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Fake Ultimate Mook

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This is why it pays to have a Metal Coat.
A monster whose massive, terrifying appearance is offset by such a massive, terrifying handicap that it rarely presents any actual threat at all. Essentially, they're regular Mooks, just bigger (and slower, much slower). Later, you may encounter fully-powered versions of the Fake Ultimate Mook, or you may fight many of them at once, but a single one is of minimal threat.

Often caused by Statistically Speaking and/or Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors.

For actual bosses, see the Warm-Up Boss and/or Anticlimax Boss.

Compare and Contrast with Giant Mook, which is usually proportionally stronger because of its size, but will sometimes become the Fake Ultimate Mook instead. Also contrast the Boss in Mook Clothing. Polar opposite of the Killer Rabbit, which is an extremely cute or otherwise harmless-looking creature that will grin and hand you your ass if given the opportunity. When it comes to Mooks, its opposite is Invincible Minor Minion. Compare Surprisingly Easy Mini-Quest for other situations where a tough fight or problem gets resolved with surprising ease. Subtrope of Paper Tiger.


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    Action Adventure 
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the first Titan mutant you face is all huge, ugly, super-strong, and invincible. He dies of a heart attack after a minute due to imperfections in his mutation process.
  • Castlevania:
    • Symphony of the Night opens up with the castle entrance, with the first enemies being giant wolves (the Wargs) that are twice the size of Alucard. However, because this is A Taste of Power segment, you kill them all in one hit. Stronger varieties appear much later on, but they're not much of a threat. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow also features them, and they are no stronger than the common axe armours they appear with.
    • Rondo of Blood has giant golems in the first level, which also reappear (with the same sprite, no less) in Portrait of Ruin. They tower above your character and look menacing enough, but they're actually quite easy to kill and slow to attack. That same game also has the Dragon Zombie; while their beam attack is extremely powerful at that point in the game, they're big, slow, have little range, and provide ample warning when they are about to use their beam.
  • The Giant Smiles in killer7 are these. While somewhat annoying, they can be easily dispatched by walking up to them to set them off, then running away and watching as they very slowly topple over and explode.
  • Dark Adventure have those Golems that tower absolutely over your characters, who look all kinds of menacing... until you land a couple of hits on them. Turns out they're pathetically slow, lack ranged attacks, are easy targets anyway due to their size, and lose an arm after getting hit two or three times. Keep spamming attacks and they crumble lifelessly in no time. Witness the hilarity here. The game has gargoyle enemies showing up later, who despite being the same size as the players, are considerably stronger and a bigger threat.
  • Devil May Cry 4: The Mega Scarecrows are huge and have a ton of health, but that's about it. They are close to the Fausts and Blitzes in terms of raw damage output, but they are even slower than regular Scarecrows, take a long while to attack, flinch at the slightest hit, are very susceptible to knockback, and rarely retaliate. Their only gimmicks are their rolling attack and their back blade which falls back two seconds after they die.
  • In certain Kirby games (Squeak Squad and Amazing Mirror, to be specific), there are giant versions of the Waddle Dees. The only way they're more powerful than their smaller kin? You need to hold the inhale button for a second or two to build up enough power to eat one. Oh, and they take slightly more damage to kill any other way—including simply running into them and taking the hit.
  • Mega Man ZX had a giant mechanical snake in the forest as its first boss. Complete with a cutscene where it looks even more imposing. It is the easiest boss in the game, with a predictable attack pattern and clearly telegraphed attacks.
  • Metroid:
    • The Elite Pirates from the first Metroid Prime game were stupidly easier than the Troopers, or even the regular Pirates. Thermal Visor, lock onto the cannon on their shoulder, fire a Super Missile...splat. Usually dead before they get an attack in. Even if they survive the cannon exploding right against their neck, their only real attack at that point is a shockwave along the ground, which you basically have to have your arms fall off at that exact moment not to be able to jump over.
    • The fake Kraid in Super Metroid. Kraid was the hardest boss in the first Metroid, in Super there is an enemy that looks just like him but isn't challenging at all and goes down in a single Super Missile. Even the proper boss in that game is a Warm-Up Boss.
  • The Anti-Runners you encounter near the end of Mirror's Edge. They're lawmen who have been specially trained to catch runners like Faith, but they can be avoided easily enough just by doing what you excel at and running. The ordinary cops you encounter throughout the game? They can and will kill you easily just by shooting you.
  • The early game bosses and some enemy battleships in Naval Ops Warship Gunner, suffer similar problems to the EVE example below. A Destroyer with the best engines and as many tri-barreled cannons as it can fit on it will be one of your best ships throughout the game as it can avoid most gunfire and dish it out equally hard in return. And then YOU can become the FUM when you take on enemy carriers, as your lack of AA coverage means small and fast divebombers can hassle you with impunity until you take out the carrier.
  • Star Control 2. Just after refueling the Starbase, a big and scary Ilwrath battleship confronts you... with only a skeleton crew and a malfunctioning cloaking device. It's what passed for a ship-to-ship combat tutorial in 1992.
  • One of the first levels of Super Mario Galaxy has a Giant Goomba that goes down with one Spin Attack.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has Hinoxes, massive one-eyed pig monsters strong enough to rip trees out of the ground and use them as melee weapons. They certainly look intimidating, but in practice, they are slow, their attacks are extremely telegraphed, and they have little ranged capability which leaves them vulnerable to kiting and arrow/bomb spam. They are also usually asleep when first encountered, and have a lengthy startup animation that lets the player get several free hits in before the Hinox can even try to fight back. With a strong enough weapon, it's possible to kill them before this animation ends. Despite the game classifying them as a boss, they are usually seen as less dangerous by players than Elite Mook Lynels and Guardians.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Chicken Warrior had the bomb-throwing chickens. Sure, it's a ranged attack and explosion does hurt a lot ... but the bomb itself slowly travels in a long arc, and the attack itself is telegraphed beforehand, so it's child's play to get out of the way.
  • Hero of Sparta has the giant Minotaurs in both games, where you stood to their knees... but they're only slightly harder to kill than regular minotaurs. There are even smaller enemies with greater health compared to these guys.

