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The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort

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"You don't know what you're talking about! Dodging an attack is nothing more than a fighting instinct. It's a natural reaction developed from years of hand-to-hand combat, but it changes nothing: No matter what you do your sword cannot cut me!"
Nnoitra Gilga explaining an aversion, Bleach

The less actively a combatant puts an effort to defend themself, the less likely they need to.

The corollary: Any attack that forces someone who normally ignores self-defense to dodge (or block) the attack is usually an attack that can cripple or kill the defender.

Frequently seen in Implacable superheroes/villains and Big Bads trying to make an impression. The Logical Extreme is the No-Sell, when the recipient of the attack makes no effort whatsoever to avoid or block it, and doesn't react at all when it hits.

Although there are some real-life examples, attempting to use this in Real Life is more likely to cause quick and stupid deaths. It just doesn't work if you do it on purpose.

The sad (terrifying) fact is that this is an instinctive response called the Peltzman effect, where someone will take more risks according to how safe they are in some kind of internal (insane) sense of balance. But since humans tend normally to overestimate their benefits... the result is nasty. Worse is that it's a constant effect that people do without realizing day after day. Not so different from pain tolerance; expected pain "hurts" less than surprise pain.

Compare Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh.... See also Good Thing You Can Heal (when fighters with a Healing Factor don't bother defending because "meh, I can grow that spleen back") and Nonchalant Dodge (a fighter expends the minimum effort to avoid an attack, but doesn't seem remotely fazed by it). A Not So Invincible After All moment usually occurs when said character bumps into the thing that poses a genuine threat.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • For much of Armed Girl's Machiavellism's first arc Amou was surrounded by an aura of invincibility due her apparent invulnerability after she had taken two strikes from Rin and Mary's (blunted) swords and shrug them off, and that, combined with her ability to pierce flesh and bone with her hands, left everyone else wondering what was her deal or how she could be countered. Near the end of the arc, however, Rin and Mary face her again and aim to the same spot on Amou's body, and her parrying not only reveals she can in fact be harmed but also how (if hit in the same spot in a very quick succession, as the first hit will make her muscles relax and make them vulnerable to the second) and that she's a traditionally trained Uechi-ryu Karateka with a rare skillset.
  • Very common in the Dragon Ball franchise, whether between one of the ridiculously powerful main characters and an ordinary human, or by a villain to show how far above the hero they are. As early as the second episode of Dragon Ball Z, Raditz makes light of Piccolo's power, stands there and allows himself to be blasted, and when the smoke clears...
    Raditz: Goodness! You've managed to singe some of my leg hairs.
    • Played with by Cell, who lets Vegeta taunt him into standing still to take a Final Flash, an attack that notably takes a few minutes to properly execute. As he is about to be struck, he cries out in surprise, and moves aside, but his arm and a part of his upper torso are blown off. Vegeta, seeing the damage he's done, is very pleased with himself, until Cell reveals that it was all a ruse, regenerates the damage, and proceeds to beat the snot out of Vegeta.
    • Up until the Cell Saga, Kuririn/Krillin had a technique called Kienzan/Destructo-Disc, which was powerful but easy to dodge. So powerful, in fact, that it was the only technique among the secondary characters to actually break their enemies Diminished Effort. When he uses it against Nappa in the Saiyan arc, he is the first to do some actual damage to Nappa, and only because Nappa actually dodged it at the last moment thanks Vegeta's warning (Vegeta is later seen using a similar technique to cut off Great Ape Gohan's tail, which is how he knew it was dangerous enough to kill Nappa). In the Frieza arc, Krillin uses the technique again on Frieza and is the first to actually damage him in his first transformation by cutting his tail off (though, again, one has to wonder how Frieza figured out the attack would actually hurt him). It is only in the Cell arc that the Law of Diminishing Efforts comes back to haunt him as Krillin uses a barrage of attacks against Perfect Cell, including the Kienzan, and the Kienzan uselessly breaks against Cell's neck who does absolutely no effort in dodging this attack. Note that Perfect Cell isn't any more or less arrogant than both Frieza or Vegeta, and yet both of these figured they actually HAD to dodge this attack while Cell figured he didn't have to. However, Cell was capable of regenerating from just a head anyway so it wouldn't have killed him even if it HAD worked and Cell knew this. Later one of the Cell Jrs. uses the Disc against Super Saiyan 2 Gohan, and it's the only technique out of all of the ones they throw at him Gohan doesn't just stand/float there and take the blow and instead dodges.
    • Its worth nothing that Cell resisting the Kienzan was an anime only scene. It did not appear in the manga, and general statements by Toriyama related to the Kienzan mean that it's generally interpreted as being a mistake on the part of the anime.
    • During Goku's fight with Spike the Devil Man, Spike decides to use his Devilmite Beam attack. Master Roshi freaks out, quickly explains that the attack is a One-Hit Kill to any being with a shred of evil in them, and yells at Goku to dodge it. Goku takes it head-on because he couldn't understand what Roshi was saying and he thought the beam was pretty. It's a good thing Goku is pure of heart or else he would have died.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, at one point in the Tournament of Power, Jiren just finds a secluded spot and meditates. A bunch of other competitors see this as an opportunity to defeat him, but they're repelled back by the force field surrounding him.
  • Bleach:
    • Kenpachi Zaraki is perfectly content to let his opponents attack him, and actually encourages them to go for the eye or the throat. The first time Ichigo tried to hit Kenpachi with his sword, Ken was unharmed, and Ichigo's hands got hurt from the impact. However, even when his enemies show they can cut him, he still rarely bothers to dodge or defend and lets them keep hitting him so he can get in the perfect range to strike back. This almost got him in trouble fighting Nnoitra, as he underestimated how much damage Nnoitra was actually doing to his body and made him sober up on the realization that if he didn't take him out now, he'd bleed to death in the long run.
    • Also, Nnoitra Gilga fits it pretty well, especially the corollary during his fight with Kenpachi. He doesn't actually dodge any of Kenpachi's attacks until Kenpachi aims for the head, giving Kenpachi the proof he needs that Nnoitra's hierro isn't actually invincible. However, Nnoitra replies that it's just natural instinct to dodge a sword coming for the head, and when Kenpachi goes for a stab through the eye, he makes the mistake of aiming for his Eyepatch of Power, which actually covers Nnoitra's Hollow hole and opens him to a retaliatory strike. That said, Nnoitra's smugness quickly fades once Kenpachi finally figures out the trick to cutting him and he's forced to start parrying and dodging rather than tanking.
    • Aizen averts this for a while, using his illusions to avoid attacks he could probably easily tank anyway. But when he reveals his Healing Factor, he adheres fully to this trope.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • During Fate and Signum's first battle, Signum calmly put a field around her and just stood there with her eyes closed as Fate launched Photon Lancer. The energy missiles just bounced off of her. Later in the battle, when Fate charged at Signum with her axe, Signum actively dodged it. In the next episode, it's revealed that Fate had managed to wound her then.
    • Averted with Reinforce Eins, who isn't averse to using external barriers to stop her opponents' attacks. Nanoha pierces her barrier, fires an Exelion Buster point-blank at her... and she isn't even scratched.
    • In StrikerS, Fate develops a "defensive costume" that trades all protection for a massive speed boost. The Numbers' best fighter immediately recognizes that a single hit that connects will kill Fate. What she fails to realize is that in a high-speed battle, you CAN'T land a hit on Fate.
    • Yuuno was good at two things, barriers and teleportation. When he's seen fighting Vita in the second episode of A's, he nearly completely ignores her, throws up a defensive barrier, and keeps working on teleporting the entire gang out of the Wolkenritter's barrier. This ALL WITHOUT THE USE OF A MAGICAL DEVICE. Vita had demolished Nanoha and would have won if the others hadn't interfered just the episode before.
  • Alucard from Hellsing, not because he can't be damaged (rather the opposite, really) but because his Healing Factor is so powerful that it makes him practically unkillable. He likely also doesn't because it's scary as hell for those attacking him with absolutely no clear actual permanent effect. When he begins employing anything approaching tactics (i.e. stopping to think in any way whatsoever), you can tell the fight is very serious.
  • Naruto:
    • Hidan is entirely immortal, and thus has almost no strategy or moves beyond "get opponent's blood for voodoo technique". Both his partner Kakuzu and eventual opponent Shikamaru tell him how stupid that is. They are proven completely right when Shikamaru buries his severed head deep underground. He was also shown to be at least partially vulnerable to dismemberment as unlike Kakuzu he can't pull his bodyparts back together automatically. Thus, Hidan gets to be an immortal decapitated head buried in the middle of nowhere.
    • Orochimaru plays this trope completely straight, often taking hits and regenerating his body afterwards. He can deal with nearly any physical injury this way, even a broken neck at one point. However, some things still mess him up. When facing against Kyuubi-overtaken Naruto, he pulled regeneration trick several times, but once the monster starts charging up 4 Tails Menacing Ball he puts forth a serious effort to defend himself, commenting on how it could kill even him in one shot. Said "serious effort" being to summon the Triple Rashomon Gate in the blast's path. A pair of his Elite Mooks had previously described a single Rashomon Gate as the "ultimate defense". All three gates were destroyed (alongside some nearby mountains), but the blast was slowed enough for Orochimaru to avoid destruction. In his battle against Itachi, this habit also bites him in the ass, as he takes a stab to the chest from a blade that he thought couldn't harm him, only for it to turn out to be a spiritual blade that sealed him in an endless illusion.
    • Suigetsu partially averts this though as despite being able to avoid damage by turning into water, he still prefers to avoid attacks in a more conventional fashion (except in that one filler episode, but that was against someone he really didn't consider a threat and to scare him by showing the power off). Granted, this might simply be because he can't attack while reforming or a limit on how much he can regenerate before losing consciousness/dying.
