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Unskilled, but Strong

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He can shatter anything with a single punch, but look at that awful technique!
"This is the dreaded Damien? He moves like an amateur! Wait... that fire could easily win him most fights, he can regenerate, and he's supposed to have super strength... he's never needed skill before! His fighting style is totally dependent on his powers!"
Elliot, on Damien, El Goonish Shive
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A character who is Unskilled, but Strong lacks the refined technique of formal training but compensates in various ways through raw power. They may eat anti-tank missiles the way a glutton goes through an all-you-can-eat buffet. They may be so strong they kick tanks around like footballs or have the firepower to crush the US, China and Russia in a conventional conflict. They may make a Bugatti Veyron look slow or waltz through a point-blank crossfire of Gatling guns with ease that makes an Agent envious. They may have won the Superpower Lottery. However it is, they are so very naturally talented they don't need skill. They tend to have the attitude that if brute force doesn't work, it's just because they didn't use enough of it, as well as that they will charge head-on, believing that their raw power alone will overwhelm anything that gets in their way.

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When seen in a protagonist (triple that for The Big Guy), their lack of skill is typically only because it's the first episode and they've only just discovered their powers. The initial stages of the series, if not the series as a whole, will then focus on improving the protagonist's innate talents. It also gives the series a justification for why a complete newbie to whatever power they've uncovered is able to fight with or against people who have more experience, or why they can come along in training relatively quickly. One common type of this is the Super Prototype that the Ordinary High-School Student is Falling into the Cockpit of.

In an antagonist (triple that for The Brute), an Unskilled, but Strong character is commonly either the very first foe the protagonist faces or one of the last. In the former case, they're a Starter Villain and may be fond of Badass Boasts but prove all talk in the face of the much more skilled protagonist. In the latter, they provide a hurdle against which the protagonist must disprove the theory that Hard Work Hardly Works.

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Compare Skilled, but Naïve, Strong and Skilled, and Glass Cannon. Contrast Weak, but Skilled and Powerful, but Incompetent. Often pursues a Bigger Stick. Can also overlap with Brilliant, but Lazy, or Incompletely Trained (or both). This character is often the Goliath in David vs. Goliath. Characters with explicitly superhuman abilities can have this cured with Boxing Lessons for Superman. If they never get formal training, they may instead be Taught by Experience. If they barely or never improve at all, or even outright refuse to do any kind of training or get worse in their overall combat effectiveness, then this will result in Apathy Killed the Cat. In Arrogant God vs. Raging Monster, the second tends to be this.


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    Comic Books 
  • In Archie vs. Predator, Archie eventually gets dosed with a Super Serum that bulks him up and gives him strength on par with the Predator, but he's still a clumsy geek with no fighting experience. After Archie lands a few sucker punches, the Predator recovers and kills him.
  • Ares is an interesting version of this. When he puts his mind to it he is a highly skilled warrior and not a half-bad tactician. However, he usually forsakes skill to rely on brute power and innate toughness. So he grabs whatever large weapon available and attacks head-on. This works great when he is facing opponents far weaker than him, but he often gets defeated by enemies on his level or even weaker because they outsmart him or bother to use fighting skills.
  • Most of the Gauls in Asterix have shades of this, but Obelix is the only true example. Due to being permanently superpowered, he hasn't even had the benefit of unpowered combat training the others had. This is demonstrated abundantly in the movie The Twelve Tasks of Asterix, where one of the trials pits him and Obelix against a Germanic Judo-master. Obelix's attempts to smash through him with brute force are effortlessly redirected, and he quickly proves entirely unable to hurt the little man. Fortunately, Asterix is there to effectively talk the man into submission... or, rather, distract him with talk and an interest in the man's fighting style that gets the poor German to give Asterix instructions and allow himself to be used as a training dummy, realising he's helped Asterix subdue him only after having his arms and legs tied into knots.
  • Batman:
    • During the finale of Knightfall, KnightsEnd, Azrael is this towards the Weak, but Skilled Bruce Wayne and Nightwing, as Azbats is outfitted with a suit of armor that is built more like Powered Armor and relies heavily on it. Bruce is able to slap Azbats around using things against him and the only reason Nightwing lost to him was that he got caught off-guard by a lady refusing to leave the slots on a casino boat.
    • Clayface, while it depends on the incarnation, is usually a straightforward example. Compared to bruisers like Bane and Killer Croc, he isn't a trained fighter, but that rarely matters when you're a hulking clay creature that can shapeshift into anything and dissolve people with just a touch.
    • Mr. Freeze is an intelligent scientist armed with powerful ice generating weaponry and armor that amplifies his strength to superhuman levels, but he's no martial artist and usually gets taken down with relative ease.
  • Whenever there is a Batman / Superman face-off then Bats is the Weak, but Skilled, with Supes this trope.
    • Superman is often subject to this. Other writers recall just how much time he has spent fighting other superpowered beings as strong or even stronger than he is, and decided he would probably be long dead if he charged at them all the time. This was spelled out with a fight between Superman and Ultraman, where Superman squashed him because Ultraman's method of killing his enemies as soon as he could (as well as presumably sending out his minions to deal with 'lesser' threats) meant that he got very little practice fighting beings on his level, where Superman lets his foes live and thus develops the skill to cope with them as they get more experienced with their own abilities.
    • Also Batman taught him some martial arts. And Ali gave Boxing Lessons for Superman.
    • Many of his enemies who face him with brute force usually fight like this, such as Solomon Grundy and Doomsday.
    • Despite popular belief, Superman is actually a subversion... when writers remember that he's actually an expert combatant, having been trained by some of the greatest martial artists and warriors in the DCUnote . There's a number of stories in which he was depowered or had to fight foes as powerful or more powerful than him and proved to be a masterful fighter, beating his opponents based on his fighting skills alone. He just "conveniently" tends to forget his skills when writers have him fight less powerful superheroes, as their fights would end much sooner if he didn't. It doesn't help that he rarely has a chance or need to display said skills, given how powerful he is, leading many writers and fans to the assumption that he's this trope.
  • This can describe nearly all the supers in The Boys. In general, this is what allows the titular Boys to go toe-to-toe with them, as the supes lack the training to utilize their powers effectively and efficiently. Even then, however, at a certain level, the difference in scale simply becomes too large for the tactical advantage to remain. As the Frenchman puts it, "fighting the Seven is like making war on the sun".
  • At a party thrown by the Superhomeys in Empowered, Ninjette redirects Captain Havoc's super-strength punch with martial arts and throws him to the floor. Offscreen sound effects and dialog indicate she does it several more times, to the amusement of the other heroes. Ninjette later wonders why all super-strong heroes fight like "developmentally-disabled 8-year-olds."
  • Galactus, at least in "Top Trumps". Super high stats in everything but weapon Skill. He doesn't seem to have much technique other than draining the enemy to death, but when you eat planets...
    • Marvel handbooks give most cosmic beings like Eternity or Death maximal stats at everything except fighting skills. When you're omnipotent you don't really need skill.
  • This worked for a while for Zero in Ghost Rider 2099, until he met Coda, who defeated him with ease. Afterwards, he notes that Zero could've been better if he didn't use his robot body like "a big hammer".
  • Harry Kane, aka Hurricane, a Marvel Comics character from The Wild West, is a poor shot but makes up for it with his Super Speed and large number of firearms.
  • Incredible Hulk:
    • Hulk is massively strong but unskilled; after all, who needs skill when you can lift mountains?
    • This was also subverted in the Planet Hulk arc where Hulk is marooned on the harsh planet Sakaar and finds himself weaker then he'd normally be on Earth due to unexplained environmental differences. Press-ganged into becoming a gladiator, Hulk is forced to develop sufficient skills to survive and claw his way to the top. As a result, by the time the arc ends Hulk has not only gained some combat skills but is even stronger and smarter than he was before. And also really, really mad at the people who shot him into space in the first place.
    • Hulk's skill level fluctuates almost as much as his strength. His strength is dependent on how angry he is, while his skill level is largely dependent on which of his many multiple personalities is active at the moment. His default 'Hulk Smash' persona generally isn't intellectually capable of any kind of combat strategy beyond hitting things but is strong enough that it's basically futile for anything else to try and stop him in a straight fight, the grey 'Joe Fixit' Hulk compensates for his slightly lesser strength with better tactics even if he's a brawler rather than a martial artist, the Professor is more intelligent but has to restrain his anger and so could theoretically be overpowered as he can't let rip like the other Hulks, and the Green Scar of Sakaar is generally the most technically skilled fighter but isn't often released due to his other personal issues.
    • In addition to his strength, the Hulk is often shown making up for his relative lack of skill with raw pragmatism. More particularly, while he's not exactly known for his finesse, the Hulk has gained a tremendous amount of experience in knowing just how to use his strength for best effect, including against those enemies he can't just smash.
  • While The Plutonian often shows himself to be very intelligent and more than able to outwit his foes when finally forced into combat with someone on his level of power he gets his ass kicked as he never needed to learn to fight. Weirdly, this is Zig Zagged; in the last issue of his spin-off, Max Damage recounts a story of how he once lured the Plutonian (pre-Face–Heel Turn) into an area that nullified both their powers, assuming this trope would let him win because he had a backstory as a mundane and the Plutonian didn't... only to find that the Plutonian was entirely capable of fighting unpowered, and getting his ass handed to him. Possibly Max is exaggerating for effect, or perhaps he qualifies himself.
  • Legion Of Superheroes member Quislet openly refuses to train or refine his powers, as he's a massive egotist and considers himself perfect already. It's implied that the weak points in his power (he can possess inanimate objects and manipulate their shapes into combat-ready forms, but he can't do so for very long, and if he leaves an object, it disintegrates) are because of this lack of training. He does have a point, though, in that the weak points of his power can actually be used tactically — for instance, deliberately entering and exiting an object to destroy it.
  • The Mighty has Alpha One who wasn't used to fighting others with his power level and just used his power.
  • Michael Morbius is a doctor who spent most of his life in laboratories doing research before his transformation into a living vampire gave him tremendous strength. He doesn't seem to have much of a fighting technique beyond punching, tearing and biting his enemies, which gets even worse when he's in a blood frenzy that essentially reduces him to a mindless beast. But due to his strength, he is able to hold his own against opponents such as Spider-Man, who on occasion even admits that he forgot how strong Morbius really is.
  • Paperinik New Adventures examples:
    • The Raider is this, relying on his strength and his hand blasts in combat. He makes up for it by being really strong, Made of Iron, and a Combat Pragmatist ready to use his Time Machine to have another Raider show up behind you or make sure you can't even show up at the fight because he sicked the police on you.
    • Korinna and Juniper Ducklair have immense psychic powers but little knowledge of how to use them, resulting in their more skilled father Everett holding his own against Korinna in psychic combat without even using his knowledge of magic or his martial arts skills (as he wasn't trying to overpower her but to convince her to stand down);
    • Subverted with Trauma: at first, he only fights with brute strength and his Psychic Powers, but when Paperinik shows up with a Powered Armor strong enough to fight on his level and shield him from his powers he shows that his military training included hand-to-hand combat. His inferior mass-produced copies rely only on brute strength and their psychic powers, and when Paperinik shows up with a suit that shields him from their power they go down hard.
    • Subverted again with Xadhoom: when we first see her she annihilates a team of Evronian warriors with the sheer might of her god-like powers, but she quickly reveals she has used a type of energy that only kills Evronians (it still hurts like hell, and can make non-Evronians faint) and has little effect on inanimate objects to avoid collateral damage, and in fact even surviving having her powers requires developing the skills fast (and having the necessary self-control to live long enough). Subsequent appearances prove she's extremely skilled, even more than she knows, and that her skills are growing with experience.
  • The vampire Cassidy from Preacher. He's shown ripping people apart for most of the series but in the final arc, Jesse is able to defeat him because, as he puts it, he's so strong he never had to learn how to fight.
  • Punch Drunk has detective Mick Brown repeatedly run afoul of a massive criminal strongarm he affectionately dubs "the Big Lug." When things finally get physical between them, Mick notes in narration that big enforcer types like the Lug rarely have much (if any) fighting experience; usually when they hit a guy he's already helpless, and they don't get into fights in the first place because not many people are brave enough to step up to someone their size.
  • Molly and Klara from the Runaways. The former is practically a living Worf Effect with super-strength, while the latter is a plant controller who can create small forests in seconds. Neither has much combat training or even education, and they tend to be liabilities in battles with multiple hostiles.
  • Having the power of One Million Exploding Suns naturally meant The Sentry never had to learn how to properly throw a punch. For all the times he's been Worfed, Bob is still strong enough to curb stomp everything that's put in front of him quite easily... Though Hercules was able to humiliate him by exploiting his lack of fighting style.
  • Marv from Sin City doesn't seem to need any fancy martial arts considering he can maul people with his bare hands. This is evident when he goes up against Kevin, the sadistic cannibal who, despite being smaller, is quite the skilled fighter.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • Enerjak. Demigod powers at his minimum, he constantly underestimates his opponents, becomes extremely frustrated with those on his level that he can't simply steamroll over, (causing him to make careless mistakes), and doesn't know how to strategize. Not helping is the fact that prior to gaining his power, Dimitri was a scientist echidna, not a warrior, so he has no experience in actual fighting. Knuckles, who is a trained fighter, lands several good hits on him, and even points out to him. "All that power and I'm still surprised at what a glass jaw you have!" and; "You may be stronger, but do you even know how to fight?"
      • In contrast, Mammoth Mogul, upon stealing Enerjak's power, was definitely more dangerous, specifically because he's had over a millennium to learn and master multiple different forms of combat, and was a match for Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles' super forms simultaneously.
    • This is revisited in a Bad Future storyline, where Silver fights Dark Enerjak, An evil version of Knuckles, who matches him blow for blow in terms of pure power. When Silver starts using strategy in conjunction, Enerjak can't adapt and ultimately loses.
  • Spider-Man:
    • To begin with, the webhead himself. No, seriously. Spider-Man in his earlier days had next to no clue how to actually fight of his own accord; when the situation came to blows, he let his Spider-Sense and reflexes guide him in avoiding and counterattacking, any instigated attack on his own part usually being an overblown haymaker or kick bound to put the unfortunate mook getting hit down for the count. This ended up being inverted later as, when bereft of his Spider-Sense and with Shang-Chi's help, he refined his acrobatic reaction-based fighting into a proper martial art called the Way of the Spider, an all-bases covering form to allow him to counter all types of combatants, after which he could be considered one of the Earth's most skilled fighters.
    • With an insanely strong power to control and project electricity, all things considered, Electro should be an Avengers-level villain. The problem is that Electro isn't very smart and has never thought to train himself, thinking he can just bulldoze through everything. The result is that he can't control his powers well enough to use them to their real potential, an issue that has become progressively worse for him the older he gets. One of the few times he actually does, he fights evenly with Nate Grey — then a partial example of this trope (he had the skills, he was just impetuous, short-tempered and prone to Superpower Meltdown) — who was essentially Cable minus the Techno-Organic Virus and dialled Up to Eleven and had beaten seven shades of excrement out of his world's version of Apocalypse before leaving him for Magneto to kill.
    • Hydro-Man is made of water and has the power to control it. He's probably one of the strongest Spider-Man villains in terms of his sheer destructive power, and he's wiped out whole city blocks and created floods with ease... but he's also a complete moron, meaning Spider-Man always comes up with ways to shut him down without much trouble.
  • Supergirl is often subject to this. Usually, several veteran heroes help her take a level in badass (her cousin shows her how to use her powers, Batman and even Wonder Woman teach her how to fight without them) so she is not helpless if she cannot resort to her super-powers.
    • In The Supergirl from Krypton (2004), Diana takes Kara with her to train her because the young Kryptonian has great powers which she doesn't know how to make use of.
      Wonder Woman: Having power and knowing how to use it aren't the same thing.
    • When Wonder Woman fights Supergirl in Kara's Post-Flashpoint book, she remarks that while they are closely matched in strength and speed, she is much more experienced and skilled while Supergirl lashes out with no thought or strategy.
  • Prince Swagger in Super Pro K.O is a champion boxer who took up wrestling after the boxing world became too scared to face him. Wrestlers don't like fighting him either — not because he's 375 lbs. of solid muscle, but because he's awkward at best in the ring. His clumsiness and lack of agility cost him his front teeth in a match against rookie junior cruiserweight Joe Somiano.
  • The Teen Titans villain Mammoth is superhumanly strong and tough but has almost nothing in the way of actual combat training. He just flails wildly at foes, relying on his strength and toughness to carry him through. More skilled opponents have been known to complain about how frustrating it is to fight him, as he is easy to hit but almost impossible to damage.
  • In Thanos Quest, the Elder of the Universe known as the Champion was portrayed this way. Many fans consider this to be bad writing, as he was previously portrayed as the most skilled martial artist in the universe, having mastered fighting styles from all over the cosmos and possessing billions of years of experience.
  • The Transformers: Combiner Wars establishes Devastator as this. Throughout The Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Devastator had been established as a brutal force of nature not to be reckoned with lest he smash anything in his way. Here Devastator goes up against Superion, a Combiner fine-tuned to be in-sync with all sorts of different upgrades to his body and mind. Superion fights very creatively, shifting his body to avoid blows, activating the jets in an arm that Devastator tore off him, so it flies back and starts beating on him, and converting his leg into another arm for a sneak attack. Devastator just pummels Superion into submission and drags his unconscious body away. It takes two Combiners to finally bring him down, and even then Devastator didn't go quietly.
  • Lampshaded in Ultimate Spider-Man, when Peter complains that he's been just getting by on luck and his natural strength and speed, so Mary Jane suggests he take martial arts. In the first 100 comics of the series, there's a surprising number of times where he actually gets the crap kicked out of him.
    • Word of God indicates that Peter was in fact very skilled at using his powers and at fighting, especially towards the latter half of his career. It's specified that his successor Miles Morales is drawn much clumsier in order to contrast the two.
    • Miles himself is also a subversion; the above would imply that Miles is this, but it's made clear early on that between the two, despite being smaller and younger, it is Miles who is the soldier and the fighter. As such, while he appears to be clumsier and unrefined, Miles has proven to be very good at taking down multiple threats simultaneously and combining strength, speed, webs, and agility to overwhelm gross odds. As such, his poor form doesn't stop him from being skilled. Keeping in mind that his Spider-Sense appears to be atrophied, so he has to rely less on instinct than the average Spider-Man.
    • Over on Earth-65, there's Spider-Gwen, where it's made incredibly clear that her spider-powers are the main (if not only) thing keeping her afloat in any given skirmish. She can mop the floor with your average mook, but whenever she has to fight someone who is just as strong and/or has actually trained in combat, she struggles to hold her own. One character notes that even if he could go back in time to train every prior generation of her family in the art of fighting, she'd still be useless without her powers.
  • X-Men:
    • The Juggernaut doesn't have much skill but he's literally unstoppable.
    • Psylocke after she becomes telekinetic. She can level mountains but literally lacks the finesse to pick up a dime. Later, Hellion of the New X-Men is shown to be similarly strong but unskilled in the use of his telekinesis.
    • Vulcan aka Gabriel Summers, the infamous third Summers brother and Big Bad of Deadly Genesis and War of Kings. He's an Omega-level energy manipulator, making him leagues more powerful than his brothers and arguably up there with Phoenix and Onslaught. And yet his actual fighting style isn't anything to write home about and he ends up beaten more often than not by foes with less power but greater control.
    • Rachel Summers was this when she first became Phoenix. As Spiral put it when Freedom Force (the former Brotherhood of Evil Mutants turned government agents) tried to arrest the X-Men, "So much power. So little skill." Later, Emma Frost beat her in a telepathic duel for this exact reason. Fortunately, Rachel was a quick study and is now one of the most skilled telepaths and telekinetics in the Marvel Universe, to the point where in one of the tie-ins to Avengers vs. X-Men Xavier explicitly warns Wolverine to treat her as if she's Xavier himself. This means that her powers are often understated or she'd be a complete Game-Breaker.
  • Nate Grey, as mentioned above, is essentially Cable at full potential — and Up to Eleven. He's the strongest of all the Grey-Summers kids, barring Rachel as the Phoenix (and even then, there could be debate about that, having been artificially created to kill the Apocalypse of Age of Apocalypse (which he did — well, put him on a platter for Magneto — at the biological age of 17). He was rated at Dark Phoenix power levels shortly after, and with good reason: subconsciously resurrecting Maddie Pryor and AoA!Gwen Stacy (two people he'd never met), literally willing himself back to life, accidentally freezing time and living in constant (and justified) fear that he would rewrite reality in his sleep. Unlike most examples, even in his early days, he was capable of some remarkably sophisticated uses of his powers, such channelling Earth's magnetic field through his brain with his telekinesis to create a powerful EMP, thanks to tutoring from AoA!Forge, but he was hamstrung by being short-tempered, impetuous, going it alone and jumping to the worst possible conclusion (though not without reason), having no idea of the limits of his powers or how to fully control them (some of his more impressive tricks were completely instinctive) and frequently suffering from Superpower Meltdown caused by a genetic flaw designed to kill him by the age of 21.
    • However, like Cable, he's scarily smart, learned fast, and copied a lot of tricks. Following the Shaman Reboot, he solved the problem of his genetic flaw and Took a Level in Badass, and was arguably one of the most skilled psychics in the Marvel Universe. In X-Men Disassembled, the only fellow psychic to even lay a glove on him was Jean Grey, while she was literally inside his head. Legion, for instance, tried the reverse complete with illusion. It worked for five minutes, before Nate realised what was going on. Legion confronted him directly. Five seconds and one Breaking Speech later, Legion got body-jacked for his trouble.

