->''"It happened sometimes, though rarely, that a True Being never developed a special gift."''
-->-- ''Children of Magic''

[[SuperpowerfulGenetics Children of superparents get superpowers]]…[[AvertedTrope except when they don't]].

If you're a protagonist, this is no problem, you'll usually become a BadassNormal or at least an UnfazedEveryman. But if you're a MauveShirt… you'll probably become this.

This trope is a character who's in on TheMasquerade, and was born into their world. Unfortunately for him, he's normal. No, not BadassNormal; [[{{muggle}} totally, completely, and 100% normal]]. If the [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway lame power of Heart]] was a [[SuperpowerLottery consolation prize]], the Muggle Born Of Mages never got a draw at the SuperpowerLottery in the first place. He's just as ineffectual in adventuring as any other {{muggle}}, maybe even more, which is why he usually has some grunt-work position in the world of the masquerade, such as a janitor, secretary, or TheIgor. He may be [[ButtMonkey nice-if-pathetic]] or mean-spirited, but whatever the case, his [[GreenEyedMonster bitterness and regret]] over not being [[IJustWantToBeSpecial a super]] is a major character trait.

It may ultimately turn out that this person actually has some form of AntiMagic, though this might not be noticed immediately. If this is common in the setting, it may be that characters are completely RandomlyGifted, so powers aren't always inherited and may spontaneously manifest to children of {{Muggle}} parents. If this happens gradually over several generations it's GenerationalMagicDecline.

If ''everyone'' except this person in the setting is a mage, he's an UnSorcerer.

This trope is somewhat NewerThanTheyThink, since magic-users traditionally learned/sold their soul for their powers, meaning no one expected a mage's child to be anything but a regular human.

Compare HighHopesZeroTalent where a character wants to be something, but has no aptitude for it. Contrast AlmightyJanitor and the BadassNormal. Compare UnSorcerer and UnfazedEveryman.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Takamichi T. Takahata of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' was born unable to cast spells, but, as a member of [[BadassCrew Ala Rubra]], is still one of the most powerful fighters of the magic world, in part because he can use the powerful [[YinYangBomb kanka technique]].
* Shinji Matou from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. Shinji doesn't have even magic circuits, and is the end result of generations of the Matou family gradually losing their magic abilities with no one quite sure why. And he became a villain because of his envy [[spoiler:towards his adopted sister, Sakura, abusing and raping her, just because she is a magus.]]
* Sairaorg Baal in ''LightNovel/HighSchoolDXD'' did not inherit any of his parents powers when he was born. So instead, he underwent TrainingFromHell, something high-class devils do not do, and became so strong he doesn't even need the power of destruction.
* [[BadassNormal Meiling]] of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura''. It's implied everyone in the Li family has magical powers but her.
* Rock Lee from ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' was born without the ability to use ninjutsu or genjutsu, the magic of the ninja world. He makes up for it with TrainingFromHell that makes his taijutsu, physical combat, so powerful he can compete with the most powerful of ninjas.
* In ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'', protagonist Izuku Midoriya has no superpowers in a world where [[EveryoneIsASuper 80% of all humans have some kind of "Quirk"]]. His mother has minor telekinesis and his dad can breathe fire, so the fact that he's powerless is presented as unusual. [[spoiler:[[FirstEpisodeSpoiler The plot kicks off]] when Izuku meets someone who can [[EmpoweredBadassNormal give his Quirk to him]]]].
* In ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai'', Shiki and Mikiya's daughter Mana did not inherit any of Shiki's powers. Shiki doesn't mind and is glad her daughter can live a normal life.

* In ''ComicBook/{{PS238}},'' Tyler Marlocke is the son of two of the world's strongest superheroes, but doesn't have any sort of powers himself. Of course, he's obviously going to develop them ''any day now,'' so his parents still enroll him in the titular SuperheroSchool, advising the instructors to put him in lots of difficult and/or dangerous situations to help bring his abilities to the surface. Fortunately, the staff are a bit more savvy, and arrange for him to have private lessons with [[TheCowl the Revenant]], a Franchise/{{Batman}} {{expy}}, in the hopes of him becoming a BadassNormal.
** {{Implied}} with [[FlyingBrick Julie]]'s father, a {{Muggle}} who's related to the Nuclear Family. Might explain why he's always arguing with them.