    • The series is otherwise an aversion, as it's shown that even with heavy use of Charles Atlas Superpower, there's a limit to the raw physical ability any person can normally achieve (as detailed in this helpful essay). Thus, even insanely powerful ninja have to avoid simple things like kunai and explosives and the strongest techniques are the ones that make being hit nearly impossible.
    • Subverted with both Gaara and later Sasuke who tried to rely on their "ultimate defense" (the Sand Shield and Susano'o) technique to mean they don't need to do anything else to defend themselves, but eventually have both of them defeated.
  • Played straight with a twist in Blade of the Immortal, as the main character, the titular immortal swordsman Manji, is bothered by the fact that his reliance on his regeneration induced immortality means that, consequently, his sword skills are slipping.
  • Subverted in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Simon puts up a barrier of Spiral power that effortlessly deflects a barrage of Anti-Spiral attacks. He mocks the Anti-Spirals when they immediately try another barrage - but this one penetrates the barrier and causes serious damage. This is an example of the Anti-Spirals rewriting the laws of the universe, basically, to make "the impossible possible".
  • One-Punch Man: Saitama rarely ever bothers to dodge or block his opponent's attacks, as they never do anything to him anyway. Although early on in the series he would sometimes dodge attacks from the likes of Sonic and Beast King, who were far weaker than many opponents whose blows he took unfazed.
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • Justified where Kenshin's best Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu moves have two parts, greatly reducing blind spots and successful counterattacks.
    • Sanosuke Sagara hardly ever bothers with dodging or blocking, relying on his Made of Iron body to tank attacks until he can hit his opponents and knock them out. Saito Hajime treats him with derision for this attitude, demonstrates that he's strong enough to hurt Sanosuke and fast and skilled enough to avoid his attacks, then tells Sanosuke that unless he learns defense, he's useless. Sanosuke doesn't take his advice, instead learning the powerful Futae no Kiwami technique to improve his attack power, which at least makes him more useful.
  • In Slayers, to demoralize Lina into using her Dangerous Forbidden Technique, Hellmaster tells the Slayers that they can attack him all they want and he won't counter-attack or even attempt to defend himself, and then spends a while laughing off everything they throw at him (even more so in the novel version, where all of the Slayers actively participate in the fight). The first thing that forces him to react is two simultaneous Dragon Slaves from Lina and Sylphiel, which "might have hurt a bit if I hadn't dodged it". The only thing that he really considers worth defending against is the Giga Slave - at which point he discovers that ultimate destructive power is not a toy.
  • Averted in Black Butler, where Sebastian regularly dodges when shot at despite being Immune to Bullets. This is suggested to be because getting shot ruins his clothes, and as a Battle Butler, he must look impeccable.
  • Father from Fullmetal Alchemist can do pretty much the strongest alchemy in the entire series without moving at all. He spends several chapters just standing there, arms crossed, blocking everything the good guys can throw at him. And when he finally raises his arm to block, that's when they know he's finally losing it.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Accelerator has control over vectors, so anything that makes contact with him will bounce off, even if it hits him without him being aware of it. His arrogance bites him in the ass in his fights against Touma and Amata Kihara. As a testament to Accelerator's Character Development, much later in the series, he faces Umidori Kuroyoru. Kuroyoru launches an attack that can hurt him, expecting Accelerator to take the attack and get himself killed. Accelerator dodges, causing her to have a Villainous Breakdown as she didn't see that coming.
  • In Fist of the North Star, Souther's Nanto Ho'oh Ken has no defensive stance. In the initial fight against Kenshiro, he manages to No-Sell every technique Kenshiro uses (due to having every pressure point on his body reversed due to his heart being on the opposite side).
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Juvia has a body of living water that normally feels no pain and can effortlessly regenerate when splattered. When Meredy throws a Storm of Blades at her, Juvia confidently stands still, but they turn out to be magical swords that can hurt her, and she gets badly injured.
    • Midnight's Reflector Magic allows him to bend attacks that come at him harmlessly away from his body or to create illusions that take the attacks for him. Erza realizes, however, that there are limits to this power when he performs a Nonchalant Dodge on one of her thrown swords while he's throttling her with said magic rather than just reflecting it like all previous attacks. She realizes due to this and other actions he's been taking during the fight that he can't use his power to attack and defend at the same time and proves it by unleashing a Storm of Blades while he's using his power on her again, which causes him to visibly panic and jump away from the attack.
    • Played with by Acnologia, who occasionally takes strikes head on and at worst just gets knocked back before acting like he didn't even feel it because he has natural Anti-Magic thanks to his Dragon Slayer element being magic itself, but other times he can be seen blocking strikes or jumping away from them. However, the ease and almost casual way he does both makes it clear he doesn't actually feel threatened by them in any way.
  • Averted in Chapter 280 of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. The Karate club is taught Muy Thai by one of the members of Yomi, but he only taught them how to attack. As such they could not defend against Kenichi at all when he counterattacked.
  • Happens with the Replica Weapon used by the Pope in The Rising of the Shield Hero, while the Replica Weapon does contain 1/4th of the total power of all four Cardinal Weapons and can shift forms to those weapons, because of the ideology of The Three Heroes Church treating the Shield Hero as their religions' Anti Christ, Pope Bisca refuses to use the Replica Weapons' Shield Form to instead rely upon a magical barrier to defend himself with, a barrier that is fueled by the mana of his own Churchs' Followers just like every other attack that the Replica Weapon is capable of producing. Suffice to say, Pope Biscas' barrier is eventually worn down through attrition by all Four Heroes working together.
  • Soul Eater:
    • Free hardly ever bothers with blocking or dodging because he has Complete Immortality. In fact, the one time he went out his way to dodge Black Star's sword strikes Kid immediately realizes something's up and that "Free" is really a projected illusion used for distraction. The only times he's ever bothered with blocking is when he's acting like a meat shield for the much more vulnerable ally Eruka.
    • Asura also plays this straight after his fight with Lord Shinigami. Attacks seem to damage him he still just No Sells, and it turns out he's the personification of fear and can't die as long as fear exists, so he had no reason to be concerned about them. He only had reason to concern himself with Shinigami since he defeated him prior to the series.
  • Often used in One Piece: Luffy is made of rubber and thereby immune to bullets and blunt force trauma (unless supplemented by haki) and only vulnerable to cutting, piercing, or slashing attacks, Logia users are elementals and immune to everything except sea stone, the sea itself, something that defeats their element (e.g. using water on a fire logia) or haki.
    • Both of these come up as plot points later as Crocodile (a sand Logia) and Enel (self-appointed god of Skypeia and lightning Logia user) Don't bother to dodge Luffy's punches they get smacked in the face as Luffy has coated his hands in water or his own blood (Crocodile) or is made of rubber and is insulated from electricity (Enel). From this point on both fights are over pretty quickly as neither is as used to conventional hand-to-hand combat as Luffy (although Crocodile still won their second round with the water by dehydrating Luffy's body and only lost the third round with the blood because he finally had enough and threw strategy out the window for a simple beatdown). Likewise, Luffy makes little to no effort to block punches so when Sentoumaru shows up and uses hand-to-hand combat, Luffy is freaked out that he's being hurt by them due to Sentoumaru using Armament Haki.
    • As Gekko Moriah's powers include summoning zombies or shadow manifestations to fight on his behalf, Gekko Moriah can fend off skilled fighters without even having to move. With Luffy's first encounter with him, Moriah created a silhouette clone of himself to fend Luffy off as he got up and walked out of the room, to Luffy's frustration.
    • End of the Fishman Island arc and beginning of New World adventures proper includes a direct lecture from Pekoms about how just being a Logia is no longer enough to be invincible, punctuated by one-shotting Caribou with a punch to the gut despite the latter's attempt to transform into his living swamp form.
    • Kaido of the Beasts is so infamous for being Nigh-Invulnerable that his introduction has him jumping off a Sky Island- Thirty thousand meters in above ground -and surviving with a minor headache. But when the Worst Generation face Kaido in the Wano Arc's third act, Kaido is amazed that they are able to bypass his indestructible skin. When Roronoa Zoro is about to unleash a massive Razor Wind Sword Beam, Kaido actually has to dodge it.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, when Sayaka Miki starts to go Laughing Mad due to learning Magical Girls like herself are pretty much liches, she charges straight at Elsa Maria, relying on her Feel No Pain and regeneration to tank the witch's attacks, until she gets close enough to kill her. Everyone comments that she had to be out of her mind to fight that way, even if she can't feel pain and can heal from injuries. Doing so actually makes the Magical Girls lose their minds and become Witches even faster than normal.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Used by Sensui when he fights 3/4 of the protagonists at once. He completely shrugs off Kurama's Rose Whip and Hiei's Dragon of the Darkness Flame, which have sliced through and vaporized past opponents respectively, but he noticeably avoids Kuwabara's new Dimensional Sword, which can cut through absolutely anything. The fact that Sensui knows how powerful this technique is, but is still confident that he'll win is a bad sign.
  • Medaka Box: Zenkichi states that this is the common weakness shared by the strongest students at the academy: they never dodge their opponents' first attack (Medaka being an exception thanks to the "Auto-Pilot" Abnormality she copied before). Any attack that could take them out of the fight in one hit will work on them.
  • Ogre from Rave Master is stupidly overconfident because his Dark Bring makes physical attacks phase through him. He tends to forget it doesn't protect him from energy or spiritual attacks, like Silver Bond.
  • Frederica from Avesta of Black and White actively invokes this trope by having a Commandment that forbids her from ever dodging or blocking attacks made against her, but gives her near complete immortality in return as long as she doesn't do anything to violate it.

