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That's what you get after a Deal with the Devil.... or the god of the underworld, in this case.

"This crystal chamber has harnessed the rays of the red sun of Krypton. Once exposed to these rays, all your great powers on Earth will disappear forever. But consider once it is done, there is no return. You will become an ordinary man. You will feel like an ordinary man. You can be hurt like an ordinary man. My son, are you sure?"
Lara to her son Kal-El, Superman II

A superpowered character (generally a very powerful one) loses their powers for a permanent or extended period of time.

This isn't just a case of Brought Down to Normal which inevitably ends, but a much longer-lasting if not permanent reduction in strength. This is often done as a long-term Drama-Preserving Handicap on the character in order to keep them in the cast without having to write them off or use really convoluted Green Rocks and Kryptonite Factor plots. (This may be accomplished by a Power Nullifier.)

It's unlikely the character will be pleased by this turn of events, and if they're power-hungry or evil they'll fight tooth and nail to find a way to get it back. Heroes who just want to be normal will be happy, even if it means they can no longer use their finger-snapping problem-solving powers.

This trope mostly applies to characters who are already gods, godlike, or mortals who through the story gain powers to rival the gods. The result is usually a God in Human Form. Expect them to learn that Power Loss Makes You Strong... that is, unless being depowered leads to their death.

This isn't just a simple Failure Is the Only Option or Status Quo Is God, where a character who gains godlike powers has them gone in the same episode, but the writers trying jump out of the corner they've painted themselves into by depowering the character who by all indications should/could have kept all their powers throughout the show.

If this happened because the character was transported to another dimension, it's because Your Magic's No Good Here. Subtrope of Brought Down to Normal. See also How to Stop the Deus ex Machina, Field Power Effect, and De-Power Zone.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Angel Sanctuary: Alexiel's true powers were unsealed with the destruction of Eden.
  • Bleach:
    • Uryuu Ishida broke the Quincy limits in the Soul Society arc when Letzt Stil turned him into a Walking Wasteland to worlds that are built of reishi (Soul Society and Hueco Mundo). He was able to one-shot both a captain and his bankai at the same time at the cost of losing his power forever. Parent ex Machina restored his power, revealing that Uryuu's power was under-developed and immature. The final arc revisits this by finally allowing him to begin developing the true power his father indicated he was capable of more than 200 chapters previously.
    • Ichigo went through a de-power at the end of the Arrancar Arc after fighting Aizen. The Lost Agent Arc was about the process of him finding a way to gain power to replace the power he's lost and during which time he became a Badass in Distress, requiring the shinigami to step in at the very last minute to save him by restoring his shinigami powers. It was further confirmed his power to date had been controlled and suppressed by his Quincy heritage so it takes the final arc before he's allowed to begin developing his power properly. However, Yhwach later strips Ichigo of his Quincy and Hollow powers after defeating him.
    • Yhwach possesses the ability to perform a ritual that de-powers any Quincy that is selected for it. He used it nine years before the final arc to steal the power of all Quincies he classified as "impure", including Ichigo and Uryuu's mothers (Masaki and Kanae). Masaki was de-powered just as she entered battle with the Grand Fisher, leaving her defenceless against a hollow she should have curbstomped. At the same moment, Kanae collapsed into a coma that lasted three months before she finally died; de-powering her literally destroyed her very life.
  • Happened to Havoc in the backstory of Darker than Black. However, she really doesn't want her powers to come back, since that would also mean that she'd lose her feelings and morals again, and she drank children's blood when she was a Contractor. In season 2, Hei loses his Shock and Awe powers, making him less of a One-Man Army, although he's still a formidable opponent.
  • The Fox & Little Tanuki: Senzou, an evil fox who wrought havoc in times past, was sealed by the gods and had his power slowly sapped. When he is released at the start of the story, he is about as impressive as an average fox. The Sun Goddess promises to restore his powers if he raises a promising tanuki pup named Manpachi to be an upstanding servant of the gods.
  • In the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and Brotherhood, protagonist Edward Elric gives up his alchemy for his brother Al's body at the end of the series.
  • The Hero Laughs While Walking the Path of Vengeance a Second Time: After the Goddess of Earth resets the timeline, Kaito gets reset to Level 1. However, he retains all his techniques, as well as the stat boosts he gained from the Achievement System, so he is still pretty powerful.
  • High School D×D has this happen to Ophis, the Ouroboros Dragon. She was originally introduced as so powerful that fighting her was a laughable concept, such that the next-most powerful character so far introduced was barely able to inflict damage at all (and what damage he did was immediately healed). Then a huge portion of her power was stolen by the villains. Shortly thereafter, Ophis gives up even more power when resurrecting Issei. While still a very powerful character, Ophis is no longer invincible and is out-powered by the primary villains.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Late in the Chimera Ant arc, Gon sacrifices his gigantic potential to utterly destroy Neferpitou, to avenge the murder of Kite. After nearly dying and recovering thanks to Killua and Alluka's help, Gon permanently lost his Nen and the ability to perceive it.
  • In Japan Tengu Party Illustrated, La Résistance discovers why the powerful tengu (supernatural crows and transformed humans) hate and fear a certain professor: he's discovered a real tengu, a large, seemingly flightless bird (think Kevin) and if the supernatural tengu, who use their uniqueness to define their very existence see the bird they become permanently depowered into ordinary humans and crows. Strangely enough, the tengu had no clue about the bird (it's as elusive as bigfoot) and were only going on the fact that the professor was snooping on them and thus a serious threat.
  • Season 1 of K establishes that a King can beat any non-King in combat, and both the Red and Blue Kings are after the main characters. In season 2, the aforementioned main character has been revealed as the most powerful King of all, and he makes an alliance with the Red and Blue Kings to defeat the Green King. They are just barely enough to top the Green King, and it would be difficult to justify an antagonist more powerful than him, so the series has the alliance defeat the Green King by destroying the Slates that give them their powers.
  • In the third season of Monster Rancher, Mocchi and Tiger of the Wind are briefly sealed into Mystery Discs. After they're revived, both learn that they have lost all but their most basic fighting moves, and must rebuild their strength from the ground up. The younger Mocchi copes with this much easier than the more Prideful Tiger, who repeatedly denies that he's lost anything and suffers for it.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • All Might starts the series on a massive drain thanks to the injuries he sustained during a fight with his Arch-Nemesis, All For One, several years prior to the start of the series, which caused him to revert to a frail and weak state. From that point on, he could only use his powers to maintain his hulking physique for a few hours each day, which over the years has steadily decreased. This is why he chooses to transfer his Quirk, One for All, to Izuku Midoriya and train him to become his successor. By the time he finally defeats All For One at the end of the Hideout Raid arc, the remaining power he had is completely spent and he's forced to retire.
    • At the end of the Training Camp arc, Ragdoll, a member of the hero team, Wild Wild Pussycats, was captured by the League of Villains. It was then revealed when she was rescued in the Hideout Raid arc that her Quirk was stolen by All For One.
    • During the Internship Arc, the Shie Hassaikai, under the leadership of Overhaul, created special bullets that can rob someone of their Quirk either temporarily or permanently. His plan was to sell the rarer permanent variety to other villains and then sell the cure to the heroes, in order to rule society from the shadows like All For One. Overhaul managed to do this by drawing the blood out of a tortured little girl named Eri, which contains her unique and powerful Quirk that he calls "Rewind" and then implanting the blood into bullet form. During his attempt to rescue Eri, Mirio Togata is shot with one of the permanent bullets and loses his Quirk.
      • During the Paranormal Liberation War arc, Eri has been properly trained to use her Quirk, and uses it to successfully undo the rewind effect on Mirio, allowing him to regain his powers.
    • Overhaul himself technically counts when at the end of the Internship arc, the League of Villains attack the prison convoy transporting him, taking a box filled with some of the Quirk destroying bullets and then cutting off both of his arms using their Quirks. While he still technically has his power, because his Quirk can only be activated using his hands, this renders him functionally Quirkless.
  • Naruto:
    • During Sasuke’s battle with his older brother Itachi, the latter removes the Curse Mark placed on his brother by Orochimaru using his Susanoo.
    • Despite gaining new powers after the Fourth Shinobi World War, both Naruto and Sasuke lose some in particular, such as the Six Paths Yin and Yang Seals to seal away Kaguya Otsutsuki and Black Zetsu with both of those seals returning to the Sage of Six Paths, and after the two rivals face each other one last time, Naruto loses the Truth Seeking Orbs by the end of the series.
      • Naruto using the power of Flight hasn’t been seen since The Last, it’s implied that he still has it but he chooses not to use it to almost never using it for an, as of yet, unknown reason.
    • Kakashi Hatake loses his Sharingan after Madara takes it out of his eye socket, in order to get his other Rinnegan, and during the final battle against Kaguya, he temporarily gains both Sharingan eyes from Obito’s spirit, and after the final battle Kakashi loses them as well.
    • In the Sequel Series Boruto, Kurama dies in a Heroic Sacrifice during the battle against Isshiki, leaving Naruto without his superhuman chakra and unable to use his more powerful abilities.
  • Saint Seiya: Next Dimension had this since the last saga had all six of the main characters in God Cloths.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, there's a very rare phenomenon where NEXT will slowly lose their powers over a period of time. This starts happening to Kotetsu in the second half of the series, and Kotetsu learns in the 16th episode that his own hero, Mr. Legend, had the same thing happen to him — and really didn't take it well.

