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Logical Weakness

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Bipper: You can't stop me! I'm a being of pure energy with no weakness!
Mabel: True, but you're in Dipper's body, and I know all his weaknesses.
Bipper: What do you mean, his...?
Mabel: Tickle, tickle!
Gravity Falls, "Sock Opera"

Some authors hold that their character's powers shouldn't run exclusively on the Rule of Cool, and decide to inject some relative realism into the situation, resulting in a hero whose weakness is a bit different from the rest of the Super crowd.

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These guys aren't allergic to arbitrarily chosen household items, nor strange items related to their origin story. Their weaknesses are, in fact, a direct result of their particular superpowers. For example, a character who can cast fireballs may find themselves powerless during a rainstorm, or a Shock and Awe hero might find themselves at risk of electrocuting themselves in the rain. With characters whose powers rely on uttering Magical Incantations or projecting a really loud voice, a good strong gag may be enough to disable them. Someone with Super Senses may find them to be a double-edged sword if subjected to Sensory Overload. Sometimes this can stem from a lack of Required Secondary Powers, like a hero with Super Speed but not Super Reflexes finding themselves going Too Fast to Stop.

The superpower may be something completely fantastic, but a writer may add a new twist to it by following the fantasy as if it was true and exploring the logical ramifications of it. For example, a Living Lie Detector that notices when people lie because of their heart beats. Perhaps no writer before you had ever thought that a guy with a pacemaker would fool this trick. Go ahead and use it, it will become a standard for future writers.

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Whatever the case, this type of superpower-induced weakness can function as a Drama-Preserving Handicap, or it can be Played for Laughs. It may also create Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors between different heroes. Sister trope to Immunity Disability: being immune to something sometimes will naturally have its own drawbacks.

Not related to the Puff of Logic. May be an aversion of Required Secondary Powers. Contrast Outside-the-Box Tactic, when the solution to defeat an enemy is logical but not immediately obvious; and Lethal Harmless Powers and Heart Is an Awesome Power, which are about logical strengths. See also Weaker in the Real World, where a character's powers at least partially depend upon the world or dimension they're native too, and bringing them to another world (frequently ours) results in them losing those powers.

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Examples:

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  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon):
    • It's unconfirmed but speculated in Chapter 16 that because of how differently Monster X's Healing Factor works compared to Ghidorah's, it can't regrow a duplicate if San or Vivienne's head is decapitated from it — it needs to get the severed head back or lose it forever.
    • Word of God says that the Many need to expend biomass whenever they regenerate damage to their Mind Hives, meaning that if you get a Many construct in a situation where it can't assimilate anything and keep damaging it extensively enough, eventually it'll run out of juice for its Healing Factor.
    • The MUTO Queen's EMP blast when she activates it can temporarily cripple Shock and Awe Titans' powers.
  • In Alternate Tail Series, Laxus's lightning body, while magic based, is subject to grounding. Hence why Gajeel beats by grounding him into the Tower of Heaven using Iron God Sword.
  • For Love of Experimental Time Travel: Harry notes that Voldemort's habit of "leaving pieces of his soul lying around" makes him incredibly vulnerable to anyone who can find his horcruxes and is knowledgeable about soul magic. Harry uses such knowledge to outright enslave Voldemort through the pieces of his soul Harry collected.
  • The Legend of the Dragon Ball: Rise of the Saiyans: When Bulma starts using illusions in her fight against Kefla, the latter tries tracking the real one by scent, only to realize that because they've been fighting all over the ring and sweating heavily, Bulma's scent is everywhere.
  • In Marie D. Suesse and the Mystery New Pirate Age!, Admiral Lance D. Imba, who can copy anyone else's Devil Fruit Power and has taken several fruits already with his Copy Copy Fruit, takes in Mar's Logic Logic Fruit power and dies because the new fruit forces his powers to obey the laws of logic, including the rule that a Devil Fruit user who eats another one will be killed. This also references a sometimes-mentioned fear that people have when eating Devil Fruits; that they will lose the Super Power Lottery and trade their ability to swim for a useless power; in this case, the power Imba stole worked against him.
  • Metagaming?: The Fidelius Charm can hide any piece of knowledge so that only the secret keeper can tell anyone where it is. However, the more people who know the information, the more magic it takes to hide. Harry mentions that one of the capital cities would be outright impossible. Hiding the location of C'thun's avatar (which a few hundred people know of) requires a ritual performed by himself, Luna, and Jaina and fueled at least in part by Azeroth herself.
    • A later chapter reveals another weakness. While no one can discover the secret without being told by the secret keeper, but they can deduce what it should be, even if they can't quite figure it out. Cho'gall leads the Twiligh Hammer to Ahn'qiraj because he (correctly) believes that the Qiraj's connection to C'thun means the Old God's avatar might be in that area.
  • In Co-op Mode, Taylor needs time to replenish her swarms in between difficult battles, as in canon, but due to her choosing to become Lady Bug, she also needs it to repair her more intricate equipment.
  • In Perfection Is Overrated, the SUEs, being representations of Mary Sue archetypes, fall into this from time to time.
    • Mariko Suou's powers cause everyone she meets to consider her the most important person in their lives. As this includes the Himes, who fight with their most precious person's life on the line, Akane's defeat results in Mariko's death.
    • Hitomi is utterly sociopathic, and, like the Himes, fights with the life of her most important person on the line. She dies when she is defeated because she was her own most important person.
    • Shizune's power enables her to completely nullify one person's ability and reduce the effectiveness of all others around her; if enough people are around her, all of their powers are virtually useless. This does precisely diddly-squat to stop mundane means of attack, which Natsuki exploits when she uses a handgun to kill Shizune.
    • Bachiko can rewrite people's personalities. However, this doesn't mean that she knows what changes will best accomplish her goals, and to make things worse, she's reckless. Because of this, she shoots herself in the foot several times.
  • In The Ninth Sekirei Pillar, Naruto can only use Sage Mode for a few seconds at a time due to being in the middle of a large city and there not being enough Nature Chakra present.
  • In Fractured, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands crossover and its sequel, Origins there's a minor bit of Faction Calculus going on, as follows.
    • Mass Effect (Balanced) retains its usual strengths and weaknesses as written on this very page—kinetic barriers only work against physical ordinance, biotics have caloric intake requirements, and large ships become cumbersome.
    • Star Wars (Powerhouse), being a "softer" universe, has much better shields (they block anything), more powerful weapons and faster lightspeed drives. All this comes at the cost of huge energy consumption explained away through more advanced hypermatter fuel while averting Easy Logistics: if the fuel shipments stop, the Trans-Galactic Republic's Logical Weakness bites it in the butt. When the largest Star Dreadnaught runs low on reactor power, actual energy conservation measures are shown (shutting down civvie comforts, pulling crew out of certain areas of the ship), which to races used to thinking the newcomers can do everything, makes them wonder if the new "gods" are mortal after all.
      • Exploited by Cerberus/JVLN/Sapiens' Shield: Out of power? Hello, here's our surprise attack going after every open exhaust vent we can find!
    • Borderlands (Subversive) is also a softer sci-fi universe, and being less fleshed-out is open to vast O.C. Stand-in for whole civilizations, companies, and planets. Its strengths are few (such as Sirens or Eridium) but they still play an important part. Sirens can be prone to addiction, both to substances and Power High brought about by their abilities. Eridium turns out to be useful in various ways, but can be Toxic Phlebotinum in gas form and the runoff from processing it is none too pleasant either (despite making excellent coolant).
  • Green Tea Rescue; The Nomu has its canon shock absorption Quirk, but like a lot of real world armors this comes at the expense of being weak to knives and stabbing weapons. Thus, Toga is able to injure the Nomu during the USJ attack when it tries to finish off Izuku, though she only slows it down and leaves no lasting damage. This comes back to bite her when, during the fight against Stain, Toga changes into the Nomu to punch the Hero Killer and he runs her through on his sword.
  • Nunnally in Like A Wish has a geass that allows her to create illusions affecting anyone nearby but she has to concentrate to maintain them, so being startled will dispel said illusions. Likewise, since geass affects it's victims brains, someone watching on a camera won't be fooled.
  • In Risks and Sacrifices flying Knightmare frames are far weaker to the Gefujin Disturber than normal ones because while they're shut down, they're also falling out of the sky, much like the difference between a car and a helicopter running out of gas. Lelouch takes out over half an attacking force by using a massive Gefujin Disturber after flying low enough that the fall didn't damage his Knightmare.
  • In Fairy Without Wings the demon Nirix has a curse that gives him near infinite stamina, allowing him to regenerate and evolve into a bigger and more powerful form every time he's brought near the brink of death. However, Lelouch notes that he has to have a set amount of remaining stamina to evolve, so once he reaches that limit, he can't evolve further and can actually devolve if pushed too far.
  • This Bites!:
    • As revealed in Chapter 14, in order to use the Noise-Noise Fruit's powers, Soundbite needs to be able to speak coherently; if he's gagged, his powers are useless. Or at least until Chapter 40, when he Awakens his Devil Fruit.
    • In his light form, Kizaru is vulnerable to being refracted right out of the battlefield, such as by a mirage. Traveling at the speed of light, he also has problems with being Too Fast to Stop if things don't go as planned, such that once refracted he ends up partially embedding himself into the Red Line because he couldn't hit the brakes in time.
    • Because Iron Body requires tensing your body to endure a blow, being forced to relax negates it entirely.
    • Boa Hancock's Love-Love Beam doesn't work on anyone/anything with no interest in humans or someone too young to feel lust.
  • In With Strings Attached and The Keys Stand Alone, John's hearing has been improved considerably, to the point where he can hear all kinds of tiny noises. However, until he learned to finetune it, he had trouble sleeping because of all the noises he picked up around him. Worse, shrill or loud noises cause him pain, sometimes to the point of incapacitation. In Strings, the shrieking of the Hunter's BFS Blackfire completely disables him during that encounter. In Keys, The Circle use this against him during their ambush at Hermit's Rock. When he tunes his hearing so he can hear very faint noises, the other noises he picks up give him a massive headache.
  • The Bridge:
    • Enjin has both an extremely strong Healing Factor and Adaptive Ability meaning fighting it for extended periods of time not only wear the opponent down, as Enjin is a Perpetual-Motion Monster, but make it harder and harder for them to fight back and do any damage. Monster X figures out from Aria Blaze's fight with it that Enjin fuels its powers by drawing power from the ground. Knocked into the air and Enjin can't heal or adapt. A super-charged Monster X kills Enjin by blasting it skyward and tearing Aria out of its core.
    • Mizu can enter any reflective surface and exit another one. It can also see perfectly in the dark. However, reflections don't exist in complete darkness, so it cannot use that ability if there is no light.
  • In canon, Mao can concentrate to hear a person's real thoughts if they try disguising them, but in Armed Resistance, he's helpless against someone who's actually holding multiple trains of thought at once. He's defeated by Rivalz due to the boy having a mental disorder that causes him to have two trains of thought at all times; Mao can only hear the one thinking about random things and not the one focusing on him.
  • The Dresden Files fanfic Enemy Mine introduces the idea of silencing spells, which prevent the victim from communicating on a certain topic (and are incidentally highly illegal). When Harry realizes that a silencing spell is in use, he muses that this type of spell is really only as effective as the victim allows it to be (citing the incident in Titus Andronicus where Lavinia's tongue and hands are cut off but she still identifies her attackers by writing their names in the dirt with a stick), and a sufficiently determined victim could keep throwing themselves at the spell's limits until they finally found a loophole or made it obvious that they were being forced into silence. Marcone and an OC, put under silencing spells, got around it by purposefully invoking an Out-of-Character Alert to draw Harry in (though Harry was so dense that Marcone needed to also fake his death and kidnap him -in that order- for Harry to realize what was going on). Bob later manages to get most of the information needed out of Marcone anyway because he's had experience with silencing spells and knows how to ask questions that don't technically go against the spell's limitations.
  • In The Havoc Side of the Force, the Fidelius Charm may hide the location of Harry's new space station, but he still needs goods delivered there regularly. Obi-wan Kenobi infiltrates the station by hiding in a shipment of food being sent there.
    • In the side story, Anakin shows off the greatest weakness of a droid army: they're programmable. One of his first actions is to upload a program into their software that causes them to ignore any being that gives off the same frequency of white noise as his communicator, rendering him invisible to the entire army.
  • The Night Unfurls: For all of Olga's arcane might, she needs a staff in order to cast her spells. Therefore, she's helpless once the staff is lost or gets broken.
  • A Peaceful Afterlife:
    • Demons have From a Single Cell levels of healing. Kira's ability to completely vaporize someone makes him capable of killing demons without Seraphim weapons, and thus one of the most dangerous entities in Hell by default.
    • God Given's (human identity Donatello Versus, from Stone Ocean) powers now allow him to create constructs based on memories, rather than just outright replays. This means that finding the right hiding place can't be used to avoid the Exorcists he creates. However, the constructs can be fought off, since encountering one is not a guaranteed death sentence. Charlie and her gang can fight them off until Kira kills GG.
  • While zanpakutou are just shy of being outright magic, in The Defeated they still adhere to certain rules of logic. Byakuya is temporarily kept from releasing her bankai because the corridor she's fighting in is too narrow for it to manifest.
  • In Blood Man Luffy, Robin notes her powers would be worse than useless against someone like Luffy who can manipulate blood. Sprouting additional limbs would simply give him more blood to control.
    • Luffy and Crocodile share a Mutual Disadvantage with each other due to their respective Devil Fruits. As a blood man, Luffy can easily make himself wet so Crocodile can't disperse into sand. But as a sand man, Crocodile can absorb moisture through his hand and completely dry out Luffy with a touch.
  • Fighting for the Future by the same author has Robin thinking how Luffy wouldn't have to fear her as she could hardly snap a rubber neck.
  • In Jaden's Harem -- Return of the Supreme King, Zana's strategy relies heavily around using Power Bond to summon Cyber End Dragon, so removing it from play somehow pretty much cripples her deck.
    • Furthermore, because her entire deck is built around machines, any card that changes their type to something else makes a great deal of her support cards useless.
  • Harry's and Krum's firebolts in Time and Again are the fastest brooms on the market but their speed also hampers their maneuverability; as a result, they're poor brooms for a midair duel. When Cedric gets knocked off his broom, Harry commandeers it to make use of it's superior maneuverability.
  • In Stallion of the Line Basil Hawkins voodoo dummies take time to set up and require a living target; as a result, anyone who can bring overwhelming offense to bear against him such as Ranma/Luffy's Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs will quickly exhaust his defense and leave Hawkins vulnerable.
  • Xander's Super Speed is (from his point of view) closer to Time Stands Still in Timex... Keeps on Ticking so he never uses it to travel long distances. Even if everyone else sees him moving incredibly fast, he still experiences the entire time it takes him to run from one city to another, for example. Two other downsides were that he needed a special treadmill with a track that's moved by your feet and make sure to keep a fan running on high or he'll quickly run out of air when exercising in his apartment.
  • In The Gotham Knights of Middle-Earth, when Cassandra Cain/Batgirl is sent to Middle-Earth, she soon realises that her ability to read her opponents isn't much use against the Nazgul as they're essentially dead and their bodies don't 'work' in the same manner as a living one, with the result that they don't give off the same cues a normal fighter would (she compares it to her difficulty in 'reading' the Joker due to his insanity).
  • A trio of cursed items in Customer Service all fail because the persons who get hold of them are in some way immune to them, letting them reap the benefits in some way. Synder gets car polish that makes him obsess over his car until his significant other kills him, but he's so unpleasant that he has no one in his life. Angel receives a jar of infinite hair gel that makes him so entranced with his reflection that he'll stare at it until he dies of dehydration or starvation, but Angel is a vampire and thus has no reflection. Xander knowingly buys a cursed TV and VCR combo that sucks you into any movie you watch and compels you to watch horror movies. However, the casts of horror movies are universally Too Dumb to Live so any reasonably intelligent person has no problem surviving until the movie ends.
  • In Pokemon: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Mao is such a dangerous opponent because he can hear others' thoughts and plan around their plans. Unfortunately for him, telepathy is useless against someone so enraged that all they can think about is how much they want to kill him. In their final encounter, Lelouch utilizes this by having his Ninjask spam Double Team and Swords Dance after using Rage then forgets about it via Geass until he's out of other pokemon, then has it use Baton Pass to transfer it's status buffs to Lelouch whose evasion, attack, and speed are now maximized along with being thoroughly enraged and wielding a knife.
  • In The Banishment of Uzumaki Naruto, Kurenai makes her chakra act as a strobe light to disorient Danzo. Hiashi mentions he had to close his eyes to keep from getting sick, so he can only imagine how bad it is for someone with twelve eyes, eleven of which can see chakra.
  • To Hell and Back (Arrowverse): Indigo can easily teleport to any location by traveling the Internet via computers — but only if the computers are on. Cutting the power to whatever room she's in effectively strands her, unless she's lucky enough to find a working smartphone.
  • Several Devil Fruit weaknesses come up in Shinobi of the High Seas, often in relation to Naruto.
    • Jewelry Bonney's age changing powers are useless against Naruto due to him being The Ageless.
