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Logical Weakness

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Bill: 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.
Bill: 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.


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.


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. See also Weaker in the Real World, where a charater'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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    Comic Books 
  • Batgirl (2000): Cassandra Cain's ability to predict her opponent's moves makes her practically unbeatable in hand-to-hand combat. The only problem is that her abilities rely on her incredible knowledge of human body language, meaning that it's practically useless against aliens, robots, and even some metahumans. In other settings this wouldn't be much of an issue, but given that it's the DCU, she tends to run into this problem fairly often, though thankfully she's still borderline superhuman in her strength and agility. Notably, Cassandra also ran into problems when facing the The Joker, of all people. While he would normally not be considered a good enough fighter to pose a threat to a martial artist of her caliber, she has a hard time reading him because, as Batman puts it, "his body language just comes out as gibberish."
  • The Ghost Rider has an ability called the Penance Stare, where he looks into his enemy's eyes and bombards their very soul with all of the suffering and pain they have inflicted on others. However, this doesn't work if the target is A) soulless, B) void of any regrets, C) so sadistic that they don't even care (looking at you, Thanos), D) draw power from pain, or E) blind, though it should be noted how this ability works is portrayed inconsistently as Depending on the Writer something such as lack of regret won't stave off the effects of the Penance Stare.
  • In Mega Robo Bros, Alex and Freddy deduce that Robot 23 is likely as susceptible to Magnetic Pulse Generators as Alex is, if they were both from the same facility.
  • In Runaways, Victor is a cyborg and can't pass through metal detectors without setting them off.
  • The White Tiger amulet contains the power of the Tiger God, the very first thing humanity feared, thus granting the user the power to inflict terror and fear on others. The problem? The Tiger God was the first thing humanity feared, which means it has no effect on things like aliens, Atlanteans or Asgardians.
  • Victor Alvarez, the third Power Man, has the ability to absorb knowledge, culture, and history in the form of chi to grow stronger. New Avengers (2015) shows that when he's in an environment that's entirely new and void of any past at all, he's got nothing to absorb.
  • Plastic Man, because of his rubber based powers, has been known for having a vulnerability with extreme temperature changes and (in some incarnations) being in contact with acetone.
  • X-Men:
    • Wolverine:
      • He can't pass through metal detectors because of his skeleton. He is also vulnerable to magnets. (This doesn't stop him from attacking Magneto as if he doesn't remember what happened the last zillion times - his skeleton also makes him vulnerable to magnetism) Of course, this doesn't stop him in any story that requires him to travel by plane. At least once this has been played for laughs, with Wolverine and another character walking out of an airport while she comments on how she's always wondered how he got through metal detectors and now she knows. The reader, of course, is not privy to this information. Once, he walked into the Pentagon, and showed a medical certificate stating he has metallic prosthetics due to war injuries. Not far from the truth. In the Ultimate Universe, he once got in by sticking a (fake) grenade into some guy's bag so airport security would freak out and he could sneak past the detectors in all the confusion... Ultimate Wolverine is a bit more of a Jerkass than regular Wolverine.
      • There's also the fact that having his entire skeleton coated in adamantium would kill him without his Healing Factor: Not only is adamantium toxic, (there's a reason real-life prosthesis involves biologically inert metals like titanium) but it would prevent his marrow from functioning properly.
      • Speaking of things toxic, while his healing factor makes him highly resistant to toxins in general, it also counteracts things like anaesthetics and sedatives, making the rare surgery he needs extremely difficult at best. It also means getting drunk involves a titanic effort on his part, and with his background, he could use getting drunk a little more often.
      • His metal bones weigh a lot, causing him to have difficulty swimming and to make it even worse drowning is one of the few ways to kill Wolverine, since drowning starves the brain of resources. His healing factor can't save him either, because there is nothing to heal - and even if brain cells were regrown, they wouldn't make the same connections.
    • His daughter/Opposite-Sex Clone X23 suffers many of these same weaknesses, though her body is not severely impacted by adamantium itself since only her claws are bonded.
    • X-23's Arch-Enemy Kimura's body is indestructible; not even adamantium blades can damage it. She has no protection from telepathic attacks, and she still needs to breathe. She once suffered a Mind Rape by Emma Frost, and in All-New Wolverine, X-23 kills her by drowning her in the ocean.
    • Shadowcat:
      • She can only stay phased inside an object as long as she can hold her breath. When the character debuted, it was pretty clear that she couldn't breathe at all while phased, which made sense because air, while not solid, would still be out-of-phase relative to Kitty. This was either a source of Fridge Brilliance because there's no air inside solid objects, and the air wouldn't move with her. It would just dissipate. This limitation was invoked for story reasons, to make the character sometimes vulnerable when in costume. It changed to its current interpretation around the time of the Mutant Massacre, when she got injured and her default state became "phased". If she couldn't breathe while phased, this would have killed her quickly.
      • Also averted in that she is never shown dropping through the center of the Earth whenever she phases, so it is assumed she can apparently create phase boundaries on the soles of her feet allowing her to walk on solid ground even though she is out of phase with it. She examined the Fridge Logic of this and learned that "down" was what she made of it. She can walk on nothing, a power that she's used to great effect on several occasions. Used as a weakness in one instance, when a Brainwashed and Crazy Wolverine attacks her by stabbing her not-phased foot. Ouch.
    • Colossus can turn himself into organic steel completely, including all the internal workings of his body. Apparently he does not have blood in this form (and neither does it require it). One downside to this is that if something does manage to injure him through the Nigh Invulnerable status, turning back into the more frail and bleeding human form would be a Very Bad Idea. Fortunately he can still heal with time. In his metal form, the equivalent of setting broken bones requires heavy machinery. Also much like Wolvie, he is vulnerable to magnetism, leading to problems fighting Magneto.
    • House of X #2 reveals that Moira MacTaggert has the mutant power to return to the womb at the time of her death with all of the memories of her past lives intact. However, as Destiny points out, it's a mutant power, which means it won't activate until she reaches 13. If she dies before then, then she's Killed Off for Real.
