->'''Lucas:''' Let see here... we got time and space, every human emotion, every natural element and nature itself, life and death... what do we go for next?\\
'''Dawn:''' Only one place left to go... (''[[HeavenAbove points skyward]]'') we go for GOD!\\
'''Lucas:''' Uh wait, we got that one too.\\
'''Dawn:''' Oh.
-->-- ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_zCAsSc5l0 $00pah NiN10Doh! - Pokémon: The Fifth Generation]]''

The plot is completed. The hero gets his due reward, the girl, and vanquishes the villain with a series of really cool moves. Everybody lives happily ever after.

But wait. Turns out that fans liked the story so much that [[UnCanceled they want a sequel]]. But the hero's story is essentially done. He's supposed to be content for the rest of his life with what he got at the end.

The solution: Level up the rewards and dangers the hero faces to add that extra ''oomph'' to the sequel while avoiding accusations of plot recycling. Instead of a mere [[TheDon Mafia boss]], the SortingAlgorithmOfEvil delivers a beady-eyed DiabolicalMastermind to deal with, but the hero can look forward to [[MyKungFuIsStrongerThanYours niftier powers and legacies]].

This leveling up can get ridiculous if the series continues for long enough, with the producers being forced to [[SerialEscalation one-up themselves with every succeeding installment]]. It might even be carried out to the point that the only way left for the hero to become any ''more'' omnipotent is to make him AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence or [[BagOfSpilling depower him]].

This trope has a unique relationship with videogames, since RuleOfFun and ExcusePlot often allow more leeway when designing sequels.

SoLastSeason plus PostScriptSeason. When it's the same bad guys getting an upgrade, it's a LensmanArmsRace. Closely related to SequelEscalation.

