Un-Sorcerer

A Muggle Born of Mages is someone privy to The Masquerade, born to parents with Magic and Powers, but entirely mundane himself. He ought to be just as powerful, but he isn't. No fear, though: the world is full of Muggles and no one comments. He can simply become one of them.

In other words, he's way better off than the Un-Sorcerer.

In the Un-Sorcerer's world, there is no Masquerade, because Everyone Is a Super...except him. Magic healing doesn't help, and neither does therapy. The kids at school tease him. He can't operate Magitek. He can't even claim to be a Badass Normal, because normal people have the Power! This lack makes him, for practical intents and purposes, disabled, in a world that has no way of accommodating him.

As bad as this sounds, though, there's a silver lining: someday, it will turn out that his unique status is an asset to him. He may be immune to magical attacks, or to The Corruption. Maybe he really has a game-breakingly awesome power that takes a long time to manifest. Maybe there's an Ancient Artifact that only activates for someone with no magic. Or perhaps, lacking a crutch, the Un-Sorcerer develops a Charles Atlas Superpower in a world of Squishy Wizards. What's certain is that the Un-Sorcerer will go far, and may even be The Chosen One.

An Un-Sorcerer can only survive by averting Hard Work Hardly Works. Essentially an in Inversion of the classic Super Hero trope. See also Muggles Do It Better. Sometimes used to derive An Aesop.

Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Black Clover, Asta is one of the few people in the setting with absolutely no magic at all. Fortunately, this also makes him one of the only people who can wield the Five-leaf Clover Grimoire, which manifests its power as an Anti-Magic BFS. Thanks to the years of physical training he did to make up for his magical deficiency, Asta is also strong enough to actually wield the heavy sword. In addition, because nearly everyone in the world of Black Clover has magic, its infrastructure and basic education assumes the ability to use magic. This throws some of Asta's adversaries for a loop when, for instance, they cannot track his location by detecting his magic aura because he has none, or how their magic defenses account for magic attacks but not brute physical power.
  • Rygart from Break Blade is the Trope Namer, having no power over quartz and consequently being unable to operate any complex machinerynote , with the exception of an ancient and super-powerful golem that refused to respond to anyone else. It's heavily suggested that this is because he is the only person the golem recognizes as being actually human.
  • Meiling from the anime adaption of Cardcaptor Sakura is one of the only, if not the only, member of the Li family to be born without any magic at all. She makes up for it some by becoming a highly skilled martial artist.
  • Louise the Zero from The Familiar of Zero developed an enormous ego and hair-trigger temper to compensate for her inability to successfully perform magic, something that defines nobility in her world. It turns out she actually has a very rare and powerful magical ability: Void Magic, the legendary Fifth Element...which happens to be explosion/energy-based magic.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Edward Elric ends the series giving up his ability to perform alchemy to bring Al's body back. Note that while most people in the setting aren't alchemists, this technically counts as an example because he is now the only human we know of who is physically incapable of alchemy rather than simply lacking knowledge of how to do it.
    You're willing to cast it aside? To lower yourself to a simple human?
    What do you mean 'lower myself'? That's the only thing I've ever been. Just a simple human that couldn't save a little girl. Not even with alchemy.
  • Touma Kamijou of A Certain Magical Index is this in a world where literally everyone can technically perform something supernatural. Even Level 0's has a minuscule capability to warp reality, and everyone who has not undergone the secret procedures that turn them into espers can perform magic, as evinced by Komoe who did so barely five minutes after having had it revealed to her. His 'Imagine Breaker' means that he has absolutely no psychic abilities, no ability to do magic, and no luck (which is a supernatural phenomenon in A Certain universe), and while he has an ability, his ability is actually to negate anything supernatural.
  • Toru Mizushima, the hero of Iris Zero lives in a world where most of the children are born with Magical Eyes and was once thought to have the power to tell what other people's powers are. He's really just incredibly clever.
  • Labra is a Jewelpet who can't cast magic in Jewelpet Twinkle, resulting in resident douche Nicola accusing her of not being one at all. But then, Akari accepts her as a partner and Labra, in her happiness, reveals magic-amplifying abilities which no other Jewelpet has.
  • In My Hero Academia, protagonist Izuku "Deku" Midoriya starts out this way, being one of the minority to reach his teenage years without developing any sort of Quirk. Despite this weakness, he winds up impressing All Might, the world's greatest hero, when he tries to save his classmate from a criminal. All Might chooses to start training Midoriya to be his successor, and eventually grants Midoriya his own Quirk, "One For All", turning him into an Empowered Badass Normal. Turns out All Might used to be one too until his predecessor gave him "One For All".
  • Rock Lee from Naruto, the only Konoha ninja who can't perform Ninjutsu or Genjutsu (offensive and illusion magic), but he's a Taijutsu (martial arts) expert.
    • His mentor Might Guy also used to be like Lee, but now he can use Ninjutsu. However, he doesn't need it and almost never uses it because his Taijutsu is superb to the point of being one of the strongest Konoha ninjas, and limiting himself to Taijutsu is a show of solidarity with his pupil. Madara Uchiha even acknowledges Guy as the greatest Taijutsu user he's even encountered.
  • Touta from UQ Holder! is physically incapable of using magic apps. It turns out that he has an unnatural combination of Light (Magic Cancel) and Dark (Magia Erebea) magic within him that cancels each other out. It's why he can't use magic and it's how Past!Evangeline deduces that he's an Artificial Human.
  • In the setting of Cross Ange, everyone can use the magic known as the Light of Mana. The few who can't are called norma. Not only can't they use the Light of Mana, but any construct created with it shatters upon the slightest contact with a norma. Also, norma are persecuted to an insane degree, starting with being treated as less than human and getting worse from there.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • normalman is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • "President Thor," a story arc from Ultimate Fantastic Four. It details a world where the Skrull have given everyone superpowers; except Ben Grimm. Ben is actually totally happy with this, feeling that there's never been a more interesting time to be alive. Lucky for him, too: the superpower gift is revealed to be a virus that feeds power into the Ultimate Super-Skrull. It also can be activated to kill the carrier. The Skrull King activates the killer gene, but without any power source, the Super-Skrull is easily defeated by Grimm in a powersuit.
  • A Superman comic in the 90s, pastiching the Silver Age, had everyone in Metropolis suddenly acquire Superman's powers and immediately buy a spandex costume with a cape. The exception was Dan Turpin, the only person in Metropolis who didn't want superpowers. He's therefore the only person not affected by Kryptonite when Metallo shows up.
  • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures In The Eight Grade, a Red-Kryptonite meteor has everyone in Stanhope Elementary suddenly gaining powers... everyone but Lena Thorul, who loudly declares she doesn't want superpowers and she hates super-beings anyway. It doesn't help her suddenly-metahumans schoolmates immediately put on costumes and act like jerks.
  • Underplayed in White Sand - Kenton, raised in a society of Sand Masters, is by far the weakest one of them, to the point he's not even considered to be one: while the weakest Sand Masters apart from him can support fifteen sand lines, Kenton can barely master three. This earns him a lot of scorn from his father.

    Fan Works 
  • Always Having Juice features a subversion of the usual aesop. Maria Robotnik was born with a genetic defect like her video game counterpart. However, her NIDS not only deprived of her of having powers, but the Nazo cells associated with them were also a large part in health, neaing Maria was a very sickly girl with thin skin and only lived as long as she did because of Gerald's work and living in the Space Station ARK. Much like her video game self, she dies from a gunshot wound during a raid, that may or may not have been like GUN. Despite this, she still served to be a very kind hearted young lady who helped Shadow develop his moral compass. It's unknown if she ever would've been cured since Shadow's attempt at saving her with his time travel powers caused things to Go Horribly Wrong.
  • Triptych Continuum has a variation with Pinkie Pie. Whilst she does have her canon Wild Magic, it comes at the expense of having absolutely none of the traditional Earth Pony magic. She is, to those few who know this, effectively a deaf-mute in a society composed entirely of musicians. It's been theorized, based on what little is confirmed about "The Warped", that Pinkie has essentially been given Unicorn magic in place of Earth Pony magic, with her various tricks (Spider-Sense, conjuration, teleportation, etc) being the result of how she's able to deploy a magic that she has had to figure out by intuition rather than education.

