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Sudden Humility

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Gohan: Wow. I now know what it's like to feel like Krillin.
Krillin: Sucks, doesn't it?

Bob knows and frequently sees Alice. They may get along well or not so well. But Alice has some kind of disadvantage compared to him. It may be that Bob has a special ability that makes his life easier, or that Alice has a disability that makes her life harder, or maybe she has an uncomfortable status or an embarrassing trait compared to him. Bob doesn't really realize or pay attention to this: things are fine the way they are, aren't they?

Until some accident or circumstances place Bob in the exact same position as Alice. He may lose part or all of his powers (if he has powers), suffer a physical handicap similar to her, be suddenly Overshadowed by Awesome in his turn, or suddenly get harsh responsibilities. This may be temporary or not. Anyway, he now knows how it feels to be in her position, and it's usually not pleasant. Often, as an Aesop Bob will find a new respect for Alice after experiencing what she has to go through every day.

Note that Alice is not necessarily powerless herself to begin with.

Can overlap with Brought Down to Normal and God for a Day (if being God is not an easy position). Compare Break the Haughty, Welcome to My World. Contrast Always Need What You Gave Up, when a loss is voluntary.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • D.Gray-Man: Allen Walker has a left eye that allows him to distinguish humans from Akuma. After Road stabs his left eye and he (temporarily) loses this ability, he realizes that Exorcists who don't have it, as powerful as they can be, must constantly expose themselves and suspect every single human of being an Akuma. Since Allen was used to relying on his left eye, Lavi has to make him understand that if he's too careless he will be killed in no time. Of course, once Allen's eye upgrades so that the people around him can distinguish humans from Akuma (by showing them the soul inside of an Akuma), Lavi is forced to acknowledge that Allen's ability isn't all it's cracked up to be.
  • Mashiro Blanc de Windbloom in My-Otome goes brutally through this after being forced out of her throne and realizing how much the people of her own kingdom hate her. Since barely anyone knows her face she can mix with the people who fled the kingdom and learns what it is to be hungry and desperate.
    Mashiro: (eating a quickly prepared soup) It's delicious...
    A kid: Is it? It tastes pretty bad if you ask me...
    Mashiro: *crying* No... I never realized how delicious food was before...
  • In the Tatarigoroshi arc of Higurashi: When They Cry, Keiichi starts to scream at Mion for not wanting to take Satoko in her huge house to protect her from her uncle. After he made Mion cry, Rena proceeds to do the same to Keiichi, asking him why he doesn't take Satoko in his huge house. That makes him immediately realize how much he hurt Mion with his behavior. He resolves to find a different way to save Satoko, but unfortunately it doesn't work out very well...for anyone.
  • Subverted in Overlord (2012), when Ainz has the Guardians roleplay (in a D&D game) as humans so they can let go of their programmed disdain for them. Unfortunately, all it does is make them think "humans suck, but even they can have uses".

    Comic Books 
  • Fables: Prince Charming (who has the ability to do Exactly What It Says on the Tin) manages to win an election against Mayor Cole (Old King Cole), who had held the position for centuries by that point. After a while, Prince Charming's reign begins to fall apart, and he realizes just how difficult it is to actually be in charge. King Cole remarks that it's not easy being the guy in charge—because that's the guy everyone will blame when something goes wrong.
  • Fantastic Four: During Mark Waid's run on Fantastic Four (1998), in the "Rising Storm" arc, the Human Torch and the Invisible Woman have their powers swapped. Susan constantly loses control over he powers and "Flames On!" by accident whenever she gets excited or emotional. She's utterly amazed that a Hot-Blooded person like Johnny was able to keep this much power under control, and she gained a newfound respect and appreciation for her brother because of how difficult it was for her to remain in control at all times.
    • In the same power-switch story arc, Johnny becomes the herald of Galactus and gains the power cosmic. It alters his sister's invisibility powers (which he had at the time) to both make things disappear and reveal what is hidden even on the abstract level. When he sees his family he sees their pasts and the people they are underneath. This humbles him and he sheds a tear, exclaiming how amazing they all are.
      Cosmic Johnny Strom: I...I...Wow. I...saw you guys. Really saw you, in ways I never have before. I don't offer this up very often...but I am so proud to know you.
  • Justice League of America: This is the plot of the Elseworlds story JLA: Act of God, in which every superpowered hero is Brought Down to Normal. There's no explanation as to why extraterrestrial heroes (such as Martian Manhunter and Superman) are affected or why tech-based heroes (like Steel) are spared while the Green Lanterns' rings (which are also tech) don't. As Linkara describes, the story comes off as a love letter to Batman, as the depowered heroes who still want to be crimefighters are forced to undergo Training from Hell under the Caped Crusader's instruction and come to appreciate, one and all, how much he had to go through to be on their level.
  • Superman: In All-Star Superman, Lex Luthor gets empowered with abilities like Superman's for a day. While he at first reveled in the power and used it to terrorize Metropolis, at some point, the Super-Senses began to kick in, and Luthor suddenly gained a newfound perspective and started to Go Sane From The Revelation. For the first time, he understood the enormous weight that was on Superman's shoulders every day of his life. At the peak of it all, he cries, and once the powers fade away, it's implied the lesson sticks with him.

