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Not even green hair can save him from utter mediocrity.

A Muggle Born of Mages is someone born to parents with Magic and Powers and privy to The Masquerade, but entirely mundane himself. However, as the world is full of Muggles, he can simply become one of them.

This is not the world of the Un-Sorcerer. Here there is no Masquerade, because Everyone is a Super... except him. Magic healing doesn't help, and neither does therapy. The kids at school tease him. He can't operate Magitek. He can't even claim to be a Badass Normal, because normal people have the Power! This lack makes him, for practical intents and purposes, disabled, in a world that has no way of accommodating him.

As bad as this sounds, though, there's often a silver lining: someday, it will turn out that his unique status is an asset to him. He may be immune to magical attacks, or to The Corruption. Maybe he really has a game-breakingly awesome power that takes a long time to manifest. Maybe there's an Ancient Artifact that only activates for someone with no magic. Or perhaps, lacking a crutch, the Un-Sorcerer develops a Charles Atlas Superpower in a world of Squishy Wizards. What's certain is that if they are the focus of the story, somehow the Un-Sorcerer will go far, and may even be The Chosen One.


An Un-Sorcerer can only survive by averting Hard Work Hardly Works. Essentially an in Inversion of the classic Super Hero trope. See also Muggles Do It Better. Sometimes used to derive An Aesop.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Black Clover, Asta is one of the few people in the setting with absolutely no magic at all. Fortunately, this also makes him one of the only people who can wield the Five-leaf Clover Grimoire, which manifests its power as an Anti-Magic BFS. Anyone who has the slightest bit of magic power can't even touch the sword without their mana being drained from them. Thanks to the years of physical training he did to make up for his magical deficiency, Asta is also strong enough to actually wield the heavy sword. In addition, because nearly everyone in the world of Black Clover has magic, its infrastructure and basic education assumes the ability to use magic. This throws some of Asta's adversaries for a loop when, for instance, they cannot track his location by detecting his magic aura because he has none, or how their magic defenses account for magic attacks but not brute physical power.
  • Rygart from Break Blade is the Trope Namer, having no power over quartz and consequently being unable to operate any complex machinery,note  with the exception of an ancient and super-powerful golem that refused to respond to anyone else. It's heavily suggested that this is because he is the only person the golem recognizes as being actually human.
  • Touma Kamijou of A Certain Magical Index is this in a world where literally everyone can technically perform something supernatural. Even Level 0s have a minuscule capability to warp reality, and everyone who has not undergone the secret procedures that turn them into espers can perform magic, as evinced by Komoe who did so barely five minutes after having had it revealed to her. His "Imagine Breaker" means that he has absolutely no psychic abilities, no ability to do magic, and no luck (which is a supernatural phenomenon in A Certain universe), and while he has an ability, his ability is actually to negate anything supernatural. He was officially ranked as a Level 0, but only as a technicality because his ability is impossible to scan and defies classification.
  • In the setting of Cross Ange, everyone can use the magic known as the Light of Mana. The few who can't are called norma. Not only can't they use the Light of Mana, but any construct created with it shatters upon the slightest contact with a norma. Also, norma are persecuted to an insane degree, starting with being treated as less than human and getting worse from there.
  • Louise the Zero from The Familiar of Zero developed an enormous ego and hair-trigger temper to compensate for her inability to successfully perform magic, something that defines nobility in her world. It turns out she actually has a very rare and powerful magical ability: Void Magic, the legendary Fifth Element...which happens to be explosion/energy-based magic.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Edward Elric ends the series giving up his ability to perform alchemy to bring Al's body back. Note that while most people in the setting aren't alchemists, this technically counts as an example because he is now the only human we know of who is physically incapable of alchemy rather than simply lacking knowledge of how to do it.
    Truth: You're willing to cast it aside? To lower yourself to a simple human?
    Edward:What do you mean 'lower myself'? That's the only thing I've ever been. Just a simple human that couldn't save a little girl. Not even with alchemy.''
