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Comically Invincible Hero

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Some shows play a hero's absurdly overpowered abilities and near-invulnerability for laughs. Since the fights themselves are a foregone conclusion, they frequently get skipped or handled in one panel (this trope is particularly common in comics). The characters frequently lampshade this trope, and in the rare case where a fight actually does have any build-up, it will often end in a deliberate anticlimax. Sight gags are often used to lampshade it further, such as supporting characters playing cards or otherwise ignoring the latest Big Bad (or even the fight itself).

Works with this trope tend to bring in enemies capable of threatening the hero eventually, especially as time goes on and the initial joke wears thin; this can turn the hero a plain old Invincible Hero if the comedy is discarded entirely. Sometimes this also involves Cerebus Syndrome as the comedy fades into the background at the same time. Up until then, though, the vast majority of fights are deliberate, comical Curb Stomp Battles.

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When you have an invulnerable hero in a dramatic show, or one that tries to get you to take the fights seriously, it's an Invincible Hero. When the focus is on the Rule of Cool, it's a Showy Invincible Hero.

Might feature The Ace, or instead Inspector Oblivious. Compare the Iron Butt-Monkey.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Seiichirou Kitano from Angel Densetsu is Mistaken for Badass by nearly everyone in the entire series. Either some stupid thugs are dumb enough to challenge him, only to be horrified just by looking at him, or other people think he's a demon and try to attack him. The results are either that Kitano just pushes them unconscious or they knock themselves out accidentally. And everyone believes Kitano has defeated them, even when he himself doesn't realize that he's in a middle of a fight.
  • Assassination Classroom: Koro-sensei is a super creature capable of moving at up to Mach 20 and is invulnerable to nearly all weapons except the Applied Phlebotinum specially made to kill him. The whole series is about his class trying to kill him, after all.
  • Beelzebub:
    • Oga is the strongest delinquent in his school. The running gag is that other people spend whole episodes trying to find him and challenge him only to get beaten in a few seconds without him paying much attention.
    • Or without even noticing them, in some cases, such as Himekawa's attempt at revenge.
    • This invincibility is removed against specific opponents, though (Tojo before Oga was ready, the Pillar Squad before he trained, etc) or for comic effect (Beel's shocks, his sister kicking his ass...)
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo: Bobobo and his pals take this trope Up to Eleven. In its run, practically no one was able to truly have him on the ropes. The fights weren't about seeing if Bobobo and his friends would win, but seeing just how big of a fool he could make out of enemies before they do and just how crazy and nonsensical they make those fights. Such methods include having Bobobo and his friends survive the most ridiculous of assaults, having Bobobo treat his allies (namely Don Patch and Jelly Jiggler) as mere weapons to abuse, and laying the hurt on his enemies with GIANT NOSEHAIRS!!
  • BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense: Maple, as the title indicates, dumped all her stat points into VIT so that she wouldn't get hurt. However, the game she's playing was balanced arround the idea that players would spread their stat points evenly. On one hand, this leaves her literally slower than a turtle, very little MP, and very low damage. On the other, her absurd VIT means everything in the starting area does zero damage, and in the process of messing arround there, Maple gains skills that ends up quadrupling that stat. From there, her ability No-Sell pretty much everything that any player or NPC can throw at her allows her to challenge content the developers never intended for anyone to beat so early on and gain powerful skills that ignore her lack of offensive stats and movement speed, which quickly snowballs into her becoming infamous among the playerbase as a nigh-invincible walking tank.
  • The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. has a main character with an absurd number of psychic powers... None of which he actually wants, as they don't turn off, and nothing can surprise or challenge him.
  • The Devil King Is Bored is the Villain Protagonist version of this trope. The Devil King is bored because he's so overpowered that nothing challenges him. He even kidnaps a princess for the sole reason that heroes would come and rescue her, therefore making his life a little less boring.
  • Didn't I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?: as the title implies, Mile/Adele asked God to become totally average in her reincarnation, but he pulled a reverse Jackass Genie and made her half as powerful as the strongest beings in the world. With half the magical and physical power of elder dragons—making her thousands-fold beyond any human—plus significant authority over the nanobots powering the world's magic (which no one else even knows about), she rarely faces any serious challenges... besides her constant failure to pass as a "normal C-rank hunter," the primary Running Gag of the series.
  • Dragon Ball: The earliest arcs were like this early on, with Goku's absurd invulnerability played for laughs where most opponents are defeated simply because they refuse to believe that a kid can knock out soldiers and withstand gunfire. It fades once Goku encounters opponents who can keep up with him like Tao Pai-Pai and Tien, but comes back later on in Dragon Ball Z where enemies can't believe this Saiyan runt could ever challenge him (thanks to Goku learning how to suppress his ki). And of course, Goku and friends will always come off as this to ordinary people, such as during the Cell Saga filler during Goku's search for the restored Dragon Balls: the only "antagonists" are some ordinary human mobsters and Tao Pai-Pai (yes, again), and the level of non-threat they are is totally played for laughs.
    • Taken Up to Eleven at the start of the Buu saga, where the first two enemies faced, Yakon and Pui Pui, are both comically one-sided curb stomps. Yakon is literally defeated by Goku powering up - Goku never even bothers attacking him. Pui Pui, meanwhile, boasts about how he is unbeatable because he is used to fighting in ten times Earth gravity, only to find out that the Z warriors regularly train in 500 times Earth gravity. Vegeta doesn't even bother powering up.
