[[quoteright:212:[[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/buffyversusjudge.JPG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:212:Demon vs. rocket launcher. Demon loses.]]

->''"It doesn't matter how hard I try, or how much better the work is. It doesn't '''last''' the way it does when you do it."''
-->-- Wizened viewpoint on mortals, ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost''

In a SpeculativeFiction setting, there are often a lot of people going on about how incredible and powerful the {{Phlebotinum}} is, which is why people who have it are the ones who move the plot rather than all the ordinary {{Muggles}} who need to be rescued.

Except, sometimes, the superhuman devices or abilities in the story [[CoolButInefficient aren't really all that earthshaking,]] at least not compared to the more mundane methods available. Sure, being able to [[PlayingWithFire create fire with your mind]] might be neat, but if it's not on a large enough scale, you might be better off with a handheld lighter. And a TrickArrow that electrocutes people could be useful, but we ''do'' already have stun guns. And that guy saying he'll TakeOverTheWorld now that he's got skin as strong as steel? Yeah, apparently he's never heard of armor piercing bullets. Of course, if they don't work, there's always the NuclearOption.

Sometimes the usefulness of {{Muggle|s}} methods will be a big part of the story, like Van Helsing using modern scientific methods against vampires in ''Film/{{Dracula 1931}}''. Other times supernatural abilities and Muggle abilities will be kept largely separate thanks to the {{Masquerade}}, but when they do intersect the superiority/equality of Muggle methods will be clear. And then there are some stories where it's clear the writers didn't really think about what ordinary people could contribute, but [[FridgeLogic the fans certainly will]].

There are two ways this trope can go, if it isn't used correctly. In some cases, it applies if and ''only'' if the Muggles are CrazyPrepared. [[AnIcePerson A girl who freezes you at will]] may be able to kill regular soldiers easily, but if they have insulated suits specifically to fight her, well, then it becomes [[CurbStompBattle a teenage girl with a useless power vs. a squad of heavily-armed, trained soldiers]]. And one-sided fights aren't very entertaining. [[ComedicSociopathy Usually]]. On the flipside, it can become unsatisfying fast if FridgeLogic sets in and critically-thinking viewers recognise that the only reason the Muggles win is because the supers are holding {{Idiot Ball}}s, suffering from MisappliedPhlebotinum and using HollywoodTactics rather than embracing the true potential available. For example, smart audiences may wonder why supers do not use guns when muggles do. Trying to get this trope to work well may involve a delicate balancing act.

Related to, but distinct from, a MundaneSolution, which is where the {{Phlebotinum}} is given a specific weakness to some commonplace thing that it didn't necessarily have to have. See also WeaponizedWeakness, when muggle methods are used to [[FlawExploitation exploit]] an already dangerous AchillesHeel or WeaksauceWeakness.

This trope is the main power and indeed the only hope of the UnSorcerer. Also a key characteristic of the BadassNormal, who utilize such methods in a way to keep up with (and sometimes defeat) the other superpowered beings of the universe. Can also lead to TheMagicVersusTechnologyWar, with the [[TechnologyLevels Tech Level]] being that of the present day.

Compare with KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter, which is when mundane weapons work better than fancy shiny phlebotinum-powered weapons, though not necessarily as sometimes the "mundane" weapons are pretty phleotinum-loaded too. Compare PostmodernMagik, which is when technology and magic intertwine. Also compare to MedievalStasis, as this trope assumes the supernatural is locked in such while the muggles continue to advance. Contrast GunsAreWorthless, where those fancy muggle toys are, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin worthless]] in the face of a supernatural threat.

[[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Unrelated to]] JustForFun/TropersDoItWithoutNotability.




[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* The [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII WWII]]/Vietnam War-era weapons that have crossed over to the world of Halkeginia in ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'' appear to far out-power all elements of offensive magic except that of the Void. Giant golem? LAW[[note]][[UsefulNotes/ModernBattlefieldWeapons Light Anti-Armor Weapon]][[/note]] beats it. Dragons? WWII era Zero beats them. Giant walking magically impervious armor? Flak cannon shoots straight through it[[note]]Though it needed magic boost to pierce force field[[/note]].
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', while [[{{Magitek}} a combination of magic and technology]] usually works best, it seems that cell phones are almost universally more useful than the Telepathy that mages tend to use, so long as there's reception. In terms of pure offensive firepower, the magic world does not appear to have anything like nukes. In a flashback, Nagi talks about it a little.
* ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' employs this trope a ''lot''. Despite their (sometimes) awe-inspiring powers, the majority of Contractors are not ImmuneToBullets; they are usually no match for a well-trained squad of armed police or soldiers. Contractors are therefore seldom used in open combat, and are employed more like special operatives where they're able to get the jump on people.
* ''Manga/ShinryakuIkaMusume'''s titular Musume is quite powerful, and would make for an excellent B-movie monster - until the JDSF arrives on the scene. At the end of the day, squids are ''squishy,'' and there's only one of her.
* In, ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', all the main characters have very efficient magical weaponry, and yet it's Homura who seems to be the most efficient magical girl out of the group, despite mostly killing witches with stolen military and {{Yakuza}} firearms rather than her powers. [[spoiler:Though that's because her powers are over ''time'', making using firearm much more cost efficient than a direct magical attacks and ending up driving much of the plot]].
* In ''Manga/HunterXHunter'', the local FunctionalMagic system, Nen, allows the characters to use the [[LifeEnergy aura every living being has]] to get SuperSenses, [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower Self-Enhancement]], perform KiAttacks, and [[PersonalityPowers create unique techniques]], rendering normal weapons [[SuperToughness mostly useless against them]]. But when they had to face a BigBad whose Nen greatly surpassed the strongest human characters, they gave normal weapons a shot. [[spoiler:They threw a [[NuclearWeaponsTaboo Rose Bomb]] at him; a Rose Bomb being an illegal weapon of mass destruction deemed too inhuman to be used in war. [[DoubleSubverted Thanks to his massive aura, he survived the explosion, but the exposure to the bomb left him poisoned and doomed to die anyway after a few hours.]]]]
** Chapter 370 also introduces the 9-millimeter Luger, a widely-available handgun which has enough firepower to tear right through Nen reinforcement and one that even experienced Nen users stay on guard around.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh''
** Very few of the good guys in had any supernatural abilities. The Pharaoh did, as did Aki from ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'', and some could [[ISeeThemToo see and talk to Duel Spirits]], but that was about it. (Kaiba might have had a few remnants of the magical skills that his past self as Priest Seto had, but couldn't use them at will.) Still, they tended to fight and defeat sorcerers, demons, and {{Eldritch Abomination}}s on a regular basis.
** One of two people to defeat the Pharaoh in a duel was Yugi himself in what was likely the greatest duel in the first series. Just a few episodes before that, Yugi had defeated Yami Bakura without the Pharaoh's help.
* The exact premise of ''Literature/{{Gate}}''. Powerful Empire from a fantasy world sends conquering army through a magical gate which leads to current day Japan. Said army is stopped with anti-mob waterguns, and falls back very shortly afterwards. Then Japan's Self-Defense Forces goes through to fantasy world, and the inhabitants are ''horrified'' by what humans can do to them with simple machine guns and mortars. And after that [[OhCrap tanks, jets and APCs show up]]. Luckily for them, Japan is seeking for a diplomatic solution, rather than simply [[CurbStompBattle curbstomping]] the entire realm.
* In ''Webcomic/OnePunchMan'', Saitama ''thinks'' he's this trope: he's a former salaryman who, in a world full of superpowered heroes and villains, [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower relentlessly trained his body to be at the peak of human performance]]. The namesake of the series, Saitama inflicts {{One Hit Kill}}s on all sorts of supervillains with the barest minimum of his full power. However, Saitama's strength is ''far'' beyond what is logically feasible for humans, and the amount of training he did is at a level many people in real life do without being able to effortlessly kill supers in one punch. This is somewhat explained in that it wasn't merely Saitama's training, but his ''[[HeroicWillpower willpower]]'' in relentlessly striving to become the strongest hero in the universe that ended up [[ExplosiveOverclocking breaking]] his [[PowerLimiter God Limiter]].
* This is initially ''averted'' in ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', where humanity is barely capable of holding out against Titans despite possessing early firearms, which for the exception of heavy artillery pieces with exploding shells, are completely useless against Titans and 3D Gear. The only infantry weapon to be truly effective against Titans is barely able to even the fight and even then unless the soldiers are extremely skilled, killing even a single Titan often means sacrificing several men and women. Only when Eren gains his Titan Shifter powers does the humanity have any real chance to fight back against the Titan threat. [[spoiler:However, in the world outside the Walls and Paradis Island where technology has been improving at a steady pace, the Kingdom of Marley, which has relied almost entirely on Titans to maintain their military supremacy, becomes increasingly threatened by its more technologically-advanced rivals, who have developed industrial-era weapons specifically designed to kill Titans. In the latest chapters, these weapons are shown to even be capable of destroying the almost impervious Armored Titan.]]
* Minor example in ''Manga/MissKobayashisDragonMaid''. Tohru and Kanna mention that Earth's vegetables and rice are superior to what is found in their world due to some magic called "selective breeding".
* In ''Manga/BlackClover'', magic is so ubiquitous and widely practiced that defense and detection mainly revolve around locating areas of high magic concentration. For the most part, this works, because almost all offense is created through people's magic reserves. Said defenses and detection are completely ineffective, however, against actions done through non-magical means. This gives the BadassNormal Asta a bigger leg up than most people who meet him suspect, as everything he does cannot be defended against or detected with magic. For instance, the seemingly unstoppable Kirsch Vermillion, who immediately spotted all of [[TrapMaster Xerx's]] traps and disarmed them, falls into a pit that Asta dug completely through manual labor.
* ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'': Saika's children have a HiveMind, but it is inefficient (they can't communicate with other children, only their mother), and most of them are very confused when they are first born. They gained a lot of coherence and stability once they discovered the internet.


