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Power Limiter

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"Most fighters wear armor to protect themselves from their opponent, but I'm the opposite. I actually wear this armor to protect my opponent from myself."
Bui, YuYu Hakusho

A device of some kind used to restrict a character's power level or super power.

These can lighten the load on the Sorting Algorithm of Evil or give new characters a chance to shine. Releasing these limiters in time of need may be difficult:

The reasons for this can be because their powers are too dangerous or too uncontrollable to be let loose at their fullest all the time. A person may also willingly wear a Power Limiter as a form of training, as training with their power suppressed helps increase their power. Weighted clothing is often used in this fashion, in fiction and Real Life.

The upgraded version is the Power Nullifier, which outright removes superhuman abilities. This can sometimes be combined with Power Crutch (things that let them focus their power) especially for those with incontinence issues.

See also Restraining Bolt, Weaksauce Weakness, Cover-Blowing Superpower, Shed Armor, Gain Speed, I Am Not Left-Handed, Containment Clothing and Holding Back the Phlebotinum. Compare Morality Chip.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The first two seasons of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha featured 10-year-old girls with Power Levels exceeding the power meter of 1,000,000 points, and then introduced many other characters able to match them. When the series proved popular enough to go on to a third season, government-required power limiters were introduced to knock them down several ranks, with them only able to use full power when authorized by a high-ranking Bureau member.
    • The new recruits have power limiters of their own; after getting their devices, they have a four-stage limiter set on them, which restricts how much power and what abilities they can use. One stage typically gets removed just before every major battle, so they can more easily get accustomed to their devices.
    • In the aftermath of StrikerS Lutecia and Agito are also given limiters, reducing them to mage rank D for the duration of their probation.
  • The Evangelions have these in Neon Genesis Evangelion in the form of their armor, which doesn't serve to protect the Eva and its pilot as much as it serves to limit the Evangelions' power and allow humans to control the Eva. If an Eva goes really berserk, it can actually break the armor from the inside, but this requires a strength of mind that pretty much exceeds any human's ability, and if the human pilot becomes so synchronised with the Eva that this can happen (this requires the human to have a 400% synch ratio), that pilot's probably not coming back.
    • Unit-02 in Rebuild of Evangelion is shown to not only possess armor, but actual limiters implanted into its back which release once Mari unlocks the Eva's beast mode.
  • Used by goddesses and demons in Ah! My Goddess in the form of jewelry. Releasing them without permission is a big no-no, but Kami seems to be a bit flexible about this depending on situation and especially the personality of the goddess: Urd is often the Butt-Monkey of this compared to her more forward-thinking sister Belldandy, as Belldandy, being a 1st Class Goddess rather than a 2nd Class like Urd, is allowed to access far more of her full power (when Urd is temporarily given 1st Class power as part of her promotion exam, it's shown she's actually far more powerful).
    • When Urd's mother Hild comes to Earth for a visit, she admits her excessive amount of gaudy jewelry (a total of twenty pieces, each one a separate power limiter comparable to the one that Belldandy wears) is mostly to keep her arrival from leaving their home a smoking crater. In fact, if Hild were to remove all her limiters while on Earth, she'd be a danger to the planet simply by existing.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden has Hikitsu put an eyepatch (or bandages) over his right eye, where his symbol is located. If it isn't covered, he can easily see into another person's heart, make them relive horrible memories to make them remember details, inexplicably view the memories held within an inanimate object and similar.
  • Alucard from Hellsing uses the "Control Art Restriction System", which divides his vampiric powers into six levels, with Level 5 as his weakest and Level 0 being his full unsuppressed power. Considering how ridiculously overpowered he is, enemies tend not to be worthy enough to have him unlock any levels at all. The full Level 0 release, which happens in Volume 8, involves Alucard unleashing every one of the millions of souls he has personally devoured and enslaved to do his will. The "good news" is that he can't go full power on his own accord — full release requires approval from Integra Hellsing. When under threat, he can release a few restrictions until the threat is destroyed, such as with his fight with Luke Valentine.
    • Also of note, his state of dress also indicates what power level he is at. From least to most powerful, they are his red coat-and-hat ensemble, a black body suit covered in leather straps, and at Level Zero, a full suit of medieval plate-mail from the days when he was called Vlad the Impaler, a.k.a. Dracula.
  • A-Ko, from the parody series Project A-Ko, wears Wonder Woman-like bracers to keep her from crushing everything she picks up. This is because she is implied with as much subtlety as a brick to the nuts to be the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman.
  • Dragon Ball
    • The weighted training clothes that Son Goku and Piccolo (Jr.) wear are used to this effect in the Piccolo Jr. Saga and Saiyan Saga of Dragon Ball Z. However, the ever-increasing power threshold of the show quickly leads to the effect becoming meaningless and replaced with super modes and fusing. Goku never takes his off (intentionally) and Piccolo only removes his for dramatic effect. In the Otherworld Tournament arc, a Namek-like figure named Pikkon (who Goku eventually fights in the finals) uses the technique as well. Goku appreciates this because he'd also been holding back, and both decided then to cut loose.
      • Ironically, this ultimately ends up to still be the case. In Resurrection 'F', Piccolo removes his and throws it to some Frieza Soldiers, who despite having vastly increased their power by this point, can't even hold up his hat, revealing the weight has been drastically increased.
    • Majin Buu has his good half, Fat Buu. At the expense of use of a large portion of his power, Fat Buu provides Super Buu with some much needed sanity and the idea of self-preservation.
    • Broly of the movies wears a technological device created by his father designed to keep him from using too much of his power and going berserk. It causes the "Super Saiyan" trademark gold hair to take on a turquoise hue instead. By the time he becomes angry enough, his power overloads the device and he achieves his maximum power, growing almost triple his normal size in muscle mass yet sacrificing none of his speed. It becomes quite obvious why his father was so adamant about keeping him under control...
    • Frieza has an interesting variation: his transformations. His final and most powerful form is his natural state: all of his weaker forms are deliberately designed to keep his power in check. It's obvious why: when he finally does go all-out against Goku, he starts strong, almost evenly matched, but quickly burns out and loses power at a drastic rate.
  • A non-superpowered variant can be seen in Kyojin No Hoshi, where the protagonist is forced to wear a spring-loaded training harness that restrains his movements, forcing him to build up his musculature so he can actually move around it. Rumiko Takahashi seems to have particularly liked this harness' design, as replicas of it appear in three of her works; Maris the Chojo, Ranma ˝ and Urusei Yatsura.
  • Thanatosians in Maris the Chojo wear strength-restraining harnesses that look a lot like the one from Kyojin No Hoshi to control their Super Strength. Unfortunately for the titular character, she is so much stronger than the average Thanatosian that even with her limiter, she tends to destroy whatever she touches unless she's paying careful attention.
  • Naruto:
    • Rock Lee has one of the more famous examples of this when fighting Gaara. His master (Guy) gives him permission to take his leg weights off, so he hops up onto a statue and tosses them down. Those watching note that it's pointless, as shedding a few dozen pounds wouldn't make nearly enough of a difference to let him overcome Gaara. The weights then land with a thunderous, ground-cracking, crater-forming slam, showing just how ludicrously heavy they were. Lee, who was already one of the fastest fighters present, is now capable of moving fast enough that the other's can't even track him, even passing Gaara's automatic sand defense, allowing Lee to become the first person to actually land a direct hit on him.
    • The Eight Inner Gates are limiters of a shinobi and only the more powerful and truly skilled can remove them, such as Might Guy, a master of Taijutsu. He can unlock the other gates to gain more power, but when he unlocks Eighth Gate of Death, he surpasses the five Kage, and becomes powerful enough to injure Ten-Tails Madara!
    • Kakashi keeps his eye patch for most fights, because without his Eyepatch of Power his power is always on and will cost him all his energy too quickly. He also has a limit on his Mangekyō Sharingan (which punch unavoidable holes into reality taking body parts of his enemies apart) — twice in one fight! That power could end any threat real quick if not for the 3 limits... the holes in reality take a long while to get started, 2 weeks of recovering in bed for doing them, and not being able to train this dangerous power means he can't aim holes in reality well... yet.
    • Jinchuriki have the seals containing their Tailed Beasts tend to act as limiters, restricting the flow of chakra until their host activates it when in need. When they master their Tailed Beast, the Jinchuriki can fully unlock the seals to use their full power and can enter a transformation called Tailed Beast Mode, which allows them to fully turn into their Tailed Beast, but in Naruto and Minato’s case, they take on an avatar of the Nine Tails.
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • Bui, an enemy from the Dark Tournament arc, wears heavy armor over every inch of his body and wields a gigantic axe. Everyone thinks this is to protect him from attack, but it turns out that the armor was actually a Power Limiter, and once it's removed, he shows off an impenetrable Battle Aura that lets him defeat Hiei's Wave-Motion Gun, the Dragon of the Darkness Flame/Kokuryuha.
    • Similarly enough, Hiei himself wears 2 limiters. His headband suppresses his Jagan's demon energy, while the bandages suppress the Dragon of the Darkness Flame, with very good reason; without said limit, Hiei's demon energy was so powerful, if his aura were to clash with Bui's, the resulting reaction was said by Kurama to be powerful enough to destroy the entire stadium.
    • It was revealed in the Dark Tournament arc that Yusuke was given "spirit cuffs" by Genkai because his constant effort to overcome it would buff up his spirit energy.
    • Karasu (on the same team as Bui, his skill is Having a Blast) normally wears a mask. The mask is this trope because it keeps him from having full access to his mouth, keeping a Dangerous Forbidden Technique locked up.
  • In what is probably a Shout-Out to Rock Lee, MegaMan and ProtoMan both have 'limiter programs' that are essentially giant weights that they drop off in their last battle in the bonus chapter of the final MegaMan NT Warrior manga. The battle ends in a tie.
  • The Prince of Tennis:
    • The wrist/leg weights are used in a regular basis during training to develop more focus and leg strength. Masaharu Niou from Rikkaidai also uses additional wristbands to tap his own potential, and utterly refuses to take them off.
    • It turns out that this is what Shiraishi's bandages cover. Underneath them he wears a heavy arm band; when it's removed, the speed of his left arm sky-rockets.
  • Medaka Box has Unzen Myouga, little sister of head Enforcer Unzen Myouri, who fights using six 30kg ball-and-chains; when she removes them she becomes incredibly agile. This example is explicitly compared to Goku's weighted clothing, both by Myouga and her opponent.
  • Bleach has several examples.
    • Soul Reapers aren't allowed to release their Zanpakuto into either Shikai or Bankai without permission. This applies to both Soul Society and the living world. The damage they can do is too much to contemplate without power limiters. As a result, they also have a further limit on their power. To protect humans in the living world, Soul Reaper of Captain and Vice-captain ranks have to wear a limiter that reduces their power by 80% in the form of a tattoo of their division's symbolic flower. They again can't release this without express permission.
    • Kenpachi normally wears a parasitic eyepatch that was specially designed to guzzle some of his energy. This limits the amount of energy he can use in battle to prevent him from dispatching his opponents too fast. He wears it on purpose in order to make his fights more challenging.
    • When Ichigo first encounters the true form of Senbonzakura, Senkei, he realises that being surrounded on all sides by thousands of swords puts him in a very bad position. Byakuya guesses what he's thinking and tells him not to be concerned. Apparently, Byakuya once made a vow to only ever use Senkei on someone he intended to kill with his own two hands. As a result, he can't maximize the potential of his bankai's thousands of swords because he can only wield the blades one or two at a time from the palms of his hands. As of the Thousand Year Blood War arc, Byakuya can now easily call upon every single sword of Senkei to strike down his opponent. It's only been seen once (as Bleach ended), but we can assume he would go back to limiting his power after the Quincies are defeated.
    • Ikkaku possesses Bankai but keeps it secret, since if people knew about it he'd be pressured to become Captain of his own squad, when he'd rather stay in his current one. Even when he finally enters Bankai, he doesn't power straight into its full form the way the others do. He first has to re-engage the fight with the active, but weakly powered, Bankai until he makes a first cut. Only then does it "awaken". Once the dragon crest on the highest blade turns fully red, Ikkaku finally is able to wield his weapon at full strength.
    • Findorr Calius' mask functions as one. When it's whole, Hisagi notes that his power is only around that of a 5th Seat's, but as Findorr chips away pieces of it, his power rises. When only one piece remains around his left eye, his power is comparable to a Lieutenant, and he proves it by giving Hisagi a close fight (especially in the anime). When he chips off the last piece of it (90% broken) for a last-minute power-up to try and defeat Hisagi while in Resurreccion, he boasts that he's now comparable to a Captain. It doesn't help.
    • When Yumichika releases his Zanpakuto, it rather uselessly splits from one to four blades. Then it's revealed this is a fake Shikai and he is hiding his Zanpakuto's true abilities. He deliberately calls his Zanpakuto by a nickname it hates to piss it off and make it refuse to help him. When he calls it by its proper name, it releases its true form: a snaking mass of unbreakable flower vines that drains an opponent to death. His fake Shikai gives him no abilities, forcing him to fight with only base skill and resolve. However, his real Shikai is so powerful that he's achieved a single-strike victory every time he's used it. The reason he won't use it is the same reason Ikkaku won't use his Bankai: he wants to stay in his squad (the same squad as Ikkaku, even). Squad 11 consists entirely of Blood Knights who value only physical strength and think kido is for pussies. As Yumichika's real Shikai is a kido-type, it would get him kicked out of the squad. Or at least he thinks it would; at the very least it could get him ostracized.
    • Ichigo himself is actually under two, both acquired around the same time.
      • His Substitute Shinigami badge actually decreases the power he can draw out thanks to Soul Society remembering the last time a Bankai-wielding substitute ran around freely.
