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Removed Achilles' Heel

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"Do not mock me, Raziel. You, of all of us, should respect the power bestowed by a limitation overcome."
Rahab on his immunity to water, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

A common trait of monsters is the Achilles' Heel or Weaksauce Weakness that allows humans to face them. After all, if monsters are so powerful and scary, how come that they haven't already taken over? Thus, fairies are repelled by iron, demons run away in fear before a drop of Holy water, vampires can't stand sunlight, werewolves only roam when there's a full moon, mages need to utter magic words to cast spells, and so on. Not only monsters have this problem; very often, characters that are too powerful are bound to have a restriction that, if they're villains, gives the Hero a chance against them and, if they're heroes, prevents them from being too boring to watch.

It follows that a villain with a weakness that both the Heroes and audience is familiar with, will instantly become a bigger threat if said character gets it removed. Feel sorry for its enemies if their main strategy is Attack Its Weak Point.

The weakness doesn't necessarily have to be a Kryptonite Factor; it could be a well-known flaw that the heroes always exploit, like a detective that can always be sure that the criminal will leave clues behind or that serial killers always follow a pattern that he can deduce to find them.

A character can achieve this through focused (and generally painful) training, get this status as a side effect of increasing their powers, thanks to magical or scientific experiments, by being Badass or just gifted. To remove a Kryptonite Factor, a recurrent method is exposing to small doses of it, in a similar fashion to characters with Acquired Poison Immunity.

Just to be clear, this trope doesn't cover cases when the author changes the character into not having a weak point it used to have, it only counts when it happens in-universe. It also has nothing to do with heroic Ancient Greek amputees.

Compare with Fight Off the Kryptonite, when the character doesn't lose his weakness but tries to fight it through sheer force of will, and Kryptonite-Proof Suit, where the character takes measures to avoid it. Similar to No-Sell, but instead of ignoring other characters' powers, in this case what's ignored are the natural weaknesses. Adaptive Ability is similar, where one develops an immunity to a weakness after a single exposure. For instances where one never had the weakness in question to begin with, see Fake Weakness.


