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.
- Devil fruits in general have this effect as many characters (particularly logia users) have elemental powers that trump one another, such as Akainu (magma) > Ace (fire). Also inverted to a certain degree since Aokiji's ice powers aren't at any disadvantage against Akainu's magma powers, thus the island of Punk Hazard. If a water-element logia existed, they would presumably be the Man of Kryptonite for every single fruit user. Though such a character would also be the Kryptonite Factor to himself, making it a rather unlikely eventuality.
- 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.
- The plot of Yu-Gi-Oh!'s movie concerns Kaiba's search for a card that would help him defeat Yugi, who, by that point, is in possession of all 3 God cards, winning two cards from a duel with Pegasus (even though he only created one). The cards in question are the "Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon" and the card for which the movie is named after, the "Pyramid of Light". However, played with in that only "Pyramid" is actually anti-God Card, while BESD is merely strong enough to No Sell them.
- 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).
- Wonderweiss was created with defeating Yamamoto in mind. He could absorb flames, rendering Yamamoto's Playing with Fire powers useless. Yamamoto demonstrates that he still has his fists and kills Wonderweiss with them.
- Quincies eradicate Hollows from a survival instinct due to having an innate vulnerability to Hollow taint. It can weaken their powers and has the potential to destroy their very souls.
- Kirby: Right Back at Ya! has Blocky, who was so heavy that he wouldn't budge when Kirby tried to inhale him, until Kirby managed to get under him and let gravity assist him.
- In A Certain Magical Index, the gang Deadlock tailored their strengths with defeating Misaki Shokuhou in mind. They use special suits and rocket-powered roller skates to move at incredible speed. Since Misaki has to aim at people to use her powers on them, her powers became relatively useless. Fortunately, she had Touma Kamijou backing her up, and he defeats the gang.
- In High School D×D, Samael is also known as the Dragon Eater. His body exudes a poison that is deadly to any dragon or any being connected to dragons. Not even dragon gods like Ophis and Great Red are immune.
- 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.
- Cyborg Metallo also have their primary power as being walking Kryptonite delivery systems, a kind of combination of this trope and Weaponized Weakness. In fact, of all the Kryptonite powered foes Superman has faced, Metallo is probably the most enduring and popular, likely due to the fact that he back up his Flaw Exploitation with actual physical power. During New Krypton, Supergirl nemesis Reactron was rebuilt as a Metallo expy, complete with a Kryptonite heart—though in his case it was Gold K.
- Also Kenny Braverman, aka "Conduit" a former classmate of Clark's from The Death Of Clark Kent, who could emit Kryptonite radiation, and wore a special suit to channel it. And for a double whammy, he knew that Clark was Superman, leading to the events of the above arc.
- In JLA/Avengers, two Marvel Universe 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. 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 Spidey encountered Humbug, a villain whose power was sonic attacks.
- 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 who doesn't have just an armor or an explicitly genetic basis to their abilities.
- 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 Universe 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 suit with flame spouting nipples) 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.
- As well as Cobalt Blue, whose gem has Energy Absorption powers, but specifically chose to target those who are powered by the Speed Force (probably has something to do with Malcolm Thawne being Barry Allen's twin brother).
- In the New 52, the Rogues got upgraded from tech-using baddies to outright metahumans (at first). In order to give him a new edge against the Flash, one of Captain Cold's new powers allows him to create a field of inertia around him that drastically dampens the Flash's speed.
- 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.
- This is the problem Wolverine (who has an adamantium skeleton) would have to face when up against a mutant who can manipulate metal like Magneto. (The movies being explicit about it.)
- Wolverine in turn serves as a Kryptonite Man of sorts to his enemy Silver Samurai, who has the power to channel energy into blades which make them capable of cutting anything...except adamantium.
- Aquaman villain The Thirst drains water from his surroundings and people, putting Aquaman at a serious disadvantage.
