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Gerrard: But it doesn't do anything!
Hanna: No—it does nothing.

A super-power or Applied Phlebotinum device that "turns off" either all super-powers or those from a certain Meta Origin. Can also be referred to as a "power neutralizer".

This can be temporary or permanent; the temporary version is generally used as either part of a Brought Down to Normal plot or as a plot device to enable villains who normally wouldn't stand a chance against the heroes, while the permanent Depowering version is usually a way to threaten someone without trying to kill them. Tailor Made Prisons for super villains usually incorporate one into the design.

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Curiously, very few people who say I Just Want to Be Normal create a modified version of these for their own personal use, even if the technology seems to be relatively available. Even worse, if a hero is Blessed with Suck, not even the smartest scientists allied with the side of Good seem able to invent a safe one.

Related to Powers as Programs. For countering the products of those powers, see Anti-Magic. If the power has already been used, Dispel Magic can remove the effects. Power Limiter is a weaker version. No-Sell is when a character ignores, not nullifies, another's powers. Mage Killers often weaponize this ability, as they do with Anti-Magic. See also the Kryptonite-Proof Suit, which can be used to resist Weaksauce Weaknesses.

Please do not confuse this trope with Anti-Magic. A laconic way of thinking about them is that this trope is a tool and Anti-Magic is an ability.

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Bleach: There's a type of stone in the Soul Society called Sekiseki stone. It's used for the prison tower Rukia was in during the SS arc and also the wall around fortress of the 13 Court Guard Squads. This is why its so difficult for prisoners to escape and also for intruders to break in.
  • Bungo Stray Dogs has Osamu Dazai, whose power can nullify any Ability only held back by two things: there has to be blood flow in his brain, and he has to be touching the user.
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun:
    • "Capacity Down" is a sound that, when played over loudspeakers, causes intense disorientation to espers as well as making them incapable of using their powers. To normal humans (Level 0's), it's only mildly annoying, and harmless. The Big Bad puts it to use by supplying it to a gang that's comprised solely of Level 0's (and thus would be unaffected by Capacity Down), and then later using it on the good guys in the finale. It backfired on her in the latter case because she was unaware that the good guys had a Level 0 among them, who was able to subsequently destroy the computers playing the audio.
    • A "Capacity Down" device later shows up on A Certain Magical Index. Accelerator counters by throwing a car at the enemy base from a safe distance.
  • InuYasha:
    • Miroku has one in the form of his arm beads which contain the Vortex in his hand. Since the Vortex is sometimes useful, he simply removes the beads.
    • Houriki in general, which has the ability to purify and/or seal things, especially Youki. The biggest example of this is Mt. Hakurei, which would instantly purify any youkai that gets too close to it except Kanna, who, as she represents nothingness, has no youki of her own. Inu-Yasha was instantly turned into a human once he got too close, while Sesshoumaru was able to temporarily resist the purification due to his sheer power but ultimately had to leave.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has the Trial System built into the Nadleeh/Seraphim. When it's switched on, every mobile suit connected to Veda shuts down while it's active. It doesn't sound so bad but when you realize that in season 2, Veda was controlled by the Big Bad who used it with every single mobile suit he and his underlings built. That could easily become a Story-Breaker Power. On the other hand, said bad guy's control of Veda meant that he could forcibly disengage the Trial System remotely. So naturally, it's rarely used until the series finale where it simultaneously puts every single mook out of commission as soon as the Big Bad no longer has access to Veda.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Aizawa, aka Eraserhead, can nullify peoples' Quirks by looking at them, but his power stops working if he so much as blinks, so he tends to get dry eye.
    • In the Internship Arc, the main villians, Shie Hassakai, develop a chemical that can nullify peoples' Quirks.
  • One Piece provides many examples:
    • Standing water paralyzes Devil Fruit users and prevents them from actively using their powers, but it doesn't necessarily negate their powers. This becomes important when Luffy is trapped underwater; his neck can still be stretch to reach the surface for air if it is pulled by someone else.
    • Seastone is a rare substance that possesses the same qualities of water, rendering a Devil Fruit user weak and only allowing them basic motor capabilities (standing and walking), while robbing them of all of their Devil Fruit powers. It is primarily used to make handcuffs and jail cells for Devil Fruit users. When restrained with Seastone, Devil Fruit users become no different than normal humans. They aren't extensively used for other purposes by the world government due to their rarity.
  • The eponymous organization Pandora from Pandora Hearts utilizes Power Nullifiers in the form of seals engraved on the dungeon floors in order to restrain contractors and keep them from summoning their chains. After the Baskervilles take over Pandora, Oz is taken as a prisoner and confined in this way.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, the Forest of Darkness negates a warrior's ability to sense chi.
  • In Shakugan no Shana, when Shana is captured in season 3, she has a small chain wrapped around her wrist that stops her from using her powers.
  • Slayers:
    • Lina at one point gets a magic-nullifying circlet stuck on her head. Only, as she points out, it doesn't exactly nullif magic; it causes horrible feedback when she tries to use her powers, so basically all she's doing is shocking herself. Once she decides to ignore the pain, she manages to cast a spell and shock her captors by grabbing them right before she sets off the shock.
    • Later she is the victim of a curse that robs her of all of her magical powers, so she has to go searching for a cure alongside Xellos. In the end, she had to kill the demon Mazenda, since her death was the only solution.
  • In The Twelve Kingdoms anime, Enki is subjected to a very nasty version of this. Not only does he get one forcibly put on him, but a similar one is placed on a lady who works for him and Shoryuu — if one of them tries to remove the nullifier, the other will be hit by the magical backlash and die. In the end, the lady decides to sever Enki's cord while clearly knowing it'll kill her, allowing him to escape and rejoin Shoryuu.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has a number of different Power Nullifiers depending on what exactly you want to nullify.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Kumongous, at the cost of two Kaiju counters from anywhere on the field, can negate the effects of a monster that is summoned. Furthermore, that monster cannot attack that turn.

