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Man of Kryptonite

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What's the matter, guy? You're looking a little green at the gills.

Supergirl: That green tinge around you — He used Kryptonite against you!
Superman: Not only... used it... He IS it!
Supergirl: What?! A... Kryptonite Man?!
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If a character has an Achilles' Heel — and especially if that character has a Weaksauce Weakness — inevitably an opponent comes along who is basically made of or otherwise works solely in the medium of Weaksauce. Examples abound, especially in DC Comics. This trope is essentially the ultra-specific, ultra-literalist version of Good Hurts Evil or No Man of Woman Born. Less commonly, a character with no existing vulnerability ends up against a character who introduces a unique weakness of theirs.

As these characters revolve around possessing an innate advantage over the hero, writers often have them fall victim to Crippling Overspecialization to avoid letting them dominate the story. If the power they rely on is an especially obscure weakness, they can often fall to humiliating defeats by opponents vastly beneath their primary target who don’t suffer the same handicap, or at least not as severely. Even worse for those confronted with their main target if they happen to acquire a Kryptonite-Proof Suit to deal with them on a more level playing field. This tends to lead to examples of this trope to become relatively minor villains and all but useless when away from their chosen prey. The few villains that are skilled, intelligent, and powerful enough to avoid this fate are usually regulated to the upper echelons of the Sorting Algorithm of Evil for the sake of story balance.

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For obvious reasons, this is primarily a Comic Book Trope.

Closely related to Kryptonite Is Everywhere and Depleted Phlebotinum Shells. Counterpart to the Kung Fu-Proof Mook. Combine both to create a That One Boss or worse. Contrast This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman, which occurs when a situation is tailored to avoid a hero's Weaksauce Weakness and utilize their lame power of heart. If the hero manages to defeat this character anyway, it's a form of Scissors Cuts Rock.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • One Piece's Monkey D. Luffy is, famously, a Rubber Man; consequently, he turned out to be a Man of Kryptonite for a lightning-powered villain who was otherwise undefeatable.
    • Blackbeard's Dark-Dark Devil Fruit power makes him into this. No Devil Fruit user can use their ability as long as Blackbeard maintains physical contact with them.
    • Devil fruits in general have this effect as many characters (particularly logia users) have elemental powers that trump one another, such as Akainu (magma) > Ace (fire). Also inverted to a certain degree since Aokiji's ice powers aren't at any disadvantage against Akainu's magma powers, thus the island of Punk Hazard. If a water-element logia existed, they would presumably be the Man of Kryptonite for every single fruit user. Though such a character would also be the Kryptonite Factor to himself, making it a rather unlikely eventuality.
    • Most high level pirates are fully aware of these weaknesses, which is why the tend to take up Haki to compensate. It doesn’t fully remove them, but it does allow them a fighting chance against opponents using their natural weaknesses where it would normally be an impossible match.
  • A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun:
    • Minor character Yasumi Usukinu emits a field that prevents any electricity from flowing except for natural bioelectricity (otherwise people would drop dead in her presence). This allowed her to corner Mikoto Misaka. Mikoto eventually manages to generate enough electricity to overpower her field.
    • Aisa Himegami is a living vampire magnet with holy water running through her veins. Of course, she hates this power because it killed her vampire friends and bars her from learning magicnote .
    • The gang Deadlock tailored their strengths with defeating Misaki Shokuhou in mind. They use special suits and rocket-powered roller skates to move at incredible speed. Since Misaki has to aim at people to use her powers on them, her powers became relatively useless. Fortunately, she had Touma Kamijou backing her up, and he defeats the gang.
  • The three members of Yliaster from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's that use the Machine Emperors, monsters designed to fight duelists with Synchro-based decks.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Arkana's deck was made to specifically counter Yugi's, employing multiple Dark Magicians and many monster, trap, and magic-destroying cards to keep him pinned down.
  • The plot of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light concerns Kaiba's search for a card that would help him defeat Yugi, who, by that point, is in possession of all 3 God cards, winning two cards from a duel with Pegasus (even though he only created one). The cards in question are the "Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon" and the card for which the movie is named after, the "Pyramid of Light". However, played with in that only "Pyramid" is actually anti-God Card, while BESD is merely strong enough to No-Sell them.
  • Self-proclaimed "Dragon Buster" Georgia of Pokémon, training Mons that are either strong against Dragon-types (like the Ice-types Beartic and Vanilluxe) or resisting Dragon attacks (the Steel-type Bisharp).
  • Bleach:
    • Wonderweiss was created with defeating Yamamoto in mind. He could absorb flames, rendering Yamamoto's Playing with Fire powers useless. Yamamoto demonstrates that he still has his fists and kills Wonderweiss with them.
    • Quincies eradicate Hollows from a survival instinct due to having an innate vulnerability to Hollow taint. It can weaken their powers and has the potential to destroy their very souls.
  • In D.Gray-Man, the Noah family are only vulnerable to innocence, a mysterious material exorcists make weapons out of and tend to have powers that work on everything but Innocence. Then comes Apocryphos, a sentient humanoid innocence who seems (and states) to be tailored especially to hunt Noah.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya! has Blocky, who was so heavy that he wouldn't budge when Kirby tried to inhale him, until Kirby managed to get under him and let gravity assist him.
  • In High School Dx D, Samael is also known as the Dragon Eater. His body exudes a poison that is deadly to any dragon or any being connected to dragons. Not even dragon gods like Ophis and Great Red are immune.
  • Mei Company: While reminiscing about their past battles, Itsuki mentions fighting a monstrous water strider, meaning it was unaffected no matter how much water she threw at it. Helene mentions fighting a swarm of monstrous fireflies that were not bothered by her flames.
  • Shalltear Bloodfallen from Overlord 2012 is an undead (immune to instant death effects) that with specialties in holy magic and can cast fire spells (which the undead are weak to) and a class build that works wonders against spellcasters. Ainz wonders if she was specifically designed to kill him.