    Literature 
  • Godo (Gun God) from Notes is presumably the last unmodified human alive in the post-apocalyptic world where Everyone Is a Super. Worse, he must regularly take medications just for daily survival. He's Blessed with Suck though as only "untainted" humans like Godo can wield the Black Barrel, a gun that can kill even the Aristoteles.
  • Tavi in Codex Alera is the only Aleran to not be able to command any furies. Mostly he's an Action Survivor, but he's had to be very, very clever to prosper without any furycrafting.
    • Mega spoiler: And then it turns out that his powers were deliberately locked down by his mother, to keep enemies from finding out that he's the lost heir to the throne, Gaius Octavius. Once she stops, he quickly becomes one of the most powerful furycrafters alive—and his previous experience working around difficulties makes him one of the most inventive, too.
  • Minor example in Larry Niven's The Smoke Ring: occasionally a "dwarf" is born whose growth isn't distorted by the zero-gee environment — in other words, a normal human. They're considered ugly, but if your clan happens to own one of the ancient space-suits, guess who's the right size to wear it?
  • In Xanth, everyone has exactly one power, although that power's strength and utility can vary. Bink alone has no such power, and the culture demands his exile. It turns out that his power is to automatically set up coincidences to protect from magical threats, up to and including dragons getting laryngitis right before breathing fire, and polymorph-spells hitting his skin microbes instead.
    • Interestingly, his power is hidden because it interprets mundane harm that would come to him as a result of other people knowing his talent, as harm that would result from magic. In other words, his talent even protects Bink from itself. If it didn't, spells would just fizzle when they hit him, and then people might realize they just needed to punch him. A punch that would never have come if not for his talent.
  • In Lirael, the second book of the Old Kingdom trilogy, the protagonist Lirael is born of the Clayr, seeresses who live in the cold glaciers in a mountain valley. Most girls are expected to gain the Sight around the time they hit puberty, and it marks their coming-of-age, but as Lirael enters her late teens, she still shows no sign of it, and agonizes over being considered still a child and a social misfit. She turns out to be a Remembrancer instead, able to See the past with the help of a special mirror, because of her mixed Clayr and Abhorsen lineage.
  • Arguably, Rincewind in the Discworld novels is this. He is such a bad wizard that one of the novels specifically claims: "When he dies, the occult ability of humanity will go up a fraction." However, since he is a Cosmic Plaything of Lady Luck herself (he is her favorite piece), there are times when something casts magic using him as a conduit, or when a strange coincidence LOOKS like he casts a spell, etc. It may very well be that having one of the world's most powerful spells stuck in his head kept him from learning new tricks, but he still seems to be slow at improving even after releasing it. That said, he is a Wizard and has achieved many passive benefits such as being able to see Death and octarine.
  • Joram of The Darksword Trilogy. There are some people in the world with so little magic they can't do anything useful with it, but Joram is unique in having absolutely no magic whatsoever. He narrowly avoids being executed for his powerlessness as a newborn, and has to spend the rest of his life faking minor magic through sleight-of-hand. Lucky for him the eponymous weapon can only be properly wielded by the Un-Sorcerer, as it constantly absorbs any magic near it.
    • Turns out he isn't the only Dead person, once Humans from Earth find the planet the wizards all fled to centuries ago.
    • In the sequel novel, a united humanity ends up fleeing an alien race to another planet where magic is even stronger, so much that even Joram and the other previously Dead Humans have powers. He still refuses to use magic on principle.
  • Jonathan of Gull Mountain is about a boy born without wings, in a society where everybody has them. Anvilicious Aesop about life with a physical handicap ensues.
  • Even though Argus Filch is technically a Muggle Born of Mages, he's treated by the narrative and by other characters as a sad little thing to be pitied for his tragic circumstances. Nowhere do the books suggest that there are any other options for squibs like him. This is likely due to the Wizarding Community (at least in Britain) and their lack of interactions with Muggles. Most wizards would probably be genuinely baffled at the idea of going off to live among the muggles. This never becomes an advantage.
    • There are Squibs who live among muggles, such as an accountant who's a second cousin to Mrs. Weasley. Mrs. Figg, Harry's former babysitter and neighbor, is heavily implied to be one. At some point in the books it is outright stated that squibs would rather live in nonmagical society than suffer amongst wizards.
  • In Hart's Hope by Orson Scott Card, there's a Chosen One created by the gods as a natural magic sink. He can't benefit in any way from magic, which in this world comes from blood sacrifices, but he eventually serves as a living Reset Button for centuries of enchantment.
  • Outcast: The Un-Magician focuses on a boy who is the only one in his society to have no magic at all. It turns out that his presence cancels out magic, which makes him pretty powerful in that world.
  • Shattered Continent: Low potentials in The Empire used to be virtual pariahs for their inability to benefit from magic. And then Cardenas arrived on the scene and showed the world what a low-potential with a belt-fed machine gun could do if they caught a unit of Imperial knights out in an open field.
  • In The Witling, Azhiri who are born without Psychic Powers are uncommon, and are considered mentally deficient "witlings". One of the main characters, Pelio, happens to be both a witling and the firstborn son of a king, which makes him a highly unusual combination of being both a Muggle and having a great deal of political power. Even so, he desperately wants to be like everyone else—whether that means having Psychic Powers like the rest of the Azhiri, or going to a place where everyone is a Muggle.
  • In the Towers Trilogy, there are many people with very little magic, but Xhea is the only person who has no magic whatsoever. This poses a number of problems: since magic serves as the currency of the setting, she is perpetually impoverished; and since her lack of magic causes pain to anyone who touches her, she is a pariah.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the first series of Misfits, the character of Nathan is apparently without super powers even after his mates discover theirs. However, in the final moments of the finale episode it is revealed that not only does Nathan indeed have a power, but his power is Immortality, seemingly the most powerful power yet.

