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->''"You cut him! You hurt him! You see?! You see, he's ''not'' a machine! He's a ''man''!"''
-->-- '''Duke''' on Ivan Drago, ''Film/{{Rocky IV}}''

Perhaps your BadassLongcoat has developed a [[IncurableCoughOfDeath deadly cough]] over the last few days, or perhaps the BigBad has enjoyed a few too many of those fancy cigars and develops lung cancer, or maybe the team's [[TheBigGuy muscle]] tests positive for Huntington's, or maybe the resident GenkiGirl'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 CosmicHorrorStory 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 DroppedABridgeOnHim. Such a moment may occur when a user of TheLawOfDiminishingDefensiveEffort takes a hit from something that can go through his defence. In combat, this may be caused by UntouchableUntilTagged.

'''This is a DeathTrope, so beware of spoilers.'''



* Subverted in the final commercial of Advertising/SegataSanshiro. Segata is seemingly killed when a missile explodes right underneath him... but ''VideoGame/SonicAndSegaAllStarsRacingTransformed'' shows he's still alive somehow.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/DragonBallZ'': Goku has saved the world several times over, defeated Frieza, a GalacticConqueror [[TheDreaded feared]] by even the Kais themselves, and become the first [[SuperMode Super Saiyan]] in a thousand years... but during a significant chunk of the Android and Cell Sagas, he's incapacitated by a heart virus, which actually ''killed'' him in the BadFuture Trunks hails from, and which the main timeline Goku only survived thanks to medicine Trunks gave him. Future Gohan even remarks at one point that he thought Goku was invincible.
* ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'': During the final showdown of the Future Trunks Saga, [[spoiler: the newly-created [[FusionDance Merged Zamasu]] initially appears to be unstoppable, shrugging off everything Goku, Vegeta, and Future Trunks throw at him... and then Goku manages to reflect his SphereOfDestruction attack back at him, which [[FacialHorror reduces the entire right side of his face]] [[TwoFaced to purple goo]]. As it turns out, Future Zamasu's CompleteImmortality has been compromised by his fusing with the mortal Goku Black; [[AssimilationBackfire thus, he's no longer completely immortal and can be killed]].]]
** It was also revealed that Beerus would die if Universe 7's Kaioshin was killed, and he was very upset when Whis revealed this to Goku.
** Jiren, the strongest fighter for Universe 11 is an absolute monster who has defeated all his enemies with no trouble, from a berserker Kale and Maji Kayo to Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Hit. He is even confirmed to be the mortal who was rumored to be ''stronger'' than a god of destruction! However, during the climax of the tournament he is shown to not be invincible, since Goku was able to slip him up and almost ring him out through trickery and Vegeta managed to memorize his movements to avoid his attacks and land a solid blow right in his stomach. He also struggles against Goku and Vegeta's combined powers when they double team him. So despite being a mortal stronger than gods he isn't unbeatable, just really, really, really, REALLY hard to beat.
* ''{{LightNovel/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. [[spoiler:It's then subverted in the following episode when Shizuo shows up at [[BackAlleyDoctor Shinra's]] place bloody and tremendously annoyed, but not particularly close to death.]]
* In ''Manga/FateStayNight'' Berserker is a proud user of TheLawOfDiminishingDefensiveEffort, 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. [[spoiler: 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 ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', 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 IncurableCoughOfDeath and BloodFromTheMouth. Van Hohenheim introduces himself to her by noting her alchemy-induced cough and cures her by ''[[spoiler:jabbing his hand into her midsection and rearranging her organs]]''.
** In [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version's]] [[TheMovie movie]], [[spoiler:it's revealed that she finally succumbed to her illness.]]
** During the finale of the Manga and ''Brotherhood'', [[spoiler: Father has seemingly absorbed God and nothing the heroes do can seem to have any lasting damage that he can't regenerate from. They persist anyway...and then he instinctively uses his hand to block an attack much to both his and his opponents' shock. A sign that his power is starting to wane and their attacks ''are'' working. To which the heroes continue their attack with renewed vigor.]]
