->'''ComicBook/{{Thanos}}''': ''You dare defy ME?''
->'''ComicBook/IronMan''': ''Absolutely. Go get him, Frank!''
->'''[[VideoGame/DeadRising Frank West]]''': ''Whoa whoa whoa -- you want me to go up against HIM? He's gonna kill me!''
-->-- ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomInfinite''

A character who is designed in their own universe basically needs to be written to be effective against other characters featured in that universe. Generally, your main conflict won't be an eternal war between [[PhysicalGod Super Jesus]] and his nemesis [[RidiculouslyAverageGuy Bob]].

However, a problem occurs once you try a {{crossover}}. If the crossover involves characters who were never created to work together and have an obvious difference in scope or power, you're stuck at trying to make sure each is effective. This usually involves two scenarios where you either {{nerf}} the powerful character or boost the "weaker" one, because you get the inevitable "Why are they even useful in this situation?"

Occasionally this fiddling with power levels sticks, and you essentially have a pseudo-AlternateUniverse character. Sometimes characters will even get ''new'' powers just for balance, but once they go back to their own books these enhanced powers are quickly forgotten.

If this happens often enough, it can create an inflation in PowerLevels across the entire fictional universe, and can sometimes push characters into the B- or C-list, as they simply can't compete anymore.

Another way to get around the same problem is to create a PlotTailoredToTheParty.

See also {{Repower}}. Compare CCGImportanceDissonance, PVPBalanced and PopularityPower. SisterTrope to StoryBreakerTeamUp. Contrast NormalFishInATinyPond, where characters that are weak in their home universe don't suffer from this when brought into a weaker universe and thus appear much stronger there. Can be justified by YourMagicsNoGoodHere when the two character's settings are [[AnotherDimension alternate universes]], or giving the more powerful character's dimension a stronger BackgroundMagicField, if such a thing exist in-universe.

Very similar to StrongAsTheyNeedToBe with the key difference being that this trope gets invoked whenever the characters are brought into a whole new setting/universe/continuity or are handled by [[DependingOnTheWriter a different author]] whereas Strong As They Need To Be tends to happen within the same setting and is invoked by the main authors.

'''Not to be confused''' with PowerCreep, which happens to games when new content is added that overpowers existing content.



