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[[quoteright:296:[[{{Franchise/Superman}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_worf_effect.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:296:[[NarratingTheObvious This guy must be tough; he's beating up Superman!]]]]-]

->''"He's the guy who's here to act tough so new characters can wreck him when they're introduced thus proving to the rest of us how amazing they are! Like [[Franchise/XMen Wolverine]] or [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Worf]]."''
-->-- '''Red Mage''', ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater''

Want a quick way to show how dangerous one of your unknown characters is? Simple, make them do well or win in a fight with a character that the audience already knows is tough. This establishes them as willing to fight and marks them as sufficiently dangerous.

For new villains, it's common for them to pick up the toughest character among the heroes (usually TheBigGuy) and hurl them across the room or otherwise take them out in one blow, thus showing that they are the real deal. It's even a genuinely good strategy -- take out the biggest and toughest in a group, and the rest will accept how tough you are instead of having to prove it over and over. When used sparingly and appropriately, this is a powerful way to establish said villain as a serious and credible threat, leaving the audience thinking, "Wow, they just beat up ''Worf''! They must be bad news!" But if the same character is repeatedly used as the target of displays like these, then the character [[BadassDecay begins to look weak]], and if abused, their reputation as the "biggest, toughest" etc. begins to look more like an InformedAbility than anything else.

WorfHadTheFlu is sometimes used to {{justif|iedTrope}}y Worf's poor showing. TheWorfBarrage is when an "ultimate" attack or technique is defeated this way instead of a character. If a new villain introduces themselves by beating the previous villain, that's MakeWayForTheNewVillains (a {{subtrope}}). If this happens to a major villain following a HeelFaceTurn on their part, that's a RedemptionDemotion. When Worf gets beaten ''emotionally'' rather than physically, that's BreakTheBadass. Applied to an entire military? You may get a RedShirtArmy.

Compare BadassInDistress and TheWorldsExpertOnGettingKilled, both of which can overlap. Killing off a RedShirt or two is a slightly different method for achieving a similar effect. If the character beats up a whole ''army'', ConservationOfNinjutsu is probably at work. HopelessBossFight, when the Worf Effect is shown in a form of BossBattle. Contrast FightDracula, in which a writer has a pre-established character (as opposed to a new one) demonstrate their awesomeness by fighting Dracula (but not necessarily winning). See also [[Analysis/TheWorfEffect the analysis page]] for some side analysis of this trope.

Named for the tendency in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' for hostile creatures to do that very thing to Worf. Also known in ProfessionalWrestling as [[{{Jobber}} "jobbing"]].

'''Note''': Please don't use this trope whenever someone losses a fight. It only applies if serves the purpose described above.



* TheWorfEffect/AnimeAndManga
* TheWorfEffect/ComicBooks
* TheWorfEffect/LiveActionTV
* TheWorfEffect/VideoGames
* TheWorfEffect/WesternAnimation

* One of the cause-and-effect-chain [=DirecTV=] commercials goes thusly, with lines 5-7 exemplifying this:
--> When your cable TV company keeps you on hold, you get angry …
--> When you get angry, you go blow off steam …
--> When you go blow off steam, accidents happen …
--> When accidents happen, you get an eye patch …
--> When you get an [[EyePatchOfPower eye patch]], people think you’re tough …
--> When people think you’re tough, they want to see how tough…
--> And when people see how tough, you wake up in a roadside ditch …
--> Don’t wake up in a roadside ditch

