->"It happened sometimes, though rarely, that a True Being never developed a special gift."
-->-- ''Children of Magic''

[[SuperpowerfulGenetics Children of superparents get superpowers]]... [[AvertedTrope except when they don't]].

If you're a protagonist, this is no problem, you'll usually become a BadassNormal or at least an UnfazedEveryman. But if you're a MauveShirt... you'll probably become this.

This trope is a character who's in on TheMasquerade, and was born into their world. Unfortunately for him, he's normal. No, not BadassNormal, [[{{muggle}} totally, completely and 100% normal]]. He's just as ineffectual in adventuring as any other {{muggle}}, maybe even more, which is why he usually has some grunt-work position in the world of the masquerade, such as a janitor, secretary, or TheIgor. He may be [[ButtMonkey nice-if-pathetic]] or mean-spirited, but whatever the case, his [[GreenEyedMonster bitterness and regret]] over not being [[IJustWantToBeSpecial a super]] is a major character trait.

It may ultimately turn out that this person is actually a PowerNullifier, though this might not be noticed immediately. If this is common in the setting, it may be that characters are completely RandomlyGifted, so powers aren't always inherited and may spontaneously manifest to children of {{Muggle}} parents.

This trope is somewhat [[OlderThanYouThink Newer Than You Think]], since magic-users traditionally learned/sold their soul for their powers, meaning that a child born of a mage would normally be human.

Contrast AlmightyJanitor, BadassNormal. Compare UnSorcerer and UnfazedEveryman. A {{subversion}} of LamarckWasRight.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Takamichi T. Takahata of ''MahouSenseiNegima'' was born unable to cast spells, but, as a member of [[BadassCrew Ala Rubra]], is still one of the most powerful fighters of the magic world, in part because he can use the powerful [[YinYangBomb kanka technique]].
* Shinji Matou from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. Shinji doesn't have even magic circuits, and is the end result of generations of the Matou family gradually losing their magic abilities with no one quite sure why. And he became a villain because of his envy [[spoiler: towards his adopted sister, Sakura, abusing and raping her, just because she is a magus.]]
* Sairaorg Baal in ''HighSchoolDXD'' did not inherit any of his parents powers when he was born. So instead, he underwent TrainingFromHell, something high-class devils do not do, and became so strong he doesn't even need the power of destruction.
* [[BadassNormal Meiling]] of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura''. It's implied everyone in the Li family has magical powers but her.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comics ]]