      • In the Thousand Year Blood War arc, he learns that Old Man Zangetsu has been a limiter all along. He represents Ichigo's Quincy powers and is supposed to kill him if he uses any other form of ability, but doesn't want to. Instead, he fakes Soul Reaper powers and limits Ichigo's real ones, which interferes with his abilities and causes instability in his power. On the other hand, it's not all bad: since as a Quincy it means he can use defensive abilities like Blut, which actually saved him a few times.
  • In Chainsaw Man, the Violence Fiend Galgali is forced by Public Safety to constantly wear a Plague Doctor mask that disperses poison gas in order to keep his Super Strength in check, Hulking Out whenever it's removed.
  • Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam: Crossbone Gundam X3 has two variations on this trope. Its built-in I-field generators have a cool-down period longer than their operational period (which finally gets fixed in Steel Seven by simply adding two more generators). And its Muramasa Blaster initially has a safety Tobia doesn't know about — which isn't a huge problem, as that just makes it a club rather than a beam saber.
  • Squid Girl: The protagonist's stupidity keeps her from fully using her power.
  • In Saiyuki the "good" youkai of Shangri-La generally wear jewelry-like power-limiters to keep them human-shaped and closer to human-strength when in mixed company. After the Minus Wave, very few youkai are sane enough to even think about wearing limiters. Two of the protagonists wear limiters nearly all the time: Goku's diadem and Hakkai's ear cuffs. (Goku's is many, many times stronger than a standard youkai limiter due to his Superpowered Evil Side.) Hakkai at full strength scares the shit out of even his friends and he's more susceptible to Minus Wave influence without the ear cuffs. Goku's unlimited form is strong enough to be a direct threat to Heaven; Sanzo's the only non-god who can put the diadem back on. In both cases, if and when the limiters come off, you'd best run and not look back.
    • Once, when Sanzo got hurt, Goku was so upset his power overloaded his limiter... The quartet's 'patron goddess' had to put it back on. Total beatdown on the bad guys that time, though, Superpowered Evil Side style.
  • Moka's rosary in Rosario + Vampire serves to keep her power in check among other things. It can only be removed by Tsukune in times of extreme need.
    • There's also Tsukune's Holy Lock, which keeps Moka's blood in his veins from turning him into a mindless massacre machine.
    • And Moka's older half-sister Kahlua, who wears a pair of cross earrings. Removing the right earring transforms her right arm into razor-sharp wings.
    • And Sun Otonashi's notebook. At first it seems to merely be a way for the "mute" girl to use Talking with Signs, but it's later revealed that she's a powerful Siren who uses the notebook to help keep her lethal voice under control.
  • Kyo of Fruits Basket has a power limiter in the form of a bracelet; if it comes off he transforms into his monstrous "true form."
  • Abel Nightroad in Trinity Blood is the only Crusnik who can release his powers in three stages (40%, 80%, and 100%). These restrictions are self-imposed, following a My God, What Have I Done? moment long before the series' begin.
    • His Evil Twin Cain long before had permanently locked himself into 100% power, with results that demonstrate why Abel's Power Limiter is a really good idea. Their younger sister Seth seems to vary only between not activating the power at all and using it at 100%.
  • Peacemakers in Scrapped Princess have four "modes": compressed (when they look and behave like ordinary little kids), normal (adult mages of tremendous powers), limited battle form (levitating monstrosities that level entire cities within minutes), and fully released form (clearly Over Nine Thousand and forbidden to use inside the atmosphere).
  • Power Limiters are essential in Psychic Squad, as the girls' powers at their max can wreck an entire city block. At first, they were in the form of chokers, but Minamoto's persuasion changed them to a bracelet, earring and ring — much more stylish and less degrading. However, the limiter can only be deactivated when the emergency levels are at their highest.
  • Evangeline of Negima! Magister Negi Magi is an enormously powerful vampire sorceress who's spread havoc and destruction on a colossal scale, ravaging Europe for many hundreds of years. In her heydays at least. After her defeat by Nagi Springfield the Thousand Master, she's been constrained to remain as student in Mahora Academy for the last fifteen years. The curse he placed on her seals away most of her ability while the school's Magitek barrier weakens her significantly. Considering that the one time we see her without the power limiters, she takes out a demon god in one shot it's probably good that she isn't perpetually at full power. That doesn't go to say she doesn't have some tricks up her sleeve. Hundreds of years of life will do that. In times of dire need, the headmaster is willing to release her curse temporarily for a good Deus ex Machina.
  • The Youma suppression pills in Claymore were designed to dampen a Claymore's power and let her act covertly. Later on they were used to allow seven warriors to survive a suicide mission by faking their deaths.
  • In Gakuen Alice, there are power-limiting masks and earrings.
  • In Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, Fay's phoenix tattoo (which covers his entire back) restrains his huge innate magical powers. When he trades it to Yuuko for a place in the traveling party, he swears off using his magic for fear of what might happen without the limit in place. Although, it turns out he's MORE dangerous with it than without, due to being cursed to kill the first person he meets whose magic exceeds his own. Suppressing his magic only makes it more likely he'll run across someone stronger.
    • Just as a reminder, without that limiter, Fay's magic can destroy an entire world/dimension/at least country when he has a Super-Power Meltdown.
  • Sgt. Frog: Sergeant Keroro wears a power limiter during the monsoon season to prevent him from turning into "Keroro From Back Then".
  • The titular character from Hell Teacher Nube wears a black glove to keep his Oni Hand hidden away, and so it looks and functions as a regular human hand. When the glove comes off, the hand becomes monstrous in size and appearance, but he still keeps limits on his power with his own spiritual abilities and the help of his mentor's spirit.
    • A more direct application lies in the Oni-Sealing Bracelets which En no Gyōja left scattered throughout Japan (usually to seal something else, which Nube then has to contend with after taking the bracelet.) When he wears these on his Oni Hand, he can consciously allow a specific percentage of the Oni's power to manifest itself, while remaining in full control.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Joey Wheeler says that the card "Gearfried the Iron Knight" uses his suit of armor to control his power. Joey then plays "Release Restraint" to reveal Gearfired's true form: the much more powerful "Gearfried the Swordmaster."
  • Aki Izayoi (Akiza Izinski)'s hairband in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds supposedly holds back her psychic powers, although whether or not it's really a Magic Feather remains to be seen. When it falls out of her hair while fighting against Yusei, her psychic powers seem to really hit home, but that may be psychological.
  • Miyanaga Saki from Saki takes off her shoes to get a power up in mahjong.
  • Parodied twice in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. In one instance, Harumi's glasses are revealed to have a tremendous weight and prevent her from exercising her full athletic potential (and she's an amazing athlete with the glasses on). The terminology used to describe them is a Shout-Out to the Restraining Bolt for mecha in Neon Genesis Evangelion. On another occasion, Nozomu is challenged by Lee Nakanao who is a parody of the stock Rival/ Worthy Opponent of shounen fighting anime. Lee is a white haired Bishōnen with an Eyepatch of Power, and when providing stats on him, the manga indicates that the eyepatch restrains his full power and he'd go berserk if he removed it.
  • Yuki Nagato from Haruhi Suzumiya requests permission from her boss to use her powers, and later adds a second layer of restriction in the form of Kyon.
  • The mail-order Power Suit that Gosunkugi buys in Ranma ˝. All things considered, it's extremely powerful tech: it can withstand Ranma's full-power punches without even a dent (and injuring Ranma's knuckles in return,) provides its wearer the speed to deliver Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs on par with Ranma, and, naturally, also provides Super Strength. What prevents misuse and abuse by any common crook? Three basic rules: a) it's unbelievably heavy, so once assembled, it effectively locks into place and the user cannot budge one inch until his rival is in range, at which point it automatically latches onto them with a retractable handcuff and powers up; b) once latched onto the rival, the armor will deactivate and fall apart by itself as soon as the user successfully strikes the enemy; and c) the user has a time limit to accomplish this, otherwise the armor will self-destruct.
    • During the Hiryu Shoten Ha arc, as part of the Training from Hell to learn the titular super-technique, Ranma is made to wear a spring-loaded harness similar to the one from Kyojin No Hoshi that reacts to the heat of Battle Aura by locking up, forcing him to learn how to fight without emitting such an aura.
  • In DieBuster, all of the Topless wear a small sticker on their foreheads that keeps their powers in check. Given that without it, they're low-level, localized Reality Warpers, this is understandable.
  • Given to Mewtwo in Pokémon: The First Movie. When he meets with Giovanni for the first time, he barely has control of his psychic abilities and is given the armor to slowly focus his power.
  • Used in the background of the Macross franchise, in which Variable Fighters have, by the time of Macross Plus, achieved a top performance level which exceeds human survivability, capable of applying G-forces which would kill the pilot, and a top atmospheric speed where friction with the air would cause the plane itself to burn up. Other limiters include maximum safe thrust in a vacuum due to heat buildup. By Macross Frontier, new technology has allowed some of these limits to be removed; most mentions now are just a Continuity Nod to Plus, where it served as a plot device to further demonstrate Guld's sacrifice, as he disables his limiters in order to get the performance he needed to destroy the X-9 Ghost, at the cost of his own life.
  • We see a couple of instances of this in Kamisama Kiss. The first is Tomoe who had one placed on him when he became a familiar. Next we find out that the reason Kurama's powers in the human world are very weak is because a tengu's powers are derived from the mountain they were born on and the further away they are they are, and the longer they are away, the weaker those powers get.
  • In Toriko, Mansam limits his strength with Knocking. Without the Knocking, he's a rampaging near-unstoppable berserker.
  • Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time has Gumdramon, who has a golden band on his tail. The band was put there to keep him from using his abilities selfishly and becomes an Amplifier Artifact when exposed to The Power of Friendship.
  • The Build Burning Gundam of Gundam Build Fighters Try has a unique one — it was hidden within the shell of a MS-09 Dom.
  • In Plastic Memories, Giftias are equipped with one that restricts their super strength and speed. One reason Wanderers are so hazardous to face is because this limiter is switched off when a Giftia becomes a Wanderer. Alternatively, the limiter can be switched off manually, which is part of SAI's protocol in using their own Giftias to subdue Wanderers.
  • In Re-Kan!, Hibiki's ability to see ghosts never gets out-of-control as such, but her utter inability to refuse help to any ghost she encounters does take its toll on her. At one point, when she's been pushed to utter exhaustion, her friends force her to wear her mother's Sixth Sense Blocking Spectacles, which prevent her from seeing (and even hearing) ghosts, giving her a much-needed reprieve.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul :Re, this is the key difference between normal One-Eyed Ghouls and the Quinx. While the methods to create them are essentially the same, the Quinx have a system installed to limit their powers (and therefore, how close to being a true half-Ghoul they are). The Frame System consists of five layers of Quinque Steel, encasing the transplanted Kakune inside them to limit how much it changes the host's biology. Removing each layer increases the potential power output by 20%, but increases risk of losing control or becoming a true half-Ghoul. Once Hisae did this, he returned to his old identity as Ken Kaneki.
  • In The Legend of Koizumi, during "The Twilight Of The Gods" story arc, the Pope is revealed to have been wearing "The Shackles Of Golgotha", a set of heavy wrist weights, for years in order to restrain his true power. (Koizumi remarks that he's probably been using less than a tenth of his full potential until then.) This is still a manga about playing mahjong.
  • In Brave10, it turns out the Kushimitama isn't the source of Isanami's Power of the Void: it's keeping it at bay.
  • Fukuzawa's ability in Bungou Stray Dogs is effectively this, giving his subordinates a finer degree of control over their own abilities. For example, Atsushi went from an Involuntary Shapeshifter to a Voluntary Shapeshifter when he joined the Armed Detective Agency.
  • In Saint Seiya a Cloth is a weapon and protection for his wielder. For Shun, however, it was this, as he doesn't like killing and his Cloth's chains allowed him to fight without using his true strength, that he expected to inevitably kill his opponent. Aphrodite (a Gold Saint, thus theorically vastly more powerful than a mere Bronze Saint as Shun) found the hard way during their battle, when he found the chains too annoying and reacted by destroying the entire Cloth-and died soon after.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: The Alaya-Vijnana System used by some Mobile Suit pilots and particularly by the Gundam Frames links the pilot's nervous system to the control systems of the Suit, allowing the pilot to control it via thought. However, the A-V System has safeties in place that prevent full synchronization between the pilot and the robot. While full synch grants the pilot unparalleled control and superhuman speed and reflexes, it also causes severe neurological damage, permanently paralyzing large parts of the user's body unless it's currently linked to the robot.
  • While pretty common in Sports anime in general, Yowamushi Pedal goes all out with this trope. The main character, from the very very beginning, is constantly under limiters and that is in fact the *only reason* he isn't already Inter-High level. Throughout the show, it's far less him getting stronger and far more his teammates just removing his limiters one at a time and watching him go from mediocre to incredible just from that.
  • In Basilisk, there's a special medicine known as "Seven Day Ointment", which keeps a person's eyes forcibly closed during a week. Since this is a story with extremely powerful ninjas, if anyone gets a dose of this to the eyes, they're severely limited — and double if their superpowers involve their eyes. Gennosuke, whose power is basically a literal Death Glare, has a dose of it thrown at him and spends quite a bit of the story as a Handicapped Badass. On the other hand his girlfriend Oboro, whose own powers involve neutralizing ninja powers with her own glate, willingly seals her eyes with the ointment after she accidentally uses her skills against one of her clansmates.
  • Shadow's golden-yellow armbands are revealed to seal away a significant portion of his power for his own safety in SonicX; taking them off allows him to become faster and stronger, with the standard caveat of exhausting his stamina at a higher rate.
  • Totsugami: Tasaku's glasses prevent him from seeing the monsters and yokai he would usually see without them.
  • The Story Between a Dumb Prefect and a High School Girl with an Inappropriate Skirt Length: In Tasaki's BL manga, Sakuradaimon and Izubuchi take off their armband and health committee jacket, respectively, to unleash their full power. Izubuchi's coat is apparently heavy enough to dent the floor, which shocks his Evil Twin.
  • Life with an Ordinary Guy who Reincarnated into a Total Fantasy Knockout: Following his Super Gender-Bender, Tachibana spends most of his time wearing a Cool Crown that limits the effect of his So Beautiful, It's a Curse looks so people won't fall madly in lust with him on sight. The crown acts like a Perception Filter, but it is not perfect. Tachibana's power will still kick in on anyone focused on him intently enough.
