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->''"I wonder if that silly duck'll remember that he can fly?'' *THUD!* ''Guess not."''\\
''"I wonder if Daffy will remember that he can swim?'' *Splash* ''... Nope!"''
-->-- '''WesternAnimation/BugsBunny''', ''The Million Hare''

When a character has the IdiotBall slipped into their pocket while they weren't looking, causing them to forget to properly use their abilities or powers to stop a villain or get out of a situation, even though they may have used the ability in similar situations before (often many times).

As the title indicates this often happens with {{superhero}}es. This is used quite a bit when characters have extremely useful or increasingly powerful abilities or equipment, and [[QuicklyDemotedWoman some unfortunates]] tend to have this inflicted on them ''all the time'', turning a GeniusBruiser or BadassBookworm into a garden-variety [[TheBigGuy Bruiser]] or Badass. Only some lines of technological jargon or displays of useless gadgetry will remind the reader that they have more brains than they normally use. Some might consider this a form of InformedAbility, with the "ability" being genius-level intelligence. It's especially bad when the power being forgotten about is [[SuperpowerfulGenetics an innate ability that the character was born with]], which makes it roughly akin to a {{Muggle|s}} forgetting he can ''walk''.

AmnesiaDanger is a variant of this trope, when it's justified using [[EasyAmnesia convenient amnesia]]. The heroic version of WhyDontYouJustShootHim, except while at least villains don't have to answer to their actions, heroes should be obligated to stop evil-doers or disasters as quickly and efficiently as possible.

See FridgeLogic for when it occurs to the viewers a little later what the character could've/should've easily done. See RememberedICouldFly when it occurs to the character JustInTime what he should've done long before.
PlotSensitiveSnoopingSkills is a particular variant/sub-trope. If a device is discovered once, never becomes part of a character's standard bag of tricks, and is forgotten that is ForgottenPhlebotinum. HollywoodTactics are a usual result. Compare DramaPreservingHandicap.

As mentioned, this is a sister trope to IdiotBall, the distinction being that IdiotBall is when a character does something stupid to further the {{Plot}}, while with Forgot About His Powers the plot depends on a character ''failing'' to take an action they would normally take or that would make the most sense to solve the current crisis.

In video games, this is a common way for a character to start out prior to the tutorial levels, with the abilities the player only learns later in the game being things the character [[SuddenlyAlwaysKnewThat knew all along]]. On the other end, this combined with branching skill trees is the main source of CutsceneIncompetence, as [[GameplayAndStorySegregation the character written into the cut-scenes]] doesn't remember the potion of resurrection the player picked up half an hour ago when mourning a slain companion or that he picked up the skill allowing flight when falling off something tall.

Compare ReedRichardsIsUseless, where a character with superhuman abilities or ridiculously advanced technology reserves it for equally advanced problems and never applies it to mundane difficulties, and SupermanStaysOutOfGotham in which another character in the same universe is conveniently not around to easily solve the problem ''for'' the protagonist.

Contrast TookALevelInBadass and DumbassNoMore.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In the New Vestroia season of ''[[Anime/{{Bakugan}} Bakugan Battle Brawlers]]'', our [[BigBad BBEG]] King Zenoheld wielded a GiantMecha Bakugan called "Farbros" which could merge with more parts and become virtually unstoppable. So what does he do when the good guys arrive to confront him halfway through the series? Blow up his own machine. Without fusing to the special parts. For no adequately explained reason...
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** In the [[{{Filler}} Bount arc]], Orihime spends the episode panicking about Rukia being under a Bount's control before resolving the issue with her healing power. This is despite having already used the same solution on Tatsuki at an earlier date.
** In Ichigo's final battle with Aizen, Aizen becomes DrunkOnTheDarkSide and seemingly forgets that, simply by activating his Shikai in Ichigo's presence, [[StoryBreakerPower he could control all of Ichigo's senses]].
* ''Anime/BlueGender'' is one giant Wallbanger for many viewers because of this. Humanity knows The Blue can't swim or fly very well. (Hello there, aircraft carriers!) Humanity controls at least one giant orbiting space station. (ColonyDrop!) Humanity also has literal Blue-detecting radar. And nukes. Does humanity use any of these advantages to fight the Blue? Nope! They'd rather take the Blue on in catastrophically designed, weaponless mechs.
* This happens pretty frequently with Accelerator in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', most notably in his fights with Touma and Kihara Amata. Given [[SuperpowerLottery his displayed abilities]], despite the fact that they can both bypass his AttackReflector powers, there was absolutely nothing stopping him from standing back and throwing cars at them. Made all the more egregious because in one of the later books he does exactly that when he needs to shut down a PowerNullifier from outside its range. Justified in that his powers are normally so unstoppable that he's never had to think strategically, and using his powers in inventive, intelligent ways is a bit new to him.
* Kaminashi from ''Manga/ChoujinSensen'' somehow got stabbed in the leg by Sasamura despite using intangibility to escape from his prison earlier.
* This happens countless times with Tsuzuki from ''Manga/DescendantsOfDarkness''. Even though he's supposed to be one of the most powerful [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld ancient Gods of Death]], he is rendered completely helpless when [[StalkerWithACrush Muraki]] is around. He's not even able to throw a decent punch at the guy, and is made into a whining and crying wimp in his presence just for plot's sake. Example: Muraki is flying away on a helicopter, and Tsuzuki forgets that he can always summon or cast a spell that could blow the helicopter down. Stupid or... has a self destructive streak [[DeathSeeker TEN MILES HIGH.]]
* In ''Manga/DetectiveConan'', one episode featured Conan attempting to stop a murder by "Shocking" the murderer into giving up. He shows up JustInTime and shows a plant that holds sentimental value to the murderer, causing her to break down and cry, saving the intended victim. What our diminutive detective seems to forget is that he wears a watch that shoots tranquilizer darts! Why risk the killer ignoring this when he could just tranq her?
* ''Manga/{{Doraemon}}'''s manga format ensures the title character having [[MyLittlePanzer countless gadgets that could have been used as weapons]] if applied during the numerous [[TheMovie movies]]. Only recurring few are used[[labelnote:Note]]Pass-though Loop, Shock Gun, Air Cannon, Reflector Cape, Voice Hardening Liquid, and Small/Big Light[[/labelnote]] while the rest only pop in from time to time.
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'':
** The entirety of ''Dragon Ball Z'''s plot tension results from the heroes forgetting that they have access to a magical wish giving dragon whose limitations are relatively small. There are limits to what Shenron and Porunga can do (reviving someone who has been killed more than once, reviving multiple people at a time, killing powerful people, reviving people who died of 'natural deaths'... and so on), but the heroes never ever seem to use the dragon's abilities in order to nullify threats. Granted, this is partially due to Goku and Vegeta's desire to fight more powerful opponents, but still.
** Most of the heroes have extra-sensory awareness, in particular the ability to sense energy and therefore detect opponents they can't see. However, whenever a person has been shrouded by clouds of dust after another person's fierce barrage of attacks, they smile triumphantly until the dust clears and the enemy is unharmed, despite how they should have been able to sense this immediately. This also seems to happen when an opponent moves too fast for them to follow, but then stops still out of their line of sight, resulting in a few moments of desperately looking around for where they went, despite, again, being able to sense where they are. Though this can be explained by the fact that they can also hide their Ki to catch enemies off-guard whenever they want.
*** In Goku's fight against Cell, there's a part where Goku knocks Cell out of the sky and he hits the ground hard. Future Trunks and a few of the other heroes excitedly think Cell is finished. Annoyed, Vegeta asks them if they forgot how to sense energy; if they would apply it, they would be able to tell Cell isn't even hurt.
*** This is further lampshaded in the Abridged Series: after using copious energy attacks on Frieza, Krillin wonders whether they got him. Gohan reminds him that they can sense energy and are well aware that Frieza is fine. Krillin says he keeps asking simply because he is an optimist.
** Most movies are guilty of this, during which all Saiyan characters will magically forget to become Super Saiyan for the duration of the movie, or until then end.
** There's a scene in ''Anime/DragonBallZLordSlug'' where Piccolo, who is being held in the grasp of a giant enemy, is desperately reaching out to Goku so that he can give him his energy. Piccolo completely forgets that he can stretch his arms to impossible lengths, not to mention become a giant himself.
** In one {{filler}} scene during the Goku vs. Freeza fight, Freeza opens the ground under Goku, who hangs on the edge as the lava rises from underground. Goku tries to climb, fails and gets his butt burnt by the lava in a comical manner. Except that Goku, like damn near everyone in the show, ''can fly''.
** Krillin doesn't use his [[DeadlyDisc Kienzan]] as often as his should, despite it being one of the most broken abilities in the franchise. It is one of the most powerful attacks that doesn't take too much time to charge, and one good hit from it would've killed Nappa, Vegeta, likely even Freeza.[[note]]Krillin did use it once against Cell, but did absolutely nothing when it connected with the back of his neck, indicating that large power differences negate its deadlines (either that, or Cell's HealingFactor simply nullified the effects). Though this was just a filler scene and it does manage to cut off Frieza's tail, and is later used by Goku against Buu.[[/note]] The big problem with this attack, that it is slow and can be easily dodged if someone sees it coming, or even destroyed if hit from dead angles as seen later on by Jiren. This could be gotten around if the characters realize that they can use the Solar Flare to blind their enemies before using the Kienzan to cut them to pieces.
** In Bojack Unbound, there's a martial arts tournament out in the ocean taking place on platforms. If you fall into the water, you're eliminated. Yamcha winds up falling off a platform, but doesn't fly back up to prevent falling in the ocean.
*** Yamcha forgets he can fly again during the Majin Buu Saga when he does nothing to prevent his plane from crashing. Thankfully, Android 18 remembers her powers and saves the day.
** In movie 11, Bio-Broly, there's a scene where Goten and Trunks are standing on each others' shoulders to see into a window. Goten complains that he wants a turn to to see... both of them forgetting that they can fly.
** PlayedForLaughs in ''Manga/DragonBall'', where Bulma needs a phone, but Kame House doesn't have one. Master Roshi reminds her that she just built a video drone out of scraps and leftovers, and making a phone should be easy for her. She promptly does.
* ''Anime/FairyTail''
** Sting and Rogue are two of the only dragon slayers able to access their SuperMode at will. Yet outside of their fight with Natsu and Gajeel, they never use it, even when they are getting their butts kicked and are in mortal peril.
** Bloodman, [[spoiler:an Etherious who possessed all the Curses of the Nine Demon Gates of Tartaros,]] should have made quick work of Gajeel using the vast variety of skills he apparently had. He didn't and ended up like most Fairy Tail villains. Dead.
** August, the strongest mage of the [[spoiler:Spriggan 12]] has the [[SuperpowerLottery completely overpowered]] [[AllYourPowersCombined Copy Magic]] that gives him an almost unlimited arsenal of magic spells. Having just tanked Gildarts' strongest blow looking no worse for wear, instead of just using ''any'' safer spell of equal power, August decides to use a [[StupidSacrifice suicide attack]] that [[OnlyTheAuthorCanSaveThemNow ultimately ends up killing no-one other than himself]].
* ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemistTheConquerorOfShamballa'' gives Alphonse a new SignatureMove -the ability to transfer part of his soul into a suit of armor to control it. Unlike the transmutation in the original series, this effect is only temporary and doesn't harm Al at all, effectively giving him the ability to create non-living, completely disposable {{Mooks}}. At the end of the movie, the characters end up in a situation where one of them has to make a HeroicSacrifice. Had Al thought to use this ability then, he could have saved [[spoiler: himself and Ed from being stranded on the other side of the Gate]].
* ''Manga/{{InuYasha}}'': In episode 52, when the [[SuperpoweredEvilSide fully demonized Inuyasha]] is going on a bloody rampage against a group of bandits, Kagome ineffectually runs after him while desperately shouting at him to stop. It never once occurs to her that she could simply give Inuyasha [[RestrainingBolt the "sit" command]] to get him to stop, especially since doing so succeeded successfully restrained his full demon form ''twice before''.
* Unfortunately common throughout ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', as Araki often gives his characters unique and complex powers and abilities... only to neglect those abilities later on, even in situations where they would work perfectly. Fans often ask questions like [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureStardustCrusaders "Why wasn't Joseph given a chance to fight Alessi, to show off his youthful strength from 'Battle Tendency' again?"]] or [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureDiamondIsUnbreakable "Couldn't they have used Hermit Purple to find Kira?"]] And often the best answers to these questions are either that [[CurbStompBattle it would have made the conflict too one-sided]], or, according to the fandom's meme, [[ShrugOfGod "Araki forgot."]]
* {{Subverted|Trope}} with the eponymous ''Manga/KotouraSan''. She ''is'' aware of her [[PowerIncontinence always-on]] {{Telepathy}}, but she can still be deceived because it also {{avert|edTrope}}s ConvenientlyCoherentThoughts. Ergo, she cannot reach into someone's HiddenDepths automatically and is quite susceptible to PsychicStatic and PokeInTheThirdEye. Probably the most exemplary case is in Episode 11, where the ESP Research Society is trying to catch a criminal who commits random acts of violence to high school girls. As it turns out, the culprit is [[spoiler:Tsukino's EnemyWithin]], in whose house Kotoura has stayed for the better part of an afternoon. Yet in all that time, she doesn't suspect anything until the culprit is almost on top of her because [[spoiler: the EnemyWithin Tsukino had taken over while the latter was creeping up behind Kotoura]].
* The anime adaptation of ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'' has a tendency to do this. In one example, Fuu stops Hikaru from using a fire spell on a monster that's abducted Umi, but she gives no thought to the spell that she herself invented a few episodes ago ''specifically'' to restrain without injury.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** Virtually the entire cast should be able to transform into anything or make illusionary clones of themselves. The latest times these abilities are brought up are when Temari plans to use a clone to act as a diversion then strike immediately after (which is implied to win her the battle had she been able to carry it out) and Naruto transforming clones into rocks to hide them (which is very successful against even a VERY powerful opponent). It's clear these abilities would still be useful even at Kage level confrontations, but instead all characters stick to their gimmick and their gimmick alone.
** After Naruto reveals that he has SuperSpeed bordering on FlashStep, he promptly never uses it again despite how incredibly useful it is to be so fast he can travel roughly fifty feet in the time it takes the second fastest man alive to punch him, or to escape being captured by Tobi during his and Bee's fight with him and the other Jinchuuriki. Luckily, Kakashi and Gai got there just in time to save him. He then re-conveniences his FlashStep to deflect ''Tailed Beast Bombs''.
** The BigBad Tobi is guilty of this. The only reason the heroes even stand a chance is because he forgot he could easily teleport in, kidnap all the [[PoweredByAForsakenChild Jinchuuriki]], and teleport out without anyone being any the wiser.
** [[GreaterScopeVillain Madara Uchiha]] is very much guilty of this: Ever since his introduction, Madara has revealed to be able to use an incredible amount of techniques, including, but not limited, to creating [[PlayingWithFire massive walls of fire]], using [[InstantArmor Susanoo]] in more than one form (the final form being a hundred-foot-tall one), using Rinnegan and its derivative techniques ([[EnergyAbsorption Chakra Absorption]], and a stronger variation of [[GravityMaster Shinra Tensei]]), summoning [[ColonyDrop meteors]], using massively powerful [[GreenThumb Wood Release techniques]], and the list goes on. However, many times he only uses a technique once, and it's never even mentioned again. It's even more jarring when [[spoiler: he becomes the Ten-Tails Jinchuuriki, as he focuses only on using the Ten-Tails's black substance instead of using any other technique, even if it would help him in the fight (such as Susanoo, which is later shown to be ''even more powerful'' with the Tailed Beasts' combined chakra). No wonder Guy handed him his ass in their fight]]. Partly justified in that Madara was perhaps the most arrogant character in the series, and obsessed with trying out new abilities whenever he could.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** There are numerous situations in which Chopper forgets he has a certain ability, and it's played for comedy, but a lot of times he could defeat his enemies in Heavy Point, but chooses to stay in Brain Point, his physically weaker form.
