->''"I wonder if that [[WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck silly duck'll]] remember that he can fly?'' *THUD!* ''Guess not."''\\
''"I wonder if Daffy will remember that he can swim?'' *Splash* ''... Nope!"''
-->-- WesternAnimation/BugsBunny, ''The Million Hare''

When a character has the IdiotBall slipped into their pocket while they weren't looking, causing them to forget to properly use their abilities or powers to stop a bad guy or get out of a situation, even though they may have used the ability in similar situations before (often many times). This happens often with {{superhero}}es and within the filler episode of {{Shonen|Demographic}} anime. It's especially bad when the power being forgotten about is [[SuperpowerfulGenetics an innate ability that the character was born with]], which makes it roughly akin to a {{Muggle|s}} forgetting he can ''walk''.

This is used quite a bit when characters have extremely useful or increasingly powerful abilities or equipment, and [[QuicklyDemotedWoman some unfortunates]] tend to have this inflicted on them ''all the time'', turning a GeniusBruiser or BadassBookworm into a garden-variety [[TheBigGuy Bruiser]] or {{Badass}}. Only some lines of technological jargon or displays of useless gadgetry will remind the reader that they have more brains than they normally use. Some might consider this a form of InformedAbility, with the "ability" being genius-level intelligence.

AmnesiaDanger is a variant of this trope, when it's justified using [[EasyAmnesia convenient amnesia]]. The heroic version of WhyDontYouJustShootHim, except while at least villains don't have to answer to their actions, heroes should be obligated to stop evil-doers or disasters as quickly and efficiently as possible.

See FridgeLogic for when it occurs to the viewers a little later what the character could've/should've easily done. See RememberedICouldFly when it occurs to the character JustInTime what he should've done long before.
PlotSensitiveSnoopingSkills is a particular variant/sub-trope. If a device is discovered once, never becomes part of a character's standard bag of tricks, and is forgotten that is ForgottenPhlebotinum. HollywoodTactics are a usual result. Compare DramaPreservingHandicap.

As mentioned, this is a sister trope to IdiotBall, the distinction being that IdiotBall is when a character does something stupid to further the {{Plot}}, while with Forgot About His Powers the plot depends on a character ''failing'' to take an action they would normally take or that would make the most sense to solve the current crisis.

Compare ReedRichardsIsUseless, where a character with superhuman abilities or ridiculously advanced technology reserves it for equally advanced problems and never applies it to mundane difficulties, and SupermanStaysOutOfGotham in which another character in the same universe is conveniently not around to easily solve the problem ''for'' the protagonist.

Contrast TookALevelInBadass and DumbassNoMore.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* One episode the protagonist of ''Anime/OreImo'' tries to hide his computer screen because there's eroge on it. While it is all relatable that the computer suddenly doesn't work at the exact right (worst) moment, the computer was a portable computer which he could simply close...
* Usagi often used her disguise pen in the first season of ''Anime/SailorMoon'' to get into areas where access was forbidden otherwise. In later seasons, it was completely forgotten... except for one odd season three episode when Minako borrowed Usagi's pen to act as an IdentityImpersonator for Sailor Moon. Note that Minako actually had ''her own'' disguise compact in the ''Manga/CodenameWaSailorV'' manga and in the ''Manga/SailorMoon'' manga, although the fact that it was never shown in the anime may mean it simply doesn't exist in this continuity. Additionally, in the manga, both Usagi and Minako have devices (a mask and a compact respectively) that can reveal the disguised enemies' true forms; these conveniently get forgotten when it comes to fighting Witches 5 or the Dead Moon Circus, who ''do'' disguise themselves as normal people in areas that are ''known'' to have connection to the enemies...
** She forgets about it in the first season too. One episode has her entering a swimsuit contest wearing a torn bathing suit that she covers up with bows. Luna steals one of the bows to conveniently have Usagi chase her to get it back, during which the MonsterOfTheWeek attacks the rest of the contestants.
** In the first episode we see that she has super hearing through the gems in her hair and we never get to see her use them again ... ever. In the same episode, her scream/cry is also shown to be some sort of sonic weapon, boosted by her magic, which she also uses ''one'' more time in the fourth season, when she and Chibi-Usa both use it while being menaced by an evil dentist.
** In a season two episode all the girls sans Mercury (who was supposed to be on a plane to leave) get trapped in a freezer with an ice monster. Their game plan is to wait there indefinitely until Mercury conveniently decides not to go and comes to the rescue. One wonders why Sailor Mars didn't think to use her own powers which are...you know...[[PlayingWithFire based on '''fire''']].
* Most ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' movies are also guilty of this, during which all Saiyan characters will magically forget to become Super Saiyan for the duration of the movie, or until then end. Averted slightly during the Freeza saga when [[spoiler:Tenshinhan declares Goku has an ace up his sleeve with the kaio-ken technique, until King Kai responds that Goku had been using it the entire time.]]
** In one {{filler}} scene during the Goku vs. Freeza fight, Freeza opens the ground under Goku, who hangs for the edge as the lava rises from underground. Goku tries to climb, fails and gets his butt burnt by the lava in a comical manner. Except that Goku, like damn near everyone in the show, ''can fly''.
** There's a scene in the ''Lord Slug'' movie where Piccolo, who is being held in the grasp of a giant enemy, is desperately reaching out to Goku so that he can give him his energy. Piccolo completely forgets that he can stretch his arms to impossible lengths, not to mention become a giant himself. Creator/TeamFourStar, of course, lampshades this in their version of the movie.
-->'''Piccolo''': I should probably stretch my arms for this...
* This happens countless times with Tsuzuki from ''Manga/DescendantsOfDarkness''. Even though he's supposed to be one of the most powerful [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld ancient Gods of Death]], he is rendered completely helpless when [[StalkerWithACrush Muraki]] is around. He's not even able to throw a decent punch at the guy, and is made into a whining and crying wimp in his presence just for plot's sake. Example: Muraki is flying away on a helicopter, and Tsuzuki forgets that he can always summon or cast a spell that could blow the helicopter down. Stupid or... has a self destructive streak [[DeathSeeker TEN MILES HIGH.]]
* Along with HeroicSecondWind, this is probably the ''#1'' reason anyone gets beaten in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''. Bad guys fighting the main heroes, or the [[SpotlightStealingSquad Shinigami]], will usually get killed because they suddenly ''forget'' that with the several seconds of warning they receive from their screaming opponents, they could have just {{Flash Step}}ped out of the way. It gets just plain ridiculous in the anime version because all fights take several times longer. The only time this is seemingly avoided is when Soifon decides to stop wasting time ObfuscatingStupidity and just [[OneHitKill Two hit KO]] her opponent with a FlashStep attack while he's doing his power up sequence.
** In the [[{{Filler}} Bount arc]], Orihime spends the episode panicking about Rukia being under a Bount's control before resolving the issue with her healing power. This is despite having already used the same solution on Tatsuki at an earlier date.
** In the Vandereich arc, Ichigo's bankai is broken and he's told that it can't be perfectly restored to how it was. Despite this, nobody considers having Orihime work on it, even though she has the ''explicit ability'' to restore things to an earlier state.
** The reinstated Visored captains don't use their Hollow powers when fighting the Vandenreich, which leads to them getting curb stomped. It's especially odd because it was revealed to the Shinigami that Hollow essence is toxic to Quincies. While the Visored's powers may not have been able to take advantage of that, it probably would've been worth a shot.
* In ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' Japanese version during the Gambling King Arc. Ranma was supposedly so stupid that he can't lie to anyone and got a poker face that any kid can read. This is contradicted by Ranma playing cards with his friends in the past several times and winning based on his expression (and Ranma being perfectly able to lie and play pretend in several other schemes of his whenever it suited him). Ranma went on later after the arc and to win at cards decisively against Nabiki and Akane. The American version changed all those incidents to Ranma losing so that they can remove the inconsistency.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' we have the fact that virtually the entire cast should be able to transform into anything or make illusionary clones of themselves. The latest times these abilities are brought up are when Temari plans to use a clone to act as a diversion then strike immediately after (which is implied to win her the battle had she been able to carry it out) and Naruto transforming clones into rocks to hide them (which is very successful against even a VERY powerful opponent). It's clear these abilities would still be useful even at the level the story is currently at, but instead all characters stick to their gimmick and their gimmick alone (compare to Bleach where while people stick to swords primarily, they will still use basic Kido abilities when it would help).
** The BigBad Tobi is especially guilty of this.
*** The only reason the heroes in Naruto even stand a chance is because BigBad Tobi[[spoiler:/Obito Uchiha]] forgot he could easily teleport in, kidnap all the [[PoweredByAForsakenChild Jinchuuriki]], and teleport out without anyone being any the wiser. Hell, he could have [[spoiler:kidnapped Naruto as a baby or any time in the thirteen years before the series began]] but forgot he could do so.
*** In his battle against [[spoiler: Kakashi, Obito only uses the basic ninja abilities like Taijustsu and Fire Release. He doesn't even think of using his Wood Release and [[StoryBreakerPower Rinnegan]] ''at all''. What's worse is Obito doesn't take advantage of his Mangekyō Sharingan since he chooses the battleground to be the Kamui dimension, where his [[SuperPowerLottery trump card]] ability, intangibility, is pretty much unusable. Though this example might be a subversion because he [[ILetYouWin intentionally lost]]]].
** After Naruto reveals that he has SuperSpeed bordering on FlashStep, he promptly never uses it again despite how incredibly useful it is to be so fast he can travel roughly fifty feet in the time it takes the second fastest man alive to punch him, or to escape being captured by Tobi during his and Bee's fight with him and the other Jinchuuriki. Luckily, Kakashi and Gai got there just in time to save him.
** [[TheHeavy Madara Uchiha]] is even more guilty than Obito: Ever since his introduction, Madara has revealed to be able to use an incredible amount of techniques and jutsus, including, but not limited, to creating [[PlayingWithFire massive walls of fire]], using [[InstantArmor Susanoo]] in more than one form (The final form being a hundred-feet-tall one), using Rinnegan and it's derivate techniques ([[EnergyAbsorption Chakra Absorption]], and a stronger variation of [[GravityMaster Shinra Tensei]]), summoning [[ColonyDrop meteors]], using massively powerful [[GreenThumb Wood Release techniques]], and the list goes on. However, many times he only uses a technique once, and it's never even mentioned again. It's even more jarring when [[spoiler: He becomes the Ten-Tails Jinchuuriki, as he focuses only on using the Ten-Tails's black substance instead of using any other technique, even if it would help him in the fight (Such as Susanoo). No wonder why Guy handed him his ass in their fight]].
** The probably most egregious example of this trope is however [[spoiler:Kaguya Ōtsutsuki who, despite having the Byakugan, the Sharingan, the Rinnegan, chakra levels transcending anything that's even remotely fair and an assortment of abilities on top of the abilities of all other ninjas in the world due to absorbing their chakra, [[UnskilledButStrong in battle only used]] [[BattleAura a pair of chakra arms]], [[ThinkingUpPortals a portal network]], [[RealityWarping dimension shifting]] and [[BadWithTheBone bone techniques]]. Especially notable is the dimension shifting, which she can do at any point, on herself, or multiple others. She started the fight by transporting Team 7 to a lava cavern, and the only survive through sheer luck. She never even tries to send them back after they escape.]]
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', there are numerous situations in which Chopper forgets he has a certain ability, and it's played for comedy, but a lot of times, he could defeat his enemies in Heavy Point, but chooses to stay in Brain Point, his physically weaker form.
** Luffy, Chopper and Brock also sometimes forget that their devil fruit powers include SuperDrowningSkills. This is purely played for comedy, and their crew mates are always pissed at their idiocy.
* Happens all the time in ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''.
** Team Rocket manages to capture Pikachu (and ONLY Pikachu) nearly OncePerEpisode, and Ash forgets half of the time that he has FIVE OTHER POKEMON that he could use to just blast Team Rocket's balloon halfway to Jupiter.
** Not to mention the fact that Team Rocket themselves in their plans bring out [[KryptoniteProofSuit fire proof uniforms or rubber suits or whatever]] to render one or more of Ash's Pokémon useless, but they only use them for specific plans instead of using them for pretty much every attempt. Worse, they get overconfident and frequently remove their Pokémon proof measures mid plan allowing them to get electrocuted/burned/etc. anyway later.
** It has also become annoyingly common for Ash to randomly forget type advantages and other basic rules about capturing and battling Pokémon when the writers feel it necessary to add some extra drama or explanation to the show. In fact, Ash has been known to come up with some pretty impressive strategies from time to time, but when the plot dictates that Ash must lose a battle, the IdiotBall is practically tied around his neck.
