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[[quoteright:347:[[Webcomic/{{Oglaf}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/c414b6302fe0a78148f7743396817e0d.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:347:[[ChainmailBikini Just wait 'till you see her solution...]]]]

->'''Hector:''' A man died while wearing it!\\
'''Artimaeus:''' ...Hector, it's a suit of armor. Men who wear them tend to do that.
-->-- ''Webcomic/TalesOfTheQuestor''
%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

In fiction, armor has virtually no protective qualities. Characters who wear no armor to speak of are no more (and often less) at risk of injury or death than somebody who is "protected". A single swing of a sword is enough to kill an opponent wearing full plate armor. All arrows are armor-piercing and will penetrate even thick armor as if it were just a sheet of paper. Indeed, it's often the case that people who wear armor find themselves far more competent after they either discard it or have it [[ClothingDamage destroyed for them]] by the nice people out to kill them. In the latter case, it leaves one wondering why they bothered with it in the first place, if they can survive attacks that completely demolish their armor anyway.

This trope probably stems from the fact that armor -- especially {{helmets|AreHardlyHeroic}} -- in movies, games, and other media often serves not to protect characters but to render them [[FacelessGoons faceless and anonymous]], dehumanizing them so they make excellent {{Red Shirt}}s and {{Mooks}} (not to mention that an entire army can be portrayed by a half dozen or so stuntmen). Related to this, quality armor (such as the plate suit that stamps someone as "medieval warrior" on sight) should be quite expensive; mooks might be looked at as issued cheap protection that only looks like elite armor. The UnspokenPlanGuarantee may also be connected; the armor represents a plan to be invulnerable, which, once presented to the audience, has to fail or it'd be boringly predictable. (This helps explain why ''hidden'' {{Bulletproof Vest}}s usually work.)

See also TheLawOfDiminishingDefensiveEffort, ArmorPiercingAttack, and AntiArmor. The logical extreme of this trope is the FullFrontalAssault. For non-armor objects that make for bizarrely non-useless armor, see PocketProtector. The best armor, of course, is PlotArmor. When armor isn't useless, but it limits speed, see ShedArmorGainSpeed. Contrast BodyArmorAsHitPoints and ArmorOfInvincibility.

See also TanksForNothing, if the armor in question has treads and a gun on it.



[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'': The Sailor Senshi wear nothing but moderately skimpy clothing made of what appears to be cotton, yet appears to be perfectly capable of keeping the wearer -- exposed skin and all -- protected from everything from flying debris to flames to the vacuum of space. Further, while they are often smacked around, their clothing only shows it when they are fighting the BigBad or somebody directly under them. In the live-action ''Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon'', Senshi wears some armor -- a sports-bra-style [[ChainmailBikini Breast Plate]] made of what looks like fiberglass or plastic.
* In the same vein as ''Sailor Moon'', the characters from the ''Franchise/PrettyCure'' series wear different varieties of clothing, but still withstand the same kinds of forces the Senshi dealt with, including space. Unlike the Senshi, their uniforms would get scuffed in major battles, but never tore or ripped.
* ''Literature/FateZero'': The Black Knight [[spoiler:Sir Lancelot]] supposedly wears armor of the highest quality, but due to his insanely high stats, a Noble Phantasm that allows him to wield anything like he was born to do so (including an F15 jet fighter, a gatling gun and a steel pole) makes it almost meaningless, as he is only hit once throughout the entire series (Excluding when Rider ran him over with his A+ Rank Noble Phantasm chariot, which he survived seemingly without any more damage than a few bruises). His armor is technically extremely powerful and very useful, but he doesn't even need it because he's so damned good.
* ''Manga/InuYasha'': While in one of the earliest episodes Inuyasha insists on Kagome wearing his robe (a kind of magical fireproof vest), for most of the series a simple SailorFuku had no trouble keeping her safe from harm. And then there's Inuyasha's [[BringMyRedJacket own luck with that red robe]]...
* In the ''Mazinger'' saga:
** ''Anime/MazingerZ'' tries to avert this trope. [[HumongousMecha Mazinger's]] cockpit offers little protection, and in the first chapters, Kouji repeatedly gets hurt and even knocked out because he fights in civilian clothes (and in the manga the villains are aware of that and try to exploit it). In an early story, [[TheDragon Baron Ashura]] commands a [[{{Robeast}} Mechanical Beast]] to grab Mazinger, fly high and drop it, knowing -- as Kouji does -- that the freefall's impact would kill the pilot, even if [[SuperRobotGenre Mazinger]] endured it). In order to avoid that, he begins wearing a LatexSpaceSuit to protect his body during the fights. It is more protective than plain clothes, but he still gets injured while wearing it.
** Another series of the franchise plays this trope in a more straight fashion. ''[[Anime/GreatMazinger Tetsuya Tsurugi]]'', ''[[Anime/UFORoboGrendizer Duke Fleed]]'' and their allies wear sturdy {{Latex Space Suit}}s to protect their bodies from harm during the battles. They often get injured nonetheless, especially Tetsuya, who is [[LeeroyJenkins too rash and reckless]]. On the other hand, ''Manga/NewMazinger'' averts this trope. Kabuto wears PoweredArmor that protects him efficiently during the whole story.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'': Everybody who wears armor either gets rid of it or [[CharacterDeath dies]]. Or as often as not, [[DeathIsCheap both]]. However, this isn't due as much to the armor itself (which is used quite often by even the protagonists) as the fact that they eventually get to the point that their superpowers outstrip their armor's ability to protect. It's also explained in some of the earlier seasons, as most characters wore armor or clothing that was weighted for training purposes, and after removing it they become much faster. One notable aversion is after Goku's first battle with Vegeta. When Vegeta recovers from his injuries, the doctor reveals that the only reason he's still alive is because his armor protected him from being crushed by Gohan.
** The reason Vegeta isn't wearing armor through the Buu saga is because it's against the rules of the World's Martial Arts Tournament. He's back to wearing armor in [[Anime/DragonBallYoSonGokuAndHisFriendsReturn the]] [[Anime/DragonBallZBattleOfGods more]] [[Anime/DragonBallZResurrectionF recent]] [[Anime/DragonBallSuper works]] set between Kid Buu's defeat and DBZ's DistantFinale.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', armor is usually either not present or is dismantled fairly quickly (ignoring, or course, characters who are literally MadeOfIron). One notable exception is in the Baratie Arc, where a major part of the battle involves Luffy's attempts to get through [[BigBad Don Krieg's]] armor.
* The ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' anime. Anyone with body armor is ''really'' dead by the end of the arc they show up in, if not the very episode. Given the super-powered supernatural freaks one is likely to deal with in the series, mobility (or, in Alucard's case, a truly impressive HealingFactor) is a better defense than Kevlar.
* In ''Anime/SamuraiSeven'', most of the titular samurai wear no armor, and the armored one is a cyborg. They are shot at frequently, by everything from soldiers to giant mecha.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' plays with this trope:
** The armor on the Evangelion units protects the pilot but the list of damages is incredible. Broken skull-piece (Sachiel, #3), broken arm (ditto), pierced (Shamshel, #4; Armisael, #16), cut (Zeruel, #14), not to mention nearly turning its pilot into Kentucky Fried Shinji (Ramiel, #5; also aversion to ConvectionSchmonvection against Sandalphon, #11). Also, it can't do anything against psychic attacks at all. [[MindRape Poor Asuka...]] [[spoiler: The armor's true purpose is to [[RestrainingBolt weaken and keep the Evas under control]]]].
** The multiple layers of armor covering the Geofront become increasingly less effective as the series progress. Ramiel (#5) takes 24 hours to drill through, while Zeruel (#14) penetrates it with just a few energy blasts. The first encountered angel -- Salchiel (#3) -- manages to blast through it in two shots -- much faster than Zeruel -- though he doesn't use this hole to his advantage.
** Played more conventionally in ''The End of Evangelion''. When Misato takes out several of the invading commandos, a close examination will reveal that the soldiers' vest were penetrated despite Misato only using a pistol.
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'':
** The series gives us a [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-Zagged]] version of this trope. In general, armor is a lot less protective against all weapons than it would be in reality, but it's still better than nothing and can sometimes save the life of the person wearing it, provided that their armor's good enough and they're somehow important to the plot. A [[PlotArmor plot-important character]] is more likely to have their armor deflect or at least reduce the damage of a blow than any {{Mook|s}} or RedShirt soldiers, who tend to get shot or stabbed right through their armor even if they're wearing heavy full plate. In those cases projectiles such as arrows, bolts, and thrown weapons often deeply penetrate plate armor and helmets, even if they are fired from a relatively weak weapon or over a long range. On the other hand, characters are often shown making an effort to target the armor's weak points such as the eye slits and armpits. The characters who can reliably defeat armor outright tend to be unusually or even superhumanly strong, such as [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower Guts]] and some of the [[GiantMook Giant Mooks]] he faces. The fact that enemies always gawk at Guts' [[{{BFS}} Dragon Slayer]] and ability to cut fully armored men [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe in half]] shows that this is rare in-universe and beyond the abilities of most. Chapter 330 shows that without being able to use his full strength or his [[{{BFS}} giant sword]], Guts has to use some [[CombatPragmatist unorthodox techniques]] to defeat a noble's son wearing top quality full plate armor, as he can't simply crack it open like usual. Apostles and other monsters are exempt from all of these rules, since they tend to be huge or strong enough to make treating armor like tissue paper {{justified|Trope}}.
** Guts himself acknowledges his need for armor even though he's MadeOfIron, crediting Godo's armor with protecting him against the goat-cult leader and remarking while fighting Grunbeld that without armor he doesn't have a chance against such a strong opponent. The Berserker armor that he acquires later not only unleashes his offensive power, but is also tough enough to protect him from the jaws of an Apostle. Perhaps more importantly, [[spoiler: it's magical nature is the only thing keeping the wound inflicted on his soul by Slan from killing him]].
* Von Jobina in ''Manga/{{Bastard}}'', full stop. He's always clad in armor from head to toe but, as the series' resident ButtMonkey, that doesn't stop him from getting his ass kicked around.
* ''Anime/WolfsRain'': The Nobles' elite guard have heavy full-body armor and shields with built-in disruptor rays. Yet even all that doesn't prevent several of them from being ''bitten'' to death by wolves. The wolves go straight for their necks, which have no plate armor to allow their heads to move easily. Justified, in that the armor was intended to protect against the attacks of other human beings instead of an ostensibly extinct animal.
* ''Manga/SaintSeiya'':
** Varies wildly. Sometimes armor plays a vital role in a fight, sometimes a Saint gets his armor destroyed yet it doesn't seem to make him more vulnerable to attacks. The fact that some armors leave a lot of the wearer's body completely exposed remains consistently unimportant.
** Shiryu is an isolated case, as he always seems to end up naked (and blind too), but still wins most of his fights. In the fandom it is common to joke that a battle starring Shiryu is to take a while while he's still armored (and seeing.) It is a common theme that Shiryu needs to outgrow the need for his armor to win a battle, not in small part because the armor gets in the way of his special technique of the week. On the other hand, he usually ends up the most battered of the team (Seiya gets battered a lot too, but since it is usually in his HardHead, he's fine.)
* The heavily kevlar-armoured soldiers in ''Manga/ElfenLied'' die in scores when battling naked teenage girls -- then again, said teenage girls have immense PsychicPowers that render them ImmuneToBullets and lets them pull people's limbs off with their mind.
* ''VisualNovel/TearsToTiara'': The enemy soldiers in the first arc may as well have been wearing Saran Wrap, for all the good their armor did them against the heroes' attacks.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'': Played with in every possible way. Usually averted in the beginning, where the titular SuperPrototype is usually invulnerable or at least highly resistant to enemy fire at the start of the war, the usually played straight as the enemy develops weapons capable of penetrating it. Played straight and justified in Universal Century series from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]'' onwards, as no armor [[spoiler:except for exceptionally thick ones like on Scirocco's The O]] could stand up to sustained exposure to beam weaponry, so the main defense was not getting hit in the first place. Thus, most Mobile Suits built after the [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam One Year War]] period usually had ''less'' armor than previous designs.
** Reaches a head in ''Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam'', where it turns out that while regular armor (that is, built onto a Mobile Suit as a standard feature) won't do jack against beam weaponry, ''ablative'' armor works just fine, and the Anti-Beam Coating mantles the Crossbone Gundams use means they can charge in as they please. (The Crossbones were designed on the principle that Mobile Suits of this time focused on evading and defending against ''long-range'' beam attacks, with beam shields in common use, and were thus rather inept at close-in or melee beam attacks.)
** As a rule, putting heavy armor on your mobile suit is next to useless against Char, as he's savvy enough to: 1.) pack weapons that can pierce said armor (the heat hawk can cut through it, and a mecha-scale bazooka capable of penetrating ''battleship armor'' can pass through the armor of the usually {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le Gundam like a hot ''bullet'' through butter. This is what he went around with before getting the beam weapons that made armor useless in general); 2.) If for some reason he doesn't have weapons powerful enough, he knows how to work around said armor (on his first fight with the Gundam, for example, his reaction to finding his current loadout useless was to ''kick the Gundam on the cockpit'' to throw the pilot around like a ragdoll, nearly killing Amuro before being forced to retreat).
** Series that include Mobile Armors generally follow this principle: Whenever a Mobile Armor is introduced, it is very likely to be destroyed in that episode. One notable exception is the first [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny Destroy Gundam]], which took an entire story arc to take down, while a later battle against 7 of them takes about 2 minutes. Another exception is the [[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Psyco Gundam]], introduced around episode 20, and didn't leave the show until episode 40. An improved version returned in Gundam ZZ only to get destroyed. Probably the only one that survives the series it appears in is the [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Regnant]] -- and even then, its main reason for survival was its {{Roboteching}} WaveMotionGun and StunGuns, not armor. Neither its FlawedPrototype Empruss, nor its AceCustom successor Gadelaza achieves this feat, however.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'': Various characters wear plate armor (samurai, Choza, Choji, the first three Hokages), some wear what appears to be chainmail underarmor (Naruto, Jiraiya, Anko), the vests/jackets most ninja wear is ostensibly supposed to be a form of armor (looking a lot like the type of flak vests used by soldiers before [[BulletproofVest bullet-resistant vests]] were invented). They have only ever been shown to be useful on ''three'' occasions:
** A sand jounin survived a neck shot with a sword because his flack jacket's high collar absorbed the strike and trapped the blade. He then counter attacked with a wind blade that sliced through armor.
** Hinata's chainmail underarmor saved her life when [[spoiler:Pain]] tried to stab her in the heart with a spike, though she did require some healing.
** A samurai being consumed in [[HellFire Amaterasu fire]] was saved by having his armor taken off.
* In ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', the only one to ever wear armor is actually Thymilph, the first General of the Capitol. He's also the second named character to die [[spoiler:(Kamina being the first, despite the fact that he only truly faded away after performing a Giga Drill Breaker, thus avenging his own death)]].
* Possibly the only thing in all of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' to wear armor is the giant summoned by Sajin Komamura's Bankai. However, it seems to wear normal samurai armor in a world where other characters can, say, cut through all the buildings in a half-mile radius just by unsheathing their sword. The fact that Komamura takes any damage the giant does makes the [[TheWorfEffect worf]] notoriously strong with this one.
** Hardly Worfed. The only person able to damage him through the Bankai was [[spoiler:Tousen, another captain who had become a [[SuperMode Vizard]], and that put a graze on his arm]].
** {{Exaggerated|Trope}} in the Vandenreich arc, where [[spoiler:Komamura's DeadlyUpgrade causes his Bankai to shed its armor... and makes it completely indestructible]].
* In animated short ''Anime/{{Kigeki}}'', the Black Swordsman cuts through an army of heavily armoured cavalry knights like butter. One of them he even slices in half down the middle.
* In ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', Kenshin's sensei tells an armored giant opponent to remove his armor because it restricts his movements, weakening his offense, and that the false sense of protection from armor weakens his dodging/parrying skills. Taken to the extreme with Bright King Anji, whose special technique [[ArtisticLicensePhysics delivers two strikes so quickly in succession that an object's hardness is negated]], meaning it can literally destroy anything, no matter how hard.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'': Despite being armor-equipping being her primary magic, Erza later in the manga seems to do much better the less armor she equips, as her stronger opponents tend to break through them very easily.
** Erza has an... ''interesting'' relationship with this trope. While she tends to play it straight in the later parts of the manga, it's also subverted in that while her armor tends to be pretty useless as ''armor'', it's often tremendously useful as a ''stat buff'' or for the moves unique to a given armor set, some of which are very much not useless defensively (e.g. nullifying a several-story-building-sized magic cannon shot down to nothing with the Adamantine Armor).
* ''Manga/{{Gamaran}}'': Armors (usually chainmails) are pretty effective against swords, but more often than not, the sword users (99% of the times, Ogame Ryu Members) will find a way to pierce the mail anyway. In Iori's case, is because he's so powerful that even his slashes can break a chainmail.
