Bob knows and frequently sees Alice. They may get along well or not so well. But Alice has some kind of disadvantage compared to him. It may be that Bob has a special ability that makes his life easier, or that Alice has a disability that makes her life harder; or maybe she has an uncomfortable status or an embarrassing trait compared to him. Bob doesn't really realize or pay attention to this: things are fine the way they are, aren't they?
Until some accident or circumstances place Bob in the exact same position as Alice. He may lose part or all of his powers (if he has powers), suffer a physical handicap similar to her, be suddenly Overshadowed by Awesome
in his turn or suddenly get harsh responsibilities. This may be temporary or not. Anyway, he now knows how it feels to be in her position, and it's usually not pleasant. Often, as an Aesop
Bob will find a new respect for Alice after experiencing what she has to go through every day.
Note that Alice is not necessarily powerless herself to begin with.
Can overlap with Brought Down to Normal and God for a Day
(if being God is not an easy position). Compare Break the Haughty
. Contrast Always Need What You Gave Up
, when a loss is voluntary.
Anime & Manga
- D.Gray-Man: Allen Walker has a left eye that allows him to distinguish humans from Akuma. After Road stabs his left eye and he (temporarily) loses this ability, he realizes that Exorcists who don't have it, as powerful as they can be, must constantly expose themselves and suspect every single human of being an Akuma. Since Allen was used to relying on his left eye, Lavi has to make him understand that if he's too careless he will be killed in no time. Of course, once Allen's eye upgrades so that the people around him can distinguish humans from Akuma (by showing them the soul inside of an Akuma), Lavi is forced to acknowledge that Allen's ability isn't all it's cracked up to be.
- Mashiro Blanc de Windbloom in Mai-Otome goes brutally through this after being forced out of her throne and realizing how much the people of her own kingdom hate her. Since barely anyone knows her face she can mix with the people who fled the kingdom and learns what it is to be hungry and desperate.
Mashiro: (eating a quickly prepared soup) It's delicious…
A kid: Is it? It tastes pretty bad if you ask me…
Mashiro: (crying) No… I never realized how delicious food was before…
- In the Tatarigoroshi arc of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Keiichi starts to scream at Mion for not wanting to take Satoko in her huge house to protect her from her uncle. After he made Mion cry, Rena proceeds to do the same to Keiichi, asking him why he doesn't take Satoko in his huge house. That makes him immediately realize how much he hurt Mion with his behavior. He resolves to find a different way to save Satoko, but unfortunately it doesn't work out very well... for anyone.
- This is the plot of JLA: Act of God, in which every superpowered hero is Brought Down to Normal. There's no explanation as to why extraterrestrial heroes (such as Martian Manhunter and Superman) are affected or why tech-based heroes (like Steel) are spared while the Green Lanterns' rings (which are also tech) don't. As Linkara describes, the story comes off as a love-letter to Batman, as the depowered heroes who still want to be crimefighters are forced to undergo Training from Hell under the Caped Crusader's instruction and come to appreciate, one and all, how much he had to go through to be on their level.
- In All-Star Superman, Lex Luthor gets empowered with abilities like Superman's for a day. While he at first reveled in the power and used it to terrorize Metropolis, at some point, the Super Senses began to kick in, and Luthor suddenly gained a newfound perspective and started to Go Sane From The Revelation. For the first time, he understood the enormous weight that was on Superman's shoulders every day of his life. At the peak of it all, he cries, and once the powers fade away, it's implied the lesson sticks with him.
- In one Fantastic Four story penned by Mark Waid, the Human Torch and the Invisible Woman have their powers swapped. Susan constantly loses control over powers and notes how she constantly "Flames On!" by accident whenever she gets excited or emotional. She's utterly amazed that a Hot-Blooded person like Johnny was able to keep this much power under control, and she gained a newfound respect and appreciation for her brother because of how difficult it was for her to remain in control at all times.
- In Fables, Prince Charming (who has the ability to do Exactly What It Says on the Tin) manages to win an election against Mayor Cole (Old King Cole), who had held the position for centuries by that point. After a while, Prince Charming's reign begins to fall apart, and he realizes just how difficult it is to actually be in charge. King Cole remarks that it's not easy being the guy in charge—because that's the guy everyone will blame when something goes wrong.
- Maid To Order: The spoiled rich girl gets a fairy godmother who yanks her wealth away, leaving her to get a job as a maid, so she can see what kind of abuse "the help" goes through.
- In Wreck-It Ralph, Felix is too naive to realise how hard it is for Ralph to be the Butt Monkey and Designated Villain of his game, until Felix leaves the game and gets treated in the same way by people outside. When he makes the realisation, he suddenly becomes a lot closer to Ralph, looking out for him and calling him 'brother'.
- An early episode of Boy Meets World revolved around Cory getting a goofy haircut. The kids made fun of him for the day and the weird kids (Topanga, Mikus, etc.) befriended him. He explained that he now knew what it felt like to be an outcast at school.
- The Brady Bunch: a bully is teasing Cindy for having a lisp, so Peter knocks his front teeth out. Now he has a lisp.
- In Ōkami, one level forces Amaterasu to be shrunk to the same minuscule size as Issun. When a human foot nearly stomps on both of them, Issun doesn't fail to drop "Do you understand how I feel now?" We don't get to know how she felt about the "experience" though...
- Danny Phantom during the Spirit Week episode. He was in a diaper and had a sash the read 'Spirit Baby' in front of the high school community.
- In Family Guy, Peter starts discriminating against Joe for being handicapped, until the feud leads to an accident that leaves him temporarily wheelchair bound. Despite his initial insistance that he will treat his problem with far more dignity than Joe, it takes 40 minutes for him to breakdown from his incapability and apologize to Joe.