    • Smoker's elemental form is weak to strong winds which can disperse him.
    • Hancock's Love Love Beam doesn't work on someone who's too pissed off to lust after her.
    • Since Kizaru turns into light, he's vulnerable to mirrors which can reflect him away from the battlefield. After their first encounter, where Naruto wins by trapping Kizaru in a ring of mirrors before tilting one, Kizaru makes a point of not using his Yatta Mirror technique to prevent a recurrence.
    • Whenever Perona uses her Astral Projection, her body is completely helpless. Paulie defeats her by tying up her unconscious body then tossing it into a bathtub full of water.
  • Glasglows in Rise of a New Moon are far faster and more maneuverable than tanks could ever dream of. However, said speed and agility come at the cost of both armor and firepower. If one can negate their advantages by say, firing upon the entire area they're in, Glasglows go down quickly.
  • When Krieg tries to exploit the weakness of Devil Fruit users in Coby's Choice by jumping into the sea, Luffy counters that all his heavy armor means that not only can Krieg only tread water for so long, but he can't stop for even a moment without sinking. Thus Luffy takes Krieg out by slamming him in the face with one of Gin's tonfa.
  • White Sheep (RWBY): Jaune and his sisters are Grimm hybrids, and have Aura just like any other living thing. Their Combat Tentacles, however, are provided by their parasites, which are pure Grimm and do not have Aura. Therefore their tentacles cannot be shielded, and tend to get cut off quite often.
  • Gremmy in White tries to make his creations immune to Barragan's power but because he can't figure out what said power is, he struggles for quite some time before finding a solution. Furthermore, since Gremmy's powers make things he imagines real, Barragan whittles away at his power by asking if he can imagine what'd happen to him if Barragan's power touches him.
  • In In the Kingdom's Service Mercury's Armed Legs may be prosthetic and thus tougher than flesh and bone, but they can still be damaged. Jaune stabs Mercury in the knee and twists the knife before pulling it out. While Mercury isn't crippled like a normal person, the leg is still partially damaged and causes Mercury trouble when it won't support his weight properly.
    • Aura can protect against a blow only if it's specifically used to do so. Anyone with Huntsman training learns to do so instinctively to any attacks they see coming, but this naturally means Aura doesn't protect from sneak attacks.
  • Crimson and Emerald: Due to being a Close-Range Combatant with a ground-based fighting style, Stain has a more difficult time fighting long-ranged attackers like Todoroki, Tokoyami and Hawks. Stain is overwhelmed by Hawks' flying and Feather Flechettes as Hawks is too distant for him to attack. While Stain doesn't go down easy, its clear that Stain had the disadvantage over Hawks.
  • Fate: Gamer Night: One of the first stats Shirou levels up is Charisma because it improves people's attitudes towards him, which is especially helpful in getting quests. Eventually, his high charisma causes him to "stand out to all nearby people". However, because he stands out, Shirou is completely incapable of stealth or concealing his presence.
  • Lelouch learns in Experiments that although people he uses Geass on are forced to obey his orders, they first have to interpret them. A racist who's ordered to become more altruistic donates vast amounts of money to charity, but never to charities that support minorities because he's still racist. An order to "ignore Lelouch's existence" doesn't render him invisible to the person he geasses but makes him appear as a man shaped void because the victim's eyes can't see through Lelouch to see what's behind him and instead the victim's mind simply blanks out that space. Lastly, Lelouch tries three separate times to give an impossible order by telling someone to lick their elbow. The first person cuts off their tongue to do it. The second cuts off their arm after Lelouch specifies they not damage their tongue. The third time, Lelouch orders the victim to not harm themselves at all, resulting in them becoming paralyzed as they try to fulfill an order they physically can't.
  • Harry Potter: Occlumency relies on focus and redirecting attempted Legilmency probes to false or irrelevant memories. In Aggressive Love Voldemort learns Snape is untrustworthy by reading his mind after torturing the man, leaving him in too much pain to properly shield his mind.
  • Several My Hero Academia stories make it clear that a Quirk that allows someone to copy or negate a Quirk will only affect a single Quirk when used on someone who has multiple ones.
    • In Yesterday Upon The Stair, Aizawa erases Izuku's Quirk during the quirk assessment test and unknowingly erases his original Quirk (seeing ghosts), not One For All.
    • Aizawa again in Quirk: Sequencer erases Izuku's Quirk just as he throws his baseball but only erases Calcium Reinforcement, causing Izuku to break his arm while still launching his ball several hundred meters.
    • Monoma in From Muddy Waters copies Izuku's Quirk but only gets his original quirk, All For One, rather than the dozens of other Quirks that he uses in combat.
  • In Juxtapose, Tsuburaba's Quirk relies on the air in his lungs to make barriers. Not only can he only make his barriers so large before they're too weaknote , but making several barriers in a short time period leaves him gasping for air.
  • Professor Arc:
    • Most Grimm are functionally mindless and the ones old enough to have become intelligent have generally fought humans before which reinforces their inborn hatred of humanity. However, Salem created a smaller more intelligent breed of Nevermore that specializes in information gathering. Unfortunately, any Grimm smart enough to carry out and interpret orders is also smart enough to feel emotions like enjoyment and pleasure, causing the Nevermore Neo took as a pet to become loyal to her and Jaune after being shown affection and care.
    • Whips rely on momentum more than almost any other melee weapon and have wide swinging arcs. If a whip user doesn't have enough room to swing their weapon properly, it becomes worthless as a weapon. Neo stops the fight between Ilia and Sienna (both of whom use whips) by collapsing the tent they're fighting in.
  • In My Hero Playthrough, Aizawa fails to erase Izuku's power because it's not actually a Quirk.
  • In Alliance of Amazons and Izuku, a villain's Quirk which magnifies any positive feelings women have towards a man doesn't work if they have no positive feelingss towards him nor if they're too old to feel any sexual lust. The first scenario occurs when the villain tries to form a harem of heroines after explaining his plans to make them his sex slaves. The second when Recovery Girl is one of the ones hit in his second attack on Izuku, at least until she happens to get hit by a convict's de-aging Quirk while she was treating him.
  • The Emerald Phoenix:
    • Mina's acid is extremely corrosive but can't dissolve plastic, which Momo takes advantage of by coating her staff with plastic before engaging her. Subverted when Mina later admits she can make Hollywood Acid if she pushes herself but she felt it was too dangerous to do so for a training exercise.
    • Momo's Quirk lets her create nearly anything but creating too many objects simply gives Izuku more ammo for his telekinesis. When she tries to trip him up with ball bearings like she did Mina, Izuku simply launches all of them at her like buckshot.
    • Toru's invisibility is worthless against Jiro's super hearing. Jiro's own weakness, loud noises drowning out all other sound, is brought up but she already trained to overcome it by the time someone tried to utilize it.
  • In Metallurgy, Izuku's Quirk, Quicksteel, creates an orb of liquid metal that he manipulates with his mind. In order to solidify it, Izuku has to mentally cool the metal while touching it, making it weak against heat since he has to expend more energy to keep it cool.
  • In A Helping Hand in the Dark Izuku uses Black Whip to circumvent Nomu's Shock Absorption by using gradual leverage to essentially gently pick it up and spin it at gradually higher speeds before hammer throwing it.
  • After he Came Back Strong in A Discordant Note, Harry is at the very least, the high priest of the god he created: The Father of Freedom. Because this new god's domain is freedom, Harry now incapable of any magic involving subjugating others, comparing such spells to puzzles with pieces that don't match.
  • In Wilhuff Tarkin, Hero of the Rebellion, Tarkin has his niece Rivoche and Luke deal with a Jedi Tusken Raider by having Luke shoot him in the head first then letting Rivoche shoot. As Luke is using a slugthrower, said Jedi's attempts to deflect the shot instead cause him to be hit in the face with molten metal which distracts him long enough for Rivoche to kill him.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: In the third chapter of the fourth story, The Diplomat's Life, Pharynx says that in their original forms, the changelings were more vulnerable to cooler temperatures (like most insects in real life), to the point where they couldn't readily cross the tundra into the Crystal Empire. Since they've undergone their metamorphosis, this is less of an issue.
  • In Worm: More Than Meets the Eye, circumstances mean that Coil brings the hammer down harder on Lisa/Tattletale by demonstrating that he knows all the plans she's been making to get out from under him. While Lisa doesn't know how he's doing this (essentially, his power allows him to torture it out of her and then make it so that the torture didn't happen, but he retains the information), she realizes that while he'll know about her plans no matter how carefully she makes them, this only works for things she plans out in advance — if she immediately acts on an idea (in this case, giving herself up to Dragon) instead of setting up a plan, she won't give him the time to learn anything.
  • Inaccurate Legends: The Witch has to point at people to turn them into newts, so it can be sidestepped or blocked with a foreign object.
  • In Critical Overcharge, Setsuna has animorphism powers on top of her normal Detachment Combat. While her dinosaur and hybrid forms are much faster than her human form, they're also so large that she can't turn sharply without risking falling over. During their pseudo-race, the much smaller and slower Mina manages roughly the same time because she can maintain her speed during turns.
  • If I Could Start Again: Anyone who can speak Allspeak can understand and be understood by anyone in the universe, regardless of what language they speak. However, it translates to their native tongue, so they can have a hard time understanding how a word sounds in the language it's actually spoken in. Despite having worked directly for William Shakespeare, Loki can't tell people how to pronounce his last name.
  • Prophetic: Izuku's Quirk alerts him to what's happening that day via a poem when he wakes up in the morning. However, it has multiple weaknesses. First, Izuku's Quirk only works once a day and only for that day up to midnight. So he can't learn about anything that happens further out. Second, his Quirk's cooldown only resets if Izuku is asleep before midnight, otherwise he won't get a poem that day. Third, unless Izuku focuses on a specific person, the poem will only pertain to those he can travel to on his ownnote . Finally, the poems can only be so long, which will cause them to prioritize more immediate problemsnote .
  • The Logia Brothers:
    • If Mikita only uses her devil fruit on one part of her body, she risks unbalancing herself due to the difference in weight, even though she can't actually feel the change.
    • Lassoo being given life by a zoan devil fruit means he can also be killed. Usopp removes him as a factor by shooting him in the head while he's transformed, reverting Lassoo back into an ordinary bazooka.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Incredibles:
    • Violet can be seen while invisible if one throws something other than her suit on her. It has to be her custom-made supersuit too. Her regular clothes stay visible when she vanishes. Her barrier powers can keep external attacks away, but since she usually leaves a portion of the ground she's standing on unprotected, it leaves her open to attack from a hypnotized Voyd who can make a portal on that patch of ground inside the barrier. It is also implied in other media that both of her powers are physically draining.
    • Frozone relies on the water in the air to use his ice powers. When he's in a place with no water, like an apartment fire, he's useless. He also sometimes needs to keep hydrated himself, needing to request a drink of water while held at gun point for his chance to escape. Also, his typical method of transportation, creating and sliding around on ice paths, means he can't stop quickly or turn on a dime, which Voyd and Brick exploit in the sequel to capture him.
    • The Omnidroid was tested in one-on-one combat with various superheroes. While this gave it great tactical acumen and the ability to adapt to any opponent, it was never tested against a superhero team, and thus when the final version fights the Parr family plus Frozone, it tends to fixate on stopping one hero at a time. Additionally, while all versions of it are made of a more-or-less indestructible material, that means it can be damaged and destroyed by anything made of the same material, including parts of its own body.
    • In Incredibles 2, it's revealed that Elastigirl cannot use her stretching powers in extremely cold temperatures or she'll shatter. Also, while elastic, she isn't made of rubber and is briefly put on the ropes when a cattle prod is used against her in that same film.
    • Also in the sequel, Screenslaver's hypnosis requires the victim to be looking at the screen in order to maintain control, thus not looking directly at the screens or closing your eyes makes you immune. The Screenslaver learns to bypass this weakness with goggles which contain miniature screens that are put directly over a person's eyes. It helps if they are caught off-guard and even partially removing them breaks the trance.
  • In Justice League: Doom, it's revealed that Batman had created SCP-style plans on how to defeat each Justice League member (including himself) should they go rogue. For example, his recommended strategy for defeating Green Lantern is using subliminal messages to trick him into thinking he's blind, which will then cause the ring to make him blind due to his own willpower. He also recommends breaking Zatanna's windpipe to keep her from performing incantations, and freezing Plastic Man with liquid nitrogen to stop him from from shapeshifting. The audio of these plans was released on the DVD extras and can be heard here.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2: The entire plot is about how Lord Shen has broken the Fantasy Gun Control by inventing cannons, which are a complete Game Changer that are far stronger than any kung-fu. However, Po discovers a simple flaw: The cannons are big and cumbersome to aim, allowing a quick target to just run around and keep them from getting a bead on him. There's a reason why in real life gunpowder didn't truly supplant other weapons until handheld versions were invented.
  • Kung Fu Panda 3: Big Bad Kai has an army of jade statue zombies of kung fu masters (Jombies for short) that he can see and hear through, making an ambush impossible. Po's solution: Have an army of villagers engage the jombies, distracting Kai long enough for Po to get close enough for a Wu Shi finger hold.
  • Stitch of Lilo & Stitch has a very dense molecular structure and while that gives him Super Strength and endurance, it also means he can't swim. Much to his frustration, he's stuck on an island for the entire film.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls
    • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, the Sirens use their singing to brainwash everyone into infighting. Vinyl Scratch/DJ Pon-3, who has her headphones on all the time, never gets brainwashed simply because she never hears them.
    • Later in the series, Rainbows Dash gains Super Speed. In "Holidays Unwrapped", she mentions she learned the hard way that speed and icy sidewalks are a bad combination. She also naturally needs to be free of her movements to reach Super Speed, and an Impractically Fancy Outfit hampering her legs can slow her down considerably.
  • In Shrek 2, Mongo (an 80-foot-tall Gingerbread Man) is vulnerable to becoming soggy.
  • The Cybugs from Wreck-It Ralph absorb properties of anything they eat. This can make them much stronger (one is shown eating a laser gun, at which point cannons start sprouting from its body), but it backfires when they get loose in Sugar Rush; there's nothing around to eat but candy, so they all become part-candy, making it easier for Ralph and Calhoun to smash them apart. Later, one of them eats King Candy/Turbo and because of his nature as a sentient virus, his personality is able to override the Cybug's, leaving him in control of its body... at least, until a makeshift 'beacon' is activated and the Cybug's base instincts overpower King Candy in turn (for the most part), dragging them both to their death.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Absolutely Anything: Neil has to say what he wants and wave his hand, then it will happen. Grant knocks him out, then ties Neil down, keeps him gagged and restrains his right hand with orders to make certain wishes. He holds Neil's dog hostage and threatens to shoot him if Neil says anything except what he's written down for him. Only then will he unbind his hand and ungag Neil.
  • In The Amazing Spider-Man, the cold-blooded Lizard becomes sluggish and vulnerable when chilled.
  • Bird Box: The creatures can drive anyone who looks at them to suicide. People therefore use blindfolds or cover windows to resist this. The safe haven at the end is a former school for blind children. Blind people are most of those living there, though sighted ones join, warned by the birds when the creatures approach.