Compare ChangingOfTheGuard.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/{{Dragonball}}'', we go from a military commander who wants to be taller, to an evil demon king, to the proud and arrogant prince of Goku's race that can crush Goku and his friends with ease, to the ruler of the galaxies that ''commanded'' said prince, to a genetic amalgam created from various good and bad guys including said ruler, and the... what can probably be called abomination Majin Buu, who destroys planets and people for the hell of it. SerialEscalation has made it so the series is widely known for parody-level absurd power levels, where you could practically sneeze and destroy a planet, but put it back almost as easily. There was a single reversal in ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'', however, when it's made clear that said galactic ruler was in fact a greater threat than most of his successors; this is a result of trying to work some sanity back into a franchise riddled with [[PostScriptSeason Post Script Seasons]].
* ''Anime/SailorMoon'' held very tightly to its PlotLeveling with nearly every season's BigBad hunting for some VictimOfTheWeek's trinket. The concept was really stretched in the last season's mangling of the [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]] story, where the trinkets are known to belong to any of the superpowered senshi -- leading one to wonder why the BigBad never targets any of ''them'' until near the very end.
* ''OnePiece'' comes with Plot Leveling built in. We start in the East Blue, the weakest of the four main seas. Then move up to the Grand Line, which lives up to its hype of being difficult to sail and survive. Finally, the sailors who travel across the Grand Line's second half, the New World, refer to the first half as "Paradise" out of comparison to the New World. However the author throws a curveball once in a while. For example, right after the Alabasta arc, which Luffy took two defeats to just barely win on his third try against Crocodile, was the Jaya arc, the main antogonist was Bellamy. It took Luffy [[CurbStompBattle one punch]] to put him down, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome without stretching]].
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' was this until a point where it went out of control, the author decided to remove Ichigo's original GameBreaker powers and gave him new ones which require him to start leveling up again.
** For all of 5 minutes until he got stronger verions of his old powers, letting him beat someone who was apparantly as strong as him pre-sacrifice without [[NextTierPowerUp Bankai]] or his [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Hollow Mask]].
* A failure in this department became something of a problem with ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis''. The series ''started out'' with out-of-control [[{{Nanomachines}} Nanotechnology]] and a KillSat. Given the series premise, it was hard to scale ''up'' from an incident involving multiple loose weapons of mass destruction, and as a result things ended up becoming more cartoonish and comical as the franchise went on, with ''2040 AD'' eventually [[JumpingTheShark descending into self-parody]].
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' hit the power ceiling with ''[[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs As]]'', after Nanoha, Fate and the Wolkenritter take care of the Book of Darkness. After that, these people are the strongest mages in the multiverse, and going up from the Book of Darkness required a lateral move; instead of a more powerful adversary, ''[[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS StrikerS]]'' went with a conspiracy headed by a MadScientist, brought in some new trainees, and added in office politics that prevented Riot Force 6 from operating at full power. After that, they scaled the plot back down and invoked ChangingOfTheGuard for ''[[Audioplay/StrikerSSoundStageX Sound Stage X]]'' and ''[[Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaViVid ViVid]]'', with less-galactic-level issues dealt with by younger protagonists. Riot Force 6 was reassembled in ''Manga/MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce'', but [[ContestedSequel opinion is divided]] on how well that went.
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'':
** The series crashed into the ceiling headlong when it went for a PostScriptSeason. They had already killed off the greatest warlord of the Century's End, Kenshiro's big brother and EvilCounterpart Raoh, and Kenshiro was already such an InvincibleHero that there was no way that they could either power him up any more or give him another credible challenge, but they had to try anyway. The Land of Shura arc was the result of their attempt to scale up Raoh; they created an EvilCounterpart ''style'' to Hokuto Shinken based on an evil version of ''[[KiAttacks touki]]'', and had Kaioh be [[spoiler: Kenshiro's ''biological'' older brother instead of his sempai]]. They also [[spoiler: made the Land of Shura be Kenshiro's birthplace]] in an attempt to rebuild the EmotionalTorque of the first series. General fan consensus is that it didn't quite work.
** The post-Shura arcs' [[AvertedTrope aversion]] of this trope demonstrates exactly why it's [[NecessaryWeasel necessary]]. After Kenshiro leaves the Land of Shura, the manga starts using villains who would have been [[MonsterOfTheWeek Punks of the Week]] in the ''first'' series (and in fact, the final villain was retconned into ''having been'' an ordinary GiantMook). While the series tries to [[ChangingOfTheGuard refocus on the younger supporting cast]], such as Ryu and Bat, inevitably Kenshiro is going to get involved in the fight, at which point the villains [[CatchPhrase don't even know that they're already dead]]. Even more than Land of Shura, these arcs are seen as a sign of terminal FranchiseZombie-ism.


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A fundamental problem in the whole superhero comics industry. Any superhero or superhero team with a few decades of publication history has probably saved the entire multiverse at least once, which makes it hard to do stories about bank robberies. For example, it's a rare Avengers story these days that doesn't involve the fate of the whole planet, at a minimum.