    • Isekai Quartet takes it several steps further with... Aqua. Yes, that Aqua. Even though she's a Deconstructed Character Archetype of the trope, she's still a Physical Goddess who's specialty is purifying and destroying evil spirits and undead, in other words, beings that are in Ainz's and Shalltear's category. Her weakest spell is potent enough to cause Ainz to scream in terrible pain and Shalltear to pass out either from shock or splash damage, and she is able to move freely in his Time Stop spell, which is a 10th level spell. And while his Despair Aura can cause even Level 100 Floor Guardians to tremble in terror, it has no effect on her whatsoever. Needless to say, Ainz treads very carefully around her because he knows that she can very easily kill him despite being a total idiot.
  • In Uchi no Musume ni Te o Dasu na!, Athena used to be embarrassed by sexual harassment, but her libido is greater. So now that her enemies are aware of it, they design their monsters and robots to take advantage of her.
  • Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]: Gilgamesh is the most powerful Heroic Spirit by a very large margin. His Noble Phantasm allows him to access his treasure vault, which contains everything he owned in life, including the Super Prototype versions of every other Noble Phantasm. His stock move is to throw a few dozen ludicrously powerful weapons at the problem. His weakness is Archer, a Servant of such minor power that no one even knows his name. Archer can copy any sword he sees, and inside his Reality Marble Unlimited Blade Works, he can do so faster than Gilgamesh can summon them. His copies aren't as strong as the originals, but they are strong enough to counter all of Gilgamesh's attacks. Without the ability to swordspam his enemy into submission, Gilgamesh is a Master of None. Shirou, Archer's past self, lampshades that Unlimited Blade Works wouldn't be anywhere near as effective against any other Heroic Spirit, who devote their lives to mastering one weapon. Of course, Gilgamesh does have a weapon that can't be copied and can destroy the world at full power, but he's too proud to take it out until it's too late.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman, of course, has met several iterations of the Trope Namer, a villain called the Kryptonite Man, who is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Metallo has a Kryptonite heart that allows him to serve as a walking delivery system for Superman's main weakness. In fact, of all the Kryptonite powered foes Superman has faced, Metallo is easily the most enduring and popular, likely due to the fact that he backs up his Flaw Exploitation with actual physical power—even without the Kryptonite he's still a Super Strong and Nigh Invulnerable killing machine.
    • Also Kenny Braverman, aka "Conduit" a former classmate of Clark's from The Death of Clark Kent, who could emit Kryptonite radiation, and wore a special suit to channel it. And for a double whammy, he knew that Clark was Superman, leading to the events of the above arc.
    • In JLA/Avengers, two Marvel Universe villains (Radioactive Man and Solarr) become this, Lex Luthor having told them about Superman's twin weaknesses of Green Kryptonite and red solar radiation.
    • Ironically enough, Superman himself became this when Dracula (or an Expy) bit his neck. As Supes has solar-powered blood, it didn't end well for the vampire.
    • The Galactic Golem was created by Lex Luthor to draw power from countless stars in the universe, making it even more powerful than Superman - but just to seal the deal, it can also draw on Superman's own stored solar energy.
    • Magic is another major weakness for Supes, and Mr. Mxyzptlk is one of the most powerful magic types in the DCU. Mercifully, he usually restrains himself to being a harmless prankster. When he doesn't, watch out.
    • Considering that Psychic Powers have always been another of his major weaknesses, it's surprising that it took so long for him to acquire a major psychic enemy, but Manchester Black now fills that niche very well — in spite of the fact that in his appearance linked just there, Superman's mind was in fact protected against his straightforward psychic attacks.
    • In All-Star Superman, Bar-El and Lilo are radioactive to themselves due to minerals in their own bodies converting to kryptonite.
    • In Last Son, Metallo takes advantage of his multicolored Kryptonite attachments to kill several Phantom Zoners.
    • In Who Took the Super out of Superman?, Superman has to fight Kryptonite Man, but in addition to the usual danger, he risks triggering a Super-Power Meltdown if he uses his powers. So Superman dons a suit which blocks off his powers -since Pre-Crisis Kryptonians were immune to Kryptonite while depowered-, and knocks Kryptonite Man out via a good, old punch.
    • In Superman: Up, Up and Away!, a freak lab accident involving Kryptonite turns Russell Abernathy into the latest version of the Kryptonite Man.
    • Deconstructed in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?. Kryptonite Man is useless against someone like Lana Lang who doesn't give a damn about Kryptonite. And although he kills Krypto, he can't prevent Superman's dog from ripping his throat out.
  • Supergirl:
    • During New Krypton, Supergirl nemesis Reactron was rebuilt as a Metallo expy, complete with a Kryptonite heart—though in his case it was Gold Kryptonite, the one kind of Kryptonite that could permanently cancel all her superpowers.
    • In 2011 story arc Good-Looking Corpse, Parasite and Silver Banshee teamed with Metallo and the Kryptonite Man to take Supergirl down. Kara admits that fighting the latter two is a headache, but she is not intimidated and tells them bluntly that they will not win.
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, The Joker pumps kryptonite-based drugs into his bloodstream. So, his body gives off K-radiation which hurts and weakens Supergirl when she fights him.
    • In a Bronze Age two-part storyline told in Superman Vol. 1 #397 and Supergirl Vol. 2 #21, both cousins fight Kryptonite Man, an alien whose body's absorbed huge amounts of K-radiation.
      Supergirl: That green tinge around you — He used Kryptonite against you!
      Superman: Not only... used it... He IS it!
      Supergirl: What?! A... Kryptonite Man?!
  • This is both played straight and inverted in Supreme, where Ethan Crane is given his powers by exposure to Supremium but proves weak to it when later faced with the Supremium Man. It was eventually seen that Darius Dax, caught in a time loop, became both the Supremium Man and the original chunk of Supremium, giving Supreme his powers, making him weak, and becoming his greatest enemy, all at the same time.
  • During Blackest Night, Dove became this for Black Lanterns.
  • Green Lantern:
    • The Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott was vulnerable to wood, and fought the plant-matter swamp zombie Solomon Grundy, who was immune to his ring.
    • The Silver Age Green Lantern ring's weakness to yellow was countered by Sinestro and his yellow power ring, and, more directly, Goldface. Now that the rings' weakness is fear, we have the embodiment of fear, Parallax. Green Arrow also once fought Green Lanterns by painting himself yellow.