  • Spider-Man:
    • The Sandman:
      • Humorous example verging on a Weaksauce Weakness: the Sandman was first defeated when Spider-Man vacuumed him up.
      • He also once teamed up with Hydro-Man, until they realized that if they touched, they combined into a sort of composite sludge monster. They got stuck that way for a while. When they separated, Sandman was so traumatized he pulled a Heel–Face Turn, at least for a while.
      • Similarly, intense heat or electric attacks can turn him to glass. Sometimes when fighting the Sinister Six, Spidey and other heroes use Deadly Dodging to get Electro to do this.
    • Spider-Man:
      • He has been shown to be susceptible to pesticides that affect spiders. He can't stick to surfaces that are sufficiently slick.
      • His Spider-Sense can also be rendered useless or even a drawback if faced with overwhelming danger from multiple sources. Iron Man also proved that if Peter can build a tracer that emits a signal detectable by his spider sense, then others can build devices to trigger false positives in his spider sense, rendering one of his greatest advantages useless.
      • Peter was the main host to the Venom symbiote for a while before he got rid of it. The close connection meant that the Symbiote has an understanding of every part of his physiology, including the Spidey-Sense, and has adapted itself to not set it off. Venom is one of the few foes who Peter can't see coming.
      • The sense isn't very specific, and can thus be fooled by misdirection. For instance, in one What If? story, The Punisher set a trap with a Dr. Octopus dummy and a bomb. Spidey assumed that his danger sense was going off because he was about to tangle with Doc Ock and never realized the real threat until too late.
    • The aforementioned Hydro-Man was defeated in his second battle with Spider-Man when the wall crawler tricked him into spreading his liquid form too far and left him unable to reform his body before evaporating. As he is made of water, he can also be defeated by being turned into ice and kept at the right temperature, such as when Spider-Man used an Ice Pellet to take him out effortlessly. He is also vulnerable to electrocution.
  • Longtime Justice Society of America villain Johnny Sorrow has the ability to kill anyone who sees the face beneath his mask. Naturally, this didn't go over well when he tried to use it on Dr. Mid Nite, who is blind. Also, that bit about anyone seeing his face? That includes Johnny himself, which means showing him a photo or reflection of himself is the easiest way to get rid of him.
  • The fourth Judomaster, Sonia Sato, has the ability to generate an aversion field, which makes it impossible to hit her. This means she's at a disadvantage against attacks not specifically directed at her, like an explosion, or a foe that can attack her from every angle, like the Justice Society villain Tapeworm.
  • Firestorm's main power is transmuting matter. He can change practically anything into practically anything else, such as lead into gold, or air into gold, or bullets into water, or water into plutonium. Not even considering his additional powers, this would make him nigh-godlike, except for one detail: he has a normal human mind and no Super Senses, so he needs to mentally keep track of the chemical composition of everything he transmutes. This means that he can transmute things freely into elements and very simple compounds (like water (H2O) or salt (NaCl), and maybe even TNT (C6H2(NO2)3CH3) at most), but making things more complicated than that requires great concentration, if he can do it at all.
  • Superman:
    • While not their most prominent weakness, Kryptonians are at least hurt by high-powered sonics. Their Super Senses and invulnerability seem to roughly cancel each other out in this instance.
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton, Lobo uses a sonic grenade to neutralize Supergirl. On the one hand, it works and Kara passes out because of the extreme pain. On the other hand, she's real mad when she comes to.
    • Superman and Supergirl's weakness to red sunlight fits as their powers depend specifically on yellow sunlight. The New 52 and Man of Steel versions depend on multiple factors of Earth's atmosphere for their powers, thus exposure to a Krypton-like atmosphere can shut their powers down.
    • Superman's super resistance to injury proves a problem when he is shot with a kryptonite bullet and needs surgery. Fortunately, the surgeon is clever enough to use a shard of the bullet he could access to weaken Superman just enough to make the incisions necessary to extract the rest.
  • Quite a few heroes with regeneration powers have logical weaknesses as a result. Savage Dragon's bones will knit wrong if not set quickly (forcing him to re-break them), Claire from Heroes avoids this by having her healing not kick in until foreign objects are removed and bones set but this obviously has its own drawbacks as Claire can be stuck unconscious until someone happens along to help her. Batman once faced a dilemma trying to remove a kryptonite bullet from Superman as the wound was closing around the bullet too quickly and he was still tough enough to resist surgical instruments. When Hulk required surgery, he sought out Doctor Doom to help, who built an adamantium chainsaw to use in the procedure.
    • One issue of Ghost Rider made use of this in offense: A villain named Scarecrow (no, not that one) had been imbued with a healing factor which seemed to make him practically immortal. Ghost Rider decided to solve the problem at least temporarily by breaking all of his limbs and holding them in place crooked while the bones mended.
  • Deadpool's regeneration is actually tailored to work with his cancer. It replaces cells killed off by the cancer at around the same rate that the cells are killed off, with room to spare for other wounds and injuries. A group of Skrulls, during the Secret Invasion storyline, tried to make a group of Skrulls with his healing factor... but without the cancer to hold the healing in check, they overhealed and exploded. Fridge Logic hits hard though when you remember that cancer itself is uncontrolled cell growth. Which his healing factor cuts down to normal-ish levels. His entire body is pretty much one big human-shaped mass of cancer cells, constantly dying and regenerating again. Is it any wonder why he's completely, utterly insane? (One theory actually posits that his insanity is at least in part due to his brain cells being constantly reconfigured by the regeneration.)
  • Porcelain of the Secret Six has the ability to make anything they touch shatter like glass, with their ability becoming more powerful the harder an object is. But therein lies the catch: since it scales to how hard an object is, Porcelain's ability has no effect on soft objects, which means someone like Elongated Man would be their Man of Kryptonite.
  • Most Marvel magical heroes, like Wiccan, the Scarlet Witch, and Doctor Strange, use spoken spells and Magical Gestures to use their power. They can be incapacitated by anyone who can get them Bound and Gagged — if not taken out first by a rush of tranquilizer darts they never see coming — which has led most of them to learn the basics of self defense so they can protect themselves physically.
