Follow TV Tropes

Following

Attack Its Weak Point

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Togglodyte_2538.PNG

"Oh gee, I wonder where I should shoot 'im. I mean, this could take all of my accumulated gamer skills over the years, oh geez, could it be, ah, the giant glowing blue fuck-me light on his forehead!?"
The Spoony One, The Spoony Experiment
Advertisement:

Boss villains are usually invulnerable all over their body, with only the exception of weak points which you can attack for massive damage.

Therefore, if you see a shiny or glowing target anywhere on the boss villain's body, chances are that's where you need to attack. Common targets are the head, eyes (particularly if it's a cyclops), hands (if the monster is giant), tail, groin (if it's male), the inside of the mouth, any built-in weapons, or a soft underbelly (including the heart, but even for living enemies, this is much less common than it is in Real Life). Machines often have a red Power Crystal, Heart Drive or something made of glass that practically screams "Hit me!"

If the boss is particularly large, it might require a difficult trip to get there. Sometimes, the weak point may not be exposed right away, meaning it may require a little ingenuity on your part to get it out in the open. Sometimes the target will be reachable only when the boss does a certain move, in which A.I. Roulette or Artificial Stupidity must be in play to keep the game winnable. This is particularly true for Platformers, Action-Adventure games, and Third Person Shooters.

Advertisement:

Named for the line in the E3 2006 Sony presentation (which also named Giant Enemy Crab, This Index Hits for Massive Damage, and Real-Time Weapon Change).

Rule 25 of the Evil Overlord List forbids making machines with one of these, and you'd be wise to heed this rule if you wish to conquer the world.

Compare Tactical Suicide Boss; Contrast Fake Weakness. See also Fantastic Fragility, Shatterpoint Tap, and Untouchable Until Tagged. Compare and contrast Situational Damage Attack; while any attack will become stronger if they hit weak point, SDA's damage is variable by itself. See also Monster's Favorite Petting Spot. Often overlaps with Attack the Injury.


Advertisement:

Examples with pages

Examples without pages

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Vinland Saga, Thorkell has a glass jaw; one punch will knock him out cold.
  • In Mazinger Z, whenever a Mechanical Beast seems too powerful, Kouji, Sayaka, Prof. Yumi, and the rest of the scientists of the Institute examine footage of the battle to try to come up with a strategy or find a weak point. Good examples are Bikong O9, whose weak points were the horns jutting out of its head, or Jinray S1, whose weak points were the legs where its rockets were located.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Every Angel has a bright red core which is its sole weak point. Attacks on other parts of its body are usually healed almost instantly; even weapons of mass destruction can only render them immobile for a time until they eventually regenerate all damage. This is the main reason for employing the Evangelions against the Angels; only by creating an opposing AT field can the core be made vulnerable.
    • This also applies to the Evas themselves: destroying an Eva's core is the only way to put it down for good, anything else and the injury can be repaired/regenerated by the maintenance crew (although it's not exactly cheap to do so). Unfortunately for Asuka, SEELE eventually caught on to this and Rebuild 3.0 has Mark.09, an Eva that initially looks just like any other... but when Asuka tries to core it with specialized anti-AT field munition, the bullet bounces off a special armor plate placed over the core. She subsequently manages to destroy the core by jamming her Eva's Arm Cannon into the Mark.09's vacant entry plug socket and firing half a dozen shots into the core but the Eva immediately reactivates, revealing that its entire body is made up of core matter, making it completely invulnerable unless the entire body is destroyed all at once.
  • Saint Seiya: Inverted at least once. Marin taught Seiya that if your adversary is too strong, you attack his/her STRONG point. The theory went if you destroy his/her best weapon, finish your enemy off will be an easy task.
  • In Bokurano, the weak points for the giant robots are balls with gloving points on the outside, quite sensibly hidden under massive layers of armor. They are later revealed to be the cockpit containing their human pilots, and it's revealed that in order to win, the protagonists have to kill the enemy pilot.
  • In the final volume of Parasyte, Shinichi, who is alone and armed with only his wits and whatever he can find around him now that Migi has seperated from his body, which also means that he only has one hand, executes a total hail mary by stabbing Gotou in what he hopes to be his one tiny weak point with a metal rod he pulls out of a pile of garbage. It is indeed the weak point, and Gotou crumples. It might not have done much by itself, but that rod just so happened to be covered with a poisonous pollutant from the trash pile that rips Gotou's body apart from the inside, defeating him.
  • In Delicious in Dungeon dragons are large, strong, and have near impenetrable scales. But there's a gap in the scales on the throat which is located near vital organs; attacking this gap will instantly kill the dragon. Team Touden defeats the infamous Red Dragon this way when Laios stabs it there.
  • In Prétear, one of the main reasons why the Magic Knights need the Magical Girl is that she can see the weak points for the demons they're fighting, and they can't.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: The griffin dragon has a ridiculously small weak point (due to the weapon used, the characters don't have a better alternative) that Yue hits with a little knife.
  • In Scrapped Princess, a Peacemaker Proxy could only be destroyed by destroying a small glowing crystal-like object that could only be revealed by powerful magic destroying the ever-regenerating slime that the proxy is made of.
  • Blue Gender: The Big Creepy-Crawlies are covered in tough armor that renders them almost immune to small arms fire, but have a small tube (referred to as "the core") usually mounted on their heads. Shoot that thing and the bug drops. The only way to kill Blue without hitting the core is to use a Humongous Mecha...unless of course you're Marlene.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Happens all the time.
    • When facing heavily armored opponents without proper equipment, the usual tactic is to get on its back and tear open a hatch to either fry the electronic controls or shoot the driver in the head.
    • It's also the preferred course of action for most villains who try to kill the Major. People try to crush her head or put a large caliber bullet through it at least five times.
  • Pokémon: "Pikachu! The horn! Aim for the horn!"
  • My Balls: Pentagram marking on the body of the demons are their magical weak spot.
  • Chobits: Possibly the on/off button hidden in Chobits.
  • Full Metal Panic! had the Behemoth, a huge AS which requires the Lambda Driver to even remain standing. Its armor is so thick that no weapon can damage it and the Lambda Driver deflects those shots anyway. Sousuke managed to destroy it with the Arbalest by sliding between its legs and firing into the cooling system's exhaust ports per Kaname's instructions. As expected, the Lambda Driver overheated and the Behemoth collapsed under its own weight, killing the pilot.
  • Digimon Adventure:
    • Digimon under Devimon's control can be freed by destroying the large Black Gear sticking prominently out of their bodies.
  • Princess Mononoke: Near the start of the film, Ashitaka slays a demon-god by shooting arrows into its glowing eyes.
  • Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan: Angels lose their powers (and, uh, other stuff) if you can manage to yank their halo off. The halo is razor-sharp, of course.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Nasty subversion in Part 5. One of the minor villains, Ghiaccio, is completely protected by the unbreakable ice-armor Stand, White Album. Except for a little hole in the back of the neck which allows Ghiaccio to breathe. Solution: shoot there. Easy, right? Nope. Ghiaccio developed a technique called "White Album Gently Weeps" that drives the temperature around him so close to absolute zero that any solid object will bounce off the air. He did this specifically to protect the air vent. In order to kill him, the heroes have to drive him towards a ruined streetlamp so the air vent lands on a jutting shard of metal.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Subverted. While fighting Lust, Mustang comes to the conclusion that the weak spot of a homunculus is the Philosopher's Stone, their core, and he tears it out of her body. As it turns out, this was an incorrect assumption; Lust proceeds to grow an ENTIRE new body from the Stone. Not a Fake Weakness as Roy came to this conclusion all on his own. However, destroying the stone instead of separating the homunculus from it works, but it seems the only way to do that is to release all of the souls from it, which only Tim Marcoh has shown the ability to do.
  • Yaiba: Yaiba defeats both Orochi and Onimaru by cutting their horns.
  • Holyland mentions this, as well as where not to aim for, with regards to humans from time to time. For example, a good chop to the back of the neck can stop takedown attempts quickly, but hitting the head above the cheekbones is generally a bad idea.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: In the Final Battle, when Simon and the eponymous mech fail to overpower the Anti-Spiral's Humongous Mecha, he just takes the smaller Gurren Lagann mecha and boards the Anti-Spiral home planet (which is on the mecha's forehead), finishing off the Anti-Spiral himself.
  • Bleach: It's more a blind spot but it was the only option to actually have a chance at hitting Aizen. Subverted in that he placed several layers of protection in anticipation.
  • Sailor Moon fifth episode had Iguara, a lizard monster in that could only be hit from a huge blinking weak spot at the base of her tail. Conveniently, Sailor Moon and Luna discover this right when the monster is holding Sailor Moon up by said tail, giving her a clean shot at it.
  • In Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam, the Jupiter Empire has a Stone Wall called the Tortuga, with incredibly thick armor and battleship-class beam shields. In the final volume, Tobia finally destroys it by shoving a beam saber into its shoulder joint and punching it out the other side, ripping through all the internals in between.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Magical girls are extremely resistant to damage, especially if they have self-healing powers; but a direct hit to their brightly-glowing Soul Gem causes instant death. This happened to Mami, Kyoko, and Madoka in a previous timeline. Unusual in that it applies to the protagonist.
    • Witches are usually obsessed with something. Mami deduced Gertud's weakness, its love for roses, from the rose and flower motif on its barrier.
  • In Attack on Titan, the Titans' weak point is the back of the neck. Later chapters imply that this is because that's where the human "pilot" is located. The Armored Titan also has an additional weak point: the backs of its knees, one of the few unarmored spots on its body.
  • Day Break Illusion: The daemonia can only be killed by destroying their tarot card, located in a sphere in their body.
  • GaoGaiGar:
    • The only way to defeat a Zonder or Primeval Robo is to remove the core and purify it. Even destroying its body completely will cause it to regenerate itself.
    • The 11 Planetary Masters of Sol in FINAL can infinitely regenerate, but once the heroes learn the purpose of the Loud G-Stones and Pisa Sol, the Sol Masters are taken down for good.
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: In episode 8 of book 4, the minotaur's skin is extremely tough, giving Bell difficultly in fighting it. However, he manages to stab its arm at one point, causing it to drop the sword it was using. Bell then uses the sword to make more cuts into it, then finally stabs it again with his knife, and casts firebolts directly into its body until it explodes.
  • In Mobile Fighter G Gundam, during the finals, Domon notices that Argo's Gaia Crusher attack puts a lot of stress on the Bolt Gundam's knees. During their fight, he deliberately gets Argo to use the move on God Gundam's arm, then performs his newly-invented God Field Dash, the force overstressing Bolt Gundam's legs and making them break down.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, the Darkness of the Book of Darkness will keep regenerating From a Single Cell unless its core is destroyed. That said, this will only kill it temporarily as Reinforce's corrupted repair system will bring it Back from the Dead unless she deletes herself as well.
    • In ViVid Strike!, this is how Vivio's Accel Punch Infinity works, as she uses her excellent precision and accuracy to repeatedly strike her opponent at their vitals until they fall unconscious. This is how Vivio beats Rinne in their rematch. While Rinne may have trained up her durability and pain tolerance to No-Sell a direct punch to the face, that does little to prevent her from getting knocked out as Vivio delivers several magically enhanced strikes right at her undefended chin, jaw and temples in the span of a few seconds.
  • Venus Wars: In the original manga, Aphrodia's combat bikers are instructed to hit Ishtar's "Octopus" tanks in the oxygen tanks of the NBC protection system or the troop hatch, as the heavy armor and sheer size of those tanks makes them otherwise invulnerable to anything short of a 150mm gun.
  • During Satoshi’s gym battle against Brock in Pokémon Zensho, he tells his Charmander to slash the horn on Onix’s head. The resulting attack from Charmander chops off the horn, bringing Onix down.
  • In One Piece during the Thriller Bark arc, the Straw Hat pirates end up against the truly titanic zombie Oars. Lead by the crew's doctor Chopper, the Straw Hats constantly aim for biological weak points to have an edge. The biggest weak point was revealed to be Oars' right arm, which was surgically replaced and so was inherently weaker.
  • In Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, the main foes are giant armored insects(and in some cases, arachnids) known as Gaichuu. Not only can they only be defeated with a Shindan (a bullet of the heart), but that Shindan must be fired at the gaps in a Gaichuu's armor, so a Letter bee usually uses their dingo as a distraction in order to take aim at the spot. The weak spots vary from species to species, but each species of Gaichuu generally has a weakness in the same spot.