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In general, whenever there's a new character(s) created by the author or characters from other works in {{Crossover}}s to show how tough they are by [[CurbstompBattle easily defeating the oppoenents]] that the canon characters have trouble with.
* Original-creation and self-insertion characters in ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' fanfiction are obligated to prove their worth by making mush out of Kuno when they first meet him. And although he's more of an IronButtmonkey than a Worf, that's only on a relative scale: even someone at the bottom of the ''Ranma'' totem pole is still superhumanly strong, fast, and skilled by real-world standards.
* Similar to the ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' examples below, ''Fanfic/RiseOfTheGaleforces'' applies this trope to the [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot Turret Raptors,]] who are quickly defeated by even the youngest members of the main cast. Ditto for the local {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, e.g. Dynacide.
* Epic from ''Disgaea: Jewel of the gods'' is an example. He's introduced by taking out an immortal, giant enemy that Laharl, Adell, and Mao couldn't beat. After that he get's dominated by Etna, a reaper, Baal's minions, [[TheDragon Baal's right hand man Fried]], Baal, Raiden, and Alex, mixing in some ButtMonkey status along the way.
*** Well, what would you expect from a [[ChewToy Prinny?]]
** [[VideoGame/PhantomBrave Ash]] also gets this treatment. After he and Marona joined the group, he gets taken out fairly quickly in fights, mainly against [[BigBad Baal]], or when he fights one of the item gods.
* Deconstructed in the ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'' with [[spoiler:Spitfire. The repeated failures of the Wonderbolts to actually succeed in their heroic attempts begin to take their toll on her confidence and send her into a HeroicBSOD. Rainbow Dash snaps her out of it by reminding her that, even if the Wonderbolts can't do the ''actual'' heroics, they are still heroes because they ''inspire'' ponies who ''can''.]]
** [[BadFuture Dark World!]]Spike gets hit with this pretty bad for a while, as his superior strength and flame breath are one way or another made ineffective -- [[{{Golem}} Tom]] is literally MadeOfDiamond, the blackbirds could regenerate near instantly, and by the time [[TheStarscream the Valeyard]] was out of his protective shield, Spike had already been disabled (he lampshades the last one). However, the trope is ironically subverted during the fights with [[spoiler: [[OneWingedAngel Odyne!]][[TheDragon Cruelty]]]] and [[spoiler: [[TrueFinalBoss Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox]]]], the two strongest opponents in Dark World, as Spike manages to be as effective as everyone else.
* [[spoiler:Abyssgreymon]] in the Digimon fanfic [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7623289/1/ Transcendence: Digital Curse]] worfs everyone from the first two digimon adventures plus two other champions without even being touched. He apparently does this without wanting to or trying.
* In ''FanFic/{{Fractured}}'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'']] [[MassiveMultiplayerCrossover crossover]], this happens to the [[MassEffect Reapers]] who are set up as TheDreaded in Mass Effect canon. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] InUniverse since weaponry from the [[StarWars Trans-Galactic Republic]] is considered orders of magnitude more powerful and their DeflectorShields are better--unlike kinetic barriers they block both energy ''and'' physical weapons.
* Each of the {{Big Bad}}s in the ''FanFic/AzulaTrilogy'' prove themselves to be threats by being able to match or defeat one of the heroes -- Azun defeats Zuko in ''Heart'', Wei Ming goes toe-to-toe with Azula in ''Path'', and Jian Chin defeats Aang in ''Soul'' (though the latter two were [[DemonicPossession possessed]] by [[TheManBehindTheMan true]] BigBad [[spoiler: Zhan Zheng]] at the time, so this trope more works for him than them).
* In ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'', the Winter Soldier swiftly establishes himself as a OneManArmy and underlines his status as TheDreaded with his entrance. At first, the characters hear the guard animals, a [[Myth/GreekMythology Chimera]] and a Nundu (a gigantic magical leopard), attack something. Then their roars are cut off and the Winter Soldier enters with their heads in his hands. A Chimera's only been successfully slain once in history and a Nundu takes one hundred trained wizards to bring down.
** A later example of this is Gravemoss. In his opening scene, he mentions having once fought in-universe MemeticBadass [[ManipulativeBastard Stephen]] [[TheArchmage Strange]], and this, along with his other heinous actions, establish him as being very powerful and dangerous. But then they have a rematch during the FinalBattle of Book 1, where Strange defeats him ''while multitasking.'' Then it turns out that this trope was actually being ''invoked'': Gravemoss, knowing he's outmatched, draws on [[GodOfEvil Chthon's]] power [[spoiler: and Chthon pulls a GrandTheftMe, but that makes him vulnerable to getting hit by an Infinite Mass Punch that sends him into Jupiter's orbit]].
** In ''Ghosts of the Past,'' Harry and Carol get KO'd in one shot by [[spoiler: Sinister and Maddie Pryor, who then kidnap them]]. As one is [[spoiler: a teenage SuperSoldier]] and the other a PersonOfMassDestruction with a pretty good PsychicBlockDefense, this neatly establishes just how powerful and dangerous they and [[spoiler: the Red Room]] are.
** And then the tables are turned when [[spoiler: Sinister and the Red Room]] get handed a CurbStompBattle by the Avengers and Wanda Maximoff.
** It's made very clear that [[spoiler: Voldemort]] is an AdaptationalBadass, having leeched off some of Harry's magical and psychic powers, and matching Harry in a psychic brawl (though when Harry gets serious in the rematch, he gets flattened). But then he meets [[spoiler: Dracula]]...who suppresses his powers without any sign of visible effort, and makes it clear that if they do team up, they will do so with Dracula in the driving seat, not as [[spoiler: Voldemort's]] lackey or pawn.
* In ''Fanfic/TheTrollWar'' series, after Equius Zahhak resigns from the human starfleet and then explains his reason: "I have been...[[AliensStealCable reviewing your documentaries and the history of your spaceships]], John. And I will not be the 'Worf'." John Egbert convinces Equius to stay, not by telling him that ''Star Trek'' was fictional, but by promising he won't let the fleet "Worf" him.
* In ''Fanfic/UninvitedGuests'', this is ''[[InvokedTrope invoked]]'' by Hitsugaya in order to beat Aizen's PlotArmor. Enter "[[FillerVillain the Dark Lord Wolfington]]," who is [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial definitely not Komamura in a mask.]]
* ''FanFic/InnerDemons'': Twilight manages to [[spoiler: turn Princess Celestia [[TakenForGranite to stone]]]] by ''accident'' even before her FaceHeelTurn, which gives a good idea of just how powerful and dangerous her [[EnemyWithin Queen persona]] will later be. Which is proven true when one of the first things Queen!Twilight does is [[spoiler: completely [[CurbStompBattle wipe the floor]] with Princess Luna]].
** The first time we see one of Queen!Twilight's lieutenants fight the protagonists, [[spoiler: Scootaloo not only beats Rainbow Dash in a race, but leaves her unconscious in a ditch]]. Said lieutenant goes on to successfully fight the rest of the Element bearers and their allies, and very nearly defeats them, only being stopped by [[spoiler: Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie's Elements evolving to armor]].
** Speaking of which, an inverted example -- every time one of the Element bearers succeeds in [[spoiler: getting their elements to evolve to armor]], they easily Worf whatever they're fighting. The only exception is Rarity's offscreen fight with [[TheDragon Trixie]], which she loses, but even then it's implied that the fight was even enough that Queen!Twilight had to step in to end it.
* ''[[FanFic/UltimateSleepwalker Ultimate Sleepwalker: The New Dreams]]'' features an example between the villains Bullseye and 8-Ball when they fight after being hired by rival crimelords who are having a MobWar. In the official Marvel comics, Bullseye is an AxCrazy sadist who's seen as one of the most dangerous street-level villains in New York. 8-Ball, on the other hand, is a classic example of CListFodder. When they fight, Bullseye plays up his supposed A-list status and mocks 8-Ball for his supposed C-list status, but 8-Ball wins the fight and ends it by knocking Bullseye's severed head into a trashcan like a billiard ball.
* ''FanFic/ThePowersOfHarmony'': First time we see [[BigBad Cetus]] in action, she [[spoiler: defeats Celestia, and kills Grovi.]]
** Likewise, [[TheDragon Eclipse's]] first fight has her [[CurbStompBattle curbstomping]] Applejack, Granny Smith, Big Macintosh, and their Guards, [[spoiler: even killing Strauss.]]
** And the two of them working together easily defeat all of the remaining Mane Six and all their Guards, [[spoiler: including killing Elo.]]
* ''[[Fanfic/AFutureOfFriendshipAHistoryOfHate A Future of Friendship, A History of Hate]]'': When [[BigBad Ruinate]] gets loose, he quickly overpowers the Princesses and takes the Mane Six (minus Twilight) prisoner. And then, when they actually have a chance to use the Elements on him, he's already attuned himself to them and shrugs the attack off. It takes [[DivineIntervention help]] from [[BigGood Amity]] to give the ponies a chance to defeat him.
* In ''Fanfic/MassEffectHumanRevolution'', the AIA's Blacklight commandos have gotten their arses handed to them easily in three separate encounters with Adam, Johann and Hannibal.
* ''FanFic/JusticeLeagueOfEquestria'':
** ''Mare of Steel'': Rainbow Dash/[[Franchise/{{Superman}} Supermare]]'s first fights with [[DiscOneFinalBoss General Zod]] and ComicBook/{{Brainiac}} both go poorly for her, showing just how dangerous both villains are.
** ''The Princess of Themyscira'': [[WonderWoman Diana]]'s first fight with the [[ArtifactOfDoom Alicorn Amulet]]-powered [[GodOfEvil Ares]], while evenly matched at first, still ends with her beaten into unconsciousness and needing to be saved by Soarin'.
* In ''FanFic/ANewOrder'' the first fight after Haruka's awakening as [[Anime/SailorMoon Sailor Uranus]] is also the first operation Jadeite is put in charge of. Haruka is several years older than the other senshi, trained in hand-to-hand combat, and an outer senshi (meaning she's supposedly stronger than the inners). In spite of this, the battle ends with her [[spoiler: near death and in the hospital for several chapters]] though she did manage to kill the youma she was facing.
* In the ''WesternAmination/JackieChanAdventures'' and ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'' crossover fanfic ''Fanfic/{{Kage}}'' (part of FanFic/ProjectDarkJade, like ''FanFic/ShadowsAwakening'' below), [[EnemyWithin The Queen]] briefly manages to take control of Jade and uses [[CastingAShadow shadow-based]] CombatTentacles to capture [[BadassNormal Caleb]] and the {{Elemental Power|s}}[=-=]equipped Guardians, with perhaps the only reason they survived being Jade retaking control when she saw her reflection in a puddle.
** She later ends up on the receiving end when Elyon nearly kills her in a fit of rage (note that [[PsychoactivePowers rage makes Elyon more powerful]]).
* ''FanFic/ShadowsAwakening'': The first fight between the J-Team and [[BigBad Daolon Wong's]] new [[QuirkyMinibossSquad dark chi warriors]] ends with the heroes being forced to retreat and escape.
** Jade's tribe of [[AmazonBrigade Kunoichi Khan]] inflict this on Won's wizard Shadowkhan in turn, showing just how effective they are as {{Mage Killer}}s.
* In the first chapter of ''Fanfic/WakingNightmares'', one of the Nightmare Dogs (not even a named character) nearly kills [[PhysicalGod Princess Celestia]] with one unexpected strike. In a later scene, Slenderman kills [[=RED=]] Demoman and [[=RED=]] Medic in one hit ''while they're ubercharged''. (For non-''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' players, that means they're completely invulnerable.) The Doctor is hit by a verbal version when their enemies reveal that they know who he is... and aren't the slightest bit afraid. Until then, everything that has ever faced him and survived has learned to fear The Oncoming Storm.
* The AffectionateParody of common MLP cliches ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/120319/a-series-of-stories A Series of Stories]]'' has the frequency of this happening to Princess Celestia and Luna as one of the first tropes it lampoons. A [[ParodySue Parody Villain Sue]] that is a parody of every MLP villain cliche ever (a black and red Alicorn with a shattered world Cutie Mark and running on ThePowerOfHate named Ruin) shows up with the intention to crush the Princesses. [[OhNoNotAgain The Princesses are more annoyed than threatened due to this being apparently a common occurrence]], and after killing him [[OffscreenMomentOfAwesome in an offscreen battle]] complain about villains always coming after them due to trying to invoke this trope. Worth noting is the author ''loaths'' this trope due to how overused it can be.
--> '''Princess Celestia''': I blame Queen Chrysalis for it. It’s annoying; you lose once to [[WorfHadTheFlu a supercharged Changeling Queen in a room crowded with innocent civilians,]] and suddenly everypony thinks they can defeat you.
* In chapter two of ''Fanfic/{{Bait and Switch|STO}}'' and [[Recap/StarTrekOnlineFoundryBaitAndSwitch the Foundry mission it's based on]], this happened offscreen; only the aftereffects are shown. To drive home how much trouble Starfleet's having in the Beta Ursae sector block, the USS ''Defiant'' was badly damaged, but not irreparably, by a rogue Cardassian legate playing warlord.
* In ''Fanfic/TheSwarmOfWar'', the Overmind’s first mental battle is against [[http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Ahzek_Ahriman Ahzek Ahriman]]. That’s a ten thousand years old Badass with knowledge and power only surpassed by the Greater Daemons and Primarchs… and he barely manages to flee.
* ''{{Webcomic/Nightfall}}'': When Hades shows up he easily lays out Dave and Rose, and overpowers John and Vriska. With only Vriska and Dave managing to hit him. Jade steps in and brings the battle to a stalemate, and he's later whisked off by one of his "allies."
* ''FanFic/TheInfiniteLoops'' will usually play this for laughs, showing how a dangerous threat in canon is curbstomped by competent Loopers. It's been inverted on occasion, though, either to show that a Looper has ''no idea'' what they're facing or that things are just that serious.
* In the ''FanFic/FacingTheFutureSeries'', Vlad Plasmius and Dark Danny, two of the most powerful villains in the the ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' series that Danny would normally have problems against are completely overpowered by Danny's feral SuperMode on two occasions. He nearly would have destroyed them both (and himself) if not for Sam talking him down.
* In ''WebAnimation/DiamondInTheRoughTouhou'', [[spoiler:Flandre is subject to this. She agrees fighting according to the spellcard rules, but when the Diamondback's beasts start to cheat, she loses because she refused to disobey the rules.]]
* ''FanFic/TheEquestrianWindMage'':
** Sombra is the only villain to appear in Season 1 whom Vaati is unable to immediately [[CurbStompBattle curbstomp]]. In fact, Sombra ends up curbstomping ''him'' in their first fight, and their final fight is a draw until Vaati gets his hands on the Crystal Heart.
** Ganondorf [[CurbStompBattle easily wins]] the first battle of Season 2, using the Triforce of Power to overpower Vaati and NoSell the Elements of Harmony.
** Later, Ghirahim hands Daring Do her ass in the special episode that features her.
** [[spoiler: Discord doesn't fair very well against Majora's Avatar. Though unlike the above examples, the CMC ultimately help him turn the tables and beat the Avatar.]]
* In the WesternAnimation/FairlyOddparents fanfiction, ''FanFic/NeverHadAFriendLikeMe'', [[spoiler:Bob]] resists even Norm's genie's magic, and even more terrifyingly [[spoiler:destroys [[AchillesHeel Norm's lamp]], which even Jorgen couldn't do (though that was because of Da Rules)]].
* The ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry''[=/=]''Anime/BloodPlus'' crossover ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4607000/1/When-the-Devil-dies-the-Diva-cries When the Devil dies, the Diva cries]]'', the antagonist group proves its strength in their first fight to the extent that Dante and Saya end up having to escape rather than continue fighting; Dante is especially irked, because this is the first time that has ''ever'' happened to him.
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness'':
** Apoch and Astreal Ezrana have a reputation as being "the perfect shield and the perfect sword." Said reputation starts to become an InformedAbility as the series goes on, with more and more people proving able to block and survive Astreal's {{Hand Blast}}s and shatter Apoch's barriers.
** In Act II chapter 23, when the gang fights Kiria in the Snow Woman Village, he easily curb-stomps all of them to the extent that Tsukune is forced to unleash his [[SuperpoweredEvilSide inner ghoul]] just to stand a chance. Even then, Kiria ultimately comes out on top, and it's only because Kiria [[IWantThemAlive decides that Tsukune could be useful to his plans]] that they get out alive.
** Jovian and Jacqueline Kikion are set up as {{Invincible Villain}}s with impenetrable barriers and unblockable energy attacks, with their power levels being outright described by Akua as [[ReadingsAreOffTheScale immeasurable]]. Come Act IV, and it turns out the new Apoch's LaserBlade can cut through their barriers and deflect their attacks.
** The first sign of just how tough a [[GiantFlyer rylo]] is in Act VI? Kurumu using her Princess of Hell SuperMode doesn't even faze it.
** The rylo is also on the receiving end of this; in Act VI chapter 25, Astreal uses the [[EnergyBow Artimus Arrow]] spell, which completely obliterates the supposedly NighInvulnerable demon with [[OneHitKill one shot]].
* ''Fanfic/FriendshipIsMagicalGirls'':
** Sunset Shimmer dominates her first fight with the mahoushoujo in Magic 5, only being defeated when the girls activate the Elements of Harmony and use them to weaken her.
** Both fights with [[EliteMooks Royal Changelings]] go ''very'' poorly for the girls, with them only winning by virtue of a new mahoushoujo awakening.
** The first fight with the [[EvilCounterpart Shadowbolts]] in Loyalty 3 only ends because Gilda is enraged by Spike's presence and leaves to plot a new strategy.
** After the mahoushoujo manage to defeat the Shadowbolts easily in their rematch in Loyalty 4, you might start to think they're not as threatening. Come Loyalty 9, this gets flipped on its head, as thanks to [[spoiler: gaining Lunar Seal-powered mahoushoujo forms]], they nearly ''kill'' Applejack, and only lose because [[EnigmaticMinion Starscream]] doesn't fight, and Spike mutually fights Gilda into a bloody mess.
* Zigzagged in ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'';
** Tsali manages to defeat Super Sonic one-on-one in the opening scene. However (unknown to Sonic), he was wounded and only barely won. Come Episode 64 when he fights Sonic, Shadow, and Eric in their Super forms, it doesn't take long for him to lose horribly.
** Maledict is quickly shown to be an InvincibleVillain who curb-stomps the heroes into the floor. Then comes in Dark Tails, who grows so powerful that he shrugs off all of Maledict's attacks. [[spoiler: It's a good thing Sonic and friends end up allying with him]].
* ''[[Fanfic/GuardiansWizardsAndKungFuFighters Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters]]'' shows that when [[OracularHead Tarakudo]] is in his [[OneWingedAngel full-bodied form]], he's basically an unstoppable PhysicalGod. The first time he takes this form, he nearly kills [[spoiler: Nimue]] and her two students, only being stopped because the unnamed GreaterScopeVillain intervenes (due to [[CantKillYouStillNeedYou still needing them alive]]).