      "Maybe if this was five hundred times gravity, you might have an advantage. But ten? I don't even feel it."
  • Dragon Half almost completely ran on this trope. Nobody even comes close to posing a challenge for Mink, but it's so goofy that nobody cares.
  • Even though it's called Hayate the Combat Butler in translation, it's ironic that the battles are few and far between. The battles that don't challenge him aren't even on panel. You see them attacking, then in the next panel Hayate is walking away and the attacker is on the ground with a Cranial Eruption. The ones who do challenge him are the (at worst) minor characters, usually the ones on his side.
  • Alucard from Hellsing, who loves to let his enemies gun him down to pulp, then use his From a Single Cell Healing Factor to No-Sell all said damage and then slaughter everyone with look of glee on his face.
  • Diablo from How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord was this for a great deal of the series. He's so unbelievably overpowered compared to everyone, being at level 150, that he doesn't even need to put the slightest bit of effort into defeating enemies. A single spell blast where he thought he was holding back vanquishes a summoned level 30 salamander, a tap of his staff sends a level 50 player crashing into a wall, and he can No-Sell pretty much anything anyone throws at him. It takes the level 80 Edelgard to even make him feel the slightest bit of pain.
  • Irresponsible Captain Tylor has a variation on this: Tylor is comically invincible despite the fact that he has no apparent skills that suggest he should be. As a result, his crew is never less incredulous about how they keep surviving encounters that almost certainly should have resulted in all of them being killed.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Jack Rakan is a Large Ham Master Swordsman Magic Knight is referred to as the "Ultimate Broken Character" and "That Damn Guy Who You Can Stab With Swords All You Like And It Won't Do A Thing, Dammit". He can blow up mountains with attacks he improvises on the spot by posing, casually chuck around swords the size of skyscrapers, and is nigh-impossible to kill. Even when he's erased from existence, he's Back for the Finale thanks to sheer force of will (with some help from Asuna's Anti-Magic).
  • Saitama (pictured above), the eponymous One-Punch Man, who rigorously trained his body until he could defeat any enemy with one punch. In the first episode, he's having an existential crisis because he became a hero to spice up his dull life, but it's been so long since he's felt a real challenge that his life has gotten painfully boring again, and he doesn't know what to do next.
  • In The Rise of the Unemployed Wise Man, Karna is a Pint-Sized Powerhouse who sincerely believes that there's Always a Bigger Fish after coming under the employ of the Demon Lord of Lust for the incredibly fat salary he's sending to his grandparents. He insists that things like decaying dragon kings into ashes, bending space and time to create an unescapable Unnaturally Looping Location, and creating contracts with several Physical Gods are just basic parlor tricks, and that a real hero would have no trouble kicking his butt (despite kicking the ass of the current Hero with ease). All of his fights end so thoroughly in his favor that Karna believes that his opponents are just hiding rather than him blowing them to pieces with one punch.
  • Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town: Lloyd Belladonna comes from Kunlun, a town founded by the descendants of uber-powerful heroes who only use their power for truly world-shattering threats like demon lords. As the weakest of his village, he heads to the capital city in hopes of becoming a soldier and proving his worth. All the while, he's completely oblivious to how he's a demigod compared to everyone else, seeing giant monster bugs and dragons as nothing more than pests and casually swatting them aside while trying to read a sign. Marie is flabbergasted that he uses one of the most powerful curse-cleansing runes as a cleaning agent, and he's so fast that he fails his entrance exam because the instructor literally can't see what Lloyd did. Marie begs him to learn some common sense after she learns all of this.
  • Sword Art Online: Zigzagged with Kirito. While his power is usually played seriously as an Invincible Hero, it did become played for laughs in the Fairy Dance arc where Kirito's absurdly ridiculous level of power would lead him to beat enemy players in humiliating fashion and other characters letting out cries of disbelief. Kirito lampshades it at the start of the arc; since he got an Old Save Bonus from SAO, he carried all his old stats over, meaning he's the strongest player in the game the second he starts. He's a little depressed, but he doesn't have time to fight fair.
    Kirito: I'm not even a beater this time, I'm just a cheater.
  • Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online: LLENN. The fact that she's a tiny little girl with a Super Speedy AGI build leads her to defeat her enemies in hilariously one-sided fashion.
  • Sunred from Tentai Senshi Sunred. The entire series is just one long Go-Karting with Bowser moment between Sunred and his 'Arch-Enemy', the not-so-evil organization Florsheim. When the monsters demand to fight him due to Contractual Genre Blindness, the battles are hilariously one-sided and very rarely shown on-screen.
  • Played with by Rimuru Tempest from That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. As the titular slime, he's basically Kirby with his ability to assimilate the powers of those he devours and create entirely new abilities by combining those powers together, making him incredibly powerful even just a month or so into his new life as a slime and what allows him to quickly establish himself as the leader of one of the most powerful nations on the planet within only a few years in-universe when combined with his Nice Guy attitude. It's treated as mainly comedic as nearly everyone makes the mistake upon realizing their opponent is a slime that he'll be easy to defeat. The other reason it often becomes a joke is because Rimuru himself often underestimates just how terrifyingly powerful he is! However, the "invincibility" angle starts to vanish as his rapid and unprecedented rise to power attracts the attention of the real Physical God tier people in the world who he finds himself now peers with, all of which legitimately could give him the fight of his life if they clash...and goes back to comedy as these nigh-invincible god-like beings start palling around dealing with the daily struggles of ruling their nations, controlling their quirky subordinates, and trying not to start fights that would require redrawing the world maps.