** Luffy, Chopper and Brook sometimes forget that their devil fruit powers include SuperDrowningSkills. This is purely played for comedy, and their crew mates are always pissed at their idiocy.
** Luffy (and some other characters) also sometimes forget about their SuperStrength when trapped in a certain situations. At one point, Trafalgar Law is being beaten up by [[BigBad Doflamingo]] and Luffy is inside the hallways of a coliseum watching helplessly out of a window. He reasons that he can't get to them because the window has seastone bars on it (seastone is harder than diamond and drains Devil Fruit users of their powers), but he seems to be forgetting that he could easily smash a hole in the regular stone walls and walk right out.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'':
** Team Rocket manages to capture Pikachu (and ONLY Pikachu) nearly OncePerEpisode, and Ash forgets half of the time that he has FIVE OTHER POKEMON that he could use to just blast Team Rocket's balloon halfway to Jupiter.
** Team Rocket themselves bring out [[KryptoniteProofSuit fire proof uniforms or rubber suits or whatever]] to render one or more of Ash's Pokémon useless, but they only use them for specific plans instead of using them for pretty much every attempt. Worse, they get overconfident and frequently remove their Pokémon proof measures mid plan allowing them to get electrocuted/burned/etc. anyway later.
** It is annoyingly common for Ash to randomly forget type advantages and other basic rules about capturing and battling Pokémon when the writers feel it necessary to add some extra drama or explanation to the show. Ash has been known to come up with some pretty impressive strategies from time to time, but when the plot dictates that Ash must lose a battle, the IdiotBall is practically tied around his neck.
** In ''Anime/PokemonZoroarkMasterOfIllusions'', Ash forgets that he has arguably the strongest team he's ever had in a movie. Aside from one instance with Infernape in the beginning and Pikachu in general, he never uses any of them. The sheer raw power they packed would have made a huge difference against Kodai.
** In the third episode of the ''Best Wishes'' series, there is a scene with a group of Pokémon stranded on a disintegrating island in the middle of a lake of boiling water. Some of these Pokémon are Flying-types. They're birds that remember they can fly when they are persuaded to cross a bridge the heroes make so that they can get to safety and that then proceed to FLY AWAY.
** In the same episode, he almost orders Pikachu to use Thunderbolt on a grounded Sandile, who has Iris' Axew in its mouth. The only thing that stops him from going through with this plan is Iris reminding him that the attack would hurt Axew, not the fact that the Ground-type Sandile is outright immune to electricity. Sometimes, when he actually remembers them, the kid forgets ''how'' to properly use his powers.
** In ''Anime/PokemonArceusAndTheJewelOfLife'', Ash and co. are thrown into a cell. A simple, no-tech cell. They wait around in it for god knows how long for a Pokémon to retrieve the key when they could've, perhaps, ''used their Pokémon to bust their way out''. And because of this stall, [[spoiler: Arceus gets killed. [[UnexplainedRecovery Not permanently, though.]]]]
** Along with the "trapped in the cell with a ton of super-powered animals" situation like in ''Arceus'', ''Anime/PokemonMewtwoReturns'' has these moments in spades. One moment in particular was when Ash and Brock were trying to take down a machine that was weakening Mewtwo, and none of the main cast realizes that they would have a much easier time disabling it using, you know, ''their Pokémon.''
** And speaking of Team Rocket, they've recently been rejoined by their Wobbuffet, whose gimmick is that it acts as an AttackReflector. Unfortunately for them, this skill is rarely used, leading to them repeatedly getting blasted into orbit.
** There's also Ash's ability to use Aura (basically a renamed Force). In the eighth movie Ash begins to develop these and it's even brought up once or twice in the Sinnoh Arc. Absolute squat comes of it. They might as well have painted a sign that says FanficFuel.
* In ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' Japanese version during the Gambling King Arc. Ranma was supposedly so stupid that he can't lie to anyone and got a poker face that any kid can read. This is contradicted by Ranma playing cards with his friends in the past several times and winning based on his expression (and Ranma being perfectly able to lie and play pretend in several other schemes of his whenever it suited him). Ranma went on later after the arc and to win at cards decisively against Nabiki and Akane. The American version changed all those incidents to Ranma losing so that they can remove the inconsistency.
* ''Anime/SailorMoon'':
** Usagi often used her disguise pen in the first season to get into areas where access was forbidden otherwise. In later seasons, it was completely forgotten... except for one odd season three episode when Minako borrowed Usagi's pen to act as an IdentityImpersonator for Sailor Moon. And even in the first season one episode has her entering a swimsuit contest wearing a torn bathing suit that she covers up with bows. (Note that Minako had ''her own'' disguise compact in the ''Manga/CodenameWaSailorV'' manga and in the ''Manga/SailorMoon'' manga, although the fact that it was never shown in the anime may mean it simply doesn't exist in this continuity.)
** In the manga, both Usagi and Minako have devices (a mask and a compact respectively) that can reveal the disguised enemies' true forms; these conveniently get forgotten when it comes to fighting Witches 5 or the Dead Moon Circus, who do disguise themselves as normal people in areas that are ''known'' to have connection to the enemies.
** In the first episode we see that she has super hearing through the gems in her hair and we never get to see her use them again ... ever. In the same episode, her scream/cry is also shown to be some sort of sonic weapon, boosted by her magic, which she also uses ''one'' more time in the fourth season, when she and Chibi-Usa both use it while being menaced by an evil dentist.
** In a season two episode all the girls sans Mercury (who was supposed to be on a plane to leave) get trapped in a freezer with an ice monster. Their game plan is to wait there indefinitely until Mercury conveniently decides not to go and comes to the rescue. One wonders why Sailor Mars didn't think to use her own powers which are...you know...[[PlayingWithFire based on fire]].
* ''Manga/SgtFrog'': Natsumi, taking on Keroro -- a clearly amphibious lifeform -- in a ''swimming contest.'' Cue Keroro's first CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
** Ironically, Natsumi still benefitted since nobody but her could see Keroro, and struggling to beat him allowed her to beat everyone else.
** In the dub at least it was not so plot induced as it was youthful pride and not thinking induced, and to her credit it does hit her pretty fast just how bad an idea it was.
* ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'': Lina, Ameria, and Zelgadis all know ''Ray Wing'', spell that lets them fly, faster than they can run. Yet they will frequently run away from enemies (including ones who can't fly), or stand around watching flying opponents as if they could not reach them. Even if they cast ''Ray Wing'', there's a good chance [[AcrophobicBird they'd still fly parallel to the ground]] until Lina realizes this second layer of stupid.
** Keep in mind Ray Wing requires energy and by the time they desperately need to flee their foes they'd already depleted their magic from using high level spells and some foes don't justify using energy because they can be outran. On top of that many of the places they visit tend to be dungeons and ruines with relatively little space to fly around.
* Often when the robot characters in ''Anime/TransformersEnergon'' need to get to someplace really quick or escape from danger, they simply run, even if they can transform into a superfast vehicle.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'':
** In the first season, there is a duel where this is Zigzagged, and a character forgets how to use one ''right''. In Rua's duel with Devack, he equips his copy of Megamorph to his Power Tool Dragon, thinking it will double PTD's Attack Score. He forgets that, because he and Devack currently have equal Life Points, the card won't do anything. (But to be honest, what player in the actual game has ''not'' made ''that'' mistake when using Megamorph?)
** In Season 2, Yusei desperately tries to find a way to deal with the Meklord Emperor monsters that can absorb Synchro Monsters. He finds the Accel Synchro, but Yusei already has a card that can deal with them, and he has it since the beginning of the series: Turbo Warrior. A Synchro Monster that cannot be targeted by monsters with Level 6 or lower, and the Meklord Emperors are Level 1[[note]]In the anime, a Meklord Emperor is made of five monsters that join forces and give the Infinity (the torso) their ATK and DEF. The Infinity is a Level 1 monster that absorbs Synchro Monsters. Some parts can be replaced by stronger versions of themselves and have higher Levels, but the highest Level so far is 5.[[/note]]. However, he never uses Turbo Warrior against them and he relies on his Accel Synchro Summon.

* In ''AudioPlay/TheUnfinishedSpellingErrorsOfBolkien'', Martin points that the Balrog seems completely unaware of the fact that it has wings. The Balrog/wing issue is a pretty big source of FanWank.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Nearly any situation should be easily solvable by Franchise/TheFlash, [[SuperSpeed since he can move hundreds and hundreds of times faster than anything else on earth.]] Yet he constantly forgets to use the full potential of his superpowers until it's time to end the story. Abilities the Flash consistently forgets he has: running faster than light, speed stealing, infinite mass punch, etc. On one occasion the villains destroyed a bridge, Flash runs to a university, teaches himself civil engineering, rushes back to the site of the collapsing bridge, scavenges for parts and builds an entire new bridge to replace the old one, all in the blink of an eye. This trope is the only reason anyone is able to beat him.
** Lampshaded in an episode of ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]'', since it's revealed that while the Flash can do all these things and more, [[HoldingBackThePhlebotinum he doesn't phase through things because it's fairly dangerous, and he can't approach his upper limits because the plot says it would kill him.]] Luthor, on the other hand, isn't so worried about it when his [[FreakyFridayFlip mind ends up in Flash's body]].
** It becomes even more ridiculous given the fact that at one point the Flash was [[Awesome/TheFlash able to (within a small fraction of a second) save a city from nuclear annihilation by carrying its half a million person population to a hill miles away one person at a time.]] And yet Central City's banks still get robbed on his watch.
** In the 4 issue alternate universe DC tale, ''Comicbook/KingdomCome'', The Flash does become an unstoppable one man war on crime, where he never slows down and has made Keystone City a crime-less utopia. To the point where he moves so fast, not only can he run through the air, he simultaneously exists in the physical and metaphysical planes. However, it's also revealed he's BlessedWithSuck as he can no longer communicate with anyone (save {{Superman}}) and cannot ''stop''.
** In ''[[ComicBook/{{Convergence}} Convergence: Speed Force #2]]'', Wally West is drawn into a fight with ComicBook/{{Flashpoint}} Wonder Woman and can't get her to stop hitting him or chasing him... Except Wally has the ability to drain speed from others, effectively making them statues. And you can't even say this was him before he gained that ability, because his children exist, and he had that power before they were born.
** Examples from ''ComicBook/TitansRebirth'':
*** When infiltrating Meta Solutions, Dick and Wally's comms stop working, and Wally tells Dick to do whatever he's doing quick. He seems to have forgotten he has ''super speed'' and can just run outside, tell the Titans the comms are cut, then go right back in in about 5 seconds.
*** In the same issue, when Mammoth shows up and fights Dick and Wally, Wally seems to have forgotten that he can drain speed, which would've essentially made Mammoth a statue.
*** In ''ComicBook/TheLazarusContract'' crossover when Wally is chasing down Slade (who gains briefly super speed), Slade says he's as fast as Wally (somehow), and that since they're on the same playing field now, he can beat Wally. Wally agrees and runs away... because he apparently forgot that he can drain speed.
* Obviously, Franchise/{{Superman}} suffers from the same forgetfulness both in the comics and in ''Series/{{Smallville}}''. Specifically, he frequently forgets to use his super speed while attacking. At its most ridiculous in the [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]], Superman has nearly godlike powers (name any ability, put the word super in front of it, Supes has it) and will conveniently forget them between issues as the plot demands. However, he is in the habit of standing and taking shots to intimidate his opponents so it's not always a case of forgetting. And how anyone ever manages to sneak up on him when he has super hearing is a complete mystery. Except for Franchise/{{Batman}}, because he has [[CrazyPrepared active noise cancellation technology built into his costume for just such an occasion]]. Similarly, whenever he fights foes that are less powerful but have masterful fighting skills such as Franchise/WonderWoman, he ([[CriticalResearchFailure or rather the writers]]) tends to forget that he's an expert fighter himself, having been trained by many of the greatest fighters in the universe.
** Due to his strength and invulnerability, Superman often forgets he has an effective ranged attack with his heat vision. He could solve many issues from miles away, if he chose.
* ComicBook/MartianManhunter often forgets to use his {{intangibility}} so that his enemies can land a punch on him. He also often forgets about his ability to change size and the advanced uses of his telepathy.
* Marvel's ComicBook/TheVision has occasionally fallen victim to similar attacks (though it's rarer). In one issue of ''Comicbook/WhatIf'', he was killed by a parasitic alien vine that grew into his bodily systems. A fan wrote in to ask what was up; the editors [[AscendedFanon eagerly latched onto his suggestion]] that "the plant in question isn't entirely tangible itself, and that's why the villain used it". An ''[[Comicbook/TheAvengers Avengers]]'' comic had Vision, along with Comicbook/TheMightyThor and Comicbook/IronMan, taken out by ''knockout gas''. Hmm, a PhysicalGod who can control winds, an unbreathing android, and a guy in a sealed combat suit? No problem. The criminal masterminds who took them out so easily?... Well, [[http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/trogs1.htm you've got to see this one for yourself]].
* ''The Essential ComicBook/SilverSurfer'' is ''full'' of this. When he meets a scientist who invents a device that might let him leave Earth but needs money to make it, the Surfer decides to ''get a job''. He can't (because [[UndeadTaxExemption he doesn't have a Social Security number, he's not in the union,]] and he's funny-looking) so almost robs a bank in desperation, forgetting ''he can manipulate matter'' and could just make the scientist's gear for him. He spends about eight comics looking for someone who won't hate him for being "a silver-skinned freak" before he remembers that the Comicbook/FantasticFour were quite friendly... need I go on?
* In ''ComicBook/MarvelZombies'', the zombies are attacking Doctor Doom's castle and the Scarlet Witch is infected by the Punisher. Gee, Scarlet Witch, did it never occur to you to just teleport him and the other zombies away like you did with Ash earlier? Or teleport Enchantress away earlier so Dazzler wouldn't be infected?
* The last frame of the Franchise/SpiderMan comic featuring the defeat of the Sinister Six in their first appearance had Doctor Octopus, the Vulture, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, and Sandman sitting in a police jail cell complaining about being defeated. How could the Sandman, a being who can turn into sand, be trapped in a common jail cell?
** An example involving a power that the character literally cannot forget but writers seem to, many a comic involving Spidey losing to someone generally involves the Spider-Sense not triggering in instances where it ''absolutely would.'' Rather blatant examples include the "Confederacy of Dunces" arc in ComicBook/ThePunisher (where Spidey is trapped by Frank using a bunch of trigger explosives that weren't actually armed) and ComicBook/DeadpoolKillsTheMarvelUniverse, where Dreadpool shoots him point-blank, which the Spider-Sense should have immediately detected and allowed Spider-Man to notice and act before Dreadpool could have even moved the gun into position.
* Franchise/{{Green Lantern}}s [[GreenLanternRing have been variously shown as being able to warp time, move faster than light, contain supernovas, fight toe to toe with Superman, alter their own DNA, read minds, find subatomic aliens]]... Scratch that, if it's a superpower of any sort any given GL has used it at least twice. Now here's the thing. There are creatures other than Gods that bother them. Funny huh? It's somewhat justified in their case as their power require willpower and concentration to make anything happen. A GL who is having a bad day, is unfocused or demoralized will be less effective and the GL's are essentially human without their rings (or at least the human ones are.) Plus, their rings require a periodic recharge and anything yellow or anyone whose fast enough or crafty enough to remove a ring is a threat. Still, the idiot plot is somewhat less excusable in the case of veterans like Hal Jordan (or really, any of the Earth based GL's these days) as he is both experienced, and extremely strong willed.