[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* The ''Manga/OnePiece'' x '' Manga/{{Toriko}}'' x ''Manga/DragonBall'' special, being a crossover special, brings out a truckload of these. Most of these problems are the result of having ''One Piece'' and ''Toriko'' characters fight along the Post-Buu Saga ''Dragon Ball'' cast, when Goku and his allies had already reached insane levels of power in canon.
** Zoro and Zebra stalemating with Vegeta's Galick Gun. [[note]]Zebra's case would make more sense, but even then Vegeta's Galick Gun has enough power to ''obliterate'' an entire planet so Zoro at the very least should be a pile of ash.[[/note]]
** When Piccolo teams up with Sanji and Sunny to fight Akami, the latter two fighters are unable to damage Akami thanks to its CombatTentacles until Piccolo comes in and catches it off guard. Then the trio does a CombinationAttack. While Sanji and Sunny are very powerful in their own right, they're still nowhere near Piccolo in terms of raw power.[[note]] Since Piccolo could blow up the moon early in [=DBZ=].[[/note]]
** Gohan being [[TheWorfEffect worfed]] before he gets to do anything.
** And finally presenting both Luffy and Toriko with power-levels comparable to those of Son Goku. Luffy and Toriko are able to fight with Goku on even footing (though Goku, as opposed to his opponents, wasn't fighting seriously 'till the very end, and the fight was most of the time Luffy ''and'' Toriko vs Goku, instead of a MeleeATrois. Luffy, Toriko and their allies able to last against an enemy Goku and the Z-Fighters had difficulty against. Luffy and Toriko are also able to damage the Akami whereas Goku needs his planet-busting Super Saiyan forms to do so. Hand Waved by showing Goku as the most powerful of the three (if only marginally so) and saying that he's already fought some creatures and saved the Earth immediately before these fights.
** Toriko is at least catching up to ''Dragon Ball Z'' levels of power now, though it's primarily its three strongest characters which have established themselves at Saiyan Saga levels of power. [[spoiler: With Jirou stopping the entire planet for a second with his knocking and Midora's Meteor Spice raining around everywhere.]] ''One Piece'' is far behind both in terms of power, with them not even on the level of Saiyan Saga ''Dragon Ball Z'' levels.
* ''{{Franchise/Digimon}}'' has a fair bit of this. In the general canon, there are six stages that Digimon pass through[[note]]Baby, Baby II/In-Training, Child/Rookie, Adult/Champion, Perfect/Ultimate, Final/Mega[[/note]], and Digimon are generally expected to be able to compete usually only with others at the same stage, with some vague implications of a continuity of power (with the significant hero and villain Digimon at the more powerful end) in each stage.
** Some adaptations will show Digimon of a lower stage defeating those of a higher stage [[TheWorfEffect without justifying it as well as they should have]].
** Some Digimon have actually shifted up and down across stages, like Leomon shifting from a Champion to an Ultimate in some facets of the franchise.
** Especially in play with non-standard Evolution mechanics, like [[Anime/DigimonAdventure02 Armor]] or [[Anime/DigimonFrontier Spirit]] Evolution.
** ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'' abandons anything remotely resembling the standard mechanics in favor of a CombiningMecha system, with an exponential increase in power for every ingredient added, regardless of the power of the actual ingredient.
** One of the bigger points of contention about ''Anime/DigimonXrosWarsTheYoungHuntersLeapingThroughTime''. The past leaders from all the other anime seasons show up and take place in a key battle. Of course some of the Digimon, like the aforementioned Omnimon and Susanoomon (who's a whole tier above ''planet busting'' ) really should make most of the other characters irrelevant and ended the fight in seconds. They don't get to do much.
* A crossover between ''Manga/FairyTail'' and ''Manga/RaveMaster'' handles this by setting up the characters to imply that it's taking place fairly early in both stories, meaning none of the characters are too particularly powerful when they start to fight.
* The ''Anime/PrettyCureAllStars'' movies hit this big time, especially with ''DX 2'' and ''DX 3'', seeing as [[Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure Tsubomi]] and [[Anime/SuitePrettyCure Hibiki]], respectively in each movie, lament their uselessness over their seniors. ''New Stage'' and ''New Stage 2'', however, avert this. ''Miraculous Magic'' ends up making this a DeconstructedTrope as the Anime/MahouGirlsPrettyCure end up majorly depressed when they're overrun by watered down former Big Bads and their seniors can easily overwhelm them.
* ''Anime/SaintSeiyaSoulOfGold'' is a very unusual In-Universe example. The Gold Saints have long been established to be the most powerful non-god members of any army, being stronger than Poseidon's Generals and the other God Warriors, and being matched only by Hades' Judges, and even they get curb-stomped by the Golds stronger members. And, in a series where the Golds get God Cloths, the only ones who could possibly be a threat to them, power-wise, would be GODS. Hence, the series is constantly changing the power balance to give it a genuine sense of tension, first [[spoiler: giving the God Warriors a HomeFieldAdvantage that both makes them stronger AND drains the Golds' Cosmos, making the God Cloth a necessity for victory]], and, when that is taken care of, [[spoiler: giving the God Warriors an AmplifierArtifact]].
* From ''Anime/SonicTheHedgehogTheMovie'', Knuckles the Echidna. In his [[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles first game appearance]], Knuckles had pretty weak jump height, but could glide through the air. In this OVA, he can jump ridiculously high and hover in mid-air; at times he appears to be flying outright.
* Largely averted in ''Attack on Avengers'', the ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' / ''ComicBook/TheAvengers'' crossover. The titans are on the receiving end of a CurbStompBattle, which, despite the dominance they display in their own series, is exactly what would happen to them when faced with Marvel's mightiest heroes. However, a notable exception comes in the form of the Colossal Titan; while the comic ends before it actually joins the battle, its size is ''vastly'' upgraded from the series; its official height is 60m, or about 196ft. Here, it's shown absolutely towering over the Statue of Liberty, which stands 93m/305ft.
* This was a big criticism of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''. While not quite new universes, every new region seems to reset Pikachu's (and sometimes Ash's other pokemon's) power to a lower level so Ash can have fair fights with newbie trainers even though Pikachu has fought stronger foes before.
* This is prevalent in the various crossovers of works by Creator/KazumaKamachi (''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', ''LightNovel/HeavyObject'', ''LightNovel/TheZashikiWarashiOfIntellectualVillage'', ''LightNovel/TheUnexploredSummonBloodSign'', ''LightNovel/ASimpleSurvey'' etc.). These settings all have drastically different power levels, with ''LightNovel/HeavyObject'' completely lacking any supernatural powers. A notable offender is the first crossover[[note]]The Circumstances Leading to a Certain Magical Heavy Zashiki Warashiís Simple Killer Queen's Marriage[[/note]], in which Othinus (a Magic God from ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'') briefly holds off but is eventually driven away by Odin (a god from ''LightNovel/TheCircumstancesLeadingToWaltrautesMarriage''). Magic Gods are capable of reshaping the entire universe to their whims, while gods of the latter setting never do anything on this level.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* This tends to lead to major [[FanWank issues]] when crossing the Franchise/MarvelUniverse and Franchise/TheDCU. Both companies have their share of characters ranging from {{Badass Unintentional}}s to {{Physical God}}s, but the Earth-Based Marvel characters who are the most important in terms of both in-universe esteem and recognition and RealLife PopularityPower tend to be low on power levels in-universe compared to their DC counterparts, like Franchise/{{Superman}}. This tends to lead to huge disproportionate power levels between the universes, at least when using the biggest names between the two, which tends to translate to stories that are mostly buildup to a bigger fight that can be used to muddle the individual fighters. One-on-ones are hit/miss; verses need buildup to get the weaker fighter either up to, or bringing the other down. Team-ups need stories where the more powerful will miss something important and therefore need the other to play the savior/[[TheChessMaster tactician]] role. Fans are rarely happy with any outcome, even when they themselves were the ones voting on the outcome.
** Marvel have been countering this by making their heavyweights, such as ComicBook/TheMightyThor, who was already roughly equal to Superman at the time of JLA/Avengers, and ComicBook/{{Magneto}} (who can now do things like pull Kitty Pryde out of planet destroying bullets from light years away and easily fly decommissioned aircraft carriers from San Diego to San Francisco, then drop them on human sized objects with pinpoint accuracy) even stronger. Moreover, they're making them smarter, in the case of the Green Scar personality of the ComicBook/IncredibleHulk. And they're creating new heavyweights (e.g. ComicBook/TheSentry, who puts even a souped up Thor to shame and even while weakened, stalemated Green Scar), and [[TheChosenOne Hope Summers]], who, under the right circumstances, could take the entire JLA at full power.
*** Ironically the much less popular ComicBook/DrStrange in his classic days could've wiped the floor with Superman and most other DC characters at full power. Strange was so powerful Marvel had to {{Nerf}} him in the comics as he had the power to destroy dimensions and even knock Galactus on his ass. Though even when he's not as strong as he used to be, Strange is still ridiculously powerful, like in ComicBook/WorldWarHulk where he gives the titular jolly green giant a run for his money.
** Another appropriate point is that most of Marvel's hyperweight characters tend to be in their cosmic stable, which usually stays a long way away from Earth, meaning they don't get involved in intercontinuity crossovers, or tend to be psychics (who are particularly vulnerable to this trope). In other words while DC may have the Kryptonians, Marvel has heavy cosmic hitters like Silver Surfer, Thanos and of course Galactus to boot.
** This is always a problem in Marvel vs. DC crossovers when it comes to SuperSpeed battles. Marvel speedsters rarely move much faster than the speed of sound, while DC speedsters are usually closer to the speed of light, a difference of six orders of magnitude (the difference between you and a jet is two orders of magnitude). Sometimes this difference is [[HandWave ignored]], sometimes it's [[LampshadeHanging mocked]], and sometimes it's {{justified|Trope}}.
*** Two crossover battles shown between ComicBook/{{Quicksilver}} and Franchise/TheFlash were played for the jokes that they were. The only times Quicksilver was able to land a punch were when The Flash turned his back to help innocents and, in the later crossover, when The Flash encountered Quicksilver in the Marvel universe (which apparently has no Speed Force) and a gleeful Quicksilver thrashed him. Sadly, if they had just done the first fight a few years sooner or a few years later, it might have been a more even match (Wally's speed was dropped to Quicksilver level in the years immediately following ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'', and during ''ComicBook/{{Siege}}'', Quicksilver was outrunning radio signals, meaning that he was going FTL).
*** There was actually a ShoutOut to the enormous disparity in an issue of ''ComicBook/{{Quasar}}''. A cosmic entity had gathered Earth's super-speedsters for a race from Earth to the Moon. At the last minute, ''all'' the contestants got blown past by [[Franchise/TheFlash an amnesiac man in a tattered red-and-yellow costume]] who's garbled name is given as 'Buried Alien'. It was, all in all, a rather sweet tribute to Barry - though [[TheRival Marvel being Marvel]], they also snuck in a jab at DC's then new Post Crisis continuity with 'Buried Alien' saying that he didn't really like what little he remembered of what was going on in his own world. (This was back when Barry Allen was still dead, after the ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths''.)
** One notorious example of this happened in the Marvel versus DC crossover, where [[PopularityPower based on a fan poll]], Franchise/{{Wolverine}} beat Lobo. As Wolverine had bone claws at the time while Lobo is as powerful as Superman, this should have been impossible. The comic sidestepped the problems by [[TakeOurWordForIt not showing the battle]] -- in fact the whole thing was less than a page, from the introduction of Lobo to Wolvie standing and dusting off his hands. And all the fighting happened ''behind a bar''. It was later [[HandWave implied]] in Lobo's own comic that the Main Man was paid under the table to throw the fight.
** ''Marvel vs. DC'' also had ComicBook/{{Storm}} besting Franchise/WonderWoman. Storm has a greater attack range, so this might have made sense if they hadn't actually shown her shrugging off a punch from Wonder Woman. (For reference, Storm's pretty toned for what is essentially a baseline human, while Wonder Woman is more on par with planet-punchers like Superman.)
** ''ComicBook/JLAAvengers'', to fix the imbalance between the Franchise/{{Justice League|OfAmerica}} and the generally less powerful [[Comicbook/TheAvengers Avengers]], establishes that some characters have different power levels depending on which universe they're in. So in Franchise/TheDCU, the higher levels of "chaos magic" make second-tier Avenger ComicBook/ScarletWitch powerful enough to take down the whole Justice League, while in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse, the lack of a "speed force" makes the Flash nothing more than an ordinary human.
---> '''Flash''': She gets to be psycho-powerful over here, but I've got no powers over there? How fair is ''that?''
*** The series also noted that while the power level of the ''heroes'' were lower in the Marvel Universe, the artifacts the Marvel heroes dealt with were far more dangerous (such as the Ultimate Nullifier).
* In an extreme example, minor ''Comicbook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}'' villain Mano has an origin story in which he uses his disintegrating touch to destroy his entire homeworld and everyone on it simply by placing his hand on the planet's surface. However, he was never even remotely that powerful in any of his actual appearances, where plenty of characters can survive zaps from his hand. He's actually one of the ''weaker'' members of [[LegionOfDoom the Fatal Five]].
* On comic boards this trope is often named Spider-Man vs the Firelord, as in one issue of ''Amazing Spider-Man'', Franchise/SpiderMan, who's strong (lifts thirty tons at his peak) but not considered one of the big hitters of the Franchise/MarvelUniverse physically beats the ''cosmically'' powerful Firelord in a hand to hand duel with the cosmic alien not even able to land a blow on Spidey.
--> '''Spider-Man''': He used to be the Heard of ''Galactus'' for Pete's sake he could've killed me!\\
'''Capatain America''': Considering his power [[{{Understatement}} you did pretty well]].
** Then again, when Spider-Man fights the ComicBook/SilverSurfer, he tends to smack him around pretty well, he often fights beyond his limits- unless he is ''Cosmic Spider-Man'' then he has no limits.
** The same can be said for the likes of Franchise/{{Wolverine}} or ComicBook/CaptainAmerica as well. Sometimes, WolverinePublicity does that with characters who are popular but not very powerful. Similarly, a comic depicted Miles Morales beating Blackheart to a pulp. As in, the guy who is only a step or two below Mephisto. For further reference, Blackheart beat Toxin to death rather easily, and Toxin in turn can defeat Venom and Carnage at the same time while Spider-Man is hard-pressed to even survive against one of those.
* ''Comicbook/SupermanVsTheAmazingSpiderMan'' had ComicBook/LexLuthor shoot Spidey with a "red-sun energy boost", making Big Blue vulnerable to his touch i.e Spidey being able to beat Supes like a beach ball. However the energy wears off, and itís clear who has the upper hand.
*** The follow up crossover with Superman and Spider-Man is more realistic. Superman brushes off Spider-Man's offers of assistance at first believing that Spidey would just get in the way. Spidey is about to leave also believing he wouldn't be any help to Superman till he remembers that Superman might be flying into a trap and follows after to warn him.
** This happens a lot to Spider-Man. In preparation for ''Comicbook/CivilWar'', he had "''The Other''" story arc, which tied his powers to a mystical spider-totem. This gave him a major attribute boost and several new powers, ranging from enough speed and strength to catch bullets to spike weapons which protruded from his arms. [[spoiler:This was done so that when he became a fugitive at the end of ''Civil War'', he could feasibly fight off (and beat) more powerful heroes like Iron Man.]] Unfortunately, nobody bothered using Spider-Man's upgrades from "''The Other''" except Creator/PeterDavid (and Chris Yost during his ''ComicBook/ScarletSpider'' run) so the storyline might as well not have happened. The only aspect of the story that anyone else bothered using was the Iron Spider costume.
** A DoubleSubversion when Spider-Man crossed over into the original Marvel ''[[ComicBook/TheTransformers Transformers]]'' comics for an issue. He did succeed in wrapping Megatron in webbing ... but it only lasted a few seconds before Megatron busted free and swatted him aside like, well, a bug.
** This happened again during the Transformers' crossover with the Comicbook/NewAvengers. Heroes like ComicBook/CaptainAmerica, Franchise/{{Wolverine}} and ComicBook/TheFalcon were regulated to distractions or rescue work, while Comicbook/IronMan used a HumongousMecha, to just blast Megatron with his normal repulsors after his Mecha got destroyed.
** Another crossover had a Venom/Superman fight in which ComicBook/{{Venom}} was smacking Supes around like a ragdoll. Not only is Superman way, way, ''way'' above Venom's level, but he also has powers (heat beams and supersonic voice) that are Venom's stated weaknesses. The writer tried to {{justif|iedTrope}}y this by having Venom exclaim, "I've gone toe-to-toe with the Juggernaut!", which is frankly even harder to believe (at least Superman might hold back).
*** Marvel did it right in the first issue of ''ComicBook/NewAvengers'' when their own Superman [[{{Expy}} stand-in]], ComicBook/TheSentry, tore the even more powerful Carnage in two with his bare hands [[ThouShaltNotKill though Superman would have never acted to this extreme.]]
*** Venom actually did go toe-to-toe with the Juggernaut, after being powered-up with some unknown substance. Even if under the same conditions, there's no possible way Venom could beat Superman. Though even in Marvel comics they tried to make Venom seem like a credible threat to Comicbook/GhostRider, which is laughable given he's weak to heat and Ghost Rider is constantly on fire. Oh, and Venom is Penance stare proof, well because.
*** [[WorfHadTheFlu Superman was temporarily weakened in his own continuity at the time.]]
** Despite the subversions with Spider-Man, his two biggest interactions with ''ComicBook/{{Thanos}}'' (villains much, much stronger than Firelord and Megatron) have involved: webbing his eyes and kicking his face in ''ComicBook/TheInfinityWar'' and in a later comic Spidey slugs Thanos right in front of [[TheGrimReaper Death]] and he ''mostly'' gets away with it. Spider-Man even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it when he complains to Mary Jane about a simple mugger having the guts to attack him.
* ''ComicBook/JLAAvengers'':
** One panel shows a quick gag of DC's [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] and Marvel's ComicBook/CaptainMarVell switching off against their respective adversary, with Marvel punching out Ronan the Accuser while Mar-Vell punches out ComicBook/BlackAdam. Captain Marvel taking down Ronan is pretty believable, but Mar-Vell's level of super strength is nowhere near on par with the Big Red Cheese, and while he has other powers, he was only punching in that panel, while Black Adam is one of the strongest villains in the DCU, having taken down Superman-level characters. Then again, RuleOfFunny.
** The finale worked with this by having the JLA's [[TheCape cape]], Superman, fighting on the front lines wielding Thor's hammer and Captain America's shield, while the Avenger's [[TheCape cape]] Captain America himself, used his tactical skills to direct everyone else in the battle, allowing him to contribute without trying to handwave the fact that he's nowhere near Superman levels of power. This was also played with earlier when, [[LetsYouAndHimFight the two teams were fighting each other]]; Cap was pitted against Batman who he is much more evenly matched with (Batman grudgingly conceded, after the two tested each other, that while they were matched for skill, Cap's enhanced physique would give him the advantage in a prolonged fight).
* Franchise/{{Batman}} has appeared for decades simultaneously both in his own magazine, struggling against fairly normal muggers and crooks, and in ''Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'', battling cosmic foes like ComicBook/{{Darkseid}}. This has been dealt with in various ways over the years, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. The default [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] solution seemed to be using the [[CrazyPrepared/{{Batman}} Bat-Anti-Cosmically-Powered-Villain Spray]], while the default [[UsefulNotes/TheModernAgeOfComicBooks Modern Age]] solution tends toward emphasizing his willpower and intelligence, often in a MissionControl role.
** In 2002, it was announced that there was a ''Batman Vs. Superman'' film in the works (like most Superman-related projects, it ultimately ended up in DevelopmentHell and was abandoned), which provoked great uproar in the fan community about the inherently one-sided nature of such a conflict. Conan O'Brien put it best, saying "Superman is, well, ''Superman''. He can fly, lift cars, shoot lasers from his eyes, go back in time, all that. Batman... Batman works out a lot." Though in that script, Batman used his CrazyPrepared-ness intelligently, with Kryptonite armor and arrows, and a sonic whistle to paralyze Superman due to the latter's super-hearing. Though in the ''ComicBook/BatmanHush'' comic books, Batman DOES wind up fighting the Man of Steel, who is under Poison Ivy's control due to kryptonite added to her mind-control lipstick. He still might have little chance in a straight fight (and states that his hand would break before Superman's jaw did), but in that story, he does manage to fight off Superman long enough to break him out of the trance. At one point, Batman states that he would have long been dead if Superman hadn't been resisting Ivy's control.
*** A similar thing happens in ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'', where Supes is again under mind control (this time by Ivy's Mind Control Spores laced with Kryptonite dust). Batman not only cheats, he tries using a chunk of Kryptonite stolen from Lex Luthor, and when ''that'' doesn't work, he evens the odds a little by breaking out his [[PoweredArmor Bat-Mecha]] and is ''still'' on the verge of losing, but Robin breaks Superman out of the trance. Unlike in ''Hush,'' there was no indication that Superman was fighting the mind control, despite moving very slowly and never actually trying to kill Batman.
*** Batman v. Superman largely got its start in Creator/FrankMiller's ''Comicbook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns''. Batman gears up all the way, breaks out all his reserve equipment, the story takes place right after Superman almost dies, and it is made clear that Superman is unwilling to try to kill Batman. It ends with Batman in a position where he can win, [[spoiler: and instead, he fakes his own death]].
*** In the end, however, the success rate for Batman's CrazyPrepared-ness depends on a ''lot'' of good luck and calculations working out the way he planned it. And Superman is still a guy who can kill you by ''looking at you''. None of the explanations and scenarios laid out by any writer for a Batman victory will be one hundred percent convincing.
*** ''ComicBook/SupermanBatman #78'' featured two kids discussing an UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny between the two heroes. They immediately agree that Batman can't use Kryptonite, but to compensate, the [[ThouShaltNotKill fight can't be lethal]] - since if Superman were to use lethal force, he'd just punch Batman's head off in the first three seconds.
** In JLA Confidential, Creator/GrantMorrison lampshades this by giving Batman [[http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2009/07/01/a-year-of-cool-comic-book-moments-day-182/ "the sci-fi closet"]] with all the toys for trans-galactic threats. "Did my flying saucer arrive from the factory?"
** In JLA Classified, Creator/WarrenEllis {{justifie|dTrope}}s this with an observation that exotic radiation detectors are not especially useful for stopping muggers or tracking down Killer Croc in the sewers, so Batman has some tools that are useless unless he is facing a JLA-level threat.
** Scott Synder did a good job handling this trope with ''ComicBook/BatmanEndgame'', as thanks to Joker's toxin the entire Justice League (Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman) go and attack Batman. Fortunately Bruce has prepared for this moment so instead of being crushed into paste he brings out the [[PoweredArmor Justice Buster suit]] and is able to handle situation as the suit has counter measures for all the League heavy hitters including those not present like Cyborg or Black Canary. But even with suit Batman is nearly crushed by Joker-controlled Superman, and has to resort to Kryptonite gum which is inside his cowl, Batman even tries to answer the question who wins in fight Superman or Batman?
--> '''Batman''': The answer is always the same ''neither'' of us.
** Though this comic isn't totally sound as Wonder Woman starts the battle by attacking Batman when he's just Bruce Wayne with no Powered Armor; how Batman survives getting his head smashed into the ground by a Demi-Goddess [[FridgeLogic is a good question]].
* This is particularly bad in comics where Comicbook/ThePunisher is the central character, especially as of lately. A Comicbook/WhatIf was even written where Punisher managed to take out people like Magneto and ComicBook/TheMightyThor.
** ''Comicbook/ThePunisherKillsTheMarvelUniverse''. On the other end of the scale, [[Comicbook/ArchieMeetsThePunisher he teamed up with Archie]].
*** In pretty much all the ...kills the Marvel Universe series, the protagonist uses a variety of tricky methods to take out nigh-immortal characters like Hulk (shoot him through the eye, wait until he's transformed into Banner) and Wolverine (atomic charged fence that melts him to the bone), which is fine...except that these methods are shown specifically *not* to work in their regular comic (Hulk is more vulnerable in the eye socket but can heal from it, and Banner Hulks out as a fail safe when he's being killed, Wolverine can heal from literally being melted down to the skeleton, etc).
* Lobo's been mentioned a few times already, but he deserves some special attention. He has a noted knack for being just as powerful as whomever he's fighting. He's gone toe to toe with Superman in the past, but has also lost fights to Batman and other characters. It's to the point that his adaptable nature is actually part of his power set; one of his most notable features is his immune system, making him invulnerable to specific powers after being hurt by them at least once (the most prominent moment is when he's trapped in the body of a 'tweenager version of himself, because after being hit with the spell that de-aged him he immediately became immune to that type of magic, and thus counterspells wouldn't work).
** Not to mention, while he is invulnerable and immortal, he can still get drunk (at least in earlier appearances, he gets so sloshed that Superman turns it to his advantage in one early battle).
** Lobo is possibly a justified trope. He's generally depicted as being an incredibly powerful not-particularly-skilled brawler who rages easily. Often weaker foes can run circles around Lobo if they have honed martial skills and a good grasp of tactics.
* In the ''Franchise/AlienVsPredator'' franchise, the Predators can take out Aliens in hand-to-hand combat with ease. This is strange because they only had one film appearance at the time -- in ''Film/{{Predator}}'' -- where the monster only fought in hand-to-hand once. While it was certainly ''strong'', it wasn't that impressive, with a shirtless Dutch (who is admittedly a pretty tough guy, but still [[BadassNormal just a human]]) able to hold his own against it for some time. This is in contrast to the Franchise/{{Alien}}s, which routinely gutted their opponents like fish in single blows, even ones wearing body armor. This example is unique because the Alien and Predator monsters arguably began as interestingly balanced -- an unstoppable melee death-machine versus an invisible, cybertribal sniper --, but the Predators were given a large boost to serve the purpose the creators wanted for the comic, that being [[AntiHero Anti-Heroism.]]
* [[ComicBook/Earth2GreenLantern Solomon Grundy]] suffers from this a lot. In some comics, he is able to knock Superman around, while in other comics, Batman is able to defeat him. This is written into his character, where he has ResurrectiveImmortality, and his level of strength and intelligence is pretty much random in between his rebirths.
* An interesting example is [[ComicBook/BeastMarvelComics Hank McCoy]], aka The Beast. If you pick up a comic in which he is in the ComicBook/XMen, the writers tend to focus mostly on his intellect while his actual powers are secondary. When he was a member of ComicBook/TheAvengers, his strength and agility were the main focus and his intellect was rarely brought up. This was because the Avengers had plenty of geniuses: [[Comicbook/AntMan Hank Pym]], ComicBook/IronMan, ComicBook/TheVision, ComicBook/BlackPanther, etc. and didn't need another. [=McCoy=] was a LightningBruiser so his abilities were bumped up to the point where he was nearly as strong as ComicBook/IronMan and could move so fast that ComicBook/CaptainAmerica had trouble following him. When he went back to the X-Men, there were already a couple strongmen (ComicBook/{{Colossus}} and ComicBook/{{Rogue}}) and agile people (ComicBook/{{Nightcrawler}}, ComicBook/{{Gambit}}, ComicBook/{{Longshot}}, etc.). Even his animalistic nature was covered by Franchise/{{Wolverine}}. They didn't have any geniuses, though, so Beast became TheSmartGuy nearly on the level of [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Reed Richards]].
* In TheSeventies Comicbook/PhantomLady's power was increased from creating darkness, to invisibility and teleporting herself and the team. The last one fluctuated in the comics and in a lot of subsequent experiences as it was a GameChanger, that let them all get out of jail free. Her appearances out of Comicbook/FreedomFighters have rarely brought up teleportation at all.
* ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' antagonist ComicBook/{{Deathstroke}} also suffers from this. He can be portrayed as someone who can hold his own against members of the Franchise/{{Justice League|OfAmerica}}, and be able to knock out the Flash, but also struggle against someone like Comicbook/{{Nightwing}}.
** Although, given that Nightwing is essentially Batman-in-waiting, this could be a case of Nightwing rising to the challenge rather than Deathstroke getting a demotion. It also helps that Nightwing is more familiar with Deathstroke than probably any other hero...
** Also, he's basically the evil Batman (to the point that one popular fan theory for his true nature in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' was that Slade really ''was'' Batman, testing Robin.) With the wide variety of tools he uses, it's most likely that he simply comes prepared for whatever foe he's facing. Which means he ''should'' go after Nightwing when armed for the whole Justice League and kill bird-boy in two seconds flat, but... well, that's not how it works in comicland.
*** But when it's ComicBook/LexLuthor fighting toe to toe with Deathstroke now this trope is in full effect, especially since Lex dislikes physically fighting his foes and treats it as a last resort.
* This is actually done in-universe in ''Comicbook/{{Fables}}'' - when Frau Totenkinder faces Baba Yaga, the latter seems confident in her victory, because everybody knows her stories, and so her PopularityPower is great. Frau Totenkinder points out to her that PopularityPower is just a theory among fables, and not one that Totenkinder herself sets much store by, and then proceeds to thrash Baba Yaga. WordOfGod is that PopularityPower may be some kind of factor in determining the power of a fable, but that the truth is more complicated than just that.
** The later-seen origins of Frau Totenkinder reveals that while Baba Yaga might be better known by name, Totenkinder herself is better known, period. As she's actually THE witch from most of the better known Fables.
*** Ironically Baba Yaga despite setting herself up on a high level, is beheaded by Bufkin one of the flying monkeys from ''Literature/TheWizardOfOz''.
* Any given CrisisCrossover will be rife with this. The need to use as many characters as possible often leads to some [[CListFodder crowd filler]] being far stronger than the main villain. The original ''Comicbook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'', for instance, has the [[SuperpowerLottery theoretically-omnipotent]] elemental transmuter ComicBook/{{Firestorm}} being forced to a stalemate by the Penguin's trick umbrella, or the obscure cosmic villain Maaldor the Darklord, who created universes and once held his own against the entire Franchise/GreenLantern Corps, getting killed in one hit by Krona. The strength of the Anti-Monitor's shadow demons generally hits the exact amount needed to give their opponent a tough fight in swarms, whether it's [[PhysicalGod Alan Scott]] or [[BadassNormal Oliver Queen.]]
* The effectiveness of Franchise/{{Wolverine}}'s HealingFactor has been subject to this. Originally, severe enough injuries could still put him out of action for a couple days or weeks, but he still healed faster than anyone. Now, he can bounce back from being practically burned down to his skeleton within a matter of hours (if not ''minutes''), and it's been established that his healing factor extends to slowing down his aging, allowing him to live well past the age of 150. Then again, ''ComicBook/DaysOfFuturePast'' (written [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness back in 1980]]) showed him aging realistically, and even being killed in a future WhatIf scenario after taking a laser beam to the face from a Sentinel. His solo book once tried to rectify the inconsistencies by establishing that his rate of healing can be affected by the seriousness of his injuries; if he suffers too many injuries, it slows down accordingly. Part of this was due to a storyline where the toxic adamantium was stripped from his bones, meaning that for a couple years, his healing was now uninhibited and he could regenerate pretty much anything, at the cost of his invincible bones and [[AbsurdlySharpBlade cut-anything claws]]. Then [[StatusQuoIsGod the adamantium was added back in]], but by that point writers had gotten used to writing him healing at that level and didn't adjust it back down.
* The nature of ComicBook/{{X 23}}'s [[BerserkButton trigger scent]] has become subject to this. As a child, Laura was conditioned (read: tortured) into entering a [[UnstoppableRage berserk rage]] whenever she smelled a particular scent, which would make her black out and tear apart whatever was marked with it. It served two purposes: Not only did it allow her creators a measure of control over her in the event she attempted to refuse to kill a target, but her berserk state also made her an even ''more'' deadly fighter. Usually it was reserved for high-value targets or otherwise special (such as the gangster Fade). By the time of ''ComicBook/AvengersArena'', the scent is now driving her into a state in which she'll kill ''everything around her'', whether they're specifically marked or not.
* In the ComicBook/XMen/ComicBook/TeenTitans crossover ApokolipsNow, this trope is entirely averted; the two teams operate on similar scales and power levels already, and they're not in conflict for most of the story, so no adjustments are needed.
* During the first appearance of the Super-Skrull in the pages of ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'', Reed Richards figured out that the alien villain, who had all of the powers of the Fantastic Four, was having his power beamed to him remotely from the Skrull homeworld, based on the reasoning that no single being could inherently have so much power. This was quickly forgotten, however, as far more powerful beings than the Super-Skrull were introduced, and later on said villain's powers did become inherent, not requiring any kind of external power source.
* Doctor Manhattan in ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'' was [[SuperpowerLottery extremely powerful]], but he wasn't truly omnipotent. He was as impressive as he was because he was a PersonOfMassDestruction in a world where the second strongest character is a somewhat impressive BadassNormal, and there were some limitations on what he could and couldn't do. Even his full power wouldn't be enough to stop a lot of airborne nukes (though he'd take out a good percentage of them). In ''ComicBook/DCRebirth'', to facilitate his [[CosmicRetcon involvement]] in the plot, he's shown accomplishing feats more in the range of "universe-busting", and handling people who could have solved the Cold War by simply blinking an eye and turning the Soviet Union into a chinchilla.
* ComicBook/TheSpectre is somewhat notorious for being [[StrongAsTheyNeedToBe Strong As He Needs To Be]], since in his own comics, he lands pretty deep into StoryBreakerPower. In crossovers or JSA stories, he's often given heavy limitations or misdirected to stop him from ending the story in five seconds, or just shown doing stuff about on the level of a standard magic hero (flying in and blasting stuff, when he's a RealityWarper).