    • Loki's frequent cohort The Enchantress is one of the most powerful sorceresses in the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, she needs her hands and voice to cast spells most of the time. Sturdy bonds and a gag are enough to do her in, as both the Frost Giants and Doctor Strange's partner Clea have demonstrated several times.
    • Zatanna, who activates her magic by speaking backwards, is one of the DC Universe's top magic users, but, because she needs to verbalize her spells, she can be rendered helpless if she's made unable to speak. This leads to Zatanna frequently being Bound and Gagged by her enemies. The Catwoman, who does not possess powers, easily defeats Zatanna by duct-taping her mouth shut and pushing her out of a window.
    • Likewise Shazam's Marvel Family gets their powers By the Power of Grayskull!—Billy and Mary say "Shazam!," while Freddy says "Captain Marvel!" Especially in the Golden Age, they got gagged a lot to create tension. (You'll also notice that Freddy's weakness goes an extra step—since his code name is Captain Marvel Jr., he can't say his own name without changing back to his mortal form. Hence why he kept wanting to change it.)
  • The Big Bad of Sleeper has a great intellect and uses it to talk to his enemies and convince them not to fight him, or even to Mind Rape them. Up until one of them rips his tongue out of his mouth.
  • When Mr. X joined the Thunderbolts, he bragged at length about being able to predict every move his opponents made based on a combination of low-level telepathy and reading body language. This served him well until he came up against Quicksilver. Suddenly, being able to predict his opponent's moves didn't help at all since he still wasn't fast enough to counter them. Trying to fight against Amadeus Cho also went badly, because telepathic contact with Cho's genius level intellect and seeing mathematical patterns everywhere was disorienting to Mr. X.
  • Sebastian Shaw can absorb kinetic energy to make himself stronger, making attacking him directly useless. However, he still needs to breathe, and has no special resistance to temperature - Storm once made him run away by making the area so cold that he couldn't stand it.
  • Shaw's Hellfire Club-mate Harry Leland can increase the mass of things near him, without changing their volume, making most people trying to attack him unable to move from the weight. Unfortunately, if you've already pouncing towards him in an attack from above, the increase in weight is only going to make for a heavier crash.
  • Emma Frost eventually developed a "secondary" mutation with a new power (no, not that one, she ALWAYS had that): being able to become living diamond, much like Colossus' organic steel above. Also much like him, she became Nigh Invulnerable, almost totally impervious to physical attacks, temperatures, etc. The downsides were that she lost her psychic powers (though she was also now fairly invulnerable to others'), and while she's yet to be actually "beaten down" the occasional writer remembers that diamonds are hard but they're brittle. When struck properly her form cracks, and she was once completely shattered, needing the walking Deus ex Machina known as the Phoenix Force to be put back together.
  • The level of available oxygen affects the Human Torch's powers, as well as a good soaking. The Venom symbiote once blasted him with a huge amount of sand that smothered his flame. The Thing has proven that super strong lungs can blow out Johnny's flame. Plus his powers are unreliable in a vacuum.
  • In the Sub-Mariner comics by Marvel, Atlanteans have this dependency on water given their aquatic adaptation, with the exception of the mixed breed Namor. Same can be said of Aquaman, though his dependency on water eventually faded going into the new millennium.
  • For a Green Lantern, anything that affects their concentration or undermines their resolve can weaken their effectiveness given that their power is directly dependent on their willpower. Indeed, each color of the Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum represents a specific emotion, and lacking that emotion weakens the corresponding Lantern. From red to violet these emotions are Rage, Greed, Fear, Will, Hope, Compassion, and Love.
  • Batman finally figured out a weakness for Wonder Woman, who has no Weaksauce Weakness. Her upbringing was highly competitive and she won the right to represent her culture in man's world by winning a competition. Batman guessed correctly that her body would give out before she ever willingly gave up and came up with a way to force her into Fighting a Shadow, as seen in Justice League of America: Tower of Babel.
  • Luke Cage has skin that is tough enough to resist explosions, bullets, and any edged weapon except adamantium, but his internal organs are every bit as squishy as a normal human's, and his invulnerable skin makes it almost impossible to surgically treat any injuries. In Jessica Jones (2015), the only way Jess could stop a Brainwashed and Crazy Luke was by shooting him in the head point blank, which didn't directly kill him, but it did give him a near-fatal concussion. When his brain began hemorrhaging, nurse Claire Temple had to stick a needle around his eye in order to reach his brain and drain the fluid to save his life. Even that only worked because the super-strong Jessica was there to hold him down when he started convulsing. If both ladies weren't present, he would have surely died. Like Wolverine, he can still drown if thrown in a body of water and prevented from swimming.
  • The Flash:
    • The Flash's powers are all about kinetic energy; they move with Super Speed and doing so requires super-charging themselves with kinetic energy, and most of their abilities generally involve some application of this. So what's the opposite of kinetic force? Coldness (the absence of heat/vibration in atoms). Captain Cold, Golden Glider, various ice-villains, and many others have weaponised this specifically for this reason, while it's also been shown that the Flash doesn't do super well in cold environments.
    • Also, as powerful as The Flash and the Flash Family are, with the sole exception of Jesse Quick (who inherited both her dad's super speed and her mom's super-strength), they're generally Fragile Speedsters; they heal fast, but an enemy with significant super-strength and Nigh-Invulnerability can tank most of their hits and easily overpower them. They also have nothing to protect them from mental attacks, and, as was demonstrated once, their speed has a very unfortunate effect on pathogens, meaning that if they become infected with viruses or diseases, it will hit them harder and faster than a normal person.
    • Bart Allen had his kneecap blown off, and was rushed to a hospital. During the surgery his Super Speed meant that his flesh kept trying to heal improperly before an artificial kneecap could be placed, forcing the doctors to cut him open repeatedly. His metabolism meant that no anesthesia could be used either. The same series reveals that he can't get tattoos; they heal in no time.