    Fighting Game 
  • In Gotcha Force, all of the Fortress Borgs except the Final Boss can be taken down by a single borg of nearly any type with a ranged attack with just a little effort dodging. Dragon Borgs are very similar, although they're slightly more maneuverable. However, due to being mostly terrestrial, they're even big targets to melee specialists (except for the lightning element dragons, who make sparks when they stomp).
  • The giant Goombas in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Adventure mode. Like the small ones, they are vulnerable to the classic Goomba Stomp...but their size makes them even easier to hit. They do have to be stomped more than once, and their attack hits you very hard, but since they're stunned a bit after being stomped, it's child's play to just stay on top of them until they're damaged enough.
  • Tekken:
    • This is the reason why Kuma/Panda is often regarded as a Joke Character; it's big and has long, easy combos, but its limbs are too short to actually reach its opponent.
    • Azazel in Tekken 6 seems to be very difficult to beat... until you realize he is utterly defenseless against flying kicks.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Creature Shock have the Sand Worm monsters who, despite their size, goes down with enough shots in no time. It helps that they're laughably slow and sluggish and you're unlikely to miss because of how large these creatures are.
  • Medal of Honor: Airborne has the Waffen Infantry and the Waffen Officers. Compared to the Heer before them, they are armed exclusively with automatic weapons, fire more accurately, and take cover more. But just like the Heer, they go down in one-three shots. This situation isn't helped when the actual Elite Mooks, the Fallschirmjager, show up. And they prove to be even deadlier than their Waffen counterparts.
  • Half-Life 2 has the Combine Elite, the supposedly Elite Mooks of The Combine Overwatch. While initially built up and looking to be far tougher than the regular Overwatch soldiers, in actual combat, they go down in nearly same number of hits as their regular counterparts donote  and use the same weapons and AI, with their major difference being that they can use their rifles' secondary fire (essentially a dark energy grenade launcher) while regular troops can't.
  • Borderlands:
    • The Badass Psychos in Borderlands have significantly more health than the standard Psychos. On the other hand, their melee attacks are significantly weaker and they don't rush at you with an armed grenade when low on health, making them far less of a threat than standard Psychos.
    • Borderlands 2 rebalanced Badass Psychos and made them enemies to be feared. However, it fell into the same trap with the Crystalisks. While they have very large health, they're also slow, easy to hit, and their projectiles both have both low speed and are widely telegraphed.
  • Doom:
    • With the development of circle-strafing and mouse-aiming, even the mighty Cyberdemon has become this, at least in the original game. Later games based on the engine (i.e. Plutonia Experiment, Doom 64) usually used level design perks (i.e. small rooms, tight corridor mazes) to prevent you from simply circle-strafing him to death.
    • The Spider Mastermind (Episode 3 endboss) is far easier to defeat than the Cyberdemon (Episode 2 endboss) not least because Episode 3 allows the player to use the original BFG. In addition, the Cyberdemon has more hitpoints (4000 vs. the Spider Mastermind's 3000). 3000 hit points, incidentally, is less than the maximum possible damage done on a close-range BFG shot, so unlike the Cyberdemon, the Spider Mastermind can be a One-Hit Kill for a lucky space marine.
  • The Hunters in Halo: Combat Evolved look like they're quite tough and mean, but thanks to an infamous programming mistake, they go down in one hit to any orange area with a precision-type weapon, which they are oh so eager to exposenote . However, this mistake was removed in every subsequent Halo game, and they are now considerably harder to kill. That said, if your reflexes are good enough, it was still possible to get close and just keep punching its back from Halo 3 onward, (though you'll also have keep on dodging its retaliatory melee attacks); however, they always travel in pairs, and often play fire support to other Covenant forces - precluding slow methods of killing them until you've almost won anyway. Additionally, even the "whack the back" tactic is almost impossible in Halo 5: Guardians; the Hunters now have much faster melee attacks and can turn on a dime, meaning that even if you can somehow get directly behind one, it'll turn around and put the hurt on you before you can even react.
  • Perfect Dark 64
    • The helicopter gunship in Level 3 can be taken down in just one single blast of a rocket (thankfully displayed by mooks on the office level). The ship (and rocket) belong to a multi-trillion dollar evil corporation. A robotic drone on a later level is invulnerable until you crash a taxi into it.
    • Same could be said for the Skedar after only a few quick glimpses of one a few levels earlier and a cutscene of it knocking down the Carrington Institute's very solid steel door you finally get to fight it only to find out it's just another mook that only takes a few shots to kill.
  • The first time you encounter a Harvester in Quake IV, it impales and curbstomps two of your fellow Red Shirt tanks, but for you, the battle's mostly a pushover, as its machine gun fire can be easily circle-strafed and its missiles can be shot down.
  • Arguably, the Tallboys from Dishonored. Extremely imposing, incredibly powerful, and able to be taken down in one shot from a stealth kill, or shot from behind.

    Interactive Fiction 

  • In Air Rivals, a lvl 19 BCU mission requires you to beat a lvl 65 boss in an early map. It goes down in one shot. Turns out that's a dud boss, done for the mission, much weaker than the real one (although the real one spawns right after the fake one is defeated, so yeah, you can still be doomed.
  • In EVE Online, frigates (the smallest combat ships in the game) are often used against battleships (the largest non-capital combat ships in the game) with great efficiency. The battleships guns are unable to track and hit the small, fast frigates and end up doing no damage most of the time. Mind you - should you stop just for a few seconds, you'll be torn apart very quickly - battleships with low refire guns are often quite capable of taking down an immobile frigate in a single volley. In fact, when in a gang, frigates are often used as "tacklers" - to stop the enemy from fleeing. It's not that uncommon to have a single frigate prevent a capital ship from jumping away for long enough to get reinforced by a friendly fleet. This means that your friend who just created an account can be ready for battle in just a few days - flying the "weakest" ship with great efficiency. Also, comparing the price of a frigate and battleship...
  • Dragon Ball Online
    • In some areas you can find Saibaman turtles that have a colossal size, they usually have the same life as the average mob.
    • Most dinosaurs are regular mobs that can be easily defeated by a player of the same level. Funnily in the trailer, a dinosaur is treated like a boss who needs 5 players to beat.
    • When you get to Papaya Island, you can find two varieties of Saibaman, some small ones that look like coconuts, and other huge ones that look like palm trees. The giants have exactly the same health as the small ones.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2
    • King Yedes. Bigger, much tougher, and much deadlier versions of the Yede enemy, they are essentially a Palette Swap of the game's first boss, Rockbear, and share some of its moves. The catch is that their only ranged attack is very easy to see coming and dodge, and they have pitiful range beyond that, making any in-game class that's not a Hunter or Fighter have a very easy time against them. And, despite being most likely double to triple the size of your character, they're still vulnerable to grab attacks, and guess what type of attack the Hunter's Wired Lance weapons specialize in?note  Even the Fighter, an exclusively close-ranged combatant, has so much mobility - and the King Yedes are so slow - that this isn't a problem.
    • Averted with Minotaurus, who, like the aforementioned King Yede, appears to be the typical slow-moving large mook when idle due to their slow lumbering around but as soon as they spot a player they quickly establish themselves as a Lightning Bruiser with a large reach in their attacks and can run across a room to get you quick enough to pull off sneak attacks against the unaware.
  • World of Warcraft
    • A particularly glaring example is when you fight Giants (with the bones of their victims still stuck to the soles of their boots) and dwarves in the same area. Somehow, they are pretty much equal in strength. Pretty much any large enemy that isn't an elite counts.
    • At first, Giants were all (or nearly all) elite mobs, and generally about as tough as they looked. This was eventually taken away, presumably to reduce the need for players to group up to deal with what is now early-level content.
    • Also quite notorious are the objects of a decent helping of quests asking you to slay an Elite Monster, which would normally require at least one other player's help. However, some of these Ultimate Mooks can be soloed with only moderate difficulty if the player knows what they're doing and can play their class well.
    • In the Well of Eternity instance, in Cataclysm, your party encounters a giant, molten infernal (a more badass version of the standard flaming rock golem demons). Its AoE is enough to wipe the party, but thanks to a buff from Illidan, the mob in question is down in about a minute.