* ''{{PS238}}'''s Tyler Marlocke, son of Ultima and Sovereign Powers who are two of the most powerful meta-humans on Earth. He's currently a BadassNormal in training due to being the closest thing the series has to a main character, and is perfectly happy with not having superpowers.
** "Perfectly happy" in that he's okay with not having them, except that he knows that puts him in a lot more danger, and since his parents are ''convinced'' that he's about to develop powers any day now, he's a little bit afraid- or he was- of a rejection of sorts, if/when they ever realize he's unlikely to.
* Comicbook/{{X-Men}}: Mutant supervillains Mystique and Victor Creed/Sabertooth had a child together, Graydon Creed, who turned out to be a normal human (for those two, must be karma), which is rare for two mutants. He went on to become an anti-mutant extremist out of jealousy and [[WhyCouldntYouBeDifferent his parents' rejection]].
** This can technically happen with any mutant couple, since the probability of passing mutant genes seems to be 50%
** There was {{Quicksilver}} and Crystal's child, Luna, who was an Inhuman rather than a mutant. Apparently the mutant gene and the Inhuman genetics canceled each other out and Luna was effectively a normal human until her crazy father exposed her to a rather high amount of Terrigen Mist to empower her -- this was ''[[AbusiveParents extremely]]'' risky since Terrigen Mist exposure can have unpleasant effects on anyone who isn't a pure Inhuman (and many who ''are'' still end up BlessedWithSuck as a result).
** One of the consequences of M-day was that no new mutants would be born, meaning any child born to a mutant couple would be this.
* Joel Kent in the ''[[SupermanAndBatmanGenerations Generations]]'' series was exposed to Gold Kryptonite in the womb making him the muggle son of {{Superman}}. It doesn't help that his younger sister Kara got to keep her powers. Eventually, Lex Luthor uses his jealousy and an unstable repowering formula as part of a revenge plot against the Man of Steel.
* Wally West's son. He had powers till ComicBook/TheFlash Rebirth storyline but was sharing an unstable link with his sister. When it stabilized, it all ended up in her.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Ron Wilson, bus driver, the [[CaptainObvious bus driver, of course]], from ''Film/SkyHigh'' is the nice-if-pathetic version of this trope. He also got CharacterDevelopment and TookALevelInBadass at the very end. In the WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue, it mentioned he had a toxic waste accident and got his wish to be a super, although whether this was 'assisted' is never clarified.
* The Parr's baby Jack-Jack in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', in contrast to their previous children [[SuperSpeed Dash]] and [[{{Invisibility}} Violet]]. [[spoiler:But subverted by the end, and in the associated short, where he turns out to have won the SuperpowerLottery.]]
* ''Film/UpUpAndAway''; a 2000 Creator/DisneyChannel Original Movie; centered around normal teenager born from a family of superheroes and his struggles with the fact that he may never develop any powers of his own. [[spoiler: He also doesn't have his family's [[WeaksauceWeakness weakness to aluminum foil]].]] At the end, his best friend suggests that he become a [[BadassNormal superhero without powers]].
* Riley Stuart in ''Film/TheThompsons'' is a human born in a family of vampires. She's also unable to be turned. As such she functions as TheRenfield for her family.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* Known as Squibs in Literature/HarryPotter. However, unlike Muggle-born wizards who are 100% wizards, Squibs aren't ''quite'' 100% Muggle. They seem to share a strange affinity to cats, and Argus Filch works at Hogwarts, which Muggles evidently see as an old ruin with a sign warning of danger[[note]]as Hermione points out in ''Goblet of Fire''[[/note]]. So squibs seem to have ''some'' inherent magical affinity even if they aren't wizards at all.
** Argus Filch, the Hogwarts CrustyCaretaker (essentially a janitor), is the mean-spirited version of this trope.
** Also Mrs. Figg, who's much more friendly, [[CrazyCatLady if still batty and weird]]. Her job was to keep an eye on Harry.
** Hermione (along with various other characters) is an inversion: a mage born of muggles. Several characters state that this is much more common; once magic emerges in a bloodline, it tends to stick. It's suggested that muggle-born wizards are actually descendants of squibs who married muggles.
** Neville Longbottom isn't a Squib, but his magic took so long to manifest that his relatives feared he was one, so they put him in increasingly scary and dangerous situations hoping to make it manifest. This culminated in his Great-uncle Algie "accidentally" dropping him out of a second-story window. Fortunately, Neville bounced back to safety.
** A large part of the reason Aunt Petunia [[AbusiveParents is so cruel and neglectful towards Harry]] is because she's jealous over the fact that she was born a muggle, while Lily wasn't, and takes it out on him.
*** Of course, Lily and Petunia's parents were both Muggles as well. It somewhat fits this trope, as they always favored Lily [[UnreliableNarrator according to Aunt Petunia]] and this was actually increased by the revelation of her magical potential.
** Ron's whole family is magic, except one uncle who's an accountant. They don't talk about him much.
* Quinn Gaither from the ''Literature/{{Gone}}'' series is one of a large number of characters without super powers and shows subtle signs of both hatred and jealousy towards his empowered peers.
* Kyja of Farworld lives in a world where even the ''cows'' have magic. Not only does she have none, magic doesn't even ''work'' on her. Later on it's revealed that [[spoiler:she was born on Earth from ordinary parents and was switched at birth with a boy from Farworld who actually does have magic.]]
* In ''World Weavers'', Thea is the seventh child of two seventh children...and she doesn't have any of the normal magics. (She gets a cool power later, but it's ''not'' magic.) At one point, it says that children around the country send her mail -- when she's just days old -- about how powerful she is... sucks to be her.
* Granta Omega from the ''StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' is the normal son of [[spoiler: Xanatos]], a former Jedi. However, while he isn't Force-sensitive, he does have the ability to slip past any being's senses, even a Jedi's.
