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Not So Invincible After All

"You cut him! You hurt him! You see?! You see, he's not a machine! He's a man!"
Duke on Ivan Drago, Rocky IV

Perhaps your Badass Longcoat has developed a deadly cough over the last few days, or perhaps the Big Bad has enjoyed a few too many of those fancy cigars and develops lung cancer, or maybe the team's muscle tests positive for Huntington's, or maybe the resident Genki Girl's hyperactivity goes a little too far in the middle of traffic, and she ends up splattered on the street. In any case, a character that is portrayed as invincible and indestructible is brought down by disease or something relatively mundane that may have been hinted at all along, but not truly noticed until it's too late.

This usually tragic happening causes a character to prove that they're Not So Invincible After All, a trope that all powerful characters fear.

Many times, this trope is used in high drama where everyone's fighting and killing each other to bring the cast down to earth for long enough to realize that, hey, they may be powerful, but they're still human. This trope is also a hallmark of the Cosmic Horror Story genre, where no-one is significant enough to avoid death. Even the great Cthulhu is ultimately doomed to die, cold and alone, in the depths.

When done poorly, may be regarded as a Dropped a Bridge on Him. Such a moment may occur when a user of The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort takes a hit from something that can go through his defence. In combat, this may be caused by Untouchable Until Tagged.

This is a Death Trope, so beware of spoilers.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In two alternate timelines of Dragon Ball Z, Goku dies of a heart disease. In the normal timeline, he takes a medicine brought from one of those futures to treat it.
  • Durarara!!'s Shizuo Heiwajima is presented as pretty much damn near invincible for most of the series — so when Horoda manages to demonstrate that he's not as immune to bullets as he is to blades, it comes as quite a shock. It's then subverted in the following episode when Shizuo shows up at Shinra's place bloody and tremendously annoyed, but not particularly close to death.
  • In Fate/stay night Berserker is a proud user of The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort, tanking seemingly every attack directed at him without injury. This illusion of invincibility lasts until Archer fights him.
    • To elaborate, Archer makes Berserker BLOCK with one of his fairly basic attacks. And goes on to kill Berserker about five times. Too bad he has to be killed TWELVE TIMES in order to be permanently dead.
    Ilya: Berserker actually had to defend? Who in the world is this guy?
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Izumi Curtis is the Elrics' teacher, a brilliant alchemist and one of the few people they're truly scared of. (Ed and Al often build up the courage to fight a villain with the line "He's not as scary as our teacher!") However, she also suffers from an Incurable Cough of Death. Van Hoenheim introduces himself to her by noting her alchemy-induced cough and cures her by jabbing his hand into her midsection and rearranging her organs.
  • This trope is one of the major plot points in Gunslinger Girl. While the main characters can destroy buildings full of soldiers and survive gunshots with almost no ill effects, none of them will live out of their teens due to damage done in making them killing machines.
    • Their shortened lives are arguably for the best given the things that happen to them. Near the beginning of the series Elsa finds the one weak point in their bullet resistance and commits suicide by shooting herself in the eye.
  • In Hellsing, Father Alexander Anderson had for the most part seemed to be The Juggernaut, regenerating from even headshots with explosive rounds. Then at the start of their last encounter, Alucard uses his Jackal Hand Cannon to blow off part of Alex's left arm, and Alex finds that he cannot regenerate the damage.
    • Alucard gets one of these when fighting Alexander using the Nail of Helena.
  • Naruto gives us the example of Kimimaro, an extremely powerful member of the Sound Five, who nearly kills Gaara and Lee, only to succumb to his fatal illness.
    • Later there's Itachi Uchiha, who, after having a long fight with his brother Sasuke and actually winning this fight, coughs blood and suddenly dies, leaving Sasuke shocked. It is later revealed that he was already dying of an illness and was just throwing this fight.
    • Also, now revealed is Nagato, the real person behind Pain. While the bodies he possesses are incredibly difficult for even Jiraiya and Naruto to defeat, Nagato is extremely thin and weak looking. Due to summoning some kind of demon statue which resulted in giving him the ability to manipulate the other bodies of Pain.
  • In One Piece, it is later revealed that Gold Roger turned himself in to the World Government because he had an incurable illness that developed four years before his execution.
  • This trope is the reason why Makoto Shishio died on Rurouni Kenshin. It isn't because he was burned alive (though this incidentally was the cause), shot in the head, took a tremendously powerful blow to the head, took several more extremely powerful blows to the body, was shot through a wall, and was hit dead on by arguably the most powerful attack in the series but because he "surpassed his limit", which caused him to spontaneously combust due to all of his sweat glands being melted.
    • On the other hand, that "limit" was imposed by the exact same circumstance that made Shishio so seemingly invincible in the first place.
    • Kind of subversion in the person of Hajime Saitō. This nigh-invincible swordsman died from a stomach ulcer... at the age of 72 after outliving most of his enemies.
      • That was for the real life Saitō...and because he was a heavy drinker (probably fueled in his later years when he worked as a lonely night watchman in a museum) The anime Saitō don't drink so much...as he stated when talking with Shibumi he said that drinking tends to make him want to kill people (he prefers smokes instead)
  • Straight Cougar in S Cry Ed loses to Big Bad Muto even after going to his second stage Alter. He had previously effortlessly defeated both protagonists with only his first state Alter.
  • In Silent Sinner in Blue, a manga supplement to the Touhou series of games, Watatsuki no Yorihime blows through Marisa, Sakuya, Remilia, and even Reimu without breaking a sweat. In Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth, another manga in the same story arc, she gets knocked out by one of Tewi's pitfall traps.
  • In season 3 of Sonic X when Yellow Zelkova tries to carry out his master's orders to kill Sonic and friends. His battle with them takes place on a Volcanic Planet as he viciously battles to the death with Knuckles where not only does Zelkova's armor get destroyed, revealing his (and Dark Oak's) race's true appearance, but also is knocked off a cliff and slides into molten lava in a VERY familiar scene. Chris even acknowledges this trope in the english version of the series:
    Chris: He thought he was invincible...