* ''Film/AntMan'': Scott makes it to the roof of the Avenger's Headquarters only to be confronted by well-established hero, Comicbook/TheFalcon. In quick succession Scott enters the Avengers HQ, defeats Falcon in a one-on-one fight, and escapes to reveal he successfully completed the mission. Being able to hang with Falcon proves his mettle as a superhero on par with the Avengers.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''
** Worf himself did not escape this trope when it came time for the cast of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' to make it to the big screen. In ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'', his ship ([[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space 9's]] ''Defiant'', a SuperPrototype originally designed with the Borg in mind, if you're keeping track) is damaged early on against a massive Borg Cube (on-screen, at least, as it's implied that it's one of the only ships still intact and even at fighting capability from when they first clashed with the cube ''at the edge of the Solar System''! "Tough little ship", indeed) and he is forced to hang out on the Enterprise for the rest of the movie. But averted for most of the movie when he proceeds to wreck every Borg drone he encounters.
** Other Klingons suffer from this tendency, too. In ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture'', the opening sequence is three Klingon ships, all looking quite badass...and all three get taken to pieces in about ten seconds by V'Ger. For that point forward, Birds of Prey were about as [[BadassDecay durable as tissue paper]].
** In ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', a bunch of Klingons (of course) ring it in as jobbers to show how powerful John Harrison is.
** And the ''Enterprise'' itself, boasted as one of the most advanced ships in the Federation fleet (a few years prior), [[spoiler:gets curbstomped by the ''Vengeance'' (A brand-new, so logically even more advanced) without even being able to fire a single shot back. An understandable outcome for a cruiser versus a battleship. Khan also mentions later that the Vengeance was specifically designed for that kind of overwhelming Warp ambush, previously thought to be impossible]].
* Just like his comic counterpart, ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} gets this treatment in the ''Film/XMenFilmSeries''. ComicBook/{{Magneto}}, Mystique, Sabertooth, Lady Deathstrike, and the Juggernaut all had their way with him throughout the series to show how tough they are. [[GoodThingYouCanHeal Good Thing He Can Heal]]!
* In ''Film/XMenFirstClass'', [[spoiler:when he confronts the First Class, Shaw kills one of them in the conflict. Who does he kill? The guy whose power is gaining the traits he needs to survive in any situation.]]
* ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'':
** In ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'' we see the T-800 (Arnold), the 6'2" unstoppable killer robot who for the whole last movie was one of the most menacing things ever put to film, get thrown around like a rag-doll by the considerably shorter and skinnier T-1000. Mainly at the end of the movie, though; earlier in the film he tends to keep the upper hand. For the most part, if its a gunfight, the impervious T-800 will win. If it's a fistfight, the intangible T-1000 will win.
** Even more pronounced in ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'', in which the ''even stronger'' T-X repeatedly defeats the Arnold Terminator in direct combat. He gets blasted inactive by a bolt from her plasma cannon, thrown through walls, gets his head knocked off and reprogrammed by her, [[spoiler:and only defeats her by blowing himself up as well.]]
* The ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' movies gauges the danger-levels of characters against the ''[[TyrannosaurusRex T. rex]]'' ([[StockDinosaurs the most well-known dinosaur even before the movies came out]]) in order to let the audience know how tough they were:
** Muldoon takes on a ''T. rex'' early in [[Film/JurassicPark the first film]] and holds his own, but is then easily outsmarted and killed by the ''Velociraptors'' in order to establish them as more of a threat. Ironically, the ''T. rex'' later kills the ''Velociraptors''.
** A ''T. rex'' is killed by the ''Spinosaurus'' in ''Film/JurassicParkIII'' to show that the latter is tougher.
** Played with and ultimately subverted in ''Film/JurassicWorld''; [[spoiler: the ''I. rex'' gets the upper hand and soundly trashes the old ''T. rex'', but a timely distraction from [[RaptorAttack Blue]] gives the ''T. rex'' room to recover and overpower the ''I. rex'']]. Although played straight earlier on: one of the first victims of the ''I. rex'' is an ''Ankylosaurus'', a large herbivore with an armoured shell and a heavy bone club on the end of it's tail, which gets killed very quickly and [[OffWithHisHead messily]] by the abomination.
* Gandalf in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' is a powerful wizard, respected and feared by all. It is thus a very big deal when he is terrified of the [[spoiler:Balrog in Moria]] and showcases the [[spoiler:Balrog's power and the tragedy of Gandalf's defeat]]. Though he doesn't fight it, Legolas' reaction to [[spoiler: the Balrog]] is this: when the camera cuts to his face after Gandalf says the name of the new threat, the elf prince who is unflappable and composed throughout the trilogy, who stares down massive armies, mighty trolls, and rampaging mumakil without batting an eye, is [[http://web.archive.org/web/20130531121957/http://www.freewebs.com/the_leaves_of_lorien/legolas_fear.jpg barely able to contain his fear]].
** Gandalf gets Worfed quite a bit throughout the movies. In ''The Fellowship Of The Ring'', he's [[CurbstompBattle curbstomped]] by Saruman, though he gets to pay that one back in the sequels when he [[CameBackStrong Comes Back Strong]]. The extended edition of ''The Return of The King'' has the Witch King shatter his staff, in the theatrical cut he 'merely' expresses apprehension at the thought of having to fight him. And in ''The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug'', he's easily defeated by the Necromancer/[[spoiler: Sauron]].
* Obi-Wan Kenobi had his fare share of worf effects through the ''Franchise/StarWars'' series. Obi-Wan was killed the first time we got to see Darth Vader in action, was getting beaten by Darth Maul (alongside his mentor) until Maul picked up the IdiotBall, and was beaten by Count Dooku twice. He nearly becomes fish food thanks to [[BadassNormal Jango Fett]], though he managed to put up ''much'' more of a fight than against Dooku.
* In ''Film/EnterTheDragon'', we get introduced to Williams' ability to kick butt. He then faces the BigBad, Mr. Han. It is the first time we actually see Han in action so naturally, this trope in invoked.
* In ''Film/TheRock'', the elite SEAL team sent in against the renegade Marines is quickly ambushed and massacred, leaving behind only the two non-[=SEALs=] that were accompanying them.
* In the 2011 film ''Film/{{Warrior}}'': We see Mad Dog crush his sparring partner with a spinning back elbow, only to be crushed himself by Tommy the first time we see him fight.
* This is played with on a meta level in ''Film/{{Wishmaster}}''. The evil Djinn's victims include people played by horror film icons such as Creator/RobertEnglund (Freddy Krueger from ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet''), Tony Todd (the eponymous ''Film/{{Candyman}}''), and Creator/KaneHodder (Jason Voorhees from ''Franchise/FridayThe13th''). It's a little hard to believe that this casting was not deliberate.
* In ''Film/PacificRim'', when Crimson Typhoon is introduced, its impressive combat record is listed along with a description of its ace pilots. When Cherno Alpha is introduced, it's revealed that not only is it a Mark 1 Jaeger, making it the oldest still functioning, but it's the largest and heaviest Jaeger around. It's also stated that the perimeter it was assigned to went 6 years without being breached by a {{Kaiju}} attack. [[spoiler: During the Hong Kong attack, both Alpha and Crimson get to show off their skills, but are completely destroyed by the two attacking Kaiju, effectively spelling out just how dangerous they must be to eliminate such powerful Jaegers with so little effort. Gipsy Danger's ability to defeat both by itself (albeit one at a time, ''after'' they had split up) illustrates just how powerful it is, despite the rust it has in some inconvenient places. Striker Eureka is also defeated in the battle but is not an example; it was taken out by a specialized attack that the other nuclear-powered Jaegers were immune to. Incidentally, the scene also serves to reveal that Kaiju are developing ways to counter individual Jaegers - not just the specialized weapona above, but Odachi's acid breath counters Cherno's dense armor, and its prehensile tail can grab Crimson Typhoon's head.]]
* From ''Film/VanHelsing'', Anna by Aleera, repeatedly throughout the movie. The above problem actually becomes an issue, as it turns Anna into a FauxActionGirl. For what it's worth, she gets even.
* In ''Film/DieHard2'', Colonel Stewart's men kill the SWAT team sent to protect Chief Controller Barnes when he goes to activate the antenna array in the Terminal Annex. Only [=McClane=] is able to kill all of them to prevent them from killing Barnes, too.
* In ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'', anyone who faces against the [[ComicBook/BuckyBarnes titular villain]] is easily dealt with. ComicBook/TheFalcon suffered a CurbStompBattle while ''in his wing suit'', and [[Comicbook/BlackWIdow Natasha]], who put up one hell of a fight, was quickly overwhelmed by his combat ability and shot in the shoulder. The only exception to this is [[ComicBook/CaptainAmerica Steve]], who early on defeated [[BadassNormal Batroc]] and later an entire elevator filled with ComicBook/{{SHIELD}} agents entirely on his own. It's shown that Steve and the Winter Soldier are equals in one-on-one combat, due to being the only physically enhanced humans in the entire film. This is all to build suspense, as while Steve is the only one capable of defeating the Winter Soldier in combat, [[spoiler:he is also the ''least'' capable person of facing against him, due to the Winter Soldier's true identity as Bucky Barnes, Steve's long-thought dead best friend.]]
* WordOfGod from director James Gunn is that this was the exact reason [[spoiler: The Other]] was killed off in ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy''.
-->'''James Gunn''': So that’s part of it, and then part of it is the fact that you’re setting up this incredibly powerful character, but you don’t want to belittle the actual antagonist of the film, which is Ronan. You don’t want him to seem like a big wussy. So how do you make that work? And that’s why Ronan kills [[spoiler: The Other]]. I thought that was interesting, because we’ve had [[spoiler: the Other]], who’s obviously very powerful even in comparison to Loki, and then we see Ronan wipe his ass with him.
* In ''Film/KingsmanTheSecretService'', after the original Lancelot's introduction shows off his badass credentials by having him effortlessly slaughter a room of bad guys without spilling a drop of whiskey, [[spoiler:Gazelle suddenly and quickly kills him to establish how formidable she is]].
* In the first act of ''Film/ThorRagnarok'', Hela quickly kills [[spoiler: Volstagg, Fandral and Hogun]] from the previous [[Film/{{Thor}} two]] [[Film/ThorTheDarkWorld movies]] to show how deadly she is.
* ''Film/Snatch'' Gorgeous George is very muscular and uses unorthodox attacks while training. [[spoiler: He gets one-hit KO'd by Mickey.]]
* The first hour of ''Film/{{Predator}}'' establishes that the team of commando mercenaries is made up of the absolute deadliest men on Earth. This is used to highlight just how dangerous the [[KnightOfCerebus titular alien]] is when he shows up and starts effortlessly slaughtering them one-by-one.

* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'':
** [[SixthRangerTraitor David]] subjects [[TheLeader team leader]] Jake to this during their duel. Up until this point, Jake's tiger has been one of the most lethally efficient morphs the team has. Despite having a year's worth of battle experience David doesn't, Jake still loses. Badly.
** Rachel is the TheBigGuy, and her [[BearsAreBadNews grizzly bear morph]] is terrifyingly powerful. She uses it to fight a [[NeverSmileAtACrocodile crocodile]] at one point, and it not only [[CurbStompBattle trounces]] her, but Cassie (as a squirrel) and Marco (as a llama) as well, though the last two admittedly aren't combat animals. The crocodile is itself Worfed, when Ax shows up and [[BewareTheSillyOnes effortlessly]] [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe cuts the thing in half]].
* In''Franchise/TheDarkTower'', Mordred Deschain, a villain who was recently born (not just introduced, but actually born a few hours earlier) was able to take out Randall Flagg, Stephen King's ubervillain, within about three pages to demonstrate his menace.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'',
** In ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'' Carrot goes into the Mended Drum to break up one of their regular bar fights. The other Watchmen with him expect to see bits of him start flying out at any moment. Instead, Detritus (a troll, which on Discworld are made of solid rock) is the first to fly out. Unconscious. Softer targets follow. (It was previously established that Detritus was employed at the Drum as a Splatter. Like a bouncer, but people thrown by a troll tend not to bounce.)
*** Then in ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'', just to show how dangerous Wolfgang von Uberwald is, he beats Carrot in his turn like a [[IncrediblyLamePun red-headed stepchild]].
** In ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'', the Sourceror Coin upon entering the Great Hall of the Unseen University asks the wizards who is the most powerful of them, so that he can duel him. Skarmer Billias, an eight grade wizard, steps up, seeing the challenge as a joke. After displaying his most powerful spell, creating a miniature of Maligree's Wonderful Garden, Coin counters by making the garden life-size and bringing all the wizards with him into it. After this display he incinerates Billias with a single thought.
* Ghost-kicking, Hell-strutting Virgil from ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'' fails horribly to protect Dante from the demons of Dis, creating real suspense that they'll make Dante stay in Hell forever. When all seems lost, the thousand demons scramble away in fear at the sight of one angel. The angel who knocks down all their fortifications with a light push from a stick, strictly establishing that the powers of Heaven are unrivaled by those of humanity and Hell.
* In the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' series, kender are supposed to be immune to fear. Consequently, they're almost constantly having a strange, new, unfamiliar feeling to let the reader know something is so scary that even they got scared!
* ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'': The Imperial Sardaukar are the most terrifying and deadly warriors in the known universe, and their only real purpose is to establish how much deadlier the Fremen are by getting their asses handed to them at every encounter. When they attack Paul's sietch, they take devastating losses fighting Fremen who are not even warriors. The Sardaukar are never a real threat when Fremen are involved.
* In the later novels of Creator/AlanDeanFoster's ''[[Literature/HumanxCommonwealth Flinx and Pip]]'' series, [[ABoyAndHisX Pip]] suffers from this trope. Any time a serious threat to Flinx presents itself, the very first thing it does is restrain or otherwise deal with his minidrag.
* The ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'' novella, ''Attack of The Mutant'', has three ridiculous examples in a row. First, the Galloping Gazelle, an animal themed superhero with SuperSpeed, gets beaten by villain Molecule Man when the latter trips him and morphs into a leopard. The Gazelle runs in fear, while the titular mutant kills Molecule Man in the form of ''a pre-teen girl.'' Finally, the Mutant himself is destroyed when the protagonist Skipper tricks him into becoming a liquid([[RequiredSecondaryPowers he can't reassemble himself in this state]]). And Skipper is ''twelve-years old.''
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Mad-Eye Moody, master duelist who's put more Dark wizards in prison than any other Auror, has never won a serious fight in the text. True, his opponents are always either Voldemort's hardest core or Voldemort himself, but you'd think he'd save ''someone's'' butt given his street cred. [[spoiler: He is killed in the first few chapters of the seventh book, for the sole purpose of showing how ''serious business'' everything now is, embodying this trope.]] In one of [[Film/HarryPotter the movies]], we at least get to see him briefly knock over a [[{{Mooks}} random Death Eater]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZWtt1oAPCM&t=1m50s using some sort of magic from his cane]].
** John Dawlish is even worse: he was introduced by Dumbledore [[InformedAbility praising his combat skills]] before warning him that he was no match for him, and since then he has lost every single fight he had, getting [[CurbStompBattle trounced faster than anyone could see]] by Dumbledore, either summarily manhandled by Hagrid or terrified into helplessness when he beat up a group of Aurors that underestimated him, defeated off-screen by Dumbledore a second time, defeated off-screen by the Order of the Phoenix to lay a false trail, summarily curbstomped by an extra, and when he was sent to take Neville's grandmother hostage...
--> '''Neville:''' Little old witch living alone, they probably thought they didn't need to send anyone particularly powerful. Anyway, Dawlish is still in St. Mungo's and Gran's on the run.
** Tonks, Sirius, and Kingsley were all established to be talented at magic, however the three are defeated one by one by Bellatrix Lestrange at the end of the fifth book. It doesn't stop there! When Dumbledore joins the fray he rounds up all ten of the Death Eaters in the room in a matter of seconds, with the exception of Bellatrix who is able to deflect his spell and escape.
** Even Harry gets this on occasion. Though he is shown many times to be an advanced duelist for his age, he is completely unable to land a single hit against Lord Voldemort or Severus Snape. He doesn't do much better during his duel with Bellatrix and only survived his first two encounters with Dolohov because the latter got distracted.
* The Giants in ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus''. Despite being stated to be the greatest threat Olympus has ever faced and three revealed being so far created as direct counters to the most powerful Olympians they have all be defeated fairly easily. Possibly justified in Porpheryion at least was not at full power. That and Percy is just that badass, so a villainous example of OvershadowedByAwesome?
* There are many examples in Steve Alten's ''Literature/{{Meg}}'' series where a {{Megalodon}} defeats equally large and dangerous predators (to the point of bordering on VillainSue), but only the opening scene of the first novel qualifies (wherein Meg eats a TyrannosaurusRex) because the marine reptiles are too obscure to the general public to be this trope.
* ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'': Nicko Heap in ''Physik'' is mentioned to be strong enough to tackle virtually anybody, but when he tries to attack Queen Etheldredda, she just swats him out of the way.
* Feral of ''Literature/SoonIWillBeInvincible''. A ferocious tiger-man who's ended the entire careers of supervillains, and his entire plot importance consists of being beaten up by a baseline human, being blown away by a mad scientist, being knocked out by a mad scientist, being beaten up by mecha-insect aliens in a flashback, and being beaten up by a mad scientist again.
* In ''Literature/SpaceMarineBattles'', novel Fall of Damnos, the Ultramarines are on the receiving end of a long string of these, to showcase just how dangerous the Necron threat is.
* Franchise/StarWarsLegends:
** The Nohgri, silent-stalking little commando people who are ''very'' good fighters. The same [[Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy trilogy]] which introduces them has them accept Leia as the Mal'ary'ush, the Lady Vader, so some of them become her bodyguards. Very nearly every work set after that has them either inexplicably not present or getting tricked, out-tracked, and out-fought by ''everyone''. [[Literature/HandOfThrawn Shada Du'kal]] even wonders if their reputation is exaggerated, although she at least is a Mistryl shadow guard, only had to get past one of them, and had a very novel way of tricking him. This is taken to ridiculous depths in ''Literature/NewJediOrder''.
** For Karen Traviss, the Jedi are hateful incompetent death-deserving people fit only to [[CreatorsPet puff up her Mandalorians]]; hence they either convert, sit quietly and accept really pathetic {{Hannibal Lecture}}s while being very impressed, or are curb-stomped. Every. Time. A connection to TheForce which binds all things, shaves reaction times, oxygenates blood more efficiently, provides telekinetic abilities, enhances strength, and gives battle precognition sufficient to deflect blaster bolts into enemies with the narrow blade of a lightsaber is no match at all for the perfect warrior people with their beskar'gam armor!
** What's the best way to show how strong a villain in the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse? Make him toss some Jedi around the room with his eyes closed and one hand behind his back. What's the best way to show how serious the situation is? Kill a few Jedi. In books, games, and comics, if a Jedi isn't a protagonist, he's fucked. ''Especially'' if he happens to meet [[ComicBook/{{Legacy}} Sith]], [[KnightsOfTheoldRepublic Mandalorians]], [[WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars Grievous]], [[WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars Cad Bane]], or [[Literature/NewJediOrder extra galactic invaders]].
** In ''Literature/LegacyOfTheForce'', they have their villain stab [[VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga Kyle Katarn]] through the chest. Thankfully, this get's reversed, and Kyle's shown much more respect, in the ''Literature/FateOfTheJedi'' books.
** Played rather straight in the ''Revan'' prequel to ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic''. [[spoiler: The Sith Emperor casually kills a number of major supporting characters from KnightsOfTheOldRepublic, disfigures Revan and leaves him as little more than a charred mess. He is then kept alive as a power source for the Emperor, admittedly having some small influence over the Sith's mind which does help end the Great Galactic War, and is rescued during the game. But only so it can happen to him ''again'' at the hands of Imperial characters because his 300 years of imprisonment have driven him mad.]]
** In ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'', ''Darth Vader'' is this once or twice. But it's used pretty carefully, considering -- he's not part of the regular cast and never actually gets ''defeated'', but he's definitely brought in so the reader can go "Whoah! Vader {{Curb Stomp Battle}}s everyone! This guy must be tough!" In ''Army of Terror'' [[spoiler: Eppon]] holds his own against him in a lengthy fight, countering his best moves but having his countered in turn, and that fight never concludes. The [[spoiler: literal DarthVaderClone]] is also on nearly-equal footing and is only beaten because he has no lightsaber, but that might be expected.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** ''The Return'', Worf is pwned by, of all people, [[spoiler:the risen Kirk]], using a Klingon's best weapon. Consider who these novels are written by...supposedly.
** Creator/PeterDavid uses this sparingly in ''Literature/StarTrekNewFrontier'', mainly because the Excalibur's version of Worf, Kebron, is a veritable walking landmass. But being used sparingly, it's much more effective: When someone can topple Kebron, you know they're trouble.
** In addition, in David's Starfleet Academy novels, guess which Klingon gets in a fight with which Brikar on their very first day there?
* The [[spoiler:Sons of Progress]] strongman from ''Literature/SuperPowereds''. Despite having a power enhancer increase his strength by a factor of dozens at least beyond what was already superhuman, his most incredible accomplishment is making Titan ''take a step back''. He doesn't even noticably hurt him, although Roy had apparently never seen any strongman make him step back.
* At the end of the second ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' book. Edward attacks the Volturi to try to keep them from using a psychic attack on Bella and is promptly smacked down to show why they're so feared.
* Possibly lampshaded in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novel, ''Daemon World''. When a group of Word Bearer Chaos Marines board his ship, [[spoiler: Arguelon Veq]]'s first target is Vrox, an Obliterator (which, for the uninitiated, is a mutated monstrosity twice the size of regular Chaos Space Marines and can spawn weapons and armor from his body). After he kills Vrox with relative ease, he even comments that he was the least threatening of the Chaos Marines on board.
* In the final book of the original story arc in ''Literature/WarriorCats'', [[spoiler: the newly-introduced villain Scourge kills [[BigBad Tigerstar]] when all of the Clans are gathered, for spite, to intimidate the Clans into complying with his demands, and (we learn later) for revenge.]]
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' Nynaeve in canon is one of the strongest channelers in the world. When a channeler comes along who is the ''best'' at something, this is often established by noting that they're better at it than Nynaeve. This isn't as egregious as it might be, because she has very little training, and raw power is often shown to not be equal to skill or technique. Be'lal is shown to be a better swordsman than Rand, who is himself a MasterSwordsman.
%%* Anyone Roran is sent to replace in ''Literature/InheritanceCycle''. Especially with [[spoiler: Queen Islanzadi near the end of the final book.]]
%%* [[spoiler:Cato taking out Thresh]] in Book 1 of ''Literature/TheHungerGames'' series.