    Platform Game 
  • The Tortuilding from Kirby and the Forgotten Land is an enormous snapping turtle who lives in a stone building instead of a shell. It's a Unique Enemy found at the end of the second stage of the game, Downtown Grassland, and it attacks Kirby by pivoting around the area and biting him at surprising speed. On paper, it looks like a Boss in Mook Clothing with its giant size... but the minute Cone-Mouth Kirby reaches higher ground, he can drop down and kill it in one hit. The Big Red Tortuilding in the last regular stage of the game, The Beast Pack's Final Stand, is battled and defeated under similar means.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The Super Mario Advance version of Super Mario Bros. 2 has Giant Mook versions of Shy Guy and Ninji. They're barely any more dangerous than their normal-sized counterparts, only having a slightly longer delay when picking them up; in fact, picking one up spawns a heart item every time.
    • The giant monsters in world 4 of Super Mario Bros. 3 definitely qualify. Though they tower over the pint-sized Mario, Giant Goombas still die after jumping on them just once.
    • Super Mario World features Kamikaze Koopas, which are created when a yellow Beach Koopa jumps into a shell. They look like they should be very dangerous, flashing in many colours and moving across the ground at high speed toward Mario, but a single spin jump will do them in. They go from "mostly harmless" to "Helpful Mook" if you have Yoshi, who can swallow them and gain the powers of all three special Koopa colours at once.
    • Super Paper Mario has the Mega Koopa, a Unique Enemy which shows up in the first level of world 3. It's a giant 8-bit Koopa Troopa formed from a regular Koopa picking up a Mega Star. It's by far the biggest regular enemy in the game, but not only it is not invincible, but it's actually weaker than a normal Koopa in terms of stats, and there's a Mega Star of your own a short distance away to give the Koopa a taste of its own medicine.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Brütal Legend. The bouncer is revealed to be a giant with fists bigger than his head, but your newly recruited headbangers take him down in just a few seconds. This may be lampshaded with the bouncer's big reveal being followed up by him making a rather weak, "Grr."
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm ends with Cabal deploying a huge unit against you: the Core Defender. It's bigger than anything else in the game, has a ton of health and it's armed with two massive lasers that One-Hit Kill everything but the toughest units, and only take a hit more to kill those as well. Surely it has powerful anti-air defenses as well, right? I mean, who in their right mind would design a massive end-game war machine and not protect it from air attack? Well, Cabal, apparently. Sic a few bombers on the thing and it's an almost effortless kill. You can also lure it over a bridge and just blast the bridge up under it.
  • Warcraft III:
    • Most hero units and bosses are cripplingly weak to being rushed with large amounts of weak units. In the expansion, this is countered somewhat with the ability to do splash damage or attack multiple enemies.
    • The Alliance's Steam Tank/Siege Engine. A tank with huge armor (of the type used by buildings, making it even more resistant), lots of damage, what's not to like? For starters, the fact that it can only attack buildings (until the Expansion gave them a level in badass, and the ability to kill off massed air power like no one else).
    • The Night Elves have the ability to uproot their tree-buildings and use them to attack. While they do lots of damage, they move and attack about as fast as a tree grows, not to mention losing the Fortified armor that would make them harder to kill. A player's moment of panic on facing these things for the first time in the campaign last about five seconds.
    • The ogre in the tutorial mission, although Thrall mentions that they would have a hard battle if the ogre was not asleep, the ogre really is very easy to defeat (In fact the Ogre is weaker than a single Grunt)
    • In The Dungeons of Dalaran quest. Kael mentions that they must prevent the foot soldiers from activating the alarms because if they manage to activate it, the humans will send elite troops to stop them. These "elite" troops are barely stronger than an average foot soldier and are much weaker than a knight.