    Comic Books 
  • Captain Britain foe the Fury was killed by Captain UK. This wouldn't be a good example compared to the rest if it wasn't Fury, the same being who killed all of its Universe's superheroes, survived the destruction of the said Universe and get toe-to-toe with one of the most powerful Reality Warpers in the history and won. And yet, the Unstoppable Rage of one woman was enough to teach it the meaning of death and defeat.
  • Marvel Comics's version of Captain Marvel died not from a supervillain battle, but from cancer. (Admittedly, it was cancer caused during a supervillain battle, but.) The Death of Captain Marvel is probably the character's finest moment.
  • DC's The Question was never a "Big Gun," he had no super powers and his foes were street-level criminals and human organizations, but he was still reputably badass and tough: the first issue of his Dennis O'Neil series (his most well-known series) ended with him defeated in a one-on-one fight by Lady Shiva, then his body was viciously beaten by the gang she was working for, then he was shot in the head with an air-gun and then he was thrown into a frozen river and left for dead. Not only did he survive, pulled out of the water by Shiva, but he was then given martial arts training by Richard Dragon (Regarded as the premier martial artist of the DCU and one of the trainers of Batman, Bronze Tiger and the afore-mentioned Shiva) so he came back even tougher... then, in 52, it is revealed that he has developed terminal lung cancer exacerbated by a lifetime of smoking. It has recently metastasized and now he is wasting away, physically and mentally. There is no mystical cure and no advanced alien treatment, his cancer is untreatable and he dies outside the gates of Nanda Parbat.
  • After countless times of escaping death, after being one of the most evil and powerful of super villains, after clashing and allying himself with the some of the greatest powers of the DC universe, both good and evil, how does the immortal Hank Henshaw finally die? He makes the mistake of transferring into a robot character who already has a soul, and then is soul-killed which Word of God says is permanent.
    • Annnnnd then Hank came back anyways, only to be knocked out and kidnapped by Doomsday.
  • In DC's Hellblazer, John Constantine is known for going up against all manner of demons, supernatural entities, and the Devil himself, and cheating death at every turn. One of the finest Story Arcs of the series, "Dangerous Habits", begins with John discovering he's got terminal lung cancer. Over the course of the storyline, he attempts to call in every favor he can think of, only to discover that the few beings he knows who have the power to help him don't like him enough to do so. He eventually weasels out of the situation, in classic John Constantine style, by selling his soul to all three of the Lords of Hell. Since, if John were to die, they would be forced to go to war over his soul (destroying Hell in the process), they are therefore forced to cure his cancer to keep him alive. Naturally, this pisses them off unbelievably, and has consequences later in the series.
    • In the movie he finally manages to redeem himself to void his earlier suicide which had damned his soul. Pissed at not getting Constantine's soul (John flipping him off as he was ascending to Heaven probably didn't help his mood), the Devil cures his cancer at the last moment, so he'll have time to sin again.
  • One shot Spider-Man foe Carl King aka The Thousand was a man turned into a swarm of spiders. All the spiders are seemingly destroyed via electrocution and Spider-Man leaves. One of the spiders survives and vows revenge, boasting that he is invincible as long as there are spiders for him to inhabit. He is then stepped on by an oblivious passerby.

