Unskilled, but Strong

He can shatter a diamond with a single punch, but look at that awful technique!

This is the dreaded Damien? He moves like an amateur! Wait... that fire could easily win him most fights, he can regenerate, and he's supposed to have super strength... he's never needed skill before! His fighting style is totally dependent on his powers!
Elliot, on Damien, El Goonish Shive

As the name implies, this is the inverse of Weak, but Skilled.

A character who is Unskilled, but Strong lacks the refined technique of formal training, but compensates in various ways through raw power. They may eat anti-tank missiles the way a glutton goes through an all-you-can-eat buffet. They may be so strong they kick tanks around like footballs or have the firepower to crush the US, China and Russia in a conventional conflict. They may make a Bugatti Veyron look slow or waltz through a point-blank crossfire of Gatlings with ease that makes an Agent envious. They may have won the Superpower Lottery. However it is, they are so very naturally talented they don't need skill. They tend to have the attitude that if brute force doesn't work, it's just because they didn't use enough of it, as well as that they will charge head-on, believing that their raw power alone will overwhelm anything that gets in their way

When seen in a protagonist, their lack of skill is typically only because it's the first episode and they've only just discovered their powers. The initial stages of the series, if not the series as a whole, will then focus on improving the protagonist's innate talents. It also gives the series a justification for why a complete newbie to whatever power they've uncovered is able to fight with or against people who have more experience, or why they can come along in training relatively quickly. One common type of this is the Super Prototype that the Ordinary High-School Student is Falling into the Cockpit of.

In an antagonist, an Unskilled But Strong character is commonly either the very first foe the protagonist faces or one of the last. In the former case, they're a Starter Villain and may be fond of Badass Boasts but prove all talk in the face of the much more skilled protagonist. In the latter, they provide a hurdle against which the protagonist must disprove the theory that Hard Work Hardly Works.