* This trope is one of the major plot points in ''Manga/GunslingerGirl''. 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 [[spoiler:Elsa]] finds the one weak point in their bullet resistance and commits suicide by shooting herself in the eye.
* In ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'', Father Alexander Anderson had for the most part seemed to be TheJuggernaut, regenerating from even headshots with explosive rounds. Then at the start of their last encounter, Alucard uses his Jackal HandCannon 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 [[spoiler: Alexander using the Nail of Helena.]]
* ''Anime/{{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 [[spoiler: 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 actually ''prolonging'' his life with medicine because he wanted Sasuke to kill him.]]
** Also, now revealed is [[spoiler: 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 ''Manga/OnePiece'', it is later revealed that [[spoiler:Gol D. Roger turned himself in to the World Government because he had an incurable illness that developed four years before his execution]].
** [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-zagged]] with Whitebeard versus the Marines, and later, [[spoiler:the Blackbeard Pirates]]. Very much as unstoppable as was claimed of him, [[spoiler:until his death. He ultimately [[RasputinianDeath received 267 bullets, 46 cannonballs, and 52 stab wounds, with half his face melted off]], until he finally [[DiedStandingUp died on his feet]]. However, the reason why they even got so far, was that his health was failing beforehand. This means in his prime, even ''that wouldn't be enough to kill him'']].
** At first, Charlotte Katakuri, the strongest of the Sweet Commanders, seems to be nearly unstoppable, having the highest bounty in the entire story so far, subjecting SuperSoldier Ichiji to an offscreen CurbStompBattle, killing a guest who was attempting to assassinate his mother before he even got to see her, seemingly being immune to Armament Haki (which should normally bypass his ElementalShapeshifter abilities), and subjecting ''[[TheHero Luffy]]'' to an utter NoHoldsBarredBeatDown, doing all of it while remaining untouched... [[spoiler:Until it turns out in Chapter 884 that he's actually just using his [[CombatClairvoyance Observation Haki]] and ElementalShapeshifter powers together to pull his body out of the way when he's "hit", so that all that his enemies touch is air. And once Luffy manages to break his focus, which is necessary for his Observation Haki to work, and later, match his Observation's power, leaving it unreliable, he's as vulnerable to getting hit as everyone else]].
*** Also, according to the rest of the Big Mom Pirates, Katakuri was TheAce of their family, never even so much as lying down, and essentially being an InvincibleVillain... until Luffy manages to score a DoubleKnockout with him, and Katakuri can't get back up due to [[HoistByHisOwnPetard having less experience at taking hits in battle]].
* This trope is the reason why Makoto Shishio died on ''Manga/RurouniKenshin.'' 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 ''Anime/{{Scryed}}'' loses to BigBad Muto even after going to his second stage Alter. He had previously effortlessly defeated both protagonists with only his first state Alter.
* In ''Manga/TouhouBougetsushou'', 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.
** She doesn't seem fully knocked out considering she is sitting up or trying to climb out of the hole while groaning in the one panel depicting her after the fall, but it does make her look less invincible (albeit being a gag and not necessarily a serious power showing).
* In season 3 of ''Anime/SonicX'' 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 [[spoiler: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 [[Anime/SonicTheHedgehogTheMovie in a VERY familiar scene]].]] Chris even acknowledges this trope in the English version of the series:
-->'''Chris''': He thought he was invincible...
* ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'' has its plot kick off when protagonist Izuku finds out that his hero All Might, TheCape incarnate and the number one hero around, received a crippling blow five years ago that limits the use of his powers and All Might is running out of time. As the story progresses All Might's ability to use his powers drops further and further, accelerated by passing the torch to Izuku and his own heroic nature leading him to push himself too far too often, until [[spoiler: he finally uses up the last of it bringing down All For One, an insanely powerful supervillain who killed his mentor and then raised her grandson to be evil just to spite her memory. This has several consequences, including All Might's now-powerlessness revealed to the world, an unworthy NumberTwo becoming the new number one hero, and immense guilt from Bakugou, who All Might was rescuing from All For One.]] In addition, All Might's former sidekick used his future vision and foresaw All Might dying within two years of the start of the series.
