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Story-Breaker Power

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"It feels like kind of a cheat; you can't have your characters be too powerful."
Martin Lloyd, Stargate SG-1, "200"

A question writers should ask themselves when deciding which (if any) superpowers to give any character is "Which and how strong a set of powers does a character need in order for this story to be entertaining?" This is because many times characters begin or end up having powers that in the hands of a competent and reasonably intelligent protagonist would allow them to handily solve a plot. Plot complications, the Sorting Algorithm of Evil and the Sliding Scale of Villain Threat would be incapable of dealing with this character... at least not without drastically changing the setting or the story's tone.

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This is a common problem for sequels of works that end with the protagonist unlocking their full power. Once they get too much power, they win the Superpower Lottery and become godlike, or worse, Suelike. On the other hand, a simple or limited power can lead to viewers asking "Why don't they just use his power of X to do Y and stop the bad guy/get the MacGuffin?" In order to challenge the protagonist the writers will have to ramp up the villain's power, find a way to otherwise remove or sideline them, depower them or at least reduce it to more reasonable levels, take away their weapons, make the power come at a price, or give them a Drama-Preserving Handicap of some sort (see also Kryptonite Is Everywhere). Otherwise, the character will be Too Powerful to Live. The easiest way to tell if this trope is in effect is when the writer resorts to handing the protagonist the Idiot Ball and Forgot About His Powers to keep the character from using their powers in a straightforward way.

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Another good sign of this trope affecting the setting is if over time, it seems as though the character's abilities and competence can suddenly fluctuate in a non-intuitive way depending on the plot. If for instance a character, with all their Super Strength, is often shown being able to stop calamities like falling buildings but is suddenly shown to struggle dealing with the villain's Mooks, this trope is likely at work. Power Creep, Power Seep works similarly, but specifically kicks in when the character is an alternate setting/timeline or is being handled by a different author, and their usual capabilities would break the story intended for them.

On a bit of a tangent, there's a reason why this trope applies mostly to protagonists; we expect the Big Bad to have a nigh unbeatable edge and get beaten nonetheless, giving us a typical underdog story. Though this isn't to say it's good for a villain to have a Story-Breaker Power, because they run the risk of becoming a Villain Sue. This is why most stories with such villains focus on stopping them from actually getting these powers.

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The abilities most likely to be Story-Breaker Powers without careful use are:

It's worth clarifying that yes, characters with these powers can and often do have engaging stories, great struggles, and otherwise captivate the audience. When that's the case, it generally is because the writer finds a way to properly integrate the power into the story rather than just shoehorning it into a stock plot probably originally intended for non-powered characters; ways to do this can for example involve complications that the hero legitimately CAN'T easily solve by just throwing their power at them, and giving the downsides of having said power some spotlight time as well. In short, whether or not a given power is a "story-breaker" depends on the story in question just as much as it does on the power itself.

Opening a Can of Clones is what often results from unwary use of any of the aforementioned powers. The audience won’t even care about anything that happens in a story if the heroes have every ability they could possibly need to resolve any situation or conflict in which they might find themselves, at no cost.

Compare Deus Exit Machina and Story-Breaker Team-Up, where this trope appears not because of a power itself but because of disparities between them. Just Eat Gilligan can become a result if this power can resolve all conflicts in the story. Game-Breaker is a similar but otherwise unrelated trope, when a player manages to inflict this on a game. When instead of personal powers it's a certain kind of Applied Phlebotinum that has this story-breaking ability, see Holding Back the Phlebotinum for ways writers deal with this kind of material. New Life in Another World Bonus when one gains these powers upon being Trapped in Another World. From a Doylist perspective, this is the main reason as to why Superman Stays Out of Gotham. Contrast 11th-Hour Superpower, where a powerful ability doesn't break the story due to being acquired at the last second and is usually what ends it.


Examples:

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    Comic Strips 
  • One of the things that contributed to Dick Tracy 1960s Dork Age was the introduction of the "Space Coupe" and all its accompanying crime tracking and weaponry. Once you give the heroes a device that can go anywhere and track any kind of crime, the villains don't really have a chance. This led to the plot "Villains Try To Steal The Space Coupe" repeated ad nauseum for a while. When the new creative team started to reintroduce past elements to the current story, one of the first things they did was have Diet Smith tell Tracy that he mothballed the Space Coupe basically because of the "Villains Try To Steal The Space Coupe" factor.

    Fan Works 
  • Ragna's Semblance in BlazBlue Alternative: Remnant is the same as his Drive in the games, Soul Eater. Since all powers and superhuman abilities are fueled by Aura and by extension the soul, using it tends to net him victory in most fights given that it drains his opponents (weakening them mid-battle) while doing a lot of physical damage and refueling his own strength all at once. Ozpin even notes what a devastating power it is, with Ragna subjecting Pyrrha Nikos to a Curb-Stomp Battle when he starts using it in their match. Two factors prevent it from making things too one-sided: 1) its draining effects don't work on Grimm due to them lacking souls and 2) Ragna really doesn't like using it unless he needs to.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • The fic's author is obviously very well aware of this trope, and since the Avengers are, with the addition of Loki and several years to gel as a team, nearly unstoppable, he makes sure that the bad guys spend their time striking from the shadows, arguing that you'd have to be a moron or legitimately insane to think you could take them in a straight fight. As a result, while Thor, Loki, or Wanda could crush Voldemort or almost any of those bad guys who aren't an Eldritch Abomination in a fight, the bad guys are very much aware of this and as such go out of their way to avoid head-on fights, attacking from their hidden base and keeping them away from Harry and his friends. When they finally get their chance to go all-out against the bad guys in the finale, it takes an army of Mooks to even slow them down. When the Red Room try the same trick in the sequel, they're found within hours, in normal time, and only escape because the Avengers were occupied with other matters.
    • Stephen Strange is The Archmage and both a seer and a time traveller, and as such could easily have told the Avengers and SHIELD where to strike, or done so himself. However, when called on this, he explains that had he done so, the protagonists would have been weaker for their lack of experiences, and the bad guys would have survived in hiding to cause more trouble down the line, rather than being drawn out and crushed.
  • The Worm fanfic Chosen gives Taylor Hebert the ability to control all twenty-one Endbringers. No, seriously. Earth Bet is lucky she's a hero through and through.
  • In the Batman story Dance with the Demons, Catwoman gets shot with a poisoned dart. So that Hal Jordan—whose Power Ring is more than capable of drawing toxic substances out of a body quickly and efficiently—can't save the day before the end of the first chapter, it's stated that the poison killing Selina has some yellow components (which a Green Lantern Ring can't work around).
  • Dangerverse: The greater Slytherin bloodline gift of prophetic Sight. Literally everything that happens in the plot comes directly or indirectly from the use of this power, and Anne was forced to put all sorts of restrictions on it in order for there to be a plot at all.
    • For starters, the elder line of Slytherin (from which Voldemort descends) has lost this power entirely and the younger line has no living heirs for most of the story, rendering Alexander Slytherin the only one with this power.
    • And Alexander is limited in the amount of help he can give. He can only give prophecies at certain times, can never tell them something twice, and suffers from other restrictions.
    • After he bends the rules to warn Danger to retrieve Draco in time, he is banned from giving them any information for a considerable time.
    • Then again in fifth year, he is banned from helping due to his daughter interfering in the mortal world.
    • When Luna is made an Heir of Slytherin and gains this power, she immediately leaves to infiltrate the Death Eaters with Reynard, not returning until the very end of the story.
  • In Death Note II: The Hidden Note, the main character KJ was born with Shinigami eyes. Which means that if he gets a Death Note, he can easily kill anyone he doesn't like with one just by looking at them without the cost of half his lifespan. The good news is that KJ is a lot less trigger happy than his father when it comes to killing people.
  • Halloween Unspectacular: The main reason why the Fiddley Thing was Demoted to Extra following the second collection — even if its power is usually only used for personal amusement, it's still too powerful to use in any of the regular storylines, as it could solve the conflict way too easily. This is also the reason Cosmo and Wanda rarely appear, despite the fact that Timmy is a major character.
  • Hellsister Trilogy features virtually every Pre-Crisis DCU hero and villain, but The Spectre being the omnipotent embodiment of Divine Wrath means he has to be used very sparingly. So, he sits out of two major cosmic conflicts, and his two brief appearances amount to save Supergirl's life after Mordru has been dealt with and destroy Trigon single-handedly and then vanishing as the heroes confront the true menace: Darkseid.
  • Hogyoku ex Machina has Ichigo. He spends most of the fic with most of his power sealed off yet still has three times the reiatsu of any captain. At full power, however...
  • The RWBY/Transformers: Prime crossover Hunting Decepticons has Pyrrha Nikos join Team Prime. Pyrrha's Semblance is Polarity. The Decepticons are made of metal. Literally the only reason Pyrrha doesn't just wipe out the Decepticons as a whole is because she has a finite amount of Aura, and without Aura, Semblances can't be used.
  • Imperfect Metamorphosis has Rin Satsuki, who can negate, absorb, and to a limited extent redirect all but the most powerful magical attacks. Then she was involuntarily transformed into a Blob Monster who gains the powers of anyone she absorbs. Then she absorbs EX-Rumia, who was already a powerful and indestructible Flying Brick and a horrifically deadly Walking Wasteland. When most of Touhou Project's Superpower Lottery winners (see below) attacked her at the same time they did little more than annoy her, and that was before she absorbed Kaguya and Mokou and gained Complete Immortality. Fortunately she doesn't want to hurt anyone, and has spent most of her time defending herself, running away, or hiding.
  • It Gets Worse gives Taylor Hebert powers based on luck and probability. If someone plans to hurt Taylor in anyway, her powers start setting off a series of events that will invariably lead to their karmic and humiliating comeuppance. These powers are constantly active, and don't even require any sort of input from Taylor herself? It's actually quite fun to read how her enemies get defeated.
  • Later, Traitor: Dogen's powerful psychic abilities allow the trio to not only free Linda from her brainwashing early (and skip Lungfishopolis) but they also skip the fights against Jasper and Dingo by just Cutting the Knot. Jasper is less-than-pleased.
  • Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami:
    • The Royal Death Note lets the user bypass the rule that they must know their target's face and full name. The whole plot of Death Note — Light's hunt for L's name — becomes quite pointless, since Dark can simply write "L" and kill him. Except...
    • There is also a Life Note, which allows anyone, no matter how they died, to be brought back instantly. The Death Notes are essentially worthless. Except...
    • There is an Anti Life Note which is immune to the Life Note's powers (except it doesn't work on Near for some reason). (Un)fortunately, the author forgets about this before it has a chance to pay off.
    • The granddaddy of all of these is the Everything Note, which can do everything. It can be used for resurrection, time travel, superpowers, teleportation and sex. As soon as it is introduced, any pretense at being a Gambit Pileup story is completely gone.
    • On a meta level, the Reset Note grants a metafictional Reset Button to Dark, which lets him Retcon Khaos' rise to power and making his defeat one of the greatest anticlimaxes ever. If he was smarter about using it, the Reset Note would be even stronger than the Everything Note.
  • My Heroes Reborn: The villain Priestess's Quirk allows her to reawaken the most recent past life of a person, and said past life can be from alternate universes. While it does strengthen the victim's body to the prime of their life to handle whatever new skills they have, it cannot regrow new muscles systems or allow them to use forms of energy that don't already exist in the My Hero Academia-verse (i.e. no chakra or magic). This is normally why she's comfortable using it even if it's essentially a game of lucky dip — until she awoke Izuku's past life: "Black Leg" Sanji. A.K.A. a guy whose monstrous strength only comes from pure skill, including his haki, which is simply materializing his willpower/ambition, and thus does not have his strength nerfed. At all. Izuku quickly goes from being barely able to use his Quirk to defend himself to the absolute strongest member of Class 1-A in thirty seconds, and just about the only thing stopping him from destroying the plot completely is a combination of Plot Armor for everyone else and Sanji's personality flaws.
  • Several characters from The Night Unfurls have abilities that qualify for this trope in theory.
  • The entire premise of Puella Magi Adfligo Systema, whose title literally translates to "system-breaking magical girl." The main character, Sabrina, possesses the ability to control Grief, the corruptive substance produced when magical girls use their magic. Because of this, she has functionally limitless power, and provides that same limitlessness to anyone else — in fact, using her abilities will only give her more material to work with. Since Grief is also the material Witches and their barriers are made from, it can be shaped into virtually any form or function, giving her what amounts to an Imagination-Based Superpower, and making her a Man of Kryptonite to the setting's primary threat. On top of that, she's also essentially a Fourth-Wall Observer, and possesses the knowledge of anyone regularly reading and posting in the thread — including the entire plot of the original story. Because of this, the focus of the story ends up shifting heavily, from a struggle for survival to attempting to untangle the Dysfunction Junction that is the show's primary cast and the Crapsack World that is the entire setting.
  • Shows up repeatedly in Quantity of Quirks:
    • In the first snippet, Izuku is basically a teenage version of Kaido and is roughly on par with All Might without using his transformative powers.
    • The fifth snippet subverts the idea. Izuku's Quirk is based off Sun Wukong, making him a Lightning Bruiser with Combo Platter Powers. In canon, he'd be laughably overpowered, but here, several other students and heroes are vastly more powerful. Examples include Yoruichi, Rias Gremory, and Quetzalcoatl.
    • The seventh snippet makes Izuku into an Expy of Garou, allowing him to utterly flatten everyone but Ochako who, while not as strong, has undergone similar training and has a more powerful version of her canon quirk. Izuku's proof that he's so powerful despite being Quirkless has Re-Destro declare that his death is the number one goal of the Meta Liberation Army.
    • Lastly, in the ninth snippet, Izuku's Quirk gives him powers based on the first video game he earns 100% Completion on. The first game Izuku completes? Fate/stay night. Izuku ends up with the powers of Gilgamesh as a result. (See the Visual Novel folder for more details.) Word of God states that he initially intended for Izuku to gain powers from any video game he earns 100% Completion on, only to realize that Gilgamesh alone makes Izuku "hilariously overpowered" and that further powers would be completely unnecessary.
  • The Doom Slayer in Remnant Inferis: DOOM has many of his strongest weapons taken away by Atlas so that his fights don't become too one-sided in his favor. Even still, he's ludicrously powerful, having the strength to rip people and Grimm apart like tissue paper and the durability to tank blows that even the toughest users of Aura would be subdued by. To get around this, whenever Beacon is undergoing a demonic threat, he's busy somewhere else.
  • In RE-TAKE, Shinji for the first two chapters displays the power to kill Arael by swatting it out of the sky with his AT-field. Later when Asuka gets pregnant, the power he had is passed onto his child, but Ghost-Asuka apparently had the same power and when she managed to forgive him she allows him to easily defeat the MP-Evas.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness: In Act III and beyond, Luna and Falla's chrono magic easily makes them among the most powerful of Tsukune's gang, if not the most powerful, to the extent that they were instrumental in the gang's defeat of Alucard in Act IV. Naturally, the author keeps coming up with ways to keep them from going all out to prevent them from rendering everyone else useless, such as the Almighty's law forbidding them from actual Time Travel, the risk of chrono dementia, the risk of getting preyed upon by chrono wraiths, and Babylon keeping track of their chrono magic in order to capture them.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack has Pyre, who can read minds, has a Compelling Voice, limited precognition, minor telekinesis, and above all has epic-level pyrokinesis that makes her a Person of Mass Destruction. Word of God is that that's why she had to be killed off.
  • Showa & Vampire ran into this just with sheer size of its cast, almost all of whom have superpowers of one form or another, the most prominent among them being akin to gods after a couple arcs (To list off just one of them, he has the power to change into the form of any Kamen Rider from an entire era of the show's history a la Kamen Rider Decade complete with all of the original's combat experience and a Super Mode combining all of their strength and abilities, but what's more any form he can assume he can change any of his friends to as well with any powers they get stacking with any they already have, an X-Men-style mutant power to control the flow of time and in the godly Omega tier on top that, gains an unremovable jewel that instills him with the power and essence of a divine dragon creature, has five of the seven types of Dying Will Flames from Reborn! (2004), and Train Heartnet's gun). This requires a lot of Forgot About His Powers to make Kamen Rider-style Monsters of the Week a credible threat to them. The most dramatic example is probably the character who's a Technopath who can mentally hack computers, make battle robots form themselves out of junk, and instantly repurpose everyday machines into deadly weapons with his powers. And when all the villains cyborgs...it's just as well he never thought of what he should've been able to do. The kicker is the villains are in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation: the reason they keep attacking the heroes is to capture them to exploit their powers. But even if you believe a Showa-type evil organization can make monsters capable of defeating such powerful heroes, wouldn't the fact that they can create monsters powerful enough to do the job mean they don't need to capture the heroes to exploit their powers?
  • From the Worm/Heroes crossover fanfic Skittering Thief :
    • The fic shows how devastating a power like Arthur Petrelli's can really be when it's the protagonist who has them. Taylor's ability to permanently steal the powers of others makes every cape around utterly terrified of her regardless of whether they are a villain or not. She starts off with only a few powers taken from a few capes mostly by accident, but by the end has absorbed so many powers she's able to fight off Endbringers by herself and survive. The only one more feared than her is Sylar, but even then that only lasts up until she absorbs the power of an Endbringer. By the end, Taylor has gained so many by one mean or another that she all but claims to have become God, and seeing as she has taken powers from all twenty Endbringer, Eden's corpse and then Scion itself, along with the intent to absorb every other member of its kind, she has a pretty good claim.
    • To a lesser extent, the Heroes-verse powers in general are pretty devastating in the universe of Worm. They come off as far simpler in practice, but far more effective in use since they don't come without drawbacks. The power that really makes the difference in the final battle is Claire's regeneration. As it's a healing power far greater than anything either Scion or Eden ever had and can be used without expending energy... and the power that lets Taylor beat the entity without any effort.
  • Taylor Varga has Taylor Hebert gain the powers of the Varga from the anime Luna Varga. These powers include Super Strength, Super Senses, Nigh-Invulnerability, Spontaneous Weapon Creation and Instant Armor, and Voluntary Shapeshifting. And that's just for starters. To put it into perspective, this power is so great that the Endbringers just nope out if there's even a chance of getting within a stone's throw of Taylor.
  • In the There Was Once an Avenger from Krypton series, the Hulk, Thor, and Supergirl are this for the Avengers. All of them are major winners of the Superpower Lottery and are in the same weight class when it comes to raw overall power. Circumventing the issue with the former two, Banner rarely ever lets the Hulk out due to fear of the damage and destruction he would cause, while Thor is rarely on Earth. Supergirl, however, gets to show how effortlessly someone with this level of power would take care of most threats when put on a team comprised of mostly badass normals, Charles Atlas Superpower, or those in Power Armor. Chapter 23 of The Girl Who Could Knock Out the Hulk brutally deconstructs this trope when Doctor Doom makes his appearance. He casually dismantles the whole team and stabs Kara with a Kryptonite dagger, all while chastizing them for being too reliant on her to win things when they're not enough.
  • In Total Drama Infinite, Deadpool has Medium Awareness that allows him to read the fic's script and predict exactly what's going to happen at any given point. Since this would essentially allow him to circumvent the other competitors' strategies, topple the villain's alliance and prevent his own elimination at will, he promises not to use it again for the author's sake.
  • In With Strings Attached, Ringo is able to mentally see anything he's ever seen before, and can work his way into unfamiliar places from a familiar starting point, including people and unique objects. And he can do it effortlessly and indefinitely. And he can see perfectly in the dark. And he can see things as small as atoms. And he never holds the Idiot Ball. The concept of "information is power" really applies with him. He's also telekinetic, with an enormous range. Thus, unless you magically hide yourself from him, he will fuck you up—and the plot along with you. As Jeft discovered to his sorrow.
  • Yet again, with a little extra help:
    • The Oogakari, a family of OC God Mode Sues that jump into canon and mess with the plot and help the main characters sort of behind the scenes, but they are far more interested in seeing how messed up things will be once the new plot unfurls than actually bringing peace to the world. The supposed leader of the family, Ghost, is a walking Class Z apocalypse via his time space burning fire, which gives him the power of "denial of phenomena". In layman's terms, he can negate anyone, anything, any EVENT, any CAUSALITY, any MEMORY, any WORLD, any GOD, or any DIMENSION he wishes by burning the time space that makes them up. This includes the events that possess anytime he dies or gets hurt as well. He is confirmed to be the absolute end of his multiverse and can enact it anytime he wants, but doesn't because "he isn't that big of an asshole."
    • His Sister, Shadow, is right up there as she contains the supposed Goddess (Demon Dragon Goddess... Thing) Zuzushi, that created their multiverse. As a result she has obtained the ability to "create all from nothing." It's been stated but not shown that she is easily capable of manifesting universes on a whim, and even contemplated destroying and recreating the Narutoverse the current story was in after Ghost trapped her in it while a major event occurred in another universe
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Extra CCC: Path to the King: Hakuno's deck is filled with original cards based on the Heroic Spirits from Fate/EXTRA. This deck comes packed with support cards that give his monsters insane attack boosts and special abilities, and that's only if the Heroic Spirit monster in question doesn't already have an unbalanced effect or two of its own. His deck is so powerful that none of his duels last more than 5 turns, and keep in mind the duels in the fanfic have both players start with 8000 Life Points. And if that weren't enough, his Servants are very much still able to materialize in the real world and kill people.