* ''Comicbook/XMen'':
** Mutant supervillains Mystique and Victor Creed/Sabertooth had a child together, Graydon Creed, who turned out to be a normal human (for those two, must be karma), which is rare for two mutants. He went on to become an anti-mutant extremist out of jealousy and [[WhyCouldntYouBeDifferent his parents' rejection]].
** This can technically happen with any mutant couple, since the probability of passing mutant genes seems to be 50%
** There was Comicbook/{{Quicksilver}} and Crystal's child, Luna, who was an Inhuman rather than a mutant. Apparently the mutant gene and the Inhuman genetics canceled each other out and Luna was effectively a normal human until her crazy father exposed her to a rather high amount of Terrigen Mist to empower her--this was ''[[AbusiveParents extremely]]'' risky since Terrigen Mist exposure can have unpleasant effects on anyone who isn't a pure Inhuman (and many who ''are'' still end up BlessedWithSuck as a result).
** One of the consequences of M-day was that no new mutants would be born, meaning any child born to a mutant couple would be this.
* Joel Kent in the ''[[Comicbook/SupermanAndBatmanGenerations Generations]]'' series was exposed to Gold Kryptonite in the womb making him the muggle son of Comicbook/{{Superman}}. It doesn't help that his younger sister Kara got to keep her powers. Eventually, Lex Luthor uses his jealousy and an unstable repowering formula as part of a revenge plot against the Man of Steel.
* Wally West's son. He had powers till ''ComicBook/TheFlash Rebirth'' storyline but was sharing an unstable link with his sister. When it stabilized, it all ended up in her.


* In the ''Film/{{Casper}}''/''Film/HocusPocus'' {{crossover}} story, ''FanFic/MagicAndMayhem'', [[Film/CasperMeetsWendy Wendy]] says her mother didn't have any magic like her sisters did. They made her a MagicWand so she wouldn't feel left out.
** [[spoiler:[[OriginalCharacter Lila Chandler]]]] was also a normal person born into a family of witches and warlocks.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfiction ''[[http://chopperstophat.deviantart.com/art/Story-The-Liar-278262693 The Liar]],'' this is Trixie's backstory. She was disowned by her father for being born without any magical ability, and learned to make her living as a con artist, masquerading as a traveling magician. All of her supposed magical feats are illusions made by Poison Joke.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* The Parr's baby Jack-Jack in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', in contrast to their previous children [[SuperSpeed Dash]] and [[{{Invisibility}} Violet]]. [[spoiler:But subverted by the end, and in the associated short, where he turns out to have won the SuperpowerLottery]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Ron Wilson, bus driver, from ''Film/SkyHigh2005'' is the nice-if-pathetic version of this trope. He also got CharacterDevelopment and TookALevelInBadass at the very end. In the WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue, it mentioned he had a toxic waste accident and got his wish to be a super, although whether this was 'assisted' is never clarified.
** Subverted with Will. He never shows any signs of super strength or flight growing up until they show up during his fight with Warren Peace.
* ''Film/UpUpAndAway''; a 2000 Creator/DisneyChannel Original Movie; centered around normal teenager born from a family of superheroes, including a AnnoyingYoungerSibling ''with heat vision'', and his struggles with the fact that he may never develop any powers of his own. On the plus side, he doesn't have their [[WeaksauceWeakness weakness to aluminum foil]]. He spends a large amount of time pretending he had super strength, [[spoiler:which ends up saving them from a villain who found out their weakness but assume it would work on the son as well]]. At the end, his best friend suggests that he become a [[BadassNormal superhero without powers]].
* Riley Stuart in ''Film/TheThompsons'' is a human born in a family of vampires. She's also unable to be turned. As such she functions as TheRenfield for her family.
* In ''Film/TheLastWitchHunter'', it turns out that [[spoiler:37th Dolan's parents]] were both witches, but he didn't inherit the powers, driving him to FaceHeelTurn as he craves magic. [[spoiler:He betrays the heroes to the Witch Queen and asks to be granted magical powers in return, but she says, "Clay cannot be turned into gold. Without magic, you're just a human." and kills him.]]