* In ''Fanfic/TailsOfTheOldRepublic'', Miles "Tails" Prower of ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' fame is much stronger and tougher here than is implied in the games or other media he regularly features in. It helps he's now 14 years old, up from his canonical age of 8, so he can more plausibly participate in the events of ''Franchise/StarWars: VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic''. It's a good thing too, because he get's his ass handed to him on more than one occasion.
* In ''Fanfic/TheSwarmOfWar'', when the Imperium encounters the Zerg for the first time, they are much easier to dispatch than one would expect from the earlier chapters. [[spoiler:Thatís because itís a LostColony which lacks some of the upgrades.]]

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueWar'' like the comic it was based on rather heavily avoids this trope as when Batman and Green Lantern meet Superman and ''it's complete a humiliation'' with Superman just [[SmugSuper toying with them]] and shrugging off all of Batman's gadgets with only the super sonic annoying him slightly. The movie also skips the moment where Flash comes in and knocks Superman down a peg, so the power-scaling is very lopsided in the movie.
*** Played straight earlier on where Batman not only steals the ring from Green Lantern but pushes him against the wall despite Hal Jordan having enough power to crush him. It's both a case of lavishing Batman and ripping into Green Lantern.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBatmanVsDracula'' did a good job avoiding this trope. Dracula easily outmatches Batman in speed, strength and even stealth and it takes an ultraviolet light machine to bring the Count down.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegoMovie'', Superman, along with dozens of other powerful and iconic characters, suffer a CurbStompBattle defending the local HeroesRUs against ordinary mooks and are all captured easily. Granted, the mooks had TheDragon and the element of surprise, but many individuals at the base would have barely blinked at a bunch of robots with laser guns, and were very clearly nerfed in order for the scene to play out the way it did. Of course, it's always possible that Lego Superman (for instance) never had the high level of power that Superman did. Also, the whole thing was in a child's imagination, anyway, so comparing it to canon is kind of pointless.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheLegoBatmanMovie '' brings this trope up when Batman meets Superman
-->'''Batman''': Don't worry about it dog not here to throw down or anything\\
'''Superman''': Ah... no I would, I would crush you\\
'''Batman''': Pfft okay yeah sure, sure.
* ''Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren'' does this with [[BigBad Sephiroth]]; not only is he showcased as a PhysicalGod thanks to Life Stream but the director Tetsuya Nomura states Sephiroth was nowhere his full power even in the climax where he is defeated by Cloud one on one. At least the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII original game]] had excuse that it took the entire team to defeat Sephiroth not just the protagonist, the opposite effect happens to Tifa where despite being established as strong enough to fight the bosses and Sephiroth in [=FF7=] she is handily defeated [[TheBrute Loz]] in Advent Children.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* Film/KingKong was enlarged several times his size and given electricity powers to match Franchise/{{Godzilla}} for their crossover fight in ''Film/KingKongVsGodzilla''. Understandable, since Godzilla shrugs off autocannons, rockets, missiles, tank shells, and lasers, while King Kong got killed by a few biplanes with machine guns. Likewise, Godzilla, despite having shrugged off 300,000 volts of electricity in the original ''[[Film/GodzillaKingOfTheMonsters1956 Godzilla: King of the Monsters!]]'', was shown to be so vulnerable to electricity this time around that he shied away from ordinary power lines.[[note]]Note that Japan's Kita-Iwaki Powerline (at least) runs at half a megavolt, and the ability to "shrug off" something doesn't necessarily mean it's a pleasant experience; licking the poles of a fully charged nine-volt battery is unlikely to kill you, but it will sting a bit.[[/note]] This was most likely meant to make Godzilla particularly at risk from Kong's aforementioned new Lightning Paws. Which was ironically creeped up again in ''Film/EbirahHorrorOfTheDeep'', when an electric storm revives the King of the Monsters, and expanded further when Godzilla's beam powers an [[ShockAndAwe electric super-weapon]] in ''[[Film/GodzillaVsHedorah Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster]]'' and generating a powerful magnetic field in ''Film/GodzillaVsMechagodzilla''. So in short, LightningCanDoAnything.
* ''Franchise/AlienVsPredator'':
** In ''Film/AVPAlienVsPredator'', one Alien took out two Predators. {{Justified|Trope}} in the film because the Predators in question were only armed with spears and wrist blades made of metal that was not corrosion-resistant. The Predators also had to rely on applying blunt force trauma against the Aliens which were shown to be extremely tough and resistant to physical blows. When one Predator got hold of a shoulder cannon, the tables were immediately turned with scores of Aliens being blown to bits. Some viewers consider this to be retribution for the depiction of the Alien monster in the comics, while others consider it a spiteful blemish on the Predator. See the related example in the comics section above.
** [[Film/AliensVsPredatorRequiem The second film]] inverts that change, calling on the comic-book example and [[RetCon reversing the situation]] in the previous movie. However, it should be noted that the Predators in the first AVP were rookies on a rite of passage, and the Predator in ''AVPR'' was an Ace among Predators.
** In fact, this franchise in general alters the power scale to suit the needs of the plot and setting, although the Predator almost always gets the better deal. It ''does'' conflict with the ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' movies themselves, invariably making it an example of this trope.
* In ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'', all previous Showa and the base form Heisei Riders were placed on a comparable level of power, disregarding previous official stats, even ones presented in the shows themselves that would make some conflicts heavily lopsided. In-series, this can be justified by the fact that they're alternate universe counterparts of the original Riders, but that still doesn't cover everything. Power was entirely dependent on plot convenience throughout Decade, resulting in [[TheDragon Dragons]] and {{Big Bad}}s that took entire series to kill are now dispatched by Decade and the Rider Of The Fortnight within two episodes. That balance was carried on to later ''Franchise/KamenRider'' crossover movies too.
** The movies take all this UpToEleven: Even if we leave aside the Decade half of ''Movie Wars 2010'' and consider "Decade Fury" a completely new and all-powerful form capable of OneHitKO-ing all other Riders and say he can't normally do that even if he sure ''looks'' like normal Decade, there's still Shadow Moon. In ''Series/KamenRiderBlack,'' Shadow Moon was evenly matched with the series' one Rider However, in ''All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker'', Shadow Moon was ''so'' powerful the combined might of Rising Ultimate Kuuga[[note]]A ''Decade''-original SuperMode ''on top of'' the normal SuperMode of ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga'' that was considered ''too powerful'' in its own series, where Kuuga was having to hold himself back to avoid being a DestructiveSavior when he got the form ''before'' standard Ultimate. If you told anyone in ''Kuuga'' proper, including the hero himself, that a "Rising Ultimate Kuuga" was ''possible,'' [[BringMyBrownPants a change of pants would be involved]].[[/note]] and Decade[[note]]Himself Power Creep'd in the movie, having won over every other Rider in the tournament at the beginning, even beating ''three at once'' fairly easily. He can't do that in the show.[[/note]] couldn't scratch him. Then ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'' easily beats him. This should rightfully make Double ''literally'' strong enough to destroy the world with one Rider Kick ''in his base form''. Needless to say... he isn't.
** ''Movie Wars 2010'' has Double's power at sane levels, but its villain gets the Shadow Moon treatment: Doras, like Shadow Moon, was a strong major opponent of the one SuperMode-less Rider in his story, the movie ''Film/KamenRiderZO.'' Decade's Doras easily clobbered all the main Riders from Kuuga through Kiva ''plus'' the Riders original to Decade in their base forms ''all at once'' (''really think'' about the best non-Super-Mode CrowningMomentOfAwesome material from those series and imagine the kind of power that takes) and they don't beat him until ''all ten Riders go SuperMode,'' with Den-O and Kuuga breaking out Super Climax and Rising Ultimate, respectively - their Decade-only supermode-of-a-supermode forms. Once again, when you consider the greatest feats of the Riders, and how dangerous the never-seen maximum power of certain Riders is said to be, if it requires all ten, we're talking Doras going from being ''almost'' as strong as ''one'' Rider to "god of destruction" territory. Take the movies at face value, and PowerLevels in Kamen Rider, from greatest to least, would be as follows: Double with his basic forms > Shadow Moon > Doras > {{God}} > Decade and Rising Ultimate Kuuga perhaps tie > Everybody else ever. That is... not reflected in the series, to put it mildly.
** And then ''Film/KamenRiderXSuperSentaiSuperHeroTaisen'' comes and plays screwy with Doras's power level territory: He gets a scene where he smacks Gokai Blue around silly, only to die from a single gunshot in the chest courtesy Captain Marvelous. No, you didn't read it wrong: Doras gets killed with one bullet by Gokai Red in his '''unmorphed''' form.
* This trope is in full effect in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', and a few of the other Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse films. ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'', fitting the comics, is wildly inconsistent across the movies in terms of what he can take, which fits the nature of his character in that his strength is dependent on how angry and in control he is. In his first movie, he was knocked out by a tank round and was at least hurt by grenade rounds. The Hulk in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', on the other hand, shows only annoyance to being shot by aircraft-mounted cannon; it takes Thor to give him a serious challenge and only a concentrated barrage by over a dozen Chitauri aircraft are even able to give him a bloody nose. Even falling from the Helicarrier at terminal velocity only knocks him out and reverts him to Bruce Banner.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/ThatMitchellAndWebbLook'' parodies this with Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit. Angel Summoner can summon hordes of invisible, superhuman angels at will. BMX Bandit is very good at riding his BMX. He starts complaining that Angel Summoner's powers make him completely superfluous.
* Happens during the ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger''/''Series/KamenRiderDecade'' crossover. In ''Shinkenger'', the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters of the Week]] have 2 lives, a human sized one and a giant sized one. But they also periodically need to rehydrate with water of the Sanzu River [[note]]The river that goes to the Japanese underworld.[[/note]]. In the crossover, one of these monsters gets his hands on a transformation trinket and transforms in an evil Kamen Rider. This messes up his DNA in such a way that he doesn't need the water, but lost it's second giant sized life. This is done because ''Kamen Rider'' does not have giant mecha readily available.
** ''Film/KamenRiderXSuperSentaiSuperHeroTaisen'' remedies this by A. giving the villains a titanic mecha that outright dwarfes ''Sentai'' mecha in size and B. making the Series/TokumeiSentaiGobusters' mecha [=Go-BusterOh=] somehow compatible with [[Series/KamenRiderFourze the Astro Switches]] to give it a fighting chance. This happens again in ''Film/KamenRiderXSuperSentaiXSpaceSheriffSuperHeroTaisenZ'' by making the Series/ZyudenSentaiKyoryuger's mecha Kyoryuzen compatible with Series/KamenRiderWizard's Flame Dragon and giving the three Space Sheriffs a once-in-a-lifetime combination attack. It also happens again in ''Film/HeiseiRiderVsShowaRiderKamenRiderWarsFeaturingSuperSentai'' by turning Kyoryu Red's mecha into a Ressha and allowing the [[Series/ResshaSentaiTokkyuger Ressha Sentai ToQger]]'s mecha [=To-QOh=] to combine with it and [[Series/KamenRiderDenO Den-Liner]].