    Role Playing Game 
  • AdventureQuest: In "Zorbak's Evil Mistake!", some Ebil Scythes bring the player character's HP to 1. As the player is in Darkovia, finding any place to heal would be unlikely. Then the player encounters a level 130 Soul Banisher... that he or she beats in one hit.
  • Chrono Trigger:
    • The Omnicrone/Gaoler you face in the dungeon is a strange case of this. While he is a genuine threat, being an enemy from much later in the game who should be able to mop the floor with the comparably low-level Crono, it turns out he's just too damned cowardly and lazy to fight and takes off after taking a good two or three hits:
      "They don't pay me enough for this."
    • The "Golem Boss", which is supposedly more powerful than the previously encountered Golems, according to Dalton. However, it turns out to be a Zero-Effort Boss. It counts down to an attack, stops at "one," restarts the countdown, and then just curls up and cries before it flees: the reason for its cowardice is because the fight takes place on the wing of a giant airship and it's afraid of heights, implying it might actually be as formidable as Dalton painted it as being if the fight took place somewhere else. It actually ends up being more of a boss-level Metal Slime, since the reward for beating it is spectacular, but even on New Game Plus any party but your three heaviest hitters will struggle to kill the Golem Boss before it flees.
  • In Dark Souls's storyline, the Darkwraiths were so feared that the city of New Londo was flooded to seal them away. In concept, they are terrifying warriors wearing skeletal armor and attacking relentlessly with sword swings, kicks, and an unblockable grab that leeches the player's humanity. In execution, their telegraphed, predictable attacks and their slow turning speed leave them constantly open to backstabs.
  • The captains of the formidable Alonne knights in Dark Souls II are taller and much more resilient than their subordinates while packing enormous lightning-enchanted katanas with a deadly quickdraw technique. However, the procedure says that every one of their deliberate, elegant attacks must end with a flourished sheathing display, which locks them in place for seconds without defense. Even the electric aura, which lights up the blade as it's drawn, works an extremely visible dodging/parrying cue. An Alonne Captain only presents a real danger when you're already fighting other Captains or Knights, where they have time to draw their slowly, deliberately fired bows or get in just the right position for a long-range Flash Step lunge. For comparison, the common knights just bumrush you with simple chops, thrusts, and quickdraw slashes and are much more dangerous for it.
  • Diablo series:
    • The Wendigos in Diablo II are hulking, monstrous beasts over twice the size of a human. They are regularly beaten to death by level 1 characters using the weapons they start the game with.
    • Demon Troopers and Demon Raiders in Act III of Diablo III. Compared to the grunt demons, flying demons, and demon hounds, these look fairly imposing, large, and armored, while holding an Epic Flail. They're actually pretty weak in terms of durability, and their attack is very slow and not even that painful at all.
    • Also from Act III of the third game, the Golgor. The first one you encounter is given a mini-cutscene of it being summoned by a trio of Fallen shamans and will draw a comment from your character along the line of "what manner of demon is this?", possibly leading players to believe it will be an above-average threat. While it does hit pretty hard, its attacks are slow and fairly easy to dodge once you've learned its attack patterns, and its slow movement speed means ranged attacks can bring it down before it poses a threat.
  • Early in Dragon Quest XI there is an optional volcano area you can explore, with little more than a dead end guarded by an enormous bear monster, an Ursa Minor. If you're brave enough to attack it you'll find that while it does have decent attack power, its health is surprisingly low and it dies in just a couple of turns. Later you'll fight more Ursa Minors in their natural habitat and they'll be much tougher to take down. Finally, even later in the game, you'll return to the volcano for plot reasons and, hilariously, it turns out that the first Ursa Minor was two kids in a costume trying to scare people away.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: the sleeping bear found near the end of the escape from Helgen, the tutorial level. Your companion will hype up the beast as a powerful enemy and suggest you either sneak by or attempt to snipe it from afar with a bow. However, you can easily take the bear head-on, and tear it apart just as easily as any other Mook in this level. This is a particularly treacherous example, as all Skyrim bears but this tutorial one are indeed Demonic Spiders, with a lot of health and hard-hitting attacks that will do a number on an inexperienced adventurer. So if you mess around with a bear in the wilds expecting it to fold like a house of cards, you will get horrifically mauled.
  • Fallout 3:
    • The standard Super Mutants are surprisingly weak; they're armed with either slow-firing, inaccurate bolt-action hunting rifles or various melee weapons that they must charge at you across open space to use. Their weapon skill stats are below-average (meaning they're very poor shots), their health is only 100 (about half of the player's at level 1 and only moderately higher than a Raider's), and they wear absolutely no armor meaning their DR is 0. All of this together means they can barely hurt a non-starter PC and can be brought down with a handful of headshots from the standard 10mm pistol (the first weapon you get in the game). This is in contrast to the original Fallout series, where even the lowest-level Super Mutants were tough bruisers armed with miniguns (who, despite not wearing much armor, had such thick skin that their innate DT was on par with combat armor), and Super Mutants as a whole were the 2nd most difficult enemy faction in the game (second only to the U.S. Government's Powered Armor stormtroopers). The Super Mutant Masters and Overlords you fight later in Fallout 3 are still pretty tough, though.
    • Enclave Troopers in Fallout 3 are late-game Fake Ultimate Mooks: they only have from 90 to 180 hit points and on average 30% DR along with 45-80 ratings in their energy weapons stats; along with the fact that they only carry laser and plasma rifles, they're basically just Talon Company mercs with slightly better armor (and due to the damage threshold mechanic being removed, this doesn't mean much). Compare this to Fallout 2, where Enclave Troopers can cut through even the toughest of the end-game groups. Later games seem to suggest this to be a mix of Improbable Power Discrepancy and Power Equals Rarity (they're standard enemies in 3 and extremely rare endgame enemies in 2). In Fallout: New Vegas, gear from both of the above games show up, and the weapons and armor they used in 2 (e.g. plasma caster, plasma defender, gatling laser, Remnants power armor) are all significantly better than the gear they used in 3 (e.g. laser rifle, plasma rifle, plasma pistol, and a suit functionally identical to the T-45d). In fact, their standard power armor in 3 is only slightly better than the high-end non power-armored suits in New Vegas, like the reinforced combat armor mark II, the NCR Veteran Ranger combat armor, or the advanced riot armor. The very few Enclave troopers you encounter in New Vegas also have much better stats than any of the troopers in 3 (350-400 hit points and 100 ratings in every combat stat), which combined with their equipment being much better and the damage threshold mechanic being reintroduced makes them easily as formidable as they were in 2. This is despite them all being 60+ years old! In fact, just one (Orion Moreno) is considered a quest-ending Mini-Boss fight.
    • Deathclaws in general lose their threat if player has the right stats. While most pronounced in Fallout 3, having powered armor also neutered the threat in original games. You could be armed with a meager pistol and just trade shots for a while and wait for a good critical to kill one or the other in one hit. Alternatively, you can just craft a Dart Gun, which can cripple all of a Deathclaws limbs in one shot. Fallout: New Vegas, finally remedies this, especially with level scaling Deathclaws in Lonesome Road, which can kill most any character in one or two(at the most) hits regardless of armor.
    • In Fallout 3, there is a Random Encounter with a Deathclaw in it, regardless of level. Luckily, this Deathclaw had a leg crippled beforehand, making it very, very slow, and lacking a ranged attack, easy prey. Though it's important to double-check the leg's condition before engaging in combat; there is a random encounter that involves a perfectly healthy deathclaw, and getting too close to one of those will get you mauled to death.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • Yao Guai return from Fallout 3 in the Honest Hearts DLC, and the locals seem to think that they're Hell on wheels. While they're competent enemies, they lack any kind of ranged attack and have merely decent damage and hit points. Already significantly weaker than the Mojave's Deathclaws, Yao Guai are ultimately rendered Fake Ultimate Mooks by the geography of Honest Hearts—it takes place almost entirely in meandering canyons, meaning that shooting them from high ground makes them drop with ease. A tribal even comments that you probably don't have anything as bad as Yao Guai where you're from, despite Yao Guai being considerably easier to deal with than about 80% of the enemies in the Mojave—and being no match whatsoever for the armed tribals you fight for most that very DLC.
    • The boss of Old World Blues, the Giant Robo-Scorpion, has up to 3500 HP depending on the player's level but can be taken out with a single critical hit from the Tarantula-calibrated Sonic Emitter due to a glitch with the gun itself. Averted otherwise; this thing can tank a lot of damage and atomize you in a couple shots.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Found near the end of the final dungeon in Final Fantasy IV is Zemus's Breath, a monster named for the Big Bad, plays the boss battle music, is a Palette Swap of a legitimately dangerous monster... and only ever casts Libra on you. It's apparently "Reporting to Zemus", but it doesn't matter how many Libras it gets on you; the final battle plays out exactly the same. It has an annoying (but not especially terrible) counterattack to magic, but otherwise it can't hurt you and is just a good punching bag for lots of EXP in the end.