* In the ''Film/{{Underworld}}'' series, Alexander Corvinus was the first immortal. His sons William and Marcus inherited his immortality and eventually became the first werewolf and vampire after getting bitten by a wolf and bat, respectively. His third son did not inherit his immortality and eventually died of old age as an ordinary human. However, his third son passed the Corvinus genes down to his descendants, where they lay dormant until they were finally activated in his descendant Michael Corvin. When Michael is bitten by both a werewolf and a vampire, the genes allowed him to become a hybrid, which is normally impossible.

* Known as Squibs in ''Literature/HarryPotter''. However, unlike Muggle-born wizards who are 100% wizards, Squibs aren't ''quite'' 100% Muggle. They seem to share a strange affinity to cats, and Argus Filch works at Hogwarts, which Muggles evidently see as an old ruin with a sign warning of danger.[[note]]This is something Hermione points out in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire Goblet of Fire]]''.[[/note]] So squibs seem to have ''some'' inherent magical affinity even if they aren't wizards at all.
** Argus Filch, the Hogwarts CrustyCaretaker (essentially a janitor), is the mean-spirited version of this trope.
** Also [[spoiler:Mrs. Figg]], who's much more friendly, [[CrazyCatLady if still batty and weird]]. [[spoiler:It is revealed in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix Order of the Phoenix]]'' that she's a [[BadassNormal member of the order]] and her job was to keep an eye on Harry which the Dursleys would only allow if she went out of her way to seem harmless and like she wouldn't do anything to spoil him.]]
** Hermione (along with various other characters) is an inversion: a mage born of Muggles. Several characters state that "Muggle-born" WizardsAndWitches like Hermione are more common than Squibs in the Franchise/PotterVerse because once magic emerges in a bloodline, it tends to stick. Creator/JKRowling has [[WordOfGod stated]] that most Muggle-borns have Squib ancestors; their genes seem to be latent, coming back when both sides of someone's family have them.
** Neville Longbottom isn't a Squib, but his magic took so long to manifest that his relatives [[WhatMeasureIsANonSuper feared he was one]], so they put him in increasingly scary and dangerous situations hoping to make it manifest. This culminated in his Great-uncle Algie "accidentally" dropping him out of a second-story window. Fortunately, Neville bounced back to safety.
** Ron's whole family is magic, except one uncle who's an accountant. They don't talk about him much.
** Marius Black, who was a squib born into the Black family in the early 20th century, was disowned and his name (as in the case of Sirius for different reasons) literally burned off the family tree. This is probably also the practice regarding squibs among other pureblood families with magical supremacist leanings.
** Squibs are generally regarded poorly in the [[MagicalSociety Wizarding World]]. Squib children of magical parents are generally cast into the Muggle world and given a Muggle education, and most live their lives as Muggles with little contact with the magical community. This is considered a better fate for squibs, as those who do remain among the wizards are generally treated as second-class citizens, and looked down upon and pitied for their inability to do magic.
* Quinn Gaither from the ''Literature/{{Gone}}'' series is one of a large number of characters without super powers and shows subtle signs of both hatred and jealousy towards his empowered peers.
* Kyja of ''Literature/{{Farworld}}'' lives in a world where even the ''cows'' have magic. Not only does she have none, magic doesn't even ''work'' on her. Later on it's revealed that [[spoiler:she was born on Earth from ordinary parents and was switched at birth with a boy from Farworld who actually does have magic.]]
* In ''World Weavers'', Thea is the seventh child of two seventh children...and she doesn't have any of the normal magics. (She gets a cool power later, but it's ''not'' magic.) At one point, it says that children around the country send her mail -- when she's just days old--about how powerful she is… sucks to be her.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
** Granta Omega is the normal son of [[spoiler:Xanatos]], a former Jedi. However, while he isn't Force-sensitive, he does have the ability to slip past any being's senses, even a Jedi's.
** Emperor Palpatine has a powerless, illegitimate son. While Palpatine was disappointed, he decided to let him live because his son has night terrors in which he screams out horrifying things. The descriptions are used as inspirations for TheEmpire's war machines and torture devices, meaning that Palpatine literally figured out how to weaponize terror.