* A (justified) version of this trope is why ''Anime/AldnoahZero'''s protagonist Inaho refuses to upgrade from his KG-6 Sleipnir, a lightly-armored training [[HumongousMecha Kataphrakt]], to the military's standard-issue KG-7 Areion. Seeing as most Martian Kataphrakts have insanely powerful weaponry that can easily OneHitKill even an Areion, the extra armor would be irrelevant, and the Sleipnir has the advantage of [[FragileSpeedster greater speed and maneuverability]].

* The tyrant king in ''Art/TheApotheosisOfWashington'' is easily knocked over and stomped on despite wearing full-body metal armor. His opponent, Lady Freedom, is wearing a liberating dress and cape that shouldn't protect her, but she conquers her opponent despite this apparent flaw.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''Comicbook/ElfQuest'', when the elves fight the trolls for the Palace, the rogue half-troll Two-Edge set the elves up with plate armor. It does, in fact, even the odds -- but even so, many die, and one character spends two good pages on the horrified realization that armor doesn't make him invincible (not that he was in much danger by that point, as co-creator Creator/RichardPini had taken a shine to the lad and even vetoed an earlier dramatic death for him). It is not so much that this trope is played straight, but merely demonstrates that despite the considerable advantages of arming your foot soldiers in full plate armor, it's not impenetrable, especially not when your enemy is a hulking, raging troll.
* Creator/FrankMiller's ''Comicbook/ThreeHundred'' features Spartans going bare-chested into battle, with little but loinclothes and bracers as armor besides their shields. Miller, with his background drawing spandex-clad superheroes, was more comfortable drawing human physiques, and thought the Spartans in armor looked too weird. In reality, Spartans wore heavy bronze armor, including breastplates, which was a major advantage over the cloth armor and wicker shields of the Persian soldiers.
* In his first few years, ComicStrip/PrinceValiant deliberately outfitted himself relatively lightly, to allow himself greater speed in combat. Somewhat justified here, as Val isn't even 18, going up against experienced, fully-armored knights. If he had a full loadout, he would be easily out-muscled. Using his maneuverability to stay ahead of his opponent is his only chance.
* ''ComicBook/HarlemHeroes''. The Heroes don't wear armour, unlike other teams. At one point, they use this to their advantage on the ground, as they use their speed on the ground to dodge past the other team.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Both played straight and averted in ''FanFic/AgeOfStrife''.
** The deadly plant life on the DeathWorld of Dandriss kills anyone who doesn't wears heavily armored bodysuits. However, actual military grade weaponry goes though it like tissue paper.
** The even heavier military issue armor made from Dandriss wildlife carapace is capable of standing up to biomancy enhanced mutants.
* Also averted and played straight in ''Fanfic/BeAllMySins''. As heroine Natalie points out, the standard guard flak armor is useless against many weapons, but will offer some protection against at least a few. Therefore, it's better than nothing.
* Averted in ''Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm'':
** In Episode 1, upon seeing her Combat Mode for the first time, Jason is disappointed that it does not contain armor. Internally, he repeats these sentiments as the other Sailor Scouts are activated.
** In Episode 5, when Sailor Jupiter comments that her uniform isn't very protective, Jason explains why: "The people of the Silver Millennium Moon Kingdom always preferred aesthetics first and performance second." He goes on to assure her that her durability will increase over time.
** Jason himself uses handcrafted armor all the time, in part because he has no powers of his own.
* ''FanFic/AFeddieStory'' zigzags the trope. A [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Zaku's]] armor is resistant to shoulder-fired rockets and tank kinetic penetrator rounds depending on where it's hit, with the legs and arms doing better than the torso generally, but at least in early models offers no real defense against 150mm HEAT shells from Federation tanks...which are rare because before the war there wasn't much need for them. Federation tank armor by contrast is nearly immune to Zeon infantry weapons and even shoulder-fired rockets from most angles; but it offers absolutely no defense against the weapons carried by Zakus.
* The ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'' fanfic''FanFic/ABrighterDark'' goes to lengths to avert this. There are multiple instances where armor saves a character's life, either by allowing a blow to glance off of them or by mitigating the damage.
* ''Fanfic/WithThisRing'':
** [[AvertedTrope Averted]], with Orange Lantern, who wears high grade body armor under his Ring-generated armor, which wound up saving his life. He also [[LampshadeHanging points out]] that Robin and Kid Flash have Kevlar incorporated in their costumes, and later convinces Kaldur to wear Ocean Master's armor in battle after he claimed it as spoils of war, and arranged for Artemis and Zatanna to acquire proper armor of their own. And Kon, despite the whole "near-invulnerable kryptonian" thing, received a set of armor with Nth metal in the Paragon timeline, increasing his durability and allowing him the power of flight. In Renegade, Kon has Apokolipitian armor despite being [[spoiler: full Kryptonian.]] On top of all that, when stealth goes out the window, one of the first thing OL usually does is cover the entire team in Construct-armor. So far only [[VoluntaryShapeshifting M'gann]] is the only one he hasn't convinced to wear extra plating in the field, and that's more of her powerset not being suitable for it than anything else.
** When Zatanna brings up Wonder Woman fighting crime in what is essentially a leotard, OL points out that not only could Wonder Woman, quote, "Tank anti-armor rounds ''naked''", but her armor was forged by the Greek God of the forge and is actually of higher quality than his own.
** Played with in regards to head covering and hand coverings; OL deems the loss of awareness and dexterity far more deleterious to his survival than a minor increase in protection.
*** OL later produces a power-armor construct that includes a fully covering helmet with 360-degree vision coverage through construct cameras.
** Had Prince Orm wore gauntlets with his Ocean Master armor, he probably wouldn't have lost his hands.
* In ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', this is generally averted:
** Guard Armor frequently protects against injuries in combat. During his own arc, Shining gets a divinely created set from Pandora when she intervenes at one point that saves his life on a few occasions.
** During the Wedding Arc, the mane six decide to put on armor for the final showdown and Silver Tongue/Silver Ax spends much of the arc in guard armor (being a retired one). This is both for protection and, because of Rarity's customizing, to inspire those fighting alongside them. [[spoiler:During the FinalBattle of the story with Discord and Nightmare Diamond Tiara, Mother Deer (the Tree of Harmony itself) unlocks a function in the Elements giving the Mane Six magical armor from the Elements. It does ''very'' well, both due to blocking attacks conventionally and because its magical abilities protect them from certain types of attacks to the point of NoSell if it's based on something that Element actively opposes (such as Generosity stopping Greed based mind magic). It also comes with other useful abilities, especially if used together.]]
* Averted in ''Fanfic/{{Traveler}}'' when Ash's new armor saves his life twice in a single encounter, though admittedly it's completely ruined afterwards.

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* In ''Anime/FinalFantasyTheSpiritsWithin'', the soldiers wear all of this heavy armor that does nothing to protect them from Phantoms.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* Played straight in ''Film/ThreeHundred'', which mimics the [[ShirtlessScene bare-chested]] Spartan battle outfit found in Frank Miller's graphic novel. The Spartans do wear helmets and shields, however, which are shown to block several blows.
* In ''Film/BattleLosAngeles'', the Marines' armor is ineffective at stopping the aliens' weapons, as the incendiary rounds they have burns right through them and they impact with enough force to consistently throw people off their feet and backwards.
* ''Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'': Necromonger troops wear heavy, bulky suits of what looks suspiciously like [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilian_armour 16th-century Maximilian armor]], which have no apparent damage resistance whatsoever.
* Discussed in ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' when Lucius and Bruce are discussing upgrading/improving Batman's armour - increasing its worth against knives makes it less resistant against bullets and vice versa, and the payoff to agility and speed is less protection. Both are truth in television.
* In ''Film/DraculaUntold'', [[spoiler:Vlad's armor evaporates to allow a stake to pierce him]]. Subverted in that he was setting himself up to dematerialize into a bat swarm.
* Noticeable in the final battle in ''Film/{{Dragonheart}}''.
* In ''Film/{{Dredd}}'', Judge armor can't even seem to stop a pistol round, much less anything else. Dredd himself gets hit with an armor-piercing round which would logically go through, but his partner get hits with the pistol.
* All cops in ''Film/TheFifthElement'' wear bulky armor that does absolutely nothing to stop bullets.
* In ''Film/{{Hero}}'', the Emperor wears armor at all times to protect himself from assassins, but whenever he's confronted by one, they can kill him at will.
* ''Film/TheHurtLocker'': Played relatively straight; a bomb squad worker is confronted with a bomb so big it completely fills a car trunk. He chooses to take off his armor at this point, noting that he might as well work in comfort, since the suit won't save him from a blast that big. The armor's weaknesses are demonstrated at the start of the film when the DecoyProtagonist is in full armor and running away from the bomb when it detonates, but is still killed by the blast. Also inverted; wearing the armor ''does'' save one life in the course of the film.
* In ''Film/IronMan3'' Extremis-enhanced soldiers cut through Tony's armors like butter, as their bare hands can generate heat of up to 3000 degrees Celsius. It also doesn't help that most of the versions of the armor we're shown during the battle are half-baked prototypes which Tony didn't bother perfecting before moving on to the next idea.
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' films have an interesting combination of both aversions and invocations of the trope:
** Legolas and Aragorn wear no armor through all of fellowship and slaughter goblins and Uruk-hai with half plate armor and heavy shields by the dozens. At the Battle of Helms Deep in ''Literature/TheTwoTowers'', Aragorn wears a mail hauberk while Legolas has only bracers and leather paldrons. In this same battle, Théoden, wearing the best armor of anyone in Rohan's forces, gets wounded in the shoulder.
** The Uruk-hai berserkers take this trope to the max. They wear nothing but helmets and mail loincloths, yet are deadly against the defending Rohan forces. In a slight aversion, the helmet of one of them comes in handy while he is fighting Gimli, as Gimli had to hit him twice to take him down.
** In ''The Fellowship of the Ring'', Merry and Pippin take several heavily armored Uruk-hai down by throwing rocks at their heavily armored heads.
** The soldiers of Gondor especially have rather useless armor. In one scene in the Extended Edition of ''Return of the King'', an orc arrow goes straight through a random soldier's breastplate. In real life, steel breastplates would deflect an arrow from that range, especially from such a small and flimsy bow.
** Legolas manages to shoot an arrow through two Uruk-Hai warriors and both of their breastplates. The armor was so useless, the arrow penetrated four plates of steel and two bodies.
* ''Film/TheHobbit'': Thorin stabs Azog straight through his breastplate.
* Most of the troops in ''Film/RedCliff'' wear various forms of armor which provide no protection whatsoever. Master Archers who (because this is a Creator/JohnWoo film) can [[ImprobableAimingSkills bullseye any target they can see]] shoot enemy troops right through their breast plates, not even bothering to aim a few inches higher to hit exposed necks. The senior generals frequently cut off limbs with a single stroke, not even slowed down by the heavy metal armor their targets are wearing.
* In ''Film/ResidentEvilApocalypse'', [[GodModeSue Alice]] takes down a fully armored Umbrella Squad while wearing only skimpy clothing. Jill Valentine also wears a skimpy outfit through most of the film and never sees fit to cover up a bit to guard against zombie bites.
* In the climax of ''Film/RobinHood1991'', outlaws [[ItMakesSenseInContext in carnival costumes]] are beating up fully armoured soldiers with ease.
* ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' where the MI's armor vests provide no protection whatsoever from anything. Bug claws, their own weapons, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKPfjSLtVhA shovels...]]
* In ''Film/StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry'', Chang's Bird of Prey rattles the hell out of the ''Enterprise'' with its Photon Torpedo barrage. Even before the shields fully collapse and the saucer section take a critical strike, the ship is littered with burned marks and is powerful enough to damage auxiliary power.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': It is often lampshaded that [[https://youtu.be/Vaqq0zGPyHU?t=62 Stormtrooper armor is almost completely useless for protection.]] So far, the only thing the armor has ever canonically stopped is a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2s0a7guIX4 very weak stun weapon.]]
** This is seen in ''Film/ANewHope'' as well. At one point during the film, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker stole two sets of Stormtrooper armor to hide among Death Star personnel. As soon as they free Leia and escape the trash compactor, they immediately dispense with the armor. Once its use as camouflage is rendered irrelevant, so is its use as armor.
** In ''Film/RogueOne'', Chirrut manages to kick much Stormtrooper ass with ''[[SimpleStaff a staff]]''. On the other hand, it's shown deflecting the Stormtroopers' own rounds.
* ''Film/TheSiegeOfJadotville'': Commandant Quinlan and Sergeant Pendergast examine the UN helmets provided. They're plastic -- and rather flimsy at that -- and offer no protection against a bullet or shrapnel. They decide them pointless to issue.
* ''Film/PrinceCaspian'' prompted at least one reviewer to throw up his hands and declare the Pevensies all had lightsabers disguised as swords, given how quickly and easily they'd kill men in full plate with a single slash across the chest over and over again.

* ''Literature/DonQuixote'' is an early example of this trope, if not the TropeCodifier. When he decides to become a KnightErrant, Don Quixote digs his ancestors' armor out of storage and jerry-rigs it for his adventures. It does not even protect him from being beaten up by guys with sticks. There are also plenty of instances of swords cleaving right through helmets, although this may be a nod to the exaggerated ChivalricRomance that the book is a parody of.
* ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'' is a classic example of this trope being {{played for laughs}}. Hank puts on full armor during his KnightErrant quest for Sandy, and he finds it to be so insufferably stiff and hot that he never wants to do it again. For his duel with sir Sagramore le Desirous he forgoes armor himself and takes advantage of his speed in order to lasso him. The fact that he subsequently mows down multiple armored knights is [[JustifiedTrope justified]], since medieval armor was not designed to protect against [[RevolversAreJustBetter Colt revolvers]].
* ''Literature/{{Dragaera}}'': Justified, as metal armor is a great target for sorcery. This is a bit of an after-the-fact handwave by author Steven Brust, who loves the cloak-twirling romances of Dumas and modeled his world after them, complete with the general lack of armor. We do see that some leather armor is used during war.
* Mostly {{averted|Trope}} in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. Armor, especially [[ColdIron iron]] and spelled armor like Harry's many trenchcoats, are extremely useful and Harry and co wear them even when it's extremely uncomfortable - and it saves their lives many times over. Once, [[spoiler: Michael's]] steel and ceramic plate armor layered with kevlar actually hurt him - the bullet had enough velocity to get in, but not out, and shredded his insides. He survived, but barely.
* Practically none of the ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' characters wear armour, except Martin and the Badger Lords. Tsarmina's {{Mooks}} were an exception, but the armour was described as "cumbersome" and hindered more than it helped (particularly when [[spoiler:the heroes flooded the castle]]). Possibly justified because mice and other small mammals have slightly tougher skin than humans, their fighting style in the books is based more on speed which armour would hinder, and going by the flexibility of most rodent and mustelid skeletal structures it would be ''really'' difficult to make armour to fit them without severely restricting movement. Also the Redwall forest is not particularly industrialised - something of a lack of iron mines and foundries to provide the wherewithal for armour to be common. Note also that even swords are pretty rare in the books, with most combatants using spears, clubs and knives as melee weapons. Not a great smithing tradition, you might say.
* Creator/DanAbnett's ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' novel ''Literature/BrothersOfTheSnake'' discusses and averts this. When Space Marines fight a foe that they can see only with the naked eye, they open their visors with explicit commentary about how it makes them more vulnerable in one sense. Indeed, [[RealityEnsues several of them die because of it.]] A number of other ''Warhammer 40,000'' novels fall back on playing it straight, especially the Horus Heresy series (where hundreds of power armoured supermen get cut down by necessity, usually by guns that [[GameplayAndStorySegregation wouldn't actually penetrate the armour in the game itself]]) but notable exceptions are skirmishes in the Abnett Eisenhorn and Ravenor series, where even basic armour is a major obstacle to the protagonists, and Literature/CiaphasCain[[note]]'''HERO OF THE IMPERIUM'''[[/note]] who has his life saved on several occasions by his battered set of misappropriated carapace armour.
** Also discussed in Prospero Burns, also by Dan Abnett, where Leman Russ has taught his legion to appropriate the enemy guns when possible, having noted that often the cyclic nature of armor and weapon penetration will fall in favor of the weapons.
* ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'': The first novel (yes, novel) notes the uselessness of armor in the games. The evil company is so huge that its offensive division is constantly outclassing the defensive division. Nobody is telling [[RightHandVersusLeftHand the right hand]] to stop inventing guns that can chew through the bulletproof vest [[RightHandVersusLeftHand the left hand]] issues the company soldiers.
* David Eddings' ''Literature/TheElenium'' and ''Literature/TheTamuli'':
** Partial credit for the Thalesians: Thalesian knights go to war in chainmail, not in full plate, as Thalesia is full of deep rivers and streams, making plate armor more of a hazard than a help. A chainmail shirt is easily removable, whereas by the time you have a chance to get a full suit of riding armour off, you'll have drowned.
** Funnily enough, a full suit of riding armor incorporates quite a bit of chain, is about as heavy as a full chainmail and is easier to remove under water than chainmail. If we were looking at normal plate, it would be lighter than chain, and way easier to remove. Removing chain is about pulling it a bit over your head, and wriggling out of it, while gravity pulls it down, which is way harder to do underwater than to cut the straps of the plate parts that hinder swimming.
** To Khalad's assertion that he could create a crossbow capable of firing a bolt several miles, Vanion shakes his head and forsees the obsolescence of the knight in full armour.