* The drama that drives the character of ComicBook/AdamStrange hinges on a concept that makes little sense in the context of the [[SharedUniverse shared]] [[Franchise/TheDCU DC Universe]]. Adam is a human adventurer from Earth who gets transported to the planet Rann (located in the Alpha Centauri solar system, the closest to Earth) by zeta beams. Once the effect of a zeta beam wears off, Adam gets transported back to Earth and has to wait for the next zeta beam to transport him back to Rann once again. This creates drama (Adam can't stay on Rann indefinitely), and even though every once in a while, writers come up with super-powerful zeta beams that have a permanent effect, eventually another writer may find a reason to undo the effect, leaving Adam stranded on Earth once again. However, it makes little sense in the context of the wider DCU, where there are various more conventional means of traveling the (comparably laughable) distance to Rann. A particularly glaring example occurs in JLA #20-21 (written by Mark Waid), where the Franchise/{{Justice League|OfAmerica}} gets transported to Rann and has to help Adam fend off an invasion. Ultimately, Adam drives off the invaders by sacrificing the zeta beam radiation stored inside his body, which results in him getting transported back to Earth. There are at least three ways to get him back to Rann immediately: First, in the first part of the story, Adam mentions a previous visit to Rann by JLA member Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), who traveled there simply using the power of his ring. Second, the JLA has White Martian jumpships at their disposal, which are used to travel through space several times over the course of the series. And third, the JLA's ranks at that time include Orion and Big Barda of the ComicBook/NewGods, who have access to Boom Tubes, which can also travel vast distances. All of these methods would allow Adam to return to Rann in a short amount of time, without that pesky temporary effect of the zeta beams. Eventually, this was corrected by placing Rann multiple billions of light-years from Earth, too far for most other methods of travel to reach.
** Additionally, in the Silver/Bronze Era, Rann was shown to be fairly close to Thanagar, homeworld of Hawkman and Hawkwoman. They shared many adventures and apparently never bothered to offer Adam a ride in the spaceship they regularly used to go between Earth and Thanagar.
* ''Comicbook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'':
** The chronic and widespread amnesia over the Iron Queen's {{Magitek}} is one of the main causes of the IdiotPlot that is The Iron Dominion Saga; the Freedom Fighters are constantly clueless to the fact that their enemy can control machines with her mind, and wind up being shocked each time one of their cyborg or mechanical allies gets turned against them by her. They also keep forgetting that they have a counteragent to her spell ''right in their own backyard''. And in case you're wondering, there's actually a time in the saga where the Iron Queen ''herself'' forgets that she has this power, and has to be ''reminded'' that the Freedom Fighters are holed up in a GreyGoo city that she can manipulate... ''after she successfully infiltrated and messed it up with her powers''.
** Tails had an uncle who was skilled enough in magic to, among other things, teleport and activate his SuperMode. Unless there's an unexplained limitation on that second spell, Dr. Eggman ''really'' shouldn't have been a threat for so long.
* ''Comicbook/DoctorStrange''. Speaking of the Sorcerer Supreme, he is repeatedly in situations where his virtually unlimited mystic abilities could resolve the plot, or at least make it much simpler. Alas, the good Doctor's imagination is often limited to that of those who write him.
* ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'':
** The giant mutant cockatrices who attacks Canterlot in the short in Issue #4 of don't seem to be able to turn anypony to stone, like they do in the show.
** Lampshaded in Issue #18. The mane 6 are locked up in a dungeon. When Twilight Sparkle is stumped about how they are going to get out, Pinkie Pie gives her a glare and knocks her horn - the prison bars are absolutely no match for the mighty alicorn magic.
* Justified by Snowbird in ''ComicBook/AlphaFlight''. While in animal form, she is dropped from a great height, so she shapechanges into an owl without changing to human form first -- something she rarely does because its very painful. But, as the narrator points out, "In her animal panic, she had forgotten that her human form can also fly."
* ''ComicBook/AvengersArena'':
** In the very beginning, the kids try to ZergRush Arcade, and he summarily inflicts a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown on everyone who tried it (while commending the handful who were smart enough not to).
** After establishing that ComicBook/{{X 23}} is ''constantly'' [[SherlockScan studying in her surroundings]] and [[AwesomenessByAnalysis determining the best way of killing everyone around her]], in #10 she [[spoiler: [[LeeroyJenkins blindly charges into a fight with Apex without preparation]]. Despite arguably being the most dangerous fighter of all the kids, she of course [[TheWorfEffect gets her ass kicked as a result]].]]
** She then passes the IdiotBall to [[spoiler: Apex, who completely forgets about Laura's HealingFactor and fails to make sure she's ''actually'' down for good]].
* ComicBook/CaptainAlcohol is supposed to have SuperStrength. However, this is only used in the first issue and never used again even when it could help him.
* Jesse Custer in ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}'' forgets about his [[CompellingVoice Word of God]] more and more as the series goes on, which could have immediately solved many problems much faster by simply telling people "Stop!" or "Tell The Truth!" While early encounters include enemies who are immune to his power for a number of reasons, such as being given immunity by God or not understanding English, writer Garth Ennis apparently got tired of thinking up ways around the power and simply had Jesse stop using it, preferring to use his nigh-superhuman fighting skills instead. The trope is even lampshaded when Tulip asks him why he hadn't used the Word to defeat a group of enemies and Jesse just admits that he forgot about it.
* All the various telepaths in the ComicBook/XMen could probably stop a hell of a lot of battles and villainous plots by simply mentally knocking out MANY of their enemies that don't have any kind of mind shield, but they often don't for unexplained reasons.
* As noted elsewhere, Franchise/{{Wolverine}} has super senses like hearing and smell, but they apparently only work when Wolverine needs them to solve a plot point. Otherwise he seems to be suffering from a recurring healing factor-resistant head cold.
* Another ComicBoox/XMen example, and one of the most infamous: In Wolverine #75, Rogue is being sucked out of an airplane and screams at Gambit to help her. Except Rogue can fly. Regularly pointed out as a glaring example of {{Chickification}} of Rogue's character.
* As ''Blog/TheComicsCurmudgeon'' is fond of pointing out, newspaper comics Spider-Man's spidey sense is notoriously unreliable, as he's been shown to get snuck up behind and knocked out by regular humans, and once a RANDOM FALLING BRICK.
* During the first 20 years of his existence, ComicBook/{{Magneto}} occasionally used his magnetic powers to control the minds of people by controlling the iron in their blood; see [[http://cbr2.imgix.net/wp-content/uploads/goodcomics/2015/01/magnetokids8.jpg?auto=format&cs=tinysrgb&q=50&w=864&h=1259&fit=crop this page]] from the ''ComicBook/TheVision and ComicBook/ScarletWitch'' miniseries for one example. Since then, he seems to have completely forgotten about this power, even though it would've been incredibly useful on many occasions.
* In ''ComicBook/WhateverHappenedToTheManOfTomorrow'', Superwoman is amongst the heroes trying to break through the forcefield surrounding the Fortress of Solitude. She's capable of teleporting and walking through walls but maybe the forcefield somehow blocks these. Seeing as how [[spoiler: it was Mxyzptlk maintaining the forcefield]], you could say AWizardDidIt.
* One Wizard issue had ComicBook/{{Darkseid}} battle ComicBook/{{Thanos}} ending in Darkseid leading Thanos to a Firepit Energy Processing Plant on Apokolips. There, both opponents unleash all their energy, triggering a massive explosion. When the smoke clears, out walks a staggering Darkseid, dragging a defeated Thanos--who is now a pet for his sadistic lackey Desaad. The authors apparently forgot that Thanos' ability to withstand damage is equal to Darkseid's in the very least. He also can create force shields, not to mention it was out of character for Thanos to attack opponents on their home turfs without at least gaining information or sabotaging the fight in his favor before confronting them. Thanos also has the [[ForgottenPhlebotinum resources]] to attack Apokolips from orbit if he wanted to.
* Often played straight in the various ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' works regarding The Riddler's riddles which various characters attempt to actually ''solve'' instead of just looking them up on the Internet. This is clearly [[TheArtifact a throwback]] to older times when answers to such things weren't so readily accessible (as opposed to today where it's uncommon for a regular person to not have a cell phone with mobile data, let alone ''Batman'').[[note]]Of course, some writers who ''really'' want to go the extra mile will ''create'' new riddles with custom-made answers. Or just make it so the answers are obvious, but how they relate to his next crime isn't.[[/note]] This was actually made fun of in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanAssaultOnArkham'' when Amanda Waller "solves" a riddle by just ''tapping into a search engine'':
--> '''The Riddler:''' When is a door not a door?
--> '''Amanda Waller:''' When it's ajar.
--> '''The Riddler:''' --Oh, so you've heard that one before?
--> '''Amanda Waller:''' No! [[CuttingTheKnot I have Google!]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/GettingBackOnYourHooves'' Trixie is feeding animals as part of a job working for Fluttershy, ending up falling down a steep bank and getting the list of animals she needed to feed muddy, resulting in a run in [[SmellySkunk with a skunk]]. As she's getting cleaned up, this trope is {{lampshade|Hanging}}d;
--> '''Spike''': Uh, Trixie, one thing.\\
'''Trixie''': Yes, what?\\
'''Spike''': Why didn't you just use your magic to float the food down to the animals?\\
'''Trixie''': ''([[HeadDesk slams her head into the side of the tub]])''
* In ''FanFic/ManchesterLost'' and its sequel, ''[[FanFic/ParadiseThwarted Paradise Thwarted]]'', resident CloudCuckooLander Uriel tends to forget all sorts of things, including, at times, ''the fact that he has wings.''
* In ''WebAnimation/DusksDawn'' Donut abandons most of his armor when invading the castle for no reason.
* ''Ojamajo Doremi: Witches at World's End'' (sequel to ''FanFic/OjamajoDoremiRiseOfTheShadows''): The Queen doesn't use her SuperMode when [[BigBad Black Queen]] attacks the witch World, even though the Queen has mastered it AND it is more than capable of curbstomping Black Queen.
* A meta example occurs in ''Fanfic/PrincessOfTheBlacks'' when Jen is spotted after [[spoiler:murdering Tracey's grandfather]] because the author forgot she could turn invisible.
* In ''FanFic/ThisBites'', Soundbite, for a brief period in Chapter 24, forgets that he has the option of using his Gastro-Blast technique to destroy his gag. And Cross comes within an inch of dying before he reminds him of it.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Fanfic/SonOfTheSannin'': during the Chunin Exams finals, Hinata ends up in the stadium's hospital wing after her fight, and laments that she won't be able to see Naruto's final match. Her mother quickly reminds her that she can use her Byakugan to do just that, even remarking that she forgot about it because "being lovesick messes with one's head".
* In ''Fanfic/SupermanOf2499TheGreatConfrontation'', Katherine de Ka'an laments the fact she'll never know what happened to her distant ancestor Kara Zor-El's first husband since there're no records left... which shouldn't be a trouble at all since, as a descendant of the original ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}, Katherine's natural powers include time travel.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Some of ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'' sequels have this problem, neglecting the fact that Petrie can fly.
* In ''Disney/PeterPan'' the climax involves several characters being threatened with WalkThePlank despite the fact that they can fly.
* In ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'', when her ice palace is under attack, Elsa seems to completely forget all the things she has already done with her powers that would allow her to hold off the attackers indefinitely, such as causing the staircase to sprout ice spikes, creating more {{Snowlems}} to back up Marshmallow, hammering them with a blizzard or simply sealing the entrances to the palace with solid ice walls.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Bionicle}}'':
** In the first film, Onua causes a cave-in, so he and Pohatu start running, but get buried under rubble. This, despite that they had masterful control over the elements of earth and stone respectively -- Onua even uses his power to levitate some giant rocks in a later scene. Pohatu also wore the Mask of Speed (which Onua had access to, too) that would have let them vibrate their bodies ''through'' the rock, or just plain run faster. Both could even have summoned their Mask of Shielding to protect themselves. The climax also involves some running and heavy objects falling, but nobody thinks of using their powers to save themselves or [[spoiler:help Takutanuva who gets crushed under a gate.]]
** In the third film, [[spoiler:Matau is about to fall to his death from atop the Coliseum balcony, but Vakama saves him with a bungee-cord made out of spider webbing]]. A cool and heartwarming scene, except that Matau got up there by flying in the first place, or technically, [[NotQuiteFlight grabbing onto an energy-disk]] that he could fire at any moment.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsMagicalMovieNight'' short "Movie Magic", Rainbow Dash and human Twilight Sparkle were the only members of the group who remembered to bring the amulets that allow them to use their powers (SuperSpeed and MindOverMatter respectively). Even then, while Twilight uses her telekinesis for mundane purposes, when the group chases a thief, she chases her on foot and doesn't try to use her telekinesis.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/SherlockHolmes2009'', Holmes completely forgets his SherlockScan [[note]]Where he analyzes his opponent's pressure points, vulnerabilities, etc.[[/note]] whenever he fights the main GiantMook -- resulting in multiple embarrassing PunchPunchPunchUhOh-fests for, you know, [[Franchise/SherlockHolmes The Great Detective]]. What's especially glaring is that Holmes earlier used his Scan to soundly beat another, almost-as-big [[TheBrute Brute]] in a DavidVersusGoliath-style pit-fight.
* The Mobile Infantry in ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' have rifles that come with underbarrel shotguns and nuclear rocket launchers, yet they seem to rely almost entirely on their rifles' regular firing mode -- even when faced with instances where such weapons would be most effective, such as close combat with the Bugs or when facing a horde of thousands of bunched-together aliens charging their fixed positions. Justified since the movie satirizes HollywoodTactics.
* In ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings: The Return of the King'', Gandalf rescues Faramir and his retreating troops by using his staff to shine a bright light at the Nazgûl, which scares them away. One might wonder how come he doesn't do that every other time the Nazgûl are around. This is probably the reason why, in the extended edition, Peter Jackson had the Witch-king destroy Gandalf's staff shortly afterwards, something that could not have happened in the book. The official in-universe explanation, according to Tokien, is that Gandalf is an Istari, basically an angelic being and servant of the lesser gods who is explicitly forbidden from using his powers to shape change in Middle Earth lest the beings of Middle Earth become too dependent on them. Other Istari like Sauron and Saruman obviously ignored this edict.
* In ''Film/TheNeverendingStory 2'' Bastian has to save with the help of the Auryn, which can grant him any wish he wants. He never thinks to wish for weapons, or an army, or even that [[DeusExMachina Fantasia just be saved]]. Instead he wishes for things like a can of spray paint and individual steps to climb a huge cliff. And he only has a limited number of wishes before running out of memories (each wish removes a memory, though at the time he gets it, he was unaware of this, so he had no reason to limit his wishes).
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** The prequels retroactively introduce this trope to the original trilogy by establishing that R2-D2 has the ability to fly and torch his opponents, something he never does in the original trilogy even though it would have been useful to do so. WordOfGod has it that R2's rocket boosters broke at some point in the intervening years, and Industrial Automaton (the company that makes R2 units) no longer manufactures that part.
* ''Film/TheLastAirbender'':
** This trope is basically the only excuse for why the Fire Nation imprisonment of the Earthbenders didn't fail in five minutes flat. In the [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender cartoon that the film was based upon]], their not doing any bending was completely justified as they were on a metallic platform in the middle of the ocean, with [[ElementalBaggage no earth in convenient distance]]. In the movie, [[LockingMacGyverInTheStoreCupboard they're at a mine]]. As in, surrounded by dirt and rocks. And they outnumber their Fire Nation guards by a minimum of a dozen to one. The very weak "their spirits are broken" excuse is washed away by a speech that boils down to "You're Earth-benders. You're completely surrounded by dirt and rocks. DO SOMETHING." They effectively imprisoned a bunch of soldiers, made them use their loaded guns to dig holes, and the soldiers never thought to shoot.
** The movie also changes things so Firebenders need an external source for their power to work, so they need to keep torches and braizers everywhere for their bending to them any good. Nobody ever seems to realize that these limited sources of fire can be ''put out'', or even thinks to extinguish nearby sources of fire whenever they see the Fire Nation coming to deny them ammo.
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'':
** ''Film/X2XMenUnited'': Wolverine realizes that Mystique is disguised as Jean Grey by feeling the scars on her belly rather than by her smell, which he was established to be able to do in the first film when she tried the same trick with Storm ''which was how Mystique got the scars in the first place''.