** Emperor Palpatine has a powerless, illegitimate son. While Palpatine was disappointed, he decided to let him live because his son has night terrors in which he screams out horrifying things. The descriptions are used as inspirations for TheEmpire's war machines and torture devices, meaning that Palpatine literally figured out how to weaponize terror.
* The fundamental problem of Tavi in ''Literature/CodexAlera''. He lives in a world where ''every'' human has access to elemental spirits known as "furies" that give them various powers. Tavi, however, is the only human who ''doesn't'' have these abilities, and they cause him extensive problems, forcing him to [[GuileHero think and adapt]] rather than use magic. To give you some idea of how much of a handicap this is, Tavi effectively can't even ''turn on the lights'' on his own. Eventually, he learns the cause of his condition: [[spoiler: his biological mother stunted his growth to hide his true age and thus his true lineage, and as a result he did not gain access to his furies at the same age as other humans. Once he does, however, things change.]]
* In ''Once a Witch'', Tamsin was born to witches but has no powers. [[spoiler: Subverted because it turns out her power is that she can take others' powers and stop them from using it against them. Double subverted in the sequel ''Always a Witch'' because she loses her powers.]]
* Joram, protagonist of ''Literature/TheDarkswordTrilogy'', was born "Dead," without Magic in a world where Magic is Life.
* This is the norm for the [[DifferentlyPoweredIndividual Others]] in the ''[[Literature/NightWatch Watch]]'' books by SergeyLukyanenko. It's extremely rare for a child of two Others to be an Other (about the same chances as an Other being born to Muggle parents), which is why many Other couples avoid having children, so as not to have to watch them grow old and die. The exceptions are the vampires and the werewolves, who usually turn their children at a young age. Kostya Saushkin is notable as being a vampire who [[IHateYouVampireDad resents his father for turning him]]. One of the novels has a story arc dealing with a plot by [[spoiler:Geser and Olga]] to turn their Muggle son into an Other. Anton and Svetlana are exceptions in that they were foreseen to have a child who was an extremely-powerful Other (Svetlana is already a very powerful Light sorceress; [[spoiler:Anton reaches Svetlana's level thanks to the Fuaran text]]).
* Bink, protagonist of ''A Spell for Chameleon'', the first book in the Literature/{{Xanth}} series, is thought to be this when he shows no magic talent in a land where everyone must have a magic talent by law; he is set to be exiled. [[spoiler: Subverted - it turns out that he did have a magic talent all along, and a Magician-caliber one at that: he cannot be harmed by magic. And in Xanth, most of everything is magic.]]
* Played with in ''Literature/TheRavenCycle.'' Blue is the only non-psychic in her large household, but does have the ability to amplify others' own power with her presence. She has psychic energy, just not the powers.
* Carrie Vaughn's book ''Literature/AfterTheGoldenAge'' features Celia West, the daughter of two famous superheroes, who has no superpowers at all. This is also brought up at the end when [[spoiler: Celia and Arthur Mentis, a telepath, have a baby and Celia is wondering if the baby will have powers or not and hopes it does not.]]
* This is something very common in the world of ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant''. Most of the main character, Stephanie/Valkyrie's family are normal humans despite (unknowingly) being descendants of a powerful line of mages. This trope also comes to its ultimate conclusion in the third book, ''The Faceless Ones'', where [[spoiler: The BigBad is revealed to be a farmer who was the only Muggle in a family of mages, and grew to resent all mages for looking down on him.]]
* Very common in ''TheSwordOfTruth'' series (there was a major magic disruption a few thousand years ago). Commonly called "skips"; whether Rowling's later use of a similar term is accidental is unknown.
* In ''TheLostYearsOfMerlin,'' it's mentioned that magic generally skips a generation; Merlin's grandfather, Tuatha, was a wizard, but his father only had powers when he wielded magical items and made a DealWithTheDevil. In the SequelSeries, ''TheGreatTreeOfAvalon,'' Merlin's own son was powerless but his grandson has magic. As another odd quirk, non-magical generations still benefit from [[WizardsLiveLonger centuries-long life spans]].
* [[spoiler: Gaithim]] of ''Literature/TheQuestOfTheUnaligned'' is this, and was abused, denigrated, and locked away for it. However, he was also extremely intelligent, and ended up learning how to turn himself ''into'' a mage, something believed to be as impossible in that world as in ours. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, the process he used turned him into a hoshek, an AxCrazy but very powerful mage of pure [[DarkIsEvil darkness]].]]
* In the ''Literature/LunarChronicles'', "shells" are Lunars born without the ability to manipulate bioelectricity, essentially making them human but immune to Lunar glamour and mind tricks. This means high-ranking Lunars don't want them around and want them reported and killed immediately.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* [[spoiler:Nathan Petrelli]] from ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' is the only member of his immediate family who was born without powers. His parents injected him with SuperSerum to make up for this "deficiency".
* Arguably ''Series/TeenWolf''. It's mentioned that some of the members of Derek's family who died in the fire were human, despite the Hales primarily being a family of werewolves. Most fans have taken this to mean that not every child with werewolf parents inherit the werewolf gene, even though Derek and his sisters did.
** Of course, there's also the possibly of other relatives' marriage with non-werewolves if the residents extended beyond the nuclear family. Or rented rooms, since it is a VERY large house.
* In ''Series/TrueBlood'', Jason Stackhouse did not inherit any powers from his faerie ancestors like the rest of his family did. He can't even use portals that people with faerie blood can activate. He goes into IJustWantToBeSpecial moments at times.
* [[TagalongKid Henry Mills]] from ''Series/OnceUponATime''. His mother Emma is [[TheChosenOne "The Saviour"]] who is meant to break the curse (and eventually develops some magical powers of her own). His [[ItMakesSenseInContext adoptive mother/step-great-grandmother]] Regina is one of the most powerful magic users of the series. His father, [[spoiler: Neal,]] is seen to be able to use magic in season 3, but doesn't like it. And then there's Snow and Charming, his grandparents, who might not have magical powers but are still BadassNormal.