* The title character of [[Music/JimCroce "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown"]] is set up throughout the song as "the baddest man in the whole damn town," complete with packing a gun and razor wherever he goes... but by the end of the song, a bar fight with the husband of a woman he's checking out has left him [[BodyHorror looking like "a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone"]].

[[folder:Mythology and Folklore]]
* Tigers in East Asian fables tend to get sacrificed to show the badassery of various characters.
** Oni are almost always depicted as wearing a tiger skin on some part of their body, or at least tiger-teeth jewelry.
** The first thing [[Literature/JourneyToTheWest Sun Wukong]] does when released from his imprisonment is beat a tiger to death and fashion a kilt out of his skin. Before that, he beat up the entire army of the Celestial Court. The ''really'' powerful beings that finally subdued him weren't in the mood to interfere until personally insulted or their [=IOUs=] were tapped.
* [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]]:
** Ares is recognized as the god of war and embodiment of physical power, but tends to lose or get humiliated in nearly every story about him. He gets trapped and humiliated by Hephaestus when Ares and Aphrodite (Hephaestus' consort) are caught in an illicit love affair, is terrified into retreating from the monster Typhon, loses a boxing match to Apollo, ends up wounded by the hero [[Literature/TheIliad Diomedes]] with the aid of Athena forcing him to flee the battle, gets defeated by Hercules twice and stripped of his armor in one instance, is locked in a bronze jar by the Aloadae requiring Hermes to free him, and is defeated in battle with [[GeniusBruiser Athena]] by a rock to the head. Athena had a habit of humiliating him and Zeus generally said he was worthless. His humiliations are usually attributed to the Greeks preferring the more intellectual Athena and Ares being hated for embodying the chaotic and destructive nature of warfare. Oh, and Nike (Victory) usually sided against him. (In fact, the only gods who liked him were probably Eris, Aphrodite, and maybe Hades, seeing as deaths caused by war gave him more subjects.)
** Aphrodite was the goddess of beauty and love, and the most beautiful goddess of them all, yet a lot of really beautiful women or demigoddesses were frequently compared to her and proclaimed to either equal to her or even surpass her. For instance, there is Psyche who charmed Eros, Aphrodite's son, or Hellen, Zeus's illegitimate daughter, whose beauty contributed to enhance, if not cause, the Trojan war.
* Indra from Myth/HinduMythology started off as the supreme god, lord of heaven, and ultimate warrior. He rose to power by saving the world from an endless drought through slaying the demon snake Vrtra after breaking through the demons 99 fortresses with his Vajra or thunderbolt. Nowadays it's hard to find a story where he does not lose his throne, is completely ineffective in battle, or in some way humiliated. Even his one claim to fame has been retold with either Vishnu having to save him or practically handing him his victory.
* In Myth/RussianMythologyAndTales, the Firebird is a magical creature that is supposedly nigh-impossible to catch. Some stories about hunting the Firebird do portray the hunt as just such an impressive quest, but almost as often the hero catches the avian almost as an afterthought.
* This happens in virtually every text in [[Myth/KingArthur Arthurian Legend]]. Every time a new knight is introduced, they prove how great he is by having him defeat a line-up of more established knights. Gawain gets this a lot, as does Percival.
* Nearly every Robin Hood [[Literature/ChildBallads Child Ballad]] is a variation on the plot of a stranger defeating Robin in combat and thus earning his respect and being invited to join his merry band of outlaws. Read or listened to all at once, they become one long catalog of failure, the great Hood getting his ass handed to him over and over and over. He even loses to Maid Marian.
* Throughout the early [[Literature/TheBible Bible]] stories (those also in the Torah) the big, powerful empire around is Egypt. Several times the Israelites prove the superiority of their God over this greatest early empire, either by saving it from future famine (Joseph) or freeing an entire subjugated ethnicity despite all of Egypt's might (Moses).