    Comic Books 
  • The Avengers:
    • In Annual #2, Hawkeye defeats both the Hulk and Iron Man by exploiting the fact that they're parallel versions who know nothing about him, hence they'll not even try to dodge one arrow of the guy who has developed projectiles capable to bypass Hulk's invulnerability or melt Iron Man's armor down.
    • In his second appearance, The Vision believes he can withstand Thor's attacks by making himself super-dense. He changes his mind after getting punched across the room.
  • ClanDestine: Adam Destine can't be harmed, period. As he has lived several centuries with this condition, he tends not to react to any attack. His usual tactic is to stand still while his opponent gets tired or leaves.
  • Secret Wars (1984): Amora the Enchantress stood still against She-Hulk, believing that the mortal would not be able to harm her, only to be knocked out with a single blow.
  • Superman:
    • Superman usually trusts his nigh-invulnerability to tank anything. Sometimes this results in him awesomely standing still while bullets ricochet off his body. Other times, it bites him in the ass when he runs into goons armed with anti-Kryptonian weaponry.
    • In Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man, he just stands still while Spider-Man punches him uselessly.
    • In Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Superman tries to catch a bullet, but it pierces through his hand. It leads to the revelation that someone has turned the Sun into a red star.
    • In The Supergirl from Krypton (2004), a squad of winged Darkseid's parademons tries to stop him by kamikazing against his body. Superman just ignores their relentless assault as he continues his march forward.
    • In Kryptonite Nevermore, the Man of Steel is so preoccupied with his fluctuating powers he barely notices a gang of thugs knocking themselves out by "hitting" his indestructible body.
    • Supergirl and Power Girl are more reckless and more hot-headed than their older cousin and just so invulnerable, so they're prone to take more risks and head-diving into a situation with little concern about their safety.
    • During an Amazons Attack tie-in, Kara leaps in the way of an arrow to protect civilians. Unfortunately, Amazon arrows are magic-imbued, so it gets embedded in her midsection.
    • Subverted in Justice when Green Arrow states he has a Kryptonite-tipped arrow, prompting Supergirl to move aside when he fires.
    • In Who is Superwoman?, the titular villain becomes so cocky and overconfident after gaining superhuman invulnerability she believes she can stand still and endure an enraged Kryptonian's blows. She learns otherwise when she's punched across a street and through a building.
    • In a crossover with He-Man, when Superman is attacked by Skeletor, he confidently stands still, thinking the villain will only hurt himself or damage his weapon, only to be shocked when Skeletor's magic sword slashes his chest. Superman then properly dodges or blocks attacks after this. This was the first time in the comics that Superman's vulnerability to magic was brought up.
    • This trope was a major reason why the New 52 "armored Superman" design didn't last long; the wide perception among audiences was that, while it makes some sense for a Badass Normal to wear some kind of body armor, Superman wearing it doesn't do much more than make his design unnecessarily busy.
  • X-Men:
    • Kimura is physically indestructible, so she doesn't even flinch when a gun is pointed at her head, or when faced with X-23's adamantium claws. Her arrogance bites her in the ass when she faces Emma Frost, and learns that her mind is not nearly as invulnerable as her body.
    • It comes back to bite her again during All-New Wolverine when she drops her guard to taunt Laura, knowing that Laura couldn't hurt her even with a stolen Iron Man suit. Laura admits she's right, but points out that no matter how invulnerable Kimura is she still has to breathe, and drowns her in the ocean.
    • Nimrod doesn't make much of an effort to defend itself during battle. Being an android endowed with immense regenerative capabilities, it doesn't need to.
  • Wonder Woman: While Wonder Woman has been impervious to small arms fire for decades and can usually tank much more impressive hits she usually blocks and/or catches bullets and other projectiles especially when she's in a city, which prevents a ricochet from hurting someone else. If the fight is in the wilderness she'll just walk through a hail of bullets without flinching, since even if it is something that can harm her she's got a Healing Factor that'll make short work of the damage.

