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So a character once had some kind of amazing powers, but they had to give them up for some reason. They were sacrificed for a suitably noble purpose, the villain stole them, they broke from overuse, etc. The point is, their powers are gone. Bummer, isn't it? But don't worry, they won't stay De Powered for long. With a bit of Applied Phlebotinum or some intervention by the Powers That Be, they'll have new — and maybe even better — powers.


Compare Re-Power, which also involves a character getting a new powerset, but as part of a re-imagining or Alternate Universe. A subset of Powers as Programs. Supertrope to Mutually Exclusive Powerups, a gameplay mechanic version of this.


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    Anime and Manga 

  • Bleach is somewhat notorious for this.
    • Ichigo, as the main character, is unsurprisingly the worst offender.
      • Ichigo first gained active shinigami power by borrowing Rukia's pure shinigami reiatsu. When Byakuya depowered Ichigo by removing Rukia's power from him, Urahara immediately helped Ichigo awaken his own native shinigami potential. Cue Ichigo ending up with a hybrid mixture of shinigami and hollow power that was far better than anything Rukia had been able to give him.
      • And a few arcs (and several real time years) later, Ichigo loses all of his power and after a timeskip gains Fullbring; apparently this is Chad's power type.note 
      • He soon loses all but a fraction of that new power and then almost immediately regains his old powers (now slightly altered by the remnants of his Fullbring).
      • Now, not even a full arc later, he gets his Zanpakuto broken (thereby losing access to most of his shinigami powers) and soon after he gets it reforged into what is apparently the true form of his Zanpakuto, giving him two blades and as of yet unspecified new powers...which may be partly Quincy, based on his ancestry.
    • Uryuu burnt out his Quincy powers by using Letzt Stil during his battle with Mayuri for a massive temporary power boost. His father Ryuuken then revealed that there WAS a way around the Letzt Stil limit. The workaround was horrific but it came with expanded, more stable powers.
    • Most hollows lose their Healing Factor when they evolve into Arrancars to boost their other abilities further. Ulquiorra is one of the few who didn't.
    • Wonderweiss was modified to give him the ability to seal the abilities of Yamamoto's sword, at the cost of rendering him severely mentally disabled.
  • This is what happens with code acquisition in Code Geass: the geass user relinquishes their geass as part of the trade-off for the code, which gives them immortality, immunity to geass and the ability to create geass contracts with others.
  • This happens to Allen in D.Gray-Man. He temporarily loses Innocence and after Training from Hell he gets it back with a new more powerful form.
  • Patamon and Gatomon get this in Digimon Adventure 02. With the Control Spires up, Patamon couldn't Digivolve to Angemon. Due to a past event giving up their Ultimate forms, Gatomon was stuck where she was. The Digieggs of Hope and Light gave them access to their Armor Digivolutions, which at least gave them more power until they got access to their normal line again.
    • Patamon gets hit with this again in Digimon Adventure: (2020). He pretty much lost his power as Angemon after all the torture he went through chained up by Devimon. But after being encouraged by his partner to not give up hope, he's able to evolve into Pegasusmon instead.
  • In Naruto, during Itachi's and Sasuke's battle, after pushing his little brother to his limits and bringing Orochimaru out, Itachi (who wanted this) uses Susanoo to seal Orochimaru away, removing all of his influence from Sasuke. Soon after that, Sasuke heard the truth from Tobi, Sasuke develops his own Mangekyo Sharingan, meaning he replaced the more alien powers he got from Orochimaru with his clan's more natural (loosely speaking) powers.
  • Lina Inverse from Slayers was once cursed by a demoness, and lost all her magic powers. She started to wear talismans that gave her enough boost up to do at least some small spells. When the demoness was killed, the curse ended, and Lina not only got her powers back but also added one of the setting's most powerful spells to her repertoire. She still wears the talismans, which now make her destructive spells even more destructive! She ultimately has to sacrifice them for a big spell, and doesn't get a replacement.
  • This happens with a lot of Gundam shows to facilitate a Midseason Upgrade.
    • In Gundam SEED, Arthrun self destructs his Gundam to try and kill Kira, who is at that time his enemy. However, he gets a new, better Gundam a few episodes later. In Gundam SEED Destiny, The Savior is irreparably damaged after a fight against Kira and the Freedom. A few episodes later he upgrades to a better Gundam again, the Infinite Justice.
    • Likewise, in both series Kira upgraded to a stronger model shortly after his original machine was destroyed.
    • In Gundam X, the GX is retrofitted with numerous guns after it is nearly destroyed in a fight against Carris, trading the Satellite Gun for the the somewhat less powerful but far more practical Harmonica Cannon.
    • In Gundam 00, Gundam Exia is nearly destroyed at the start of the second season. Setsuna then switches to the titular 00. At the end of the series he goes back to Exia for the final battle.
      • Also at the end of the series, Ribbons Almark is forced to abandon his brand-new Reborns Gundam after the latter is damaged beyond repair by 00, thus forcing him to switch to the abandoned 0 Gundam.
      • Then in The Movie, he briefly pilots the partially rebuilt 00 operating on a particle condenser as when the 0 Gundam and Exia fragged each other with a Cross Counter, both's GN Drives were destroyed; he ultimately switches to the 00 Qan[T] that's designed specifically to take advantage of his Innovator nature.
    • Occurs repeatedly throughout Gundam Wing, most notably with Wing Gundam Zero. Originally Quatre uses it to replace Sandrock, but later loses it and goes back to his rebuilt and improved Sandrock Custom. Zechs sacrifices the Tallgeese so he can capture Wing Zero in the meantime. A brief while later after that, after a duel with Heero he also loses it, though in return he gets the powerful Epyon. In fact, all five of the Gundam pilots, along with Zechs, at least briefly pilot Wing Zero.
      • It should also be noted that pretty much all the pilots had their own Gundams blown up, and sometime after piloting Wing Zero, got a new/repaired and upgraded version.
    • Gundam 0083. After Kou and Gato both destroy each other's Gundams, they each get a gigantic mobile armor shortly afterwards. Kou's even has a new Gundam attached.
      • Of course, things aren't guaranteed to go well even if one has a shiny new toy as Kou still failed to stop the colony and was later court-marshalled for stealing the GP-03, only let go when Captain Synapse committed suicide to take responsible for it.
    • Mobile Fighter G Gundam: Burning/God Gundam replacing Shining Gundam. Interestingly, the God Gundam was always meant to replace Shining should Domon reach the Gundam Fight Finals, but Master Asia and the Devil Gundam ambushing him meant they had to launch it early.
      • In the original manga, Allenby loses her old Nobell Gundam and gets it replaced with a very Super Sailor Moon-esque Super Nobell Gundam.
  • In GaoGaiGar, the titular mech's Once per Episode finishing move is switched from Hell and Heaven to the Goldion Hammer because of the risk of serious harm.
  • In My-Otome 0~S.ifr~, Lena overloads the Lofty Crimson Jade during her first fight with M9, but soon afterward, gets the Blue Sky Sapphire from Miyu, which is more powerful and suited to her abilities.
  • In One Piece, Nami's Perfect Clima Tact no longer has the Tornado Tempo ability (since in execution, it's more akin to one of Usopp's other "joke" features), but its other abilities are much more powerful (for example, she can create thunderbolts more quickly and has multiple mirages of herself). And she has an attack that makes a gust of wind, making the original Tornado Tempo ability entirely moot.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid eventually reveals that the Cradle Incident in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS removed nearly all of Vivio's original Sankt Kaiser powers, having lost not just the Relic and everything it bestowed, but her protective Sankt Kaiser Armor aura as well. The plot of Vivid essentially has her taking advantage of this to train herself on a new Supernatural Martial Arts power set and style that fits her personality and interests more. Later on, she eventually regains her Sankt Kaiser form to defeat Einhart in a rematch.
  • In Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO!, after the girls gave up their powers in the previous season, they are given brand new powers to combat a brand new evil. Unlike how Nagisa and Honoka of Futari wa Pretty Cure MaX Heart just got modified costumes and finisher attacks from Futari wa Pretty Cure, the Yes! Precure 5 girls gain new costumes and much more useful attacks, which end up becoming the norm for later Cures
  • In Accel World, Haruyuki Arita's avatar (Silver Crow) has his wings stolen by Seiji Noumi's (Dusk Taker's) special ability. However, he gains similar powers after extensive training and special equipment from Fuuko Kurasaki (Sky Raker).
  • In Saki, Toki Onjouji started out as a mediocre player with the "three armies" special ability, but after her hospitalization, she lost that for a form of future sight, and with enough practice, becomes the team's ace. The ability she once had is unknown, but when Toki goes up against Teru, she wishes she still had it, showing one case in which the individual in question misses the ability she gave up.
  • Tiger & Bunny gives us Kaede, who has the ability to copy any other NEXT abilities via touch at the cost of losing the last power she'd copied. Inadvertently, this ability becomes vital to the survival of the rest of the heroes towards the end of the series: First, Albert Maverick, the Big Bad whose power to alter memories causes the heroes to turn on Kotetsu, unknowingly pats her on the head, thus allowing her to Emotion Bomb the correct memories back right as the heroes are about to arrest Kotetsu. Secondly, Blue Rose, whose power is to manipulate ice, pats Kaede on the shoulder, later allowing Kaede to fight and defeat The Dragon and his Mooks and save the heroes from being murdered.
  • Teppei from Captain Earth. A couple of episodes in, he found out that he is the same type of immortal as the opponents the group is fighting. He immediately decides to become a Pro-Human Transhuman, but on his second outing, he has to sacrifice his Ego Block to protect Daichi. This makes his mortal human body his only body, but he then steps out of the cockpit holding the third Livlaster.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure,
  • In Sailor Moon, the first two of Usagi's brooches are destroyed/damaged, but the reasons for them being replaced are different - the original anime had them as a case of So Last Season as the new season threats proved to be stronger than her old powers while the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal portrayed them suffering from Heroic RRoD in her final fights with those sagas' Big Bad. The main Sailor Guardians also suffered this with their first powers in the manga and Crystal.
  • Unbreakable Machine Doll has Lizete with this supposed weakness. Because two types of magic can't be used be used simultaneously, she has to discard her current power in order to use another. Her master settles this by stocking as many different dolls' magics onto her as he can.
  • In Assassination Classroom, after Itona gets his tentacles removed, it restores the brain functions that were inhibited by those same tentacles. He puts them to use by using the electronics engineering he learned from his family's cell phone factory to become Class E's resident RC drone specialist.
  • Akemi Homura in Puella Magi Madoka Magica gets her powers overwritten with new ones in last episode due to this universe's magical girl system giving them powers appropriate to their wishes. To elaborate: At first she wished to turn back time and protect Madoka. This gave her Time Travel, Time Stands Still, and a Bag of Holding with room for enough weapons to arm an entire country. Then, after the Cosmic Retcon, Madoka didn't need any protection anymore, and her wish became null. She's still a magical girl, but with powers similar to Madoka's, including wings and an Energy Bow.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, in the Waking The Dragons arc, the Egyptian god cards get stolen from Yugi, but Yugi, Seto, and Joey each gain one of the three legendary dragon cards. At the end of the arc, Yugi gets back the Egyptian god cards, but the legendary dragon cards disappear.
    • Jaden Yuki, of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, becomes unable to see his Elemental HERO cards after being defeated by Aster Phoenix, and is unable to duel. After being taken to Neo-Space, he briefly replaces his old deck with new cards known as Neo-Spacians, which not only allow him to duel again, but eventually restore his old cards as well. Later, when Jaden becomes possessed by the Supreme King, he replaces most of his Elemental Heroes with the more powerful but harder to summon Evil Heroes, until he is freed.