  • Toru Mizushima, the hero of Iris Zero lives in a world where most of the children are born with Magical Eyes and was once thought to have the power to tell what other people's powers are. He's really just incredibly clever.
  • Labra is a Jewelpet who can't cast magic in Jewelpet Twinkle, resulting in resident douche Nicola accusing her of not being one at all. But then, Akari accepts her as a partner and Labra, in her happiness, reveals magic-amplifying abilities which no other Jewelpet has.
  • My Hero Academia,
    • Protagonist Izuku "Deku" Midoriya (pictured above) starts out this way, being one of the minority to reach his teenage years without developing any sort of Quirk. Despite this weakness, he winds up impressing All Might, the world's greatest hero, when he tries to save his classmate from a criminal. All Might chooses to start training Midoriya to be his successor, and eventually grants Midoriya his own Quirk, "One For All", turning him into an Empowered Badass Normal. Turns out All Might used to be one too until his predecessor gave him "One For All".
    • Spin-off Vigilante: My Hero Academia Illegals has Knuckleduster, a quirkless vigilante who gets by on being built like a brick house and utilizing his Charles Atlas Superpower. He used to have a Quirk, but it was stolen from him.
    • The film My Hero Academia: The Two Heroes has Melissa Shield, the quirkless daughter of scientist David Shield. Since she doesn't have her own Quirk, she instead designs gadgets for heroes to use.
    • In the predecessor oneshot My Hero, Jack and Director Akahashi are some of the few people that don't have powers. While Akahashi's in a similar situation to Melissa (father was an inventor and she works for his company), Jack's just one of her salesmen.
  • Touta from UQ Holder! is physically incapable of using magic apps. It turns out that he has an unnatural combination of Light (Magic Cancel) and Dark (Magia Erebea) magic within him that cancels each other out. It's why he can't use magic and it's how Past!Evangeline deduces that he's an Artificial Human.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • In Supergirl series Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, a Red Kryptonite meteor has everyone in Stanhope Elementary suddenly gaining powers... everyone but Lena Thorul, who loudly declares she doesn't want superpowers and she hates super-beings anyway. It doesn't help her suddenly-metahumans schoolmates immediately put on costumes and act like jerks.
  • A Superman comic in the 90s, pastiching the Silver Age, had everyone in Metropolis suddenly acquire Superman's powers and immediately buy a spandex costume with a cape. The exception was Dan Turpin, the only person in Metropolis who didn't want superpowers. He's therefore the only person not affected by Kryptonite when Metallo shows up.
  • "President Thor", a story arc from Ultimate Fantastic Four. It details a world where the Skrull have given everyone superpowers; except Ben Grimm. Ben is actually totally happy with this, feeling that there's never been a more interesting time to be alive. Lucky for him, too: the superpower gift is revealed to be a virus that feeds power into the Ultimate Super-Skrull. It also can be activated to kill the carrier. The Skrull King activates the killer gene, but without any power source, the Super-Skrull is easily defeated by Grimm in a powersuit.
  • Underplayed in White Sand - Kenton, raised in a society of Sand Masters, is by far the weakest one of them, to the point he's not even considered to be one: while the weakest Sand Masters apart from him can support fifteen sand lines, Kenton can barely master three. This earns him a lot of scorn from his father.
  • normalman is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The titular protagonist is the only non-powered character on a planet where Everyone is a Super. It turns out the local women are so into him to save their race by breeding non-powered children. The supermen are too busy fighting eachother to have sex.

    Fan Works 
  • Always Having Juice features a subversion of the usual aesop. Maria Robotnik was born with a genetic defect like her video game counterpart. However, her NIDS not only deprived of her of having powers, but the Nazo cells associated with them were also a large part in health, neaing Maria was a very sickly girl with thin skin and only lived as long as she did because of Gerald's work and living in the Space Station ARK. Much like her video game self, she dies from a gunshot wound during a raid, that may or may not have been like GUN. Despite this, she still served to be a very kind hearted young lady who helped Shadow develop his moral compass. It's unknown if she ever would've been cured since Shadow's attempt at saving her with his time travel powers caused things to Go Horribly Wrong.