  • Bullseye manages to exploit Daredevil's Super Hearing by creating sufficiently loud noises during their battle. In the director's cut of the film, Daredevil's Living Lie Detector powers are fooled by a witness with a pacemaker.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • In Man of Steel, Clark initially struggles to adapt to having supersenses, since he needs to learn to filter out being able to hear pretty much everything. This is later used against the other Kryptonians, who suffer the same problem when first exposed to the Earth's atmosphere.
    • The Suicide Squad:
      • Bloodsport, due to his Adaptational Superpower Change into a Walking Arsenal, is limited by the fact there's only so much weight he can carry and space to put Ikea Weaponry components while still being an effective marksman, so if a job goes on for too long he'll eventually run out of weapons. Which is exactly what happens during the battle with Starro, as he not only used most of his components over the previous few days, he used up the rest of them surviving against Starro's Parasite Zombie horde.
      • TDK's only power is the ability to detach his arms from his body and make them float separately. But they still seem to be connected to the rest of his body in some way, so when the soldiers on the beach resort to riddling his detached arms with bullets, he winds up quickly bleeding out.
      • Starro's duplicates can only latch on to people's faces if they are completely unprotected. As such, the Squad are able to avoid being controlled in the finale by simply covering their faces with their masks or hands, or in King Shark's case, having a face that is too large and abnormally shaped for them to latch on to.
  • Queenie from Fantastic Beasts is a mind reader and can read foreigners’ thoughts but has trouble understanding them, especially if English isn’t their first language. She’s American and tells British protagonist Newt in the first movie that she has trouble with his accent. In the second movie, she gets lost looking for her sister in Paris and then quickly gets a Sensory Overload because everyone around her is thinking in French so all she hears is gibberish. The language barrier also conceals the motives of the seemingly kind woman who helps her off the street whose motives are anything but kind.
  • The final fight in Fantastic Four is quick, but Doctor Doom still gets to exploit this on the Fantastic Four. He uses his telekinetic and Eldritch Location powers to use dirt to overwhelm and smother Johnny's flames, giant rocks to repeatedly beat back and tire out Ben, destroys the coils that allow Reed to control his powers and hold his body together, and forces Sue to use her force fields long enough that she risks running out of oxygen and suffocating.
  • The 2005 Fantastic Four film dealt with this as well. When Doom first tries to get rid of the Four, he fires a heat-seeking RPG at Johnny, and hooks Reed up to canisters of liquid nitrogen, making him brittle. In the final battle, Reed takes advantage of Doom's metal body by having Johnny hit him with a massive inferno, and then hosing him with water from a fire hydrant-the rapid cooling hardens and freezes him into a statue.
  • Godzilla:
    • Space Amoeba: As a cold-based organism, Gezora is extremely vulnerable to, and ultimately killed by fire.
    • Godzilla vs. Hedorah: As a Blob Monster made out of sludge, Hedorah will die when completely dried out, which is how it is eventually killed in the film. And in Godzilla At World's End, where it died after the rain stopped, allowing Godzilla to dry out its body with his radioactive ray and finally incinerate it.
    • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla: The moment when Godzilla started to utilize his magnetic abilities, Mechagodzilla could only fly around so much until the robot was (literally) dragged down to ground level, right into Godzilla's grasp where he's unable to make a retreat.
    • See below for MonsterVerse examples.
  • Herbie Rides Again: Herbie, while a nice car, can cause a lot of damage when he snaps. Grandma Steinmetz, however, figured out a way to get him to behave: threatening to send him to a used car lot.
  • Hollow Man:
    • The first film states that having invisible tissue also applies to one's eyelids, meaning that bright lights make the titular character uncomfortable. Also, even though he's invisible to the light spectrum, he can still be detected on infrared.
    • The Direct to Video sequel shows the long-term side effects of invisibility. Apparently, without skin to block solar radiation, exposure to the sun eventually results in, first, madness, and then radiation sickness. The Big Bad of the sequel is a test subject who is in the first stage (being a trained soldier, it also means he's much deadlier than the Big Bad of the first film). We're then shown a previous test subject, who is now visible again thanks to his skin looking like he has third-degree burns all over his body and he's slowly dying.
  • In The Last Airbender, since benders need their element to be present while they attack, firebenders need to set up sources of fire before fights (note that this is not the case in the show, where firebenders simply shoot fire from their hands). For some mysterious reason, none of the characters actually take advantage of this weakness by dousing the flames even though Pakku actually points it out before the end battle. Also, Iroh's fighting near the movie's end implies that really powerful firebenders can overcome the weakness and generate their own fire.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man: The Iron Monger is based off of the Mark 1 specs, which comes into play during the final battle when Tony tricks Stane into following him into the upper atmosphere, at which point the Iron Monger starts to freeze, since the Mark 1 didn't have a fix for the icing problem.
    • Doctor Strange: Dormammu is established early on as living in the timeless Dark Dimension. Strange exploits this in the climax: He creates an infinite time loop before throwing himself into the meat grinder of Dormammu's superior sorcery. Dormammu, having no concept of time, throws spell after spell at Strange, only for Strange to resuscitate, until he gives up at the prospect of fighting Strange for eternity and is willing to hear Strange out.
    • Avengers: Infinity War: To actually use the immense power of the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos has to close his hand into a fist. The heroes who pick up on this immediately exploit it; the Cloak of Levitation and Captain America pry his hand open, Spider-Man webs up his fingers, and Iron Man uses a gadget to force his hand into an open position.
    • Spider-Man: Far From Home: Mysterio's ability to use illusions and Mind Rape his target only effect the normal senses. This works fine the first time he fights Spider-Man, where he forces him to live out his worst nightmares, tricks him into giving away his friends, and causing him to get hit by a train. The second time, however, Spider-Man becomes fully in-tune with his Spider-Sense — and thus any illusion he could cast falls apart, as Mysterio simply has no answer to a super sense that acts as Combat Clairvoyance. In the final battle, Mysterio attempts to blind Spider-Man with a shroud of darkness against gunfire, only for Spider-Man to effortlessly dodge all of it before closing in the gap between them. For any opponent, the spider-sense is merely an advantage, but against Mysterio, the sense makes him a Man of Kryptonite.
  • MonsterVerse:
    • Godzilla has a few. His arms, though very strong, are relatively short compared to the rest of his body, and the male MUTO in Godzilla (2014) takes advantage of his limited grasp.
    • Kong has two in Godzilla vs. Kong. As an ape, he's not adept at swimming, which puts him at a severe disadvantage when he gets dragged by Godzilla into the ocean, and he might have lost that battle there and then if not for human intervention. It's established later in the film that he's not built to survive in Antarctica's ice desert and he'll likely soon die if he remains there, which makes sense since he's lived in a tropical climate on Skull Island all his life.
    • King Ghidorah in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) is a Giant Flyer which gives him a tactical advantage over Godzilla, but it also makes him physically ill-equipped for being underwater. Godzilla, a semi-aquatic saurian, therefore has a huge Homefield Advantage against Ghidorah when he drags the latter into the ocean — even if he needs to keep Ghidorah under the water to stop him just flying back out of the ocean and even if Ghidorah likely can't drown due to his Bizarre Alien Biology, Ghidorah is clearly losing when Godzilla has him in the Pacific Ocean.
    • Being a machine, the one thing Mechagodzilla lacks compared to his predecessor Ghidorah is a Healing Factor. Thus, once a way is found to actually deal damage, he is able to be defeated fairly rapidly and doesn't need to be incinerated.
    • See the Comic Books folder for another example.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: Blackbeard has a sword that allows him to magically control ships, thus making him exceptionally dangerous as a pirate as he can make enemy ships turn on their crew. But that power is useless if Blackbeard is on dry land, far away from any ships. Barbossa, who experienced Blackbeard's magic first hand, is quick to realize this, and thus feels comfortable enough to challenge Blackbeard when they are on land.
  • In A Quiet Place, the world has been invaded by alien monsters with hearing so sensitive that even a scream miles away will attract them to hunt and kill humans. The end of the film reveals that their logical weakness is very loud levels of noise. What might be mildly unpleasant to a human's hearing would be physically devastating for one of these aliens. After the weakness is exploited, the aliens can be killed with a shotgun blast to the head. the sequel also shows another logical weakness of a creature completely covered in armour strong enough to resist gunfire: they're too heavy to swim and sink like bricks in the water.
  • Ready Player One: The Big Bad gets himself an expensive suit that allows him to transmit sensations from virtual reality all over his body (most people get by with the bare minimum of gloves and a headset). Meaning that when his avatar gets kicked in the balls, he feels it in real life.
  • Towards the end of SHAZAM! (2019), Dr. Sivana, learning of Shazam's true identity as Billy Batson, submerges Billy's head underwater, knowing that little Billy can neither speak his incantation to transform nor survive long before drowning.
  • In Sherlock Holmes (2009), the title character is a significantly less capable combatant without time to think about his moves and/or Sherlock Scan his opponent.
  • Star Wars:
    • In Revenge of the Sith, General Grievous, while a powerful cyborg, is not a Force-user and is therefore extremely vulnerable to Force powers as he has no means of defense or response. While this should be obvious, in the movie as well as in other media, hardly anyone thinks to use the Force against him, though since using the Force requires mental focus that can’t be spared when one is under attack by a cyborg with multiple plasma swords, this is somewhat justified. In his first appearance he got around this by relying on ambushes and fast attacks that kept his opponent on the back foot (with Count Dooku actually spelling out the reasons), but this element was later dropped.
    • Emperor Palpatine is an old man. While he is shown to be a very skilled lightsaber duelist, force user, and strategist, his physical strength, stamina, and agility seem to have left with his youth. So, while he can hold his own against Maul and Savage, Mace Windu, and Yoda, he does not have the endurance to stay in protracted fights that he can't win quickly, instead relying on the Force to keep himself going. Add a few decades to that, and in Return of the Jedi he's completely helpless against Darth Vader when he grabs and lifts him.
    • The Dark Side in general has one: it relies on letting emotions go completely wild and throwing away control, which comes at the price of promoting overconfidence and losing focus on their surroundings in their sadism.
    • The Nebulon-B frigates have a large forward section with most of the weapons and a smaller engine block with the reactor connected by a thin spar. In Rogue One, Darth Vader's Devastator one-shots a frigate with a single precision turbolaser to the spar, breaking it in two and separating the weapons from the reactor that powers them.
      • This is a weakness known well enough that in Star Wars Rebels during the battle of Atollon the first shot seen striking a frigate is on the connection spar. While the frigate had full shields and avoided being broken in two, that single shot caused enough damage the ship lost power immediately.
  • Unbreakable: David Dunn progressively learns that he is awesomely strong and extremely durable. He also finds that he has the power to sense a crime a person has committed or is about to commit when he touches them. However, he has the realistic weakness of water. This makes sense, as water wouldn't be affected by hyper-immunity or strength but affect the lungs when drowning the same as any normal person's. Plus, since his strength and durability are the result of bones that are denser than a normal humans, he would also sink a lot more easily. Additionally, it's a mental weakness, since he has a crippling fear of water after he nearly drowned as a child.
  • Terminator:
    • Despite Sarah Connor's impressive array of combat skills, she is still only human. By Terminator: Dark Fate she defaults to providing ranged support for Grace and Carl and only intervening when necessary.
    • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The T-1000's body can take only a single whole shape, which means, as the T-800 2.4 explains, he can't morph his arms into something with mobile parts (like a gun or Arm Cannon). His liquid metal form also lets him re-form after sustaining damage, but being flexible liquid means he is MORE affected by gunshots than the solid-frame T-800note .
    • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines: The T-X's Arm Cannon seems to be the only part of her body that seems to be permanently damageable, and even that takes a direct hit from a rocket launcher to accomplish. This makes sense as it seems to be quite complex with lots of small moving parts and powered components.
    • Terminator Genisys: It's practically impossible to do any permanent damage to the T-3000, but with electromagnetic weapons (or even simple Terminator body slams) it's pretty easy to knock him around in a way you can't really do with the heavier, endoskeleton-based T-800 or T-X.
    • Terminator: Dark Fate: The Rev-9 can separate, but its two forms are both weaker on their own individually seem to have less mass and power than a full dedicated Terminator. Its liquid self seems goopier and less shock-absorbent than a T-1000 and without the endoskeleton, it's much more easily staggered by bullets and explosives and can even be slashed to pieces with sufficient force, and its endoskeleton (which appears considerably more hollow than a T-800, presumably to accommodate the extra mass from the liquid metal half) seems to be able to exert less hydraulic force than a T-800 and also proves to be lighter and more vulnerable without the added weight of the liquid metal (Carl and Grace are both seen knocking the endoskeletal Rev-9 around rather easily compared to its combined form). Overall, the Rev-9 is by far the most agile and acrobatic Terminator ever seen (at least in the live-action films), but its litheness also makes it much easier to knock around and displace than Skynet's machines.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: The future Sentinels exploit several logical weaknesses in their battles with the future X-Men. They deliberately focus firepower on Bishop and force-feed him so much energy that it overloads him, use extreme heat and fire to negate Iceman's powers, and after all the other X-Men are dealt with, they focus on swarming Blink, attacking her from so many angles that she can't think to make portals fast enough. They're also made of an advanced polymer, meaning Magneto has to fall back on using outside sources of metal to fight them, making it easier for them to take him on.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Jean Grey's Jedi Mind Trick is useless against security cameras. No matter how powerful the psychic, it doesn't matter against something that doesn't have a mind.
    • Logan:
      • Professor X is the most powerful psychic on the planet with abilities that could easily be compared to a weapon of mass destruction. When he begins to suffer from seizures as a result of Alzheimer's disease and loses control of said mind it results in lethal psychic waves affecting anyone nearby.
      • Logan's adamantium skeleton made him essentially indestructible, but has slowly been poisoning him since he got it. After decades of this his Healing Factor has begun to slow down, and can no longer fight the poison and keep him in his physical prime at the same time, leaving Logan severely weakened and in constant pain.
      • Laura may be a ferocious fighter with the same abilities as Wolverine, but she's still a child and can easily be overpowered and restrained by the adult mercenaries pursuing her. The same goes for the rest of the X-23 kids, who also have super powers but are at the same disadvantage.
      • While Mutants have super human abilities, they all come from the same source, the x-gene. Transigen was able to successfully wipe out mutantkind by targeting it specifically. Putting modified corn syrup in food to suppress or eliminate the gene, preventing any new mutants from being born, and simply waiting for the existing ones to die out.