Compare Skilled, but Naďve. Contrast Weak, but Skilled. Often pursues a Bigger Stick. Can also overlap with Brilliant but Lazy, or Incompletely Trained (or both). This character is often the Goliath in David Versus Goliath. Characters with explicitly superhuman abilities can have this cured with Boxing Lessons for Superman. If they never get formal training, they may instead be Taught by Experience. If they barely or never improve at all, or even outright refuse to do any kind of training or get worse in their overall combat effectiveness, then this will result in Apathy Killed the Cat. Of the Five-Man Band, The Big Guy is also a common recipient of this trope.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Blood+: In yet another of their parallels, Diva lacks the swordsmanship and combat skills of Saya, but her sheer strength and speed tend to make up for it.
  • The title character of Naruto is described as this before the Time Skip by Jiraiya. As he explains when he becomes Naruto's mentor, Naruto possesses such a large reserve of chakra (thanks to being the Nine-Tailed Fox's container), that he can more readily rely on raw power ninjutsu instead of the more fine control techniques his peers have learned.
    • It's worth noting that while his fighting skills start off as unrefined (though he improves tremendously throughout the series), he was already quite clever in how he used his abilities, with his victories as much a result of good tactics as sheer determination.
    • While some consider his initial improvement after the time skip an Informed Ability, he was already using his jutsus more intelligently, largely outgrowing the use of rushing enemies with dozens of clones (aside from when using a clone rush as a distraction from his real attack) in favor of more creative uses, such as creating one to redirect himself in the air. As he improves even more over the second half of the series (particularly with regards to techniques requiring fine control), he now can use powerful jutsus to their full potentials, instead of simply enough to compensate for lack of skill, becoming one of the most powerful ninjas in the world (though still a Genin in rank). The reason his improvement seemed informed was he kept losing his temper and charging at the enemy in Bijuu-mode..
    • Besides ninja, there's the tailed beasts themselves: they have immense power, but being monsters they can't do much with it besides thrash around and shoot out giant balls of chakra. It's for this reason that beasts with a host are stated to be potentially more dangerous.
    • The 4th Raikage is this; He's a Lightning Bruiser with some wrestling moves, but basically uses a combination of speed and strength to overpower his opponents. While he was able to toss Uchiha Sasuke around like a rag doll, his headlong assault strategy costs him his arm, and had Gaara not interfered, possibly worse. When up against opponents who can match or surpass his speed and strength, such as the 4th Hokage or Madara Uchiha, he comes off as lacking.
    • The Bigger Bad of the series, Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, is this in spades. Despite having more chakra than even the Ten-Tails, she barely knows how to fight, and she doesn't know how to strategize, coming off as a child when dealing with weaker opponents. Naruto gets the better of her several times over and even slices her arm off due to her inability to recognize feints and basic tricks.
  • Many young heroes in the Gundam series are notably less skilled than their more experienced Ace Pilot adversaries, but manage to survive due to Falling into the Cockpit of a Super Prototype. Generally, though, they survive enough battles through the series to become experienced and an ace in their own right.
    • In a specific example, in the original series, Amuro Ray (who's been piloting the Gundam for roughly a month and a half at this point) manages to defeat Ramba Ral, a veteran soldier who's been piloting a mobile suit since they were first introduced to the battlefield four years ago. Ral praises Amuro, but tells him not to get cocky, since it was the Gundam's power and not his own skill that won the day; Amuro just calls him a Sore Loser.
    • Oftentimes the main characters are psychic as well, which of course is a huge boon in combat. There's still a matter of Skill vs Power there, though: some rely so heavily on their psychic abilities that they have little conventional skill. And it has been shown that sufficiently skilled non-psychics can beat a psychic in combat in this franchise.
    • There's also Tieria Erde of Gundam 00. While his other fellow Meisters are or grow into skilled pilots, Tieria himself never really gets much better. However all of his Gundam's have 3 or more massive particle beam weapons and a energy shield to protect him, AND a secret hidden mode to surprise his opponents with. He doesn't need skill when he can simply blow his enemies away from long range, while safe inside his barrier, and if for some reason they do get to him and his shield fails he surprises them by switching modes. The main character Setsuna is also like this at first, relying on his powerful Gundam to offset his rather poor piloting skills, but as the tech gap decreases he comes into his own as an extremely skilled pilot. The Trinity Siblings meanwhile never improve because they were designed that way, so when their job was complete they'd be easy prey for the skilled pilots with equally good weapons sent after them.
  • Berserker in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is The Dragon to Odin in Ragnarok, despite not having any formal martial arts training like everyone else. He has his rank purely due to his natural talent as a fighter.
    • Much, much later, we see Berserker return. In this case, the Master from YAMI who trained him emphasized on improving his random style rather than fixing it. The intent being to make Berserker's turn his way of fighting into his own "self-taught style."
  • Similarly, Bunshichi Tawara in Tenjho Tenge is reported to be entirely self-taught, but was able to defeat a powered up Shin Natsume in a fight.
  • Bleach:
    • Ichigo's unnaturally high spiritual power is what carries him through most battles with experienced opponents. His Eccentric Mentor Urahara comments that the best teacher for Ichigo is battle experience so uses that as an excuse to throw Ichigo into life-threatening situations. When the Visoreds take over training his hollow-power, Shinji comes to the same conclusion as Urahara.
    • The only captain in history without Bankai, Kenpachi fights on raw power alone. When Yamamoto tried to train him, he rejected the formal battle philosophy. It's eventually revealed that the Central 46 banned Yamamoto from continuing teaching because they were afraid a skilled Kenpachi would be too powerful to defeat should he ever rebel.
    • It's made clear from the outset that Yammy lacks the skill and intellect for even rudimentary Arrancar skills so he relies heavily on being so unnaturally strong his brute strength wins the fight for him. He's eventually defeated when Kenpachi, one of the strongest captains, and Byakuya, one of the most skilled captains, join forces to fight him.
    • Aizen deliberately stripped Wonderweiss of all intellect, skill, rationality and even language capability to focus on maximising his power output. This turned Wonderweiss into a huge powerhouse that most of his Shinigami opponents couldn't handle, even the captains. Yamamoto criticised his attacks for being too predictable, however.
  • Dragon Ball villains sometimes fell into this category. Pretty much all of them were highly-trained fighters, but often lacked knowledge of certain techniques.
    • Frieza from Dragon Ball Z was one of the few villains who knew how to raise and lower his power level, but lacked knowledge on how to sense ki without a scouter. The over reliance on scouters caused his army to underestimate their enemies. A few like Fat Buu relied on raw power and healing to win.
      • To expand, Frieza had spent so much time toying with opponents far weaker that he never learned how to stand up in a protracted battle against someone of equal strength. Once raw power was proven not to be enough, it was only a matter of time before the more highly trained (and now more powerful) Goku defeated him.
      • More than that, as noted by Goku, Frieza tended to leave himself open and when pushed, degraded to Beam Spams.
      • After Piccolo's return from the dead and fusion with Nail, he is able to stand toe-to-toe with Freeza in his second form, despite having a slightly weaker power level. Before that fight, the general rule was that the stronger power level (even just slightly stronger) would determine the winner of the fight. Piccolo's fighting skill and Frieza having never even encountered a foe approaching that level were what allowed Piccolo to hold his own until Frieza transformed into his third form.
      • Frieza's entire army is shown to be this; Though they can use Ki Attacks, they all rely on scouters to detect and gauge chi levels, and can't alter their battle strength at will. As such, they are all caught flat-footed when fighting someone who can. Zarbon can transform to increase his strength, but this is useful for only so long. Of all of them, only Captain Ginyu can raise his Power Level. During his fight against Dodoria, Vegeta notes that this is due to relying on brute force, like he once did.
    • This was also Piccolo's reasoning for training Gohan after witnessing Gohan's hidden power first hand against Radditz.
      • One could argue that Gohan is still this trope later in the series. He is very powerful and has the ability to become the strongest fighter in the universe. However, he rarely trains, at least not to the extent of the other characters, to unlock his power. He twice got powered up by having them unlock for him. Because of this, Gohan does not use many techniques and is prone to bull charges, Beam Spam, or falling for tricks by crafty fighters. He beats his opponents by overwhelming them with pure power and tends to do poorly against opponents who are equal or more powerful than him. This was a particularly bad problem in the Buu Arc, as Gohan hadn't been in a real fight for a good seven years and was severely rusty when he had to fight Dabura, who 10-year-old Gohan would likely have demolished.
    • The Legendary Super Saiyan Broly is a subversion. He really is quite skilled, but he's so strong, he doesn't even bother showing it. Still, during his fights he often shows off complex wrestling moves.
    • Goten in his early appearances. He had yet to learn how to fly (considered a very basic technique in DBZ) but was able to turn into a Super Saiyan. Gohan compares it to learning how to run before you can crawl.
    • Goku and Krillin were like this for a while, as Roshi's general idea for his students is to boost all their raw physical and mental abilities through Training from Hell without ever fighting anyone, then let them figure out technique on their own.
    • Mr. Popo accused Goku of this in the original series. As he put it, Goku had a lot of power but made very poor use of it like doing wasteful movements, wasting energy, and using his eyes too much.
    • In Dragon Ball GT, out of all seven Shadow Dragons, only Eis, Nuova, and Syn/Omega possess fighting skills that pose a legitimate threat to Goku and the Z Fighters; the other four rely more on their Elemental Powers and trickery to fight them.
    • Although Future Trunks is disciplined and a Combat Pragmatist, since he didn't have anybody to train him after Future Gohan died, he doesn't have a full grasp of fundamental fighting concepts. Cell mocked him for relying on brute force and for not noticing the flaw of the Ultra Super Saiyan form (it increases strength but decreases speed and stamina, making it almost useless against an equal or superior fighter). In contrast, Goku of all people noticed the flaw as soon as he achieved the form and so declined to use it. To quote Goku, "What good is strength if I can't catch my opponent?"
  • Yoshimori is this way in Kekkaishi, although he's improving, in contrast to his Weak, but Skilled counterpart, Tokine.
  • Due to unusual circumstances Beet the Vandel Buster can use five of the powerful magical weapons called Saiga, when most individuals can use only one. However, early parts of the series are spent with Beet learning how to fully utilize his five Saiga and Beet has zero ability in the more basic magical skills which are supposed to be the lead up to obtaining a Saiga in the first place. One character even comments that he learns everything backwards.
  • The title character of Lyrical Nanoha has a lot of raw power, but her technique isn't quite up to the task at the very beginning. Later on though, she trains and refines her technique so immensely that it almost becomes an inversion. She learns fast and she does it good.
    • Applies to Fate to some degree, too, as Precia had Linith skip over certain aspects of her training while teaching her how to fight in order to get her ready to search for the Jewel Seeds soon enough. While observing Fate and Nanoha's battle in Episode 7, Chrono notes that both of them are mainly throwing around powerful attacks with less regard to using the best one for the situation.
    • Her friend Hayate is this down to the core. Her magical power is by far the highest in the entire TSAB and her attacks are equal to nukes. And yet she's - at least in the main continuity, as opposed to the Battle of Aces one - helplessly unskilled and needs support to even aim her attacks properly. As she says herself, this is why she would lose to almost everyone else in the main cast, despite being theoretically the strongest mage alive.
    • The Huckebein Family from Force would seem to be this by design. Their powers allow them to kill mages with barely any effort on their part, and without any harm to boot, but none of them apart from Curren initially show any tactics beyond simple brute force. This makes sense, since they have no real interest in learning how to fight when the virus that will kill them if they don't kill other people doesn't differentiate between a talented fighter and a civilian. Then enemies show up who they can't simply overpower, making them have to work for their victories.
  • Takeshi Sendo from Hajime No Ippo. His raw power and fighting instincts are top-notch. His biggest weakness is lack of technical skill.
    • Subverted and played straight with Brian Hawk. It is the very lack of skillfull boxing that makes him so incredibly dangerous. He doesn't have the limits of the textbook boxing techniques and, combined with naturally insane power, speed and reflexes, becomed completely unpredictable. His fighting style is even described by his trainer as not being boxing but "simply violence." Takamura spends the first half of their fight trying to prove that boxing skill is of use. It is eventually played straight when Hawks trainer learns how very superior Takamura is through having learned the proper technique and how much of a backbone Brian Hawk lacks because of his lack of proper training.
  • The eponymous girls in Zettai Karen Children are theoretically some of the most powerful people in existence, but as otherwise ordinary ten-year-old girls their lack of training and experience means they sometimes struggle against Weak, but Skilled opponents.
  • Kinnikuman's Buffaloman was not a great fighter at all until he made a Deal with the Devil and gained his ten million Choujin Power.
    • Kinnikuman himself is this, to an extent. Part of the reason why he started out as such an awful superhero, besides his cowardice and stupidity, was that he was so goddamn clumsy; one time, while going giant, he tripped over a car like a roller skate and landed face first in a subway entrance. Even after he learns how to wrestle, he starts to prefer power moves over techniques, spending most of his fights setting up opponents to be put into one of his heavy finishers. This is eventually called out during his fight against Kinnikuman Super Phoenix during the Scramble For The Throne arc.
  • Luffy's victory over Boa Sandersonia and Boa Marigold in One Piece falls into this. The sisters' mastery of Haki allows them to predict Luffy's movements and deflect his attacks. Once Luffy goes into his Gear 2nd power-up, however he's able to move so fast that predicting him is useless and his attacks are powerful enough to overwhelm any attempt to block.
    • In addition, Luffy doesn't really have any "training" in his fighting style, he is just extremely creative with his rubber powers and makes up techniques on the spot.
    • Furthermore, he has the same level of Haki that Hancock does, which is stronger than theirs, but can't control it and can't do anything more than render people without sufficient force of will unconscious. Luffy's shown occasional flashes of other types of Haki use (against Mihawk, he avoided losing a hand because he saw a flash of what Mihawk's next attack would be), but they too were uncontrolled and he didn't even seem to realize what had happened. After training with Silvers Rayleigh, this has now changed as he's become both skilled AND strong.
    • Zoro was also this to an extent in the earlier parts of the storyline, his idea of swordfighting being "Swing your swords at your opponent really, really hard until they stop moving". With his absurd Charles Atlas Superpower, this worked pretty well...until he faced off against Dracule Mihawk, the greatest swordsman in the world. He kept Zoro at bay with a blade smaller than a pocketknife, and only reason Zoro survived the fight was that he had enough willpower and spirit to earn Mihawk's respect. He started to focus more on technique from then onwards, and began in earnest when he fought a guy with steel-hard skin who was basically immune to brute force.
    • Of the Post-Time Skip villains, Hody Jones gets accused of this by Jimbei, who effortlessly blocks a powerful attack from him. He's also proven to be absolutely no match for Luffy whatsoever when they finally begin to throw down.
    • This apparently tends to apply to Logia users. In the Grand Line and weaker seas, very few people can use haki so most Logia users easily No Sell every attack. In the New World however, haki is apparently fairly common so "Logia users convinced of their invincibility are the first to go."
      • Caesar Clown is an interesting combination of this and Glass Cannon; His Gas Gas powers give him a plethora of mean abilities, such as sucking away oxygen, poising people, and causing explosions. However, he's a scientist, not a fighter, so in battle his first and only responses are to use any one of those skills to overwhelm his opponent. When up against a Lightning Bruiser like Luffy, he goes down pretty quickly.
  • Takashi Kawamura from The Prince of Tennis. He considers himself the burden of the Seigaku team, yet can fight Genius Bruiser Kabaji to a standstill. He then does it again, but against Gin Ishida from Shitenhouji.
    • In fact, Kawamura has been this from the beginning of his tennis career, and may count as a De Construction. As a first year, he was physically stronger than all of the juniors, but also had a chronic lack of control over his borderline Super Strength that led the sempais to either bully him or tell him that he'd be better in the baseball team. Hence why he considers himself The Load.
    • Kintarou Tooyama happens to be both this trope and Skilled, but Naďve. He's got raw talent and physical strength by the wazoo, but is also a Wild Child and the poster child for Idiot Hero.
    • Kaidoh Kaoru fits to a lesser extent. While he is a strong tennis player, most of his techniques merely revolve around variations of his signature technique "Snake" (until the nationals arc, he possessed only two; the rest were developed through Inui's guidance). However, he is extremely tenacious, able to hold his own against the much more skilled and violent Kirihara.
  • In Durarara!!, Shizuo Heiwajima's typical fighting style is described as the real-life equivalent of Button Mashing. Given that he can bench-press a van and deflect or occasionally break a blade on his skin, this is just about all he needs.
  • Jin of Samurai Champloo considers Mugen to be this. But Jin does have that kind of relationship with Mugen. It does bite him in the ass against Hand of God Kiriya though.
  • Ikki Tousen's Hakufu Sonsaku is considered to be the worst fighter of Kanto. Despite that, she's also the strongest of the fighters and has rarely ever been defeated. She's even the leader of Nanyo Academy.
  • Beelzebub has loads of characters like this including the main character, Tatsumi Oga himself, who has faced a multitude of martial artists and beat them just because he had superior raw power.
    • Hideotora Toujou is an even better example, he beats up super powered characters and demons and is even on par with a Super Milk Time powered Oga with just instincts and raw power.
  • Gao of Eyeshield 21 only started playing football that season, yet he's already one of the best linemen in Japan. Why? Because he can bench press 440+ pounds and flings opponents away like nothing. People even nickname him things like "caveman", "dinosaur", "monster", and "muscle brains." His lack of technique, however, is a conscious choice since he wants to find someone who equals him in strength. When he finally does meet someone who overpowers him, he quickly starts improving on technique.
    • The manga actually points this out, noting that Gaou refuses to break the rules and hit Kid even when he was close enough when Kid released to be justified in hitting him. They acknowledge that it's not like he can't control himself, it's that he doesn't feel like it. So, he's more like the football equivalent of Just Shoot Him.
  • An unusual example is to be found in Mahou Sensei Negima! - Negi's father Nagi Springfield, known as the 'Thousand Master' for supposedly mastering a thousand spells, is revealed to be a heroic, magical version of this. In truth, he only knows something like 5-6 spells by heart, and has to perform anything more complicated than the bare-bone basics from a tome - but he backs those spells up with a LUDICROUS amount of raw magical power (and a bit of mundane trickery).
    • Jack Rakan is thought to be this by many people, and at first glance he doesn't appear to do anything more than just hit things really hard. However, he's Obfuscating Stupidity: he's very skilled on top of all his raw power, he just doesn't see much need to use his skills unless his opponent is strong enough to warrant it.
  • Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk is incredibly tall for his early age and has huge physical strength as well as almost animalistic reflexes and jump abilities, but his raw power is paired with a complete lack of experience skill. Therefore he gets stuck by the sidelines in the first part of the series, and has to go through Training from Hell to compensate.
    • Hitoshi Morishige is a similar, yet less extreme case. He has already gone through the training and it shows when we see him play, but is still very rough around the edges. I.e: he's seen performing an excellent slam dunk, but then gets scolded by the referee for knocking two opponents down while at it.
  • Lt. Surge's Raichu in the Pokémon anime falls into this. Surge's belief that only fully evolved Pokémon were worthwhile caused him to turn his Pikachu into a Raichu immediately. This Raichu lacks the techniques he would've learned only as a Pikachu and thus relies on his immense power to win; the minute Ash and co. realize this, they adapt their strategy to exploit Pikachu's natural speed and agility, allowing Pikachu to win the rematch.
    • Many fully evolved Pokemon have this problem. Being larger and stronger makes it harder for them to use their old skills and less incentive to learn new ones. Among the teams of the heroes the most hit hard by this are Ash's Charizard and Iris's Dragonite. When the two battle, Charizard has the upper hand because he's expanded his moveset, increased in strength since evolving and Iris misread Charizard's type.
  • Kouichi in Kurogane no Linebarrel is this at first; most of his early victories are entirely due to Linebarrel being a Lightning Bruiser, and he causes extreme amounts of collateral damage from inexperience. Reiji points all of this out when he hands Kouichi his ass in the fourth episode of the anime.
  • Yoshika from Strike Witches starts out as one of these, selected by Mio for her immense raw power. Her inability to focus her power causes problems early on.
  • Yuu from Holyland starts out with only a one-two straight combo and no footwork or other technique. He gets better. The Strong part comes from how various more experienced fighters note that his raw power and speed are very high, while also being able to keep going after beatings that do in lesser men.
    • Katou also applies. Despite his lack of real training, he wins through brute strength, fighting dirty and drug-taking that makes him Feel No Pain. He gets utterly destroyed later on when a MMA exponent decides to get serious.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Noted by Touma during his first fight with Accelerator. Accelerator's powers are among the most powerful in the series, but is at a bit of a loss when he can't just curb stomp Touma like he has all his previous opponents.
      Touma: The strongest esper in Academy City... really has no skills at all, huh? Then grit your teeth, weakling. Because a punch from the weakest is gonna hurt.
    • Fans have noted that, the way Accelerator's powers work, he could be a lot stronger than he already is if he was more creative with them. But when he can just kill people with a touch, he usually doesn't really have to do anything creative to win. In fact, Accelerator notices this himself in his fight with Touma: after getting pounded in hand-to-hand combat, he realizes that he can control the air, why does he need to fight hand-to-hand?
    • Accelerator could in a sense be considered both at once seeing as his powers rely on highly attuned mental calculations which could be seen as the "skill" but at the same time he is physically weak and his redirection isn't so much a wall as much as changed + to - as exploited by his former master.
    • Touma himself is tough as nails and an experienced street fighter, but he gets his ass handed to him when he faces trained martial artists like Kaori and Motoharu.
    • Another major villain, Fiamma of the Right is obscenely powerful but, like Accelerator, is at a loss when he can't simply win with a Curb-Stomp Battle. One of his comrades, however, Acqua of the Back, is very much strong and skilled.
    • Gunha Sogiita has incredible powers, but can't use them to their full potential because he doesn't understand how they work and he fights with almost no strategy besides charging and punching. This is his own choice. Due to being an Idiot Hero and living by Honor Before Reason and guts alone, he sees no reason to learn and improve himself.
  • Sanosuke from Rurouni Kenshin definitely fits this trope. Unlike many of the characters in the series, his fighting abilities were derived from being a fighter-for-hire. He lacks any formal fighting style other than Good Old Fisticuffs, making up for it in raw power and being Made of Iron. This is deconstructed in a fight with Saito; He proves to be just as powerful as Sanosuke if not more so, but has learned basic skills like defense. This allows him to pummel Sano with ease while avoiding damage. Further to note, Sanosuke had a badly injured shoulder at the time of the fight. Saito won without ever laying a punch near that shoulder just to show how powerful a skilled and strong fighter can be in fisticuffs.
    • To a degree, Shishio's Dragon Soujirou is this. He's stated to have talent that at the very least, equals Kenshin. However, his strategy basically boils down to relying on his superior speed to overwhelm Kenshin. When they fought for the second time, though, Kenshin had completed his Hiten Mitsurugi training, giving him a technique fast enough to match Soujirou, which meant it went down to power; Kenshin won because his stroke had more force, breaking Soujirou's blade.
  • Most of the Homunculi of Fullmetal Alchemist (with the exception of master swordsman Wrath) seem to rely on their regenerative abilities and special powers far more than their fighting skills:
    • Envy gets a lot of mileage out of its shapeshifting abilities and its One-Winged Angel Form, but it possesses poor hand-to-hand fighting skills. This is taken advantage of very liberally by the Xingese fighters, who are not only skilled at hand-to-hand but also have the ability to detect homunculi, rendering Envy's shape-shifting moot.
    • Gluttony possesses decent physical strength and an ability to fire a giant beam which sucks up everything it touches, but spends most of his time getting pounded on by the heroes due to being very much Dumb Muscle.
    • Greed, admittedly not a poor fighter, can harden his body to make himself impervious to attack, but he tends to fare poorly against opponents who can counter his ability, such as Ed, who uses alchemy to convert his armor into charcoal. This is later used by Greed himself against Father in a Chekhov's Gun moment. His resurrected form is much more skilled, though, presumably because he can at least partially draw from the combat skills of his host body Ling.
    • Sloth may not be a skilled fighter, but his physical toughness (enough to shrug off a tank shell) and Super Speed are enough to nearly kill BOTH of the Armstrong siblings.
    • Pride relies pretty much on his endless mass of shadow tentacles, but they're all he really needs to be one of the most dangerous villains.
    • On the heroic side, Van Hohenheim, despite being one of the strongest characters in terms of raw power, admits to not being much of a fighter, a description which also applies to the Big Bad himself.
    • Halfway-averted in the 2003 anime version. While Sloth, Lust and Gluttony are not particularly skilled in a fight, Wrath is in the very least competent in hand-to-hand, Pride is the master swordsman in this version, and Envy uses a form of capoiera to humble Ed during their final encounter.
  • The main character of Psyren Yoshina Ageha starts out this way, being less skilled than fellow newbie Hiryu. This is justified by his incredibly powerful yet unstable PSI Melchese Door relying more on emotion. Though he quickly has to overcome it due to the toll it takes on his mind.
  • Munakata Kei from Medaka Box possesses a Hyperspace Arsenal of a whole variety of weapons (katana, grenades, guns, hammers). However, he lacks any actual skill at handling his weapons, and tosses aside any that don't finish the job. Zenkichi manages to counter almost all his weapons because of this, though is severely tired out by the process. The purpose of all those weapons is actually to make Munakata weaker, since in hand-to-hand combat just one hit from him would be fatal and he doesn't want to kill anybody.
  • Rin, from Blue Exorcist episode three onwards, can sling around some pretty impressive pyrotechnics. However, later in the series, he is given a training exercise where he has to light two candles while missing a third and ends up repeatedly torching all three, to his growing frustration.
  • At one point lampshaded in Darker Than Black, when a powerful gravity controlling Contractor is easily dispatched within seconds of his appearance.
  • In High School D×D, once Issei becomes a lot stronger than before, he gets hit with this trope seeing as his strength is pretty much him being able to dish out a lot of damage to his opponents. However, he notes that if he can't even hit them then what's the point.
  • Raoh from Fist of the North Star may not not be as skilled with Hokuto Shinken as his younger brothers Kenshiro or Toki, but he makes up for it with his imposing physique, immense strength, potent fighting spirit, and monstrous willpower.
  • Lampshaded in Heaven's Lost Property. Astraea is physically the strongest of the Angeloids, but she's a complete idiot. While this prevents her from using her strength to its full potential, Daedalus points out that "The reason I didn't give her any processing power...is because she doesn't need any." Astraea has acknowledged that she can't beat Ikaros in a straight fight because Ikaros' power approaches hers and she's a well-rounded fighter.
  • The Toguro Brothers from YuYu Hakusho. He isn't unskilled, being well-versed in martial arts before his turn to evil, but by the present story's time the older has gotten lazy and relies on his broken shapeshifting and regeneration powers, while the younger has decided to to rely only on his enormous strength.
  • Suzaku Kururugi in Code Geass. He's had combat training his entire life, so on foot he doesn't apply. In a Knightmare, however, he's a complete newbie whose natural abilities and advanced Knightmare allow him to dominate most opponents. This is most obvious when he faces off against Kallen, who is both skilled and strong with plenty of piloting experience; Suzaku only ever wins against her when he has a distinct advantage (or when luck intervenes).
  • Shurato Hidaka from Tenkuu Senki Shurato has lots of raw power but lacks the proper training, as he was trained in martial arts on Earth but that doesn't exactly help him to control his Sohma.
  • The Fleet of Fog from Arpeggio of Blue Steel have this opinion of themselves, reckoning that when humanity manages to close the tech gap on their Game Breaker weapons, mankind's tactical and strategic skill will dominate them.
  • Played with in Sword Art Online with Kirito. He becomes one of the most powerful and skilled players in Sword Art Online in the series first arc. Once that's done, Kirito moves on to another game, ALFheim Online, he discovers nearly all the compatible stats and abilities he had in SAO have carried over to ALO. As a result, he starts out with a high amount of fighting power, but needs instruction on the game's more basic elements such as flying and (especially) landing.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! Tenth Anniversary Movie, Paradox has an incredibly broken deck, but he has the dueling skills of an amateur, making several mistakes. Still, he would have easily beaten the heroes if they hadn't been dueling as a team.
  • Connie from Attack on Titan has top marks for "Speed" but is only average in "Agility" according to the manual. The boy is fast but not as skilled as Jean or Mikasa at directing that speed to where he wants to go.
    • Arguably, all the normal titans are this. They have very little intelligence but their massive size does a lot of damage.
    • Eren is like this at first when he discovers his Titan-Shifting powers. The other Titan-Shifters all have unique abilities and fight smart, while Eren tended to just smash everything in his path. When he fights Reiner and remembers his training with Annie, he gets better.
  • Magi – Labyrinth of Magic has this apply to both Alibaba and Aladdin, at least at first. As a Magi, Aladdin has a massive supply of Magoi, but next to no idea how to use it other than instinctively shielding himself. Alibaba had a incredibly powerful Djinn Metal Vessel but ran into problems with focusing and truly utilizing that power like most Metal Vessel users could. They both grow out of it.
  • In Date A Live, the Spirits all have incredible strength, speed, and other attributes, but most of them don't have any martial training (Tohka admits that they just sort of pop into existence and have no real memories). Thus, they tend to get curb-stomped if they fight someone with a similar power level but superior skills.
  • InuYasha: The title character is a prime example. Word of God explains that instead of using techniques and tactics, Inuyasha wins simply with raw power and instinct: Despite the Tessaiga's many abilities, Inuyasha's typical approach to battle is charging head-on with his sword raised high, screaming like a maniac, and either hammering his opponents with the blade or spamming his Sword Beam. His actual sword strikes are either overhead swings or horizontal slashes that often miss their mark, making him an easily predictable opponent and allowing his opponents to exploit holes in his attacks. If he ever gets his ass kicked, this is usually why; in fact, his recklessness is why Goshinki was able to break Tessaiga in the first place.
  • Many of the Apostles from Berserk are this, since they're so strong and fast compared to a normal human. Compared to them, Guts is Weak, but Skilled.
  • Saitama from One Punch Man personally invokes this. He's so powerful compared everyone else that he doesn't need any skills.
  • Hellsing's earlier vampires, like the transformed couple and the Valentine brothers, rely primarily on their newfound enhanced strength and enhanced speed, with the more powerful abilities like enhanced regeneration, familiars, and becoming smoke unavailable. This comes back to bite them when they go up agianst Alucard, who aside from being clearly stronger, faster, and capable of taking more hits than anything else, has over five centuries of fighting experience.
  • Chihayafuru: Chihaya starts this way, having a very good ear and extremely fast reflexes but basically no understanding of strategy or any other way to play the game. Once Dr. Harada tells her to stop relying on that to win, she goes through a Heroic BSOD for a while worrying that she's not a good player, but she then starts to pay close attention to other techniques her opponents use, and after a while her ability to take on new techniques ends up becoming one of her greatest strengths.

