During the Red Ribbon saga, General White, a big, husky man, gives Goku a punch directly to the gut. Goku remarks that it felt like a fly landing on him, and returns the blow with an uppercut that sends White bouncing off the ceiling.
Tien does this to Yamcha's first Kamehameha when they fight for the first time.
Numerous fights in Dragonball Z featured this trope, usually at early stages in each fight to establish the strength of the latest foe. The fight against Vegeta and Nappa is a perfect example, with every energy attack used against them being a No Sell until Goku shows up. When Cell achieved perfect status, he didn't even notice Krillin attacking him.
If fact, the very first violent clash in Dragonball Z was this trope, with Piccolo's energy attack against Raditz doing absolutely nothing.
In Movie 8, the titular villain, Broly, takes a Kamehameha Wave point-blank. The look of horror on Goku's face when Broly taunts him for it is priceless.
Any time a barrage of Ki Attacks leaves a cloud of dust/smoke obscuring the target, you can rest assured that they'll emerge completely unscathed once a convenient gust of wind blows the cloud away. At most, you'll see some Clothing Damage.
Goku himself does a variation of it to Frieza after achieving Super Saiyan form: Frieza is getting frustrated at how Goku effortlessly dodges all of his Ki Attacks, until Goku deliberately lets one hit him right on the kisser. Goku's head snaps back as if he took real damage, but then he raises his head and reveals the attack didn't even leave a scratch.
Mr. Popo once ate a Kamehameha Wave fired by Goku in their first meeting.
In Tower of God, Shinsoo is everything. It's an unlimited power and is breathed instead of air, so many people prefer this to normal physical attacks. So when people who are almost completely immune to it appear, like Yuri and Viole, this trope just piles up.
In Kinnikuman, when Screwkid stabbed his 'you've failed me' boss Big the Buddo, he was so overpowered he disintegrated due to how ineffective his attack was. That's right, the villain who killed two major superheroes in one blow and gave two others a real run for their money was so weak by comparison that the recoil of hitting the guy killed him. And Budo was holding back. Budo then took finisher attacks from other heroes without flinching at all, even moves that would have defeated major villains from the previous arcs. In fact, it took THREE supreme attacks to finally defeat him.
Ishida had a chance to fight an Espada in Hueco Mundo - too bad that the Espada in question just happened to be immune to Quincy powers... in fact, he claimed he could make himself resistant to any powers, provided he got a chance to study them beforehand.
Mayuri later does the exact same thing to the Espada.
The villain of a filler arc had the power to negate all Shinigami powers, even the Head Captain's. Conveniently, Ichigo has Hollow powers he can use instead, making him the only one who can fight back. Nevermind that the Head Captain has amply demonstrated that he doesn't need his powers to beat you down.
Aizen does this a lot, even in the face of ever more powerful attacks directed his way by the heroes. For a while, his favorite phrase was "That would have worked on me before I evolved"
Post-Dangai Ichigo pulled Aizen's stunt on Aizen himself, brushing off his most powerful attacks like they were nothing and forcing Aizen to evolve two more times to even put a scratch on him. In fact, Ichigo got hit with this hard when Getsuga Tensho became So Last Season.
The Arrancar have an ability called Hierro that makes their skin extremely hard, Nnoitra possessing the strongest of all. After Chad uses an attack to critically injure a former Espada's released form, Nnoitra is completely unaffected by the same move. He later goes on to shrug off several hits from Ichigo's bankai.
Ulquiorra basically bitch slaps Benehime's (Urahara's zanpakuto) shikai ability out of the way. The same special ability that just seconds ago managed to negate Yammy's cero. Keep in mind Urahara's abilities are captain level.
Charlotte's strength and speed is so great Yumichika is thrown around like a ragdoll during their fight until Charlotte activates his Finishing Move. As soon as Yumichika realizes the killer rosebush has completely isolated him from the rest of the battlefield, he promptly throws off Charlotte, activates his Cover Blowing Superpower and curb-stomps Charlotte. Not only does he completely ignore the rosebush that's supposed to kill him, but Charlotte's strength and speed is now utterly negated the moment Yumichika stops being Willfully Weak.
When Ichigo attempts to attack Juhabach in bankai, his bankai suffers this from Haschwald who not only one-shots Ichigo's bankai, but even breaks Tensa Zangetsu in half in the process.
One of the examples where the hero frequently benefits is in Mahou Sensei Negima!, whose protagonist regularly shrugs off attacks and abilities far beyond other characters, through dint of good power and good training. Exemplified by Jack Rakan, who at one point takes a massive chain of specialized, unique attacks dead-on, culminating in being run through on a titan-slayer lance and left pinned. He promptly removes the obstruction and stands back up smiling.
And then he manages to will himself back into being after being erased from existence. Twice!
An earlier incident had Madoka attempting to slap Kotaro after he accidentally walked in on Ako while she was changing. He blocks the slap, so she punches him in the face. His reaction is a completely deadpan "Ow."
A humorous interlude in which everyone is confessing their worries and Makie's only problem is that she can't think of any worries turns out to foreshadow her being completely unaffected by "Poyo"'s Lotus-Eater Machine artifact. The funny part about that is the other character who no-sells the same spell: the resident complainer Chisame.
Let's not forget Asuna's trademarked and absolutely broken innate Magic Cancel. As in, she's immune to anything but beneficial magic, and this is especially notorious when she's walking through a gigantic Great Magic mine and canceling it around her as she goes.
In Fist of the North Star, Souther was able to literally laugh off Kenshiro's strongest moves during their first fight and send poor Ken face-down onto the pavement with X-shaped face lacerations directly afterward. Souther was born with situs inversus totalis, a condition that reversed the sides of his body that his internal organs and blood vessels — and thus the pressure points needed to be hit to actualize the Hokuto Shinken style — were on.
Lyrical Nanoha at the end of the second season goes all out, puts Raising Heart into its Excelion mode, does a super charge attack to break a barrier and fires everything she has point blank at The Book of Darkness... who just looks at her when the smoke clears with a clear sense of 'Didn't I just tell you that that isn't going to work? Twit.' Yeah, TWIT. Because she's so much stronger (and also not evil) that using harsher insults would be a waste.
Happens in One Piece whenever the ill-defined Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors system of powers comes into play. The most famous (and satisfying) is the beginning of the fight between Luffy (made of rubber) and Eneru (made of lightning), in which Luffy takes multiple One-Hit Kill moves in a row without a hair on his head being harmed.
Though it turns out Eneru is a perfectly capable physical fighter, and capable of using his magic powers creatively to harm Luffy (such as using electricity to create heat, which can hurt rubber). It's still a rough fight.
During the early parts of the East Blue saga, Luffy shrugs off blunt force with the phrase, "That won't work on me, I'm a rubberman." Over time, his enemies tend to 1) realize earlier that blunt force and guns won't work on him and switch tactics accordingly, 2) supply enough blunt force to actually hurt him, albeit less than he should be, (Shadows Asgard, Rokuougan), or 3) use Haki to get past his Devil Fruit power. However, at times, his powers work to protect him, such as when he survives human form Lucci's Shigan aimed at the neck because he is a rubber man.
Almost any Logia fruit user worth their salt is able to No Sell almost any attack that isn't Haki enhanced (or isn't of a element that trumps the Logia's element) by turning into their constituent element,
Brook is able to No Sell Ikaros Much's moisture-sucking squid spears thanks to the fact that he's a living skeleton. There's nothing to drain.
Since his upgrade, Brook is able to survive most physical harm (even decapitation) due to his newfound 'soul' powers. Turns out his true form is that of a spirit, and he's merely possessing his old body.
A Certain Magical Index's Touma literally has this for a superpower, in that his right hand will negate any and all things supernatural. Power to kill me with a thought? Yeah-no.
Of course, if one were to, say, sever his right arm, he would be relieved of this power. Good thing Touma is the sort of person who can no-sell losing afreaking arm.In the latest light novels, severing his arm just unleashes something worse.
Terra of the Left's power is to assign numbers to people and objects. Nothing can be harmed by something of a lower number. By doing this to himself, he's practically invulnerable. This also works in reverse, allowing higher-ranked flour to slice through lower-ranked brick walls. The Knight Leader has a similar ability to Terra's, by making the opponent's attack power change to zero.
The nature of Accelerator's power pretty much means that he can No Sell everything (unless your name is Touma).
Acqua of the Back has the ability to "negate the sin of murder", essentially making him or anybody he chooses invulnerable as long as the ability is active. He's also immune to divine punishment, because he's a completely sinless human.
Hayate the Combat Butler Machina is apparently immune to the most powerful Isumi's incantations. No explanation for this yet.
Also, when Ed & Al decided to try and fight him with their alchemy, Father simply put his foot down and alchemy stopped working everywhere, soon afterward however, Mei showed up and her Xingese alkahestry actually did work. A CMOA for both characters, really.
When Kirby tried using his inhale ability on Meta Knight in an episode of Kirby: Right Back At Ya!, he is completely unaffected for some reason.
In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete, Cloud attempts to use the Omnislash, his ultimate Limit Break from the game, on Sephiroth. Unlike the original Advent Children, Sephiroth proceeds with evading the first strikes, blocking a couple more, deflecting one strike with enough force to push Cloud back, and finally impales Cloud on the Masamune when Cloud attempts the final cut.
From Fairy Tail, any Dragon Slayer can No Sell an attack of their own element by eating it and giving themselves a power upgrade in the process.
The legendary evil-destroying magic Fairy Glitter had no effect, when Cana tried to use it on Bluenote. The latter even explains that the difference in their sheer magical power is so great, that no matter what spell she uses, the result will be the same.