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* One of the ''ComicBook/MarshalLaw'' comics sends superheroes back to World War I. They turn out to be pretty useless to the war effort.
* ''Comicbook/{{Fables}}'' spends a good chunk of the war between the Fables of Fabletown (living in the real world) and the Adversary (what they ran away from) showcasing the advantages mass modern technology has over magic.
** And a highly-effective-seeming and entirely magical plan for taking out Earth is dismissed when it's explained that modern "mundane" technology would not only quickly pick up on the plan and foil its later stages, but invite a devastating counterattack that the Adversary's forces wouldn't have a prayer against. [[spoiler:A magical plague would get isolated by the CDC and equivalent organizations, and the mundane nations would react to it, well, exactly the way they'd react to any attack by a weapon of mass destruction.]]
** To be fair, the Adversary had kept any magics that could be useful against a technological attack under lock and key, was poorly prepared for an attack within its borders of any kind, and never bothered to come up with counters to technology despite knowing about the Fables. All of which are called out on when the Fables start attacking. Magic itself still has many advantages over modern technology and the more powerful magical beings are basically gods that can destroy worlds including a Djinn strong enough to lift aircraft carriers.
* Quite often, one of the reasons for the ReedRichardsIsUseless trope is that superhero super-science is somehow less practical than real world science. This can take the form of {{Unobtanium}} materials, devastatingly high expenses, or a user interface so terrible that only geniuses can use the device - but it [[HandWave usually isn't explained at all.]]
* {{Subverted}} in an issue of ''Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'': the son of the recently deceased ComicBook/GreenArrow has to fight a bad guy and his [[{{Mook}} mooks]] using an old set of arrows his father left behind. He laments on the fact that they're all ridiculous [[TrickArrow trick arrows]], such as a handcuff arrow or a boxing glove arrow, and wishes his dad would have had at least one regular arrow among them. He [[spoiler:ends up defeating the bad guy with a boxing glove arrow.]]
* Often played with in the Franchise/DCUniverse and the Franchise/MarvelUniverse. Some characters manage to do very well against superpowered adversaries with nothing more than the training and technology you see in the real world, ThePunisher being a perfect example. Oftentimes, though, the [[PoliceAreUseless police]], the army, would-be {{Heroic Bystander}}s, and others are completely ineffective against the villains.
* In his first fight against the Masters of Silence, ComicBook/IronMan was confronted with the fact that they were [[KungFuProofMook immune to his repulsor bolts]]. In their second battle, Iron Man wore the so-called War Machine armor, equipped with [[SuperHeroPackingHeat guns]]. [[MoreDakka A lot of guns]]. The Masters of Silence were promptly trashed before being confronted with the fact they had been tricked into attacking Stark in first place.
* A long-standing question in ''Comicbook/XMen'' is why Sentinels are a threat to mutantkind. Magneto has demonstrated a penchant for using his powers and scientific genius to construct incredible {{Supervillain Lair}}s inside active volcanoes or on asteroids, and even uses robots himself from time to time. But for some reason, he never seems to consider countering human Sentinel technology by simply building his own comparable battle robots.
* In Issue 3 of ''[[ComicBook/LokiAgentOfAsgard Loki: Agent of Asgard]]'', the eponymous character is faced with [[SeaMonster giant fish]] Andvari, who is so strong and slippery that "neither hook nor net nor magic could land him". Loki decides to instead [[SchizoTech use a rocket launcher]] and take his gold that way.
-->'''Innkeeper:''' B-but where did you get such a gold-hoard, old one?
-->'''Loki:''' [[BrutalHonesty I shot a fish with a bazooka.]]
* Subverted in the backstory of ''ComicBook/{{Irredeemable}}''. An alien race to attempting to conquer the Earth, and all of the world's superheroes were powerless to stop it. A BadassNormal called the Hornet snuck onto the main ship and got the aliens to leave peacefully. This incident earned the Hornet widespread acclaim, but the truth was that he was just as powerless as everyone else. He only saved Earth by making a DealWithTheDevil.
* Something of a central theme to ''Comicbook/TheBoys''. [[spoiler:The first American superheroes prove useless against the Wehrmacht in the Second World War, the G-Men are handily wiped out by Red River personnel armed with machine-guns and flamethrowers, and the US military wipes the floor with the superheroes occupying Washington D.C.]]
* The Franchise/DCUniverse has an odd relationship with this trope. Typically, heroes that handle massive cosmic threats will often run into problems dealing with an evil BadassNormal, the Joker being the most famous example. The trope is often subverted with superpowered threats to the whole planet, which typically require someone with powers to stop them. So, muggles are better at dealing with muggles, and superpowered heroes are better at dealing with superpowered villains.
* The "Final" arc of ''ComicBook/HackSlash'' ends with this, when [[spoiler:Cat Curio manages to whip up an antidote to Akakios's slasher-creating potion in a few days in her own lab]]. Turns out that [[AlchemyIsMagic alchemy]] isn't [[SubvertedTrope magic]] after all and scientific chemistry did make some strides in the last two thousand years.
* The IWantMyJetPack trope comes into play here a lot. Many superhero universes are filled with GadgeteerGenius types who have invented assorted means of portable artificial flight. These will almost invariably used only by Muggles, with super-powered heroes who should technically have access to such technology never using it themselves (villains on the other hand...). The apparent assumption being that if your natural power set does not include flight, then you have no business flying without some kind of vehicle. A notable exception being the ''Comicbook/LegionOfSuperheroes'', although they are from the distant future.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness'' provides this explanation for TheMasquerade in Act II. As the others explain, no matter how powerful monster might and magic is, human technology and weapons are superior, and humankind vastly outnumbers monsters.
* In ''FanFic/TheThreeKingsHunt'' the mages after centuries of losing to the wizards have begun mounting an affective resistance by using the [[spoiler:Internet]]
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3735743/1/The_Moment_It_Began The Moment It Began]]'', instead of being defeated by ThePowerOfLove, Lord Voldemort, the most powerful Dark Wizard in the world, is defeated... [[spoiler:by Snape's Muggle father Tobias and his trusty handgun.]]
* This is one of the running themes of ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', where Harry has learned all about the scientific method and critical thinking before going to Hogwarts.
** The series plays with it a ton. While the magical world rarely if ever applies the scientific method to magic, just like in canon, that's because sometimes [[MagicVersusScience science doesn't]] [[WildMagic work on magic]]. But once in a while characters find out that it ''does'' work.
* This is the [[{{Anvilicious}} Anvil]] in ''FanFic/TheReturn''; The Demons and {{Eldritch Abomination}}s have all these fantastic powers, but Humans have [[HumansAreSpecial inventiveness]] and are much better at being [[HumansAreBastards bastards]]l,and normal military tech more than levels the field.
* ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2784825/1/Old_Soldiers_Never_Die Old Soldiers never Die]]'' is made of this trope. It's also doubly ironic because Voldemort was defeated almost entirely by a force of [[BadassGrandpa 80+ year old]] squib [[RetiredBadass veterans]] using technology that at its most modern dates back to UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
* Sort-of-done in ''FanFic/MyImmortal''. Instead of telling Ebony to kill [=Vampire/Harry=] via magical means, Vloxemort gives her a gun to shoot him. Of course, given [[CloudCuckooLander Tara]] [[TheDitz Gilesbie]] hasn't displayed any real understanding of how the actual series ''works''...
* ''Fanfic/LeftBeyond'' has quite a bit of this. The Omega develop counters to angelic powers by observation, trial and error, and sacrificing a lot of {{Red Shirt}}s to the cause until they find something that works. Once they do find something that works, they apply it industrially, so that by the end of the Millennial Kingdom, Angels and even Archangels can be tackled by drones with minimal loss of life.
* In ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheInvincibleTechnomage'', Reed Richards of the Franchise/FantasticFour and Tony Stark (ComicBook/IronMan) discover how ''Franchise/HarryPotter'''s magic works, and manage to make it work ''with'' their technology rather than against it (and Tony uses the magic as a cheap energy source for his various armours, such as the one he gives to Harry).
* ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4571312/1/The_bBook_b_of_bDobby_b_Per_Arcana_ad_Astra The Book of Dobby]]'', by Creator/DogheadThirteen, focuses on Harry fighting the Death Eaters with UsefulNotes/WorldWarII-era bomber and fighter planes. Of course, he's basically going MagiTek, what with the dragon-hide coatings and the de-ruster spells and so forth, but it's the same idea.
* An example appears in ''FanFic/OhGodNotAgain'' to explain why Theodore, a Slytherin, is in Muggle Studies. When asked why he was there, Theodore noted that his father learned the hard way that Muggles weren't as harmless as he thought after being shot on a trip to Las Vegas, and wanted his son to learn as much about Muggles as possible.
** Harry also brings certain Muggle school supplies with him, such as pens, paper, and the like. These turn out to have a remarkably strong following amongst the students, especially Muggleborns, to the point where the professors grow frustrated trying to guess how many words, say, '12 inches on hazelwort' would be.
* ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8233288/1/Faery-Heroes Faery Heroes]]'' background had Voldermort coming back to life once more and deciding to wage direct war against Muggles. By the time of the story, almost 3/4ths of the magical population of Britain is '''dead''', most of the survivors are in hiding, having been utterly unprepared for the grenades, the bullets, and just the way muggles wage war.
* Subverted by a few {{Heroic Bystander}}s who have tried to defend themselves with their guns in both the ''FanFic/UltimateSleepwalker'' and ''[[FanFic/UltimateSpiderWoman Ultimate Spider-Woman]]'' series, rather than waiting for the heroes to rescue them. Unfortunately, FailureIsTheOnlyOption for these Muggles.
* Discussed in the ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero''/''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' crossover ''Fanfic/{{Unfamiliar}}''; while magic can do many thing technology can't, it's also [[AwesomeButImpractical inefficient]] for more [[MundaneUtility mundane]] things. For example, an earth mage can do the work of ten farming machines; however, it takes years to train an earth mage, whereas you can build farming machines in days.
* Subverted in some ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' fics involving human beings trying to take on the Nations themselves. As it turns out, all conventional weapons (whether it's a knife or a .50 caliber rifle) could do is simply stall them long enough for the Muggles to escape with their lives.
* ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureauNotAlone'' runs on this, as a deconstruction of ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureau'' fanfic genre. Pony weaponry and magic are only remotely an even match for humanity's massed artillery, armored cars, and automatic firearms. [[BeatThemAtTheirOwnGame Much to the point where the ponies start stealing people's guns with their magic to use against the humans]]. It's also especially notable in that the Royal Guards weren't even facing a major military power such as Britain, France, America, or Russia; they were facing a bunch of hastily trained rookies from South Africa who were using outdated equipment. And aside from this trope and HumansAreWarriors, WeHaveReserves is also in full effect - even though humanity loses ten soldiers for every one pony killed, the humans still have a pool of about seven billion potential recruits, and could drown the Equestrians in sheer numbers alone.
* ''Fanfic/ThinkingInLittleGreenBoxes'' has the following from the "[[ComicBook/ThePunisher Punisher's]] War Journal":
--> ''I've finally figured out how to bypass the defenses of [[Franchise/HarryPotter Voldemort's]] hideout. It was actually easier than dealing with the Mob, since Death Eaters aren't quite as good as taking pain as they are dishing it out. They also have absolutely no experience or talent for psychological warfare or interrogation, rather they just choose to cast a few spells and expect things to work. They also don't expect people to be able to dodge. They called me a muggle, whatever that means, [[BadassBoast I called them target practice.]]''
* In ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestria'', while magic and [[{{Magitek}} magic powered devices]] are capable of amazing things, guns and explosives tend to be more reliable in combat. [[spoiler:Even Alicorns can easily be dispatched by completely normal gunfire without their magic shields (and at several points cannot react to conventional attacks fast enough to get those shields up). Even these shields can be broken by enough force -- say, dropping a train car on top of the Alicorn]].
* One of Arthur Arcturus' fears in ''Fanfic/TheAudience'' is that humans will find their way to Equestria, as it his evaluation that Equestria's magic and (at best) napoleonic era battlefield tactics would be no match for even a third-world human army. His suggested solution to the Diarchs is to ''invent'' a magical anti-tech field.
* A running theme throughout ''Fanfic/KnowledgeIsPower'' is how wizards underestimate {{Muggles}}, culminating in Mrs Granger shooting Mrs Weasley. Which MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext.
* Naruto's deal with the clans (and later the Hokage) in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6693171/1/The-Mouse-of-Konoha The Mouse of Konoha]]'' relies heavily on this. While every clan compound and restricted area is almost perfectly defended against shinobi intruders, they tend to have little to no defense against civilians. In exchange for finding the flaws in their security, the various clans teach Naruto different skills.
-->'''Council Member''': (After reading the note on a crossbow bolt fired through the window) [[DeadpanSnarker "Whoever wrote down the time and location of this council meeting, congratulations. You've just killed us all."]]
* An odd sports related version comes up in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4354353/11/Harry-Potter-and-the-Wand-of-Uru Harry Potter and the Wand of Uru]]''. When Wood is knocked out of the game with a fractured skull, [[GeniusBruiser Hermione]] steps in as Keeper wearing her field hockey pads (she played goalie). Every non-muggleborn is amazed when she takes a bludger to the arm without injury.
* The Hokage learns a valuable lesson in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5945419/1/A-Month-as-Naruto-Uzumaki A Month as Naruto Uzumaki]]'', and it was learned the hard way - only the SuperReflexes [[BadassGrandpa he developed in his youth]] saved him from injury. The lesson? Ninjas are weak to [[StuffBlowingUp explosives]], when those aren't triggered by chakra. [[ChekhovSGun He makes very good use of it later]].
* In ''FanFic/BeingDeadAintEasy'', at one point Yami Bakura knocks Yami Yugi out with a lunch tray as opposed to a magic spell.
* Played with in ''Fanfic/BrokenSouls'', as they do it better when it comes to autopsies at least, and even then its less a technological thing and more a cultural one. Medical examiners and pathologists are said to be looked down on by the rest of the Wizarding world due to their association with death. There's only one ME for all the British Isles and Ireland, and Eddie had to be brought in from San Francisco because nobody local wanted the position after the last one retired. Furthermore she examines bodies for both magical and muggle causes of death, and wears scrubs instead of robes because the latter are outdated and unhygienic.
* A non-combat example is shown in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9547582/1/Zero-s-Bullet Zero's Bullet]]'' where [[Manga/{{Hellsing}} Rip Van Winkle's]] off the rack suit from a discount store is still highly valuable even after being damaged beyond repair because no one in [[LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero Halkagenia]] has ever heard of polyester. When replacing it, she's given quite a bit of money by the shopkeeper who intends to use the scraps to make gloves and scarves.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8429437/1/The-Perils-of-Innocence The Perils of Innocence]]'', Muggleborn (and children growing up without wizarding parents, such as Harry Potter and Dean Thomas) have no idea that they can do magic, and have to learn to control their "supernatural abilities" on their own or with Muggle therapists, as Harry, Hermione and Dean do. The upside to this is that they can do magic without wands or latin-sounding invocations (though they later discover that a properly attuned wand is an excellent focusing tool) and can make up new spells as needed just by focusing their will, and their abilities don't set off magic-detecting alarms. This gives them several very solid advantages over traditionally trained wizards. They also have the advantage of wider Muggle schooling and Muggle technology, as wizards are woefully ignorant of anything outside the wizarding world.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom''/''Film/{{Beetlejuice}}'' {{crossover}} story, ''FanFic/SayItThrice,'' there's a minor example. [[Film/{{Beetlejuice}} Non-ectoplasm ghosts]] can't show up in photographs and their voices cannot be heard over the phone. But since it is established that they can move and manipulate solid objects, pushing buttons is perfectly within their capabilities. Adam and Barbara are able to text Lydia once they have access to a cell phone.
* The ''Literature/HarryPotter'' fanfic "[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/6894757 THERMOS!]], [[EitherOrTitle or]], [[OverlyLongTitle How a Muggle-Born Brought a New Age of Spell-Making to Hogwarts (Entirely by Accident)]]" explores this, featuring a Muggle-born witch that, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin does just that]], starting when her Pureblood friend is baffled by how her thermos manages to keep her drinks warm all day.
* In ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheNightmaresOfFuturesPast'', this is toyed with from time to time. Harry notes that one of the advantages guns have over wands are that they're quicker to use, though wands are far more versatile. One particular example stands out when Harry finds an (enchanted) firearm in Arthur Weasley's study, which [[ChekhovsGun he quickly divests of his guardian]] on the grounds that [[IJustShotMarvinInTheFace Arthur put the gun to his own head]] and ''squeezed the trigger'' (Thankfully, tragedy was averted at that point). Arthur mentioned this one in particular had a self-cleaning charm and "some sort of conjuration in the handle." Harry sneaks off in the next chapter and tests it in the forest, initially intending to use up all the ammunition and render it harmless. He spends almost a minute shooting the ground before he realizes that he's fired the pistol over ''thirty times'', revealing that the conjuration enchantment effectively gave it [[BottomlessMagazines unlimited ammunition]]. Turns out that combining magic and technology can achieve some very interesting results that neither could accomplish on their own.
** Later on, the Weasley twins decide to consult Harry on ''mundane'' pranking methods, reasoning that in the Wizarding World, everybody's on the lookout for a cursed handkerchief, but nobody's likely to notice a bucket above the door.
* In ''Fanfic/AGreatEndeavor'', for all the ponies' magical powers, it's ultimately a big question mark if Equestria made a significant contribution to the war effort on the grand scale.
* Downplayed in ''Fanfic/AmbienceAFleetSymphony''. While ship girls are indeed superhuman and nearly immune to small arms, heavy weapons are still very much a threat. Excellently illustrated at the end of chapter 167; [[spoiler:the Abyssals have just steamrolled the Combined Fleet, but when friendly air support shows up, the hitherto invincible Aircraft Carrier Water Demon]] is told to retreat under the belief that, as powerful as she is, even she can't stand up to the newcomers.
* Despite the magical mons capable of lighting up dark areas, ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'' is quite clear that flashlights are much more effective and simpler to use.
* One furry fanfic had a furry convention (as in the entire hotel and some of the surroundings) transported to a magical universe that's a fairly standard (albeit furry) low level magical verse. They quickly prove highly innovative to the point of learning how to use the magical mirror that brought them there in ways they never thought of and set up a mercenary company using military weapons scavenged from dead alternate earths (they destroy a gigantic magical nearly indestructible magical scorpion creature within minutes to the complete shock of the locals, something that normally would last for months before dying of starvation after destroying everything it could in the meantime).
* When it comes to runes in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11574569/33/Dodging-Prison-and-Stealing-Witches-Revenge-is-Best-Served-Raw Dodging Prison and Stealing Witches]]'' muggles are far superior because while one can only carve runes so small by hand and still be accurate, a machine can carve them small enough to need a magnifying glass to see and still be completely accurate. Several projects involving runes had previously been considered impossible/impractical because no one could carve them small enough.
* ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheNatural20'': Milo was flabbergasted to know people could make big chunking carriages of steel (i.e.: trains) move. And move at a speed he's never known in his world full of magic.
** Later on he does the math and has a HeroicBlueScreenOfDeath moment when he realizes magic is keeping his world in MedievalStasis.
** Further, it comes down to a matter of scale. The semi-phenomenal, nearly-cosmic powers of magic simply canít contend with the power of a lot of Muggles working really damn hard all together all at once. Itís like comparing a pressurized water mining tool to all the collective raindrops of a flood.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Syndrome's long term goal in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' is to invoke this trope, to give away his advanced technology that matches (and in many ways, surpasses) the powers of the supers so superheroes aren't special anymore.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ParaNorman'', the zombies walk into town, only to be more scared of the normal people than the people are of them. They are quickly mobbed and several of them are literally pulled apart. [[spoiler:Although, the zombies really don't want to eat anyone, and this trope is very subverted when the witch comes along]].
* Creator/RalphBakshi's ''WesternAnimation/{{Wizards}}'' plays with this.
** Blackwolf studies dark magic and combines it with [=WW2=] styled tech excavated by his minions. He eventually uses Nazi propaganda (implied to be augmented with magic) to get his disorganized army in shape... while using it as psychological warfare.
** Then the ending is all set up for a showdown between Blackwolf and TheProtagoist Avatar, the two wizarding brothers. [[spoiler:Avatar just shoots his brother, since as he mentioned earlier, he was out of practice with his magic]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In the French movie ''Arthur et la guerre des deux mondes'' (Arthur and the war of two worlds), the BigBad entered the human world thinking he would rollover humanity with his army of really stupid mooks... he did rollover the population of a mostly unarmed and peaceful really small town. But when an ''actual human army'' show up, they pulverized the EvilArmy in ''seconds''. Hell, the tanks were completely overkill. Granted, the Hero does {{Lampshade}} the fact that the BigBad had utterly no clue about humans' capabilities, as he come from a millimeters-sized population of fairy-like creatures that lived in the gardens and forests.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** In ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'', the vast majority of Jedi are gunned down by common soldiers with the element of surprise.
** ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'' has a Jedi leaping up to the platform to challenge Count Dooku... only to be nonchalantly gunned down by Jango Fett. All of the Jedi without PlotArmor are gunned down by droids during the same sequence. Within the ExpandedUniverse, Jango's people, the Mandalorians, have this almost as a [[PlanetOfHats cultural hat]]. In a galaxy dominated by two schools of ''very'' powerful sorcerers fighting an endless, cyclical religious war and dragging everyone else into it, [[RuleOFCautiousEditingJudgement various attempts were tried]] to establish the Mandos as a BadassNormal [[TakeAThirdOption independent faction]] that could tell ''both'' the Jedi and Sith which hell they could go to and send them there if needed.
* ''Franchise/{{Ghostbusters}}'': the title characters are [[ScienceHero Science Heroes]] who take on ghosts and extraplanar creatures.
** In their [[Film/{{Ghostbusters 1984}} first movie]], they avert the invasion of the plane-hopping conqueror Gozer the Traveler using FantasticScience in the form of four unlicensed nuclear accelerators.
** In their [[Film/GhostbustersII second movie]], the judicious use of the scientific method and cassette tapes of [[ThePowerOfLove upbeat]] [[ThePowerOfRock rock music]] turn the BigBad's slimy energy source against him.
* In the ''Film/{{Underworld}}'' series, vampires and werewolves have been fighting for centuries with neither side being able to achieve victory, and for all their supernatural abilities, both sides use standard firearms against each other[[note]]Albeit loaded with specialized ammunition to exploit their respective weaknesses -- UV emitting bullets for vampires, silver nitrate for werewolves[[/note]]. In ''Film/UnderworldAwakening'', humans get involved and drive both species to near extinction almost immediately.
* In the ''Film/{{Blade}}'' series, this is the reason why the vampires keep up the masquerade. Lacking Blade's ability to move around at day and their weakness to other common things, the humans would be a serious problem if they didn't keep their activities limited.
* In ''Film/TheMist'', strange monsters from some other world are brought in after some secret military experiments in a nearby base. [[spoiler:At the end, it is revealed that the military actually has the situation under control, leading dozens of survivors to safety and almost casually burning down the nightmarish nests with flamethrowers.]]
* Most of the eponymous ''Film/ArmyOfDarkness'' was destroyed with common explosives attached to arrows, a guy with a chainsaw and a shotgun, and a heavily modified car.
* ''Film/{{Descendants}}'': Carlos and his technology beat the MagicMirror into locating the museum where Fairy Godmother's wand is being displayed.
* There's a scene in ''Film/FantasticBeastsAndWhereToFindThem'' where the witch Queenie and the Muggle/[[SeparatedByACommonLanguage No-Maj]] Jacob are trying to break into a magically locked office. Queenie tries the old standby ''Alohomora'' without success, because the owner of the office uses a locking spell ''Alohomora'' can't deal with. Jacob then kicks the door down with hardly any trouble.