* The fundamental problem of Tavi, an UnSorcerer in ''Literature/CodexAlera''. He lives in a world where ''every'' human has access to elemental spirits known as "furies" that give them various powers. Tavi, however, is the only human who ''doesn't'' have these abilities, and they cause him extensive problems, forcing him to [[GuileHero think and adapt]] rather than use magic. To give you some idea of how much of a handicap this is, Tavi effectively can't even ''turn on the lights'' on his own. Eventually, he learns the cause of his condition: [[spoiler:his biological mother stunted his growth to hide his true age and thus his true lineage, and as a result, he did not gain access to his furies at the same age as other humans. Once he does, however, things change.]]
* In ''Once a Witch'', Tamsin was born to witches but has no powers. [[spoiler:Subverted because it turns out her power is that she can take others' powers and stop them from using it against them. Double subverted in the sequel ''Always a Witch'' because she loses her powers.]]
* Joram, protagonist of ''Literature/TheDarkswordTrilogy'', was born "Dead," without Magic in a world where Magic is Life. While "Dead" people crop up occasionally in each generation, they all have a small amount of magical ability. Joram is [[UnSorcerer the only person in the world with none at all]].
* This is the norm for the [[DifferentlyPoweredIndividual Others]] in the ''[[Literature/NightWatch Watch]]'' books by Creator/SergeyLukyanenko. It's extremely rare for a child of two Others to be an Other (about the same chances as an Other being born to Muggle parents), which is why many Other couples avoid having children, so as not to have to watch them grow old and die. The exceptions are the vampires and the werewolves, who usually turn their children at a young age. Kostya Saushkin is notable as being a vampire who [[IHateYouVampireDad resents his father for turning him]]. One of the novels has a story arc dealing with a plot by [[spoiler:Geser and Olga]] to turn their Muggle son into an Other. Anton and Svetlana are exceptions in that they were foreseen to have a child who was an extremely powerful Other (Svetlana is already a very powerful Light sorceress; [[spoiler:Anton reaches Svetlana's level thanks to the Fuaran text]]).
* Bink, protagonist of ''A Spell for Chameleon'', the first book in the Literature/{{Xanth}} series, is thought to be this when he shows no magic talent in a land where everyone must have a magic talent by law; he is set to be exiled. [[spoiler:Subverted – it turns out that he did have a magic talent all along, and a Magician-caliber one at that: he cannot be harmed by magic. And in Xanth, most of everything is magic.]]
** His Talent stayed hidden because those who knew he had it would find ways around it and harm him; this actually qualified as [[SemanticSuperpower harm by magic]].
* Played with in ''Literature/TheRavenCycle.'' Blue is the only non-psychic in her large household, but does have the ability to amplify others' own power with her presence. She has psychic energy, just not the powers.
* Carrie Vaughn's book ''Literature/AfterTheGoldenAge'' features Celia West, the daughter of two famous superheroes, who has no superpowers at all. This is also brought up at the end when [[spoiler:Celia and Arthur Mentis, a telepath, have a baby and Celia is wondering if the baby will have powers or not and hopes it does not.]]
* This is something very common in the world of ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant''. Most of the main character, Stephanie/Valkyrie's family are normal humans despite (unknowingly) being descendants of a powerful line of mages. This trope also comes to its ultimate conclusion in the third book, ''The Faceless Ones'', where [[spoiler:the BigBad is revealed to be a farmer who was the only Muggle in a family of mages, and grew to resent all mages for looking down on him.]]
* Very common in ''Literature/TheSwordOfTruth'' series (there was a major magic disruption a few thousand years ago). Commonly called "skips"; whether Rowling's later use of a similar term is accidental is unknown.
* In ''Literature/TheLostYearsOfMerlin,'' it's mentioned that magic generally skips a generation; Merlin's grandfather, Tuatha, was a wizard, but his father only had powers when he wielded magical items and made a DealWithTheDevil. In the SequelSeries, ''TheGreatTreeOfAvalon,'' Merlin's own son was powerless but his grandson has magic. As another odd quirk, non-magical generations still benefit from [[WizardsLiveLonger centuries-long life spans]].
* [[spoiler:Gaithim]] of ''Literature/TheQuestOfTheUnaligned'' is this, and was abused, denigrated, and locked away for it. However, he was also extremely intelligent, and ended up learning how to turn himself ''into'' a mage, something believed to be as impossible in that world as in ours. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, the process he used turned him into a hoshek, an AxCrazy but very powerful mage of pure {{dark|IsEvil}}ess.]]