** ''Film/XMenApocalypse'': Quicksilver is able to spot Xavier's mansion in the process of blowing up and use his super-speed to save everyone, yet in the very next scene, he watches a bunch of armed men take aim at the students and fire without reacting.
* ''Film/IAmNumberFour'' John is an alien with a wide variety of superhuman powers, including super strength. While he uses it once early on to put down a bully, he conveniently forgets his wide variety of powers for the rest of the movie so that JerkJock Mark can push him around. When John finally does remember he has powers, he slaps down Mark's whole gang.
* ''Film/BruceAlmighty'': After Bruce was caught kissing Susan by his girlfriend Grace, he seemed to forget that he was near-omnipotent, so he could just wipe her memory of the event, or re-write history to make it that it never happened.
* In ''Film/DragonballEvolution'', Piccolo demonstrates telekinesis powerful enough to crush a house, but never uses it again, even to try to retrieve a Dragonball that was rolling away.
* In ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}'', Big G only uses his [[BreathWeapon atomic breath]] twice, and doesn't think to use it on the flying MUTO (which he can't attack otherwise when it's flying away) or when he was getting pummeled by both [=MUTOs=] at the same time.
* In ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', the T-1000 confronts Sarah Connor in the Steel Mill and tells her to "call for John" to lure out John Connor, apparently forgetting it has the ability to mimic anyone's voice and could easily do it himself. However, minutes after this, T-1000 in desperation mimics Sarah and calls for John by itself. It's quickly recognized as fake due to liquid nitrogen bath damage, [[spoiler: and it leads to its swift destruction.]] Therefore it might be that it rightly didn't trust itself to sound convincing.
* In ''Film/SpiderMan2'' Dr. Octopus fights Spider-Man by repeatedly grabbing him with his robot tentacles and slamming him into walls and such. A few moments later it is revealed that at least one of those tentacles contained a long retractable blade which he could've simply stabbed the wall-crawler with. He goes for a single swing with this blade, misses, and never uses it again.
* Somewhere between ''Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs'' and ''Film/{{Hannibal}}'', Dr. Lecter forgot how to pick the lock on a set of handcuffs.

* In ''Literature/LoneWolf'', you have powers that can be useful in certain situation, but sometimes, the author forgets that the possibility you have that power may exist, and doesn't give you a choice to use the power. More commonly, the series has three levels of powers: Kai, Magnakai, and Grand Master. Most of the powers of one tier have lower powered equivalents amongst the lower tier. Similarly, someone of a higher tier always has all the powers of the lower tier, but only a select few of their given tier. This results in your character often being asked if he has a certain power appropriate for his tier (and bad stuff happening if you do not), but the author forgetting that there is no reason the lower tier equivalent -- which everyone should have -- could not be every bit as effective.\\\
Theoretically, at least, if the higher Discipline is required, it's for something that the lesser Discipline can't handle for some reason (you see this all the time in Grand Master, particularly with Kai-screen). Justified, for the most part... simple Mind over Matter should not allow you to grab a big, heavy key on the opposite side of the room while you're behind a locked door. Still, there are numerous instances where you SHOULD be able to use Pathsmanship, or Huntmastery, or (most often) Divination, or at least get some explanation as to why you can't. (You don't ''need'' Telegnosis to spirit-walk, it just makes it ''easier''.) And then there's the issue of the myriad Combat Skill and Endurance benefits you get from certain Disciplines, all of which need to be properly balanced... and some of which, unfortunately, don't make a lot of sense (in New Grand Master, you have the ''same'' Combat Skill whether or not you're armed). As you might imagine, it's not exactly easy to write these things.

* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** An example occurs in "The Philosopher's Stone". When Harry, Ron, and Hermione are trapped in the Devil's Snare (a constricting plant which can only be defeated via light) a panicking, Muggleborn Hermione comments that it would be difficult to light a fire in their current position.
--->"HAVE YOU GONE MAD?" Ron bellowed. "ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT?"
** Called back to in a reversed situation in the final book, when Ron has a momentary lapse of judgement by proclaiming that Crookshanks isn't there to press the knob on the tree's trunk to let them into the passage. Hermione yells at him, "Are you a wizard or not!?"
** Also in the first book, the BigBad suddenly resorts to grabbing the hero with bare hands, even though seconds earlier he entangled him with conjured ropes.
** In [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire the fourth book]], Harry uses [[SummonToHand Accio]] to summon his broom to get past the dragon in the first task when he could have used the same spell to summon the dragon's egg he was trying to get or summon his broom to fly over the maze in the third task. While never explicitly stated, it is reasonable to believe that the egg would have been protected against the simplest summoning magic, or the task would have turned into a joke. Similarly, while flying over the maze sounds like a cool, out of the box idea, one assumes the judges would have been less than amused.
** When we first meet Harry, he has experienced ten years of abuse and mistreatment at the hands of the Dursleys. He has become quite perceptive and adept at reading their behavior, and is able to occasionally get his way [[BatmanGambit by setting up his requests]] in such a manner that they view the best option for them is to give him what he wants. He is also usually extremly patient with their abuse and vitriol. Essentially, he makes the best of a bad situation by manipulating people who hate him. However, whenever he is at Hogwards, Harry is completely clueless at social interaction, or understanding the larger picture. He often misses social cues, and repeatedly gets himself into trouble by letting himself be goaded by the likes of Malfoy, Snape, and Umbridge.
* This happens quite a bit in the Ancient Indian epic poem the "Ramayana". As an avatar of Vishnu, Rama should be completely over-powered in the human realm. Instead, Rama seems to forget that he is a god until the other gods remind him. In the original version of the poem, Valmiki's version, this happens more than once.
* Flinx of Creator/AlanDeanFoster's ''Literature/HumanxCommonwealth'' series gets hit with this a lot in the novels after ''Flinx in Flux''. Having been established as: (a) streetwise, (b) adept at survival, (c) having [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney a ton of money]], (d) being able to defeat just about any enemy with a combination of his EmotionBomb and SuperpowerMeltdown powers; at least half of the scrapes he gets himself into are caused by a combination of him deliberately walking unprepared into lethal environments or conveniently forgetting about one or more of his PsychicPowers in order to allow a different character to get a BigDamnHeroes moment. There's also at least one scene in ''Trouble Magnet'' where he ''does'' rely on his EmotionBomb power to get himself out of a scrape, only to have it not work on him thanks to PowerIncontinence... a fact he really ought to have taken into account considering how frequently it happens to him.
* In ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' the power they use requires the sorcerer being able to steel themselves against the forces involved (otherwise they could literally push themselves into the ground -or worse), and takes a toll on their more-than-mortal but still-limited minds and bodies. Sometimes a lot of power has to be used at once; Belgarath ran head-first into trouble by literally working himself to magic-use exhaustion. But many times they just don't use a simple possibility they have, rather going for an incredibly contrived method that somehow seems like a genius idea. In the ''Malloreon'', Belgarath, Belgarion, and Zakath have to fight a dragon, which is immune to direct sorcery. He makes Garion and Zaketh immune to fire to face the dragon, and has no doubts that this will work, demonstrating that indirect sorcery can be used. Despite this and 7000 years of experience, the idea of translocating large rocks above the dragon's head, or something similar, never occurs to him.
* In ''Literature/TimeCat'', Jason and Gareth are often captured and held somewhere against their will. Despite having the power to travel to any point in space or time, Gareth never uses his magic to allow them to both escape.
* ''Literature/TheVampireChronicles'':
** Lestat is a skilled computer hacker in ''Tale of the Body Thief'', but doesn't know how to use email when it becomes a plot point in ''Blood Canticle''.
** When Louis falls improbably in love with Merrick, it never occurs to David that something supernatural is going on, even though he's an expert in magic and he knows she's a witch.
* Used in a subtle and clever way in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' novel ''Literature/SmallFavor''. Harry has a small arsenal of magical tools on him (staff, shield bracelet, force rings, blasting rod, and various other odds-and-ends), and he has a wide range of spells he can draw from (bursts of flame, blasts of force, lightning bolts, wind, etc). Therefore, unless the reader is paying very close attention, they'll miss something important: Throughout the novel, Harry uses most of his gear and most of his spells, but [[spoiler:he doesn't use either fire magic or his blasting rod beyond the initial brawl in the first chapter]]. It isn't until later on that the reason becomes apparent: [[spoiler:Mab, queen of the Winter Court, took his blasting rod and put a lock in Harry's mind that kept him from using fire magic, so that the fire-based Summer Court couldn't track him down and kill him]].
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'':
** "The Familiar", which features Jake flung into a BadFuture ten years later, the climax of the book forces Jake to choose between destroying a Yeerk superweapon that will consolidate their power on Earth or saving his girlfriend who's just been flung from a tower. The conflict becomes a lot less believable when you remember that Cassie could just ''morph to bird and save herself''. Justified since it turns out [[spoiler: to have been a dream Jake was having]], possibly at the instigation of [[spoiler: some alien]] that [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment was never mentioned again]] and Jake noticed the many oddities to realize this.
** In general, an oft-cited PlotHole in the series involves Tobias, who [[ItMakesSenseInContext gets trapped in the form of a hawk]] at the end of the first book, and afterwards can only take human form for two hours at a time after the Ellimist restores his morphing ability. It's well-established that the Animorphs have the {{Required Secondary Power|s}} of "thought-speak" (telepathic communication) when morphing, which allows them to communicate with each other while in the form of animals that shouldn't be able to speak. Tobias is obviously capable of speaking while he's in human form--but logically, he should also have thought-speak abilities as a human, since his human form is a ''human'' morph. While in human form, Tobias often gets into sticky situations where telepathy would presumably come in handy, but he ''never'' uses it, and never seems to remember that he should have it.
* Happens to the wigmonsters in ''Literature/JohnDiesAtTheEnd'', who forget they can go through walls. David reminds them.
* In Jeramey Kraatz's ''Literature/TheCloakSociety'', inverted. Two depowered superheroes forgot that they had had BoxingLessonsForSuperman, and are still BadassNormal because of them.
* From the ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' books:
** In ''Tales of the Masks'', after a rockfall has buried his pal Pohatu, Kopaka gives up on trying to locate him and instead heads for Pohatu's village to report some sad news, only for Pohatu to show up alive -- which Kopaka would have noticed, had he thought of using the Mask of X-Ray Vision that's almost constantly on his face.
** Makuta Icarax suffers greatly after being [[DevolutionDevice devolved]] back to his part-organic state, since there's no room in his armor for organs and muscle. Considering Makuta are master shapeshifters, he could have at least tried to fit his armor to his predicament.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Laurel Lance in ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' is generally portrayed as a tough, no-nonsense cop's daughter with reasonable self-defense skills. But in the first two-and-a-half seasons, anytime the plot calls for a DamselInDistress, she will suddenly become incompetent. She has a shotgun during a home invasion!...with only one shell? She ambushes a drunk man with a baseball-bat!...and is promptly overwhelmed? The reason she doesn't qualify as a FauxActionGirl is because numerous times, she demonstrates a high degree of competence for an ActionSurvivor or ActionGirl; it's only when she needs to lose that she suddenly becomes feeble.
** Elsewhere in the {{Series/Arrowverse}}, [[Series/TheFlash Barry Allen]] ''constantly'' forgets he's the Fastest Man Alive. Numerous times, a villain is able to temporarily blindside Barry, using the distraction to run away. Barry never thinks to do a lap of the building and find them. Even if they jumped straight into a car and sped off, Barry can ''break the sound barrier'' from a standing start, so a quick jaunt around the block could be accomplished before the villain even had their seatbelt on.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** In an example that lasts the ''entire fifth season'', a major mystery is stretched tenuously over multiple episodes because Sheridan ''forgets that he has seen Centauri Prime's future''. (This is possibly as a result of ExecutiveMeddling forcing many plot threads to be completed one season too early.)
*** Sheridan seems to have assumed that particular future was averted by the outcomes of earlier seasons.
** In the early episode, "The War Prayer", the Home Guard members emerge at a meeting with two members of the command staff having been disguised using Black Light Camouflage, which renders them effectively invisible. However, in the ensuing gunfight, they choose to go with "hiding behind the crates" as their method of concealment.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'':
** As Piper develops her explosive power, she uses her freezing power less and less, trying to blow up every enemy when freezing them would've been more helpful (some enemies are too strong to be blown up). Phoebe's premonitions were originally intended to help innocents, but she even stopped having them unless they were about herself.
** The most jarring example is from Season 6 "Hyde School Reunion", in which one of Phoebe's old high school friends, who is now a criminal, threatens Phoebe with a gun unless Paige gives him a disguise. Instead of simply orbing the gun away, Paige glamours him into Chris, who was being targeted by demons at the time, and the demons end up killing him. They just killed a human being, something they had sworn to never do in the past, and Paige even told Phoebe that they had no choice.
** For that matter, how often do they use a {{Glamour}} to, say, trick a demon? Leo uses it once for the equivalent to a DangerRoomColdOpening, they use it once or twice for {{Zany Scheme}}s, but...
** On a less serious note, the levitation power that Whitelighters possess (i.e. the power that gets Leo caught out as a Whitelighter in the first place) is forgotten on several occasions where it could be potentially useful. It is justified that Paige can't use it yet; she's not a full Whitelighter, but Leo has no such excuse [[spoiler:until he loses his powers, that is]]. In a particularly bad example, Leo offers to get a broom to switch off the smoke detecter despite having used his levitation power to do the job in a previous episode, forcing Piper to blow it up.
** Also, Whitelighters are regularly shown "[[MagicallyRegeneratingClothing healing]]" objects, including pipes. This power seems to get forgotten a lot, including for a subplot about P3 getting closed down for bad plumbing.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the episode "The Snowmen," the Doctor has stopped traveling through time and space [[spoiler:after losing Amy]] and is living on a cloud (literally). He then shows the TARDIS to a new potential companion, Clara. While showing her the new TARDIS console, he turns around, allowing [[spoiler:the ice woman to grab Clara from behind and fall with her from the cloud]]. As the Doctor helplessly watches [[spoiler:Clara fall]], he forgets that, fairly recently, he had no problems [[spoiler:materializing the TARDIS in the path of River Song]], falling in a similar manner.
** The Doctor has several handy abilities, like the ability to go into a temporary death-like state of suspended animation (although at great physical effort) and the ability to [[{{Telepathy}} read minds]] that virtually never show up when faking his own death or identifying the killer in a mystery would be useful. He also sometimes loses skills between regenerations, like his Third incarnation's trademark Venusian aikido being replaced with the Fourth Doctor's [[GoodOldFisticuffs general brawling]]. He has also demonstrated that he has HypnoticEyes, especially in his Fourth incarnation, but almost never uses the ability in later incarnations. Writers are likewise prone to forget that he is supposed to have SuperReflexes. His precognition ability has only been used twice - once in the same story it was revealed in, and another time in TheMovie in a really weird moment that didn't appear to have much thought behind it.
** Though, in fairness, his telepathy is almost always presented as TouchTelepathy only, [[JustifiedTrope which is quite a bit less useful, and the Venusian Aikido thing could be explained by going into a new body and thus losing all of his muscle memory]].
** In "City of Death", the Doctor and Romana are able to ''fly'' (or at least, they ''say'' they are. Once). How useful would that have been?
** Frequently enough for it to be a character trait, the Doctor and various other Time Lords have displayed something akin to face blindness (in "The Mind Robber" the Doctor struggles to recognise his best friend's facial features, in "Inferno" he can't identify the Brigadier in a photo, in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" he fails to notice a man is Chinese, he can't tell if women are supposed to be beautiful or not in "City of Death"...), but also displayed the ability to immediately tell who another Time Lord is even after regeneration (in "The War Games" and "The Deadly Assassin"). These abilities/handicaps are entirely dependent on if they would be funny or plot-relevant to have this week - virtually any disguised-Master plot is dependent on the idea that the Doctor can't tell who he/she is, and some Doctors are attuned enough to faces to be quite obsessed with them when they're not struggling to work out if people have makeup on for comic effect.