    Fan Works 
  • All of the four in With Strings Attached. Because they're Actual Pacifists, they have no intention of getting more skilled with the combat aspects of their magic, though they love figuring out new things to do with it.
    • A bigger issue in The Keys Stand Alone, because now they're in a situation where their lack of combat experience really stands out. Several times baddies ambush them in some way, and only luck and cheating and aspects of their overwhelming power let them escape. They still don't want to learn to fight or kill, though.
  • Child of the Storm tends to punish characters that try to rely solely on their raw power. This is aptly demonstrated by Harry and his friends in chapter 60. After a Plot-Relevant Age-Up, they're on par with the Avengers for raw power, now being two Physical Gods (one also being an Omega Class Psychic), a One-Man Army, a Super Soldier, and a Flash. They flatten a bunch of Elite Mooks, but when they face HYDRA's Destroyer (which also shapeshifts) as controlled by Zemo, they're nearly all killed in ten seconds flat. While they do win that fight, they're all exhausted and badly injured afterwards. In the sequel, Harry notes that with the training he's undergone and experience he's gained, in a rematch with his current powers (Person of Mass Destruction class) he'd be able to destroy it relatively easily, all by himself.
    • Harry himself is a Zig-Zagged example. He starts out as a Squishy Wizard and a Guile Hero, relying on his wits to get out of trouble. As he starts to win the Superpower Lottery and gets some training in his powers and close combat, he goes through Elite Mook like a hot knife through butter, even once his Berserk Button is pressed and strategy goes out the window — but as the above example shows, against equals/superiors, he's in trouble. In the sequel, he gets serious training and becomes a far more pragmatic and effective fighter, even if the fight is just part of a plan.
    • Gravemoss, who's described as being an incredibly powerful Evil Sorcerer, but gets defeated by Strange in a duel while the latter is performing Astral Projection to elsewhere on the battlefield while duelling. Of course, it should be noted that Strange is both precognitive and incredibly experienced (he's had 500,000 years to refine his technique), and that thanks to the corruption of the Darkhold, Gravemoss is losing focus and control.
    • The Beast, aka Dudley Dursley is pretty much entirely reliant on his Healing Factor, Super Strength, and being Nigh Invulnerable to get through fights. It works... up to a point. However, against real heavyweights such as Maddie, Harry, and Thor, he simply doesn't have the experience or brains to even things up. Even when Harry has half his powers switched off in their first fight, he only takes a single hit because the Beast sucker-punched him. The rest of that fight and the rematch — which, since Dudley's now a vampire, ends with Harry dismembering him — is very one-sided.
      "Anyway, Dudley got in a few good hits before I realized that, broke a few bones, that sort of thing. And the main reason I beat him up so easily afterwards is that his fighting style is pretty much entirely based on being way more powerful than his opponent, being able to soak up anything they could throw at him, and being absolutely vicious."
  • Code Prime: Suzaku, for now — he has a highly advanced Knightmare frame and incredible sync rate, but that will only go so far against opponents (e.g. the Autobots) who have been fighting for longer than he has been alive.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • Discord is stated to be possibly the fifth most powerful being in creation due to exploiting Cannibalism Superpower and eating two of his family members for power, but because of his near unlimited power, he never bothered learning hand to hand combat. While he's very creative and skilled with his Reality Warper powers, his hand to hand combat abilities are lacking. This resulted in the Paradise Estate Ponies managing to defeat him, as their Spike (an adult dragon and judging by how he acted, a Genius Bruiser) could overpower him in melee combat.
    • In the Dark World, after Fluttercruel is given the bulk of Discord's power and transforms into a draconequus, she's left just as powerful as her father. But due to her inexperience and Villainous Breakdown, she's far from able to use them at full efficiency, leading to her defeat.
    • It's noted that Dark World Spike is one of the few Dragons who's not this trope. He's a full-grown dragon but has spent the last thousand years reading...well, everything from fighting manuals to acupuncture. This makes him a very dangerous dragon, because he's not only got brute strength, but the skill and knowledge to use it.
    • In the Finale Arc, Flutternice is so unbelievably strong that trying to block her attacks results in her opponents getting sent flying, she's armed with weapons that erase whatever they cut from existence, and she can regenerate. However, her attacks are so sloppy and predictable that Starlight and Zecora effortlessly avoid them and then incapacitate her with Pressure Point strikes. Zecora even points out she fights like an amateur.
  • The Final Sword: Rebora. Clumsy enough to struggle to walk, and exhausts a lot of energy for her strongest attacks... but they can clear a citadel and even a city from enemies at once.
  • The Immortal Game: During their final duel, Twilight notes that Titan seems to have only the most basic level of blade training, and figures he never bothered to learn more complex techniques due to having just so much more sheer power than anybody else. Since Twilight, by this point, has become an alicorn herself and has advanced skills in bladecasting, she's more than an even match for him.
  • Magical Pony Lyrical Twilight: Celestia has more raw power than even Luna with the Tome of the Night Sky but less combat finesse. Particularly visible in the flashback to the Celestia vs Nightmare Moon fight where Celestia was nearly tapped out using her power statically whereas her foe had hardly broken a sweat despite staying mobile and using various multi-front attacks.
  • XCOM: Second Contact: For all their raw power, the Ogres have no finesse, which allows Wrex to beat them by fighting smart.
  • The author of the Facing the Future Series applied this to Vlad Plasmius stating that since he's powerful and a skilled manipulator, he's not used to knock-down-drag-out fights like Danny is. This gives him a serious disadvantage when on the other end of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown at the hands of powerful characters like Clockwork and Dark Danny.
  • In Pages of Harmony, Fluttershy has a case of this when Kindness is extracted from her. She has had no training in any sort of combat, with only experience of the false memories from Twilight's Mind Rape techniques to guide her, she is still able to show quite a bit of strength, in part thanks to the magic and injections Twilight used to keep her alive. She becomes so strong that she tears her former pets to pieces and engages in a battle with Twilight, but her wild punches and Unstoppable Rage are what do her in, having no real strategy and Twilight managing to use her magic just right to properly beat her.
  • In Avengers: Infinite Wars, this is a good description of Pietro's use of a lightsaber in the Battle of Kamino; he obviously doesn't have the Force or any real training in lightsaber combat, but his sheer speed allows him to hold his own against Grievous and a Sith Acolyte, forcing Grievous to retreat.
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures and W.I.T.C.H. crossover fanfic Kage (part of Project Dark Jade), Elyon is said to fit this, as her brother only taught her how to tap into her full raw power, not how to control it. To be fair though, all the previous bearers of her power are said to have at least a little trouble with it (the fact that they react to her emotions, with anger making them both more powerful and harder to control doesn't help much).
    • Because she flipped out and nearly killed Jade early on, she's started getting trained in properly using them by the Oracle, so the trope is in the process of being subverted.
  • In The Legend of Zelda fic Blood and Spirit, Sheik notes that Link lacks skill, but has potential, and describes him as "all impulse and reaction instead of thought and action." She even asks Link how he managed to beat Demise in the first place with how he fights.
  • In Mass Effect: Human Revolution, Adam Jensen is this in a way. Adam's more of a brawler, relying instead on methodical Awesomeness by Analysis to dissect an opponent's style before committing, but has no formal melee weapons training. On Caleston, he needs to think outside the box to defeat Leon and was a dead man walking against Caim. On Ilium, Toombs nearly beat him. On Noveria, Jules's skill prevents him from getting the time needed to plan a counter. The Warrior calls him out on his overreliance on his augs in chapter 31, calling back to the boss fights against the Tyrants where that failed him.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness: When she comes to Earth from Heaven in Acts V and VI, Arial Kuyumaya is still technically dead and thus does not have the limitations of a living body; thus, there is no limit to how much ice she can produce at once. However, she's a poor fighter; in Act VI chapter 8, she catches Mizore by surprise and beats her in a fight, but come chapter 17, Mizore's superior fighting skills and technique ultimately allow Mizore to come out on top.
  • In Hail to the King: A dead man is reborn in the body of King Sombra. He gains Sombra's raw power but lacks the means to use it properly. This causes him problems multiple times. When he tries to dismantle a crystal wall, thinking that is what is scaring all the crystal ponies, he blows it up, raining large crystals down on the city and making it seem like he was trying to attack them. When Not!Sombra is confronted by Shining Armor, he is easily subdued by a well-trained soldier. And when he tries to escape, he has no problem blowing up a prison wall and destroying a collar, but he can't use his power to escape from Shining's and Cadence's shield, which requires certain skill.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack: Jo Baker gets exposed to GC-161 and comes after Alex with no finesse, but with car-throwing Super Strength, and Super Toughness to the point of being Immune to Bullets. Terawatt beats her by blinding her and then pouring antidote in her mouth. Eventually she has enough of a Heel–Face Turn to get some actual training from the SRI, but her style remains very direct and simple, relying on her ability to get up in someone's face, ignoring whatever they can throw at her, and bring the pain.
  • In the The More Things Change Series, Ron's Mystical Monkey Power gives him ninja-like moves, but he mostly uses it for Super Strength.
  • A Drop of Poison:
    • Naruto's poor chakra control and massive reserves show through when he and his clones can cross entire countries in a couple of hours via Kawarimi (Substitution) to locations up to 8 kilometers away and can switch with air, the former considered impossible and the latter insanely difficult. Naruto spends months working his way down on both how many clones he makes and how far he travels with Kawarimi.
    • Naruto works with Gaara to improve the latter's skills, and he discovers that Gaara's hand-to-hand fighting skills are just awful. Gaara's sand control is so overwhelmingly powerful that he's never had to fight up close, so he hasn't properly practised it, leaving his technique very mechanical and predictable. They don't have time for the level of training he would need to truly fix the problem, but they do come up with some workarounds to let him enhance his taijutsu with sand, enough that close range isn't such a glaring weakness.
  • Harmony Theory:
    • After watching Rainbow Dash fight, Astrid concludes she is this, since she is stronger, faster, and tougher than the average pony, but misses several opportunities at killing blows. However, Gamma says Rainbow is actually very skilled; it's just that she avoids killing.
    • Nightmare Umbra has the fighting and flying skills of an amateur and has horrible aim, allowing the heroes to outmaneuver her and get several hits in. Still, she is no pushover since her stamina is unlimited, she's almost impossible to hurt, and she can rip out a chunk of the ground the size of a mountain and throw it so fast that it creates a slipstream that can sweep you up even if you dodge the rock itself.
    • Charisma is a highly skilled fighter, but when it comes to flying and Weather Manipulation, she's inexperienced. In her final battle, she gains a massive power boost that grants her strength, speed, and durability on par with Rainbow Dash, as well as telekinesis and control over the weather. Rainbow Dash notices she's flapping her wings in an inefficient way and making mistakes like flying against the wind instead of with it. Add in Charisma's inexperience with her new powers and Rainbow manages to get the advantage.
  • Ciaphas Cain: The Last Cup managed to plausibly do this to Abaddon the Despoiler. Sure, he's over 10,000 years old, but he'd spent most of that time in the Eye of Terror planning his Black Crusades and comparatively little of that time on the battlefield, and even most of his time on a battlefield had him engaging from a distance rather than melee combat. Cain, on the other hand, had spent virtually his entire adult life fighting wars or in transit to the next one, and as such had far more practical recent combat experience than the Chaos Warmaster. This allowed him and Jurgen to fight Abaddon and win. It is also mentioned that if Cain hadn't goaded Abaddon into fighting at his level (No armor, no psyker tricks, just weapon against weapon), the sheer difference in raw power would have allowed Abaddon to instantly crush Cain like a bug.
  • Penny is like this in The Games We Play. From a pure stats perspective, she is an absolute monster even for elite Huntsmen, but her lack of skill and experience enable then-much weaker Jaune to barely keep ahead of her long enough to achieve his goal.
  • The Bridge:
    • When Garble and his friends experience Greed Growth and turn into full-grown dragons, Anguirus easily defeats them while noting that though they are not as strong as him, they could probably give him trouble if they actually knew how to fight.
    • King Sombra has great strength and durability on par with Xenilla's, but he treated physical combat as beneath him and preferred to just kill his enemies at a distance with his magic, so once Xenilla can get into melee range, he has the advantage. However, Sombra is quite handy with a scythe.
    • Grand King Ghidorah is one of the most powerful beings in the universe, with strength outclassing Godzilla. Since he's used to just toying with and killing beings who don't stand a chance against him, he's never needed to learn how to fight. Once he faces beings on par with him, he fares badly.
    • In the spinoff The Bridge: Sound of Thunder, Godzilla Junior's evil Mirror Universe counterpart is stronger than him and can use the Red Spiral Ray (which is more powerful than the Atomic Breath) at will. However, according to the author, this is because he focused on maximizing his power by regularly attacking nuclear power plants and other sources of radiation to absorb, while the main Godzilla instead relied on sunlight to empower him and learned how to fight. The evil Godzilla does not have as much experience in applying his powers and typically fights like a savage. Once Raiga is powered up into her Super Mode and able to match him in power, she is able to completely outmatch him in melee combat.
    • The spinoff The Bridge: Humanity's Stand featured a fight of Godzilla Junior and Zilla vs Gojira, the creature from Godzilla (2014). Gojira is much stronger and tougher than Junior and Zilla, but Junior notes that he doesn't seem to be used to fighting beings who approach him in power. Gojira's skills may have decayed since he's been in hibernation for literally millions of years.
  • In The Great Sage Naruto is even stronger and more unskilled than canon. He has over ten times as much chakra as Kakashi and enough physical strength to crater the ground with a stomp. He also has absolutely no skill at taijutsu and has to rely on his durability because his defense is full of holes.
  • Anderson Quest, a crossover between Hellsing Ultimate Abridged and Bloodborne:
    • Anderson notes this about the Bloody Crow of Cainhurst. The Bloody Crow has been so used to being the top dog that he never bothered to learn how to properly fight. This proves to be his undoing against Anderson, a peer opponent. This later turns out to have been invoked; the lack of training was supposed to be an insurance policy in the hope that the previous strongest and most experienced Church Hunter could use skill to close the gap if things went wrong. It wasn't enough.
    • Averted with the Amygdala. Despite being even more powerful than its Lesser brethren, it also knows how to use its advantages to the fullest. That makes it a nightmare for Anderson to fight.
  • In the Winx Club parts of The Infinite Loops Valtor provides a curious example: he has immense magical power (easily the strongest of the non-Loopers of his universe after Bloom started Looping) and knows a large number of spells, but has apparently missed a few basic lessons and considers physical combat beneath him, resulting in him being on the wrong end of a magical Curb-Stomp Battle against the Trix (who weren't Looping at the time) and the "Valtor Sucks at Meelee" Running Gag. Even when the Gag was subverted it was shown he wasn't skilled, he just had a demon form with enormous strength and the durability to match.
  • In Peace Day Never Came #24 we see a Courser in action. Despite his natural advantages, he has little grasp of tactics.
  • God Slaying Blade Works:
    • Shirou Emiya comments that the god Hades is similar to Gilgamesh in that he's a ruler and not an experienced warrior. Shirou notes that Hades is so strong that he would be able to crush him like a bug if he could get his hands on him, but they're facing each other in a sword fight where Shirou has the advantage and beats him.
    • The narration points this out about Tiamat. She was one of the most powerful goddesses, and even in her weakened form, she is no pushover. However, she lacks combat experience, which allows opponents to outmaneuver and trick her.
  • In Mastering Thy Self, Cardin rejects the idea of being tutored by a more tactically-inclined student because he feels independence is "his right for being stronger than the rest".
  • Discussed in Bleeding Out: Ron has far less training and skill than Monkey Fist, but since he has achieved a level of basic competence, and he's channeling absolutely vast amounts of the Mystic Monkey Power at the time, it doesn't do Monkey Fist any good.
  • Many close combat Sekirei such as Musubi, and to a lesser extent Haihane, in Anything Goes Game Changer have far more power than actual ability. Part of why Sekirei regularly lose to the Nerima Wrecking Crew, besides Underestimating Badassery, is that the human martial artists are incredibly skilled on top of being outright superhuman physically.
  • Atomic Samurai and Silver Fang both notice in Serious Saitama that for all his power, Saitama has no skill at all. If physical strength was the same, any S-rank hero (except Tatsumaki) could utterly thrash him, but Saitama is so overwhelmingly strong that his lack of skill doesn't matter.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supergirl crossover The Vampire of Steel, Supergirl is obviously massively more powerful than Buffy, but Buffy knows how to fight vampires. When Supergirl has to fight a vampire Kryptonian who is actually more powerful than her, she struggles. Buffy has to enter her mind via a spell to add Supergirl's powers to her own fighting skills and take the vampire down.
  • Legendary Pokemon in Traveler are overwhelmingly powerful to the point of basically being gods. For example, Zapdos' mere presence caused a storm over forty miles in diameter (and growing) with hurricane-level winds. However, if another Pokemon can reach their level of power (Such as Infernus with Moltres' Fire Sphere) they can easily defeat any Legendary.
  • While highly skilled for their rank, the Circle of Six in Destiny is a Hazy Thing have power far outstripping their skill. Shino, Yakumo, Ino, and Chouji all have chakra roughly on par with a Jounin. Hinata, who's been doing the training longer, has comparable chakra to a Kage. And Naruto, who's done it the longest, has almost as much chakra as a Bijuu.
  • Smoker to an extent in Supernova (One Piece) due to the nature of his devil fruit as both a logia and one that isn't inherently destructive. Luffy points out that basically no one in the East Blue can even touch him and since it isn't destructive, Smoker can use it all he wants but it comes with the drawback that it's all he uses, leaving his other skills atrophied. Contrast Strong and Skilled Luffy who's both skilled with his devil fruit and knows Rokushiki.
  • Fates Collide:
    • Bazett Fraga McRemitz criticizes Yang Xiao Long for being this. Yang is incredibly strong, but relies mostly on her strength, Aura, and Semblance and does not adapt to her opponent's tactics. Yang loses a fight to Bazett, who is even stronger than Yang is and is an expert martial artist.
    • Mordred also lacks technique and relies on her strength. She flounders against the highly skilled and similarly strong Medusa and only manages to win by catching her by surprise with her Deliberate Injury Gambit.
    • Jaune Alter handles a sword like a child throwing a tantrum, but he is strong enough to crack stone and beat people unconscious. Even the relatively inexperienced original Jaune Arc is a better fighter than him, and since he has a similar level of strength, Arc gets the advantage, causing Alter to have a Villainous Breakdown.
    • Nero is unskilled in swordsmanship and relies on her incredible strength and Golden Theater draining her opponents' strength to beat them. Cinder Fall and Amakusa lecture her on her lack of skill, and despite the Golden Theater weakening them, are able to overwhelm her with their superior sword technique.
    • Ren Alter is incredibly strong, but fights like a savage and relies on his Healing Factor to tank attacks. His opponents defeat him with relative ease and call him a joke.
  • Naruto in Thief of Konoha has so much power and so little control that he once accidentally used Substitution and ripped an entire tree out of the ground to switch with.
  • The (Questionable) Burdens of Leadership of a Troll Emperor:
    • Karasuba is actually a rank amateur with a sword who only beats Warmaster Setsuna due to her overwhelming power. Once Naruto has her Brought Down to Normal for their spars, it takes Karasuba decades to overcome Setsuna who's honed her skill over centuries.
    • Xanna as well has no actual fighting ability since, unlike Naruto, she's never been mortal. Even telepathically copying Naruto's skills doesn't allow her to match him because she has no real fighting instinct and can't improvise as he can.
  • White Sheep (RWBY): Jaune Arc has so much Aura that not only can he fight for over an hour without tiring, but even getting hit head-on by another student's attack barely bruises him. Unfortunately, if he's not using his Grimm powers, that's all he can do; he has no skill whatsoever with his sword and shield. After an hour-long spar against his partner Weiss, Jaune "wins" due to her collapsing from exhaustion (and running out of Dust) but he never managed to land or block a single attack.
  • King Cold in Frieza: A Simple Act of Mercy is even stronger than either of his sons but also an even worse fighter. The Z Fighters hold their own, and even badly injure him until Goku and Trunks arrive, despite having a combined power level of only a tiny fraction of Cold's own. Piccolo infers that Cold likely never trained at all (Frieza himself admits to having only the bare basics of training) as he telegraphs all of his attacks "a mile in advance". If even a single attack lands, the one struck will most likely die but Cold struggles to land a blow on anyone the entire fight.
  • In Back From the Future, Luke Skywalker's lightsaber form is rough and unpolished even by padawan standards, but he's so strong in the Force and opens himself so completely to it each time he uses his lightsaber that he can defeat even Ventress despite her having far more training.
  • Avenger of Steel:
    • Jessica Jones has considerable raw strength, but little in the way of actual hand-to-hand combat experience, with most of her fights relying on her just hitting her opponents really hard, which puts her at a disadvantage when facing the rare foe who can match her strength and knows how to fight.
    • It is noted that Raven has a great deal of raw power, but most of her training has focused on suppressing that power rather than using it.
  • In the Arrow/The Vampire Diaries crossover Sharper Points, even after being turned into a vampire and gaining enhanced strength along with a Healing Factor, Felicity Smoak has minimal combat skills. As a result, she's in trouble when fighting an opponent who can match her physically, but she's still strong enough that she's more than a match for most regular humans who might try to fight her; at one point the Huntress shoots her in the neck with a plastic crossbow bolt and Felicity is just unable to talk until she can pull it out and let herself heal.
  • In Kimberly T's Gargoyles series, Thailog (Goliath's evil clone) reflects at one point that he's only bothered to learn the basics of hand-to-hand combat, as he prefers firearms and more subtle manipulations. That said, considering that he's the size of Goliath with all of the raw power of his 'father', Thailog is generally strong enough that he doesn't typically need more than the basics when it comes down to a fight between him and his enemies.
  • In the Gargoyles fic "The Path Unfolding", the time-displaced Adam Gargan — later revealed to be Goliath and Elisa's son from the future — mocks Demona about her combat skills as she just powers through everything, even though she's over a thousand years old and has had more than enough time to learn at least one combat style if she wanted to.
  • When it comes to piloting in The Black Emperor, C.C. comes off as this compared to Kallen. While her immortal body is faster, stronger, more durable, and has better reflexes than Kallen, she lacks the redhead's raw talent for piloting Knightmare Frames.
  • The human protagonist in Humans Don't Make Good Pets is a Lightning Bruiser strong enough to use crates several times his size as battering rams, tough enough that anti-tank rifles might break bones but not skin, and fast enough that trained soldiers can barely track him with their eyes as he leaps several meters at a time. But by his own admission, his fighting style amounts to wildly flailing with his weapons, possessing exactly zero training in combat. More than once, a skilled fighter manages to hold him off for some time before his natural physical superiority wins the fight.
  • Though normally Strong and Skilled when it comes to magic in I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Harry Potter admits that healing is one area where he's always just thrown a lot of magic and intent at the problem until it's gone.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, most of the goons Mysterio outfits with Marvel Universe equipment are dangerous enough to take on the average Pro Hero because of how advanced it is. But Peter notes that many of them, like most of the Rocket Racer Gang, aren't seasoned fighters, which lets him overwhelm them by picking several of them off before using his superior skill to divide and conquer.
  • The Vasto of White:
    • While Shirou is a master swordsman by human standards, he admits his skills are nothing compared to Shinigami who have been honing their craft for centuries. In his fight with Ukitake, Shirou admits the only reason why he won was that he was stronger and faster and Ukitake was handicapped by his illness.
    • In a spar, Nelliel completely schools Ichigo in hand to hand combat, but Ichigo is so strong that any blow he manages to land bruises her even though she has Hierro.
  • The Red Dragon's Saber: Raynare mentions to herself that she and her Fallen Angel comrades never trained due to believing they are the ultimate beings, and that only higher-ranked Angels could ever be a threat to them. Thus Artoria, who is very Strong and Skilled, can easily avoid their attacks and smack them around.
  • In To Undo it All, Ichigo is still rather crude in his fighting even after ten years of fighting in wars, often utilizing his defensive techniques and Healing Factor to tank hits, but is so powerful that he kills Aizen in a single attack. The only two people who can give him a decent fight are Unohana and Yamamoto when they use bankai and the former only can if he sticks to shikai. Ichigo is explicitly stated as having more power than either but Unohana's Healing Factor and Yamamoto's raw skill let them keep pace with him.
  • In Incarnation of Legends, Oryou has no need for martial technique when she can crush nearly anything in a flurry of punches with her absurd strength. The only reason why a temporarily leveled up Araki is able to survive against her is because of his martial skill, and when she stops holding back she quickly makes a crater in his face.
  • My Ideal Academia: Momo Yaoyorozu comments that she basically has a superior version of Shirou Emiya's ability. Shirou can only make bladed weapons while she can make anything, including firearms and bombs. She says if they fought each other she would easily win, but Aizawa disagrees. She doesn't know how to fight and has no battlefield experience, while Shirou clearly does, so Aizawa says Shirou would win. Sure enough, when they face each other in a training exercise, Momo tries to keep him at bay with a machine gun (with rubber bullets) and flashbang grenades, but he easily parries them and gets into melee range. She then makes a taser and a spear, but he effortlessly dodges or parries her with a wooden sword while lecturing her on the flaws in her technique before knocking her out. Momo later asks Shirou to train her and he agrees.
  • Mordred in Fate/Magnus Bellum immensely strong and her Noble Phantasms can cause serious damage (it's even noted that her Clarent Blood Arthur would have left Siegfried severely wounded had he not been given an added defense) and she can be quite clever in battle (such as throwing trees at Arash to distract him so she can get close to him), but she lacks any real skill in swordsmanship. This becomes a notable problem when she fights more masterful swordsmen like Siegfried and Arthur or more skilled fighters like Chiron and Arash.
  • In their first spar in A Young Girl's Padawan Record, Anakin and Tanya both utilize levitation to add an extra dimension to their attacks. Anakin can move himself far faster than Tanya can, but is largely unable to maneuver beyond launching himself in straight lines, contrast Tanya who isn't as fast but can freely maneuver through the air.
  • In Metagaming?, Harry Potter quickly notes that everyone and everything on Azeroth is highly magical, with average Sentinels having roughly the same magical presence as a young dragon on his home world. As a result, magic has largely evolved to specialize in overwhelming power with little finesse. Harry notes that a warlock's shadowbolt is little more than a mass of shadow magic sloppily thrown at the enemy.
    • In the following chapter, he learns this applies to craftsmen too. A novice alchemist can toss common weeds into a pot of boiling water and create a potion that will regenerate limbs within an hour, but none of them acknowledge that there's anything magical happening.
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls:
    • Blueblood is counted amongst the Gotei 13 thanks to possessing a legitimately powerful Bankai and high spiritual potential, but it's noted that his lack of experience compared to the other Captains and his arrogance keeps him from training and bringing out his full potential, which is why he's considered the weakest of them. Sure enough, Rarity, despite being far weaker in terms of power, defeats him through carefully observing his actions throughout the fight and using "unconventional" techniques to catch him off-guard before he can use his Bankai.
    • Sweet Cider, being this world's Kenpachi, is this as well. She lacks Bankai or any real skill in Kido, but her raw physical power puts her in league with the likes of Celestia and Hurricane in terms of destructive power and she's technically the physically strongest of all the Captains (barring Captain-Commander Scorpan). On the topic of Sweet Cider, her Shikai is this as well. It doesn't have any fancy powers. It just absorbs her Spirit Energy and lets it out hard. And she only gets stronger when she regains access to her Fullbring and unlocks her true Shikai.
    • Captain Thunderhooves' Shikai is a massive club becomes stronger with each successive swing, but in return each swing becomes increasingly unwieldy. This allows him to snowball into a ridiculously powerful combatant who can take out numerous foes with even near-misses, but collateral damage is all but assured and it's not a safe ability to use with allies present.
    • Both Lament's Resurreccion and Luna's fully-released Bankai turn them into this. They gain incredible power alongside massive boosts in physical ability, but in return their minds drown in soul-rending regret and predatory rage respectively and they can't do much to "plan" outside of "kill the targets in front of me with extreme prejudice".
    • Guto calls out Adagio as this when she makes her move after becoming an Arrancar to claim a place among the Espada and indirectly acknowledging very begrudingly that her power in her sealed state is a close match and perhaps slightly superior to his own, stating that she might have the power but she lacks the experience. Adagio noticeably doesn't refute that assessment which is why she chooses to be tested by Tirek himself for her placement, and she also notes she'll need both to step up her training and come up with some killer finishing moves for when the two of them inevitably clash after she's named the new Sixth Espada over him. In fact, she would have been comfortable with starting as the Seventh Espada as to avoid pissing Guto off over taking his rank, but Tirek refused to rank her any lower.
  • The Lions in Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron are more advanced than any Knightmare that Britannia had developed. However, with the exception of Kallen and Suzaku, the Paladins are still rookie pilots, which allows more skilled Knightmare pilots such as the Knights of Round to be able to fight them to a standstill.
  • Kabbalah: The Passive Conqueror: Circe notes that Natsumi's power levels and spells are comparable to her own, but since Natsumi is a child with no combat experience or practice while Circe is a veteran witch, Circe shuts her down easily.
  • With This Ring:
    • It's all too easy for Orange Lanterns to become this trope, by losing their focus and becoming obsessed with short-term desires. In that state, they have high power output due to their intense avarice, but they can easily be outmaneouvred by a more level-headed opponent.
    • The epitome is Larfleeze, who spent billions of years in a cave with the Orange Light Fountain, and ended up completely and utterly saturated in orange light. He comes across as a gibbering lunatic every time he talks, obsessed with "My shinies!" and "You can't have it! It's mine!" but he's powerful enough that he's defeated and assimilated (or just plain eaten) anyone who has ever tried to rob his cave, becoming The Dreaded to the entire planet of Okaara and a good deal of the star systems nearby. Paul captures and disables him in his sleep, to be both rehabilitated if possible, and studied in order to better treat other cases of orange light overload.