  • In My Huntsman Academia, people can be born "Broken", or more poetically a "Moon Child", which means that they have such weak souls that they'll never be able to manifest an Aura or a Semblance on top of leaving them underdeveloped physically compared to their peers. Izuku falls squarely into this category, earning him no end of torment up to the point that he inherits One For All from Toshinori and attends Beacon.
  • Triptych Continuum has a variation with Pinkie Pie. Whilst she does have her canon Wild Magic, it comes at the expense of having absolutely none of the traditional Earth Pony magic. She is, to those few who know this, effectively a deaf-mute in a society composed entirely of musicians. It's been theorized, based on what little is confirmed about "The Warped", that Pinkie has essentially been given Unicorn magic in place of Earth Pony magic, with her various tricks (Spider-Sense, conjuration, teleportation, etc) being the result of how she's able to deploy a magic that she has had to figure out by intuition rather than education.
  • There are various My Hero Academia fanfics set in an AU where Izuku never received One For All, becoming a Badass Normal and the only student in his class (perhaps the entire UA student body) without a quirk of his own:
    • In Erased Potential, Izuku tracks down Eraserhead and asks him to train him to fight quirkless, eventually getting him into UA through recommendation.
    • In Mastermind: Strategist for Hire, Fantastic Racism towards quirkless citizens eventually leads Izuku to sell his analysis skills to help villains who want to kill pro-heroes, eventually becoming one of the most dreaded villains in all of Japan.
    • In Deku? I think he's some pro..., Izuku decides to give up being a hero after All Might tells him to and decides to help heroes by lending his analysis skills to various underground heroes. By the time he gets into UA (by the recommendation of over 15 different underground heroes, no less), "Deku" has become a popular name in the underground hero circuit and is even offered a quirk by the League of Villains if he joins them, All For One seeing his potential.
    • In Viridian: The Green Guide, Izuku decides to become a vigilante, taking advantage of the fact that the law defines vigilantism as "using one's quirk to perform heroics without a license" while he himself has no quirk.

    Film — Animated 
  • A somewhat recurring theme in a number of the Barbie movies.
    • Main character in Barbie Fairytopia is wingless fairy, Elina. Other fairies tease her because of that. But a lack of wings comes in handy, when she has to face Enchantress' Evil Twin and her magic substance making every flying creature weak. Later Laverna even tries to pull Not So Different and We Can Rule Together offering her wings, but Elina rejects her. At the end her dream comes true anyway and she is given a pair as a reward.
    • In Barbie in a Mermaid Tale, despite being of royal blood, Eris can't spin Merillia. This drove her to kidnap her sister and fool everyone into thinking she could.
    • In Barbie and the Secret Door, Malucia is the only person in the land of Zinnia without innate magic, so she uses her wand to steal others' magic.

  • Tavi in Codex Alera is the only Aleran to not be able to command any furies. Mostly he's an Action Survivor, but he's had to be very, very clever to prosper without any furycrafting. And then it turns out that his powers were deliberately locked down by his mother, to keep enemies from finding out that he's the lost heir to the throne, Gaius Octavian. Once she stops, he quickly becomes one of the most powerful furycrafters alive — and his previous experience working around difficulties makes him one of the most inventive, too.
  • Cradle Series: When Lindon was tested as a child in the Sacred Valley, it was determined he had no affinity for the sacred arts. He was named an "Unsouled," a cripple to be spat upon and ignored. He wasn't allowed to learn any of the sacred arts beyond some basic breathing exercises. By the time Lindon was sixteen, he was only barely strong enough to fight children. As it turns out, the Sacred Valley is full of idiots who have no idea what they're talking about. Lindon's "disability" is so minor that most cultures don't even have a name for it; he has to train a bit harder, but not that much harder.