    Board Games 
  • An essential part of chess strategy is identifying and attacking weaknesses in your opponent's position. Said weaknesses can take many forms (weak squares, weak pawns, exposed king, overloaded pieces, etc.) Of course there are times when the opponent's position doesn't have any weaknesses, in which case you first have to create some.

    Comic Books 
  • In Megalex, the Undergrounders, especially Adamâ, have an uncanny ability to hit the robotic Shock Troopers right in the control chip, through a tiny gap in their armor.
  • Supergirl: Subverted in Supergirl (1982) #21 when Supergirl swoops down on several thugs and their leader commands his goons to shoot at her until they find her weak point because she HAS to have one. However, Shooting Supergirl works just as expected.
  • Deadshot quite regularly abuses the fact that bullet immunity does not usually extend to your eyes.
  • Ant-Man (Scott Lang) once found himself facing off against the Grizzly, a criminal who gimmick was an armored exoskeleton that made him look like a bipedal grizzly bear. Grizzly dismissed Lang as a weaking, telling him that all shrinking power was good for was letting him run away and hide. Lang said "okay!" and jumped right at the Grizzly, shrinking as he did so. When the Grizzly asked him what he was doing, he replied "hiding." Lang then ran inside Grizzly's ear and switched his helmet to Public Address Mode, and started yelling at the top of his lungs while beating the Grizzly's eardrum like a rented mule. Grizzly ended up on the ground crying while begging Lang to stop.
  • In most X-Men adaptations, the only true weakness of the villain the Juggernaut is his helmet; while physically the Juggernaut is powerful enough to go up against the Hulk in a straight fight, his mind is still vulnerable to psychic attacks, but his helmet is made of a rare material that deflects such assaults, so most fights against him focus on trying to get the helmet off so the available psychic can stop him.
  • Zodiac Starforce: Emma does this to the monster in the first issue , pointing out that the glowing gem seemed pretty obvious.
  • In Sonic: Mega Drive, Sonic quotes the trope namer almost word-for-word before invoking said trope. All, of course, while fighting a giant enemy crab.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past:
    • When tangling with one of Agahnim's soldiers, Link zips around him and holds him at swordpoint, demanding to be taken to the Princess. His sword accidentally stabs through a convenient hole in the soldier's armor, causing him to explode into light and leaves his armor clattering to the floor.
    • Link can't crack the Lanmola's metal hide. But the soft, furry underbelly will do nicely.
  • In the Laff-A-Lympics special "The Man Who Stole Thursdays," Dynomutt's arch nemesis Mr. Mastermind is behind the disappearance of Thursday from the calendar using a computer at his lair. Dynomutt tries to shut it off but the machine is tamper-proof. Captain Caveman manages to defeat Mr. Mastermind...by simply unplugging the machine.

    Comic Strips 
  • Popeye, whenever he had to fight Brutus, noted that all he really had to do was hit him in his "glass jaw" and instantly knock him out. He also once lamented that it's ruined many a good fight between the two.
  • One The Far Side comic has two bow-wielding caveman studying an enormous mammoth lying dead with its feet in the air and the shaft of a single small arrow poking out of a random spot on its anatomy. One of them comments "We should write that spot down."