* In ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' an episode pertaining to a [[BadFuture flash forward]] tries to portray Olivia Dunham as [[FutureBadass having mastered her abilities]] by showing off her telekinesis. Dunham, a generally already battle hardened cop with lightning reflexes and an inexplicable penchant for headshots (before any brainwashing) is confronted by Walternate, brandishing a gun, and is promptly shot in the face after [[IdiotBall failing to react]].
* In the ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'' episode "Judgment Day", Hercules loses his SuperStrength, but still manages to get the upper hand on Strife and beat him up. Strife begs Ares for help. Ares loses his temper and replies, "Fight him, you pathetic little fool. You're a god. USE YOUR POWERS!"
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'':
** Hiro Nakamura is one of the most powerful characters in the series with the ability to stop time and teleport; he's just too much of a dork to think of using it when he needs to defend himself. This was even given a nod in the series when his friend, Ando, deliberately antagonized a group of peeved gamblers, assuming Hiro would use his power to put them all down. Hiro, not comprehending the situation, was almost immediately KO'ed by a punch to the face. And when Hiro and his friend have to find out what's in a safe, finally get it open, only to have the document stolen by a woman with super-speed powers, Hiro spends several episodes trying to chase her so they can get the document back and see what it says. It never occurred to Hiro that he could have gone back yesterday and opened the safe and read the document before the thief stole it. He then could have replaced the document if he didn't want to cause a paradox or even replaced the document with a fake if he were really smart. This is also immediately after Hiro spent some time idly making time pass forward and backwards just to see a clock's hands move.
** Peter Petrelli is far worse than Hiro when it comes to being handed the IdiotBall, as he has basically ''every power ever''. In the final episode of Season 2, Peter is using up immense amounts of telekinetic energy to break into a vault with a solid 24-inch thick riveted steel door. As impressive as this may have been for the special effects, he can ''walk through solid objects'' and could have saved himself a lot of time and exhaustion. This also caused issues with his trust of Adam Monroe, as numerous other characters warn Peter that Adam is using him and can't be trusted, Peter forgetting he can ''read minds''. The best example comes in season 3, where in a Mexican-standoff hostage situation, rather than using telekinesis or time-stopping, he uses newly acquired super-speed to attack one of the enemies.
** In contrast, in Season 4 Hiro expends considerable time and effort using his powers to solve a problem that he easily could have solved without them. He meets a distraught cubicle worker on the roof, who wants to jump because he was fired for photocopying his butt. So Hiro travels back in time to sabotage the copier, only for the guy to do it again at the next opportunity. And again. And again. While it was a CrowningMomentOfFunny, one wonders if there was another way Hiro could have saved the guy's job at a company of which Hiro was CEO and 51% owner.
** At the end of Season 3, when Nathan is killed by SerialKiller Sylar, Nathan's own daughter, Claire, is nearby and has blood that can bring him back to life. Yet, for some unknown reason, Angela and Noah send ''away'' Claire and Peter - who are unaware of Nathan’s death - to “look” for Nathan. Curiously, Noah, Claire's adoptive father, does not mention how Claire's blood can bring people back to life (having been brought back to life with her blood himself) but instead goes along with Angela's crazy plan to ''pretend'' Nathan is alive. They shape-shift Nathan's murderer, Sylar, into Nathan's likeness and pump him full of Nathan's memories to make him believe he is Nathan. Needless to say, the whole thing falls apart and Peter and Claire, who were in the dark about this insane plan, are [[YouKilledMyFather exceptionally pissed]] when they learn Nathan is dead and it was Sylar who was masquerading as their brother and father.
* Various ''Franchise/KamenRider'' shows fall prey to it, oftentimes because [[RealLifeWritesThePlot the powers would eat too much budget]]:
** Every single combat-capable character in ''Series/KamenRiderKabuto'' possesses SuperSpeed so great that it makes rain look like it's standing still. By around halfway through the show, all of them stop using it, and outside of occasional brief usages they all fight at normal speed. For several years it was thought that two characters introduced after this point ''couldn't'' use Clock Up because they never did.
** ''Series/KamenRiderWizard'' gains a SuperMode late in the show that grants him invincibility and SuperSpeed, which prompts him to forget all of his other spells because he never needs them to defeat anything he faces until he goes up against the White Wizard. When fighting the wizard, he uses the SuperMode, but forgets that it's invincible and that it has SuperSpeed, while ''still'' not using any other magic. The White Wizard also forgets ''his'' power, previously demonstrated to work against that same SuperMode, [[BroughtDownToNormal to take all of Haruto's magic away with a wave of his hand]].
** ''Series/KamenRiderGhost'' constantly forgets that he has the ability to fly and turn intangible at will.
** ''Series/KamenRiderExAid'' grants one of the secondary Riders a form with both flight and long-ranged weaponry, which he only ever uses a handful of times even when facing opponents with no ranged weaponry of their own. Characters early in the show also tend to forget that there are power-ups scattered around the area that can provide various forms of assistance, but by the second act they begin using them very consistently. Most of them have the excuse of being good doctors but terrible gamers.
* ''Series/KnightRider'' tended to both play to and avert this trope. There were lots of things demonstrated that were used only once or twice and then never used again that would have been very helpful (usually involving scanning something, sensing something, or nearly-telekinetic power). On the other hand, sometimes functions would be brought back after a couple seasons and suddenly used again. A few functions were explicitly mentioned as removed, such as the laser and water hydroplaner, but by and large KITT's functions were a fluid thing and you never knew which new thing might pop up.
* ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'': Zedd, as {{lampshade|Hanging}}d by Flynn, who says them seem inconsistent. There are many times when turning invisible or just burning an enemy would be very useful, but he doesn't.
* In an episode of ''Series/LoisAndClark'', Superman tries to stop a martial artist who has super strength and is defeated because of his foe's superior skill. Superman decides his only option is to [[BoxingLessonsForSuperman take a crash course in kung fu]], which pays off during the rematch. It never occurs to him to use his super speed, heat vision, or super breath.
* In ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'', Merlin deserves an honorable mention for deciding that POISONING Arthur is necessary to fake his death, when there have to be a million other ways to do it. Arthur gets bonus points for going along with it. After the first few episodes, Merlin also completely forgets his original innate power of stopping time and telekinesis with nothing but a glare. As soon as he starts learning some spells that don't even have a fraction of this power, he only uses spells which could have him executed if anyone listens to his muttering. (Although time stopping can fall under CoconutSuperpowers.) Lampshaded in "The Darkest Hour", when Merlin uses a spell to light the fire while the other knights are gathered around. Lancelot, the only knight who knows about his magic, glares at him. As we saw in Series 2, Merlin can light a fire just by moving his hand and there is no need to risk the knights overhearing him.
* ''Series/{{Misfits}}'':
** Nathan Young started the show with ResurrectiveImmortality and later trades it in for RealityWarper powers. He never takes advantage of his powers when it is important. For example, he cheats at a casino by changing his dice results. When the casino finds out and sends guards to apprehend him, he runs away, and when he runs into a dead end, lamely tries to distract them by pulling a rabbit out of his anus, and is eventually caught and arrested. He doesn't even consider using his powers to escape. In his case, it's justified because he's a complete moron.
** In one Season 2 episode this is discussed. A man who believes he's in a video game thinks that one of the Misfits is an undercover cop that he has to dismember. Simon suggests that Nathan say he's the undercover cop because he's immortal. However Nathan points out that it's easy for Simon to say that since he's not the one that will be dismembered.
** Jess gets this every other episode in the last season. In one case she nearly takes a nail to the eye by using a peephole when she knows she's being pursued by an attacker. ''Her power is X-ray vision.''
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' invokes this in the ''Film/GameraVsZigra'' episode when Gamera finishes off Zigra with a blast of fire, Crow commenting "Now why couldn't he have done this in the first place? Did he forget he can do this?"
* In ''Series/NoOrdinaryFamily'' Stephanie seems to constantly forget that she has superspeed and could solve their problem in a fraction of a second. It doesn't help that when not using her powers she doesn't seem to have any kind of SuperReflexes, and ''terrible'' normal reflexes, so she's been hit by attacks that even most non-speedsters could dodge. One particularly notable example comes in the finale, when they're encircled by men with guns and after about 30 seconds of them talking and trying to find another way out, she remembers that she can just punch them out before they do anything, and does.
* In Episode 9 of ''Series/OnceUponATimeInWonderland'' the Red Queen is easily kidnapped and almost killed by the local inhabitants. She never uses her magic to defend herself.
* Vampires on ''Series/TheOriginals'' tend to rather frequently forget that they can move faster than the eye can see and are strong enough to snap the necks of people with less effort than it takes to snap a twig, and because of this just stand there and let humans and witches that they could easily kill capture and do whatever they want to them all the time.
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'':
** From ''Series/PowerRangersTurbo'', the explanation for the Turbo powers being used as opposed to the Zeo powers was to go to an island to stop Divatox from summoning a big monster. Yet, after that, they never think to use their Zeo powers ever again. This is especially stupid when you remember that the Zeo powers are always supposed to be getting stronger.
** From the "Super" half of ''Series/PowerRangersMegaforce'', the rangers gain an entirely new set of powers at the start of the season. The problem, however, is that the rangers still have their regular Megaforce powers - it would be one thing if they established that the new villains were stronger than the Megaforce powers, hence the need to stay with the Super Megaforce power, the Megaforce powers evolved into the Super Megaforce powers like the Zeo Crystal[[note]]admittedly, that would require the explanation of the suits changing from an angel theme to a pirate theme, but it would be better than nothing[[/note]] or if the Megaforce powers had been ''destroyed'' like in ''Mighty Morphin'' or at the end of the aforementioned ''Turbo'', but they don't even bother doing that. This is largely due to the decision to adapt both ''Series/TensouSentaiGoseiger'' and ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'', and all footage from the former hadn't been used up. The show does somewhat justify this in the later half, when they adapt the final part of ''Goseiger'' mid-way through the second half of ''Super Megaforce''[[labelnote:explanation]]''Megaforce'', which was the adaptation of ''Goseiger'', adapted the majority of the plot of it's source material; however, the finale, where Brajira/[[DubNameChange Vrak]] is dealt with and the fate of [[SixthRanger Gosei Knight/Robo Knight]] is resolved, was not adapted[[/labelnote]], but instead of having the final battle with Vrak result in the destruction of their powers, or them giving their powers up to create a second team, after Vrak is dealt with, the Megaforce powers remain for no good reason other than the fact that they only had 3 episodes left of the series.
* In ''Series/QuantumLeap'', there are several episodes in which Sam has to keep someone from being kidnapped, and the obvious solution -- have Al stay with the victim at all times until something happens -- rarely if ever occurs to them.[[note]]In one episode, Al uses his ability to [[PowerPerversionPotential spy on twin ladies in a dressing room.]] But no actually useful spying.[[/note]] Generally speaking, Al's potential for spying is greatly underused. The novels handwaved this by saying that events and people tied closely to That Which Must Be Set Right become ambiguous the closer Sam comes to the moment he has to save them and that Ziggy can't lock Al on to events to witness them. (Which also covered why Al popped in a few times on where the savee is supposed to be only to find out they had disappeared.)
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Clark Kent]], all the time. Like in "Legion" when he basically stands there as [[spoiler:the Persuader]] pummels him. There are many cases in which he could have solved problems with SuperSpeed, XRayVision, {{super|Senses}}hearing, telescopic vision or a combination thereof. The worst case is probably flight. It is shown in "Crusade" (Season 4 premiere) that he physically can fly (and he has unconsciously floated before). Thanks to ExecutiveMeddling, lame excuses are made to explain why he is completely incapable of flight [[spoiler:until the finale. That is seven. Years. Later.]]
* The various ''Franchise/StarTrek'' series regularly do this. It's the 23rd or 24th century, yet the crew is frequently in peril from threats that even 20th century technology could handle. They repeatedly forget that their own warp drive, shields, transporters, phasers, replicators, holodecks, sickbay, etc., etc., can perform miracles.
** This is especially jarring in episodes in which transporter failure ("The Enemy Within") drives the plot. No one seems to recall the shuttles, the shuttles' transporters, or the cargo bay transporter system.
** In any scene where there is a man-to-man on the ship/station, they could put the transporter to work, simply beaming the enemies into the brig or even just erasing their patterns without bothering to reconstitute them.
** [[ImpliedTrope Intentionally done]] in the episode "By Any Other Name", when Kirk makes the Kelvan leader Rojan jealous by cozying up to Kelinda, until Rojan gets so angry that he completely forgets about his superior weapons that gave him the advantage in their first confrontation and attacks Kirk in rage using his fists, where Kirk is the one with the advantage this time, and manages to subdue him.
** Another ''Deep Space Nine'' example, in the second season finale (which introduced the Dominion formally, with the Jem'Hadar and the Vorta), a Vorta is able to use a powerful psychic telekinetic attack in combat and to escape from a holding cell. No mention of these abilities are ever made again, let alone actually used by a Vorta, even in situations where it could have been a huge advantage for them. WordOfGod [[AuthorsSavingThrow says that only that particular Vorta was given those powers]].
** The variable effectiveness of phasers is a common plot hole in ''Franchise/StarTrek'', especially the later series. In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' a small handheld phaser the size of a smart phone could potentially disintegrate a person or blow the side off a building. In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' Data once vaporized all the water in an aqueduct system stretching miles up a mountain using one. But in ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' Federation troops fighting the Dominion are lugging around these huge phaser rifles that fire little bullet-like pops of energy that can barely put a hole in a wall, leading to [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy many combat scenes]] distinctly similar to their [[Franchise/StarWars major competing franchise]].
** Cloaking technology is a major source of tension, particularly between the Federation and the Romulon and Klingon Empires, who both use it extensively. The fact that the Federation could potentially counter the utility of cloaking devices by simply recruiting more members of [[PsychicPowers telepathic]] races such as [[ADayInTheLimelight Betazoids]] into Starfleet seems to have somehow escaped their thought processes entirely.
** [[TheEmpath Deanna Troi's]] abilities vary wildly over the course of the show. In some episodes she can easily sense beings on other ships or on a planet's surface while she is on the ''Enterprise'' in orbit. But when this kind of power would [[StoryBreakerPower eliminate suspense from the plot]], she mysteriously becomes unable to sense people she knows very well, even if they are relatively close by.
** Geordi [=LaForge=] can see a large part of the EM spectrum with his visor, yet in the episode :Disaster" he can't see a plasma fire behind a panel - Dr Crusher has to ''tell'' him that the wall is hot. And yet, in ''First Contact'', he uses his new bionic eyes to find Cochran from far away.
** In ''Film/StarTrekGenerations'', the Enterprise D sustains fatal damage when the Duras sisters manage to get hold of its shield frequency, allowing their weapons to pierce the Enterprise's shields. It never occurs to any of the main characters to simply ''change'' the shield frequency when this happens, even though it was the first thing they tried during a similar situation in "The Best Of Both Worlds Part 1" (and in that case, Data was able to rotate the shield frequencies so quickly even the Borg couldn't keep up with him, forcing them to drain the shields instead -- something the decrepit old Bird of Prey the Duras sisters were using couldn't have managed). The real reason behind this is the producers wanted to destroy the Enterprise D so that they could build a new Enterprise that would look better in the cinema format for the next film, but they could have come up with a better way to do it.
** In the episode ''The Doomsday Machine'', Kirk destroys the machine by getting the ''Constellation's'' impulse engines to overload and detonate when Kirk pilots the ship into it, but no one ever thinks of firing phasers or photon torpedoes into the opening rather than at its hull, which would have accomplished the same thing and would have been much easier.