    Fan Works 
  • In Rivalry, after their first day in dragon-training, Astrid admits that it was a bad move to go head first against the Gronkle and Hiccup saved her from a direct hit.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, Felix is too naive to realise how hard it is for Ralph to be the Butt-Monkey and Designated Villain of his game until Felix leaves the game and gets treated in the same way by people outside. When he makes the realisation, he suddenly becomes a lot closer to Ralph, looking out for him and calling him 'brother'.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Maid to Order (1987): Spoiled, Beverly Hills-raised Jessie Montgomery gets a Fairy Godmother who yanks her wealth and identity away, leaving her to get a job as a maid, so she can see what kind of abuse "the help" goes through.

  • Alicia Johns from the Malory Towers series is a Brilliant, but Lazy Deadpan Snarker who is extremely condescending to anyone who is not as smart as she is. She also doesn't have much sympathy for the ill, because she herself almost never gets sick...until the fourth book, where she gets a fever so bad that she fails her exams. Ever since then, she's not as harsh towards those who are not as healthy or clever as herself.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks
    • In "Spare That Rod!", when Mr. Conklin believes Mr. Stone has threatened to fire him for being "flagrantly dictatorial." Mr. Conklin humbly helps out his teachers and is even obsequious toward his students.
    • In "Turnabout Day", by the authority of a forged letter Walter Denton becomes the principal on the titular "Turnabout Day". Cue Mr. Conklin pretending to be a student. He arrives on bicycle, wearing a propeller beanie and a Mickey Mouse T-shirt.
    • Again, in the penultimate television episode "Principal For A Day". Miss Brooks is briefly promoted to principal, and Mr. Conklin takes a position as history teacher.
    • Finally, in The Movie Grand Finale, Mr. Conklin is actually threatened with dismissal by Mr. Stone; in a Continuity Nod, Mr. Stone considers Conklin's strict rule of Madison High School "to be tantamount to malfeasance." Mr. Conklin tries to act humble. When that doesn't work, Conklin decides to run against Mr. Stone for the newly created post of "Coordinator of Education" (aka school board president/superintendent) to save his position.
  • An early episode of Boy Meets World revolved around Cory getting a goofy haircut. The kids made fun of him for the day and the weird kids (Topanga, Minkus, etc.) befriended him. He explained that he now knew what it felt like to be an outcast at school.
  • The Brady Bunch: a bully is teasing Cindy for having a lisp, so Peter knocks his front teeth out. Now he has a lisp.
  • On My Name Is Earl, Earl goes to make up for making fun of Maggie, a girl with a mustache from junior high, only to find that she now sports a full beard and works as "The Bearded Woman" at a carnival sideshow, as do her neighbors. Earl tries to take them out for ice cream, but they refuse, saying that they don't want to be gawked at or mistreated by the "normal" people outside of Shady Grove. Maggie asks Earl if he's ever been treated like a freak, and he thinks back to junior high, where the other kids made fun of him for his hairy nipples at the pool, and he refused to jump in the pool because of it. He then understands and decides to jump in the pool for himself. The other carnival freaks join him after thinking about what he told them.
    • In another episode, Earl is married to a woman named Billie, who becomes upset that he's focused on the list instead of having sex with her. She goes around town trying to undo everything on Earl's list, and threatens Earl's life, hiding out in the Camdenite territory (which is considered sovereign land). She comes back to the motel...dressed in the outfits worn by the Camdenite women. (They're sort of like the Amish, but...bizarre.) It turns out that the Camdenites didn't have a problem with her hiding out on their land, but they did have a problem with her not working while she was there. She found that working in the field really helped with her anger issues, she couldn't steal anything in a setting where all the property is shared, and seeing how the Camdenites treat each other inspired her to be a kinder and more considerate person. She ultimately decides to join them, and divorces Earl amicably, leaving him the money from her court settlement.
    • In another episode, Joy has been scamming an old man into thinking he was donating money to help poor children in Africa, and gotten her neighbors in on the scheme, too. When disasters happen in Pimmitt Hills Trailer Park for real, the old man writes them checks to make things right again, and Joy and her neighbors start being nicer and more charitable.

    Video Games 
  • In Ōkami, one level forces Amaterasu to be shrunk to the same minuscule size as Issun. When a human foot nearly stomps on both of them, Issun doesn't fail to drop "Do you understand how I feel now?" We don't get to know how she felt about the "experience" though...

    Web Original 
  • In all incarnations of the Noob franchise, the main guild gets a Guest-Star Party Member in the form of a former elite player who, due to certain events, has to start over again with his new gaming avatar. He has great trouble re-adjusting to the low defense and resources of lower-level avatars and as a result ends up needing the help of players much less talented than him.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-5698 is a phenomenon where a preexisting warehouse and the people in it are temporarily overwritten with an entirely different history. Two people who got overwritten were previously the mayor of the surrounding town (who was voted in on a business-first agenda) and a county judge, believing they had worked at the warehouse for years and endured its unsavory business practices. While they wouldn't remember their time working there when the phenomenon went away, the experience stuck with them enough to start pushing for policies that better the lives of employees.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


"Josh Is Done" Climax

After days of his life getting worse and worse, culminating in being put through what Josh goes through on a daily basis, the cocky, invincible Drake Parker, no longer caring about looking cool, finally breaks down.

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