[[folder: Folklore]]
* TheFairFolk are ethereal folk capable of enchanting humans and messing with their minds. Yet somehow they always seem to hide from humans. Why? Well, humans have lots and lots of [[ColdIron iron.]]

%%Do not add that J.K. Rowling claimed that a Muggle with a shotgun would beat a wizard every time. That statement has never been sourced, and appears to be merely GodNeverSaidThat.
* Zigzagged in ''Literature/HarryPotter'', where in TheMagicVersusTechnologyWar, magic tends to nearly always win in the short term but gets flooded out in the long term.
** For example, Muggle surgery was useless in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix Order of the Phoenix]]'' when dealing with magical injuries. However, in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire Goblet of Fire]]'', Harry mentioned that Muggle surveillance equipment might be useful; Hermione tries to refute it, but only on the grounds that the amount of magic present around Hogwarts prevents anything electrical being used.
** Regarding weapons, there are extremely long debates, some on this very wiki, about how far this goes. It's generally argued[[note]][[WordOfDante at least by the fans; Rowling is surprisingly silent on the debate]][[/note]] that a Muggle with a shotgun would usually beat a wizard, but since that's a rather vague scenario you get questions like "What happens if the wizard is smart enough to turn invisible or teleport behind his back?" or "Can a wizard cast a shield charm that deflects the entire burst, not just the first bullet?" (Of course, Mr. Dursley's shotgun ''was'' rather worthless against Hagrid, but Hagrid [[UnskilledButStrong wasn't exactly using magic in that encounter]] and Dursley froze up instead of pulling the trigger.)
** This happens in-canon, of all places, too. These themes are usually downplayed, but still there. For example, in ''Goblet of Fire'', an owl is sent out. At least one day later, a letter is sent by Muggle post. They arrive the same day, with the postman driving up a couple hours before the owl lands.
*** Also, when Mr. Weasley is in St. Mungo's for a magical snakebite whose wounds won't close, he and a young trainee healer decide to try closing them up using stitches. It doesn't work, the implied reason being that the snake's venom dissolved through them.[[note]]Which can be taken a couple of different ways, depending on how much Rowling knows about toxicology and surgical stitching. If the trainee healer had used something organic, like "catgut" or cotton thread, even non-magical venom (which contains digestive enzymes) could have eaten through it.[[/note]]
*** Additionally, who is to say that a wizard healer even knew enough about muggle medicine to properly perform the procedure? Metal staples were another option besides stitches, but if the healer had as much understanding of muggle medicine as Mr. Weasley did about technology, the failure seems inevitable. Wizards in this 'verse seem smug on the superiority of magic, and speak of muggle tech as silly, even when they have no or very little understanding of the extreme complexity and precision involved.
*** Indeed, the average Wizarding population (at least of Great Britain) seems to be so ignorant of Muggle technology that ''The Daily Prophet'' feels that it is necessary in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban'' to define for its readers what ''firearms'' are ("a kind of metal wand that Muggles use to kill each other"). Keep in mind that Muggles have been using firearms as common weapons for more than six hundred years.
*** There are several instances in all the books where common Muggle technology would have made life a lot easier or solved a plot point altogether. If they had some kind of magical-equivalent Google search for the library, half the suspense of Books 1 (Nicholas Flamel), 2 (The Chamber of Secrets), 3 (Sirius Black's bio), and 4 (gillyweed) would definitely be eliminated. The communication difficulties in 5, 6, and 7 would have been greatly lessened with message boards and wikis, and if they had some kind of standardized instant-communication system like cell phones and two-way radios, [[spoiler:Sirius wouldn't have died; although Harry did have the magic mirror, the wizard equivalent of a cell phone, he just [[ForgotICouldFly forgot that he had it]] (a fact which is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] at the very end of the book)]]. Nor would [[spoiler:Moody]] have, if the group had just hopped into a van. Ron can be forgiven for the ignorance, maybe even Harry given the way the Dursleys raised him, but Hermione? She should have at least commented on the lack.
*** Bear in mind that the story, at least in the books, apparently does not happen in modern day, but during the '''1990s''' when cell phones and the internet weren't as prevalent as they are now. However, the films apparently are moved forward ten years to the present day, but apparently did not take into account the predominant use of either cellular phones or the Internet as means of communication.
*** ''Pottermore'' suggests that the one area where Muggles have wizards beat is transportation. Only the most vehement anti-Muggle wizards will attempt to deny that the automobile and train are excellent modes of transport that really have no magical peer, which is why Hogwarts students travel to the school by train, why the Ministry owns a fleet of cars and why the Knight Bus exists. Which is odd, given that wizards have at least three forms of teleportation and a personal lightweight hover-capable flight device that doesn't appear to need fuel and can be safely operated by an 11-year-old, so transportation wouldn't appear to be so clear-cut.
---->'''Mr. Weasley:''' Trains! Underground! Ingenious these Muggles!
*** ''Literature/TheTalesOfBeedleTheBard'' contains some of Dumbledore's reflections on [[BurnTheWitch medieval witch hunts]], indirectly proving that Muggles Do It Better if wizards aren't using their brains. He notes that when the Inquisition came knocking, not everyone who was arrested was a muggle, and not every captured wizard was able to effortlessly spirit themselves away. TheMasquerade began for a very good reason -- as a result, the muggles have never really had (or wanted) an answer for it.
** In Book 4 it's mentioned that entire sections of the Ministry of Magic are derailed by the Quidditch World Cup, with their logistical abilities struggling to accommodate 10,000+ wizards, when there a dozen muggle stadiums that can hold ten times that number.
*** Potentially {{Justified}}: The wizarding community rarely gathers in such numbers, so infrastructure to accommodate that many wouldn't be needed as often. Plus, the whole thing has to be in secret, necessitating powerful, possibly complex magic to keep Muggles away.
** One thing that makes it weird is that the magical community (of Britain at least) seems to deliberately use obsolete technologies for aesthetic sometimes. For instance they've had paper and printing presses for centuries, but students are still writing on rolls of parchment with quills. They use candles as a light source, even though magical lights are a very simple spell. There are also random exceptions, like cameras working perfectly fine (though it could be an old-fashioned one.)
** One large thing to be considered is that most of the Harry Potter examples also mainly focus on the Wizarding community in the United Kingdom. As such, these tropes could be played different to varying degrees in different countries and continents.
** Another is that while electricity and magic don't get along, magic can be used to replicate the results of such items, such as seen with wizarding radio and the aforementioned transportation. It's unknown what are magic's limits with replicating Muggle technologies, especially when one takes culture into play (though there seems to be a hint that anything with a microtransistor may be out of reach.)
* This trope is the reason why the supernatural community in ''Literature/DoraWilkSeries'' hides from muggles, although more than our weaponry, leaders of Thorn worry about humanity's forensic medicine and modern research technology. The whole {{Masquerade}} could be blown up by a blood test performed on some unlucky werewolf or magical. As one of the characters put it, "It's not the Middle-Ages when we could drink the blood of a whole village with no one the wiser. It's the twenty-first century and humans have forensic medicine, criminology and dozens of other methods that endanger us all". Not to mention that the main character of the story prefers guns over magic (it's faster).
* Taken ''Up To Eleven'' in Charles Stross's ''The Trade of Queens'', the last book of his Merchant Princes series. A parallel world with magic has people able to "walk between worlds". Unfortunately, all they do with this is smuggle drugs. The U.S. Government slowly figures out what's going on. Then Lawrence Livermore Labs figures out how to do "world-walking". The magic world tries [[spoiler:stealing a tactical nuclear weapon and setting it off in Washington]]. This provokes Massive Retaliation. It does not end well for the magic world.
* In Susanna Clarke's ''Literature/JonathanStrangeAndMrNorrell'', faeries seem to suffer from [[CreativeSterility creative sterility]], or at the very least, extreme laziness, due to their innate magic abilities. Long after human civilization has invented wooden floors and stones castles and drink from metal cups, Faeries sit on dirt floors in holes in the ground and drink from stone cups. And that was several centuries before the book takes place, by which point humans have invented printing presses, firearms, and steam engines.
** "In men reason is strong and magic is weak. With fairies it is the other way round: magic comes very naturally to them, but by human standards they are barely sane."
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', killing a wizard is considered a very dangerous proposition since, if they know they're going to die, they can expend their life energy to create a "death curse" that can do really horrible stuff to their killer. So Kincaid explains that, if he ever wanted to kill Harry, he'd do it from a mile away with a sniper rifle; the bullet would outrun its own sonic boom, making it impossible to hear coming, and once it plows through Harry's brains, he's not gonna have time left to cast any sort of spell. After being told this, Harry reflects on the fact that wizards are going to have to get used to modern day tech as the great equalizer. [[spoiler:And at the end of the book ''Literature/{{Changes}}'', it looks as if someone has made good on the idea. It is revealed in ''Literature/GhostStory'' that Kincaid carried this out at Harry's request so that he could try to get out of being the new Winter Knight. It works initially, but the intervention of Uriel, Mab, and Demonreach keep it from sticking.]]
** One of the primary limiters on Wizards specifically, and the reason they don't just own the entire supernatural world outright, is that reality being to some extent a function of their will tends to mean that [[WalkingTechbane they frequently interfere with the functionality of technology]] that's not culturally 'comprehensible' to them. This is something of a moving target--a wizard in the early 1900s would likely be unable to use even a steam-engine vehicle and one in the 1600s couldn't use gunpowder, but simple firearms like revolvers and older cars function just fine around Harry (or they would if monsters didn't keep destroying his car)--but the fact that supernatural creatures like vampires can use things like electronic bank accounts and stock-trading algorithms while the White Council cannot has been the major reason it's never really become a curb-stomp favoring the wizards. Marcone eventually takes this in an interesting direction by becoming an intermediary between muggle resources and various supernatural entities.
*** Marcone himself proves this trope applies in the short story "Even Hand", using a combination of firepower, booby traps, and prepared lines of defense to erode a Fomor lord's defenses until a single rune-marked bullet could take his opponent down. [[spoiler:The Fomor wasn't impeded by the sprinkler system, but that's because the defenses were designed to kill ''Harry'', not a Fomor.]]
*** The last time a Wizard found a way around the tech limits, he and a couple of apprentices almost ended up ''running the '''entire world'''.'' Since he was a necromancer, the end result was the first ''World War,'' which was to the magical world something so much worse than both World Wars '''combined''' were to the mundane world that most of a decade of history has been deliberately and thoroughly forgotten/suppressed.
** This is also the reason for the ExtraStrengthMasquerade: bringing in mortal forces is the equivalent of a nuke in the supernatural community (and not just because they ''have'' [[NukeEm nukes]]). Bear in mind that this is [[WorldOfBadass a setting]] where the main character, more powerful than average but far from the most powerful magic user in the setting, can throw a werewolf through two buildings with magical brute force. Then consider that everyone from {{Fallen Angel}}s to the Billy Goats Gruff use machine guns.
*** Speaking specifically of [[TheFairFolk the Fae]], ancient beings connected to nature itself: The upper class can cause storms, throw lightning, fire, and ice, as well as do any other magical spell as easily as muggles breathe. But because some bullets have [[ColdIron iron]] in them, steel-jacketed muggle bullets can rip through most every defense a fae has. Even Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness, and on par with angels in terms of power, jumps back when a ''nail'' rolls towards her. [[spoiler:Only Mother Winter, the destroyer and final end (as she calls herself) has the power to touch iron. And she turns it to rust.]]
** In ''Literature/TurnCoat'', Morgan talks about a battle he had with a [[EldritchAbomination skinwalker]]. He couldn't match the monster with magic, so he went for the next best thing. [[spoiler:He lured the skinwalker onto a nuclear testing site right before they detonated the bomb, and hopped into the Nevernever right before detonation.]] Even Harry has to admit that it was pretty damn awesome.
** It is something of a recurring theme in the series that muggle abilities are just as deadly as magic, in their own way. In fact, throughout the series Harry has come within a hairsbreadth of death when dealing with ordinary humans with purely mortal weaponry. For example, in ''Literature/SmallFavor'', he is ambushed and nearly killed by two of Torelli's goons, and admits that if things had played out just a little differently, the two hitmen would have killed him, Murphy, and Molly, with no magic required. And ultimately, the thing that finally kills [[spoiler:Harry]] is not a wizard or supernatural monster ([[spoiler:okay, technically it was [[HalfHumanHybrid half of one]]]]) or elder deity ... it's [[spoiler:a sniper shooting him as he steps out of Thomas' boat.]] It's not that an individual human is very scary to the supernatural, but hundreds of humans, with guns and tanks and helicopters and bombs ...
*** It's mentioned that magical creatures need to pay attention to keep their constructs intact, and having their constructs get torn up is in part breaking their concentration. Enough and it forces them back into the Nevernever because they need to keep concentrating to stay in our world. Then... ectoplasm. Ew.
** Harry uses this to his advantage, too. There's been more than one supernaturally inclined baddy that thought he was totally out of the fight once he'd exhausted his magic, or they'd disarmed him of his staff, only to receive a few slugs from a .44 while they're gloating. In one sequence in ''Literature/SummerKnight'', Harry and Murphy take out a heavily magic-resistant ogre using the contents of a Wal-Mart: a [[ColdIron steel]] {{chainsaw|Good}} to lame it, and a Super Soaker loaded with gasoline and a can of Sterno to light it on fire. And then Harry runs down a plant monster with his car, and Murphy finishes it off with the chainsaw.
** This is one of the reasons that the Red Court does so well against the White Council in the war. Most magical creatures don't interfere with technology nearly as much as wizards, so they (and even more so, their goons) can threaten wizards much more successfully. Early on in the war, the White Council is desperate to secure the Ways in the LandOfFaerie because the Red Court's ability to use modern transportation will let them easily outmaneuver the Wizards otherwise. Additionally, money and law are mentioned as facets of power, and any self-respecting magical faction has a lot of money they can throw around.
** Another factor is that killing another magic being is both difficult and leaves a magic "stench" on the murderer, since magic is essentially life force and you're using life to destroy it. Bullets, swords, and other muggle means don't come with such issues.
** In ''Literature/WhiteNight'' Harry mentions that many supernatural beings have little to fear from a human with a handgun. They can easily withstand or even ignore pistols. On the other hand, when you add real military weaponry like automatic rifles, machineguns, shotguns, and high explosives into the mix, and they're wielded by people who know what they're up against and how to fight the supernatural, things ''change''.
** In the Dresdenverse, a few Muggles even do ''magic'' better. In ''Literature/GhostStory'' completely non-magical coroner Waldo Butters has, by virtue of being curious, analytical, having a good memory for even half-heard facts and having a good teacher, become one of the world's most proficient magical theorists in less than six months, outstripping wizards who have been using magic for centuries.
*** It also goes the other way: the most impressively powerful wizard spell so far involved the mundane humans doing all of the actual work [[spoiler:of putting the satellite the blackstaff used for his ColonyDrop up there in the first place]], and the most complex wizard spell involves using the muggles' modern plethora of construction materials and surveying methods to build a hyper-accurate simulacrum of a city for use in SympatheticMagic.
* Part of the ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' series' approach to magic and mages is that they can be taken down by physical force just as easily as any other mortals. This is a deliberate inclusion by the author, who didn't want magic to become an in-universe game breaker. It's neatly summed up in ''By the Sword'', when a company of PrivateMilitaryContractors is brought into Valdemar -- a country where magic is all but unknown -- specifically to help fight the mages of an enemy nation. When worried Valdemaran citizens stop them to ask what fighting mages is like, the inevitable response is, "They die."
* A major plot point in ''Literature/{{Everworld}},'' where not only do [[spoiler:the Coo-Hatch almost hand the Hetwan a victory over Olympus with a fairly-primitive cannon]], but Senna's ultimate plan turns out to be [[spoiler:importing an army of gun nuts into Everworld to help her overthrow the gods, who, it turns out, aren't ''quite'' as immortal as they thought]].
** [[spoiler:The aforementioned white supremacist gun nuts are feared by the protagonists as one of the most dangerous forces in Everworld (a setting filled with gods, magic, aliens, and mystical creatures), even after the death of Senna, their witch leader. And rightfully so, considering just one Sennite armed with an Uzi slew a dragon with ease. The Sennites go on to kill a mythical giant and slaughter the better part of a company of elite Celtic warriors known as the Fianna. For their final trick, they manage to slay Fenrir in seconds in addition to driving off Loki and his grand army of trolls.]]
** Not all of the examples of this trope in Everworld are combat-related, per se. The protagonists' half-joke that their modern running shoes are one of their primary advantages whenever the shit hits the fan. April saves Sir Galahad's life with relatively basic modern first aid and medical skills (painkillers, stitches, and an improvised blood transfusion), even after Merlin himself had written his wounds off as too serious to treat and was preparing to kill the knight out of mercy. Jalil offers to radically increase the productivity of the Dwarf kingdom's mining operation through modern principles of technology and engineering. The introduction of the telegraph is a massive game-changer in Everworld. There are numerous occasions where even if the protagonists can't solve the current problem through sheer power, the simple virtue of their background in the "real world" sometimes gives them the necessary knowledge to tip things in their favor.
* In one science fiction story, a group of (essentially) mutants left earth because their powers were feared. Years later, when the "normals" and the mutants met again, the normals had developed technology to such a point that every person had access to more capabilities than the mutants (like Syndrome wanted to do in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'').
* In the world of ''Literature/TheDarkswordTrilogy'', everything is done by magic. Technology and science are considered Dark Arts due to a prophecy about someone without magic destroying the world and mutterings about technology being a bit ''too'' effective when it comes to killing things. [[spoiler:Halfway through, people in tanks show up and demonstrate that technology is indeed a superior weapon.]]
** That has a lot to do with the magic world being founded entirely by exiles fleeing witch hunts on Earth. Most of the more competent and rational mages either died gating the "civilians" there and establishing the magic-trapping field surrounding the world which enabled them to survive without tools, or stayed behind to help guide the magicless societies towards an eventual reconciliation. The latter category included every engineer ("Death Mage") available. Initial emotional trauma led to institutionalized guilt over not releasing magic again into the greater universe once it was safe to do so (as promised), and thus to forgetting about and demonizing the nonmagical. And to being totally unprepared for encounters with it.
* In Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''[[Literature/NightWatch Watch]]'' novels, the [[DifferentlyPoweredIndividual Others]] are mostly immune to human weapons by virtue of always having the ability to enter the [[MagicalDimension Twilight]], where no human can go. Also, all seriously wounded Others instinctively enter the Twilight to heal up. Also, TheMasquerade prevents humans from knowing the truth. Several Others have been killed by [[{{Muggles}} Muggle]] means. [[spoiler:Edgar]]'s wife, a witch, is killed by a truck driver having a heart attack. One story involves the possibility of resurrecting an ancient dragon-mage, who, being from before TheMasquerade, would go rampaging across Europe. The Others argue that, in a battle between a mad dragon and missile-armed gunships, the gunships would come out on top (TakeThat, ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'').