    Fan Works 
  • This comes up in Fractured, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands crossover and its sequel, Origins.
    • Revenant (a gigantic Star Dreadnaught) is subjected to a weak point-targeting assault by smart villains in the first work. While it's not specified what they're hitting, it's made plenty clear that analysis of captured blueprints enabled them to do some precise ordinance delivery. (Sound familiar?)
    • In the sequel, it's noted that the Mooks of the Alien Invasion have specific targetable areas that should be filled with lead. As the invaders are Flood, shoot the pink tentacle-thing that is the actual Infection Form For Massive Damage.
  • Played oddly straight in Mega Man fanfic Whispers in Time: the previous Curb-Stomp Battle left Bass and Proto Man to attempt suicidal attacks on the awakened Zero...who has mostly shrugged them off by the time he comes to kill Mega Man and his successor. The half-healed chest-wound amounts to a weak spot that allows Rock to bring down the Red Ripper, albeit at the cost of his own life.
  • Interestingly, played straight in Zero's Shock. Jack is attacking a giant golem, and so Derflinger advises him to attack its core. However, there are problems: there's no real guarantee that the core is even there. And if there is one, then there might be a chance that it explodes on destruction.
    "If it has one. Usually a sphere of some kind. Mostly stones with runes on them, squiggly little things like the one on the back of your hand. Some of the time. I think. Saw a few that had just a smiley face and a name on them. One of them just had a rude word on it! But anyway, find the core, partner! You might need to do some searching, though, since sometimes there are more than one core, sometimes there aren't even any! Most fun of all, some of them blow up! But one thing's for sure; the best thing is to go for the core, partner!"
  • In Kill or Be Killed, Yoona has a weak point of her stomach, which gets attacked three times, the first being when a glass shard is thrown at it, turning it into a weak point.
  • Last Child of Krypton: When Shinji was fighting Sachiel, he heard Rei whispering: “Destroy the red core”. He started to punch the core right away until it cracked.
  • To explain how humanity can actually fight giant robots in the Transformers Film Series, the series Black Crayons uses this as an explanation. Cybertronians' armor can protect them from large blasts large-scale attacks, but small enough weapons can slip in between sections of their armor to get at the more delicate circuitry underneath. Mikaela causes some serious damage to Laserbeak by stabbing him with a screwdriver, getting under the armor of one of his wings, and Annabelle causes similar damage- adjusting based on the relative size of both weapon and Cybertronian- when she hits Sentinel in the ankle with a piece of reinforcing bar.
  • Project Riribirth: Riri Williams uses her suit's sensors to analyze a very large enemy and observe that it is vulnerable in a few key areas.
  • Skip in Xendra proves himself immune to most forms of damage (including Slayer punches and gunfire) due to his armor until Buffy wraps chains around her hand as makeshift brass knuckles, and even then he's tough as hell. But when he tries to take Wesley hostage after Buffy's ripped the metal ring in his chin out, Wesley shoots him several times through his chin to finally kill the demon. Afterwards, he shoots Skip through the eye just to be sure.
  • In Takamachi Nanoha Of 2814, the Invaders can be destroyed completely by attacking its core. However, finding the core by itself is no easy task.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Galactic Golem's only weak point is the energy white starburst on his forehead, but hitting it will result in a humongous explosion. Supergirl, Power Girl and Superboy get around this by wrapping the Golem up in their indestructible capes before Supergirl punches their forehead. Her blow sets off a chain reaction but their capes contain the blast.
    "Who in Sheol was that, K? Blue Frankenstein, or something?" asked Power Girl, rubbing her arms.
    "The Galactic Golem," Kara replied. "He’s an old enemy of Superman’s, an energy being. That white star on his head was his Achilles heel. I just had to gamble that our capes could contain the blast. Thanks, both of you, and I mean that."
  • In Tantabus Mark II, Fluttershy's plan for defeating the dragon involves kicking his throat, due to the softer scales. Fortunately, this is enough to dislodge the metal lodged in its larynx.
  • In Of White Trees And Blue Roses, Ned beats Robert in a duel by pricking his neck armor.
  • The Wyrmspawn in The Dark Lords Ascendant has incredibly dense defenses to the point of taking only Scratch Damage from Sailor Saturn's Silence Glaive, and is able to nullify all magic attacks to boot. However, its wings and the inside of its mouth aren't as heavily armored, allowing Saturn and Ryouga to deal meaningful damage to it.
  • Discussed in Wilhuff Tarkin, Hero of the Rebellion, where Tarkin, upon confirming that Galen Erso is working against the Empire like him, flat-out asks him what kind of weakness did he put on the Death Star.

    Films 
  • Beowulf (2007)
    • Beowulf kills the sea serpents by stabbing them in their large eye.
    • Beowulf's men attempt to hack Grendel's head off or stab him in the balls, but Grendel has a hard head and no testicles. Then when Beowulf realises that loud noises hurt Grendel's large exposed ear drum, he starts bellowing as loudly as he can and smashes it bloody with his fist to take most of the fight out of Grendel.
    • Averted with Grendel's mother—Beowulf is warned to keep her on land, away from the water from which she draws her power, but he gets Distracted by the Sexy.
    • Finally, he reaches through a chink in the dragon's armor and pulls out its heart. Now that is badass. He knows this because of a speech from Hrothgar about dragon-slaying.
  • In Deadpool 2, Colossus was able to do some small hurts to the Juggernaut when he hit him with a series of right/left combos, but it was when he started deliberately targetting the Juggernaut's groin that he was able to really stagger Cain Marko. Finally Colossus defeated the Juggernaut by sticking a live wire up Cain's butt.
  • In Jason and the Argonauts, Talos is a huge living statue who is apparently invulnerable until Hera puts Jason wise to the plug on its heel that is its weak point.
  • In Star Wars:
    • In A New Hope, the Rebels learn the Empire's Death Star can be destroyed by attacking a small auxiliary thermal exhaust port, right below one of the main port. This exhaust port leads right to the main reactor. Rogue One would later explain it as a deliberate weakness built by a rebel-sympathetic scientist in an attempt to sabotage it, also explaining why neither the two main ports nor the other auxiliary ports were vulnerable.
    • The Empire learns from the first Death Star when building the second. Instead of having a small number of exhaust ports big enough to shoot through, it has lots of tiny ones across its surface, all too small to be targeted. Unfortunately for them, the Battle of Endor takes place before the outer shell is finished, allowing the Rebels to fly starfighters straight into the reactor as soon as the planetside shield generator fails. (Really, they should have known better from Hoth than to depend on those things....)
    • In Attack of the Clones, Anakin demonstrates his tech savvy by ordering the gunship he's on to target the Techno Union Hardcell-class ships (the ones that look like and take off like real-life rocketships) right above their fuel cells.
    • The Starkiller in The Force Awakens has its own vulnerable point, but said point is encrusted in armour plates and gun turrets. The X-Wing attack barely scratches it until the interior is rigged with explosives, opening a hole for the local Ace Pilot to get in and wreak havoc.
    • Kuat Drive Yards-made ships often have a large exposed bridge tower, and if the shields fail, a savvy opponent will target them and cripple the ship, as happened during the Clone Wars. To cover for this, the Imperial-class Star Destroyers and Executor-class Star Dreadnoughts have their own dedicated shields... generated from relatively vulnerable shield domes, whose loss has an effect on the general shielding. in Rogue One the ISD Persecutor is taken down after one of the bridge shield generators is destroyed by a fighter run, making it vulnerable to ion torpedoes, while in Return of the Jedi the Executor, which was otherwise tanking the firepower of most of the Rebel Fleet, was destroyed by a single A-Wing that rammed the bridge right after the dedicated shield generators were destroyed-again by small fighters.
    • And speaking of Star Destroyers, The Rise of Skywalker reveals an entire fleet of Sith Star Destroyers, each one armed with its own planet-busting cannon. (Essentially, a fleet of miniature Death Stars.) It turns out, however, that the cannon is also the Star Destroyer's biggest weakness — destroying the cannon destroys the ship itself. When La Résistance attacks Exogol before the fleet can deploy, a single Y-Wing is enough to take out a Destroyer.
  • Invoked and then comically subverted in Galaxy Quest. When the other crew members suggest to Commander Taggart to try attacking the Garignak's vulnerable spot, Taggart replies, "It's a rock! It doesn't have any vulnerable spots!"
    • It would have worked if he had some sort of rudimentary lathe.
  • In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Kirk kicks out the knee of an imposingly large and aggressive alien, causing it to groan terribly and collapse. Then the following conversation takes place:
    Kirk: I was lucky that thing had knees.
    Martia: That was not his knee.
    Kirk: ...
    Martia: Not everyone keeps their genitals in the same place, Captain.
But apparently everyone's genitals are a weak point that cripples them with pain when attacked.
  • In Star Trek: First Contact during the fight with the Borg cube, Captain Picard tells the fleet to fire all their weapons at a specific spot on the cube. Data comments that his coordinates do not appear to be a weak point, but Picard knows it is due to his earlier assimilation by the Borg. It works and the cube blows up.
  • In Star Trek Beyond, Krall's swarm attack does this to the Enterprise, first slicing off her warp nacelles so that she can't escape and then cutting through the "neck" between the saucer and the engineering hull, further crippling the ship.
  • Independence Day:
    • The plasma cannon/drill of the motherships in the first film, which is only discovered when Russell Casse makes his Heroic Sacrifice. It helps that David's virus shut down the aliens' Deflector Shields.
    • Independence Day: Resurgence reveals that the alien exoskeleton biosuits have a weak spot in the middle of the tentacles sprouting out of the back. This even applies to the house sized queen in her skyscraper sized exosuit, and is used to kill her.
  • In Ip Man 2, Ip suggests that the Twister, who has so far taken plenty of punches to little effect, has a weak point, which pays off when his turn comes up.
  • Dogma. Cut an Angel's wings off and they become human, developing a conscience and the ability to be killed. The Big Bad covertly informs a pair of banished angels of this to inspire them to set up a Thanatos Gambit which is part of HIS Batman Gambit.
  • Battle: Los Angeles: the squad dissect one of the alien troops (while it's still alive) in order to find its weak spot.
  • In Imitation General, Glenn Ford devises a plan to ambush advancing German tanks. To get them to expose their weakest point (the underside) they put a crude sign saying (in supposed German) "Bridge Mined" on a small bridge. The German tank commanders don't believe it, but neither will go first and the plan works.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, Batman went all out and opened with his strongest hit against Bane the first time, who eventually just started shrugging off hits. Bats got his back broken for his efforts. In his second fight, he's a bit wiser to Bane's condition and fights a bit smarter, going for the mask that sates Bane's constant need for inhaled analgesics. Once Bane is wracked with pain, Bats has the upper hand.
  • The drones from Oblivion have several points (cameras, energy core hatches, etc) which can be shot for massive damage. Toyed with in that they are small targets on a highly-mobile weapons system, those who try to shoot it use big guns and try to do so when the drone's standing still (and are virtually point-blank), and it still has a high chance of not working.
  • In Transformers: Dark of the Moon the human infantry use this against Decepticon soldiers by shooting out their eyes with snipers and flanking them. There is a Real Life anti-tank tactic that is similar in which snipers shoot out the advanced optics on tanks, making them completely useless.
  • Horrifyingly in Pacific Rim, the Kaiju start to do this. Starting with the first one we see in the Action Prologue, they specifically start targeting the pilots and power sources of the Jaegers.
  • In Jurassic World, the Indominus rex is extremely good at this. After the Gyrosphere's glass has been cracked by the tail of an Ankylosaurus, the I. rex actually rotates the sphere 180 degrees to get at the cracked part. She then sticks a claw through that specific spot and repeatedly slams the same section into the ground, which soon shatters the whole thing.
  • Used in both Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes films: In the first film, Holmes observes that one of the mooks is partially deaf, a heavy drinker, and has a slight limp, and proceeds to bring him down with four attacks; one each to the ear, liver, and knee, plus one to the vocal cords to stop him screaming. In the second, Moriarty's strategy for beating Holmes in a fistfight is to repeatedly target Holmes' injured shoulder.
  • In Godzilla (2014), Godzilla's gills are quite sensitive and seem to be his most vulnerable area. Also, the female MUTO is too heavily armored to kill through brute force. Godzilla gets around this by forcing her jaws open and firing a torrent of atomic breath down her throat, disintegrating the MUTO from inside out and blowing her head off.
  • In Shin Godzilla the Japanese military shows a bit of Adaptational Intelligence and, rather than just spraying in Godzilla's general direction and praying it works as is usual in the series, they go for a staggered barrage of increasingly heavy weapons and make an emphasis in aiming for Godzilla's head and legs. And as usual, it does absolutely jack.
  • In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, during Caesar's final fight with Koba, he's still recovering from a serious wound, the result of a previous assassination attempt by Koba, making him physically weaker. Caesar's solution is to attack the crazed ape more patiently by exploiting a cut that Koba has in him and attacking that over and over.
  • Referenced in Kelly's Heroes, when fighting Tiger tanks with Shermans.
    Oddball: A Tiger's only got one weak spot, and that's its ass. You've gotta hit it from point blank range, and you've gotta hit it from behind.
  • In the movie version of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the third and fourth of the League of Evil Exes Scott needs to fight are way out of his league combat-wise and initially wipe the floor with him. Todd Ingram utilizes vegan-derived psychic powers so Scott tricks him into drinking coffee that had half-and-half put into it rather than soy milk to sick the Vegan Police on Todd and remove his powers; Roxy's ninja skills are way above Scott's but Ramona tips him off that touching the back of Roxy's knees essentially turns her on, and one touch is enough to defeat her.