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin has the Genie, who with phenomenal cosmic powers can do anything aside from killing someone, forcing someone to fall in love, or bringing people Back from the Dead (though Genie implies that he can perform resurrections, but simply doesn't like doing so). The catch is he is unable to use these powers for himself, having instead made to grant wishes to anyone who wields the lamp he is trapped in. This was key to Aladdin defeating Jafar, when the latter wished to become a Genie.
    • After he's freed in the first movie, Genie's powers are demoted to "semi-phenomenal, nearly cosmic" for the sequels and Aladdin: The Series, and gets to hold the Idiot Ball frequently.
  • Bolt, which is about a dog who thinks he's a superhero when in fact he's simply an actor. One of his powers in his show is a super powerful bark that can destroy... like 100 mooks, helicopters and cars all at once. Though it's only useful in large open spaces without innocent bystanders.
  • The Incredibles: Some of Jack-Jack's powers are grouped in-universe as "molecular self-manipulation", which is Voluntary Shapeshifting taken to the extreme. He can alter his body in ways that give him multiple powers. If he wasn't a baby and actually had control of his ability, Jack-Jack would have presented a serious challenge to the Big Bad in both films.
  • Moana: The ocean itself, which is apparently sentient and intervenes numerous times to help Moana as well as carrying the Heart of Te Fiti to her at the beginning of the film. In fact, other than the need to teach Moana and Maui their respective lessons, there is no known reason as to why the ocean could not have simply returned Te Fiti's heart to her on its own.
  • The writers of Shrek 2 originally wanted to include Dragon from the first movie, with the Happily Ever After potion turning her into a huge pegasus. But they realized that she would make the heroes' climactic prison escape and party crash too easy, so they wrote her part out. She instead appears in The Stinger, with the explanation that she just had babies.
  • Zelda from the second sequel to The Swan Princess has the power to create Seekers — homing fireballs that can find any target anywhere and never stop seeking them. The only way to stop one is to break the caster's wand. Of course, Zelda's plan is to gain the Forbidden Arts and the power to destroy — she remembers at the eleventh hour about her Seekers and sends one after Odette. It works. Temporarily.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Bruce Almighty: With the ability to do literally anything (except affect free will or tell people about his powers), Bruce's powers definitely count. The only reason there's a story at all after Bruce gets his powers is because he's too stupid to remember that he can, in his own words, clean everything up in 5 minutes if he wants to.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Superman's power is a major issue in and behind the story of both the theatrical and director's cut versions of Justice League. Basically, the story needs to be about assembling a Super Team that should include Superman because he's traditionally been a key member... but he's more powerful than the other members put together, so why do you need a team at all? Well, the forces of evil in the film wait until Superman's death in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to make their move in the first place so they don't have to deal with him. Batman starts to assemble the team to resist the upcoming invasion, but they keep losing to the villain, and he thinks it's necessary to try to resurrect Superman in spite of the risks. They succeed, but he's not immediately available to help them, so they head to the Final Battle without him. The villain beats them again, but when Superman shows up, and easily turns the tide of the battle single-handedly. This demonstrates the power difference, too: Steppenwolf is strong enough to fight Wonder Woman and Aquaman off simultaneously by himself (and they're certainly not slouches), but he's unable to land a single blow against Superman. If Superman wasn't in the film at all, the story could have been basically the same but with the team winning via a Heroic Second Wind and teamwork.
    • Nuidis Vulko in Aquaman (2018) is the best warrior among the Atlanteans who had personally trained both Arthur and Orm, which subsequently makes him an even better warrior than they are, considering how the one time he is seen fighting, he utterly destroys Arthur in a spar, and how he is repeatedly acknowledged to be capable of defeating Orm himself, and he was also a collector of many intelligence and knowledge who had started their hunt for the Trident of Atlantis. In order to prevent him from single-handedly ending the conflict or at minimum providing some much needed assistance that would have helped the two in their quest, he is only given the role of telling them about the Trident and his character is that of a peaceful and non-agressive character who relies on diplomacy and doesn't retaliate even when pushed, along with also having Arthur's defeat of Orm necessary.
    • Despite his fellow inmates initially treating him as a Joke Character, it quickly becomes clear that Polka-Dot Man is actually the single most powerful member of the team in The Suicide Squad. The fact that his polka-dots disintegrate whatever they touch means that during the Final Battle, he deals more damage to the Kaiju-sized Starro than anyone else on the Squad before being killed, seemingly to prevent him from singlehandedly finishing the fight.
  • Fantastic Beasts
    • Thus far movies dampen Grindelwald and Dumbledore's full abilities and strength since they're at their primes and are the two greatest wizards in the world, albeit to a lesser extent with the latter as he's had minimal screen time thus far, and would make literately anyone they fight look pathetic even though in reality they are quite powerful. In the first one, in order to give the heroes a chance against him, Grindewald is impersonating the head of the American Auror office Percival Graves until the last fifteen minutes of the film and even then he is still head and shoulders above everyone else. By the time he's in the subway and really starts to let loose and it's obvious he's been holding back a lot. He's about to take out a whole platoon of Aurors when he's defeated by being taken by surprise. Even though he's more out in the open in the second one, he's given the incentive to emphasize acting well-intentioned and noble to limit his fighting scenes and whenever he does fight, it's clear he is hardly serious as none of the enemies he fights are of any real threat to him. Likewise, Dumbledore is acknowledged by Grindelwald to be all but unstoppable to his men as no one but him and Credence even has a chance against him and he gets put on house arrest at Hogwarts to keep him out of the action. The final fight against him thus ends in Grindelwald curb-stomping the entire group of Ministry fighters and the heroes and he's not even really going all-out, as he was simply manipulating what was confirmed to be a dark version of the Shield Charm in the form of hellish blue fire and it alone proved enough that the only reason the main heroes are alive because one of them sacrificed themselves. It took all they had just to stop Grindelwald from burning down Paris and that's with Grindelwald having just left them and not even doing anything to power the spell. By the end of the film, they finally go straight to Dumbledore to bring into the conflict against Grindelwald the big gun they could use that really has a chance against Grindelwald after armies have proven worthless. In the third film, where the stakes are much higher, the story significantly increases their show time but it's clear that their action are still limited for story-purposes. Dumbledore only fights Credence at first rather than helping the heroes, as Credence is a powerhouse who is also at the level of story-breaker power, while Grindelwald doesn't even fight at all as he's focused on gaining the ultimate political power that would have let him achieve everything. It is only at the end, with their blood pact broken at the crucial moment where Grindelwald was about to kill everyone else, that Dumbledore finally fights against Grindelwald, and he even makes it a point to take them to a special dimension so their fight doesn't cause much damage.
    • Queenie Goldstein is such a powerful, natural Legilimens (mind reader) that the story has to find workarounds to keep her from knowing everything. This is mostly done by having her interact with non-Americans because she admits to the British protagonist Newt towards the end of the first movie that she has trouble even with understanding native English speakers who have different accents' thoughts. The second movie establishes while she can read the thoughts of non-native English speakers, she can't understand them. In that movie, she doesn't speak to a native English speaker from the time she leaves Newt's house at about the half hour mark until she meets back up with everyone at the rally in the third act. She gets lost in Paris looking for her sister and has a breakdown in the street when she's drowned out by a bunch of French speakers that sound like gibberish to her. Grindelwald and his followers quickly swoop in and take advantage of the language barrier to try to manipulate her into joining them. Vinda Rosier, who's French, helps her off the street and gets her into their hideout and he (also not a native English speaker) personally gives her his recruitment spiel since she can't understand their thoughts. He later wins her over at the rally. Although given what a powerful wizard he is, there was also a bit of Occulemency involved to keep her out of his mind, which is likely how she was kept in the dark about his impersonation of Percival Graves in the first movie.
    • Newt's collection of beasts include some of the deadliest creatures in the world, making him capable of pulling off sudden and rather easy solutions to problems when he truly wants to use them. The story thus makes sure to have him rely mostly on his natural abilities and give him the personality of a creature-loving guy to make sure pulling out his creatures and using them is the last thing he'll do and only at the most dire of circumstances. In the first film, he is left without much of his creatures as they escape and can't exactly use what remains to fight fire with fire given that he is a wanted guy and has to be cautious and that kind of a ruckus would instantly let him be captured. Without that limitation, a Swooping Evil single-handedly lets him and Tina escape certain death within moments and even captures Grindelwald himself. In the second film, he uses a Zowu to casually beat back Matagots and reach the place of the final battle, but leaves his case, leaving only his Niffler to be used against Grindelwald. As if recognizing this, the third film entirely puts Newt's beasts and case on the sidelines by giving it a role that means he can't use it, meaning he can rely on only his Niffler and Bowtruckle.
  • In the DVD Commentary for The Lord of the Rings extended version, Peter Jackson points out and jokes about it that Gandalf could not use the magic he used to turn away the forces of Mordor a second time because he used up all the power in his staff, "And all the shops in Minas Tirith were sold out of batteries."
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • As with the X-Men version, Quicksilver's Super Speed rigs many fights in his favor. His speed is great enough that he can travel across vast distances in very short times, and everyone around him appears to be standing still while he's running in a fight. He smugly asks Hawkeye "You didn't see that coming?" on one occasion. He would have been problematic to write around for future films, such as the below-mentioned Civil War, so it's a silent blessing for the writers that he dies in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
    • Speaking of Age of Ultron, The Vision wields Mjolnir in the final battle against the titular villain... and that's the last time Vision and Thor ever interact in the MCU, to prevent him from doing to everyone else what he does to Ultron and his army.
    • According to Word of God, this is a major reason both the Incredible Hulk and Thor were excluded from Captain America: Civil War. They're so much more powerful than most of the other heroes that they'd tilt the balance of power ridiculously in favor of whichever team they ended up on. Vision is also used very sparingly during the airport fight scene, not doing much until the end of the battle, while Spider-Man and Giant-Man, normally powerful but not ridiculously overpowered superheroes, quickly turn the tide of battle for their respective sides.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: With his Yaka arrow and a prototype controller, Yondu Udonta is able to single-handedly put down about 100 members of his mutinous crew with almost hilarious ease and no danger to himself, Kraglin, Rocket, or Groot. With him as a loyal ally, a lot of potential enemies and threats would become far less threatening, so his Heroic Sacrifice for Peter, while saddening, did not come as a huge shock to savvy viewers.
    • Thor: Ragnarok has Hela, the Goddess of Death. Hela is strong enough to crush Thor's hammer and can take down most of Asgard all by herself with ease. The only reason why she loses is because of Surtur at full power; even Hulk and and a newly god-powered Thor couldn't do anything to her!
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, Vision is badly injured when he and Wanda are ambushed in a sneak attack early on, and is unable to use his Intangibility the rest of the film. This conveniently allows the bad guys to fight him on more equal footing and prevents him from serving as a Deus ex Machina at key points.
    • Infinity War makes it clear Doctor Strange is the strongest (non-Super Serum-charged, non-Infinity Stone-powered) regular human in the MCU bar none, being the only character other than Thor who's able to fight Thanos on roughly even footing with a dizzying array of superpowers — trapping Thanos in prison dimensions, restraining him with bands of energy, summoning an army of illusory clones to distract him, and in one particularly memorable instance catching a literal black hole that Thanos throws at him and turning it into butterflies. Moreover, he and his allies very nearly win against Thanos without the help of the other heavy-hitter Avengers like the Vision, Scarlet Witch, Hulk, or Thor. And all of this is without the use of the Time Stone except for looking into the future. Conveniently, he's one of the heroes to get dusted in the Snap to keep him from teaming up with the stronger Avengers and making Endgame a walk in the park.
    • Wanda Maximoff:
      • By the time of Infinity War, Wanda is powerful enough to hold her own against Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight, destroy the Mind Stone-empowered Vision at his own urging with one hand while simultaneously holding back an advancing Thanos—who also has the other five Infinity Stones on his gauntlet—with the other. (Admittedly, she did have the other Wakanda-based Avengers trying to halt Thanos in his approach, but the emphasis here is on "trying".) Earlier in the battle, after spending her time sidelined while protecting Vision, she also swoops in to thin the ranks of the Outriders by dropping giant threshers on them, and kills Proxima Midnight (who was able to keep both Black Widow and Okoye at bay), the former of which is mercilessly lampshaded by Okoye: "Why was she up there all this time?"
      • Like Doctor Strange, Wanda's dusted by the Snap to level the playing field for Avengers: Endgame, which then proceeds to justify that exclusion when she returns for the final battle and quite literally tosses Thanos around like a rag doll, breaks his sword (which had withstood hits from Mjolnir and Stormbreaker, and torn chunks from Cap's shield), and rips chunks of armor off his body like tissue paper while suspending him in mid-air. If not for Thanos calling in an airstike that also decimated his own forces, Wanda would have undoubtedly killed him.
      • It is brought up in WandaVision when it's debated between Monica Rambeau and Jimmy Woo who's stronger between Wanda and Carol Danvers (see below). WandaVision also suggests she's on track to quickly become one of the most powerful beings in the universe by a wide margin, revealing Wanda to be the Scarlet Witch, a legendary witch capable of manipulating Chaos Magic for various purposes—including bending reality through a complex array of spells to turn an entire New Jersey town into her ideal sitcom reality while brainwashing its inhabitants into acting out roles in her fantasy, and simultaneously creating new life in the form of a "resurrected" Vision and their twin sons. All by complete accident! And this is before she gets her hands on the Darkhold...
      • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness solves the issue of having a Reality Warper on the heroes' side by making her the villain instead. She's an Implacable slasher movie monster that the heroes have absolutely no chance of stopping, at best only stalling her while they try to escape. They're only able to defeat her by causing her to have a "My God, What Have I Done?" moment. It's no surprise that she ends the movie with a (seeming) Heroic Sacrfice that destroys every copy of the Darkhold (and thus the source of her more ridiculous powers) across the Multiverse.
    • The biggest example is Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos is already strong enough to Curb-Stomp Battle the Hulk without any stones or assistance, is already the most powerful being in the universe with just two stones, and at no point does it seem like Thanos will lose in Infinity War except for the fight on Titan, and once he has the Time Stone, his victory is in the bag (since anything the heroes do after that will only slow him down by a few minutes at best). The writers even added the requirement to move the Gauntlet's fingers so he wouldn't be completely unstoppable. By the time he has all six stones, only Thor can kill him with Stormbreaker, which he'd spent the entire film constructing, but misses Thanos's head and instead goes for his heart, allowing Thanos to do the Snap. And the Russos said even that attack only worked because Thor took Thanos by surprise.
    • This actually becomes a plot point in Endgame, when the Avengers track Thanos down on his garden planet so they can use the Stones to reverse the Snap, only to find that Thanos destroyed them to prevent both further temptation and to keep his actions from being undone.
    • Endgame also provides a very convenient (for the writers) explanation as to why the Infinity Stones can't just be used willy-nilly to wipe out every problem the Avengers face: when Tony Stark uses them, he's killed from the strain of being subjected to so much energy. Even the Hulk and Thanos, who are much larger and stronger than regular humans by about a factor of ten or more, suffer severe burn scars and injuries from performing Snapture-level reality warping.
    • As noted above, Thor becomes this in Infinity War on account of Stormbreaker, an enchanted axe he personally forges with the help of Eitri for the sole purpose of enacting revenge on Thanos. With it, he's able to summon the Bifrost on his own for quick travel across space (getting around the issue caused by Thanos killing off Heimdall early in the film—itself done to prevent the heroes from easily teaming up to counteract the Mad Titan), effortlessly turns the tides of the Battle of Wakanda mere moments after his arrival, and even proves capable of curb-stomping Thanos while he's wielding all six Infinity Stones (albeit via the element of surprise). He's scaled back in Endgame by having him gain a lot of weight due to depression over his failure to prevent the Snap and wallow in a alcohol-induced haze over the next five years.
    • Word of God confirms that Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, is the most powerful superhero in MCU. In the climax of her own movie after she finally unlocks her powers, she completely wipes the floor with Ronan's Kree bombing fleet effortlessly and can travel through space at the speed of light. This is why (in-universe) she never appeared in any of the previous movies beforehand, as she alone can singlehandedly solve any conflict the Avengers got themselves into with ease, and only shows up to join the team when things are at their bleakest in Avengers: Endgame. (To wit, Nick Fury alludes to the idea of a Godzilla Threshold by saying they won't need to summon her if they do their jobs right, highlighting how dire circumstances are when he does make the call while the Snap's taking effect during The Stinger of Infinity War.) Carol promptly does more damage to the villains than every other hero in the MCU does in the same fight, starting with her completely destroying Thanos' ship by herself. She does still end up defeated by Thanos, but it's shot in a way that makes it clear she would have been able to overpower him if not for some quick thinking on Thanos' part (by temporarily taking the Power Stone out of its spot in the gauntlet, transferring it to his non-gauntlet hand, and then punching Carol).
  • The Matrix:
    • The sequels have this problem with Neo, as at the end of the first film he is essentially a god of the Matrix, with the power to do anything he damn well pleases while inside it. Because of this the writers had to considerably tone down his powers from Reloaded onward (going from a Reality Warper to a Flying Brick), and up the villain threat. Of course, at the end of the first film, the writers didn't know if the movie would be popular enough for a sequel, so this is Hand Waved in the sequel as the Agents got an upgrade.
    • The Telephone Teleport requires a specific type of hard line to allow a user to return to their hovercraft, preventing them from conveniently escaping using only a mobile phone. Otherwise, to escape the Matrix, all you'd need to do is grab someone's mobile device and easily escape any dangerous situation. The significance of the hard line is that it represents a reliable sure fire way to jack into the simulation that mobile phones can not replicate.
  • In Return to Oz, the Ruby Slippers become a literal story-breaker once the Nome King is defeated and Dorothy recovers them. Everything is repaired, and the story pretty much ends.
  • Force Users in Star Wars have this trope in hand whenever a Non-Force User is the opponent. The telekinesis they all have alone should make any battles between a Force User and Non-Force User a Curbstomp Battle in the former's favor every time, not to mention their other powers. So with any stories that involve one a Drama-Preserving Handicap is made or the writers simply have a Force User not use much if any of their abilities just to give the Non-Force Users a reason to exist. This is largely thanks to Sequel Escalation; in the original trilogy telekinesis and similar powers were slow and required intense concentration, so it was genuinely a good tactic to take advantage of their precognitive reflexes and focus on swordfighting. In later entries, their telekinesis and other powers have been boosted so much that if anything the lightsaber slows them down.
  • Galvatron (a.k.a. Megatron) from Transformers: Age of Extinction, owing to his origins as a KSI creation, transforms not by shifting his parts around like other Transformers, but by becoming a cloud of Transformium. This, combined with his lack of a Spark, effectively renders him nigh-invincible. Come Transformers: The Last Knight, and this ability of his is conspicuously and inexplicably absent.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Professor Charles Xavier's Telepathy is such that most of the movies would be over very, very quickly if he did not frequently get incapacitated or rendered powerless in some way.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Quicksilver gets Put on a Bus after the Pentagon raid because, as that raid shows, he is downright unstoppable. While moving at Super Speed, simply tapping a person is the equivalent of getting hit by a heavyweight boxer, and he can take out an entire room of armed guards so quickly that their bullets weren't even able to reach the people they had shot at when he started. In X-Men: Apocalypse he saves the entire class from a giant explosion and is the first character to put up a fight and hurt Apocalypse. In X-Men: Days of Future Past the writers deal with this by making his character so young and immature that he just doesn't care to join them once the interesting part (for him) is over, and in X-Men: Apocalypse Apocalypse breaks his leg to incapacitate him. His powers proved to be such a hassle that in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, he spends the majority of the film in a coma after getting injured by the Phoenix during the first act.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Nightcrawler's energy level drains rapidly if he teleports too many people at the same time, and he's inert for part of the Final Battle. John Ottman divulges in the "Unlimited Powers: VFX, Stunts and Set Pieces" featurette on the Blu-Ray the reason for the limitation on the character's endurance.
      Ottman: This is why we knocked Nightcrawler out. Because for the whole third act, if he's around, he can just bamf people endlessly.