    Films — Animated 
  • Elsa from Frozen has shown to have ice powers that are capable of quickly subduing (or even murdering) other people, make a Snowlem with ease and can even alter the weather from summer to winter in an instant. However, she demonstrates very little control over her ability due to her past trauma to the point that she inadvertently created an Endless Winter after her power gets outed and even struck other people in their heart by sheer accident. It is all the more telling to her lack of skills when two Mooks are able to outmaneuver her and almost manage to kill her, she only manages to survive just by unleashing even more of her ice powers and because Hans interferes.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Judge Claude Frollo can slice through stone gargoyles with a sword and was able to briefly wrestle with Quasimodo over a dagger but displays little finesse.
  • The Incredibles:
    • Jack-Jack's "molecular self-manipulation" gives him a wide variety of super powers according to Edna, but since he's a baby, he doesn't use his abilities with any strategy or finesse. Several times in the second film he randomly teleports into the air and falls to the ground, although it's Played for Laughs because Bob always catches him. The exact power level of his abilities has not yet been determined and his "victories" against the villains are more due to the element of surprise of a baby with changing superpowers than any skill on Jack-Jack's part.
    • The DEV Tech Supers introduced in the sequel aren't experienced in using their powers or adapting to changing situations in a fight.
  • Kung Fu Panda 3 has its villain, Kai. His psychical prowess and stolen chi allow him to easily steamroll opponents constantly, but his lack of skill undermines his other trump card: the jombies. Jade zombies of masters whose chi he has stolen, their tactics are astoundingly simplistic and easily countered by the unexpected because Kai does not have the skill to get them to do anything more complicated than attack or capture.
  • The Lion King: When Nala sees Pumbaa as an easy snack and chases him, Simba saves Pumbaa by fighting Nala head-on. Keep in mind that Nala has pretty much hunted and run hard to chase any remaining prey in the Pride Lands, while Simba has spent his days lazing in the jungle and snacking with his buddies Timon and Pumbaa. Even so, Simba takes on Nala in what is most likely his first fight ever and nearly wins, only losing when Nala gets to pin him down.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls Movie, the girls are, upon their creation, obviously capable of furnishing their bedroom and making sandwiches. But they're not sure — or are oblivious — exactly as to what their powers entail, so their game of tag trashes the city. It's only after they become pariahs in the eyes of Townsville and when Mojo Jojo threatens the Professor do the girls realize what their powers are for and how to use them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Assassin's Creed (2016): Ojeda surely doesn't have the fighting skills of an Assassin, but still knows how to put a fight with aid of his raw physical strength and warrior training.
  • Back to the Future: George McFly has less skill and experience fighting than a street punk, but he throws a haymaker that knocks out the much larger Biff Tannen with a single blow.
  • Mongo in Blazing Saddles is a bit slow, but can take out a horse in one punch.
  • In a sense, this is true of Nuke LaLoosh, the hotshot pitching prospect from Bull Durham with "a million-dollar arm and a ten-cent head" (as in, he has a blazing fastball but not the focus or discipline to use it properly).
  • Conan the Barbarian is at the beginning, getting knocked over easily, but after some fights and training becomes a Master Swordsman rather easily.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Man of Steel: In a sense. Superman does not have the years of combat experience of the other Kryptonians, but he has lived on Earth his entire life and had a far greater amount of time to develop and control his own powers. Hence, while they are better fighters than he is, they are objectively weaker in Earth conditions. That said, he is also more creative about applying his powers and quicker on the draw with them. However, by the final battle, Zod successfully acclimated to Earth, thus matching Superman's strength, while Superman was able to learn and adapt against Kryptonian combat.
    • Justice League (2017): Barry Allen nervously points out he has zero combat experience. Prior to the movie, his only fights have been against ordinary criminals who are like statues to him that he can just knock over with his Super Speed.
  • Fearless (2006) sets up Hercules O'Brien like this, but in fact, it's subverted. O'Brien may not have Yuanjia's fancy moves, but his western-style boxing utilizes his massive upper-body strength in a very effective way.
  • The Green Hornet is too much of a Dirty Coward to do any fighting anyway, and he has had no training whatsoever, but he can hold his own remarkably in a fight and throw surprisingly good punches.
  • Happy Gilmore is a golfer whose golf skills aren't much to talk about (especially his putting, which is atrocious). But... he has the longest drive of any golfer on the green, and that gets him on the golf circuit and lets him at least complete tournaments. That said, the movie is careful to show that Happy is finishing very, very, low in the rankings in those initial tournaments. While his drive makes him a sensation, and his tough guy, blue-collar style get him fans who would have never watched golf otherwise, Happy never even comes close to winning a tournament based purely on his drive. His skills do gradually improve somewhat just from the sheer amount of practice he gets, going constantly from one tournament to another, but it's not until Happy goes back to his mentor Chubbs and gets Chubbs to help him with his putting and focus that Happy can actually compete with the better golfers.
  • Humphrey Bogart's The Harder They Fall (1956) has him serving as the hypeman for a boxer who can't box. He's big, strong, and looks quite impressive, but in actuality, his punching technique is for shit and he has a glass jaw.
  • The Indominus Rex from Jurassic World. She's an engineered apex predator who has brawn and brain, but she has trouble remembering all her perks. It takes a moment before she figures out she can pin Rexie with her arms. since being born in captivity with no sibling aside the one she killed, she does not have that many wild instincts.
  • A Knight's Tale: Count Adhemar notes to Lady Jocelyn that "Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein" (main character William Thatcher) jousts with "rudimentary style, nonexistent technique, but he's fearless." Adhemar goes on to explain to Jocelyn that while the visor of a knight's helmet is small, splinters can penetrate, and most knight's raise their heads at the last second, losing sight of their target but protecting their eyes. "Ulrich" doesn't (chances are that William doesn't know to do so). Jocelyn is impressed, because he keeps his eyes on the target. Later, after his first bout against William himself, a winded Adhemar remarks:
    "No style whatsoever. But neither has an anvil."
  • Logan has X-24 as an example of this; a clone of Logan in his prime with a still-active healing factor, X-24 brutally tears through every opponent he faces, but he is never shown to be capable of speech or gives any sense that he is capable of tactical planning. Word of God affirms that if he and Logan had fought while Logan was healthy, Logan would have won far more easily, and X-24 only does so much damage because Logan was already dying of his accumulated past injuries.
  • In Major League Pedro Cerrano and Rock Vaughn both start out as this. Cerrano is a batter with incredible power but who can’t hit curveballs; Vaughn is a pitcher with a fastball that can reach 98mph but can’t aim. They get better over the course of the movie.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Obadiah Stane from Iron Man. His Iron Monger armor is a bipedal tank, but he is dependent on his engineers to help him keep up with Tony.
    • In Captain America: The First Avenger, The Red Skull is a genius tactician and scientist, and strong and fast enough to trade blows with Captain America, but his hand-to-hand combat skills are a bit lacking.
    • Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War has very general control over her psychic abilities, being able to Mind Rape others, direct energy blasts, and levitate herself and objects. Unfortunately, her powers at their strongest are downright destructive and if she's not being utterly reckless with them, she's lacking the finesse to be able to keep them under her control. Casualties/collateral damage can be expected to happen in either case. Her lack of combat experience doesn't do her any favors, either. WandaVision gives her her full-on Reality Warper powers but she comes to realize that she has no knowledge of magic in an academic sense and Agatha Harkness, who has nowhere near her raw power, gets the better of her with a simple piece of magic that Agatha says any witch should know.
    • Also from Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man. He's a teenager without any training, and it shows with him repeatedly giving his opponents openings, but having the sheer strength and speed to fight evenly with Bucky and the Falcon, two professional soldiers — albeit that they're holding back because he's a kid.
    • Spider-Man: Homecoming: Eugene "Flash" Thompson is the academic decathlon version of this, being faster at hitting the bell than his peers and but not being able to answer questions correctly.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Ego the Living Planet is a Celestial, one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the power to manipulate matter as he sees fit and capable of effortlessly destroying a fleet of drone-ships in his introductory scene. Having said that the moment he fights an opponent just as powerful as he is like his son Star-Lord channeling his Celestial powers, he gets completely thrashed due to never learning how to fight properly, as he could always overwhelm his opponents with sheer power alone.
    • And of course, the Hulk. He has no combat style or real skill, but is so strong and Nigh Invulnerable that he doesn't need any. The unfortunate end of this is shown in Avengers: Infinity War where he fights Thanos, who is not only strong enough and tough enough to take on the Hulk, but a skilled fighter to boot. Thanos quickly and effortlessly defeats the Hulk. He even toys with him, like a professional boxer would a rookie.
    • Spider-Man: No Way Home: The multiversal villains all have a case of this. They are all super strong with gadgets and powers that put them into a league of their own, but all of them come from worlds without competition and where defeated in only a few battles so their skill levels haven't improved much. Tellingly they are all detained within the first half, thanks to the superior technology of Stark and the magical power of Doctor Strange, while the second deals with trying to cure them before sending them back.
  • In The Matrix, while the other characters use a variety of styles and moves, the Agents pretty much just punch and dodge, relying on their superhuman strength and speed. Discussed here. Nonetheless, it seems to suffice, as Morpheus states that, until Neo came along, every Zion rebel who stood his/her ground against an Agent ended up dead and even when Neo does take out an agent he comes back at full strength mere seconds later by just jumping into another body.
  • Fezzik from The Princess Bride just happens to be "the biggest and the strongest", and is almost apologetic about the fact that he doesn't even need to exercise to be able to defeat anybody in a fight. However, during his fight with the Man in Black, he realizes that years of exclusively fighting groups have left his one-on-one game very rusty.
  • The title character of Rocky was initially portrayed as this. He wasn't a very good boxer, but what he was good at was hitting people and being able to take a punch. Deconstructed in that he only narrowly wins his second fight with Apollo Creed, at a time when Rocky admits that Apollo was past his peak, the Strong and Skilled Clubber Lang tears him to pieces, and Rocky needs to learn speed and proper technique to beat Clubber.
  • In Soldier, Todd loses in a straight-up fight against the genetically engineered soldiers due to their enhanced strength, speed, and durability. Todd takes advantage of the fact they lack his years of training and battlefield experience to defeat them later.
  • Spider-Man 3: The New Goblin aka Harry Osborn has all the same enhanced strength and gadget upgrades the original one had which allows him to take Peter by surprise. However, his lack of experience as a villain means that in their second fight, Peter pummels him with relative ease.
  • In a weird way, the Stormtroopers going against the Ewoks can be considered this in Return of the Jedi. Ewoks aren't just tiny, they also come from a low-G world so they're extra weak. The Stormtroopers should have been like John Carter the Warlord of Mars and punting Ewoks into orbit. Instead, the Stormtroopers turn out to be even worse at melee than they are at shooting and were only keeping their heads above water against unarmed Ewoks in a fistfight. So when Ewoks started breaking out the rocks, the Stormtroopers were doomed!
    • General Grievous may have been trained by Dooku, but he sure lacks the finesse the Sith Lord had. When he's not running away from a fight, Grievous attacks with overpowering speed and ferocity. But all his flash and dominanting strength, proves to be his ultimate end against a more seasoned opponent like Obi-Wan.
    • Kylo Ren/Ben Solo could never replace the raw talent of his grandfather. His power is mainly achieved through rage and frustration, even would-be Jedi, Rey bested him. It's very obvious Kylo has anger issues, other than that his skill in the Force is mediocre, compared to his predecessors.
  • In Talvisota, the Soviet army invading Finland is overwhelmingly powerful, but instead of pressing its advantage it just kind of flails, once even stopping its own breakthrough by accidentally shelling its advance. Conversely, the defending Finns aren't Weak, but Skilled but just weak and fail their counterattacks just as badly.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze: Tokka and Rahzar are Made of Iron and have Super Strength, and the Turtles don't stand a chance against them in a straight-up fight... but they have the minds of infants and are essentially nothing but Dumb Muscle to the Shredder.
  • The machines from Terminator, as they are programmed to kill people, not fight them. Against humans they use simple crushing blows with their forearms and toss them around (or simply use firearms), and this is usually enough because they physically outclass humans in every regard anyway (one of those clumsy swings can shatter bone). Against other Terminators, they encounter problems because they are not programmed to fight something on equal footing. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, James Cameron directed both actors to lock up for several seconds during the first fight scene in the galleria because neither Terminator is sure what to do when grappling with another machine; later in the film during the fight in the steel mill, the T-800 tries to use the same tactics it would have used against humans which leads to it getting curbstomped, while the T-1000 is left to basically pummel the other machine while it struggles to find the T-800's power core, and then it gets surprised when the T-800 uses a backup power source to come back.
  • Underworld (2003):
    • Michael Corvin may be the strongest hybrid monster in that universe, second only to his daughter. However, he lacks any real combat training; when he battled Viktor during the climax of the first film, he initially had the upper hand, but Viktor's centuries of combat experience ultimately turned the tables. While not nearly as strong, Selene isn't exactly a wuss herself. However, she is his foil in the form of Weak, but Skilled. Her centuries of training has made her practically invincible.
    • Their daughter Eve is a young girl with no training whatsoever. She's also a hybrid of vampire, werewolf, and immortal who can tear a full-grown werewolf in half.
  • The Young Rebel: The titular rebel is borderline illiterate, due to having only 3 years of schooling experience, but a tough, dedicated learner when it comes to kung fu, helped by his Unstoppable Rage and extremely violent and volatile outbursts of temper.

