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Invincible Hero

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God-Mode Sue alert.

"No one likes to see their favorite heroine killed off, but if she gets away scot-free every time, your fights will quickly lose the element of danger that makes them interesting. The same goes for characters that are essentially invincible.", Writing Fight Scenes

Heroes win. It's a general rule of fiction. Sometimes, though, you want the hero to lose a few battles; this is a good way of establishing conflict and drama. A hero may well consistently lose but learn valuable lessons out of it, get Character Development, and grow strong enough to win for the series finale, and then there are heroes who never lose. Ever. Not only that, but they win handily, especially in life-threatening situations. If any "losses" occur, they're typically ambiguous and open-ended, brought about by clear cheating on the villain's part, or as a forfeit from the hero due to external causes (kidnapped Love Interest, etc.). This of course tends to rob a given episode or movie franchise of dramatic punch when the viewer's reaction to a hero being lowered into a mortal Death Trap is "Like You Would Really Do It!" This type of hero is basically a walking personification of Victory Is Boring.

Behind this is usually the idea that the hero is "just that good". Plus, he's the hero and, usually, also the protagonist; good guys never lose! Doesn't matter how hard the Determinator trains, the hero is always two steps ahead. This is especially common in episodic series where the Monster of the Week is a regular occurrence, or in fighting series (whether kung fu, Mons or card games) where the protagonist is on a quest To Be a Master. If taken to extremes, this trope turns into God-Mode Sue.

This is practically required if the hero is in some sort of Tournament Arc or else in a situation where any loss would be disastrous (such as if all fights are to the death), as you can't afford to lose even once. Having the character routinely come close to losing, requiring assistance from outside forces, or having the tournament structured so characters can take a loss can help mitigate this.

Even if the hero does not come close to losing, the author can still make the character interesting by making the audience guess how the character will win. This generally works best in lighthearted stories.

That being said, Kryptonite Factor and Good Flaws, Bad Flaws are the main ways to make an Invincible Hero more vincible.note 

Compare with Immortal Hero, where the heroes can and often do lose, but hardly ever die; the less suspenseful Showy Invincible Hero, which would be this except that it focuses on the Rule of Cool; the Comically Invincible Hero or The Ace, which follows Rule of Funny; and Invincible Incompetent, where the hero is still usually untouchable, but more due to dumb luck and Laser-Guided Karma than any real competence of their own. Contrast Invincible Villain, their Evil Counterpart; and Failure Hero, who never wins at anything.

Not to be confused with Saved by Canon or Foregone Conclusion.

Sub-Trope of The Good Guys Always Win.

Examples: Spoilers Ahoy!