** And that's not even getting into his ''paternal'' grandfather.
** He doesn't seem to mind his lack of powers, but that's probably because he's still eleven years old.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Inverted by Tara: she's a witch from a family of pure [[{{Muggle}} muggles]] who despise for her practice of magics (and for being a female, in the case of her [[AbusiveParents father]] and brother).
** Wood's mother was a Slayer. Although he has no powers himself, he's still a damn good fighter.
* In ''Series/LostGirl'', only people with two Fae parents get Fae powers. Those who are [[HalfHumanHybrid half-human and half-Fae]] are indistinguishable from normal humans.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* In ''[[TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse Werewolf: the Apocalypse]]'', Kinfolk are humans or wolves with werewolf blood, immunity to the [[WeirdnessCensor Delirium]], at least loose connections to werewolf society, and nothing else. No shapeshifting and only low-level [[FunctionalMagic Gifts]] for you, sorry! Also, you're a huge disappointment to your werewolf relatives-- useful only as breeding stock and the driver of the getaway car.
** The TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness's ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken'' has the functionally wolf-blooded who get at least a ''little'' more respect than their spiritual ancestors. One of the splatbooks gave them their own share of abilities.
*** Forsaken-style werewolves are a mix of a spirit and a human from birth, with the spirit heritage reproducing in a spirit-fashion separate from the human genetics. Two werewolves cannot produce viable offspring because there's too much of the spirit side of the inheritance, and the children of a werewolf and a human don't have any greater chance of going wolf than a muggle. Wolf-blooded are actually the greatest treasure of the werewolves, because they're the only people in the setting with a measurably greater probability of producing viable werewolf offspring.
** ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' has Proximi, who are dynastic hereditary Sleepwalkers: [[{{Muggles}} Sleepers]] who do not have the supernal power of mages, but can witness it without the threat of [[WeirdnessCensor Paradox]]. A Proximus, unlike a normal Sleepwalker, is born into an established family of mages and other Proximi, and ''can'' use limited supernal magic. Mages also believe Proximi are more likely to Awaken than other Sleepers.
* In the ''{{Exalted}}'' setting, only the Terrestrial Exalted's powers are hereditary; the children of other Exalted are plain mortals unless their Exalted parent has a high Essence rating, then they can be Half Caste. During the Golden Age (when the Solars ruled) the offspring of Solars were called "Golden Children"; born into status, wealth and privilege, but with none of the powers their parents wielded.
** This also happens to the aforementioned Terrestrials; Dragon-Blooded breeding is, in general, not what it used to be. It is common enough for children of Terrestrial parents to fail to Exalt, which typically brings down [[UnFavorite a good degree of shame and disapproval]] on their heads. [[HopeSpot However]], such a mortal STILL carries the blood of the Dragons in him, unexpressed though it may be, and thus there is a chance--increased if he himself ends up with a Terrestrial spouse--that HIS children may yet Exalt.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* [[spoiler:Florian Greenheart]] in ''OverlordII'' [[spoiler:was the only Elf who couldn't use magic.]] The disaster that sparked FantasticRacism against all magical beings was triggered by his first attempt to fix this, [[spoiler:and the magic hating Glorious Empire he founded is his second attempt.]]
* In the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' series:
** The Dalish Warden in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', has no magical talents, but their father was the Keeper of the Sabrae Clan before Marethari.
** Carver Hawke from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', one of Hawke's two siblings who become mutually exclusive early on depending on player class. He only lives past the opening if Hawke is a mage, in which case both his elder sibling and his twin sister were born with magic. This meant the family had to move frequently to avoid the Templars and father had to spend more time with his siblings to teach them to control their powers. His resulting insecurities are a big part of his story arc. Depending on your choices, he may even end up joining [[KnightTemplar Kirkwall's Templar Order]] out of a mix of resentment and a desire to be "more than just your brother."
** The [[BadassFamily Amell family]] could be considered this, since the line seems to blur between whether they're a family that produces an unlikely amount of Mages, or just a family of Mages with quite a few non-magic children. It's mentioned that despite their best efforts to breed magic out of their family line to retain their noble high standing in Kirkwall, it always managed to find its way back in.
* In ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', Jedi Grandmaster Satele Shan's son Theron is not Force-sensitive. Virtually all Sith Purebloods are Force-sensitive because those who are not are traditionally slain as infants.
** This doesn't mean that Theron is in any way less of a BadAss than his mom... or his dad (Jace Malcolm, the Supreme Commander of the Republic forces).
* The main character in ''BlackSigil'' seems to fall under this initially.
* In ''VideoGame/GoldenSun: The Lost Age'', being a non-Adept in a family full of Mars Adepts doesn't seem to bother Briggs a bit. He ''is'' a BadassNormal, but he's also not above just getting his Adept relatives to do things for him. In ''Dark Dawn'', he's also shown to have a better awareness of Psynergy than most non-Adepts, and is one of the few who [[WeirdnessCensor recognizes it in action]], giving him a certain degree of GenreSavvy in dealing with Adepts.
* The main character in the ''Videogame/{{Awakening}}'' series, Princess Sophia, was the only human born without magic. She eventually managed to defeat the villain ''because of'' this limitation rather than despite it.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSims 3'' Supernatural expansion, Joe is this in the [=MacDuff=] family. Only he and his mother are not witches. However this is not possible if both parents are supernatural creatures.
** In ''VideoGame/TheSims 2'', supernatural sims who can breed will produce normal sim offspring, making this trope the norm. The exceptions are aliens, who have a set of genetics that will hybridize with normal sim genes, and plant-sims who use the "pollinate" option to asexually produce plant-sim toddlers (plant-sims that "woo-hoo" will have normal sim offspring).