    Literature 
  • All the bosses in Dungeon Crawler Carl have some kind of weakness, whether it be an exposed jugular vein, a dangerous environment that can be turned against them, or just spending their time sleeping and vulnerable to a first strike. That doesn't stop some of them from being exceptionally dangerous.
  • The Russian Hind military helicopter that Rife used as an escape vehicle in Snow Crash was made of reinforced steel, capable of shrugging off the type of small-arms fire that Rife (and the Russians who used to use them) was expecting. However, as Hiro (and incidentally, the Afghan rebels years before him) realized, the cockpit glass was just that: Glass. That's right: the Russians made an armoured helicopter that had a cockpit of completely non-bulletproof glass. Hiro was never given an opportunity to demonstrate this, however, as the magnetic properties of the belly of the chopper turned out to be a much more deciding factor in bringing it down in the end.
    • In Real Life the cockpit is surrounded by armored titanium, aside from the aforementioned glassy bits. Reinforced steel would, in some respects, be a downgrade, especially in the "light enough to take off" department.
      • Also, the Real Life helicopter could take 12.7 shots to the screen with no problems. It was a very well armoured craft for such weapons.
  • The Hobbit. The dragon Smaug was armored with "iron scales and hard gems", but as Bilbo noticed during the dragon's Badass Boast, there was a "large patch in the hollow of his left breast as bare as a snail out of its shell!" The old thrush sees this weak point too, and when Smaug attacks Laketown, it is able to communicate this weakness to Bard the Bowman, who exploits this weakness to slay him with his final — and best — arrow.
  • Guards! Guards! parodied The Hobbit example. The Night Watch reason that the dragon must have some kind of 'voolnerables', and play the odds to get a Million-to-One Chance of hitting it. Deliberately doing things like standing on one leg and wearing a blindfold to influence the odds, they end up at something like 998473:1. They fail. Fortunately, when the annoyed dragon retaliates, the chances of surviving the resulting distillery explosion are a Million to One...
  • Beowulf: The dragon is killed by a sword hitting a chink in the exact same place on his armor.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians uses the River Styx from Greek Mythology. In a slight change, the weak spot is required to survive the process. Percy chooses the small of his back as his weak spot, while Luke's weak spot is his left armpit.
  • In Outbound Flight, Commander Thrawn takes out several Techno Union cruisers after realizing that a point directly above the fuel tank is vulnerable (the same one Anakin aims for in Attack of the Clones).
  • Animorphs: Subverted. An alien species called the Orff are introduced, which have transparent skin so that their vital organs are apparently visible. However, Jake reasons that having their weak points visible would be an evolutionary disadvantage, and that their apparent organs must be decoys. Sure enough, when he hits the transparent section of its body, it collapses.
  • John Christopher's The Sword of the Spirits trilogy. In Beyond the Burning Land Luke fights and kills the Bayemot (a giant ameoba-like creature) by striking at its nucleus deep inside its body with a sword.
  • Wing Commander: Fleet Action has the Kilrathi getting catching onto this trope and designing a dreadnought with multiple layers of armor shells throughout the ship, specifically to eliminate conventional weak points and shrug off full salvos of anti-ship torpedoes. Too late they realized it just made a different kind of weak point... Marine boarding parties setting off massive blasts inside the ship, which would be contained by the armor and completely gut everything inside.
  • In the Mistborn series, Lord Ruler specifically created minions with such a weakness (removing a spike driven through their spine would kill them), because he knew that there was a possibility an evil god could take control of them, and wanted a fail-safe. The Lord Ruler himself had a similar weakness: he gave himself Immortality by means of Feruchemical bracelets, the removal of which caused Rapid Aging, as he could no longer hold back a thousand years of age.
  • 1632: In 1634: The Baltic War, although the USE Ironclads (similar to Civil War ones) are completely invulnerable to the cannonballs of the time (they bounce off the armor), the Danes find explosives under the ships can cause serious damage, since the undersides are not metal.
  • In The Runelords, reavers are giant, horrible pseudo-insectile monsters covered in chitinous plates. The easiest way to kill one is to strike where a few plates come together in the roof of their mouth and leave a tiny gap where a lance, driven by sufficient strength, can penetrate to the brain. Even for powerful runelords this is a tricky endeavor, though by the end of the first series the heroes get a lot of practice at it.
  • In the Ciaphas Cain novel Caves of Ice, Cain takes out an Ork gargant this way: he notices an earlier attack left a great big gash on one of its legs, and orders all available weapons fired against it. Explosive munitions set off a fire in an ammo dump, which completely collapses the leg, effectively neutralizing the gargant.
  • Honor Harrington: In this universe, the top and bottom of spaceships are protected by impenetrable gravity wedges, and so are naturally unarmored. This means that on the few occasions when a ship is caught with its wedge down, it can be destroyed with ease. And until late in the series it's impossible to generate a "sidewall" to cover the openings at the front and rear of the wedge, so "up-the-kilt" and "down-the-throat" shots are also desirable.
  • This is how Kaladin kills a Shardbearer in The Stormlight Archive. His spear can't even chip the Shardplate, but he realizes that the armor has a visor slit, and if you hit at just the right angle you can get a spearhead through.
  • Star Carrier: Outside of near-c Alpha Strikes and direct hits from missiles, this is the main way for a fighter to kill a capital ship, especially when you're dealing with really big targets like the converted asteroids the Turusch use, whose shields are just too strong to bring down with massed fire. In the first book Commander Allyn brings down a shield section of the Turusch flagship Radiant Severing by targeting a narrow "seam" between shield segments where the wave guides generating them are accessible.
  • Subverted in the Nemesis Saga. You would think the glowing orange spots on the Kaiju's torsos would be their weak spots. However, puncture one and you'll be met with an explosive retaliation that scorches everything but the kaiju. The military have to be ordered not to aim for the orange parts.
  • Werewolves might healer faster than humans in Uncommon Animals but a blow to the head still leaves them disorientated, and more easily taken down.
  • In the Boojumverse, the dimension-shifting Eldritch Abominations called Breeding Raths are covered in heavy armor. When curled into a ball, they can survive anything less than a nuclear explosion. While uncurled, however, they have one weak point which can be exploited: the ovipositor on their underbelly.
  • Journey to Chaos: One of the functions of Annala's Death Killer bow is to grant the arrows it shoots whatever properties will hurt the target most. Then she buries the arrows in the location they will hurt the most. In Mana Mutation Menace, this meant aiming for one of the crystals on a particular monster breed and then using a sound wave that would disintegrated it.
  • The Death Gate Cycle:
    • A Patryn's magic is centered around the heart-rune on their chest. As long as their rune-tattoos are active, they are nearly unkillable demigods. If the heart-rune is damaged or compromised, however, their entire being will begin to fall apart.
    • The dragon-snakes are completely immune to physical damage everywhere except for one spot — in their forehead, right between their eyes, where a solid blow from a rune-inscribed weapon will kill them dead.
  • The Day of the Triffids. It's noted that triffids always strike at the eyes, because a blind man is vulnerable regardless of their intelligence or adaptability. This sets up the plot where the majority of the world's population is struck blind overnight, instantly turning the triffids into the dominant predator on Earth.
  • The Mummy Monster Game: In book 1, during the challenge for the final piece of Osiris's mummy, the player must defeat the third and last monster — the front legs and torso of an enormous lion, bigger than the Sphinx — by shooting an arrow at the dappled stain on its chest.
  • This is what happens in Grent's Fall when the Halifax brothers skimp on neck armor.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Airwolf: The normally bullet-proof Airwolf can be destroyed by even a pistol round if it gets into the mid-air refuelling intake, something its sociopathic creator Dr. Moffett tried to do.
  • Angel:
    • In the late fourth season, most of the cast is fighting Skip and getting hammered. Wesley, though every shot he's taken has bounced off the creature's armor, sees one of the few wounds it has suffered: A horn has broken off. He aims for the hole... and thanks to the Million-to-One Chance, the bullet enters the head. This is lethal even to super-badass demon guys.
    • Vampires are Nigh-Invulnerable except for a stake to the heart or decapitation. This is taken to its extreme when a demon from a different dimension captures a vampire and disembowels him using his organs and skin as part of a giant web/artpiece as an offering to his deity. The vampire is still alive and begs to be just be killed already. The demon, upon being told what a vampire is, simply cuts the guy's tongue out and goes back to work on his offering.
  • Band of Brothers: Lieutenant Welsh realizes that the armour on the underbelly of a German assault gun is considerably thinner. When his bazooka man's first shot hits the front of the vehicle, with no effect, he directs the bazooka gunner to hold fire until the SP's tracks are in the air as it climbs a hedgerow, exposing its belly.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Rip out Adam's battery, and he's a sack of meat.
  • Daredevil (2015): When Matt Murdock is up against Wilson Fisk in season 1, or against Dex in season 3, they are wearing protective armor (Fisk wearing tailored suits, and Dex wearing a Daredevil outfit). So Matt generally has to focus his hits towards their heads to inflict any sort of serious damage.
  • Doctor Who:
    • A cloned alien warrior race, the Sontarans, are vulnerable to attacks directed at their "Probic Vent", where they feed on energy. "The Probic Vent is no weakness because Sontarans always face the enemy." note 
    • The new series Daleks come equipped with a forcefield against bullets, that is apparently weaker around their eyepiece. Many characters about to fight Daleks are told to "aim for the eyepiece."
      • Old-school Daleks worked the same way, despite lacking forcefields. Their 'Dalekanium' casings would laugh off most attacks, but shooting or otherwise obscuring their eye-plunger would blind them and cause them to spin around shrieking "MY VIS-ION IS IM-PAIRED" in a most undignified manner. By the revival series, Daleks have developed a way to keep their eyepieces clear. This is evidenced when Wilf shoots one in the eye with a paint gun in "The Stolen Earth" and it specifically says "MY VIS-ION IS NOT IM-PAIRED!"
      • In the Seventh Doctor story Remembrance of the Daleks, in which he mentions this weakness to then-companion Ace. A short time later she takes out a Dalek by shooting it in the face with a rocket launcher. There's a reason she was the originator of the Moment of Awesome.
        The Doctor: You killed it!
        Ace: I aimed for the eyepiece.
    • Lampshaded in "Silence in the Library", when the Doctor describes their latest enemy.
      Doctor: Sontarans, back of the neck. Daleks, aim for the eyepiece. Vashta Nerada? Run. Just run.
  • Regenerators in Heroes can be rendered "dead" if a foreign object is lodged into the base of the skull... until the object is removed. Of course you could just decapitate them, which they can't regenerate from. Or a bullet to the head, as Adam told us and Arthur showed us.
  • Kamen Rider Kiva featured a villain named Rook, an Implacable Man who menaced the cast in both 1986 and 2008. He's only defeated when, in 2008, Megumi attacks an old wound her mother Yuri put on Rook twenty-two years earlier.
  • Madan Senki Ryukendo: After Lady Gold's Ultimate Key is removed, a shot to her earring kills her for good.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Lord Zedd's Putties were allegedly more powerful than Rita's Putties, but they could be defeated by aiming for the giant Z insignias on their chests.
  • Mahou Sentai Magiranger features Drake, one of the two Ultimate Gods of the Infershia, who shrugs off everything thrown at him due to his armour — until Hikaru's energy attacks hits him in the back of the neck.
  • Subverted in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The crew of the starship Valiant discover a new, massively powerful Dominion warship. They discover a weakpoint and plan an attack accordingly. The attack goes off masterfully, causing a massive explosion... which then dissipates and reveals the ship, still battle-worthy. The Valiant is soon destroyed, and most of her surviving crew is killed when the Jem'Hadar decide to Sink The Life Boats.
  • Ghouls in Supernatural have to be killed by trauma to the head.
  • On Community Troy and Abed entertain new roommate Annie with a shadow puppet play. During the climactic battle: "Aim for the butt, it's his only weakness!"