** A literal case happens at the end of the Elenium, when they encounter several undead Zemochian knights. The Zemochians have never understood that armor is supposed to ''protect'' you, and assume it's there for intimidation purposes only - so they wear ScaryImpracticalArmor that hinders their movement and has countless weak and blind spots, and with spikes that threaten to cut or impale the wearer if they make a wrong move.
** Played with: Adus' armor, which might have saved him if it had ever been fitted to him. As it was, there were more than enough unarmored gaps for Talen's dagger to slide through. (Whether Adus had sufficient brainpower to put armor pieces on correctly is another question.)
** Also played with in the final confrontation between Sparhawk and Martel. Martel's armour is very far from useless, but its style and ornamentation make it far heavier than the suit worn by Sparhawk, and causes Martel to lose his wind quickly.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', many characters forgo armor either because they fight with magic, or because they're trained swordsmen, not soldiers, and the armor would only slow them down. Besides them, this trope is largely averted for mundane weapons. Though obviously magic fireballs and lightning aren't terribly impeded by steel.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' usually averts this trope, as knights rely on heavy armor, but it's played straight occasionally:
** Bronn eschews heavy armor during his duel with Vardis Egan. He dodges his more heavily armored opponent until the knight is exhausted, then moves in for the kill.
** Prince Oberyn Martell only wears light armor when facing "[[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast The Mountain]]", Ser Gregor Clegane, in a TrialByCombat. This is actually a sound strategy given armor wouldn't be all that useful against the ridiculous brute force of his opponent. Instead the Red Viper opts uses his superior speed to his advantage. [[spoiler: Whilst he inflicts mortal wounds on the Mountain, the Prince lets his guard down and is killed nonetheless.]]
** Water dancers of Braavos do not wear armor and rely on light piercing swords. Syrio Forel manages to kill four armored guardsmen with a wooden practice sword. He has less success against an opponent in plate armor, though he would have fared better with a real sword.
** In the Battle of the Blackwater, armor is not quite "useless" so much as "AwesomeButImpractical." When Stannis fleet is trapped in the bay and [[KillItWithFire set aflame]], most of the high lords and knights, who go into the battle heavily armored, go down with their ships and are drowned. Ser Davos Seaworth, being somewhat smarter about naval combat, eschews heavy armor and is able to swim to relative safety.
** The above example is {{inverted|Trope}} by Victarion Greyjoy, who derides the armorless soldiers he faces at the Shield Islands as cowards who fear drowning (he has no such fear for religious reasons). Heavily-armored himself, he cuts through them easily.
* ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing'' sometimes plays it straight, such as when Lancelot kills [[spoiler: Agravain]], but usually inverts this. When fighting unarmoured peasants on the battlefield, being an armoured knight is like using an invincibility hack. White includes one passage where a knight was none the worse for wear from being unhorsed and mobbed by spearmen. Indeed, after his comrades rescued him, it was actually found that he fought ''better'' because now he had lost his temper.
* Justified in Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/ALordFromPlanetEarth'' with the [[SharpenedToASingleAtom planar]] [[AbsurdlySharpBlade swords]] being the main weapon of combat. The blade can cut through anything without slowing down with LikeCannotCutLike completely averted (swordfighting techniques are focused on avoiding getting your own blade cut while timing your strikes to cut the opponent's blade). Combatants can wear special armor, but even that can't prevent a blade that sharp from cutting. The main goal of the armor is to harden at the point of the cut in order to allow the wound to heal (which takes about 3 seconds given how fine it is). A wound to the heart, though, can never heal, as the heart beating will expand the tiny cut into a gaping hole. An additional effect of the armor hardening is to try to [[BareHandedBladeBlock hold the sides of the blade]], keeping the opponent from moving it. The protagonist accidentally figures out how to defeat the latter function, killing the BigBad of the first novel in the process in a gruesome fashion. In the third novel, the protagonist dons an advanced nano-armor that can take any hit and will protect the wearer and self-repair (being composed of nanites). However, the nano-armor still can't stop a planar blade, although it, presumably, can function like the normal dueling armor. When the protagonist faces off against his Fang counterpart wearing their equivalent of the armor, the two armors destroy each other nanite-by-nanite.
* Subverted and [[PlayingWithATrope played with]] in ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'', where knights wear Shardplate, magitek PoweredArmor capable of shrugging off anything short of a [[AbsurdlySharpBlade Shardblade]] or sustained attacks by almost entire armies. Two knights equipped with full Plate and Blades are able to survive against an army that outnumbered their own greatly for the better part of a day, albeit with horrific casualties among their more conventionally armored allies. Bringing down someone who is wearing Shardplate is considered such an achievement that it is a widely-honored tradition that the one who killed the Shardbearer gets his weapon and armor as a reward (which also motivates conventional troops to stand up to a Shardbearer in hopes of getting their equipment if they get lucky). However, the only way to kill a Shardbearer through their Plate is to either pound the hell out of them with hammers until a part of the armor wears down and breaks, or to strike through the helmet's eye slit - a tenuous and dangerous proposition against a man towering over you with a sword the length of a polearm that can cut through steel like butter.
* In ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'', metal armor is extremely useful... for conventional soldiers fighting other soldiers. Against an Allomancer like a Steelpusher or Lurcher, who can repel or pull on metals, metal armor is far less useful, as the the Allomancer can use their powers to knock their enemy off-balance (though Newton's laws are still important; Pushing or Pulling exerts and equal and opposite force on the Allomancer, meaning that Pushing hard enough to throw a human will be just as likely to Push the Allomancer away). On the other hand, a Mistborn, who has access to ''all'' of the powers of Allomancy, wearing armor is actively dangerous, since they can freely Push and Pull in all directions, allowing them to turn anyone wearing metal armor into a living projectile.
* In one of the ''Literature/{{Dune}}'' prequel novels Duncan Idaho is given a suit of full plate while training at Ginaz and promptly gets his ass handed to him by the lightly armed and armored opponents who are almost literally running circles around him. The fight was a lesson to drive home the point that bigger armor is not always better armor and that mobility can be just as important as pure defense.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheHeroes'': "Cracknut" Whirrun was told the day he would die by a witch, so he has gradually stopped wearing armor over his legendary career as a swordsman. When Bremer dan Gorst fights him, Bremer is amazed by how effectively Whirrun fights without armor. However, [[spoiler:in the middle of their fight, Whirrun is randomly stabbed in the back by someone else. Dying, Whirrun laments that if he'd known the witch was lying, he would have worn more armor]].
* Played with in the 1950's science fiction novel ''Tunnel In The Sky''. One of the characters wears body armor all the time for awhile after being introduced, prompting another character to wonder why trade marginal protection for a much greater loss of speed and agility? Turns out the character is wearing the body armor because it helps hide that she's a woman.
* ''Literature/TheZombieSurvivalGuide'': Modern Body armor is simply dead weight - it doesn't protect against bites on the arms or legs. Chain mail is considered noisy and thus attracts zombies. Cumbersome plate is considered suicidial. The best defense is simply being able to move as fast as possible. The sole exception is a shark suit, which can protect against bites stronger than a zombie, and is therefore useful when fighting underwater zombies.
* ''Literature/KrisLongknife'': Played with. Personal body armor is ''extremely'' effective, requiring specialized rounds to reliably penetrate, and saves the lives of cast members and RedShirts alike multiple times (the title character is something of an assassin magnet). Warship armor is more variable. At the start of the series most ships use ice extruded over the hull to fend off laser attacks, which generally requires concentrated fire on a single point to punch through. However, in the first encounter with the still-unnamed PlanetLooters and their BeamSpam, it's Kris's smaller, faster Q-ships that survive rather than the big battleships, because they're able to evade. Later in the series, the all-[[{{Nanomachines}} Smart Metal]] "battlecruisers" that Kris commands have ''some'' armor, but their primary defense is rapid-fire jinking and dodging, which proves effective against prewar battleships as well.
* ''Literature/{{Gor}}'' is a case where wearing armor is explicitly more dangerous than not, the same aliens who enforce MedievalStasis on Gor also incinerate armored combatants with heat beams from space. Their given rationale is reintroducing Darwinian selection pressures, only the quickest and the strongest live to reproduce, rather than those wealthy enough to afford armor. Only helmets are permitted. Yet archery and crossbows are fine, and indeed more effective where only shields can stop them.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* While normally played straight in ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' (with personnel armor, that is, starship armor works just fine), Gennite soldiers have "photo-reactive" armor that is show to be quite resistant to handheld weapons.
** One episode also mentions that most handheld weapons use guided projectiles. Thus, they can be fooled by special bracelets that throw up interference.
** Considering every weapon is some kind of plasma, laser, or coil gun, armor generally seems useless. the Electromagnetic Bracelets are used as an excuse for some defense.
** [[StrawNihilist Nietzschean]] bone blades (which grow out of their forearms) can also go right through armor. This is similar to RealLife cases of bulletproof vests being incapable of stopping a blade.
* Played with in the "Ming Warrior vs. Musketeer" episode of ''Series/DeadliestWarrior''. When testing whether the respecting warriors' firearms could punch through their opponents' armor, it's shown that a Musketeer's wheel lock pistol could punch through a Ming Warrior's leather lamellar, while a Ming Warrior's 3-Barrel Pole Gun only put a dent in a Musketeer's steel cuirass (a stray shot hit the dummy's exposed neck, but it was deemed inadmissible, as the goal was to hit the armor). During the live-action simulation, musketeer shots are shown to be deadly to Ming warriors, while a Ming warrior's first shot with a pole gun only knocked a musketeer to the ground. However, just as his friend is helping the fallen musketeer to get up, another shot hits the same musketeer right between the eyes. [[spoiler:The musketeers still win the battle]].
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'' often discusses and averts the trope, but plays it straight at other times:
** Ramsay Bolton manages to kill several fully armed soldiers while half-naked.
** Ser Hugh is killed in a joust when he's struck in the neck by a splinter of Gregor Clegane's lance. In the books, it's explained that he lacked a squire and so did not put on his gorget correctly; in the show he is clearly under-armored compared to his opponent and it's subtly implied the armor was sabotaged.
** Bronn champions Tyrion against Ser Vardis Egan. Bronn refuses a shield and wears almost no armor, using his speed and maneuverability to simply evade his opponent until Egan's heavy armor exhausts him and makes him a sitting duck.
** The long-awaited Oberyn and Mountain duel is a fascinating glimpse of this. Oberyn wears light armor and no helmet to give him speed, while the Mountain is a walking Tank covered in chainmail and metal helmet, Oberyn wields a very sharp spear that proves effective in piercing Gregor Clegane and he ends up defeating him and flat on the mat, he could have easily won had he not delayed the CoupDeGrace.
*** While Oberyn's cut to Ser Gregor's leg made perfect sense, he followed it up with a stab to the chest to the "walking tank."
*** Some of the Game of Thrones examples should be taken with the consideration that they involved skilled warriors taking considerable effort to attack unarmored gaps in their opponents defenses during extended duels. Very few warriors would be able to last more than six seconds against the likes of Bronn or Oberyn if they didn't have armor to ward off killing blows right off the bat.
** {{Zigzagged}} when Syrio Forel defeats several armored mooks with his wooden practice sword by knocking them on the helmets but fares less well against a slightly heavier-armed Ser Meryn Trant of the Kingsguard.
** On multiple occasions armor is played as useless when a mook needs to go down and a sword slash or stab anywhere on the body will do to move the plot along. In a flashback battle, a Targaryen Kingsguard puts his sword through the chest (and out the back) of a Stark bannerman who is clearly wearing several layers of mail, leather, and wool.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Series/{{Heroes}}''. As Mr. Bennet is putting on a Bulletproof Vest, he admits that it'll be useless against the supervillains he's about to face, and he's only bothering with it in order to keep up the {{masquerade}}.
* ''Series/KamenRiderKabuto'': Each Rider has a bulky "Masked Form" and a sleek "Rider Form". Allegedly the Masked Form is tougher and better protected, but one cannot help noticing that the Riders invariably cast it off at the first opportunity and finish off the monster in Rider Form. The Riders in that series need to shed the heavier armor to use their finishing moves. Yeah, even the ones whose finishers use almost-completely external equipment (Drake and Sasword). It's only in their leaner modes that they can move at hyper-speeds, too, and not having anybody who could counter the monsters' ability to do that themselves was why ZECT was losing so badly before the Riders started seeing action.
* It's a gimmie that the Sheriff's men in any series of Myth/RobinHood will be issued with almost completely unarrowproof armour. In the creators' defence, the mooks are often shown with what a well equipped soldier in the reign of King Richard might wear. It's just that the outlaw's longbows shouldn't be around for another hundred years or so.
* On ''Series/SpartacusBloodAndSand'', Roman soldiers in full armor seem, if anything, more hindered when fighting against nearly-naked rebel gladiators. In one instance Spartacus even knocks a helmeted soldier unconscious using another soldier's helmet! The rebels meticulously collect any weapons they can from fallen soldiers, but never bother with their armor or helmets, presumably because they did not do their deceased wearers any good. Another reason would be that, in the heat of battle, you wouldn't want to be wearing the enemy's uniform. The rebels do start wearing more castoff and modified Roman armor as the series progresses, especially in War of the Damned.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' featured all kinds of armor, almost none of which were actually useful. The kevlar worn by the Tau'ri (humans from Earth) does nothing to stop any of the weapons they face (in fact, it's been stated that it actually makes things worse when it comes to [[BoomStick staff weapons]]). It's worth noting that SG-1 itself doesn't bother with armor yet seems to have the lowest casualty rate of any SG team. Jaffa armor starts off being effective, a situation that is changed once the Tau'ri replace low-velocity [=MP5s=] with P90s and armor-piercing ammunition, instantly turning initially invincible juggernauts into generic {{mooks}}.
** "Heroes," the same episode that mentioned the kevlar problem, also demonstrated an experiment in new anti-Jaffa armor inserts, which let Sgt. Siler take a full staff blast in the gut and only get knocked back and lightly set on fire. This armor is credited with [[spoiler:saving Colonel O'Neill's life when he's shot in action]].
** The Jaffa in the original movie were more ceremonially dressed, and didn't wear armor, allowing O'Neill to take one down with a burst of submachine gun rounds into the exposed gut. The TV show had to tone down the violence though, and had armored Jaffa largely because bullet impacts on armor are less graphic than bloody chunks getting shot out of somebody. So the armor was more to protect the show's rating than the Jaffa themselves.
** Ori warriors also wear armor that appears to be more for show. Then again, it's not clear how that armor faces against energy weapons, as we mostly see it fail spectacularly against [=P90s=]. Of course, the Ori hardly concern themselves about the lives of their worshipers.

[[folder:Multiple media]]
* In ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'', armor is mostly a part of the characters' anatomy, but unless it's explicitly made of some super-rare and super-strong material (like protosteel), or is somehow connected to their powers, does little to protect their wearers during battle. This is because there rarely is any physical combat, most of the attacks are based on powers that make protective armor not only useless, but at times disadvantageous. And even so, the armor almost always leaves many fleshy bits uncovered. But even when armor does prove useful, there usually is some contrived story reason why they have to take it off (such as with the Exo-Toa mechs that blocked the users' powers). In a nutshell: armor is essential for day-to-day life, but doesn't do much during battle. This is however averted in the Bara Magna storyline, where the fights are physical and armor is very important.

* Played ridiculously straight in Literature/TheBible, and possibly the UrExample: David and Goliath.

[[folder:Professional wrestling]]
* When Wrestling/EddieGuerrero tried to wrestle in a flak jacket back when Smackdown went to Iraq in 2004, it was considered an illegal advantage and he was forced to remove it. When Wrestling/DeanAmbrose wrestled for the same company in a flak jacket, it served him no better than his t-shirts and wifebeaters had before. So this is either ThreeMonthRule or DependingOnTheWriter (booker?) in effect.

* ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'': Zigzagged, having armor gives entities no bonus, but armor alchemies stand out for being the only clothing alchemies to actually do anything.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' armor is the ''easiest'' way to get higher Armor Class, but it has a number of drawbacks depending on the version:
** The trope does not apply in the first and second editions, where armor is one of the few ways to increase your Armor Class and make your character more difficult to hit. Further, it provides few drawbacks.
** In 3.0 and 3.5 editions, armor tops out at a certain point, and using the really heavy armor [[MightyGlacier comes with drawbacks]] -- including penalties to many physical actions, decreased movement speed and penalties for sleeping in it. Some characters are prohibited from using their special powers while wearing armor that is too heavy, or wearing any armor at all. Armor is also judged worthless when determining whether "touch attack" spells hit, which generally confer the most devastating effects in the game. Ultimately there are many magical alternatives to armor that will increase your Armor Class or make you more difficult to hit without many of these drawbacks.
** 4th edition reduces the importance of armor by having characters add half their level to their armor class. This means that high-level characters are still more difficult to hit. Further, if a character is wearing light or no armor they can add their DEX ''or'' their INT bonus to their armor class. All of this means that high-level characters can evade attacks even when lightly armored.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' uses a system based on the D20 system of ''Dungeons and Dragons'', so it has all the same examples. It also riffs on the trope in a number of additional ways:
** There is a barbarian variant that grants the ability "Naked Courage." It grants the character a bonus to AC when not wearing armour. Granted, it's a fairly small bonus.