And then there's Hades, who simply No Sells everything thrown his way.
Ultear's Time Arc allows her to No Sell Creation magic Unless it's made of blood.*
It has no effect on living things, to be precise.
Zancrow cannot be harmed by fire until Natsu combines his and Zancrow's flames into a Yin Yang Bomb. Also, Natsu punches him hard enough to send him flying, then drops a tree on him, with no effect.
Gajeel's Iron Dragon Scale armor lets him No Sell all of Natsu's flame attacks when they first fight. Needless to say, the rest of that fight is one big Curb-Stomp Battle.
Stein No Sells in his first appearance where he negates Black*Star's Ki Attacks and caught Maka and Soul's Witch Hunt.
Also Asura No Sells Black*Star's Ki Attacks as well.
Also earlier in the series where Blade took a nuke head on and completely no sold it.
In Durarara, Saika transmits The Virus through cutting people, adding them to its Hive Mind. This doesn't work on Shizuo, because The Virus requires that the victim be afraid of it, and Shizuo is only afraid of himself. It also didn't work on Celty, but she's technically undead, and it might not have been trying to infect her.
Code Geass used a mecha version of this trope with the introduction of the Guren-Seiten in R2:18. Most of Kallen's strategy when she's not attacking is to simply no-sell everything the enemy throws at her. In fact, Suzaku actually breaks one of his swords when she does this.
Naruto: Oh Crap ensues when the Third Raikage, who became famous for no-selling practically everything, no-sold a Rasenshuriken, a One-Hit Kill attack in the series. The only thing (we ever saw) that damaged him were his own attacks, something that Naruto exploited during his fight with him after learning about it from a Tailed Beast.
In a non-physical example, genjutsu gets The Worf Effect thanks to Kabuto's Snake Sage Mode where his snake corneas prevent Sasuke and Itachi from using their Sharingan against him, because Kabuto is essentially blind and cannot make eye contact. Itachi defeats him with Izanami.
Anyone in this show can No Sell anything if they are generating enough Spiral Power. Case in point: Thymilph's Condemn Glaize or whatever it's called. It puts a fair-sized hole in the Gurren and Kamina ;_;, but when they combine and are leading up to the series' first Giga Drill Break, it's deflected effortlessly. "It can't break this hand!" It's a good thing the villains never twig that people currently delivering a Badass Boast are impossible to even scratch, or TTGL would have been a very short and uninteresting show.
In Last Exile, the Silvana pulls this during its "duel" with the Goliath.
InuYasha: Toukijin is revealed to be so powerful it can possess anyone even its own creator, resulting in not even The Protagonist or Ultimate Blacksmith from being able to approach it. They try to warn Sesshoumaru away from the sword saying it's too dangerous to touch, but he picks it up anyway. Sesshoumaru immediately chastises the sword for trying to take control of his will and the evil aura promptly vanishes in response. The Ultimate Blacksmith is extremely disquieted upon seeing that Sesshoumaru's will is so powerful he didn't even have to make an effort to squash the sword's will.
During the Final Battle of the ultimate arc in Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai, a Took a Level in Badass Akasaka mows his way through the Yamainu goons, when their leader finally manages to land a good, solid punch straight to his ribcage. Akasaka's sole reaction? "How weak...", followed by a return punch that makes the Yamainu leader pass out even though it technically missed him by an inch.
In Pokémon Special, Pryce, having been trapped in the time stream for several years, is completely immune to Dialga's Roar of Time attack.
In the anime, Iris's new Dragonite showed how strong it was when it took multiple ice attacks head on without slowing down.
Iris' battle against Drayden had his Druddigon no-selling Iris' Dragonite's Ice Beam and Dragon Rush. It had no businessdoing that!
When Charizard came back he had a round with Iris's Dragonite. The guy no selled everything Dragonite threw at him.
A lot of the early events of the Gundam metaverse paints the namesake Mobile Suits as being able to do this.
The original Mobile Suit Gundam had the Gundam be this way, taking little to no damage from Zaku machine guns, due to the fact that the Gundam's Luna Titanium armor was much stronger than the Zaku's normal titanium armor.
The Gundams of New Mobile Report Gundam Wing has powerful "Gundanium" armor, able to withstand anything short of a powerful Buster Rifle. Later on, there's the Planet Defensors, devices that can form a nearly impenetrable force field, tanking anything up to and including Wing Zero's Buster Rifle
"Indestructible" means a card can't be destroyed by damage or by effects that say "destroy". Other ways of affecting it still matter, though, as does, in the case of creatures, reducing toughness to zero.
"Protection from X" means that a creature cannot be damaged by anything with property X, enchanted or equipped with anything with property X, blocked by anything with property X, or targeted by anything with property X. This can be a double-edged sword, though.
"Regenerate" works similar to indestructible, but requires you do something to activate it.
"Absorb X" means "Every time a source would deal this creature damage, prevent X damage."
"Shroud" means that a card can't be targeted. "Hexproof" means it can't be targeted by cards your opponents control.
"Madness" means you can play it, for its madness cost, when you are forced to discard it.
Counterspells take all of the above a step further and stop the opponent from trying anything to begin with.
Finally, there are cards which cannot be countered.
In the Magic: The Gathering fandom, there are several jokes about Jace Beleren countering opponent spells by simply saying No.
In story Nicol Bolas (or, as some call him, Nicol Badass) does this to Teferi in Time Spiral. He allows Teferi's disguised ultimate attack to hit, which should have put him in stasis for eternity. Nicol laughs it off and then rips him into tiny pieces.
A pair of trap cards known as Spirit Barrier and Astral Barrier. Spirit Barrier prevents the player from taking damage, as long as they have a monster on the field, but monsters can still take damage. With Astral Barrier the player can take attacks for the monsters instead. Combined, the player can No Sell literally any attack for his monsters.
Vennominga, the Deity of Poisonous Snakes has it's own version. Like the Anime's God Cards, it has protection from all spell, trap and monster effects, and can remove from play another snake from the grave to revive itself if it dies.
In the Legion of Super-Heroes comics, Nemesis Kid's ability to adapt to his enemy's powers is frequently applied this way.
In the LSV War, Blok was suddenly revealed to be immune to telepathic abilities after the villain Esper Lass tried to control his mind: "I am BLOK, Esper Lass... and your power has no claim on me!" Umm, since when?
Mutant siblings (or other close relatives) in the Marvel Universe are sometimes unaffected by each other's abilities. Sometimes even when that would make no physical sense...
Trauma's fear based shapeshifting powers failed when he tried to use them against Norman Osborn and The Hood because the source of the Hood's power, the Dread Demon Dormammu, has a ceasefire agreement with the source of Trauma's power, his own father the dream demon Nightmare.
Trauma once tried to use his powers against the Incredible Hulk, transforming into the Abomination, into the Juggernaut, into Brian Banner, and even Bruce Banner, none of them even giving the Hulk pause. When questioned as to why he was immune, Hulk put it simply; he has no fear.
One of Superman's stated weaknesses is magic. In some canons, this means that magic spells will not work on him at all, meaning that spells fizzle, bounce, pass through him or otherwise react to him like Anti-Magic. In other canons, though, it simply means that magic affects him like it would affect anything that's Nigh Invulnerable, which is to say not much (magically-generated fire doesn't burn him unless it would burn rock, but he can be Mind Controlled as easily as any Human Alien), thus averting this trope.
In some canons Superman's invulnerability simply didn't work against magic at all, even if the same attack didn't work on less invulnerable characters. It varied with the story.
Note that in the picture above (which comes from the second Superman versus Spider-Man special) Superman had already been knocked around by the Hulk, but decided to stand his ground using his full power to calm the monster. The story hints that if he hadn't succeeded, the Hulk (whose strength increases the madder he gets) would have eventually overcome even that.
In recent years, Superman's been stunned if not outright hurt by electricity and lightning.
The Quiz, a member of the Brotherhood of Dada (opponents of the Doom Patrol) has "every superpower you haven't thought of yet", which means just that - she can give herself any power, but her opponent can No Sell it just by thinking of it... unfortunately, while he does that, she'll just think up a few other powers to continue with. Also, she can easily No Sell her opponents by coming up with a unique power that counters theirs; she defeated the Negative Man with "power to conjure spirit-proof jars" and trapping the negative spirit inside.
Although Fridge Logic leaves you wondering how she has any powers at all the moment you think 'the power to have any power you haven't thought of', since logically once you think of her power she should promptly become powerless.
The second issue of US-1 featured an ordinary trucker who was tough enough to completely ignore being hit in the head with a wrench.
This is one of Popeye's trademarks. The sailor's ability to take punishment has stymied more foes than his ability to dish it out. In one memorable instance, Popeye gets shot in the stomach at point-blank range, only to spit the bullets out into his hand. As he tells his stupified attacker, "What, didja think I was a softy?"
Forgotten Realms Comics had a brief demonstration of magic immunity and circumvention thereof. It ran thusly:
nameless Cyricist: Give up! I cannot be harmed by your spells.
One recurring method of Easy Evangelism in Chick Tracts, which is laden with Unfortunate Implications (but in a Chick tract, what isn't?) is when a follower of a non-Christian religion proves to be a Magical Minority that worships demons whom he sics at the pure innocent Christian du-jour, only for God to ward of the attack completely. This usually prompts the Magical Minority to approach the Christian and ask what kind of awesome God he has. It should be noted that, as far as we know, this is supposed to be a realistic portrayal of the real world.