    Literature 
  • Adventure Hunters: Lisa doesn't have Artorius' years of paladin training so instead she uses her Super Strength.
  • The Adventures of Strong Vanya: Vanya is a farmer's son with zero fighting training, but he has Super Strength and a magic spear, which is more than enough to deal with most of foes he stumbles upon.
  • Bazil Broketail: Because Purple-Green was a wild dragon for the majority of his life and was not trained in swordplay since his youth like Argonathi dragons, his skill with a sword is barely average at best and rudimentary at worst. Yet what he lacks in fighting technique, he makes up for in sheer strength and ferocity. He actually fares better than his kin against certain enemies (like that steel golem, conjured by Gadjung in book four) precisely because he is tough enough to take them.
  • Belisarius Series: Downplayed. Neither of the series' two bruisers Rana Sanga and Anastatius is unskilled, but they rely a lot on their strength and size and have never had to push the envelope in speed and skill. This means that while they are exceedingly dangerous to pretty much everyone, they tend to flounder against comparatively Weak, but Skilled opponents like Valentinian and Ragunath Rao.
  • Beowulf: Beowulf boasts that he'll defeat Grendel because Grendel is a monster and knows nothing about fighting, only having his savage strength to draw on. Beowulf, who is similarly strong, proceeds to defeat Grendel with his wrestling skills.
  • Defied in The Black Magician Trilogy by Sonea. As the only commoner in Imardin's Wizarding School, she knows that she won't win any respect from the aristocracy simply for being born with a high level of magical power, so she becomes an obsessively devoted student and hones her skill to an equally high level.
  • In The Chronicles of Amber, Amberites are this compared to the Lords of Chaos. They can outmatch Chaosians in one-on-one fights since they are only two generations removed from God, but most of them are ignorant about the origin of their powers. Most Lords of Chaos, on the other hand, are trained in sorcery, which can give them the edge. The only exceptions are Brand and Fiona (and possibly Bleys) who, thanks to their tutelage under Dworkin, are Strong and Skilled.
  • Codex Alera:
    • Furycrafters as a whole could be seen as this. While Furycrafting has its own talents and skillsets to learn, what makes Tavi unique is that due to a lack of serious Furycraft until late in the story, he ends up having to learn how to outwit enemies where his contemporaries would simply power through. When Tavi's powers finally do start to develop, he's able to apply his crafting in ways most wouldn't have considered as a result.
    • Tavi himself isn't immune to this. Because he gets his powers late in life, he lacks the fine control seen from other crafters. Inventive as it was, his destruction of the gates of Riva was just a brute application of power as far as Furycrafting was concerned; later, Tavi notes that the larger airstream he needs to keep himself aloft interferes with the more efficient streams of the Knights around him. At numerous points, he is explicitly stated to be this relative to Kitai.
  • Cord MaKiy from the ColSec Trilogy seems to have no unarmed combat skill beyond "slug it until it falls over." But that said, if he manages to slug it, it usually falls over.
  • Laruna Trullon in The Dark Profit Saga is an extremely powerful solamancer (practitioner of sun magic), specializing in pyromancy. She can hurl powerful blasts of raw fire and has incredible reserves of energy. However, she utterly sucks at weaving spells, as she lacks the patience necessary for the task. This puts her at odds with the Weak, but Skilled Jynn Ur'Gored, who has become a well-known master of noctomancy (moon magic), despite being weak at raw magic, primarily through his skill at spell-weaving.
  • In Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil, the Huntress has no formal Force training and can’t use many of the powers that the Jedi and Sith take for granted, but she has a knack for precognition and her ability to disrupt other people’s connection to the Force is so potent that even Darth Bane, one of the most powerful Force-users in the galaxy, has trouble fighting against her. Her sheer potential gets her inducted into the Order of the Sith Lords under the name Darth Cognus.
  • The Titans from The Death Gate Cycle — huge golems created by the Sartans in the World of Fire to serve as simple workers. The Sartans gave them access to the most basic level of magic, in order to help with their work — the kind of spells a 4-years-old Sartan child could weave. But they made the mistake of granting them enormous, primal power to back it up with. Thus, when the titans inevitably got Turned Against Their Masters, they proved to be quite dangerous to the Weak, but Skilled Spartans. (Oh yeah, and they're huge, nigh invulnerable giants, so there's that too.)
  • DFZ: Opal is a powerful mage, but despite years of very expensive schooling she just can't wrap her head around proper thaumaturgy. Her typical approach to magic is to grab a big chunk of it and throw it at the problem.
  • The Doctor in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe Eighth Doctor Adventures comes across like this. He seems to be stronger than most humans, but in a fight, he's likely to do something clumsy and end up hurting himself as badly as he hurts his opponent, or just attempt some karate while making Funny Bruce Lee Noises.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Victor Sells/The Shadowman is at least as strong a magical talent as the title character, particularly when powered up by the storms he draws on, but because he has little formal magical training he makes some sloppy errors that Harry is able to exploit, and can't think of creative methods to deal with Harry beyond "smash harder", while Harry, crippled by being unable to kill with magic, outwits him easily.
    • Harry Dresden himself views himself this way, though as a full-fledged wizard he's got a lot more subtle skill than the average warlock or sorcerer off the street, and he gets better as the books go on. He thinks around problems, as opposed to through them.
    • Harry also has this opinion of Maeve in Summer Knight, though others suggest that this may have been Obfuscating Stupidity on Maeve's part. She's also a bit of a showoff. She likes the attention that flashy magic generates.
    • By Skin Game, he's acquired enough skill and experience that he's actually the Weak, but Skilled one in a duel with Hannah Ascher, possessed by Lashiel. While she has way more raw power than him, she gets so angry that she just goes full-out against him, and Harry is able to use her own attacks against her.
    • In general, the Dresden Files likes to play with this trope, pointing out that if you're enough stronger than whoever you're fighting, you don't need skill. For example normal humans have no chance to overcome most supernatural threats due to the enormous difference in physical abilities. On the other hand, being skilled and knowledgeable enough to turn someones strength against them, exploit their weaknesses, or just generally fight smarter rather than harder can very quickly give you a chance or even give a considerable advantage in those same situations.
  • David Eddings:
    • The Elenium has Otha. Given tremendous power by the dark god Azash, but an absolute idiot when it comes to actually apply that power. Most ably demonstrated when a horde of undead guards raised by Otha proves ridiculously easy to walk around because they're set to guard specific cobbles of the street and nothing else. Mostly for their amusement, the protagonists push one of them into the other and watch the domino effect cause the entire squad to turn on itself since Otha also didn't consider friendly fire.
    • Garion, the hero of The Belgariad. Garion is rather startled to find out he has more natural power at age 15 than most centuries-old sorcerers do. Garion is the first to admit he doesn't have enough understanding of the forces involved, so he tends to leave that sort of thing to his Mentors.
      • An example: the one time he uses his sorcery to control the weather, he nearly causes an ice age by accident, and the more experienced sorcerers have to spend six months running all over the globe to fix it.
  • The protagonist from Girl Waits With Gun is never described as knowing how to fight, only as an uncommonly large farmgirl. On the rare occasion that she fights, she mostly pushes or grabs people.
  • Invoked in Gossamer Axe. Chairiste ni Cummen, despite swiping his best harp during her escape from the Sidhe and keeping herself young for centuries, could not defeat a master harper from a timeless realm who had nothing to do but refine his technique on his own terms even to rescue her lover. So she puts together a Heavy Metal band and when next they met she had a full concert setup (complete with amps).
  • Harry Potter.
    • In a weird way, the main character. He has the raw power to produce a solid, stable patronus at 13, and is able to access a fairly large reservoir of magical power (enough to face down Death Eaters and Voldemort when he's 17). However, he is continuously outclassed by Hermione, who is incredibly skilled, and any other wizard or witch who doesn't just rely on raw power for their magic. Harry ends up inverting this, in a sense, as he's a supremely skilled duelist. Interestingly, dueling isn't even mentioned as one of his skills until the fifth book, at which point it becomes clear that we've watched him live the past four years on his wits and creative uses of magic. While Hermione is capable of far more advanced magic, Harry is very good at managing pitched battles and out-hexing wizards with access to powerful dark magic through good aim, honed reflexes, and an ability to take advantage of his environment. So yeah, "in a weird way". The movies also show Harry at being extremely good at pulling up combat spells quickly, so he definitely skilled at casting spells. The best way to sum it up is that Harry's repertoire of spells may be more limited than someone like Hermione or Dumbledore, but he gets excellent mileage out of what he's actually good at.
    • Hagrid. He never finished his studies at Hogwarts due to being expelled, but makes up for it by being a walking tank. Who happens to be rather resilient to magic. However, it's nonetheless shown that he's a good hand-to-hand fighter. On the other hand, Hagrid can do basic magic with the broken pieces of his wand hidden in an umbrella. Ollivander himself couldn't fix a wand that thoroughly broken; Ron Weasley was more apt to injure himself when his wand was broken, and Harry wasn't nearly as effective with an unmastered wand. In his own way, Hagrid is a very skilled wizard, just lacking formal education.
    • In the second book, the Slytherin team uses the fastest brooms available on the market but lose horribly since not only did their seeker buy his way onto the team, their "tactics" amount to injuring the other team until they can't play. Their team as a whole seems to embrace this, as most of them are big bruisers who power their way through the opposing team in contrast to the Gryffindor team, who emphasize more skillful play and teamwork.
    • Ron, in a way — Book Dumb he may be, but he still has a fairly keen grasp of magic. For instance, the students learn nonverbal spells in their sixth year, but Ron successfully casts one in his second year (although it backfires, because he was using a broken wand at the time. Still, the fact that he is affected indicates that he successfully cast the spell). In the seventh book, he notices that Voldemort's name "feels like it's jinxed" several chapters before it's revealed to actually be jinxed. In short, while Ron struggles in the classroom, he has a strong intuitive grasp of magic. Makes sense since he's the only one of the main trio to have actually grown up in the wizarding world.
    • Neville Longbottom actually starts the series as being neither skilled nor strong, due to a lack of self-confidence and a weak academic aptitude. After getting Harry's tutelage in the fifth book, however, despite lagging behind the other students in progress, he actually becomes very capable of holding his own in a fight, arguably becoming second only to Harry himself in this regard. His academic record never really improves, but by the time of the final book, he's an extremely accomplished duelist.
  • In the Honor Harrington book Honor Among Enemies this is how the bullying Steilman is described — never having to learn to fight because he's naturally big, strong, and mean. After the New Meat he was picking on goes through some marine close combat training, the tables are quickly turned.
  • The Hunger Games: Peeta hasn't grown up training like the professionals and lacks Katniss's skills in hunting. The only useful thing he has is his natural strength, gained from a life of lugging massive sacks of flour. When demonstrating his skills to the judges, he shows off his strength.
  • Tang Rou in The King's Avatar. She has excellent hand speed, fast enough to challenge experts in Glory, but pros such as Ye Xiu can easily beat her due to her inexperience with the game. Played with as she is being trained by Ye Xiu himself and it will be only a matter of time before she minimizes her weaknesses.
  • In Last Sacrifice, Rose gets into a fight with Angeline (Dawes), a younger dhampir and member of the Keepers. During the fight, Rose realizes that her opponent is very strong and has experience in brawling. But without any formal training. With her training complete, Rose has the edge in the fight.
  • Light and Dark: The Awakening of the Mage Knight: Anthony prefers to mow down opponents with sheer strength. The narration notes that he's so strong this tactic works against opponents with greater skill.
  • In the German SF series Maddrax this is the usual tactic of taratzes. They are much stronger, faster and more resilient than humans, but they only fight with physical strength, not tactics. One of the volumes shows that taratzes that actually use combat techniques are even more dangerous opponents.
  • In the climax of The Magicians, it's revealed that the Beast AKA Martin Chatwin is actually one of these. Despite his immense magical power, he operates through brute strength with no technique: if he can't freeze it in place, he just punches the shit out of it with magical Super Strength and soaks up all incoming damage through Super Toughness. Most of the time, he only uses his other spells largely for his own amusement. For the most part, this serves him well, but when he's pitted against Alice, a Weak, but Skilled Badass Bookworm, he's left on the ropes until he can get close and throw a punch.
  • The blonde giant in The Millennium Trilogy is freakishly strong and literally feels no pain, but he's a really terrible boxer. He never learned to fight properly because he didn't care about getting hit. Then again, given how strong he is and that he doesn't feel pain, it doesn't really matter.
  • This is how Vin starts off with her powers as a Mistborn. Under the tutelage of Kelsier, she undergoes Boxing Lessons for Superman and Took a Level in Badass in the process. Possibly subverted, however, in that it rapidly becomes apparent that a Mistborn without some amount of proper training isn't that strong at all.
    • Vin also has the realization that she (and Kelsier, and all Mistborn) are this relative to Mistings when Kelsier keeps sending her to the crews various Mistings for training. Mistborn have all the powers, while Mistings each have only one. While Kelsier is far more powerful and dangerous than any other member of the crew, they're all far more skilled with their particular power than he is, since he (and other Mistborn) split time between 10 different abilities, each of them has mastered their specific ability.
    • In the second part of the series, Elend becomes this relative to Vin. Elend's powers were far greater than the average Mistborn, but Vin's greater experience meant that she was often still more effective with hers.
  • Simon from The Mortal Instruments becomes a vampire in the course of the plot. As such, he is not only superhumanly strong but also stronger than most shadowhunters. And so he participates in the fighting, using only his strength.
  • Lennie from Of Mice & Men. George does his best to persuade the ranch boss to hire Lennie as a farmhand because he's quite strong and can do all the pulling.
  • In The Rise of Kyoshi we see that the title character started out suffering from this to the point of borderline Power Incontinence. Kyoshi never got any training in earthbending because, while she could get a not-too-irregularly-shaped-bolder going in a desired general direction with concentration, stones of sizes most students used to practice with (human size or less) were prone to break when she directed her will upon them... and if scaling up instead crossed anyone's mind nobody dared try.
  • Smorkus Flinders, part of the Big Bad Duumvirate of the Rod Allbright Alien Adventures. It's noted that, as the physically biggest monster in Dimension X, the other monsters automatically deferred to him as their king. However, as a result, he's not a very good fighter; when an enlarged Rod fights him during the second book, Rod is able to hold his own thanks to his training with Tar Gibbons, but as he points out in the narration, Smorkus Flinders' sheer size and strength still allow him to pose a threat.
  • Caelan, from the Skulduggery Pleasant series. As a vampire, he has superhuman strength, agility, and stamina, but absolutely no idea how to use them in a fight. His primary tactic appears to be "leap at anything threatening Valkyrie, with palms outstretched and shouting to attract attention". Given that the world is full of much older and more powerful vampires who can fight, ordinary humans with magic and/or martial arts skills, and, you know, guns! It's pretty stupid. The main reason he's alive is that other vampires aren't allowed to kill him, and every other threat is either too focused on the main characters or simply considers him beneath their notice. Admittedly, that's only in his human form, in his actual vampire form he's a lot stronger and faster, and seemingly immune to pain, and would have killed Valkyrie and Fletcher if he hadn't fallen off that pier.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • When training with the Night's Watch recruits, Jon notes that Grenn is very strong, but has no skill at sword fighting, allowing Jon to easily best him.
    • Giants are a simple-minded and low-tech race as much akin to apes as humans, but they're also twice as tall and several times as large. Even without any refined skill at fighting, they can easily rip a man apart with their bare hands if roused.
    • Gregor Clegane is modestly skilled but is so freakishly big and strong (and quicker than he looks) that only the very best of fighters last very long against him.
    • In Tales of Dunk and Egg, the towering and powerfully built Dunk has been given little in the way of combat or jousting training from his master, Ser Arlan. In spite of his imposing physique, he's rather hopeless in a trial by combat, that is until he can get his hands on his opponent and turn it into a grappling affair. By the third short story, Dunk has gained more fighting experience and now considers himself virtually peerless with an axe or mace, suggesting that a little bit of skill has gone a long way in helping him take advantage of his natural gifts. He eventually becomes Ser Duncan the Tall, showing just how far he's improved.
  • In Super Powereds: Year 1, Roy starts off the year with lots of raw strength and little skills, despite the training he received from his father years ago. In his arrogance, he is tricked into challenging Chad, the top male student in class, and is beaten senseless, when Chad demonstrates that Roy may be physically stronger than Chad, but Chad spends all his free time training and pushing himself to the limit. Once Roy is paired with Chad, though, the former starts picking up a few tricks, even though he never actually beats Chad until Year 3. This also applies to Vince, whose potential is virtually limitless, but he doesn't yet know how to use all the facets of his ability to their fullest. Mary is potentially the most powerful telepath and telekinetic in the world, but her lack of experience (and arrogance) means that the far more experienced Professor Stone is able to easily outclass Mary in that department (such as being able to control dozens of objects simultaneously, something Mary didn't even think was possible until then).
  • In The Supervillainy Saga, Gary Karkofsky is considered to be this. It's not actually true as he's learned to use his powers quite imaginatively. However, it's implied that he actually doesn't know his upper limits and often stumbles onto more power than he knew he could throw around.
  • Richard Rahl from Sword of Truth was a pretty strong guy before acquiring the eponymous weapon. For most of the first book, he relies on the sword's ability to cut through pretty much anything and his ability to hit things really hard. Once he really learns how to use it, he becomes Master Swordsman (and the magic doesn't hurt, either).
  • In the Towers Trilogy, Shai is a Radiant with enormously powerful magic. However, since she was raised to be a Living Battery, she was never taught how to actually use it to cast spells. When situations arise when she needs to use her power, she has to rely on sheer overwhelming force to achieve what less powerful casters can do with a great deal more efficiency.
  • In The Twilight Reign series, there are a divinely blessed subspecies of humanity called white-eyes who are this. In terms of fighting, their superhuman strength and speed make them almost unstoppable by most human opponents. But this leads to all but the most disciplined among them to neglect their training, so the top human swordsmen stand a surprisingly good chance of beating a white-eye. In terms of magic, a white-eye naturally has more magic power than a human wizard so they can do feats of magic that beyond the intensity of anything a human wizard can hope to dream of doing. However, white-eyes lack a human wizard's versatility and seldom do anything but learn how to blast an enemy with magic.
  • An Unattractive Vampire: Modern vampires are basically just immortal socialites who spend most of their time training to act more beautifully. They're happy to act as muscle when the need arises, because they are far stronger and faster than any mere human. But they have absolutely no combat abilities and the rather glaring weakness of instantly turning to ash if staked through the heart; an 8-year-old human boy racks up a kill count in the double digits. On the other hand, the Elder Vampyres are all Skilled And Strong; not only are they the original cursed ones and thus far stronger, faster, and harder to kill than modern vampires, they were all mass-murdering psychopaths before they become immortal abominations (the traditional way to become a vampire is to just be "too evil to die"), so they are much more experienced in combat.
  • The White Queen in The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign initially appears to be this, but is actually a subversion. She almost never uses skill when fighting, simply because she's vastly more powerful than any opponent. The one time she does fight seriously, it's clear that she's skilled in every possible field of fighting.
  • Uprooted: Kasia's imprisonment in the Wood transforms her into a living statue with Super Strength and Super Toughness. She's an objectively terrible swordswoman afterwards, but her supernatural powers make her a One-Man Army with a blade anyway.
  • Warhammer 40,000 Expanded Universe:
    • The Emperor's Gift: The protagonist Hyperion only recently became a Grey Knight and still cannot control or access the full extent of his immense psychic potential. This is shown when he is able to shatter Angron's daemonic blade but was only able to do so with a desperate psychic attack that almost killed him.
    • Gaunt's Ghosts: In Only in Death, Eszrah ap Niht gets his hands on a power sword specifically, Gaunt's. It is an Absurdly Sharp Blade that brooks no resistance from most of the Chaos mooks, but he finds himself outclassed by a Chaos officer who actually knows sword fighting, though said Chaos officer was not wanting for strength either since he was using an Eviscerator.
  • Blaise Andrieux from Wild Cards is this when he is discovered by his grandfather Dr. Tachyon: he has an extremely powerful mind control power, but is completely untrained. In Aces Abroad, at some time he is using a mild form of mind control on Tachyon to watch over him, but Tachyon uses his own considerable experience and advanced training in mentatics to easily reverse the link, take control of his grandson and turn his power on his allies.

