->''"Fun fact about Voodoo, Larry... can't conjure a thing for myself."''
-->-- '''Doctor Facilier''', ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog''

Strangely often, the magician, witch, wizard, [[ReligionIsMagic cleric]], EvilSorcerer, MadScientist, [[AnAdventurerIsYou support class]], etc. have the ability to bestow strange and amazing transformations, alterations, [[MagicAndPowers powers]] and [[MagicEnhancement enhancements]] on other people, for whichever reason, but are unable to use this ability to directly benefit themselves.

This is a plot device and a video game balancing mechanic: it means the enchanter/caster/[[VideoGame/CityOfHeroes Defender]]/whatever requires other people to move things along, and prevents him from [[GameBreaker making everything trivial]] [[StoryBreakerPower with his own power]].

Exceptions can result in a very powerful character.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'':
** Josuke has the power to restore anything and everything to a previous state... except himself.
** In the same part, [[spoiler:Yoshikage Kira]] gains a power called [[spoiler:Bites the Dust]], which will automatically kill anyone who uncovers his real name. Since he's trying to hide from the heroes, it's extremely useful. However, the power must be "set" on someone, and since it requires removing [[spoiler:Killer Queen]] from himself to set it, [[spoiler:Kira]] can't make himself the focal point.
* At one point in ''Manga/MaouJouDeOyasumi'', the princess tries casting a high level sleep spell on herself. It knocks out everyone in the castle ''except'' her.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The deformed mutant Masque, from the MarvelUniverse, has the power to alter anyone's facial features, save for his own. This served to the irony that he couldn't fix his own deformed appearance, leading to [[FreudianExcuse bitterly and sadistically]] deforming other Morlocks to enforce loyalty. Later appearances avert this into full on VoluntaryShapeshifting territory.

* It's mentioned in the setting guide for FanFic/RainbowDoubleDashsLunaverse that voodoo practicioners can never be affected by their own powers, for good or ill. They can, however, work magic on each other. This is hinted to be because voodoo runs heavily on ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve (it's more effective on those who believe in it, for one thing), and obviously you can't truly fool yourself.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* As per the page quote, the [[EvilSorcerer witch doctor]] Facilier in ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'' mentions this as a reason he has to work his schemes through others. However, his living shadow can manipulate objects for him, and he can cast illusions that affect other people to further his own goals, so long as it's what they think they want.
* In ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' and its sequels/spin-off TV series, the Genie's power is much greater when granting wishes for others than when doing things for himself. The former lets him wield "super-phenomenal cosmic power", while the latter only lets him use "semi-phenomenal nearly-cosmic power." One really powerful individual with chaos powers was described as a "genie who could grant his own wishes." This character provokes an OhCrap from Genie. Since Genie is a free genie, technically everything he does is for himself rather than granting the wishes of others, which explains why he is weaker.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Maleficent}}'' can shapeshift other creatures but not herself.
* The Fairy Godmother in ''Film/TheSlipperAndTheRose'' can't use her magic to do things for herself.

