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Your Magic's No Good Here

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Superweapon in one universe, nothing but tacky handwear in another.

"Your visa doesn't permit the use of your magical powers overseas. It's quite the violation actually."
Princess Almond to Cream Tea, Apricot Cookie(s)!

Magic A Is Magic A... but not in Dimension B.

Characters in a fantasy or superhero setting travel to a place (often a different reality or alternate world) where their magic or super powers don't function, or work very differently. They may have a period of How Do I Shot Web? while they learn the new rules, or be forced to Fight Like A Normal if they are locked out of their abilities.

When the foreign magic does work but someone feels it shouldn't, contrast Wrong Context Magic and New Life in Another World Bonus.

Compare The Worf Barrage, i.e. "Your Magic's No Good On Me".


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Chibichuki: Various characters from the Nasuverse are transported to a dimension with a school setting and forced to go to school. They find that their powers either don't work or are altered to fit the school. Mages like Rin can't use spells, Saber tries to summon Excalibur and gets a Paper Fan of Doom, Gilgamesh tries to summon weapons with Gate of Babylon and gets school supplies, etc. The dimension's ruler, Kinoko, can grant them powers to fit their new roles: Shirou is the school's cook so he can Trace foods, Rin is the accountant so she can summon charts of the school's finances, etc.
  • Date A Live: When Isaac Wescott traps Shido and the girls in a fairy tale world, they find that their Spirit powers and weapons don't work.
  • The Devil is a Part-Timer!: After leaving Ente Isla and coming to Earth, the main characters only have a limited supply of magic power left to use and appear human. They discover genuine fear for one's life and the despair of it can refill a demon's magic while the holy magic can be recovered from various forms of love.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In Dragon Ball Z, the fusion achieved by the Potara earrings is supposed to be permanent. But when Vegito is absorbed by Super Buu, immediately after lowering the shield he used to avoid being completely integrated into Buu (like Piccolo, Gohan and Gotenks were), he splits back into Goku and Vegeta. Absent anyone who can provide an explanation, they speculate that there's something about the inside of Buu's body that negated the magic of the Potara. Dragon Ball Super revealed that the Potara Fusion is only permanent for Kais. For mortals it simply lasts an hour, and that hour just happened to be up right when he was absorbed.
    • In Dragon Ball GT, Goku gets trapped in a strange dimension called Sugoroku Space. The Kais are unable to rescue him because their powers don't work there.
  • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World: Makoto finds that science doesn't work quite the same on El Hazard as it did on Earth.
  • Fairy Tail: When the main characters get transported to Edolas, they find out that they cannot cast spells. This is due to Edolas having much less Ethernano (the particles of magic) and any magic there is done through magical items (more advanced than those in Earthland) and requires some training to control it as Natsu burns through his fire sword. However, there is a special drug known as X-balls that allow Earthland mages to use their magic through unexplained means. Eventually, when the Big Bad's plot is foiled, Edolas is left without magic, but with a new ruler who inspires them.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003): When Ed travels through the Gate to "our" world, he discovers that he can no longer use alchemy, which carries on to The Movie Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa.
  • In Future Card Buddy Fight, Tasuku travels to a bad future where the world is overrun with monsters. When he tries to use his Future Force to fight them off, he finds it doesn't work because Future Force is powered by his future self who doesn't exist in this timeline.
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia the Animation: Natives of the Hyperdimension like Neptune and Vert learn their powers don't work and they can't transform when they enter the Ultradimension.
  • When Lotte's mother in the fantasy comedy series Lotte no Omocha! decides to use a magical tree to travel from her own world to Earth (something that hasn't been done in generations), she is horrified to discover, after the initial few hours of having fun, that Earth has no native magic power in the air and she's thus incapable of activating the portal from the other side. Fortunately, she happens to be a succubus, and a very nice-looking boy's nearby...
  • Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade: The witch students discover that outside their academy, there is very little magic in town.
  • In Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, traveling from each world causes the world's magical laws to change, to the point that certain worlds don't even have magic — and one world seems to somehow cancel out any magic users' abilities, a fact which the Valerians take advantage of when exiling their powerful twin princes.

