->''"When was it that the transformation to the legendary warrior of the Saiyan race was reduced to a child's plaything?"''
-->-- '''Vegeta''', ''Anime/DragonBallZ''

It's the second season of your show, and a new group of evildoers has shown up to challenge your heroes. Despite spending all last season training and defeating the legions of evil, they get creamed -- uh oh, they forgot to account for the SortingAlgorithmOfEvil. Using those same old moves again? [[TitleDrop That's So Last Season]].

This phenomenon ensures that by the second episode of the second season, ''somebody's'' bound to get a power-up, and that any attacks learned before that power-up are worthless. This is a necessary consequence of the SortingAlgorithmOfEvil, but an awfully predictable one. Of course, if the whole team doesn't get the upgrade, there's always the danger that stragglers CantCatchUp.

There's a good chance the NonSerialMovie will ignore this and just [[BigBudgetBeefUp make their abilities more powerful]] to avoid the problems of ContinuitySnarl and ComicBookTime, but some fans are just as liable to complain that the characters are using the same old abilities.

Extremely common in [[MagicalGirl magical girl shows]], as their attacks seem to be much more rigidly defined than other genres. Magical girls' new season powerups are often accompanied by new outfits -- almost always nearly identical to their old ones, save with a FrillyUpgrade.

When applied to a PostScriptSeason, results in PlotLeveling.

A variant occurs in video games, where early weapons like pistols become less useful as [[SortingAlgorithmOfWeaponEffectiveness heavier firepower like machine guns and explosive devices are made available]] to counter the increasing protection offered to opponents. And when this happens on a series wide scale, with the last game or version's content being inferior to the ones following, you have a PowerCreep.