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  • A commercial for Nutrigrain breakfast bars had a family of vampires. One of the vampires stated "Ve vere not morning people" until they discovered Nutrigrain bars — and showed them sitting at the table in sunlight having them for breakfast.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the only surefire ways to kill a Demon is to either behead them with Nichirin swords, expose them to sunlight, or by using poisons mixed with Wisteria flowers. Muzan Kibutsuji, the manga's Big Bad, as well as the top three-ranked Demons, Kokushibo, Doma and Akaza are immune to beheading due to sheer Body Horror the former employs, and the other Demons having a higher will to resist dying; in the case of Daki, she's able to survive decapitation due to being connect to her brother Gyutaro, while Nezuko eventually develops an immunity to sunlight. Several high-ranking demons are resistant to Wisteria poison. Depending on the dose and potency of the poison in question, they can either be temporarily paralyzed or weakened, or ignore the poison outright. When Muzan revives and possesses Tanjiro in a last-ditch attempt to save himself, he's also immune to the sun.
  • Saiyans from Dragon Ball Z suffer an agonizing pain when their tails are squeezed. Goku used this against Raditz and Piccolo tried to do the same against Nappa, just to learn that he and Vegeta were immune to this; they claim that only low-class Saiyan warriors are affected by this, whereas they're Saiyan Elites. Goku trained himself to remove this weakness in the past, before his tail was permanently removed.
    • In Resurrection F and later Super, Frieza trains for the first time in his life and gains a Golden Super Mode... but because he was impatient and rushed off to kill Goku before mastering it, it practically bled stamina and exhausted him quickly. When he next appears in the Universe Survival saga, he reveals that he's spent his time dead meditating (read: imagining ways to kill Goku) in order to fix that problem, allowing him to hold his own in the tournament.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • In Battle Tendency, a Pillar Man who wears a Stone Mask empowered with the Red Stone of Aja will become immune to both sunlight and the Ripple, the only two things that could kill them. In fact, the Aja-powered Mask grants them the ability to use the Ripple themselves!
    • In both Part 4 and 5 there was a character whose Stand activated after the user's death, and since the only surefire way to destroy a Stand is killing the user, it was impossible to destroy.
  • The Gundam Aerial in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury is the only Gundam that does not place an immense, potentially lethal strain on its pilot when operating at combat levels. Additionally, Gundams in the world of the series can have their strengths deactivated by the Antidote system—Aerial can circumvent this by pushing its Permet Score to the point that Antidote simply stops working on it. This might be theoretically possible for other Gundams, but it would be impossible to manage without killing the pilot. This is because the Aerial offloads all the issues onto its AI: Ericht Samaya, the only human who could completely resist the Gundam's curse.
  • In Monster Rancher, after initially re-merging with his original body, Moo finds himself weak against any kind of light. It's eventually discovered that this weakness came from not using the Final Gate's master program, which involved a Magic Stone. Upon stealing Holly's stone and using it in the process, not only is Moo fully healed and stronger than ever, but he's no longer harmed by light.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • The Angels have a Core that, if destroyed, means the Angel's destruction as well. The eleventh Angel Ireul is a Hive Mind made of nanoscale entities, meaning that they don't have a core, at least not that the heroes can detect and destroy as usual. Iruel also has an Adaptive Ability that allows it to learn and become immune to anything that they use against it.
    • The eponymous Evangelions usually become sitting ducks when their energy runs out unless they go berserk, as their armor's safeguards activate and immobilize them. However, Eva-01/Yui Ikari eliminates her weakness by eating Zeruel's core, absorbing the Angel's power source for her own uses.
  • In the world of One Piece, there's a universal rule that says that, if you eat more than one Devil Fruit, you die. Blackbeard has seemingly broken the rule, though —aside from Marco stating it has to do with his unique body structure— no one but him knows how he achieved it.
    • During the battle against Admiral Ryokugyu, who holds the power of a flora-manipulating Logia, he's attacked with fire, under the logic that a forest-man should be weak to flames. He promptly reveals that he made a technique specifically to make himself unflammable. It takes Momonosuke's Blast Breath, a breath of concentrated heat strong enough to wipe out a stone castle, to burn through his body.
  • In Phantom Quest Corp., Bosco eventually became immune to sunlight through controlled exposure to high-powered UV lamps. Which was done as part of his attempt to give up being a vampire, because he'd fallen in love with Makiko.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
  • Walpurgisnacht from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the only witch that could exist outside a barrier and therefore wreak havoc on the real world.
  • In Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, the only way to eliminate a Gaichuu is to shoot a Shindan, or heart bullet, into the gaps in its armor. Near the end of the anime, Cabernet, the most dangerous Gaichuu shown, is able to gain a layer of armor that covers its entire body, protecting its weak spot. Niche and her sister are forced to break a hole in said armor in order to get at this weakness.

    Audio Plays 
  • Big Finish Doctor Who: Inverted in "Spare Parts" when the Doctor time travels to Mondas at the time when the first Cybermen are only just being created. He tries to use gold dust against a Cyberman, but it just sort of stares at him because the aspect of Cybermen's cybernetics which causes their Weaksauce Weakness to gold doesn't yet exist in the first generation.