    Comic Books 
  • A major plot point in Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; when the Turtles are trapped in the DC Universe, analysis of their blood reveals that the mutagen that transformed them is losing its potency as it's incompatible with the laws of physics in this universe, putting the turtles on an unknown time limit to find a way back to their universe before they revert to normal turtles.
  • The Flash: Mirror Master can trap people inside mirrors that are separate dimensions. In many stories, Flash's powers don't work inside the mirror dimensions.
  • Green Lantern: When Green Lantern and Zatanna travel to the pocket dimension of Ys, they're initially handicapped by the fact that neither GL's power ring nor Zatanna's magic operates correctly under that dimension's rules. GL solves the problem by moving his ring from his right hand to his left; Zatanna, by speaking each word of her spells normally, but reversing the natural order of the sentences.
  • In JLA/Avengers:
    • The Speed Force doesn't exist on the Marvel Universe's Earth, so The Flash's Super-Speed doesn't work.
    • Darkseid gets his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet, prompting a Mass "Oh, Crap!" moment from the assembled heroes, even those who don't know who he is... until he discards the Gauntlet, realizing that it does not work in The DCU.
    • Inverted by the Scarlet Witch. Turns out, the chaos magic she uses in the Marvel Universe is identical to the magic of the Lords of the Chaos in the DC Universe. And her unfettered access to it (acquired through a genetic mutation rather than years of dedicated study and supplication) is freaking them out.
  • Justice League Incarnate: Doctor Multiverse and the Superman of Earth 23 get sent to Earth 33 and find that their powers don't work since Earth 33 is equivalent to the real world where supernatural events and powers don't exist. They are stranded until their friends manage to pull them back.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Magic users may occasionally relocate to another dimension with different magical rules that render master sorcerers having to relearn their skills.
    • It turns out that each separate universe of Marvel has its own set of Infinity Gems/Stones that grants limitless power... but only in that specific universe. Should they somehow be brought to another universe, they become little more than pretty rocks.
    • The same goes for Captain Universe as seen in Spider-Verse. The Enigma Force grants great power to the Spider-Man of Earth-13, but if he travelled to another universe he'd just be another web-slinger, so he remained on his Earth to give the dimension-hopping army a 'safe zone' they could retreat to as he would be too powerful for the standard Inheritors to battle.
  • In the Smax miniseries, Robyn is dismayed to discover that her high-tech toys don't work in Jeff's home dimension.
  • Superman:
    • Demon Spawn: Supergirl's superpowers don't work in the Innerverse because it is a world of sorcery (one of her weaknesses).
    • Superman vs. Shazam!: As Superman and Captain Marvel fight on, the latter grows progressively tired. Shazam! -the old wizard- explains Marvel's magic becomes weaker when he is out of his universe.
      Wizard Shazam: Just as you lose your powers under a red sun, so Captain Marvel becomes weaker in your universe!
    • The Phantom Zone: Superman cannot use any of his powers in the weird parallel dimension located between the Phantom Zone and the physical world.

