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Anime and Manga
- In Japan Tengu Party Illustrated La Résistance discovers why the powerful tengu (supernatural crows and transformed humans) hate and fear a certain professor: he's discovered a real tengu, a large, seemingly flightless bird (think Kevin) and if the supernatural tengu, who use their uniqueness to define their very existence see the bird they become permanently depowered into ordinary humans and crows. Strangely enough, the tengu had no clue about the bird (it's as elusive as bigfoot) and were only going on the fact that the professor was snooping on them and thus a serious threat.
- Happened to Havoc in the backstory of Darker Than Black. However, she really doesn't want her powers to come back, since that would also mean that she'd lose her feelings and morals again, and she drank children's blood when she was a Contractor. In season 2, Hei loses his Shock and Awe powers, making him less of a One-Man Army, although he's still a formidable opponent.
- Uryuu Ishida broke the Quincy limits in the Soul Society arc when Letzt Stil turned him into a Walking Wasteland to worlds that are built of reishi (Soul Society and Hueco Mundo). He was able to one-shot both a captain and his bankai at the same time at the cost of losing his power forever. Parent ex Machina restored his power, revealing that Uryuu's power was under-developed and immature. The final arc revisits this by finally allowing him to begin developing the true power his father indicated he was capable of more than 200 chapters previously.
- Ichigo went through a de-power at the end of the Arrancar Arc after fighting Aizen. The Lost Agent Arc was about the process of him finding a way to gain power to replace the power he's lost and during which time he became a Badass in Distress, requiring the shinigami to step in at the very last minute to save him by restoring his shinigami powers. It was further confirmed his power to date had been controlled and surpressed by his Quincy heritage so it takes the final arc before he's allowed to begin developing his power properly. However, Yhwach later strips Ichigo of his Quincy and Hollow powers after defeating him.
- Yhwach possesses the ability to perform a ritual that de-powers any Quincy that is selected for it. He used it nine years before the final arc to steal the power of all Quincies he classified as "impure", including Ichigo and Uryuu's mothers (Masaki and Kanae). Masaki was de-powered just as she entered battle with the Grand Fisher, leaving her defenceless against a hollow she should have curbstomped. At the same moment, Kanae collapsed into a coma that lasted three months before she finally died; de-powering her literally destroyed her very life.
- Saint Seiya Next Dimension had this since the last saga had all six of the main characters in God Cloths.
- In the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and Brotherhood,: Protagonist Edward Elric gave up his alchemy for his brother Al's body in the end of the series.
- In Tiger & Bunny, there's a very rare phenomenon where NEXT will slowly lose their powers over a period of time. This starts happening to Kotetsu in the second half of the series, and Kotetsu learns in the 16th episode that his own hero, Mr. Legend, had the same thing happen to him — and really didn't take it well.
- Alexiel in Angel Sanctuary. Her true powers were unsealed with the destruction of Eden.
- High School Dx D has this happen to Ophis, the Ouroboros Dragon. She was originally introduced as so powerful that fighting her was a laughable concept, such that the next-most powerful character so far introduced was barely able to inflict damage at all (and what damage he did was immediately healed). Then a huge portion of her power was stolen by the villains. Shortly thereafter, Ophis gives up even more power when resurrecting Issei. While still a very powerful character, Ophis is no longer invincible, and is out-powered by the primary villains.
- Season 1 of K establishes that a King can beat any non-King in combat, and both the Red and Blue Kings are after the main characters. In season 2, the aforementioned main character has been revealed as the most powerful King of all, and he makes an alliance with the Red and Blue Kings to defeat the Green King. They are just barely enough to top the Green King, and it would be difficult to justify an antagonist more powerful than him, so the series has the alliance defeat the Green King by destroying the Slates that give them their powers.
- Marvel's Secret Wars II has the Beyonder become a human to see what it's like.
- Galactus at one point depowered himself in Mark Waid's run on the FF in order to hide from planetary forces that wished to kill him for his actions.
- The original Ghost Rider, John Blaze eventually had the demon exorcised from himself, making him a normal human, and he enjoyed it. He later became a sort of mentor to a new Ghost Rider.
- Eventually, Johnny Blaze became the Ghost Rider again, and fought his way out of hell.
- The Silver Age DCU had characters so powerful that they basically had to destroy the universe in order to Depower all of them.
- In the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths era, Kryptonians -Superman, Supergirl and the like- could permanently lose their powers through exposure to Gold Kryptonite. Post-Crisis Superman once had to use this to defeat a group of pre-Crisis Kryptonians (as they were far more powerful); fortunately, Kryptonite only works on Kryptonians from the same universe.