    • Also from GX, Jaden's rival Chazz Princeton completely changes his deck possibly more times than any other character. He starts with a fiend type deck using mainly Cthonian monsters. He then is given a union monster deck using the VWXYZ monsters. When he loses his deck after that he then has to scavenge for cards and builds a new deck based on causing one turn kills. This is also when he picked the first of the Ojama monsters, which later became his signature monsters he would use in almost all of his later decks. He then replaced this deck with an Armed Dragon deck. After that he is forced to into a duel where he can only use monsters with 500 or less attack. He had to go searching for new cards again and ended up going a step further by building a deck with all 0 attack monsters, which included the rest of the Ojama monsters. When trying to romance Alexis, he uses an Ojama deck that included romance themed cards. While brainwashed by Sartorius, he threw away the Ojama cards and switched to a White Knight deck, but Jaden recovered them and gave them back to him after helping him get free. A few other decks he went through were mostly combinations of his other decks.
    • After a series of traumatic losses, Zane Truesdale trades in his Cyber Dragon deck for a Cyberdark deck.
    • The very last duel of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL has Yuma duel against Astral, who has taken all of the Number monsters including Yuma's Number 39: Utopia and its evolutions. Yuma defeats Astral by generating his own original Number monster called Future Number 0: Utopic Future as a replacement.
  • Touma in A Certain Magical Index gains new powers whenever his right hand/arm, which holds Imagine Breaker, is severed. The powers he gains are quite variable, with a dragon, multiple dragons and an Invisible Thing all emerging from the stump of his arm on different occasions. One story arc is about an Enemy Without emerging from the stump and stealing the power of Imagine Breaker, while Touma himself gains a blue replacement arm and the ability to transform into a dragon.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel Universe,
    • Ms. Marvel was permanently drained of her Flying Brick powers as Ms Marvel (and most of her memories) from prolonged contact with Rogue, but later regained most of the memories and received even better powers due to experiments by the Brood, becoming Binary. As in, 'binary star' - she tapped into a White Hole. (Eventually, those powers wore off and returned her back to Ms. Marvel levels with the additional ability to absorb energy and redirect it. Later, as Captain Marvel, she seems to have her powers as Ms. Marvel and Binary - the latter when she absorbs sufficient energy - cranked Up to Eleven and currently occupies the "Marvel's Superman" role.)
    • This has happened to Rogue herself. Her power is to temporarily borrow others' powers, and gained Carol's long-term, but eventually, those powers were lost. Soon, she absorbed Sunfire's in their place, which are rather similar to the powers Ms Marvel had in her Binary days, though on a lesser scale. Most recently as of this writing, she has permanently absorbed the powers of Wonder Man; so, pretty close to the Flying Brick powers she's most known for.
    • Psylocke went from telepathic to telekinetic (while Jean did the opposite) and then to shadow powers. Her powers seem to be altered fairly frequently, never having the full range of Psychic Powers but instead being really good at whichever psychic ability she enjoys at the moment. Currently she's an Omega-level telepath and a powerful telekinetic, with the limitation that she can only use one of those abilities at a time.
    • Warren Worthington III's power set has undergone a number of changes over the decades. Originally, Warren started out as simply having wings that allowed him to fly. After he suffered an injury to these wings, he was transformed into Apocalypse's Horseman and gained techno-organic wings which fired poison tipped Feather Flechettes. He regained his organic wings and gained the ability to heal himself and others by mixing his blood with theirs. After some time, his metallic wings and the Archangel persona resurfaced. Following Psylocke killing him, his organic wings and healing powers returned. He also gained the ability to fire energy blasts from his hands and manifest a Laser Blade.
    • While Polaris is known for having the power Magnetism Manipulation like her father, for a time her powers were changed to absorbing negative emotions to increase her strength, endurance, height and mass. Her original powers eventually returned.
    • The original Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) became immune to any toxin or disease after initial exposure. She sacrifices this power to save the life of Bill Foster (AKA Black Goliath/Giant-Man) who had terminal cancer. After, she muses that she had the power to potentially cure cancer but gave it up.
      • Another Spider-Woman, Spider-Gwen, lost her powers dealing with her universe's version of Cindy Moon. She used various isotopes to restore her powers temporarily, but forego them in favor of her universe's version of the Venom symbiote.
  • In The DCU, there's Guy Gardner. Once he lost his Green Lantern ring, he stole a yellow ring from his old bosses, the Oans. The new ring got destroyed (while he was fighting to save the GL Corps, by the way). After spending time as a Badass Normal, he trekked into the jungle to find some alien Super Serum which gave him new powers involving living armor and pulling swords out of his own body. Eventually, he got a new GL ring and rejoined the Corps, but first he spent time in "The Corpse," a black-ops section of the GLC with stealthier powers.
  • In a late '90s storyline, the real Superman became an energy being. And then was split into two energy beings, each of whom believed themselves to be the original. And then the two energy beings merged back together, and became Superman Classic.
  • Resurrection Man also has this in addition to well, resurrecting. Every time he returns he has a different power of wildly varying usefulness For example take: Resurrected with: Quantum telekinesis, including sensory expansion on a near-cosmic scale , flight, molecular disintegration of targets, also includes an undefined resistance to 'reality warp'. Now compare that with: Resurrected with: Is a woman. The "catch" being that the power he gains would've prevented his previous death. Ex: he drowns, he can breathe water (or doesn't need to breathe all) when he revives.
  • Donna Troy is virtually the DCU poster-child for this trope, having gone from being Wonder Girl to Troia to non-powered, then recruited as a Darkstar, then serving briefly as (respectively) non-powered, dead, cosmic something-or-other, and Wonder Girl again.
    • Cassie Sandsmark, Donna's successor as Wonder Girl, also has a history with this trope. Originally, she was a human girl, who received her powers from a number of mystical artifacts. After learning Zeus was her father, he granted her Flying Brick powers similar to Diana and Donna and she was gifted a magic lasso of her own that could channel electricity. When Ares decided he wasn't too pleased with Cassie as his champion and decided to take her powers away. However, Cassie was able to cast away her connection to the war god, and tap into her own powers as a demi-god like her brother Heracles.
  • Similar but simpler arc for John Stewart, who stopped being a Green Lantern for a while, but then also became a Darkstar, lost that, was an awesome architect for a bit, and is now a Green Lantern again. But at least he stopped killing planets.
  • Several characters, most notably Quicksilver, go through this in House of M and its aftermath. Not every depowered mutant was willing to stay that way, and some tried to replace their powers using the Terrigen Mists used by the Inhumans (that tended to go horribly. Most notably, Unus the Untouchable gets his force field back, all right: uncontrollable and too impenetrable, he suffocates as even air can't get through.) However, Quicksilver gained the ability to travel through time at will by vibrating his molecules at faster-than-light speeds.
    • Using technology tended to go better, as the next volume of New Warriors was a team of former mutants using high tech to gain abilities usually totally unrelated to their old ones.
    • X-Men: Jubilee (Marvel Comics) lost her powers after the House of M storyline. And got new ones with a power suit as a New Warrior, but more enduring was her transformation into a vampire. She's now back to her original powers when Quinton Quire used his Phoenix Shard to save Jubilee when M-Plate tried to kill her by tearing away a special medallion that protected her from the sun and tried to fry her.
  • Another example is Mulholland Black from The Order. She lost her mutant powers after M-Day, and was recruited into Tony Stark's Fifty State Initiative and given an artificial version of her powers. Then when she was depowered by the bad guys, it reactivated her original powers. Or so she thought. It was really Stane rebooting Stark's tech-based powers, but more potent and less controlled.
  • Christian Walker lost his superpowers before the beginning of Powers, but later he is chosen to become a Green Lantern-esque defender of Earth by an advanced alien race.
  • In H'el on Earth when Superboy has Superman's battle-suit put on him, it seems to remove his tactile telekinesis, his visceral connection to his surroundings. Instead, the suit alters his telekinesis, increasing his strength and flight while also requiring him to actually touch something to use his telekinesis on it. Once the suit is removed, his powers return to normal.
  • In Marvel it seemed like this was the case when Speedball became Penance. Except his powers still had the same basic trigger: he needed to be happy. As Penance, the endorphin reaction from cutting himself with his suit made him high. Once he's back to being Speedball, he now has both sets of powers.
  • Felicia "Black Cat" Hardy had her bad luck powers removed by Doctor Strange, but somehow in the process gave her cat-themed super powers (enhanced strength, speed and agility, retractible claws, night vision) in the process. When she lost those, she went to bad guy arms dealer The Tinkerer for a suit that replicated those lost powers. (The suit was lost somewhere along the line and she regained her original bad luck powers).
  • Even Spider-Man has a history with this trope. Perhaps the most well known instance is when he acquired the Venom symbiote which could disguise itself as any form of clothing and granted him a seemingly endless supply of webbing. Unfortunately, he had to discard it due to it being a sentient being that wanted to permanently bond with him. Another instance came during the JMS run in which he discovered he was a "totem" mystical being connecting the human and animal realms. This period saw Peter gaining organic web shooters, night vision, stinger-like weapons from his wrists and an increase in strength and speed. These powers were lost after One More Day reset Peter's history. This isn't even mentioning the time he accidentally gave himself four extra arms or when he was one of many characters to be Captain Universe.
  • Kaine, one of Peter's clones, originally had strength, speed, agility and durability that exceeded Peter, precognitive visions, and the ability to burn a "Mark of Kaine" onto his enemies with his hands. During Spider-Island, Kaine was transformed into a monstrous spider-like creature with organic webbing and greater strength. After he was returned to human form, Kaine retained these abilities along with the ability to release stingers from his forearms, the ability to communicate with spiders and Innate Night Vision. However, he has lost his spider sense. He would also later lose his stingers and night vision.
  • Seems to be something of a recurring theme with Drax the Destroyer. Every time he is killed, he comes back with new powers and physical attributes. First time: discard intelligence, draw enormous physical strength and size. Second time: discard size, strength, and powers, but draw high levels of intelligence and a one-shot, Thanos-killing aura. After dying during The Thanos Imperative, Drax now seems less intelligent (like his film counterpart) but much stronger physically.
  • Dynamo5: The end of the ongoing series has the kids all attacked with a weapon that counters the radiation that activated their powers in the first place, removing their Dynamo powers. When they manage to get exposed to the radiation again, the five powers are distributed differently, and one of them actually changes (where Myriad could become other people, Menagerie now changes into animals).
  • Joker's Last Laugh featured a character called Multi-Man whose power was: upon death, come back to life with an entirely random second power. The Joker kills him over fifty times to get him to have the right power to kick off a prison breakout. And then a couple of good guys off him another dozen times to get him to roulette up a power to animate dead guys so they can have Mr. Mind use the corpse's powers to break them out of the Negative Space Wedgie they're stuck in. He totally calls them on it, which makes the whole thing a lot more palatable.