    Fan Works 
  • Downplayed in Amazing Fantasy. Peter discovers that he can't make web fluid the way he knows how because the chemicals he used don't exist in Izuku's universe. They end up developing an entirely new web formula from whatever Izuku can procure to replace it.
  • A variation is features in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Stargate SG-1 fic Are You Ready?, where the SGC learns about magic after Cassie Frasier is Called as a Slayer during the battle with the First. While Cassie was born on another planet and thus proves that there are other Potentials in the wider galaxy, Thor explains that the energy needed to trigger a Slayer only moves at the speed of light, so it would take decades for Willow's spell to reach another inhabited world, and even then after travelling such a distance the energy of the spell would be basically "lost in the noise", even assuming the other world has enough of its own magic to empower a Slayer.
  • Essentially inverted in Avengers: Infinite Wars; while the Jedi can sense the Avengers through the Force to a degree (albeit mainly because of the void they create in the Force), none of the Avengers have any ability to sense and use the Force themselves, although it is noted that Pietro, Vision and Wanda have traces of Force energy that is attributed to their exposure to the Mind Stone.
  • In Daphne Greengrass and the Boy Who Lived, Daphne Greengrass learns that she has potential as a Seer and begins to explore that talent during her time at Hogwarts. At one point, Daphne considers using scrying to search for horcruxes, but is informed that wouldn't work; not only is scrying distinct from divination, but ritual scrying is so complex that it ultimately amounts to confirming what the person performing the ritual already knows. Likewise, Daphne attempting to scry to determine the likelihood of a horcrux at Hogwarts won't offer any definite information beyond the probability of a correct guess.
  • The Alternate Events series features an interesting twist regarding the Phantom Zone crystal of Earth-21 (Smallville); if used out of its Earth of origin, it does not send the target to the Phantom Zone, but instead displaces them to a random alternate Earth.
  • In the Harry Potter/Encanto crossover A Different Kind of Magic, this is used as an explanation for why Mirabel didn't get a gift; she is actually the daughter of Bruno and Marlene McKinnon, a former classmate of Lily Evans and the Marauders, so the blessing couldn't give her a gift because Mirabel already has her own magic. Julieta also notes that her healing foods can't treat long-term conditions, such as Mirabel needing glasses.
  • In The Disappearance of Goro Akechi, the characters of Persona 5 cannot use their Personas in the TV World, with the exception of Morgana and Futaba (who unlocked hers by meeting with her Shadow and accepting its truth about herself), as their Personas had become Shadows that reveal their darkest secrets. The only way to regain their Personas is by accepting their shadows, just as the Investigation Team and Haru did. It's later revealed that the Investigation Team cannot call upon their Personas while in the Metaverse, as they need to awaken their Spirit of Rebellion to do so.
  • Fate DxD AU: Downplayed. Most forms of Nasuverse magecraft work in the DxD world, but the spell for summoning Servants doesn't, because the Throne of Heroes doesn't exist there.
  • In The Game of the Gods, Parody Sue Mirandola (from the Harry Potter setting) finds that her magic doesn't work in Middle-Earth.
  • In Growth through Chaos, Kakashi finds out that while most Ninjutsu works fine in the world of One Piece, he can't use his Summoning Jutsu.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Supergirl lures her evil duplicate into the anti-matter universe, where their invulnerability doesn't work and Kara has a chance to destroy Satan Girl.
  • Infinity Crisis. Invoked and subverted in various ways:
    • The Infinity Gauntlet was able to affect the entire Multiverse.
    • The Speed Force is weaker in the Avengers' world than it is on Barry's native Earth.
    • Constantine explicitly states that magic in the Avengers' Earth is different from what he's used to back home.
    • In Powers and Marvels, Bruce Banner compares the Morphing Grid to Barry's description of the Speed Force, and Thor mentions that Odin has told him about how the Grid exists in multiple different realities and grants a range of powers, suggesting that a variation of it could even exist in the Avengers' Earth that just hasn't been tapped yet.
    • Also in Powers and Marvels, Scott Lang is briefly able to control Finster's latest monster, Lobsterant, as it's 'just' a combination of a lobster and an ant, making it susceptible to his ability to control ants.
  • Discussed in the Harry Potter/Star Trek: The Next Generation fic "Rediscovery" after the Enterprise-D manages to defeat one of the wizards' most powerful spacecraft with relative ease, due to factors such as the spells they use as weapons being relatively useless against the Enterprise. Worf is able to reassure them that the opposing ship had such weaknesses as being understaffed and being caught off-guard, so their plans to explore the galaxy are not impractical but should just be put on hold for the moment until they can work out how to compensate.
  • In The Secret Keeper, it is affirmed that the Quillettes' shapeshifting abilities and the Cullens' extra gifts are not the same as wizarding magic, with the result that neither group can use wands.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack and its various spin-offs affirm that the laws of physics are different in the various worlds visited in the series, such as the magically-extended bags Hermione gave her teammates reverting to standard bags and the dragon-hide jackets just becoming an interesting form of leather after just a few days in a different universe, as well as chemicals like GC-161 losing their 'potency' in other worlds.
  • In Songs of the Spheres, multiple universes exist where magic (Whether arcane or spiritual) doesn't exist.
  • In Tripping Down the Rabbit Hole, when Gabriel arrives in Lux after being nearly killed by Apocalypse World Michael, he discovers that he now possesses the powers and limitations of the "local" angels, such as his wings being actually visible and no longer able to smite demons by snapping his fingers. Unfortunately, Gabriel soon learns that angel blades are still a valid weapon when he discovers that someone has smuggled a collection of blades from his universe to this one, particularly when an unknown party is melting those blades down to make bullets and has already killed the "local" Gabriel.
  • Played with to varying degrees in the Tok'ra Apocalypse series;
    • With the "aid" (both known and unknown) of Gabriel, Crowley, and the demon inhabiting Brady, the SGC are able to use the Odyssey's sensors to identify angels, demons (and the differing "ranks" of relevant demons), and even the Horsemen.
    • The Ascended are presented as essentially souped-up ghosts, with the result that Dean can wound Chaya Sar by stabbing her hand with an iron knife, and Abaddon and Eva are eventually defeated in the same manner as Anubis and Adria were dealt with.
    • For obvious reasons, nobody at the SGC is willing to risk finding out what would happen if a demon-possessed human tried to use a communication stone to contact Destiny.
  • Invoked in the Told That Devil to Take You Back series when Sam wonders if killing Revenants with the Colt will have some negative effect on the Earp curse, considering that the curse states the Earp heir has to put the Revenants down. However, so far his allies all prioritise stopping the Revenants immediately rather than worrying about such a detail when the choice is Sam taking a shot or the Revenant killing someone.
  • Worm Grand Order: Earth Bet has no mana, so under normal circumstances, magecraft doesn't work there. Taylor and her Servants can recharge and use their powers by drawing mana from Chaldea's world. Eventually, Da Vinci figures out how to convert the energy from things like shards and the Endbringer's cores into mana, but she mentions it is very hard to do.
  • Invoked in Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse, when veteran Dimensional Traveler Umok warns the Nerima Wrecking Crew not to play around with the Devil Fruit, because several of them have Jusenkyo curses, and there's no way of predicting how foreign magics might interact with each other.
  • What would have happened if Goku fell into the world of Shuumatsu no Valkyrie:
    • Discussed. Goku asks Whis for a strong opponent, so Whis opens a portal to the world of Record of Ragnarok. Later, when Vegeta and Gohan look for him, Whis reopens the portal, but warns them that some universes reduce your power or even cut it off. He tried to warn Goku, but he didn't pay attention. Fortunately, they learn this does not apply to the Record of Ragnarok world and they are at full power.
    • Played straight when Whis goes to the Record of Ragnarok world and finds that though he still has his physical powers, his Time Master powers don't work.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic spin-off movie Equestria Girls, Twilight discovers upon entering the Human World that magic doesn't work there, when she walks headfirst into a door she could have otherwise opened telekinetically. The thing is, Equestrian magic doesn't seem to work on Earth without magical items, The Power of Friendship or The Power of Rock (as seen in the sequel Rainbow Rocks). Dialogue establishes it as being the cause of Humanity Ensues on everyone that goes through the portal losing their unicorn horns and pegasus wings. Any magic that does exist in the human world is explicitly imported by magic objects from Equestria, wherein it begins to follow completely different rules, frustrating any curious former unicorns used to magic following the sufficiently analyzed rules from back home. After several attempts to study the effects of Equestrian magic as practiced by humans blow up in her face (sometimes literally), Sunset Shimmer is forced to give up in exasperation.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Enchanted, the princess Giselle is transported from her fairy-tale land to New York City, and like any Disney Princess can summon animal helpers to accomplish various tasks, in this case willing hordes of the available fauna: birds, cockroaches, and mice, which she finds somewhat disturbing while acknowledging their usefulness. Her paramour, Prince Edward, follows her to the city, and at one point ends a musical number by making a humanly impossible leap off of a Central Park pedestrian bridge. He lands solidly balanced on his feet, only to be immediately knocked down by a fleet of bicyclists coming down the path.