** Power levels of Others differ greatly. The majority are so weak that they can't enter Twilight and improved lifespan, health and minor mind tricks is all they get from it. Even a group of thugs can beat them to death. The strongest have immense telepathic powers, precognition and firepower that rivals battleships, while being invisible, intangible and immune to almost any return fire.
** The only human weapon that almost no Other can escape is a [[NukeEm nuke]]. A nuclear explosion will even reach into every layer of Twilight, leaving no places for Others to hide.
*** When shit really hits the fan, one of the most important weapons of the Others is their mind control abilities to dictate the use of mortal weapons. Rather than magical attacks, the ability to launch Russia's or the USA's nukes is considered to be extremely key.
** Given that magic is actually made by humans and absorbed by Others, if humans expand into space, the Others that follow will be depowered until sizable colonies are created.
** Book four features muggle weapons being a legitimate threat to Others. However, each time it was the enchantments on the weapon and the user that allowed them to see and shoot through Twilight, pierce magical shields, overcome the HealingFactor and somewhat protect the user. Notable are remote-control gun [[note]]Other's low grade precognition abilities are largely based on empathy and machine doesn't have a lot of evil intentions.[[/note]] and mind controlled SWAT team that was issued charms to storm the Night Watch branch. They succeed rather effortlessly, but it was protagonist (high ranking Night Watch operative) orders to avoid confrontation and flee and not to use lethal force that would have overwhelmed charms. There is also the fact that the branch in question was very minor one with rather weak Other personnel being jumped on and outnumbered 20 to 1.
** It's revealed that the Communism experiment was deliberately sabotaged in Russia (turning it into the mess that it was). Why? Because it would have resulted in a world with advanced military tech, even more polarized than it was during the Cold War, and the collapse of TheMasquerade and the extermination of all Others. Basically, no matter how strong they are, even a top-level Other can't stand up to billions of {{Muggles}} with advanced tech.
* In ''The World of Eldaterra: The Dragon Consipracy'', there are two problems. One, a fantasy race similar to orcs invading earth. Solved with Brits with bolt-action rifles. Second, dragons trying take over the world. Solved by one guy with a grenade.
* Discussed in ''Literature/{{Xanth}}.'' In ''Centaur Aisle,'' Dor visits Centaur Isle which is near the fringe of magic, and therefore magic is used much less. As a result, they're much more technologically and socially advanced compared to the rest of Xanth which is stuck in MedievalStasis. This leads Dor to wonder (briefly) if that means it's better not to have magic. His conclusion: Ridiculous!
-->He had followed the thought to its logical conclusion and found it absurd, therefore the thought was false.
** Played straight in the first book, ''A Spell For Chameleon''. Bink is exiled from Xanth and meets Trent, an "[[HeroWithBadPublicity Evil]]" Magician who has spent the last 20 years in Mundania (our world). Although he wants to get back to the land of magic, he and his army have come prepared, with superior ships that can sail against the wind, and catapults that can take down Xanth's shield (generated by a stone within it) once they know its location. Trent also mentions that firearms would end the conflict with ease, but he doesn't want them introduced to Xanth, and has trained his men in swordplay instead.
* In Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/MethuselahsChildren'' the Howard Families flee Earth because the rest of the population are getting ready to imprison and torture them to learn the secret of their longevity treatment -- which doesn't exist; their longevity is the result of an experimental breeding program going back centuries. Years later they return, and find that the people of Earth devoted a massive project to "recreate" their secret . . . and ''succeeded.''
** One of the Howard Families scientists feels like an idiot for abandoning the line of research that led to the longevity treatment Earth developed, but is told not to as it took thousands of scientists decades at a cost of billions to develop it. (Sometimes it's just that Muggles do it better because they simply have more resources to use on a problem, since there are so many of them.)
* ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'': There are many examples throughout the series of NighInvulnerable ancient beings of terrifying power coming up against a Malazan soldier with a Moranth grenado - much to the former's surprise and (often short-lived) chagrin.
* ''Literature/MonsterHunterInternational'': Five of the seven master vampires (super-powerful vampires that are more dangerous than even normal ones) aiding [[spoiler:Lord Machado]] are contemptuously dismissive of the titular team they face in spite of warnings from the other two more recent conversions to master vampire, one of them [[spoiler:a former MHI member who's very familiar with the ability of human devices thanks to regularly using them when part of the company]], and the other [[spoiler:a Nazi soldier from [=WW2=]]]. They walk into a blizzard of Hunter gunfire as the humans open up with belt-fed grenade launchers, rockets, and 81mm mortars. The five pay for their arrogance and ignorance with their (undead) lives.
* Creator/RobertSheckley has a story where a couple running an electrical appliance store have a few of those stolen. Turns out it was a genie from the past who got a job at the royal palace [[{{Nepotism}} solely through having influential relatives]], and, when the queen demanded spells to clean her clothes or cool her chambers, he found the spells to be too complex and could do nothing but steal some tech from our time. At first, they try to banish him (doesn't work because a genie is immune to all spells except from his own country, which they don't know). Then, they sabotage the devices and refuse to do maintenance on the ones already taken. So the genie [[TimeTravelForFunAndProfit attempts to start trading]]. At first, they are afraid it will cause a TemporalParadox, but change their mind after the genie says [[spoiler:"Don't worry, I'm from {{Atlantis}}. A couple of years and nothing will remain of it '''or''' your tech"]]. Then they decide to trade as much as possible.
* ''Literature/TheNameOfTheWind'' has an interesting example - many things ''are'' done better with magic, but at higher cost, great risk, hours of headaches perfecting the solution so it doesn't have side effects. In Kvothe's example, it's makes much more sense to use mortar than figure out the dozen-odd sigils needed to magically glue bricks together. ''Per brick''.
* A small example from ''Literature/LordOfTheRings''. Saruman, a great wizard, does not bring down the wall of Helm's Deep with any spell or incantation, but two giant black powder bombs. This is borderline though; he and Gandalf (with fireworks) are the only ones ever shown to have black powder technology.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'': Since EquivalentExchange, MagicAIsMagicA, DangerousForbiddenTechnique and UselessSuperpowers are in full force, muggle-type solutions are genuinely best. (To illustrate, it's [[AwesomeButImpractical entirely possible]] to conjure up a loaf of bread instead of baking it, but not only would the time and energy you'd spend be equal to that if you'd just baked it, you'd also have to research the exact spell ''and'' end up attracting attention of [[EldritchAbomination Things from the Dungeon Dimensions]].) Subverted in the ([[WorldHalfFull rare]]) situation where magic actually ''is'' the best choice.)
** Particularly noted in ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'', when the elves prove to be quite resistant to magic, but are perfectly vulnerable otherwise (''especially'' to iron [[spoiler:and Morris dancing]]).
* In ''Franchise/TheWitcher'' series, emperor Emhyr var Emreis, highly successful expansionist, quotes his preference for modern siege engines over the unreliability of magic. The only described large-scale attempt to use mages as a stand-in for artillery support in a major battle, while evidently successful, [[PyrrhicVictory led to high casualties]] within the mages' ranks.
* A hired mook falls victim to this in ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant''. In preparation for a battle with the titular magical detective, he makes himself [[NoSell immune to fire]]. It works great until Skullduggery pulls out a revolver and shoots him. In this case, magic was not inferior to technology; the goon ''could'' have protected himself from bullets too, but being magical, it didn't occur to him that Skullduggery would resort to mortal weapons.
** A staple of this series is that muggle weapons, while not a match for magic in terms of power, are still reliably dangerous, and can end you just as easily as magic without protection. Skullduggery states outright that magic has no better solution to a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampire]] that a [[MoreDakka whole lot of bullets]].
* Occurs in ''Literature/TheLaundryFiles'' novel ''The Nightmare Stacks'', in which modern-day England is invaded by elves fleeing their doomed world. As the elves are from a society with millennia of experience using magic, The Laundry's mystical arsenal proves utterly outmatched. The Laundry has vampire agents, but the elves have more vampires, and know how to counter them. The elves easily evade The Laundry's detection spells. The elves' DeadlyGaze spells prove highly lethal, whereas England's equivalent basilisk-derived defense grid [[spoiler:malfunctions due to faulty data and accidentally kills some cosplayers]]. What the elves don't anticipate, however, is that the "human communication device" the Emperor confiscates from the captured protagonist can be used to [[spoiler:coordinate a drone strike]]. [[ScrewYouElves Oops]].
* ''Literature/TheInfected'' while Infected by definition have superpowers, 90% of them either have no combat applications, or are significantly less dangerous than a trained soldier with a gun, and even those who ''can'' drop hundreds of people can benefit from good old-fashioned PT and weapons training.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/OnceUponATime'', after getting a taste of the comforts the modern town of Storybrooke has to offer (television, air-conditioning, indoor plumbing, etc.), the fairytale residents find themselves vastly preferring it to the medieval setting of the Enchanted Forest where they originally hail from. Also acts as a case of IChooseToStay.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' periodically showed that even the most badass of supernatural beasties could be taken down with [[RealLife real world]] firepower. While it's shown that guns can't kill vampires, they do "hurt like hell," and most other monsters have no such immunity, and even Buffy was once almost killed by an ordinary guy with a handgun. Most fights were still superpowered slugfests, since the [[WeirdnessCensor self-imposed]] {{Masquerade}} kept the police or military from getting involved in the plot much, and the MainCharacters could only occasionally get their hands on post-medieval weaponry. This got a little wonky in Season 4 and beyond, though, when the government ''did'' get involved, equipping a lot of {{Muggle}} soldiers with hi-tech weapons and sending them off to fight demons; how successful this actually was tended to vary by episode. One of Joss Whedon's ideas for the season was "magic vs. science, magic kicks ass", which was proved by the CurbStompBattle in the penultimate episode, but up until the BigBad made his move, it was largely back and forth.
** In "Homecoming," when various people, vampires, and demons compete to see who can kill Buffy and Faith, it's the two humans with machine guns and grenade launchers who prove the most effective and deadly (that's not to say they ''won'', but they lasted the longest at least). [[spoiler:To be fair, she had to trick them into shooting each other, she couldn't take them out directly.]]
** In "Innocence," the Judge is poised to [[ApocalypseHow destroy the world.]] The Judge is an ancient demon that it had previously taken an entire army to defeat because "no weapon forged can kill him". Buffy shoots him with a rocket launcher. To be fair, it didn't kill him. But he previously spent hundreds of years as a few large pieces and will spend a few hundred as hundreds of little pieces. (He didn't even know what the weapon was. His minions, however, certainly ''did'', and [[ScrewThisImOutOfHere ran the other way - fast]].)
** Mayor Wilkins, the BigBad of Season 3, spent a hundred years making deals with demons in order to become [[ScaledUp the gigantic snake demon Olvikan]] and take over the town of Sunnydale, and possibly the world after that. Once he finally becomes a demon, he finds his vampire army being defeated by a bunch of {{Ordinary High School Student}}s armed with arrows, stakes, and a couple flamethrowers, and he himself is taken down by some strategically placed dynamite.
** The setting is full of monsters and vampires that were previously defeated or placed in their [[SealedEvilInACan can]] by ordinary non-magical humans with medieval or older technology and numbers on their side.
** In one season 1 episode, Darla found herself facing a pissed off Angel and a crossbow-wielding Buffy, and quickly neutralized Angel and nearly killed Buffy by whipping out [[DualWielding two]] [[CoolGuns SIG-Sauer P226s]] and shooting Angel first. The only reason our protagonist survived was that Angel managed to overcome the pain from getting shot twice (as a vampire, he wouldn't die from being shot, but it ''really'' hurt) and staked Darla.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' makes great use of this trope (as, to a lesser extent, do [[Franchise/StargateVerse its spin-offs]]). The [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Goa'uld]] have starships, plasma cannons, and teleporters. The heroes have... normal, modern-day U.S. Air Force issue weapons. But the entire Goa'uld society essentially ''runs'' on CoolButInefficient -- their high-tech staff weapons are scary and flashy, but inaccurate and have a slow fire rate; their Space Fighters are impressive, but a surface-to-air missile will bring them down as surely as a plasma blast would. This is often {{Lampshaded}} in the show. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjlCVW_ouL8 In one episode]], O'Neill points out explicitly that Earth's comparatively low-tech weapons can be superior to the Goa'ulds' AppliedPhlebotinum because the Goa'uld are obsessed with intimidating and impressing their enemies, while primitive Earth weapons are designed simply to ''kill''. As the show goes on Earth gradually gets more and more AppliedPhlebotinum of its own, but even then the protagonists remain armed with old-fashioned [[{{Muggle}} Tau'ri]] guns.
** The introduction of the Replicators is probably the best example of this. The Asgard are getting their super high-tech asses kicked by robots that assimilate technology--the more advanced the better. So how do you fight them? Bring in primitive ballistic weapons. (In the Asgard's defense, they are savvy enough to realize this after the first time it's demonstrated.)
** Another factor is that the Asgard and Goa'uld always were preparing defenses against the Goa'uld staff weapons. The Asgards themselves noted [[{{AliensNeverInventedTheWheel}} the idea of using expanding gas to send a projectile flying never occurred to anyone else]].
** To be fair to the Goa'uld, they do have a serious trump card in the form of their Ha'taks, spaceships that are impervious to nuclear weapons and capable of bombing a planet back to the Stone Age from orbit. It's not until relatively late in the series that the Earth has a defense against a direct attack like that. Much of the series is about preventing such an attack in the first place, usually using guerilla tactics and subterfuge.
** Even when Earth gets more AppliedPhlebotinum, they tend to use it to improve and enhance what they already have instead of simply replacing their existing technology. They don't use the super-science energy source to replace nuclear weapons, they use it to make nuclear weapons with a [[EarthShatteringKaboom really, really big bang]]. It's not until the [[BenevolentPrecursors Asgard]] hands them a [[WaveMotionGun plasma cannon]] strong enough to fight the ships of the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Ori]] that they upgrade.
** It's also revealed that Earth humans (Tau'ri) aren't the only ones who are good at this trope. After the destruction of the Goa'uld Empire, the resulting power vacuum is filled by various smaller powers, including a criminal syndicate (largely composed of humans) called the Lucian Alliance. For the most part, they're treated as a nuisance at best, using old Goa'uld tech that's already worse than what Earth has by that point. Then ''Series/StargateUniverse'' comes, and we find out that the Alliance has its own tech geniuses who upgrade Goa'uld tech to stand up to Tau'ri tech, including the cool Asgard plasma beams that even the Ori couldn't handle. They freely use cloaking tech to infiltrate Earth and plant sabotage, as well as recruit [[ManchurianAgent Za'tarc]] agents.
* ''Series/TeenWolf'' has werewolf hunters, who can be extremely effective and deadly in their usage of modern weapons and technology. Stiles himself has even proven this from time to time, like when he pelted Peter Hale with concentrated acid. The fact that werewolves seemingly have a psychological block against using modern weapons themselves is never scrutinized too closely. Despite having been harassed by gun-toting hunters for much of his life, Derek himself never even considers using a gun until he is BroughtDownToNormal at one point. Although Scott averts it somewhat when he uses some of the Argent's flash-bang arrowheads to blind Deucalion in the season three finale. Further, as a former hunter herself, Kate Argent still kept the habit of using firearms after she turned into a werewolf.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' (Seventh Doctor) episode "Battlefield", retired Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart kills the [[BigBad Destroyer Of Worlds]] by simply walking up and shooting it in the chest with silver bullets.
** The reason The Brigadier had silver bullets was because when the Doctor had earlier warned him that the enemies he was facing were immune to bullets, the Brigadier pointed out that his troops were using armor piercing bullets, and then explained how the UNIT armory was well stocked in a wide variety of bullets to deal with any of the aliens they'd faced. Then the Doctor asked about silver bullets, and right after he left The Brigadier immediately called up the armory to send over a case of silver bullets.
*** This gets a callback in the new series' ''The Poison Sky''. The Sontarans are using a technical doohickey that affected the copper casings on UNIT ammo; the soldiers just switched to ammo with steel casings and tore them apart.
** Look at it this way: TheBrigadier was a British soldier who had personally faced down the most evil and terrifying things in the entire universe - the stuff of nightmares - and did not blink even once. That goes way beyond BadassNormal territory. The [[BigBad Destroyer Of Worlds]] never had a chance. There's a reason why he has [[TheBrigadier his own trope]].
** Defied in the special episode ''Dreamland'', when the Doctor tries to warn [[GeneralRipper Colonel Stark]] about the most likely betrayal of his [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Viperox]] allies. Stark immediately points out how absurd it seems that "an army a giant cockroaches" could defeat tanks and planes, but the Doctor replies by revealing the Viperox once defeated an alien species whose technology was ''1000 years ahead'' of Earth's. When Stark later pulls a HeelFaceTurn, his forces indeed prove ineffective against the Viperox.
** Becomes a RunningGag throughout "The Crimson Horror". The Doctor is prepared to do something clever, then one of the human companions solves the current problem.
--->'''The Doctor:''' Hang on, hang on, I've got a sonic screwdriver!\\
'''Clara:''' Yeah? I've got a chair!
* ''Series/{{Ultraviolet}}'' works on this, because modern technology means the "Code 5"'s - vampires - have to take a lot more care these days. The hunters are armed with the likes of gas grenades loaded with the active anti-vampire ingredient of garlic, and guns with video cameras (which, like mirrors, vampires don't appear in) and carbon rounds (like tiny, very fast stakes).
* ''Series/LostInOz'' uses this as Caleb holds the Wicked Witch at gunpoint. While she ''claims'' it can't kill her, it apparently can, as a new host for the Witch's soul is chosen soon after.
* In the ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' episode "The Sign of the Three", John and his fiancee Mary are trying to decide on table settings for their wedding reception while [[InsufferableGenius Sherlock]] sits in on the conversation. The former two leave the room for a few moments and return to discover that Sherlock has folded all of the cloth napkins into various origami figures. He at first attempts to explain how he did it with some mathematical {{Technobabble}} before admitting that he learned it on YouTube.
* In ''Series/TrueBlood'', it was the humans who created synthetic blood that finally allowed vampires to "come out of the coffin" and live alongside humans. The Vampire Authority's primary goal is "mainstreaming", getting all vampires to integrate into human society and convincing humanity that vampires are not their enemy. The Guardian, the head of the Council, is convinced that it's too dangerous for the vampirekind to antagonize humans, as humans outnumber vampires at least 1000 to 1, and the vampires have certain weaknesses (e.g. daylight/UV, silver, Hepatitis D) that humans know about and can exploit. In fact, when a Pentagon general arrives to the Authority's bunker to warn them not to mess with the US Government, he points out that the government (and, probably, all other world governments) has been preparing for a fight ever since vampires went public. There are anti-vampire weapons and tactics that would, most likely, ensure a human victory.
* ''Series/TheMagicians2016'':
** Battle magic is extremely powerful, but difficult to learn and harder to use, since it requires a very specific mindset that is hard to get into on demand. On Earth most magicians just use guns, and in Fillory they use swords and bows--though those might be enchanted, since magic is so ubiquitous there.
** [[MagicalAbortion Abortion magic]] exists, but it's centuries out of date due to even the most primitive muggle methods being better. Kady mentions that even the best abortion spell has a good chance of erasing the mother's uterus in addition to the fetus.
** While magical wards are common, after a certain point they become too complex for their own good. Alice's parents, two of the greatest magicians on Earth, have a perfectly normal electronic lock on their study.