** In ''Anime/PokemonZoroarkMasterOfIllusions'', Ash forgets that he has arguably the strongest team he's ever had in a movie. Aside from one instance with Infernape in the beginning and Pikachu in general, he never uses any of them. The sheer raw power they packed would have made a huge difference against Kodai.
** In the third episode of the ''Best Wishes'' series, there is a scene with a group of Pokémon stranded on a disintegrating island in the middle of a lake of boiling water. Some of these Pokémon are Flying-types. They're birds that remember they can fly when they are persuaded to cross a bridge the heroes make so that they can get to safety and that then proceed to FLY AWAY.
** In the same episode, he almost orders Pikachu to use Thunderbolt on a grounded Sandile, who has Iris' Axew in its mouth. The only thing that stops him from going through with this plan is Iris reminding him that the attack would hurt Axew, not the fact that the Ground-type Sandile is outright immune to electricity. Sometimes, when he actually remembers them, the kid forgets ''how'' to properly use his powers.
** In ''Anime/PokemonArceusAndTheJewelOfLife'', Ash and co. are thrown into a cell. A simple, no-tech cell. They wait around in it for god knows how long for a Pokémon to retrieve the key when they could've, I dunno, ''used their Pokémon to bust their way out''. And because of this stall, [[spoiler: Arceus gets killed. [[UnexplainedRecovery Not permanently, though.]]]]
** Along with the "trapped in the cell with a ton of super-powered animals" situation like in ''Arceus'', ''Anime/PokemonMewtwoReturns'' has these moments in spades. One moment in particular was when Ash and Brock were trying to take down a machine that was weakening Mewtwo, and none of the main cast realizes that they would have a much easier time disabling it using, you know, ''their Pokémon.''
** Not necessarily ''powers'', but Ash and various other characters have encountered Team Rocket ''hundreds and hundreds of times'' since the first series. They ''never'' recognize Team Rocket, even though the trio have terrible disguises and never change their tactics, which consist of offering some service to Ash before running off with their Pokémon.
** And speaking of Team Rocket, they've recently been rejoined by their Wobbuffet, whose gimmick is that it acts as an AttackReflector. Unfortunately for them, this skill is rarely used, leading to them repeatedly getting blasted into orbit.
* In ''Manga/DetectiveConan'', one episode featured Conan attempting to stop a murder by "Shocking" the murderer into giving up. He shows up JustInTime and shows a plant that holds sentimental value to the murderer, causing her to break down and cry, saving the intended victim. What our diminutive detective seems to forget is that he wears a watch that shoots tranquilizer darts! Why risk the killer ignoring this when he could just tranq her?
* [[LightNovel/{{Slayers}} Lina, Ameria, and Zelgadis]] all know ''Ray Wing'', spell that lets them fly, faster than they can run. Yet they will frequently run away from enemies (including ones who can't fly), or stand around watching flying opponents as if they could not reach them.
** Even if they cast ''Ray Wing'', there's a good chance [[AcrophobicBird they'd still fly parallel to the ground]] until Lina realizes this second layer of stupid.
* In the New Vestroia season of ''[[Anime/{{Bakugan}} Bakugan Battle Brawlers]]'', our [[BigBad BBEG]] King Zenoheld wielded a GiantMecha Bakugan called "Farbros" which could merge with more parts and become virtually unstoppable. So what does he do when the good guys arrive to confront him halfway through the series? Blow up his own machine. Without fusing to the special parts. For no adequately explained reason...
* ''Anime/BlueGender'' is one giant Wallbanger for many viewers because of this. Humanity knows The Blue can't swim or fly very well. (Hello there, aircraft carriers!) Humanity controls at least one giant orbiting space station. (ColonyDrop!) Humanity also has literal Blue-detecting radar. And nukes. Does humanity use any of these advantages to fight the Blue? Nope! They'd rather take the Blue on in catastrophically designed, weaponless mechs.
* In ''Manga/SaintSeiya'' the cloths of Seiya, Hyouga and Ikki have wings that gives the ability to fly, but they never used them until Seiya managed to do it by chance. [[IdiotHero Seiya]] apparently ''knew'' he had them, but had always failed to understand ''how'' to use them...
** Corvus Jamian had a winged cloth too. He died ''falling from a cliff''.
* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] with the eponymous ''Manga/KotouraSan''. She ''is'' aware of her [[PowerIncontinence always-on]] {{Telepathy}}, but she can still be deceived because it also [[AvertedTrope averts]] ConvenientlyCoherentThoughts. Ergo, she cannot reach into someone's HiddenDepths automatically and is quite susceptible to PsychicStatic and PokeInTheThirdEye. Probably the most exemplary case is in Episode 11, where the ESP Research Society is trying to catch a criminal who commits random acts of violence to high school girls. As it turns out, the culprit is [[spoiler:Tsukino's EnemyWithin]], in whose house Kotoura has stayed for the better part of an afternoon. Yet in all that time, she doesn't suspect anything until the culprit is almost on top of her because [[spoiler: the EnemyWithin Tsukino had taken over while the latter was creeping up behind Kotoura]].
* This happens pretty frequently with Accelerator in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', most notably in his fights with Touma and Kihara Amata. Given [[SuperpowerLottery his displayed abilities]], despite the fact that they can both bypass his AttackReflector powers, there was absolutely nothing stopping him from standing back and throwing cars at them. Made all the more egregious because in one of the later books he does exactly that when he needs to shut down a PowerNullifier from outside its range. Justified in that his powers are normally so unstoppable that he's never had to think strategically, and using his powers in inventive, intelligent ways is a bit new to him.
* The anime adaptation of ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'' has a tendency to do this. In one example, Fuu stops Hikaru from using a fire spell on a monster that's abducted Umi, but she gives no thought to the spell that she herself invented a few episodes ago ''specifically'' to restrain without injury.
* Often when the robot characters in ''Anime/TransformersEnergon'' need to get to someplace really quick or escape from danger, they simply run, even if they can transform into a superfast vehicle.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'', Yusei desperately tries to find a way to deal with the Meklord Emperor monsters that can absorb Synchro Monsters. He finds the Accel Synchro, but Yusei already has a card that can deal with them, and he has it since the beginning of the series: Turbo Warrior. A Synchro Monster that cannot be targeted by monsters with Level 6 or lower, and the Meklord Emperors are Level 1[[note]]In the anime, a Meklord Emperor is made of five monsters that join forces and give the Infinity (the torso) their ATK and DEF. The Infinity is a Level 1 monster that absorbs Synchro Monsters. Some parts can be replaced by stronger versions of themselves and have higher Levels, but the highest Level so far is 5.[[/note]]. However, he never uses Turbo Warrior against them and he relies on his Accel Synchro Summon.
* In ''Anime/FairyTail'', Sting and Rogue are two of the only dragon slayers able to access their SuperMode at will. Yet outside of their fight with Natsu and Gajeel, they never use it, even when they are getting their butts kicked and are in mortal peril.

* In ''AudioPlay/TheUnfinishedSpellingErrorsOfBolkien'', Martin points that the Balrog seems completely unaware of the fact that it has wings. The Balrog/wing issue is a pretty big source of FanWank.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Nearly any situation should be easily solvable by Franchise/TheFlash, [[SuperSpeed since he can move hundreds and hundreds of times faster than anything else on earth.]] Yet he constantly forgets to use the full potential of his superpowers until it's time to end the story. Abilities the Flash consistently forgets he has: running faster than light, speed stealing, infinite mass punch, etc.
** ... and it gets worse. On one occasion the villains have destroyed a bridge. The Flash runs to a university, teaches himself civil engineering, rushes back to the site of the collapsing bridge, scavenges for parts and builds an entire new bridge to replace the old one, all in the blink of an eye. This trope is the only reason anyone is able to beat him. Though most Flashes can only retain their super-speed knowledge for a few seconds. The only one who could retain it permanently, Bart Allen, once read an entire public library. This came in less handy than one would think.
** Lampshaded in an episode of ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]'', since it's revealed that while the Flash can do all these things and more, [[HoldingBackThePhlebotinum he doesn't phase through things because it's fairly dangerous, and he can't approach his upper limits because the plot says it would kill him.]] Luthor, on the other hand, isn't so worried about it when his [[FreakyFridayFlip mind ends up in Flash's body]].
** It becomes even more ridiculous given the fact that at one point the Flash was [[Awesome/TheFlash able to (within a small fraction of a second) save a city from nuclear annihilation by carrying its half a million person population to a hill miles away one person at a time.]] And yet Central City's banks still get robbed on his watch.
** In the 4 issue alternate universe DC tale, ''Comicbook/KingdomCome'', The Flash does become an unstoppable one man war on crime, where he never slows down and has made Keystone City a crime-less utopia. To the point where he moves so fast, not only can he run through the air, he simultaneously exists in the physical and metaphysical planes.
*** However, it's also revealed he's BlessedWithSuck as he can no longer communicate with anyone (save {{Superman}}) and cannot ''stop''.
* Most of the above points also apply to other speedsters in Franchise/TheDCU. Heck, to most comic book speedsters, period.
* Obviously, Franchise/{{Superman}} suffers from the same forgetfulness both in the comics and in ''Series/{{Smallville}}''. Specifically, he frequently forgets to use his super speed while attacking. However, he is in the habit of standing and taking shots to intimidate his opponents so it's not always a case of forgetting. And how anyone ever manages to sneak up on him when he has super hearing is a complete mystery. Except for Franchise/{{Batman}}, because he has [[CrazyPrepared active noise cancellation technology built into his costume for just such an occasion]]. Somewhat justified in that while he has super speed, he doesn't have [[RequiredSecondaryPowers super agility]] ([[DependingOnTheWriter usually]]) so, while he can fly fast in a straight line or a curve, it's not that useful to him in combat. As Batman once put it when comparing Superman's speed to Wonder Woman's: "Who's faster, Usain Bolt or Creator/BruceLee?"
** At it's most ridiculous in the Silver Age, as Superman has nearly god like powers (name any ability, put the word super in front of it, Supes has it) and will conveniently forget them between issues as the plot demands.
* Realistically speaking, most super-powered opponents facing Batman should always take the majority of victories in any battle, even if Batman "had prep". The Justice League in Tower of Babel provides prominent examples of this trope.
* MartianManhunter often forgets to use his [[IntangibleMan Intangibility]] so that his enemies can land a punch on him. He also often forgets about his ability to change size and the advanced uses of his Telepathy.
* Marvel's TheVision has occasionally fallen victim to similar attacks (though it's rarer). In one issue of ''Comicbook/WhatIf'', he was killed by a parasitic alien vine that grew into his bodily systems. A fan wrote in to ask what was up; the editors [[AscendedFanon eagerly latched onto his suggestion]] that "the plant in question isn't entirely tangible itself, and that's why the villain used it".
** An ''[[Comicbook/TheAvengers Avengers]]'' comic had Vision, along with Comicbook/TheMightyThor and Comicbook/IronMan, taken out by ''knockout gas''. Hmm, a PhysicalGod who can control winds, an unbreathing android, and a guy in a sealed combat suit? No problem. The criminal masterminds who took them out so easily?... Well, [[http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/trogs1.htm you've got to see this one for yourself]].
* ''The Essential ComicBook/SilverSurfer'' is ''full'' of this. When he meets a scientist who invents a device that might let him leave Earth but needs money to make it, the Surfer decides to ''get a job''. He can't (because [[UndeadTaxExemption he doesn't have a Social Security number, he's not in the union,]] and he's funny-looking) so almost robs a bank in desperation, forgetting ''he can manipulate matter'' and could just make the scientist's gear for him. He spends about eight comics looking for someone who won't hate him for being "a silver-skinned freak" before he remembers that the Comicbook/FantasticFour were quite friendly... need I go on?
* In ''MarvelZombies'', the zombies are attacking Doctor Doom's castle and the Scarlet Witch is infected by the Punisher. Gee, Scarlet Witch, did it never occur to you you could just teleport him and the other zombies away like you did with Ash earlier? Or teleport Enchantress away earlier so Dazzler wouldn't be infected? It is also never explained why Doom didn't just kill Enchantress in the beginning [[spoiler: like he did later]].
** It's likely Doom was keeping Enchantress prisoner in the hopes of experimenting on her and finding a cure for the zombie plague, although he should have warned Ash and the others about her.
* The last frame of the SpiderMan comic featuring the defeat of the Sinister Six in their first appearance had Doctor Octopus, the Vulture, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, and Sandman sitting in a police jail cell complaining about being defeated. How could the Sandman, a being who can turn into sand, be trapped in a common jail cell?