* In the book ''Literature/TheCandyShopWar,'' magicians can't usually use their magic on themselves for a number of reasons. The most prominent is that magic works better on the young, and by the time you're old enough to understand magic, you're not a kid anymore.
* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'', it was mentioned that the only thing the wizards couldn't magically improve- even after they started recieving power from [[RealityWarper the Sourcerer]]- was themselves (or at least, not for more than a few seconds).
* In the ''Spellsong Cycle'' by Creator/LEModesittJr, magicians cannot cast magic on themselves. They can, however, cast magic on ''each other''.
* In Creator/PatriciaCWrede's ''Literature/EnchantedForestChronicles'', Herbert (the grandson of the ''Enchanted Forest Chronicles'' version of Rumpelstiltskin) can spin straw into gold for other people, not himself.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series the Aes Sedai cannot use their powers (mostly Healing) on themselves. This is explained by the magic needing to be "weaved" and "applied" to someone. In this way its impossible to to lay a weave upon yourself as you would be unable to properly see it. It's a pity they couldn't use mirrors or bend light or something to get around that ... other than that, it's a pretty consistent rule: there's an anecdote about an Aes Sedai whose mental block (Wilders often acquire these when learning to keep a lid on their powers on their own) was that she couldn't touch the Source with her eyes open. Naturally, this made her rather ineffective.
* Inverted with Feruchemists from ''Franchise/{{Mistborn}}''. Their EquivalentExchange-based powers only work on ''themselves'' - Feruchemy can't be used directly to alter someone else's abilities. Feruchemy's sister magic system Allomancy is similar, though it has some "external" powers that work on others, while the third system in the triad, [[BloodMagic Hemalurgy]] can power up ''anyone'' so long as the person actually performing it is willing to [[PoweredByAForsakenChild pay the price]].
* ''Literature/TrappedOnDraconica'': Erowin can't use her healing power on herself. [[TheBrute Mordack takes note.]]
* This is the last obstacle to [[spoiler: becoming an orah]] in ''Literature/TheQuestOfTheUnaligned''. You can never take [[spoiler: light magic]] for yourself, only give it to someone else.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** In early editions of , some monsters (archdevils, efreeti and noble djinn) could grant another character's wishes, but not wish for things themselves.
** On the other hand, most "actual buffs" can be applied to anyone, including the caster. Many are even caster-only! This is part of why [[GameBreaker a well-built spellcaster can take the place of a full party]].
** A few bardic music abilities can only be used on other members of the party but not on the Bard himself, mostly because he's busy singing/playing/reciting to activate them and can't act otherwise at the same time. Other have lingering effects, however, and a Bard can thus use them on himself.
* Inverted in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'': casting a spell on oneself is always easier than casting it one someone else. For example casting a protective Mage Armor spell requires two points in any of the Arcana, but casting the same spell on someone else requires three points. Done away with in 2e: Mages no longer require having a higher level arcanum to target others with their spells.
* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', the creatures nicknamed "lords" by the players buff all other creatures of a certain species/class but don't buff themselves. This was actually averted in the early days of Magic, but players kept forgetting that it applied to the lord, leading Wizards to change the design.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Charmed}}'', witches cannot use magic for personal gain. If they try, the world will twist it against them, or outright delete the results. This only applies to [[BeingGoodSucks good-aligned witches]], enforced by ThePowersThatBe. In the PostScriptSeason comic series an incident renders humans magical and witches powerless and the empowered humans can freely use magic for any whim. Evil witches can do pretty much whatever they want, something the protagonists regularly lament, but they usually [[EvilIsSterile have to steal the power to do so from forces of good]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/WarCraftIII'' has Holy Light and Death Coil, very powerful healing spells which can only be used on other units. (Though to compensate, the Paladin can become invulnerable and the Death Knight can absorb the health of a nearby friendly unit.) Some spells also don't work on the caster (but do if from another caster) like Invisibility and Anti-Magic Shell.
* Mostly averted in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', any spell which can buff a target can buff the caster (indeed some default to buffing the caster if there is no target).
** A few exceptions exist where the caster can only cast a buff on someone else, but the effects of the buff also benefit the caster. One example would be [[http://www.wowhead.com/spell=54646 Focus Magic]], which increases the target's CriticalHit chance by 3%, and when they score one increases your own. A fairly common variant is a spell cast on the casters minion by default that directly or indirectly benefits the caster as well. And then there's the Paladin's Hand of Sacrifice, which transfers damage from someone else to the Paladin. Even when Glyphed to remove the "To the paladin" part or when used by Retribution Paladins for it's second effect of dispelling debuffs, it can't be cast on the Paladin themselves.
** With the introduction of Deathknights, Death Coil returns as a spell that can be used to damage enemies or heal friendly undead, most commonly the Deathknights Ghoul minion. However, they can temporarily become undead themselves and use this spell to heal themselves.
** the Shadow Hunter's ultimate spell is BigBadVoodoo, which turns every friendly unit in range invulnerable except the caster. Meaning that for the duration of the spell, the enemy can ''only'' attack him.
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' naturally has the support powersets mainly only able to buff others, though some can also buff themselves; sometimes while debuffing or damaging enemies in the process, sometimes in a power that affects all of their teammates, including themselves. The reasons for this are obvious; even two buffers looking after each other can be a very effective team.
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', while the Medic can't heal or buff himself with his Medigun, doing so still boosts his own regeneration rate; additionally, when Ubered, both himself and his Uber target(s) are invincible.