    Comic Books 
  • In All Fall Down, this happens to every superhero and villain in the world. Permanently.
  • The Silver Age The DCU had characters so powerful that they basically had to destroy the universe in order to De-power all of them.
    • In the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths era, Kryptonians -Superman, Supergirl and the like- could permanently lose their powers through exposure to Gold Kryptonite.
    • Post-Crisis Superman had to use this to defeat a group of Pre-Crisis Kryptonians in The Supergirl Saga; fortunately, Kryptonite only works on Kryptonians from the same universe.
    • Kryptonite Nevermore's goal was scaling Superman's off-the-charts Silver Age power levels way back to much more manageable levels (he lost 2/3 of his power). However, readers didn't take to this revision and DC was forced to backtrack.
    • In Legion of Super-Heroes story The Great Darkness Saga, Element Lad makes Gold Kryptonite in order to permanently strip a "Superman" clone of its powers.
    • In Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Superman exposes himself to Gold Kryptonite to remove his powers permanently.
    • Subverted in Starfire's Revenge when Dr. Kangle develops a pill to remove superhuman powers permanently. It does not work as intended, though, and Supergirl merely suffers periodic and unpredictable power losses.
    • This was also used in alternate universe storyline Superman & Batman: Generations. Superman's first child, Joel, was exposed to Gold Kryptonite in the womb. His sister wasn't, but she wore a red sun pendant in early childhood until she was ready for her powers. This eventually led to a bitter adult Joel being manipulated by Lex Luthor into using temporary powers to kill his sister.
    • During the 52 saga, Clark Kent spends the entire year powerless due to the events of Infinite Crisis. It drives Luthor nuts because there's no Superman around.
  • Fantastic Four: Galactus at one point depowered himself in Mark Waid's run in order to hide from planetary forces that wished to kill him for his actions.
  • The original Ghost Rider, John Blaze eventually had the demon exorcised from himself, making him a normal human, and he enjoyed it. He later became a sort of mentor to a new Ghost Rider.
    • Eventually, Johnny Blaze became the Ghost Rider again and fought his way out of hell.
  • Marvel's Secret Wars II has the Beyonder become a human to see what it's like.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • Ultimate Fantastic Four: The Skrulls arrive benevolently and give every human on Earth superpowers with a pill (only Ben Grimm refuses). Then they cause a massive simultaneous De-Power so they can invade unimpeded... except Ben Grimm is still a Badass Normal and thwarts the invasion all by himself, via time travel.
    • The Ultimates: In The Ultimates 2, Loki is a reality-warping Physical God able to summon an entire army from Asgard and fight toe-to-toe with his brother. However, as a direct result of him cutting loose, he lands squarely on Odin's radar. The Allfather re-powers Thor and sends a squadron of Valkyries to back up The Ultimates while stripping Loki of his godhood. In a later arc, he reappears, still mortal, having to rely on his own magical prowess and wits.
  • After having all the adamantium in his skeleton ripped out by Magneto during the Fatal Attractions (Marvel Comics) storyline, Wolverine found himself subjected to this, with his claws reduced to bone and the efficacy of his Healing Factor heavily reduced.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Diana was depowered for a while in the 70s. DC wanted to cash in on Action Girls and was aiming for Power Loss Makes You Strong.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Cassie (Wonder Girl) eventually learns that the powers Zeus "granted" her for her heroism were actually hers by birth, but that she had been depowered before she'd ever been born because her mother wanted her to have a normal human life and Zeus wanted to hide his infidelity from Hera.
  • X-Men:
    • Nate Grey the X-Man might hold the record for the most cases of this happening to a single character. As he is a Superpower Lottery winner writ large, with Story-Breaker Power sufficient to crack a narrative in half, nerfing him is understandable from a narrative standpoint, though the sheer number of times writers had to resort to it is still impressive.
    • Banshee lost his sonic scream powers when his vocal cords were damaged. He eventually healed enough to use them again, but it took decades in real llife time.
    • In the second season of X-Men: The Animated Series, Big Bad Mr. Sinister builds a device that depowers all mutants in the Savage Land. He and his minions safeguard themselves by way of (of all things) special belts. A similar plot was also used in the first volume of Adjectiveless X-Men, except it was the High Evolutionary serving as the Big Bad (though he was being manipulated by Mr. Sinister who quickly betrayed him)) and his de-powering plot affected all mutants across the planet, not just those in the Savage Land.
    • The infamous "M-Day" event, where the Scarlet Witch, deep into a psychotic breakdown due to being exploited by Doctor Doom, used her Reality Warper powers on maximum to declare "No More Mutants". The result is referred to in-universe as "The Decimation", as 99% of all mutants in the Marvel world were permanently Brought Down to Normal, and the X-gene stopped manifesting in all subsequent births entirely. The latter effect was eventually undone and a sizable portion of the depowered Mutants would later regain their powers through various means. While some who had been Blessed with Suck were quite grateful for it, the vast majority of mutantdom still loathes Wanda for it, rendering her an absolute pariah amongst the mutant community. In House and Powers of X, there is even a briefly shown sequence of mutant children reacting to the mere mention of her name with revulsion and horror, establishing just how bad her reputation has become.
  • In Batgirl story arc The Attack of the Annihilator, the Big Bad gets permanently devolved into his non-powered human state when he is encased in ice by Kara and Babs.