[[folder: Professional Wrestling ]]
* Happens from time to time in the Wrestling/{{WWE}} and other promotions; where characters who are being pushed have power creep, and those who are acting as jobbers have power seep. For instance, Wrestling/TheBigShow used to fit the role of the [[TheWorfEffect big guy who always lost to up-and-coming stars]], then with little explanation, became the man who ended Wrestling/BrockLesnar's title reign. Often combined with BadassDecay for the people who are jobbing.
** It's even funnier when the "C-show" ECW was still on. The ECW champion can be treated as a worthy opponent to the other champions or as effective as a jobber, depending on the storyline needs.
** It's especially noticeable in the Divas division. Due to very limited TV time, only the current champion and current challenger get wins. Combine this with a small roster and you can have someone coming off a title reign consistently losing to people she was beating regularly a few months before.
** This was VERY noticeable in the days of the-then WWF's national expansion, where talents that were monsters in their native territories where suddenly jobbers on WWF TV.

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* The TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness suffered dearly from this trope. ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' establishes that vampires are in deep, deep trouble if they encounter werewolves. Guess what? Werewolves are playable (''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse''), and if the games ever cross over the vampires are risking FinalDeath. Crossovers were a chore to work at the best of times, as the races were on (sometimes radically) different power levels.
** The TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness simplifies things to a great extent: every supernatural race possesses a "supernatural tolerance" statistic (Blood Potency, Primal Urge, Gnosis, Azoth, etc.), which provides universal resistance against supernatural attack. Power levels are more streamlined. While this means the werewolves are not nearly as powerful as they once were, given that they're supposed to be besieged on all sides by enemy spirits, it was that or make their adversaries nearly unstoppable (and they usually are anyway).
** Vampires also got the short end of the straw in the 1st edition of TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness, where - since Vampires were counted as not living - Wizards with low levels of Prime and Matter powers could attempt a simple spell to transform even the most powerful of vampires into a lawn chair (or any other non-living thing, but due to an announcement in the book, the RunningGag is lawn chair) without even giving the vampire a saving throw. This was quickly remedied in all later incarnations of World of Darkness.
*** The related cliche was having a mage turn a werewolf's skin to silver, effectively burning himself to death. The original World of Darkness was never meant for crossovers, and certainly wasn't even remotely balanced - in any given meeting of two supernatural species, SOMEONE was getting the short end of the stick. Ironically enough, many older players consider the newer, more generic, better balanced system to be worse simply because it's less realistic. Life really ''shouldn't'' be fair, especially when you're living in a CrapsackWorld.
** As an amusing example of oWoD's dodgy crossovers and clashing mythologies, vampires, werewolves, Pooka changelings, and mages all had powers which could let them turn into wolves. So what happened if you put one of each on a stage to perform this trick in front of mortal witnesses? The vampire gets the expected mundane reaction, the werewolf drives witnesses into hallucinations and denial, the changeling leaves all but the least banal of viewers remembering it as a vague dream, and the mage explodes because the universe doesn't like people turning into wolves.
** In addition, the new system explains that Vampires, Mages and Werewolves have very different existences, so having them encounter each other, much less be in direct conflict, is supposed to happen only under very unusual circumstances. Sure, Werewolves can rip just about anything to shreds. But Vampires tend to be both very clever and ''very'' patient. Mages are often CrazyPrepared to the extreme (or can use their magic in such a subtle way as to appear they were already crazy prepared).
** People have also ran ''TabletopGame/{{EXALTED}}'' crossovers with [=oWoD=]. Solars can radiate sunlight, making for a CurbStompBattle with a vampire.
* Solars {{Curb Stomp|Battle}} just about everything in their own setting too, given an equal amount of experience points. That's not a bug but a feature, since the default game is about playing [[AGodAmI a superhuman hero]] who is [[TheAce invariably the best there is at what she does.]] However, there are many other playable character types in ''TabletopGame/{{EXALTED}}'', and the difficulty of having a mixed group of player characters without the Solars [[{{Pun}} outshining]] everyone else is a cause of much aggravation among fans.
* The Palladium RPG ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'' was notorious for this. In the original book, Cyber-Knights (simply noble humans with cybernetic augmentations and the ability to create a moderately powerful blade of psychic energy) were respectable combatants, and the Glitter Boy was rightly feared as one of the most powerful war machines on the planet. By the time we get to the Phase World supplement, we get Cosmo-Knights, a playable class. These characters could fly through space at translight speed, were nearly invulnerable to non-kinetic energies (and very durable against kinetic ones), and could fire anti-starship level energy blasts.
** Those particular examples could be justified due to the differences in scale of the respective settings (Post-Post-Apocalyptic North America vs. Intergalactic SpaceOpera). But then there's the case of the Cyber-Knights' reintroduction in their own self-titled book, where to keep up with the stuff introduced between the main book and then, Cyber-Knights got bumped to nearly [[Franchise/StarWars Jedi]]-like levels, able to tell whenever a weapon is activated against them, and able to make said technological weapons subtly go off-target.
** Another primary cause was the World Books written by CJ Carella, who tended to drift towards the higher MDC counts. This made sense with stuff coming from the millennia-old Space Opera civilizations, less justified when everyone from the southern half of South America could pretty much run roughshod over equivalents from everywhere else in the world for some reason.
** Later books are rolling back on this in some areas, but continue in others. Australia actually reintroduced places where you could conceivably fight S.D.C.(i.e.: normal HitPoints)-level combat, but the second Triax book escalates about as much as book where the army says "Enough playing around" would be expected to. The Black Market and Northern Gun books also escalated, but since both factions were behind the curve as it were, the overall effect is more sideways than upwards.
* The ''TabletopGame/RogueTrader'' and ''TabletopGame/{{Deathwatch}}'' role-playing games are based on the same rules as those of ''TabletopGame/DarkHeresy'', and there are rules for including characters from ''Dark Heresy'' in both systems. In the case of ''Rogue Trader'', this involves boosting the characters from ''Dark Heresy'' to about 1/3rd of their maximum obtainable power in their home rules system. In the case of ''Death Watch'', it involves boosting said characters to a level more powerful than the core ''Dark Heresy'' ruleset has rules for, and using the ''Ascension'' splatbook. In both cases the ''Dark Heresy'' characters are still overall weaker, but far more customizable and specialized.
** Essentially, their stats are lower, true, but they tend to have far, far more raw skill and talent due to ''Dark Heresy''s very cheap skills and ''Ascension''s cheap paragon talents/skills (essentially a collection of related skills purchased as a package that costs less than the skills combined). And that doesn't count the raw level of influence that these characters can have, which is hard to really quantify. And that doesn't count the Ascended Psychic Powers, which all ''Ascension'' classes can get with the right talents... such as being able to control time, or creating a completely and utterly impenetrable barrier able to withstand all types of damage and prevent all creatures from going through it. Even more mundane ones such as [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin bloodboil]] or the army-destroying Inferno, or being able to utterly crush and banish daemons with a thought. Likely only the Grey Knights in Daemonhunters have more powerful psychic powers.
** The ''Warhammer 40,000'' meta-verse has this pretty bad throughout, but most players don't really bat an eye once they realize each codex is filled with in-universe propaganda.
* This trope was at least partially the downfall of the anime CCG ''TabletopGame/AniMayhem''. The base set used ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'', ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'', and ''Anime/ElHazardTheMagnificentWorld''. So far so good. The first expansion set had ''Anime/ProjectAKo'', ''Anime/DominionTankPolice'', ''Anime/PhantomQuestCorp'', and ''Anime/ArmitageIII''. No problem here. The second expansion set? '''''Anime/DragonBallZ'''''[[note]]covering the Frieza Saga, with extra characters like Future Trunks[[/note]]. The sheer power imbalance between both heroes and villains made it so there was little to no point to using any of the other characters, since the effort it took to bring them up to ''DBZ'''s level could have been better spent making the ''DBZ'' characters even stronger. Which is kind of ironic, as ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' tends to have characters that are far stronger than just about any ''Franchise/DragonBall'' character.
* The ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'' Trading Card Game, meanwhile, uses this trope for competitive balance. It has characters from across the franchise, from ''Manga/DragonBall'' to ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'', and despite the wildly fluctuating power levels between those eras, every deck has characters of roughly the same statistical power for a given cost.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Happens in crossover titles in video games as well, as evidenced in [[VideoGame/CapcomVsWhatever Capcom crossover games]]. This is something of a necessity; how else could you expect [[Franchise/StreetFighter Dan Hibiki or Sakura]] to fight, say, the [[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk Hulk]] or Comicbook/DoctorDoom without having a serious upgrade in strength? (Dan, of course, doesn't have a chance even with the upgrade, but he's a JokeCharacter anyway.) The concept was (lovingly) mocked in a segment on ''Series/XPlay'' where Blair Butler took a look back at the ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' series, noting in each game the number of fighters, adding that "none of them would stand a chance against the Hulk"; while not completely true, it gets the point across.
** It's even worse in the earlier games in the series, where freakin' ''ComicBook/{{Apocalypse}}'' and ''ComicBook/{{Onslaught}}'' were the final bosses, and yet the likes of Chun-Li and Ryu were able to take them down. Of course, ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'' ups the ante further with the Final Boss being ''ComicBook/{{Galactus}}''.
** While not ''as'' glaring, ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomInfinite'' features Comicbook/{{Ultron}}. That would be the guy known for having a nearly-indestructible body [[MadeOfIndestructium made of adamantium]] (or vibranium, depending on the story), yet he's able to get his ass kicked by everyone else in the cast.
*** Discussed in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNYzhtH6oq0 this hilariously uber-nerdy Gamesradar video]] about how ridiculously Capcom overcompensated the power levels of their characters to match the Marvel characters on their character profile pages. While some of the featured Capcom characters are a lot stronger than many fans assume, if [[http://marvel.com/universe/OHOTMU:Power_Grids the official standards set down for reading the power charts]] and these levels are to be believed, [[VideoGame/MegaManLegends Tron Bonne]] is an omniscient world-consuming EldritchAbomination who crushes worlds with a flick of her pinky.
*** It seems that the dev team of the original ''Marvel vs. Capcom 3'' didn't know how the ratings for the Marvel Power Grid should be issued for the Capcom characters (apparently believing that 4 was human average, when actually 2 is), so they've been changed to be more believable in ''Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3''. For one example, Tron was originally issued a 7 in Intelligence. According to the rating system, a 7 in Intelligence means she's "Omniscient"... as in, like an all-knowing god. Capcom must have assumed it meant "really smart." Most likely, after reading about the ratings, Tron was issued a 6 in Intelligence (meaning "Super-Genius"), which makes more sense.
*** Considering that many of Capcom's characters were made MUCH stronger in order to compensate, this can double as FridgeBrilliance. [[http://streetfighter.wikia.com/wiki/Shinku_Hadoken See this comparison]]. For example: In the ''Street Fighter'' games and ''[[VideoGame/CapcomVsSNK2MarkOfTheMillennium Capcom vs. SNK 2]]'', Ryu's Shinku Hadouken is just [[https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/streetfighter/images/3/33/RyuCFEShinkuuHadouken.gif/revision/latest?cb=20111127144720 a larger-than-normal Hadouken]]. In the ''Marvel vs. Capcom'' games, it's reimagined as a [[https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/streetfighter/images/b/b4/Ryu-bigsuper.gif/revision/latest?cb=20100328045100 massive Kamehameha-style energy beam]]. There are other Capcom characters who benefit, such as [[Franchise/ResidentEvil Wesker]]'s superhuman speed and reflexes being interpreted as [[FlashStep outright teleportation]]. In fact, a very subtle example comes from [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Morrigan]], whose Soul Fist special move is actually the ES Special variant seen in her home series.
*** Then, there's the inclusion of [[DimensionLord Dormammu]], [[EldritchAbomination Shuma-Gorath]], and the like as playable characters. In their own continuities, they could just blink once and delete all of their opponents from existence. Which makes it kinda of funny when you see humans with no superpowers like [[Franchise/ResidentEvil Chris Redfield]] or ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}} [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu beat the snot out of an ultra-powerful, reality-warping god]].
*** [[Franchise/AceAttorney Phoenix Wright]] is now in the ''Vs.'' series as of ''[=UMvC3=]''. His ultimate attack? [[MundaneMadeAwesome "The real culprit... IS YOU!"]] In other words, he can defeat a world-destroying horror ''by providing evidence of guilt and giving it the pointer finger!''
*** Character weaknesses can't be exploited in this series. For example, ComicBook/{{Venom}} is no weaker to [[PlayingWithFire fire-elemental attacks]] than any other character. In the comics, one of the symbiotes' major weaknesses are high temperatures. Sound vibrations are also another weakness of the symbiotes, but even with all of the loud sounds during battle, Venom isn't affected in the slightest by them.
*** If these games were more strict about characters' strengths and weaknesses during gameplay, [[EyeBeams optic blasts]] would be ''useless'' in [[MirrorMatch Cyclops vs. Cyclops matches]], no matter how powerful they are. They'd have to rely on [[BareFistedMonk martial arts]]. In the comics, Cyclops is resistant to his own powers. Similarly, ComicBook/GhostRider's [[DeathGlare Penance Stare]] works on any normal-sized character (i.e. everyone not named Galactus), regardless of if the character ever inflicted pain and suffering on an innocent. On the other hand, it would be useless against characters that have no soul like Sentinel and (arguably) Nemesis.
*** In ''[=MvC3=]'', every character has special dialogue with a few other fighters, and these and the game's various trailers have established certain Marvel/Capcom matchups as being rivals. In the first edition of the game, the Hulk was considered rivals with Mike Haggar from ''VideoGame/FinalFight''. A superhuman who can lift ''mountain ranges'' when sufficiently angry versus a middle-aged former pro wrestler who, on his best day, could flip a car. Needless to say, they had to fudge both character's power levels considerably to put them on even ground. The ''Ultimate'' edition of the game added [[VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis Nemesis]] from ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'', an eight-foot-tall indestructible zombie, a much more fitting rival for the Hulk.
** The presence of Gold Lightan and the PTX-40A Vital Suit from ''VideoGame/LostPlanet'' in ''VideoGame/TatsunokoVsCapcom'' (both of whom are utterly massive) asked for a massive power creep to [[VideoGame/StreetFighterIII Alex]] (who is a grappler) as performing the Hyper Bomb on them can be translated as ''grabbing a giant robot's leg and effortlessly slamming him into the ground, including with an airborne drop''. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3J-kN2JIYM It has to be seen to be believed.]]
*** It has to be expected. The FinalBoss is [[spoiler:Yami, the God of Darkness]], the BigBad FinalBoss of ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}''.
*** Also done to especially, especially, especially [[VideoGame/DeadRising Frank West]]. Whereas Alex did get the power creep, he could do that stuff against everybody, from his series or not. Frank, on the other hand, disregarding a few ''Street Fighter'' moves and [[VideoGame/MegaManX a working Mega Buster]], really is [[{{Muggles}} just a regular human]]. In ''Tatsunoko vs. Capcom'', however, he can throw said giants to the other side of the screen, [[ATwinkleInTheSky shoot them into the sky]] by way of hitting them with a [[BatterUp baseball bat]], and can survive the stronger hits of the game, most of which, in RealLife, would kill us normies. And in ''Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3'', his arsenal of {{improvised weapon}}ry (no Mega Buster and shooting people into the sky here) is more than a match for the superpowered beings of the Marvel Universe, and he can still tank hits.
*** Anime/TekkamanBlade gets the short end of the trope. A guy who in his own series tanked a ''nuke''. Note that this feat is done at the beginning of the series before he even gets numerous amount of power ups and his SuperMode. Theoretically at least, the only Capcom fighter who could fight him on even terms is [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Morrigan]].
** And then you have ''VideoGame/ProjectXZone'' where you have quasi-realistic characters like [[Franchise/ResidentEvil Chris, Jill]], [[VideoGame/DeadRising Frank]], and [[VideoGame/VirtuaFighter Akira]] fighting alongside fantasy-based characters like [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Morrigan]], [[VideoGame/SpaceChannel5 Ulala]], [[VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}} KOS-MOS]], and even [[Anime/{{Yumeria}} Neneko]].
* The ''VideoGame/FinalFight'' characters such as Cody, Guy and Maki are noticeably more powerful when they appear in ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' games than their own games. Of course if the characters had their ''Street Fighter'' abilities in the ''Final Fight'' series, the games would be pretty boring. The one exception to this is ''Final Fight 3'', where all the player characters [[http://rq87.flyingomelette.com/FF/F/3/chars.html had access to a greatly expanded repertoire of attacks,]] though Guy's moveset is not 100% identical between ''[=FF3=]'' and his ''Street Fighter'' appearances.
* The ''Franchise/AlienVsPredator'' games -- as with every other kind of media -- are primes examples of this trope. Depending on the game and genre, the abilities of the Aliens and Predators can be vastly different.
** In practically every game, especially those where Aliens are enemies only (like [[VideoGame/AlienVsPredatorCapcom the Capcom brawler]]) Predators are more resilient than Aliens -- despite the fact that Predators have been killed by falling logs and humans in melee combat, while Aliens have survived plasma thruster engines, the vacuum of space and tons of molten lead.
** In the 1999 and 2010 games by Rebellion, Aliens have an easy time hiding in the shadows, but the 2001 Monolith game removes this ability from them. In addition, it severely neuters the effectiveness of their acid blood, reduces their health and simplifies their behaviour.
** In the 1999 and 2010 games by Rebellion, the Predator's plasma caster is a lock-on, straight-shooting weapon that has variable degrees of power depending on charge. Monolith's 2001 game added the ability for those plasma blasts to turn in mid air.
** In the 2001 Monolith game, Aliens dominated in melee combat. In the 1999 Rebellion game, melee combat in multiplayer was almost impossible due to the game speed (except for jousting) and Predators hold a melee advantage in the 2010 game.
** For the sake of balance, player-controlled humans in the 2010 game can fight off both Aliens ''and'' Predators in hand-to-hand combat long enough to set them up for a volley of pulse rifle fire.
*** Another human example: the flamethrower. In the 2001 game, it was incredibly effective against Aliens. In the 1999 and 2010 games, it makes them explode -- ''eventually''. Until then, the Alien will continue trying to kill you -- ''[[InfernalRetaliation while on fire.]]''
* Another crossover title example is ''VideoGame/JumpSuperStars'', its sequel ''Jump Ultimate Stars'' and its successor ''VideoGame/JStarsVictoryVS''. Massive quantities of power nerfing and boosting must have happened for characters like Ryotsu from ''Manga/{{Kochikame}}'', a regular human police officer, to fare well against monsters like [[Manga/DragonBall Goku]], [[Manga/SaintSeiya Seiya]], [[Manga/{{Bleach}} Ichigo]], [[Manga/OnePiece Luffy]] and Manga/{{Naruto}} just to name a few[[note]]That being said, the ''Kochikame''/''Dragon Ball'' one-shot crossover chapter for the former's 30th anniversary does give a narrative rational as top why Ryotsu can hang out with the big boys in battle: He has ToonPhysics on his side but the others don't.[[/note]], but in one way or another all of them are fighters, are capable of fighting or have ToonPhysics in their respective universes. The worst offenders worth mentioning are the {{Assist Character}}s, mainly composed of comical/normal characters who in their universes do not have any fighting skills and/or are bound to "realistic" physics. They tend to be sports- or romance-themed, so it's kind of insane seeing cute girls [[Manga/StrawberryOneHundredPercent tripping and falling over]] or [[Manga/{{Nisekoi}} hand-slapping]] the aforementioned monsters, hurting them and somehow temporarily disabling ''their'' assist characters. It reaches plain unfair levels when some are UNBLOCKABLE and hard to dodge.