  • Joram of The Darksword Trilogy. There are some people in the world with so little magic they can't do anything useful with it, but Joram is unique in having absolutely no magic whatsoever. He narrowly avoids being executed for his powerlessness as a newborn, and has to spend the rest of his life faking minor magic through sleight-of-hand. Lucky for him the eponymous weapon can only be properly wielded by the Un-Sorcerer, as it constantly absorbs any magic near it.
    • Turns out he isn't the only Dead person, once Humans from Earth find the planet the wizards all fled to centuries ago.
    • In the sequel novel, a united humanity ends up fleeing an alien race to another planet where magic is even stronger, so much that even Joram and the other previously Dead Humans have powers. He still refuses to use magic on principle.
  • Arguably, Rincewind in the Discworld novels is this. He is such a bad wizard that one of the novels specifically claims: "When he dies, the occult ability of humanity will go up a fraction." However, since he is a Cosmic Plaything of Lady Luck herself (he is her favorite piece), there are times when something casts magic using him as a conduit, or when a strange coincidence LOOKS like he casts a spell, etc. It may very well be that having one of the world's most powerful spells stuck in his head kept him from learning new tricks, but he still seems to be slow at improving even after releasing it. That said, he is a Wizard and has achieved many passive benefits such as being able to see Death and octarine.
  • The entire purpose of The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy is to showcase how a character like this can be a hero in their own right, and essentially plays the trope as straight as it can get. Ordinary Boy may be powerless, but he's a lot cleverer than most of his peers and has the Heroic Resolve to save the day three times, even becoming an Empowered Badass Normal temporalily thanks to his jetpack and time travel shenanigans. The third book suggests that Ordinary Boy may have had a power all along after all, but because the series was Left Hanging, this possibility remains a Riddle for the Ages.
  • In Hart's Hope by Orson Scott Card, there's a Chosen One created by the gods as a natural magic sink. He can't benefit in any way from magic, which in this world comes from blood sacrifices, but he eventually serves as a living Reset Button for centuries of enchantment.
  • Jonathan of Gull Mountain is about a boy born without wings, in a society where everybody has them. Anvilicious Aesop about life with a physical handicap ensues.
  • Godo (Gun God) from Notes is presumably the last unmodified human alive in the post-apocalyptic world where Everyone is a Super. Worse, he must regularly take medications just for daily survival. He's Blessed with Suck though as only "untainted" humans like Godo can wield the Black Barrel, a gun that can kill even the Aristoteles.
  • In Lirael, the second book of the Old Kingdom series, the protagonist Lirael is born of the Clayr, seeresses who live in the cold glaciers in a mountain valley. Most girls are expected to gain the Sight around the time they hit puberty, and it marks their coming-of-age, but as Lirael enters her late teens, she still shows no sign of it, and agonizes over being considered still a child and a social misfit. She turns out to be a Remembrancer instead, able to See the past with the help of a special mirror, because of her mixed Clayr and Abhorsen lineage.
  • The title character in the Lord Darcy series is a non magic user in a society based on magic. He makes up for his lack of magical ability by being a brilliant detective.
  • Outcast: The Un-Magician focuses on a boy who is the only one in his society to have no magic at all. It turns out that his presence cancels out magic, which makes him pretty powerful in that world.
  • The Salvagers: Boots Elsworth has a condition called arcana dystocia, meaning that unlike nearly the entire human population of the galaxy she cannot use magic. This has inconvenienced her significantly, both due to many pieces of Magitek not working for her and people with "dull fingers" being treated as invalids. Mother's time manipulation magic breaks down when it targets Boots due to her condition.
  • Shattered Continent: Low potentials in The Empire used to be virtual pariahs for their inability to benefit from magic. And then Cardenas arrived on the scene and showed the world what a low-potential with a belt-fed machine gun could do if they caught a unit of Imperial knights out in an open field.