     Comic Books 
  • Hulk "SMASH!" Possibly the definitive in strong but unskilled; who needs skill when you can lift mountains?
    • This was also subverted in the Planet Hulk arc where Hulk is marooned on the harsh planet Sakaar and finds himself weaker then he'd normally be on Earth due to unexplained environmental differences. Press ganged into becoming a gladiator, Hulk is forced to develop sufficient skills to survive and claw his way to the top. As a result, by the time the arc ends Hulk has not only gained some combat skills but is even stronger and smarter then he was before. And also really, really mad at the people who shot him into space in the first place. And then Jeph Loeb decided to turn him back into Dumb Muscle just because.
    • Hulk's skill level fluctuates almost as much as his strength. His strength is dependent on how angry he is, while his skill level is largely dependent on which of his many Multiple Personalities is active at the moment.
    • In addition to his strength, the Hulk is often shown making up for his relative lack of skill with raw pragmatism. More particularly, while he's not exactly known for his finesse, the Hulk has gained a tremendous amount of experience in knowing just how to use his strength for best effect, including against those enemies he can't just smash.
  • Whenever there is a Batman / Superman face off then Bats is the Weak, but Skilled, with Supes this trope.
    • Superman is often subject to this. Other writers recall just how much time he has spent fighting other superpowered beings as strong or even stronger than he is, and decide he would probably be long dead if he charged at them all the time. This was spelled out with a fight between Superman and Ultraman, where Superman squashed him because Ultraman's method of killing his enemies as soon as he could (as well as presumably sending out his minions) meant that he got very little practice fighting beings on his level.
    • Many of his enemies who face him with brute force usually fight like this, such as Grundy and Doomsday.
  • Most of the Gauls in Astérix have shades of this, but Obelix is the only true example. Due to being permanently superpowered, he hasn't even had the benefit of unpowered combat training the others had. This is demonstrated abundantly in the (non-canon) comic The Twelve Tasks of Asterix, where one of the trials pits him and Obelix against a Germanic Judo-master. Obelix's attempts to smash through him with brute force are effortlessly redirected, and he quickly proves entirely unable to hurt the little man. Fortunately, Asterix is there to effectively talk the man into submission... or, rather, distract him with talk and an interest in the man's fighting style that gets the poor German to give Asterix instructions and allow himself to be used as a training dummy, realising he's helped Asterix subdue him only after having his arms and legs tied into knots.
  • Galactus, at least in "Top Trumps". Super high stats in everything but weapon Skill. He doesn't seem to have much technique other than draining the enemy to death, but when you eat planets...
    • Marvel handbooks gives most of cosmic beings like Eternity or Death maximal stats at everything except fighting skills.
  • Lampshaded in Ultimate Spider-Man, when Peter complains that he's been just getting by on luck and his natural strength and speed, so Mary Jane suggests he take martial arts. In the first 100 comics of the series, there's a surprising number of times where he actually gets the crap kicked out of him.
    • Word of God indicates that Peter was in fact very skilled at using his powers and at fighting, especially towards the latter half of his career. It's specified that his successor Miles Morales is drawn much clumsier in order to contrast the two.
    • Miles himself is also a subversion; the above would imply that Miles is this, but it's made clear early on that between the two, despite being smaller and younger, it is Miles who is the soldier and the fighter. As such, while he appears to be clumsier and unrefined, Miles has proven to be very good at taking down multiple threats simultaneously and combining strength, speed, webs, and agility to overwhelm gross odds. As such, his poor form doesn't stop him from being skilled. Keeping in mind that his Spider-Sense appears to be atrophied, so he has to rely less on instinct than the average Spider-Man.
  • While The Plutonian often shows himself to be very intelligent and more then able to outwit his foes, when finally forced into combat with someone on his level of power he gets his ass kicked as he never needed to learn to fight.
    • Weirdly, this is Zig Zagged; in the last issue of his spin-off, Max Damage recounts a story of how he once lured the Plutonian (pre-Face-Heel Turn) into an area that nullified both their powers, assuming this trope would let him win because he had a backstory as a mundane and the Plutonian didn't... only to find that the Plutonian was entirely capable of fighting unpowered and getting his ass handed to him. Possibly Max is exaggerating for effect, or perhaps he's also Unskilled, but Strong himself.
  • The Juggernaut in X-Men
    • Psylocke after she becomes telekinetic. She can level mountains, but literally lacks the finesse to pick up a dime. Later, Hellion of the New X-men is shown to be similarly strong but unskilled in the use of his telekinesis.
    • Another X-Men example is Vulcan aka Gabriel Summers, the infamous third Summers brother and Big Bad of Deadly Genesis and War of Kings. He's an Omega-level energy manipulator, making him leagues more powerful than his brothers and arguably up there with Phoenix and Onslaught. And yet his his actual fighting style isn't anything to write home about and he ends up beaten more often than not by foes with less power but greater control.
    • Rachel Summers was this when she first became Phoenix. As Spiral put it when Freedom Force (the former Brotherhood of Evil Mutants turned government agents) tried to arrest the X-Men, "So much power. So little skill." Fortunately, Rachel was a quick study.
  • The vampire Cassidy from Preacher. He's shown ripping people apart for most of the series but in the final arc Jesse is able to Curb Stomp him because, as he puts it, he's so strong he never had to learn how to fight.
  • The Mighty has Alpha One who wasn't used to fighting others with his power level and just used his power.
  • At a party thrown by the Superhomeys in Empowered, Ninjette redirects Captain Havoc's super-strength punch with martial arts, and throws him to the floor. Offscreen sound effects and dialog indicate she does it several more times, to the amusement of the other heroes. Ninjette later wonders why all super-strong heroes fight like "developmentally-disabled eight-year-olds."
  • This can describe nearly all the supers in The Boys. In general, this is what allows the titular Boys to go toe-to-toe with them, as the supes lack the training to utilize their powers effectively and efficiently. Even then, however, at a certain level, the difference in scale simply becomes too large for the tactical advantage to remain. As the Frenchman puts it, "fighting the Seven is like making war on the sun".
  • Marv from Sin City doesn't seem to need any fancy martial arts considering he can maul people with his bare hands. This is evident when he goes up against Kevin, the psychotic cannibal who, despite being smaller, is quite the skilled fighter.
  • This worked for a while for Zero in Ghost Rider 2099, until he met Coda, who defeated him with ease. Afterwards he notes that Zero could've been better if he didn't use his robot body like "a big hammer".
  • Prince Swagger in Super Pro K.O is a champion boxer who took up wrestling after the boxing world became too scared to face him. Wrestlers don't like fighting him either — not because he's 375 lbs. of solid muscle, but because he's awkward at best in the ring. His clumsiness and lack of agility cost him his front teeth in a match against rookie junior cruiserweight Joe Somiano.
  • Punch Drunk has detective Mick Brown repeatedly run afoul of a massive criminal strongarm he affectionately dubs "the Big Lug." When things finally get physical between them, Mick notes in narration that big enforcer types like the Lug rarely have much (if any) fighting experience; usually when they hit a guy he's already helpless, and they don't get into fights in the first place because not many people are brave enough to step to someone their size.
  • Molly and Klara from the Runaways. The former is a practically a living Worf Effect with super-strength, while the latter is a plant controller who can create small forests in seconds. Neither has much combat training or even education, and they tend to be liabilities in battles with multiple hostiles.
  • Paperinik New Adventures examples:
    • the Raider is this, relying on his strength and his hand blasts in combat. He makes up by being really strong, Made of Iron, and a Combat Pragmatist ready to use his Time Machine to have another Raider show up behind you or make sure you can't even show up at the fight because he sicked the police on you;
    • Korinna and Juniper Ducklair have immense psychic powers but little knowledge on how to use them, resulting in their more skilled father Everett holding his own against Korinna in psychic combat without even using his knowledge of magic or his martial arts skills (as he wasn't trying to overpower her but to convince her to stand down);
    • Subverted with Trauma: at first he only fights with brute strength and his Psychic Powers, but when Paperinik shows up with a Powered Armor strong enough to fight on his level and shield him from his powers he shows that his military training included hand-to-hand combat. His inferior mass-produced copies rely only on brute strength and their psychic powers, and when Paperinik shows up with a suit that shields him from their power they go down hard;
    • Subverted again with Xadhoom: when we first see her she annihilates a team of Evronian warriors with the sheer might of her god-like powers, but she quickly reveals she has used a type of energy that only kills Evronians (it still hurts like hell, and can make non-Evronians faint) and has little effect on inanimated objects to avoid collateral damage, and in fact even surviving having her powers requires developing the skills fast (and having the necessary self-control to live long enough). Subsequent appearances prove she's extremely skilled, even more than she knows, and that her skills are growing with experience.