    Fan Works 
  • The Desert Storm: Happens to Qui-Gon at the end of the Tarot arc. After Maul stabs Qui-Gon through the chest, Obi-Wan uses the Nightsisters' magick to keep Qui-Gon alive, unintentionally cutting off the latter's connection to the Force in the process.
  • A majorly shocking moment in Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters, is when Daolon Wong ultimately has all of his magic stripped from him by Charles Ludmoore, who assimilates it into himself, leaving Wong as a normal human.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: The soul that was the Nightmare is stripped of its position and abilities by Balance before being cast into its permanent prison.
  • In A Triangle in the Stars, Bill has lost the majority of his powers, which is initially why he sticks with Steven. However, he knows he'll get them back, and steadily regains the abilities he's lost as time goes on.
    • But with this, he also needs to sleep, and using too much power at a time exhausts him and causes him to lose abilities if it's bad enough.
  • What Insertion?: Happens to both Hellmaster Phibrizzo and Deep Sea Dolphin after they get banished from the Slayers universe. Phibrizzo especially is hit hard, losing his vast power over death and most of his magical reserves after turning half-human; all he has left to start with are his ability to teleport via the astral plane and his Dark Harsh technique, and that just barely. In Dolphin's case, it's not quite as bad, since she got a few new powers out of the deal and because her mind is what's trapped on Earth instead of her body, but the tremendous might afforded to her as one of Ruby Eye's foremost creations is still completely inaccessible.
  • A Diplomatic Visit:
    • In two ways in chapter 4 of the sequel Diplomat at Large - first, Discord strips Chrysalis of her status as the Lady of Self-Centeredness; second, she's Sealed, robbing her of her changeling powers once and for all.
    • Chapter 11 reveals that Adagio Dazzle, leader of the siren trio, is actually the Lady of Hatred. Like Chrysalis, she's stripped of her Power for abusing it, having used her fellows to channel it and spread its effects, which is against the rules.
    • In chapter 7 of the second sequel, Diplomacy Through Schooling, Neighsay's captor breaks his horn off, and then burns away the nerve endings to ensure he can never use magic again.
  • The Firefly fic "Just Folk Now" does a crossover where Mal was Caleb from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Zoe was Jasmine and Jayne was Adam, both from Angel and Inara was Adria from Stargate SG-1. As the title says, they’re all just normal humans now, living in the ‘verse