    Comic Books 
  • Played With in the Confessor's story in Astro City. After the Confessor is outed as a vampire, his sidekick Altar Boy takes up the role. Since the villains of the city don't know that, from their perspective, the Confessor has just suddenly lost all the usual vampire weaknesses. The new Confessor rolls with it because it scares the hell out of his enemies.
  • Subverted by The Riddler in the Batman story that established that he's obsessively compelled to leave clues, otherwise he can't successfully commit a crime. The Riddler starts using forms of self-therapy to overcome his compulsion, and eventually manages to steal some jewelry without leaving any riddles. Meanwhile, Batman and Robin keep stumbling across strange people and events, which they end up connecting together to figure out Riddler's next crime. It's revealed when they catch him that Riddler hadn't overcome his compulsion—he started sleepwalking and left clues subconsciously. This realization actually led him to surrender to Batman, because he realized it meant he really was crazy.
  • Kingdom Come: It is revealed early on that because of all the yellow solar rays Superman has absorbed at that point, he gained an eventual immunity to all forms of Kryptonite, making him effectively invincible to everything but magic.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Monster X is capable of massive bursts of speed and strength via its own Shock and Awe stimulating its muscles, the same way electric shock can cause massive muscle recoil in people, but it runs the risk of inflicting debilitating Heroic RRoD on Monster X by tearing their body apart. Once Monster X metamorphoses into its final form, this is fixed so it can use Super-Speed freely.
    • It's also worth noting, San gets this by becoming part of Monster X. When San was part of Ghidorah, that body fared very ill in waters as was demonstrated in canon, whereas Monster X's vaguely closer-to-humanoid build and its Vivienne Graham half's swimming knowledge mean Viv and San fare better in waters.
  • In The Arithmancer, Hermione receives a letter of thanks from a curse-breaker who encountered a basilisk that had been deafened and was thus immune to the crowing of a rooster. Fortunately, Hermione's color-filtering goggles allowed the man to resist its deadly gaze and prevail.
  • In the Facing the Future Series story "Two For One", it's shown that thanks to Skulker's armor being upgraded to the SkulkTech version by Technus, one of the benefits is that he's now immune to Tucker hacking into his operating system.
  • God Slaying Blade Works: Becoming a Campione helped Shirou's body fully accept Archer's arm as part of himself. His Healing Factor is also incredibly strong, and he now has enough mana to fuel Unlimited Blade Works with ease.
  • Hope Comes to Brockton Bay: Taylor sends Alexandria a special silken face mask that allows air through while being highly water resistant. When Alexandria tests it out, she discovers that the full force of Niagara Falls is only able to push three drops through. This serves as a Mythology Gag to how Alexandria died in the original series.
    I understand you still have to breathe, and that is a vulnerability at your power level. Please accept this with my compliments.
  • Kintsugi The Beauty In Broken Things: Sentimonsters can be controlled by their Amok, and breaking it would kill them instantly. Ladybug saves her sentimonster doppelganger when her Miraculous Cure merges her Amok into her body, ensuring nobody can use it against her.
  • Legendarily Popular:
    • Ash's Charizard uses his knowledge of the move Drill Run to teach himself how to Dive, and subsequently how to swim despite being a Fire-type pokémon with a flaming tail.
    • During Ash's gym battle with him, Norman's opening move is to have one of his pokémon use Gastro Acid against his own Slaking, nullifying its Truant ability so that the Mighty Glacier can attack every round.
    • Ash completes Skyla's Gym Challenge by teaching three of his team how to "fly".
  • Lulu's Bizarre Rebellion: Schneizel's Stand lets him manipulate the speed of light around him, something he uses to counteract one of the natural weaknesses of becoming a vampire — he can slow down the sunlight itself to make it effectively harmless. What's more, pure UV lights aren't immune to this — he can still manipulate them enough that he can use them as fuel for his Healing Factor.
  • No Chance for Fate: After Pharaoh 90 is destroyed, Ranma's Jusenkyo curse is altered so that it's no longer involuntarily triggered by water. Instead, he's able to shift sexes at will.
  • One Foot – Another Multiverse SI: Thanks to the power of SCP-1990, Desiree gains the ability to grant her own wishes, as well as outright refuse to grant others' wishes.
  • One for All and Eight for the Ninth: After Izuku gains control of Overhaul's Quirk, he uses it to remove a few of his associates' weaknesses:
    • Aoyama lacked the Required Secondary Powers for withstanding the recoil of his Navel Laser; his bellybutton is also changed into an organic jewel to help focus it.
    • Since Aizawa's Quirk shuts off whenever he blinks, he gains nictitating membranes, enabling him to use his translucent secondary eyelids to blink and hydrate his eyes without cutting his powers off.
  • Son of the Sannin:
    • In the Naruto canon, using the Mangekyo Sharingan takes a heavy toll on the user's eyesight, and the rest of the physical body when using Susano'o, unless the user gains the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan by transplanting another's eyes. In this story, Shisui Uchiha undergoes Sage Mode training, and discovers that Nature-based energy allows him to counter the MS's usual handicaps.