    • Batman once painted himself and a house yellow to have a 'talk' with Green Lantern. While sipping lemonade.
    • It must be noted that Green Lantern is not weakened by yellow at all, which a lot of writers don't understand (such as Frank Miller). Rather, yellow can penetrate green constructs - it won't do anything if you get smacked by a giant green fist (unless you create yellow ring armor.) Painting yourself yellow won't really do anything.)
  • Spider-Man:
    • The original Venom was Spider-Man's worst enemy because he had all his powers, wouldn't trigger his Spider-Sense, and knew he was Peter Parker. The black suit that eventually became Venom had two weaknesses: fire and sonic attacks. Wouldn't you know it, the short time he had the suit was the only time Spidey encountered Humbug, a villain whose power was sonic attacks.
    • This trope is the basis of original Venom Eddie Brock's new identity Anti-Venom, whose primary power is to destroy the Venom symbiote. However, Brock also has more general "purification" powers that remove any foreign or artificial enhancements from others. In essence, he's a Man of Kryptonite for everyone who doesn't have just an armor or an explicitly genetic basis to their abilities.
    • Shathra is an embodiment of the spider-wasp, so she naturally preys on spider-themed beings. She can inject venom that paralyzes Spider-Man and others like him.
    • Adriana Soria/Queen has the power to control any being with insect or arachnid genes, allowing her to control Spider-Man and others like him. It takes a bit of Heroic Willpower for Spider-Man to resist her.
    • In the Black Cat 2019 series, it's established that her "bad luck" aura tampers with magic, making her largely immune to magical attacks and something of a Man of Kryptonite for spellcasters (low-level ones like Xander the Merciless, at least).
  • Nemesis Kid, a Legion of Super-Heroes villain, consciously adapts whatever power he needed to defeat a single foe. If he guesses wrong, he's screwed. He ended up having his neck snapped by a vengeful Queen Projectra; he adapted immunity to her illusion powers, but she used the martial arts training her husband (the aptly named Karate Kid) had given her over the course of their marriage to kill him with her bare hands.
  • Marvel Universe demon Nightmare fears one being above all others: the monster Gulgol, who never sleeps and is therefore utterly beyond Nightmare's dream-manipulation powers.
  • The Martian Manhunter is vulnerable to fire. The first supervillain he fought was the Human Flame. Funnily enough he was then completely forgotten for nearly fifty years (probably because of his silly suit with flame spouting nipples) until he was brought back for Final Crisis.
  • The Flash:
    • The Turtle was eventually given the power to dampen kinetic energy...in other words, he became a walking anti-Speed Force, the energy that powers the Flash. Later on, this was made even more explicit via a Retcon revealing the Turtle was actually tapping into the "Still Force", the Speed Force's polar opposite.
    • As well as Cobalt Blue, whose gem has Energy Absorption powers, but specifically chose to target those who are powered by the Speed Force (probably has something to do with Malcolm Thawne being Barry Allen's twin brother).
    • A partial issue in Wally West's fights with the mystical villain Brother Grimm; since Grimm can sense other-dimensional energies like the Speed Force, he can counter and predict every move Wally makes when he moves above normal speed, so Wally has to restrict himself to normal speeds when facing Grimm.
    • In the New 52, the Rogues got upgraded from tech-using baddies to outright metahumans (at first). In order to give him a new edge against the Flash, one of Captain Cold's new powers allows him to create a field of inertia around him that drastically dampens the Flash's speed.
      • Even before this Captain Cold's Cold Gun was shown to be especially effective on the Flash, as coldness is based on atoms being still (IE, not moving), so his gun's icing effect is really just a side-effect of it's actual purpose: Stopping movement. Ergo, it's often shown that a blast from the cold gun is enough to render a speedster drained of their speed (often only for a few seconds, but for a man as smart as Leonard Snart, that's all he needs). Strangely, unlike most Kryptonite Factor weaknesses, this isn't as well-exploited as others.
    • Barry Allen's arch enemy Eobard Thawne eventually learned how to tap into the Negative Speed Force, an energy that poisons and drains regular Speed Force users.
  • Pinocchio Vampire Slayer, where the main character's nose alone is the instrument of vampire destruction.
  • Per Degaton, a villain who can accelerate time, is one to Hourman, a hero with a literal Hour of Power.
  • Batman, who was revealed to have records of strengths and weaknesses of his teammates in the Justice League of America (and possibly other members of the superhero community), thus knowing the countermeasures for when a hero should go rogue.
  • Dazzler is one to anybody with sonic attacks, since she can absorb any sound and convert it to light. Basically, the louder you are, the stronger she gets.
    • Ulysses Klaw (who's made of solidified sound) learned this to his horror after tricking her into helping him escape confinement at Project Pegasus (where she'd been blackmailed into going by the government). Using his sonic powers on her resulted in her powers getting so greedy for more that they completely consumed him.
  • Similarly, Iron Man is this to anyone with Shock and Awe powers, since he can just absorb it and get a temporary power boost.
  • This is the problem Wolverine (who has an adamantium skeleton) would have to face when up against a mutant who can manipulate metal like Magneto. (The movies being explicit about it.)
    • Wolverine in turn serves as a Kryptonite Man of sorts to his enemy Silver Samurai, who has the power to channel energy into blades which make them capable of cutting anything...except adamantium.
    • One of Wolvie's villains, his Antagonistic Offspring Daken, is completely scentless, rendering his legendary sense of smell useless.
    • A similar case with Wolvie's clone-daughter X23 and Kimura. Laura's claws can cut through everything... but Kimura's skin is completely impenetrable. Made even worse by the fact that Kimura was given that power exactly for the purpose of abusing Laura without any possible danger.
  • Aquaman villain The Thirst drains water from his surroundings and people, putting Aquaman at a serious disadvantage.
  • People with Shock and Awe powers, particularly Chain Lightning, are this to the Marvel Family. Although they are normally invulnerable, a big enough electric attack can simulate the magic lightning and force them to transform back into their normal forms.
  • Black Alice is this to anybody with magical powers, even those as powerful as The Spectre. She can temporarily drain the powers of any magical being into herself.