* Almost any video game where Superman is a playable character, especially fighting games and beat'em ups, in which the normally invulnerable Man of Steel can be killed by the first mook on the first level. ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Heroes'' at least ''started'' the game with killer robots, and moved up from there.
** ''JL Heroes'' at least {{lampshade|Hanging}}d it a bit with Supes' block animation. He sticks out his ''chest'' when you hit the button, and of course, enemy attacks do no damage as long as you hold it down.
** The game based on ''Superman Returns'' actually gave Superman the kind of power seen in comics; he was functionally unkillable, it was ''the city'' that had the health meter you had to keep track of.
*** ''Superman: Shadow of Apokolips'' was very similar. You ''could'' be killed, but enemies did relatively little damage and you regenerated health constantly. But the moment a civilian died, you lost the level. In addition, many levels were based around preventing a disaster (sabotaged dam, volcano eruption, etc.), so that the risk from enemies was that they would slow you down rather than any risk that they would kill you.
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombatVsDCUniverse'' is interesting about this, because it brings up the question of who is really getting the creeps and seeps respectively, since there's Superman on the DC side, a god (Raiden) and a supernatural undead (Scorpion) on the ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' side, and a range of less powerful superheroes and flat-out humans scattered across both. The final explanation is that the merging of the two universes causes powers to fluctuate, strengthening some and weakening others. It gets lampshaded when, after ComicBook/TheJoker defeats Sonya, ComicBook/{{Deathstroke}} asks in bewilderment, "Since when can ''you'' beat anybody?!" (The Joker promptly trashes him afterwards and then decides to use his newfound strength to defeat Batman. He does but then [[VillainBall forgot]] the Bat's [[CrazyPrepared defining characteristic]] and got knocked out by a taser.)
*** As for Superman, remember that most of the ''Mortal Kombat'' cast are either inherently or powered by or using magic -- and Superman is basically a mundane when it comes to magic (which he remarks after receiving a ''normal kick'' from Scorpion in the story). Only Sonya Blade, Kano and Jax as well as the other DC characters barring Franchise/WonderWoman and [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] are non-magical, so only they really need the HandWave above to face off effectively against the Man of Steel. This is even addressed in Superman's arcade ending, in which he asks Captain Marvel for training to make him as strong against magic as he is against everything else.
*** ''VideoGame/InjusticeGodsAmongUs'' received much grousing from fans when it was initially announced, mainly because some people found the thought of characters like ComicBook/HarleyQuinn and ComicBook/{{Nightwing}} being able to punch out Superman and Wonder Woman to be absurd. Of course, nobody really plays fighting games for the plot or realism, do they? It's handwaved in-game with Kryptonian nanotech that makes the BadassNormal characters tough enough to go toe-to-toe with superpowered characters and in the comics is capable of making Alfred Pennyworth strong enough give Superman a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown.
*** An inversion is Ares, who is ''weaker'' than normal due to Alternate!Superman eliminating global conflict, the source of his power. This is why the God of War can be defeated in hand-to-hand combat.
*** ''Injustice 2'' is just as much, if not more, guilty about this. Unlike before, the story doesn't reference the infamous pills. It also features the signature unique intros carried over from ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX'', and it's kind of funny seeing Harley Quinn take on ComicBook/BlackAdam and having the intro act like they're equals.
* Any ''Franchise/StarWars'' game starring a Jedi will usually have a bit of this out of necessity. Lightsabers usually require multiple hits to kill or defeat an opponent, and {{mooks}} who could be defeated in about half a second in the movies are usually much more dangerous. ''VideoGame/StarWarsMastersOfTerasKasi'', a ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' clone from TheNineties, probably has one of the strongest examples of this. Since this was a FightingGame, it was entirely possible for characters like Chewbacca, Han and even ''a Stormtrooper'' to defeat people like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in one-on-one combat.
* The ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' games at least partially do this out of necessity. Enemies that can survive an attack from the [[WaveMotionGun planet-busting]] [[Anime/SpaceRunawayIdeon Ideon]] can die to a [[MacrossMissileMassacre missile barrage]] from a squad of [[Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross Valkyries]].
** A good example comes from ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsJudgment'' in term of the casts. On one end, you got things like ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]'', ''Anime/BlueCometSPTLayzner'', ''Anime/BrainPowered'', and ''Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico''. On the other side, you got things like Anime/{{Mazinkaiser}}, ''Manga/{{Zeorymer}}'', and Anime/TekkamanBlade(yes, this guy again). The latter part of the cast makes the infamous scene from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]'' [[spoiler:where Mwu is killed]] pretty awkward because they can simply tank the attack and really likely to survive. And even in the midst of battle, both Zeorymer and Blade has more than enough speed to arrive on time.
*** ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha 3'' and ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsDestiny'' has moments where awkward coding makes one group too strong or one group too weak. In ''Alpha 3'', the first usage of Phase Shift Armor made the ''SEED'' units virtually unstoppable as anything non-beam were virtually negated. This included energy-but-not-actually-''Gundam'' Beam-type weaponry like Mazinger Z's Breast Fire and Getter Robo G's Getter Beam. In ''Destiny'', poor coding nerfed Super Robots' natural defense rating, making them ''weaker'' and putting the more faster Real Robots in the spotlight.
*** ''Z3'' incorporates both ''Anime/GurrenLagann'' (a series where the final villain threw a Big Bang as an attack) and ''Anime/ArmoredTrooperVotoms'' (a series where the main robots could be damaged by grenades). The result was [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqAmzPj9bLE inevitable]].
*** One of the stranger places this applies is that, in the game's graphics, most of the robots are [[YourSizeMayVary about the same size]] (despite having "size classes" that refer to their canonical sizes in relation to each other). For instance, a Anime/{{Gundam}} fighting Anime/Daitarn3 will have at most [[OneHeadTaller a head of difference]]; were scale taken into account, the former would fit comfortably into the latter's palm.
** ''VideoGame/AnotherCenturysEpisode 3'' takes a nerf bat to the Shin Getter Robo, again out of pure necessity. However, it's still pretty well in line with how ''SRW'' depicts Super Robots compared to Reals (namely, [[MightyGlacier big and slow, but heavily armored and super-strong]]). To give you an idea of just how nerfed Shin Getter robo was; on his test flight it was able to nearly reach the speed of light. On the other hand, they left the Anime/OvermanKingGainer units alone.
** Many Banpresto's CrossOver games also qualifies: The ''[[Anime/QueensBlade Spiral Chaos games]]'' gives [[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Lily]], who is the only character who fights ''barehanded'', moves that seems taken off more from ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' than ''Tekken''. Justified, since it's the only explanation how she's able to fight against many of the Anime/QueensBlade's cast, who uses swords or medieval weapons, or against superpowered beings like [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Dizzy]] or people who use guns like [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Noel Vermillion]].
*** And even in the case of both Dizzy and Noel, it could be {{handwave}}d that they are trying to avoid using their full power (Dizzy) or in Noel's case, [[spoiler:she's using her humanoid form and not her Mu-12 persona]].
* Many of the Disney characters suddenly become a MasterSwordsman, magic user, or [[IKnowKarate Kung Fu]] master of some sort to put them on equal combat ground with the main characters of ''Franchise/KingdomHearts''. It's slightly jarring (and very awesome) to see Mickey Mouse with Yoda-like fighting abilities while retaining the personality he's had for the past 50 or 60 years.
** Mind, Mickey's always been a badass, most of the shorts he's in where he's depicted this way are just usually shafted with American airings.
** Special mention goes to [[Film/TheLittleMermaid Ariel]], who never fought in the original movie. Here? She becomes a straight-up BlackMage who helps you defeat Ursula after she becomes giant.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'':
** Due to its very nature, characters from all around the power spectrum show up, either as playable characters or as bosses, which can lead to situations such as a [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius gruff trained mercenary with a BFS who has slayed a goddess]] being beaten by [[VideoGame/AnimalCrossing a kid with gardening tools]] (the former went from being a LightningBruiser to moving like he's [[MightyGlacier knee-deep in molasses]], the latter who had no combat in his series whatsoever); or [[LandSeaSky Rayquaza]], one of the most powerful [[OlympusMons Legendary]] Franchise/{{Pokemon}}, being beaten by [[Franchise/DonkeyKong a monkey with a pop-gun.]] A power-up was pretty much mandatory for the ''VideoGame/WiiFit'' Trainer and ''VideoGame/DuckHunt'' dog.
** The "winner" of this phenomenon is most likely Jigglypuff: In its home series, Jigglypuff is a very weak character who unlike Pikachu, doesn't benefit from any sort of power boosting item and even its evolution isn't considered a top tier character, its HP is its best stat while everything else is kind of bad. It also learns a move called Rest, which makes it fall asleep to recover HP... In Smash Bros., it uses Rest to instantly K.O opponents (provided that the move actually connects) and also has incredible recovery (as in "getting back onto the stage after being knocked off" as opposed to gaining health back) and aerial game, which are mechanics that don't exist in a turn-based [=RPG=] like the main ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games. These traits make Jigglypuff the poster child of {{Lethal Joke Character}}s.
** Some characters also get ability changes, for better or worse; for example, Kirby can use moves from his copy abilities in his base form, while Meta Knight loses his SwordBeam and becomes a strict close range fighter, Ness and Lucas retain none of their own PSI moves but their physical methods of attack like bats, sticks and the yo-yo become ludicrously powerful, Mario can now use fireballs in his normal form, all Fire Emblem reps except Robin can now use Counter without taking damage (although Robin gets access to spells that are supposed to be mutually exclusive to each other), VideoGame/{{Mega Man|Classic}} can use most of his Robot Master abilities from the start, etc.
** ''Melee'' brings [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Ganondorf]] and the VideoGame/{{Ice Climber}}s. The former replaces his powerful sorcery with punches and kicks; powerful punches and kicks, sure, but nothing like what he demonstrated in the ''Zelda'' series. The latter, originally just a hammer-wielding duo, got cool [[AnIcePerson ice]] powers just because they were in a crossover.
** Played with Roy's sword in ''Melee''; in ''Sword of Seals'' the titular weapon turned him into a [[OneManArmy walking machine of death]], and it only caught on fire when he landed a critical. In ''Melee'', though he can set it on fire anytime he wants, these are toned down so they are normal attacks. The reason why this isn't a straight example is that Roy actually [[MarthDebutedInSmashBros ''did'' debut in Smash]].
** ''Brawl'' brings [[VideoGame/MetalGear Solid Snake]]. He can't even jump during gameplay in his own series, but here he can easily jump three times his height and fly with the assistance of a summoned Cypher (his enemies in his games), perform elegant suplexes, and is so flexible he can bend his spine almost all the way back. Also, the swimming/drowning mechanics the game introduced are nearly the same for everyone, even for characters who can't swim (Sonic and Charizard), or characters who can't drown (Squirtle in ''Brawl'' and Greninja in ''Wii U/3DS''). Varia Samus and Zero Suit Samus highlight this as well. In [[VideoGame/MetroidZeroMission their original appearance,]] Zero Suit Samus was part of a NoGearLevel, lacking any offensive capabilities whatsoever outside of a temporary stun. In ''Smash Bros'', she's significantly faster and more agile than her armored counterpart (in the original, she was, if anything, slower), and actually places higher on most CharacterTiers.
** ''Wii U/3DS'' brings [[VideoGame/PunchOut Little Mac]], while also kicking it up a notch by bringing two {{Physical God}}esses as playable characters: [[VideoGame/KidIcarus Palutena]], the Goddess of Light, and [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Rosalina]], Mother of the Stars. With Little Mac, he's turned from a relatively weak but [[{{Determinator}} very determinated]] boxer, to a powerful BoxingBattler beast when fighting on the ground. Meanwhile, Palutena and Rosalina bring some impressive {{light|EmUp}} and [[SpaceMaster cosmic]] attacks to the fray, but [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu they can be beaten by any other character, no problem]].
** In [=WiiU=]/3DS, in some kind of reverse example from the Sword of Seals, Robin's [[StarterEquipment Bronze Sword]] is as strong as legendary weapons wielded by his fellow Fire Emblem reps, and can now use dark magic. On the other hand, he is the slowest character in the game despite having utterly overpowered GameBreaker stats in Awakening.
** [[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Sonic's]] homing attack is restricted by a charge up time to prevent the player from endlessly spamming it like you can in most Sonic games. His speed is also nerfed by a significant degree, though he's still the fastest character in the game by a wide margin (most likely because if he were any faster, he'd be [[TooFastToStop basically uncontrollable]]).
* In the {{Franchise/Nasuverse}}, supposedly even the strongest of the Hero Servants from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' are just "1/4th of the power of the vampire Arcueid" from ''{{VisualNovel/Tsukihime}}'', according to the writers. However, in the fan CrossOver ''VideoGame/BattleMoonWars'', the Servant Saber gets paired with the maid Kohaku, who proceeds to pump Saber up with all kinds of beneficial [[strike:drugs]] power-ups to equalize things. This is the only one that's really explained however; Hisui the maid can match vampires as well for some reason.
** Then there's the fact that WordOfGod states that any non-[[OurVampiresAreDifferent dead apostle]] ''Tsukihime'' character would be absolutely obliterated by a Servant. (Except for Aoko.) And even then, the stronger ones, such as Saber, could take down most of them. The villains at least get their power boosts explained...
*** It should be pointed out that when this is against an average Servant with an average noble phantasm. For example, WordOfGod also stated that Servant Caster could obliterate Aoko. Apparently, ancient witch from the era of gods > sorcery.
*** WordOfGod is also that certain Servants could beat even Arcuied, depending on their abilities. Lancer, with Gae Bolg; and Gilgamesh, with Gate of Babylon, are given as examples. This is also justified by the fact that Arcueid never has access to 100% of her powers.
*** Said power boost is explained in ''VideoGame/MeltyBlood'' itself; for some reason the presence of the Tatari/White Len projections is inducing powerups in the lesser characters such as the maids and Miyako. ''Why'' [[VoodooShark isn't exactly clear.]] In fact, in the {{manga}}, Shiki uses his full killing intent on the maids by accident. His first shock is that his instincts triggered him to do so; his second was that they were fine after.
** ''VideoGame/FateExtra'' has Arcuied appear ''as'' a Servant. The only way anyone has a hope in hell against her was because her summoner was an idiot and summoned her as a Berserker, which locked out her insane GameBreaker abilities. It's explicitly stated that if she came out "normally" she would have had a special, ridiculously overpowered class that would have corrupted the entire Moon Cell system from the inside.
*** ''Fate/Extra CCC'' averts this with Gilgamesh, who is just as insanely overpowered in story as he is in canon. Not only are his stats higher than the other Servants, but he's capable of instantly ending any fight with his Noble Phantasm. ''Any'' fight.
*** ''VideoGame/FateExtella'' has Servants like Gilgamesh, Alexander, Lancer, Jeanne, and Archer fight against much weaker opponents, so naturally this is in place. Gil doesn't use Ea, which limits him to being very strong, but still fightable. Lancer and Jeanne, however, have their Noble Phantasms reduced from an instant kill to just being very damaging. Jeanne's still kills her, but since Servants can be revived up to three times per battle, it's only a minor penalty.
** Naturally, this also appears in ''VideoGame/FateUnlimitedCodes'', being a Fate/fighter. Characters like Rin and Kotomine are able to go toe to toe against opponents like Berserker and Saber Alter. It's even present in the arcade mode stories, but it's at least acknowledged that characters like Caster and Assassin individually being able to defeat Berserker with the former two in a weakened state being nothing short of a miracle.
** ''VideoGame/FateGrandOrder'' revels in this. Class advantages reign supreme in terms of dealing damage, and AOE Noble Phantasms will deal less individual damage than single-target Noble Phantasms. In other words, Sasaki Kojirou's Swallow Reversal will kill huge dragons faster than Gilgamesh's world-wrecking Ea will. It's worse for the player-controlled Servants, as enemies can and will have access to multiple huge health bars and permanent buffs. You can collect the likes of Heracles, Ozymandias, or Karna, raise them up to their strongest level, and then watch as the likes of Mata Hari or Aŋra Mainiiu make mincemeat out of them if they happen to be your next boss battle.
*** That said, story-wise battles are portrayed with as much accuracy to the lore as they can get away with. Also, Nerofest exhibition matches pit the player against [[SNKBoss Servants with more access to their lore-exclusive abilities]].
* ''Manga/DragonBall'' games:
** Any video game that features Yajirobe as a non-JokeCharacter takes this trope to hilarious excess. He could neither fly nor use [[KiManipulation Ki Attacks]] in the show, but in at least one game this is compensated by throwing rocks [[HyperspaceArsenal from nowhere]] and flying by ''waving his legs around like he's paddling through water''. He also gets {{Sword Beam}}s in some games.
** Other non-flight and/or non-ki attack characters in ''VideoGame/DragonBallZBudokaiTenkaichi'' do this as well, depends of the game. In the first one, everyone flies. in the second one, people who can't fly don't and instead fall down like rocks. In the third game they instead fall down slowly (Which is actually closer to in-series behavior), air jump (This isn't) and you can give them a Potara that allows flying.
** And in a few where [[JokeCharacter Mister Satan/Hercule]] makes an appearance, he has a jetpack and explosives as a (rather weak) justification for him being able to do ''anything'' against the series regulars.
** On the other end of the scale, in ''VideoGame/DragonballXenoverse'', Whis is an available character. [[spoiler:He's also one of the most powerful characters in the entire ''Dragonball'' canon, far surpassing even Beerus, the God of Destruction. Whis is portrayed as not taking combat very seriously at all, with most of his movements and attacks being downright playful, as though he's holding back a gigantic amount of power... and he's still probably the strongest character in the game. Even the game's BigBad, who thought he could control Beerus without great effort, is terrified of the prospect of facing Whis in combat.]]
** This is pretty much legion in ''Dragonball'' fighting games, given the show's love of PowerLevels and constant LensmanArmsRace. Generally, characters who are meant to be stronger in canon are slightly stronger than their peers, but they still take potentially KO-worthy damage from attacks that shouldn't even give them a bloody nose. ''Tenkaichi 3'' is likely the king, with its gigantic roster; you can set up a match between Emperor Pilaf's ramshackle MiniMecha and Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta, then defeat a galaxy-destroying PhysicalGod with machineguns.
** By ''VideoGame/DragonBallFighterZ'' you've got characters on the low end of the power scale like Krillin or Yamcha dueling with {{Physical God}}s the likes of Beerus and Super Saiyan Rosé Goku Black. Even characters who outclassed the Z Warriors in their heyday, such as Nappa, are able to take on foes who far outpace them by the standards of ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'' (such as Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Vegeta). The developers sought to downplay this discrepancy in PowerLevels by making the canonically weaker characters more useful in support roles as opposed to direct combat. The game itself also makes a justification by way of a strange energy anomaly that affects everyone (besides Beerus) in the story, leveling all the characters off (though it doesn't account for characters who aren't involved in the story, such as Goku Black).
* In ''VideoGame/LittleBigPlanet'''s ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' themed expansion pack, Liquid Ocelot's plan is to [[spoiler:flood LBP with pointless trophy levels so that he can be loved]], and the Metal Gear itself is essentially beaten by a Sackboy with a paintball gun.
* WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom always gets the short end of the stick in the ''VideoGame/NicktoonsUnite'' series. ''Nicktoons Unite'' gets around this with a game-long PlotTailoredToTheParty (and even then he had to gain his abilities back), but then came ''Battle for Volcano Island'', where he's stuck to throwing punches and shooting energy blasts. This got even worse in ''Attack of the Toybots'' which, outside of his Master Model areas, limits him to punching and using a goo gun (but so does everyone else) to the point that freaking ''WesternAnimation/{{Rocko|sModernLife}}'' can do as much damage as him. (Though at least that game justifies his weakness: [[WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius Calamitous]] somehow managed to neutralise his ghost powers while leeching energy off the Ghost Zone to power his game-long EternalEngine.) And then in ''Globs of Doom'', he can generate temporary duplicates of himself... via gadgetry from the HubLevel, which is in the universe of Volcano Island. (Meanwhile, [[WesternAnimation/InvaderZim Dib]] developed implausible punching skills.)
* ''Dengeki Gakuen RPG: Cross of Venus'', being a crossover {{action RPG}}, delivers a nerf bat to everyone and everything from ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana'', ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' and ''LightNovel/AsuraCryin''' as well as to that good ol' psycho angel [[LightNovel/BludgeoningAngelDokurochan Dokuro-chan]], and a buffing to just about everything pertaining to ''LightNovel/{{Toradora}}'' (Yes, even Inko, who is a mook) and ''LightNovel/KinosJourney''. And most of the bosses are {{Evil Knockoff}}s of various characters, explaining their weakness (or in a few cases, strength) compared to the people they replicate.
** At the same time though, it also averts power creeping with three plot characters: Index, [[LightNovel/NogizakaHarukaNoHimitsu Haruka]] and [[LightNovel/AsuraCryin Misao]] aren't fighters in their canon and so they are not playable characters despite being in your party; instead, they are support characters who hold the cards usable in battle. They don't even have any in-battle sprites. (And hey, it fits Index's canon role.)
* One example done due to the affected person being an EarlyBirdCameo GuestFighter: Just from playing ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soulcalibur IV]]'' back at its time of release, few would have guessed that [[VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed Galen Marek]] is a PersonOfMassDestruction in his own universe. Another ''Soul Calibur'' example, [[VideoGame/GodOfWarSeries Kratos]] is in the PSP version. Naturally he's pretending he can't kill them all [[strike:with one punch]] by repeatedly punching them in the face as he did with Hercules and [[spoiler:Zeus]] in ''VideoGame/GodOfWarIII''.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' crossover games tend to feature this in abundance, due to the power discrepancies between different Gundam timelines. Especially noticeable in those that contain the [[Anime/TurnAGundam Turn A and Turn X]], both of which, canonically speaking, should be able to turn any other mobile suit into dust (literally). Expect to see them beaten by such things as the RX-78-2 or Char's Zaku II. One notable exception is ''VideoGame/MobileSuitGundamClimaxUC''. If you try to take on Char's Counter Attack stage with a GM, expect the enemy grunts to take several shots before dying. And expect them to take off half your health bar with every shot.
* Although the storylines try to keep everything making sense (Yukari was just messing around, Sanae wasn't taking Cirno seriously, etc.), this is a continuous problem in the ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' fighting {{Gaiden Game}}s, with all of the 20+ playable characters relatively equal in gameplay despite their ''gargantuan'' power differences. The best example of Power Creep is Cirno, a little ice fairy that, while suggested to be fairly powerful for the setting, has to seriously struggle to hold her own against one of the protagonists is a fair fight. And the cast is taken almost entirely from characters on the protagonist's level or higher. On the other end of the scale is Yukari, the boss of the series' only Phantasm stage and generally considered to be one of the most powerful characters. Nothing stops you from beating up Yukari with Cirno (aside from needing to link ''Hisoutensoku'' to a copy of ''Scarlet Weather Rhapsody'' so that [[OldSaveBonus both games' casts are playable]]).
** Then again, justified by the existence of the spellcard system, which forbids them from using their true powers and instead forces them to rely on lesser abilities, balanced against each other. There's still a difference, but with good enough tactics it is possible for weaker characters to win (as evidenced in ''Imperishable Night'', since protagonists are equivalent to level 4 bosses, and they do take down level 6 bosses regularly).
** ''Fairy Wars'', in which Cirno is the PlayerCharacter, gives a possible reason for her inconsistent power level: as a fairy, her strength is closely linked to her self-confidence (to the point where she has a Motivation meter in place of lives). After beating the [[Manga/TouhouSangetsusei Three Fairies of Light]] and feeling like she can do anything, she's able to put up a surprisingly good fight against even Marisa, one of the main characters of the franchise. The next time she fights the main characters (in ''Double Dealing Character'') she's dropped back down to a Stage 1 midboss with no dialogue.
** Another good case is Hong Meiling, whose focus on martial arts almost makes her a fighting game character in a BulletHell universe. Yes, she is present in Hisoutensoku and she's no less powerful than characters like Yukari... but [[CloseRangeCombatant her ranged attacks are noticeably worse than anyone else's]].
* While one could see ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'''s eponymous character matching the other mages in ''VideoGame/MagicalBattleArena'' power-wise, it's a little harder to imagine her being able to take hits as well [[Franchise/LyricalNanoha as renowned members of a multi-dimension spanning police force]] or [[LightNovel/{{Slayers}} veteran adventurers of a fantasy world]] considering how she kinda has the durability of an ordinary elementary school student.
** She is the most powerful mage of her world, though... ''after'' Clow Reed cuts his magic in half through reincarnation tricks. And given later developments in ''[[spoiler:Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle]]'', that's saying a ''hell'' of a lot.
** And taking in consideration the untapped potential of the spells that she carries with her. Sure, she can't match the raw power of a "befriending" blast or cast the rage of demons. But can, for example: [[spoiler:[[ElementalPowers Master the elements]], [[BarrierWarrior create nigh-impenetrable barriers]] [[PowerNullifier also capable of]] [[AntiMagic dispelling functional magic and seals]], {{dream|ingOfThingsToCome}}seeing, [[SuperSpeed cast superspeed]], [[SuperStrength strength]], [[IKnowKarate fighting skills]], [[AbsurdlySharpBlade a sword that can cut almost everything]], [[RealityWarper alter reality]] and wipe things out of existence ....and that's just the tip of the iceberg]] she doesn't attack on the same pattern as the other Magical girls but has an unmatched versatility and a good level of control (just remember, [[spoiler:she stops a snowstorm and safely defrosts a small city within a matter of seconds, minutes perhaps]]).
* In ''VideoGame/SpiderManShatteredDimensions'', Amazing Spider-Man takes out TheJuggernaut in a fistfight. Granted, Spidey ''[[OlderThanTheyThink has]]'' defeated Juggernaut in the comics, but he did so by forcing him to the ground with his might and trapping him in cement. Here, it's {{handwave}}d by suggesting that [[spoiler:the power of the [[MacGuffin Tablet Fragment]] is messing with Juggy's Gem of Cyttorak-given power]].
* Various characters in the ''VideoGame/MarioAndSonicAtTheOlympicGames'' series. For example, in his main series, Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog is referred to as "the world's fastest supersonic hedgehog", capable of running above the speed of sound without breaking a sweat. In the Olympic Games series, though he is still one of the fastest characters in terms of top speed, his other attributes are reduced to better balance him with the other characters.
** Depending on player skill and/or the AI, it's possible for slow characters like Eggman and Bowser to ''outrun Sonic!'' It's hilarious to see.
** It has been pointed out that holding back in the name of good competition is [[JustifiedTrope perfectly in-character]] for many of those with superior skills. Sonic, while proud of his running ability, has never been shown as arrogant and enjoys competition; and Mario, while having his jump as a defining feature, has displayed good sportsmanship in [[GoKartingWithBowser many other disciplines]] to date.
** By extension to the above, literally ''any racing game that includes Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog as a character'' (e.g. ''Sonic R'', ''Sonic Racing'', ''Sonic Free Riders'', ''Sega & Sonic All-Stars Racing'' and so forth). Sonic is usually handicapped by being forced to ride a vehicle, and it's telling that in one racing game, his character-specific power up was to ''[[JustEatGilligan get out of the car and just run]]''.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' is full of examples. The most prominent examples are Mario and Luigi, whose only consistent abilities are that they jump really high and run at least moderately fast. Other than that, their strength, speed, and durability are HIGHLY variable depending on the game. JackOfAllStats [[Administrivia/RenamedTropes used to be known as "The Mario"]], due to him usually having balanced stats in crossover games. This is still definitely Power Seep, he should be jumping higher than anyone else and at a minimum can break bricks by punching or ground pounding them. Neither of these should be considered "average", especially when crossovers involve normals.
* ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients'' does this with a lot of the crossover heroes. One of the most notable examples, [[LightNovel/{{Slayers}} Lina Inverse]], can ''unmake creation'' with her Laguna Blade, which only does 1250 damage in-game. (Which, to be fair, is ''a lot of damage''.)
* In ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'', one DLC has Asura facing off against ''Franchise/StreetFighter''[='s=] very own Ryu and Akuma[[spoiler: and their respective SuperpoweredEvilSide Evil Ryu and Oni]]. It's a pretty cool idea, except for the fact that, in his own game, Asura is so overwhelmingly powerful that's he's up there with Creator/{{Capcom}} characters like those of the ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}'' series or the ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' series as one of the strongest characters made with Capcom's name attached to it. In said DLC Ryu survives being punched all the way to the moon from Earth, Evil Ryu moves a mountain sized landmass [[spoiler: and the battle with Akuma/Oni destroys the moon]]!
* ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable: The Gears of Destiny'' threw in various justifications to explain why characters from different currently running installments of the franchise have roughly the same power levels when they shouldn't. Specifically, the TimeTravel caused a malfunction on [[Manga/MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce Thoma]]'s Tome of the Silver Cross to explain why he can't just AntiMagic his way through the unprepared cast, [[Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaViVid Vivio and Einhart]] are being greatly assisted by their [[AmplifierArtifact Devices]] to explain why they could fly here when they couldn't in their series, and [[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs Reinforce Eins]] is [[YourDaysAreNumbered slowly dying]] by this point to explain the {{nerf}}ing she got in the game.
* In the third ''VideoGame/WarriorsOrochi'' game, Ryu Hayabusa of ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' joins the cast in their quest to defeat the Hydra. He accompanies them as they travel through different moments in time when the Hydra strike desperately trying to discover a way to beat the seemingly unstoppable monster. Thing is though Ryu in his own game series has fought and beaten numerous giant abominations all by himself and the Hydra really shouldn't have been that big a deal for him to handle by his lonesome. It is suggested that the Hydra is truly {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le and could not be killed by even the PhysicalGod Mystic characters. They required Orochi's own power[[spoiler: that is, the Yashi'ori powered by Shuten-dōji]]. Plus it is not like Ryu had the True Dragon Sword with him.
* Probably would have been the case in cancelled fangame ''VideoGame/MyLittlePonyFightingIsMagic''. Say what you will, but it's pretty hard to imagine the physically weak Fluttershy taking on a superstrong, superfast powerhouse like Rainbow Dash, or a fashionista like Rarity defeating magical prodigy Twilight Sparkle, who as a child suffered from a bout of PowerIncontinence strong enough to instantly overwhelm several teachers at the most prestigious magical school in the kingdom, and attract the attention of the immortal god empress of Equestria who then made Twilight her personal student. And that's when she didn't know what she was doing.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'''s new {{P|layerVersusEnvironment}}vE mode Mann vs. Machine, in which the classes had to be rebalanced to ensure that they would be more or less equally useful against the robot hordes, mostly through the upgrade system. Most notably, the Scout ''starts out'' with the unique ability to gain health, up to a limitless overheal, by picking up money, and his Mad Milk item can be cheaply upgraded to slow bots' movement (as can the Sniper's Jarate). And on the flip side of the coin, some classes are denied upgrades available to their teammates; for example, the Heavy cannot boost his minigun's damage. The Engineer, meanwhile, has to contend with a special class of bot that hunts down sentry guns and then [[MadBomber explosively]] [[SuicideAttack self-destructs]].
* This can get pretty extreme in ''VideoGame/PlayStationAllStarsBattleRoyale'' when you have a rapping puppy like VideoGame/PaRappaTheRapper or a normal cat like Toro and put them against [[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Heihachi]], [[VideoGame/BioShock Big Daddy]], [[VideoGame/DmCDevilMayCry DmC Dante]] or [[VideoGame/HeavenlySword Nariko]]. This is taken to an insane level when you have an ActionSurvivor like [[VideoGame/{{Uncharted}} Nathan Drake]] who fights with a good IndyPloy and [[BornLucky sheer luck]] or VideoGame/FatPrincess, a normally immobile glutton and set them against a [[ExtremeMeleeRevenge vicious]] [[KillTheGod god-slaying]] [[TheBerserker berserker]] like [[VideoGame/GodOfWarSeries Kratos]] or a super-powered monster like [[VideoGame/InFAMOUS both Cole McGraths]]. This applies somewhat to the weaponry as well: [[VideoGame/{{Killzone}} Colonel Radec's]] Level 2 Super should normally melt the flesh off its victims at the least or outright vaporize them into a red mist (not something even Kratos should be able to walk off). [[VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance Raiden's]] sword meanwhile is an {{Absurdly Sharp|Blade}} {{Vibroweapon}} that should be able to slice people or [[MilitaryMashupMachine Military Mashup Machines]] up several times over with ease. Neither of these do any lasting damage.
* ''VideoGame/SDGundamCapsuleFighter'' has this in spades. Thanks to its awkward ranking scheme, the [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED Strike Gundam]] is the same level as [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Wing Zero Gundam]], the [[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam Mermaid Gundam]], which put up a big fight against Dragon Gundam in the Gundam Fight finals, is labeled a C-rank alongside grunt units like [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam the Zaku]], and [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack the Nu Gundam]] and [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamF91 the F-91]], while powerful units in their own right, are right up there with walking arsenals like the [[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Double X]].
* In the JJBA universe, Stands are only visible to those who have another Stand. In ''VideoGame/JoJosBizarreAdventureAllStarBattle'', the non-Stand users (and Baou) can presumably see them and avoid their attacks.
** This happens to a lot of characters, as ''[=JoJo=]'' is a universe known for its weird powers. Okuyasu and Vanilla Ice both have PortalCut abilities that should be a one-hit-kill or at least a severe maiming to most of the cast, and Kira's "turn anything into a bomb" trick ought to be similarly effective - they're damaging, but not by that much. Vampires and Pillar Men could regenerate from being blown to pieces in the series, with the only surefire way to kill them being sunlight or Hamon, and while they do have a bit of healing (which Hamon-users nullify), it's nowhere near that level. Giorno's Gold Experience Requiem and Pucci's Made In Heaven are massive powerboosts, but they're based on abilities that allowed them to negate anything and recreate the universe, respectively. Meanwhile, at the other end of the powerscale, the sequel ''VideoGame/JoJosBizarreAdventureEyesOfHeaven'' adds Robert E. O. Speedwagon, a completely normal human with no special abilities aside from some brawling skills, a sledgehammer, and [[ImprobableWeaponUser a razor-edged bowler hat.]] He can kill either of the above, though it isn't easy.
* Everyone in ''VideoGame/MushroomKingdomFusion'' has had this happen to them. Okay, the likes of Arthur from ''VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins'' still dies in two hits at full health and the Mario characters have health systems based on the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' seriesÖ but now they can take hits from and do significant damage to enemies from ''VideoGame/{{Mega Man|Classic}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' and ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' among numerous others! You can even kill soldiers and things by jumping on them or using Sonic's spin attack or punching them in the face just once!
* This is a problem that fans bemoan in ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'', especially towards the Federation: of the pre-STO Cruisers, the ''Excelsior''-class is one of the oldest (at about 130 years) classes to get an Endgame-variation ship, yet it's Bridge Officer power layout and Console layout allows it to be one of the most powerful ships around. Compare this to the ''Galaxy''-class, who is half that age and yet has half of the power the ''Excelsior'' does. And let's not get into the ''Scimitar'' for the Romulans, whose layout is so awkward, it actually allows players to ''effectively [[OneManArmy one man a five-man PVE match]]''.
* Cloud in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' was the MasterOfAll in the party in gameplay terms, and was considered freakishly strong in-story as well. In his cameo as a party member in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', he's below average.
* ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' puts ordinary humans with no innate magic powers (Squall, Laguna, Tifa, Kain) on the same level as humans naturally capable of magic (Cecil, Firion, Ultimecia, Gabranth, Golbez), magic users with power from summoned demons (The Emperor, Yuna), summoned demons (Gilgamesh), humans granted with godlike powers to aid them on a quest (Warrior of Light, Onion Knight, Bartz, Lightning), humans augmented via MagiTek means to have superior strength and magic (Kefka, Sephiroth, Cloud), part-human-part-Summoned Monster (Terra, Jecht), entirely artificial people made of magic (Zidane, Kuja, Tidus), evil spirits with magic capable of [[RealityWarper manipulating existence itself]] (Cloud of Darkness, Exdeath), and actual gods (Chaos). It's not nearly as bad as it seems, though, considering that they're mostly comprised of the main villains, who all possess world-ending power, and the protagonists, who are all capable of beating them up. ''Final Fantasy'' as a whole has always been completely fine with [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower "ordinary humans"]] [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu punching out Cthulhu.]]
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallFighterZ'', which includes a lot of different characters from all over the series, justifies it with artificial energy waves sapping the cast of their powers [[spoiler:(with the notable exception of Beerus and Whis)]]. This is why Nappa (who was a WakeUpCallBoss who decimated the Z-Fighters but got easily stomped by Goku early on) can theoretically beat the likes of a future Goku who has ''long since'' surpassed him, Cell, Majin Buu and ''Goku Black''.
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlueCrossTagBattle''. Quite inevitable given the massive discrepancies in power between the four franchises. At the high end of the scale we have ''Blazblue'' powerhouses like Ragna (fighting and winning against a world superpower alone and effectively becomes a god-slayer), Hazama (as powerful as Ragna), Hakumen (killed an Eldritch Abomination that devastated the entire world singlehandedly in the past) and Azrael (so overwhelmingly powerful that even Hakumen runs away from him). At the lower end of the scale are the ''RWBY'' heroines who have mostly fought just ordinary human {{Mooks}}, slightly-superhuman EliteMooks and the occasional building-levelling giant monster in groups; that is to say nothing of their relative inexperience, as they are high schoolers going up against many characters who have years or [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld in some cases]] ''centuries'' of fighting experience over them. Blake even lampshades it in her interactions with Ragna, telling him that he could never understand how hard she has to try to keep up with the fight.
* ''VideoGame/JumpForce'' is a MassiveMultiplayerCrossover of Magazine/ShonenJump's big franchises, which house characters from all ends of the power scale. In this game, you have {{Physical God}}s like [[Franchise/DragonBall Goku]], planet-level busters like [[Franchise/{{Naruto}} Naruto]], powerful for their setting but comparative low-levelers like [[Franchise/OnePiece Luffy]], and {{Badass Normal}} {{Chessmaster}}s who don't even directly fight like [[Franchise/DeathNote Light Yagami]], all on the same roster with the game treating them as equals.