Compare CostumeEvolution, TheWorfBarrage, UniquenessDecay. Contrast BagOfSpilling.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* This happens every time a new BigBad is introduced in ''Manga/DragonBall''.
** One major exception is Tien's Solar Flare. Even the most powerful opponents can't defend themselves from a sudden burst of blinding light.
** Weighted clothing. First appears near the end of ''Dragon Ball'' as an effective means of showing IAmNotLeftHanded, all but disappears by the Cell Saga. The idea of training in weighted clothing was replaced by training in artificial gravity chambers. Vegeta, for example, likes to train in ''500 times Earth's gravity'', which adds far more weight to him than any amount of clothing could. Although, Piccolo still trains with weighted clothes and takes them off when he's serious.
** Goku's Kaio-Ken technique is almost never seen used by him after the first season, and his transformation into a Super Saiyan had all but obsoleted Kaio-Ken. WordOfGod said that a combination of the two have {{deadly|Upgrade}} consequences for the user: the Super Saiyan transformation is already stressful on the body, and Kaio-Ken is significantly moreso, enough that so the combination of both would quickly burn out the body; Goku only manages to successfully combine the two in a filler arc where he's already dead and immune to the negative effects. [[spoiler:However, he later learns to combine the Kaio-Ken with his Super Saiyan Blue form (i.e. going Super Saiyan [[UpToEleven as a Super Saiyan God]]), since that transformation is calm and requires a calm mind to use. Even then, it's still a work in progress and initially has a 90% failure rate.]]
** The Super Saiyan transformation itself goes from [[TheChosenOne legendary and exclusive]] to being shared by a handful of individuals at once, and nearly all of them have access to ascended stages beyond the standard grade. By the time ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'' rolls around, there's only one living character with Saiyan blood that hasn't learned to transform into a Super Saiyan, and she's an infant. The page quote references how late in the series Vegeta's young son Trunks is merely struggling a bit in the Gravity Room with him, and just suddenly decides to go Super Saiyan to run around more easily, shocking his father. Vegeta then becomes irritated when he learns that Goten, Goku's youngest son, can ''also'' transform. Most notable with Gohan's final upgrade in the series: once he attains that, he doesn't need to transform into a Super Saiyan anymore. Though he is seen in Super Saiyan form in works set after ''Z'', due to not keeping up his training and needing the transformation to access his full potential. Like the [[spoiler: Kaio-Ken]], Goku and Vegeta subvert this. After ascending to godhood, they perfect their Super Saiyan forms and no longer need Super Saiyan 2 or 3. They can also merge their Super Saiyan forms with their god powers, creating a Super Saiyan Blue, which is basically a more powerful and stable version of Super Saiyan God. ''Super'' later justifies the lack of uniqueness when Cabba, a Saiyan from Universe 6, is teaching Caulifla how to transform into a Super Saiyan by revealing that [[spoiler:transforming into a Super Saiyan isn't some odd requirement of having a pure heart and righteous rage, but by condensing all of your ki into a spot on your back where the heart and lungs are.]] This may only apply to the more evolved Universe 6 Saiyans, however.
** Subverted with the Flying Nimbus. Even though they can fly at breakneck speeds and don't really need it anymore, Goku and his family continue to use it.
** Interestingly, the Kamehameha only gets stronger as the show goes on despite being the first energy technique used. It gets stronger as Goku's Ki rises, and although eventually it gets so high he's able to just toss raw energy around without needing to perform the specific focus and release technique, doing it anyway still creates a stronger blast than if he didn't, and it's still a lot faster than even more powerful techniques like the Spirit Bomb, letting it remain as Goku's go-to energy attack.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' featured this frequently. For Ichigo, his Shikai is useless as soon as he learns Bankai, and said Bankai is practically useless on its own after the arc where he first learns it as well.
** Lampshaded in the Espada arc:
-->'''Grimmjow:''' You use your [[SuperSpeed Bankai]] and all it gives you is [[OhCrap average]] speed?
** His SignatureMove, Getsuga Tensho, which Urahara says [[InformedAbility would have taken his arm off if he hadn't put up his shield]] and is used to completely blow away Byakuya's Shikai and makes a crater in the ground turns from a FinishingMove to a [[BeamSpam spam move]] after the Soul Society Arc, often needing two of them sandwiching the opponent just to mildly injure him. This is even after the fact Zangetsu stated [[CallingYourAttacks knowing the name of the move]] would strengthen it.
** Lampshaded in 270 and 271 of the manga; Ichigo manages to surprise Ulquiorra with his Hollow Powers and nearly blows up the room using his Getsuga Tensho. Ulquiorra can't even block it and gets caught in the smoke it makes. Cut to Nel celebrating that everything's okay... [[NoSell and Ulquiorra comes out of the smoke]], only slightly battered and [[ClothingDamage missing a bit of his sleeves]]. As the English dub puts it:
-->'''Ulquiorra:''' I'm quite surprised. Was that it? Finished, Ichigo?\\
'''Ichigo:''' [[ThisCannotBe It... can't...]]\\
'''Ulquiorra:''' ''([[CasualDangerDialog patting dust off]] his sleeve [[TheStoic nonchalantly]])'' Hmph. [[GoodIsBoring Yes, it would appear it was.]]
** However, unlike most protagonists subjected to this trope, Ichigo doesn't immediately learn newer, more powerful moves to replace the Getsuga Tensho, or even (except in [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique one special case]]) learn improved versions of it. He simply gets stronger and makes it effective again... until the next, even more powerful enemy shows up, which results in the cycle repeating. One thing he does (way too infrequently) to improve its effectiveness is, instead of [[SwordBeam firing the Getsuga right away]] is leave it surrounding his blade and slice his opponent, then fire off the attack while his sword is already inside their body. This guarantees a hit and bypasses their defenses... but it's still the same attack.
** In the last arc, he ''finally'' learns a new technique... which is simply two of them at once.
* ''Anime/SailorMoon'' did this a few times, and spent an episode on each of the girls' power-ups. Generally speaking, you could predict when someone would get an upgrade when they were in an episode of a new season and had to fight alone despite already having their butts kicked in a team effort.
** In general, Sailor Moon would be faced with a monster near the start of every new season that would basically be completely invulnerable to her attacks, so she'd have to quickly upgrade to a new tier to be able to destroy it. These same attacks were once decimating monsters and often doing severe damage to the leaders of the previous season, meaning that when you really think about it, a random {{mook|s}} from the final Sailor Stars season is in all likelihood much more powerful than someone like ''Kunzite'' from the first season, which shows how far Usagi and the rest have come.
*** Somewhat justified in some cases due to Usagi [[BagOfSpilling losing her weapons aside from her basic Moon Tiara in the previous season's finale]] and needing to obtain new ones in order to be able to fight effectively. Though to be fair, she oftentimes [[ForgotAboutHisPowers forgets about the tiara as well]].
** The major exception was, [[{{Filler}} unsurprisingly]], a [[OvertookTheManga post-first-season mini arc]] where each girl got a semi-new attack that managed to take out a MonsterOfTheWeek ''by themselves''. How two lonely teenagers growing a magic tree in their basement managed to make stronger monsters than the first season's demon queen sorceress is a moot point, given it never comes up again.
** Some of the characters did actually use their new attacks multiple times, later on. This was used to great effect at the end of the season when [[spoiler: the two BigBad characters were able to negate all of the characters' upgraded attacks with virtually no effort during the season finale, even interrupting(!) Sailor Moon when she tries to use her teammates' attempt as cover for charging her attack. It knocks her out of her stock footage, for crying out loud]].
** The [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]] did this a few times as well. In particular, the first four chapters of the Dead Moon arc feature each of the four Guardian Senshi being targeted by the Dead Moon Circus and, though their encounter, getting strong enough to break Nehellenia's seal on their powers and upgrading to their Super forms.
*** The manga also inverted this trope with Sailor Moon herself, at least with the first two storylines, as Sailor Moon would push herself to the point where her brooch of the season would explode, only to get a shiny new one before the next major storyline.
* The relationship-driven ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'' stretches the downtime after the initial defeat to a full two episodes, so that the (quite literal) upgrade only makes its appearance in the third, and isn't seen until even later, but it still follows the pattern: new season, new villain, defeat, upgrade.
** In ''[[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers StrikerS]]'', Nanoha breaks out the Blaster Mode for the final confrontation, which increases the power of all her attacks and provides {{Attack Drone}}s that can cast spells remotely or allow her to cast the same spell multiple times, but [[CastFromHitPoints causes damage to both Nanoha and her device]]. Fate also has an improved version of her [[FragileSpeedster Sonic Form]] and a more powerful LaserBlade.
** As part of the author's plans to take the "MagicalGirl" out of ''Magical Girl Franchise/LyricalNanoha'', ''Force'' takes this to an extreme by making ''magic itself'' [[AntiMagic completely useless]] against the new villains, forcing the good characters to completely abandon their entire powersets in favor of [[IThoughtItWasForbidden previously tightly regulated mass-based weapons]] as well as questionably reliable new weapons that convert magic energy into non-magical energy blasts.
** This is strangely ''inverted'' in regards to unaided flight. In the first two seasons it's a very common ability and every mage is capable of doing it. Then in Strikers it suddenly became a much rarer skill and about half of the cast is ground-bound.
* ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'': The EleventhHourSuperPower song "KODOU" was reduced in the second season to about the power level of "Legend of Mermaid", the first number the girls ever got. And the weaker songs than "KODOU"? They were removed from the battle roster (practically) and stored for emotional moments only; it is a musical, after all.
* Rarely will the characters on ''Anime/YuGiOh'' series use their old cards once they get a new/"more powerful" deck, one exception being Manjyome, who uses cards from different themed decks every duel.
** Happens within the in-show card game in terms of what cards do as well. It's pretty funny looking at the earliest episodes and seeing everyone lauding a card that had 3000 attack points or five cards that instantly end a game compared to what later villains could and would pull out to keep their opponents from effectively battling at all, destroying their monsters instantly, negating their enemy's ability to deal damage, and so on.
** Being based on an actual card game, new versions of old cards are created almost every other set. However, since most of the originals [[GameBreaker were insanely overpowered to the point of disrupting the game]], the new ones are markedly less useful.
** There have been a few times that an old power-up was used, even when they have a new one. [[Anime/YuGiOhGX Flame Wingman]] kept getting played all the way to the final episodes, despite being completely overshadowed by Neos (though it doesn't get used as a finisher as much as it used to), [[Anime/YuGiOhZexal Astral]] once used Utopia Ray, even after getting Utopia Ray V when the situation was more suited to Ray, and [[Anime/YuGiOh5Ds Majestic Star Dragon]] is useful through its final appearance, though it does eventually get eclipsed by Shooting Star Dragon.
** A pretty textbook case of this happened in ''ZEXAL II''. Heraldry Crest and Heart-eartH Dragon were the ace cards of Tron and Doctor Faker, the BigBadEnsemble of the first half of the series, and both required a lot of work to bring down. About halfway through ''II'', Black Mist summons upgraded versions of both of them, along with his own ace, just to put up a challenge.
** Yugi generally avoided this during his run: even after he got all of the God Cards situations and rules generally kept them from making Dark Magician this trope.
** ''TabletopGame/DuelMasters'' was also somewhat guilty of this. To be fair, [[http://www.wizards.com/duelmasters/dm_autocard.asp?name=gatling_skyterror Gattling Skyterror]] or [[http://www.wizards.com/duelmasters/dm_autocard.asp?name=bolmeteus_steel_dragon Bolmeteus Steel Dragon]]? Then again, if they were going for what real players would use, there'd have been a [[http://www.wizards.com/duelmasters/dm_autocard.asp?name=crystal_lancer Crystal Lancer]] or two in the series.
* [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-zagged]] in ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure''. Once the [[MidSeasonUpgrade Pretty Cure Rainbow Bracelets]] are introduced, it seems like the old Pretty Cure Marble Screw has been rendered obsolete (especially since it was already ineffective against last season's Ilkubo). However, Pretty Cure still fight without the bracelets sometimes, and are able to defeat [[MonsterOfTheWeek Zakenna]] and eventually even the [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Seeds of Evil]] with the Marble Screw.
** ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCureMaxHeart'' starts out with the girls receiving their upgrades even before the "initial defeat" scenario could take place. Black, White and Luminous also got another upgrade in each of the movies.
** This was repeated in ''Anime/YesPrecure5 Go Go!'' and in the attached movies as well.
** Characters in the ''Anime/PrettyCure'' franchise reliably get a similar powerup at the ''halfway'' point of the season. This is always associated with some new piece of equipment which is summoned into existence when the better attack is needed, and which incidentally is [[MerchandiseDriven available in toy form]].
*** Why don't we just say all MagicalGirl shows that include [[FrillyUpgrade Frilly Upgrades]] and leave it at that?
* In the early parts of ''Manga/HunterXHunter'', Gon used a fishing pole as a signature weapon, Killua used special assassin skills such as a slow-paced DoppelgangerSpin, and Kurapica wielded sword-chucks. Once they learned to use [[FunctionalMagic nen]], their old gimmicks were quickly phased out.
* ''Manga/InuYasha'':
** Inuyasha began the series fighting only with his claws. Then he gets his sword, Tetsusaiga, and starts fighting primarily with that. Next he learns to use the Wind Scar, a powerful [[SwordBeam destructive wave attack]], under certain circumstances. Then he simultaneously learns to use the Wind Scar completely at will (after which its use becomes at the same time much more common and [[TheWorfBarrage much less effective]]) and learns the [[CounterAttack Backlash Wave]]. Eventually, his sword is upgraded to gain forms that can cut through any [[DeflectorShields barriers]] ([[ContractualBossImmunity except those that the plot demands be impenetrable]]), launch a barrage of diamond shards, destroy/absorb an opponent's demonic energy, and open a portal to the underworld to send enemies directly to hell. Although none of Tetsusaiga's attacks ever become completely obsolete, this trope is still in effect, with each new upgrade or technique decreasing in actual combat effectiveness shortly after it is obtained (except the underworld portal, obtained near the end). This is most evident for the Wind Scar, which, when it is first learned, is talked about as Tetsusaiga's true potential to slay 100 demons in a single swing, but which, by the end of the series, is essentially Inuyasha's most basic attack. It's so bad that it's even {{lampshade|Hanging}}d at one point by [[MasterOfIllusion Byakuya]] and [[NobleDemon Sesshoumaru]] who are discussing Inuyasha as he fights.
-->'''Sesshoumaru:''' Huh. Seems like he put another peculiar power in Tetsusaiga.\\