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Akagi never loses a game of Mahjong in the anime or the manga. However, he is reported to have once been beaten by the main character in author Fukumoto's earlier work Ten.
    • To clarify, Akagi in Ten only lost twice, and in both cases he himself effectively forfeited the match due to technicalities of his own making. Other characters acknowledge that if only Akagi had decided to go against his word and kept playing until the end, he would have likely come out on top.
    • Further, when Akagi loses a round, it's typically because his opponent either got the better of him ("cheating" doesn't really count because Akagi abuses his opponents like a red-headed stepchild when he cheats, which is often) or because Akagi is purposely laying a trap (e.g.: The third game, vs. Urabe).
  • Angelic Layer: Downplayed. While Misaki never loses any battles in the big tournament, she does lose battles outside of it, and every fight she does win involves taking a beating first while she figures out her opponent's style and tricks.
  • This is actually addressed in-story in Bamboo Blade. Tamaki Kawazoe, or Tama-chan, is a kendo prodigy capable of defeating adults. One character in the series remarks that he thinks Tama should lose a bout, and not to an adult but to a girl her own age. He feels losing to an equal can teach things that no victory can. Ishida-sensei starts trying to get the team into tougher and tougher bouts in part to give Tama a chance to face others of her own level.
    • Once she does lose to a superior opponent, she does not know how to handle it at all, having never lost before. Unfortunately, the anime at least ends before it properly tackles the consequences of this, but we're given a fair impression that it is an issue that will be dealt with.
    • In the manga she handles it a lot better than she does in the anime, quickly getting over it instead of sulking and nearly quitting kendo. She even ends up losing a second match against basically one of the kendo elite, and then her final match with fated rival Ura Sakaki ends without revealing who won.
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo is invincible. But since the show and character are both crazy, it's played for laughs and not to be taken very seriously. He does have weaknesses and gets hurt a few times, but never seriously enough to matter. Except during the final battle of the original series, but even then he eventually recovers.
  • Captain Tsubasa:
    • A level of criticism towards this manga is directed to the protagonist himself, Tsubasa Ozora, who has only suffered one defeat on-screen over his entire career (and it was fairly early in the story). It gets to the point that the recent manga stories sometimes focus on other players, or the Japanese team playing without him so as to give some drama. The Next Dream arc however subverts it, where Tsubasa suffers a huge defeat while playing in the Barcelona FC against Natureza in the Real Madrid, with the latter winning by a landslide.
    • Genzo Wakabayashi is also this to an extent. It's been established that almost nobody is able to score him (let alone from outside the penalty area) and those who manage to do so are considered heroes in their own right, such as Schneider and Natureza. He often has to be Put on a Bus or suffer a Game-Breaking Injury to keep matches exciting, given that if he's in the goal at full capacity, it's almost a guarantee that Japan's goal will go undefeated.
  • Casshern of Casshern Sins, a rare case where it's Played for Drama. Casshern is both immortal and overpowering. He has no choice but to watch everyone around him die, and even when he tries to let someone else win in a fight, it never works out because his berserker mode tends to trigger against his will, leaving an increasing body count on his hands.
  • A Certain Magical Index: This is one problem that Anti-Hero Accelerator can run into at times: his powers are so unbelievably strong and versatile that there are very few situations that are any threat to him whatsoever, even after he's been depowered to some extent. Like Alucard of Hellsing, he tends to keep the fans' interest because it is usually very entertaining watching him slaughter all the bad guys, and the focus of his battles is usually on his inner character rather than the carnage he's perpetuating.
  • Suzaku Kururugi of Code Geass is a perspective flipped version of this trope. He's always able to take down the "bad guys" with his Super Prototype Knightmare Frame, and always foils Lelouch's plans—but Lelouch is the protagonist. Invoked by the Camelot research team, who name the afore-mentioned Super Prototype the "Lancelot". Played straight toward the end when he and Lelouch end up on the same side and he effortlessly defeats the most powerful knight in the series, even after he reveals his future-reading superpower.
  • Fairy Tail has gotten some flak for being one of the series with the most in-your-face examples of The Power of Friendship conquering all. However, a point could genuinely be made for Erza Scarlet during the original manga. There are numerous instances of her came close to losing or not being able to finish a fight, though she does lose to Phantom Lord’s guild master, Jose, early on, and to the Oracion Seis in a group fight, specifically against Cobra, during the Nirvana and Key of the Starry Sky arcs. But all in all, she's almost never lost a fight. The only opponent who actually takes her on to the point she can't fight anymore (where she actually had outside help no less) is her own mother Irene Belserion and even then, it was technically a tie since Irene stabbed herself instead of killing Erza, thus taking her out of the fight too. This was somewhat subverted in Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest, where her fight against a More than Mind Control Laxus, who is one of the few fighters explicitly stronger than her, ended in a draw.
  • Kenshiro in Fist of the North Star is nearly unstoppable. There are very few opponents that ever won a fight against him, or demonstrated superior skill, and he defeats all of them on second attempts, in one case without even having time to recover from the initial mauling. This trope is very prominent in the anime version, as it adds lots and lots of filler Curb Stomp Battles against Punks of the Week, but much less so in the manga.
    • When Kenshiro loses, he loses badly. Both Souther and Kaioh really did a number on him, his first battle with Raoh was a close call, and his loss to Shin is the moment that sets the entire series in motion.
    • A good way of characterizing Kenshiro is that since he never technically gets stronger over the course of the series if he can't beat an opponent it doesn't mean his fists won't work, it just means he's punching them in the wrong way (Souther was a big example of this).
  • Oddly Justified in Flame of Recca. Recca never loses a fight past a certain (fairly early) point in the series, but then again his powers come from a deal he made with the dragons inside him so if he ever loses anything he'll die. His teammates lose all the time though, especially since much of the series is a team-based tournament where they just barely win enough matches to move on every single time.
    • Similarly, in MÄR (done by the same author) Ginta never loses in the tournament, since if he loses, it's game over. His teammates, on the other hand, can and have lost. Some of the rounds come down to a 3-2 win/loss ratio (with Ginta being last fighter to boot).
    • The witch Dorothy plays this trope straight, however, as she also remains undefeated throughout the tournament. Even though she gets beaten down badly several times, she is able to pull through with sometimes seemingly impossible feats. She does die in the anime, but eventually revives along everyone else for the final battle.
  • The Japanese Self-Defence Force in Gate never lost a single engagement - they won them all with sadistic ease. Justified most of the time since they are a modern, relatively well-funded armed force that has to face mostly pre-medieval armies of legionnaires armed only with spears, shields, bows and arrows and the odd dragon. However, when they start simultaneously curb-stomping American, Russian and Chinese Spec-Ops units, things start to smell exceedingly fishy for a country that has been nominally anti-militaristic since World War II. The fact that the author is ex-JSDF himself and has expressed some strong feelings about Japan and the world doesn't help.
  • There's a reason Ban and Ginji are called the "Invincible Get Backers": they always succeed in their missions even the one technically for the Big Bad of the mini arc, and never lose in a fight unless they are not used to the conditions.
  • Golgo 13 never fails an assignment, or for that matter misses a shot. If he did, he'd lose his reputation as an assassin and there would be no series. Later chapters solve the problem by focusing more on the people who hire him and how their situations deteriorate to the point that they need to bring in a hitman. (Infamously, he doesn't appear in one story at all; the central character merely uses Golgo 13's reputation as a weapon.) The fact that the stories are standalone and bounce around time help in this regard. For completeness' sake, there have been several occasions of him missing, at least once by weapons sabotage creating a misfire, and one complete miss caused by the target's allegedly psychic bodyguard.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack: Amuro Ray had some narrow scrapes earlier in his career, but by the time of this film he, and his Nu-Gundam, are essentially untouchable. He tears through most enemies as though they didn't exist, and even his archrival, Char Aznable, is only able to stand against him for a few minutes.
    • One of the biggest problems many Gundam fans had with the ending of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny was that at the end the returning SEED cast had won the final fight without losing a single named character. The greatest loss that the Archangel team suffered was the Justice Gundam's flight pack, and they even went so far as to strike a victory pose at the end to show that they hadn't been scratched. Compare this to every final fight in other Gundam series, including the original Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, in which every character can die and the main character often only gains a narrow victory while his Gundam gets trashed in the process. It also didn't help that this clashed with the promotional art released in advance of the final arc, which showed the Strike Freedom and the Destiny Gundams locked in a bitter struggle, having been torn to shred and reduced to a single weapon each, trying to land a decisive blow on one another.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: Mikazuki Augus is virtually unstoppable, using one of the most powerful mobile suits in existence and benefiting from not just one, but three Alaya-Vijnana implants, which let him pilot it with preternatural skill. He's a ruthless Combat Pragmatist who has never been defeated in combat and very rarely even finds himself on the defensive. In fact, he's a Deconstruction, as he outsources his moral thinking to Orga and takes desperate measures to win even if it costs him the movement of his limbs. At the same time, some of his enemies have sympathetic backstories and/or are genuinely good people, but are killed off unceremoniously all the same, which might make the audience uneasy about rooting for Mikazuki when he kills them. However, this comes around in the finale, where Mikazuki becomes one of the few Gundam protagonists to die at the end of the show. Forced into a defensive battle against insanely overwhelming odds, he and his fellow pilots sacrifice their lives to buy time for their allies to escape their base via a hidden tunnel. Mika in particular gets his Gundam ripped to pieces by an Orbital Bombardment but fights on until the blood loss catches up with him, resulting in the Humongous Mecha equivalent of Died Standing Up.
    • Gundam Build Fighters and Gundam Build Fighters Try have this as a side-effect of having Tournament Arcs that run through most of the series. As a result, the heroes lose non-tournament battles early on and side battles where they sort out their issues.
    • An aversion of this trope is used as a plot point in Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE. One of the main characters, Kazami, is a big fan of Captain Zeon, a Diver who has a video series where he battles other Divers who are terrible spoilsports in the MMORPG game Gunpla Battle Nexus Online. However, Kazami, who aspires to be someone like Captain Zeon, refuses to watch videos where he loses because he believes that Captain Zeon should never lose and that bleeds into his terrible playstyle. His former teammate Gojo tries to get Kazami to understand that Zeon's coolness isn't in that he loses from time to time, but he refuses to give up even when things look bad.
  • From Hareluya II Boy, we have Hibino Hareluya, who has yet to even be pushed into being serious during a fight.
  • Alucard from Hellsing is an immortal Sociopathic Hero, able to survive even near-total bodily destruction. Though whether he's the series' hero is arguable, he receives quite a lot of screen time and plot focus, and few if any situations ever credibly threaten him. Note that Alucard starts off as a Showy Invincible Hero... before even using a fraction of his powers.
    • It's a Deconstructed Character Archetype, actually. The Major's plan seems to be simply to start a war with London. There's A LOT more to it than that. The point of his plan is to get Alucard down to a form where he's vulnerable enough to finally die. Starting a war and taking London down are pretty much just bonuses. It's also revealed that his sheer invincibility has led to him becoming a bit of a Death Seeker, yearning for a Worthy Opponent to finally kill him (specifically a human, as Alexander trying to discard his humanity to power himself up with Helena's Nail is one of the few things that legitimately angers Alucard, even though it provided one of the toughest fights he'd encountered up to that point.)
  • Takumi from Initial D starts out like this. In fact, it's the reason why Takumi's dad won't put a new engine in the Eight-Six. He says that Takumi needs to learn what defeat feels like so that he'll appreciate the upgrade. Then again, Takumi has been driving longer than any of his peers, to the point where people think that his car was a ghost. It helps that his dad has been secretly teaching him how to drift since he was 13.
  • Sibling Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba of The Irregular at Magic High School are practically Trope Codifier for this, since they are both without any effort, defeat any enemy and stronger than anyone else in the novel universe, so much so that the characters themselves begin to discuss it. And although in the future it gets an explanation, since Miyuki is the perfect Designer Baby, Tatsuya's abilities are still so abnormally powerful that he can instantly calculate the sequence of any spell or even blow up a planet.
    • The reason for this lies in the fact that the author, by his own admission, prefers long dialogues and intrigues, and not battles, so in the original web-novel, most of the battles were even almost instantaneous.
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes:
    • Played with in Yang Wenli, who never actually militarily loses anything in which he plays a part, even against incredible odds. Ever. To his allies, he's a Hope Bringer, to his enemies he's a Hero Killer, and on both sides, he's Famed In-Story. However, his role as the Invincible Hero is subverted often and Played for Drama by Yang himself when he candidly admits that the moment he stops being invincible is also the moment he stops being a hero. By the end we find he's Not So Invincible After All. Also, while Yang does win almost any battle as long as he's involved, it's often mentioned and hinted that he'll still lose in some areas. For example, while he nearly kills Reinhard during Battle of Vermillion, Mittermeyer captures Alliance's capital, forcing Yang's fleet to ceasefire. In two other battles he wins over the Empire, capturing back Iserlohn Fortress, but he lost Bucock and Fischer, one being his father figure, and another the "heart" of his fleet. It's even notified that Yang won't stand a chance if Reinhard attacks again after Fischer is killed.
    • Reinhard, on the other hand, is also considered as Invincible from the beginning of the story to the point that he effectively ends the whole war and unifies the universe halfway through the story, but interestingly he'll always feel that his victory isn't complete when Yang is there to disrupt him from getting a total victory. The only real time he gets a crushing defeat is the Battle for the Corridor where he lost two top admirals to Yang's ragtag fleet.
  • Life with an Ordinary Guy who Reincarnated into a Total Fantasy Knockout: Jinguuji is level 70 at the start of the story, already in a much higher level and much more powerful than any being they find (the next strongest person they find is level 52). Whenever there's a physical challenge, he can easily cheese through it.
  • The Hero in Maoyu is a level 99 Dragon Quest protagonist, and is practically unbeatable in combat. However, this level of power makes him feel apart from humanity. He and the Demon Queen are trying to find a way to save the world peacefully.
  • Medaka Box: Shishime Iihiko was originally this. 5000 years ago, he was a fairy tale hero who saved the world, and was the first human being that Ajimu Najimi, a non-human with over 10 quadrillion Skills, could never defeat. She lost to him over 100 million times, which is likely what set the concept of a "Main Character", an existence whose victory was already decided, in her mind. However, when Iihiko was preserved beyond his human life-span by his characteristics and memories being passed along through generations of Double host-bodies, he lost the world he'd saved and the women he'd loved, twisting over the years into merely a destroyer whose sole purpose in life was to keep living. By the time Medaka and friends encounter him in modern times, he's become an Invincible Villain.
  • Subverted in Mushishi. On the one hand, the protagonist, Ginko, always seems to identify the mushi at work in a particular episode with astonishing speed and accuracy, which would fit this trope; however, this doesn't always guarantee a completely happy ending, as other factors, such as his arriving too late, the patients not following his instructions or there simply being nothing to be done in the first place, frequently get in the way of this.
    • The trope is also somewhat justified in that Ginko is shown to do a lot of research into mushi in his time, probably more than most others in his trade; however, his young age might count against him in this (particularly in the manga, where he seems barely out his teens; the anime places him more in his late twenties or thirties).
  • Deconstructed in My Hero Academia. All Might is considered this by the public as he never seems to have lost a fight and considered the "Symbol of Peace" and the man throw down when need be. But most of these feats are what was given to the public to keep the ideal going; in truth, by the time of the main story, he was severely weakened following a skirmish with a powerful villain that destroyed most of his body and surgeries could only do so much. Thus he could only turn into his buff form for about 3 hours a day and had to work quickly within that time frame. Still, when he finally does fight All-For-One within the series with his depleting power (this time due to the fact that he had given it to Midorya), he gives it his all and manages to come out on top one more time before being forced to retire.
  • In Naruto, the titular character, Naruto Uzumaki became this by the end of the series and in all Post-Ending material, with most people in-universe believing that nothing can harm him. The one person alive who can halfway match him blow for blow is Sasuke Uchiha, who himself handily acknowledges that he can't actually beat him.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi usually averts this (Negi generally loses at least one fight with any villain before he beats them), but the Tournament Arc followed the subtrope of getting to the finals and then losing. Although in that case, the victory was in reaching the finals, and what happened then.
    • Alternatively, his father Nagi Springfield has been explicitly stated to be completely invincible. Through all the flashbacks, we've yet to see him greatly struggle (with the exception of a tie and a climactic battle against someone by the name of "Lifemaker").
    • In fact, the Myth Arc of the series concerns Nagi's disappearance ten years prior to the start of the series, and his son's attempts to find out what could possibly have happened to him.
    • Jack Rakan is also effectively invincible. To the point where the only opponents who have ever given him trouble are Nagi (who's more... invincible... or something) and the Lifemaker and Fate. Fate had to rewrite reality in order to have a shot, and Jack is still holding his own.
    • And when Negi and Rakan finally fought each other in the finals of another Tournament Arc they both fought each other to a standstill and the fight ended in a draw. And even then, it's still a victory for Negi for reaching Rakan's level.
      • However, this was only achieved through Rakan, who was still powerful enough to fight which Negi does note, deciding to let it be a draw and the fact that Kotarou got beaten to the inch of his life while stalling time for Negi (it was a tag-team tournament) and helped Negi by briefly halting Rakan from moving so Negi could hit him with an extremely powerful spell.
  • Sora and Shiro, the brother/sister duo from No Game No Life, seem to not only win every game they play, but also have every move of their opponent planned out in advance. However, they do occasionally "tie" when the outcome is still favorable to them.
  • Noir has its leading ladies usually come out on top, often with ridiculous ease, but considering that they're assassins the other option would end the series. There are a few exceptions, and they do get close a few times: Mirielle nearly dies in the first episode and only survives thanks to Kirika showing up, and Kirika herself gets seriously wounded in an early episode because of a stupid mistake.
  • One Piece:
    • Luffy dodges this trope a few times: while he has only ever lost a handful of fights (and is usually unfazed by anything his enemies throw at him) there are a lot of times (such as against Rob Lucci or when breaking into Impel Down) where it is made clear that Luffy wins only by sheer mind-numbing determination (and spends a long while near comatose from his injuries). That's not even touching Marineford where Luffy's invincible status was deconstructed.
      • His fight against Enel (who up to this point has been untouchable) subverts this wonderfully: while Enel is unable to hurt Luffy conventionally (Enel using lightning attacks and Luffy being made of rubber) Luffy can't hurt Enel conventionally either (as Enel can dodge all his attacks) and both must resort to cunning or insane tactics respectively.
    • Deconstructed in the 4Kids (and only the 4Kids) dub with Kuina. She was the strongest fighter in her father's dojo, being able to beat anyone, regardless of age. However, after beating an adult, the person she defeated was so angry he got his friends to beat her up so she could never fight again. In the other formats, she just fell down the stairs and died anti-climactically.
  • Deconstructed in One-Punch Man, where the hero, Saitama, is so strong that he defeats all his enemies with just one punch. However, as a result, he's growing increasingly detached from humanity and life in general because there are no challenges for him and he's so much stronger than everyone else that he can't seem to relate to them as well anymore. He hasn't even noticed basic things like the entire city area around him being long abandoned. In the rare cases he does get hit? He simply brushes it off or, more accurately, holds himself back.
    • Additionally, while nothing physical is a challenge for him, he has bad luck in areas he can't punch. He's touchy about his lack of hair. He placed poorly on the Hero Organization's (written) entrance exam, resulting in him being a Class C hero. Thanks to this, he's developed a reputation as a cheat who steals credit for other heroes' work. He also gets easily defeated by King, a normal civilian wrongly placed in S class, when it comes to video games.
  • Ainz in Overlord (2012) is a level 100 MMORPG player character who, along with his similarly leveled NPC minions and guild HQ that was considered one of the hardest dungeons in the game it came from, are all Trapped in Another World. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the circumstances), even the most legendary of creatures considered leagues above anything any mortal man could hope to challenge are mid-tier at best when compared what was in the MMORPG. It's increasingly shown that the only thing that could actually give Ainz and his henchmen a run for their money is another level 100 player character (none of which have yet appeared in present time,) or one of his direct underlings going rogue which eventually happens when Shalltear is mind-controlled by a World-class item. To get around the protagonist and his party being so overpowered, the plot focuses mostly on Ainz exploring the New World, his political maneuvering among the various nations (both as Overlord Ainz and his adventurer persona Momon that he uses to infiltrate the Adventurer's Guild,) and the far less invincible natives he affects.
  • The Prince of Tennis's Ryoma Echizen has almost yet to lose a match.
    • A match that counted for something. He has lost before to the captain of the team, who he had never previously played, to knock him down a peg and keep him from getting overconfident.
    • If we count the anime, Ryoma lost in an unofficial match against Genichirou Sanada so badly that he went into an Heroic BSoD. Akutsu has to force him to play against him to snap Ryoma out of it.
    • Early on, he actually reveals that he gets trashed in tennis every day. But he's playing his dad, who is like the strongest player in the world (unofficially).
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena, Utena, Utena... lost only one duel, and it was because she froze up thanks to Touga's Mind Screw. This is justified early on by gaining the power of Dios in her duels, but it's not even just that. It was basically lampshaded in her first duel with Juri—Juri, the captain of the fencing team nearly does beat Utena because Utena is an amateur. But when she knocks Utena's sword away, it flies up into the air and cuts Juri's own rose, a "miraculous" win against Juri, who had spent the whole time ranting against the impossibility of miracles. In the Black Rose arc, Utena's opponents are usually inexperienced and fighting their own issues more than Utena herself, and in the final arc it comes out that Utena wins because her bond with Anthy, the Rose Bride, is much stronger than the screwed-up bonds between her opponents and their "Brides".
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • This is the exact reason why Seijuro Hiko very rarely appears. According to the creator of the series, he would turn any battle in the series into a joke. Well, no... not so much a "joke" as a really short one-liner, as any fight would be over in seconds. So, Watsuki keeps him out of normal fights, making him a Showy Invincible Hero instead.
    • Kenshin himself is this in the first few stories. The series starts out with Easing into the Adventure where Kenshin is much stronger than all of the early villains. Later, the series becomes more serious and darker with villains that pose much more of a threat. Even so, Kenshin almost never actually loses a fight to any of them.
  • In Saki, the protagonists lose from time to time(for example, Saki and Nodoka when they go against Fujita), but most of the time, not in cases when it would threaten their ability to continue in the tournament.
  • Lina, the anti-heroine of Slayers, is less of this trope than it warrants, but it is painfully obvious how fellow mages Zelgadis, Amelia, and Sylphiel are out-classed against her, as she is the only person among them (and probably the entire world) who can both beam-spam the most powerful spell in the verse's Black Magic, and can also draw power from the Lord of Nightmares. She also shows ridiculous insight and intelligence often in random bursts, whereas normally she is fairly smart, but not inquisitive - the reverse happens with Zelgadis, who is normally book-smart, but fails at battle strategies. It is her that takes down every single demonic being that the group encounters, which makes Xellos' comment of all four main characters being "Slayers" of demons far less credible - Lina defeated Shabranigdo while the others were taken down in one blow each. Filia, a Golden Dragon, Naga, her alleged rival, and Pokota, a prince, are probably the only people that could rival her, but Filia is a stuck-up, prissy, and naive priestess who often refuses to take part in the group's antics, Naga is incredibly flaky, and Pokota is stuck in the body of a stuffed animal, knocking down his use by a solid margin. This mostly applies to the anime and the novels.