    Fan Works 
  • In Mass Foundations: Redemption in the Stars, one of the antagonists is The Collector-General is a hulking figure of solid and lava, able to unleash biotic barrages and with inhumanly durable barriers. When The Courier ends up fighting it alone, the Broker’s guards consider him doomed and see no reason to intervene. After the creature gets brought to its knees, they finally fire at him, but it was too late.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Played for laughs in GoldenEye, where Playful Hacker Boris, after being the last survivor of the collapse of the Big Bad's lair (other than Bond and the girl of course), jumps up and hollers his Catch Phrase: "Yes! I AM INVINCIBLE!" A split second later, three tanks of liquid nitrogen explode and flash-freeze him to death.
  • In the movie Rocky IV, Drago is initially pounding Rocky completely, until one of Rocky's punches actually cuts Drago below his left eye. The odds begin to shift in Rocky's favor from then on out.
    • Simultaneously inverted: while Duke is excitedly pointing out Drago's vulnerability to Rocky, Drago is in the opposite corner flabbergasted that his opponent just won't stay down.
      Drago (in Russian): He's not human. He's like a piece of iron.
  • In the movie The Matrix Reloaded, after Neo stopped a hail of bullets, the Merovingian's mooks pick up swords and start fighting him. When Neo stops a sword with his outstretched hand, a drop of blood from his hand hits the floor. The Merovingian then says "See! He's just a man!" Cue Neo taking swords off the wall and defeating the mooks.
  • In the older film adaptation of The War of the Worlds, the alien tripods lay waste to human military without breaking stride. However, they all are defeated by bacteria—against which they are not immune
  • The titular killing machine in The Terminator is finally shown dragging his heavily damaged leg after being flattened by a semi. In this case it's not so much to show that there's hope of defeating him, but rather to show that he absolutely will not stop so long as he's still functioning.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day is an odd example. The original version played this straight, showing the T-1000's shapeshifting ability malfunctioning due to being frozen, blown to pieces, and then reforming in a hot environment. Then before release they deleted all these scenes (except one) to make the audience think he truly was unstoppable. Then they released a Director's Cut with the scenes restored.