    Myths & Religion 
  • Dragons almost always have a weak spot on their neck or chest, this goes back at least as far as Fafnir. See the above examples from The Hobbit and Beowulf.
    • And speaking about Fafnir, bathing in his blood rendered Sigurd/Siegfried invulnerable. Apart from a spot on his shoulder where a leaf had stuck to him.
    • Woe to The Dragonslayer who attempts this tactic on an Eastern dragon, however — touching the "reversed scale" on their neck drives one into an Unstoppable Rage, usually making it harder to kill.
  • The Greek hero Achilles was invulnerable everywhere but his heel (where his mom Thetis had been holding him while dunking him in the River Styx).
  • There is actually a whole class of legendary heroes who achieved invulnerability by almost but not quite total immersion or exposure to something except for one small spot. Achilles had his heels and Siegfried had his shoulder. The Persian Esfandyar had his eyes closed while bathing in a pool of invulnerability and the Indian Duryodhana, after bathing in the Ganges, protected his groin from his mother's gaze, which was the very thing that gave him invulnerability. You can probably guess how well that worked out for any of them.
  • Freya, the mother of Norse god Baldur, had a dream in which he was killed. She made every object on Earth swear not to kill him, except mistletoe, which was considered too unimportant. Loki heard this, made a spear out of mistletoe, and gave it to Baldur's blind brother, who threw it at him as a joke, and Baldur was killed.

    Pinballs 
  • In Metroid Prime Pinball, the fastest way to defeat the Omega Pirate is to activate Missile mode, fire directly at its shoulders and kneecaps, and then strike it directly with the ball as it attempts to recover in the nearby Phazon.
  • The AMP Suit in Avatar is vulnerable on a single target between its legs.
  • In The Pinball of the Dead, all of the Bosses are only vulnerable in a single spot.
  • Stranger Things: The Demogorgon's mouth is its weakness. It's difficult to get the ball inside it, but doing so is generally more valuable than shooting it normally.