  • In Sonic X, Sonic the Hedgehog leans into this territory on occasion. He is often presented with a cocky, unfazable Bugs Bunny-esque attitude, treating his often effortless victories against Dr. Eggman as little more than a game.
  • Kirito of Sword Art Online. He's shown to be ridiculously smart (having built a top-of-the-line custom gaming PC at age 14, knowing how to hack SAO's code, among other things), and is easily considered the best player. He wins every fight with little effort. In fact, one of the only times he's ever lost was when his opponent ( the Big Bad himself, the creator of the game) cheated. There's one scene in particular in which a gang of player-killers rush him. He stands still, completely unfazed while he explains that his health regeneration skill is so high that it refills at a faster rate than his enemies can deal out damage. Later on, he gains a sword skill that is exclusive to him and him alone. Even when his health is depleted to zero, he somehow wills himself back to life to land the finishing blow on Kayaba. Then, in SAO2, he transfers to the First-Person Shooter-themed Gun Gale Online, and immediately begins consistently and handily defeating his opponents, despite having never played the game or any firearm-based MMOs, and going up against players with far more experience than him. It isn't until the end of SAO2 that he actually loses a fight fair and square, and by that point, it hardly matters.
  • Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar has Kenshi Masaki, a hero whose only weakness is his apprehension of what might happen to him if any of his hundreds of admirers gets him alone. In almost all his fights, he dances around his enemies without the slightest effort; even if it looks like his enemy's actually strong enough to beat him, it turns out he isn't fighting all-out and a single word of encouragement completely turns the battle around. His insane power and endurance is a source of humor in-universe; at one point the headmistress of the school where he's working warns the many people who want to use him that they need to take care not to exhaust him, while behind her he's jogging along with all kinds of massive, heavy material. When she turns around to see him carrying a log roughly five feet in diameter and maybe fifty feet long as if it was a twig, she quietly says "looks like he'll be fine".
  • Played for Laughs in Tentai Senshi Sunred, in which the villainous organization Florsheim are way below the league of their mortal enemy Sunred, who inevitably defeats whoever they've scrounged up to defeat him in a single hit. Considering the show is a sitcom, adding actual battles and drama wouldn't fit in anyway.
  • Vampire Hunter D cannot be stopped, only slowed down. Despite it being mentioned early on that he has half of a vampire's strength and half of the weaknesses, he has since become such a Marty Stu that nothing that the most powerful entities in his world can dish out against him can even make him change his expression. The only one who could even remotely threaten him is his daddy dearest.
    • Similar to the Golgo 13 example, and the Alucard example, he has reached the level of plot device. The story hinges on the growth and changes of the people surrounding him, and whether it will be a Bittersweet Ending, or a Downer Ending, or a Shoot the Shaggy Dog.
    • There's a striking case of Early-Installment Weirdness in the first novel when D gets briefly distracted by the lighting of a stick of time-bewitching incense that can make a vampire's senses think it's night or day, throwing off his concentration long enough for his opponent Rei-Ginsei to kill him in a straight fight. But then his parasite hand revives him and he's pretty much never threatened again for the rest of the series.
  • Kagari from Witch Craft Works is nearly unstoppable in terms of physical and magical ability and is borderline invincible as long as she's near Honoka, only able to be harmed if he is. Her mother Kagari is an even bigger example, being so powerful that none of the series' major villains pose any threat to her and her Barrier Maiden abilities lets her easily undo any damage they cause. Any perceived moments of weakness on her part is actually just her purposely hanging back and testing the younger witches by having them solve problems by without her help.
  • Kazuma Azuma from Yakitate!! Japan is completely stuck in this trope. Despite constantly being sabotaged in the Monaco Cup and being given the "worst possible opponent" over and over again in Yakitate 25, the worst he does is tie, or have his bread judged lower than someone in a different bracket. While he did finally lose to Miki Norihei in a seaweed bread contest, it can be hard to accept it as a true loss since his opponent was basically a real-life person and corporate mascot.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yugi from the original manga rarely, if ever, loses a game, with most of his losses being to outside reasons, with only a few actual losses on record. He is hailed as the King of Games. To take it a bit further, Yami Yugi only loses once legitimately in the manganote , which is to Yugi himself. The anime has him lose a duel to Rafael, and it’s implied he lost to Joey when they dueled after Battle City.
    • Judai/Jaden, in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, has three losses, of which only one was plot-relevant, and currently holds the record for most onscreen victories of any character. In the later arcs, this is heavily Deconstructed. His third loss results in a massive case of Heroic BSoD, and in Season 3, he develops a Chronic Hero Syndrome, finds himself in situations far beyond his control, and ends up a Broken Ace.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: Yusei is arguably the most blatant example in the whole franchise, as he not only never loses on-screen, there's also no justification for it other than "he's just that good". His "victory" over Team Unicorn through the sheer power of his super-charisma has this trope written all over it. He managed to defeat three duelists, all of whom were skilled and one of whom had defeated two of his own comrades, in a tournament where there would have been no real repercussions if Yusei did lose, and did so due to the leader of said team refusing to exploit a situation where he could have won and that his entire strategy had been building towards. The closest thing to a loss he has is a duel against Jack in a flashback, his first duel against Kiryu, who nearly would have won had Yusei's D-Wheeler not broken down and impaled him, and when he tried dueling Jack with using Synchro’s, only for Jack to call it off when it’s clear he’d win had they continued.
      • Crow isn't much different—he only suffered three losses (one where he lost on purpose) across the 120+ episodes he appeared in after his introduction.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL subverts this with Yuma, who has a number of onscreen losses on his record. It's Zig-Zagged, though, since any loss with a Numbers user would result in Astral dying and Yuma losing his Numbers, which nearly happened after his first duel against Kaito, he never loses to Numbers users or anyone hunting them, who happen to make up the vast majority of opponents. That said, Astral often needs to give him instructions on what moves to make. As the series progresses, Yuma improves significantly and so, by the time of ZEXAL II, this trope is played straight.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V seems ready to subvert this in a similar fashion to ZEXAL, with Yuya losing to Yuzu early on, then his first duel with Reiji nearly ending in his loss before it was called off, only to lose to him in a rematch, then to Jack. But after losing narrowly to two major villains who fought him one after the other, this trope is played straight for the rest of the series, and other people tend to treat him as more or less a Messianic Archetype.
    • Yusaku/Playmaker of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS never once loses a Duel, with the exception of flashbacks. This is given the background that Yusaku was literally tortured into being stronger. Though unlike with Yusei, this is somewhat justified, as nearly all of Yusaku’s duels have Ai on the line, meaning if he lost just once, then his opponent takes Ai to either dispose of, sell, or reprogram him.
    • Also played straight with Takeru Homura/Soulburner, who only suffers one loss to Bohman, though he would have lost to Roboppi if they hadn't malfunctioned.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! SEVENS it's an Averted Trope with main protagonist Yuga Ohdo, who loses at least once an arc. It's played very straight with Tatsuhisa "Luke" Kamijo, who snuck into adult Duel centers about a year before the series and got good simply from training against strong opponents, and has yet to lose a Duel since. This gets subtly deconstructed after he becomes King of Duels at the end of the first season, as despite being made aware much earlier that he'd suffer And Then What?, he's still unprepared for having nowhere to aspire further, and he's later recruited by Arc Villain Yuo Goha to turn this trope against the heroes. While he's somewhat talented in other areas though, Luke is a textbook case of Idiot Hero and very prone to cowering in fear if something gets to him, generally his sister Tiger.
  • Zeorymer takes this about as far as it can go. The machine itself is ridiculously fast and can teleport, plus it's armored enough that it can shrug off nuclear weapons without even being at half power. And the few times it's seriously damaged in the manga, it just teleports in replacement parts from a parallel dimension. It doesn't help that the pilot has an Omniscient Morality License and never gets any real comeuppance for all the crap he pulls.
    • In fact, the only thing stopping the Zeorymer from owning everything within a 100-mile-radius in two seconds is its pilot being a total wuss until his evil side takes over. So how powerful exactly 'is' this monstrosity? Powerful enough to allow it to single-handedly beat the Super Robot Wars games it appears in ALONE.
      • Want to see something even MORE insane? In Super Robot Wars Judgment, Zeorymer can be UPGRADED into the Great Zeorymer. Feel free to let out an Evil Laugh as you see the enemy throw everything but the kitchen sink at it and die as the Great Zeorymer retaliates with all the Hakkeshu attacks.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman is perhaps the most famous example, albeit one Depending on the Writer. He's just really hard to take out in a "fair" fight when the Kryptonite Factor isn't in play (or Joker Immunity for certain archvillains such as Darkseid or Lex Luthor). Not all writers know how to write a good Superman story that lets Superman use his powers competently but that doesn't instantly kill all tension in the plot.
    • I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC uses this quite well to actually make Superman relatable again. He's constantly lamenting how no one seems to care about him anymore, having moved on to the more fallible and relatable characters in Marvel's comics, and is frozen by self-doubt when Lex Luthor's newest scheme wipes out every other superhero in the world. He's finally able to win with the realization that all of those other heroes are relatable because they're all doing the same thing we all are, trying to be more like Superman. (Made slightly humorous/heartwarming in that it is Stan Lee that points this out to him.)
    • Grant Morrison has saved him from this multiple times by making him the Showy Invincible Hero and making him fun to watch. The All-Star DC Comics run being the most prominent example.
      • Also prominent early in Morrison's JLA run where Superman briefly muses that he isn't sure if he lives up to his legend. Pages later he restores the Moon's orbit by giving it magnetic poles. Later still, while he's battling the archangel Azmodel:
        The Flash (Wally): This is the man who said he couldn't live up to his legend... he's wrestling an angel.
      • And all this while the League is dealing with the actual Big Bad. He got Superman out of the way as the writers often have to do in League stories, but gave him cool stuff to do.
      • How To Write Superman Well is summed up in one word in the aforementioned angel-wrestling scene:
        Asmodel: Yield!
        Superman: NEVER!
      • The DC Digital First series Superman: Man of Tomorrow leaned into this with a number of stories showing Supes in situations where being an Invincible Hero wasn't really the point. Two special situations in the title come to mind. The first was when Superman was fighting a similarly invincible former gladiator who knew he was dying and wanted to Face Death with Dignity in his own way, by claiming as his 1000th Duel to the Death victory the Last Son of Krypton. He had no ill intent or real desire to kill Supes from malice. Superman played along, having an epic brawl (one that managed to bust a few of his ribs, even!) with the gladiator, finally Faking the Dead to give the gladiator closure and the glory of having bested Superman, so he could leave with his head held high. The other issue is one where Supes isn't even fighting anything. Instead, Atlas (yes, THAT Atlas) asks Superman to take over for a day on his punishment to hold up the Earth. The weight is such that even Superman struggles to bear it, and it nearly lays him out. But he endures patiently and even gladly — he's spelling Atlas so that Atlas can attend his daughter's wedding.
    • Speaking of supporting characters, one of the reasons Superman usually isn't described as a Canon Sue is from the focus of the tension being more on danger to other people rather than a danger to Superman. While Superman himself is near-invulnerable, saving loads of people at once is usually made extremely difficult, making the readers concerned about the people Superman can't save and its emotional effect on himnote .
    • The Adventures of Superman, the 1950s George Reeve television show, is somewhat unusual to modern expectations in largely having a parade of petty mobsters be the villains. The better episodes have there be some tension in the villainous plots; the weaker episodes, well, it turns out those bullets are bouncing off Superman. Again.
    • At several points, attempts have been made to give Superman weaknesses and vulnerabilities in order to have him being seriously threatened and make him relatable. Kryptonite was the first such attempt, but then writers simply took off with it, inventing literally dozens of forms of kryptonite with each one affecting him differently. It got so bad that some people did the math and calculated that Krypton must have been a planet roughly the size of the entire solar system in order for so many different chunks of it, randomly distributed throughout space by the planet exploding many light-years away, to have found their way to earth. Then the idea was put up that if he was cut off from the rays of our yellow sun, then his powers would quickly fade. Okay for a while, but then it was retconned that his cells all acted as storage batteries, storing sufficient amounts of energy to keep his powers going for quite some time, even if cut off from the sun. Superman is also depicted as being vulnerable to magic to the extent that it affects him as much any human, established long ago considering how Mister Mxyzptlk is able to bedevil him.
    • Joss Whedon talked about the difficulties of WB putting together a JLA movie versus his own massive success with The Avengers. He pointed out that the Avengers are easier to write and film since they all either have relatable problems or are weak enough to write action scenes for, while comparatively, characters like Superman and Wonder Woman are seen as "gods" without many flaws note . Add in other powerhouse characters like Green Lantern and The Flash, and it becomes very difficult to write convincing threats for the group in a cinematic setting.
  • Much like Superman, Batman is memetically thought of as this. While he suffers several personal losses, in the public's eyes he rarely loses battles. What? He's Crazy-Prepared and a master of the Batman Gambit!
    • Batman is only invincible half the time. His Crazy-Prepared skills obviously only work in situations he's planned for, so if he meets a new rogue or an old one with a new trick, he will typically lose the initial encounter: the villain will get away scot-free and Batman will get his ass soundly beaten. After escaping and researching the new foe, however, he will always win round two. In fact, the bit about him planning perfectly for every situation is mostly Memetic Mutation - most of his victories in the comics come from going into situations technically outmatched but having enough general knowledge to make up a plan on the spot, and getting general knowledge about the situation often involves not making any headway or being straight up defeated until he finds what he needs to know.
    • Batman is invincible, but not always victorious. War Games, Under the Red Hood, Death in the Family are costly losses, The Pearl was a costly win, the Killing Joke is a Pyrrhic unresolved.
    • Batman exemplifies this trope in Justice League of America. He has to since he wouldn't survive his first mistake against a JLA-class menace.
    • Somewhat averted in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. The first time Batman fights the leader of the mutants, he gets whomped by the guy. As the series progresses, he gets more and more injured. By the end, he even dies... temporarily.
    • The Dark Knight Strikes Again, on the other hand, plays this trope obnoxiously straight. Batman is always right, always in control, and effortlessly defeats everyone he fights, while lecturing them on how lame they are.
    • He lost pretty often in the old days. In fact, almost every episode of the 1960s Batman (1966) show had a cliffhanger in the middle where Batman was captured and had to escape a villain's deathtrap.
  • Asterix is a big offender. Every single battle between Romans (or, really, anyone) and Gauls has the Gauls curb-stomp their opponents, thanks to their magic potion that grants Super-Speed, Super-Reflexes, Super-Strength, and arguably Nigh-Invulnerability. Plus, even in case of a shortage, they have Obelix, who doesn't need to drink any potion since he fell in it during his childhood, and the effect never wore off. As a result, the Romans never, ever, in any comic, manage to gain the smallest durable advantage over the Gauls.
    • Most plot tension actually comes from Asterix being excessively prudent and avoiding confrontation with Romans troops, even though he and Obelix are more than able to defeat hundreds of Elite Mooks on their own, and have already done so a few times.
    • When trying to steal Caesar's laurel wreath, Asterix states that the magic potion doesn't protect from being harmed by Roman weapons. Whether it's true or not is unclear, but they never seem to be hurt anyway.
    • On one occasion, a Gaul spy working for Caesar pulls what looks like a perfect Xanatos Gambit: he tries to prevent Asterix from getting the oil necessary to cook the magic potion by all means necessary, hoping to trick Getafix into giving him the recipe. Even after Asterix somehow stumbles upon an oil well, he destroys their oil bag and informs Ceasar that the Gauls are now totally deprived of their only mean of defense. Except that Getafix turns out to have found a new recipe for the magic potion during their journey.
    • In Asterix and the Cauldron, Asterix and Obelix sign up for some prize fights in order to raise money. However, the Magic Potion makes the fights so one-sided that people quickly lose interest, and the fight promoter runs out of other fighters willing to fight the pair.
    • The reason Asterix is excessively prudent some of the time, is that there are often non-powered allies or something else that they want to protect, like a barrel of magic potion (in Asterix in Britain) and a direct confrontation would put them or it at peril. Otherwise, plot tension happens only when Asterix loses his flask of potion.
    • Some of the biggest threats to the Gauls come from things that can't be physically fought anyway, averting this trope. In Asterix and the Roman Agent, everyone in the village turns on each other because of the manipulations of one guy with a knack for causing strife. (The Finnish translation is able to use a handy expression for him, and the album title: "riidankylväjä", literally "sower of discord".) Asterix and the Soothsayer has a similar premise. In The Mansions of the Gods, the Gauls are threatened with commercial and cultural assimilation because of nothing more than an apartment complex built near the village. In the movie The Twelve Tasks of Asterix, the only tasks that give Asterix and Obelix any trouble are a "Leave Your Quest" Test and, especially, a building full of bureaucrats, of which the latter nearly drives them insane.
  • MAD has a character who is a lampshading of this trope named "Fantabula-man".
  • Fletcher Hanks' Stardust the Super Wizard, who has super-strength, flight, invulnerability and any power that would be useful in a situation, and no weaknesses. A large part of the entertainment value comes from the utterly bizarre punishments he doles out to evildoers.
    • His other character, Fantomah the Jungle Queen, was Stardust's Distaff Counterpart.
    • These were pretty much Hanks' stock-in-trade, in fact - even his Charles Atlas Superpower characters like "Space" Smith and Big Red McLane were capable of taking on wave after wave of enemies in a fight and winning effortlessly every time (unless the plot demanded they suddenly be struck from behind and captured, and even that would be only a minor inconvenience). At the end, their adversaries would either be swiftly brought to justice or ironically killed in the last few panels, and the comic would abruptly end with the heroes leaving to go elsewhere. From the perspective of an unsophisticated, hard-living guy like Hanks, who abandoned his children at a young age and regularly got into bar brawls in taverns across New York, this was a perfectly sensible way of telling a story.
  • DC's The Spectre is a bit like this, being nigh-omnipotent (sometimes); much like Hanks' work, as mentioned above, a lot of his older comics focused on the Fates Worse Than Death he'd inflict on his enemies.
  • Black Panther is another one of these. Indestructible suit with no weaknesses? Check. King of a technologically superior nation with access to whatever gadgets he needs? Check. Makes all martial arts characters look weak in comparison and all smart people look stupid in comparison? Triple check. Wins nearly all fights outside his rogues gallery with ease? Absolutely.
  • Wolverine, thanks to his ridiculous regenerative abilities, can now regenerate from only a few cells in a matter of minutes. While still a very popular and interesting character, his ability kills any dramatic tension.
  • Lampshaded in Robert Kirkman's "Brit" comics. The hero's one power is that he's invincible.
  • Similarly, Kirkman's character "Invincible", from the same-titled comic, has a main character who's the most powerful person on Earth, because he's the son of that comic universe's answer to Superman (well, sorta). And indeed, he is pretty invincible… until his dad beats him nearly to death. While he remains impossible to hurt for most, there're plenty of critters out there more than powerful enough to kill him. Chief among these are the fifty-or-so supervillains that comprise the "viltrumite" species from which Invincible's dad hails, who are effectively-ageless flying bricks with physical powers that increase the longer they exist. The existence of such threats requires Invincible to lend significant focus to things other than straight-up fights, like the ethics of superheroism, the best ways for empowered individuals to improve their civilizations and the choice between preserving traditions that are killing his people and abandoning culture in order to survive (in Thragg's case).
  • Monica from Brazilian comic Monica's Gang falls into this sometimes. Sure, a 7-year-old super strong girl is funny. But beating up people with a plush bunny is the only way to defeat every villain in existence? Especially when she's not the protagonist of the story?!
  • In Lucky Luke, this is very much how Luke evolved in the series... An example of Tropes Are Not Bad: Morris and René Goscinny used this to their advantage by making the villains (especially the Dalton Cousins) the driving force of many stories. The fun is not watching how Luke will win, but how the villains will lose (and, in the Daltons' case, how will Averell and Joe's interactions ultimately doom Joe's plans).
  • Tintin in the eponymous comic series. Hergé, the author, was so aware of this trope that he grew uninterested in his lead character and began focusing more on sidekick Captain Haddock halfway through the series.
  • Subverted with the Legendaries; despite the fact they have the reputation of being invincible heroes, they actually appear as goofy and clumsy most of the time, having trouble with quotidian tasks such as protecting a potion from a mere thief, only to reveal how badass they truly are when a real threat shows up. Even then, they are usually over-powered and have to earn their victory, especially during the Anathos Cycle.
  • This trope is often held to be one of the reasons X-Man got cancelled. Nate Grey, the title character, was powerful to begin with (which is unsurprising considering his background) but frequently lost fights due to his inexperience and the genetic flaw which made sure that his powers were killing him, leading to frequent instances of Psychic Nosebleed and one of his powers switching off. Even so, he was powerful enough to beat AOA!Apocalypse to a pulp after taking on Holocaust and unconsciously resurrected someone (though it is dubious as to how alive Maddie actually was). Most of the tension came through his Character Development away from being a Living Weapon while trying to figure out his place in this new world and fix his powers. By the end, he'd got his powers fixed and was leaps and bounds ahead of every other telepath and telekinetic in the Marvel Universe, with only planetary or universal scale threats being capable of giving him pause, and treated the multiverse as his personal stepladder. He was killed off in the final issue (sort of), and when he came back some years later, as comic characters are wont to do, after several rounds with the Dark X-Men and Dark Avengers, the writers made note to depower him down to a very limited form of telekinesis and an even more limited form of telepathy.
  • Herbie Popnecker, a.k.a. The Fat Fury is this trope taken to its logical extreme. He doesn't look it, but he's quite possibly the most powerful character in all of comicdom. His superpower is mainly "being able to do whatever would be most convenient at the time," whether that be time travel, hypnosis, or walking on air. Note that Herbie is a fat (literally, ball-shaped) nine-year-old with thick eyeglasses and a fondness for lollipops.
  • Captain Marvel, especially during the Golden Age. With having no discernible limits on his strength, speed, and invincibility, and only a handful of short-lived opponents able to challenge him in a fight, most stories were about trying to defeat him psychologically or contriving to trap him before he could change to his super-powered form.
  • Fables spin-off Jack of Fables plays with this. The eponymous "hero" made himself completely indestructible (Fables gain power based on popularity, and having created three mega-successful blockbusters about his own adventures, he's the most famous and beloved fairy tale character in history), but is virtually a Butt-Monkey in terms of how often he suffers humiliating and/or excruciatingly painful injuries (though his personality means you never have any sympathy for him). His interactions with Gary the Pathetic Fallacy (who is the first of the Literals, the Anthropomorphic Personifications of meta-concepts of story-telling) lead to him being told that having made himself an Invincible Hero, the universe (driven partly by the Theory of Narrative Causality,) now has to provide a balance to it in the form of a never-ending series of fatal injuries and spectacularly bad luck to provide something for his powers to be tested against and prove themselves necessary.
  • The titular character in Rubine. Rubine is a police detective in Chicago and solves various crimes. You can count the number of times she got hit with one hand during the entire series' run. Her aim practically never fails and she can beat down any crook with ease. The 13th album revealed that the reason why she's so badass is that she had Navy SEAL training and operated as a black-ops in Colombia.
  • Captain Electron, from the comic of the same name. He only has one fight, near the end of his sole story, but he effortlessly beats up the Big Bad's henchmen, shrugs off a point-blank hit from a Disintegrator Ray, and then tears open the Big Bad's safe room like it were tissue paper. Electron thus ends the story without getting a single scratch, or allowing any innocent people to die (thanks to No Endor Holocaust being in effect for a plane crash earlier in the story).