  • One Nichijou strip, titled "Limiter Release," implies that taking off the weighted ribbon in Annaka's hair lets her jump or even fly at least ten feet off the ground.
  • Record of Ragnarok: Unlike in mythology where the Járngreipr gloves increase Thor's strength so he can lift his hammer, the gloves limit his strength so that he does not accidentally crush his hammer before it can awaken its full powers. The gloves are extremely heavy and make a crater when he takes them off.
  • Urusei Yatsura: In addition to an early story where Ataru has Cherry make him a Power Nullifier to use on Lum, another story features Ten trying to train his strength. Intending to be helpful, Lum gives the already-overburdened oni infant a spring-loaded strength-training harness like the one from Kyojin No Hoshi. It takes Ten hours to drag himself home and he immediately throws it off in disgust once he's safely back.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men:
    • In the '80s, a retcon introduced the idea that Professor Xavier placed a mental block in Jean Grey's mind as a child to keep her more extreme powers from manifesting.
    • Also, in The Dark Phoenix Saga, Jean unconsciously put blocks on her vast cosmic power to keep it at a level she could handle. Then, Mastermind started removing them. BAD move.
    • Also, Cyclops' goggles, which keep his uncontrollable Eye Beams under wraps. If he takes his glasses off completely and opens his eyes fully he can hold off even the Juggernaut (for a little while, anyway) and once atomized a Sentinel. The bad news is that it means destroying everything else in the area too, so he doesn't do it often.
    • Cable's Psychic Powers are canonically Phoenix-class-or-higher, but the majority of his power is constantly occupied, holding back the techno-organic virus that threatens to consume him. As such, he typically relies on BFGs and the occasional nowhere-near-Phoenix-class telekinetic feat.
    • It's eventually revealed that Gambit is naturally immensely powerful, but suffered from dangerous Power Incontinence. Whereas Gambit's usual power is to charge an unliving object he touches with kinetic energy until it explodes, his full energy manipulation powers could potentially explode anything - or anyone - he can perceive. At least one of his Alternate Universe versions killed everyone on his Earth in a moment of Power Incontinence, and was also able to step between alternate worlds, twist time itself, and assume an energy form. However, when Gambit's powers started to increase and slip out of his control, long before he joined the X-Men, he made a bargain with villain Mister Sinister to surgically limit them, avoiding this fate on the main Marvel earth.
    • Multiple Man's power of Self-Duplication is triggered by impact when he absorbs kinetic energy. When he was a boy, his father, Dr. Daniel Madrox, created a suit for him designed to absorb the kinetic energy so Jamie wouldn't keep creating duplicates everytime he bumped into something.
  • In the post-Zero Hour Legion of Super-Heroes, blocks were put on the higher levels of Saturn Girl's telepathy when she was a child. When the blocks came off years later, she started using her powers without realizing it.
  • Albert Cranston in PS238 is implied, early on, to have one of these around his head. Apparently, they limit his (apparent) telekinetic abilities to a level where he is barely able to press a keyboard button with his mind, and it seems that he is keeping the fact that he is even able to do this a secret from the remaining staff, implying it was meant to be a power-nullifier.
  • Superman:
    • During The Third Kryptonian, Superman had Chris Kent wear a watch much of the time that emitted red sunlight to keep him normal as he hadn't learned to control his powers yet. He could take it off any time he wanted but kept it on most of the time out of respect for his foster father.
    • In Superman & Batman: Generations, Kara Kent wore a red sunlight pendant during early childhood when her powers started manifesting. Lois had previously worn the same pendant when she was pregnant with Kara to keep the Kryptonian infant from damaging her.
    • In Superman: Secret Origin, Martha Kent forged a pair of glasses for Clark using pieces of the glass from the rocket that brought him to Earth as the lenses in order to shield his heat vision in case it accidentally went off until he was able to learn to get it under control (she had noticed the glass seemed to be able to absorb the heat).
  • The Spectre's power is severely limited when sealed in a mortal host. The Spectre still has near-omnipotent power but can only use it to punish murderers (and not every murderer at that). During the Day of Vengeance event, the Spectre was between hosts and fell prey to Eclipso's manipulations and decided that magic was an affront to the Presence's will and had to be destroyed. The Spectre declared war on all magic in the universe. And pretty much won. Without anything holding him back, the Spectre turned Phantom Stranger into a mouse, forced Blaze and Satanus to flee for their lives, kicked a souped up Captain Marvel's ass, killed Shazam in the place where he was strongest, and killed all of the Lords of Order and Chaos. Unfortunately for the Spectre, that last one was the final straw for the Presence. The Presence promptly demonstrated the difference between near-omnipotent and truly omnipotent power by sealing the Spectre into his new host.
  • The newest version of Steel (a member of the Justice Society not to be confused with John Henry Irons) wears a solid metal skin with no joints in order to resist his strength enough for him to function. It ensured that he wouldn't exert so much strength that he might accidentally crush his family or damage doors just by opening them, but has draw backs like not being able to feel pretty much anything.
  • Typically, The Incredible Hulk has basically unlimited strength, but while Bruce Banner can manifest different versions of the Hulk, they come with their own limits. This is particularly relevant for the incarnation of the Hulk known as 'the Professor'; representing Bruce Banner's ideal self, the Professor Hulk has a default strength level able to lift up to a hundred tons and an intellect equal to Banner himself, but at the cost that he will revert to Bruce Banner with the mind of the savage Hulk if he loses control of his temper.
  • Five of the six Infinity Gems act as control rods for the sixth, the Reality gem, which cannot be used alone (unlike the other five). Trying to do so will result in Reality Is Out to Lunch (as Thanos painfully found out).
  • Beta Ray Bill's cyborg body was built with one of these, releasing it more than triples his power for a short time, but runs the risk of burning out his power.
  • The Green Lantern Corps were given various restrictions on the power of their rings by the Guardians of the Universe, such as the inability to directly kill someone with them. The Guardians later released these restrictions.
  • A future version of Fantastic Four's Franklin Richards known as Psi-Lord wears a specialized power armor designed to drain his immense psychic abilities. Without it, he was able to release power equivalent to the Big Bang. Before that, Reed Richards had to install mental blocks within Franklin when his powers started to manifest. Of course, putting it on him while putting him in a coma did near him a What the Hell, Hero? from Sue.
  • The lightning bolt embedded in Radioactive Man's head acts as a control rod, preventing the nuclear reaction in his body from going supercritical (and turning him evil).
  • Deadpool's Healing Factor is restrained by his own cancer and vice versa. Without his healing factor, the cancer will go wild and kill him. Without his cancer, his healing factor will go wild and kill him. Sucks, doesn't it?
  • For the longest time, it was suggested that Wolverine's adamantium skeleton was this for both his healing factor and his animalistic tendencies. When Magneto torn his adamantium out of his body and his healing factor recovered from being taxed, it came back stronger than ever, but started a downward spiral of losing himself, made full when Genesis tried to give him back his adamantium and brainwashed him, which didn't work out at all.
  • In the New Power arc of W.I.T.C.H. it turns out that the original forms of the Guardians of Kandrakar are this, with their power being a mere fraction of what they would really be and the full power being released to them only in case of dire emergency. Considering the damage Nerissa did with said limit, it's a good thing.
  • During New Avengers (2015) and U.S.Avengers, Sunspot suffers from a disease that puts his mutant power into overdrive and gives him strength comparable to a Physical God. Since this also takes years off his lifespan, Toni Ho invents a headband that regulates the amount of solar energy he absorbs and allows him to use his power at a weaker, non-lethal level.
  • Ghost Riders are their own power limiters. The human Riders limit naturally only use a mere fraction of the potential power of their Spirits, who, it’s been said, essentially have the power of a god when carrying out their duties. The Rider job is to focus and direct that power, in whatever way they choose. If the Rider is knocked out or gives control to the Spirit, the limit is removed, but the Spirit might stop the fight if they don’t approve of the opponent, as they only fight the guilty and sinful. The best example of this is in World War Hulk, where Johnny Blaze attempted to talk the Hulk out of his rampage, then attempted to get him out of the city when he couldn’t. Hulk ended up hurting Johnny enough he blacked out, giving control over to Zarathos, his spirit. Zarathos, however, dropped the fight, as he felt Hulk was innocent and the injured party in the matter.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): The Amazons' bracers which are welded on when they swear their fealty to Aphrodite limit their strength, and when they are removed it is difficult for an Amazon to stay in control rather than fly into a berserker rage. The bracers are also their Achilles' Heel, as if they are welded together by a man an Amazon's powers are drained to near baseline human standards. Diana still manages to pull chains welding her bracers together apart, it's just a bit harder than normal.
    • Wonder Woman: Dead Earth: Diana's exceptional strength led to the Amazons crafting strength limiting bracers for her. When she flies into a rage while her bracers were removed its as if she blacked out for all the control and memory she's left with for the event. She also destroyed civilization in the ensuing fight with Superman.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
  • Fate of the Clans:
    • Chiron's is the form he takes. If he's in a more human-like form it makes him weaker. He takes this form in order to conceal his True Name since he's basically the only centaur Heroic Spirit.
    • Nagare's full power is restrained by a straightjacket since he's unable to hold his power in on his own. Only by destroying it can he show his power as King. But it can only remain active for a time. Once he hits that limit, he collapses and has to wait to recharge.
    • Cú Chulainn Alter's chains are actually holding him back. When he gets rid of them his power rivals Tamamo's three tails state.
  • Escape from the Moon: Doa has one on her thaumatics, preventing her from using more than a minimal amount.
  • In the fanfic Co-op Mode, James can help those he invites into his Party into gaining Skills, but it is limited by them only learning up to the number they have for INT. As per Word of God, this is so as to avoid logical exploits like learning a thousand Skills in order to get through fights with just the passives.
  • In the Poké Wars series it is revealed that Pokémon and humans possess natural power limiters that keep their attacks to a non-lethal level and reduce their bloodlust and aggressiveness. The series revolves around what happens after those limiters are suddenly released and the Pokémon are psychically commanded to kill all humans.
  • What kicks off the plot in Escape From The Hokage's Hat. During the Sasuke retrieval mission, Naruto managed to win his fight against Sasuke but almost died. He aimed for Sasuke's wing which took Sasuke down but threw the aim off the Chidori from his heart to most of his right side and his whole right arm while Naruto was suffering from charka exhaustion to boost. While in surgery Tsunade finds multiple limiters on Naruto ranging from intelligence dampening to massively suppressing his hormones and libido and his motor functions. The reason she isn't on Jiraiya's (resident seal master) case for not notifying her of the seals is because they were blood seals made from Naruto's own blood so they wouldn't be seen by a regular medical scan. While Jiraiya says removing them would give him a major permanent boost (the seals held a large chunk of Naruto's power), there is a downside to it due to the seals being so ingrained into Naruto's body. Naruto would generally have the motor functions of a 5 month year old, Kage level reserves with zero control and a brain that's just started working at normal capacity.
  • The admins in The Infinite Loops originally designed subspace pockets to drain power away from Loopers in order to keep them from accidentally collapsing a universe. The fact that the pockets also serve as Hammerspace and carry things between loops is just an added bonus.
  • In Unwell, Twilight Sparkle is said to be on these as a result of an illness that's exacerbated by excessive magic levels. And had been since foalhood. The results of another pony taking her medications are ... BAD.
  • The Elements of Friendship: Book II reveals that Celestia's regalia are this to her, as the full untapped extent of her Power of the Sun would either incinerate or irradiate everything around her.
  • Adorable Murderbeasts : A fanfic where a Self-Insert is put into the Young Justice universe with six Pokeballs and all the items from the games, he uses the Macho Brace, Power Bracers, and Power Anklets to increase his training so he can faster match the various threats of the DC Universe.
  • One Bleach story shows Yachiru's entire uniform is covered in power limiters similar to Kenpachi's. They're also stated to be the reason she appears as a little girl as they seal away too much power for Yachiru to maintain her adult form.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: In the second chapter of the fourth story, The Diplomat's Life, after meeting her great-niece, Princess Celestia mentions that as foals, her parents put limiters designed for infant alicorns on she and Luna until they were a year or so old. She doesn't know them herself until Magic speaks up and shares them with she and Twilight, allowing them to perform the same spell on Cadance's infant.
  • Nerve Damage: Samson covers his hair with strips of rawhide to prevent it from being cut off and depowering him. The cost is that covering his hair reduces his strength. He can remove the rawhide to significantly boost his strength but then his hair will become vulnerable to attack.
  • Harriett Potter, in The Rigel Black Chronicles, is overwhelmed by the maturation of her magical core on her thirteenth birthday, bedridden and in pain from being bloated with magic. She then learns that her mother had a similar problem and wears a power-suppressing bracelet all the time. Even once Harry recovers from the initial shock, her magic reserves are just too big for her to handle, overloading her spells and potions, so she commissions a power-suppressing ring. The results are mixed; she regains control, but it becomes much harder to use high-level magic, and she's advised by several experts that the underlying problem will only get worse the longer she tries to squash that part of herself. Eventually, the choice is taken away from her, when her ring is destroyed and she has no alternative but to come to terms with herself and her magic.
  • With This Ring: After Paulphidian enhances him with the Danner formula, giving him Super Strength, Robin makes himself a power-suppressing armband similar to the collars used to control metahuman prisoners, so that he can adapt more gradually. He eventually doesn't need to wear it any more.
  • In The Awakening of a Magus, it turns out Snape had a block placed on him during the school days, locking away most of his potential. It seems Voldemort was paranoid about Severus having the power to beat him. Properly Paranoid.
  • In Everqueen, for a long time, Isha is only allowed to leave her rooms while wearing special enchanted manacles.

