Playing With: Glass Cannon

Basic Trope: A character with high attack but low defense.
  • Straight: Alex can defeat everybody in the state within 5 minutes and has speed on-par with the Jack of All Stats, but only if they're not attacking him.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alex can vaporize entire planets, but a single touch turns him to dust.
    • Alex, a video game character, has a single hit point and can take down anything and anybody in one hit.
  • Downplayed:
    • Characters who are better on attack than defense but aren't absurdly so.
    • Alex has a super move that's powerful but can only be used when he's unhurt. When he's hurt, he loses access to that move, but isn't otherwise decisively more fragile or powerful than anyone else.
  • Justified:
    • Alex is a Cute Bruiser who hits with the force of a freight train, but his fragile body is... frail.
    • Alex has a BFG which can cut through anything his faces, but weight concerns force him to abandon armor.
    • Or, Alex's high attack powers make up for his frail defense.
    • The story is in a setting where offensive power has far outstripped defense. Armor Is Useless, so no one bothers with any.
    • The shows a realistic portrayal of the Muscles Are Meaningless trope.
  • Inverted: Alex has high defense, but low offense.
  • Subverted:
    • Alex is pretending that small attacks hurt him too much.
    • At high levels, the various compensations he receives for having such low health, such as death protection and an incredibly high dodge rate, make him almost impossible to decisively harm.
  • Double Subverted: ...However, the next small attack does.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Alex is a spindly atom bomb, except he's really tough, but that was just an illusion, only it turns out he's not that powerful, only to turn out to be a case of I Am Not Left-Handed.
  • Averted:
    • Alex's attacks and defences are balanced.
    • Mighty Glacier, where the character's weakness is slow speed instead.
    • Lightning Bruiser, where the character's defence is just as good as his powerful attack.
  • Enforced: "Alex's incredible attacks are a defining trait of his, but he needs a weakness for the sake of Competitive Balance."
  • Lampshaded: "Everyone, guard Alex! He really, really needs it!"
  • Invoked: Alex believes that the best defense is a good offense, so he purposely skips all the defense lessons and concentrates on his attacks.
  • Exploited:
    • A character with high defense manages to outlive Alex in a fight.
    • The antagonists attempt to delay the heroes, resulting in Alex being deployed to ensure a short and bloody battle.
  • Defied: Alex trains up his physical strength and becomes a Magic Knight, Kung-Fu Wizard, or something equivalent to that.
  • Discussed: "Just you wait until I land a hit!"
  • Conversed: "That guy's like a walking Papier-mâché atomic bomb."
  • Implied: Alex is a Non-Player Character. He is shown with a sword equipped, but no armor or shield. He is also sometimes seen with Black Magician Girl Marcy learning powerful spells.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Alex develops a sense of insecurity over being super powerful and extremely fragile, and his fear of being attacked first leads him to kill people he could easily have dealt with diplomatically, or even people who startle him.
    • In a world of long-range firearms that allow someone to attack him from far away with no defense in the face of sneaky backstabbing enemies and other tricks, Alex is simply useless in the battlefield.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Which he realizes is an overcompensation, so he develops defenses that help him dodge attacks so he doesn't get hurt.
    • Alex himself is already the master of the arts of acrobatics, stealth, hiding, and powerful long-range attacks. He's also a damn good sniper, as his particular set of strengths and weaknesses leads to the aforementioned long-range firearms being an ideal weapon for him.
  • Played For Laughs: The reason why Alex defense is so poor? That's because he doesn't wear any kind of defensive gear... As in, he doesn't wear anything at all! Needless to say, the image of a phrenetic stark-naked maniac running around wielding only his gigantic swordnote  while slaying foes left and right, is kinda humorous on its own right.
  • Played For Drama: Alex's high offence and low defence frequently results in fights where the first strike decides everything. As a result, Alex's screen time is often fraught with tension with the knowledge that a single mistake could cost him his life.
  • Plotted A Good Waste:
    • Alex anticlimactically defeats a villain disliked by the audience.
    • Alex becomes disliked by the audience, and his frailty makes him easily and humorously dispatched.
  • Untwisted: Alex is a character in a war film, and equipped in the same manner as everyone else in his group. Despite this, he manages to acquire a heavy weapon and become stranded behind enemy lines where he competes with vehicles. As such, most of the film from his perspective portrays him as vulnerable but dangerous.

Strike back to Glass Cannon quickly - you can't last out here!