  • Zatanna is a magician who casts spells by speaking them backwards. At one point in her solo series, she encountered a low-level thug named Backslash who has a magical sword that gives him the ability to rewind short bursts of time, turning her backwards speech into forwards speech and completely invalidating her powers. She is only able to stop him by speaking in palindromes which are the same back and forth, such as "Nurses, run!" and "Ogre, flog a golfer, go!"
  • In Marvel there were two instances of heroes being this for a vampire, similar to Superman example above. One are Asgardians - Dracula once found hard way their blood gives a temporary power boost but with devastating side-effects. The other is Runaways member, Karolina Dean, whose blood is basically a liquid solar energy - a vampire who once tried to bite her got obliterated from the inside.
  • Sonic the Comic had a villain named Megatox, who is entirely composed of Mega Mack (the pink "water" that floods the Chemical Plant Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2). In STC, Mega Mack is an extremely poisonous substance specifically created by Robotnik and his minions as a weapon against Sonic, making Megatox particularly deadly to the Blue Blur.
  • In Stan Lee's The Last Fantastic Four Story, Earth is threatened by the Cosmic Tribunal, a bunch of aliens with vast Psychic Powers. Reed sics a race of literally mindless alien monsters on them (implied by John Romita Jr.'s art to be the Mindless Ones from Doctor Strange), and the monsters mop the floor with them until Reed calls them off out of pity.
  • Daredevil got himself one during Charles Soules' run. Muse is an Inhuman with the ability to cancel out all sensory information around him, making him nearly invisible to Daredevil.
  • Count Vertigo is basically this to Green Arrow and most of his family. Vertigo emits a wave of some kind of energy that induces vertigo in anyone within his line of sight, which renders archers like Green Arrow, as well as anyone reliant on their aim, basically unable to get a clear shot on him. Black Canary (Green Arrow's on-again/off-again love interest) is sometimes depicted as being an especially good counter to him, either because her Sonic Scream can somehow counter his vertigo wave leading to Beam-O-War, and/or because she's a badass hand-to-hand fighter so she can just get close and punch the crap out of him (as Green Arrow and Black Canary invert Guys Smash, Girls Shoot, he's not nearly as much of a fighter when up close; he's not useless, but Vertigo affects him much worse than it does Canary).
  • Dark Nights: Metal: All of the Dark Knights are this to Superman. Their bodies are made of dark matter, which absorbs solar energy. They can resist Superman's attacks and become stronger from them. The dark matter also allows them to injure Superman, even if they don't have super strength. The Dark Knights also each serve as one to specific Justice League members.
    • The Batman Who Laughs is one to Batman. He's an evil Batman with The Joker's personality. He can think like Batman to predict and counter whatever he tries, while Batman can't predict him because he has the Joker's Confusion Fu.
    • The Devastator is one to Superman. He's an evil Batman who transformed himself into a copy of Doomsday, yet retains his vast intellect, so he is mentally and physically superior to Superman. He also has a kryptonite Breath Weapon and several anti-Kryptonian weapons and devices.
    • The Drowned is one to Aquaman and Mera. She, like Black Manta, has several anti-Atlantean weapons and devices. She can also instantly pollute water and control it. The pollution prevents other hydrokinetics like Mera from controlling it and it transforms any sea life into monsters under her control.
    • The Merciless is one to Wonder Woman. He wields the Helmet of Ares, which can counter her divine powers.
    • The Murder Machine is one to Cyborg. He can interface with and control any technology, including Cyborg's robot parts.
    • The Red Death is one to the Flash. He is just as fast as him and can infect others with a corrupted version of the Speed Force that causes Rapid Aging.
    • The Dawnbreaker is one to Green Lantern. His corrupted Power Ring can suck up all light in the area, including Green Lantern's constructs. His ring also creates constructs of pure darkness and negative emotions, further disrupting Green Lantern's powers. In turn, Raven is one to him. Her powers thrive on darkness and negative emotions, so Dawnbreaker can't really hurt her and she can effortlessly take control of his constructs.

    Fan Works 
  • The titular Villain Protagonist of The Rise of Darth Vulcan is eventually revealed to be this to Discord, of all people, courtesy of the Alicorn Amulet — hence why the former can't just be Deus ex Machina'd by the latter.
  • In Blood Man Luffy Nico Robin notes her powers would be worse than useless against Luffy since he can manipulate blood. Sprouting extra limbs to fight him would simply be giving him more blood to use.
  • In Pony POV Series:
    • Cadence, due to being the Anthropomorphic Personification of Harmony, is this to beings of Chaos and Disharmony, as even her blood merely touching them starts turning them to stone. Chrysalis, after becoming complete and turning into her Evil Twin Cadenza, also possesses this. Her Dark World counterpart was the Rebel Leader of La Résistance against Discord for over five hundred years because she and those blessed with her power (namely the Changelings) are the only ones capable of effectively fighting him.
    • It turns out Fluttershy/Fluttercruel are this to a species of extradimensional alien invaders due to their only weakness being a mixture of Draconequi (Fluttercruel being a Demi-Draconequus) and Alicorn (Fluttershy having secretly become one after being purified as Nightmare Whisper, even after sealing her power) power. Their Sharing a Body gives them this in one body.
    • Changelings cannot stand lemons and lemon juice, so Lemon Hearts, whose special talent is the ability to summon and control lemons in very creative ways, is very dangerous to them.
  • On Coreline, there are the Pariah Gene carriers (an explicit In-Universe Shout-Out to Warhammer 40,000—long story short, people first believed it was the 40K Gene and then it became Appropriated Appellation), who have the capacity to shut down all Fiction powers in a given radius. All powers, be it magic or ki or superpowers (and even some types of technology, if it leans more towards the "magic" side of Magitek (or Magic from Technology)). Needless to say, these people are disliked or even are The Dreaded within various Fiction circles, and explicitly compared to the enforcers of a Killer Game Master or the universe's way of showing it's not taking any more bullshit from all the Physical God-type superhuman beings running around.
  • Buggy the Clown in Stallion of the Line is unstoppable against Kuro due to being immune to cutting attacks.
    • Another story has Buggy defeat the far more powerful Trafalgar Law since he can control the pieces of himself that Law separates from his body.