  • Lady Death had a habit of gaining and losing weapons in the Chaos! continuity. Her first sword, Darkness which was forged by Cremator, was lost for most of the Between Heaven And Hell arc. She regained it only for it to be snapped in two by one of Genocide's minions in Asgard. Fortunately, Brock was able to melt down the remains into a new sword called Nightmare. Unfortunately, Nightmare's bloodlust became too much for Lady Death to deal with and she discarded it leading to Purgatori claiming it. Cremator forged a new sword out of pure chaos energy for her called Apocalypse. During a fight with Morgana, her bond with Apocalypse was temporarily severed requiring Brock to yet again make a new weapon for her - a short sword which could transform into a chain with a scythe blade at the end called Scynister. During her time as the Avatar of Death she gained the Scythe of Eternity.

    Fan Works 
  • The Pony POV Series:
    • In the Epilogue/Dark World timeline, when Liarjack is eventually reharmonized into Applejack, she's doesn't regain her connection to the Element of Honesty, but does gain a connection to the Element of Kindness in its place.
    • Likewise, when Rarigreed is restored to Rarity, she still doesn't have her Element of Generosity, but (ironically) gains the Element of Honesty in its place.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Yuki loses her connection to the Data Overmind when the latter slated her for deletion. However, Haruhi grants her control (after permission from Kyon) on how to apply her own powers.
  • In Persephone's Waltz, a Puella Magi Madoka Magica fanfiction, Sayaka winds up with extrasensory abilities because she wished to be able to find Madoka rather than heal Kyosuke.
  • Subverted in Darwin. It was always believed someone gaining Code would result in losing their Geass but it's revealed to only occur if they take the Code of the immortal who gave them Geass. Since the fatally injured Lelouch had been keeping V.V. prisoner for years, he takes V.V.'s Code and keeps his Geass in the process.
  • In Crimson Rising, as part of a prophecy, the original Ninjetti Rangers (Tommy, Kimberly, Billy, Rocky, Aisha and Adam), Ninja Storm and Dino Thunder Rangers all regain those particular powers, but Jason receives the Gold Dino Gem (basically the Black Dino Gem with more armour) and Trini, Tanya and Kat are entrusted with the Silver Ankylo, Green Parasaur and Violet Stego Dino Gems.
  • In the Infinity Crisis spin-off Powers and Marvels, after the Mandarin and Zedd take the six active Power Coins, the Avengers are able to work with Alpha, Shuri and Doctor Strange to analyse the remaining dregs of power in the original Red, Yellow and Black Coins and the all-but-depleted Green Coin to create new powers and suits for the Rangers.
  • Oversaturated World: From Group Precipitation - Launch Error, where Scootaloo can't fly like usual Pegasus Aspects, but has Fate Magic in apparent exchange:
    Sunset: Maybe unusual talents like your fate magic come at the cost of normal pegasus magic.
    Sunset: I may have done this to you, Scootaloo. I'm sorry.
    Scootaloo vaulted over her at ludicrous speed and, once more behind her, said, "I'm still pretty awesome. Just wanted to know why I couldn't get airborne."
  • In Kazuma v Tanya it turns out that Tanya has lost her previous magic but been reborn as a Mistborn. Especially noteworthy in that Kazuma averts this, keeping his Skills.
  • In Risk IT All, Ren can sell his abilities to his market, giving them up in exchange for prestige points that he can allocate toward his stats, rolling for new abilities, or buying equipment.
  • Exploited in The Secret Return of Alex Mack to make use of the Superpower Lottery that is GC-161 exposure. When recipients get undesirable or unstable powers, they can take the antidote and then be exposed to GC-161 again.