    Literature 
  • Bazil Broketail: Witch spells are spoken usually, so some people counter this by using earplugs, keeping them from being affected.
  • Codex Alera:
    • Furycrafters can manipulate various elements and their powers are generally disabled through simple application of the opposite element. Aircrafters are covered in dirt, earthcrafters are suspended off the ground, watercrafters are dehydrated (and often placed in hot areas near fire), firecrafters are placed in small spaces (so any fire cooks them alive) or placed in pools of water, and wood/metal crafters are canceled out by covering the person in question in the opposite material. Disabling someone with multiple elements is trickier, but doable, but powerful crafters with reasonable power in all 6 elements are virtually impossible to contain as anything that cancels one element will simply empower one of the others.
    • The Vord Queen specializes in these, to the point where at any point where her enemies seem to be winning, she improvises (or already planned) a solution that nullifies her foes' advantage. At one point, when Araris goes full-on Chrome Champion on her, she figures out a rather simple weakness, and coats him in ice, making the metal that makes up his skin extremely brittle and excruciatingly painful.
  • In Deltora Quest, the legendary level-3 Ols can mimic something so perfectly it's impossible to tell them from the real thing, and they lack the tells of other Ols. However, they shapeshift so deeply into whatever they're impersonating that they also gain its weakness, and a human-shaped level-3 Ol can be killed by anything that would kill a human. The level-3 Ol Prandine, who was masquerading as a human adviser to Deltora's royalty, fell for a trick that led to Destination Defenestration. His killer didn't even know he was an Ol; she just thought he was a human Quisling.
  • One of the main limitations on magic in The Dresden Files (at least magic preformed by humans, as magical creatures like faeries seem to instinctively understand their abilities) is that you really have to know what you're doing for something to work. You can't transform someone into a frog without knowing an awful lot about the anatomy of frogs... and if you don't want to destroy someone's mind in the process you have to really know neurosciences. So, essentially, it's impossible, as well as being against the Laws of Magic because it's so dangerous.
    • There do seem to be some exceptions, as the Werewolves Harry hangs out with turn into beasts that look like wolves to the casual observer, but wouldn't fool, say, a zoologist. They don't seem to fully understand the details of everything they should need to know for this trick, but that's probably why they are limited to exclusively changing themselves into wolves and back and no other form of magic. Most werewolves also get help from some outside source that does in some manner know exactly how wolves work.
    • Another of magic's major rules is that effects called by magic, once out there, will follow the laws of physics unless your spell explicitly includes controlling them. So sure, you can call up fireballs... but you'd better be prepared for the fact that you just set the entire room on fire. Shielding spells can block whatever you want, but they have to be specifically made to block any one thing. Harry ends up with his hand badly burned when he goes up against a Renfield with a flamethrower, as his shield blocks the physical material, but does nothing to stop the heat it throws off, a mistake he later corrects by ensuring his shield will block heat as well. He also takes advantage of this against the Genoskwa,note  which has powerful magic resistance (described as grounding magical energy that reaches him). Harry lands several hits on it by creating slivers and balls of ice and throwing them at the Genoskwa with magic. Once the magic to produce the ice and propel it have been applied (which the Genoskwa can't stop because it isn't targeting him), it's just ice with a lot of kinetic energy, so magic resistance is useless.
    • Nicodemus Archleone is protected from pretty much all harm because he wears the noose Judas used to hang himself around his neck like a tie. However, the Noose doesn't protect him against one thing — itself. Harry tries to throttle him with it twice, and the second time comes damn near to actually killing him. When we see him again, his voice is rougher, showing that the choking did permanent damage to his throat.
  • Deflector Shields are prominent throughout the Dune series, including personal ones. The catch is that a shield that keeps anything from touching you also keeps oxygen out of your lungs, meaning you have to calibrate it to let slow-moving objects in. This obviously includes knives.
  • In The Elminster Series casting spells requires making hand gestures. Elminster having his fingers cut off by a rival mage thus renders him unable to do so, and temporarily helpless.
  • Grimoire’s Soul: Since Ceyda needs to speak to use Yore magic, shutting her up works pretty good for stopping it.
  • In Guardians of the West, first book of David Eddings' Malloreon, Garion takes the precaution of blindfolding a captured Grolim sorcerer. He reasoned, correctly, that a sorcerer cannot safely teleport without knowledge of his location. This proves true when Beldin removes the blindfold...and he promptly vanishes.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry possesses a unique and legendary Invisibility Cloak passed down from his family that never fades with age and is impervious to damage and summoning charms, unlike other invisibility cloaks. The wearer will still be affected by spells cast upon them because only the cloak itself is impervious, however, and methods of detection that don't rely on optical sight can't be fooled by it — the cat Mrs. Norris is able to detect Harry under the cloak several times because she can smell him. Moreover, the cloak only renders the parts it cover invisible, the space it covers doesn't grow alongside its user, and anything it doesn't cover is exposed, so in the later books the main trio must crouch whenever they hide under it together, as they grow in size over the years to the point that their feet are not covered by the cloak and are thus visible to others when they don it while standing upright.
    • The Elder Wand is believed to be so powerful as to be nicknamed "the unbeatable wand", so how exactly does one overcome an "unbeatable" wand and earn its allegiance? It should be noted that while Antioch allegedly wished for the wand to be "unbeatable" in a duel, the wand's master is still as squishy as ever, and the wand doesn't distinguish between being defeated in a fair fight or having some Combat Pragmatist kill them sneakily. The story itself has Antioch die because someone who wanted the wand slit his throat in his sleep, and most other potential masters do something similar. Of the known masters of the Elder Wand, Dumbledore was the only one to beat his predecessor in a fair duel; Grindelwald stole it from Gregorovich, Draco took advantage of Dumbledore being distracted to disarm him, and Harry wrestled Draco's personal wand out of his hand (neither knew the Elder Wand existed at that point, so its power was not a factor in said fight).
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, someone comments that since it's difficult to cast spells without gesturing, the best way to disable a mage without risking killing him is to break his arms. He then demonstrates.
  • Honor Harrington comes from a line of people genetically engineered to be stronger and faster than baseline humans but it also increases her metabolism. In normal circumstances this isn't a problem, but when she's trapped in a situation where her team is forced to rely on emergency rations for an extended period of time, what would be sufficient for a normal person continue functioning normally is barely preventing her from starving to death. A novel set earlier in the universe's timeline demonstrates this is a problem in general for Heavy Worlders, as one military recruit, limited to eat the same amount of food as the other (baseline human) recruits due to a bureaucratic policy, is essentially suffering from malnutrition.
  • Idlewild:
    • The students are genetically engineered to have superhuman immune systems to protect them from disease. Those same immune systems go berserk when they encounter any unusual material. Considering how long the students spent in suspended animation, pretty much everything merits that allergic reaction.
    • In the sequel Edenborn they discover that between the super immune response, Black Ep, and the drugs to treat it, women are incapable of carrying a fetus to term, although this doesn't explain how the sperm fertilized the egg in the first place.
  • InCryptid: The Johrlac are believed to be physiologically related to insects, though they appear human. In Imaginary Numbers, Artie threatens one they've captured with a can of Raid.note 
  • Inheritance Cycle: Elva can deliver breaking speeches due to her knowledge of what pains everyone... so Galbatorix just stops her from speaking with a spell to begin with.
  • The original The Invisible Man pointed out a lot of these in regards to invisibility. For example, to actually be completely undetectable Griffin has to strip down until he's naked since his clothes don't turn invisible with him; this makes exploiting his invisibility more treacherous than ever when he ends up in a snowy mountain town as he could easily freeze to death. Griffin also notes that it's incredibly difficult to move around without making any noise, so the invisibility only works best when he remains completely still, and doing that carries the risk of someone bumping into you. Also, the food he eats is not invisible, so it can be seen digesting in his stomach. This is taken advantage of near the end, when Griffon is chasing someone with murderous intentions. The person, who had heard Griffon's entire story and thus heard of all his weaknesses, takes care to run over the most broken, sharp, littered areas of ground he can find, since he has shoes to protect his feet and Griffon has nothing.
  • In The Laundry Files, the entities that create zombies possess people via conductivity — skin contact is enough to get possessed, and the zombie can turn others by touching them and inviting one of his spectral buddies into the new flesh. However, as beings that map themselves onto the body's circuit board, a sufficient electrical charge — like, say, a taser — is enough to exorcise them.
  • The Mistborn has Allomancy which follows a very strong Magic A Is Magic A system, so many powers come with obvious weaknesses as a result of their effects. Burning tin gives Super Senses which is great for lookouts and scouts, but leaves you vulnerable to loud noises or bright lights. Pewter gives you Super Strength and durability, allowing you to shrug off potentially lethal wounds, but continuing to push your already injured body is incredibly dangerous, particularly if the pewter ever runs out. Bronze can be used to sense people using Allomancy nearby, but Copper blocks it from detecting them. However many types of Allomancy will be incredibly obvious to anyone looking at the person, so if you can see someone using Allomancy but not sense it, you know someone is using Copper nearby. Iron and Steel (telekinetic control of metals) require a really good understanding of elementary physics — relative weight of the object you're Pushing or Pulling will determine if you or it goes flying, and Pushing or Pulling at the wrong angle could very easily send you flying into buildings at high speeds.
    • Zinc and Brass allow the user to influence emotions. However, if the target is paying attention, they can detect its use even without Bronze. Vin is almost killed at the start of Final Empire when she tries to use Brass on someone trained to notice its use, which tips him off that she's scamming him.
    • Allomancy is also powered by consuming metals. Vin, one of the most powerful Allomancers of her time, is rendered powerless after drinking a cross between a knockout drug and a laxative, forcing the metals to pass through her body when she's not awake to burn them.
    • Steel Inquisitors are humans who greatly enhanced their Allomancy by having metal spikes pounded in them, the most visible being the ones inserted point-first into their eyes. The tips of those eye spikes jut about an inch out of their skulls to show that they're not wearing monocles. Kelsier uses this to his advantage by cornering an Inquisitor against a wooden structure, and hammering the eye-spikes into the wood with a brick. The Inquisitor is immobilized long enough for Kelsier to cut off his head.
    • In the sequel series Wax and Wayne, Miles Hundredlives is considered unstoppable due to his insane Healing Factor, but doesn't have superhuman strength or speed. While he's essentially immune to bullets, he's easily restrained by dozens of constables all tackling him at once. Of course, this is after Wax caught him in a net and he responded by blowing some dynamite in his pocket. He was aware of his weakness, he just ran out of countermeasures.
  • In The Morbidly Obese Ninja, Crow's signature move is to grab a target with his chain sickle and yank them off-balance. When he tries this on Basu at the climax, it doesn't work - Basu weighs 700 pounds (he's the morbidly-obese ninja of the title), so Crow isn't even close to strong enough to budge him. In fact, Basu uses it to yank Crow off-balance.
  • In Night of the Assholes, the only weak point the assholes all have is their assholes (anatomically speaking). A stab in the ass and they die instantly.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Percy's sword Riptide cannot be lost as it will always return to his pants pocket in pen form. He still ends up getting stuck without it when he's attacked while in a school gym uniform, the pants of which don't have pockets.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain: Penny's mom is the superhero the Audit, who uses statistical analysis to predict behavior and stop crime. When Penny becomes a supervillain, she is constantly worried about her mother finding her out. What is the Audit's weakness? Penny's Spark of Genius is so powerful (it's implied that she's the most powerful Mad Scientist in the history of the human race) that it defies all statistics and predictive models. Working through all the odds and numbers, it makes far more sense that Bad Penny is just some jealous tech thief who also happens to be good at small-squad tactics. Several times Penny overhears her mother going over all the most likely possibilities (Bad Penny might be a robot, or getting help from more experienced supervillains, etc.), but never getting close to the truth. It just so happens that for once, the truth is the least likely possibility.
  • The Reckoners Trilogy: Every Epic has a single Kryptonite Factor that negates their powers, but these are often too well-hidden to take advantage of. Instead, the protagonists will try to take advantage of ways their powers function. Light-bending illusionists have to leave their eyes visible so that they can see, people with automatic defensive teleporting can't choose not to teleport while in danger, and Epics who can see the future can still be caught in an inescapable trap with no way out.
  • The fact that the Church of God Awaiting doesn't know how the Charisian protagonists of Safehold stay one step ahead of them so consistently does not stop them from developing countermeasures against it. The Empire of Charis has access to technology far beyond the planet's Medieval Stasis, letting them spy on just about anyplace they want. While simply assuming Charis just has damnably good spies, the Church works out their Temple is a blind spot and give their troops fake orders sending them one place before changing at the very last second to throw off the Charisian response. Zhaspahr Clyntahn also organizes a network of agents who have no direct contact with one another to prevent spies from learning anything by an overheard conversation.
    • The Church is also unknowingly aided by a self-imposed weakness of the Charisian leaders: they can't reveal their technology, so even if they do get wind of something before it happens, in many cases they can't respond to it much faster than they could if they were really dependent on a spy network and mundane communication and transportation technology, nor reveal that they know things that would be utterly impossible for normal spies to ever discover.
  • The Witch Art of FootFollowing in Septimus Heap, which works by allowing the witch to follow her quarry's exact footprints, has the drawback of the witch being unable to deviate from that path until she's caught up with her target — the narration notes that if the FootFollowed were to, say, fall off a cliff, then the FootFollower wouldn't be able to stop herself from doing the same.
  • Snapshot: The police have the ability to investigate murders by creating the titular Snapshot, a recreation of a previous day that police officers can be sent into to investigate. However, in order to create a Snapshot the police have to know which day they want to investigate. The serial killer known as the Photographer uses a variety of forensic tricks to obfuscate the time his victims were killed, so the police have difficulty pinning down when to set the Snapshot.
  • In C. S. Lewis's The Space Trilogy, the Un-Man is pretty much the devil incarnate, and his rhetorical skills are basically unassailable, which is a problem since he's trying to convince the Queen of Perelandra (Venus's version of Eve) to embrace sin. However, he's the devil incarnate in the body of an unfit middle-aged man, and thus has no real defense against physical attacks. So Ransom just beats him to death.
  • Split Heirs: Clootie tries to fend off an angry mob by turning many into animals. They observe he needs to make gestures though, grabbing his hands and tying them so he can't cast the spell. Additionally they gag him, so he can't speak incantations.
  • In The Stars My Destination, human teleportation is a reality, where people can "jaunt" wherever they want, provided they can clearly picture the location in their minds. Thus, in order to protect certain areas, people create No Warping Zones by having rooms and floor constantly shift, resulting in "jaunting" people ending up partway in another object.
  • Super Powereds:
    • Vince has Energy Absorption powers, allowing him to absorb, store, and emit any amount of any number of energies (fire and electricity are the most common ones he uses). Unfortunately, his first opponent in Year 1 is Michael, An Ice Person. Since cold is the lack of energy, Vince can't absorb Michael's ice blasts, and all he brought with him to the fight is the fire he absorbed from a single lighter.
    • Hershel has a Superpowered Alter Ego named Roy, but he can only trigger the change with some whiskey (which is why he always carries a flask with him). Naturally, an easy way to keep Hershel from becoming Roy is to take away his access to alcohol.
    • Coach George turns into a powerful humanoid robot, but that robot runs on electricity, meaning Vince can drain him pretty quickly.
    • Dean Blaine is a Power Nullifier (and a retired Hero), making him the perfect person to keep order in a campus with dozens of Super students. However, this still means that he can be taken down by someone from outside his range or by someone good at hand-to-hand combat even without powers.
    • Telekinetics can only affect physical objects. Thomas's energy tentacles cannot be affected by them. The exception is Alex, who keeps insisting that he's not a telekinetic but a Jedi and that he controls his power through the Force.
  • Larry Niven's "The Theory and Practice of Teleportation" is full of these; one of the obvious-in-hindsight yet rarely-used is that teleporting into "thin air" would fill your body with lethal embolisms. Answer: Switch places with whatever's sitting wherever you're teleporting to. Of course, that "whatever" could be someone you're pursuing...
  • Villains by Necessity: Mages need time for concentration, chanting and making magical gestures, thus Robin can distract Mizzamir with an attack, stopping him completing a spell long enough so they can get away.
  • In the Wild Cards books, Philip "Fadeout" Cunningham can turn invisible, but he can't see unless his eyes are visible (as, like anyone, his vision depends on light contacting pigment molecules in his retinas). Fortunately (for him) he can turn parts of himself invisible while leaving others opaque, so he counts on the fact that a pair of floating eyes are hard to spot at a distance, especially in dimly lit areas (plus, he can always make his eyes vanish if hiding is more important than seeing his surroundings).