Subverted in Rising Stars. A supposedly invincible character who feels no pain is shown to be terribly useless. Just because he was invulnerable didn't mean that he could stay standing when hit; he just wouldn't feel pain. And then he was murdered when someone taped him to a chair and tied a plastic bag over his head while he slept. He wasn't able to tell anything was going on, so he asphyxiated.
Played more straight later on: It turns out that whenever a "Special" dies, the remainder get more powerful. So by the time there's only a few dozen left (After a series of murders, then super-human battles, then military strikes), they're all Flying Bricks who can take anything... except for an EMP blast which short-circuits their powers.
Titan later does this to the Elements of Harmony and depowers them at the same time by simply saying no.
Jewel Of Darkness: Midnight's powers allow her to block most attacks, including Jinx's magic, though she has to concentrate for that to work. (Un)Fortunately, the new armor she gets during the second arc built from Ai's remains actively neutralizes Jinx's magic on its own.
The metal composing Razor's body not only blocks energy attacks, but the strength of the metal makes it painful for anyone performing a physical attack.
Guerra has a tendency to No Sell attacks due to a combination of his body mass and super strength.
A flashback shows that Nyarlathotep was able to shrug off the thermonuclear explosion Celestia used on him last time he showed up.
Subverted with the Elements of Harmony, which not only does he admit might actually work on him, when unleashed vaporize him completely. While it doesn't kill him, it still banishes him back from whence he came and allows Celestia and Luna time to seal the way he got to Equestria before.
A villain example, the ValeyardNo Sells Twilight's Memory Spell, because he isn't the Discorded Doctor, but a pure evil regeneration of him. Though Twilight later states that the Memory Spell likely DID affect base Time Lord, allowing the Doctor to return after they kill the Valeyard persona for good.
Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami has so, so many of these, mostly introduced by way of convoluted plot twists. One of the simplest is that Blud is immune to poison because he is the king. One of the more complicated is that a Royal Death Note cannot be used to kill someone in the past unless their name would have been written in it in all possible futures.
In the Touhou/Pokemon crossover Monsters in Paradise Flandre is unable to "kyuu" (translation: explode by concentrating magical energy) Skarmory because of his Sturdy ability, that negates one-hit KOs.
Once per Episode in the Terminator films. For example, in the second film, when the female police officer attempts a forearm shiver with her gun, all she manages to do is damage the Terminator's glasses. He gives her an annoyed look, grabs her face, and throws her down a hallway.
Fright Night: "You have to have faith for that (a crucifix) to work, Mr. Vincent!"
For the most part of the first movie the agents in The Matrix, then Neo during and after the climax, and throughout the series until he fought the Oracle-empowered Smith.
Played with in Spaceballs. When Lone Star tries to give the Vulcan neck pinch to one of the Spaceballs, it has no effect. The Spaceball then says "No, no, no, stupid. You've got it much too high. It's down here where the shoulder meets the neck." Lone Star then tries again at that location while asking "Like this?", and the Spaceball says "Yeah!" and passes out.
And again when Lone Star's Schwartz repeatedly and ineffectually bounces off Dark Helmet's Schwartz-proof, well, helmet. He has to wait until Dark Helmet raises his faceplate to gloat so he can deck him in the face instead.
In X2: X-Men United, Professor Xavier, being the world's most powerful telepath, is too powerful for Jason's Mind Manipulation fluid to control him. So Stryker puts a Power Nullifier on Xavier and has Jason telepathically assault him continuously... and even then, it takes the better part of two days for Jason to wear down Xavier.
Magneto performs a No Sell of his own in the same movie, thanks to his telepathy-blocking helmet: while the mind-controlled Xavier is attacking the mutants of the world with his powers, Magneto is completely immune to the psychic attack that has literally every other mutant on Earth writhing on the ground in agony. For good measure, once he's managed to temporarily disable Cerebro and stop the attack, he finds himself face to face with Jason, who makes one final attempt at telepathically attacking him- to no avail; cue horrified stare from Jason, as Magneto smugly taps the side of his helmet by way of explanation.
In X-Men: First Class, Shaw's helmet, later Magneto's, enables him to protect himself from Xavier's abilities. In the climax, he enters a psychic-proof chamber in his submarine, and he still wears the helmet. This turns out to be a perfectly sensible precaution.
Inverted in Serenity, when Mal sells a nerve-cluster blow that doesn't actually affect him in order to fool his opponent.
In the Radio Drama adaption of this film, Han exclaims (paraphrased)) "No way, you can't just block a blaster's fire with your hand!" Right before Vader force-summons his weapon as well. Perhaps this applies to the film as well.
Pirates of the Caribbean's Davy Jones does this, even going so far as to disarm Will in At World's End after he stabs Davy with a rapier, by reaching round and bending the point of the rapier so it couldn't be drawn out of his body.
Jones:"Missed!... Did you forget? I'm a heartless wretch!"
Variation in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indy is fighting the massive German mechanic at the airfield. The mechanic obviously feels the punches and grunts with each hit, but he doesn't even move despite Indy throwing his fists full-force into his jaw. Then the mechanic delivers a single jab that knocks Indy on his ass.
Somewhat lampshaded when The Man In Black attacks an unmoving Fezzick in The Princess Bride.
"I just wanted you to think you were doing well!"
Captain America: The First Avenger: During their first meeting, the Red Skull is completely unfazed by Cap's punch to the jaw. And then he punches the Captain's shield so hard he dents it. No wonder he got a better shield afterwards.
In Red Dawn 1984, the Wolverines are being pursued by a Hind gunship and they managed to hit it with an RPG. Unfortunately, although the helicopter sways violently at the hit, it recovers and continues the pursuit.
Actually, THAT Hind retreated, the other two that where with it however...
The eponymous Prince Of Space, at least in the English translation, is fond of reminding his foes that their guns have no affect on him (though he will still try to dodge).
Prince of Space: When will you learn? Your weapons are useless against me!
In Kung Fu Panda 2, Tigress has spent the last 20 years punching ironwood trees both as a way to work out anger and to toughen up. When she spars with Po, he punches her outstretched palm and hurts himself, and she doesn't even blink.
In the midst of showing off just how much of a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass he is, the Beast ends up getting dropkicked in the face, and then punched and kicked on either side of his head in tandem. Other than his face deforming around the offending extremities, he doesn't even budge.
During the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' first fight against Tokka and Rahzar in Secret of the Ooze, Donatello tries to baseball swing his bo into Tokka. It not only fails to do any damage, but the recoil of the blow knocks Donatello senseless.
Don: All right you overgrown, ugly excuse for a turtle! (WHACK!) Ga-a-a-ah...! Y-you know, maybe that 'ugly' crack was a little bit out of line...
In The Avengers, Loki attempts to brainwash Tony Stark by touching his staff to his chest, only for it to harmlessly bounce off the arc reactor keeping Tony alive instead. Tony is, to say the least, supremely unimpressed. It even makes a loud clink when it hits. After a beat Loki tries again. Clink.
Tony: Performance issues?
Bane in The Dark Knight Rises is fond of doing this. At the start of his first fight with Batman, he doesn't even try to block or dodge his first punches, and just shrugs them off. Batman's attempts to use smoke grenades and hide in the shadows are similarly unsuccessful.
White Chicks has two sisters who get passed over for a modeling gig and try to seduce the fashion designer, only for him to sneer at them:
Designer: You are so barking up the wrong tree.
Near the ending of Con Air, Poe walks towards the Big Bad who destroyed his peaceful ride home. A nearby con raises his gun and shoots at the striding Poe, who gets hit in the upper arm. He just keeps walking and kicks the con's ass.
Valek in Maria Snyder's Ixia And Sitia books is immune to all magic, but has no magical power himself.
This was Lord Raith's power in The Dresden Files, in addition to the usual abilities of a White Court vampire; he's basically immune to magic. As it turned out, Harry's mother managed to get through his protection with her Death Curse, and used it to make him unable to feed.
Outsiders, the local eldritch abominations, are immune to pretty much everything. Harry's mother seems to have known how to beat this one, too- Harry is one of the only people who can hurt them due to something about the circumstances of his birth, which she is implied to have deliberately engineered.
A lot of powerful sidhe are partially or completely immune to magic. This can be gotten around, such as the time Harry lit an ogre on fire by lighting a can of Sterno and throwing that at it, or by using a power source that does effect them, as when he channels the fire of the Summer Court to blast the everloving bejeezus out of a powerful Winter fae.
In the Twilight novels, Bella is immune to Edward's telepathy, although he can sense everyone else. This is part of her allure for him.
The jordain from Halruaa (The Magocracy in Forgotten Realms), are almost totally immune to magic — only the strongest spells can penetrate their resistance. And, of course, they have Magehounds capable of piercing a lot of magic resistance, in case some jordaini goes rogue. One of protagonists of Counselors And Kings is the product of a jordaini birth gone awry: she possesses both magic and resistance to it. Of course, Game Breaker and much Hilarity Ensues.
In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the Yuuzhan Vong are immune to The Force. They can't be sensed, the Jedi Mind Trick is useless, and they can't be touched by telekinesis. However, Force Lightning works just fine, and experienced Force-users can simply attack them indirectly with telekinetically thrown objects. This is because the sentient planet that they lived on forcibly stripped the entire species from the Force. You can use the Force to, say, throw something at them, because you are using the Force on the object but you can't, for example, sense them because there is literally nothing to sense. Though a few Jedi eventually find a way to do so anyway by tapping into a different facet of the Force.
And occasionally their being a Force blank actually backfires: if a Jedi can see a disguised Yuuzhan Vong but can't sense him with the Force, the infiltrator may consider his cover blown.
Later books in the Sword of Truth series has people immune to magic turn up. The infamous evil pacifists fit into this category.
