key to the duology, the nature of these powers are kept ambiguous for much of it. It's clear that ''someone'' is behind all this, but how this is done is not described. However, shortly before the end of the second novel, the protagonist claims that all this has to do with advanced knowledge of quantum physics. Why do functionals have these abilities? They "borrow" them from a parallel version of themselves that exists in a world where this is natural.
* ''Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew'' has this trope as an implied twist: the ghost story that comprises the entire plot is actually the hallucinations of the UnreliableNarrator.
* ''Literature/TimeLordFairyTales'' is a Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse book that does this to various European fairy tales by replacing magic with the Franchise/{{Whoniverse}}'s soft-sci-fi and {{Technobabble}} equivalents. "Cursed to sleep for a century" becomes "trapped in suspended animation"; "cursed to become a monster" becomes "accident scrambles DNA", etc.
* The Franchise/StarWarsLegends novel ''Literature/DarthPlagueis'' lampshaded this trope in-universe with respect to the midi-chlorians. The titular Sith Lord was a materialist that sought to explain the Force through rational means as opposed to the mystic reverence the Jedi bestow to it. With this knowledge, Plagueis attempted to manipulate the midi-chlorians to create a living being that would serve the Sith. However, the trope is ultimately subverted as it turned out, the Force had a mind of its own and rebelled by creating TheChosenOne instead.

[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has somewhat of a running gag (spanning decades) in that The Doctor ''refuses'' to say something is magic, and will have a {{technobabble}} explanation -- sometimes correct, sometimes flimsy and hinted incorrect. However, it should be noted that psychic powers do factually exist in the universe of ''Doctor Who''.
** This is well shown by the way that companions occasionally BS their way through Doctor-like explanations without any knowledge at all -- and sound EXACTLY like him, à la Rose in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E11TurnLeft "Turn Left"]].
** This attitude is averted, however, in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E8TheImpossiblePlanet "The Impossible Planet"]]/[[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E9TheSatanPit "The Satan Pit"]], in which an entity claiming to be the literal Satan (or at least, the inspiration for him) appears, and claims to be older than time itself -- something the Doctor says to be impossible. At the end of the episode, the Doctor all but admits that he doesn't have an explanation and can't dismiss the entity's claims quite so easily as he normally would.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS26E1Battlefield "Battlefield"]], he admits that Morgaine's powers are magic, however, and gives Ace an inverse of Clarke's Law. "Any advanced form of magic is indistinguishable from technology." The in-episode explanation is that Morgaine comes from an alternate universe with different physical laws, and apparently magic -- or something that we might as well call magic -- actually works there.
** Lampshaded in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E4TheGirlInTheFireplace "The Girl in the Fireplace"]]: he suggests that the "windows" are "spatio-temporal hyperlinks". When Mickey asks what that means, the Doctor replies, "No idea. Didn't want to say '[[Series/RedDwarf magic door]].'"
** Averted in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E10Midnight "Midnight"]] when no explanation is given as to what the antagonist is, nor is the subject even brought up. It is just something that is attacking them. [[NothingIsScarier One of many reasons why this episode more than most is top quality terror.]]
** Lampshaded in [[Recap/DoctorWho2010CSAChristmasCarol "A Christmas Carol"]], when one character says that the fish like singing (ItMakesSenseInContext), the Doctor denies this and starts rambling about vibrating ice crystals. The fish seem to dislike this and they bite him.
** Fans complained about [[Recap/DoctorWhoS25E3SilverNemesis "Silver Nemesis"]] when Lady Peineforte's magic worked and was actually ''called'' magic. The show did an AuthorsSavingThrow a few episodes later in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS26E3TheCurseOfFenric "The Curse of Fenric"]], claiming her powers had been derived from a SufficientlyAdvancedAlien. Though it is unclear exactly what Fenric is...
** Lampshaded by Jackie Tyler in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E12ArmyOfGhosts "Army of Ghosts"]], complaining that the Doctor is trying to turn the return of their loved ones as ghosts into something scientific. As always, the Doctor is right, [[spoiler:the "ghosts" are Cybermen forcing their way into our universe from another]].
** A particularly egregious example takes place in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS8E5TheDaemons "The Dæmons"]] in which the Doctor and a career witch argue for several minutes as to whether an effect is magical or scientific. Then the Doctor explains that it works exactly how the witch thought it did, but if you know how and why it works then that's science.
** Subverted in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E2TheShakespeareCode "The Shakespeare Code"]], where the Doctor explains a man's sudden death to the witnesses in the terms of then-popular humoral theory, later clarifying that if he tried to tell them the truth, it would make them think it was witchcraft. When asked by Martha what was the cause in fact, the Doctor replies, "Witchcraft." Though then explained as an alternate form of science which uses the power of spoken language rather than mathematics to operate. Therefore, the pseudo-Shakespearean speech of the witches is in fact their version of technology. The plot revolves around Shakespeare himself being able to do it by accident.
** Playfully used in the ExpandedUniverse short story anthology ''Time Lord Fairy Tales'', which presents a variety of {{Twice Told Tale}}s. Outright magical events in classic fairy tales are replaced with various sci-fi equivalents and technobabble: "[[Literature/SleepingBeauty cursed into eternal slumber]]" becomes "trapped in suspended animation" while "[[Literature/BeautyAndTheBeast fairy's curse turns man into beast; woman's love saves him]]" becomes "time stream accident alters man's DNA and transforms him into a beast-man; woman who loves him administers the engineered cure".
** The ExpandedUniverse also introduces [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos the Great Old Ones]] and their cults, which are able to create all kinds of blatantly magical effects with incantations and rituals. The Doctor, as usual, handwaves the entire thing: just as the Time Lords use mathematics to achieve their [[ClarkesThirdLaw sufficiently advanced technology]], the Great Old Ones used language, and brought their own physical laws forward into our universe with them. (This is roughly the same explanation that would later show up in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E2TheShakespeareCode "The Shakespeare Code"]], above.) ''Millennial Rites'' takes this even further, introducing a character from the ''next'' universe who appears to do the same thing through sigils.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Devil's Due", a planet made a supposed DealWithTheDevil to save their planet according to their mythology. Eventually, a con woman assumes the role or "Ardra", using high-tech parlor tricks (holoprojection, transporters, cloaking fields, tractor beams, in summary). The crew of the ''Enterprise'' do in the wizard by figuring out the source of her "powers" is a ship in orbit, and then enable Picard to hijack its functions during the "trial" to see if the "Contract of Ardra" is valid.
* Subverted in ''Series/TheSecondComing'', in which the Son of God really ''has'' returned and is performing miracles, one of which is to make a sliver of daylight appear within the confines of a football stadium during the night. At one point, one of the main characters meets an academic who is studying footage of the event, and comments that they could theoretically check local weather patterns to see what day's weather had been transplanted to that night. The main character, an atheist, suggests that this is proof that it's not necessarily a miracle, only for the academic to counter that it's nothing of the kind; regardless of when and where the daylight came from and what scientific terms you couch it in, it's still impossible.
* The Creator/AnimalPlanet movie ''Werewolves: Dark Survivors'' has this in spades, attempting to explain all the myths surrounding [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent werewolves]] as a [[TheVirus derived strain of rabies]] which causes porphyria and other symptoms, with a few historical tidbits about berserkers for good measure.