  • In Equestria: Across the Multiverse, users of Innocence Magic are this for users of dark and corruptive types of magic. Specifically, it weakens dark magic in terms of power and users of corruptive types of magic are especially vulnerable to it. As an added bonus, it has the opposite effect on light magic and can boost allies utilizing it. During the conflict with the upgraded Storm King, Kimono wears an innocence magic powered suit of Powered Armor, which is able to severely weaken the ram necromancers Storm King got on loan from Grogar that were strong enough to give the Hegemony forces trouble.
  • In Fate Gamer Night, Saeko is uniquely equipped to take down Taiga's Super-Powered Evil Side due to using a fighting style meant for cleansing spirits and undead. As Taiga's Super-Powered Evil Side comes from the anger and hatred she's stored in her shinnai, each clash of their swords cleanses hers of some negative energy, weakening her overall.
  • In Supergirl fanfic Hellsister Trilogy, Darkseid uses the Kryptonite Man to set a trap for his Kryptonian enemies. It nearly succeeds, but the trio is saved by Lightray.
    Lightray: The green man. He is one of your old foes?
    Supergirl: One of Kal's [...] The guy used to be known as the Kryptonite Kid. He went through a green Kryptonite cloud in space and absorbed its power. He can kill me, Kal, Dev, and anyone else from Krypton.
  • Fate/Harem Antics: Avenger/Jeanne is one to Saber/Arturia. One of Jeanne's abilities is Dragon Witch, which lets her control dragons. Saber has Dragon Ancestry, and although her mind is strong enough to resist control, Dragon Witch weakens and stuns her every time it is used.
  • The Scoobies in general, but especially Xander and Faith, in Warslayer become anathema to vampires after becoming members of the Imperium of Man. Xander's faith is so strong that even looking upon his holy armor is painful and Faith eventually becomes a living saint, making everything she touches holy for the next several days.
  • RWBY Zero: Hazel Rainart has a Noble Phantasm that increases a target's weight proportional to how old it is. Since Servants are from ancient times, this ability affects them more severely than regular people, to the point they start sinking into the ground.
  • The Vasto of White:
    • Shirou can fight Baraggan because his weapons are Stronger with Age. Baraggan trying to use his Rapid Aging powers on them just makes them more powerful instead of fall apart. Shirou still has to be careful because his body is not immune to Rapid Aging, as proven when Barragan lands a direct blow on his person and he's forced to devote energy to regenerating faster than he rots.
    • Yamamoto is able to handle Baraggan because his flames are eternal. No matter how much Baraggan accelerates time, his flames will only go out when Yamamoto wants them to go out.
  • Naruto in Reaching for a Dream beats Kurenai in a spar because his new technique counters her Crippling Overspecialization in genjutsunote .
  • In Juxtapose Izuku's Quirk "Minor Banishment" allows him to erase up to ten grams of matter at a time. Since air only weighs roughly one gram per liter, this makes him a perfect counter against Tsuburaba whose barriers use the air in his lungs.
  • RWBY: Epic of Remnant: Angra Mainyu can easily defeat Grimm because they are an embodiment of negativity, so their very presence supercharges his powers. However, since he's also an embodiment of negativity, the Grimm are attracted to him like moths to a flame, which can get annoying.
  • The Unfantastic Adventures of Bizarro No. 1 has the Blue-Kryptonite Men, who are made from a Kryptonite variety which is specifically deadly to Bizarro and his race.
  • Remnant Inferis: DOOM: The demons are this to both Grimm and Huntsmen. Since the Grimm are The Soulless, demons can possess them with ease (beings with souls can resist possession as long as they have enough Heroic Willpower). Huntsmen have Aura, their souls acting as a shield against physical damage. Unfortunately, demons use Argent energy, which is not only destructive, but attacks the soul, so people with Aura are really vulnerable to it.
  • Puella Magi Adfligo Systema: In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Witches wield Grief as their weapon, their defenses, and the substance that comprises them like water comprises humans. The heroine, Sabrina, has the power to control Grief, allowing her to, with a thought, tear asunder the very Grief that make up Witches, convert it into weapons, and use it as her own.

    Film 
  • Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter. Mythologically speaking, things like crosses and Holy Water, which are elements of the Christian religion, are useful for fighting vampires.
  • LazyTown: The Movie contains a man covered in sugar (which weakens Sportacus).
  • This is the reason why, in the film, Blackheart can easily toss around the Ghost Rider. Blackheart is stronger and can No-Sell everything the Rider would throw at him, including the deadly Penance Stare. The only reason Ghost Rider was able to best his foe was when Blackheart absorbed a thousand or so corrupt souls, completely removing his immunity to the Stare, and turning it into a weakness a thousandfold.
  • Grabbers: The titular vampiric monsters are unable to withstand a high concentration of alcohol in their systems (because they need the water in the blood to survive and alcohol is a dessicant), so the heroes' big plan to prevent their town from becoming a smorgasbord is to fake a party with free alcohol and make every townsperson drink a lot. The final confrontation with the Big Bad male Grabber turns into a defiance of the trope — the only townsperson with enough alcohol in their blood to be a significant threat to such a big monstrosity is town drunk Paddy, and when he tries to taunt the monster into eating him, the monster instead swats him far away and forces the rest of the heroes to find another way to kill it and not get torn apart in the attempt.
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home has Spider-Man become this to Mysterio. His illusions and Mind Rape abilities work just fine on normal senses, but after Spidey mastered his Spider-Sense, they don't even hinder him. When Mysterio tries to use darkness to blind him against gunfire, Spidey has no issue dodging all of it before closing in on him. Effectively, Spidey can No-Sell any of Mysterio's illusions thrown at him by virtue of the Logical Weakness that his illusions can't effect other non-normal senses.

    Literature 
  • The Yuuzhan Vong from Star Wars Legends, a race that cannot be directly affected by any Force powers except Force Lightning. They can't be grabbed or pushed by telekinesis, Jedi Mind Tricked, or have their presence sensed. Jedi and Sith have to resort to attacking them head-on with their fists and lightsabers, using Force Lightning, and telekinetically throwing stuff at them. Everyone else can beat them with tons of blaster fire.