    Films — Animated 
  • The Disney version of Hercules has him lose all of his godly powers except super strength as a baby, get them back full force towards the end, and chooses to be Brought Down to Normal (er, normal for him, so he's still super strong) so he can be with his beloved Meg.
  • The Chinese animated film Monkey King: Hero Is Back features a main character who is famous for singlehandedly defeating all the gods by himself. Except for the first and last few minutes, he spends the entire film unable to use his magic powers.
  • Steven Universe: The Movie: The villain has a weapon called a rejuvenator that's capable of giving full Gems Identity Amnesia. On Half-Human Hybrid Steven, although he's immune to being poofed and cannot get amnesia, the weapon instead saps his powers, putting him back to where he was at the beginning of the series.
  • In Tangled, Eugene cuts Rapunzel's hair so that Gothel cannot use it to exploit her anymore. Rapunzel believes this means she has lost her Healing Powers that could help her save Eugene's life after Gothel stabs him. Subverted when the magic of The Power of Love in Rapunzel's tears are able to save Eugene.
  • In Turning Red, Mei's female relatives do this to themselves voluntarily sealing away their red panda spirits and with them the ability to transform into giant red pandas.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Superman II, Clark gives up his powers to be with Lois Lane... of course, this turns out to be a spectacularly bad idea. At least, it's spectacularly badly timed, since Zod and his cronies broke out of the Phantom Zone soon after.
  • In Wim Wenders' movies Wings of Desire and Faraway, So Close!, the protagonists are angels who renounce their status as spiritual creatures in order to experience mortal life as human beings. It's hinted that Peter Falk, of all people, is himself a former angel.
  • In Halo: Nightfall, Colonel Randall Aiken of the Sedran Colonial Guard is actually Randall-037, a Spartan-II (the same series as Master Chief Petty Officer John-117) who was missing in action and presumed dead for years. Once contact was reestablished, he struck a deal with ONI to have many of his Spartan augmentations removed in exchange for them no longer pressuring him to rejoin the UNSC. Thus while he has the experience of a Spartan and the natural physical strength that came with being a SPARTAN-II candidate (he lifts a HAVOK nuke onto his shoulder and carries it for several kilometers unaided), he is no longer a Super Soldier.
  • In Hercules (1983), this happens to Circe when (an unseen) Aphrodite, on Zeus's orders, causes her to fall in love with Hercules, as love causes a witch to lose all of her powers; this keeps them from making it all the way to Atlantis by way of the flying chariot, forcing them to finish the journey on foot. Zeus does this to counter Hera's complaints that he and Athena have given Hercules too many advantages since Circe's magic supplements his already-superhuman strength in various ways.