[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* A frequent observation about the game system in ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'', where advanced technological weapons can seem to have a huge advantage over [[FunctionalMagic magic]] and [[PsychicPowers psionics]] in terms of rate of fire, range and number of shots. However, clever Game Masters might note that certain things, like the e-clips used to power most energy weapons, cannot always be easily recharged in the SchizoTech environment of Rifts Earth, where many locations are very primitive and do not even have ''electricity''! Likewise, getting repairs done on your PoweredArmor might not be possible in the middle of the wilderness.
* In the world of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', almost every army relies on technology so advanced it might as well be magic, or actual magic. The Imperial Guard, on the other hand, somehow (barely) hold back an implacable hive mind, undead killing machines, barbarous green savages, and magic-using traitors with just laser guns, tanks, and artillery. And infantry. [[WeHaveReserves Lots and lots of infantry]].
** Da Orks, strangely, are both Muggles Do It Better AND Wizards Do It Better. Despite using bullets, guns, tanks, and giant battle axes as their primary weapons - barely more advanced than what we have now - they can still kill just as good as any other race, and it is agreed that if the Orks were ever united, they would be able to walk over the rest of the galaxy. However, their technology runs on their [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve collective psychic powers MAKING it work by thinking it will]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'': Similar to the above-mentioned Imperial Guard, the Empire is constantly under attack by 8-foot-tall demon-worshipping vikings who wield huge weapons lesser men would struggle to even ''lift'', Nazi rat-men with machine-guns and flamethrowers, psychotic mutants who want to tear down civilisation out of spite, and vampire warlords with huge armies of walking undead. All they have is ordinary men with their sharpened steel, their primitive firearms and their faith in the gods. And somehow, against all odds, they hold.
* In ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'', part of the angst for the Wizened is that, yes, they have magic and it does spiffy things; the problem is that it's just not sustainable.
* Most ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' supernatural characters have this problem, given that magic and [[MadScientist mad science]] suffers from NoOntologicalInertia, while human technology does not. TheMasquerade and the equivalent dictates are in place partially because the supernaturals learned this.
** In ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'', this problem was deliberately caused and created by the Technocracy.
** ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' points out this trope in ''Hammer and Klaive'', the sourcebook detailing fetishes (magic items). Fetishes used by the more rural tribes tend to be flashy, ostentatious and straight-forward. The urban tribes, on the other hand, tend to go "Okay, we can find a wooden stick, inscribe it with a few glyphs and anoint it with sacred oils, bargain with a spirit of lightning and thus get something to point at people to kill them -- or we could go to the local gunshop to get the same thing for a couple bucks." As a result, the more modern werewolves engage in lateral thinking and use fetishes for purposes that ''can't'' be achieved technologically.
** In the ''Gehenna'' scenarios that involve the Masquerade being blown wide open, it's not uncommon for single squads of human soldiers armed with automatic weapons to take out thousands-year-old elder vampires whose cultural stagnation has kept them from adapting to the times. To wit; they're not so stupid or Luddite that they don't know what a gun ''is,'' it's just that guns didn't exist in a time when they were still young and didn't spend as much time as possible ignoring the world, so they have no idea how to practically handle such a threat in person. Escalation happens when the smarter vampires start taking action; for example, a Ventrue using Dominate to force the launch of nuclear missiles.
* Zigzagged in the ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' game ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening''. It's very much not "Muggles do it better", it's "Muggles ''screw up'' magical solutions". Part of what incenses the Diamond Order about the Lie is the fact that it forces muggles to rely on purely technological solutions when magic could do so much more. A fairly untalented Mage could easily cure AIDS or cancer, feed an entire village single-handedly, fix all sorts of genetic drawbacks, or create rare materials... but for two slight problems. The first? Seeing Supernal magic [[GoMadFromtheRevelation drives muggles insane]]. The second? Observation by a muggle [[AntiMagic destroys magic]]. So, a well-meaning Mage can cast "Cure Cancer" on TheLittlestCancerPatient... and all he does is drive them insane and give them maybe a few days more of life before their very soul unravels the spell and forces the cancers to come back. Tremendous power, but so very little opportunity to actually [[ReedRichardsIsUseless affect the world]] around them in any major, meaningful way: [[BlessedWithSuck this is some of the true horrors of being a Mage]].
** That said, some of the sourcebooks mention ways to get around this. One Legacy in ''Legacies: The Sublime'', the Transhumanist Engineers, have a little game they play: they use magic to build an Imbued device (something that doesn't set off the Lie), which works just a tad better than what we have now, and show it off to Sleepers. And then mention they ''really'' hope nobody beats them to market. After that, they just sit back and wait for the viciously competitive tech sector to figure out how to do it. If the muggles can't do it better ''now'', give them a little push.
** Subverting this is one of the main themes of the PeriodPiece sourcebook, ''Mage'' ''[[FilmNoir Noir]]'', set in the immediate aftermath of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Here, it's less 'Muggles do it ''better''' and more 'Muggles do it quicker, more efficiently, more consistently and with less of a chance of breaking if people think about it too hard.' (Medicine and the then-recent breakthroughs in antibiotics are the main example) Muggles ''can'' do it better, but it's a much rarer occurrence. (The prime example here being [[NukeEm the Atomic Bomb]].) There's even a whole Legacy, ''The Quiescent'', whose whole philosophy is 'Muggles can and are doing it better, so what right do we have to get in their way?' So, they strive to become as unnoticeable as possible and keep their magic as unnoticeable and as BoringButPractical as possible.
* ''TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression'', the ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' fan-game, subverts this trope. Sure the Inspired can make changes last forever (it's very hard though) and they've built some of the oldest still functioning machines in the world and ''anything'' muggle technology can do a Wonder can do better. Despite all this as a rule of thumb: as soon as mundane science reaches the point where it can do something only Wonders could do before, the Inspired start using the mundane solution (e. g. switching from a network of Apokalypsi-based 'communication nodes' to... just connecting to the Internet). Sure, the effects aren't as flashy, but mundane science doesn't [[NoOntologicalInertia fall apart]] or [[AIIsACrapshoot go berserk]] when not "fed" enough Mania, it can be maintained by regular people without causing GlamourFailure, it can be mass-produced easily. In short, Geniuses do it better, Muggles do it reliably.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'''s Autochthonia, this was made a basic point in the laws of physics of the world by [[EldritchAbomination Autochthon, its creator]]. While the Alchemical Exalted wield far more personal power than any muggle as the warrior champions of their people, Alchemicals lack Favored Abilities, which means muggles can become better at things much faster than them, and they are divinely forbidden from ever achieving a place in the gubernatorial hierarchy - not to mention only mortals can be blessed with the knowledge of how to make other Alchemicals by their patron god. This stands in stark contrast to most of the rest of the Exalted, which have an underlying theme of [[WhatMeasureIsANonSuper being better than puny little humans in every way and designed to be rulers and lords]].
** Though, Exalted lacks a clear division between magic and non-magic, anyway; unenlightened mortals are just so weak that they have no control over their Essence. On the other, other hand, the Solar Exalted, among the most powerful of Exalts, explicitly have powers that resemble the 'mortal' way of doing things (shooting arrows that hit you anywhere in the world and leaping over mountains instead of teleporting or firing blasts of fire), and are designed to win out against more obviously magical effects.
* The ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' adventure "The City Beyond the Gate" by Robert M. Schroeck, in ''Magazine/{{Dragon}}'' Magazine #100, where a {{PC}} party goes through a dimensional gate to modern day London, England. It's specifically stated that if the {{PC}}'s decide to fight it out with the British police and/or military that they'll be slaughtered, either immediately or after their magic runs out.
** On the other hand, some D&D material averts this trope. For example, one ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' novel states that the reason behind the Realms' FantasyGunControl is because magical resistances are all-encompassing. It doesn't matter if you're throwing a stone, firing a bow & arrow, or blazing away with a [[GatlingGood Vulcan mini-gun]], if there's no magical basis to it, then it won't even scratch someone under the effect of a Protection From Normal Missiles spell, though this only applied to older versions of the game and also ignores weapons like grenades, as explosive and fire attacks have always been away to bypass such effects.
* ZigZagged in the TabletopGame/D20Modern Urban Arcana setting. Obscuring mist? We have smoke grenades. Water breathing? We have scuba gear. Fireballs? Rocket launchers deal more damage. But at the same time, some magical effects are impossible to replicate with current mundane tech (ElectroMagneticPulse spell, spell that turns the traffic in your favor...) and others do the things that mortal tech does but better - that Water Breathing spell protects you against getting the bends and doesn't require you to keep a death-grip on a cumbersome breathing tank, for example.
* One ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' adventure involved a villainous plot to psychically link a dreaming EldritchAbomination to the collective unconscious of humanity, thus driving the world's entire population insane in its sleep. As a campaign-preserving failsafe, one of the proposed alternate endings was that, if the player characters couldn't stop the plot, it would indeed establish such a connection ... only to have [[TooSpicyForYogSothoth the abomination itself go insane]] because, while its own otherworldly mind was powerful, the minds of humans were equally-strange to it, and there are ''just so darned many'' humans on Earth that its psyche would be [[ZergRush overwhelmed by sheer numbers]]. Humanity, on the other hand, just has nightmares.
* In ''Tabletopgame/BattleTech'''s Clan Invasion, the invading Clans had even more powerful versions of the LostTechnology that the Inner Sphere spent 300 years trying to replicate, and had [[DesignerBabies genetically enhanced soldiers]] trained in TheSpartanWay from the day they were born. However, outside of their GeniusBruiser powered armor warriors, the Clans genetic enhancements were either nothing to write home about or were actually ''worse'' than their Inner Sphere counterparts in the case of the SpacePlane pilots. The Inner Sphere begins to rediscover [=LosTech=] and reverse-engineer Clan equipment, allowing them to catch up the Clans while the Clans were starting to stagnate; turns out KlingonScientistsGetNoRespect [[TheDogBitesBack doesn't bode well]] [[EnemyCivilWar for one's society]]
* In ''TabletopGame/ChuubosMarvelousWishGrantingEngine'', one of the running themes is that miraculous powers may change your life, but they won't necessarily make it ''better'' - Chuubo can get ice cream much more easily by buying it than by wishing for it, for example. On a mechanical level, the Knight Arcs Become Somebody and Allegory are extremely good at miraculous combat, with Become Somebody giving an [[AntiMagic Auctoritas]] to support you and Allegory straightforwardly letting mundane actions take on miracles - but in both cases the best way to shut them down is to simply apply a mundane action with a higher Intention level.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Any video game with a LevelEditor is just ''begging'' to [[InvokedTrope invoke this]], whether intentionally or not. Given enough time and a sizable fanbase, it's almost inevitable that fanmade content will eclipse anything the developers could think up. Of course, SturgeonsLaw still applies, so you might have to sift through the mediocrity to find the good stuff.
* ''Videogame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' makes Jedi not look as invincible as they are generally believed to be. Vibroblades are infused with cortosis, special ore that can resist lightsabers, which allows non-Jedi to fight a Jedi on equal terms, and blasters can still retain effectiveness even after acquiring force powers, especially in the sequel. Basically, although the Jedi still generally have an advantage, it's not a ForegoneConclusion.
--> '''Master Vrook:''' Nothing is more embarrassing for a Jedi than to be cut down by a stray blaster shot.
** HK-47 has a lengthy discussion with the Exile in [[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords the second game]] on how best to kill Jedi (if you earn enough Influence to unlock it). He particularly notes about how Jedi don't like to fight at range but, at the same time, can deflect regular blasters. SensoryOverload is the recommended tactic, because Jedi can't deflect it or isolate themselves from it in battle.
** In ''Videogame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' a Sith totally laughs off the Bounty Hunter character, as a force user 'cannot be defeated by some hired gun'. One short battle later and she's gasping on the floor, heavily injured. Indeed Bounty Hunters use plenty of mundane weapons that both Jedi and Sith are noted as weak to, such as close range fire attacks, explosives, and dart weapons. Appropriately, the Bounty Hunter is offered a chance to join the Mandalorians (see above).
** All of the player characters which are not Force-sensitive really, in some quests you get to fight force users and win, and one of the dialogue options you get is "The Force is overrated". Since when does [[PistolWhipping Stock Striking]] do more damage than a lightsaber strike?
* [[spoiler:The Bonus Ending]] of ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}''. [[spoiler:Turns out even the most skilled of dragon riders, atop one of the strongest dragons there could be, is little match for a squad of Japanese fighter jets, getting downed by a single missile]].