** In the ''NPC Codex'', which provides official stats for the game's iconic characters, Seoni (the sorceress in the slinky red dress) officially has a better armor class with her spells running than any of the heavy-armor wearing melee characters.
** Firearms, if allowed, render armour useless at close range since they are treated as touch attacks.
* ''TabletopGame/StarWarsD20'' had armor that really was useless, unless you were already almost dead. It provided damage reduction only when you were out of vitality points or against a critical hit, when damage went to wound points. So for most of a battle, all most armor did was provide a situation bonus to one ability and an armor check penalty to certain skills. ...yay? It also denied you your class-based AC and limited your max Dex Bonus. This could be designed to reflect the stormtrooper armor's uselessness.
* In ''TabletopGame/StarWarsSagaEdition'', characters gain bonuses to their Reflex Defense (the defense that keeps blaster bolts hitting you) from armor or a [[StatisticallySpeaking level-based bonus]], and they don't stack. At higher levels, it's better to go into a fight naked, rather than wearing the heaviest protection you can find. However, it isn't played completely straight as the bonuses to Fortitude Defense from armor do stack and with the right talents, you can get them to stack with the Reflex Defense as well.
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'':
** The standard issue flak armour of the Imperial Guard - a bulletproof, heat and shrapnel resistant uniform with potentially extra armoured-areas by our standards... that is generally useless against most of the weaponry of the other species within ''Warhammer 40,000''. It's fan nickname is "the T-shirt/"
** Dark Eldar wyches play this trope to a tee, with a superhuman athleticism that means the less armour they wear, the more they've practised to avoid needing it (and wearing less armour allows you to be more agile). A wych who goes into battle [[FullFrontalAssault wearing nothing]] will mess your heavily-armoured troops up badly.
** Terminator armor is dramatically nerfed in ''TabletopGame/SpaceHulk'', where Genestealers easily shred it (in the normal game, they just have a rule that reduces its protection from "block 5/6th of attacks" to "block 1/3rd of attacks", 1/6th of the time).
** This is no longer the case as of 8th edition AP rules, which have reverted to adding negative modifiers to armor rolls instead. As most basic infantry weapons have no AP, flak armor actually stop a bolt round 1/3rd of the time.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', averted at the low levels, as good armor vastly increases your survival chance in a fight--aside from the fact that the rules specifically state that the only reason to wear [[HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic a helmet]] is if you don't think your hairstyle is [[RuleOfCool cool enough]]. Played straight at high levels, as there are enough MartialArtsAndCrafts abilities that only need to touch you to mess you up in ways ranging from petrification to ''having your soul fall off'' that characters will mostly be depending on magically-powered defenses, rendering armor somewhat redundant. Armour is a lot more useful with the 2.5 revisions, which halved the cost in Artifact dots for a decent suit and reduced weapon damage across the board. It's still vulnerable to bad-touch effects, though. In the 3rd edition, however, armor has become viable again, and stacks with the Resistance skills. However, most Martial Arts don't function with armor on.
* Armor in ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' very roughly mirrors the rise and fall in armor usefulness in reality, with available armor playing catch up early in each TL. This ceases to be the case at TL 12 where you can buy guns that delete people from reality, which renders armor rather pointless. In 4th Edition ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}: Spaceships'' the rules have led to the comparison "eggshells armed with hammers". When you reach TL 9, PowerArmor start appearing. This type of armor's true strength is to turn choosing between dodging and DR a FalseDichotomy: PowerArmor will stop small arms fire or fragmentation damage while still allowing you to dodge heavier rounds.
* ''TabletopGame/{{FATAL}}'' has such things as stabbing attacks (which hurt rather a lot even through armour) and magical armour that actively ''reduces'' your Current Armour stat. And that's not going into the armour that kills you and raises you as a zombie serial killer, armour that simply kills you, or armour that fills your crap with kitten seeds. Even that's not as terrible as the armor that turns you into [[DudeNotFunny grotesquely offensive racial stereotypes]] from countries or ethnicities that supposedly don't even exist in the setting. It ain't called "the worst RPG ever made" for nothin'.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Ammo}}'' almost every player character has some sort of manga-inspired power, but only a few will be even moderately defensive, or last more than a few battle turns. Armors, both passive or PoweredArmor, are ''required'', even against the weakest foe. Between normal unprotected humans a round kick is often lethal, and two is overkilling.
* For ''TabletopGame/WildTalents'' this is a ZigZaggingTrope. Armor is both hugely important and easy to circumvent, much like in real life, and attack powers with Non-Physical can ignore most armor outright. With that said, it's also possible to build armor that normal weapons and even many superpowers can't penetrate, and stacking all three types of armor (light, medium, and heavy) will make you pretty damn hard to stop.
* The only form of armor worth using in ''TabletopGame/SeventhSea'' is a rare form of nigh-magical armor held by one nation. If you're anyone else... well, they don't even print statistics for armor. That should tell you all you need to know.
** Technically, they ''did'' print statistics for armor, if "it does nothing" counts as statistics.
** To quote the ''Player's Guide'', "Everyone else simply does without."
** Armor rules were later printed in the ''[[FanonDiscontinuity Cathay]]'' supplement, which was written after all of the setting's creators had [[JustForPun jumped ship]].
* In ''[[TableTopGame/MiddleEarthRolePlaying MERP]]'' [[note]]and by extension ''TabletopGame/{{Rolemaster}}''[[/note]], unarmoured was usually better than soft and hard leather armour against most weapons. Each weapon had a strike table against each armour type (AT) and it was far easier to hit higher armors on average, but you dealt mere damage. The real killer in rolemaster/MERP was the critical strike table roll, which was easier to gain against most armors in the game than it was against not wearing armor at all. Soft and Rigid leather was not only easier to hit and deal damage to, it was far more deadly to wear as critical strike table rolls occured more often! Medium armors like chain also suffered from this to an extent against many weapons. Not only did critical strike table rolls deal things such as stuns, even the weakest table (A) had a chance to maim, incapacitate or outright kill your character on a percentage roll! And this is something you not only had to invest dev points in for maneuverability, it also carried a quickness penalty to make you even easier to hit while wearing it!
* Discussed in the ''Fate Core System'', which by default assigns no special bonuses to either weapons ''or'' armor; mechanically, combat is resolved simply using skills, stunts, and aspects just like any other type of conflict. The point is brought up that if one does make some types of weapons and armor better than others strictly in game terms -- and there's explicitly nothing preventing any given GM from doing so --, then player characters will naturally gravitate towards wanting the best, [=NPCs=] (at least the important ones) will have to compensate to not get slaughtered in droves themselves, and it's potentially easy to end up with a game that ends up playing out ''just'' the same way it would if it didn't bother with the modifiers in the first place, only with less variety in terms of "useful" equipment. (Which is, of course, a plausible enough outcome, just not necessarily the most ''entertaining'' one.)
** In variations that use the Weapon and Armour rating extras, or variations on them, weapon values are generally higher than armour: the ''ComicBook/AtomicRobo Role Playing Game'' has Weapon:4 cost as much as Armour:2, while ''Jadepunk'' has Harmful 2 for the same price as Protective 1, and even if your Armour/Protective rating ''does'' nullify a hit, the enemy will still get a boost, making them more likely to penetrate next time.
* In early editions, armor was practically pointless in ''Mechwarrior'', the RPG spinoff of ''TabletopGame/BattleTech''. The only armor that existed with any regularity was the flak jacket, armored flak suit, and anti-laser ablative armor. Statistically, any of those armors would stop, on average, three shots from the weapon type they are designed to resist (ballistic weapons and lasers, respectively) and ''nothing'' from everything else. It also only protected a limited portion of the body (the flak suit being the exception--covering more of the body and providing a bit more protection, but degrading more quickly due to it being constantly hit). This meant that your rare and highly expensive laser-absorbing armor could be bashed to pieces by a thug with a tree branch and there was nothing you could do about it, and none of this was much good if your characters were called on to fight vehicles or 'Mechs. Later editions of the game improved this somewhat, but it was only after the advent of the revised second edition that ''Mechwarrior'' characters finally had a modicum of protection to call on.
* In the 4th Edition of ''TabletopGame/ArsMagica'' Armour actually makes characters '''more''' vulnerable to injury. This is because the encumbrance penalty imposed by the weight of the armour detracts from the character's Defense, giving the opponent a bonus to their Attack Advantage that can be substantial enough to more than compensate for the armour's Soak.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Godbound}}'' has armour that's useful early on and against weaklings, but the to-hit bonuses a high-level Godbound gets will effectively nullify the attack, and that's if they aren't spending Effort on something that hits automatically. Also, there are plenty of Gifts that give you an AC on par with heavy armour even if you're naked, although those do cost some of your sharply limited pool of Gift points.

[[folder: Theater]]
* ''Theater/PrincessIda'' by Creator/GilbertAndSullivan has a guardsman sing an entire song, "This Helmet I Suppose" about how his armor is heavy, stifling and ill-fitting, and doesn't really offer enough protection to balance those drawbacks out.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'' there are classic AD&D rules and values of THAC0 ("to hit armor class 0") and AC ("armor class"). They work in a way that the lesser number is stronger, that is, a chain mail armor that gives an AC of 2 is better than a leather armor with an AC of 5. This can be sometimes confusing, i.e. when an enchanted full plate mail +1 gives a value of -1. A virtual die is rolled to check if the attack is succesful and does damage or is absorbed/blocked, and it depends on the AC of the defender and the THAC0 of the attacker. Both are influenced by character weapons and skills, such as dexterity, or even by spells. In the first game AC was very important and could make the difference, with negative AC making you almost invulnerable against weaker opponents. But in the sequel expansion Throne of Bhaal major enemies start to get THAC0s ridiculously low (to the point of -30) that they will hit you anyway (unless they roll a 1 which is a miss). Minor enemies are still suffering your armor, but by that time you are so much powerful that they wouldn't represent a menace at all.
* In ''VideoGame/EverQuest'', damage mitigation is primarily determined by your character class, with your armor class (AC) being more effective on some classes (like warriors) than others. This means that a warrior wearing a full suit of simple clothing is still going to resist considerably more damage than a wizard wearing the same armor because the former gains more AC from the cloth. Even at the same AC rating, warriors resist more damage than less melee-oriented classes. Furthermore, the actual "type" of armor in ''VideoGame/EverQuest'' is irrelevant, as the game makes no inherent distinction between plate armor, chain, leather, or cloth other than how its texture is displayed. Because of this, there are leather breastplates that provide several times as much protection as steel, and some cloth robes that are considerably more protective than earlier metal varieties. Ultimately, all that matters for protection when it comes to worn items is what level encounter they were obtained from and what classes can wear them.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** Throughout the series, a character's protection depends more on his ''skill'' with the armor class rather than the armor itself (though despite this, [=NPCs=] are almost always armored appropriately). For example, a character with a high Heavy Armor skill will be better protected in a suit of low quality Iron armor than a character with a low Heavy Armor skill will be in a set of elite Daedric armor. In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', [=NPCs=] will occasionally [[LampshadeHanging reference this trope]] if the player asks them for advice. You're warned not to judge how tough a fight will be based on the amount or quality of your opponents armor or weapons, as the really powerful characters don't need these things to kill you.
** The effectiveness of armor skill is discussed in-universe in various instruction manuals and books. One of the keys to fighting in armor is to not just wear the armor but learn how to move around in the various suits, recognize the resistance in the joints, and understanding how to turn and move so a blow that might hit a weak spot will instead strike unyielding plate.
** Played straight throughout the series when it comes to magical attacks, as standard armor is completely useless against them. In order to defend against them, you either need to use specific AntiMagic spells or enchant them onto your armor as a constant effect.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'':
*** In addition to the above, armor will never block more than 80% of the damage dealt. If you max out your heavy armor skill tree, it's possible to reach this cap wearing nothing more advanced than ''Steel'' armor (the second lowest standard quality).
*** Armor also depends on the level of smithing and which skill tree you invested in. If you are a master smith, alchemist, and trained in the use of the Light Armor skill, it's very well that a set of simple reinforced leather is actually ''stronger'' for you than even something made from ''dragon bones'', or [[FantasyMetals Daedric]] (which is crystallised ''gods' blood'' forged with ''demon hearts'').
*** The Vigil of Stendarr, a ChurchMilitant order dedicated to hunting down supernatural threats to mortal life, apparently believe this to be the case. The only armor they wear are boots and gauntlets, forgoing body armor to wear enchanted robes.
** Heavy metal armor can feel this way in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsOnline'', where it is only 25% stronger than leather medium armor, and the stamina and crit-damage bonuses of medium tend to outweigh the slight tanking bonuses granted by heavy.
* ''VideoGame/{{BioShock 2}}''. Yes, you are wearing a suit that can withstand pressure at the bottom of the ocean. No, that won't help against a gun. Or a wrench. Or fire. Or anything else, for that matter.
** It's weaker than human skin, but it does have two very important features - because the Big Daddy is a bunch of ADAM-infused organs surgically grafted to a diving suit, you get one whole second of undershirt to prevent fatal damage temporarily, at which point you have the option of using a single medkit, which heals ALL damage. This represents the Big Daddy's massive health pool, rather than their damage resistance.
** However, in the first game you do get to equip a Big Daddy diving suit, which, unlike in ''[=BioShock=] 2'', does reduce the damage you take. You still aren't invincible though.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearOnline'' lets you customize your player characters, where you have the option of giving him/her combat armor or helmets, but these are merely aesthetic accessories, and have no effect on how much damage you take. You still take as much damage as shirtless male characters or bikini-clad female characters.
* ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries SoulCalibur]]'': The female warrior [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Hilde]] and male hero [[TheAtoner Siegfried]] both wear heavy plate armor, and yet they still take damage at the same rate as the rest of the cast, who wear ordinary clothes, fabric bodysuits, or in Voldo's case, a simple codpiece. Nightmare too; when he's not Siegfried, he ''[[AnimatedArmor is]]'' a set of heavy plate armor and still takes the same amount of damage as all the bondage-clad nudists running around. Plus, [[GuestFighter Darth Vader]] is in the fourth game and is subject to the same convention too (contradicting the ''Franchise/StarWars'' example above in "Film").
* Averted in ''VideoGame/SabresOfInfinity'' with Banehardened armor, which, while incredibly expensive, renders the wearer extremely effective protection against conventional weapons.
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/DeadOrAlive'', with the fully power-armored SpaceMarine Nicole being just as vulnerable to punches and kicks as the more {{Stripperiffic}}ally-dressed women.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'', there is no amount of armor you can be wearing, damaged or undamaged, that changes how much damage you take. And in cutscenes, we're shown it works the same way for TheEvilArmy, although that's possibly because the protagonist is a BadassNormal.
* The ''VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins''/''[[VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins Ghouls 'n Ghosts]]'' series has Arthur, who starts in full plate armour: however it just takes [[OneHitPointWonder one hit]] and your armor goes flying off, leaving you to fight beasties in his [[GoofyPrintUnderwear pretty underpants]]. Another hit in that state, and he's dead. ''Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins'' has a variety of armors, most of which can take more than one hit. The trouble happens when you ''need'' a certain armor that can take only one hit to get past a certain point (especially the Angel Armor), meaning that once you lose the armor, you're hosed. Two ways, in fact.
** Played with for his appearance in ''VideoGame/ProjectXZone''. Arthur's armor is directly stated to be good against only one hit, but it ''will'' protect him from that hit, no matter how powerful it is. This allows him to be able to tank a massive explosion from ground zero.
* In the anime-themed PC game ''VideoGame/ShogoMobileArmorDivision'', the enemies come in many varieties, some sporting basic uniforms, others power armor, and still others ten foot tall mini-mechas. The difference that makes in their durability is negligible: 100, 125 and 150 health points. All forms die to a single shotgun blast or a short burst from an assault rifle.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' doesn't actually include armor as a mechanic (except for the 2nd game where shields existed). Defense is based entirely on character growths and class based caps, rather than what armor a character is physically wearing. For example in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Radiant Dawn]]'', full plate wearing Meg's defenses are lower than the breastplate, helmet and shield wearing Aran (although Meg has a higher defense cap, but her growths are so poor she will almost never reach it.) Still, characters and classes featured with heavy armor tend to have a higher Defense base, growth, and cap. The exception to the rule is [[CrutchCharacter Jagen]] from [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia the first game]], who has a 0% defense growth despite wearing his famous purple armor.
* Exists but to a lesser degree in the ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' series. While armor is both useful and effective, the trope comes into play in terms of how you'll commonly use them. The good armor is made from killing the monster the armor set comes from many times to get loot used to make it. The problem is that the armor tends to be most resistant to the element said monster uses. Say you kill a monster with electric powers over and over again, you've now made armor most effective in defending against the very monster you now never need to see again. While the armor can still help if there's ANOTHER monster of that element you have trouble with, this still heavily contrasts with crafting weapons which do the opposite (are less effective against the monster you were grinding with and more effective on some other monster).