    Comic Strips 
  • God-Man in the Tom the Dancing Bug strip by Ruben Bolling is this, taken to the ultimate conclusion. God-Man is omnipotent and omniscient and foils supervillain schemes by casually rearranging the universe. The character is mostly used to criticizes organized religion rather than ridiculous comic-book tropes, but there is a large overlap... Except when it comes to putting a stop to the violent rivalries between his various fan clubs. He always fails at that.
  • Martine Clocquer from the Normandy flashbacks in 9 Chickweed Lane. Though judging by readers' reactions to her (particularly on The Comics Curmudgeon), it's more like Invincible Designated Hero. Considering her main opponents are Those Wacky Nazis, being considered a Designated Hero when fighting acceptable targets says something about how well she's written.
  • At least to the extent anyone in the series could be considered a "hero"note , Spy vs. Spy had the Gray Spy: a Femme Fatale who always won no matter what. Unsurprisingly, as she completely destroyed the dynamic of a comic strip where a lot of the fun came from seeing which of the two spies would manage to out-scheme the other, she was almost universally disliked and was phased out rather quickly.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm intentionally sets out to subvert this, as part of its basic premise: namely, to take all the classic Super!Harry tropes and turn them on their collective ear. The gist is that Harry has a whole shedload of potential powers thanks to being a demigod on one side (James Potter was Thor on a first tilt at the whole 'humility' thing - it worked very well up until it didn't), and related to Jean Grey on the other. Add the fact that his protection comes from the Phoenix a.k.a. Lily as the White Phoenix of the Crown and he seems pretty invincible. However, mostly he's plagued with delayed powers, then malfunctioning powers, and then poorly understood powers. All with lots of people way out of his weight class looking to whack him before he grows into his power. Also, the protection is pretty damned impressive, but there are Dire Consequences from actually using it.
    • Also, the key thrust of the story is that above all, Harry is a young boy who simply wants a family and something approximating a normal life - though he enjoys life-or-death situations a bit more than is healthy. As a result, the primary sources of tension and drama are adjusting to his dramatically altered circumstances, the tremendous amount of stress he undergoes, resulting in PTSD. And then there's puberty, which comes with plenty of challenges of its own.
    • Meanwhile, the Avengers also seem on paper to be invincible, composed of two Badass Normals, a billionaire Gadgeteer Genius and Ace Pilot, a Super-Soldier and Living Legend who kind of lives up to the legend, a man with breathtaking anger issues who can match a Physical God for strength and toughness when he isn't wielding an insightful scientific mind, and two Physical Gods with Combo Platter Powers, Loki having been Reformed, but Not Tamed. But they can be tricked, captured, and defeated, as HYDRA prove in the first book and the Red Court and their Outsider allies in the second.
    • The standout example, however, is Doctor Strange. He hardly appears in the first book before chapter 60, and even then only intermittently before the final battle. However, he is the immortal Lord of Time, who has everything and everyone dancing to his tune, manoeuvring the colossal Gambit Pileup with ease. He's a universally feared Living Legend whose wrath can make even the gods themselves cower, and even the mightiest cosmic entities are his puppets in his grand scheme as the Time Stone's champion against Thanos. It gets to the point where everyone assumes that everything is going according to his plan and whatever they do is playing straight into his hands. However, the sequel reveals that he's not quite as omniscient as he carefully makes himself out to be, and there's a few blind spots in his vision, one of which nearly causes everything to fall apart in Forever Red. It also goes into more detail about his past and the man behind the mask, revealing his more human side, and the fact that, yes, he has screwed up a few times and the consequences have been epic. Additionally, drama is preserved by the fact that every scheme of his has a cost, either emotional or in blood or both, and that he's dying.
  • The MST treatment of Tom Swift and His War Tank, points out that Tom is this.
    Servo: I've never read any of the books in this series, and I'll bet I know everything there is to know about him already. He's really good at everything that he does, which is everything done by any American of his age and class. Girls admire him, but he only has pure love for one. He's Roger Ramjet played straight.
  • Robynne a.k.a. Hottie II from Hottie 3: The Best Fan Fic in the World once she gets her Super Hottie Goddess transformation.
  • An amazing subversion comes in the plot of a Touhou Project doujin Koamakyou by Tohonifun. The protagonist for the games is shown fighting through the bosses of one of the games brutally; violently impaling the first to the ground, angrily mocking the second's attempts to fight, simply ignoring the third, and fighting the fourth and fifth at the same time. At the end of the battle with the fourth and fifth, the fifth stabs her in the back, ignoring the rules of the games... and the protagonist turns around completely unharmed. Turns out, she's pissed off because she completely personifies this trope: as the lead of the series, she can't lose. Ever. In anything. In a world where the best way to pass time is the joy of fighting, and you can never conceivably lose a battle...
  • The writers of An Entry with a Bang!! are trying to avert this, but the discussion to this end can and has gotten inflammatory at times.
  • In Fate Revelation Online, Shirou and Ilya's in-SAO reputations are growing into this. In fact, a minor plot point in the story is the worry that the auto-balancing functions of the Cardinal system will lead to an inversion of Monster Threat Expiration and make the game harder for everyone else.
    Shirou: So it's a choice. Between saving people now and sacrificing people in the future, and sacrificing people now so that people in the future will be safe.
    Diabel: There is a third possibility. In gamer slang, you could call it the [Nerf Bat]. The rules of the game will beat down the nail that sticks up.
    • This reputation only grows when the game patches them into [Titled Players], with one of the perks being complete exclusion from the auto-balancing system, as its way of solving the issue.
  • In a Firefly crossover, Browncoat, Green Eyes, Harry Potter plays this trope straight. He has limits, but they aren't anything that can be exploited by anyone in the Firefly 'verse. Thankfully, he isn't using his powers to kick everyone's ass, it's more of a mystery novel where his powers aren't an instant solution.
  • This is to be expected in most Warhammer 40,000 crossovers, being that most of the inhabitants of that universe are as they are. One exemplar of this is God of Death which puts a Space Marine on Azeroth, with predictable results. Few fanfics can handle this well enough so that it won't be one-sided, like Chains of the Kindred which crosses W40k with Halo.
  • The Firefly fanfic Forward deliberately averts this with River. The author has stated that he dislikes fanfics that turn River into a solve-everything "easy button" who casually defeats most enemies, and instead portrays River as a Fragile Speedster and Glass Cannon who has managed to get badly beaten when taking on overwhelming odds. One fight actually ended with River getting shot, her back wrenched, and a leg broken.
  • An interesting subversion in Fate/Stay Night: Ultimate Master, which involves Ben Tennyson taking part in the Holy Grail War. Considering he has both the Ultimatrix and a decently powerful Servant by his side, he is pretty much overpowering everyone in the war (except possibly Gilgamesh), and is considered by many as the biggest threat. The subversion comes from the fact Ben, being from a more kid-friendly show, appears as a Wide-Eyed Idealist in the Nasuverse, which is a major handicap in the Grey-and-Gray Morality context of the Holy Grail War, as almost everyone else will either act pragmatic or try to take advantage of his idealism. He still is considered a major threat, but most of his fights aren't that one-sided.
  • Invoked in an interesting way in Akatsuki Kitten: Phoenix Corporation Overhaul. There are eleven characters like this... and all of them work directly for the author. She admits to designing them with God Mode Sues in mind. They are meant to be the most powerful beings possible so that they can "set the story up" for her to write it. Surprisingly, the characters are still fairly popular when they aren't the Spotlight-Stealing Squad. Even then, the author takes into account complaints about them being shown too often and shunts them out of view in favor of canon for a few chapters.
  • In The Sweetie Chronicles: Fragments, the Twilight fragment in the maze repeatedly complains about how Sweetie Belle and Blueblood keeps trumping her deadly challenges like they're nothing. Since the duo are trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, they usually spend several loops failing miserably and often get killed in grisly fashions before they work out the solution (and the fragment loves to see that happen) but only they remember it happening, so, to the fragment, it's as though they just walk in and win.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku mentions that Firestorm has never lost a battle in his entire career. Firestorm gets to prove why when he wipes out an army of 200 robots single-handedly without sustaining any injuries other than the single knife wound he took while covering for Izuku. Then it gets subverted when he's captured and nearly killed by a robot designed to nullify his powers, only for All Might, a Showy Invincible Hero to the public, to swoop in and save him.
  • Ash is shaping up like this in The Longest Road. By the time he reaches the Pokémon League, he's able to sweep the floor with the likes of the Elite Four, and has a Legendary Pokémon under his command to freely use. In fact, his only in-story defeat amounts to the fact that he had to re-challenge Sabrina just like in canon, but otherwise, everything goes in his favor.
  • In The Loud House: Revamped, the heroes, out of thousands of battles they have done, have never lost. Most of the victories are Curb-Stomp Battle. May be justified because how many powers they have.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Kurt Wimmer is an admitted fan of the trope:
    • Equilibrium: Word of God is that Wimmer made Preston a "god of death" because he always imagined his heroes that way. He doesn't even just mow down hordes of mooks with brutal ease, even other Gun Kata users are no match for him.
    • Ultraviolet (2006) has a similar hero. Violet, a super-powerful "hemophage," can defeat mere humans without any effort. When she is confronted by a mob of fellow superhuman hemophage bad-asses, she cuts every single one of their heads off with a single swing.
  • A prime example: The main hero of the Japanese movie (and MST3K episode) Prince of Space, whose invincibility depends largely on his ability to repel energy weapons (as well as his ability to choose really pathetic enemies.) "Your weapons are useless against me!" becomes something of a catchphrase for the hero, who uses it no less than seven times during the course of the movie. Interestingly, this line was added by the English dubbing. In the original Japanese film, the Prince is not invulnerable, which is why he occasionally dodges laser fire.
  • Any character played by Steven Seagal, who not only destroys all his enemies with insulting and sadistic ease, but most of his movies have at least one scene where a bad guy worriedly describes how much of a badass Seagal's character is. Any injury he takes is usually only made possible because he lets his guard down and a bunch of goons (and guns) catch him at his most vulnerable. This is all a result of Seagal's input. He says his characters are "born perfect," making them God Mode Sues. One partial exception comes in Executive Decision, when Seagal pulls a Heroic Sacrifice himself after a boarding action goes bad ("partial," because Seagal spent so much time crying in his dressing room about it, that they had to change the scene to make his death "less certain—" despite that he's sucked out of a moving jet at 30,000 feet... without a parachute). Another exception comes from the film Machete (although he plays the villain in that one), where he dies, but still manages to no-sell a machete in the gut for a couple of minutes before finishing himself off. And ironically, his first film Above the Law (1988) subverts it since Seagal gets a torture scene in the climax that puts him in a bad spot against the Big Bad and he actually needs to go to the hospital despite a Heroic Second Wind.
  • The title character of Ip Man Curb Stomps all his enemies, but the choreography is tight enough to eliminate boredom. More likely a Showy Invincible Hero. Subverted in the sequel, where the Twister actually knocks him down several times and the final victory is very much hard-won. While Ip mows through everyone else in the first film, the Big Bad, while outclassed by Ip, does manage to hold his own for at least half of the final fight, get in a few licks of his own, and comes close to winning by Ring Out a couple of times. Also subverted in the third film, where the only reason Ip's fight against Frank is a draw is due to the time limit set up by Frank. Given how the fight was shown, there's a serious possibility of Ip losing if the fight was longer.
  • Spoofed in Rustlers' Rhapsody, a western-parody starring Tom Berenger. The hero repeatedly lampshades the fact that he's defeated the villains in countless frontier towns without much effort, and always will because he's the good guy. The villains in this particular town get smart and hire another "good guy" to fight him, presenting him with his first-ever challenge.
  • 'Bone' in Blood and Bone, even more than most of the heroes on this page. The only reason an opponent ever gets in a hit that actually leaves a mark is so he can get patched up by his Sassy Black Woman landlady and give her a Tai Chi lesson. It doesn't matter how many opponents he has, or what weapons they have, he pwns them. At least the other examples lose a fight or at least look like they might at times. Not Bone.
  • Rocky Balboa has an in-world example. The fight between the nearly 60-year-old Rocky and current champ Mason Dixon is set up because Dixon's undefeated streak is making the sport boring.
  • Neo of The Matrix grows so strong by the end of the first movie that when he fights three enhanced Agents alone in The Matrix Reloaded, he casually quips "Huh, upgrades" when one of them blocks an attack. The only bad guy who is capable of taking him on equal terms is Smith with a powerful copy of himself that's absorbed the Oracle's powers.
  • Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, to the point where opposing teams have to raid Formula One so they can defeat him.
  • The Adventures of Captain Marvel has the title character being the only person with superpowers in the serial, and being Nigh Invulnerable to boot. Surprisingly however, this trope is averted, despite Captain Marvel being immune to bullets, blades, and other common types of attacks. Throughout the serial, sufficiently advanced technology is shown to be able to harm him enough to knock him out, and he's placed in situations where it's stated that even his invulnerability might not be enough to protect him, such as a death trap involving molten lava. The serial also came out when the character's comic series was fairly young, and he had yet to become quite as invincible as he would be eventually.
  • Captain Amazing in Mystery Men is introduced with a long history of this due to his perfect win record. World-class superpowers, a wealthy Secret Identity, photogenic charisma, and the connections to arrange release of his nemesis in order to keep merchandise interest up.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Thor, he started his first movie already clearly more powerful than almost everyone else and, because of that, several applications of Brought Down to Badass, Worf Had the Flu and just holding back were used to justify other heroes and villains keeping up with him. Then came Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War, which saw his power increase further, to the point that he's able to match Thanos with a complete Infinity Gauntlet, and only fails at killing Thanos by succumbing to Revenge Before Reason. He's now one of the most powerful beings in the universe and the strongest of the heroes by several orders of magnitude. Failing when everything was in his hands wrecks him emotionally and he spends most of Avengers: Endgame a drunken slob who can barely get out of the house. In the climax he probably has the worst showing against the returning Thanos.
    • Captain Marvel, much like her comic-book counterpart, is immensely powerful, and the only reason she doesn't curbstomp her opponents in her solo movie is that she's carrying a power limiter. Once that is removed there ceases to be any meaningful threat to her, to the point where in Avengers: Endgame she goes toe to toe with a younger and inexperienced Thanos wielding the Infinity Gauntlet and is only defeated through a Power Stone sucker punch. It's pretty telling that she had to be absent for nearly all the film for there to be any conflict, as the final battle would have ended by about the halfway mark if the flying Instant-Win Condition stuck around.
  • This was one of the criticisms of The Chronicles of Riddick. In Pitch Black, Riddick was a lot more human but in the sequel, Riddick is suddenly turned into the smartest, strongest, and most skilled person in the movie. Not a single opponent lands a clean hit on him until his climactic fight with the Big Bad. For comparison, in Pitch Black Johns was able to effortlessly subdue Riddick with nothing more than a baton.
  • Basically most of the kung-fu films made by Shaw Brothers. The heroes of their wuxia movies can, most of the time, kill up to fifty nameless mooks in one fell swoop; as long as a named hero is against an entire horde of annonymous bandits, enemy soldiers, and the like, expect a massive Curb-Stomp Battle in the hero's favour.
  • In The Warrior's Way, the hero Yang defeats every enemy with a single swing, never getting so much as a scratch. In the very beginning, he defeats the "best swordsman in the world... ever" effortlessly.
  • Selene from Underworld (2003) is this in spades, starting out as invincible to begin with and even being more powerful than her boyfriend, who was supposed to be the most powerful creature of all time once he became a hybrid, and ends up being little more than her attack dog. Then it snowballs from there when she gets an upgrade in the second film and is made immune to sunlight and possibly to all other vampire weaknesses. In the fourth film this is taken to ridiculous levels and her daughter is just as bad. By the fourth film Vampires pretty much consider her a God. What makes it worse is that in the Underworld series the older you are, the more powerful you are. Despite what should be a massive gap in power, she succeeds in killing The FIRST VAMPIRE in the second film, who himself became a hybrid and as such should be able to beat down everyone in the cast with ease. She never takes more than one-two hits per film (and even then only because the plot demands that she has to in order to keep the movie from more or less dying midway through) and even then just shrugs them off like they were nothing.
  • Machete in Machete, due to outclassing everyone else in sheer badassitude, which even gets invoked at the end. Torrez has defeated Machete in a knife duel and is about to kill him, which Luz notes will happen if they don't interfere. Sartara counters her by noting that Machete simply can't lose purely because he's Machete, and Luz says she's got a point. Then Machete suddenly gets up and impales Torrez.
  • Jet Li in Kiss of the Dragon. He can clear out a building full of Corrupt Cops and a room full of black belts and make it look easy. In Fearless (2006) he can defeat the world's best fighters in successive bouts despite each having a different discipline like boxing, spears, and fencing, and even when fatally poisoned he still easily defeats his final Japanese opponent.
  • Happens gradually in Lucy. The protagonist starts out as naive and helpless but gains powers that allow full control over her own body, then to anticipate and out-think her opponents, and eventually allow her to control matter and time.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Quicksilver busts Magneto out of the Pentagon single-handedly. No one else needs to be there. (For instance, Beast uses a tech thing to mess up the cameras, but Quicksilver is so fast that he's invisible to cameras, so it doesn't matter.) The kitchen scene in particular made it obvious that this is all just a game to him, and there's really no chance of failure. He could easily solve the entire plot by himself, which is probably why the writers jettisoned him after the Pentagon scene. This is probably why Apocalypse utterly wrecks him when they fight in X-Men: Apocalypse.
  • In Megaforce, the titular Megaforce is a private army "whose weapons are the most powerful science can devise": motorcycles that shoot missiles, dune buggies with lasers, and a hologram of a woman in a bikini. In the climax, Megaforce's only possible escape route is being guarded by a company of tanks on flat ground with a clear firing range. Megaforce's brilliant strategy is to just drive straight at the tanks in broad daylight. No one on Megaforce is killed or injured doing this, and even the guy who misses the plane taking off gets away because his motorcycle can fly.
  • This is an accusation often leveled at the Die Hard sequels. John McClane started off the first film as an aversion of this trope, a hero who gets hurt like anyone else would. By the time of A Good Day to Die Hard, he's able to brush off falling through several stories of glass despite pushing 60.
  • Jimmy Wang Yu made a whole career playing nigh-invincible badasses ever since his major breakthrough role in Golden Swallow, a movie where his character kills upwards of 180 mooks without as much of a scratch and where the only reason he died in the film is due to being accidentally injured by one of his allies in a Stab the Scorpion moment. Even then, he single-handedly massacres sixty more enemies before he succumbs.
  • Eggsy from Kingsman: The Secret Service borders on this: By the end of the film the only things that have really posed a challenge to him were killing his dog and fighting Gazelle, almost an Invincible Villain in her own right; everything else he aced with flying colors and, of the two exceptions, one ended up not deterring him and the other he succeeded, albeit with a lucky shot. Not bad for a street punk with at best a year's worth of formal training.
  • G-Girl from My Super Ex-Girlfriend is a Superman-style Flying Brick in an otherwise entirely mundane-seeming world that is no different from our own, and is thus basically unbeatable. Her archenemy (who, up until that point was only any kind of threat to her at all because he knew her secret identity) does manage to find a way to rob her of her powers, but It Only Works Once and he ends up botching it.
  • When it comes to fights, any character played by Bruce Lee generally overpowers his opponents with ease. His enemies rarely truly endanger him and the strongest of them end up as Curb Stomp Cushion at best.
  • Alice from the Resident Evil Film Series. She goes from an unbeatable Badass Normal to an overpowered Empowered Badass Normal across the films. Has hardly faced many things that she could consider a threat to herself and as if that wasn't enough, in order to ensure her invincibility, EVERYONE around her is an Adaptational Wimp (yes, even Nemesis and Wesker)!
  • War God have Guan Yu, the Chinese War Deity, staving off an Alien Invasion. Yes. The deity is depicted to be as invincible and unbeatable as in the myths, with Guan Yu effortlessly curb-stomping all the aliens easily throughout.
  • Aside from her initial training, Diana in Wonder Woman (2017) is untouchable throughout the whole movie. She dispatches mooks by the dozen, she tanks heavy machine-gun fire, she strolls through deadly gas... the only opponent who manages to give her a decent challenge is the God of War himself. Even his apparent victory over her is merely a brief setback; it only serves to fully awaken her power.
  • The eponymous "hero" of the Deathstalker Series, at least in the original film. Deathstalker was a bland Conan the Barbarian knockoff, with a magic sword that made him literally invincible, as long as he held it. The subsequent sequels toned this down massively, retooling Deathstalker as more of a Lovable Rogue type.
  • Robert McCall in The Equalizer trilogy. Not only is he a master at Mook Horror Shows, but a guaranteed fight he gets into (as much as he tries to avoid one) will mostly be at best a Curb-Stomp Battle.