    Films — Animation 
  • Jafar is defeated in the first Aladdin movie by the limits of being a genie. "PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS... itty-bitty living space."
  • Frozen (2013): Queen Elsa has near-constant lack of control over her powers, causing her to freeze everything she touches and accidentally create snow and/or ice whenever she moves her hands too quickly. To counteract this, she wears gloves. It's shown to work... unless she's particularly distressed, for example when her parents die, she's shown to have coated a large area around her in ice, despite the gloves. Since Elsa's powers activate due to strong emotions, it's very likely that her gloves work like a placebo; she thinks that the gloves might help her, which calms her down and prevents her ice powers from activating.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, the world's fastest runner constantly has a ball and chain attached to each of his feet.
  • In Captain Marvel (2019), Carol spends most of the movie with a small disc on her neck that the Kree said was there to help her control her power. It was actually there to control her by controlling her power, so she couldn't use it to rebel against the Kree, and to keep her from accessing the full potential of her abilities to keep her reliant on the other Starforce members, and the Kree in general.
  • In Man of Steel, the Kryptonians' Powered Armor filter their Super Senses whilst on Earth. When Superman breaks Zod's face mask after repeatedly punching him in the face, he suffers Sensory Overload. He adapts, though.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • In X-Men: The Last Stand, not to mention in the original comics it was based on, we learn that Professor Xavier placed a mental block in Jean Grey as a child, to keep her more extreme powers from manifesting.
    • In X-Men: First Class, Erik observes that Mystique's physical strength is effectively halved because she is concentrating on maintaining a human appearance. This explains her tendency to "decloak" for her fight scenes in the original movies.