    Live Action TV 
  • Laurel Lance in Arrow is this when she becomes the new Black Canary. She gets beaten up easily for how unskilled she is, but she makes up with much force.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel have quite a few examples:
    • "The Judge" from Buffy Season 2. A nigh invulnerable demon who One Hit Kills from range. So used to curb-stomping entire armies and never having to worry about dodging or fighting beyond "point and kill it", that when Buffy uses a rocket launcher, he doesn't even know to dodge.
    • Glorificus/Glory, a powerful yet bratty Physical God that could tear apart buildings with her bare hands, but when Buffy used a weapon that could hurt her she was swiftly trashed.
    • In the sixth season of Buffy, the otherwise physically unremarkable Warren Mears temporarily became this thanks to some Applied Phlebotinum. In a fight with Buffy the far more skilled Slayer got in several punches and kicks to every blow Warren landed on her — but while he shrugged off her hits almost at once Buffy felt every one of his and was visibly tiring before she was able to destroy the source of his power.
    • Caleb from Season 7, as well as the Turok-Han (prior to the finale induced Villain Decay). Punch-for-Punch, Buffy is noticeably outclassed by both, serving as a potent reminder about the overconfidence the Slayer Strength may bring.
    • Angel's son, Connor, also fits the bill. In contrast to Buffy and Angel's more technical approach to fighting, Connor is shown relying more on brute force, hitting hard and fast and beating his opponents into submission. On one occasion, he actually lost to Angel when the latter had amnesia and was mentally a teenager fighting purely on instinct.
    • Marcus Hamilton of Angel Season 5 has little more going for him than vast Super Strength, to the extent that he easily beats Illyria of all people to a bloody pulp; though, in all fairness, Illyria was not at full strength at the time. When Angel drinks his blood and gets a power boost from it during their fight, said boost, along with his fighting skills, let him take Hamilton down in less than a minute.
  • Despite being one of the most iconic monsters or aliens (if not the most iconic), the Daleks from Doctor Who are not the sharpest tools in the shed compared to many of the threats that the Doctor has faced. However, when they have weapons strong enough to bust through nearly any resistance their foes may put up, and enough defenses to No-Sell nearly any enemy attack, they don't often feel the need to think and strategize, as merely blasting the enemy into oblivion is often enough to do the job. In contrast to several examples of this trope, the Daleks never grow out of this mindset and their solution to every defeat they have faced is simply to increase the strength of their weaponry and armor from what it was previously. Also in contrast to said examples, simply enacting this approach has enabled them to remain a relevant and competent threat over their decades-long history on the show.
  • In The Flash (2014), the titular character himself. Barry Allen gained powerful superspeed and healing abilities normally story-breaker powers. However, criminals will get the jump on him because he's an ordinary person unused to fighting and crime so he often gets blindsided by sneak attacks, dirty tricks and traps. He's a foil to Oliver Queen who despite being a Badass Normal is ruthless and experienced enough to go toe-to-toe with him.
  • This Mikey's problem at the beginning of Hardball. He has great strength and can serve a handball with more force than anyone else in the school, but has no finesse and and almsot zero control of his serves.
  • Seasons 1 and 2 of Heroes has Peter Petrelli and Hiro Nakamura, the former a huge catalogue of power but wildly inept in use of them (at least until his power gets seriously downgraded and he starts using his head), the latter a manchild "master of time and space".
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider BLACK: Shadow Moon/Nobuhiko, who the titular rider is the Good Counterpart and adopted sibling ofnote , spends the majority of his time in a cocoon, whereas Black spends the majority of his time fighting. Presumably, the length of time Shadow Moon spent in the cocoon resulted in him being as powerful as he was when he emerged, since when the two fight for the first time, it's very evenly matched; it's only because Kotaro hesitates when he goes to strike Shadow Moon down that Shadow Moon is able to kill Black the first time they fight.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze protagonist Gentaro Kisaragi starts off like this, having no fighting skills when he straps on the belt and starts fighting Zodiarts. This puts him at a disadvantage when he comes up against more skilled opponents, like the Unicorn Zodiarts (a member of the school's fencing club) and Kamen Rider Meteor (a practitioner of Jeet Kun Do). Eventually, he takes a level in badass thanks to some training from his homeroom teacher Haruka Uesugi, who's a talented kickboxer.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim:
      • Micchy, after he completes his Face–Heel Turn and becomes the second Zangetsu Shin, using his supposedly dead brother Takatora's Transformation Trinket. The heroes think the "white Armored Rider" has betrayed them until Oren observes that his fighting style isn't nearly as skillful and realizes that someone else must be using the suit. When Takatora comes back and fights Micchy using the original Zangetsu suit, his superior fighting skills allow him to outmatch Micchy despite Zangetsu Shin being much more powerful.
      • Sid/Kamen Rider Sigurd also applies as well. As one of the New Generation Riders, he's much stronger than most of the Armored Riders in terms of power. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for skill, as once Kouta upgrades to match Sid, Kouta nearly kills him after absolutely trouncing him.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid and Kamen Rider Zero-One, both written by Yuya Takahashi, use this as a recurring trait of major villains. Both shows feature a number of villains who possess something that would be considered a Story-Breaker Power in the hands of someone who could use it to its full potential, such as Power Copying, freezing time, or immortality, only to be defeated due to overreliance on their broken power leaving them with a lack of basic combat skills.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Wilson Fisk in Daredevil (2015) is huge, and a Lightning Bruiser who totally destroys every opponent he engages personally. It becomes apparent in his fights with Matt Murdock however that his skills are comparatively basic, and he actually fares slightly worse than some of his own henchmen did. It's downplayed because he does have some actual technique of punches, throws, and charges, but they are visibly overshadowed by Matt, who is an extremely skilled martial artist.
    • In The Defenders (2017), Jessica Jones and Luke Cage may lack Matt Murdock and Danny Rand's amazing fighting techniques, but they make up for it with their Super Strength, and in Luke's case, unbreakable skin. They still have a good degree of basic street-fighting skills, however, especially Luke.
    • In Luke Cage (2016), it's revealed that Luke is, in fact, a former marine with refined fighting skills, but after gaining superpowers, he has to focus on holding back so much (since his normal punch could easily kill someone) that he can't be bothered with finesse.
    • Discussed on WandaVision. Wanda may be phenomenally powerful, but she's had no formal training in spellcraft, meaning she can be outclassed by someone less powerful but more refined in their magic.
    • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: The Flag-Smashers all took an enhanced Super Serum that makes them even stronger than Bucky Barnes, allowing them to surprise and overwhelm him the first time they fought. However, they don't have any fighting skills, so even normal characters like Sam Wilson and Zemo can beat them if they fight dirty. The military trained Barnes wipes the floor with them in a rematch, and once the combat veteran John Walker takes the serum, he annihilates them.
  • Merlin, especially in the earlier seasons. He has trouble enchanting a lance, but get him angry enough and he will blow you to bits with lightning. He's since gotten better.
  • On My Babysitter's a Vampire three of the main characters are vampires, one is a magic user, and one is a seer yet none of them has much of any fighting skill or even knowledge on how to use their abilities more effectively. Needless to say, fight scenes on this show are really poor.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: Ned challenges Loomer to a weightlifting contest. Ned spends most of the episode thinking there's no way he can win. His PE teacher points out that while Ned isn't stronger than Loomer, weightlifting is as much about technique as muscle. Indeed, Ned (who had been practicing) was able to lift his weight with great difficulty, while Loomer (who had assumed he would win without even trying) tipped over trying to lift his.
  • The Evil Queen / Regina from Once Upon a Time is the Manipulative Bastard version of this. She's not very smart, and completely Genre Blind. But she has tools to make up for that — in the fairy tale realm her army and her magic, in the real world she can cower everyone with her status as mayor. With her hate driving her, she uses these to plow through any obstacle in her path.
  • Smallville had this with Clark Kent in the first eight seasons. This was beautifully demonstrated in the third season opener where Clark was infected with red kryptonite and turned evil. To stop him, Jonathan Kent acquired temporary Kryptonian superpowers and was clearly the superior fighter due to experience. Furthermore, in the sixth season opener where he took on General Zod, a trained soldier with years of combat experience, he ended up getting his ass kicked and had to rely on trickery to win. In the final two seasons, Clark picked up fighting skills and is able to hold his own against skilled fighters even without his powers.
  • In one episode of Stargate SG-1, O'Neill tries to teach Teal'c how to box. While he fails to grasp the principles of moving and blocking, he still easily wins after O'Neill's first punch does nothing to him and his own first punch knocks his opponent to the ground.
  • Supergirl (2015): Kara heavily relies on her superpowers to win any fight. So when a guy nearly as strong fights her for the first time, she loses badly. After another Curb-Stomp Battle at the hands of her Aunt Astra in Episode 2, she asks her adoptive sister Alex to continue their hand-to-hand combat training until she's just as good as Alex is. Later episodes show continued improvement in hand-to-hand combat, and when she fights the escaped prisoner in "Livewire" she's begun incorporating her powers other than pure strength. By "Hostile Takeover" she can go toe-to-toe with Alex while powered down.
  • In True Blood, vampires are Stronger with Age. An older vampire will always be stronger and faster than a younger one. However, Tara was able to defeat the older Jessica because Tara had been an MMA fighter as a human, while Jessica had no such training.
  • Alex Russo of Wizards of Waverly Place is heavily implied especially in the movie to have the most innate natural talent for magic of the siblings but is so lazy that she hasn’t bothered to learn a lot of spells but can easily come up with spells on the fly.