    Films - Animated 
  • At the climax of Tangled, Rapunzel's glowing and healing hair is cut, but then we see her with healing tears.

  • At the climax of the Black Jewels trilogy, Jaenelle must drain all the power from her jewels, which shatter, but she then gets a new jewel, which encompasses most of her previous power range. She's still not as powerful, but she was the one that made sure she dropped a power level afterwards.
  • In the Chanters of Tremaris trilogy, the protagonist loses her powers after they are drained by a massive-scale working, but in a later book gains new powers — in the form of a long-lost art which no one else has mastered in centuries, no less.
  • The Dresden Files
    • At the end of White Night, Harry Dresden loses the powers granted by Lasciel's Shadow, including the ability to enhance his spells with Hellfire. Not too far into the next book, Small Favor, (set one year after White Night) the Archangel Uriel grants Harry Soulfire, Hellfire's not-so-nasty counterpart.
    • And while losing the wisdom Lasciel could grant him he did gain in Turn Coat a partnership with a Genius Loci island. On the island, the island will supplement his magic so he can cast near infinite spells, and grant him access to all the knowledge the island has. This includes if other people are on it.
  • Croyd "The Sleeper" Crenson from the Wild Cards series is practically this trope personified. Whenever he goes to sleep, he undergoes a weeks-long metamorphosis into a new form and gains new powers. He can become an ace or a joker, and lives in constant fear of drawing the black queen, so he tends to use amphetemines whenever he senses sleep sneaking up on to extend his awake periods. (There's a reason his line in the Aces Jingle is "Sleeper waking, meals taking. Sleeper speeding, people bleeding.")
  • In Dragon Bones Ward once had magic powers, most of which he lost when his father beat him nearly dead. He gets them back eventually, but the lack of training inbetween means that he's not as powerful as he could have been.
  • Fate/strange fake: When Heracles is summoned as True Archer, he has the Noble Phantasm God Hand, which to represent the Twelve Labors, gives him twelve lives and makes him immune to B Rank and lower attacks, plus immune to anything that killed him before. When his Master decides to corrupt him with the Grail Mud to turn him into Alcides and an Archer/Avenger hybrid, he loses his Divinity and God Hand. In exchange, he gains King's Order, which gives him access to all of the tools he used during the Twelve Labors, and Reincarnation Pandora, which lets him steal an enemy Noble Phantasm.
  • Kelsier in Mistborn: Secret History loses the ability to use Allomancy (a set of Combo Platter Powers that consume specific metals) upon his death, but gains the ability to interact with the Cognitive Realm, and his unique position as a soul that can stay in the Cognitive Realm rather than being pulled to the Offscreen Afterlife grants him Intangibility within the Cognitive Realm. He uses this power to great effectiveness to spook the Ire.
  • In A Practical Guide To Evil Catherine swatches her ice powers of being the Queen of Winter for becoming the high priestress of Night in a - sorta-kinda - heroic sacrifice. Notably, though, while the power before the switch was entirely her own (or her own domain's, at least), afterwards, she merely wields it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cole in Charmed started out with stock demon powers due to being half-demon, then Pheobe depowered him, and then he became the host of the Source of All Evil and had powers due to that, then got killed and depowered and hung around at the edge of life and death grabbing powers from the dying, and came back to life with Reality Warper type powers, and then got Killed Off for Real. ...and got better again, with powers that weren't explored as fully.
  • Power Rangers: Occurred at the end of most of the early seasons, when the Rangers would lose their powers, just to get some new ones at the beginning of the next. This ceased in Lost Galaxy, as this was the first year of yearly cast replacement.
    • The very first instances of this happened to Tommy in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. He lost his powers as the Green Ranger, then got them back again to a somewhat limited extent, then lost them again, before finally being given the powers of the White Ranger. Then like the rest of the team, Tommy lost his powers. When the Zeo Powers were created about two hours later in-universe, Tommy became Zeo Ranger Five - Red. Then there was this event involving a golden key, and (almost) the entire Zeo team changed into being the Turbo Rangers. About halfway through Turbo, four of the Turbo Rangers got swapped out, Tommy being one of them. He became a Mad Scientist and created a new collection of Bio-Zords based on dinosaur DNA (wonder where he got that idea?) and wound up as Dino Thunder's Mentor and Black Ranger. At which point he observed that he'd have to buy a whole new wardrobe again. In the Ninja Steel crossover Dimensions in Danger he has obtain a new master morpher that lets him switch between at least four of the five forms he has used (all except maybe the Turbo form).
    • A variant occurs in the "Dark Wish" arc of Mystic Force: The Rangers lose their powers, then get their old powers back along with a Super Mode after proving their willingness to fight while powerless as part of a Secret Test of Character.
  • The Beetleborgs series did this when moving from Big Bad Beetleborgs to Beetleborgs Metallix.
  • Happens a lot on Heroes, probably because it'd be impossible to write anything challenging for Hiro, Peter or Sylar if their powers didn't get nerfed at least once a season. In fact, this trope pretty much sums up Peter's power in the last two seasons. Peter's power was originally Power Copying, but he was nerfed so that he can only have one power at a time, "discarding" his card and "drawing" from whoever he is copying.
  • Kamen Rider BLACK RX, the only direct sequel in the franchise, starts with alien invaders abducting Kamen Rider BLACK and offering him the chance to rule Earth together. When he refuses, they damage his Transformation Trinket and throw him out the airlock. However, the sun's radiation causes his Kingstone to mutate into a more powerful form, the Sunstone, which gives him all-new powers and makes him the first Rider to form-change.
  • In Kamen Rider Agito had Kamen Rider G3, a manmade Rider system built to fight the Grongi. Unfortunately, it was literally So Last Season; the more powerful Lords as well as the mystical based Agito and Gills, outmatch it. So they eventually decomission it and replace it with the G3-X armor, which comes with more power, thicker armor, and increased combat ability.
  • The titler Rider of Kamen Rider OOO seems to lose Medals just as he gains new medals, so that he never has access to more than two full color combos at any given time (Though he always manages to hang on to the Hawk, Tiger, and Grasshopper medals, which make up his base form).
  • In Misfits the second season ends with all the main characters buying new powers after having sold their original ones.
  • In Stargate SG-1, the SGC loses the Prometheus, their space faring battlecrusier, only to immediately replace it the next episode with the Odyssey, which was more advanced anyway.
  • Stargate Atlantis
    • The show has a tendency to do this with ZPMs. After gaining one at the start of season two, it was depleted in season three. Just a few episodes later, they acquire a new one to replace it (along with two more to send to earth)... and that one gets depleted at the start of season four. But it's okay, because they immediately get another one to replace it in the very next episode.
    • There's also Atlantis' secondary ship. Their primary ship is the Daedalus and that never changes. But near the end of season two, they acquire an Ancient warship called the Orion to add to their fleet... which is destroyed in the opening episode of season three. But they quickly replace it with a stolen Wraith Hiveship... which is destroyed in the next episode. They finally get a permanent addition in the season three finale when the earth ship Apollo is completed.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Very literal in the Magic: The Gathering card game. In the game's original metanarrative, the players are godlike wizards called planeswalkers; your deck is all the spells in your memory, while your hand is what spells you've brought to mind right at that moment. Instant and sorcery spells go to the graveyard after being cast, and every turn you draw one (or more, depending on game variant and/or whether you play certain spells that turn) card from the library, constantly changing up your current power set. Extended logically from this, spells that force a person to discard cards strongly imply elements of Mind Rape when taken to the game's metanarrative, and are named accordingly. (Mind Rot, Mind Twist, Mind Shatter, etc.)
    • Out of Magic's five colors, two opposing colors stand out as being the experts of this: blue and red. Due to their opposing nature, their take on this trope are also opposites from both flavor and mechanics stand-point: Blue, the analytical, usually draws first, chooses the best cards for the situation, then discards the unwanted ones (example: Compulsive Research), whereas Red, the impulse-driven, usually abandons whatever's on its mind while chasing novel ideas (example: Wheel of Fortune and Mindmoil).
    • As a special note, the Izzet (a Blue/Red aligned faction on Ravnica) naturally also excel at this, though they usually draw before discarding. In fact, they love their discard and draw so much that some cards weaponize it (like Blast of Genius and the jump-start mechanic).
    • There are also very many cards (among every color!) that are referred to as "cantrips." These spells often do some small effect, but draw you a card as well, effectively replacing themselves after you cast them.
    • The cycling mechanic allows the player to discard the card with cycling to draw a card, usually by paying a small mana cost. This is useful if the card in question can't be cast or you need something else urgently. Some cards have additional, smaller effects if you cycle them, while cycling can trigger other effects that check for discard, draw, or specifically cycle conditions.
  • Not nearly as noticeable in the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, as the player isn't represented by any single title in the metanarrative, but there are shades of this; several hand-destroying cards have Mind Rape-specific names like Mind Haxxorz (no, really) and Penalty Game! that invoke a sense that the player's being subjected to an actual Penalty Game from the Shadow Realm.
    • Some cards literally do this. "Card Destruction", "Graceful Charity", and "Dark World Dealings" are probably the most well-known.
    • Plus the relatively straight playing of this trope when Yugi loses Exodia in Episode 3, thus preventing him from using it to win later on, making him, y'know, actually have to play the game. Fear not though, as he then trades up in Season 2 for an improved deck that progressively adds the three Egyptian God Cards. Additionally, he plays around with the god-ish Timaeus in the Doma arc, but doesn't (and can't) keep it.
    • Is becoming more and more common; Destiny Draw, Allure of Darkness, Rare Value, Solar Recharge, Common Charity, and more are all variations of "get rid of one card and draw two". As a general rule, nearly every new archetype gets a variation of this mechanic. Almost every deck benefits from these kind of cards, and they tend to be a Game-Breaker in some ways. The Dark World archetype works very well with it, and have their own "draw one and get rid of one card" to work with their theme.
  • The Gamma World setting for 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons has this literally as well. A rule mechanic has you draw "Alpha Mutation" cards, which give you an extra encounter power, or bonuses to rolls, or something similar. However, if you roll a one at any time, you discard your Alpha Mutation and draw a new one. Additionally, you draw a new Alpha Mutation at the end of every fight.
  • Munchkin sets that involve Powers also include curse cards like "Your Powers have changed!" where you have to replace your powers in play with other powers from the discard pile. The bad part is that you just lose your powers if you can't replace them (i.e. there are no powers in the discard pile or ones you can't use because of your level.)
  • In Black Crusade, this is one of the possible "gifts" of Tzeentch, which makes the heretic re-roll all of his previous mutations.
  • Angron from Warhammer40000 went through a lot of different weapons in his lifetime, thanks to the superstition of his homeworld that claims discarded weapons bring bad luck and should never be used again:
    • His first weapon was the chain-axe Widowmaker. Destroyed during his duel with his fellow Primarch Leman Russ.
    • His second weapon was Brazentooth, a massive two-handed chain-axe. He eventually gave it away to Lorgar as a gift to cement his Legion's alliance with the Word Bearers in the early days of the Heresy. Lost in the vacuum of space when the ship carrying it was destroyed.
    • His most iconic weapons during the heresy were the twin chain-axes Gorefather and Gorechild. Angron discarded them after they were badly damaged in a battle that left him buried by tonnes of rubble — he used the axes to dig himself out. Kharn retrieved Gorechild and — defying his Legion's traditions and his battle-brother's protests — had it repaired for his own use. Gorechild has been his favored weapon ever since while Gorefather is still missing.
    • After his ascension to a Daemon Primarch, Angron was rewarded with a powerful Daemon Sword. The Black Blade of Angron became his new signature weapon until it was destroyed by the Grey Knights during the First War of Armageddon. His current weapon is unknown.
  • Costumes in Costume Fairy Adventures bestow powers on the fairies who are going adventuring in them. Since you can only wear one costume at a time, you end up discarding the old powers and drawing new ones - literally, if the game is taking place around one table and the Costume Deck is in use.
  • In Chaotic, quite a few cards discard attack cards in your hand, which can be interpreted as the attacks your creature is ready to use, to draw you new ones. Examples include Melodic Might and Blaze Barrage.
  • A literal example in Twilight Struggle with the card "Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You...", a card that allows the US player to discard as many cards as desired from the hand and draw new cards to replace them. It's very useful if said hand happened to hold a lot of Soviet-associated events or scoring cards in Soviet-dominated regions, all of which would have had to be played otherwise.
  • Played with in Dominion with multiple different cards that have variations on this. Cellar, for example, plays this trope straight by having you discard any number of cards from your hand and drawing that same number of cards back. Other cards invert this trope; for example, Warehouse has you draw three cards only to discard three cards from your hand.
  • In Villainous, the "Discard Card" action icon lets you discard as many cards from your hand as you like. At the end of your turn, you always draw cards from your deck until you have at least four in your hand.