    Video Games 
  • In SaGa Frontier 2, almost everyone can use Anima; however, young Gustave XIII cannot, which costs him the throne and leads to him and his mother being exiled. But Gustave eventually discovers that, while weapons made out of materials like wood and stone are used by everyone because they channel Anima so well, Steel-based weapons, which dampen anima, are far stronger. And since he lacks the ability to channel Anima anyway...
  • Unblessed in Infinite Undiscovery. Unable to use Lunar Glyph powers, but quite conveniently also immune to transformation into Vermiforms.
  • The protagonist of Black Sigil is at a particular disadvantage—a previous non-magical character in this setting was guilty of terrible deeds, so almost nobody trusts him.
  • In Fortune Summoners, the main character Arche is the only one in her school who can't use magic (partly because her parents can't afford an elemental stone to cast with, but also because she's a Book Dumb Idiot Hero and also prefers to fight with a sword and armour, which get in the way of casting magic). Near the end it turns out that a legendary elemental stone's "chosen" her in some way and when it's unsealed she gains the ability to fuse with the Team Pet Air Elemental for a massive stat increase.
    • Even so, in the epilogue it turns out that the unique nature of said stone means she still cannot use regular magic, and thus still has to watch during magic class.
  • The main character in the Awakening series was born completely without magic in a world where every other human had at least some, which made her unable to be affected by the villain's attacks. Didn't hurt any that she was a princess, either.
  • Nortrom the Silencer from Dota 2 was the product of seven generations of careful breeding among powerful magi. He never displayed any magical prowess of note until he joined his peers in a series of magical duels. It then became apparent that Nortrom wasn't lacking in magic. Lacking magic was his magic.
  • The Angelic Buster class in Maplestory lacks the magical abilities that the rest of her race has. She later finds a weapon called the Soul Shooter which allows her to use special abilities, although she lacks the MP system used by every other class.
  • The protagonist of Mage Gauntlet initially turns this Up to Eleven: magic can't affect her in any way, being around powerful magicians makes them both nauseous, and anything magical she touches explodes. Even after obtaining the titular weapon and losing these properties, she can't produce her own magic, and must absorb spells from other entities (enemies and magic vessels, in practice) to cast them.