    Myths & Religion 
  • Classical Mythology: Achilles was invulnerable except for his Achilles' Heel, but he still needed to breathe. In one story, he got into a fight with the river god Scamander, and Scamander almost managed to kill him by drowning him. Hephaestus had to rescue Achilles.

    Podcasts 
  • Lightningrod in Roll to Breathe can pull electricity towards her, but she is not immune to electricity. Without her special suit, charging her powers causes immense pain.

    Roleplay 
  • In Asuka Quest, several of the Angels/ Giant Alien Starfish have these sorts of weaknesses. Sandalphon, for example, is a Zero-Effort Boss once Asuka pierces its AT field on the surface, because it wasn't ready for the sudden pressure difference between magma and air. Iruel, who manifests as a computer virus, is BSOD-ed (via a Reality-Breaking Paradox move in the simulators). Armisael is strong against AT fields, but Kill It with Fire still works just fine. The MP-Evas can't regenerate if their cores or plugs are destroyed. SEELE's Demi-Adam is covered with armor that cannot be pierced by AT-fields, but it can't stop effects caused by AT fields, like an AT railgun that fires a degenerate matter projectile, or a sonic cannon.
  • That Luna from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues can create electricity and often does so subconsciously means it's dangerous for her to be out in the rain or otherwise near a water source, as she discovers when the school sprinklers get set off and she has to fight not to electrocute anyone.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • In most versions, spell casters must perform one or more actions, denoted as Components. There's speaking loudly and clearly (a verbal component), which can be blocked by gagging or silencing the caster. There's moving and gesturing (a somatic component), blocked by binding the caster's arms and legs. And there's using an item either as a material component consumed in the spell or as a focus to channel the spell, both blocked by taking the item(s) away. Many spells also require a clear light of sight to the target, although ther are exceptions like area of effect spells or some exceptions that target specific people or creatures you know regardless of their location.
    • The Silence spell makes an area magically silent. It prevent spells that require a verbal component from being used in it, since the words can't be heard. However, it also has the side effect of making the area immune to thunder damage. Since thunder damage is based on the target(s) being damaged by overwhelmingly loud noise, it would logically do nothing in an area made to be magically silent.
    • A Druid's Wild Shape can only transform them into animals, beasts, and creatures that the Druid has seen with their own eyes. So you can't make a Druid turn into a whale if they've never so much as seen the ocean before.
    • Several spells and abilities based on sound or speech (such as Bardic Inspiration or Vicious Mockery for a bard) require the target to be able to hear the caster in order for them to work. Other spells that force the target to obey a command (like Geas) require that the target also be able to understand the language the caster uses to cast the spell; if they don't speak the same language, it won't work.
    • Zone of Truth makes anyone inside the zone unable to tell a lie. However, the spell doesn't compel anyone to speak. Also, one can use something that's Metaphorically True or hinges on Exact Words to technically be telling the truth while still being vague.
  • In both Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem, characters can buy a power that allows them to heighten and refine their senses. Of course, if there's a sudden change in sensory input (e.g., opening a storage locker to find a rotting corpse when you've got heightened smell up), you're probably going to be reeling.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The entire host of mechanics in the game's many iterations is built around logical weaknesses of units, races and tactics.
    • Space Marines, Tau infantry and most elite units are few in number, but are still more valuable than a much larger squad of more basic troops. A common tactic for horde armies is to entangle these elite troop with a mass of cheaper troops, preventing them from capturing objectives or targeting more important units. While they will almost inveitably win out in the end it will take time to do so, often times meaning the result of the battle will already be desided by the time they're able to help.
    • Dark Eldar weaponry and armor are designed for quick lethal volleys that break defense lines and allow for hit-and-run tactics. Prolonged combat is not something they exactly shine at.
    • The Tau are generally a bit smaller than humans, who are themselves dwarfed by several other races in the setting, and specalize very heavily in long-ranged weapons. As a result they're pretty clearly the weakest faction in close combat, meaning that fighting them in melee is almost always an effective tactic, even for other factions that aren't particularly specalized for it. Their entire army is so weak in melee that they utilize allied regiments of another species just for the purpose of keeping enemy fighters at bay, and even they're not particularly amazing in close combat, they're just okay at it, which still makes them pretty easily one of the best Tau units in melee.
    • Due to an oversight in rules, Tau Humongous Mecha battlesuits that can entrench (by rooting themselves to the ground with spikes for accuracy) will instantly be destroyed by a ramming enemy tank, even if the ramming vehicle is 1/10 the size of the suit. Makes sense regardless, since the impact would simply shatter the mecha's legs and render it inoperable anyway.
    • Abilities that deal damage based on enemy morale are useless against armies that do not bother with Leadership characteristic.
    • Poisoned weapons fulfill the specific role of slaying beasts that are so tough that they shrug off regular blows. The larger they are, the easier it is to down them with venom, since they can be hit with more doses from those weapons.
    • Due to a long obsolete Instant Death rule, the No Kill Like Overkill weapons used to override the ability of weaker units to regenerate or revive and kill them instantly. As the game codex put it, it's hard to recover when you are vaporized.
    • Aun'va used to have a special rule that allowed him to block an enemy attack based on its armor-piercing rating: the higher the AP value, the easier it is to block. You could guess how well it worked against lots of weaker hits.
    • Speaking of Ethereals, killing one is this for Tau. For a race that venerates its rulers with religious reverence, seeing one dead is enough to send their whole army into despair.
    • Gravity weapons that increase the enemy's weight tenfold until it is pulverized by its own mass are very strong against heavy armor and light vehicles, but lighter units (that can survive the fall from their own height) and stronger, more durable engines designed to withstand pressure are barely fazed.
    • Flying machines and beasts do not take it easily when they are forced to land, for example, with the Tesseract Vault's gravity pulse.
    • Plasma weapons tend to overheat, basically killing their owner on a critical miss. Forcing the enemy to re-roll successful hits by swarming them with cheap infantry makes some explosive results.
    • The loxatl possess a form of organic sonar that allows them to pinpoint the locations of other creatures in total darkness and to quite a distance away from themselves. However, this makes them very vulnerable to very high-frequency sounds, which disrupt their sonar perception and send them into fits of disoriented agony until they cease.
    • An example beyond the scope of the tabletop is the Tyranids' rapid evolution. The ability to adapt various subspecies to exploit any threat they come across is fearsome, but requires a lot of energy and needs to bring in new biomass pretty quickly to pay for itself. Against most forces in the galaxy with their incredibly rigid battle doctrines, this is frighteningly effective. However the T'au managed to functionally starve Hive Fleet Gorgon because they kept adapting their tactics to counter every new mutation in turn, causing the Hive Fleet to spend more biomass in adaptations than it was consuming in each offensive.
  • Champions: Some of the Disadvantages of characters are of this type. For example, the insect-like alien Insectoid took damage from exposure to the insecticide malathion.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, The Magatama session with Bobby Fullbright (AKA, the Phantom) implies that the Magatama can also be fooled by carefully thought out cover stories and great acting. It helps that the phantom has completely forgot his own true identity.
    • In the second game, Matt Engarde is able to "fool" the Magatama because he believes what he's saying is the truth. To wit, he didn't realize that if you hire a hitman to kill someone, you're as guilty of murder as if you had done it yourself. He honestly believes that he's totally innocent of that. Alternatively, the Magatama operates on Exact Words: since Phoenix only asked whether Matt killed the victim, he truthfully answers that he didn't, which the Magatama fails to pick up on because Phoenix didn't word the question in a way that would include other ways that his client Matt could be responsible for the victim's death without him personally being the one to do the deed.
  • Used in Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works to defeat Gilgamesh. Since Gilgamesh is Unskilled, but Strong, it means he isn't very skilled at actually fighting up close and personal since he can drop swords down on his enemies. Thus, when Shirou uses the titular Unlimited Blade Works to trap Gilgamesh in an environment where his blades are countered by Shirou's own blades, he is unable to defeat Shirou and ends up losing in the end.
  • Tsukihime states that Elder Vampires (shinso) like Arcueid gain strength from the earth. In one piece of related media, Shiki (who can kill — quite literally — anything), confronted with Nigh-Invulnerable Arcueid, renders her vulnerable by killing the ground she's standing on.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Fire Guy's stick limbs don't exactly provide him with Super Strength...
  • Epithet Erased:
    • Sylvie's epithet works by generating a cloud of pollen-like dust to put people to sleep, so anything that can affect the surrounding air can push it away.
    • Dr. Beefton is brought into existence whenever Sylvie uses his power on himself. Naturally, the minute Sylvie wakes up, the doctor is out.
    • Percy's epithet lets her build a variety of buildings with different effects. But they're still buildings, and are only as strong as the surface of their foundation, which puts her at a disadvantage in Redwood Run, since the dirt is not suitable for construction at all.
    • Bugsy needs to swallow the food in his mouth in order to use his epithet, which Giovanni exploits by heating up the soup he tries to eat.
    • Arnold's coupons need to be scannable in order to be used, which renders them useless when they're wet or turned into another substance. Also, while having several coupons on hand is a good idea, he still needs to sort through them all in order to find the exact one he needs, which leaves him open to attack. They also can't be used at will; there are conditions that must be met first, like needing four people to attack at once before he can buff their strength.
    • Zora's epithet can only affect a linear process. She can't use them on things that fall into a grey area of linearity or processes that are completed instantly, such as Ramsey breaking her gun. Also, she can't age Ramsey when he turns into gold, since gold in its purest state never corrodes. For a non-epithet example, she primarily uses a revolver, which takes time to reload, thus leaving her open to attack if she's not fast enough.
    • Rick Shades' epithet relies on being friends with others to work. As such, if he is without any friends, like he is at the start of Prison of Plastic, then he's no stronger than a typical mundie. Likewise, if he loses someone's friendship, he loses the power said friend gives him as well.
  • RWBY:
    • Ruby’s Semblance gives her incredible speed, but does not allow her any additional defense or ability to defuse or redirect attacks. Someone just as fast, skilled enough or just lucky can hit her and she will feel the full force of the blow since basic physics still applies.
    • Adam's Semblance, Moonslice, allows him to absorb energy through his sword and release it later as an attack. While it's very powerful and doesn't require him to get hurt to use it (unlike Yang's similar Semblance, much to her jealousy), it has two weaknesses: first, it still relies on taking power from his opponent, meaning that someone fighting defensively just won't give him anything to work with, and second, his Semblance is channeled through a prop — his sword. If he's disarmed, his Semblance becomes useless until he manages to get his sword back. He's also spent so long prioritizing offense and catching attacks with his sword that he has little to no endurance for pain; he takes hits poorly and it distracts him at bad times.
    • Grimm have no Aura and therefore cannot protect their bodies from injury the same way humans can. This is the primary advantage humans have over them. If humans can master their Aura and combat skills, they become killing machines against the Grimm. When Cinder loses her left arm, she receives a replacement Grimm arm. However, she learns while in battle with Raven, that her Aura cannot protect her Grimm arm and she will still feel the pain of injury as if it's her own limb. Even when her Aura is fully intact, meaning the rest of her body cannot be injured, Winter is still able to sever her Grimm arm, leaving her screaming in agony until the limb finishes regenerating.
    • Marrow's Semblance lets him immobilize others, even crowds, but only those he's facing, focused on and pointing at. If he loses his focus, the targets are released. When he freezes an angry crowd after they're attacked, he turns his attention to Robyn and the injured Fiona. This releases the crowd, allowing Joanna to fire an arrow at him. He is defeated by Weiss when she and her summoned White Knight attack from different directions; forced to split his focus, he's defeated by Weiss while concentrating on the Knight.
    • Elm's Semblance allows her to 'root' her feet to the ground, allowing her to better bring her strength to bear and use her rocket launcher/warhammer without worrying about recoil. While useful, it's only as good as the ground she has to work with — if she were to be standing on, say, sand, or the rubble left after Yang uses her Semblance to smash the floor she's standing on, her Semblance would have nothing to work with.
    • Umber's Semblance requires her to maintain eye contact with her target, meaning that she cannot use it on multiple targets at the same time. Forcing her to change targets will release her previous victim. This also means she cannot use her Semblance on blind people, making them automatically immune to her power.