    • For a time, Wally West (the Third Flash) had his powers reduced to more "realistic" levels with some obvious drawbacks. His upper limit was about the speed of sound (any faster would tear him apart), he required massive amounts of calories to fuel his metabolism, and his uniform had to be made of special low friction materials (and required frequent repair and replacement). Eventually the "Speed Force" was discovered, which not only increased his powers to a level even greater than his predecessor Barry Allen, but also provided numerous Required Secondary Powers to remove these weaknessnote . He's still a Big Eater, though, but it's because he wants to be.
  • Taskmaster has the power to copy the skills and movements of anyone. However this doesn't grant him Required Secondary Powers, which can potentially render a copied skill useless; he once copied someone's diving abilities only to nearly drown when it turned out he hadn't bothered to copy the ability to swim. His copying powers also overwrite his memories and own skills, as he still has the mental capacity of a normal person; not only has he forgotten how to perform some basic menial tasks but he's also forgotten most of his childhood, his ex-wife, and possibly even his daughter. When up against Deadpool's random insanity, he can't predict anything and gets confused and beaten pretty quickly. He has a similar problem with Moon Knight. It's not that he can't predict or copy him, it's that Moon Knight's fighting style is too gluttonous for punishment for Taskmaster's tastes.
  • Daredevil:
    • His radar senses are pretty useful most of the time. Too bad they can become blurred and disorienting if there are too many objects around at once. Plus his strong senses mean he's sensitive to extremely loud noises. The movie depicts him as having to rest in a sensory deprivation tank to be able to sleep.
    • Daredevil's super-hearing often acts as a lie detector when he can hear irregularities in someone's heart rate, so as lawyer Matt Murdock, he took on a client who told Matt, with a steady voice and steady heartbeat, that he did not order the murder he was accused of. The man turned out to be a career criminal with a pacemaker, used to telling lies with a straight face, who had indeed ordered the hit. Although Matt got him acquitted in court, he still met justice by the end of the issue.
    • It's long been established that Daredevil can read ordinary print thanks to his super-sensitive touch. In the 21st century, though, more and more vital information appears on screens. Because it's not (currently) common knowledge that DD is blind, this has occasionally left him screwed, such as when Elektra handed him a piece of plot-critical evidence on her smartphone.
    • His super-touch itself causes him trouble; extra sensitivity means extra pain, to the point that in the TV series he sleeps on silk sheets because cotton feels like sandpaper.
    • Being immersed in water leaves him pretty helpless, since the water nullifies smell and sound.
  • The Silver Age DC villain Ten-Eyed Man was a guy whose "power" was being able to see through his fingertips. Every single battle involving him ended with him being tricked into grabbing something causing him incapacitating pain. Batman: The Brave and the Bold lampshaded this by having Batman defeat him by chucking a cactus at him. He was used as a one-shot villain in Batman: The Black Glove and was defeated by throwing shrimp scampi sauce on his hands.
  • Gagging Black Canary could effectively disable her sonic scream, despite the fact the Canary Cry theoretically should be able to break through any cloth. That too, has decreased in recent years, although Deathstroke found an "interesting" way to silence her in an issue of Green Arrow.
  • Siryn from X-Factor (2006) has a similar gag weakness. However, it's handled very inconsistently; in one case she was able to shatter a metal gag with low-frequency sonics, while a later story had her effectively neutralized by a strip of duct tape placed over her mouth.
  • Venus from Agents of Atlas possesses the same above-mentioned gag weakness. Luckily, she also has superhuman strength to compensate, so it takes a pretty powerful opponent to muzzle her in the first place.
  • Songbird (formerly Screaming Mimi) from Thunderbolts is another vocal-based heroine who is rendered completely useless if she's gagged.
  • Max Damage in Irredeemable becomes stronger the longer he's awake. He still needs sleep however, so by the time he's been awake long enough to fight The Plutonian he'll be suffering from some serious sleep deprivation.
  • Jesse Custer, the main character of Preacher, has a Compelling Voice power called "The Word of God". If he gives someone a command while using the voice, they're helpless to do anything but obey. However, for it to work, it has to be heard and understood, so someone with their ears plugged, or assassins who don't speak English, (which is the only language Jesse can speak) are immune and safe. The Saint of Killers is also willing to bet that he can draw his guns and shoot Jessie before Jesse can say a single word. Jesse, who has seen just how fast and lethal the Saint is, doesn't try his luck when the two confront each other.
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye: Tarn is capable of using his voice to coax other people's sparks into giving up (and then exploding). Eventually, Deathsaurus points out this requires the person has to be able to hear him, and has turned off his audio receptors. However, Tarn reveals he can just use the internal radio of the ship they're on instead.
  • Magicians in Dungeon: The Early Years are versatile powerhouse and are never shown tiring from their spells. However they still need their throats and hand to cast their magic.
  • The Absorbing Man (a Thor villain) is often defeated by taking advantage of logical weaknesses of substances he absorbs. For example, Spider-Man beats him by tricking him into absorbing one chemical, and then burying him in another chemical that reacts explosively with the first. He can be shattered if he turns into a brittle substance, diluted if he turns into liquid (although he later figured out how to keep himself together), and if you trick him into touching toilet paper, then he's going to be as fragile and easily torn as toilet paper. He also once absorbed all the properties of Thor's hammer- including 'Thor can control this hammer'.
  • During one of his battles with Atomic Robo, Helsingrad boasts about how his MechSuit's sense were tied into those of his cyborg-zombie minions. Robo quickly realizes that if he beats on the minions long enough and hard enough, Helsingrad will suffer from sensory overload. Unfortunately, Helsingrad anticipated this, and installed a failsafe that cuts off the sensory link at a certain pain threshold. Played straight with the fact that Helsingrad is a Brain in a Jar, meaning a well-placed shot is all it takes.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: Despite turning into metal, Colossus' eyes are still vulnerable to a sharp Eye Poke, as Sam Wilson reveals. Because if they were made of metal, how would he be able to see?
