What's the matter, guy? You're looking a little green at the gills.
If a character has an Achilles' Heel
— and especially if they have a Weaksauce Weakness
— inevitably an opponent comes along who is basically made of or otherwise works solely in the medium of Weaksauce. Examples abound, especially in DC Comics
. This trope is essentially the ultra-specific, ultra-literalist version of Good Hurts Evil
or No Man of Woman Born
. Less commonly, a character with no existing vulnerability ends up against a character who introduces a unique weakness of theirs.
For obvious reasons, this is primarily a Comic Book Trope
Closely related to Kryptonite Is Everywhere
and Weaponized Weakness
. Counterpart to the Kung-Fu Proof Mook
. Combine both to create a That One Boss
or worse. Contrast This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman
, which occurs when a situation is tailored to avoid
a hero's Weaksauce Weakness
and utilize their lame power of heart
. If the hero manages to defeat this character anyway, it's a form of Scissors Cuts Rock
. May be countered with a Kryptonite-Proof Suit
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Anime and Manga
- One Piece's Monkey D. Luffy is, famously, a Rubber Man; consequently, he turned out to be a Man of Kryptonite for a lightning-powered villain who was otherwise undefeatable.
- Blackbeard's Dark-Dark Devil Fruit power makes him into this. No Devil Fruit user can use their ability as long as Blackbeard maintains physical contact with them.
- In A Certain Scientific Railgun, minor character Yasumi Usukinu emits a field that prevents any electricity from flowing except for natural bioelectricity (otherwise people would drop dead in her presence). This allowed her to corner Mikoto Misaka. Mikoto eventually manages to generate enough electricity to overpower her field.
- The three members of Yliaster from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds that use the Machine Emperors, monsters designed to fight duelists with Synchro-based decks.
- Self-proclaimed "Dragon Buster" Georgia of Pokémon, training Mons that are either strong against dragon-types (like the ice-types Beartic and Vanilluxe) or resisting dragon attacks (the steel-type Bisharp).
- Superman, of course, has met several iterations of the Trope Namer, a villain called the Kryptonite Man, who is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Cyborgs Metallo and Reactron also have their primary power as being walking Kryptonite delivery systems, a kind of combination of this trope and Weaponized Weakness.
- Also Kenny Braverman, aka "Conduit" a cyborg powered by kryptonite radiation whose innate power was kryptonite blasts. And for a double whammy, he knew that Clark was Superman, leading to the "Death Of Clark Kent" story arc.
- In JLA/Avengers, two Marvel villains (Radioactive Man and Solarr) become this, Lex Luthor having told them about Superman's twin weaknesses of Green Kryptonite and red solar radiation.
- Ironically enough, Superman himself became this when Dracula (or an Expy) bit his neck. As Supes has solar-powered blood, it didn't end well for the vampire.
- This is both played straight and inverted in Supreme, where Ethan Crane is given his powers by exposure to Supremium but proves weak to it when later faced with the Supremium Man. It was eventually seen that Darius Dax, caught in a time loop, became both the Supremium Man and the original chunk of Supremium, giving Supreme his powers, making him weak, and becoming his greatest enemy, all at the same time.
- During Blackest Night, Dove became this for Black Lanterns.
- The Golden Age Green Lantern was vulnerable to wood, and fought the plant-matter swamp zombie Solomon Grundy, who was immune to his ring. The Silver Age version's weakness to yellow was countered by Sinestro and his yellow power ring, and, more directly, Goldface. Now that the rings' weakness is fear, we have the embodiment of fear, Parallax. Green Arrow also once fought Green Lanterns by painting himself yellow.
- The original Venom was Spider-Man's worst enemy because he had all his powers, wouldn't trigger his Spider-Sense, and knew he was Peter Parker. If the symbiote didn't have a few weaknesses of it's own it would have been unbeatable.
- This trope is the basis of original Venom Eddie Brock's new identity Anti-Venom, whose primary power is to destroy the Venom symbiote. However, Brock also has more general "purification" powers that remove any foreign or artificial enhancements from others. In essence, he's a Man of Kryptonite for everyone.
- The black suit that eventually became Venom had two weaknesses: fire and sonic attacks. Wouldn't you know it, the short time he had the suit was the only time Spider-Man encountered Humbug, a villain whose power was sonic attacks.