  • The Beginning After the End: The world of Arthur's past life had a system of magic that revolved around Ki Manipulation, which is different from the world he had reincarnated into as its magic system revolves around mana instead. These two magic systems, despite being quite similar to one another, are ultimately different in that they require different atmospheres and biologies to channel. This is why Arthur (as well as his fellow reincarnates Nico and Cecilia) was unable to manipulate ki upon his reincarnation and had to learn how to manipulate mana instead.
  • Discussed in Codex Alera: When the protagonists travel to another continent, the first Alerans to ever do so, they had concerns that their Elemental Powers wouldn't work there since the elemental spirits they command might not exist in a place where the land itself is different. Fortunately, they run into no such issues.
  • Usually averted in The Cosmere; magic on one world will work perfectly fine on another, because on the Spiritual Realm where magic is drawn from distance doesn't exist. The exception is the planet Sel, where Elantris and The Emperor's Soul are set; since magic there is instead drawing power from the Cognitive Realm, it's heavily tied to local geography and heavily location based, so Aons and Soulstamps lose power the farther away they are from Arelon and MaiPon respectively. There seems to be some workaround used by the Ire, a sect of worldhopping Elantrians that appear in Mistborn: Secret History, possibly tied to what looks like an enormous extension cable trailing behind their moving fortress in the Cognitive Realm. Later, in Tress of the Emerald Sea, Riina seems to have discovered another workaround: mapping out the whole planet, so she can adapt Aons to Lumar.
  • In the Discworld book Hogfather, nobody can die in the Tooth Fairy's Pocket Dimension; fatal injuries get you booted back into the normal Discworld. This also means that Death cannot go there himself, and neither his magic sword nor Susan's inherited powers work there, either.
  • The Dresden Files: There is a variation of this idea for the spirit world Nevernever. It isn't magic which is affected but the laws of physics that are not necessarily consistent. Firing a gun could net one a plethora of results with it one time working fine, but in other shots the gun explode, not fire at all, or fire but the bullets move slowly. Gravity could be twice Earth's in one spot and zero gravity ten feet away. Further hampering the laws of physics are powerful Physical Gods in Nevernever which can manipulate and change things according to their will. Especially in their home turfs. Hades, Lord of the Underworld, once slowed time enough for he and Harry to have a several minute long chat before returning Harry to practically the moment he left.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: The ESPERS can't use their powers outside of a closed space.
  • Hell's Gate: The universe of Sharona uses Psychic abilities, whilst their enemy Arcana makes use of Magic. Travellers (or in Arcana's case, invaders) from one universe to the other find their abilities slowly diminishing as they travel to universes closer to the opposing home one.
  • Journey to Chaos:
    • When Eric returns to his home world of Threa, he has to restrict his use of magecraft because his mana will not reload. He's almost out when he returns to Tariatla.
    • Tariatlan mages are careful about using magic inside a Fog cloud because the Background Magic Field is highly charged and unstable. There's no telling what a spell would do in such a place, but the most likely outcome is an explosion that will kill and/or mutate the caster.
  • In a Spin-Off novel of Labyrinths of Echo, Nests of Chimerae, Max is Trapped in Another World and apparently De Powered by its magic functioning differently from the magic in Echo. By the end of the book, however, he picks up a few nifty tricks and returns home.
  • The Legends of Ethshar: Wizards can create separate pocket universes, accessed by a Portal Picture. If a warlock steps into one of these universes, they lose contact with the Source that supplies their magic, and lose all their powers until they leave.
  • The Locked Tomb: Thalergy (Life Energy) is a universal phenomenon, but thanergy (death energy) was first created in the Dominicus star system with the birth of Necromancy. Necromancers can't use their powers at all in space due to the lack of both, and are severely hampered by the lack of ambient thanergy on other worlds. Lyctors are the only exception, thanks to their inexhaustible reserve of Soul Power.
  • The Magician's Nephew plays some interesting tricks with this trope:
    • Total negation: A British mob is narrowly saved from Jadis's wrath by the fact that her magic doesn't work in London. It's quite an annoyance to her to find that she's gone from being able to wipe out all life on her native world, Charn, to being just a very tall human, although she has a significant degree of Super-Strength. In Narnia, she has to spend a long time learning how to manipulate magic there before making her bid for power, and has to channel it through a wand.
    • Significant weakening: Digory brings a silver apple from Narnia to Earth. In Narnia, it can give immortality, on Earth it can "merely" heal otherwise incurable and terminal illness. However, the tree which grows from the seed in the apple's buried core in our world maintains a connection to Narnia, even when it eventually blows down in a storm and is made into furniture.
    • Magic A Is Magic A: Intriguingly, the magical green and yellow rings, which apparently are of Atlantean origin, do work on Charn and in Narnia as well as on Earth.
  • Old Kingdom: Charter Magic draws on a Background Magic Field that's maintained by the Old Kingdom's Charter Stones, so it only functions within a limited range of the Kingdom. Free Magic is universal but has other drawbacks. This becomes an issue in Goldenhand, where the characters have to venture into a region of the Patchwork World that lacks both the Charter and an atmosphere.
  • Ready Player One: Built into OASIS. Some worlds have magic, other worlds do not. If you try to fly to a world using magical means, and that world doesn't support it, you'll be stranded in space until you can hitch a ride on a someone else's technology-powered spacecraft. Of course, the same works in the other direction on some other worlds, with technology not working, but magic working. Or both working (chaos zones). Or neither (null zones).
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: After slaying the Spirit Tortoise, Naofumi leads his party in pursuit of the incident's instigator Kyo Ethnina to another Alternate Universe, and they're all immediately affected by a Bag of Spilling: all their levels ground out in the original RPG Mechanics 'Verse are lost and have to be regained. Additionally, Filo's species changes from a filolial, a large flightless bird resembling a chicken the size of a hippo, into a humming falcon, which is much smaller and can fly.