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* ''Webcomic/DragonBallMultiverse'': Salagir has stated that in the canon of the comic, Super Saiyan forms act more like tiers than their canon state of multipliers - unless a character is extremely strong, like Vegito, most Super Saiyan 1 characters of a given level are in roughly the same power range, and pretty much any Super Saiyan 2 would be stronger than those characters. Broly also has the mechanics of his Legendary transformation altered to allow him the sort of feats he accomplished in his movie [[VillainForgotToLevelGrind long after canon lapped him]], with him going from "stronger than Perfect Cell" to "completely invincible and constantly growing in power."
** Plenty of characters also get powered up or powered down [[AlternateUniverseReedRichardsIsAwesome compared to their main-universe counterparts]] to allow for even fights. For instance, King Cold [[spoiler:after being bodyswapped with Ginyu]] has trained up enough to reach the OneWingedAngel forms his sons had, while Gotenks has gotten so much StrongerWithAge that he can't maintain his maximum power level [[HourOfPower for more than a few seconds]].

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* The inevitable fate of Always-Powerful-On-His-Own-But-Gets-His-Ass-Kicked-In-Crowd-Scenes Boy of the ''Literature/LegionOfNetHeroes''.
* ''WebAnimation/DeathBattle'' averts this for the results of battles, although played slightly straight within the battles. Who ever has the highest recorded power and skills within their own universe will win, [[PopularityPower fanboys be damned]]. They make sure not all the battles are [[CurbStompBattle completely one sided]], so some increase in power level in the ''animation'' is allowed, but the animation doesn't have true barring on who wins or loses anyway.
** A notable instance would be Godzilla vs Gamera, where the two are presented as being roughly the same size, while a major reason why [[spoiler: Godzilla wins is because of the sheer difference in size and strength between them]].