  • The Belgariad: A Sadistic Choice threatens this: before resurrecting a dead Muggle love interest, the Gods ask whether Polgara the Sorceress would accept a life together where she would have no more power than the love interest. She accepts, only to find out later that rather than de-power her, they empowered him.
  • Earthsea: Tehanu, written decades after the original trilogy, discusses how a character adapts to the permanent loss of his magical power in the original trilogy.
  • The Factory Witches of Lowell ends with Hannah losing all her magic. Hannah tells Judith she's happy with the change, as her powers prevented her from living a normal life.
  • Ferals Series:
    • The Midnight Stone has the ability to take a portion of a feral's powers and store it into itself.
    • The Mother of Flies later ends up severing her bond with the flies after exerting too much of her power in her battle with Caw.
    • In The White Widow's Revenge, Caw temporarily has his feral abilities taken away from him by Black Corvus, but regains them in a confrontation with Corvus in the Land of the Dead.
  • Fine Structure starts with the Big Good sealing himself and the Big Bad in our universe (where they're both, at least temporarily, end up as a God in Human Form). Also, a side effect of one character's You Shall Not Pass! moment is the depowering of every Flying Brick superhero in the setting.
  • Good Omens: The angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley are effectively immortal, but could still be inconvenienced by bodily discorporation. Both are agreed that a new terror applies if they were to lose their human bodies through misadventure. Namely, having to explain it to their respective unhelpful bureaucracies and to fill in all the forms and follow all the procedures so as to account for the loss and — eventually — be issued new mortal forms. Later in the story, Aziraphale really does lose his earthly body. He is forced to resort to serial possession of humans until he gets it back.
  • Guardians of the Flame: Andrea loses her magic due to casting a powerful spell which destroys this.
  • Guns of the Dawn: Warlocks get their powers from their king, so when Denland's monarchy fell, it was left without warlocks to bolster its army in the war against Lascanne. This kind of de-powerment becomes unexpectedly useful at the end of the book when Giles Scavian, a warlock of Lascanne captured when the Denlanders won the war, is rendered harmless and therefore safe thanks to Emily killing her own country's king.
  • The Little Witch: The little Witch strips the big witches of their magic, leaving her the only active witch in the world.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Gandalf, Saruman, and the other Wizards are angelical powers in the form of old men sent by the Valar to assist the people of Middle Earth. Morgoth and Sauron also were both eventually trapped in the material form that they have assumed, as a consequence of their corruption.
  • Of Fire and Stars:
    • Peaceroot is a plant that can be used to prevent mages from doing magic if they're drugged with it, but this has nasty side effects like horrible headaches and necrosis that starts at the digits before spreading over time the more it's taken.
    • Sigvar, a cult leader in a Zumordan village, also gets his ability to do magic permanently removed after nearly enslaving the country's queen into his Hive Mind cult through removing his horns when he's in his deer form.
  • The Power: Bernie and Darrell Monke conspire to steal Roxy Monke's skein so that they can take back control of their criminal empire.
  • Rai Kirah: Derzhi strip the magic from their Ezzarian slaves, including the protagonist Seyonne, with the torturous "Rites of Balthar". Victims are Buried Alive for days until they've exhausted all their power staving off death, then Mind Raped by sorcerers to destroy what remains. However, it's only a trauma-based mental block, and Seyonne is able to regain access to his power with help from his old friends.
  • Renegades: In the second book, the eponymous heroes premiere Agent N, a chemical that can (apparently permanently) de-power a prodigy, with the intent on using it to neutralize villains. Though Nova is horrified, as it basically means that anyone not with the Renegades will be permanently stripped of part of what makes them them, her Anarchist compatriots are elated and want to use it themselves.
  • Small Gods centers around Brutha, the reluctant chosen one of the Great God Om, who has incarnated in the form of a turtle. Not his fault, mind you; he had planned to incarnate as a giant raging bull, but the Omnian religion has become a Corrupt Church ruled by fear of the Exquisition rather than any genuine faith, and in a world where Gods Need Prayer Badly and belief can change the very nature of reality, this means bad news for any deity.
  • Warrior Cats: After the Dark Forest is defeated, Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Dovewing permanently lose their special abilities (The Empath/Dream Walker for Jayfeather, Nigh-Invulnerability for Lionblaze, Super Senses for Dovewing).
  • The Wheel of Time: Aside from various measures to temporarily remove Channelers from the Source, such Mat's amulet, a stedding, or being shielded by another channeler, there are two means by which a Channeler can permanently lose their power: accidentally, by trying to draw too much (this can also cause death in extreme cases), or by deliberate severing by another Channeler. This is called gentling for men and stilling for women. A cure is found about halfway through the series, but if one is cured by the same sex, their power will be restored to only a fraction of its original state.
  • Worm:
    • Cauldron apparently has a method of removing parahuman powers. Contessa uses it on Taylor at the end of the story.
    • This is possible for every parahuman in the setting due to shards drawing from a pool of energy to fuel the superpower they grant. While it seems the Entities planned out the rough amount of power the shard would need during dispersal its possible for the pool to run out of energy if the power is overused, as Taylor found out when using Doormaker's power.
  • Xanadu (Storyverse): In "Mermaids of Xanadu", the superhuman traffickers' plan hinges on the use of a newly-created mage's powers to suppress the effects of the Change on their victims, turning them back into regular humans. This is noted to be a dicey proposition, and in some ways more useful as a threat than as an actuality, as using it inherently ruins the value of their victims. The other main problem is that the mage can only sustain the spell for so long before running out of energy, and can't easily cover multiple targets at once.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Boys (2019):
    • Super Speed hero A-Train ends up being left unable to use his powers without threatening his life after his abuse of the Super Serum Compound V ruined his heart. Near the end of the third season, he gets over it through a heart transplant from another hero (that he killed).
    • Soldier Boy, Arc Villain of the third season, gains the ability to inflict this on Supes after he Came Back Strong, and hits Kimiko and Queen Maeve with it. The former just takes Compound V again and gets her powers back, while the latter takes the opportunity to live a normal life and goes into hiding.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Anyanka was a powerful vengeance demon who lost her powers to manipulate the past, thus changing the future. She got her powers back but then this happened to her again.
    • This happens to Willow with the destruction of the Seed of Wonder.
    • This also happened to Amy with the destruction of the Seed of Wonder.
  • Season Four of Angel: Cordelia, after becoming a minor The Powers That Be: "Oh god, I'm so bored."
    • Season Five as well: hellgod Illyria is brought down several orders of magnitude when she takes over Fred's physical body.
      • And even then she had massive Story-Breaker Power and in all her fights she effortlessly curb stomped everyone else. She had to be depowered further before any of the other characters could touch her.
    • Angel becomes human for a day in Season One.
  • Volume 4 of Heroes has done this with its two Game-Breaker heroes, Peter Petrelli (mass-Power Copying) and Hiro Nakamura (teleportation, time freeze, and time travel), whose powers were stolen by Big Bad Arthur Petrelli in Volume 3. Both have since regained much weaker versions of their original abilities: Peter can only copy one power at a time (losing the previous power whenever he takes on a new one), and he now needs to copy powers by touch; while Hiro was limited to stopping time, but it turns out that this was actually his powers becoming a bit unpredictable: they're killing him and he accelerates a brain tumor every time he uses his powers. He has his full range back, but his powers still misfire sometimes.
    • Similarly, Sylar lost all of his powers prior to Volume 2, got his two main ones (telekinesis and understanding how things work) back at the end, and has been expanding his collection ever since.
  • Stargate SG-1's Daniel Jackson spends a season as an ascended being and a frequent guest star before rejoining the mortal plane and the main cast in the following season.
  • Leo from Charmed (1998). He ascends thrice, the last time being part of a cabal of reality-warping godlike beings, before finally becoming mortal again.
    • Phoebe loses her active powers (but not her basic witch ones) during season six as punishment for abusing them for her own personal gain. She can earn them back when she proves herself worthy.
    • The Charmed Ones from the 2018 reboot lose their active powers at the start of season two. By the end, only the eldest sister regains her original power while the other two develop new ones.
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger kicked off the plot by having all the Super Sentai teams sacrificing their powers for a Combined Energy Attack that annihilates the Zangyack fleet invading Earth. At the end of the series, the Gokaigers, who have inherited that power, returned them to their rightful owners.
  • In order to keep them in check, one of the choices given to human telepaths in Babylon 5, alongside conscription into the MRA (Metasensory Regulation Authority) or prison, is a weekly sleeper injection to nullify their psychic abilities. It's not without its side effects, however, namely disassociation and depression.
  • Painkiller Jane The "chip" the agency tags neuros with prevents them from using their ability, letting them be taken in safely.
  • In Grimm, the Hexenbiester/Zauberbiester are a Mage Species, different from the other Wesen, as they are able to do things bordering on magic. However, their powers can be taken away if they ingest a Grimm's blood, which is what Nick forces Adelind to do (by forcibly kissing her, causing her to bite his lip). It's possible for a de-powered Hexenbiest to regain her powers, but it requires undergoing an extremely complex (and gross) ritual as well as the sacrifice of another Hexenbiest. Adelind does this and pays Nick back by de-powering him. Not only is he unable to see Wesen anymore, but his enhanced strength, speed, and senses are also gone.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: A full moon that only happens When the Planets Align once every fifty years will strip any mermaid in the Moon Pool of their powers. This happened to Gracie in the past, and then to her granddaughter Charlotte in the final episode of the second season.
    • Mako Mermaids: An H₂O Adventure: The Water Dragon's cold fire will turn any mermaid it hits into a normal human. Most of Weilan's pod lost their tails trying to fight it, as does Evie halfway through the third season.
  • In Haven, one of the Crocker family's Troubles is if they kill a Troubled person, everyone else in that person's family is rendered normal. Ironically, this happens to the Crocker family itself when Duke Crocker kills his brother Wade. Audrey Parker eventually gives Duke his Trouble back, plus a few extras.
  • Legend of the Seeker: The quillions can remove magic from a person (unlike the books, it doesn't require them to die).
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid has two examples in quick succession: Ex-Aid's Mid-Season Upgrade, Mighty Maximum X, has the ability to "hack" the Bugster Virus. He uses this power first to remove Genm's zombie-based Resurrective Immortality then, when faced with the Sadistic Choice to let the bastard live or betray his Hippocratic Oath and kill him, uses the hacking power to strip Genm of his ability to become a Kamen Rider.
  • In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Rita Repulsa creates and uses the Green Candle plotting to steal back the Green Ranger powers from Tommy. Jason fails to retrieve the candle and Tommy is forced to hand over the Power Coin to Jason to keep it out of Rita's hands. When Tommy completely lost his powers in Season 2, Lord Zedd creates Colored Candles from the remains of the old Green Candle to drain the other Rangers' powers, mostly to get Jason's goat over his failure. Thankfully, Jason comes out on top.
  • Misfits:
    • Seth can remove people's powers (with or without consent), then put them in other people.
    • Greg is able to remove a person's power through having sex with them (which he does repeatedly).
  • Odd Squad: In "End of the Road", the mid-season finale for Season 3, The Shadow takes away all of the present villains' powers and places them into a cube as part of her Evil Plan to funnel said powers through the tubes at Tube Central Station, which will release oddness into every Odd Squad precinct in the world. She promises the villains that they will receive their powers back when the plan is a success, but the Mobile Unit eventually manages to stop her and Opal convinces her to pull a Heel–Face Turn and become good. Even when the cube breaks and the powers are released into a large purple tornado (which the Mobile Unit, the Big O, and The Shadow manage to suck back into the cube), the villains never get their powers back, as the cube is handed to the Big O and kept in her possession until the events of "Box Trot", where the cube, and the powers, are disposed of in a black hole.
  • The Power (2023): As fear of the power grows, governments start researching ways to remove the skein that causes it surgically, or suppress this with a drug.
  • Supernatural: At the end of "Inherit The Earth", Jack steals all of Chuck's divine power, reducing him to an ordinary human.
  • The Thundermans: In the episode Thunder in Paradise, Dark Mayhem had a secret supply Malvexium, an element that can render superheroes/villains powerless.
  • The Wheel of Time (2021):
    • Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah are devoted to hunting down men who can channel the One Power, after which it's stripped from them, which they call "gentling". It's shown in the pilot (with very ungentle effects).
    • Non-permanent "shielding" also blocks the ability to channel, but it requires constant effort to maintain.note  Aes Sedai keep the captive Logain Ablar this way, and he returns the favor when he briefly breaks free.
    • Stripping power from women is called "stilling". Ba'alzamon does this to Moiraine in episode 8.