* It seems possible that the writers of ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'' were unprepared for sequels. The heroes went from battling undead pirates and local guardsmen to facing Davy Jones and the East India Company.
* The ''Franchise/BackToTheFuture'' [[TwoPartTrilogy trilogy]]. The final scene with the [=DeLorean=] flying out to rescue Marty's son at the end of the [[Film/BackToTheFuture first movie]] was a joke scene, and wasn't intended to be taken seriously. High box office earnings and strong positive reaction, however, allowed the creators to follow through with more films. Furthermore, Marty's future is better insured by the end of the [[Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII third film]], as well as Doc Brown, who gets a wife, kids ''and [[CoolTrain a hovering time-traveling train]]''.
* ''Film/NationalTreasure''. The main characters went from committing the one large crime of stealing the Declaration of Independence, to breaking and entering into almost every famous government building ever built. Then, they kidnapped the president. The writers were unprepared for a sequel, they had absolutely no plans for one. In fact, they changed the ending to avoid a SequelHook.
* The original ''Film/{{Highlander}}'' movie suffered from this. The mantra, "There can be only one," seems like a joke when you consider the numerous sequels that dart back and forth through the timeline.
* In ''Film/TheMatrix'', Neo eventually becomes The One, and apparently gains RealityWarping abilities. However, Neo's implied godlike powers are mostly limited in the sequels to what he already showed off: flying and stopping bullets.
* The villains of ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' seriously up their game with every installment. [[spoiler: [[Film/BatmanBegins Ra's Al Ghul]]]] had lofty plans, but they were foiled in the end by Batman and Gordon, the biggest thing he did that actually ''stuck'' was probably burning down Wayne mansion. [[Film/TheDarkKnight The Joker]] caused mass panic all over Gotham and, though he didn't directly kill very many people, he still managed to [[spoiler: drive Harvey Dent, the hero of Gotham, insane, ending with Batman taking the blame for all of the people Harvey killed as Two-Face]]. [[Film/TheDarkKnightRises Bane]] put Batman out of commision for several months and [[spoiler: completely took over the city while he was gone. He also came very close to detonating a nuclear bomb in the middle of Gotham]].

[[folder: Gamebooks]]

* In ''Literature/LoneWolf'', the first five books are all over the place, but the first twelve books ultimately formed a self-contained series that focused on dealing with the threat of the Darklords, a world-class threat that could conquer all Magnamund if not stopped. After this, the Grand Master series had to scale up from that, so they included [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands a third tier of Kai powers that had never been heard of before]] and made use of [[BiggerBad Naar]], the god of darkness [[TheManBehindTheMan who was behind the Darklords]], using minions who made the Darklords look like chumps and yet hadn't taken any part in the Darklords' ambition. After the Grand Master saga was completed and Lone Wolf became the Supreme Master, the game reversed course. Instead of creating [[SerialEscalation a fourth power tier]], it had [[ChangingOfTheGuard the player take on the role of one of Lone Wolf's apprentices]], who had Grand Master abilities (and a few new ones) but didn't actually deal with stuff on the Supreme Master's level. Forgivable, though, as book 20 has Lone Wolf basically going ToHellAndBack, and if he'd actually killed Naar then any further books would just feel like mopping up the remaining dregs of evil.