  • BIONICLE: All three generations of Toa the story followed had this happen to them to some degree or another, usually to justify releasing new models without creating entirely new characters.
    • The transformation of the Toa Mata into the Toa Nuva is Downplayed; it's mostly just a power-up where they keep the same abilities they had before with an increase, but they still got new weapons and armor out of the deal.
    • The Toa Metru being transformed into the Toa Hordika was only temporary, but during this time they got new weapons, lost acess to their Kanohi Masks, could only channel their Elemental Powers through their Rhotuka Spinners, and had to struggle with a new Superpowered Evil Side; the bonus was that they got access to animalistic senses and instincts, and their subconscious Power Limiter was removed - though the latter could cause instances of Does Not Know His Own Strength. They changed back eventually, but shortly after gave up their powers altogether and became Turaga.
    • The straightest example by far was when the Toa Inika became the Toa Mahri: they got entirely new Kanohi, a first for the series, new weapons, and lost access to their Shock and Awe powers in exchange for the ability to breathe underwater, which they badly needed for the mission at hand. Their new Kanohi were also, for the most part, more useful for an underwater mission - for instance, Nuparu swapped out flight for super stealth, and Jaller gave up Super Reflexes for sonar hearing.
    • During the Karda Nui arc, Takanuva gets partially drained by a shadow leech, which weakens his light powers and makes him more ruthless (a complete draining would have turned him evil), but gives him shadow powers in exchange. While lost in a series of alternate realities, his staff weapon gets broken, and he replaces it with a three pronged spear that magnifies power focused through it, and he gets infected by a virus that gives him the ability fly, and when he arrives in Karda Nui he becomes taller due to the location strengthening people with light powers. At the end of the Karda Nui arc he gets cured of the shadow drain, restoring his old powers and personality. When he reappears in the final arc his flight powers have worn off and he has switched to using a pair of weapons similar to his old staff.
    • In the very final novel, Tahu has his Nuva power-up taken away from him so that he can use the Golden Armor, which not only wiped out an entire Rahkshi army upon activation but gave him access to all their powers. For context, their are forty-two different types of Rahkshi, all with a different power. If the story hadn't ended there, Tahu would've been the most powerful Toa in the series, bar none.
  • In Transformers: Generation 1, the non-transforming Action Masters are Autobots and Decepticons who lost the ability to transform after using Nucleon as fuel. In return, the Nucleon makes them stronger, faster, and "more alive" (read: they have more articulation), and they use transformable vehicles and partners to compensate for their inability to transform themselves.