    • The Ultimates: Gregory's Nanotech powers are far superior to anything the Ultimates can throw at him, let alone what Tony's suit is capable of. However, still being based purely in technology, Gregory is still vulnerable to something his "stupid" little brother had long made contingencies for in his own suit.
    Gregory: What have you got? Pulsar-beams? Booster jets? Durability? A force field?
    Tony: Don't forget my electromagnetic pulse.
    Gregory: *depowered* What? What's happening? What have you done!
    Tony: Your tech might be better than mine, but it's still just tech, Greg. That pulse just took out every piece of electronics in a ten-mile radius.
    Gregory: Oh no.
  • Venom: Eddie Brock is fighting the supervillain Stegron, a dinosaur-human hybrid. Stegron boasts that he outweighs Eddie by about fifteen hundred punds; Eddie correctly deduces that he's too heavy to swim, and defeats Stegron by breaking open a water pipe and flooding his lair.
  • In Cardboard, the cardboard creatures can be killed by dousing them with water.

    Fan Works 
  • 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.
  • Ancient Sins: all the characters are weak to magic dampening attacks, except Dante, since he's trained to be a physically imposing opponent without magic. Despite this, he still has moments of weakness when faced with opponents of better skill and power. However, the greatest one of this is The Nothing/Tadmir, who is a being of pure destruction and void. Its weakness is when it possesses a body, which renders it vulnerable and can even be killed, but this also kills the vessel.
  • 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.
  • 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 on the softer end of the scale 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).
  • 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 bring 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 tune 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.
  • 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.
    • 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 say run from one city to another. 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.
  • A trio of cursed items in Customer Service all fail because the persons who get ahold of them are in some way immune to them. 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.
  • 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 subjucating 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.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Incredibles:
    • Violet can be seen while invisible if you throw something other than her suit on her. It has to be her custom-made supersuit too. Her regular clothes stay visible when she vanishes.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Shrek 2, Mongo (an 80-foot-tall Gingerbread Man) is vulnerable to becoming soggy.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In The Amazing Spider-Man, the cold-blooded Lizard becomes sluggish and vulnerable when chilled.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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).
  • 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.
  • 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. They did also get help from an outside source which does instinctively know all of that.
    • Another of magic's major rules is that effects called by magic, once out there, will follow the laws of physics unless you explicitly control 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. 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, they're just mundane pieces of ice flying at high speed, meaning magic resistance is totally 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • In 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 on emergency rations, what would be sufficient for a normal person 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 as the other recruits due to a bureaucratic policy, is essentially suffering from malnutrition.
  • 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 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.
  • Villains by Necessity: Robin (like all centaurs in this universe) is blue-green colorblind. Thus he can't tell when the villains replace the blue stones of his magical bracelet (which lets him teleport and deliver spy reports) with green ones, and is unable to escape. Mages also 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 the in the latter books the 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, this trait does not extend to the wand's master. As such, it is a completely viable option to take out the wizard using the wand, preferably without the wand itself even coming into play. As such, the wand has changed allegiance over such things as its master being disarmed or killed outside of a Wizard Duel, and in a way that renders the wand a non-factor in the equation. This includes the wand not being in the physical possession of its master at the time or its master being defeated before he can even use it to defend himself.

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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 
  • 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, and while each is worth a dozen regular human soldiers, they are easily entangled and blocked by masses of cheaper horde units.
    • Dark Eldar weaponry is designed for quick lethal volleys that break defense lines and allow for hit-and-run. Prolonged combat is not something they exactly shine at.
    • Similarly, delicate Tau long-ranged weapons are useless in close combat. Their entire army is so weak in melee that they utilize allied regiments just for the purpose of keeping enemy fighters at bay.
    • Due to an oversight in rules, Tau Humongous Mecha battlesuits that can entrench (by rooting themselves 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 since the impact would simply shatter the mecha's legs.
    • Abilities that deal damage based on enemy morale are a bane of 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.
    • Due to now obsolete Instant Death rule, the No Kill Like Overkill weapons used to block the ability of weaker units to regenerate or revive. 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 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 makes some explosive results.
  • Some of the Disadvantages of characters in the Champions superhero RPG are of this type. For example, the insect-like alien Insectoid took damage from exposure to the insecticide malathion.
  • 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.
  • In most versions of Dungeons & Dragons, to cast a spell, spell casters must (usually) perform one or more actions, as denoted by the books as Components. Each one has pretty obvious counters. Possible actions and counters: speaking loudly and clearly (a verbal component) which can be blocked by gagging or silencing the caster, moving and gesturing (a somatic component) blocked by binding the caster, and 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. Also, most spells require a specific target; if the mage can't pinpoint something (usually due to lack of visibility), it can't be targeted.

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Fire Guy's stick limbs don't exactly provide him with Super Strength...
  • RWBY:
    • 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.
    • 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 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 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.

    Web Comics 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 millimiter. 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.

    Web Original 
  • The SCP Foundation is all about containing supernatural anomalies with nothing but mundane technology, intricate planning, and some elbow grese. 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-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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • In "The Silent King", Finn overthrows the evil Xergiok, king of the goblins. When Xergiok returns with an army of hulking ear-headed monsters called "Earclopses", Finn easily defeats them with loud noises.
    • In the Grand Finale "Come Along With Me", GOLB, an embodiment of primordial chaos comes to Ooo. At first it seems that all is lost, as nothing they do seems to do more than annoy his minions, until BMO's singing repels one of his minions. Bubblegum then realizes that as an embodiment of discord, GOLB is weak to harmony.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Because benders channel their powers through martial arts, binding or paralyzing their limbs is an effective means of defeating or imprisoning them, though sufficiently skilled benders are able to get beyond this. For example, when King Bumi is locked into a coffin with only his face poking out, he is able to Earthbend fairly effectively using only his chin. Then again, he is 110 years old (really, not the Human Popsicle 110-year-old that Aang technically is), so he's had a lot of time to master Earthbending with any part of his body.