  • Done by choice in the Taltos novels of the Dragaera series, where Sethra Lavode is revealed to be one and the same with Kiera the Thief, and in this persona achieved success with hard work and minimal use of magic, refusing to use any resource or knowledge she didn't gain as Kiera, even though in her true form she is an equal to the gods. Her explanation was simply that she got bored.
  • In the Fingerprints series, Rae's Psychic Powers initially drive her into a mental institution. In later books, she starts putting wax on her fingertips as a sort of improvised Power Limiter to keep other peoples' thoughts out of her head, since she can't turn her ability off.
  • Merlin Athrawes is actually a machine posing as one of the planet Safeholds legendary seijin. This lets him perform above and beyond your average human, but he still keeps a Power Limiter active to avoid being too above and beyond, and only removes them in extreme circumstances.
  • In the Ravenor books, Wystan Frauka, has a power limiter which can turn off his psychic blanking effect. Which is handy, when the hero is a powerful psychic...
  • In Bequin, the cuffs.
    • Also a choice made by those who choose to summon Daemonhosts; the more of the Daemon's power is permitted to escape, the less control is possible. Cherubael is weaker working for Eisenhorn because Eisenhorn wants to keep him under control.
  • Employed by the government in Harrison Bergeron to make sure that nobody ever excels at anything, ostensibly to make everyone equal.
  • In Harry Potter, Neville and Ron both start out with hand-me-down wands which explicitly did not choose them and are not suited for them. Ron accidentally breaks his in Chamber of Secrets and has to get it replaced after which he has a lot less trouble performing spellwork. A part of Neville Longbottom's problem performing magic is the fact that he is using his father's wand for the first 5 books until it gets broken in a fight in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Once he gets one that chooses him and is suited for his skills, his abilities improve dramatically.
  • In the Discworld series, a Wizard's natural instinct is to build a magic tower, and then obliterate every other wizard standing (it's noted that the plural of "wizard" used to be "war"). The Unseen University with its associated lifestyle of multiple rich meals a day, bureaucracy, and general work-avoidance, acts as a Power Limiter helping keep those instincts in check, and when the system is temporarily upended in Sourcery, things go very bad, very fast.
  • In Tolkien's Legendarium, the Istari ("wizards"), most prominently including Gandalf (as well as Saruman and others) all have a built-in power limiter, albeit one that is barely hinted at in The Lord of the Rings; for full reveal, The Silmarillion must be perused. The Istari are actually Maiar, a subtype of Ainur, members of the first race of beings brought forth by the Creator before the dawn of time. Although of "lesser order and power" than the godlike Valar, they also are immortal of the Complete Immortality variety, and their ethereal "natural form" vastly exceeds the power and ability levels of all but the very greatest mortals in Middle-Earth history (none of which are around by the time of the War of the Ring; Galadriel at the height of her power is little more than a reflection of the abilities of her greatest ancestors). However, because of ancient and complex rules, restrictions, and covenants, they are only allowed to help in the war against the dark powers in an advisory capacity. While occasionally capable of feats beyond men or elves (such as the White Council banishing Sauron from Dol Guldur, alluded to in The Hobbit, Gandalf destroying the Balrog in Moria, breaking Saruman's hold over Theoden of Rohan and later stripping Saruman of his power altogether, or repeatedly repelling the Ringwraiths), most of the time they are just what is says on the tin — wizened, crotchety old men that only those in the know have any reason to be wary of. Gandalf's power limiter is not removed when he is promoted to Gandalf the White (in reward for his efforts on behalf of Middle-Earth and so that he may finish his task) — it is merely dialed down a notch.
    • they are only allowed to help in an advisory capacity, because every time Ainur go to war, Continents Sink
  • Journey to Chaos: The entire guild lobby was outfitted with runes that suppress Mia's hammerspace ability so she can control it instead of turning into a blackhole.
  • Seven Years Awesome Luck: Kester's watch holds a transformation spell that gives him a generic "John" appearance, but also locks his magic away until he takes it off. This comes back to bite him when he's kidnapped and his hands are tied so he can't reach the watch.
  • Exploited for Loophole Abuse in There Is No Epic Loot Here, Only Puns, when a party challenges a boss that becomes stronger in proportion to their own strength. The boss' strength doesn't get recalculated if they become stronger partway through, so they briefly apply armbands to restrain their magic, start the fight, then take the armbands off. (It's a clever solution, but since the party is also a bunch of contemptuous jerks, the dungeon core isn't impressed, and retaliates as soon as they reach the next floor.)
  • In the Towers Trilogy, Xhea initially believes that she is an Un-Sorcerer with no magic whatsoever, but later learns that she possesses dark magic which has been suppressed by a limiter for most of her life. Her mother cast the limiter spell on her when she was a child to prevent her dark magic from killing her, but it breaks when Xhea pushes herself into a Heroic RRoD at the climax of Radiant.
  • In the Extreme Monsters book series, monster athletes wear Neutralizer Wristbands to weaken their monster powers so that they can compete fairly against humans in sporting events.
  • Tsuyokute New Saga: Seran turns out to be wearing not one but dozens of them, and one said restraining bracelet increases the weight by five times.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The classic tokusatsu example is Ultraman's Color Timer, where once he transforms has only three minutes to kill the monster and change back or "Ultraman will never rise again." The In-Universe explanation is that Earth's atmosphere is harmful to Ultraman, and three minutes is the longest he can safely stay on Earth; the Color Timer is a grafted device that serves to tell him how much longer he has before he is too weak to continue and could potentially die (more than once, being beaten badly enough by the Monster of the Week has caused the Color Timer to go off prematurely). This trait is also shared by all the other heroes of the Ultra Series.
  • In Kamen Rider Kiva, Wataru (the titular hero) has his Dhampyr and Rider abilities are chained in two ways: symbolically in that being a Half-Human Hybrid denies him most of the powers of his vampiric heritage, and literally with the chains adorning Kiva's armor that bring its power down to manageable levels. When he unlocks Emperor Form, the Transformation Sequence actually begins with one of his sidekicks shattering the chains.
    • Later in the series, Wataru gets his hands on an Evil Weapon that makes him go berserk. His Battle Butlers use a fragment of their souls to create a new Power Limiter that lets him use the sword without going crazy.
  • In official materials from Kamen Rider Fourze, the Horoscopes' cloaks limit their powers, and removing them allows each Horoscope to fight at full strength. It acts as one level of three, the others being Cloakless and Supernova.
    • Fourze himself has one in that he can't change to his Cosmic States if the bond between him and his friends weakens. Although by the time they figure that out he's fighting the strongest villains in the show and it doesn't pose much of a problem for him anymore, because he can't believably be fighting them without it.
  • Kamen Rider Build has Blood Stalk, who flips the franchise's entire dynamic around by being inherently much stronger than his own Transformation Trinket. He just keeps using it because outing himself as being clearly not human would be pretty bad for his plans, which rely way more on manipulating others than raw power.
  • In Mahou Sentai Magiranger Hikaru ends up having to put a time limit on the main team's Legend Modes so that they don't lose their humanity.
  • One Angel episode revolves around Gunn helping Gwen Raiden, a Classy Cat-Burglar with electric superpowers, to steal a device capable of acting as a Power Limiter for her. She wanted it because without it she instantly killed anyone who she had skin contact with, to her inconvenience. When they obtained it, she celebrated by losing her virginity with him.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Exalted, Mars, the goddess of war and battles, wears her hair in braids while training her soldiers, and each braid binds up some of her strength and skills so that she doesn't accidentally kill them.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, a few creatures have some way to become more powerful if certain conditions are met, and many of these are implied to be removal of a power limiter of some kind.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • In Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000, the Chaos God Tzeentch created the Blue Scribes to collect every spell and psychic power in existence. Knowing the mentality of his followers however, Architect of Fate altered the Scribes to ensure that they couldn't effectively use the knowledge they acquire. P'tarix can transcribe the spells they find, but can't read. Xirat'p, on the other hand, can read his brother's writing, but can't understand it. They're also both Blue Horrors so that they would eternally be at each other's throats (as well as being dumber than two halves of a peanut), never getting the idea that they could work together to utilize the power they hold effectively.
    • Warhammer 40,000 specific examples:
      • Many Imperial Guard Sanctioned Psykers have augmetic dampers implanted to reduce the potency of their powers.
      • The Animus Speculum worn by Culexus Assassins are designed to absorb and contain the anti-soul energies of the Blanks that wear them. This is so that the Assassins can operate within normal people without causing them to experience a violent case of Uncanny Valley. Unlike other examples though, it can fire this stored energy when the eye opens, turning it into a localized negative space wedgie that tears your soul from your body.
      • Ork Weirdboyz carry copper rods that ground the Waaagh! energy that accumulates in them from the presence of other Orks. This serves to drastically reduce the odds of the Wierdboy accidentally exploding someone's head (possibly thier own). In battle their Minderz will take the rod away, point the Weirdboy in the general direction of the enemy and hope for the best.