     Fan Works 
  • All of the four in With Strings Attached. Because they're Actual Pacifists, they have no intention of getting more skilled with the combat aspects of their magic, though they love figuring out new things to do with it.
  • Discord in the Pony POV Series is stated to be possibly the fifth most powerful being in creation due to exploiting Cannibalism Superpower and eating two of his family members for power, but because of his near unlimited power, he never bothered learning hand to hand combat. While he's very creative and skilled with his Reality Warper powers, his hand to hand combat abilities are lacking. This resulted in the Paradise Estate Ponies managing to defeat him, as their Spike (an adult dragon and judging by how he acted, a Genius Bruiser) could overpower him in melee combat.
  • The Immortal Game: During their final duel, Twilight notes that Titan seems to have only the most basic level of blade training, and figures he never bothered to learn more complex techniques due to having just so much more sheer power than anybody else. Since Twilight, by this point, has become an alicorn herself and has advanced skills in bladecasting, she's more than an even match for him.
  • Magical Pony Lyrical Twilight: Celestia has more raw power than even Luna with the Tome of the Night Sky but less combat finesse. Particularly visible in the flashback to the Celestia vs Nightmare Moon fight where Celestia was nearly tapped out using her power statically whereas her foe had hardly broken a sweat despite staying mobile and using various multi-front attacks.
  • XCOM Second Contact: For all their raw power, the Ogres have no finesse, which allows Wrex to beat them by fighting smart.
  • The author of the Facing The Future Series applied this to Vlad Plasmius stating that since he's powerful and a skilled manipulator, he's not used to knock-down-drag-out fights like Danny is. This gives him a serious disadvantage when on the other end of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown at the hands of powerful characters like Clockwork and Dark Danny.
  • In Pages Of Harmony, Fluttershy has a case of this when Kindness is extracted from her. She has had no training in any sort of combat, with only experience of the false memories from Twilight's Mind Rape techniques to guide her, she is still able to show quite a bit of strength, in part thanks to the magic and injections Twilight used to keep her alive. She becomes so strong that she tears her former pets to pieces, and engages in a battle with Twilight, but her wild punches and Unstoppable Rage are what do her in, having no real strategy and Twilight managing to use her magic just right to properly beat her.
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures and W.I.T.C.H. crossover fanfic Kage (part of Project Dark Jade), Elyon is said to fit this, as her brother only taught her how to tap into her full raw power, not how to control it. To be fair though, all the previous bearers of her power are said to have at least a little trouble with it (the fact that they react to her emotions, with anger making them both more powerful and harder to control doesn't help much).
    • Because she flipped out and nearly killed Jade early on, she's started getting trained in properly using them by the Oracle, so the trope is in the process of being subverted.
  • In the The Legend of Zelda fic Blood and Spirit, Sheik notes that Link lacks skill, but has potential, and describes him as "all impulse and reaction instead of thought and action." She even asks Link how he managed to beat Demise in the first place with how he fights.
  • In Mass Effect Human Revolution, Adam Jensen is this in a way. Adam's more of a brawler, relying instead on methodical Awesomeness by Analysis to dissect an opponent's style before committing, but has no formal melee weapons training. On Caleston, he needs to think outside the box to defeat Leon and was dead man walking against Caim. On Ilium, Toombs nearly beat him. On Noveria, Jules's skill prevents him from getting the time needed to plan a counter. The Warrior calls him out on his overreliance on his augs in chapter 31, Calling Back to the boss fights against the Tyrants where that failed him.
  • Naruto in Trolling the League considers both Superman and Supergirl this, going so far as to say that without his invulnerability, Superman would regularly break his wrists with the way he punches. Though Naruto does give Supergirl some fighting lessons.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness: When she comes to Earth from Heaven in Acts V and VI, Arial Kuyumaya is still technically dead and thus does not have the limitations of a living body; thus, there is no limit to how much ice she can produce at once. However, she's a poor fighter; in Act VI chapter 8, she catches Mizore by surprise and beats her in a fight, but come chapter 17, Mizore's superior fighting skills and technique ultimately allow Mizore to come out on top.
  • In Hail To The King: A dead man is reborn in the body of King Sombra. He gains Sombra's raw power, but lacks the means to use it properly. This causes him problems multiple times. When he tries to dismantle a crystal wall, thinking that is what is scaring all the crystal ponies, he blows it up, raining large crystals down on the city and making it seem like he was trying to attack them. When Not!Sombra is confronted by Shining Armor, he is easily subdued by a well trained soldier. And when he tries to escape, he has no problem blowing up a prison wall and destroying a collar, but he can't use his power to escape from Shining's and Cadence's shield, which requires certain skill.
  • In the The More Things Change Series, Ron's Mystical Monkey Power gives him ninja-like moves, but he mostly uses it for Super Strength.
  • In A Drop Of Poison, Naruto's poor chakra control and massive reserves show through when he and his clones can cross entire countries in a couple hours via Kawarimi (Substitution) to locations up to 8 kilometers away and can switch with air, the former considered impossible and the latter insanely difficult. Naruto spends months working his way down on both how many clones he makes and how far he travels with Kawarimi.