** ''Film/DragonsAFantasyMadeReal'' tries to do the same kind of scientific justification for... well, guess.
* The format of ''Series/JonathanCreek'' involves him using his experience as an illusionist to solve seemingly impossible or paranormal crimes.
* An episode of ''Series/StargateSG1'' had Daniel attempting to do this with a group of villagers. Every time he tried to tell them that there was no such thing as magic, he would be "beamed up" by an orbiting ship, which did not help his case any.
** In universe examples/attempts of this happen fairly often as the Tau'ri are always trying to explain to other humans that the Goa'uld/Ori are not gods and the that they wield technology not supernatural powers.
* A ChristmasEpisode of ''Series/{{Eureka}}'' has Taggart ''attempting'' to do in the ''Santa'', with chimney-climbing device, matter-shrinking ray (for storing the presents), and flying sleigh complete with holographic reindeer. (Though, according to Jack's [[UnreliableNarrator telling]] of the events of the night, he failed, and Santa actually exists in the universe. He could be making it up, but then, ''Eureka'' ''does'' share the same continuity with ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}''...) Taggart was actually attempting to prove that Santa DOES exist... or could, anyway. More like Justifying the Wizard.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': [[AvertedTrope Deliberately averted]]. Damon Lindelof, a noted ''Franchise/StarWars'' fan, explicitly wanted to avoid either a Midiclorian situation or [[Film/TheMatrixReloaded an Architect scene]] (which he described as the worst scene in all of sci-fi). So he wrote a show where everybody has their own personal convictions about what's going on with life, the universe, and everything, and then stubbornly argue about it for six seasons. Some people believe in magic and spirituality guiding their lives, whereas others insist they make their own luck and try to do in the wizard with science. Both sides are shown to be right and wrong at times, with evidence to support both their claims, but everything is vague enough that there's no concrete answer, zig-zagging this trope from first episode to last.
* ''Series/JoanOfArcadia'' plays with this (briefly) by suggesting Joan's visions [[spoiler: could be due to Lyme's disease]].
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', Mister Mxyzptlk was a teenager with MindManipulation abilities, rather than a {{Reality Warp|er}}ing [[GreatGazoo Imp from the Fifth Dimension]] like in the comics.
* ''Series/KamenRiderAmazons'' to the series it's rebooting, ''Series/KamenRiderAmazon''. In the original, the title character was a human augmented by mystical means and powered by a magical artifact called the Gi-Gi Armlet, which if removed would kill him. In the rebooted series, all Amazons (or Amazonz) are just people implanted with parasitic and cannibalistic cells only held back by an armlet that injects them with a pacification chemical...that looks EXACTLY like the originals Gigi Armlet...only edge-y.
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' often [[MythologyGag alludes]] to superheroes such as the Flash, Superman, etc. but WordOfGod says that they are planning on keeping the series realistic, taking all superpowers and aliens out of the equation.
** ...At least in season one. Season 2 introduces Franchise/TheFlash and finally grants [[spoiler:Comicbook/{{Deathstroke}} his powers]].
** The show's version of Solomon Grundy is a normal guy who becomes mutated by a SuperSerum. In the comics, he was a zombie who was resurrected by supernatural means.
** Of course, since ''Series/TheFlash2014'' is a spin-off and shares the same universe (with occasional crossover episodes), it's pretty clear that superpowers do exist in that 'verse, although they try to explain them all as a result of the particle accelerator explosion at S.T.A.R. Labs ([[spoiler:caused by a meta-human from the distant future in an attempt to find a way back]]).
** And ''that'' goes out the window when it's revealed there are metahumans who were nowhere near the explosion, the Lazarus Pit in season 3 of ''Series/{{Arrow}}'', and explicitly the existence of magic in Season 4 when Comicbook/JohnConstantine shows up. It goes even farther out the window with the addition of ''WesternAnimaion/{{Vixen}}'' (magic), ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'' (time travel, immortality, reincarnation), and ''Series/{{Supergirl}}'' (aliens are real in another reality) to the Series/ArrowVerse. Oh, and aliens then go ahead and invade Earth-1 anyway.
* ''Series/{{House}}'':
** One episode featured a teenage faith healer who apparently sent another patient's cancer into remission with a touch. Only to turn out that he gave her Herpes that attacked the cancer, he'd been picking at his sores before he touched her.
** Another episode featured a doubting priest who began having visions of Jesus, stigmata, and other "prophetic" style symptoms. Eventually, House proved all the physical signs were merely the symptoms of a disease. The visions he figured were just alcohol-induced.
* Zig-zagged in ''Series/{{Grimm}}'' with some of the powers of the Wesen. For example, the Grimms' ability to see Wesen is, apparently, explained by them having more cones in their eyes (i.e. they have a broader visual spectrum). Then completely averted with some creatures who are not Wesen but are just plain supernatural (such as a ghost lady, a volcano being, or a {{Golem}}). There is also no attempt to explain the [[MindOverMatter telekinesis]] and spells of the [[WitchSpecies Hexenbiests]]. The final season throws that completely out the window, with Nick actually travelling to Wesen Hell and meeting the Wesen Devil. Oh, and in the final fight, he fights side-by-side with his dead mom and aunt and then magically jumps back to a few days before.
* The ''Series/{{iZombie}}'' series tries to do that with zombies, unlike the original [[ComicBook/{{iZombie}} comic book]]. There are (so far) no other types of supernatural beings present in the comic book either. In the show, zombieism is spread by a virus through fluid contact, although the original cause appears to be a tainted drug ([[spoiler:with the possible addition of a certain energy drink]]).
* In a ''Series/HoneyIShrunkTheKids'' chapter, a "leprechaun" appears and starts doing several tricks, which Wayne easily explains off as things easily done with some chemicals and sleight of hand, much to Nick's regret (because he really believed it was a leprechaun). [[spoiler:Then a bunch of leprechauns appear for real. And these cannot be explained.]]
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'':
** In the original ''Comicbook/SecretWarriors'' comics, Hellfire's powers were supernatural in nature, and were the result of him being a descendant of Carter Slade, the original Comicbook/GhostRider. In the series, Hellfire is simply an [[Comicbook/TheInhumans Inhuman]].
** The fourth season, however, notably averts this. Not only is there a Ghost Rider who is explicitly magical (even though no one believes him), there are ghosts created by a TomeOfEldritchLore who can curse people with a touch. The scientists repeatedly fail to come up with non-magical explanations, but they do find non-magical ''solutions''. The message is that even if magic itself is beyond the realm of science, its effects are parallel the norm enough that they can be accounted for by mundane means.
* ''Series/{{Runaways 2017}}'': Following the example of ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'', the show tries to explain magic away as science with varying levels of success.
--> '''Tina:''' An electrical current just traveled from your neural pathways into the staff and made that happen.\\
'''Nico:''' Explain it however you want, but it needed my blood and it read my mind. It's just like Wicca.\\
'''Tina:''' It is ''science'', Nico.\\
'''Nico:''' If by "science" you mean high-tech magic, then sure.