* An example of this pops up in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII''. The giant spider robot during the Dollet mission has been hounding your squad all the way down the mountain. You can't kill this thing, as it auto-repairs. All your superhuman strength, training, magic, Guardian Forces, and archaic weaponry cannot freaking stop this mechanical monster. [[ImplacableMan It just keeps coming.]] Then, you get to the beach, where Quistis is waiting in the gun turret of your hovercraft, manning a .50 caliber machinegun, and she ''tears'' the robot apart with nothing but [[MoreDakka intense, drawn out automatic fire.]]
** Late in the game, the party must board Lunatic Pandora, a floating obelisk with a shield around it. They get through the shield by flying their airship at it and shooting it a lot. They get through the wall by shooting more, until they've blown a hole through the side. The airship itself is one of three that were originally made for the sole purpose of dragging a sorceress into space so she couldn't harm the world any further; she was made docile enough for this to work by what amounts to cryogenic suspension.
** This trope is generally subverted in other Final Fantasy games. For example, in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' the Huge Materia Bomb is not sufficiently powerful enough to destroy the [[ColonyDrop meteor]]. It's zig-zagged in [=FF7=] with the [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever Weapons]] in plot scenes, however, where the Sister Ray does in fact have enough power to kill both Sapphire and Diamond Weapon; the former with a [[BoomHeadshot shot to the exposed head]], the latter, when upgraded with the Mako reactors in Midgar, was able to punch through Diamond Weapon and lose little to no actual power from the actual shot. On top of taking out two Weapons, the Sister Ray also tears down the barrier surrounding the [[VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon North Crater]] with the same shot it killed the Diamond Weapon with.
** Played straight in ''Videogame/FinalFantasyX'' however. The heroes never would have beaten Sin without the non-magical airship and WaveMotionGun. The only reason the gun can't be used beyond the initial stage of the fight is because its LostTechnology that [[BlackBox nobody actually knows how to maintain]].
** This trope generally holds true in ''Videogame/FinalFantasyTactics'' as well, thanks to the [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve Faith]] mechanic. A character with low Faith can't use magic well and beneficial spells are less effective when cast on them, but by the same token they also take less damage from magical attacks. Thus, wizards tend to get cut down pretty easily by faithless characters if not backed up with conventional weaponry.
** [[MadScientist Doctor]] [[AntiVillain Cid]] of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' embodies this trope. He was able to reverse-engineer nethicite, a magic-absorbing type of magicite gifted by the gods to their chosen, into weapons that harness nethicite's [[FantasticNuke destructive capabilities]] on a smaller scale. He also puts his artificial nethicite to use for peaceful purposes such as airship engines that function in Jagd. While he did have help from [[spoiler:Venat]], said entity is impressed with how much progress he's made with it in just six years. Turns of that [[spoiler:they're working together to end the influence of Venat's fellow [[JerkassGods Occuria]] on mortal affairs and the nethicite was their main tool for this purpose. Mortals being able to use nethicite freely strips the Occuria of that advantage]]. It even figures into his second boss fight as he is able to bind and summon an Esper with it.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' has the Garleans, a race of people that look like Hyurs (humans), but have a third "eye" on their forehead that prevents them from utilizing magic. What they lack in magic they make up for superior weaponry and technology.
* The SealedEvilInACan in ''VideoGame/ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'' was sealed because he was impossible to kill in his era, by mundane means or magic. Turns out perfectly ordinary UsefulNotes/WorldWarII-era guns -- and some less ordinary ones -- do the job just fine. He's not even a PuzzleBoss, [[DamageSpongeBoss it just takes a LOT of firepower to finally bring him down]].
** In fact, almost all of Ids games include some elements of this. VideoGame/{{Doom}}'s demonic invasion was basically slaughtered by one man using human made fire power, shotgun, rocket launcher, chainsaw, and BFG. VideoGame/{{Wolfenstein|2009}} remake had most of the interdimensional beings able to be killed by [=WW2=] era machine guns.
** ''VideoGame/{{Doom}} 3'' [[GameplayandStorySegregation averts in the story but plays it straight in the gameplay]], since the various bullet weapons can dispatch the various monsters just fine, and the little robot companions you can get will utterly slaughter any demon they see, yet [[FridgeLogic somehow]] the human forces [[CurbStompBattle were all quickly killed]]. Helps a bit that many of the staff were turned into zombies.
** History repeats itself in ''VideoGame/WolfensteinTheNewOrder'''s expansion, ''The Old Blood''-- the Monstrosity was an unstoppable beast of war, able to slaughter the invading Magyars by the thousands, and even the alchemists who created it could only seal it away in an underground vault. That was in 964 AD. In 1946? One man with an assault rifle kills it by shooting it in the mouth.
** In fact, beyond the ability to kill supernatural/otherworldly beings with mere guns, ''VideoGame/{{Wolfenstein}}'' demonstrably proves that StupidJetpackHitler is superior to the {{Ghostapo}}: all efforts by the occult branches of the SS end in abysmal failures, whilst Deathshead's advanced scientific arsenal eventually helps Nazi Germany ''conquer the world''.
** In ''Doom2016'', the Doomguy, called the [[NamestoRunAwayFrom the Doomslayer]], who only uses guns, a chainsaw, and his bare hands to literally tear demons apart, is seen by the demons as an [[Determinator unbeatable killing machine]] that the demons only stopped by dropping an entire temple on him.
* An example due to InUniverse TechnologyMarchesOn: Biotics in ''Videogame/MassEffect1'' were easier to turn into game breakers than other mechanics, and biotic characters are always both powerful and diverse enough to be a threat on the battlefield. In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', defenses were buffed after [[spoiler:Sovereign's destruction left Reaper tech lying around to salvage]] giving biotics significant trouble dealing with hardened armor, for which a Soldier with a big gun and anti-armor incendiary rounds is preferred.
* In ''VideoGame/DreamfallTheLongestJourney'', the [[AntiMagicEmpire Azadi Empire]] easily conquers a large chunk of Arcadia despite many magic-wielders opposing them by using {{Magitek}} and old-fashioned cold steel. It's implied it has more to do with their [[KnightTemplar zealotry]] and organization, as they are made out to be the most militarily organized power in that world. Marcuria is just a mercantile city-state, which is already suffering from an invasion by TheHorde, and said Horde is hardly the organized power that the Azadi are.
* In ''VideoGame/FableII'', we discover that the Heroes' Guild was wiped out by muggles shortly after guns were invented, because good Heroes were no longer necessary and evil Heroes were no longer worth the hassle (although it's stated most of the good Heroes were unarmed/didn't fight back).
* ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' has [[BadassNormal Jeff]] [[TeenGenius Andonuts]], who uses home-made bombs and rockets to make up for his lack of [[PsychicPowers PSI]], and the weapons he cobbles together from junk can cause more damage than the PSI his allies wield.
** Lloyd from [[VideoGame/{{MOTHER1}} the prequel]] may also count: A pint-size and weak nerd who takes down [[HopelessBossFight an undefeatable]] huge robot with a ''[[TankGoodness tank]]''. Not to mention Teddy, who is the [[BadassNormal strongest of the party members]].
* At first glance, it might seem like ''VideoGame/RiseOfLegends'' plays magic and technology fairly equally, but then you realize that one of the factions uses SufficientlyAdvancedTechnology and, in the game's plot, curbstomps the current tech and magic users.
* A major theme of ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura'' is that sufficient amounts of one cancel out the other. Guns jam in a wizard tower, but spells fail to work in towns with steam engines and industries. Part of why this is a big issue is because technology is much easier to use and lends well towards the kind of ubiquity you'd never see out of mages.
** The best mechanic example of this is healing. Healing potions and spells require you to ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve - the more character is bent toward magic, the better the results. On the other hand, conventional medicine and pharmacology works for everyone - even mages - on the same, constant and efficient rate.
* In the Franchise/{{Nasuverse}} many "True Magics" have been lost due to the continued growth of technology. True Magics are defined as an act of magecraft that cannot be duplicated by mundane means. Before the twentieth century flight could be considered a True Magic, but ceased to be such once airplanes were invented. Even outside of True Magic, the inherent danger and limitations of magecraft mean that the mundane approach is often safer and easier.
** For a direct example, in ''Literature/FateZero'' Kiritsugu largely bases his fighting around normal human weaponry. Mages are pretty much all completely scornful of technology and thus dismiss it completely. Kayneth is utterly shocked when Kiritsugu [[spoiler:pierces through his magic barrier with a high caliber bullet]] and vows to use his full strength to block the next one. [[spoiler:Which is actually when Kiritsugu uses magic to win, but still.]] Apart from this, magical familiars used for spying are pretty easy to detect and and be fooled by illusions, but you can neither find nor trick a mundane camera with magic.
*** This trope is subverted when it comes to Servants, who can typically move so fast that normal humans can't see them. Mages believe that only a Servant can defeat a Servant, and by and large that's true with almost anytime a human is forced to face a Servant, they lose. Badly. The only exceptions have been the result of very strong magic for a human, or the human managing to exploit a weakness of the Servant.
** A subtler example would be [[spoiler:Kuzuki Souichirou]] in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. After becoming a Master, he simply continues with his daily routine while his Servant does the job; coupled with his lack of Magic Circuits, this allows him to pass undetected by enemy Masters and Servants alike. When it comes to fighting, he takes advantage of the [[ConfusionFu surprise factor]] and tries to [[CombatPragmatist kill as swiftly as possible]]. Finally, he's not above [[KnowWhenToFoldThem retreating]] when things go bad.
*** [[spoiler: Kuzuki]] zigzags this trope since he's only strong enough to pose a threat to a Servant because [[spoiler: his own Servant Caster uses her magic to make him strong enough. Without her help, Kuzuki was killed by Archer almost immediately.]]
* In the ''VideoGame/SpyroTheDragon1998'', the last and hardest of the standard enemies you fought were not the magicians, not magical beasts, but Gnorcs wielding grenades and machineguns.
* An amusing scene from ''VideoGame/{{Scribblenauts}}: Unlimited'' plays out like this. You are told to equip an adventuring party for battle with a dragon, including a knight, ranger, wizard, and cleric. No matter what you equip them with, they will attack the dragon in sequence, only to pull out [[MoreDakka bazookas]] and blast it the dragon to pieces.
* In MultiplayerOnlineBattleArena games, mage-type characters are often out-[=DPSed=] in lategame by "carries" with their normal attacks. But also subverted in that the high DPS is usually achieved with the aid of buffs from spells and magical items.
* ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'', alongside its many superheroes and villains, has normals like Chris Redfield, Frank West, Hawkeye and Haggar. In this case muggles really ''do'' do it better, because Phoenix Wright - a human lawyer with no powers whatsoever - has the most powerful Hyper Combo in the game.
* In ''VideoGame/SagaFrontier2'', Spell Arts and enchanted weapons of wood and stone have traditionally dominated the battlefield. Along comes UnSorcerer Gustave XIII, who decides to get around the limitations of his disadvantaged birth by training in the use of Weapon Arts and steel weapons, and later creates military units who are so equipped. The resulting steel soldiers cannot use magic, but as steel [[AntiMagic resists magic]], they are nearly immune to it in turn, and the mundane superiority of steel over stone leads to a horrible [[CurbStompBattle curbstomping]] of anyone not so equipped.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBrosBrawl'', there are combatants who can use their bare fists, magic, and summons to aid them in battle. And then you have [[Franchise/MetalGear Snake]], one of the strongest fighters who uses military explosives for most of his attacks.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarships'' (of all things) referenced this trope in their promotional release for the tier III British battleship the Bellerophone. It notes that the battleship would have slain the Chimera way faster than her namesake because the original Bellerophone was just a demigod in bronze armor riding a magic horse where the HMS Bellerophone has several inches of steel armor and twelve inch guns.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'', you can use your badass powers - such turning your fists into claws or wrecking balls, shapeshifting, and super-strength powerful enough to make people explode into LudicrousGibs by ''fist-bumping yourself'' within ten feet of them - to slaughter the defenses of your objectives before tearing them down brick by brick. Or, you can just hijack a [[GameBreaker helicopter]] and [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim just shoot the objective until it dies]] in total safety, and then fly around and destroy every Infected Hive and military base within, oh, half an hour. Helicopters are ''so'' overwhelmingly powerful and effective (especially given the Infected have no real anti-air power) that it's kind of inexplicable that the military has so much trouble getting anything done.
** It's telling that, outside of a small handful of missions, ''VideoGame/Prototype2'' doesn't give you the ability to fly helicopters until the very end of the game. Stealing tanks and other military hardware is still often the most effective way of dealing with anything though.

* ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'': Each major playable attorney has a way to detect lies - for instance, Phoenix Wright has a Magatama, an amulet that detects whether people are forcibly hiding something, Apollo Justice has an inherited trait to be very sensitive to nervous tics, which inevitably happen when someone's lying, and Athena Cykes is [[TheEmpath extremely sensitive to the emotional tone of people's voices]] and uses a small computer to help process the information. Miles Edgeworth, on the other hand, only uses [[MundaneMadeAwesome Logic]], yet he's no less effective than Phoenix, Apollo, and Athena, whose methods are closer to (and are, in Phoenix's case) supernatural.

* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' parodies how ''Literature/HarryPotter'' uses this trope, by having Torg take on a Voldemort {{Expy}} and his gaggle of Death Eaters [[http://sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/20080425 with a shotgun]].
** He also realizes that all the safeguards on the Goblet of Flameyness don't stop them from tampering [[http://sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/20080402 "Muggle Style."]]
** In another storyline [[spoiler:Sam]], a human who recently became a vampire and turned to killing other vampires, demonstrated that although vampires cannot enter houses uninvited, getting the invitation with a gun works too [[note]]He knocks on the door and shoots the person who answers in the thigh with a pistol, then holds up a MedKit. "Can I come in?" [[/note]]. The funny part? He's the dumbest recurring character, yet no other vampire had ever thought of that.
* ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=457 shows]] what to do with those pesky [[GeometricMagic magic circles]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Endstone}}'' did more or less the [[http://endstone.net/comic/5-15/ same thing as the above example]]
* ''Webcomic/HarryPotterComics'' enjoys pitting magic vs. technology. Neither side wins regularly. It also features several villains (and later heroes) who have enhanced Muggle equipment with magical enchantments.
** It did factor in to defeating one half of the BigBadDuumvirate: [[spoiler: Mohammad is killed by a sub-machine gun blast to the head. Whether or not he'd stay dead is rendered moot when his body was raised by the other half of the Duumvirate, The Necromancer.]]
* Inverted in an earlier ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' strip where a demon is destroying a town right off panel;
-->'''Random Citizen #1:''' Look out, he's using '''laser eye-beams!'''
-->'''Random Citizen #2:''' But we haven't '''invented''' lasers yet!
-->'''Demon:''' '''WE HAVE.'''
* ''[[AntiHeroSubstitute Johnny]] [[http://johnnysaturn.com Saturn]]'' has this as a theme before the plot moves along to him [[MidSeasonUpgrade getting cool gear.]]
-->''"Unorthodox small puncture weapon. Treat as knife fighter."''
* A variation occurs in ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup". Because the Chachas were created to fight the Archmage, they're perfect for combating magic in any form. However, against a non-magical attack, they're completely helpless.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has this in a pretty big way. The trolls are a race with technology that far surpasses ours, are more durable, stronger and faster, and some of them even have psychic powers. The first set of players [[spoiler:(the Beforan trolls)]] failed miserably due to teen drama and being wholly unprepared to take on Sgrub, so [[spoiler:[[TheDragon Doctor Scratch]] conditioned the post-scratch troll race, molding [[CrapsackWorld Alternia]] and the trolls into the psychotic, bloodthirsty and violent race that they are so that they are ready to take on Sgrub. ]] It mostly works, with the second set of players [[spoiler:(the Alternian trolls)]] succeeding in beating the game and [[spoiler:creating a viable universe in the form of Bilious Slick, which is the universe that the beta kids hail from.]] Then, we have our four humans, ordinary everyday kids without any special powers. Although they have a bit of a rough start, they quickly blitz through the game, [[spoiler:with all four reaching god tier, Jade and Dave creating a viable Genesis tadpole that isn't inherently flawed like Bilious Slick, John retrieving the Tumor from the battlefield, the Scratch being initiated and ALL FOUR players escaping the scratch successfully.]] And it's implied that they did all this [[spoiler:IN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS.]]
** In fact, had it not been for [[spoiler:[[BigBad Lord English's]] interference and the fundamentally broken nature of their universe which caused their session to [[GoneHorriblyWrong go off the rails spectacularly]]]], they could have very well succeeded.
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'':
** This is [[http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=2227 discussed]] by what is probably the most powerful character around :
--->'''Pandora''' : Why ''not'' make magic available to everyone? ''A thousand years ago'', I could see the point of restricting it! Armies powered by ''magic'' against ''swords and arrows?'' I can see a problem with ''that''. '''NOW?''' Humans have '''GUNS! EXPLOSIVES! INTERCONTINENTAL BALLISTIC MISSILES!''' Magic is ''exotic and scary'', but any random fool with a ''gun'' can still best a wizard!
** This is tragically called back to when [[spoiler: the Aberration "Scarf" tries to [[http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=2443 use a handgun]] to kill her son while he's distracted, forcing her to break immortal law to save him]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/TheSalvationWar'': This is pretty much the entire theme of the work. Humans have modern day technology. Demons have superpowers like [[MadeOfIron superhuman strength]], [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever huge size in some cases]], and [[DemonicPossession limited mind control]], but they have Bronze Age technology. Humans are pretty quick to figure out [[MoreDakka how to counter]] the superpowers. It goes [[CurbStompBattle very badly]] for the demons. Angels have better superpowers than demons, so they pose more of a threat to human armies, [[spoiler:but they still lose]].
** Just to give you an idea how much better the human weapons are than the demonic armies [[spoiler:in the first battle 440,000 demons marched against a prepared group of a few (unnumbered) thousands of humans. 600 human lives were lost. Only 300 demons '''[[CurbStompBattle survived]]'''.]]
** The commander of the demonic invasion force performs a HeelFaceTurn after a group of men in plain suits show him a little video titled [[spoiler:[[NukeEm The Manhattan Project]]]].
*** [[spoiler:He began to change sides when humans showed mercy and didn't eradicate him and his family, something neither he nor his overlords who sent them all to die in disgrace expected. He'd heard humans speaking of some weapon they were afraid of themselves, but it was the video that explained what they were afraid of and why, and showed him that the humans could have slaughtered his forces ''at will'' and had just been playing with him.]]
* In the Wiki/SCPFoundation, almost every anomaly in contained securely with nothing but discipline, organization, and ordinary technology, and although some require higher tech or other anomalies to hold or keep secret, it's still a struggle of ordinary humans to use their humanity and tools to overcome the supernatural(or just plain natural, but secret from the public).
* {{Justified}} in the fight against the [[HeroKiller Slaughterhouse Nine]] in ''{{Literature/Worm}}''. [[spoiler:Their ringleader, Jack Slash, has a secondary thinker power designed to interact with other people's powers, telling him what they're doing and when. When he's fighting capes, he personally cannot lose. Until an unpowered police officer with a containment foam gun enters the fray and blindsides him.]]
* The "Dragon Slayers", the bogeyman of the mutant world in the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'', turns out to be a team of seven highly-trained U.S. [[SemperFi Marines]] with complicated tactics but standard weaponry.
** And in one Team Tactics training sim during winter term, Team Kimba (with uber-mage Fey, FlyingBrick Lancer, and PersonOfMassDestruction Tennyo) gets slaughtered by conventional forces who use sniper rifles, regular soldiers with machine guns, and some surface-to-air missiles for Tennyo.
* In the ''WebVideo/PotterPuppetPals'', they [[spoiler:resort to killing Voldemort by using machine guns.]]
** Voldemort also apparently kills them all with a pipe bomb.
* The Website/{{Cracked}} video [[http://www.cracked.com/video_18244_why-harry-potter-universe-secretly-terrifying.html Why The Harry Potter Universe Is Secretly Terrifying]] discuses, among other FridgeLogic aspects of the books, why it was stupid not to inform the {{Muggle}} governments about the danger Voldemort posed to the world.
-->'''Bowie:''' Because you fight fire with fire. Wizards are supernatural. What help is a Muggle going to be?\\
'''Swaim:''' Thereís a bunch of us and we have helicarriers and assault rifles. We killed Hitler, Hussein, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Houdini]]. You think we canít nuke [[HeWhoMustNotBeNamed Volter-man]] into next week?\\
'''Willers:''' He has ''limitless'' dark power.\\
'''Swaim:''' That he has to aim through a wand. We can shoot people with a thousand rockets from space!... With iPhones.
* In ''[[WebAnimation/HowItShouldHaveEnded How Harry Potter Should Have Ended]]'', Snape [[spoiler:kills Voldemort with a gun.]] Then, after his utterly muggle-like victory, he uses a magical time-turner to [[spoiler:go back to when Voldemort was a young orphan named Tom Riddle being introduced to the existence of magic by Dumbledore, so that he can kill him way back then and ''none'' of the deaths will ever have happened in the first place.]]
* [[http://da-valdez.deviantart.com/art/Badass-Harry-Potter-168189466 This]] ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' fanart.
* Linkara from ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'', frequently criticizes this trope with bad Batman stories, because the cases where it appears allow this trope by depicting characters WITH powers as outright incompetent to make Batman look better. He also invokes this with his ''Top 15 Things That Are Wrong with ComicBook/IdentityCrisis'' video, where in the fight with Deathstroke, he notes that he's standing still for most of it while taking on the whole Justice League. In his words: "This is the part where you take yourself out of the story and realize that a sniper rifle would be more effective than flashy superpowers, and in story about superheroes, we really shouldn't be thinking that."
* Shown clearly in [[https://youtu.be/3xQFo9-RcFw?t=12 It Came From Tumblr 3:]]
-->'''Knight!Medic:''' This Hell-armour of mine has been enchanted to reflect any blade, arrow, or mace!
-->'''Elf!Scout:''' What about a gun?
-->'''Knight!Medic:'''The fuck's a gun-''[[KilledMidSentence BLAM]]''
* In the ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' "Cell vs." shorts, Cell has to face multiple opponents with various abilities. The only one to completely and absolutely win is [[Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar Kenshiro]], who simply [[CombatPragmatist attacked him with pressure point strikes while he was distracted]] with [[YourHeadAsplode the usual results of Kenshiro's fights]]-''twice''. Not even ''ComicBook/{{Deadpool}}'' could match it, as Cell managed to kill him multiple times...