    • It goes further than that. In addition to being immune to the Force (though that varied heavily Depending on the Writer), their weapons and armor aren't automatically cleaved through by lightsaber blades. Lightsabers can cut their amphistaffs and vonduun crab armor, but only if the Jedi puts a lot of physical force behind the attack. To date, the Vong are one of the few who can go toe-to-toe in melee combat with trained Jedi and hold their own, or even win.
  • The third volume of My Vampire Older Sister and Zombie Little Sister begins with Satori having been involuntarily transformed into a giant, mobile garlic. This makes him a natural enemy to vampires... who are also the first set of antagonists.
  • Fate/strange fake: False Lancer/Enkidu is vulnerable to diseases because a disease killed him in life. Gilgamesh notes that this makes False Rider/The Horseman of Pestilence, a personification of disease, a very dangerous opponent for Enkidu.
  • Fate/Requiem: Erice Utsumi fights by animating her blood. Her blood is highly toxic to Servants and can absorb and dissolve their spirits, making her well suited to killing Servants. Servants who are Divine Spirits like Nzambi are immune to the poison, but the blood can still injure them.
  • Gideon the Ninth: Harrow is the most powerful necromancer of the Ninth House, a House that specializes in bone constructs. So when the bone golem shows up and starts killing people, Gideon repeatedly says she wishes Harrow was around, since she'd see it as little more than a fun puzzle to be dismantled in seconds. When it does appear before Harrow, bigger and more terrible than ever before, she acts exactly like Gideon thought, and just orders Gideon to distract it for a moment.
    Harrow: Nav, show them what the Ninth House does.
    Gideon: We do bones, motherfucker.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Superstar," Jonathan casts a spell that makes him into a Parody Stu, with everyone else thinking that he had always been this awesome. An unknown side effect of the spell, however, was the creation of a monster representing a "bad" counterpart to his new greatness. Simply being around it made Jonathan weaker, and defeating it broke the spell completely.
  • In Smallville, Lana Lang became this in order for her to be Put on a Bus. As Lana had over the series developed into a toxic influence on Clark and their relationship equally so, the new showrunners made her literally toxic so they could get rid of her. Lana acquires an energy-absorbing battlesuit grafted under the skin that was intended for Lex Luthor, but is then manipulated into absorbing a vast amount of kryptonite radiation to stop a bomb. Though the radiation is harmless to her or others, its naturally toxic to Clark if he comes within a few feet of her.
    • More commonly on the show, since Kryptonite Is Everywhere was a plot point (it arrived in a meteor shower alongside Clark, and proved to be an incredibly useful Unobtainium) it served as a Meta Origin for many villains. Kryptonite radiation would grant people superpowers, so a lot of people unknowingly had kryptonite in their bodies; as Green Kryptonite also induced chemical imbalances in people's minds, many of these people became unstable Smug Supers who used their powers dangerously. In one case, the season 10 episode "Harvest," Clark and Lois got trapped by a village of religious fanatics who all unknowingly had blue kryptonite in their bodies, so Clark was Brought Down to Normal in their presence. Originally, Lana herself was unintentionally this at the beginning too, as she had a Kryptonite necklace that made Clark barely able to stand in her presence, which most thought was just because he had a crush on her until they realised it was serious.
    • Smallville Clark also has to deal with one of the main Superman invocations of this trope, Metallo. His condition is played for maximum Body Horror as he's unwillingly transformed into this and still retains enough of his human form to express his horror. Making things worse, he had a Freudian Excuse already for hating Clark (he saved the life of someone who later killed Metallo's sister), and being transformed into a Man of Kryptonite cyborg broke his mind. Later he showed up using Red Kryptonite as a power source and had a mild Heel–Face Turn, as the mental effect of Green Kryptonite had played a part in his mental breakdown. The switch to Red K gave him enough sanity to realize what he had done and try to be heroic.
  • The Adventures of Superboy had its own version of Metallo, whose super-strong arms were powered by a chunk of kryptonite. He's pretty much helpless when running on battery power.
  • All That gives us Superdude who has the worst weakness ever: extreme lactose intolerance. He can't even touch dairy products without going into shock. Naturally, his villains include Yo-Girl (a feisty chick whose body is a yogurt cup), Butter Boy, and his arch-nemesis the Milkman.
  • In Haven, Duke Crocker has the power to absorb blood to gain temporary Super Strength. In the episode "Bad Blood", he becomes the perfect person to stop Mike Gallagher's bad blood. When the blood tries to attack Duke, he just absorbs it without being harmed. He eventually absorbs it all.
  • The dinosaur Core Medals grant Kamen Rider OOO his Super Mode, that has the power to destroy Core Medals, which is fatal for the Greeed (who can otherwise be physically destroyed but can reform from the one Core Medal containing their consciousness.)
  • In the Alien Rangers arc of Power Rangers'', the Aquitian Rangers (who are from a water planet and quickly dehydrate on land) have to battle a monster called the Hydro Hog that sucks up any moisture he sees. He was, in fact, their Big Bad back home.
  • This is played for laughs the Doctor Who episode The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe. The Doctor's sonic screwdriver "doesn't do wood" and the monsters of this episode are tree people.
    The Doctor: Oh, aliens made of wood! [mutters at sonic screwdriver] This was always going to happen, you know.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon is designed to take down Xyz monsters even going by its real-life profile, where it can remove itself and the monster it battles from play and return both to the field later. Due to the way Xyz Monsters work, this removes their Xyz Material Monsters, leaving them without the ability to activate their effects which need them to give up an Xyz Material. To add insult to injury, Galaxy-Eyes gains 500 ATK for each Xyz Material the other removed monster had when they jumped out of play. If it takes out an Xyz with five materials (though this will rarely happen), this makes it stronger than Five-Headed Dragon, one of the two strongest monsters in the game. And this is before it upgrades to Neo Galaxy-Eyes...
    • The Koa'ki Meiru are specifically designed as anti-meta counters, specifically to the prolific Light and Dark monsters.
    • Since Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V and the Mega Monarchs, the Monarchs have developed an increasing focus on anti-Extra Deck strategies; many of their cards target Extra Deck-related cards, and their strongest support locks the user out of playing cards from their own Extra Deck.