    Fan Works 
  • Paul in With Strings Attached. Given that the super-strong Paul has absolutely no interest in hitting anyone (unless one of the others is threatened) and no combat training whatsoever, he has no moves at all in case something penetrates his invulnerability, as with the wraiths or the Hunter's BFS.
  • In Harmony Theory, Nightmare Umbra is a Physical God, so she tends to ignore most attacks. Even if by some miracle you manage to injure her, she heals almost instantly. She usually only avoids attacks if she is low on energy.
  • In A RWBY Zanpakuto, Ichigo started fighting extremely recklessly after gaining Blut Vene and Ransotengai, believing those techniques would let him survive anything, until Weiss sets him straight.
    Weiss: You're too stubborn.
    Ichigo: How is that a bad thing, Weiss!?
    Weiss: It's a bad thing, because you have no understanding of your own mortality! Your willpower does increase your reiatsu, which does increase your ability to survive and use techniques. But even with all the willpower in the world, you can't win everything! You have to fight smarter, not just harder!
  • The God of Destruction comes to Remnant: Godzilla is sent to the world of RWBY in the form of a Faunus. When he gets into a fight with a thug, he stands still when the thug throws a punch, thinking that he's still invulnerable and the thug will just break his hand, only to get hurt and knocked down. He learns his lesson after that and fights smarter.
  • Fates Collide: The RWBY characters often confidently stand still, believing their Aura will protect them, only to find out the hard way Noble Phantasms are powerful enough to wound them.
  • Lost to Dust: Because Yang Xiao Long has Avalon which heals her injuries, combined with her Semblance, she's started to become arrogant and just stand there tanking damage. Kairi Sisigou scolds her and points out those abilities aren't foolproof and she almost got killed by Beowulf.
  • The Red Dragon's Saber: Averted. While fighting the Fallen Angels, Artoria Pendragon becomes tempted to try to tank one of their light spears to test her Magic Resistance skill. She decides it is not worth the risk and continues dodging and blocking them.
  • The Crow: Phoenix Rising: More often than not Harry lets deadly spells just hit him because he's already dead.
  • Subverted in Warp. Back when she was a teenager, Antares usually charged headfirst in any situation, trusting her force field to deflect any physical strike. Her adult self is reluctant to take unnecessary risks, so she fights more carefully and cleverly.
  • In Last Child of Krypton, Shinji is warned that he shouldn't be overconfident since he may be invulnerable, but his friends are not. It comes back to bite him in the ass later when Gendo keeps him at bay with a piece of Kryptonite.
  • Subverted in Finishing the Fight, as while little the Drow have can seriously dent MC's shields or those of the Sangheili, he isn't standing around letting them have free hits either.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Superman, Supergirl and a third Kryptonian crash into Darkseid's stronghold and bump straight into Kryptonite Man. After rescuing them from the trap they had been lured into, Lightray considers the trio too cocky, but he'd probably also get cocky after shrugging off the attacks of thousands of parademons.
  • In Rokas's Falling Stars, Celestia attempts to fight an entire Battalion of mechs by herself by standing still, right in the open with no cover, apparently in the belief that her shielding spells are just that good. She's proven wrong and nearly gets killed for it. Of course, her enchanted armor does take quite a bit of punishment, so she probably just got complacent.
  • A Force of Four: After her cousin's death, Power Girl was de facto the world's most powerful being. So she was quite shocked when she leapt into a battle and got unexpectedly hurt by two men. It was her first clue that she was engaging other Kryptonians.
  • Inverted with Luffy in Supernova (One Piece). Because he was trained to avoid accidentally turning intangible, he tends to reflexively dodge attacks rather than let them harmlessly pass through him.
  • In Kara of Rokyn, Starfire -not that Starfire- is given Kryptonian powers. She quickly becomes cocky and overconfident, allowing enemies to hit her invulnerable body... until a real Kryptonian jumps into battle all of sudden and punches her into orbit.
  • The Games We Play (The Gamer/RWBY): In "Expansions", Gilgamesh tanks three Brahmastra and a point-blank Lux Aeterna without bothering to dodge, but when Jaune uses a Longinus, the foe tries to get out of the way.
  • In The Vampire of Steel, Kara confidently dives into a fight to save her new acquaintance Buffy, confident that her invulnerable body can't be harmed by whoever has ambushed her. Swiftly Kara finds out they're vampires, hence they are able to hurt her.
  • In Pokémon fanfic Traveler, Cynthia's Spiritomb won't bother to defend itself against most attacks due a combination of its power, ghostly nature, and ability (Pressure). But once Ash starts aiming for its base, it freaks out and focuses entirely on defending.
  • Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron: Defied during the Battle of Narita - Lelouch explicitly advises the Paladins to use Voltron's shield to block a hail of gunfire and misssiles from Cornelia's army in order to make the Britannians think they might have a chance to win.
  • The Mission Stays the Same:
    • Inverted. When Shepherd first sees Captain Gallardi fighting on Purgatory, she notes that he seems oddly over-cautious, never leaving cover for more than a fraction of a second. Then she remembers that Gallardi is used to fighting without kinetic barriers, where even a single bullet could kill him.
    • Similarly, Gallardi absolutely butchers the Blue Sun mercs, in large part because they're used to being able to rely on barriers instead of dodging or taking cover and Gallardi is armed with a lasgun that ignores kinetic shielding.
  • Kabbalah: The Passive Conqueror: Discussed and subverted. When Mashu Kyrielight gets attacked by the AST, she remembers that Servants are immune to non-magical attacks and is highly tempted to tank their bullets, but decides to block them with her shield. It was a good call because when a few bullets go past her shield and hit her, though they bounce off, they really hurt.