    Asian Animation 
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    Comic Books 
  • Asterix and Obélix frequently play their inhuman strength for laughs.
  • Fightman, a one-off character Deadpool has to kill, is like this.
  • Deadpool's archnemesis Squirrel Girl has beaten Doctor Doom so many times he doesn't even put up a fight when she invades Latveria, by herself, to borrow his time machine. She's also (supposedly) beaten Thanos, The Mandarin, M.O.D.O.X., and Fin Fang Foom. She's a teenage mutate who has all of the powers of a squirrel.
  • Lucky Luke stories often devote more time to the comic failings of the episode's bad guys, since their defeat is inevitable (which isn't to say it's easy, Luke always needs to plan something).
  • Plastic Man is usually played this way as his powers basically make him a cartoon character on steroids. He was once scattered in small chunks across the ocean floor for 3000 years and it only sobered him up a little. Well, at least until he got back from vacation.
  • Gilbert Shelton's Wonder Wart-Hog is successfully fending off an alien bombardment of the world, throwing the bombs into space — then catches a little firecracker-sized bomb, which goes off in his hand. He's completely unharmed, but the whole city's been vaporized, except for sections of a building and street behind him forming sort of a reverse Impact Silhouette.
  • In Suske en Wiske, Jerom is usually this, beating up bad guys effortlessly.