    Multiple Media 
  • BIONICLE: Sidorak, King of the Visorak hordes, is a mediocre fighter, and so relies more on his considerable strength when in combat. However, he relies on it to the point of it being a crutch that, should he face someone who is as strong or stronger than him, he really has no idea how to defend himself. This is why Keetongu was able to kill him so easily.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This is a standard Stock Character in Professional Wrestling. Bigger wrestlers often get through matches on pure strength alone and exhibit few of the technical wrestling skills that smaller wrestlers possess. Bigger men have been traditionally trained to work this way, making this an Invoked Trope within the industry. In David vs. Goliath match-ups, the smaller wrestler will typically win against a giant by surviving the larger wrestler's offense until the smaller wrestler can use technique to overcome the larger one.

    Sports 
  • In the City vs Country Cricket matches of the olden days, the country teams (mainly farmers) had more power but less refined technique than their city opponents. The term agricultural shot or cow shot, meaning a full-blooded swing that will probably result in the batsman either hitting the ball out of the ground or getting out, is a relic of this.
  • Quite common in the lowest levels of combat sports, where just being strong can overcome glaring deficiencies in skill and experience. Once you start getting into the higher levels, however, athletes need at least some skill to be competitive.
    • Bob Sapp was large and strong enough to trample his way into the kickboxing world with very, very basic training and get a few wins at a high level before his glaring weaknesses became obvious. After his brief surge of success, he essentially became a joke.
    • Sam Shewmaker, a farm boy with virtually no boxing training, managed to make waves in the nascent Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship with a knockout over the more experienced Eric Pringle by virtue of his uncanny power (and maybe a little luck).
  • The defining shtick of retired boxer Eric "Butterbean" Esch. A rolly-polly big man whose boxing style seemed to consist solely of haymakers. But also packing a veritable Megaton Punch, often dropping his opponents like sacks of rocks when his punches connected.
  • Mike Tyson was a notable subversion. He was a slugger-style boxer, which are normally straight examples of this trope, focusing on overwhelming power over speed and precision. While he had that in spades — winning most of his fights in about 3 rounds by knockout — Tyson was actually trained as an in-fighter, meaning that he was much faster and more skillful than other fighters of his size. This combination was extremely effective, leading to Tyson absolutely dominating the heavyweight boxing championship in his day.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In a sense, Azathoth from Arkham Horror. He's the hardest Eldritch Abomination to awaken and has no way to directly hinder your progress. The problem is that, with preparation and luck, you can defeat a Great Old One after it has been summoned. If Azathoth awakens, however, he immediately ends the game. And the entire world as well.
  • This is the mechanical hat of Beasts — much of the game's crossover-facilitation is owed to the fact that the powers of the Begotten are mechanically simple and partially based around assembling a "family" from other supernatural beings with more specialized abilities.
  • In Blood Bowl, this trope shows up a lot. Big Guy units like minotaurs and ogres have Str 5 which is essentially higher-end superhuman (Str 4 units are things like vampires, flesh golems and Chaos Warriors, while no human outside of heroes and those who lucked out on the level rolls have more than 3). But Big Guys are usually only capable of taking skills from the strength skill list unless they come from a race capable of having mutations or fluke out and roll a double when choosing a new skill. Also, some of the big inhuman races have lots of strength and high armor, so they can take a hit and win most shoving matches but these races typically lack any starting skills especially skills that influence ball-handling.
  • Barbarians fit this role in Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, compared to Fighters. Although they don't get as many feats (and, most pertinently, don't get the Greater Weapon Specialisation/Focus feats which make Fighters better with their Weapon of Choice) they get superhuman stat bonuses from their Rage ability.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
  • The old Marvel Super-Heroes role-playing game actually quantified this. A "Fighting" score of Remarkable (30) generally indicated guys like Spider-Man and the Hulk, who had super-strength and clearly knew how to throw a punch but had no real training. Guys like Thor and the Thing, who also had that natural ability but combined it with serious training (or, in Thor's case, literally centuries of combat experience), had higher scores.
  • In Mutants & Masterminds, buying attack bonus (how good you are at hitting) and attack damage is independent (meaning you can buy one but not the other), as is dodging vs. soaking. Furthermore, rules allow you to permanently lower your maximum in one of those scores to raise the maximum in its opposite. This allows you to create characters that can hit and dodge very well but can't deal damage or take a punch. On the opposite side, you can make these, who can soak tank shells and crush said tank with a single punch but couldn't hit the broad side of a barn or dodge anything. Unfortunately, certain skills and feats, like Power Attack and Impervious, completely broke down this balance.
  • Smash Up: The King Rex minion has the highest strength of any minion in the starting game, but is the only minion to have no special ability.
  • The Orks in both Warhammer fantasy and Warhammer 40k don't really train, rather they just get into a scrap with their kin to pass the time, there is also the fact that orks have a Might Makes Right policy that means the "elite units" are simply bigger and stronger than their underlings. Don't expect any fighting technique more sophisticated than smashing their opponent into a bloody pulp
  • The best Normal Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh! are usually this trope. By raw stats, a Normal Monster will usually be the most powerful usable Monster of its level, but their lack of useful effects means that strategies with them tend to devolve into Attack! Attack! Attack! This gets taken further by the subgroup of Effect Monsters with even higher stats but horribly detrimental effects (hence the 'usable' signifier above). Skill Drain decks exploit this trope; since Skill Drain removes the, well, skills of all Monsters on the field, the traditional Effect-heavy Monsters lose all their power, while cards like Giant Kozaky and Fusilier Dragon have their detrimental effects knocked off. This then turns "Weak, but Skilled vs. Unskilled But Strong" into simply "Weak vs. Strong."