  • The heroes of any given chivalric romance.
    • Amadis of Gaul and Sir Tristram are particular offenders.
    • Inverted with Orlando Furioso, though, as Orlando eventually turns into the Hulk because Angelica does not love him, and slaughters hundreds of innocents.
    • Roland, from The Song of Roland. Although he has to die in order to be the Doomed Moral Victor (and because the actual Roland died in that battle), most of his wounds are somewhat self-inflicted things, like when his temples explode because he's blowing so damn hard on that horn in order to warn Charlemagne's army. Also he keeps fighting even when his brains are running out his ears and onto his army.
  • Pick a pulp novel hero. Any pulp novel hero from the 1930s whether it be Conan, Kull, Solomon Kane, John Carter of Mars, Tarzan, or especially, Doc Savage. They will be far superior to any other human (even those of their own group), irresistibly attractive to females, and the best warrior that ever lived, requiring dozens of other warriors to even stand a chance; and usually a brilliant intellectual. Some writers knew this might be boring so they toned down one of these aspects or got rid of it altogether. Other times they were able to make the rest of the story interesting enough that it didn't matter.
    • John Carter, at least, is occasionally shown as having some doubts about his ability to get out of his latest scrap... though to return to the "invincible" theme, often he's not actually worried about losing, he's just concerned that he may not be able to win fast enough to prevent some other event that's happening at the same time (often, Dejah Thoris being kidnapped). If it's less than 90% of the way through the book, he probably won't win fast enough.
  • Agent Pendergast: Aloysius Pendergast, at least in the book Brimstone, is the very essence of this trope. Subverted in the later books. It's true that Pendergast never loses when he's on the offensive, but cracks and fails badly when he himself, and those he loves and protects, are the ones attacked. The price of Pendergast's intensive training and discipline to obtain his badass abilities is also explored in depth.
  • The Beginning After the End: Deconstructed with Arthur himself. Most Isekai protagonists tend to fall under this trope with some bordering on Comically Invincible Hero territory, and Arthur initially appears to a straight example. He is reincarnated with the experience of his past self, proves to be incredibly gifted as a mage, being a rare quadra-elemental augmenter with two deviancies, and inherits the beast will of a dragon which allows him to enhance his physical capabilities, regenerate his wounds, and even briefly tap into aether. Even though he ends up getting De-powered following the events of Volume 7, he ends up Re-Powering and Coming Back Strong to a degree that vastly exceeds his original powerset, in the process becoming a nigh-unkillable aether-wielding demigod and one of the strongest mortal mages in the setting.
    • So with all of that in mind, what could possibly prevent someone as powerful as him from destroying all sense of narrative tension? Mainly, it is that both before and after his Re-Power, Arthur ends up fighting opponents who are much more powerful than him. Case in point, his Arch-Enemy and the Big Bad Agrona Vritra is an Invincible Villain in his own right, not only because of him being an Asura, but also due to him being the top Chessmaster and Manipulative Bastard in the setting who is able to execute his plans unimpeded. And it is not just Agrona and the Vritra Clan whom Arthur has to contend with, for the Asuras as a whole turn out to be Jerkass Gods willing to lay waste to the world in their Divine Conflict, with even the weakest among them being more than a match for the strongest mortal mages. Not only that, but since Arthur values protecting his loved ones, Agrona and some of Arthur's other enemies have been known to target them in order to gain an advantage over him.
  • Berserker's Planet features a gladiatorial tournament. One of the contestants claims that he 'has never met a man who could stand against him'. Subverted in that, as one of the more intelligent contestants points out, this being the culmination of a series of to-the-death duels that's true for all the survivors; even those that got killed in the previous rounds must have been undefeated up to that point.
  • Leto Atreides II in the last third of Children of Dune when he becomes a nigh immortal Half-Human Hybrid capable of curb-stomping even his aunt Alia. Essentially a superhero without a supervillain.
  • Deconstructed in A. Lee Martinez's Constance Verity novels, in which Constance, due to an unwanted destiny laid on her by a fairy godmother, has been stumbling into a bewildering variety of adventures - every genre, every threat level, every part of the world and beyond- on roughly a daily basis since she was seven years old. The only ones she doesn't win handily are the rare few in which some other, higher-priority adventure crops up and diverts her attention, leaving the previous one to peter out. It gets so predictable that she gets bored with being an Invincible Hero, and tries to subvert her destiny purely so she can get a life.
  • In Corpies, Titan is rightly called the strongest man in the world by his merchandise. However, when Hexcellent asks about it, he points out that he is the physically strongest man but by far not the most powerful Super in the world. However, he does have decades of experience as a Hero fighting criminal Supers, not to mention the HCP Training from Hell that every Hero must go through to be licensed. He's got plenty of tricks up his sleeve for when fists aren't enough. During a fair, his team participates in a tug-of-war contest with others. However, Titan realized very quickly that the crowd almost never cheers for them because everyone knows that he'll inevitably win without even trying. So he tells his teammates that he's not going to participate anymore. They argue that they'll lose. He says that they might, but they'll win the support of the crowd for doing their damned best. Indeed, that is what ends up happening. Their boss Mr. Greene is annoyed at the loss but is happy about the PR. Fortunately for the readers, the main challenge of the story is such that even Titan is tested, providing for plenty of excitement.
  • Matthew Sobol's Daemon from Daniel Suarez' books skirts this trope closely in the first book because of the incredibly complicated Gambit Roulette Sobol puts into place that apparently comes off without a hitch. It's justified by the fact that Sobol put lots and lots of redundancy and backup plans into the system, but that shifts the Invincible Hero status to Sobol. Although he is an Invincible Villain in this case. Or is he? The sequel Freedom(tm) ramps up the action to put serious question into the Invincible part as well.
  • The Dark Tower: Roland is The Ace and never challenged by any of his opponents with a gun in his hand. King apparently tried to regulate this by removing some of the fingers on one of his hands, but only using one gun doesn't seem to slow him down at all.
  • Deacon Chalk of the book Blood and Bullets. He has more preparedness than Batman and can slay vampires better than Buffy and Blade combined even though he is a completely vanilla human. He also apparently lives in the same world as the Winchester boys and Anita Blake, despite them being completely different continuums. It reads like not-so-good fanfiction despite the fact that it's a published novel.
  • Discworld:
    • The City Watch becomes so large, powerful and influential - many of its personnel are serious badasses in their own right - that very few plausible threats are much of a threat to it anymore. Noticeably since Jingo most storylines have involved either actual wars or separating Sam Vimes and the other main characters from their vast resources via distance (Snuff) or time (Night Watch) with the bulk of the Watch functioning as The Cavalry. The author himself noted this problem = any story set in Ankh-Morpork later in the series would by default rapidly become a "Watch" book if he wasn't careful and deliberately created the Moist von Lipwig character as a way of setting stories in the city with a protagonist who wanted nothing to do with the Watch.
    • In Snuff, Sam Vimes himself has become this, in the eyes of many long-time Discworld fans. In the course of the book, he is never once seriously tested or takes a wrong turn, he has all life's problems sorted out.
    • In the Discworld series as a whole, Vetinari's plans never fail. Never. If Vetinari is involved with the main character of the book in some way, their schemes will turn out successful (even if not in the way the main character expects).
  • By the grace of God, nothing in Hell can kill or even injure the protagonists of The Divine Comedy so long as they remain faithful. This spiritual invincibility applies to all loyal to God, which allows a saint like Beatrice to stroll into Hell without fear.
  • Ender Wiggin from Ender's Game gets effectively banished from Earth for being one of these, since everyone is rightly terrified that if he decides to take over the world, no one would be able to do a damn thing to stop him. This only means that his sociopathic brother Peter takes over instead (creating a golden age of peace and unity). To be fair, it's less because he's invincible and more because he's got such a good reputation as Earth's savior that any cause he fights for will automatically gain the support it needs.
    "It doesn't matter how bad they stack the odds, if you're on the other side no fight will ever be fair."
  • Any book by Raymond E. Feist, of Krondor fame. While the characters have their fair share of misery, the definition of such people as Jimmy the Hand, Mara Acoma, and Roo Avery is that they always succeed at everything they put their minds to.
  • This seems present in Harry Potter, but only so far as Quidditch goes. The Gryffindor team is the "good" team which never loses so long as Harry is playing — the only losses he experiences are ones where he's knocked out or isn't playing at all, because Harry's quidditch skill is so good that no one else can ever rightfully win against him. It's also played straight in that the Slytherins, in Harry's view at least (and most other characters as well, it seems, like Luna, Lee, etc.) seem to cheat gratuitously in every match against Gryffindor, because there is no possible way that any team (including Slytherin) could win against Harry's Gryffindor if they played fairly. While this trope doesn't extend to the rest of the Harry Potter series, this is one example where it seems to hold true every time.
  • Honor Harrington plays with this trope. In earlier novels, the ultimate victories are Honor's. She wins at great costs to her crew and ship but always does the major turning in the end. However, as Haven becomes better characterized, she often just survives Pyrrhic Victories. Until she ultimately spends a year in a POW camp.
  • Any protagonist from a James Byron Huggins novel. All of them (with the exception of Longinus in Nightbringer) are Badass Normals who no matter what they are facing — superhuman nephilim (Nightbringer), a genetically-engineered government-built dragon (Leviathan), squads of highly-trained Mooks (The Reckoning), prehistoric Hulk analogs (Hunter), or an ancient Egyptian sorcerer (Sorcerer) — they will always contemptuously beat them.
  • Roran from Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle is the perfect example of this trope. Despite being a farm boy at the start of the series, and never once going through any kind of training (in either tactics or combat), he picks up a hammer in the second book and becomes an instant He-man who is able to defeat almost 200 men by himself in a single confrontation. He never once loses a fight and his daring military plans eventually culminate in him winning the entire war for the rebels, again despite a complete lack of any kind of battle experience whatsoever.
  • Feric Jaggar, hero of The Iron Dream, never loses at anything, ever. The pace of the plot is determined primarily by how fast he can swing the "Steel Commander". This is intentional; it's part of the book's Stylistic Suck.
  • Sun Wukong of Journey to the West is a classic example. He's a shapeshifting, immortal, super strong, super agile, kung-fu hero. The gods had to put a magic circlet on him just to so he wouldn't destroy everything. Later variations grew wary of this trope and began to tone him down a bit, but the original Monkey King was an unstoppable Invincible Hero.
  • Subverted in The Most Popular Book in the World, a Twilight parody. The author killed off certain characters whose counterparts in Twilight do not die (including Candy and Hector 2.0) because she found it unrealistic in the original books that vicious battles are fought against the Volturi and yet no one on the heroes' side is killed.
  • Peekay, the main character of The Power of One, doesn't lose a single boxing match in the entire book. He does Handwave this at one point by noting that with such a wide range of opponents in South Africa, it wasn't unusual for someone to go 40-0 at the Junior level, but he's also something of a Determinator anyway.
  • Not a person, but a whole organization: The Service in James Blish's The Quincunx of Time. As the prologue points out:
    The press was free... Yet there had been nothing to report but that:
    (a) an armada of staggering size had erupted with no real warning from the Black Horse Nebula; and
    (b) the Service had been ready.note 
    By now, it was commonplace that the Service was always ready. It had not had a defect or a failure in well over two centuries.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • At a panel discussion/writer's workshop summarized here, Timothy Zahn, writer of The Thrawn Trilogy, called this trope "Superman Syndrome", where characters were so powerful that there were few challenges for them; he mentioned that a lot of Expanded Universe writers have done that with the Jedi, elevating their powers so far beyond what we saw in the movies. He considers it boring, because who could ever really challenge or defeat such characters? Characters had to genuinely surmount whatever difficulties that might create, not use a deus ex machina to escape.
    • An excellent example of his addressing this, specifically with respect to Star Wars, can be seen in the Hand of Thrawn duology, with Luke Skywalker finally learning a lesson that it took him from all the way back in The Empire Strikes Back (when he rushed off headlong to save his friends) to learn: the Force can guide a Jedi's actions, if they let it. He needed to let go of the torrent of raw power to hear, essentially, the wisdom of the Force. In doing so, he had to trust that his friends and family could handle themselves without him, as he knew they could, and to trust in his own abilities and his own path (the specific catalyst being to head to the one place where he saw a vision of himself, not just of others). It worked out pretty damn well. (This was promptly discarded by future writers, who went back to the style of superweapons and insane power for good and evil alike.)
    • This is subverted in Knights of the Old Republic. If you talk to Jolee Bindo, he will tell you about his friend with great Destiny, Andor Vex. He was monumentally strong in the Force and was prophesied to have a great destiny, which would change the face of the galaxy for centuries. He was captured by a marauding Warlord, and when approached, decided to rely on his reputation and perceived importance to history. This pissed off the warlord, who threw him down a reactor core ventilation shaft. His body hit something sensitive, causing the ship to be destroyed, along with the warlord, freeing the sector from his iron grip. So... yeah, destiny! To make it even better, Jolee Bindo does not relate the story as a piece of somber wisdom but as a hilarious anecdote, laughing the entire time he's telling it. He already knows what the PC's "great destiny" that everyone keeps alluding to is as well, he just likes openly messing with people.
  • Richard Rahl from The Sword of Truth flirts with this trope. Every book, he spends his time working himself into a more and more impossible situation, only to casually brush it aside at the climax.
  • Sarah in Tales of an Mazing Girl isn't completely invulnerable - but notably she acts that way with a cool, calm demeanor that is never frightened of the Monsters, ninjas, or Star Trek Cosplayers masquerading as ninjas she faces.
  • The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign: Kyousuke almost always wins his battles and manages to save everyone. While he might be at the disadvantage the first time he encounters a villain, by the second fight he's figured out a way to counter their strategy and defeat them. He can even defeat groups of soldiers in Powered Armor without summoning. There are two exceptions to this, however. Kyousuke never manages to defeat Elvast, even in the rematch. While he technically does figure out ways to stop the White Queen's plans, this is only possible because she's Yandere for him and considers it fun to let him win.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Perry Mason and Matlock. This is usually to prevent Karma Houdini because no-one else can ever figure this shit out for themselves. One of the actors on Perry Mason actually said that all of the four cases that Mason actually lost were declared mistrials off-camera.
  • This is explicitly discussed in Boston Legal's usual Meta way, when Alan gets worried that the lawyers of their firm are winning too much, making their cases less exciting.
  • Michael Westen in the early seasons of Burn Notice, at least in regards to his non-spy Villains Of The Week. His skills and resourcefulness so vastly outclass his opponents that there simply is no dramatic tension. It's a measure of Mike's usual invincibility that the most effective scene in the series showed him nearly whimpering in the face of one more, notably galling injustice. Michael's more serious opponents put up a better fight, and "beat" him several times. In later seasons, Michael is less invincible, as his plans often hit a major bump halfway through (often because the client does something stupid) that leaves him racing to regain control of the situation. Michael's invincibility was lampshaded by a member of a Russian assassination squad in Season 4's "Past and Future Tense"
    Russian assassin: He's Michael Westen! There's only four of us!
  • Horatio Caine from CSI: Miami, to such an extent that it is what the series has become infamous for.
  • Doctor Who:
    • After his first season (in which he was a very flawed and fallible hero doing his best in difficult circumstances), the Third Doctor's era had a tendency to fall into this. Jon Pertwee liked to play the Doctor as being always in control and one step ahead, and as time wore on in the era, the Brigadier devolved from a powerful and pragmatic figure the Doctor struggled to influence to a comedy incompetent the Doctor could easily overrule. Being the Doctor, he was smarter than everyone around him, and being the moral centre of the show, he was always right about everything. When Philip Hinchcliffe took over the producer role and Tom Baker the mantle of the Doctor, both liked the idea of making the Doctor a more distant and fearful figure who would face physical and emotional pain and make the occasional poor decision.
    • A common criticism of the Graham Williams era is that the Fourth Doctor ends up as one of these. The preceding era (produced by Philip Hinchcliffe) would often play Break the Badass with him by forcing him to struggle through his fear or physical pain, or having him paralysed by indecision and get squeamish about Shooting The Dog, or even letting him get Mind Raped or beaten up, so the powerful character of the Doctor and Tom Baker's charismatic performance would have something to overcome. But, by the Williams era, he's physically strong enough to best people in a straight-up fight, has all sorts of amazing Time Lord powers that get him out of scrapes, he can charm his way into making anyone love him or act his way into making anyone hate him, is so clever that he can solve the mysteries in his head and needs no-one else's help, and he does it all with a winning smile to the camera. His odd and difficult personality keeps him entertainingly flawed and he does some great character-based and slapstick comedy in these seasons, but it's almost never used to create in-story tension. The very first story of the JNT era signalled a big backlash from this by making the Doctor both physically and emotionally vulnerable in a way obvious in promotional pictures; later, the same producer oversaw the Doctor's regeneration into a younger and more subtle character defined by his flaws and vulnerabilities.
  • Subverted by Farscape - the heroes are all on the losing side all the time. Even their wins can't be considered as wins, more of a just-barely-managed-to-stay-alive-one-more-day situation. It's so bad that you might actually get pissed at the show for constantly making them lose.
  • Subverted with Peter Petrelli and Hiro Nakamura in Heroes. Peter could gain any other superhero's ability simply by standing near them. Hiro could stop time, teleport, and travel through time, making him nearly impossible to defeat in battle. However, the problem with these heroes was that they were given too many opportunities to solve all the problems of the plot too quickly. This meant that they had to clutch an Idiot Ball in order to keep the plot moving, leading to many Kill Him Already! moments among fans. Even the writers realized this and had both characters significantly weakened for a time.
  • While most Kamen Rider shows don't fall into this trope, there's a few where it happens either accidentally or deliberately:
    • Souji Tendou, the titular Kamen Rider Kabuto. He effortlessly defeats every single challenge that comes his way, and any exceptions are either Played for Laughs (such as his obsession with winning a scratchcard game) or because he let the other person win. It got so bad that the show had to introduce an Evil Twin just to give him an adequate challenge, and with that it only took a few episodes for him to overcome it. Tendou's fully aware that he's this trope and quite smug about it.
    • Kamen Rider Decade is basically the same as Kabuto, although slightly less smug about it. Decade's invincibility is deliberate, as his gimmick is being a Fixer Sue who travels between various stories based on the previous nine Riders, solves their problems, and leaves while having no story of his own to belong to. One movie explains his power level by claiming he's a new incarnation of the franchise as a whole's Big Bad.
    • Kamen Rider Wizard never once fails to stop a Phantom from driving the victim of the week to despair. The few times he almost does, the victim overcomes their trauma on their own and becomes another wizard. His only significant failures aside from Phoenix and Legion defeating him in battle, both of which are justifications for new powerups, come during the last act and are self-inflicted by a string of What the Hell, Hero? moments.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid plays with the trope by having the Lensman Arms Race culminate in Ex-Aid becoming literally invincible by gaining a form based on the Super Star. Despite now being physically invincible, however, Emu continues to suffer setbacks and delays for about a dozen more episodes because his opponent knows better than to challenge him to a fight, instead employing a long string of increasingly dirty tricks to fend off the heroes.
  • Sportacus from Lazytown. He has no character flaws, never fails at anything he tries, and is hero-worshiped by everyone (except Robbie Rotten). His only flaw is that he's as naive as everyone else in the show (except, again, Robbie) to the point where it becomes dorkily cute.
  • Eliot Spencer in Leverage. As the group's muscle, he is unstoppable. The bar for his abilities was set high in the show's pilot, as he enters a room full of armed mobsters and defeats them all in a matter of seconds. From this point on, anyone he faces is doomed. The fact that he works completely unarmed only adds to this trope. Subverted slightly with the introduction of Eliot's Evil Counterpart Quinn - who we find is actually similar (he easily fights at Eliot's level) to the point that the team calls him in as Eliot's substitute when they find themselves in an Enemy Mine situation.
  • MacGyver. Earlier seasons were still able to portray him as fairly interesting in spite of his contractual invincibility (if often through Diabolus ex Machina), but after the writers finished turning him into a full-fledged Fixer Sue, it got to a point where it was almost subversive to not have an improvised gadget work to full effect (it would still remedy the situation regardless...).
  • Patrick Jane from The Mentalist fits this archetype very well. It doesn't matter what manner of outlandish or dickish moves or claims he pulls, he will always be justified in doing them, even if there would be no reason to do so beforehand. He always wins. A fine example of this is the fourth season premiere, where he manages to drum up a million dollars by himself for bail while in jail and manages to get away with murdering a man who had never been investigated prior, by convincing the jury that the man was his arch-nemesis when in reality he wasn't.
  • Parodied in a sketch of That Mitchell and Webb Look, in which a hero who can summon an army of angels teams up with a hero who can ride a BMX bike really well. The BMX hero keeps suggesting clever ways to fight the villains with his BMX bike, but the other hero keeps pointing out that simply summoning an army of angels would solve all their problems.
  • Shawn Spencer in Psych; others might one-up him once or twice an episode but it's always Shawn (except maybe for A Day in the Limelight episodes) who makes the final break and solves the case. He's so damn smug about it, you find yourself wishing he'd lose in his own arena at least once.
  • Has come close to killing Survivor a few times. Often, one tribe comes into the merge so down on numbers that the members only have a shot at winning if the other tribe breaks. More recent seasons have added extra means of immunity to counteract this. Boston Rob Mariano in particular has overtaken Russell Hantz as the Creator's Pet, and getting his own Survivor season to himself with the dumbest cast since Samoa. And given that the players in Samoa made stupid move after stupid move, that's saying a lot!
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena, while supposedly a regular mortal (questions about her true father aside), is pretty much unbeatable. She has defeated entire armies on her own along with war gods, archangels, and demons in direct battle despite their vastly superior strength. Any time she meets an enemy she cannot directly defeat she either acquires new powers, skills, or weapons that allow her to triumph or her enemies conveniently forget about the powers that would let them easily defeat a mortal.
  • Mr. Monk is darn near invincible. On the extremely rare occasion that he's unable to figure out a crime, or if the perp is able to get away because he can't put things together fast enough (or in one case because of a slick lawyer), it darn near destroys him. So much so that he tries to leave the detective business for good. His inability to solve Trudi's murder is one of the biggest anchors holding him down. When he finally solves it in the series finale, a lot of his problems start to grow less severe.
  • The Great British Bake Off:
    • Brendan in series 3 made it to the final having been pretty much perfect in every week, only not being Star Baker every week due to moments of genius from the other contestants (James in particular). His safe but efficient style wasn't enough in the final, but his being there was almost guaranteed from the start.
    • Arguably Ruth, the runner-up of series 1, who was so calm and composed, she would often finish ahead of time while everyone else was rushing to meet the deadline.
    • And perhaps series 4 finalist Kimberley as well, who showed few weaknesses in the contest but ended up on the wrong side of a Technician Versus Performer battle with Frances.
    • Series 6's Ian rarely messed up and managed to win Star Baker three times in a row. He ultimately didn't win in the final, however.
    • Both series 8's Sophie and Steven fit this to different degrees; the latter won Star Baker three times (including the first two weeks) and only came close to elimination in the semi-final (leading many to claim he was a plant), whereas the former was always somewhere between the middle and top and never really lost her calm. It was obvious from the first two episodes that they'd be finalists, the only question being who'd join them.
  • Wonder Woman: Thanks to Executive Meddling, Wonder Woman's opponents generally were physically overwhelmed. The producers in the 1970's were very worried about the vision of a woman being hit by a man on prime time television so they generally didn't allow it. The result was an even more invincible heroine than she was in the comics.