* M-16 users in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' and ''Series/StargateSG1'' never once use the M-203 grenade launchers that are usually attached to their M-16s, even when faced with squads of Jaffa. In addition, the standard hand-held grenades are almost never used, despite multiple situations throughout both series where a single M67 grenade would eliminate their opposition. Even the M67 grenades "forget their powers" when the one grenade explosion in SGA Season 3, Phantoms, doesn't even damage Shepard, despite the 6 sticks of dynamite equivalent of the grenade and the blast being less than 15 feet away and nothing between the metal fragments lofted by the blast and Shepard. (At that close range, the effect would be somewhat like a hummingbird being hit by a 12 gauge shotgun blast.)
* ''{{Series/Supernatural}}'':
** In the sixth season finale, [[spoiler:Castiel]] needs a way to ensure that Sam, Dean, and Bobby do not interfere with his plan to open a door to Purgatory. He has the power to render people unconscious with a touch. He could also teleport them to the other side of the planet, so they're too far away to get back in time to stop him. Or he could {{Reality Warp|er}} them into a room with no doors, windows, or other exits, trapping them there until he decides to release them. If he was feeling particularly pragmatic, he could even just [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim kill them]] and then resurrect them afterwards. All of these are abilities he has previously demonstrated. So instead he decides to tear down the wall Death built in Sam's head to protect him from his memories of Lucifer's cage, leaving him stuck in a BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind, and then tries to blackmail Dean and Bobby into not interfering by threatening not to heal Sam if they do. Of course, this doesn't work, Dean and Bobby interfere anyway and even Sam is able to overcome it at the last moment.
** Season 9 has a subplot where Sam is possessed by an angel and doesn't know it. As the season progresses he slowly starts realizing something is up due to strange occurrences like blocks of time he can't remember and Dean calling him Zeke. Problem is, angels possess the ability to both wipe memories and create new ones. Ezekiel could easily just delete anything that might make Sam suspicious and replace it with something benign, but he doesn't because [[TrueArtIsAngsty Sam needs to be suspicious so the show can meet its angst quota]].
* In ''Series/TrueBlood'', Sookie has the ability to read most people's thoughts. There are many times where a character is able to trick her or give her false information, because she doesn't seem to remember this ability. Especially since early episodes imply that she ''can't turn it off''. Possibly justified. Season 5 reveals that the overuse of her powers has caused them to weaken, and she mentions that her telepathy has not been as effective recently.
* In ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'' episode "Escape Clause", Walter Bedeker is given immortality and is unable to feel pain. Instead of setting out to have a long and happy life, he defrauds several businesses and confesses to killing his wife, which he didn't do. In court, he works to get himself convicted so he could try out the electric chair, but is then given life in prison instead, although it's not explained what he would have done after going to the electric chair. It is at this point that he uses the "Escape Clause" which causes his own death rather than face life in prison. At this point, he has apparently forgotten that in addition to being ageless, he is also invulnerable. How easy would it then be to escape from prison if he doesn't have to fear injury or death? He could wait for an opportunity and make a break for the barbed wire or electrified fence and just climb over it. What are guard dogs or gunshots to someone who is invulnerable? In the very least, he could wait it out.
* Damon Salvatore on ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' uses an ability to create fog in the first few episodes and then never does it again. He also seems to have an ability to compel someone from far away which he also never uses again.
* ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'':
** Jinks is supposed to be able to detect when people are lying to him. Soon he begins to get lied to as much as the other characters without detecting anything. This ends up [[spoiler:getting him killed, although he gets better.]]
** The Season 2 finale has a nice subversion. H.G. Wells betrays the team, the kind of thing Pete's [[MySignificanceSenseIsTingling vibes]] should have picked up on as they have before. Myka later confronts him about it, and realizes that he did feel those vibes, but didn't voice them because Myka trusted H.G. Wells.
* In the failed ''Series/{{Wonder Woman|2011Pilot}}'' TV pilot, Wonder Woman [[KickTheDog tortures a patient]] for information. Couldn't she have just used, uh, ....HER FREAKING MAGIC LASSO THAT MAKES PEOPLE TELL THE TRUTH?! She even throws it on the bed beforehand, and it's outright stated that her lasso can make people tell the truth! Although, depending on the particular incarnation, the lasso's powers have varied from outright forcing them to tell the truth, to being unable to lie (but they weren't compelled to answer at all), or merely letting Wonder Woman know when she's being lied to/deceived.
* In the ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' Twilight of the Gods arc, Xena had to fight against the Greek gods. Though basically capable of beating any mortal in hand-to-hand combat and even capable of taking on Ares (the God of War) if he didn't use his powers, Xena still may have found it a challenge facing beings who could attack while invisible, create monsters, open portals to other worlds, time travel, warp reality, choose forms a hundred feet high, destroy buildings from the sky with giant fireballs without even coming near her etc. Out of kindness they chose not to use these abilities when confronting her.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** In the cosmology, the {{Demon Lord|sAndArchDevils}} Kostchtchie, a brute with influence over cold, rage, and frost giants, has many powerful spell-like abilities at his disposal, including Harm, Ice Storm, Unholy Blight, and Greater Dispel Magic. But despite how powerful and useful they are, according to one source, he has [[BerserkButton such a rotten temper]] that he often forgets about them completely and just charges into battle with his warhammer. (Of course, with a title like [[RedBaron The Prince of Wrath]], it isn't surprising.)
** This happens in general to ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' players, especially as they attain higher levels and have amassed a big catalog of magical artifacts, spells, and such. Forgetting about fantastic powers and resorting to mundane utility is one of the many jokes surrounding the 10-foot pole.
** Mechanically enforced by barbarian rage. One of the effects in almost all editions is that while raging, the character forgets how to use spells, spell-like abilities, and skills involving concentration.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' players, especially in high-Essence games, can have characters with so many Charms that they can't remember all of the ones they have, let alone what all of them do. This can result in players realizing, after the fact, that the mess they just got themselves into could have been completely avoided if only they'd used a Charm they forgot about.
* An article in ''Magazine/{{Dragon}}'' #135 described an incident in a ''Marvel Super Heroes'' RPG campaign where a supervillain had captured all the [=PCs=], neutralized their known powers, and was preparing to use them as a power source for a magical ritual. At the very last minute, one of the players remembered their character had a PsychicLink with a hawk that they rarely, if ever, used. The GM ruled that since the player almost forgot about that ability, the villains didn't know about it (and hence didn't neutralize it). The player had the hawk fly into the villain's headquarters and free one of the heroes, who freed the rest of the team, and the newly released heroes defeated the surprised villains.
* The 4th Edition era ''TabletopGame/{{Champions}}'' supplement Golden Age Heroes includes a superman expy that had, among his other powers, super intelligence that only kicked in if he made an intelligence roll at his normal default. It was explained that he had to remember he had super-intelligence in order to use it.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* A particularly egregious example at the very beginning of ''VideoGame/RedFaction'': Armageddon. The terrorist [[BigBad Adam Hale]], who Darius Mason was sent to stop, detonates Mars' terraformer which reduces the surface of Mars to an uninhabitable wasteland. This also indirectly leads to the release of the [[AlienInvasion Plague]] (and starts the plot). It all happens immediately after the tutorial, where Mason was instructed on how to use his wrist-mounted repair tool. Mason doesn't think to just use it to repair the Terraformer, and his commander doesn't suggest it at all. Neither does the AI living in the repair tool itself. At the very end of the game, your wrist-mounted AI friend tells you [[spoiler:that you can go up and repair the terraformer, which would conveniently kill off the Plague as well. No reason is given as to why Mason couldn't have done that at the very beginning]].
* In ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'', Maya never thinks to try channeling any spirits for assistance during the group's stay in Labyrinthia. Granted, she could very easily be accused of witchcraft and executed if she was spotted channeling by the wrong person, so it's probably for the best in this case, but knowing how exciteable Maya gets about helping, it's a wonder she never brought the idea up.
* At one point in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', the characters are disarmed and rendered helpless. Ayla can still fight with her fists, but Robo forgets about his inbuilt lasers, and the rest of the party forgets how to use MAGIC until they're rearmed.
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'':
** It's not entirely Lancer's fault considering he's been ordered not to just kill everyone, but he never does net a kill with his Noble Phantasm -- the only time he kills someone (Shirou in the intro, [[spoiler:himself and Kotomine in UBW]]) is when he's doing regular stabbing.
** [[spoiler:Gilgamesh]] is the king of this trope, but it's justified due to his ''massive'' {{pride}}: He just never considers anyone 'worthy' of going all out on.
* How many times can Franchise/SpyroTheDragon ''forget he can breathe flames'' at the start of a new game in his series?
* ComicBook/SilverSurfer in [[VideoGame/SilverSurfer the game of the same name]] for NES. The guy obviously forgets that he has cosmic powers, and tries to attack the bad guys normally. And is a OneHitPointWonder. The result is legendary even among the NintendoHard games of the era. It's almost BulletHell with none of that genre's saving graces.
* ''VideoGame/{{Daikatana}}'': "You can't attack me, this is the same sword from two different parts of time and will destroy the universe!" "Damn, if only I had some other weapons on me..."
* During the climax scene of ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'', Sveta briefly forgets she's an Adept and [[LampshadeHanging has to be prompted to use her powers]] by Tyrell.
* ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'':
** In ''2's'' Chapter 2, Max will single-handedly clear out an abandoned office building full of cleaners. Then he's forced to leap out a window to avoid an explosion, and the rest of the chapter is spent playing as Mona providing cover fire for Max. He'll get pinned down behind barriers several times over the next several levels and will be helpless until Mona can take out the lone man firing on him.
** In ''3'' Max finally tracks down Fabiana as wells as Marcello, both held hostage by multiple gangsters, as he knew they would be throughout his entire investigation. He has the element of surprise, is heavily armed, and he's...well, Max Payne, a dynamite gun fighter who makes Time Itself his bitch when he has to. He walks directly into the room, gets disarmed, captured, and his failure [[spoiler: gets both of the siblings murdered in front of him.]] He even acknowledges that he's kind of a screw-up.
** Also in ''3'', there's a portion where you have to take a sniper rifle and guard Passos as he runs from paramilitary thugs. Somehow, Passos forgets that he's a perfectly capable gunman and doesn't bother picking up any of the guns the dead goons drop.
* At the very end of ''VideoGame/DeadSpace3'' [[spoiler:Isaac and Carver meet the leader of [[ChurchOfHappyology Unitology]] who is holding Ellie hostage, threatening to kill her. To dissuade him, Carver gives him the MacGuffin, allowing the maniac to free the EldritchAbomination, potentially dooming the entire humankind]]. Now, what about using the damn stasis? You know, that power that allows them to almost freeze the target for an easy kill?.
* ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'':
** Across the many games, Kirby has showcased a variety of abilities that don't require him [[PowerCopying to use a specific Copy Ability]]. These include and aren't limited to [[VideoGame/KirbysDreamland3 being able to generate Warp Stars at will]], [[VideoGame/KirbySuperStar being able to create helpers]], [[VideoGame/Kirby64TheCrystalShards being able to combine the powers of his enemies to form new ones]], [[VideoGame/KirbyAndTheAmazingMirror being able to blast stars from the Warp Star]], [[VideoGame/KirbySqueakSquad being able to store tools and powers in his stomach dimension]], [[VideoGame/KirbyMassAttack being able to shoot star bullets (Strato Patrol EOS specifically)]], and [[VideoGame/KirbyAndTheRainbowCurse being to blast through foes with the Star Dash]]. But in any given Kirby game, Kirby will only utilize a tiny fraction of any of these potential skills if any of them. Granted this could be {{justified|Trope}}. When you're young and immature like {{Ki|dHero}}rby, it could be tough to recollect all these powers at once at any given moment.
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', this is an actual plot point. [[spoiler:Due to being mind-wiped by the Jedi Council]], the protagonist aren't aware of how they are able to understand so many languages, are so good with technology, and have to slowly rediscover their force abilities throughout the game.
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'':
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' sometimes has the Warden forget their own abilities, and the rest of the world forget them too. For example - Wynne and Morrigan can suggest alternative healing options for Brother Genitivi's injured leg, but a Spirit Healer Warden can't. Likewise in [[VideoGame/DragonAgeII the sequel]], Hawke often forgets if s/he is a blood mage. Fortunately, Hawke often remembers his/her class in general though.
** A Dalish Elf Inquisitor in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' will forget they can read Dalish perfectly well and don't need either Morrigan or Solas to translate Dalish murals for them. WordOfGod is that this was caused by a scripting error.
* Shiki tends to forget that his Mystic Eyes allow him to kill ''anything'' in ''[[VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}} Kagetsu Tohya]]''. While most of it can be justified (it does cause damage to his physical and metal state when he uses it) there are a few moments where he would be in a worse scenario than if he didn't use them.
* In ''VideoGame/TheBindingOfIsaac'', it's quite easy for the ''player'' to forget that they can fly, or shoot through solid rock, or effortlessly take out an entire roomful of enemies every six rooms, because they're so used to not having those abilities.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', there are several occasions where gears are shown as being capable of flight. Not just short bursts either, but for prolonged periods. It would have '''''REALLY''''' been helpful if '''''ANYONE''''' in your party remembered that prior to the hair-pulling, rage-inducing vertical platforming in the [[ThatOneLevel Tower of Babel]]. Because they sure as Hell remember it '''''RIGHT AFTERWARDS'''''...
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny2'': Karell Berselius gets impaled fighting Miktran and dies of his wounds after a prolonged death speech when TWO healers were standing right in front of him, apparently helpless to act. Harold does have the excuse of [[spoiler:being warned her brother had to die to preserve history]], but Atwight does not.
* An odd version in ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' brought on by GoingThroughTheMotions. Player characters often draw their weapons in cutscenes, but typically forget their [[DualWielding offhand weapons]] if they have them (partially because only two out of eight advanced classes dual wield in the first place). In the worst case, a Gunslinger's/Mercenary's second pistol or a Sentinel's/Marauder's second lightsaber is visibly sitting there on their hip as they prepare for battle or execute a downed enemy.
* A common problem in ''VideoGame/CryptOfTheNecroDancer''. Because you need to move with the beat, it's easy to completely forget that you, say, have [[HyperactiveMetabolism food]] or a spell that can save you in the heat of the moment.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', in Nah's Paralogue. She gets freaked out by a statue and then runs from a Risen... only to calm down and tell herself, "Wait a minute, this is silly. I can turn into a dragon."
* Admit it, ''you'' do this if you play modern video games. Think about it. How many times has your character been killed because of an enemy or obstacle you could have gotten past with an item that was in your inventory?
--> '''[[Creator/BenCroshaw Yahtzee]]:''' ''[reviewing [[VideoGame/{{Mercenaries}} Mercenaries 2]]]'' There's an insidious thought that frequently goes through the minds of gamers [...] that goes, "But I might need it later" — the niggling little doubt that prevents you from using all your most powerful insurance policies in case there's some kind of no-claims bonus at the end of it all. So we have scenarios where you're sitting on a nuclear stockpile to shame North Korea and are throwing peas at a giant robot crab on the off-chance that there might be a bigger giant robot crab just around the corner.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** In ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'' Shadow doesn't assist Super Sonic in the final battle despite having a [[SuperMode super form]] himself as the previous installment, ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'', demonstrated. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] as he had [[AmnesiacHero amnesia]] at the time but it doesn't explain why everyone else doesn't remind him of it.
** The ''VideoGame/SonicRushSeries'' establishes that the [[PlayingWithFire Pyrokinetic]] Blaze the Cat have the ability to turn into [[SuperMode Burning Blaze]]. But in ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'' when Sonic the Hedgehog is having trouble fighting the [[EldritchAbomination Time Eater]], she [[LazyBackup cheers Sonic on]] rather than assist him and fight the Time Eater herself for no justified reason presumably beyond the writers [[SpotlightStealingSquad not wanting her to draw attention away from Sonic]]. [[note]]It's especially jarring when her [[http://sonic.sega.jp/SonicChannel/character/blaze.html Japanese profile on Sonic Channel]], it is mentioned that the [[InterdimensionalTravelDevice Sol Emeralds]] allows her to [[DimensionalTraveler travel between dimensions]] and also grants her [[SuperMode super form]], which she does use in ''VideoGame/SonicColors'' and [[VideoGame/MarioAndSonicAtTheOlympicGames Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games]]. It is never explained why does she not use these abilities beyond the beginning of ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations''.[[/note]]
** Knuckles, Silver, and Shadow can be accused of this as well as they all have {{Super Mode}}s that can be reached with the Chaos Emeralds and could very well have shared the Chaos Emeralds' power with Sonic just like he was able to do with Shadow and Silver in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006''. Tails also has a super form but his case can be {{justified|Trope}} as he needs the Super Emeralds to become Super Tails which in turn require the Master Emerald which wasn't present at the time.