* Franchise/{{Green Lantern}}s [[GreenLanternRing have been variously shown as being able to warp time, move faster than light, contain supernovas, fight toe to toe with Superman, alter their own DNA, read minds, find subatomic aliens]]... Scratch that, if it's a superpower of any sort any given GL has used it at least twice. Now here's the thing. There are creatures other than Gods that bother them. Funny huh? It's somewhat justified in their case as their power require willpower and concentration to make anything happen. A GL who is having a bad day, is unfocused or demoralized will be less effective and the GL's are essentially human without their rings (or at least the human ones are.) Plus, their rings require a periodic recharge and anything yellow or anyone whose fast enough or crafty enough to remove a ring is a threat. Still, the idiot plot is somewhat less excusable in the case of veterans like Hal Jordan (or really, any of the Earth based GL's these days) as he is both experienced, and extremely strong willed.
* The drama that drives the character of {{Adam Strange}} hinges on a concept that makes little sense in the context of the [[SharedUniverse shared]] [[Franchise/TheDCU DC Universe]]. Adam is a human adventurer from Earth who gets transported to the planet Rann (located in the Alpha Centauri solar system, the closest to Earth) by zeta beams. Once the effect of a zeta beam wears off, Adam gets transported back to Earth and has to wait for the next zeta beam to transport him back to Rann once again. This creates drama (Adam can't stay on Rann indefinitely), and even though every once in a while, writers come up with super-powerful zeta beams that have a permanent effect, eventually another writer may find a reason to undo the effect, leaving Adam stranded on Earth once again. However, it makes little sense in the context of the wider DCU, where there are various more conventional means of traveling the (comparably laughable) distance to Rann. A particularly glaring example occurs in JLA #20-21 (written by Mark Waid), where the {{Justice League}} gets transported to Rann and has to help Adam fend off an invasion. Ultimately, Adam drives off the invaders by sacrificing the zeta beam radiation stored inside his body, which results in him getting transported back to Earth. There are at least three ways to get him back to Rann immediately: First, in the first part of the story, Adam mentions a previous visit to Rann by JLA member Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), who traveled there simply using the power of his ring. Second, the JLA has White Martian jumpships at their disposal, which are used to travel through space several times over the course of the series. And third, the JLA's ranks at that time include Orion and Big Barda of the {{New Gods}}, who have access to Boom Tubes, which can also travel vast distances. All of these methods would allow Adam to return to Rann in a short amount of time, without that pesky temporary effect of the zeta beams.
** Eventually, this was corrected by placing Rann multiple billions of light-years from Earth, too far for most other methods of travel to reach.
* The chronic and widespread amnesia over the Iron Queen's {{Magitek}} is one of the main causes of the IdiotPlot that is ''[[Comicbook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog The Iron Dominion Saga]]''; the Freedom Fighters are constantly clueless to the fact that their enemy can control machines with her mind, and wind up being shocked each time one of their cyborg or mechanical allies gets turned against them by her. They also keep forgetting that they have a counteragent to her spell ''right in their own backyard''. And in case you're wondering, there's actually a time in the saga where the Iron Queen ''herself'' forgets that she has this power, and has to be ''reminded'' that the Freedom Fighters are holed up in a GreyGoo city that she can manipulate...''after she successfully infiltrated and messed up said city with her powers''.
* ''Comicbook/DoctorStrange''. Speaking of the Sorcerer Supreme, he is repeatedly in situations where his virtually unlimited mystic abilities could resolve the plot, or at least make it much simpler. Alas, the good Doctor's imagination is often limited to that of those who write him.
* The giant mutant cockatrices who attacks Canterlot in the short in Issue #4 of ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'' doesn't seem to be able to turn anypony to stone.
* Justified by Snowbird in ''ComicBook/AlphaFlight''. While in animal form, she is dropped from a great height, so she shapechanges into an owl without changing to human form first -- something she rarely does because its very painful. But, as the narrator points out, "In her animal panic, she had forgotten that her human form can also fly."
* Comes up ''a lot'' in ''AvengersArena'' as the kids juggle the IdiotBall from one to another:
** In the very beginning, the kids try to ZergRush Arcade, and he summarily inflicts a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown on everyone who tried it (while commending the handful who were smart enough not to).
** After establishing that ComicBook/{{X 23}} is ''constantly'' [[SherlockScan studying in her surroundings]] and [[AwesomenessByAnalysis determining the best way of killing everyone around her]], in #10 she [[spoiler: [[LeeroyJenkins blindly charges into a fight with Apex without preparation]]. Despite arguably being the most dangerous fighter of all the kids, she of course [[TheWorfEffect gets her ass kicked as a result]].]]
** She then passes the IdiotBall to [[spoiler: Apex, who completely forgets about Laura's HealingFactor and fails to make sure she's ''actually'' down for good]].
* ComicBook/CaptainAlcohol is supposed to have SuperStrength. However, this is only used in the first issue and never used again even when it could help him.
* Jesse Custer in ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}'' forgets about his [[CompellingVoice Word of God]] more and more as the series goes on, which could have immediately solved many problems much faster by simply telling people "Stop!" or "Tell The Truth!" While early encounters include enemies who are immune to his power for a number of reasons, such as being given immunity by God or not understanding English, writer Garth Ennis apparently got tired of thinking up ways around the power and simply had Jesse stop using it, preferring to use his nigh-superhuman fighting skills instead. The trope is even lampshaded when Tulip asks him why he hadn't used the Word to defeat a group of enemies and Jesse just admits that he forgot about it.
* All the various telepaths in the X-Men could probably stop a hell of a lot of battles and villainous plots by simply mentally knocking out MANY of their enemies that don't have any kind of mind shield, but they often don't for unexplained reasons.
* As noted elswhere, Wolverine has super senses like hearing and smell, but they apparently only work when Wolverine needs them to solve a plot point. Otherwise he seems to be suffering from a recurring healing factor-resistant head cold.
* As TheComicsCurmudgeon is fond of pointing out, newspaper comics Spider-Man's spidey sense is notoriously unreliable, as he's been shown to get snuck up behind and knocked out by regular humans, and once a RANDOM FALLING BRICK.
* In [[ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog]], Tails had an uncle who was skilled enough in magic to, among other things, teleport and activate his SuperMode. Unless there's an unexplained limitation on that second spell, Dr. Eggman ''really'' shouldn't have been a threat for so long.
* During the first 20 years of his existence, ComicBook/{{Magneto}} occasionally used his magnetic powers to control the minds of people by controlling the iron in their blood; see [[http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/magnetokids8.jpg this page]] from the ''ComicBook/TheVision and ComicBook/ScarletWitch'' miniseries for one example. Since then, he seems to have completely forgotten about this power, even though it would've been incredibly useful in many occasions.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/GettingBackOnYourHooves'' Trixie is feeding animals as part of a job working for Fluttershy, ending up falling down a steep bank and getting the list of animals she needed to feed muddy, resulting in a run in [[SmellySkunk with a skunk]]. As she's getting cleaned up, this trope is {{lampshade|Hanging}}d;
--> '''Spike''': Uh, Trixie, one thing.
--> '''Trixie''': Yes, what?
--> '''Spike''': Why didn't you just use your magic to float the food down to the animals?
--> '''Trixie''': ''([[HeadDesk slams her head into the side of the tub]])''
** This is also subverted in other places. Trixie's special talent is stage magic, so she's frequently frustrated when Spike asks her why she didn't do something ''Twilight'' (whose talent is magic itself) is capable of, but she's not.
* In ''FanFic/ManchesterLost'' and its sequel, ''[[FanFic/ParadiseThwarted Paradise Thwarted]]'', resident CloudCuckooLander Uriel tends to forget all sorts of things, including, at times, ''the fact that he has wings.''
* Averted in [[FanFic/MassFoundations Mass Foundations: Redemption in the Stars]]: [[VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas Courier]] uses the VATS target assist, the Jury Rigging perk, Pip Boy map and the Geiger counter functions, as well as various stims. [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Liara]] frequently employs various biotic talents during combat and [[TheReptilians Feron]] can fix equipment with omni-gel, like the ''[[VideoGame/MassEffect1 ME1]]'' Infiltrator class he belongs to. Even the [[PrivateMilitaryContractors Blue Sunsďż˝]] members use the full spectrum of their equipment from ''[[VideoGame/MassEffect2 ME2]]'', with missile launcher soldiers, [[KillItWithFire flamethrower troops]] and [[SpaceRomans Legionnaires]] with anti-shield Disruptor ammo all present and accounted for.
* The key sign of a bad ''Literature/HarryPotter'' fic: nobody uses magic for anything.
* In ''WebAnimation/DusksDawn'' Donut abandons most of his armor when invading the castle for no reason.
* It's incredibly common for ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' fan works, and crossovers especially, to forget that all of the girls can fly.
* ''Ojamajo Doremi: Witches at World's End'' (sequel to ''FanFic/OjamajoDoremiRiseOfTheShadows''): The Queen doesn't use her SuperMode when [[BigBad Black Queen]] attacks the witch World, even though the Queen has mastered it AND it is more than capable of curbstomping Black Queen.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* A glaring example in ''WesternAnimation/ParaNorman''; during the mid point of the film Norman is searching for the unmarked grave of the town's witch. He never once uses his powers to speak with the dead to attempt to talk to the ghost we see him talking with during the first act, one of which may have a lead or know the location. Of course, none of the ghosts were contemporary to the time of the curse and probably wouldn't know of the location anyway. Additionally, deleted material suggests the ghosts went into hiding the moment Aggie started unleashing her wrath upon the town.
* Some of ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'' sequels have this problem, neglecting the fact that Petrie can fly.
* In ''Disney/PeterPan'' the climax involves several characters being threatened with WalkThePlank despite the fact that they can fly.
* In ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'', when her ice palace is under attack, Elsa seems to completely forget all the things she has already done with her powers that would allow her to hold off the attackers indefinitely, such as causing the staircase to sprout ice spikes, creating more {{Snowlems}} to back up Marshmallow, hammering them with a blizzard or simply sealing the entrances to the palace with solid ice walls.
* In ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}} 3'', [[spoiler:Matau is about to fall to his death from atop the Coliseum balcony, but Vakama saves him with a bungee-cord made out of spider webbing. A cool and heartwarming scene to showcase Vakama's return to the good side, except that Matau got up there by flying in the first place, or technically, [[NotQuiteFlight grabbing onto an energy-disk]] that he could fire at any moment.]]
** In the first film, Onua causes a cave-in, so he and Pohatu start running, but get buried under rubble. This, despite that they had masterful control over the elements of earth and stone respectively -- Onua even uses his power to levitate some giant rocks in a later scene. Pohatu also wore the Mask of Speed (which Onua had access to, too) that would have let them vibrate their bodies ''through'' the rock, or just plain run faster. Both could even have summoned their Mask of Shielding to protect themselves. The climax also involves some running and heavy objects falling, but nobody thinks of using their powers to save themselves or [[spoiler: help Takutanuva who gets crushed under a gate]].
* Early on in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls'', Spike manages to open a door with only one paw. Near the film's climax, he is somehow unable to open the ''exact same door'' applying even ''more'' force.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The Mobile Infantry in ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' have rifles that come with underbarrel shotguns and nuclear rocket launchers, yet they seem to rely almost entirely on their rifles' regular firing mode -- even when faced with instances where such weapons would be most effective, such as close combat with the Bugs or when facing a horde of thousands of bunched-together aliens charging their fixed positions.
** Justified since the movie satirizes HollywoodTactics.
* In ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Return of the King]]'', Gandalf rescues Faramir and his retreating troops by using his staff to shine a bright light at the Nazgűl, which scares them away. One might wonder how come he doesn't do that every other time the Nazgűl are around...
** Commented by several cast members on the audio commentary. Creator/IanMcKellen mentions bringing the trope up to Creator/PeterJackson, who shrugged and told him he used up all the batteries when he saved Faramir, and the shops in Minas Tirith were all out.
** This is probably the reason why, in the extended edition, Peter Jackson had the Witch-king destroy Gandalf's staff shortly afterwards; something that could not have happened in the book.
** In the book, the narrator's explanation implies that this was essentially a battle of wills, and the Nazgűl backed down because it wasn't the time yet to challenge Gandalf in all out battle -- their leader wasn't present and they didn't have an army behind them, and their quarry wasn't that significant at this point. Basically, Gandalf intimidated them to leave, but they could have chosen to resist if they had a good enough reason. It's possible to speculate that this beam of light had approximately the same strength as a stream of running water, which the Nazgűl also fear, but can overcome if they really must.
* In ''Film/TheNeverendingStory 2'' Bastian has to save Fantasia with the help of the Auryn, which can grant him any wish he wants. He never thinks to wish for weapons, or an army, or even that [[DeusExMachina Fantasia just be saved]]. Instead he wishes for things like a can of spray paint and individual steps to climb a huge cliff. And he only has a limited number of wishes before running out of memories (each wish removes a memory though at the time he gets it he was unaware of this so he had no reason to limit his wishes at the time).