  • Mongo in Blazing Saddles is a bit slow, but can take out a horse in one punch.
  • Michael Corvin in Underworld may be the strongest hybrid monster in that universe, second only to his daughter. However, he lacks any real combat training; when he battled Viktor during the climax of the first film, he initially had the upper hand, but Viktor's centuries of combat experience ultimately turned the tables. While not nearly as strong, Selene isn't exactly a wuss herself. However, she is his foil in the form of Weak, but Skilled. Her centuries of training has made her practically invincible.
    • Their daughter Eve is a young girl with no training whatsoever. She's also a hybrid of vampire, werewolf, and immortal who can tear a full-grown werewolf in half.
  • Obadiah Stane from Iron Man. His Iron Monger armor is a bipedal tank, but he is dependent on his engineers to help him keep up with Tony.
  • A Knight's Tale: Count Adhemar on the protagonist: "No style whatsoever... neither has an anvil."
  • In The Matrix, while the other characters use a variety of styles and moves, the Agents pretty much just punch and dodge, relying on their superhuman strength and speed. Discussed here. Nonetheless, it seems to suffice, as Morpheus states that, until Neo came along, every Zion rebel who stood his/her ground against an Agent ended up dead.
  • In Talvisota, the Soviet army invading Finland is overwhelmingly powerful, but instead of pressing its advantage it just kind of flails, once even stopping its own breakthrough by accidentally shelling its advance. Conversely, the defending Finns aren't Weak, but Skilled but just weak, and fail their counterattacks just as badly.
  • Fezzik from The Princess Bride just happens to be "the biggest and the strongest", and is almost apologetic about the fact that he doesn't even need to exercise to be able to defeat anybody in a fight.
  • Man of Steel: In a sense. Superman does not have the years of combat experience of the other Kryptonians, but he has lived on Earth his entire life and had a far greater amount of time to develop and control his own powers. Hence, while they are better fighters than he is, they are objectively weaker. That said, he is also more creative about applying his powers and quicker on the draw with them.
  • The Powerpuff Girls Movie has the girls, upon their creation, obviously capable of furnishing their bedroom and making sandwiches. But they're not sure—or are oblivious—exactly as to what their powers entail, so their game of tag trashes the city. It's only after they become pariahs in the eyes of Townsville and when Mojo Jojo threatens the Professor do the girls realize what their powers are for and how to use them.
  • Spider-Man 3: The New Goblin aka Harry Osbourne has all the same enhanced strength and gadget upgrades the original one had which allows him to take Peter by surprise. However his lack of experience as a villain means that in their second fight, Peter pummels him with relative ease.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, The Red Skull is a genius tactician and scientist, and strong and fast enough to trade blows with Captain America, but his hand-to-hand combat skills are a bit lacking.
  • In a weird way, the Stormtroopers going against the Ewoks can be considered this in Return of the Jedi. Ewoks aren't just tiny, they also come from a low-G world so they're extra weak. The Stormtroopers should have been like John Carter the Warlord of Mars and punting Ewoks into orbit. Instead, the Stormtroopers turn out to be even worse at melee than they are at shooting and were only keeping their heads above water against unarmed Ewoks in a fistfight. So when Ewoks started breaking out the rocks, the Stormtroopers were doomed!

  • The Elenium by David Eddings has Otha. Given tremendous power by the dark god Azash, but an absolute idiot when it comes to actually applying that power. Most ably demonstrated when a horde of undead guards raised by Otha proves ridiculously easy to walk around because they're set to guard specific cobbles of the street and nothing else. Mostly for their amusement the protagonists push one of them into the other, and watch the domino effect cause the entire squad to turn on itself, since Otha also didn't consider friendly fire.
  • Garion, the hero of the Belgariad also by David Eddings. Garion is rather startled to find out he has more natural power at age 15 than most centuries-old sorcerers do. It would be a Mary Sue, but Garion is the first to admit he doesn't have enough understanding of the forces involved, so he tends to leave that sort of thing to his Mentors.
  • Victor Sells/The Shadowman from The Dresden Files is at least as strong a magical talent as the title character, particularly when powered up by the storms he draws on, but because he has little formal magical training he makes some sloppy errors that Harry is able to exploit, and can't think of creative methods to deal with Harry beyond "smash harder", while Harry, crippled by being unable to kill with magic, outwits him easily.
    • Harry Dresden himself views himself this way, though as a full-fledged wizard he's got a lot more subtle skill than the average warlock or sorcerer off the street, and he gets better as the books go on. He thinks around problems, as opposed to through them.
    • Harry also has this opinion of Maeve in Summer Knight, though others suggest that this may have been Obfuscating Stupidity on Maeve's part. She's also a bit of a showoff. She likes the attention that flashy magic generates.
  • Richard Rahl from Sword of Truth was a pretty strong guy before acquiring the eponymous weapon. For most of the first book, he relies on the sword's ability to cut through pretty much anything and his ability to hit things really hard. Once he really learns how to use it, he becomes Master Swordsman (and the magic doesn't hurt, either).
  • The Titans from The Death Gate Cycle - huge golems created by the Sartans in the World of Fire to serve as simple workers. The Sartans gave them access to the most basic level of magic, in order to help with their work - the kind of spells a 4-years-old Sartan child could weave. But they made the mistake of granting them enormous, primal power to back it up with. Thus, when the titans inevitably got Turned Against Their Masters, they proved to be quite dangerous to the Weak, but Skilled Spartans. (Oh yeah, and they're huge, Nigh Invulnerable giants, so there's that too.)
  • In a weird way, Harry Potter. He has the raw power to produce a solid, stable patronus at 13, and is able to access a fairly large reservoir of magical power (enough to face down Death Eaters and Voldemort when he's 17). However, he is continuously outclassed by Hermione, who is incredibly skilled, and any other wizard or witch who doesn't just rely on raw power for their magic.
    • Harry ends up inverting this, in a sense, as he's a supremely skilled duelist. Interestingly, dueling isn't even mentioned as one of his skills until the fifth book, at which point it becomes clear that we've watched him live the past four years on his wits and creative uses of magic. While Hermione is capable of far more advanced magic, Harry is very good at managing pitched battles and out-hexing wizards with access to powerful dark magic through good aim, honed reflexes, and an ability to take advantage of his environment. So yeah, "in a weird way". The movies also show Harry at being extremely good at pulling up combat spells quickly, so he definitely skilled at casting spells.
    • Hagrid. He never finished his studies at Hogwarts due to being expelled, but makes up for it by being a walking tank. Who happens to be rather resilient to magic. However, it's nonetheless shown that he's a good hand-to-hand fighter.
    • On the other hand, Hagrid can do basic magic with the broken pieces of his wand hidden in an umbrella. Ollivander himself couldn't fix a wand that thoroughly broken; Ron Weasley was more apt to injure himself when his wand was broken, and Harry wasn't nearly as effective with an unmastered wand. In his own way, Hagrid is a very skilled wizard, just lacking formal education.
  • Caelan, from the Skulduggery Pleasant series. As a vampire, he has superhuman strength, agility and stamina, but absolutely no idea how to use them in a fight. His primary tactic appears to be "leap at anything threatening Valkyrie, with palms outstretched and shouting to attract attention". Given that the world is full of much older and more powerful vampires who can fight, ordinary humans with magic and/or martial arts skills, and, you know, guns! It's pretty stupid.
    • Really, the only reason he's alive is that other vampires aren't allowed to kill him, and every other threat is either too focussed on the main characters or simply considers him beneath their notice.
    • Admittedly, that's only in his human form, in his actual vampire form he's a lot stronger and faster, and seemingly immune to pain, and would have killed Valkyrie and Fletcher if he hadn't fallen off that pier.
  • In the Gaunt's Ghosts novel Only in Death, Eszrah ap Niht gets his hands on a power sword specifically, Gaunt's. It is an Absurdly Sharp Blade that brooks no resistance from most of the Chaos mooks, but he finds himself outclassed by a Chaos officer who actually knows swordfighting, though said Chaos officer was not wanting for strength either since he was using an Eviscerator.
  • The blonde giant in The Millennium Trilogy is freakishly strong and literally feels no pain, but he's a really terrible boxer. He never learned to fight properly because he didn't care about getting hit. Then again, given how strong he is and that he doesn't feel pain, it doesn't really matter.
  • This is how Vin starts off with her powers as a Mistborn in the heroic fantasy series of the same name. Under the tutelage of Kelsier, she undergoes Boxing Lessons for Superman and Takes A Level In Badass in the process. Possibly subverted, however, in that it rapidly becomes apparent that a Mistborn without some amount of proper training isn't that strong at all.
  • Furycrafters as a whole could be seen as this in Codex Alera. While Furycrafting has its own talents and skillsets to learn, what makes Tavi unique is that, due to a lack of serious Furycraft until late in the story, he ends up having to learn how to outwit enemies where his contemporaries would simply power through. When Tavi's powers finally do start to develop, he's able to apply his crafting in ways most wouldn't have considered as a result.
  • The Doctor in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe Eighth Doctor Adventures comes across like this. He seems to be stronger than most humans, but in a fight he's likely to do something clumsy and end up hurting himself as badly as he hurts his opponent, or just attempt some karate while making Funny Bruce Lee Noises.
  • Light And Dark The Awakening Of The Mageknight: Anthony prefers to mow down opponents with sheer strength. The narration notes that he's so strong this tactic works against opponents with greater skill.
  • Adventure Hunters: Lisa doesn't have Artorius' years of paladin training so instead she uses her Super Strength.
  • Blaise Andrieux from WildCards is this when he is discovered by his grandfather Dr. Tachyon: he has an extremely powerful mind control power, but is completely untrained. In Aces Abroad, at some time he is using a mild form on mind control on Tachyon to watch over him, but Tachyon uses his own considerable experience and advanced training in mentatics to easily reverse the link, take control of his grandson and turn his power on his allies.
  • The Last Dragon Chronicles: Agawin's got Fain and dragon helping him out, but he's still a twelve year-old. Sometimes...
  • Cord MaKiy from the ColSec Trilogy seems to have no unarmed combat skill beyond "slug it until it falls over." But that said, if he manages to slug it, it usually falls over.
  • In the Honor Harrington book Honor Among Enemies this is how the bullying Steilman is described - never having to learn to fight because he's naturally big, strong and mean. After the New Meat he was picking on goes through some marine close combat training, the tables are quickly turned.
  • In The Chronicles of Amber, Amberites are globally that compared to Lords of Chaos. They can generally outmatch Chaosians in 1-on-1 fights and struggles, but most of them are very ignorant about the nature of the very power that gives them their might, which sometimes gives Chaos an edge. (The only exceptions are Brand and Fiona, who are clearly Weak, but Skilled).)
  • Dunk from George RR Martin's Tales of Dunk and Egg is tall and strong but has never had formal training in combat and horse riding, beyond what his master, Ser Arlan, taught him. His raw technique often gets the better of him in tourney fights with rules, but in a real fight, his raw strength gives him a sharp edge.
    • In the modern era, Ser Gregor the Mountain also fits into this. Although by no means a bad swordsman, his primary advantages are his inhuman strength, stamina, and reach; allowing him to be competitive with much more skilled fighters.
  • In The Twilight Reign series, there are a divinely blessed subspecies of humanity called white-eyes who are this. In terms of fighting, their superhuman strength and speed makes them almost unstoppable by most human opponents. But this leads to all but the most disciplined among them to neglect their training, so the top human swordsmen stand a surprisingly good chance of beating a white-eye. In terms of magic, a white-eye naturally has more magic power than a human wizard, so they can do feats of magic that beyond the intensity of anything a human wizard can hope to dream of doing. However white-eyes lack a human wizard's versatility and seldom do anything but learn how to blast an enemy with magic
  • Invoked in Gossamer Axe. Chairiste ni Cummen, despite swiping his best harp during her escape from the Sidhe and keeping herself young for centuries, could not defeat a master harper from a timeless realm who had nothing to do but refine his technique on his own terms even to rescue her lover. So she puts together a Heavy Metal band and when next they met she had a full concert setup (complete with amps).
  • Smorkus Flinders, part of the Big Bad Duumvirate of the Rod Albright Alien Adventures. It's noted that, as the physically biggest monster in Dimension X, the other monsters automatically deferred to him as their king. However, as a result, he's not a very good fighter; when an enlarged Rod fights him during the second book, Rod is able to hold his own thanks to his training with Tar Gibbons, but as he points out in the narration, Smorkus Flinders' sheer size and strength still allow him to pose a threat.