* In the story mode of ''VideoGame/Injustice2'', [[spoiler: after Brainiac is defeated both Superman and Batman argue whether or not to kill Brainiac. Superman wants to kill Brainiac because he is too dangerous and he believes he can restore the captured cities himself with Cyborg's help. Batman wants Brainiac alive because he thinks killing him will risk the destruction of more cities, although he neglects to mention how to contain Brainiac. Neither of them mention the possibility of using Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth to force Brainiac to tell them how to take control of the ship and safely release the cities]].
* In ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend'', main character Hiyoko Tosaka is repeatedly shown to physically outclass almost every single character, being an absurdly strong and physically fit human surrounded by civilised birds. There are multiple occasions where she's shown to be capable of picking up and even ''throwing'' her schoolmates simply by advantage of size. [[spoiler:But this doesn't help for some reason in Shuu's route, in which a severely physically disabled partridge manages to overpower her and cut her head off without being injured in the process, supposedly because she's paralysed by fear (of a person several times smaller, lighter and weaker than she is). Yes, that's right, Hiyoko manages to ''forget what species she is''.]] "Just throw him out the fucking window!" is practically a meme amongst ''Hatoful Boyfriend'' fans because of how obvious it is as a solution.
* In ''[[VideoGame/PaperMario64 Paper Mario]]'', Jr. Troopa follows Mario from Toad Town to Lavalava Island by swimming entire way, while Mario rides on the back of a whale to get there. Jr. Troopa doesn't reach the island until Mario sets out on a return trip to Toad Town, in which case Jr. Troopa then proceeds to ''swim all the way back to Toad Town''. Once Jr. Troopa returns to Toad Town, he forces Mario to battle him. However, having tired himself out from so much swimming, Jr. Troopa starts the battle with only half of his [[Main/HitPoints Heart Points]]. During the battle, Jr. Troopa shows off his newfound ability to conjure up a set of wings for himself. After being defeated, Jr. Troopa will lament as to why he even bothered with swimming after Mario, when he could've just flown after him instead.
* ''VideoGame/ClarencesBigChance'': Clarence in the Worst Ending. [[spoiler:His SuperNotDrowningSkills put a wrinkle in his [[DrivenToSuicide suicide plans]].]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* If anyone in ''WebComic/AxeCop'' remembered to use the RealityWarper powers granted by a unicorn horn (or ask Uni-Man to do it) to solve their problems, instead of for things like "wishing for every weapon," there would be no challenge at all for the good guys. Any random guy holding a unicorn horn to their head can instantly create a whole planet at will. In addition, Axe Cop himself is functionally a BadassNormal because while he sometimes gets NewPowersAsThePlotDemands, some of which are powerful indeed, he generally never uses them again.
* Done several times in ''WebComic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', and usually played for laughs as a parody on the above D&D entry. For example, one early comic had a goblin get more and more damaged as Durkon remembered the various bonuses he was able to add to his attack. Additionally, V had a raven familiar (Blackwing) who would literally appear and disappear as V demanded (and usually only upon reminder from other characters) as a riff on the way that many D&D players would forget about their familiar (or simply not mention them) unless they were getting a concrete bonus.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebOriginal/PoohsAdventures'', if Pooh has ''anyone'' with superpowers, expect them to forget about those when the time is right.
* ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' lampshades this whenever possible, given how many times the source material did it.
-->''(Piccolo stretches his arms to attack an enemy)''\\
'''Nail:''' Whoa! I didn't know we could do that!\\
'''Piccolo:''' Yeah, I forget about it sometimes too.
** And further lampshaded in ''Super Android 13 Abridged''.
--->'''Gohan''': Uh, why did it take so long for them to [go Super Saiyan]?\\
'''Krillin''': You know, [[MST3KMantra I stopped asking that question a long time ago]].
** And then there's all the times [[ButtMonkey Krillin]] keeps forgetting about or forgetting to use his [[AbsurdlySharpBlade Kienzan]] (or "Destructo Disk"). First, he forgets to use it to try and escape [[EliteMooks Dodoria]].
-->'''Krillin''': Well, good thing I was there to get us out of that one!
-->'''Gohan''': Well yeah, but why didn't you use your Kienzan?
** It happens again after Krillin escaped 2nd Form Freeza:
-->'''Krillin''': ([[MrExposition explaining]])...So I thought fast and used the [[BlindedByTheLight Solar Flare]] on him!
-->'''Gohan''': And then you used your Kienzan to cut him in half?
-->'''Krillin''': Umm...
-->(Suddenly, Freeza flies back at the gang, furious).
-->'''Freeza''': [[FauxAffablyEvil I WILL MOUNT YOUR HEAD]] [[VillainousBreakdown WHERE MY TAIL USED TO BE!]].
-->'''Krillin''': [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment To answer your question Gohan... No. I did not do that.]]
** This happens [[RunningGag yet a THIRD time]] when Freeza is transforming into his [[OneWingedAngel Final]] [[ThisWasHisTrueForm Form]]. However, if he is telling the truth, he is partially {{Justified}} here.
-->'''Gohan''': ([[PainfulTransformation Freeza screaming in the background]]) Krillin, why aren't you using your Kienzan?
-->'''Krillin''': [[LampshadeHanging You know, I keep forgetting to do that.]]
-->'''Gohan''': ...And?
-->'''Krillin''': Well, I kind of used all my energy to [[spoiler:mortally wound Vegeta.]]
-->'''[[OnlySaneMan Gohan]]''': Seriously, what did I miss?
** Double-subverted the one time Krillin DOES manage to remember he has this ability, which is when [[spoiler:it is completely useless. When Cell has just achieved perfection, Krillin slings a Kienzan [[OffWithHisHead right into Cell's neck]], but [[SubvertedTrope it does nothing]]. However, his [[https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KWlPc9K4lhE reaction]] is priceless]].
** When Tien is about to be finished off by Semi-Perfect Cell:
-->'''Gohan''': No! We can't just let him die like this! (to Goku) You gotta save him!
-->'''Goku''': But I can't get him in time! There's no way I could move fast enough to grab him, get out, and-- (pauses for a moment, then disappears with a pop as he uses [[FlashStep Instant Transmission]].)
-->'''Gohan''': ...Did he just remember he can do that?
-->'''Mr. Popo''': Your father's an idiot.
* In ''Literature/EnterTheFarside'' it's averted and justified with the main protagonist [[SuperStrength Shaun]] [[NighInvulnerability Larson]]. Shaun has never had an opportunity to use his powers in his day to day life, because he simply has never needed to. After some training, Shaun is beginning to understand what else he can be capable of.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'':
** When's the last time WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck flew under his own power? This was lampshaded in the short ''The Million Hare'', as WesternAnimation/BugsBunny witnesses Daffy plunging off a cliff, which was recycled so John Madden could make the same observation in ''Big Game XXIX''.
-->'''Bugs:''' I wonder if Daffy will remember that he can fly. ''(crash)'' Nope, I guess not.\\
'''Madden:''' That's a good observation by Bugs. Why isn't Daffy using his God-given abilities?
** Similarly, in ''Film/LooneyTunesBackInAction'', Daffy feels he's helpless and wishes that Duck Dodgers was there to save the day. Then he remembers that ''he'''s Duck Dodgers.
** And the flying thing gets {{lampshade|Hanging}}d again in the ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'' episode "The Green Loontern". With the power of a Franchise/GreenLantern ring, Dodgers makes a speech about how he now has the ability to fly, which his ancestors could only dream of ... while a flock of ducks pass behind him.
** On a related note, WesternAnimation/WoodyWoodpecker would do the same thing. In one cartoon, he actually commented that sometimes he forgets he's a bird.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''. In the episode "Blush" the "Wade-bot" launches itself off a cliff in the Amazon with Ron and Rufus, however Wade only remembers after the leap that he forgot to install the parachute. Just a few minutes earlier ''in the same episode'' the Wade-bot had a hang-glider attachment to save Ron and Rufus from plummeting down a waterfall, and conveniently forgets about this gizmo once its could be useful again.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'', where Dojo is under the madness that strikes him every 600 years, he swallows the monks, Jack, and Wuya. Eventually, the monks find the two villains in Dojo's cavernous stomach, Jack being close to panic. Jack asks Wuya why she, being a spirit, can't just fly out; Wuya thinks about it, says "Good point," and does so. (Leaving Jack behind, much to his regret.)
* To move the IdiotPlot of a typical episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', either Cosmo and Wanda's magical wands are stolen, or more commonly Timmy has to [[IdiotHero stupidly]] forget that he is able to alter reality on a whim. Naturally this has been lampshaded quite a few times. For example, in the episode "Where's Wanda" Timmy proceeds to turn the world into FilmNoir and become a detective in order to track Wanda down... when he could have easily just wished her back. He notes, "All I had was my trenchcoat, hat, and an [[LampshadeHanging unlimited supply of magical wishes]]. The odds were against me." Also lampshaded in "Nectar of the Odds": Timmy unsuccessfully tries to make his lemonade taste better using cheese, taco sauce, peas, and chocolate laxatives. While Timmy goes to the bathroom (after trying the laxatives), Wanda wonders why he doesn't just ''wish'' for sweeter lemonade. "Father Time" is probably the most egregious example. If Timmy had simply wished for [[ItMakesSenseInContext his father's trophy to be unmelted by heat vision]], the episode's plot could've been resolved in ''five seconds''. Although, to be fair, he WAS going to wish for that, but Cosmo talked him into going back in time to prevent his father from winning the trophy in the first place.
* Similarly, there are too many times to count in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' where Danny seemingly forgets that he has the ability to become invisible or intangible at will. Early on it made sense due to it being clear he was [[HowDoIShotWeb still getting used to his abilities]], and sometimes it was played for humor, but he would still sometimes forget even in the later episodes.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'':
** While this was a regular occurrence for characters, the ComicBook/MartianManhunter is the king of this trope. He has the ability to transform into whatever {{Super Str|ength}}ong forms he can imagine -- an ability he uses three times in the ''entire series''. He'll stare at incoming projectiles with a surprised look on his face instead of turning intangible, or super solid or transforming into a form that cannot be so easily hit. In the season finale, ComicBook/{{Brainiac}} is holding everyone in an iron grip with tentacles. They struggle for an unreasonable time before J'onn remembers that he can ''turn intangible at will''. In UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|OfComicBooks}} comics, he had even more powers, with [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands new ones popping up all the time]]. Somehow, he just never used them with the slightest tactical sense. On the other hand, with powers ranging from SuperStrength to making ice cream with your mind, it's hard to create conflict.
** Superman never, ever remembers he has super speed, period. The many, many instances where Superman would be felled by an electrical field, despite the fact that he is supposed to be invulnerable. This got to be so bad that in the second season the writers actually started to show less of Superman getting taken out by an electrical shock or something along those lines, and more of his invulnerable side. There's also the many times when he and ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} could easily solve a problem by just using heat vision. Even when their opponent is non-living they seem to forget that they're capable of this.
** In one episode, Flash has most of his body encased in ice by a villain. Too bad he was too distracted trading barbs with the villain to remember he could vibrate his limbs at super speed and would be able to melt the ice.
* And if you think the above examples are bad, you should watch the old ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}}'' some time. "Gee, Jayna, here we are trapped under the foot of a giant space monster, touching each other. If only we had, I don't know, [[WonderTwinPowers some kind of superpower that would allow you to turn into a small animal and me into something which could flow through the claws, we could escape!]]" Creator/{{Seanbaby}}, as you can assume, [[SnarkBait mocked this liberally]].
-->"Don't be too quick to judge Superman's alzheimers problems, though. You probably forget about your powers sometimes too. You can't fly, but you have the ability to learn to waterski, bake, watch baseball, and put objects in your ass. If Lex Luthor came at you with a mind deconfribrulator, you'd be so scared you'd totally forget to learn to waterski. Also, you probably wouldn't jam anything into your ass. See? You forgot about at least TWO super powers, smartass."
** Aquaman, frustratingly, tended to combine this with ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman. Very often in the series, Aquaman would be taking part in the obligatory underwater part of the villain's plan, and then he would be attacked by a sea monster. He would proceed to spend a frustratingly long time either dodging it or getting caught in its grasp, before he finally remembers "Oh, right, I can communicate with sea life" and that he can just tell the monster to go away. Frequently, he wouldn't even do that, and would instead summon ''more'' sea creatures to fight it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', Comicbook/{{Raven}} is easily the most overpowered of the five, which is made glaringly obvious in season 4. As such, this is the only way to keep the entire team necessary. Raven often conveniently forgets that she can fly and teleport in situations where those powers would be highly useful, and ''stop time''. She also rarely uses her telekinesis to restrain opponents or hurl them away from the scene of a battle, rather than just tossing debris at them. She's done it before, to both allies and enemies, so it's not an issue of being unable to do so. There's only one episode where she concentrates and simply ''cuts'' the baddie's armor with her power. ''One''. Several times she's proven to be much more powerful than the entire Green Lantern Corps put together, other times she's almost helpless. It's not helped by one episode explicitly stating that her powers go haywire if her emotions do, and despite her [[{{Kuudere}} stoic facade]] her emotions are often tempestuous.
* No matter how many missions the characters in ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' go on, they always seem to forget that, first and foremost, while on Lyoko one cannot die from lasers and swords, they can only be devirtualized. They will also forget their most important abilities at the worst times.
** For example, Aelita could use her Creativity power to create terrain barriers around herself, but even in dangerous situations where she has enough time, she quite often forgets that she can do this. She is the most obvious offender, but the others are often guilty as well. Aelita also forgets that XANA will NOT kill her starting with Season 2, despite this being proven in the first third of the season. The "dying" thing is somewhat justified though. While they do just devirtualize, it's implied they can't go right back into Lyoko. It's also implied that Aelita using her powers too often or to make something ''really'' big exhausts her. It's not so much that she forgets her power, it's that using Creativity is CastFromHitPoints and each use costs 50 of her 100 points. Though this is more an InformedFlaw than anything else.
** Ulrich is a much worst offender. When he was first introduced, his Triplicata allowed him to summon two illusion of himself to trick the enemy. In season 2, it was upgraded so they could fight and hurt enemies of their own, with Ulrich [[OneManArmy once defeating an entire army of monsters thanks to it]]. Comes season 4, he forgets the upgrade when fighting William (who easily devirtualizes the real one) before forgetting the power altogether for the whole season. He doesn't uses it again until ''Series/CodeLyokoEvolution'', and when he does, it's portrayed as just the illusion trick.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', Nega-Duck uses a device to steal the powers from the other four members of the Fearsome Five, and then escapes from the presumed escape-proof super-villain prison by using the Liquidator's control of water to part the waters of the bay and walk to the mainland. As Darkwing and the four villains watch, the Liquidator remarks, "Now why didn't I think of that?"
* This seems to be a staple of ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'', especially in regards to Captain Hero, who takes this to TheDitz levels. More often than not though, he is just {{sociopathic|Hero}}.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheMightyHercules'' cartoon series of the 1960's, Hercules had a magic ring that would endow him "with the strength of ten ordinary men" (according to his theme song). Along with invulnerability and superhuman reflexes. In each episode, Hercules would go to fight the episode's monster and get the snot beaten out of him. And then he would remember he has the ring.