    Comic Books 
  • Powers, a comic series about human detectives investigating crimes involving the superpowered, has devices called "drainers" that prevent superhumans from using their powers while being questioned or detained.
  • Gold Kryptonite could permanently remove the powers of Superman and other Kryptonians, and exposure to a red sun would do it temporarily, as would some varieties of Red Kryptonite. It was brought back after 20+ years but its effects are only temporary. This makes it less scary but more useful as a plot device: depowering Supes forever isn't an option, but you'd be surprised how long fifteen seconds is when you're depowered and a superpowered nutjob is trying to kill you to death.
  • X-Men:
    • The country of Genosha has mutant-power-nullifying collars. Certain mutants who dislike their powers have tried to use this rid themselves of their powers. The possibility has been addressed in various continuities and adaptions so we're not going to argue about it here. The short of it is sometimes prolonged use causes damage, or dangerous Power Incontinence occurs when the device is turned off.
    • The X-Men put something like this on Magik to keep her from escaping when she was made part of the "Extinction Team". (The conditions didn't come with a pardon, and she was only allowed to leave the X-Brig for missions; her suit had a lethal failsafe to prevent her from escaping via teleportation; maybe the problem was simply that it was too dangerous for casual use.)
    • Storm was robbed of her powers temporarily by a device created by mutant inventor Forge.
    • The Mutant Cure was developed by Dr. Kavita Rao and made available to mutants everywhere in Astonishing X-Men. As in the movie, they're so offended by it being called a "cure" that Wolverine violently attacks Beast to prevent him from taking it, out of fear he would become the poster child for mutants Blessed with Suck wanting to do something about their condition.
    • The Marvel Universe contains the Ultimate Nullifier, which... nullifies anyone's power, including heavyweights like Mephisto and Galactus. There's a rookie underground hero calling himself the Ultimate Nullifier, with pistols modeled after the famous weapon that temporarily depower anyone they hit. The Ultimate Nullifer — the weapon, not the hero — doesn't just nullify a being's power. It erases them from existence. The catch is that the weapon will backfire on its wielder if they do not fully comprehend the nature of their target.
    • The Initiative made use of SPIN technology to keep its recruits in line — and enforce the SHRA. SPIN removes any and all superhuman abilities permanently. After Komodo was dosed when she refused to go along with the corrupt Initiative of Dark Reign, they managed to develop a "cure" of sorts to restore her powers.
    • Invoked in Mr. and Mrs. X, where Rogue borrows one from a stash the X-Men keep so she can enjoy her honeymoon with Gambit, then complains that it is ugly, clunky, awkward and generally inconvenient, wondering why nobody ever tried to make a more stylish version. Beast points out that most mutants would not want anything to do with a power-nullifier, subtly invoking the tendency of such devices to be used to make mutants vulnerable and easy to abuse.
  • PS238: Suppressor devices, in the form of temporary ray weapons or permanently attached devices also appear.
  • The DC Elseworlds story The Golden Age provides the '40s superheroes a Deus Exit Machina from World War II with the power-nullifying Nazi Parsifal. After several heroes were nearly killed by Parsifal, FDR ordered them to all stay out so that a superhero's death didn't hurt morale.
  • In Ex Machina Mitchell Hundred, formerly known as The Great Machine, gave his two civilian assistants, Kremlin and Bradbury, each a device capable of nullifying his abilities. As a lifelong fan of comic books he was well aware of the danger that he could present if he ever decided to stop working for the public good, and he was also aware that many people are never accepting of the fact that they have changed and are no longer the "good guy." As such, he wanted these two men, who he alone trusted with the secret of his powers and identity, to have the capability of shutting him down if they ever thought that he could no longer be trusted. In the last arc of the series, Suzanne, who has become possessed by the power and is working to destroy the world, steals Kremlin's nullifier and goes looking for Mayor Hundred... only for Mitchell to reveal that not only did the nullifier not work, but it had never worked. He knew that Bradbury and Kremlin had been nervous even if they never said so, so he gave them each a piece of junk filled with electronics in order to reassure them of his good intentions.
  • In All Fall Down,IQ Squared designed a device to do this to super-powered villains in prison... including his father.
  • In Convergence, the domes act as this, cutting people off from their power sources for approximately a year (though New 52 Earth 2 is exempt).
  • Nikolai Dante. Dmitri Romanov's Weapons Crest has the ability to disable the other Romanov Crests, making it impossible for any of his children to kill him with their own powers.
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    Fan Works 
  • A common thread in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan fiction is the need for these sort of devices, typically a ring or other covering placed on a unicorn's horn as a law enforcement restraint on unicorn magic (although one ends up in Wild Sweet And Cool as sports equipment). Effectiveness varies; one fic might have a simple ring work on any pony, even Physical God Luna, while another might have various grades (including one which MELTS when Twilight Sparkle is pissed off sufficiently).
    • Past Sins introduces an anti-magic collar for unicorns.
    • In Asylum, restraining rings are used on unicorn patients as a safety precaution for both the staff and themselves. Unfortunately for Twilight, this makes her life a lot harder.
    • In Chrysalis Visits The Hague, Chrysalis' tremendous magic power is curbed (pretty rudimentarily) by the humans by wrapping her horn in wires and tin foil and feeding it a constant stream of electricity from a battery.
  • In the Star Wars fanfic "Can What Is Lost Be Found", Obi Wan Kenobi is captured, and when he's rescued, he has a device attached behind his ear to prevent him using his Force abilities. The healers are cautious about when to remove it, as they fear Obi Wan may lash out and hurt himself or someone else if he doesn't know what's going on before it's attmepted.
  • Another Star Wars fic, "Misplaced Jedi", has an older Obi Wan captured and when Anakin rescues him, he's got a collar around his neck to keep him from accessing the Force.