    Podcasts 
  • Thrilling Adventure Hour: The Force Galactic, which grants its wielder more or less omnipotence. The Barkeep has it much of the series, and the only reason why he does not use it to solve problems with the snap of his fingers is because his wife forbids him from using it in his place, leaving Sparks Nevada or the others usually fix the situation without his help. That said, he does sometimes bend the rules a bit, such as by using the powers outside his place and on other, far away planets.

    Tabletop Games 
  • What makes a given power a "story-breaker" or not in a tabletop RPG context is often the involved group's (especially the GM's) ability and willingness to cope with it in their personal game...or lack thereof, of course. Player character power issues can also be aggravated by the not uncommon tacit assumption that the "PC halo" comes with a fair degree of Hero Insurance, cushioning the characters against what might otherwise be logical consequences of using their powers. For example, the effectiveness of the "scry-and-die" tactic below relies a lot on any prospective targets of potential teleporting assassins imitating Orcus and rarely if ever actually getting proactive about patching that hole in their security.
    • The joy of being a DM is that you have your own story-breaker power in the form of being able to change things before they resolve; it's fairly easy to roleplay a boss that's far better at Gambit Roulette than the actual DM playing him. A boss monster that thinks ahead when the DM also thought ahead puts up scrying protections to prevent the teleport trick — a boss that thinks ahead when the DM did not think ahead just had a permanent illusion of a throne room put in over a pit of poisoned spikes after the last group of adventurers tried the same thing. And a DM that didn't think ahead and feels that the players were CHEATING on them (perhaps because the players somehow obtained spells they weren't supposed to be able to afford at their level) will point out that since the players didn't see through the illusion (which they cannot do through a scrying spell), the fall surprises them, meaning they cannot roll a save to avoid hitting the spikes. Though it really needs to be handled carefully, since pulling this off too often just makes it look like the GM is punishing the players for thinking outside the box.
  • Aberrant characters are able to break any possible story once they get powers in the level four or five range. At will, they can make massive hive-minds, destroy the entire ecosystem of Earth, or will humanity into extinction.
  • One Miraculous Arc in Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine is dedicated to having these and festooning them with limitations so that the story can survive. It's known as Reality Syndrome. Generally, they are limited by a) time constraints on how often you can use them, and b) a diagram giving the HG progressively more elaborate opportunities to mess things up as the wish strays further from the character's core truths.
  • Player characters in Continuum start out with these by default, as a spanner's most basic ability is the power to travel through time and space at will. Later on they can develop a number of psychic abilities like telekinesis, pyrokinesis, hypnosis, telepathy, and more. The GM chapter of the book even starts the section on game balance by warning the GM that "The characters in Continuum are the most powerful ever designed for an RPG. They can teleport and travel time at will. And they will show off every chance they get."
  • The rulebooks for The Dresden Files make suggestions on this front in two ways. In the section on building opposition, most of the guidelines are along the lines of taking your villain and giving them powers equal in cost to the Player Party's. It suggests you create a group of antagonists instead, since as the party gets more powerful, the villain's powers would make them damn near impossible to fight effectively if the model was followednote . It also suggests that Harry Dresden himself might be one, and gives suggestions for taking him out of the picture. Needless to say, Harry's margin comments are less than enthused about it.
    Harry: Billy, this whole section DISTURBS me. I'm making this face at you. Like, the one in the picture right here.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Spellcasters in earlier editions had spells to duplicate every power in the trope description, and spellcasters can learn large numbers of spells.
    • In fact, spells in general are considered to be this, but a few schools in particular take most of the blame: Divination (whose wide variety of information-gathering spells makes running any sort of mystery or puzzle extremely difficult), Conjuration (a big one, as teleportation invalidates most needs for traveling, and the ability to summon aid bogs down combat, when the summoner isn't just calling up godlike beings), and Transmutation (mostly for the Polymorph line: why be Pals with Jesus when you can just become Jesus?).
    • With high-level characters, one of the simplest and most dangerous strategies is commonly called "Scry and Die" — instead of traversing a dungeon or an elaborate plot to track down the Big Bad for an epic confrontation, the players scry out his location with magic, then buff up (and occasionally stop time) before teleporting in and killing the unfortunate enemy very, very quickly]] (or fetching whatever their goal is to fetch, and so forth.)
    • Repeatedly casting the "Love's Pain" spell (someone the target loves takes damage, cannot be stopped) on a Mook who you have given Fake Memories of loving your enemy...
    • Even low-level spells can be a pain in the DM's butt. Take "Knock", which undoes any mundane lock (and some magical locks too), instantly and 100% reliably.
    • The Wish spell, which is pretty much as it sounds. The player wishes for anything to happen and reality will reshape itself to make it come true. There are some limitations, and some downsides. The spell is difficult to obtain and cast, and drains the life force of the caster (read: XP loss) to empower the events. If the wish is something too insane, the caster may die without yielding enough power to make it happen. Second, and usually even more importantly, you should be very careful what you wish for. Just wishing for a lot of gold, for example, may result in all the gold in every king's treasury teleported to you. However, how you will explain that to their armies that are sure to follow is not in the scope of the spell. In fact, the GM is specifically instructed on what wishes to give them a chance, in Second Edition, and if the players ask for more, to make SURE they regret it.
    • Miracle, the divine flavor of Wish, is even more enhanced: The spell-replicating function of Miracle carries no XP burn and can duplicate the effects of ANY 7th level spell or lower and ANY 8th level Domain spell or lower. Only the massively broken reality-warping function of the spell incurs a possible XP burn. Also, Miracle is not a spell cast so much as a supplication made of a deity, removing the possibility of the spellcaster receiving any magical backlash — of course, if the deity in question (which is to say, the DM) doesn't feel like granting the request, Miracle may simply fail, or end up worse.
      • Miracle is particularly potent when used by an Ur-Priest, a 3.5 prestige class whose schtick is stealing magic from gods and priests. The god's choices are no longer relevant; since the fluff is that the character is stealing the power from the deity in the first place, the deity no longer needs to approve or disapprove; the caster simply uses the stolen power in whatever manner she chooses. And this would entail no greater or lesser retribution than stealing any other 9th level spell, so if an Ur-Priest is casting 9ths, they've been dealing with that for a while.
    • Craft Contingent Spell (cast a spell in advance, it triggers when a condition is met) and Celerity (take an extra action, even in the middle of another character's turnnote ) can be extremely powerful even when used separately, but Contingent Celerity makes the user impossible to catch by surprise. Throw Time Stop into the mix and well...
    • The infamous Glibness spell from 3.5: a Bard-exclusive spell available at level 7 that gives a +30 bonus to Bluff checks for the purpose of telling lies, a bonus big enough to give you a chance to deceive a character 30 levels higher than you are and make this task almost impossible to fail against characters of your own level. At a time when rules were poorly worded and succeeding to lie with a Bluff check would force the second party to take your word as absolute truth, this spell had the potential to wreck a scenario entirely. Later, after changes in wording switching from "the NPC believes you" to "the NPC doesn't notice you are lying", a very far-fetched or implausible lie would result in the NPC to question your sanity instead of blindly believing you, depending on what your GM thinks is the most logical outcome.
    • This trope is the main reasoning behind the Character Tiers in most editions: not pure power, but the ability to just completely invalidate entire storylines planned by the DM without even trying. A barbarian might be able to kill the Big Bad in one hit, but he still has to get there. Meanwhile, journey across dangerous land? Teleport. Murder mystery? Raise Dead. Find the traitor? Detect Thoughts. Stop a plague? Remove Disease. Low on funds? Fabricate. Foil an assassination? Magnificent Mansion. Learn the Big Bad's weakness? Legend Lore. Interrogate someone? Charm Person. Hold off an invading army? More spells than can be named. These can be planned around by the DM - for instance, declaring that the place the party needs to go to has some kind of magic that makes teleporting unreliable - but that's still a deliberate effort being made just so the plot can work, and the DM has to take all the spells the character has learned and might learn into account. The definition of Tier 1 is a character who has the potential to learn or at least duplicate pretty much every spell and switch them out regularly, meaning the DM has to pay specific attention to the character's daily loadout just to make sure they don't accidentally skip a third of the adventure.
  • Warp is extremely powerful in GURPS, so much so that it is explicitly banned for players in the Dungeon Fantasy books. The authors did eventually cave and add it in with the requirement that the player take a small Unusual Background named "Ha-ha! I Can Teleport!" and isn't able to improve it.
  • The Hero System traditionally marks those powers that its designers consider to be this trope with warning icons. GM discretion is still required since the system also allows its "stock" building block powers to be modified N ways from Sunday and so the power level of the final result may end up being radically different (in either direction) from the assumed base, but the issue itself is explicitly acknowledged.
  • In Iron Kingdoms, Lord Toruk the Dragon Father is a Physical God who created his own empire with himself as the God-Emperor. The only reason he doesn't just go and burn down the mainland himself is ironically the same reason he needs an army in the first place; he's always worried about the other dragons ganging up on him if he makes any moves, so he's trying to build an army to hunt them down individually, or at least soften them up.
  • Mage: The Awakening: Mages in general. Any Arcanum from two dots can do thing which would be considered broken in any other game (for example, absolute immunity to any mundane threats), and from three dots Storyteller needs to start thinking very carefully about how to challenge his players. Adepts and Masters are even more powerful, and bend reality in almost any way they like. And then you have Archmages, who can literally do anything, as long as their rivals and hostile gods don't mind.
  • A lot of the drama in Nobilis comes from how everyone and their dog has these and is not shy about throwing them around. That said, due to a particular quirk of reality caused by it being written in a language of flowers, anyone, noble or otherwise, can add some changes of their own, and because this kind of reality tampering is, so to say, rewriting the rules rather than playing along with them, nobles could well see their own powers and domain yanked right from them without any say in the matter. Thus, the DM is outright told none of the players should be granted any related power. Third edition adds a wrinkle where you can do anything, but pushing your power too far - say, using power over snakes to create an Aaron's Serpent, who are snake-shaped gods - causes Actuals to come out of the substrate of reality and start absorbing things, and a few days later you end up with a ship eating Chicago or something similarly difficult to repair.
  • One of the theories for why the Ancients in Traveller went extinct is that they had reached such a high technology level, that their powers were near limitless, and they quickly got bored of everything, and decided to end their race.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Primarchs and the God-Emperor are obscenely powerful even for the setting (the first action of Leman Russ after birth was to climb out of a volcano, and later in life all of them casually crushed Greater Daemons), and if they were still around it would devastate the Status Quo Is God so beloved by the writers. Hence they have all, in one way or another, been out of action for ten thousand years, with the Emperor immobilised (possibly dead) and directing the Astronomicon, and the Primarchs either dead, incapacitated, lost, or in the case of the surviving Traitor Primarchs simply content to sit in the Eye of Terror. There is a very good reasons for this, as the one time a Primarch (Angron) decided to do something, he conquered approximately seventy sectors before the Imperium could direct a large enough force against him.
    • The Ultramarines Primarch was eventually brought out of stasis and allowed to speak with the Emperor and take a good hard look at the way the Imperium has been crumbling since his absence. He started working on getting the Imperium back in shape and actually started making progress... but now the galaxy is somehow even worse off, with massive Warp storms cutting off entire systems.
    • The C'tan had as much power in the material realm as Greater Daemons do in the warp (i.e. Reality Warper levels), fed on stars, and commanded vast armies of Necrons which they created in the first place. They caused so many problems with their mere presence that 5th Edition retconned them into having been shattered into pieces by the Necrons millions of years ago, and the C'tan that had been encountered were nothing but fairly mindless, much weaker fragments of the originals.
    • The Tyranids can strip a whole planet of biomass, oceans and atmosphere included, in a matter of months, are effectively limitless (the number of creatures in a swarm is reliant on how much biomass they've consumed, and they've already eaten several galaxies), their Hive Mind projects a shadow in the warp that disrupts psykers and daemons within dozens of light years of it, and most critically they have no Enemy Civil War, unlike every other major threat in the setting. Like the Borg mentioned above there has been no good reason given as to why they haven't already eaten everything in the galaxy and been on their merry way except that they don't travel between systems as fast as other species.
    • The Orks. Just as limitless as the 'nids (they reproduce by emitting spores when they die), they have an instinctive mastery of technology to the point where their teleporters work better than the humans', and the average ork is seven feet tall. They're believed to have been created in order to counter the aforementioned Necrons, and they currently have a Forever War going on with the Tyranids where both sides are evenly matched and getting stronger by the day. The only reason they haven't taken over the galaxy yet is that they have an Enemy Civil War whenever their top leader dies. The War of the Beast was an event where that last one didn't happen long enough for a warboss the size of a building to establish power, meaning they actually started getting smarter and disciplined with better weapons and even diplomats. It took most of the Imperium and one of the Primarchs (one who can't die, at that) to finally defeat him.
  • Rather common in White Wolf material.
    • Exalted:
      • The entire premise of the game is an effort to quantify, formalize, and tame these... with at best mixed success. For the "out-of-combat" part, it is entirely possible, even common, for starting or at least very inexperienced characters to have infallible lie detectors, similarly perfect True Sight against any sensory illusions/invisibility, capacity to create things out of thin air and, soon enough, reshape matter (that includes the proverbial "punching someone into a frog"), form supernaturally binding contracts (itself a huge plot-breaker in competent hands), summoning and binding a HUGE array of demons with pretty much any special shtick one cares to think about, and, in the separate sub-system of "social combat" ability to persuade anyone of anything, "magically", e.g. defying subject's common sense, and possibly giving openly suicidal orders. In other words, even before we go to combat, it's extremely challenging to come up with a complicated plot with mysteries and twists that a competent "power-oriented" player group won't just barge through on the back of their abilities, often with no rolls or with rolls which are nigh-impossible to fail. Oh, and there's a reroll built in characters from the start for those fancy unlucky moments.
      • This doesn't even cover 2e's combat system, which quickly leads to perfect attacks being deflected by perfect defenses — there are ones for every case, against being shaped into a frog, against being mind-raped, and plainly against getting hit/taking damage, with the latter explicitly being able to "defend" against acid rains, swimming in lava and other things not realistically dodgeable or blockable. Because almost any hit landed can and will be supplemented with either some kind of instant-incapacitation/death effect or just plain lethal amounts of damage dice.
      • This brought about so-called "Paranoia Combat": characters sitting behind layers of perfect defenses while trying to force opponents to spend more mana on theirs (by way of multiple attacks, mostly). Characters' mana pool (called Essence) is actually their "life points" and whoever runs out first, by virtue of less efficient build or plainly having less maximum to begin with, tends to splatter gruesomely. It doesn't help that, officially, "power tiers" of various kinds of supernaturals in the system differ by their maximum mana pools and the costs of their defenses, with weaker ones having both at a disadvantage. It also leads to rather uh-oh "accounting" playstyle where high-class supernaturals barely ever roll dice on attacks, more often just comparing their mana pools and attrition rates.
    • Vampire: The Masquerade:
      • Caine. Want to fight him? You lose. That's all his card says.
      • Similarly, all the Level 10 disciplines belong exclusively to the antediluvians and are described solely as a "plot device" able to accomplish whatever the vampire in question needs it to accomplish. Some given examples include Absimiliard, the Nosferatu founder, unleashing a plague of pests to Diablerize the entire global population of vampires, and Tremere attempting to mind control the global population of humans.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE:
    • The Makuta species has 42 base powers, a strengthened version of the elemental power of shadow, highly dangerous mask powers, and Teridax even possessed secret knowledge about the workings of the universe, allowing him to manipulate matter at will. Plus, they're Energy Beings with no biological needs who can possess machines or soulless living bodies, their personal bodies can shapeshift, and they each have access to a personal Pocket Dimension to store excess mass. And they can absorb other beings to gain mass or simply kill them. How did the writer keep them from demolishing the heroes under a second? The answer is multi-layered: Teridax's master plan required the heroes to be alive; some Makuta were given drama preserving handicaps, many had a constant grip on the Villain Ball which clouded their judgment, some were treacherous and turned on their brethren in the middle of fighting the heroes, and the gaseous substance they're made out of could easily be burnt away. Notably, the one time one of them decided to ditch Teridax's plan and just kill the heroes to get his own started was a borderline Curb-Stomp Battle that would have killed them all had his fellow Makuta not stopped him.
    • The Skakdi race (the species to which the Piraka belong) has access to elemental powers (but only when working as a team, which they hate), each has a unique but highly powerful special ability (like Adaptive Ability, bringing objects to life, conjuring Tailor-Made Prisons, Power Copying, etc), and eye-based or mental powers. And one of them called Zaktan is a Worm That Walks who can fly, shapeshift to a limited extent, and become an insect swarm. Fans cried foul when six of them easily beat the Toa Nuva (the most powerful heroes of their universe note ), so at the end of the story, they got devolved into weaker sea serpents by Mutagenic Goo... but then they came back as the Golden-Skinned Being and... well, see below.
    • Time Travel is one power that the writer deliberately avoided, citing this trope as a reason. However, he practically abused dimension-hopping. Thus, to tone it down, Brutaka's Mask of Dimensional Gates was destroyed though he got something arguably just as broken with all the Makuta powers and the only other MODG in existence fused to Vezon, an incompetent lunatic who could barely control it.
    • The Golden-Skinned Being has almost unlimited control over matter and is able to make almost anything disappear into thin air. It has powerful telepathy, can easily brainwash others, and through sheer will, create entire new worlds reflecting the desires of others, where these others can be locked away for eternity, out of this universe. The story got Left Hanging not long after he appeared, so it's unknown how the writer would have handled him.
    • The Energized Protodermis Entity, an Eldritch Abomination who basically unwittingly set the entire BIONICLE story into motion, can destroy or transform anything with a slight touch. It's also a liquid, so pretty hard to avoid if you're in a room with it. However, it doesn't have control over whether the things it touches cease existing or get transformed. The being itself very rarely appears, its substance acting mostly as Applied Phlebotinum. Its only known weakness is gravity — it flows down big holes. It's also an All-Powerful Bystander; it has no interest in anyone else's affairs.
    • The fully collected Great and Noble Masks gave the Toa Mata a massive assortment of stock superpowers that really should have made a lot of conflicts far easier. They ended up losing all those powers with their Toa Nuva upgrades, having to gather them a second time, then losing them again permanently.
  • Transformers: The first iteration of the brand featured Metroplex and Trypticon, who could transform into entire cities and mobile battle stations. They were later followed by the Headmasters Fortress Maximus and Scorponok, whose toys were larger that those of Metroplex and Trypticon (with Fort Max holding the record for largest Transformers toy ever for many decades). This caused the creators of various Transformers media some headaches, since their sheer size and power both made them difficult to utilise as characters and potentially made any battle trivial.
    • The Transformers had Metroplex and Trypticon be the largest of all Transformers, but also made clear that they were only utilised against each other, explaining that they were otherwise so energy intensive it was extremely difficult to keep them fully powered for long periods of time. Fortress Maximus and Scorponok were likewise created to oppose each other, but spent most of their time in their starship and scorpion modes acting as transport.
    • The Transformers (Marvel) reduced Fort Max and Scorponok to simply being unusually large Transformers (though still smaller than combiners). Trypticon was likewise reduced in stature to be roughly combiner-sized, allowing him to interact with smaller characters. Metroplex meanwhile was depicted as truly gigantic, but activating him was only done in desperation since he was meant to simply be the core of Autobot City.
    • IDW Publishing: Like Marvel, Fort Max and Scorponok were depicted as 'merely' being somewhat large Transformers. Meanwhile, both Metroplex and Trypticon were initially treated as being Shrouded in Myth, and when both characters were added to the cast they mostly spent their time in their city/fortress modes (Metroplex to act as the de facto capital city of a reunified Cybertron, Trypticon to protect the newborn Transformers he carried).