* ''Franchise/StarWars''
** The prequels retroactively introduce this trope to the original trilogy by establishing that R2-D2 has the ability to fly and torch his opponents, something he never does in the original trilogy even though it would have been useful to do so. WordOfGod has it that R2's rocket boosters broke at some point in the intervening years, and Industrial Automaton (the company that makes R2 units) no longer manufactures that part.
** The Jedi seem to be constantly forgetting what powers they are supposed to have. Of particular note is the whole "''Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them.''" principle, when it generally seems as though Jedi characters can rarely sense impending danger through the Force and are [[NotSoOmniscientAfterAll often unaware of it until they can actually see, or hear, it coming]]. There are innumerable instances of this in the movies. Jedi also seem very inclined to forget that they're [[MindOverMatter telekinetic]].
* ''Film/TheLastAirbender'': The Fire Nation imprisonment of the Earth-benders. In the [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender cartoon that the film was based upon]] it was completely justified as they were on a metallic platform in the middle of the ocean. In the movie, they're at a mine. As in, surrounded by dirt and rocks. And they outnumber their Fire Nation guards by a minimum of a dozen to one. The very weak "their spirits are broken" excuse is washed away by a speech that boils down to "You're Earth-benders. You're completely surrounded by dirt and rocks. DO SOMETHING." They effectively imprisoned a bunch of soldiers, made them use their loaded guns to dig holes, and the soldiers never thought to shoot.
** And likewise in the other direction, firebenders were reworked to require a source of their element to bend like everyone else which prompts the need for a large container of burning fuel to exist at the camp. No one ever tries to put it out which would render the firebenders completely powerless. For that matter, despite this really major change in how firebenders work, no one ever tries to defeat them this rather simple way.
* In ''Film/X2XMenUnited'', Wolverine realizes that Mystique is disguised as Jean Grey by feeling the scars on her belly rather than by her smell, which he was established to be able to do in the first film when she tried the same trick with Storm.
* ''Film/IAmNumberFour'' John is an alien with a wide variety of superhuman powers, including super strength. While he uses it once early on to put down a bully, he conveniently forgets his wide variety of powers for the rest of the movie so that JerkJock Mark can push him around. When John finally does remember he has powers, he slaps down Mark's whole gang.
* ''Film/BruceAlmighty'': After Bruce was caught kissing Susan by his girlfriend Grace, he seemed to forget that he was near-omnipotent, so he could just wipe her memory of said event, or re-write history to make it that it never happened.
** Though really with near-omnipotence it's just bound to happen and Bruce was never meant to be a particularly thoughtful person outside of being entertaining. He was also unable to process the huge surge of prayers when he could have either stopped time or created a super computer to do it for him. He also never tries to tackle global things like curing diseases or ending starvation.
* In ''Film/DragonballEvolution'', Piccolo demonstrates telekinesis powerful enough to crush a house, but never uses it again, even to try to retrieve a Dragonball that was rolling away.

* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** A lampshaded example occurs in "The Philosopher's Stone". When Harry, Ron, and Hermione are trapped in the Devil's Snare (a constricting plant which can only be defeated via light) a panicking, Muggleborn Hermione comments that it would be difficult to light a fire in their current position.
*** Lampshaded and called-back in a reversed situation in the final book, when Ron has a momentary lapse of judgement by proclaiming that Crookshanks isn't there to press the knob on the tree's trunk to let them into the passage. Hermione yells at him, "Are you a wizard or not!?"
** Later the BigBad suddenly resorts to grabbing the hero with bare hands, even though seconds earlier he entangled him with conjured ropes. Because touching the hero burned him, he would've certainly won if he hadn't decided not to use any magic.
* In ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' Frodo cries out for protection to Elbereth, the benevolent goddess of light, when the Nazgul attack. Frodo survives, and a learned character tells him that the name of Elbereth did great harm to the Nazgul, creatures of evil and darkness. One wonders why it doesn't just become a habit of the Fellowship, any time the Nazgul are chasing/fighting them, to invoke Elbereth's name, just to get an edge.
** Technically, the hobbits were told that Elbereth's name was "far more deadly" to the Nazgul than Frodo's attempts to stab them were. Given how completely ineffective Frodo's sword was, something could be "far more deadly" and still not particularly useful.
* This happens quite a bit in the Ancient Indian epic poem the "Ramayana". As an avatar of Vishnu, Rama should be completely over-powered in the human realm. Instead, Rama seems to forget that he is a god until the other gods remind him. In the original version of the poem, Valmiki's version, this happens more than once.
* Flinx of Creator/AlanDeanFoster's ''Literature/HumanxCommonwealth'' series gets hit with this a lot in the novels after ''Flinx in Flux''. Having been established as: (a) streetwise, (b) adept at survival, (c) having [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney a ton of money]], (d) being able to defeat just about any enemy with a combination of his EmotionBomb and SuperpowerMeltdown powers; at least half of the scrapes he gets himself into are caused by a combination of him deliberately walking unprepared into lethal environments or conveniently forgetting about one or more of his PsychicPowers in order to allow a different character to get a BigDamnHeroes moment. There's also at least one scene in ''Trouble Magnet'' where he ''does'' rely on his EmotionBomb power to get himself out of a scrape, only to have it not work on him thanks to PowerIncontinence... a fact he really ought to have taken into account considering how frequently it happens to him.
* In the ''[[Literature/TheBelgariad Malloreon]]'', Belgarath does this. He, Belgarion, and Zakath have to fight a dragon, which is immune to direct sorcery. He makes Garion and Zaketh immune to fire to face the dragon, and has no doubts that this will work, demonstrating that indirect sorcery can be used. Despite this and 7000 years of experience, the idea of translocating large rocks above the dragon's head, or something similar, never occurs to him.
** Easily half of the entire content of ''any'' book written by Creator/DavidEddings exists only because the protagonists don't make simple and forward use of the god-like (and we mean sometimes very ''literally'' godlike) powers they have. The reason given for this in the Belgariad collection is that the power they use requires the sorcerer being able to steel themselves against the forces involved (otherwise they could literally push themselves into the ground -or worse), and takes a toll on their more-than-mortal but still-limited minds and bodies. Sometimes a lot of power has to be used at once; Belgarath ran head-first into trouble by literally working himself to magic-use exhaustion. Many times they just don't use a simple possibility they have, but rather go for an incredibly contrived method that somehow seems like a genius idea. Somewhat justified, as Galrion is a very powerful sorcerer in his own right, but is only of average intelligence and is still gathering experience; he doesn't always remember or know what the best way of doing things may be. Might get it from his (great-x) grandfather.
* In ''Literature/TimeCat'', Jason and Gareth are often captured and held somewhere against their will. Despite having the power to travel to any point in space or time, Gareth never uses his magic to allow them to both escape.
* This happens many times in ''Literature/TheVampireChronicles'' series:
** Lestat is a skilled computer hacker in Tale of the Body Thief, but doesn't know how to use email when it becomes a plot point in Blood Canticle.
** When Louis falls improbably in love with Merrick, it never occurs to David that something supernatural is going on, even though he's an expert in magic and he knows she's a witch.
* Used in a subtle and clever way in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' novel ''Small Favor''. Harry has a small arsenal of magical tools on him (staff, shield bracelet, force rings, blasting rod, and various other odds-and-ends), and he has a wide range of spells he can draw from (bursts of flame, blasts of force, lighting bolts, wind, etc). Therefore, unless the reader is paying very close attention, they'll miss something important: Throughout the novel, Harry uses most of his gear and most of his spells, but [[spoiler: he doesn't use either fire magic or his blasting rod beyond the initial brawl in the first chapter]]. It isn't until later on that the reason becomes apparent: [[spoiler: Mab, queen of the Winter Court, took his blasting rod and put a lock in Harry's mind that kept him from using fire magic, so that the fire-based Summer Court couldn't track him down and kill him.]]
* In the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' entry, ''The Familiar'', which features Jake flung into a BadFuture ten years later, the climax of the book forces Jake to choose between destroying a Yeerk superweapon that will consolidate their power on Earth or saving his girlfriend who's just been flung from a tower. The conflict becomes a lot less believable when you remember that Cassie could just ''morph to bird and save herself''. Justified since it turns out [[spoiler: to have been a dream Jake was having]], possibly at the instigation of [[spoiler: some alien]] that [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment was never mentioned again]] and Jake noticed the many oddities to realize this.
* Happens to the wigmonsters in ''Literature/JohnDiesAtTheEnd'', who forget they can go throw walls. David [[WhatAnIdiot reminds them.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Clark Kent]], all the time, period. Like in "Legion" when he basically stands there as [[spoiler:the Persuader]] pummels him. The worst case is probably flight. It is shown in "Crusade" (season 4 premier) that he physically can fly (and he has unconsciously floated before). Thanks to ExecutiveMeddling, lame excuses are made to explain why he is completely incapable of flight [[spoiler:until the finale. That is seven. Years. Later.]]
** There are many cases in which he could have solved problems with SuperSpeed, XRayVision, {{super|Senses}}hearing, telescopic vision or a combination thereof. However, this is probably just due to a lack of creativity and [[StoryBreakerPower so that he won't resolve plots too quickly.]]
* Hiro Nakamura of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' is one of the most powerful characters in the series with the ability to stop time and teleport; he's just too much of a dork to think of using it when he needs to defend himself. This was even given a nod in the series when his friend, Ando, deliberately antagonized a group of peeved gamblers, assuming Hiro would use his power to put them all down. Hiro, not comprehending the situation, was almost immediately KO'ed by a punch to the face.
** What about the time that Hiro and his friend have to find out what's in a safe, finally get it open, only to have the document stolen by a woman with super-speed powers? Hiro then spends several episodes trying to chase her so they can get the document back and see what it says. It never occurred to Hiro that he could have gone back yesterday and opened the safe and read the document before the thief stole it. He then could have replaced the document if he didn't want to cause a paradox or even replaced the document with a fake if he were really smart. This is also immediately after Hiro spent some time idly making time pass forward and backwards just to see a clock's hands move. So the speedster is so fast that, even when time is "stopped" she moves at normal speed. What about when time is rewinding?
** Peter Petrelli is far worse than Hiro when it comes to being handed the IdiotBall. But I guess they have to make him stupid to avoid having him fall into AGodAmI status. By comparison, at least in the first season, Sylar usually used most of his arsenal to deadly effect.
*** Example in case: In the final episode of Season 2, Peter is using up immense amounts of telekinetic energy to break into a vault with a solid 24-inch thick riveted steel door. As impressive as this may have been for the special effects, FridgeLogic would note that he can ''walk through solid objects'' and could have saved himself a lot of time and exhaustion.
*** This also caused issues with his trust of Adam Monroe. Throughout the season Peter and Adam are pursuing a virus strain that, through TimeTravel, Peter has learned will wipe out 93% of the world's population within a year. Though Adam insists he wants to destroy the virus, numerous other characters warn Peter that Adam is using him and will unleash the virus if he gets his hands on it. Peter himself even seems to question his motives a couple times. Problem is, Peter can ''read minds''. He even uses this ability to learn the location of the virus strain, but never thinks to jump in Adam's head and see if he's sincere about helping before leading him right to the vault where the strain is being stored.
*** The best example comes in season 3. In a Mexican-standoff hostage situation, rather than using telekinesis or time-stopping, he uses newly acquired super-speed to attack one of the enemies. The fact he attacked the most harmless enemy is a whole another IdiotBall...
*** The fact that, because he hadn't viewed the speedster's power yet, he had no idea he '''had''' SuperSpeed and was thus trying to just punch someone merely takes this UpToEleven
** In contrast, in Season 4 Hiro expends considerable time and effort using his powers to solve a problem that he easily could have solved without them. He meets a distraught cubicle worker on the roof, who wants to jump because he was fired for photocopying his butt. So Hiro travels back in time to sabotage the copier, only for the guy to do it again at the next opportunity. And again. And again. While it was a CrowningMomentOfFunny, one wonders if there was another way Hiro could have saved the guy's job at a company of which Hiro was CEO and 51% owner.
** At the end of Season 3, when Nathan is killed, Claire is nearby. Noah, who was brought back to life by Claire's blood after being killed earlier, does not suggest using her blood, but instead goes along with Angela's crazy plan.
*** Said plan is an inversion. They seem to forget that Sylar's powers DON'T work if he's decapitated. So basically they could have killed Sylar and brought Nathan back to life.
* The various ''Franchise/StarTrek'' series regularly did this. It's the 23rd or 24th century, yet the crew is frequently in peril from threats that even 20th century technology could handle. They repeatedly forget that their own warp drive, shields, transporters, phasers, replicators, holodecks, sickbay, etc., etc., can perform miracles.