    Film— Live Action 
  • In The Court Jester, when Danny Kaye is enchanted to be a perfect swordsman, it's shown by him effortlessly parrying the villain's attacks while pouring and drinking a cup of water.
  • Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights:
    • Robin Hood does something similar, having a nonchalant conversation with his servant while fighting the guards.
    • His blind servant, arriving in the middle of the fray to deliver Robin a beer, who drinks it in one hand while fighting mooks off with the other.
      "Sounds like we're winning, sir."
  • The Cobra gunship from GI Joe The Rise Of Cobra lets anti-aircraft 50 cal bounce off its armored shell, but actively engages incoming missiles.
  • In Ip Man 2, the Twister asks Master Hung's students to hit him as hard as they can and laughs off their blows as wimpy. When he actually throws down with Master Hung and Ip, though, he properly blocks and evades their attacks.
  • In The Matrix, during the climax when Neo becomes The One, he becomes so masterful over Agent Smith that he can fight him off with only one hand. In the sequel, he starts off the same way with the first Agent who tries to attack him, but eventually finds that he actually needs to use both again:
    "Huh. Upgrades."
  • Sebastian Shaw in X-Men: First Class. When Magneto sends a storm of metal at him, he doesn't even seem to notice it as all the metal harmlessly bounces off him. Which makes sense, since his mutant power (in the comics at least) explicitly is to absorb kinetic energy, so simply hitting him tends to leave him both unhurt and stronger than before. He's still vulnerable to less straightforward attacks (he still needs to breathe, for one) and knows it, though.
  • Standard for Kaiju, they're too big to avoid getting shot, but nothing shot at them, outside of a Breath Weapon or some other attack from another Kaiju, hurts them.
  • During the scene in Fury (2014) where three Sherman tanks engage a German Tiger, the Tiger just powers towards the Shermans as their shells bounce helplessly off it, while its cannon systematically reduces them from three to one (an example of Hollywood Tactics as the Tiger had no need to advance, or even leave cover, to destroy its opponents). It's only when Fury begins to get around behind it to Attack Its Weak Point that the Germans change tactics; at one point you can hear the German tank commander shout (in unsubtitled German) "Oh, Crap!! Reverse! Reverse! Don't let them get behind us or we're dead!"'
  • In the final battle of Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, Big Bad Shishio initially shows off his Made of Iron credentials this way, by using a battle style that is entirely offensive and simply shrugging off all of Kenshin's blows. Shishio only begins dodging and blocking when people who are using regular swords enter the battle on Kenshin's side.
  • Thanos's signature pose in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame is to simply sit down, arms on his lap with his head down in a contemplative pose. He'll do this even when his enemies are nearby, ready to attack him. He is such a skilled fighter that he can afford to let his guard down like that and still hold his own. He also assumes this pose when he is about to be disintegrated once the Infinity Stones are taken from him, suggesting that he really is defenseless like that.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, Batman's battle with Bane in the sewers has Bane speechifying to him about how "victory" has cost him, and conspicuously tanking shots to the face while telling Batman how weak he has become — with dozens of loyal mooks ordered to stand back and watch. It's kind of not hard to see which way the wind is blowing.
  • Subverted with Godzilla in Godzilla vs. Gigan Rex. While he's as capable of taking hits as other Godzillas, he's not solely reliant on his durability, preferring to parry, block, and dodge to create openings for counterattacks.