** The Villain Invasion Arc is Class A learning a whole about the pro heroes they look up to as their teacher Eraserhead and the hero Thirteen are both badly beaten by the League of Villains, who overwhelm Eraserhead with numbers and then a creature designed to beat All Might while Thirteen gets ambushed via a portal trick while trying to help some of the students get outside to get help. Seeing the injuries Eraserhead incurs ends up terrifying Izuku, Tsuyu, and Mineta, and the whole class leaves the experience realizing just how tough the pro heroes have it and the sort of things they're being trained to hopefully survive because they're ''not'' invincible, no matter what the public thinks.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/CaptainBritain foe the Fury was killed by [[spoiler: Captain UK]]. This wouldn't be a good example compared to the rest if it wasn't [[TheJuggernaut 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 Warper}}s in the history [[spoiler: and won]]. And yet, [[spoiler:the UnstoppableRage of one woman]] was enough to teach it the meaning of death and defeat.
* Creator/MarvelComics' version of ComicBook/CaptainMarVell 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 [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome finest moment]].
* [[Franchise/TheDCU DC's]] ComicBook/TheQuestion was never a "Big Gun," [[BadassNormal he had no super powers]] and his foes were street-level criminals and human organizations, but he was still reputably badass and [[MadeOfIron tough]]: the first issue of his Dennis O'Neil series ([[MyRealDaddy his most well-known series]]) ended with him defeated in a one-on-one fight by [[DarkActionGirl 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'' [[RasputinianDeath 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 Franchise/{{Batman}}, Bronze Tiger and the afore-mentioned Shiva) so he came back ''even tougher''... then, in ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo'', 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. [[RealityEnsues There is no mystical cure and no advanced alien treatment, his cancer is untreatable]] [[{{Tearjerker}} 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 WordOfGod says is permanent.
** Annnnnd then Hank came back anyways, [[spoiler: only to be knocked out and kidnapped by Doomsday.]]
* In DC's ''ComicBook/{{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 Arc}}s 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 [[KarmaHoudini weasels out of the situation]], in classic John Constantine style, by [[spoiler: 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 Comicbook/SpiderMan foe Carl King aka The Thousand was a man turned into [[TheWormThatWalks 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.

* In [[FanFic/MassFoundations Mass Foundations: Redemption in the Stars]], one of the antagonists is [[spoiler:The Collector-General is a hulking figure of solid and lava, able to unleash biotic barrages and with inhumanly durable barriers]]. When [[VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas The Courier]] ends up fighting it alone, the Brokerís 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.
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness'': After being set up as essential {{Invincible Villain}}s throughout Acts III and VI, Jovian and Jacqueline become this upon TheReveal that Apoch's LaserBlade can both [[AttackReflector deflect]] their supposedly unblockable {{Hand Blast}}s and cut through their supposedly unbreakable [[ForceField barriers]].

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Madame Souza of ''WesternAnimation/TheTripletsOfBelleville'' is a virtual ImplacableMan 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.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Played for laughs in ''Film/GoldenEye'', where [[PlayfulHacker Boris]], after being the last survivor of the [[spoiler: collapse of Alec Trevelyan's lair (other than Bond and Natalia of course)]], jumps up and hollers his CatchPhrase: "Yes! I AM INVINCIBLE!" A split second later, three tanks of liquid nitrogen explode and flash-freeze him to death.
* In the movie ''Film/RockyIV'', 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 [[InvertedTrope 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 ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'', 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 ''Film/{{The War of the Worlds|1953}}'', the alien tripods lay waste to human military without breaking stride. However, they all are defeated [[spoiler:by bacteria--against which they are not immune]]
* ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}''
** The eponymous killing machine in ''Film/TheTerminator'' is finally shown dragging his heavily damaged leg after being [[TheresNoKillLikeOverkill 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 [[TheDeterminator will not stop]] so long as he's still functioning.
** ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'' 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 ([[OrphanedReference except one]]) to make the audience think he truly ''was'' unstoppable. Then they released a DirectorsCut with the scenes restored.
* ''Film/TheMist'' plays this trope completely straight. The creatures found in the mist are terrifying and unstoppable...against frightened, trapped civilians armed with makeshift melee weapons. Against trained soldiers with automatic weapons and flamethrowers, who use infantry tactics and have both armor and air support, they're easily slaughtered wholesale. This should be noted as one of the very few films where a modern-day military is shown to be more than a match for the threat.
* Toons in ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'' were initially thought in-universe to be incapable of being killed, as they get crushed, blown up, sliced in half, decapitated, etc. and survive. However, it turns out that they can be killed by "the Dip" (actually paint thinner).
* The titular Golden Army in ''Film/HellboyIITheGoldenArmy'' was touted as an invincible army feared through the ages. Then Hellboy and co fought them and found them relatively easy to break. [[LampshadeHanging "Invincible my ass."]] [[spoiler:Subverted in that they're never said to be NighInvulnerable - just able to reform themselves from any breakdown.]]

* In ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'', everyone regards [[EvilOverlord 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 ''Literature/PerryRhodan'' 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 ''Literature/TheDogsOfWar'' is SecretlyDying 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 Creator/DaleBrown book ''The Tin Man'', Patrick [=McLanahan=] is warned that the first version of the eponymous PoweredArmor he's using is vulnerable to knives, something that turns out to be a ChekhovsGun. [[spoiler: Hal Briggs]] gets this in ''Strike Force'' after running into a Russian trap.
* The death of the alien invaders in ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' is a classic case, although not a very well foreshadowed one[[note]]most adaptations tend to make it even less foreshadowed -- in addition to the famous introductory paragraph there ''is'' an info-dump about midway through the book that in passing mentions an apparent lack of a Martian immunity system amongst other biological facts since learned -- but it is clunky enough that adaptations tend to leave it out.[[/note]]. Earlier in the book, there is the Martian attack on Shepperton, which applies this to the Martian tripods by showing that human heavy weaponry ''can'' destroy them... just with so much effort that the invasion still seems unstoppable.
* This happens in ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' when [[VillainProtagonist Taylor]] and [[AwesomenessByAnalysis Tattletale]] are facing down Glory Girl, a FlyingBrick whose sister they have taken hostage. Taylor [[TheMinionMaster 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 [[BatDeduction power]] makes her scarily good at this -- at one point, she does it to the Siberian, a legendary, invincible supervillain who is a HeroKiller, [[spoiler: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.]]
** Taylor herself tends to work with the assumption that nobody is invincible, not truly. When she was finally forced to fight against [[FlyingBrick Alexandria]], [[spoiler:she filled Alexandria's lungs with webbing, effectively drowning her. The result practically skyrocketed her to A rank.]]
* Downplayed in ''Literature/TheZombieKnight''. Just after Roman is first shown to be a good guy, he gets splashed in the face with [[HollywoodAcid 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 ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'' 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.
* [[Literature/TheSeaWolf Wolf Larsen]] remains undefeated in physical (or verbal) confrontation -- right up until an apparent brain tumor does him in. Foreshadowed by his unthinkably painful headaches at various points before the end.
* In the [[Literature/HonorHarrington Honorverse]], the Solarian League's navy is more than ten times the size of any other, so it's been able to bully most potential opponents for centuries, without even having to actually fight. Then one of its ships gets popped in a fight with the Manties. The Sollies repeatedly double down to restore their reputation for invincibility, with generally lamentable results.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Buffy was brought low by a bout of flu in "Killed by Death". [[ContrivedCoincidence Handily]], this gave her a reason to investigate a series of deaths in the local hospital.
** After all of his plans were ruined, Warren simply [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim walks onto Buffy's backyard with a pistol]] and shoots her. She's still human, after all. Unfortunately he also killed Tara, and her girlfriend [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Dark Willow]] was not [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge happy about this.]] Dark Willow did have time to save Buffy's life before going on a rampage though.