    Video Games 
  • BioShock Infinite ended with Elizabeth becoming omnipotent and unlocking the full scope of her reality warping powers. While this worked for the main storyline, it caused major problems for the Burial at Sea DLC, the second episode of which has Elizabeth as the main character, as it meant the writers had to find a way to write a compelling story about a protagonist who is effectively unbeatable and who's opponents are, at best, Badass Normals. The DLC begins with Elizabeth being awkwardly Brought Down to Normal and eventually it's revealed that the whole thing was one long Thanatos Gambit planned out by the omnipotent Elizabeth before she lost her powers. Fans still argue over whether she had to be given the Idiot Ball to get the plot to work.
  • BlazBlue:
    • The legendary hero Hakumen is hands down the strongest character in the setting, with the possible exception of Azrael. However, he doesn't truly exist as we understand; he's stuck in another dimension called the Boundary, and the threads binding him to the physical world are tenuous at best, and getting weaker. Hence, he can only access a fraction of his true power. In one of the drama CDs, he absolutely thrashes the two Big Bads of the story with only 15% of his power, but he was transported away before he could finish them off. It's suggested that currently he can only use 40% of his power. If he could use all of it, there probably wouldn't be much of a plot. Central Fiction explains why: Hakumen's body is known to all as the Susanō'o Unit. The truth is it is Susanō'o, as in the Japanese god of storms. Hakumen is not the body's original user. Yūki Terumi is. And he gets it back, killing Hakumen in doing so. Terumi knows everything that the Susanō'o Unit can do and is at full power, and his first act upon regaining his true form is to one-shot five of the most powerful characters in the franchise, including the below mentioned Jubei, without breaking a metaphorical sweat. It only occurs for the finale. The only reason the game doesn't end right there in a bad ending is because Terumi hasn't yet fully bonded with his original body, allowing Ragna to rip his soul back out of it.
    • Jubei too — He's described as the strongest living creature on the planet, and as such has to be injured early on so that he can't just go and solve all the story's problems by himself.
    • Nine of the Six Heroes, who would eventually marry Jubei, also counts; she is probably the most powerful magic user in the series, even the goddess of death and one of the Co-Dragons think so. She can manipulate the elements (though fire is her favourite); control gravity; fly; enhance her physical abilities; control the mind of someone as powerful as Terumi; and, after becoming Phantom, look into alternate timelines, the last of which Terumi abuses like a cheat sheet to successfully play Xanatos Speed Chess with the entire cast. Her magical abilities, in fact, are the reason Jubei is sidelined for a large portion of the series' run. However, this is all mitigated by her nuclear temper and arrogance leading to poor decision making; the fact that she is on some level refusing to follow orders from the bad guys; her love for her sister holding her back; and that once your get past all the power, she has the endurance of wet tissue paperas soon as he gets an opening, Ragna takes her out in one hit.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Though, to date, they have only been hinted-at in-game or have been mentioned dripping in heavy metaphor, there exist several "ascended" metaphysical states in the ES universe. (Each has been further fleshed out by developer supplemental texts.) The first of these states is CHIM, where one becomes aware of the nature of Anu's Dream but exists as one with it and maintains a sense of individuality. (Dunmeri Physical God Vivec claims to have achieved this level, while Mankar Camoran in Oblivion claims that the Deity of Human Origin Talos has also achieved it.) Even these works don't make it clear exactly what CHIM is, though the ES lore community posits that it is the realization of being a fictional character in a fictional world, followed by breaking loose from the laws of said world using "powers" and abilities normally reserved for a Player Character (ex. Save Scumming, Pause Scumming, use of the Master Console, use of the Construction Set Level Editor, etc.) Naturally, these abilities make the user appear divine and otherworldly to the mortals of the settings. Included are Vivec flooding the island of Vvardenfell to kill Akaviri invaders, Talos performing a Cosmic Retcon to turn Cyrodiil from a tropical jungle to a temperate forest, as well as both rewriting their own pasts. Take, for example, Vivec's explanation of what happens when he "dies", which sounds suspiciously like reloading a saved game:
    Vivec: "When I die in the world of time, then I'm completely asleep. I'm very much aware that all I have to do is choose to wake. And I'm alive again. Many times I have very deliberately tried to wait patiently, a very long, long time before choosing to wake up. And no matter how long it feels like I wait, it always appears, when I wake up, that no time has passed at all."
  • God of War (PS4): Word of God confirmed this is why Kratos's performance in the Norse realm is underwhelmed compared to all the god-killing levels of power he had back in Greece. He still has all that might, but if he were to be allowed to use it freely in regular gameplay, he would be too overpowered and make the game much less challenging, henceforth his Character Development means he is now much more prone to restraint. Not to mention that Atreus also needs to shine, which in the game technically means Kratos can't perform anything too high-leveled less Atreus would start suspecting Kratos is a God. Notably, when he shows hints of his true capabilities, he can actually handle Baldur and Magni easier than he did when he was held back by Atreus.
  • Not unlike its Spiritual Successor BlazBlue, Guilty Gear has its fair share of these.
    • Sol Badguy, the main protagonist, is a Gear Super Prototype who can easily curbstomp most of the cast while holding back massively. Fortunately, he practically never goes even halfway to going all out, partly because he's aware that doing so would probably destroy everything for miles around him, and partly because he's a lazy bastard. By the time of Overture, it's stated that his Dragon Install is "encroaching", meaning his Power Limiter is no longer able to fully restrain the entirety of Sol's power as he ages and evolves. For all his brilliance, however, Sol's being played a sucker by the series' enigmatic Big Bad and his power as a Gear does little to affect the political intrigue many of his allies and rivals are wrapped up in. Following the original game (but especially since XX), the series has also brought in several other Story-Breaker Powers who can counter or even surpass Sol's level of power, including the aforementioned Big Bad.
    • Justice is a Commander Gear capable of exerting her influence over nearly every other Gear in existence, turning them to her side; only Sol is immune to her commands on account being the prototype Gear. note  She additionally possesses physical and magical abilities superior to most other lifeforms (reflected by her serving as an unrelenting SNK Boss in the original game and being flat-out broken whenever she's playable note ) and, in the backstory, was responsible for nuking Japan with her Gamma Ray. (To wit, Xrd features the ruins of Japan as a stage, which can be accurately described as a hole in the Pacific Ocean.) In two of her three run-ins with Sol, she beat him clean, even when he had the Fireseal boosting his magic to cover for his Power Limiter. It's also implied in Overture and outright shown in Xrd that Justice was capable of becoming a Megadeth-type Gear (read: Kaiju), suggesting she might not even have been at the apex of her power when Sol did manage to kill her.
    • Justice's daughter, Dizzy, is introduced in Guilty Gear X and quickly became this trope for a different reason: In addition to having a level of strength comparable to her mother and Sol, she possesses the ability to reawaken Gears, most of which fell dormant after Justice's death. Considering that the Gears vastly outnumbered humans during the Crusades, just the rumor of Justice's child walking around unsupervised is enough to jump-start an international crisis. While believed to be capable of surpassing Justice, Dizzy is held back by her pacifistic nature and, early on, a complete inability to control her powers. Xrd shows Dizzy exhibiting much greater control, while also implicating she owes her frightening potential to the fact she's the daughter of Justice and Sol.
    • That Man is the creator of the Gears and main villain of the setting, with a brilliant mind, access to high-level magic, and several unexplained powers, including the ability to age backwards. Players are introduced to him effortlessly shrugging off Sol's attacks and exhibiting knowledge bordering on prescience despite being an "ordinary" human, and when Sol finally gets the chance to fight him in Overture, complete with Sol assuming his Gear form for the first time on-screen, it's a largely indirect battle serving as a test to see if Sol is capable of taking care of a more immediate threat. Complicating matters is That Man's affable nature and questionable acts, to the point that he spends more time giving cryptic hints and reining in one of his subordinates (a Time Master witch with Stupid Evil tendencies) than he does doing anything even remotely evil. This is because, as revealed in Xrd, he's not a villain at allhe's the Big Good and the one person who truly knows what's going on, though he's really bad at being forthright with information. When he finally comes clean to Sol late in -REVELATOR- about everything he's been up to over the years, he spares no time in devising a plan that effectively derails the true villain's schemes.
    • Slayer is an immortal Vampire Monarch and the original founder of the Assassin's Guild. Like Sol, he's Willfully Weak in battle, emphasized by a few comically exaggerated attacks and his K.O. pose showing Slayer lying on the ground unharmed, merely bored at the outcome. Despite this, his encounters with Sol regularly have Sol (something of an Invincible Hero in direct combat under normal circumstances) on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle and Slayer's Instant Kill sees him casually punch his opponent out of the Milky Way. The Post-War Administration Bureau has a risk rating for all of the XX cast, with Slayer being awarded the second-highest threat level (behind Dizzy) at S+ because of his incredible combat ability and imperceptible motivations. Luckily for them, Slayer retired from actively mingling in human affairs and prefers to play the role of Mysterious Backer in the present, rarely getting involved beyond giving advice to other characters or sparring to sate his appetite for battle.
    • Xrd newcomer Bedman is, true to his name, a young man strapped to a bed. He also happens to possess various supernatural powers connected to a dreamlike world he resides within while asleep (which he can drag others into to subject Your Mind Makes It Real on them in a rather hellish fashion), and his first appearance in -SIGN- establishes him as a No-Nonsense Nemesis capable of streamrolling several heavy hitters, chief among them the aforementioned Slayer. Only two characters in -SIGN- (a Back from the Dead Zato-1 and Zepp's president Gabriel note ) are able to drive him off, and Bedman ends up catching That Man by surprise and whisking him away to parts unknown late in the story. It's only when Slayer returns for a grudge match in -REVELATOR- after tapping back into his full power (which allows him to demolish mountains with but a flick of his finger) that Bedman truly finds himself on the defensive... at which point he reveals he's only been using approximately 8% of his full power. Bedman's powers do have a critical drawback in that he cannot manifest in the real world while awake without his very existence eroding away due to an unspecified form of Power Incontinence, a double-edged sword exploited by the previously defeated Venom in order to forcibly awaken Bedman and kill him.
    • Bedman himself serves as The Dragon to Ariels aka the Universal Will, who proves to be nearly as dangerous in -REVELATOR-. From a physical standpoint, she's near the top of the list, as evidenced by the fact that she can fight against Sol, Ky (one of the heroes of the Crusades who also recently acquired Gear powers), and Sin (Ky's part-Gear son raised by Sol) at once and spank all of them without any visible effort (though Sol had a Drama-Preserving Handicap preventing him from using Dragon Install). She also has command of a potentially limitless Clone Army in the form of the Valentines, some of which have the potential to rival Sol and Commander Gears like Justice and Dizzy in terms of strength. If that wasn't enough, she's perhaps the ultimate example of a Villain with Good Publicity, serving as the Sanctus Maximus Populi, the leader of the world's most popular religion, and therefore having access to some of the strongest magic around, including a nigh-impregnable defensive spell (Absolute Defense: Felion) that can only be breached by Sol and That Man working together in a manner that, in the latter's words, could've ended up destroying the planet if they weren't careful. Basically, imagine The Pope as a top-tier Magic Knight and you're not too far off. This isn't getting into the fact that this is only describing the Universal Will in her "human" form. Before she became Ariels, the Universal Will merely coming into contact with Justice from within the Backyard inflicted Mind Rape upon Justice and caused a Reality Bleed that would've ran unchecked if That Man didn't take control of Justice and manually fire her Gamma Ray upon Japan. Fortunately, Ariels is something of an Almighty Idiot, especially once the mask slips, as her Irrational Hatred of humans prevents her from taking them seriously—which proves fatal when the coalition in opposition to her includes various unexpected parties including Ramlethal Valentine, one of her "daughters" that Ariels tried to pull a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on and, even more unexpectedly, a time-traveling Axl Low who comes through with a last-minute save on Sol's behalf.
  • In one of the many, many, many Walking Spoilers for Kid Icarus: Uprising, Dyntos has the power to copy anything and forge anything. This includes entire armies, and equip them all with ultimate weapons. And he can do it far faster than any of the other factions. The only thing that keeps him from actually breaking the story is his True Neutral tendencies; he doesn't actually want to take over the universe.
  • Kingdom Hearts has Mickey Mouse of all people as this. He's the strongest Keyblade wielder on the side of the light, with years of experience giving him incredible fighting skills and formidably powerful spells that place him in another league compared to all other heroes, including Sora and Riku, although Sora would likely come pretty close when he is using his emotions and fighting at full capacity. He is often left out of the other heroes' struggle in order to ensure he doesn't do anything that makes their victory too easy, and tends to appear and shine mostly near the end or in truly dire situations, spending most of the games doing solo work. Even then, he tends to be scaled down both in gameplay and the literal sense, as having him use his full abilities would have made the fights too easy, and when he does use full strength, his feats such as paralyzing 13 Xehanorts with a single spell, leaving the enormous data of Sora's Heartless helpless, and overpowering 13 Replica Xehanorts firmly place him on this level. Notably, 358/2 Days has a Foregone Conclusion ending and excludes Mickey entirely out of the conflict, as having him on Riku and DiZ's side would have ended things much sooner and also prevented things already decided to happen in II, and without him, the stakes are much higher than ever too.
  • Cassius Bright, the father of Estelle, in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky can be considered as one. In fact, the reason why he was sent to a different country was because the villains, Ouroboros, believed that if he was there, he'd easily thwart their plans.
  • The Legend of Zelda has the Triforce. Similar to the Dragon Balls of the Dragon Ball franchise, the Triforce is an omnipotent Cosmic Keystone that can grant any wish. The only caveat to its use is that the user must have a balance of Power, Wisdom, and Courage in their heart to use it to its full power, but by the end of several games, Link and/or Zelda is able to use it, having achieved that balance already. Theoretically, its omnipotent power should be able to stop the cycle of Ganon returning to menace Hyrule as instigated by Demise's curse of hatred, but this would bring the series to a permanent close. Because of this, should they ever use it, the good guys only use the Triforce to resolve more immediate matters such as defeating just one instance of Ganon or restoring the damage done by said villain.
  • Mega Man:
    • The original Blue Bomber himself has the potential to be one. Even though his physical limits are fairly fixed, his retention of Special Weapons is not. The only reason he doesn't retain the ones from every game is because he freely chooses to discard them once they're no longer needed, being a peace-loving hero. With over a hundred weapons thus far, if he'd decided to hold onto them all, even most X-era characters would pale in comparison.
    • Duo, from the Classic series, is perhaps the most powerful character in the entire main continuity. He alone is powered by "Justice Energy", the only counterpoint to Evil Energy which has been all but stated as the base of the Maverick/Zero Virus and when the two clash, it causes destruction on an intergalactic scale. If he wasn't an officer for the universe at large and remained on Earth, or Rock had perhaps copied this off of him, there wouldn't be much of a franchise.
    • X has unlimited potential. The attempted reboot of his series, Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X, has Dr. Light state that X can evolve as he fights, explaining how he retains certain powers and upgrades between games. Notably, X5 shows X is capable of fighting Zero to a draw, regardless of whether Zero's empowered by The Virus. The only reason he has problems in battle is his kindness causing him to hold back, and his awful experiences with the robotic battlefield makes him suppress his full power even harder by the minute.
      • Speaking of X, in the later Mega Man Zero series we get several hints of how powerful he became by this point. In 2, we discover that X's lifeless corpse is being used to seal the Dark Elf. We also discover that his soul was split in five pieces: Cyber-Elf X (who possesses the original's personality) and the Four Guardians. In 3, Cyber-Elf X (who, again, has barely a fifth of X's original soul) protects the entire Resistance inside its base without any real effort, completely overriding the Dark Elf and Omega's mind control. If X managed to regain his full power, he would be practically unstoppable.
    • Both Omega and Dr. Weil in the Zero series repeatedly come into this. When wearing his special armor and harnessing the power of the Dark Elf, Omega has the ability to control every Reploid on Earth. Only X and Zero (due to them technically not being Reploids) are safe from its effects. And even when his armor is destroyed, his true form is that of Zero's original body, itself an incredibly powerful war machine and one of two contenders for World's Strongest Man in the setting (the other being X). Meanwhile, Dr. Weil, for his role in causing the Elf Wars (wherein he harnessed Omega's power to kill off the majority of the population of the entire planet in a few years' time), was "punished" with an immortal cyborg body with a Healing Factor so strong that he can recover from a direct hit by the Ragnarok, and has an unintended side effect of allowing him to fuse with machinery. Even when he's seemingly Killed Off for Real after fusing with Ragnarok and destroyed by Zero, the Mega Man ZX series very heavily implies that Model W — the multiple Artifacts Of Doom that can grant massive power boosts to their users in exchange for feeding on their negative emotions and eventually devouring them, and at full power possesses world-ending capabilities — is Weil's consciousness still fused with the fragments of Ragnarok.
    • The title character of Mega Man Battle Network, MegaMan.EXE. Due to his nature, it is implied that if he were to have access to his full potential, he'd be the most powerful entity on the planet. Demonstrated very clearly in the fifth game where he briefly ascends to this level and destroys the final boss—the manifestation of humanity's evil—with a wave of his hand. However, the data size of a human soul and all of its potential is so massive that Lan's PET, despise being custom-made and constantly upgraded to deal with such a strain, can barely execute it for more than a few seconds, supposedly to avoid Explosive Overclocking and taking MegaMan with it.
  • The main plot of Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon revolves around the powerful Legendary Pokémon being petrified by an unknown force; unsurprisingly, said force has it all and then some with its list of broken powers. Dark Matter can not only mind control Pokémon under loosely defined requirements, but can also bestow them its power of turning Pokémon into stone and feeding off of its victims' life energy. This makes it so any Pokémon under Dark Matter's control, no matter their lack of combat prowess, such as Nuzleaf can effortlessly beat Legendaries such as Entei that the heroes up to that point couldn't even touch without their evolution-granting scarves. Should Dark Matter's targets try to run away or manage to corner its minions, it would just send Yveltal, a Legendary Pokémon with dominion over death, to pull the plug, as the Eon Dragons and the other two Legendary Beasts found out. Dark Matter's nature as The Heartless also means that if it's destroyed, it will just be revived eventually and will attempt again to hurl the world into the sun after it absorbed enough life force. How the heck did Dark Matter not succeed in destroying the world in either of its attempts? It has a weakness in the Tree of Life, and the evolution scarfs turn out to be made from the tree, which renders Dark Matter's powers moot when the heroes are nearby the tree. At the end of the game, Dark Matter becomes a rarity in the franchise by being a villain Killed Off for Real, to the relief of the game's denizens and most likely the franchise's writing staff.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Chaos Control from allows its user to stop time entirely and/or teleport across various distances. What prevents it from being too convenient is that it requires a Chaos Emerald to use, of which there are only seven in existence, and only three recurring characters (including Sonic himself) are capable of the ability.
    • Taken to a whole new level with Mephiles, the Big Bad of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), as he can use Chaos Control to willingly travel to any point in time and manipulate events accordingly and even forcibly throw his enemies through time. Eventually, Shadow, Sonic, and Silver learn to do the same by using Chaos Control against each other.
    • In Sonic Forces, Infinite gets outfitted with the Phantom Ruby from Sonic Mania, giving him the ability to warp reality. It's later revealed that he can create illusions that warp his victims' perception of reality, but the effects are the same. He repeatedly routs the Resistance armies, and the limits by which he's able to warp reality are ill-defined. Consequently, he never seems to use the Phantom Ruby to its fullest potential in his actual boss fights, preferring to create harmful obstacles and do charging attacks.
  • In Super Robot Wars W, the Game-Breaker Valzacard is a mecha built with technology far beyond the whole universe, a Reality Warper, has survived the end of the world, and can play with space-time easily. Conventionally, it can erase its opponent from existence and its weakest attack has enough power to obliterate several of the Database Battleships (built with similar technology), making it the most powerful Original Generation in the franchise. The only canonical reason it doesn't beat everything without even trying is because some components are broken and there's no time for repairs, causing its output to be far lower than what it should be.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Tabuu's Off Wave in Super Smash Bros. Brawl has the power to revert all the characters back into trophies, which allowed it to completely curb stomp nearly the entire cast in seconds, with only a Chekhov's Gun allowing one to get free and revive the others. After that, they were only saved from another Off Wave by a Deus ex Machina Big Damn Heroes moment from Sonic, which depowered the Off Wave enough to only be a One-Hit Kill that covers the entire screen and can only be avoided through rolling and air dodging.
    • Galeem in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can completely bathe an entire galaxy in light, enough to destroy the bodies of all the characters who become the game's spirits and turn most of the playable roster in to vessels used to make puppet fighters. The only thing preventing him from immediately taking over the entire Smash universe is Kirby pushing his Warp Star to its absolute limit, leaving him as the Sole Survivor.
  • Tartessos the City in Tears to Tiara 2 has stored in its temples a warship that is effectively a Galleass in an age of Quinqueremes, capable of taking on Krakens without trouble. It can also teleport dragons in for its own defense. That it is a city and effectively neutral for most of the work prevent the powers from being abused.
  • Touhou Project fans love to joke that the cast is the most dominant in fiction, with a long list of characters with unique abilities that have staggering applications, or just phenomenal levels of raw power. In canon the Spell Card rules were invented precisely because there were so many of these beings floating around, implemented to prevent the powerful denizens from going all out in combat and allowing weaker beings to stand a chance of winning.
    • Reimu Hakurei possesses literal Plot Armor, her status as Gensokyo's Barrier Maiden ensuring that she can never be killed as it would cause Gensokyo to experience Critical Existence Failure, and can channel Shinto gods to use any of their powers. Furthermore, her Fantasy Heaven ability temporarily causes her to "fly away from reality" and become completely invincible; Word of God is that this ability is only allowed in Spell Card duels because she added a time limit — without it she would be unstoppable.
    • Sakuya Izayoi is one big Shout-Out to Dio Brando above, and as such has the mandatory Time Stands Still ability. On top of that she can also slow time, speed it up, deflate it, compress it, erase it and invoke Temporal Paradoxes, and because of Required Secondary Powers her Time manipulation also allows her to manipulate space, doing things like making the Scarlet Devil Mansion Bigger on the Inside and making a Hammerspace pocket filled with infinite knives. In canon she doesn't kill people (anymore), but the third Fantasy Kaleidoscope episode gives a terrifying glimpse of what she's capable of.
    • Remilia Scarlet's ability to manipulate fate is only ever loosely defined and its use is implied to be unconscious, but the fate of people changes just from being around her (for better or worse) and she can apparently see into the future. No-one can be certain whether or not she's using her ability in any particular situation however, making judging its strength that much more difficult.
    • Flandre Scarlet has the power to destroy anything by visualising its "eye" and crushing it in her hand, no matter the object (or person) or the distance between her and the target. Her sister Remilia was so concerned about the damage Flandre's powers could cause that she confined her to the mansion's basement for all of her (500 years long) life. Which backfired to an extent, as now she doesn't know her own strength.
    • Yuyuko Saigyouji has the power to kill with a thought (aside from the two unkillable characters Mokou and Kaguya mentioned below), can control dead spirits, and is smart enough to see through even Yukari's schemes at a glance. She's immune to exorcism as long as she's bound to the Saigyou Ayakashi, and unsealing her would release one of the only evil creatures in the setting. However, she spends most of her time running her portion of the Netherworld, and rarely takes things seriously when she does get involved in the plot.
    • Yukari Yakumo is a powerful Youkai, a master of Onmyōdō, The Chessmaster with Super Intelligence and a legion of spies, and a nine-tailed kitsune as her shikigami, but much of her Shrouded in Myth status comes from her power to manipulate boundaries. While in-story this ability has mostly manifested as creating portals, and once as manipulating the border of night and day so that it could be both night and day at the same time, Akyuu writes that it is far more powerful... at least, according to Yukari:
      The ability to manipulate boundaries is a terrifying ability capable of fundamentally undermining reality. As far as we know, everything is built upon the existence of boundaries. If there was no water surface, there could be no lake. If there was no sky line, neither mountain nor sky could exist. Were it not for the Great Barrier, even Gensokyo itself wouldn't exist. If there were no boundaries, everything would probably exist as a single enormous object. Thus, the ability to manipulate boundaries is by logic an ability of creation and destruction. It essentially creates a new being, or rejects the existence of a being. [...] It's said that this ability is not limited to physical space, but also applies to pictures, others' dreams, and even stories.
    • Suika Ibuki can manipulate density, allowing her to do things like hurl miniature black holes as weapons, and because of Touhou logic can also grow big, split into multiple smaller copies, turn into mist, or even gather or disperse people (population density). And that's on top of being a oni with enough strength to tear apart and rebuild mountains (and the moon, because thankfully she realized that not having a moon would be bad, so she made a new one the same night she destroyed the old one during a drunken frenzy). Fortunately she's a Boisterous Bruiser more interested in fighting than in actually winning.
    • Eirin Yagokoro, as a super genius once known as "The Brain of the Moon", basically has the superpower of making Artifacts Of Doom. Aside from creating the aforementioned Hourai Elixir (which she may or may not have drunk as well) and much of Lunarian civilisation, her plot in Imperishable Night was to hide Earth from the Moon. She did this by hiding Earth in a pot. In a pot she kept on the Earth. She made a fake moon and sky to stick to the inside of the pot, too, so people wouldn't notice they were suddenly in a world that could fit into the hand of a person standing on the world that was in the pot they were holding in their hand. And it's been implied that she is also Omoikane), giving her the raw power of a high-ranking Physical God.
    • Eirin's sidekick, Reisen Udongein Inaba, has the ability to manipulate waves. Any kind of waves, including mind and electromagnetic waves. She can use it to manipulate light and radio, induce insanity in her line of sight, generate a thousand different beams and who knows what else. However, her crippling cowardice, greed and inexperience conspire to keep her at a Butt-Monkey level.
    • Fujiwara no Mokou and Kaguya Houraisan drank the Hourai Elixir, giving them Complete Immortality and allowing them to regenerate From a Single Cell from any damage, even if their bodies are completely destroyed. The very concept of death has been erased from their beings (meaning if you went back in time to before they drank the Elixir they still couldn't be killed), and the only limiting factor is how much pain they are willing to endure before they just give up. And they can endure a lot, because they spent several centuries repeatedly killing each other to pass the time.
    • Satori Komeiji's mind-reading is already convenient, before even considering that she can use it to copy an enemy's Spell Card and throw them right back. But her sister Koishi sealed away her mind-reading abilities due to Fantastic Racism, and in return got the even more powerful ability of manipulating the subconscious. She's immune to mind-reading of any kind (her sister's included), and is completely unnoticeable even if you're looking right at her, her existence wiped from people's memories afterwards (though not for children). While this means she's an Empty Shell with no desires or thoughts, Byakuren speculates in Symposium of Post-Mysticism that she managed to artificially achieve enlightenment.
    • Utsuho Reiuji controls nuclear fusion, the thing that powers stars. In her debut she created a miniature sun and was preparing to cover the surface with nuclear fire, and afterwards she spends her spare time powering a makeshift fusion reactor. It's a good thing all she wants to do is make her master Satori happy.
    • Watatsuki no Yorihime is basically Reimu if she trained, summoning any god from the (extensive) Shinto pantheon to do her bidding and delivering Curb Stomp Battles to some of Gensokyo's heavy hitters.
    • Hata no Kokoro's ability is manipulating emotions, which she used in Hopeless Masquerade to almost start a civil war in Gensokyo. Fortunately this wasn't intentional and she stopped immediately after she got what she was looking for, but if she started using that power deliberately...
    • The Miracle Mallet can grant any wish the user desires. While there's also a cost proportional to the size of the wish, it isn't to Jackass Genie levels; the only known large scale wish caused tsukumogami to instantly spout up everywhere as a side-effect, some of them becoming Evil Weapons, which didn't interfere with the user's plans at all. Fortunately only inchlings can use it, and the only inchling around is in no hurry to use it again for any big wishes, as she's more interested in using it to make herself larger.