* Many depictions of Oedipus (including perhaps the famous ''Theatre/OedipusTheKing'') try to downplay many of the more fantastic elements of the story, most specifically the Sphinx... the in-depth human tragedy seems to lose something by also having a Riddle-Spewing Man-Eating She-Beast going around in the {{backstory}}.
* In ''Chariots of the Gods,'' Erich von Daniken put forth the theory that [[AncientAstronauts classical mythology was based on ancient people's encounters with extraterrestrials]].
** This is the premise of the Raëlian movement, which treats the [[Literature/TheBible Book of Genesis]] as a mistranslated account of alien scientists creating life on Earth.
*** Also the premise of Scientology.
* Heck, they basically ''invented'' this trope in Ancient Greece when they claimed that [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euhemerism all the gods had been simply strong humans whose deeds were then vastly exaggerated by the later generations]].

[[folder: New Media]]
* The online novel ''Literature/JohnDiesAtTheEnd'' has malevolent living shadows, demons, and ghosts, all [[spoiler:actually the product of hostile extradimensional biotechnology]].
** This gets subverted in the sequel. A Man In Black shows up, and, among other things, he can turn invisible and "sit" in midair as if in an invisible chair. The invisibility trick is just that--it takes years of practice, but there's nothing supernatural about it. The invisible chair? That's magic.
* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue: Reconstruction'': [[spoiler:There's no such thing as ghosts. Church and Tex are AI programs]]. Though they had to do this to resolve the plot hole of [[spoiler:Church and Tex coming back, but everybody else stays down when killed]]. Especially with the serious nature of Reconstruction, and Washington bringing the body count higher and higher.

* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' started out as a deeply mystical story with biomechanical beings bearing ElementalPowers living a tribal life on a strange PatchworkMap island, based on prophecies told by their legends of the Great Spirit. Later it was explained that their whole culture is the result of a glitch in their AI and the lies told by their elders, the island was formed by a malfunctioning HumongousMecha who had been put into stasis by a virus, and said robot was their Great Spirit all along, whose mission wasn't to protect them and be their god, but to go on an inter-planetary travel, and ''they'' were in fact supposed to keep ''him'' running. And the Great Beings, hailed as ultra-powerful figures of legend were actually a bunch of geeks/politicians, blinded by ForScience-RuleOfCool far too much. All sorts of other sci-fi-ish elements also found their way into the story, like AlternateUniverse-traveling, a mystical star turning out to be a giant booster rocket, as well as more and more techno-terms and expressions. As WordOfGod put it, Bionicle is a story of people being wrong. Though [[BrokenBase many fans preferred the original, unique flavor of the story, and feel that the sudden overdose of sci-fi made it too generic]].
** This isn't helped by the fact that the GenreShift also brought about a ton of {{Plot Hole}}s and makes one wonder how [[InsaneTrollLogic utterly]] [[ForSCIENCE mad]] the Great Beings are.

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* This trope is played with in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension''. The Technocratic Union is a group of [[MagiTek magical scientists]] who are attempting to do in the wizard, while Traditions are more "wizard-like" and try to [[DoingInTheScientist do in the scientist.]] In short, the Technocrats (at their best) push for a scientific, rational worldview and the Traditionalists (again, at their best) push for a mystical, spiritual one. Both of the major factions are, to a great degree, trying to influence human society into accepting their point of view in order to [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve solidify reality with their own vision]]. The irony in part stems from a serious case of NotSoDifferent and GreyAndGrayMorality.
** As stated on DoingInTheScientist, in Mage, the Wizard and the Scientist are metaphorically the same person, whom we could call Humanity. Humanity uses the lab coat, the abacus, and the computer some days, the cloak, the chicken entrails, and prayer the next, all in a pointless argument with itself. The most common resolution to the game's MetaPlot is that the Wizard and Scientist got it together and Humanity [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascended to a higher plane of existence.]]
* In ''TabletopGame/ConspiracyX'', psychic phenomena are simply another aspect of physics which mainstream human science still haven't figured out. All humans (excluding extremely rare mutations) are psychic, to a degree (explaining things like "intuition" or "empathy"). "Magic" and most magical creatures are actually also a result of this: the vast majority of humans produce more psychic energy than they use, and the excess "seeps" out of their body to create a sort of psychic background force, the so called "Collective Subconscious" of humanity. "Magic" is the manipulation of this psychic "seepage" to achieve all sorts of effects (the rituals work because enough people subconsciously believe they should), demons and spirits are intelligent manifestations of people's fears, and vampires and werewolves are people who were "infected" by the seepage until they were physically and mentally transformed into subconscious archetypes: "The Stalker" and "The Predator", in this case.
* Subverted in the Literature/HorusHeresy series. At the start of the series the Emperor of Mankind has done this to the entire Imperium, which is devoted to pure science and rationality and has done away with the concept of [[EldritchAbomination gods and mysticism]] entirely. Unfortunately the gods ''are'' real, and they are ''pissed''. Much of the series thus far has dealt with how the Imperium is coming to grips with living in a [[CrapsackWorld galaxy of horrors]].
** This is done in a more general sense over all: where Warhammer had a "magic" phase of a player's round, 40K has a "psychic" phase. That's right, all magic canonically IS just advanced psychic power pulling in little bits of the Warp which simply don't adhere to our definition of physics. It's still magical, it's just magic that can be explained.
*** Latest Warhammer 40,000 rulebooks address this by stating that it's the other way around: you might want to call them psychic powers, but it's all actually Warp sorcery.
** The Tau have little to no Warp presence, meaning they have no psychics and therefore no way of being influenced by the Warp. Unfortunately, they've taken this to mean that the Warp ''doesn't exist'', and that everything humans have to say on the subject are the fevered delusions of madmen (that the forces of Chaos who are much more at home in the Warp ''are'' universally madmen doesn't help). They once vanquished a Chaos army containing a Greater Daemon of Slaanesh and prided themselves on the propaganda value of having killed one of the Dark Gods. [[SarcasmMode Much the way destroying the treads on an Abrams tank means the U.S.' total military capacity has dropped to zero.]]
** One of the appeals of the setting is that a lot of things MaybeMagicMaybeMundane. The giant AwesomePersonnelCarrier with several batteries of laser cannons and twin [[GatlingGood gatling guns as support]], which transports 12 {{Super Soldiers}}s in ancient PowerArmor may be able to work even after its crew is dead due to a magical "machine spirit"... or the machine spirit may just be a highly advanced AI from another, more enlightened age and simply poorly understood due to the regression of society and technology over 10,000 years of galaxy-wide war. The faction that is explicitedly stated to use AI (and no magic) are the aforementioned Tau, and the Necrons who are stated to have mastered all physical science the normal universe has to offer. For everyone else, it might be this trope, it might be pure magic, MagiTek or something else entirely.
* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' did in its sole canonical mystical element, the [[NoSell Phantom]] [[HeroicSafeMode Mech]] ability, with WordOfGod stating that there isn't really a supernatural ability to evade fire that only affects the Kells, but rather a powerful Lostech ECM package that the Kells have very much not told anyone about. While this raises several questions, particularly in regard to the way certain battles were known to have progressed, this, as well as the decision to ignore the sole canonical instance of sapient aliens in the setting, have firmly established the ''Battletech'' universe as one where technology, not mysticism, is a central tenet.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGear'':
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' (the ultimate king of correcting itself) does this forwards and backwards. Fortune, who has luck-based powers, causes every shot fired against her to miss (Hint: Don't stand next to her). It then explains much later that she merely has a "sufficiently advanced" bit of technology (that she didn't know about) which makes her ImmuneToBullets. This is demonstrated by the owner of the device shooting her in the chest, proving he controls the device and she is powerless. Shortly after this he tries shooting rockets at her, and she deflects them with her mind. [[note]] She is also revealed to have survived the aforementioned chest wound because of a rare birth defect that put her heart on the right side of her body, suggesting that her luck-based abilities sometimes work in more subtle ways.[[/note]] Seems in this case, the wizard was NotQuiteDead. There's actually a logical theory to this. Snake was the main ace in the hole for Ocelot's GambitRoulette. Snake needed to live but Ocelot needed to keep his cover up to keep the Patriots blinded. He may have somehow reactivated Fortune's abilities in order to keep the charade going.
** Unless he was outright lying [[spoiler:which in the case of a man bleeding to death and questioning the beliefs that defined his horrible life is rather unlikely]], Psycho Mantis was an actual telepath who developed psychic on his own and kept it hidden for years before he was discovered by soviet scientists. Also Vulcan Raven seemed to have actual magic powers. While it's very hard to tell what things are magic and which are not (as pretty much everything that happens in the games could possibly be a deception), the evidence strongly suggests that there is some kind of magic that exists, which is often enhanced by technology.
** Then there's the character of Vamp, who is to all evidence an actual supernatural vampire. In a milieu with psychics, an immortal woman and a man [[BeeBeeGun COVERED IN BEES]], this isn't so strange it couldn't be pulled off with [[RefugeInAudacity sheer chutzpah]]. In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'' [[spoiler:we find out his healing abilities are natural... but augmented by nanomachines. His fighting and knife skills are {{Charles Atlas Superpower}}s... but the rest is technology]].
** In general, the series is pretty consistent with respect to there being both magic (or, at least, very peculiar abilities obtained through training and practice) and technology. Most nanomachine-based abilities either enhance innate abilities (Psycho Mantis and Vamp being the most blatant examples, as both have innate abilities that are cranked UpToEleven by the nanomachines) or are abilities that have been studied or cultivated and passed on through nanomachines (Screaming Mantis). And pretty much every particularly questionable point can be summed up with the mantra "Ocelot is a dick who is screwing with us".
* Occurs often in the ''VideoGame/WildArms'' games, where the villains or {{Precursors}} will {{Technobabble}} away magical events. Some of these are justified, and some are ridiculously silly.
* Used halfway; the ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic'' universe never attempted to explain away the Magic spells or the elves and such. On the other hand, it is implied that all the Gods are only {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s and the demons and devils (called Kreegans by themselves) are also aliens, who invade worlds through meteors (they extinguished the [[{{Hobbits}} halflings (hobbits)]] this way). There's a significant amount of lost technology behind every plot. Although, there are also actual demons which look almost identical to said Kreegans. They are only seen in ''Heroes Chronicles: Conquest of the Underworld''.
** However, there is nothing particularly magical about those, considering that a completely human army can go into the Underworld freely. These demons seem to be nothing more than native species that live in that particular area, while the identical looks can be explained by ''Heroes Chronicles'' using the same engine and sprites as ''Heroes of Might and Magic III''.
* Almost every Franchise/ProfessorLayton game. Box that kills people who open it? [[spoiler:Hallucinogenic gas.]] Time travel? [[spoiler:Massive underground cavern and a house that's really an elevator down[[note]]Although that game also contained one character who actually traveled through time, albeit only temporarily (with the time machine's explosion waiting to kill her when she returns)[[/note]].]] Specter terrorizing a town? [[spoiler:Excavation robot and a giant prehistoric manatee fighting. [[SincerityMode No, seriously.]]]]
* ''Always'' happens in the ''VideoGame/StarOcean'' games, the natives of a planet will use magical terms to describe a villain or phenomenon. Any alien or member of TheFederation who is in the party will have a {{technobabble}} explanation. The funny thing is how the natives in the party more or less ignore these.
** So ''very'' JustForFun/{{egregious}} in ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'', where main-character Claude is well-acquainted with science and technology, and tries to explain certain things away in scientific terms, ''only to fail miserably''. He gets better as time goes on (i.e. he learns to ''stop questioning everything'' and just accept that he's not that smart.)
*** The wizard finally gets done in once & for all though in the [[VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime 3rd game]], when it turns out that [[spoiler:their entire universe is a computer game & the "magic" is just computer code that temporarily overwrites the physics engine]]. That the code works outside the game is {{hand wave}}d by saying that the parents of the protagonists created a special kind of science/magic/code that would make their special powers work outside their VR world. In other words, [[LogicBomb they cast a spell to make magic work in a world with no magic to make spells work]]. ''Star Ocean 3'' is [[spoiler:AIIsACrapshoot]] written from the other side.
* In ''VideoGame/GrandiaII'', [[spoiler:the gods Granas and Valmar were originally scientists who made what could only described as an ascension-to-godhood machine]].
* The ''Condemned'' series: The [[VideoGame/CondemnedCriminalOrigins original game]] suggested that a supernatural force was causing the outbreak of violence, and the main character's own apparent insanity. The [[VideoGame/Condemned2Bloodshot sequel]] revealed that [[spoiler:it was a cult which was using sonic technology to drive people mad by causing hemorrhaging in the brain]]. However, this particular killed wizard is replaced by [[VoodooShark a much larger, much stupider one]], so to speak - in particular, [[spoiler:'''''every single named character in the game''''' except Rosa and ''maybe'' Pierce is involved with them in some way. Even ''the President'' is [[GovernmentConspiracy revealed to be one of them]] in the ending. Hell, even '''the protagonist''' is secretly involved with them, as he turns out to be "the Remedy" who can naturally do their (not-)magical-sound thing to [[YourHeadAsplode blow people's heads up with his voice]]]].
* Averted in ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney'', where Arcadia is a world where magic works with no scientific explanation, while Stark is deprived of magic and runs on science and technology (curiously, magical and technological items work fine in opposite worlds, much to April's advantage). On the other hand, April does in the wizard Klacks with a pocket calculator. Don't know why that worked either.
** In fact, it was the purpose of the Guardian of the Balance to avert Doing in the Wizard by separating science and magic into different worlds. Magic bled over into Stark and science into Arcadia because the Guardian was missing.
** As revealed in ''VideoGame/DreamfallTheLongestJourney'', after the new Guardian restored the Balance and corrected the flows of magic and science, anything in Stark that was based on magic ([[ArtificialGravity Anti-Gravity]], FasterThanLightTravel, etc.) stopped working, as the laws of physics took over. This also explained why there were so many anti-gravity crashes mentioned in ''The Longest Journey'', as magic is inherently chaotic. On the other hand, in Arcadia, anything more advanced than TheMiddleAges can only work via {{Magitek}}, which includes steam engines and airships of the [[AntimagicalFaction Azadi]] [[TheEmpire Empire]].