  • Used oddly in Sword Art Online. Because the MMORPGs made with the open-source World Seed all use the same game engine as Sword Art Online, some Player Character data is actually transferable between games, particularly their looks. However, the games all have very different item lists and mechanics, so they won't play the same for the most part—though main character Kirito is able to connive ways to use his swordsmanship from SAO in both Alfheim Online, a fantasy RPG with significant flight mechanics, and Gun Gale Online, a PVP-heavy First-Person Shooter RPG.
  • A Wizard of Earthsea:
    • When Sparrowhawk (Ged) travels to the island of Osskil in the far north, his magic fails because he isn't familiar with the differences in magic there.
    • The mage Vetch tells Sparrowhawk about the differences in magic between locations.
      Sparrowhawk: They say, "Rules change in the Reaches."
      Vetch: Aye, a true saying, I can tell you. There are good spells I learned on Roke that have no power here, or go all awry; and also there are spells worked here I never learned on Roke. Every land has its own powers, and the farther one goes from the Inner Lands, the less one can guess about those powers and their governance.
  • Worlds of Shadow: Faerie magic and Galactic Imperial tech both don't work outside their respective universes, necessitating indirect measures for action there.
  • Xanth:
    • "Isle of View" introduces Jenny Elf from the World of Two Moons. When she arrives on Xanth, her telepathy no longer seems to work. But she develops another ability never shown in her home environment; singing daydreams and trapping the unaware within them.
    • Magic does not work at all in Mundania. The exception is the 'Centaur Aisle', the Talent of the Centaur Arnolde; he projects a limited field in front of him where magic can function as normal, even in Mundania. (Note that the Talent itself should have shut down when they left Xanth, but Arnolde is very much an oddity anyway, since Centaurs normally don't have Talents anyway. And he never knew he had it at first, since the Aisle is entirely redundant within Xanth's normal magic.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Adventures of Superboy: In "The Haunting of Andy McAlister", Superboy and his friends are sucked into a cursed mirror and find themselves in a pocket dimension that looks like the Wild West. Superboy finds that his powers don't work. Fortunately, he didn't need them to defeat several outlaws.
  • In Angel, when the gang goes to Pylea, Angel is surprised to find out he can be under the sun without bursting into flames. Less good is that putting on his vampiric "game-face" is replaced by a uncontrollable berserker monster, thus his combat potential is actually a bit lower than on Earth (unless he risks hurting innocents).
  • On Charmed, going to Limbo greatly increases one's magical ability. Phoebe's ability to levitate a few feet off the ground on Earth practically became full-on flight while in this plane between life and death.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Three Doctors", the Doctor states that the Sonic Screwdriver doesn't work in Omega's world as the only "natural" law is the law imposed on this dimension by Omega's will.
    • In "Rise of the Cybermen", the TARDIS no longer works when going into the parallel universe. The Doctor says that this is because the power source that the TARDIS uses comes from their own universe's energy. The Doctor has to give a part of his life force in order to recharge the TARDIS.
  • Gen V: In "Jumanji", Cate has a seizure and inadvertently pulls her friends' consciousnesses into memories from her past. When the past version of Golden Boy in one memory attacks them, the trio find that they can't use their powers so long as they're not in their own bodies. Andre can't manipulate metal, Marie can't manipulate blood, and Jordan is unable to shift into their female form, so the three are forced to run. Once Cate regains consciousness (and in turn the others do so too), the first thing Jordan does to confirm they're back in the real world is gender-shift.
  • Henry Danger: In the Knight Squad crossover "Knight and Danger", evil knight Ryker tries to use his power to control the minds of Captain Man and Kid Danger that he has in his dimension, only to find he no longer has that power in the Henry Danger universe.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Loki: Loki is trapped in the Time Variance Authority's dimension and learns his powers don't work and the Infinity Stones are nothing more than paperweights. Mobius says no magic functions in this dimension.
    • WandaVision:
      • When Wanda enters Agatha Harkness's basement, she tries to use her magic to threaten Agatha, only to find it doesn't work.
        Agatha Harkness: Huh. Your magic's no good here. [Agatha conjures magic ropes that bind Wanda's hands and legs behind her] Didn't you notice? Basic protection spell? One on each wall? No? Nothing? These are runes, Wanda. In a given space, only the witch who cast the runes can use her magic. How do you not know the fundamentals?
      • The climax sees Wanda defeat Agatha by casting her own runes on the walls of the Hex, rendering Agatha's magic inert.
  • This is one of the major premises of Once Upon a Time. The fairy tale characters have been brought to our world, the "land without magic", and turned into average people. After the curse is broken and magic is returned to Storybrook, it is revealed that anyone stepping over the town boundaries loses their memories and reverts to their cursed, non-magical self, and even after Mr. Gold finds a way to retain his memories outside of the town he is still unable to use magic.
  • The Sliders went to more than one universe where magic was possible, most of which used different rules, so previous experiences didn't help much.
  • Supernatural: In the episode "The French Mistake", Sam and Dean are hurled into a dimension where their lives are actually a television show. An angel hitman working for the bad guy follows them there, but when he tries to melt their faces off he discovers that his powers don't work because nothing supernatural exists there. The Winchesters beat him up until other crew members intervene, allowing the angel to escape. The brothers assume they have nothing further to fear from him, but it turns out this particular angel was in charge of Heaven's armory, and thus probably the only one who actually knows how to use mortal weapons. He loads up at a gun shop before heading after them again.