* This seems to be the Modus Operandi for the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse. Can't think of a plot? Introduce another seemingly forgotten Sith faction from nowhere and build them up to be the greatest threat the galaxy has ever known. Done to such an extreme that the most recent [[Literature/FateOfTheJedi main storyline series]] had Luke facing off against an EldritchAbomination that was made out to be stronger than the Emperor. For the record, the Emperor has been used as a benchmark for enemy PowerLevels.
** There was one significant attempt to avert this: the [[Literature/NewJediOrder Yhuuzan Vong]], an invading extra-galactic species with some pretty bizarre philosophy/theology and complete absence from the Force. [[BrokenBase No one agrees on how successful this was]].
* A characteristic of Creator/EEDocSmith:
** Done to extremes in the ''Literature/SkylarkSeries''. The main hero and villain are geniuses at the start. And their brains are enhanced with each new book until they're capable of understanding five-dimensional physics and building spaceships with their brains. In case the earth getting destroyed wasn't a big enough threat, by the end of the series the whole ''universe'' is at stake. Instead of basic science-y weapons, they grab a team of psychic witches to translocate all the planets inhabited by the villainous race to a star system that is set ablaze and burns so fiercely that it'll take millennia to cool down. Or something. The details get a little muddled by the reader's laughter.
** Common in his other works, too, like ''Literature/{{Lensman}}''. If he starts a book with 1km long spaceships fighting, by the end of the book he'll have hundreds of 10km long spaceships fighting. Unfortunately, he kept writing sequels, so each new one starts at the level the previous book stopped at...
* Creator/TerryPratchett's "Witch" books in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series were accused of this. Granny Weatherwax always had to fight a stronger foe - in this case, stronger meaning "better at mind magic" - until, as of ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'', the fight didn't seem like it had a point. Terry wisely took the criticism and moved Granny to a supporting role in the Tiffany books afterwards.
* Done by Creator/DavidWeber in ''Literature/HonorHarrington''; Honor gets roughly one promotion per book, and [[LensmanArmsRace there's roughly one revolutionary advance in military technology per book.]] So while the [[StandardStarshipScuffle big space battle]] of the first book is [[StandardSciFiFleet one outgunned cruiser versus a disguised battlecruiser]] in a peacetime skirmish, the most recent books involve battles between hundreds of ships flinging [[MacrossMissileMassacre tens of thousands of nuclear missiles]] at each other in a galactic-level, multi-sided war. Honor has literally reached highest rank possible in ''both'' of the navies in which she currently serves. Weber intended to break the cycle by killing her off and letting her children [[ChangingOfTheGuard pick up where she left off]] about two books back, but co-author Creator/EricFlint [[TakeAThirdOption gave her a literal new lease on life]] by pushing the newest war up about 20 years and shifting the focus to [[CastHerd other groups of characters]] to keep from having to promote Honor so damn much.
* After starting as a low-level CIA analyst in ''Literature/TheHuntForRedOctober'', Creator/TomClancy's main character Jack Ryan has nowhere else to go after serving as President of the United States for two-and-a-half terms and eventually his son and other young protagonists must take over for him as the focus characters.
* ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' ends with Mr. Wonka having found an heir in Charlie and the boy and his family destined to live the good life in the factory, thus leaving the characters without any real ''needs''. So ''Literature/CharlieAndTheGreatGlassElevator'' starts with the titular elevator, which was escorting everyone back to the factory, accidentally ending up in orbit -- where they encounter evil carnivorous aliens and have to rescue the crew of a space hotel from them. Then a HalfwayPlotSwitch reveals that Mr. Wonka has invented a FountainOfYouth pill, and when Charlie's still-bedridden grandparents overdose on them, he and Mr. Wonka have to undo the damage. The book ends on a SequelHook with everyone headed to the White House to be honored for their heroism; Creator/RoaldDahl didn't get past the first chapter on a third book, but one wonders what he might have come up with to top the first two...