    Video Games 
  • In the Pokémon series, no monster can learn more than four moves. They can improve their skill sets by forgetting old moves and replacing them with better ones. This is two-fold: not only do they lose a move and gain one, they also tend to lose PP (number of times a move can be used without visiting a Pokémon center) in exchange for attack power, accuracy, or extra effects.
    • The Steel type had this happen to it in Gen VI. It lost its resistance to Dark and Ghost-type moves, but gained an offensive and defensive type advantage over the new Fairy type.
    • Some Pokémon get a second elemental type when evolving. Not only can they gain a new set of moves to potentially use, but they may gain new resistances and weaknesses in the Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors. Sometimes the new typing can either neutralize or exaggerate existing weaknesses. A variation of this is when a Pokémon gets its secondary type replaced with some other one after evolution, such as in case of Tyranitar, Shedinja or Drapion (who gets its primary type replaced).
    • Each Pokémon has an Ability (from Gen III onwards) for additional utility in or out of battle. Sometimes the Ability can change as the Pokémon evolves. For instance, Larvitar exchanges the Attack-boosting Guts for the ailment-curing Shed Skin as it evolves into Pupitar, and again trades it for the sandstorm-inducing Sand Stream once it finishes evolving into Tyranitar.
    • Nincada is one of the most blatant cases of this trope in the games. It starts off as a defensive Bug/Ground cicada with increased accuracy or the ability to escape any field battle. Then it grows, sheds its hard shell and evolves into Ninjask, a Bug/Flying type Fragile Speedster which moves faster and faster every turn or is able to bypass Deflector Shields. And the shed shell does not just lie there; it comes Back from the Dead and becomes a Bug/Ghost One-Hit Point Wonder Shedinja that can be taken down only by super-effective attacks.
  • As befits the immense importance of Elite Tweak in the franchise, Shin Megami Tensei has this in several games. Demons can only naturally learn a limited amount of moves and must lose permanently older moves in order to learn new ones once all move slots have been used up. In particular, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne slapped your MC with this, forcing you to plan your progress well in advance.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • This happens to both Cecil and Rydia in Final Fantasy IV. To be specific, Cecil rejects The Dark Side and abandons his Dark Knight powers, becoming a Paladin in the aftermath (with a more noble set of abilities). Rydia, meanwhile, gets sucked into Another Dimension; when she comes back, not only is she several years older, but she has more powerful black magic and Summon Magic at the cost of her ability to use White Magic.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, magic and summons work this way. Only instead of forgetting old spells and summons, they're discarding bits of their own memory. Because of this, it takes half the game for the characters to realize they share an important plot point in their backstories. As for the summoned monsters themselves, they can learn up to 22 abilities, which sounds like a lot, until you discover that some new abilities cause old ones to become redundant. A special item called Amnesia Greens allows the player to select and discard one ability from a summon's lineup.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII, Snow loses the 'Hand Grenade' ability after becoming a l'Cie. Notable in that he's the only character in the game to permanently lose an ability (characters like Hope and Vanille who don't initially get the Commando class upon becoming a l'Cie will lose the 'Attack' command, but they can gain it back later). Of course, this can be Handwaved/Justified by him simply running out of or otherwise losing his stock of hand grenades. For gameplay purposes, the grenades are just his means of area attack; he later unlocks the same Blitz ability that Lightning can already use in the same chapters.
      • The sequel, Final Fantasy XIII-2, has Lightning (having been freed of her l'Cie brand at the end of XIII) receive new power from the goddess Etro; we get a closeup of her combat abilities in the Requiem of the Goddess DLC episode. The new roles she has serve as analogues to the roles of the main game, but have certain functional differences that prioritize one-on-one fights rather than groups of enemies. More fittingly, she doesn't have a Medic analogue, which was one of her three primary roles in XIII; instead, she starts out with a Sentinel analogue that has a No-Sell ability, whereas her Sentinel moveset in XIII focused on avoiding damage instead of blocking it.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has the protagonist stand-in start each expansion's trailers as his last job before he has to pick up the new focus-job of the expansion. Starting as an Archer, he became a Warrior, then a Dragoon, then Monk and Samurai, then Dark Knight, and finally Paladin over the course of the game's lifespan. In-game though, it's averted because you can freely switch between jobs and switching them never locks you out of the old job.
      • Over the game's lifespan, most of the main character's party takes up new jobs due to pressing needs. In Shadowbringers Thancred goes from a Rogue to a Gunbreaker, Y'shtola goes from a Conjurer to a special "Sorceress" job (which can use both Black and White magic), and Urianger goes from an Arcanist to an Astrologian. Earlier in Stormblood Alisae went from an Arcanist, to a quick stint as a Gladiator (though using a magically conjured weapon) to settling into a Red Mage. And in Endwalker, Alphinaud changes from his Arcanist-adjacent "Academian" job to the new healer job Sage.
  • Played straight in Lost Kingdoms, since you have to use cards to attack and are limited to four for a hand. The second game at least didn't remove cards from the deck when you manually discarded them.
  • Near the end of Half-Life 2, Gordon Freeman loses all of his equipment with the exception of the gravity gun and his HEV suit, both of which become supercharged by dark energy. The gravity gun can interact with energy spheres and all organic matter, killing the latter instantly when held or hit by a projected object; meanwhile, Gordon's suit gains increased reactive armour energy reserves and can recharge both armour and health reserves from Combine power stations with greater efficiency.
  • For the last segment of Zork: Grand Inquisitor, the player must use a spell which reverses the effect of every spell he knows. As a result, he loses the ability to unlock any door, travel via time portal, separate magical energies, and turn purple things invisible, but gains the ability to seal any door (keeping guards safely locked up), willfully avoid traveling in time, turn invisible things purple (which lets the player find an invisible fence), and combine magical energies ( which solves the game's final puzzle)
  • Mega Man combines this with Bag of Spilling in between every game. Near the end of Rockman 4 Minus Infinity, Dr. Wily steals all your weapons to create the Petit Robot Masters. Followed by Proto Man giving you the Wily Buster which lets you curb stomp them easily.
    • Even ones where Mega Man isn't a robot do this; MegaMan.EXE of Mega Man Battle Network gains Style Change for the second and third game, which gets replaced by Double Souls in the fourth and fifth game, which then get replaced by Crosses in the sixth. Geo Stelar of Mega Man Star Force loses access to the Satellite Admin powers between the first and second games, only to pick up the Tribe powers, which in turn disappear in time for the Noise powers of the third game to take over.
    • Mega Man Zero 2 justifies this, as Zero has spent a year on his own fighting almost non-stop against the forces of Neo Arcadia, and thus both he and his equipment are so worn out that even his pause menu is falling apart. By the time he's finally retrieved and taken back to the Resistance base, he's lost his elemental chips (which he has to regain) as well as the Triple Rod (which is replaced with the Chain Rod), and his old busted pause menu is replaced with the newer version.
  • In the beginning of Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django, the Gun Del Sol from the first game is stolen. Shortly thereafter, though, Django acquires the Sol De Vice, a solar-powered magic gauntlet which lets Django enchant melee weapons. And even later, he is transformed into a vampire, losing his enchantments and gaining new ones. However, later in the game you get back your gun and human form. By the third game, his Sol De Vice breaks in exchange for letting him customize his gun again.
  • In Baldur's Gate II, the protagonist eventually loses the special powers (s)he gained during the first game, but soon afterwards gains the ability to turn into the Slayer, an avatar of the God of murder.
  • This happens to Kratos frequently in the God of War series, shortly after the start of each sequel game.
    • In God of War's epic final battle, Ares casually brainwashes Kratos and confiscates his Blades of Chaos, then stabs an illusion of Kratos' family to death. Kratos finds a ceremonial stone broadsword that is literally the size of a skyscraper, and finishes the fight without daggers or magic, ending the God of War with an appropriate BFS to the chest.
    • In God of War II, Kratos loses his powers when he drains them into the Blade of Olympus, only for Zeus to kill him with it. Kratos is empowered with the Wrath of the Titans and acquires a varied arsenal; a magic spear, an Undead Chieftain's Warhammer, Icarus' Wings, the Blade of Olympus, and especially the Golden Fleece.
    • In God of War III, Kratos falls off Mount Olympus, drops the Blade of Olympus, plummets into the River Styx, and successfully surviving it drains him of all his god-orb fueled powers, including the health and magic earned with sacrifices, though thankfully his Golden Fleece and Icarus' Wings survive. note  Kratos takes on Athena(?) as an ally and gains the power to rapid-fire arrows, along with a host of powerful necromancy and electric magics.
    • In God of War (PS4), ditching the Blades of Exile and the Sword of Olympus caused him to (somehow) re-discover his old Blades of Chaos, but he stuffed them in a shawl and wields the Leviathan Axe, a memento from his late wife, which is imbued with frost magic and Summon to Hand properties. He still has the Blades of Chaos but keeps them hidden away because they remind him of his shameful past. He wields them again when Atreus falls ill and the only cure is located in Helheim, the icy realm of the dead where the Leviathan Axe's frost magic is useless.