     Fan Works 
  • Sometimes Paul's Nigh Invulnerability is played for laughs in The Keys Stand Alone, such as when the Octo-Bot slams him around and all he can do is swear—and John and George catch the absurdity of the situation and stagger around helplessly with laughter.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device has this with the Ultramarines, which the Emperor is fully aware of and uses for his own gains. It's implied that they became this when their Chapter Master Marneus Calgar made a deal with something after seeing his brothers be slaughtered by Tyranids and the guilt is eating away at him, especially since part of the side effects include turning every rank-and-file Ultramarine into an insufferable Mary Tzu.
  • In Security's sequel I, Scion, the protagonist is sent into Scion's head. He already had a pretty good grasp of the original Worm, so after being shoved inside the resident Reality Warper Physical God, it literally takes him no more than a few days to fix Earth Bet.
  • Sword Art Online Abridged: As in canon, this happens. While canon zig-zagged the trope a bit, here Kirito is almost exclusively a Comically Showy Invincible Hero Smug Super. In particular, the part where he discovers that he gets an Old Save Bonus from SAO, meaning that he starts Alfheim Online as the strongest character in the game, has a slightly different tone.
    Kirito: First the sky, and now this? This game is completely busted... in my favor, haha! Ten outta ten, game of the year!

    Film — Animated 
  • Metro Man of Megamind deconstructs this trope. Metro Man is so invincible, the people take him completely for granted, never allowing him to have his own life. He actually fakes his own death, tricking his nemesis into believing his latest evil scheme actually succeeded. Played the most explicitly for laughs when an angry Roxanne grabs everything heavy within reach and throws it at him and he just stands still with a blank expression and lets her finish venting and the objects shatter against him.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Ace Ventura. In one scene, Ace catches a bullet fired at him in his teeth.
  • Black Dynamite: Black Dynamite is a parody of the blaxpoitation action hero, being the meanest, most badass black dude in this world and the next. Secondary characters keep dropping like flies around him but any opponents at best just momentarily inconvenience him personally.
  • The Blues Brothers, where among other things Jake and Elwood casually dodge bullets from multiple shooters, survive a propane explosion, having an apartment complex dropped on them, and walk away from several car crashes that would probably kill a normal human. It's heavily implied to be the result of Divine Intervention, as they're on a Mission from God.
  • The Mask is basically a superhero whose powers are Toon Physics, always acting like a goofball and/or a prop comic to fight his enemies and the villains (they're not necessarily the same). Of course when an evil mobster gets his hands on the titular mask, you can just swap "comical" with "Nightmare Fuel" and hero with "villain".
  • The Pink Panther: Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau of the Sûreté is a stealth example. On the surface he's a bungling incompetent, but try to hurt or kill him and the would-be assassins will wind up killing each other or themselves...