  • Invoked in the Dale Brown novel Wings of Fire, where Hal tells a Night Stalker new to the Tin Man Powered Armor to stop being obsessed with taking cover like a conventional foot mobile and focus on getting the job done while letting the suit's protection shrug off small-arms fire.
  • Beowulf has the titular hero starting out battling a monster naked—but by the time the dragon comes around, he's an old man and prudently equips himself with mail and a shield.
  • In The Dresden Files, Ivy the Archive is a Great Big Library of Everything in human form. She knows everything that has ever been written down. In the Dresdenverse, knowledge equals power, and she has a lot of it. In a spectacular display of power, she manages to take on seven very Elite Mooks, blocking or redirecting every attack with seemingly minimal effort. But when the leader of the Elite Mooks throws a spell at her, Ivy devotes most of her attention, as well as one of her hands, on defending against her attack.
  • The Big Bad of The Alloy of Law doesn't bother to avoid punches, bullets, or dynamite blasts. He even blows his head apart with a shotgun, just to make a point.
  • The ACS troops from Legacy of the Aldenata are essentially immune to most small-arms fire. They're also fairly high priority targets, resulting in some resentment from normal soldiers who have to find cover from both direct enemy fire, and from the (still nasty) flechettes and railgun rounds ricocheting from any ACS nearby. Of course, standard procedure is to have the ACS way out in front...
  • In the Paradox Trilogy, this is the downfall of Anton Mikel. After Devi's initial attacks are stopped by his armor, he assumes that she is unable to harm him at all and stops bothering to block or dodge. Devi then locates a weak spot in his armor and is able to kill him with an attack that he doesn't react to until it's too late.
  • The Fifth Elephant shows this only applies if the person has some knowledge of combat: an ordinary policeman dodges when Vimes tosses an orange at him, but someone who doesn't flinch from gently-flung fruit presumably knows how to fight.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Glory in Buffy the Vampire Slayer rarely had to defend herself against anything, even when Uber-Willow was slinging major mojo her way.
  • In Band of Brothers, the more time soldiers spend trying desperately not to die, the more likely they are to get killed, while those who simply focus on completing their mission tend to do better. As in the case of Lt., later Captain Speirs, who runs through occupied Foy to link up with another company assaulting Foy from the other direction, then runs back through in order to lead his own men into the now-coordinated attack.
  • Game of Thrones: This can be seen in Jaime Lannister's sword-fighting strategies, before and after his maiming. Before his sudden limb removal, Jaime fought very aggressively, always putting his opponent on the defensive and never letting them even consider attacking him. After he loses the ability to kill most men with a flick of his wrist, he fights completely defensively, relying on his still-perfect footwork and maneuvers where his lackluster hand can't win.
  • This is a Borg policy in Star Trek, as they will ignore anything they do not perceive as a threat. The very first drone to appear on the Enterprise makes a point of this, as it ignores not only Picard's attempts to communicate, but a low-level phaser blast.
    Q: "Understand you"? You're nothing to him.
    • Since individual drones are just about as important to the Borg as individual cells are to humans, this does make some sense. Much less in the later incarnations, where the Borg are starting to resemble zombies led by a quite individualistic queen. Especially since Starfleet members have on multiple occasions taken advantage of the drones ignoring them to seriously sabotage their efforts. Of course, since the Borg's hat is adapting to what's hurt them, one can take this as the Borg adapting to Starfleet exploiting the drones.
  • In the first season of Heroes, the show's supervillain Sylar would use his telekinesis as a passive force field to blunt the impact of surprise bullet hits, and could even stop bullets in mid-air Neo-style if given enough time to actually react. After he absorbed a Healing Factor in the later seasons, though, he just stopped bothering and let himself get riddled with holes, even though doing so clearly inconvenienced him much more than simply stopping the bullets with telekinesis.
    • It kind of makes sense, though. If he uses telekinesis, they'll keep shooting, hoping he slips up once. If he uses healing, then they're more likely to stop shooting, since there's clearly no point.
  • In the Haven episode "Fear and Loathing", Ian Haskell steals Nathan Wuornos' Feel No Pain ability, and while it makes him tougher, he assumes he's invincible. When the heroes shoot at him, he laughs off his injuries until the damage and blood loss makes him collapse and start dying.
  • Kamen Rider Wizard usually prefaces getting the tar beaten out of him by switching to Land Style and chain-casting Defend. Conversely, when he first unlocks his Super Mode he gives Legion several free hits just to prove how hopelessly outclassed he is.
  • Super Sentai, a Monster of the Week or villain with any significance, outside of human looking ones, don't make much effort to avoid attacks outside of occasionally blocking them. This results in the attack either hurting them, or the attack does nothing. Also zigzagged with the series Humongous Mecha, which usually leads to them getting damaged but if it's Mid-Season Upgrade making its debut, it will No-Sell the attacks, mostly because the costumes are too bulky for the actors in them to make any sort of evasive moves.
  • In Crisis on Earth-X, Supergirl's Earth-X counterpart Overgirl laughs when Oliver threatens her with an arrow. She confidently stands still when he fires it, only to learn it is a kryptonite arrow when it penetrates her shoulder. After angrily pulling it out, she catches or dodges any other arrows he fires.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Averted in go (a.k.a. igo, weiqi, baduk) — if the stronger player can forget defense, the handicap is too small - and according to the game etiquette, they should play weaker in order to avoid crushing their opponent. Especially if the handicap was purposefully omitted or too small. The stronger one is supposed to "gently" show where a mistake was done, and not take too great advantage of obvious blunders. It's supposed to be a sign of a good player that they can defeat a weak player of any level by a small margin.
  • The fluff of Vampire: The Masquerade mentions that Ventrue with the Fortitude Discipline often like to use their supernatural toughness as an intimidation tactic, standing still and letting muggles throw away bullets, knives, etc. (which they shrug off) as a way of psyching them out.
  • Cited for several characters in Scion. For example, Sisyphus, having managed to push the rock onto the top of the cliff thanks to a lucky break, has escaped Tartarus and received incredible power as per the deal with Hermes. Specifically, anyone with a Legend less than his can't hurt him at all. The text specifies that if he knows a person can't hurt him, he won't even try to dodge.
  • Exalted has the hardness mechanic, which prevents any enemy who hasn't sufficiently grasped the Advantage Ball through withering attacks from inflicting injury. However, it is all or nothing, so anyone depending entirely on hardness against decisive attacks is going to have a short lifespan once a few attacks get through.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition book Drow of the Underdark states that drow consider wearing Stripperiffic clothing to be a warning that the person in question is quite capable of defending themselves with magic without needing protective gear.