     Live Action TV 
  • On My Babysitter's a Vampire Three of the main characters are vampires, one is a magic user, and one is a seer yet none of them has much of any fighting skill or even knowledge on how to use their abilities more effectively. Needless to say fight scenes on this show are really poor.
  • Season 1 and 2 of Heroes has Peter Petrelli and Hiro Nakamura, the former a huge catalogue of power but wildly inept in use of them (at least until his power gets seriously downgraded and he starts using his head), the latter a manchild "master of time and space".
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel have quite a few examples:
    • "The Judge" from Buffy season 2. A Nigh Invulnerable demon who One Hit Kills from range. So used to curb-stomping entire armies and never having to worry about dodging or fighting beyond "point and kill it", that when Buffy uses a rocket launcher, he doesn't even know to dodge.
    • Glorificus/Glory, a powerful yet bratty Physical God that could tear apart buildings with her bare hands, but when Buffy used a weapon that could hurt her she was swiftly trashed.
    • In the 6th season of Buffy, the otherwise physically unremarkable Warren Mears temporarily became this thanks to some Applied Phlebotinum. In a fight with Buffy the far more skilled Slayer got in several punches and kicks to every blow Warren landed on her - but while he shrugged off her hits almost at once Buffy felt every one of his and was visibly tiring before she was able to destroy the source of his power.
    • Caleb from Season 7, as well as the Turok-Han (prior to the finale induced Villain Decay). Punch-for-Punch, Buffy is noticeably outclassed by both, serving as a potent reminder about the overconfidence the Slayer Strength may bring.
    • Angel's son, Connor, also fits the bill. In contrast to Buffy and Angel's more technical approach to fighting, Connor is shown relying more on brute force, hitting hard and fast and beating his opponents into submission. On one occasion, he actually lost to Angel when the latter had amnesia and was mentally a teenager fighting purely on instinct.
    • Marcus Hamilton of Angel season 5 has little more going for him than vast Super Strength, to the extent that he easily beats Illyria of all people to a bloody pulp; though, in all fairness, Illyria was not at full strength at the time. When Angel drinks his blood and gets a power boost from it during their fight, said boost, along with his fighting skills, let him take Hamilton down in less than a minute.
  • The Evil Queen / Regina from Once Upon a Time is the Manipulative Bastard version of this. She's not very smart, and completely Genre Blind. But she has tools to make up for that—in the fairy tale realm her army and her magic, in the real world she can cower everyone with her status as mayor. With her hate driving her, she uses these to plow through any obstacle in her path.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze protagonist Gentaro Kisaragi starts off like this, having no fighting skills when he straps on the belt and starts fighting Zodiarts. This puts him at a disadvantage when he comes up against more skilled opponents, like the Unicorn Zodiarts (a member of the school's fencing club) and Kamen Rider Meteor (a practitioner of Jeet Kun Do). Eventually he takes a level in badass thanks to some training from his homeroom teacher Haruka Uesugi, who's a talented kickboxer.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim: Micchy after he completes his Face-Heel Turn and becomes the second Zangetsu Shin, using his supposedly dead brother Takatora's Transformation Trinket. The heroes think the "white Armored Rider" has betrayed them until Oren observes that his fighting style isn't nearly as skillful and realizes that someone else must be using the suit. When Takatora comes back and fights Micchy using the original Zangetsu suit, his superior fighting skills allow him to outmatch Micchy despite Zangetsu Shin being much more powerful.
  • Merlin, especially in the earlier seasons. He has trouble enchanting a lance, but get him angry enough and he will blow you to bits with lightning. He's since gotten better.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: Ned challenges Loomer to a weightlifting contest. Ned spends most of the episode thinking there's no way he can win. His PE teacher points out that while Ned isn't stronger than Loomer, weightlifting is as much about technique as muscle. Indeed, Ned (who had been practicing) was able to lift his weight with great difficulty, while Loomer (who had assumed he would win without even trying) tipped over trying to lift his.
  • Smallville had this with Clark Kent in the first eight seasons. This was beautifully demonstrated in the third season opener where Clark was infected with red kryptonite and turned evil. To stop him, Jonathan Kent acquired temporary Kryptonian super powers and was clearly the superior fighter due to experience. Furthermore, in the sixth season opener where he took on General Zod, a trained soldier with years of combat experience, he ended up getting his ass kicked and had to rely on trickery to win. In the final two seasons, Clark picked up fighting skills and is able to hold his own against skilled fighters even without his powers.
  • In True Blood, vampires are Stronger with Age. An older vampire will always be stronger and faster than a younger one. However, Tara was able to defeat the older Jessica because Tara had been an MMA fighter as a human, while Jessica had no such training.
  • The Flash (2014), the titular character himself. Barry Allen gained powerful superspeed and healing abilities normally story-breaker powers. However, criminals will get the jump on him because he's an ordinary person unused to fighting and crime so he often gets blindsighted by sneak attacks, dirty tricks and traps. He's a foil to Oliver Queen who despite being a Badass Normal is ruthless and experienced enough to go toe-to-toe with him.

  • In the City vs Country Cricket matches of the olden days, the country teams (mainly farmers) had more power but less refined technique than their city opponents. The term agricultural shot or cow shot, meaning a full-blooded swing that will probably result in the batsman either hitting the ball out of the ground or getting out, is a relic of this.
  • Quite common in combat sports, most notably in boxing. Some prospects pick up the sport at the age where most fighters would already be pros, so they have to become pros themselves quickly if they want to have a long professional career, which means neglecting valuable training and experience. A notable example is Rocky Marciano, who was 20 years old when he started boxing while serving in the army, in 1946, and made his professional debut in the following year. He became the World Heavyweight Champion at 28 years of age and nobody managed to take the title away from him until he gave it up himself by retiring from boxing with the undefeated record of 49-0-0 (43 K Os).
  • In traditional sports (such as football, American Football, basketball, hockey, etc) teams will often take chances on "raw" prospects with a lot of athleticism and upside, but haven't played the sport for very long. The hope is that with proper coaching and development, the raw player will be able to unlock his potential.
    • Case in point: Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah, who was recently drafted 5th overall in the 2013 NFL draft. Has only played football for 3 years, but because he is 6'5" and nearly 300 pounds, while still being able to do things like run the 40 yard dash in 4 and a half seconds, do a 10 foot standing long jump, and have 3 foot vertical leap,(along with being very strong), a lot of teams were willing to spend a lot of money on signing and coaching him.
    • Averted in baseball, which even before the Moneyball/sabermetrics era (early 2000's) looked for players who had the "five tools." Those tools were: arm, running speed, hit for contact, hit for power, and fielding. A player's skill set was considered invaluable. Since the Moneyball era, raw athletic talent has been discounted as the ability to perform has risen in value, regardless of how the player was able to get those numbers. Notably, scouting agencies now look at stats which only real baseball eggheads will normally care about.

     Tabletop Games 
  • Barbarians fit this role in Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, compared to Fighters. Although they don't get as many feats (and, most pertinently, don't get the Greater Weapon Specialisation/Focus feats which make Fighters better with their Weapon of Choice) they get superhuman stat bonuses from their Rage ability.
    • Similarly there's the Sorcerer, who has natural spellcasting abilities and can cast more often, but are less skilled, and less capable of casting multiple types of spells, The same relationship exists between Favored Souls and Clerics.
  • The old Marvel Super-Heroes role-playing game actually quantified this. A "Fighting" score of Remarkable (30) generally indicated guys like Spider-Man and the Hulk, who had super-strength and clearly knew how to throw a punch, but had no real training. Guys like Thor and the Thing, who also had that natural ability but combined it with serious training, had higher scores.
  • In Mutants & Masterminds, buying attack bonus (how good you are at hitting) and attack damage is independent (meaning you can buy one but not the other), as is dodging vs. soaking. Furthermore, rules allow you to permanently lower your maximum in one of those scores to raise the maximum in its opposite. This allows you to create characters that can hit and dodge very well, but can't deal damage or take a punch. On the opposite side you can make these, who can soak tank shells and crush said tank with a single punch, but couldn't hit the broad side of a barn or dodge anything. Unfortunately, certain skills and feats, like Power Attack and Impervious, completely broke down this balance.
  • In Blood Bowl, this trope shows up a lot. Big Guy units like minotaurs and ogres have Str 5 which is essentially higher-end superhuman (Str 4 units are things like vampires, flesh golems and Chaos Warriors, while no human outside of heroes and those who lucked out on the level rolls have more than 3). But Big Guys are usually only capable of taking skills from the strength skill list, unless they come from a race capable of having mutations or fluke out and roll a double when choosing a new skill. Also some of the big inhuman races have lots of strength and high armor, so they can take a hit and win most shoving matches but these races typically lack any starting skills especially skills that influence ball-handling.
  • The best Normal Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh! are usually this trope. By raw stats, a Normal Monster will usually be the most powerful usable Monster of its level, but their lack of useful effects means that strategies with them tend to devolve into Attack! Attack! Attack! This gets taken further by the subgroup of Effect Monsters with even higher stats but horribly detrimental effects (hence the 'usable' signifier above). Skill Drain decks exploit this trope; since Skill Drain removes the, well, skills of all Monsters on the field, the traditional Effect-heavy Monsters lose all their power, while cards like Giant Kozaky and Fusilier Dragon have their detrimental effects knocked off. This then turns "Weak, but Skilled vs. Unskilled, but Strong" into simply "Weak vs. Strong."
  • Chandra Nalaar, a pyromancer Planeswalker from Magic: The Gathering, has incredible untapped magical power, but her lack of restraint and practice sets her back. How powerful is she? Nicol Bolas, a millenia-old chessmaster Elder Dragon with unmatched magical power and easily capable of creating and destroying entire worlds acknowledges her as very powerful.
  • In a sense, Azatoth from Arkham Horror. He's the hardest Eldritch Abomination to awaken and has no way to directly hinder your progress. The problem is that, with preparation and luck, you can defeat a Great Old One after it has been summoned. If Azatoth awakens, however, he immediately ends the game. And the entire world as well.