** When it comes to offering damage protection from monster attacks, most armors in Monster Hunter games are horrible when faced with monsters of the same rank. You got armor with high elemental resistance and high raw defense? Yeah that's great, instead of being killed in 1-2 hits now you can take about 3 (maybe 4!) hits before dying.
*** Being able to take a few more hits makes a huge difference. Try taking on G-rank with a High-rank or Low-rank armor and you will die if a monster so much as sneeze on you. It is very recommended that you upgrade your armor to one of the current rank you're on in order to get the defense even if it means sacrificing armor skill. If both armor are of similar rank though, the defense is negligible.
* While armor ''is'' quite important and tends to provide benefits other than sheer protection in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', these values don't necessarily correlate with the ''amount'' of armor. [[ChainmailBikini Females get away with much less armor in general]], and an Eyepatch provides just as much protection as a full plate helmet, as long as it's given the same armor class. Another weird instance is the druid's bear form, which, despite not showing any armor whatsoever, magically ''quintuples'' the armor rating of his equipment, enabling the usually rather fragile, leather-wearing class to be a very capable tank which outranks full plate warriors and paladins in terms of sheer physical damage reduction (however, they can't use shields to block or weapons to parry, and have a rather limited array of abilities). Of course, given their magical nature, it's possible that this is representing the druid's bear form incorporating the magic from his or her armor into a magically reinforced thick hide. In addition, this trope applies when fighting elemental enemies whose elemental damage ignores armor, as do spells. Which kinda makes sense to some extent; getting hit by a fireball will probably melt you the same regardless of the thickness of what you're wearing--it may even be worse with metal armor if it's hot enough--but considering how the fire came from a flaming boulder, and therefore part of the damage is blunt force trauma, there's many types of magic for which you must scour your brain for the reasoning of how it damages someone, in that you'll survive a fireball from someone around the same level around you, despite how it's hot enough to ''set a boulder on fire'', which makes it kind of like a meteor...
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fable}}'', different armors have different strengths and weaknesses, but these are negligible. Defeating the final boss wearing nothing but underpants is not only possible, but hardly more difficult than doing so in full plate. Lionhead Studios realized that armor was useless in ''Fable'', and as a result, in ''VideoGame/FableII'', you get the same armor bonus for wearing a harlot dress as you do for wearing a heavily layered assassin outfit: ''zero''.
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'', where one of the FEW people wearing an honest helmet, Anthony [[MeaningfulName Carmine]], gets sniped in the head early on, killing him. Though the helmet made him one of TheFaceless, despite being an actual character, his death was an in-joke to the developers, based off a study that showed people who wore helmets like that get shot more due to the lack of peripheral vision.
** Lampshaded in ''Gears of War 2'' though. During one level the group is complaining about the smell and even has to run through toxic gas later in the game. The one member wearing a helmet points out that they wouldn't have this problem if they'd wear one. Also, the character with the helmet is the Benjamen Carmine, little brother of Anthony Carmine.
--->'''B. Carmine:''' If you wore a helmet, you wouldn't have to breathe in the dust.\\
'''Dom:''' Yeah, ''[coughs]'' but I wouldn't be able to see snipers so well, would I?"''\\
'''Marcus''' Cool it Dom...
** In ''Gears of War 3'', Clayton Carmine, also wearing a helmet, is walking with the squad towards a COG base when a friendly sniper mistakes them for the Lambent, and shoots Clay in the head [[spoiler:only for the bullet to ricochet off Clay's helmet, prompting a shocked, "Jeez louise, what the ''fuck''?!"]]
** While all the gears tromp around [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation half a car's]] worth of armor, they seem to be about as tough as the Locust, most of whom aren't even wearing shirts. [[DeathWorld Sera]] also seems to have a surprising number of indigenous species that are completely immune to gunfire on some or most of their carapace (including rockworms, serapedes, Berserkers, and [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Corpsers]]), which begs the questions of why no one's making armor out of them.
** Averted by Maulers and Armored Kantus. Maulers carry a shield that can absorb (or in the case of Elites, ''reflect'') bullets and even rockets. Kantus armor slows the wearer down (and denies it the use of Ink Grenades in Beast Mode) but is nearly immune to bullets. Unlike the Mauler's shield, a Kantus' armor doesn't help it against fire or explosives.
** Exaggerated in ''3'', which has unarmored versions of Anya, Dizzy, Marcus, and a version of Cole in football pads. All can take just as much damage as their heavily armored counterparts.
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' and ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors'' have a number of characters who run around the battlefield in heavy armour. There is little or no evidence that they take any less damage than the characters who run around in robes or barechested (in earlier games in the franchise, there actually was actually was an armor stat that supposedly reduced damage, with characters who wore heavier armor having a higher rating, but the difference it made was too small to be relevant). They do tend to be pretty slow, though. These series seem to work off the principle of GlassCannon instead. Those bigger guys or armored guys DO do more damage, or at the very least, have much larger range. Except for Xiahou Yuan. [[BlessedWithSuck Because he just fails that much.]] Whoopee! Free arrows! Now, do you have anything else to offer? Worse, his attacks have a habit of juggling enemies, which means they can't attack, but they also take a third as much damage, making one on one fights take even longer.
* Played straight at higher levels in ''VideoGame/{{Elona}}'', as elemental resistance followed by speed become the most important defense. After all, if an enemy only does 1-3 HP damage, but gets 5-8 TURNS compared to your one, (say a quickling or alien kid, who does additional acid damage on top of that) then you may as well be taking 30HP damage a turn anyway. However, with light enough armor you can cut this down to as low as two or three, and with a pair of rings of speed, even out, as well as get chances to dodge the attacks. However, it is inverted again when you face down [[http://elona.wikia.com/wiki/Fort_of_Chaos_(Beast) Frisia, the cat queen]], as you'll never be able to match her speed unless you play a Catgod as well, or a quickling or bell, so it's best to reduce the damage you take as much as possible and let her kill herself by spamming Firewall/Acidground or throwing things which cause damage over time along with wearing the artifact mentioned. She takes so many turns compared to your character that you'll do much more damage in the same amount of time as trying to hit her with your main weapon, even if she only takes roughly 5-8 HP damage per turn. The other two bonus bosses are chumps compared to Frisia.
* Armor in ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic 6 - 8'' is only as good as three things: Your skill with the armor in question, The abilities of the enemy you're fighting, and how good your Repair Skill is. Given how many late game enemies had abilities that (a) ignore armor class and (b) break armor, you may as well rely entirely on magic resistance once you reach the LostTechnology section of the games. Leather armor is ''slightly'' more useful than the other armors - every class that ''can'' use armor can upgrade the leather skill to a level where this is no disadvantage to having one on, which meshes well with that it, as all armors, can carry useful bonuses that have nothing to do with armor class (there are no non-armor options for the torso slot), and in 7 and 8 the Grandmaster bonus applies even if the armor class does not.
* In ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'' the first Iblis boss battle with Silver requires you to throw rocks at Iblis's ARMORED HEAD!
* In ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'', most weapons do cutting damage, which is significantly hampered by armor. Piercing and blunt attacks get through more often, but generally have less power once they pass the armor.
* ''VideoGame/XCOMUFODefense'' is a peculiar case that caused a fair bit of Administrivia/{{Natter}}. A soldier wearing the most powerful armor in the game, hit where it's thickest, has roughly a 2/3 chance of surviving one hit from the most common alien weapon. There's no guarantee against multiple shots. What would be rejected in most games is here a crucial improvement from losing half the squad on nearly every mission. The first armor available occasionally saves from getting their faces imploded, and instead leaves them in dire need of a medic on the field and time in the infirmary when they return.[[note]]Thus doing exactly what reasonable armor can be expected to do in real life; making what would have been fatalities into living casualties.[[/note]] It's another major development.[[note]]The reasoning behind the armor in the game is somewhat complicated and involves random numbers. Basically, when a unit is hit by an attack, the attack can do between 50 and 200 percent of it's base damage. That damage value is then compared to the armor value of the unit (which varies depending on where it is hit), and an additional random value is either added or subtracted to the armor value. If the modified armor value is greater than the modified damage value, the armor holds and ''nothing happens'': no armor reduction, no damage to the unit, nothing. If the armor value is less than the damage value, then the armor is damaged and some of the damage "bleeds" through to the unit. With plasma weapons and rookie soldiers, ANY damage bleed is likely going to kill them, but the damage roulette means that it's entirely possible (though ''extremely'' unlikely) for a human rookie with no armor to survive a Heavy Plasma shot to the chest. Better armor obviously means higher armor values but they don't guarantee survival odds, just improve them.[[/note]]
** Tricky players note that advanced armor makes automatic high-explosive and incendiary rounds into amusing close combat weapons, and that its flying version reduces Chryssalids from nigh-invincible instant death machines to mostly harmless. (While it also makes Silacoids completely harmless, [[GoldfishPoopGang that's not really a downgrade for them]].) The sequel ''Apocalypse'' has much stronger armor.
* ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'', the 2012 reboot of X-Com, plays BodyArmorAsHitpoints, and it ''does'' improve your operatives's survivability in battle as long as you take care to avoid getting exposed to flanking attacks, as {{critical hit}}s will still hurt like crazy. In some cases, the armor can even help your operatives avoid being hospitalized in the medical bay for days or even ''weeks'' if the damage they suffered is less than the bonus health provided by the armor. Furthermore, the advanced suits of armor all possess unique abilities that give your operatives other benefits besides protection from weapons fire.
** The ''Enemy Within'' expansion pack adds MEC troopers wearing PoweredArmor (although they have to literally lose AnArmAndALeg to be able to do that, replacing them with robotic substitutes). MEC troopers are very tough to kill, especially since going into Overwatch without moving during the turn adds more protection. This is to compensate for the fact that MEC troopers are too large to be able to hide behind objects and are thus always exposed.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''
** In the original ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'', the Black Belt could wear some equipment, but when unarmored he gains one absorb for each level which will outstrip the absorb he can get from armors at very high levels. It's not something that people who tries to beat the game on a timely pace should worry about, though.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' flirts with this. Armor is certainly useful, but heavy armor takes a considerable toll on your Evasion percentage, which is easily the OneStatToRuleThemAll—especially when late-game enemies can inflict nasty status effects on hit. The game does provide light armor that gives respectable Defense without too heavy an Evasion penalty, and improving your Agility and shield skill ([[FridgeLogic yes, strapping a piece of metal to your arm makes you ''faster'']]) will let you wear the super-heavy ArmorOfInvincibility ''and'' dodge everything thrown at you like a ninja.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'': The only "armor" you can buy for any character is "bangles," which are essentially large, heavy bracelets. You can see the characters wearing them, and occasionally even making motions as if they are trying to block or deflect attacks with them. As for how well this works... the way the game calculates damage means that defence stats in general aren't really worth the effort to improve (the most effective armor work by halving damage from physical elements), a glitch means that mdef ignores what armor is supposed to contribute to it, and you can cause your defence to roll over if you raised your stats high enough.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'': While most ''Final Fantasy'' characters equip armor, even if only in inventory, here characters do not wear armor, visually or no. In-universe they're covert operatives who often go undercover, and wearing heavy armor would blow said cover pretty quickly. Besides, with Guardian Forces and junctioned magic, they don't ''need'' it.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' has this rule too, to a certain extent. Nobody wears armor, aside from the crusaders, who are practically the RedShirtArmy of Spira. Any playable character in the entire game, however, can only equip a weapon and an arm-guard.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'': Subverted in the opening sequence. Some poor sap had a gaping hole in his armor, right in front of his throat. Three guesses where he was shot, and the first two don't count.
** In ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII'', Lightning can obtain several armor garbs. Most do provide minor damage reduction, but the two best defensive garbs are in fact ''robes''.
* In ''VideoGame/BlackSigil: Blade of the Exiled'', armor isn't entirely useless so much as Defense is. You appear to take the same damage from introductory-area enemies, even after abusing a specific shop's buy/sell mechanics to purchase hundreds of Defense Up potions and using them to max every character's Defense. It's for this very reason that it's best to equip armor based on any offense and status resistances they have, as opposed to Defense. At least ''technically'' the armor itself isn't what's useless...
* Played straight in the ''VideoGame/RainbowSix'' games, though this is more of a case of Helmets Are Useless. Heavy armor will completely shrug off shotguns loaded with buckshot at point blank range as well as submachineguns with [=JHPs=] at long range, as long as it doesn't hit your head, which doesn't happen very often since enemies almost always [[BoomHeadshot aim for your head]] and are often equipped with assault rifles. In the first game in particular, the AI was known to score headshots from [[ImprobableAimingSkills beyond the real life effective range of their weapons]] ''[[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard while looking completely the other way]]''. Lampshaded in [[Literature/RainbowSix the original novel]], where it is noted that 7.62 rounds will still go through their armour. It takes about three missions before [[CurbStompBattle anyone they go up against can even get a shot off]], but once those odds are surmounted, a good chunk of Rainbow's Team One is dead or hospitalized despite the armor difference.
* ''VideoGame/OperationBodyCount''. While most attacks will hit armor first, two enemies that start appearing in the first 10 levels will also damage your health directly regardless of armor: Giant rats and [[DemonicSpiders shock drones]]. The former has health damage reduced by the presence of armor, the latter completely bypasses it.
* ''VisualNovel/YoJinBo'': Nobody wears armor, except for [[spoiler: Mon-Mon]], who wears [[BulletproofVest chain mail]] under his clothes. Which does save him from being stabbed in the back in one event, but the trope is played straight aside from that one instance.
* In ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', your powers are completely divorced from your appearance, so armor really ''is'' useless. At least for protection, anyway. If you choose to wear armor, it's typically for conceptual reasons or looking cool. Not counting armor (or shields) provided ''by'' your powers, which work and do provide protection when in use. Although there aren't many powers that really produce material armor instead of auras of some sort, and you'll still get something like being temporarily covered in ice or granite instead of plate armor or a flak jacket out of them.
* In the ''VideoGame/SiegeOfAvalon'' Anthology, the action takes place in a castle under siege, which had run out of good quality steel months earlier. Consequently, the armor and weapons coming out of the armory are pretty much worthless--one soldier calls them "tin swords and paper armor," and one of your earlier optional quests is to locate a cache of steel in the ruins of the town outside (though you only get a sword, not armor, for completing it). The real determining factors of whether you survive are how many hit points you have, how quickly you heal, whether you heal yourself using magic (and how good you are at it), and how many hits you actually take. Even the enchanted armor you can pick up toward the end of the game is more useful for the enchantments than the armor they're attached to.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Scribblenauts}}'' it is possible to create armor, helmets, shields, etc. but they don't make it any harder to die.
* None of the possible [=PCs=], or your companions for that matter, wear armor in ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'', and it doesn't affect their defense at all, although amusingly several incorrect descriptions of you by enemies describe you wearing head-to-toe suits of armor.
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' was based on the D&D ruleset, so armor was completely useless for around half of all possible characters at higher levels and only moderately useful for the other half. Ditto ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2''. At a certain level, you're wearing armor less for protection and more for the bonus effects from the enchantment on it.
* ''VideoGame/SpaceEmpires'': Mostly averted in the series. It can have special effects, like damage regeneration, and armor-piercing weapons aren't very common.
* In ''[[Website/GaiaOnline zOMG]]'' your character's appearance is fully independent of your stats, to allow for total character customization. However, this also means that no matter how cool that Mythrill Armor(sic) looks on you, or how badass you look with your giant axe, you can still get killed by a flamingo if you don't have rings. The opposite is true as well. This is illustrated in the zOMG Manga, where a guard named Baldur is equipped with rare and expensive Mythrill Armor and an [[KatanasAreJustBetter Ancient Katana]], but is still taken out in one hit by a Buzz Saw. Conversely, Dani (Who is wearing Armor, but forgoes the chest plate) and Blaze (who isn't wearing armor at all, save for a small leather jacket) are much more effective fighters.
* In ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'', Assassinations, Hidden Blade {{Counter Attack}}s and ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood Brotherhood]]'''s new Arrow Storm and Execution moves will one-shot anyone regardless of health. Also, the Captain from ''Brotherhood'' multiplayer is a OneHitPointWonder despite wearing full plate. On the other hand, Ezio's damage-taking improves as he gets better armour and more heavily-armoured opponents are themselves harder to kill in a straight fight, with Borgia Captains ([[GetBackHereBoss those that fight you anyway]]) and [[PraetorianGuard Papal Guards]] needing multiple Hidden Gun shots to kill. To add to this, the Armor of Altaïr saved Ezio from a nasty stabbing at the end of ''2'', while part of [[spoiler: the Cesare fight]] is spent stripping off the boss's armour so he can be properly hurt. They seem to be improving on that with the enemies, as in ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations Revelations]]'' the Janissaries cannot be [[OneHitKill one-hit killed]] by the hidden blade.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tyrian}}'': Once your ship loses its shields, its own armor is what separates you from a very explosive death. On higher difficulties, even ships with the highest armor ratings will fall apart after about a dozen hits.
* ''VideoGame/RagnarokOnline'' - upper end armors like full plate armor are comparatively little more powerful than lesser armors. While a character in full plate in most {{R|olePlayingGame}}PGs can get beat on all day (especially by 'trash' and low level monsters) and not feel it, RO characters in full plate take much more damage than the idea of full plate armor seems to indicate. It is true that armor is upgradeable and you can add 'cards' to the slots, it is ridiculous how little protection the best armors give warriors and tanks.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'': straight in the first game. Armored soldiers from UNATCO and Majestic 12 have as many hit points as homeless bums. NSF terrorists are actually weaker.