    • Both Earth and Waterbenders have a wide variety of moves to choose from, but require quantities of the element to bend, giving them a disadvantage in ocean and desert environments respectively.
    • Fire and Airbenders always have their element at hand, but also have their own weaknesses. Fire requires stable breath control to use (making it easier to lose control or tire from using the element), is less effective in the cold or at night, and lacks many defensive moves. Likewise, Air Bending has fewer offensive moves, and the culture surrounding it is quite pacifistic, making it especially difficult to finish a fight.
    • Mainstream firebending has the problem that it's powered by the user's emotions to a much greater degree than the others. The result is that a change in the powering emotion can have massive effects; for instance Zuko was nearly powerless when he gained control of his anger issues. The original version, which very few people know about, is based on balance and doesn't have this problem.
    • Toph Bei Fong was born blind, but uses Earthbender skills as a Disability Superpower to feel vibrations in stone, compacted soil and metal. This means she can't "see" things that aren't touching the ground and her "sight" is severely impaired if she's not in contact with her element. She's extremely apprehensive riding on Appa, gets a view comparable to static when on sand (though it is possible for earthbenders to control sand, and she has gained enough skill with it to create a mini Ba Sing Se out of sand in the first part of the Grand Finale), and is seen having to hold on to her companions when traveling on a wood-built village. Traveling on a metal boat is bearable, but she throws up within minutes of boarding a submarine. In a world without Braille, she's also illiterate. But if she's on an earthen surface, she can see all around her, even behind things. None of this stops her from intercepting catapult weapons fired from another ship on water, though that may just be her inherent skill. Word of God states that she can detect earth even when it isn't in contact with the ground (catapult weapons used by firebenders are nothing more than boulders covered with flaming oil), which also explains how she can even counter Earthbender attacks coming at her from the air.
    • One episode has her and Katara get locked up in a cell made of wood, something neither of them can bend. They get out by working up enough of a sweat for Katara to weaponize.
    • With Metalbending having become a full-fledged bending discipline by the time of The Legend of Korra, the sequel series also shows the bending style's weaknesses: they are very susceptible to electric attacks due to using reels of metallic cord to attack with as well as the metal-covered suits they wear. Their metal suits also make them vulnerable to powerful magnets built into special mecha-tanks used against them. Metalbending works by bending the earthy impurities in most metals. As such, most villains in Korra got around this with weapons and Tailor Made Prisons made of more purified elements (specifically platinum).
    • Also in Korra there is Ming-Hua, a waterbender without arms who bends water into tentacle-like appendages to compensate. While her control makes her a very hard opponent for any waterbender, a firebender can evaporate her arms if she doesn't have a water source to replace them from, and keeping the water attached to her body makes her extremely vulnerable to electrocution by a firebender who can bend lightning. Of course, without her Combat Tentacles, she doesn't have any arms, making her even less capable of defending herself without her bending.
    • The combustion benders in both series use a special third-eye tattoo to channel their explosions. Attacking this point in any way can disrupt their powers.
    • Chi-blocking in both series also goes both ways of this trope. Against benders, it exploits how they usually need space and momentum to quickly and efficiently take them down. However, they, specifically the Equalists, are consistently on the receiving end of this trope in either going against a bending style that's both rare and evasion-focused (airbending) or a non-bender that naturally fight up close to begin with (ex. Asami Sato).
  • This comes up a lot in Ben 10:
    • Ben himself; in order to use the Omnitrix, he has to dial between aliens and push the plunger down. As such, if he can't do that, then he can't transform.
    • Heatblast; aside from the usual weaknesses of fire-based powers (water, fire extinguishers, etc.), the fact he's made of fire means that he can't touch certain materials without burning them.
    • While Diamondhead's crystalline body is Nigh Invulnerable to most damage, Word of God confirms that the main exception is sonic attacks (shown in one episode where one such attack causes him to crack).
    • Ripjaws, coming from a piscine species, can't stay out of the water for too long, lest he risk suffocation.
    • Upgrade; magnetic forces disrupt his abilities since he's effectively a living pile of liquid metal.
    • Shocksquatch's primary method of generating electricity involves building up a static charge in his fur and releasing it, which he can't do if he's covered in an insulating material.
    • One of Whampire's powers is the ability to fire small bat-shaped projectiles that can control whoever they come in contact with. But in order to work, they need to make contact with the target's actual skin, as Ben finds out when he tried to use them on Exo-Skull, who is covered in armor.
    • In one episode, during a fight with Captain Nemesis, the not-so-good captain fights in a high-tech suit of armor that puts out a lot of heat. Ben simply turns into Water Hazard, hoses down Nemesis, and sucks out the water vapor. The rapid cooling embrittles the armor, causing it to crumble.
    • One of Ben's recurring foes, Michael Morningstar aka Darkstar, can drain the life energy from other beings like a vampire. At one point, he tries to use his ability on Ghostfreak, who, true to his name, has no life energy to be stolen.
  • On a Cartoon Network bumper, Zan of the Wonder Twins says "I could get beaten by a sponge! It wouldn't even have to be an evil sponge!"
  • Darkwing Duck:
    • Megavolt is an electricity-based villain shorted out by water.
    • The Liquidator is intimidated by "a common cleaning sponge" and (in a Shout-Out to John Kendrick Bangs' "The Water Ghost of Harrowby Hall") by being locked in a freezer, as well as by cement and even pudding mix!
    • Bushroot's plantlike body gives him a lot of advantages including extending arms and high resilience, but since it's plant tissue it's easy to cut. He is also vulnerable to weed-killer, and his feelings are easily hurt.
    • All of this is totaled up when Negaduck uses magic to steal the powers of all three of the above. He gets all the powers and all the weaknesses.
  • In Di-Gata Defenders, Seth's Guardian Kragus is a being made of stone who draws on the earth around him to take form. However, Seth was unable to summon him while on a boat, even one that had Dakocite stone as its cargo, because the summoning would likely sink the boat (Seth later weaponised this when he wanted to sink the boat). Also, in an earlier episode, when getting into a testosterone-fueled duel with Seth, Adam deliberately chooses a location where the ground is "Sigil-hardened" (ie: magically reinforced), forcing Kragus to be formed from nearby trees, instead - which isn't a good thing for Seth and Kragus, since Adam's Guardian is called Firefox for a reason.