  • With Strings Attached:
    • It has the "Neut Cuffs" that the cop in New Zork puts on Paul to nullify his Ability. Too bad for him that Paul was specifically built by Jeft so his powers couldn't be nullified, since if they were, he would explode from the energy he contained.
    • The ambushers at the hermit's cave in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World employ a drain wrap against Paul with similar non-results.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Superman II allowed Superman to become "permanently" human by absorbing an extremely large dose of red solar radiation. When the Phantom Zone villains arrive on Earth, however, he regains his powers by consuming the energy stored within the Fortress of Solitude. (This is only revealed in the director's cut; the original version has a Deus ex Machina transition between Superman staring at a crystal and reappearing fully powered).
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X-Men: The Last Stand has the "cure," a serum derived from the blood a mutant boy, who can neutralize the powers of other mutants that stand within three feet of him. The cure is offered as voluntary treatment at first, but by the middle of the film, it has been put into plastic darts are fired from plastic weapons powered with compressed air.
    • In The Wolverine, a robotic parasite suppresses Wolverine's healing factor.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • When Logan first arrives in the past, Charles doesn't have his psychic powers to verify his story or make their mission easier. This is because he's been taking a serum that lets him walk, at the expense of suppressing his telepathy. Considering the Heroic BSoD he's in the middle of, he doesn't mind. The same serum lets Beast look perfectly homo-sapien with no apparent ill effects, but it has to be taken periodically by both of them.
      • Nullification collars are used in the Bad Future on mutants in the Sentinel-controlled camps.
    • Deadpool 2: Dangerous Mutants sent to the Iceblock prison are fitted with electronic collars that neutralize their powers (already seen above). Russell can no longer shoots blasts of fire, and Deadpool loses his Healing Factor. This is actually life-threatening in Wade's case, since it also means his cancer is no longer kept at bay and can spread unchecked. Despite this, Deadpool willingly puts such a collar on at the end to make a genuine Heroic Sacrifice for Russell.
  • In The Mummy Returns, Imhotep finds out that he can't use magic in the temple of Ahm Shere. He was hoping to use it to easily kill the Scorpion King, but realizes that Anubis wishes him to fight as a mortal.
  • The "Detention Room" in Sky High cancels out the superpowers of anyone who is in it, obviously as a form of punishment for misbehaving students who are sent there.
  • Now You See It...: Max gives Danny a ring that he claims will help him control his powers, but it really puts his powers under Max's control. He also can't remove it without outside help.

    Literature 
  • In Sword of Truth, the Radahan collars take away the magic of anyone wearing them. Oddly enough, at least in the television version, they aren't immune to magic themselves. In the books the collars could be taken off by magic, but only the Sisters of Light could do it, except for Zed, who was so incredibly badass that he not only was able to take one off despite not being a Sister, he took it off of himself while it was suppressing his magic.
  • The "muties" from Sheri S. Tepper's The True Game series suppress the gifts of all nearby Gamesmen.
  • In The Dark Hunters series, the magical ability of Were Hunters to shapeshift can be stopped by metriazo collars. If they stay on, however, the Were Hunter will eventually explode from the pent-up magick.
  • Wild Cards:
    • The Trump Card virus, developed by Dr. Tachyon, is meant to cure Xenovirus Takis-A (colloquially known as the setting's eponymous Wild Card). Unfortunately, it is only about 5% effective, and itself lethal in about 30% of attempts. Not surprisingly, most of those who tried it were jokers rather than aces, and even few of those would risk it. A successful cure can also spell the death of the former wildcarder if his powers kept him alive.
    • Croyd's personal strain of the Wild Card during his Typhoid Croyd period is this trope mixed with mass empowerment, being a forced reroll in the setting's Super Power Lottery. It can turn anyone to any wildcarder - nat, joker, deuce or ace to carrier, Black Queen, joker, deuce or ace. From ace to joker, deuce or Black Queen is this trope in permanent or lethal form.
  • In Kurt Vonnegut's short story "Harrison Bergeron", people with above-average intelligence (i.e. those who can retain a coherent train of thought for more than 10 seconds) must, by federal law, wear headphones that, every 10 seconds, transmit an extremely loud noise to shatter their train of thought. Also, above-average beauty must wear ugly masks, above-average strength must wear weights, etc. The story shows the logical conclusion of "everyone must be equal."
  • The Perry Rhodan universe has a variety of devices that counter or dampen psionic powers either on purpose or as a side effect of their normal operation, from actual traps and prisons that negate such powers inside a given area to relatively common force fields that they cannot penetrate (usually a painful experience for teleporters in particular). Justified in this setting by these powers and much of its advanced technology both invoking fundamentally the same hyperspace physics and energies, which can then naturally end up interfering with each other as the plot demands.
  • The staff at the orphanage in John C. Wright's Chronicles of Chaos have been carefully selected to nullify the abilities of each of the orphans. This allows them to impose a Restraining Bolt on each one.
  • Mistborn:
    • Forcing a Mistborn to burn aluminum causes all of their other metal reserves to be consumed quickly, leaving them as helpless as a normal human.
    • Likewise, an Allomancer can burn chromium to evoke this effect on another Allomancer through touch. According to Word of God, this metal remains undiscovered as of The Alloy of Law.
  • In The Wheel of Time series, it's separating a channeler from the True Source. It's called "gentling" when done to a man, "stilling" when it's done to a woman; the gender-neutral term is "severing". It is possible to reverse the process, but it only works completely if the person restoring the connection is of the opposite sex of the person who was severed, otherwise their channeling strength will return at a greatly reduced capacity. More temporary "shielding" is possible to cut channelers off, and certain places such as stedding and the city of Far Madding are permanently shielded.
  • The Way Home series by Vladimir Zykov features both magical slaves' collars and the combinations of those with this trope known as "black collars". One of the Main Characters survives being put into one, manages to break it and learns to break them on others.