    Literature 
  • In Mistborn, everyone regards the Lord Ruler as a terrifying invincible god. Turns out that his power (or rather, a particularly significant part of it) comes from the mystically empowered bracelets he wears on his upper arms which provide him with a limitless supply of youth and vitality- when they get torn off, he immediately begins to revert to his actual age of approximately one millennium. Though he still has his other powers, he can't use them at all effectively while time is rapidly decaying his own body out from under him.
  • A rather metaphysical example from the distant past of the Perry Rhodan universe: in a backstory vignette, we learn of the fight of the last still-active Knight of the Deep, Armadan of Harpoon, against an entity called Nabel that controls a large and spreading sector of space. Nabel's strength and weakness both is her unconditional commitment to an idea — specifically, the idea of her own ultimate power. (This is a universe in which superbeings with vast psychic powers do canonically exist, so the concept isn't as outlandish as one might first think.) After years of trying to find a way to fight such an enemy all on his own, with no support whatsoever and his immortality having given out, Armadan fails as far as he knows; he dies of old age with Nabel's position no weaker than before. Yet it's also his death that for the first time in her entire existence inspires Nabel to consider her own mortality — and being who she is...
  • The mercenary protagonist in The Dogs of War is Secretly Dying of lung cancer. He shoots himself at the end of the book.
  • Porthos the giant member of our band in "The Three Musketeers" and "The Man in the Iron Mask" so big and strong that he can't even kill himself by hanging (though it does cure his impotence which is why he was doing it) is killed holding up a huge rock in "Thirty Years After."
  • In the Dale Brown book The Tin Man, Patrick McLanahan is warned that the first version of the titular Powered Armor he's using is vulnerable to knives, something that turns out to be a Chekhov's Gun. Hal Briggs gets this in Strike Force after running into a Russian trap.
  • The death of the alien invaders in The War of the Worlds is a classic case, although not a very well foreshadowed one.
  • This happens in Worm when Taylor and Tattletale are facing down Glory Girl, a Flying Brick whose sister they have taken hostage. Taylor covers her with bugs, in response to which Glory Girl says that she's invincible, to which Tattletale retorts that no, she's not, she just has a force field—one that shorts out temporarily when she takes a hard hit, like a gunshot. At which point Tattletale shoots her, letting Taylor's insects through.
    • Tattletale's power makes her scarily good at this—at one point, she does it to the Siberian, a legendary, invincible supervillain who is a Hero Killer, by figuring out that she's actually a solid force field projection created and controlled by someone else. Dragon then hunts down the creator and kills him.
  • Downplayed in The Zombie Knight. Just after he is first shown to be a good guy, he gets splashed in the face with soul-empowered hydrochloric acid and has his face melted off. He is useless for the rest of the fight because he can't see a thing without his glasses.
  • Done at the climax of the Sherlock Holmes story The Hound of the Baskervilles. Upon seeing the hound, Holmes, Watson and Lestrange are terrified at the sight of it. But when one of their shots causes it to cry out it pain, they realize that the hound is mortal and gun it down.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy was brought low by a bout of flu in "Killed by Death". Handily, this gave her a reason to investigate a series of deaths in the local hospital.
    • In Season 5, Glory can be slowed by magical artifacts.
  • Joss Whedon has a habit of giving main characters senseless, non-heroic deaths, from stray bullets to C-list villains who have simply gotten further in their plans than anyone thought. While the characters weren't ever built up as particularly invincible, their main character status would tend to create viewer expectations of their survival, or at least going out in a blaze of glory.
    • One particularly tearjerking example is Cassie, a minor but much-loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer character who had prophesied her own death. Buffy manages to save her from a cult looking to perform a human sacrifice, when she is almost cut down by a Booby Trap that comes out of nowhere. But this too, Buffy stops. At which point, Cassie drops dead from a heart defect.
    • The Judge cannot be harmed with any weapon. The Judge declares himself invincible. It took an army to stop him before, and even they could only stop him temporarily. That army did not have a missile launcher, which Buffy uses to blow him away.
  • Gai Yuuki/Black Condor in Choujin Sentai Jetman. One full year of fighting Vyram, extraterrestrial invaders, and he survived them all! Cue 3 years later, a random mugger kills him with a mere stab.
  • In an episode of Farscape, the protagonists find the wreck of the Zelbinion, a legendary Peacekeeper command carrier. Everybody is stunned, as the ship was believed to be indestructible. When they tell this to Crichton, he calmly tells them to talk to Leonardo DiCaprio about indestructible ships. In a later episode, it's revealed that the ship was destroyed by the Nebari, who claim not to have any warships. However, their civilian ships are fully capable of engaging any warship of a galactic power. It's implied that even the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans would have trouble dealing with the Nebari.
  • In Power Rangers Jungle Fury, Grizzaka is in a huge battle with the Rangers. The fight has proceeded to a giant Megazord fight and at one point during that massive showdown he taunts the rangers with "It's your turn to learn the same lesson all of my enemies have. There is no one as powerful as Grizzaka, and never will be," which, unfortunately for him, ends up tempting the Rangers to form the Jungle Master Stampede Formation and use it to destroy him. Before exploding, he gets a huge surprise and shouts "Impossible... I am invincible... no one is stronger than Grizzaka...!" After that, his Critical Existence Failure is instantaneous.
  • The teaser of Star Trek: Voyager's third season finale is pretty simple. Two Borg cubes (and only one of them was needed to wipe out 39 starships and 11,000 Starfleet lives in Star Trek: The Next Generation) appear on the screen, delivering their Catch Phrase. While they're saying it, beams of energy shoot out and blow them up as they reach the line 'Resistance is futile." The whole episode is about how Voyager can go up against something that is able to do that to the Borg.
  • Sarah Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles suffers from a unique version of this trope, when she learns that in her uninterrupted timeline, after she had fought to keep John alive and saved the world twice, she died from leukemia. She immediately heads to a hospital in an attempt to stop this.