** Very slightly averted with the Kritzkrieg, which allows the Medic to heal himself with the taunt, although it's much slower than the usual healing rate and leaves him wide open to attacks. However, its Ubercharge effect completely plays this straight since the Medic cannot take advantage of it.
** The Engineer benefits less from his dispenser than other classes, as metal generation is limited while ammo is not, even though the two are interchangeable when it comes to picking up dropped weapons and ammo boxes.
* In ''VideoGame/ShadowHeartsCovenant'', Lucia's oils will affect the three other party members but not her. In Shadow Hearts: From The New World, Ricardo's songs work the same way.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', Sabin can use his "Mantra" and "Spiraler" Blitzes to heal his teammates, but not himself (using Spiraler actually kills him).
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' most buffs are usable on any party member (and some even on people outside the party), but there are a few exceptions. The Arcanist skill Eye for an Eye for example can only be cast on another, although Scholars can subvert this by spreading the buff to everyone in range with Deployment Tactics. Similarly, the Astrologian ability Time Dilation, which increases the duration of Astrologian-cast buffs, cannot be cast on the user.
* ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'':
** Flonne has a skill named "[[LoveFreak Power of Love]]", which recovers the HP of her allies, but not her own.
** Other spells in the game can be cast on anyone of the player's choosing, including damaging spells and debuffs. You and your allies are most definitely NOT FriendlyFireproof.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' introduces Heal Pulse, which heals a target other than the user. It's made for double battles. Which does nothing to abate the guilt when a wild Audino spams it on you while you're [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential beating the crap out of the poor thing for precious EXP]].
* In ''VideoGame/MiniRobotWars'', the [[TheMedic Fixer Bot]] can heal all minirobot units around her, but not herself.
* In ''[[Website/GaiaOnline zOMG!]]'', the strongest and most stamina-effective heal is Wish... which can't be used on the user. Previously, this was also the case with Rock Armor, which has since been changed.
* The Medkit of ''VideoGame/XCOMUFODefense'' is a remarkable device. It allows a medical novice to diagnose and treat any injury. Oddly, though it isn't possible to point this medical marvel at your own leg, only at other people.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' (and most games in the franchise) staffs can't heal the user, except the Balmwood Staff, which has to be used as an item to do so. The Rally skills are especially egregious: you can potentially boost everyone in the team EXCEPT the user.
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemFates Fates]]'' averts staffs not healing the user with a skill from the [[BattleButler Butler]][=/=][[NinjaMaid Maid]] called "Live To Serve" which restores the healer's HP based on the amount of HP restored to the recipient. And with reclassing, healers that can get the class can regain lost HP. This is also the extent of [[{{Kitsune}} Kaden]]'s personal skill which recover half HP to the healer.
** Some games in the series are particularly egregious about this trope, though; ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade'' and ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'', for example, contain staffs that heal ''everyone else'' on the battlefield ''except'' the user.
* In ''VideoGame/EternalSonata'', Claves' only healing move, Unicorn Horn, cannot target herself. (By contrast, Polka starts with a move that ''can'' target herself if there's no party member in the vicinity who needs it more. She later learns Earth Heal, which cannot target her, but it only takes a Light Special Move slot if you choose to put it there. Most other healing move don't have this limitation... particularly the ones that heal all.)
* In ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies2ItsAboutTime'', the Glitter Zombie's rainbow trails will affect all zombies that aren't herself or other Glitter Zombies. A damn good thing too, as said rainbow trails make all zombies within ''completely damn [[NighInvulnerability invulnerable to damage]] and slowing/stunning effects''.
* A similar instance in ''VideoGame/IronBrigade'', where the Jacobs Tubes can shield all nearby grounded [[{{Mooks}} Tubes]] around it to make them NighInvulnerable, but thankfully can't shield themselves or other Jacobs.
* ''VideoGame/StarCraftI'': the Arbiter passively cloaks nearby friendly units, but remains visible itself, even two Arbiters won't work.
* ''VideoGame/EmpireEarth'': Both types of hero unit have an ability that only works on other units and not themselves: the Warrior hero causes friendly units to take half damage, while the Strategist heals them. However, they are immune to their and each other's effects, though they have very high health, regeneration and can still be healed at a hospital to make up for it.
* In ''VideoGame/PAYDAYTheHeist'', players can equip "crew bonuses" to, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin provide bonuses to their crew]] -- things like increased health, damage, ammo capacity, et cetera. Since these bonuses only apply to the player's crewmates and not the player himself, the meta is for a full four-man crew to have two players equip one bonus and the other two equip another, so the full crew can benefit from both bonuses.
* The [[OurAngelsAreDifferent Advocate]] from ''VideoGame/NexusClash'' can grant enormous bonuses to other characters at the price of most of their [[PointBuildSystem Character Points]], but doesn't benefit from any of these buffs itself. There is ''no'' upper limit to the number of other characters who can get buffs, making a sufficiently well-developed Advocate a case of sacrificing personal power for the power to [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower alter the course of the whole war]].
* ''Videogame/{{Overwatch}}'' has Mercy, a Swiss medic with an angel motif and a staff that can either heal her teammates or give them a damage buff, but not herself. Her suit can heal her, but it only activates after she hasnít been hit for a couple seconds. Something that is slightly difficult when [[ShootTheMedicFirst youíre a Support character]]
* The APC from ''VideoGame/AdvanceWars'' can resupply adjacent units (including a fighter jet or a battleship) at the beginning of each turn and after it's movement but somehow if it runs out of fuel, it can still resupply others as usual (even other APCs) but still can't resupply himself and so can't move.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ShimmerAndShine'': Wish magic is the most powerful magic a genie can use but no one can use it to grant one's own wishes.
* ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'': Hawk Moth can empower others, but Nooroo's power doesn't work on whoever holds the Miraculous. [[spoiler:When he needs to akumatize himself to throw off suspicion, he temporarily renounces his power so he'll be vulnerable and has a previously created akuma merge with him, fooling even Master Fu, who knows about this aspect of Nooroo's power.]]