  • In Miloslav Knyazev's Full Set series:
    • An archmage uses a power nullifier device of possible pre-war origin to temporarily shut down an opposing sorceress' external power source and is cut down by her muggle husband with a mythril sword.
    • A dragon female uses an anti-dragon amulet of unknown origin during a duel with an unwelcome male dragon suitor. Both male and female are forcibly reduced to their humanoid form, which allows her human and elven allies to kill the male. Later research shows the amulet inscription to say "temporary" without a frame of reference, which may mean centuries for dragons.
  • In V. Ivashchenko's novels across all settings, various sides in various conflicts will use both stationary and mobile means to capture and detain mages. The Black Earl series describes a holding cell in an elven castle and forged restraints (collar, handcuffs, manacles) used by human law enforcers.
  • A variation in Sergey Lukyanenko's Last Watch is an artifact called the Schrödinger's Cat, which takes the form of a furry collar with teeth. Any use of magic causes the Cat to kill the wearer. Only the Other who places the Cat on the neck can take it off. It doesn't prevent magic from being used on the wearer.
  • Forever Gate: The gols use bronze collars to prevent humans from using their innate Shock and Awe powers. They are refered to as "bronze bitches" by said humans.
  • The Quest of the Unaligned: The city of Tonzimmiel is surrounded by a force field which strips the magic from anyone who passes through it. Originally built to make the city a safe haven from the Magocracy that rule the surrounding country of Caederan, 600+ years of the field's effects have caused Tonzimmelians to cease believing in magic altogether.
  • Journey to Chaos:
    • A Mage's Power: There are runes which are known as "prison runes" because they prevent criminal mages from using their powers to escape.
      • Tahart hides them in Annala's maid uniform to make her unable to resist him.
      • When Eric is arrested, a metal collar is snapped on him to prevent him from attacking the officers.
    • Looming Shadow and Mana Mutation Menace' feature "Ordercraft collars" that are primarily used on elves to shut down their innate chaotic abilities.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe has a living version of this: Ysalamiris, small, furry reptilian creatures. Their predators are force-sensitive, so they evolved the ability to create a forceless bubble for about 10 meters around them. Imperials took to trying to create Ysalamiri harnesses that they could wear as anti-Jedi measures.
  • The Hollows has "zip strips", a durable zip tie that can be strapped to a Ley Line Witch's wrist or ankle and severs their contact with ley lines until it is removed, rendering them powerless. Rachel occasionally gets grappled by her opponents and has one of these tied on to amp up the tension, and she herself later uses them against opposing witches.
  • In The Girl from the Miracles District, Nikita has a spinal implant that helps control her adrenaline levels and thus stops her from Hulking Out, effectively bringing her down from an unstoppable creature of doom to a slightly enhanced human. She wears it willingly, as she despises this side of herself.
  • There is a short story in Aimee Bender's book "The Girl in the Flammable Skirt" wherein two teenage girls with elemental powers that transform their hands to ice and fire act as nullifiers to each other when their hands touch.
  • In The Witchlands, the Hell-Bards have collars that stop people wearing them from using active witcherynote . As their job is to hunt down rogue witches, this is a rather useful gadget.
  • Daniel Arenson's Dragons of Requiem universe features several nullifiers used against both the heroes and the villains. The earliest introduced being the Red Stones which nullify any magic in their vicinity. For the Vir Requis this means lose of their ability to shift into dragon form, and instant reversion to human form should they already be shifted.
  • Preternaturals in The Parasol Protectorate are a rare breed of humans who can nullify the powers of vampires and werewolves through physical contact, leaving them temporarily mortal. This is explained at first by their supposed nature as The Soulless, but later books suggest that they generate some kind of aetheric charge: they repel each other almost magnetically, being soaked or submerged in water cancels out the effect, and unless their remains are cremated, they emit the same power in a slowly-increasing radius.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Heavy is the Head", Fitz and Mack modify one of Fitz's old designs to act as a power nullifier for the Villain of the Week, Elemental Shapeshifter Carl Creel.
  • In the Arrowverse, there are a number of means for dampening metahuman abilities. They usually take the form of a collar or handcuffs. They have been shown to exist on at least three worlds (Earth 1, Earth-X, and Earth 38). Some metahumans are strong enough to fight through the dampening effects. Some facilities also come equipped with dampening generators (e.g. Iron Heights Penitentiary, A.R.G.U.S. headquarters). In one case, Ray Palmer develops specialized nanites that, when injected into a speedster, sap his speed, although a skilled speedster is able to vibrate his body to get rid of them. It should be noted that these methods typically only affect metahumans. Magical abilities and alien powers are immune.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Helpless", Buffy, as part of a test by the Watchers' Council on her eighteenth birthday, is hypnotized and Giles is forced to inject a regimen of drugs into her that suppress her Slayer strength.
  • Heroes:
    • The Shanti virus and some pills used occasionally by the Company suppress powers. It should be noted that the Shanti virus eventually kills the infected.
    • The characters captured by Nathan Petrelli's goons have a device taped to them that sprays some sort of drug into their nose. It weakens them enough to the point they can't focus enough to use their power.
    • The second eclipse completely nullifies everybody's powers. It's stronger than the Haitian's power, as it reduced Daphne to a crippled state, while she was able to walk around the Haitian. Claire also starts dying of common bacteria, due to not having an immune system from her Healing Factor.
  • The Rada'Han is a collar in Legend of the Seeker used to nullify a person's magical ability. In one case, it was used to prevent a cursed person from turning into a monster.
  • In Mutant X, tags (called Subdermal Governors) bolted into the back of the neck were used to nullify mutant powers, though it seems more to torture them when they try to use them than to truly nullify the powers. It's mentioned that a Technopath has secretly disabled her Subdermal Governor the moment it was put into her and hasn't given her captors a reason to try to test it.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Rumplestiltskin gives Regina a shapeshifting spell so that she can mingle with her subjects and learn what they think of her. The disguise prevents her from using magic and cannot be removed by anyone but Rumplestiltskin.