    • Final Fantasy VII: Any big enemy with a level that is a multiple of 4 qualifies because it is weak against Level 4 suicide (which takes off 31/32 of its current HP). Few enemies are weak, but there are a few really powerful ones (like Dragons and Malboros) that are, allowing them to be killed in two hits.
    • The Sandworms in Final Fantasy X are a perfect example, having more HP than all of the bosses fought previously, completely dwarfing almost every enemy in size, and possessing a rather high attack power. However, they have a crippling weakness to sleep and gravity, which makes them easy to deal with.
    • Zig-zagged in Final Fantasy X-2. The game mostly uses enemies from the previous game, Final Fantasy X, but apparently just scrambled them and used them completely randomly. As such, you'll often encounter menacing enemies early on that not only clash with their surroundings but take an extra hit to kill at most. However, you can also run into some powerful monsters early on. The Macalania woods are a deathtrap at low level, and you can run into a Tonberry amidst Fake Ultimate Mooks in Mushroom Rock Road even at level 2.
    • Final Fantasy XII has a kind of early-game enemy called Slavens, which are described as being "beasts of burden gone feral" that are twice as tall as your characters, but that are barely any more dangerous than the wolves or bats from the areas they show up in.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has quite a few early on. Somewhat useful for emphasizing the stagger system, in which enemies suddenly become weak if you can keep a good chain of attacks coming. Centurion enemies encountered from Chapter 10 are a pretty good example. They're big and look very flashy, but are insanely easy to stagger and, due to their size, very easy to get an infinite-air-juggle going on.
    • The boss monsters in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 partially qualify. While they are definitely powerful, their size (3x3 squares) and the fact they can't move makes them drop pretty fast. Especially if a good number of clanmembers have Counter and get an extra hit in every time the boss uses a bigger attack.
  • In Front Mission 3, the final battle of Alisa's Story has the Big Bad riding in a ridiculously large wanzer (compared to your party's wanzers). Being so large, he takes up a considerable amount of squares, making him incredibly easy to hit. The boss also doesn't move, and while his HP is fairly high, his defense is laughable.
  • Battle alphas were some of the most powerful monsters in the first Geneforge, so it's a bit of a surprise in the beginning of the third game when, after a whole bunch of them kill most of your teachers, one of them attacks you. Not to worry, though—it's already badly wounded, and you can finish it off in a couple of hits. (Full-strength battle alphas don't appear for quite a while longer, and make for much more respectable foes.)
  • In the 'Exodus' chapter of Hellgate: London, the track tunnel of an evacuating train is completely blocked by a towering fiend. After it falls surprisingly easily, a series of them appear along the tracks, no more dangerous than standard Mooks entering from side tunnels. It's not until the end of the line that the level's real boss appears.
  • Monsters that are 3x3 squares in size in Jeanne d'Arc. An attack that affects more than one square at once (common for magic-users and spear-wielders) will hit them multiple times, doing considerable damage and negating their health advantage.
  • Magical Starsign:
    • The Antlion shows up as the first non-Training Dummy monster your party encounters. It takes up both DS screens, but it's weak to one of your first party members' spells and goes down quickly. It's only level 2, according to the game's Bestiary.
    • The Securitron, fought shortly after, is a towering Humongous Mecha which fires missiles, electrocutes your party... and deals little damage and goes down in a few attacks. Its first encounter doesn't even have the boss music playing. The Securitron mk. II is a little tougher, but still quite easy. However, the Securitron mk. III is exactly as tough as it looks.
  • Krogan enemies in Mass Effect 2. In Mass Effect, the average krogan mook was a durable Lightning Bruiser who soaked up tons of damage, regenerated very fast, and would frequently sprint towards the player to beat him to death with a few melee attacks. They usually came armed with shotguns that had a decent range, and could also fire extremely damaging Carnage (long-range balls of plasma). Finally, if you killed one with anything other than Cryo, Incendiary, or Toxic ammo, it would just get up and have to be killed again before it finally stayed dead. In the second game, their speed is drastically reduced, their melee attacks are nowhere near as powerful, and they can't get up after being shot down anymore. Despite their high health, they are very slow, and usually just lumber towards you in a straight line while firing very Short Range Shotguns for Scratch Damage. They can still use Carnage as their only long-range attack, but it’s now slower and much easier to dodge. Most people find the supposedly weaker vorcha to be far more dangerous due to their automatic weapons, unpredictable movements, and ridiculously good aim.
  • Invoked in Paper Mario: the mini-boss Monstar in Chapter Seven looks pretty menacing, is immune to Star Spirit abilities, and one of your partners, who provides useful intel on enemies, says he doesn't know this guy's attack power but expects it to be really high. Then he uses a super flashy, lengthy star-shower attack animation that ends up doing one damage. It turns out he's actually just a bunch of young star spirits trying to scare Mario away from their home, not realizing that he's their friend.
  • Pokémon has its share of examples:
    • Onix, the former Trope Namer, can usually be fought and captured early on in the games. Though they're towering snakes made out of stone, they have low stats in everything but its Defensenote . Even worse, its special defense is absolutely horrible and being a Rock/Ground-type, granting poor Onix crippling weaknesses to two common elements; a Grass- or Water-Type attack will usually take it down in one hit unless Onix has Sturdy (which didn't even protect Onix from being knocked out in one hit by regular moves until Gen V). Brock's Onix, in particular, was a particularly glaring example in the first generation. Level 14, stats just high enough to make it a challenging fight... but a Pidgey spamming Sand Attack can make all that negligible due to the fact that its only offensive moves are Tackle and Bide.
    • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire featured Slaking as the Gym Leader Norman's strongest Pokémon. While this seems reasonable due to its high stats and good move pool, its ability Truant prevents it from being a threat because it forces Slaking to do nothing every other turn.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl introduces an Olympus Mon called Regigigas, which has an imposing appearance and excellent stats all around, with only Special Attack (which it doesn't use anyway) being below base 100. Unfortunately, it's crippled by Slow Start, an ability that halves its Attack and Speed for 5 turns whenever it enters the field. Even worse, Regigigas is unable to learn near-universal defensive attacks like Protect or Rest in every game before Sword and Shield. As such, what is presented as a powerful legendary Pokémon is in fact one of the most useless ones ever programmed.
    • In Pokémon Black and White, it's become possible to, on rare occasions, encounter the fully evolved forms of the "pseudo-legendary" Pokemon lines (Called such for having strength comparable to the weaker legendary Pokemon) in areas where their pre-evolutions can be found (Dragonite, Tyranitar, and Metagross in Black/White, Hydreigon in X/Y, and Kommo-o and Salamence in the Gen VII games). While they're normally frightful opponents when in the possession of trainers, in the wild they're anything but, due to their relatively lacking movesets, and—in case of each one other than Metagross—a capture rate that's actually higher than that of some significantly more common Pokemon, which makes snagging them on the first turn with a Quick Ball a fairly likely occurrence.
    • The postgame trainers in Black and White and their sequels get hit by this hard. There is a significant level spike from the Elite 4, but the trainers are mostly using unevolved Pokemon. Add in their average AI, and most of them are far easier to defeat than what you had to get through to reach that point.
    • The Ace Trainers in the Petalburg City gym in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire each used a fully evolved Pokémon along and use a battle item to power them up. But because they waste their first turn boosting their Pokémon, players get a free turn to boost their own or simply attack, either of which puts the player at a significant advantage.
    • Max Raid Shedinja in Pokémon Sword and Shield qualify as this by default. The instant the fight starts, it raises an eight-segment barrier which would make any player sweat without any functional support. The problem? Barriers only heavily mitigate damage instead of negating it, and Shedinja only has 1 HP in every circumstance, so anything that cuts through Wonder Guard will instantly bring it down. Fighting a Max Raid Shedinja is good for a laugh, but challenging it ain't.
    • Pokémon GO has a player-induced version of this in Slaking. Due to its massive stats, it has one of the highest CP ratings in the game and is thus commonly placed in Gyms to inflate their height and attempt to scare off players who aren't aware of its crippling drawback: its fast move deals zero damage and it is entirely reliant on charge moves. In practice, its damage per second is much lower than other Pokemon, and thus it can be taken out fairly easily. This is an adaptation of its ability in the main games, where Truant prevents it from attacking every other turn despite having stats on par with Legendaries.
  • In the first dungeon of Tales of Symphonia, the party encounters a huge, respawning rock golem... that goes down no problem with Lloyd's wooden swords. Repeatedly. If anything, the thing is easier than the normal monsters in the dungeon, since there is only one at a time.