  • Gloryhammer: In the album "Legends from the Galactic Terrorvortex", Angus McFife XIII has travelled into an alternative dimension and, when he fights Zargothrax in "The Siege of Dunkeld", finds that the Hammer of Glory is powerless in this dimension. According to the official timeline, this is "due to science." He has to find the Legendary Enchanted Jetpack and fly into outer space to re-empower the hammer.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Advanced D&D and 3.X edition: When creatures from the Prime Material Plane travel to other planes of existence, they find that magic (spellcasting and items) doesn't work the same way it does on the Prime. Some spells/items have different effects, some don't work at all and some backfire. On rare occasions, it's possible to use magic that can't be used on the Prime.
    • BD&D Immortals set. Some planes (such as triplanes — no, not the airplane) lack the extra dimensions that are necessary for magic, thus preventing anyone — including visitors from other dimensions — from using magic while in them.
    • Module I12 Egg of the Phoenix. In one of the mini-adventures, the PCs go back in time several hundred million years to the time of the dinosaurs. Magic was much more potent then, so spells have double normal effect.
    • Sometimes it doesn't even take leaving one's own home plane. Magic works differently in Mystara's Hollow World setting than it does on the outside of the very same planet, courtesy of the Immortals using the inside as a "nature preserve" of sorts for cultures that would have gone extinct in the outside world and using their own magic to prevent certain mortal tricks that could upset their pet project from working.
    • In the Ravenloft setting, several spells flat out don't function (you are not allowed to use magic to Detect Evil or leave Ravenloft). However, Black Magic is greatly empowered, but quickly attracts the attention of the Dark Powers (which you do not want). Furthermore, several spells that are neutral or even benevolent in other worlds are considered black magic there, which can make for some nasty surprises for a spellcaster that just entered the plane. Particularly notable, spells that raise the dead not only have a chance of attracting attention from the Dark Powers, they also have a risk of failing to work correctly.
    • Isle of the Ape is an extremely difficult Greyhawk module. To prevent the players from simply teleporting past or otherwise subverting its dangers, several dozen spells are disabled or have their effects severely curtailed.
    • In Dragon issue 100, the adventure "The City Beyond the Gate" had the player party voyage from Oerth to Earth to find the Mace of Saint Cuthbertnote . As the players journey through modern-day London note , they find that they are unable to completely recover their spells. If they stay long enough, they lose their magic completely....
    • Greyhawk also works the trope in the other direction, for a variable value of "magic". If cowboys, gangsters, or cowboy gangsters were to show up on Oerth with their tommy guns and revolvers, they'd find they have nothing but very unwieldy clubs — gunpowder flat-out doesn't work on Oerth, with the only exception being followers of the quasi-deity Murlynd having the ability to use firearms.
    • Forgotten Realms has this in localized pockets of Faerun, thanks to not one but two major magical cataclysms caused by the death of the then-current goddess of magic; her death in the Times of Trouble resulted in zones of wild magic (where magic is dangerously unpredictable) and dead magic (where it flat-out doesn't work), while her assassination at the hands of Cyric resulted in the Spellplague, stopping magic from working at all for a decade and warping magic's very nature among many, many more effects. Of course, some would say that the main effect of those two events was to justify the changes from one edition of the game to another. Historically speaking, there was yet another magical cataclysm over a thousand years in the setting's past that changed how magic worked... again caused by the death of the then-current goddess of magic. Finally, Faerun has almost the same restrictions on gunpowder as Oerth — only the followers of Gond, god of innovation and technology, are capable of crafting functioning firearms and gunpowder, although anyone can use them.
  • The GURPS Alternate Earths setting. There are worlds with high mana, meaning anyone can do magic, and worlds with slightly bendy physical laws that allow superscience and/or superheroes to exist. People from these worlds are often in for a shock when they travel to a more "normal" world.
    • Amusingly enough, the GURPS mana scale for worlds goes no mana -> low mana -> "normal" mana -> high mana -> very high mana, with "normal" meaning Standard Fantasy Setting levels of magic, even though overall worlds with a mana rating above low are much less common than lower-level worlds, making it a Non-Indicative Name. However in GURPS there are variant magic systems which don't use mana or are totally psionic based.
  • A very interesting example in Mage: The Ascension. Magic used to be commonplace, until The Technocracy stamped it out and replaced it with technology. You are one of the few who knows the truth: that magic and technology work by the same metaphysical principles, and you know how to impose your will to alter reality. Problem is, so do the Muggles, unconsciously, and at best your magic will fail to work. At worst, reality will lash back in the form of Paradox. That said, 'local realities' work. A certain potion can work as Panacea in a supersitious rural area, and fail to work at all in more secular cities. That said, there are times when you're able to convince someone that a potion works and it does, assuming there are no doctors around to say otherwise.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Ice magic is tied to the Ley Lines of its native Kislev. When an Ice Witch is abroad and the weather isn't cold and snowy, any spell she tries to cast will fail unless she succeeds on an additional skill test to grasp the foreign Winds of Magic.