    • An organization of Witch Hunters "scientifically" nullify magic by injecting people with metals and nanomachines. Although it's later revealed that Peter Pan was stringing them along, and their tools weren't really the Weird Science they thought they were. So it was actually magical Anti-Magic at work.
  • In Painkiller Jane, neuros can be rendered harmless by "chipping" them with a special gun that implants a control chip into the back of their heads, counteracting their abilities. It doesn't work on advanced neuros, though.
  • In Powers Triphammer develops the technology to nullify Powers abilities.
  • In Smallville, blue kryptonite causes Kryptonian powers to disappear, but it needs skin contact to work. Red sunlight, magic, and various alien devices can also take away Clark's powers. This case is notable for having a guy who DID use it to lead a normal life. It bites him in the ass.
  • Stargate SG-1 has the Anti-Prior device the team cooked up against the Ori. It emits an inaudible sound that makes Priors unable to use their psychic powers; however, both Damaris and Daniel Jackson/Merlin were able to overcome it given sufficient time.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Obsidian Order had a prototype device that would prevent a Founder from returning to their natural gelatinous state, with potentially lethal results for the changeling if the device is left on for extended periods.
  • One of Zin's fugitives used a ray gun style device on Cole in Tracker, nullifying his Cirronian abilities until Mel discovered she could power him back up.

    Roleplay 
  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, the government agent that's attempting to track down the superpowered cast is revealed to have a small, circular pin that can disable the powers of those who touch or wear it. It also serves as a shield for its wearer, as shown when the principal put on one and was protected from Finn's scrying. This served as a big hint that the government were involved with the empowering event that gave the children their superpowers, since they already had technology on hand to fight against it.
  • In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe:
    • Purge has the power to turn off metahuman powers, but not magic or powers gained through technology.
    • Scramble can cause metahuman powers to misfire and not work properly (though they do tend to still work somehow).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • There exist an expensive item, anti-magic shackles, for restraining magic-users.
    • Some Edition 3.5 spells can suppress or remove supernatural abilities. "Trait Removal" or "Spurn the Supernatural" are temporary, while "Expunge the Supernatural" is permanent and can't be dispelled (but is high level and costly).
  • Power Nullifiers are known as "pulsing" effects in SenZar, and they're even more feared than in most other games, because of SenZar's munchkin-friendly design.
  • Lejendary Adventures. Morben's Supernatural Shackles would completely prevent the victim from using any kind of magic, including magical items.
  • The Dark Eye has the substance of banedust as well as some divine rituals to permanently drain the magic ability of a person, used frequently to punish criminal wizards. Enchainments of iron serve well as a temporary version.
  • In the Savage Worlds setting, Necessary Evil, the V'sori utilize nullifier technology to not only remove any and all superpowers from those they are trying to suppress, but to weaken them significantly beyond that point. In the lore, they used this to capture and kill most superheroes in the world, but they are known to use this to capture, imprison, or execute other superpowered beings as well, including the PCs.

    Video Games 
  • In City of Heroes, the Bio-Energy Feedback Inducer is a power-draining weapon used by the "Sappers." It works by draining your endurance, which all powers need to operate. EMP and electrical powers can do this as well, but not drain you completely in a single hit like a Sapper can.
  • Disgaea:
    • Yukimaru's special ability in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories has a chance to inflict the Amnesia Status, which seals specials.
    • The cockatrice class Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice has this as its innate evility, but they have to stand next to the enemy to make it work.
    • Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance gives General Bloodis a nullifier effect, although his is less about removing your offensive power, and he directly removes your ability to move when too close to him, dropping the movement range of all enemy units within 2 panels to 1 and guaranteeing you cannot flee him. Considering he is a damage-sponge boss with the ability to double his own stats when desired, this effect cripples your success.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • A recurring boss in Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword is a Magic Seal named Kishuna. As his class name implies, he negates all magic in a 15-space radius of himself. It's all he can do, but since his speed is insane it can take some time to kill him.
    • The skill "Nihil" / "Mikiri" in the Jugdral and Tellius sagas. In the Jugdral games, it nullifies all enemy Critical Hit-based, and Special Sword skills; in the Tellius games, it negates all enemy Battle skills. The Tellius games have in addition the Skill "Parity", which has the same effect but extended to the Skill's owner as well, and also negates both the skill's owner and his foe's support and terrain bonuses.
  • Guilty Gear has Sol's headband. It's technically a Power Limiter, but it makes him so weak his fire magic is completely nullified. Unless he compensates with an artifact that boosts specifically fire magic.
  • In Guild Wars Mesmers can drain an enemies energy, interrupt spells that are being cast and even entirely disable spells from being used for a time.
  • World of Warcraft
    • All classes have some form of a silence or interrupt effect. The first prevents the target from casting any spells until it expires, the other interrupts a spell that's being cast and prevents them from casting any spell of the same "school" e.g. interrupt a fireball and it stops them casting any fire spell. Due the devastating nature of being locked out like this for many classes (shadow priests until recently had zero non-shadow offensive spells) the duration of the silence or lockout is measured in a scant few seconds.
    • Anub'Rekhan is a boss notable for having an area of effect and particularly extreme Power Nullifier. When he casts it anyone near is unable to cast any spell, use any ability, or even just use a normal attack.
  • Tokimeki Memorial:
    • In Tokimeki Memorial 2, when Sou-Banchou, the leader of Hibikino Town's Delinquents, turns into his Giant Form, he gains the "Chou-Gankiri" (Super Insight) ability, which nullifies your Sports Club Hi-Ougi should you have one.