'''Byakuya:''' But it's as if he won't use it. Meaning for now, his best weapon is Kongousouha.
** Also somewhat present with upgrades Kagome, Sango, and Miroku get near the end of the series (A new bow, an upgraded boomerang, and [[FeelNoPain poison]], respectively... yeah, Miroku kind of got the short end of the stick there); these allow them to be effective in the final portions of the story, when their prior abilities were declining in effectiveness (for Sango in particular).
* In the ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' franchise, the main character will often get an upgraded Gundam about halfway through the show; this occurs more often in full TV series than {{O|riginalVideoAnimation}}VAs and movies.
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'' seems to do this with the mook villains, since they're always trying to catch up with the ''heroes''. First it's the 15-year-old Leos, then they move on to the just-developed Tauruses, and finally to computer-operated Virgos. Despite maybe one or two episodes of the Gundam pilots struggling against the new mooks, they'll have managed to turn them into canon fodder pretty quickly. The poor anonymous nobodies can never catch a break, can they?
*** Averted in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeedDestiny'' with the Freedom Gundam (the protagonist's 2nd unit from the original ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]''), which is still many times more powerful than the newer mobile suits created between shows because its special nuclear powered engine was declared illegal, and newer ones were built without it. It is eventually destroyed, but only due to ZAFT going all out and sending an entire fleet to destroy it.
*** Highlighted in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'''s second season as to why Nena Trinity died. While almost everybody that survived the first season was bestowed new Gundams, improved GN-X machines, or new prototypes, she was the only character that was stuck having to use her outdated machine, the Throne Drei. [[spoiler:This ultimately was used in sealing her fate, but in Nena Trinity's defense, she couldn't get a new one as she was more concerned with actually surviving for four years, and she ''almost'' got a new mecha, the Arche Drei. Unfortunately for her, she didn't get it in time.]]
*** Mikazuki upgrades to the Gundam Barbatos Lupus in the second season of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamIronBloodedOrphans'', after the Barbatos' original armor was deemed irreparable.
* In ''Anime/GaoGaiGar'' following the acquisition of the Goldion Hammer, Guy's original finishing technique (Hell and Heaven) universally fails to get the job done if he has to fall back on it. See: The 31 Primevals, Zonuda. The reasoning they gave for Hell and Heaven's failing was because Guy's cyborg body couldn't take the strain of repeated usage. He still used Goldion Hammer after he got [=GaoFighGar=] [[spoiler:and his Evoludar body]], but once the Hammer's lost, his [[spoiler:new body]] is more than enough for the attack.
** Strangely averted when the [=StealthGao=] II is introduced: the space-capable replacement for [=StealthGao=] also upgrades his Broken Magnum to Broken Phantom and the Protect Shade to Protect Wall. Both are shown to be ridiculously more powerful then the original versions (able to pierce armor and in one case ''punching a moon to bits''). But, for no explained reason [=GaoGaiGar=] still uses the original [=StealthGao=] when not in space, until FINAL.
*** The second part is addressed in ''FINAL''. [=StealthGao=] II actually makes GGG's attacks ''too'' powerful, and Guy couldn't believe that Repli-Mamoru would summon it in the middle of a city, because of how much collateral damage it could cause. Even without that issue, there's also the use of physical Phantom Rings to boost [=GaoGaiGar=]'s abilities, which makes Broken Phantom take much longer to execute, and can also be destroyed to render them unusable, until the upgrade to [=GaoFighGar=] in ''FINAL'', which uses non-physical Program Rings that boost its abilities without affecting the time taken to actually use them.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'' is one of the best examples of this. Every ten or so episodes someone makes a new generation of Knightmare Frame (mecha), which are completely capable of wiping the floor with the last generation, to the point where they are obsolete even if they were top tier previous generation stuff.
* Kazuma, the main character of ''Manga/YakitateJapan'' wins the first season breadbaking {{tournament|Arc}} in part by baking a loaf of bread so good that biting into it literally sends the judges' souls to heaven (which is populated by scantily dressed bunny-women). By the end of the second season this bread is dismissed as being woefully below the level of the current tournament. Fortunately, he quickly crafts a bread so perfect that a single bite re-writes history and brings the Judge's long lost parents back to life (allowing him to win - '''narrowly''').
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' specifically [[InvokedTrope invokes this]] once everybody gets to the magic world. Negi immediately runs into several opponents who totally outclass him, forcing him to go through another round of TrainingFromHell as well as start using BlackMagic. It's sort of {{justified|Trope}} by the fact that [[spoiler: at least one of the fights he loses was a setup by [[ObfuscatingStupidity Jack Rakan]] with the intent of forcing him to become stronger. If he won with his old tricks, then he obviously didn't need new ones]].
* The characters in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' often fall to this as well - with the Sharingan being totally nothing short of badass when introduced... and Kekkei-Genkai in general being powerful. By Shippuden, pretty much every major opponent had some kind of Kekkei-Genkai that made them hot stuff and it would take combined efforts to beat a villain.
** Somewhat zig-zagged with Shikamaru, whose one trick was shadow jutsu. What he lacks in power, he makes up for with [[WeakButSkilled cunning]] - as all of his fights, even against ''Hidan'' (an Akatsuki member - the new standard for badass in Shippuden) revolve around him using his shadow jutsu in clever ways to beat opponents.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** The main characters fall victim to this at times. Chopper gets hit ''hard'' by this once he starts fighting enemies he can't polish off in [[HourOfPower three minutes]]. And it's a rule that Luffy will always finish off a BigBad with a new attack. Usually, this attack just becomes a part of his arsenal in later arcs.
** Gear Second and Gear Third used to have drastic side effects for Luffy (wearing him out and temporarily shrinking him, respectively). Come TimeSkip, these both have become non-issues. However, even they aren't enough against Doflamingo, so Luffy has to follow up with [[spoiler:Gear '''Fourth''']], and even that needs different varieties for him to apply later on to keep up with the rising threats.
** Pacifistas were practically unstoppable before the Time Skip, with it taking the entirety of the main cast everything they had just to bring down one, and only the strongest characters in the series yet to be shown faring much better. After the Time Skip, however, Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji each demonstrate the ability to ''one-shot'' them. Justified in that the original Pacifistas they faced were outdated, and new, more powerful versions existed.
** Haki has thus far gone the opposite way, being more of a So ''This'' Season after the Time Skip. Before the skip, Haki was fairly mysterious, and only received occasional, vague hints regarding who could use it, when someone was using it, and it was actually doing. Just before the Time Skip, however, it finally received a full explanation, and it started to be regularly used afterwards, and Armament Haki even suddenly gained the effect of making anything it's covering look black and shiny to show the audience when it was being used.
** Logia Devil Fruit powers, following the TimeSkip, has become this. In the first half of the series and Grand Line, being a Logia meant being MadeOfAir, as the power-user could turn their body into that element and let attacks pass through their body, the exception being Blackbeard's gravity-based Dark-Dark Fruit. The only way to fight a Logia without using ElementalRockPaperScissors was to use Haki, something that wasn't well-known at the time in-universe and out. In the Grand Line's second half, the New World, Haki-usage is widespread, so, to quote another Haki-user…
--->"Logia's convinced of their invincibility have short lives."
* Don't expect to have a chance against any later villains if the highest state you can evolve to in ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' is Ultimate/Perfect, or have some new kind of evolution like DNA or Matrix evolving. And if under any circumstance you're not a main character and actually ''can'' evolve to the Ultimate/Mega level, expect to require Burst Mode to stand a chance against a villain of ''any'' importance later on. Oh well...at least you can be able to take on a few {{Mooks}}, because there will be ''plenty'' you can take on, just don't expect to be able to face off against the BigBad by yourself.
** It should be noted that most Digimon seasons, especially the earlier ones, put limitations over the use of more powerful forms (that is, returning to the In Training/Baby2 stage, requiring time to re-evolve) so that the previous, less powerful forms still get some use. Even [[Anime/DigimonFrontier Frontier]], early on, would show characters varying between Human-form Digimon and Beast-form ones. [[Anime/DigimonSavers Savers]] played it completely straight, though - if a Digimon reaches a new level, don't expect to see the previous levels again.
*** On the plus side, in ''Savers'', pretty much every "main" digimon was able to hit Ultimate/Mega and eventually Burst Mode - whereas prior seasons only had a few characters able to do this, resulting in the rest of the cast being reduced to CantCatchUp status. ''Frontier'', ''Adventures'', and ''Tamers'' were particularly bad (with up to ''three quarters'' of the cast unable to do ''anything'' in the later arcs.)
*** Somewhat justified with Tamers, as half the cast got their Digimon in the second half (And one in the final quarter) of the series, getting Digivices only a few episodes prior to Takato managing to Biomerge, making it less CantCatchUp and just the secondary casts' partners appearing too late.
* Happens in ''Manga/YuYuHakusho''. The Spirit Gun used to be like the ultimate Spirit Detective move, and Spirit Sword was pretty much the badass incarnate. Hiei's extreme speed and skilled swordsmanship were ''really'' something to be afraid of, and Kurama's cunning mind, Rose Whip, and ability to summon plants from the demon world were just as fearsome. But then later, Spirit Shotguns, Double Spirit Swords, reverting to your demonic form and pulling plants [[GreenThumb out of nowhere]] and Dragon of the Darkness flames are the standard to beat... and who honestly ''doesn't'' have a sixth sense and some kind of Spirit Gun-like combat move or able to break the sound barrier by now? Averted by the end, when Yusuke's best attack was a really big Spirit Gun.
* At the beginning of the Vongola Ring Battle arc of ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'', Tsuna, in regular Dying Will Mode, got thrashed by the new arc's [[TheDragon Dragon]]. Dying Will Bullets are then used only for training for a bit, before they are fazed out completely in favor of Rebuke Shots and Hyper Dying Will Mode.
* ''Franchise/{{Zoids}}'':
** Done almost literally in ''[[Anime/ZoidsChaoticCentury Zoids: Guardian Force]]'', when the former [[TheDragon Dragon]] is shown fighting off ''three'' Genosaurers, the same kind of Zoid he used earlier in the series (and, naturally, in the previous season).
** And done again in ''Anime/ZoidsNewCentury'', possibly using the same Genosaurers.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''
** Bulbasaur was one of Ash's most used Pokémon, and managed to defeat many mons which would have an advantage over him. When Ash battles a Chikorita (Bulbasaur's [[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver successor]] as a Grass starter) with him ... he gets promptly beaten. Chikorita also manages to hold up against [[InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons Charizard]], which not only is fully evolved, but has a tremendous advantage in the ElementalRockPaperScissors. That is not to say Bulbasaur did not have later badass moments of course.
** Somewhere between ''Sinnoh League Victors'' and ''Best Wishes'', the Team Rocket trio decided their old ButtMonkey status was So Last Season and returned in the new series having [[TookALevelInBadass taken several levels in Badass]] to become so strong Jessie on her own beat the ever-loving crap out of Ash and his new partner's Pokémon using her newly obtained Woobat. They haven't blasted off since the beginning of the season. [[StatusQuoIsGod It unfortunately didn't last]] into ''XY''.
* Played UpToEleven in ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven'', in contrast of the how useful special techniques are in the games because their power is partly calculated by the player's stat, anime version doesn't. Old shooting techniques don't work in the long run, and defensive skills are even more of the offenders, especially in the third season, where TheHero's uber saving techs can't save anything even a '''Sling Shot''' unless it's a newly debuted or upgraded skill, or his [[HotBlooded Hot Blood Gauge]] has just hit the roof. The exception is Endou's initial ''God Hand'' during a match with Dark Emperor, it's being used to stop shots inside the penalty area. Somehow, it's more effective than the two-tier-above ''Mugen the Hand G4.''
* In ''Anime/FutureGPXCyberFormula'', the Asurada car series suffers from this so that there can be [[MidSeasonUpgrade mid-season upgrades]]. The Super Asurada 01 model is the most advanced and powerful racing car in the end of the TV series, but at the beginning of the ''Double One'' OVA, it can't catch up because Sugo Corp. doesn't have money to do a proper upgrade. A similar thing happens in ''SAGA'', at which this point Hayato's skill is nowhere to be blamed for his losses.
* In the ''VideoGame/MegamanBattleNetwork'' manga, Megaman.EXE has to upgrade and change power types so often to defeat the latest Big Bad that it becomes ridiculous. If you were to consider each upgrade as a multiplier, he ends up about 100x more powerful than he was at the very beginning. Add his training to that, and in the epilogue story, he is so powerful that his Megabuster shoots bullets the size of small trashcans!\\
In the anime, ''Anime/MegamanNTWarrior'', Megaman unlocks Style Change at the end of season 1 and the majority of season 2. However, after using his [[spoiler: second]] strongest Style Change, Aqua Custom Style ([[spoiler: Bug Style was his strongest, which defeated the Grave Beast and restored everything to normal]]) to defeat Savage Man in the first episode of Axess, Savage Man uses a Dimensional Area to [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands attack in the real world]], Lan and Megaman have to use [[FusionDance Cross Fusion to fuse in the real world]]. They defeat him, but according to Lan's father, Cross Fusion stopped Megaman from being able to use Style Change. On a plus side, Megaman gets Double Soul.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'':
** The Ripple is rendered totally obsolete by Stands in Part III. In the manga Dio even mocks Joseph for surrounding his body with Ripple power, claiming that it may have caused trouble for him a century ago, but it's useless against [[TimeStandsStill The World]].
** Dio ditches his ability to [[AnIcePerson freeze people's bodies]] and shoot [[EyeScream vitreous humor from his eyes at bullet speeds]] from Part 1 once he gets The World.
** In Part 7, after all that build up and that intense final showdown with Funny Valentine, Johnny's new Tusk Act 4 is immediately rendered useless against [[spoiler:alternate-universe Diego]]. As he was made aware of his abilities prior to the confrontation, with this information [[spoiler:Diego]] starts using the ability against him and ultimately defeats him.
* ''Anime/DinosaurKing'': Max/Ryuta's Thunder Bazooka and Lightning Assault/Lightning Spear cards no longer work as finishers and are soon dropped, replaced by Plasma Anchor and then Thunder Driver. Assault/Spear gets it particularly bad, used in conjunction with the season's elemental armor, and yet fails to defeat a dinosaur that lacks the season's newly-introduced armor.