In The Lord of the Rings, Tom Bombadil is shown to be completely immune to the corrupting powers of the One Ring, as well as its more practical effects like invisibility.
This turns out to be a case of Blessed with Suck for Frodo and the other Hobbits; they can't ask Tom to keep the One Ring safe for them, because he's so disinterested in its power that he'd likely forget about it and leave it somewhere.
In "The Double Shadow" by Clark Ashton Smith, this is the primary power of the Eldritch Abomination that Avyctes summons. None of his magic has the slightest effect on it, and none of his usual familiars can even perceive it.
For most of the first book of the Xanth series, Bink's quasi-sentient magical talent, being unable to be harmed by magic prevents people from coming to understand its nature by working entirely through Contrived Coincidence, and so was unknown to everyone in the story, including Bink. In the climactic scene however, Bink's talent decides it is necessary that a particular antogonistic character figure it out, and causes the antagonist's magic attack to fail in rather un-subtle No Sell.
In a later book, Grey Murphy has the ability to nullify magic. This causes a series of would be opponents and other dangers to No Sell against him.
Live Action TV
Walker, Texas Ranger: The 1998 episode "Warriors" sees the leader of a supremacist group kidnap a genetic researcher, so he can force her to share her secrets to help him in his ultimate goal ... create an army of genetically superior soldiers that can help him rob banks, murder, rape women and control the drug and black markets. The enforcer of the group is one of their creations, a muscle man whom Walker cannot faze at all, even with his patented roundhouse kick. When the muscle man beats up Trivette and attempts to slam him into a concrete wall, Walker tries to shoot the man ... but he simply absorbs the bullets, thanks to the DNA that allows him to be instantly healed and not be hurt by gunfire. During the final confrontation, the man mountain has Walker beat ... but the researcher shows up, throws flammable liquid in his face and then a torch, which sets him aflame ... and stuns him long enough for Walker to recover and finally dropkick him to his death (out a plate-glass window and into a storage area conveniently full of gasoline barrels).
The Wonder Years: In the 1989 episode "Fate," Kevin tries standing up for Winnie's honor when - upon learning that her (temporary) boyfriend, Billy, the school bully - has been bad-mouthing her behind her back. Kevin confronts Billy and tells him to knock it off. Billy does a "says who?" act, after which Kevin slugs him with an uppercut ... that doesn't even faze Billy. Of course, Kevin gets the hell kicked out of him, before Billy calls him pathetic and he and his buddies leave Kevin writhing in pain.
Family Matters: In Season 2's "Requiem for an Urkel," the nerd fights school bully Willie Fuffner in a boxing match at the local gym. On Carl's advice, Urkel delivers his patented "Urkel Uppercut" when he sees an opening. It is Urkel's only offense the entire match, delivered with all of his strength and weight ... and Fuffner just stands there and smiles. (Fuffner then pounds Urkel until several other boys in the gym stand up to the bully, forcing him to run.)
Peter, Sylar, and Arthur Petrelli of Heroes are all at one point or another able to resist being affected by other people's powers. Justifiable since most of them already have those powers, but still jarring in that it shows just how much of the Super Power Lottery they've all won.
The example that stands out the most by far is Sylar versus Eden. Sylar is in captivity, and imprisoned in a cell with a large glass window with a small slot through which items can be passed. Eden enters with a gun, and then uses her Compelling Voice to command him to take the gun and kill himself. Sylar just ignores the order completely, and then telekinetically smashes Eden through the window. She then takes the gun and shoots herself, instead, to keep him from taking her power. Absolutely no attempt is made to explain why her ability failed to affect him, given that it had worked just fine not two episodes ago.
In the Farscape episode "I Shrink Therefore I Am," a masked bounty hunter reads the thoughts of the crew for information shortly after capturing them. However, when Scorpius is captured and scanned, he merely rolls his eyes and remarks "That won't work on me." In Scarran.
Multiple characters are shown to be able to resist the Scarran heat probe. In "Bringing Home the Beacon", Grayza warns Akhna that all the Peacekeepers present are immune and John repeatedly manages to lie (or half-lie, at least) to various Scarran attempts at truth-seeking.
Einstein tends to do this when his guests start getting aggressive; not only is he capable of stopping pulse blasts in midair, he very casually waves away the Scarran heat probe when Staleek tries to use it on him.
The Scarrans themselves have a tendency to do this when shot with anything smaller than a bazooka.
Angel is able to resist the misogyny-inducing touch of Billy because as a vampire he had already lost the hatred and anger Billy brought out in other men.
The ID cards handed out to the members of UNIT in the Doctor Who episode Aliens of London turn out to be assassination devices perfectly capable of killing humans, but the Doctor isn't a human; he's able to resist the electrical current long enough to take the ID card off his jacket and attach it to the nearest alien.
All Torchwood employees are trained to resist psychic influence, making psychic paper useless against them. In fact, showing them the paper tips them off that the person showing it is up to no good.
Played with in "The Sea Devils", where the warden claims that his guards are immune to The Master's hypnosis, and even shows one guard shrug off an attempt without even batting an eye for the Doctor's benefit. Whether they actually are or not is a entirely different matter, as he's in cahoots with The Master.
When the Master attempts to hijack the bodies of all the Time Lords, it not only completely fails, but Rassilon proceeds to undo his previous hijack on all the people of Earth with his super techno glove, smirking evilly all the way.
The Cybermen in "Nightmare in Silver" can adapt to whatever could previously harm or kill them.
This happens quite often on Supernatural, but a particularly amusing example was Sam's nonchalant immunity to Veritas' truth-inducing powers, and the epic fit she throws when she realizes he can lie to her with impunity.
Earlier in the series, Dean gets into an argument with Castiel that ends with Dean punching him in the face. Cas' head moves a little from the impact, and Dean nearly breaks his hand. And he clearly didn't learn his lesson, as he does the same thing in a later episode with a Cupid, with the exact same result.
In The 4400, Isabelle is often immune to other characters' powers. Notably Shawn is unable to kill her when he tries in one episode.
However, Jordan is immune to her powers, as well as to Graham's, the Messiah kid in The Wrath of Graham. Jordan can also take away their powers.
Happens in Stargate SG-1 with the two Goa'uld Ha'taks who reach Earth's orbit. The Pentagon orders the launch of two ICBMs modified for orbital travel and whose nuclear warheads are enhanced with naquadah. The Goa'uld notice the incoming missiles and raise their Deflector Shields. The warheads explode, dealing absolutely no damage to the ships. Anubis pulls several of these by enhancing standard Goa'uld shields with Ancient technology, allowing them to withstand Asgard and Tollan weapons, which could previously One-Hit Kill Ha'taks.
In the Stargate Atlantis finale, the Asgard-designed plasma beam weapons prove entirely useless against a ZPM-enhanced super-Hive, even though they work perfectly well against normal Hives.
In fact, almost every major space battle in Stargate fits this trope. Weapons in the series seem to work in a binary blow you up right away/will not work at all fashion, and every major Big Bad will one up the last one by demonstrating how useless the previously unstoppable weapons are. See the Goa'uld vs. Asgard, Asgard vs. Replicators, Asgard vs. Anubis, Anubis vs. Ancient drones, Ori vs. everything, new Asgard beams vs. Ori and so on.
Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II": after one of Trek's first (and most epic) season-finale cliffhangers, the Enterprise-D finally unleashes its modified-deflector superweapon against the Borg... to no effect. (Then again, it wasWorf at the controls...)
The Borg are basically No Sell personified. Any energy weapons used against them work once or twice, and then they adapt and the attack is useless. Plus their assimilation process means they know everything that their drones knew in their former lives, making existing defenses and battle plans obsolete. When they later suffered from Villain Decay, this became an Achilles Heel; they were so dependent on this technique that they were literally incapable of learning anything any other way, and had no concept of tactics at all when they attacked an assimilation-proof species that could get around their shield adaptations.
In the two-part episode "Gambit", a Vulcan weapon called the Resonator amplifies violent emotion to kill a target, but consequently has no power over those who clear their minds of violent thought. The climax of the episode has Picard, Riker, and Worf no-sell the weapon until its user gives up.
On an episode of Burn Notice, Team Westin is trying to protect a man wrongfully accused from a bounty hunter while they work to clear his name. When the rival bounty hunter shows up at Fiona's house, Michael buys her and the client time to escape by fighting the man. Unfortunately, he has about six inches and a ton of muscle on Michael, and he just shrugs off Michael's strikes with an annoyed glare. Cue Michael staring up at him with a worried "Ohhh damn."
A Special Effect Failure version in Star Trek as Kirk is fighting the Gorn in TOS. Kirk hefts a massively heavy styrofoam boulder and hurls it at the Gorn. His outfit is so bulky that he doesn't even notice he got hit until he heard the noise.
In the Series 1 finale of Merlin Nimueh does this when Merlin shoots a magic bolt at her, absorbing it easily and mocking him. Merlin then plays his own No Sell against a fireball straight to the chest. And then he subverts her No Sell by attacking her with lightning, which she can't handle.
Once Upon a Time: No one in the series has been able to avoid getting their heart ripped out of their chest when someone wanted to. Until "Queen of Hearts," where Cora tries to pull Emma's heart out and finds that she can't. And when she tries a bit too long, magic literally throws her out of Emma's chest.
In Babylon 5, a Vorlon battleship shrugs off the Shadows' unstoppable beam weapon.
In the second season finale of Game Of Thrones Ros attempts to seduce Varys by reaching between his legs, only to find out that being a eunuch he lacks the necessary equipment for it to be effective. The look he gives her can be summed up as "Bitch, please."