** This is especially jarring in episodes in which transporter failure ("The Enemy Within") drives the plot. No one seems to recall the shuttles, the shuttles' transporters, or the cargo bay transporter system.
** In any scene where there is a man-to-man on the ship/station, they could put the transporter to work, simply beaming the enemies into the brig or even just erasing their patterns without bothering to reconstitute them.
** [[ImpliedTrope Intentionally done]] in the episode "By Any Other Name", when Kirk makes the Kelvan leader Rojan jealous by cozying up to Kelinda, until Rojan gets so angry that he completely forgets about his superior weapons that gave him the advantage in their first confrontation and attacks Kirk in rage using his fists, where Kirk is the one with the advantage this time, and manages to subdue him.
** Another ''Deep Space Nine'' example, in the second season finale (which introduced the Dominion formally, with the Jem'Hadar and the Vorta), a Vorta is able to use a powerful psychic telekinetic attack in combat and to escape from a holding cell. No mention of these abilities are ever made again, let alone actually used by a Vorta, even in situations where it could have been a huge advantage for them.
*** WordOfGod says that only that particular Vorta was given those powers.
** The variable effectiveness of phasers is a common plot hole in ''Franchise/StarTrek'', especially the later series. In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' a small handheld phaser the size of a smart phone could potentially disintegrate a person or blow the side off a building. In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' Data once vaporized all the water in an aqueduct system stretching miles up a mountain using one. But in ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' Federation troops fighting the Dominion are lugging around these huge phaser rifles that fire little bullet-like pops of energy that can barely put a hole in a wall, leading to [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy many combat scenes]] distinctly similar to their [[Franchise/StarWars major competing franchise]].
*** Kira, when training someone in weapons, does explain in one episode that Federation phaser rifles have multiple firing settings and, in fact, have so many settings that they easily go wrong in the field. It therefore boils down to people using the rifles keep forgetting they can adjust the firing settings for the situation they're in (and, of course, we also never see the rifles ever breaking down or going wrong despite it apparently being such a common problem that Kira would far prefer to recommend people use the much more reliable and sturdy Cardassian rifles in the field than the more fragile, unreliable Federation ones).
** Cloaking technology is a major source of tension, particularly between the Federation and the Romulon and Klingon Empires, who both use it extensively. The fact that the Federation could potentially counter the utility of cloaking devices by simply recruiting more members of [[PsychicPowers telepathic]] races such as [[ADayInTheLimelight Betazoids]] into Starfleet seems to have somehow escaped their thought processes entirely.
** [[TheEmpath Deanna Troi's]] abilities vary wildly over the course of the show. In some episodes she can easily sense beings on other ships or on a planet's surface while she is on the ''Enterprise'' in orbit. But when this kind of power would [[StoryBreakerPower eliminate suspense from the plot]], she mysteriously becomes unable to sense people she knows very well, even if they are relatively close by.
** Geordi [=LaForge=] can see a large part of the EM spectrum with his visor, yet in the episode ''Disaster'' he can't see a plasma fire behind a panel - Dr Crusher has to ''tell'' him that the wall is hot.
*** And yet, in ''First Contact'', he uses his new bionic eyes to find Cochran from far away.
** In ''Film/StarTrekGenerations'', the Enterprise D sustains fatal damage when the Duras sisters manage to get ahold of its shield frequency, allowing their weapons to pierce the Enterprise's shields. It never occurs to any of the main characters to simply ''change'' the shield frequency when this happens, even though it was the first thing they tried during a similar situation in "The Best Of Both Worlds Part 1" (and in that case, Data was able to rotate the shield frequencies so quickly even the Borg couldn't keep up with him, forcing them to drain the shields instead -- something the decrepit old Bird of Prey the Duras sisters were using couldn't have managed). The real reason behind this is the producers wanted to destroy the D so that they could build a new Enterprise that would look better in the cinema format for the next film, but they could have come up with a better way to do it.
** Dozens if not hundreds of random technobabble solutions are used only ONCE, and never used again.
** In the episode ''The Doomsday Machine'', Kirk destroys the machine by getting the ''Constellation's'' impulse engines to overload and detonate when Kirk pilots the ship into it, but no one ever thinks of firing phasers into the opening rather than at its hull, which would have accomplished the same thing and would have been much easier.
* In ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' an episode pertaining to a [[BadFuture flash forward]] tries to portray Olivia Dunham as [[FutureBadass having mastered her abilities]] by showing off her telekinesis. Dunham, a generally already battle hardened cop with lightning reflexes and an inexplicable penchant for headshots (before any brainwashing) is confronted by Walternate, brandishing a gun, and is promptly shot in the face after [[IdiotBall failing to react]].
* In ''Series/QuantumLeap'', there are several episodes in which Sam has to keep someone from being kidnapped, and the obvious solution -- have Al stay with the victim at all times until something happens -- rarely if ever occurs to them.[[note]]In one episode, Al uses his ability to [[PowerPerversionPotential spy on twin ladies in a dressing room.]] But no actually useful spying.[[/note]] Generally speaking, Al's potential for spying is greatly underused.
** The novels handwaved this by saying that events and people tied closely to That Which Must Be Set Right become ambiguous the closer Sam comes to the moment he has to save them and that Ziggy can't lock Al on to events to witness them. (Which also covered why Al popped in a few times on where the savee is supposed to be only to find out they had disappeared.)
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'': There have been many cases when the sisters just forget to use their powers. As Piper develops her explosive power, she uses her freezing power less and less, trying to blow up every enemy when freezing them would've been more helpful (some enemies are too strong to be blown up). Phoebe's Premonitions were originally intended to help innocents, but she even stopped having them unless they were about herself. This is made worse when she was stripped of her powers in the end of season 6, only retaining her premonition power (which she doesn't use), effectively making her powerless.
** The most jarring example is from Season 6 "Hyde School Reunion", in which one of Phoebe's old high school friends, who is now a criminal, threatens Phoebe with a gun unless Paige gives him a disguise. Instead of simply orbing the gun away, Paige glamours him into Chris, who was being targeted by demons at the time, and the demons end up killing him. The Main/UnfortunateImplications come from the fact that they hae just killed a human being, something they had sworn to never do in the past. In the end Paige even told Phoebe that they had no choice...
** On a less serious note, the levitation power that Whitelighters possess (i.e. the power that gets Leo caught out as a Whitelighter in the first place) is forgotten on several occasions where it could be potentially useful. It is justified that Paige can't use it yet; she's not a full Whitelighter, but Leo has no such excuse [[spoiler:until he loses his powers, that is]].
* In ''Series/NoOrdinaryFamily'' Stephanie seems to constantly forget that she has superspeed and could solve their problem in a fraction of a second. It doesn't help that when not using her powers she doesn't seem to have any kind of SuperReflexes, and ''terrible'' normal reflexes, so she's been hit by attacks that even most non-speedsters could dodge. One particularly notable example comes in the finale, when they're encircled by men with guns and after about 30 seconds of them talking and trying to find another way out, she remembers that she can just punch them out before they do anything, and does.
* In ''Series/TrueBlood'', Sookie has the ability to read most people's thoughts. There are many times where a character is able to trick her or give her false information, because she doesn't seem to remember this ability. Especially since early episodes imply that she ''can't turn it off''.
** Possibly justified. Season 5 reveals that the overuse of her powers has caused them to weaken, and she mentions that her telepathy has not been as effective recently.
* ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' has the Character Jynx who is supposed to be able to detect when people are lying to him. Soon he begins to get lied to as much as the other characters without detecting anything.
** This ends up [[spoiler:getting him killed, although he gets better]].
* ''Series/KnightRider'' tended to both play to and avert this trope. There were lots of things demonstrated that were used only once or twice and then never used again that would have been very helpful (usually involving scanning something, sensing something, or nearly-telekinetic power). On the other hand, sometimes functions would be brought back after a couple seasons and suddenly used again.
** A few functions were explicitly mentioned as removed, such as the laser and water hydroplaner, but by and large KITT's functions were a fluid thing and you never knew which new thing might pop up.
* In ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' episode "Escape Clause", Walter Bedeker is given immortality and is unable to feel pain. Instead of setting out to have a long and happy life, he defrauds several businesses and confesses to killing his wife, which he didn't do. In court, he works to get himself convicted so he could try out the electric chair, but is then given life in prison instead, although it's not explained what he would have done after going to the electric chair. It is at this point that he uses the "Escape Clause" which causes his own death rather than face life in prison. At this point, he has apparently forgotten that in addition to being ageless, he is also invulnerable. How easy would it then be to escape from prison if he doesn't have to fear injury or death? He could wait for an opportunity and make a break for the barbed wire or electrified fence and just climb over it. What are guard dogs or gunshots to someone who is invulnerable? In the very least, he could wait it out.
* In ''Series/{{Merlin}}'', Merlin deserves an honorable mention for deciding that POISONING Arthur is necessary to fake his death, when there have to be a million other ways to do it. Arthur gets bonus points for going along with it.
** After the first few episodes, Merlin also completely forgets his original innate power of stopping time and telekinesis with nothing but a glare. As soon as he starts learning some spells that don't even have a fraction of this power, he only uses spells which could have him executed if anyone listens to his muttering.
*** Although time stopping can fall under CoconutSuperpowers.
** Partially lampshaded in "The Darkest Hour", when Merlin uses a spell to light the fire while the other knights are gathered around. Lancelot, the only knight who knows about his magic, glares at him. As we saw in series 2, Merlin can light a fire just by moving his hand and there is no need to risk the knights overhearing him.
* M-16 users in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' and ''Series/StargateSG1'' never once use the M-203 grenade launchers that are usually attached to their M-16s, even when faced with squads of Jaffa. In addition, the standard hand-held grenades are almost never used, despite multiple situations throughout both series where a single M67 grenade would eliminate their opposition. Even the M67 grenades "forget their powers" when the one grenade explosion in SGA Season 3, Phantoms, doesn't even damage Shepard, despite the 6 sticks of dynamite equivalent of the grenade and the blast being less than 15 feet away and nothing between the metal fragments lofted by the blast and Shepard. (At that close range, the effect would be somewhat like a hummingbird being hit by a 12 gauge shotgun blast.)
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': in an example that lasts the ''entire fifth season'', a major mystery is stretched tenuously over multiple episodes because Sheridan ''forgets that he has seen Centauri Prime's future''. (This is possibly as a result of ExecutiveMeddling forcing many plot threads to be completed one season too early.)
** In the early episode, "The War Prayer", the Home Guard members emerge at a meeting with two members of the command staff having been disguised using Black Light Camouflage, which renders them effectively invisible. However, in the ensuing gunfight, they choose to go with "hiding behind the crates" as their method of concealment.
* In an episode of ''Series/LoisAndClark'', Superman tries to stop a martial artist who has super strength and is defeated because of his foe's superior skill. Superman decides his only option is to [[BoxingLessonsForSuperman take a crash course in kung fu]], which pays off during the rematch. It never occurs to him to use his super speed, heat vision, or super breath.
* In the failed ''Series/{{Wonder Woman|2011Pilot}}'' TV Pilot, Wonder Woman [[KickTheDog tortures a patient]] for information. Couldn't she have just used, oh, I don't know....HER FREAKING MAGIC LASSO THAT MAKES PEOPLE TELL THE TRUTH?! She even throws it on the bed beforehand, and it's outright stated that her lasso can make people tell the truth!
** Although, depending on the particular incarnation, the lasso's powers have varied from outright forcing them to tell the truth, to being unable to lie (but they weren't compelled to answer at all), or merely letting Wonder Woman know when she's being lied to/deceived.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the episode "The Snowmen," the Doctor has stopped traveling through time and space [[spoiler:after losing Amy]] and is living on a cloud (literally). He then shows the TARDIS to a new potential companion, Clara. While showing her the new TARDIS console, he turns around, allowing [[spoiler:the ice woman to grab Clara from behind and fall with her from the cloud]]. As the Doctor helplessly watches [[spoiler:Clara fall]], he forgets that, fairly recently, he had no problems [[spoiler:materializing the TARDIS in the path of River Song, falling in a similar manner]]. Apparently, being a Time Lord doesn't mean you have all the time in the world to solve a problem.\\
Justified somewhat however in that [[spoiler: he was able to do that by going ''back'' in time to catch River, during an event that no-one actually saw her die, not to mention that her [[PlotArmor survival was guaranteed]] due to him already witnessing her death [[TimeyWimeyBall further along]] in her personal timeline.]] In that case he had time enough to figure out a precision jump that would land him where needed to be, whereas in this case due to ''witnessing'' [[spoiler: Clara falling to her death]] and having little time to pre-plan, he was most likely unable to cross the timeline in order to save her.