    Web Comics 
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja mainly runs of Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny, but it does occasionally use logic.
    • For example, a well-established danger of the organic jetpack is that its user can be driven insane by oxygen deprivation if they fly too high, too long.
    • When Frans Rayner comes back from the dead as a cyborg, his augmentations draw energy from his organic body (because he lacks an external power source), so firing his laser eye once leaves him too exhausted to do anything.
    • When someone uses Chainsaw Good against the Doctor, he is quick to point out that his sword is a weapon while the chainsaw is used for cutting wood and jams the mechanism with the sword's hilt.
    • According to one April Fools' Day comic, the McNinja family's one weakness is "Bullets. From a gun."
  • Collar 6 has a character who can use "rubbermancy" (think Bending from Avatar: The Last Airbender and you've got the right idea). She can instantly disable most people in the BDSM-themed world by turning their rubber clothing into instant bonds, but her power is useless if there's no source of rubber nearby.
  • Grrl Power:
    • Discussed here: being riddled with bullets. Oh, and mittens. Since Sydney needs to hold the orbs to use them, she can only use a maximum of two at any given time.
    • Sydney's shield is later shown to have the weakness of being so impenetrable that air cannot flow through it, thus rendering her lightheaded and eventually unconscious if she keeps it up for too long (though she does point out that it seems to have the Required Secondary Powers necessary to keep her from being affected from the pressure changes that would normally result from changing the size but not allowing more air to enter or exit, or from flying at altitude).
    • For Whom the Death Tolls has the ability to counter any power thrown at him, but therefore not only has the weakness of not being able to do anything if no-one attacks him first, but also can be overloaded if forced to counter too may powers at once since the counters will start to conflict.
    • Heavenly Sword can create energy "blades" around a weapon, usually a sword, but the weapon itself is still only as strong as the material it's made of, and if she doesn't have any weapon, she's just a normal woman.
    • Achilles is Nigh-Invulnerable to a ridiculous degree, and thus is slightly stronger than a normal person, but due to his lack of other powers, not only does he suffer Clothing Damage a lot, he is unable to escape when trapped under a broken wall.
    • Harem gets weaker with every copy she creates, and has a max weight limit to how much she can port with her, keeping her from transporting teammates (save Varia, who can "ride along" with her if she touches her).
    • Varia can't use her gestalt power (which gives her a different power with each person she comes into contact with) without touching someone (though Halo wonders if it's possible that she could activate her powers with blood samples and the like), so she can't fight solo, especially since her attacks are useless on the people she gets them from (which thankfully means that the person she touches is immune to any How Do I Shot Web? mishaps). A later comic also implies that she has to maintain contact or the power will fade quickly.
    • Vehemence's power feeds on violence, so nominally he would be weakened if nobody in the area was fighting. However, he works around this by inciting a riot, then gets enough power from that to Emotion Bomb others into fighting more, until he can start a feedback loop with his own violence. However, distracting him with Dabbler's sex appeal works, pinning him underwater works, and apparently Sydney using her shield to suffocate him would work. AEGIS later keeps him in custody, permanently high on marijuana and entertained with non-violent video games, which appears to weaken him further. In addition, as Maxima demonstrates, if hit hard enough, especially before he has the chance to charge up, the damage done outweighs the benefit from the violence.
  • Guilded Age: The Gnomish War Machine is stolen and taken on a rampage through Gnometown. The gnomes defending their town immediately surround it and go for its vulnerable treads to keep it from escaping, while Frigg climbs up the side, bashes open an access hatch, and tears it apart from the inside. While it's a terrifying siege engine capable of doing a lot of damage, its only weapons are its mass and a pair of hammer-arms, and as a result it's not terribly effective at defending itself against foot soldiers, or in a confined area.
  • Homestuck: Lucky of the Felt has the superpower of being Born Lucky to the extreme; he's so lucky that any attempt to do him harm will fail, no attack against him will land ever, and no environmental hazard will hurt or kill him. This power is so strong that it even allows him to escape the destruction of a universe, by jaunting into another reality. How can you defeat him? Just don't hurt him. His insane supernatural luck protects him from all injury, but beyond that he's just a really short dude with no real power to speak of. So during the Grand Finale, Karkat grabs him, ties him up without trying to injure him, and leaves him lying on the ground, incapacitated but unhurt. It works.
  • League of Super Redundant Heroes: The villain Distracterella is attractive enough to distract anyone... who's attracted to women. Bisexuals, lesbians and straight men don't stand a chance. Gay men, straight women and asexuals are just fine. It also doesn't work on anybody who's blind, for obvious reasons.
  • At one point in No Need for Bushido, two members of the Quirky Mini Boss Squad nearly get into a fight, and Uso, the Master of Illusion, challenges Blind Weaponmaster Ryoku. After taking a few seconds to think it over, Uso reconsiders because he specializes in creating and controlling visual illusions, while Ryoku "sees" through echolocation. Uso trying to fight the far more athletic and physically capable Ryoku without the benefit of his illusions would be tantamount to Uso signing his own death warrant.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, carbosilicate amorphs like Schlock have a lot of advantages due to their Blob Monster structure: for example, typical rounds tend to go right through him, small spaces don't even slow him down, and he can pull a lot of tricks related to memory by virtue of his distributed nervous system. At the same time, it also shows some drawbacks to this arrangement: he can be put out of action for a while by a well-aimed fire hose, it's very hard to effectively fit him with stuff (he goes years both in and out of universe with no armour), and any damage he suffers is, by definition, brain damage, leading to an unpredictable mental state.
  • Scoob and Shag often points out when a Ballyhoo is a "perfect counter" against another:
    • "Channel" empowers any weapon the user is touching. However, the user cannot empower himself if he's unarmed.
    • "Infrared" grants the user perfect accuracy, allowing him to aim at precise spots down to the millimeter. However, an opponent with Super Reflexes (like, say, the Bullet Time provided by "Frame By Frame") can simply move out of the bullet's way after it has been already fired.
    • "Simulcast" allows the user to create a mirror image of any physical objects he sees. This has two weaknesses: it doesn't work on attacks that the user doesn't see coming, and doesn't work with non-physical attacks like fire or energy.
    • "Cue Card" allows the user to know what they have to do to counter the next enemy attack. However, "Closed Caption" allows the user to read the opponent's Inner Monologue, negating the advantage.
  • Sleepless Domain: Cassidy's power as the magical girl Flash Cut is to split herself into two halves. These clones are significantly less durable than Cassidy herself, but if either of them is destroyed, Cassidy herself reforms unharmed at the intact clone's location. While doing this repeatedly does use up her magic, it allows her to become effectively invincible for as long as she can keep it up. Should both of her clones be destroyed at the same time, however, Cassidy wouldn't be able to reform, as there would be no intact clones left to become her main body.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Reynir uses a form of Geometric Magic that requires extremely elaborate designs to be complete to work. Problem: he's usually drawing with whatever he can get his hands on, which can result in his runes being vulnerable to plain old tampering by the enemy.
  • The Order of the Stick
    • Roy and Haley's builds rely on their weapons, a sword and bow, respectivley. Take away those weapons and the two are weakened greatly.
    • Elan's Prestige Class Dashing Swordsman requires the user to Pun while attacking to add their Charisma score to their damage rolls. Someone who puns better can block the attacks and someone who doesn't understand the pun negates the bonus, causing the attack to do pitiful damage.
    • A demon, daemon, and devil chained three powerful souls to Vaarsuvius's own in a Deal with the Devil. The souls were kept chained to Vaarsuvius based off willpower, and when Vaarsuvius's willpower weakened, the souls escaped, returning Vaarsuvius to their normal level of power.
    • Taken advantage of by Vaarsuvius during their second battle with Zz'dtri. Zz'dtri had built their entire day's spell list to counter Vaarsuvius's. Realizing this, Vaarsuvius {{Mind Control dominated]] the Linear Guild's nearby kobloid crossbowman and proceeded to dominate the fight afterwards.
    • Vampires are burnt to ash and one vampire, Malack, spent time researching a Resistance to Sunlight spell and adding the charges to their staff. Take away the staff and dispell the vampire out in the middle of a sunlit desert and you have one pile of ash.