  • In Exo Squad, Neosapiens are stated to have heightened senses. Early on in the show they flashbang one to great effect.
  • H2Olga, a nemesis of the Crimson Chin from The Fairly OddParents is made of water, so she's defeated by an ultra-absorbent diaper. In a later episode, Catman defeats her by pouring cat litter on her feet.
  • Gargoyles:
    • The show made a point of mentioning in one episode that you had to see and hear a magical spell being performed on you to be affected by it. When Demona casts her spell to turn every human in New York into statues at night (broadcast via TV), the only ones left unaffected are the blind (like Hudson's friend Robbins) and those who didn't see the broadcast (like Xanatos and one random woman who everyone thought was crazy the following morning after she said she didn't watch television).
    • The Gargoyles themselves don't fly, they glide. This imposes some reasonable limitations on their ability to use their wings.
    • The in-universe explanation for a gargoyle's stone form is that it allows them to absorb solar energy to fuel their Super Strength. As such, when a gargoyle turns to stone indoors, they're far weaker the following evening.
  • Gumby and his friends are made out of clay, so it's a plot point in several shorts that he's vulnerable to extreme cold (which causes him to freeze up) and extreme heat (which causes him to melt).
  • Gravity Falls:
    • The Living Statues in "Headhunters" are made of wax, and therefore, can melt from heat.
    • The clones created by the copy machine in the episode "Double Dipper" are made of ink and paper, so naturally, they dissolve when doused with liquid.
    • The baby pterodactyl from the episode "Land Before Swine" has its eyes on the sides of its head like a horse, and as Soos points out, this means it can't see anything standing directly in front of it.
    • In "Sock Opera", Bill Cipher possesses Dipper's body. But while Bill is all-powerful in the mindscape, being in Dipper's body makes him only as dangerous as a noodle-armed twelve-year-old. The fact that Dipper had gone several days without sleep and Bill had been purposely injuring the body to experience pain only compounds the problem, as Mabel is quick to point out when she and "Bipper" fight.
    • In "Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back The Falls", the unicorn hair shield prevents Bill and the Henchmaniacs from damaging the shack. However, Shacktron's limbs are outside the shield, allowing a giant Bill Cipher to rip off the mech's leg and beat it into submission with it.
  • In Disney's Hercules: The Animated Series, a monster steals the powers from heroes and demigods. Hercules then realizes that some of the powers carry crippling weaknesses, such as bright lights interfering with super vision, and uses that to trip up the monster.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: One Monster of the Week, Heckler, is designed to annoy, humiliate, and demoralize people with his cutting insults. When he starts mocking Pleakley's stand-up act, Pleakley switches to self-deprecating jokes, and Heckler is at a loss for words. It turns out Heckler can't make fun of people who are making fun of themselves.
  • The Mask:
    • Often employed by the hero, combined with Rule of Funny — Putty Thing has been defeated by being mixed with canola oil, falling into the ocean and being tricked into entering a cement mixer among other things; and three villains who escaped a comic book were defeated by destroying the comic.
    • Funny enough, Stanley himself was subject to this trope in one episode. Deciding to no longer be an Extreme Doormat, his civilian life is going great though his powers as The Mask weaken to the point he can't even stay transformed with a talk with his shrink realizing that he essentially needs to be a doormat as "Clark Kent" in order to be a fully-powered "Superman." While this initially sounds like Status Quo Is God it's actually some surprisingly good Fridge Brilliance considering the mask is basically a Catharsis Factor. No repression to unleash means no power.
  • Mega Man has been able to disable the blinding effects of Bright Man's Flash Stopper simply by wearing sunglasses.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Hawk Moth's power is to empower others; while this makes him difficult to track, it also means he has to rely on whichever random Parisian he Akumatizes that day. While Akumas aren't exactly in their right mind, they still have minds and their own goals and fallibility, meaning they can prioritize their goal over Hawk Moth's, misinterpret his commands, or make stupid choices Hawk Moth himself wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. While he does have a failsafe in the form of withdrawing the akuma, he needs to deliberately activate it. Robostus is able to betray him by hacking into his defenses, leaving him too busy dodging his own missiles to interfere.
    • All the Miraculous' powers are voice-activated; this means the Silencer, who can steal voices, has Heart Is an Awesome Power and is basically a Power Nullifier.
    • The Snake Miraculous's Second Chance is incredibly useful, since it allows infinite do-overs of a five-minute period. But not only does this make him a top-priority target for anyone who knows how the power works, his power can still be worked around- he's bound to the one power per transformation rule like all the others, and activating his power requires him to manually turn back a counter on his bracelet. Party Crasher is able to force Luka to use up his Second Chance and finish him after the time's up, and when Luka is mind-controlled in Miracle Queen, Ladybug and Chat Noir are able to stop him by grabbing his arms and physically preventing him from reaching his Miraculous bracelet.
    • Lady WiFi gets her power from her smartphone, so she gets weaker where there's little reception.
    • The Evillustrator (an akumatized version of Nathaniel) can create anything that he draws on his pad; when deprived of a light source, however, this is basically useless.
    • The Collector can imprison people and objects inside his sketchbook. He has to hit you with the book to do it, though, which means he can only trap one target at a time, and each sketch takes up a full page, putting a limit on how many times he can use his power.
    • Gigantitan is an akumatized baby named August; much to Hawk Moth's frustration, August still has the mentality of a baby, so he's easily distracted and doesn't follow Hawk Moth's orders because he's a baby and can't understand them.
    • Troublemaker can turn intangible by clicking her pen. However, this means that her control over her power is limited to an on/off switch- so if she wants to interact with things, she has to make herself vulnerable to do so, and if she needs to turn intangible to dodge an attack, she'll have to drop anything she's holding, which prevents her from keeping the Ladybug earring she stole.