  • Hjältekväde ("Hero's song") is a popular song at Swedish SCA gatherings, about the noble duke Caspian (no relation to the Narnia guy) who leads his army to fight the enemy. Except he dies in the seventh verse from a stray arrow. But since the song is (jokingly intended to be) commissioned by "the duke" (maybe a successor or relative, maybe Caspian himself), the songwriter amends this by having a goose land on his head and take the arrow. As the song continues, the hero gets killed in several un-heroic but fairly realistic ways (he gets stabbed by a spearman from behind, crushed by a panicking horse, and butchered by the more skilled enemy leader) and hastily saved by various contrivances (he's carrying a sack of potatoes on his back for explicitly no reason at all, the horse falls in love with a passing moose, and he wins the duel with no description at all). The song continues to sing about how dull it is to have the hero win all the time and never let him even take a scratch, but assures the listeners that when real nobles go out to fight, they're just as vulnerable as anyone else...
  • Although not necessarily heroes, GWAR has battled forces that have threatened mankind and they've come out on top each time.
  • Lampshaded and parodied by Blues Traveler in their song "Run-Around": "Like a bad play where the heroes are right/And nobody thinks or expects too much/Hollywood's callin' for the movie rights/Sayin' hey babe, let's keep in touch"
  • Marty Robbins' "Big Iron" sidesteps this problem by having minor characters narrate the story. The ranger presumably knows he will win, but the townsfolk looking on do not: the dramatic tension comes from their fear.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • In most monotheistic religions, God is an omnipotent, invincible being who can do anything.
    • One of the calling cards of Catholicism is a larger focus on the Virgin Mary. It has been speculated that the reason is simple: many practitioners can relate more to the Virgin Mary than Jesus or God because of this trope.
    • Also a factor in Jesus Was Way Cool.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Any match between a main eventer (face or heel) and someone lower down the card involving a potential world title change will inevitably involve this. Even if the lower-carder does manage to win, it's usually the result of a disqualification or countout (on which the title cannot change hands); if not, it's a non-title match, often for the lower-carder to "earn" a title shot. Like you would REALLY have Shelton Benjamin win the world title.
  • Among the members of the newly formed NWA, Lou Thesz was considered the Trope Maker. One of the selling points that managed to unite the territories of the 1940s was that each would have a say in who held the World Titles, but Thesz worked behind the scenes to ensure that the man with the World Heavyweight Title was him.
  • Concerning The Big Three of Lucha Libre, El Santo reached his status by connecting with the audience in ways he did not even fully understand, The Blue Demon rose to the top through sheer force of talent, being the best-regarded among Santo's many rivals, and Mil Mascaras became a legend pretty much by not losing, ever. In Lucha Libre Internacional and The Universal Wrestling Association, the aforementioned Thesz was succeeded by El Canek, but not even he could beat Mil Mascaras.
  • Both members of BI Cannon, Giant Baba and Antonio Inoki, were viewed as talented wrestlers, but Baba was believed to be the better booker and a much better promoter. Baba's All Japan Pro Wrestling often dominated Inoki's New Japan Pro-Wrestling, until the NOAH exodus anyway, but as a wrestler, Inoki was a much bigger star than Baba and is the most popular pro wrestler in Japan of all time after Rikidozan, mainly because Inoki always won, and usually in decisive fashion.
  • Most of WWE's main event faces seem to have this aura of invincibility around them. Hulk Hogan will lose cleanly once in a blue moon. Hulk Hogan's a fairly interesting example here, as that same aura of invincibility that made him a god in the WWF bored WCW fans to tears (well, that, and the horrible storylines and god-awful gimmicks that surrounded him). Then they turned him heel, and he became more popular than he was since he left WWF. Then he greatly outstayed his welcome and the problems started again, only as an Invincible Villain.
  • The Ultimate Warrior is the poster child of an "Invincible Hero." The Ultimate Warrior possessed an arsenal that consisted of clotheslines and shoulder blocks. He managed to beat the Honky Tonk Man in 31 seconds for the IC belt at SummerSlam 88, beat Hulk Hogan for the WWE World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania VI in 1990, and generally never lost a match unless severe interference was involved. He was eventually fired for extorting Vince McMahon for more money, only to be eventually rehired by Vince and make a return at WrestleMania XII. He capped off his career in the WWF by completely no-selling Triple H's Pedigree and remaining undefeated until he was fired again.
  • In WWC, La Tigresa after a Heel–Face Turn; her third WWC Women's Title run was from April 17th, 1993 to February 25th, 1998 when she had to vacate the belt due to an arrest.
  • The ultimate professional wrestling example of this trope is Goldberg. He had a winning streak of 173 after his WCW debut, finally broken by Kevin Nash after Scott Hall shocked him with a taser. Although this is an example of Tropes Are Tools; many, many fans didn't consider the streak boring at all. Goldberg could still get outwitted by other wrestlers though. And Bret Hart beat Goldberg several times after the streak was broken. And Goldberg lost some of his invincibility once he joined WWE.
  • Triple H gets a lot of this, to the extent that reviewer guidelines for Smackdown vs. RAW '09 explicitly forbade showing him in a "prone or defenseless position". Guess how that one went.
  • Subverted by Pro Wrestling NOAH in the case of heavyweight champion Jun Akiyama vs. challenger Masao Inoue, a perennial heel midcarder who'd unexpectedly won a contender's tournament... since his inevitable doom was so "obvious" — Inoue could neither overpower, outsmart, nor out-wrestle Akiyama — that the match began with him immediately using his signature moves at the beginning and became a race to see if he could outheel his opponent in time, Inoue's "tricky" cheating heel ways against Akiyama's heel brutality...
  • The Briscoe Bros get accused of this a lot in relation to Ring of Honor and Full Impact Pro's Tag Team divisions, especially after their Heel–Face Turn. Where it took over a decade for there to emerge a three-time holder of any other belt the team had already held the ROH tag team belts eight times. Even when the Kings Of Wrestling managed to surpass the Briscoes as the longest-running tag team champions Mark and Jay proved able to reliably beat the Chris and Claudio to the point the latter had to run all sorts of outside interference to stay competitive. It wasn't until reDRagon that the Briscoes finally met their match as a tag team, although as individuals Mark and Jay are much more fallible.
  • This is one of the main criticisms that John Cena receives, on multiple levels: He's been pushed so heavily for so long that he almost never loses, and any loss is always accompanied by a mitigating factor (e.g.: outside interference, his opponent cheating, Cena tripped and fell, being screwed over by a crooked referee or heel authority figure, a tag team partner betraying him, etc.) Furthermore, Cena simply does not care about any losses he incurs, always laughing them off, treating them as a fluke or simply showing up the next night with no injuries whatsoever. The intention was probably to promote good sportsmanship, but when you don't have consequences that characters actually care about then it sucks all the drama from the room. In the ring itself, he's infamous for having four to five Heroic Second Winds per match at uneven intervals.
  • Austin Aries in TNA, specifically in their X-Division, so much so that "Option C" (anyone with the X Division belt can trade it in for a shot at the World Heavyweight Title) was created just to get the belt off Austin Aries, and even then, Aries himself created Option C, and it was heavily implied that he did so on the assumption he could always win back the X Division Title.
  • The Ryback character debuted as one of these. Until WrestleMania 29, he had only lost four matches (five including the Royal Rumble, and even then, he was the last elimination), and only two of which can technically be called "fair." First, a crooked ref low-blows him against CM Punk, then he's against The Shield, a group of three powerful guys, who even then will usually get beaten down by him without the element of surprise. His only "fair" losses were a six-man tag match teaming with Daniel Bryan and Kane, and another TLC match against CM Punk after an interference by The Shield, as in TLC matches there are really no rules to be broken. Ryback lost a match to Mark Henry in ridiculous fashion at WrestleMania and following his Face–Heel Turn and resulting feud against John Cena, lost almost all of his invincibility and went on to lose fairly often, oftentimes to guys much lower on the card than him.
  • Jon Moxley: While this did not apply to him when he was still Dean Ambrose in WWE and before then, Moxley in AEW has been booked to be a nearly unstoppable force who's able to take down any challenger who stands in his path, has overcome formerly insurmountable wrestlers like Bryan Danielson who could solidly defeat Moxley pre-AEW, and rarely, if ever, eats a clean pin or tapout. So far, the only people who have beaten him cleanly are Lancer Archer, CM Punk, Adam Page and Fénix. And even then, Archer's victory over Moxley happened in a death match without Mox being pinned or submitted and Fenix's victory over Moxley happened as a last minute decision because Moxley got concussed during their match and decided to just let Fenix take the title off of him.