In the original Twilight Zone episode Steel, human boxing has been outlawed and replaced with rumbling robots with human-like features. The manager of a broken-down old machine enters the ring in disguise to win the money to fix his broken bot. His punches do not even make the opponent flinch.
Unlike other performances, pro wrestlers are hitting each other, although they at least try to pull their punches. Wrestlers (in)famous for no-selling include Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, and John Cena and these men are famous in particular for absorbing their opponent's finishing moves and suddenly recovering to full strength, despite being on the receiving end of a lengthy beating beforehand. This was memorably subverted during a tag match in WCW during the 90's, when Hogan's tag partner Randy Savage, facing a two-on-one situation, decided to display a little Functional Genre Savvy and hit the apparently unconscious Hulk with his finishing move, the Flying Elbow. Hogan immediately no-sold the move and jumped to his feet to help Savage fend off their opponents.
Rarely seen in WWE but fairly common elsewhere is the "delayed sell", where a wrestler no-sells a move long enough to deliver his own equally devastating move before collapsing.
In his heyday, Ric Flair was known for taking a devastating hit and keeping his feet, nonchalantly taking a few steps before literally face faulting.
In the aftermath of Hulk Hogan's first major starring role in the 1989 movie No Holds Barred (a professional wrestler battles a corrupt television producer), a storyline was devised to pit Hogan against co-star Tiny Lister Jr., in Lister's role of man-monster Zeus, in a "real life" feud. (The explanation being that "Zeus" was annoyed and jealous over Hogan's star billing.) Zeus the wrestler made several appearances at wrestling cards, usually to interfere in matches involving Hogan and his friend, Brutus Beefcake, and the trope came into play when Hogan and/or Beefcake would try to fight off Zeus ... but Zeus would stand there, absorb the blows and smile as though he were not hurt! Eventually, a match was set up for Summer Slam 1989, with Hogan-Beefcake taking on Zeus and Randy Savage (with whom Hogan had been feuding, and Beefcake starting that spring); Zeus initially no-sold everything Hogan and Beefcake threw his way, but eventually they figured out his lone weak spot: if you poked his eyes, you could stun him long enough to hurt him. The "unfazable monster" gimmick worked for awhile, but eventually Zeus succumbed to Hogan, and in a "final" steel cage match in December 1989, Zeus little more than jobbed to Hogan ... a far cry from the imposing monster that was initially promoted as "unbeatable." (In actuality, Lister – whom actually shared mutual respect for Hogan and had no problems with his second billing – had very little formal wrestling training, and Hogan has written in his autobiography that he agreed to go easy on Lister because of this.)
Quite a few wrestlers use this as their main gimmick. Kevin Nash's career took off after he used the No Sell.
In various shows, Ric Flair will often say "I made you" to Sting. He is referring to the 1988 inaugural Clash of Champions PPV, where Flair and Sting fought to a 45 minute draw, where Sting developed his gimmick of no selling Flair's moves, particularly the "Whoo Chop."
A staple for The Undertaker, where he incorporated the no sell into his "rising from the dead" persona, where he would sit up after taking his opponent's Finishing Move. If you see him lying out completely straight after taking a finisher, he's very likely about to do this, especially if his opponent hasn't covered him immediately. Cue an Oh Crap face from said opponent.
Kane, whose gimmick borrows a lot from his kayfabe brother, would do this a lot as well.
Kane's fairly regular associate The Big Show also does this, especially against smaller opponents.
Hulk Hogan made it part of his persona as well. The first step in his "Hulking Up" process is to start no-selling everything. After that, it's all over.
A weird glitch in WWE Day of Reckoning video game happens when an AI player is hit with a finishing move more than 3 times, they will stop selling the move.
In every one of the Nintendo 64 pro wrestling games that make use of the AKI engine (which there are several; starting with WCW vs. nWo: World Tour in 1997, ending with WWF No Mercy in 2000), the main counter to striking moves is animated as the character defending himself by simply sticking out his chest and absorbing the blow without flinching at all. This gameplay mechanic is particularly jarring, as it's possible to have the little 'ol geriatric (80+ years old!) Mae Young casually stick out her chest and take a direct hit in the form of a full unrestrained smash from a charging 7' 5", 550-pound legendary Andre The Giant without moving an inch.
According to one meme, Vampiro merchandise is not available in Mexico due to Vampiro refusing to sell ANYTHING there (even the dreaded martinete, or piledriver, which is INSTANT DEATH in lucha libre).
Similarly, one common snark from smarks is that the only thing John Cena sells is merchandise.
Subverted by Kellie Skater in SHIMMER, who claims to be "pure adamantium" and "virtually indestructible". This is about as true as JBL's claims that he is a wrestling god.
Related to no-selling is sandbagging, when a wrestler resists an opponent's slam or pick-up technique, making it difficult if not impossible to perform. While mostly a case of simply being too green to distribute their weight properly, some wrestlers intentionally sandbag when facing someone they don't like. Hardcore Holly was infamous for sandbagging against any and all rookies.
This came back to bite Holly in the ass. In a televised match with then-rookie Brock Lesnar, Holly started sandbagging and delivering stiff shots (i.e. real punches). Eventually, Lesnar got Holly into a powerbomb position, went to put him on his shoulders. Holly sandbagged the lift, Lesnar did the move anyway, which ended with Holly being dropped on his neck, breaking it and causing him to be legitimately out for 13 months. Apparently it didn't occur to Holly that a guy built like Brock Lesnar would have little trouble lifting him unassisted. On the plus side, no one was dumb enough to try that with Lesnar again.
Wrestlers who are leaving a company will sometimes do this as Hercules demonstrates here.
Mick Foley once made a joke at Al Snow's expense by saying, "I'd like to congratulate Al Snow on his lucrative Laz-E-Boy endorsement deal, which is odd, because Al usually doesn't sell chairs." However, this was not like most cases where the reason for a guy no-selling is because he's a jerk. The joke occurred after a match wherein, after a lengthy sequence that saw Snow suffer a legitimate concussion in a match with the Road Dogg (which neither of the two recognized at the moment), when his opponent hit Snow with a chair several times and Snow just shrugged all of them off. Foley went on to ask Snow about it after the match (when the effects of the concussion were becoming apparent) only to have Snow ask, "What chair shots?", as he legitimately did not remember the whole incident (at least according to Snow, but, knowing Snow and Foley's longtime friendship, he probably was being honest). Mick recounted the story in his second book.
Ultimate Warrior no-sold pretty much anything, even Triple H's Pedigree. Incidentally, this was a month or two BEFORE Trips was temporarily demoted to jobber in punishment for the Madison Square Garden Incident. Triple H was simply a rising star and was squashed by the Warrior for no good reason.
The Japanese wrestlers in Dragon Gate USA tend to not sell anything until they reach their limit, at which point they collapse. Bryan Alvarez likened this peculiarity of Dragon Gate USA singles matches to a live-action fighting game.
During a cage match between Bruiser Brody and Lex Luger in the late 80's, Luger did something to displease Brody. Rather than attacking Luger, Brody's (Arguably much more menacing) response was to simply stop selling and stare at his opponent for the rest of the match. Given Luger's limited offense, the next several minutes consist of Luger throwing punch after punch at Brody, who just stands there, glaring a hole through him, until a genuinely terrified Luger punches the referee for a deliberate disqualification, hightails it over the side of the cage and escapes to the locker room.
Another explanation given by several wrestling experts is that the bookers where Luger was wrestling at the time brought Brody (a legitimate bad-ass, which is largely believed to be the cause of his untimely downfall in Puerto Rico) in to teach the rookie Luger a thing or two about respect.
Wrestlers with high-risk styles, such as cruiserweights or hardcore wresters, sometimes instinctively no sell huge moves to reassure themselves that they aren't seriously hurt. Two examples written about in their books include Chris Jericho immediately jumping up after a huge blow to his neck (to prove he didn't get crippled, a huge fear of his) and Mick Foley no selling a C4 explosion under the arm!
A less obvious example of no selling occurred at Wrestle Mania XII in a match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Shawn spent a long part of the sixty minute match attacking Bret's arm, but Bret acted like his arm was fine during his offense on Shawn. This was likely due to the bitter rivalry between the two in Real Life.
Before a match at Ring of Honor's Final Battle 2011, The Worlds Greatest Tag Team beat down the Briscoe Brothers with chairs and their Tag Team Championship Titles for eight minutes straight. Once they were all in the ring and the match officially started, the Briscoes, still bloody and bruised from the beat-down, were able to go toe-to-toe for another thirteen minutes as if nothing happened, eventually getting a clean win.
Goldberg no sold frequently during his streak and afterwords. He had a memorable match with Glacier where he no sold pretty much everything.
According to legend, famous Cricketer W.G. Grace was once clean bowled in the first over of a match. Grace simply re-set his stumps and took block again, telling the bowler, "They've come to watch me bat, not you bowl."
Roller derby players actively strive to achieve a no sell. Players who can take a block without so much as being knocked off course or flinching are not only excellent defensive and obstructive players, they are also terrifying to the opposing team.
Up to 3rd edition, monsters like golems and Will O' Wisps are immune to most kinds of magic. When fighting such a creature, typically the wizards will sit around and feel useless while the warriors run up and hit it with swords.
Amusingly, clay golems are No Sell to warriors as well, since their clay skin resists sharp things such as swords and arrows and spears. (Oh, and their fists can inflict cursed wounds.) It's up to the hammer-wielding cleric or paladin to smash them in with bludgeoning, or the wizards to polymorph into a better form, or to the wizards to use Sunfire which ignores magical resistances.