    • Gorizilla has a super sense of smell, so getting deodorant in his nose debilitates him. He's also unable to get the Miraculous he was after because his hands were just too big, since the Miraculous are pieces of jewelry.
    • Chameleon can take the shape of anything she kisses. To beat her, Ladybug tricks her into kissing a clam, rendering her defenseless and unable to transform back because clams don't have lips and can't move on their own.
    • Oni-chan can switch places with people who answer her phone messages. The catch is that the ability is passive; she can't make people answer their phones, or control who answers the messages and when or where they do so. Cat Noir prevents her from taking Ladybug's Miraculous by having a fireman answer the phone in a different location, teleporting her away, and Ladybug eventually defeats her by answering while being tied up, which puts Oni-chan into her bonds.
    • In general, akumatized people become villainous because the transformation makes them obsessed over whatever slight they experienced. Problem is, Sanity Has Advantages- Akumatized are easy to bait with the object of their obsession, and Hawk Moth has been attacked by one because he was too obsessed with his goal to take orders.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Unicorns are stated to have a small suite of spells related to their special talent that they can use well (outside of telekinesis). This means that if faced with a situation where those spells aren't any use, they aren't much help. In addition, even if a unicorn has an appropriate spell, they need to be able to concentrate to use it. Panic, sensory overload, being manhandled, etc. will render them unable to use spells. It has also been shown that even lightly hitting a unicorns horn will disrupt any spellcasting they are attempting.
    • The Elements of Harmony are meant to represent The Power of Love and The Power of Friendship as condensed magic sources (so, literally, friendship is magic). This means that if the users of the Elements aren't in sync, or otherwise fighting with each other, they won't work. Discord used this to his advantage by corrupting the Mane Six, preventing the Elements from stopping him.
  • In an episode of Phantom 2040, Kit meets the Amazing Steele, an expy of Mandrake the Magician. Steele states that he had to give up crimefighting when robots became common, as they weren't affected by his illusions.
  • The Secret Saturdays: Zak's cryptid powers are explicitly stated to only influence them, not outright control them. He can't force them to do something that goes against their basic instincts, like hunting, and he needs to find whatever part of their minds that wants to do what he wants them to do in order to actually issue commands. Also, if he's trying to use his power on multiple minds, Zak needs to be aware of how many cryptids he's trying to influence; he fails to rein in the creature in "Where Lies The Engulfer" because he's trying to find a single mind to latch onto when the creature is actually a colony of microscopic organisms.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • The Dirty Bubble, archnemesis of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, has them trapped by his "awesome surface tension." SpongeBob defeats him by popping him with a pencil while asking for an autograph.
    • In the Superhero Episode, Sandy gains the power of invisibility, but then gets hit by a car whose driver would have avoided her otherwise.
  • Star Wars Rebels has Obi-Wan demonstrate the logical weakness of Maul's saberstaff: the handle is a giant hole in your defense. In their final battle he swings only once, straight through the staff and into Maul's body.
  • Static Shock:
    • The protagonist has electromagnetic powers that goes on the fritz along with every other gadget in the world when there is a lot of sunspot activity.
    • Static is also weak to water when he's charged up since it can short-circuit him. Though the same also happens to foes who copy his powers.
    • However, in a move that shows his smarts, he defeats a water-based villain using an electric current, thus breaking the water down into its components (he even calls the process, electrolysis, by name).
    • Being essentially a human capacitor, he was also unable to generate his own current and was sometimes on the verge of defeat until he could locate a power source. This aspect was not depicted as consistently as others, however, and became moot once Richie managed to cook up some super-batteries he could carry around.
    • Static also has trouble with insulators. This caused problems for him during battles with Rubber-Band Man (Pre-Heel–Face Turn) and Replikon (a Voluntary Shapeshifter who, among other things/people, turned into a wooden mannequin). However, he exploited their weaknesses by using alot of electrical power ergo heat, to cause melting or burning.
    • Being a Living Shadow, Ebon is vulnerable to intense light.
    • Hot Streak is also vulnerable to water.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Garnet’s power to predict the immediate future is hindered by the fact that there are numerous possible paths someone can take at anytime, occasionally overloading her with the sheer amount of possibilities and information. She nearly has a nervous breakdown when she has to see the futures of five cats at once. She also has trouble predicting improbable (but not impossible) events and what she foresees is sometimes affected by her personal biases; she fails to predict Steven giving himself up to Aquamarine not only because it’s unlikely, but also because she fails to understand that Steven is growing up and not likely to make the same sort of decisions he would when he was younger. Also, to predict something, she must be looking for it; she can't see the resolution of "Cry for Help" because she was looking for the Crystal Gems capturing Peridot, but Peridot didn't have anything to do with the episode beyond instigating it — Pearl was actually the one behind everything, which blindsides and infuriates Garnet.
    • Blue Diamond has an Emotion Bomb of grief that even Yellow Diamond has trouble resisting. Then she tries using it on Lapis Lazuli.
      Lapis: I've felt worse. [wipes away a Single Tear]
    • Speaking of Lapis, she is apparently unable to actually generate any water save the water that makes up her wings, so while she's incredibly powerful somewhere where there's a large supply of water, which is useful for the Hostile Terraforming she was created for, she's significantly less powerful on the apparently waterless Homeworld, or just somewhere inland.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012):
    • In "Cockroach Terminator", the Turtles face off against a cyborg mutant cockroach. While it's Nigh Invulnerable, they're able to ward it off using a can of bug spray.
    • Being exposed to cold temperatures weakens the Turtles, who, despite being mutants, are still cold-blooded. In the second season finale, the Foot exploit this weakness by ambushing Leo and dunking him in freezing water.

     Real Life 
  • Lie detectors/Polygraphs. They work by measuring physical reactions to fear and suspense, which tends to happen when someone is telling a lie and doesn't know if they'll be believed. Thus, they tend to fail when the subject either:
    • 1. Doesn't feel nervous about lying.
    • 2. Is convinced that they are telling the truth.


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