*** It's an established premise of the show that once the Tardis lands and becomes part of events, the Doctor cannot go back and undo his mistakes.
** The Doctor has several handy abilities, like the ability to go into a temporary death-like state of suspended animation (although at great physical effort) and the ability to [[{{Telepathy}} read minds]] that virtually never show up when faking his own death or identifying the killer in a mystery would be useful. He also sometimes loses skills between regenerations, like his Third incarnation's trademark Venusian aikido being replaced with the Fourth Doctor's [[GoodOldFisticuffs general brawling]]. He has also demonstrated that he has HypnoticEyes, especially in his Fourth incarnation, but almost never uses the ability in later incarnations. Writers are likewise prone to forget that he is supposed to have SuperReflexes. His precognition ability has only been used twice - once in the same story it was revealed in, and another time in TheMovie in a really weird moment [[TheyJustDidntCare that didn't appear to have much thought behind it]].
** Frequently enough for it to be a character trait, the Doctor and various other Time Lords have displayed something akin to face blindness (in "The Mind Robber" the Doctor struggles to recognise his best friend's facial features, in "Inferno" he can't identify the Brigadier in a photo, in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" he fails to notice a man is Chinese, he can't tell if women are supposed to be beautiful or not in "City of Death"...), but also displayed the ability to immediately tell who another Time Lord is even after regeneration (in "The War Games" and "The Deadly Assassin"). These abilities/handicaps are entirely dependent on if they would be funny or plot-relevant to have this week - virtually any disguised-Master plot is dependent on the idea that the Doctor can't tell who he/she is, and some Doctors are attuned enough to faces to be quite obsessed with them when they're not struggling to work out if people have makeup on for comic effect.
* Damon Salvatore on ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' uses an ability to create fog in the first few episodes and then never does it again. He also seems to have an ability to compel someone from far away which he also never uses again.
** Also, vampires on both this and ''Series/TheOriginals'' tend to rather frequently forget that they can move faster than the eye can see and are strong enough to snap the necks of people with less effort than it takes to snap a twig, and because of this just stand there and let humans and witches that they could easily kill capture and do whatever they want to them all the time.
* In the ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'' episode "Judgment Day", Hercules loses his SuperStrength, but still manages to get the upper hand on Strife and beat him up. Strife begs Ares for help. Ares loses his temper and replies, "Fight him, you pathetic little fool. You're a god. USE YOUR POWERS!"
* In ''{{Series/Supernatural}}'''s sixth season finale, [[spoiler: Castiel]] needs a way to ensure that Sam, Dean, and Bobby do not interfere with his plan to open a door to Purgatory. This character has the power to render people unconscious with a touch. He could also teleport them to the other side of the planet, so they're too far away to get back in time to stop him. Or he could [[RealityWarper Reality Warp]] them into a room with no doors, windows, or other exits, trapping them there until he decides to release them. If he was feeling particularly pragmatic, he could even just [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim kill them]] and then resurrect them afterwards. All of these are abilities he has previously demonstrated. So which one does he pick to get the heroes out of the way? None of them. Instead he decides to tear down the wall Death built in Sam's head to protect him from his memories of Lucifer's cage, leaving him stuck in a BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind, and then tries to blackmail Dean and Bobby into not interfering by threatening not to heal Sam if they do. Of course, this doesn't work, Dean and Bobby interfere anyway and even Sam is able to overcome it at the last moment. So you really have to wonder why he didn't just go with a simpler, safer, and more effective alternative.
** Season 9 has a subplot where Sam is possessed by an angel and doesn't know it. As the season progresses he slowly starts realizing something is up due to strange occurrences like blocks of time he can't remember and Dean calling him Zeke. Problem is, angels possess the ability to both wipe memories and create new ones. Ezekiel could easily just delete anything that might make Sam suspicious and replace it with something benign, but he doesn't because [[TrueArtIsAngsty Sam needs to be suspicious so the show can meet it's angst quota]].
* ''Series/{{Misfits}}'':
** Nathan Young started the show with Immortality and later trades it in for RealityWarper powers. He never takes advantage of his powers when it is important. For example, he cheats at a casino by changing his dice results. When the casino finds out and sends guards to apprehend him, he runs away, and when he runs into a dead end, lamely tries to distract them by pulling a rabbit out of his anus, and is eventually caught and arrested. He doesn't even consider using his powers to escape. It his case, it's justified because he's a complete moron.
** Jess gets this every other episode in the last season. In one case she nearly takes a nail to the eye by using a peephole when she knows she's being pursued by an attacker. ''Her power is X-ray vision.''
* From ''Series/{{Power Rangers Turbo}}'', the explanation for the Turbo powers being used as opposed to the Zeo powers was to go to an island to stop Divatox from summoning a big monster. Yet, after that, they never think to use their Zeo powers ever again. This is especially stupid when you remember that the Zeo powers are always supposed to be getting stronger.
* Laurel Lance in ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' is generally portrayed as a tough, no-nonsense cop's daughter with reasonable self-defense skills. But in the first two-and-a-half seasons, anytime the plot calls for a DamselInDistress, she will suddenly become incompetent: She has a shotgun during a home invasion!...with only one shell? She ambushes a drunk man with a baseball-bat!...and is promptly overwhelmed?
** The reason she doesn't qualify as a FauxActionGirl is because numerous times, she demonstrates a high degree of competence for an ActionSurvivor or ActionGirl; it's only when she needs to lose that she suddenly becomes feeble. Now that she's the Black Canary, it's likely she won't be having the same trouble.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' cosmology, the [[DemonLordsAndArchDevils Demon Lord]] Kostchtchie, a brute with influence over cold, rage, and frost giants, has many powerful spell-like abilities at his disposal, including Harm, Ice Storm, Unholy Blight, and Greater Dispel Magic. But despite how powerful and useful they are, according to one source, he has [[BerserkButton such a rotten temper]] that he often forgets about them completely and just charges into battle with his warhammer. (Of course, with a title like [[RedBaron The Prince of Wrath]], it isn't surprising.)
* This happens in general to ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' players, especially as they high higher levels and have amassed a big catalog of magical artifacts, spells, and such. Forgetting about fantastic powers and resorting to mundane utility is one of the many jokes surround the 10-foot pole.
* TabletopGame/{{Exalted}} players, especially in high-Essence games, can have characters with so many Charms that they can't remember all of the ones they have, let alone what all of them do. This can result in players realizing, after the fact, that the mess they just got themselves into could have been completely avoided if only they'd used a Charm they forgot about.
* An article in ''DragonMagazine'' #135 described an incident in a ''Marvel Super Heroes'' RPG campaign where a supervillain had captured all the [=PCs=], neutralized their known powers, and was preparing to use them as a power source for a magical ritual. At the very last minute, one of the players remembered their character had a PsychicLink with a hawk that they rarely, if ever, used. The GM ruled that since the player almost forgot about that ability, the villains didn't know about it (and hence didn't neutralize it). The player had the hawk fly into the villain's headquarters and free one of the heroes, who freed the rest of the team, and the newly released heroes defeated the surprised villains.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* This shows up a lot in CutsceneIncompetence, when they could be a walking arsenal, yet a character insists on using [[WithThisHerring a BB gun]]; or worse, after a case of CutscenePowerToTheMax, when a character inconveniently forgets their cool powers so ''you'' don't get to use them.
* The railroad ending options of ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' have this trope in spades. [[spoiler:No matter what, someone has to die from radiation poisoning, either the player or an innocent secondary character. This is despite the fact that the player has three optional companions who are immune to radiation damage -- Fawkes (good players only), Charon (any player alignment), and Sergeant RL-3 (Neutral alignment). To add insult to injury, by this point in the game most players will have collected both a very high rad resistance through perks and a huge number of anti-radiation chems, and could probably stay in the chamber for weeks if necessary.]]
** ''Broken Steel'' changes the fate of the both the player character and Sentinel Lyons to being NotQuiteDead (unless you sent Lyons into the control room, in which case she is KilledOffForReal). Also it allows you to send in one of your radiation-immune companions to activate the purifier instead.
*** Despite this, the ending cutscene will still call you a coward for not going through the deed yourself, likely because nobody felt like modifying it after the DLC and get Creator/RonPerlman to re-do the voice.
** Though to reiterate, the fact that 4 of your companions should enter for you is explained away by it being "your destiny" or it not "being in their contract".
** A literal case if you ask Fawkes to do it in the new version. His response is basically "oh yeah, that would make sense wouldn't it."
* In ''Franchise/AceAttorney'', Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice both have methods of detecting when someone is lying. Phoenix only ever uses his outside of court, and Apollo only ever uses his inside court. Even then, they only show up in certain circumstances, not every single time someone lies. Put shortly; it'd be a very short game if they DID work in court.
** Phoenix's Magatama lets the holder see "when a person they are talking to is locking something in their heart". Someone can lie, yet said person could not consider the lie to be of emotional value to them, so they don't have said lie in their heart. Thus no locks would appear. Plus it's implied very strongly that in order for the magatama to pick up a lie, Phoenix must directly ask that person the question they are lying to. So someone can lie casually and it won't pick it up. Phoenix has to directly ask that person a question (such as "Are you the person who killed Ms. Victim?") in order for the magatama to pick up if the witness is lying or not. Also Pearls tells Phoenix that his Magatama only works "When he's going up one on one with someone". So it won't work in court because Phoenix is up against the prosecution as well as the witness. In terms of Apollo Bracelet, once again it's NOT a lie detector (I get a little annoyed when people call the magatama and bracelet lie detectors). It's something that lets Apollo know when a witness is acting nervous, so sometimes someone will lie yet they won't cause his bracelet to react because they are not having a habit play up. Plus I'm sure the bracelet, while not used properly outside trials, does react sometimes to witnesses nervousness; such as when Apollo try talking to Machi, a foreigner, only for him to give up when he gets no reaction; [[spoiler:His bracelet reacts when he talks to Trucy about how he does not speak English, hinting to Apollo that maybe he does understand what they are saying]].
** In ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'', Maya never thinks to try channeling any spirits for assistance during the group's stay in Labyrinthia. Granted, she could very easily be accused of witchcraft and executed if she was spotted channeling by the wrong person, so it's probably for the best in this case, but knowing how exciteable Maya gets about helping, it's a wonder she never brought the idea up.
* At one point in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', the characters are disarmed and rendered helpless. Ayla can still fight with her fists, but Robo forgets about his inbuilt lasers, and the rest of the party forgets how to use MAGIC until they're rearmed.
* Lancer in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. Granted, it's not entirely his fault considering he's actually been ordered not to just kill everyone. But he never actually does net a kill with his Noble Phantasm -- the only time he kills someone (Shirou in the intro, [[spoiler:himself and Kotomine in UBW]]) is when he's doing regular stabbing.
** He tried it against Saber at the beginning of the game. It didn't work because her Luck stat was too high. (Considering that, the only ones his skill would work against are Archer, Rider, [[spoiler: True Assassin]] and [[spoiler: Dark Saber]].) And he clearly beat Archer in UBW with the stronger version of it but didn't finish him.
** [[spoiler:Gilgamesh]] is of course the king of this trope, but it's justified due to his ''massive'' {{pride}}: He just never considers anyone 'worthy' of going all out on.
*** Except Rider in Fate/zero. Considering that he is one of the most powerful Servants seen, this is justified, the fact that [[spoiler: Rider is Alexander the Great and can summon an army 30,000 strong of servants, not to mention the general awesomeness of [[FanNickname Broskander]] helps along the fact that Gilgamesh considers him worthy. And Alexander took him drinking, probably the first friend Gil had since Endiku.]]
* How many times can the dragon {{VideoGame/Spyro|TheDragon}} ''forget he can breathe flames'' at the start of a new game in his series?
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' plays with this one in places throughout the game, but the most glaringly obvious and stupid one is when [[ActionGirl Alicia]] comes to [[TheHero Welkin]], distraught and nearly in tears over [[spoiler:her Valkyria powers and the huge responsibility that's been dumped on her]], seeking his help. Welkin, despite being a genius and in love with her, chooses this moment to casually ignore Alicia, and she runs off fighting tears because obviously if Welkin doesn't sympathize with her problems, she's just whining. The only reason he does this is to set the next major scene, when Alicia [[spoiler:tries to kill herself because Welkin wouldn't acknowledge her pain and he rushes in for the last-second CooldownHug.]]