  • Minor example in Larry Niven's The Smoke Ring: occasionally a "dwarf" is born whose growth isn't distorted by the zero-gee environment — in other words, a normal human. They're considered ugly, but if your clan happens to own one of the ancient space-suits, guess who's the right size to wear it?
  • In the Towers Trilogy, there are many people with very little magic, but Xhea is the only person who has no magic whatsoever. This poses a number of problems: since magic serves as the currency of the setting, she is perpetually impoverished; and since her lack of magic causes pain to anyone who touches her, she is a pariah.
  • In The Witling, Azhiri who are born without Psychic Powers are uncommon, and are considered mentally deficient "witlings". One of the main characters, Pelio, happens to be both a witling and the firstborn son of a king, which makes him a highly unusual combination of being both a Muggle and having a great deal of political power. Even so, he desperately wants to be like everyone else—whether that means having Psychic Powers like the rest of the Azhiri, or going to a place where everyone is a Muggle.
  • In the A World of Wonder books, this is called achromism and treated like a genuine medical condition. It stops people and Civilized Animals from using their Imagination-Based Superpower and turns them monochrome. Gabriel, the male protagonist, suffers from this, but it's actually a result of his depression. The more he comes to terms with his mother's death and lets love into his life, the more colour and power he gets.
  • In Xanth, everyone has exactly one power, although that power's strength and utility can vary. Bink alone has no such power, and the culture demands his exile. It turns out that his power is that he can't be harmed by magic, and his talent automatically sets up coincidences to protect from magical threats, up to and including dragons getting laryngitis right before breathing fire, and polymorph spells hitting his skin microbes instead.
    • Interestingly, his power is hidden because it interprets mundane harm that would come to him as a result of other people knowing his talent, as harm that would result from magic. In other words, his talent even protects Bink from itself. If it didn't use subtlety, spells would just fizzle when they hit him, and then people might realize they just needed to punch him. A punch that would never have come if not for his talent. So it also sets up coincidences to prevent people learning or being told what his talent is, even if Bink wants to tell them, unless it deems it okay for that specific person to know. If people attack him non-magically of their own accord, however, it does nothing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the first series of Misfits, the character of Nathan is apparently without super powers even after his mates discover theirs. However, in the final moments of the finale episode it is revealed that not only does Nathan indeed have a power, but his power is Immortality, seemingly the most powerful power yet.

    Video Games 
  • The main character in the Awakening series was born completely without magic in a world where every other human had at least some, which made her unable to be affected by the villain's attacks. Didn't hurt any that she was a princess, either.
  • The protagonist of Black Sigil is at a particular disadvantage—a previous non-magical character in this setting was guilty of terrible deeds, so almost nobody trusts him.
  • Nortrom the Silencer from Dota 2 was the product of seven generations of careful breeding among powerful magi. He never displayed any magical prowess of note until he joined his peers in a series of magical duels. It then became apparent that Nortrom wasn't lacking in magic. Lacking magic was his magic.
  • The Garlean race in Final Fantasy XIV are biologically incapable of using magic unlike other spoken races or the beastmen and were harried in the past to the point of being chased into the harsh north. It was there that they discovered vast deposits of ceruleum, a fuel sorce they used to indulstrialize their nation with Magitek and became The Empire bent on conquest and retribution.
  • In Fortune Summoners, the main character Arche is the only one in her school who can't use magic (partly because her parents can't afford an elemental stone to cast with, but also because she's a Book Dumb Idiot Hero and also prefers to fight with a sword and armour, which get in the way of casting magic). Near the end it turns out that a legendary elemental stone's "chosen" her in some way and when it's unsealed she gains the ability to fuse with the Team Pet Air Elemental for a massive stat increase.
    • Even so, in the epilogue it turns out that the unique nature of said stone means she still cannot use regular magic, and thus still has to watch during magic class.
  • Unblessed in Infinite Undiscovery. Unable to use Lunar Glyph powers, but quite conveniently also immune to transformation into Vermiforms.