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the mid 90s, when Kyle Rayner became Franchise/GreenLantern, villains would regularly attempt to exploit the ring's legendary vulnerability to yellow, only to find that his ring had no such flaw.
* At the start of UsefulNotes/{{the Bronze Age|OfComicBooks}}, all Kryptonite on Earth was turned to iron in ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' story ''ComicBook/KryptoniteNevermore''. A bad guy gloated about how he has something which could kill Superman--Kryptonite. Superman promptly took the piece from him and ''ate it''.
* ''ComicBook/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Done in Season 8. In her first fight against the BigBad Twilight, Buffy uses the same scythe move she used to [[spoiler: slice Caleb in half]] in Season 7, only for Twilight to block it and says that he knows that move. However, it is not simply because Twilight is stronger than every other Big Bad, but because [[spoiler: he is Angel, and thus ''was actually there'' when she sliced Caleb. He's familiar with the technique.]]
** See Willow, probably ''the'' most powerful witch in the world, singlehandedly responsible for activating all the potential Slayers, a feat more impressive than the creation of the original Slayer to begin with. Then in Season 8 other magic users and monsters show up that can throw around equally impressive and powerful magic right back at her, including the formerly much-less talented witch, Amy. Even Buffy's Slayer abilities become pretty obsolete in the face of a giant army of full Slayers and Willow's magic.
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' has had this happen a lot in its various comic book incarnations since, due to being MerchandiseDriven, it's always needed to promote the latest toys. In the original Marvel run, there came the [[CombiningMecha Combiners]], then the Headmasters, then the Powermasters, then the Pretenders, each group getting their shot in the spotlight only to be bumped out when the newer guys showed up. In IDW's run of the comics, characters are frequently reformatted to have their appearance match the latest toy of that character, even if it doesn't make sense (such as a character on Cybertron with a Cybertron vehicle mode suddenly getting an Earth vehicle mode instead). This is occasionally [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]].

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* From [[Fanfic/Swing123AndGarfieldodiesCalvinverse the Calvinverse]]: in ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesIIIDoubleTrouble'', the Shadowfax were [[WeakenedByTheLight easily defeated with any kind of light.]] The ones in ''Fanfic/RetroChill'', however, are much bigger than the last ones, and are immune to light. This throws Hobbes for a loop, and it takes him a while to figure out that [[KillItWithIce ice]] is the new brand's weakness.
* In ''FanFic/MegaManReawakened'', every game adaptation sees Mega Man getting new, better armor.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11886818/5/Inheritance Inheritance]]'', Turles shows up to help King Cold and his army conquer Earth, though for his own reasons. However, while Turles was a formidable villain in ''[[Anime/DragonBallZTheTreeOfMight Tree of Might]]'', he's showing up after the Namek Saga, which means even the weakest Z Fighters have power levels over 100,000. Notably, it's ''Gohan'' who defeats him and wins easily even after Turles ate the fruit from the Tree of Might and grew several times stronger.

* The "no can defense" Crane Technique that propelled a wounded Daniel-san to victory in ''Film/{{The Karate Kid|1984}}'' is easily deflected in ''Film/TheKarateKidPartII'', requiring him to use a new and different goofy finishing move to win.
* A similar occurrence took place in the third ''Film/TheMightyDucks'' film. Their new coach went as far as to comment on how their "their little duck tricks" (the knuckle-puck, the flying V, etc.) won't work anymore. It's especially sad considering how cherished these "little tricks" were for the trilogy's legacy. Strangely, this lesson was learned immediately following a game in which the Ducks' tricks DID work -- giving them an absurd offensive output (nine goals in a hockey game?) -- until the other team caught on and rendered them ineffective, then took advantage of the Ducks' lackluster defense to score nine goals themselves, ending the game in a tie. So their new coach was fully justified in telling them they can't rely on the tricks.
* Used in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom'', in which Indy is pitted against two swordsmen in a reprise of the iconic scene from ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''. This time, Indy doesn't have his gun, and laughs sheepishly. Considering that ''Temple Of Doom'' is supposed to be a prequel, though, this is rather odd. Unless [[FridgeLogic being attacked by swordsman and using a gun to dispose of them is something that happens to Indy all the time]].
* At the end of ''Film/IronMan2'', [[spoiler: Tony tries to use the "aimbot" that had taken out the Gulmira Ten Rings terrorists against Ivan Vanko's exposed head, complete with HUD showing the lock-ons, only for Vanko to re-equip his helmet and negate it]].
* In ''Film/IpMan2'', we see three instances of this:
** Ip encounters opponents who can fight his RapidFireFisticuffs with their own.
** When Ip tries to pounce on the downed [[spoiler: Twister]] and use his rapid-fire fisticuffs as a FinishingMove, only to get thrown off.
** In what is perhaps an invocation, Ip doesn't try the [[BuffySpeak pin-enemy-and-beatdown-like-training-dummy thing]] he used to finish General Miura on [[spoiler: the Twister]] even though it would be a clear juxtaposition with [[spoiler: Twister's NoHoldsBarredBeatdown-to-death of Master Hung.]]
* In the climax of ''Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren [[ReCut Complete]]'', [[spoiler: [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Cloud]] attempts to finish off Sephiroth with his old [[LimitBreak ultimate technique]], the Omnislash, only for all the lead up attacks to be deflected. When he goes for the finisher, Sephiroth ''impales'' him. He ends the fight with an even more powerful Omnislash to win]].
* Subverted in ''Film/{{Crackerjack}}''. Jack Simpson's reluctant Lawn Bowls mentor Stan tells him to stop using his novelty "flipper" bowl (lifted from a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlyG5wnW7I0 different sport]]) because it's ineffective and undignified and sadly Simpson has potential despite his utter lack of respect for the game. Simpson phases it out as he improves his game. However, against every advice not to do so, he breaks it out again for the final play of the movie.
* In ''Film/{{Sharknado}}'', the 'nados are taken out by detonating improvised bombs in them to neutralize the winds. Fin tries this again in ''Film/Sharknado2TheSecondOne'', but it doesn't work because the extreme cold of ''this'' storm apparently negates the effects of the explosions' heat.
* ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'': At the end of [[Film/TheMatrix the first film]], Neo had become the One and transcended the code of the Matrix. He was able to defeat Smith's physical attacks without even trying, then tore his code apart. In the sequel, the Agents have "upgrades," which for some reason requires Neo to fight them in hand-to-hand combat again.
* ''Film/GhostbustersII'': The Proton Packs are still effective against smaller ghosts, but are next to useless against the pink slime, especially after Vigo supercharges it. The guys ''positively'' charge the slime in response and charge in with Slime Blowers.
* ''Film/Zoolander2'' employs it, which is fitting since the films revolve around fashion. Derek's Magnum was irresistible in the first movie, but can't stop Mugatu's bomb in this one.