* TheStinger at the original ending of ''VideoGame/InfinityBlade'' [[spoiler:in which the Warrior activates the God King's iPhone and brings up a holographic display of Earth]] and the bonus content [[spoiler:in which the Warrior faces a clone of his Ancestor that is piloting a MiniMecha in the God King's cloning facility]] reveal that the setting is science fiction and not fantasy.
* In the GoldenEnding of ''VideoGame/TheReconstruction'', it is revealed that [[spoiler:Tezkhra isn't actually a god and the Watchers aren't actually angels/demigods/things; it's all just because Tez and his pals are {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s]]. Magic is still magic, though. Probably.
* Ever since the Temple of Time was introduced in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series has featured TimeTravel made possible by magic. In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', the properties of the Temple of Time are revealed to stem from the Timeshift Stones, which the robots of Lanayru Desert dig up. It's not nearly as extreme as other examples on this page, as the properties of the Timeshift Stones are harnessed through {{Magitek}} rather than straight-forward tech, and time travel is still possible through purely magical means.
* In ''VideoGame/QuantumConundrum'', you can shift to a dimension where everything falls up. Professor Quadwrangle jokes about the possibility that, instead of shifting to a dimension where the laws of gravity are inverted, you simply shift to a dimension where the mansion is upside down.
* At the end of the Fek'Ihri arc in the Klingon campaign of ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'', your science officer suggests after the fact that the battle in [[spoiler:Gre'thor, the Klingon version of Hell]] may have been AllJustADream and that the [[spoiler:Fek'Ihri, TheLegionsOfHell,]] were created by biotech, possibly by the [[AbusivePrecursors Hur'q]]. [[AbortedArc Nothing came of this...]] until the ''Victory is Life'' expansion, ''years'' later, which revealed [[spoiler: the Fek'Ihri ''are'' biotech creations -- specifically, ''Dominion'' biotech; they are a renegade precursor to the Jem'Hadar designed to look like Klingon myths and based on Hur'q biology.]]
** Similarly, in the Federation campaign, there's an adventure that has you fighting ghosts in a spooky basement. Turns out the ghosts are just [[spoiler:aliens who are only partially phased into this reality, plus one malfunctioning hologram]]. They're still dangerous, just not supernatural.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 4'', in general. Most soft sci-fi and blatantly supernatural elements are downplayed or eliminated entirely. For example, the Mishima Clan's [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Devil powers]] seem to be attributed to a genetic mutation. Ogre, instead of being an ancient god, is a [[DeityOfHumanOrigin "bioweapon."]] The {{Ridiculously Human Robot|s}}, Jack, was replaced by the ClockworkCreature, Combot. Neither Angel nor Devil or Devil Jin are playable characters. No PettingZooPeople. And the final boss, like the first game, is simply Heihachi rather than some sort of HumanoidAbomination. Whatever the reasons for this change, though, it didn't stick. In subsequent games, it's pretty clear that the Devil Gene, a supposed genetic fluke, ''does'' have a supernatural origin. Jack not only returns but is joined by the even ''more'' ridiculously-human-looking (and very anime-esque) [[RobotGirl Alisa Bosconovitch.]] The final bosses of both ''Tekken 5'' and ''6'' are definitely supernatural. Roger makes a return (without Alex), and now has an equally anthropomorphic family. ''Tekken Tag 2'' even brings back Alex, Angel, both Devils, Ogre, and Unknown. In short, the Wizard CameBackStrong.
* In the comics (and the original Algonquin myths), the Wendigos are the result of a supernatural curse. In the video game adaptation of ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'', the Wendigos are reimagined as the W.E.N.D.I.G.O.s, a group of prototype {{Super Soldier}}s created by Weapon X.
* ''VideoGame/NoMansSky'': [[spoiler:Waking Titan shows that the Atlas Stones you find aren't relics placed there by a divine being like the Traveler assumes, but are actually from the Atlas Company, the guys running the [[InsideAComputerSystem simulation]] the NMS universe is in]].
* In Generation VI of ''{{Franchise/Pokemon}}'', you can participate in inverse battles where type matchup effectiveness is reversed. The trainer you battle, Inver states that his psychic powers are responsible for the inversion in ''Videogame/PokemonXAndY''. In ''Videogame/PokemonOmegaRubyAndAlphaSapphire'', the cause of the inversion is explained as a the product of a machine called the Inverse-o-matic.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' ''sort'' of counts. [[spoiler:Oyashiro-sama's curse is neither supernatural nor the product of a conspiracy by a TownWithADarkSecret -- it's a ''disease''. But despite that, magic still exists, and so does Oyashiro-sama.]]
* A weirdly inverted version in ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'': While the witches and their magic ''seem'' to be blatantly real, if Battler can explain all the deaths away as the work of normal humans, he'll Do In The Wizard and {{Retcon}} them away. [[spoiler:While it's never outright stated whether everything is magic or mundane, it's still eventually made clear that from a mundane perspective, the "magical" characters aren't real at all; they're either meant to be symbolic or the product of a human character's imagination.]] There's also [[spoiler:[[AllThereInTheManual "Our Confession"]], a side material that shows how Yasu used trickery and bribery to commit the murders]].
** To put it simply (which is not easy, since the story of the series is wrapped up in about five layers of meta-narratives): [[spoiler: There is actually not "magic" in the setting. The actual events on Rokkenjima all happened without any supernatural influence and were committed by Yasu, Kyrie and Rudolf. All the Episodes of the visual novel are in-universe fiction written by Yasu (Ep 1-2) and Battler (Ep 3-6), with only the "present time" parts with Ange taking place in reality (unless they also involve magic... it is pretty complicated). Battler's struggle with Beato, the witches and other supernatural entities thorough the episodes is in practice nothing more than a clash between looking for the truth (the mystery perspective, finding the ultimate culprit and their motives) versus surrendering to deception (the fantasy perspective, accepting magic and giving up the search for clues and motives in order to protect oneself from accusing their loved ones). One could even say Umineko is one gigantic allegory for solving the core mystery, and doing in the different magical characters is about defeating the mysteries/obstacles they embody]].
* Anghel Higure in ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend'' at first appears to be an eccentric DaydreamBeliever from the Manga Club who claims he's a cheesy JRPG-style FallenAngel, and then, at the end of his route, we find out that he's actually telling the truth. In the BBL route, it's revealed that Anghel was not actually a fallen angel, but a bird with a mutational ability to induce hallucinations in others when physically agitated. Possibly a parody considering the source material, although not definitively. However, he does also know things he should not be able to know, and then there's [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve what happens]] in his story in ''Holiday Star'', making it lean towards of MaybeMagicMaybeMundane.