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair has Akane Owari. As much as she loves fighting, she hasn't been trained in any particular style, relying on her overwhelming strength to win. When she meets someone who can match her in power or can outmaneuver her, she's a sitting duck. This was shown in her spar with Nekomaru, where one good hit to the liver took her out. Also, she's said to be this in her gymanstics competitions. Because she doesn't have the patience to practice a routine, she often just improvises one. The reason she's the Ultimate Gymnast is that even though she makes it up as she goes, her strength is such that she still regularly places well. This gets deconstructed when Akane tries to beat up Monokuma. While she may be strong, none of her attacks even land. And when Monokuma tries to take her out, it takes a Heroic Sacrifice on the part of Nekomaru to get Akane out of danger. Akane feels incredible guilt about Nekomaru's death for the rest of the game.
  • Majikoi! Love Me Seriously!:
    • Gakuto works out constantly to the point where he can easily lift a car, break down a wall and take on groups of up to 70 thugs on his own through sheer muscle power. The only problem is he only works on his muscles while his female friends all practice martial arts, meaning that while he's physically one of the strongest, his lack of combat ability compared to them makes him come off as mediocre. Naturally, he is the game's biggest Butt-Monkey.
    • Tatsuko Itagaki has the sheer power to be a One-Man Army but lacks the technique or the drive to hold her own against similarly powerful martial artists.
    • Shouichi Kazama is obscenely talented at everything he tries and has naturally strong legs. Both of these give him the potential to be an excellent fighter but his ridiculously small attention span prevents him from ever pursuing it seriously.
  • Nasuverse:
    • In the Fate Series, all Servants are supposed to have superhuman combat skills. Servants of The Berserker class don't, losing their fighting skills as a part of being The Berserker, but they gain massive power boosts in return. Berserker in Fate/stay night is so fast and so strong that actual fighting techniques are nearly worthless against him, as all the fancy parries and stances in the world won't help against someone who strikes faster than you can react and shatter your weapon with a single blow. And that's before you consider the fact that he's nearly immune to normal attacks, has twelve lives, and becomes immune to any attack after it kills him.
    • Gilgamesh is canonically the most powerful Servant in the franchise due to his insane Noble Phantasm, but his solution to practically everything is 'kill at range with extreme prejudice before it can touch me'. He's only ever engaged in a melee twice; the first time was when he wanted to simply toy with a foe too badly injured to put up a good fight, and the second time was when that same foe managed to circumvent his Noble Phantasm and force him into melee, a situation that leads to him put on the defensive and humiliated. This is, for the most part, what happens when Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs for his ability: his main power is to create portals to a pocket dimension which contains an infinite amount of treasures, especially rare and powerful magic swords. As each and every sword has a unique shape, weight, and feel to it, it's impossible for Gilgamesh to get used to any of them by simply pulling them out through a portal. Even if he does practice with one sword, switching to another will feel extremely unfamiliar and cause his swordsmanship to drop to its original level; as Shirou puts it, Gilgamesh is an owner, not a wielder. Therefore, Gilgamesh either takes to creating a lot of portals at once to shred his enemies with a Storm of Blades or just equips a really tough suit of magical armor to make up for his lack of skill in melee. The one sword he does choose to wield (though only against a Worthy Opponent) is an Oddly Shaped Sword that, while capable of forming extremely powerful energy attacks, is shaped in such a way that it doesn't seem good at all for melee combat. This is reflected in Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star, as whereas every other Servant uses some sort of weapon that they're clearly skilled with in melee, Gilgamesh's attack strategy is to rapidly summon and cycle between different weapons that he pulls from the Gate of Babylon for each strike, finishing with his trademark Storm of Blades or Enkidu chains. Though his attacks are powerful, his melee strikes are quite slow, reflecting his lack of skill and the fact he has to pull weapons from the Gate of Babylon before using them.
    • This is also the case of Gilgamesh's Caster form, despite him being Older and Wiser. He has pretty much no real magical training, but he has the magical energies of a part-god and the many items of the Gate of Babylon, which means he effectively functions like a masterful Caster even though he isn't actually any good at magic.
    • Dark Sakura has more raw mana than Illya, Rin, and Shirou combined thanks to her direct link with the Holy Grail after consuming most of the Servants in the route and she is so absurdly powerful she can defeat most Servants by herself even the aforementioned Gilgamesh. However, Sakura has had no training in magecraft due to Zouken only using her as the vessel for his Holy Grail; as such, her main strategy in combat is to overpower her opponents with sheer force and rapidly heal any damage she receives. This ends up coming back to haunt her once Rin faces her with the completed Jewel Sword Zelretch that gives her comparative strength to Sakura whose strategy ends up devolving into trying to overwhelm her with shadows, which doesn't work.
    • Fate/Zero: Servant Berserker averts this trope, as his ability Eternal Arms Mastership lets him retain his fighting skills despite being mad. And since he's Sir Lancelot, the most skilled knight of the Round Table, this renders him an utter terror in melee.
    • Fate/Apocrypha:
      • Mordred despite being a Knight of the Round Table, doesn't really have sword skills; she simply rushes in and hits her opponent with both her sword and anything within reach until they stop moving. Since she is strong enough to break rock with her bare hands and incredibly tough and fast, it mostly works out for her, but she ends up suffering a broken arm when she tries to fight Chiron.
      • Sieg when using Siegfried's power is this, as he himself lacks any real technique of his own and is mostly reliant of Siegfried's Nigh-Invulnerability, high stats, and ingrained combat skills and instinct to see him through a fight. Notably, Mordred could outperform him in a sword fight once she got a Command Seal boost to overcome his Nigh-Invulnerability. Eventually, he becomes more accustomed to Siegfried's power and realizes due to special circumstances he can spam Siegfried's incredibly powerful Sword Beam which he uses to fight the Strong and Skilled Karna, who can't break through his defenses and repeated Balmung blasts and is forced to sacrifice his Armor of Invincibility in order to unleash an attack that will one-shot Sieg if it connects in order to avoid giving him a Victory by Endurance.
    • Fate/Grand Order:
      • The Saber version of Elizabeth Bathory is unskilled in swordmanship and mostly just flails her sword around or charges swordfirst at the enemy. She mostly wins through strength and bravery. The Caster version of her is overflowing with magical energy, allowing her to perform powerful spells despite being untrained.
      • Anastasia has incredible magical powers, but is mostly untrained with them and requires her summmon, Viy, to help her perform her spells.
      • Passionlip's fighting style is essentially just her swinging her massive claws at a target and tearing them apart, but her sheer strength and attack power means she doesn't need finesse to rip anything but the hardest enemy to shreds.
      • Kingprotea has no fighting skills, but since she is an evergrowing giant, her strength is off the charts and she doesn't need to do much to defeat her opponents.
      • Asterios is a Berserker, but he is moderately intelligent since he rejected his feral instincts. However, he has an Alternate Self who fully embraced his feral instincts to truly become the Minotaur, a mindless killing machine. While the Minotaur is stronger than Asterios, he is easy to trick and outmaneuver since he is basically a wild animal.
      • Fairy Knight Lancelot is naturally so fast and strong that she never had to train a day in her life to be practically unbeatable. She has Eternal Arms Mastership, but it is noted that she does not benefit from it at all since she has no fighting skills to lose.

    Webcomics 
  • 8-Bit Theater:
    • Fighter is an absolute savant in swordplay, but it mostly comes from innate talent which he never bothered to improve upon. A personification of Sloth tries to get Fighter to realize the folly in this and rely as much on his mind as on his skill. Fighter kills Sloth with his swords because his brain told him that'd be faster.
    • Black Mage combines an incredible grasp of magical theory, including schools such as summoning and ice magic that he doesn't actually use, and an unparallelled amount of magical power coursing through his body. Unfortunately for basically everyone in the world, he is also Ax-Crazy and tends to default to using that magical power as a hammer, blasting whatever enters his line of sight without regard for collateral damage, proportionate response, or forward planning. He once used a Kamehame Hadoken that can devastate cities to kill a bee.
  • Steven in Ask White Pearl and Steven (almost!) anything has little-to-no control over his powers and is often accidentally discovering new ones. However, as the offspring of White Diamond, he's also got the powers of the single strongest member of the entire Gem race when he can use them, making him strong enough that he can easily wipe out the Crystal Gems (barring Rose) in an instant by complete accident, and was able to poof Rose herself another time, something that Pearl outright thought to be impossible unless she allowed it.
  • Breaker, protagonist of Break is described this way by her rival Aiastes, after her one strategy to beat him in a fight is punch him with glowy hands
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • This was the Fatal Flaw of Damien, the Big Bad of the Painted Black arc. He had a Healing Factor, Super Strength, and could generate extreme heat around him. That powerset made him practically invincible. Once he's matched up against Grace, someone who was literally genetically engineered to be a perfect counter to him, he went down almost immediately.
    • Grace herself falls into this as well, being a veritable Lightning Bruiser... which unfortunately clashes with her belief in pacifism. For a long time, she was scared to fight out of fear of accidentally hurting or killing someone. Eventually, Grace started martial arts training to learn how to control her strength.
    • Elliot's Super Gender-Bender form Cheerleadra grants him Super Strength and flight. It's usually more than enough to go toe-to-toe with the bad guys. Once he faces opponents even stronger than Cheerleadra however, he realises he'd never really bothered learning to fight as Cheerleadra before. His martial arts is worthless in midair against the griffon Dame Tara, and Magus is as strong as him with a lifetime of combat training. He handedly loses both fights.
  • The Ensigerum monks of Errant Story over-rely on their time-manipulation magic to win fights. Their commander laments the fact that she has to spar with trainees just to train with people who remember how to fight without being much much faster than their opponent.
  • Summer Mighty in Everyday Heroes. She's inherited her dad's Super Strength along with her own Eye Beams. But because she just wants to be normal she puts very little effort into learning to control her powers. She's called on this by Mr. Sharpley — who had earlier preempted a fight between Summer and his Alpha Bitch daughter, Angela (who knew Summer was super-powered) and was less than thrilled that Summer was about to enter such a fight with so little control.
  • Evon is a Focus, someone who is capable of drawing upon a very high amount of magic, but her mentor restricted her training so he could use her as a power source, so she doesn't know very many complex spells and mostly just blasts people.
  • Allison in Kill Six Billion Demons has phenomenal power, but even a Time Skip full of training hasn't given her the ability to plan ahead more than the next, ooh, couple of minutes.
    Allison: I've been relying on the Key to keep me safe, but now that's no guarantee. What was that mantra again? I can't even remember my training...
    Allison: Screw it! I only need one hand to punch this guy!
  • Lazer-Pony of the League of Super Redundant Heroes has Eye Beams so powerful that they can vaporize asteroids and even whole space fleets in different galaxies. Unfortunately, his effectiveness as a hero is hamstrung by his general stupidity.
  • The Order of the Stick: Xykon doesn't have the refined techniques of a wizard, and quite frankly doesn't want it. In his own words, the only two things a person needs are "Force in as great a concentration as you can manage, and style. And in a pinch, style can slide." However, you don't get to epic levels without a ton of practice. It's also worth noting that Xykon is also dangerously clever and full of nasty tricks. That behavior isn't actually a lack of skill, it's Xykon being lazy.
  • Paranatural:
    • Max is this to a degree. While he can't really hold his own in a serious fight with any Spirits just yet, upon discovering his tool, he immediately one-shots a Grudge that had been giving Isabel — the Activity Club's most skilled fighter — something of a challenge. It's later revealed that the Spirit possessing his bat is, in fact, a powerful Grudge and that he, himself, may be possessed by something even stronger. Meanwhile, Max struggles to use the Spec-Shot, a basic spectral technique.
    • Isaac is this to Isabel. His status as a medium for a powerful storm spirit gives him the raw firepower to confidently declare himself the most powerful member of the club, and his lightning generation and weather manipulation can back that up. On the other hand, Isabel has been trained all her life in the ways of spectral energy manipulation and martial arts to the point where she is a credible threat to some powerful spirits, even without a tool.
  • Theo from Sidekicks is able to hold his own and even overwhelm most villains due to the power of the Second Prana inside of him. He's been shown to be otherwise relatively weak without it and is fodder when he comes up against sufficiently powerful opponents.
  • Sleepless Domain has Pop Blitz, who is stated to be unable to effectively control her electricity-based powers. For this reason, they're forced to turn down Undine when she's looking for a new team to join, as her Making a Splash powers are a bad combination with her uncontrolled Shock and Awe.
  • In Spinnerette the titular hero's spider strength is no match for a black belt in aikido. Which makes a lot of sense. Most martial arts are specifically meant to counter opponents that are stronger than you.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Mikkel's battle skills boil down to hitting things with a crowbar, and his aim isn't really that good. He, however, has Stout Strength to spare, which makes him hit quite hard.
  • An arc of Tales of the Questor features a barely trained human lux-user who is far more powerful than most of the Racconnan's most skilled wizards, but lacks the restraint to do much besides make things explode.
  • Yeon Ehwa in Tower of God is one of the most powerful Regulars in the series (per Word of God, in Season 2 she is second only to Bam, who has the potential to be literally the most powerful character in the series) but has little to no control over her impressive pyro-powers. Normally it's Played for Laughs (as with pretty much else involving her), but one rather dark scene involves her training by trying to light a candle... and literally hitting everything but the candle. It is hinted that there is a deeper reason for her lack of skill than just a lack of training.
    Yeon: Why... why can't I do it!?
  • Bob the Beholder in Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic isn't terribly bright and lacks finesse. He succeeds at his tasks in spite of this because he's... well, a beholder.