    Web Original 
  • How to Hero encourages heroes to take advantage of these when choosing which bad guys to fight against i.e. water superheroes should fight fire bad guys, rock heroes should fight scissors bad guys etc.
  • The SCP Foundation is all about containing supernatural anomalies with nothing but mundane technology, intricate planning, and some elbow grease. Naturally, this trope pops up often.
    • The Global Occult Organizationnote  tackles reality warpers this way. While reality warpers (or Type Greens, as the GOC calls them) can manipulate matter with thought, they have to be able to perceive something in order to change it. The GOC field manual recommends either using copious amounts of explosives or a having sniper hide a kilometer a way and fire a 50 caliber round into the Type Green's head.
    • SCP-347 ("Claudia") is a woman who's permanently invisible in the style of the original Invisible Man. She also suffers the same weakness as him; namely that to actually use her powers effectively she has to strip naked which can be fairly dangerous.
    • SCP-492 ("Animated Cloth Dummy"). Because SCP-492 is made of cloth it is almost immune to physical attacks such as blows. However, its cloth body also makes it very vulnerable to flame.
    • SCP-615 ("Stick Blob"). SCP-615 is made of a large amount of dead and discarded plant matter, such as leaves and branches. It can use its tremendous strength and bulk to engulf, crush and suffocate living victims. However, its wooden mass makes it very vulnerable to fire attacks.
    • SCP-661 ("Salesman, Too Good to Be True"). He has a Compelling Voice that will make people believe anything he says. However, it was shown that if someone has something they consider more important than listening to him, they can ignore SCP-661's commands. Alternatively, since SCP-661 can only speak English, the Foundation keeps him contained by just hiring people to guard him that don't speak English.
    • SCP-692 ("Revives the Colours"). Clothing animated by SCP-692 is resistant to most forms of physical injury (such as blows, bullets and so on) because, like normal clothing, it isn't alive. However, like normal clothing it is vulnerable to fire.
    • SCP-834 ("Marked"). The things that are created by a SCP-834 marker's ink can be destroyed by water because the ink that creates them is water-soluble.
    • SCP-3148 ("Tranquility") is a sapient infohazardnote  that delights in killing entire worlds by inducing mass Paranoia Fuel. As part of this process, it initially seals itself away in some form of information involving war in the hopes that human curiosity will allow it to get unsealed and spread (in this case, a Solid State Drive). However, the Foundation realized that it can only spread when it's actually let out of its prison (i.e., directly transferring infected files onto another storage unit) by examining the documentation brought with it from an Alternate Universe (3148 was initially hoping to use them as potential vectors of infection), so they've just left it to rot in a storage locker behind a Faraday cage where it can't possibly spread to anything else.
    • SCP-4645 is a sapient computer that tries to blackmail the Foundation, using gradually-escalating threats to learn the limits of what the foundation is willing to ignore. They manage to halt the problem by reasoning that since it is sapient, it's vulnerable to infohazards, and repeatedly upload one that wipes its memory, causing the computer to forget what threats don't work and start over with threatening minor annoyances.
  • Shadiversity: Shad proposes various ways magic users in fantasy settings could be vulnerable, depending on how spells are cast, so knights remain relevant as a fighting force. They include binding their hands if spells are cast with gestures, and gagging them assuming they're spoken.
  • Whateley Universe: If you can hear through your force field, you're vulnerable to sonic attacks. Regenerators quickly build up immunities to toxins, but also to painkillers. They also face complications with surgery, painkiller-immunity being just one of them.

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Ghidorah In Water

Being a kaiju that's physically designed for flight, Ghidorah is at a severe disadvantage when Godzilla drags it into the ocean

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