This was also a trait of the most powerful of demons. In the earliest versions of the game, the Balrog was completely immune to spells cast by casters of sixth level or below — on top of general 79% magic resistance.
In the BECMI edition of D&D, Immortals are the equivalent of gods. An Immortal's true form was completely immune to even the most powerful mortal magic, and the most that even the most powerful of mortal magical weapons (+4 or +5) could do to them is Scratch Damage.
In D&D 4e, Gods are immune to anything thrown at them from anything below level 21. Anyone not of epic level, who have some trace of divinity themselves, is completely incapable of affecting the gods in any way.
Theoretically, sphere of invulnerability or antimagic shell gives everyone inside immunity to most magic. Practically, high-level wizards expect to confront highly magic-resistant opponents (and each other) sooner or later, so they care to get attacks that bypass these things. There are also spells immune to simple dispel, especially curses, greater enchantments and strong magic defences, and some can even keep out 'antimagic shell' and/or prevent it from forming, if not break existing one.
Magic "arms race" of Forgotten Realms produced a few spells compromising even 'antimagic shell' — it suppresses magic, not makes a true magic-dead zone (or it would disable itself) — by working on a deeper level: 'Lauthdryn's Cleaving', 'Lesser Cleaving', 'Mystra's Unraveling' and 'spell shear' (elven spell never given in stats).
The main purpose of 'Silence' spell is to disable verbal components of other casters. What Forgotten Realms "arms race" did to this one? Introduced 'Vocalize' allowing its caster to circumvent this specific side of silence. And 'Dispel Silence' (obviously gesture-only) cancelling silence in the area. And 'Power Word, Silence', which trumps 'Dispel Silence' and prevents activation (yet not ongoing effect) of 'Vocalize', No Saving Throw, but affects only a single target for "the rest of this round and the next" duration.
Damage resistance in D&D also works as a kind of No Sell, although it is limited to low to mid level damage.
Earlier editions (1st-2nd) featured "+X weapon to hit", where any amount of damage from a weapon below the threshold was negated. Worst, many of those creatures were "Outsiders" or "Extraplanar Creatures" (angels, demons, djinn, etc), and weapons were diminished away from the plane they were forged on. Hitting a pit fiend (+3 weapon to hit) with a +2 sword did zero damage no matter how good your roll to hit or damage was.
Some monsters have regeneration powers, which means that they can be hurt, but recover very quickly from most wounds. Trolls are the most well-known example of this. They cannot be hurt permanently by anything except acid or fire; hurt them with anything else, and they'll get up and start fighting again in a few minutes, tops.
Unlike most spells, which usually give the theoretical possibility for anyone to shrug it off (with a saving throw), Power Word: Killis impossible to resist that way. If you have a high amount of current hit points, though, you're just immune to it. Some other spells can be similarly barred by hit points or level.
A particular trait of a bad game master will be to arbitrarily nullify the character's actions regardless of a die roll if it would upset his storyline or make his Villain Sue look bad.
Subverted by Paranoia, where the rulebook specifically tells GMs to disregard any and all inconvenient dice rolls, including rolling dice in plain view and ignoring the results.
The Tau in Warhammer 40000 have so little Warp presence that it grants them some protection from Chaos's mind-affecting abilities, although a Chaos creature manifested in the physical world can still eat them without difficulty.
More powerful daemons and psykers have the raw power to burn through the Anti-Magic of blanks. This is prominently displayed in the Eisenhorn books when the power of a Chaos Titan is too great for Alizebeth to negate.
The Cosmic enhancement in GURPS lets you ignore one normally ironclad limitation and often gets used like this. Static also makes you totally immune to the effects of one powerset.
Any mid-level or higher Exalted character will most likely have some form of perfect defense, which allows the character to dodge or block any attack, even attacks that are otherwise unblockable. These require motes, so you can't use them forever, but it still tends to turn high-level combat into battles of attrition waiting for one of the combatants to run out of motes.
Solars have so many Charms of this nature that some fans build "Paranoia Combos", which contain as many different No Sell powers as possible. This can get up to lists like "1st Melee Excellency, Seven Shadow Evasion, Reflex Sidestep Defence, Integrity-Protecting Prana, Leaping Dodge Method, Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness Technique, Kitchen Sink Meditation".
One of their charms is even explicitly called Immunity To Everything Technique.
Mundanes in GURPS: IOU can do this to anything "weird", going so far as to turn aliens into guys in rubber suits at high levels.
Scion gives us Ultimate Stamina. Its use? Pay thirty Legend points and any damage to you just... doesn't work that round. At all. Its weaker cousin is Solipstic Defense, where one attack per scene (you choose which one) passes harmlessly through you.
Berserkers in Iron Heroes have this as a class ability. It's described as just ignoring the effects of things like, say, that goblin's sword. (And they can enhance this ability the same way any proud tanking knight enhances his plate armour, too.)
One of the advanced Dementation abilities in Vampire The Masquerade (available only to characters of sixth generation or lower, which generally includes only NPCs and diablerists) allows the character to completely ignore an object for the duration of an encounter. For example, everyone else may see a perfectly ordinary sword pass straight through him harmlessly, but the character himself will wonder why the unfriendly chap is swinging his empty hand around like that.
Strangely implemented in Battle Tech with what is known as the Phantom 'Mech ability, the only sort of 'mystical' ability put forward by the franchise. In the Kell Hounds sourcebook, the ability basically disrupts enemy targeting systems by causing the 'Mech to 'disappear' from sensors, making the pilot using it nearly impossible to hit by imposing an automatic +4 to-hit penalty as well as doubling the range counted by the weapon. This could mean that an enemy just a few spaces distant suddenly counted as twice as far away (and incurring some horrific range difficulty modifiers, up to +4), or worst of all, considered 'out of range' of a weapon. The average pilot needs to roll a 4 or higher out of 2d6 to hit a stationary target. Suddenly, that previously 4-or-better hit requirement now requires an 8 or higher because of this ability, and the shot becomes much more difficult...or impossible. Canonically, only three pilots ever exhibited the ability in the course of the Warrior trilogy, with two of them genetically related and the third being a primary antagonist to the first two. The effect of not selling enemy attacks in the fiction, though, is considered both so rare and so traumatizing that the only warriors to survive the experience take themselves out of battle and into retirement or hermitage for a timespan on the order of years.
Star Wars Saga Edition has the previous Star Wars examples, but in game form!
Various (typically Force related) talents allow characters to No Sell everything from Poison to the Jedi Mind Trick. Specific Force powers like Rebuke and Negate Energy allow characters to reflect Force Lightning or ignore Lightsaber attacks.
As mentioned in the Star Wars Expanded Universe entry above the Yuuzhan Vong are disconnected from (and thus immune to) the Force. Specifically any aspect of the force that targets Will Defense. Like in the novels, Telekinesis and Force Lightning work perfectly well. Unlike in the novels, abilities like Battle Strike, Malacia, Force Track, Cloak, and pretty much any other power that doesn't target Will defense also works fine. They're also completely locked out from learning Force Powers or Talents, or gaining Force Points (the game's Luck Manipulation Mechanic), and any talent that uses them. It's not easy being a Force-Immune invader in Saga Edition.
Several WWE games have a special "token" which, when unlocked, could allow a player to temporarily (usually for one match) be invincible to an opponent's attacks.
Star Wars The Old Republic, the MMO sequel, which includes non-force sensitive characters, demonstrates that both the Bounty Hunter and Smuggler characters are not "weak minded" when a Force User attempts to use a mind trick on them. This gives both characters a priceless opportunity for snark.
Sith Sorceress: (waves hand) You want to attack the Jedi. Smuggler Player Character: I want to laugh at how ridiculous you look.
In the Pokémon games, a couple Pokemon have an ability called Mold Breaker (or its variations Turboblaze or Teravolt) which essentially lets them ignore the defensive effects of their target's Ability and damage them anyway (for example, something with Levitate, like Gengar, could be hit by Earthquake).
Also Rayquaza's Air Lock (or its variation, Cloud Nine) ability, which negates all weather effects caused by abilities or attacks.
And Bibarel and Quagsire's Unaware, which lets them ignore all stat changes in opponents (except for Speed, as that would be mechanically problematic in group battles). Unless the opponent has the aforementioned Mold Breaker, in which case, they will No Sell your No Sell.
Clear Body, which prevents negative stat changes inflicted by the opponent, or Soundproof (and the unused Cacophony), which makes sound-based attacks useless, or Levitate, which makes the Pokemon immune to Ground-type attacks, etc, etc... really, the list of Pokemon abilities like this could go on forever.
The ability Keen Eye, which acts as an immunity to accuracy reduction.
The ability Scrappy, which lets Normal and Fighting-type moves pummel the Ghost-types that they are usually unable to hurt.
As well as the moves Foresight and Odor Sleuth, which is this in move form. Miracle Eye is an equivalent that removes Dark-types' immunity to Psychic.
And then, in the move category, we have Gastro Acid (functions similar to Mold Breaker, above, but with all abilities) and Haze (functions similar to Unaware, above). Clever application of the moves Mimic, Role Play, Camouflage, Skill Swap, Worry Seed, Conversion, and Conversion 2 also could result in this (depending on what move/ability/type is imitated/replaced)
The ability Wonderguard takes this up a notch. Unless the attack that would deal damage is super effective, it does no damage at all. Unsurprisingly this ability is often found illegitimately on online battles.
You can invoke this in Iji. When you press the use button right as you get hit you still get damaged, and you get flung the normal distance, but you look like you are ready to drink a cup of tea once the explosions wear off. It's called "Teching", and is sometimes for accessing hidden areas.