* Cheetara from The ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' constantly forgets her SuperSpeed that can instantly defeat most of their enemies. [[WesternAnimation/ThunderCats 1980s]] Cheetara forgets the same thing. Partially justified in that her Anointment Trial episode shows her having a limited upper endurance. But most of the battles aren't ''that'' long.
* ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'':
** Apparently Bloom forgot about her healing powers in the 24th episode of the fourth season, [[spoiler:since she didn't do anything to try to save Nabu.]]
** The Winx get backed off a cliff in the Omega Dimension in season three. No explanation is given for why they don't use their wings.
** There's also an episode in the first season (towards the end) where the girls go to Domino/Sparx. At the end of the first part (it's a two-part episode), Bloom, who's currently powerless, is about to fall into a chasm. Stella was transformed at this time and could've easily flown over and grabbed Bloom, yet she didn't! Or could have used the {{Telekinesis}} she only showed once.
** Darcy has proved herself [[SuperStrength strong enough to open a fissure in the ground by stomping]] and capable to [[PlayingWithFire create fires that Bloom (who has the explicit power as the most powerful fire user of the series) can't put off]] (the only other time this happens it's by use of the fire part of the all-powerful [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Spell of Elements]]). She never repeated either performance.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars''. All too often the Jedi Knights seem to forget that they have the ability to lift anything as heavy as a spaceship without touching it, jump high distances, and possess lightning quick reflexes. Curiously these bouts of stupidity come up when they're fighting a BadassNormal character such as Cad Bane (who seems to have the unofficial power of handing the IdiotBall to anybody he's fighting at the moment), whom you think a Jedi could reduce to a pile of disembodied limbs within seconds. And of course it is not a coincidence that this always happens when around the series' original characters.
* Parodied on ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' when the townspeople chase Buttercup. She starts running from them before reassessing the situation and flying away. Similarly when Mojo drops the Girls in a trap door along with Harry Pit, [[GirlsHaveCooties a boy who is thought to have cooties.]] The Girls simply run around in circles to avoid him completely forgetting that they can just fly out of the trap, which they only remember ''after'' they get over their fear.
** Played painfully straight in the very first episode of [[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls2016 the 2016 series]]: the earth shatters and the girls ''fall'' down into the resulting chasm. Once again, the Powerpuff Girls, who can not only fly, but fly ''fast enough to rupture space-time'', fall into a pit.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'',
** In one episode ComicBook/DoctorOctopus kidnaps Felicia Hardy and J. Jonah Jameson and holds them for ransom. Despite SuperStrength explicitly being one of his powers, Spider-Man tries to untie the ropes instead of just breaking them, giving Doc Ock time to step in and stop him.
** The same thing happens in the "Partners" storyline. Smythe has Black Cat bound and gagged in an electrified bubble, with the gag obviously preventing her from warning Spider-Man about the trap. She doesn't think to use her ''razor sharp claws'' to remove the ropes and gag until ''after'' the trap has already rendered Spidey unconscious.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFantasticFour1978'' had ComicBook/{{Magneto}} [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5-JVvCrGC8&feature=related unable to use his magnetic powers against a (fake wooden) gun]]. He suddenly concludes that his powers are gone. This is stupid enough itself, but he fails to use them even after being told it was a trick and the cops are arresting him. ''Cops with real guns, handcuffs and police cars.''
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''
** Twilight Sparkle is an extremely gifted and versatile magician but ''constantly'' seemingly forgets spells she's used in the past without any trouble that certainly seem applicable. Why she doesn't just just freeze up an enemy's body like she did to her friends in Castle Mane-ia or turn them into a breezie is anyone's guess.
** In the episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen". Twilight Sparkle is forced to take a leap of faith off a cliff to escape a Hydra when she mysteriously forgets she can teleport, as has been seen in at least two previous episodes, including the pilot. This happens anytime the plot requires her to be threatened by some impending doom. It is occasionally justified by her being under a great deal or stress at the time, such as a later example where she is blocked by a simple locked gate. While she can still teleport while under stress ([[TeleportSpam indeed, she does it a lot in one case]]), her ability to make sound judgments has a tendency to nosedive under certain circumstances, usually those that involve her losing control or worrying too much.
** In [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E19PuttingYourHoofDown Putting Your Hoof Down]], Fluttershy once again forgets that she can fly, getting stuck behind two ponies blocking the bridge over the river she needs to cross.
** More a case of Forgot About Her Reputation, but in "It's About Time", it never occurred to Twilight that, as the personal student of the ruler of Equestria, that she would have free access to the royal library. Instead, she tries to sneak in. Of course, [[LampshadeHanging Twilight is the only one who forgets this]], and when she is recognized by a guard, he amiably greets her and unlocks the door to the restricted section of the library for her. [[JustifiedTrope As noted above, this one can be excused]] by the fact that she hasn't slept for several days and is deep into a nervous breakdown at this point. Paranoid delusions would not be surprising in that state.
** The changelings from [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E26ACanterlotWeddingPart2 A Canterlot Wedding]] on their own are basically watered-down alicorns, having both flight and magic-based attacks. They seemingly forget this when they decide to attack the [[FanNickname Mane 6]] by shapeshifting into them, which disables one or ''both'' of these abilities depending on who they have turned into. To make matters worse, their shapeshifting ''works too well'' as the Changelings seem to be unable to tell themselves apart from the real deals, and when [[NeedleInAStackOfNeedles you're trying to find just six real ponies]] among ''dozens'' of imposters, it isn't easy. It wasn't until they actually [[SubvertedTrope dumped this strategy]] that they were finally able to overwhelm and defeat the Mane Six. Notably in their second attack they learned from this, instead only using shape shifting to fool or confuse opponents and relying entirely on their true forms for combat.
** In "The Crystal Empire, part 2" Twilight and Spike need to climb an incredibly long stair-case, and was complaining about it. Just as the viewers are wondering why she doesn't teleport, or at least [[NotQuiteFlight levitate]] herself upwards, she decides to instead use a ''new'' power; gravity reversal!
** The entire plot of "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E10SpikeAtYourService Spike At Your Service]]", [[FanonDiscontinuity an episode fans rather not talk about to begin with]], only happens because Spike the ''fire-breathing dragon'' doesn't breathe fire on the monsters that are ''made of wood and smell of sulfur.''
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E7Bats Bats!]]" both Rarity and Twilight should have been able to yank [[spoiler:Flutterbat]] out of the sky with telekinesis rather than chasing her around and finally relying on an elaborate trap. Of course, they never do. What makes it even worse is that they are clearly shown using telekinesis other times in the very same episode.
** Parodied in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E7WonderboltsAcademy Wonderbolts Academy]]" when Fluttershy, the one ''pegasus'' from the hot air balloon, needs to be rescued from the fall along with her friends. Cue her sheepishly fluttering away from her rescuer who is also annoyed when they notice her wings. This is consistent with past demonstrations that her wings lock when she's sufficiently scared, in a strange inversion of what seems to be a normal Pegasus reaction of raised wings.
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E8RarityTakesManehattan Rarity takes Manehattan]]" Twilight doesn't even ''try'' using her princess authority to help Rarity get a taxi. Or teleport her around. Rainbow doesn't try to fly her, or Applejack pull her in a cart...
** Even [[RealityWarper Discord]], arguably Equestria's WorldsStrongestMan (that is, on his own, and not from an AmplifierArtifact, EnergyAbsorption, etc.), tends to just become a deer in headlights whenever seriously caught off-guard. Though he does try to subvert this at the end of "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E11ThreesACrowd Three's a Crowd]]" -- in a FreezeFrameBonus, he apparently overcomes his shock from the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Tatzlwurm]]'s JumpScare appearance enough to go for a BadassFingersnap (his main spellcasting method), though the beast sneezes on him and makes him seriously ill before he can follow through in time.
** At the beginning of "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS6E14StrangerThanFanFiction Stranger Than Fan Fiction]]", Daring Do seemingly forgets she can fly, reacting fearfully when the rickety RopeBridge she is crossing starts breaking. Of course, as soon as it collapses, she just flies the rest of the way. This is later lampshaded with Rainbow Dash in the same episode (unfortunately, Quibble Pants ''can't'' fly).
** Possibly the worst offender is the end of ''[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS6E26ToWhereAndBackAgainPart2 To Where And Back Again]]'' where Queen Chrysalis is defeated and [[VillainExitStageLeft slowly flies away over the horizon]] as literally every main character just stands by and watches. Twilight Sparkle, Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, Princess Cadance, you gonna grab her with your telekinesis or trap her with a spell? Shining Armor, can't you seal her inside a barrier? Is Rainbow Dash or any of the fliers going to give chase? Discord, couldn't you snap a finger and put a cage around her or turn her into a muffin or something? No? Just asking.
* This happens to a number of characters in ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution''. The worst offender is Kitty, who seems to forget that she can become intangible with some regularity. Xavier also seems to forget that he has telepathy sometimes. Wolverine is constantly surprised by people sneaking up on him even through he can smell people from a distance.
* Jake the Dog from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' often forgets that he has the seemingly unlimited ability to grow, shrink, stretch, and otherwise change his shape. Which would solve the central conflict of many episodes very easily. Unlike most examples of this trope, this is justified: he is an idiot. Jake provides an alternative justification in "Box Prince", where he explains to BMO that he doesn't always use stretching when it could solve his problems because then he wouldn't have enough challenges in his life for it to be interesting.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Toph, despite having highly toned senses through [[DishingOutDirt Earthbending]], can't figure out that the group is walking into a trap at Lake Laogai or that it's actually Azula and not Ozai waiting for them in "The Day of Black Sun", despite both the trap and Azula being in ''caves'' made mostly of rock and dirt. Admittedly there are Earthbenders in both traps, who have a similar sense, so they might know of a way to mask themselves.
** The sequel series, ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', has Mako, who is fully capable of lightning bending but only rarely actually uses that ability.
** You could be forgiven for forgetting that metal bending is a specialized version of earth bending, because the metal bending police force certainly has. They seem so entirely focused on using their metal tethers that they are completely useless against a threat they cannot physically restrain. Resulting in scenes in the first season where a dozen or so expert earth benders are being defeated by mechs because they forget they have better powers in their arsenal than simply wrapping metal ropes around it and hoping their fleshy human bodies are enough to stop it.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'':
** Ben starts out with 10 possible alien forms, each one with their own powers, and only got more as the story went on. Sometimes, the trope is justified by the Omnitrix [[{{Troll}} screwing with him by not giving him the right form]], but others he just seems to fail to realize one form would be more fitting than another for a specific situation. ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'' puts it further, where he seemed to have forgotten he can just ''watch the dial to see what form he is about to use''.
** It used to be that once Ben transformed, he was stuck that way until the Omnitrix timed out. As the series progressed, he gained the ability to change directly from one form to another, or to manually revert back to human and select a different alien (as the cooldown time is typically ignored when it's not necessary to the plot). Yet he will still often change into an alien he doesn't want and just ride it out rather than reselect. While this could be chalked up to the Omnitrix's temperamental nature preventing him from switching, WordOfGod says there are no such problems with the model he has in Omniverse.
** Humongousaur stands out as a particular offender. When first introduced, he was a SizeShifter capable of growing to incredible sizes. This ability apparently was forgotten after ''Vengeance of Vilgax''. This may have been to keep the character from having too much role overlap with Way Big.
** This trope wasn't limited to Ben, either. Gwen had a serious tendency to forget she could fly and had telekinesis in Alien Force and Omniverse, focusing more on just creating shields and energy blasts. In ''Omniverse'', when she gains the Charm of Bezel granting her telekinesis, she reacts in awe like if this was something completely new, even though at this point she has already shown several times she can easily do that of her own.
** A particularly ridiculous case in the ''Galactic Monster'' story arc of ''Omniverse''. Zs'Skayr gets several occasions where he could easily possess Ben and doesn't bother even trying, even though ''this was the whole point of his goal in all his previous appearance'', and, when his mind-controlled minions seize him, struggles using his scythe to get out of their graps even though he has the ability to turn intangible. Later, the climax ends up being a fight between Ghostfreak's minions and Ben's allies, where two characters involved have MakeMeWannaShout abilities, one has ShockAndAwe and another has a whole body made of CombatTentacles. They spend the entire fight brawling like regular humans.
* Thanks to Fanderson's Chris Bentley for this one - let's take a look at "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vxz0QQIPq8 The Legend]]" from Creator/GerryAnderson's ''Lavender Castle'', about a spaceship whose crew is searching for the titular pink-ish abode. If you are a spaceship captain and know where the castle can be seen at a specific time, do you a) have your ship fly directly to that location and wait, or b) have them set you down and walk miles to it? If you said a), you are not Captain Thrice. No wonder Anderson didn't care much for the series.
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory''. Dexter often winds up feeling some karmic justice when he involves himself directly in things he could probably just invent his way around (for instance trying to find out what Dee Dee was doing up in the tree; rather than building some kind of spybot that could go up into the tree on his behalf he instead dresses up as a bird and gets himself trapped, giving Dee Dee the pretense necessary to screw around in his lab).
* On ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'', [[BadassGay Ray Gilette]] acquires bionic legs early in the fourth season, and on at least one occasion, forgets that he has them when they might come in handy. At one point, this leads to him screwing up his back while trying to lift something heavy, because he had tried to lift with his back.
* During a {{Flashback}} in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', Arcee and Cliffjumper decide to run into a Space Bridge to escape a collapsing lair, instead of transforming into vehicles and driving towards it. There is an out-of-universe reason for this: the scene takes place on Cybertron when they still turned into their original alien vehicle forms, and the characters were only designed with an Earth-based vehicle mode. But it still makes little sense in-universe.
* ''WesternAnimation/FantasticVoyage'':
** The team members have small CommLinks that they sometimes use to communicate with each other when separated. However, in a number of episodes they completely forget about them and don't use them even though it would be beneficial to do so.
** The Voyager (the CoolPlane the team travels around in) is shown in various episodes as having both missiles and beam weapons. In many episodes the team doesn't even think of using them in dangerous situations even though they would have been very helpful.
** The team's equipment includes {{Jet Pack}}s that allow them to fly. However, in quite a few episodes the team forgets they have them and ends up having to walk around or climb high objects while miniaturized, even though the {{Jet Pack}}s were available.
* Once lampshaded hilariously in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy''. Eddy's response to taking the simple solution?
-->"What? And [[BreakingTheFourthWall ruin the plot]]?"
* The Crystal Gems in ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' forget all about their ranged attacks, and even [[FastballSpecial throwing Amethyst]], whenever Peridot activates her [[FanNickname Pericopter]] to escape. When asked on Twitter, writer Matt Burnett admitted that the Gems ''could'' have caught her, but [[WatsonianVersusDoylist they have a lot more episodes to fill]]. The Gems finally learn their lesson in time for "Catch & Release".
* In the season finale of ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'', Star calls the police when Marco gets kidnapped by her enemies, but the [[PoliceAreUseless officer who comes doesn't believe her story and thinks she's just a little girl playing pretend]], talks down to her, and leaves. A frustrated Star just lets him leave and decides to rescue Marco herself. It never occurs to her to demonstrate her powers to him.
* In the two-part episode of ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse2002'' episode where the [[SnakePeople Snake Men]] are freed, the villains retake Snake Mountain in all of five minutes, with Snake-Face using his powers to turn Skeletor's henchmen into stone with his gaze. However, when the Snake Men storm Greyskull later, Snake-Face, for some unfathomable reason, delays using this lethal ability until he goes up against He-Man, choosing to fight Mekanek with GoodOldFisticuffs. Say what? (To drive home the point on how absurd this was, the comic book adaptation changed it, and he ''did'' use his gaze on Mek; fortunately, in this case, when his [[HoistByHisOwnPetard gaze was reflected back on him]] by He-Man and he got a taste of his own medicine, [[NoOntologicalInertia the effect on his victims wore off.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/UncleGrandpa'': Uncle Grandpa constantly forgets that he can be in two places at the same time. Other characters repeatedly take his being in one place as proof that he isn't also in another place.