** Alicia and Selvaria both. [[spoiler: Alicia spends most of the game wibbling about her powers [[CursedWithAwesome that have no actual downsides, but she's convinced herself they make her inhuman somehow]] and Selvaria is mindlessly devoted to Maximillian even after he straight-out tells her he doesn't care about her except as a weapon. Thing is, they're the most powerful beings in the known universe, and ''literally no one'' is capable of forcing them to do anything they don't want to do. Even when she's not under the player's control and supposedly "berserk", she will never attack anyone who isn't part of an enemy faction in the war she already volunteered to fight (and is already ace-level BadAss even without her powers), and Selvaria has been a free agent willfully under Max's control since he picked her up.]] [[IdiotPlot The entire story depends]] on both of them never realizing their own agency.
* ComicBook/SilverSurfer in [[VideoGame/SilverSurfer the game of the same name]] for NES. The guy obviously forgets that he has cosmic powers, and tries to attack the bad guys normally. And is a OneHitPointWonder. The result is legendary even among the NintendoHard games of the era. It's almost BulletHell with none of that genre's saving graces.
* ''VideoGame/{{Daikatana}}'': "You can't attack me, this is the same sword from two different parts of time and will destroy the universe!" "Damn, if only I had some other weapons on me..."
* During the climax scene of ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'', Sveta briefly forgets she's an Adept and [[LampshadeHanging has to be prompted to use her powers]] by Tyrell.
* In ''VideoGame/MaxPayne 2's'' Chapter 2, Max will single-handedly clear out an abandoned office building full of cleaners. Then he's forced to leap out a window to avoid an explosion, and the rest of the chapter is spent playing as Mona providing cover fire for Max. He'll get pinned down behind barriers several times over the next several levels and will be helpless until Mona can take out the lone man firing on him. The implication seems to be that he was injured in the accident.
** In ''3'' Max finally tracks down Fabiana as wells as Marcello, both held hostage by multiple gangsters, as he knew they would be throughout his entire investigation. He has the element of surprise, is heavily armed, and he's...well, Max Payne, a dynamite gun fighter who makes Time Itself his bitch when he has to. He walks directly into the room, gets disarmed, captured, and his failure [[spoiler: gets both of the siblings murdered in front of him.]] He even acknowledges that he's kind of a screw-up.
** Also in ''3'', there's a portion where you have to take a sniper rifle and guard Passos as he runs from paramilitary thugs. Somehow, Passos forgets that he's a perfectly capable gunman and doesn't bother picking up any of the guns the dead goons drop.
* At the very end of ''VideoGame/DeadSpace3'' [[spoiler: Isaac and Carver meet the crazy fanatic leader of Scientology who is holding Ellie hostage, threatening to kill her. To dissuade him, Carver gives him the ''MacGuffin'', allowing the maniac to free the ''EldritchAbomination'', potentially dooming the entire humankind. Now, what about using the damn stasis? You know, that power that allows them to almost freeze the target for an easy kill?]].
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', this is an actual plot point. [[spoiler: Due to being mind-wiped by the Jedi Council, the protagonist cannot recall their time as Darth Revan, meaning they aren't aware of how they are able to understand so many languages, are so good with technology, and have to slowly rediscover their force abilities throughout the game.]]
* This happens a few times with a tech/biotic Shepard in ''Franchise/MassEffect''. Due to being the leader, they tend to assign squadmates to a task instead, which perhaps makes sense when you have an AI that can hack anything, or a centuries-old asari biotics master. However, there are a few occasions where Shep really would benefit from using their powers, and doesn't.
** There is literally only one aversion in ''the entire series''; [[spoiler:in ''Mass Effect 3''[='s=] "Omega" DLC, an Engineer Shepard can use a Paragon Interrupt to TakeAThirdOption when presented with a certain SadisticChoice.]]
** One occasion where it seems particularly silly is during Lair of the Shadow Broker, when [[spoiler: Tela Vasir]] plunges out of a window with Shepard. She uses biotic pulses to push Shep away, causing them to smack into the ground while she floats down safetly. A biotic Shepard should at least be able to ''try'' and counter this. One small, but pleasant aversion is that sometimes in cutscenes, when the party threatens someone, most members pull a gun, but the biotics often glow. Occasionally, biotic Shepard will be included.
** Similarly, ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' sometimes has the Warden forget their own abilities, and the rest of the world forget them too. For example - Wynne and Morrigan can suggest alternative healing options for Brother Genitivi's injured leg, but a Spirit Healer Warden can't. Likewise in [[VideoGame/DragonAgeII the sequel]], Hawke often forgets if s/he is a blood mage. Fortunately, Hawke often remembers his/her class in general though.
* Shiki tends to forget that his Mystic Eyes allow him to kill ''anything'' in ''KagetsuTohya''. While most of it can be justified (it does cause damage to his physical and metal state when he uses it) there are a few moments where he would be in a worse scenario than if he didn't use them.
* In ''VideoGame/TheBindingOfIsaac'', it's quite easy for the ''player'' to forget that they can fly, or shoot through solid rock, or effortlessly take out an entire roomful of enemies every six rooms, because they're so used to not having those abilities.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', there are several occasions where gears are shown as being capable of flight. Not just short bursts either, but for prolonged periods. It would have '''''REALLY''''' been helpful if '''''ANYONE''''' in your party remembered that prior to the hair-pulling, rage-inducing vertical platforming in the [[ThatOneLevel Tower of Babel]]. Because they sure as Hell remember it '''''RIGHT AFTERWARDS'''''...

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Pooh's Adventures'', if Pooh has ''anyone'' with superpowers, expect them to forget about those when the time is right.
* TeamFourStar is sure to lampshade this whenever possible.
--> (Picolo stretches his arms to attack an enemy)
--> '''Nail:''' Whoa! I didn't know we could do that!
--> '''Picolo:''' Yeah, I forget about it sometimes too.
** The best example is undoubtedly in the first season. Nappa stops mid-flight to tell Vegeta that he just remembered that he could ''fly''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* When's the last time WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck flew under his own power?
** This was lampshaded in the short ''The Million Hare'', as WesternAnimation/BugsBunny witnesses Daffy plunging off a cliff, which was recycled so John Madden could make the same observation in ''Big Game XXIX''.
---> '''Bugs:''' I wonder if Daffy will remember that he can fly." ''(crash)'' "Nope, I guess not.
---> '''Madden:''' That's a good observation by Bugs. Why isn't Daffy using his God-given abilities?
** Might be a case of AnimatedActor. Daffy never flies unless he's in a cartoon where he's portraying a duck either being hunted or flying south for the winter.
** Similarly, in ''Film/LooneyTunesBackInAction'', Daffy feels he's helpless and wishes that Duck Dodgers was there to save the day. Then he remembers that ''he'''s Duck Dodgers.
** And the flying thing gets {{lampshade|Hanging}}d again in the ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'' episode "The Green Loontern". With the power of a Franchise/GreenLantern ring, Dodgers makes a speech about how he now has the ability to fly, which his ancestors could only dream of ... while a flock of ducks pass behind him.
** On a related note, WoodyWoodpecker would do the same thing. In one cartoon, he acutally commented that sometimes he forgets he's a bird.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''. In the episode "Blush" the "Wade-bot" launches itself off a cliff in the Amazon with Ron and Rufus, however Wade only remembers after the leap that he forgot to install the parachute. The Plot-Induced Stupidity comes into play when just a few minutes earlier ''in the same episode'' the Wade-bot had a hang-glider attachment to save Ron and Rufus from plummeting down a waterfall, and conveniently forgets about this gizmo once its could be useful again.
** Subverted with Ron, who doesn't forget his mystical monkey powers, but they come up at random times.
* To move the IdiotPlot of a typical episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', either Cosmo and Wanda's magical wands are stolen, or more commonly Timmy has to [[IdiotHero stupidly]] forget that he is enabled to alter reality on a whim. Naturally this has been lampshaded quite a few times. For example, in the episode "Where's Wanda" Timmy proceeds to turn the world into FilmNoir and become a detective in order to track Wanda down... when he could have easily just wished her back. He notes, "All I had was my trenchcoat, hat, and an [[LampshadeHanging unlimited supply of magical wishes]]. The odds were against me."
** Also lampshaded in "Nectar of the Odds": Timmy unsuccessfully tries to make his lemonade taste better using cheese, taco sauce, peas, and chocolate laxatives. While Timmy goes to the bathroom (after trying the laxatives), Wanda wonders why he doesn't just ''wish'' for sweeter lemonade.
* Similarly, there are too many times to count in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' where Danny seemingly forgets that he has the ability to become invisible or intangible at will. Early on it made sense due to it being clear he was [[HowDoIShotWeb still getting used to his abilities]], and sometimes it was played for humor, but it seemed strange he would still sometimes forget this fact even in the later episodes.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague''
** While this was a regular occurrence for characters, the MartianManhunter is the king of this trope. He has the ability to transform into whatever {{Super Str|ength}}ong forms he can imagine -- an ability he uses three times in the ''entire series''. He'll stare at incoming projectiles with a surprised look on his face instead of turning intangible, or super solid or transforming into a form that cannot be so easily hit. In the season finale, {{Brainiac}} is holding everyone in an iron grip with tentacles. They struggle for an unreasonable time before J'onn remembers that he can ''turn intangible at will''. In {{the Silver Age|OfComicBooks}} comics, he had even more powers, with [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands new ones popping up all the time]]. Somehow, he just never used them with the slightest tactical sense. On the other hand, with powers ranging from SuperStrength to making ice cream with your mind, it's hard to create conflict.
*** As if to make up for it, Miss Martian in ''Young Justice'' uses her intangibility almost as much as she uses her shapeshifting.
** Superman never, ever remembers he has super speed, period. The many, many instances where Superman would be felled by an electrical field, despite the fact that he is supposed to be invulnerable. This got to be so bad that in the second season the writers actually started to show less of Superman getting taken out by an electrical shock or something along those lines, and more of his invulnerable side. There's also the many times when he and Supergirl could easily solve a problem by just using heat vision. Even when their opponent is nonliving they seem to forget that they're capable of this.
** In one episode, Flash has most of his body encased in ice by a villain. Too bad he was too distracted trading barbs with the villain to remember he could vibrate his limbs at super speed and would be able to melt the ice.
* And if you think the above examples are bad, you should watch the old ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}}'' some time. "Gee, Jayna, here we are trapped under the foot of a giant space monster, touching each other. If only we had, I don't know, [[WonderTwinPowers some kind of superpower that would allow you to turn into a small animal and me into something which could flow through the claws, we could escape!]]"
** '''All''' of ''Superfriends'' was made of this trope. It was parodied openly in a sketch on ''TheState'', Superman orders the other heroes to basically cleanup duty and then says "I'll stop the missiles... ''all by myself!''" And then grabs his crotch with a smug look on his face.
** {{Seanbaby}}, as you can assume, [[SnarkBait mocked this liberally]].
--> Don't be too quick to judge Superman's alzheimers problems, though. You probably forget about your powers sometimes too. You can't fly, but you have the ability to learn to waterski, bake, watch baseball, and put objects in your ass. If Lex Luthor came at you with a mind deconfribrulator, you'd be so scared you'd totally forget to learn to waterski. Also, you probably wouldn't jam anything into your ass. See? You forgot about at least TWO super powers, smartass.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', Comicbook/{{Raven}} is easily the most overpowered of the five, which is made glaringly obvious in season 4. As such, this is the only way to keep the entire team necessary. Raven often conveniently forgets that she can fly, teleport, and become intangible in situations where those powers would be highly useful. She also rarely uses her telekinesis to restrain opponents or hurl them away from the scene of a battle, rather than just tossing debris at them. She's done it before, to both allies and enemies, so it's not an issue of being unable. There's only one episode where she concentrates and simply ''cuts'' the baddie's armour with her power. ''One''.
** It's especially jarring in that several times she's proven to be much more powerful than the entire Green Lantern Corp put together. Let's see some one-off-powers: she slices her way though a horde of robots, she can toss bad guys around with dark energy talons (not even directly controlling them; taking the having to put her soul into the object argument out of the equation), can become completely intangible for long periods of time and still use her powers, removed a bad guy from his gear and armor, mentally scarred Dr. Light, and at one point, arguably, becomes a RealityWarper. She essentially spends the entire series forgetting about her powers. After watching the NoHoldsBarredBeatdown she gives Slade in "The Prophesy" it's hard to watch her hold back/forget her powers so much.
** She states she has to "put a bit of herself" in everything she moves or uses her powers on while her powers are active. It's possible it's harder to do this on living things, especially hostile living things in the middle of a battle, than it is to do it to inanimate objects. It's not helped by only one episode explicitly stating that her powers go haywire if her emotions do[[note]]suggesting a back-and-forth link[[/note]], and the completely left out point from the comics that the reason she has to keep such tight control over her emotions isn't just because of her powers, but to keep her father at bay. The fun part? The episode she states she has to put a bit of herself in whatever she moves, only moments after saying this, she uses her powers to restrain 2 guys. Even if you say she's only manipulating their clothes, it's clear she's capable of at least doing that to restrain enemies.