    • Buster Blader's whole deal is dragon-slaying, with his ATK rising astronomically if the opponent has dragon-types on their field or in their Graveyard. Just five dragons in the Graveyard pushes him up to stronger than Five-Headed Dragon. His fused form gets an even bigger ATK boost, forces all dragons to DEF, negates all their effects, and damages through defense... but at the price of not being able to attack the opponent directly, presumably because this would involve attacking something besides dragons.
    • Allies of Justice are designed to kill the Worm archetype, with most of them having effects that exclusively hurt Light-types (like Worms) and the rest having effects that hurt Flip-focused cards (again, like Worms). The archetype as a whole is so badly-designed that Worms are pretty much the only thing they stand a chance against.
  • Mage: The Awakening: The mystical entity called Madame LaTourre, aka "The Magic Eater", serves as this for all mages. She's effectively a walking source of Anti-Magic, with a literal addiction to consuming magical energy. She can suck the power out of any mage, magic item or even enchanted place that she can get ahold of, and not only will this allow her to permanently destroy inanimate sources of mana, it also makes her totally immune to specific spells that she has eaten.
  • Warhammer 40,000: While it's a bit complicated, this is what the Pariahs (and units that take these people and enhance them, like the Culexus Assassin) are to those who use (or are composed of) Warp energies in a nutshell. They are dispelled, die from a violent feedback reaction, or are driven insane just by being close to these people.
  • Many Dungeons & Dragons monsters are designed to be this for spellcasters - most famously golems, which are basically immune to direct magic, but also magerippers, spellgaunts, and a number of monsters with antimagic field abilities. There's also the witch slayer, with several abilities designed to kill pact magic users. On the flip side, rust monsters are this for warrior types, as they can corrode a metal weapon or suit of armor into dust in seconds, leaving a fighter or paladin naked and unarmed in the middle of a dungeon.
  • Leviathan: The Tempest: Despite being full-up Eldritch Abominations with the power to devour nation, enslave mortals to their will, and reshape space and time to their preference, Leviathans are all but helpless against the otherwise human Atolls.
    • Just being in the presence of an Atoll will leave a Leviathan blissed out like the finest heroin for a human (complete with withdrawal symptoms as soon as they leave).
    • A few words of praise from an Atoll can permanently add dots to a Leviathan's Karma Meter... while words of criticism can permanently remove dots. It's not something an Atoll consciously triggers either, if they start yelling at the Leviathan for kidnapping them, the Leviathan's loosing Tranquility.
    • If a Leviathan or its Beloved deliberately harm an Atoll, the Leviathan has to roll for Erosion at a massive penalty. If they actually kill the Atoll, the Leviathan has to roll for every dot of Tranquility... with only about a 30% chance of keeping each dot. While there's an Obvious Rule Patch keeping a Player Character Leviathan from going from 4+ Tranquility to 0 due to this effect, a Leviathan could still easily go from near-max Tranquility to 1 dot left. This is the only thing in the game that can cause a Leviathan to lose multiple Tranquility dots at once.
  • Heroes in Beast: The Primordial. Not only do they have a whole assortment of supernatural powers specifically and exclusively for finding and killing Beasts, they also have the power to force a Beast to gain a Kryptonite Factor if it doesn't already have one.
  • Princess: The Hopeful: Swords' Avatar Charm, I Am Become Light. All supernatural powers not derived from the Light fail in the vicinity of the Princess, she radiates true sunlight (with the appropriate effect upon vampires), and her appearance inspires overwhelming fear in all creatures of Darkness.
  • Due to the massive variety of strategies this can pop up in Magic: The Gathering and other customizable games. Sometimes by sheer chance a player will sit down for a match against someone that just happened to have built a deck that excels in countering exactly what they're trying to do, often leading to a very brief encounter. Creature-based decks against many cards that lock down or wipe the entire board, combo decks against a seemingly endless array of counterspells, extreme life gain against an opponent that plans to win without ever dealing damage to you, etc. Competitive decks are generally built to be able to adapt in situations like this and the existence of sideboards note  in most formats means you can lessen or heighten the impact of this (depending on whether you're on the advantaged side of the problem, of course), but it's still something that is just going to crop up from time to time.

    Video Games 
  • In Final Fantasy IV, when main character Cecil heads to Mt. Ordeals to change his class from Dark Knight to Paladin, Golbez sends one of the Four Archfiends, the zombie warrior Scarmiglione, to prevent it from happening. Golbez specifically chose Scarmiglione for the task because Dark Knights are ineffective against the undead.
  • Pokémon:
    • Rayquaza's ability Air Lock nullifies the weather effects caused by Groudon's Drought and Kyogre's Drizzle, as well as Primal Groudon's Desolate Land and Primal Kyogre's Primordial Sea.
    • Zygarde's 50% form's default ability Aura Break inverts the effects of Xerneas's Fairy Aura and Yveltal's Dark Aura so that they weaken Fairy and Dark-type attacks instead of boosting them.
    • The ability Mold Breaker, which is available to Pokémon like Haxorus, Excadrill, and Mega Gyarados, makes their moves and their effects ignore the abilities of other Pokémon. For example, Ground-type attacks will hit Pokémon with the ability Levitate (Flying-type Pokémon are still unaffected).
  • The Moonlight Butterfly command in Third Super Robot Wars Z: Tengoku-hen drains 300 EN from all enemies in a 10 square radius and gives it to Turn A, and ELS only have EN-based attacks, effectively turning the ELS into sitting ducks.
  • Minecraft: Story Mode: It turns out Endermen are this for the Wither Storm. They're immune to its tractor beams and can actually rip pieces of it off it. Because of this, the heroes decide to use an army of Endermen to kill it.
  • For a hero-to-villain example, Orisa in Overwatch has a selection of abilities that are all useful, but most of them are particularly bad for her Arch-Enemy Doomfist, whose problems with her start with his being a Close-Range Combatant fighting a robot with a deadly accurate long-range machine gun and only get worse for him from there. In the backstory, Doomfist wiped the floor with the model line Orisa is based on, so presumably, Efi deliberately built her upgraded version to give him as little chance as possible to do so a second time.