- Kryptonite Nevermore's goal was scaling Superman's off the charts Silver Age power levels way back to much more manageable levels (he lost 2/3 of his power). However, readers didn't take to this revision and DC was forced to backtrack.
- This was also used in Superman & Batman: Generations a storyline based on Silver Age Superman and Batman. Superman's first child, Joel, was exposed to Gold Kryptonite in the womb. His sister wasn't, but she wore a red sun pendant in early childhood until she was ready for her powers. This eventually led to a bitter adult Joel being manipulated by Lex Luthor into using temporary powers to kill his sister.
- Wonder Woman was depowered for a while in the 70s. DC wanted to cash in on Action Girls and was aiming for Power Loss Makes You Strong.
- In All Fall Down, this happens to every superhero and villain in the world. Permanently.
- One Ultimate Marvel comic has the Skrulls arrive benevolently and give every human on Earth superpowers with a pill (only Ben Grimm refuses). Then they cause a massive simultaneous De-Power so they can invade unimpeded... except Ben Grimm is still a Badass Normal and thwarts the invasion all by himself, via time travel.
- Banshee of the X-Men lost his sonic scream powers when his vocal cords were damaged. He eventually healed enough to use them again, but it took decades in Real Life time.
- The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: The soul that was the Nightmare is stripped of its position and abilities by Balance before being cast into its permanent prison.
- In A Triangle in the Stars, Bill has lost the majority of his powers, which is initially why he sticks with Steven. However, he knows he'll get them back, and steadily regains the abilities he's lost as time goes on.
- But with this, he also needs to sleep, and using too much power at a time exhausts him and causes him to lose abilities if it's bad enough.
Films — Animated
- The Disney version of Hercules has him lose all of his godly powers except super strength as a baby, get them back full force towards the end, and chooses to be Brought Down to Normal (er, normal for him, so he's still super strong) so he can be with his beloved Meg.
- The Chinese animated film Monkey King: Hero Is Back features a main character who is famous for singlehandedly defeating all the gods by himself. Except for the first and last few minutes, he spends the entire film unable to use his magic powers.
Films — Live-Action
- In Superman II, Clark gave up his powers to be with Lois Lane... of course, this turned out to be a spectacularly bad idea. Or at least, spectacularly badly timed considering Zod and his cronies broke out of the Phantom Zone soon after.
- In Wim Wender's movies Wings of Desire and Faraway, so Close, the protagonists are angels who renounce their status as spiritual creatures in order to experience mortal life as human beings. It's hinted that Peter Falk, of all people, is himself a former angel.
- In Halo: Nightfall, Colonel Randall Aiken of the Sedran Colonial Guard is actually Randall-037, a Spartan-II (the same series as Master Chief Petty Officer John-117) who was missing in action and presumed dead for years. Once contact was reestablished, he struck a deal with ONI to have many of his Spartan augmentations removed in exchange for them no longer pressuring him to rejoin the UNSC. Thus while he has the experience of a Spartan and the natural physical strength that came with being a SPARTAN-II candidate (he lifts a HAVOK nuke onto his shoulder and carries it for several kilometers unaided), he is no longer a Super Soldier.
- In Hercules1983, this happens to Circe in the late going when (an unseen) Aphrodite, on Zeus's orders, causes her to fall in love with Hercules, as love causes a witch to lose all of her powers; this keeps them from making it all the way to Atlantis by way of the flying chariot, leaving them to finish the journey on foot. Zeus does this to counter Hera's complaints that he and Athena have given Hercules too many advantages, since Circe's magic supplements his already-superhuman strength in various ways.
- The Discworld novel Small Gods centers around Brutha, the reluctant chosen one of the Great God Om, who has incarnated in the form of a turtle. Not his fault, mind you; he had planned to incarnate as a giant raging bull, but the Omnian religion has become a Corrupt Church ruled by fear of the Exquisition rather than any genuine faith, and in a world where Gods Need Prayer Badly and belief can change the very nature of reality, this means bad news for any deity.
- The Lord of the Rings: Gandalf, Saruman, and the other Wizards are angelical powers in the form of old men sent by the Valar to assist the people of Middle Earth. Morgoth and Sauron also were both eventually trapped in the material form that they have assumed, as a consequence of their corruption.