    • A specific case happens in Chapter 110 when Edo Tensei!Hiashi meets his brother Hizashi. His natural course of action would be to try and use the Caged Bird Seal, which by then had already been removed from him and the rest of the Branch House Hyugas.
  • With This Ring:
    • New Gods are much more resilient than humans, especially if it relates to their divine domain, and they have a significant Healing Factor, but radion weapons will bypass their divine resistance and poison them. Except that New Gods are also perfectly capable of using power rings, which have no special weakness to radion — as Vandal Savage learns to his cost when facing the Renegade with a radion pistol.
      Vandal Savage: I was told that your kind were vulnerable to radion weapons.
      Renegade: Oh, we are. Dreadfully so. Power rings aren't.
    • After Paul supplies Superman with a portable radiation shield, crime rates in Metropolis plummet, as gangs who were relying on kryptonite to protect them from Superman flee for safer territory.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Megamind, Megamind creates a new superhero using Metroman's genes. This new "hero", Titan, has the same powers as Metroman. That's why Megamind is shocked to learn that, unlike Metroman, he's immune to copper. In this case, it hints at the fact that Metroman was never weak against copper to begin with; he merely faked it. The weakness is not so much removed as never existed in the first place.
  • In Shrek Forever After, it's stated that knowing Rumpelstiltskin's name used to be the typical exit clause of the contract but since everyone knows it now he no longer uses that and has gotten much better at hiding exit clauses (as in, it requires folding the contract into a specific form in order to decipher it).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Avatar: The Way of Water, Miles Quaritch is brought back as a Recombinant, removing the threat that Pandora's toxic atmosphere poses to him as well as giving him heightened senses and enhanced biology.
  • Overcoming the vulnerability vampires have to the sun (which can fatally set them on fire with only seconds of exposure) is Deacon Frost's goal in Blade. Until he completes the dark ritual, he and his followers have to either cover every inch of skin or use an extremely thick covering of sun lotion to survive in sunlight.
  • In Ernest Scared Stupid, trolls' weakness to milk was foreshadowed due to Trantor constantly running off whenever he caught sight of it. In the climax, Kenny realizes the truth and he and the neighborhood kids use it to help Ernest wipe out Trantor's newly raised army. However, during the fight, Trantor channeled the evil spirits of the woods to take on a One-Winged Angel form for a Final Battle with Ernest. When he corners Kenny, he sprays Trantor with milk, to no effect.
    Trantor: I've grown too strong for that. Not even milk can stop me now!
  • Gremlins 2: The New Batch: When the Gremlins break into the genetics lab, one of them mutates into a Bat-Gremlin hybrid. Brain Gremlin, who had just gained sentience from drinking a brain hormone, injects his winged compadre with genetic sunblock, which makes him resistant to the Gremlins' fatal weakness to sunlight so that he can go on a rampage in the city.
  • In I, Robot, everyone except Detective Spooner is convinced that no robot would ever attack a human due to their programming. It turns out that the main suspect, Sonny, has a second positronic brain that allows him to understand the Three Laws, but disobey them at will. In a twist, Sonny doesn't murder anyone even with that restriction removed; the only person he killed asked him to do it.
  • The Mummy (1999): In his incomplete state, Imhotep is forced to flee in terror whenever he finds himself in the same room as a cat, because cats are the guardians of the Underworld. Terence Bay warns that the effect will disappear if Imhotep is fully restored to life, a goal which Imhotep reaches.
  • Star Wars:
    • Return of the Jedi: The Second Death Star is planned to be built without the weakness of the first one. Instead of a single thermal exhaust port large enough for a pair of proton torpedoes to enter, its reactor would instead dissipate heat through millions of millimeter-sized heat dispersion tubes, which would render it immune to that tactic. Fortunately, it is destroyed before it gets fully completed, when there are still many openings in its superstructure leading to the reactor.
    • The Vulture Droids of the Trade Federation and the Separatists could be remote piloted, allowing them to fight automated or help people out in certain situations, as first shown in Mystery of a Thousand Moons where 4 of them owned by Jaybo Hood are controlled by R2 to get rid of the prototype of the Death Star's superlaser preventing people from leaving Iego. After the rise of the Empire, Nightswan/Nevil Cygni and his band of insurgents would acquire at least 400 of them to fight future Grand Admiral Thrawn at Umbara, who remarks how effective that strategy is, since a small team could handle the dogfighting against Imperial prosperity. However, it adds new weaknesses such as maintaining a connection 24/7 and making sure the data center controlling them isn't shot down.
  • In the climax of Underworld: Evolution, Selene gains immunity to UV radiation (and thus sunlight) by drinking Alexander Corvinus' blood and becoming a vampire-Immortal hybrid. As previously shown, even the most powerful vampires suffer lethal burns when exposed to sunlight.
  • Dracula in Van Helsing displays none of the weaknesses commonly associated with vampires; Anna mentions multiple weapons that have failed to destroy him in the past, he survives being staked through the heart onscreen, and uses a Cross-Melting Aura to destroy the silver crucifix Van Helsing threatens him with. Carl eventually figures out that the only thing capable of killing him is a werewolf.