  • In Warframe, the Sentients are able to adapt to any damage they take, except for their one permanent weakness — Void energy. Enter the Tenno, who are able to channel and harness that very energy, making them ideal soldiers for the Orokin during the Old War. Of course, the Tenno themselves have started to fall victim to this trope in modern times, as the Corpus have managed to develop technology that can suppress Warframe powers, though the Corpus example is a Downplayed Trope: Even without Warframe powers, any given Tenno is still a Lightning Bruiser armed to the teeth with several Ace Custom.
  • The Death Knight is presented as a Hopeless Boss Fight in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, an obstacle to tiptoe around, lest he ride up on his horse and strike down your units in one hit, at least early game. Lysithea, however, possesses both sky-high magical power and an Anti-Cavalry attack, Death Spikes T, which potentially lets her unhorse the Death Knight in one hit, turning otherwise tricky levels into a joke.
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King runs the whole "world of paper" concept into the paper-mache ground, which introduces a whole new brand of horror with the fifth major boss of the game — a pair of scissors. As Mario enters its lair, he sees a bunch of Bowser's minions diced into confetti, much of which is bound to a Paper Macho Buzzy Beetle that can utilize Kamek's magic until he's peeled off. Back to the scissors... well, it's a pair of scissors. We don't need to explain what happens should the blade make contact with Mario.

    Web Comics 
  • The Snarl, the Greater-Scope Villain of The Order of the Stick, is an Eldritch Abomination made from godly bickering that is capable of slaying gods and wiped out a whole pantheon in the backstory. It has been theorized that gods are actually more vulnerable to the Snarl than mortals would be. Thor later confirms that this is more or less true; The gods in each pantheon are made of only one type of essence, while their creations are made of multiple essences combined. The Snarl was accidentally made from four essences, and as it killed the Eastern Gods, the remaining pantheons have been unable to make anything capable of combating or containing the Snarl for very long. The Snarl is, essentially, the most real thing in the Stickverse.
  • El Goonish Shive: Susan, Diane, and other descendants of Pandora (who have a natural affinity for spells related to magic weapons) are this to aberrations (who are very vulnerable to magic weapons but difficult to harm with anything else). This is speculated to be why the French immortals felt justified in recruiting Susan as a Child Soldier.
  • Hero Oh Hero has the aptly named hero Goldman, with gold being the Kryptonite Factor of all magic users. When Burk, the Badass Normal of the team casually ignores his abilities and hands his ass back to him, the audience is in shock.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • King Sombra can conjure Anti-Magic crystals at will.
    • Lord Tirek can Mana Drain.
    • Starlight Glimmer can remove / tamper with Cutie Marks (which are strongly tied to Ponies' magic).
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Will Harangue pools his resources into building a robot that can seemingly combat all of Ben's aliens (after tricking Ben into getting his aliens and fighting style scanned). Ben was able to beat the machine using an alien that didn't get scanned (Nanomech) and by using a fighting style that he hadn't demonstrated earlier (based on a video game).
  • Ben 10: Omniverse: Ben Tennyson is the bearer of the Omnitrix, a device that grants him the ability to turn into various aliens (originally ten) with each one possessing their own powers. Khyber has a pet wearing the Nemetrix, a similar device given to him by Arc Villain Malware that allows his pet to turn into the perfect predators to any alien species, making it basically designed to fight Omnitrix-wearers. It later turns out that the Nemetrix only has ten predatory aliens, and aliens like Upchuck or Upgrade don't have predators. The Nemetrix's predators included:
    • Buglizard, which is fast enough to catch up to Lepidopterrans like Stinkfly and can release a yellow fog that neutralizes and dissolves Stinkfly's mucus attacks and blinds him.
    • Crabdozer, which is immune to fire and has saliva that acts as a fire surpressant so it can hunt Pyonites like Heatblast.
    • Hypnotick, which is fast enough to catch up to Necrofriggians like Big Chill, is immune to cold and ice, and can turn intangible so it can hunt Big Chill.
    • Mucilator, which can tank a Orthopterran like Crashhopper's attacks and has skin covered in mucus sacks that trap anything they come in contact with, which means Crashhopper's standard attack of leaping into opponents is out.
    • Omnivoracious, which is incredibly fast and able to outwit its prey, the hyperinteligent Galvans.
    • Panuncian, which has Self-Duplication to counter the Self-Duplication of Splixsons like Ditto.
    • Slamworm, which can tunnel fast enough to keep up with Talpaedans like Armodrillo and spit acid to counter Armodrillo's armor.
    • Terroranchula, which creates force field-like webs that neutralize Ball Weevil's plasma attacks and trap him, and can squeeze into narrow spaces like Ball Weevil can.
    • Tyrannopede, which is way stronger than Vaxasaurians like Humungousaur, too heavy for Humungousaur to lift for very long, and spins webs that Humungousaur can't break.
    • Vicetopus, which has tentacles strong enough to break a Cerebrocrustacean's shell.
  • The first incarnation of Red X in Teen Titans, who knows the weaknesses of four of the Titans. What with being Robin and all.
    • Also, "Trust" shows that Hotspot is this to Madame Rouge... although unfortunately for Hotspot, Madame Rouge is too much of an Implacable Woman for him to defeat even with this edge.
  • In Static Shock:
    • Static to his nemesis Ebon. Ebon is a Living Shadow, while Static controls electricity and can generate bright lights with it.
    • Static is also this to Ally Langford/Nails, since her body is of living metal and thus vulnerable to Static's electric and magnetic powers.
    • Static himself frequently faces enemies that either don't conduct electricity or can absorb it, like Rubberband Man, Poison Ivy's plant monsters, and Professor Menace and Toyman's robots, forcing him to get creative with his powers or get outside help to beat them.
  • The Trollhunter from Trollhunters wields daylight as a weapon, making him or her this to most trolls.
  • On Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Tangea has two native species: Royals like Mira, who have the power of Intangibility, and the Grounders, who live in the planet's surface and can shoot energy blasts. However, each loses their power in the presence of the other.
  • In Dudley Do-Right, Snidely covers his suit with marigold flowers which Dudley is allergic to protect himself from being apprehended by him. Nell is able to stop Snidely by planting crabgrass on his suit.

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