  • Hydras in Dwarf Fortress are by far the easiest Megabeast to defeat because, unlike the creature from Greek Mythology, they have no regenerative abilities. Blood loss from one head being damaged affects the whole body, thus their extra heads and necks give them a bunch of weak points. The grappling from all the mouths hurts like hell, but ranged weapons can hit it a couple times and almost guarantee striking an artery.
  • In ZAngband, a greater hell-beast has 1500 HP, can cast spells, moves somewhat faster than normal, and eats through walls. Its description warns, "This unholy abomination will crush you. Flee while you can!" It's set to appear on the first dungeon level, just to scare players who don't know that its attacks do literally no damage.

    Shoot Em Up 
  • This big dude is the first Mini-Boss of Dogyuun who appears right after the very first wave of enemies. It fires spreads of shots, spawns smaller Mooks, fires huge rockets ...and drops very quickly. The Mini-Boss after that (two smaller red things that circle the area and fire spreads) is considerably tougher.
  • Ikaruga has several large enemies towards the end of the Chapter 5 pre-boss section that would be terrifying for even the most experienced Bullet Hell players if they didn't fire strictly in one color; thanks to your ship's polarity system, you can just change to white to absorb the bullets and build up your Charged Attack to finish them off.
  • Invoked for comedy in Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil where the first stage's boss is the Youkai of darkness, deliberately chosen for sounding tough. Emphasis on "sounding" tough, since Rumia is a little girl who fails to be intimidating and presents an easy fight. According to extra material, she isn't even immune to her own power, and when she surrounds herself in darkness she spends most of her time crashing into trees.
  • The first midboss of any Touhou Project game, the Shrine Tank of Touhou Fuumaroku ~ the Story of Eastern Wonderland, is one of the physically largest bosses in the series, but also one of the weakest. Its only attack is a simple-to-dodge bullet spray and it has no more health than a sunflower fairy from the later games.
  • In most games in the Stormwinds series, the first zone tends to introduce a huge, durable, armored enemy battleship with heavy weaponry as a Giant Mook. It also has a bunch of very obvious balloons that it's hanging from, and once the player learns to strike those, said enemy tends to pose much less of a threat.

    Survival Horror 
  • Dead Space 3 has Wasters, the Necromorphs of the polar explorers that have been frozen long ago and dual-wield ice picks. Not only is their icepick attack little more dangerous than attacks of regular Slashers, but they can be pulled from their hands with Stasis, then sent straight back destroying their upper body. Doing this does turn them into a more mobile monster, whose intestines form three Combat Tentacles. However, the transformation time is long enough to allow dismemberment before this form ever gets to attack.
  • Endless Nightmare: Shrine has the Anubian monsters. Gigantic brutes twice the height of regular zombies, but goes down like a chump and vulnerable to the "Hey, You!" Haymaker like the common enemies. Subverted with the Elite Mook version of Anubians however (they can be identified by their golden armor and wields slightly different-looking weapons) - they are vulnerable to instant takedowns, too, but recovers after a second and attacks you back.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Battletech:
    • A number of 'mech designs exist that perform this trope. These are often heavy or assault-class 'mechs (so 60 tonnes and up) with unusual or sub-par weapon designs that makes them a lot less fearsome than their size would imply (and usually cost less in BV because of it). The prime example for much of the fandom is the Charger, an 80-tonne assault 'mech that is scary fast for its size and has very decent armouring... But its offensive arsenal is five Small Lasers, meaning that unless it can punch you, it is less dangerous than most light 'mechs in the game. The Charger's only real use in any halfway optimized game is as a fire magnet or a distraction at best.
    • The Arbiter is a 'mech designed to be this trope In-Universe. It's a dirt-cheap 35-tonne light mech made out of the 'mech equivalent of sticks, tissue paper and an old diesel engine, and totes a weapon that physically cannot harm other battlemechs, [but it has a very imposing design that makes it look bigger, heavier and fiercer than it actually is. Anyone actually trying to engage it will quickly find it's less dangerous to fight than an Urbanmech, but to the unaware the Arbiter's sheer appearance will probably frighten them into backing off.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Being bigger is only a nominal advantage at best, and can also be a notable disadvantage. While many very difficult monsters (dragons, for example) are large, oversized zombies are not really any harder than regular ones. Being larger does grant automatic bonuses to other things—notably, it increases the difficulty of most combat maneuvers (grappling, tripping, etc.), improves Intimidate checks, grants access to larger size categories of weapons (which are slightly more expensive but typically have noticeably increased damage), and extra reach (which is priceless). It also carries some built-in penalties—the most noteworthy are penalties to Hide checks, attack rolls (since everything is, relatively speaking, smaller to you), and Armor Class (since you're a bigger target to everyone else). Small characters get all of this in reverse.
    • From 3rd edition on up, size categories carry strength modifiers, which does matter in melee combat, increasing both damage and accuracy. And let's not discuss what happens when the DM uses the reach rules for large creatures...
    • A well-known monster is the Tarrasque, a unique creature that originally was intended as kind of the ultimate boss creature for very high-level groups which was so deliberately packed full of Nigh-Invulnerability that simply theorizing about how to kill it is a kind of invoked Lord British Postulate. In the 3rd Edition, people soon realized its terrible flaw: lacking any kind of ranged attack. At level 20 there are countless very easy ways to get your whole party the ability to fly and shoot spells from above. Later editions have tried to fix this chink in its armor, with 4E opting to make flying impossible around it while Pathfinder opts towards making it a very, very good jumper and gives it the ability to shoot spikes.
    • Early 3rd Edition Monster Manuals are littered with enemies, often supposedly stronger than the Tarrasque, who couldn't engage airborne opponents at all. The Leviathan of MM 2 is an egregious case; its CR pegs it as the equal of four Tarrasques, but on top of having no flight or ranged attacks, it also has an Intelligence of 4, meaning one instance of ability damage will render it catatonic.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, there exists a tactic named "Distraction Carnifex" (after the Tyranid's Carnifex, a somewhat big monster) which relies on this trope in a psychological way: the idea is to put something big and imposing on the table to distract the enemy fire. The mook in question doesn't have to do much otherwise because the real damage will come from the rest of the army which won't be shot at for a turn or so. In fact, it doesn't have to be big too: tarpit units such as Nurglings or Ork boyz with a Weirdboy can bog down your opponent while your real army flanks.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • In the sewers of Aquatos in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, there are occasionally huge Spiky King Amoeboids that fall out of vents in the ceiling. They're big, menacing... and can be killed in one wrench swing. Yes, even in Challenge Mode.

