Some characters aren't really cut out to be dangerous combatants. Maybe they lost the SuperPowerLottery, didn't train, grew old and weak, or just were never intended to be more than {{Mook}}s in the first place. In short, they're too average, or even weak, to truly strike fear in the hearts of the truly powerful heroes and villains, or even gain their attention.

And then they find a horrendously powerful weapon, device, or piece of equipment from near the peak of the power curve. Whether it is a wand of hellfire, a {{BFG}}, or a magical sword, the wielder of the weapon is capable of causing far more damage than they were before, making them [[FromNobodyToNightmare a force to be reckoned with]]. After all, [[UnskilledButStrong who needs skill when one can just pull the trigger and watch the fireworks?]]

This is different from AmplifierArtifact and UpgradeArtifact in that the weapon doesn't necessarily enhance the wielder - they're still as weak and mortal as before, only wielding an extremely potent weapon. When the powerful weapon is given to a character as a last resort, see GivingTheSwordToANoob. Compare BiggerStick, which is about having superior weapons and equipment, and UnskilledButStrong, which is more or less the non-weapon version of this (in the sense that while a character is not a good fighter in terms of skill, they may nevertheless fight effectively through special abilities alone). If the super weapon is permanently attached it's probably BadassTransplant. May be a UniqueProtagonistAsset.

'''NOTE''': Only list cases where the character's power is clearly attributable to the weapon. If the character is tough regardless of the weapon they use, it's not this trope. If a character is simply ''accused'' of only getting by because of a power item, see YoureNothingWithoutYourPhlebotinum.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Yukino Agoria from ''Manga/FairyTail'' is a stellar spirit mage, with two Golden Keys and [[spoiler: the legendary key of Ophiucus]], but without those three keys, she's completely harmless.
* ''Manga/SoulEater'': Excalibur is '''the''' strongest [[EquippableAlly Demon Weapon]], and instantly usable by anyone without the (direct) need for compatibility like most have. The catch is that he's such an [[CloudCuckoolander insane]] [[{{Jerkass}} jackass]] that almost no one can put up with him, even for that much power. But Hiro, the only person we've seen that ''could'' stand him, instantly jumped from the DWMA's worst student to completely unbeatable once he partner with Excalibur. [[spoiler:Then even Hiro rejected Excalibur [[MinorFlawMajorBreakup for sneezing too much]].]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In a mid-1980s issue of ''JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'', an alcoholic drifter's mind accidentally takes control of the super-android [[AllYourPowersCombined Amazo]] and threatens the world.
** Even earlier, UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}} League tended to encounter ordinary hoodlums who had stumbled upon amazing alien machines that enabled them to take on the entire team. They usually didn't reappear after a single story, typically because the alien devices would be destroyed by the heroes to end the menace.
* Issue 13 of ''Comicbook/TheTransformers'' had [[BigBad Megatron]] getting locked in his alternate mode (as a gun) and being used by a random crook.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/RoboCop1987'', the criminal gang working for the BigBad is easily neutralized and arrested by the title cyborg. When they are later freed from jail, they are given military-grade anti-tank weapons and become a credible threat to the hero.
* ''Film/{{Laserblast}}'': A teenager acquires an alien laser gun. The problem? The medallion he has to wear to use the weapon turns him into an evil alien, and he goes on a rampage.
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse:
** In ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'', in the midst of the jailbreak from the Hydra facility, Dernier picks up a tesseract-powered energy weapon dropped by a dead member of the GasMaskMooks. Jim Morita asks him, "Do you know how to use that thing?" Dernier fires a wild shot, then proceeds to use the gun to begin decimating HYDRA troops.
** ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'': Agent Phil Coulson, a non-powered special agent, grabs a {{BFG}} that had been built by reverse engineering from the Destroyer Armor in ''Film/{{Thor}}'' and uses it against the BigBad. However, how "average" he is is [[BadassNormal up for grabs]], seeing as he works for ComicBook/{{SHIELD}}.
** The "[[Film/MarvelOneShots Marvel One-Shot]]" on the Blu-ray for ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', ''Item 47'', features a young OutlawCouple that found an alien arm cannon left over from the movie's battle and started robbing banks with it. [[spoiler:Since they know how to use it, Jasper Sitwell ends up recruiting them for ComicBook/{{SHIELD}}.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The wielders of the cursed artifacts in ''Series/FridayThe13thTheSeries''.
* In ''Series/TheFlash2014'', any villain who isn't a [[DifferentlyPoweredIndividual metahuman]] typically needs an extremely powerful high-tech weapon to pose a threat to the Scarlet Speedster.