* Vince from ''Literature/SuperPowereds'' does this to Michael. In their first fight, Vince gives a decent account of himself despite having almost no energy reserves and a power that can't counter ice. Later they face off again but with Vince keeping a reserve large enough to shrug off ice blasts and new techniques that let him penetrate Michael's armor easily. It doesn't help that Michael has just put Vince into a state of TranquilFury by hurting one of his friends and threatening to hurt another.
* We see this in action over the course of the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series. The People's Republic of Haven is so much larger than the Star Kingdom of Manticore that the fight would be no contest if not for Manticore's superior technology. Of course, once the fight is actually on Manticore must keep coming up with new innovations as the PRH steals or adapts to the last one. Every time this happens, their entire pre-existing navies are rendered virtually obsolete and they must build up again from scratch. This happens ten or twenty times over the course of the series, but the biggest leaps in innovation are:
** [[SubspaceAnsible FTL communication technology]] in the form of grav pulses, which allows Manticore unprecedented visibility into enemy formations.
** Missile pods, which allow ships of the wall to [[MoreDakka completely saturate the field with a rate of fire never before seen in space battles.]] Although the pods predate the start of the series, it's only after TechnologyMarchesOn that they become practical to use en masse.
** Ghost Rider project, which featured numerous advances into missile technology, such as ultracompact fusion reactors (which allowed unprecedented energy balances and thus a whole new classes of mobile decoys, penetrators and recon drones, as well as installing the FTL comms on them), multistage drives, improved stealth, advanced new missiles and drones, etc. In fact, the Ghost Rider was arguably even more of a game changer than the pod combat.
** Super-advanced [=LACs=] which serve as [[GlassCannon eggshells carrying cannons]] that allow a [[DeathOfAThousandCuts multitude of small craft to deal out damage]] each equal to a big craft, and finally,
** And then came Operation Buttercup, a Manticoran offensive that ''combined'' the new pod-oriented warship designs, new Super-[=LACs=] and their carriers, and armed this fleet to the teeth with the new Ghost Rider-based weaponry. Moreover, Manticorans managed to keep Havenites almost completely in the dark about all these developments, so when they were hit by the finally assembled new force, they were [[CurbStompBattle completely curb-stomped]].
** [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot Missile pods controlled by FTL transmissions]] that allow the missiles to be controlled by their mother ships in nearly real-time and avoid defenses with contemptuous ease.
** In more recent books the Solarian League, having become complacent in the 500-odd years that no one could even ''imagine'' fighting it, sailed headlong into the results of the two decades of the LensmanArmsRace described above. As of ''Storm From The Shadows'' [[ThisCannotBe they are largely still in denial]] about it, despite [[CurbStompBattle losing a couple of dozen fleets of various sizes with almost no losses]] to the Grand Alliance forces.
* {{Subverted|Trope}} in Creator/GKChesterton's ''The Return of Don Quixote''. Medieval recreationists go out to arrest some people, with halberds rather than guns, and are scorned as foolish. They succeed... because the arrested people never thought they would need guns.
--> The man says he won't go on wearing a sword because it is no longer any good against a gun. Then he throws away all the guns as relics of barbarism; and then he is surprised when a barbarian sticks him through with a sword. You say that pikes and halberds are not weapons against modern conditions. I say pikes are excellent weapons against no pikes.
* ''LightNovel/HighSchoolDxD'':
** Balance Breaker, the SuperMode for Sacred Gears. Initially presented as rare and powerful, with the name coming from the fact that it breaks the world's BalanceOfPower. Then the methods to achieve Balance Breaker are spread around in later volumes, resulting in practically every Sacred Gear user having a Balance Breaker.
** The various forms [[UpToEleven beyond Balance Breaker]] apply as well. Issei gains the Triaina in Volume 9, then gets Cardinal Crimson Promotion in the very next volume when that proves insufficient, and Diabolos Dragon God after that. Vali shows a similar progression, starting off able to use Juggernaut Drive under his own power, then Empireo Juggernaut Overdrive and Diabolos Dragon Lucifer after that.
* ''LightNovel/UndefeatedBahamutChronicle'':
** Each of Lux's special techniques is used to [[CurbStompBattle curb-stomp]] the enemy in one book and becomes insufficient in the very next book. [[TimeMaster Reload on Fire]] is used to defeat the rebel army but is [[PowerParasite stolen]] by the next villain Barzeride, requiring Lux to use [[DeliberateInjuryGambit Recoil Burst]]. Then he needs to use [[MindOverMatter Linker Burst]] and [[SpamAttack End Action]] to beat Poseidon. And then none of the above works on Yggdrasil, requiring him to use [[SuperMode Over Limit]] (which breaks the trend by actually remaining useful, though Lux [[LaserGuidedAmnesia forgets how to activate it afterwards]]).
** Baptism is originally introduced as a dangerous surgical procedure that confers unique abilities. Even a partial Baptism, applied to only one eye, has an ''eighty percent mortality rate''. People who'd undergone this were particularly dangerous. In a later volume, three characters undergo the procedure and all three of them survive. Not only that, but one person (without Baptism) manages to defeat them all singlehandedly.
** The Ragnarok are seven enormous monsters of legendary power. When one was unleashed prior to the start of the series, it took the combined armies of several countries to defeat it (and even they could only force it into hibernation). Midway through the series, small groups of elite Drag-Knights can permanently kill Ragnarok. Later on, there are characters who can ''solo them''. This is lampshaded by one character, who points out that the Drag-Knights of today are not like those of the distant past, when Ragnarok were considered unstoppable.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' often did this to introduce the new mecha in the first few seasons. When there was no more footage for the old zords, they had to justify their absence and introduce the mecha from the newer ''Sentai'' footage, often by showing that the previous mecha wasn't able to keep up with the new enemies anymore.
** Specifically, at the start of season 2, the Tyrannosaurus and Dragonzord were captured by the monster of the week, and the other four Dinozords frozen. While they were able to free them, new villain Lord Zedd immediately sent the main five Dinozords to their doom. Dragonzord survived initially, but the other five were replaced by the new Thunderzords. Dragonzord disappeared when the Green Ranger powers were destroyed, but he came back as the more powerful White Ranger with his new Tigerzord. The Thunderzords were destroyed at the start of season 3 by new villain Rito Revolto, and a few episodes later, they got the new Ninja Zords. The Ninja and Shogun Zords were simply rendered unusable when the Mighty Morphin powers were finally destroyed near the end of season 3. The Zeo Zord fleet was also never destroyed, but the Turbo powers and zords were described as more powerful, effectively making the Zeo stuff obsolete.
** ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' accidentally did a "So Last ''Episode''" concerning the SPD Battlizer. The device was introduced with great fanfare in the two-parter "Reflection"... then promptly dumped in favor of the all-team S.W.A.T. Mode.
** ''Series/PowerRangersMegaforce'' returns to this trope in the conversion to ''Super Megaforce'', though in an odd way: when the Armada attacks, the X-Borg mooks are actually much stronger than their current powers, thus Gosei gives them the Legendary Morphers, which allows them to not only draw on new powers and machines, but also draw on the powers of the previous teams. ''However'', they ''don't'' lose their old powers, but certain fights show that the old Megaforce powers are just too weak against the Armada.
** ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' and other ''Rangers'' seasons do this on occasion, introducing new giant robots mid season that are much stronger then the ones they started with. Sometimes this causes the old robot(s) to not be used anymore, or only to be used as backup in ''really'' hard fights.
** In one episode of Zeo, a misfired effort by the exiled Zedd and Rita to turn one object into a monster results in a purse being made into a monster instead. Since using objects like this had been a frequent villain tactic during MMPR, Prince Sprocket is heard to comment 'A Purse Monster? That's SO last season!'
* Shows up in multiple ''Kamen Rider'' series in the same vein as the above mentioned Super Sentai. Most of the time a new villain appears that happens to be much too strong for the Kamen Riders' current arsenal, so they'll need to get a new SuperMode. In some seasons the rider even stops using his basic form, knowing it will be useless.
** In ''Series/KamenRiderBlackRX'', Black from the previous series ends up being transformed into the far stronger Kamen Rider Black RX. However, in this situation, it wasn't his idea, the villain [[NiceJobFixingItVillain decided to throw a solar powered Rider into the void of space, where he's directly exposed to the sun, causing him to evolve into Black RX]]
** ''Series/KamenRiderAgito'': The police-made G3 battlesuit was made to fight the Grongi who battled [[Series/KamenRiderKuuga Unidentified Lifeform #4]], but finds itself outmatched against the Overlords (who, [[AllThereInTheManual according to the backstory]], are the Grongis' arch-enemies). Later on the series it gets upgraded into the G3-X and does better against the Overlords.
** In ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'', the Riders face the insanely powerful Weather Dopant, who keeps having the upper hand on them, until they gained new forms, capable of defeating the villain.
* All ''Franchise/MetalHeroes'', especially the Space Sheriffs, have one weapon that kills every villain in the show, up to and including the BigBad, and a handful of mecha that they start with and never upgrade.
* In ''Series/{{Beetleborgs}}'', after defeating the previous monsters, a new monster named Nukus literally blows up their old powers, requiring them to become the stronger Beetleborgs Metallix. In a slight inversion, Nukus is still too powerful for them at first.
* In ''Series/Supergirl2015'' episode "[[Recap/Supergirl2015S3E8CrisisOnEarthXPart1 Crisis on Earth-X Part 1]]", [[ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} Kara]]'s first scene has her give a CurbStompBattle to a Dominator, one of the villains of the previous four-way crossover, even calling it "so last year."
* ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' has shades of this. Notably, Bonnie tries her magic aneurysm -- which worked great against Damon, who was turned during the American Civil War -- against the 500-year-old Katherine, and gets a [[NoSell No Sale]].
* In the first episode of the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' Netflix revival, Kinga Forrester reveals her intentions on using the experiment to garner huge ratings so she can sell it to Disney for a billion dollars. Her sidekick, Max, has to remind her that Netflix doesn't work that way as they don't use traditional ratings.
* ''Series/TomicaHeroRescueFire'' is a direct sequel to ''Series/TomicaHeroRescueForce''. To show the audience the new villains appearing in ''Rescue Fire'' are much stronger than the ones in ''Rescue Force'', the team first gets to use the mecha from the previous series, only for it to be destroyed in an early episode.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* The power bomb has been considered an outdated move ever since the retirement of its creator, Wrestling/LouThesz. A kneeling, sit down, sit out, falling, turning, sideswipe, running, double, triple, turnbuckle, popup or whatever other variation you can think of is just fine but a regular old gut kick-grab-lift-drop power bomb is rare even with a NameOfPower and usually restricted to use by only [[PrejudicedForPecs exceptionally large wrestlers]].
* In Japanese pro wrestling, or "puroresu", the German suplex (through its association with Lou Thesz and Wrestling/KarlGotch) is the designated {{finishing move}} of everyone who doesn't actually have a finishing move. A common angle is for the German suplex to stop working for any given wrestler, prompting them to train overseas and pickup/develop a more distinct finisher.
* The reverse Indian death lock remains a fairly popular move but the regular Indian death lock was all but replaced by the figure four leg lock popularized by Wrestling/BuddyRogers, Indian and Amerindian wrestlers being the only ones still doing the regular version with any regularity.
* The lotus stretch/knee spreader due to an arm proximity weakness that made it fall out of favor for the double toed leg lock. [[RussianReversal Its inverse]], lotus lock/leg nelson, enjoyed a much longer shelf life among wrestlers with both the flexibility and leg strength to pull it off.
* The DDT, whose "[[ThrowItIn creation]]" is widely credited to Wrestling/JakeRoberts and less often to Wrestling/RickRude, was once one of the most popular finishers and considered one of the most devastating after the former used it to legitimately knock Wrestling/RickySteamboat unconscious. As Robert's career wound down though, it became the new power bomb.
* This was one of the chief criticisms of 1990s Wrestling/AllJapanProWrestling. While it was among their most successful periods ever, finishing moves once thought spectacular were often brushed off by the top star, necessitating in an increasingly amount of head drops. Wrestling/DragonGate can be considered their {{spiritual successor}} in this regard.
* The infamous ''Wrestling/{{WCW}} Halloween Havoc'' match between Wrestling/HulkHogan and Wrestling/UltimateWarrior turned {{fireballs}} into a {{discredited trope}} in pro wrestling. Several attempts to bring them back have been made, such as Wrestling/{{Raven}} in Wrestling/{{TNA}} and Homicide in Wrestling/RingOfHonor getting [[StrangeMindsThinkAlike the idea]] to throw them in the dark, but nothing has managed to stick except maybe Mesias in Latin America and the Caribbean. And even then, he helped to further kill fireballs in the USA when his use of them put Wrestling/WrestlingSocietyX off [[ScrewedByTheNetwork of television]].
* In 2009, Wrestling/ChrisHero abandoned nearly his entire arsenal in favor of throwing elbows and [[strike:cheating]] enhancing them with a [[strike:weighted]] [[LawOfChromaticSuperiority golden]] pad given to him by Wrestling/MitsuharuMisawa. This was later subverted after his elbows failed to knockout Wrestling/BryanDanielson in Wrestling/ProWrestlingGuerilla, causing Hero to readopt his old moves.
* Mike Bennett liked to use the moves Wrestling/CMPunk used to use while Punk was in Wrestling/RingOfHonor, but Bennett didn't achieve nearly as much success with them and was derided by the crowds for doing so in the first place.[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' there is a huge rift between magic and non-magic weapons, due to damage reduction. If you don't have a magic weapon by a certain point, sucks to be you. Then later the same thing happens between Epic and magic weapons.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' used to have this deliberately built into the system; Charm trees would contain "speed bumps", Charms that would have a certain effect that a later Charm did better, meaning you never used the original again (except maybe when you needed a really cheap alternative). This system was later phased out in favour of Charms that permanently upgrade others, with the few occasions where one Charm renders another completely obsolete giving an XP refund for that Charm.