** In Season 5, Glory can be slowed by magical artifacts.
* Creator/JossWhedon 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 ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' 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 BoobyTrap that comes out of nowhere. But this too, Buffy stops. At which point, Cassie drops dead from a heart defect.
*** Also an example of YouCantFightFate
** 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 ''Series/ChoujinSentaiJetman''. 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 ''Series/{{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 Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio about [[Film/{{Titanic 1997}} indestructible ships]]. In a later episode, it's revealed that the ship was destroyed by the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens 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 ''Series/PowerRangersJungleFury'', 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, [[TemptingFate ends up tempting the Rangers]] to form the Jungle Master Stampede Formation and use it to destroy him. Before exploding, he gets a [[OhCrap huge surprise]] and shouts "[[ThisCannotBe Impossible... I am invincible... no one is stronger than Grizzaka...!]]" After that, his CriticalExistenceFailure is [[StuffBlowingUp instantaneous]].
* The teaser of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'''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 ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'') appear on the screen, delivering their CatchPhrase. 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 ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' 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.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** Not only can Leviathans not be killed by normal weapons, but they're also totally unfazed by all of the typical monster weaknesses, such as holy water and salt. Twice on the show, the heroes think they've finally found a way to kill one, first when one gets crushed by a falling car, and then when Bobby chops off one's head, only to find out they're alive and strong as ever a short time later. They can effortlessly kill every other creature on the show, and a single Leviathan even wipes out an entire garrison of angels. If the tablet Metatron wrote on them is any indication, even ''God himself'' didn't think it would be possible to kill more than one. Not more than one at a time, more than one ''ever''. Then Jody Mills accidentally spills Borax on one...
** Sam and Dean are badass hunters who routinely kill monsters, ghosts, demons, and even gods. They've also died [[TheyKilledKennyAgain many, many times]]. In particular, Sam in "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 1" and "Heaven And Hell" was killed by humans with ordinary weapons, and in "Mystery Spot" as a result of a GroundhogDayLoop Dean got hit by a car, choked to death on a hot dog, was lethally shot ''twice'', was crushed by a falling desk, and was killed by an ordinary dog, got electrocuted by a toothbrush, and got lethal brain damage after slipping in the shower, and that's just counting the deaths we see.
* ''Series/LukeCage2016'': Luke Cage's durable skin can resist practically anything. However, he can still sustain internal injuries, like point-blank shotgun blasts to the face. The Judas bullets can penetrate his skin and are tough to dig out.

* Jason, of the famous ancient [[Myth/GreekMythology 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 ([[CruelMercy even if she let him live so he could suffer for everything else she had done him]]). What did him in? A piece of his ship, the ''Argo'', fell on his head and killed him instantly while he was asleep.
** In one version, he sat under it, told it that it was the only friend he had... and ''then'' it fell on his head and killed him. [[{{Irony}} Not exactly the most subtle version]]?
* 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 versions 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.

[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* ''TabletopGame/PsionicsTheNextStageInHumanEvolution'' is about people with massive psionic powers and superhuman physical and mental attributes, so espers often stray into this territory.
** Pyrokinetics can summon bursts of intense flame to melt incoming projectiles, which easily nullifies the damage from tranquilizer bolts and darts, but this doesn't nullify the effects of the drugs inside of them.
** Even the most powerful espers don't have unlimited power points, so bullets and other weapons never stop being deadly threats.
* In the UsefulNotes/WorldWarII 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.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Meta example: How many times have you died in a video game ''seconds'' after your [[SuperStar invincibility power-up]] wore off? Or during its effects, due to a BottomlessPit, getting crushed, or similar?
* In a VideoGame/{{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".
* [[ThatOneBoss Beldr]] [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast the Immortal]] of ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'', who has before made a pact with the earth saying that nothing can hurt him. This makes him NighInvulnerable to every one of your attacks, unless you use the one thing that didn't make the pact: [[spoiler:the Devil's Fuge, or Mistletoe, which has been made into a cell phone strap.]] Not so immortal after all, huh?