* In the ''Literature/LunarChronicles'', "shells" are Lunars born without the ability to manipulate bioelectricity, essentially making them human but immune to Lunar glamour and mind tricks. This means high-ranking Lunars don't want them around and want them reported and killed immediately.
* Subverted in the ''Literature/GentlemanBastard'' series. The Bondsmagi of Karthain are a society of sorcerers who have been around for ages, but as we learn in the third book, there have only been about five children of Bondsmagi in the past three centuries or so who actually had magic. (The main character asks what happened to the non-magical children, and is indignantly told that [[EveryoneHasStandards they're raised with love, not sacrificed for power or anything like that]].)
* ''Literature/TheGatesOfSleep'': Arachne Chamberten was born without Elemental magic, to parents who were both Elemental mages (and implied to be from long lines of mages). Unfortunately for her parents and mage-born brother, she found out that you don't ''need'' inborn mage-talents to use BlackMagic.
* In Jeramey Kraatz's ''Literature/TheCloakSociety'', not all children born to Cloak members manifest powers (though their children sometimes can). Misty's mother, for instance.
* ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'': Angua (a werewolf) reveals that she had two siblings unable to change form. One of them was stuck as a human, the other one was stuck as a wolf. Her brother Wolfgang (ANaziByAnyOtherName) killed the former and the latter ran off to become a prize-winning shepherd dog.
* ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'': Unlike their Greek cousins the Roman half-bloods may actually live to adult hood in the safety of New Rome and even have kids. While they're still descended from the gods these kids and those that come after are not guaranteed to have any powers.
* Ida, the {{Protagonist}} of ''Literature/ShamanOfTheUndead'', ''[[IJustWantToBeNormal really wants to be one]]'', despite her parents anxiety that she shows her magical talent already. Turns out, she has one, and it's ISeeDeadPeople coupled with {{Psychopomp}} (a combo known InUniverse as [[TitleDrop shaman of the undead]]) - and she's known about it most of her life. But [[GoneHorriblyRight the magical wards around her family house]] don't let ghosts through. That, and she really dislikes her parents' [[ArrangedMarriage plans for her]].
* Discussed in ''Literature/ShamanBlues'' when Witkacy wonders whether Wiktoria, a daughter of two people with modicum of magical talent, is this trope or not. [[spoiler:Turns out she's not.]]
* Huw Jones, protagonist of ''Literature/TheRaptureOfTheNerds'', is the non-magical version of this; both his parents were geniuses in ''multiple fields'', while he is utterly mundane. He was ''not'' happy when ''both'' his parents chose BrainUploading the instant it was available; for much of the book, he insists they committed ''suicide'' akin to the 21st century equivalent of Jamestown.
* "Norlocks" are sometimes born to the Kymeran WitchSpecies in Creator/NancyACollins's ''Golgotham'' trilogy; they generally [[ExtraDigits have five fingers per hand instead of the usual six]], and are considered disabled by other Kymerans due to the species' focus on magic. Kymeran [[HalfHumanHybrids Half-Human Hybrids]] are likely to be norlocks[[spoiler:; explicit mention is made of Tymm—son of the protagonist and deuteragonist in the series—having five-fingered hands like his (human) mother, although one ''does'' wonder how her being a [[ExtraOreDinary ferromancer]] would affect him]].
* The magic that gives [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Vir Requis]] their [[{{Shapeshifter}} power]] in the ''Literature/DragonsOfRequiem'' series seems very randomly hit or miss. Vir Requis can be born of non-Vir Requis and vis versa. The backstory for the BigBad of the first trilogy written (though not chronologically first), ''Song of Dragons'', is the eldest son of the king and queen born without the magic. He's treated like absolute dirt, hidden from sight, and passed over for the thrown. As a result he: rapes his brother's wife, stages a coup, kills the king, steals a magic amulet, kidnaps one of his brother's daughters, and returns years later with an army that hunts the Vir Requis to the brink of extinction.