[[folder:Video Games]]
''Because almost every game with a combat system, from shooters to [=RPG=]s, "suffers" from this, it's better to list the especially JustForFun/{{egregious}} cases (starter weapons are almost useless even for the first few mooks) or exceptions (starter weapons are as, or even more, useful as later ones):''
* Id Software's early shooters are a great example of this, to the point where all bullet weapons in the original ''VideoGame/Wolfenstein3D'' and ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' are functionally identical, except for their maximum firing rate.
** ''VideoGame/BrutalDoom'' manages to take care of the problem of the pistol in the original game quickly becoming useless by replacing it with an assault rifle with iron sights, who's precision compared to the spray-and-pray chaingun extends its usefulness for far longer.
* In the ''{{Franchise/Halo}}'' series, almost every weapon you can get at the start is useful right to the end, though the rapid-fire bullet hose ones do usually end up being the least useful weapons. Even more unusually, the most useful weapon in the [[VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved first game]] is commonly agreed to be the pistol that you get at the very beginning.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' series (by ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' creator Creator/{{Bungie}}), all of the weapons have their uses, and the pistols (especially when duel-wielded) were the best sharpshooting weapons in the game.
* In ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'', the often-overlooked secondary fire of the starting pistol gives it both a faster rate of fire and greater damage output per bullet than the SMG, at the cost of having to reload more often (the pistol's 17-bullet magazine as opposed to the monster 50-bullet mag that the SMG packs) and a decrease in accuracy. At close range, it can mow down marines and take out Alien Grunts with a single mag.
* In ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' the humble pistol and riot prod, which you get at the very beginning of the game, remain effective until the very last level, provided you upgrade your character skills appropriately.
* ''Very'' averted in ''VideoGame/{{Unreal}}''. The Dispersion Pistol gets regular upgrades all through the game; by the final upgrade, it's as powerful as a weapon this side of a GameBreaker can be expected to be... unless you use the (rare) power amplifier item. Then it'll chew through even the building-sized enemies in a few shots.
** The GameBreaker properties of the upgraded (and amplified) DP were nerfed in a patch, as it could kill even the final boss in a few hits originally. Most of the other weapons also retain their usefulness throughout the game.
* ''WesternAnimation/HeavyMetal: FAKK 2'' presents a particularly strong version of this. After blasting your way through the first part of the game, act two sees you facing enemies far too powerful to be dealt with using your current weapons, the protagonist bluntly stating that she can't take them out, and it turns into stealth for the time being. Unusually for a game like this, you CAN kill them, but it takes far too much ammunition. Later levels turn these into pretty average opponents using later weapons, and turn earlier baddies into credible threats only in enormous numbers.
* ''VideoGame/TimeShift'' has a particularly JustForFun/{{egregious}} example in the starting pistol. Between its low rate of fire, problematic accuracy, small magazine, and lack of regular enemies using it to drop ammo, most players will only use it to kill two mooks, probably through PistolWhip rather than the less reliable bullets. Averted with the second weapon found, the assault rifle, which remains useful throughout most of the game thanks to its large ammo capacity, reasonable accuracy, better chance of knocking armor off a bad guy, and attached grenade launcher -- it's actually a hard choice between it and the EMP cannon earned significantly later, mostly because the EMP cannon isn't as viable at long ranges. Inverted with the Thunderbolt crossbow, a sniper crossbow with explosive tips that will probably stay in your inventory when rocket launchers go flying around.
* The first round of a map in ''VideoGame/CounterStrike'' consists of entirely pistols, as both sides begin with a meager $800 (usually). However, a skilled enough player can still use a pistol to great effect even in the later rounds when assault rifles and body armor shows up. The most powerful pistol, the [[strike:[[AKA47 Nighthawk]]]]"Deagle", can still kill an opponent with a single headshot except at very long range, and thus makes a great buy when you want to save money. Deagle, full armor, and some extra stuff? About two thousand dollars or so. [[GameBreaker AWP]]? Almost five thousand dollars ''by itself''.
* ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank2002'' manages to avert this trope for most of the game, until you get the R.Y.N.O, at which point all the other weapons become obsolete. The sequels also work to avert this: though later weapons are inherently more powerful then earlier ones, this can be counterbalanced by the earlier weapons accumulating more experience and upgrades that boost their usefulness. Of course, this doesn't apply to the NewGamePlus {{Game Breaker}}s.
* Particular averted in ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration Super Robot Taisen Original Generation 2]]''. While many of the prototypes from the first game like the Wildschwein and Wildraubtier had been put out of service and many custom mechs such as the Alteisen and Weissritter need an upgrade in the middle of the game, some units are still as powerfull as in first game like the SRX units.
** Even more averted with some of the mass produced mechas. Particular the Gespenst II M, a basic unit used by the main characters in the beginning of the first game. With some upgrades, parts and a good pilot they can still be extremely usefull later in the game. This comes particular from the build in jet Magnum, one of the rare chain attack capable weapons.
** Irmgult Kazahara's [[SuperRobotGenre Grungust]]. Given to him early on in OG 1, and maintains usefulness all the way through OG 2 simply by being a well-balanced robot and Irm's criminally-cheap Spirit commands. Provided one gets him his Ace bonus and lowers his Spirit Point consumption, his [[ThePowerOfLove Love]] Command becomes a GameBreaker. Increased movement range? Check. Assured to never miss a shot for the next turn? Check. Impossible to be hit the next time an opponent sends a swing at you? Check. A 30% increase in evading all attacks for the rest of the turn after that? Check. Take 1/4 damage for the rest of the turn? Check. Get a boost in Will so you can use better attacks sooner? Check. [[GameBreaker Have your next attack do twice as much damage along with all the above, while costing only 1 extra Spirit Point in comparison to simply doubling the strength of your next move?]] ''Priceless''.
*** Generally in OG, with the exception of Alt and Weiss (and they didn't even need the upgrades that badly, they held their own throughout most of OG 2) once a character gets their signature mecha, it will be effective from then on. In OG Gaiden, nobody needed an upgrade from their OG 2 mecha, and the SRX team and Irm and Ring have been using the same machines since early OG 1. The only exception so far is Ibis, who's gone through 2 mecha and an upgrade throughout OG 2 and Gaiden, and still has yet to get her signature Altarion.
* In ''VideoGame/LufiaIIRiseOfTheSinistrals'', Tia's frying pan, well known as the weakest weapon in the game, can do significant damage if used on high level slimes.
* In ''VideoGame/BioShock1'', one of the best plasmids, the [[ShockAndAwe Electro Bolt]] is also the first one you receive. Shock a splicer and they're immobilized while you wrench them to death. If they're standing in water, shock the water and they die instantly. Hit a machine and it will be disabled long enough to run up and hack it. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking And you can activate broken door controls with it too]]. It's the most versatile plasmid in the game; never leave home without it. Also played straight in that it's less effective on later enemies and an upgraded "Electro Shock 2" plasmid becomes available.
** If it's not Electro Bolt, then it's the Telekinesis plasmid. It costs almost no Eve to use, and it can work on pretty much anything you can pick up. Since the picked-up object gets flung, it can be used as a projectile weapon. Flinging the dead body of a splicer as a weapon toward another splicer is usually an OHKO, giving you "ammo" for the next splicer. Or just use that dead splicer [[BulletproofHumanShield as protection]]. Either way, you're good to go.
** It's interesting to note that both ''VideoGame/BioShock1'' and ''VideoGame/BioShock2'' give you Electro Bolt as the first plasmid, but "Minerva's Den", the add-on to ''2'', saves it as a later one. It's probably because the developers were getting annoyed that they were making all these nifty powers and players were sticking with the first one.
** Likewise the first few weapons in ''[=BioShock=]'' - given strength upgrades your handy wrench is useful all the way through (especially for stealth kills) and the revolver remains an effective weapon - and a cheap and effective way to set off EnviroKills.
* Like the above example, in ''Franchise/DeadSpace'', properly upgraded, the plasma cutter can effectively remain a primary weapon (there's even an achievement for that) due to being highly precise, good rate of fire, and the ammo being extremely plentiful.
* In ''VideoGame/TotalOverdose: A Gunslinger's Tale in Mexico'', the character begins with a pistol and upgrades to more powerful weapons at about the same rate that he finds enemies to shoot them at him. But between mission stunt challenges train abilities that make the pistol more and more valuable. By mid-game the weapons escalation has peaked; the player is still upgrading acrobatic gunslinging while the enemies bring out more of the same. In the end, baddies can't keep up with the two-gunned wall-bouncing slow-mo triple-spins no matter how many assault rifles, explosives or military vehicles they send. Trope subverted: Pistols now ''are'' the heaviest weapons in the game.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' runs with this full-stop: whenever new ten man raid instances get introduced - a process which takes from 5 to 12 months - all loot obtained so far becomes inferior in comparison to newly introduced gear. Even the PvP gear vendors get updated with new tier of gear so it would keep up with [[PlayerVersusEnvironment PvE]] drops. All previously purchasable gear becomes obtainable for lesser, easier obtainable tokens, new 5-man instances often get introduced sporting the same quality of gear as previous 10 man ones, and the difficulty of said 10 man instances is drastically toned down to render them accessible to the more casual playerbase. This process occurs 2-3 times per expansion.
** As of expansions themselves, they represent a colossal leap in gear quality - for example, even the best gear from Wrath of the Lich King expansion for level 80 players becomes outdated compared to level 83 gear from Cataclysm. Character damage and health pools rise by as much as 3-5 times during the course of reaching new maximum level compared to the limit of the previous expansion.
*** The gear quality leap from Wrath of the Lich King to Cataclysm was one of the most egregious examples. The jump from Burning Crusade to Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm to Mists of Pandaria, weren't so dramatic, as people could still use their high-level gear well into the midway point of levelling. In Mists, even some gear obtained from dungeons couldn't replace heroic-quality gear from Cataclym's last raid. Especially the case for Trinkets, which are hard to come by until max level.
** Certain items manage to outlive their purported quality due to being exceptionally well balanced, having no worthy replacement, or having an unique on-use effect. The so called Legendary weapons are purposely designed to last for the remainder of the expansion, as each is notoriously difficult to obtain and frequently involves a lengthy questline combined with running raid instances many times over. However, they often scale too well - for example, the spellcaster staff Dragonwrath had a chance of instantly doubling any harmful spell cast by the wielder. As this spell fully scales with all the caster's attributes, Dragonwrath would probably remain the single best weapon of all time if it wasn't eventually toned down.
** Skills and abilities, on the other hand, do not become outdated as they scale with characters' attributes (though before Cataclysm expansion, players needed to upgrade them manually at a trainer). The only exception are 'placeholder' skills such as Strike for warriors, which are baseline attacks designed to last until the character reaches level 10 and may select a proper specialization with unique abilities that replace it.
** Gear quality discrepancies is lessened in ''Legion'' with the introduction of Mythic+ dungeons, meaning that drops from the same dungeon get better as the difficulty is increased, up to a point they are only 10 or 15 item levels below that of raid gear. Raids introduced in this expansion still suffer from this problem, though, as they lack the Mythic+ difficulty setting. Emerald Nightmare, the first raid released in ''Legion'', gives comparatively ''worse'' gear than Mythic 5-man dungeons, which can give comparatively worse gear than world quests in Argus, as of Patch 7.3.
* Conversely, in ''VideoGame/DiabloII'' the player is expected to invest as little as possible in the starter skills and switch to using higher-tier skills as soon as possible. Unless the intention is to make a LethalJokeCharacter, that is. Finishing the game also gives the player an option to start anew on a [[NewGamePlus higher difficulty]]. On the Hell difficulty [[http://diablo.gamepedia.com/Difficulty_%28Diablo_II%29 (the highest difficulty)]] most of the monsters will be guaranteed to have at least one type of immunity, and some will randomly have two at once. So, for instance, if previously you were doing just fine with your [[CompetitiveBalance maxed-out long range Ice and Fire attacks]], now you may suddenly find yourself with a character who’s almost [[CripplingOverspecialization entirely useless]] against a noticeable chunk of your opponents.
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' tries to avert this. The player is expected to use ALL of their powers over the course of the game, and attack powers have damage that scales up as you gain levels so that level 1 attack is still very useful at level 50. Similarly handled in ''VideoGame/ChampionsOnline''. Since movesets are completely customizable, players are expected to make every power choice count. The conditions for unlocking some standard abilities, primarily passives, have even been lowered recently so that players will be less likely to have to choose powers they'll never use just to access higher-level ones.
* The MagicalGirl version is {{invoked|Trope}} by [[VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}} Arcueid]] in ''VideoGame/BattleMoonWars''. When Kaleido Ruby appears, she immediately designs a new outfit (specifically designed for {{Panty Shot}}s), and ''steals Caster's staff''.
* [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig Zagged]] with regards to ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' starter plane(s). ''VideoGame/AirCombat'' includes an outdated F-4 amongst 4th-generation fighters like the [=MiG-29=] and F-14. In ''VideoGame/AceCombat2'' the starting planes are now the F-4 and A-4, with 4th-gen planes coming later. ''VideoGame/AceCombat3Electrosphere'' gives 4th-gen fighters like the Eurofighter from the start (though it's arguably just a twist on the conceit as 4th-gen birds in ''2045'' would be around as outdated as 3rd-gen ones in 2009), but ''VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies'' brings us back to the F-4 as a starter, as does ''VideoGame/AceCombatXSkiesOfDeception'' and ''VideoGame/AceCombatJointAssault'', ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'' gives the F-5 and ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar'' gives the F-1, F-5, and [=J35J=]. ''VideoGame/AceCombat6FiresOfLiberation'' then makes the F-16 the starter plane, which is carried over into ''VideoGame/AceCombatAssaultHorizon'' while giving you more starter options ([=Mig-21bis=] and Mirage 2000-5). In short, ''Ace Combat'' can't make up its mind as to the statistical quality of its starter plane(s).
* Iron weapons in most ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' games may be weaker, but they're also cheaper, more durable, easier to hit with, and in many circumstances, enough to get the job done, even late in the game. Staffs are the same way; there are classy "mend" wands but the toy "heal" wands are almost as good in the hands of a skilled clergyman.
* Averted in ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' with the very first {{Mon}} you receive, which is fairly powerful and ultra-rare. The first one you ''catch'', however, is most likely a horribly weak {{Com Mon|s}}. Except {{Magikarp|Power}}.
** Starly in the 4th gen games. It starts off looking like it'll just be like the earlier gen flying Mons (only to be used to fly around after a while), but it eventually evolves into Staraptor, a Pokemon that is very useful due to a powerful movepool.
** To an extent [[Videogame/PokemonXAndY Gen 6]] did this to Dragons. Before, only Dragon-type and Ice-type attacks are super effective against it while Steel-type resists Dragon-type attacks. Fairy-type, which is introduced in this generation, is not only super effective against Dragon-type but immune to it.
** In general while there are plenty of Pokemon who are useful at one point but aren't as the adventure goes on, there are plenty who you can get early and can be with you without much issue to the very end. Along with the aforementioned Starly and Magikarp, similar early season Pokemon that remain useful to the end of the adventure in various games include series mascot Pikachu, Ralts, Alolan Grimer, Shroomish, Riolu, and Abra.
* Averted to a degree by ''VideoGame/FrontMission 3'', where the various [[HumongousMecha Giant Robot]] parts could be upgraded, and were generally a trade-off between several qualities rather than a straight progression.