    • Sagume Kishin's power means that when she says anything, the world changes so that whatever she says becomes a lie, which even she recognises as absurdly dangerous so she rarely ever speaks. However, the changes are usually within regular plausibility instead of an instantaneous magical change; for example she tells the protagonists that she's invading Gensokyo in the hopes that it will cause them to stop the reason for her invading (Junko's invasion of the moon).
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2:
    • Jin, can move and attack faster than most characters can blink, making him unbeatable in combat. Even Foresight is useless when he can hit faster than an opponent can get out of the way, and it gets worse, since this is born from the power to control elementary particles. Even weapons like particle beams are useless as he can manipulate them to not hit him, and he can chill and area to absolute zero to rob Blades of their powers (since Ether particles lose the energy to do work under those conditions).. The only thing keeping him in check is the fact he's following Malos a bit passively since his loyalty comes from Malos being his Only Friend, and Jin being near the end of his lifespan and at risk of dying from ether stagnation when he exerts himself. He only loses three fights in the whole game, and all of them come from outside influence: a Power Nullifier, Pneuma awakening to cheat right back, and a wound from that fight he never completely recovers from.
    • Once Rex gets Mythra he never really loses any fights except for the battle against Jin in Tantal due to the ability of Foresight, although he does need help sometimes. At best, he draws with Morag, Zeke and Power Nullified Jin.
    • Pneuma is likely the biggest out of all of them considering it was made to counter Jin. She can rewrite the laws of the physical surroundings, allowing her to be as fast as Jin and she also possesses the data of all Blade Cores, meaning she effectively has every non-flesh eater Blade's powers. The only challenge she and Rex are faced with is Aion, which they still win against.
    • Fan la Norne/Haze is a Power Nullifier against blades and even some titans, which she uses to get the main party out of some sticky situations, but ultimately gets her killed by Jin.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • The spiritually charged Magatama has the ability to "sense secrets" in the form of binding chains called Psyche-Locks; in essence, it makes the holder a Living Lie Detector that allows them to perceive when people are hiding something... in a game where, as a lawyer, the player's job is to find out if they're hiding something. However, there are limits to the Magatama's ability: it doesn't reveal specifically what the secret is, requiring Phoenix to present numerous pieces of evidences to "break" each lock. Furthermore, it can't be used in court itself, when it would be the most useful. There are also ways around it, as Matt Engarde proves in the second game: he is able to truthfully state "I didn't kill anyone" after arranging for an assassin to murder somebody.
    • There's also the famed Kurain Spirit Channeling Technique, which allows certain individuals to contact the souls of the dead and let them possess their bodies to communicate with the living world again. This might sound like the perfect way to expose murderers—after all, why not just ask the victim who killed them? To prevent the technique from making murder an easily solved crime, it's made clear that only a select few individuals (mostly the Fey family) can perform it, and only after rigorous training (or by simply having immense psychic power inherently). An in-story justification also exists in the form of the DL-6 Incident, a murder case where the police, completely out of leads, asked Misty Fey to try to summon the victim; while the channeling worked, it didn't solve the crime (although that complication wasn't the medium's fault), which turned the public against psychic ability and thus made the Fey clan reluctant to advertise their abilities.
  • Danganronpa:
    • Between a variety of talents, characters and a Magnificent Bastard of a Big Bad, no power seems to be able to outdo Luck in the Dangan Ronpa universe. This is even lampshaded in the third case of the game, when the killer says that one of the reasons for their murder was that they wanted to test their talent against Makoto's luck, and naturally, they lose. In the second game, Nagito, who is even luckier than Makoto ends up orchestrating his own death, through an insanely complicated method, so the person he wanted would be blamed for it and allowed to escape.
    • Among Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, two talents in particular stand out in being the most broken. Kyoko Kirigiri's Ultimate Detective talent, and Chihiro Fujisaki's Ultimate Programmer talent. The former was so good at solving murder cases that the Mastermind had to give her a Drama-Preserving Handicap in the form of Laser-Guided Amnesia to not have her figure out every mystery by herself, and even then is far and away the driving force of every Class Trial. Chihiro Fujisaki, meanwhile, has him managed to even in death take full control of the Hope's Peak Academy interface to save Makoto's life, provide crucial information to escape as well as therapy for the students with Alter-Ego, with the applications of his talent being effectively limitless. The only two weaknesses the two have to their talents are Kyoko's Inferiority Superiority Complex and even her logic being not flawless all the time, and Chihiro's crippling lack of confidence and true gender.
    • Miu Iruma's talent is Inventor, which basically ends up enabling her to create anything she wants with the resources she has on hand. This really comes into play in the last two chapters, which reveals she built a set of hammers capable of disabling all electronics they hit (at the cost of limited power for each), a jar that essentially circumnavigates the cameras used by the Mastermind and reinstalling Keebo's weaponry, turning him into a One-Man Army capable of ending the killing game on his lonesome. Literally the only thing preventing her from breaking the plot wide open is that her stupidity and bizarre sense of priorities means she never takes initiative to end the killing game, and her extremely vulgar and arrogant personality means no one wants to work with except when required.
  • Demonbane... or at least later on in the visual novels when shit starts to hit the fan. The War God Demonbane is often considered the largest mecha in all of fiction, as it is so big that the universe collapses when it and its opponent start super-sizing themselves. It can also manipulate time. Elder God Demonbane, on the other hand, is much smaller but possesses even greater abilities, such as time travel, multiverse-hopping, and summoning versions of itself from all the infinite universes; an infinite army of backup. What keeps Demonbane from being an Invincible Hero is the fact that its opponents are the Outer Gods of Lovecraft's works... anything less than an infinite amount of power would never compete with them. Nyarlathotep, for instance, removes the aforementioned War God Demonbane from existence with a thought, and even Elder God Demonbane has never been able to put it down for good, even after literally billions of battles across the multiverse.
  • Momoyo from Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! is one of the strongest people in the entire world to the point where she can defeat genetically engineered super soldiers designed to be One-Man Armies in seconds. Due to the usually comedic Slice of Life tone, this allows the main group to enjoy themselves with little fear of being in danger due to the absolutely massive gap between her and almost everybody else. When things get serious, the plot always finds a way of suppressing her power to create actual drama.
  • The Nasuverse:
    • Fate/stay night:
      • Berserker's God Hand is an Adaptive Ability that also grants him eleven One Ups: He has to be killed twelve times, in different ways every time, and will conceptually No-Sell any weapon or attack type below a certain mythic strength. In Fate, the narrative is basically forced to give the heroes an out by stating certain attacks are so powerful they kill Berserker multiple times in one blow, even though this violates everything the narration has revealed about God Hand up to that point and is also not brought up again in later routes.
      • Avalon, the legendary sheath of Arthurian myth, is a Noble Phantasm that granted immortality and invincibility to King Artoria Pendragon in her life. As per her legend, she lost it before she died, and for this reason she doesn't have access to Avalon when summoned for the 4th or 5th Holy Grail War. When she finally gets Avalon back in the Fate Route, she's able to No-Sell Gilgamesh's Anti-World Enuma Elish and kill him. If she wasn't deprived of her sheath for the majority of Zero and Stay/Night, then even with a weak Master like Shirou there wouldn't be any functional tension in her battles.
      • Gilgamesh, the King of Heroes. As the oldest surviving heroic legend, when summoned as a Servant he is freakishly overpowering. His Gate of Babylon has the original versions of everything recorded in legends (that's not created by somebody who came after him), including legendary weapons, starships created by the gods, and even supernatural wine. Oh, and all of which can be fired at Mach speeds. Theoretically, he could defeat anyone in seconds flat since he has the weapons needed to exploit the weakness of just about every opponent. If all that fails, his original weapon, Ea, can destroy entire planets with one swing. He is, however, held back by his galaxy-sized ego, preventing him from ever fighting seriously, thinking his foes to be 'unworthy' of his true strength. Having killed actual Gods and being acknowledged to be capable of killing an Eldritch Abomination, Gilgamesh is so powerful that the number of things in the whole franchise that are stronger than him can be counted down to one hand. And the real kicker is that, unlike other Servants that are close to his level such as the below-mentoined Karna, Gil has next to no Mana consumption, meaning that if he so deigned he could go full throttle without negatively impacting his master.
      • Ironically, this is exactly the reason he loses to Shirou in the Unlimited Blade Works anime. Gilgamesh relies so much on having the best possible weapon for any situation that he doesn't know how to wield most of his massive arsenal to its full potential, only being averagely proficient with a small dozen or so weapons. When he's finally forced to go mano-a-mano, his swordsmanship is average at best, and even when he pulls out Ea his hesitation to use it makes him slow on the draw that Shirou literally disarms him before he can swing it. Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star reflects this weakness of his the best, with his slow melee speed being his biggest downside as a playable character, and during the story proper Karna advises Tamamo to get up-close in order to have the best chance of beating him.
      • Fate/Apocrypha has Karna, the hero of the Mahabharata. Stated to be one of the few Servants on Gilgamesh's level, the man possesses Kavacha and Kandala, armor and earrings forged by gods, that reduce all damage: physical, magical or even conceptual, to 1/10 of its original value, and that's before taking into account their natural defense, making him all-but completely immortal. Offensively, he "only" possesses the Brahmanstra Kundala, magical flames that can take the form of any weapon (but preferably a projectile—like a spear). If fired, it will pursue its targets to the ends of the Earth and will cause a destruction that levels countries. On top of that he also has Vasavi Shakti, which requires him to trade away his defenses, but gives him a single-use of an anti-god spear powerful enough to kill even Divine Spirits with ease . Karna is also unable to be physically deceived and sees through the personality of anybody he meets. The only reason the story hasn't even ended in the first volume is because he consumes a massive amount of prana from his Master, so he can't go all out. For now.
    • Tsukihime has a few:
    • The Garden of Sinners: The original Ryougi Shiki's version of Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, where she can "kill" pretty much anything — magic, emotions, ghosts, living people, etc. — and her powers work through projectiles, which just screams for a sniper rifle. And she has an alternate personality that has a deep connection to the Root of Creation itself, to the point it was thought to be omnipotent until Word of God states it is just ranked below Archetype:Earth in power level. Luckily for the sake of the plot too, it doesn't bother to do anything for the most part.
    • Angel Notes:
      • The "TYPES"... To make a long story short, the being who created Arcueid is one of those (TYPE-Moon), and it can do everything Arcueid can do, if not more. Another, TYPE-Mercury, is stated to be one of two beings tied for the position of "being able to kill all of humanity faster than anything else in existence" (though in the present time, ORT is currently asleep, and it isn't expected to wake up for a few thousand years). ORT has been noted to be more powerful than anything else on Earth before the time of Angel Notes... where a whole bunch of TYPES from other planets come to Earth to wipe out humanity, something which it is believed even one of them on their own could accomplish.
      • The World's Strongest Man during the time of Angel Notes, Ado Edem. He possesses an ability called "Slash Emperor" where he creates a titanic sword capable of cutting through realities like a hot knife through a butter. It can one-shot even the TYPES, and in the story Ado Edem defeated TYPE-Jupiter and TYPE-Saturn without breaking a sweat. The trade-off is that Slash Emperor consumes raw material to transform into power: when Ado Edem used it against TYPE-Jupiter, he also created an immense gash in the Earth's crust crossing the entirety of North America.
    • Fate/EXTRA introduces the Servant Saver, aka Siddhartha Gautama, who is said to have attained such power after his enlightenment that he could dominate the entire Solar System if he desired to. Being, well, the Buddha, he has no desire for power or to dominate anything. He did summon himself as a Servant and was easily one of the most powerful Servants ever seen, with even his most minor Noble Phantasm being a spell capable of reality-altering power. The only reason he's defeatable is that he's not trying to win: he's just fighting on behalf of a wretched soul to show that soul some compassion and kindness.
  • The Number 9 Bracelet in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. The Nonary Game is based on using digital roots to unlock doors using a certain combination of numbers on the other bracelets to do so, but the number 9 is able to open every door with every combination since it can't alter the digital root. So what happens to the man with the number 9 bracelet? He falls for another character's trap and is killed by the bomb in his stomach, leaving his bracelet for said character to claim in secret.
  • The Shinza Bansho Series has become quite infamous for this trope, featuring reality altering characters around every corner with fights that can range from anywhere between "superpowered fistfights" to "reality-ending free-for-alls." When creating life-draining fake moons and literal Plot Armor are considered the low end of the power scale, you know this trope is in effect. In fact, the only reason there often is a narrative at all is due to the fact that there are just so many individuals with such broken powers that it practically becomes a contest for who is the most broken.
    • The plot of Dies Irae almost entirely centers around the main villain trying to create an opponent worthy of fighting him as he is so ungodly powerful that nothing can excite him. He is able to effortlessly beat pretty much anyone else that comes his way, including, but not limited to, Elemental Shapeshifters, ancient magicians, a cyborg with an all ending strike, someone able to invoke a hellish inferno of perfect accuracy, those who are always faster than their opponent and even literal gods.
    • Even within his own series, Hajun the Sixth Heaven from Kajiri Kamui Kagura, is considered to be in a league of his own. His power is counted in infinities, and due to a bizarre feedback loop, it is constantly rising. He was only ever beaten due to The Tumor that existed within him, and that was the cause of the feedback loop, was leeching power off him and feeding it to Habaki and his allies. Even his faulty reincarnation in Dies Irae Pantheon is still gaining strength, albeit not to such extremes, while all the other gods have to deal with being De-Powered.
  • The witches in Umineko: When They Cry. Bernkastel can make any event happen so long as the probability of it happening isn't zero. Lambdadelta can also make any event happen provided that whoever or whatever is trying to cause that event doesn't give up. Featherine Augustus Aurora beats them all by being able to rewrite reality.

