Playing With / Deus Exit Machina

Basic Trope: A powerful character is temporarily sidelined so less powerful characters can save the day instead.
  • Straight: Right before fighting a Monster of the Week weak against his powers, The Lancer Blaze is suddenly knocked out, leaving his friends to deal with the creature without that advantage.
  • Exaggerated: Every time his strength and powers would prove extremely useful, Blaze is mysteriously unavailable.
  • Downplayed:
    • Blaze is still active on the mission but his powers have simply been cut in half, leaving him on equal terms with the rest of his teammates.
    • Blaze is Put on a Bus, but was only slightly more powerful than his teammates anyway. With him around it still would have been significantly easier, but still far from effortless.
  • Justified:
    • The monster timed his attack to ensure that Blaze was out of the way.
    • The monster made special arrangements to take Blaze out.
  • Inverted: Less powerful character, who normally deal with some problems, are taken out so that Blaze has to deal with everything.
  • Subverted: Blaze shows up with the other heroes and immediately takes charge of the battle.
  • Double Subverted: ...And is abruptly knocked out, leaving his friends at a severe disadvantage.
  • Parodied:
    • Every single time the city is threatened by anything more dangerous than a mosquito, Blaze somehow gets knocked out.
    • Even if the "threat" is just two mosquitoes.
  • Zig Zagged: Blaze disappears shortly before battle, but arrives on the scene in time... but gets knocked out by a cheap shot while distracted. During the ensuing skirmish, he wakes up, starts helping to turn the tide... and is soundly thwomped again, and only recovers after the others defeat the monster.
  • Averted: The most powerful character is the main character, so there's no need to get him out of the way.
  • Enforced: Concerned that Blaze is overshadowing The Hero Flik, the writers try to show that he isn't using his lancer's brute force to solve all his problems.
  • Lampshaded: "Hey, there's a dragon flying here!" "Joy — I wonder what will take out our Mentor this time".
  • Invoked: Aware he'd pose a major threat to his latest monster, Doctor Dreadful deliberately targeted Blaze and ensured he'd be sidelined before unleashing the creature on the other heroes.
  • Exploited: Doctor Dreadful reviews recordings of previous battles and notices that whenever there's a threat that Blaze would be especially helpful against, he's knocked out. So the bad doctor makes sure to include one such monster in every attack.
  • Defied: Blaze is scrupulously careful just before big fights, to ensure that nothing has the chance to take him out.
  • Discussed:
    Flik: Blaze, why aren't you ever around when we need you most?
    Blaze: Doc Dreadful is getting clever. Now he only attacks when I'm busy.
    Steve: Like that time he tricked you into fighting that phantasmal dragon, and then attacked HQ while you were away.
    Flik: We were all really surprised when it worked the sixth time, I think.
  • Conversed:
    "If I were a superhero, I wouldn't want to be too powerful. If you're too powerful, someone always drops a bridge on you before anything interesting happens".
  • Deconstructed:
    • Blaze is taken out in a transparent ploy to give the less powerful characters room, and they get their heads handed to them.
    • With Blaze out of the way, less powerful characters discover they are quite capable of taking out the bad guys. Perhaps better than Blaze was — he had taken on the worst all the time to keep his reputation inflated.
    • Conversely, when Blaze recovers, he realizes that his "friends" have been ladling on the hard work on him, when they could have done it just as well.
  • Reconstructed: Blaze pulled a Batman Gambit on the others so that they would learn how to handle these things on their own.
  • Plotted A Good Waste: While it looks at first that Blaze is just being sidelined by the writers so Flik and the others won't get bailed out by him all the time, it's eventually revealed that he's been getting annoyed with how the others treat him and was considering a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Played For Laughs: Blaze was bragging about his strength and skill, annoying the others until Gusty smacked him upside the head... instantly knocking him out. Whoops.
  • Played For Drama: Shortly before the battle, Blaze has a falling out with Flik and decides not to respond to this particular call. Tension is wrung from the others needing him to realize what's happening and arrive in time; alternately, they eke out a victory, but everyone's enraged by his neglect and the team drifts further apart.

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