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/{{Stargate|Verse}}'' falls victim to this, but usually manages to make the upgrade interesting.
** They started by defeating a single Goa'uld (Ra) who had a single ship in TheMovie.
** Then, in the [[Series/StargateSG1 the series]], it turns out that was just one of many Goa'uld with many ships. However, he turned out to have been the leader of all the Goa'uld, and actually commanded many ships, although they hadn't been seen. But now he's been replaced by Apophis, who's very similar in most respects.
** They defeat Apophis, and he gets replaced by Sokar, whose schtick is that he was the inspiration for the devil. [[{{Satan}} Yes, that devil.]] He also has some fancier tricks up his sleeve, and a bigger fleet, that make him a bigger threat to Earth than Apophis was.
** Then Apophis turns out to not have been defeated after all, kills Sokar, takes over his fleet and his armies, and now he's stronger than ever and out for revenge on Earth, rather than just generically desiring conquest.
*** At some point in here, Osiris shows up as a recurring villain, mentioned as so evil the other Goa'uld got together and SealedEvilInACan before the protagonists inadvertently free him.
** Then Apophis gets killed (for good!) by the Replicators, who threaten to implacably devour all matter in the universe and who have been giving Earth's [[AllMythsAreTrue Asgard]] allies trouble since early seasons.
** That threat isn't even dealt with before Anubis, half-[[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Ascended]] Goa'uld with advanced Ancient knowledge and the ability to conquer all the other Goa'uld with ease, appears. He comes up with an army of unstoppable super-soldiers, which take several episodes before the protagonists even figure out how to kill one.
** After Anubis and the Replicators are all defeated at once, and the protagonists have acquired ships that can destroy Goa'uld Ha'taks with ease, in come the Ori [[strike:toilets]] battlecruisers that can destroy the Tau'ri ships with ease.
** The {{spinoff}}s not running for as long, don't suffer quite as much from this problem. The Wraith remain a constant threat from the first episode of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' to the last, though they get the occasional upgrade (like the ZPM-powered Hive Ship in the finale), and the protagonists also have to deal with a fancier, more powerful kind of Replicators along the line.
** But now in ''Series/StargateUniverse'', the Ha'taks have caught up, and can kick the asses of the ships that could destroy the ships that can destroy the space toilets. When viewers politely asked "WTF?", the writers responded by saying that the rest of the universe hasn't stayed stagnant as our heroes have grown stronger. Presumably the Lucien Alliance stumbled across and reverse-engineered some lost bit of Ancient technology; that seems to be the source of most technological advancement in the Franchise/StargateVerse.
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' used this when, after his father rid him of the Intersect Mark I, Chuck intentionally downloads the Intersect Mark II into his brain which comes with SuddenlyAlwaysKnewThat powers in addition to intelligence information.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' went through this in the first five seasons. First season: Vampire (the master). Second season: Three vampires, all especially vicious (Spike, Dru & Angelus). Third season: A "true" demon (the Mayor). Fourth season: A Demonic cyborg (Adam) and a military installation (the Initiative). Fifth season: A god (Glory). Sixth season broke with the formula: its BigBad [[spoiler: was made out to be three rather ineffectual, if evil, nerdy wannabe villains. They were [[BaitAndSwitch switched out]] in favour of Willow in the last few episodes. She]] may have been at about the same power level as Glory by that point, but the seventh season ramps it up again with The First Evil and an army of uber-vamps. Eighth season (in the comic books) has the FlyingBrick Twilight, who may outdo [[spoiler: Willow]] and Glory just with his level of invulnerability.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has been doing this, most obviously since the new series started in 2005. [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E12BadWolf Game show controlling]] [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E13ThePartingOfTheWays Daleks]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E12ArmyOfGhosts Cybermen]] and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E13Doomsday Daleks]] invading Earth, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E11Utopia The Master]] [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E12TheSoundOfDrums seizing control of Earth]] and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E13LastOfTheTimeLords decimating the population]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E12TheStolenEarth Daleks again]], this time [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E13JourneysEnd attempting to destroy the universe]], Time Lords returning and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime attempting to end time]]... then, [[spoiler:not just time ending, but making it so that [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E12ThePandoricaOpens nothing even existed]] [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E13TheBigBang in the first place]]]]. The sixth season finale features [[spoiler:the (almost) final death of the Doctor, which is arguably ''worse'' than the universe not existing.]]
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' starts with the boys hunting monsters and ghosts, which leads to them hunting demons, which are the strongest foes they face for a while. As the demons they face keep getting more and more powerful, eventually angels enter the mix, and somewhat surprisingly, they're not all friendly. Of course, {{Satan}} is a bit of a pain in the ass later, and most recently, this has all been taken to its logical conclusion with the newest BigBad being somewhere around Death and God's level in terms of power.
* ''Series/{{Haven}}'' ran into this in its later seasons. It originally started out as the story of Audrey Parker, a [[StrangeCopInAStrangeLand cop]] who is stuck in the town of Haven, Maine and helps the [[DifferentlyPoweredIndividual Troubled]] townspeople, all while trying to piece together the mystery of her past and who exactly the Colorado Kid is. As the seasons go on, Audrey has to deal with [[CosmicEntity cosmic entities]], reincarnation, and TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. More specifically, she finds out [[spoiler: that she is immortal and constantly returns to the town of Haven every 27 years, after which she goes into a magical barn and takes the Troubles with her. Unfortunately, things get messed up and she can no longer do so. Then she finds out actually the reincarnation of Mara, an evil CosmicEntity who created the troubles and who was punished by being forced to help the Troubled. They end up dealing with her lover, William, before having to deal with Mara herself, who unleashes all sorts of Troubles on the town. The final season is Audrey dealing with Mara's father,a SatanicArchetype who cuts Haven off from the rest of the world, wipes everyone's memories of its existence, and almost destroys the world.]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Arguably this is what destroyed the original ''ComicStrip/DickTracy'' comic series. While in the 30s Tracy would investigate bank robbers and gangsters using magnifying lenses and fingerprint kits, by the 40s he was stopping Nazi supervillains with his 2-way wrist radio and electronic tracking gadgets. This leveling of threat and technology continued for years; in the 50s he stopped a disembodied voice from taking over the world with an atomic laser, and by the 60s was fighting space aliens on the moon in his antigravity space cruiser. In the 70s the strip was rebooted, with Tracy returning to being a cop investigating criminals, but by that time the strip had lost all social relevance.

* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' was supposed to last for one year, but the sets sold well and the writers saw potential in the story.
** 2001: elemental robo-warriors, the Toa fight wild animals, then tougher animals, their evil selves, and the main villain, the all-powerful Makuta.
** 2002: Toa deal with swarms of all-destroying critters likewise wielding elemental powers.
** 2003: Makuta returns and unleashes his "sons", of whom only six are enough to cause serious damage. Makuta himself is defeated, seemingly for real. Was also meant to be the ending, but LEGO kept extending the line's run.
** 2004: flashback which reveals that most of the menaces the Toa have had to face before are pretty low-tier.
** 2005: ExecutiveMeddling forces the writers to reuse the concept of TheSwarm, this time with GiantSpiders that take over continents and serve the Brotherhood of Makuta. The Dark Hunters, previously represented by two operatives, are shown as an expansive organisation and one of the world's most powerful forces.
** 2006: back in the present, six thugs easily beat the Toa, so a new set of heroes take center stage. Beings more powerful and knowledgeable than ever are revealed, and the world is expanded into a wider universe.
** 2007: these newbie Toa battle ancient warlords and their army of sea creatures while the universe around them literally dies and has to be revived. Makuta is back, though the Toa don't fight him.
** 2008: the original Toa team returns, more powerful than ever. Their foes? A whole team of Makuta.
** 2009: subversion, in this semi-{{retool}}, the bad guys are powerless desert fighters, but the conflict is only a setup for...
** 2010: planet-sized robots duke it out for the fate of the entire universe as LEGO wants [[WrapItUp to be done with the line]].
** PostScriptSeason: all the various characters start looking for the {{precursors}}, one of whom is a loose mass murderer capable of who-knows-what, but [[LeftHanging the story simply stopped there]].