[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Done quite a bit in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}''. Humans have always been a risk to the gargoyles because of how vulnerable they are to being smashed during the day [[TakenForGranite when they're stone]].
** In the first episode, after being awakened from their thousand year sleep, the Manhattan clan faced off and lost against a group of well-armed human mercenaries. A human holding Hudson at gunpoint notes that he doesn't know what Hudson is, but he isn't bulletproof, which Hudson agrees with.
** In a later episode taking place on the island containing the offspring of the Greek Gods, they note that the invisibility shield won't hide them from humans much longer because of the advancement of human technology.
** Another episode, taking place on the island Avalon, a wizard who now had an extreme amount of magical power and the power to travel through time, the first thing he warned his younger self was that taking over the world would not be easy because human technology of the late 20th Century rivals the most powerful magic (the wizard in the question is from the Middle ages). In fact, the reason he wants to make Avalon his launching point is that it cannot be reached by non-magical means.
** Curses are shown to be written with nigh-impossible "escape" conditions, even with magic; ("They shall sleep till the castle rises above the clouds" and "They shall be stone till the sky burns"). Turns out technology ([[{{Fiction 500}} and loads of cash]]) can do many things that were thought impossible to the curse writers. (Move the castle on top of a skyscraper and set the sky on fire by dispersing flammable gas).
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Amon explicitly says that modern technology now allows any non-bender to go toe-to-toe with a bender, thanks to the spiffy taser gloves his men have invented. In practice, though, a bender still has the advantage at range (they haven't moved up to guns).
** Subverted due to most electricity in the city being produced by fire benders working in electrical plants.
** Another example is how the Bender police, Metal benders trained as elite cops, were wiped out in a CurbStompBattle by non-benders piloting [[MadScience Giant Mechs]].
** However, the non-benders have been able to win most of their battles against the benders by either closing the gap or exploiting [[LogicalWeakness the weaknesses of elements]].
** Subverted when [[EldritchAbomination Vaatu]] shows up [[spoiler:and fuses with [[ArcVillain Unalaq]] to become the Dark Avatar. An entire army throwing bending and weapons at him does nothing.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'' continues the general theme of the movie, the heroes constantly using technology to fight supernatural threats - successfully - time and again.
** This is played with in the episode "The Collect Call of Cathulhu" (Yes, [[TyopOnTheCover the name is misspelled]], something that the DVD collection even commented on.) Normally, muggles ''cannot'' face Cthulhu itself without being driven insane. However, the Ghostbusters were somehow able to do so. WordOfGod suggested that this was because they faced horrifying monsters on a regular basis, and the beast really wasn't ''that'' much worse by comparison.
* In a ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' sketch, [[WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers the Planeteers]] become {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s, and decide that since the US government is the world's second biggest polluter, they'll perform a coup, take over, and use the might of the US military to force the world into being more environmentally friendly. When Captain Planet refuses to go along with this, they use their powers to brutally murder him. We then cut to a news report about the Planeteers ruthlessly storming the US Capitol building... until all of them were shot in the back by a single overweight security guard.
** Another skit had [[WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs Gargamel]] finding the Smurf village, not with his great magic, but with Google Maps.
** And yet another has some nerds playing a pen-and-paper RPG. One posits an alternative means to killing a werewolf: [[ChunkySalsaRule using a gatling gun to reduce it to paste, cooking and then ]]''[[ChunkySalsaRule snorting ]]''[[ChunkySalsaRule the paste, then defecating whatever's left and letting the sewage treatment system have its turn.]] The game master stubbornly insists that a silver bullet is still necessary.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'''s "Woodland Critter Christmas" special, the Woodland Critters have the powers of Hell at their hands, ready to bring back the Anti-Christ. How does [[ItMakesSenseInContext Santa]] beat them? With a 12-gauge shotgun.
* Here's a case of NiceJobBreakingItHero that almost got the heroes killed. In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries'', Aladdin and Jasmine went on a secret covert mission to infiltrate [[KnightOfCerebus Mozenrath's]] castle, but did ''not'' ask for Genie's help, or even tell him about it. Genie found out what they were doing, and wondered why they would do something so dangerous on their own. (Mozenrath is ''definitely'' not someone you mess with without some serious backup.) So he followed them anyway, and as it turned out, Aladdin and Jasmine had the right idea. The dark wizard had upgraded his security with an anti-magic focus specifically with Genie in mind, so the two realized that their best chance of success would be to not use magic - or magical beings - at all. Genie's presence quickly gave them away, and they barely escaped. The one good thing to come out it was, he learned he had to start trusting them more.
* Zigzagged in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars''. Individual Jedi are presented being more of a threat than a group of battle droids or clone troopers, but the whole problem of having so few Jedi, as shown in the prequel films, does mean that the clone troopers have enough of an advantage to win a full-scale war. However, even if a character is a BadassNormal, fighting a Jedi nearly always ends in them losing.