  • Animorphs:
    • The Yeerks' need to leave their hosts once every three days to absorb Kandrona rays with their real bodies, otherwise, they die of starvation. On their planet, the Kandrona rays are generated by their sun, on other planets like Earth they have a secret base with an artificial generator.
    • A renegade Yeerk that couldn't afford to go back to the base found a way to survive anyway, by killing and eating a fellow Yeerk every three days.
    • In another book the Yeerks found a substitute for Kandrona that they could absorb without leaving the host's body, unfortunately it was highly addictive, hindered their ability to control the host, and could potentially drive them mad, replacing their original weakness with something worse.
  • Artemis Fowl: Demons, as a species, are no longer able to use magic after they reach their adult stage, called warping (warlocks are extremely rare, but don't warp). So when the Big Bad starts using magic despite being, in his own words, "such a magnificently warped creature"... it turns out there's an unconscious warlock's spirit inhabiting his body.
  • The Terry Pratchett book Carpe Jugulum has a family of vampires whose father has trained them all to be immune to sunlight and to not react to holy symbols or garlic, as one is just a collection of lines and curves and the other is merely a member of the Allium family. This bites back hard at the end of the book, though, when the family can't stop seeing holy symbols everywhere. After all, they're just straight lines and curves...
  • In The Dresden Files, the Fomor can use magic over running water due to their natural affinity for entropy magic, unlike demons, spirits, mortal practitioners, faeries, semi-mortals, and quite possibly gods. And yet, it is still possible to use magic on running water itself, but not when, say, on a boat.
  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Voldemort uses Harry's blood in a ritual to restore him to power, which also allows him to bypass the Power of Love protection bestowed on Harry by his mother's sacrifice.
    • It's worth noting that by removing this one Achilles' Heel, he created a new one which bit him in the ass spectacularly, shortly before the climactic final battle: As long as Voldemort lived, the Killing Curse was ineffective on Harry. In Voldemort's defense, he couldn't see that one coming. Even Dumbledore didn't know for sure.
  • Hercule Poirot once faced a killer that he couldn't gather evidence against because he didn't murder anyone, he subtly manipulated people with seemingly innocent remarks to hit their emotional buttons and push them into murdering. Poirot realized it but still was unable to bring the villain to justice, since none of his actions could be seen as a crime, so he broke his moral code and killed the guy, lamenting how that, at the end, the villain even managed to make Poirot himself a murderer.
  • Saruman from The Lord of the Rings created a new breed of Orcs after his Face–Heel Turn, the Uruk Hai, that weren't weakened by sunlight, unlike ordinary Orcs. They were also stronger and overall superior.
  • Trolls in Mother of Learning have regeneration that is usually best countered with fire, but the protagonist encounters a number of war trolls that are magically warded against fire.
    Live and learn – next time he was using frost traps instead.
  • Portions of the Star Trek: The Next Generation novel "Imzadi" by Peter David take place decades after the events of the series. At the climax, Commodore Data fights Admiral Riker, and when his opponent reaches for the off-switch between his shoulder blades:
    Data: I had it removed some time ago, sir. It was becoming a nuisance.
  • Twilight vampires feel a strong, almost uncontrollable urge for blood, the only exception being Bella after her Vampification in Breaking Dawn. The other characters speculate that this is because unlike most new vampires, she had plenty of time before being turned to become mentally prepared for the temptation.
  • Lestat of Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles series does this accidentally. After living several hundred years, he decides to commit suicide by flying into the desert sun. As vampires can't stay conscious during the day, he passes out during the attempt, and wakes up, severely weakened, submerged in sand where he fell after passing out. Although the experience nearly kills him, his body heals into the appearance of a man with a deep, permanent, suntan.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Given the number of vampires in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, there's bound to be examples of vampires immune to their traditional weaknesses.
    • One involved removing the vampire's heart surgically (which will kill him eventually, but renders him immune to vampire weaknesses until then).
    • Another example was when the Fang Gang goes to Pylea, Angel discovers that the dimension's sun doesn't harm him, allowing him to operate during the daytime.
    • Dracula went to gypsies sometime in the 1800s and traded vampire secrets for protection from a few vampire weaknesses. Such as now he cannot be killed by a stake through the heart.
    • The first Buffy and Angel crossover episodes featured a ring that made a vampire unkillable and featured a fight between Spike and Buffy in broad daylight. Needless to say, it was destroyed soon after.
  • Cobra Kai has a more mundane but no less monstrous example: During a training session, Terry Silver claims that everyone has a weakness, all you have to do to win is find and exploit it. At the end of Season 4, he admits that even he has a weakness, but he's found a way to eliminate it. His loyalty to Kreese holds him back from pursuing his true ambitions, so once Kreese appears to be going soft (because of his own fondness for Johnny) he engineers a way to get Kreese sent off to prison.
  • Demons in Supernatural are weak to numerous mystical effects such as salt lines, iron, devil traps, holy water, hallowed ground, and the demon-killing knife. The top tier ones, however, prove to be immune to most.
  • True Blood: Sookie's blood, because of her fairy ancestry, has the power to give vampires this ability. It's temporary, though.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The 3rd Edition sourcebook Draconomicon offers a selection of "Monstrous Feats" suited for dragons, with the Iron Will feat as a prerequisite. Suppress Weakness downgrades how much additional damage a creature would take from an energy type they're vulnerable to, so an ice-breathing white dragon with the feat would take 25% extra damage from a fire attack instead of 50%. The improved version of the feat, Overcome Weakness, removes that energy vulnerability altogether, so all attacks of that energy type would deal standard damage.
    • The devilish baatezu of the Nine Hells are immune to fire damage and resistant to cold as a racial trait. However, Archduke Mephistopheles of Cania, the coldest circle of Baator, has exposed himself to the frigid conditions long enough to gain a full immunity to cold.
    • In 5th Edition, the Resilient feats gives profiency in the saving throw of its type. A player who takes the one for the saving throw they're bad at can remove that weakness.
    • Characters specializing in one damage type can run into a brick wall if they face an enemy that resists their main damage type. The Elemental Adapt allows them to ignore that resistance entirely.