* DoubleSubversion in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''. Normally armor does a pretty good job reducing damage. Then you go to [[DownloadableContent Point Lookout]], where [[ArmorPiercingAttack the enemies automatically get a certain amount of free damage in]]. This means that a player who easily mows through Enclave soldiers and Super Mutants can get pwned by mutated rednecks with shotguns. It can also be double subverted because of the equipment degradation reducing effectiveness over time and the low-quality (as in broken, not poorly made) equipment most [=NPCs=] have, which can result in a pair of Brotherhood of Steel knights in PoweredArmor getting killed by a trio of raiders in Mad Max-style armor.
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' changes the armor calculations from being percentile to being additive, and if you don't exceed somethings armor rating you only do ScratchDamage. It's played straight or averted depending on [[ZigZaggingTrope where you are in the game]]: higher enemy damage makes armor progressively less helpful, and all energy weapons ignore some by default anyway (although one Perk makes metal armor more potent against energy weapons). Any of the various infinity plus one armors, however, do greatly increase your survivability, and the wearables with stat boosts but poor defense are ''highly'' [[CripplingOverspecialization situational]].
*** The Piercing Palm perk allows you to [[ArmorPiercingAttack ignore 15 points of DT]]. For reference, the only things that more defense than that are [=NPCs=] in metal armor, powered armor, and some unique characters.
*** It does get double subverted on the highest difficulty, and against the most powerful enemies. Basically, they're going to kill you in either 1 or 2 hits, and no armor you wear will help with that. Worse, if they make you slower then lighter equipment. Most of the DLC enemies and some of the main game enemies also scale to the player's Experience level. On the vice versa, your offensive capacity ALSO skyrockets so everyone is basically a Glass Cannon.
*** Ironically, a {{D|ownloadableContent}}LC perk actually makes light armor ''better'' than even power armor. The Light Touch perk reduces enemy critical hit chance by 25%...which equates to a 0% critical chance for almost every enemy. 10 DT stands up to 80 damage a lot better than 30 DT stands up to 160 damage.
*** As with the later-released ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', [[ScratchDamage armor will stop no more than 80% of incoming damage.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda''
** The corrupted guard enemies debuting in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' wear so much plate armor that their face [[FacelessGoons can't even be seen]]. Yet in all of their appearances, they are among the weakest enemies in the game unlike other armored enemies.
** The improved graphics of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' reveal that Link wears chainmail under his trademark green tunic. But he takes exactly the same amount of damage from goblin attacks with the armor as he does without it in the prologue.
* Increasingly played straight in ''VideoGame/WorldOfTanks''. Highly armored vehicles take little or no damage when shot by much weak guns, but the game has increasingly been pushed toward weapon penetration beating armor as new tanks with high-penetration guns have been introduced and the decision was made to allow premium ammo (which usually has superior armor-penetration ability to standard ammo) to be purchased with in-game currency instead of real money. This means that even the fearsome [[MightyGlacier T95]], which boasts the thickest frontal armor of any tank in the game, is still vulnerable to shots penetrating its front glacis.
* While ''Franchise/{{Halo}}''[='s=] story and ExpandedUniverse mostly avert this, its gameplay is all over the place with the trope:
** Zig-zagged by anyone with [[DeflectorShields personal energy shields]]. While a fully-shielded [[EliteMook Elite]] Zealot can take an entire clip of assault rifle fire without even flinching, one with its shields drained is no more impervious to damage than a common [[CannonFodder Grunt]], despite the fact that the former wears a lot more armor than the latter (and [[GameplayAndStorySegregation the lore stating that Elites are in general a lot tougher than Grunts]]). This discrepancy is particularly apparent with PlayerCharacter [[SuperSoldier Spartans]]; despite their supposedly incredibly advanced tailored-specifically-for-Spartan painstakingly-manufactured cutting-edge armor, no Spartan with its shields down can survive one single shot to the head ''from a basic pistol'' in ''any game'', or more than just a couple shots to the body from almost any other weapon in any game.
** In the later games, Covenant mooks both wear more armor and have greater health the higher-ranked they are. What keeps this from being an aversion is that, with the exception of headshots, they take the same amount of damage from any given weapon regardless of whether you hit them in an armored or unarmored spot. The one exception are Hunters, who have such thick armor that you ''have to'' shoot the unarmored parts if you want to do any damage.
** There's a partial aversion by some higher-ranking Brute variants and ''VideoGame/HaloReach''[='s=] Grunt Ultras; you'll have to shoot off their helmets first before you can headshot them. Depending on the game, the same thing also applies to any allied human [=NPC=] wearing a helmet. In general though, even helmet-wearing enemies will go down in one headshot if they don't have energy shields.
** Inverted with the Brutes; ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}''[='s=] and ''Reach''[='s=] unarmored versions are noticeably more durable than ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}''[='s=] armored ones (in fact, ''2''[='s=] Brutes were infamous for being insanely bullet-spongy). ''Within'' each individual game, however, they do still follow the general rule of "armored variants have more health".
* ''VideoGame/{{Prototype 2}}'' has a DLC Pack which includes an Armored form for Protagonist James Heller, as well as another that was used by Alex Mercer in [[VideoGame/{{Prototype}} the first one]]; both of them are merely skins, so you won't take any less damage using either one. Averted for the first one, though; Armor Power does a number on your speed and mobility, but decreases the overall damage you'll take.
* Parodied in ''[[VideoGame/AlexKidd Alex Kidd in High-Tech World]]'', where putting on a suit of samurai armor would completely immobilize you, causing a GameOver.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'', up to a point; any stabbing or slashing attack that fails the armour check is re-rolled for bludgeoning damage, which plate armour or chainmail do very little to protect against. Broken ribs are definitely preferable to getting run through with a sword, however. One straight example is that the current version's armor is remarkably vulnerable to AnnoyingArrows, with weak-material arrows reliably piercing anything up to adamantine. The only exceptions are that wood or bone arrows/bolts are still liable to deflect off any metal armor while [[{{Unobtanium}} adamantime]] arrows bounce off everything in spite of their hardness because of their extremely low density.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' with the Heavy and Demoman, who wear black ballistic vests and have the highest amount of health of all the classes (300 and 175 HP respectively) (aside from the Soldier, who has 200).
* Averted in the third ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'', where armoured paramilitaries and [[spoiler: {{Dirty Cop}}s]] are noticeably harder to kill than unprotected favela gangbangers or mobsters. The extreme of this are the thankfully rare {{Heavily Armored Mook}}s that are ImmuneToBullets centre mass and can only be killed with headshots. It's especially obvious when Max goes to the [[spoiler: UFE HQ]] and fights both the armoured frontliners and the unarmoured desk jockeys; the latter are much easier to kill.
* At first it was {{subverted|Trope}} in ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic''. Tanking classes, the ones who could take the most damage, typically wore heavy armor that would cover them head to toe, even the Jedi ([[HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic though rarely with face-concealing gear]]). The SquishyWizard classes were restricted to light armor, and the rest were an intermediate between the two.\\
Then with later game updates, adaptive armor was added, which are really just ImpossiblyCoolClothes. Since armor rating is based off the mods added to them, and adaptive armor sets could accept any mods, this allows players to disassemble hyper-advanced PoweredArmor, put the components in a flashy robe or jacket, and get the exact same ratings. Now, the servers are filled with Jedi running around in [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi Leia's stripper outfit]] and Troopers relying only on their well-toned abs for chest protection, with equal chances of winning against better-armed (and outfitted) opponents.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' has this problem due to the fact that the game really relies on DPS - even if you have a high resistance rating and powerful shields, escorts can melt that and your hull in an instant.
* In ''Videogame/PillarsOfEternity'' there's nothing stopping a caster class from wearing heavy armor, but it does come at the cost of an increased recovery when it comes to performing actions.
* Played straight (at least after you become a Jedi) in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', where the main character wearing armor actually [[ArmorAndMagicDontMix makes Force powers unusable]], making it necessary to downgrade from heavy combat vests to the simple robes of a Jedi. The sequel introduces a few types of armor designed for Force-users that lack this restriction, although they're only available as random loot.
* Played realistically straight in ''7.62 High Caliber''. Combat is extremely lethal and even the weakest pistol in the game can cause fatal damage with two or three shots to the chest. Armor, like in real life, only provides a token amount of damage resistance, enough for several assault rifle rounds at the most; ceramic and titanium plates can be inserted for improved protection in certain vests, but they can be broken completely by enough damage and have to be replaced. Even worse, helmets and bulletproof vests only protect the head and torso respectively, so any shots not to those areas get no damage resistance (unless you turn on an option on the difficulty settings). And armor piercing ammo (or powerful cartridges) tend to just slice through that armor anyway, so it'll usually only provide just enough protection to escape immediate death and run for cover. As in real life, the best defense is to not get shot.
* Much like in ''7.62 High Caliber'', armor matters some but not much in the ''VideoGame/{{STALKER}}'' series. There is a sensible difference between how many shots you can take while wearing a sunrise suit or an exoskeleton, but the latter definitely does not warrant carelessness: if you "[[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation run full-pelt into enemy strongholds gleefully spraying bullets, then your corpse will be strung up in their garden being used as a bird feeder before you can say 'reload, Doctor Freeman!']]". Bullets ''hurt'', you know.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts''
** The only reason why Sora wears armor in [[Film/{{Tron}} Space Paranoids]] is [[FisherKingdom to blend in]]. Of course, the armor happens to be his magical clothes in a different shape, and he can still use his Drive Forms; his circuits change color to match each form, from [[OneManArmy red]] to [[ArmorAndMagicDontMix blue]] to [[HarsherInHindsight yellow]].
** Completely played straight with his and Riku's armor for [[Film/TronLegacy The Grid]]. Their armor's only purpose here is to hold their Identity Discs and, [[spoiler:in Sora's case, his Recusant's Sigil; in Riku's case, his Spirit Dream Eater symbol]].
** The keyblade armors worn by Terra, Aqua, and Ventus in ''Birth By Sleep'' also count. In-universe, they're meant to protect their users from the darkness as they travel the Lanes Between, but in gameplay, the armor doesn't affect your defense stat or give any extra resistance to Dark attacks.
** In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', Disney/{{Mulan}} [[TookALevelInBadass becomes]] ''[[TookALevelInBadass much]]'' [[TookALevelInBadass more powerful]] once she ditches all the armor she was wearing [[SweetPollyOliver while pretending to be a man]].
* In ''VideoGame/StarCraftI'' each point of armor translates to one point less damage taken from each attack. Given how little armor units have and the rate most units attack or do damage, this really doesn't make an appreciable difference.
** Not entirely invoked because while armor typically does very little to reduce the damage of a Siege Tank which typically does a whopping 70 damage it matters little if you reduce the damage by a few points. But take a Terran Marine which typically does 6 points of damage and send him up against a fully upgraded Battlecruiser which will have 6 points of armor and the marine will do little to no damage.
** Also, the "armor" stat isn't the full effect of armor. An unarmored human civilian has far fewer hitpoints than a generic marine.
* In the ''VideoGame/SyphonFilter'' series starting with the second game, certain enemies deliver headshots that OneHitKill regardless of armor condition. Explosions fire, and certain high-power guns also ignore armor. In the fourth game, there are thugs that wear both flak jackets and helmets, but still die from a single headshot.
* In the ''Videogame/TotalWar'' series, whether armored troops are useful depends on both how you use them and what they're up against. Heavy knights on foot or on horseback can tear into light infantry with minimal losses and wade through heavy arrow barrages with limited casualties, but horse-mounted knights are still very vulnerable to pikemen and spears even with all their armor and barding. Dismounted heavily-armored troops are also vulnerable to cavalry charges unless they have their own spears, since all that armor won't help when a lance-wielding knight in full plate charges you on the back of a furious destrier. Heavy armor can also be a drawback when fighting certain heavy infantry types like Venetian Hammers, who deal massive bonus damage to heavily-armored units. Also averted in "The Fall of the Samurai" DLC for ''Total War: Shogun 2'' with ironclads, which are extremely tough compared to the wooden, or even armored, warships. For instance, the best way to kill a wooden ship is to fire incendiary ammo at it, causing it to be set on fire. Can't do that with an ironclad, and most non-AP shots bounce off without doing any serious damage. Armor-piercing ammo, though, can do enough damage to hurt even an ironclad.
* Partly true in ''VideoGame/GalacticCivilizations II'', given that armor is one of the three types of defenses you can install on ships, the other two being DeflectorShields and [[PointDefenseless anti-missile systems]]. Basically, each type of defense is a good counter only for a specific type of weapon. Armor is good against kinetic projectiles, shields are good against energy weapons, and anti-missile systems are (obviously) good against missiles. Against any other type of weapon, their effect is reduced to the square root of the value. So, armor with a defense rating of 9 will only provide 3 defense points against lasers or missiles. Even without this approach, late-game weapons completely outstrip equivalent defensive technologies to the point of making them pointless even if they match.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}''. Grineer heavy armour means that even basic Lancers and Troopers are IncrediblyDurableEnemies that can take a few bursts of fire if you don't [[AttackItsWeakPoint shoot them in the face]], and their EliteMooks are even tougher. In contrast, Corpus only wear future spacesuits and have to rely on their DeflectorShields, turning into GlassCannon once those are down.
** Played with when it comes to player Warframes. Most have pitiful to moderate armor values and don't need any higher, as the primary defenses of most Warframes are shields. Not so for [[TheJuggernaut Rhino]], [[GoodOldFisticuffs Atlas]], and [[TheBerserker Valkyr]]. Rhino's [[InstantArmor Iron Skin]] multiplies his existing armor value which is already high and adds it as a layer of extra health, Atlas's power strength increases proportionally to his armor level, and Valkyr's armor without mods or powers is a flat 600. Compare that to Excalibur, the poster-boy, at 225.
* ''VideoGame/{{Boktai}}2'' had armor available to the main character which ''does'' offer a miniscule defense increase, but also decreases his ''movement speed'' based on its weight. Players very quickly learn they're better off playing as an armor-less FragileSpeedster that is quick enough to dodge and outrun enemies and with a curative item or two on standby, rather than a slow-as-molasses character that's still a GlassCannon.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' both averts and plays this straight:
** The first game included armor customization for both Shepard and his/her squadmates, with armor bonuses and protection factored in through multiple armor classes.
** The sequel both played this straight and averted it. The player could now acquire armor pieces that improved various aspects of their health, shields, shield recharge time, ammo capacity and so forth. Meanwhile, all of the squadmates' armors became merely cosmetic, with instances like Garrus' damaged armor, Miranda's catsuit and Jack's "strips of clothing" having the exact same armor rating as their fully-armored versions from the Alternate Appearance Pack DLC's.
*** The two healthiest teammates are Grunt, a Krogan in full armor, and Thane, who wears a [[BadassLongcoat trenchcoat]] and bares the skin over his vital organs for medical reasons. However, this doesn't extend to the Suicide Mission, where characters who are heavily armored can fall just as easily as the one's who aren't during the rendezvous with the secondary fire team.
** In the third game, squadmates received a 25% bonus to certain stats (shields, power damage, weapon damage, etc.) based on what costume they are wearing. However, the game also played it straight in certain situations (having [[spoiler:Ashley/Kaidan potentially die from a single shot to their torso during the Cerberus Coup]]) and averted in others (Shepard's armor saving his/her life, but being burned off, when s/he's hit with Harbinger's beam).
*** Likewise, Tali is notably covered with what appears to be blood in the Extended Cut's evacuation scene, even if she's wearing her From Ashes DLC costume (which includes an armored facemask).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'', armor was virtually mandatory for players but due to a bug, monsters with high armor rating were actually easier to hit. Diablo himself had a 95% chance to be hit by even a level 1 character swinging a broken dagger.
* In early versions of ''VideoGame/DiabloII'', enemy attack rating was actually four times bigger than displayed, making the "chance to hit" percentage meaningless. As a result, and because most advanced armor types didn't have unique versions and required more strength (which was a dump stat unless you were a barbarian) there was little point in going higher than the most basic armors. As well, defensive skills that increased armor were useless. The attack rating change was made at the last moment before release because the game was considered to be too easy. The expansion reduced the multiplier from x4 to x2 and added unique versions of better armors. It still wasn't enough because for some reason you had a 95% chance to hit while moving and you're always moving. Using a shield was infinitely better.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Wasteland 2}}'', armor is not only useless, it's actually a hindrance more often than not. The effect it has against conventional attacks is minimal. Heavier suits slow the wearer down, when those that would benefit the most from heavy armor (characters that need to get up close and personal to the enemies) also require good speed to function. Furthermore, enemies tend to use Energy Weapons toward the end of the game, which do significantly more damage against targets in heavy armor. At that point, it's better to just strip down. ''[[UpdatedRerelease Director's Cut]]'' reworked energy weapon damage so there's no downside to wearing light armor and some of the perks let you stack up enough armor points for decent protection, but heavy armor remains incredibly impractical.