* In ''Literature/TheClericQuintet'' there is a character named Ghost who is just a normal human with a VERY powerful soul-shifting mirror.
* In ''[[Literature/TheIcewindDaleTrilogy The Crystal Shard]]'', the BigBad is a very weak wizard that finds a magical artifact that lets him summon demons and stuff, but eventually kills him for his incompetence, choosing to be buried indefinately than to live with him.
* In ''[[Literature/TheLegendOfDrizzt The Two Swords]]'' by R.A. Salvatore a mundane orc comes to possess [[EmpathicWeapon Khazid'hea]] and goes on a killing spree. Up until he runs into Drizzt.
* ''Literature/SixthColumn'''s plot revolves around this trope - a group of six ordinary American soldiers and scientists manage to overthrow an Asian occupation by using recently invented horrendously powerful {{Doomsday Device}}s that grant them near-omnipotence.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* A published ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' adventure for levels 1-2 features as its final boss a level 2 cleric wielding a +2 flaming greataxe, which a PC could usually not hope to afford until at least 7th level.
* Early editions of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. More than one Dungeon Master lost control of his game when he let a low level wizard/mage PlayerCharacter obtain a powerful magic item such as a fully charged Wand of Lightning or Wand of Fire. The wizard/mage usually went on a killing spree, slaughtering all opponents the party met until the charges ran out.
** Additionally, artefacts pretty much intentionally invoke this trope in third edition. Not only do they possess power beyond normal items, they're indestructable and have their own mental stats and (usually) greater knowledge of waht's going on in the setting than the player using them. A character with an artefact in hand is almost a completely different, and much more powerful, character.
* ''TabletopGame/TheWitcherGameOfImagination'' has this relationship with crossbows, as long as their users aren't blind and have basic ''Shooting'' skill. They deal enough damage to take down anything human-sized with a single bolt. Critical hit or just good aiming allow to badly maim ''a dragon'', if not outright kill it.
* ''TabletopGame/MutantsAndMasterminds'': The 2ed "Book of Magic" supplement had a "Jumped-Up Dabbler", a otherwise normal dude who had somehow acquired and gained (limited) control over an incredibly powerful magic item, as one of its villainous archetpes.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/NetHack'' fans know this phenomenon as "The Gnome with the Wand of Death". Gnomes are early game pushover monsters, but like other humanoids and the player, they are smart enough to use wands - including the OneHitKill Wand of Death.
* In ''VideoGame/DungeonCrawl'', monsters are sometimes generated with branded weapons that can make them extremely dangerous. A mere kobold with a distortion sword can send the player into the Abyss.
** A number of early mini-boss enemies also qualify. Ijyb is a goblin slightly tougher than normal, but can generate with a wand or a branded weapon. Terrence and Edmund are adventurers who get better-than-normal starting equipment but no spells or special qualities. Crazy Yiuf is a gnoll with a chaos-braded quarterstaff, which can mimic a distortion weapon or a number of other effects.
* The aged Altair pulls this off twice in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations''. First, he assassinates Abbas using his newly-fashioned hidden gun, and later on fends off a Mongol siege using the Apple of Eden.
* The ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'' series has only a few types of enemies (mobsters of various ethnicities, [=MIBs=], black ops and this is all) but they differ by the weapon they wield. So even a puny Mafia soldier becomes dangerous if he's equipped with a powerful weapon like a sniper rifle or an M79 grenade launcher.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' has Grunts. GasMaskMooks and eternal ButtMonkey species of the entire series. They [[LethalJokeCharacter turn incredibly deadly]] when equipped with the [[{{BFG}} Fuel Rod Gun]].
** As shown in ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians'', they turn even ''more'' deadly when given the chance to pilot [[MiniMecha Goblins]]. A single one can chew through a small army of Spartans and tanks, all while yelling through a megaphone about how awesome he is.
* The mission "Crew Expendable" from ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' contains one {{Mook}} armed with a Desert Eagle. Plus he's in a dark corner of the level and is positioned so that he'll probably come at you from behind.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'', there's one [[{{Mook}} Koopa Troopa]] that realizes it can take the invincibility-granting starman powerup for itself. [[SubvertedTrope Unfortunately,]] the powered-up Troopa is still vulnerable to [[KryptoniteFactor certain attacks]], unlike a star-powered PlayerCharacter.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The first "Supervillain" to grace the webcomic Average Joe appears to be nothing more than some punk who found a lost disintegrator gun, [[ flicked the setting up to 'Apocalypse']], and went on a [[ rampage]] [[ through]] [[ the city]]. Without the gun though, [[ he's nothing special]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' has [[GangOfHats The Jokerz]] get hold of an experimental fighter aircraft. It is powered by an unstable reactor (which is why the pilots had to ditch it), meaning Terry has to get it back from them before it explodes.