    Web Animation 
  • Deconstructed in Epithet Erased, as some epithets are clearly much stronger than others, but creative usage of a weaker epithet such as "Dumb" or "Soup" can catch up.
    • Mera Salamin's Epithet is Fragile. It allows her to weaken pretty much anything, so she should be fine in a fight, right? Problem is, it also affects her and results in constant pain. This is why she seeks to steal Molly's epithet, as it will allow her to numb the side effects of her own epithet while keeping everything she's worked for.
    • Zora Salazar's Epithet is Sundial, which allows her to age and de-age anything, or stop something in time, as long as it's still on-going when she uses it. Unlike Fragile before it, the main issues of Sundial are blindspots rather than side effects. However, she believes that having such a powerful epithet makes fights less enjoyable, and prefers to fight like a normal instead, to the point she's a member of a Muggle Power terrorist group. That being said, she's still not above using it even in a fair fight, as before the fight with Percy and Ramsey she's set up several bullets suspended in time that hit them when they try to find her.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Tex initially has invisibility, super strength, and a voice filter. When her original body is destroyed, she can only recover the invisibility once in her second body. In her third body, she regains only her super strength, but at that point she's matched by the Meta.
    • The Meta is already overpowered, so a limit to how many abilities he can use at once is introduced. His first attempt at using Wyoming's Time Distortion upgrade renders its suit unable to power any of its equipment, forcing it to retreat. Meta's armor can't power all of its equipment properly without AI support, which is why Meta runs multiple A.I. fragments at once. This puts an enormous strain of his suit and equipment, making it increasingly energy-inefficient and prone to overloading the more he adds.