    Video Games 
  • The Slayer class in Dungeon Fighter Online is a swordsman with a red, demon-possessed arm that constantly tries to take over the rest of his body. Right from the start, he's got a Power Limiter in the form of mystical shackles attached to the arm. One of his class advancements, the Blade Master, receives a more-powerful version called a Regulator, which allows him to focus nearly entirely on his swordplay and supresses the demon so strongly his arm turns white and glows. His alternate class advancements are much less positive, which involve striking a bargain with the demon to trade his eyes for power, learning the enslave the demon and others like it which will ultimately end up with him dead due to them or just giving into the possession completely.
  • Get in the Car, Loser!: In the second DLC, the Adversarial Zodiac causes various combat penalties to be applied to Sam, Grace, and Valentin, since the stars reject their presence in the alternate timeline. The party has to accumulate Adversarial Zodiac Points and spend them in the planetarium in order to remove each penalty.
  • Potemkin in Guilty Gear wears a restraint system designed to keep him under control during the years he was a slave; his collar had a bomb wired into it. Even now, having gained freedom, he still wears it to keep his strength in check. In his Instant Kill, he briefly removes it, and then kills the opponent with one punch.
    • As well as Sol Badguy, who wears a pseudo-magical headband which suppresses his true nature as a Super Prototype of a gear Gear, a race of magical living weapons of mass destruction, and allows him to retain his sanity. However, this comes at a cost of somewhere in the vicinity of 90% of his power. Given his already amazing battle skill, and his ability to destroy commander-level Gears with minimal effort, his true potential can be rather frightening to consider.
    • Still, That Man seems to casually fight him after Sol removes his limiter. Even at the end of the battle, barely any damage was done to That Man. Makes one wonder how powerful That Man really is.
  • Lie of Caelum: After accidentally nuking part of the planet with his power, Syou sealed most of his power in the Inverse Towers.
  • Xenogears has the surface dwellers' and Solarians' powers limited by a nanomachine device literally called a Limiter. You get to destroy this Limiter later and unlock awesome new techs for your character.
    • Limiters are used in a lot of ways, not just to ensure that surfacers and Solarians can't attain their full power. Fei also gets a Limiter that keeps his Superpowered Evil Side under control, with a system that allows him to release his Id powers in a controlled fashion. It breaks later.
    • Later on, the heroes remove the Limiters on everyone. It turns out that removing the Limiters of nameless NPCs is a bad idea.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 1, Shulk ponders early on that there must be a reason why the Monado can't cut people and faced Mechon. Later it turns out the Monado's is "in shackles" in its current form. Once Zanza unlocks it into the Monado II, those restrictions no longer apply. And it turns out that even that form is still limiting its power when the Monado III is revealed.
  • In Romancing SaGa 2, if you kill Rockbouquet before Noel, he will not allow you to make peace with him and will attack at full power; it is even worse if he is the only remaining hero since he will be the penultimate boss in the final dungeon; he will be in his second form and without the limiter, meaning he will use every technique at his disposal.
  • K' in The King of Fighters is forced to wear a special gauntlet, lest his flame control powers run wild. Normally, flame-users in KOF have perfect control, but since K' got his powers through an imperfect process, he has no control over them. As of 2003 and XIII, it's implied he doesn't need it anymore but now wears it out of habit.
    • Both K9999/Krohnen and Nameless have this too. Nameless's in particular is tied to his backstory, as it contains the essence of his deceased lover Isolde, who has similar abilites to Kula Diamond (being born from the same project) and is used to mediate Nameless's flame powers.
    • Rugal Bernstein and Krizalid have first forms wherein they wear a tuxedo for Rugal or a huge coat for Kriz. Once they come off...well, don't say we didn't warn you. Rugal's tux is probably worn by Rugal to flaunt his status as a Man of Wealth and Taste, where as Kriz's coat is unexplained but could be this. Rugal flings his off, and Krizalid burns his, by the way.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Street Fighter III's Oro willingly wears one of his arms in a sling while fighting as to use both would run the risk of killing his opponent due to his sheer power. During one of his Super Arts, however, he removes the arm and beats the crap out of the opponent.
    • Cody Travers wears his prison-issued handcuffs in Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Super Street Fighter IV for much the same reason, though he does so in order to up his own challenge as well as give his opponent a fair(er) bout. He proves it's a limiter by casually removing his cuffs during his taunts in order to stretch his wrists.
  • In StarCraft, the Terran Ghosts go through brutal training to suppress their innate abilities and allow their superiors to keep better control over them. It can be reversed, though; Infested Kerrigan raids a Terran ship to find out how to do it, unlocking the Psionic Storm attack.
  • In the Sonic The Hedgehog series, the gold rings on Shadow's wrists act as a limiter, but he's only ever removed them once in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). When Mephiles surrounds Shadow by duplicating himself several hundred times, Shadow removes the rings from his wrists and proceeds to curbstomp the entire clone army. He immediately puts them back on afterward.
  • Used twice on the same character in Tales of the Abyss. A piece of Applied Phlebotinum is used to bring Jade down 30 levels so he wouldn't be spectacularly overleveled for most of the game. Later, through a sidequest or two, you learn that Jade's eyes are where his ability to use fonic artes is most concentrated, and his glasses prevent all the fonic energy from going out of control and destroying him and whatever he happens to be standing by. (The glasses do come off for the final battle against the Big Bad, however...)
  • In Super Robot Wars, pretty much every Super Robot used by the Shadow-Mirrors is able to deactivate its power limiter by reciting a code word or phrase, i.e. "Code: Kirin". This is never used as a plot point, however, just an implied powerup during the characters' strongest attacks.
  • Twisted Wonderland: The "golden contract" functions as this for Azul's unique magic; without it, he'll rob his victims of all of their powers due to the magic's powerful nature, and thus he'll overblot very quickly.
  • In God Hand, Gene wears the "Deistic Brace" on his titular godhand presumably so that he can keep control over the awesome power it contains. The braces, along with Gene's other arm, are removed for the final fight.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, Proto Bahamut looks like it has its hands and mouth tied up, its tail bandaged, and is blindfolded. They come off when it reveals its true power. In its raid boss battle, it breaks these limiters once its health is halved.
  • Certain held items in Pokémon act as simultaneous Power Limiters and Power at a Price. The various "Power ________" items sacrifice Speed to increase another stat's development speed. The Iron Ball cuts Speed and removes the Flying-type immunity to Ground moves, but gives the strongest possible base power for the move Fling. Certain abilities, like Truant and Slow Start act as Power Limiters.
    • Machoke's belt is also an example, preventing it from expending all its power at once.
    • Diamond and Pearl show that the Poké Balls themselves serve as Power Limiters on particularly powerful mons, driving Cyrus to seek alternative methods to enslave the local gods of time and space.
    • The chest seals on Golett and Golurk keep their power at a manageable level.
    • Espurr and Meowstic keep their ears folded to hold back the immense, uncontrollable psychic power that they produce. They are even classified as the "Restraint Pokémon" and "Constraint Pokémon" respectively.
    • Type: Null's mask is designed to keep its powers and speed in check. When it evolves into Silvally, the mask is destroyed and it gains a noticeable boost to its base Speed stat.
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story's final boss Indalecio used his daughter Filia as a limiter on his power. If, after reaching the final level of Fienal, the player decides to trek all the way back to Central City, do a private action and encounter Filia again, Indalecio will find her and kill her, removing his limiter. With his limiter off, he's almost unstoppable.
  • In God of War III, Hercules starts out as a Mighty Glacier, but when Kratos pulls off his armor and weapons, he becomes much faster, turning into a Lightning Bruiser.
  • Fate/stay night:
    • The Heaven's Feel scenario has Shirou losing an arm and having Archer's arm (and Magic Circuits) grafted on (supposed to be impossible, but...), which would kill him if he used it much at all, thus forcing him to utilize a magical shroud to block it off.
    • Heaven's Feel also reveals that Rider's blindfold is actually another Noble Phantasm, Self-Sealing Dark Temple. The blindfold blocks her Mystic Eyes, which would otherwise kill nearly everyone around her. Her eyes are specifically Mystic Eyes of Petrification, because she is Medusa.
    • Rider's blindfold functions similarly to Shiki's glasses in Tsukihime. In fact, Touko also creates a pair of glasses for Rider for everyday purposes.
    • Fate/Prototype, Fate/Grand Order and Lord El-Melloi II Case Files shows that this applies to the offensive Noble Phantasms of King Arthur, in any iteration. Both Excalibur and Rhongomyniad have thirteen seals with conditions for their release having been set by the Knights of the Round Table (See here for a full list). This corresponds to said weapons displaying exponentially greater power the more seals are released and, in Rhongomyniad's case, half are required to even be able to evoke its true name.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, Alilat serves as one of these. While now Metatron can siphon a bit of his power back, it means now Demiurge's power lines just got unclogged...
  • In Phantasy Star Online, there's a unit item actually named Limiter that reduces all your stats. However, if you get 20,000 kills with it equipped, it becomes an Adept, which raises all stats and cuts MP consumption.
    • The Lame D'Argent and Sealed J-Sword follow similar rules, becoming the Excalibur and Tsumikiri J-Sword after 10000 and 23000 kills (respectively). Both are among the best Hunter class weapons in the game and the Tsumikiri J-Sword can unleash a 360° wave attack by using some of your Photon Blast gauge.
  • Deathwing from World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has massive elementium plates welded onto his body to keep his own power from tearing him apart. He's still noticeably "leaking" power despite them, and is in constant agony.
    • When the final battle comes, you tear off the plates to defeat him only for his body to transform into a Draconic Abomination capable of single-handedly killing any of the other Aspects and ending the world in a minute flat.
  • In the Diablo series, the first humans of Sanctuary (and Sanctuary itself) were Angel-Demon hybrids called the Nephalem. They possessed power beyond any angel or demon and more significantly were Immune to Fate. The Angels feared their power and tuned the Worldstone to limit their power. Then Tyrael was forced to destroy the Worldstone after Baal corrupted it in Throne of Destruction. Cue the sequel, and the first of the new Nephalem become powerful enough to slay the reincarnated God of Evil.
  • In Asura's Wrath, Deus's cape is shown to be weighted, as evidenced in episode 15.5.
  • Inhibitors in League of Legends limit the enemy's nexus into summoning weaker minions instead of the mighty super minions. However, this is mainly to Hand Wave why destroying such structures grants your team super minions.
    • It was stated in the lore once, but possibly retconned out later, that the Nexus and summoning spell that calls the Champions onto the Fields of Justice regulate power as well, to ensure an even playing field. This is more or less a necessity when the champions range from an anthropomorphic hamster with a blowgun to minor deities.
    • There is also a lore-only example in Xerath, a mage who turned himself into what seems to be a being of pure magical energy but was then sealed in a metal sarcophagus. An unspecified amount of centuries later, the sarcophagus is broken into pieces, allowing him to move about and cast some spells, but they're still attached to him and limiting his power, though he is trying to remedy the situation.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has an interesting example. Raiden's new cyborg body has all the bells and whistles, including systems to allow him to fight on while injured/damaged. It turns out these are also keeping "Jack the Ripper", his long-suppressed Child Soldier side, in check. When an attempt to break Raiden by talking works a little too well, he demands Doktor turn off his supposedly-helpful pain inhibitors, allowing his Combat Sadomasochist Superpowered Evil Side to let rip.
  • In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Hazama explained that Noel's Nox Nyctores Bolverk actually functions as a limiter to sustain her emotions, thus when Bolverk broke, Noel unlocked her true form — Mu-12. This only happens because he was riling her up at the time, however. When Rachel takes Bolverk from her in an alternate timeline, she instead loses all self-confidence and dissolves into tears.
  • The coat worn by the T-103 Tyrant in Resident Evil 2, according to supplementary materials, is specifically designed to prevent him from mutating. Once it's burned off he grows to twice his size, sprouts big claws, and becomes far more aggressive and faster.
    • This is actually seen by a group of Umbrella soldiers in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
    • The same concept applies to just about any clothed Tyrants in the franchise. If it wears a Badass Longcoat, odds are good that the coat is keeping it from turning into a mindless monster.
    • The CGI movie Resident Evil: Damnation shows this off nicely, without the graphical limitations, the coat doesn't look just like a snazzy trenchcoat, but has bolts, latches, and seems to be segmented at places, designed to fall apart when the limiter is broken, most of the design seems to indicate that the coat isn't just a power limiter, also a restraint to keep the Tyrants from breaking loose from their Containment Pods.
  • It is revealed near the end of BioShock Infinite that the Siphon actually limits Elizabeth's powers at the request of Comstock to better manage and keep her under control. By destroying the Siphon Tower using Songbird, Elizabeth gains the full potential of her powers which allowed her to see through the multi universe of the world and its truth.
  • Conflicts in the Touhou Project games involve incredibly powerful beings fighting using nonlethal Spellcards instead of their true powers to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, especially when beings vital to the existence of the world are involved. Thus, even weak youkai stand a chance when pitted against beings like Flandre Scarlet, who can destroy anything by clenching her fist, and nobody has to worry about accidentally killing Reimu Hakurei and thus bringing about the end of the Barrier keeping the mundane world separate from Gensokyo.
    • Stage 1 boss Rumia wears a ribbon-like amulet that she cannot take off or even touch. What exactly the amulet does has never been shown in canon, but a popular and likely theory goes that it's a power limiter. The fandom refers to the hypothetical unsealed entity as "EX Rumia", and she is usually portrayed as excessively powerful, winged and wielding a giant sword.
  • In Len'en Project, the main protagonist Yabusame Houren has the ability to cross dimensions. She has to wear a "two-dimensional" cloth to keep her from just hopping to different dimensions on a whim.
  • In the digital card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft we have the card 2 mana cost card Ancient Watcher which has a massive 4 attack and 5 health but has a limiter which prevents it from attacking. Silencing the card will disable this limiter and makes it a potent threat.
  • In its obsessive dedication to accuracy, Euro Truck Simulator 2 imposes the speed limiters required by law in Europe on the game's trucks. Later versions let you disable the limiter. This generally results in a hard lesson as to ''why'' those laws were made in the first place.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Throughout 358/2 Days and the early part of II, Riku wears a blindfold to suppress his darkness and Superpowered Evil Side. When fighting Roxas and losing, however, he was forced to remove the blindfold; doing so traps him in the form of Xehanort's Heartless, but nonetheless gives him enough power to K.O. Roxas with ease.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt Series
    • The Adepts of the Sumeragi Group are kept under control through the use of Glaives that contain their extracted septimosome, the physical source of their powers, though they can still use at least a weakened version of their powers. By merging with them, they can regain access to their powers and then some to achieve a state called "weaponization"/"Armed Phenomenon" and they can summon them remotely from the Sumeragi Headquarters when needed for combat. Nova takes the cake, however, in that he's so strong that he needs three of these Glaives to restrict his power (most need only one)... and even then he's strong enough that he can rival the power of his strongest underlings when they've released their Glaive. His fully-released form is compared to a god more than a man by both himself and others. By Azure Striker Gunvolt 3, these types of Glaives are considered "old-fashioned" and a new type that can inhibit Septimas as a field effect without extracting the septimosome are the standard.
    • Of the Sumeragi Swordsmen, Stratos has a second one in the form of the S.E.E.D., a special synthetic drug Sumeragi scientists had been testing to suppress Septimas without actually extracting the septisome. Unfortunately, the drug also turned out to be highly addictive and coupled with the various other experiments being run on him, Stratos is a barely sane individual inflicted with Horror Hunger. Gunvolt ends up destroying the flower producing S.E.E.D., resulting in Stratos going on a rampage and eating several unlucky Sumeragi mooks before fighting Gunvolt, and despite the fact that normally the Swordsmen need authorization to summon their Glaives, Stratos is able to summon his at will and transform.
    • On the heroes' side, Asimov's glasses are revealed to be his own special Power Limiter to hide his Azure Striker Septima, which he has trouble controlling. Only a select few amongst QUILL knew about this, and Gunvolt himself only learns about it when Asimov takes them off for the True Final Boss battle.
    • In Azure Striker Gunvolt 2, Tenjian of Eden uses a Glaive created by Eden from data his sister Zonda stole from Sumeragi to assume his own Armed Phenomenon form, but the resulting power boost is lacking since the Glaive doesn't contain his septimosome and he's beaten easily. Indeed, the new Transformation Trinket introduced for this game called Grimories are straight-up Amplifier Artifacts due to reverse-engineering Glaive technology to ignore the Power Limiter aspect.
    • Azure Striker Gunvolt 3
      • This game introduces the Binding Brands, the original spiritual tools the technology of the Glaives would be based on. They were intended to be used to manipulate the energy flow of dragon veins across Japan and allowing for the creation of several special protections and defenses around the country such as the Kamishiro Barrier and were secretly used to help seal the Primal Dragon Moebius. Unlike their Glaive successors, however, the Binding Brands due to their innate energy don't require sealing an Adept's power to allow them to transform with them.
      • Kirin's Radiant Fetters allow her to seal and limit the power of other Adepts and other supernatural powers. In the beginning of the game, she seals Gunvolt's Primal Dragon powers in order to keep his world-ending potential in check (which has the side-effect of turning him into a dog-like form) and can help him release some of that power to return to human form and unleash hell on his foes. To emphasize how effective it is, Sumeragi used 1000 Glaives to keep him sedated and under control for decades, but he ultimately broke loose of them once his power grew too strong.
  • The Elona+ expansion for Elona has the fourth-level god gifts, which are equipment pieces that provide lots of armor, but decrease that god's favored attributes and skills by an extraordinary amount. They're meant to be used for training; attributes and skills that are very high gain levels slowly, but by lowering those attributes and skills and setting up the right situation, you can continue to train them in a time-efficient manner.
  • In the Ringed City dlc content of Dark Souls III, it is revealed that the Darksign is apparently a power limiter. Gwyn placed a "seal of fire" on the Pygmy Lords and their Ringed Knights to cut them off from the power of the Abyss which they could command due to their mastery of their Dark Soul fragments. This now waning seal bears an eerie resemblance to the Darksign.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, The Imprisoned has an involuntary one in the Sealing Spike in his head. Normally, the spike serves as a seal on him, keeping him imprisoned in the Sealed Grounds. But due to the weakening seal, he manages to emerge in a monstrous, albeit weakened, state due to the spike sealing his power. Ghirahim aims to remove said seal by sacrificing Zelda's soul to give The Imprisoned the strength to break it and return to his true form, Demise.
  • Psychonauts: Dogen Boole has uncontrollable psychic powers that cause people's heads to explode. He mentions that his parents make him wear his tinfoil skull cap so he doesn't have any more "accidents".
  • In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Adam Jensen is revealed to have a bevy of experimental augmentations that while very potent will severely destabilize him if he activates them on top of his existing augs. He can get around this by either disabling certain mods (including HUD elements) or obtaining a MacGuffin that will allow his surgeon (presuming that he's still alive) to eventually remove the limiter entirely.