    Multiple Media 

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, one flash to the future shows a mysterious group called the Overseers who are capable of permanently removing a character's superpowers. This is revealed when Benedict notices that Zia has to ask him questions, rather than pluck the answers from his mind, prompting her to reveal that her telepathy was removed.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Leon loses his half-god powers when he is resurrected as a mortal. All mortals lose their innate magical abilities after the Cataclysm which was caused by the Godslayer.
  • The plot of Roll To Dodge: Savral, which originated in the TV Tropes Roll to Dodge thread, begins this way. Prior to Cathy's takeover, players could easily travel to alternate dimensions, form armies of their own, possess important figures and become gods themselves. Once Cathy ascended to godhood, she removed all of their powers, reducing them to the equivalent of 1st level RPG characters. Part of the story involves reclaiming the powers that were lost.
  • In Veritable, Sayaka's sword has the ability to rob magical girls of their abilities. Homura finds out the hard way, losing a handful of abilities during their fight. Permanently.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition gives this as a possible character's background, where you could no longer use arcane effects.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • After Time Spiral, all Planeswalkers suffered this; most notably Nicol Bolas, who went from a Physical God to your average, run of the mill [Dragon Mage with a thousand gambits.
    • In War of the Spark, Bolas tries to undo his depowering by stealing the Sparks of other Planeswalkers with the Elderspell, only to lose his own Spark and be permanently stripped of his magical powers when his enemies turn the Elderspell against him.