    • In Tokimeki Memorial 4, the Skill "Heart Unlocking Technique" / "Kokoro no Kaijoujutsu" negates the girls' negative Skills, such as Satsuki's "Noble" / "Kouki", and Tsugumi's "Tsun" Skills.
  • BlazBlue:
    • Hakumen's Nox, Ookami, has this ability, rendered in-game as being able to null out projectiles, and in-story as otherwise immortal characters (Namely Nu-13 and Terumi) don't want it near them.
      Terumi: Hey, Hakumen, I really don't want you touching me with your Ookami, so how about we do this...
    • One Celica A. Mercury has the uncontrollable ability to neutralize all seithr in an area around her. As seithr is required to use all ars magus and ars armagus, as well as the Azure Grimoire, she functions as this around most entities. Ragna's right arm and eye go completely numb around her as a result; likewise, the aforementioned Terumi shits himself if he catches sight of her (at the end of his CP Arcade, he screams for Phantom to get him out of there).
    • Azrael, one of the three newcomers from Chrono Phantasma, is an interesting case in which he has a Power Nullifier on himself that he purposefully applied. The Nullifier in question, his Enchant Dragunov tattoos, is activated/deactivated at will, and comes in three levels, with the third level unleashing his true power. The reason for his willing restriction was to draw out the battles he engaged in since fighting at full strength meant opponents who died easily, thus ending fights too quickly.
  • In [PROTOTYPE], Alex gets injected with a parasite by Specialist Cross that disables his flashiest powers, though he still has Super Strength, Super Speed and the ability to disguise himself. He then spends the next few missions working with another scientist on trying to get rid of said parasite, with the final result being that he managed to gain new powers when he comes back.
  • Pokémon:
    • Disable locks out the target's most recently-used move for a few rounds.
    • Imprison locks out any moves the target shares with the user until one of them switches out.
    • The move Gastro Acid suppresses the target's ability (unless it's Multityple, Magic Bounce, or Stance Change) as long as they remain in battle.
    • Grudge is a Taking You with Me version of this trope — if the user dies the round it's used, the target loses all the use points for the attack that last connected.
    • A number of abilities also work as nullifiers. Air Lock and Cloud Nine negate all weather effects. Delta Stream (Mega Rayquaza's ability), Desolate Land (Primal Groudon), and Primordial Sea (Primal Kyogre) keep any moves and abilities that affect the weather from activating except each other, Air Lock, and Cloud Nine. Desolate Land and Primordial Sea also prevent Water and Fire moves from being used, respectively.
    • The Mold Breaker ability nullifies any ability that would prevent a move from working as intended. For example, a Pokémon with Mold Breaker can hit Levitating Pokémon with ground-type moves and deal full fire damage to Heatproof Pokémon (for whom such damage is typically halved). However, Mold Breaker only activates on contact, so abilities that redirect moves (like Storm Drain and Lightningrod) will still attract moves, but won't prevent damage from them even if they would ordinarily, while Pokémon with abilities that block status effects (such as Immunity and Oblivious) will not block the status effect from being inflicted, but activate almost immediately and heal it. Mold Breaker can, however, even bypass Wonder Guard.
    • Some Pokemon type advantages cancel out weaknesses. For instance, Dark-types are weak to Fighting-types, but Dark/Ghost-type Sableye is immune to Fighting-types due to its Ghost-typing. From the same generation, the Swampert line is Water/Ground-type and thus the Ground-type nullifies the Water-type weakness to Electric-types.
  • In Dragon Age, the Qunari treat their mages (called Saarebas — "dangerous thing") even worse than humans (and that's saying something), using magic-nullifying collars to keep them in line. The collars are controlled remotely. Just in case, though, they still cover the mages' eyes and sew their mouths shut.
  • Dishonored has the Overseers, who wield special music boxes that prevents Corvo from using his powers. However, that does not stop him from blowing their brains out with a pistol.
    • In Dishonored2, the music boxes only get a brief mention when the Overseers of Dunwall mobilized en masse to depose Empress Delilah, who as a witch is an affront to their religion. As above, they're useless against Delilah's new Mecha-Mooks.
      • In the same game is the "Crack in the Slab" mission. Aramis Stilton's manor is so filled with Void energies that Emily/Corvo's Void powers are useless there. Instead, the Outsider gives them a device called the Timepiece, which allows them to travel between the present and a fateful day in the past.
  • In Infamous2, early on in the game, it's revealed that Cole's main goal is to power up to be able to use the Ray Field Inhibitor, which removes the powers of himself and other conduits, including the Big Bad, the Beast.
  • In Xenoblade, Egil has a device called the Apocrypha made in order to disable Shulk's Monado, shorting out its ability to damage his Face Mechon along with its other powers.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Blades absorb Ether energy from the atmosphere and channel it to their Driver to allow both to perform Arts. If the flow of Ether is disrupted in some way, Drivers and Blades become unable to use their powers. The Ardainian Empire uses nets called "stasis webs" capbable of this to capture Drivers and Blades and the Kingdom of Tantal is capable of constructing rooms that drain Ether. These are notably ineffective against Artificial Blades like Poppi who contain an Ether Furnace which generates Ether energy to supplement Ether drawn from the surroundings.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind features a remarkably simple way to keep slaves from casting spells: locked bracers enchanted with a small but constant magicka-drain effect. It takes a while to fully work, but once the magicka hits zero it's not coming back up barring magicka potions or removal of the bracers followed by sleep. No magicka, no spells.
    • In Oblivion You can make your own power nullifier by enchanting an item with the 'silence' effect, the trick is getting an enemy to wear it...
  • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Antasma has the unique ability to separate Dreamy Luigi from Mario and imprison him within one of his Antasmunchies. This lowers Mario's stats and leaves him with only his basic jump attack, so freeing Luigi ASAP is in one's best interest, though locating him isn't always an easy task...