    Video Games 
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Adam Smasher was notorious in the tabletop game and the original version of this game for his vulnerability to being hacked. Patch 2.1 rectified the issue by giving him ICE that automatically traces and counterhacks any unwary netrunner who tries the same trick.
  • In Dark Souls, Gwyn was noted for his vulnerability to parrying; a skilled player could give him a truly dreadful time with it. In Dark Souls III, Gwyn returns as the second phase of the Soul of Cinder, but can no longer be parried. Players have reported hearing Gwyn's Leitmotif as part of the Sad Battle Music, instinctively going for a parry, and ending up getting torched.
  • In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Kaptain K. Rool's weakness is that the cannonballs fired from his blunderbuss can be picked up and thrown back at him to plug it up. This is not the case for King K. Rool in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, who can use his blunderbuss to vacuum up cannonballs thrown at him and fire them back.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Archdemons can Body Surf to other darkspawn if they're killed but can't do this if the killer is a Grey Warden, which is why it's vital that Grey Wardens be present during Blights to strike the final blow. Darkspawn Magisters, such as Corypheus, do not have this weakness and can resurrect using Grey Wardens as well, thus making Grey Wardens a liability (it certainly doesn't help that Corypheus can also mimic the Calling to get Grey Wardens to do what he wants) to the Inquisitor, and give them a big problem in figuring out how to kill Corypheus properly when the normal way of neutralizing Resurrective Immortality doesn't work. In Corypheus's case, he kindly gave himself another Achilles' Heel by creating the Red Lyrium Dragon; it's a powerful asset, but making it took up so much of Corypheus's power that for a short time after the dragon is killed, his body-surfing power is disabled, allowing the Inquisitor to permakill him in that timeframe.
  • According to lore in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the Cyrodiilic strain of vampires long, long ago made a deal with Clavicus Vile (the Daedric Prince of Pacts) that allowed them to decrease or outright lose the weaknesses of vampirism so long as they kept fed (a vampire that has fed in the last day can pass as mortal, take no damage from sunlight, and is only somewhat weaker against fire — and as one quest reveals, a well-fed vampire is mortal enough to sire a child the old-fashioned way), at the cost of also downplaying the strengths of vampirism until they go without feeding. Skyrim brought in a similar mechanic for Skyrim vampires without the lore explanation, although in their case sunlight will always weaken no matter the stage — it's just increasingly crippling.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Medb is confirmed to have a weakness to being struck in the head by a thrown cheese, as this was how she died in legend. When you try it, however, she kicks the cheese away, and announces that she's used her time on the Throne of Heroes to train for exactly that. After an animation update, her new Buster-style attack is reacting to a cheese that comes flying at her, and kicking it at the enemy.
    • Similarly, Tristan of the Round Table died to poison in his legend, which the Hassan-i-Sabbah Assassins plan to exploit in the Sixth Singularity by killing him with poisoned weapons. Unfortunately the Lion King's "Gift" of Inversion placed upon Tristan inverts literally everything about him, so what killed him in the past is now useless.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, units can learn abilities that cancel weapon effectiveness against them by increasing their Riding, Flying or Heavy Armor skill to the maximum rank. They're also used by some bosses.
  • In Jade Empire, it is brought up multiple times that the Spirit Monk's fighting style has a flaw. The flaw is such that it doesn't really hinder them since pretty nobody can take advantage of it in a meaningful way. The people who observe it praise the Spirit Monk's master for teaching them this way, assuming it's supposed to be a Fake Weakness to lure opponents into a false sense of security. It's not. Master Li deliberately incorporated the flaw so that he could easily kill the Spirit Monk once they had outlived their usefulness. The flaw was designed such that only Master Li could take advantage of it. By the time the final battle begins, Master Li correctly assumes that the Spirit Monk has corrected the flaw in their technique, meaning he can't easily kill them anymore.