* In the ''VideoGame/GoldenAxe'' series, almost every hero character is either bare-chested or otherwise exposing large parts of the body. They can still take multiple slashes/bashes from weapons.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}'' departs from the medieval settings of its spiritual predecessors in favor of a more Victorian setting, meaning the development of firearms has rendered heavy armor mostly useless as in real life. Furthermore, according to the description of the only shield in the game, shields are useless against beasts, which easily overpower humans in terms of strength. Naturally, this lead to the style of fighting which Gehrman, the first hunter, codified -- eschewing armor all together in exchange for speed, as well as versatile weapons in order to quickly dispatch beasts before one is overwhelmed.
* ''VideoGame/PAYDAY2'':
** The game has various types of armor; the smaller and lighter armors offer little protection, but don't really hamper your movement speed. Bulkier and heavier armors give more protection in exchange for slower speed and less stamina. Due to rebalancing for enemies and players in some updates and the introduction to the [[MoreDakka SWAT Van Turret]], armor is torn up so fast (especially on [[HarderThanHard Death Wish]]) that wearing bulky armor slows you down enough to get shot up and make your extra protection become gone in a matter of seconds. Most players prefer to wear a two piece suit, which has no armor value, but offers the highest stamina and speed values, plus it's the only "armor" that has a base value for dodge (random chance on whether a shot that hits you [[NoSell deals no damage]]). There's also several perk decks that can boost dodge even further, making you almost immune to being shot at if lady luck's at your side. Because armor is too cumbersome and is a liability for most, the majority of skilled players will never use armor. This also has a side-effect where most players attempting to stealth a heist will restart whenever stealth is broken instead of attempting to salvage things and leave guns blazing - "stealth" in this game is often more a matter of being able to move within a security guard's line of sight without arousing suspicion rather than actively staying out of sight. This is obviously much easier to do with a two-piece suit and an easily-concealable but likely weak weapon than it is coming in with full torso-, arm- and thigh-covering body armor and a heavy weapon that drops similarly-armored cops in one shot, which means that players gearing up for stealth aren't geared for surviving protracted firefights.
** For the enemies, most of them are heavily armored on higher difficulties. Their heads have minimal protection, which makes having armor entirely pointless and explosive weapons can tear through armor anyway. The [[EliteMook Bulldozer]] is covered from head to toe in armor, but the faceplate can be shot off, exposing the Bulldozer's face to further gunfire.
* ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}''
** Bulkier equipment doesn't really have any direct effect on the Inklings' survivability on its own unless it happens to have a defense perk, and even then the effect is still fairly minor and can be replicated by anything less bulky. This is most represented with the huge squid PoweredArmor rewarded with the squid Toys/{{amiibo}}, which is far bulkier than any other gear, but without any special effects because of it.
** Averted in single player, where Agent 3 can equip up to 3 pieces of armor that serve as extra lives of sorts. It should be noted though that this "armor" is basically a thick winter jacket plus a bike helmet and up to two fishing rods attached to it, depending on how many armors have been collected.
* Armor in ''VideoGame/{{Postal}} 2'' doesn't last very long. They're actually very effective at stopping damage from bullets, absorbing something like 80% of the damage you take. The issue is that your armor, even the silicon-carbide stuff with doubled durability, only survives a handful of bullets before getting destroyed, and the Postal Dude is your average everyman who nevertheless finds himself getting shot at about as often as any other FPS protagonist, so it's rare for you to keep armor for more than a couple minutes.
* In ''VideoGame/MordheimCityOfTheDamned'', you'll only rarely see players kit up their fighters in heavy armour. You'd be amazed just how many weapons can bypass armour - many of them are the kind of hefty, two-handed weapons that nimble and lightly-armoured fighters with good dodging skills would laugh at. Plus more obviously it limits the wearer's mobility, meaning they can't move very far per turn and are also more prone to falling and hurting themselves when trying to traverse ledges and gaps. Heavy armour does become fairly useful on fighters who expect to wade into heated melees with multiple opponents due to the limit on how many attacks the fighter can possibly dodge, but for one-on-one scraps and general exploration and looting, the extra mobility is way more useful.
* ''VideoGame/MinecraftStoryMode'': Averted in Episode 3. [[spoiler:Either Ellegard or Magnus can die depending on whose armor Jesse takes.]]
* In ''VideoGame/KantaiCollection'', the stronger enemy types and bosses are so powerful that they can one-shot even the player's toughest battleships. In such cases, it can be better to just avoid the defensive formations in favour of offence-oriented ones and hope your girls can sink or cripple them before they do it to you.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/PacificFleet'' and ''Atlantic Fleet''. Heavily-armored ships won't take much damage from small-caliber guns, especially if they fire HE ammo instead of AP. However, like RealLife warships, ships in the game don't have the same armor stat everywhere, typically differentiating between belt and deck armor (the latter tends to be far weaker, favoring plunging shots and bomb airstrikes). ''Atlantic Fleet'' also adds SubsystemDamage, with heavier ships having their large-caliber turrets armored. This, of course, doesn't stop a tiny destroyer from sinking a battleship by getting close enough to launch a broadside of torpedoes.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Paladins}}''. Fernando, Ash, and Khan wear immense suits of armour that give them their huge tank health pools. The other frontlines have similar character design justifications for their health, such as being a stone-skinned giantess, an enormous tortoise, or a mech. Barik has the least health of the frontlines due to his much smaller stature but his body armour gives him more than any non-frontline.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'': Completely averted by the suit of armor Ashley can wear as an unlockable costume in the game's rereleases. It makes her completely invincible from any kind of hazard in the game; bullets won't make her flinch, ''explosions'' will merely make her tumble, and enemies who try to kidnap her will fall and fail due to the armor's weight. This makes the segments with her much easier, as you don't need to worry about her safety anymore.
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' has some boss monsters covered in armor and checking their stats shows they got the defense to back it up. However, depending on what weapon you use and how high your LV is, you can take down those heavily armored monsters in just a few hits. [[spoiler: It's explained in-universe that someone with a ton of malice and hatred can easily destroy a monster's body and soul (sometimes in a single strike), even if said monster is supposed to be way stronger than the human that is attacking them. It is also explained that a monster is extremely sensitive to the emotions and feelings of those around them and they get weak if they face against someone who has a lot of negative energy. LV stands for Level of Violence, which explains why you can easily one shot almost anyone if it gets really high.]]
* In ''VideoGame/SonicChronicles'', only one playable character wears armour (discounting [[spoiler: Omega, on account of being a robot]]). She has one of the lowest defences of the non SquishyWizard characters.
* Body armor in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' works fine in single player, but is absolutely garbage when playing online. A few bullets is all it takes to take out the heaviest armor and it's not uncommon to see players forego armor entirely. Online lets you have a stock of armor in your inventory so you can equip one in a pinch, which is probably why the body armor is so flimsy.
* ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' subverts it. Armor reduces the damage of every projectile/attack by up to 5 points (a percentage until that point, so something that does less than 10 damage is only reduced by a percentage). Which means that characters who deal damage with rapid-fire, shotgun-style, or damage-over-time weapons (ex: Tracer, Reaper, Roadhog, Soldier: 76, Winston, Symmetra) have their damage noticeably reduced. However, since the damage reduction caps at 5 points, Armor does little to nothing against single attacks that do a lot of damage (ex: Pharah's rockets, Junkrat's grenades, Widowmaker's scoped rifle).
* In ''Videogame/ForHonor'', the Viking Raider hero does not wear any armor at all beyond some furry leather shoulderpads. Indeed, a lack of armor is a common theme among the Viking factions as a whole, with the Berserker wearing little more than furs and the Valkyrie wearing a leather gambeson, a light helmet, and a shield. Only the Warlord wears real armor, consisting of chainmail underneath a leather gambeson. True to the trope, the Raider is the second-toughest of the Viking heroes, surpassed only by the Warlord. On the other hand, for the the Knights and the Samurai factions, the more heavily-armored heroes are tougher than their more lightly-armored compatriots, though the trope is played straight in the sense that weapons that realistically couldn't hope to hurt a knight in full plate will still damage and kill even the most heavily-armored of warriors.
* Played with in ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}}''. All units have an Armor stat that mitigates damage taken from attacks, and the higher your Armor is the less damage you take. However, every time a unit gets hit their Armor stat goes down a bit, making it less and less effective as the fight drags on. [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter Kinetic weapons]] in particular will tear through Armor like tissue paper. DeflectorShields work the same way, with the added bonus that they get stronger when two or more shields overlap, but unlike Armor Shields will only protect you from laser and pulse weapons.
* Invoked in ''VideoGame/{{Xenonauts}}''. The earliest starting armour for your troops is basically just a bright blue jumpsuit: there's no point in burdening soldiers when they're not sure any Earth-made armour can stop alien plasma weaponry, so better instead to give your soldiers increased mobility. You'll certainly want to research armour that can protect your troops as soon as possible however, as even the early Jackal armour can save a trooper's life (though they'll still be badly wounded, and a single shot hitting home at close range will still kill them easily).
* It can be argued that armour is useless in ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII'' due to the way defenses are calculated. Each damage type has two defensive stats associated with it: a flat damage reduction which is applied first, and a percentage damage reduction which is applied second. Equipping ''anything'' in an armour slot gives the exact same increase to the flat reduction as anything else in the same slot. Heavier armour just increases the percentage reduction. The end result of this is that heavier armour will do better against [[{{BFS}} gigantic weapons that hit really hard]], but against anything smaller than a player character's body, all armour preforms more or less the same. Since wearing heavy armour requires you to put lots of levels into raising equipment load to avoid having your movement crippled, and the general overpowered-ness of straight swords causes most players you meet to gravitate towards them, you're probably better off just putting on some rotten old rags that weigh next to nothing and spending those level-ups on something else.
* The original ''VideoGame/FarCry'' averted this trope for both the player and enemies, except in the case of [[BoomHeadshot headshots]], but the ''Classic'' UpdatedRerelease for consoles removed the damage reduction properties of enemies' armor, making it purely cosmetic.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/KingdomComeDeliverance'' where even a simple gambeson can spell the difference between life and death and wearing quality plate armor can turn you from a squishy meat person into an nearly unstoppable tank. Just watch out for the [[AntiArmor maces and warhammers]].
* Played straight and averted in the ''VideoGame/Battlefield'' series, depending on the entry:
** In ''VideoGame/Battlefield2'' the Assault, Support, and Anti Tank classes have body armor which slightly reduces the damage they take from torso shots in exchange for having lower sprint stamina. ''VideoGame/Battlefield2142'' allows any class to equip body armor with identical benefits and tradeoffs.
** ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany2'', ''VideoGame/Battlefield4'', and ''VideoGame/BattlefieldHardline'' allow players to equip armor as specializations (in ''4'' and ''BC2'') or gadgets (in ''Hardline''). As these games don't have sprint stamina, there are no downsides beyond taking up a specialization or gadget slot.
** ''VideoGame/Battlefield1'' inverts this - all [[EliteMook elite classes]] wear armor that is much, much more effective than actual UsefulNotes/WorldWarI armor was. Of special note is the Sentry class, whose plate armor lets him negate 83% of bullet damage, negate the typical headshot multiplier, and NoSell most melee attacks. Cavalry also initially took reduced damage thanks to their chest armor, though this was patched out.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/ErrantStory'', weapons technology (guns, magic, Durus Flamma weaponry, etc.) has advanced significantly farther and faster than armor, making most armor relatively useless. Sarine [[LampshadeHanging comments]] on this when considering if she should get her damaged armor repaired, stating that most people don't even bother wearing armor any more because of it. However Jon did have to fire pointblank in an armor-wearing elf's gut just in case.
* In ''Webcomic/ExterminatusNow'', the main characters don't bother to wear armor when assaulting a facility infested with demons. Since the only real defense against a demon is to not get hit at all, armor would only slow them down.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}'' a tribe of orcs [[http://oglaf.com/newmodelarmy/ realize this]] after finding record of a "toddler" with a stick stabbing right through an orc's breastplate (the "toddler" appears to actually be a hobbit), and switch to ChainmailBikini armor on the theory that it offers just as much protection, but weighs much less and [[DistractedByTheSexy distracts the enemy]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebOriginal/OrionsArm'' early space warfare is described as being like playing hide-and-seek with bazookas.
* Creator/{{Tobuscus}} parodies this in his [[WithLyrics Literal Trailer]] for ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood''. The lyrics accompany Ezio defeating two pairs of guards with his Hidden Blades and throwing knives, respectively.
-->''Hopefully those guards have good armor / No they don't, maybe they do / They don't.''
* Averted in ''Literature/{{Worm}}''. Taylor's spidersilk costume is bulletproof and knifeproof and has saved her life many times over.
* Students use armor and padded clothing during their spars in ''Literature/VoidDomain''. Trope averted and played straight at the same time. None of the students injure each other, however [[spoiler: one student takes a bout of holy fire which severely burns her]].
* Played with in ''Literature/APracticalGuideToEvil''. Armor is generally good, and saves people's lives many times. It is also useless against a variety of magic weapons in the setting and touch and go at best against Named. In at least one case, a minor character, the Exiled Prince is hilariously killed through misuse of his armor. It was enchanted to deflect arrows and quarrels, which was great, but he didn't wear the helmet so as to inspire his men. Thus a bolt that ''would'' have harmlessly dinged off the thickest portion of his breastplate was instead magically deflected up into his unprotected head.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'': One episode shows Krieger testing a BulletProofVest on Chet, a new intern. It shows Krieger firing a submachine, then cuts to to Chet, slumped against the wall, dead, bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds.
-->'''Krieger:''' Now, normally I don't let an intern do this on his first day, but... Chet? How's it hanging, buddy?
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgersInTheTwentyFourthAndAHalfCentury'': Duck Dodgers plays this trope straight in his first confrontation with Marvin the Martian. Marvin threatens him with disintegration-ray. He smugly announces in an AsideComment that he is wearing a disintegration-proof vest, and [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin indeed he is]]; Dodgers dares him to shoot, and Marvin does so. Dodgers disintegrates. The completely undamaged vest hangs in mid-air for a moment before plopping onto the pile of Dodger's ashes.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}: Bender's Big Score'', the head nudist scammer informs the cast that he was wearing a doom proof vest -- then dolefully repents that he wasn't wearing doom-proof pants.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'', we see Jack slicing through heavily-armored robots and mercenaries with ease, making it likely that the armorers of Aku's evil future make people's armor out of aluminum foil out of spite. Jack himself dons a full set of plate mail after the TimeSkip, and it gets disintegrated within the first minute of him facing the [[AmazonBrigade Daughters of Aku]].
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': The Jedi wade into battle wearing ordinary fabric (and sometimes quite [[MsFanservice revealing, in the cases of Aayla and Ahsoka]]) clothing, while the Mooks under their command have full body armor and armor. The latter get mown down by the dozen; the former only get killed for [[RuleofDrama drama's]] sake. Though Obi Wan wears some of the clone trooper armor that he's first seen wearing in [[WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars the previous Clone Wars cartoon]]. One episode sees [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Padmé and Satine investigating]] a poisoning outbreak. When they finally track down the badguys, said badguys open fire. The front line consists of one lightly armored officer and two ''heavily'' armored guards bearing blaster-deflecting shields. Guess who goes down?
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'':
** This is both played straight and subverted. Ezra's energy slingshot seems to have no effect on Stormtrooper armor, but seemingly everything above a child's makeshift weapon takes them out. In one scene a trooper commented on his weapon being ineffective, and Ezra took him out by throwing fruit at him. Subverted in S2 when we see Sabine take two hits to the chest and face ([[AttackReflector by her own blasters no less]]) and is saved by her Mandalorian armor, and Kanan's shoulder armor saves him from losing an arm in the same fight. Subverted again in [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS3E04TheLastBattle "The Last Battle"]] when the group are up against much better shots than they're used to, and Rex takes hits to his chest and head while Ezra takes a hit to the chest, both times being saved by their armor.
** Lampshaded in the season 2 episode [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS2E07StealthStrike "Stealth Strike"]], when Rex headbutts a Stormtrooper into submission, then comments that the Stormtrooper armor really does seem useless. The rule of thumb seems to be that practical armor (Kallus' ISB armor, Sabine's Mandalorian armor, Rex's Clone Wars armor) is far from useless, but the cheap, mass-produced armor the Stormtroopers wear is, as they're too expendable to waste decent armor on. Rex also says that his own first-generation armor [[OlderIsBetter is better than what later marks of clones were issued]].
** All that said, we do occasionally see Stormtroopers get back up after being shot by blasters, suggesting that the main function of their cheap, mass-produced armour is to turn a lethal hit into a non-lethal one, rather than trying to stop the attack entirely.