    Video Games 
  • Amaterasu in Ōkami has been severely weakened after being Sealed Good in a Can for hundred years. This means even lowly imps can pose a challenge, and by the end of the game you're strong enough to challenge Yami, god of the Void and Darkness.
  • Jade Curtiss from Tales of the Abyss is a major Crutch Character. When you meet him, he's level 45 and awesome enough to wipe the floor with anything your party might encounter, but he soon gets almost all of his powers sealed away and has to spend the majority of the game unsealing them. (ie: Leveling up again)
  • The World Ends with You: Joshua, the Composer seals much of his powers away so he can play the "game" he has going fairly. Several characters try to take advantage of this to kill him... only to discover that even at "baseline human," he can still deflect bullets with his mind.
  • In Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories Etna is depowered by 999 levels to level 1.
  • In Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten Valvatorez was depowered from at least level 4000 (as revealed in a flashback DLC) to level 1 after he decided to honor his deal with Artina to not drink human blood until he could scare her even after her death. This also lowers his natural aptitudes so even if you level him back to 4000 he is still weaker than his past self.
  • At the midpoint of Dragon Quest XI Mordegon takes the power of the Luminary from The Hero. In an instance of Gameplay and Story Integration when this happens that portion of the skill tree is removed.
  • Mantorok, an Eldritch Abomination from Eternal Darkness, is sealed within his own temple by Pious Augustus. This prevents him from being able to fuel any Summon Magic the player character tries to cast using his rune (meaning no Mantorok Trappers, Zombies, or Horrors). For extra irony, Pious used a spell fueled with Mantorok's own supreme element to seal it.
  • Happens in Final Fantasy XIV to Thancred after Y'shtola's Flow spell leaves them trapped in the Lifestream resulting in him losing his ability to conduct Aether. By the time of Shadowbringers, he's managed to somewhat subvert this by using the new Gunbreaker job, with Minfilia/Ryne charging shells with aether for him to use.
  • This is basically the player character in both of the Knights of the Old Republic games. They used to be very powerful but lost their memory and/or powers just before the start of the game, and you have to gain it back slowly.
  • Hero Must Die has this happen to The Hero, who was brought back to life for five days after defeating the Demon Lord to set his affairs in order. As time passes, his power gradually wanes, he forgets his magic spells, and he is forced to use weaker armor and weapons to compensate for his dwindling strength, as well as relying increasingly on his allies to help him in battle.
  • Happens to two of the three Sacred Treasure bearers by the time The King of Fighters XIII rolls around because of Ash Crimson. Chizuru Kagura is unfortunately depowered to the point she can't even fight anymore but Iori Yagami doesn't let this handicap stop him and enters the tournament anyway (his family's fighting style also incorporates slashing attacks, which is what makes up the bulk of his moves without flame powers). By the end, he regains his power, despite the fact having it can turn him into a bloodthirsty monster if he's exposed to the Orochi's power.
  • In God of War II, Kratos is Brought Down to Badass and slain by Zeus at the start, allowing the player to reacquire his powers as the story progresses.
  • This happens to Magolor in Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe's Magolor Epilogue; After being defeated as Magolor Soul, he is banished to the depths of Another Dimension, being stripped of almost all of his powers in the process.
  • In Lunar: Eternal Blue, the main heroine, Lucia, begins as a literal demigod, with enough power to cripple final-dungeon-level enemies that she freely uses to annihilate any enemy you face... until partway out of the first dungeon, when Evil God Zophar strips her of her power and leaves her a weak, helpless mortal. She can regain much of her power with experience, but for a time she's no better than the rest of the cast.
  • In Touhou Tenkuushou ~ Hidden Star in Four Seasons, Okina Matara steals the power of the heroine, leaving her with 0.00 power and unable to collect more power again just as Okina uses their sub-weapon to make her final spell card.
  • In Cthulhu Saves the World, the titular Eldritch Abomination gets stripped of his powers by a mysterious wizard, and to get his powers back, he should become a true hero. Hearing that from narrator of the story, Cthulhu then embarks on a quest to become a true hero to reclaim his powers back and destroy the world. He succeeds in the fake-out ending, but then narrator, after learning that the player in not satisfied with the ending, reluctantly rewrites the story so Cthulhu would refuse to get his powers back after embracing his heroism.
  • In the very first cutscene in Genshin Impact, the Traveler (along with their twin) is shown to be flying, and their in-game dialogues outright show that they could travel between worlds before their encounter with the Unknown God. After the battle with Childe, they can choose to muse to themself about how they're gradually regaining their power.
  • Dishonored 2,
    • In the intro, Dahlia removes the Outsider's Mark from Corvo, leaving him without his powers from the last game. When you play as him, he'll meet the Outsider again and is offered the power of the Mark once again, but the player has the choice of rejecting it this time.
    • The non-lethal way of dispatching Delilah's top witch Breanna Ashworth involves tampering with a device so that it ends up draining her of her powers, rendering her useless to Delilah.
  • Shadow Hearts series:
    • Koudelka Iasant of Koudelka suffered this shortly before the first Shadow Hearts 1. She ended her own game with the power of a Druidic God in addition to her own significant Psychic Powers, but when she confronted Albert Simon, her opponent also had access to powers on that level, in the form of Amon, the God of Destruction. The fight ended with Koudelka drained of almost all of her powers and locked in a mental asylum, though she still had enough power to act as the voice in Yuri's head guiding him through the plot.
    • In the very beginning of Shadow Hearts: Covenant Yuri is is shown to canonically acquire aforementioned Amon as a Fusion, and demonstrates this power to a frightening effect. However, early on he gets stabbed by the Holy Mistletoe, and has all of his Fusions sealed. He manages to get basic Fusions back very quickly, but said power remains sealed until much later on.