  • The Legend of Spyro has several artifacts specifically created to drain a dragons ability to use their elements. Dark Gems are the most common, though Gaul has a staff that can do this too.
  • MOTHER:
    • In EarthBound, Jeff's Counter-PSI unit prevents an enemy from using any PSI power for the remainder of the battle. His Neutralizer machine, when used in battle, nullifies all Status Buffs and nerfs (on both allies and enemies), while his Shield Killer machine nullifies an enemy's shield for the rest of the battle.
    • The PSI power "PSI Block" of EarthBound Beginnings prevents the target from using any of their Psychic Powers for the remainder of the battle.
  • Warframe:
    • The aptly named Nullifier unit of the Corpus faction completely prevents the casting of and disables all Warframe powers within the large spherical shield they generate. Operator abilities still function normally, but Transference can't be activated or deactivated while inside the bubble.
    • Scrambus and Comba units, also from the Corpus faction, only have the ability to disable certain categories of powers (damage, mobility, etc.), but are much faster and have more health than Nullifiers. Originally, they didn't even have a visible area of effect, making them a nightmare to deal with, but they were eventually changed to emit a visible but temporary expanding wave instead.
    • The Stalker, a rogue Warframe who hunts down players, can dispel certain powers, particularly those that enhance survivability, and stun the players using them in the process.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The Damping tech power in the first game acts as a nullified against all of an opponent's biotic and tech abilities for up to a minute. This usually leaves them vulnerable and defenseless, especially biotics, who can lock you down with Throws otherwise.
    • In the third game's multiplayer sections as well as a combat simulator arena in the Citadel DLC, we have the Seeker Plague deployed by the Collectors. This seeker plague similarly renders you unable to use any of your biotic, tech or even combat and defensive powers till you or a squadmate shoots them off you. What is notable is that the Seeker Plague is actually a heavily nerfed version of the Seeker Swarm from the second game. That Seeker Swarm paralyzed you in stasis for a long time.
    • The Stasis biotic ability in all three games does this to an enemy with the added benefit of nullifying his powers too. A highly evolved Stasis even inflicted damage and allowed you to shoot through it at the poor guy. In the franchise lore, a drug called omega-enkaphalin was developed and used to nullify biotic ability long term. The human survivalist group tested it on the naturally biotic asari, didn't use it on Grissom Academy to subdue a bunch of biotic human children as they wanted those biotics intact, and used it against a particularly haughty elitist asari matriarch to embarrass her into obscurity. A different terrorist group attempted to use it against the biotic training facility on Pluto's Gagarin station.
    • In Mass Effect: Andromeda, severing Ryder's connection to SAM nullifies all of his/her abilities as well as damaging Ryder. It takes Ryder's opposite sex twin resetting that connection to bring Ryder's powers back.
  • Willo's Deadzone skill from Paladins blankets an area in fairy dust that completely nullifies enemy healing within it.
  • Certain machines in Mr. Shifty will negate the ability to shift. You can break them to get your power back.

    Webcomics 
  • In Black Haze, Kielnode Chrishi is forced to wear a bracelet that restricts mana usage after he (unwillingly) rejoins the Tower. When he asks how long he has to wear it for, he's told until he can be trusted again.
  • Max Catnap of the Crossover Wars is a walking literal example of this trope. He has the power to nullify other magical or powerful characters by simply touching them.
  • At least one Spellwolf from Dominic Deegan has shown the ability to cast the spell "Null Magic".
  • The Dragon Doctors has Kili's tattoos, when applied to any other shaman than herself.
  • The Dreamland Chronicles: Humans in Dream Land have powers, always including flight, unless they are afraid. The pirates exploit this.
  • The purpose of Agatha's locket in Girl Genius is to suppress her spark. Later in the story, it plays a similar, but different purpose.
  • Gamma from Gunnerkrigg Court prevents Zimmy's powers from acting up (or at least lessens their magnitude) simply by her presence. But it doesn't work as well when she's asleep — and she's pretty much Zimmy's only means of controlling her powers. Antimony can play this role for Zimmy in a pinch, but she's nowhere near as strong as Gamma.
  • In Kubera, the Sword of Return is a god-level item designed to fight sura. It inhibits the regeneration of anything it strikes (specifically, it brings it down to normal human regeneration, which is basically nonexistent), from sura to gods, making them far easier to kill. While most sura and any god could easily wield the weapon, the problem is that it does the same thing to the owner as well, and the only way to give up the sword is to die. This makes it a perfect weapon for a human, but every sura who has tried to use it has inevitably died quickly and messily.
  • In Spacetrawler, the Ites are uniquely qualified for police work because they emit an anti-telekinesis field.
  • In unOrdinary the people after Seraphina have at least two types of Power Nullifier. First, they have some device transportable by van, that severely weakened the power of the students and at first left John (All Your Powers Combined) unable to sense others' powers; this one has some kind of time limit. Second, Seraphina was injected with something she was unable to rewind and that interfered with her other time powers, eventually eliminating them entirely. Her powers haven't returned as of yet, but are theorized to recover once the drug works its way out of her system in a few days.

    Web Original 
  • In the Whateley Universe, there may not be gizmos that work as power nullifiers (yet), but some mutants (such as Negator and Damper) have that ability. It does backfire somewhat against Tennyo, however, as she actually gets more powerful with her mutant abilities suppressed; she just starts using the power of the Class X Entity contained inside her.
  • SCP Foundation's SCP-514. Whenever in contact with the pigeons' nullifying "aura", every weapon (bombs, guns, tanks, baseball bats, knives, etc.) is rendered completely useless and are even destroyed after prolonged exposure. Even objects not designed to be weaponized like pens were rendered useless if used for violent intent. In addition, the pigeons' ability can completely suppress the negative emotions and intent of all sentient beings, no matter how violent, which makes the capture of SCP-514 nearly impossible.