In Thief 3, the Golems are totally immune to your puny weapons (except explosives) until you get the Rune of Unmaking (for your blackjack, no less). When first running into them, it was rather disheartening to hide in the shadows, line up a perfect arrow right between the golem's shoulder blades, and not only have it deal no damage with a pathetic "donk" noise, but the golem doesn't even notice.
Then you're loading the wrong arrows. Try a different piece in your repertoire.
In Fate/stay night, Berserker's Noble Phantasm "God Hand" negates any attacks of B rank or lower, meaning that only an insanely powerful attack can harm him. And as if that wasn't enough, it also gives him twelve lives and makes him immune to any attack which killed him before.
Hell, if the user(s) will(s) it to, Avalon can reflect said attack.
This seems to be a thing among the family of King Arthur in the Nasuverse. In Fate EXTRA, Gawain possesses an ability called "Numeral of the Saint." It grants him a threefold boost in his power when the sun is overhead, which manifests in-game as taking no damage whatsoever from your Servant's attacks. So in order to even harm him, you and your ally have to hack into the Arena, deactivate the sun, and wound him while the sun is out.
In Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri, the Secret Project The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm renders all your bases and units completely immune to all Probe Team activity (i.e. espionage) whatsoever. Naturally this makes it a must-have for the University, whose emphasis on transparency, freedom of speech, and freedom of inquiry (For Science!!) means that their government leaks like a sieve. The same is true for any faction running the University's preferred Social Engineering choice, the Value of Knowledge (same reasons, same effect).
It is also a bane for the DataAngels, who rely on their probe teams to sabotage the other factions and steal their technology and energy. On the other hand, since There Can Only Be One of each Secret Project, the Angels won't face this problem if they just build it themselves.
It's only half the bane, as the angels are exclusive to the expansion, and in it there's an upgrade one can design probe teams with, that give them a bonus against normal factions and allow (although it's still harder than normal) actions against Algorithm protected units.
Same for various robotic enemies (or party members), especially in Tactics, but also in essentially all of the other games in series. Small, non-AP rounds will generally do nothing to robots... and certain organic enemies, unless you hit their weak spots.
Final Fantasy Tactics - The Golem summon blocks physical attacks for three rounds and the Samurai's Blade Grasp reaction ability negates physical attacks (and makes the character virtually untouchable at high Brave levels).
In Street Fighter III, parrying an attack with most characters has the character take a defensive pose. Hugo, however, seems content with puffing his chest and No Selling the attack. Q, likewise, just sticks out his torso, dusting off afterward.
Hugo is a professional wrestler, so it seems to be an intentional example of No Sell.
In Nippon Ichi titles, you can no-sell enemy attacks by having sufficient levels of DEF or SPD, or by standing on a Geo Panel that grants invincibility. Irritatingly, so can your opponents.
Disgaea 3 turned this into an evility. DLC Bonus Boss Tyrant Baal has Tyrant Guard, which allows him to become immune to the first attack thrown at him. He also has Tyrant Cult, which makes Tyrant Guard work a number of times equal to the number of Baals on the field. He starts with three right off the bat, and can summon more from the Enemy Base Panels if you take too long. Pringer X in Disgaea4 has this same evility the first time you battle him, later switching to Special Skill Solved.
Disgaea 4 has the "Daruma" accessory, which allows the person equipped with it be immune to physical damage on even rounds and magic damage on odd rounds.
On Legendary with the right skulls turned on in Halo Reach, the stronger enemies will be practically invincible. Sniper rounds? Rocket launchers? Please.
Hunters in Prototype occasionally no-sell direct hits from a tank - They still take damage, but it won't slow them down or otherwise impede their trying to kill you. You can shoot them with assault rifles and machine guns right up until they die without them pausing their attacks.
One of the things which makes Shao Kahn (and to a lesser extent Goro and Kintaro) an SNK Boss in Mortal Kombat is that he can turn off hitstun at random, allowing him to attack while the player is in the middle of a combo. Combined with his very high attack power and downright brutal special moves, it makes him very difficult to defeat.
In the Super Smash Bros series, Metal characters fit this trope at the beginning of the fight, as being metal makes a character highly knockback resistant. Due to Smash's main mechanic (fighters get knocked back further and further as they take more damage), they gradually sell more and more until they get KO'd. Of course, they also fall very quickly, and in a game where the victory condition is to get a Ring Out, it balances out.
Brawl also introduced Super Armor for its heavier characters: during certain moves (like Ike's Aether), while you still take damage, you No Sell the knockback from all but the heaviest hits.
Touhou: Giant beam of death that blows away everything from gods to vampires? Flandre Scarlet doesn't so much as develop a cough from it.
The final spellcard of the final boss, as well as all extra stage bosses are immune to bomb damage. except in fairy wars - Perfect Freeze works as well on the 3 fairies and Marisa as it does on anything else in the game. Kanako's final spellcard is particularly unfair in this manner since against her final spellcard, bombs even lose most of their bullet clearing ability. And she's the stage 6 boss. In addition to these situations, there are survival spellcards, which render the user literally invincible, the only way forward is to time it out. All Extra bosses from Flandre onwards have at least one.
Fire Emblem's fourth, fifth, ninth and tenth installments feature the Nihil skill, which when equipped on a unit disables the combat skills of any opposing unit. Seeing as later bosses tend to wield the really quite broken mastery skills, it's virtually a mandatory skill for those characters whom you intend to use to kill bosses near the end of the ninth and tenth, especially the Black Knight (who himself has it in Radiant Dawn). There's also the Parity skill, which disables skills and nullifies terrain bonuses on both participants in a fight.
The Eighth installment has Great Shield, which is given to Generals whose high defense means they'll no sell anything that isn't strong against them. Great Shield takes care of them.
The Bohr Waveform Device used by the Allies in Red Alert 3 Paradox is a machine designed to set up No Sell situations by reversing the traditional counter system, making tanks immune to cannons and infantry Immune to Bullets.
The player can pull one of these in Deus Ex Human Revolution by not getting the biochip "upgrade". When the game's resident Dragon Lady tries to shut you down using the backdoor installed, you can just stand there and grin as she has a very small Oh Crap moment.
For that matter, several individuals are unaffected by the CASIE Aug, or at least savvy enough to figure out when it's being used on them.
Par for the course for the strategy for MegaTen games. Demons have very wide resistance variations, so some demons may come off as counters for other, more troublesome demons. Though the games permit enough skill customization so that enough effort can effectively render any glaring weakness moot, the games being Nintendo Hard means that, of course, some bosses will still make your life hell unless you completely and utterly overpower them, and sometimes even that is not enough. A prime example is the final boss of Persona 3, who has an action that will completely No Sell literallyeverything you can throw at it until it decides it has had enough fun staring at you with that Slasher Smile.
The scripted fight that ends the game, however, has our voiceless protagonist gain enough power to No Sell death itself.
Persona 3 has the Omnipotent Orb, an accessory that has that very same effect.
Pretty much every game in the series has Tetrakarn and Makarakarn, skills that are a one turn No Sell for physical and magical attacks, respectively.
As a rule of thumb, though, several types Demonic Spiders in the series have a very nasty tendency to No Sell most conventional attacks. At best, they will be nulled. At worst, they will be repelled. Of course, given enough investment, you can have your private team of Olympus Mons capable of No Selling most enemy attacks as well.
Rangda is a particularly common offender- in almost every game she appears (which is most of them), she repels physical attacks, as well as gun if they're available. There's a Shin Megami Tensei Strange Journey password floating around the 'net for a gloriously game-breaking version of her someone fused to reflect everything except Curse, Expel, and Almighty.
Nocturne also gives an example of overcoming No Sells - in the True Demon Ending, you can get a rare skill named Pierce. This skill, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, allows your physical attacks to slice past an enemy's defenses, hitting them full on instead of being lessened, nulled, or absorbed. Doesn't work when the enemy Repels Phys, though. Devil Survivor also has this skill, though it's much easier to get.
Used to show off the Reapers' superiority over, and contempt for, the Citadel races in Mass Effect. In the Battle of the Citadel, Sovereign is completely unaffected by the massed firepower of the Citadel fleet and makes a beeline for its objective, not even bothering to deviate for an entire turian cruiser, which it rams out of the way casually. It's also suggested that this is the usual effect of trying to attack mass relays or the arms of the Citadel, since they are also Reaper technology.
In Mass Effect 2, Morinth the Ardat-Yakshi tries to use her mind control on Shepard as she did to hundreds of her victims before. Shepard being Shepard, no-sells it (but only if the Paragon/Renegade meter is high enough).
Played for laughs during the attack on the Cerberus base in Mass Effect 3. According to video logs after Shepard left Cerberus the Illusive Man tried to have his people get the Normandy back using remote control commands. EDI No Selled the commands and, adding insult to injury, responded by uploading seven zettabytesnote That's 10^21 bytes! of porn to Cerberus's servers.
One "Game-Breaker" in NFL Street has the running back become so powerful that he can take hits from the opposing team unfazed.
In The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, we have the Thu'um called "Become Ethereal". It's meant to make you temporarily invulnerable (and also harmless) so you can escape, but if you just don't wanna deal with a hostile crowd and rush through you can use it too. It will negate all harm to you, including fall damage.
Galactic Civilizations: a common tactic during a war is to raid enemy freighter runs, thereby cutting off their economies. The Galactic Privateer building renders you totally immune to this, so when someone grabs the Conflict Ball the only trade routes you risk losing are the ones that are already directed towards that civilisation.