* Played with at the end of the ''WesternAnimation/UltimateAvengers'' movie, when the team fights [[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk The Hulk]], guess who appears to be doing the least well in the fight? ComicBook/IronMan. That's right, the only dude wearing any kind of outfit that would seem useful when fighting something that can rip a tank apart, is the one who seemingly does the least. This is, however, mostly due to his massive power demands to operate the suit and less due to the armor itself failing to protect him. It even manages to shrug off a hit from the Hulk, though not before he rips Tony's helmet off.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In real life this has been a CyclicTrope, called the "arms race" between weapons and armor. In the beginning, there were weapons, and then shields and armor were invented to protect against them. Obviously, they worked against whatever they were originally designed to protect against, or else nobody would have bothered with the encumbrance and expense. The pattern throughout history has been that as soon as some new weapon is introduced that can reliably defeat the armor of the day, then there are two options: The first is to increase the weight or thickness of the armor you're wearing so it will be harder to penetrate, or to add more pieces to cover more of the body, but this only works before you reach the point where you're too encumbered to march or fight effectively. The second option is to discard the parts that are no longer useful--which if the new weapons are really effective could mean ''all'' of it--until technology develops to the point where armorers can provide a new kind of armor that can protect against the new weapons while still being sufficiently affordable and practical to wear.
** It's important to note that fighters don't necessarily seek the most protective armor that cutting-edge technology can provide, but rather tend to keep using whatever's "good enough" against the threats they expect to face until it's no longer sufficient. Even then, it depends on the economics of production and harder-to-quantify factors such as tradition and fashion. For example, mail armor persisted in Europe well past the point of them technically having the ability to cover themselves in plate, because mail was flexible, easily covered the whole body including the joints, and was quite protective against the weapons of the day. The increasing power of crossbows, English warbows, halberds, and the couched lance contributed to the adoption of plate defenses as a supplement to mail beginning in the mid 13th century, but it was partly the fact of plate becoming more cost-effective to produce that led to it becoming the primary form of armor, with mail retaining a significant role until the 17th century.
** To give an example of the cycle in action: By the 18th century, flintlock muskets were so efficient at spitting volleys of lead when fired in massed ranks that any armor with enough strength and coverage to protect you would be too heavy to wear in battle, let alone on the march. Besides, state armies had gotten a lot bigger since the Middle Ages, and it was expensive enough supplying the soldiers with muskets and ammunition, so if armor wasn't practical anymore they might as well get rid of it. The socket bayonet allowed the roles of pikeman and musketeer to be combined into one role, so the cuirasses and helmets that pikemen had used were discarded too. While the heavy cavalry continued to wear steel helmets and breastplates, these were really only thick enough to deflect a spent musket ball, and were mainly to protect against bayonets and swords in close combat. The light cavalry and infantry all threw away their helmets and adopted various fabric and leather hats such as the tricorn, shako, and pickelhaube. Many of these hats were actually sturdy enough to stop a sword cut, and nobody expected them to do anything about bullets. But then came World War I with all sides using shrapnel shells, and the belligerent nations realized that a major cause of death was low-velocity shrapnel balls hitting their guys in their unprotected heads, which also happened to be the most exposed target in trench warfare. In quick succession they issued steel helmets to their infantry, which despite improvements in subsequent wars were still more to protect against airborne fragments and things kicked up by explosions falling on their heads than from small arms, since the most a steel helmet could stop was a pistol round like .45 ACP, and even then with a ''huge'' dent. In the 1980s and '90s, flexible kevlar and hard ceramic plates were introduced to make bulletproof body armor that was practical to wear, thus bringing things full-circle.
* Varies in terms of ballistic armor; in the United States, most bullet-resistant vests are rated based on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_vest#Performance_standards NIJ's laboratory testing]]. Each tier is rated based on the highest-powered round it can stop. If you find yourself wearing a type IIA vest in a firefight, for example, it should do its job fairly well if everyone present has a 9mm handgun. But once somebody breaks out a .44 Magnum, you might as well be wearing so many kitchen aprons.
* On a related note, this was much less true in the early days of gunpowder warfare than you might think; the phrase "bulletproof" derives from the 'proof' mark on a breastplate left when the smith fired a pistol into it before witnesses to demonstrate it could take a hit. In earlier periods armor was sometimes proofed against crossbow bolts.
** Of course as firearms technology improved, plate armour got thicker and heavier to compensate, to the point where it became too heavy and cumbersome to move effectively in. Which is why you might see in appropriate period works, for example, a Roundhead of the UsefulNotes/EnglishCivilWar wearing a helmet and breastplate, but not a soldier of the American War of Independence or Napoleonic Wars.
** While pikemen in 17th century armies usually wore at least a helmet and cuirass, musketeers would often forgo armor altogether. This was partly because they were not expected to engage in as much hand-to-hand fighting, and partly because without special modification a breastplate might interfere with bracing the musket against your shoulder.
** In fact, armor plating fell out of favour among land-based troops until the advent of motor vehicles, namely the tank and the armored personnel carrier.
* During some battles, Greek hoplites did not have torso armor and relied on their huge shield - hoplon - for protection. Note: They did have normal clothes, and likely also had skirts which served as a part of armor. Note that lacking torso armor wasn't necessarily due to lack of access, just that early plate armor was so heavy and uncomfortable to wear that hoplites took them off whenever they could. Sometimes they didn't have enough time to put it back on, or just preferred to fight without it.
* This has also been a CyclicTrope in regards to naval warfare. During the age of WoodenShipsAndIronMen, cannon fire could blast through anything that could float, so warships didn't bother with armor. Then came the era of ironclads, where cannon balls would bounce off armored hulls. This began an arms race between naval weapons and naval armor that saw both getting ever bigger and heavier. This pattern finally broke in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, when it became clear that heavily armored warships were not effective against serious airpower. Thus, ships were generally low on armor again... at least until the 1970s and 80s, and especially UsefulNotes/TheFalklandsWar showed that then-modern destroyers were so unprotected that they would take catastrophic damage from things that WWII-era ships could just shrug off. So they began adding ''some'' protective armor back; for instance, the USS ''Cole'' (a 90s design) survived an explosion that would've destroyed a 70s-era Spruance-class destroyer.
** The Soviet Navy feared the Iowa-class battleships above any other ships in the US fleet because of this. There is a story that they even nicknamed them the "Cockroach Battleships" because, when the Sovs ran simulations, they just wouldn't die.
** In practice, UsefulNotes/WorldWarII capital ships could survive tremendous amounts of air attack, enough that ''Tirpitz'' needed a gigantic 5.4 ton supersonic bomb designed specifically to sink her, and it survived the first hit from it well enough to steam under her own power afterwards. And she was permanently immobilized due to turbine damage from another attack and moored as a floating coastal artillery battery. And a ''whole squadron of Lancasters'' was needed to sink her.
*** The ''Tirpitz''' sister ship [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_battleship_Bismarck Bismarck]], though it took 14 hours and something like four hundred hits to actually sink, was disabled by a single torpedo hit to the rudder, dispatched by an obsolescent Fairey Swordfish biplane.
*** The problem with battleship armor was that (since just armoring the whole ship equally would have made it unreasonably heavy) it was optimized to protect against incoming shells, and there primarily those coming in on relatively low angles and hitting the sides. High-angle shots and bombs would hit the thinner deck armor, and torpedoes would just hit below the armored belt in the first place (indeed, the original purpose of destroyers, all the way back to before World War ''One'' was to serve specifically as ''torpedo boat'' destroyers to help protect the vulnerable battleships against just such attacks). These weaknesses were never truly eliminated, and since gunfire is at best a secondary threat on the modern naval battlefield to begin with the main defensive benefit of a hypothetical 'modern' battleship would be its sheer ''size'' -- which doesn't really justify the expense, especially given that aircraft carriers are vastly superior for most modern battlefield purposes. Combined with the diminished value of artillery in the age of cruise missiles and drones, which always hit their targets, and battleships simply have no purpose anymore - they just aren't cost effective enough to justify their existence.
** A similar effect ended up going into the use of anti-torpedo technology. At their advent, ships used Torpedo nets to "catch" torpedoes and explode them further from the hull to reduce damage. This stopped working after WWI when Torpedoes became fast enough to penetrate Torpedo nets. So designers came up with the anti-torpedo bulge, an additional section of the hull with absolutely no purpose other then to be destroyed by torpedoes in lieu of a hull breach. Eventually, torpedoes became guided, being able to explode under the ship. Nowadays there is literally no defense against torpedo attacks from modern submarines.
*** Not entirely true. The VA-111 Shkval supercavitating torpedo was designed as an anti-torpedo weapon. However, there are some operational problems, given that the oxidiser for the rocket motor consists of over a ton of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_submarine_Kursk_explosion concentrated hydrogen peroxide]]... not to mention the fact that anything going that fast underwater cannot be guided with any form of precision. However, it's purpose was not to ShootTheBullet but to force the enemy submarine to initiate evasive maneuvers, hopefully cutting the wire on its own torpedo (assuming the torpedo is wire-guided).
*** Of course, this all goes beyond the fact that many modern torpedoes aren't designed to strike a ship, but instead explode directly underneath it. The shockwave in the water will move so much water away from the ship that it will literally bend and break under its own weight.
** Other changes in naval warfare due to completely different technologies have made the use of heavy armour on ships somewhat useless. Modern naval warfare depends heavily on sensors and communications for conducting operations and fighting opponents well outside visual range, and those can't, for obvious reasons, be as protected. So while a World War 2 era battleship might easily survive being attacked by modern explosive warheads, if those explosive warheads destroy the radar arrays and communication antennas then the ship has been rendered tactically ineffective. Against an enemy who can easily detect and avoid it well outside the battleship's ability to detect or engage them, the battleship might as well have been sunk. This wasn't an issue as late as World War 2 when warships were just starting to depend on something other than the human eyeball to detect other ships and not every vessel had even basic radar.
* Modern body armor is all about tradeoffs. The lightest vests are very light, but only block handgun bullets, and then only over a limited portion of the body. Many provide no protection at all against knives and similar sharp objects, which is a problem for prison guards, necessitating the development of armor which was both knife and bullet resistant. Heavier vests, such as dragon scale and interceptor body armor, can provide protection even from rifle rounds thanks to ceramic plating, but only the portions with plates are protected, often leaving limbs vulnerable. Dragon scale armor is more flexible, but less heat-resistant, as the glue can fatigue in extreme heat. Heavier armor still is available, but it is considered too heavy to be worn for everyday use - it is typically only worn for extreme situations, such as bomb defusal and similar things. It can provide great resistance, even to the limbs, but the weight is prohibitive.
* During UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, armies experimented with chain mail and found that it actually made bullet wounds ''worse'' -- it couldn't stop a bullet ''and'' the rings would shatter, shoving more shrapnel into the wound than if the bullet just hit an unarmoured person. However, when hung like a curtain, it proved surprisingly effective at stopping shrapnel, leading to terrifying items like the British [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Splatter_Mask_%28WWI%29.jpg splatter mask]] for tank crews.
* Not the fault of the armor, but human psychology can make armor useless or worse. People tend to react to increased safety by ''taking more risk'', in an unconscious attempt to balance risk versus reward (riskier behavior is offset by safety equipment like armor, resulting in increased reward for the same amount of risk); this is called the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peltzman_effect Peltzman effect]]. The problem is that a) risky behavior may transfer the risk to {{Innocent Bystander}}s rather than the one wearing the safety equipment, and b) people are ''really bad'' at judging risk, meaning that instead of balancing out, safety equipment + risky behavior may actually be significantly ''more'' dangerous than no safety equipment + no risky behavior.
** The battlefield behavior of medieval knights sometimes appeared to confirm this. Knightly armor, especially full plate armor from the 14th century onward, was undoubtably the best protection that had yet been developed. Lance thrusts, sword cuts, arrows, and crossbow bolts that would instantly kill an unarmored man would bounce right off a man in full plate armor, and there were only a limited number of weak spots between the plates which were difficult to exploit. It could weigh 45 to 60 lbs., and did restrict range of motion a bit, but it was designed to be as unencumbering as possible so that a physically fit person could fight effectively in it. Once you get over the initial sense of claustrophobia, sensory deprivation, and breathing your own carbon dioxide that starts when you put on your helmet and close the visor, you can start to feel pretty secure and invulnerable in your protective shell. When you combine that sensation with the BlueBlood elitism and BloodKnight attitude that were bred into men of the knightly class starting from boyhood, you can see how they could get cocky, especially when faced with troops of lower station and simpler equipment. Whenever they weren't kept under stern and experienced leadership, bodies of knights would get so eager to come to grips with the enemy--both for glory and to capture loot and ransoms--that they would sometimes decide to charge against a highly prepared, dug-in enemy line without first letting their own crossbowmen and infantry weaken the enemy formations. In the worst case such recklessness could lead to a bloody defeat, and the sense of invincibility provided by being fully armored and mounted can be said to have been a factor leading to the slaughter of mounted knights at Courtrai in 1302 and at Crecy in 1346.
** It would be wrong to attribute these defeats to the armor itself, since it undeniably saved countless lives and enabled men to perform great feats of combat. The popular image of lightly armored English archers massacring the knighthood of France with their longbows at Agincourt is rather distorted: the main contribution of the arrows to the English victory was to shoot the horses out from under the initial French cavalry charge, and then to buffet the French on either flank as they advanced on foot through the mud, so that even if few were killed by arrows, they were all tired and dangerously crowded together by the time they reached the English lines. The dismounted English men in armor held the center while the archers dropped their bows and joined the fight with hand weapons, and as French were being killed, even more were taken prisoner. At one point the also-exhausted English were afraid the French would try to mount another assault, and started to kill their prisoners to eliminate the threat from behind, but just then the French host gave up and retreated, leaving the English in possession of the field having inflicted lopsided casualties on the enemy. The English archers wouldn't have been able to hold against the French onslought if it hadn't been for their defensible position, the stakes they'd put in the ground to ward off cavalry, the bad weather and freshly plowed fields creating a muddy no man's land for the French to cross, the tactical blunders of the enemy, and the presence of the English men at arms. It's notable that many of the French taken prisoner were not even significantly wounded thanks to their armor. Also, consider what madness it would have been for the French to advance into the English arrow storm wearing ''anything less'' than the most complete armor available.
** Averted by Julian the Apostate. He thought he was a living god, attacked a Persian cataphract unit whilst wearing no armour, and ended up with predictable results.
** This was brought up on QI - One of the best ways to improve road safety is to fix a large, sharp spike right in the middle of the car's steering wheel. Drivers are so used to a cocoon of airbags and crumple zones that they take more risks when driving, often to the detriment of those around them. This isn't so much the trope for the driver so much as the driver's armour for any unfortunate sod in the way.
** Though not technically for "combat" but still a form of battle, protective gear in full-contact sports has spurred similar discussions. In games like American Football or Hockey, the response to improvements in padding and helmets was to simply ''hit harder.'' Concussions and neurospinal injuries now plague both sports to a startling degree in comparison to their early years.
* Additional protection also introduced additional risks in boxing. In the bare-knuckle days a blow to your opponent's head could damage your hands, so they were used less frequently than body blows. Now that boxing gloves protect the hands, these blows have become a lot more popular. In practice the gloves serve more to armor the knuckles of the puncher than to cushion the blow for the punched--with the damage from the frequency of punches to the head more than outweighing the reduced damage per punch--so fighters are more at risk of traumatic brain injuries than ever. Old bareknuckle boxing may have been bloodier and more frequently fatal, but that could have been more thanks to the rules of the time allowing fighters to persist through more damage than would be allowed today before the referees would pronounce them unfit to continue.
* The ISU-152 assault gun of World War II, nicknamed ''Zveroboy'' "Beast killer" provided a example. Its standard 152mm high-explosive shells did not usually penetrate the heaviest German tanks' armour, but its explosive force would nonetheless usually disable even the heaviest tanks by killing or severely injuring the crew anyway or damaging the tracks or suspension to render the tank useless.
* Tanks in general went through a period of this trope during the 1960s when advancements in shaped-charge warheads gave them penetration capability against the then-standard steel armor that would carve open any practical thickness of armor. This led to a number of tank designs, most notably the German Leopard 1 and French AMX 30, to dispense with the heavy armor of the contemporary American M60 and British Chieftain in favor of greater mobility and lower cost, while still retaining sufficient protection against anything short of dedicated antitank weapons. The development of composite and reactive armors in the 1970s restored the balance, a balance that still holds today.
* Bomb-disposal technicians have to weigh the odds that protective armor suits will actually shield them from injury against the degree to which it may impede their vision and movement. If an explosive device is deemed sufficiently powerful that armor can't possibly help, and robots aren't an option, a brave technician may forego armor to free up their hands to work (and allow them to run like hell if the attempt to deactivate it proves futile).
* An erstwhile inventor has-for the past several decades-been trying to build a bear-proof suit of armor. There are several problems with this, not the least of which is that fact that it simply may not be possible to build a suit of armor that is light enough to be worn but durable enough to withstand a bear attack. There's also no real practical application, as researchers have found the best way to study bear behavior is from a distance when the bear doesn't know it's being observed. Lastly, there's only one way to test such a suit of armor, and the best time to find out that your armor is not going to keep out a pissed-off 1500 pound Kodiak bear is not while you're wearing it.
* During the UsefulNotes/EnglishCivilWar Arthur Haselrig outfitted a regiment of cuirassiers: fully plate-armoured horsemen. Cuirassiers were considered obsolete across Europe by the start of the war and the "Lobsters" were something of a joke to their Royalist opponents and probably to some of the Parliamentarians too. However, they were actually very effective, being almost invulnerable to the weapons of the day. They were defeated once or twice by Royalist cavalry but largely due to poor tactical decisions failing to make good use of them.