  • The protagonist of Mage Gauntlet initially turns this Up to Eleven: magic can't affect her in any way, being around powerful magicians makes them both nauseous, and anything magical she touches explodes. Even after obtaining the titular weapon and losing these properties, she can't produce her own magic, and must absorb spells from other entities (enemies and magic vessels, in practice) to cast them.
  • The Angelic Buster class in Maplestory lacks the magical abilities that the rest of her race has. She later finds a weapon called the Soul Shooter which allows her to use special abilities, although she lacks the MP system used by every other class.
  • In SaGa Frontier 2, almost everyone can use Anima; however, young Gustave XIII cannot, which costs him the throne and leads to him and his mother being exiled. But Gustave eventually discovers that, while weapons made out of materials like wood and stone are used by everyone because they channel Anima so well, Steel-based weapons, which dampen anima, are far stronger. And since he lacks the ability to channel Anima anyway...
  • Puyo Puyo
    • Rulue is the only character in the main Compile-era cast who's not a magic user, instead using martial arts to get by. She did, however, attend magic school with Arle after the events of Madou Monogatari 3, but that seems to be most forgotten by this point as she calls herself to this day the "Fighting Queen".
    • Raffina from the Sega-era cast is implied to be this due to using martial arts just like Rulue, but actually uses magic that comes out of her pouch instead of just knowing actual magic.

    Web Comics 
  • Two of the protagonists of Atomic Laundromat. He owns the eponymous laundromat and comes from a family of supers and is okay with not being super. She's a lawyer who defends supervillains, who's seemingly fine with being normal, but has been shown to court shady dealings in hopes of gaining superpowers.
  • Dex from Dominic Deegan. He has immunity to magic, which is very useful for taking on rampaging mages. Unfortunately, magical healing doesn't work on him either.
  • In Harpy Gee The eponymous character is one of these, due to her magic being eaten as a young child. She can't use her previously powerful plant magic, nor can she be healed through magical means. However, she is also immune to negative magic such as hypnosis charms.
  • The priest Brother Linnaeus from Tales of the Questor is mage-blind, one of very few Racconans who can't sense or manipulate lux. It's considered a disability in his species, but then he finds a group of potential converts, who are eager to learn but have a bad history with lux users and religion.
    Linnaeus: I cannot use my powers to deceive you because I have none. I come to you with nothing but the words of God. If they are not enough to persuade you, then nothing else will be.
  • In The Wotch, a magic shop owner is unable to use magic, but also unable to be affected by it. This makes him perfect for handling items of power and artifacts of doom that would be dangerous for anyone else. The downside? The Wotch can't heal him when he's wounded by the teeth and claws of magic beasts, and she tends to attract those. Then again, he's immune to lycanthropy too.
  • Tyler from PS238 is the only kid in a school for superheroes that has no powers whatsoever. He actually would have been happy in a normal school, but his superpowered parents refused to accept that their son was just a normal kid and forced him to go to hero school. He eventually learns to be a hero through cleverness and gadgetry.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "Planet of the Capers", Comet Guy takes DW to his homeplanet of Mertz, where Everyone is a Super... with one exception, "Ordinary Guy," the only "normal" on the entire planet, whose job was to be constantly rescued from peril by the superheroes since superheroes need to have ordinary people to rescue or else they wouldn't be superheroes. In practice, this amounted to all of them constantly beating each other up over who got to "help" him do utterly mundane tasks he didn't need help with in the first place. One day he goes missing, so Comet Guy brings in DW, who assumes he was recruited because they needed his detective skills to find Ordinary Guy. Turns out, they recruited him because his lack of powers made him a perfect replacement for Ordinary Guy. After quickly getting fed up with the constant smothering by the superheroes, DW decides to track down the original Ordinary Guy so that they'll all go back to bothering him. Turns out Ordinary Guy wasn't any happier with his job than DW, who willingly went into hiding so he could become the planet's very first supervillain, building gadgets to fight the heroes with as revenge for making his life miserable.


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