    Mythology 
  • Jason, of the famous ancient Greek myth "Jason and the Argonauts," is a notable example. He survived all manner of crazy adventures, battling against impossible odds. He even betrayed his extremely homicidal wife and lived to tell about it. What did him in? A piece of his ship, the Argo, fell on his head and killed him instantly while he was asleep.
  • The mighty Hercules, son of Zeus, a man who stole Cerberus from Hades, who choked an indestructible lion to death, who slew the Hydra: killed by a shirt with some poisonous blood on it.
    • In some version of the myth, it didn't actually kill him, just caused him constant, unending agony, so he set himself on fire to escape the pain.
  • Achilles was rendered invulnerable because his mother Thetis dipped him into the River Styx as a child; however as she was holding onto his heel, it was never made invulnerable. Many years later during the Trojan War, Achilles is the greatest hero on the field...until he is killed by a single arrow in the foot.
    • As with any mythology, there are varying versions. Most of them do make some mention of the arrow being poisoned.

    Tabletop RPG 
  • In the World War II superhero RPG Godlike, The Invulnerable Man is invulnerable to anything, as long as he knows about it. He dies of lung cancer from smoking; he didn't see that coming.

    Video Games 
  • Meta example: How many times have you died in a video game seconds after your invincibility power-up wore off? Or during its effects, due to Bottomless Pit or similar?
  • In a Borderlands DLC there is a mission that requires you to defeat a giant crayfish-like enemy called Crawmerax the Invincible, and he is by far the hardest boss in the game. Once you defeat him, you can get an achievement called "Vincible".
  • Beldr the Immortal of Devil Survivor, who has before made a pact with the earth saying that nothing can hurt him. This makes him Nigh Invulnerable to every one of your attacks, unless you use the one thing that didn't make the pact: the Devil's Fuge, or Mistletoe, which has been made into a cell phone strap. Not so immortal after all, huh?
  • Zato-1 from Guilty Gear is a straight video game example, although he was originally intended to dodge the bullet. The unexpected death of his voice actor forced the designers to call in a Not So Invincible After All moment to explain the voice change, as he was consumed by Eddie, the shadow parasite he used to fight.
  • Sgt. Johnson in Halo 3, felled by 343 Guilty Spark at the end of the game.
  • In Langrisser (Warsong in North America), Volkov/Baldarov permanently dies from a random arrow in a cutscene at the end of a battle, even though in-game you can take up to nine arrows at a time and still be as good as new after three turns of self-healing (or less, if someone casts a heal spell on you as well).
  • One of Francis's quotes in Left 4 Dead reads "Good thing I'm indestructable."
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 features a unique gameplay-affecting example. One of the harder bosses in the game is The End, an incredibly skilled sniper who's also an incredibly old man. If you take a long enough break from the game (or, if you're a cheating bastard, advance the PS2's internal clock), he'll have died of old age when you load back up.
    • And in Metal Gear Solid 4 example, Solid Snake, who's survived Outer Heaven, Zanzibar Land, Shadow Moses, the sinking of the Discovery, and the Big Shell Incident is slowly dying of advanced cell degeneration. It doesn't kill him, though. At least, not for LONG after the game ends.
      • Metal Gear Solid 2 had a much more sudden and shocking example. Throughout the game, Fortune has been invincible, where bullets literally go around her, and explosives that get close to her don't explode (why nobody takes a knife to her is anyone's guess). She and the other characters dismiss this as supernatural, and the player is convinced of this with an eventually subverted handwave. When the characters begin to pull at the threads of the twist ending, Fortune moves to shoot Ocelot with her BFG, and he quick draws his gun and shoots her, having previously deactivated the device protecting her without her knowledge (before revealing that he was responsible for it in the first place).
  • Tubba Blubba from Paper Mario. His invincibility is the plot point of the chapter: you know he has a weakness, you just don't know what it is or where to find it. It's his heart, separated from his body, which is still very vulnerable. After defeating it, it flees and rejoins its owner, making him not only vulnerable but weak enough to take out in one turn.