- In The Wheel of Time books, aside from various measures to temporarily remove Channelers from the Source, such Mat's amulet, a stedding, or being shielded by another channeler, there are two means by which a Channeler can permanently lose their power: accidentally, by trying to draw too much (this can also cause death in extreme cases), or by deliberate severing by another Channeler. This is called gentling for men and stilling for women. A cure is found about halfway through the series, but if one is cured by the same sex, their power will be restored to only a fraction of its original state.
- In Good Omens, the Angel Aziraphale and the Demon Crowley are effectively immortal, but could still be inconvenienced by bodily discorporation. Both are agreed that a new terror applies if they were to lose their human bodies through misadventure. Namely, having to explain it to their respective unhelpful bureaucracies and to fill in all the forms and follow all the procedures so as to account for the loss and - eventually - be issued new mortal forms. Later in the story, Aziraphale really does lose his earthly body. He is forced to resort to serial possession of humans until he gets it back.
- In Guns of the Dawn, warlocks get their powers from their king, so when Denland's monarchy fell, it was left without warlocks to bolster its army in the war against Lascanne. This kind of de-powerment becomes unexpectedly useful at the end of the book, when Giles Scavian, a warlock of Lascanne captured when the Denlanders won the war, is rendered harmless and therefore safe thanks to Emily killing her own country's king.
- A Sadistic Choice in The Belgariad threatens this: before resurrecting a dead Muggle love interest, the Gods ask whether Polgara the Sorceress would accept a life together with no more power than they. She accepts, only to find out later that rather than de-power her, they empowered him.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Anyanka was a powerful vengeance demon who lost her powers to manipulate the past, thus changing the future. She got her powers back but then this happened to her again.
- This happens to Willow with the destruction of the Seed of Wonder.
- This also happened to Amy with the destruction of the Seed of Wonder.
- Season Four of Angel: Cordelia, after becoming a minor The Powers That Be: "Oh god, I'm so bored."
- Season Five as well: hellgod Illyria is brought down several orders of magnitude when she takes over Fred's physical body.
- Angel becomes human for a day in Season One.
- Volume 4 of Heroes has done this with its two Game-Breaker heroes, Peter Petrelli (mass-Power Copying) and Hiro Nakamura (teleportation, time freeze, and time travel), whose powers were stolen by Big Bad Arthur Petrelli in Volume 3. Both have since regained much weaker versions of their original abilities: Peter can only copy one power at a time (losing the previous power whenever he takes on a new one), and he now needs to copy powers by touch; while Hiro was limited to stopping time, but it turns out that this was actually his powers becoming a bit unpredicatable: they're killing him and he accelerates a brain tumor every time he uses his powers. He has his full range back, but his powers still misfire sometimes.
- Similarly, Sylar lost all of his powers prior to Volume 2, got his two main ones (telekinesis and understanding how things work) back at the end, and has been expanding his collection ever since.
- Stargate SG-1's Daniel Jackson spends a season as an ascended being and a frequent guest star before rejoining the mortal plane and the main cast in the following season.
- Leo from Charmed. He ascends thrice, the last time being part of a cabal of reality-warping godlike beings, before finally becoming mortal again.
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger kicked off the plot by having all the Super Sentai teams sacrificing their powers for a Combined Energy Attack that annihilates the Zangyack fleet invading Earth. At the end of the series, the Gokaigers, who have inherited that power, returned them to their rightful owners.
- In order to keep them in check, one of the choices given to human telepaths in Babylon 5, alongside conscription into the MRA (Metasensory Regulation Authority) or prison, is a weekly sleeper injection to nullify their psychic abilities. It's not without its side-effects, however, namely disassociation and depression.
- PainkillerJane The "chip" the agency tags neuros with prevents them from using their ability, letting them be taken in safely.
- In Grimm, the Hexenbiester/Zauberbiester are a Witch Species, different from the other Wesen, as they are able to do things bordering on magic. However, their powers can be taken away if they ingest a Grimm's blood, which is what Nick forces Adelind to do (by forcibly kissing her, causing her to bite his lip). It's possible for a de-powered Hexenbiest to regain her powers, but it requires undergoing an extremely complex (and gross) ritual as well as the sacrifice of another Hexenbiest. Adelind does this and pays Nick back by de-powering him. Not only is he unable to see Wesen anymore, but his enhanced strength, speed, and senses are also gone.
- In Haven, one of the Crocker family's Troubles is if they kill a Troubled person, everyone else in that person's family is rendered normal. Ironically, this happens to the Crocker family itself when Duke Crocker kills his brother Wade. Audrey Parker eventually gives Duke his Trouble back, plus a few extras.