  • In sports, whenever a season gets utterly dominated by an unstoppable favorite, particularly if even other strong contestants can't keep up with them. At time fans can still like it, particularly a Flashy Invincible Hero (the NBA Finals' audience records were when Michael Jordan was trampling everyone). Other times, they'll just get bored (Michael Schumacher winning five straight Formula One championships, with barely any competition most years, or Floyd Mayweather amassing an undefeated record despite his recent fights being criticised and compared unfavourably to a "love story" i.e. excessive hugging), or outright mixed reception (The modern-day New England Patriots with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady).

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, every army is this... when appearing in their own codex. When they are appearing in other races' codexes, they tend to get beaten...
    • Some codices don't take the Invincible Hero approach. Codex: Eldar shows that while they still have much strength in them, they are quite clearly sliding towards inevitable destruction. Codex: Dark Eldar is the same: the Dark Eldar are doomed.
    • And The Imperial Guard- A textbook Redshirt Army of utterly expended troops herded off to die by moronic (or treacherous) generals to fight against horrifying foes and executed for the slightest infraction. Despite all of this, they still win often.
    • The Ork logic goes something along these lines: "Orkz are never beaten in combat, if we win we win, if we die, we die fighting so that doesn't count and if we run away it's OK because we're always back for anuvver go".
    • Tyranids avert this painfully, being the only army whose own rulebook goes into vast description about all the times the Tyranids lose. (Granted, nearly every single one of these cases serves as textbook examples of Pyrrhic Victory.) The logic is supposedly "if they won, you wouldn't be hearing about it." As the Tyranids measure it, their invasion so far has been a reconnaissance mission before the bulk of their forces arrive.
  • This is criticism that is very often leveled against Exalted, as the eponymous Exalted themselves are always portrayed by the system as completely indestructible übermensch that can outplan Batman, outdrink Tony Stark, outfight everyone and survive any attack. The cunning player and GM will find many, many weaknesses that can be exploited in order to make their lives miserable, no least the crippling flaw all Exalted must choose.
  • The Challenge Rating system introduced in 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons was specifically weighted to select opponents that the player characters had a fairly good chance of demolishing, as the expectation was that they'd tackle about four fights in a row before they'd get to replenish resources. That didn't stop game masters from siccing an occasional above-CR opponent on the heroes to keep them from getting cocky, but one who stuck strictly to equal-CR encounters and allowed too many rest-and-recharge breaks could easily turn their campaigns into this trope.

    Video Games 
  • Disgaea:
    • The series spoofs this as characters are well aware that this trope is one of the privileges of the Main Character/Hero and will try to steal the spot when they can. However, in the actual storylines, the main character usually has his ass completely handed to him by a character a thousand levels higher at least once.
    • In Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, Mao wants to defeat the overlord. He's been studying tropes, so he figures his best bet is to become a hero since heroes never lose. Super Hero Aurum from the same game used to be one of these, but then he went crazy.
  • Zettai Hero Project has the Unlosing Ranger, who never theory. The previous Unlosing Ranger got hit by a car on the way to a fight and ended up passing the costume on to the protagonist, who proceeds to constantly lose every fight against the villain, regardless of how hard he trains. Then he faces his past and becomes a true hero, winning the fight.
  • Ike in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. He even tells the Final Boss before fighting her that in every battle he's been in, he always comes out on top. Interestingly enough, Ike is actually the antagonist in several parts of Radiant Dawn when you're playing as Micaiah. He even appears as a boss in one chapter, and can be fought normally— And he still never loses! If you defeat him, you'll "win" the chapter automatically (normally it's a defend mission), he'll comment about how much trouble he's having but he'll receive unexpected reinforcements and the following cutscene explains that you're still losing the battle. Regardless of what side the player is on, Ike's forces beat Micaiah's every time.
  • Grotesque Tactics — both the first and second game — is generally an RPG parody and plays with tropes all the time, but nothing as much as Holy Avatar — he is the proverbial knight in shining armor, with cool shades and three maidens all fawning over him, and he has been everywhere, done everything. Adding to this trope is one of his special attacks, which is a one-hit-kill for weaker enemies, actually stating so in the description of the skill!
  • Some in the Touhou Project fandom depict Reimu Hakurei as this, an unstoppable force not unlike a Determinator but with much less motivation required. Storyline-wise this is somewhat accurate; the main purpose of the spellcard system is to let anyone have a fair go at Reimu while ruling out the possibility of accidentally killing her, as her existence is necessary for the setting's continued existence. On the other hand, she has lost a number of fights in the multiplayer games' story modes and was outright stomped by Watatsuki no Yorihime, who herself is a clearer example, capable of defeating Sakuya Izayoi, Remilia Scarlet, Marisa Kirisame and Reimu herself, all of them considered some of the strongest players in Gensokyo, in succession. It is later revealed that she actively defies this in Imperishable Night: her last word, Fantasy Heaven, has her fly away from reality and it is said that the only reason it doesn't make her unstoppable is due to a self-imposed time limit. For reasons only known to herself, she tries to limit the use of this ability to the absolute minimum, even if it could theoretically solve many of her problems (like the above Watatsuki no Yorihime.)
  • Though averted in gameplay, Fridge Logic turns Altaïr Ibn La-Ahad of Assassin's Creed into this. The game's Framing Device has Desmond using the Animus to relive Altaïr's life through ancestral memory and the health bar is represented as "sync". If the player does something that the "real" Altaïr never did, like killing an innocent, Desmond loses sync with Altaïr's memories, and instead of death, Desmond is fully desynchronized from the Animus and must re-enter. You also lose sync if Altaïr takes any damage in a fight. Which means the "real" Altaïr never had an enemy land a hit on him.
  • Undertale: Although the player character can die, you can always reload a save and try again. What makes this count is that this is a major plot point In-Universe: characters such as Sans and Flowey are well aware of this ability and both comment on how many times you've died facing them, and the latter is even better at this than you are, since not only can he screw around with your own save file, but abuse a save-state function that you can't even use. Of course, this only counts if you're doing the Neutral or Pacifist Runs: if you're doing the Genocide Run, Frisk becomes an Invincible Villain.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In the series' mythology, this is said to be a trait of Zenithar, the Aedric Divine God of Work and Commerce. His followers specifically call him "the god who will always win", and he stands to gain from any action. He is also described as a "warrior god", though "one who is restrained and reserved in times of peace". He also has traits of being a Reasonable Authority Figure and preaches the benefits of being an Honest Corporate Executive.
    • The HoonDing is the Yokudan (Precursors of the Redguards) spirit of perseverance over infidels and the "Make Way" god. The HoonDing has historically manifested whenever it is needed to "make way" for the Yokudan/Redguard people. It usually manifests as a weapon that can destroy any enemy, but it can also manifest itself using mortal avatars. According to some interpretations, these avatars aren't necessarily the HoonDing itself, but the HoonDing taking over and/or working through the avatar. The key feature of the HoonDing is that no matter what, nothing will stop it from making way.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog has been accused of becoming one in later installments of the franchise. No matter how daunting a task may be, he usually ends up solving it with little to no issue and at worst will just get beaten down by the villains for a while before recovering and coming out on top regardless. This is most evident in Sonic Forces where, despite being locked up and torturednote  for six months and Eggman taking over most of the world, Sonic shows no signs of being worse for wear from it and ends up turning the whole situation around in the span of a few hours. The Archie Comic made it the most apparent after its short-lived Continuity Reboot, where one of the mandates SEGA inforced on it was that Sonic could only ever face a temporary setback that must be undone in the span of that issue.
  • Doshin the Giant can only be killed by falling off the edge of the world.
  • The protagonist of Megaton Rainfall is a Flying Brick who's unkillable so long as he stays away from black holes.
  • You Have to Burn the Rope: Your character cannot die by any means.
  • Yakuza: As the series goes on, Kazuma Kiryu is basically treated as an unstoppable force of nature that simply cannot be beaten in a fair fight (which is why villains often resort to threatening Haruka). At best, certain characters like Taiga Saejima can get close to a stalemate, but never a full victory. This becomes most evident in "Like a Dragon", where he single-handedly takes on Ichiban and (ignoring the Arbitrary Head Count) his entire crew (including another Han) and beats them with little trouble while likely holding back.

    Web Animation 
  • In Turnabout Storm, Twilight remarks how suspicious it is that the murder victim had a flawless winning record (it turns out he blackmailed every competitor who posed a threat), and Phoenix agrees. The joke is that Phoenix had a perfect record of his own until he took Matt Engarde's case and that the games make a big deal out of most of the prosecutors having perfect win records (until they come up against Phoenix, of course).
  • In Dragon ShortZ, Yamcha is this at baseball; he's hit 500 consecutive home runs and his team literally hasn't lost a game since he joined. Unfortunately due to this nobody watches anymore; literally the only fans in attendance are Yamcha's friends. He's fired, but his contract is bought out and he's offered 20 billion zeni to never play for another team (and he still gets to sign endorsement deals), and he immediately turns that money into intelligent, profitable investments. Not bad for a character who's defined by his Butt-Monkey status in everything OTHER than baseball.