    Video Games 
  • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire has Shedinja. Shedinja has an ability called Wonder Guard, which makes it impervious to all attacks that its type combination isn't weak to. It also has only 1 HP, so any attack that isn't stopped by Wonder Guard, including any environmental effects or status effects, will knock it out.
  • Shining Force II has Kiwi, who starts off this way. He will take 1 damage from any attack (except magic and exceptionally strong enemies), but he only starts with 8 HP, and doesn't get much better. The main problem with his is the fact that the farther in the game you get, the more magic the enemies cast on him and his term of "exceptionally strong" gets looser and looser. He usually finished off the game with approx. equal defense as everyone else, but only half (if not less) the HP.
  • Dark Souls has the Rolling mechanic, that lets you roll to get invincibility frames for a quick instance. Since in the game armor slows you down, if you put it on and it surpasses a certain weight threshold (that you can increase with certain items) you have less invincibility frames in your rolling. Because of this, and the fact that you can avoid almost any kind of damage by rolling in time, many people that are too confident of their skills and reaction times tend to use as little amount of armor as possible, or not use armor at all – of course, at risk of dying even faster if they fail in the process, and since less armor gives you less Poise it also means you will get stunlocked by incoming attacks easier. This mechanic, of course, makes some Player Versus Player interactions a circus of men rolling all over the place really fast while wearing nothing but a loincloth and a potato sack on their heads, or a giant fat armor rolling incredibly slow yet somehow dodging all incoming damage.
  • Dante from Devil May Cry, at least in cutscenes. He will let enemies impale him with pointy objects, crush him underneath them etc. because of his Healing Factor, usually leaving a wisecrack or two. If he starts blocking or evading properly then you know the fight's serious. The actual gameplay also demonstrates the corollary very well, especially on the harder difficulty modes: if you aren't jumping around like a frog on meth, you will be torn to shreds by most of the enemies you face, even if their attacks don't do a lot of damage. It's easy to get ganked to death, and there are not many health restoring items available.
  • In Mass Effect 2, when Harbinger takes control of a Collector, he makes absolutely no effort to hide or avoid taking damage. The Collector he takes over stands out in the open behind intensely powerful barrier and armor protection and keeps pounding Shepard's squad, ignoring gunfire, tech attacks, and biotics until his armor and shields have been completely depleted. Then he takes control of the next Collector in line. He even lampshades how little he cares that you're blasting away at him, calling your attacks "insults." At the end of the Suicide Mission, he releases control of the Collector General as the station explodes around it, implying that such a thing might have actually hurt Harbinger himself.
    • The death of a host body was shown to weaken or distract Sovereign in Mass Effect 1. One can assume Harbinger left prior to the deaths, or that this is phenomenon is why Harbinger has a brief lag between possessions.
    • If you watch the cutscenes carefully, you'll note that Harbinger took direct control of the leader of the Collectors before the first time you fight one of his puppets, and relinquishes that control just before the leader is killed. Harbinger was lying to you every time he said "assuming direct control;" he was actually forcing the one Collector he'd taken control of to control those fighting you, giving him indirect control. Because Harbinger knew what you did to Sovereign.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance: Almost all of the bosses in the game do what they can to avoid your attacks or stop them in their tracks where it's possible, knowing Raiden's HF blade can put some actual damage on them. This isn't the case with Senator Steven Armstrong, whose unique brand of Nanomachines (SON!) harden his body so much that most of the time he just plainly does not give a fuck what you're throwing at him; he just plows straight through your myriad slashes anyways to punch your face off the rest of your body. Most of his blocks are just to show off how little Raiden's blade does to him.
  • Played with is Iji where late-game boss Asha, in his rematch is able to dodge all your attacks, but doesn't bother to dodge shotgun or autogun rounds, believing them to be beneath him. His defensive ability is otherwise perfect — no weapon, not even a nuke can even touch him. He doesn't count on Iji surviving as long as she does, constantly chipping down his health until his pride gets him killed.
  • Done a few times in Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012:
    • The Cloud of Darkness lets loose a death beam, which the Onion Knight just blocks. Sort of convoluted as Onion Knight SHOULD be a lot weaker, but there is a forced Aesop about running from danger being a sign of weakness.
    • In the opening cinematic for Dissidia 012, Tifa fights Sephiroth. She finally manages to counter with a roundhouse kick. Sephiroth merely grabs her foot and smiles.
    • When Tidus finally fights his father, Tidus performs a somersaulting slashes down his torso. Jecht takes it, receives no wound, and sends Tidus flying. Notably, this is one of Tidus's Overdrives.
  • In Mega Man X3, Neon Tiger will use his laser claws to block any Charged Attacks fired at him. He isn't bothered to block weak, uncharged shots, however.
  • Implied to be happening during the final battle with Lucifer on the True Demon path in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. His basic attack is simply pointing his finger and hitting you with a pulse of magic, and he resists every element, even Almighty. As you deal damage to him and it becomes obvious you're an actual threat, Lucifer starts using moves that clearly take more effort.
  • In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the enemies that don't bother to Take Cover!, like Sectopods or Ethereals, are also the ones with the highest HP and innate Defence.
    • This also applies to MEC Troopers in the Enemy Within expansion. Too big to hide, they are pretty tough, and some upgrades allow them to generate a force field that sheds some incoming damage. Naturally, their Evil Counterpart the Mechtoid has similar limitations and qualities.
  • XCOM 2:
    • Just like in the previous game, the aliens that can't Take Cover! are those that are so hardy they don't need to, or they have innate Defense that confers the same advantage anyway. Or both. You also don't get the 40% bonus to critical hit chance that flanking normally does.
    • Subverted by the Berserker variant of Mutons. They actually turn on their pod if you score two consecutive hits on them when they are not in cover. It's actually easier for the player when Berserkers arrive.

    Visual Novels 
  • Whenever Valeria Trifa from Dies Irae fights it mostly involves him simply just standing there while his opponent just pointlessly wails away on him. Being in possession of the Divine Vessel, the physical body of the Big Bad, his defenses are so obscene that he doesn't really have to fear anyone. This all changes in his battle against Machina however where he is forced into a defensive stance to try a weather the relentless attacks.
  • Berserker from Fate/stay night is big on this trope. Attacks beneath 'A'-rank cannot hurt him at all and he has 11 extra lives on top of that; he must be killed 12 times to keep him down. Thus, any attack Berserker will even deign to defend against will be one capable of mortally wounding him: It therefore becomes noticeable when he is actually forced to go on the defensive, especially in the anime when he fights Archer and the up-to-that-point unnoticeable Servant manages to force him to do just that with his first attack.

    Web Animation 
  • DEATH BATTLE!: In "Crash Bandicoot vs Spyro the Dragon", after a scuffle in the air causes him to plummet towards the water from a height, Crash confidently folds his arms, smiles and relaxes, knowing that Aku Aku would save him from harm like he did earlier in the fight against Spyro's fire breath — not even bothering to dodge when Dark Spyro unleashes his Aether Breath. This winds up being a fatal mistake as the attack overpowers Aku Aku's protection, vaporizing the mask and the bandicoot.

  • El Goonish Shive has Vlad showing this trope off here.
    • Damien never bothered even learning how to fight offensively, much less defensively.
  • Pointedly averted by Maxima of Grrl Power. Even though she could probably tank an entire team of enemy supers, she still dodges all of their attacks. (Part of this is because how her powers work: they share a "point pool", and there's not enough "points" to max out every ability at once; so she can do things like be super-invulnerable, but at the expense of not being the best at something else, like super speed. And sometimes speed, or strength , etc, is more important than defense, so she keeps the habit of avoiding attacks so she's not taken by surprise.)
  • In Tower of God: "52th Floor: Vs. Kallavan", as Baam and Karaka (try to) fight against Kallavan, they realise they have one attack that could affect him, since he doesn't just ignore it and let it hit like all the others.
  • In Kill Six Billion Demons, Jagganoth averts this trope. Despite being stated to have Complete Immortality and being Nigh-Invulnerable to the degree that it is conceptually impossible to harm him, he still engages in defensive maneuvers and parries, dodges and intercepts incoming attacks he could logically simply No-Sell and power through with The Slow Walk. White Chain hypothesises from this that, despite being invulnerable, Jagganoth still feels the pain of every attack that hits him and thus attempts to avoid that pain. She also hypothesises that any being capable of enduring as much pain as Jagganoth constantly does is likely not to be trifled with.

    Western Animation 
  • The Batman: In "The Batman/Superman Story", Black Mask attacks Superman with a ray gun. Superman confidently stands still and even points out that it won't work because he is invulnerable. His arrogance backfires when the ray gun shoots red solar energy that drains his powers.
  • While The Powerpuff Girls usually fight kaiju or supervillains that can pose an effective threat to their durability, common criminals are a different story. In one episode, bank robbers pepper the girls with a hail of gunfire to no effect other than a bored comment while the bullets bounce off them.