The Doomwood saga of Adventure Quest Worlds features super-badass undead abomination Vordred, whose main schtick is being immune to light-based magic, the main means of Paladins and others to destroy the undead, rendering them utterly screwed — for this reason, he is known as the "Paladin Slayer." It is learned during the final showdown that Vordred's armor of skulls is how he can No Sell light-based magic, and when Artix blasts the armor apart with the spirit power of his entire undead army, defeating him finally becomes possible by means of pinning down his Shadow form using Artix's own Shadow so that he can no longer regenerate.
Characters in City of Heroes with high enough defense can no sell pretty much anything, making a "soft capped" defensive build extremely valuable. Negating attacks is also the hallmark of several endgame Destiny powers, which (in addition to serving as a massive Status Buff) also allows you to no sell an attack for the entire league. (Clarion negates controls, Rebirth can heal through almost anything, Ageless can counteract slow and endurance drain effects, and Barrier just makes you Nigh Invulnerable). The rarely seen "Phase Shift" effect also allows you to become completely immune to everything, but prevents you from affecting anyone but yourself.
Assassins Creed Revelations has a rare heroic example: When the Assassins under Abbas try to use Assassinations on Altair, it only hurts him, but doesn't One-Hit Kill him like when he does it to others.
Record Of Agarest War 2 has an Extend Skill called "No Fear" that completely nullifies all damage to the base HP of the person activating the passive skill. Because of this, players found that if you let Eva, Jainus, and Fiona pump up their vitality stat when they first join you then learn this skill, you are practically guaranteed to bulldoze through any damage and come out unscathed.
Power characters in Warriors Orochi, while taking damage from them, don't flinch from weak attacks which, more often than not, results in the character taking massive damage or even getting killed as a result.
Characters in hyper mode, most notably Lu Bu, can do this too.
Asura's Wrath uses this often when a new enemy is first introduced; expect the first punch to the face to always do nothing. The second massive punch, usually coming after Asura becomes even more pissed off, usually causes some damage, much to the shock of the enemy. And then you unlock the Obliterator Gauge.
Runescape: At the end of The World Wakes, Saradomin shows up and tries to teleport you away. Nothing interesting happens. This serves to prove that Guthix's last gift to you, immunity to the power of gods, does in fact work.
In Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, the end of the second phase of the fight with Senator Armstrong ends with Raiden attempting two consecutive rounds of Rapid Fire Fisticuffs. After the first round, the boss simply brushes off his chest and adjusts his glasses. The second round at least manages to push him back a few feet back, with Raiden shouting in a mix of rage and horror "Why Won't You Die?!"
In Marvel Super Heroes, using the Space Gem with either Juggernaut or Magneto will give them special armor that will allow them to take zero damage at all. Magneto's less useful, though, as people can wear it down.
In Ys II, attemtping to use time magic will not work on bosses, since Adol cannot use two magics at the same time (Most attempts at hurting bosses with your sword will only result in Adol getting hurt). Attempting to use it on Dallas who can only be hurt with a sword will be met with Dallas stopping time himself and unleashing a barrage of bullets with you at the center. However, this troper has yet to try it on Darm, who can also be hurt using a sword.
All paladins have a natural No Sell with the Axe of Prissan in Goblins. In order to ensure it is wielded by a paladin for good, the weapon is magically enchanted to pass harmlessly through any paladin it strikes. The enchantment also extends to anything attached to the axe.
As revealed later this can be manipulated. The goblins tied a rope to the axe and then threw it through Kore. While the rope was still inside Kore, it was severed from the axe and rematerialized inside his throat.
Xykon: Are you starting to get it yet? Your claw/claw/bite doesn't impress me, I have Damage Reduction up the wazoo.
The Monster in the Darkness also has incredible Damage Reduction, to the point that he didn't even notice Belkar attacking him. Haley's next suggestion was to run the hell away as fast as possible.
Miko also tried and failed to harm the Monster. Apparently, her katana "tickles". When he promptly challenged her to a "who can hit the lightest" game, she planned to use her round to attempt her most powerful attack, but she never got that far because the Monster's weakest attack sent her flying.
In Hercules, Hades agrees to let Hercules dive into the pool of ghosts at the center of the underworld, so he can retrieve the soul of his deceased girlfriend Megara. Hades casually "forgets" to mention the ghost pool applies Rapid Aging to anyone who enters. Hercules dives in, he becomes noticeably old and wrinkled, his lifespan shortens, the Fates prepare to cut his life thread.. And then suddenly the aging is a No Sell on Hercules, as he has become a god because of his heroic actions, and gods are immortal.
Subtly in The Princess and the Frog: Dr. Facilier's charisma and persuasion is a No Sell on Tiana, while it was effective on every other character he used it on.
Looney Tunes: Yosemite Sam, who has billed himself as fearsome and unbeatable, took this to absurd extremes in the 1960 cartoon "Lighter Than Hare," when he boasted that his "indestructible tank" would take out Bugs Bunny. Sam guessed wrong! He tried again with his army of "undefeatable robots" ... but they didn't stand much of a chance against Bugs!
The Simpsons: Several episodes, largely involving Homer. The best known is Season 8's "The Homer They Fall," where Homer learns he has an abnormal medical condition that effectively makes him a Stone Wall and decides to take up boxing. For most of the episode, Homer indeed withstands incredible punishment and never so much as flinches ... although virtually all of his opponents are weak, unskilled novice boxers. Homer soon gains national media attention, and it isn't long before somehow he earns a shot at former World Champion Drederick Tatum. The No Sell trope immediately crashes out the window the instant the Simpson-Tatum fight begins, and Moe is forced to rescue Homer seconds before Tatum can deliver a blow that surely would have been fatal.
In one episode of South Park, the gang get real "ninja" weapons and pretend-fight against Butters as "Professor Chaos." Professor Chaos repels heat and ice attacks, so Kenny uses his non-elemental attack, a real ninja star into Butter's eye.''
Similar to the example in the introduction, Cartman picks the ninja power to have whatever power he wants. In a practical sense, it's straight up No Selling.
In addition, Aang is capable of ignoring bloodbending while in the avatar state
A heroic (or at least antiheroic) example of this can be found in Lilo And Stitch The Series: many of Jumba's mind-altering experiments don't work on other experiments, or in some cases, at least, on experiments created after the one with mind-altering powers. Stitch (who himself has no mind-altering powers to be hindered by this rule) was the last of Jumba's original creations, and is thus immune to all of them.
Jumba once shrugs off losing 99% of his intellectual capabilities without missing a beat because "1% of evil super genius is still pretty good."
In a similar vein, "Return of Harmony" shows that Fluttershy is the only one of the mane six who's immune to Discord's verbal manipulation. Granted, he finally just gives up and uses straight up mind control instead.
"Keep Calm and Flutter On" reverses it. Fluttershy uses The Stare on Discord (the same one she used to cow a dragon into submission); Discord pretends to be scared, then laughs at Fluttershy for thinking her Stare could affect him.
In Batman The Animated Series, The Joker tries to use his laughing gas on Poison Ivy after she and Harley upstage him. She lets out a brief laugh before revealing that it doesn't work on her, at which point she kicks him in the balls.
In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Speed Demon", Him is victorious in a Bad Future where the whole world has gone to “Heck”. The girls unleash a full assault, only for Him to pop back up and ask if they're finished.
There was also the (likely apocryphal) tale sideshow performer who's stage name was "Oofty Goofty", also billed as The Wild Man Of Borneo. He took a job as a sideshow wildman and had covered his body in hair set in place with tar. A week later he grew ill from what is said to be an inability to perspire due to the thick tar. It nearly proved impossible to remove, with doctors at a hospital having to put tar solvent on his body and leave him on a roof, where it melted off of his body. Some time after that, he was thrown out of a saloon onto a hard cobblestone street and claimed later to feel no pain from it. He then utilized his newfound resistance to pain by inviting the citizens of San Francisco to take a whack at him with a baseball bat for ten cents a swing. Worked out pretty well...Until boxing champion John L. Sullivan took up the challenge and broke the bat over Oofty's back and fractured three of his vertebrae.
Generally averted in Real Life, however - people who can't feel pain often die young because they miss or ignore injuries that later develop or prove life-threatening.
Zig-zagged by Harry Houdini. Harry claimed to be able to withstand any blow to the abdomen if he had time to brace and would frequently work this No Sell into his shows. According to testimony surrounding his death, he was met by some students/fans who asked him about this ability backstage. Harry told them he could perform the feat when prepared and they took it as a sign to proceed. They struck Harry and the blows were believed to have ruptured his appendix. Houdini likely would have survived had he undergone emergency surgery, but he refused medical care. However, rupture of the appendix by blunt trauma is not common. It is also reasonable that Harry already had appendicitis and all the blows did was confuse Harry about the cause of his abdominal pain, making him dismiss a warning sign that could have saved his life. In either case, Harry refused to abandon a show in favor of emergency care and subsequently died of peritonitis secondary to his ruptured appendix.
Many professional fighters tend to act as though a hit had no effect to throw off their opponent. Most of the time when a fighter does this, it actually means they were hurt.
An interesting case comes from World War II, during a patrol, a group of P-47 Thunderbolts were looking for German fighters. One pilot saw some, but before he could react, one of the Germans (who were diving on the formation) knocked his plane out of the fight. After a few thousand feet went by, the P47 leveled off, and after a couple attempts to bail out, the pilot decided to try and return to base. After this, ANOTHER German fighter (an FW-190) arrived, and started firing on him... after 3 attempts, the German RAN OUT of ammunition, but the 'Jug' was still flying. The German rendered a salute (having been denied his 67th kill of the war), and left. The American arrived back at base, landed, got out, and started counting the bullet holes. After hitting 200, and not even moving off the wing... he gave up. The pilot in question? Robert S. Johnson