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* The Dark Knight in ''HarryPotterComics'' is a squib and can't use wands or magic on his own. But he's highly practiced as a magical artificer, welding magic into everyday objects, including his own battle armor (kevlar-lined full plate) that makes him highly resistant to bullets, swords, AND magic attacks.
* ''[[http://battlefieldbabysitter.blogspot.com/ Battlefield Babysitter]]'' features Kat, whose parents and brothers all have superpowers. She has... pink hair. She also has experience in ballet, gymnastics and karate from when her parents tried to prepare her for potential powers. She also has the experience of being around other heroes so that she is uniquely qualified to babysit for other heroes superpowered kids.
* AtomicLaundromat owner David is actually an aversion. He may be the son of an alien empress and Earth's greatest super hero and the only one of his siblings without powers, but he firmly believes that one doesn't need powers to make a difference in the world so he's not the least bit bitter about it. Nor is he pathetic. If anything, he's frustrated that most people seem to expect him to be bitter or pathetic.
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'': Although he states he can't really complain considering what he ''does'' have access to, [[spoiler:Tedd]] is one of these. Although in the setting, nearly everyone is born without magical ability and has to earn it or be empowered by an immortal, some people - like [[spoiler:Tedd]] - are "magically impaired", and can never get their own spells.
* ''{{Webcomic/Zoophobia}}'': Despite [[SassyBlackWoman Sahara]]'s unrelenting interest in magic, she hopelessly lacks her family's magical ability. Of course, this leads to many undesired mishaps.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* On ''SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries'', Tim the Witch-Smeller was one of these -- worse, he was apparently unique, so he grew up [[FreudianExcuse mocked and tormented by his empowered peers]]. The result -- a psychopathic hunter with a [[FantasticRacism grudge against witches]].
* In ''AmericanDragonJakeLong'', the dragon powers "skipped" Jake's mother's generation. Her father, son, and daughter can all transform into dragons, but she can't.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': both parents of swordmaster Piandao were firebenders. When they found out he has no bending powers they gave him to the orphanage.
** From sequel series ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Aang and Katara had one non-bending offspring, Bumi. He has a major chip on his shoulder, particularly toward his younger brother. [[spoiler: Until season three when he spontaneously develops airbending due to the Harmonic Convergence.]]
** Katara herself is an inversion; her father and brother are both [[BadassNormal Badass Normals]], and her mother was not a Waterbender but claimed to be one [[HeroicSacrifice so the Fire Nation would take her instead of Katara.]]

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