  • Legacy of Kain:
    • Moebius has a scepter that is enchanted to weaken any vampires he uses it against. Raziel is completely unaffected by the scepter due to him being 'remade', and while Kain is initially affected by the scepter, he discovers that he's become immune to its effects when Moebius tries to use it against him towards the end of Defiance (as a side-effect of Raziel ripping Kain's heart from his chest during a previous encounter).
    • In Soul Reaver, the Rahabim Vampires have evolved into amphibians, overcoming the vampiric weakness to water (but losing the ability to resist sunlight) in the process. By killing their leader Rahab and absorbing his soul, Raziel also overcomes this weakness.
  • Metroids, the recurring enemies that can suck up energy from any living thing in the Metroid franchise, will always have a weakness to cold-based attacks. note  In Metroid: Other M, there's an area that is housing altered Metroids that have their cold weakness removed. Adam stops Samus from going into that room and goes in there himself to blow up the sector in a Heroic Sacrifice so that Samus can take down Ridley, a foe she has more experience with compared to Adam.
  • One of the characters in Neverwinter Nights is secretly a werewolf, masquerading as a merchant and selling silver artifacts and wolfsbane herb to werewolf hunters. Not only does this keep suspicion away from him, but he also claims that exposing himself to his weaknesses in this way has allowed him to build up a tolerance to them.
  • Persona: The main point of the Ultimate Personas in Persona 4 and Persona 5 is removing the elemental weakness of the party member's starting Persona (in 4, though two members still have a weakness) or, in a downplayed example tripling the Evasion stat against their elemental weakness (in the Golden version of 4, as well as 5). Since being hit by an attack you are weak against gives the attacker an Extra Turn, removing or reducing elemental weaknesses in your teammates should be a top priority.
  • Pokémon:
    • Slaking has some of the best stats in the game, comparable to some Legendaries, but is held back by its ability, Truant, only allowing it to attack every second turn. Yet there are some moves and abilities, like Skill Swap or Neutralizing Gas, that can remove or replace this ability, allowing the ape to unleash his full potential every turn.
    • There's an entire playstyle that revolves around this concept. It uses the move Trick Room, which inverts the speed check for several turns. Basically, fast mons move slow and slow mons move fast. This turns Mighty Glaciers like Conkledurr and Alolan Marowak into full on Lightning Bruisers, while Fragile Speedsters like Tapu Koko and Weavile become pretty much useless.
  • Punch-Out!!: In the Wii installment, many opponents cover up their weaknesses during Title Defense. For example, Glass Joe wears headgear to protect his glass jaw while King Hippo wears a manhole cover over his stomach. Special mention, however, goes to Bald Bull. Normally, Bald Bull will instantly be knocked down if he's punched in the stomach during his Bull Charge, but in Title Defense he will keep his balance and go right back to fighting (this also happens in his rematch in the NES game). In all these cases, Mac will need to figure out a way to disable the extra perks, reinforcing their nature as Puzzle Bosses.
  • In XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, the titular Chosen are Recurring Bosses with randomly-determined perks such as an immunity to explosive damage or automatically going on Overwatch at the end of their turn, but also weaknesses such as a vulnerability to melee attacks, and each takes additional damage from attacks dealt by a specific Resistance faction. But if the "Made Whole" Dark Event goes through, for the event's duration, the Chosen will lose all their vulnerabilities while keeping their bonuses, making them much harder to deal with.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 1, the otherwise hard to damage Mechon are easily dispatched by the Monado. Early on in the game, however, Faced Mechon show up who can No-Sell the Monado like any other weapon because they are in fact cyborgized Homs, and the Monado in its current state cannot deal notable harm to life native to the Bionis, which in turn forces the heroes to take them down the hard way. In turn, the Monado later gets a Mid-Season Upgrade which lets it take on Faced Mechon with ease.