  • In 8-Bit Theater the Light Warriors are all reduced to a fraction of their abilities by Sarda. Thief also has his class change stolen. By Thief.
  • In Dominic Deegan Gregory loses his White Magic when the Infernomancer rips them out of his chest. In the comic's final arc Dominic loses his Third Sight to the Beast, and his Second Sight returns to the Heart of Magic forever.
  • In Jenny and the Multiverse, after Lord Grallyx's fire is put out by dousing him in water, he is reduced to his true form of a tiny green lizard incapable of flight.
  • Kirby Card Clash started with Umbra doing this to Kirby, giving the comic a gimmick similar to the Milkyway Wishes subgame from Kirby Super Star and its DS remake.
  • In Plume:
    • It's implied that this is what Magnus wants to do for Corrick, although in this case, both parties would probably see this as a gift rather than a curse.
    • Azeel actually does that to Corrick, although the effects are, thankfully, only temporary.
  • In Mystery Babylon, J.J. once wielded angelic superpowers in his role as Heaven's Champion. However, once all but one of the demons on Earth were trapped in the Pit, he had fulfilled his duty as champion and accordingly lost his powers. He attempted to fight the last demon, Mystery Babylon, without his powers; and died as a result.
  • In Harbourmaster, any Yogzarthu who takes a bite out of Seisha Dree—such as Mormo—will find themselves adopting her Healing Factor in the worst way possible for them. Namely, they get locked into being a clone of her, with no way to shapeshift out—the Healing Factor interprets not-Seisha DNA as "damaged" and in need of "repair".
  • Heroes of Homeroom C: At the start of the series, Albert and Nicola are zapped by a weapon wielded by The Ruiner. While they're recovering, their parents are informed that the weapon took away their powers, meaning they can't be superheroes anymore. Or so it seems, as Nicole is shown some pages later to be able to fly.
  • In Draconia Chronicles, a dragon Priestess can call upon her patron to strip a sinner of her magic until she can prove she's worthy of getting it back with the current reigning dragon Queen deciding when that is. Tigers also have weapons made of a metal that radiates the specific counterwave for magical energy.
  • The Order of the Stick: When The Paladin Miko Miyazaki's Knight Templar tendencies escalate to the crime of summarily executing her liege lord, the Twelve Gods manifest in person to strip her of her powers.
    Belkar: But losing your paladinhood through your own willful actions? Do you have any idea how hard that is to reverse? Goodbye, Miko the Paladin—hello, Miko the Fighter-Without-Bonus-Feats.
  • Sleepless Domain:
    • It's natural for Magical Girls to lose their powers once they become too old to qualify as a 'girl' anymore. Zoe's older sister is noted to be a former magical girl who lost her powers.
    • Tessa ends up losing her powers earlier than expected when she burns out her magic healing Undine. This has had nasty effects on her mentally.
    • Mingxing also burned out her powers using her Super Speed to get baby Kokoro to the hospital right after being severely weakened from losing her arm. She considers it Worth It.
    • Carrying a pregnancy to term while still a magical girl can result in this as well, as the powers that the mother had somehow transfer to the baby. This is what happened to Kokoro's mother, and explains why Kokoro doesn't have windows that match the curtains, despite that being the norm for magical girls.
    • Anemone gives a brief explanation about magical burnout here. Apparently it's uncommon, but not unheard of.

  • RPC Authority: Many RPCs apply to this trope, known in-universe as neutralized anomalies. Examples include:
    • RPC-075 were two weeping figs that no human could cross the path between but were de-powered and now this no longer works.
    • RPC-478 was a painting that could take people into itself but was de-powered and now no longer works.

    Western Animation 
  • In the finale of Action Man (2000), the villains Tempest and Quake lose their powers permanently.
  • In the Grand Finale finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender Aang learns how to Energybend and uses it to remove the firebending abilities of Ozai as an alternative to executing him.
  • Kulipari: An Army of Frogs, Kulipari Quoba overextends her Kulipari powers to save Darel's life, burning out her poison entirely.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Amon leads an uprising known as the Equalists with the promise to remove the bending abilities of all benders who are oppressing non-benders. As he believes that bending is inherently oppressive, this leads to a crusade to eliminate all bending throughout the world. It is revealed that Amon is using a form of bloodbending, not the energybending which the Avatar uses, to perform his feats. His father, the crime lord Yakonne, had had his bending removed by Avatar Aang years before the start of the series. After the climax of the first season, Korra learns how to energybend herself and is able to reverse the de-powering of Amon's victims.
    • At the end of Season 2, Unalaq robs Korra of her connection to the past Avatars, erasing 10,000 years of knowledge & experience and weakening the Avatar cycle for generations to come.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The Villain of the Week can be weakened in any way if their weapon is taken away from them or broken any way; however, they will be de0akumatized completely once Ladybug uses her yo-yo to destroy the weapon and purify the akumatized butterfly used to evilize them.
  • In the episode "Mo Job" of The Powerpuff Girls (1998), Princess Morbucks teams up with Mojo Jojo to de-power The Powerpuff Girls. Princess obtains powers from the same device Mojo is using to nullify the girl's powers, but Princess is the only character who ends up being hit with it, removing the powers that she gets in the episode.
  • In the Grand Finale of Static Shock, most of the Bang Babies lose their powers permanently.
  • Shining Armor finds himself with black crystals embedded in his horn which seal off his magic after holding off King Sombra long enough so the others can escape in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
    • Starlight Glimmer can remove the Cutie Marks from ponies, taking away their special talent. The extent of the de-power depends on the pony: Twilight Sparkle loses all her magic, whereas Rainbow Dash can still fly, but without her usual rocket speed.
  • Both Bumblebee and Starscream lose their transformation cogs over the course of season 2 of Transformers: Prime. This leads to both Mode Lock and the inability to use their built-in weapons leaving both bots at a severe disadvantage against other Cybertronians.
  • Winx Club:
    • Bloom becomes de-powered near the end of Season 1 when the Trix steal her Dragon Flame powers. However, Daphne reveals the Trix can't steal the Dragon Flame completely because it's part of her, and once she believes in herself, she gets her powers back.
    • Stella loses her ability to transform after Chimera turns her into a hideous monster.
  • The titular team of W.I.T.C.H. "max out" their powers in the series finale in order to defeat Cedric.
  • In the Season Two Finale of Young Justice, "Black Beetle" loses his powers when his Reach Scarab is destroyed by Blue Beetle.

Alternative Title(s): Descend From A Higher Plane Of Existence, Depowered


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