* Ultimately sidestepped in the ''VideoGame/FatalFury'' series. In ''Fatal Fury 3'', Terry loses his fairly useful Rising Tackle anti-air maneuver in exchange for gaining the arguably more useful Power Dunk. By the next game, ''Real Bout'', however, he regains the Tackle and keeps the Dunk. (Notably, his ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' incarnation never lost the Tackle in the first place, simply gaining the Dunk.) Subverted in the ''Fatal Fury'' [=OVAs=]. In ''Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf'', Joe's Hurricane Upper turns out to be his saving grace in the battle against Raiden. However, in ''Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle'', the upgraded form, Screw Upper, doesn't even affect [[BigBad Krauser]] in any way.
* ''VideoGame/GuildWars'', since the starting skills and spells are not particularly more powerful that the ones you learn later in the game. However it can be played straight in the case of other campaigns: If you choose to begin one with an existing character from another campaign you will encounter enemies with new unknown spells, since your character already has a set of spells learned on the original campaign and those spells were not specially designed to counter the new campaign's ones it encourages you to learn those new skills.
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}''
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'' has two special weapons which do not require hearts to use, holy water and the dagger. What's notable is that while the latter becomes completely useless after you get the morning star, the former, the very first special weapon you get, has uses throughout the entire game (especially for pinpointing fake blocks), and in fact is required to get to Dracula.
** Jonathan in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'' can't use the Vampire Killer properly, therefore it's one of the worst weapons to use throughout the game, even outclassed by the very first short sword you pick up. However, there is an optional BonusBoss where you can upgrade it, and it becomes one of the best weapons in the game from then on. Annoyingly, many of the mobility upgrades do this. You get the ability to jump on your partner's shoulder, then the better double jump like half an hour later. And then you get the super jump after the owl morph which allows you to fly, making the owl obsolete after like three uses.
** In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow2'', a certain boss [[spoiler:Victor Belmont]] uses similar moves as the protagonist of the [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow first game]] Gabriel Belmont. His final moves is to summon the same demon Gabriel could summon that instantly kills any non-boss enemy. Dracula [[spoiler:aka Gabriel Belmont]] simply summons the Void Sword and slices the demon to pieces before freezing and shattering it. The Black Knight also remarks that [[spoiler:Victor and the Brotherhood]] aren't going to get far relying on antiques like [[spoiler:Victor's Combat Cross.]]
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGear'', you can get through at least 90% of the game with the handgun, one of the first weapons you find. There is simply no better weapon for dispatching the numerous troops you encounter. The machine gun is at best occasionally useful, the remote missile runs out too quickly to be of much use (and is available in only one location) and ''every other weapon'' is good for taking out bosses and absolutely nothing else. Nearly every other game in the series continues this pattern.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'' uses this as the game's EstablishingCharacterMoment. The first boss, and essentially the first enemy that the player's required to give any attention to, is ''[[HumongousMecha Metal Gear RAY]]'', which Raiden coolly dispatches with a run-of-the-mill HF blade and a low-performance body. The boss fight after that, which is scripted to ensure the player cannot win, serves to establish cyborgs as much more threatening than any Metal Gear.
* ''VideoGame/RedFaction'' is a particularly egregious example of this... the weapons you get in the first half of the game that worked so well against the regular Ultor Guards become absolutely useless against the Mercs that show up in the game's second half. Instead, you have to grab a Precision Rifle off of the first Merc you kill and use that as your standard weapon for the rest of the game. ''Guerrilla'' zig-zags this. A lot of the weapons you start off with have their uses but are still mostly outperformed by later weapons, some remaining viable only for ammo counts (the demolition charges give way to a rocket launcher and then a rifle that shoots nanomachines to disintegrate whatever you hit, but the launcher and rifle only get a handful of reloads while you can carry a ton of charges), while others are simply completely outmached (the normal assault rifle getting an upgraded version that fires homing bullets, with negligible differences in ammo count). The sledgehammer, however, remains very useful all throughout the game for its ease of use, no ammo limit, and being an instant kill on most enemies even to the end.
* In the ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpires'' series, nearly every unit has some upgraded version, ranging from just 1 to having 3. However, the upgrades aren't always worth it, because they cost resources and the upgraded unit doesn't always gain much from it.
** The upgrades that are '''really''' worth it are civilizations' unique Guard upgrades, for instance the British upgrade to Life Guard Hussars or the Dutch upgrade to Nassau Halbardiers, because those provide additional benefits on top of the standard upgrade bonuses.
* In the ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' series, when a faction gains access to the [[TankGoodness Mammoth Tank or its equivalent]], it tends to replace their basic tank because of how much stronger it is (a single Mammoth Tank in ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberiumWars C&C3]]'' can take on 3 of GDI's basic tanks and still win). Outside of the Mammoth Tanks, in more recent games, every faction has some advanced tank or HumongousMecha that is stronger then their basic tank. However, using advanced tanks in place of the basic ones isn't something universally done, because they cost a lot more, and are very slow. Some people actually prefer to stick with the basic tanks and make up for the quality difference with [[ZergRush greater numbers]].
* In ''VideoGame/PaperMario'', this happens with two fights that immediately follow each other. [[spoiler: You use the seven {{MacGuffin}}s that you spent most of the game collecting to deactivate [[BigBad Bowser's]] invulnerability that he gets from his super MacGuffin. You beat him, and he retreats to the roof. You go to fight him there, he activates his invulnerability again, you use the same move to deactivate it that worked a few minutes ago, and... Plink! "Ha ha, you moron! That weak move doesn't affect me anymore!" Fortunately, [[DamselInDistress Princess Peach]] uses ThePowerOfLove to boost your {{MacGuffin}}s so that they can turn off Bowser's invulnerability again.]]
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Descent}}'': The starting "laser" - even without any upgrades - does more damage per shot than almost every other gun in the game. Other weapons have a better rate of fire (allowing you to kill things quicker) and/or faster/multiple projectiles (making it easier to hit things at long range), but against easy-to-hit opponents that aren't so dangerous you need to kill them ''now'', the laser is still effective, and is the most efficient energy weapon in the game.
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'' averts this by making some of the basic tier talents and spells (Shield Bash, Winter's Grasp, Heal, Stealth, Dirty Fighting, need I go on?) useful throughout the entire game, but plays it straight in the case of Shield Wall being unarguably better than Shield Defense and Shield Cover.
* A story, rather than gameplay example in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'': the CoolStarship from the original game, ''Normandy'', is replaced by ''Normandy SR-2'', which is twice as big, packs a lot more punch, and comes with a ton of upgrades. Justified by [[spoiler:the original ''Normandy'' being destroyed by the Collectors in the opening cutscene]] and Shepard ''really'' needing a much more powerful vessel against these new enemies.
** Though ''Mass Effect 2'' does play this straight in terms of your weapons. For instance, the base assault rifle (the M-8 Avenger) doesn't deal as much damage as the upgrade assault rifle (the M-15 Vindicator) and isn't as accurate, with the Revenant Light Machine Gun leaving both in the dust, especially after you increase its accuracy. The base submachinegun (M-4 Shuriken) has poor accuracy, low firing rate, and low damage compared to its upgrade (M-9 Tempest).
* ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeedUnderground 2'' is a direct sequel to the first, and you have your powerful Skyline (best car of the previous game, and the one any player will be likely to own) smashed in the opening cutscene. With the insurance money you can only buy a not-so-fast compact. Subverted since some of the starter cars can be even better than the Skyline in the right hands. The worst offender is the [[WhatAPieceOfJunk Toyota Corolla GT-S]]: a humble hatchback famously known in Japan as the "Hachiroku/[=AE86=]" that is actually ''the best car of the game'' that can [[Manga/InitialD surprise supercars]].
** Although specifically a Tier 2 car in the Collector's Edition of ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed: Carbon'', it can beat the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRLjvimddXU final boss.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Dragonica}}'', the Anti-Air Shot is one of the earliest skills the Archer gets. Fast forward a great many levels and more than one PrestigeClass and many of your PVP opponents will still deride it as a 'Win Button'.
* ''VideoGame/TimeSplitters'' is slightly odd as many times it inverts the trope, if one takes the various time periods as 'seasons.' Not only do the mechanical and futuristic enemies take a TON of punishment but future tech weapons aside from the homing launcher are somewhat over-specialised. As far as rapid weapons go, many death-matchers swear by the automatic pistol (fires as fast as you can mash, dual-wielded by a pro can [[MoreDakka fire FASTER than the Tommygun]], shotgun (which is preferred to the automatic if one is refraining from the weapon swap trick), Tommygun, [=SB90=], and AK-47 rather than the sci-fi autorifle (fires slow then ramps up, faster it fires lower the damage), lasergun (must be charged to really do damage and people will hoard explosives if available just to get around the shield), and sci-fi handgun (The reflecting bullets are deadly, especially in the first where it is VERY easy to headshot yourself in enclosed spaces as it travels a LOT faster.)
* ''VideoGame/BanjoTooie'' starts the player off with all the abilities that could be learned in ''VideoGame/BanjoKazooie'', some of which remain vital for progressing through the entire game, yet several of them immediately prove to be pointless in the new game world. For example, the first game requires the heroes to learn a move called the Beak Buster in order to pound in the many large buttons set in the ground, whereas the sequel allows those same buttons to be activated by simply stepping onto them, and later it becomes necessary to learn a more devastating ground-pounding move, the Bill Drill. Many of the new egg-based moves revolve around the newly-implemented first-person shooting too, and many of the new puzzles and enemies (particularly bosses) are designed in a way that makes the first game's third-person straight-shot ineffective.
* While the first two ''VideoGame/ApeEscape'' game play this trope straight with [[spoiler:[[GameBreaker the Magic Punch]]]], ''Ape Escape 3'' averts it. Everything in ''Ape Escape 3'' has to be used sooner or later, especially in the [[MarathonLevel final 2 levels]]. Of course, the aversion mainly exists because [[spoiler:the Magic Punch]] was taken out of that game.
* As soon as the Shivans show up in ''VideoGame/{{Freespace}}'', all your past weapons become useless against their shields.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' has this trope apply not only spells but to [[TheRedMage Yosuke]] and [[CuteBruiser Chie's]] roles in combat. Yosuke starts out with good physical and wind attacks as well as healing, but his physical attacks are quickly outmatched by Chie's and his healing spells are soon outdone by Yukiko's. However, his wind attacks not only stay strong but soon prove to be the [[InfinityMinusOneSword Infinity -1]] [[InfinityPlusOneElement Element]] and he also learns some of the best buffs and debuffs in the game around the time his healing spells turn completely obsolete. Chie goes through a similar cycle but at a slower pace, starting out with good physical and ice attacks as well as the ability to tank but her defensive capabilities and single target physical attacks start to lose their punch around the time Kanji shows up to pick up the slack and her ice magic loses almost all of its effectiveness around the time Teddy takes to the field with his much harder hitting ice spells. However, her multi-target physical attacks start to gain real use around that point and [[MagikarpPower come to a head by the end game]] with [[GameBreaker Agneyastra]].
* VideoGame/{{Mega Man|Classic}}'s trusty Mega Buster fails him in the opening to the Game Boy ''VideoGame/MegaManV'' when Terra shows up. His charged shot simply [[NoSell bounces off him harmlessly]], and after getting knocked out he gets the brand-new Mega Arm attack. But then, for some reason, regular shots, which also didn't work on Terra, work on him when you finally get to fight him. Go figure.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Robopon}}'', Legend1 rankings don't mean much in Majiko; the tournament there is for Legend1s exclusively.
* A story-wise example in ''VideoGame/StarCraft''. In ''Brood War'', the Psi Disruptor was introduced as a secret weapon and essentially the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Zerg]]'s KryptoniteFactor by blocking their HiveMind, allowing the UED to take over most of the Swarm and leave Kerrigan considerably weakened until she managed to destroy it with help from her allies. As a result, in ''VideoGame/StarCraftIIHeartOfTheSwarm'', when Kerrigan [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge comes for him]], Arcturus Mengsk has his scientists create a new variant, the Psi Destroyer, which uses their HiveMind to ''destroy Zerg''... only to find out Kerrigan has made the acquisition of the Primal Zerg, who lack a HiveMind and as such [[NoSell are immune to the Psi Destroyer]].
* The third ''VideoGame/EmpireEarth'' had a singleplayer campaign in which you conquered a worldmap via individual skirmish battles, where advancing to the next era could only be done on the world map. Your AI opponents put a very low priority on advancing to the next era, however. Against units of one era higher, the old units could still compete in sufficient numbers. Against two era's higher, they barely served as speedbumps. At that point in the game, there was no longer a need to build a base and set up your CommandAndConquerEconomy: Your starting units could wipe out the enemy army and base easily. At the end of a game, your were fighting with sci-fi units that the medival peasants that your opponents fielded ought to worship rather than futilely try to fight.
* Somewhat subverted with the Shofelds in the first two ''VideoGame/SeriousSam'' games. A pair of starter weapons and relatively weak, they're still hit-scan weapons with unlimited ammo and decent for picking off individual enemies from a distance. While the Shofelds are ''technically'' superceded by the Tommy Gun and Sniper Rifle, the Shofelds are still good for mop-up duties if you're worried about conserving ammo for larger hordes of enemies (or huge, powerful enemies that the Sniper Rifle would be far more useful against).
* In ''VideoGame/TheWitcher'', you can, at the end of it, have an ancestral armor that was reforged, a steel sword that does +100% damages and ignore armor and a silver sword that does + 60% damages and has a high chance to disarm or stun your opponent(s), but if you import a save into ''VideoGame/TheWitcher2'', they suddenly become only slightly better than ''what you get in the tutorial''.
** Even more baffling when, in the [[VideoGame/TheWitcher3WildHunt third game]] you can get the silver sword back from the same person who gave in to you in the first game, and it proves [[InfinityPlusOneSword hilariously overpowered]].
* In ''VideoGame/SinsOfTheProphets'', unlike the UNSC whose gameplay is built around leveraging the unique strengths of even the earliest-available combatant spacecraft, the Covenant tech tree is designed such that every new combat class available is a straight upgrade over the previous one, rendering the predecessor obsolete.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}'', the Squid Sisters, Callie and Marie, are a popular IdolSinger duo among the Inklings. In ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon 2}}'', however, two years had passed in-universe, and a new idol duo mamed "Off the Hook" (consisting of Pearl and Marina) have taken their place, complete with the same privileges the Squid Sisters once had.
-->'''Marie:''' ''(when her introduction fails to get a response from Agent 4)'' You've never heard of me? For eel?
* ''VideoGame/{{Terraria}}'': Before the 1.3 update, one could get through the majority of Hardmode with the [[GameBreaker Vampire Knives or Spectre Armor]], thanks to their LifeDrain abilities. Then the 1.3 update came, and these weapons/equipment hit a brick wall against [[spoiler:the Moon Lord]], who gives the player a debuff that makes all LifeDrain effects useless against it. Although there are a few ways to avoid its tentacle which blocks your LifeDrain abilities if it touches you, [[DownplayedTrope so it isn't completely useless.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{ARMA}} III'' has a form of this in regards to 5.56mm weapons. In real life those are what most modern militaries use, and they're still useful and effective. [[LikeRealityUnlessNoted In-game, however]], the two major modern powers (NATO and CSAT) have upgraded to better body armor that makes 5.56mm weapons - which indigenous forces like the Altis Armed Forces or FIA guerrillas are stuck with - as effective as peashooters, while they've moved on to bigger and better 6.5mm and 7.62mm weapons. This is particularly pronounced with the ''Apex'' DLC, which added [[ElitesAreMorGlamorous new special forces]] to both sides, NATO's CTRG-15 and CSAT's Viper - the latter uses Chinese guns in 5.8mm with equivalent power to what their main forces use, while the former has downgraded to 5.56mm weapons again (albeit in part because the storyline of the expansion doesn't have them actually hanging around to fight CSAT, but rather a local crime syndicate).