  • Many of the Death Knights in World of Warcraft were once paladins, who lose their Light-based powers from the evil acts they commit in the Lich King's service, but in the process, they are able to use new dark powers, which the freed Knights of the Ebon Blade use against the Lich King. A similar process happens to Sylvannas and her Dark Rangers. The Draenei Nobundo lost his paladin powers from being exposed to demonic energies, but his resulting inner turmoil allowed him to connect to the elements, becoming the first Draenei shaman. Arthas and Garrosh Hellscream were rather more literal examples, casting away their old weapons in favor of more powerful and evil ones. Arthas threw aside his Paladin Warhammer Light's Vengeance in exchange for Frostmourne and the Helm of Domination, and Garrosh abandoned his father Grom's axe Gorehowl in favor of a mockery of it created by the Sha called "Xal'atoh, Desecrated Image of Gorehowl".
  • Mortal Kombat: In death, the original Sub-Zero (Bi-Han) seemingly lost his ice-based powers, but as Noob Saibot he has entirely new, shadow-based ones.
  • Whenever Kirby acquires a new ability via inhaling certain enemies, he'll need to dispose of his current ability in the form of a bouncing star before he can inhale another enemy for a different power. This was actually subverted for once in Kirby 64, where he could actually combine abilities to form new ones, but he still needed to discard the combination when he wanted a new ability.
  • In Persona 3's epilogue The Answer, this happens to Aigis, who loses her Orgia Mode at the start but gains the recently deceased protagonist's Orpheus Persona and Wild Card powers in return.
    • In Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth and its sequel, the presence of multiple Wild Cards causes the power to split: the protagonists of each game can no longer use multiple Personas, but everyone can now use a Sub-Persona that grants them new skills and extra health and SP.
  • In inFAMOUS: Second Son, the protagonist Delsin Rowe has the ability to copy the powers of other conduits by touch (and also sees how they gained said power at the same time). Which is awesome, until he realizes that he can only use one type of energy at any time, and he can't switch powersets at will. Even so, Delsin can simply draw from an energy source to activate its corresponding powerset, and can do this without cooldown or limits.
  • This is the premise for Shantae and the Pirate's Curse. After Shantae lost her genie powers, she needs to ally with Risky and gain a new set of Pirate-based skills in order to battle the new threat. In the True Ending, she loses her Pirate skills to the Pirate Master but regains her genie powers in exchange.
  • In Hearthstone:
    • Warlocks have a spell called Renounce Darkness which replaces their hero power and deck with a hero power and random cards from a different class.
    • They also have the Darkshire Librarian minion who discards a random card when summoned but lets them draw a replacement card when she dies.
    • A third Warlock card, Plot Twist, shuffles the Warlock's hand back into their deck and draws a number of cards equal to their hand size.
    • Druids have Astral Communion, which discards their entire hand but gives them 10 mana crystals. They'll be at the mercy of whatever RNG decides they topdeck, but have far more mana than their opponent, allowing them to pump out huge minions before they'd normally be able.
  • The Fallen and Redeemed from Nexus Clash lose all of their angelic and demonic powers, respectively, upon switching sides. They get new unique powers from their new side, some of which are extraordinarily powerful and all of which are unique to defectors and unavailable to normal angels and demons. However, they must take care to stay Good (if Redeemed) or Evil (if Fallen) lest they lose all of their powers and be rejected by both heaven and hell.
  • In The Binding of Isaac, Dice items reroll things, removing them and replacing them with something else. The D6 rerolls items on pedestals, the D4 rerolls your held items, the D7 rerolls the room you're in, the D8 rerolls your stats, the D10 rerolls enemies, the D12 rerolls obstacles, the D20 rerolls consumables, and the D100 combines all of these effects. These all have varying uses, but can be really strong if you have a lot of useless things around you, or can be used for fun just to see what happens. This is especially true with the D4 or D100, which have a tendency to turn normal runs into complete chaos or save terrible runs by giving you powerful items.
    • Missing No takes the chaos part to extreme degrees, randomizing all of your items at the start of every floor.
    • D Infinity applies this trope to itself. When you pick it up, it will turn into a random die; every time you use it, it will use the copied die's effect, and then reroll itself into another random die. To compensate for its randomness, it has a short recharge time that stays the same regardless of the die it copies.
  • In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Adam is forced to do this. In order activate the new augmentations he got between games, you have to permanently lock down an unused augmentation tree to reduce the strain on Adam's systems, or risk glitching out in the heat of combat. However, if you complete Koller's sidequest early on in the game, midway through the game he will upgrade you and remove this restriction, restoring any augmentations you have already locked down.
  • In the Fire Emblem franchise:
    • In the later games in the franchise, your units can re-class into other classes and exchange their stats and weapons for brand new ones.
    • In Fire Emblem Gaiden and its remake Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, promoting a Villager into any class other than a Mercenary results in them losing access to the ability to wield swords in exchange for whatever other weapon the class wields. In Shadows of Valentia, Faye cannot promote to Mercenary and will always lose swords initially, but she can regain them by promoting from Villager to Mage to Priestess.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, Ewan starts as a Pupil who wields anima magic. If he promotes to Shaman, he trades his anima for dark magic; if he promotes from there to Druid, he gets anima back.
    • Donnel in Fire Emblem Awakening starts out using lances as a Villager, but none of his promotions use that weapon.
  • In various Super Robot Wars series, not only can the examples listed above come into play, but players can invoke this should they unlock hidden units or the heroes move into new ones and leave old units for their supporting cast to take up. For instance, in Super Robot Wars Destiny, the two Getter Teams temporarily lose access to Shin Dragon halfway through the game and don't regain it until near the end. In the meantime, Shin Getter, classic Getter and Black Getter is available to use (though many players would keep the classic Getter Team in Shin Getter and put the Shin Getter Team in one of the remaining Getter Robos).
  • Monster Hunter: World has this in a sense, with High Rank Armour sets. Alpha sets come with more preset skills, two for each piece or a skill with a higher level. The Beta version drops a skill but gives you more decoration slots. Which one is better depends on your preferred build.
  • At the beginning of Devil May Cry 5, Nero has his demonic arm Devil Bringer ripped off by a mysterious hooded figure, costing him his Buster moves and Devil Trigger. His mechanic Nico replaces it with the cybernetic Devil Breakers, which have a whole host of abilities but break upon taking damage. The Final Boss fight sees Nero regrow a human arm, getting back his Buster and Devil Trigger in exchange for Devil Breakers, but Nico modifies them in the final cutscene so Nero can use them with his human arm and he carries all of his abilities into New Game+.
  • The postgame of Dragon Quest XI uses this with Serena. Late in Act 2 she becomes Purposefully Overpowered due to gaining all the skills of Black Mage Veronica after her twin's death. In Act 3, time travel ensures Serena's no longer near-broken, but instead gets an expansion of the skill categories she started with.
  • Rumble Roses Has Becky as it's biggest example. After turning face from her previous heel Candy Cane persona she performs 180 turn not only in the ring but in real life. Instead of being accompanied by teen rebel girls such as Candy, Becky instead gains Cheerleader friends who accompany her in the ring. While wrestling she loses her signature Guitar she hit her opponents with and her humiliating to the opponent attacks and instead gains attacks that are more fit to wrestling and within them many end with legit pinfall attempts.
  • Street Fighter: There is no in-game explanation, but going from IV to V Ibuki lost many of her attacks, and became less dependent on player execution to extend combos and gave her up intense knockdown game and instead became a "resource fighter", she uses more weapons than just her signature Kunai, and even her Kunai gained more uses. Gained a bomb and a shuriken for her situational attacks, reverses with a ninja log instead of Kazekiri, and is a little more bulky than her previous incarnations at 925 instead of her usual 900 HP as of the game's current patch. She is still a low HP fighter however.
  • In Carrion the abilities that the Villain Protagonist Eldritch Abomination has depends on its size, and gaining/losing biomass from eating people and taking damage respectively will change it. It is capable of shooting webs and turning invisible only in its smallest form, grow spikes from its body and perform a charge attack in its medium form, and use its tentacles as harpoons and create a keratin armor only in its largest form. Several segments of the game allow it to deposit biomass in pools in order to shrink itself if it's too big to use certain abilities needed to pass, which it can retrieve later.
  • Hades:
    • Some Hammer of Daedalus upgrades remove or weaken a weapon's function, but add a new effect or attack that more than makes up for the loss. For example, the Bow might lose its Charged Attack, but gain the ability to shoot much faster, or the Sword might cut your maximum HP by 60% but heal you for each hit (a huge deal considering that healing is very rare in this game).
    • In the final area, Charon may sell an Anvil of Daedalus, which removes one Hammer upgrade and gives you two different ones.
  • In Vermintide II, each hero starts with a class that builds on their capabilities from the first game, and two alternate classes. For everyone but the (comparatively) mentally healthy Krueber, one represents them undergoing positive Character Development, while the other sees them suffer Sanity Slippage.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Heaven's Feel route of Fate/stay night, Shirou gains Archer's arm, transplanted onto his body. This gives him all of Archer's skills, weapons, and knowledge, allowing him to keep up with other Servants in battle, at the cost of the arm destroying his mind and body with every use. Unfortunately for Shirou, this drawback prevents him from using Unlimited Blade Works, as his and Archer's Reality Marbles are too distinct from each other to be used simultaneously.