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* Franchise/DCAnimatedUniverse:
** Mostly averted in the Batman/Superman crossover episode [[Recap/SupermanTheAnimatedSeriesS2E16To18WorldsFinest "World's Finest"]]. ComicBook/TheJoker sets up a kryptonite-filled death trap for Supes and Batman has to race over there to rescue him. Later, Comicbook/LexLuthor sends a KillerRobot after Bats and all he can do is stall for time until Superman stomps it. Generally Superman used more brute strength while Batman used tactics and gadgets to survive.
** The killer robot was also given a realistic way to stand up to Superman: Comicbook/HarleyQuinn had [[BoundAndGagged gagged and duct-taped]] Luthor's {{bodyguard|Babes}} Mercy to the robot, [[HumanShield making it impossible for Superman to hit it without killing her too]].
** The DVDCommentary points out that the animators would sometimes let Batman fly to his next destination. He has a cape, and as we all know, anyone with a cape can fly. Naturally those animations had to be redone.
** Batman himself is the subject of this throughout the DCAU's time line. In ''BTAS'' he was actually slowed down by mooks, in ''The New Batman Adventures'' he only had to pause for high level super villains, by ''Justice League'' he was the most competent member and by ''JLU'' he was less of a man and more of a walking DeusExMachina.
** Worth noting the Superman is at relatively sane levels of power. The kinetic impact of gunfire (from something high-powered like a minigun anyway) and missiles can knock him back, he struggles to pick up particularly heavy objects, his super-speed is somewhat downplayed, [[BatmanCanBreatheInSpace he requires a supply of oxygen in space or underwater]], etc etc.
** ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' makes this trope into an art-form. Obviously, Superman would upstage everyone else due to his powers, while the others are fairly mis-matched; this leaves the writers playing havoc with the power-meter in order to keep all the characters represented evenly. Typically, this takes more than a few contrived situations which play to the weaker character's strengths and the stronger one's weaknesses.
** The Flash, too. His speed should make him literally untouchable, but he's always being tripped up by people who to him should look like they're moving underwater. For instance, he fought off a alternate-universe Superman by casually dodging punches and then throwing him out a window, only to then be too surprised to dodge when Supes throws a piece of furniture at him from several yards away.
** This is {{handwave}}d by some heroes: specifically Franchise/TheFlash and Superman. Flash ''intentionally'' seeps speed in races, as in the comics, because "those were for charity". Superman meanwhile takes hits "so the others don't have to." Basically, ''they aren't trying'', even though failure might mean somebody '''dies'''. The other heroes, *cough* Comicbook/MartianManhunter *cough*, have no such excuse.
*** When Comicbook/LexLuthor [[FreakyFridayFlip got control of]] Flash, he wiped the ''floor'' with basically the entire [=WatchTower=], showing powers the Flash never did. Of course, we learn why the [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Flash]] would never use them, since they could easily result in people dying.
*** The LampshadeHanging by Superman himself in the final ep of JLU (his WorldOfCardboardSpeech and afterwards) [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome more than makes up for it, though.]]
*** Also somewhat justified by the episode "[[Recap/JusticeLeagueS2E5And6OnlyADream Only a Dream]]" where we find out that both The Flash and Superman are afraid of their power getting out of control. So they likely consciously or unconsciously reduce their abilities.
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'':
** Pretty much all of the heroes and villains (including the Justice League) were noticeably weaker than their modern comic incarnations. WordOfGod from Creator/GregWeisman is that they're more in line with pre-Creep interpretations and that this made the [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters huge amount of super-powered characters]] more manageable.
** A specific example of this in action happened. In Season 1, Superboy was introduced as by far the most powerful member of the Team, having mopped the floor with Aqualad, Robin and Kid Flash with little effort. Then in Season 2, Superboy fights Aqualad all by himself... and is effortlessly [[CurbStompBattle curb-stomped]]. The only explanation fans gave was that Aqualad's fighting skill improved between seasons, but it wasn't really shown all that well.
* With some of the various "vs" cartoons-- most notably with the "David v. Goliath" type matches-- to prevent outright ''mis-''matches.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', The Liquidator had ''extensive'' control over water - he could spontaneously generate it, change its temperature, and turn it into "hard water" (a yellow glue-like substance), and his body was entirely fluid. After his one solo appearance, his water temperature changing and hard water abilities vanished and his other abilities were scaled back. In all honesty, they had to. Liquidator's very nature makes him {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le, barring having his oxygen and hydrogen atoms being separated. And after someone that strong has been defeated once, you'll never see him as the super-being he was before. The lowered powers also dodge a very pesky piece of FridgeLogic, namely that Liquidator could have just boiled Darkwing alive by heating the 70% water content of his body otherwise. Then you wouldn't have much of a show, at least not one Disney would have ever allowed for an afternoon kids' cartoon.
* In a crossover between ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'' and ''WesternAnimation/XMen'', this is highlighted in a scene where Spidey winds up fighting Danger Room Sentinels.
-->'''Storm:''' Power of Lightning, strike again!
-->'''Spider-Man:''' Uh... Power of Webshooters! Get... real sticky!
* This trope hits [[Franchise/{{Ben10}} Ben]] hard in ''[[WesternAnimation/Ben10GeneratorRexHeroesUnited Ben 10/Generator Rex: Heroes United]]''. Due to his alien forms having an incredibly huge amount of abilities[[note]] SuperStrength, SuperSpeed, {{Flight}}, [[MakeMeWannaShout Sonic Screams]], [[PlayingWithFire Fire Manipulation]], ColdFlames, [[ExtremeOmnivore Using eaten objects as makeshift projectiles]], {{Intangibility}}, RollingAttack, [[SuperNotDrowningSkills Underwater Breathing]], MagnetismManipulation, SelfDuplication, [[ShockAndAwe Electricity Manipulation]], TimeTravel, and many ''many'' more[[/note]] compared to [[ShapeShifterWeapon Rex]], he ends up having his Ultimatrix hacked by Alpha and not working properly for most of the final act. Considering [[WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce his]] [[WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien main]] [[WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse series]] also had trouble keeping his abilities in check, it [[FridgeBrilliance doesn't feel out of place]].