Comically Invincible Hero
When you have an invulnerable hero in a dramatic show, or one that tries to get you to take the fights seriously, it's a Boring Invincible Hero
. When the focus is on the Rule Of Cool
, it's a Showy Invincible Hero
. Some shows, though, play the hero's absurdly overpowered abilities and near-invulnerability for laughs. Since the fights themselves are a foregone conclusion, they frequently get skipped or handled in one panel (this trope is particularly common in comics.) The characters frequently lampshade this trope, and in the rare case where a fight actually does have any build-up, it will often end in a deliberate anticlimax. Sight gags are often used to lampshade it further, such as supporting characters playing cards or otherwise ignoring the latest Big Bad
(or even the fight itself.)
Works with this trope do
tend to bring in enemies capable of threatening the hero eventually, especially as time goes on and the initial joke wears thin; this can turn the hero into a Boring Invincible Hero
if it's not done right. Sometimes this also involves Cerebus Syndrome
as the comedy fades into the background at the same time. Up until then, though, the vast majority of fights are deliberate, comical Curb Stomp Battles
Might feature The Ace
, or instead Inspector Oblivious
. Compare the Iron Buttmonkey
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Anime and Manga
- The original Dragon Ball was like this, with Goku's absurd invulnerability played for laughs most of the time.
- Dragon Half almost completely ran on this trope.
- The Irresponsible Captain Tylor has a variation on this: Tylor is comically invincible despite the fact that he has no apparent skills that suggest he should be. As a result, his crew is never less incredulous about how they keep surviving encounters that almost certainly should have resulted in all of them being killed.
- Even though it's called Combat Butler in translation, the battles are few and far between is ironic enough. The battles that don't challenge him aren't even on panel. You see them attacking, then in the next panel Hayate is walking away and the attacker is on the ground with a Cranial Eruption. The ones who do challenge him are the (at worst) minor characters, usually the ones on his side.
- Jack Rakan, anyone?
- For that matter, Nagi Springfield, who's completely invincible because... well, because... because he just is!
- Oga from Beelzebub. He is the strongest deliquent in his school. The running gag is that other people spend whole episodes trying to find him and challenge him only to get beaten in a few seconds with him paying much attention.
- Or without even noticing them, in some cases, such as Himekawa's attempt at revenge.
- This invincibility is removed against specific opponents, though (Tojo before Oga was ready, the Piller Squad before he trained, etc) or for comic effect (Beel's shocks, his sister kicking his ass...)
- Sunred from Tentai Senshi Sunred. The entire series is just one long Go Karting with Bowser moment between Sunred and his 'Arch-Enemy', the not-so-evil organization Florsheim. When the monsters demand to fight him due to Contractual Genre Blindness, the battles are hilariously one-sided and never shown on-screen.
- Pucca. Despite being a little girl she's the strongest character in the show and she's always pulling out New Powers as the Plot Demands.
- The eponymous One Punch Man, who can defeat any enemy with one punch and has an existential crisis as a result.
- Chounouryokusha Saiki Kusuo No Sainan has a main character with an absurd number of psychic powers... None of which he actually wants, as they don't turn off, and nothing can surprise or challenge him.
- Ansatsu Kyoushitsu: Koro-sensei- the whole series is about his class trying to kill him, after all.
- Superman sometimes gets used this way, especially in some of the Silver Age comics.
- Fightman, a one-off character Deadpool has to kill, is like this.
- Astérix and Obelix frequently play their inhuman strength for laughs.
- Squirrel Girl
- Plastic Man is usually played this way as his powers basically make him a cartoon character on steroids. He was once scattered in small chunks across the ocean floor for 3000 years and it only sobered him up a little, until he got back from vacation.
- Lucky Luke stories often devote more time to the comic failings of the episode's bad guys, since their defeat is inevitable (which isn't to say it's easy, Luke always needs to plan something).
Film - Animated
- Metro Man of Mega Mind.
- It's also a Deconstruction of this trope. Metro Man is so invincible, the people take him completely for granted, never allowing him to have his own life.
- Played the most explicitly for laughs when an angry Roxanne grabs everything heavy within reach and throws it at him and he just stands still with a blank expression and lets her finish venting and the objects shatter against him.
Film - Live Action
- The Blues Brothers, where among other things Jake and Elwood have a house dropped on them, but they just dust themselves off and walk away.
- The Mask - except in the original comic, where he was an evil wacko willing to kill anyone who opposed him.
- Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau of the Sûreté is a stealth example. On the surface he's a bungling incompetent, but try to hurt or kill him and the would-be assassins will wind up killing each other or themselves...
Live Action TV
- The Tick usually played the eponymous character's nigh-invulnerability for laughs. He even lampshades it in the opening moments of the first episode of the TV series by trying to blow himself up as a demonstration.
- Angel Summoner on That Mitchell And Webb Look, whose power is to "summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will". The joke is that he's one half of a superteam with Not-So-Badass Normal "the BMX Bandit", who struggles to look relevant next to his nigh-omnipotent partner.
- Othar Tryggvassen, GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER! from Girl Genius is generally treated as so invulnerable that they often don't bother to show or explain how he escapes traps (or only a vague Noodle Incident-style description of the items he used is listed).
- When der Kestle opens a bottomless-pit trapdoor under him, his sister yells at it in anger and grief. Der Kestle is unswayed, saying that he wasn't much of a hero if he could be killed by a little something like that... and sure enough, Othar strolls back into the room in the very next panel, with an offhand comment about the quality of the dungeons.
- Invoked by Gil when he chains Tarvek to "OTHAR TRYGGVASSEN Gentleman Adventurer, vanquisher of eeeevil", dumps them in his prototype flying machine, and drops them out of his airship, knowing full well Othar (and Tarvek by extension) will survive. He even calls out to Tavrek wanting to know how Othar gets out of that one.
- Powers Guy in the webcomic Man-Man is a Superpower Lottery winner who can sort out anything, usually off panel.
- Bun-Bun from Sluggy Freelance, most of the time. While he's faced some serious challengers, the majority of his fights are him utterly dominating someone just off panel.
- Dan in Bad Guy High, for the most part.
- The Non-Adventures of Wonderella. There's no question that anyone she fights is going to lose; the problem is convincing her to fight.
- GodMan, the superhero with omnipotent powers. He's basically God (from the Bible) fused with Superman. He's the image of the God Mode Sue page for a reason.
- Adventure Dennis from the webcomic by that name takes visible damage sometimes, but it never affects him and always goes away.
- Popeye The Sailor is probably the Ur Example. Most of the fun comes from the way Popeye casually uses his strength for mundane tasks. Once he gets the spinach in him though, he becomes even more comically invincible.
- Granted, the build up to him using said spinach usually has him beaten down or humiliated by the foe until eating it becomes a neccessity. Though he can create spinach from nothing as he does in Fowl Play (see 6:02) he is always invincible, he just choses to let his enemies think they can win first before laying the smack down.
- Speedy Gonzales' Super Speed made him completely untouchable in most of his original appearances, all of which was played in a slapstick tone. In the De Patie Freleng shorts, he was made slightly more fallible but still had shades of this.
- To a lesser extent Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes hero ensemble. Bugs lost slightly more often even in his earliest appearances but his obvious superior wit over his foes is often a defining trait and a prominant source of humor.
- Sonic the Hedgehog occasionally leans into this, especially in Adventures Of Sonic The Hedgehog and Sonic X, every now and then however Dr Eggman will remind him he is a Not-So-Harmless Villain.