    Video Games 
  • Subverted in Betrayal at Krondor: When Pug and Owyn end up in parallel dimension Timiranya, they first assume that this is the case. However, it turns out that magic works just fine, but in this dimension, mana is a physical object rather than an elusive natural force. As soon as they find some mana and figure out how to use it in solid form, magic works just fine.
  • Fake Happy End: The party can use magic inside the tower, but not outside of it. Once they destroy the tower's power source, magic becomes available to use in the outside world.
  • The opening for the Kanna class in MapleStory has her in Japan on our world at level 200 with all her abilities. At the end of the tutorial she's transported to Zipangu in Maple World and she has to relearn all her magic.
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers, the player character has an ability called the Dimensional Scream that allows them to see a vision of the past or future related to an object when they touch it. In the future, the ability no longer works except when around a Time Gear.
  • Zigzagged in Soulcalibur II, it's mentioned in the description for Link's Great Fairy Sword that it lost its ability to automatically resist enemy attacks when Link left for Earth from Hyrule, but the rest of his magical items are not mentioned to have lost any power.
  • Defied in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. It's stated that the party should have been Brought Down to Normal when they crossed over to 4D Space, but Fayt's Symbol of Destruction is causing him to project a bubble around himself that allows the party to operate under their native universe's laws. This explanation is badly muddled in the English script.
  • In the Super Robot Wars franchise, certain aspects of various series don’t work on other franchises. For instance, the N-Jammers don’t work on non-Mobile Suit Gundam SEED units as SEED units are based around nuclear fission, where most others use fusion.
  • Super Snail from QCPlay Limited, does a form of this in each country having a power specific to that country that's unique to it and only useable while in that country. An example is Ninja magic being the power for Yamato and with it Super Snail will regenerate per battle round and can throw a draconic fireball at the beginning of a fight, but when he goes to Cathay, he loses that power and instead must use the Cathay power to summon generals from Dynasty Warriors instead.
  • In Ultima VIII, the Avatar is trapped in the world of Pagan, where magic is ruled by the Elemental Titans, servants of the Guardian. He then has to learn their magic from scratch and Beat Them at Their Own Game.
  • The magic in the Ultima Underworld series is rune based, not reagent based like the main Ultima series.