** She can ''stop time''! That's listed under StoryBreakerPower for a reason.
* No matter how many missions the characters in ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' go on, they always seem to forget that, first and foremost, while on Lyoko one cannot die from lasers and swords, they can only be devirtualized. They will also forget their most important abilities at the worst times.
** For example, Aelita could use her Creativity power to create terrain barriers around herself, but even in dangerous situations where she has enough time, she quite often forgets that she can do this. She is the most obvious offender, but the others are often guilty as well. Aelita also forgets that XANA will NOT kill her starting with Season 2, despite this being proven in the first third of the season. The "dying" thing is somewhat justified though. While they do just devirtualize, it's implied they can't go right back into Lyoko. It's also implied that Aelita using her powers too often or to make something ''really'' big exhausts her. It's not so much that she forgets her power, it's that using Creativity is CastFromHitPoints and each use costs 50 of her 100 points. Though this is more an InformedFlaw than anything else.
** Ulrich is a much worst offender. When he was first introduced, his Triplicata allowed him to summon two illusion of himself to trick the enemy. In season 2, it was upgraded so they could fight and hurt enemies of their own, with Ulrich [[OneManArmy once defeating an entire army of monsters thanks to it]]. Comes season 4, he forgets said upgrade when fighting William (who easily devirtualizes the real one) before forgetting the power altogether for the whole season. He doesn't uses it again until ''Series/CodeLyokoEvolution'', and when he does, it's portrayed as just the illusion trick.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', Nega-Duck uses a device to steal the powers from the other four members of the Fearsome Five, and then escapes from the presumed escape-proof super-villain prison by using the Liquidator's control of water to part the waters of the bay and walk to the mainland. As Darkwing and the four villains watch, the Liquidator remarks, "Now why didn't I think of that?"
* This seems to be a staple of ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'', especially in regards to Captain Hero, who takes this to TheDitz levels. More often than not though, he is just {{sociopathic|Hero}}.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheMightyHercules'' cartoon series of the 1960's, Hercules had a magic ring that would endow him "with the strength of ten ordinary men" (according to his theme song). Along with invulnerability and superhuman reflexes. In each episode, Hercules would go to fight the episode's monster and get the snot beaten out of him. And then he would remember he has the ring.
* Cheetara from The ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' constantly forgets her SuperSpeed that can instantly defeat most of their enemies. [[WesternAnimation/ThunderCats 1980s]] Cheetara forgets the same thing. Partially justified in that her Anointment Trial episode shows her having a limited upper endurance. But most of the battles aren't ''that'' long.
* Apparently Bloom forgot about her healing powers in the 24th episode of the fourth season of ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'', [[spoiler: since she didn't do anything to try to save Nabu.]]
** The Winx get backed off a cliff in the Omega Dimension in season three. No explanation is given for why they don't use their wings.
** There's also an episode in the first season (towards the end) where the girls go to Domino/Sparx. At the end of the first part (it's a two-part episode), Bloom, who's currently powerless, is about to fall into a chasm. Stella was transformed at this time and could've easily flown over and grabbed Bloom, yet she didn't!
*** Or could have used the {{Telekinesis}} she only showed once.
** Also, Darcy has proved herself [[SuperStrength strong enough to open a fissure in the ground by stomping]] and capable to [[PlayingWithFire create fires that Bloom (who has the explicit power as the most powerful fire user of the series) can't put off]] (the only other time this happens it's by use of the fire part of the all-powerful [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Spell of Elements]]). She never repeated either performance.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars''. All too often the Jedi Knights seem to forget that they have the ability to lift anything as heavy as a spaceship without touching it, jump high distances, and possess lightning quick reflexes. Curiously these bouts of stupidity come up when they're fighting a BadassNormal character such as Cad Bane (who seems to have the unofficial power of handing the IdiotBall to anybody he's fighting at the moment), whom you think a Jedi could reduce to a pile of disembodied limbs within seconds. And of course it is not a coincidence that this always happens when around the series' original characters.
* Parodied on ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' when the townspeople chase Buttercup. She starts running from them before reassessing the situation and flying away.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Spider-Man The Animated Series}}'',
** In one episode DoctorOctopus kidnaps Felicia Hardy and J. Jonah Jameson and holds them for ransom. Despite SuperStrength explicitly being one of his powers, Spider-Man tries to untie the ropes instead of just breaking them, giving Doc Ock time to step in and stop him.
** The same thing happens in the "Partners" storyline. Smythe has Black Cat bound and gagged in an electrified bubble, with the gag obviously preventing her from warning Spider-Man about the trap. She doesn't think to use her ''razor sharp claws'' to remove the ropes and gag until ''after'' the trap has already rendered Spidey unconscious.
** Of course, for all we know these could have been especially tough ropes.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFantasticFour1978'' had SelfDemonstrating/{{Magneto}} [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5-JVvCrGC8&feature=related unable to use his magnetic powers against a (fake wooden) gun]]. He suddenly concludes that his powers are gone. This is stupid enough itself, but he fails to use them even after being told it was a trick and the cops are arresting him. ''Cops with real guns, handcuffs and police cars.''
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''
** In the episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen". Twilight Sparkle is forced to take a leap of faith off a cliff to escape a Hydra when she mysteriously forgets she can teleport, as has been seen in at least two previous episodes, including the pilot. This happens anytime the plot requires her to be threatened by some impending doom. It is occasionally justified by her being under a great deal or stress at the time, such as a later example where she is blocked by a simple locked gate. While she can still teleport while under stress ([[TeleportSpam indeed, she does it a lot in one case]]), her ability to make sound judgments has a tendency to nosedive under certain circumstances, usually those that involve her losing control or worrying too much.
** More a case of Forgot About Her Reputation, but in "It's About Time", it never occurred to Twilight that, as the personal student of the ruler of Equestria, that she would have free access to the royal library. Instead, she tries to sneak in. Of course, Twilight is the only one who forgets this, and when she is recognized by a guard, he amiably greets her and unlocks the door to the restricted section of the library for her. [[JustifiedTrope As noted above, this one can be excused]] by the fact that she hasn't slept for several days and is deep into a nervous breakdown at this point. Paranoid delusions would not be surprising in that state.
** In "The Crystal Empire, part 2" Twilight and Spike need to climb an incredibly long stair-case, and was complaining about it. Just as the viewers are wondering why she doesn't teleport, or at least [[NotQuiteFlight levitate]] herself upwards, she decides to instead use a ''new'' power; gravity reversal!
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E7Bats Bats!]]" both Rarity and Twilight should have been able to yank [[spoiler:Flutterbat]] out of the sky with telekinesis rather than chasing her around and finally relying on an elaborate trap. Of course, they never do. What makes it even worse is that they are clearly shown using telekinesis other times in the very same episode.
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E8RarityTakesManehattan Rarity takes Manehattan]]" Twilight doesn't even ''try'' using her princess authority to help Rarity get a taxi. Or teleport her around. Rainbow doesn't try to fly her, or Applejack pull her in a cart...
* This happens to a number of characters in ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution''. The worst offender is Kitty, who seems to forget that she can become intangible with some regularity. Xavier also seems to forget that he has telepathy sometimes. Wolverine is constantly surprised by people sneaking up on him even through he can smell people from a distance.
* Jake the Dog from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' often forgets that he has the seemingly unlimited ability to grow, shrink, stretch, and otherwise change his shape. Which would solve the central conflict of many episodes very easily. Unlike most examples of this trope, this is justified: he is an idiot.
* Toph in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. Despite having highly toned senses through Earthbending she can't figure out that the group is walking into a trap at Lake Laogai or that it's actually Azula and not Ozai waiting for them in ''The Day of Black Sun''. This despite both the trap and Azula being in ''caves'' made mostly of rock and dirt.
** Could be justified. Her senses work through detecting vibration. She can feel a human shape, but might not recognize it initially as Ozai (who she never met) or Azula. There's also the possibility of them being stationary, which could lessen her sight depending on how far the vibrations travel.
** The sequel series, ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', has Mako, who is fully capable of lightning bending but only rarely actually uses that ability.
** You could be forgiven for forgetting that metal bending is a specialized version of earth bender, because the metal bending police force certainly has. They seem so entirely focused on using their metal tethers that they are completely useless against a threat they cannot physically restrain. Resulting in scenes in the first season where a dozen or so expert earth benders are being defeated by mechs because they forget they have better powers in their arsenal than simply wrapping metal ropes around it and hoping their fleshy human bodies are enough to stop it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'', how many times does Terry forget about his invisibility device while fighting?
** Because it's been said the suit's invisibility function consumes a great amount of power.
* WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}} started out with 10 possible alien forms, each one with their own powers, and only got more as the story went on. Sometimes, the trope is justified by the Omnitrix [[{{Troll}} screwing with him by not giving him the right form]], but others he just seems to fail to realize one form would be more fitting than another for a specific situation. Ben10Omniverse puts it even further, where he seemed to have forgotten he can just ''watch the dial to see what form he is about to use''.
** Humongousaur stands out as a particular offender. When first introduced, he was a SizeShifter capable of growing to incredible sizes. This ability apparently was forgotten after ''Vengeance of Vilgax''. This may have been to keep the character from having too much role overlap with Way Big.
** This trope wasn't limited to Ben, either. Gwen had a serious tendency to forget she could fly and had telekinesis in Alien Force and Omniverse, focusing more on just creating shields and energy blasts. In ''Omniverse'', when she gains the Charm of Bezel granting her telekinesis, she reacts in awe like if this was something completely new, even though at this point she has already shown several times she can easily do that of her own.
** A particularly ridiculous case in the ''Galactic Monster'' story arc of ''Omniverse''. Sz'Skayr gets several occasions where he could easily possess Ben and doesn't bother even trying, even though ''this was the whole point of his goal in all his previous appearance'', and, when his mind-controlled minions seize him, struggles using his scythe to get out of their graps even though he has the ability to turn intangible. Later, the climax ends up being a fight between Ghostfreak's minions and Ben's allies, where two characters involved have MakeMeWannaShout abilities, one has ShockAndAwe and another has a whole body made of CombatTentacles. They spend the entire fight brawling like regular humans.
* Thanks to Fanderson's Chris Bentley for this one - let's take a look at "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vxz0QQIPq8 The Legend]]" from GerryAnderson's ''Lavender Castle'', about a spaceship whose crew is searching for the titular pink-ish abode. If you are a spaceship captain and know where the castle can be seen at a specific time, do you a) have your ship fly directly to that location and wait, or b) have them set you down and walk miles to it? If you said a), you are not Captain Thrice. No wonder Anderson didn't care much for the series.
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory''. Dexter often winds up feeling some karmic justice when he involves himself directly in things he could probably just invent his way around (for instance trying to find out what Dee Dee was doing up in the tree; rather than building some kind of spybot that could go up into the tree on his behalf he instead dresses up as a bird and gets himself trapped, giving Dee Dee the pretense necessary to screw around in his lab).
* On ''{{Archer}}'', [[BadassGay Ray Gilette]] acquires bionic legs early in the fourth season, and on at least one occasion, forgets that he has them when they might come in handy. At one point, this leads to him screwing up his back while trying to lift something heavy, because he had tried to lift with his back.
* During a {{Flashback}} in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', Arcee and Cliffjumper decide to run into a Space Bridge to escape a collapsing lair, instead of transforming into vehicles and driving towards it. There is an out-of-universe reason for this: the scene takes place on Cybertron when they still turned into their original alien vehicle forms, and the characters were only designed with an Earth-based vehicle mode. But it still makes little sense in-universe.
* ''WesternAnimation/FantasticVoyage''
** The team members have small CommLinks that they sometimes use to communicate with each other when separated. However, in a number of episodes they completely forget about them and don't use them even though it would be beneficial to do so.
** The Voyager (the CoolPlane the team travels around in) is shown in various episodes as having both missiles and beam weapons. In many episodes the team doesn't even think of using them in dangerous situations even though they would have been very helpful.
** The team's equipment includes {{Jet Pack}}s that allow them to fly. However, in quite a few episodes the team forgets they have them and ends up having to walk around or climb high objects while miniaturized, even though the {{Jet Pack}}s were available.
* Once lampshaded hilariously in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy''. Eddy's response to taking the simple solution?
-->"What? And [[BreakingTheFourthWall ruin the plot]]?"

[[folder:Real Life]]
* IT administrators tend to accumulate Admin and God-Mode logins and back-end work-arounds. It isn't uncommon for an IT administrator to forget that they have unrestricted access to a certain program or direct access to its database, leading to much wasted time.
* Combat training of all types runs into this, and they spend a large amount of effort trying to avoid it. It is generally caused by the very differing circumstances of controlled training versus real life combat.