    Web Comics 
  • Two of the protagonists of Atomic Laundromat. He owns the eponymous laundromat and comes from a family of supers and is okay with not being super. She's a lawyer who defends supervillains, who's seemingly fine with being normal, but has been shown to court shady dealings in hopes of gaining superpowers.
  • In The Wotch, a magic shop owner is unable to use magic, but also unable to be affected by it. This makes him perfect for handling items of power and artifacts of doom that would be dangerous for anyone else. The downside? The Wotch can't heal him when he's wounded by the teeth and claws of magic beasts, and she tends to attract those. Then again, he's immune to lycantropy too.
  • Tedd Verres in El Goonish Shive by all expectations, had to inherit "insanely potent" magic from both parents, but didn't. In fact, his magical ability is even less than most muggles who at least have some potential to gain spells. For Noriko it's implied to be one of the reasons why she loses heart and departs after some confusion and vague guilt. For himself, it's plainly stated to be the reason for seizing in a different way what he didn't receive easily, after feeling powerless in the face of a serious threat to his friends. Later it is revealed he does have unusual talents- he is capable of dispelling any enchantments on himself instantly, is capable of literally "seeing" magic, and instinctively understands how magical spells work. One magical creature described him as "Not a spellcaster, but a far more dangerous rarity."
  • Dex from Dominic Deegan. He has immunity to magic, which is very useful for taking on rampaging mages. Unfortunately, magical healing is also magic.
  • The priest Brother Linnaeus from Tales of the Questor is mage-blind, one of very few Racconans who can't sense or manipulate lux. It's considered a disability in his species, but then he finds a group of potential converts, who are eager to learn but have a bad history with lux users and religion.
    Linnaeus: I cannot use my powers to deceive you because I have none. I come to you with nothing but the words of God. If they are not enough to persuade you, then nothing else will be.
  • The protagonist of Gloom Verse.
  • In Harpy Gee The epynomous character is one of these, due to her magic being eaten as a young child. She can't use her previously powerful plant magic, nor can she be healed through magical means. However, she is also immune to hypnosis charms.

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of Darkwing Duck had the main character taken to a planet where everyone had super powers. There was one exception, "Normal Guy," and the superheroes spent their time rescuing him from various perils. He goes missing, so they bring in DW to replace him. Eventually it's revealed that Normal Guy got fed up with the state of affairs, and decided to become that planet's first supervillain.
  • A somewhat recurring theme in a number of the Barbie movies.
    • Main character in Barbie Fairytopia is wingless fairy, Elina. Other fairies tease her because of that. But a lack of wings comes in handy, when she has to face Enchantress' Evil Twin and her magic substance making every flying creature weak. Later Laverna even tries to pull Not So Different and We Can Rule Together offering her wings, but Elina rejects her. At the end her dream comes true anyway and she is given a pair as a reward.
    • In Barbie in a Mermaid Tale, despite being of royal blood, Eris can't spin Merillia. This drove her to kidnap her sister and fool everyone into thinking she could.
    • In Barbie and the Secret Door, Malucia is the only person in the land of Zinnia without innate magic, so she uses her wand to steal others' magic.

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