- Legend of the Seeker: The quillions can remove magic from a person (unlike the books, it doesn't require them to die).
- Kamen Rider Ex-Aid has two examples in quick succession: Ex-Aid's Mid-Season Upgrade, Mighty Maximum X, has the ability to "hack" the Bugster Virus. He uses this power first to remove Genm's zombie-based Resurrective Immortality then, when faced with the Sadistic Choice to let the bastard live or betray his Hippocratic Oath and kill him, uses the hacking power to strip Genm of his ability to become a Kamen Rider.
- BIONICLE: As part of their Drama-Preserving Handicap, the three "Mistika" Makuta — Krika, Gorast and Bitil — suffered Shapeshifter Mode Lock and lost several of their near-fifty original powers due to Mutagenic Goo. In truth, their Evil Plan required them to keep from using their powers to kill the heroes anyway, but the writers didn't want the fans to learn this too soon.
- Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition gives this as a possible character's background, where you could no longer use arcane effects.
- Magic: The Gathering: After Time Spiral, all Planeswalkers suffered this; most notably Nicol Bolas, who went from a Physical God to your average, run of the mill [Dragon Mage with a thousand gambits.
- Amaterasu in Ōkami has been severely weakened after being Sealed Good in a Can for hundred years. This means even lowly imps can pose a challenge, and by the end of the game you're strong enough to challenge Yami, god of the Void and Darkness.
- Jade Curtiss from Tales of the Abyss is a major Crutch Character. When you meet him, he's level 45 and awesome enough to wipe the floor with anything your party might encounter, but he soon gets almost all of his powers sealed away, and has to spend the majority of the game unsealing them. (ie: Leveling up again)
- The World Ends with You: Joshua, the Composer seals much of his powers away so he can play the "game" he has going fairly. Several characters try to take advantage of this to kill him... only to discover that even at "baseline human," he can still deflect bullets with his mind.
- In Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories Etna is depowered by 999 levels to level 1.
- In Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten Valvatorez was depowered from at least level 4000 (as revealed in a flashback DLC) to level 1 after he decided to honor his deal with Artina to not drink human blood until he could scare her even after her death. This also lowers his natural aptitudes so even if you level him back to 4000 he is still weaker than his past self.
- Mantorok, an Eldritch Abomination from Eternal Darkness, is sealed within his own temple by Pious Augustus. This prevents him from being able to fuel any Summon Magic the player character tries to cast using his rune (meaning no Mantorok Trappers, Zombies or Horrors). For extra irony, Pious used a spell fueled with Mantorok's own supreme element to seal it.
- This is basically the player character in both of the Knights of the Old Republic games. They used to be very powerful, but lost their memory and/or powers just before the start of the game, and you have to gain it back slowly.
- Happens to two of the three Sacred Treasure bearers by the time The King of Fighters XIII rolls around because of Ash Crimson. Chizuru Kagura is unfortunately depowered to the point she can't even fight anymore but Iori Yagami doesn't let this handicap stop him and enters the tournament anyway (his family's fighting style also incorporates slashing attacks, which is what makes up the bulk of his moves without flame powers). By the end he regains his power, despite the fact having it can turn him into a bloodthirsty monster if he's exposed to the Orochi's power.
- In God of War II, Kratos is Brought Down to Badass and slain by Zeus at the start, allowing the player to reacquire his powers as the story progresses.
- In Lunar: Eternal Blue, the main heroine, Lucia, begins as a literal demigod, with enough power to cripple final-dungeon-level enemies that she freely uses to annihilate any enemy you face... until partway out of the first dungeon, when Evil God Zophar strips her of her power and leaves her a weak, helpless mortal. She can regain much of her power with experience, but for a time she's no better than the rest of the cast.
- In the 16th Touhou, Hidden Star in Four Seasons: Okina Matara steals the power of the heroine, leaving her with 0.00 power and unable to collect more power again just as Okina uses their sub-weapon to make her final spell card.
- In 8-Bit Theater the Light Warriors are all reduced to a fraction of their abilities by Sarda. Thief also has his class change stolen. By Thief.
- In Dominic Deegan Gregory loses his White Magic when the Infernomancer rips them out of his chest. In the comic's final arc Dominic loses his Third Sight to the Beast, and his Second Sight returns to the Heart of Magic forever.
- Kirby Card Clash started with Umbra doing this to Kirby, giving the comic a gimmick simillar to the Milkyway Wishes subgame from videogame/Kirby Super Star and its DS remake.