  • Coga Nito: A side-effect of Niko's initial Piece being stolen by BB was that, once BB was defeated, she could gain an entirely new one— Smooth Criminal certainly looks different, and she implies the power is different as well.
  • When She Was Bad: Gail Swanson developed her supervillain powers through secondary exposure to magic radiation meant for the Magical Girl antagonist, causing her powers to become unstable and fluctuate. While she keeps the super strength power permanently, her secondary power changes every few days, from talking to animals to magnetism to fireballs to cloning.
    Gail: I'll always have a new trick up my sleeve.
  • Schlock Mercenary: When Tailor, the robot given to Tagon as a birthday gift from his father, suddenly desperately needed to learn surgery... Para had to clear up the space somehow, so first had to remove all the knowledge of tailoring. This became slightly problematic when Tagon, on recovery, immediately asked Tailor to fix his helmet.

    Web Original 
  • In Worm, Panacea's tampering with Taylor's brain grants her the ability to control people instead of being limited to bugs, at the expense of most of her range and fine control.
    • Eidolon's power also works like this. He has up to 4 powers at any time, which he can discard at will to gain a new power.

    Western Animation 
  • In Ben 10: Alien Force, when Ben puts the Omnitrix on for the first time in years, it changes shape and replaces the 10+ aliens he had before with a new set. The guy that made it eventually explains that the thing has sets of ten that it changes between because there are far too many different aliens in it to navigate through at once. In the Grand Finale, Ben self-destructs the Omnitrix to keep Vilgax from using it. He then forces Albedo to give him the more powerful Ultimatrix by activating its self-destruct sequence as well. Unlike Vilgax, Albedo doesn't call Ben's bluff. Because a) the Ultimatrix is on his wrist and b) he just saw Ben wasn't bluffing. Finally, Ultimate Alien ends with the Ultimatrix being replaced by the new, perfected Omnitrix that carries over into Omniverse.
    • In the beginning of the first series, he starts with 10 different forms. He starts gaining new forms over time, but early on he loses Ghostfreak, one of his original forms. He eventually did get Ghostfreak back, but in a different form than the original.
    • In the second series, he gets smashed to pieces while in his Chromastone form, causing him to lose it, but then regains his Diamondhead form.
    • In the reboot, he loses his Gax form shortly after gaining it, but afterwards he sacrifices his Upgrade form in order to give his other forms a Super Mode by combining them with Shock Rock.
      • Later on in the season 2 finale, he loses Grey Matter, Wildvine, and Overflow due to the Omnitrix rebooting and they're replaced by Humungousaur, Rath, and Slapback.
  • Similarly, in the first season finale of Ben 10's sister series, Generator Rex, Van Kleiss absorbs Rex's nanites, bringing Rex down to normal. Fortunately, the special nanites set up 10 episodes in advance were still there, and allowed Rex to get back his powers, and then some.
    • Counts for Van Kleiss, too. Rex cured him earlier, depowering him. So Kleiss took his powers as a replacement.
  • In The Legend of Korra season 1 finale, Amon finally de-bends Korra, leaving her bereft of her Waterbending, Earthbending, and Firebending. Just in time, her Airbending block breaks, and she gives a surprise gust of wind at an incredulous Amon.
    • A look into the distant past reveals that humans only have the necessary life energy to bend one element at a time. Wan had to rely on his spirit companion Raava to carry the bending he wasn't using at the time. Every time he needed to use a different bending style, Raava would pass through him and take the previous one away. Wan could only bend multiple elements at the same time by carrying Raava within himself, but doing so for too long could kill him. This downside was removed after the Harmonic Convergence permanently fused Wan and Raava, creating the first Avatar.
  • Transformers: Prime:
    • Near the end of season 2, Megatron sacrifices his primary weapon arm for an arm from a Prime, allowing him to create a Dark Energon copy of the Star Saber using the Forge of Solus Prime, and for that matter, the power to create anything else he wants using the Forge.
    • Happens to Starscream quite a bit throughout season 2. He loses his transformation cog and the ability to transform, but later gains a suit of Powered Armor that can only be used in robot mode. He later loses the armor but acquires Red Energon, giving him Super Speed temporarily, which he uses for the short time it lasts in a successful plot to get back the ability to transform again.
  • In the animated version of W.I.T.C.H., Will's boyfriend Matt gets his own set of powers, including flight and the ability to shoot lasers from his eyes, after Nerissa kidnaps and brainwashes him into becoming Shagon, her demon of hate. Will eventually breaks him free of Nerissa's control, restoring Matt to a normal human. Matt remains normal for one full episode, but the episode after that sees him gain his powers back but rather than being fueled by hate, they're now powered by Cornelia's sister Lillian's Reality Warper magic and can be used for good.
  • In the season 4 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight sacrifices her alicorn powers before unlocking Rainbow Power to put Tirek back in his can.
    • Season 4 as a whole is this trope. In the premiere, the ponies must sacrifice the Elements of Harmony, and in exchange receive a box with six locks. The season features episodes in which each pony has an epiphany regarding their respective Element, leading up to the eventual unlocking of the box and the acquiring of Rainbow Power to defeat Tirek. It also leads to the creation of Twilight's new castle, and the "Cutie Map" that sends the Mane Six on missions to solve "friendship problems" across Equestria in seasons five and six.
    • In Season 9, King Sombra destroys the Tree of Harmony and the elements with it. The Mane Six defeat him by learning how to unleash their inner Power of Friendship without the elements. In the next episode, the tree is revived in a new and stronger form, but the elements remain lost.
  • Peridot was introduced into Steven Universe with robotic 'limb enhancers' with a variety of powers (like shooting balls of energy, creating computer-esque screens, having the fingers form a sort of helicopter to let her escape, lifting heavy objects, and making her look taller). The beginning of her Heel–Face Turn saw her losing them, but "Too Short to Ride" (after said Heel–Face Turn) gives her Extra-ore-dinary powers.
  • In OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, we learn that this happened prior to the beginning of the series to Professor Venomous. He was originally the superhero Laserblast, who secretly felt that his Energy Absorption powers were inadequate compared to those of his P.O.I.N.T. teammates, and started conducting experiments in secret to improve them. Unfortunately for him, while trying to cover his tracks, he was in an accident that caused him to lose his powers completely. While his experiments on himself to try to get them back supposedly failed (unbeknownst to him, these experiments gave him a Superpowered Evil Side, Shadowy Figure), the advancements in science that he made while attempting to do so turned out to be very lucrative in the supervillain market. Under the new name of Professor Venomous, he ended up striking it rich and gaining all the respect and confidence as a villain that he never felt he had as a hero, leading him to realize that he didn't need to have superpowers to be a powerful individual.
  • In the Teen Titans Go! episode "My Name Is Jose", the Titans are bored with their usual powers and Robin is sick of his Badass Normal status, so Raven gives all of them new ones: Robin gets Vibe's, Cyborg gets Aqualad's, Beast Boy gets Saturn Girl's, Starfire gets Plastic Man's, and Raven gives herself the powers (and weakness) of Superman.


Video Example(s):


Korra gets her bending back

After having her bending taken away by Amon, Korra falls into a deep depression. As she cries on a cliff, she finally unlocks the Avatar state and gets her bending back.

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Example of:

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