    Real Life 
  • Probably the most well known real-life example of this trope would be during the "Rumble In The Jungle," the fight between George Foreman and Mohammed Ali in 1974. Foreman had knocked out almost every opponent within three rounds, which Ali capitalized on by taunting him and giving him the opportunity to take easy but ineffective body shots. Eventually, Foreman ran out of steam and Ali finished him. Ali had beaten one of the hardest punchers of all time by letting Foreman punch him until he could punch no more.
  • At the highest levels, Kendo requires this. Flinching from a feint, or an attack that would have missed, is grounds for failing a dan exam on the spot.
  • When full plate armour came into vogue, it was largely proof against most of the infantry weapons of the day. Wearers generally had to cripple their opponents by crushing joints with warhammers or basically wrestle them to the ground and stab through the weak points with a broad-bladed dagger or half-sword technique. Trying to kill a knight by swinging a sword at him was totally futile; he could ignore all your attacks and settle down to killing you in the most appropriate fashion. Note that this includes early firearms.
    • It was around the same time that two-handed swords became really popular, because a knight or man-at-arms simply didn't need a shield anymore. Fighting styles completely changed with plate armor because the entire kit functioned as one large, full-body shield.
    • To reiterate, swinging your "standard" sword wouldn't faze a knight in armor, so you had to have the martial prowess and strength to wield weapons and techniques capable of overcoming his armor, or you had to have the strength and training to overpower him and kill him in a grapple...all of these are skills that a knight has in spades.
    • Contrast its main predecessor, mail. It was heavy, bulky, and yet fairly protective to wear, especially when backed with enough padding to absorb the impacts of weapon blows. Powerful piercing attacks from swords, lances, or arrows could penetrate mail to the detriment of its wearer.
    • A lot of old suits of armor made knights have that funny pointed pot-bellied look. Unless a stab is perpendicular to the slope of the breastplate, it tends to deflect off to the side instead of puncturing, and naturally a conic form makes determining the angle to stab much harder in the heat of combat. Naturally, you rarely if ever see it in mass media, due to Rule of Glamorous.
  • The modern counterpart of the armored knight is of course the battle tank. Early tanks did not have the armor to resist much more than machine-gun fire, but that alone made them useful complements to bomber teams and light machine-gunners when assaulting enemy strongpoints — the 'defence in depth' doctrine having made 'trench lines' obsolete by the time tanks saw minor use in 1917 (after one experimental use 1916). In 1917–18, the sight of rifle and machine-gun fire glancing harmlessly off a pair of tanks as they lay waste to enemy pillboxes and redoubts was common — at least until the Germans started putting artillery pieces into pillboxes and redoubts. From then until now, no long-lived (outside of peacetime) tanker has ever been under the illusion that they are invincible — "shoot first!" is their international, eternal motto.
  • In the same vein as the tank, but going back even further, ironclad warships brought the same defensive powers to naval warfare, with cannonballs simply bouncing off their armour plates. Since they were armed with those same weapons, the first few duels between these ships were all draws. For a brief time, when two ironclads fought, neither ship could hope to harm one another. There was, in fact, a short period around that time when the idea that due to the ineffectiveness of cannons, ''ramming'' would come back into fashion as a decisive naval tactic! Of course, that was when black-powder cannons (frequently still muzzle-loaded) firing actual cannonballs were still en vogue — and naval artillery refused to remain stuck there long enough for the prediction to actually come true.
  • This is at least partly the point of the Bando Monk system of self-defense where their goal if attacked is to dodge and parry until their attacker gives up in frustration. Then they wish him or her a nice day and go about their business. Yes, it's active defense, but the intention is to frustrate the attacker into submission.
    • On that note, there is a common theme among many martial arts schools where defensive moves and postures involve a minimal amount of effort. Instead of leaping dramatically to the side to dodge a punch, you use a very small movement that slightly redirects the blow and slightly moves your body out of the way. Tai Chi is famous for this form of defense.
  • People will often start off following all safety protocols and then after time, pay less and less heed to them. This comes from people relaxing because the dangers that the safety protocols prevent don't happen often. Then, disaster strikes and people get hurt.
    • This is why "drills" are common in most industries. By running workers over and over again through the proper procedures, they become instinctive actions, and the workers will (in theory) keep themselves safe without ever having to consciously think about the safety protocols.
    • This is also the reason why, ironically, there are more traffic accidents and injuries on open, straight country roads than dangerous roads on mountains and cliffs (proportional to their distance): motorists let their guard down when they think a road is safe and will often speed up and lose focus, whereas when danger is obvious and right next to them, motorists tend to slow down and pay attention to all their surroundings.
    • This is also why the car accidents men get into are generally worse, if less frequent, than the ones women do. Men are slightly better at spatial orientation, but they tend to overcompensate for this with reckless driving. That's why most female accidents are fender benders and most male accidents are far more serious.
  • Can also be somewhat true in real sparring and fighting situations by attacking overwhelmingly enough that the opponent goes entirely on the defensive. You don't have to defend yourself if the opponent is too busy ducking and dodging to fight back. Better hope your opponent is weak in defense, though, since attacking takes far more effort. In an unarmed striking fight, if you don't win before you tire out, you're at his mercy.
    • This counter-strategy is the entire point of the rope-a-dope defense (and similar ones) where you let someone tire themselves out from attacking. And then while they're exhausted, you unload on them. The problem is that if your opponent knows what he's doing, and is fighting aggressively enough, you won't be able defend against all of his blows. Attacking may be more exhausting than defending, but a well-performed attack will usually still break through via proper use of feigns, sheer speed, and the fact that once you take just one good hit, your reaction time goes to hell, making it harder to keep on defending. This is why defense in a close-combat situation is usually a temporary measure used to launch a counterattack from, rather than anything you want to keep on doing for an extended period.
  • Completely averted in sabre and foil fencing, where an attack must be stopped or avoided before a counterattack is considered valid. Were the swords sharp, failing to defend before counterattacking would result in punctures of various vital organs, especially the lungs. Épée, which is based on a duel to first blood with less-lethal weapons, is an exception.
    • Played with by some Medieval- and Renaissance-era Western martial arts and Olympic fencing, such as the Liechtenauer tradition of German longsword fight, which advocate combining attack and defense in the same movements. The ultimate goal is to defend yourself in such a way that your defense also attacks the opponent, and to launch attacks that aren't easily countered. Since one good blow generally ended a fight in swordplay, the best defense was one that killed the opponent and prevented him from attacking again. Swordsmen got very good at this - the sign of an experienced swordsman was an explosive counterattack that immediately caused the opponent to be able to do nothing but defend himself, and keep being forced to defend himself over and over until he failed to do so. Beginners begin by learning parry and reposte as separate moves, but soon learn to combine them.