- Nemesis Kid, a Legion of Super-Heroes villain, consciously adapts whatever power he needed to defeat a single foe. If he guesses wrong, he's screwed. He ended up having his neck snapped by a vengeful Queen Projectra; he adapted immunity to her illusion powers, but she used the martial arts training her husband (the aptly named Karate Kid) had given her over the course of their marriage to kill him with her bare hands.
- Marvel Comics demon Nightmare fears one being above all others: the monster Gulgol, who never sleeps and is therefore utterly beyond Nightmare's dream-manipulation powers.
- The Martian Manhunter is vulnerable to fire. The first supervillain he fought was the Human Flame. Funnily enough he was then completely forgotten for nearly fifty years (probably because of his silly flame spouting nipple suit) until he was brought back for Final Crisis.
- The Speed-Force-powered Flash's enemy the Turtle was eventually given the power to dampen kinetic energy...in other words, he became a walking anti-Speed Force.
- Pinocchio Vampire Slayer, where the main character's nose alone is the instrument of vampire destruction.
- Per Degaton, a villain who can accelerate time, is one to Hourman, a hero with a literal Hour of Power.
- Batman, who was revealed to have records of strengths and weaknesses of his teammates in the Justice League of America (and possibly other members of the superhero community), thus knowing the countermeasures for when a hero should go rogue.
- Dazzler is one to anybody with sonic attacks, since she can absorb any sound and convert it to light. Basically, the louder you are, the stronger she gets.
- Something Klaw (who's made of solidified sound) learned to his horror after tricking her into helping him escape confinement at Project: Pegasus (where she'd been blackmailed into going by the government). Using his sonic powers on her resulted in her powers getting so greedy for more they completely consumed him.
- The Yuuzhan Vong from the Star Wars Expanded Universe, a race that cannot be directly affected by any Force powers except Force Lightning. They can't be grabbed or pushed by telekinesis, Jedi Mind Tricked, or have their presence sensed. Jedi and Sith have to resort to attacking them head-on with their fists and lightsabers, using Force Lightning, and telekinetically throwing stuff at them. Everyone else can beat them with tons of blaster fire.
Live Action TV
- This was the drawback of the spell Jonathan used in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Superstar;" it made him a literal Mary Sue, but also loosed a demon whose mere presence weakened him physically and mentally.
- Ironically, in Smallville, Lana became this for Clark, because writers needed her to leave. For some reason nobody tried to ask for her help with evil Kryptonians later in the show.
- Several episodes had people who unknowingly had kryptonite in their bodies so Clark got weakened by being near them. In the season 10 episode "Harvest", Clark and Lois got trapped by a village of religious fanatics who all unknowingly had blue kryptonite in their bodies, so Clark was Brought Down to Normal in their presence.
- All That gives us Superdude who has the worst weakness ever: extreme lactose intolerance. He can't even touch dairy products without going into shock. Naturally, his villains include Yo-Girl (a feisty chick whose body is a yogurt cup), Butter Boy, and his arch-nemesis the Milkman.
- In Haven, Duke Crocker has the power to absorb blood to gain temporary Super Strength. In the episode "Bad Blood", he becomes the perfect person to stop Mike Gallagher's bad blood. When the blood tries to attack Duke, he just absorbs it without being harmed. He eventually absorbs it all.
- In Final Fantasy IV, when main character Cecil heads to Mt. Ordeals to change his class from Dark Knight to Paladin, Golbez sends one of the Four Archfiends, the zombie warrior Scarmiglione, to prevent it from happening. Golbex specifically chose Scarmiglione for the task because Dark Knights are ineffective against the undead.
- Ben 10: Omniverse: Ben Tennyson is the bearer of the Omnitrix, a device that grants him the ability to turn into various aliens with each one possessing their own powers. Big Bad Khyber has a pet wearing the Nemetrix, a similar device that allows his pet to turn into the perfect predators to any alien species, making it basically designed to fight Omnitrix-wearers.
- Earlier, in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Will Harangue pools his resources into building a robot that can seemingly combat all of Ben's aliens (after tricking Ben into getting his aliens and fighting style scanned). Ben was able to beat the machine using an alien that didn't get scanned: Nanomech.
- The first incarnation of Red X in Teen Titans, who knows the weaknesses of four of the Titans. What with being Robin and all.
- In Static Shock, Static to his nemesis Ebon. Ebon is a Living Shadow, while Static controls electricity and can generate bright lights with it.