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/DimensionHeroes'', the Dimensional Guardians' powers are said to increase as the threats escalate in power.
* {{Super Robot|Genre}} villain Omega from the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' uses this trope every time he appears. Part of his schtick is that, between his attacks on the heroes, he re-engineers himself to be immune to whatever defeated him before. Did you beat him once with an electro-magnetic pulse? Sorry, this time he's got tempest shielding. Burn through his chassis with a laser? Sorry, this time he's coated himself with a reflective polymer, making him resistant to lasers. The heroes had to figure out a new way to beat him every time he showed up.
* In ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'', when Mechakara returns, he prevents Linkara from repeating the [[Franchise/PowerRangers morphing]] that allowed him to win the first time. His stronger forcefield does the rest (though it can't stop a [[Series/PowerRangersZeo Zeonized]] Linkara).

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}: WesternAnimation/BeastWars''. The quantum surge turned some characters into Transmetals, granting them new weapons, new looks, and more power. Aside from the two Fuzors, new characters who showed up from that point on were also Transmetals... Until the Transmetal Driver was found and altered by Megatron, and the Transmetal 2s came into play, resulting in another round of upgrades and another look for new characters. Optimus went Transmetal, got an upgraded "Optimal" Transmetal form, and Megatron and Cheetor both went from normal to Transmetal, and then to Transmetal 2. Naturally, the final forms of all three were formidable presences on the battlefield, as was Blackarachnia, who skipped right to Transmetal 2... A full list of who was what when would be far too exhaustive for this wiki. Characters of either faction who never upgraded tended to seem slightly weaker as the Beast Wars raged on. Except Rhinox, one of about two characters who lived from the beginning to the end of the show without upgrading once, and remained awesome and invaluable right to the end. Arguably, everyone else upgraded up to ''his'' level.
* ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' takes it a bit further than just making previous power-ups worthless: they practically [[ForgottenPhlebotinum eradicated their existence without any real explanation]]. The season 2 endgame featured the girls earning their Charmix (even prompting a line of dolls based on this new power up). Season 3, except for a brief mention by Alfea's headmistress, has completely forgotten about Charmix, instead opting to change the Winx's fairy forms altogether with a whole new power up, the Enchantix (hello, more dolls). And this is despite the fact that none of the girls get their Enchantix until the end of the 6th episode of that season, and there are quite a few big battles, including one against the series' perennial Big Bads, between the start of the season and the first Enchantix's appearance; such battles should at the very least have brought up a mention of Charmix.
* ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' had this occur at the beginning of the fourth season. Up until this point all major villains had been Chinese in origin and Uncle was able to deal with them through normal conventions. The fourth season's villain however was Japanese and Uncle, not being Japanese or even able to read Japanese, couldn't use his regular spells on them. Luckily for him, he had a Japanese apprentice.
* In the second season of the ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'' TV series, the Guardians get an upgrade after the Veil over Meridian is lowered; four of the girls receive power increases and PsychicPowers, while Will finally gets access to her [[ElementalPowers elemental power]], [[spoiler:Quintessence]]. This led them to completely [[CurbStompBattle curb stomp]] season one's BigBad Phobos when he was broken out of prison.
* When ''WesternAnimation/WordGirl'' made the jump from shorts to a full TV series, she gained the power to make her costume appear and disappear at will.
* In ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', Jeremie manages to program everyone vehicles at the beginning of Season 2, and made a significant costume upgrade in Season 4. Also, Yumi gains a second tessen fan and Odd a [[DeflectorShields deflector shield]] in Season 2. Finally, Aelita gets [[EnergyBall energy fields]] at the beginning of Season 3 and then [[PowerGivesYouWings angel wings]] in Season 4, turning her into an ActionGirl.
** For techniques that become obsolete and stop being used, there are Ulrich's Triplicate and Triangulate powers. He attempts ''once'' to Triplicate in order to fight [[TheDragon William]], but gets immediately struck down. He never tries again for the whole Season 4, probably believing William can instantly tell apart the clones from the real Ulrich.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'', Spidey gets his Venom suit mid-way through season 1, just in time for him to fight off the [[VillainTeamUp Sinister Six]]. In a subversion, he loses it soon after. In season 2 there's a notable ''lack'' of a mid-season powerup, despite the ever-increasing stakes; Spidey bemoans this.
* A variation of this occurs in ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'' where, beginning with the fifth season, the turtles would get new weapons and abilities, which would be discarded in the following season. Season five had the turtles gain the mystical Fangs of the Dragon and super-ninja abilities, ''Fast Forward'' had the turtles use futuristic variations on their trademark weapons, and ''Back to the Sewer'' gave them Cybernaut weapons and armors while in cyberspace.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': In "Keep Calm and Flutter On", Fluttershy learns, to her chagrin, that her Stare, which up until Season 3 has worked on all previous critters she's fixed it on, is ineffective on [[spoiler: Discord]]. [[spoiler:Subverted later on when it ''does'' work on him after his HeelFaceTurn, presumably meaning it was formally being heartless and without a conscience that stopped it from working on him.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MiaAndMe'': The elves in Centopia run into this problem in both the second and third seasons, since their enemies in that season (besides Gargona from Season 1) aren't dark elves, meaning both water and the trumptus is ineffective against them. Both seasons also have the elves end up weaponzing Phuddle's failed attempts at cooking in order to fight off the villains, using a super spicy soup in the second season against Rixel and his dino-dragon, and a pink sticky substance that was supposed to be lemonade to fight off Dax and his bug men.
* At the end of ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'', Po uses DangerousForbiddenTechnique the Wuxi Finger Hold to finish off [[BigBad Tai Lung]]. [[KungFuPanda3 Two movies later]], he attempts to use it again on [[TheAssimilator Kai the Collector]]...who literally [[NoSell laughs it off]]. Subverted, however, in that [[spoiler: Po still finds a way to make use of the Wuxi Finger Hold by using it on ''himself'' while grappling Kai, pulling a TakingYouWithMe that sends them both to the Spirit Realm.]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Happens fairly often in military history when one side adopts new methods, mass-produces sufficiently advanced equipment and/or weaponry. World War One probably has the most examples of any single conflict.
** 1914: Machine Guns > Rifles
** 1914: Artillery > Machine Guns > Rifles
** 1915: Artillery-with-observervation-aircraft > Machine Guns > Rifles
** 1915: Artillery-with-observervation-aircraft > Machine Guns > Grenades & Pistols > Rifles
** 1916: Artillery-with-observervation-aircraft > (Trench/Stokes) Mortars > Machine Guns > Grenades & Pistols > Rifles
** 1916: Artillery-with-observervation-aircraft > (Trench/Stokes) Mortars > Chars/Tanks > Machine Guns > Grenades & Pistols > Rifles
** 1916: Artillery-with-observervation-aircraft-and-gas-shells > (Trench/Stokes) Mortars > Chars/Tanks > Machine Guns > Grenades & Pistols > Rifles
** 1917: Heavy-Artillery-with-observervation-aircraft > Artillery-with-observervation-aircraft > (Trench/Stokes) Mortars > Chars/Tanks > Machine Guns > Grenades & Pistols > Rifles
** 1917: Heavy-Artillery-with-observervation-aircraft > Artillery-with-observervation-aircraft > (Trench/Stokes) Mortars > Chars/Tanks > Machine Guns > 'Light' Machine Guns > Grenades & Pistols > Rifles
*** Things get a little simpler with Artillery techniques for the Franco-British forces:
*** 1914: accurate Direct Fire over open sights (high gunner losses)
*** 1915: inaccurate Indirect Fire at unseen targets (few enemy losses )
*** 1916: reasonably accurate Indirect Fire at unseen targets (some enemy losses)
*** 1917: heavy, inaccurate Indirect Fire at unseen targets (variable enemy losses) [[note]] The prolonged, heavy firing techniques utilised since the previous year had worn out the guns' barrels, making them increasingly inaccurate. Sufficient replacement barrels were not forthcoming until the following year [[/note]]
*** 1918: very heavy, accurate Indirect Fire at unseen targets (devastating enemy losses)
** It was around for thousands of years. The best way to counter the enemy heavy cavalry, the most expensive of all western European warriors, in the mid 1500s? Tercio pikeman, lad. By the time of the Italian Wars of 1494–1559, horses were just giant targets on western European battlefields. Of course, light cavalry (for more than just scouting purposes) hung around for ''much'' longer.
** Greek Hoplite warfare was unchanged for centuries, then javelins were deployed against the phalanx, which required cavalry so as to fend of the skirmishers, which were best dealt with using the Hoplite's spears. Then things settled down for a few centuries before the Romans developed their Legions.
** The atomic bomb is so horrific, its main use without going past the point of no return (what wasn't known when it actually was used) is as a weapon of fear. Modern aircraft carriers can carry payloads just as destructive, but spread out over the aircraft carried and the ships' own missile systems. Thus all that destruction can be a lot more precise without fallout and other horrific collateral damage. Thus making it actually usable, and a credible threat for many situations.
* Happened to a comical level during the latter half of the Second World War as supplies began to run dry, [[BreakOutTheMuseumPiece older cannons were brought back...]] [[RealityEnsues and found to be totally ineffective anywhere but the back on most newer tanks]]. And the same happened with tanks, somewhat, especially for Germany, in order to have 'complete' combined arms regiments. They uparmoured the PanzerII with the F variant heavily, yet it still carried a measly 30mm which merely plinked off most anything it came up against. And it was horrible as an infantry tank too due to its long slender chassis not having enough room for many 'grapeshot' rounds or bullets.
** Make that double [[UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun for the Japanese]], who, despite having arguably the [[CoolShip most advanced destroyers in the world]], and not lacking much in the other ship classes, had [[TanksForNothing the land armor]] that was on the "ItBelongsInAMuseum" level even ''before'' the war, [[VillainForgotToLevelGrind and it stayed that way to the end]]. Naturally, whenever they had the opportunity to engage in tank warfare, like in Burma or Manchuria, the Allies [[CurbStompBattle wiped the floor with them]].
* Speaking of the UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun... the Arisaka Type 99 is a good candidate for the best bolt-action rifle ever built, and the design was in many ways revolutionary (among other things, it was the first rifle to have chromed internals). However, it was still a bolt-action rifle at a time when the opposition was increasingly (or exclusively) using semi-automatics (the M1 Garand and SVT-40, respectively). The Arisaka served well as a sniper rifle, but as a battle rifle its time was over before it began.
* One of the major reasons for UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar claiming so many lives was the ''massive'' dilution of talent caused by the fielding of such incredibly large armies relative to the pre-war pool of trained and experienced officers (just a couple of percent of the total!). The professional officer corps was well aware of how to make the best use of the available weapons and equipment, but the bulk of the men on both sides were commanded by bureaucrats, lawyers, and the like with little or no military experience or knowledge... initially. They learned, eventually - the hard way. Which is where this trope comes into play.
* From the 1960s through the early 2000s, the submachine gun was '''the''' gold standard weapon for counter-terrorists the world over. Standout examples include such legendary weapons like the Heckler & Koch [=MP5=] and the Uzi. However, beginning in the mid-2000s, the SMG's day in the spotlight began to fade as CT units and special forces groups moved towards compact assault rifles instead. A combination of the spread of global terrorism, close-in urban combat, advances in gun manufacturing, and further research into rifle cartridge ballistics have increased the popularity of carbines capable of firing intermediate rifle cartridges like 5.56x45mm and .223 Remington. In the American civilian firearms market, [=SMGs=] have also started to be replaced by "pistol-caliber carbines" which are essentially rifles chambered in pistol calibers: this can largely be attributed to the resurgence of the 9mm cartridge, as well as the massive increase in popularity of the AR-15 platform, which can be easily converted to fire said cartridge.

[[folder:TV Tropes Wiki]]
* It started with a wiki...
* ContributorAnnouncements.
* WikiTechWishList.
* YouKnowThatThingWhere.
* Expanded Trope base past Television.
* [[GarnishingTheStory Everything's Better With X]]
* Crowning Moment Clones
%% Please do not Camel Case HONF; the wick is no longer valid
* "High Octane" NightmareFuel
* Useful Notes
* Alternate Wikis like...
** DarthWiki/DarthWiki
** SugarWiki/SugarWiki
** LaconicWiki
** QuotesWiki
* Indexes seem to be the rage now.
* Indexes are so last season, Troper Tales are where it's at now.
* The forums seem to be getting at least some action too. Probably still a close second to Troper Tales.
* It seems like the forums had pasted the Troper Tales and had pushed the discussion pages to the side.
* And don't forget the Wiki/TVTropes Pantheon...