Playing With / Weak, but Skilled

Basic Trope: They're not very strong, but they make up for it with their skills.
  • Straight: Alice is a frail warrior with weak attacks, but with some combination of training and intelligence, she's as effective as the heavy bruisers.
  • Exaggerated: Alice is small and looks like she shouldn't be fighting at all, but she's so skilled that she brings down giants with ease.
  • Downplayed: Alice has average strength, but she knows many tricks to stun or trap her foes so she can get key hits in.
  • Justified:
    • Alice knows she's not very strong, so she studies and trains to maximize the efficiency of her attacks.
    • Alice doesn't look like much, so her opponents underestimate her until it's too late.
  • Inverted: Unskilled, but Strong
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • That's her version of a Limit Break and she can't access it regularly.
    • But it's still inferior to the "real" superpowers.
  • Parodied: Alice is so weak that she can't even lift her own weapon and is so hilariously clumsy that her opponents fall down laughing... which means the judges grant her victory after victory since a full body takedown is a win.
  • Zig Zagged: She usually fights using smarts, but she can call on Super Strength occasionally. But it happens often enough to where it's semi-reliable. She just fights smart the rest of the time.
  • Averted: Alice is a reasonable mix of skill and strength.
  • Enforced: The setting has robots built in very specific power tiers, thinkers with frail bodies and fighters with limited processing ability. Since Alice is a thinker model, she studies and trains to use her fragile chassis in ways that a fighter model isn't adapted to.
  • Lampshaded: "Watch out for Alice. She may not look like much, but she knows how to hit you where it hurts."
  • Invoked: After getting outpaced by her teammates, Alice decides to study and train to keep pace.
  • Exploited: Alice is assigned to mentor Bob, who is in need of help controlling his power.
  • Defied: Alice keeps seeking out the Bigger Stick so she is never left wanting for power.
  • Discussed: "Alice is probably the most dangerous fighter in this tournament, since she's smart and skilled, she can adapt to any opponent."
  • Conversed: "This show's author must really hate the trope Hard Work Hardly Works, because Alice is beating down a bunch of those characters."
  • Implied: Plenty of others seem more powerful than Alice, though its never made clear if her strength is from skill or simple ability limitations.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Alice gets her arse kicked by someone who has equal skill but more power in comparison.
    • Alice gets her arse kicked by someone who has so much more power that no amount of skill can close the gap.
    • People like Alice are both rare, and short lived: for one weaklings generally don't survive long enough to get skilled, and one mistake on Alice's part will destroy her outright.
  • Reconstructed:
    • She also knows how to feign a defeat, giving her enough time to formulate another strategy.
    • She learned from her defeat and applied that to her strategies.
    • She learns skills that will allow her to use the enemy's power against them.
    • However, due to the fact that power, rather than skill, is the deciding factor in most in-setting battles, this rarity works in Alice's favor: She's effectively an Outside-Context Problem for all the Unskilled, but Strong opponents she faces, making her very hard to deal with.
  • Played For Laughs: Alice repurposes all her skills for battle, varying from the reasonable skill of dance to questionable skills like pitch variation.
  • Played For Drama: Alice causes her body horrible stress just to keep up, developing crippling health issues as a result.

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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PlayingWith/WeakButskilled