* Zato-1 from ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' is a straight video game example, although he was originally intended to dodge the bullet. [[RealLifeWritesThePlot The unexpected death of his voice actor]] forced the designers to call in a Not So Invincible After All moment to explain the [[TheOtherDarrin voice change]], as he was consumed by Eddie, the [[LivingShadow shadow parasite]] he used to fight.
* Sgt. Johnson in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'', felled by 343 Guilty Spark at the end of the game.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Langrisser}}'' (''Warsong'' in North America), [[spoiler: Volkov/Baldarov]] [[KilledOffForReal 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 [[BadassBiker Francis's]] quotes in ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' reads [[TemptingFate "Good thing I'm indestructible."]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGear'':
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' 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.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'', 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. [[spoiler: It doesn't kill him, though. At least, not for LONG after the game ends.]]
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' had a 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 [[FridgeLogic 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 [[GambitPileup twist ending]], Fortune moves to shoot [[MagnificentBastard Ocelot]] with her {{BFG}}, and he quick draws his gun and shoots her, [[spoiler: 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 ''VideoGame/{{Paper Mario|64}}''. 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. [[spoiler: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.]]
* [[spoiler: Shinjiro Aragaki]] of ''VideoGame/Persona3'' certainly ''seems'' to be headed this way after it's discovered that [[spoiler: he's been taking Persona suppressants that have been shortening his lifespan]], but it ends up being subverted when [[spoiler: he ends up TakingTheBullet for Ken Amada instead]].
* In ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'', 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 ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown'' 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 [[InvincibilityPowerUp invincible]] in ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' games.
** In ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic the Hedgehog 3]]'', Ice Cap Zone Act 1 has a Knuckles-exclusive area where you must glide from wall to wall and avoid [[SpikesOfDoom spiked balls]]. If you use debug mode or a glitch to get [[SuperMode 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.
*** Another instance in that game is the Launch Base Zone final boss Big Arms. If Eggman manages to catch you in the robot's arms, he'll carry you up and body slam you, causing you to lose your rings, even in Super Mode, causing you to revert to normal.
* In many Mario games as shown with ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' and ''SuperMarioWorld'', even while you're power-up with the [[InvincibilityPowerUp Invincibility Star]] you can still get [[DeathThrows death thrown]] by jumping into lava or being crushed by wall and platform.
* ''VideoGame/{{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 ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''. WordOfGod 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.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' has an interesting example. The [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abomination]] [[BigBad Big Bad]] Sin is a gigantic [[SpaceWhale Space Whale]] that consumes and destroys every single thing that gets on its way ([[AlwaysChaoticEvil 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 [[DeadlyGas 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 [[LimitBreak Limit Break]] [[GravitySucks 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 [[MoreDakka 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, [[spoiler:killing the summoner and one of his/her guardians in the process]]. However, when [[spoiler:the party [[TakeAThirdOption Takes A Third Option]] and [[ScrewDestiny Screws Destiny]] along with Yunalesca and the pilgrimage]] it is revealed that, unlike the [[HufflepuffHouse Crusaders]], [[spoiler:they have what it takes to damage Sin by luring and weaken it using the Hymn of the Fayth and attacking its main body [[CorruptChurch 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]].
* ''VideoGame/InjusticeGodsAmongUs'' features Ares, the God of War. Many of his quotes are [[BadassBoast assertions]] that as a god, he is invincible. Not only that, but combat is what makes him strong, and his own victory quote points out how stupid it is to challenge the God of War in combat. All that said, he gets curb stomped by Wonder Woman during the story campaign, and then admits that a lack of conflict in the world makes him weak enough to be harmed by even mortals.
* In ''VideoGame/WhiteKnightChronicles'', Grazel's Knight Adolmea the Sun King is supposedly the most powerful one. It lives up to that reputation for a while since its magical protection renders most attacks even from fellow Knights ineffective. Then Leonard obtains the sword Falcyon which is able to cut through Adolmea's defenses. Grazel is suitably shaken after being defeated so easily in their rematch.