* In ''[[Literature/TheUnicornTrilogy Black Unicorn]]'' Jaive initially neglected her daughter Tanaquil because she thought Tanaquil had been this, not inherited any magical ability from her, and took too much after her biological father in her skills with mending and mechanical objects. [[spoiler:It's not until toward the end of the book that Jaive realizes Tanaquil's magical skill ''is'' her mending: she's able to fix anything with just a glance, and what she mends can never be broken again (which, a sequel proved, includes ''broken hearts''). This makes Tanaquil the only person in the world capable of repairing the gate to the Black Unicorn's world.]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* [[spoiler:Nathan Petrelli]] from ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' is the only member of his immediate family who was born without powers. His parents injected him with SuperSerum to make up for this "deficiency".
* Arguably ''Series/TeenWolf''. It's mentioned that some of the members of Derek's family who died in the fire were human, despite the Hales primarily being a family of werewolves. Most fans have taken this to mean that not every child with werewolf parents inherits the werewolf gene, even though Derek and his sisters did.
** Of course, there's also the possibly of other relatives' marriage with non-werewolves if the residents extended beyond the nuclear family. Or rented rooms, since it is a VERY large house.
** Confirmed to be this trope as of 4x06 "Orphaned."
* In ''Series/TrueBlood'', Jason Stackhouse did not inherit any powers from his faerie ancestors like the rest of his family did. He can't even use portals that people with faerie blood can activate. He goes into IJustWantToBeSpecial moments at times.
* [[TagalongKid Henry Mills]] from ''Series/OnceUponATime''. His mother Emma is [[TheChosenOne "The Saviour"]] who is meant to break the curse (and eventually develops some magical powers of her own). His [[ItMakesSenseInContext adoptive mother/step-great-grandmother]] Regina is one of the most powerful magic users of the series. His father, [[spoiler:Neal,]] is seen to be able to use magic in season 3, but doesn't like it. And then there's Snow and Charming, his grandparents, who might not have magical powers but are still BadassNormal.
** And that's not even getting into his ''paternal'' grandfather.
** He doesn't seem to mind his lack of powers, but that's probably because he's still eleven years old.
** Subverted in later seasons, [[spoiler: when he becomes the new Author and gains RealityWarper powers, albeit with a responsibility not to actually ''use'' them]].
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Inverted by Tara: she's a witch from a family of pure {{Muggle}}s who despise for her practice of magics (and for being a female, in the case of her [[AbusiveParents father]] and brother).
** Wood's mother was a Slayer. Although he has no powers himself, he's still a damn good fighter.
* In ''Series/LostGirl'', only people with two Fae parents get Fae powers. Those who are [[HalfHumanHybrid half-human and half-Fae]] are indistinguishable from normal humans.
* Lon Suder, the murderous crew member of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', was a Betazoid born without telepathic and empathic powers.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'', Kinfolk are humans or wolves with werewolf blood, immunity to the [[WeirdnessCensor Delirium]], at least loose connections to werewolf society, and nothing else. No shapeshifting and only low-level [[FunctionalMagic Gifts]] for you, sorry! Also, you're a huge disappointment to your werewolf relatives-- useful only as breeding stock and the driver of the getaway car.
** How a Kinfolk is treated, depends largely on the Tribe. While they are indeed basicly slaves and breeding stocks to the Get of Fenris and Shadow Lords, who are very conservative, the more liberal tribes, the Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawers treat their kinfolk pretty decent and the Children of Gaia treat them as equals.
** What makes quite a few Kinfolk resent the Garou Society is the fact, that without them the Garou Society would collapse and they are still treated like rubbish. As they are needed for reproduction, raising the children and keeping a facade of a normal life standing for normal people.
** The TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness's ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken'' has the functionally wolf-blooded who get at least a ''little'' more respect than their spiritual ancestors. One of the splatbooks gave them their own share of abilities.
*** Forsaken-style werewolves are a mix of a spirit and a human from birth, with the spirit heritage reproducing in a spirit-fashion separate from the human genetics. Two werewolves cannot produce viable offspring because there's too much of the spirit side of the inheritance, and the children of a werewolf and a human don't have any greater chance of going wolf than a muggle. Wolf-blooded are actually the greatest treasure of the werewolves, because they're the only people in the setting with a measurably greater probability of producing viable werewolf offspring.