    Tower Defense 
  • The Battle Cats:
    • CyberFace first appears on the cat ticket farming stage Steel Visage. It looks absolutely unbeatable at first glance; it moves extremely fast, has a 99,999 damage attack which fires a gigantic, equally-strong wave attack 90% of the time, deals quadruple damage to the Cat Base, and has the Metal trait, so it takes only 1 damage from non-critical attacks. The catch? It has only 299 HP, so while you won't really be able to perform a Death of a Thousand Cuts on it like you can with some other metal enemies, a single Critical Hit from practically anything will do it in. In later stages, CyberFace is usually relegated to getting in one hit at best and wiping the field if you don't have any wave blockers, then instantly dying.
    • Teacher Cybear, found exclusively on the cat ticket farming stage Forged to Kill. He looks even mightier than CyberFace, with a rapid, long-ranged attack that deals 999,999 damage per hit, giving him the highest DPS of any enemy in the game. However, he also has single-target attacks and only 50 HP, so a Zerg Rush of at least 5 meatshields is guaranteed to eventually wear him down.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Many games enjoy throwing enemies at you carrying powerful heavy weapons, most commonly steel. Unfortunately, these enemies tend to lack the Speed or Constitution to actually use these weapons without sending their attack speed crashing into the dirt, and as a result, they get doubled very easily. In some games, this means that endgame enemies can actually have comparable speed to midgame ones because their "upgraded" weapons are tanking their Speed that badly.
    • The mighty Generals and Paladins in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon are clearly meant as elite, with their sky-high stats and imposing demeanor, but they also happen to boast a weakness to effective-damage weapons. Shadow Dragon is also the game that introduced the ability to forge these weapons and increase their power. It is pretty trivially easy to forge a Hammer, Ridersbane, or Wing Spear to the point that it kills these guys in two hits on a bad day.
  • In most Star Wars games, the Star Destroyer is a classic one, but Star Wars: Rebellion is by far the most glaring example. An Alliance Escort Carrier armed with five squadrons of X-wings and one of Y-wings can take out nearly any Star Destroyer The Empire throws at you until he gets the TIE Defenders and Executor-class Super Star Destroyers.
  • Reapers in the original X-COM: UFO Defense. They're large and intimidating, but they can only attack in melee and can't fit through most of the doors on the level. Their HP is good enough that six or seven hits from the basic rifle are needed to bring them down, but their size makes them a relatively easy target for your troops. It also roughly quadruples the damage they take from grenades and other explosive weapons thanks to a quirk of the game engine. X-COM being X-COM, however, Reapers are still relatively dangerous for an example of this trope, particularly in the early game; its melee attack is a nearly guaranteed One-Hit Kill before you research actual armour, and unlike the alien ranged weapons there isn't a possibility of it missing.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Minecraft:
    • Rarely, zombies can spawn wearing armor. It's even possible for one to spawn with iron or diamond armor and a strong weapon... which does nothing to change their slow movement and predictable AI, so they're barely more of a threat than usual.
    • Iron Golems appear in villages to defend the Villagers, both from mobs and players. To their credit, they are effective against mobs with their 100 HP, powerful melee attack, immunity to flinching, and surprisingly fast speed when angered. However, because their reach is shorter than the player's, simply standing on top of a small tower of blocks renders them a complete non-threat, letting you kill them for their iron with impunity.

Non-gaming examples:

  • The ANBU from Naruto. When they actually get into a fight, they're degraded to mook status, those formerly badass masks now cementing their status as Cannon Fodder.
  • Raditz from Dragon Ball is a retroactive example. Despite claiming that he is an elite warrior, and fully capable of easily handling Goku and Piccolo at once at the time he showed up on Earth, the reality is that he is only slightly stronger than a Saibaman, and some random warriors in Frieza's army laughed at a Power Level of 1,000 held by three Namekians each (not knowing they were hiding their Power Levels and were really about 3000 each) later on.
  • Gillians from Bleach are a retroactive example. When the first one appears, Rukia is terrified and tells Ichigo that as a Menos-class Hollow, it's so powerful that only a Captain-class Soul Reaper could hope to beat one. Indeed, Ichigo needs to give everything just to injure it enough to run away. Later arcs would clarify a Gillian is the weakest class of Menos despite their building-like size and treated as a Giant Mook only really a threat to low-level Soul Reapers. Captains and Lieutenants treat them as fodder to show off slaughtering en masse.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Anything really big has Awesome, but Impractical written all over it, though this just makes for players to find ways to cheat it into play. (Animate Dead is popular.)
    • Mana cost aside, there are a lot of ways of having a creature turn into this. Many potentially powerful creatures are ruined by drawbacks like echo (pay their casting cost again on the turn after you play them or sacrifice them), cumulative upkeep (pay an increasing cost every turn or sacrifice them), and many, many more.
    • Creatures also have the built-in disadvantage of being killable. Most creatures, whether they cost 1 mana or 9, can be killed with a removal spell that only costs 2 or 3 mana. This is why the most successful creatures in Magic are either relatively cheap, resistant to removal, or have an impact on the board even if they're killed right away.
    • There are also creatures that have intimidating-looking art but are subpar in terms of stats. Hill Giant is a good example.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, many cards that appear to be decent mooks require either too many resources to be practical or have major weaknesses that any competitive deck can exploit.
    • For example, Zushin the Sleeping Giant. could No-Sell anything you try and throw at it, and stronger than anything you try and fight it with... and a summoning requirement that is all but impossible to achieve. You have to wait ten turns for each side while protecting one of the weakest monsters in the game. It's rare for a modern competitive game to even last 5-10, much less 20, turns. Multiple copies can speed it along, but it still takes a small miracle for a mediocre effect. Furthermore, protecting that level one monster is incredibly difficult, and even if you manage to protect it? A single Kaiju can remove Zushin from the field.

  • D-Day has the villains' intimidating-looking, scary Japanese henchman who's never seen without his katana, and a pro using it as well. Unfortunately, in the climax Ivan happens to be carrying a Grenade Launcher. Their subsequent confrontation ends as predictably (for the henchman, who tries attacking a firearm-totting opponent with a sword) as you can expect.
  • In Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter, Jesus fights a bo staff-wielding monk, the last atheist besides the two leaders themselves. Despite his flashy entrance, all he did was show off and get downed in one kick by an unimpressed Jesus.
  • Stormtroopers from Star Wars. They are "Elite Mooks" with Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy. While they have infamously bad performance in a few iconic scenes, they still are pretty dangerous most of the time. Examples include a squad of stormtroopers easily slaughtering a similarly-sized rebel force in the very first fight in the series, incapacitating and capturing Leia and later Han, stomping out the rebels on Hoth, and several times forcing the main heroes to flee, just escaping by the skin of their teeth, because they'll die if they stay there and fight.
  • In 3 Ninjas the boys meet a Mook with freaky face paint who draws a katana, licks the blade, and flashes them a psychotic Slasher Smile. The boys take him down effortlessly in a few seconds.

  • A recurring theme in Discworld and The Carpet People, another work by Terry Pratchett, is "Always choose a bigger enemy - it makes him easier to hit". Usually this means in terms of numbers, but occasionally it's this trope.
  • The Shadow-Forgers in The Wheel of Time are the rock golems that create the cursed swords wielded by Myrddraal. They're also noted to be peerless warriors. However, they're also very slow, and so when Rand's force attacks Thakan'dar in the final book, the Forgers turn away from their work to deal with them- but before they can actually join the fight, they're disabled by Rand's channelers with minimal effort.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Chousei Kantai Sazer X:
    • Bankein is hyped up as the Descal's strongest pirate and the Three Shoguns' "trump card", but when he's sent out he's beaten just like any other Monster of the Week.
    • Later on we get a monster literally called "Ultimate" capable of copying Sazer-X's Elemental Powers. It puts up an impressing showing at first when it beats back the team after copying Beetle-Sazer's lightning powers, only for Shark-Sazer to then use its newfound weakness via the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors to destroy it.
  • A rather bizarre example is found in Heroes. Volume 3 involved the company building having a breakout from Level 5 and were said to be all big and strong and "worse than Sylar." None of them survived the volume. Heck, in the last episode, Mr. Bennet releases all the surviving Level 5 Supervillains so they can help distract Sylar. They all last less than two minutes tops.
  • Z Putty Patrollers from Power Rangers. They were considered Elite Mooks, but after the Rangers discovered their weak point, being a large emblem on their chest, they ended up even less effective than the Rita's mooks, who at least occasionally required a protracted fight. The Rangers even managed to defeat the Z-putties when they were temporarily turned into children.
  • The Prisoner (1967): Number 2 in "Hammer Into Anvil". At the start of the episode, he seems to be the most dangerous, sadistic, tenacious, calm, hands-on Number 2 in the series so far. Number 6 easily and utterly destroys him.