- People with Shock and Awe powers, particularly Chain Lightning, are this to the Marvel Family. Although they are normally invulnerable, a big enough electric attack can simulate the magic lightning and force them to transform back into their normal forms.
- Black Alice is this to anybody with magical powers, even those as powerful as The Spectre. She can temporarily drain the powers of any magical being into herself.
- Zatanna is a magician who casts spells by speaking them backwards. At one point in her solo series, she encountered a low-level thug named Backslash who has a magical sword that gives him the ability to rewind short bursts of time, turning her backwards speech into forwards speech and completely invalidating her powers. She is only able to stop him by speaking in palindromes which are the same back and forth, such as "Nurses, run!" and "Ogre, flog a golfer, go!"
- Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter. Mythologically speaking, things like crosses and Holy Water, which are elements of the Christian religion, are useful for fighting vampires.
- LazyTown: The Movie contains a man covered in sugar (which weakens Sportacus).
- This is the reason why, in the film, Blackheart can easily toss around the Ghost Rider. Blackheart is stronger and can No Sell everything the Rider would throw at him, including the deadly Penance Stare. The only reason Ghost Rider was able to best his foe was when Blackheart absorbed a thousand or so corrupt souls, completely removing his immunity to the Stare, and turning it into a weakness a thousandfold.
- 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.
- The Kyoryu Core Medals grant Kamen Rider OOO his Super Mode, that has the power to destroy Core Medals, which is fatal for the Greeed.
- In the Mighty Morphin' Alien Rangers arc, the Aquitian Rangers (who are from a water planet and quickly dehydrate on land,) have to battle a monster called the Hydro Hog that sucks up any moisture he sees.
- Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon is designed to take down Xyz monsters even going by its real-life profile, where it can remove itself and the monster it battles from play and return both to the field later. Due to the way Xyz Monsters work, this removes their Xyz Material Monsters, leaving them without the ability to activate their effects which need them to give up an Xyz Material. To add insult to injury, Galaxy-Eyes gains 500 ATK for each Xyz Material the other removed monster had when they jumped out of play. If it takes out an Xyz with five materials, this makes it stronger than F.G.D, one of the two strongest monsters in the game. And this is before it upgrades to Neo Galaxy-Eyes...
- The Koa'ki Meiru are specifically designed as anti-meta counters, specifically to the prolific Light and Dark monsters.
- Since Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V and the Mega Monarchs, the Monarchs have developed an increasing focus on anti-Extra Deck strategies; many of their cards target Extra Deck-related cards, and their strongest support locks the user out of playing cards from their own Extra Deck.
- Mage: The Awakening: The mystical entity called Madame LaTourre, aka "The Magic Eater", serves as this for all mages. She's effectively a walking source of Anti-Magic, with a literal addiction to consuming magical energy. She can suck the power out of any mage, magic item or even enchanted place that she can get ahold of, and not only will this allow her to permanently destroy inanimate sources of mana, it also makes her totally immune to specific spells that she has eaten.
- 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.
- Rayquaza in Pokemon Ruby And Sapphire has the ability Air Lock, which nullifies the weather effects caused by Groudon's Drought and Kyogre's Drizzle. While Primal Groudon's Desolate Land and Primal Kyogre's Primordial Sea bypass Air Lock and Cloud Nine, Mega Rayquaza's Delta Stream jams even those two abilities. Likewise, Zygarde in Pokémon X and Y has Aura Break, which reverses the effects of Xerneas's Fairy Aura and Yveltal's Dark Aura so that instead of them respectively boosting the power of Fairy and Dark-type attacks they weaken them.
- 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. Khyber has a pet wearing the Nemetrix, a similar device given to him by Arc Villain Malware that allows his pet to turn into the perfect predators to any alien species, making it basically designed to fight Omnitrix-wearers. It later turns out that the Nemetrix only has ten predatory aliens, and aliens like Upchuck or Upgrade don't have predators.
- 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.
- Static himself frequently faces enemies that either don't conduct electricity or can absorb it, forcing him to get creative with his powers to beat them.