    Web Original 
  • Cobra Kai: As strong and powerful as she is, Tory's fighting style is clearly based on the short term. When faced with an opponent specializing in defense and the long run (as shown with Sam), she'll lose her patience before long.
  • Gustave and Alfred from Darwin's Soldiers are both Funny Animals (Nile crocodile and American bison, respectively) with Super Strength. Neither of them is a trained martial artist so their fighting style consists of "beat the opponent with anything handy until they stop moving".
  • Captain Hammer of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog seems to get everywhere on his super strength (born with the ability to "bench press 500 pounds") and damage resistance (which is a lot in a world where the supervillains we know of are 1: a Mad Scientist 2: a guy who can make things moist 3: a horse) and his plans are limited to "smash the device". The first time he gets hurt he runs away crying like a little girl.
    "OH GOD! Is this pain?! I think this is what pain feels like! MOMMY! SOMEONE MATERNAL!"
  • Chair from Nerdy Show's Dungeons & Doritos. Justified in that he was a chair turned into a dwarf a few weeks ago. That and his player tends to roll high.
  • Red Panda Adventures:
    • A common problem for Flying Bricks and others with Super Toughness as one of their powers, and one that, if given the opportunity, the Red Panda and Flying Squirrel take steps to correct. The Squirrel, in particular, tells such people that being as strong as ten men aren't much good if you run into someone as strong as twenty men and don't have anything else to fall back on. John Doe, Mr. Amazing, and the Black Eagle all benefit from these lessons.
    • The Crimson Death was given Combo Platter Powers by implanting him with the powers of low-level supervillains. However, he never shows the same level of proficiency with them as the original owners. For example, the Crimson Death's first defeat was because the heroes could use infrared to detect him even when he used Invisibility. The Vapor, who had the power before him, eventually learned to make himself invisible to the infrared spectrum. In a later encounter, the Crimson Death simply uses his Playing with Fire abilities to mask his heat signature by setting everything around him ablaze.
    • Jackrabbit was trained in and given the use of super speed and is a formidable threat because of it. Take away that Super Speed and she has little in the way of fighting skill to fall back on. Both times she's fought in the series, the Red Panda uses his hypnosis to trick her into thinking she's moving at super-speed when she's moving normally, and making himself seem super fast as a result. After that, she's easy to take down.
  • RWBY:
    • Jaune Arc lacks the years of weapons training and combat experience that the other characters have, but he is incredibly strong, able to block the strikes of Ursas with one arm. He also has a massive reserve of Aura, but he has to learn from scratch how to use it. Pyrrha starts training him, and is impressed by his determination to better himself. By the end of Volume 2, he can effortlessly kill Ursae, and by the Volume 4 finale, he can stop a unique, powerful Grimm's head-on charge. He grows out of this trope by Volume 7; General Ironwood considers him good enough to graduate with the rest of his team and Team RWBY, years before any of them would normally qualify.
    • Oscar Pine is a farm boy who has never been combat trained and only ever encountered a few small Grimm in his entire life. However, once he starts training, he turns out to be a natural. His abilities develop so fast, that he can fight at Professor Lionheart's level after just one month's training. He's the only character with a development speed that's faster than Jaune's. He has inherited all of Professor Ozpin's abilities, including muscle memory. That means he starts out with immense power and ability that he doesn't initially know how to tap into, which reduces Ozpin himself down to Weak, but Skilled whenever he takes control of Oscar's body. Oscar begins mastering that power and skill from Volume 8, only a couple of months into his journey as Ozpin's successor.
    • Salem doesn't appear to have any combat skills. She's relies on her Grimm abilities and magic to fight while relying on her regeneration to compensate for the attacks she can't stop from striking her. However, she has so many abilities, along with inhuman speed, strength and Complete Immortality, that she can do a great deal of damage to opponents; at her worst, she can simply outlast any strong and skilled fighter due to her immortality making her an Invincible Villain.
  • The Salvation War: Pantheocide:
    • Yahweh is described as this when He fights with Michael. Due to being so much stronger than anyone else, he's never learned the need to finely control his power, using far more of it than necessary.
    • By virtue of using bronze-age tactics against humans, the demons can come off as this. Despite having superhuman abilities and while there's definite strategy there, any semblance of it collapses against modern weaponry, and as far as humanity is concerned the demons are just hurling themselves at their bombs and bullets waving their tridents over their heads and screaming.
  • Happens in the Game Grumps co-op play of Shovel Knight where Danny, who's far less skilled and experienced at the game than Arin is, is using the Amiibo Custom Knight which gets much earlier access to weapons and relics that are also superior to the ones you can unlock normally in the game. Danny even lampshades it by remarking that he wonders what someone who was actually good at the game could do with such a superior load-out.
  • Whateley Universe: driven home Anviliciously throughout the series, most notably in Eldritch's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Imperious. The fact that it is a Cape Punk world in which Boxing Lessons for Superman are pretty much a necessity is repeated over and over in many different ways, starting with the first day of classes (in which Badass Normal Old Master Ito-sensei trounced five different students five different ways as a demonstration of skill over power) and reinforced at every opportunity afterwards by the titular Superhero School.
  • Wildbow:
    • In Worm, Scion has very little sense of tactics, but that doesn't matter when his powers make him one of the extremely few that are strong enough to take down Endbringers and he can No-Sell most attacks. The gap is so big that even when the whole world unites against him, he's still winning.
    • In the sequel Ward, Goddess has a set of extremely broken superpowers, such as inflicting More Than Mind Control on any parahuman that sees her, extremely powerful telekinesis, a danger sense that warns her of who is about to attack her, and some other undefined powers. However, she's not the brightest person and doesn't make as great a use of these powers as she could. She's defeated by a simple trick of misdirection allowing someone to blindside her with an attack that kills her immediately.
    • In Twig, the Ghosts, a highly advanced form of human clones which are designed to act as infiltrators, are superior physically by every measure to the older and less advanced experiments used by the Academy to enforce their will, but the Ghosts are by their nature extremely inexperienced, and the fact that they're produced underground with substandard resources to devote to training means that the Academy experiments are able to easily outmaneuver them.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: Jayce lacks the battle-hardened skill of the likes of Vi and Jinx, but makes up for it with his invention's raw firepower and versatility in both short- and long-ranged combat. The Mercury Hammer proves to be a devastating weapon in its first field test, but this frightens Jayce enough to consider destroying it afterwards.
  • An interesting example is Avatar: The Last Airbender: being a good bender more or less requires being a good martial artist; but the effectiveness of this fighting style is dependent on the ability to bend an element, as standing ten feet away from your opponent and waving your arms around is not a viable fighting style unless magic is involved. This trope is both played straight and subverted.
    • Played straight with Ozai, Katara and Toph, who are all pretty much helpless without their powers, especially Toph; who is one of the most dangerous people in the world with her Earthbending, and a blind little girl without it. As for Ozai, it's not completely the case. His other greatest strength is his intellect. Without his firebending, he could do a lot of damage, even from prison.
    • Subverted with Aang, Zuko, Azula, and Iroh, each of whom has received or given themselves additional training, and can at least hold their own without using their bending.
    • Commander — later Admiral — Zhao seems to come across as this. He's clearly a powerful Firebender, but in personal combat, he's basically a joke. In his first appearance, Zuko beats him in a one-on-one fight, and when he faces Aang for the first time, Aang doesn't even bother fighting him directly, instead tricking him into demolishing his own fleet (which didn't even take all that much effort on his part). This is mainly because his stated weakness is his total lack of self-control; he's got a lot of rage, which fuels massively powerful firebending, but reduces his fighting style to Attack! Attack! Attack!.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!:
    • Steve Rogers criticizes Tony Stark for this, saying Tony's primary solutions to battle include either tackling things or blasting them.
    • Graviton is a rather terrifying example. He's merely a physicist yet he already has some degree of fine control of his power. He then gets put in a coma for 10 years and the first time he's actually used his powers to anything resembling his full potential, it takes a team of 5 heroes (one of which is the Hulk, another being Thor) to take him down. If he even had any practice with his powers... HOO BOY!
      Hank Pym: What are his upper limits?
      Nick Fury: He doesn't have ANY.
  • Ben 10: In the original series, Ben's entire fighting style revolved around this. His typical response to a threat was to use one of his strength-based aliens, such as Fourarms and Diamondhead, and simply rush at the bad guys to beat them senseless. From Alien Force onwards, however, he is more tactical with his aliens and takes martial arts lessons to minimize his reliance on the Omnitrix. Nevertheless, Word of God confirms that, out of all three members of the Power Trio, Ben is the least skilled hand-to-hand fighter. It also states that if Ben and Kevin were to fight each other while Brought Down to Normal, Kevin would win.
    • In the reboot, Kevin builds his own Omnitrix-knockoff, (called the Antitrix) and modify the aliens' DNAs to strengthen them. This, however, means he has trouble using them well (as Wrecking Bolt, Cannon Bolt's counterpart, he not only finds it difficult to stop his rolling, but even walking without crashing into things). It doesn't help that he has been using it for a short time.
    • Like the Original Series, Ben still prefers brute force (he has been improving over time) especially in Season 1. ''Vil'' criticized him for how he was using "Gax" 's (actually Vilgax's) powers. Later, after reuniting his two halves to form Vilgax again, he gives him a lecture while crushing him in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
      Vilgax: (while casually catching Four Arms' punch) "Without full control of your powers, you can not defeat me!"
      • Later on this is actually forced on him when three of the aliens on his roster (Grey Matter, Wildvine and Overflow) are replaced with Humongousaur, Rath and Slapback who are all strength based physical fighters (though Slapback is able to split into progressively smaller but stronger duplicates). Notably, Ben himself is fully aware of this flaw and laments his reduced versatility.
  • Rusty the boy robot from Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot actually has more firepower and toughness than his much larger father robot Big Guy. He lacks the combat ability and experience to use his arsenal to its full potential compared to Big Guy and his pilot.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Ed, while being the dumbest of the three, is incredibly handful for tasks that require strength. Though Ed can also cause great destruction with his strength of course. Nevertheless, Eddy needs Ed for just about every scam the former can cook up. On the other hand, Double D (Edd) is the smartest and the trio's gadgeteer and inventor but he's the physically weakest.
  • Most Gargoyles from Gargoyles fight this way. Although each of them has superhuman strength, it shows that humans who can master the martial arts and use tactics are able to deal with them.
  • In Harley Quinn Clayface is this both as an actor/infiltrator and a fighter. His ability to shapeshift into anyone lends him a massive advantage that sometimes manages to compensate for his actual acting skills being terrible, and his clay body makes him almost indestructible and lets him No-Sell a variety of attacks, which is the only thing keeping him alive.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) had The Starchild, a little girl with incredible magical powers. She's capable of immobilizing He-Man himself. It is pointed out that as she is a little girl who has not received any training, she cannot use her powers to her full potential. At one point, she has difficulty in telekinetically arranging stone blocks in a pattern. A more experienced sorceress does a Mental Fusion with her and is able to use her power to perform the task easier.
  • The Irken Empire as a whole in Invader Zim. They elect their leaders based on height, consider turning an entire planet into a food court to be a good use of resources, and generally exhibit the tactical skills of a turnip... but it doesn't matter, because they have such absurd technological superiority over everything else as to be unstoppable.
  • In King of the Hill, Luanne once faced Freeda Foreman in a boxing match. Due to her inexperience and lack of training, she could barely land a punch or avoid Freeda's, but her punches were strong enough to stagger Freeda, and she had enough stamina to last three rounds before getting knocked out. Luanne won everybody's respect that day.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Kipo is incredibly strong when transformed but she doesn't have any experience fighting and moving that way. Often she just flails around off balance and uselessly, but if someone gets too close she can hit them with the force of a semi.
  • The Legend of Korra has a few examples:
    • Korra herself is described in these terms:
      Katara: She's strong.
      Other Master: She lacks restraint.
    • Zaheer is this after a fashion. While he utterly dominates in most fights, he doesn't have the finesse that other airbenders do, thanks to only recently gaining the ability. His main advantages are his incredible fighting skills from his Badass Normal days that he's combined with airbending, which precious few know how to defend against. When he comes up against Tenzin, a true airbending master with a lifetime of practice, Zaheer gets utterly trounced, spending most of the fight on defense and unable to get a hit in until the rest of the Red Lotus come in and overwhelm Tenzin.
    • Dark Avatar Korra is even more this than her real self. While most benders use reasonable and realistic fighting stances, she holds herself in a Primal Stance. An ordinary bender will dodge acrobatically by a few inches, while the Dark Avatar Flash Steps several feet away in an instant. And instead of the martial-arts like motions and strikes usually seen in the series, the Dark Avatar flails wildly with the elements and her chain, simply overpowering Korra. She's heavily implied to be a trauma-induced hallucination, and as such doesn't have to follow any rules.
  • In Max Steel, Max was sometimes scolded for relying exclusively on his enhanced strength and speed. He even fights this way when playing a fighting game, choosing the biggest, toughest character and relying on hitting and charging the opponent, while Berto chose a smaller character who easily dodges his attacks and knocks him out of the ring. Max does start fighting smarter as the series goes on, as well as improvising with the environment.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the episode "Twilight's Kingdom –- Part 2", Twilight has a lot of difficulty controlling the magic of four alicorns in her body, and even her simple teleport spell she uses all the time messes up. All she can do in her battle with Tirek is blast him with beams of magic; but again, with the power of four alicorns in her, it works well. As in blowing up mountains well.
    • The same with Tirek. Despite having Discord's magic, he uses none of his finesse, just throwing out energy blasts and the occasional physical attack. Again, not that he needs to considering he can blow up a building with a single blast and ram clean through a mountain without stopping.
    • Applejack shows some of this — justified as she's never claimed to be a fighter. Though incredibly strong, fast and agile, she quickly gets into trouble when faced with the Changelings and Rarity (the prissy fashion designer) once nailed her with a crane kick that she couldn't even begin to defend herself from.
    • This comes back to haunt Twilight in "The Cutie Remark" too, where despite being logically a lot more powerful than her opponent she proves unable to land a decent hit (and at one point hits Rainbow Dash by accident).
  • Eda Clawthorne in The Owl House has enormous magical force, and is a Jack-of-All-Trades Combat Pragmatist that can easily run circles around her less powerful sister Lilith. However, since magic came so easy to her, she is not good at the basics or theory behind it, which leaves her a bit lacking when she has to teach Luz' about it. When she loses her natural magic at the end of Season 1, she has to rely on the more skill-based glyphs for magic, which she struggles with.
  • Samurai Jack: Aku plays with this trope. He has shown on occasion that he is more skilled than he lets on as he is seen using weapons on occasion and is a surprisingly strong hand-to-hand combatant, but he relies mostly on his shapeshifting, his vast magic, and the fact few things can actually hurt him. One of those is Jack's sword. This is most shown and somewhat deconstructed in the aptly titled episode, "Jack Versus Aku". Aku challenges Jack to a final battle with only two rules: Jack is forbidden to use his sword and Aku is forbidden to use his powers. Though Aku manages to hold his own with just his Super Strength and hand-to-hand skills, Jack proves to be the better fighter due to all the time he's spent fighting and has Aku on the ropes, forcing him to break his own rules to turn the tide.
  • This is actually part of the backstory for Shadow Weaver from She-Ra: Princess of Power. Once a student of the wizard Norwyn, Shadow Weaver became disenchanted with her apprenticeship, particularly when she felt she was being overshadowed by a younger rival. She cut a deal with villain Hordak and became one of the most powerful witches on the planet, but she finds herself outclassed by mages at her own power level who completed their training. Old Master Norwyn is quick to voice his disappointment over how little skill she actually wields her massive power boost with.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man: Sandman, Electro, and Rhino have powers that make them very formidable opponents to Spider-Man (who often has to rely on a plot device or weakness exploitation to defeat them). Despite this, they're often demoted to The Brute when more intelligent characters like Doc Ock and Tombstone are around.
  • Star Butterfly from Star vs. the Forces of Evil lacks control and finesse in her spell-casting and, as seen in the episode "Baby", has a poor grasp of simpler fundamental spells. However, she is also capable of casting high-level magic with relative ease, and many of the spells she uses (often to great effect) are ones she made up on her own. In fact, Star's magical potential is described as being on a level that hasn't been seen since her distant ancestor Queen Eclipsa.
  • Savage Opress, an alchemically altered warrior introduced in the third season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, manages to hold his own against the highly skilled Asajj Ventress and master duelist Dooku through raw power alone.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Amethyst is a Quartz, making her the only Gem among the surviving Crystal Gems to actually be built for fighting. Some episodes have shown her to be equal to Garnet in raw strength, despite Garnet being a Fusion. However, she's also the youngest, the laziest, the least experienced, as she was born after the first war, and generally considered "defective" by Homeworld Gems due to her small stature. This leads to her relying on berserker tactics or gimmicks like Shapeshifting in combat, and her getting taken out or injured a lot more often than her comrades. In fact, she actually openly dislikes training, viewing it as a waste of time in favor of fully embracing Don't Think, Feel. "Crack The Whip" pits Amethyst against strong and skilled Jasper. Jasper wins in a landslide, causing Amethyst to realize she needs to make an effort to grow out of it.
    • Her relationship to this trope comes to a head in the following episode, "Steven vs Amethyst". Amethyst realizes that while she's been lazing about, Steven has been training hard and has not only caught up to her but is starting to surpass her. Despite that, the episode reveals that Steven considers himself this trope as he has Rose Quartz's great power but is still flailing about when actually using it. He views his achievements as accidental rather than the result of serious skill on his part.
    • Blue Diamond (one of Homeworld's 3 matriarchs) normally just uses her sadness inducing Emotion Bomb ability to incapacitate enemy gems and her immense size and strength are enough to prevent humans (who are immune to said power) from posing a threat, but when forced into an actual fight with the Crystal Gems she just stands in one spot while firing energy beams and is eventually knocked down but the course of the battle changes when the militaristic Yellow Diamond enters the fray.
  • The Super Friends episode "The Evil From Krypton" featured a General Zod Expy called Zy-Kree. He had all of Superman's powers, but no skill. Aquaman is able to hold his own and outmaneuver him with tactics. When he and Superman clash, Superman demonstrates that he actually knows how to fight, and pwns him before sending him back to the Phantom Zone.
    Aquaman: You did it! You defeated him!
    Green Lantern: Zy-Kree had forgotten one thing: his power equaled yours, but your skill was superior.
  • Teen Titans: Beast Boy and Starfire are among the most powerful titans on the team in terms of physical power and abilities but are often easily dispatched by villains with more skills.
  • Some bots in The Transformers, most notably the Dinobots and especially (Decepticon) combiners as Devastator, Bruticus, or Menasor, that are far more muscle than brain.
  • Bloom from Winx Club is the bearer of the very magic that created the universe — the Dragon's Flame and struggles a lot to properly wield it, at least for the first three seasons of the series.
    • During the most part of Season 1, she relied on explosions of sheer magic to win her battles against the more experienced Trix. It's worth noting that said explosions were harmful to Bloom as well.
    • Bloom's magic is so strong that she overpowers fully-fledged fairies while still in her basic fairy form — she's able to land a solid hit on Valtor while her friends' attacks got easily dodged or countered.
    • Her control improves as of Season 2 thanks to Grisleda's training, but she's still absolutely wrecked by the Trix in that season and Valtor in the third season. It's only after enduring Training from Hell in Pyros that she's able to outgrow this trope.
    • And yet, in Season 6, her control is apparently still lacking. After she shared the Dragon's Flame with her friends, both her health and her grasp over her powers became severely weakened.
  • Young Justice:
    • Superboy, started out as a fairly straightforward case, believing that he didn't need skills because of his super-strength. This was soon beat out of him when the team fought Amazo, an android who had copied the Combo Platter Powers of the Justice League (including Superman's greater strength), and Superboy had to rely on guile to defeat it. Afterwards, he takes up Black Canary's offer to learn how to properly fight, and later throughout the series would use tactics when fighting other foes with super-strength.
    • Superboy's full-Kryptonian clone brother Match has the full measure of Superman's powers but is a raving berserker. When Superboy activates his full power he soundly beats Match because he's acquired experience since he's awoken.
    • It turns out that Megan's psychic powers are the same way, after she accidentally causes a psychic simulation to go awry, ultimately putting the rest of the team into a coma. J'onn speculates that she could be one of the most powerful Martian psychics ever, perhaps even stronger than him.
    • Klarion is another case of this. His fighting style involves absolutely zero finesse and is the magical equivalent of sheer brute force, but when you're a freakishly powerful Humanoid Abomination like him, there's no real reason to change things up.
    • Comments on Greg Weisman's blog seem to imply this about Wonder Girl — although she's a Flying Brick second to only Superboy in terms of strength on the Team, she's also young and inexperienced, having only been recently recruited at the start of Season 2.

    Real Life 
  • A 250-pound Bodybuilder once challenged a 150-pound Jiujitsu Black Belt, with the Bodybuilder convinced that his muscles could carry him through the fight. He learned the hard way that brute force is a poor approach against a trained, experienced Martial Artist and got taken down easily.
  • Your typical street brawler has absolutely no technique but can punch hard enough to KO someone. Somewhat subverted though, since a street brawler could easily have plenty of in-fight experience making up for a lack of finesse.
  • People who lift with their backs, no matter how much they can lift, will never be as efficient as someone who lifts with their legs and keeps their backs straight while doing so. Likewise, there are a number of back problems that can be caused if you lift with your back (especially if you deadlift 200+-pound barbells without proper technique).
  • The third world chess champion, Jose Raul Capablanca, was such a prodigy that, during the beginning of his career, he never bothered to study any opening theory or do any serious preparation for any of his games, yet he kept winning just by his natural talent. Subverted later on when he actually did study and improve his opening knowledge, although he still had a reputation as a lazy player — in fact, many people think the reason that he eventually lost the championship to Alexander Alekhine was because the latter took the match much more seriously: Alekhine prepared intensely for each game, whereas Capablanca spent each night at the bar drinking and partying, confident that he didn't need to study.
  • This is actively discouraged among Car Drivers. Aggressive, impatient and competitive driving, is one of the main causes of an accident on the road. Without a clear understanding, on how to position and manipulate a car skillfully. A driver is more likely to crash, get arrested or even kill someone due to sheer ineptitude.
  • Eddie Hall took up Boxing to keep up his health. While he's relatively early, and, thus, relatively unrefined, as of this writing, he's still the World's Strongest Man multiple times over who, at his lifting prime, could lift around a thousand pounds.


 
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Alternative Title(s): Powerful But Unskilled, Strong But Unskilled, Unskilled Yet Strong

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Teal'c's first boxing match

Jack O'Neill tries to teach Teal'c how to box. Despite not knowing anything about the sport, he easily defeats O'Neill.

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