    Literature 
  • Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM) is this Played for Laughs. We already know he'll get out of it alive and well and his reputation as an Invincible Hero further increased, we're just here to see how many shout-outs/willing young ladies/creative excuses/sadistic choices he'll run into.
  • In Discworld, Cohen the Barbarian and his Silver Horde (the youngest of whom being barely above ninety years old) are often played like this, especially in Interesting Times. They are very old men, with all the ailments that come with their age, but also with a lifetime experience of not dying. Whatever you throw at them - guards, ninjas, Valkyries coming to take them to Vallhala after they died, they will come out on top at the surprise of everyone else. The only time where they showed doubt was when about to fight a whole army, and the one time where they backed up from a fight was when they realised that their opponent was clearly The Hero.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Tick (2001) usually played the eponymous character's nigh-invulnerability for laughs. He even lampshades it in the opening moments of the first episode of the TV series by trying to blow himself up as a demonstration.
  • Angel Summoner on That Mitchell and Webb Look, whose power is to "summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will". The joke is that he's one half of a superteam with Not-So-Badass Normal "the BMX Bandit", who struggles to look relevant next to his nigh-omnipotent partner.

    Video Games 
  • Many games and sub-games in the Kirby series opt to crank the absurdity of Kirby's incredible powers Up to Eleven in order to provide players with some of the most hilarious means possible of annihilating enemies.
    • In Kirby Mass Attack's subgame, Kirby Quest, you get access to some insanely hilarious yet powerful moves to oblierate enemies as you build up your squad of Kirbies. Such moves include immolating opponents are eating some Super Spicy Curry and plowing through them with a super sized Kirby mecha.
    • In Kirby: Triple Deluxe: Kiby's Hypernova form amplifies the power of Inhale to such absurd extremes that it ends up shattering the fabric of the medium itself and leads to you stomping a lot of foes in rather hilarious fashion. When used against Flowery Woods in a later level, you not only Inhale the pesky tree in on swoop, basically one shotting him, but you even suck up his HP bar with him! Not even Queen Sectonia is spared this madness in her final moments.
  • Saxton Hale of Team Fortress 2 fame. Just about every piece of material with him in it has to do with ridiculously dangerous stunts such as skydiving out of exploding planes and murdering massive beasts with his bare hands. There's even a custom game mode called Vs. Saxton Hale which pits an entire team of mercenaries against a one-shotting Hale with an absurd amount of health. The only thing that ever canonically puts a stop to him is Gray Mann forcing him to fight a little girl.

    Webcomics 
  • The eponymous Adventure Dennis takes visible damage sometimes, but it never affects him and always goes away.
  • Dan in Bad Guy High, for the most part.
  • Basic Instructions has Rocket Hat, who dishes out constant effortless beat-downs of the Moon Men (or at least their emperor), but when the reader can actually see him, he never moves or even speaks. In fact, throughout the entire run of the comic, he only appears in two poses.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Othar Tryggvassen, GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER! is generally treated as so invulnerable that they often don't bother to show or explain how he escapes traps (or only a vague Noodle Incident-style description of the items he used is listed).
    • When der Kestle opens a bottomless-pit trapdoor under him, his sister yells at it in anger and grief. Der Kestle is unswayed, saying that he wasn't much of a hero if he could be killed by a little something like that... and sure enough, Othar strolls back into the room in the very next panel, with an offhand comment about how annoying the Castle is.
    • Exploited by Gil when he chains Tarvek to "OTHAR TRYGGVASSEN Gentleman Adventurer, vanquisher of eeeevil", dumps them in his prototype flying machine, and drops them out of his airship, knowing full well Othar (and Tarvek by extension) will survive. He even calls out to Tarvek wanting to know how Othar gets out of that one.
      Tarvek: How did you—
      Othar: HA! A mere chain is nothing for an adventurer such as myself!
      Tarvek: What? No! I thought he'd broken your back!
      Othar: Oh, that. Special trousers.
      Tarvek: What!?
      Othar: Very heroic.
  • Powers Guy in the webcomic Man-Man is a Superpower Lottery winner who can sort out anything; usually off panel.
  • The Non-Adventures of Wonderella. Usually there's no question that anyone Wonderella fights is going to lose, and the problem is convincing her to fight. One comic shows her having killed a bunch of other superheroes, and the pile of bodies is drawn including a lot of famous ones, including Superman. However, this is subject to modification by the Rule of Funny: in just a few individual strips, the joke requires her to have some difficulties fighting an opponent.
  • Bun-Bun from Sluggy Freelance, most of the time. While he's faced some serious challengers, the majority of his fights are him utterly dominating someone just off panel. Then again, the "hero" side of it is questionable, as he usually has to be bribed, tricked, or otherwise convinced to fight villains.
  • Tom the Dancing Bug: GodMan, the superhero with omnipotent powers. He's basically God (from the Bible) fused with Superman. He's the image of the God-Mode Sue page for a reason.