[[folder: Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/CriticalRole'' has this, though justified by the show being a ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' campaign so the plot had to level up with the players. We arrive in the middle of it, since the campaign had been running for two years before it was streamed.
** Vox Machina started out fighting various minor threats, with [[Creator/MatthewMercer the Dungeon Master]] house-ruling weaker versions of iconic monsters like Liches and Dragons for the party to fight. Their first major StoryArc involved freeing a [[DemonicPossession demonically-posessed]] [[FakeKing royal family]].
** The first on-stream arc had Vox Machina adventuring through the Underdark, fighting Duergar, masmatched abominations and eventually a powerful Beholder that had taken control of an Illithid colony.
** A minor "filler" story arc occurred after, though it did involve one half of the party fighting an adult White Dragon.
** The third arc saw Vox Machina liberating the hometown of one of its members from an [[UnholyMatrimony evil married couple]] of a powerful vampire and sorceress who sought to revive a GodOfEvil. In doing so, they had to start a full-on revolution among the populace and fight an entire undead army.
** The next arc is where things really stepped up.''Four'' Ancient Chromatic Dragons descend on the world, [[NothingIsTheSameAnymore destroying several major cities entirely]] and each alone posing more of a threat than anything the party has fought before, requiring the party to gather [[InfinityPlusOneSword legendary weapons]] from all across the world.
** After defeating this threat, the party took some downtime clearing up loose ends (although one of them involved literally going to Hell), before the final arc started: Vecna, the SealedEvilInACan from the Briarwoods arc, was revived for real, and [[AGodAmI succeeded in becoming a God]]. Vox Machina had to seek help from the Gods themselves to find the items needed for a ritual to seal Vecna away once more. It was made clear that this was as far as it would go: win or lose, this would be the end of Vox Machina's story, and [[ChangingOfTheGuard the next arc would begin a new campaign with new characters.]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games get accused of this with [[OlympusMons legendary Pokémon]]. It is true that their effect on the plot got greater in each generation but StatisticallySpeaking, it was not until generation four's [[LightningBruiser Arceus]] that generation one's Mewtwo was surpassed in stat total. On the other hand, the sheer number of legends introduced [[CommonPlaceRare kept going up]] until Generation five, which did not escalate the number, though it more than doubled the number of form shifting legends and another that surpassed Mewtwo in stat total, in two different ways but was still lower than Arceus.
* {{Creator/Sierra}} dropped the ball with this one and their ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' series. After the first one, where you save a small Barony, you jump immediately to saving the entire world from an evil genie. There's not much they can go from there, so you then save the world from an evil demon, followed by saving the world from an evil vampire, and finally saving the world from an evil dragon. Each one plays itself up like it's somehow worse than the one before it, even though the end results are pretty much the same.
** Sierra did try to avoid this though. Originally the Hero was going to essentially go from the second game into what became the fourth game. They inserted the third game when they realized the going from foiling a wizard's plot to summon an evil genie to defeating an eldritch horror was a bit of a jump.
* The ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series of games went to increasingly absurd lengths ([[DeconstructorFleet naturally]]) to justify Solid Snake's continual returns from retirement. ''VideoGame/MetalGear2'' involved a replacement for petroleum and theft of nearly every nuclear weapon in the world. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' involved genetically engineered super soldiers, a clone brother who took the CainAndAbel trope too much to heart, and ''invisible'' nukes. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'' involved mass-produced Metal Gears, an anti-Metal Gear, a third clone brother, a kidnapped president, a Metal Gear ''fortress'', and [[GainaxEnding whatever the hell happened at the end]].'' VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'' had to work hard to top that, but it did. ''[[Awesome/MetalGear And it was awesome]]''.
** To give some perspective, ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'', a prequel to the rest of the series, revolved around... destroying a 1st generation superweapon and assassinating a defector. Plus there was something about getting ahold of enought money to take over the world in there...
* Bowser, of ''SuperMarioBros'', has gone from locking a Princess in a castle to cursing her whole castle with creepy dreamworld-doors, to lifting it up into space, to trying to take over galaxies. But, of course, Mario wasn't lazy either. He went from "my only move is to jump on your head" to literal kick-boxer to using the power of the stars. Oh, the number of his power-up-items also increased rapidly.
** And the [=RPGs=]. Take ''VideoGame/PaperMario''. First you had invincible Bowser take over the kingdom, then the Shadow Queen nearly take over the world (and it's an unsealed thousand year old demon with lightning powers too), and then Count Bleck (and [[spoiler:Dimentio]]) try to destroy the entirety of existence (in the former's case for good, latter's case to remake in own image). ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi Mario & Luigi]]'' series too to an extent, the first game had Cackletta steal Peach's voice, second had aliens try to conquer the planet and mass destroy the population and the latter kinda went down a level again with Fawful and the Dark Star.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Though the creators are doing their best to avoid the trope, ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'''s uber-powerful, all-purpose battle suit, introduced at the GrandFinale, became so all-powerful (it was even powered up during the first episode of the [[UnCancelled new season]]) that the creators had to HandWave the non-use of this battle suit as being in repair for 4/5ths of the fourth season.