* ''VideoGame/DarkestDungeon'': Your party can fight an army of undead, fungus people, mutant pig-men, brigands, cultists, pirates, and a slew of eldritch abominations and ''win''. In the end, even the most ancient and lethal of all demons can be felled like any of your mortal party members. [[DownerEnding Unfortunately, they have reserves that you will NEVER have]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Nihilumbra}}'': The Klimeths, after you combine [[spoiler:fire with a turret]].
* ''VideoGame/HitmanAbsolution'': Used to justify why agent 47,master assassin, tried garrotting a giant bodyguard instead of anything smart. He admits that he was overconfident in his abilities and when it comes to assassinate said bodyguard, he can kill him with his barehands in a rematch, to show why he thought so highly of his skills.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* A RunningGag in ''Webcomic/CaptainSNES''. 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 ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', an explosion threw a number of treasure boxes all over the world; every single one 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.
* ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'': 30 comic-time years and over 12 real-time years since the comic started, someone FINALLY lands a scratch on Snadhya'rune. [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10325 She does NOT take it well.]]

[[folder:Web Video]]
* In ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'', 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.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the opening of the first episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'', Bruce Wayne hangs up the Bat-mantle after a bad heart [[TechnicalPacifist forces him to pull a gun on someone]].
* WesternAnimation/BugsBunny, one of Western Animation's most iconic {{Comically Invincible Hero}}s 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 [[SoreLoser prone to temper tantrums]] in most of these instances.
* WesternAnimation/SpeedyGonzales, while not as commonly done, had similar moments. Being even more infallible than Bugs, his one true loss was at the hands of WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck hitting him on the head with a mallet.
* In the second ''WesternAnimation/{{Care Bears|Movie II A New Generation}}'' 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?
* ''{{WesternAnimation/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, ChekhovsGun-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.
** During an episode set on a planet of robots who believe humans are evil, a horror film (in a clear homage to Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds) 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.
* [[TheStarscream Starscream]] from ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated''. After [[BigBad Megatron]] tore his spark out of his chest, Screamer immediately discovered that there is a piece of the [[MacGuffin AllSpark]] lodged in his forehead. Cue the Starscream Death {{Montage}}. In the finale, [[spoiler:Prowl removes the fragment and Starscream dies for good.]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* There have been six ships of the UsefulNotes/RoyalNavy named [[TropeNamer HMS ''Invincible'']], [[TemptingFate none of which are still in service]]:
** HMS ''Invincible'' (1747) was originally a French ship named ''L'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): Survived UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars; eventually scrapped.
** HMS ''Invincible'' (1869): Renamed in 1904; 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 UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, with the loss of 1,026 crew. Only six crew members survived. ''Lützow'' later sank from shell damage caused by ''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 ''Literature/TheHuntForRedOctober'', 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.
* The T-34 tank. While it certainly was invincible against inferior German designs in 1941 and good part of 1942, the newer German tank cannons, such as 75 mm Kwk 42 and formidable 88 mm Kwk 36 could destroy it with ease, and it proved to be a death trap when coming second best. In 1943, it was hopelessly outclassed against the newer German designs.
** History would repeat for the tank in Korea. The initial offensive saw North Korean T-34s shrug off South Korean bazookas and Chaffee light tanks. Once heavier UN formations with Shermans, Pershings, and Centurions arrived, though, the tank was on the receiving end of repeated asskickings.
* Creator/ChuckNorris, ''the'' MemeticBadass, famously lost a fight to Creator/BruceLee.
* Attila the Hun, one of the most feared warriors in history, died on his wedding night thanks to a ''nosebleed''.
* The Mexican criminal known as "El Tigre de Santa Julia" was famously captured while he was in the toilet.. It has even become a popular expression in Mexico to say "You caught me like El Tigre de Santa Julia" when someone is interrupted in the bathroom.
* We all know what exactly happened to the ''Titanic'', a ship which was defined in the media as 'unsinkable'. Turns out that no engineer in the world can prepare for that exact mixture of hubris and ill fortune.