    Webcomics 
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: In a villainous example, Mongo the Überninja is a technologically engineered giant who's much better than a normal ninja, meaning The Hero is no match for him. The first time he appears, he's dealt with indirectly, but in "Army of One", his master makes an elaborate plot to lure the Doctor into a trap and have Mongo capture him. This leaves open two questions: Since Mongo is unstoppable, why didn't he just capture him from his office, and why did he have to capture him rather than kill him outright? Both are given contrived Hand Wave answers — even though the second question actually has a better, plot-relevant answer coming up next.
  • Bone To Blades (the sequel to JoJopolis, which is mentioned below) has the Holy Spirit "Ride the Blue Limbo", which has the ability to "move areas in time". Which means: summoning inanimate objects from other time periods or making them disappear by sending them to another time period, healing someone's injuries by "rewinding" their body back to an earlier moment, and even rewinding time to undo a mistake.
  • One character in Casey and Andy is Satan. And she has Reality Warper powers. The author has remarked that it's hard to come up with reasons why she isn't using them to help her boyfriend out of whatever jam he finds himself in.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse:
    • Universe 16 Vegito Briefs is exactly as powerful as he was in Dragon Ball's canon, and can even become a Super Saiyan 3. His power is so great as a Super Saiyan 3 that everyone in the tournament arena begins floating off the ground just from Vegito powering up. Finally, there are less than a handful of people that can take Vegito on and make him work for a win. He's beaten in his second match by ring-out, both to preserve the surprise of the unnamed opponent that beat him and to give the remaining contestants a real chance to win.
    • Universe 20 Broly is one hell of an Adaptational Badass. His Legendary Super Saiyan form was reworked to constantly increase his power the longer a fight went on, meaning he'd eventually become stronger than whomever he fought if he survives that long. It took Vegito becoming a Super Saiyan 3 in their match for Broly to lose.
    • Universe 4 Majin Buu (named Zen Buu here) absorbed Goku, Vegeta, Trunks, Gohan, Goten, Piccolo, and Bulma in his universe, then went across his galaxy absorbing more people for their knowledge and power. The result makes him one of the most powerful beings participating in this tournament, and one of the few that's strong enough to fight Vegito.
    • Universe 2's Neko Majin and Arale are treated as Parody Sue versions of this trope. Their Rule of Funny powers are used in a serious context during the tournament, making them both extremely powerful Reality Warpers that equal even Zen Buu's magic in potency. Arale hands Universe Android 18 her ass the entire fight, only losing because of a Deus ex Machina. Neko Majin is able to copy everything Universe 18 Gotenks can do, including using the Fusion Dance with only himself to fuse with, the Super Saiyan form, and the Ghost Kamikaze Attack. He isn't harmed by anything Gotenks can do, so Gotenks had to bribe him into giving up the fight.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Grace's shapeshifting powers, with her Omega form being the strongest to the point that she was able to effortlessly defeat Damien, the Big Bad of the Painted Black arc and the most powerful character in the comic at the time. Fortunately, she's usually a pacifist who prefers not to fight unless she has to, and many fights either find a way to take her out of it or put her in a situation where she can't fight at full power.
    • Nanase's Angel form enhances her already impressive strength and grants flight, increased speed, high durability, and other useful abilities like mild telepathy. However, she's locked out of all other magic once she uses the spell, and it uses so much energy that she'll be burned out once it ends, preventing her from using magic for anywhere from a few days to a few months. One Monster of the Week even exploits this, tricking her into using the Angel form early in the fight so she can't weaken him first, and planning to stall until the timer runs out. The Angel form is pretty much an "I Win" button, but there are very good reasons why she can't use it too often.
  • Han Jee-Han, the main character of The Gamer, on virtue of the limited yet exploitable Reality Warper nature of his powers which allow him to gain new abilities and grow stronger like a RPG character would. As of the end of the first season, his powers include:
    • Boring, but Practical utility skills, such as his Hammerspace, Enemy Scan and long-range audio chat.
    • Being Immune to Bullets as well as most forms of non-magical physical assault, as he regenerates faster than he can get harmed.
    • The ability to create and improve on his own spells, his signature one being a magical Flechette Storm.
    • A Healing Hands technique which works on pretty much anything from wounds to chronic diseases.
    • Summoning several copies (or one very strong version) of his Gnome elemental, who has several devastating abilities of her own.
    • Creating money and precious items from nothing, as all he has to do is create an Instance Dungeon with tough enemies and blast away at them, which helpfully also feeds his...
    • Level Grinding, which means that although most of his allies and enemies surpass him in raw power, he only needs to train up for long enough to catch up.
    • The kicker? One of the first thing he does when experimenting with his powers is to get such a large Mana pool that he can spam most of his attacks indefinitely.
  • Homestuck:
    • The timing of Tavros's death comes suspiciously soon after the revelation that his animal affinity extends to First Guardians, and immediately after he asks about using it to get god-dog Becquerel to help directly.
    • The Serkets' ability to control/"Manipul8" other trolls is incredibly powerful. While there are some restrictions (Vriska could not use it on at least Terezi, only on Sollux half the time, and it simply puts humans to sleep), it can be used on multiple targets at once, and if the target has powers, the manipulator can use their powers as well. It can even be used through Trollian, after it had been hooked up to see the complete timeline of the human session, which is how Vriska discovers that she can only force humans in to sleep in the first place. Late in Act 6, Aranea manages to manipulate several offshoot Damaras to use their telekinesis in order to move an entire mini-planet. Vriska being given such an ability fits in with how she was intentionally written to be polarizing, as the sheer ease that she could control others is one of the many factors that throws her into being controversial.
    • The trolls themselves, with everyone being a Parody Sue, nearly all have wondrous, impressive powers that are rare even for their species. Unfortunately, their personalities are so dysfunctional and the Gambit Pileup they get stuck in is so massively huge (spanning dozens of characters, at least two apocalypses, and time travel in both directions) that any attempt they make to fix the situation either fails completely or only ends up making things worse. A recurring theme throughout Hivebent is that if the trolls could actually get past their various issues and work together as a team, they could be heroes.
    • Jade Harley gets several of these in a row. First, she imprints her dead dream-self into her sprite, creating a version of Jade with godlike power of both a sprite and the First Guardian that was already there... who is too depressed to use it. Then, she fuses with Jadesprite as part of going god-tier, giving her godlike power and the will to use it... but then the plot proceeds in such a way that she spends three years with her boundless teleport mojo not working for her. Finally, upon arriving in the alpha session, she is hit with mind control by a major villain, caught in a difficult confrontation with a fully-powered Page, knocked unconscious by a surprise hit and finally crushed under a building. In the post-retcon timeline, she's still hit with mind control by the same villain, but quickly gets put to sleep by another character's mind control powers, and spends the climax of Act 6 fighting one villain who shares her First Guardian abilities.
    • John and his retcon powers not only allow him to move through different universes (something not even Jade can do), but it also gives him the ability to make changes to the alpha timeline. Meaning that when things go wrong or get too hot to handle, he can just go back and change it, with absolutely no one able to stop him. It was through this ability that John managed to revive most of the dead main characters, as well as transport the entirety of the Land of Wind and Shade to his newly created alpha timeline.
  • JoJopolis is a Fan Webcomic of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, so of course it gives these kind of abilities to its main villains.
    • "God Only Knows" allows the user to read the past and the future (essentially making them The Omniscient) and allowing them to pull off tricks like knowing how to throw a ball at a helicopter to make it crash in a precise spot. The user does have a few weakness related to close blood relatives (for example, the user cannot foresee events that happen to or next to their own daughter); but the user can also make someone else omniscient and make them look into the relative's future.
    • "Goodspeed You Black Emperor" can combine existing waves together... including light. Therefore, it can use light to create illusions, laser beams, or enough gamma radiation to replicate the effects of a low-power nuclear bomb.
    • "Cosmic Wheels", the hidden ability of Hurdy Gurdy Man, essentially allows the user to charge its own attacks to extend their range, speed and power infinitely. On top of that, since no human being can truly comprehend infinity, any user of "God Only Knows" cannot predict it.
    • "Everywhere At The End Of Time" allows the user to "access higher dimensional planes", essentially making them intangible at will and allowing them to teleport around. On top of that, their attacks will warp the victim's body, resulting in an almost certain One-Hit Kill. The main drawback is that staying too long in the other dimension will kill the user.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons has several of these, present in the same universe, with time and philosophy being the primary limits to their power.
    • Omnicidal Maniac Jagganoth is invincible and has Complete Immortality: Through inventive use of the White Art of Lying to the Face of God he has divided the concept of 'Jagganoth can be harmed' from reality itself (he is also ageless). This renders him impossible to deal with, save through removing his other abilities and imprisoning him forever. This, of course, would require subduing him in one form or another first, which is understandably somewhat difficult.
    • Jadis, by contrast, is omniscient: Having seen the shape of the Universe from the outside, she knows everything inside of it. Only removing her from creation itself would prevent this power. On the flip-side, it has also turned her into a Mad Oracle entombed in glass whose dearest wish is to die. This madness presumably either limits her ability to use her omniscience to solve the story, or the story as currently told is one messed-up way for Jadis to do so.
    • Royalty, the ultimate Enlightenment Superpower, which turns the user into a being of pure action with no limit to their abilities save those which they impose on themselves; basically, the rules of everything go "screw it, do as you like" to Royalty. Zoss is on the threshold of Royalty, and appears to have used it to set the plot in motion in the first place though handing his Master Key over to Allison. It's also implied he's stuck the Universe itself in a "Groundhog Day" Loop with it until he finds someone with a fresh perspective who can fix the giant mess he made of things: While he could hypothetically solve the story itself with this power if he fully understood it, it's implied heavily the story as we know it only exists because he's already tried and only made things worse.
  • Richard from Looking for Group is a nigh-invulnerable dark mage with vast, vast powers: half the time he is sidelined in one way or another to let the other characters achieve something, the other half he is jarringly abrupt in his resolving of fights/problems. An entertaining character, but problematic.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Vaarsuvius becomes ridiculously powerful through a Deal with the Devil. The resulting arrogance results in a serious backfire/subversion later on when Xykon turns out to be much too well-prepared for a simple brute force attack to work. The above-described Scry and Die tactic is explicitly mentioned.
    • According to Rich Burlew, even with Vaarsuvius having the two most useful spell schools on their banned list (Conjuration, which governs summoning, teleportation, and creation, and Necromancy, which governs instant death, creation of undead, and many debuffs), it is very hard to write scenarios that they can't trivialize with the other six spell schools. V's spent multiple important battles out of the way because of this.
    • He's also stated that he considers true resurrection (the most powerful resurrection spell, capable of reviving a person even without a body) a story-breaker, and it will never show up in the comic. He also mentioned that the few monsters capable of casting it naturally would demand at least one life in exchange, which, in most cases, is too high a price for the characters to reasonably pay.
    • He's also not a fan of teleportation magic, since his story, like many, is about journeys. "Characters who blip right to their end destination do not for an engaging journey make."
    • Durkon, being a cleric, is just as powerful as V, if not more so. His displayed spells include healing to the point of resurrection, paralyzing at range, turning into a giant, tossing around lightning, changing the weather, flying, sending messages across long ranges, and making people immune to Mind Control or Level Drain, and that's on top of being a decent warrior in his own right. As such, it's practically a Running Gag that he doesn't use his skills to their full potential. Even then, he usually ends up either sitting fights out (the bandit forest, both Miko fights), being far away from people who need him (most of the battle of Azure City, most of Don't Split The Party), or being turned into a vampire.
    • Xykon, the Big Bad, has similar issues; he's an epic-level lich sorcerer, and therefore one of the most powerful people alive. If he wanted to, he could pop in on the main characters, bombard them with meteors, and kill them in under thirty seconds, and he happens to be basically unkillable on top of that. He's kept from doing so by a mixture of Contractual Genre Blindness, laziness, and genuinely not giving a damn about the Order as a group.
  • This is why Petey only rarely gets screen time on Schlock Mercenary. His personal power level is at least an order of magnitude above any of the civilizations in the story, and he is fighting a war against the Andromeda Galaxy. He came back into focus in the last few books when the main characters' power level was up to the point where the company is a major player in galactic politics in their own right and the war Petey's losing is right on their doorstep.
  • Scoob and Shag has the power of Commander One (Mickey Mouse), named "Power". It allows him to "turn off" and "turn back on" anything just by thinking about it. Absolutely anything. One use involved Commander "turn off" someone, causing the victim to collapse on itself and disappear; and then "turn back on" that same person, alive and well, to use them as a Human Shield.
  • Tower of God:
    • Phantaminum is effectively this. As an Exis, he is a being that cannot be interfered with. That's all he needs, but he is also ungodly powerful in conventional ways. Fortunately, he is a background character.
    • Thus far, anyone with god-level powers are clearly significantly held back for the obvious reason that they are far too powerful at the moment. In order to give Urek Mazino even the remotest of challenge, SIU makes sure that he is severely limiting himself for the sake of the enemies he doesn't want dead as well as the environment and the fact he has to be mindful of allies as well, which doesn't stop him from destroying anyone he fights anyway. Po Bidau Gustang is repeatedly held back from action despite being fully capable of killing each and every single one of the people he stops to help Bam by the fact that no one is stupid enough to let him act on it and immediately escape. Grace Mirchia Luslec, a warrior strong enough to threaten even the Family Heads, cannot move because he is too powerful and would probably easily annahilate anyone apart from a Family Head. Lo Po Bia Traumerei upon arriving is immediately recognized as a Hopeless Boss Fight and he doesn't disappoint. He has the unprecedented ability to summon and control multipe massive Shinheuh at once, which is already enough to utterly overwhelm two extremely powerful characters, and can even nuke the entire Nest if he wants to, with the only reason he held himself back being because he wants to negotiate with Bam.
  • In White Dark Life, the story breaking power is NOT Mimicry, but rather Altair's combined soul-stealing and erasure powers. The more he kills, the stronger he gets and with no one even capable of remembering his victims. Well, photos excluded.

    Web Original 
  • Played for Laughs in one Liar Town USA post, describing a fictional TV show called Futuresight: "A wildly successful clairvoyant gambler is persuaded to solve crimes by the FBI. Since he's psychic, he solves hundreds each day. It's no big deal. Then a crime syndicate decides to target him. But they end up in jail, because he can see the future. After that, it's back to gambling."

 
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Why she up there all this time

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