- In Plume:
- It's implied that this is what Magnus wants to do for Corrick, although in this case both parties would probably see this as a gift rather than a curse.
- Azeel actually does that to Corrick, although the effects are, thankfully, only temporary.
- In Mystery Babylon, J.J. once wielded angelic superpowers in his role as Heaven's Champion. However, once all but one of the demons on Earth were trapped in the Pit, he had fulfilled his duty as champion and accordingly lost his powers. He attempted to fight the last demon, Mystery Babylon, without his powers; and died as a result.
- In Harbourmaster, any Yogzarthu who takes a bite out of Seisha Dree—such as Mormo—will find themselves adopting her Healing Factor in the worst way possible for them. Namely, they get locked into being a clone of her, with no way to shapeshift out—the Healing Factor interprets not-Seisha DNA as "damaged" and in need of "repair".
- In Draconia Chronicles, a dragon Preistess can call upon her patron to strip a sinner of her magic until she can prove she's worthy of getting it back-with the current reigning dragon Queen deciding when that is. Tigers also haver weapons made of a metal that radiates the specific counterwave for magical energy.
- In The Gamer's Alliance, Leon loses his half-god powers when he is resurrected as a mortal. All mortals lose their innate magical abilities after the Cataclysm which was caused by the Godslayer.
- Fine Structure starts with the Big Good sealing himself and the Big Bad in our universe (where they both, at least temporarily, end up as a God in Human Form). Also, a side effect of one character's spectacular You Shall Not Pass! moment is the depowering of every Flying Brick super hero in the setting.
- The plot of Roll To Dodge: Savral, which originated in the TV Tropes Roll to Dodge thread, begins this way. Prior to Cathy's takeover, players could easily travel to alternate dimensions, form armies of their own, possess important figures, and become gods themselves. Once Cathy ascended to godhood, she removed all of their powers, reducing them to the equivalent of 1st level RPG characters. Part of the story involves reclaiming the powers that were lost.
- In Veritable, Sayaka's sword has the ability to rob magical girls of their abilities. Homura finds out the hard way, losing a handful of abilities during their fight. Permanently.
- In Worm, Cauldron apparently has a method of removing parahuman powers. Contessa uses it on Taylor at the end of the story.
- This is possible for every parahuman in the setting due to shards drawing from a pool of energy to fuel the superpower they grant. While it seems the Entities planned out the rough amount of power the shard would need during dispersal its possible for the pool to run out of energy if the power is overused, as Taylor found out when using Doormaker's power.
- In the finale of Action Man (2000), the villains Tempest and Quake lose their powers permanently.
- In the Grand Finale finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender Aang learns how to Energybend and uses it to remove the firebending abilities of Ozai as an alternative to executing him.
- In The Legend of Korra, the Sequel Series to Avatar: The Last Airbender, Amon leads an uprising known as the Equalists with the promise to remove the bending abilities of all benders that are oppressing non-benders. As he believes that bending is inherently oppressive, this leads to a crusade to eliminate all bending throughout the world. It is revealed that Amon is using a form of bloodbending, not the energybending which the Avatar uses, to perform his feats. His father, the crime lord Yakonne, had had his bending removed by Avatar Aang years before the start of the series. After the climax of the first season, Korra learns how to energybend herself and is able to reverse the de-powering of Amon's victims.
- In the episode "Mo Job" of The Powerpuff Girls, Princess Morbucks teams up with Mojo Jojo to depower The Powerpuff Girls. Princess obtains powers from the same device Mojo is using to nullify the girl's powers but Princess is the only character who ends up being hit with it, removing the powers that she gets in the episode.
- In the Grand Finale of Static Shock, most of the Bang Babies lose their powers permanently.
- Shining Armor finds himself with black crystals embedded in his horn which seal off his magic after holding off King Sombra long enough so the others can escape in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
- Starlight Glimmer can remove the Cutie Marks from ponies, taking away their special talent. The extent of the depower depends on the pony: Twilight Sparkle loses all her magic, whereas Rainbow Dash can still fly, but without her usual rocket speed.
- Both Bumblebee and Starscream lose their transformation cogs over the course of season 2 of Transformers Prime. This leads to both Mode Lock and the inability to use their built-in weapons leaving both bots at a severe disadvantage against other Cybertronians.
- Kulipari: An Army of Frogs, Kulipari Quoba overextends her Kulipari powers to save Darel's life, burning out her poison entirely.