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/BoboBrazil basically said this when the ''Body Press'' magazine was interviewing the opponents of Wrestling/PamperoFirpo, saying you had to beat him to have any kind of future.
* WWE has always had a "Big Man Who Loses" for new people to demonstrate their ability . In the 80s, they used jobbers Dave Barbie and Rusty Brooks. In the 2000s Wrestling/{{Kane}} has played this role. Sometimes Kane gets pushed and Wrestling/TheBigShow or Wrestling/MarkHenry filled in for him. The Great Khali as well after his initial two pushes.
* Wrestling/{{WCW}} also had a few big jobbers-to-the-stars (to name a few, Roadblock, Rick Fuller, and Kevin Northcutt) who sometimes squashed people on WCW Saturday Night and the syndicated shows but only appeared on [[Wrestling/WCWMondayNitro Nitro]] to worf. [[Wrestling/RonReis Ron Studd]] seemed to exist solely to set up [[Wrestling/TheBigShow The Giant]].
* Wrestling/TheUndertaker is often the victim of this (as opposed to more conventional jobbing), which causes most viewers who have been watching ''[[Wrestling/{{WWESmackDown}} WWE [=SmackDown!=]]]'' for more than a few months to conclude that Wrestling/MichaelCole has a very short memory.
** The Undertaker is so good in this role, he doesn't even have to get beat to prove the new guy is credible. From Wrestling/{{Yokozuna}} to [[Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin "Stone Cold" Steve Austin]] to Wrestling/JeffHardy, the easy way to establish a WWE wrestler as a legit main-eventer has been to have him stare into the Dead Man's eyes and refuse to flinch. (And when [[Wrestling/MickFoley Mankind]] proved himself Taker's equal in psychological warfare, it made him an instant star.)
* [[Wrestling/HacksawJimDuggan "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan]] practically made a career out of setting up the Big Invincible Monster for Wrestling/HulkHogan.
* When Wrestling/BrockLesnar debuted, within a week he was throwing the 350lb Wrestling/{{Rikishi}} around like a ragdoll. Within a month he was doing the same to the near-400lb Wrestling/MarkHenry. Within a year he was throwing the 500lb Big Show around with suplexes.
** Lesnar also got to Worf Effect ''for'' The Big Show. Show went from being the Big Man Who Loses to the man who broke Lesnar's -- the man who slaughtered ''Hulk Hogan'' -- winning streak (with a little outside interference) overnight. That was partly because the tag line for the angle was "don't wake the sleeping giant" -- a particularly unconvincing version of WorfHadTheFlu.
* Speaking of Mark Henry, that may actually be the ''best'' pro-wrestling example of this trope. Henry's been with the company for longer than anybody but [[Wrestling/{{DGenerationX}} DX]], Kane, and The Undertaker, yet has been in the 'monster jobber' role for a long time even while being simultaneously pushed as legitimately the world's strongest man. In 2008 he even got his hands on the Wrestling/{{ECW}} Championship, and still lost a greater number of matches than any single person on that brand. Then in 2009, they suddenly bring him over to the A-show Raw, switch him to a good-guy role and have him cleanly pin the then-WWE-Champion Wrestling/RandyOrton...[[RedemptionDemotion only to quickly drop him back down to the losing end of over half of his matches]], even while he's a supposed "powerhouse" and the fans couldn't be cheering for him more.
** Henry might have finally become an aversion. Since the 2011 Draft, he has been tear-assing through Smackdown, booked like the Juggernaut, culminating in his dethroning the aforementioned Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Title at Night of Champions. The promos have made heavy mention that it's his first title reign in his 15 year (on and off) WWE career, so we may get a decent run with Henry as champ.
* When Kane debuted, WWF had several wrestlers Worf Effect for him, most notably Ahmed Johnson and Wrestling/{{Vader}}. Using Vader for this was very controversial at the time, as Vader had built up ''years'' of [[WrestlingMonster monster]] credibility, and a lot of fans just plain didn't buy Vader being dominated in the ring at all.
* In a very unusual setup, WCW had Wrestling/{{Goldberg}} and Meng Worf Effect for each other. Wrestling/{{Meng}} (Haku in [=WWF/E=])would batter Goldberg all over the ring for roughly three quarters of the match, when Goldberg usually tossed opponents around effortlessly. Then at the point where Meng would usually apply the Tongan Death Grip and win the match, Goldberg would rally back, spear, jackhammer, pinfall. The two of them had surprisingly good chemistry in the ring together, and despite Goldberg winning every single battle between them, the fights were popular enough that Little Caesars [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xypaN3Fvuz0 shot a commercial]] with Goldberg and Meng [[SoBadItsGood putting aside their differences over a pizza]].
** When Goldberg first joined WWE, one of his first matches was against Rodney Mack. Mack had been on a fairly significant undefeated streak. Goldberg still beat him in the usual 30 second squash.
* [[InvokedTrope The reason]] Havok&Hatred assaulted Big Van Missy after she {{squash| match}}ed Sean Hanson in a {{loser leaves| town}} Wrestling/{{WSU}} match.
* Going into 2010, Wrestling/BethPhoenix had been de-emphasized as the dominant monster heel due to her angle with "Santina" Marella as well as losing cleanly to other divas on the roster. In order to elevate her to the top of the women's division, WWE had two Worf Effect moments for her:
** She entered the Royal Rumble and eliminated the Great Khali.
** Delivered an almighty Glam Slam to the Women's Champion Wrestling/MichelleMcCool and became the first person to pin her cleanly in over five months. To this day Michelle still hasn't beaten Beth cleanly.
* Again, Wrestling/WadeBarrett said this was the reason he had The Core attack Wrestling/TheBigShow when they debuted on Smackdown.
* Wrestling/{{Chavo Guerrero| Jr}}, Wrestling/{{Carlito| Colon}}, Wrestling/JohnMorrison, [[TheGiant the over Seven Foot]] Dementus and Mil Mascaras all fell to the first WWL World Heavyweight Champion Monster Pain, to set him up for a feud with Blue Demon Jr. {{Downplayed| trope}} in that Morrison had a victory over Pain prior and Dementus put up a very good fight.
* It's a pretty standard formula for starting up a feud over the title. The champion is in a tag team match (sometimes it's a singles match) and the wrestler they want to push will get a surprise win with the champion taking the pin. Usually another tag match will follow with the same thing happening again. Next there will be some kind of #1 contender's match and the wrestler will get his/her official title shot (sometimes they don't even use a #1 contender's match if the wrestler beats the champion in a non-title singles match). However it can go either way whether or not the wrestler actually wins the title.
* This is a very common way of establishing a new star in wrestling. Have him or her beat an older wrestler that fans know is tough. It doesn't always work, and it can [[XPacHeat backfire]] if fans are unwilling to accept the new wrestler as an equal of the older one.
* Wrestling/TaminaSnuka often fills this role in WWE's women's division. She's quite limited in the ring but benefits from MusclesAreMeaningful - so she can be presented as TheDreaded in order to make others look better by beating her. She has often found herself being used as a bodyguard for other title contenders.
* Wrestling/RicFlair played this role when {{Wrestling/Umaga}} debuted on Wrestling/WWERaw.

* ''Roleplay/YuGiOhEastAcademy'': Skull Knight seems to have been introduced solely for Sigmund to get his official badass license.
** Marcus has been subjected to this no less than ''three'' times, being curbstomped by Peter, Yikzhekel and Haine.
** And Denero gets his ass handed to him by [[spoiler: David]] in the latters first duel in the show.