    Western Animation 
  • Much of the humor in Baby Huey revolves around this trope. The fox frequently tries to do him in and have a meal, but every one of his traps backfire horribly due to Baby Huey's size. Of course, Huey is usually completely unaware of this.
  • Cow's Spanish-speaking superhero alter-ego, Supercow, from Cow and Chicken. Whenever she becomes Supercow, there's always a Curbstomp Battle without Cow getting a single scratch. Otherwise however, things are different.
  • In many of his appearances, Droopy was absolutely unstoppable. Drop a safe on him, and he'll open it from the inside. Throw him off a cliff, and he'll be standing behind you when you turn around. Usually he was just that good, but on one occasion the punchline was that there were dozens of him. And in the event he told his foe that he was angry, he’d give them the beating of a lifetime.
  • Looney Tunes
    • Speedy Gonzales' Super Speed made him completely untouchable in most of his original appearances, all of which was played in a slapstick tone. In the De Patie Freleng shorts, he was made slightly more fallible but still had shades of this.
    • To a lesser extent Bugs Bunny and the rest of the hero ensemble. Bugs lost slightly more often even in his earliest appearances but his obvious superior wit over his foes is often a defining trait and a prominant source of humor.
    • Pair this trope to an Iron Butt-Monkey, and you have many of the Chuck Jones Road Runner and Coyote shorts, where an invincible Roadrunner will wade through all of Wile E. Coyote's "ingenius" traps. The Zany Cartoon Cartoon Physics, Wile E. Coyote's inability to think things through, and the Roadrunner's ability to always surprise the Coyote conspire to keep the Roadrunner perfectly safe.
  • The animated incarnation of The Mask in spades. He is basically a Nigh-Invulnerable Reality Warper who can make things work on Cartoon Physics at will. As soon as Stanley puts the mask on and his alter ego The Mask comes out, the villains no longer stand a chance. But since he is also a huge Troll who enjoys messing with his opponents with hilarious hijinks, you usually still spend a good time watching him win constantly.
  • When the Road Rovers came up against a foe they couldn't beat, there was always a last resort: releasing Muzzle from his Hannibal Lecter-style straitjacket frame. The camera stayed on the other Road Rovers while Muzzle took care of business off-camera. This only failed once, when Muzzle was distracted by a female dog.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Armed with Charles Atlas Superpower and an incredibly powerful Magic Wand, Ludo and his minions (for now) hardly pose any threat to her. But she just so happens to be a Genki Girl and a Magically Inept Fighter so she'll often use the most zany, over-the-top, and outrageous of methods to defeat her enemies in the most hilarious way possible. From narwhal blasts to super syrup waves. As a bonus, she often leaves quite a bit of collateral damage in her wake. Star is also hilariously inept at using her wand for anything other than combat purposes, which leads to her accidentally doing things like sucking Marco's room into a black hole or turning her home-room teacher into a troll.
    Star: (In the credits) I'm blasting monsters and I never break a sweat!
  • The Tick: The show is certainly prone to using the Tick's Nigh-Invulnerability for a laugh, such as when he auditions for his super hero locale by surviving an absurd deathtrap during the pilot. Even when in an actual scrap that has some dramatic weight behind it, the Tick will often suffer a comic pratfall that turns on his being nearly indestructible.

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