  • Shinjiro Aragaki of Persona 3 certainly seems to be headed this way after it's discovered that he's been taking Persona suppressants that have been shortening his lifespan, but it ends up being subverted when he ends up Taking the Bullet for Ken Amada instead.
  • In Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, the Prince is hunted by the Dahaka, an apparently invincible agent of time sent to kill the Prince to correct the Prince's meddling with the timestream via his use of the Sands of Time. The only thing tha temporarily halts the Dahaka's pursuit is flowing water. In the best ending, the Prince finds the magical Water Sword. When the sword actually manages to hurt the Dahaka in their final encounter, the Prince mentions that it isn't so invincible after all.
  • Ukyo Tachibana from the Samurai Shodown video game series was set up for this with his tuberculosis, but due to his popularity, SNK has never followed through, except in the obscure and disliked Warrior's Rage
  • The player will still drown underwater or get crushed by moving platforms while invincible in Sonic the Hedgehog games.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Ice Cap Zone Act 1 has a Knuckles-exclusive area where you must glide from wall to wall and avoid spiked balls. If you use debug mode or a glitch to get Super Sonic into the area, the spiked balls will damage you anyway, and since the damage knocks your ring count to 0, it ends your Super status. However, in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, this is corrected and the Super and Hyper characters can touch the spike balls with no repercussions.
  • In many Mario games as shown with Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, even while you're power-up with the Invincibility Star you can still get death thrown by jumping into lava or being crushed by wall and platform.
  • Warcraft: Many boss characters are not only very powerful, and possess game breaking spells, but they also have Divine armor type which only receives 0.1% damage from all types, making them practically invincible. When the game requires the player to defeat them, a main quest will have them acquire one or more units that do Chaos damage, which completely ignores all armor types including Divine.
  • Sephiroth of Final Fantasy VII. Word of God is that he's the most powerful character in that game's verse. An ordinary grunt still managed to kill him by stabbing him in the back with a huge sword while he was distracted and later using Sephiroth's own sword which he was impaled on to throw Sephiroth into the Lifestream. Despite coming back to life twice with more power each time, Sephiroth is still killed again and again for his troubles. By that very same grunt no less.
  • Final Fantasy X has an interesting example. The Eldritch Abomination Big Bad Sin is a gigantic Space Whale that consumes and destroys every single thing that gets on its way (that means, the whole damn world) and it is impossible, if incredibly stupid, to take on it on a frontal assault. Best case scenario: you get impregnated by its deadly toxin if you take too much time, which means severe brain damage that is unlikely to wear off soon. Worst case scenario: Sin performs its Limit Break Giga Gravitation; which will, as the name implies, cause some serious repercussions on the space-time continuum surrounding it (sometimes directing its wave), so go figure. Logically, destroying using heavy machinery and gunpower sounds like a good idea, but it is severely restricted by the Yevon Church, not to mention the disastrous events implying it. The only means of defeating it is by the use of the Final Aeon, which is obtained at the end of a summoner's pilgrimage, killing the summoner and one of his/her guardians in the process. However, when the party Takes A Third Option and Screws Destiny along with Yunalesca and the pilgrimage it is revealed that, unlike the Crusaders, they have what it takes to damage Sin by luring and weaken it using the Hymn of the Fayth and attacking its main body using the very same weapons the Yevon Church restricted, which gives the party the chance they need to get inside Sin and kill Yu Yevon for good.

    Web Comics 
  • A Running Gag in Captain SNES: The Game Masta. Anyone who says the phrase "I am invincible!", regardless of how powerful they are, will end up getting hurt in some way, even if they're only correcting someone else or quoting someone else who said it. In the world of Final Fantasy IV, an explosion threw a number of treasure boxes all over the world; every single one so far has landed on someone foolish enough to say "I am invincible!" And it happens every single time, without fai... * gets hit by a treasure chest from the sky.
  • Drowtales: 30 comic-time years and over 12 real-time years since the comic started, someone FINALLY lands a scratch on Snadhya'rune. She does NOT take it well.