    • Before the reboot, the Foundation stocked and made extensive use of SCP-148, "Telekill Alloy", a metal that nullified psychic powers. People overusing it for their SCP entries led to 148 being revised to a metal that nullifies psychic powers... with unacceptable side effects on everyone nearby.
  • The intro to Empire of Sock shows that the only thing the titular hamster's evil powers can be contained by... is a seemingly regular hamster cage.
  • In Trinton Chronicles, Elijah's power allows him to nullify a power by storing it in a crystal temporarily.
  • Phaeton has zero elements which can be used to negate magic, scramble psychic waves and toggle genes.
  • The Lay of Paul Twister: Paul Twister]] has "the Twist", the ability to screw up active magic by touch. It's apparently not under his conscious control, and he remarks several times (though it's yet to be shown) that the Twist is not perfect and doesn't make him invincible against magic.
  • Black Cavalier of Roll To Breathe can nullify powers with concentration and skin contact, which which is extremely useful in combat. After Black Cavalier enters the Max Machine, this power becomes a lot more chaotic and can be used at ranged. With concentration Black Cavalier can even steal someone's powers permanently.
  • In Worm, Hatchet Face shuts down the powers of anyone near him.
    • Mantellum has this power as well, but only for the sensory aspects of powers. Taylor's bugs don't relay what they sense, and even Contessa's power is shut down ("seeing the path to victory" being a form of clairvoyance).
    • Grue's darkness interferes with some powers as well, including Shadow Stalker's intangibility and Velocity's Super Speed. After his second-trigger this upgrades to the ability to outright steal powers from anyone inside his darkness, though doing so only shuts down more physically based powers.
    • More generally, this is a sub-type of the Trump classification of powers.
  • Dreamscape: The Overlord of Evil's seal stops him from using his powers...as long as he is alive, that is.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Disruptions in Elemental Powers of the series' Benders occur during temporary meteorological events. Firebenders and Waterbenders draw their power from the sun and moon, respectively. When solar or lunar eclipse occurs, the affiliated Benders lose their powers for its duration. It's also possible to stop Waterbending for good by destroying the moon through its totemic spirit, (which, while easier than it sounds in this setting, is not a good idea, as it will enrage the moon's partner, the Ocean).
    • In the series finale "Sozin's Comet", Aang permanently does this to Ozai, using energy-bending he learned from a giant Lion Turtle.
    • Badass Normal martial artist Ty Lee has learned to disable the Elemental Powers of Benders by striking Pressure Points to block the flow of chi (resulting in considerable pain for some of her victims). In Sequel Series The Legend of Korra, Ty Lee's chi-blocking technique is employed by Anti-Bending Faction, the Equalists. The Leader of the Equalists, Amon, claims to be able to permanently remove bending, with the implication he uses the same technique Aang used. In actuality, he's using a form of Bloodbending.
  • There are two in Danny Phantom:
    • The Specter Deflector wards off anything ectoplasmic, so if Danny were to turn into his ghostly Super Hero counterpart, he'd get a nasty electric zap.
    • The other is the more straightforward version of this trope: the Plasmius Maximus, designed to nullify ghost powers for a good three hours.
  • In the animated version of Legion of Super-Heroes this was Nemesis Kid's power.
  • In X-Men: Evolution, Leech's power extends to more than shutting down powers: it can shut down anything. When he used it to its fullest, a good chunk of the city lost power. Like movie Leech, he can also undo physical mutations, such as Spyke's permanent bone-armor vanishing, restoring his season one appearance until the effect ended.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • Antidote X, the antihesis of Chemical X, first appeared in "Mo Job" as part of Mojo's plan to permanently remove the girl's powers after he is hired by Princess. It is loaded into a laser and fired at the girl's but never directly hits them. The gun is broken at the end of the episode after the beam is deflected back at Princess.
    • It later appears in "Slumbering with the Enemy". Mojo Jojo threw it at the title superheroes in said episode to reduce them to normal little girls, though this obviously didn't affect subsequent episodes.
    • The Powerpuff Girls Movie reveals that Antidote X was initially created to get Mojo out of his One-Winged Angel form, though the girls briefly considered using it on themselves so they would be better accepted without superpowers.
  • On Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Zurg manages to turn off Mira's powers by setting her in a box that disrupts her concentration whenever she tries to use her powers. Since concentration is required, well....
  • Generator Rex:
    • The title character has permanent Power Nullification as one of his primary powers, though considering how powers are handed out in the Generator Rex universe, its not really that threatening except against the few EVOs with a Magneto-like ideology.
    • Feakins from the episode "Deadzone" exhibits some sort of Nanite deadzone around himself. If Rex is in too close a vicinity to him, his powers don't work.
  • An indeterminate variant is used by Lex Luthor on Lord Superman at the end of the Justice League two-part episode "A Better World". What exactly happened to his powers are unknown but he's at least able to be captured and detained by conventional shackles once it's been used on him.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • King Sombra from the season three premiere could create dark crystals that could negate a pony's magic, from embedding them into Shining Armor's horn to keep him from casting any magic, to a trap keeping Twilight from teleporting outside of it with the Crystal Heart.
    • The "Equestria Games" use disabling spells (which look like airport metal detectors) that unicorns must pass through to prevent cheating in the events.
    • In "The Cutie Map – Part 2", the Big Bad's cutie mark equalizer dampens the special talent of any character hit by it and removes their cutie mark. Not only does it rob them of any ability beyond even the most base level ability of a pony, but it even mildly affects their personality. Pinkie Pie becomes much less fun-loving and Applejack becomes unable to use Western...isms.
  • ChalkZone featured a minor recurring villain named Major Brand. One of her powers was "sponge vision", which enabled her to disable other super-powered beings' powers.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power: In "The Secret of the Sword", Queen Angella was imprisoned and made to wear a collar that stopped her from using her powers. Once He-Man freed her and destroyed it, she demonstrates just how powerful she is.

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