     Video Games 
  • A metafictional example of this is present in almost all video games with level-up systems. Endgame will have some Smash Mooks that, Statistically Speaking, could probably destroy a planet with a well placed punch due to their STR and may have a lot of HP...but they have no techniques other than variations on "hit the heroes", and AI scripts that border on Artificial Stupidity at best, thus: Unskilled, but Strong.
    • On the flipside, these games bring in players whose strategy consists largely of grinding experience or focusing their efforts on a single character until they're so absurdly overleveled that they can crush any opposition through sheer level advantage alone.
  • Computer controlled opponents in general are difficult to program, and are often made stronger and fasternote  to compensate for their tactical shortcomings.
  • In Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero, all Servants are supposed to have superhuman combat skills. Servants of The Berserker class don't, losing their fighting skills as a part of being The Berserker, but they gain massive power boosts in return. Berserker in Fate/stay night is so fast and so strong that actual fighting techniques are near worthless against him, as all the fancy parries and stances in the world won't help against someone who strikes faster than you can react and shatter your weapon with a single blow. And that's before you consider the fact that he's nearly immune to normal attacks, has twelve lives, and becomes immune to any attack after it kills him.
    • Gilgamesh is canonically the most powerful Servant in the franchise due to his insane Noble Phantasm, but his solution to practically everything is 'kill at range with extreme prejudice before it can touch me'. He's only ever engaged in a melee twice; the first time was when he wanted to simply toy with a foe too badly injured to put up a good fight, and the second time was when that same foe managed to circumvent his Noble Phantasm and force him into melee, a situation that leads to him put on the defensive and humiliated.
    • In Fate/Zero Servant Berserker averts this trope, as his ability Eternal Arms Mastership lets him retain his fighting skills despite being mad. This renders him an utter terror in melee.
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow has Julius Belmont. He can't use magic (even though he should be able to, considering some of his ancestors, but whatever), which is necessary to break through sealed and permanently destroy boss enemies (if you don't, they will regenerate). He gets through the castle through equal parts his Ancestral Weapon and pure awesome. This winds up Gameplay and Story Segregation though, as one bonus mode places the player in control of Julius, the game is much harder (Normal Soma mode can be beaten mostly through brute force and healing items, but Julius can't pause the game and thus can't open the inventory), and while the seal doesn't need to be drawn, the game shows the sealing animation (though with the expected sequence, Julius is joined by a mage early on).
  • Marisa Kirisame of Touhou is perplexingly both Unskilled, but Strong and Weak, but Skilled. She lacks any inherent abilities and can only fight as well as she does by studying really hard, but 90% of that study is purely towards making bigger explosions, lacking the finesse and control of other Magicians (most notably Patchouli) and relying on Master Sparking her opponents into oblivion.
    • A straighter example is Utsuho. Not really brought up in the text, but very apparent in the fight (while Marisa fights more or less the same way as everyone else). Subterranean Animism consists almost entirely of gimmick patterns. Except for Utsuho. Her patterns are quite straightforward, making up for that by way of having the largest bullets in the series, and spamming them. Furthermore, while most stage 6 bosses are all about variety, Utsuho sticks with what she does best, not even changing up her nonspells.
  • Flak and Jugger from the Advance Wars games. As this is a strategy game, this translates into a higher range of variance: it's possible for their units' attacks to hit much harder than other COs', but it's equally possible for them to be much weaker.
  • Compared to the rest of the cast from his game, Q in Street Fighter III flails wildly and throws very telegraphed punches... But when he does hit, it hurts.
    • Birdie from Street Fighter and Street Fighter Alpha. No training, no technique, and no championship titles to his name. Just raw power and a lot of experience in the rough parts of England.
  • In Iji, Iosa the Invincible has Deflector Shields that are immune to all weapons and fast, powerful attacks... that are widely telegraphed, allowing a quick dodge and retaliation.
  • The Heavy Handed Trait in Fallout gives you more unarmed damage, but lower critical hit damage. Worth noting is that the Fallout universe correlates critical hits with finesse.
    • Likewise, the Gifted Trait increases all of your primary stats while reducing both your skill levels and the rate that they improve.
  • While not superpowered, dancers and yoga instructors in Liberal Crime Squad have the highest physical stats of all professions, even surpassing soldiers and agents. They tend to not have any combat skill.
  • Tekken gives us Miguel Caballero Rojo, a Spaniard who enters a world fighting tournament with nothing but the ability to swing his legs around and throw haymaker punches as his only training. No one should dare underestimate him.
  • Mario Golf has the characters vary between this and Weak, but Skilled. People who fall into this category include Mario (who would usually fall into Jack of All Stats in other titles), Daisy (GC), Donkey Kong, Bowser, Harry (N64), Shadow Mario (GC), Metal Mario (N64), and Petey Piranha (GC).
    • Bowser is this in the Mario & Luigi RPGs. The only attacks he knows is punch things really hard, breathe fire and punch things even harder. He's good at directing his minions, though.
  • BlazBlue has three examples:
    • Makoto Nanaya, being a beastkin, has monstrous strength and durability, being able to knock her target across the room, make one huge impact crater on the go, and she can just lift her friend just fine on a dead sprintnote  (with her Impact tonfas magnifying her already extreme strength), but her fighting style involves nothing but punching, with some Energy Ball dropping to go and some Doppelgänger Spin. In-story, her Ars Magus aptitude is average, meaning that Utility Ars and aforementioned Energy Ball are her everyday techniques.
    • There's also the protagonist, Ragna the Bloodedge. He's a partial example in that he has received formal training, but only in the basics of Ars Magus. Beyond that, he just really muscles his way through the opposition and uses the eponymous Blazbue should the going get really tough. With the power of the Blazblue, he has become the most wanted man in the world by the government and very few individuals in the series come close to his power. However, Ragna tends to get overwhelmed when he doesn't have access to his powers, which a lot of characters can negate. This also extends to gameplay as he's a Glass Cannon, which means attacking and doing as much as possible is pretty much the best way to play him.
      • In Chronophantasma, Ragna loses ability to use the Azure and by extension, the use of his right arm and eye, helping him realize that he should fight using his own strength and skills without relying on the Azure. While he does spend most of the game tossed around by characters who are either better skilled and/or stronger than him such as Kagura, Jin, and Azrael due the handicap, he becomes a much more efficient fighter when he regains the use of his limbs and sight, and even defeats Nu in the True Ending without using the Azure, something he was never able to do prior.
    • Taokaka, compared to all of the characters, has zero fighting style compared to the rest of the cast, instead relying on her inborn instincts. Although she is still able to utilize seithr according to Kokonoe and Litchi, it's natural and without formal education as to how. This also extends to gameplay as she's a Fragile Speedster, which means Hit-and-Run Tactics are pretty much the best way to play her.
    • Azrael is a subversion of the trope. At first glance, he seems to fit the mold, with his fighting style consisting of wild hook punches, haymakers, and an occasional kick. Kaqura even notes that he mainly just throws his power around. But he is actually more skilled than he lets on as one of his Distortion Drives, Scud Punishment, has him doing what looks to be targeting an enemy's pressure point. He also serves in one of the tutorials and teaches the player how to confuse opponents with mind games.
  • Kingdom Hearts
    • Sora himself. Having never served under a Keyblade master, Sora has had no formal training in wielding the Keyblade up until Dream Drop Distance, but he makes up for it with tremendous willpower and strength of heart. It also helps that he has Donald and Goofy by his side to aid him.
    • Julius as he appears in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance uses only punches, body slams, and charges for his attacks. However, the fact that he's a Bonus Boss in a Kingdom Hearts game should give you a good idea about how tough he is.
  • Fire Emblem: The Fighter and Warrior classes are the embodiment of this trope, with loads of raw strength and HP but poor speed and skill. This is further perpetuated in their battle animations, where half of the time they're practically stumbling over themselves. The fighter's axe and warrior's bow criticals, for example, consist of nothing more than the unit flailing his weapon around uselessly before attacking.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha As Portable: The Gears of Destiny, this is Levi the Slasher's main problem. As the Material of Power, she's ridiculously strong, but since she's a Boisterous Bruiser Dumb Muscle who generally goes Attack! Attack! Attack!, she tends to get trounced by Weak, but Skilled characters like Chrono.
  • Many Pokémon attacks deal a lot of damage and have an accuracy rate of 70% or lower.
    • Many wild Pokemon, particularly the legendaries embody this. Later on wild Pokemon can have higher levels and stats than pokemon from trainers in the same area, but lack attacks outside their type and don't benefit from effort values. Legendaries can sweep an entire team if approached carelessly but often times only have one or two attacks despite high level.
  • The new Dante in Dm C Devil May Cry has a fighting style with heavy swings and haymaker punches. His fighting style could be described as Good Old Fisticuffs with weapons. This contrasts with classic Dante who was a savant with weapons he just acquired, and never had the skills before he got the weapons.
    • In the original games Nero was this to Dante. He only had one style and weapon compared to Dante's small armory. His weapon could increase in power and range and his charged gunshots are a marked contrast, Nero's remain single shot, explode at higher levels and the recoil forces Nero to be at a dead stop to use while Dante fires more charged bullets while still remaining mobile. Nero relies on the power of his Devil Bringer while Dante cycles between completely different styles.
  • In Asura's Wrath, Asura himself is not a very subtle or tactical fighter. He frequently charges headlong into things and smashes them with insane, brute force, relying on his Unstoppable Rage to fuel him. And more often than not, this works against even much more skilled opponents. His traditional rival and friend Yasha is the only one capable of beating him with skill over brute force. Later on, Asura has to become more skilled and less reliant on brute force when he meets an enemy he can't beat with screaming and punching as hard as he can. namely, Chakravartin, who is effectively God. Which kind of says something about how far rage and strength takes him when he only really needs to adapt and fight skillfully against God Himself.
  • From Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance gives us Senator Armstrong after activating his nanomachines. Strong enough to make Metal Gears explode with his bare hands, and tough enough to shrug off anything you can throw at him. The first two phases of his boss fight reflect this quite well, as Raiden, who at this point is a nigh-unstoppable Lightning Bruiser, can only do scratch damage at best. Yet for all his overwhelming power he boasts none of the fighting skill his time in the Navy could have given him, and once Raiden obtains the Murasama, his superior skill, speed and reflexes win over Armstrong's physical might.
  • Endgame opponents in World of Warcraft's pet battle system fall into this. They use Epic- and even Legendary-quality pets, while the player (currently, at least) only has access to Superior-quality pets at best, meaning these NPC have pets with stat totals much higher than anything players can get ahold of. However, these opponents also attack in set patterns, meaning savvy players with the right pets and timing can walk all over them with minimal fuss. For example, Courageous Yon can be real trouble for unprepared players, but a player who knows the fight can send in an Anubisath Idol, solo the entire fight with it, and have it walk away with more health than it started with.
    • Other opponents have pets that heal themselves, but at specific points, whether or not they've actually taken any damage, thus wasting their cooldown. Others use a Damage Over Time spell with no cooldown on one turn, then skip the next couple turns for their other abilities to become available, even if the player had blocked said Damage Over Time ability and they're perfectly capable of trying it again.
  • Milla Maxwell of Tales of Xillia. At the beginning of the game, she has no real skills with magic or weapons, but thanks to her connection with the Four Great Spirits, she's probably way stronger than most people in the world. After being Brought Down to Normal after the first dungeon, she takes up swordsmanship lessons from Alvin, proving to be an Instant Expert with the sword, as well as instinctively learning all of her Spirit Artes.
  • Zant from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a clear example of this trope. Upon meeting Ganondorf, Zant gains tremendous magical power, bordering on Reality Warper level. However, as his boss fight shows, he has absolutely zero technique in using it in combat. His main fighting strategy is to basically fire energy bolts at things or grow to tremendous size and stomp on it. His sword skills, if anything, are even worse and basically boils down to a crude, haphazard mix of Teleport Spam and wild flailing. And the fact that he gets winded easily during battle suggest that he's not really used to fighting.
  • Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe: While fighting Kano, Deathstroke tells him that, while he's not that bad of a fighter, he "lacks discipline."