  • In Norse Mythology, before Thor's duel with Hrungnir, the mightiest giant to ever live, the giants made a massive giant out of clay to act as Hrungnir's second. It was over 30 miles (50 km) tall and 10 miles across. But the giants could not find a stone large enough to serve as its heart, so they substituted a mare's heart. This brought it to life but was not enough to give it a warrior's valor or strength. When it saw Thor, it immediately wet itself and was killed shortly after Hrungnir died by Thor's charioteer Thialfi.

  • Generally, this applies to teams who struggle despite sky-high payrolls; the biggest example of this at work is the New York Rangers. From the end of the '90s until the lockout of 2004, the Blueshirts loaded up on superstars such as Wayne Gretzky, Eric Lindros, Pavel Bure, Theoren Fleury, and Mark Messier (after a disastrous run in Vancouver). Adding onto that, they also added many solid second-tier players (Bobby Holik, Mathieu Schneider, John MacLean, Kevin Hatcher) and signed them to expensive contracts. They never made the playoffs during that span. Ironically, the Rangers made the post-season with the new CBA intact, which included a salary cap.
  • In 2008, the Seattle Mariners became the first team in MLB history to lose 100 games with a payroll over $100M. They came less than $14M away from doing it again in 2010.
  • The Minnesota Twins were only one loss away from 100 in 2011 despite their payroll of over $100M.
  • Newcastle United FC, despite a very liberal wage bill, ended up getting relegated after the 08-09 season.
  • In NCAA football, Clemson was the shining example of this. They regularly pull out Top 25 recruiting classes, but their ACC Championship in 2011 is only their first since 1991. Changed in a big way in the second half of the 2010s, however, where they've dominated the ACC so utterly that even when they aren't necessarily considered the *best* team in the country, they're considered to have the greatest chance of making the playoffs for much of the year simply because the other elite teams play in conferences where suffering multiple losses is plausible.
  • With Dan Snyder as the owner since 1999, the Washington Redskins have signed Deion Sanders, Brad Johnson, Albert Haynesworth, Shawn Springs, Clinton Portis, DeAngelo Hall, Adam Archuleta, LaVar Arrington, Donovan McNabb, Antwaan Randle El, Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, and Alex Smith. They even brought in Super Bowl-winning coaches Joe Gibbs and Mike Shanahan as well. However, the 'Skins only have five playoff appearances, two playoff wins, and only three NFC East titles to show for it.
  • The Los Angeles Clippers ever since leaving their Audience-Alienating Era fit this trope to a tee: Every year, they are hyped to be contenders for the Western Conference Finals. In 2006, 2015, and 2020, they were one game away from making their first appearance in the Conference finals and lost both times.

  • An example from Demon Eater: Tremble in fear! Oh, wait... Never mind.
  • Parodied and subverted with Brock's Onix in Dueling Analogs. A single bubble is seemingly enough to defeat Onix. However, it's revealed that Brock had Onix pretend to faint to rake in money from the bets that the audience placed against Squirtle.
  • In an Order of the Stick strip, a Hydra is defeated quite easily by making it grow too many heads to get blood to all of them. Thus this is also a case of Screw the Rules, I Have Plot! as there is nothing in the rules to suggest that this could happen. But see Rule of Funny.
  • Super Effective from VG Cats plays the trope straight in this strip, complete with Gym Leader Brock who's completely shocked to see his "ULTIMATE rock type, Onix!" get completely Rock Blocked.
  • White Dark Life has its main antagonist, Dark Matt as one of these. He's threatening and very good at generally being obstructive, but he's also heavily dependent on The Power of Hate to survive and is secretly very weak.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The MiG-25 Foxbat and its relationship with NATO mirrors this. Here was a high-speed interceptor that kept the West up at night until a Russian fighter pilot brought one to NATO by way of Japan, revealing the Foxbat to be a Fragile Speedster with the turning circle of an ocean liner that needed its engines rebuilt after it reached its Mach 2.8 top speed. Anything with air-air missiles that could get behind it first could kill it. Just ask the Iraqis. Said defector also informed the West that a superior aircraft was being developed based on the MiG-25. The resulting MiG-31 Foxhound sacrificed some of the MiG-25's speed in favor of better (but still unspectacular) agility, and more importantly the ability to carry more and better long-range missiles, vastly better radar, and the ability to throttle up to full speed without being physically damaged.
  • The American SR-71 was designed to reach Mach 3 top speed and be a stealth plane, and the two goals proved incompatible. While it looked undeniably cool, the radar signature was still large enough to show up on regular civilian radars, to say nothing of military ones. Its 3 Mach speed came at the cost of practically non-existent payload and reliability - around a quarter of all Srs produced ended up crashing.
  • In the first half of the Second World War, the British Matilda II tank was the best armoured one by far. It had 75 mm armour plating on all sides (by contrast, German Pz. III and Pz.IV had 50 mm frontal and 30 mm side armour, while legendary T-34 only had all-around 45 mm plating). This advantage was more than offset by its weak 40 mm 2-pounder cannon, roughly equivalent to 37 mm one on early Pz. III or Russian T-26, and deeply inferior to 76 mm weapons on T-34 and Pz. IV and pathetic mobility. The top speed was 25 km/h, at the time when all other tanks could do + 40 km/h, and distance traveled before refueling was even more pitiful. Attempts to up-gun the Matilda proved fruitless because the same turret that made it so resilient was too small to fit anything larger than the 2-pounder. Moreover, the tank was intended for infantry support, yet for unknown reasons, no high explosive rounds of any kind were ever issued and thus the only anti-infantry weapon they had was a single machine gun. Yet despite all these shortcomings, the Matilda II was still the best early-war British tank, because most other British tanks of the era weren't merely flawed but downright awful.
  • The Iraqi Republican Guard in the first Gulf War was hyped up in Western media as a battle-hardened, elite, well-equipped force of veterans fresh off a decade-long war with Iran who would put up an incredibly tough fight against the Coalition. In actuality they were extremely terrible at just about everything to do with soldiering (only slightly less so than the rest of the Iraqi Army), so much so that entire books have been written about how awful they were (most notably "Arabs at War" by Kenneth Pollack). The Americans quickly found this out when they rolled over the Republican Guard with basically no difficulty; ultimately the USA and allies inflicted more than a hundred times as many casualties on the Iraqis as they took, with the Republican Guard offering marginally more resistance at best. Bill Hicks lays out the common perception in the West before and after the war:
    "Remember when it started? They kept talking about the Elite Republican Guard in these hushed tones. "Yeah we're doing well, but we have yet to face... the Elite Republican Guard." Yeah, like these are ten-feet-tall desert warriors. <stomping noises> Never lost a battle! <more stomping noises> We shit bullets! <even more stomping noises> Well, after three weeks of continuous carpet bombing and not one reaction at all from these fuckers, they became simply, "the Republican Guard." Not nearly as elite as we have led you to believe. And after another week of continuous bombing and no response AT ALL, they changed from the Elite Republican Guard to The Republican guard to "The Republicans made this shit up about there being guards out there; we hope you enjoyed your fireworks show!"

Alternative Title(s): Level Five Onix