*** In 2nd edition that's no longer true, two werewolves can give birth to a normal-ish(the child's a wolf-blooded)offspring
** ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' has Proximi, who are dynastic hereditary Sleepwalkers: [[{{Muggles}} Sleepers]] who do not have the supernal power of mages, but can witness it without the threat of [[WeirdnessCensor Paradox]]. A Proximus, unlike a normal Sleepwalker, is born into an established family of mages and other Proximi, and ''can'' use limited supernal magic. Mages also believe Proximi are more likely to Awaken than other Sleepers.
* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' setting, only the Terrestrial Exalted's powers are hereditary; the children of other Exalted are plain mortals unless their Exalted parent has a high Essence rating, then they can be Half Caste. During the Golden Age (when the Solars ruled) the offspring of Solars were called "Golden Children"; born into status, wealth and privilege, but with none of the powers their parents wielded.
** This also happens to the aforementioned Terrestrials; Dragon-Blooded breeding is, in general, not what it used to be. It is common enough for children of Terrestrial parents to fail to Exalt, which typically brings down [[UnFavorite a good degree of shame and disapproval]] on their heads. [[HopeSpot However]], such a mortal STILL carries the blood of the Dragons in him, unexpressed though it may be, and thus there is a chance--increased if he himself ends up with a Terrestrial spouse--that HIS children may yet Exalt.
* In the TabletopGame/{{Mystara}} setting for D&D, the Empire of Alphatia was founded by refugees from a destroyed world where magic was ''extremely'' potent, and only an unlucky few (presumably, those afflicted with subnormal Intelligence ''and'' Wisdom) were incapable of using it. Such people were regarded as handicapped in Old Alphatian society, and many well-known magic items were originally invented to accommodate their "disabilities".

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[spoiler:Florian Greenheart]] in ''VideoGame/OverlordII'' [[spoiler:was the only Elf who couldn't use magic]]. The disaster that sparked FantasticRacism against all magical beings was triggered by his first attempt to fix this, [[spoiler:and the magic hating Glorious Empire he founded is his second attempt.]]
* In the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' series:
** The Dalish Warden in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has no magical talents, but their father was the Keeper of the Sabrae Clan before Marethari.
** Carver Hawke from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', one of Hawke's two siblings who become mutually exclusive early on depending on player class. He only lives past the opening if Hawke is a mage, in which case both his elder sibling and his twin sister were born with magic. This meant the family had to move frequently to avoid the Templars and father had to spend more time with his siblings to teach them to control their powers. His resulting insecurities are a big part of his story arc. Depending on your choices, he may even end up joining [[KnightTemplar Kirkwall's Templar Order]] out of a mix of resentment and a desire to be "more than just your brother." [[spoiler:The tragic irony is that Carver is what Malcolm Hawke [[WhatIfTheBabyIsLikeMe wanted all of his children to be]].]]
** The [[BadassFamily Amell family]] could be considered this, since the line seems to blur between whether they're a family that produces an unlikely amount of Mages, or just a family of Mages with quite a few non-magic children. It's mentioned that despite their best efforts to breed magic out of their family line to retain their noble high standing in Kirkwall, it always managed to find its way back in.
* In ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', Jedi Grandmaster Satele Shan's son Theron is not Force-sensitive. Virtually all Sith Purebloods are Force-sensitive because those who are not are traditionally slain as infants, though the Inquisitor meets an exception working as a diplomat in Voss, stating that in her case her parents managed to work something out for her.
** This doesn't mean that Theron is in any way less of a badass than his mom... or his dad (Jace Malcolm, the Supreme Commander of the Republic forces).
** Theron is in almost the exact same situation as his ancestor Vaner Shan, who was not Force-sensitive despite being the son of [[spoiler:Jedi Knight Bastila Shan and the former Sith Lord Revan]].
* The main character in ''VideoGame/BlackSigil'' seems to fall under this initially.
* In ''VideoGame/GoldenSun: The Lost Age'', being a non-Adept in a family full of Mars Adepts doesn't seem to bother Briggs a bit. He ''is'' a BadassNormal, but he's also not above just getting his Adept relatives to do things for him. In ''Dark Dawn'', he's also shown to have a better awareness of Psynergy than most non-Adepts, and is one of the few who [[WeirdnessCensor recognizes it in action]], giving him a certain degree of savvy in dealing with Adepts.
* The main character in the ''Videogame/{{Awakening}}'' series, Princess Sophia, was the only human born without magic. She eventually managed to defeat the villain ''because of'' this limitation rather than despite it.