    Roleplay 
  • Destroy the Godmodder: When Hostiles were first created in the second game, their immense power was supposed to be balanced out that they would all have a weak point, which when discovered, could be used to take them down with relative ease. However, this mechanic was eventually dropped as the game progressed.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dark Eye: All dragons have some spot on their bodies where they armor is thinner and more easily breached. These vary between different species and between individuals of the same species, but they're typically at the base of the neck, on the underbelly, or at the base of their wings.
  • Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia. In the Melnibonean Mythos section the demon lord Pyaray can't lose his last ten Hit Points (and be killed) until the diamond-hard pulsing blue gem in his head is crushed.
  • It's the only way to beat armoured opponents and bigger monsters in The Witcher: Game of Imagination. Dragons are extremely hard to take down, since the only body parts that can be effectively attacked are their eyes and the insides of their mouths. The skill Knowledge: Monsters is dedicated to figuring out the weak points of the monsters your character is facing.
  • Earthdawn supplement Earthdawn Companion. The Show Armor Flaw talent causes flaws in a target's armor to glow so that opponents can attack the weak spot(s) with a better chance of inflicting an Armor-Defeating hit.
  • Gamma World adventure GW1 The Legion of Gold. There's an amoeboid monster almost a kilometer wide in a lake. Its body can withstand 1,000 Hit Points of damage, but its nucleus can only take 50 Hit Points before it is killed. The catch: the nucleus is in the center of the lake under 150 meters of water.
  • Hero System has the Find Weakness talent. Taking a phase to use this ability will allow the user to reduce the protection level of a target by half. If you continue to take more time sussing out the weak spot, the target's protection will keep halving for as long as you take time watching the weak spot.
  • Middle-earth Role Playing : Dragons are normally covered in impenetrable armor, which leaves only three parts of their bodies vulnerable to damage — their eyes and a single spot where scales do not develop, referred to as their birth spot and believed to be a punishment from Eru.
  • New World of Darkness:
    • Beast: The Primordial: This is one of the Anathemas that a Hero may place on one of the titular Beasts. If successfully placed, this Anathema forces the Beast to manifest a vulnerable spot which cannot be protected by any armor the Beast may possess and which amplifies the damage from any attack that hits it.
    • Princess: The Hopeful: Defied. While the Barrier Jacket Charm may be signaled by the Princess wearing visible armor while Transformed, the Charm actually works by making the Princess's Transformed body and Regalia iron-hard, with no weak points.

    Theme Parks 
  • The "Tank Ride" at Action Park had tanks with giant targets on their backside.
  • In Men in Black: Alien Attack at Universal Studios, the vehicles have a "fusion exhaust port" that you're supposed to hit when it's revealed that the vehicle next to you is actually filled with aliens disguised as humans.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Even after taking out its shields, the thick armor of the Colossus makes it difficult for Ruby and the others to actually damage it. Oscar notices that the missile launcher and the rotating Dust cylinder share the same chamber, suggesting that a sniper shot would be able to blow up the arm cannon. When Cordovin spots what Ruby is trying to do, she protects the missile launcher by closing it back inside the arm cannon. Ruby unexpectedly decides to charge inside the cannon itself, and Jaune immediately figures out what she's doing: because of what Oscar said, the missiles and Dust will be stored together inside the arm cannon, making them extremely vulnerable to a well-placed shot — but only if the shot is taken from inside the cannon itself. This time, the plan works and the arm cannon is rendered inoperable; the extra weight caused by the damage it sustains makes it impossible for Cordovin to move the robot without first severing the entire arm.
  • In DEATH BATTLE!, Luke Skywalker invokes this by exploiting Harry Potter's scar as a shatterpoint.
    • While Link's known for doing this, it's absent in his battle with Cloud, though it's understandable. Z-targeting still makes an appearance and Link uses it to block Cloud's Omnislash.
    • This actually works against Wonder Woman during her battle with Rogue. Wonder Woman's combat training taught her to strike the weak points of the human body, including the face, the only part of Rogue uncovered. This in turn allowed Rogue to absorb some of Wonder Woman's power and temporarily stun her, giving Rogue an opportunity to absorb even more of Wonder Woman's abilities and give Rogue enough power to defeat her.
    • Tommy and Saba try this in their fight against Gundam Epyon Only to find out that it doesn't work on Power Rangers logic and giant green circle on it's chest is just a decoration.
  • DSBT InsaniT:
    • In 'Untamed and Uncut', Monster Andy attempts to go after Tyrannomon's exposed underbelly while Monster Bill and Monster Martha restrain it, but Tyrannomon manages to grab him.
    • Cell's weakpoint is his brain-like nucleus.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Tanks in The Solstice War are treated like they would have been in World War 2: shoot the sides or the back if you can, because the strongest armor is on the face. However, larger guns have better penetration, and characters rightly fear a gun of 100 millimeters bore or larger for its ability to destroy tanks outright.

    Web Videos 
  • Used as a joke in Vaguely Recalling JoJo. Geb hits Magician's Red's weak spot and Avdol gets severely damaged.

    Western Animation 
  • In Code Lyoko, all of XANA's monsters in the game-like virtual world have "XANA Eye" symbols (sometimes actual eyes) somewhere on their bodies. Hitting this spot will usually de-rez the monster instantly. With the exception of Aelita's Energy Fields, which normally kill no matter where they hit the monster. Unless she's supposed to lose, of course.
  • The red circle on Zod's belly in Challenge Of The Go Bots.
  • Parodied in The Simpsons, when Homer and Bart enter BattleBots, and discuss how to beat Professor Frink's giant killing machine. Bart mentions it has a weak point, only for him to notice Frink welding a comically large sheet of spiky metal over it.
  • In South Park, punching Mecha-Streisand's nose will drop the Diamond of Pantheos allowing Robert Smith to defeat her.
  • Winx Club features an example of this being undermined via editing: In the original version, we see Tecna finding the weak point of a monster, under its throat, prompting the Specialists to attack the area. In the 4kids dub, Tecna says she's found the weak point, but never says where it is, and because of what appears to be a discretion shot, we never see where the Specialists attack.
  • In an episode of My Life as a Teenage Robot, Jenny faces a member of the Cluster who Tuck and Brad were using as a snow fort before he regenerated...who has an off switch on his back, very much like the trope picture.
  • In Adventure Time, at episode 'Tree Trunks' the gang goes into 'Evil Dark Forest' in order to achieve the plot-device for the eponymous Tree Trunks. At the forest the group catches up with a monster of no vulnerabilities...Except it's gem weak spot.
  • In Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, the only way to destank a monster made by the sorcerer is to destroy a item they most held dear, aka their weak spot.
  • Tuma in BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn has a brightly sparking wound on his back which he never covers despite wearing giant, movable armored blades on his back. He even spends much of his fight with Mata Nui facing away from him, standing still while bathing in the cheering of his supporters. He's defeated under seconds.
  • The Jimmy Neutron episode, "Ultra Sheen" has Sheen defeat Robo-Fiend in level one of the Ultra Lord video game by pressing the off switch on his back.
  • During Black Panther's first encounter with the team in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, he manages to take down Giant-Man by striking the portions of his anatomy that are vulnerable.
  • In one episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), Shredder decides to build the ultimate combat robot to finally destroy the turtles once and for all and does this by building the robot out of indestructible material. He runs out when he's almost done and has to use ordinary steel to finish leaving a weak spot at the small of the robot's back. He and Krang then mention this several times in front of April. Guess what happens.
  • The Ant and the Aardvark: in "Mumbo Jumbo," the Ant is being protected by an elephant as part of a brotherhood lodge pledge. The Aardvark sets a booby-trapped scale for the elephant, citing an elephant's vanity being their weak spot. The Ant suspects it's a trick, so the elephant plants a tree trunk with the Aardvark in it on the scale. Boom goes the Aardvark.
  • The Mask episode title “They came from within”. There is a muscular robotic villain called "Warchine", like his chest, there is also a small door handle on his back. After opening, any person(especially dogs) can enter the machine through the passageway (can be regarded as a design flaw). Inside there has a "Fail Safe Box", Milo pee on the device, it makes the robot short-circuit.
  • Quack Pack episode title “Return of the T Squad”. The alien leader ZOD released the giant robot. Although this killer robot has no specialized self-destructing button, there are levers and buttons inside his Main Control Room obviously when Dewey enters the robot's head. Dewey pushes all levers, switches and button on the robot head that makes him overload and cause his head explodes.
  • Arcane: Sevika's Shimmer-powered mechanical arm has an injector on the shoulder that pumps the drug into her and increases her strength. Unfortunately, this leaves her with a glaring weakness and when the injector comes up for her final blow, Caitlyn snipes it, disabling her arm. When she upgrades the arm she takes this weakness into account and her new arm has to be manually reloaded (and can take 2 vials of Shimmer compared to her last that could only do one). While the manual reload presents a new weakness (as she now has to occupy her good arm with the reload whilst the last one could do it automatically) she's skillful enough to not let it become a problem.
  • Ninjago: The Great Devourer has one on its forehead. Lord Garmadon ultimately defeats it by attacking this point with all four Golden Weapons.