    Web Animation 
  • All "morally-compromised malefactors" sent to HFIL have one of these placed on their ankles so they can't use their full power and escape.

  • Agatha's brooch in Girl Genius inhibits her "spark" of Mad Science genius and later prevents her from being taken over by her mother.
  • Kili's tattoos in The Dragon Doctors limit her shaman powers and protect her from insanity through dead people. Note that she's still the best shaman in the world, and her tattoos would completely negate the powers of a normal shaman.
  • Eclair from Dragon Mango is always seen wearing armor, which fits her concept as she is a swordfighter. But it's also made of iron, which hurts and weakens an elf (which she is) by its mere touch! She is also a graduate of swordfighting style with an insanely dangerous training method (most students either flee, die or go insane long before completing training) focused on enduring the touch of iron. When she goes up against an extremely powerful enemy, she drops the armor to unleash her full potential.
  • Black Mage from 8-Bit Theater has a huge amount of untapped potential power that is indicated to be enough to bring about at least one of the X-clases on the Apocalypse How scale. How does the universe stop this Omnicidal Maniac from destroying all reality? His physical body limits the amount of power he can access. As a result, after he died the first time (and a large hoard of terrified demons and the villains of the comic stuck him back into his physical form), the universe has been very careful to make sure he doesn't die.
  • Kin in Goblins, as part of her enslavement to Dellyn, has been fitted with a magical leash that suppresses her magic abilities and prevents her from harming anyone else if the leash is being held.
  • In Rescuing Dara, like in Pokémon, Chivais' Everstone prevents her from evolving, which would make her an even more powerful fighter than she already is.
  • Dominic Deegan's younger brother Gregory learned White Magic while afflicted with blight of the undead, already fairly powerful when the blight got ripped out he released a burst of white fire that healed the gaping wounds in himself and everyone around him. Similarly, their mother Miranda the archmage discovered that her power had been limited by a geas from her predecessor and when it was removed her strength was so great as to be unmanageable, a simple energy bolt spell causing a huge explosion.
  • Karin-dou 4koma: Seren has to wear one (in the form of bunny/cat ears!) to contain her immense power and allow her to use it for trivial things. Without it, focusing even a little bit of magical energy would make it become a high-class magic.
  • In Knights of Buena Vista, Adriana's Player Character has a 90% chance of accidentally casting magic thanks to Min-Maxing. To reduce this, she uses special gloves, and a meditation ability.
  • In Sidekicks, alcohol suppresses a supublic's powers. It's the reason why Darkslug (and later Nightmare) is always drinking wine; so they don't annihilate opponents so quickly.
  • Nerf NOW!! suggests Sonic is wearing weighted shoes in Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games.
  • One-Punch Man: During Saitama's fight with Boros, the armor the latter is wearing turns out to be one when it gets broken weathering one of Saitama's trademark punches.
    Boros: This set of armor, which was used to seal in my immeasurable, irresistible power, has now been broken.
    Saitama: [deadpan] OK.
  • In Tower of God, on the Floor of Death in the Hell Train arc, Urek Mazino wears an anklet that masks the aura of his power to keep him from being detected by Princess Garam, and which will break if he uses more than 5% of his power, making it an effective Power Limiter. All this really serves is to show off how powerful he is, because a small fraction of his power is still enough to Curb Stomp Karaka, who's a very powerful character by most standards.
  • Discussed in GRRL Power. Superpowers in the setting are extremely varied, and their origins are unknown (mostly, Halo's are alien artifacts and Vehemence's is magical), so any "one size fits all" power limiter is impossible. ArcAEGIS is, however, very creative when it comes to Tailor Made Prisons; A superhero who creates portals is kept in a pressurized cell, so any attempt at teleporting would cause explosive decompression, and an Emotion Eater who gains power from violence is kept high of his ass and provided with cutesy, non-violent entertainment. On the few cases where they let him out for "feeding", they keep Halo around so she can dump him into outer space the moment he gets uppity and let him choke until he surrenders.

    Web Original 
  • The Hawthorne Cottage resident Olympia, from the Whateley Universe. She's an enormously strong brick with energy powers, and she's insane. The school has her wearing a golden 'power armor suit' that she thinks increases her strength. It's a Power Limiter. Everyone's hoping she doesn't figure this out.
  • The villain, Wolf from The Descendants has an 'inhibitor' that lets him control his were-wolf like transformations. Unlimited, he turns into a large wolf but is much dumber.
  • This was the intended purpose the SCP Foundation had for convincing SCP-239 that she was a witch, thus limiting her power to a few "spells" that she needed a book and wand to do. It worked for a while, but then Incident 239-B happened and they just opted to put her in a coma.