  • As the above quote explains, this was the fatal flaw of the El Goonish Shive Big Bad Damien.
    • Grace herself falls into this, as well, as she defeats Damien solely because of her Berserk Button(Well, that, and her powerset was deliberately meant to counter his). This has since been discussed, and Grace started martial arts training.
  • The Order of the Stick: Xykon doesn't have the refined techniques of a wizard, and quite frankly doesn't want it. In his own words, the only two things a person needs are "Force in as great a concentration as you can manage, and style. And in a pinch, style can slide." However, you don't get to epic levels without a ton of practice.
    • It's also worth noting that Xykon is also dangerously clever and full of nasty tricks. That Unskilled, but Strong behavior isn't actually a lack of skill, it's Xykon being lazy.
  • Fighter in 8-Bit Theater is an absolute savant in swordplay, but it mostly comes from innate talent which he never bothered to improve upon. A personification of Sloth tries to get Fighter to realize the folly in this and rely as much on his mind as on his skill. Fighter kills Sloth with his swords because his brain told him that'd be faster.
  • Bob the Beholder in Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic isn't terribly bright and lacks finesse. He succeeds at his tasks in spite of this because he's... well, a beholder.
  • In Spinnerette the titular hero's spider strength is no match for a black belt in aikido. Which makes a lot of sense. Most martial arts are specifically meant to counter opponents that are stronger than you.
  • An arc of Tales of the Questor features a barely trained human lux-user who is far more powerful than most of the Racconnan's most skilled wizards, but lacks the restraint to do much besides make things explode.
  • Yeon in Tower of God is one of the most powerful Regulars in the series (per Word of God, in season 2 she is second only to Baam, who has the potential to be literally the most powerful character in the series) but has little to no control over her impressive pyrotechnics. Normally it's Played for Laughs (as with pretty much else involving her), but one rather dark scene involves her training by trying to light a candle...and literally hitting everything but the candle. It is hinted that there is a deeper reason to her lack of skill than just a lack of training.
    Yeon: Why...why can't I do it!?
  • Summer Mighty in Everyday Heroes. She's inherited her dad's Super Strength along with her own Eye Beams. But because she just wants to be normal she puts very little effort into learning to control her powers . She's called on this by Mr. Sharpley - who had earlier preempted a fight between Summer and his Alpha Bitch daughter, Angela (who knew Summer was super-powered) and was less than thrilled that Summer was about to enter such a fight with so little control.

    Web Original 
  • Captain Hammer of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog seems to get everywhere on his super strength (born with the ability to "bench press 500 pounds") and damage resistance (which is a lot in a world where the super villains we know of are 1: a Mad Scientist 2: a guy who can make things moist 3: a horse) and his plans are limited to "smash the device". The first time he gets hurt he runs away crying like a little girl.
    "OH GOD! Is this pain?! I think this is what pain feels like! MOMMY! SOMEONE MATERNAL!"
  • Gustave and Alfred from Darwin's Soldiers are both Funny Animals (Nile crocodile and American bison, respectively) with Super Strength. Neither of them is a trained martial artist so their fighting style consists of "beat the opponent with anything handy until they stop moving".
  • Chair from Nerdy Show's Dungeons & Doritos. Justified in that he was a chair turned into a dwarf a few weeks ago. That and his player tends to roll high.
  • Yahweh is described as this in The Salvation War: Pantheocide when He fights with Michael. Due to being so much stronger than anyone else, he's never learned the need to finely control his power, using far more of it than necessary.
  • Hazard of the Global Guardians PBEM Universe is a rough-and-tumble sort whose powers are basically "physical enhancement". His "fighting style" is a combination of having Super Reflexes and being just super-strong enough to power through when real martial artists try to block his punches.
  • In RWBY, Jaune Arc lacks the years of weapons training and combat experience that the other characters had, but he is incredibly strong, able to block the strikes of Ursas with one arm. He also has a massive reserve of Aura, but he didn't even know about it until it was explained to him and he doesn't know how to use it as effectively as the others. Pyrrha starts training him.
  • In Worm, Scion has very little sense of tactics, but that doesn't matter when his powers make him one of the extremely few that are strong enough to take down Endbringers and he can No Sell most attacks. The gap is so big that even when the whole world unites against him, he's still winning.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: In the original series, Ben's entire fighting style revolved around this. His typical response to a threat was to use one of his strength-based aliens, such as Fourarms and Diamondhead, and simply rush at the bad guys to beat then senseless. From Alien Force onwards, however, he is more tactical with his aliens and takes martial arts lessons to minimize his reliance on the Omnitrix; nevertheless, Word of God confirms that, out of all three members of the Power Trio, Ben is the least skilled hand-to-hand fighter, stating that, if Ben and Kevin were to fight each other while Brought Down to Normal, Kevin would win.
  • Bamm-Bamm in The Flintstones.
  • 'Young Justice'':
    • Superboy, who has a lot of Superman's strength and speed but lacks the discipline to use them to their full extent.
    • Superboy's full-kryptonian clone brother Match has the full measure of Superman's powers but is a raving berserker. When Superboy activates his full power he soundly beats Match because he's acquired experience since he's awoken.
    • It turns out that Megan's psychic powers are the same way, after she accidentally causes a psychic simulation to go awry, ultimately putting the rest of the team into a coma. J'onn speculates that she could be one of the most powerful Martian psychics ever, perhaps even stronger than him.
    • Klarion is another case of this. His fighting style involves absolutely zero finesse and is the magical equivalent of sheer brute force, but when you're a freakishly powerful Humanoid Abomination like him, there's no real reason to change things up.
    • Comments on Greg Weisman's blog seem to imply this about Wonder Girl — although she's a Flying Brick second to only Superboy in terms of strength on the Team, she's also young and inexperienced, having been recently recruited at the start of season two.
  • The Super Friends episode "The Evil From Krypton" featured a General Zod Expy called Zy-Kree. He had all of Superman's powers, but no skill. Aquaman is able to hold his own and outmaneuver him with tactics. When he and Superman clash, Superman demonstrates that he actually knows how to fight, and pwns him before sending him back to the Phantom Zone.
    Aquaman: You did it! You defeated him!
    Green Lantern: Zy-Kree had forgotten one thing: his power equaled yours, but your skill was superior.
  • Savage Opress, an alchemically altered warrior introduced in the third season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, manages to hold his own against the highly skilled Asajj Ventress and master duelist Dooku through raw power alone.
  • An interesting example is Avatar: The Last Airbender, being a good bender more or less requires being a good martial artist; but the effectiveness of this fighting style is dependent on the ability to bend an element, as standing ten feet away from your opponent and waving your arms around is not a viable fighting style unless magic is involved. This trope is both played straight and subverted.
    • Played straight with Ozai, Katara and Toph, who are all pretty much helpless without their powers, especially Toph; who is one of the most dangerous people in the world with her Earthbending, and a blind little girl without it.
    • Subverted with Aang, Zuko, Azula and Iroh, each of whom has received or given themselves additional training, and can at least hold their own without using their bending.
    • Commander - later Admiral - Zhao seems to come across as this. He's clearly a powerful Firebender, but in personal combat he's basically a joke. In his first appearance, Zuko beats him in a one-on-one fight, and when he faces Aang for the first time, Aang doesn't even bother fighting him directly, instead tricking him into demolishing his own fleet (which didn't even take all that much effort on his part).
  • The The Legend of Korra has a few examples:
    • Korra herself is described in these terms:
    Katara: She's strong.
    Other Master: She lacks restraint.
    • Zaheer is this after a fashion. While he utterly dominates in most fights, he doesn't have the finesse that other airbenders do, thanks to only recently gaining the ability. His main advantages are his incredible fighting skills from his Badass Normal days that he's combined with airbending, which precious few know how to defend against. When he comes up against Tenzin, a true airbending master with a lifetime of practice, Zaheer gets utterly trounced, spending most of the fight on defense and unable to get a hit in until the rest of the Red Lotus come in and overwhelm Tenzin.
    • Dark Avatar Korra is even more this than her real self. While most benders use reasonable and realistic fighting stances, she holds herself in a Primal Stance. An ordinary bender will dodge acrobatically by a few inches, while the Dark Avatar Flash Steps several feet away in an instant. And instead of the martial-arts like motions and strikes usually seen in the series, the Dark Avatar flails wildly with the elements and her chain, simply overpowering Korra.
  • In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Steve Rogers criticizes Tony Stark for this, saying Tony's primary solutions to battle include either tackling things or blasting them.
    • Graviton is a rather terrifying example. He's merely a physicist yet he already has some degree of fine control of his power. He then gets put in a coma for 10 years and the first time he's actually used his powers to anything resembling his full potential, it takes a team of 5 heroes (one of which is the Hulk, another being Thor) to take him down. If he even had any practice with his powers... HOO BOY!
    Hank Pym: "What are his upper limits?"
    Nick Fury: "He doesn't have ANY."
  • Teen Titans: Beast Boy and Starfire are among the most powerful titans on the team in terms of physical power and abilities, but are often easily dispatched by villains with more skills.
  • The Spectacular Spider Man: Sandman, Electro, and Rhino have powers that make them very formidable opponents to Spider-Man (who often has to rely on a plot device or weakness exploitation to defeat them). Despite this, they're often demoted to The Brute when more intelligent characters like Doc Ock and Tombstone are around.
  • Rusty the boy robot from Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot actually has more firepower and toughness than his much larger father robot Big Guy. He lacks the combat ability and experience to use his arsenal to its full potential compared to Big Guy and his pilot.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) had The Starchild, a little girl with incredible magical powers. She's capable of immobilizing He-Man himself. It is pointed out that as she is a little girl who has not received any training, she cannot use her powers to her full potential. At one point, she has difficulty in telekinetically arranging stone blocks in a pattern. A more experienced sorceress does a Mental Fusion with her and is able to use her power to perform the task easier.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, Twilight has a lot of difficulty controlling the magic of four alicorns in her body, and even her simple teleport spell she uses all the time messes up. All she can do in her battle with Tirek is blast him with beams of magic; but again, with the power of four alicorns in her, it works well.
    • The same with Tirek. Despite having Discord's magic, he uses none of his finesse, just throwing out energy blasts and the occasional physical attack.
  • In King of the Hill, Luanne once faced Frieda Foreman in a boxing match. Due to her inexperience and lack of training, she could barely land a punch or avoid Frieda's, but her punches were strong enough to stagger Frieda, and she had enough stamina to last three rounds before getting knocked out. Luanne won everybody's respect that day.
  • In Max Steel, Max was sometimes scolded for relying exclusively on his enhanced strength and speed. He even fights this way when playing a fighting game, choosing the biggest, toughest character and relying on hitting and charging the opponent, while Berto chose a smaller character who easily dodges his attacks and knocks him out of the ring. Max does start fighting smarter as the series goes on, as well as improvising with the environment.

    Real Life 
  • This is often Truth in Television for very large men. Yes, they're big and strong and intimidating...which is exactly why they don't know how to fight, because they've never had to.
    • Not to mention that some large men rely on size and strength alone because their size prevents them from doing otherwise and have no formal training, so chances are they'd probably get their asses kicked if they ever did get in a real fight.

Alternative Title(s):

Powerful But Unskilled, Strong But Unskilled