  • The Goblins B-comic Tempts Fate has the hero perform based on the number of donations the readers send in. Needless to say, Tempts Fate wins every battle with extreme ease, and the readers can feel the accomplishment of having helped along this overwhelming victory.
  • Mob Psycho 100: The protagonist Shigeo "Mob" Kageyama is often regarded as one of the most powerful espers in the world and is capable of taking down evil spirits or enemy espers that cross his paths. Especially during the early arcs. It's downplayed, however, as Mob isn't interested in living up to this archetype and would prefer to live a normal life. It's also worth mentioning that his master Reigen is strongly against his pupil fighting adult espers and implores him not to use his powers when possible.
  • Rai from Noblesse is perhaps the strongest character in the whole Noblesse-verse, only matched by the Lord. But the more he uses his powers, the more he uses up his life force, and by the time of writing this, he is already beyond recovery.
  • The duo of protagonists from Skullkickers certainly qualify. They don't seem to take as much as a scratch in any fight, both are nigh-invulnerable and beat any odds with ease. They also come equipped with a handgun in a medieval setting — for the short while they lost this edge, a Deus ex Machina reunited the characters with their lost gear almost immediately.
  • In the dozen-plus years Sluggy Freelance has been around, there have only been a handful of characters who aren't horribly outclassed when facing Bun-Bun, and only three who have ever actually beaten him in one-on-one combat: Aylee's evil clone, Blacksoul (who is actually Bun-Bun from the future), and Oasis (who had to suddenly unveil pyrokinetic abilities to pull that off). Bun-Bun only barely qualifies as a hero. An alternative view is that Bun-Bun works as a way to establish an enemy as 'top tier', and the rarity of beating him is so it keeps its credibility and doesn't suffer from The Worf Effect.
  • Sonichu:
    • Interestingly, for all of an Author Avatar that she is, Comic Chris subverts this greatly, mostly in her earlier stories. Most of her battles seem to have her on the ropes, ending up rescued by someone else before she turns the tables on her opponents.
    • Sonichu himself would most often defeat all of his opponents, sometimes with lethal force, without breaking a sweat. It comes from a combination of the author's belief that her characters are real, not wanting to make her characters work hard to achieve their goals, and most of the Sonichu stories being her way of venting her frustration at some obstacle in her life.
    • This is actually a rather bizarre case of an Enforced Trope- the author believes that all her characters are real in some degree that letting them be defeated would be tantamount to hurting a sentient being.
  • Wapsi Square features many former supervillains (teenage angst and forced Mad Science murder rituals don't mix) who have immortality, and the two main characters get upgraded to this after saving the world for the first time (actually, they were bred to be immortal, but didn't realize it until after one of the few things that could kill them was obliterated). The implication is that the story is shifting to two newly introduced characters, Astali and Castella (the fact that Astali grows big boobs just like the main character is great evidence for this).
  • Gray from Weak Hero has won every single fight that he's participated in. In fact, it's his philosophy to never engage in a fight if he isn't certain that he'll win. His fight with Wolf, over eighty episodes into the webcomic, is the first time he suffers anything more than a scrape. When Gray fights, it's not a question of if he'll win, but how he will.

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe: There has been discussion on the Whateley forum boards to the effect that Team Kimba as a whole may be turning into this, though; they're uncommonly powerful for a group of freshmen (and that power has only grown considerably since their introduction about a single in-universe semester ago with no sign of slowing down yet), have so far suffered only temporary setbacks at worst, and their adversaries keep underestimating them to the point where the suspension of disbelief starts to show stretch marks. They survived their one real loss ('Birthday Brawl') intact, with the purpose of the story being to replace the "Cardboard Prison" and "Offscreen Villain Dark Matter" tropes with onscreen events that serve the same narrative purpose.
  • In the GameFAQs Character Battles, Link always wins. While the other characters have seen their strength fluctuate over the years, Link started as a God tier character, and just kept on climbing. He was removed from the main bracket in 2005 to give other characters a chance to win. Due to a Retool changing the format to four-way free-for-alls, Link returned to the main bracket in 2007, but by then, not even the rest of the nine characters considered to be the strongest could touch him, never mind any other poor sod unlucky enough to get in his way. Humorously, the one time Link was defeated in the Character Battles, it was by the Tetris L-Block. It was plainly obvious that this only happened because the GameFAQs userbase was simply sick of Link winning every year without fail. And then DRAAAAAVEN, using general popularity of League of Legends, stole Link's victory a second time.
  • Deconstructed in Cracked's 3 Reasons It's So Hard to Make Superman Interesting, which spends a page deconstructing the Invincible Hero and then another reconstructing a hero faced with the Sadistic Choice of whom to save at any given moment.

    Web Videos 
  • Max Landis's video short "Wrestling Isn't Wrestling" characterizes John Cena as this, portraying all of his matches as effortless victories in which he instantly dispatches his opponent with a vapid smile and then shrugs.

    Western Animation 
  • Most Looney Tunes protagonists lean into this trope.
    • Bugs Bunny has spent the whole of his career as a Karmic Trickster effortlessly outwitting and humiliating B-listers and icons alike in the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies pantheon, such as Beaky Buzzard and Daffy Duck respectively. So untouchable is Bugs, that of the many adversaries he faced over the roughly 172 cartoons he originally starred in, the number of characters able to best the trickster rabbit can be counted on one hand. Some villains, such as Yosemite Sam and Marvin the Martian, were created to give Bugs a more formidable and less sympathetic opponent.
    • Speedy Gonzales's Super-Speed made him near untouchable by antagonists such as Sylvester (the odd occasion the cat actually placed the mouse in his mouth he often merely charged with enough power to rip (harmlessly) through his tail, suggesting it was actually physically impossible for Sylvester to eat Speedy).
  • The Warner Siblings from Animaniacs, even when facing foes like Satan or Death himself, always manage to dupe their adversaries, and are seemingly invincible due to Toon Physics. Rarely do they ever lose, and they usually effortlessly outsmart or clobber any Jerkass who bothers them.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers. The show becomes somewhat better since the Planeteers are the main stars, but the Cap himself often feels more like some sort of Deus ex Machina who can just fix anything. Some episodes have him immobilized by pollution (or hate), forcing the Planeteers to help him, but usually he's just called within the last five minutes to easily defeat the villain and magically repair whatever damage has been done. He's made slightly more interesting whenever he is forced to fight his evil twin and gets his ass handed to him.
  • Ōban Star-Racers averts this so much it can be considered an inversion: the Earth team seems to get by winning as few races as possible. At least one time their continuation hinged on a match they weren't even in.
  • Lampshaded and mocked in Futurama when Fry writes a superhero comic:
    Leela: If I could offer a little constructive criticism — there was never any real peril. Delivery Man has like 30 superpowers!
    Fry: That's because he was bitten by a radioactive Superman!
  • The Silver Skeeter in Doug's comic book episodes: He's made of liquid metal (thus Nigh Invulnerable) and can fly through space on his skateboard, which is extreme compared with Quail Man's intellectual "powers of the Quail." Doug, frustrated that Skeeter's God-Mode Sue is taking over his story, calls Skeeter out with this trope.
  • The 1967 Hanna-Barbera series Shazzan featured an all-powerful Genie as its title character; the writers professed difficulty with the series because Shazzan was so powerful that they couldn't think up any difficulties for him to face. In one episode, Nancy was trapped in The Underworld and Shazzan couldn't just teleport her back. In another, the kids were trapped behind a forcefield that Shazzan couldn't affect. That was about it. Chuck and Nancy need to put their rings together and say "Shazzan" for him to appear so most of the conflicts involved them being separated or the rings being stolen.
  • DC Animated Universe
    • Lampshaded in Batman: The Animated Series episode Joker's Wild, when after Batman returns from yet another seeming demise, The Joker shouts "Why can't he ever stay dead!?" A bit rich coming from him.
    • Superman: The Animated Series shows that Joker feels this way about Batman even compared to Superman. He swings by Metropolis and casually offers to kill Superman for Lex Luthor in exchange for a million dollars, and when Lex points out that he can't take down a "mere mortal" like Batman, Joker snaps:
    • Lampshaded by Superman himself in his "World of Cardboard" speech in a Justice League Unlimited episode.
      "That man [referring to Batman] won't quit as long as he can still draw a breath. None of my teammates will. Me? I've got a different problem. I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard, always taking constant care not to break something, to break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control even for a moment, or someone could die."
  • Lampshaded — or should it be Mirrored Disco Balled? — in Batman: The Brave and the Bold with the song "Drives Us Bats", in which the Music Meister — and eventually the DC Universe — expresses hilariously the frustrations of dealing with the omnipotent god-dammed Batman.
  • In Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons, the Designated Villain is always condemned to failure. It gets tiresome after a while and makes one want to go Rooting for the Empire. Your sympathy is supposed to lie with Wile E. Coyote. The thing of it is, he could stop the pain at any time by not chasing the Roadrunner.
  • In Tom and Jerry, Tom occasionally got a victory over Jerry (especially in later shorts), often when the mouse started their Escalating War without provocation. Add to that as often as Jerry won, he was still vulnerable to Amusing Injuries, albeit not nearly as often as Tom. Jerry's Invincible Hero status is partially owed to Parody Displacement. There are a deceptively large amount of shorts where Jerry wasn't the clear victor (either due to Tom getting the last laugh, or the two falling into a stalemate where neither was better off). Even in the instances Jerry was victorious, the times he won handily were uncommon, with him often shown struggling against Tom, or taking nearly as much slapstick pain and humiliation as he did.
  • Averted in Hercules: The Animated Series. After the movie became a hit, the mouse house decided to make a weekday afternoon toon based on it. Except that by the end of the film, Herc is incredibly powerful and has handily defeated nearly every major threat mythological ancient Greece had to offer. The solution was to make the TV show an interquel taking place during Herc's high school years (a period skipped over entirely in the film) with Hercules always self-identifying as a "hero in training," and looking a tad scrawny compared to his adult self from the latter two-thirds of the movie.
  • A sort of in-universe example happens in one episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius when Jimmy is actually banned from the school Science Fair because everyone is sick of him winning year after year.
  • Played for laughs with Brock Samson in The Venture Bros..
  • The Mask. He's invincible due to deliberate cartoon physics as a given superpower. His only weakness is that his mask can be removed, but even then he can fool his adversaries with trick mask removals. Though he does have quirks that get in the way such as being genuinely insane, wacky, having a short attention span, and having Skewed Priorities}}. Plus, in one episode, it shows that if the wearer is sick, the Mask will get an even worse version of the disease, no matter if it is the common cold.
  • Eric Cartman tries to act like one on South Park, in the "Good Times with Weapons" episode. Every time the other kids give their ninjas a power, Cartman immediately jumps in and declares that he has a better version of the same power.
    Cartman: I am Bulrog and I have lots and lots of powers.
    Kyle: No, asshole! From now on you only get to have one power! So what is it?!
    Cartman: I have the power to have all the powers I want.
  • The ¡Mucha Lucha! episode "Doomien" has Rikochet and Buena Girl as a tag-team who always seems to win, to the point that no one is actually rooting for them in the tag-team matches.
  • The eponymous character of Kim Possible. This got lampshaded in one episode by her younger cousin Joss, who began the episode idolizing Kim as an unstoppable badass, and ended it idolizing her sidekick Ron instead, declaring that Kim's invincibility just makes her boring because it's a Foregone Conclusion that she's just going to stomp the bad guy without even breaking a sweat, while Ron being a Cowardly Lion who loyally follows Kim into danger despite being scared out of his mind 90% of the time (and out of his pants the other 10%) actually makes him the truer hero. The Grand Finale averts this. While Kim could barely stop Warmonga, Warhak was too much for her and had to be stopped by Ron.
  • Mandy in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy claims that she "never loses." Over the course of the series, she seems to have backed up that claim pretty well. She's gone up against all sorts of things, and anything she couldn't take out on her own, she could with Billy's help. Every competition she enters, she takes the top spot. Several times, she becomes the Evil Overlord of the universe. It's no wonder she's a Deadpan Snarker — it's the only thing left that amuses her. She did lose to the Kids Next Door once, though. The Abominable Snowman gave her a run for her money as well, needing Grim taking advantage of a glacier to beat him.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Captain Implausible is a superhero on a show within the show. The whole premise of his show is he's impossible to beat.
    • That about sums up Phineas and Ferb's whole situation. When you have to build your own super-intelligent A.I. and program it to trap you repeatedly in order to have a little fun, and then you defeat it effortlessly, it's difficult to ever feel afraid for you. The only times Phineas and Ferb can't do something is usually when they simply decide that they can't. Accordingly, if there's any tension in Phineas and Ferb, it's usually emotional tension, such as Phineas being angry at Perry in The Movie. Eventually Lampshaded in Milo Murphy's Law where it is revealed that they have a reality-bending superpower that makes sure their plans always work as long as they are both working on it.
  • Felix the Cat. In the comics, he always had some Applied Phlebotinum (magic beans, magic carpet, magic potion, magical gnome servants, etc.) on hand when he needed it. The 50s series condensed all these items into his signature magic bag, which can turn into or produce anything. (It also served as a convenient MacGuffin to get the bad guys after him.)
  • The title hero of Hanna-Barbera's The Atom Ant Show (1965-1968). In one episode only it was revealed (and subsequently forgotten) that he could be involuntarily distracted by the presence of a picnic.
  • The Dreamstone, while Rufus and Amberley waver inconsistently between this and an Invincible Incompetent, the Dream Maker and Wuts were almost completely unassailable, having insurmountable magic powers that could take out the Urpneys (and sometimes even Zordrak) with utter ease (Rufus and Amberley's competence usually depended on how long they needed to pad out the story until the other more powerful heroes could quickly take care of everything). The Wuts suffered only a single case of The Worf Effect in "The Spidermobile".
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, our protagonist Marinette Dupain-Cheng never loses. Both justified by her main power being luck and downplayed by the drawbacks her hero life have on her civilian life. However, there are moments that her main partner, Cat Noir, isn't even necessary and Ladybug wins by mix of Plot Armor, Zany Scheme, and New Powers as the Plot Demands.
  • The creators of Young Justice (2010) mentioned that they weakened a number of characters for the show so that they wouldn't be Story Breakers. Superboy and Miss Martian in particular are far less powerful than their comic book counterparts, and this may extend to Superman and Martian Manhunter as well.
  • This is the reason Yoda rarely got A Day in the Limelight on Star Wars: The Clone Wars: the writers had problems coming up with something that would challenge him. He directly fought the Separatists only once, and eventually starred in a Force-themed story.
  • Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty. For a certain definition of "hero". Even given the Sadist Show nature of the series, Rick is notable for his impressive win record against villains. He has gone up against galactic governments, alien scientists, impossibly vast and powerful extradimensional beings, and even the Devil himself, and he has outsmarted and defeated all of them. Even alternative versions of himself have been made fools of. Only a single episode so far has ended with Rick not coming out on top. It's not the Season 2 finale which sees him being arrested by the galactic government; he allowed himself to be captured so he could bring it down from the inside. And he does. He has, however, been bested by Evil Morty. He only escapes death because Morty saves him at the last second. The Season 3 finale is also another rare failure for Rick, as all has plans have fallen apart and Jerry is back with Beth, and the family are stronger than ever. Season 4 finale also is a moment of failure for Rick, as both Space Beth and Normal Beth have rejected Rick alongside Morty and Summer, and that episode ends with Rick lamenting upon his mistakes.
    • And these are just the example we've seen! Morty's Mind Blowers shows at least one minor example Rick cared enough to wipe from Morty, who knows what other petty losses he has had.
    • In "Vindicators 3 The Return Of World Ender", Rick brutally kills the World Ender offscreen. In a matter of hours. While being so drunk that he doesn't even remember doing it the morning after. Good grief.
  • Though the titular stars of The Ripping Friends play this up to a degree for laughs by basically having them get off to pain, they do manage to get at least somewhat roughed up from time to time. The show REALLY has fun with the concept when Pooperman rolls up to the party, though. He's basically Superman (If the name wasn't enough of a clue) with even more ridiculous powers like shooting missiles from his legs and growing his fists to massive size to boost his already unstoppable strength, and he has absolutely no weaknesses at all. Thankfully he's a genuinely good guy (not even sinking to Smug Super levels)... at least until he's mind-controlled by evil sentient underpants.