    Web Animation 
  • In DEATH BATTLE!, this is one of the reasons why Thanos loses against Darkseid. The Infinity Stones only work in the specific universe they are from. In order to take down Darkseid, Thanos would have to venture into the Fourth World to face off against his true form, where the Infinity Stones/Gauntlet would be useless. On the flipside, if Darkseid's true form were to enter Thanos' universe, his mere presence would destroy said universe which would again render the Stones/Gauntlet useless. As such, Thanos simply has no way to use the Infinity Gauntlet against Darkseid's true form.
  • Theo from Meta Runner has superhuman jumping ability and a coconut shell that functions like a Precision-Guided Boomerang, which do not work when he's in the physical world.


    Web Original 
  • This is the big reveal at the end of Atop the Fourth Wall storyline "Contest of Champions": the winners don't return for round two because the items they obtain for winning don't work in their dimension. Linkara realized this early on and is proven when Linksano uses the Infinity Gauntlet Linkara won to no effect.
  • On his blog, George R. R. Martin contributed to an online debate on whether a squad of characters from his own works could defeat a squad of The Wheel of Time characters in Westeros. The end is decided by this trope, when Rand essentially runs out of magic. Tyrion explains that the pool of magic in Westeros is very scant compared to Randland, because, "We have our own Creator here... a crueler one than yours, I fear. In his domain, the only pattern is the one men make themselves. There are no ta'veren. No man is ever safe." Of course, there is major authorial bias in this case.
  • In his home world on the Origins SMP, Sneeg can climb up walls directly as part of his Inchling powers. However, in the world of the Rats SMP, where he's sent while traversing the realms in search of his friends between seasons, he loses access to this power and has to rely on Double Jumps like the rats, which he describes as being similar to learning to walk again.
  • Among the major activities of is what they call a versus debate: theorizing what would result if two sides from different continuities fought it out. One of the rules is that each side's Applied Phlebotinum and super powers work just as well in the other side's setting as it does in their own. So, for example, a Jedi can still access the Force in the Stargate-verse, and a psyker is not rendered powerless by landing in the Forgotten Realms (although he might prefer the alternative). This also extends to theorizing that (from one thread) the Yuuzhan Vong would be just as resistant to the Warp as they are to the Force.

    Western Animation 
  • Played with in Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel series, The Legend of Korra. When Aang travels to the Spirit World, he lost the ability to bend. However, Korra shows this was just because Aang was always Astral Projecting into the Spirit World while leaving behind his body. When a bender enters the Spirit World through a portal, their body gets to come with, so they retain their abilities.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983): Orko's magic is considered a joke on Eternia because it always misfires and fails. Orko is from Trolla, a different dimension to Eternia and he complains that his magic doesn't work properly on Eternia. Eternians are surprised, but don't take seriously, the revelation that Orko is known as 'the Great' on Trolla because he's famous as a powerful wizard. When He-Man travels to Trolla, he immediately reverts back to Prince Adam. His power doesn't work but Orko's magic is working perfectly. He learns that Trollan and Eternian magic works in the reverse to each other. To activate the Sword of Power, he has to speak everything backwards. Upon realising that Orko has effectively had to relearn how to cast all of his magic backwards to function in Eternia, He-Man gains much more respect for Orko's abilities than he used to have.
  • In the 1980s The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam! sometimes had episodes where Billy and Mary Batson with Freddy Freeman couldn't transform into their Captain, Junior, and Mary Marvel counterparts when stuck in another dimension. The usual work around is to say Shazam backwards or other different order and then the kids get their godly powers back.
  • In the The Owl House episode "Young Blood, Old Souls", we find out that Luz's glyphs don't work in the human world, presumably because her magic comes from the body of the dead Titan. Natural-born Witches, such as Lilith, can still use magic, as they store it in their bodies. "Yesterday's Lie" shows that the In Between Realm also lacks a magical source, and staying in it for too long will start to damage magical items like Luz's cape.
  • In Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders, human magic becomes unpredictable and harder to control in Faeryland, while faery magic becomes similarly wonky when cast in the human kingdom of Avalon.
  • In one Rick and Morty episode, Rick travels to a high-fantasy dimension of dragons and sorcery, finding that his technological devices are useless. He needs Morty's help to use a spellbook and reverse engineer an enchantment off a stone golem to get back in the game.
  • In the episode "Flight 601 Has Vanished" of the animated series based on Shazam!, the threesome and Uncle Dudley were transported into the "Fourth Dimension". The Marvel family spent most of the episode unable to summon their powers, leaving them mostly helpless against the dimension's monsters and villains, until they realized they had to speak their magic words backwards. It was also an example of "Your Science Is No Good Here", as Dr. Sivana's shrink ray worked backwards as well.
  • In Filmation's Space Sentinels, they visited the realm of Faria, the source of all fairy tales, and the heroes' powers worked badly. Hercules' super strength was intermittent at best, Mercury kept moving super-slowly, and Astrea could only transform into mythical animals (trying to turn into a normal animal just deformed her badly).
  • Super Friends: In "Terror From the Phantom Zone", the villains trap the Super Friends except for Superman in the Phantom Zone. When they get attacked by a monster, they discover that none of their powers work. The Wonder Twins were unable to transform and Batman and Robin's devices didn't function. Fortunately, Superman was able to bring them back to Earth.
  • An episode of The Wizard of Oz had Dorothy and Co. visit "Upside-Down Town" where, among other things, people wore shoes on their head and hats on their feet, so Dorothy's magical ruby slippers stopped working properly until she took them off her feet and put them on her head.

Alternative Title(s): Your Magic Is No Good Here