* ''Actually'' an effect in the [[Franchise/{{Nasuverse}} Type Moon verse]] (''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'' etc). As modern science develops more and more, [[TheMagicGoesAway magi gradually lose their powers]]. There's a reason why ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'''s Caster can canonically take on every living magi in the modern world and win: she's from [[Myth/ClassicalMythology the age of gods and miracles]], and science hasn't {{nerf}}ed her magic. This is also why the three [[AlternateUniverse remaining]] [[AnatomyOfTheSoul true]] [[TimeTravel magics]] are so powerful: they are simply beyond modern science and so haven't been hit by this effect at all. [[LightNovel/FateZero At least one modern magi tried to point this out]], but his JerkAss teacher tore the research paper up, saying that only being 'pure blood', [[Literature/HarryPotter as it were]], mattered. [[SarcasmMode With a progressive attitude like that, no wonder everything's going to well]].
* A lot of ''Franchise/AceAttorney'''s cases leave the unfortunate protagonist to decipher the wackier things ([[{{Flight}} Levitation]], {{Teleportation}}, TimeTravel, {{Stock Ness Monster}}s, people appearing in multiple places at the same time, etc.) that some witnesses see. In one case, the culprit uses an ''actual'' magic trick to murder the victim, create an alibi, and pin the blame on the defendant. Completely averted with the [[WillingChanneler Spirit Media]] and [[SpookySeance Divination Séances]] though. They're legitimate.
* ''VisualNovel/NewDanganRonpaV3'': [[spoiler: Himiko Yumeno becomes a major suspect in the second case due to Ryoma's corpse being discovered during her magic show. Unfortunately for her, clearing her of suspicion also means uncovering the method she used to escape the water tank, even though she claims she used real magic and not tricks.]]

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Flipside}}'': Magic is [[spoiler:actually nanotech called "qualia."]] Some characters are aware of this but do not understand how it works.
* ''Webcomic/UnicornJelly'' begins as a ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''-like world with witches who wield magic and fly on brooms, unicorns, elves, ogres, slimes, jellies, and other monsters. Eventually most or all of this gets explained away as being due to a combination of the physics and chemistry of the alien universe, BizarreAlienBiology, AncientConspiracy, SchizoTech, selective breeding and mutation, and [[MushroomSamba hallucinogenic plants]].
* ''Webcomic/TalesOfTheQuestor'' starts off using the word "Lux" as just the Racconans' technical term for their medieval-era world's ''Force Magic'' version of FunctionalMagic, complete with constant uses of terms like "spells," "magic," and "wizard." After over a hundred pages of this, the fundamentalist Christian author devoted a [[http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00105.html text-heavy side arc]] to explaining that the force that looked like magic, acted like magic, sparkled like magic, was treated like magic, and frequently ''called'' magic wasn't ''really'' magic. [[http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00426.html Another side arc]], much later in the comic's run, went further and showed the [[DownerEnding tragic consequences]] of Racconans referring to their magic-like powers as magic, implying that they weren't even going to use magic-related terminology anymore. The setting is a [[ShownTheirWork heavily researched]] fantasy setting with orcs, trolls, centaurs, elves, etc etc. Racconans are unique in that all of them can see the ebb and flow of the magical energy they call "lux". Most of them can [[MundaneUtility perform mundane tricks like lighting candles and levitating water]], and once in a while one has enough talent to be called a wizard. However, magical aptitude is extremely rare among humans, and most of the humans who claim to be wizards are charlatans [[HumanSacrifice or worse]]. Most false wizards claim that they get their power from gods or devils (and lux just doesn't work that way, which is why Racconans debate the use of the words "wizard" and "magic".) A human who [[CursedWithAwesome is born with the ability to channel lux]] [[HowDoIShotWeb will have no idea how to control his power]] without proper training, and is a danger to everyone around him. This makes most races very afraid of Racconans, because they associate them with human wizardry.
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' attempts this InUniverse with the [[BackgroundMagicField Ether]], to minimal success. Anja Donlan refers to the "etheric sciences", [[http://gunnerkrigg.com/?p=515 mentions]] older "magical" phenomena that have been absorbed by scientific thought, and [[http://gunnerkrigg.com/?p=516 explains]] how some of the Court teachers' powers are generated by a {{Magitek}} computer that she designed. {{Subverted|Trope}} when she [[http://gunnerkrigg.com/?p=520 admits]] that while they can ''use'' etheric power, they still have no way to ''explain'' it.
--> '''[[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=371 Tom:]]''' Etherial Tenet can be summarised as "It just does, okay?"
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' falls somewhere between this and MagicAIsMagicA. While magic is an accepted and integral part of that universe, Tedd's transformation technology (which was given to him by aliens) as well as Grace's own transformation abilities are said to be more scientific in nature (although they do rely on an alternate form of magic energy to function, to the point where they give a false positive to any magic sensing devices). The way it works is so complicated that it took an arc to explain.
** Though it's not like magic and inner demons weren't mentioned in the first three months. [[LookBehindYou Look! It's a demonic duck of some sort!]]
** The "Hammerchlorians" arc does this on a somewhat meta level, explaining that the ability of some characters to summon {{Hyperspace Mallet}}s is the result of a specific enchantment, rather than a generic comedy convention inherent to the comic's universe. The strip hangs lampshades by comparing this revelation to the "midi-chlorians" explanation in ''Franchise/StarWars''. Ultimately, this is more like bringing in the wizard to replace a more esoteric explanation.
** In a way, [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2010-06-28 this]] strip, and the following one, do in the wizard. Though not in the usual way.
* In an early ''Webcomic/FullFrontalNerdity'' strip, the players in Frank's most recent campaign discover that the 'origin of magic' is actually MagicFromTechnology and that benevolent aliens are responsible for channeling these 'miracles' to humans. [[NoJustNoReaction They react much as expected.]]
** A [[http://nodwick.humor.gamespy.com/ffn/index.php?date=2011-05-19 later strip]] [[BrickJoke some eight years later]] implies ''all'' the campaigns end that way.
* ''Webcomic/ErrantStory'' does this in a WhamEpisode late in the comic. [[spoiler:It's revealed in an ApocalypticLog-style expository page that the Elven Creator Gods were actually {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s whose entire species had coalesced into three "collectives" - superpowered EnergyBeings. After one of them died/disappeared and the others began to destabilize, they made the Paedagogusi, Dwarves, Elves and Trolls in a failed attempt to create a replacement collective and restore their stability.]] The whole setting changes in one page from HighFantasy to ScienceFiction.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has this subverted. A functionally omniscient character says there is no such thing as magic, but there are such things as unexplainable technology, superpowers, gods, and quasi-magical pure forces of the multiverse. Several characters continue to refer to their powers as spells anyways. So the wizard was done in but might as well still be around.
** A rather long RunningGag in ''Webcomic/MSPaintAdventures'' was pumpkins disappearing, usually accompanied by some form of the phrase, "What pumpkin?" In Act 6 of ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', it's revealed that the cause behind Jade's disappearing pumpkins was mostly caused by [[spoiler: Jake English fooling around with his transmaterializer too much]].
*** It's later mentioned by [[spoiler: Roxy]] that pumpkins are somehow unhinged from spacetime, and as such, are easier to teleport than anything else. Which is somewhat understandable: in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', all teleporting devices are built with failsafes to prevent time paradoxes, and pumpkins aren't destined for much.
* ''Webcomic/WaywardSons'': The [[Myth/ClassicalMythology greek gods]] weren't gods, they were superpowered aliens.