    Real Life 
  • Standard operating procedure for the US military, since doctrine is based on the concept of denying the enemy the ability to fight effectively. Enemy has fighters? Bomb their runways/aircraft carriers so they can't take off or land. Enemy has tanks? Tanks cannot move without fuel, and fuel trucks aren't armored, so bomb the fuel trucks and the roads they travel on. This turns the tanks into armored, stationary pillboxes. Keep on bombing the supply lines so that the tank crews don't have food or water, forcing them to abandon the tanks and walk home. If you're feeling particularly vindictive, bomb them while they're marching home so they can't live to fight another day.
  • Tanks are almost always vulnerable from above and below, and to a lesser extent, the sides and rear. Tank Destroyers and other specialized AFVs often take this further, in some cases resulting in open-topped or open-backed vehicles such as the M10 and Marder series.
    • Specific tanks can also have specific weak points. Early models of the Sherman tank were vulnerable to deadly fires and explosions if enemy fire reached their turret-stored ammunition. The first attempted fix was welding an extra armor plate over the vulnerable section. Unfortunately, this served as a video-game-style "shoot here for maximum damage" bullseye to German gunners, and ammunition explosions became more common with the retrofitted tanks. Later models moved most of the Sherman's ammunition down into the hull (and gave it further protection from fire), solving the problem properly.
    • It's usually difficult, if not impossible, for an infantry team to attack a tank from above. If the enemy has a good formation, attacking it from behind is difficult too. To solve this problem, the Javelin Missile Launcher was created. This is a missile that can either fire in a straight line, like most missiles, or, in an awesome display of Roboteching, travel about three feet forward and then straight up to a height between 500 and 1000 feet, before inverting and smashing down on the tank from above. The only defense against a Javelin Missile attack is to kill the user before he can fire it. Or go underground (but then, the missile still fires straight if need be...).
    • A common tactic against tanks from the very beginning is to try to blow one of the tracks off or otherwise jam the drive. This was especially effective against tanks in urban warfare or dense jungles and forests, where infantry could sneak up or wait for a tank to drive past, then rush out and toss grenades and satchel charges at the tracks, or prepare a hidden bomb in the road. An immobile tank is useless, and even worse when it blocks a road and holds up everybody behind it.
    • The Molotov Cocktail was devised as an anti-tank weapon by Guomindang troops fighting the Japanese the Second Sino-Japanese War... or possibly by Spanish Republicans and Nationalists fighting the Spanish Civil War, though the name was given to it by Finns fighting the Soviets in the 'Winter War' of 1940-41.note  Tanks of the time could be disabled by pouring a flammable liquid over the (outside of) engine and setting it alight, so it was only a matter of time before someone got the bright idea of filling a bottle with petrol or spirits and putting a burning rag in the mouth. Even if the fire didn't spread into the tank itself and set its ammunition off, the fumes and smoke were would force the crew to choose between suffocating and bailing out.
    • During the battle of Stalingrad, Yakov Pavlov commanded a platoon that took over a apartment building (now known as Pavlov's House). They found that by placing Soviet anti-tank rifles on the roof they could actually shoot nearly straight down onto a tanks turret (with them being so high up the tank couldn't shoot back). Pavlov is said to have taken out over a dozen tanks himself this way. The fighting for the southern Grain Silo was also characterised by the defenders' ability to do this.
    • Military ground vehicle designers are getting smarter about protection, what with the introduction of the V-shaped hull to certain armored vehiclesnote . V-hulls borrow the deflecting hoo-ha used by sloped armor. In simple English, it's supposed to take most of the damage from the bad guys standing straight ahead note  or from explosives underneath the vehicle and then point it elsewhere. What you end up with is a vehicle that's not as scratched as compared to a regular vehicle in the same situation.
      • And in the case of a tank which would rather make the first move than try to resist a pounding, it's an active protection system, which goes way back in the 1970s, apparently pioneered by the Soviet Union. The first APS, codenamed the Drozd, had a point-defense problem: a good portion of antitank rockets still made their way through the tank and the Drozd only covered the front. Recent developments have fixed this problem, though.
  • Battleship deck armour in general was significantly thinner than the belt (side) armour, making them vulnerable to attack from above. Hence the ridiculously large number of anti-aircraft guns fitted to the last generation of battleships. Plunging fire at long range could be at least as effective than a broadside at point-blank. Hits below the belt (e.g., torpedoes) could also be fatal.
    • Modern torpedoes do NOT strike the ships they target. Instead, they deliberately explode underneath the ships. This causes an air bubble and causes the ship to literally break in half under its own weight.
      • It didn't work in World War II when they tried to use magnetic fuses to do this.
    • HMS Hood provides an excellent example: her deck armor proved too thin and was pierced by a German shell with catastrophic results. Specifically, it was in a part of the armored deck a few feet from where said deck had been thickened during a refit. Right above the ammunition magazine.
    • British aircraft carriers suffered much less severely from kamikaze attacks in the Pacific than American ones, as the British usually had armored decks, while the American had only wooden decks that could be easily smashed through by a plane.
      • Generally justified. In the case of most of the more lightly-armed cruisers, destroyers, etc., the trade off was that they were faster than they would be with the full armor protection, allowing them to be able to keep up with the carriers note . For the aircraft carriers, armoring the flight deck meant adding considerable structural support which effectively made the hangar deck much smaller. Most commanders would rather be able to carry more planes to destroy their attackers before they could engage the carrier rather than have some extra armor plating to deal with them once they got to them. Of course the example of the Japanese carriers at Midway demonstrates that that does not always work.
      • In fact, British naval doctrine led to the armoring of their carriers due to the fact that they were designed to serve in the "cramped" waters of the Mediterranean, where no matter how many airplanes you put on them, they would always be outnumbered by the shore-based aircraft available to the enemy. The resultant armoured carriers were, compared to their American contemporaries, about two knots slower and had a smaller complement of aircraft, but in the end were a success, as the six Illustrious-class carriers survived everything the Germans, Italians and later the Japanese threw at them in ca. six years of wartime service. And despite the small complement of aircraft, HMS Illustrious managed to single-handedly disable three battleships and damage two cruisers in the 1940 raid on Taranto.
  • The German battleship Bismarck was incredibly highly armed and armored, and one of the greatest warships ever built at the time. A single lucky torpedo from an obsolete British biplane bomber hit and disabled the rudder,note  making her essentially a sitting duck. Without any support by other ships, she was attacked the next morning and had to be scuttled without causing any significant damage to the attackers.
    • Well armed and armoured maybe, but its design of three propeller shafts rather than four was a big flop, not only did it critically weaken the keel, (leading to the 'ability' of a single torpedo to jam the rudders), but it also made steering a pig (not helped by really-too-small rudders). She was a battleship, with emphasis on the 'battle' rather than the 'ship'. She was also more vulnerable to plunging fire than contemporary British designs due to an outdated armor layout, which resulted in one of the shells from the Prince of Wales severing the forward fuel line. The secondary armament wasn't much good either, making it especially vulnerable to low-altitude torpedo bombers. The same issues were faced by the Scharnhorst class, though in neither case were they to prove critical, since Gneisenau was wrecked in her docks, while Scharnhorst fell to naval gunnery and torpedoes.
    • Weak stern was the common Achilles' Heel of all German warships. The last torpedo of HMS Dorsetshire effectively tore off the stern of Bismarck. Had the scuttling failed, the torpedo damage from HMS Dorsetshire certainly would have given Bismarck the Coup de Grâce.
  • Most warships during the first half of the 20th century featured a citadel which contained nearly all the ship's vital equipment. At first this may seem like a subversion because the citadel is the most armored area except the magazines on a warship. However piercing this area is more than worth the trouble of the armor as any shell going off within the citadel can seriously damage a ship's fighting capability and guarantees months of repairs. Case and point, the Japanese battleship Kirishima had its citadel breached multiple times by the battleship Washington but suffered comparatively little damage else where. The IJN tried to tow Kirishima to safety until it was revealed that Washington's 16-inch shells had destroyed all of the ship's citadel equipment, including the pumps and fire suppression system. This left the crew with nothing to combat the minor flooding or fires she was suffering from and she had to be abandoned.
  • Every warship since the introduction of gunpowder has had one spectacular weak spot: the magazine, where the powder and ammunition is stored. Usually located deep within the ship for maximum protection, if anything does penetrate to the magazine, there is a very solid chance that it will take the whole ship with it, as happened to HMS Hood in the Battle of the Denmark Strait and USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. Other vulnerable spots include propulsion systems (the masts and rigging on a sailing ship, or the boilers and screws/paddles on a steamship). In addition to being unable to maneuver, a ship that takes a hit to the engines will also likely be unable to produce power to work the guns or water pumps, making it impossible to fight fires or stop flooding during battle.