    Western Animation 
  • Count Spankulot, a recurring Villain of the Week in Codename: Kids Next Door, has the ability to turn other people into Spank-Happy Vampires by spanking his victims without his gloves; wearing the gloves prevents him from doing so. This also applies to everyone he transforms.
  • ReBoot: Hexadecimal's mask is this, though you wouldn't know it until it comes off. It prevents her nearly unlimited power from overloading her body and exploding.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In this universe, there's "Fledgling Forbearance", a spell used to curb a foal's Power Incontinence. It was introduced in the episode "The Crystalling", Baby Flurry Heart has said incontinence to Unwitting Instigator of Doom levels, but she's curbed at the end with Sunburst's help.
    • In "Keep Calm and Flutter On", Princess Celestia casts a new spell that prevents Discord from directly stealing his only weakness: the Elements of Harmony. And since doing so was the only way he could freely be a Person of Mass Destruction in the past, he now has to be The Trickster indirectly, to satisfy his Hedonism.
  • From Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Ben gains a new alien form called NRG that comes automatically equipped with a massive metal suit of power inhibiting armor. The reason for this is that NRG's true form is a being of pure nuclear energy who's very presence is dangerous due to emitting high levels of natural radiation.
  • Late in Miraculous Ladybug season two, we learn that the heroes function as these to the powers of their kwami. When circumstances conspire to force Plagg to take action on his own, a single tap of his finger topples the Eiffel Tower and unleashes a spreading pattern of cracks across Paris. When you see the devastation a light tap wreaks for miles, you'll believe that he's not kidding about having wiped out the dinosaurs. Truly, Cataclysm is an Understatement.
  • The Owl House
    • The Coven system functions as one of these. When a Witch joins a Coven, all magic not related to that Coven's particular focus is locked off forever with a special sigil. As demonstrated by Eda and The Emperor's Coven, those without it are insanely powerful. A few students from Hexside break this rule by studying two Covens at once, while Luz, a human who uses glyph magic, studies everything. It eventually turns out that sigils are vital to Belos' plan on the Day of Unity, and will allow him to enact genocide on the entire population in a single stroke.
    • Speaking of Luz, she can't do any type of magic modern day witches use because she's not magically empowered due to being human; instead she uses glyph magic, which was a practice used in the old days before witches evolved their own internal magic supplies. This stops working when she's in the human world and the In Between Realm.

    Real Life 
  • The good old human body. Although those stories about a mother lifting a car to save her child are mostly urban legend; scientists estimate that the amount you can lift consciously (say in the gym) is about 2/3 your absolute maximum (before things tear and break) because of built-in limitations. At a lower level things start to hurt, persuading you to stop if carrying on isn't important, a long time before any damage is done.
    • The MSTN gene is responsible for the production of myostatin in mammals, a protein that works to inhibit muscle growth in order to prevent cardiac issues and birthing difficulties. The British powerlifter Eddie "The Beast" Hall, The Rival to Hafţór Júlíus Björnsson, was born with a mutation causing myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy which allowed him to win multiple strongman competitions and achieve the world record for deadlifting 1,102 lb in 2016 (which Hafthor broke four years later, lifting 1,104).
  • Ever put a bell on your cat so you'll always know where they are? Well, the things they hunt can tell too, effectively removing their stealthiness. Until the cat learns to silence the bell with a paw.
  • Several real-life training methods involve limiting one's power. While most people will think of weighted clothes (vest, ankles, gloves), there is also running underwater, sled dragging, or even practicing certain things at night when your eyes are not as useful. Real-life weighted clothing is much lighter than that used by many superhuman characters in fiction, because not only would weight in the hundreds of pounds require clothing too bulky to move around in, it would be too heavy for the human body to handle. Charles Atlas Superpower doesn't exist in reality, so there's limits to how much even the strongest humans can carry without causing serious damage to their bones, muscles, and ligaments.
  • Many forms of automobile racing use restrictors plates to limit the air intake, and thus the maximum power output of an engine.
    • NASCAR uses them at Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway, where they are used to bunch up the field and reduce speeds to prevent cars from going airborne in a wreck (a side effect of this is the likeliness of a large multi-car pileup known as a 'Big One'). This incidentally means that the restrictor plate races tend to have more lead changes than non-plate races (since drivers have to draft instead of rely on shifting gears), but have larger wrecks.
    • Other racing sports use restrictor plates to ensure parity or competitiveness between different cars (Le Mans Prototypes, GT racecars).
  • When you install custom firmware on your router, you can set the transmit power to anything you want.
    • It's worth noting that setting the power too high will result in the router quickly frying itself. For example, setting a router to 8 times its manufactured limit is quite likely to result in you having a brick in just 6 months time.
  • Boring ordinary example would probably be Speed Limits. Most vehicles on the road can likely go faster than the legal limit.
    • This is actually deliberate for two (plausible) reasons:
      • After 65MPH/105KM/H, the air resistance imposed on all but the most aerodynamically designed cars ramps up dramatically, thus increasing your fuel consumption by a huge amount. For those who haul large loads with trucks, monitor and note your fuel consumption at 55MPH and 75MPH. Allegedly in the 70s during the fuel crisis, the US imposed a national 55MPH speed limit so people wouldn't eat up as much gas.
      • If cars were designed with a top speed just above the speed limit, the engines would run near red line all the time. Redlining an engine is a great way to kill it faster.
    • Really fancy cars such as the Bugatti Veyron have speed-limiting "valet keys". Exactly What It Says on the Tin, it's meant to restrict the car's speed and power when having a valet park drive them, which, given the fact the aforementioned Veyron has over 1000 brake-horsepower and tops out somewhere past 250 miles and hour, is a good thing to use when having someone park the car for you.
    • Motorcycle manufacturers agreed in 2000 to build motorcycles that can't go any faster than 300 km/h for safety reasons. However, they're limited by way of their ECUs, not by design.
    • Often times there's a rev limiter to prevent redlining, or the ECU has imposed limits so it doesn't let you use the full potential of a car... until you unlock it. We could say this is the original jailbreaking/rooting.
  • Many modern cars these days are also receiving power limiters related to other aspects of performance, notably traction control, which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin. These will either limit power by restricting the throttle when it detects traction giving, or may apply the brakes automatically on select wheels. Others have a limp mode where, if the ECU detects a potentially major engine problem, it will severely restrict engine performance to protect it, and put on the Service Engine light. In some manual transmission cars you can induce this behavior by putting the car into too low a gear for your speed and releasing the clutch, forcing the engine to an RPM beyond its redline limiter, which happened on Top Gear (UK). Don't Try This at Home, if you don't know what you're doing you really will destroy your engine. Watching an engine rod shoot through the hood is not a pleasant sight.
    • Some tuned cars take this one step further. One such Mercedes featured on Top Gear (UK) needs its traction control on to floor the gas, otherwise it would just make the tires explode. At a standing start.
  • The purpose of an anti-lock brake system is to limit the brakes' strength so that they don't overtake the tires' ability to retain traction with the road. Ironically, this improves the penultimate stopping power of the car, as tire traction is actually more important for stopping the vehicle.
  • The M1A1 Abrams MBT has a "rev limiter", since its jet engine doesn't have a max speed and the thing will catastrophically fail. That is very bad.
  • Military fighters have had limiters of various forms in them for a while, some of which are removed when necessary.
    • Alpha limiters, commonly found on modern fighter planes, restrict the rate at which a plane can pitch. Why? Because if you didn't have them, they'd pitch so fast that the air flow will no longer be passing through the wings, but rather against the wings and control surfaces, resulting in a stall. Incidentally this performance characteristic is what enables Pugachev's Cobra and the Kulbit, but can be dangerous in any plane without thrust vectoring, as they lose virtually all control during a stall. It can also lead to undesirable situations, such as if a pilot wants a maximum performance turn to avoid an enemy attack, he may accidentally turn too fast, resulting in a loss of control, and likely a swift death by enemy fire.
    • More common are soft power limiters on engine thrust, which go all the way back to World War 2. Pilots are often restricted with how much power they are permitted to draw from their engines during normal operating, and can only call upon maximum power (sometimes called Wartime Emergency Power) in an emergency, such as being engaged by enemy forces. This is because using the engine at full power results in significantly more maintenance when the plane lands, so don't try to do this just because you think no one's looking, the maintenance crew will figure it out pretty quick when you land, and even if they don't, you have to break a physical wire seal on the throttle to access it anyhow, and if you don't have a damn good reason for it, expect a very thorough chewing out at the very least.
    • Modern fighters can pull g-forces well beyond what their pilots and airframes can handle. Because of this, fighters with fly-by-wire controls have limiters coded into their software to prevent them from exceeding around 7-g. If necessary, pilots can pull harder maneuvers by engaging an override — usually a lever on the control column that needs to be squeezed, as depicted in Top Gun: Maverick.
  • Lawn mowers can jump from about 2 MPH to 60+ MPH by removing the limiter. People race them.
    • And they use the Le Mans start (drivers start outside of their cars at one side of the road, cars at the other side, when flagman waves the green, the drivers run across the track to their cars, hop in, and get them started; this formation was used from the first running in 1924 to 1969). A classic, almost regal starting formation, used to start lawnmower races. Nothing else needs to be said.
  • This isn't uncommon for engines as a whole, even for the most basic. Washing machines are a particularly amusing example, thanks to the ridiculous results of removing the limiter; the internet is full of videos starring washing machines self-destructing in a spectacular manner once someone throws a brick or other heavy object into them once this limiter's out.
  • When a top of the line CPU or GPU comes back defective, often times the manufacturer puts the settings lower by default or disables sections of the chip that aren't working and sells it as a cheaper model. Some people have found ways to "unlock" unused portions of the chip for more performance. The most famous case of this was with AMD's tri-core processors, which were quad-cores with a defective core. Unfortunately this is a rare thing now, as the section will be completely neutered of its communications. note 
    • Thermal throttling. Most modern CPUs and GPUs will monitor their internal temperature, and deliberately lower their clock speed and running voltage to protect the chip from damage if it gets too hot.
      • Which gave rise to the idea of "turbo clocks". Silicon with this tech can run stably at their "turbo" clock speed, but would exceed the current they're able to handle safely if above a certain core utilization. Thus, they monitor utilization (or in some cases the current draw directly) and adjust clock speed to keep things within spec. This is useful because many applications cannot reach utilization levels above that threshold, so the extra clock gives them a little more oomph.
    • Intel sells "unlocked" processors, which allows for more overclocking headroom than "locked" processors. The locked part is the frequency multiplier.
    • Graphics cards from AMD come with different official BIOS/firmware configurations. The default one tries to keeps the card at reasonable temperature and noise levels when running something. The "uber" versions just let the GPU run as fast as it wants within thermal tolerances (i.e., not frying itself).
    • Cooling systems themselves can be thought of as power limiters. Since the only way to increase performance of a part once it's in the consumer's hands is overclocking, you can only overclock as much as the cooling system can keep the chip cool (among other factors, but this is the biggest one).
  • The U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights acts as one for the American Government. Despite popular belief, the Constitution does not "grant" people rights such as freedom of speech or the right to bear arms, but rather asserts the rights as naturally belonging to the people by virtue of their existence (i.e. "God-given"), and protects those rights by explicitly restricting the ability of lawmakers to interfere with them. The distinctive wording is a big part of why it takes such enormous, coordinated, overwhelming effort (2/3 of Congress and 3/4 of states) to add or repeal Constitutional amendments (so that, unlike normal laws, they can't simply be arbitrated into or out of existence by whichever party happens to hold majority at the time).


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Alternative Title(s): Power Limiters


Rock Lee takes off his weights

After Lee fails to land a single hit on Gaara, Gai-sensei gives him permission to remove his leg weights, allowing him to move super fast and use his full strength.

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