* Spoofed in an arc of ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' involving a "haunted" spaceship. There proves to be a scientific explanation, but it's actually profoundly ''less'' likely than the ship simply being haunted, to the point that the ship's AI actually went insane trying to figure out how it could possibly happen.
* Most of the main cast of ''Webcomic/AliceGrove'' has superpowers. But while two of them get their powers from nanomachines, the others go unexplained for a long time, leaving fans to wonder if there is an explanation at all. Turns out there is: [[spoiler: [[http://www.alicegrove.com/image/162825065129 They are powered by black holes and can control entropy, making them a kind of]] RealityWarper]].
--> [[BadassBoast We are Maxwell's Demons. We are powered by black holes, and the laws of physics are optional for us.]]

[[folder: Web Originals]]
* ''Literature/TheSalvationWar'' is all about this: Heaven and Hell being actual dimensions, Yahweh ("God") and Satan being actual beings, and angels and demons (including nagas, succubi, and harpies) being real, complete with 'powers'. However, these powers can be and are (at least with the demons) perceived, analyzed, (sometimes) understood... and ''countered''. In the case of Hell's demons, anyway. Although a number of angels were killed in ''Armageddon'', there is still far less information to analyze as of yet both in and out of universe.
* Shandala, the heroine of UrbanFantasy series ''WebAnimation/BrokenSaints'', has a variety of PsychicPowers, most notably healing wounds with a touch and unleashing loads of MindRape on hostile persons, courtesy of her [[TheEmpath perpetual hyper-empathic state]]. In the GrandFinale, it is [[TheReveal revealed]] that [[spoiler:she was genetically designed and bred by her father to be in a perpetual hyper-empathic state, and then hit with a TraumaCongaLine to turn her into the ultimate conduit for the broadcast of emotion (esp. fear) part of his EvilPlan to collapse civilization]].
* The ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'' attempts to find scientific and rational reasons for how the various [[ArtifactofDoom objects]] they contain with [[SubvertedTrope minimal success]]. Objects that have been successfully explained get the special [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-ex -EX]] designation.
* ''Literature/FunnyBusiness'' is about [[LittleMissAlmighty a girl who can basically do anything]]. For the first half, this is treated as something akin to magic, but in the second half, a quasi-scientific explanation is offered; namely, that [[spoiler:the whole setting is just a computer simulation, so the main character can do impossible things like in a lucid dream, and every other character is just a figment of her mind]].
* Subverted in ''WebAnimation/TheDementedCartoonMovie''. A whole segment is devoted to finding the reason Zeeky Boog--er, [[TheScottishTrope The Zeeky Words]] cause a nucular explosion.[[note]][[RunningGag It's pronounced 'nuclear'!]][[/note]]. Eventually the source of the explosions is found and destroyed, but when the explorers use the Zeeky Words again, they ''still'' blow up.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', Dr. Venture challenges Dr. Orpheus, saying "anything you can do with magic, ''I'' can do with science." HilarityEnsues.
** In ''Pirates of the Sargasso,'' they need Dr. Orpheus's help to deal with a ghost... but before he can finish, Brock simply knocks its head off.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'', [[CaptainEthnic Apache Chief]] got his {{Sizeshift|er}}ing powers from stereotypical "[[MagicalNativeAmerican Apache magic]]". In ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', Tye Longshadow (the teen Apache Chief) was born with a [[MetaOrigin metagene]] that activated after he was [[AlienAbduction experimented on by aliens]].
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce''. Gwen's magical powers are explained as alien powers inherited from her alien grandmother. The episode in which this revelation is made clear goes on to say that there is no such thing as magic. This despite on a previous episode Gwen clearly used divination to locate their enemies and in the former series ''Ben 10'' there were spells read from incantations, a fountain of youth, and soul-swapping. Oh, and what powers Gwen's powers according to the same episode? Mana. ''Very'' much a VoodooShark.
** Then WordOfGod claims that both Hex and Charmcaster are in fact magic users. Maybe coming from another dimension has something to do with it....
** ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien'' makes it plain that "magic" and "mana" are just two different terms for the same thing. Gwen's half-Anodite heritage just makes her really good at it - Anodites are EnergyBeings ''made'' of the stuff - but its entirely possible for humans like Charmcaster and her people to use it too, with a bit more effort. Around the time we start delving into this, spellbooks and such make their return. (There's a really interesting battle between Gwen and Sunny, a full Anodite, that shows the difference: Sunny's Anodite powers are stronger so she's really tearing the place up with energy blasts and force fields. Gwen's raw power is weaker as she's half human, but the manner of effects she can create through spell-casting is a much wider variety. [[spoiler: Ultimately, she just doesn't have the raw power to defeat Sunny, but she holds out long enough for Verdona - their grandmother, a much older and ridiculously strong Anodite - to arrive to put Sunny in her place.]])
* Played with in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond''. Terry recounts the rumors from his high school that a ghost is haunting it to Bruce, expecting him to reply that there's probably a rational explanation to it, because there's no such thing as ghosts. Bruce turns around and says he's ''met'' ghosts, demons, wizards, and aliens. He doesn't believe ''this'' case, he says, because it sounds too "high school". Terry eventually discovers that it's not a ghost behind the bizarre happenings, but rather a telekinetic teenager who got his powers when a robot's remote control malfunctioned.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'', it is stated that Cheetah was once a biologist who gained superhuman abilities after being forced to use herself as a test subject when her funding ran out. This is in contrast to the comics, where Cheetah was originally an archaeologist who was given superpowers by an African plant god.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlightOfDragons'', where the main character got his mind stuck in a dragon and received a lecture about dragon-ness from an older one, upon which he deduced the dragon abilities of flight and firebreathing as possible due to hollow bones, empty spaces in the body for holding gas, and eating limestone (calcium carbonate) - which mixed with stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) produces hydrogen gas that is lighter than air, and ignitable with a spark from the scaly dragon tongue/roof of mouth.
** Unfortunately, hydrochloric acid ''actually'' reacts with limestone to produce carbon dioxide gas (and calcium chloride and water). It is possible to produce hydrogen gas by reacting various acids with various metals (i.e. not metal compounds or ores) which might have been [[CriticalResearchFailure what the writers were thinking of]]. [[AWizardDidIt Unless]], [[ArtisticLicenseChemistry that's how chemistry works in that world]].
** Later, the main character does in a wizard by saying random science words at him.
** ''Flight of Dragons'' is InspiredBy ''The Dragon Knight,'' under Literature above (and credits the books accordingly). That's why they have the same themes.
*** Also inspired by ''The Flight of Dragons'' by Peter Dickinson, a book published three years earlier.
* Every episode of ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'' ends this way, with [[ScoobyDooHoax the ghost turning out to be someone like Old Man Edgars in a rubber mask]]. Sometimes a two-fold disguise for added punch. This trope is often subverted, however, in such movies as the Loch Ness Monster or the Cajun zombies (don't ask). In the latter the zombies and ghosts were all real, and in the former, though the shenanigans were the typical Scooby Doo villain, the ending implied that yes, there is a monster living in Loch Ness.