* ''Franchise/TheSims'':
** In ''VideoGame/TheSims3'' Supernatural expansion, Joe is this in the [=MacDuff=] family. Only he and his mother are not witches. However this is not possible if both parents are supernatural creatures.
** In ''VideoGame/TheSims2'', supernatural sims who can breed will produce normal sim offspring, making this trope the norm. The exceptions are aliens, who have a set of genetics that will hybridize with normal sim genes, and plant-sims who use the "pollinate" option to asexually produce plant-sim toddlers (plant-sims that "woo-hoo" will have normal sim offspring).

* The Dark Knight in ''Webcomic/HarryPotterComics'' is a squib and can't use wands or magic on his own. But he's highly practiced as a magical artificer, welding magic into everyday objects, including his own battle armor (kevlar-lined full plate) that makes him highly resistant to bullets, swords, AND magic attacks.
* ''[[http://battlefieldbabysitter.blogspot.com/ Battlefield Babysitter]]'' features Kat, whose parents and brothers all have superpowers. She has... pink hair. She also has experience in ballet, gymnastics and karate from when her parents tried to prepare her for potential powers. She also has the experience of being around other heroes so that she is uniquely qualified to babysit for other heroes superpowered kids.
* ''Webcomic/AtomicLaundromat'' owner David is actually an aversion. He may be the son of an alien empress and Earth's greatest super hero and the only one of his siblings without powers, but he firmly believes that one doesn't need powers to make a difference in the world so he's not the least bit bitter about it. Nor is he pathetic. If anything, he's frustrated that most people seem to expect him to be bitter or pathetic.
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'': Tedd Verres was born to two people with extraordinary magical ability, but is "magically impaired". Not only does he not have native power, he cannot be empowered like most people can be. He generally compensates by building MagiTech devices that use ambient magical energy. Later comics have revealed [[spoiler:that while Tedd may not have access to standard magic, he ''does'' have native powers of his own: he can "see" and intrinsically understand any magic spell just by looking at it, he can de-enchant things, and he's capable of creating magic catalysts (wands, basically). Such beings are known as "Seers", and are exceptionally rare even among mages.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Zoophobia}}'': Despite [[SassyBlackWoman Sahara]]'s unrelenting interest in magic, she hopelessly lacks her family's magical ability. Of course, this leads to many undesired mishaps.
* In ''WebComic/StandStillStaySilent'', of the four Hotakainen family members to have gotten development, only Tuuri lacks mage powers. Her grandmother, older brother and cousin are all mages. According to WordOfGod, her grandfather was one as well.
* In the ''WebComic/GloomVerse'', the unnamed protagonist simply called Assistant is this, being very unusual for someone her age not to have any magic at all and is treated poorly by her parents and society because of it. [[spoiler:subverted in the climactic battle where it was revealed her powers were hidden from her and returned to help stop the Antagonist]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries'', Tim the Witch-Smeller was born to witch parents with no powers but [[WizardsLiveLonger a warlock's longevity]]--worse, he was apparently unique, so he grew up [[FreudianExcuse mocked and tormented by his empowered peers]]. The result is a psychopathic [[TheWitchHunter witch hunter]] with a [[FantasticRacism grudge against witches]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDragonJakeLong'', the dragon powers "skipped" Jake's mother's generation. Her father, son, and daughter can all transform into dragons, but she can't.
* Who is or isn't a bender in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' is [[RandomlyGifted random]] (except the Air Nomads, who were always benders), so it's possible for the children of two benders to be non-benders:
** Both parents of swordmaster Piandao were firebenders. When they found out he had no bending powers they gave him to the orphanage.
** As far as we know, Princess Ursa and her mother Rina don't display any firebending abilities, but Rina's father was a firebender -- namely [[spoiler:Aang's predecessor Roku, who could bend the other elements too, being the Avatar and all]].
** By ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Aang and Katara had one non-bending offspring, Bumi. He has a major chip on his shoulder, particularly toward his younger brother. [[spoiler:Until season three when he, and many other {{Muggle}}s, spontaneously develops Airbending due to the Harmonic Convergence.]]
* Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'', with Gungi, a force-sensitive Wookiee which, according to Yoda, is a very rare occurrence.