* In combat sports such as boxing and UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts, contenders on the rise are often matched up with "gatekeepers," who are reasonably tough veterans of the sport who will not be challenging for the title any time soon. Defeating a gatekeeper gives fighters experience and allows them to ascend the championship ladder without sacrificing the careers of fellow contenders.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Used regularly in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' fluff and books. If the faction's in the pages of a [[{{Sourcebook}} Codex]], but not on the cover, you'd better believe they'll be getting their asses kicked by whomever is[[note]]With the odd exception of the 5th edition Tyranid codex, which was mostly about Hive Fleet defeats, including that time the Phoenix Lord Maugan Ra took out a whole swarm by himself[[/note]]. This can naturally lead to problems when the development cycle leaves factions OutOfFocus for years to accumulate a long string of defeats, with no victories to counteract them.
** Daemon Lord M'kar is a case that [[DependingOnTheWriter Depends on the Writer]]. Sometimes he's a terrifying threat, or when written by the [[ScapegoatCreator infamous]] Matt Ward he exists to show up and get pantsed by the latest new special character needing some badass cred.
** The most consistently Worfed thing in ''40k'' has to be the the Avatar of Khaine, the physical embodiment of the Eldar's god of war. To date the Avatar has been killed by two different Primarchs (one of whom somehow strangled a giant animated statue of molten metal), a Greater Daemon of Slaanesh (via [[DemonicPossession possession]], [[FridgeLogic somehow]]), Marneus Calgar of the Ultramarines, the Blood Angels' Sanguinor, twelve bum-rushing Tyranid Carnifexes, the Blood Ravens ''four times'' over the ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'' games, the Legion of the Damned who brought down a roof on it, and Maugan Ra, ''an Eldar''.
** Materials can be Worfs too: [[MadeOfIndestructium Adamantium]] is only ever mentioned in terms of how a given weapon can effortlessly slice through it, while Terminator armor has a similar tendency to get ripped apart to show how dangerous a threat is.
** An odd example is Ollanius Pius, who dates back to the oldest fluff. This [[PunyEarthlings mere human Guardsman]] intervened during the GodEmperor's duel against his [[FallenHero fallen]] [[ParentalFavoritism son]] [[TheParagonAlwaysRebels Horus]], and though slain effortlessly, Pius' death showed the Emperor that his son was past redemption, inspiring him to defeat Horus once and for all. Later {{retcon}}s tried to be true to this trope, and turned Pius from a human to a SpaceMarine [[ElitesAreMoreGlamorous Terminator]] to a [[PraetorianGuard Custodian Guard]], but this is arguably missing the point: Pius' death was meaningful ''because'' he was no threat to Horus, yet [[HeroicSacrifice he acted anyway]] and was [[ForTheEvulz killed for it]]. As of the Literature/HorusHeresy books, Pius is back to being a Guardsman, albeit an immortal warrior and peer of the Emperor instead of a normal human, perhaps as a weird compromise.
** The hilarious amounts of worfs Kaldor Draigo plowed through is what contributed to his MarySue status, as his codex entry in 5th edition had him all but dance on Tzeentch's ass on how badly he stomped Daemon Champions (including carving a name into a Daemon Primarch's chest). The books later expanded on all of this providing context, while the later 7th edition codex omitted them completely.
** Probably the ultimate worf is the Imperial Guard. The standard Guardsman is armed with a laser rifle akin in terms of power to a modern battle rifle while being just as pin-point accurate as you'd expect a laser to be, and armoured in flak jackets and helmets impervious to civilian/police firearms and even capable of stopping high-powered rifle rounds and shotgun blasts; this is stuff that modern special forces would kill to get their hands on. Yet against just about everybody else in this setting, these remarkable weapons are derided as [[FanNickname "t-shirts and flashlights"]], and Guardsmen '''die in droves'''. It really does hammer home the fact that if any of the armies of ''40000'' attacked Earth in real life, all the combined might of every nation's military [[CurbStompBattle wouldn't last long at all]].
* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' product line, a remarkable number of adventures require the {{player character}}s to rescue Dr. Rudolph van Richten when he's kidnapped, mind-controlled, committed to an asylum, or otherwise incapacitated...so much so, it mars his reputation as a shrewd and competent monster-hunter, to have gotten himself captured so many times. Probably a side effect of his being the most prominent non-evil {{NPC}} in the game setting, whom writers can't resist using in their scenarios, yet must hamstring to ensure he won't outshine the players' characters. This actually gets explained in ''Van Richten's guide to the Vistani''. He's under a [[GypsyCurse Vistani curse]] that compels him to go into dangerous situations and fail horribly in ways that get all his friends killed, but allows him to survive.
* The eponymous ''TabletopGame/{{Champions}}'' were shown lying beaten alarmingly often for the world's premier heroes in the game's 4th edition, in the interests of making whichever villain they were trying to promote look nastier. Nowadays the art usually shows the heroes putting up a fight rather than just having lost one.
* ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' has the Monarchs. Any time they appear on a card, it's them [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Prideful_Roar getting their asses]] [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Intercept kicked or about]] [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Inverse_Universe to get their]] [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Screen_of_Red asses kicked.]] This may be something of a backlash against their former GameBreaker status.
** Behemoth, The King of All Animals, is similarly unlucky, suffering humiliating losses on Threatening Roar, Lucky Punch, and Cross Counter.
* This is actively subverted in White Wolf's ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken''. The Rahu Auspice are the designated tough guy in any pack. What inborn ability do they gain for being Rahu? The ability to tell at a glance whether or not they could take a given opponent in a fight.
* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', a variation occurs, because of the {{metagame}}: If a card turns out to be a GameBreaker, there will be instant answers to it next set, though (as per the rules) there are always answers to everything. Storyline-wise, Lin Sivvi was a GameBreaker in the Masques block; she died at the very beginning of the Invasion block.
** How did Khans of Tarkir establish that Surrak Dragonclaw was badass? [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=386652 Have him punch out a bear.]] On a Common card, no less, so it was likely that anyone who bought more than 1-2 boosters worth of KTK would see it. Then Sarkhan altered the timeline. In the new one, the people who had been the Khans were all over the place: Anafenza was a ghost, Zurgo little more than a living musical doorbell, Sidisi a zombie (albeit one that still had ambitions), Narset had actually done pretty well and awoken as a planeswalker, and Surrak...[[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=394567 was still badass, as shown by art of him punching out a dragon.]]
** The Gatewatch had a year-long introduction in which they took out two of the [[EldritchAbomination Eldrazi Titans]] and then bound the third ([[WorfHadTheFlu admittedly with its help]]), in order to 1) resolve that particular plot arc, which had been hovering in stasis for half a decade, and 2) establish how much the faces of the five colours of mana could achieve if they worked together; while all the characters were individually known qualities and most had been the viewpoint character for a block or two, this was the first time they had worked as a concerted unit rather than bounced around having their own adventures. Then they had the trope turned back on them by Nicol Bolas, a major contender for Magic's BigBad and a character who hadn't appeared on a card in eight years, most of which had seen the player base expand and sales go up; to establish his credibility with the people who hadn't been playing in 2009 and remind people who had that he was a ridiculous powerhouse, Bolas took down the entire Gatewatch, making sure to hit each one in their own specialty for bonus showoff points.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': the Bull of the North is recommended for this in Compass: North, while Return of the Scarlet Empress sets up [[spoiler:as much of the Fivescore Fellowship as the Storyteller wishes to take out]], and especially Chejop Kejak.
* The [[http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=3481&it=1 first book]] in the ''Immortal Handbook'' series (an UpToEleven modification of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'') shows two monsters battling on the cover. If you look, you can see the ''Tarrasque'' cowering on the background.
* In ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'', there was a time period during the early Clan invasion until just before the Fed-Com Civil War where new 'Mechs such as the Clan Omnis or advanced-tech Inner Sphere assault 'Mechs had to quickly make names for themselves. In these cases they were often shown destroying an ''Atlas'', otherwise revered as one of the biggest, toughest, and most dangerous Battlemechs around. This is [[JustifiedTrope justified]] because while the ''Atlas'' is a famous mech with a fearsome reputation in-universe, it's not actually that great of a mech and therefore it's pretty easy to build soemthing that's more powerful than it is, especially if the new mech has more advanced weaponry and equipment.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''
** Happens especially with Servant Berserker. His Master makes no secret of his true identity as Hercules. He's called ''The Strongest Servant'', he's top-tier in all the main factors that determine a Servant's strength (age, fame, and mana stores of his Master), with his Class enhancing his already insane power, attacks below 'A'-rank barely scratch him, and [[spoiler:he revives 12 times before he can be KilledOffForReal]]. You'd think he's a shoe-in to win [[ThereCanBeOnlyOne the Grail War]]. However, he is always eliminated half-way through any scenario, all to show how impressive some other character is or has become. Taking from a modified text above...''"If those things took down Berserker in less than two minutes, what chance do we have?"'' [[MemeticMutation Isn't it sad,]] [[GratuitousEnglish Bahsahkah?]] To be completely fair, in the Fate arc, [[spoiler:he took out Archer and nearly killed Shirou and Rin]] and he went out in a blaze of glory in Unlimited Blade Works [[spoiler:tanking Gate of Babylon after Gate of Babylon to shield Ilya]] cementing how badass he actually is.
*** Hercules is actually a strange case of WorfHadTheFlu. The Berserker class is generally regarded as a trap option, as while it greatly strengthens servants summoned under it, it ALSO tends to remove their capacity for critical thought, and disables most of their strongest abilities. The only real exceptions to this rule are people like Beowulf, who aren't truly insane but are "berserkers" in combat, or people like Kiyohime, SF!Jack, and Spartacus, who are inherently insane and must be summoned under Berserker to show their strength. Archer Hercules in Strange Fake demonstrates perfectly how much more powerful he is when he's allowed thought.
** Early in UBW, Servant Rider is hit by this trope. [[spoiler: Although being regarded as one of the strongest Servant, she is killed off-screen with "Just one blow" by Caster's Master Kuzuki Souchirou, who is a mere human with his strength enhanced by Servant Caster's magic. A similar fate will almost fall upon Servant Saber, regarded as the strongest servant.]]
** The true master of this trope is ''Lancer''; he is established early on as being a badass while fighting Archer and almost kills Shiro and delivers a badass one-liner immediately following, but it's all downhill from there. In the Fate route he is [[spoiler:killed by Gilagmesh to establish how powerful he is]]. In Unlimited Blade Works he is [[spoiler: forced to kill himself by Kotomine ordering him to do so with a Command Spell]], though he does have his [[SugarWiki/MomentofAwesome chance to shine]] immediately following this. Finally in Heaven's Feel he [[spoiler: dies to establish True Assasin's cred.]] Although, his death in ''Heaven's Feel'' is because [[spoiler:Dark Sakura cornered him, meaning he would've died by either True Assassin or Dark Sakura. If Dark Sakura weren't there, True Assassin would've been gone as fast as he arrived.]]
*** His Gag in the SpinOff ''Anime/CarnivalPhantasm'' is essentially The Worf Effect taken UpToEleven to ButtMonkey proportions.
** Ultimate example: Even motherfucking ''GILGAMESH'', the strongest day guy in the whole series, has suffered from this. At the end of UBW, he and [[spoiler: Shirou]] have an epic fight [[spoiler: in Shirou's newly discovered Reality Marble]] and he loses. Admittedly he wasn't really trying(i.e. wasn't [[GameBreaker using]] [[OneHitKO Ea]] or wearing armor or taking advantage of his Gate of Babylon nearly as much as he should have been) until it was too late, but as a Warrior-King of Sumer, you'd think he wouldn't be outfought with ''swords'' by a guy who specializes in ''[[spoiler:archery]]''. And in ''Heaven’s Feel'' [[spoiler: Dark Sakura]] kills him while seriously wounded, confused, and scared. [[spoiler:Then EATS him, taking his power.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* As [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2007/09/18/episode-895-the-punching-bag/ this strip]] explains, Black Mage of ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' functions as both the Worf and the ButtMonkey. Probably from how he almost always uses [[KamehameHadoken one spell]], that while powerful, can only be used once a day.
* In ''Webcomic/GrrlPower'', Concretia makes [[http://www.grrlpowercomic.com/archives/1303/ an entrance]], complete with stats, an immediately blows away Mr. Amorphous and Achillies to show how bad arsed she is. Then in [[http://www.grrlpowercomic.com/archives/1304/ the very next page]] she is taken down by Math to show just how [[BadAssNormal bad-arsed normal]] he is.
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', Bun-Bun found himself used like this during "Dangerous Days Ahead". Getting his butt kicked by the monstrous CEO form of [[spoiler:clone!]]Aylee was a major plot point because in the past, Aylee was not strong enough to win a fight with him.
** Their first battle ended in a draw as they both collapsed from exhaustion, although Bun-Bun managed to slice off Aylee's arm before the end (it regenerated). [[spoiler:The fact that "Aylee" was a clone whose evolution was controlled to make her stronger helps]].
** Oasis sometimes falls victim to this, as while she is a deadly assassin, she also loses against [[spoiler:Clone!]]Aylee, and previously lost to [[SuperPoweredEvilSide demon-possessed Gwynn]].
*** Finally, in June 2009 Bun-Bun and Oasis faced each other in a full-out fight. Who would be the Worf this time? [[spoiler:Bun-Bun. It was likely decided by the fact that the storyline at the time was all about Oasis and it would have been cut anticlimactically short if she'd been the one to lose. Bun-bun had taken the advantage when it was solely about conventional means of fighting, but when Oasis' pyrokinetic powers are shown, the fight goes the other way]].
* In one of the prequel books of ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', the Order is about to face a guard monster, only to have it hit Roy with a roll of 2. Upon realizing that it can nail the party member with the probable highest Armor Class with such a low roll, they flee.