  • Japanese cruisers during World War II had REALLY BAD weak points. While they had decent armor, and were in fact superior to early-war American cruisers, their torpedoes proved to be their undoing. To elaborate, unlike most other countries' torpedoes, which used compressed air or chemical propellant, the Japanese torpedoes used oxygen, which roughly translates to 'highly volatile if hit by a shell or bomb'. One of the most notable examples of this happening was during the Battle off Samar, where three of these very cruisers were more or less destroyed/sunk when American 5-inch guns and torpedoes/bombs managed to score lucky hits on the torpedo tubes. Even more impressive, the escort carrier White Plains used her single 5-inch gun to disable the heavy cruiser Chokai with a lucky strike on her torpedo rack. This is the only time a carrier has ever destroyed a warship with surface fire.
  • In the Battle of Midway, the Imperial Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi, flagship of Admiral Nagumo, was struck by a single 1000 lb bomb from an American dive bomber. The bomb, however hit the ship's the middle aircraft elevator and detonated inside its hanger, where the Akagi's own bomber planes were being fueled and armed. This resulted in setting off the munitions inside the hanger and, even worse, the aviation fuel supplies. This started an uncontrollable fire that forced it to be abandoned and scuttled later that day.
  • Modern warships are less armoured due the main danger to them switching from guns to missiles, aircraft, and submarine-launched torpedoes, and a tactical doctrine of intercepting the enemy vessel (or projectile) before it hits the ship. However, that has given them another weak point: disable a warship's sensors (mainly radar), and hopefully its radio communications, and a modern warship is as good as sunk when it comes to being a threat.
    • In fact, that weak point is one of the big reasons ships don't have armor these days. Radars and other electronic sensors cannot be effectively armored, and if a hit is going to disable them with or without armor, then better to dispense with weight and volume-intensive armor for better speed and more active defenses.
  • Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik was extremely well protected and armoured, and difficult to shoot down. It had only two weak points: the engine radiator (it had water cooled engine) and the main wing spar (breaking it would render the wings and fuselage on so hard stress the plane would disintegrate in mid-flight). The German and Finnish pilots were instructed to approach the Shturmovik from an inclined sector from behind and aim at the joint of the wing and fuselage, effectively cutting the main wing spar. Conversely, if a photograph shows a shot-down Shturmovik relatively intact, it has either had its pilot killed or engine shot.
  • Groin Attack in a sparring match.
    • There are many spots on the human body that remain vulnerable to simple attacks of people's hands and feet, no matter what sort of training you do — like, your eyes. But Wait, There's More!! The throat, the nose; really, the head in general...
      • Groin, ears, eyes, nose, throat, and the knees are all targets where a weaker opponent can do significant damage to a stronger person. For women's self defense classes, scratching a man's eyes out with your fingernails or anything else you can get your hands on is one of the first moves taught. Experienced fighters know that a hard, fast kick to the inside of someone's knee (the knee is designed to bend in only one direction, and bending it in any other direction is crippling) will take someone out of a fight no matter how much muscle or experience they have. This is the reason why, in organized fighting, all of these are areas where attacking them will result in instant disqualification.
    • Most of these are justified by the function of the body part in question. Testicles must be on the outside to enable them to be cooler than the rest of the body; if they were kept inside, the body heat would reduce fertility. Eyes can't be shielded very much or they can't see as well. And so on.
    • As pointed out by William E. Fairbairn (who, as a policeman in 1930s Shanghai, one of the deadliest Wretched Hives of the world, had plenty of experience of both giving and receiving blows), weak points of the body defy the very concept of fighting with martial art techniques: attacking the eyes, nose, larynx, plexus or groin can quickly end the fight, with the opponent into the hospital or the grave. Some people that employ systems of fighting, from a boxer to the least educated brawler, use moves which are painful, but not very efficient, like strikes to the forehead (it takes the force of a trained boxer to break one easily), ribcage, upper arm, thigh or tibia. Modern military-based martial arts, such as the Israeli Krav Maga or the US Marine Corps' MCMAP, focus almost entirely on ending the fight as quickly as possible, as so focus on weak points and using whatever you have to fight with (rifle, knife, shovel).
    • Traditional and modern martial arts alike have movesets that are designed to kill or maim the opponents like this. Aside of attacking the weak points as mentioned above, there is also technique to strike or manipulate the joints and striking the soft organ parts such as kidney or solar plexus. For a more modern example, strikes in arts such as boxing are generally aimed at their own weak points, typically consisting of the solar plexus again, liver, and jaw, though the last of which is struck not with an intent to break it but rather to make the brain slam against the side of the skull due to a quick acceleration and deceleration, causing a knockout.
  • Most cats HATE tummy rubs because their instinct is to protect their vulnerable tummies. A cat rolling over and showing you its stomach is a sign of trust. Sometimes, if feeling threatened, the cat will roll over on its back to better wield its claws in a stance that basically says "don't come any closer". If the threat does come closer, the cat can then strike with its fangs and four sets of claws at the same time. On the other hand, when they are feeling safe and surrounded by trustable loved ones, they will sometimes instinctively roll over and expose their bellies as a display of this trust and love, as if to say, "I totally don't think you're going to try and kill me, bro." Want to show your cat some serious cat-language affection? When they do this, pet their heads; for cats, that's the friendliest way to acknowledge the relationship, whereas actually petting their bellies is like saying, "oh, you acknowledge me as your superior in the social structure, huh? Yeah, you better!"
    • The same goes for dogs, in that if a dog shows you its belly, it trusts you. On the other hand, if the dog rolled over first (or if the dog is lying on you in a way that it's impossible to tell whether or not it has in fact rolled over), dogs are generally very happy with such rubs. Oh, dogs...
  • Predatory animals typically attack the throat or belly of their prey, as the front of the neck contains vital airways and blood vessels, while the belly is less well-protected by bone than other parts of the torso.
  • When attacked by a shark, most survival experts recommend hitting the shark in its gills and not their eyes or nose. Most sharks have nictitating membranes to protect their eyes and their noses are surprisingly sturdy. However, unlike most fish, a shark's gills lack the protective covers and are surprisingly susceptible to pain. In the wild, many dolphins and sea turtles were able to defend themselves by hitting and biting a shark's gills.
  • Safes, of all things, have weakpoints where their defense is intentionally lower. Naturally, their location is a guarded secret and not advertised.
    • Although a safe bet is to turn the safe on its side and try and crack the bottom.
  • By the early Renaissance, plate armor had become so good at protecting the wearer that they were nearly immune to anything up to and including musket fire. The standard way to kill someone was to beat them with something heavy until they were knocked to the ground (the poleaxe or warhammer were popular choices for this), then stab a thin, pointy dagger into the joints, or through the slots in their visor.
    • This is where the phrase "chink in the armor" comes from — the joints were notable weak spots for the dagger.
    • This is also where the term "bulletproof" comes from. The standard test for armor quality was to fire a musket at the breastplate. The resulting dent would be proof that it could resist a bullet.
  • This video of ants attacking a crab for food. The ants managed to do this by probing the crab for weak points in its armour then attacking them.
    • Also by chewing its eyes out and also PRYING ITS GODDAMN MOUTH OPEN and sending ants inside.
  • The field of social engineering came about as a method of attacking the weak point inherent in every digital security system: the people who use it. There's no better method of getting a password than convincing somebody that they should give it up.
  • Wooden sailing vessels were vulnerable at the bow and stern both because the guns were pointing elsewhere and the attackers shot could go all the way down the deck causing more mayhem per round. Hence the tactic of "crossing the T", where the attacker attempts to broadside an opponent down their length.
  • Armies are vulnerable in the flank and rear, because the enemy is expecting them from a different direction, because the attackers can concentrate on a weaker force, and because supply lines are vulnerable. Also the borders between unit jurisdictions are a vulnerable spot.
  • The first thing any hunter of game will learn how to do is to fire their weapon at the most vulnerable areas of the animal's body, typically somewhere in the center mass or the head for either a heart or brain shot. Dropping the animal immediately not only reduces the chance of the animal fleeing or charging, but also humanely ends the animal's life with no or the absolute minimum of suffering.
  • A tarantula hawk wasp targets a tarantula's belly because it is less armored than the rest of it. It will flip the spider on its back or attack when it rears up to attack.
  • This is the main point of fame of the Prince Rupert's Drop—essentially, what happens when you spool a drip of molten glass into cold water and it solidifies. Due to the circumstances of their formation, the resulting drops are incredibly durable, especially for something made of glass, but they have a long "tail" of thin glass filament left over, and if you so much as snap the tail in half with your fingers, the entire drop shatters.

 

Alternative Title(s): Weak Spot, Weak Point

Top

Work that shoulder, Kazuya!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / AttackItsWeakPoint

Media sources:

Report