** The premise of ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooOnZombieIsland'' is that the gang goes searching to find just ''one'' haunting that is actually genuine, and they finally succeed; it feels justified because it acknowledges that all the previous hauntings have been fake. However, some of the 70's and 80's incarnations of the show had real ghosts all the time, most notably ''WesternAnimation/The13GhostsOfScoobyDoo,'' and many fans would say that this was ComicallyMissingThePoint of the show. But then again, there is the issue of certain divisive characters causing fans ''and'' writers to quietly sweep certain ''Scooby-Doo'' series under the rug, which accounts for writer forgetfulness.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' does this very frequently, including "Robot Hell", evil Robot Santa with aliens for elves, etc.
-->''(After finding "[[NinjaPirateZombieRobot robot ghosts]]")''
-->'''Farnsworth:''' Just as I suspected. These robots were buried in improperly shielded coffins. Their programming leaked into the castle's wiring through this old, abandoned modem, allowing them to project themselves as holograms.
-->'''Hermes:''' Of course! It was so obvious!
-->'''Farnsworth:''' [[LampshadeHanging Yes, that sequence of words I said makes perfect sense.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'', Starscream's "ghost" from Generation 1 is explained as an almost indestructible Spark.
** The Maximals, of all "people", try to re-create the accident that made it indestructible and end up with Protoform X ([=AKA=] Rampage), a large pissed-off bot who likes to destroy things. In fact, the experiment fails, as [[spoiler:Rampage's spark is destroyed by Depth Charge]].
*** The spark was shown as [[spoiler:not indestructible]] when Megatron [[spoiler:cuts a portion of it out to become the spark for Dinobot II]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' plays with this. While the [=AllSpark=] is shown to have an almost supernatural appearance, WordOfGod states that it operates on scientific principles (albeit principles neither human or Transformer has cracked). The Magnus Hammer is also given a vague origin. Primus exists as a god, but not many Cybertronians believe in him, save for the Church of Primus. WordOfGod states that older Cybertronians were primitive, and took billions of years to reach their current level of technology. Exactly who their creators are is a mystery, but it is heavily implied that they were {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s that modeled Cybertron and its inhabitants (including beast-type robots) after their own world. Additionally, there are no Thirteen Primes in Transformers. Creator/DerrickJWyatt has also revealed on Formspring that the inner workings of Cybertron contain a "giant robot factory." Of course, a lot of this is writers giving their own, sometimes conflicting interpretation of what they didn't get to make canon, and comes together to get pretty confusing. ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' is the work of far too many hands to consider ''anyone'' "god" enough to give absolute WordOfGod about how it all works.
** The shows themselves have a strange relationship with "the wizard," where things we'd call "magic" are described in sciency terms because, well, they're robots. Gods, demons, KiManipulation, PsychicPowers, {{Battle Aura}}s, and TheLifestream all exist, but don't expect them to ever be called that ''or'' explained to death in a 'midichlorian' sort of way.
*** Though even the "not calling it magic" bit isn't always consistent; ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', especially, sometimes came within a hair's breadth of stating that certain things were explicitly supernatural.
*** When it comes to the Allspark in ''Animated,'' the writers explicitly mentioned "midichlorians" as the kind of overly complicated and unsatisfying origin they're trying to avoid; where it comes from and how it works gets no mention at all. (This fits with the movies as well: "Before time began, there was... '''the cube.'''" is all you're getting.)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' underwent a reverse form of this, starting out a reasonably realistic depiction of late 1980s/early 1990s American working-class life (with only a few farcical touches) and gradually becoming a more "conventional" cartoon where anything could happen. The annual "WesternAnimation/TreehouseOfHorror" Halloween specials (the first one airing in 1990, which was still quite early in the show's run) were arguably started as a way to bring in fantasy and science-fiction elements for one night at a time when the show didn't allow them otherwise.
* In ''[[WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution X-Men Evolution]]'' the Juggernaut got his powers through mysticism like the comics, except it turns out the Gem of Cytorrak he used in them actually emits a form of radiation that activates and amplifies mutant powers.
* In ''WesternAnimation/WolverineAndTheXMen'', the Wendigo was ComicBook/{{SHIELD}}'s attempt at recreating ComicBook/CaptainAmerica's SuperSerum, rather than the product of an ancient Indigenous curse like it was in the comics.
* In ''WesternAnimation/UltimateSpiderMan'', the Comicbook/{{Venom}} and Carnage symbiotes are products of genetic engineering, rather than alien [[TheSymbiote parasites]] like they are in comics.
* It is stated in ''WesternAnimation/IronManArmoredAdventures'' that Dormammu is a SufficientlyAdvancedAlien rather than a satanic DimensionLord like in the comics. Doctor Doom even claims that Dormammu's alien tech simply made him ''seem'' demonic.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' revealed that Rudolph's shiny red nose was the result of a brain tumor-induced mutation that would eventually kill him.
* The magic in ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' may in fact be [[ClarkesThirdLaw sufficiently advanced technology]], [[UnreliableExpositor if you believe]] Princess Bubblegum.
* In ''WesternAnimation/InfinityTrain'', it seems like a shadow monster is raising the tides in Corginia, but the monster is actually just a spider's shadow and the tides are a result of a broken water pipe.
* Attempted InUniverse by Twilight Sparkle in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', where throughout "Feeling Pinkie Keen" she is intent on proving that Pinkie Pie's "Pinkie Sense" has a rational explanation as it violates the universe's MagicAIsMagicA principle. HilarityEnsues and it ends badly for Twilight Sparkle who ultimately accepts that some things just can't be explained.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Some famous magicians, such as James Randi and Creator/PennAndTeller, specialize in debunking the supernatural with scientific explanations. Creator/HarryHoudini was also interested in debunking mediums of his age. He even established a secret phrase with his wife that he would use if he should die and she should try to contact him through a séance. He did die fairly young and his wife tried for many years after his death to contact him through mediums, who all failed to deliver his secret phrase (except for Arthur Ford, who claimed success in 1929, only to be exposed as a faker later... Another debunking by Houdini posthumously, so to speak).
* Revealing the secrets of sleight-of-hand illusions and such takes the "magic" out of the magic tricks.
* The scientific method has done in a small army of wizards, djinn, dragons, and the like. For example, death certificates from pre-scientific England list such causes of death as comet, the king's evil (a real disease, but one thought to be specially [[MedicalMonarch curable by the touch of a king]]), and sorcery.
* Some cryptozoologists have been known to come up with more natural explanations for the creatures they're seeking. The Thunderbird, for example, is often thought of as simply a large, undiscovered bird of prey, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teratornithidae or an extinct one]], or a case of people overestimating the size of mundane birds like turkey vultures, rather than a titanic, lightning-shooting weather spirit. Likewise, the {{Kraken|AndLeviathan}} is thought to have been an exaggeration of sightings of giant squids, which were thought to be mythical themselves until the body of one was actually recovered. Considering some squids have eyes the size of basketballs, it's understandable why they were assumed to be fiction. As another example, many legends about BigfootSasquatchAndYeti are thought to have originated from encounters with {{bears|AreBadNews}}, which aren't hard to come by in UsefulNotes/TheOtherRainforest and the Himalayas (the respective [[StealthPun stomping grounds]] of Bigfoot/Sasquatch and the Abominable Snowman/Yeti).