** Explicitly lampshaded in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0736.html this strip]].
** Slight alteration by Redcloak, when he takes out a tribe's number 2, in front of the number one, and then turns to the chief and says something like, "Oh, he was your chief, wasn't he?". The real chief immediately surrenders to avoid death.
* Sara and the other Time Monks from ''Webcomic/ErrantStory''. The author directly invokes the trope in a [[http://www.errantstory.com/2009-04-29/4173 commentary comic]].
** Sara's jobbing seems restricted to magic-using enemies. For example, she gets caught by an unexpected bind spell, but once Meji frees her she takes down three elves in a handful of seconds.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'':
** [[NobleBigot Equius]], the strongest of the trolls, (he ''[[TestosteronePoisoning punched the head off an ogre with his bare hands!]]'') is [[spoiler: easily strangled to death by [[MonsterClown Gamzee]] as his first victim]]. This is arguably both a [[PlayedStraight straight play]] and a subversion, since WordOfGod says [[spoiler: he could have easily broken the bowstring with his STRONG neck, but didn't because [[FantasticRacism Gamzee is a highblood]] and therefore had the right to kill him]], [[CombatSadomasochist at least in Equius' mind]].
** [[DemotedToExtra Hegemonic]] [[TheBrute Brute.]] Biggest, toughest, meanest of the Derse agents, save Jack once he gets the ring. His [[AlternateUniverse Midnight Crew counterpart]] Hearts Boxcars devours the heads of his enemies whole and rips huge safes out of brick walls. Yet in the first iteration of the kids' game he's held in a headlock by Dad Egbert and later slain off-screen by the [[BewareTheNiceOnes relatively harmless-looking and meek Parcel Mistress]] (using the sword his boss gave her, no less), and in the post-[[ResetButton Scratch]] session decapitated in one sweep by Dirk Strider with only three panels worth of screen time.
*** Dirk himself becomes a Worf later on when he gets badly beaten by the ascended Caliborn, and has to be bailed out by Jake's Hope bomb.
** [[BigBad Jack]] [[PhysicalGod Noir]]. He was the main antagonist of the first five arcs, the reason why both the kids and the trolls' sessions turned to shit, and was shown to be able to take on people with god-like power as well as destroy two universes. [[spoiler: He gets in a fight with John while in a dream bubble. John manages to beat him back for most of the fight and humiliate him with a silly hat, before PM comes back to chase him across the universe.]]
** Jade Harley is the most powerful God-Tier kid in the series. She has abilities derived from the Green Sun, the power source of the First Guardians, as well as God-Tier, and is capable of effortlessly shrinking planets down to small size. [[spoiler:As it turns out, not even the Green Sun can match the [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower fully unleashed power of hope]] from [[TheFool Jake English]] of all people.]]
* Generally, the first action of a villain during the Yearly ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'' Villain Kills Everyone storyline is to take out Protoman, who could be loosely described as a sort of robot Franchise/{{Batman}}. More often than not, the nigh-indestructible "Demon"-class robots, Nate and Chadling, would also be reduced to their goo state at this stage, meaning that unless they merged with another character, they wouldn't be contributing too much.
* Elliot from ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' suffers from this, even though the series isn't focused on combat. He built a reputation as a BullyHunter and befriended two of the main characters through saving them from bullies and defeated the first antagonist of the strip. He then lost to [[spoiler:Grace's brother Hedge]], and embarrassingly so having been knocked out after one blow[[note]]and the exhaustion from one involuntary transformation that may have been precipitated by that blow[[/note]]. Elliot also suffered from this in Nanase's introduction, where her badass cred is established as being the only person able to defeat Elliot in combat.
** Nanase herself also suffer the Worf Effect indirectly. Her Guardian Angel spell made her able to pretty much curb-stomp Abraham, but then when she assumes it against Not-Tengu Ellen is able to tell she's lying when she said she could take it on singlehandedly. In addition, Magus schemes to keep Nanase away from his plan, and when one character presumes this is because she'd be able to defeat him, he replies that it's actually because he's far more powerful and doesn't want to hurt her.
** Elliot further suffered from this effect even after his NextTierPowerUp through his Cheerleadra spell (which turns him into a busty FlyingBrick). He is almost killed by a dragon and spends more or less his time "fighting" a griffin just flying away from it. Somewhat justified in that while Elliot is a skilled martial artist, he explains that all of his combat training simply doesn't translate well to having superpowers, in particular being able to fly.
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' where a Dreen is described as powerful and scary by Jagermonsters, [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20121029 immediately before being squashed]] by a mecha of [[spoiler: the Knights of Jove]]. Except in the [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20121031 next panel]] the Dreen is entirely unharmed and explodes the mecha.
** The Jagermonsters themselves tend to suffer from this a lot. They're a ProudWarriorRace whose three favorite pastimes are [[BoisterousBruiser fighting enemies, fighting friends, and fighting each other,]] but they have a tendency in the series to encounter menaces that can lay them low, sometimes without even noticing them.
** WarriorPrincess Zeetha is often injured or defeated to show that she's up against something serious. The Monster Horse Beastie, Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, and a drugged-up Zola have all defeated her at some point.
* A minor example in ''Webcomic/TheStoryOfAnima'', [[http://tapastic.com/episode/43379 but Pocket is the first heroic Animus to be identified as such]]. And despite being Jade's personal bodyguard, [[http://tapastic.com/episode/45466 his opponent completely overpowers him]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Every MemeticBadass is able mop the floor with God. Or, at least, engage in some sort of contest wherein the winner would be impossible to determine. (Or could not engage in the contest at all except as a form of solitaire.)
* This would apply to the way Tex dominates Maine, Wyoming, and York in season 9, episode 10 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' were it not for the fact that we're already well aware of Tex's badassery. To the other Freelancers, however, this is exactly what's going on. The show does a good job of averting this for the most part, however. Those that are skilled all appear completely competent even next to the absolute badasses, but the most badass of them still show clear superiority.
** Earlier in the series, Season 8 to be exact, Tucker had [[TookALevelInBadass taken a huge level in badass]], to the point that many fans thought he might be able to give Tex a run for her money. When he finally meets up with her, even with the rest of the Reds helping him, [[CurbStompBattle it turns out he's not even]] ''[[CurbStompBattle close]]''. He still manages to keep his dignity by being utterly defiant throughout the entire beatdown.
* This particular effect happens to Yellow in ''WebAnimation/SuperMarioBrosZ''. Supposedly the toughest of the [[PowerRangers Axem Rangers X]], not only does he get his first strike turned into a dud, he's also the first one of the group to be killed off when [[BigBad Mecha Sonic]] comes calling, followed quickly by the other four. Also, this effect happens earlier with the [[Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles Koopa Bros]]. A couple episodes earlier, their [[GreenRocks Chaos Emerald]] fueled special attack decimated the heroes. Mecha Sonic blew through them like they were wet rice paper.
* In the fangame series, ''Sonic RPG'', Sonic himself gets hit with this rather often. He's on the brink of losing to Chaos 0, only surviving thanks to Shadow's interference, is unable to defeat Eggman's latest mech without going Super, gets one-shotted by Ristar (unless he goes Super) is easily defeated by Reala, and is also easily defeated alongside Shadow in their first fight against [[BigBad Seelkadoom]] (both of the latter fights he was in his Super Form for).
* In the second season of ''Series/LegionOfExtraordinaryDancers'', they introduce Organization X, a group of Evil Counterparts to the heroes set up as the main antagonists. When episode 16 rolls around, they haven't actually gotten a chance to show off their skills in a fight just yet (Except for Fangz, who isn't actually in the episode). Episode 16 has them facing off against The Umbras, a group of identically dressed Mooks working for the Dark Doctor who are only introduced a minute or two before OX shows up, just enough to show that they're actually pretty good. It's a perfect set-up for this trope, [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope but The Umbras end up wiping the floor with them]]]].
* In the ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYxu_MQSTTY David Blaine Street Magic]]'' parody videos, David Blaine starts out as a RealityWarper who keeps playing tricks on two L.A. idiots. Then, in the fourth video, [[CreatorsPet Zaoza]] appears.
* ''Literature/{{Worm}}'':
** On her very first night out in action, the protagonist plays a critical role in defeating supervillain and gang warlord Lung, who usually can take on many heroes by himself. To make things better or worse, we later learn that Lung once dueled and drove off a HeroKiller {{Kaiju}}, a feat that normally needs the local PhysicalGod's attention. Though it's somewhat justified by the nature of Lung's power: he gradually grows stronger over time, and against the aforementioned {{Kaiju}} he had enough time to equal its power.
** Dauntless is a superhero who is able to imbue items with power. InUniverse, it is speculated that he will one day be able to surpass [[WorldsStrongestMan the Triumvirate]]. So naturally he is TooPowerfulToLive and [[spoiler:bites it fighting Leviathan.]]
** The Interludes for arc 11 have the various members of the Slaughterhouse Nine kicking around both heroes and other villains, showing just why they're so feared and collectively given the same threat rating as the aforementioned {{Kaiju}}.
** [[spoiler:The protagonist herself]] plays Worf's role for the supervillain Contessa in [[http://parahumans.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/crushed-24-2/ Chapter 24.2]].
* ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'':
** [[TheAce Fantöm]] is famous for taking down the game's at-the-time FinalBoss by himself, when the challenge was intended for a team of at least four players.
** Want to show how difficult the new bosses in ''Horizon 1.1'' are ? Have one of them beat [[TheAce Fantöm's]] team.
** Ystos, the healer from Fantöm's team, worked as that for a radom Order player who quickly turned out to be [[LivingLegend Spectre]] (who hadn't even unlocked his new character's prestige class yet).
** The third novel, that was Tabris' debut in the franchise, had him kill [[spoiler:General Helkazard, the setting' most powerful human character, who's overshadowed only by the gods themselves]].
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'':
** Volume 1 Episode 16 finally shows Roman Torchwick fighting. You know you're an established threat when you go up against someone like Blake Belladonna and make a meal out of them. [[spoiler:Then turned on him soon afterwards when Penny turns up and absolutely demolishes him and his goons all by herself]].
** In Volume 1 Episode 8, the entirety of team RWBY and most of team JNPR spend most of the episode taking down a Nevermore, a giant bird monster, and a Death Stalker, a giant Scorpion monster. In the Volume 2 finale, Coco destroys several in a few seconds with her [[GatlingGood minigun]]. Then in Season 3 Coco is trashed effortlessly to show how tough Mercury and Emerald are.
** In Volume 2 Episode 11. there's really something to be said for [[ElegantGothicLolita Neo]] in how she [[CurbStompBattle handily]] defeats Yang. As in, the same Yang who treated two [[EliteMook Ursai]] as a fun joke. Yang didn't land a single hit on Neo and is very lucky to still be alive. [[spoiler:Luckily, a mysterious female samurai turned up to stop Neo from delivering the killing blow and scared her into running away... Hang on a second, if Neo can thrash Yang but then get an OhCrap moment from this new character, what does ''that'' say about ''her''!?]]
** Yang continues her trend of being the Worf of the series when she fights Adam. [[spoiler:Only in this case fight is a strong word. Adam obliterates her Aura in a [[SingleStrokeBattle single blow]] and it winds up costing Yang an arm.]] The truly scary part is that Adam is working with Cinder due to knowing what she'll do to him and the White Fang if he attempts to go against them.
* Retroactively done by [[spoiler: Hercule/Mr Satan]] on the show ''WebAnimation/DeathBattle'' regarding his series of origin. [[spoiler: He]] actually is a very competent and accomplished fighter in his own series, even being declared the WorldsStrongestMan. His main problem, however, is that [[spoiler: his home series happens to be ''Franchize/{{Dragonball}}'' where, because he can't use KiAttacks, he is nowhere near the level of power of the series regulars such as Goku or Krillin. This helped him secure the win against [[Franchise/StreetFighter Dan Hibiki]] because, unlike Dan, he has actual skill as a martial artist.]]
* In Episode 21 of Project Mouthwash's Bleach(S) Abridged, Urahara directly references the Worf Effect by explaining it to Chad as a reason for not training him. He subsequently agrees to help Chad train after being amused by Chad's comment that the Worf Effect applies perfectly to Renji.
* Parodied in [[http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2015/10/12/why-cant-avengers-infinity-war-cost-1-billion/#7352f144579f this]] Forbes article speculating on the events of AvengersInfinityWar:
-->'''Steve:''' Oh my god, Thanos has just murdered Iron Man, the central character to this entire Marvel Universe thus far! I would have thought Tony was untouchable, but Thanos just killed him!
--> '''Scott:''' Wow, if he can do that, he really must be the great and powerful villain that we all suspected that he was!
--> '''Thor:''' Right you are, tiny friend! This Thanos character is indeed beyond any mere foe we have ever faced!
* This headline from ''Website/TheOnion'': [[https://local.theonion.com/flu-takes-down-biggest-guy-in-office-in-as-warning-to-r-1820330659 "Flu Takes Down Biggest Guy In Office As Warning To Rest Of Staff"]]
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