  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: The evil ninja Frans Rayner initially has a pressure point — when struck there, he is completely paralyzed for a short while. However, Rayner also has enough mental control over his body that, any time his pressure point is discovered, he can change its location. So, no paralyzing strike ever works against Rayner twice. Eventually, Rayner completely eliminates his weak point. He suffers a mortal injury, and survives by becoming a cyborg — in the process, he has the presence of mind to shift his pressure point into one of his fleshy bits that gets cut off.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: Omniverse: The main issue Ben had with Alien X was that its two conflicting personalities would cause a stalemate that prevented Alien X from taking any action, including detransforming. During the events of "Universe vs Tennyson", Ben finally finds a workaround— leave Bellicus and Serena free to argue with each other all they want, while Ben himself controls Alien X. From that point on, Ben is able to use Alien X's awesome power with just enough restriction.note .
  • In Conan the Adventurer, the Serpent Men are banished to the Netherworld where their master Set resides whenever they are touched with items made of Star Metal. In a Bad Future where Conan has been killed and Wrath-Amon was able to open the gateway to the Netherworld to free Set, the Serpent Men become virtually unstoppable as the gate being open meant they could no longer be banished.
  • Gargoyles: Demona gained the ability to turn into a human during day, instead of turning into stone like her brothers. While she hates humans and therefore hates her daytime form, she became more dangerous by being mobile during the daytime to do as she pleases while normal gargoyles sleep.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: In "Chi of the Vampire", the Jiangshi is at first blind and reliant on smell to find his victims, but after draining chi from Tohru, Jade and Uncle, he gains sight and furthermore becomes immune to sunlight.
  • Justice League Unlimited: The Annihilator was a living suit of armor created by Hephaestus, who deliberately included a flaw that it would be powered by aggression and shut down when it ran out of aggression to feed on. When Felix Faust possessed it he made sure to remove this weakness.
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends: Ahgg, the witches Giant Spider minion, is extremely ticklish and can be rendered helpless by some light tickling. In "The End of Flutter Valley, Part 9", Hydia gives him a potion that removes this weakness. This becomes an issue for the heroes when they find him guarding the valley entrance and Megan's previous strategy for getting past him — tickling him his legs — fails to work.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls (1998), the Rowdyruff Boys' first appearance ended with them exploding just from the Girls kissing them. When they're brought Back from the Dead by Him, they no longer have this weakness, but unfortunately now have an equally pathetic one: the increasing power and size they got from tormenting the Girls is later lost and even reversed when their masculinity is threatened.
  • ThunderCats (1985): Mumm-Ra, the Big Bad, can, for all his strength and dark magic, be repelled if he can be tricked into seeing his reflection. Later on in the show, he loses this weakness and is a significantly more dangerous threat because of it.
  • In Young Justice, Superboy can be put into a trance by Lex Luthor with the phrase "red sun", due to him being cloned by Lex. The first time this happens to him, he wakes up several hours after attempting to attack Lex. The second time he tries to attack Lex, the same thing happens; until the rest of the team shows up and it's revealed that keyphrase was removed from his mind by Miss Martian.


Video Example(s):


Ben finally controls Alien X

Ben reaches a compromise between Bellicus and Serena, allowing him to finally control the previously unreliable Alien X.

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Example of:

Main / RemovedAchillesHeel

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