    Web Video 
  • In Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, much of Captain Hammer's cocksure Jerkass attitude comes from the fact that he is apparently impervious to damage, but when Dr. Horrible's death ray malfunctions and explodes in his hands, the aftermath has him lying on the floor and crying "I'm in pain! I think this is what pain feels like!", before he runs away like a little girl and spends the next many months in therapy.

    Western Animation 
  • In the opening of the first episode of Batman Beyond, Bruce Wayne hangs up the Bat-mantle after a bad heart forces him to pull a gun on someone.
  • Bugs Bunny, one of Western Animation's most iconic Comically Invincible Heros was occasionally granted a rather humiliating loss, often at the hands of underestimated foes such as Elmer Fudd or Cecil Turtle. Double points in that the usually unflappable Bugs was prone to temper tantrums in most of these instances.
    • Speedy Gonzales, while not as commonly done, had similar moments. Being even more infallible than Bugs, his one true loss was at the hands of Daffy Duck hitting him on the head with a mallet.
  • In the second Care Bears movie the villain Darkheart falls out of a rowing boat and nearly drowns, needing to be rescued by his own reluctant minion. For reference, this is the same guy who at the beginning of the movie menaced the Care Bears on their boat in the middle of a storm-tossed ocean by taking the form of an enormous serpent, and possesses huge mystical powers. Who'd have guessed he'd be as vulnerable to the old "banana peel on the floor" trick as anyone?
  • In Futurama, That Guy was cryogenically frozen because they were unable to find a cure for his terrible "boneitis". He turns out to be a cold, skilled businessman, and is just about to sell Planet Express to their biggest rivals, Momcorp, when he keels over and dies, Chekhov's Gun-style, of his boneitis. "I was so busy being an Eighties guy," he laments, convulsing with agony, "that I forgot to cure it..."
    • His one regret was that he had boneitis.
    • Also, during an episode set on a planet of robots who believe humans are evil, a horror film (in a clear homage to The War of the Worlds) ends with the heroes pontificating that a human was immune to their "most powerful electromagnetic fields," but could be killed by a simple pointy stick in the back.
  • Madame Souza of The Triplets of Belleville is a virtual Implacable Man who crosses the Atlantic in a pedal boat and manages to wipe out the French Mafia with no more aid than three other elderly women and an incredibly fat dog. The ending implies that she died of old age sometime after the events of the film proper.
  • Starscream from Transformers Animated. After Megatron tore his spark out of his chest, Screamer immediately discovered that there is a piece of the AllSpark lodged in his forehead. Cue the Starscream Death Montage. In the finale, Prowl removes the fragment and Starscream dies for good.

    Other 
  • There have been seven ships of the Royal Navy named HMS Invincible.
    • HMS Invincible (1747) was originally a French ship named Invincible. Which proved to not be invincible when she was captured by the British and renamed HMS Invincible. HMS Invincible sank in February 1758 when she hit a sandbank in the East Solent.
    • HMS Invincible (1765): She was wrecked off the Norfolk coast in 1801, with the loss of 400 lives.
    • HMS Invincible (1808): Amazingly, survived until scrapped.
    • HMS Invincible (1861): Renamed HMS Black Prince before her launch.
    • HMS Invincible (1869): Foundered in a storm in 1914.
    • HMS Invincible (1907): The first battlecruiser ever built. She blew up and sank after taking a hit from SMS Lützow during World War I, with the loss of 1,026 crew. Only six crew members survived. SMS Lützow later sank from the shell damage caused by HMS Invincible.
    • HMS Invincible (R05) was a light aircraft carrier, the first of three in the Invincible class. She served from 1980 to 2005, including service in the Falklands War. She was scrapped in Turkey in 2011.
      • In the novel The Hunt for Red October, Soviet Captain Ramius sarcastically mentions the name Invincible to his crew when he spots the ship on his periscope, stating it was an arrogant name for a ship. It is very likely he was well aware of the history of the ships with that name.


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